By: Julia Bellotti
Hopefully you saw our recent infographic and article on 10 Things You Should Keep in Your Car At All Times and you followed our advice to have a map in your car in case your GPS stops working. But perhaps you’re in an unfamiliar city and your phone died but you have a walking map from your hotel. Either way, you have a map. Now what? You need to figure out where you are.
When I was little, my mother used to tell me if I became lost, I should stay in the same place. This is good advice in theory, but you need to drive, walk, or move around at least a little to figure out where you are. This is also where your observant skills come handy. Do you remember any signs you recently passed? Do you see any parks? Schools? Landmarks? Which streets do you see? If you’re on the highway, what exit(s) are next? Is the sun rising/setting?
Take note of that information, and pull over to look at your map.
Step 1: Orient your map.
Most maps have a compass rose, which will detail the four cardinal directions: North, South, East and West. You should hold your map with North facing up. If your map does not have a compass, assume that if you are reading words right side up, the top of the map is north. Some maps may have a variation of the compass rose, such as the one circled below.
Step 2: Find the Legend.
A legend, also known as a key, helps you read the map. It explains the meaning of all the symbols you see. Some examples of legends are below.
Legends try to use intuitive symbols. Trees = Forest. Knife and fork = food. Tent = Campground. Airplane = airport. Blue = water. All of these symbols can help you figure out where you are.
Step 3: Understand the scale and how to use it
The scale of a map is a ratio that tells you the distance equivalent from the map to the ground. You will usually find the scale near the legend or at the bottom of the map. The scale can be written in three different ways:
1 inch = 1 mile 1:18,000 (map to in real life)
I find the first and third scales the most helpful. If you don’t happen to have a ruler on you (who does?), don’t despair. First, see if you have any dollar bills. All US currency is 6 inches long. Fold it in half and it’s 3 inches. And so on and so forth. This can be a great measuring tool if you’re trying to figure out straight distances. Non-direct distances are best measured with string, ribbon, shoelaces, hair, noodles, etc. Curve your string along the path you need to take, and then you can compare it to the scale to find the total distance. But how do you know where you are and where you need to go? We’ll use these first three steps to put it all together.
Step 4. Figure out where you are and where you need to go
As I mentioned earlier, you need to put on your detective hat and use your observant skills. Use the legend to determine your current location. Do you see a body of water near you? Start looking by the blue on your map. Which exit is coming up next on the highway? Are you near any buildings? Gas stations? Libraries? Schools? See where those are on the map. This will start to narrow down the areas where you could be. Do you know what you passed already? That can help you determine which direction you’re going in. Other tips to determine your cardinal direction:
So now that you know where you are, locate where you need to go. You will primarily be using the legend to find your destination. Now, look at the best way to get there. What roads do you need to take?
Use the scale to figure out how far away your destination is. How long will it take you to get there? If you’re driving, this will depend on your speed. The average human can walk 3.1 miles (5 km) per hour – just under 20 minutes per mile.
And that’s it! As best stated by Dr. Seuss, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.” Good luck and happy traveling!
By: Allyse harris
Unlike the “one-size-fits-all” jegging pants that never honestly seem to live up to their tagline, birth control is not a “one-size-fits-all” product. Choosing a method of birth control should involve an individualized selection and counseling process based on your lifestyle, goals, and overall health.
New birth controls are coming onto the market every year, and it’s therefore important for both women and their healthcare providers to be able to have an educated conversation on what is the best fit.
Taking birth control should ultimately be a personal decision, even if there is pressure for you to take it from your significant other. Of course your partner’s input can be very valuable, so the both of you should have a thoughtful discussion about the options and outcomes, but if you are not comfortable with taking birth control it is ultimately your body and you therefore shouldn't feel as though you need to subject yourself to it for the benefit of your partner.
As you will see, there are multiple methods that do not include hormones or additives that can screw with your body's chemistry, so you may find something in the below list that suits your fancy. First and foremost, however, here are a couple of things to consider when evaluating birth control and maybe some questions to ask yourself:
Your lifestyle and preferences:
Effectiveness of the birth control:
Reasons for the birth control, including desires for lighter periods or even wanting to have no periods at all:
Definition clarification: For the purposes of discussing effectiveness in this article, the focus will be more on prevention of pregnancy. However, as already mentioned briefly, this may not be the only thing factoring into your desire to start or switch birth control, so be sure to voice ANY AND ALL reasons or concerns with your healthcare provider to really find what is the most effective option for you.
PLEASE NOTE: When considering the costs listed here, I am not taking into account visit costs, follow-up costs or any other related expenses, just the cost for the birth control itself OUT OF POCKET. The great news is many of these forms of birth control are covered fully or in-part by health insurance plans, so check with yours to see how much it would set you back (if at all).
FOR MORE REFERENCES: Check out Planned Parenthood!! It is an AWESOME resource for any questions about birth control, pregnancy, and STIs.
Sterilization (non-reversible contraception)
Injectable (AKA Depo-Provera shots)
Oral contraceptive pills
Withdrawal (AKA pulling out)
Now, this little addition isn’t for birth control but it is about safe sex and I think should therefore be mentioned…
So, going back to some of those questions you might want to ask yourself when researching or choosing a birth control method…
The biggest take-away should be to:
Final things to keep in mind when selecting a birth control:
Other helpful resources:
This really is the best figure representation about the effectiveness of the mentioned birth control options. It’s from UpToDate, and gives its resource in the references at the bottom:
By: Kirsten Petriches
A 2016 survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that American drivers spend an average of more than 17,600 minutes behind the wheel each year. “The amount of time the average driver spends behind the wheel each year is equivalent to seven 40-hour weeks at the office,” says Jurek Grabowski, research director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
If we are spending that much time in our cars, as “adulting adults” we should make sure we have the right stuff in those fancy (or not so fancy) rides.
Must Haves. These are the things that you really need to keep in your car from a legal and safety standpoint.
Nice to Haves. While you are doing a “refresh” for your whip, you may want to consider some of the following additions that may help make life a little easier, cleaner, or happier during those 17,600 minutes behind the wheel!
By: Elisabeth Huber
You know it's going to happen a millisecond before it even does, but there's nothing you can do to stop it. You have just stopped abruptly at a red light and can see the car behind you in your rearview mirror driving way too quickly towards yours and before you know it CRASH! One loud squeal of the tires and scraping of metal later and you've had your first fender bender. Now what?
By: Allyse Harris and Her dad Russ
Checking Your Tire Pressure
Checking Your Tire Tread
Rotating Your Tires
Balance and alignment
Hoses and belts:
Windshield wiper blades: