Squishies – The Latest Craze Sweeping Middle Schools and Beyond

Kids are natural born collectors. They also love fads. Enter: the Squishy. These Japanese imports are the newest craze and are causing quite a stir. Not only are they hard to find, as they are not sold in your average store, most adults have never heard of them.

Today we will answer all of the common questions we receive about squishies. What are they? Squishies are soft “bread like” mascots, shaped as either a type of baked good, a character, or a combination of the two. They are the newest version of the stress ball, yet softer and more “kawaii” (the Japanese word for “cute”). Squishies are usually scented, cake or bread being the most common choice. Typically, squishies are attached to a cell phone strap or a lanyard.

Why do kids love them? Well, of course they are cute. Squishies are tactile and fun for kids to “squish” over and over, hence the name. Add in the sweet scent and you have a multiple sensory toy that can be quite irresistible.

Where did this fad come from? Like many great fads, this is another one of those fun and wacky imports from Japan. Japanese teens (and adults!) love to decorate their cell phones with fake treats, fruits and gems. This is called deco-den. You have probably seen someone with a Hello Kitty cell phone “blinged out” in this manner. In addition to making their cell phone covers as kawaii as can be, they also love to hang cute or funny straps from them. Cell phone straps are a huge trend in Japan, and have been for several years.

In trying to pin down how kids in the US have become obsessed with squishies, we seem to have narrowed it down one powerful source: YouTube. Search the word “squishies” in YouTube and you will find hundreds upon hundreds of videos all about them. On YouTube, kids, and even adults, trade squishies, show off their squishy collection and even attempt to make home made squishies. Two things are quite clear in watching these videos. A. these kids are absolutely obsessed with squishies. B. they want a lot of them, and the more “rare” the better.

Where can you find rare squishies, or even squishies in general? You will find the best variety in Japan. Of course, most parents are not willing to travel around the world for a five dollar trinket. Another place they seem to show up from time to time is in Japan Towns and even China Towns that exist in a handful of cities across the country. The easiest place to find them is right at your finger tips.

Will a Domain Search Lead to Someone Else Stealing My Domain Name?

Over the years I have come across a few people who believe that if they search for domain names using any of the domain registrars on the internet there are people ready to steal their domain name ideas. This thinking believes that if you are going to search for a domain name for your new venture, you better be ready to register that domain name on the spot or risk having someone else see that you looked up the domain name and register it ahead of you…

So is this possible?

The short answer is no. Unfortunately though, it isn’t necessarily so simple. There are ways that someone could use to see what you are doing online and take action based on what you did. These methods would require at least one of three things. Either a keylogger that can track everything you type into your computer (usually delivered via a virus or spyware), a page that has been hacked to capture your details or a phishing scam where someone creates a web page that looks like a legitimate domain registrar but is in fact a cleverly devised page to capture your domain name ideas.

How likely are any of these options? The best protection from a keylogger is to have a recently updated anti-virus program. Hacked websites are a little harder to be able to detect. It is also much more rare. While it is possible for you to land on a domain registrars website that has been hacked, it is unlikely. A close cousin to a hacked website is running into a well designed phishing scam. I am not aware of any phishing scam centered around the registration of domain names. This doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but I’m not aware of any such scams.

So how can you protect yourself for scam artists?

Visit sites that you can trust. Look for websites that don’t look like they have been thrown together by a child. Make sure you are protecting your computer with a good anti-virus program. Don’t click on links found in emails to go to a website, instead, type in the web address directly to reduce the chance of being fooled.

I counsel you to do your domain name brainstorming searches in peace. Know that stealing domain names is uncommon. If a domain you have identified as available gets registered between the time you do an availability search and the time you try to register it, it very well may be chalked up to the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people registering domains worldwide at any given time. If the domain name you looked at was an especially good one, chances are someone else would think so too.

The Beautiful Mountain Town of Sapa Vietnam

Sapa is one of the naturally serene and lush towns in Vietnam. It attracts many travelers with its magnificent landscape, which features colorful tribal villages, French colonial villages, lush vegetation and numerous green fields stacked on one after another.

Sapa is also close to Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam. Nestled at an elevation of 4921 feet or 1500 meters, Sapa is in Hoang Lien Son mountain range, in the northwest region of the country. Because of its geographical location, the town's rugged scenery usually experiences being clouded by a warm mist, which only adds to Sapa's beauty and charm, and making it truly a unique place to visit.

