Why The 2014 Mazda3 Should Be Your First New Car Purchase

Over the past several years, the entry level automotive market has undergone a massive evolution. New car buyers are expecting more from their vehicles. Simplistic “base” models are on their way out. Today’s drivers want more.

Much of this change is driven by the nature of the entry-level market. Most first car buyers looking at “small” entry-level vehicles have grown up having it all. They are part of a new generation-a generation raised with access to everything at their fingertips; an entire group of tech savvy consumers who expect do-everything features even in the most budget conscious and compact vehicles.

Are you in the market for your first new car? If you are a tech-savvy car buyer who is unwilling to make any sacrifices, the 2014 Mazda3 is should be your first new car purchase. Mazda understands that the automotive industry is changing. The new 2014 Mazda3 offers everything that modern drivers expect at a price that is right for everyone. Compact, fuel efficient and affordable no longer means that you have to have a cheap feeling, uninspiring vehicle.

The first thing you’ll notice about the 2014 Mazda3 is that it stands out from the crowd. The long hood and cab-style back end is a breath of creative fresh air that you don’t see in other compact cars. The look is sporty. Gentle curves sweep up to the back, giving a sports car inspired look that screams speed. For many buyers, the styling is everything you can ask for in a price-conscious four door “economy” car. It’s anything but unassuming. The look “says” fast and expensive-and that’s a good thing; you can’t find anything that looks better in this price range.

The 2014 Mazda3 is built around a SKYACTIV four-cylinder engine that’s been around since 2012. The base model comes with a 2.0L engine that develops 155 horsepower with exceptional efficiency. Mazda rates performance of the base model at 4.7 litres/100km on the highway. The more powerful 2.5L is also available. It is slightly more powerful, developing 184 horsepower while maintaining an impressive 5.0 litres/100km highway efficiency rating.

Mazda redesigned almost every component of the 2014 Mazda3. Extensive revisions to the suspension system, shocks, and anti-roll bars promise improved stability, performance cornering capability, and overall ride comfort. All models come with disk brakes on all four wheels, creating impressive stopping distances that best most compact cars. The steering system is also revamped. Older Mazda3 models used an electrohydraulic steering system, the 2014 Mazda3 uses a new electric power steering mechanism.

Inside, the 2014 Mazda3 is not as spacious as it could be. The cabin is compact. The long hood and sweep-back design that creates smooth sporty curves on the outside sacrifice interior space. The front seats are adequately spacious and equipped with contoured seats with comfortably designed back and lateral support. Sleek styling steals space from rear passengers. The Mazda3 is tighter that other compact cars in this class. Headroom is inadequate in the rear for taller passengers-a problem created when Mazda decided to increase rear seat height to improve comfort. Overall, the Mazda3 has acceptable rear room for a compact-it is adequate for children but not comfortable for adults.

If safety is a primary concern, the 2014 Mazda3 has you covered. Each model includes multiple airbags-both front and side systems for the front seats and side-curtain airbags that expand over the entire cabin length. Mazda has consistently scored high in all crash test ratings with each generation of Mazda3-the 2014 model is no different. It is one of the safest compact cars on the road.

The 2014 Mazda3 GT includes a system called I-Activesense that incorporates adaptive front lighting, a lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring. Mazda’s “Smart City Brake Support” system is an interesting addition on the GT model that monitors vehicle distances and pre-adjusts brakes automatically for optimum collision response time in city traffic. The car can alert drivers to imminent collisions at city driving speeds and automatically brake to a stop if there is no driver response to an upcoming obstacle.

It’s clear that drivers don’t want to sacrifice electronic features, even in compact affordable vehicles. The 2014 Mazda3 has “Mazda Connect” in all models-a touch-screen display on top of the dashboard that controls a variety of functions. The system includes a radio, CD player, a USB input, and an auxiliary audio jack. The GT model includes an upgraded Bose audio system and an SD card slot.

The 2014 Mazda3 ranges in price from an MSRP of $15,995 to $26,855. At the base price, there are no compact cars that can come close to matching the 2014 Mazda3’s styling and features. If you are looking for a new car in 2014, you can’t get much better than this.

The only major drawback to this impressive car is the cramped interior. Creating a compact car with sport-influenced style resulted in a cramped rear passenger area. Four tall adults cannot fit comfortably in the 2014 Mazda3. Rear seats are adequate for children. Aside from this drawback, the 2014 Mazda3 is a very impressive offering that matches performance, style, advanced technology, and full-features with affordability. Few compact cars can get this formula right.

Mazda has recognized the demands of modern first-time car buyers in the compact car market. Many young people are looking for cars that don’t skimp on style or technology. The 2014 Mazda3 represents the beginning of a new era in compact car design, function, and pricing. You no longer have to sacrifice style for price and “economy” compacts no longer have to represent pure function over form. The Mazda3 is a real-world driver’s car-it’s fun, sporty, affordable, and capable enough to fit the family. It’s a vehicle that demands serious consideration if you are looking for a new car.

