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241
Family & Parenting / Husbands Who Need To Go Out To Market
« on: April 23, 2020, 05:10:07 PM »
Repost from FB
A plea from the Association of Husbands Who Need To Go Out To Market (CLAPP) during the Covid-19 Pandemic:

1. Fix the shopping list.
Please group items in the same category,  non-food essentials and food essentials together, so we will not go around the market in circles. Do not list oil on no. 1 and soy sauce on no.
15.

2. Be specific.
If you need to buy 5kilos of rice, put what kind of rice -,sinandomeng, jasmine, brown, black, red.
Unless a budget is given like P35 / kilo, it's just well-milled.

3. Make sure the list is complete.
It's unacceptable to be in line for an hour and in the market for another three hours and we get home missing to buy a  panty liner.

4. Accept that we often go wrong.
It's hard to go shopping since most of us are are not used to looking at how red gills should be, how much of a string beans and what kind of sinigang mix e.g. tamarind, fish, pork, shrimp, for mother-in-in-law etc.

5. Don't rush us.
We just got out of the house 5 mins and you messaging us where we are. Where do you think? If you want, just buy  1/4 kg kasim on Shopee.

6. Don't ask for the change.
You only gave 1 thousand for 50 items on the list.  Nag abono pa ako.

Thank you very much.
- Husband.

Wife: What the heck! Hahaha

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242
Health and Food / Dumaguete City and the DOH Central Visayas
« on: April 23, 2020, 10:57:19 AM »
IPAKITA ANG GILAS, CENTRAL VISAYAS! emoji123 - Show Posts - MIKELIGALIG.com

The Local Government of Dumaguete City and the DOH Central Visayas Center for Health Development started to build the Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility in the area. This facility will cater to our fellow kababayan with mild cases of COVID-19.

Together, we can #BeatCOVID19 emoji3516 - Show Posts - MIKELIGALIG.comemoji1198 - Show Posts - MIKELIGALIG.com

Visit link for pictures: https://www.facebook.com/156566631021264/posts/3249407191737177/

#WeHealAsOne
#COVID19PH

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243
U.S. Provides Php269 Million in New COVID-19 Assistance, Total Aid Exceeds Php470 Million

Manila, April 22, 2020 — The U.S. government approved an additional Php269 million ($5.3 million) in health and humanitarian assistance to help support the Philippines in the fight against COVID-19, bringing total U.S. assistance to the Philippines to more than Php470 million ($9.3 million). The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is collaborating with the Philippine government to implement internationally-recognized prevention, control, and response strategies to protect against infectious diseases.

This newest tranche of U.S. assistance will support laboratory and specimen-transport systems and intensify case-finding and disease surveillance. The funding also will assist Filipino and international technical experts in risk communication, infection prevention and control efforts, handwashing and hygiene promotion, and community-level preparedness and response.

Previously, the United States announced Php203 million ($4 million) in health funding to support the Philippine government’s efforts to prepare laboratory systems to combat the virus, as well as a donation of 1,300 cots to Philippine medical facilities.

Thus far, U.S. assistance has: 

· Boosted Testing Capacity: U.S.-supported efforts to augment the Philippines Department of Health (DOH)’s testing capacity by upgrading laboratories, provide laboratory supplies, and strengthen specimen transport systems have contributed to an increase in the country’s testing capacity from 200 to approximately 3,000 tests per day. 

· Intensified Infection Control: USAID’s online learning modules are boosting capacities in more than 100 hospitals across the country with the most up-to-date COVID-19 infection prevention and control information and skills. This assistance also helps individuals, families, and frontline community and hospital heath care workers to protect themselves from infection. 

· Enhanced Risk Preparedness and Crisis Communications: USAID is supporting DOH communications platforms, including the Healthy Pilipinas Facebook page for accurate COVID-19 information. USAID is also supporting the DOH to rapidly translate and communicate the latest COVID-19 guidelines and policies for improved implementation of COVID-19 response.

· Strengthened Supply Chain Management: USAID assisted the DOH to develop and launch a nationwide commodity and logistics tracking tool that offers real-time data on stores of life-saving COVID-19 commodities, in turn improving the availability and appropriate management and delivery to the areas of greatest need.

· Expanded WASH Access and Data Collection: USAID is expanding community access to water, sanitation, hygiene services, and commodities to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Funding also aids Filipino and international technical experts in data collection to enhance COVID-19 response and preparedness, including support for two surveillance experts who are assisting the DOH Epidemiology Bureau with Analysis and reporting of COVID-19 cases.

The United States has invested more than $4.5 billion in total assistance to the Philippines over the past 20 years, including $582 million to support the public health system.

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244
Science and Research / Treatment and Cure of Covid-19 Coronavirus
« on: April 23, 2020, 06:34:07 AM »
Coronavirus Update: For some months now, I have been observing the findings of Covid 19 and the different suggestions of how to treat it. So far the approach of Dr. Angel Atienza is for me is the most logical.

When his viral post came, I did a background research and it showed that it was not a fake article. A newspaper in Spain really featured his findings and the said hospital testifies that all were true. I also did Google translate about some spanish articles about him, yes all true.

Being a concerned citizen, Physician and also one of the members of Covid 19 Medical Panel of advisers for Malacañang I wish to throw my support on the findings of the said Doctor from Spain.

To make it simple, the enemy is a Giant Inflammatory reaction. How do we kill a giant? Kill it when it is still a baby.

Note the medicines suggested here are for hospital use only, for patients already with Covid 19 symptoms.

This is his full article...

“My name is Angel Atienza, I am an internal medicine specialist and lead of the COVID area at the Hospital Doctor Peset in Valencia, Spain.

When the epidemic began we were horrified to see the severity of this disease. The patients developed respiratory failure, frequently in a very sudden way, with not much perceptible dyspnoea, and had to be transferred to the ICU for ventilatory support.

We have now learnt to manage this disease. As you know, the disease has two phases, first an infectious phase that lasts for a week after the onset of symptoms, and thereafter an inflammatory phase that starts around the seventh or eighth day, with the onset of lung infiltrates and biochemical derangements that are now well known.

It is not known why some patients develop this second inflammatory phase and others do not, what does seem clear is that the inflammatory phase is mediated by the activation of macrophages and the release of inflammatory mediators that disrupt the alveolo - capillary membrane, leading to respiratory distress.

In most hospital treatment protocols anti inflammatory therapy is reserved for those patients that progress to severe pneumonia.
In our hospital we have taken the opposite approach, we have defined a treatment protocol aiming to preempt the inflammatory changes.

We believe that the radiological changes that appear in chest imaging are not infectious in nature, but rather caused by the triggering of the inflammatory cascade. We should thus intervene early, before an anatomical injury of the alveolar membrane happens leading to respiratory distress.

In those patients that exhibit early radiological changes, we have started using a treatment protocol with steroids starting on the sixth day of symptoms and lasting to day 12, to dampen the inflammatory response and prevent the progression to ARDS.

We think that the treatment for COVID pneumonia is to start steroid treatment at the stage of mild pneumonia, particularly in febrile patients with biochemical disturbance, at the end of the first week.

We are using methylprednisolone at a dose of 80 mg per day, either as a single daily dose, or as 40 mg bd, and in some patients in whom we observe a satisfactory response we add a further antinflammatory agent such as tocilizumab or anakinra.

With this we are seeing very good results, a decreased need for admission to ICU, shorter hospital LOS and clinical and radiological responses that are nothing short of spectacular.

We believe that the WHO is mistaken in considering steroids contraindicated in patients with COVID 19;  in following this, antiinflammatory therapy is delayed to a more severe stage when is is much less effective.

We are gathering data on this that we will soon share, but we feel duty bound to publicise this information without any further delay, and we encourage you to trial this treatment.
Patients are not being killed by the infection, they are being killed by the inflammatory response triggered by macrophage activation.
Please share this information and start using it, collect data and let´s beat the epidemic together.

EARLY ANTIINFLAMMATORY TREATMENT AND GOOD LUCK DEAR COLLEAGUES,

It was easy for me to favor his explanation because last Feb. 16, I already expained it almost the same way, here was my video.

https://www.facebook.com/1432850393613872/posts/2633088410256725/?vh=e&d=n

Please share it so to the level that it will reach Spain back again!

Follow Dr. Richard Mata for updates
www.easyclinicsoftware.com online clinic

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245
Press Release Philippines / Bohol to Reopen?
« on: April 23, 2020, 06:16:30 AM »
Press Statement: NEW NORMS. Facing the challenges together, members of the business community--including the transport sector--sit down with Gov. Art Yap to sketch the transition path to a new normal for the period that the Covid-19 should wane and Bohol should gradually reopen but with a different door. The local economy should no longer be dependent on tourism alone. Agriculture and small businesses offer a more inclusive economy.

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246
Statement of the Quezon City Government on the Brgy. Pasong Putik incident

The Quezon City Government is deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred yesterday afternoon (April 21) in Brgy. Pasong Putik.

