The Essential Laws of Companies Explained

Providing Compensation Without Discrepancies

Corporations want to employ individuals who are most competent for the occupation and in the same fashion the most competent individuals opt for the finest corporations to send their job applications to. In advance of deciding upon a career offer or a job agreement, there are two significant points that men and women are very specific with – work pay and job security. Companies who offer bigger salaries always attract people who have the best skills qualified for the job. If a corporation can pay for a larger salary it only indicates that its business is performing good. And if that is so, then the business is firm and therefore delivers a wonderful job stability.

The best resource of a corporation is its workers. While attracting the best talent is a huge task for the company in the Human Resources department, keeping these talents is even more challenging. To keep the spirits of a company’s workers, it will need specific factors such as excellent working conditions, rewards, and most essentially the right reimbursement workers appropriately are entitled to for the work they made. Dependable administrators and businesses should generally devote to these standards. A company may only be as good as its employees and retaining the best-qualified employees is a key component to business success.

Knowing that, the business’s accounting department must always make certain to be really accountable in meticulously processing each employee’s paycheck. Determining the correct amount of salary to give to the employees is just not that easy thing to do for a company. However, with today’s modern and advanced developments in computer software, the accounting department can now calculate and determine the correct salaries to pay for the employees accurately and fast.
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The compensation management software is a computer program that can be used by the companies’ accounting departments to accurately compute the employees’ salaries and tax deductions. The principal objective of this application is to guarantee that each worker will be given appropriate and correct reimbursement for their services. The compensation software can carry out primary estimations for income tax deductions, bonuses, and rewards such as overtime pay. It can also be linked to a company’s timekeeping device to determine the exact number of hours that the employee has spent working.It can also be connected to a corporation’s timekeeping system to figure out the correct number of hours that the worker has spent doing the job. Moreover, the compensation software is used not just for calculating but also producing payroll reports. There are instances where employees will need a copy of their payslips like when they apply for loans.
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There are many software developers and vendors on the web that are looking to present the best compensation software. With this program, the corporation will make sure correct payment with no errors.

A Simple Plan: Options

A Few Currency Conversion Tips Before Travelling Abroad.

Do you have any plans of visiting another country either for business or for just pure travel and relaxation any time soon? Though it is something a lot are hyped about and that clothes for the trip have already been prepared even several weeks prior to the trip, many are still deemed unprepared as soon as they get to the country of destination because it turns out that they do not have with them the right currency. It is probably common knowledge that many European countries use the same currency and basically, the US Dollars is recognized in almost every country if not all, but, there are still a lot of different currencies that are being used especially in continents like Asia where money such as yen, yuan, baht, pesos, and many others are being used depending on the country and Africa where currencies like naira and others depending on the country, are being used. Here are a few tips you many want to take into consideration when you have your money exchanged in foreign countries.

Currency exchange is undeniably a big business because a lot of these businesses make a big commission when they sell the currency, sometimes basing them on a certain percentage of the amount to be changed or depending on which bracket range the amount to be changed belongs. A lot of currency exchange establishments or stalls or businesses make a commission in every transaction you have with them but you can save a lot more through this. Another option for you is ATMs as this is the most easiest, most convenient way to have a foreign currency because all you need to do is look for a machine, which is something that you can easily find anywhere compared to foreign exchange establishments where only a few stalls to none can be found depending on the place where you are at. It is probably the best way to go as sometimes banks that issue ATM cards do not charge conversion rate or if there are conversion rate charges, it is at a minimum percentage.

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A travelers check is also a convenient way for any traveller to carry and spend when overseas but one has to be very aware that most businesses or establishments still charge a certain percentage of conversion fees if payment is made with travellers check, which is basically almost the same as paying using US dollars.
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If you are in a big city, you will see that foreign exchange establishments charge high commission fees like how they usually charge at airports which is why it is better that you look for local foreign exchange stalls.

Basically, it all boils down to you gaining needed information first before you go travel.

Where To Start with Funds and More

Currency Conversion And Everything That You Need To Know

There are certain currencies in the globe that have become challenging to use for trade among many countries around. These are places where the foreign exchange market trades can come forward and manage transactions across.

There are various foreign exchange market trades that are considered a global arena about exchange these currencies. It is important that you can know the dynamics of these foreign exchange market trades. There are certain units that you can exchange when it comes to changing naira to dollars for instance for your needs. Because of the several currency units around the world, there are certain people who need to use currency converters to be able to transact units around. For example, if you are from one country and you are travelling to a country that need US Dollars, then you have to exchange your local money units to US Dollars so you can spend on that country. These are some of the cases where you need to commit to currency exchange.

When dealing with the foreign exchange market rates, you have to take note that you have to collect the require amount in order to get equivalent to what you need for the currencies you are converting into. For instance, if you have these single dollars, then you have to recognize and find out how much you need in your local currency to trade and obtain this dollar in the United States. When you consider these rates, these are the foreign exchange market rates between currencies of two countries for the most part.
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These foreign exchange market rates can change according to the economic turns and the changes in the market. These are events when the foreign exchange market rates converters can perform these jobs.
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It is necessary that you can be able to always use these foreign exchange currency converter calculators in order to get by converting the money in the rates that you have today in real time as they change.

When you use converters, you have to make sure that they can calculate and convert the money you have in value in the most accurate manner. Think about exchanging your single dollar for a foreign exchange currency and using this calculator. As you do business in this country, there are instances when you can actually transfer this single dollar and get them towards Indian rupees into your bank account for instance. The rates that will be used when transferring the new currency into your banks will be the current exchange rates in the market, despite the fact that you might have converted them using the earlier rates.

5 Uses For Businesses

What Are the Benefits of Inbound Marketing?

A lot of people that deal with marketing seem to be puzzled when they are instructed to find ways to engage their clients and potential clients more.

Some of them may be up for the challenge, but afterwards just do not do anything about the task. On the other hand, some respond quickly that they are not getting anything from the task. When they respond in such manner, all you can really think about is if they even understand what is the real meaning of engaging with your clients.

It is truly not a surprise that when people that deal with marketing in a traditional way are asked to use social networking sites to get the attention of their target population and engage them, all you get are blank stares from their faces. They do not seem to fathom the importance of the internet in the marketing world. In this day and age, business companies always make sure that they are efficient by making use all of their financial resources. These companies make sure that they make use of their budget for PPC and SEO marketing to create enough traffic online.
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So, what does all this mean? All it really means is that you will be able to achieve a business brand with great content with the aid of social media. Inbound marketing is now recently making waves in the business market as well as the online market that has greatly made it possible to do marketing online.
The Ultimate Guide to Businesses

How is inbound marketing done?

Inbound marketing deals more with bringing the clients towards the business rather than the business looking for clients.

Compared with inbound marketing, the traditional form of marketing known as outbound marketing makes use of poor marketing strategies to bring in clients. Such companies utilize junk mail, print advertising, cold-calling, spam, and TV and radio advertising. Truthfully, the methods that they have been employing are the ones that a lot of people get irritated.

Because of the existence of technology, these methods have already been proven to be outdated, more expensive, and less effective. Because of RSS, TiVo, spam filters, and caller IDs that block cold calls that came into existence, visual and print advertising is no longer as effective. These advertising methods may work to an extent, but now, they can be sort of expensive.

Outbound marketing has already been left hanging by inbound marketing.

Because of the existence of the internet, numerous marketing possibilities and new avenues have been opened. Rather than spam mails that easily get trashed or television ads that seem to force clients to buy from them, inbound marketing makes use of a more gentle yet very persuasive approach. Inbound marketing is thought to be an inviting and gentle whisper compared with a pounding sledge hammer. It is usually composed of useful tools and content, interesting blogs, and informative and entertaining videos. When these techniques and tools are being employed, a lot of qualified potential clients are lured to the business because of a mix of curiosity, trust, and confident.

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A Few Things that You Should Know Regarding Wallpaper Installation

There are certainly times that it will be difficult for individuals to select between paint as well as wallpaper but the various applications and uses may determine which you should opt for. When you have made a decision to use wallpaper in your house or the place of business and you want to install it, then the professional painting company can give you a quote about how much this will cost. A great benefit about using a company is that they can help you select the colors as well as the designs of the wallpaper which they must offer. The actual process of installation of the wallpaper also goes a lot faster as compared to painting.

If you have made the decision on the design and the color, what you must do is to get rid of the wallpaper that is on the wall. When this is accomplished, the wall is then ready for the installation of the new paper. The application is going to be placed on the wall and this would serve as glue for the wallpaper and this is then rolled on the wall. Following the installation, the next thing that you should do is to make sure that it is flat and that there are no bubbles present. Such can give it a painted look but also offers designs which are hard to paint on the wall.

What breaks or makes the way that the wallpaper will look will be if there are imperfections in it. The looks are going to vary on how well every piece was seamed. There are some walls which can be quite big for just a single solid piece of wallpaper and because of this, there will be a seam. A professional may make it to where one will not be able to notice the seam much to ensure that it would fit the two pieces well. You have to know that matching up the intricate design will be accomplished only by a person who has actually installed such kind of product.
3 Decorations Tips from Someone With Experience

The process of wallpaper installation is cheap, time efficient and can surely last a long time. Also, the glue application that is used will just hold on the wallpaper for several years. What you must realize is that you don’t need to change it any time soon. So many know that after 5 years or more, the paint will need much touch up work due to the people touching it and this is where the wallpaper can be a great option to go for. When you are searching for a different design which cannot be done with the use of the paint, then you can go for the wallpaper which is really a great solution to have. But, for you to be able to get the most excellent results, you should only work with the professionals.The 10 Best Resources For Ideas

5 Takeaways That I Learned About Options

PROFESSIONAL CARPET CLEANING AND TILE CLEANING SERVICES: YOU NEED THEM FOR YOUR HOME.

Carpets and tiles are one of the most important fixtures inside the house. But it is important that you keep your carpets and floor tiles as clean as possible because leaving it dull, stained or grimy can give a negative impression to your guests. That unwanted stain in the middle of the carpet, greenish grout and slime stuck in between the tiles’ cracks – all these portrays just how badly your home cleaning habits really are. Your floor carpet or floor tiles are the biggest part of your house, so keep them nice and clean if you want to keep the rest of the house clean also.

As mentioned before, what you use for your flooring – whether you opt for a carpet or use tiles instead, they play a major role in the overall look and decoration of your home. This is because, what you use for your flooring, you must also coordinate with the designs that you plan to put inside the house. Thus, you must properly match and ensure your carpet, tiles, and decors in the house will not clash against one another and instead, create a cozy and warm ambiance for your home – which can also start by keeping them clean and orderly at all times.

The task of cleaning your carpets and tiles can be handled by professional cleaning services. The most common misconception in enlisting these types of services is that, they are quite costly and can do more harm than good.
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In reality, trying to clean the carpet and tiles all over the house can be more tiring and time-consuming than what it would have cost you to hire a cleaning service instead. For these cleaning services are familiar with the needs of homeowners: cleaning their house efficiently without burning a hole in the pocket, so they are always at the ready to give out a Carpet Cleaning Estimate or Tile and Grout Estimate whenever the client asks.
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Think of the amount you are bound to spend if you will replace your carpet or floor tiles instead of spending money to clean it. So if you want to make sure that you get to keep your investment and retain its usefulness far longer, ask from cleaning service providers so you will really Know more. Moreover, the idea of trying to do it DIY style can be enticing; but imagine the time, money and effort you would have to put in trying to pull off this next-to-impossible task, when you could have searched for a reputed and credible residential cleaning services who can do it with professional results.

Services – Getting Started & Next Steps

Asking For The Help Of The Best Landscape Professionals

It is important that when you choose the right landscapers in places such as Irvine CA, you have to always understand your needs and what your challenges are for the most part. Before choosing and hiring these landscapers in places such as Irvine CA, you must have already ideas about the cost and the prices of the services, and how you really want to your landscapes to appear.

There are landscapers and garden professionals that work in short summers in these areas. The tasks and the projects provided by these professionals are never free of charge and they require that you invest some of your money with them. Considering the fact that you spend in some couple of four months and you can already enjoy the best projects by these landscapers and garden professionals depending on the season, but you always need to be realistic about the costs that you are spending. Remember and keep in mind that landscaping services are among the main things that you have to consider when you own houses and properties for the most part. Whether you have a brand new home or yours is a rental home, it is never right to forget about these tasks and projects by the landscapers and garden professionals.

Cost and budgeting are two of the most important things about landscaping services and projects. If there are instances when homeowners need these landscaping services and projects but they are unsure about the cost and the budget, it is good to know that there are a lot of companies that can offer financial assistance for these reasons and concerns. The need to have the best companies handling these landscaping services and projects should still be according to your budget, because the appearance of your homes and the efficiency of your landscapes are what are at stake. The right ways to choose these landscaping services and projects based on what your budgets are will take you to having these landscapes in such a way that you will never need to have to experience issues when waiting for that landscape that you always wanted. As owners of the properties, these landscaping services and projects and finding these according to budget can always let you gain access to unique and comfortable landscapes that you can always move forward with in the years that will come and these should be able to get you high up your conscience taking care of your gardens.
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Aside from preparing your budget, you have to stick to the budget you have for these landscaping services and projects. Sometimes, the more affordable the services are, the more possible you can always get things done right.5 Uses For Options

Why School Identification Cards Are Important

Most schools around the nation have started using school identification cards. This is for schools all the way from elementary schools to Universities. There are several reasons why they started using these identification cards. In this article we will tell you why school identifications cards are so important.

The main reason is for safety reasons. We have heard many stories how someone has went into a school and started shooting. We have heard stories of how children were kidnapped from schools. They had to come up with a system that would work to keep people out of the schools that did not belong there. This is where school identification cards came in. This has helped in a couple ways. One, if each student has an identification card then they can prove right away that they belong in that school. A lot of schools have even incorporated someone at the doors to check ID’s as they enter.

Also if someone visits a school they have to check in at the desk and receive a temporary identification card. A lot of times they will even take a person’s picture. This allows the school to know who is in the school and make sure they are there for a legitimate reason.

School identification cards for students are also useful to them because if provides them with options. They can use the cards to check out library books. They can use the cards for the lunch room. When a student pays for their lunch for the week or for the month it will be added to their card and they just slide their card each day to eat. It saves from a student having to carry money on them each day or a lunch worker having to keep track of who they have money for and who they do not.

The school id cards also can be used for the reward or the revoking of privileges. All of this can be kept on the card. Back to the library, a lot of schools give rewards to children for having read so many books. This information can be kept on the ID cards. They can scan the library card and know exactly how many books and what kind a child checked out.

These identification cards differ from school to school. Some just use a single edge card. Some are double edge and have an encoder incorporated in them. These are becoming more and more popular because they can be used for a lot more reasons.

As you can see the school IDs are very important to our schools today. They not only go a long way in keeping our children safe they also make it a more efficient way to run the schools. These school identification cards have been around for a while. They have just become more sophisticated with the advent of technology. They have come up with more and more ways that identification cards can be used to the school and the student’s advantage.

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Blunders to Avoid When Purchasing Furniture

It is good to state that ordering new furniture can be both fun and overwhelming at the same time because ordering furniture is often harder than buying office supplies because there are so many factors to consider and this is the same hustle if the buyer is either starting out or giving the office a face-lift. One of the blunders many buyers do is to choose looks over comfort because many chairs look nice but are not comfortable thus they would be a bad buying choice. The customer has to keep the comfort of the clients, employees and the person himself in mind when selecting the type of office furniture and as much aesthetics is vital they should not be the primary determinant of buying furniture. The buyer needs to consider how the chairs will feel after having sat on them for a couple of hours and thus the person needs to go to the store to test the furniture before buying it and as much as it seems like an unnecessary step it will pay off in the long run.

Not keeping the workers in mind is another mistake because everyone is different and what may be comfortable with one person maybe uncomfortable with another person such as a desk that may be suitable for a tall person may be uncomfortable for a person of shorter stature and chair with armrests may not be comfortable for a larger worker. Some employees may need collaborative workstations whereas other workers may need individual desks thus the buyer should keep the employees in mind when buying a new piece of furniture because at the end of the day it is the employees that are going to be using the furniture.

A known fact is that just like any other big investment buying furniture impulsively could lead to regrets later on without considering things like how often the item will be used and if the item will be good for use over the long term and if they are moving into a bigger office the buyer should consider what the new office will need. The person also needs to look at the furniture that they already have and then find out what the workers do not like about the furniture and what they would like to have in the new furniture especially with a long-term perspective and the buyer should not get caught up in the design trends that might leave the office outdated in the future.
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Many surfers make the mistake of choosing price over quality and even though the lower priced item is attractive to the wallet and the budget but the quality may not be as good as a more expensive furniture item.Smart Tips For Finding Stores

Learning The Secrets About Roofing

The Pros of Metal Siding

Aside from a roof a home’s siding is the most important decision that a homeowner can make when it comes to remodeling a home because a home’s siding not only determines how a home presents itself to the world but siding is essential when shielding the structure of the home and providing for insulation. Maintenance must be the key concern because not only does maintenance take up the homeowner’s time but it also translates to many cash savings or increased expenses to the owner each month. It is good to state that how well a home’s siding is insulated is pertinent because proper insulation saves the homeowner money on utility bills each month which can add up to a lot of money in the long run.

Owners have many many siding options when it comes to on the home but an owner’s choices are limited by deed restrictions or other limitations but a high number of owners have some choice over the kind of siding material and one of these options is the metal siding. Metal siding has many advantages one of which it is low maintenance because compared with other alternatives metal requires little attention from a homeowner once it has been installed especially in counties that have very severe winters because sleet snow, rain and frost have little effect on metal.

Metal does not absorb moisture or enhance the growth of fungus or mold which can destroy the home’s framing and pose health effects to the occupants and the thicker the metal the better because it will be able to withstand the day-to-day abuse as well as any extreme events. Due to the fact that aluminum is softer than steel then the thickness of aluminum is vital and an aluminum base has a 0.032 thickness that is more than half the thickness of steel that makes it stronger and more resistant than ordinary aluminum.
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It is good to state that metal is unfriendly towards insects and insect damage is a problem in many home sidings and the regular sprayings that are needed over time tend to become expensive over time but by using metal the owner eliminates all insect issues once and for all. These days metal and steel siding do not come in the regular plain types, but they have advanced and come in textures and patterns that resemble wood and pre-painted metal that can give a homeowner protection up to twenty years or even more and if the person uses steel then the material is even dent resistant. The truth is that metal sidings are also fire resistant and even if the home is struck by lightning the metal clad is impervious to fire and this can be a huge advantage in high fire areas or areas that are prone to regular lightning storms.Looking On The Bright Side of Companies

Why People Think Sales Are A Good Idea

How to Sell a Home Fast

Making a decision to sell our homes can be daunting and quite emotional to some people. People may turn out to have some financial troubles and may have no choice but to give up the home because it may the logical and practical thing to do. Everyone has this attachment to the home and rightly so since, we are making a lot of memories in the home. It may be quite challenging to sell the home unless there is a huge, compelling reason to do so. As such, you may want to get the home sold as fast as you can. People part for cash for houses because it can be a fast way to get money for the house. These people are in the business of buying properties by enticing owners to sell because they can get money swiftly. It is not that working with real estate people is not great, but it can take some time. For this reason, there are people who are in the business of buying properties for cash. These people have cold cash to buy the home as fast as you need the money.

These people are real estate investors and they just happen to have the ready cash to buy your property. They buy houses as a means of investment. They are not going to live in the homes they buy. More often, they spruce up the place make it more attractive and sell it again. This is how they make money from your property. If you have been able to get your property nice to look at, chances are there would be no further investments needed by the buyers to have the property spruced up and make it more attractive to buyers when resold. To sustain the supply, these people are going to buy homes as fast as they can so they can sustain the business. This explains why they buy your home as fast as they can so they can work with a nice inventory of properties. They are in the business to buy as much home as they can so as to prevent their business from stagnating.

It will help to make your home marketable and attractive to investors. They may not see the property as something that is worth buying or making an investment. Turning your home into its best shape possible can increase the likelihood of having the home sold as fast as you want it to be. It will not be attractive for these investors to be investing in a home that needs a lot of work. There are times you just need to clean the home. It may take just a little vacuuming to get rid of the clutter and dirt to get a nice offer from the buyer.Finding Similarities Between Homes and Life

Learning The Secrets About Properties

A Simple Plan For Researching Services

Things to Consider When You Decide to Hire Personal Trainers

Unlike in the past when personal training was for A-stars, everybody can partake in it today and achieve fitness goals. It does not, however, mean that you will find it easy to hire a personal trainer because they are plenty such professionals in the market. It is with the tips highlighted next, however, that you may simplify the process.

Due to the length of time you will spend with the professional, ensure to find someone you can connect on a personal level with. Check if his or her interests and character traits align with yours, and if they don’t, seek personal training services elsewhere. Hiring someone you don’t ‘click’ with is detrimental to your fitness goals. The trial workouts on offer by personal trainers will help you immensely in this matter.

An excellent personal trainer is one who puts clients’ interests first. You need to find out the success rates of the trainer’s other clients. Ask the personal trainer to allow you to observe as he or she trains such clients so that you can see how they relate and determine other aspects. Discussions with such clients are also advisable so as to get an idea of what they think about the trainer.
The Essentials of Exercises – The Basics

When starting out, the location of your personal training expert will matter a lot because you need at least 3 sessions every week to get a strong baseline. As a result, the personal trainer in your area you pick should be someone you can meet up with frequently without experiencing inconveniences. Alternatively, think about the immense benefits that you could reap from online personal training services, especially if you are busy.
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Professional recommendations from persons like your physiotherapist can lead you to some of the best personal trainers in a short span of time. Since such experts have interacted with personal training experts on numerous occasions, their evaluations and recommendations are always very useful.

Bring to focus the training and certification of the personal trainer. Many people today have no training in personal training but go ahead to offer such services to unsuspecting clients. A trainer should receive the requisite training and certification from well-known organizations if he or she is to be of help in your achievement of fitness goals.

Excellent personal trainers are also owners of employees of gyms and other organizations that provide fitness services to the public. The reason is that such a professional is likely to be conversant with the latest in fitness training methods that will be invaluable in the attainment of your goals. You need to reward such trainer appropriately because the demand for their services could be very high, meaning that you may not access them for extended periods.

What Do You Know About Kitchens

Must-Consider Factors in Buying a New Kitchen

Shopping for a new kitchen is not an easy to-do. There are so many offers and variations in quality, service and price. Rushing into purchasing a new kitchen without taking some time to think about what you’re picking is definitely not safe. Refer to the list of kitchen buying tips below to be assured of getting the tip-top kitchen you need.

1. VISIT THE SHOWROOM

No matter how badly you want to bring home your new kitchen, you should be as patient as possible. Schedule a visit to an expert’s showroom. Let him know your kitchen needs and requirements and allow him to provide you with some strategies and recommendations. Take down notes of his recommendations and tips as well as of the different selections you have seen in his showroom for a review when you get home. No matter how much you’re impressed with a particular kitchen option, wait until you have studied on the details you’ve acquired out of your visit.
The Art of Mastering Kitchens

2. CHECK YOUR BUDGET
Doing Renovations The Right Way

If you still are not sure as to how much you are willing to spend for a new kitchen, then better determine two of your most-liked designs at different budget levels. You might be surprised at how much you can afford. Doing so can also help you know which design you want and at what price.

3. CHECK THE EXPERIENCE OF THE COMPANY

One of the things you must not fail to know is how long the company has been operating. There are firms that offer a 20-year guarantee on their products but have been operating for no more than five years. This only indicates the company’s caliber. On the other side of the coin, a company that has been trading for more than 10 years can be deemed better since it has stood still despite the ups and downs of the economy. Such a character reflects the quality of products they offer.

