Even Busy Students Can Learn Home Cooking

It is not easy learning a new skill – it takes time, practice, and determination. With all the energy you can spend on your studies and other extracurricular activities, sometimes the last thing you want to do when you are hungry is take the time to make your own meal. However by setting aside the necessary time every day to put together your own breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you will be able to save yourself money while developing your cooking abilities. Cooking is an activity few have mastered over time, but there is no reason to give up early. There are endless websites, books, and television shows dedicated to helping you get better.

When you take the time to put together your own food, there is that sense of accomplishment as you take your first bite. That feeling does not normally accompany eating a french fry through a drive-thru window. The more effort you put towards learning how to cook, the faster and easier it will be every time you start your next dish. Cooking can be a fun experience when you have the right attitude. What probably turns off most college students from making their own meals all the time is the endless supply of food around them – whether it is a café or dining hall. Another reason behind this lack of desire is the simple turn off of not only having to cook, but then clean the dishes when you are done. It is true, there is no grand way to try and make cleaning dishes sound fun and enjoyable, but that's why we have dish-washers.

By putting together a menu with multiple dishes on it, you can find yourself not being subjected to eating the same few options from a fast-food restaurant, sandwich shop, or dining hall. Because while what you cook may not start being too extraordinary, you will soon develop some creativity in the kitchen. If you need motivation, try and challenge your housemates to join in the fun. See who can create the best-tasting dish, or share the duties and increase the ingredients, while minimizing the amount of effort each chef has to apply. Cooking a big meal for everyone to enjoy can bring a house together, and create a stronger bond. The one thing to always remember is that no one goes into college already knowing how to put together a four course meal – unless they are majoring in the culinary arts.

25 Incredible Foodie Vacations You Have to Taste to Believe

When you're a foodie, you'll go far and wide to try the finest foods the world has to offer. And it just so happens that some of the best places to visit also have the best foods you'll ever taste. Here are 25 incredible foodie vacations you have to taste to believe:

