Dengue Fever – now in the United States

Mosquito Diseases

Here in the Deep South, we have to worry about the dreaded mosquito killer. No – I’m not talking about the device you plug in outdoors that zaps the insect. Many of us have those, and we love them. I’m talking about mosquitoes that carry illnesses that can be spread to other species, including humans. Some of the mosquito diseases across the globe include malaria, yellow fever, Rift Valley Fever, Eastern equine encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, West Nile virus, and dengue fever. I had a horse that contracted Eastern equine encephalitis, and it almost died. In fact, it was a miracle that he survived the disease with no ill effects. And, as I’m sure you know, mosquitoes also cause heartworms in dogs. Of course, not all these diseases are endemic to our region of the country. For example, I never thought I’d have to be concerned about Dengue fever unless I traveled to some third world country in Africa or to Southeast Asia or Latin America. That’s no longer true, though. In the past few years, cases of Dengue fever in the U.S have been reported. This is getting too close to home! And what’s really scary is that there’s no cure or vaccine for Dengue fever.
Dengue Fever Symptoms can include headache.
Dengue Fever Symptoms can include headache. | Source
Dengue Fever

What is Dengue fever? I’d heard of the disease before, but I didn’t pay it much attention until fairly recently. As I’ve already mentioned, dengue is spread by the mosquito. Actually, it’s spread by several species of mosquitoes – most belonging to the Aedes genus. The word is pronounced to rhyme with Ben-Gay, the arthritis cream. It can also be pronounced with a long “e” at the end. In either case, the emphasis is on the first syllable.

Even though several types of Aedes mosquitoes can spread the disease, the one we folks in the United States should be concerned with are the Aedes aegypti. A distribution map of the mosquito, based on 2006 findings, shows the species in South Georgia, South Alabama, South Mississippi, much of Louisiana, parts of Southeast Texas, and all of Florida.

Dengue is a virus. A mosquito gets the virus when it bites an infected person. Unfortunately, mosquitoes handle the Dengue virus a lot better than humans do. The infection doesn’t kill the affected insects. In fact, it doesn’t even seem to make them sick, but they don’t “get well,” either. Once a mosquito is infected, it remains infected. When the infected mosquito bites another human, that person is exposed to Dengue.
Dengue Fever transmission:
Dengue Fever Symptoms

Dengue fever symptoms can be extremely painful, and the disease can be deadly. On the other hand, most people infected have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. More severe cases might begin with a headache, chills, and fever. The fever might come and go, and it might spike to as high as 104 degrees. The affected person’s eyes and skin might redden, and a rash like the measles might appear. Pain in the lower back, loss of appetite, and weakness might be experienced. Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea can occur, especially in children. Pain, sometimes severe, can occur in the muscles and joints, which is why the disease is sometimes referred to as “breakbone fever.” Lymph nodes in the groin area and neck might be enlarged. Other symptoms of Dengue fever can include abdominal pain, lethargy, and sinus-like pain behind the eyes. People with Dengue might bruise easily, or they might experience mild nosebleeds.

Dengue fever symptoms can take from three days to two weeks to appear after being infected from a mosquito bite. At first, some infected people might think they have the flu. After a few days, the symptoms will usually lessen, and the infected person might think he’s well. This respite is short lived, in most cases. After a day or so of feeling fine, the symptoms come back with a vengeance. That’s usually the point when the rash appears, and even the palms and soles can become red and painful.
Hemorrhagic Fever

Hemorrhagic fever is a severe type of Dengue that can develop when a person has contracted one type of Dengue and is then exposed to another type of the virus. Dengue hemorrhagic fever usually begins with the same Dengue fever symptoms – headache, high fever, and a rash. It includes other symptoms, too, like profuse nosebleeds, bleeding of the gums, rapid pulse, purple blisters under the skin, cough, sore throat, and black, tarry stools that indicate internal bleeding. The patient might also spit up blood. In cases of hemorrhagic fever, blood from the veins and capillaries can escape and pass into cavities of the body. It can also negatively affect production of platelets by bone marrow, making the blood too “thin.” With the decreased amount of blood comes hypotension, and vital organs are starved of oxygen-rich blood. In such cases, the affected organs begin to shut down or be damaged. This might include the brain, the liver, the lungs, and the heart, and seizures can occur. When the circulatory system shuts down enough, shock can occur. This condition is often referred to as “Dengue shock syndrome.”

