Archives for January 2013

Do You Drive With Shoes?

driving without shoes MinnesotaIt’s winter in Minnesota, so of course you do! But what about in warmer months? Do you ever drive without shoes? If you’ve ever kicked off a pair of flip-flops or high heels while driving, you may have wondered if you are breaking the law. If you live in a couple other states that’s the case, but not in Minnesota. While not the most safe decision, it is actually legal to drive without shoes.

Obviously having a pair of shoes in the vehicle with you is critical, in case you have car trouble and need to get out of the road to fix a tire or walk anywhere. In that case, flip-flops or high-heels may only *slightly help anyway. Here are some other interesting laws in Minnesota of which you may or may not be aware.

What Exactly is E-85 at the Gas Station?

what is E-85 fuelMany people see E-85 at gas stations, particularly across the Midwest. Unless you own a flex-fuel vehicle, however, you are not likely to ever pump E-85. It becomes something on a sign that we look past to see the other prices and options.

E-85 is a gasoline and ethanol-mixed fuel. The “E” stands for ethanol, and the “85” stands for the percentage ratio of the mix. In E-85 fuel, 85% is ethanol and 15% is traditional gasoline. Just as diesel fuel takes a specific diesel engine and vehicle to utilize, so does E-85. It requires a flex-fuel vehicle designed to burn either regular gasoline or E-85. Considered a move toward alternative or renewable energy, ethanol is produced from corn and is blended with gasoline for a new fuel option for flex-fuel vehicle owners.

 

Cool Travel Apps for Kids on Road Trips in 2013

Kids these days are far more comfortable with technology than any previous generation. A tablet or Smartphone can go a long way toward pacifying youngsters for a long journey. Parents who are tired of the squabbles and whining that come with road trips will probably agree that a silent back seat is one of the most significant benefits of mobile computing. One of the most important tips for traveling with kids is to get the right apps for your mobile device.

The best apps will depend on your child’s age and personal tastes. Here are a few ideas of apps that might be good for your next road trip.

For kids under six years of age:

  • Cobypic: This app comes in both free and full versions and provides pictures to color and the tools with which to do it. Cobypic is much more than just an electronic coloring book. It allows pictures taken with the device’s camera to become a part of what is being colored and implements textures into the coloring experience. Cobypic encourages kids to express themselves with color and to pay attention to details.
  • Memory Train:  Players can improve their memory with the help of Spacey the elephant. They are shown a series of objects and asked to recall such elements as their shape and color after they have gone out of sight. The game is fast paced most children should find it engaging and entertaining.

For kids ages six 6 and up:

  • Mad Libs:  Many may be familiar with the older version where ad libbed nouns and verbs are used in a story to produce funny results. The electronic version operates on the same principle.
  • The Night Sky: This app is perfect for those interested in astronomy, or it could be used to develop that interest. Simply point the device at the night sky anywhere and it will provide information on the visible constellations. It is the perfect way to make learning fun.

One of the more important tips for traveling with kids is that apps should be installed prior to trips, preferably where there is strong, reliable Internet. Mobile Internet is not always consistent and slow downloads can lead to frustration.