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Buying

a house

The decision to buy a home is probably the biggest financial decision you will make in your
lifetime. The differences between renting and owning are enormous, but the question of
which is better for you is a highly personal one. Let's see how does buying a home compare
with renting.
The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But
by renting, you lose the chance to build equity, take advantage of tax benefits, and protect
yourself against rent increases. Also, as a tenant you may not be free to remodel and
redecorate without permission and may be at the mercy of the landlord for housing.
Owning a home has many benefits. Owning a home qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you
in dealing with your new financial responsibilities - like insurance, real estate taxes, and
upkeep - which can be substantial. The security, comfort and peace of mind you get from
home ownership are well worth the investment.
Once you are in the market for a home, think about how do you envision your ideal abode. Do
you see yourself in a cozy character home with ornate fireplaces? Or does the image of a brand
new home built with today's state-of-the-art technology beckon? Either way, you'll find that
buying a home can be a wonderful experience and at the same time an arduous task.
There are many factors that help decide just exactly what you're looking to buy: price,
location, style of home, distance to work, schools and child care, crime rate, traffic, proximity
of shops, public transportation, places of worship, recreational facilities.
Since price seems to be the dominating factor it's good to determine what price range you'll
be looking in. Knowing what you can afford before you embark on hunting for a new home
can save you a lot of time and put you in a strong bargaining position to buy the best property
for the least money. If you are like most of us, you will borrow funds to finance your home
purchase. Getting pre-approved for a loan puts you firmly in the driver's seat. Amongst other
things such as interest rates and your credit history, lenders consider your assets, income and
long-term debts when calculating a "safe" mortgage payment.
After you determine a price range, you can start choosing an area and type of home. If it's
close to where you live now, this is easier. Drive around some neighborhoods. Pay attention
to how well the houses are kept up. You can also make a note of how close these areas are to

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work, school, shops etc. It may not make a difference when you're initially looking - but it
could be a final determining factor when trying to decide between two houses.

Alcohol, drugs addiction

Addiction is a dependence, on a behavior or substance that a person is powerless to stop. The
term has been partially replaced by the word dependence for substance abuse. Addiction has
been extended, however, to include mood-altering behaviors or activities. Some researchers
speak of two types of addictions: substance addictions (for example, alcoholism, drug abuse,
and smoking); and process addictions (for example, gambling, shopping, overeating, etc.).
Alcohol use and gambling, for instance, although actively promoted and encouraged, can
easily get out of control and absolutely require a level of self-control and insight that many
people don't have.
Alcohol is often termed 'our most popular drug' though many people do not acknowledge it
as a drug. Despite this the deaths (around 33,000 every year***) attributable to this drug are
only overshadowed by nicotine.
Many researchers believe that addiction is a behavior that can be controlled to some extent
and also a brain disease. And since some testing with functional magnetic resonance imaging
(FMRI) found that all addictions tend to cause nearly the same reactions inside the brain, there
could be one type of control model for addiction health-related issues.
Others express the opinion that some of us have an addictive personality and therefore are
more likely to have problems than others.
In other words, just as there is one disorder or disease labeled asthma, there would be one
for addiction, covering all addictions. Then one main treatment strategy or plan could be used
to treat all addictions.
How addiction works in a nutshell is like this. The brain, the center of the bodys nervous
system, handles addiction by increasing dopamine levels in response to increased reactions
from behaviors, also referred to as compulsions, like gambling or overeating, and/or in
response to increased repeated episodes of substance abuse, like from cocaine or alcohol.
And this addiction affects the three functioning processes of the nervous system, sensing,
perceiving and reacting. How? Lets take a quick peek

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Dopamine, the chemical transmitter to the pleasure center, the place where survival
instincts like eating and reproduction focus in the brain, activates cells individually or
energizes them. Each energized cell in turn energizes another cell, and so on down the line,
resulting in a spontaneous process of ecstasy or feelings of elation.

Can animals think?