4. UNDERSTAND THE OTHER DETAILS

One thing that you need to ask from the company is whether they are sub-contractors or they have their own fitters. There are cases in which the company takes independent fitters, which is like to give you a hard time thinking who to reach out to when something goes out wrong with the installation. Not having your kitchen in a tip-top shape can make your life less happy, so be sure to ask details on this issue before you pursue on buying a kitchen from a certain company.

Seeking to buy a new kitchen? You can find help from the tips provided earlier.

What Research About Businesses Can Teach You

A How-to Guide: Looking For the Right Web Hosting Provider

In order for you to have a very beguiling website, whether a personal website or a business website, it is very important to choose the best web hosting provider. This is to make your website be visited by a lot of people and be known to gain popularity in the industry where your website is meant for. But before you are going to achieve that, you first need to be refined about web hosting or the possible important factors that is affecting the visibility of every website.

In order to help you, this article included the important factors you need to consider in choosing the best web hosting provider for your company or personal website.

In today’s time, there are already a lot of web hosting providers and offered packages being introduced in the industry. Each of these web hosting providers have their own weaknesses and strengths. You will definitely have a hard time choosing the right one for your needs with these many choices.
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Choosing the right web hosting provider is not enough, you still need to choose the right web hosting package that fits your needs. Various web hosting packages are always offered by many web hosting providers. Unlimited Bandwidth package is actually the most known type of web hosting packages.
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This article provided some of the tips you need in choosing the right web hosting provider you need for your website.

First in line is the Server Uptime and Customer support. The server that is running affects the visibility of the website in other network. This is what they call the Server Uptime.

Second in line is the pricing and some included features. The pricing and features in web hosting packages are actually ranged widely. Of course, everyone would want to have a balanced feature. In some products, cheap pricing usually have low quality. Same as through with expensive products, sometimes they are not really high quality products.

The third one is the data storage and bandwidth limits. The number of data storage space and bandwidth needed to every website is actually new to every new individual putting up their own websites. But there is no reason to be worried about this. It is because even the expert people started being like that. You will know everything about this as you go farther through your journey.

Web hosting tips for good Search Engine Optimization is also one of the things you need to keep in mind. The location of the server in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important things to be considered. Local hosted websites can actually be reached through search engines.

For you to be able to find the right web hosting provider that fits your need, you should take note on the information above.

Experts – Getting Started & Next Steps

What You Should Consider when Picking a Web Host

Beforehand, a hosting provider is an application service provider. Abbreviated as HSP, this application is aimed at providing hosting services. Individuals as well as companies ensure that their websites are accessed through World Wide Web. When choosing a web host, keen decisions are required to be made. Your website plays a major role. As a matter of fact, websites are major tools for getting customers. On the other hand, clients tend to trust on what they find on websites. Consequently, digital businesses as well as online marketing prosper.

Whereas some web hosts may offer hosting for free, others charge fairly. Don’t settle for free hosting quickly. Alternatively, sit down and examine your needs and wants as a firm. Although people may have websites for personal reasons, businesses that have websites own them for serious reasons. It therefore becomes crucial to be serious on the kind of web host you choose. As a business, you need a web host that is willing to keep your website active all the time. The time taken by a client to load into your website should be taken into account. Apart from encouraging customers, faster websites excites clients. Consequently, clients tend to look into your website and read through what goods and services you offer. As a result, your business gets more customers.

Put into account the matter of storage space as you talk with your server. Less space reduces the performances of a server. In the end, the firm may prove unproductive. It therefore becomes the mandate of a web host to offer you enough space for your website content. Hence, your company gets a room for growth and development. As it may be known, space is crucial for video upload, images, voice recording and written content. Note that the amount of space offered by hosting providers vary depending on the needs of a business it is dealing with. Thus, settling the matter of space with a service provider in the first place becomes important.
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Make sure that you test on speed connectivity. Servers that are crowded with sites tend to perform slowly and poorly. This is not what any individual or business wants. To avoid this problem, try logging into sites that are hosted by the same company. In terms of the time taken for the page to load, a server will clearly tell. In case you find them slower, do not hesitate to find for faster ones. In other aspects, it becomes hard to tell how a server will service your own website in terms of speed.
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Finally, read online reviews of various hosting providers. Online reviews provide very reliable information. Watch out for online reviews that are positive in nature. Since some of the information may be wrong, be very alert. Some firms tend to delete negative comments and keep positive and exaggerated comments.

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How You Should Choose a Web Hosting Provider

There are indeed a lot of big and small businesses out there that are using web hosting providers because of their many benefits. If you are one who wants to get a hold of a good web hosting provider for your websites, this article will be very helpful for you. There are many web hosting providers that can be really bad ones so before you get one, you should first do some research about which web provider would suit you most. Let us look now at these steps.

You can not just go and purchase a web hosting provider’s service without knowing what they have in store for you. You may need a web hosting provider that can help you create an online store but accidentally get the wrong one; this can be really bad and a waste of money. You should ask yourself if a web hosting provider will supply all your websites needs or not; if not then it would be better to go and look for something else. If you find one that would really work with how you are going to have your website, then go ahead and get it.

One other step that is important to take is that you should see if a web hosting provider will provide you with good response time. Web hosting providers usually have a help service that you can contact if ever you have a problem with your site; if a web hosting provider does not come with this service then definitely do not take it because problems may be really bad and you will not know how to solve them. So make sure that the web hosting provider you get has a good service that will come to your aid if ever anything happens to your website and you do not know what to do.
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Another really good step to take when looking for a good web hosting provider is that you should look up what other people have to say about that web hosting provider. If a product has bad reviews, you should not get it because chances are, it can be a really bad product; the same with web hosting providers; if it has many bad comments, you should stay away from it and go and look for something better. On the other hand, if you see a web hosting provider with many good and positive comments, you should get that one provided you have already followed the 2 steps above. Reviews are really important when you are looking for a good web hosting provider to get.Interesting Research on Services – Things You Probably Never Knew

Getting Creative With Funds Advice

Requesting Loans With Bad Credit History

Money loans with bad credit are specific loans employed by folks having a negative credit history. Various creditors provide you with loans for your personal property, household or medical needs. These loans on poor credit rating will often have more rates of interest than normal.

A number of people around desperately need loans but they can’t get them as a result of their negative credit rating. Well, raise your expectations today because some lenders and companies provide you advance loan with bad credit. They have a look at your credit rating of course, if they locate you reliable of returning the cash back, they offer you with the loan you desire. They will obviously charge you more interest rates for these loans.

You need to consider a few things of importance before trying to get you’re a loan with poor credit. Firstly, you’ll find two varieties of cash loans with bad credit; the secured bad credit loans and unsecured ones. The poor credit loans with security require you to submit your home or any belongings towards the bank or organization signing a deal. They’re permitted to sell it in the event you fail to return your loans promptly. These types of loans have a lower interest rate as well. The unprotected ones do not demand you of many things nevertheless they certainly charge a fee much higher rates of interest compared to the secured types.
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Contact as much firms as you may in order to have least quantity of rate of interest and best time returning. Be sure you disclose to the lender the truth about your monetary problems since he’s likely to learn about them eventually anyway. Get a bank or even a corporation which recognizes your requirements and doesn’t ask you for a lot of for these bad credit loans. Be sure you look into your credit rating and refrain from making these mistakes more in the future.
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Create a good effect and get the lender’s trust by paying the mortgage in due period. The lending company might examine your record repeatedly. Therefore make a clear background by being promptly with the loan’s payment plan. As mentioned, you should also get yourself a copy of the credit history and find out where you went wrong earlier. Study from your errors and attempt to fix them.

Follow the aforementioned given recommendations and you’ll possess a successful run of advance loan with bad credit. To emphasize, be sure you don’t make the same errors you did previously. Return the loans promptly and enhance your credits to once more benefit from the same leverage as the great credit loan handlers enjoy.

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Bad Credit Loans and Your Financial Health

You may never project when a financial difficulty can crop up. It then becomes a matter of how you tackle the situation. Definitely, if the funds are not enough, a bit of assistance can make the entire scenario better. But what if fund access is, by itself, a problem, like when you have bad credit history? This does put you in a tight spot, as you will not be in an ideal position to apply for a loan.

The good news is, having a negative credit history does not automatically mean that you cannot apply for any type of financial assistance. Keep in mind that in these situations, you will always have options such as a bad credit personal loan.

In recent years, a lot of American households experienced financial woes; and with the worsening debt crisis and the increase in the number of persons with poor credit, the national economy has been crippled to a certain extent. Hence, new choices are being made available these days, and they are specifically aimed at addressing the financial needs of people who have bad credit.
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Preparing to Apply
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Before you look for bad credit loan options, spend some time reviewing your credit report. The point is to spot mistakes or inaccuracies; if there are any, make it a point to contact the credit rating agency at once so they can correct the error. You want to take advantage of every opportunity to improve your credit, no matter how small a difference it makes.

Kinds of Loan Alternatives

When you shop for a bad credit loan, expect to come across a whole variety of offers. Even then, you should start by assessing the costs that accompany them. You should go for that deal that matches your present needs and situation the most.

Choosing between secured and unsecured loans is typically the first decision you need to make. A secured loan allows you to borrow a larger amount, but you will be required to provide collateral. The repayment tenure also runs longer.

On the other hand, an unsecured loan can be obtained without a requirement for you to pledge an asset. Unsecured loans are preferable for those with smaller emergency cash needs. Then again, expect the interest rate to be high. The biggest advantage is that these loans have a short repayment tenure, forcing you to pay off your loans sooner. The faster you’re done with your loan, the better the impact on your credit records.

At the end of the day, you need to realize that bad credit personal loans will probably not come with ideal terms, but they are very useful for financial emergencies that don’t leave room for other options. Provided you take time to find a reputable lender, you can be in very safe hands.

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Travel Confidently with Dog Boarding

The fact cannot be denied that your pet has become a part of your family already. The pet is as a matter of fact able to relieve you of all of your tension that you tend to feel when you are at work. No matter where you go your pet is always by your side and in fact you have already reached the point wherein your pet is your best friend. However, what will happen to your pet when you will go on vacation? It is one hundred percent sure that the pet will miss your love and care while the two of you are apart from one another. If you wish to be able to enjoy your vacation as much as possible then you should know that the answer to this is none other than a dog boarding facility. You need to be able to find the best dog boarding facility.

The reason as to why the dog boarding facility is the best choice is because of the fact that pets prefer to be in their own home. You are rest assured that your pets will be comfortable since the dog boarding facility is able to provide a homely atmosphere. The use of the dog boarding facility is very common already and their services are offered for a very affordable price. What you will be able to see below are some of the tips that you can follow so that you will have the best dog boarding facility.

Prior to being able to choose a dog boarding facility, you need to make sure that the services have been surveyed by you. So that diseases may be prevented there is a need to have the pet vaccinated and this what reputable dog boarding facilities insist on. Thus, ensure that your pet has been vaccinated.
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For you to ask recommendations from your family and friends is one of the many ways for you to be able to find the best dog boarding facility.
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It is important that you will be able to go through the services offered by the dog boarding facility.

The owner of the dog boarding facility should be contacted. There is also a need for you to be able to pay a visit to the dog boarding facility. There is a need for you to be able to personally visit for the reason that you should be able to make sure that the dog boarding facility is odor free, clean, tidy and safe.

You should also be able to know as to who will be the one to take care of your pet. The manner as to how your pet is taken care of is what you need to see. To see if your pet is happy with this person is important.

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What Tips You Should Know Before Putting Your House For Sale?

When you are planning to sell your home, then be sure that you do house renovations and clean up. If you want to make a good profit out of your house, then make sure that you present your buyers with a house that has good condition windows, ceilings and walls. Perform the necessary task that will make sure your buyers will also be attracted in the kitchen and bathroom.

Before real estate investors and home buyers would go to your home, make sure that you provide them with a calm atmosphere. It would be a good idea that you are presentable and that you provide them with an atmosphere where they are relaxed and calm. Make it a point that you are prepared and ready while you are facing your potential buyers and make sure that the house is smelling good as well. You may not know it but your buyers might have other connections with real estate investors that are planning to buy houses fast.

It is very important that potential buyers and real estate investors should clearly know all the details before they decide to purchase the house. However, you can also consider hiring a professional agent that can fix any documents for you.
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If you have a pet store or food store in your house, then this would increase the value of your house. It would also be a good idea if you have online connections and put your house for sale on the Internet, there are sure to be many buyers that would be interested with your house and property. It is very important that you provide them with your contact information as well.
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If you do not have an idea about how much your house would really cost, then be sure that you hire an inspector and assessor to assist you in making the right market estimate for your house. It would be a great if you have get the advises of the professionals when you are dealing with financial issues about your house. Take into account the important information when you want to have a good exchange for your house.

Be sure that you do house renovations as well and check other areas in your house that may be damaged and needs fixing right away. If you want to gain more buyers and make a bidding war, then be sure you present them with a beautiful home.

Always remember that the price of the house will always depend on you and not on your assessor or realtor, they are just giving you with the market estimate. It is very important that you are comfortable with the price before you give the details to the buyers. Be sure that you consider the important details above if you want to gain a much bigger profit and you might even use the proceeds to buy a new house as well.

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A Basic Guide to Ceramic Mold Casting

In its most generic sense, the manufacturing method of ceramic mold casting is quite similar to that of plaster mold casting. The most tangible difference though lies in the fact that ceramic can cast materials in relatively higher temperature. Also, plaster is substituted with refractory ceramics when it comes to the creation of the mold material.

Nowadays, it is very common to see ceramic mold casting in manufacturing plants and large industries. For instance, the manufacture of metal molds, impellers, dies, and even machining cutters benefits from this very same process.

How It Is Done
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To create something by way of ceramic mold casting, the first step is to combine materials for the mold. To make the so-called “ceramic slurry,” a mixture composed of grain zircon, fused silica, aluminum oxide, water, and bonding agents needs to be produced. In order to commence with the precision casting, the slurry will be poured over a casting pattern. The moment it sets, the pattern has to be removed while the mold is intended to be dried. After which the mold will be subjected to fire. The purpose of subjecting the mold to fire is to get rid of any presence of unwanted material and to make it more rigid in the process.
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In majority of instances, there also is a need to bake the mold in the furnace. After the firing process, the mold will eventually get very tiny cracks that serve a good purpose, more particularly providing good permeability properties for the ceramic mold.

The same as that of plaster mold casting, manufacturing by way of ceramic mold casting leads to the production of parts with three pertinent characteristics: they have topnotch surface finish, high accuracy with regards to dimensions, and thin sections. As a matter of fact, the manufacturing tolerance stands merely between 0.002 to .010 inches.

Thanks to the high dimensional accuracy, there is no longer a need for traditional machining to be able to cast parts. Therefore, this very process results to a relatively easier and more efficient way of casting metals and other materials that are supposedly very challenging to do with machining. And if one is to consider the fact that there is a natural high heat tolerance of the refractory mold material, it only means that the process in itself is best for the manufacturer of metal casting materials with high melting points such as that of ferrous and stainless steel.

While it can also be said that ceramic mold casting is an obviously expensive process to undergo, the fact remains that it is one of the best in terms of manufacturing high quality products. Longer than usual time is required for the process to finish but in the end, industries know for a fact that it is all worth the wait.

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The Advantages You Can Get From Having The Best Dog Boarding Facility

It is not easy to have a pet because there are different things you need to consider when it comes to it. The responsibility of having a pet is high. If you are someone who always go out for a business trip or vacation, you need to know where you should leave your pets to be well taken care of. It is important that the one who will be left to take good care of your pet is reliable. What if you there is no one who would like to take good care of your pet? Some families would pay someone to visit their home to take care of their pet. The thing with this is that the keys of your home will be handed down to that person while you are away. However, you need to find one who is reliable to take care of your dog and house at the same time. This is fine but if you are unsure of the trustworthiness of the person, it will give you so much worries. One of the famous services these days is the dog boarding service who will be the one to take care of your pets for its needs. The good thing about this kind of service is that it will do you away any worries about your pets when you travel to another place. You don’t have to worry because it has many benefits for you.

The good thing about the dog boarding facility is that your dogs will be taken care of with the hands of the people who have been trained to take care of them. The reason why you need to leave our dogs under the care of the dog boarding facility is because of the fact that all of their caretakers are experienced. Aside from that, the boarding services provide high quality services for your dogs. They will meet all the needs of your dogs. It is made to make dogs happy while their owners are away. Aside from that, it has been the best place for the dogs to feel comfortable. Gone are the days when you need to entrust your dogs to your friends or family members. No need to do some requests and favor to others. Aside from that, it has been made for dogs not to feel lonely while you are away. There are other dogs there and the workers know how to keep an eye on all of them every minute.

The dog boarding facility knows the needs of dogs that is why your dogs will be well provided for with everything it needs. You no longer have to worry about the food your dogs eat as well as its shelter. The employees of the facility are also very accommodating and friendly. It provides safety for your dogs.Figuring Out Services

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Why Are Residential Electrical Services Important?

Electricity is something that we use for most of the things we have in our homes. Things that use electricity necessarily need outlets, switches, lights, and other fixture which we find scattered all over our house. Just seeing the many outlets and switches around our house will make us realize the importance of different electrical services for our home. Depending on the types of appliances of gadgets that we have we need custom applications and everyday necessities for our home. There are many different electrical services that we can use and below are some of them.

The heart of the power in our homes needs the most important type of service in our homes. The power company runs the power that goes to the main line, then to the breaker boxes and then to our appliances and gadgets. More lines can be added to the breaker box to power home additions or more home gadgets. One of the common repair problems done in residential homes is breaker repair because breakers can burn out or get damaged during a storm.

If you need to wire your exterior lighting in your home, then a residential electrical service can do it for you, and this is an example of a custom electrical service provided by your residential electrical services company. You home can have added security with this outdoor lighting and at the same time make your landscape look beautiful. Another custom electrical service is having a sound system wired for the outdoors which works well with family get-together and parties alike.
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Custom applications can also be installed in the interior of your home. Proper wiring is needed if you want to have a home theater. If you want to add an intercom system in your home, additional lighting, or any other upgrades, it is possible with custom electrical services. All these customer applications will function properly if they are all properly wired.
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You need additional wiring and power to operate a pool or a hot tub correctly. If you want a pool it will need a full pump system and a heating system that will need its own breaker and wiring. You will also be needing this breaker and wiring if you are installing a hot tub or any other outside water attraction that you want to install in your home like a fountain. This is just an example of another service that can be performed by an electrician at you r home.

The amount of residential electrical services that are available to you today are never ending. Any electrical need that you have can all be provided by residential electrical services from installations, repairs, and custom applications so don’t hesitate to call our local residential electrical service company for help with the work and guidance through the processes.

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Some Things to Consider When Hiring Exterior Stucco Contractors

There are a lot of home-related aspects every homeowner must be able to pay that much attention to if they want their homes to last long. One of the things that make a lot of homeowners cringe is deciding to have major work done on your own home. Home owners are not only tasked to choose which part of their house should be their main priority but also they are tasked to chose which person is capable of doing such a task. Any person who is fond of doing things and tasks on their own can surely attest that any home improvement plans they have in mind are only made more possible if they hire the professionals to do them. One example would have to be the services rendered by professional exterior stucco contractors. When you have not yet experienced the entire process of looking for and hiring a professional contractor with specialization, you may think that the process is a taxing one. You will most definitely have a hard time getting one if you do not know a single bit about stucco contractors. Nevertheless, when you have the necessary knowledge about anything regarding contractors and stucco, then you are guaranteed to not have a bit of a hard time choosing which professional contractor you should employ to carry out your project.

Just like other professionals whom you have hired to do your home improvement plans, professional exterior stucco contractors can also be hired by first getting a list of the names of those in your local area. Making a list of these professionals is made possible with the help of online resources as well as your local phone directories. With the help of people you know best who have tried getting the services from professional contractors, you can get recommendations from them as well. You have to make sure to get at least three professional exterior stucco contractors that you can talk to. The most suited and reliable professional contractors are those who are willing enough to go visit your home, look at what needs to be done, and offer an estimate free of charge. When you come face-to-face with the professional exterior stucco contractor, you have to make sure to throw him or her whatever questions that seem to be boggling your mind about your project. The way they answer your questions as well as the answers that they will be able to give you back are determinants of experience, attitude, knowledge, and skills as regards the profession they have chosen.

A lot of professional exterior stucco contractors can surely guarantee you that installing stucco is just like painting a picture. Every professional contractor is sure to have different ways of doing something for you. The finish and texture of one professional contractor may not be the same as those done by others. You are ascertained to be hiring the right exterior stucco contractor to do the job for you if you let them provide you with some samples of their work. The prices you get to pay when you employ their services do not have quite a big difference, only your preference of their work; this is why it is of utmost importance that you get to hire one out of your preferences, needs, and requirements.The Essentials of Resources – Breaking Down the Basics

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The Benefits Of Using Stucco For Homes

There are so many different responsibilities a homeowner has. Because of the advantages it can give, the use of stucco for homes has become very famous and in demand these days. There are actually a lot of things you need to know about stucco. For example, you should know what materials they are made of. The truth is that a lot of homeowners would make this as a finish for building their exterior. When it comes to buying stucco, you need to choose the right type for your project as their are two types available. Some people would choose the synthetic stucco while others choose the traditional stucco. Because of this, you need to know some information of each type of stucco to be able to choose the right kind for your project. Some homeowners would want to use a traditional stucco because of its materials and mixture. With the use of synthetic stucco, you will have a multi-layered system.

Most people these days are using the traditional stucco because of its hard texture. Because of this, you can use it for a long time. It is very important for you to protect the materials underneath it so that it won’t get damaged easily. It is important that the materials underneath are free and safe from cracking and peeling. The good news is that you can actually avoid trapping moisture. If you want to trap moist to prevent it from getting damage, it is best to buy one with a moisture drainage system. This system has been designed not just to trap moisture but as well as collecting it. With the use of this system, it is now possible for you to do these processes.

Many homeowners out there would really say that using stucco material for the house is a good decision because of its benefits and advantages. Aside from that, you can be sure that it can be used for a long time. It is also important that you find a good contractor to install this material properly for your home. It is also very good for long time use, in fact, it can be as equal as the lifespan of your home. There is little requirement for its maintenance that is why a lot of people would prefer it. The good news is that it is affordable for you to buy. It is not only affordable but the cheapest available in the market these days among other sidings. Aside from that, there are also professionals who have the skills and knowledge to properly install the stucco sidings for your home. Gone are the days when you have to do some painting with this siding. The other good thing with using stucco for your home is that it is hassle free especially when it comes to cleaning. Aside from that, most homeowners who are using this these days would really say how convenient it is for them to save money. There is nothing to worry about insurance payment anymore.The Beginner’s Guide to Resources

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Steps to Getting Great Pest Control Services

There are times in life when something that you simply are not expecting happens and you aren’t sure what to do next. The most unexpected events happen as a result of a wide variety of circumstances and from anything that one can imagine. It is impossible to predict every unexpected event and plan for those things. Some things that happen can seem like it is the end of the world when it does. A type of problem that may come up that is unexpected and surprising is when bugs or rodents start to get into a house or land. A home or property getting infested can be very unhealthy as they can bring in health problems for those in the home and also cause property damage that is expensive to get repaired. Infestations that many homeowners and property owners have experienced are from pests such as ants, mice, and rats and they cause a lot of problems in a short period of time and can be very hard for an inexperienced person to handle on their own.

Damage to the home can be extensive depending on the type of rodent that is infesting it. Property damage that may be experienced in a property is destruction of structure stability and holes in drywall that can be very destructive to the integrity of the house itself. There are health problems that can come up with certain rodents if they are contagious to human beings and that have carried them in the past. Getting a quick fix to ridding the home of bugs or rodents is important so that people can move on with life and the house can be freed of the burden. The first step in getting a remedy is contacting local pest control services and finding out which ones can handle the type of issues that you have in a quick period of time so that you can know that help is on the way and relief is on the horizon.

Finding a company that will inspect the properly as soon as possible and give a price quote on the spot after inspection is important for your interests as a property owner and consumer. Quality pest control services will come out fast and inspect the home and give an accurate quote so that you can see whether or not it is doable in your budget. Making sure that the pest control services provider is great is achieved through smart research and reading reviews and asking for testimonials from people that have hired them and been rid of the pests that were infesting their properties.What Do You Know About Experts

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5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Pest Control Service

Pest infestations can destroy your property, contaminate your house and create an uncomfortable atmosphere. Pest control is difficult for a huge number of homeowners because they don’t have appropriate chemicals, skills and equipment. Pest control service providers help homeowners handle pest infestations. A pest control company can efficiently use different techniques of pest control to get rid of pests as well as prevent recurring infestations. Here are 5 reasons to hire a professional pest controller.

Most pest control companies can get rid of different types of pests and insects. These include rodents, spiders, bees, ants, fleas, cockroaches, wasps and termites, and many others. The use different chemicals and baits to kill pests. A pest control expert knows the right chemical dosages to use. A major benefit of hiring a pest control service provider is that these professionals are trained to determine pest infiltration and provide useful solutions to customers. These companies can successfully eradicate pests using poisoned baits. Some pest control services do organic pest control. This type of pest control is eco-friendly.

In the long run, the expense of hiring a pest controller can save you money. A majority of pests and rodents can destroy foundations, clothes, carpets, furniture, floors, walls and rugs. This can force the owner of the house to fix the damage. A professional pest control technician quickly eliminates pest infestation to curb further damages.
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Expert pest control services can identify the infiltration source, hence maximizing the effects of pest control methods. Eliminating pests without identifying the source can result in further infestations. Pest controllers can identify the specific origin of the infestation and remove it to prevent infestations in the future. Sources can include nests, egg batches, soil, plants, cracks on walls and pet food.
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Pests can carry hazardous bacteria that can cause various illnesses. Cockroaches bear Salmonella and may trigger allergies. Tick bites are harmful since they carry Lyme disease. This disease is associated with symptoms like extreme illness, severe fatigue and rashes. Bees can bring about allergic reactions. Ant and rodents can contaminate food. Pest control firms eliminate all these pests and help safeguard your family from diseases.

A professional pest control service can provide quick and effective results. This is because they have the chemicals, experience and human resources that clients don’t have. They can destroy pests within a short period. Most companies complete pest control treatments in less than 6 hours. Larger problems, however, that require fumigation may take a week.

The cost of pest control depends on the size of your property, type of pest, professionals you hire and the severity of the problem. Hire a trustworthy pest controller so you can fully benefit from pest control services.

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Why Is Shilajit Beneficial?

Of all the many, many beneficial substances that were discovered by scientists, it is safe to say that shilajit is really one of the most unique ones. Shilajit is unique because of how it is processed. The reason why shilajit process is so unique is because it is done by compressing organic materials between layers of rocks for a very, very long time. Believe it or not, but shilajit can actually provide you and many other people with a lot of benefits. You are probably like a lot of people and have no idea what the benefits to shilajit are; today, however, you will learn some really great benefits that shilajit can provide. These are the benefits that shilajit can provide.

Benefit number one to shilajit is that it can give you greater energy. In fact, this herb is required for people that are constantly experiencing low energy every single day or old people that seem to have little to no energy. People who eat the herb shilajit will become very energized and very lively. Shilajit goes to your primary fuel supply and will increase the fuel and the supply; that is why people who take shilajit will really experience an increase in energy. This is really great because now people can go about their days with a whole lot of energy. People who seem to be growing older quicker will benefit from shilajit because it is a great way to stop quick aging. The reason why shilajit can stop the process of aging is because it helps the mitochondria to work more quickly; thus allowing the mitochondria to produce more muscle strength, hormonal energy, and other body functions that slow down with old age. It is really a great benefit that shilajit energizes both your body and your mitochondria. So if you find yourself aging too quickly, you should definitely consider taking some shilajit. And finally, shilajit can slow brain aging. Brain aging is actually really dangerous and can cause brain functions, memories, and attentions to fail. People who go through brain aging should really take shilajit. Shilajit is a very good helper to brain aging because the substances in shilajit breaks down the acetylcholine, the part of the brain that is critical for brain function, memory, and attention failures. So if you really, really want to keep your brain functioning very well, then you should really consider taking shilajit and it will help you prevent the deadly brain aging. This is a great benefit that shilajit can provide for people with aging brains and for any other person who has a brain concentration problem.

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On Options: My Thoughts Explained

Finding Gas Scooter Parts

From time to time pretty much any vehicle will break down or have mechanical issues and need to be fixed – that’s a given. This is true of electric or gas scooters and motor bikes. This can get expensive, especially if you have to pay for both the parts and the labor. If you are mechanically inclined, you might be able to fix a lot of problems on your own, as long as you know what is wrong with your scooter and what parts are needed to fix it.

There are many ways to get gas scooter parts. You can always go the easy route and take the bike to a mechanic, who will be able to both get the necessary parts and fix the bike. This is probably the most expensive way to go however. You can also go to a parts store and see if they have whatever you need. They may or may not have it, but most times they will be willing to order it for you.

The easiest thing to do might just be to go on the internet and order the part from the comfort of your own home. There are a number of websites that sell scooter parts, and most make it easy for you to locate just the right part. They allow you to search by the part or by the make and model of your bike so that you can make sure you choose the right thing. You might have to pay a shipping charge, but if you find the parts on sale somewhere you could end up saving money even with the shipping.

Whether you need a starter or a part for your   transmission , you can find what you are looking for on the internet. Even if you don’t have one of the new models of gas scooters or electric bikes, you are likely to be able to find what you need with a little bit of searching. Searching the internet is much easier than going to a lot of different parts places looking for what you need, so this is probably the best way to go if you want to purchase the parts to do a repair on your own.

Beauty is Everywhere

As I look out into the world, I see so much to be grateful for. Surrounded by beauty, I am left in no doubt that we live in a spirit filled world that is becoming more authentic in the beauty that it is able to appreciate. For so long we have come to define beauty on a superficial level, but as we grow, so will our ability to appreciate beauty grow within us.

With this, understand that only can we recognize and appreciate what is truly beautiful when we have unified with the essence of our own beauty within ourselves. So many struggle to find the beauty in the world when they look outside. Fearful of what they will encounter, they see a world filled with anger, hostility and ugliness, and because this is what they see, this is what becomes real for them, and they continue to live as their self fulfilling prophecy would have it be.

Neglecting their own beauty, they have swallowed a nightmare pill which alters dramatically the world in which they see. Turning away from the spirit, they have chosen to embrace the ego, which sees things always in a distorted light. With power and strength to gain for itself, the ego is devoted not to searching for beauty, but to finding that which can build it up in the eyes of the world. Concerned with the physical world and pleasing those within it, it is not at all interested in the wisdom of the spirit.

Not wanting to be the protagonist in its own demise, the ego has a vested interest in keeping the true source of beauty from your eyes. Not wanting you to experience the awe that beauty inspires, it seeks to keep you in a state of boredom where you ask no questions of life. Asking no questions, you cease to interact with life, and you deprive yourself of the answers that God wants to give to you. This is what it means to be reactive to life, and to suffer in the process.

Called to be proactive, we do not grow in our experience of life, if we have closed ourselves off to what it seeks to teach us. Wanting to show us the beauty in the world and in ourselves, it is a willing teacher, but a teacher has no role to occupy without a student in attendance. This is why we must be open-minded in beauty’s presence. With much to give, there is much to learn about the beauty of God which manifests itself in all things.

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What this means to me is that each of us has the capacity to find beauty in different things. What some label beautiful, others might label ugly, and vice versa. But does it really matter what verdict is passed on whether something is pleasing to the eye or not? What matters absolutely is the seed of beauty to be found in all things that God has created. With the beauty of the creator pervading each of his creations, that beauty is definitely there to see. The question then becomes what is the quality of the vision of the observer?

Many are capable of seeing the beauty in all that surrounds them, but even more are not. Selective in what they ascribe the label ‘beautiful’ to, these people have chosen to honour the mind above the heart, which is all to discriminating. Seeing more than the mind is capable of seeing, the heart knows that it is futile to judge, because it realizes that judgment passed on that which appears in a diminished light is falsely condemned. Seeing only a portion of the whole, much is misunderstood; and embracing only a part, much is rejected as irrelevant. See in this, the dangerous game that we play when we choose to have the ego’s eyes be the filter with which we view the world.

Seeing only fragments of beauty that it has contaminated through its own judgment, much is discarded, and even less honoured, for God cannot be seen by that which despises his presence. Wanting you not to see him, the ego will lead you to label as ugly, much that is beautiful in appearance and substance.

Intense in its loathing, the ego is not always rational in its judgment, and even in its certainty, it misses much to be appreciated. See in this how the ego’s arrogance often leads it to abandon that which could otherwise serve it. Cursed in its blindness, it makes not for wise counsel to the one who searches for a deeper experience of life.

Wanting to experience love, one must consult the heart, being the centre of beauty inside the self. Being not separate from God, it is the gift that God has given us to enjoy the world. Blessed with much, we can find much joy when we look upon the world with spiritual eyes. Hindered not by that which are the ego’s shortcomings, we can see the love behind the barriers, and the distinctions which make the miraculous commonplace.

Blessed in spirit, we must not take for granted that which is capable of teaching us who we truly are. Endowed with wisdom, all of God’s creations are capable teachers, and assuming not a separate identity from him, they are models to be emulated. With this, learn that beauty is distorted as the separation is affected. So as you travel far from him, so will your ability to experience beauty diminish in strength.

Concerned primarily with attaching labels in the moment, what eludes you is the beauty inherent in entering the moment. To enter the moment, is to join with God in your heart, and see what he sees in the physical world. With all that he created being good, you are then able to see the love that pervades everything in the light of the spirit. Appreciating everything just as it is, you understand that it is enough and that the ego does not have to be invited to enhance what is complete in itself.

Complete, the gifts of God are holy in what they hold and what they deliver. Endowed with beauty, they bring to the lost man, much that is invaluable. Longing for God, those who are lost, suffer in their desperation. Convinced of their own ugliness, the memories of their eternal beauty slip into the past. But the past is not lost forever, for every illusion stands to be corrected, and as a partner with eternity, it will not fail to reveal itself in a touch that the moment has in store, for the child who sees clearly now, not yearning for more.

One of the most memorable times that I recall beauty touching me deeply was in Florence when I went to see Michelangelo’s David. I had heard from many people how wonderful this classical piece of sculpture was, but hearing a second hand account doesn’t really prepare you for the effect that it has on the soul, when you see it in person. To say that I was taken aback by its beauty would be an understatement. I was left absolutely speechless! To think that one man saw this masterpiece in that block of marble and saw it as his purpose to bring it to life for all to enjoy is awe inspiring to me.

But as I was standing there, just gazing up at the masterwork, I knew not the distraction of thought that attempted to persuade my mind to intellectualize how the work was brought to life. This allowed me to centre myself and let the profound beauty that emanated from the shiny white surface, move my spirit powerfully in the moment. And as I just allowed the moment to touch me, I felt for a moment just how Michelangelo must have felt with the chisel in his hand and the spirit in his heart, for as I am not alone with my pen, he was not alone with his tools, for with every incision had God’s hand revealed itself so gently and lovingly.

All in all, I spent about an hour in the company of David, listening only to the silence which was my teacher. And as I meditated on what had greeted my senses, I felt a deep sense of appreciation begin to emerge, and as my eyes began to well up with tears, my constant companion placated my fears that I would miss something, a moment, which taught me who I am, not alone in war, but beautiful and fair.

To know Michelangelo must have been to be in the company of a great lover. Here was a man who made it his life’s purpose to serve the world by making manifest in physical form, the love that he carried inside. How else can you explain it? To look into the eyes of David is to know without a shadow of a doubt that he was conceived in love, and because it was this love that filled Michelangelo’s heart, the conception was inevitable.

With this, understand that love never leaves beauty unexpressed, for that is not love’s way. And in the same way that love will never leave beauty unexpressed, so will it never leave the witnesses to that beauty untouched, for the heart that was inspired to bring the beauty to life, is in no way separate from the heart of the witness who has seen in that beauty a clear image of themself revealed.

See in this, how all embodiments of beauty carry a reflection that is not one dimensional. If you were to observe a rose, you would be moved by the beauty of that rose, but what has moved you is not limited to the petals, stem and thorns which make up that rose. What you receive from that rose is an experience of the beauty of nature which is in no way separate from all that the rose is, because nature is the essence of its being. And as it is with the rose, so it is with you, because nature is the very essence of who you are. As God has breathed life into the rose, so has God breathed life into you, and in it you get a glimpse of not only its glory, but your glory as well, which is a stranger not to the glory of God.

Endowed with all that is beautiful, do not doubt what is yours to give, and as you awake from your slumber, so will your brothers and sisters enjoy a more peaceful rest. Not tormented by their hideous nightmares, a new joy will emerge in the form of a dream that is not isolated in how it comes to bless them. As beauty multiplies, so does its visions, in the mind that has unified itself with the heart.

Filled with this love, joy replaces sorrow and gratitude replaces judgment, for as the Lord has spoken, you need not open your mouth to speak. Speaking in glorious tongues, you are left in no doubt that what he has to say is real. Beautiful in its composition, it is undeniably powerful in its resonance. Teaching your heart, the mind finds rest, subsumed by the grace that has cradled it, and when it awakes, immense beauty awaits it, in both its relationship to the physical and the infinite which know no divide. Being what beauty has conquered, love has done its work, through the eye of the spirit that cannot be blinded to the world’s worth.

Why Are Metals Good Conductors?

Different metals are often employed for various applications because they are known for being good conductors of both heat and electricity. All of the appliances that we find in our homes and workplaces, such as kettles and computers, use metal for one reason or another. But why are they such good conductors? How does it all work?

Generally, atoms will tightly hold onto their electrons, not allowing them to move very much (if at all). In metal, however, atoms hold onto their electrons more loosely, allowing some of them to even be free moving. This is because the electrons form a metallic bond of sorts with each other, creating a moving sea vibrating electrons. They drift aimlessly through the metal, helping to give it it’s various properties, including strength.

Electrical conductivity

This term refers to a metal’s ability to conduct an electrical current, such as in a refrigerator or television. The outer electrons of the atoms are loosely bonded and are free to move through the material. When an electrical current is applied to a metal, it causes the free moving electrons to flow, which allows the current to pass through and be moved on.

Thermal conductivity

This term, on the other hand, refers to a metal’s ability to conduct heat, such as in a toaster or heater. The electrons nearest the heat source begin to warm up, causing them to vibrate fairly fast. In colliding with the cooler, slower moving electrons around them, the hot electrons transmit this heat energy on. Metal is such a good conductor of heat because their electrons are packed so closely together, allowing the vibrations to be passed on very quickly.

Metals are quite often cool to the touch, causing many people to believe that they are actually good conductors of cold, not heat. This, however, is a common misconception – metals are able to quickly absorb heat from their surfaces, including from human skin. It is this loss of heat that causes metal surfaces to feel cold underneath our hands.

When people ask why metals are good conductors of both heat and electricity, the short answer is because of the way their electrons are able to freely move around. To fully get into the specifics of how each element is effectively conducted by different alloys, you would probably have to attend physics classes in order to understand the processes. Having a basic understanding, however, should be enough to show why metal is so useful.

Metal Fabricators – A Boon to Metallurgy

Every now and then, we keep hearing of the term ‘steel metal fabrication’. But have you ever wondered what metal fabricators are used for? This article will give you a glimpse into the world of fabrication and how it is fast becoming the next big thing in metallurgy.

As the term suggests, fabrication means constructing metal structures with the aid of cutting, bending and assembling. The processes of shearing, sawing and chiseling are utilized for the cutting part. The bending of the metal is done by hammering or by using press brakes which can be done both manually and by using power. Last but not the least, the assembling process is conducted by welding, and then attaching them with adhesive, riveting or threaded fasteners.

The metals which are essentially required for steel fabrication are structural steel and sheet metal. Besides these, one also requires welding wires, flux and fasteners to attach the metal cut pieces. For the process of metal fabrication both human labor and automation is required. The final products are sold in shops which also specialize in metal stamping forging and casting.

Steel metal fabrication is used in various segments and we will explore various areas where it is extensively used. It is generally used in fabrication and machine shops which basically deal with metal assembly and preparation. In these shops, metals are dismantled and cut and they also deal with machines and tools. Black smiths also use the process of metal fabrication and so do welders to create weldments. Boiler makers and mill wrights who set up saw and grain mills extensively also extensively make use of metal fabricators. The steel erectors or iron workers use prefabricated segments in order to initiate the structural work and then they are transported to the work site by means of truck and rail where they are installed by the erectors.

The technique of metal fabrication involves changing metals from one form to another. There are various classes of the fabrication process including structural, architectural, ornamental, recreational and artistic. If you are interested in fabricating a metal you have to determine whether it contains iron or is ferrous or whether it is non-ferrous. You have to choose the appropriate welding instrument which will correspond to the metal which you are going to fabricate. Before beginning the work you have to prepare a well-laid plan which includes the details relating to rolling, bending and bolting metal pieces together to create a highly specialized structural piece of work.

The Transformative Power of Sacred Art-Making

When I began teaching Western women the sacred art of Tibetan appliqué in 2008, I thought I was just teaching stitching technique. My students quickly set me straight. It turns out I had seriously underestimated the power of tradition and   transmission . Through teaching, I discovered the transformative effect of the sacred textile art I’d been making for 20 years.

I had lived in northern India for nine years and learned to make silk thangkas in apprenticeship to Tibetan master craftsmen.

A thangka is rollable wall hanging, a scroll, depicting a sacred image or spiritual teacher. Most thangkas are painted on canvas and framed in brocade, but I studied a rarer type of thangka in which the images are built from hundreds of pieces of silk, outlined in hand-wrapped horsehair, assembled in an intricate patchwork.

Six days a week for four years, I sat alongside young Tibetans in a sewing workshop just outside the Dalai Lama’s temple. The environment was infused with dharma. Sounds of teaching and practice echoed from every window and courtyard. I attended Buddhist philosophy classes in the morning with learned Tibetan scholars (geshe) and then trudged up the steep hill to the workshop where I stitched thangkas all afternoon.

I had absorbed the dharma this community breathed, and it came out through my fingers into the thangkas I stitched. But I was no dharma teacher, and only an inconsistent meditator. I told prospective students that I would teach them stitching techniques, made sacred only by association. They should not expect spiritual illumination from me. They must seek that elsewhere, I thought.

Little did I know, each line and stitch of this artwork carries the light of the buddhas and of generations of artists and practitioners. You can’t escape the deeper lessons woven into the fabric of this lineage.

I was living in Italy, married and making thangkas on commission, when an American woman in France contacted me and sparked the creation of the Stitching Buddhas Virtual Apprentice Program. Louise had returned to France after many years of following her husband’s job from country to country while raising young children. Now, she was seeking an occupation, something meaningful to do with her energies.

Louise had been trained as a costume designer and was a practicing Buddhist. When she saw her first silk thangka on the internet, it struck her as a natural coupling of her creative background with her spiritual practice. I had the same feeling sixteen years earlier when I walked into a Tibetan appliqué studio in India. Could I now offer this gift to others?

Working with needle and thread re-awakens our tactile intelligence. Eyes and ears are not our only receptors for learning. The rational mind is not our only mode of understanding. And the voice is surely not our only instrument for communicating. We perceive, learn, and communicate through our fingers as well. But in the 21st century, our range of manual engagement has been reduced to tapping smooth keys and swiping touch-screens.

People who knit or quilt or work on a potter’s wheel have experienced the mindful quality that can arise in slow, deliberate movement and tactile sensation. Doing something by hand slows down the busyness of life – if only momentarily.

Not only that, but the thread becomes a metaphor for your life. You see how things get tangled when you don’t pay attention. You see where perfectionism trips you up, where you are afraid to move forward and how, sometimes, the more effort you exert the worse things get. Sometimes gentleness and a relaxed approach are needed. These patterns become evident in the stitching, and awareness filters into other activities.

The Tibetan appliqué tradition flows from an ancient spiritual lineage of artists, teachers and practitioners who have created and used its images in their practice. When we stitch, we receive their  transmission  through our fingers.

People often ask if I meditate while I stitch. I say this stitching IS meditation.

Literally, the Tibetan word for meditation (gom) means to familiarize. Through meditation, we familiarize ourselves with desirable mind states – expansive, loving, generous, imperturbable mind states – in an effort to make them habitual.

When we stitch a thangka or even a lotus flower, we are in the presence of enlightenment. We familiarize ourselves with enlightened beings, and therefore with the highest qualities of our own nature. The images in our hands symbolize the clearest, highest, best parts of ourselves and of humanity. Stitch by stitch, we allow these qualities to fill us.

Most of my students, the Stitching Buddhas, are women in the 50s and 60s. They are well educated. Many have worked in healing professions such as nursing, medicine, social work, and psychotherapy. Many are mothers of grown children. They come to the practice with an awareness of limited time. Some face diminishing eyesight or challenges to their manual dexterity. Some have no sewing experience at all. They’re not preparing for a career in thangka-making. They are seeking to live their life meaningfully and happily, and to leave something beautiful in their wake.

Buddhism encourages us to recognize our good fortune and to use this precious human life well. Human rebirth is rare and hard to come by. With gratitude in her heart, each woman-buddha stitches her response to Mary Oliver’s sumptuous question: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Athens – What To See And How To See It

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There are so many aspects of current civilization that were birthed in ancient Athens. Among these are theatre, philosophy, democracy, classical art and even the Olympic games. Athens is located on the southern coast of Greece and has existed for over 7,000 years providing a rich culture expressed in a diverse setting. The term diverse fits as you will find ancient relics and sites in some of the same areas where there are trendy boutiques and sidewalk cafes all mixed in together. This mixture of the very old and the new create a very unique experience provided nowhere in the world like it is provided in the ancient city of Athens. You will need to be sure your passport is up to day so if you need to add passport pages, be sure to go online and access a passport site to help you with this so you can be on you way.

World travel requires a passport but computers have simplified all passport needs. Even if you have to get an emergency passport, an online passport is available to help you. No one plans to have their travel documents lost or stolen but if this happens, help is as close as the nearest computer.

Athens is a city that contains many sites that make history come alive so this is certainly the ideal place for lovers of history to visit. High on top of the Acropolis you will find the Parthenon. This famous sight has earned the honor of being named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Investigating these ruins takes you back to sights names in Greek Mythology related to gods and goddesses, the titans and many other mythological characters. Admission to this site also opens the Theatre of Dionysus, the Roman Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus to the traveler.

Being the birthplace of the performing arts, it is no wonder that the arts and culture are very important to the Athenians. While the National Gallery is certainly large and well known, many smaller art galleries populate the city. Athens is also host to approximately 148 theatres so if you are in the mood for a show, the difficult part will be which performance to see. Among the theatres is the famous Herodes Atticus Theatre.

Using a bike or even walking around this city is a wonderful way to see the sights. Green space is always welcome when you travel to big cities and the National Garden of Athens provides an exceptional treat. Within it can be found a small zoo, ponds with ducks, colorful flowers and beautiful landscape with no shortage of a shady tree to relax under and consider the sights of the day.

