Traditionally, gas ranges have been the first choice for dedicated home cooks, but that's likely to change.

Induction cooking is gaining steam, and according to Forbes, it will overtake gas and electric ranges and cooktops within a couple of decades.

But before you switch to induction, there are a few important things you should know.

1. Induction stoves are more expensive to purchase than gas or electric. The higher price often pays off in the long run, though, because induction models use about 10 percent less energy. Induction cookings saves time, too, because cookware heats faster and more evenly.

2. You might need new cookware. Induction works by activating iron particles to create heat, which limits users to stainless steel or cast iron. Copper, glass or aluminum cookware will stay stone cold.

3. Induction is safer than gas or electric. If safety is a concern—think small children or curious pets—then induction might be a good pick because only the cookware becomes hot, meaning there are no open flames and the cooktop remains cool to the touch. 

4. Induction takes time to master. Induction burners require precise placement of the cookware to activate the heating element, and shorter cooking times require you to adjust your usual routines.

5. The use of induction stoves may help reduce air pollutants and release less hot air into the kitchen.


Every year, the streets of New Orleans come alive with a flurry of color and sound. As part of Mardi Gras celebrations on Fat Tuesday this March 1, revellers can expect to be showered in all sorts of trinkets from parades - some are highly prized collectibles amongst wild merrymakers... others? Not so much!

In fact, about 40 tons of beads must be pulled out of storm drains in New Orleans each year, and that's just the start of the cleanup. 

In 2019, garbage trucks collected more than 1,300 tons—or 2.6 million pounds— of trash. In 2021, because of the pandemic, Mardi Gras parades were canceled.

Although the streets were cleaner and the city was quieter, people still held parties, resulting in widespread COVID-19 infections.

Meanwhile, the industries that grew up around Mardi Gras were quietly shrinking. According to some sources, millions of pounds of beads had to be stored in warehouses, causing losses of $30 million to $40 million in 2021.


Some of the biggest moves in the business world fly under the radar but can still have a massive impact on organizations and society at large. While such celebrity CEOs as Elon Musk make international headlines, Deb Liu never graced the front page for launching Facebook Marketplace.

Regardless, her efforts changed the way many people buy and sell. Interestingly, Liu first pitched integrating commerce into Facebook during a job interview in 2009. Liu landed a role at Facebook, but the commerce idea initially failed to gain much traction.

Nevertheless, she persisted, and the project slowly snowballed. Meanwhile, Liu helped set up the company’s Credits program, which people can use to play video games. She also worked on Facebook Platform, which enables developers to use Facebook data to build applications and services. 

Ultimately, Liu approached her time at Facebook with the mindset of an entrepreneur. She continued to pursue her vision for integrating commerce and Facebook Marketplace launched in 2016. The rest is history. Facebook Marketplace drummed up $26 billion in revenue in 2021 and Meta says that a billion shoppers a month use the platform. These days, folks use Facebook Marketplace to run virtual garage sales or even to remove vehicles from their garage.


During the Middle Ages, a French duke spent his long days as a prisoner in the Tower of London writing love poems to his wife. The British Museum has 60 of those poems in its collections and claims they are the first valentines. The idea caught on, and soon many love-struck suitors were singing or reciting their verses to the object of their desire. Young ladies were too modest in those days to reciprocate.

Today, the verses exchanged by sweethearts of both genders are composed by writers for a massive card industry that counts Valentine's Day as second only to Christmas in greeting card sales.

Love and friendship are conveyed not only with cards on Valentine's Day. Other industries benefit: Florists sell single or massive bouquets of red roses, candy manufacturers sell thousands of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and hard candies ($1 billion in sales, with 75 percent of that from chocolate), and restaurants promote romantic dinners for two.

Bottom line: Don't ask loved ones if they feel it's necessary to "do something special." Just do it. Make heart-shaped pancakes or meatloaf or PB sandwiches, serve breakfast in bed, eat supper by candlelight, spray shaving cream on the bathroom mirror in the shape of a heart and an arrow, or get up early and scrape the snow off the windshield of your beloved.

Most importantly, remember to say, "I love you."

Oh, and buy some Necco heart-shaped Sweethearts and check out the imprinted conversation, such as "Be Mine." The company produces 8 billion of them a year!


Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate love in all its forms, whether it's with a romantic partner, family or friends. The holiday is a reminder to show appreciation and gratitude for the people and relationships that bring joy and happiness into our lives. But it's also a great opportunity to practice self-care and show ourselves some love. Here are a few self-care ideas to try on Valentine's Day—or any time:

  • Engage in physical activity. Exercise can help improve your mood and reduce stress.

  • Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep is essential for overall health and well-being.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Nourish your body with healthy, nourishing foods.

  • Spend time in nature. Being outdoors and surrounded by nature can be calming and therapeutic.

  • Practice mindfulness. Spend a few minutes each day focusing on the present moment and your breath.

  • Do something you enjoy. Spend time doing something that brings you joy, such as reading a book, watching a movie or creating art.

Self-care is about caring for yourself and doing things that make you feel happy and healthy. It's an important part of self-love and can help you feel more balanced and fulfilled. So, on this Valentine's Day, remember to show yourself some love and care. Valentine’s Day is a reminder that we can always find joy and love in our lives.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Gino Pezzani
DIEN Realty


At a restaurant, a June bug suddenly landed on a lady and frightened her. With a panic- stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping desperately, trying to shoo the bug.

Her reaction was contagious and everyone in her group also got panicky. Then the June bug flew away and landed on another lady in the group.

Now it was the second lady’s turn to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to her rescue. In the relay of throwing it back and forth, the June bug fell on

the waiter, who stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the bug on his shirt.

Confidently, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

While I sipped my coffee and watched with amusement, I wondered if the June bug was responsible for their frantic behavior.

If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed? He handled it near to perfection without any chaos. It is not the bug, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the bug that disturbed the ladies.

When faced with an unexpected bug, the women instinctively reacted while the waiter wisely responded. Reactions can be emotional and uncontrolled, but by responding instead of reacting, we allow ourselves a chance to consider our decisions carefully.

In that moment, I understood that I should not react in life. Instead, I should always respond.


Valentine from your dog: Valentine, I love you to kibbles and bits! I still can't believe I found a human who loves sunsets and longs walks on the leash as much as I do!

From your cat: Valentine, I am marginally less indifferent to you than I am to others.

From the National Security Agency: Valentine, I love listening to you talk.

From a young adult: Baby, you are the only one in this dystopian world of blindly conforming adults who understands me.


February is a special month; it brings with it the beauty of solitude and introspection. Now that the holidays have come to an end and we’ve had time to celebrate with our friends and family, this is the perfect opportunity to reflect on ourselves and our lives.

This month offers us a chance to look back on the previous year and gain clarity on what we want out of the coming one. It’s a time for setting new goals, adjusting old ones, and finding ways to make them achievable. We can learn from our mistakes, get creative in finding solutions, and grow into better versions of ourselves.

The stillness of February allows us a unique kind of self-reflection that is not often found during busier months. With fewer social events demanding our attention, now is the perfect time to take advantage of our unoccupied schedules and reconnect with activities we love - or even try something new. Get lost in a good book, explore exciting podcasts that challenge your perspective, or learn how to make one of those dishes you've been meaning to try for ages! Being alone can be as rewarding as being surrounded by others.

Let us remember that February is not only about reflection, but it’s also about gratitude. Be grateful for the little moments sprinkled throughout each day which add up to a special kind of magic, if we choose to recognize them as such. Let us relish in this month as much as possible before the liveliness of springtime arrives!


Gino Pezzani

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