Imagine This, Part 1

Imagery and Characterization, can the two ever meet outside of an English class?

Is your hero a volcano, seething with fury and ready to burst at any moment? Is your heroine a skittish crane attempting to fly far, far away whenever trouble startles her? How about something more basic? Earth, air, fire, or water. When they’re angry, do they darken, flash, seethe, or boil? When they’re excited, do they thicken or sear, experience lightning or rivers of fire?

Talk about imagery and even writers roll back to their worst high school English class. That’s unfortunate because there is no easier tool for characterization than using good consistent imagery. How many of us have read something like this: His touch was like a hot brand against her skin. Her heart quivered with longing as he stabbed her with his arrow of luv. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. Cliche imagery for cliche stories.

So many romance novels end up with Ken and Barbie characters. Physically they’re perfect, emotionally they’re perfect–except for their one scar that is the focus of their arc. Barbie needs to learn to trust because she’s been dumped before. Ken lost his last girlfriend to a fire because he was a coma at the time therefore it was all his fault and he now has a protect the world from its own stupidity. I’m making fun here, but romance readers know how the same emotional baggage in the hands of one author is farce in someone else’s.

So how do you make your characters deeply emotional people with real problems instead of Ken in a coma? Hard work. Ha! You thought I was going to say imagery. No, good imagery will not save a stupid book. But consistent imagery will deepen your characters and–here’s the good part–keep your themes in your head from the beginning all the way through to the end of the book. Yup. Since writing is HARD WORK, anything that makes it EASIER WORK gets a thumbs up from me.

Raise your hand if you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about. Think of your heroine. For this example, we’ll call her Better Than Barbie (BTB). What’s her character arc? What does she learn through the course of the book? How does she change? If you can’t answer that, sit down and think of an answer. You can’t write a credible book without it. Remember, the answer could be that she doesn’t change. Despite everything, she remains rock solid in her beliefs.

Great, now BTB has a character arc. Let say BTB needs to learn to forgive, not only herself for her bad choices but her Mother From Hell who set her up with the Fiancé from Hell complete with the Family from Hell. Okay, what image best fits a woman who needs to learn forgiveness?

Let’s start with the easy part: earth, air, fire, or water. If she’s a religious character–water. You can use all that great baptism, washed clean, purified imagery. If she’s a stable character, grounded in her location or family or her job–then go with an earth concept. If BTB is quick tempered, someone who can either lash out or inspire–go with fire. Lastly, air. I chose air for the dreamers, the mystics, the people who wander around in their brain rather than the world because they’re either brilliant (genius academic) or lost in their imagination (airhead creative…ie, me).

Let’s go with the airhead creative. She’s an air person. Therefore colors that work for her would be pastels–light blue, white fluffy clouds. I’d make her a blonde with blue eyes that can grow really pale when she’s off day dreaming. Her body type is ethereal, ephemeral, and when Not-Ken looks at her, he wonders if she’ll just be blown away by the troubles of the world. She is the kind of person that all heroes want to protect.

When BTB becomes passionate, her eyes darken to a mysterious midnight sky. Her passion is surrounded by words like lightning, turbulence, and electric sensations–all those things that are associated with weather. Her happy laugh is light and brightens everything around her. Her ironic, snarky moments have a crisp snap to them. Now all of a sudden whenever you write about BTB, you have a whole slew of words to latch onto. She’ll walk lightly instead of with a heavy tread. She’ll float through a room instead of cut or stomp or glide.

Now think of her problem and start including words that demonstrate that. First scenes will include one or two words that indicate her need to forgive: stagnant, stuffy, choking, distant, maybe even dizzy. But as she moves through the book–especially in moments that reveal change–her imagery will change too. Her words or clothing will flow, her touch will feel like a benediction or the sun finally coming out. Learning to forgive will feel like a gentle spring rain that cleanses rather than punishes.

Sadly, no one but another brilliant writer will notice your imagery set. At least not on a conscious level. It’s all subconscious, but it helps create a unified feel for your characters that will flow (or drift or root or burn) through your entire book. And it helps you remember that BTB starts out as an air head but when hanging out with Not-Ken, she gets more grounded, and yet he appreciates the lightness to her spirit. Maybe she cools his volcano fire.

Healthy Kids with Goji

Raising and keeping your children healthy is not an undemanding job. Colds, flu and other contagious diseases more often increase with lightning speed and children tend to be the most vulnerable. Different from adults, young children may not have been exposed to many common germs. Their immune systems may not have had the chance to develop resistance to infection.

TV commercials try to sway kids to choose fast foods, high-fat snacks, high-sugar drinks and cereals. This type of diet cannot keep your children healthy. To the contrary, it actually curbs the immune system and amplifies the risk of disease. The accustomed modern diet is also largely responsible for the recent epidemic of childhood obesity. You’ve seen the headlines saying that more than half of American adults are obese. Turns out the problem isn’t confined to adults. More and more children are overweight, too. Fortunately, the trend doesn’t have to continue.

Children who are overweight are likely to become overweight adults. They may develop type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases and other illnesses that can follow them into adulthood. Overweight children can also suffer from stress, sadness and low self-esteem.

Eating well and being physically active are keys to your child’s well-being. The fusion of a healthy diet and regular exercise will not only help to keep them well when they’re young, but will also develop their resistance to disease and screen them later in life.

Enforce regular sleep to your children. Irregular sleep diminishes activity of natural killer cells, a key immune function. Parents should help their children plan schedules that permit eight to ten hours of sleep per night.
Daytime relaxation can produce important health benefits to children of any age.. A period of quiet, focused relaxation each day relieves anxiety, improves nighttime sleep and stimulates immune function.

Benefits of Goji Juice

The Goji berry can only be found in the most remote regions of Western Asia and have been celebrated throughout time. There are countless Asian legends demonstrating the wonders of Goji and the overall health benefits enjoyed by those who incorporate it as part of a healthy lifestyle. One such legend recounts the amazing account of Li Qing Yuen, a Chinese man born in 1678. Li Qing Yuen consumed a daily helping of soup made from the nutrient packed Goji berries and reportedly lived to the astonishing age of 252 years! The legend of Li Qing Yuen and the Goji Berry remain an important part of Asian culture to this day.

In an important study, goji’s master molecule polysaccharides were discovered to reduce body weight by enhancing the conversion of food into energy instead of fat. Goji has enjoyed long use throughout Asia in the natural treatment of insomnia. As a wholesome food, it has none of the dangers associated with sleeping pills.

One of the most beneficial uses of goji is its ability to strengthen the immune system to protect your child against disease. In traditional Asian medicine, the goji berry is renowned as an adaptogen, meaning that it has a rare ability to help your child to adapt to adverse conditions. In dozens of laboratory and clinical studies, goji has been shown to boost immune function. With daily use, it supports the body’s own processes to maintain peak health and prevent development of disease.

Goji berries contain up to 21 trace minerals (The main ones being zinc, iron, copper, calcium, germanium, selenium, and phosphorus). Goji berries are the richest source of carotenoids, including beta-carotene (more beta carotene than carrots), of all known foods or plants on earth! They contain 500 times the amount of vitamin C, by weight, of oranges making them second only to camu camu berries as the richest vitamin C source on earth. Goji berries also contain vitamins B1, B2, B6, and vitamin E.

Mature fruits contain about 11 mg of iron per 100 grams, beta-sisterol (an anti-inflammatory agent), linoleic acid (a fatty acid), sesquiterpenoids (cyperone, solavetivone), tetraterpenoids (zeaxanthin, physalin), and betaine (0.1%).

Goji berries contain 22 Polysaccharides, with 4 types of polysaccharides which fortify the immune system that are unique to the Goji, they can’t be found anywhere else on the planet! These 4 Master Molecules create their own SPECTRAL SIGNATURE. One polysaccharide found in this fruit has been found to be a powerful secretagogue (a substance that stimulates the secretion of rejuvenative human growth hormone by the pituitary gland).

Goji berries have been traditionally regarded as a longevity, strength building, and sexual potency food of the highest order. In several study groups with elderly people, the results showed that all the patients’ spirit and optimism increased significantly, appetite improved in 95% of the patients, 95% of the patients slept better, and 35% of the patients partially recovered their sexual function.

One of the most beneficial uses of goji is its ability to strengthen the immune system to protect your child against disease. In traditional Asian medicine, the goji berry is renowned as an adaptogen, meaning that it has a rare ability to help your child to adapt to adverse conditions. In dozens of laboratory and clinical studies, goji has been shown to boost immune function. With daily use, it supports the body’s own processes to maintain peak health and prevent development of disease.

Why Buying Investment Real Estate in Singapore – Singapore Property

Why Buying Investment Property in Singapore

Purchase finance property in Singapore is a definitely a high possibility to acquire money in a tangency dimension. Here’s why:

Since gaining independency in 1965, Singapore has witnessed a hammy rise in its modular of living. And fortunately, the Asian government has been proactive in transferral on an island-wide industrialization and the contemporary frugality of this island-country is steadfastly counterpoised on manufacturing and electronics. Singapore has gained immensely from the undeviating naturalized investments and the status of an port and advert hub for Southeasterly Asia which is why finance in property in Singapore is an tickling chance, and it’s all thanks to the island’s strategic emplacement in the europe.

Singapore is a zealous example for all countries as it overcame its need of unprocessed resources to prettify not just the 18th wealthiest land in the class, but to also beautify one of the juggernaut economies of the Eastern subcontinent. With unnaturalised unnecessary of $139bn, today’s Singapore is a far cry from the old sportfishing village it utilized to be.

Singapore is also one of the Cardinal Denizen Tigers along with Hong Kong, Southeasterly Korea and Formosa. The region has also been rated as the most commercially viable action world-wide and attracts thousands of naturalized expatriates who get work in multi-national corporations, rising the claim for actual demesne and experts tout this to be the ripe instance to for investment in property in Singapore. Piece the Singaporean frugality grew by 6.4% in 2005, it’s created a fact of sorts when it grew by 7.9% in 2006!

Standardised of Extant
Singaporeans sex to acquire money and elastic richly, a fact that is echoic in the Expenditure of Living Inspect conducted this period by Manufacturer HR Consulting, which stratified the region as the 5th most valuable in Assemblage and 14th most valuable land to elastic in across the class! Investment in property in Singapore is oriented to harvest tasteful rewards for you as the prescriptive of experience is upper and the stock is superior, linked with a oecumenical and secular move has prefab Singapore a auspicious goal for expats, and foreigners who relish the fantabulous wellborn of invigoration, myriad tastes of Asiatic cultures, and a traditionally accord of several cultures, traditions and religions, Singapore has a talent to object you and accept you in its outside munition.

Singapore has a hot timber type of condition with no fact seasons. The temperatures represent from 22°C to 34 °C with relational wetness of around 90% in the start and 60% in the salutation. The hottest months are June and July, spell Nov and December are wet months and Lordly to October are strict due to rubble storms.

Forests and nature reserves hit up for 23% of the country and the prima woodland is Bukit Timah Nature Taciturnity.

Realistic Acres in Singapore
The factual acres marketplace in Singapore is propelling with total residential soprano being around US$ 540,000. For all of you who are intellection to get, or put in the Asian property marketplace, there are a countywide extent of protection options. All fashionable constructions proceed with a superfluity of excellent facilities that aid in maintaining a overlooking canonical of experience in pulchritudinous and weightlifting surroundings and galore engage panoramic views of the sea!

These reasons should be sufficient for you to actualise that finance in property in Singapore now effectuation exclusive one abstraction , advantage!

Weight Loss for Brides – Drop at Least One Dress Size before Your Wedding

The stress and anxiety that most brides experience as their wedding day approaches can be overwhelming for them. The amount of preparation involved and the countless number of details needing attention can make it very difficult to eat sensibly and maintain even a modest level of good nutrition. I can recall countless conversations with brides who are so stressed out in the month or so before their wedding that they abandon all good eating habits and either starve themselves or binge on junk food to handle the stress.

Many are genuinely terrified that they’ll be overweight and unattractive on their wedding day or even worse won’t be able to fit into their dream wedding gown.

I have been working with a personal trainer for the past 10 years who continually reminds me how just a few simple changes to your daily routine can make a huge difference. The four basic principles I outline below really do work. I’ve had personal success using these strategies and continue to follow them on a daily basis. Many of my clients who have requested my help and followed this advice have had remarkable results. Start this program at least 3-4 weeks before your wedding day and see for yourself.

1. Water, Water and more Water

Hydration is critical. While the benefits are countless this is one of the hardest things to implement into your daily routine. Whenever I would neglect this item my trainer would recite how water lowers body fat, flushes cellulite, improves digestion, gets rid of dark circles under the eyes, and makes you feel full. These are just a few of the benefits of drinking the required 2.5 litres of water per day.

This may seem like a lot but I found the easiest way to get into the habit is to break the amounts down into manageable amounts:

• Keep a bottle of water beside your bed. Before you go to sleep drink 1/2 the bottle and as soon as you wake up (before your feet touch the floor) drink the remaining 1/2 bottle

• Before each meal drink a half a bottle of water

• Carry water with you and sip it throughout the day

I can’t overemphasize how important this step is.

2. Go for a 10 minute Walk Every Day

Start with this…you can always increase later after it becomes routine. It’s enough to gently boost your metabolism and keep you active.

3. Eat Often but Only in Small Portions

Before I started this method of eating I would starve myself for a couple of days whenever I wanted to lose weight. It seemed logical to me at the time. When I started personal training I had to modify many of my bad eating habits. I had to start eating 6 meals a day. Don’t panic, it’s easier than it sounds. Every 3-4 hours from the time you wake up eat a little something. Your digestive system is far more efficient at handling a series of small meals than it is at tackling one large meal.

I usually eat at 7am, 10 am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10 pm

Your meal portions (meat, veggies, carbs) should be no larger than the palm of your hand and no thicker than the palm of your hand.

4. Eat Healthy

I could spend days offering suggestions on meal variations but there are many excellent books that have been written to give you ideas. I will share my recommendations in another upcoming article.

So to make it simple a typical meal should be a protein, a carbohydrate and a vegetable or fruit.

Here is a sample daily meal plan that I eat to get you started:

Meal one: Protein shake with 1% milk (I like whey protein drinks such as IsoPro)
Meal two: 1/2 an apple and cottage cheese or yogurt
Meal three: Piece of chicken (no skin) and a small salad
Meal four: Cheese and the balance of the apple
Meal five: Piece of lean meat, rice or potatoes, vegetables
Meal six: Low fat chocolate pudding mixed with protein powder

5. The Best Part – Reward Yourself!

Choose one day a week as your reward day and eat whatever you want and as much as you want. Whether you like pasta, cookies, ice cream or my personal favorite chocolate.

Don’t worry, you won’t gain fat if you do this because for the past six days your body has been used to eating what I term ‘clean’ food. On the seventh day your body thinks you are going to do the same and when you don’t it gets fooled and eliminates the effects of the ‘junk’ food. In essence you are tricking your body that day but you must eat cleanly on the following day.

I have told many upcoming brides about this method of eating and almost all of them have emailed me back to let me know how thrilled they were at reaching their target goal of weight loss. I hope it works for you too.

As a final note of encouragement, my daughter used this method of eating and in 1 year she went from a size 18 to a size 2. This was four years ago and she has still maintained her weight to this day.

These simple techniques will not only help you quickly, safely and effectively lose at least one dress size but they will also help you feel more energetic, vibrant and healthy. Not to mention the positive effect it will have on your skin texture and overall appearance.

Stay on track and you’ll be amazed at your results. Eat well, drink plenty of water and as you progress, simply imagine your groom seeing you for the first time in your wedding gown and watching his jaw drop in speechless silence.

The Immune System: Eureka

Archimedes: His Discovery was the “talk of the town.”

Archimedes, the ancient Greek scientist, was no exception. When his friend, King Hieron of Syracuse asked the famous scientist if the crown he was wearing was pure gold or if it was alloyed, Archimedes was stumped.

One day as he stepped into a bath, it came to him. The amount of water which overflowed was equal to the portion of his body placed in the bathwater. The same was true of gold…and its alloys. Gold displaced a certain amount of water. Alloys, like silver, displaced different amounts.

We’re told by historians, he was so excited about his discovery he ran through the town crying “Eureka!” (“I found it!”). He had discovered the principle of the immune system…uh, no, sorry, getting ahead of myself…the principle of buoyancy.

Of course, what I said earlier applies here. We scientists do go overboard sometimes. He was so excited, he forgot to… well… get dressed. So, everyone got what they wanted that day. Archimedes got his discovery. King Hieron got a new crown (his alloyed crown displaced too much water)…and the town got their “buzz.”

The immune system … finally.

Since the beginning of modern medicine, scientists have wondered how the cells tell the body there’s an infection here…or a dying cell, there. Did you ever wonder how the body knew where to send the relief which aspirin brings to a headache?

Now, we know. Over recent years, four Nobel Prizes have been won in the field of sugar…Formally known as glyconutrition, glycomics, or glycobiology (with every discovery –especially one as important as the immune system – scientists compete for names). So, you take your pick.

What’s so important here? Simply this. Before those four Nobel Prizes were won, we didn’t know how cells communicated. Now, we find the communication is done with eight essential sugars (No, not the table sugar we all are used to using.). Interestingly, the eight sugars are key to proper immune system functions.

All cells carry ID tags, so to speak. They are molecular structures called antigens. Each of these “tags” tells the immune system if a cell or other structure is a friend or foe.

A simple illustration may help here. Immune system cells roam throughout the body touching other body cells and asking one of several questions:

Are you a part of this body?
Are you well?
Do you need help?

It is the sugars cells use to code the answers so the immune system can understand cell response. Through the sugar code (the eight glyconutrients), the cells answer “yes” or “no”. If “no” to the first question, the immune system launches an attack upon the foreigner, an immune system rejection of the invader.

Unfortunately, some foreigners can mutate, so the immune system gets a signal it’s not used to getting…and must await further developments. That’s the reason we get different kinds of flu and colds. Interestingly again (it does get exciting here folks, I warn you…), those further developments involving immune system cell response, may be “sped up” considerably with a “ready supply” of glyconutrients.

If the cell answers “no” to the second question above, the immune system sends help, repair, or protection.

If the cell answers “no” to the third question, the immune system cell moves on to other cells.

Healthy cells, ones with ALL eight of the “sugars” on them… send the correct signals for the direction of nutrients, elimination of toxins (elimination works necessarily with the immune system), calling of antibody help (immune system), “requests” for elimination of dying cells (immune system again), signals of aberrant growth (immune system) …

On the other hand, when the immune system is NOT functioning properly (sugars are NOT in place nutritionally or malformed), we experience one of several immune system “reactions.”

For example, if the immune system is an over active immune system, we can experience allergies, asthma, eczema, lupus, psoriasis, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis and diabetes.

If the sugars are not present, we can experience an under active immune system disorder. Such an under active immune system problem can lead to cancer, viral and bacterial infections, strep, sinus problems, Candida (yeast), Herpes simplex I and II, ear infections (moms take note for your young ‘uns), HIV, colds, bronchitis, Hepatitis B and C, flu, TB, urinary infections…among others.

Glyconutrients are immune system modulators. In other words, if the immune system is over active, they can help balance the immune system response. If the immune system is an under active immune system, the glyconutrients can boost the immune system strength.

Supplying the body with glyconutrients, may mean significant help for your body’s immune system in dealing with bacterial and viral infections, malignancies, fungus infections, bacterial infections, parasites and neurological problems.

Finally, glyconutrients significantly increase immune system cell (“killer cell”) response by as much as 50 per cent in people who are generally healthy. This means cutting back the incidence of infections, parasites and growths. The statistic in people with compromised immune systems is as much as 400 per cent!

Folks, that’s getting a lot of “bang” for your …uh…sugar.

Well, it is exciting. Sort of…


The First Serial Killer – Ed Gein

Ed Gein is also known as The Butcher of Plainfield, The Plainfield Butcher, The Mad Butcher, The Plainfield Ghoul.

A serial killer who served as the inspiration to numerous films, among them Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, Maniac, Three on a Meathook, Deranged, Ed Gein, The Movie, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

He was born on August 27, 1906 in La Crosse, Wisconsin and lived with his domineering and fanatically religious mother, Augusta, and his older brother, Henry, on a 195-acres family homestead outside Plainfield, Wisconsin. His father, George, a no-good alcoholic, and much despised by Augusta, died in 1940, aged 67. His brother abruptly followed suit in 1944, aged 43 (he died in a mysterious and suspicious brush fire). Ed’s mother passed away a year later, on December 29, 1945, aged 67. Ed remained all alone and subsisted on Federal farm subsidies and his occasional bouts as the community’s itinerant handyman and babysitter.