  1. Vancouver: Vancouver should be on all foodies' radars. This lovely coastal city has a diverse cuisine that believes in using local and seasonal foods, such as wild spot prawns, wild salmon, Pacific oysters and sea urchins. Top off your meals with one of the many delicious coffee drinks this city has to offer.
  2. London: London may get a bad rap for its bland food, but foodies who are willing to spend a little more than average can get some top-notch meals. Foodies have to try a couple things to make their trip complete: Indian food (London's top cuisine), fish and chips, and shepherd's pie.
  3. New Orleans: New Orleans may be known for Mardi Gras, jazz and football, but this city is not short on good food. Foodies can't go to New Orleans without trying their signature Cajun and Creole style dishes, such as gumbo, po' boys, jambalaya, Gulf oysters and "French doughnuts," called beignets.
  4. Mumbai: Curry, err, hurry on over to Mumbai, where the curry dishes are to die for. Sink your teeth into one of the many Mumbai curry dishes that come with seafood, coconut and various spices to kick up the flavor and heat.
  5. Chicago: The Windy City has a lot to offer hungry travelers. While you're sightseeing, grab a Chicago-style hot dog served on a poppy seed bun with mustard (no ketchup) and tasty toppings. The next big decision is deciding where to go for your slice of traditional deep-dish pizza.
  6. Tuscany: Enjoy a healthier kind of Italian food in Tuscany. Foodies will adore the simplicity, but pure deliciousness of Tuscan food, which focuses less on pasta and heavy sauces and more on grilled meats, salads and broad beans.
  7. Paris: If you're a true foodie, then Paris is most certainly on your vacation radar. From street food to gourmet dishes, Paris has it all. You must try all the crepes, pastries, caviars and escargots you can stomach!
  8. Bangkok: Foodies haven't lived until they've gone to Bangkok for authentic (and affordable) Thai food. If you're a fan of spicy foods and exotic flavors, you'll fit right at home in Bangkok. Traditional Thai food doesn't let anything go to waste, so if you're feeling adventurous try some boiled chicken legs, pork intestines and deep-fried water roaches. This city is truly an adventure for your tummy.
  9. Tokyo: Foodies visiting Tokyo will have a wide variety of delicious foods to choose from, including fresh sushi, warabi mochi, umi-budo, miso chirashi-don, tempura and much, much more. Finish off your meal with some sake or mocha ice cream. If you're feeling really adventurous and not so squeamish, try some basashi, raw horsemeat.
  10. Rome: Rome is the place for quintessential Italian food and foodies won't be disappointed by the rich cuisine. When in Rome, you've got to do as the Romans do and eat everything from pizza to pasta, gelato, cannolis and cappuccinos. Your taste buds and tummy will be in heaven.
  11. Morocco: Foodies won't be disappointed in the variety and deliciousness of Moroccan food. While you're there, get your couscous fix with one of the many scrumptious varieties, topped with a spicy stew of vegetables, lamb chicken or fish. Try a big bowl of stewed lentils with crusty bread or stewed white beans, and wash it down with a cup of mint tea.
  12. New York City: Foodies have to take a bite out of the Big Apple and then some. New York City is filled with good food everywhere you look. Whether you want a big slice of New York-style pizza, a hot dog with sauerkraut or a New York strip steak, you can find this and more in the city that never sleeps.
  13. Barcelona: Barcelona is a snacker's paradise, thanks to the abundance of tapas, Spanish snacks. From olives and cheese, roasted peppers, chorizo and fried baby squid, there are tapas for every foodie craving.
  14. Houston: Take a trip down south to Houston for some one-of-a-kind barbecue and Tex-Mex, as well as international cuisines. When in Houston, foodies must munch on smoked brisket, chips and salsa, enchiladas, fajitas and just about any other delicious dish you can sniff out in this wonderful Texas town.
  15. Athens: Greeks eat much more than just gyros. In fact, foodies will fall in love with the wide variety of Mediterranean dishes that Athens has to offer. Meals typically consist of lamb, fish and olive oil, but there are also many stews, casseroles, souvlaki, grilled cuts of meat and much more. Treat yourself to baklava, kataifi and fresh fruits for dessert.
  16. Napa Valley: Make all your foodie wishes come true in Napa Valley, California, where every delightful meal is paired with a glass of wine from local wineries. Here, you'll get a hefty dose of wine education and a nice variety Cal-Italia meals and fresh fusion foods.
  17. Argentina: Argentina is a foodie's paradise, especially if you're a meat lover. Argentine cuisine is full of delicious grilled meats, specifically beef ribs, steaks, barbecue and chorizo, as well as lamb and goat. The cuisine may vary depending on where you are in the country, but you can rest assured that you'll find dulce de leche, empanadas, Asado, yerba mate and other traditional Argentine foods wherever you are visiting.
  18. San Francisco: San Francisco is rich with culinary diversity and bold flavors that foodies will fall in love with. Enjoy fresh seafood, sushi and Chinese food, as well as local favorites – Crab Louis salad and clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Don't forget to treat yourself to some Ghirardelli Chocolate or ice cream at the historical Ghirardelli Square.
  19. Hong Kong: Take a gourmet adventure to Hong Kong to experience the wonderful Cantonese cuisine. Your taste buds will come alive when you try the delicious array of dim sum, including steamed pork spareribs, steamed buns with roast pork, shrimp dumplings and other delicacies. Make sure to stop in at an outdoor cooked-food stall for simple and traditional seafood, noodle or rice dishes.
  20. Belgium: Foodies will enjoy the Belgian emphasis on big cuisine rather than fine cuisine, which means they like big portions and good quality without the fuss. This mean more bang for your buck. While in Belgium, you have to try their claims to fame like French fries, Belgian waffles and Brussels sprouts and carbonnades flamandes, a Belgian beef stew with beer.
  21. Vietnam: Foodies will be blown away by the fresh and delicious cuisine of Vietnam. Fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, noodles, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables are all staples in traditional Vietnamese dishes. Indulge in a hot and savory bowl of pho that comes with your choice of meat, and cool down with fresh spring rolls.
  22. Seattle: Seattle may be known for its rainfall and Starbucks headquarters, but this lovely coastal city is no stranger to producing great food. Foodies will love the fresh seafood and sushi that comes out of this area, as well as the wide variety of vegetarian dishes. Seattle's clam chowder or smoked salmon chowder gives others' a run for their money. Don't forget to try the regional specialty, geoduck, a large saltwater clam.
  23. Mexico City: Mexico City's claim to fame is their tacos, and rightfully so, because they are well worth the trip. The bustling capital is specifically known for their tacos al pastor, which consist of carved pork meat that has been marinated and served with either cilantro, chopped onion, fresh salsa or pineapple. You can find these and other tasty tacos at any local taquerias in Mexico City.
  24. Shanghai: Even though Shanghai doesn't have a cuisine that's all their own, it does include Hu cai, a popular style of Chinese cuisine, but with a twist. A signature food in Shanghai is steamed dumplings. These delicious dough balls are filled with hot broth, ground pork, crab meat or vegetables and are to die for. Another traditional Shanghai dish you have to try is "drunken" meat and fish that have been soaked in spirits and are served raw or lightly cooked.
  25. Istanbul: Spit-roasted meat is Istanbul's specialty and foodies will be fans in no time. Sink your teeth into a traditional doner kebab, which consists of grilled mutton atop buttered rice. Sit down to enjoy this mouth-watering meal, or get one on the go from a street vendor that comes wrapped in a pita bread with lettuce and yogurt sauce.

