Category Archives: World News

Index Shows Continued Growth in New Zealand Home Prices

Model house and money coins balancing on a seesawIf you planned to buy a house in New Zealand last month, you may have noticed higher prices that have been a trend since November 2017.

The QV House Price Index showed that nationwide home prices rose 6.4 per cent in January when the average value amounted to more than $671,000. This indicated that it was a seller’s market during the previous month.

Regional Markets

The index listed Auckland and the Queenstown Lakes District as the most expensive markets in January, when average home values in these areas reached more than $1.05 million and $1.11 million, respectively. According to QV General Manager David Nagel, this trend might continue in the next few months as the market begins to pick up after the holiday season. Prospective home sellers should now consider making the necessary preparations.

For instance, home upgrades boost the chance of lifting the overall value of your property, which will allow you to raise asking prices. These improvements may involve different parts of your house, including the driveway. A reputable contractor should be your partner in repairing or installing a driveway in Auckland or Queenstown Lakes District.

Professional Services

Professional services remain necessary for driveway installation because this project requires the use of heavy equipment. As such, any attempt to do it on your own may cause unwanted or unnecessary expenses in case of accidents and injuries.

If you find it hard to trust a contractor based solely on a verbal discussion, you should ask for references. This helps you gain more extensive knowledge about the company’s experience in handling driveway installation. You’ll learn about their work ethics and see how much they charge for different projects.

Home upgrades allow owners to list their properties on the market for a higher price, but this may not be possible if you choose to do major improvements by yourself. For best results, you must hire a professional.

How Web Design Will Look Like in 2018

Web Design conceptWeb design trends change almost every year. With 2018 right around the corner, people can expect new visual and functional trends to emerge. Providers of managed IT services here in New Jersey and beyond will have to keep up.

These trends change because of numerous reasons. Some can be attributed to industry demand, others due to clamor for better user experience. Either way, the year 2018 will bring a new range of trends to follow in the web design landscape. Here are a few.

Goodbye Flat Design?

Web design expert Will Grant hopes that more visual variety will emerge. In particular, he would like a little more deviations from the “standard” flat design that many professionals favored this year. There is science to back this up.

According to research by Nielsen, roughly 22 percent of users find it hard to navigate through a flat design. While there is no way to prove that this number will go up or down, one can expect changes in the coming year.

It is a Serif World Again

Flat design always comes with the use of sans-serif fonts. These fonts are without serifs or small lines that finish off a stroke when drawing a letter. But with 2018 coming in, perhaps fonts like Times New Roman will return to the spotlight.

Much negative talk surrounds fonts like TNR, but websites such as that of Kickstarter are starting to bring it back. Who knows whether other sites will follow Kickstarter’s lead?

Minimalism Still Reigns

First, flat and minimalist designs are two different things. As flat goes a bit out of style, minimalist still reigns as king. Design expert Paul Jarvis believes that this philosophy will never go out of style. The year 2018 may see numerous developments to the minimalist design.

It may see added functions and more bright colors, though one should not expect anything too crazy. It is minimalism, after all.

It looks like 2018 is shaping up to be a good year in web design. Here is to hoping there will not be anything bad that comes out of it in terms of both visuals and function.

Skiing in Japan

Why Make Japan Your Winter Wonderland Adventure

Skiing in JapanJapan is a country rich in culture, beautiful landscapes and friendly people. It also has four seasons which make it more attractive to tourists. Tourists can enjoy a winter wonderland in different ways when they visit this country, notes an expert from

Here are just some of the fun things to do in Japan during winter.

Go Skiing

Japan’s winter is white and is perfect for skiing, for those who want to enjoy winter sports. The country’s mountains provide a diverse landscape for beginners and advanced skiers alike. There are different Japan ski packages that cater to different wants. Niseko in Hokkaido is one of the premier destinations for those who enjoy this sport. The powdery snow allows you to glide and enjoy a day on the slopes. The area has many ski resorts and it is tourist-friendly with many English signs and establishments.

Snow Festival in Sapporo

The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the most popular events in the country. It dates back to 1950 and is a celebration that most Japanese anticipate. Visitors get to see various giant snow sculptures of famous destinations, historical objects and even anime characters such as Pokemon. Some are as tall as 20 metres; the event has become global as teams from the United States and Canada join in on the fun.