After his mother died, Ed sealed the upper floor as a shrine, and lived in a single room by the kitchen. He accumulated a library of anatomy books, porn magazines, horror and adventure novels, historical accounts of the Nazi medical experiments in Auschwitz and elsewhere, and medical encyclopedias. At night, he performed rudimentary surgeries on exhumed and decomposing female bodies about whose death he learned from the obituaries in the local paper. His semi-retarded friend Gus helped him dig up the graves, including, reportedly, the body of Ed’s own mother.

Even at this early necrophiliac phase, Gein kept the victims’ internal organs and draped himself with the flayed skins or fitted them onto a tailor’s mummy. Around the house, he wore women’s panties stuffed with excised vaginas. Contrary to rumor, he did not have sex with the bodies. They smelled too bad, he explained.

Gein wondered what it feels like being a woman and fantasized about gender reassignment. He was not shy about his collections and even showed them to visitors. For many years, Ed and his shrunken heads have been the butt of morbid local jokes. Once he told a a sawmill owner named Elmo Ueeck that Mary Hogan, one of his victims, is not missing. “She is at my farm right now” – confessed Ed sheepishly. No one paid any attention to the shy recluse.

When Gus was committed to an old people’s home, Ed’s supply of corpses dried up. To replenish it, he proceeded to murder a string of women who were in their mid to late fifties (he denied having killed young girls who vanished without a trace throughout the area starting in 1947). Bernice Worden was dragged from her hardware store on November 16, 1957 together with her cash register and $41 in cash (Ed said he was planning to return the money, he just wanted to learn how cash registers work).

Her son, Frank, the deputy-sheriff, suspected Gein. A day later, captain Lloyd Schoephoester and the sheriff, Art Schley, found her at Gein’s house, hanging upside down from a meat hook, beheaded, and gutted. Her intestines and head were discovered in a box, nails driven through her ears. Her heart rested on a plate in the living room.

A search throughout the grisly, trash and junk ridden house yielded ten preserved skins from human heads, a rug consisting of the skin from a woman’s upper torso, a belt with embedded female nipples, a chair, a drum, and a wastebasket upholstered in human skin, a soup bowl made from the crown of a skull, lampshades fashioned from human flesh, a table resting on human shinbones for its legs, and a refrigerator stocked with bits of female anatomy (Ed denied the cannibalism charges levied against him). Other artifacts made of human skins (and the occasional sown-off nose) included a purse, bracelet, a sheath for a knife, and leggings. A pair of human lips were sewed onto a string (a curtain pull).

Skulls crowned the four bedposts in Gein’s room. Trophies – human heads stuffed with newspapers – were pinned to the walls, flanked by nine death masks made of the original faces of dead women. A shoebox contained nine female genitalia including one painted silver (presumably his mother’s). Finally, Gein peeled the breasts off one of his victims to make himself a “mammary vest”. He wore it – and other garments made from human female skin – when he pretended to be his own mother.

All in all, the house and the surrounding land contained the remains of 15 bodies but Gein himself admitted that he had murdered only two – Worden and Mary Hogan, a tavern keeper on December 8, 1954. They were both shot in the head. The police found eight bodies in the local graveyard that were exhumed and mutilated by Gein. All body parts found belonged to female adults.

Gein quickly became a cult figure and the butt of moralizing folk tales and “Geiners”, macabre jokes. His farm and belongings were put on the block in a much-publicized and controversial auction. On March 20, 1958, the house burned to the ground as a result of probable arson. “Just as well” – muttered Gein when he learned of the conflagration. His Ford Sedan 1949 was displayed in carnivals and fairs by an entrepreneurial businessman for many years.

Gein spent a decade in an insane asylum but finally was judged competent to stand trial. The trial started on November 7, 1968 and the jury found him guilty but criminally insane. He was committed to Central State Hospital (for the Criminally Insane) at Waupon, Wisconsin and moved in 1978 to the Mendota Mental Health Institute. He was a model patient. There he died on July 26, 1984 of cancer and respiratory and heart ailments and was buried next to his mother in the Plainfield cemetery. His grave was desecrated by vandals.

Perpetual Leverage – Does Your Home Business Has That?

Let’s talk about something that many business owners neglect when it comes to having a home business. There are really only two ways you can go about making money. Either you spend time making each and every sale, typically by spend hours every day cold calling. Pester your friends and family in to buying products and services from you OR you become part of a systematic plan that sells through marketing automation.

Now you might be wondering how marketing can ever be automated. It is true that most people think that marketing means endless rounds visiting people and giving them your cards and trying to get their telephone numbers. You might think that no business can ever be successful without spending hour’s everyday cold calling potential leads and spending time with them turning them in to sales. While this is one way of doing business the important thing to remember here is that if you spent that kind of time cold calling you very well may achieve financial success but what Your TIME FREEDOM?

Not all of us can afford marketing teams for our home based businesses and if you are a part of Global Resorts Network you have it going good for you. Fortunately, some good people called the Inner Circle have come up with a completely automated way of selling Global Resorts Network memberships. It is called the Reverse Funnel System or RFS. Now you might be wondering what exactly is Global Resorts Network. Global Resorts Network (GRN) is an excellent program that offers people the chance to take quality vacations at some of the best 4 and 5 star resorts worldwide. All the resorts offered by GRN are luxury, high end, desirable resorts and are provided by a company that has over two decades of experience in this industry.

GRN offers its member’s excellent remuneration each time a sale is made by any member of a particular team and what is more, members can lay claim to 100% matching overrides made by other team members whom they have personally enrolled from $500 up to $1000. This is what is called Perpetual Leverage. Where else can you find such a system that gives you such kind of leverage? You will be getting benefits for time to come and have a great residual income. Global Resorts Network works effectively as it highly encourages the person who enrolled you to help you achieve success as they have a vested interest in YOUR success. This is only one of the many great aspect of this business that sets it apart from everything else out there.

A crucial aspect of any home business is training. GRN is great that way because within this network you will find people who are actually willing and desire to lend you the help that you need to get started. Your team consists of a mentor who wants to give you the assistance you need to put your business fast tracked. Think about the immense benefits that such training can provide you when compared with having to struggle with establishing a business from the scratch. Most team leaders have valuable experience and they could possibly sell their expertise in seminar for thousands of dollars!

Promotion is important to any business, especially a new business. However, promotion is also a highly technical aspect of business. Promotion that is not targeted properly is not likely to yield any results. In case of both Global Resorts Network and especially Reverse Funnel System you will be provided with key data that would lead you to place your advertisements where they will be highly visible. Team mentors and others have collected most of this data after years of hard work. You will be guided towards the e-zines that are generating the most amount of traffic. Not to mention you will get information about all the tips and tricks of video marketing, the hottest new way of marketing available today. Promoting your Global Resorts Network business couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is follow the exact steps that your mentors have taken to build their own business. As many have already discovered, their success can be easily replicated. In fact, many new members have made a sale even in their first week of being operational!

You will have to see it for yourself to believe how easy it is to set up re your Reverse Funnel System marketing Global resorts network opportunity. If you are able to use email and surf the Internet then you will be able to use this system to build your home business without a hitch. What amazes one about these system is that they have taken care of every aspect of the business so that you do not have to worry about doing it. Now I do not really know of many online businesses that offer that kind of convenience for their representatives.

Global Resorts Network offers its members the advantage of a home business that markets almost by itself, has need for minimal human intervention, offers Perpetual Leverage, a great residual income, some really amazing rep payments and assistance in setting up the system. It is truly the perfect home based business available to you right now, today. I encourage you to do your due diligence. The Internet is abuzz with the news about the kind of opportunity that has now become available to home entrepreneurs and everyone is talking about the Reverse Funnel System and Global Resorts Network.


All that you create or do not create in your life- comes from choice. Embrace and understand the dynamics of this essential ingredient of power. You suffer when you dis-empower yourself by feeling that you are not in control of your destiny. Freedom lies in understanding that you choose everything! Even in “inaction” there is a choice. In reality there is no true inaction or stagnation.

You can justify your situation by proclaiming, “I have no choice” “I cannot do anything to change my circumstances” “there is nothing I can do” etc. That is a false belief. You can “choose” to allow the outer world to affect how you see your situation- yet; there is never a situation in which you do not have power and a choice.

With each choice, there is a consequence and an energetic price that must be paid. So, it is not that you do not have a choice- you are only choosing which energetic price you choose to pay.

If you are currently in a working situation in which you are unhappy, you can make several choices.

You can choose to stay because you are fearful of change, of the economy or whether or not you can find another means of income. The price you will pay for this choice is continued feelings of boredom, anger, hopelessness, lethargy and depression. Eventually this feeling will affect other areas of your life.

You can choose to stay- yet, change the energetic of how you see your situation. The simple act of using an empowering thought form can create a dramatic change in how you see your situation. “I will stay in this job because it is providing me with an income at this time. I will keep my eyes open for new opportunities and know that this is a temporary situation and I can choose again at any time”.

You can choose to leave the job with the understanding that you are a creative being and can manifest a new source of income. From an outer view, this looks as if it is the most “expensive” choice in terms of energy. Yet, on another level it is not. What is required is a profound faith.

The first of these three examples is actually the most “expensive” for to continue to live under such circumstances will rob you of your life force. The most gentle of the three is the second option and the most daring and magical is the last.

The same wisdom applies to relationships (both platonic and romantic)

You can choose to stay in an unhappy, stagnant or abusive relationship. You can continue to complain about how miserable you are and how you cannot leave the relationship for various reasons. You can justify and make excuses for your circumstances- yet; all the while you will continue to live in anxiety and pain. You can choose to continually dream about what else may be out there for you- yet, never giving yourself an opportunity to explore the possibilities. The price for this choice is an un-calculatable amount.

You can choose to stay in the relationship with the affirmation of “I love this person and I choose to communicate my feelings with them to help bring about the needed changes. I will focus on the positive qualities and begin to let those be the guiding force. After a period of time, if I am still unhappy and see that the situation will not change, then I can choose again”. By doing this, you empower yourself by knowing that you are staying because it is YOUR CHOICE- not because you have no other options.

You can choose to leave the relationship and understand that this choice may lead to some pain and loneliness for a short time. You may feel sadness and loss, yet with that will come an undeniable sense of freedom. The level of your anxiety, negative thoughts and feelings will diminish, making way for a higher vibration of life affirming energy. Your affirmation would be “I am choosing to leave this relationship/friendship because it is not contributing to my joy and ultimate happiness. I know it may be painful for a little while- yet, I also know there are billions of people on the planet and numerous opportunities to meet new friends and lovers.”

When you use the words choose or choice in an affirmation, prayer or thought- the ears of the Angels perk up and they listen. The Universe begins to realign your world to meet that choice. There is so much magic in the understanding of this wisdom.

The same principle applies to what you view as “missing” in your life. You want to create a business, prosperity, a new job or a relationship yet you see that nothing is manifesting in your life. You can CHOOSE how you see your situation. You can make conscious choices as to how to get to the place you want to be. Statements like “I will never work for myself, I do not have the means to create my own business.” “I will never find a good job”, “I will never meet my soulmate/twinflame”, “I will always be poor”, “I will never get what I want” – all reinforce the CHOICE to create more of the same.

Choose creative and life affirming statements and thought forms and watch how your life is transformed. The Angels stand ready to assist you in your choices to create your desires.

I choose to take steps to immerse myself in the knowledge and learning I need to start my own business. I choose to put all my energy to creating what I want.

I choose to KNOW that there is a wonderful abundance of potential life partners and friends in the world for me. I choose to attract individuals who I will enjoy being with.

I choose to embrace HEALTH and vitality.

I choose to feel good.

I choose to allow prosperity to flow into my life.

I choose to allow my spiritual insight and faith to be my guiding force.

Paula Picard Psychic and Spiritual Teacher

Why is it important to set goals?

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. Please advise me where and how it is used.

Having a goal enables you to focus your energies on devising ways to achieve it. When someone makes a decision and begins focusing on achieving a specific goal (and even better in a specific period of time), the powerful subconscious mind goes to work and begins playing with ideas and developing strategies of various ways to bring about the successful completion of the goal.

When you set yourself a goal both your conscious and subconscious start working on it and begin to develop an action plan. You will find you begin asking yourself questions about what needs to be done to enable you to reach your goal. You may find yourselves coming up with amazing ideas and solutions to problems or obstacles that have been in the way of achieving your goal. Solutions and ideas that you are surprised you ever thought of may start popping into your mind.

Our subconscious is an extremely powerful tool. The more often you remind yourself of your goal, the more your mind will work on ways for you to achieve it. Some people find answers come to them when they are asleep and dreaming.

Have you ever noticed that there is no correlation between being wealthy and having a high IQ or a university degree? If there were, every doctor and university graduate would be wealthy, and as statistics show, most of them end up in the same situation as 95% of the population.

The main thing that the majority of independently wealthy people have in common is that they have set goals for themselves and achieved them. They invest time in reading and learning about wealth creation and are happy to learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences, as well as their own. They set goals, and realise that they will be far better able to achieve them if they familiarise themselves with the ways in which other people acted and the things that others have done to succeed. Wealthy people create wealth by carefully utilising the income that they have available to them to their best advantage. They know that working harder and longer hours is not the way to achieve financial freedom, instead they have to utilise what they have, and make it grow.

Setting Goals.
When you begin to work out your goals you need to make them as specific as possible. A vague idea or generalization like “I want to buy investment properties and become wealthy” is not enough. You need to be much more detailed. “I want to own my first investment property within six months. I will save for the legal and bank fees, and borrow 100% of the value of the property. I will find an extremely well priced, three bedroom brick veneer house that is close to schools and shopping centres. It will be either brand new or less than ten years old. It will be structurally sound, and require a minimal amount of maintenance. I will find a good agent to manage it, who has a lot of experience and will find me a good tenant.”

This is a specific goal, and you could add a lot more to it. Because your goal is specific your mind immediately begins to ask questions such as “How much money will I need for the fees and charges? How much does that relate to if I break it down on a weekly basis? Will I have to look at my current expenses to see where I need to cut back so as to make up the difference for the amount I need to save?” Specific goals help you to create specific, realistic action plans and as the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

You will find that if you write down your goals on a piece of paper, and put it in a prominent position, so that you will read it often, your subconscious as well as your conscious mind will start asking questions and coming up with answers, and you will find that you have already begun to take the necessary steps to achieving your goal.
It is helpful to have a series of goals, ranging from daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, ten yearly and thirty to forty yearly. You can always refine and change your goals as time goes on and situations change.

You may find that it is easier to start at the 40-year mark, and then work backwards. Try to work out what steps would be needed to achieve your 40-year goal, and spread them out over the different time spans, to what you would need to achieve to end up with the final result.

Try to make your goals realistic and achievable. Do not set a goal that is too hard. Set lots of small, easily achievable goals and work step by step to achieve your road to success. Stay positive. Believe in yourself and your abilities to succeed, even if other people patronise you or try to put you off, or tell you there is no point.

Setting and achieving goals help you to create a stronger character. It is always helpful to remember that our brain cannot entertain both positive and negative thoughts at the same time. If you stay positive you will dispel negative thought patterns. Even if you come across little obstacles that get in the way of your goals, don’t give up. Focus on finding a solution, rather than focussing on the problem – utilise a positive response. Focussing on finding solutions enables you to put your brain to work, to find ways around things. If you just see an obstacle as a problem and just accept that life has dealt you a blow, and let it stop you in your tracks, then you will never learn and grow. Remember that children learn to walk by falling over. Focus on the long-term achievements that you want to fulfil, and it will be easier to overcome your problems.

Turn Your PC Into a Filing Cabinet

It’ll get you closer to the dream of a paperless office

Guidance for Workplace PC Users

One of the big dreams of PC aficionados 20-plus years ago was the paperless office. Why would you need paper if you had everything saved on a disk? So much for that dream. We’re a long way from saving the forests.

But here’s my goal for you today: I want to convince you that, to a large degree, your office filing cabinets are wasting space. Paper is a pain in the neck. Theoretically, you could get rid of every scrap of it. You can store a record of everything you do in your computer. And finding it is easier than digging through a filing cabinet.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Understand Windows Explorer
There are two parts of the Microsoft Windows operating system that you really should understand. One is the desktop. That’s what you see when you turn on the computer. You probably have a grip on that already.

The other is Windows Explorer. That’s where all your files are listed.

You use the Start button to find Windows Explorer. For Windows Me and XP, click Start>Programs or All Programs>Accessories>Windows Explorer. If you’re still using Windows 98, click Start>Programs>Windows Explorer.

When you open Windows Explorer, you’ll find the screen is split into left and right panes. The stuff on the left is folders; the things on the right are subfolders or files. If you click once on a folder, the subfolders and files within that folder are displayed on the right.

The folder section on the left is called a “tree.” It could be better described as an “upside-down tree.” Near the top, you’ll find the root folder, usually C:. Everything grows from that. The most important thing under C: is My Documents. That’s where you store your documents. The other thing you should be aware of is Program Files.

When you install an application — Microsoft Word or whatever — it will normally go under Program Files. Some programs install directly under C:, but they are the exceptions. So, if you ever need to dig into the folders in Microsoft Word or another program, you’ll probably find them under Program Files.

Step 2: Reclaim the My Documents folder
Microsoft includes more than one My Documents folder in Windows Explorer. Why? Beats me. But you could use any My Documents folder you find on your drive. To avoid confusion, just use one. I’ll focus on the one under C:.

You can set up My Documents the way you do a filing cabinet. Think about that cabinet: Your top drawer might be “Important Letters.” Inside, you might have letters to your customers, arranged by folders. Each customer would have a folder. Your second drawer could be marked “Invoices to Customers.” Again, the folders inside would be individualized for your customers.

So here’s how you set up My Documents the same way:

Click once on My Documents, highlighting it. Click File>New>Folder. Give the new folder the name “Important Letters.” Be sure the Important Letters folder shows on the left side, under My Documents.

Now, click once on the Important Letters folder. Click File>New>Folder. Give the new folder the name of a customer. Do this for each of your customers.

Follow the same procedure for invoices. Create a new folder under My Documents and name it “Invoices to Customers.” Then create subfolders for Invoices to Customers, and give each the name of a customer.

You can create as many folders under My Documents as you like. And you can create lots of subfolders. In fact, you can add subfolders to subfolders to subfolders, if you like. This method of filing is flexible.

Paper documents you receive, as opposed to those you generate, are more problematic. If you have a scanner, you can scan them into your system. Otherwise, you might want to continue to file them. The same is true of newspaper clippings and other pieces of paper. They can be scanned if you want to digitize everything. But you might find traditional filing handier.

Step 3: What hardware do I need?
You probably have enough space on your hard drive to store the Library of Congress. Hard drives have grown exponentially in recent years. Unless you’re storing huge video files, you probably don’t have a space-limitation issue.

It’s easy to check your space situation. Click Start and My Computer. Right-click C: and click Properties. Your hard drive information is on the General tab.

Checking mine, I find that I have 4.76 gigabytes of data. Much of that is Windows and other applications. I also have thousands of personal files, because I store everything I write. Even so, I have 33.5 GB of empty space. This hard drive will turn to dust before I fill it!

Meanwhile, assuming you commit your business life to your hard drive, you must protect it. Do that with data backups. Then, if a hard drive fails, you can restore the data to a new hard drive.

Hard drives are very reliable today. But you should never take chances with your business. The world is already tough enough!

If you don’t feel comfortable diving in, start slowly. Put just a few of your files under My Documents. I think you’ll find Windows Explorer easy to use.

You may never drive paper out of your life. But you can certainly reduce it, and maybe save a tree or two.

The Quick And Easy Way To PPC Advertising

You should be able to find several indispensable facts about PPC Advertising in the following paragraphs. If there’s at least one fact you didn’t know before, imagine the difference it might make.

Engaging in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has its own benefits and drawbacks. But what exactly is PPC advertising and what it can do to your business?

Business nowadays is doing different kinds of austerity measures when it comes to advertising their products and services. This is because of high rates of placing ads on print and on television. But there is a fast growing approach that businessmen can utilize to bring their services closer to the people and that is through Internet Marketing.