How Can I Find Scholarships for College?

Everyone knows scholarships are widely available for students who need help paying for college, but not everyone knows how to find them. It can be difficult navigating the vast world of scholarships, but don't fall victim to scams that claim to help you find scholarships for a fee. Too much quality information on scholarships is available for free! For those who aren't sure where to start, here's a primer.

Your State's Higher Education Agency

Even though individual states have had to cut back on their scholarship offerings due to budget deficits, nearly every state has a scholarship program in place for its residents. You can look for scholarships by clicking on your state on the U.S. Department of Education's handy list of state higher education agencies.

Think Locally

If you are still in high school, the best place to start is your school's guidance counselor. Ask for an appointment in which you talk exclusively about college scholarships. After you've explored this option, make some calls to your local Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, Lion's Club and American Legion chapters and ask for information about scholarships. While your local city government or the local chamber itself is not likely to offer scholarships, they may be able to connect you with local businesses and philanthropic organizations that do. You can also ask your church or the local ministerial alliance about available scholarships.

Visit Free Scholarship Search Sites

Scholarship search websites compile hundreds of scholarships opportunities in one place and usually only require users to register with the site. Steer clear of any site that charges a fee for membership. The largest and best-known scholarship search site is Fastweb, a site that matches you with scholarships tailored for you and even sends notices to your e-mail inbox if a new scholarship is posted that fits your criteria. The College Board also offers a free scholarship search service. Student loan giant Sallie Mae offers yet another free scholarship search service. While you may see the same scholarships listed on two or more of these sites, by visiting them all you will up your chances of finding one that didn't know about before.

Ask the College You Plan on Attending

Last but certainly not least, call up the financial aid office at the college or university you plan on attending and ask to speak with someone about available scholarships.

Tips for Taking Online Exams

Even students that get their degrees online have to take notes, study, and pass their exams. In fact, taking online exams is a crucial part to succeeding in and completing online courses, and eventually to earning your degree. In many programs, final grades will rely heavily on the grades that you made on your exams throughout the semester so it is important to be prepared for them. Here are some tips and pointers to help you get through your exams with good grades.