Chinese Year of the Wood Horse 2014: Amazing London Celebrations!

London Lions

I really enjoyed this weekend’s London Chinatown’s Wood Horse Year’ 2014 Celebrations. Performing with the 12 ft pole and 10 foot attached ‘ Shaolin Fists’ banner (with Shaolin Fists Lion and Dragon Dance Troupe) through Soho and Chinatown’s narrow, congested streets and alleyways for over 5 hours during Sunday Feb 2nd was most exhilarating.

Our Troupe’s three Lions Danced together non-stop in around 40-50 fortunate venues during my 5 hour plus shift manipulating the 12 ft pole and 10 ft flag in martial arts fashions. Fortunately, I was able to avoid all the hanging Chinese Lanterns, flags, banners, signs and even trees in our way during this period.

Cardiff Dragons

Further congratulations, too, to Grandmaster Yap Leong and the Team for their Saturday Feb 1st Premier League Performance for billionaire Vincent Tan at Carditt City FC’s Ninian Park Stadium (where I’ve often performed myself). They helped the home side to good fortune and victory over Norwich City (if you believe in Feng Shui, as you should, that is) and so at least two out of three of the UK’s constituent capital cities were buzzing with Chinese New Year activities, this weekend.

Just My Cup of Tea!

I have long been aware of the stunning range and varieties of Chinese Teas, their nutritional values, potential contributions to Martial Arts training regimes and overall health. Now some of the most delicious types and combinations are available on a take-away basis.

‘Up Bubble T’

I thoroughly enjoyed Chinatown’s new popular phenomenon: Chinese ‘Bubble Tea’ with its lovely suspended grass-jelly bubbles, huge range of flavours (including energising and chillaxing ones) and styles plus big, big servings. A brilliant range is available from ‘Up T’ Boutique Tea House in Little Newport St (near Leicester Square Tube Station). These can be accompanied by delicious pork dumplings amd buns.

Service, led by Jenny, is first rate. ‘Up T’ opens between 11 am-12 pm seven days a week and amongst several similar spots recently established in London Chinatown, is located most conveniently close to a major Tube Station (Leicester Square) being less than 100 yards from its main entrance.

Overall

I considered it a pleasure and privilege to be able to participate so fully in London Chinatowwn’s 2014 Wood Horse Year Celebrations, representing not only myself but various other groups to which I belong. I wish London’s Chinatown community a Happy and Prosperous New Year of the Horse and would like to thank them for an amazing and enjoyable festival.

How To Profit With Your Own Online Personal Training Business

What is Online Personal Training?

The concept is simple. You want more income without having to work more. And your prospects and clients wants to lose weight and get fit but they don’t want to pay the premium price to work one-on-one with a personal trainer.

So what do you do?

You can’t drop the price of your one-on-one personal training programs–so you turn away a client. You lose income and they lose the opportunity to get in shape and to work with you.
Enter online personal training.

By using web based software your personal training business now has another program option that is far more budget friendly than traditional personal training. This makes for a great personal trainer marketing system.

Popular online personal training software, such as Hitech Trainer, gives you access to a database of thousands of exercise demonstration videos, hundreds of custom workout templates and a state-of-the-art RD designed nutrition software. With these resources you can easily start creating passive income on the web.

Maximizing Personal Training Profits.

Let’s focus on how you are able to utilize online personal training software to increase profits, reach more clients and create passive revenue streams.

Online Personal Training as an Add-On to One-on-One Personal Training Programs.
How many of your current one-on-one personal training clients are able to work with you the desired 3 to 5 days per week? It is probably a small number. Most one-on-one personal training clients either cannot afford 3 to 5 sessions per week or are unable to coordinate that number of sessions into their busy schedule. As a result these clients work with a personal trainer 1 or 2 times per week and workout on their own the other 1 to 2 times.

An online personal training program is ideal for such clients. It costs less than one-on-one personal training sessions, and the personalized online workouts can be completed with total flexibility to the client’s schedule since they aren’t meeting with their personal trainer face-to-face.

While some of your clients cannot afford to add additional sessions to their one-on-one programs, most can afford to pay an additional $30 to $60 per month for online workouts for the days that they are not with their trainers. Not only will this give the client better results and more accountability, it will also give you additional ongoing income.
Creating Additional Monthly Profits.

Cutting edge personal training software, such as Hitech Trainer, offers you more ways to generate revenue than by simply selling personalized workouts. This top online personal training software comes complete with built in RD designed nutrition software.
What does this mean for you? This means that your personal training business is now able to provide clients with RD designed diet plans to accompany their personal training program. You are able to charge a recurring monthly fee for creating results specific diet plans that will aid the results of your clients while padding your bottom line.