Beautify Your Home And Increase Its Market Value

Whether it is to add a spacious kitchen or bathroom or to have a conservatory or garage to your home–any type of renovation adds to the market value of home. But renovation is not a cheap process. One way of paying for these improvements, you should take the help of loans available in the loan market for renovation purpose. The renovation purpose can be for virtually anything related to the home from as little as redecorating a room to building a 2-storey extension.

Two types of loans are available in the UK loan market for home renovation purpose. The first one is the secured loan plan where your house is pledged as the security against the loan amount and the second is the unsecured loan. With a secured loan plan you will (usually) get a lower rate of interest and a higher amount of money. This loan is easier to get,even if you have bad credit problems. The reason is that there is least risk on lender’s side. But the problem is that, if you don’t keep up the payments on the loan they could repossess your house to get back their invested amount.

How could you know which home improvement loan is the best deal for you? Although the actual deal that you get with a lender will depend upon your personal and financial circumstances (credit history, salary, age, joint or single application, security pledging capacity, loan amount and length of payback period) a good guide for the cheap loan deal is the typical APR (Annual Percentage Rate) that the lender quotes on the loan application form.

You can get free quotes on home improvement loans from your local bank and building society branches. By comparing them you can get details of the best rates available in the loan market. Another option is to search on the internet for home improvement loan comparison to find websites that automatically list the best loan deals of the day. The facility of online search enables the client to save a lot of time and money. Ask the lender about the total cost of repayment of the home improvement loan. In this way any additional ‘hidden’ charges can be avoided and your loan deal becomes cheap.

Unsecured loans for homeowners are suitable for you when you are looking for small scale renovation purpose. They offer you risk-free borrowing options. You are free from repossession risk. The rate of interest is slightly higher in this case but the loan processing is fast and hassle free.

Helpful Questions On Intelligent Solutions For Home Improvement

Most people will find that when making home repairs & overall improvements, the process never exactly meets the planning. You may think something will only take a day plus a little effort, although you are likely to find that points get a bit more convoluted. Work to streamline the improvement process by reading these ideas.

Opt to do your laundry every time your hamper fills up, rather than waiting for your dirty laundry to pile for a week. Throwing your laundry in the washing machine every two days cuts down the quantity of time you need to spend folding, waiting for the washing machine plus the dryer & puts less strain on your machine.

You should generally wear safety glasses or goggles when cutting with a saw or other powered equipment. Should you don’t wear protective equipment for your eyes pieces of the material you’re cutting or dust can turn into lodged within your eye or trigger irritation. In severe circumstances permanent damage may be done to your eye.

Building a swing set may be a fantastic home improvement project that will supply one’s youngsters with entertainment. It can also be a bonding experience if 1 chooses to build it with their youngsters so they can watch it take shape before they get to play on it & get pleasure from it that a good deal more.

While countless properties come with smoke detectors, fire safety specialists frequently recommend installing heat and carbon monoxide detectors as well. By taking every probable precaution, you may be saving your family’s life or even your own by taking steps to detect any doable sign of trouble as soon as possible.

Home improvement must normally start with the plumbing and the bathrooms. Bathrooms are a key room in a household & will make a home feel like brand new. It is also 1 of the most lucrative improvements to do to a residence if a individual ever decides to sell it.

Decide upon 2 easy-to-keep in mind days of the year to check & replace, if needed, the batteries within your carbon monoxide & smoke detectors. New Year’s Day plus the Fourth of July are perfect occasions to perform this task. You must also be certain that your fire extinguishers work and discuss your family’s exit method in the event of a fire.

In the event you have an loft you do not use, look into adding more rooms to your residence or transforming it into a loft if the ceiling is rather low. This will positively grow the value of your house besides giving you more space. Be certain you use correct isolation to stay clear of your new rooms from getting too cold or moist.