For starters, where you take your test can have a huge impact on your concentration and on your grade. Be sure to pick a place that is free from distraction. Areas that can be distracting include a room or place that has TVs and/or radios, children or dogs playing, or a place where there are a lot of people. Leave your cell phone out of reach or in another room where it can not distract you, and tell others that may bother you that you will be busy for a while so that you are able to give your exam your full attention without any distractions.

Most online tests are timed, so it is important to pace yourself in order to be able to finish your test in the allotted time period. Go through your test and answer questions to the best of your knowledge. Should you get stuck on one question, do not take too much time on that question. Skip over to the next question and go back to questions you skipped after you have completed your exam. Spending too much time on one question may mean that you don't have time to finish the rest of the test, and that would likely be more harmful than skipping a few questions and going back to them.

Because your tests will more than likely be timed, it is important to wait to start your test when you are ready. You probably will not be able to exit or pause, so have everything you need in front of you and be ready before you decide to enter the program to start your exam. If your test needs to be submitted before a specific time, be sure do complete your exam plenty of hours ahead of time in case something goes wrong and you need to contact your professor or the school. Also be sure to click on your answer once to avoid multiple clicks would could register the wrong answer with the computer.

Online Students, You Can Keep Fit Even If You Don’t Think You Have the Time

Let's face it – if you are an online student, you probably decided to enroll in an online college because you are too pressed for time to attend a campus-based college. Whether you are working a full-time job, are a stay-at-home parent, or have some other type of full-time commitment, you most likely do not see physical fitness as a priority on your list of concerns. However, getting or staying in shape is not only essential to good health, but it is also something that even busy online students can achieve.

One of the best ways to get into shape is to watch what you eat, an action that does not even take away from any of your precious free time. It is all too tempting to grab fat-and-calorie loaded fast food meals when you're rushing every day to get everything done, but resist going down that route. Fast food is incredibly unhealthy. In fact, even the grilled meats and salad options now offered by multiple fast food chains are typically laden with empty calories that could add inches to your waistline. Instead, opt to eat more nutritious and lower calorie meals. Find simple recipes that you can make in a pinch, or find restaurants that serve healthier fare so that you can avoid packing on any more pounds. For all those inevitable times when you will absolutely need a fast and easy meal, be sure to stock up on things like Campbell's light soups and Lean Cuisine microwaveable dinners.

Incorporating some physical activity into things you already do throughout the day is another way to sneak fitness back into your busy life. Park further away so that you will be forced to walk further. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. These are all simple things that you can do to incorporate at least some form of physical activity into each of your days. To really work out and see your endurance and strength go up, consider purchasing or renting a high-intensity workout video. Many titles in the market today can help you pack in a calorie-burning workout into as little as 20 minutes. Therefore, while you may not have an hour to spare to hit the gym on any given day, you most certainly can still get your heart rate soaring with a intense 20-minute workout DVD from your own home.

Staying fit even when you barely have any free time is important. Being strong and healthy will ensure that you continually have the endurance and energy needed to get through each busy day. Those who are more in shape also tend to be more attentive and alert, which will undoubtedly aid them in their studies as well.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Black History Month

This year is the 35th anniversary of the celebration of Black History Month as we know it: a month-long celebration of the role African-Americans have played in shaping the culture of the United States, as well as a reflection on the way they were persecuted and punished for hundreds of years before being granted the same rights as white citizens. Yet a lot of younger people — especially those in college or younger — might mistakenly think that Black History Month sprang into being fully formed, or that it's just another part of modern life. That's anything but true, as evidenced by the decades-long struggle to bring an equal focus to the trials and successes of black men and women and their contributions to the United States. Here are a few key things to remember about Black History Month that you might not have known:

  1. We owe it all to Carter G. Woodson: Carter Woodson (pictured above) was born in Virginia in 1875, just a decade after the end of the Civil War. From the start, he was a gifted kid, and he would go on to study at the University of Chicago and Harvard. He became a fierce believer in the importance of black history and founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in the fall of 1915. Woodson was the one who pioneered the idea of a time devoted to studying and celebrating the contributions of Americans of African heritage, and he did it in 1926. Without his studies or efforts, the holiday would likely never have happened.
  2. It started out as a week-long celebration before expanding: Interestingly, Woodson's idea was originally to devote a week to the cause, not a whole month. It was born as "Negro History Week" in the mid-1920s and slotted for February. Goodson believed that the contributions of African-Americans were "overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them," so he wanted everyone to take a week in which we could all focus on the larger picture. History is written by the victors, and as such, the dominant North would be in a position to play up their own heroism while unintentionally minimizing the horrors visited upon blacks as well as their own strength and determination to become free. The week was eventually expanded to fill February entirely.
  3. It took its current shape in the year of America's bicentennial: It was a fitting coincidence that in the year marking the 200th anniversary of the United States' independence, the first modern incarnation of Black History Month was celebrated. By expanding from a week to a month, BHM became a bigger event and a chance for more schools and local governments to recognize the ups and downs of the shared history of all Americans. Every year since, the president has issued a statement commemorating the month; here's President Obama's announcement for this year.
  4. The timing was inspired by Lincoln and Douglass: The timing of Black History Month became a punch line for some critics, who wryly noted that the shortest month of the year had been given to the cause. But Woodson's decision to use February to celebrate a week and later an entire month of black history was no accident: he wanted it to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (sometime in February). It's easy, of course, to see why. Lincoln had done more than any other president to support the cause and ultimate freedom of the slaves, while Douglass was one of the most revered abolitionists and orators in the country. The week used these dates and commemorations as a springboard into larger discussions.
  5. It's inspired other holidays: The spread of Black History Month, even in its original week-long form, helped champion the cause of those who believed in the importance of setting aside holidays to remember the struggles of the slaves and their eventual rise to freedom. Juneteenth is a popular holiday whose success is partly owed to that movement. Celebrated on June 19, the holiday began in Texas as a recognition of the last slaves to be freed after the Civil War, and it became an official state holiday in 1980, four years after the start of the modern form of Black History Month. Juneteenth became so prominent that about three dozen states had adopted it as a holiday by 2010.
  6. It almost always stirs controvery: Many critics contend that the existence Black History Month is merely another way to segregate white and black societies under the guise of enlightenment and education. Morgan Freeman said the practice is "ridiculous", adding, "You're going to relegate my history to a month? … I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history." Joseph Wayne wrote in Newsweek in 1994 that Black History Month is "a thriving monument to tokenism which, ironically, has been wholeheartedly embraced and endorsed by the black community." As is usually the case, both sides make valid points. It's a good thing that the movement has led to the creation of a month in which the real contributions of African-Americans can be acknowledged by those who might not have known them before, but to only celebrate black history in February is a step backward for us all. The goal is to integrate it all year.
  7. The month got a boost in the 1960s: The transition from week-long observance to month-long celebration mostly happened in the 1960s, thanks to the blossoming civil rights movement. Random pockets of people across the country took it upon themselves to celebrate a black history month as early as the 1940s, and though Woodson died in 1950, his idea had a life of its own. More and more young African-Americans took to celebrating the full month throughout the 1960s, and soon enough, the organization that Woodson had formed, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (by then called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History), officially changed over to a month-long observance of black history.
  8. It's celebrated in Britain, as well: Every October, Brits observe Black History Month with thousands of events, and the celebration in its current form goes back to the mid-1980s. Much the way Woodson's programs blossomed in the U.S., the British observation of Black History Month was born of the civil rights movement and the desire by locals to celebrate the roles of Africans in their culture, which across the pond often came in the form of Caribbean Week.
  9. Every year has a different theme: For 2011, Black History Month has the theme "African Americans and the Civil War." It's an appropriate title, since 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War and the beginning of the modern era of blacks in American society. Earlier themes have covered a variety of topics relating to the deeds and works of African-American society, from popular members to unsung heroes. Examples include "From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas" and Celebrating Community: A Tribute to Black Fraternal, Social, and Civic Institutions".
  10. Schools started observing it in the 1930s: Woodson's week-long exploration of African-American history caught on with schools across the country, and Woodson's Association for the Study of Negro Life and History began to produce a variety of teacher aids and curriculum supplements to assist in lesson planning. The dissemination of posters, pictures, and information helped Depression-era children begin to understand how the horrors of the recent past were still affecting their world. In 1937, the Association started publishing Negro History Bulletin, a newsletter supplement that was a forerunner to the month's current thematically linked celebrations.