One tool that is causing internet marketing popularity is PPC advertising. This is a technique used in search engine marketing that requires one to pay a fee every time someone clicks an ad on your website. Usually this placement is done through a bidding process. If you are a top bidder for your keywords/phrases, you are sure to be on the number one spot on all search engines. Just be sure of the effectiveness of your ad copy to get the most number of clicks you need for your business.

Here are the benefits of PPC advertising are:

1.You need not be a genius in computer and technology to be able to run this ad campaign.
2.Immediate results are seen after a few days.
3.No need to make a website conform to the SEO rules.
4.Nothing to lose even if you do not top the pages of different search engines. You can still always choose PPC advertising.
5.You can make use any search engine available.
6.You can type in any keyword you like.

Cons of PPC advertising includes:

1.Fixed payments every month to the search engine you choose.
2.Pay for each click received by your website. At times, visitors are just competitors or people playing pranks on search engines. This hassle wastes money you put in to this advertising.
3.Inability to pay for the fees next month would mean removal of your website on the paid listings.
4.This advertising can only be used temporarily because it is difficult to handle in the long run.
5.Pay-per-click pricing can be costly for long periods of time, therefore, this should be stopped after an ad campaign.

But how exactly PPC advertising can increase traffic, leads and sales?

Think about what you’ve read so far. Does it reinforce what you already know about PPC Advertising? Or was there something completely new? What about the remaining paragraphs?

PRE-QUALIFIED TRAFFIC. All visitors of your website are already considered as a qualified consumer or buyer of your product. PPC advertising leads your customers to you for a lesser cost.

INSTANT EXPOSURE, IMMEDIATE PROFITS. PPC search engines enable you to get your desired results fast. They will have your website live within just a few hours which means immediate increase in sale.

CONSISTENT TOP LISTINGS. This is to get your website on top of the sponsored search results for free. You just have to choose the keywords related to your site and business and place them within your web pages. After this, you are done.

PPC advertising enables advertisers to control their advertising campaigns. Advertisers have effectively targeted their audience and set their own price per click. PPC advertising networks provide the platform to identify the desired audience by geographic setting, topic and industry. These networks have a list of websites of the publishers where the ads will be placed.

Tools are provided by the networks to check how the pay per click limit is working for a certain advertiser. If its still competitive, would it be even listed among the paid search lists or does it generate sales? Of course, if the advertiser made the highest bid, the better chances the ad will be seen in the search engine. These networks too provide protection for the advertisers against click fraud. This advertising set-up allows advertisers to set a daily budget for his ads, thus, less spending for unnecessary clicks. Advertiser will never go over his budget.

In PPC advertising, what are important are the keywords and phrases. You have to select at least ten “very specific” keywords that would give you the best traffic in the search. Then, write the ad creatively but straightforward. Tell the truth about your product or service and do not lie. Good thing if your product or service will not disappoint those that are relying on your ad’s promise – but what if it did otherwise? Important too is the clarity of the ad. Do not use very vague languages. Include important details like the price.

You should also remember to budget your bids. Do not go overbidding because you will only lose your money and do not go so low that your ads will never get the chance to show up. Check your profit against your spending. If you see no progress then most likely you have to drop your ad campaign.

More and more advertisers have been using PPC advertising and it will continue to grow faster than any online advertising techniques. From revenues of $2.6 billion in 2004 to $5.5 billion in 2009, cost per click will dramatically go up as well from $0.29 to $0.36.

PPC advertising is new in online marketing and it is going to continue in the years to come. For advertisers, this means increase revenues with fewer advertising expenses, savings, more sales, good return of investment (ROI) and effective ad campaigns in the days to come.

If you’ve picked some pointers about PPC Advertising that you can put into action, then by all means, do so. You won’t really be able to gain any benefits from your new knowledge if you don’t use it.

The Do’s And Don’ts In Finding The Right Office Furniture

Getting the right office furniture entails a lot of considerations on numerous factors. Find out what characteristics of office furniture you should avoid and seek to improve your office setting.

Getting the right furniture to furnish your office can make all the difference in the world. Not only can it facilitate the right atmosphere conducive for working productively, it can also promote functionality and organization.

The overall comfort your office renders to both you and your client should be the utmost importance. Comfort means productivity and productivity means satisfied clients. Consumer satisfaction ergo results to a successful business.

It’s time to get started revamping your office. What are the facts that you should know if you do not have the right furniture in your office right now? First of all, you start with the chair. If your chair does not exhibit the marriage between function and design, your body mechanics will be compromised. Proper body mechanics is needed to promote good posture in order to prevent discomfort and bodily injuries.

For example, if your chair does not give the appropriate lumbar support, this would most commonly result to the nuisance of experiencing back aches. If your chair does not afford the proper adjustability for the distance between the floor and your work desk, you would most probably end up with feeling pangs in your shoulder. If your chair does not give the proper support to your buttocks, your ischial tuberosities would exert the maximum pressure to your gluteal muscles and this could lead to a start of a serious condition of pressure sores, medically known as decubitus ulcers. Your chair should also be able to promote the circulation in your lower extremities. If the chair you are sitting on right now while reading this article is impeding your circulation in the popliteal region, or the knee region, you might develop the much feared hideousness of varicose veins. Didn’t know that a single chair could mean so much importance? Well, now you do.

Moving on, the next thing you should be informed of is the importance of the effects of not having the proper desk in your office. If you do not have the right desk with a sufficient surface area, then chances are, your workspace will be cluttered. If you have a cluttered workspace, organization will be compromised and disorganization can most commonly result to procrastination, and yes folks, procrastination decreases productivity and will ultimately reduce your profit generation. Another fact you should be in the know is that if your desk does not provide the proper balance of height between your keyboard, considering you are going to be using one, and your body, you are putting much unnecessary tension in the muscles of your hands and forearms. If the muscles in these areas increase in tension without the proper relaxation exercises, these muscles could swell and therefore impede circulation. You could then be suffering from a condition known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

With all these being said, you now know what ill effects the poor quality office furniture can do to you and your business. How can you then avoid these health and safety hazards in your very own office? Here are some guidelines in choosing the right office furniture.

The feel and design of the office furniture you choose to make use of should coincide with the general tone or mood you and your business want to send across to your clients.

You should consider the size of your office. The right furniture should be estimated to fit your office properly but not compromise the traffic flow. You can’t be buying large and lavish furniture if you’re working in a space as small as a cubicle, neither should you be buying tiny and compact ones if you have a large office space.

The right chair should promote maximum comfort that enhances productivity rather than relaxation. It should be able to support the essential parts of your body most commonly affected with aches and pains. Tall people tend to acquire lower back aches more frequently, so more support for the lower back is needed in choosing the right chair. The right chair should not only look appealing but should promote the proper body mechanics for you.

The type of desk you should be using in your office should promote organization. There should be enough space for your office wares as well as sufficient space for you to do your work. Provide an adequate desktop space for you to lay down whatever you want to work with at the moment.

Reception, meeting, and conference rooms should have the proper furnishings to attract customers and promote the feeling of ease to your clients, lessen their feeling of apprehension, and thus making you work more harmoniously together. Choosing the appropriate themes and color schemes may deliberately change the mood of the people in the room.

Materials used and the tone of your office furniture should be in conjunction with the philosophy of your business venture. Dark tones are suitable for corporate businesses, whereas lighter tones can be appropriately used for businesses with casual transactions.

Ornaments should be properly placed in the right areas to accessorize your work space in order to attract consumers and promote the positive flow of energy that brings fortune and wealth to your business.

Most importantly, you should also have a realistic budget in mind, one that gets you the most furniture with both comfort and style for the least amount of money.

Religion and Science

There are many kinds of narratives and organizing principles. Science is driven by evidence gathered in experiments, and by the falsification of extant theories and their replacement with newer, asymptotically truer, ones. Other systems – religion, nationalism, paranoid ideation, or art – are based on personal experiences (faith, inspiration, paranoia, etc.).

Experiential narratives can and do interact with evidential narratives and vice versa.

For instance: belief in God inspires some scientists who regard science as a method to “peek at God’s cards” and to get closer to Him. Another example: the pursuit of scientific endeavors enhances one’s national pride and is motivated by it. Science is often corrupted in order to support nationalistic and racist claims.

The basic units of all narratives are known by their effects on the environment. God, in this sense, is no different from electrons, quarks, and black holes. All four constructs cannot be directly observed, but the fact of their existence is derived from their effects.

Granted, God’s effects are discernible only in the social and psychological (or psychopathological) realms. But this observed constraint doesn’t render Him less “real”. The hypothesized existence of God parsimoniously explains a myriad ostensibly unrelated phenomena and, therefore, conforms to the rules governing the formulation of scientific theories.

The locus of God’s hypothesized existence is, clearly and exclusively, in the minds of believers. But this again does not make Him less real. The contents of our minds are as real as anything “out there”. Actually, the very distinction between epistemology and ontology is blurred.

But is God’s existence “true” – or is He just a figment of our neediness and imagination?

Truth is the measure of the ability of our models to describe phenomena and predict them. God’s existence (in people’s minds) succeeds to do both. For instance, assuming that God exists allows us to predict many of the behaviors of people who profess to believe in Him. The existence of God is, therefore, undoubtedly true (in this formal and strict sense).

But does God exist outside people’s minds? Is He an objective entity, independent of what people may or may not think about Him? After all, if all sentient beings were to perish in a horrible calamity, the Sun would still be there, revolving as it has done from time immemorial.

If all sentient beings were to perish in a horrible calamity, would God still exist? If all sentient beings, including all humans, stop believing that there is God – would He survive this renunciation? Does God “out there” inspire the belief in God in religious folks’ minds?

Known things are independent of the existence of observers (although the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics disputes this). Believed things are dependent on the existence of believers.

We know that the Sun exists. We don’t know that God exists. We believe that God exists – but we don’t and cannot know it, in the scientific sense of the word.

We can design experiments to falsify (prove wrong) the existence of electrons, quarks, and black holes (and, thus, if all these experiments fail, prove that electrons, quarks, and black holes exist). We can also design experiments to prove that electrons, quarks, and black holes exist.

But we cannot design even one experiment to falsify the existence of a God who is outside the minds of believers (and, thus, if the experiment fails, prove that God exists “out there”). Additionally, we cannot design even one experiment to prove that God exists outside the minds of believers.

What about the “argument from design”? The universe is so complex and diverse that surely it entails the existence of a supreme intelligence, the world’s designer and creator, known by some as “God”. On the other hand, the world’s richness and variety can be fully accounted for using modern scientific theories such as evolution and the big bang. There is no need to introduce God into the equations.

Still, it is possible that God is responsible for it all. The problem is that we cannot design even one experiment to falsify this theory, that God created the Universe (and, thus, if the experiment fails, prove that God is, indeed, the world’s originator). Additionally, we cannot design even one experiment to prove that God created the world.

We can, however, design numerous experiments to falsify the scientific theories that explain the creation of the Universe (and, thus, if these experiments fail, lend these theories substantial support). We can also design experiments to prove the scientific theories that explain the creation of the Universe.

It does not mean that these theories are absolutely true and immutable. They are not. Our current scientific theories are partly true and are bound to change with new knowledge gained by experimentation. Our current scientific theories will be replaced by newer, truer theories. But any and all future scientific theories will be falsifiable and testable.

Knowledge and belief are like oil and water. They don’t mix. Knowledge doesn’t lead to belief and belief does not yield knowledge. Belief can yield conviction or strongly-felt opinions. But belief cannot result in knowledge.

Still, both known things and believed things exist. The former exist “out there” and the latter “in our minds” and only there. But they are no less real for that.

How You Can Find Stress Relief

We all have heard of the harmful effects stress can have on our lives. Although we can never totally eliminate stress we must be able to manage stress, and find stress relief, especially the prolonged stress which will indeed cause many ill effects on your health.

In many ways we can eliminate much of our stress by the way we perceive things. There are many things in life in which we have little or no control over. Things such as traffic jams and the way others act. If we react to these things in a way that adds stress to our lives many of our bodily functions shut down and prevent our bodies from keeping ourselves healthy and youthful.

Much of our stress can be relieved by the way we perceive things. In many cases we are stressed out by things we have no control over. If we can do something about a situation then we should act on it to resolve the problem. If the situation is out of our control we would be better off just accepting it for what it is and focus our attention on something more pleasant or something that will enhance our day and our lives.

The body reacts to stress by producing a flood of chemicals that shut down important but not vital functions to survival. This constant supply of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and the suppression of growth hormones and other healing hormones that help your body heal after stress, will damage your body and have a negative effect on your health over time.

Some ways you can control the amount of stress you encounter is to monitor a few things about the so called stressful situation you are in. Firstly ask yourself, am I in control of the situation that is upon me. Like I said earlier if the situation is beyond your control you must let it go. If there is something you can do about the situation then you must be in action and do something to resolve it.

Secondly you could identify to what extent your stress is the result of your interpretation of the situation, which in fact, relates to your beliefs and judgments. If you are caught up in the story of “this always happens to me” or are you always trying to prove something to yourself to reinforce a limiting belief you have about yourself or others. This can be a harmful cycle in which you will always generate unwanted stress in your life. Pay attention to see if the same situations come up and you get stressed out about similar things. Awareness to our beliefs and judgments can open doors to freedom within our consciousness.

The third thing that one can do is to learn to consciously adjust your reaction to what is happening in our lives. Learn to be calm in situations, to be focused and powerful in dealing with stressful issues. When we react all the time we are not in control and not being in control can add to feelings of recklessness. An out of control feeling is definitely a situation which can cause stress.

Besides the few perceptive ways to deal with stress just mentioned one can also start a program which will be more proactive and help you put your mind and body in a state that more readily handles situation as they arise. Proactive stress management techniques can be addressed with knowledge. Through personal development books or courses that teach you to be in more control of your life and to accept others for who they are, you can eliminate about fifty percent of your stress.

There are also courses in anger management if you feel you have an issue with anger. Many times anger is the end result of other emotions such as disappointment, jealousy, fear, or other emotions. Not being able to communicate this in a healthy manner and really understanding your emotions can lead to anger in almost any area of your life. The recognition of these emotions and the ability to communicate them to yourself and others can be a big stress releaser and put you in better control of your emotions and your life.

Of course eating well and exercising help your body to deal with stress. The release of good hormones through things such as yoga, aerobic, meditation, breathing exercising or weight lifting greatly help your body deal with stress, firstly by having a means to release the stress through the physical activity and secondly these activities enable the body to produce the healthy endorphins and healing hormones into your body.

Other ways to reduce stress is to engage in something you love to do. Get your mind off the situation that is causing you stress. By having a hobby that you just love to do such as gardening, playing a musical instrument, stained glass or whatever gets your mind focused on something you love. Usually something creative opens you up a totally different space within you.

And of course my two favorite thing to relieve stress, laughter and good supportive friends. Go see a funny movie or go out with supportive friends to a comedy club. Spend good quality time with them and share your love, don’t complain about your stressful situation unless you discuss it to find possible ways of resolving the situation and then end the conversation and have some fun.

Listen, stress can kill you and the more and more scientist explore this issue the more and more they know that almost all disease can manifest from stress and ill thoughts. Choose to deal with stress in a positive way. Find the way to incorporate stress relief practices into your life and help you mind, body and spirit live a healthier more fulfilled life.

Geraniums Galore – A Container Garden Delight

All over the country, geraniums flaunt their red and scarlet, rose, pink, and white blooms with a gay abandon that few other plants can rival. In boxes on city fire escapes and rooftops, in window boxes on suburban and country houses, in tubs and pots on terraces and patios, and in hanging baskets of the porches of summer cottages, they are beloved and cherished plants

It needs sun to bloom; it tolerates shade, where it is usually handled as a foliage plant. What it resents is too much moisture and a rich diet. Kept too wet, the leaves turn yellow; given a heavy soil, one high in nitrogen plants go to foliage and flower sparingly.

Even if you choose no other plants, you could have a varied potted garden of single and double zonal, fancy-leaved or variegated, scented-leaved, ivy and Lady or Martha Washington geraniums (also called show or fancy geraniums), not to mention a few oddities of cactus and climbing types.

The zonal geranium is characterized by dark circular markings on the rounded green leaves. Double types dominate the trade and are offered by florists in the spring for planting in gardens and window boxes.

Variegated geraniums, with leaves that are often brilliantly colored, are attractive even out of bloom. Set among green-leaved geraniums and other foliage plants, pots of the variegated plants add color and pattern.

The trailing, ivy-leaved geraniums are among the most profuse flowering when grown under favorable conditions. They dislike shade and high humidity and thrive best in climates with warm days and cool nights, as in California.

Lady Washington’s, considered the handsomest of geraniums, are not so easy to grow. Like the ivy-leaved, they prefer cool nights and warm, sunny days, preferring shelter from wind and all-day sun.

If you are a geranium gardener, you may want to spark your pot plant collection with some cactus and climbing geraniums. They will give you bizarre and fascinating forms and flowers and are certain to arouse comment.

Geraniums flourish and look well in pots, boxes, and planters. They thrive in various soil mixtures if drainage is good. For abundant bloom, however, supply a special preparation, not high in nitrogen, or lush foliage and few blooms will result. I have success with good garden soil and a sprinkling of a 5-10-5 fertilizer and bone meal. During the growing season, plants respond to a low-nitrogen fertilizer in liquid form.

When potting, be generous with drainage material to insure free passage of water. As with any plant, always water with care, since too much or not enough can be harmful. The best rule is to water when the surface of the soil feels dry. Then soak the soil well and do not water again until plants need it. If soil is kept too wet, leaves will turn yellow; if too dry they wilt and discolor.

To maintain even plant growth, turn containers from time to time. Remove yellow leaves and faded blossoms which are especially distracting on plants at doorways or any other key spots. If rain rots and disfigures the center florets of the heads, pull them off with your fingers, leaving the unmarred outer florets and buds.

If you want plants for next spring, take two- to four-inch cuttings in August or early September. Look for mature stems (with leaves spaced close together) that break easily like a snap bean. Woody growth is hard to root and succulent tips tend to rot. Before planting spread out cuttings in a shady place for several hours so leaves will lose excess moisture.

When ready to plant, cut off the lower leaves, allowing but two or three to each cutting. Also pull off the little wings on the stem, since they are inclined to rot. Dip stem ends in hydrated lime to prevent decay and then insert about halfway, in a flat or large pot of pure sand or a mixture of sand and peat moss. With geraniums, rooting powders are hardly necessary. When cuttings develop inch-long roots, they are ready for spacing out in another flat or for separate planting in 2½-inch pots. Fill with a mixture of three parts sandy loam and one part peat moss or leaf mold. After planting, keep in the shade for the first few days, and bring indoors before cold weather.

When the separated cuttings have developed strong root systems, shift to 3½- or 4-inch pots. Use the same potting mixture as before, with bone meal added. Later as established plants begin to grow, feed periodically with a high phosphorous fertilizer, as 5-10-5 or 4-12-8.

To keep plants bushy and to encourage branching, pinch while small, starting when they are three to four inches high. Provide sunny windows, and keep turning pots to prevent lopsided growth. Water regularly, but allow soil to dry out just a little between applications

Plants may be wintered in cool cellars with little light. Remember only that the less light, the cooler the temperatures should be. This is because too much warmth and insufficient light cause lanky growth that undermines a healthy plant.

Gardeners with cellars or sheds when temperatures remain above freezing, can winter geraniums hanging upside down from the ceiling. The dead-looking sticks, set out in pots or in the garden in warm weather, will astound you when they develop into glorious flowering plants.

Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

Cisco CCNA / CCNP Certification Exam Lab: Frame Relay Subinterfaces And Split Horizon

Earning your Cisco CCNA and CCNP is a tough proposition, and part of that is the fact that you quickly learn that there’s usually more than one way to do things with Cisco routers – and while that’s generally a good thing, you better know the ins and outs of all options when it comes to test day and working on production networks. Working with Frame Relay subinterfaces and split horizon is just one such situation.

One reason for the use of subinterfaces is to circumvent the rule of split horizon. You recall from your CCNA studies that split horizon dictates that a route cannot be advertised out the same interface upon which it was learned in the first place. In the following example, R1 is the hub and R2 and R3 are the spokes. All three routers are using their physical interfaces for frame relay connectivity, and they are also running RIPv2 /24. Each router is also advertising a loopback interface, using the router number for each octet.

