The Best Kitchen Faucets for Home Owners on a Budget

At first glance, the kitchen faucet might not seem like anything to get excited about.  Truly, though, a whole lot happens at the kitchen sink.  It’s where our pots get filled and our dishes get cleaned.  It’s where we scrub our fresh veggies.  It’s where we wash our hands before and after preparing or eating food, or working in the yard, or cleaning house.  In reality, that kitchen faucet sees a lot of action.  Older faucets can be leaky, scratched, stained, or just outdated looking.  Replacing your current faucet with a newer model can improve water efficiency and spruce up the look of a tired kitchen.  You can even opt for touch-free models that make it easier to clean your hands without having to clean the faucet afterwards.

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When it comes to choosing a new faucet, there is a seemingly endless number of styles, options, and finishes from which to choose.  Those styles and options come with a price range that goes from easily affordable to very high end.  Before beginning your search in earnest, you should decide which qualities mean the most to you.  Is there one particular finish that you absolutely love (or hate) or that is a great match for the rest of your kitchen?  Is hard water enough of a concern that you need to consider the effects of your water on the new faucet’s finish?  Do you have a sink deep enough to easily handle tall jobs, or do you need to make sure that a new faucet has a long neck that essentially gives your sink extra depth?  If you live in an area where water conservation, even rationing, is a major concern, you’ll need to make sure you go with a more water-efficient model.  If you’re only planning to replace the faucet and not the whole kitchen sink, you also need to make sure your new faucet requires the same number of holes as your existing one.  In other words, will the new one fit into the necessary space?

Once you’ve determined your minimum requirements and preferences, it’s important to establish your budget.  As with most home-improvement endeavors, no matter how minor, overspending can be a real temptation, and as mentioned above, prices can get pretty high.

Once upon a time, upgrading faucets meant spending a bundle or settling for cheap-looking products.  These days, though, there are increasingly more models available that look and function like higher-end versions without the higher-end price tag.  Whether your budget is well under $100 or well above $300, you should be able to find a faucet worthy of being in the most popular spot in the kitchen.  Below, you will find links to reviews and comparisons of some of the top-rated kitchen faucet models.  Taking the time to understand your options before you go shopping can help make the process a bit less daunting and help you stay excited about this mini makeover for your kitchen.

These kitchen faucet reviews compare 6 top models, including the pros and cons of each.  If you’re looking for a touchless model, kitchenfaucets.reviews compares the pros and cons of some of those top contenders.

If you’re also considering upgrading the bathroom faucet, this is a great resource  to help you start your quest.

Cool Uses for Artificial Intelligence

We’ve all seen the movies that warn us of what can happen when artificial intelligence, AI for short, goes awry–the machines take over and we’re reduced to a ragtag rebellion fighting for our very existence.  Losing our world to the machines we created is the ironic price we pay for proving we can produce technology smarter than we are.  While we wait for our wonderful creations to gain self awareness and flip the script on us, AI advances have come far enough to help the modern world in much less threatening ways.

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On the medical front, the VA is using AI at Walter Reed Medical Center to help predict complications before they arise.  This allows for many complications to be “headed off at the pass,” so to speak, or, at the very least, to be treated before they cause serious damage or setbacks.  Preventing or managing complications leads to better outcomes and faster healing for patients and results in lower treatment costs.  AI is also gaining ground in the area of paralysis management.  Electronic chips implanted into a patient’s brain can allow the patient limited thought-powered control over robotic limbs.  Though use of AI in this area is still a long way away from giving paralyzed patients full sensation and motion, progress to date has given many hope that AI could lead to advances in the treatment of paralysis that have long been only a distant dream.

Search and Rescue operations also benefit from the use of AI.  Computers can compile and sort through many, many more satellite images, aerial views, and even social media feeds than even the best-trained human searchers.  Add facial-recognition features, and AI can do in hours what a human team might not be able to do in several days.  

Wildlife conservation is another monumental task that can benefit from the use of AI. Wildbook.org is a site that uses an AI system with alogrithms designed to identify and track animals from photos uploaded by experts and civilians.  This program can recognize specific animals based on their unique markings.  This allows scientists and conservationists to track animal populations and study migration patterns and community behaviors.  Being able to track animals in this manner can help conservationists monitor threatened populations and make recommendations on how best to maintain conservation areas and preserves in order to thwart poaching and otherwise best meet the needs of some of our endangered wildlife.

Cyber security is another facet of our lives that can benefit from artificial intelligence.  Given how much of our world is now tied to computers, maintaining the security of computer systems and the precious information they protect and process is not an option.  It is most definitely a necessity.  Given the speed at which AI-enabled computer systems are able to scan and process information, using computer systems to monitor other computer systems makes sense.  Some cyber security systems go beyond monitoring for threats and can actually react to them, identifying and shoring up pending breaches before information is compromised.  AI monitors can diagnose and correct problems in less time than it takes a human team to identify that a breach has occurred.  

All in all, advances in the field of artificial intelligence offer some promising benefits to the world in which we live.  Our challenge will be to continue these advances in ways that benefit the planet and its countless inhabitants without making the computers mad.  In case they ever do become self aware.  It definitely seems like a good idea to keep them happy.  Just in case.