A superb approach to add a brand new look to any room of the home is to tile or re-tile the floors. Tile flooring comes in thousands of colors and designs & is relatively cost-effective once you do it yourself. For as tiny as $1 a square foot, new tile floors may be an outstanding home improvement project.

Home improvement is a vast subject. From putting a brand new set of curtains up to basically replacing your windows, anything can qualify as an “improvement.” Even for the smallest process you’re attempting, you’ll have to be effectively educated on the best way to pull it off. Use the hints in this piece to guide you via quite a few frequent improvements.

Home Repair And Improvement

If you are planning for home repair and improvement, then you can use some of the unique tips that are so readily available on the internet these days. Home repair and improvement is never an easy task and so tips and ideas from trustworthy resources can also prove helpful. These days, shows on home repairs and remodeling of exteriors and interiors have become quite a common place on television and radio. So, you can use some great ideas from these programs too. And of course, hiring a professional contractor and paying heed to some expert advice by home improvement enthusiasts would always prove fruitful.

A house has different parts and each part has its own importance. Therefore, there are different kinds of repair works for each of these parts and spaces. Interior improvements can include repairing of the A/C, appliances, electrical and lighting, doors, stairs and floors, walls and ceilings. The interiors comprise rooms, bathrooms and kitchen. Plus, there are plumbing and fixtures, painting, home technology, storage, décor, and so on. All of these come under interior improvements. The home exteriors usually include the garage, lawn and guard, pool, spa and sauna. Then of course, the roof, chimney and gutter form an important part of the exteriors. The windows and skylights, siding, columns and landscaping, all comprise the exteriors of a home.

Therefore, all these areas need special attention as and where required. The first step towards a well finished home repair and improvement project is a well laid out plan. Then of course comes the budgeting. When planning a repair and remodeling of the house, do also take into account the council regulations. Setting a commencing date and planning a completion date is very important. Now, for selecting products make personal trips to good stores or browse through the online and print catalogues. Decide upon a style – heritage, modern or casual and make it a tool in narrowing down your choices.

Why Should I Do Home Improvements?

There are several different reasons improvements are done and you will find that they are very time consuming. They are however usually worth the energy and time that you put in to them and you are bound to appreciate the outcome. An improvements is basically altering and changing the home.

The exterior and interior of a home can undergo improvements. Enhancing the beauty and value of a home is just one reason for improvements, they can also be done to repair any damages. Adding more space and making the home safer is anther reason for home improvements.

Some of the types of improvements done to make your home prettier is interior design type projects. This projects include painting and wallpapering the walls or ceilings, adding new flooring, or upgrading and adding doors and widows. You can add beauty and style to your home by doing these improvements. Improvements can often be as little as changing a blown light bulb or even as big as rebuilding the home after a disaster.

Home improvement prices can change drastically. A common improvement that is done is changing the kitchen or bathrooms of a home. Some homes may not have the cabinet space they need therefore extra cabinets need to be added. Some improvements involved upgrading to elegant fixtures in the bathrooms or kitchen. You can find gorgeous fixtures very affordable.

When doing improvements to repair damages these can include electrical fixes or upgrades, plumbing repairs, or roof replacement. Of course these are not the only things people have to repair around their homes. Repairs often need to be made around the home at any given time.

The safety of the home has become an improvement that most people are doing by adding security systems. Cameras or security systems are improvements that will keep your family and your home safe. This is a great improvement to make to any home.

Adding extra rooms and closets is another home improvement that is quite popular. People add room for different reasons some of which are for more bedrooms, an office, or to add another bathroom. These improvements will also raise your homes value. These are very expensive and time consuming improvements but are generally worth it. Whatever home improvement you do, you will be happy with these improvements in the end.

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Home Improvement Tips: Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Reasons for A Redo

Home improvement projects often begin with someone saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if… ?” usually followed by a wish for a remodelled kitchen or a room addition for space to accommodate every family member’s needs. More often than not, reality and dreams don’t coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available space. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. Homeowners usually consider home improvements for one of the following reasons.