Taking Online Personal Training to the Web.

In today’s technology savvy world it has become expected for every business to have a functioning website. Personal Trainers are no exception. If you don’t have a website you ought to consider creating a content rich website as quickly as possible.

Studies have shown that your future members and clients use the Internet to find fitness and weight loss solution more than ever before. In fact, the Internet is more widely used than the phone book to find local businesses.

While many fitness professionals use their website as nothing more than a glorified business card (listing location, operating hours and rates) you have the unique opportunity to make additional revenue on the web. Online personal training technology can give you a quick, easy and economical way to monetize your fitness website.

What to look for.

Choosing the right online personal training software for your needs is important. Some things to look for in a service provider are responsive customer service and support who are both accessible via email and telephone. In addition you’ll want to choose technology that gives you room to grow – unlimited client capacity, an integrated nutrition programming module, and high resolution exercise demonstration videos and pictures in both genders.

Thanks to technology and the power and reach of the Internet you can quickly begin growing your online personal training business on the web and in your fitness facility with only a small investment. For many studios owners and independent trainers this is the fastest, easiest and most economical way to generate additional passive income month after month.

Driver CPC Periodic Training – What’s It All About Then?

By the 10th of September 2014 in the United Kingdom most existing and new professional Large Goods Vehicle (L.G.V) drivers will by law, be required to have completed an extra 35 hours of vocational training. (The Driver CPC EU Directive 2003) This is known as The Vehicle Drivers Certificate of Professional Competence or “Driver CPC”. On completion drivers will then be required to renew this training on a 5 yearly cycle.

To comply with the act drivers will have to complete a Driver CPC Course. This will consist of five seven hour training sessions which can only be delivered by an approved instructor and registered training centre. The governing body responsible for Driver CPC Training is The Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (J.A.U.P.T.) who are in turn responsable to The Driving Standards Agency in Great Britain (D.S.A) and The Driver and Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland.

J.A.U.P.T monitors Training Centres and Trainers to make sure that training is given to the highest standard. Before a trainer can present a course (7 hours of instruction) they must prove their professional ability to train and have a high level of subject knowledge. All courses are vetted and approved by J.A.U.P.T before they get presented to drivers, further to this each course gets rechecked by J.A.U.P.T. annually. This ensures that the course content and the trainers are up to date with changes in Law and Industry Best Practice.

Many drivers when introduced to the idea of ongoing vocational training are naturally sceptical and wonder what they can learn from it. A typical drivers comment is “I’ve been on the road for 30 years what can you tell me about the job”. Well this driver is perfect for Periodic Training, he most likely has not had any formal training for the entire of that 30 years and whilst his knowledge of the road and his ability to drive will be first class he might be lacking in his understanding of Road Transport Law and often is unaware of Best Working Practices within the industry.

Periodic Training’s purpose is to refresh the knowledge of drivers by confirming and expanding existing knowledge and to update them on changes in Legislation and Best Working Practices. Depending on the course content, training is delivered in a classrooms or “on the road”. An example of a typical training courses is “Drivers Hours & Tachograph’s” (A “tachograph” is an in truck recording device that monitors speed and time. Fitting of this device into trucks and busses is a legal requirement in the EU) This course will most likely be delivered in a classroom. The Course presenter will use a variety of delivery techniques including PowerPoint, flip charts and demonstration units. Another example is a course on “Economical Driving” this might contain green environment related content as well as the monetary cost of delivering the goods and could contain both on road and classroom instruction

In conclusion this form of training can only lead to safer roads with fewer accidents and a higher standard of professionalism from L.G.V drivers. Bus and Coach drivers (PSV) are also required to hold a Driver CPC with very similar rules however PSV drivers need to complete by 10th September 2013 that’s one year earlier than L.G.V Drivers.

Food Information Regulations 2011 – How Is Food Labelling Within The EU Going To Change?

Current EU food law requires that all food and beverage products distributed and sold within the EU must comply with food labelling legislation; which is currently based upon the Food Labelling Directive 2000/13. To complicate matters, in December 2011 the new Food Information to Consumers Regulations (FIR) was finally published into EU law following years of discussion and debate at Commission level. These new Regulations bring with them additional requirements applicable to food manufacturers and retailers, the majority of which must be in place by the 13th December 2014. Food businesses producing products which do not comply with the new requirements after this date could face sanctions which include fines, forfeiture of product and negative PR. You may think this is a long way off, however, when you consider that an average food business may have around 50 different product lines (for retailers this can be as few as 1000 lines) and considering that almost every label will need to change, you can see how colossal a task this really is. Food businesses may opt to graduate the change over time to spread the workload and obviously the cost; however new products under development also require future proofing to ensure Regulatory compliance, so you will begin to see the first flurries of “new” labels into the market very shortly.