Experience Sumo New Year Basho

This is one of the six grand tournaments of sumo held every year. The tournament intensifies as the day unfolds; it starts out with low ranked wrestlers for the morning matches and peaks when the stars matches begin in the afternoon.

Visit an Onsen

An onsen is a hot spring that allows you to warm your body during the cold days and nights of winter. Try an open-air and outdoor bath to not only to enjoy the water, but also get a spectacular view of landscapes and trees covered in snow.

Japan is a beautiful country that has a lot to offer those looking for a winter wonderland to escape the heat of their tropical countries or summer seasons.

Take the Heavy Work Out of Light Trucking

Light TruckingSome truckers believe numerous applications call for the meanest and toughest work machine out there. On the contrary, you do not need the extra bulk to get the job done.

Other jobs, such as work done by smaller contractors (e.g., electricians, plumbers and painters), do fine with light-duty cars. All you need is a little help from productive truck accessories; these are enough to transform your light-duty truck into a massive workhorse.

The right accessory, for, leaders in service body design, makes a big difference. Here are the must-haves for your truck:

Light Duty Service Bodies

One of the ultimate options for light-duty work trucks is the installation of service bodies. With Class 1 chassis, you cannot pick up standard service bodies due to payload restrictions and weight.

Some service body manufacturers, however, provide lighter service bodies for lower classes. Remember, it will not come with similar payload capabilities; lighter service bodies do come with other benefits their heavy-duty counterparts offer.

Handy Toolboxes

Full truck covers or caps can be overwhelming; tool boxes, on the other hand, offer increased storage with smaller spaced and similar benefits. With the wide selection of toolboxes in shops, you can easily configure storage options for your truck and its needs.

In-bed side boxes and cross boxes also provide deeper storage for tools and equipment. If you wish for a more convenient storage, above-body side boxes can rest on the bed’s rails for easy access; keep in mind, however, that this limits visibility.

Spray Liner

For most work trucks, the bed is where all the magic happens. To keep this fully functional, it is necessary to protect them from dings, dents and punctures earned from the daily grind.

Protect this overlooked area of protection by applying a thickness of colours to match the truck and its application. Apart from the added protection, spray liners also give that extra grip for more non-slip surfaces.

With various options available, it’s no wonder light-duty pickup trucks are viable options for different right-sized jobs. 

Dunsborough: A Small Town With Big Attractions

Calm And Clear WatersAn easy three-hour drive south from Perth brings you to the calm and clear waters of Geographe Bay with the picturesque town of Dunsborough beside it. The town is brimming with secluded coves, swimming spots and incredible coastal trails. From wineries to restaurants to water activities, there's no doubt that this town is the go-to place for a family holiday.

Margaret River

Just beyond the edge of town, you'll find yourself in the cellar doors of the Margaret River region's wineries. If you are with kids, not to worry because you can visit the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. They even offer a free tasting for guests which is a sure hit with the kids. You can also buy your friends and family back home a little something with handmade truffles, chocolate bars and chocolate coated delights to choose from.

Wineries and Breweries

If you're looking for some good wine such as Chardonnay, Semillon, Cabernet, or Merlot, a winery tour by the Cape Classic Touring Company and the Wine Tour Company is perfect for you. Not to worry, beer lovers, there is also something for you. You can enjoy the local brews at the Bootleg Brewery and the Wicked Ale Brewery.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

With its history of over 100 years, this delightful lighthouse is a tourist favourite. There are also several whale watching spots in the area, which adds to its charm. Climb the lighthouse and enjoy some whale watching in Dunsborough.

You can also find the Cape to Cape track nearby, one of the most diverse walking treks found on the face of the Earth.

Experience a Thrilling Adventure

The best way to enjoy the coastal region is from above. How? Get on a flight to Margaret River, Yallingup or Walpole and be amazed at the stunning scenery below you. For the more adventurous souls out there, you can try skydiving. Dunsborough also has some awesome surfing beaches. Newbie surfers can still enjoy surfing with the help of Yallingup Surf School.