You may feel the need to update something that is out-of-date. If your kitchen colour scheme was perfect a few decades ago but no longer works, now may a good time to update it.

Some home improvement projects grow out of an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If a sink, tub, or toilet needs to be replaced, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the entire bathroom.

If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to get top dollar from the sale. That’s great motivation for some home improvement projects.

You have decided that staying put and improving your home is a better option than moving.

Your family has grown and you need more space.

Improving to Move? or Improving to Stay?

Evaluate your plans carefully if you’re improving your home to list it for sale. Cutting corners may hurt your prospects rather than helping them. But don’t go overboard either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a hot tub or pool. You’re better off keeping the changes simple.

And remember that buyers who view your home may not share your tastes and may not appreciate the care you took to find just the right shade of green paint for the walls.

You’ll find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the prospective buyer’s point of view: What is important to the home buyer? Here are a few remodelling projects buyers are likely to find valuable:

Adding or remodelling a bath

Improving the kitchen

Adding a new room


Adding a bedroom

Adding or enclosing a garage.

If you’re remodelling because you want to stay in your home, you should still avoid over-improving it. You’ll probably want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it may be difficult to convince potential buyers to pay for the things you considered important. And when you consider making improvements, keep in mind the value of other homes in the area. Your home’s value should not be more than 20% above the average, which means that a $10,000 kitchen improvement project well could be a better investment than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.

Home Maintenance versus Home Improvements

It’s unfortunate that some home improvement projects are undertaken because something has broken. Replacing a leaky bathtub may be the first step to a major bath remodeling: since the tub has to be replaced anyway, why not do the whole room?

While that might be a legitimate reason to remodel, avoid basing your home improvement projects on immediate needs. You’ll be better off if you minimize problems with proper maintenance. Examine every part of your home at least once a year. Check the roof, the plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. As soon as become aware of a problem, fix it. Making repairs when you’re first aware of them will help you avoid larger expenses later on. Keep in mind that maintenance does not add to the value of your home. Usually repairs are not improvements; they are necessities.

Hiring Professionals May Save You Time and Money

It should go without saying that home projects can be expensive, so you may be tempted to tackle them yourself as a way to save money. That may be a smart move for small projects. You won’t have to wait for someone to fit your house into their busy schedule, and you can boast about having done the work yourself.

But unless you’re very versatile, major home improvements are better left to professionals. If you decide to remodel the kitchen and plan to do the work yourself, will you be able to handle the plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work on your own?. And don’t forget that you’ll need to finish it quickly, because you won’t have a kitchen as long as it’s a “work in process” and eating three meals a day in restaurants could get expensive. Keep in mind, do-it-yourself jobs generally take more time. And you’ll be responsible for getting all the necessary permits and inspections.

Hiring people who have the required experience can save you money and time, too. For example, these professionals can help you get a custom look using stock products, and that can be a significant savings. Getting something done right the first time will give you value that lasts for years.

To find qualified and dependable home improvement specialists, check with friends, business associates, and neighbours for recommendations. Always get at least three references, and check them out thoroughly. Also check with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Their numbers can be found in the community services section of your telephone book.

Once you’ve located the necessary home improvement specialists, make sure everyone is in agreement about the design, the schedule, and the budget, and get the details down in writing in a signed contract.

It’s also wise to check on professional certifications and licenses, where required, and be certain that the contractors you hire are fully insured and bonded. Your town or city Building Department can provide that information. And it’s very important that you make sure contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance: if workers are injured on the job, you won’t be liable if the contractor is covered. Request copies of their insurance certificates. And make sure that either you or your contractor have gotten any necessary permits before the work begins. Contact your local Planning and Zoning Commission for information.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the professionals you may need to work with when you remodel your home:

Architect: Architects design homes or additions from the foundation to the roof. If your project will require structural changes such as adding or removing walls, or if the design is complex, you will probably need an architect. Since architects may charge an hourly or a flat fee, make sure you get an estimate of the total cost: drawing up the plans for a major remodeling project can take 80 hours or more.

