HashOut: 2007/11/08
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Daddy's got that glow

Papa with kid in his handsMummies aren't the only ones who ride the hormone roller coaster -- first-time fathers undergo similar changes. Canadian researchers observed that from the first trimester to a few months after birth, the 23 papas-to-be who were studied had lower levels of testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol, and many had higher levels of estradiol, a hormone linked with maternal behaviour. This might help explain couvade syndrome, where 11% to 65% of men with pregnant partners experience symptoms like morning sickness. » Continue reading

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Click, click and pack your bags!

Making hotel reservations for a city on the other side of the planet could have been a daunting task during the pre-Internet era. Thanks to over a dozen travel portals that have made the task as simple as a few clicks of the mouse.

HotelReservations.com is one such portal which seems to be on top of the others. While a trial search for hotels in New York gave over a dozen results on a competitor website with tariffs starting from US$126, a search on HotelReservations.com resulted in over a whopping 1000 hotels, motels, hostels and resorts with tariffs starting from just US$69. Definitely giving you more and better options. Sometimes sifting through the large number of results could be more of a problem in selecting the right hotel for you. However, you can sort the results in alphabetical order or according to the price or quality. You can even select and compare those hotels.

Unlike any other travel portal I have seen, HotelReservations.com provides the location map and detailed information about each and every hotel like the features, amenities, attractions, driving directions, check in and check out times, hotel policies & disclaimers etc. You can even see pictures of the hotel exterior, lobby, reception, rooms, restaurants, amenities etc.

Reservations can be made online or even by phone on their 24hr Toll Free Customer Care number from within the US or their international Customer Care number at special internet rates using your MasterCard, Visa or Amex Card.

Booking your hotel room through HotelReservations.com could save you upto 70% on the Tariff. And if you are planning to travel anytime before February 29, 2008 you can make your hotel reservation before Dec 31, 2007 to obtain a limited period rebate of upto US$100.

Not just that HotelReservations.com also provides flight booking, car rental and vacation rental services all on a single portal or a phone call.
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Travel only like this

Betsy Wade was a travel columnist for the New York Times for 14 years. Here are her top tips for great trips.
  • Carry two credit cards separately. If one is stolen and the account is frozen, you can still feed and house yourself.
  • Don't pack more than you can lug up two flights of stairs.
  • Airline pillowcases usually aren't changed every flight. If this bothers you, bring your own.
  • Unless you're going to the tropics, pack gloves: Hands get cold on the most unexpected dates.
  • The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers has a directory of English-speaking doctors overseas who make office and hotel calls. For details: The US phone number is 716-754-4883. Website: iamat.org.
  • ATMs and computer systems can fail, so keep some cash on you. A faxed confirmation gets you into a hotel if the reservation system fails.
  • Bring film and spare camera batteries. Shopping for a special size where you don't speak the language is hard.


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Battling the termite menace

Have you ever faced a termite attack at home? Hope not. But if you have, you know the kind of damage it causes. It's really very heartbreaking to see your expensive furniture reduced to dust.

We faced a termite attack in our apartment building a couple of years ago. The wood work from the ground floor up until the floor below our's was completely eaten away. The termites had just reached our front door when they were caught red handed. Or it could be rather this way that they were not able to penetrate into the high quality of Burma teak wood used in the furniture and paneling in our apartment. Whatever it may be, we could only thank God for saving us from a huge damage.

The problem with termites is, you realize it too late. When the piece of furniture has already been damaged. You should keep a constant check on them. You can find some useful information to prevent termite attacks, detect and kill them early and also some photos of termites at KillTheTermites.com.

And remember: the war against them is never finished. The moment you feel you can relax can be the one they are organizing themselves for a new battle.
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