Sitting at his desk during an interview after the election, Mr. Mahathir pointed to a sheaf of papers before him. It was a proposal from a Malaysian construction company that he said contained evidence that the East Coast Rail Link could have been developed by a Malaysian company for less than half of the $13.4 billion contract won by the China Communications Construction Company, a state-owned Chinese firm with extensive operations overseas.
Notably, the rail tender process was closed.
Last week, Mr. Lim, the finance minister, told Parliament that Malaysia would not be able to cover the operational cost for the railway, much less the capital expenditure, which he estimated at nearly $20 billion rather than $13.4 billion.
Neither the Chinese company nor its Malaysian partner responded to requests for comment.
“It looks like not all the money is being used for building the railway line,” Mr. Mahathir said of the East Coast Rail Link deal. “The likelihood is the money has been stolen.”
Malaysian investigators are looking into whether an associate of Mr. Najib’s stepson may have brokered the rail deal to alleviate the debt accrued by 1MDB or to fund Mr. Najib’s re-election campaign.
The United States Treasury Department considers that associate, Jho Low, an exiled financier who has an arrest warrant out on him, to be the prime agent in the 1MDB scandal. On the eve of Mr. Mahathir’s trip to China, Malaysian finance ministry officials said they believed that Mr. Low had been hiding out in China.
Malaysia’s new administration, which unseated a coalition that had ruled, in one form or another, since independence in 1957, has also been scrutinizing the $2.5 billion deal for a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation to build energy pipelines in Malaysia. Mr. Lim said he had discovered upon taking up his post that the Malaysian government had already disbursed more than $2 billion for the project.
There was one catch. “From what we understand,” Mr. Lim said, “zero percent of the construction work has been carried out.”
How to Grow Your Instagram Following: A Strategic Plan
Want to quickly grow your Instagram audience? Looking for a strategy that attracts the right kind of connections?
In this article, you’ll discover how to combine an Instagram growth strategy with an ad sequence that can turn followers into customers.
How This Instagram Growth Strategy Works
On average, Instagram users share “more than 95 million photos and videos every single day,” according to Reuters. That amounts to a lot of noise for Instagram marketers to break through to get their message in front of potential customers.
Simply focusing on run-of-the-mill Instagram growth tactics that you hear regurgitated time and again won’t help you set yourself apart. You’ll just be adding to the noise on the platform instead of building important assets for your brand.
A better approach is the $1.80 Instagram strategy for custom audience growth. Gary Vaynerchuk’s $1.80 Instagram growth strategy to grow your business or brand is all about creating micro-connections that gradually accumulate into an active and engaged community on the platform.
Even though it’s called the $1.80 strategy, it’s completely free to implement. The only resource costs are your time and attention. Once a day, you’ll:
- Start by searching 10 relevant hashtags.
- Locate the top 9 posts for each hashtag.
- Leave a meaningful comment (your two cents [$0.02]).
The $1.80 Instagram growth strategy boils down to this equation: 10 hashtags multiplied by 9 posts where you leave your $0.02 = $1.80 in community-building effort.
Getting 2x, 5x, or 10x growth results with this strategy doesn’t happen overnight. It requires you to stay consistent and make community-building a regular action for your brand.
As Gary states, “The number of Instagram followers you have means nothing if you can’t build a community of like-minded people who care and engage.” It’s those people who then go on to become customers, brand evangelists, and significantly drive your brand goals forward. Finding this pocket of people is as simple as becoming part of the conversation.
In 2018, we used this strategy at The Ad Strategist to double the size of our Instagram following. More importantly, by implementing the $1.80 Instagram growth strategy, our Instagram engagement custom audience grew to almost 3x larger than our follower count.
Why is this important? The size of your warm custom audiences represents the number of users who’ve had a meaningful interaction with your brand. This includes everyone who liked, commented on, sent, and saved your content; DM’ed you; or clicked the link in your bio. Of course, just because someone interacts with you doesn’t mean they follow you on Instagram. And if they’re not following you, it’s unlikely they’ll see your organic content and posts in the future.
That doesn’t mean those users are gone forever, though. You can create a dynamic Instagram ad sequence targeting your Instagram engagement custom audience that converts those non-followers into followers and then customers.
Running ads to this engagement custom audience resulted in 50%–100% cheaper lead costs in an ad spend study of over $45,000 with 349 ad set variations. So targeting this Instagram engagement custom audience creates costs per result that are significantly lower than if you were to target cold traffic.
#1: Create Your Instagram Engagement Custom Audience
To create an Instagram engagement custom audience, navigate to the Audience dashboard in Ads Manager.
Then click Create Audience and select Custom Audience.
In the Create a Custom Audience window, choose Instagram Business Profile.
Next, select the correct Instagram profile and ensure Everyone Who Engaged With Your Business in the Past 365 Days is selected.
Choose a name for this audience that will be easily identifiable to you in the future and then click Create Audience. Remember that it takes up to 24 hours to reveal the size of your current Instagram engagement audience.
Now write down the current size of this audience to determine your starting point. I recommend that you track the growth of this custom audience weekly as you implement the rest of the $1.80 strategy consistently to assess your measurable growth.
Set Up a Spreadsheet to Track Instagram Growth
For fellow spreadsheet connoisseurs: Tracking this data in a notebook can feel like poking your eyes out, so here’s how to structure your results tracking spreadsheet.
Set up your spreadsheet to track the total Instagram engagement custom audience with a separate column for each week.
Then use the formula =sum(D5-C5)/C5 to calculate your weekly growth rate.
Now expand the weekly growth rate calculation across all weeks.
The result is the growth rate of your retargetable custom audiences using the $1.80 Instagram growth strategy over time. Once you have this information for a larger range of weeks, you can assess what is and isn’t working for you and then tailor the rest of your Instagram marketing strategy accordingly.