The QCPD is undertaking a thorough investigation into the matter. Needless to say, the law enforcement personnel involved in this incident will be given a chance to explain their side, and rationalize their actions in the context of accepted rules of engagement.

We are looking into reports that the casualty was a mentally challenged individual. Quezon City has always been highly responsive to those with special needs, and we shall approach this situation with the thoughtfulness and sensitivity it demands.

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247
Press Release Philippines / NPA Attacks
« on: April 22, 2020, 11:03:12 PM »
STATEMENT BY MAYOR  SARA DUTERTE ON NPA ATTACK IN PAQUIBATO

The New People’s Army has once again shamelessly exposed itself as the devil incarnate when it attacked soldiers in Sitio Kapihan, Barangay Malabog in Paquibato District, Davao City Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

The terroristic attack came days after it announced, along with the Communist Party of the Philippines, that it was extending its self-declared ceasefire to April 30 — that we can only say now as a total sham.

The cowardly attack, which was carried out with the use of a bomb, only proved that the NPA, the CPP, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines are truly the enemy of the people and the government.

Two soldiers from 16th IB were wounded during the attack.

We condemn this attack as this happened at a time when we are supposed to be working together against Covid-19.

We can clearly expect nothing from the NPA terrorists — not even the slightest compassion for the people. It cannot even feign concern. 

For the NPA terrorists, what’s important is death, destruction, and taking over the government.

We call on the public to reject the NPA terrorists,  work together and strongly resist its perverted political agenda, and drive them completely out of our communities.

Thank you.

-City Mayor's Office

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248
Philippine Daily News / Covid Positive in Butuan City
« on: April 22, 2020, 07:22:30 PM »
PIA CARAGA: BREAKING | Caraga now holds another confirmed case of COVID-19. The patient is 31 years old, female, from Butuan City. She currently remains asymptomatic. The patient is the wife of one of the individuals who attended the Araw ng Dabaw six-cock-derby in Matina, Davao.

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249
Inspiration & Hope / Morning Prayer
« on: April 22, 2020, 07:52:52 AM »
O God, Great Giver of Life and Purpose, It is to you we say thank you for bringing us to this point in our journey.

For the last few weeks we have sought to discover our purpose in you so that we can live
purpose driven lives. We thank you for how you have revealed yourself to us and in us over the
last few weeks.

We are grateful to know that we are not here by accident and that our life is only a temporary
assignment which must be dedicated to giving you glory at all times. Lord, we thank you for your merciful forgiveness when we confess that we have momentarily forgotten that it is not about us, but it is all about you.

Creator God we thank you that everything in our life happens for a reason and that it is all
working together for our good so that we can truly be the men and women of God you are calling for and designing us to be. Amen. emoji120 - Show Posts - MIKELIGALIG.com

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250
11 Quick (and Good) Content Ideas for Your Ezine or Website

Summary:
While I'm sure that sometimes you have dozens of content ideas, I bet other times you find yourself staring at a blank computer screen, grumbling that it's publishing time again. Well, have no fear! Here are 11 quick (and good) content ideas for when you're in a pinch.

Keywords:
ezine writing, ezine advertising, e-zine advertising, ezine newsletters, ezine marketing, ezines, e-zine, ezine, speaking opportunities

Article Body:
Publishing articles, especially via an e-zine, is the ideal opportunity to showcase your business. By sharing your knowledge and expertise, you build credibility as an expert, while spreading the word about your services and products.

While I'm sure that sometimes you have dozens of content ideas, I bet other times you find yourself staring at a blank computer screen, grumbling that it's publishing time again. Well, have no fear! Here are 11 quick (and good) content ideas for when you're in a pinch.

1. Give real-life success stories.
Describe a problem you've solved for a client/customer, and use that as a springboard to offer more general advice. Show your readers how you've helped customers address challenges -- "case studies" if you will. This positions you as the expert in your readers' minds more than your coming out and saying so.

2. Think of three areas in which you'd like your clients to think of you as a resource.

Now develop content in those areas. For example, in my past life as a professional copywriter, I really enjoyed writing for Web sites. To help encourage my clients and prospects to hire me for these projects, I published several articles on how to write Web copy that sells.

3. Read industry publications for ideas.
Are there any hot issues in your field right now? The more controversial, the better. Don't be afraid to offer your own opinion -- your readers want to know it. After all, YOU are the expert in their eyes.

4. Jot down 8 questions your clients have asked you in the past.
You know, the ones they ask you over and over. Answer each in a short article. If you publish weekly, that's two months' worth of content, right off the bat! And if you can't think of any questions, send all your current clients/customers a quick e-mail, asking them what topics they're most interested in learning more about.

5. Learn anything neat lately from an industry conference, workshop, seminar, or insightful article?
No one says you have to reinvent the wheel of information! Pass on any gems of advice you've learned elsewhere -- just give them full attribution. Or give your opinion of the event or article itself. Your readers will appreciate your frankness.

6. Offer a list of your top 5 or 10 tips on a certain subject.

It's much easier to bang out a list of tips than to put together a real article. Of course, the tips can evolve into an article if you wish! Be sure to list your best tip first, or at least close to the top. (If you "fire your biggest gun" last, you risk losing your audience before they get to the good stuff.)

7. Interview associates whose expertise would interest your readers
(while not competing with yours). E-mail interviews are incredibly easy to do. Just send your interviewee 3 to 5 questions via e-mail, edit their answers, and have them approve the final version. Be sure to give them a short plug in your e-zine as a thank you. (A one- or two-sentence description of their business and their Web address should be fine.)

8. Recommend books and resources that you use, and offer full reviews on them.In one issue of my old
ezine newsletters, "AKB MarCom Tips," I featured reviews of my favorite four copywriting resource books. I'm glad I also gave my Amazon.com associate links, because I ended up making some nice commission, to boot!

9. Invite clients or readers to write you with their own questions, and answer one in each issue.

Right after their question, publish the person's name, business, and Web address, with their permission. They'll enjoy the attention and free publicity!

10. Invite readers to send in profiles.
Ask them to tell you about themselves -- their names, businesses, locations, and how they use the information gained in your e-zine. Feature one profile in each issue or one every few issues.

11. When all else fails, borrow an article!
There are dozens of Web sites offering hundreds of articles that you can use in your e-zine. The articles are free and available for you to use immediately. The only catch is you're required to leave the entire article intact, including the author's promotional information. One of my favorite places to search for articles is www.ezinearticles.com.

One last note: Keep in mind that if your e-zine's main objective is to get you more clients and customers, you should NOT feature other writers' articles more than once in a blue moon. Remember our main goal is to continually showcase YOU.

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251
How To Tips / 10 Article Writing Keys For Newbies
« on: April 22, 2020, 05:46:59 AM »
10 Article Writing Keys For Newbies

Summary:
BONUS TIP for you:  Along with "the rejection slip" will usually come a suggestion on how to "fix" your article

Keywords:
articles, article writing, writing, author, newbies, Blog, Blog writing, tennessee, mountain man, tennessee mountain man, computer,

Article Body:
This article on the 10 (no, 11... yes, 11) tips for newbies is not written from the catbird seat point of view of the article host or database manager.  Rather it is by and from the perspective of an author who remembers the early misgivings. It is written especially for the beginning article writer.  The Tennessee Mountain Man has written and submitted hundreds of articles for publication to thousands of article hosts and database managers and still finds article writing his nemesis. 

1.  Necessity vs Desire:
 
Articles and Blogs are necessary in today's scheme of search engine indexing.  Not what the newbie wants to hear.  Just remember what the Bible says, "there has nothing over taken you that is not common to man".  That's right!  All of us hate article and Blog writing at times, and some of us dread the journey to pen and paper (or keyboard as the case may be) all the time. Many a webmaster would call them "a necessary evil" as they are not generally anyone's best liked house keeping chores.

2.  Just Start, It Gets Easier:

First it is sometimes difficult to get a subject or theme and to get the first couple of lines scribbled down.  The Tennessee Mountain Man knows authors who literally get sick thinking about the process.  Lighten up.  Once an author has a starting point and gets passed the initial thoughts, article and Blog writing usually goes fairly smoothly.

The main thing is that you get started.  Pick a subject you know something about and just start.  You will be pleasantly surprised at just how easily ideasflow.  Don't assume everyone knows what you know.  They don't.  Will Rogers once said, "all men are ignorant, just on different subjects".  And, so it is!
3.  Good vs Perfection:

Your old English comp professor is not looking over your shoulder.  This paper does not have to be perfect.  That is not to say it does not have to be on point or to say that it does not have to be correct.  It does or at least it should be.  But, perfection is not the goal and is, in fact, seldom possible.  Too much detail and you run the risk of losing your reader on several levels.  Too long and
most readers simply don't have the time or interest to wade through the material regardless of how important it is.

4.  Blog Length vs Article Length:

Most publishers want a minimum of six hundred (600) words per article - some will let you slide with four hundred (400) words.  Blogs can be much smaller.  Blogs can and maybe should support appropriate pictures and embedded links.

