Giving Your Car a Longer Life

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When you buy a car, you are going to be making a long-term investment. After all, you don’t buy cars to change them after a few months; you are going to want them to last. The trouble is, cars can and do break down and stop working, and whilst you may not always know when this is likely to happen, the good news is that there are ways that you can try to limit it happening and to stop it having too significant an impact if it still does. 

To help to ensure that your car lasts for as long as possible, we have put together our main tips for what to do and what to avoid too.  

Look after your battery 

There are many essential things in your car, but the battery is up there near the top. This means that one of the best things that you can do to look after your car is to look after your battery. One of the simplest ways to do this is to make sure that you use your car regularly rather than sit for an extended period. If you leave your vehicle without being started, you should think about using a trickle charger to keep the power flowing and stop your battery from degrading. 

Book regular servicing 

You are not an expert in cars, which means that you will not know what to look out for when it comes to picking up signs of your car stopping working. However, there are experts out there who will be able to check your car over properly. This is why it is essential to book in regular servicing – something that can be cheaper if you go with Volvo service plans. This will pick up any current issues that can be fixed and any future problems before they get too major and can’t be fixed.  

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Drive as smoothly as you can 

Another way that you can look after your car is to make sure that you drive the best that you can. Driving with understanding for your vehicle means that you will reduce how much wear and tear you place on your car’s components and keep things such as your gearbox, wheels, and pedals in the best condition possible.  

Replace the leads and spark plugs 

They may be some of the minor parts of your car, but that doesn’t mean that you should overlook them. If you know how to replace them, then this can be an easy enough job to do regularly; however, if you don’t know, then you should definitely make sure that you take your car to be serviced and you ensure that you point out that you need this as part of the service.

At the same time, you want to check the fluids within your car, topping these up and making sure that they are at the right level is really going to help with not on longevity, but also performance too. 

If you have spent a considerable amount of money on your car, you will want to make sure that it lasts as long as possible. This means that you need to make sure that you take proper care of your car each and every day. 

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

How Much Better Can Tech Really Get?

Technology is already pretty amazing. Just think about what a modern smartphone can do compared to twenty years ago. There’s just no comparison. 

But given this incredible progress, many people are asking themselves just how much better things can get. Isn’t there some sort of hard limit imposed by physics? 

Well, yes – technically speaking there is. But we have no real idea where that lies in terms of practical devices. We don’t even fully understand how the universe actually works, with major mysteries remaining at the core of science. So, as far as we can tell, the capacity for technology to progress appears almost limitless. 


Whether it will be practically useful, though, remains another question. Currently, smartphones are in a bit of a lull. For the first few years, they offered consumers tremendous improvements in features and functions. Each new model promised to revolutionize the consumer experience and people lined up outside stores in the middle of the night on launch day to get their hands on products first. 

But those days appear to be behind us. It’s not clear that this year’s iPhone offers people much more than last years. And now commentators are wondering whether progress is stalling. 

It Depends On Where You Look

In technology, nothing ever moves in a straight line for long. Benefits tend to follow an S-shaped curve through time. At the start of any project, technologies are expensive and not particularly good. Just think back to the early mobile phones. They were great hulking things that you needed a sherpa to help you carry around. Then in the early 2000s, the technology started to get good, and we’ve been riding that wave ever since.

In the last few years, however, that pace of progress has begun to taper off, just as it has done in things like washing machines and dishwashers. Like them, smartphones are bumping up against the limits of what’s possible. 

If you take a look at this site, however, you’ll find that it’s a different story in other industries. Drones, for instance, continue to improve at a rapid pace, with new innovations coming on board with each iteration. 


There are also rapid improvements in other areas of note. Machine learning is revolutionizing software in a way that nobody expected. Blockchain is changing the financial world (even though it is still only just getting started). And robots are learning how to be dexterous in a way that nobody thought was possible just ten years ago. 

Technology, therefore, tends to arrive in fits and starts. Things go well for a time, and then they taper off. Then new developments take their place, with some back-compatibility with earlier technologies. Everything builds on everything else, creating a remarkable edifice. 

But What About The Human Element?

Sure, individual technologies are progressing well. But stitching them together seems like a challenge. For instance, we’ve had the technology to do telemedicine for about fifteen years. Yet, it’s only recently that the idea has really begun to take off. 

The same goes for machine learning. We’ve known about its applications in marketing for about ten years, and yet most companies have no plans to use it. 

For consumers, some new technologies are downright undesirable. Google tried to evolve the smartphone into wearable glasses. But, to their surprise, people didn’t want to look like the Borg. The technology exists to do it, but socially-speaking, it’s just not viable. Smartphones are infinitely more acceptable. 

Pushing The Limits

A movement towards a more technological society, therefore, is both cultural and technical. You need the right science and engineering in place to make it happen. But you also need a willing population to allow brands to commercialise solutions. We could quite easily have a well-established smart glasses segment by now if individuals were willing to wear computers on their faces. But it doesn’t look like they are, so that idea is going to have to sit on the back burner for a while. 