R1(config)#int s0

R1(config-if)#ip address

R1(config-if)#no frame inverse

R1(config-if)#frame map ip 122 broadcast

R1(config-if)#frame map ip 123 broadcast

R1(config-if)#no shut

R2(config)#int s0

R2(config-if)#encap frame

R2(config-if)#no frame inver

R2(config-if)#frame map ip 221 broadcast

R2(config-if)#frame map ip 221 broadcast

R2(config-if)#ip address

R3(config)#int s0

R3(config-if)#encap frame

R3(config-if)#no frame inver

R3(config-if)#frame map ip 321 broadcast

R3(config-if)#frame map ip 321 broadcast

R3(config-if)#ip address

R1#show ip route rip is subnetted, 1 subnets

R [120/1] via, 00:00:20, Serial0 is subnetted, 1 subnets

R [120/1] via, 00:00:22, Serial0

R2#show ip route rip is subnetted, 1 subnets

R [120/1] via, 00:00:06, Serial0

R3#show ip route rip is subnetted, 1 subnets

R [120/1] via, 00:00:04, Serial0

The hub router R1 has a route to both loopbacks, but neither spoke has a route to the other spoke’s loopback. That’s because split horizon prevents R1 from advertising a network via Serial0 if the route was learned on Serial0 to begin with.

We’ve got two options here, one of which is to disable spilt horizon on the interface. While doing so will have the desired effect in our little network, disabling split horizon is not a good idea and should be avoided whenever possible. We’re not going to do it in this lab, but here is the syntax to do so:

R1(config)#interface serial0

R1(config-if)#no ip split-horizon

A better solution is to configure subinterfaces on R1. The IP addressing will have to be revisited, but that’s no problem here. R1 and R2 will use /24 to communicate, while R1 and R3 will use /24. R3’s serial0 interface will need to be renumbered, so let’s look at all three router configurations:

R1(config)#interface serial0

R1(config-if)#encap frame

R1(config-if)#no frame inverse-arp

R1(config-if)#no ip address

R1(config-if)#interface serial0.12 multipoint

R1(config-subif)#ip address

R1(config-subif)#frame map ip 122 broadcast

R1(config-subif)#interface serial0.31 point-to-point

R1(config-subif)#ip address

R1(config-subif)#frame interface-dlci 123

R2(config)#int s0

R2(config-if)#ip address

R2(config-if)#encap frame

R2(config-if)#frame map ip 221 broadcast

R2(config-if)#frame map ip 221 broadcast

R3(config)#int s0

R3(config-if)#ip address

R3(config-if)#encap frame

R3(config-if)#frame map ip 321 broadcast

R3(config-if)#frame map ip 321 broadcast

A frame map statement always names the REMOTE IP address and the LOCAL DLCI. Don’t forget the broadcast option!

Show frame map shows us that all the static mappings on R1 are up and running. Note the “static” output, which indicates these mappings are a result of using the frame map command. Pings are not shown, but all three routers can ping each other at this point.

R1#show frame map

Serial0 (up): ip dlci 122(0x7A,0x1CA0), static,

broadcast, CISCO, status defined, active

Serial0 (up): ip dlci 123(0x7B,0x1CB0), static,

broadcast, CISCO, status defined, active

After the /24 network is added to R1 and R3’s RIP configuration, R2 and R3 now have each other’s loopback network in their RIP routing tables.

R2#show ip route rip is subnetted, 1 subnets

R [120/1] via, 00:00:20, Serial0 is subnetted, 1 subnets

R [120/1] via, 00:00:22, Serial0

R3#show ip route rip is subnetted, 1 subnets

R [120/1] via, 00:00:20, Serial0 is subnetted, 1 subnets

R [120/1] via, 00:00:22, Serial0

While turning split horizon off is one way to achieve total IP connectivity, doing so can have other unintended results. The use of subinterfaces is a more effective way of allowing the spokes to see the hub’s loopback network.

Words That Hypnotize – Using Subliminal Language To Get What You Want

Many people wish to gain a greater influence over others in their life. There can be a lot of reasons for this. Business interactions, social situations and even friendships could profit from the proper use of language. Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to use language in such a way that it really impacted the listener and “drove” home the idea or concept we were trying to share? Wouldn’t it help if you could properly convey the meaning of what you were saying?

Well there is such an approach and it was first devised, by cunning hypnotists, as a way of speaking directly to the subconscious mind without the subject being aware of it! It is called hypnotic language or hypnotic conversation.

Hypnotists manipulate this clever use of language in order to relax their subject during hypnosis and deepen their trance. It is a very simple technique that has become famous within hypnotic circles and is even starting to be used in the business world. Beware though, its use must be subtle.

It basically involves your tone of voice and how you intone certain words. You put the slightest amount of emphasis on the words in a sentence to change it from a question or proposal to a command. For example “maybe you want to relax completely or maybe you just want to chill out”, seems straight forward enough. However, manipulate the sentence with the use of hypnotic language and it changes from a proposal to the command “you want to relax completely” and “you just want to chill out”.

So how can we do this?

It is really very simple. But before you find out the how’s we must know the why’s.

Non-verbal communications make-up about 80%, at least, of the message that we are trying to convey to people. Regardless of what it is that you are actually saying, your body language, posture, eye movement, blood flow to the face and a myriad of other signals tells a person exactly what you are trying to communicate. For this reason we can often get the sense that someone is lying to us or not telling us the whole story even when they are searing that what they are saying is the truth. Subconsciously we pick up on these non-verbal clues and “read” the situation as being different from how the person speaking is trying to convey it. Those people who can beat lie-detector machines can, either consciously or unconsciously, regulate these non-verbal communications.

Likewise the intonement you use in your everyday speech is a very important factor in all speech. Your tone of voice can convey messages to your subconscious mind that go unnoticed by your conscious, rational mind. It is through the use of your tone and the spacing of your words that you can literally hypnotize the person you are speaking to. You can also use this technique to turn any words you want in a sentence into subliminal commands.

For instance in the above mentioned example the hypnotist would say the sentence in the following way, [slow and melodic] “mayyyyybbbbeeebe” [in a harder authoritative tone “YOU WANT TO RELAX COMPLETELY”, [slow and melodic] “orrrrr mayyyyybbbbeeeee” [again in a harder authoritative tone] “YOU JUST WANT TO CHILL OUT”.

It should be noted that this effect is very subtle and only becomes noticeable when it is pointed out to you. During hypnosis you are consciously aware that the hypnotist is speaking in a rather strange manner but don’t have any clue as to what is going on and think it is just part of the induction process. However, in a real-life situation the subtlety has to be observed even more – for obvious reasons.

Let’s take an example. You are in a business meeting and want your proposal to be accepted. You say the following, “perhaps if you give this some thought you may find that this is a good idea and one worth pursing now or maybe even in the future”. Simple enough! Now lets make it a hypnotic subliminal command.

You would say,
“perhaps if you give this some thought you may”
” find”
[shorten the normal pause between the last word and the next]
[pause for a millisecond longer and change your tone only slightly]
“this is a good idea and one worth pursing now”
[pause for a millisecond longer]
[shorten the normal pause between the last word and the next]
“even in the future”.

The sentence then becomes a command to the subconscious mind which it will accept because it notices the difference in tone as follows, “perhaps if you give this some thought you may find that THIS IS A GOOD IDEA AND ONE WORTH PURSUING NOW or maybe even in the future”.

You should play with this use of hypnotic language until you can fully comprehend what is actually going on. If it is done in a hasty or unrehearsed manner it is plainly apparent to everyone what you are doing. The people who are experts at this go unnoticed and you would never know they were doing it – until now!

Listen to hypnotists (and others who want to persuade you….you know who they are) speaking and see if you can pick out the hypnotic subliminal commands they are using. This will help you develop your new found skill.

Before ever trying it in a real setting practise it on someone close and ask them did they notice anything different about your language and if so ask them if they can identify the difference and if they knew what you were doing. After some practise and a few neat outcomes you will get the hang of it.

Why Fear To Sell .. How You Can Overcome It” (Part I)

In the first article we looked at how many first time (and experienced!) sales people can be held back from achieving success because of the fears they may have on getting out there and selling.

In the previous article I highlighted 6 main selling-related fears: failure; image or self belief; rejection; lack of product knowledge; criticism; presentation. Each of theses fears on their own can cause a breakdown in the sales process and prevent you from confidently tackling another prospect.

In this article I will look at how you can address these fears head-on; what you can do to face your fears and banish them for life!

Fear of Failure

Undoubtedly the biggest fear most people in selling, and business have is the fear of failure. There is nothing more demoralising than a continual lack of success! Fear of failure has been ingrained from school – remember all those tests when the results were read out for all the class to hear? If you had a poor result, you never felt like trying again! But, don’t be like Homer Simpson when he tried to consol his son Bart who had failed in his bid to be class president,

“You tried and you failed. The lesson is … never try.”

So, what can you do to conquer your fear of failure? The bottom line is that you need a rock solid positive attitude. You must have an inner voice which is continually pushing you onto the next prospect and saying, “Come on, let’s find the one who’s going to say yes!”

Failure has to be seen as a learning opportunity. In every failure, there is a nugget of information, which next time, can point you in the direction of better success. James Dyson, the inventor of the revolutionary vacuum cleaner, summed up the need for a positive attitude, when he said, “Success is made up of 99% failure. You galvanise yourself and you keep going as a full optimist.”

Image Fear

Not everyone has boundless self-confidence. When you start out in business, there is sometimes a nagging doubt that you may have bitten off more than you can chew. This inner doubt chips away at your self confidence and soon you have a poor self image, which reflects in your sales pitch. To be a successful salesperson you have to have a strong self image.

To improve the image you have of yourself, follow these steps:

Write down the qualities which you believe a successful salesperson should possess. Try and limit the list to 4 or 5 key qualities

Find a quiet spot and relax your body and mind with deep and steady breathing

Once you are totally relaxed recite the strong, self image qualities you identified earlier

Imagine or visualise yourself possessing each of these qualities. See in your minds eye how you look, now that you have these qualities. See how successful you are, how you look, and the car you are driving, where you are living

Repeat to yourself that you are assuming each of these qualities and becoming a better person with each day that passes

Repeat this exercise first thing in the morning and last thing at night and you’ll soon find your self image and confidence levels increasing!

Fear of Rejection

Closely linked with the fear of failure is the fear of rejection. Hearing the response “No” is not a great motivator! The main way to deal with rejection is just to accept that it happens. Try and re-frame any rejection you get by saying to yourself that it’s the customer who loses out, not you. Walk away with a smug smile on your face and remind yourself that you are one step closer to someone who will say “Yes”.

Product Knowledge Fear

A lack of in depth knowledge about your product or service quickly finds its way to making for a poor presentation. There is only one solution … and that’s to get learning! Absorb yourself in the product. Understand all the features and benefits, so that you can confidently talk about all aspects of your offering. Banishing this fear is one of the easy ones to put right.


No one likes to be criticised, especially if you have tried your hardest. Unless you are very thick-skinned, harsh criticism can knock you back. If you carry out the exercises on improving your self-image, your ability to take criticism will also improve. Decide to view criticism more as feedback than a direct attack on you. There is usually some element of truth in the majority of critical comments and it’s important that you take the opportunity to learn and change.

Presentation Fears

You may know all the features and benefits of your product but, like an actor, you suffer from stage fright! The presentation fear can be down to a lack of structure around your sales process. Write a basic outline on how you wish a perfect sales pitch to go. Prepare a script for the key parts of the presentation and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

Why not ask someone to help you role play a sales presentation? This will give you the opportunity to make all the mistakes you want but in a risk-free environment! You should also visit your local Business Link office and see what courses they are running on sales skills. Look out for books and tapes on effective selling. All of these actions will assist in improving your confidence and result in a more professional sales presentation.

Selling does not have to be a fearful experience! If you have the right attitude, a strong self belief, a full understanding of your product and plenty of practice, then you will have nothing to fear. So, take a look at each of these fears and put a plan in place to tackle them today!

Boxing Notebook: Everything’s Super This Week

SuperFighter hit New York City on Monday – it’s the latest craze. Three fights, four rounds, eight contestants – it’s four hours of mayhem, Australian style.

Stephen Duval, CEO of Australia-based Superfighter, met with the media to talk about his dream – it’s a doozy. Duval invented an eight-man eliminator that offers the winner a whopping $5 million. Fighters can’t even get their contracted minimums, which can be as low as $5,000 a fight, so this is better then lotto. The losers? They collect the $200K minimum.

Here’s the lineup, so far:

Chris Byrd (39-3-1 20 KOs) – The former IBF heavyweight champion. His style has put more people to sleep then Nyquil. Byrd will try to peck his way to victory. But after the beating he took against Wladimir Klitschko, and unofficially losing four of his last five bouts, I wouldn’t bet on him with your money.

O’Neil Bell (26-1-1 24 KOs) – The current cruiserweight champion. He crushed French tank Jean Marc Mormeck in a war. A big plus for Bell is that he can crack. But he never has faced a heavyweight, and he takes too many punches flush. Against a heavy it might be beddy-bye for Bell. Bet on him getting eliminated by the third round.

“The Nigerian Nightmare” Samuel Peter (26-1 22 KOs) – He’s George Foreman’s pick to take it all. In a four-rounder, he’s the most dangerous opponent. But can he carry his power through four hours, 12 rounds and three opponents? Odds should be in his favor.

Steve “USS” Cunningham (19-0 10 KOs) – He’s the #1 IBF cruiserweight and walks around at 195 lbs. Cunningham showed a dynamite chin by taking everything Guillermo Jones could offer. If he’s matched up with Samuel Peter, his ship sails. Otherwise, he has enough boxing skills to dazzle his way to the finals.

Tye Fields (36-1 33 KO) – I agree with Max Kellerman’s analysis: “At 6-9, 293 lbs., and not so skilled, he’s an attraction, not a contender.” He’s a long shot.

Shannon Briggs (45-4 40 KOs) – Since his loss to Jameel McCline, he has fought every club fighter from New York to Arizona. BUT … he’s got the experience, he can fight and has underrated hand speed. He might be the man to beat. I see him making the final

Alexander Povetkin (7-0 5 KOs) – I think Povetkin is Russian for pulverized. He’s too raw to best any of the combatants. He’s a huge underdog and doesn’t make it past the first round.

#8 – OPEN

Maybe we should put odds on this circus even getting off the ground. Just think back to Cedrick Kushner’s “Fist Full of Dollars?” Can you recall who won? Enough said …

Clottey Chasing Margarito
Joshua Clottey (28-1, 20 KOs) is ranked #4 by the WBC, #5 by the WBO and #7 by the IBF. Just as the high ratings indicate, Clottey believes he is capable of beating the best welterweights in the world, and having reeled off nine consecutive victories the star from Ghana has his eyes set on WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (33-4, 24 KOs).

“I’m determined to become a world champion,” Clottey says. “I have the skills, work ethic and heart to be a champion. I’ve dealt with many hardships throughout my career, and getting a shot at Margarito and the title would make it all worth it. This is what I have been working toward my whole life. I have a lot of respect for Antonio Margarito as a champion. I know he always wants to fight the best. I am the best welterweight contender in the world. Margarito may want to fight an easier fight right now, but if Antonio wants to stay at welterweight, he can run, but he can’t hide.”

Floyd Mayweather turned down an $8 million dollar offer to face the WBO champion, so Margarito is running out of defense options.

In a recent interview, Bob Arum confirmed a Clottey matchup: “Mayweather has shown reluctance to fight Margarito, so we are thinking about putting Margarito-Clottey on the undercard of Rahman-Maskaev clash.” That fight takes place Aug. 12.

Are you ready for WWIII?

Diego “Chico” Corrales (40-2 33 KOs) and Jose Luis Castillo (52-7-1 46 KOs) are revving their engines to produce another “fight of the year.”

If you’ve never seen their first fight, GET IT! “Chico” was knocked down twice in the 10th round and came back some 60 seconds later to win it. Check out to view Round 10. Just amazing.

Their second bout was marked with controversy. Castillo didn’t make weight and refused to even try. Castillo was fined for this stunt, but Team Corrales agreed to fight anyway.
The result: Corrales on his back.

The weight issue proved to be a mistake, something even promoter Gary Shaw admits:
“I’ll never do again what I did in this fight,” Shaw said. “If the contract calls for 135 pounds it will be at 135 pounds.”

The fight takes place June 3. Stay tuned next week for my breakdown and prediction. Sportsbook has Castillo-220, Corrales +180

Barrera Wars with Juarez

As the final bell rang, he walked back to his corner with swollen eyes, a bloody nose and probably a broken jaw – and that was the winner!

Marco Antonio Barrera really underestimated 2000 Olympian Rocky Juarez. Juarez showed power with both hands and kept countering Barrera all night with left hooks and overhand rights. HBO did its usual cheerleading for Barrera, seldom mentioning Juarez unless he got hit. The fighters dueled on even terms for 12 rounds, and the decision was what most anticipated… a draw

Unexpected was the announcement that judge Morita’s scorecard was tabulated wrong. The correct total was 115-114 in Barrera’s favor to give the champion a split-decision victory.

For Christmas I promise to send the commission a calculator

There are so many builders there, but how to choose the right one?

In this article we would like to discuss the most frequent questions asked by potential customers that often cause the conflict between a customer and a contractor.

I. Cost of work:
Very often one might come across customers’ complaints about the total cost for the repair that appears to be pretty higher than originally expected. Is it possible? Yes. Why? Let us clarify this. We need to say that we would ignore the situation (that unfortunately occurs) when chasing customer, the contractor intentionally provides underestimated numbers and when the customer is on the hook anything can be done.

Let us view the standard situation. You decided to do repair, choose several companies and ask them to prepare a cost estimate. Immediately many questions arise: e.g. “Is it possible to prepare a cost estimate accurate to a gulden?” In general it is possible. But for this you would need a detailed design with the drawings, specifications, list of materials etc. It would take several months and more to do this kind of cost estimate and 2-3% of costs would be allocated for contingencies.

Let us be realistic. Over eight years experience in managing the enterprise we had a chance to deal with such projects several times. In the best case the design finishes at the stage of general drawings with further stage-by-stage delivery of detailed drawings.

Sometimes we receive general outlays, rough design outlines etc. But the most frequent situation is as follows: nothing is available or “please do for me what you see in this magazine”. Can you specify what exactly you want? Who knows? Can you propose something as a professional? Over several minutes of conversation with you the estimator has to guess what your taste is and propose to you some options as well as make your dreams, desires, unclear outlines and all that you thought during long evenings come true in the form of concrete numbers. Actually cost estimate is the plan for the repair of your apartment with connectivity to concrete materials (for example in the bedroom painted wallpaper and in the children’s room plain wallpaper will be used) with showing average prices for them.

In our opinion to make this cost estimate maximum close to actual cost you would need to do the following:
1). Work with the designers as possible. The costs you incur for the design work will be generously repaid. You will look at the repaired apartment beforehand, not when everything has been done. It may appear that what you have planned is not good for your apartment or the material that you like is too expensive and there is a better option for you. Cost of redesign on paper is not so high.

2). While preparing cost estimate it is necessary to make a list of work and take some decisions (e.g. here laminate and there glaze-tile will be installed etc). It is also necessary to discuss what quality and price of materials will be used in the cost estimate.

3). A customer should make sure that it is impossible to envision everything in this document.

Before work start one can not identify what area of the wall should be plastered and what area should be only aligned and what exact quantity of materials would be used for this. Even for the detailed cost estimate a customer should envision a reserve of minimum 0-15%. In this case it is better to include more in the document and get lower actual spending. Besides you pay for specific work and material at specific price. So, the higher amount and range of work as well as material prices, the higher cost of work.

II. Terms.
Obviously any repair is related to inconveniency and any customer would want to finish it as soon as possible. But let us not become heroes of popular TV shows that describe how brave contractors over one day glue the wall paper, put the glaze-tiles, install the wiring and even eventually clean everything with the vacuum cleaner.

One should realize that there are some activities that can not be done in rush. If it is required to dry the aligned wall before putting the glaze tiles, this should be done, no matter how long it would take. If it is required to glaze and clean the wall 2-3 times before putting high-quality paint, this should be done. Violation of the technology and required terms will lead to additional customer’s cost.

III. Quality of work.
All mentioned above is true for the quality of work. Besides, there are also two significant factors. To great extend the quality of work depends on the quality of materials. We all want to save the money but you should avoid absurd situation when you assign work with the high cost materials to people earning pences. A good master should be highly qualified, earn good money, use good tools and take responsibility for his work.