Just don't over do it.  Too gaudy or too slow to load and you have wasted your time, ticked off a potential reader, and probably upset a host who can ban you from their publications.  Articles, on the other hand, typically cannot carry these extra touches according to the requirements of most publishers.

5.  Format:

Prepare your article in American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format.  There are many tools from which to choose to get the job done. A search for 'free ASCII editor' or for 'free plain text editors' will provide one with a multitude of free options.  Word Press is a popular choice.  If all else fails simply use notepad to turn out your masterpiece.

6.  Spelling and Grammar:

Once you have your article or Blog run it through a good spell checker and a good grammar checker.  Microsoft Word works well for these purposes.  Just don't use the MS Word copy for publication of your article.  Rather use it's suggestions to make any necessary corrections to your plain text copy.  The MS Word copy will work for Blogs although the Computerman prefers other editors.

Just like the days when you were pushed by Profs, you will find Article and Blog writing skills become easier with time and practice.

7.  Publish and Announce:

Once your Blog is ready you may want to use some automatic tools to publish and announce it.  First do a search for Blog hosts and select those which best suit your needs.  Join one or more and publish your Blog there.  Then search for Blog announcers and rss announcers and use them to get your Blog noticed.

Now that you have that out of the way find an article wizard that will post your Articles to free publishers.  You can post them one at a time by hand if you are really bored and have absolutely nothing else in life to do.  Using an automatic poster you can publish to hundreds of hosts in an hour or so.  The only way to go.

8.  Patience:

Now, have some patience.  Here is where you lose control.  Many of the men and women who host articles are timely and your articles will be reviewed within twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours.  But, many others will be days and weeks down the road therefore never date an article - a sure way to get rejected.

9.  Rejection - "sorry your article has been declined":

Be prepared for most hosts to reject your articles.  Do not take it personally.  It usually has little to do with you or your article. 

Some databases routinely reject articles for spelling errors when there are none or where there is more than way to spell a word.  And, just as in any other endeavor some hosts are simply too lazy and get so far behind, the easiest and fastest thing to do (and perhaps the only alternative) is to reject everything.  You will learn who these are over time.

Then there are those who run your articles through the sausage grinder and if they find certain words, irrespective of how they are used, your article gets no farther.  These are the people who can't publish the Holy Bible because it contains words that offend them or their readers.  Don't worry about these folks who are so heavenly minded they are of no earthly use.
 
Remember, just as in everything else in life, for every rule there is an exception

10.  Keep the faith, and keep cranking out articles:

Since most authors, especially newbies, prepare only one copy of an article against the advice of most seasoned authors it is important that the newbie keep his chin up - keep the faith.  That will be easier as more and more of your articles are accepted and published driving visitors to your website while creating those all important back links.

It is not necessary that every host to accept everything submitted to them.  After one or two hosts publish your article on any given subject, the search engines tend to penalize you anyway by ignoring additional postings.  This is close to spamming and while it could help someone find you, it probably won't.  It is not necessarily, the more the merrier.  The additional listings will not increase your page rankings or links reported by the search engines.  It is more important to get published by hosts with the highest Google page rank possible.

Now, one BONUS TIP for you:  Along with "the rejection slip" will usually come a suggestion on how to "fix" your article and a  request that you resubmit it.  Don't waste your time.  While trying comply with one database manager's request you could have written a new article from which you get much more punch.  Enough publishers will pick your article up so move on and save yourself some time and heartburn.

Everybody has a thought or idea at least once a day usually at the most inopportune time.  How many good ideas have you lost because of waiting?  Don't procrastinate!  Go!  Capture that thought before it is gone forever.

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252
Philippine Business News / Cebuana's Remit or Send Money from Home
« on: April 21, 2020, 10:44:33 PM »
FB Repost:
Good news mga Ka-Cebuana! Ang Remit From Home service ay nationwide na! Pwede na mag pera padala mula sa bahay mo to any Cebuana Lhuillier branch whether from Luzon, Visayas, o Mindanao ka pa!
 
Pareho parin ang proseso! Just scan the QR code or visit https://remitfromhome.cebuanalhuillier.com to send your Pera Padala requirement.
 
Remit from Home service is available for customers residing in the Philippines; Monday to Saturday from 9AM to 4PM. Applicable for local money transfer transactions only.

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253
Press Release Philippines / FAKE VOICE RECORDING ABOUT MARTIAL LAW
« on: April 21, 2020, 06:23:21 PM »
STATEMENT BY MAYOR SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO ON FAKE VOICE RECORDING ABOUT MARTIAL LAW

I have received several messages about another viral voice recording about the supposed plan by the national government to declare martial law.