Getting an Accelerated Online Degree

One of the perks of earning a degree online is the fact that you can enroll in an accelerated program if you wish to do so. This is ideal for those who want to expedite the process so that they can hurry up and start their careers. While an accelerated program is the perfect option for some, there are many precautions you should take before pursuing this type of program.

The first thing you want to ensure is that the accelerated program you are considering is legitimate. There are plenty of invalid online schools that will offer accelerated programs, lure you in with their fancy website, and then take all your money leaving you high and dry with no degree. A good way to avoid these "diploma mill" online schools is to do some research. Is it regionally or nationally accredited? Does the school offer federal financial aid? Is there an address and other contact information on the website? You also want to research how quickly the online school promises that you can earn your degree. While yes an accelerated program is designed to speed up the process, please be aware that it doesn't shorten the amount of time by too much. For example, a traditional online associate degree will take about two years to earn. An accelerated program on the other hand will allow you to earn one in about a year to 20 months; a bachelor's degree traditionally should take about 4 years to earn. An accelerated program on the other hand in about 3 years. So if the program promises that you can earn your bachelor degree in less than 3 years for example, you should take extreme precaution.

If you discover that your accelerated program is indeed legitimate you still want to make sure that this route is best for you. Just because the program is accelerated doesn't mean that you will be cheated educationally. Meaning, you will still learn the same curriculum as if you were registered for a traditional program. However, everything will be squeezed into the compressed allotted time. Thus, the program will be intense and you will be required to have a quick turn-around when it comes to completing assignments and taking exams. If you are not prepared to put in the hard work and commitment, maybe it's best you don't choose an accelerated program.

Distance Learning for an Online Education Degree

As the popularity of distance learning continues to grow, many online schools and universities offer education degrees through distance learning today. Online education degrees are offered at most online colleges and universities in bachelor and master degree programs. Online education bachelor degree programs generally take students about 4 years to complete, while the master degree programs generally take students an additional 2 years to complete, with specific completion times varying on the school and student's work load. Those students pursuing a master degree in education are required to have a bachelor degree before admission into a master degree program. Some online schools and universities also offer doctoral programs in education, with requirements and average time to complete programs varying largely between institutions because of credit requirement differences.

Online education programs for those students that are pursuing a bachelor degree, require students to take a number of courses that prepare them for work with education and students. These degree programs consist of general education requirement courses such as mathematics, sciences, social sciences, history and English, amongst others. A good portion of the degree program then focuses on actual education with courses in foundations in education, child development, ethics in education, classroom management, models and theories in education, and student teaching. Online programs for students pursuing a master degree in education are offered in a number of specialized fields and will depend greatly on the school. Common specialized programs include those in special education, early childhood development, teacher leadership, administration, and elementary, middle level, and secondary, specialization.

Students that earn their online education degrees are ready to pursue careers in the education field. Most commonly, students with bachelor degrees in education pursue careers as educators or teachers, but they can also pursue other jobs as well. Teachers must be certified to teach in they state they wish to practice, with specific requirements varying between states. Some other professions include working at a daycare or tutorial center. Those students that have earned a master degree in the field can pursue careers in the fields of counseling, educational technology, policies in education, administration, and special education. Some specific jobs in these fields include counselors, school principles, facilitators, administrators, and other jobs in non-profit organization or healthcare.