A town that just started as no more than a beach shack has grown into a tourist favourite.

From luxury accommodation to more budget-friendly places, you will surely find the accommodation that best fits your budget. A place filled with fun and adventure, this is the perfect destination for family, friends, and backpackers.

Top 3 Most Fun Places in Singapore for Solo Travellers

Beach in SingaporeSingapore is one of Asia’s most popular destinations. While there are a number of places to visit among family members and friends, Singapore also has a lot to offer for those who are travelling solo.


This is one fun place in Singapore where tourists can take advantage of Singapore’s hot and humid weather any day of the year by spending a day or two at the beach. While it is true that Singapore is one of Asia’s most modern places with its well-designed highways and infrastructure, it has managed to keep and maintain breathtaking beaches. These beaches are found in Singapore’s two main areas that include the Sentosa Island and Eastern Singapore.

Orchard Road

You can both enjoy walking around on your own while blending easily in a crowd in Orchard Road. With more than 20 shopping malls and as much as six huge department stores, it’s no wonder Orchard Road has become an all-time favourite both among the locals and tourists. Apart from shopping, Orchard Road is also known for its fantastic display of lights and decors in celebration of Christmas time.

Hawker Centres

Singapore has one of the safest hawker places in Asia for those who are looking to have a unique and stress-free gastronomic experience. Stall owners have made it a point to maintain cleanliness and hygiene as a way to meet the nation’s strictly enforced regulations and annual inspections. Chinatown has some of the nation’s popular hawker centres where food enthusiasts can indulge on Singaporean dishes. These include min chiang kueh (peanut pancake); roti prata (a type of bread that’s paired with curry sauce); Hokkien mee (noodles cooked stir-fried); chai tow kway (radish cake); and Hainanese chicken rice.

Called the “Garden City,” Singapore is a haven for delicious yet cheap street food, dozens of free parks and beaches and a long list of shopping places, all of which can be enjoyed in just one day.

The Role of Proper Venting in Aboveground Tanks

Aboveground TanksVenting ducts in aboveground tanks is a very important and integral part and provides a design that can conserve the product and minimize the hazards. Proper venting is also responsible for reducing emissions. 

How it possible for a design feature to accomplish so much? explains below.

Pressure-Vacuum Vent Valve

In the beginning, when hazardous liquids like oil were stored in aboveground tanks, the design of the tanks incorporated open vents that opened out into the atmosphere and volatile "weathered" components dissipate into the air. This also allowed a certain percentage of emissions to leak, which represented a certain loss of product. 

To deal with these contingencies, a feature called the pressure-vacuum vent valve was invented. The PV valve could reduce the frequency and volume of vapor emissions while also preventing flames from outside the tank to spread into the tank. This increased the safety of the tanks as a result

Standard 650 guidelines

Given the importance of proper venting, API has published safety standards for proper venting and Standard 650 outlines the proper guidelines for how the tanks should be vented. Standard 650 outlines the factors that should be considered when designing aboveground tanks' vents, and this includes factors like the tank’s design pressure, the stored liquid’s flash point, whether the tank has a floating roof or not and so on. However, these standards still do not address certain issues like the propensity of the vapors above the liquid to chemical reaction and combustion.

These are nevertheless important and should be addressed by anyone who is designing aboveground vented tanks. Considerations include the roof design, whether floating or fixed, presence or absence of a gas blanket, venting types and flash points of the liquid stored, emergency and deflagration venting options and so on. For new construction, it also specifies building codes, specifically compliance to building code NFPA 30. This is similar to API standard 2000.

Maximizing the Polybag Usage

Man With Poly BagWhen looking for a supplier of poly bags, it's not a matter of just picking any service provider you find online or locally. You should be keen to understand the nature of services the agents offer since they vary from one dealer the other. Most importantly, ensure that the service providers can meet your needs accordingly. shares five major aspects to bear in mind. They include:

Quantity requirements

There are suppliers who only produce high quantities of poly bags. Such suppliers cannot fit in the requirements of a small or budding company that uses only a handful of poly bags for its products. To the small company, a bulk production of poly bags only ties down capital.