Contractor: The contractor oversees the home improvement project, including hiring and supervising workers, getting the necessary permits, making sure inspections are done as needed, and providing insurance for work crews. It’s always a good idea to get proposals from one or more reputable contractors, based on the specific details of your project.

Be sure each contractor bids on exactly the same plan so that you can compare their bids more easily. When you’ve chosen a contractor, make sure the contract specifies that you will pay in stages. You’ll usually pay one third when the contract is signed so that the contractor can buy supplies. The number and timing for making the remaining payments will depend on the size of the project. Do not make the final payment until all the work is successfully completed, inspected, and approved.

Interior Designers: Interior designers are specialists who will provide advice on furnishings, wall coverings, colors, styles, and more. They help save you time by narrowing your selection, and save money because they usually receive professional discounts from their suppliers. When meeting with an interior designer, be sure to tell them about your personal style and preferences. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, or you may be able to negotiate a flat fee of approximately 25% of the total project cost.

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IFD, Vicinity Media launch cost-effective location-based mobile advertising

Interface Digital (IFD) and Vicinity Media have partnered to deliver location-based mobile advertising solutions to drive feet to participating stores in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
IFD, Vicinity Media launch cost-effective location-based mobile advertising
“Location based advertising (LBA) allows companies to adjust their marketing messages to suit a number of specific scenarios,” says Dennis Armstrong, MD of Interface Digital. “Not only are they able to geographically target customers (down to street level), but their marketing can also be adjusted dynamically to suit variables such as a specific time of day or prevailing weather conditions.”

How it works

“Imagine an invisible fence (e.g. 5km) setup around your location or destination,” says Charles Talbot, Vicinity Media’s chief of publisher development. “We then serve mobile ads across our partner publisher network that includes most major sports, news and entertainment titles in South Africa. Any person browsing those channels within the geo-fenced area will then be able to view and respond to the marketing served.”

You own a hardware store and want to run a Saturday DIY special on tiles, specifically targeting individuals (within a desired radius of your store).
The campaign would target mobile users who are viewing content relating to home improvement, interior design, flooring and relevant topics of that nature.
You will then serve your advertisement, offering (for example) 15% discount on all tiles and/or other products that specific day, and provide the viewer with a unique promo code or voucher they can use at your store.
The ad further provides you location, contact details, map and estimated travelling time – depending if the client walks or drives.

“Obviously the point of any digital marketing is the ability to accurately track and measure campaign performance. Through our partners, Interface Digital, clients will receive detailed reports providing accurate data on each interaction and option taken by their customers, allowing for additional campaign optimisation and increased ROI over the duration of their campaign.”

“Knowing where your customers are and how they behave (based on their online activity), allows you to serve the most relevant marketing messages, at the right time and place,” adds IFD’s Dennis Armstrong. “Mobile location-based marketing is effective, because you can personalise your content and target people who are most likely to convert into paying customers. Combine that with the special introductory rates we are now offering and businesses have a real opportunity to significantly increase their return on marketing investment this summer.”

Amazon launches ‘unlimited’ reading for Prime members

WASHINGTON – US online giant Amazon on Wednesday launched a new “Prime Reading” programme for US members of its subscription programme, allowing unlimited reading of a rotating selection of e-books.
Amazon said the “Prime Reading” program would include “over a thousand popular books” ()
Amazon said the “Prime Reading” program would include “over a thousand popular books” (AFP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
“Prime members can now enjoy unlimited reading from a rotating selection of books, magazines, comics and more — at no additional cost,” the online retail giant said in a statement.

The move ramps up Amazon’s effort to win over more Prime subscribers — which costs $99 for US customers — with free shipping, access to its video service, music and more.

Amazon said the program would include “over a thousand popular books” as well as “rotating selection of fresh, full issues of top magazines covering sports, technology, cooking and home improvement, current affairs, notable people and more”.

It will also offer “short-form reads” from its “Kindle Singles”.

The service will be available on a variety of devices including Kindle tablets as well as Apple or Android-powered gadgets.

“Prime is the best deal in the history of shopping and today it got even better,” said Amazon vice president Greg Greeley.

“Prime members can now enjoy an awesome selection of books including ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,’ ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ plus magazines and more.”