Unfortunately I can’t go over every change within this article as the regulation itself which contains sixty three pages, some fifty five articles and a raft of annexes within those pages. What I will do is go over some of the major changes you are likely to see.

I’m going to start with nutritional information. Under current legislation providing nutritional information for your product is only compulsory if a nutrition claim is made (namely low fat, high protein, contains Vitamin D)’ whilst in all other cases it may be provided voluntarily. If provided however it must to be provided in one of the following formats as detailed in the regulations, namely: the big four;

Energy
Protein
Carbohydrate
Fat

In that order; or you can use the big eight;

Energy
Protein
Carbohydrate
of which sugars
fat
of which saturates
Fibre
Sodium

In that order. Under the Food Information Regulations nutritional information will become mandatory and must be provided in the following format,

Energy
Fat
of which saturates
Carbohydrates
of which sugars
Fibre
Protein
Salt

The main changes being the order in which they are presented, so fat has moved up the table to just underneath energy. Also manufacturers will no longer be allowed to list sodium, they must list salt. This has caused unrest within the dairy industry as milk contains naturally occurring sodium. The concern is that milk producers are going to have to state that there is a presence of salt within the product. This could be somewhat off-putting to the consumer, seeing salt labelled on a bottle of milk. The European Commission have stated that in these cases the manufacturer will be allowed to state that salt is due to a presence of naturally occurring sodium and that this statement can be next to the table, but not within it.

Allergens are a major concern to food manufacturers as they are to the people who suffer with them. There are still the original fourteen declarable allergen categories namely cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, peanuts, milk, sesame, sulphur dioxide greater than ten parts per million, eggs, nuts, celery, lupin, fish, soybeans, mustard and molluscs. However, the Food Information Regulations has changed the way in which allergens must be labelled. Current legislation doesn’t recognise the allergen box you see on many food products (although its presence is regarded as “best practice”) with allergens requiring their presence to be made known within the ingredients list. However the European Commission are currently debating whether the allergen box can be provided due to the interpretation of a specific Article. In addition, allergens will have to be made more noticeable for the consumer by using a different font, emboldening the font or using a different colour. The idea behind this is to encourage consumers to read through the ingredients to identify allergens instead of relying on them being in an allergen box on the front of the pack; an element which trending on food recall alerts over the past few years would tend to agree with considering the significant proportion of recalls caused by incorrect allergen labelling (allergens missed in the box but within the ingredients list and vice versa).

The Food Information Regulations have also introduced something called place of provenance. Under current legislation food manufacturers have to provide the products place of origin if leaving it off would potentially mislead the consumer. The place of origin is the place where the product last underwent major processing. For example, a manufacturer produces a chicken pie in the UK which contains chicken from Poland. Britain is the place where the product last underwent major processing and as such legally the product can now be called a British Chicken Pie, subject to the general caveat of “misleading the consumer”. Under the Food Information Regulations however recognition is provided that it is the quality or primary ingredient that many consumers find is key information. The new requirements require the “place of provenance” to be provided if it is different from the country of origin; in real terms requiring a label stating British on said Chicken Pie, but also requiring the chicken within to be identified as from Poland.

These are just a few major changes; there are many other changes such as minimum font sizes, changes to meat products, new warnings and amended ingredients names which are just far too numerous list here.

So why did the Commission see a need to re-hash current labelling requirements, which the industry as a whole felt were doing a pretty decent job? The geeks amongst you may have read through the “preamble” which can be found at the beginning of any EU legislation; the preamble proving you with the reasoning behind the legislation as well as acting as a guide for interpretation. Reading through a common theme emerges, namely protecting the consumer and providing information on labels consistently throughout all Member States of Europe. Current legislation being based on a Directive provides its own challenges, with Directives requiring a “copy and paste” approach into the legislation of each individual Member States. This gives rise to inconsistencies in the interpretation of some aspects; and “gold plating” of others, roughly resulting in additional requirements specific to that individual Member State. The ethos of “free trade” sits firmly behind the creation of the EU and as such idiosyncrasies such as this can be a significant barrier to trade between Member States, where realistically food labels should require translation into the language of the country of destination and limited re-labelling; something which is not the case at present. So hopefully the food information regulations will open up the borders between Member States and with them new markets for the exploitation of the UK food business bringing with them new opportunities and hopefully profitable returns. In the current economic climate those first to market are often the most likely to succeed, so rather than see these new requirements as onerous and costly, maybe we as an industry be looking at this as a whole new chapter in the international food market. As a prominent high street bank states in its adverts at present “we see even the smallest business operating internationally in the future”; and on that note I wholeheartedly agree.