Some people have assumed the audio recording as mine.

My official statements, orders, and announcements are all released through the City Government of Davao’s public information office.

Only trust and share information coming from the official social media platforms of the City Government of Davao, Davao City Disaster Radio, and our mainstream media partners.

Thank you.

via Davao CIO
#AllYouNeedToKnow

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254
Lifestyle, Culture and Arts / How to Buy Cigars as a Gift
« on: April 21, 2020, 06:11:26 PM »
How to Buy Cigars as a Gift

Is there a cigar aficionado on your gift list?  Wondering how to choose a decent cigar for a friend or loved one?  Even if you know nothing about cigars or choosing a good cigar, just learning a few basics can help you sniff out (sometimes literally) a good cigar to give to a friend. 

Fortunately, cigars have now entered the mainstream.  Once the symbol of the rich and powerful, it's easier than ever for just about anyone to purchase a good cigar.  Of course, you probably won't be able to buy your friend a box of top-tier Cuban cigars, but you can definitely buy them a good quality cigar that will put a smile on their face. 

First, visit your local tobacconist or specialty smoke shop for the best quality and widest selection.  Avoid 'drugstore' cigars.  Although they may be inexpensive and convenient to purchase, drugstore cigars are usually filled with preservatives and generally of poorer quality.  They may contain, at minimum, saltpeter, paper, glycerin, and other preservatives and irritants.  You should make sure that the cigars you purchase are made of 100% tobacco.  If you have any questions regarding the cigars ingredients, ask the salesperson.  An experienced and knowledgeable sales clerk will be able to tell you extensive information about the ingredients. 

Your local tobacco shop is a good place to shop because you will generally be allowed to smell and touch the cigars.  Squeeze the cigar gently.  A good quality cigar will give a little when squeezed.  The cigar should be firm, with no excessively soft or hard spots.  Never buy a lumpy cigar. Look at the wrapper.  If you notice any drying or discoloration, best not to buy it.  Ideally, the wrapper should be tight and smooth.  Inspect the color of the tobacco to make sure it is even.  Do this by inspecting the end of the cigar.  Some color variation is normal, but if the color changes abruptly, chances are the cigar was not rolled properly.  A cigar that is not rolled properly may result in an uneven burning and unpleasant odors. 

If you're not sure how much your friend smokes, choose a longer cigar.  Longer cigars tend to have a 'cooler' taste—an excellent choice for beginners. If you know your friend is an experienced and regular smoker, choose a cigar that is greater in diameter.  These cigars tend to have a richer flavor that experienced smokers will appreciate.



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255
Lifestyle, Culture and Arts / How to Choose the Perfect Single
« on: April 21, 2020, 06:08:53 PM »
How to Choose the Perfect Single

Wondering how to choose the perfect cigar?  If you're a newcomer to the world of cigar smoking, here are a few tips to choosing the best cigar.

First, note the texture of the cigar. Squeeze it gently. Is very soft, or rigid?  Ideally, the cigar should give slightly, but not too much.  Very gently, squeeze the length of the cigar to check for lumps.  A good cigar will have a consistent texture.

Next, inspect the cigar for flaws.  Any cracks or discolorations are the signs of a lower quality cigar.  The cigar's wrapper should be wrapped smoothly. 

Finally, look at the ends of the cigar.  Pay particular attention to the exposed end where cigar is lit.  If you're new to cigars, it can be difficult to gauge the quality of the tobacco.  The simplest way to judge the tobacco quality of a cigar is to inspect the color of the tobacco.  If you note any abrupt color changes, this may indicate that the tobacco leaves were not laid out properly.  Look for a cigar with a smooth blend of tobacco.

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256
Lifestyle, Culture and Arts / How to Pair Cigars and Alcohol
« on: April 21, 2020, 06:08:02 PM »
How to Pair Cigars and Alcohol

The cigar has long been viewed as a luxury of the rich and powerful.  Images of well-to-do men puffing on a stogie and swirling a glass of good brandy have been well documented and memorialized in films and TV.  If you are just becoming interested in cigars and would like to relax with a stogie and drink after a long day's work, here are a few tips to get you started. 

Traditionally, the cigar has been paired with a strong drink.  Popular spirits include rum, brandy, or whiskey.  Some argue that a good cigar should always be paired with a strong drink that has a hint of sweetness.  Indeed, cigar smokers have long enjoyed these popular pairings.  For years, the idea of pairing cigars with beer has gone overlooked.  But why overlook good old beer?  Recently, the trend has been to pair cigars with various varieties of beer.  It seems that as cigars have entered the mainstream, it has been democratized and popularized.  What better way to enjoy a puff of this newly popularized treat than to pair it with beer? 

