An In-Depth Look at the Human Spine


Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Health And Fitness, Reference And Education | Posted on 07-07-2015

The human spinal cord is a wonder of nature. Consisting of 33 bones and 31 pairs of nerves, the spinal column is the link between the body and the brain. The spinal cord, along with the brain, forms the central nervous system. If the brain is the command center, the spinal cord is the pathway for the brain’s messages to the body as well as the road for the body’s messages to the brain. The following is a glimpse into the human spinal cord.

The Bones of the Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is 15 to 20 inches long and approximately one half of an inch in diameter, consisting of 31 bones, known as vertebrae. The vertebrae are classified into five different groups: the seven cervical vertebrae are found in the neck, 12 thoracic vertebrae comprise both the upper and middle back, five lumbar vertebrae form the lower back, and two vertebrae, which are fused together, are the coccygeal vertebrae. Also known as atlas, the first cervical vertebra derives its name from Atlas of Greek mythology. Just as the Greek titan supported the Earth on his shoulders, the atlas in the spinal cord supports the skull.

Nerves of the Spinal Cord

Enclosed within the vertebrae of the spinal cord are millions of nerves. These nerves combine to form 31 pairs of spinal nerves. Just as with the bones of the spinal cord, the spinal nerves are also classified by their location. The four main sections are the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral nerves. The cervical nerves control movement and feeling to the upper body, arms, neck, and they are responsible for controlling respiration. The thoracic nerves, located in the upper back, control the body core and the abdomen, and both the lumbar and sacral nerves control the legs, sexual organs, bowels, and bladder. The spinal nerves are insulated by cerebral spinal fluid, which protects them from impact.

Spinal nerves that carry messages from the brain to the body’s muscles are referred to as motor neurons, while nerves that carry messages from the body back to the brain are named sensory neurons. Sensory neurons give the brain information regarding skin temperature, pain, touch, and the position of the joints. Other neurons control digestion, body temperature, heart rate, urination, and blood pressure.

Injuries to the Spinal Cord

Within the United States, approximately 12,000-20,000 people experience a spinal cord injury each year, of which 25 percent will be alcohol related. When an injury to the spinal cord is located below the neck level, paralysis below the waist, known as paraplegia, may occur. Injuries located at or above neck level may lead to quadriplegia, paralysis of body functioning from neck down.

The demographics for spinal cord injury fall heavily on white males who are thirty years old or younger. Males comprise 80 percent of spinal cord injuries, while 50 to 70 percent of spinal cord injuries occur between the ages of 15 and 35. Forty-six percent of spinal cord injuries occur in car accidents, 22 percent are from falls, 16 percent are the result of violence, and 12 percent are from sports.


Eric Furlong is a freelance writer based in Bellingham, WA. The spine is a fascinating anatomical item, and something which should be take care of very well; for assistance toward this end Eric recommends that readers take a look at the services offered from Gulf Coast Spine Care.

Were Commercials from Yesteryear More Effective?


Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Business | Posted on 07-07-2015

If ads of past generations taught us anything, they taught us to avoid the noid, that milk does a body good, and that GE brings good things to life. Yes, there is no doubt that the commercials of the past make us smile with nostalgia, but were they also more effective than the ones of today? Some evidence suggests that they were.

How Commercials Have Evolved

Anyone who had a television in the 1950′s probably remembers commercials much differently than the ones they see today. In fact, according to the Tucson Citizen, commercials from that decade involved three main things: beer, cars, and cigarettes. In present days, beer and cars may still saturate the airwaves, but cigarette commercials have been illegalized. Of course, this is not the only way commercials have changed.

The commercials from the golden ages aired without the restraints of political correctness and without fear of litigation. Commercials, particularly those involving house cleaning products and things like vacuum cleaners, were nothing if not sexist. Health is another thing that took a back seat: advertisers had no qualms about marketing unhealthy items to whoever would listen, including children.

Even commercials advocating for certain politicians were different. According to the University of Richmond, political ads used to involve cartoons with song numbers, and much less mud-slinging than those of today.

Presently, turning on a television involves many commercials that would not have aired in the past, particularly commercials that are advertising pharmaceuticals, soliciting tort cases against medical manufacturers, or advertising video games and smartphones.

Not only has the face of commercials changed, but the brilliance may have been lost as well. One can argue that recent commercials are not as iconic as those of yesteryear.

The Best Commercials of All Time

To call a commercial good is like calling a work of art pretty: the beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. However, there are a number of iconic commercials that seem to resonate with the American masses.

According to the Huffington Post, the best TV commercials of all time include: Jell-O featuring Bill Cosby (1974); Apple “1984″ (1984); McDonald’s Christmas Ice Skating (1980′s); Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” (1984); Nissan “Pigeons” (1997); McDonald’s “Nothing But Net” (1993); Budweiser “Frogs” (1995); Coca-Cola “Hey Kid Catch” (featuring Mean Joe Greene) (1979); and Reebok “Terry Tate: Office Linebacker” (2003).

Of all of these best commercials, only one aired after 2000.

What Makes a Commercial Effective?

An effective commercial for one person may not always be for another. Yet, per Forbes, a survey found that the most effective commercials tend to share similar traits. These include humor, a memorable tag line or jingle, the use of an iconic-type character (such as Tony the Tiger or Mr. Clean), and a sense that the seller is working hard to build loyalty.

Why Commercials are no Longer Packing Such a Punch

According to Ad Week, the National Association of Advertisers and Forrester Research have blamed the DVR and TIVO for the lack of recent iconic commercials. Per MSN, even Coca-Cola, owner of some of history’s most memorable TV spots, has lost its faith in television advertising. While they haven’t abandoned it completely, some executives have realized that other forms of advertising — such as Internet ads — may produce better results.

Another reason commercials may be less effective involves their use of celebrity spokespeople. As reported in Ad Week, a study by Ace Metrix found that ads featuring celebrities were not more effective than regular ads. In many instances, these commercials were less effective than regular spots. This might possibly be attributed to people simply not trusting celebrities who are paid to market a product.

Television commercials were once highly effective at getting so many of us to “just do it.” Nowadays, however, commercials are sometimes dismissed, ignored, or — in the case of DVR and TiVo — simply skipped. The bottom line is that advertisers need to find other ways to reach their target audience.


Michael Strauss writes on TV commercials, advertising, marketing, business, logo design, management, talent recruitment and other like topics. Those in need of assistance in the area of logo design should take a look at the work by BQR Advertising, an excellent logo design firm.

A Look at the Livability of Toronto


Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Renting & Real Estate | Posted on 06-07-2015

The fifth largest city in North America by population, Toronto has traditionally been an attractive place to live, combining a high standard of living with big city appeal. Toronto is the capital of the Province of Ontario, and it is the largest Canadian city. A modern public transportation system, efficient school and health care systems, along with abundant shopping, restaurants, cultural, and sporting attractions are just part of the appeal to this multicultural city. In 2004, Toronto ranked 15th in quality of life in Mercer’s survey of 215 of the world’s largest cities.


Toronto’s weather is considered mild compared to northern parts of the country. Summer temperatures range from 71-77 degrees Fahrenheit, though the average winter temperature is below freezing. Toronto receives an average rainfall of 32 inches, with the heaviest rains occurring during August and September.


Toronto is the hub of Canada’s economy. In 2003, Toronto provided over 1.25 million people with jobs. Manufacturing jobs accounted for 14 percent of these positions, while retail and service based jobs accounted for 26 percent of the city’s workforce between the two.

In North America, Toronto is second behind only Detroit in volume of automobile manufacturing. As for the financial industry, 90 percent of the country’s foreign banks are located in Toronto, and the Toronto Stock Exchange is the third largest in North America, based on dollar value traded. Toronto is also home to a growing media industry and a robust Internet technology (IT) sector, with one of the world’s highest densities of software companies


Toronto has a well-educated work force, as 50 percent of workers hold a college or university degree. The city itself has three universities: York University, Ryerson University, and the University of Toronto. With its diverse cultural populations, Toronto employers have access to a large language pool.


Toronto’s infrastructure is in good shape, thanks to modern highways, a vast network of railways and roads, and a major international airport — Toronto Pearson — as well as a municipal airport. Additionally, the Port of Toronto services most of Canada and the Northeastern United States.


Toronto had the lowest crime rate of any of Canada’s metropolitan areas. In a continuing decline of crime since 1972, Toronto’s crime rate fell three percent in 2012 from 2011. A total of 36,000 fewer crimes were committed in 2012 than in the previous year.


While Toronto has its positive features, the city still faces possible challenges in the future. In 2006, the average income was 96 percent below the national average, though this drop of income was not unique to Toronto, as income dropped across the board throughout the country. One factor for the drop in income may be due to a reduction in management jobs, a long-term concern for the city. The real estate industry has also slowed, with housing sales down 10 percent for the third quarter of 2012, a dip that has also affected much of the rest of Canada and the United States.


Derek Duncan is a freelance writer focusing on Canadian real estate and finance. Those who’d like to learn more about rental apartment in Toronto should view the resources from an established source.