IV. “If I pay, do what I want”
Magic words ….. but let me notice that there are objective phenomena that can not be ignored. For example without special measures one can not make aperture work or remove load-bearing wall no matter whether someone wants it. And quality glaze-tiles can not be installed on the cement, only on the special glue. And for specific paint specific filler should be used, not the one that was found at low price. A good professional who value his work would explain why your desires sometimes cannot be satisfied and would rather refuse to do the job than do something wrong.

Hope that this article will help you to find a good contractor.
In all your undertakings follow the slogan: Entrust your work to professionals.

Shopping In A Tightening Mortgage Market

In recent months the media has been rife with stories of a meltdown in the mortgage sector. And while reporters are often prone to hyperbole, there’s no denying that the home financing industry is suffering. Mortgage investment funds have faltered, home prices have declined, residential foreclosures are on the rise, and about one hundred nationally operating lenders have closed their doors.

But many homeowners struggle to understand what the current mortgage climate means for them. What caused the current situation? How will the downturn affect them? And what can they do to avoid any negative repercussions when purchasing or refinancing a home?

Domino Effect

Recent events within the mortgage industry have fostered a domino effect which has toppled many precariously balanced facets. During the most recent housing boom many borrowers felt emboldened or were encouraged to obtain adjustable rate mortgages on homes which were realistically outside their comfort zone. Some went so far as to adopt Option ARMs and pay a minimum payment which didn’t even cover monthly interest. Unfortunately, as interest rates rose and teaser rates expired, many of these borrowers found themselves in over their heads.

This resulted in growing mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures, fewer first time buyers, and falling home prices as demand dried up. As demand lessened the situation became worse, and the lenders who had originally funded the failing loans were required to take on obligations which homeowners could no longer manage. By 2007 those obligations had reached a breaking point for some lenders, and they began to close their doors.

New Requirements

As often occurs, government regulators and officials reactively weighed in and began examining some of the fast and loose lending tactics which had caused the mess. Lenders have consequently enacted stricter loan requirements and funding obligations to negate the need for government legislation. And while that strategy has reduced future abuses and irresponsibilities, it has done little to assist borrowers who are struggling to keep their homes. It has also curbed the flow of first time buyers even further, which in turn has crimped demand still more.

As a result of these stricter requirements, homeowners and buyers today can expect lenders to be more demanding. The sun is setting on fuzzy income requirements and no-down home loans. And credit score requirements are becoming increasingly strict. Whether you’re looking to refinance or purchase a home, make sure you have some money for closing costs and a down payment, present solid documentation of your income, and take the necessary steps to clean up any credit report discrepancies before you begin the mortgage process. And above all, if you’re buying a home don’t extend beyond your means: it’s better to keep a smaller, less glamorous home than to loose a larger, chic home.

Finding the Right Deal

Over the past few years many lenders and banks have been aggressively marketing to consumers. That’s because it benefits them to work directly with you. But the best way to find the right mortgage today is via a mortgage broker or aggregation service. Working with only one lender can leave you vulnerable to their corporate motives, and unless you’re knowledgeable about the mortgage industry you might end up with a bad deal. And seeking out two or more lenders directly can be stressful and time wasting. A mortgage broker can help you find multiple local and national lenders who can offer the best mortgage deals, regardless of whether you’re purchasing a new home or refinancing an existing one.

But when using a mortgage broker it’s important you don’t jump at any old company. Many brokers have an online presence: but a website alone doesn’t guarantee a bona fide company. Before filling in an online loan application you should look for some important content and links. Is the company a member of the Better Business Bureau and legitimate mortgage organizations like the MBA? Do they offer sensible advice free of charge? Does their website look professional and is it secure? Do they have their finger on the pulse of the mortgage industry? Do they readily provide customer testimonials? Are they available to talk to you over the phone? Only the best brokers can fulfill all of these requirements, and they are the ones who are worthy of your business.

If you’re falling behind on your mortgage payments and even a broker can’t help you, just remember you still have options. Lenders and investors don’t want to be burdened with foreclosed-on properties in today’s market. So call your mortgage company and ask about restructuring your loan. It’s better for your lender if they get a reduced payment over more years than if your home is foreclosed and sits dormant for months.


The mortgage market is changing at a rapid pace, and prospective borrowers are finding it harder to find an affordable and competitive deal because of the lack of restraint of recent years. But with careful preparation and the right broker you can successfully navigate today’s hurdles and find a mortgage which suites your needs for years to come.

Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

Auto darkening welding helmets offer an intuitive protection to modern welders. These helmets automatically darken when a welder strikes the arc. They free the hands that in the past had to lift and lower the faceplate, or remove the helmet altogether to see. Many injuries have been eliminated by auto darkening helmets because they cover a welder’s eyes at all times without risking exposure to irritating fumes and flying debris. By instantly responding to light, these helmets auto darken when the welder strikes the arc and clear up after the welder shuts off the arc.

Auto darkening welding helmets prove especially useful to welders working indoors under poor light conditions. Traditional welding helmets can literally blind a welder if he has to suddenly cease welding and kill the arc, leaving himself in total darkness and subject to fall and/or injury. Because of this, many construction companies now require all of their welders to use auto darkening welding helmets so they can see to walk the buildings they are working in. Auto-darkening helmets also help farmers working outside because they react to sunlight much like the light an arc. In future years, it is very likely all welding helmets will be auto darkening not only because they are more convenient than standard helmets, but also because their ever-increasing precision allows for customized-eye protection—something Federal authorities and Insurance agencies may soon require.

There are two types of auto darkening helmets that welders use. One is battery-powered; the other is solar powered. Solar power is more convenient and efficient when working outside, but work deep inside of large structures, or even underground, will require battery-powered helmets. Both employ sensors to “know” when the light brightens, and when it is time to adjust the special glass in the face shield to block just the right amount of light. From time to time a welder calls in with the question, “Won’t the arc from my fellow welder trigger the auto darkening glass?” The answer could be yes or no, depending on the model in question. Basic models will grow darker with any exposure to arc light, regardless of the source. Deluxe auto darkening helmets have a sensor built into their design that “understands” the difference between the operator’s arc and a coworker’s arc. For private individuals working by themselves, it makes little difference, if any, if the helmet has an auto-darkening sensor like this. For a company, however, it is best to invest in high-end auto darkening welding helmets to have a sensor for secondary arc light. It simply makes sense to do so.
Auto darkening welding helmets offer an intuitive protection to modern welders. These helmets automatically darken when a welder strikes the arc. They free the hands that in the past had to lift and lower the faceplate, or remove the helmet altogether to see. Many injuries have been eliminated by auto darkening helmets because they cover a welder’s eyes at all times without risking exposure to irritating fumes and flying debris. By instantly responding to light, these helmets auto darken when the welder strikes the arc and clear up after the welder shuts off the arc.

Auto darkening welding helmets prove especially useful to welders working indoors under poor light conditions. Traditional welding helmets can literally blind a welder if he has to suddenly cease welding and kill the arc, leaving himself in total darkness and subject to fall and/or injury. Because of this, many construction companies now require all of their welders to use auto darkening welding helmets so they can see to walk the buildings they are working in. Auto-darkening helmets also help farmers working outside because they react to sunlight much like the light an arc. In future years, it is very likely all welding helmets will be auto darkening not only because they are more convenient than standard helmets, but also because their ever-increasing precision allows for customized-eye protection—something Federal authorities and Insurance agencies may soon require.

There are two types of auto darkening helmets that welders use. One is battery-powered; the other is solar powered. Solar power is more convenient and efficient when working outside, but work deep inside of large structures, or even underground, will require battery-powered helmets. Both employ sensors to “know” when the light brightens, and when it is time to adjust the special glass in the face shield to block just the right amount of light. From time to time a welder calls in with the question, “Won’t the arc from my fellow welder trigger the auto darkening glass?” The answer could be yes or no, depending on the model in question. Basic models will grow darker with any exposure to arc light, regardless of the source. Deluxe auto darkening helmets have a sensor built into their design that “understands” the difference between the operator’s arc and a coworker’s arc. For private individuals working by themselves, it makes little difference, if any, if the helmet has an auto-darkening sensor like this. For a company, however, it is best to invest in high-end auto darkening welding helmets to have a sensor for secondary arc light. It simply makes sense to do so.

Prohibition of The United States

The volstead act or (Prohibition act) took effect in 1920, in several states across america laws were already in place to try and stop the consumption of alcohol, these laws were in effect before the 18th amendment (volstead act, Prohibition act) was passed before congress.

Newyork was the 1st state to have any such laws passed in the year 1697. This law simply stated that all saloons and drinking establishments must close on a sunday as a sunday is revered as a day of rest and prayer and not drinking. Then in 1735, the government introduced its 1st state wide ban on alcohol in the state of georgia which absolutely failed and only lasted 7 years until 1742.

In 1851, they tried again to instill a ban on alcohol in maine, and this time it worked even better than they had hoped. By 1855, A dozen other states had joined Maine in becoming what is known as being “dry state”.

In 1880, after the Civil War, women joined the “dries” and it wasnt long before the temperance movement was a power to be noticed. The WCTU (Woman’s Christian Temperance Union)was formed and the Prohibition Party started gaining some serious weight.

By 1900, more than 50% of the continental united states had become dry. The prohibitionists thought they had the alcohol ban sortedand that there was no possible way for any person to get liquor into a dry state. Unfortunately for the dries, a loophole was found in the law, the postal service. Because the postal service was regulated by the federal government and not the state government, liquor could be mail ordered and shipped from a wet state.

This maddened the dries so in 1913, an Interstate Liquor Act was passed. This act effectively made it illegal for anyone to send liquor to any dry state by any means. which was actually a big loss for those trying to keep the liquor out as it gave rise to far more illegal methods of obtaining the alcohol as liquor distilleries were now in league with crime bosses.

In 1917, the 18th amendment was drawn up and it stated that it would now be illegal to buy ship or even manufacture liquor. This did not sit well with a lot of states so the amendment was debated in congress for a further 2 years. In 1920 33 states had declared themselves as dry and this meant a major victory for the prohibition party.

January 29, 1919. The 18th Amendment was ratified to make all hard liquor with an alcohol content over 40% (or 80 proof) be banned. Officially, it banned the “production, sale, or transporting of such alcoholic drinks.” this was support by many peopleas they thought that only hard liquor was to be banned and that it would be fine to enjoy a glass of wine with a meal or have a beer after work.

However, it wasnt until a year later, the Volstead Act (prohibion act) was passed. The Volstead Act completely banned all alcohol that had more than 1/2% alcohol content. This effectively banned all forms of alcoholic beverages, with the exception of course being non-alcoholic beers. After the 18th amendment was ratified, the Volstead Act was brought into the light by the Prohibition supporters. For most of the prohibition supports who only wanted a little wine or the odd beer felt as though they had been betrayed as they were left with nothing when the act was passed.

1 group of people that no one considered were the veterans of the 1st world war, these ex soldiers felt very betrayed returning home from fighting in the war. Most of them had been stationed in France and came to know how a moderate amount of aclohol could in many ways enhance the quality of life. Then coming home and finding out that the dries had won a total victory over alcohol added to the bitterness of the veterans disdain.

The fatal mistake with prohibition was to ban all types of alcohol, which lost the Prohibition Party almost 80% of its followers.

Prohibition lasted for 13 years in the US until in 1933 the 21st amendment was passed to offically end the ban on alcohol.

Below explains both the 18th Amendment and the Volstead act and also give the 21st Amendment which is stating the end of prohibition.

The 18th amendment

1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress. The 21st amendment

1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

3. The article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress


To boil lobsters.

Ingredients:- 1/4 lb. of salt to each gallon of water.

Mode:- Medium-sized lobsters are the best. Have ready a stewpan of boiling water, salted in the above proportion; put in the lobster, and keep it boiling quickly from 20 minutes to 3/4 hour, according to its size, and do not forget to skim well. If it boils too long, the meat becomes thready, and if not done enough, the spawn is not red: this must be obviated by great attention. Hub the shell over with a little butter or sweet oil, which wipe off again.

Time. Small lobster, 20 minutes to 1/2 hour; large ditto, 1/2 to 1/3 hour.

Hot lobster.

Ingredients:- 1 lobster, 2 oz. of butter, grated nutmeg; salt, pepper, and pounded mace, to taste; bread crumbs, 2 eggs.

Mode:- Pound the meat of the lobster to a smooth paste with the butter and seasoning, and add a few bread crumbs. Beat the eggs, and make the whole mixture into the form of a lobster; pound the spawn, and sprinkle over it. Bake 1/4 hour, and just before serving, lay over it the tail and body shell, with the small claws underneath, to resemble a lobster.

Time. 1/4 hour.

Lobster salad.

Ingredients:- 1 hen lobster, lettuces, endive, small salad (whatever is in season), a little chopped beetroot, 2 hard-boiled eggs, a few slices of cucumber. For dressing, equal quantities of oil and vinegar, 1 teaspoonful of made mustard, the yolks of 2 eggs; cayenne and salt to taste; 3 teaspoonful of anchovy sauce. These ingredients should be mixed perfectly smooth, and form a creamy-looking sauce.

Mode:- Wash the salad, and thoroughly dry it by shaking it in a cloth. Cut up the lettuces and endive, pour the dressing on them, and lightly throw in the small salad. Mix all well together with the pickings from the body of the lobster; pick the meat from the shell, cut it up into nice square pieces, put half in the salad, the other half reserve for garnishing. Separate the yolks from the whites of 2 hard-boiled eggs; chop the whites very fine, and rub the yolks through a sieve, and afterwards the coral from the inside. Arrange the salad lightly on a glass dish, and garnish, first with a row of sliced cucumber, then with the pieces of lobster, the yolks and whites of the eggs, coral, and beetroot placed alternately, and arranged in small separate bunches, so that the colours contrast nicely.

Note. A few crayfish make a pretty garnishing to lobster salad.

Lobster (a la mode francaise).

Ingredients:- 1 lobster, 4 tablespoonfuls of white stock, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream, pounded mace, and cayenne to taste; bread crumbs.

Mode:- Pick the meat from the shell, and cut it up into small square pieces; put the stock, cream, and seasoning into a stewpan, add the lobster, and let it simmer gently for 6 minutes. Serve it in the shell, which must be nicely cleaned, and have a border of puff-paste; cover it with bread crumbs, place small pieces of butter over, and brown before the fire, or with a salamander.

Time. 1/4 hour.

Lobster curry (an Entree).

Ingredients:- 1 lobster, 2 onions, 1 oz. butter, 1 tablespoonful of curry-powder, 1/2 pint of medium stock, the juice of 1/2 lemon.

Mode:- Pick the meat from the shell, and cut it into nice square pieces; fry the onions of a pale brown in the butter, stir in the curry-powder and stock, and simmer till it thickens, when put in the lobster; stew the whole slowly for 1/2 hour, and stir occasionally; and just before sending to table, put in the lemon-juice. Serve boiled rice with it, the same as for other curries.

Time. Altogether, 3/4 hour.

Lobster cutlets (an Entree).

Ingredients:- 1 large hen lobster, 1 oz. fresh butter, 1/2 saltspoonful of salt, pounded mace, grated nutmeg, cayenne and white pepper to taste, egg, and bread crumbs.

Mode:- Pick the meat from the shell, and pound it in a mortar with the butter, and gradually add the mace and seasoning, well mixing the ingredients; beat all to a smooth paste, and add a little of the spawn; divide the mixture into pieces of an equal size, and shape them like cutlets. They should not be very thick. Brush them over with egg, and sprinkle with bread crumbs, and stick a short piece of the small claw in the top of each; fry them of a nice brown in boiling lard, and drain them before the fire, on a sieve reversed; arrange them nicely on a dish, and pour bechamel in the middle, but not over the cutlets.

Time. About 8 minutes after the cutlets are made.

Lobster patties (an Entree).

Ingredients:- Minced lobster, 4 tablespoonfuls of bechamel, 6 drops of anchovy sauce, lemon-juice, cayenne to taste.

Mode:- Line the patty-pans with puff-paste, and put into each a small piece of bread: cover with paste, brush over with egg, and bake of a light colour. Take as much lobster as is required, mince the meat very fine, and add the above ingredients; stir it over the fire for 6 minutes; remove the lids of the patty-cases, take out the bread, fill with the mixture, and replace the covers.

Potted lobster.

Ingredients:- 2 lobsters; seasoning to taste, of nutmeg, pounded mace, white pepper, and salt; 1/4 lb. of butter, 3 or 4 bay-leaves.

Mode:- Take out the meat carefully from the shell, but do not cut it up. Put some butter at the bottom of a dish, lay in the lobster as evenly as possible, with the bay-leaves and seasoning between. Cover with butter, and bake for 3/4 hour in a gentle oven. When done, drain the whole on a sieve, and lay the pieces in potting-jars, with the seasoning about them. When cold, pour over it clarified butter, and, if very highly seasoned, it will keep some time.

Time. 3/4 hour.

How To Design Your Website For Optimal Productivity

What works best when promoting your web site.

Eight Simple, Yet Essential, Web Design Principles
by: Alan Richardson

As the internet evolves from its infancy into maturity, website development, design and marketing becomes more and more sophisticated – and more and more complex. Content manipulation, various scripting methods, fancy graphics and effects… and on and on… allow us to create some impressive web sites.

A good gauge of this complexity is the a slew of new internet-related acronyms which popup on a consistent basis. Heck, I don’t know what half of them mean. But one acronym I do know – and it’s not an internet creation – is nevertheless key to the development and design of any successful business website. Perhaps you’ve heard of it – K.I.S.S. As you probably know, it stands for ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid!’. And it’s a methodology widely employed by the best web developers, designers and marketers in the business. A philosophy that provides the foundation for all successful revenue-generating web sites.

From the largest, multi-product online business conglomerate to the one-page one-product mini-site, the purpose is the same. Provide visitors, whether internet savvy or first time surfers, with an online experience that’s fast, efficient, easy to understand – and dare I say it… yes, enjoyable.

Whether your an entrepreneur building your own web site, or reviewing one built for you by a web development and design expert, it is important your web site, your online business, adheres to these eight simple, yet essential, design principles. Heed them, and online success is sure to follow. Ignore them, at your peril. Here they are.

Each web page must have a purpose – and that purpose must be clearly stated. While a consistent design ‘look and feel’ is vital across all pages of your web site, each page has a specific function to perform. And that function should be clearly understood by all visitors to your web site. Whether it’s to elicit feedback, provide feedback, promote your company, present product information, etc., all play a role in your ultimate goal of growing your business.

Navigation around and through your business web site must be clearly visible and easy to use. See my article on web site navigation for more details.

Avoid distraction and clutter by minimizing usage of fancy flashing and moving objects, which provide more sizzle than steak, and make your essential products or services harder to find.

All business websites should have contact information clearly visible. A ‘Contact’ page is minimum. It’s also advisable to include contact information on every page of your web site. You never know when the urge to turn from prospect to customer will strike your visitor.

Not everyone has broadband. Yes, there are still a fair number of users surfing the internet with slower, less efficient, dial-up access. That may change in the future, but it’s a reality today. Ignore this substantial customer base and you’re business will surely suffer. To avoid this pitfall, pay careful attention to eliminate internet-clogging elements on your web site. When possible, use text instead of graphics, static graphics instead of animation, several smaller pages instead of one large page. Do this and you can feed quite well on the desertions from your flashier competitors.

For those who are broadband users, who are not negatively effected by all those ‘bells and whistles’, who may actually enjoy such an impressive display, remember, ‘form follows function’. This is especially important on a business web site, where functionality is key. All else is fluff and distraction.

For those of us who may be ‘visually challenged, make sure your web site is easy to see. Avoid fancy fonts and use the more legible standard-bearers, such as Times New Roman, Courier New, Arial and Verdana. For standard text, use font sizes of at least 10 pt… 12 pt is better. On many a web site, font sizes of 8 pt or less are used, perhaps in an effort to avoid the need to scroll. Let me tell you… it’s much better to scroll than to squint. For when I squint, I usually stroll… right out of the site. It’s also a good practice to limit the use of italics as they too are harder to read. Lastly, pay attention to text and background color. Although white text on a black background looks cool at first glance, it can quickly strain the eyes. You don’t want to do anything that will cut your visitor’s journey through your business web site..