Pairing a good cigar with a good beer is not an easy feat, but when accomplished, it is well worth the effort.  Much of the pairing has to do with your experience level.  If you are a novice, you will probably need help in pairing your specific cigar with an appropriate beer.  If you have a more experienced palate, and you know what you like, you can probably make connections between certain types of cigars and beers. 

Because cigars are so strong and flavorful, one of the challenges in pairing is to find a beer that complements the intensity of most cigars.  Most cigars will pair nicely with a good barely wine or a single malt scotch.  If your cigar can be described as woody, spicy, with hints of cedar, try pairing it with a barley wine.  The fruity hint of barely wine should complement nicely with the spicy flavor of your cigar.  The combination of a spicy cigar with a slightly fruity beer can create an overall creaminess that enhances the flavors of each significantly.

If you have no clue as to what flavor combinations might work, experiment.  First, find a cigar that you enjoy.  Try to identify the characteristics that you enjoy about it.  Then, find a beer whose flavors you think might 'match' or complement the cigar.  Many incredible discoveries have been made in much this same way.

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257
Lifestyle, Culture and Arts / How To Properly Age A Cigar
« on: April 21, 2020, 06:06:41 PM »
How To Properly Age A Cigar

Experienced cigar enthusiasts know well the pleasures of a well-aged cigar.  The subtle flavors and complex constitution of a well-aged cigar is indescribably and unforgettable.  Like wine, many cigar aficionados swear by the process of aging.  A great cigar, the argument goes, is an aged one.  How can you attain a well-aged cigar that provides the mellow, complex flavors you crave?  You can always fork over a good deal of your money and purchase a box of expensive vintage cigars.  If you would rather save the money and experiment with aging on your own, here are a few tips to help you get started.

First, know that you will have to be patient if you want a properly aged cigar.  You will have to age your cigars for about a year in order to achieve the flavors and complex subtleties of a well-aged cigar.  Also, know that in order to achieve the rewards of a well-aged cigar; you must begin the process with a high quality cigar.  If you try to age a lower quality cigar, chances are any amount of aging won't improve their flavor significantly.  Many high quality cigars that you find too strong or odorous are perfect candidates for aging.  In fact, almost all high quality cigars can be improved through the process of aging.

To age your cigars, purchase a good quality humidor.  Cigars must be stored in a constant and stable environment.  Follow the 70-70 rules.  That means the humidity must be at a constant humidity of 70%, and at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Of course, the environment in which they are stored is crucial. Follow the usual 70-70 rules for temperature and humidity. Any more and your cigars will get moldy; any less and the aging process begins to be stunted. Maintaining a stable environment for your cigars is key - a constantly fluctuation environment can be disastrous. Swings in temperature and humidity cause cigars to expand and contract, cracking their wrappers and it may disrupt the aging process. Ideally, the space in the humidor should be about twice the volume of cigars. The lining should be cedar - cedar wood is highly aromatic wood, full of its own oils. With the passage of time, the interaction of the tobacco oils amongst themselves, and with the cedar oil of the wood it leads to a mellowing and blending of flavors resulting in that subtle complexity you can only get from proper aging.

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258
Lifestyle, Culture and Arts / How to Purchase Cigars from Cuba
« on: April 21, 2020, 06:05:50 PM »
How to Purchase Cigars from Cuba

Every cigar aficionado knows that the very best cigars come from Cuba.  Unfortunately, buying the best can often be a risky proposition.  But many cigar enthusiasts are willing to take the risk to get a taste of the very best.  If you're wondering just how one would get their hands on a box of Cubans, read on.  Because of the relationship between the United States and Cuba, know that there are a lot of people looking to take advantage of cigar aficionados.  Purchasing Cuban cigars should be done with great caution in order to avoid getting duped. 

First, know that importing cigars from Cuba is considered illegal.  The United States placed economic sanctions on the Cuban government in 1963.  Ever since then, Cuban cigars have become the holy grail of cigar enthusiasts.  There is, however, one loophole: visitors to Cuba who return from a sanctioned and licensed visit are allowed to bring back cigars.  However, visitors are not able to bring back more than $100 worth of cigars, and they must be intended for personal use, and not for resale. 