Can animals really think? Can they make decisions based on information? For years, scientists
have debated these questions. Now, many of them believe that some animals have the brain
power to understand new situations, make decisions, and plan ahead. The following are just
a few of the many examples of animal intelligence that scientists have observed.
A hungry chimpanzee walking through his native rain forest comes upon a large Panda oleosa
nut lying on the ground under one of the widely scattered Panda trees. He knows that these
nuts are much too hard to open with his hands or teeth and that although he can use pieces
of wood or relatively soft rocks to batter open the more abundant Coula edulis nuts, these
tough Panda nuts can only be cracked by pounding them with a very hard piece of rock. Very
few stones are available in the rain forest, but he walks 80 meters straight to another tree
where several days ago he had cracked open a Panda nut with a large chunk of granite. He
carries this rock back to the nut he has just found, places it in a crotch between two buttress
roots, and cracks it open with a few well-aimed blows.
In a city park in Japan, a hungry green-backed heron picks up a twig, breaks it into small pieces,
and carries one of these to the edge of a pond, where she drops it into the water. At first it
drifts away, but she picks it up and brings it back. She watches the floating twig intently until
small minnows swim up to it, and she then seizes one by a rapid thrusting grab with her long,
sharp bill. Another green-backed heron from the same colony carries bits of material to a
branch extending out over the pond and tosses the bait into the water below. When minnows
approach this bait, he flies down and seizes one on the wing.
Many animals adapt their behavior to the challenges they face either under natural conditions
or in laboratory experiments. For example, in other parts of Africa chimpanzees select suitable
branches from which they break off twigs to produce a slender probe, which they carry some
distance to poke it into a termite nest and eat the termites clinging to it as it is withdrawn.
Apes have also learned to use artificial communication systems to ask for objects and activities

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they want and to answer simple questions about pictures of familiar things. Vervet monkeys
employ different alarm calls to inform their companions about particular types of predator.
Such ingenuity is not limited to primates. Lionesses sometimes cooperate in surrounding prey
or drive prey toward a companion waiting in a concealed position. They are also very ingenious
at plugging water leaks, sometimes cutting pieces of wood to fit a particular hole through
which water is escaping. Under natural conditions, in late winter some beavers cut holes in
the dams they have previously constructed, causing the water level to drop, which allows
them to swim about under the ice without holding their breath.

Technology
What is technology?
Etymologically the term technology comes from the combination of these two Greek
morphemes tkhn, (meaning art) and -loga (meaning study). It refers to the collection
of techniques, skills, methods and processes used in the production of goods or services or in
the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation.
The human species' use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into
simple tools. The prehistoric discovery of how to control fire and the later Agricultural
Revolution increased the available sources of food. Likewise, the invention of the wheel
helped humans to travel in and control their environment. Later developments in historic
times, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical
barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale. The steady
progress of military technology has brought weapons of ever-increasing destructive power.
The Greeks view about technology
Technology has been a subject of discussion in philosophy since the Greeks. The Greek
philosopher Democritus, for example, believed that technology is an imitation of nature.
House-building and weaving were first invented by imitating swallows and spiders building
their nests and nets, respectively.
Aristotle held the same view that technology is the consequence of imitation of nature, but
he added in his book Physics Book II that:
"generally art in some cases completes what nature cannot bring to a finish."
Aristotle also distinguishes between natural things and artifacts. According to Aristotle, the
former have their principles of generation and motion inside, whereas the latter, insofar as

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they are artifacts, are generated only by outward causes. For example, animals, which are
natural things, can grow, move and reproduce. A wooden bed, which is an artifact made by a
human, cannot move, grow, or reproduce itself.

Contemporary view about technology
Today, technology is a subject of debate because it is considered to be a double-edged sword.
While it has helped humanity in extending its potential with outstanding inventions, it is
nonetheless threatening humankind through some other destructive ones. In addition to
polluting the earth in unprecedented ways, wars have become more and more devastating
due to technological inventions. Ethical dimensions of recent technological developments,
such as DNA engineering, have become a focal point of questioning and discussion.
Philosophical debates have arisen over the use of technology, with disagreements over
whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it.
To make matters worse, a consensus definition of technology has become more difficult to
find due to recent evolution in science and its applications. It is especially confusing to decide
whether technology refers to the machines (or more precisely the hardware), the rules that
govern or make them work, the system that operates them or the different applications of
science that are related to them. What is sure is that technology has shaped societies and
adapted itself to people's changing needs.

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