In-house art

Sometimes it is tedious and expensive to have different parties while ordering for poly bags. Some suppliers ask for artwork separately whereas others have in-house art designers who simplify the process of ordering the poly bags. An all-inclusive provider not only saves the cost of manufacturing the poly bags but also saves the lead time that the poly bags take to get ready for use.

Domestic manufacturing

Having a supplier who is a domestic manufacturer makes the end user customers to have confidence in the products that the poly bags hold.

Inventory options

Sometimes it is difficult to be making new orders every time one needs polybags. Subsequently, one has to look for a manufacturer who has the capability to make and hold inventory. Having such a manufacturer helps one to be sure that there is a ready-made stock after the current stock of polybags gets over. Such a move helps one to reduce the amount of capital that the unused poly bags tie.


Some poly bag manufacturers usually offer what they have in their catalogs leaving one with no options that suit the existing needs. If a manufacturer tends to the needs that one's company or industry has, it shows an element of flexibility. Such an aspect is fundamental in meeting one's special packaging needs.

Custom poly bags are inclined to support an industry's or business' customer service values. They are an assurance that the producing company is happy to identify with the packaged products giving a customer confidence in using the products. Therefore, one needs to have the best provider in the market since it translates to the maximization of sales.

Qualities Required For a Career in the Aviation Industry

AviationCareers in the aviation industry can appear glamorous, rewarding, and pleasurable. It is often seen as offering the good life to young professionals, who may travel all over the world and get paid for it. However, behind the glamour is a lot of hard work.

Singapore Aviation Academy lists some qualities needed to land in any of the notable aviation schools in the world and have a successful career in the industry.

Team Player Spirit

Team spirit is extremely crucial for the aviation industry. You have to be able to work with different departments to ensure the passenger’s safety and comfort. Even in the aircraft, the crew has to work in tandem with each other to offer top notch service and follow the safety protocol for the overall good of the passengers.

Sound Communication Skills

You need to be able to communicate efficiently with a global audience to impart information and guidance. Great interpersonal skills including clear speech and attentive listening are vital for aviation professionals. There should be no scope for confusion while imparting instructions and, just as importantly, taking care of the passengers’ needs.

Positive Attitude

Come hell or high water, aviation professionals are always expected to retain a positive attitude and balance. Airline staff is required to have a pleasant disposition, display courtesy, and exhibit patience at all times. You should be enthusiastic about caring for passengers and must keep a calm spirit even during the toughest situations.

Working in the aviation industry can be challenging, but it’s always highly rewarding and offers a sense of fulfillment. Enroll yourself at one of the top aviation schools if you aspire for a successful aviation career. In addition to these qualities, you also need to have the required qualifications and licenses to work within the industry.


3 Essential Things Expats Should Know Before Working in the UAE

UAEThe United Arab Emirates is steadily on the rise as a top hub for global business and leisure tourism. It is one of the economic strongholds in the Gulf region, and with its heavy investment in infrastructure and many free trade zones, it looks to stretch its lead into the future.

This is why it is no surprise many expats are interested in exploring career opportunities and build business connections in the UAE. Make no mistake of thinking that working in the UAE is a piece of cake, though. If you want to do well and adjust to the business environment in the country, you need to be mindful of particular things.

Here are some things you need to know when you move to work in the UAE:

Know the cost of living

The UAE has a relatively high standard of living, so it is best to do a bit of research on housing and utility costs. Ask if your organization provides housing allowance, or ask other expats on good housing options before your move.

Get medical insurance

If you plan on working in the UAE for a long time, it is better to get medical insurance early on. Fortunately, there are reliable health insurance companies in Dubai who can provide sufficient coverage for you. Experts in medical insurance Dubai expats trust say it helps if you could work with broker so you can choose a plan that suits your specific needs.

Observe local practices

While the UAE is a melting pot of various cultures, you also have to respect local customs and traditions. The UAE is a Muslim country but open to other religions. Still, you should observe their local laws accordingly. For instance, you must dress modestly when in public areas such as shopping malls.

The UAE is a great place for those who want to expand their career. With better understanding of how it is like to live and work there, you can have a great experience as an expat in the Gulf country.