Pushing the limits is also going to require rethinking the human body. The vast majority of individuals are not cyborgs, despite arguments to the contrary. But to make our technology more useful, the bandwidth between it and us is going to have to expand. In other words, we need to figure out ways to plug it into our brains. And that’s not going to be easy to do or sell. 

How much better things will get is, therefore, unclear. Perhaps we’ve already harvested all the low-hanging fruit technologically-speaking. Or maybe there’s still a long way to go. We just don’t know. 

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

How Video Games Can Help Build Your Child’s Self Confidence

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Video games tend to get a bit of a bad rap from both parents and the media.

There is the assumption that gaming isn’t healthy and this is partly tied into the ‘screen time’ debate that is often a hot topic of discussion.

While too much screen time can be a bad thing, and while hours spent gaming isn’t healthy, there are reasons to suggest that gaming isn’t a wasted hobby. And for your child, one benefit is the way gaming can build their self-confidence. Here are the reasons why.

#1: Gaming can give your child a sense of control

Children don’t have a lot of control over their lives. Not only do they live under the rules of their teachers and parents, but they might also be subject to the demands of their peers too. This is all part of growing up, of course, but when children can’t make decisions for themselves, their confidence can be knocked. This is where gaming is useful as they can be in charge of making decisions for themselves. From make a country games like Politics & War where they can rule their own nations to The Sims where they can manage the needs of a virtual family, they can finally take charge and be the person in control.

#2: Gaming is a skilled hobby

Many children excel when playing video games. While they might struggle with the game mechanics at first, they can learn as they go along and then master the game in question by becoming much better at it. This is a great way to build confidence, as they will gain a sense of achievement, such as when completing a very difficult level. They can also gain approval from their peers as they will have the opportunity to show their friends how good they are when playing a multiplayer title. The commendations they receive will also give them a boost to their self-confidence. 

#3: Gaming can build social skills

Not every child has good social skills. And because of this, they can receive a knock to their confidence when they struggle to communicate with others. Thankfully, playing video games is a great way to build social skills, and this might make it easier for them when they’re interacting with people in the real world. Children can share their opinion when discussing tactics in a multiplayer game, for example. And they can make friendships with people they regularly play with. For children who struggle to raise their voice or make friends in school, this can help them become more confident when trying to relate to others. Gaming isn’t the isolated hobby that many consider it to be, so multiplayer games shouldn’t always be discouraged. 

And so…

Should you be worried if your children spend all of their time playing video games? Yes, of course. However, in moderation, gaming is a perfectly acceptable hobby. Especially when it can help your children grow in self-confidence, it’s important not to dismiss video games as ‘unhealthy’ or a ‘waste of time.’ You might know this already of course, especially if you’re a gamer yourself, as you may have grown in confidence because of the games you have played.

Gadgets And Gizmos For Your Christmas List

Christmas is almost here once again and for many of us this year it feels like the last time life was normal was Christmas last year! 

If you are looking to start planning for your family Christmas early this year, you have likely already looked at some gadgets and gizmos to buy for yourself and your loved ones. Today we want to share some of the fun items you can buy for the family as a whole and as gifts for your children and partner. There are so many fun pieces of technology out there and today we are going to take a look at some of the things you could invest in this Christmas. 

A New TV 

Rather than buying some smaller gadgets for different members of your family it might be a better idea for but something that everyone can benefit from. A TV is a staple in any modern home and you should invest in one which has great resolution, a big screen, and will last for years to come. Buying the family a new TV for Christmas might not seem like the most exciting of things but you’ll be able to watch all of your festive favourites on a huge screen this winter! 

A PS5 

The PS5 is the newest of Sony’s Playstations to arrive on the market and already there are some amazing games available for it. From Assassins Creed Valhalla to FIFA 21 and a revamped GTA V – there are tons of games available on this console to keep everyone in the family occupied for hours and hours. This could be a great gift for your child this festive season or even as a treat for yourself after a tough year. 

A Tablet 

Every man and his dog has a tablet these days, and these small gadgets have become a useful addition to your technological arsenal at home. There are plenty of brilliant tablets under 200 if you don’t want to fork out on an iPad and you’ll have hours of fun watching films and tv, playing games, and even doing work all in one place. Tablets are a useful tool and can be a great gift to give someone you care about this Christmas. 

Phillips Hue light strips 

If you are looking for something which will add an air of magic and wonder to your living room setup – Phillips hue lights are the way to go. You can opt to buy bulbs for your lights and lamps which will turn on and off at the tap of an app – or perhaps you want to use a light strip to enhance your cinema experience. Phillips hue light strips can be fitted to the top of your tv, and they will be able to read and translate what is on the screen and emit light of the same colour as you watch. It will make all of those superhero flicks even more impressive and immerse you in their world. 

An Instant Pot 

An instant pot is the perfect gift for the cook in your life and it offers many functions in one small device. From slow cooking to sauté and rice cooking, it’s the ideal one pit gadget for anyone who loves to cook!