#2: Research and Incorporate Relevant Hashtags
Now that you’re tracking your retargetable engagement, the next step is to find relevant hashtags for your business.
Open Instagram and navigate to the Search & Explore tab.
Start by searching for one hashtag such as #facebookads.
You likely have a core group of hashtags you’re already using in your own posts. Because it’s best to search and engage daily, I recommend that you set up a spreadsheet to track all of the relevant hashtags you’re using because the list will quickly grow.
If you’re a digital marketing agency, you might start with hashtags like these:
Here’s the most surprising part of implementing this strategy: truly understanding the quality of a hashtag. As a Facebook advertising strategist, I’d assume that #facebookads would be an ideal hashtag for posts. However, upon closer inspection, the type of content being tagged with this particular hashtag is:
- Extremely promotional (often for get-rich-quick–type schemes)
- Unrelated to digital strategy
- Entirely misleading
- Often extremely spammy
This leads me to the conclusion that we won’t use #facebookads in our own Instagram efforts going forward.
As you research hashtags and carry out your daily $1.80 growth strategy, make note of the highest-quality hashtags you find. Then use those in your organic content’s written captions to give yourself the greatest opportunity to get in the Search & Explore tab of your ideal customers.
#3: Identify and Engage With 9 Relevant Instagram Posts
After you’ve found your Instagram hashtags, it’s time to filter through the content you’ve found to determine whether it’s relevant and valuable for you to leave your $0.02. Not every post is created equally—especially in a world full of spam bots and automation.
Take a few seconds to analyze each Instagram post you come across. I recommend clicking the full post to:
- Read the caption.
- Quickly measure the engagement rate (likes and comments vs. total followers).
- Click the account profile image to check out their bio and the rest of their profile.
Remember, this strategy works across any vertical: B2B, B2C, SMB, etc. It’s the process of culling through the noise to find the gems that most of your competitors aren’t setting aside enough time to do.
Here’s what to look for when analyzing accounts.
How Much Effort Is Being Put Into Writing an Informative Caption?
A lot of low-quality accounts tend to ‘phone in’ the caption description and jam as many hashtags into the caption as humanly possible—in the hopes that it will help them rank on the Search & Explore tab.
Well-written captions crafted with meaningful thought aren’t an easy feat. The Instagram users who are putting in the time and effort to write their own story-driven captions tend to be active community members outside of their own profiles as well. They’re invested in their own Instagram success and your $0.02 interaction helps them signal to the algorithm that their content is also relevant.
What Is the Engagement Rate?
In my algorithmic experience, engagement is king. If an account has 200,000 followers but barely hits 500 likes and comments on a post (0.2% engagement), what does that say about the quality of their community?
On the flipside, never discount an account for having a low follower count. If they have 200 followers and still have 30 likes and comments per post (a 15% engagement rate!), it shows they’re building a small but mighty community. Engage away!
Is This Profile Something You Would Naturally Engage With?
Yes, you’ll be deploying this strategy for your social media growth efforts. However, it’s important to make sure the comments you’re leaving have the potential to create strategic and long-term value for your brand and for your potential future community. Otherwise, as with anything, you’ll be wasting your time and getting lost in the weeds.
The Anatomy of a Great Instagram Post
Most people want to skip this step (and the time it takes to properly assess the quality of the Instagram account where you’re leaving your $0.02) and go straight to the end result—revenue growth. Taking your time to build relationships with the right profiles and people can help expedite your growth.
On the left:
- The post engagement is lower than the one on the right (total number of likes aside).
- The caption is stuffed with hashtags in an attempt to rank content vs. writing quality content to engage your audience.
- The account has no bio or any other qualifying details.
On the right:
- The content is relevant and educational.
- The caption is well-written and informative.
- The bio clearly states what they do and allows you to identify whether they belong in your community.
Now onto the fun stuff! This one’s simple: Be social on social media. At this point in your efforts, all that’s left is to leave your $0.02 on these newfound pieces of content.
Let’s talk about leaving your $0.02 for a moment. There’s a difference between crafting a meaningful comment that shows you want to be a part of the larger conversation vs. leaving a comment of three emoji hearts and then bouncing.
If all you do is leave emojis, don’t use the $1.80 strategy. Spend your time elsewhere on actions/tasks that move the needle in your marketing.
Here are some best practices for being a human on social media:
- Share your own experiences. Is there something in your life (or behind the scenes in your business) that’s relatable to the original caption? Share that!
- Ask open-ended questions. The goal here is to get people to come back to your Instagram profile and engage. If you only talk about yourself and your own experiences, it lessens your chance of developing a meaningful conversation with the other person.
- Don’t be a know-it-all. Let other people share their perspective and worldview. We, as humans, love to share about ourselves often. Remember that this exercise is not about YOU. It’s about the incredible humans you serve in your marketing.
#4: Monetize Your Efforts With an Ad Sequence
After going through these steps, you’ve started to build two powerful marketing assets:
- A captive community of current and future customers who drive real revenue
- An engaged custom audience available for retargeting with paid advertising
The first of these two assets, a captive community, will fuel your organic Instagram efforts again and again. Next time you publish a post, these followers will be hungry for your new content. Because you’ve now engaged in conversations with these users, they’re more ready to engage and respond than total strangers.
The second asset is an engaged custom audience that’s retargetable by building a $5/day Instagram ad campaign.
When you pair a $5/day Instagram ad sequence with the $1.80 Instagram growth strategy, every image you post, DM you send, and heart you tap is automatically and effortlessly leading people toward becoming your customers. Having a low-cost Instagram ad sequence that’s always running in the background is a simple way to turn followers into fanatical (read: paying!) customers.