Any other ways of obtaining Cuban cigars is considered illegal.  It is in fact illegal to buy, sell or trade Cuban cigars in the United States.  Fines for illegal trading, buying or selling of Cuban cigars may face up to $55,000 in civil fines.  This type of fine, however, is quite rare.  The more likely scenario is that you'll have your cigars confiscated. 

When purchasing a box of Cuban cigars, be prepared to fork over quite a bit of your cash.  Prices can range from about $150 to $500 or more.  If you're offered a box below these prices, chances are it may not be the real thing.  Most Internet businesses that sell purportedly genuine Cuban cigars tend to be imitations.  Always avoid shops or retailers that offer "discounted" Cuban cigars. 

How to get your hands on the real thing?  The easiest way to get a box of authentic Cuban cigars is to head north to Canada.  Buy them in Canada and repackage them so that they are not in their original Cuba packaging.  Remove the rings and place the cigars in a different box.  Customs agents tend to not inspect cigars carefully, and it is generally not considered a serious offense to bring Cuban cigars into the United States.  In fact, many clerks at tobacco shops will even offer to repackage Cuban cigars for you.

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259
Lifestyle, Culture and Arts / How to Spot Fake Cuban Cigars
« on: April 21, 2020, 06:04:28 PM »
How to Spot Fake Cuban Cigars

Everyone knows that Cuban cigars are the most coveted cigars, renown worldwide for their smoothness and rich flavors.  Indeed, Cuban cigars are so prized that many illegitimate dealers have been known to sell fake Cubans to unsuspecting cigar smokers.  How do you tell if what you have is a fake or the real thing?  First, make certain that you purchase your cigars from a legitimate dealer.  Buying from your local tobacconist or a reputable mail order business can protect you from forking your money over for a box of fake cigars. 

If you have an opportunity to purchase a box of purported Cuban cigars, but have your doubts, take the time to examine the box before purchasing it.  Here are a few tips to help you spot the fakes from the real thing.

The most important thing to examine is the box.  Authentic Cuban cigars will contain a green and white warranty seal on the left front side of the box.  The seal will contain an insignia that has a picture of a shield and a hat.  On the upper right hand corner of the box, you should find a white sticker that is placed diagonally with the word 'Habanos' printed on it.  The overall appearance of the box should be neat and clean.  If the box appears damaged, smudged, frayed, or marked, avoid it.  If the color of the box is dull, don't buy it.  Even if the cigars are the real things, their quality may have suffered in transport.  If you are in the market for Cohiba, Trinidad, or Q'dorsay brand cigars, know that all authentic Cohiba's will contain the green and white warranty seal on the right hand side of the box.   

On the bottom of the box of cigars, you should find a heat stamp with the words 'Habanos.'  The heat stamp should be impressed onto the bottom of the box.  Fake Cuban cigar boxes often find other ways to imprint this label, such as using rubber stamps or paper labels.  You should also find a factory code stamp at the bottom that is stamped in green, blue or black ink.  This stamp will tell you when and where the cigars were rolled. 

If you can open the box, take the time to smell the tobacco.  Cuban cigars will have a deep, rich aroma, unmistakable to dedicated cigar aficionados.  If the smell is off, or very weak, chances are you do not have a box of authentic Cuban cigars in your hands.    The cigars should be facing the same way, and the top row may appear slightly flattened.  The caps on all the cigars should appear identical, and the foot of each cigar should be cut clean.  The bands on all the cigars should also be identical, and should be arranged so that they face the same direction.  If allowed, test the cigars out by pressing down on them.  Feel along the entire length of each cigar, checking for soft or hard spots.  The cigars should feel firm yet pliable.

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260
Lifestyle, Culture and Arts / Making the Perfect Cut on Your Cigar
« on: April 21, 2020, 06:03:37 PM »
Making the Perfect Cut on Your Cigar

How to clip a cigar properly?  Although every cigar aficionado has their own proven method, here are some basic guidelines to get you started. 

First, examine the head, or closed end, of the cigar.  This is the part of the cigar that will need to be clipped.  Determine where the 'cap' is.  The cap refers to the part of the cigar where the tobacco leaf was used to close the cigar.  Once you've found the cap, determine its length.  As a general rule, you should not cut any further than the end of the cap.  If you cut further than the cap, there's a good chance your cigar will unravel!

Use a good quality clipper to cut the head at the cap.  You don't want a cheap cutter that will result in frayed or split cuts.  You can purchase a special cigar cutter at your local tobacco shop that is designed to make clean cuts.  Once you have your cutter, hold your cigar at eye level and make a fast and decisive cut just above the cap.  Less is more when cutting—if you find your cut is too superficial, simply cut down a bit more.



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