Whenever possible, limit page lengths to no more than two page-downs. It is better for performance (page loading) and visitor attention when pages are short, quick reads. If necessary, breakup your text into multiple pages, with a ‘continued’ designation at the bottom of each page.
There you go. Eight simple, yet essential, web site design principles that can spell the difference between online business success or failure. Always remember, you’re never more than one-click away from visitor abandonment. K.I.S.S. your website and it will reward you abundantly.

Alan Richardson is a well-known internet consultant and publisher with – a Web resource firm in North Easton, Massachusetts, offering free advice and information for web-based small businesses and entrpreneurs.

To read other articles by Alan, click here.
To signup for the free ‘Optimal Web Services for Small Business’ ezine, click here

How To Book Your First Cruise

For those who are thinking about getting on board a cruise ship, here are five considerations for your first cruise.
1. Cruise lines have distinct personalities. It’s good to know which crowd each line caters to. Discriminating travelers pay a premium to indulge aboard such luxury lines as Radisson Seven Seas and Silversea. More affordable luxury can be found aboard Crystal. Holland America ships are refined and exude class. Princess is both posh and pioneering. Disney beckons the whole family. Carnival boasts a fleet of “fun ships”.

2. Timing is everything. The time of year you cruise dictates a lot. Cruises during summer and holiday school breaks will always have more children and families. Booking cruises well in advance of their sailing date can often translate into significant savings. Sailing in a region during its slow season (i.e. the Caribbean in summer) is usually less expensive as well.

3. Ship size matters. Smaller ships (500 passengers or less) provide an intimate environment that often features highly personalized service and unique itineraries. Medium-size ships (between 500 and 1,000 passengers) have a fair amount of onboard activity and entertainment without the volume of people found aboard a mega ship. Large ships (1,000 passengers or more) cater to travelers who crave great, diverse amounts of organized entertainment, high-tech facilities and plenty of new friends.

4. Different regions have a different focus. Canada/New England cruises are perfect for exploring the historic towns along the east coast. Nature lovers fall in love the first time they cruise Alaska. The Mediterranean is perfect for diving into other cultures. Adventure abounds along the Panama Canal. Fun and sun can always be found in Hawaii and the Caribbean.

5. Voyages come in all lengths. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), nearly one-third of all cruises are out to sea for five days or less. Short trips are economical, great for first-time cruisers who want to test the waters and increasingly popular. Most trips last a week or so, but some last as long as a year. More often than not, the shorter the cruise is, the younger the crowd will be.
It’s not hard to find the best price. Just a little of your time is required.
* Determine what cruise line you may be interested in.
* Visit a local travel agent and pick up several cruise brochures.
* Find the area that you want to cruise.
* Often, a good quote that you’ll receive will be 50-60% off brochure prices.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, and Princess are the most popular First Time Cruiser’s choices.          

Cabins are not all alike. Depending on the ship, they range from just bigger than closet-sized spaces without windows (commonly referred to as inside cabins) to apartment-sized suites with verandahs and hot tubs. And, of course, they are priced accordingly.

When you have decided what cruise line you would like to go on,
* You need to decide what ship to go on.
* Decide the type of cabin that you would like to stay in.
o Inside cabins (no window) are the least expensive
o Outside cabins will have a window. After that, come the
o Balcony cabins. These are very desirable and will cost a little more. If you have one, you may never want anything else.
* For example you can get breakfast through room service (room service is always free on a cruise) and enjoy it on your own private balcony.
o After the balcony cabins come the suites. They always have balconies and are the largest cabins on the ship. They usually come with a larger bath with a tub.

Avoid close proximity to possible noisy locations such as the engine room, disco and show lounge.

When you decide all the details of your cruise, but before you choose your cabin, tell your Travel Agent you want to book the “CATEGORY OR Better” which is called an open booking by category. You have a better chance of an upgrade within that type of cabin (Outside, Ocean view, Balcony or Suite) or a jump up in category. You will NEVER be down graded by the Cruise Lines! But, when receiving an upgrade find out where the cabin is located. It might be a higher category but you don’t want to under the basketball court.

If you must have a specific ship, sailing date or accommodations, book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. What sells out first: Christmas/New Years, Presidents Week in February, Spring Break, Easter Week and July/August sailings when the children are out of school. To get the space you want on the cruise and necessary air arrangements, don’t hesitate to book 9 to 10 months in advance if possible. The remainder of February, March and April sailings usually starts to fill up once the weather starts to turn cold in the Northeast and Midwest. You can usually find bargains both in advance and at the last minute. But if you want a specific type of cabin, you may consider booking as early as possible. If you’re flexible, consider waiting for a “deal” to show up.
Cruise travel agencies will often book blocks of cabins from the cruise lines. An agent that has one of those blocks for your sailing date can give you a better rate than one that does not.
Now that you know how to book your cruise, set sail!
Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.
This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

Dog Training: How to “Lick” Your Dog’s Incessant Licking Habit!

Does your dog seem to spend an infinite amount of time licking himself? Why is he doing it? And how do you, as a dog owner, correct that annoying licking habit? Here are five of the most common reasons why your dog might be incessantly licking himself and the solutions to correcting the habit.

1. Your dog might have developed an unrelenting licking habit because he needs a bath.

If your dog spends alot of time outside, romping through the woods, tramping in the mud, rolling in the grass or wading in the nearest stream or pond, he is probably dirty. So, your dog may be constantly licking himself because the dirt is irritating him! Plus, all that outdoor activity may have gotten him infested with ticks, fleas, mites, or lice. Your dog’s incessant licking may be an attempt to rid himself of those nasty varmints!

Give him a bath with a veterinarian-approved flea and tick shampoo. Before bathing him, make sure you brush out all the mats and tangles from his coat or the bathing will make them worse.

2. Your dog might have developed a chronic licking habit because he has a skin disorder.

Some common skin disorders that a dog may develop are mange or dermatitis. Mange is a skin disease in dogs that is caused by various types of mites. The dermatitis could be caused by an allergic reaction to fleas, dust mites, mold or a certain brand of dog food. If you suspect that your dog has a case of mange or dermatitis, your veterinarian will be able to diagnose what the disorder is and
prescribe a course of treatment.

3. Your dog might have developed a persistent licking habit because he is under stress.

The stress may be a result of a new adoption, physical abuse, separation anxiety, or even a reaction to a new food. If you think separation anxiety might be the cause of his stress, there are several methods for solving the problem. Try exposing your dog to being alone for very short periods of time. When your dog has adjusted to being alone for that duration of time, gradually increase your departure period. If you must be away from your dog for a long period of time, while you are away at work, try to find a friend or neighbor who could come over and take him for a walk a couple of times during the day.

Perhaps a new dog in the family is causing the stress? It is very common to experience a period of stress and adjustment when a new dog is brought into a household that has an established pet. One way to help make the transition a little easier is to give your older dog alot of attention and love. It will let him know that he’s still a vital part of the family. Just remember that it will take time for your dogs to adjust to one another and be one happy dog family!

Changing your dog’s diet can also cause stress. If you’re thinking of feeding your dog a new brand of dry dog food, do it gradually and over a period of four days or longer. On the first day that you change the food, feed your dog one quarter of the new food with three quarters of the old food. Add in another quarter of the new food after a couple of days or so. After another two days, add in another quarter of the new dog food. Finally, after another couple of days or so, you will be able to leave out the old dog food entirely!

If you cannot determine the cause of your dog’s stress, talk to your veterinarian. He’ll be able to refer you to a dog behaviorist who will be able to determine the cause of your dogs stress. If your dog has severe separation anxiety, an anti-anxiety medication might be considered to alleviate the anxiety. Drugs are not a complete solution, however, and should be used along with a treatment program.

4. Your dog might have developed an incessant licking habit because he has an injury that has resulted in an open wound.

A dog that has developed an injury that has resulted in an open wound will lick himself incessantly in an attempt to clean the wound and keep it free from bacteria. Dog saliva has been proven to kill some germs and when your dog licks an open wound, it will aid in keeping the wound infection free.

Veterinarian treatment may be required if your dog appears to be in pain, the wound contains a foreign material and is deep enough to require stitches, is bleeding excessively or becomes infected.

5. Your dog might have developed a relentless licking habit because he has developed the bad habit of doing so.

Some dogs develop the habit of licking their paws incessantly despite them being clean, uninjured and parasite-free!

Your dog may develop the habit of constantly licking himself because he has alot of nervous energy and no way to alleviate the stress. He also may have learned this behavior because he is bored and this is a way to entertain himself!

Give your dog lots of time to play and run and work off any excess energy. If your dog is well-exercised and happy, he won’t feel the need to relentlessly lick himself to relieve stress or boredom!

The information detailed above will help you discover and correct your dog’s habit of chronic licking. With careful observation and a little attention to proper grooming, training, along with regular veterinarian visits, you can ‘lick’ your dog’s incessant licking habit!

Check Your Travel Insurance With Worldwide Coverage

Available are overseas health and foreign travel insurance with worldwide coverage. Provides international health and life insurance products designed to meet the needs of those that travel or live outside their country of citizenship. Check your health insurance policy if you plan to travel in a foreign country. Having Health and Travel Insurance is a condition of enrolment and this premium will automatically be charged to your student fees account. Mondial product range has now expanded to include automotive assistance, travel insurance, medical assistance and overseas student health cover. These days, when you are traveling internationally on a vacation or for business travel, you need international travel health insurance. With international health insurance and travel insurance – you can go with confidence.

International travel medical and health insurance, featuring trip cancellation travel insurance online. In addition, while many travelers have health insurance, it sometimes does not cover them outside of their network or outside of the United States. international travel insurance, immigrant, nanny, J visa, health insurance. – Portal for international life and health insurance for expatriates and travellers. If you won’t have any health coverage while you’re traveling, you might want to look for a travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage. provides a free quoting service for affordable travel insurance, international health insurance trip cancellation insurance and annual travel insurance. Also known as holiday insurance, travel medical insurance and travel health insurance. TFG Global Travel Insurance can even supply online international health insurance for expatriates and some local nationals where conditions permit.

These forms must be completed before you travel in order to be covered by the insurance policy. In some cases, it might be your best option to purchase a trip cancellation waiver and a third party travel insurance policy. Finally, if you and/or your family travel often, ask your insurance company about an annual policy. Click here to view a specimen of the travel insurance policy. At, you can compare each policy and get the information you need to purchase travel insurance with confidence. At, you can compare each policy and get the information you need to purchase travel insurance with confidence. It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation to your home country.

You can compare each policy giving you the information you need to make an informed decision about your travel insurance needs. He permitted his 12-month travel insurance policy to expire just a few days before his departure for home. Travel insurance policies may be purchased for individual trips or as an annual policy for all trips taken in the year of insurance. At the very least, you will probably discover that specialist travel insurance is better value than topping up a standard policy with extra cover. The cost of travel insurance varies from company and policy to policy. If you think your travel plans can change, then consider a travel insurance policy that meets your needs.

Again, most standard accident, disability or life insurance policies cover these accidents, which rarely happen during travel. Make sure you get travel insurance that can cover you for all your gap year adventures. When you’re traveling, after all, it helps to cover yourself with some worldwide travel insurance. Choose from individual, individual & partner or family holiday travel insurance cover. Most travel insurance plans include emergency evacuation, assistance, baggage, trip interruption coverage, optional hazardous sports cover and much more.

Tell me about the Worldcare travel cover Travel insurance provides you with security and protection whilst you are travelling domestically or internationally. Always check the details of the insurance cover before you travel. Watch out for travel insurance companies that include non-essential benefits as part of their cover – for example, a travel advice line. You can buy supplemental medical insurance, baggage insurance and policies that cover money lost if a travel vendor defaults. Quality cover at amazing pricesSecure and easy to use online travel insurance cover. Instant quote and cover for single trip, backpacker and annual travel insurance policies.

If you are willing to assume a financial risk (the cost of your trip), you can probably forego insurance for your domestic travel. Annual travel insurance Multi trip insurance for every holiday you plan over the next 12 months. You can buy the best in single and multi-trip travel medical insurance, trip cancellation and vacation insurance online. It dynamically changes the order of plans based on comparison of your trip insurance needs with the needs of thousands of other travelers. Whether searching for single trip, annual or specialist cheap travel insurance UK, all needs are catered for. Travel InsuranceSingle trip travel insurance, annual travel insurance and winter sports travel insurance – available to buy online now. Enjoy peace of mind on your vacation with budget single trip or cheap annual travel insurance! Arranging comprehensive travel insurance is an essential element in the planning of your trip. Since 9/11, many are looking to travel insurance to safeguard their trip against any unforeseen terrorist attacks at their destination.

Being First, Being Original, Being Innovative

There is an often missed distinction between Being the First, Being Original, and Being Innovative.

To determine that someone (or something) has been the first, we need to apply a temporal test. It should answer at least three questions: what exactly was done, when exactly was it done and was this ever done before.

To determine whether someone (or something) is original – a test of substance has to be applied. It should answer at least the following questions: what exactly was done, when exactly was it done and was this ever done before.

To determine if someone (or something) is innovative – a practical test has to be applied. It should answer at least the following questions: what exactly was done, in which way was it done and was exactly this ever done before in exactly the same way.

Reviewing the tests above leads us to two conclusions:

1.. Being first and being original are more closely linked than being first and being innovative or than being original and being innovative. The tests applied to determine “firstness” and originality are the same.
2.. Though the tests are the same, the emphasis is not. To determine whether someone or something is a first, we primarily ask “when” – while to determine originality we primarily ask “what”.
Innovation helps in the conservation of resources and, therefore, in the delicate act of human survival. Being first demonstrates feasibility (“it is possible”). By being original, what is needed or can be done is expounded upon. And by being innovative, the practical aspect is revealed: how should it be done.

Society rewards these pathfinders with status and lavishes other tangible and intangible benefits upon them – mainly upon the Originators and the Innovators. The Firsts are often ignored because they do not directly open a new path – they merely demonstrate that such a path is there. The Originators and the Innovators are the ones who discover, expose, invent, put together, or verbalize something in a way which enables others to repeat the feat (really to reconstruct the process) with a lesser investment of effort and resources.

It is possible to be First and not be Original. This is because Being First is context dependent. For instance: had I traveled to a tribe in the Amazon forests and quoted a speech of Kennedy to them – I would hardly have been original but I would definitely have been the first to have done so in that context (of that particular tribe at that particular time). Popularizers of modern science and religious missionaries are all first at doing their thing – but they are not original. It is their audience which determines their First-ness – and history which proves their (lack of) originality.

Many of us reinvent the wheel. It is humanly impossible to be aware of all that was written and done by others before us. Unaware of the fact that we are not the first, neither original or innovative – we file patent applications, make “discoveries” in science, exploit (not so) “new” themes in the arts.

Society may judge us differently than we perceive ourselves to be – less original and innovative. Hence, perhaps, is the syndrome of the “misunderstood genius”. Admittedly, things are easier for those of us who use words as their raw material: there are so many permutations, that the likelihood of not being first or innovative with words is minuscule. Hence the copyright laws.

Yet, since originality is measured by the substance of the created (idea) content, the chances of being original as well as first are slim. At most, we end up restating or re-phrasing old ideas. The situation is worse (and the tests more rigorous) when it comes to non-verbal fields of human endeavor, as any applicant for a patent can attest.

But then surely this is too severe! Don’t we all stand on the shoulders of giants? Can one be original, first, even innovative without assimilating the experience of past generations? Can innovation occur in vacuum, discontinuously and disruptively? Isn’t intellectual continuity a prerequisite?

True, a scientist innovates, explores, and discovers on the basis of (a limited and somewhat random) selection of previous explorations and research. He even uses equipment – to measure and perform other functions – that was invented by his predecessors. But progress and advance are conceivable without access to the treasure troves of the past. True again, the very concept of progress entails comparison with the past. But language, in this case, defies reality. Some innovation comes “out of the blue” with no “predecessors”.

Scientific revolutions are not smooth evolutionary processes (even biological evolution is no longer considered a smooth affair). They are phase transitions, paradigmatic changes, jumps, fits and starts rather than orderly unfolding syllogisms (Kuhn: “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”).

There is very little continuity in quantum mechanics (or even in the Relativity Theories). There is even less in modern genetics and immunology. The notion of laboriously using building blocks to construct an ebony tower of science is not supported by the history of human knowledge. And what about the first human being who had a thought or invented a device – on what did he base himself and whose work did he continue?

Innovation is the father of new context. Original thoughts shape the human community and the firsts among us dictate the rules of the game. There is very little continuity in the discontinuous processes called invention and revolution. But our reactions to new things and adaptation to the new world in their wake essentially remain the same. It is there that continuity is to be found.

I am Charmed, and You?

Possessing a charming way will open many doors. The latent charm lurking within you is your secret and hidden away gold mine. Your charm is like a pearl inside the oyster, and once it is discovered and polished can highlight and greatly enrich your personality and success.

Charm is that intangible quality within you, that when uncovered and freed from suffocating baggage, can add a subtle power to your presence that is irresistibly pleasing. The influence of this charm will attract, calm, assuage, placate and delight anyone with whom you come into contact. The ability to win over and influence people is in direct proportion to the charm you are able to summon up and demonstrate.

Charm can be developed like every other quality or attribute of the mind by adopting and practicing some basic rules. Adaptation, the art of agreeing with another person for the sake of amicability is lesson one. Finding common ground through genuine curiosity lowers defenses and paves the way for further exploration. Adaptation is an acknowledgment of another’s ‘right to be’ right or wrong. As Voltaire said, “I do not agree with a word you say but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.” The goal is to charm not to reform.

The primary rule is for you to be yourself. Any kind of physical makeover, including that phoney smile, won’t do the trick. Affectations and pretense, even a well rehearsed choreography, is swift and certain death to charm. It is easy enough to attract and get attention by artifice, but to influence anyone beyond surface pleasantries, you must possess the power of charm within. A smile may win a first look, but it takes the conscious power of charm to obtain results. Authenticity is genuine and indisputable, easily picked up by others as the real thing, where pretense is usually unmasked.

By practicing the techniques of charm from within, you can put your prospect or antagonist at ease and even inspire them to do your bidding. Projecting charm requires give and take. The first technique is to listen. You must be an attentive listener interested in hearing what the other person has to say, which also means paying close attention and really comprehending what they have to say and where they are coming from in saying it.

The second fundamental is to always be humble, gentle and polite. By adopting these traits you will project a gracious and friendly manner which communicates the attitude that you are both likeable and approachable. Treat all people that you meet as potential friends. By displaying an open and positive attitude, and making others feel that your own life was incomplete before having met them, empowers them, and in turn they will become endeared to you. Interest, kindness, and humbleness are a major part of being charming. Giving praise is another.

Praise is like a rare gemstone which derives its worth from its scarcity. Praise is one of the greatest motivating forces there is, and when sincerely applied can work wonders. Praise a dog and he is your friend. Praise children and they will glow with joy. Praise your ability with gratitude and you increase the flow of intelligence into your endeavors. Positive praise feelingly applied is an active multiplier. Praise what you have and more will be available to you. Praise is a positive expression of appreciation. In the case of others, it gives hearty and warm approval and breaks down barriers. If anyone you meet deserves your approbation, by all means give it, and in so doing you enhance their appreciation of your own qualities, a win win situation powered by charm.

The third element of charm is tolerance. Life is a compromise, and to realize and accept this adds to ones peace of mind and enjoyment. People are entitled to their own opinion, and possessing tolerance allows respect for diverse opinions, without necessarily believing or sharing them. Respect for another’s point of view will always enlarge your own world view. By exercising tolerance you dispel prejudice and vanity. It is the essential quality necessary to establish the true relationship between divergent situations on an impersonal basis. By becoming tolerant you learn not to take the world and the events and people in it too seriously, yourself included, thus enabling your sense of humor to expand. A true and easy smile and the ability to have a good laugh will relax you, and in so doing, aid you in peace of mind and efficiency. Tolerance and a good sense of humor are indeed additional gems to have in your crown of charm.

Charm is the art of pleasing. You need to be poised along with possessing the ability to act natural. Your ability to be pleasingly spontaneous and to act natural is a reflection of your habits. If these habits have been formed through the proper training of grace, poise and cleanliness, then they add to your charm. Negative habits of sloth, crudeness and loutishness diminishes. Charm refines the essence of your personality and permits the radiant beauty of your real being to shine through. Possessing charm will greatly augment your effectiveness. It makes it possible for you to always present yourself in the most favorable light. Through the glow of charm you will feel healthier and those worry lines will soon be replaced by your infectious smile. So train and equip yourself in the art and power of charm. It will enrich your presence and add immeasurably to your personal satisfaction and happiness.

Debt Relief – How To Get Out Of Debt

When debts begin to pile up around you and you can’t make your regular monthly repayments on time or even at all, you may be faced with a very stressful situation. To make things worse, you will be denied credit from other lenders because you can’t pay the credit you already have. If that wasn’t bad enough, you will also have rude, irate and threatening letters and phone calls from your creditors, demanding that you pay them what is owed.

As these problems escalate, so do your bills. The problem with many consumer debts or unsecured credit is the interest rates are so high that, even if you are keeping up with your minimal monthly payments, chances are that you will never pay off your debts anyway. If the interest wasn’t bad enough, once you begin to fall behind in your repayments or you borrow above the limit on your credit cards, you are likely to end up paying a whole host of other additional fees, such as late payment and over the limit penalties.

When faced with these situations, you need debt relief or ways to get your debt under control to place yourself in a position where you are able to get rid of your debts once and for all. Before exploring debt relief options, keep in mind that it didn’t take you a matter of days or weeks to get into debt, so you could hardly expect that debt relief will work for you in a matter of days or weeks either. Any option that you use to get out of debt will take time, patients and careful planning of your finances to make it effective.

What To Do First:
There are many different ways to get debt relief. Before you begin, you will need to sit down and make a list of all of your debts, then make a note of each creditor, their name, telephone and what their interest rates are. You will also need to work out your incoming money and where that money goes each week. Set yourself up with a budget and stick to it, while you are looking for options that will suit your circumstances better and help you get some debt relief.

See which of your debts are attracting the highest interest rates and target them. They are the biggest strain on you, so the sooner that you pay them off, the closer you will be to getting some debt relief. Pay the minimum on all of your other debts, except for the debt at the top of your list and pay as much on that one as you possibly can.

Next, you will need to call each of your creditors and explain to them your situation. Be honest with them. Where possible, ask them if you could pay your debt in full for less money or if they would lower your interest rates while you are paying your debts off. Ask your creditors how you can work together to get your debts paid off. You may be surprised at how willing they are to help you repay your debts.

If you are not confident talking to your creditors or if you aren’t having much luck with them, you may want to consider using a credit counseling service to help you get some debt relief. A credit councilor will work with you and your creditors to lower the interest you are paying and make your monthly repayments more manageable. Additionally, a credit counseling service will teach you how to budget. Some credit counseling agencies give their customers the option to pay money to them each month and have their debts paid on time by the credit counseling company.

What Are Your Options?
The most common way that people often think of dealing with way too many bills, is to go bankrupt. This is probably the worst thing that you can do. By going bankrupt, you are likely to still end up with some of your debts needing to be repaid, as well as severely damaging your credit report, which will hamper your chances of getting credit in the future. Even if you do get credit after a bankruptcy, you will have to pay huge amounts of interest, which will put you back in the same situation you are already in. So even though bankruptcy may seem like an option, use it as your very last alternative and even then use caution.

One of the best ways to get some financial assistance would have to be debt consolidation. Basically, a debt consolidation loan will pay for all of the debts that you already owe and roll them over to one, usually with lower interest rates and lower monthly repayments. There are loans available from lending institutions that don’t require you to have collateral. The interest rates will be higher than a secured loan, although they will be much less than the interest rates being paid to other credit companies or on credit cards.

If you currently own your own home, you may also want to consider the possibilities of a home-refinance, also referred to as a home equity loan, which can be used for a variety of reasons, including repaying your debts. By refinancing, you may be able to get a lower interest rate on your home, as well as pay off your debts. If you take the refinanced loan out over a longer term, your repayments will be lower each month, giving you instant debt relief.

While debt relief is important to get out of the debt you are already in, it is also important to make sure to educate yourself in how to budget your money carefully and manage it better in the future. You want to avoid getting into a continuous cycle of getting in and out of debt.

Beat Google’s Dampening Link Filter with SEO Articles

Most Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts agree that links back to your site have a great impact on your ranking in the major search engines. Think of it like an election; your site is a candidate and every link to your site is a vote. Of course, it was never quite that simple (high ranking, relevant sites have more voting power) but now it may have gotten even more complicated.

The Dampening Link Filter

It seems that Google may have introduced something called a “Dampening Link Filter” into its indexing algorithm. I’ll give you a layperson’s overview of this filter, but for more intimate details, check out

More and more people are realising the importance of links back to your site (or “backlinks”). For some time, companies have been engaging in all sorts of link campaigns designed to generate thousands of backlinks. Many of these campaigns haven’t really paid too much attention to the context or lifespan of these links. And Google knows it. Because these campaigns are designed to artificially generate the perception of a site’s importance – to trick the search engines into thinking they’re important – it’s been suggested that Google has decided to put an end to it. Apparently, there’s evidence to suggest that Google has introduced a new link filter to dampen the effect of new backlinks. So if your link generation campaign has just created 500 links in a day from seemingly irrelevant sites, Google will suspect it of being artificial, and refuse to pass on the full effect of those links – at least for a while. Well, that’s how the theory goes, anyway.

It has been argued that you can avoid being penalized by this filter by generating links:

• more slowly;
• from relevant sites; and
• which have a long lifespan.

The wisdom of relevance and lifespan is already well established; the dampening filter is simply one more reason why people should start to heed it. Writing and submitting SEO articles for online publication is one way to do so.

This article explains how SEO articles satisfy each of these three conditions. (For the basics of SEO article writing, take a look at

Build Backlinks Slowly

Writing quality articles takes time. It’s as simple as that. Even an SEO copywriter can’t just bang an article together in a morning – it has to be well considered. It must be accurate, informative, interesting, well written, and topical. And once you’ve written the article, the real work begins. You then have to submit it to your favourite article submit sites. And as they all have different requirements and idiosyncrasies, submitting your article to 50 submit sites can take you all day!

Once submitted, even the best articles will only be published gradually. A good article can be published 2 or 3 times a day for a week or two, then interest tapers off. But still, over the course of 6 months a single good article can be published hundreds of times! And remember, each time is a link.

Build Backlinks From Relevant Sites

As soon as you choose the topic of your article, you define the type of site that will publish it. All online publishers have an agenda; they want to generate traffic. Whether for commercial or benevolent reasons, they want particular kinds of articles for very specific audiences. Your article won’t be published on irrelevant sites simply because the publishers of those sites get nothing out of it.

Of course, your article may be published on sites that are only marginally relevant. For instance, this article may be published on general copywriting websites, advertising websites, web design websites, home business websites, etc. But the beauty of a well written SEO article is that you get to optimize it for the keywords that you want to rank for. So even if the keywords on the publishing site don’t quite match your own target keywords, the page containing your link (i.e. your article) does.

What’s more, you even have the power to optimize the links themselves. For instance, as an SEO copywriter, I can distribute backlinks throughout my article that use my target keywords as the link text (e.g. copywriter, SEO copywriter, advertising copywriter, and website copywriter ;-). Some submit sites don’t let you do this, but most will – at least in the byline.

And one other thing – other people link to good articles. This can increase the Page Rank of the site containing your article, which, in turn, can increase the page rank of your own site. It’s a win-win situation!

Build Backlinks With a Long Lifespan

The quality of your SEO article determines the lifespan of your backlink. Write a very helpful article, make it easy to read, and choose a topic which isn’t going to go away in a hurry, and your article will stay online for years.

In any event, most publishers tend not to clear out their article libraries simply because it’s better for them to have lots of content available to both readers and search engines.


While it’s no new phenomenon to SEO veterans and SEO copywriters, the writing of SEO articles to generate backlinks is a tactic which offers much in the way of ranking. The possibility of a Google dampening link filter simply increases the value of that offering.

Happy writing!

Trendy Eyewear For The Fashion Conscious

Long been flaunted as the “must-have” accessories of superstars and celebrities, eyewear has finally gained world-wide acceptance. A piece of eyewear today does more than just protect your eyes from the harmful Ultra Violet (UV) rays of the sun. What you wear on your eyes is also seen as a reflection of your personality and individual style quotient. The right pair of eyewear can add that touch of style, hint of mystique and truly announce to the world that you have finally arrived!

Planet Eyewear!
The range of eyewear available today is mind-boggling. With numerous brands, big and small, choosing the right eyewear can be tricky and daunting. From sports eyewear to formal eyewear to casual, the range is wide and prices suitable for most people.

Whether you want to flaunt trendy eyewear models such as Oakley and Oxydo or other designer models, sometimes also referred to as “jewelry items” such as Gucci, Ferrari, and Bvlgari, the constantly evolving eyewear design trends, colors, and shapes are defining pointers for what your look will be fashioned on.

Don’t just buy sunglasses to protect eyes. Pay special attention that the eyewear flatters your face as well. Choose from the latest styles; you can pick from wraps, shields, aviators, clip-ons, oversized Jackie O frames, or the really cool futuristic shapes that have flooded the markets.

From New York to Shanghai, various brands of sunglasses have made their way into the market, so must be aware of counterfeits. Stay away from cheap and bad quality plastic lens; these can harm your eyes rather than protecting them. Buy from a reputable store or then shop online at known websites such as

Current eyewear trends
According to eyewear fashion experts, large shapes, especially the square shaped frames and the aviators (usually unisex) are currently in vogue. Lens colors or shades that compliment these eyewear shapes are brown, grey and black. So what about blue and pink shades? Well, these colors are completely out and people only want dark tones. Black and grey have also been the most popular choice forever!

Having discussed the shape and color, it’s time to find out what materials are in demand. Consider this: the young crowd is drawn to plastic frames and those that show-off different layered and colored effects to the hilt. Want a sure shot tip on which color frames to choose? Try red and black and/or red and white. You can’t ever go wrong with these two combinations. Don’t like colored effects? No problem. The very chic and fashionable tortoise shell effect is just what will make you look like your favorite celebrity!

Here’s a tip: Try to buy a frame that has a more classic silhouette, rather than a bulky and loud frame. Aim for the timeless look by sticking with sleek materials. Dark colors such as black, brown, grey, or silver and plastic or wire help you stay in style even in the flood of trends!

Style Statements for Women and Men
The emerging trend in eyewear is now gearing towards color coordination. For women it means choosing a pair of sunglasses or eyewear that is based on the color of their hair and complexion. The oversized sunglasses with double shades and a perfectly well displayed logo gleaming on the sides, which can also double-up as a hair bands are extremely popular and a huge style statement.

Men can make style statements by flashing the aviator or other distinct-looks in metallic, rimless, or wire frames. It’s fairly common knowledge now that most people who are splurging on expensive branded eyewear, usually have more then a couple of pairs at least. They are on the look out for a particular piece that is distinct and unique for that specific moment.

Designer Eyewear for the Fashion Conscious
If you are looking for a range of eyewear styles from the conventional to the contemporary then look no further than the style guru – Tommy Hilfiger. Tommy’s new Fall 2007 fashion eyewear collection comes with a new twist, which makes the traditional and classical sunglasses and spectacles look vibrant, unique and chic but not ostentatiously so. This juxtaposition of the old with the new, conventional with the urban hip in this new collection, is suitable for any wardrobe and any event.

But if you rather invest in a futuristic or ultra contemporary look then Bvlgari is the brand for you. Hip shapes that are further aesthetically enhanced with the Bvlgari motifs add a streak of glamour to this collection. The different styles available are Quadrato, Parentesi, Astrale and Cicladi, in light and refined metal, acetate frames and Swarovski crystals.

Burberry collection is all about being retro. The vintage, retro look in different styles like the wide square shape, or the slightly rounder shapes is in vogue. Classified as the Runaway Collection, these eyewear pieces are studded with semi-precious stones on the sides.

Getting the Right Look!
Yes, getting the right look is not easy at all. And the best way to find a suitable frame for your face does involve the need for a trial effort. Spend as much time as you can on trying different frames, styles, lens shapes before buying the perfect and trendy pair of eyewear. After all, you deserve it!

How Coffee is Decaffeinated

First, let’s start with a really quick history. Coffee was first decaffeinated by Ludwig Roselius, a German coffee merchant, in 1905 after he received a coffee shipment that had gotten soaked during a storm at sea. He experimented with the brine-soaked coffee, and found out that benzene could be used as solvent to bond with the caffeine. Since caffeine is water-soluble at temperatures above 175°, he could boil the solution to separate the caffeine from the coffee. With his process, the coffee was decaffeinated, but it had lost much of its flavor.
For the record, Ludwig improved on his process and went on to sell his discovery under the Sanka brand name. Benzene is no longer used, as it is not considered safe for human consumption.
Today there are 3 commonly used methods available for removing caffeine from coffee, with dozens of variations of those methods. Two common variations are Direct and Indirect Method.
European or Traditional Process – Direct Method:
The direct process involves softening the beans by steam first, then washing them for about 10 hours with either a methylene chloride or ethyl acetate solution to absorb the caffeine from the bean. The solution is discarded, the beans are re-steamed to remove any remaining solvent (methylene chloride boils away at 114°; ethyl acetate at 104°), then the beans are dried to their original moisture content.
European or Traditional Process – Indirect Method:
Instead of being steamed, the coffee beans are soaked in very hot water, which extracts the caffeine along with many of the oils. This solution is then treated with either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate, which bonds with the caffeine. Then the solution is heated to the temperature at which the caffeine and either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate compounds evaporate. The oils are then reintroduced to the beans, and the beans are then dried.
About 80% of decaf coffees are processed by the Traditional, or European Process, and many serious coffee drinkers believe this method makes for the best-tasting coffee. Others worry about the chemicals involved. Methylene chloride is considered a superior solvent since it can evaporate at a lower temperature and leaves virtually no trace in the beans, but it is an environmental hazard to workers at decaffeination plants, and it is known to harm the ozone layer. Ethyl acetate can be extracted from various fruits and vegetables and so it is considered a “naturally-found” chemical, but most ethyl acetate used for decaffeinating is synthethically produced.
The Water or Swiss Water Process:
Also known as the water process, this process uses no chemicals, but rather hot water, steam and osmosis to remove the caffeine from the coffee in two steps. In the first step, which is similar to the Traditional, Indirect Method, the beans are soaked in a hot water solution to remove the caffeine and the flavor oils. The beans used in this step are then discarded. The solution is run through activated charcoal filters to remove the caffeine, but leave the flavor oils. A new batch of beans is then soaked in the solution. According to the laws of osmosis, the caffeine leaves the beans to go to the uncaffeinated solution, but the flavor in both the solution and the beans is equal, so no flavor leaves the beans.
The beans are then dried and shipped to the roasters. The disadvantage is that the water processing removes more than just the caffeine. Some of the oils from the coffee bean are removed as well, making it less flavorful.
The Hypercritical Carbon Dioxide Method:
In this method, which is not as popular as the other methods, the beans are soaked in a solution of liquid carbon dioxide to remove the caffeine. The get to a liquid state, the carbon dioxide must be highly pressurized (73 to 300 atmospheres), which makes the logistic cost of this method a bit higher than the other methods. After the caffeine is absorbed by the carbon dioxide, either the pressure is reduced and carbon dioxide is allowed to evaporate, or the solution is run through a carbon filter to remove the caffeine. Although more expensive, the advantage of the Carbon Dioxide Method is that since carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas, the method is not harmful to health or the environment.
Other Methods:
Since there’s no consensus best-way to remove caffeine from coffee beans, there are still new methods being developed.
One new method is the Triglyceride Process. In this method, green coffee beans are soaked in a solution or hot water and coffee to draw the caffeine to the surface of the beans. Then, the beans are transferred to another container and immersed in coffee flavor oils that were obtained from spent coffee grounds. The flavor oils contain triglycerides are a naturally-occurring combination of fatty acids and glycerol, and , after several hours at high temperatures, they are able to remove the caffeine from the beans while not affecting the flavor.
Another new method, and possibly the future of decaffeinated coffee, is the cultivation of Naturally Caffeine-Free Coffee from trees that have recently discovered in that produce coffee with no caffeine. Depending on the variety of coffee, the caffeine content already varies significantly, from about 75 mg to 250 mg per 6 oz. cup. Arabica coffee varieties normally contain about half the caffeine of robusta varieties, and dark roast coffee usually has less caffeine than lighter roasts since the roasting process reduces caffeine content of the bean. An arabica bean containing a tenth as much caffeine as a normal bean has been found, so the possibility of developing or finding a bean with no caffeine is probably a matter of time.

Chronic Pain Syndrome And Chronic Pain Management And Treatment – Part I

Suffer From Chronic Pain

Each year tens of millions of Americans suffer from persistent pain known as chronic pain. Individuals with chronic pain are less able to function in daily life than those who do not suffer from chronic pain.

Chronic pain patients suffer from poor sleep quality and depressed mood rather than pain intensity, duration, or anxiety. Clinical Implications Chronic pain patients suffer from poorer quality of sleep than do healthy control subjects. Many people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of illness. Although more than one in five Americans live with chronic pain, women are more likely to suffer from chronic pain conditions than men. If you or a family member suffer from chronic pain, you know that the search for relief is an ongoing process. But some people suffer chronic pain in absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage. At least 25 percent of Americans suffer from back pain. One fourth of these individuals, back pain is chronic and unremitting.


If you’re grappling with chronic pain, one of the earliest and most wrenching emotions you experience is a deep sense of loss. In fact, a number of people with SCI experience chronic pain in areas that otherwise have no sensation. Lascelles’ experience, owners are usually more concerned about pain from surgery than pain associated with chronic conditions. The path to chronicity of pain is characterised by failed attempts to adjust and cope with an uncontrollable, frightening, and adverse experience.

Problem Of Chronic Pain

RSD or RSDS is a neurological problem and one of the symptoms is constant chronic burning pain. It is now appreciated that the phenomenon of wind-up is crucial to understanding the problem of chronic pain. Chronic pain in children is an important problem and more action is urgently required to overcome the embarrassing lack of data on childhood pain. Some believe that many factors work together to produce chronic pain, rather than a single disease or medical problem. The longer pain goes on the more susceptible it is to other influences and developing into a problem.

Source From Injury

Some people develop chronic pain out of the blue, with no injury or illness to trigger pain signals. Once chronic pain that has been caused by an injury or surgery is managed, patient recovery may be faster. an injury, and chronic pain with no identifiable pain generator (e.g. The injury transformed her into one of millions of Americans tormented by chronic pain. In stark contrast to acute pain, persists beyond the amount of time that is normal for an injury to heal. In some cases this may stem from an injury incurred during an accident or an assault.


Managing stress and managing chronic pain go hand in hand. Stress Ask most chronic pain patients what their most significant source of stress is, and they will usually tell you that it is pain. Physical, psychological, and emotional stress may worsen chronic pain. Predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity level in chronic low back pain patients.


Statistical analysis The prevalence of recent pain, chronic pain, and severely disabling chronic pain were summarised as percentages of respondents with 95% confidence intervals. Croft et al [11] found the prevalence of chronic pain to be slightly lower in postal survey non-responders. A small number of previous studies have sought to collect data on the prevalence of chronic pain from non-responders. The prevalence of severely disabling chronic pain in this sample was 3.0%.


This pattern has to be changed if depression, stress, and chronic pain itself are to be conquered. This is because the consequences of chronic pain and the symptoms of depression look very similar. Depression Persons with a chronic pain problem often show decreases in meaningful and enjoyable activities. Depression is often associated with chronic pain and may need to be treated as a separate, but related, condition. Living with chronic pain can lead to loss of appetite, depression, and exhaustion. The consequences of unrelieved chronic pain in this population, similar to others, include depression, decreased socialization and sleep disturbance. Influence of chronic pain on mood and psychosocial function, utilizing age-specific scales (e.g., geriatric depression scale). Nelson and Diane…and depression in patients with chronic pain was investigated. Counselling may also be of some help in addressing the depression which so often accompanies chronic pain or illness. Levels of anxiety, depression and self-rated health were described for respondents with severely disabling chronic pain and contrasted with respondents reporting no pain. Psychological therapy for anxiety and depression is helpful in managing the emotional consequences of chronic pain. This is not the case and if somebody has chronic pain and depression, ‘you have to treat both’, he says. Our research provides further evidence that chronic pain and depression are quite independent”, Dr Clauw said. There are many factors that affect the development of chronic pain such as age, level of disability, depression, or the presence of nerve damage. Schatzberg suspects that the presence of chronic pain should be added to this list as a symptom for assessing depression.

Causes of Folliculitis

A follicle refers to a crust or cavity from which the hair emerges on the surface of the skin. The term folliculitis is used to describe the inflamed condition of the hair. Depending upon the causal organism, folliculitis causes can be characterized as follows:

• Bacterial Folliculitis
• Fungal Folliculitis
• Viral Folliculitis
• Parasitic Folliculitis

Bacterial folliculitis
Bacterial folliculitis develops when bacteria enters the body through a cut, scrape, surgical incision, or multiplies in the skin near a hair follicle. The bacteria can get trapped and the infection may spread from the hair follicles to the other parts of the body.

Bacterial folliculitis may be superficial or deep. Superficial folliculitis, also called impetigo, consists of pustules which are small-circumscribed elevations of the skin containing pus. The pustules are often surrounded by a ring of redness. Deep folliculitis results when the infection goes deeper and involves more follicles to produce furuncles and carbuncles. These are more serious than folliculitis and can cause permanent damage and scarring to the skin.
Bacterial folliculitis usually occurs in children and adults. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common of bacterial folliculitis causes. It also causes sycosis, a deep chronic infection that involves the entire hair follicle.

Besides the species of streptococcus, pseudomonas, proteus and coliform bacteria have also been indicated as of bacterial folliculitis causes. “Hot Tub” Folliculitis is a condition caused by the pathogen pseudomonas aeruginosa. This disease is often caused due to unsanitary conditions at a spa. The pathogens identified in Gram-negative folliculitis include Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and Proteus species. This type of folliculitis sometimes develops in people receiving long-term antibiotic treatment for acne.

Some superficial follicle infections spontaneously resolve themselves. However, bacterial infections like impetigo, furuncles, carbuncles and “hot tub” folliculitis may not resolve spontaneously and generally require prescription therapy. All these infections are typically diagnosed by clinical presentation, after which predisposing factors are identified and eliminated.

Fungal folliculitis
As the name suggests fungal folliculitis is caused due to fungal infections. Superficial fungal infections are found in the top layers of the skin; deep fungal infections invade deeper layers of the skin. The infection from hair follicles can also spread to blood or internal organs.

The dermatophytic fungus, pityrosporum fungus and the yeast candida folliculitis are the prominent among the fungal folliculitis causes.

Dermatophytic folliculitis is caused most often by a zoophilic species, i.e. fungal species that show attraction to or affinity for animals. The condition presents as follicular pustules around a hardened erythematous (reddened) plaque. A deep fungal penetration causes a high degree of inflammation and determines the extent of hair shaft loss that occurs due to the infection.

Tinea capitis or ringworm of the head is the most important form of pediatric dermatophytic folliculitis. The clinical features of tinea capitis vary considerably depending on the species responsible for the infection. Typically, there is partial alopecia with a varying amount of inflammation.

In the non-inflammatory variants, asymmetrical lesions with short broken hair, 1 to 3 mm in length, are observed. Slight inflammation with scaling may be observed on careful inspection.

The most severe inflammatory reactions are called kerion and produce painful boggy masses studded with pustules. These lesions can result in severe hair loss and significant scarring when the disease is in advanced stages. The diagnosis of tinea capitis is established by identifying the organism in infected hairs under the microscope. A diagnosis is often confirmed by cultures.

Tinea barbae is a superficial dermatophytic infection that is limited to the bearded areas of the face and neck and occurs almost exclusively in older adolescent and adult males. The clinical presentation of tinea barbae includes deep folliculitis, red inflammatory papules and pustules with exudation, crusting and associated hair shaft loss. The two main species causing the infection are T. mentagrophytes and T. verrucosum.

Pityrosporum folliculitis is caused by pityrosporum yeasts resulting in an itchy eruption. The lesions are reddish follicular papules and pustules located mainly on the upper back, shoulders and chest.
Candida folliculitis is caused by the Candida species, ubiquitous fungi that most commonly affect humans.

Viral folliculitis
Viral folliculitis involves a variety of viral infections of the hair follicle. Infection by the herpes simple virus (HSV) often progress to form pustular or ulcerated lesions, and eventually a crust. Infection caused by molluscum contagiosum indicates an immuneosuppressed state which manifests as multiple whitish, itchy papules over the beard area. There are also some reports of folliculitis caused by herpes zoster infection.

Parasitic folliculitis
Parasites causing folliculitis are usually small pathogens that burrow into the hair follicle to live there or lay their eggs. Mites such as demodex folliculorum and demodex brevis are natural hosts of the human pilo-sebaceous follicle.

Are The Stars Out Tonight? Reconnecting With The Power Of Mystery

On a crisp June night I’m lying in my sleeping bag at 10,000 feet in the Sierra’s Desolation Wilderness. Here, far from the light and haze of the Bay Area, the sky is deep black, but thick with twinkling dots and dim wisps of cottony light. When I look from the corner of my eye, the dim lights become more defined, easier to perceive as stars. To count them all would take years, if it was even possible. The number seems incomprehensible. And the mystery of what could exist out there, somewhere, at once inspires and humbles me.

Enthralled by the night sky, I struggle to keep my eyes open, knowing with a disquieting certainty that upon my return to the “real” world my focus will be drawn steadily and relentlessly away from the mysteries of the night sky.

The real world of responsibilities, work, relationships and bills provides a powerful distraction from the mystery of the night sky and the mystery of our lives. This point was driven home, recently, when I heard the following two intriguing but contradictory statements in the same day.

First, in a recording, Carolyn Myss observed that this is the first time in which entire generations will grow up without seeing the stars! Imagine growing up in a big, bright city, without the resources to leave, surrounded by light, smog and tall buildings that blot out all but the most determined of the celestial objects.

The second statement I heard came later that day, in an NPR story about the Hubble Space Telescope. A lead scientist for the telescope explained how, since the dawn of humanity we have been seeking to understand the origin of the Universe. This, he said, is the first time that we do understand it. We can see the spectral remnants from the Big Bang and actually listen to the sounds of the Universe moments after its formation.

What a strange world we have dreamed into existence. Our technology and science enables us to unravel the secrets of the stars while simultaneously creating communities that will never see them. As our understanding of our world and the Universe has expanded, we have, as a culture, become disconnected from the inherently mysterious nature of our existence. And as individuals we run the risk of losing touch with the powerful force of mystery in our lives.

When was the last time you laid out at night gazing into the sky? When was the last time you attempted to count the stars, or trace the outline of Ursa Major? When was the last time you wondered who or what might be out there in the vast reaches of space, or what your place is within this Universe?

Mystery is a source of power for humans. We draw creativity, passion, healing and inspiration from the Unknown. Artists, scientists, inventors and philosophers all speak of the mysterious nature of discovery, creation and problem solving. Shamans and Healers of all cultures understand that the unknown holds the power to heal and transform the Soul, Mind and Body. When we lose touch with that mystery, we lose touch with a source of personal and communal power.

Passion, too, comes from Mystery. Consider your intimate relationships, past or present. It is not the daily encounters or the practical matters that keep a relationship growing. Nor is it the moments of tenderness and intimacy. These are all integral parts of a relationship, forming the foundation and structure. But it is in the moments of Mystery and Discovery that the flame of passion is refueled: It is when your lover surprises you with a perfect gift. Or when you catch an unexpected glimpse of your partner kneeling over a flower to inhale its aroma. The door to Mystery opens also when your partner displays her anger for the first time, or when he trusts you with the sharing of a grief long held hidden.

These moments when you encounter something new and surprising about your lover take the relationship deeper into the mystery and are the moments of growth and renewal for each of you as individuals. It may be love that sustains a relationship, but it is the glimpses into the mystery that refuels love. Relationships begin to stagnate and die, not when love fades, but rather, when the doorway into the Mystery remains closed for too long.

This is equally true in your personal life. When you close the door that leads to your personal mysteries, you deprive yourself of a source of power and passion. One way to reopen that door, or open it wider, is to embrace the mysteries around you. How does a tiny acorn transform itself into a majestic oak tree? How do the birds know when it is time to migrate? How does this computer do what it does? What waits for us in the vast reaches of space?

Do not believe that the scientists know everything. If Christopher Columbus had accepted the prevailing wisdom of his day, he never would have set sail. If Einstein had believed the existing theories of matter, space and time, he would not have formulated the theory of relativity.

Bask in the mysteries. Challenge existing assumptions. Discover your own answers. Become curious and childlike when something intrigues you. Begin to open the door to the external mysteries and the door to your personal mysteries will soon follow. When it does, you will have access to a vast source of inspiration, creativity, and power.

A short biography of some of Europe’s most loved and hated Monarchs – Pt 1 Vlad Tepes (Dracula)

Vlad Tepes or Dracula was born in 1431, in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. His father was the military governor of Transylvania and a member of the Order of the Dragon. The order was created in 1387 by the Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Barbara Cilli.

In the winter of 1436-1437, Vlad(Dracul) became prince of Wallachia and took up residence at the palace of Tirgoviste, the princely capital. In 1442, he and his younger brother Radu were taken hostage by the Turkish Sultan Murad II. Dracul was held in Turkey until 1448, while his brother Radu decided to stay there until 1462.

At 17 years old, Vlad, supported by troops lent to him by pasha Mustafa Hassan, tried to seize the Wallachian throne but was defeated by Vladislav II (who had earlier assassinated his father and oldest brother ) after two months or armed conflict. Vlad had to wait until 1456, when he was able to seek retribution against his father’s assassin.

Vlad’s first act of vengeance was aimed at the boyars of Tirgoviste for the killing of his father and older brother Mircea. Around Easter of 1459, Vlad had all the boyar families arrested and impaled the elder members on stakes while forcing the others to march from the capital to the town of Poenari. He then ordered them to build him a fortress on the ruins of an older outpost overlooking the Arges River. Many nobles died in the construction of this castle, the ruins of which can still be seen today.

Vlad became known for his brutal punishment techniques; often ordering people to be skinned, decapitated, blinded, roasted, hacked, buried alive, stabbed and blinded to name a few. He also liked to cut off his victim noses, ears and sexual organs. But his favourite form of torture was impalement on stakes, hence the surname “Tepes” which means “The Impaler” in the Romanian language. It was this form of punishment that he used against Transylvanian merchants who ignored his trade laws.

There are many tales about the psyche of Vlad Tepes. He was known throughout the country for his fierce adherence to honesty and order. Almost any crime, from lying and stealing to killing, could be punished by impalement. Being so confident in the efficiency of his law, Dracula placed a golden cup on display in the central square of Tirgoviste. The cup could be used by thirsty travellers, but had to remain on the square. It was never stolen and remained entirely untouched throughout Vlad’s reign. He looked upon the poor, vagrants and beggars as thieves. Consequently, he invited all the poor and sick of Wallachia to his court in Tirgoviste for a magnificent feast. After his guests had eaten and drunk their fill, Dracula ordered the hall boarded up and set on fire. There were no survivors.

At the beginning of 1462, Vlad launched a campaign against the Turks along the Danube River which was very successful, managing several victories. In retaliation for these losses, the Sultan decided to launch a full-scale invasion of Wallachia with an army three times larger than Dracula’s. Vlad was forced to withdraw towards Tirgoviste, burning villages and poisoning wells along the way.

These acts were designed to hinder the Turkish army in their search for food and water. When the Sultan’s armies finally reached the capital city, exhausted and hungry, they were confronted by a horrific sight: thousands of stakes held the bodies of some 20,000 Turkish captives, which came to be known as “Forest of the Impaled.” The scene which was laid out before them had an immediate effect; the Sultan hungry and worn out retreated. The Sultan Mehmed left the next phase of the battle to Vlad’s younger brother Radu who pursued his brother and wife to Poenari castle on the Arges River.

Dracula’s wife, in order to escape Turkish capture, committed suicide by hurling herself from the upper walls, her body falling down the cliff face into the river below.

Vlad managed to escape the siege and made his way to hungry with the help of local peasants. Upon his arrival the Hungarian king Matthias arrested Dracula and imprisoned him at the Hungarian capital of Visegrad.

In 1475, Vlad Tepes again became prince of Wallachia where he enjoyed a very short third reign. He was assassinated towards the end of 1476.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Vlad Tepes or as he was better known-Dracula.

In my next article will learn about the life of(Mad)King George III.

Unitl then,

Best wishes and have a great day

Stuart Bazga

What’s Better Than Plastic Surgery

Better than plastic surgery

Joni Mitchell has a song, “Happiness is the best facelift”, but curiosity is an equally effective anti-aging device. If you want to stay youthful and energetic, consider the role of curiosity in your life. As kids, many of us were not encouraged to be curious: “Remember, curiosity killed the cat”, my grandma told me when I asked too many questions. At the time (age 5) I shut up and obeyed her, but I wish I had replied with, “But Grandma, I’ll bet that cat had a fabulous 9 lives before he died.”

Curiosity in the world

Curiosity is enthusiasm about your own life and that of others. It’s about being out there in the world, not all wrapped up in your neurotic little self. Curiosity is questioning, wondering, and pondering. Reading can be a great way to experience curiosity: you can travel the world and meet the most bizarre and amazing people without leaving your sofa. Travel is another way to express your curiosity about the world. When you go to different places, you leave your comfort zone behind: new people, places, things and customs keep you alert and pose questions like: “Why do they do that?” or “What would I be like if I grew up here?” Curiosity in the world keeps us mentally expanding and growing…and youthful!

Curiosity about yourself

Besides wondering about others and how they live, it’s mentally healthy to wonder about yourself. When you ask yourself questions like:

 Who am I really?
 Who am I today?
 Who did I used to be?
 Who do I want to be in 5, 10 or 15 years?

You literally create new neural patterns in your brain that keep you younger, smarter and healthier. While there is a fine line between self-curiosity and self-obsession (hello narcissists!), it’s hard to grow without periodic spells of self-examination (even Madonna said, “an unexamined life is not worth living” in her song lyrics), You can use self-help books, prayer, meditation, psychotherapy and even shopping to explore your curiosity about yourself. Yes, shopping! For example, when you go shopping, how do you define what’s really “You”? Do you look at something and think, “I like that shirt/lamp/whatever, but that’s just not ‘me’.” This is shopping as a form of self-definition. By saying “yes” or “no” to things you could wear/buy/have, you are asking yourself, “Who am I and what do I think is right for me?” So the next time you go shopping, consciously enjoy your curiosity. Let yourself be amused and perhaps even surprised at how you define yourself.

Passion: curiosity’s best friend

I define passion as strong feelings or energy directed towards someone or something. There is a common misconception about passion, that it must be dramatic and over-the-top for it to count. This is bullshit. Passion can be as subtle as watching a spider spin a web at your cubicle at work or noticing the color of the tomato plants on your apartment balcony. We are all passionate beings. You may not think you are, but, dear reader, get over yourself. You may not yet be aware of your passion or expressing it (yet), but it’s there.

Often I hear my clients say, “Oh, I wish I felt passionate about something…my life is just so boring.” Even a statement like: “I just HATE my life! Everything sucks!” is hardly passion-less. There is passion there: thwarted passion. Thwarted passion kills: a little bit at a time, we die. Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, look for little things that bring you joy, that make your heart beat just a little faster. Look at the people in your life in whose presence you feel most alive. Look at the animals and plants in your life whose presence you delight in. These are all sources of passion. Your passions will be uniquely your own…no one may understand why you love gardening and circuit parties. This is your passion and it only needs to fulfill you. If you can share it with friends or partners, great. But so much of our inner passions aren’t easily shared. They’re our own little happy secrets.

Discover your own passions

Here’s a little exercise to get in touch with some of your passions. Sit in a nice relaxing spot, turn off the cell phone, get a piece of paper and pen and then ask yourself these questions:

 What do I care about?
 What do I find interesting?
 What would I like to know more about?
 What have I long wanted to do/try/learn?

These are not easy questions, but they will stimulate the right side of your brain…the creative, inspiring side. Take your time and think about them. You may want to answer them now and put them aside, then look at them tomorrow and add to your answers. Let yourself free associate…there are no wrong answers! Let these questions help you identify your passions, those parts of your life that you are curious about and want to explore more. When you follow your curiosity, your life gets more vivid and energized. Curiosity leads to passion: curiosity is the process of investigation and passion is the experience that comes from acting on what you discover. If your life feels a bit dull and boring, try the above exercises and have fun playing with your curiosity and identifying some of your passions. Above all: enjoy the process.

Make Money Scams Don’t Work? No…You Don’t.

Are Make Money Scams Your Fault?
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Make money failure?

If you toss a coin 100 times and it comes down heads 99 times, does that prove that it is a two- headed coin?

Match Your Abilities

You have heard that if you invent a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door.

Imagine that you sell your invention together with full manufacturing and selling rights to 100 people. One make money purchaser is soon a millionaire because of your invention. The other 99 people clamor for their money back. It didn’t make money for them therefore it must be a scam.

They must be right. As with the coin toss 99 times out of 100 proves that it is a scam and nobody can make money.

My Failures

Inkjets: I bought a kit to make money by refilling inkjet cartridges. I had big plans about expanding my business once it could make money big time. I would set up a van, and drive round the country businesses in Western Australia, and make money refilling their cartridges each week.

Or I might even be able to drive into the parking lot of some local manufacturers who had hundreds of inkjet printers operating, and refill a couple of hundred cartridges before driving on again. Think how I could make money then!

My main abilities are technical, which suited refilling the cartridges.

My main lack of ability is in salesmanship. The business failed. I only made a few hundred dollars out of it over a period of several years.

Was the idea a scam? No. I am a bad salesman. Others do make money this way, and very good money too.

Translation: Next I bought a make money idea to become a translator. This was great. I sailed through my translator’s exams and joined two professional organizations.

But the work didn’t come in. I didn’t make money.

It turns out that not all translation is equal to make money. If you can translate from English into the language of a new third-world market that manufacturers want to open up you can make money û large dollops of it. The manufacturers are happy to help you to make money so that they can make money in larger quantities.

However, if you translate into English as I do, then the manufacturers are in the third-world countries. That means that they can’t afford quality translators. They will always go for the cheapest work from their own country where slave- labor fees are charged. It doesn’t matter that English is not the native language of the translator. The manufacturer can’t afford to help you make money by going for quality.

I only made money of a few thousand dollars over two years.

Make Money Scams

Of course, there are make money scams like the one about getting money out of Nigeria. You can often recognize this type of scam by

1.If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

2.Money making scam merchants like it to be barely legal. That way you won’t want to complain about them to the authorities.

3.No work needed. If it needs no work to make money, why do they want your help?

Make Money from Services

In the examples I gave above I was trying to use my services to make money.

You will almost always make some money – even if you are a hopeless salesperson. The only trouble is that you may make money that is too little to interest the tax man. It is embarrassing when the tax man returns your money with the comment that it is a hobby not a business to make money!

But suppose that you are a brilliant salesperson. In that case can’t you find better ways to make money than working hard? OK suppose you are a mediocre salesperson. You have found a service where word of mouth soon brings you so much work that there aren’t enough hours in the day for it.

That is the big problem. Why do you want to make money? To get freedom? Then why are you working 70 hours a week on your business to make money? What kind of freedom is that?

One way is to sell the business for a large sum of money and then build another, and sell that to make money.

Automated Income

This is the best way to make money. You don’t make money with no work. It takes a lot of hard work to set up the automation. But it is cumulative like a rolled snowball. The hard work you do today will make money for you tomorrow and next year and…

Grasp Opportunity

I had the chance recently to buy into a business that needs my technical abilities and needs no salesmanship to make money. I grabbed the chance. You can’t get in – the offer was only open for 24 hours. If you are too skeptical then when opportunity knocks you will miss your chance to make money. Fortunately I already had experience of working with the vendor, so my skepticism was low.

How To Match Your Abilities With the Opportunity

It’s only logical. If you want to match the opportunity to your abilities you want to have as many opportunities to choose from as possible. So I’ve gathered a range of articles by many authors.

Don’t be brainwashed by just one author, but please, don’t ask for a refund just because a way to make money doesn’t work for you. Unless it is a scam like the one about helping to get hundreds of millions of dollars out of Nigeria then the fault is probably your own.

One man who became filthy rich from the internet says that he expects 15 out of 16 of his projects to fail. He starts banking his ongoing income from the sixteenth project, then moves on to the next sixteen.