Set aside time each day to execute this strategy. For me, it’s only 15 minutes a day when I’m in an Uber or waiting for a meeting to begin. For you, it might be a consistent hour from 3–4 PM daily.
Your Instagram growth won’t happen unless you put in the time and effort daily, track your results, tweak what isn’t working, and continuously and relentlessly improve upon your efforts. A year from now, imagine your account at 2x, 10x, 100x growth and what that could mean for your business goals.
With a simple $1.80 Instagram growth strategy paired with a $5/day Facebook advertising strategy, you can rapidly grow your Instagram account with followers who turn into customers.
What do you think? Have you tried the $1.80 Instagram growth strategy? What were your results? Share your results and questions in the comments below.
Why You Should Go To Title Boxing Club Winter Park | Review
Out of all the work out regiments, personal fitness center’s, and gyms, there is no other like Title Boxing Club in Winter Park. With an atmosphere that promotes high-energy and fun, staff that pushes you to your limits, and a work out that will kick your @ss, Title Boxing Club is the best way to keep you and your family in shape! Here is everything great about this amazing Boxing Club.
Walking into Title Boxing Club for the first time is like walking into a new world. It does not have the same feel or aesthetic as a normal gym, which I suppose for some, can be a reason for going.
Upon entry you are immediately met by the staff, who are understanding and calm. Though with their great attitudes and knowledge of all things boxing, it is not hard to tell these are professionals.
All these things come together to create an atmosphere that is truly welcoming. Although you may not feel truly comfortable until you find yourself sweating at the bags, just like everyone else.
The workout regiment cultivated at Title Boxing Club is one of high intensity, high cardio, and high ferocity as you let everything out on the bag in front of you.
The workout is set in 8 rounds. It is like a boxing match, except the opponent is yourself. You start with the warm up which is no understatement. It is like preheating an oven to 450 and then cooking a raw egg.
The staff are constantly watching out for participants, making sure punches are being done correctly. Or they may be there to single you out, and make you hit your bag harder and faster. This Title Boxing work out is designed to push your limits. We really don’t know what we are capable of until we are pushed to the edge.
Title Boxing Shop
At Title Boxing Winter Park, there is a shop with all the necessary components. Wraps, gloves,a and bags are all there and made in very high quality. However, if you are not apt to buying gear, they do have gear that you can borrow for the class.
In an environment like Title Boxing Club Winter Park, A welcoming atmosphere with a staff that wants its participants to succeed, that is nothing but achievable. Make your way to Title Boxing Club Winter Park!
Why Choose an AR 80 Lower Receiver?
An AR 80 Lower is an incomplete receiver. This means that crucial work still needs to be done on it, but the parts can be sold for personal use to individuals without the hassle of purchasing a normal rifle. By ATF standards, it cannot be considered a functioning rifle if the main fire control group pocket is not manufactured already onto the receiver. This also leads to buyers need the proper tools and knowledge on how to properly assemble the AR 80 Lower. Why do people choose AR 80 Lowers rather than AR completes?
A Blank Canvas
Purchasing an AR 80 Lower can be like beginning a new art project. Since the rifle kit does not come assembled, individuals must build it themselves. This is not only a learning experience, but a personal one as well. Given that many other customization options are available to an AR 80 Lower receiver, this makes the buyer ultimately the manufacturer. And as the manufacturer, any serial number combination, any color, any finishes can be made possible.
However, buying an AR 80 Lower does not offer much in terms of monetary saving. Usually they can be as much as or more expensive than completes. So really the only reasons to choose the lower would be the value of craftsmanship or a valid reason depending on state regulations. In California, purchasing any AR receiver is treated as a rifle which then prevents buyers from being able to create an AR pistol due to the law that prohibits rifle receivers being made into pistol receivers. However, the ability to create an AR 80 Lower pistol is possible with the AR 80 Lower Receiver.
Even though the price is the same, the AR 80 Lower is chosen not because of its cost, but because of dedicated buyers who want to increase their collections and take part in creating something unique.
15 FAQ’s About Las Vegas Vacations
People travelling to Las Vegas for the first time, or return visitors, can be a bit overwhelmed with all that Las Vegas and its surrounding areas have to offer. So many questions arise as to where to get cheap hotels in Vegas, what age are you allowed to drink, what’s the weather like in Vegas, what should I pack, what hotels accept pets, how can I see Vegas on a budget, how much does a limousine cost from the airport.
Unfortunately it can be difficult to find all the answers to these questions in one place.
Q. How much does it cost to rent a limousine from McCarran airport?
A. Las Vegas Limousines have some great rates for travellers who want to experience a limousine for a very cheap rate. They can be contacted at (702) 7361419. Their current rates are $4.50 each person one way to Strip hotels and $6.00 for each person travelling downtown one way.
Q. What is the average temperature in Las Vegas?
A. Las Vegas has 320 days, on average, sunshine, every single year and an incredibly low 4.19 inches or rainfall. The temperature in January ranges from 56F(13C) to 33F(1C) and in July between 75F(24C) and 105F(41C).
Q. Is there a number I can call to find out Nevada road conditions?
A. There is a toll free number to call – 18776876237. You can also go to the website. To check California road conditions call 1-800-427-7623 or 916-445-7623.
Q. How old must you be to gamble?
A. 21 years of age.
Q. Can I use my cell phone when I am gambling?
A. Cell phones are not permitted when you are live gambling – like roulette, craps, blackjack, etc. There are no exceptions to this rule and you will be told quite firmly by casino staff to turn off your phone.
Q. How can I find out if my hotel offers a shuttle service from the airport?
A. Visit Here. Where can I find out information about Hoover Dam?
A. You can get maps and driving instructions at this website.
Q. Obviously I want to do a bit of gambling while I’m in Vegas and hopefully not lose all my money. Is there anywhere I can go to to learn some gambling strategies before I go?
A. Look at these websites:
Q. Is there a way of finding out what my taxi rate should be from the McCarran airport?
A. There should is. Visit http://taxi.state.nv.us/FaresFees.htmQ. Where can I get the best rewards on my slot card?
A. One way is by going to Harrahs and registering for their player card as their slot card is good there and also Flamingo, Ballys, Paris, Rio, Caesars and other casinos outside of Nevada. Another way is by going to MGM/Mirage and joining their players club as their slot card is good also at Luxor, Excalibur, New York New York, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Mirage, TI, Circus Circus and also other ones in Nevada.
Q. Are there any interactive maps of Las Vegas?
A. Yes. Visit here to see interactive maps.
Q. Where can I find the current temperatures in Vegas in real time?
A. Visit here to find temperatures in Vegas. Where can I find out what is happening in Las Vegas this week?
A. Go here
Q. Where can I find some pictures of the Las Vegas Strip all in one place?
A. Visit Here
Q. How can I find out what shows and headliners are going to be in Las Vegas when I’m there?
A. Visit Here
Also Read: 5 ATTRACTIONS YOU MUST SEE IN LAS VEGAS
Also Read: Must See Attractions On The Las Vegas Strip
Things Caregivers Need To Know About Seniors With Dementia
People living with dementia are the only ones who really understand what it’s like to live with their form of the disease, whether it’s Alzheimer’s or another type such as frontotemporal (FTD) or Lewy body (LBD).
Sadly, the ability to communicate becomes compromised by dementia. That being said, care partners can, if we take the time to search out the meaning behind their words or actions, continue to improve the care provided. Here are some tips that can help you.
I can read your body language and tone of voice
I may not always understand the meaning of your words, but I know what you are saying. I can read your jerky body language, the impatient tone of your voice, and your irritated facial expressions. Although you may tell me nice things, your words are hard to believe when your body and voice indicate that you are annoyed, angry, or resentful.
I think you’re stealing
I can’t find something that I’m sure I placed in a certain spot. I may have moved it myself, but I don’t remember. All I know is that I can’t find what I want, so my mind tells me someone must have taken it. That someone is probably the person who is with me the most. I accuse you of stealing because I don’t understand why whatever I want is not where I think it will be. I need you to understand that this is the disease, not me, so please forgive me for causing you so much pain.
Don’t talk too fast but don’t treat me like a child
If you can slow down your speech and use simpler sentences I’ll be better able to understand what you are telling me. I’m asking you to not overdo this, though, by talking to me like I’m a child. That’s worse than having you talk too fast. Just slow down a little bit and try to simplify sentence structure so that I don’t need to keep more than one thought in mind at a time. I still won’t understand all of your words but this will help me a lot.
Your tone of voice upsets me
You’ve been arguing with your sister about politics, so I think that you’re mad. If you’re mad, you might be mad at me and that scares me because I depend on you. I know that this back and forth is something that you’ve always enjoyed, and I used to jump right in, but now the tone of voice sounds angry and I become afraid. Please remember that if I’m sitting with you I need to keep things a bit more relaxed. Voices that sound angry or even impatient, whether or not they are, can upset me.
I hurt but can’t tell you where or why so I act out
If I’m upset, or what they call aggressive, remember how bad my arthritis was even 10 years ago. Just because I can’t tell you where I hurt, or even why doesn’t mean that my pain has stopped. Sometimes the only thing I can do is what they call “act out,” which is a term I hate, by the way. I’m trying to tell you in the only way that I can that I hurt. Please try to help by ignoring my bad behavior while you try to determine how to address my pain.
My fingers need to do something because that calms me down
I’m not trying to be difficult when I take the tissue box and pull out all the tissues. When I sit and tear up those tissues I’m doing what I need to do. It’s something that I can’t help. Some people call this fidgeting, but I think that I’m trying to use my tools, or maybe I just need to get rid of energy. If they need to label this as a “behavior,” well, I don’t like that but I can live with it. However if you can just give me something to keep my fingers busy I won’t be so destructive.
I’m frightened because nothing is familiar
I might even be in the same home where nothing has changed for decades because you are so wonderful that you keep things the same for me. Still, nothing seems familiar. Then, I might even ask you to take me home. I might seem upset for no reason and lash out at you when you try to help. I might cry. Please be patient. As with other difficult “behaviors,” which, again, is another term I really don’t like, I can’t help it. I’m trying. Really, I am. Please help me feel safe and then I can calm down.
You won’t understand my world but you can try
My world is my truth. If you try to understand the feelings behind my words and actions both of us will have an easier time. This is called validation. Why wouldn’t I want people to validate my feelings? Don’t you want that, too? I’m really not so different from you. It’s just that I can’t explain things clearly anymore. If you really listen to me, and watch my own body language, you’ll be better able to help me. Helping me helps us both have a better day.
You are wonderful and I love you
Please understand that I know that you are trying your best. Taking care of someone like me is very hard. Even if I can’t remember your name or that you are my wife or brother or friend, I still love you to the end of the earth. I know that I’m so fortunate to have you and I appreciate what you have done and what you are doing now. I give you a hard time because I can’t help it. Again, it’s the disease, not me. You are my world and I love you even if the word I say is hate.
Building an Inexpensive And (Probably) Effective AR-15
Bing! A text message came through on my phone. “Dude, is this a good deal?”
I looked at the incoming photo – it was a screenshot from a local armory’s sales mailing list. It was one I knew well; the mailer also shows up in my inbox on a frequent basis. This particular photo showed a bargain that would have been inconceivable a year and a half ago. A complete flat top M4-pattern AR-15, sans lower receiver, rear sight, and magazine(s) for $299.99 – with free shipping. The kit included:
- a completely assembled upper receiver (with 16” M4-pattern 1/7 twist barrel, fixed tower front sight with bayonet lug)
- charging handle
- full-auto bolt carrier group
- complete lower parts kit
- buffer tube
- collapsible stock
For three hundred bucks.
To his door.
Heck yeah, it was a good deal for a first-time AR guy.
Before we get started: for those of you looking for high-quality AR15 kits and 80% lowers at great prices, make sure to visit Thunder Tactical today and check out their amazing range of parts, kits, and accessories.
A Closer Look
Before long, my research turned up a local dealer who had stripped lower receivers for $48 each. I had a spare flip-up rear sight I loaned him until he could find a suitable replacement. All added up, my buddy had a brand-new M4 for a shade over $350.00, with added sales tax. Factor in the $50 for a flip-up rear sight, and he’ll have a perfectly serviceable AR-15 for roughly $400.
Now, said buddy falls firmly into the “just wanted an AR to have one” category. Granted, he may shoot some coyotes with it, but mostly, this particular rifle will probably mostly be a range toy; something to dig out and show buddies, maybe blow off rounds at the sandpit. For these reasons, I felt 100% comfortable green-lighting the project for him; it was perfect for what he wanted to do. The suppliers are also often maligned by AR snobs looking down their noses. But these budget offerings are perfect for what my buddy will realistically end up doing with his AR.
My question was: how would an AR-15, pieced together at absolutely-rock-bottom-AR-market-glut prices stand up in the accuracy, reliability, and usefulness departments?
The “Peak AR” Phenomenon
“Peak AR” is a play on words referring to the concept of Peak Oil, in which the oil production capacity of the global community reaches its maximum production capacity, at which time demand and consequent production drop (or almost stop) due to maximum supply and minimal demand. It applies well to the AR gun community.
As of right now, we have got to be close to Peak AR. After the tragic 2012 Newtown school shooting, many feared high-capacity firearms were soon to be outlawed. The gun world, needless to say, started snapping up anything AR related. I remember being in the middle of an AR-15 build at that time, and suddenly all the parts I’d planned and budgeted for simply vanished, or had prices gouged out of proportion. Everyone wanted some, and manufacturers who would never have considered building an AR jumped on board the train and started cranking out AR-platform rifles to meet the onrush of demand and cash in on the phenomenon.
It didn’t help when it looked like Hillary Clinton would become president in 2016. Again, everyone feared outright gun bans, so people who already had one or two ARs bought some more, possibly to bury or plan to sell at a profit later. AR output was cranked up even more. Fast forward to mid-2018. Trump is in office, there is no severe danger of another firearms ban in the next year. Nobody is really buying ARs, since everyone who could already has two or three.
On The Question Of Demand
Demand has crashed. Anyone who makes AR-15s is trying to get rid of overstock. Prices have fallen on almost everything AR-related. It’s a magical time, and we’re at or close to Peak AR. Even after a couple of “scares”, there will probably be no better time to build an AR platform rifle than right now, if you’ve ever wanted to.
As Cheap As It Gets?
When the rifle kit arrived on his door, my buddy wasted no time getting the lower and hoofing the parts to my door for assembly. We brought the kit down to my man-cave, put on some tunes, and I proceeded to school him on the ways of the AR lower assembly.
Yes, he launched some detents – I fortunately had spares. I got to show him the workings of the AR, describe differences between entry-level kit parts and higher-end parts I had on a couple of my rifles, and discuss which upgrades were useful and not over-the top-outright wastes of money. I had an STR stock and single-point sling adapter kicking around, and we threw them on while we were there. We had a great time, and he was positively thrilled with the end product and total experience. His words, “I never thought it would be so easy!”
And really, building AR-15 lowers is extremely easy if you have the right tools and pay attention to detail. These lower parts kits are a great way for the beginner to get started in the AR-15 build world for not much money. They can also use the rifle as a baseline to figure out what improvements to make.
That Whole “Reliability” Thing
But will a less expensive gun fail before a more expensive gun? Aye, there’s the rub. It’s nothing you can answer definitively “yes” or “no” based on a sum of a gun’s parts. You have to remember that (let’s be honest here) almost nobody running one of these guns in any scenario will: A) have it on a full-auto lower with a giant pile of pre-loaded mags kicking around, and B) run through those magazines as fast as you can on rock ‘n’ roll, using it like a belt-fed squad-level machine gun. The vast majority of people purchasing a kit may perform crowd-pleasing semi-auto mag dumps or even play with a bumpfire stock at a sandpit – but on a whole, these guns will usually be serving up semi-rapid, occasionally aimed fire then (hopefully) cleaned and maintained. Under these conditions, a PSA AR-15 will last much, much longer than just 440 rounds – you should easily see many thousands of rounds through a carbine before you need to start replacing or upgrading stuff.
Even hypothetically using an AR-15 to defend a hypothetical bug-out location in a hypothetical post-apocalyptic event where one may indeed have a bunch of hypothetical mags ready to go for defending against a hypothetical threat: if you shoot so rapidly and so often that your gun cooks itself to death, you better have a priest behind you handing you a spare rifle along with your last rites, because something definitely went wrong with the plan somewhere. Even Rick Grimes didn’t rip through 440 rounds attacking a Saviors outpost, so you’re probably theoretically in good shape regarding your inexpensive AR’s round count lifespan.
Putting ‘em Where They Count
Non-mechanical disaster struck when my buddy brought his new AR to the range. Being along in years far enough that his eyes have decided to stage focus mutinies, my buddy found that his shiny new AR’s iron sights were just a big blurry mess. He ran a few rounds through it, then went home after ensuring it functioned. We started chatting about solutions the next day.
He obviously needed an optic. Fortunately, he had a spare 3x-9x hunting scope kicking around, so he wanted to install that on the rifle. He was starting to consider hunting with the rifle, so he was pretty enthusiastic about the scope idea. We looked at mounting options – he was on a very tight budget – and finally decided on the Nikon P-series two-piece scope rings. He was looking at one-piece bases, but we discerned that the two-piece ring system would offer us more flexibility in mounting this and any other scopes he might want to run in the future. He ordered up the rings next paycheck, and I mounted it all up for him one evening after work. Easy upgrade, made easier by the M4’s flattop railed upper receiver.
Everything was going well until he found a kid selling an AR-oriented el cheapo Chinese fixed 4x scope with an illuminated reticle for $40. The tacti-cool 4x went on as quickly as the previous model could come off, and my buddy admitted he thought it looked cooler…and the glowing reticle helped his failing eyes.
What About The Next Time?
The next time, he was able to slap the trigger and group green-tip ammo into about 4” at 50 yards. He was pretty happy, knowing he wasn’t a great shot and that it was essentially military surplus ammo. I told him the 1/7 rate of twist barrel might not be doing him any favors with the light bullets, either – but the gun performed exactly as he expected at his skill level.
Since I put the rifle together with him, he has had a neighbor of his (who had a surplus of cast-off, no longer used AR-15 parts) upgrade the upper for free to a stainless 1/8 twist chambered barrel with a free-floating rail. He loves it, since it “looks all badass” and it still shoots, well, 4” groups at 50 yards with him behind the trigger. Guess sometimes it ain’t the arrow, it’s the Indian. I was able to get behind the wheel and get groups of about 4” at 100 yards from the bench, gritty trigger and all. Not great for a tuned high-dollar AR-15, but not bad for 350 bucks.
However, after several hundred rounds through the gun, my friend with his current rifle setup has happily reported zero malfunctions with the gun. The inexpensive package has performed well for its cost level, demonstrating itself as a notable starter point for upgrades down the road.
Greater Than the Sum Of Its Parts?
But is sourcing pre-made entry-level AR-15 parts kits worth it? Do they perform to a level reasonably high enough to justify not going out and sourcing high-dollar alternatives? Well…that’s the real question, isn’t it?
From what I’ve seen, I’m going to take a deep breath, clamp my eyes shut, and say…yes. Throw rocks, but for someone just starting out in the AR-15 world, inexpensive kits are a great place to start. And, to do it without going into serious debt. Our subject rifle met all the goals set before it, at a reasonable price. It also continues to perform to its owner’s satisfaction. Staying inside this envelope, kits and those of its ilk are really a pretty good way to go if you’re not expecting a match gun or long-term survival gun. So if you’re just starting out or can only afford to part ways with $400 or less, shrug off what the snobby high-end AR guys will tell you and try a cheaper kit from a reliable supplier. Look for reviews, ask around, and find what works for you. It’s a great way to learn the workings of an AR-15 platform, and they can be upgraded easily.
Four Secret Disney Tips For Your Next Vacation
There is no more popular vacation destination on earth than Walt Disney World, Florida. Since 1971, the Magic Kingdom has been the foremost tourist attraction, both in America and the world, and with its rides, attractions, characters and events, it’s easy to see why.
But even with all of this popularity, there are things a lot of people don’t know about the park. Secret events, tricks and backdoors into the park to make your experience all the better.
Join us today, as we bring you four Disney World tips to help you make the best of your upcoming vacation.
The Train Station Welcome Show
The Magic Kingdom rewards its citizens for their promptness in one extremely fun way: the early morning Train Station Welcome Show. Introduced in 2017, the park’s daily welcoming ceremony is a great way to set the mood for the fun and magic of the day ahead.
Arrive fifteen minutes ahead of the park’s opening for a cavalcade of all the park’s most treasured characters, welcoming you for the day. There’s singing, dancing, and a beautiful fireworks display. It’s the perfect way to put an official seal on your day, kicking off the magic and getting you in tune with the Disney spirit. Believe us, when you do Disney World, it pays to do it right.
The Kiss Goodnight
Park goers who can’t make the early morning welcome can opt to stay thirty minutes after the park’s closing for the magical Kiss Goodnight. Taking place at the Cinderella Castle, this is an enchanting, thirty minute light display that is a joy to watch. Delight in the changing, choreographed light display, set to When You Wish Upon a Star. This is another one of those must-see attractions that really completes the entire Disney World experience. Remember: this is the Magic Kingdom, and any excuse for more magic is a bonus!
Disney’s PhotoPass cast members take snapshots with paying park visitors to help them capture the memories. That being said, however, they will also gladly take photos for free with your camera or phone, if you approach them. This is “the happiest place on earth”, after all, so it makes sense.
Simply ask to take a photo with your favourite camera, remember to adjust the settings on your phone or camera, and get ready to make some memories. And while we’re on the topic of photo ops…
Less Crowded Photos
Disney World is a great excuse to take some gorgeous vacation snapshots. And the most popular by far is usually taken in front of Cinderella Castle. But keep in mind that there are many areas of the park that are equally whimsical to take photos at, including the back of Cinderella Castle. Remember to case the campus for good photo opportunities ahead of time and, when faced with the dilemma of waiting twenty minutes for a photo or going exploring, just explore.
And there you have it: four closely guarded Disney World tips to make your next vacation to the Magic Kingdom even more special. For some of the best holiday deals to Disney and other top holiday destinations, visit Rooms101 today and get ready for some serious fun.
Casas Vacacionales en Orlando, FL Cerca a Disney
Las casas vacacionales en Orlando son propiedades que les brindan a los huéspedes mayor libertad, independencia y un ambiente más cálido que el que se puede percibir en un hotel. Orlando es una gran ciudad, centro turístico de muchas familias en los Estados Unidos y en el mundo entero ya que dispone de gran variedad de parques temáticos de diversas franquicias, siendo la más famosa el parque temático de la mundialmente famosa franquicia Walt Disney.
Casas Vacacionales en Orlando, FL, un lugar cómodo para una gran aventura
Orlando, FL, es un destino vacacional al que suelen ir grupos familiares, desde núcleos familiares de 4 a 6 personas, hasta incluso 10, acudiendo padres, hijos, abuelos, etc.… con la mira de disfrutar de sus asombrosos parques temáticos juntos, en especial el parque temático de Disney World, por lo que el tema del alojamiento cobra vital importancia, sobre todo, si este se encuentra cerca dicho parque. Al viajar las familias toman una serie de decisiones importantes, y en los últimos años, las casas vacacionales de Orlando han tomado mucho auge ya que estas brindan mayor comodidad y privacidad, además permiten a quienes las alquilan poder sentirse como en casa, lo que ayuda a reponer las energías y prepararse para el próximo día, un día lleno de acción y diversión en los parques temáticos de Orlando, FL.
Muchas casas vacacionales en Orlando suelen quedar algo alejadas de los parques temáticos, sin embargo, existen algunas que se encuentran ubicadas estratégicamente a minutos del parque temático de Disney World, el más visitado de todos los de Orlando, FL, de forma que aquellos que logren alquilar o comprar una casa en Orlando, definitivamente debe ser una cerca de Disney.
Visit: Compra De Casas En Orlando
Casas vacacionales en Orlando, FL… ¿Rentable?
Este tipo de instalaciones para hospedarse durante un viaje a Orlando suelen ser muy cotizadas, en especial si se tratan de viajes de más de una semana ya que así funciona el alquiler de este tipo de propiedades, las mismas realizan alquileres semanales y no diarios como podría hacerse al hospedarse en un hotel, por lo que visto al inicio puede parecer mucho menos rentable, sin embargo, además de los beneficios ya mencionados, cabe destacar que en realidad alquilar una de esas casas suele salir económicamente hablando, mucho mejor a un mediano-largo plazo, ya que al encontrarse en una casa aunque no se dispone del beneficio de desayuno a la habitación, pueden hacerse compras en el mercado y preparar una buena comida casera, que en definitiva, sale mucho más económico.
Al decidir alquilar una de estas casas para un viaje a Orlando, FL, es importante buscar con mucha antelación cual alquilar y por cuanto tiempo, ya que suelen ser muy cotizadas, al punto que las mismas pueden no estar disponibles para alquilarlas en un año entero.
Las casas vacacionales en Orlando son sin duda una excelente opción a tomar en cuenta ya que para un viaje largo, entretenido, y agotador, no hay nada mejor que al dormir, la familia pueda sentirse como en casa.
Also Read: Cinco lugares para visitar en Orlando, FL
Exercise and Bone Health: A Closer Look
Why Is Exercise Important for Bone Health?
Bone health follows the old adage “Use it or lose it”. Stressing bone through activity and exercise encourages it to increase its calcium content and grow stronger and more dense. A sedentary lifestyle has the opposite effect on bones. Inactivity causes the bone to lose calcium and get weaker.
What Exercises Are Best for Good Bone Health?
Any exercise is good because all exercise causes the muscles to contract against the bones, which stresses, or stimulates, them. So-called weightbearing exercises are the best for bone because both muscles and gravity stress the bones.
A few good examples of weightbearing exercises include walking or hiking, running or jogging, aerobics, household chores and yard work, racquet sports, basketball, baseball, cross country and downhill skiing or a ski machine, skating, and weight training.
What Else Is Necessary to Maintain Good Bone Health?
To be strong, bones also need calcium. Increased calcium produces increased bone density which increases strength. Adults need 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium daily. Sources of calcium include dairy products (the best source), green, leafy vegetables, shellfish, sardines, oysters, hazelnuts, almonds and tofu. Many foods like orange juice, bread and cereal is fortified with calcium. Calcium may also be added in pills or liquid supplements.
What Is Estrogen’s Role In Bone Formation?
In women, estrogen helps calcium become absorbed into the bones. After menopause, as estrogen levels lower, calcium losses can increase dramatically and supplements may be considered.
Is Too Much Exercise Harmful?
Yes. Young, highly competitive athletes are most commonly guilty of overexercising by doing too much too fast and not giving their bones enough time to rest. It is important to start to exercise gradually and slowly increase the time and intensity of the workout.
Tips For Beginning An Exercise Program
Before starting an exercise program
- Check with your doctor to make sure that there are no medical problems that may place restrictions on your exercise program.
- Check with your orthopaedist to make sure that there are no musculoskeletal problems that may place restrictions on your exercise program.
- Select an activity that you like. Experiment with different equipment and activities until you find one you like and that’s suitable to your lifestyle. Most people stick with an exercise program that they find enjoyable.
For cardiovascular, or aerobic activities, like walking, biking or swimming
- Warm up for five minutes before activity.
- Start the activity slowly for the first five minutes.
- Increase your workout gradually from 5 to 20 minutes.
- Slowly increase your intensity so that your heart rate increases to 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate (maximum heart rate equals 220 minus your age).
- Gradually try to maintain this level of intensity for the entire 20 minute workout at least three days a week
For strength or resistance training using free weights, machines or elastic tubing
- Begin each exercise with very low weights and minimal repetitions.
- Slowly increase weight, never adding more than 10% in a given workout.
- Do these exercises two to three times a week. Allow for one day between each workout for your bones to rest and restore themselves.
- Gradually increase the number of repetitions to several sets of 8 to 10 repetitions with a rest period of 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
If you feel tired or ache the day after exercising, you did too much. Decrease the intensity or decrease the duration of your exercise, or both. By slowly building up your exercise program, you will be more likely to stick with it and keep building stronger bones.
10 Attractions You Can’t Miss In Las Vegas
This desert oasis is a city that most people already know a decent amount about. It is one of the biggest epicentres for gambling in the world. When you get off a plane in Las Vegas airport you are immediately greeted by slot machines. As you leave the airport you have amazing views of “The Strip”, which is an incredibly long stretch of mega-casino and resorts lit up by glowing neon lights. The gambling doesn’t stop there as gas stations and even grocery stores feature slot machines (seriously, people hang out and gamble in grocery stores).
Las Vegas has done an excellent job of adding more than just gambling to its offerings. It attempts to brand itself as the “entertainment capital of the world”, and frankly they are doing a pretty good job of it. There are musicians that take up permanent residency in Vegas (yes Britney, Backstreet Boys, and maybe Gaga), an incredible variety of shows (Cirque du Soleil to Blue Man Group), world-class dining options, phenomenal golf courses, mountain hikes, endless shopping (high end to outlet malls), pool parties and nightlife, and even a manmade beach and ski-resort.
As you visit Vegas you will be enthralled by everything “Sin City” has to offer.
This list is in no way inclusive of everything you could plan on a Vegas vacation but is designed to include some of the most iconic Las Vegas attractions that are perfect for the first timer, and things that you may not think to explore.
Also, check out these exclusive Las Vegas Timeshare Deals
Top 10 Must do’s in Vegas
1. Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
Taking a picture at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign is a rite of passage for vacationers. Whether you are here for a bachelor party, work convention, or just escaping cold winter temperatures this sign on the South end of The Strip is a perfect way to begin your trip.
2. Visit Foreign Cities
Okay not really, but lots of the casinos are based on a location or theme from somewhere else in the world. The Paris features its own Eiffel Tower and really is reminiscent of Paris, the Venetian is based on Venice (discussed more below), the Luxor is based on ancient Egypt, Caesar’s Palace is based off classic Rome, the Imperial Palace shouts out to Imperial Japan, and New York New York is pretty self-explanatory. Visiting a casino is not a substitute for seeing these places, but I recommend exploring more than just the one you stay in as it is fun to see what elements from around the world have implemented in Vegas.
3. Freemont Street (Old Vegas)
Freemont Street is where you will find the old school Vegas casinos like the 4 Queens and Golden Nugget (featuring a water slide through a shark tank). Even though it is old, it is not run down or left behind.
Freemont Street runs straight through most of the big classic casinos, and is a perfect spot to get a drink from an outdoor bar, see some of the most unique street performers in the world, experience free live music, as well as have strippers attempt to pull you in to see their shows (seriously, be careful).
4. Bellagio Fountain and Gardens
Even though each resort has fantastic things to see, the water show and botanical gardens at the Bellagio cannot be missed. The 8-acre man-made lake features a dancing water fountain show choreographed to music. The show is different every 15 minutes, and the results truly are beautiful. This is the spot that was glorified in Oceans 11 (Brad Pitt and George Clooney could make anything glorious).
The gardens in the lobby are exquisitely decorated and maintained for each season with some of the unique plants and flowers in the world. Even as a local I make a point to go down each year to see the gardens decorated with a Christmas theme.
5. Gondola Ride at the Venetian
The Venetian is a luxury resort based off of Venice Italy. My favorite part of the Venetian is that they built canals throughout the ground floor and mall of the casino, and offer motorized gondola rides while you get serenaded by your very own gondolier.
Even though it makes my husband want to barf, I love how romantic these rides are. Somehow they designed it so that you don’t feel like you are floating through the middle of a casino.
6. Adventure Rides at the Stratosphere
The Stratosphere is hotel and casino that towers overall on the North end of The Strip. The Stratosphere is most famous for its views of The Strip and hair-raising rides.
It is by far the tallest building in Vegas, and the rides up top are NOT for someone who is afraid of heights. My favorite is the Big Shot, which shoots your seat straight up the top of the tower and into the sky. It is the tallest thrill ride in the world. If that isn’t gutsy enough for you, you can jump off the top via controlled cables to the bottom.
7. The High Roller
This gigantic observation/Ferris wheel is brand new to Las Vegas. It is like the London Eye, but bigger. Surprisingly it really is a fun ride as pods are big enough to feature whole groups of friends, and even your own bar and bartender.
Also Read: More Things To Do In Las Vegas
8. Hoover Dam
Not all the attractions in Vegas feature neon lights. The Hoover Dam is a testament to modern engineering. I found the tour showing how the dam generates power for Las Vegas fascinating. Also, the lake made by the dam (Lake Mead) is great for boating.
9. Las Vegas Ski Resort
Yes, in the mountains just 45 minutes away from The Strip developers built a ski-resort. It is not huge, and does not feature the world’s best snow, but the novelty of being able to ski within 45 minutes of the scorching desert heat is unreal.
10. The Mob Museum
Part of the reason that Las Vegas is built the way it is today is that of the involvement of organized crime. The mob used casinos to launder their money. Supposedly organized crime is out of Vegas now, but a fascinating history remains. The Mob Museum doesn’t just explore Vegas’ criminal history, but the characters that made this possible from around the country. The museum does have some creepy elements as it allows visitors to hold a tommy gun, explore crime scene photos, and even see the bloody walls left from massacres.