Distance Learning for an Online Nursing Degree

Many online schools and universities offer students the opportunities to earn nursing degrees through distance learning. Other online schools are dedicated solely to nursing degree programs, so there are plenty of opportunities for those students interested in pursuing nursing degrees. While specific degrees are likely to vary between learning institutions, most colleges and universities offer nursing degrees at the associate, bachelor, master, and doctorate levels. While specific educational and credit requirements, and work load will depend on the actual school and student, generally, associate degrees take about 2 years to complete, bachelor degrees take about 4 years to complete, and master degrees take about an additional 2 years to complete. Students pursuing a graduate degree in nursing, must already have a bachelor degree to be admitted. Online nursing doctoral degrees can take several years to complete.

Aside from specific associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in nursing, many schools also offer transitional programs for students that already work as nurses and are pursuing their degree in the nursing field. Some of these programs include the LPN to RN program, the LPN to BSN program, the RN to BSN program and the RN to MSN program. The LPN programs are for those nurses that are licensed to work as licensed practical nurses and that wish to become certified as a registered nurse (RN) or earn their bachelor in nursing (BSN). The RN programs are for those nurses that are licensed and work as registered nurses to return to school to earn either a bachelor in nursing, (BSN) or a master in nursing (MSN). All these programs give individuals that already work as nurses the opportunity to continue their everyday work, while also going to school to earn their degree.

Students that earn their online nursing degrees are almost ready to practice in their field. After earning their degrees, candidates must also pass a national licensing exam in order to qualify for a nursing license, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau also reports that nurses in all states are required to pass the exam and if other requirements exist to become certified, they will vary between states. Nurses can work in a number of specialties including intensive care, emergency room, pediatrics, home health care services, rehabilitation, and respiratory, amongst many other specialties.

10 All-Time Dumbest Car Design Blunders

It's a little disconcerting that your life is essentially in the hands of your car's makers. Their mistakes, which typically seem to be caught after accidents have occurred, are a bit more costly than the ones that occur in any other occupation. American car companies in particular have been less than perfect over the last few decades, as evidenced by the numerous Ford and General Motors recalls resulting from a comedy of errors. Both are featured prominently below along with Volkswagen and the recent addition of Toyota, the Japanese company that had built a pristine reputation through the years but endured a (rapidly accelerating) wild ride in 2009 and 2010. Hopefully, as technology progresses and designers learn from their mistakes, everyone will be able to purchase a new car without worrying about becoming the subject of its brand's next public relations nightmare.