Home improvements – which to make, when to make them

A few strategic upgrades can be a great way to maximise the saleability of your home, but knowing which improvements to make – and when to make them – is vital if you want to avoid overcapitalising.
Home improvements – which to make, when to make them
© Boris Rabtsevich –
“There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the perfect time to renovate a property for the purpose of adding value,” says Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Property Group. “It all boils down to what condition your home is currently in, what other properties in the neighbourhood are like, and how long you intend to wait before selling.” While the best way to get an accurate assessment of these factors is to consult a real estate agent in your area, the following situations could indicate the potential for a profitable home improvement.

You’ve lost touch with the Jones’

“The nicest house in the neighbourhood will have fewer opportunities to add value than the ugly duckling on the block,” says Clarke, “so if you’re already in the top tier of properties in your area, renovating purely for profit may not be a great idea. If your home is outdated, run-down, or less comfortable than your neighbours, however, a few renovations could add significant value.”

You’re at the bottom-end of the price range

“Take the current value of your home and compare it to the highest average listing price for top-tier properties in your area of a similar size to yours,” says Clarke. “The difference between these figures is the maximum amount you could spend on renovations and potentially recoup on a sale. If the difference is minimal, consider focussing on maintenance rather than major improvements. If the difference is significant, however, there could be room to renovate key areas of your home and see a decent profit.”

Your house has seen better days

“Never underestimate the value of maintenance,” says Clarke. “A well-loved and looked after home will always sell better than a run-down one, even if it’s not as modern or trendy as it could be. Refurbishing basic structures, fixtures and fittings may not be as glamorous as a full renovation, but can have an excellent cost-to-return ratio. If your windows, doors, lights, air-conditioning or other property features have seen better days, seriously consider giving them a once-over.”

You’re not in a hurry to sell

“Unless you’ve bought a fixer-upper for a steal, it can take a few years for the cost of improvements to be fully reflected in your sales price,” says Clarke, “so if you’re planning on selling within a year or two, you may be better off sticking to more affordable, cosmetic upgrades.” There are some exceptions to this rule, however. “Kitchen and bathroom renovations are renowned for giving the most bang for your buck,” says Clarke, “and if these areas are very outdated or in bad shape, a smart renovation could pay off in the short term. Remember to keep your budget realistic, though, and keep the price ceiling in your area in mind at all times.”

You want to improve your own lifestyle

“Your house isn’t just a financial asset,” says Clarke. “It’s also a place in which you and your family should be able to thrive. Quality of life is very valuable, and shouldn’t be discounted when weighing up the pros and cons of a potential renovation. That swimming pool, or games room or workshop might not pay for itself when you sell, but the value it adds to your life in the meanwhile could still make it a good investmen

Home Improvement Catalogs – Why Home Improvement Catalogs Make Great Resources

Home improvement catalogs are must haves for anyone who is thinking of remodeling their home or doing any kind of do it yourself project. There are many reasons why they are essential, and if you haven’t already gone out and picked up as many as you can possibly get your hands on I strongly recommend that you do so in the near future. The first use for home improvement catalogs is stealing ideas. From kitchen color schemes to which bathroom fixtures go with your tile floor, looking at their models can give you ideas of your own. You don’t have to hire an expensive interior decorator, but you do need to do some homework. Consider home improvement catalogs your textbooks and be sure to study. The second use for home improvement catalogs is to compare prices. Buy a Sunday paper, look through the ads and compare the prices of products found at home improvement warehouses to their catalog counterparts. Be sure to account for the cost of shipping that catalogs charge, and make sure you’re aware of sales that the regular stores will be having. Don’t be afraid to ask an associate if something in particular will be going on sale soon. If you see something in a catalog that you like, but don’t see it in a circular, call the store and ask for the price on the item. If you have enough home improvement catalogs, you can get a ton of great ideas and save a lot of money. If after you’ve done all of your research and have decided to hire a contractor and interior decorator to do all of the hard work, you can still put your home improvement catalogs to good use. Throw them under a wobbly table, and your home will be instantly improved! Published at: