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Being an entry-level DSLR, the Nikon D3200 is built to be a compact and an ultra-lightweight camera, with dimensions of 125x96x76.5mm (about the same as the D3100 in size), making it the smallest DSLR in Nikon’s current line of cameras. While it is not as compact as some of the mirrorless cameras due to the presence of a mirror and a pentamirror, it is still quite small when compared to high-end cameras like Nikon D800. The newly announced Canon EOS Rebel SL1 took the “world’s smallest DSLR” crown this week though, which measures a little smaller at 117x91x69mm. With a weight of only 455 grams without the lens, the Nikon D3200 weighs the same as its predecessor – the Nikon D3200, which was the lightest Nikon DSLR produced to date. Compare that to the same D800 I referred to earlier, which is twice heavier at 900 grams. Weighing so little means that the camera is mostly made of plastic, with the exception of the metal lens mount.

The camera handles very similarly as its predecessor, with slightly superior ergonomics. The lightweight Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens that ships with D3200 is a great fit for everyday photography and the two balance quite well together. While the front of the camera went through very modest ergonomic changes, the top and back of the camera have been slightly modified, with more buttons for quicker and easier access of camera functions. The lever that used to be embedded to the camera mode dial on the D3100 has been eliminated from the D3200 and the functionality has been transferred to a single button on the back of the camera (Left: Nikon D3200, Right: Nikon D3100):

Personally, I liked the lever on the D3100 and saw nothing wrong with it, but I believe Nikon eliminated it for a reason. If more shooting modes are available in the future, there is no way to add them to a physical lever, while a single button can be programmed via firmware to have additional functionality. Plus, it is one less piece of plastic that can potentially break.

The Info button, which gives quick access on the rear LCD to various camera settings has been moved to the middle, between the exposure compensation button and a new dedicated video recording button.

The rear of the camera also went through minimal changes. The zoom in and out buttons on the left side of the LCD have been swapped, which is good, because it follows the layout of all higher-end Nikon DSLRs. Because the video recording button has been moved to the top, the Live View lever + video record button have been replaced with a single LV button:

Overall, considering the entry-level nature of the D3200, there is not much to complain about construction and handling. My only wish, is that the AE-L/AF-L button was located closer to the rear dial – I often use this button for focusing and it felt like it was too far away (same problem with the Nikon D7000 and the new D7100). I don’t see the point of leaving all that empty space between the button and the rear dial, so I hope Nikon will fix this in the future. The original Nikon D3000, by the way, did not have this inconvenience.

Beneath the removable rear cover is a rather large-looking battery, with a hefty 2,600mAh capacity. That’s over 10% bigger than the 2,300 and 2,330mAh examples in the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z respectively. The results though were even more impressive than that figure might suggest.

Samsung Galaxy S4
The S4 retains the S3’s highly practical design

In our continuous video playback the S4 managed an impressive ten hours and 43 minutes, a score we’d largely attribute to its more power-efficient AMOLED display. The Sony Xperia Z has a 5in LCD display and it only ran for five hours and 48 minutes, while the smaller-screened HTC One put in a much more respectable eight hours and 32 minutes.

If battery life is a big concern for you then the S4 stands well above its main rivals then. In addition to this its removable back means you can switch out the battery if required. Samsung sells spare batteries and an official charger for them too, so if you fear running out of power, the S4 is the phone for you.

Cloth and other reusables 
There are several different types of reusable nappies:

  • Cloth squares: these are folded and fastened with pins or clips, and work best with a good-quality waterproof cover/pilcher. They fit snugly and are made of fabric that absorbs liquid, usually cotton (terry, flannelette), and also hemp, bamboo or a blend. Detergent makes some cloth nappies go hard over time, so using a wool mix is better. 
  • All-in-ones: these have a waterproof layer on the outside or near the outside layer. They’re as easy to use as disposables, but a lot cheaper. They don’t need extensive soaking or bleaching and can be fastened with velcro, clips or press studs.
  • Pocket nappies: these have a water-resistant outer fitted shell, with a layer sewn to the shell along three sides and open at one end. Absorbent inserts are placed between the shell and the layer to absorb the liquid. The absorbency level can be adjusted with inserts made of different materials. 

Disposables 
Disposable nappies generally consist of a plastic outer layer, a layer of super-absorbent chemicals, and an inner liner. They come in different packet sizes and are made for a range of ages.

Biodegradable disposables 
These use a non-chemical absorption method. When you throw them away, they break down completely in landfill over time. They’re made from a variety of materials, such as bamboo, fabrics and paper pulp. These nappies are better for the environment, but are often more expensive than non-biodegradable disposables.

Cost and convenience

When weighing up the pros and cons of disposable vs reusable nappies, you might want to think about some of the following questions:

  • What about financial costs? Cloth nappies are generally cheaper, but you might switch between types over the life of your baby, so it’s worth taking a look at the costs. You can do your own breakdown of the cost differences between reusable and disposable nappies – work out how many disposable nappies are in the packet and how many nappies you use every day. This will show you how much you’re spending on disposable nappies.
  • Will you want to wash nappies rather than throw them away? For example, you might consider the time spent washing versus the smell of soiled nappies in your bin.
  • What about when you’re out and about? Will you find reusables or disposables more convenient? Does this matter to you?
  • What type of nappy will perform the best? Is one type likely to result in less leakage or fewer daily changes? For example, reusable nappies will need to be changed more frequently than highly absorbent disposable nappies.
  • What are the environmental costs? Are environmentally friendly options important to you?

Environmental costs

It’s difficult to compare the environmental costs of reusable and disposable nappies. Both have some environmental impact.

Reusables

Some reusable nappies are made of cotton, and there’s some concern about the amount of pesticides and water used in the growing of this staple crop. Using a hemp or bamboo nappy can overcome this problem, or you could use hand-me-downs from a friend or family member. 

Other environmental costs might be those involved with rinsing and washing nappies. This releases detergents into the environment. Hot water and energy are also consumed in washing and drying nappies.

I read a Associated Press-Ipsos poll revealing that 1 in 4 adults read no books last year. Yes, that’s 25% of the adults out there are reading zero books. This is sad.

I knew intuitively the number of books read each year had gone down but to zero? Ridiculous!

And what about the adults who are reading more than zero books a year. How many are they reading in all? One? Five? Actually, the same poll reveals the average adult reads only four books per year. Half of those people read less than four.

If you are one of the non-book readers who feels you “don’t need no stinking books”, here are 26 great reasons to start the habit…before you are left behind!

1. Reading is an active mental process – Unlike TV, books make you to use your brain. By reading, you think more and become smarter.

2. It is a fundamental skill builder - Every good course on the planet has a matching book to go with it. Why? Because books help clarify difficult subjects. Books provide information that goes deeper than just classroom discussion.

3. Improves your vocabulary – Remember in elementary school when you learned how to infer the meaning of one word by reading the context of the other words in the sentence? You get the same benefit from book reading. While reading books, especially challenging ones, you will find yourself exposed to many new words you wouldn’t be otherwise.

4. Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places – What is your favorite vacation spot? I would bet you read a lot about that destination. The more information the better. Books can expand your horizons by letting you see what other cities and countries have to offer before you visit them.

5. Improves concentration and focus – Like I pointed out before, reading books takes brain power. It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. Unlike magazines, Internet posts or e-Mails that might contain small chunks of information. Books tell the whole story. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.

6. Builds self-esteem – By reading more books, you become better informed and more of an expert on the topics you read about. This expertise translates into higher self esteem. Since you are so well read, people look to you for answers. Your feelings about yourself can only get better.

7. Improves memory – Many studies show if you don’t use your memory, you lose it. Crossword puzzles are an example of a word game that staves off Alzheimer’s. Reading, although not a game, helps you stretch your memory muscles in a similar way. Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.

8. Improves your discipline – Obviously, if 1 in 4 people don’t read one book per year, then there is a discipline issue. There may be many causes for people not reading books such as the “quips” of information you can get on the Internet. TV is also a major distracter. Making time to read is something we all know we should do, but who schedules book reading time every day? Very few… That’s why adding book reading to your daily schedule and sticking to it, improves discipline.

9. Learn anywhere – Books are portable. You can take them almost anywhere. As such, you can learn almost anywhere too.

10. Improves creativity – by reading more books and exposing yourself to new and more complete information, you will also be able to come up with more creative ideas. As a personal example, I read many, many books on IT Networking. So often, when IT Admins are stumped with a problem, I can come up with a creative (smack your head simple) solution that isn’t written anywhere. But the reason I can do that is because I have read so many books on the subject, I can combine lessons from all of them into new solutions.

11. Gives you something to talk about – Have you ever run out of stuff to talk about with your best friend, wife or husband? This can be uncomfortable. It might even make married couples wonder if their marriage is in trouble. However, if you read a lot of books, you’ll always have something to talk about. You can discuss various plots in the novels you read, you can discuss the stuff you are learning in the business books you are reading as well. The possibilities of sharing are endless.

12. Books are inexpensive entertainment – What’s the average price of a movie ticket these days? $8 – $10? You can buy a paperback for that price and be entertained for many hours more. If you have a used bookstore nearby, you can get them even cheaper.

Tip: Once you make reading a habit, you’ll enjoy reading the books in your chosen career as well.

13. You can learn at your own pace – Where formal education requires time commitments, books have no late-bells or hourly commitments. So you can learn at your own pace when you read books.

14. New mental associations – I touched on this above. As you read more books the depth and breadth of your knowledge expands and your ability to form new associations increases. In reading a book to discover the solution to one problem, you find the solution to others you may not have considered.

15. Improves your reasoning skills – Books for professionals contain arguments for or against the actions within. A book on cooking argues that Chili powder goes well with beef and goes poorly with ice-cream. A book on building a business argues that testing an idea for profitability before setting up is a smart strategy and argues against just barreling forward with the idea without testing.

You too will be able to reason better with the knowledge you gain. Some of the arguments will rub off on you. Others you will argue against. Regardless, you’ll be reasoning better.

16. Builds your expertise – Brian Tracy has said one way to become an expert in your chosen field is to read 100 books on the subject. He also said by continuing the same for 5 years you’ll become an international expert. With the Internet and blogs, you could hone that time down to 2-3 years if you follow through.

17. Saves money – Apart from saving money on entertainment expenses. Reading books that help you develop your skills saves money. Reading books on how someone went bankrupt will be a warning to you against repeating their mistakes. Reading a book on how to build your own backyard deck saves the expense of hiring a contractor.

18. Decreases mistakes – Although I would never suggest putting off an important goal because you fear making mistakes, it is still important to sharpen the saw (link to A.L. post). When you gather the deep and wide wisdom that books can provide, you are less apt to make mistakes.

19. You’ll discover surprises - As you read more books as a source of information, you’ll learn stuff you weren’t looking for. I’ve read many great quotes on life and love by reading books on marketing. I’ve learned facts about biology from reading about chemistry. Heck, I’ve picked up some facts about history while reading about programming. Since so many subjects intertwine it’s almost impossible not to learn something other than the book’s subject.

20. Decreased boredom – One of the rules I have is if I am feeling bored, I will pick up a book and start reading. What I’ve found by sticking to this is that I become interested in the book’s subject and stop being bored. I mean, if you’re bored anyway, you might as well be reading a good book, right?

21. Can change your life – How many times have you heard of a book changing someone’s life? For me, it was Your Erroneous Zones (link) by Wayne Dyer – which is the first self-development book I read. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking that was not depressing and dull. It was the first step in my path of choosing my own life and being free of old habitual thought patterns.

There are many, many other books out there that have a reputation for changing lives including Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Handbook to Higher Consciousness, Atlas Shrugged ,A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Lord of the Rings and Black Boy to name a few. But you can start in your chosen field and work your way outward.

Visit Here to Buy Cheap Books:

22. Can help break a slump – Being in a slump is uncomfortable. If you are a writer, you call it writer’s block. If you are a salesperson, it’s called – not making a sale in 23 days. But a slump can be a crossroads. It might be you are wavering on your commitment to a particular project or (with marriage) person. Or a slump can be simply a lack of new ideas. Books are a great source of ideas, big and small. So if you find yourself in a slump, pick a book on the portion of your life you are slump-ing and get to reading!

23. Reduces stress - Many avid readers (including me) unwind by reading. Compared with the person who gets home from work and immediately turns on the TV news, you are going from work stress to crime stress. But it’s not just news. TV as a source of relaxation is too full of loud commercials and fast moving (often violent) images. If relaxation is something you want, turn off the TV or computer and pick up a book.

24. Gets you away from digital distractions – If you, like many others, feel overwhelmed with the flashing lights, beeps, boops and ring-a-dings that burn up our computing lives, then give books a chance. When you find some good books, you’ll find yourself drawn into the subject matter. You’ll want to spend more time reading. By spending more time reading books, you’ll have less time for the plethora of the digital gadgets begging for our attention.

25. You’ll make more money - If you make a serious effort to read in your chosen career, your expertise in that specialty will increase. As you become more specialized and learned, you join a smaller group of more qualified people. By being part of the small few with the highest level knowledge your pay will increase. It’s simple supply and demand.

26. The book is always better than the movie – except for perhaps No Country for Old Men. :)

What are some of the most important books you have read? What is the title that changed your life? If you’ve found a book that made a major change in how you work, live or love, please tell us about it in the comments below.

I don’t want to live. I want to love first, and live incidentally.
Zelda Fitzgera