Sapa is about 376 kilometers from capital city of Hanoi. Sapa has risen to be the most popular mountainous district in Vietnam. You will easily be charmed by the terraced rice fields, the ethnic lifestyle and the cool climate, inviting you to stay longer in Sapa than you intended. Becoming a tourist destination paved the way for the establishment of hotels and accommodation facilities in this town so you do not have to worry about finding a place to sleep during those tranquil nights. If you really want to immerse yourself into the Sapa lifestyle, you can also arrange for a homestay in one of the tribal villages.

One of the best things to do in Sapa is walk around the town early in the morning as the tourist crow is not yet in full swing. The town is small, so you can easily navigate your way on foot. In fact, everything in and around town can be explored on foot making the most popular activity in Sapa – trekking. Trekking to various villages is fun and adventurous. Just make sure that you have good trekking shoes or boots and waterproof bag. There are also tours that involve renting a bike or motorbike to explore the countryside and visit waterfalls.

There are other less rigid things to do while in Sapa. You can always visit other neighboring villages like the Lao Chai Village, by hiring local transport like a jeep or van. You may also watch ethnic minor dance performances, sign up for the Hmong sewing classis and visit noticeable attractions like the Han Rong Resort, Sapa Culture Museum, the Sapa Lake, Bac Ha weekend market and the European orchid gardens and colonial buildings.

Sapa is home to a couple of ethnic minorities such as the Dazao and Hmong. These people live a simple life and have managed to maintain their culture and traditions. It is a rewarding travel experience to visit their villages and learn about their way of life. You can ask them to be your trekking guide instead of getting one through the hotel. Other than agriculture, the tribes are also now relying on tourism for a living.

Remember to always be respectful and courteous when dealing with them, especially when taking photos; always ask their permission first. The best time to visit the town is arguably from September to October as this is the period when the rice fields are turning their color from green to yellow. During wintertime, the town receives more of that appealing fog. No matter when you visit Sapa , you will definitely enjoy this new pin on your travel map!

Things That Stunt Your Growth

If you want to increase your height, it is important to avoid the things that can stunt your growth. Doing so, will help you to squeeze out the necessary HGH or human growth hormone that your pituitary gland secretes thus helping you to achieve your maximum height potential. It is useless to do the things that can help to increase height if you are also doing the things that can stunt your growth. For example, Eating lots of protein foods which helps to increase your height and at the same time eating too much carbohydrate foods is totally useless because those two have opposite effects on the production of HGH.

So what are the factors that can stunt your growth? Here are some of the factors that will stunt your height, make sure to avoid these things if you want to grow taller naturally. Let’s start with “Lack of Sleep”.

Lack of Sleep:

We know how important the “sleep” is when it comes to our growth and development. Our pituitary gland produces the largest amount of HGH during sleep so its just make sense that “Lack of Sleep” will definitely prevent you from growing taller because it only means depriving your body of a large amount of the HGH it produces. So, make sure that you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

Too Much Carbohydrate:

When I was a child, I remember my parents always told me “Eat more rice if you want to grow taller fast” but unknown to me and my parents at that time, too much carbohydrates actually stunts individual’s height. Although, it give us lot of energy, too much of it has stunting effect because it raises the insulin levels in our body. Surge of insulin tends to switch off the GH production. This is the reason why Asian countries that always have too much carbohydrate in their diet like rice and corn have such a short average height compare to other countries.

Cigarette Smoking:

Cigarette Smoking is also one thing that stop your height from increasing. When you are smoking the level of oxygen in your blood decreases while at the same time the harmful substances that cigarette produces like the carbon monoxide increases. We know how important the oxygen is when it comes to our health. Carbon monoxide robs your brain, muscles and body tissue of oxygen badly affecting the health and of course our body’s growth. Aside from its stunting effect, cigarette smoking can also lead emphysema, lung cancer, and hearth disease. So if you are smoking, better stop it now before it leads to these illnesses.

Drinking Soda:

Drinking Soda is also one thing that can also prevent you from growing taller. Carbonated drinks deplete calcium in our bone. And aside from that, soda also contains lots of phosphorous that badly affects your body’s calcium absorption. So taking calcium supplements while drinking soda doesn’t help. It’s like you’re not taking calcium at all. We know how important the calcium to our bone’s growth. So stay away from carbonated drinks if you want to grow taller naturally.