  1. Volkswagen — Windshield wiper blades would detach (1949 to 1969 models): Producing 20 years-worth of cars with faulty windshield wiper blades was quite the oversight by the folks at Volkswagen, which proved that German ingenuity isn't always all it's cracked up to be. In 1972, the company recalled 3.7 million Beetles due to their windshield wipers that could loosen during use and eventually fly off. Volkswagen claimed it wasn't a safety-related issue and refused to pay for repairs. Tough luck for anyone who was struck by an errant wiper or VW owners who could've experienced the misfortune of losing their wipers during a heavy downpour.
  2. GM — Separated engine mounts (1965 to 1969 models): Ralph Nader, who was an advocate of automobile safety before he became a long-shot presidential candidate, facilitated action against GM, which originally refused to issue a recall for Chevy cars with defective engine mounts. In each instance when the failure occurred, the engine would free itself and pull open the throttle, causing rapid involuntary acceleration. The fiasco resulted in 63 accidents and 18 injuries, and GM was forced to eat a slice of humble pie, proceeding with a recall.
  3. Ford — Faulty seatbelt grommets (1970 to 1971 models): The simplest oversights can sometimes be the most inexcusable. Fortunately for Ford, the faulty seatbelt grommets in its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars didn't cause any deaths, but many of the owners of those cars drove around without the security of their fastened seatbelts. The potential of costly lawsuits and bad public relations could've been averted if they had simply spent a few more bucks on better quality grommets.
  4. Ford — Lack of reinforcement between fuel tanks and rear panels (1971 to 1976 models): The Pinto was known for being an all-around lousy automobile, but its biggest drawback, which led to its sullied reputation, was its susceptibility to catch fire during collisions. The cause: its fuel tank lacked reinforcement between the tank and rear panel, so when an accident above 20 miles per hour occurred, the tank could be pushed forward and punctured by the protruding bolts. Ford's hurry to design and produce the car in a little more than two years — instead of the normal 43 months for a new car — and decision to procrastinate on the rear-end collision testing spelled disaster.
  5. GM — Loose suspension bolts (1978 to 1981 models): Because of GM's screw-up a decade earlier and its subsequent digestion of humble pie, the company was more prepared to appropriately deal with its next major screw-up. The second edition featured loose suspension bolts prone to rusting and falling off, which caused the control arm to drop free. Drivers who encountered the problem would lose control of their cars, often ending up in collisions. Officially, 22 injuries resulted from the error, none of which were fatal. This time around, GM wasn't T-boned by a guy like Nader before the company took action.
  6. Ford — Faulty fuel-line couplings (1986 to 1991 models): Ford was playing with fire when it installed faulty fuel-line couplings into its most recognizable cars during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Tauruses, Mustangs, Escorts, Thunderbirds, Crown Victorias and Lincoln Continentals and Town Cars were at risk, contributing to the tally of 222 fires. What's more, Ford recalled 22,000 ambulances as several had reportedly fallen victim of the same problem. It's one thing to be sick in an ambulance; it's another to be sick in an ambulance in which you could burn to death.
  7. Ford — Faulty ignition systems (1988 to 1993 models): First mistake by Ford — installing faulty ignition systems into its best-selling cars during a time when it was also installing faulty fuel-line couplings into its best-selling cars. Way to diminish consumer trust. Second mistake — not correcting the defect when the company knew it existed. Again, way to diminish consumer trust. Ironically, an internal memo surfaced after the problem became public knowledge indicating that Ford employees were more concerned with the possibility of bad publicity. Of course, that made the company appear even worse, especially since 11 deaths were attributed to the ignition systems.
  8. Ford — Defective cruise control switches (1993 to 2004 models): The floundering sales of American cars during the beginning of the 2000s may have had something to do with their questionable reliability. Ford, to its credit, never took bailout money and prided itself on the fact. Good publicity followed and Americans responded by purchasing Fords more frequently. Now, if only it could go a significant period of time without issuing a major recall. Ford's most recent massive recall was due to defective cruise control switches that — surprise, surprise — caused fires, resulting in more than 1,100 incidents and several wrongful death suits.
  9. GM — Collapsing tailgates (1999 to 2004 models): The spill that comes after standing on top of a truck's collapsing tailgate must be mighty painful. Just ask the owners of six-to eleven-year-old Silverados, Sierras, Escalade's and Avalanches and perhaps they'll be able to provide firsthand accounts (along with visible scars). Remember, these trucks are supposed to be tough — or maybe that's Ford? Either way, trucks should be built to endure all kinds of rough treatment. It's difficult for the truck's owner to haul anything when they can't load the truck because the tailgate won't support their weight.
  10. Toyota — Floor mats cause gas pedals to stick (2004 to 2010 models): Previously recognized for producing some of the most reliable cars in America, Toyota cringed when it was publicized that the floor mats in Camrys and other Toyota vehicles and Lexuses could cause their gas pedals to stick. More than 2,000 complaints and 815 accidents were reported due to the alarming problem, and 19 deaths occurred. Toyota further bungled the situation by claiming the accidents weren't caused by the accelerator in order to avoid bad publicity — apparently the folks at Toyota attended the Ford School of Public Relations during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Japanese car company was eventually fined $48.8 million by the U.S. government.

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