For those who would like to shop till your drop, your experience will be a little different in Athens. Rather than large malls and strip centers, you will find street vendors selling custom crafts rather than name brand items. Some of the most visited markets are found on Plaka, Kolonaki and Ermou Street. You will find endless selections of shoes, purses and jewelry if you visit here and the quality will certainly not disappoint you.

Authentic cuisine is always interesting in a foreign city and Athens is no exception to this rule. Known for their souvlaki, which is comprised of grilled meat, veggies and a special yogurt sauce, this Athenian staple is considered a treat by all who try it.

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Making Investment Plans

Steps In Investing

Step 1: Meeting Investment Prerequisites-Before one even thinks of investing, they should make sure they have adequately provided for the necessities, like housing, food, transportation, clothing, etc. Also, there should be an additional amount of money that could be used as emergency cash, and protection against other various risks. This protection could be through life, health, property, and liability insurance.

Step 2: Establishing Investing Goals-Once the prerequisites are taken care of, an investor will then want to establish their investing goals, which is laying out financial objectives they wish to achieve. The goals chosen will determine what types of investments they will make. The most common investing goals are accumulating retirement funds, increasing current income, saving for major expenditures, and sheltering income from taxes.

Step 3: Adopting an Investment Plan-Once someone has their general goals, they will need to adopt an investment plan. This will include specifying a target date for achieving a goal and the amount of tolerable risk involved.

Step 4: Evaluating Investment Vehicles-Next up is evaluating investment vehicles by looking at each vehicle’s potential return and risk.

Step 5: Selecting Suitable Investments-With all the information gathered so far, a person will use it to select the investment vehicles that will compliment their goals the most. One should take into consideration expected return, risk, and tax considerations. Careful selection is important.

Step 6: Constructing a Diversified Portfolio-In order to achieve their investment goals, investors will need to pull together an investment portfolio of suitable investments. Investors should diversify their portfolio by including a number of different investment vehicles to earn higher returns and/or to be exposed to less risk as opposed to just limiting themselves to one or two investments. Investing in mutual funds can help achieve diversification and also have the benefit of it being professionally managed.

Step 7: Managing the Portfolio-Once a portfolio is put together, an investor should measure the behavior in relation to expected performance, and make adjustments as needed.

Considering Personal Taxes

Knowing current tax laws can help an investor reduce the taxes and increase the amount of after-tax dollars available for investing.

Basic Sources of Taxation-There are two main types of taxes to know about which are those levied by the federal government, and those levied by state and local governments. The federal income tax is the main form of personal taxation, while state and local taxes can vary from area to area. In addition to the income taxes, the state and local governments also receive revenue from sales and property taxes. These income taxes have the greatest impact on security investments, which the returns are in the form of dividends, interest, and increases in value. Property taxes can also have a significant impact on real estate and other forms of property investment.

Types of Income-Income for individuals can be classified into three basic categories:

1. Active Income-This can be made up of wages, salaries, bonuses, tips, pension, and alimony. It is made up of income earned on the job as well as through other forms of noninvestment income.

2. Portfolio Income-This income is from earnings produced from various investments which could be made up of savings accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, and futures, and consists of interest, dividends, and capital gains.

3. Passive Income-Income gained through real estate, limited partnerships, and other forms of tax-advantaged investments.

Investments and Taxes-Taking into tax laws is an important part of the investment process. Tax planning involves examining both current and projected earnings, and developing strategies to help defer and minimize the level of taxes. Planning for these taxes will help assist investment activities over time so that an investor can achieve maximum after-tax returns.

Tax-Advantaged Retirement Vehicles-Over the years the federal government has established several types of retirement vehicles. Employer-sponsored plans can include 401(k) plans, savings plans, and profit-sharing plans. These plans are usually voluntary and allow employees to increase the amount of money for retirement and tax advantage of tax-deferral benefits. Individuals can also setup tax-sheltered retirement programs like Keogh plans and SEP-IRAs for the self-employed. IRAs and Roth IRAs can be setup by almost anyone, subject to certain qualifications. These plans generally allow people to defer taxes on both the contributions and earnings until retirement.

Investing Over the Life Cycle

As investors age, their investment strategies tend to change as well. They tend to be more aggressive when they’re young and transition to more conservative investments as they grow older. Younger investors usually go for growth-oriented investments that focus on capital gains as opposed to current income. This is because they don’t usually have much for investable funds, so capital gains are often viewed as the quickest way to build up capital. These investments are usually through high-risk common stocks, options, and futures.

As the investors become more middle-aged, other things like educational expenses and retirement become more important. As this happens, the typical investor moves towards more higher quality securities which are low-risk growth and income stocks, high-grade bonds, preferred stocks, and mutual funds.

As the investors get closer to retirement, their focus is usually on the preservation of capital and income. Their investment portfolio is now usually very conservative at this point. It would typically consist of low-risk income stocks and mutual funds, high-yield government bonds, quality corporate bonds, CDs, and other short-term investment vehicles.

Investing In Different Economic Conditions

Even though the government has different tools or strategies for moderating economic swings, investors will still endure numerous changes in the economy while investing. An investment program must allow the investor to recognize and react to changing conditions in the economy. It is important to know where to put your money and when to make your moves.

Knowing where to put your money is the easiest part to deal with. This involves matching the risk and return objectives of an investor’s plan with the investment vehicles. For example, if there is an experienced investor that can tolerate more risk, then speculative stocks may be right for them. A novice investor that wants a decent return on their capital may decide to invest in a growth-oriented mutual fund. Although stocks and growth funds may do well in an expanding economy, they can turn out to be failures at other times. Because of this, it is important to know when to make your moves.

Knowing when to invest is difficult because it deals with market timing. Even most professional money managers, economists, and investors can’t consistently predict the market and economic movements. It’s easier to understand the current state of the market or economy. That is, knowing whether the market/economy is expanding or declining is easier to understand than trying to predict upcoming changes.

The market or economy can have three different conditions: (1) recovery or expansion, (2) decline or recession, (3) a change in the general direction of its movement. It’s fairly easy to observe when the economy is in a state of expansion or recession. The difficult part is knowing whether the existing state of the economy will continue on the course it’s on, or change direction. How an investor responds to these market conditions will depend on the types of investment vehicles they hold. No matter what the state of the economy is, an investor’s willingness to enter the capital market depends on a basic trust in fair and accurate financial reporting.

Stocks and the Business Cycle

Conditions in the economy are highly influential on common stocks and other equity-related securities. Economic conditions is also referred to as the business cycle. The business cycle mirrors the current status of a variety of economic variables which includes GDP, industrial production, personal disposable income, the unemployment rate, and more.

An expanding business cycle will be reflected in a strong economy. When business is thriving and profits are up, stock prices react by increasing in value and returns. Speculative and growth-oriented stocks tend to do especially well in strong markets. On the flip side, when economic activity is diminishing, the values and returns on common stocks tend to follow the same pattern.

Bonds and Interest Rates

Bonds and other forms of fixed-income securities are highly sensitive to movements in interest rates. The single most important variable that determines bond price behavior and returns is the interest rate. Bond prices and interest rates move in opposite directions. Lower interest rates are favorable for bonds for an investor. However, high interest rates increase the attractiveness of new bonds because they must offer high returns to attract investors.

Athens – Church of Agioi Theodoroi

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Crossing Odos Dragatsaniou, in the end stands the attractive medieval church of Agioi Theodoroi (St. Theodore), built on the site of a church founded in the ninth century, but in its present form dating from between 1050 and 1075. This small cruciform church with its high narrow dome, multiple roofs that lend it an air of rhythmic grace, narrow mullioned windows and decorated central door surmounted by arches, is a precious gem of eleventh century Byzantine architecture.

The earliest form of Byzantine churches was that of the basilica, a long rectangle divided by two or four ranges of columns into three or five naves. Later, during the 11th and 12th centuries, the plan changed to that of a Greek cross within a square, dominated by a dome constructed in brick and often combined with one or more subsidiary domes. The exterior walls consist of square-cut stone with thin brick surrounds and are enriched by bands of decoration, carving and the use of color. Few of these churches were large. Apart from St. Theodore, typical examples are the churches of Kapnikarea and St. Eleutherios.

The glory of the Byzantine church lies not so much in the architecture as to the ethereal beauty of its mosaics or frescoes. From the center of the principal dome Christ looks down upon the faithful and below Him are the Apostles. The Virgin appears in the half dome, while around the sanctuary are symbolic figures and emblems connected with the Eucharist. On the West wall opposite the chancel is the Last Judgement. Colored marble and similar material in the lower walls add to the resplendent beauty of the interior.

The liturgy of the Greek Orthodox Church requires separation of the altar from the laity. The altar is placed in a chancel screened from the congregation by the iconostasis, i.e. the screen dividing the sanctuary from the church proper. This is adorned with pictures of Christ, the Virgin, and Saints, and generally has three doors, the curtains of which are lowered while Mass is being celebrated. The chancel is flanked by the Prothesis, where the bread and wine for the Eucharist are prepared, and by the Diakonikon, or vestry.

In St. Theodore one can also notice the influence of the East on Byzantine art, which was prominent in the period from the mid-9th to mid-11th centuries, when Byzantine artists used a variety of Oriental motifs in their designs. It is probable that the design of pseudo-kufic characters (the script perfected during the 7th century by calligraphers in the city of Kafa, in present-day Iraq) that decorate the terracotta panel below the windows of the facade was inspired by the work of Arab craftsmen.

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At This Time What is the Best Treatment For Swine Flu? Disappointing News

At this time the best treatment for swine flu is prevention. Doing everything possible to avoid the flu may be more effective than the drugs and vaccine that we have (or maybe don’t have). The vaccine for H1N1 is scheduled to arrive in mid October but there will only be about 45 million doses and those will have to be doled out according to priorities set by your local health department.

The fact that we don’t have enough vaccine to go around may or may not be a problem. This vaccine was rushed into production and has not undergone the extensive testing that other vaccines have. The first question is will it work. The second question is what are the side effects. We won’t know those answers until late October.

There are two antiviral drugs available for flu, Tamiflu and an older drug Relenza. These drugs can be used to treat the flu or be used to prevent the flu in high risk populations like nursing homes. The good news is that the U.S. has at least enough stockpiled to treat 25% of the population. The bad news is that H1N1 might be immune to Tamiflu. In tests done in New York City last January, 99% of the H1N1 cases were Tamiflu resistant.

The other bad news about the drugs is that they work best when administered within 48 hours of coming down with swine flu. They won’t be prescribed unless the person tests positive for the strain. Now that the World Health Organization has stopped asking for test results, tests may or may not be given as readily as they were.

There are basically three types of tests. One can be completed in your doctor’s office in about 30 minutes. The problem with this test is it misses the flu roughly 30% of the time and also has a reputation of giving false positives. The other two tests require a lab. The actual test takes three hours to complete but add in transportation time and backlog and you’ll be lucky to see results in four days, two days longer than the recommended time to administer antivirals.

So the best answer to what’s the best flu treatment is, don’t catch it. If that doesn’t work; then your back to traditional treatment like fever medicine, rest, plenty of fluids, nutritious diet and Mom’s chicken soup.

This is going to be a big one and something you can’t ignore. It will affect your life either directly or indirectly. You need a plan on how to deal with it much as you would for dealing with an earthquake or hurricane.

The Acropolis – Athens, Goddess Athena

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Archaeologists tell us that the original city of Athens was situated on the Acropolis. Even in classical times, the Athenians still referred to this area as “the City.” The city of Athens and its patron goddess emerge into the light of history as inseparably coupled. In Mycenaean times each city was built around a central palace, and each palace was under the protection of its patron goddess. Athena was the goddess of the palace on the Acropolis. The names of the city and its goddess are essentially the same: Athena was Athens, and Athens was Athena. She was “The Athenian.” The ancient Athenians seem to have exhibited, during much of their history, precisely those virtues which they traditionally attributed to her. This may be because, when the Athenians imagined their goddess, they did so in their own image.

According to the myth, Zeus fell in love with a beautiful titaness, Metis (“Cunning Intelligence”). Although she repeatedly changed her shape to avoid his unwelcome attentions, as was his way, he persisted. In the end he caught up with her and raped her.

An oracle then announced that Metis would bear Zeus two children: first a daughter then, a son, and the son would be mightier than his father. Just as Zeus had once overthrown and dispossessed his own father, Chronos, so he was destined in his turn, to be overthrown by his own son. In a desperate attempt to avoid sharing his father’s fate, Zeus gave Metis a potion of drugged ambrosia, and then swallowed her whole.

Some time afterwards a terrible headache came upon him. In great pain, he sought the advice of Hermes, whose only suggestion was that Hephaestos, the smith of the gods, should open his head in order to allow the cause of his pain to escape. Zeus was so desperate that even this drastic remedy was preferable to doing nothing, and Hephaestos was duly summoned to cleave open Zeus’ head with his mighty axe. When he did so, to the astonishment of all the immortals, Athena sprang out with a great war-cry, fully-formed, wearing armour and bearing arms.

Zeus’ daughter not only became the patron of many arts at that time normally considered masculine preserves, such as ceramics, she was also credited with a distinctly unfeminine warlike nature. When the Olympian gods were faced with a titanic struggle against the giants, Athena played a major role in the war, defeating the giant Enkelados in single combat. She came to be depicted not merely as a virgin goddess, but, as an ancient Roman writer put it, as a virago: as a female capable of playing a leading role in a world dominated by men.

It came to be said that the reason for the birth of this goddess lay in a wager between Zeus and his consort, Hera, as to which of them could generate the better progeny entirely alone and unaided. By herself, Hera managed to produce only the crippled god, Hephaestos and a monster; while Zeus was able to bring forth, in Athena, one of the greatest of the Immortals.

This seems to have been a picturesque reference to a widespread belief, which was to appear later in the works of the philosopher Aristotle: that the father alone is responsible for generating his children, and for providing them with their inherited characteristics, and that their mother affords them nothing more than a temporary shelter and sustenance in her womb during her pregnancy.

This is a striking example of the strong climate of male chauvinism which dominated the early classical period in ancient Greece, which is very evident in myth and legend.

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Have You Ever Heard of Viral Marketing?

Viral Marketing is the spread of a word from one person to many others on a quick basis similar to a virus by an infected patient to other people surrounding him/her. It’s a new form of informal advertising by passing along a message or making other people aware about a product or a service just by talking about it.

The name viral is derived from the image of a person being infected with the marketing message, then spreading it to friends like a virus. The major difference, however, is that the customer voluntarily sends the message to others.

Viral Marketing messages include ads for goods and services, hyperlinked promotions that take someone immediately to a website, online newsletters and various games. Statistics indicate that 81 percent of recipients who receive a viral marketing message pass it along to another person. Almost 50 percent pass it along to two or more people.

The marketing message can be more deliberate such as when an individual recommends something to a friend. It can also be transmitted passively, when the message is simply attached to an email. Viral Marketing allows a firm to gain rapid product awareness at a low cost.

The main advantage of implementing viral marketing technique is getting fast and effective results by using this technique widely on the Internet. This gives a better exposure to the website as well as its owner and make other people aware of its existence. It also helps in conveying the desired message to a larger audience therefore building a good reputation for both the company/website and the owner.

Another benefit is that the more popularity the website gain, the bigger number of webmasters it will attract who will be willing either in exchanging links or just placing inbound links. This will definitely increase the value of the website by having external links which will ultimately result in improving its page rank with search engines.

The number of visitors to the website will also rise on a regular basis as it gains popularity and search engine ranking. The website owner will really benefit from the high volume targeted traffic that is going to blow his or her website fame and shoot up his or her revenue. Therefore, I can not emphasize more on the importance of viral marketing in boosting the Internet Marketing industry these days.

Blue Marble, a viral marketing company, created a program for Scope mouth wash. Consumers were able to send a customized, animated e-mail – kiss – to their friends. The attached marketing message reinforced the brand message that Scope brings people – kissably close. People who received the e-mail kiss could then forward the message to someone else. Scope’s tracking technology indicated most did forward the message.

The term – viral – may connote the negative image of a computer virus. Consequently, More concern should be shown when offering this program to a certain company. Company leaders may want to find some other term to describe the technique to the general public so that no undue suspicion or fear arises.

Scooters – What Are the Features of a Scooter?

Scooters are quickly becoming a popular choice for cost conscious consumers looking for an economical way to get around town. Scooters have many benefits from low costs to above average fuel efficiency. However, when looking to purchase a scooter there are many features that you’ll either get standard or can upgrade. Here are some of those features:

Front Hydraulic ABS Disc Brakes Scooters can come with hydraulic anti-lock braking system (ABS) disc brakes on the front wheel. Hydraulic ABS disc brakes is a safety system on motor vehicles which prevents the wheels from locking while braking. Providing the best possible brakes to have because they provide the best stopping power.

100 MPG Scooters can get up to 100 miles to the gallon. While this may occur with the newer and higher end models, this kind of gas mileage makes this scooter very fuel efficient and economical. This vehicle is the perfect alternative to cars and motorcycles to save on gas and keep extra money in your pocket!

Electric Start / Kick Start Most scooters come equipped with an electric start. The electric start starting system makes starting simple for anyone. They can also come equipped with a kick start. The kick start can also be used at any time.

4-Stroke Engine Gas motor scooters come equipped with up to a 250cc 4-stroke engine. These engines typically have the ability to go up to 55 miles per hour (MPH). With an engine this size, there is enough power for two people to ride.

Fully Automatic Transmission Scooters also have installed a fully automatic transmission. Operated by the simple to use ‘twist & go’ throttle acceleration in other words with a fully automatic transmission there is no clutch or gear shifting at all.

Storage Most scooters come equipped with a large storage compartment located underneath the seat. This extra storage can be used to put all your items that you would normally put in a car glove compartment. Other storage may include a detachable rear storage trunk to put bigger items such as a briefcase, laptop, or luggage.

Scooters come equipped with many features including front hydraulic abs disc brakes, fuel efficiency of up to 100 mpg, electric start / kick start, a 4-stroke engine, fully automatic transmission, and storage space.

Ancient History – Athens

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Archaeologists have found evidence that Athens has been inhabited from at least the fifth millennium BC. The site would have been attractive to early settlers for a number of reasons: its location in the midst of productive agricultural terrain; its closeness to the coast and the natural safe harbour of Piraeus; the existence of defensible high ground, the Acropolis (from akron and polis, or ‘city on the high ground’); and the proximity of a natural source of water on the north-west side of the Acropolis.

Traces of Mycenaean fortifications from the thirteenth century AC can still be seen on the Acropolis, including some foundations belonging to what must have been a palatial structure. The fortifications, known as the ‘Pelasgian’ walls (after the indigenous people believed to have built them before the arrival of the Greeks around 2000 BC), remained in use until the Persian Wars of 490-480 BC. One stretch behind the temple of Athena Nike appears to have been deliberately preserved in the Classical period.

There was a decline of Mycenaean society across the Greek world around the end of the twelfth century BC. Whether this was directly connected with the Trojan War (around 1184 BC), or the so-called Dorian Invasion thought to have taken place soon after this conflict, Athens does not appear to have succumbed to an attack. The Mycenaean royal family of Pylos is said to have taken refuge in Athens after their city’s fall to the Dorians. One of its members, Codros, became king of his adoptive city.

The collapse of Mycenaean civilization left Greece in political, economic and social decline, accompanied by loss of artistic skills, literacy and trade networks. The Mycenaean form of writing, known as Linear B, was completely forgotten, and the Greek alphabet did not emerge until the late eighth century BC as the new form of writing. At this time city states began to emerge throughout the Greek world, governed by oligarchies, or aristocratic councils. Thirteen kings ruled in Athens after Codros, until in 753 BC they were replaced by officials with a ten-year term, known as decennial archons, and in 683 BC by annually appointed eponymous archons.

Conflict between the oligarchs and the lower classes, many of whom had been reduced to slavery, led to a series of reforms that paved the way for the emergence of the world’s first true democracy. Around 620 BC the lawmaker Dracon set up wooden tablets on the Acropolis known as axones. These were inscribed with civil laws and punishments so harsh that the death penalty was prescribed even for minor crimes, giving rise to the term `draconian’ which is still used today. Dracon’s intervention did little to ensure order, prompting representatives of the nobles and lower classes in 594 BC to appoint the statesman and poet Solon as archon.

Solon terminated aristocratic rule, setting up a representational government where participation was determined not by lineage or bloodline, but wealth. He eliminated slavery based on debt, and restituted freedom and land to those who had been enslaved. Solon created a `Council of Four Hundred’ from equal numbers of representatives of the Ionian tribes to which the Athenians claimed to belong, and instituted four classes of citizenry.

Peisistratos, Solon’s younger cousin, became tyrant (tyrannos) of Athens in 545 BC. He ensured the Solonian constitution was respected and governed benevolently. After Peisistratos’ death, however, things took a negative turn and anti-Peisistratid sentiment grew. By 510 BC King Cleomenes of Sparta was asked to assist in deposing Peisistratos’ son Hippias. Hippias sought refuge in Persia at the court of King Darius.

Soon after, the aristocrat Cleisthenes promised to institute further reforms giving a more direct role to citizens in government. His reforms were passed in 508 BC, and democracy was established in Athens. A new `Council of Five Hundred’ (the Boule) replaced the ‘Council of Four Hundred’, with equal representation from the various tribes. Cleisthenes is also credited with instituting the system of ostracism, which ‘voted’ an individual considered dangerous to democracy into exile for ten years.

It is uncertain when the former Mycenaean citadel was transformed into a sacred precinct but by the late eighth century BC a modest temple (or perhaps more than one) stood on the plateau. The oldest and holiest cult image on the Acropolis was the statue of Athena Polias (Protectress of the City), a crude olive-wood figure, so old that Athenians of the Classical period believed it had either fallen from heaven or been made by Cecrops or Erichthonios. This sacred image of Athena was ritually ‘dressed’ every year in a peplos, a sacred robe, as part of the Panathenaic festival.

A temple is thought to have been built around 700 BC to the south of the later, Classical Erechtheion, to house the statue of Athena Polias. The first major building of which there are significant remains on the Acropolis was the so-called ‘Bluebeard Temple’, built in the Archaic period around 560 BC. The ‘Bluebeard Temple’ is thought by some to have stood to the south of the later Erechtheion. Ancient texts mention a mysterious building or precinct contemporary to the ‘Bluebeard Temple’, called the Hecatompedon, or ‘Hundred-footer’. Whatever this structure or place was, it gave its name to the principal room of the Classical Parthenon, perhaps because the later building occupies the same site.

With the expulsion of Hippias a new temple was built on the Acropolis, its foundations still visible to the south of the later Erechtheion. This building, the Archaios Naos, or ‘ancient temple’, is likely to have been deliberately commissioned around 506 BC as a replacement for the ‘Bluebeard Temple’.

The first Persian invasion of 490 BC saw the victory of the Athenians at the battle of Marathon against the forces of King Darius of Persia. The following year the elated Athenians leveled an area on the south side of the Acropolis and began construction of the Old Parthenon. A new gateway to the Acropolis was also commenced, known as the Old Propylaia.

This post-Marathonian building program on the Acropolis came to a violent end in 480 BC when Xerxes, son of King Darius, led a second Persian invasion of Greece. Athens had to be evacuated and Xerxes razed the city and buildings on the Acropolis. Under the command of Themistocles, the Athenians destroyed the Persian fleet in the battle of Salamis. Victory over the Persians was ensured after the battle of Plataea (479 BC), to the northwest of Athens, when a combined Greek army annihilated the Persians.

In the aftermath of the battle of Plataea, a vow was made by the victors never to rebuild the shrines that were destroyed in the war, preserving them instead as memorials for later generations.

Pericles, who was a general and statesman, came to power in Athens around 461 BC. He considered the oath of Plataea to have been fulfilled, as thirty years had elapsed from the Persian invasion, and proceeded to reconstruct the temples on the Acropolis. He gathered together the best architects and artists in the city and plans were drawn up to erect new buildings that would outshine those torn down by the Persians. The Periclean building programme enhanced the lower city with new monuments, such as the Temple of Hephaestus, also known as the Theseion, and the Painted Stoa or Poikile situated near the Agora (marketplace).

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SWOT Analysis of the New Honda Fuel Cell Vehicle

Honda is changing the vehicle market as we know it, by making a vehicle that emits water vapor. Honda’s FCX Clarity fuel cell car is the new breed for green cars. This car has some similarities to hybrid, but nothing compares to its new fuel source hydrogen. Besides hydrogen it runs with an electric motor that generates electricity to the fuel stack and a lithium ion battery. The lithium ion battery serves as a supplemental power source. The lithium ion battery charges up while braking and decelerating. Some questions might arise when thinking about this new fuel cell vehicle, like what makes this car better than the other hybrid cars? What are the Honda FCX Clarity strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

One of the biggest strengths about this new fuel cell vehicle is that it emits water vapor and is designated as a Zero emission vehicle (ZEV). The environmental protection agency (EPA) has given this vehicle the lowest possible emission rating. It also can be driven up to 280 miles before being refueled with hydrogen. FCX Clarity is achieves an energy efficiency of 55% which is twice the energy efficiency of the hybrid vehicles and three times the efficiency of regular gas vehicles. Since FCX Clarity is more energy efficient it has been one of the first fuel cell vehicles to receive certification from the EPA and the California Air Resources Board. Unlike the hybrids the FCX Clarity doesn’t need to be plugged in to be charged up and there is no need for regular gas.

Honda has many opportunities with this new fuel cell vehicle. First off Honda is designing a home refueling station. No more worrying about going out and getting refueled at the pump. Home refueling stations will elevate the stress at the pump. Also, Honda could make this fuel cell vehicle a household name and market this vehicle all over the globe. Honda just needs to get out there to show off their new vehicle. Honda is starting to market the new fuel cell a little bit. Honda has just released the FCX Clarity for Japan.

One of the few weaknesses for this fuel cell vehicle is its limited availability in the United States. Southern California and Japan are the only two areas where this new vehicle is available. Honda plans to release around 200 vehicles in 3 years in California and Japan. Honda believes that this new fuel cell vehicle will be able to be mass produced by 2018. I think this is one Hondas biggest downfall is the limited release and so few refueling stations.

This car is a little small it’s only able to carry four people. The cost of the FCX Clarity is about 600 a month on a 3 year lease. It seems a little steep for someone who is middle class to afford that payment. Not anyone is California will be able to lease this new vehicle. These people who are selected live near the refueling stations and they make a limited amount of commutes.

Basically Toyota and GM vehicles are Hondas biggest threat. With so many new hybrids and small gas efficient cars, this creates a problem for Honda. Another threat is Chevrolet. Chevrolet has developed a fuel cell SUV “the Equinox” and it has already arrived at New York City, Washington D.C. and Southern California. With this being said, it becomes a race between Honda and Chevrolet with the new fuel cell technology. How would the new fuel cell FCX Clarity size up in popularity? The lack of mass production and refueling stations, Honda won’t have a chance.

I think Honda has come up with a good concept car with its new fuel source. The new fuel source needs to be researched further before they should market this vehicle. This car is for people who are willing to go green and have the money to do it. The whole problem is making this car available to the public and easily accessible.

On the other hand Honda has a comparative advantage because of their home refueling station. There is no other vehicle out there that you can just plug in and refuel at home. Hybrid vehicles rely on battery and gas to run. You have to plug the hybrid in to recharge the battery.

3 Nutrition Facts All Coaches Need to Know

Coaches are often the first people to provide any nutritional guidance to athletes. Unfortunately, many coaches are ill-prepared to provide such guidance and, under most state laws, are not authorized to provide nutritional direction. However, when it comes to sports nutrition, many coaches and players simply focus on weight and muscle gain. This “plan” lacks research-based information.

Below are 3 key nutritional facts that all athletes and coaches should be aware of.

· Hydration. Coaches and athletes should all understand the proper hydration entails a lot more than water breaks during practice. Maintaining proper hydration can be complicated based on the intensity of the sport, the environment and each individual. A distinct problematic scenario revolves around the classroom setting. While athletes progress throughout their day, a stop at the water fountain between classes can go a long way towards aiding hydration levels. Poor hydration leads to fatigue, weight loss, and, contrary to popular belief, is the primary culprit behind muscle cramps. Athletes should maintain proper hydration levels throughout the day. During practice in warmer areas (in a gym, outside during spring and summer, etc.) they should drink water incrementally.

· Carbohydrates. Glycogen is the primary fuel source for the body. Carbohydrates are easily turned into glycogen and without enough, you’ll see slow, sluggish performance. Eating an ample amount of carbohydrates throughout the day will replace muscle energy lost in workouts and keep the body from robbing the muscles of protein for energy. A goal for athletes should be to intake about 50 grams of carbohydrates 30 to 45 minutes post-workout. This could include a bagel with peanut butter, a banana and a cup of chocolate milk or a cup of Greek yogurt with a handful of granola. Remember chocolate milk – it’s one of the absolute best post workout drinks you can find.

· Protein. The amount and timing of protein are equally important when an athlete wants to increase muscle mass and strength. Protein builds muscle and repairs muscles damaged during exercise. When an athlete conducts a strenuous workout, tough practice and lengthy games, a large amount of stress is placed on muscles. If total protein consumption is too low, muscles will not be able to properly recover, new muscle will not form, and athletes may experience an increase in soreness, as well as delayed recovery time. Timing: After a workout, practice or game 20 to 30 grams of protein within 30 to 45 minutes post-workout should be consumed. Amount: An athlete intent on increasing muscle mass or strength should intake 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight in a day. This will ensure enough protein is synthesized to illicit repair and growth of the muscles. As a general rule, 20-30 grams of protein should be eaten at each meal. This will leave time for protein supplementation throughout the day. That level of protein can take the form of a piece of meat the size of a deck of cards, a protein shake or three eggs.

Here are four quick and easy post-practice recovery meals:

– 1 cup vanilla low-fat Greek yogurt with ½ cup granola

– Smoothie with 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 cup water and 2 cups frozen blueberries

– Protein shake blended with 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup blueberries and 1 banana

– 3 eggs and 1 cup rolled oats

Athens – The Destination

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Athens was named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, which is certainly fitting for the birthplace itself. Evidence of its ancient heyday is everywhere, in the remnants of monuments, statuary and sacred sites that are still revered as survivors of one of history’s most important eras.

A Poseidon adventure in art

In Greek mythology, Poseidon is the god of sea, so it is only fitting that the astoundingly wrought bronze statue of him was raised from the bottom of the Aegean Sea, where it lay for centuries after a shipwreck off the Cape of Artemision. The two-meter tall figure stands with arms extended and leaning forward on its left leg. The right hand once held a trident, and the unknown sculptor clearly was a master in accurately duplicating the complicated balancing act that goes into the seemingly simple motion of throwing a spear.

This work of art is one of the many stunning bronzes at the National Archeological Museum in Athens. The museum’s collection – which includes pieces that date all the way back to the prehistoric period – offers the best collection of Greek art in the world. Renovations closed the museum for a year and half, but it was reopened just in time for the 2004 Olympic Games.

At 260 feet above the city, the Acropolis (“high city”) is not only the highest point in Athens, but for many people it is the high point of any visit to Greece. It is the oldest known settlement in Greece and was a sacred site for ancient Athenians.

During the period of 448 to 420 B.C., the distinguished Athenian statesman Pericles commissioned the construction of four new monuments on the Acropolis at the site of former ruins. The Athenian sculptor Phidias presided over the construction and interior design. The Ionic Erechtheum includes the Porch of Caryatids, with its column in the shape of monumental female figures that identify remains a mystery. The Ionic Temples of Athena Nike, dedicated to the cult of Athena as the goddess of victory, was built during the Peloponnesian War, its frieze depicts the Greek victory over the Persians in the battle of Plataea. The Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis with rows of both Doric and Ionic columns, replaced an earlier version destroyed by the Persians. And of course, the Acropolis remains home to what’s left of the Parthenon.

The Parthenon, designed by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates, took 15 years to complete. It was the closest to Pericles’ heart: Among various friezes depicting life among gods, the large statue of Athena represented his homage to the goddess and to the greatness of Athens.

Even in A.D. 131, savvy developers like the Roman Emperor Hadrian recognized the importance of signage. “This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus,” reads the inscription on Hadrian’s arch, situated at the foot of the Acropolis and once the marker between Hadrianopolis and the Athens city limits. The side facing the Acropolis and ancient Athens reads, ” This is Athens, the city of Theseus.”

Like all the surrounding monuments and the Athens infrastructure itself, Hadrian’s Arch has undergone a major facelift. The 60-foot high archway, constructed of Pentelic marble, upheld by columns with Corthinian capitals and topped by a series of Corinthians columns, lost a bit of structural stability in the mid-18th century, when 8 of its columns were removed.

Restorers shored up the arch, cleaned away centuries of pollution and repaired its cracks, just in time for the 2004 Olympic Games.

The Evzones

The Evzones were once the elite soldiers of the Greek army. Today they are the presidential guards, a ceremonial unit that maintains watch over The Parliament, The Presidential Mansion and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The soldiers wear a traditional and highly photogenic uniform comprising a scarlet cap with a long black tassel, a cotton tunic, black knee tassels above white stockings, red clogs with black pompons and a woolen kilt called a fustanella. The fustanella has 400 pleats, one for each year that the Greeks were on the occupation of the Ottoman Empire. Bearing leather cartridge belts and rifles with a bayonet, the soldiers maintain strict physical discipline as they stand at attention and resist tourists’ attempts to distract them.

A changing of guard is performed daily before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but on Sundays, the complete ceremony – involving an army band and dozens of soldiers – is conducted.

Alice in Wonderland

Imagine Alice in Wonderland’s tumble into a magical world, and you will have an idea what this-off-beaten-path attraction in the Village of Paiania is like. Far larger than a rabbit hole, Koutouki Cave is a natural wonder that will awe you with its colors and formations. In 1926, a goat disappeared from its herd where it was grazing on the slope of Mount Ymittos. A search turned up a small crevice, and a brave soul descended by rope into the abyss below. The goat had not survived the fall, but its intended rescuer returned with a story of a beautiful underground chamber.

The vertical cave consists of a 38.5 meter shaft that opens onto a large cavern with a diameter of about 60 meters. Guided tours take visitors in through a man-made entrance and lead them on a path through stalactites and stalagmites formed by mineral deposits from water seeping through the limestone of the mountain. The tour ends with a light show accompanied by classical music. It’s just a short taxi ride from Athens to nearby Paiania.

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Canine Grooming

There are many reasons to groom your pet and regular grooming is one of your responsibilities as a pet owner. This task should never be neglected as it has many health benefits for your dog. Most people understand the importance of regular grooming but some don’t and neglect to perform this vital task and hopefully this article will convince them to groom their dogs on a regular basis. The majority of people understand that dogs need a bath every now and then, especially when they’ve rolled in something particularly smelly (something dogs love doing!). Dogs with tangled and matted hair don’t look good and are a sure sign that they have lazy and neglectful owners! So read on and discover the many benefits of regular pet grooming.

Routine grooming removes dead skin and hair from your pet’s coat allowing the growth of new hair. Grooming also stimulates circulation and makes your dog’s coat shiny and healthy.

Grooming your dog will also help you discover if anything is wrong with your dog. You may find hives or lumps that you would normally miss when interacting with your dog. Grooming allows you to check your dog thoroughly for any unnoticed wounds or problems.

Pets enjoy the extra attention they receive when being groomed and this activity will help them bond with you. You will notice after grooming your dog that he seems very pleased with himself and more cheerful, this is because grooming makes dogs feel good about themselves.

Grooming is not limited to brushing and combing, it also extends to your dog’s nails and teeth. You should check your dog’s nails regularly to see if they need trimming and clip them if they do. Brushing your dog’s teeth on a daily basis should also be part of your dog’s grooming routine.

Just as brushing our hair stimulates our hair follicles and distributes sebum throughout our hair to nourish the hair shaft, so does grooming stimulate your dog’s coat and keep it nourished and healthy. Regular combing or brushing also stimulates your dog’s lymphatic system which helps boost his immune system.

If you take your dog to dog parks or on hikes you should routinely check to see that he hasn’t picked up any ticks. Ticks are dangerous pests that can make your dog very sick and by grooming your dog regularly, you will be able to discover if he has a tick infestation. Early detection of these parasites can literally save your dog’s life as these pests transmit disease and suck your dog’s blood robbing him of nutrients.

If you are interested on learning how to groom your dog professionally, there are evening classes available at some colleges that can teach you how to properly groom your dog. An online search will also reveal the location of such classes or you can ask around in your area. If you don’t have the time or inclination to groom your dog yourself, you should take him to a dog groomer on a regular basis to ensure he’s getting the care he needs.

Advice And Recommendations On Payday Cash Loans

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When urgent matters develop that require fast income, payday cash loans can be a workable choice. Luckily, there are paths that can get you funds quickly. One popular selection for speedy funds could be a payday loan. Payday loans help you get the cash you wish to acquire speedy. Keep reading to find out how payday cash loans in fact function.

Most payday loans expect you to make use of your checking account to produce the payments. Loan providers require this simply because they work with a primary transfer to acquire their cash whenever your financial loan comes expected. Once a income is transferred, the credit will occur.

Do some research about cash advance companies. By no means depend upon loan providers who look like trustworthy. Make time to do a little online study, seeking testimonials and customer feedback before you give away personal information. Employing a reliable company, can make the entire procedure simpler.

If you have to make use of a cash advance because of an urgent situation, or unanticipated event, know that most people are place in an negative position as a result. Should you not utilize them responsibly, you could wind up in the period that you simply are not able to get rid of. You can be in financial debt to the pay day loan organization for a very long time.

Understand that the money borrowed through any cash advance has to be repaid fast. It can be essential to have cash accessible for payment in a very simple period of time, typically fourteen days. This will not be accurate, nonetheless, in case you are acquiring paid for in just a few days of obtaining your loan. The money won’t need to be repaid up until the subsequent payday.

If you have any useful products, you really should take into account taking these with one to a cash advance service provider. Often, payday advance providers will allow you to secure a pay day loan from an invaluable piece, say for example a bit of good jewelry. A guaranteed pay day loan will normally have got a lower interest rate, than an unsecured payday loan.

When you think about pay day loans, try to keep away from dishonest athletes. There are businesses that promote themselves as payday advance organizations but usually want to steal your cash. Research companies backdrop in the Far better Business Bureau and ask your friends should they have efficiently applied their professional services.

If you are experiencing difficulty with online payday loans in the past, you can get places out there that supply assistance with it. They are able to allow you to at no cost and acquire you out of difficulty.

If you are searching for a payday advance but have under stellar credit, consider to apply for the loan using a financial institution that will not examine your credit track record. Currently there are numerous different creditors available that may nonetheless give loans to people with poor credit or no credit score.

Will not create your pay day loan repayments late. They will likely report your delinquencies to the credit rating bureau. This may negatively impact your credit rating making it even more complicated to take out classic personal loans. If you have question that you can pay back it when it is expected, will not obtain it. Get another way to get the amount of money you will need.

The best way to make use of a payday advance is always to shell out it back full without delay. The charges, interest, and also other costs associated with these lending options might cause important debts, which is extremely difficult to repay. So when you can pay out your loan away from, do it and you should not lengthen it.

If you apply for a payday advance, make sure that you relate to just one lender as opposed to several kinds. You boost the likelihood that the software will receive declined if you relate to numerous lenders at the same time as it can certainly be viewed as reckless through the loan providers.

Hopefully, you are able to use this information to assist you make a decision whether or not a payday loan is advisable. Utilize this details wisely and acknowledge the significance of doing the work right. Continue to keep understanding everything you can to ensure a confident end result.

Marine VHF Radio

Types of VHF sets:

Non-DSC sets

Non-DSC VHF sets on yachts and motorboats will still continue to work, will still be legal to use and certificate holders do not need to do a conversion course until they choose to upgrade. After 2005 Coastguards will cease to monitor Channel 16 in the way that they do now, that is with a dedicated officer on headset watch 24 hours a day, but they will continue to have a loudspeaker watch on channel 16 in the operations room. Increasingly the boat without VHF DSC radio will be at a disadvantage.

A transportable set is an invaluable second radio for use in an emergency when it can be taken into a life raft or used on deck to communicate in a rescue situation. It is useful for safety reasons in a tender when going ashore or in a safety boat when organising dinghy sailing events. A portable set is a good buy for non-boat owners who charter or who go afloat occasionally. They have a limited range but do require licensing and certification. Portable sets with a very limited DSC facility are available. They are intended as an addition to a full VHF DSC set, not as a substitute. Note that the portable set covered by a ship’s radio licence can only be used on the vessel covered by the licence or by its tender(s). It is illegal to use the portable ashore.

VHF DSC radio sets

From 2001 all new non-portable radios sold must be VHF-DSC or be capable of being converted to DSC by the addition of an extra ‘black box’. These are called DSC Controllers. It will provide the digital selective calling (DSC) facility which is the special feature of the new type of set. What this does is to send, on channel 70, a burst of digital signals in a code to ‘call up’ another DSC set. This call can be directed at an individual, using their MMSI, a group of boats or ‘all stations’ in an emergency. Once the link has been established by the digital ‘call’, normal voice   transmission  will be used. The DSC is essentially a new method of establishing communications, more reliably than was possible before. The digital signals are of high radio quality and rapid, the alert taking just 0.5 seconds. It can be used in both routine and distress situations.

There are different classes of controller with varying levels of capability for use in different types of vessel.

The Class D controller is the one designed for use with VHF on yachts and motorboats who make passages within VHF range of the coast. Fitting one of these is not compulsory on private boats. On small boats used at sea commercially, sea school boats for example, it may become a requirement. This will be to the great advantage of their students who will be able to see the sets in use and appreciate their advantages.

Other controllers for VHF DSC are available to meet the requirements of ships. These include Class A and B Controllers, which have enhanced capabilities.

What is the range of the set?

Those sailing across an ocean, or even the Bay of Biscay, need radios that transmit over vast distances. Licensing arrangements are different too.

The range of  transmission  of VHF radio telephones is limited by a number of factors. The height of the aerial is very significant as the propagation of the radio waves is only slightly more than ‘line of sight’. This includes the aerial height of both the transmitting and the receiving station.

When talking from yacht to yacht expect a range of 10 to l5 miles with aerials fitted at the tops of the masts. Those commonly fitted to yachts are known as ‘unity gain’ aerials. They are made of thin wire and often have wind instruments attached. They are recommended because, although the range is not as good as the taller rigid aerials used on motorboats, they cope better with the heeling effect often experienced on yachts! The better range of a ‘high gain’ motor cruiser aerial is only achieved if it is mounted vertically.

It should be possible to talk to a Coastguard station from 30 to 40 miles offshore because of the height of their aerial.

Transmitting range is also affected by the transmitting power of the set. The maximum power allowed is 25 watts. There is also a low power setting, which reduces the transmitting power to 1 watt. This should be used for all short range routine communications. You might think that it is always a good idea to broadcast your signal as far as possible. This it not so. Remember that each channel can only be used for one  transmission  at a time. Powerful signals cause more inference to other radio users. If you are calling another craft nearby or a marina, use low power. Try to use low power for all routine communications. The use of low power does not change the receiving range of the set.

A portable VHF set has yet another type of aerial. This is flexible and will operate at a wider range of angles. The low aerial height and a maximum power output of 5 watts reduces the range of  transmission  of these sets. Between portable radios the range can be up to 5 miles, increasing to 10 miles to a Coastguard station, if there is no land in the way! Remember, with portable radios there is always the risk that the battery will go flat.

The information about ranges of  transmissions  is for average conditions and good circumstances. Ranges can be influenced by:

o Atmospheric conditions, especially high pressure, can increase the range and cause interference from distant stations.

o Land. Boats operating near land may have poor reception with signals being blocked by hills or buildings.

o Incorrect installation of the aerial, or damage to the coaxial cable connecting the aerial to the set, can give poor reception.

o The proximity of other electronic equipment can cause interference.

For these reasons it is best to have the fitting done, or at least checked, by a professional electronics engineer.

A portable radio has a range of 5 miles to another portable, 10 miles to a Coastguard Station.

All distress calls should be transmitted on high power.

Many yachts carry emergency VHF aerials in case of dismasting, which is a very good idea, but failure of the electrical supply is a more frequent problem! The emergency aerial has a plug attached to connect it to the back of the set. For maximum range, situate the aerial as high as possible, but realistically expect a greatly reduced range. When the mast is lost, many people are surprised to hear the radio apparently still working. This is because the co-axial cable is acting as an aerial over a short range, but transmitting without an aerial will damage the set permanently.

A portable radio could be useful under these circumstances!

Seeing the Sights of Athens Through Taxi Tours

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There is no denying how Athens is one of the most important sites in the world for political, economic and aesthetic advancement and enhancement. For many people, it IS the most significant place in the world, period. And this birthplace of western philosophy seems to have fanned its mysticism throughout the ages. Today, Athens is still one of the most visited sites in the world. Many people want to retrace the footsteps of famous philosophers, writers and artists. Not to mention that Athens has a rugged beauty that merits separate praise.

This busy city is made up of twelve hills, seven of which play a historical role in Athens’ rise. Acropolis and Lycavittos are the two most prominent as it is where most of the important historical landmarks such as the Parthenon, Temple of Athena, Theatre of Dionysius and Temple of Olympian Zeus is found. Being made up of seven hills though, Athens is a difficult place to tour if you’re planning to do it via foot. Unless you plan to isolate yourself to a particular section throughout your trip, let’s say in Acropolis, for example, then conquering it via foot would be fine. But if you want an overall tour of the area, trekking it just won’t do especially when there’s a time element involved. You can rely on their Metro train system which is quite effective and cheap to boot. One can take you to the city center for €6. For those traveling in groups, there are packages for three or more which can be purchased in the different stations. Buses and a suburban railway system will also do.

However if comfort and convenience is a priority, then taking an Athens taxi is the best mode of transportation whilst in the area. You can get one in advance prior to arriving so an itinerary can be planned for you. Getting a package in advance will also garner you discounts. Should you decide to get one from the airport though, you will be paying €30-35 for the single ride and you can negotiate for a taxi tour from there. Taxi tours in Athens is one of the easiest ways to go around in the area. Overall price will depend on what you and your driver will agree to. Be careful when flagging taxis. Some of them may take advantage that you’re a tourist and will not flag down their meters in hopes for getting a bulk price. There are also tariffs involved. Make sure that the Tariff is Tariff 1. Tariff 2 doubles the rate and is applicable after midnight. Make sure to read the driver well. If you think the rate is abnormally high, then check with an English-speaking local to confirm the price.

Make sure also that you’re getting taxis from a reliable company. Although canary yellow taxis are very common in Athens, you will have no hold if the driver tries to fraud you whereas a taxi that hails under a company will be more careful. As common practice, taxis follow two rates, one that applies inside the city limits including the airport and one that applies outside of it. The minimum fare of Rate 1 is €1 while the minimum fare of Rate 2 is €2.65. If you’re from the airport, the fare will start at €3.20 and if there’s heavy luggage involved then a minimum rate will be added to that too.

Taxi tours can be quite tricky but many attest that it’s all worth it considering you get to see the sights of Athens at your own time and pace.

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Holiday & Travel Guide For Athens, Greece

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Sightseeing

The incredible city of Athens, home to the ancient Gods and what a city to explore. The history and myths of this land are truly amazing, but be warned, the heat can sour to well into the 30’s during the hottest months of June to August so make sure you carry plenty of water and cover yourself from the scorching heat whilst touring the magnificent ancient ruins of Athens.

Let’s start with the Acropolis site, as this is what most tourists visit Athens for. These magnificent buildings are said to date back to the 4th century BC. The Parthenon building was originally constructed as a Temple, it has since then been a church and then a mosque. This building is easy recognised by anyone around the world, its vast size is jaw dropping and no amount of pictures that you have seen will prepare you for the true enormity of this site. Also, there are the ruins of a great theatre, that had once been used in the Roman times for gladiator fighting, nowadays the theatre is still used but for the more gentile performances of Ballet and other concerts. After you have spent most of the day exploring the wonders of this ancient site and listening to the myths that surround it from the guides, you will probably need a good rest before you prepare yourself for more wonders, along with the many museums full of ancient relics. Children as well as adults will love the Children’s Museum and for those that love music, there is also a Music Museum, then a Greek Folk museum. Actually, there are quite a few museums and all of them are worth of a visit along with the art galleries. You can’t miss the day tour to Delphi, to marvel at the ancient sanctuary of Apollo or the magnificent monuments and bronzes in the museum. For those who want another cultural trip, visit Cape Sounion where the 5th century temple of Poseidon stands, then the famous theatre of Epidaurus in Argolis. There is so much to see you may be better off hiring a car so you can do the tours at your own leisure and cut down excursion costs.

Shopping and eating

You will have a great time shopping in Athens modern town, with a multitude of shops to choose from, but the best place to visit has to be the old town “La Plaka” with its narrow pedestrian streets and quaint shops. You can spend hours searching for your ideal gift or souvenir in any one of the shops, as they are crammed full of delightful items, like jewellery, paintings and copies of ancient relics and buildings. There is something for everyone; you won’t leave the old town without purchasing something. If your feet are tired then there are plenty of cafes for you rest up in and have a well earned drink, and more than enough restaurants in the old town that serve a variety of meals from moussaka and stuffed tomatoes to filled baguettes, snacks and delicious pastries. For those looking for more international foods then the modern city centre would be the place to find it, as well as most of the glitzy nightlife of the city.

Happy Holidays

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The Avian Plight

In 1997, the world’s attention was caught by an alarming passage of Avian influenza from birds to humans in Hongkong. All chickens and ducks were killed upon the order of the Hongkong government to contain the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus.

Avian influenza or more commonly called as bird flu is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. All birds naturally have these influenza viruses in their bodies. Wild birds have these viruses in their intestines but their bodies do not get infected or damaged by them. When passed on domesticated birds, avian influenza can cause sickness and death. Chickens, ducks, and turkeys are mostly hit by the   transmission  of avian flu among birds. Infected domesticated birds can pass on the virus to humans when they are eaten or consumed. *Migratory birds* infected with avian flu also become agents of viruses’ transfer from one place to another.

H5N1 carrier birds pass on the virus to other birds through their saliva, nasal excretions, and feces. Birds get infected when they come in contact with these contaminated excretions even by just staying on a surface or ground where virus carriers have stayed. Cages, dirts, water, feeds, infected waterfowl or other poultries that have been exposed to the virus are the common sources of infection among domesticated birds.

Two forms of bird flu exist among domesticated poultries infected with avian influenza viruses. The low pathogenic form is almost invisible and undetected for it causes only very mild symptoms that can be mistaken as non-avian flu effects. Manifestations of low pathogenic avian flu infection include low egg production or ruffled feathers. The second form of avian flu is the high pathogenic avian flu disease. This form leads to multiple organ failures and damages among infected birds. About 90 to 100 percent of birds infected with this form die within two days upon contamination. The spread of this form of avian flu is more rapid among birds in flocks.

Albeit basically a matter among birds, humans are also susceptible to bird flu or avian flu infection. The first known cases of humans getting infected with bird flu happened in Hongkong in 1997. 18 people were recorded to have acquired respiratory illnesses after having contacted infected surfaces from poultry farms, the infection claimed six lives.

The virus’ passage to humans that happened in Hongkong caused a global alarm. Health institutions worldwide raised concerns that the avian flu might be as damaging as the pandemic of flu that claimed about 20 million lives back in 1918. Reasonable enough, the fear and alarm are worth noting. What is essentially fearful is the idea that humans can be infected and actually die from a virus that is basically existing among birds only. The premise the Hongkong incident set is that the virus is mutating into something deadly for humans.

As of 2005, worldwide coordinated statistics recorded a number of 130 people having been infected of avian flu of which 67 have already died. In recent years, cases of human infection have been high in Asian countries. The World Health Organization believes that Asia is at higher risks since people live in close distance with domesticated birds like chicken and ducks. Animal domestication and poultry raising are common among many Asian countries who are agricultural by nature. What worries many is the common fact that humans have little or even a lack of immunity to the virus known to be infecting only (until the 1997 Hongkong incident) the birds.

An even higher cause of alarm has been found in recent studies on the H5N1 virus. Recent researches have shown that H5N1 strains have become more deadly among chickens and mice. This mutation is also found to be making cats or feline susceptible to the infection. H5N1 is also found to be resistant to some of the drugs used to treat flu (such as amantadine). New strains of the virus are also said to be possibly emerging especially in Asian countries.

What is now being focused on by scientists and health experts around the world is the prevention of human-to-human  transmission  which is believed to be the possible case that happened in Thailand in 2004. If it becomes widespread, human-to-human  transmission  is believed to be harder to contain that bird-to-human  transmission . Experts say that the virus’ continual change will make it hard for the human body to naturally develop immunity against the infection. The H5N1 virus is found to be changing over time through the changes happening in their structure called antigenic drift and antigenic shift. This continual change of the virus disables the immune system to respond accordingly whenever the flu virus enters the body. The only possible solution seen by experts is for infection-prone people to have a yearly immunization with up-to-date anti avian virus strains. But the big problem is, until now there is no medical treatment available to combat the H5N1 virus, making the yearly immunization update a far-fetched option.

The Parent’s Responsibility in Sex Education

Parents ought to be the first source of sex education for their children. Don’t think that because children can learn about human sexuality in school, your responsibility to teach them about sex has been removed. Especially now that there is confusion as to how to teach human sexuality in school, the parents must be ready to assume the role to educate their children in everything they need to know to understand their sexuality.

Who’s better to teach about morality and the ramification of sex and sexuality to your children than you their parents? Often times, the school only teaches about the anatomy of human sexuality and the issue of morality and the taboos related to sex are often placed on the sidelines. This is where you should come in – teach your children their moral obligation when it comes to sex.

Sex education does not involve only teaching the children about the anatomy of the human reproductive organ. It’s much more than that. Sex education also involves teaching the children their moral obligation towards the opposite sex. Even more so for teenagers, you need to teach them their moral obligation towards their boyfriends or their girlfriends for that matter.

More so if your teenagers are already sexually active. You have an obligation to open their eyes about the possible ramification of their action. Your son could get a girl pregnant or your daughter can become pregnant if they are practicing sex at a very young age. They should understand the implications of their actions.

Another very important aspect of sex education you should teach your children is the issue on sexually transmitted diseases. If they are already sexually active, they must understand that they can contract disease by sleeping around with many partners, or even from their very first sexual encounter

Sex education is always a difficult topic to discuss with your children at home. But this is yet another role of parents that they cannot escape from.

Athens – A Walk On The Wild Side

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 Athens  is known for archeological sites and history. If you want a break from history,  Athens  has much more to offer travelers.

 Athens 

You’ve seen the Acropolis, you’ve hit the museums and you’re trying to figure out if it is time to head to the islands. Wait! You’re missing much of the modern charm of  Athens .

There is a conundrum with many historically significant cities. Guidebooks tend to send you off to every site with any potential historical significance, but leave out any mention of the modern attractions of the city. In the case of  Athens , slavishly following your guidebook is a very bad choice and you’ll be the worse for it.

As with any  city , there are two good ways to see the charms of modern day  Athens . The first is to get out and just start walking. The second is to befriend some local residents and let them show you the city. Either way, you’ll do fine in  Athens .

The charm of  Athens  is found in the hubbub of daily life on the streets. The city and residents exude energy and character. If you get off the tourist tracks, you’ll find little neighborhoods with outdoor cafes and no tourists. This is where the action is in true  Athens . Just plop yourself down at a café and start people watching.

One particularly good spot is in the Plaka neighborhood. A nineteenth century quarter, Plaka has a mix of Turkish and Greek influences. From Plaka, you can head to the shopping bazaars found throughout the city. The bazaars in Athinas and Eolou are a bit touristy, but no excessively. With a mideastern feel, you can sit down and drink tea with local shop owners while they hock their wares.

From there, the city is wide open. If you dare, grab a taxi and tell the driver you just want to see the real city. It will be the ride of your life.

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Transmission Repair Shop – Sneaky Tactics

I hate to say this but transmission repair shops employ some of the most dishonest practices in the automotive industry. They are able to get away with this for two reasons.

The first reason is for every 50 general automotive mechanic shops there are may be five transmission shops. So supply and demand naturally hires the prices these companies can charge. This is nothing new but some of these transmission companies get outrageous.

Second, unless you are a a specialist in this field you most likely know nothing about transmissions. Any technician can tell you anything and you have no verifiable way of double checking.

Here are some common scams in the transmission repair industry and some common mistakes that customers make:

We need a new transmission a shop will give usually give you two options. They can either install a brand-new transmission, which will cost a lot, or they can install a rebuilt transmission, which will still cost a lot but possibly be half the cost.

You have to understand the dangers in getting a rebuilt transmission. There is a good possibility that these will not be as good as a brand-new transmission or may not last as long. If you’re dealing with a reputable shop who has capable employees they can rebuild a long-lasting transmission.

They should also factor work up with some type of warranty. Do not get a rebuilt transmission without a decent warranty of some type. Make sure you get it in writing. There have been many shops who have sold customers rebuild transmissions and they failed within a matter of days or weeks.

Those same customers, of course being irate, came back to the shop only to find that that particular shop would not honor its “verbal” or “implied” guarantee. If you do however agree to a rebuilt transmission please do not come crying to the transmission repair shop when after the warranty you have problems again. He did go the cheapest route and you must understand that it comes with inherent risks.

Beware of transmission shops that have all sorts of low cost transmission maintenance services and specials to get in. Many of the automotive companies or what I like to call “commission fee based shops.” The shops pay their employees a small hourly wage but make it so they receive a percentage of their total gross sales.

Avoid these companies at all costs! These transmission repair shops have a system where they trick volumes of people every single day into their place of business with the lower at cheap rates and then convince them into buying services and parts they do not need.

This practice has become standard among many of the big box national chains and quite recently has been adopted by many of the small local ones. If you feel like you’re being pressured into buying something you feel you may not need, please, get a second opinion.

I have already touched a little upon the subject but I need to bring up the matter of warranties again. Every warranty and every guarantee needs to be in writing. Do not any transmission repair facility just tell you they back up all their work.

Do not just let them tell you you can bring your car back, and they will fix it for free, if within a couple weeks or months you experience the same problems they were supposed to fix. Every agreement should be in writing including all the terms and conditions.

And speaking of terms and conditions this brings us to the most common scam that most transmission repair facilities do. It is sad that many of these companies resort to what I’m about to say but all you have to do is look online and you will hear hundreds of horror stories.

You’re having transmission problems. You go to a local transmission repair shop and get an estimate. The parts and labor cost $1200. It seems fair see make arrangements to leave your vehicle with them for several days.

Within one day you get a call from the transmission shop. They proceed to tell you that the price is going to be more than what was on the estimate. The excuses are more numerous than the sands found on the beach. It could be any excuse from the parts costing more than expected to them not being aware of the certain problem when they first gave you the estimate.

So the result is that the price that was “$1200” is now “$3500.”

Now your typical person in this position has two options at this point. He can bite the bullet and pay the $3500, in effect paying $1800 more than what was agreed upon, or he can pick his car up.

Keep in mind that the cars is most likely already torn apart at this point. Here is where shops get even worse. In order for you to pick your car up the transmission shop is still going to charge you a fee for putting your car back together, storage, towing, and trust me they will find other miscellaneous charges to add upon that.

So you end up getting the work done, but in the process getting ripped off, or you’re left with the same broken car but you paid 500 bucks just to be able to pick it back up from a shop then attempted to screw you (and they did). It’s a no-win.

This is why you should only do business with reputable transmission repair shops. How do you know if the shop is reputable? In this day and age where honesty and honor are as common as black-and-white televisions you must do your homework.

Ask family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances for recommendations. The good transmission repair shops are out there. You just have to find them among the many bad ones.

Once you get a recommendation from someone you know look the shop up on the Better Business Bureau, local websites where people post reviews, and forums. Ask a transmission shop for customer references.

If they are in fact reputable they should be able to produce one or two happy customers you can talk to. A little due diligence goes a long way because once they have your car you are at their mercy.

Hopefully this article will have giving you insight about the tricks transmission repair shops employ to make a quick buck and hopefully you will be able to take this information and benefit from it.

Take a Stroll at Athens Greece

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A  city  that was built by gods for gods with a long glorious history, and a  city  that has been worshipped by its people is nothing less than  Athens , Greece.  Athens  is said to be the birthplace of democracy and civilization. The place where many great philosophers were born and where the culture began. In such a city you can wonder in its alleys and feel the ancient spirit. Did you know that Acropolis is considered to be one of the 7 wonders of the modern world? The better way to discover all secret paths of  Athens  is to take some  Athens  private tours and live this lifetime experience.

Whatever your taste is,  Athens , Greece has something special that will draw you back time and time again. When in  Athens  you have to do lots of activities such as visiting the archaeological monuments, the famous sites, and taking a stroll to Plaka, Monastiraki, Thisseion and Psyrri. Have the opportunity to admire the neoclassical buildings in the small alleys the well-preserved architecture in many beautiful buildings. Athens   city  truly has something for everyone.

Take a private walking tour around ancient sites of Acropolis museum, Plaka, Monastiraki and Philopappos hill. In  Athens   city , you will admire The Greek Parliament, the  Athens  Academy and University and so many interesting sites. Do not miss also visiting the museums which hosts unique treasures of greek cultural inheritance such as the Museum of Acropolis, the Archaeological Museum etc. The exhibits in greek museums are always interesting and have something to add to your knowledge. This information from the past may be sound strange but is the truth and the history of Greeks can’t be learn by once.

The sun in  Athens   city  is shining all year around so you don’t have to worry about the climate, which is considered one of the best in Europe. So, embark on a journey full of positive energy and joy for the upcoming sun and the very interesting thing you will see and visit. Ask locals for some traditional taverns with local folklore dancers and local wine.

Last but not least is  Athens  nightlife. Your choices here are innumerable as long as you want to entertain yourselves by numerous ways in this vibrant city. Bars, clubs, traditional taverns and the famous “bouzoukia” are always there to entertain you.

All in all,  Athens  is a divine  city  with lots of choices and places to have fun making your trip memorable.

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Heartburn Can Be Easily Cured

Do you suffer from heartburn, reflux or burping? Perhaps you rely on a medicine to help settle your tummy. I have written on digestive disorders on several occasions previously, but this time I would like to write specifically on a little bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection is recognised as the most prevalent bacteria to infect the human population in the entire world. You may well identify the following problem, and if you do, don’t despair. It actually is possible to free from heartburn, reflux or a low grade queasiness, which affects so many people.

Helicobacter is a clever little bug

In 1982, when Australian Dr. Barry Marshall identified a new bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (HP) as an infectious agent responsible for peptic ulcer disease, it completely transformed medicine’s understanding of the microbiology and disease of the human stomach. Your stomach is protected from its own gastric juice by a thick layer of mucous that covers the stomach lining. HP takes advantage of this protection by actually living in the mucous lining. Once this clever little bug is safe in this mucous, it is able to fight the stomach acid that does reach it with an enzyme it possesses called urease. Urease converts urea, of which there is an abundant supply in the stomach (from saliva and gastric juices), into bicarbonate and ammonia, which are strong (alkaline) bases. This creates a cloud of acid-neutralizing chemicals around the H. pylori, protecting it from the acid in the stomach. This cloud is also part of the reflux and burping process that occurs, which many HP people complain of.

Contributing to the protection of HP is the fact that the body’s natural defenses cannot reach these bugs in this mucous lining of the stomach. The immune system will respond to an HP infection by sending “killer T-cells”, (white blood cells), and other infection-fighting agents. However, these potential H. pylori eradicators cannot reach the infection, because they cannot easily get through stomach lining. They do not go away – the immune response just grows and grows over time. White cells die and spill their destructive compounds onto cells lining the stomach lining. More nutrients are sent to reinforce the white cells, and the H. pylori can feed on this. Within a few days, gastritis and perhaps eventually a peptic ulcer results in the lining of your tummy. And of course, the person who suffers is often blissfully unaware, takes an antacid or an acid-blocking drug long-term, and continues to eat and drink foods which only aggravate the healing process long term. So they go back to the doctor, only to be told to stay on the medicine. After a few years, the person resigns themselves to the fact that they will always require this “medicine” to cure their condition. Yeah right, and Alice lived happily after in Wonderland.

To confirm that HP caused the gastritis and peptic ulceration, Marshall swallowed cultures of the bacteria and contracted gastritis (inflammation of the mucus membrane of the stomach). He then underwent endoscopy (internal examination of the stomach), and provided biopsies from which the suspected bug was re-isolated.

Changing medical belief and practice takes time. For nearly 100 years, scientists and doctors thought that ulcers were caused by lots of stress, spicy foods, and copious alcohol. Treatment involved bed rest and a bland and boring diet. Later, researchers added stomach acid to the list of causes and began treating ulcers with antacids when they became fashionable.Unfortunate for poor Barry, nobody believed him. In fact, he was actually treated with ridicule and disdain when he first proposed the idea that a bacteria actually lived the hostile environment of the stomach. Before 1982, the accepted medical paradigm was “no acid, no ulcer”, and that stomach ulcers only occurred when excess acid damaged the stomach wall and that all treatment should be aimed at reducing or neutralising all that bad acid. Surely you remember the advertisements on TV with the man drawing on his tummy with a felt tipped pen, telling you that the acid has to “stay down there”. These commercials generally came on after dinner, the time when your tummy is most likely to play up, I can’t help but thinking how many of those sufferers possibly have an undetected H.pylori infection. There is still a lot of drug promotion regarding this acid reflux problem. Unfortunately, many such patients today are still seen as having “too much stomach acid”, and treated with antacids or stomach-acid blockers as front-line therapy, when in my clinical experience actually the opposite applies, they don’t have enough or have an infection which needs sorting. Gastric juice is composed of digestive enzymes and concentrated hydrochloric acid, which can readily digest food or kill microorganisms. Low levels of stomach acid increase the chance an organism’s survival. It used to be thought that the stomach contained no bacteria and was actually sterile, and it took an Aussie GP to prove all the world’s experts wrong.

It seems pretty silly to treat the acid problem perpetually, without enquiring into actually why this burping, reflux and upper abdominal discomfort is occurring in the first place. Albert Szent Györgyi, (1937 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine) said that: “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Today it is an established fact that most cases of peptic ulcers and gastritis, diseases that affect millions of humans worldwide, result from this HP infection, and not “too much acid” in the stomach at all.

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Albert Szent Györgyi

HP infection and prevalence

H. pylori is believed to be transmitted orally. Did you wash your hands? Many researchers believe that HP is transmitted orally by means of fecal matter through the ingestion of tainted food or water. In addition, it is possible that H. pylori could be transmitted from the stomach to the mouth through gastro-esophageal reflux or belching, all common symptoms of gastritis. The bacterium could then be transmitted through oral contact.

HP infection remains a huge problem, is extremely common and infecting more than a billion people worldwide. It is estimated that half of the American population older than age 60 has been infected with H. pylori at some stage and the economic effect of ulcer disease in the US (as measured back in a study of 1989 data) showed that the illness cost then nearly $6 billion annually. ($2.66 billion for hospitalisation, not including doctor ‘s fees), outpatient care ($1.62 billion), and loss in work productivity ($1.37 billion).

One in five Aussies and Kiwis have HP, according to Dr. Barry Marshal, infection usually persists for many years, leading to ulcer disease in 10 % to 15% of those infected. H. pylori is found in more than 80% of patients with gastric and duodenal ulcers. You can imagine what this common complaint in NZ and Australia is costing, in terms of medication, doctor’s visits and lost productivity at work. Early research on HP characterised much of the work to come, the data that emerged from the study of all these samples was quite unexpected. It showed that HP is actually a common bacterial agent and that an amazing 30-50% of the world’s population are colonised with it.

How do you know if you have the HP bug?

The infection manifests differently in different individuals. In some people, it produces more acid in the stomach, and ulcers may result. In others, stomach acid suppression or complete lack (which we call achlorhydria) may result, and these people may be at a greater risk of gastric cancer. It is unclear why some people respond one way or the other.

Typical manifestations of a Helicobacter pylori infection:

· Nausea, or a low-grade feeling of being queasy. Could be vomiting.

· Avoidance of chilli, garlic or a specific food which “does not agree” with your tummy.

· Bloating worse after meals. Feeling worse after meals or certain foods.

· Recurring abdominal pain, intestinal cramps.

· Peptic or duodenal ulcers (over 90% of all cases have HP)

· Burping, this can be pretty bad. The person may have developed a reputation!

· Heartburn, and perhaps reliant on Quick-Eze or Gavascon, Losec, etc.

· Diarrhea or constipation after several years of infection.

· Disturbed sleep, perhaps waking up with a hollow feeling or heartburn. I have known some patients to prop up the head of the bed with a few bricks even.

· Symptoms worse at night, or worse lying down.

· Vitamin B12 deficiency. Have your practitioner test for this, you may well be deficient.

· Altered appetite, some times you may feel like eating, other times you don’t.

· After being infected for several years, you may have develop mineral deficiencies which can lead to a myriad of health problems.

· Helicobacter pylori is implicated in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

· Migraine headaches (40% of migraine sufferers are positive, and eradication subsides the headaches).

· Acne rosacea. Helicobacter pylori is suspected of causing rosacea (eradication of HP often results in a significant reduction in rosacea symptoms).

Is it any wonder how an ailing stomach is supposed to do its job, i.e., digesting and absorbing foods efficiently when a bacterial infection is causing such dysfunction? Your doctor may have initially prescribed a medicine such as Losec, Gavascon or Mylanta for your stomach, serving to block acid or dilute it. How is your tummy supposed to work at all now? Then you go back and complain that the symptoms are unchanged. What then? You can see what I mean, after many years of this infection you can feel quite unwell. I see one person or more each week like this, and have done so for many years. When I wrote an article to our local newspaper several years ago regarding HP, I received nearly ten calls. And almost al these patients had a HP infection, all were on either Losec, Quick-Eze, Gavascon or Mylanta.

Conventional HP Therapy

Please note that it is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure of your heartburn or reflux. Many stomach or digestive diseases and conditions share common symptoms: if you treat yourself for the wrong illness or a specific symptom of a complex disease, you may delay legitimate treatment of a serious underlying problem, yes even stomach cancer. In other words, the greatest danger in self-treatment may actually be self-diagnosis. Always work with your health-care professional, preferably one who is experienced in gastrointestinal disorders. If you do not know what you really have, you simply can not treat it!

I have always had a great concern regarding the extensive use of antibiotic drugs required to treat HP infected individuals. The conventional medical clearing of HP from the stomach requires therapy from 10 to 14 days with multiple drugs. My concern is that prolonged or recurrent antibiotic treatment alters the normal microbial population of the entire gastrointestinal tract, eliminating many beneficial bacteria as well as HP, allowing the sufferer to develop a gut environment which may contain bugs like Candida albicans, proteus, or a whole host of other undesirables. You get rid of one problem, only to create yet another.

Triple Therapy

The use of only one medication to treatH. pylori was never recommended by Dr. Marshall. At this time, the most conventional treatment is a 2-week course of treatment called “triple therapy”. It involves taking two antibiotics to kill the bacteria and either an acid suppressor or stomach-lining shielding drug. Two-week triple therapy reduces ulcer symptoms, kills the bacteria, and prevents ulcer recurrence in many patients – but the recurrence can be as high as 75%. Complete eradication is difficult, I have had many patients who have come to me after having had triple therapy many years ago with average to poor results, and were placed on an acid blocker for many years after.I do recommend this for some resistant cases, and have been know to send some patients to a GP for triple therapy, then follow-up with natural treatment for 6 weeks. I have found that some patients may find triple therapy complicated because it involves taking 3 kinds of drugs, and as many as 20 pills a day. Also, the antibiotics and bismuth drugs used in triple therapy may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark stools, metallic taste in the mouth, dizziness, headache, and yeast infections, particularly in women.

HP Testing

The diagnosis of H. pylori infection has traditionally involved endoscopy with biopsies of the stomach’s mucosa. There are three ways to test for HP currently in NZ. To be honest, I only occasionally authorise a HP test these days, and generally have a “gut feeling” a person has this bug once they come into my room and complain of the above mentioned symptoms. Common sense – the patient will soon tell you if they are or are not improving, and it only takes about three to four weeks to really know what is going on. Just because the test results come back negative, you could still have this bug. You know me by now, please don’t get paralysis from analysis! If you feel significantly better after a HP treatment whether it be pharmaceutical or natural – you probably have HP regardless of what the test results say. Remember – up to one in five New Zealanders have this infection, so the odds are reasonably high you have it.

· The Urea Breath Test method of diagnosis relies on the Urea reaction being present, as mentioned earlier. This is a sound test – 90 – 95% successful in picking up the HP bug.

· Blood tests measuring HP antibody levels have been developed. However, these tests have suboptimal sensitivity and specificity (85% and 79%).

· Stool tests for antibodies – again, many factors can affect the outcome of this test, stay with breath testing. Many experts say that the fecal antigen test is bullet proof, but in my experience I have seen many “false negatives” with testing. That is, the results come back all ok, but the patient responds dramatically after HP treatment.

Natural HP Eradication

No clear indications exist for specific treatment of each and every individual case of HP associated gastritis. I have found the following treatments to be effective, and employed many different therapies over the years. Here are some treatments which I have found to work in various HP cases. Remember, recurrence rates are quite high, so you may want to persist with treatment until you feel much better, then hang in there for a few more months (lower grade treatment) to be absolutely sure. I recommend treatment in blocks of 6 weeks, then wait 2 -3 weeks, then another 6 week period of treatment. A good clinical tip for you: always treat this infection by taking something with meals, and also something in-between, or away from foods. This is designed to really drive the “kill” treatment home, and lets the treatment have access to the HP bugs in the gut with as well as away to some extent from foods and gastric juice involvement. I have a saying in my clinic: persistence breaks resistance. Remember Winston Churchill? – never give in, never give in, never give in.

· Manuka honey, which has high levels of hydrogen peroxide and has been shown in studies to be active against H. pylori. Go for the Comvita high UMF factor Manuka honey.

· Propolis works really well for some, but is dismal for others.

· Vitamin B12 – get this checked in your blood! You may well be deficient here.

· After antibiotic treatment is finished, (triple therapy) it makes sense to rebuild the gut flora with lactobacillus species. They won’t cure the condition, however. (A 2002 trial demonstrated that a mixed acidophilus preparation failed to eradicate the H. pylori infection in the patients upon whom it was tried).

· DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) – you can get this in capsules or liquid.

· Aloe Vera helps to heal the mucous lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

· Berberine is found in the herb Goldenseal, and it may be used as a natural herbal antibiotic.

· Eat grapefruit seeds, for some this is very effective long term. The extract is even better.

· Digestive enzymes may also be useful – especially with achlorhydria (low stomach acid)

· Gum mastic is a natural substance from the sap of the Mediterranean evergreen tree, Pistacia lemniscuses. Mastic gum has been shown to be effective in protecting the digestive system, healing peptic and duodenal ulcers, and eradicating H. pylori from the gut. I use this a lot, and give two capsules twice daily in between meals.

· Bismuth. It displays anti-inflammatory action (due to salicylic acid) and also acts as an antacid and mild antibiotic. Don’t freak out – It can also cause a black tongue and black stools in some people who take it, when it combines with trace amounts of sulfur in their saliva and gastrointestinal tract. This discoloration is temporary and absolutely harmless.

My favourite HP treatment regime? I would have to say gum mastica between meals, and with meals a preparation of Bismuth,deglycyrrhizinated licorice, grapefruit seed extract and goldenseal. I often recommend aloe vera and activated charcoal as well.

Do you get that annoying heartburn, and want to try and find a cause and ultimately a cure? Consult your naturopath or nutritional-friendly doctor who can check you out carefully and thoroughly and who will actually treat the cause, not the symptom. They should generally recommend a course of treatment and a specific diet designed for the individual, with promising results for many patients. And what a relief, to be free of heartburn, bloating and that “awful feeling in the tummy” again!

A Guide to Athens City

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Why go to  Athens 

 Athens , the capital of Greece, is often referred to as the cradle of Western Civilization. Despite the recent economic downturn, tourism in Greece continues to grow and the 2500 old  Athens   City  remains one of the main draws.

The archaeological promenade, a 2.5 miles long, treeline walkway now connects the Acropolis to the city’s major ancient sites making the visit to these places infinitely a much more pleasant experience.

While for most visitors  Athens  may be about its historical monuments the  city  has much more to offer.  Athens  promises one of the most happening nightlife options in Europe with everything on offer from the modern tavernas in the former district of Gazi to the sophisticated lounge-bars and eateries of Kolonaki.

 Athens  is well connected by Europe’s largest passenger port, Piraeus. The port serves more than one million of visitors who have the option of taking ferries, catamarans and hydrofoils to the various Greek islands. Piraeus is the gateway for short cruises around the Greek Islands and many companies stop here en route to their Mediterranean and world cruises. Visitors can disembark and explore the hilltop Acropolis, the Parthenon and Delphi.

When to go to  Athens 

 Athens  invites visitors all year round. For sightseeing, the best time to visit is during spring and autumn when the days are warm and sunny. The temperatures sore from mid-June to late August, while the whether remains unpredictable November and February ranging from bright to rainy to occasional snow.

How to reach

Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines operate direct flights from several countries. The cost of flights to Greece is highest from July and August when most Europeans take their holidays. For the rest of the year, prices vary according to demand.

Cruises

Cruise ships disembark passengers at the  city’s  port, Piraeus, which is about 8miles from  Athens   city   centre . Shuttle buses ferry passengers from the port to the city centre. Their frequency and cost depends on the cruise ship company involved. The metro (green line) also runs from Piraeus to Monastiraki, below the Acropolis and taxis are also available.

Transfers

 Athens  International Airport is about 17 miles north-east of the  city . The metro connects to Syntagma and Monastiraki in the city centre. Besides there are airport buses, operated by  Athens  Urban Transport Organisation that run to and from the  city . Taxi services are also available.

Getting around

 Athens  is best explored on foot, however, public transport system is both efficient and cheap. It includes buses, trolley buses and the metro. You can also hire a car in  Athens   city   centre . However, roads are congested and parking is difficult and expensive.

Accommodation

There are several options available including Greece villas, hotels and guesthouses. The peak months are July and August and so if you are visiting during this period, it is advisable to book accommodation in advance.

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Homework Organization For Students (And Their Parents)

I spend a lot of time at my seminars and workshops, on the phone and via email discussing the subject of homework organization. Actually, I spend a lot of time listening to parents complain that their children’s homework disorganization is driving everybody crazy!

Many students have such a hard time getting it together that by the time they finally sit down to do their homework, they are exhausted. No wonder they don’t want to do it! Getting organized will help alleviate exhaustion, bad attitudes, procrastination and rebelliousness.

Homework organization just makes life easier for everyone.

These are the homework organization tips that I use as a student, teacher and parent. Print this list and read it with your children. Then, post it on the fridge and refer to it often so that everybody (parents, kids, babysitters, grandparents) will be on the same organized page.

At School:

  • Write down every, single homework assignment in one place. I strongly recommend using a bound or wire notebook- definitely NOT a loose leaf binder. I don’t care how careful you are, pages will fall out, and then what? You won’t know what to do nor when to do it! A plain notebook is fine, but a datebook or calendar is the best. Some schools even provide these to students. Use it.
  • Write down homework assignments as you get them. This is mostly for older students that change classes and teachers, but it is a good habit for everyone. If the teacher says, “Oh, tonight I want you to read Chapter 4,” write that down in your notebook.
  • Write down every, single due date for a project or paper- even if you have a handout or syllabus. Handouts disappear (I think they hang out with loose socks), but you will still know what to do and when to do it if you have everything written down in your homework notebook.
  • Keep ALL of the day’s homework assignments together in one place. Don’t have a special place or page for math, another for writing, etc. You want to see everything in one spot.
  • Check your homework notebook Three (3) Times A Day: Before you leave school (or each class), double check to make certain that you have everything (books, paper, materials, etc.) that you will need later.

At Home:

  • Before you start doing your homework, look at your notebook and make sure that you are doing the right assignment, the right page, etc.
  • Before you put everything away, take one more quick look. Did you do everything? Good!
  • Make a decision about where you will put your completed homework: into a binder pocket, a special homework folder, etc. You may decide to have a color-coded folder for each class. If you choose to use folders, I strongly recommend using 3-hole punched folders and keeping them together in a 3-ring binder. Whatever you choose, stick to it! Don’t put your homework in your a binder today, a folder tomorrow… And, never, ever fold your homework into a book or throw it loose into your backpack! Shudder!
  • Use your Magic Homework Box. You do have one, don’t you? The Magic Homework Box is a box with all of the homework supplies and materials a student needs on a regular basis. These supplies only come out of the Magic Homework Box during homework time, so you always have what you need. Now, that’s magic!
  • Clean up as soon as you are finished with your homework. Now, not later! Put completed pages in your homework folder, then put the folder and homework notebook in your backpack. Not only will mornings will be less crazy, you won’t have to sit in class knowing that you did your homework and forgot it at home (doh!). Don’t forget to put away the dictionary and any other books you may have used.
  • Remember to put everything back into your Magic Homework Box. In my house, homework is not “done” until everything is cleaned up and put away.
  • Keep your backpack organized. Throw away all of those candy wrappers and random pieces of paper. Keep one area or pocket filled with a few items (pencils, a sharpener, maybe a calculator) so that you can do your homework anywhere- maybe even before you get home! Remove any graded test, project, report or paper that your teacher has taken the time to return to you. Why? You might need it to study for a test, for a portfolio or for a project. You can throw everything away at the end of the semester or the school year, but until then put each item in its own subject file, but NOT in the homework folder. Remember, homework folders are ONLY for completed homework that is ready to be turned in!
  • Don’t give up! They say it takes 21 days to form a good habit. If you forget to do something on this list, don’t stop trying. Hey, maybe if you remember to write down all of your homework or clean up for 21 days in a row, your mom or dad will do something extra nice for you! (Parents, that was a hint!)

A Note to Parents about Homework Organization

Please remember that your job is to give your children organizational tools and show them how to use them. Your job is NOT to organize your child’s homework! So, in the beginning, you might check your son’s homework notebook to make sure that he is writing down all of his assignments in one place, but you would never dream of calling the teacher and checking. You might watch as your daughter copies the science project due dates into her homework notebook; you will not do it for her.

Yes, I know that it is hard to let go- I’ve been there! But, we want our children to be organized and independent learners, right?

You can do it!

(For more information about recommended homework organization products and The Magic Homework Box, please see site information below.)

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Condoms

If there was ever an invention to make sex as safe as possible, it has to be the condom. Not only do they prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but they’re very effective at preventing pregnancy too. No other form of contraception is so reliable and versatile. So what’s not to love?

Buying them

So you’re shy about asking for them? Supermarkets and gas stations carry condoms these days – you can buy them from a machine in the washroom. Sex clinics give them out by the handful for nothing. And if you still feel weird about getting your hands on condoms – just consider how it would feel buying medicine to treat an STD instead.

Carrying them

Is it presuming too much to take condoms on a date? Frankly, that attitude hasn’t been seen since the fifties. So the girl might realise you do have sex and you wanted it with her. Is that an insult? In any case, you don’t have to take them out your pocket and wave them around. If you get to the point where you need one, you’ll both be happy to see that little foil wrapper, never mind who was carrying it!

Using them

Remember the classes where you practised with a banana? Do yourself a favor, practise with the real thing. Use a whole pack if you need to – keep trying till you know how to get one on properly. You won’t be able to put on a condom if your penis isn’t fully erect – but remember that the penis releases fluid that can spread STIs or contain sperm even before it’s erect. Remember to pinch the ‘teat’ at the end before you unroll the condom down your penis – you might want to leave a bit more space at the top to prevent the condom from splitting. Keep this teat pinched between your fingers as you unroll the condom, and make sure it’s fully covering your penis before and during sex. Don’t feel shy about interrupting your lovemaking to put one on – that pause can only build the excitement!

Last words

Oil based lubes, sharp fingernails, jewellery and out of date condoms are all recipes for disaster. Use a special lubricant. Some people find they have an allergy to latex – condoms now come in allergy-friendly latex-free varieties. In fact, there are now a vast number of different shapes, colors, sizes and flavors of condom. Experiment to see which ones you and your lover prefer – perhaps a ribbed variety for more stimulation or a condom with extra lube for very sensual sex. You should use a condom or dental dam for oral sex too, and change condoms for every new orifice or sex act.

Finally, to get rid of a condom, wrap it and bin it. Never flush a condom down the toilet.

For more information about lingerie please have a look at this link:Exotic Lingerie | Blouses See Thru [http://www.oasislingerie.com]

One M&T Plaza

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Many talk extensively about New York and how it has evolved to be the most commercialized metropolis in the United States. The State of New York includes Buffalo, the silent sibling who has contributed to the state’s growth in an almost invisible way. Among the many things in Buffalo that attract tourists to get a glimpse of a more laid-back atmosphere in cacophonic New York, the One M&T Plaza stands tall in the city center. It’s not an exceptionally tall building, nor is it an architectural marvel. But then, why is it so popular among the many who visit Buffalo?

Standing just 317 feet tall and housing 21 floors, the One M&T Plaza was built in 1966 and is the current home to the M&T bank’s corporate headquarters. The building was designed by Minoru Yamasaki & Associates, the same people who designed the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City. This is probably one reason for its immense popularity. During holidays, the building’s top band is illuminated, creating a very celebratory mood around the place. On normal days, this band is simply illuminated in white. Hockey season sees the building colored in blue and gold, cheering on the Buffalo Sabers.

The land space used to build the One M&T Plaza was the highest real estate transaction ever made during that time in Buffalo. Its construction required an entire city block to be demolished. The One M&T Plaza has a promenade facing the Main Street and hosts various lunchtime concerts in summer. A farmer’s market can be found between the plaza and Lafayette Square, mostly during late spring, summer and early autumn. The One M&T Plaza is located nearby to everything in central Buffalo.

If you are in Buffalo for business, you’d most likely to have to pay a visit to the One M&T Plaza’s promenade for a business lunch. Whether you are traveling for leisure or business, choose a Buffalo hotel with a good reputation to avoid hassles. Try the Millennium Airport Hotel Buffalo for a difference, as they offer modern amenities,excellent services and very cozy accommodations for all their guests.

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Alcohol Education

A multi-billion industry across the world, the sale and marketing of alcohol is a very lucrative one and when enjoyed in moderation and in the right setting, it can be a very enjoyable lubricant to social interaction. However, like anything else in life it is the excess usage and consumption of alcohol that causes the problems of which their severity is only matched by their number.

Part of the problem with trying to raise education and public awareness about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption is that we live in a very alcohol dominated society and so trying to get people to give up is no easy task. This is oftentimes a direct consequence of an anxiety about being alienated from their peer group.

However, the sheer volume of evidence that is available which clearly demonstrates the very dangerous nature of alcohol is too high and too extensive to casually sweep aside.

Alcohol has a significantly detrimental impact on our overall sexual health and wellbeing on a variety of different levels. First, it reduces our fertility which makes it all the more difficult to conceive a child. In addition, alcohol can also impair a man’s ability to obtain an erection and this impotence can be long term.

The fact that alcohol impairs our judgment and reduces the inhibitions we have is also of grave concern and this is because people will be more likely to find themselves in a situation of sleeping with a person that they may not have otherwise done. Furthermore, there is also the risk that they people who are under the influence of alcohol will not be as cautious as they should be when it comes to ensuring that they have some degree of protection when it comes to sexual intercourse.

This raises the risks of the person acquiring sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and genital warts to name but a few. It is important to note that the potential possibility of an unwanted pregnancy, along with all the heartache and emotional disturbance that will undoubtedly bring, must also be weighed in the equation.

Studies have proven that people who habitually consume higher than the recommended safe limits of alcohol will place themselves at a greater degree of risk for the contraction of a stroke. A stroke is the process whereby a clot in the bloodstream takes place in the “pipes” of the body, the arteries. It can also arise where a blood vessel ruptures in the brain.

The reason that alcohol makes this grim reality even more so is due to the fact that it increases the dehydration of the body which in turn, renders the blood flowing around the body, much more viscous and thick. Because the blood is thicker in its nature, this means that is also more sticky which makes it more likely that a clot will form.

By virtue of the fact that alcohol will raise the blood pressure of the body, this also serves to increase the risk of a stroke.

Cheap Flights to Athens

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A glorious and magical  city  worshipped by gods and humans alike,  Athens  happens to be one of the most famous vacation destinations in Europe. With the sun shining over the city all year through, the climate is one of the best in that part of the world, making it an ideal place for tourism. There are several cheap flights to  Athens  plying on a regular basis, board one and embark on a vacation of a lifetime. This enchanting birthplace for civilization is laden with breathtaking views. If it’s not the magnificent landscapes that inspire you, the ancient and contemporary architecture will.

The city with distinct aspects is at once appealing and exciting. A walk around the famous historic triangle of Plaka, Thission and Psyri overwhelms you, a stroll in the old neighborhoods reveal the coexistence of different eras, and the mansions of yore, some well-preserved and some worn out by time present a striking contrast to the modern. The Greek capital dates back to mythological times and as a result the place is dotted with stamps of antiquity all through its surface. The city that you see in its entire splendor is a consequence of several influences, including ancient and medieval Greek, Roman, Byzantine and the contemporary era. Do a wise thing, come to the Greek capital equipped with a rather long stay, reason? The historical attractions are one too many. Start your journey with the South Slope of Acropolis, go on to the ancient Agora, visit the temple of Olympeion Zeus, spent a few hours admiring the Hadrian’s Arch and Library, go atop the Hill of Areopagus, the Hill of Philopappou and that of the Nymphs, and see Kerameikos. Attractions like Lysicrates’ Monument, Panathenaic Stadium, Roman Agora, Temple of Hephaestus, and the Tower of the Winds is also not to be missed.

Museums and art galleries showcasing creative arts are omnipresent throughout  Athens  with some giving a great insight into Greek archeology, history, modern art, while others dedicated to ceramics, music, railway etc. One of the unique selling points of  Athens  as a tourist destination is its close proximity to the whitewashed Greek islands. Enjoy one-day getaways, charming villages, ancient historical cities and equally fascinating and picturesque countrysides, each one with a varied color, culture and character. If you happen to be visit  Athens  with family, fret not. The city presents myriad options for all of you to enjoy together. These include parks and gardens, National Zoo, planetariums, educating and entertaining cultural centers, go-karting areas, and amusement parks. Places to stay and crash in are as varied as the attractions of the city itself. You can opt to stay at a luxurious five-star hotel, book yourself a bed and breakfast, stay in a holiday home or an apartment, or check into a cheap hotel accommodation. Culinary delights and gourmet foods can be relished and savored at any of the several world-class restaurants, or try a meal at the local eating joint, which is equally scrumptious and satisfying. For a prefect start to your holidays in Europe, come to  Athens  first.

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Choosing a Medical Transcription School

In addition to the medical transcription courses you can take at community colleges or trade schools, you can also complete a course online or have the course sent to your home to complete.

If you take an online course or are completing your course at home and are working at the time of taking your course, it can be very beneficial as you get to choose your own hours for studying and testing. If you are either not working or only working part time you can probably complete your course in less than 6 months. If you are working full time it will probably take you longer. It is up to you to choose the time frame you are comfortable with. There won’t be someone standing over you telling you to hurry up. You will set your own schedule and the amount of time you will be spending on your course.

When you are researching your school be sure you check out their support staff. This can be very important during your training. You want to be able to contact them and get a response quickly to your questions. A lot of the top schools have chat rooms and forums where you can communicate and interact with other students. This can be very helpful and can sometimes get you a lead to a job when you finish your schooling.

Your course should consist of not only textbook lessons but also in getting to transcribe actual doctor’s dictations. This is something you can really only learn by doing. One of the most important things you will need to learn is how to correctly interpret the doctor’s voice dictations. This will take practice. But the more that you practice the better prepared you will be to become a medical transcriptionist.

There are many medical procedures and fields that you will learn during your course. One of the most important is medical terminology. This is the basis for every medical term you will be typing. You will also be learning disease processes, some training in specialties such as gynecology, GI and GU, dermatology, chiropractic terms and procedures, physiology, and many others.

You need to have a broad knowledge of all different types of fields because you don’t know what your first position will be. Maybe working in a pediatrician’s office or a psychiatrist’s office. Working for a clinic is a good place to start and has a combination of many different diagnoses and treatments from a sore throat to a cut toe. It will be good experience to get you started on the right track.

A lot of the medical transcription schools have started giving some training in different types of medical transcription software and types of transcription equipment. With the internet playing such a large role in medical transcription today, you will need to familiarize yourself with different applications and transmission formats. You will need to have a compatible system with the health care providers you will be working for.

Do a thorough research of the many medical transcription school programs that are out there now. Find the one that suits your needs for convenience and financially. Some programs have a payment system for monthly payments, some require half down and monthly payments, and some require the entire fee up front.

Greece Flights

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Athens, the capital of Greece is well connected to major international cities. The International Airport of Athens’, Eleftherios Venizelos, was inaugurated in March 2001 and was built to cater to the needs of a modern world. It is located 23 miles northeast of the city. It has 157 check-in counters and two runways that are 2.5 miles each. The airport can accommodate close to 600 flights a day. It has conference facilities, a post office, a hotel, courier service, banks, currency exchanges, ATMs and many stores and restaurants.

There are 5 international airports in Greece. They are situated in the major cities of the country namely, Athens, Corfu (Ionian), Heraklio (in Crete), Kos (Dodecanese) and Thesaloniki (near the region of Halkidiki). Some Greek islands are not directly accessible by flights. The best way to travel to these Islands is by organizing for a cab transfer from the Athens airport. The airfares to Greece between June and September and during holidays are comparatively more expensive. The weekend flights are also expensive. Of recent, many charter flights have begun operating to and from Greece. Most charter flights operate during summer.

Olympic Airways is the national airline of Greece. It operates daily flights from New York City and Boston to Athens. The approximate flight time from Athens to Los Angeles is 15 hours and from Athens to New York, 13 hours; Most European airlines connect North American cities with Greece via major European cities. Direct flights also operate from major European cities to Macedonia International Airport in Thesaloniki, Northern Greece, as well as to Corfu (Kerkira), Grete and Rhodes.

American and Canadian citizens entering Greece for a period of less than 3 months require a valid passport. There is no need to get a visa, though. Passport and visa requirements vary for tourists of different nationalities, and should be checked well in advance of the trip.

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Developing a Plan: The Basis of Successful Investing

Warren E. Buffett offers the following advice on the qualities of a successful investor. Buffett essentially suggests that a successful investor does not need an extraordinarily high IQ, exceptional business acumen, or inside information. To enjoy a lifetime of successful investing, you need a solid decision-making framework and the ability to maintain your emotions.

A successful investment strategy requires a thoughtful plan. Developing a plan is not difficult, but staying with it during times of uncertainty and events that seem to counter you plan’s strategy is often difficult. This tutorial discusses the necessity of establishing a trading plan, what investment options best suit your needs, and the challenges you could encounter if you don’t have a plan.

The benefits of developing a trading plan

You can establish optimal circumstances for experiencing solid investment growth if you stick to your plan despite opposing popular opinion, current trends, or analysts’ forecasts. Develop your investment plan and focus on your long-term goals and objectives.

Maintain focus on your plan

All financial markets can be erratic. It has experienced significant fluctuations in business cycles, inflation, and interest rates, along with economical recessions throughout the past century. The 1990s experienced a surge of growth due to the bull market pushing the Dow Jones industrial average (DIJA) up 300 percent. This economic growth was accompanied by low interest rates and inflation. During this time, an extraordinary number of Internet-based technology firms were created due to the increased popularity of online commerce and other computer-reliant businesses. This growth was rapid and a downturn occurred just as fast. Between 2000 and 2002, the DIJA dropped 38 percent, triggering a massive sell-off of technology stocks which kept indexes in a depressed state well into the middle of 2001. Large-scale corporate accounting scandals contributed to the downturn. Then in the fall of 2001, the United States suffered a catastrophic terrorist attack that sent the nation into a high level of uncertainty and further weakened the strength of the market.

These are the kinds of events that can tax your emotions in terms of your investment strategies. It’s times like these that it is imperative that you have a plan and stick to it. This is when you establish a long-term focus on your objectives. Toward the end of 2002 through 2005, the DJIA rose 44 percent. Investors who let their emotions govern their trading strategies and sold off all their positions missed out on this upturn.

The three deadly sins and how to avoid them

The three emotions that accompany trading are fear, hope, and greed. When prices plunge, fear compels you to sell low without reviewing your position. Under these circumstances, you should revisit the original reasons for your investments and determine if they have changed. For example, you might focus on the short term and immediately sell when the price drops below its intrinsic value. In this case, you could miss out if the price recovers.

An investment strategy that is based on hope might compel you to buy certain stocks based on the hope that a company’s future performance will reflect on their past performance. This is what occurred during the surge of the Internet-based, dot-com companies during the late 1990s. This is where you need to devote your research into a company’s fundamentals and less on their past performance when determining the worth of their stock. Investing primarily on hope could have you ending up with an overvalued stock with more risk of a loss than a gain.

The greed emotion can distort your rationale for certain investments. It can compel you to hold onto a position for too long. If your plan is to hold out a little longer to gain a few percentage points, your position could backfire and result in a loss. Again, in the late 1990s, investors were enjoying double-digit gains on their Internet-company stocks. Instead of scaling back on their investments, many individuals held onto their positions with the hope that the prices would keep going up. Even when the prices were beginning to drop, investors held out hoping that their stocks would rally. Unfortunately, the rally never happened and investors experienced substantial losses.

An effective investment plan requires that you properly manage the three deadly sins of investing.

The key components of an investment plan

Determine your investment objectives

The first component in your investment plan is to determine your investment objectives. The three main categories involved in your objectives are income, growth, and safety.

If your plan is to establish a steady income stream, your objective focuses on the income category. Investors in this category tend to be low-risk and don’t require capital appreciation. They use their investments as an income source.

If your focus is on increasing your portfolio’s value over the long term, your objective is growth-based. In contrast to the income category, investors strive for capital appreciation. Investors in this category tend to be younger and have a longer investment time frame. If this is your preferred category, consider your age, investment expectations, and tolerance to risk.

The final category is safety. Investors who prefer to prevent loss of their principle investment. They want to maintain the current value of their portfolio and avoid risks that are common with stocks and other less secure investments.

Risk tolerance

While the main reason for growing your portfolio is to increase your wealth, you need to consider how much risk you are willing to take. If you struggle with the market’s volatility, your strategy should focus more on the safety or income categories. If you are more resilient to a fluctuating market and can accept some losses, you might favor the growth category. This category has the potential for higher gains. Nevertheless, you need to be honest with yourself and the level of risk you are willing to take as you set up your investment plan.

Asset Allocation

As discussed in the previous sections, part of your investment plan is to determine your risk tolerance and investment objectives. After you establish these components, you can begin to determine how you will allocate the assets in your portfolio and how they will match your goals and risk tolerance. For example, if you are interested in pursuing a growth-oriented category, you could allocate 60 percent in stocks, 15 percent in cash equivalents, and 25 percent in bonds.

Make sure your asset allocation reinforces your objectives and risk tolerance. If your focus is on safety, your objectives need to include safe, fixed-income assets such as money market securities, high-quality corporate securities (with high debt ratings), and government bonds.

If your strategy focuses on an income category, you should focus on fixed-income strategies. Your investments might include bonds with lower ratings that provide higher yields and dividend-paying stocks.

If your focus is on the growth category, your portfolio should focus on common stock, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETF). With this category, you need to vigilant in managing your portfolio by regularly reviewing your objectives and adjusting them according to your risk tolerance and objectives.

Effective asset allocation helps you establish a guideline for properly diversification of your portfolio. This enables you to work toward your objectives and manage a comfortable amount of risk.

Investment choices

Your trading strategy includes deciding what types of investments to buy and how you will allocate your assets.

Growth

If your strategy is based on growth, you might consider mutual funds or ETFs that have high market-performance potential.

Wealth protection/income generation

If you choose to pursue a wealth protection method, you might choose government bonds or professionally-managed bond funds.

Choosing your own stocks

If you prefer to select your own stocks, establish some rules for how you will enter and exit your positions. You objectives and investment strategies will determine these rules. Whatever approach you use, one trading rule you should establish is to use stop-loss orders as a form of protection against downward price movements. For example, if your investment drops 60 percent, it will need to increase 110 percent in order to break even. You choose the price that you will set the order, but a good rule to follow is to set a stop-loss order at 10 percent below the purchase price for long-term investments and a stop-loss order at 3-to-5 percent for short term trades.

Your strategy might also include investing in professionally-managed products such as mutual funds. These give you access to professional money managers. If you hope to use mutual funds to increase the value of your portfolio, choose growth funds that focus on capital appreciation. If your intent is to pursue an income-oriented approach, choose income-generating avenues such as dividend-paying stocks or bond funds. Make sure your allocation and risk structure align with your diversification and risk tolerance.

Index funds and ETFs

Index funds and ETFs are passively-managed products that have low fees and tax efficiencies (lower than actively-managed funds). These investments could be a good way to manage your asset allocation plan because they are low-cost and well diversified. Essentially, they are baskets of stocks that represent an index, a sector, or a country.

Summary

The most important component in reaching your investment goals is your plan. It helps you establish investment guidelines and a level of protection against loss. It’s important that you develop a plan based on an honest assessment of your investment style, level of risk tolerance, and objectives. You also must avoid letting your emotions influence your investment decisions even during the more discouraging times.
If you are still uncertain about your ability to effectively develop and follow a plan, consider employing the services of an investment advisor. This person’s expertise can help you adhere to a solid plan to meet your investment objectives.

Identify Male Yeast Infection Symptoms

If you were under the impression that only women suffer from candida yeast infection then you would be surprised that men may also suffer from this problem. It is important to identify male yeast infection symptoms because sexual intercourse is one of the ways in which this infection gets transmitted.

Candida is normally known to infect the skin, mouth, colon and the genitals. However most often it is either the vagina in the case of women and penile infection in the case of women that causes a lot of discomfort.

Some of the very common male infection symptoms are itching, irritation and mild pain in the penis head. One may also have pain while urinating. The penis may have redness along with some blisters.

It is always better to visit a doctor to get proper diagnosis and testing done to confirm the presence of this infection rather than self diagnosis. This is important because some of the male yeast infection symptoms are very similar to genital herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Once the problem is confirmed then a natural remedy or one of the home remedies can be tried out. Home remedies used for vaginal candida infection work for the penile infection also. Yogurt and garlic can be used externally as well as consumed orally to get relief from this problem.

If is always recommended to stay away from sex if even one of the partners is infected. Alternately one can use a condom for sexual intercourse to prevent the   transmission  of the infection. In fact both partners should get a diagnosis done and take steps to prevent candida infection.

Preventive steps like wearing cotton undergarments, avoiding soaps with chemicals, changing wet clothes quickly, avoiding perfumes and deodorants in the genitals, avoiding sugar, bread, pickles, preserved mushrooms and other items that have yeast in any form should be avoided. This can help in controlling the problem.

If you are using natural treatment for male yeast infection symptoms along with conventional medicines then it is better to discuss this with your doctor. Sometimes natural herbs can interfere with conventional medicines.

One more important step is to not consume antibiotics for correcting this problem. Repeated use of antibiotics is known to aggravate the problem after a brief period of relief. It has been noted that the candida organism develops resistance to antibiotics after some time. Using time tested and proven natural remedies is the best solution for this problem in the long term.

Things to Do in Athens

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There is an abundance of places to go and things to do in the  city  of  Athens , Greece. You should have no trouble filling your time in  Athens  with wonderful memories and beautiful snapshots. Here are some places to get you started:

Make sure that you see the Acropolis and the Parthenon. This is known as one of the many wonders of the ancient world. Not only is this a great place to spend your time, but also your money. There is a ticket you can purchase that allows you to see the other major archaeological sites as well.

Traveling overseas is an expensive thing to do, even if you budget wisely, but that doesn’t mean that you need to limit the sightseeing that you do to bare minimum.

In an ideal world you will make time to visit the Theater of Herod Atticus, Theater of Dionysious, and the Ancient Agoraare during your vacation in  Athens  since each of these places will have its own merits that you will want to uncover.

Make sure that you set aside ample time to explore these areas so that you do not feel too rushed.

The National Archeological Museum in  Athens  is only a short walk from Syntagma. It will likely take you a half hour to an hour to comfortably complete the walk. It may seem like a long walk, but when you get there you will find that it was more than worth your effort to get there.

There is no better museum on the planet to see a collection of ancient Greek sculpture. Jewelery, pottery, and items found in a shipwreck off the island of Antikithera are also on exhibit at the National Archeological Museum.

Even if you are not a history buff or the slightest bit interested in history, you will have a difficult time not finding just about everything in the National Archeological Museum fascinating.

For those of you that already can’t get enough of history, you will probably want to camp out here and never leave. There is such a vast array of exhibits at the National Archeological Museum that you can’t help but get carried away and want to spend all day there.

Regardless of how you feel about shopping, no trip to  Athens  is complete without a trip to the Angora-Athens Market. Completely regardless of your tastes and preferences of fish, meat, and vegetables you will find that the most likely place around is the Central market on Athinas Street.

Make a stop at the market whenever it fits into your day. Early in the morning trucks unload and you can join most of the Athenian shoppers around midday.

During this time you will get to feel like you are a native to  Athens . Make sure that you ask the locals about their favorite foods at this market. They shop here all the time and can point you in the direction of some foods and finds that you would not have an opportunity to try any other time.

Even if it is something that you are not entirely comfortable with, try to give new foods that you find at this market a try if you want to have a real Greek experience during your
stay in  Athens .

If you are able to, you may seriously wish to consider taking some time to climb Mount Lycabettus. If you choose to put in the effort a breathtaking view and outstanding cafe will await you. If you are not able to make the trek but do want to see the top of the mountain you can take a train close to the top of the mountain. Many visitors say that walking down the mountain is a lot of fun, even if the climb up the mountain was difficult.

You will likely walk through a neighborhood or two on your way down the mountain. Each of these tiny neighborhoods have their own townspeople with aspects of their Greek culture that is unique to their neighborhood.

If you have been fascinated by Greek ways up until this point in your trip you may want to consider trying to spend some extra time on your stroll down the wonderful Mount Lycabettus.

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The Top 5 Key Benefits of Purchasing and Owning Investment Real Estate

So… You may ask yourself, why should you buy or invest in real estate in the First Place? Because it’s the IDEAL investment! Let’s take a moment to address the reasons why people should have investment real estate in the first place. The easiest answer is a well-known acronym that addresses the key benefits for all investment real estate. Put simply, Investment Real Estate is an IDEAL investment. The IDEAL stands for:

• I – Income
• D – Depreciation
• E – Expenses
• A – Appreciation
• L – Leverage

Real estate is the IDEAL investment compared to all others. I’ll explain each benefit in depth.

The “I” in IDEAL stands for Income. (a.k.a. positive cash flow) Does it even generate income? Your investment property should be generating income from rents received each month. Of course, there will be months where you may experience a vacancy, but for the most part your investment will be producing an income. Be careful because many times beginning investors exaggerate their assumptions and don’t take into account all potential costs. The investor should know going into the purchase that the property will COST money each month (otherwise known as negative cash flow). This scenario, although not ideal, may be OK, only in specific instances that we will discuss later. It boils down to the risk tolerance and ability for the owner to fund and pay for a negative producing asset. In the boom years of real estate, prices were sky high and the rents didn’t increase proportionately with many residential real estate investment properties. Many naïve investors purchased properties with the assumption that the appreciation in prices would more than compensate for the fact that the high balance mortgage would be a significant negative impact on the funds each month. Be aware of this and do your best to forecast a positive cash flow scenario, so that you can actually realize the INCOME part of the IDEAL equation.

Often times, it may require a higher down payment (therefore lesser amount being mortgaged) so that your cash flow is acceptable each month. Ideally, you eventually pay off the mortgage so there is no question that cash flow will be coming in each month, and substantially so. This ought to be a vital component to one’s retirement plan. Do this a few times and you won’t have to worry about money later on down the road, which is the main goal as well as the reward for taking the risk in purchasing investment property in the first place.

The “D” in IDEAL Stands for Depreciation. With investment real estate, you are able to utilize its depreciation for your own tax benefit. What is depreciation anyway? It’s a non-cost accounting method to take into account the overall financial burden incurred through real estate investment. Look at this another way, when you buy a brand new car, the minute you drive off the lot, that car has depreciated in value. When it comes to your investment real estate property, the IRS allows you to deduct this amount yearly against your taxes. Please note: I am not a tax professional, so this is not meant to be a lesson in taxation policy or to be construed as tax advice.

With that said, the depreciation of a real estate investment property is determined by the overall value of the structure of the property and the length of time (recovery period based on the property type-either residential or commercial). If you have ever gotten a property tax bill, they usually break your property’s assessed value into two categories: one for the value of the land, and the other for the value of the structure. Both of these values added up equals your total “basis” for property taxation. When it comes to depreciation, you can deduct against your taxes on the original base value of the structure only; the IRS doesn’t allow you to depreciate land value (because land is typically only APPRECIATING). Just like your new car driving off the lot, it’s the structure on the property that is getting less and less valuable every year as its effective age gets older and older. And you can use this to your tax advantage.

The best example of the benefit regarding this concept is through depreciation, you can actually turn a property that creates a positive cash flow into one that shows a loss (on paper) when dealing with taxes and the IRS. And by doing so, that (paper) loss is deductible against your income for tax purposes. Therefore, it’s a great benefit for people that are specifically looking for a “tax-shelter” of sorts for their real estate investments.

For example, and without getting too technical, assume that you are able to depreciate $15,000 a year from a $500,000 residential investment property that you own. Let’s say that you are cash-flowing $1,000 a month (meaning that after all expenses, you are net-positive $1000 each month), so you have $12,000 total annual income for the year from this property’s rental income. Although you took in $12,000, you can show through your accountancy with the depreciation of the investment real estate that you actually lost $3,000 on paper, which is used against any income taxes that you may owe. From the standpoint of IRS, this property realized a loss of $3,000 after the “expense” of the $15,000 depreciation amount was taken into account. Not only are there no taxes due on that rental income, you can utilize the paper loss of $3,000 against your other regular taxable income from your day-job. Investment property at higher price points will have proportionally higher tax-shelter qualities. Investors use this to their benefit in being able to deduct as much against their taxable amount owed each year through the benefit of depreciation with their underlying real estate investment.

Although this is a vastly important benefit to owning investment real estate, the subject is not well understood. Because depreciation is a somewhat complicated tax subject, the above explanation was meant to be cursory in nature. When it comes to issues involving taxes and depreciation, make sure you have a tax professional that can advise you appropriately so you know where you stand.

The “E” in IDEAL is for Expenses – Generally, all expenses incurred relating to the property are deductible when it comes to your investment property. The cost for utilities, the cost for insurance, the mortgage, and the interest and property taxes you pay. If you use a property manager or if you’re repairing or improving the property itself, all of this is deductible. Real estate investment comes with a lot of expenses, duties, and responsibilities to ensure the investment property itself performs to its highest capability. Because of this, contemporary tax law generally allows that all of these related expenses are deductible to the benefit of the investment real estate landowner. If you were to ever take a loss, or purposefully took a loss on a business investment or investment property, that loss (expense) can carry over for multiple years against your income taxes. For some people, this is an aggressive and technical strategy. Yet it’s another potential benefit of investment real estate.

The “A” in IDEAL is for Appreciation – Appreciation means the growth of value of the underlying investment. It’s one of the main reasons that we invest in the first place, and it’s a powerful way to grow your net worth. Many homes in the city of San Francisco are several million dollars in today’s market, but back in the 1960s, the same property was worth about the cost of the car you are currently driving (probably even less!). Throughout the years, the area became more popular and the demand that ensued caused the real estate prices in the city to grow exponentially compared to where they were a few decades ago. People that were lucky enough to recognize this, or who were just in the right place at the right time and continued to live in their home have realized an investment return in the 1000’s of percent. Now that’s what appreciation is all about. What other investment can make you this kind of return without drastically increased risk? The best part about investment real estate is that someone is paying you to live in your property, paying off your mortgage, and creating an income (positive cash flow) to you each month along the way throughout your course of ownership.

The “L” in IDEAL stands for Leverage – A lot of people refer to this as “OPM” (other people’s money). This is when you are using a small amount of your money to control a much more expensive asset. You are essentially leveraging your down payment and gaining control of an asset that you would normally not be able to purchase without the loan itself. Leverage is much more acceptable in the real estate world and inherently less risky than leverage in the stock world (where this is done through means of options or buying “on Margin”). Leverage is common in real estate. Otherwise, people would only buy property when they had 100% of the cash to do so. Over a third of all purchase transactions are all-cash transactions as our recovery continues. Still, about 2/3 of all purchases are done with some level of financing, so the majority of buyers in the market enjoy the power that leverage can offer when it comes to investment real estate.

For example, if a real estate investor was to buy a house that costs $100,000 with 10% down payment, they are leveraging the remaining 90% through the use of the associated mortgage. Let’s say the local market improves by 20% over the next year, and therefore the actual property is now worth $120,000. When it comes to leverage, from the standpoint of this property, its value increased by 20%. But compared to the investor’s actual down payment (the “skin in the game”) of $10,000- this increase in property value of 20% really means the investor doubled their return on the investment actually made-also known as the “cash on cash” return. In this case, that is 200%-because the $10,000 is now responsible and entitled to a $20,000 increase in overall value and the overall potential profit.

Although leverage is considered a benefit, like everything else, there can always be too much of a good thing. In 2007, when the real estate market took a turn for the worst, many investors were over-leveraged and fared the worst. They could not weather the storm of a correcting economy. Exercising caution with every investment made will help to ensure that you can purchase, retain, pay-off debt, and grow your wealth from the investment decisions made as opposed to being at the mercy and whim of the overall market fluctuations. Surely there will be future booms and busts as the past would dictate as we continue to move forward. More planning and preparing while building net worth will help prevent getting bruised and battered by the side effects of whatever market we find ourselves in.

Many people think that investment real estate is only about cash flow and appreciation, but it’s so much more than that. As mentioned above, you can realize several benefits through each real estate investment property you purchase. The challenge is to maximize the benefits through every investment.

Furthermore, the IDEAL acronym is not just a reminder of the benefits of investment real estate; it’s also here to serve as a guide for every investment property you will consider purchasing in the future. Any property you purchase should conform to all of the letters that represent the IDEAL acronym. The underlying property should have a good reason for not fitting all the guidelines. And in almost every case, if there is an investment you are considering that doesn’t hit all the guidelines, by most accounts you should probably PASS on it!

Take for example a story of my own, regarding a property that I purchased early on in my real estate career. To this day, it’s the biggest investment mistake that I’ve made, and it’s precisely because I didn’t follow the IDEAL guidelines that you are reading and learning about now. I was naïve and my experience was not yet fully developed. The property I purchased was a vacant lot in a gated community development. The property already had an HOA (a monthly maintenance fee) because of the nice amenity facilities that were built for it, and in anticipation of would-be-built homes. There were high expectations for the future appreciation potential-but then the market turned for the worse as we headed into the great recession that lasted from 2007-2012. Can you see what parts of the IDEAL guidelines I missed on completely?

Let’s start with “I”. The vacant lot made no income! Sometimes this can be acceptable, if the deal is something that cannot be missed. But for the most part this deal was nothing special. In all honesty, I’ve considered selling the trees that are currently on the vacant lot to the local wood mill for some actual income, or putting up a camping spot ad on the local Craigslist; but unfortunately the lumber isn’t worth enough and there are better spots to camp! My expectations and desire for price appreciation blocked the rational and logical questions that needed to be asked. So, when it came to the income aspect of the IDEAL guidelines for a real estate investment, I paid no attention to it. And I paid the price for my hubris. Furthermore, this investment failed to realize the benefit of depreciation as you cannot depreciate land! So, we are zero for two so far, with the IDEAL guideline to real estate investing. All I can do is hope the land appreciates to a point where it can be sold one day. Let’s call it an expensive learning lesson. You too will have these “learning lessons”; just try to have as few of them as possible and you will be better off.

When it comes to making the most of your real estate investments, ALWAYS keep the IDEAL guideline in mind to make certain you are making a good decision and a solid investment.

Balkan Holidays – 10 City Breaks in the Balkans

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A city break is an ideal way to learn something of a different culture in a few days. A city break gives you a chance to absorb a new experience. The Balkan region has a diverse mix of geography, history and culture.

City breaks in the Balkans offer something for everyone no matter what your age, taste, or whether you are part of a group or travelling alone.

Here are 10 cities that reflect the character of the Balkans.

1. Belgrade – Serbia

Belgrade is known for being a vibrant and trendy city and has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife the best features of which are the barges spread along the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers.

Belgrade boasts two opera houses, a number of museums, including the National Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. There is also some stunning architecture

A former river island, Ada Ciganlija, on the Sava river, is Belgrade’s biggest sports and recreational complex. It is the most popular destination for Belgraders and visitors alike during the city’s hot summers.

2. Bucharest – Romania

Bucharest is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Epoque buildings and a reputation for the high life, which at one time, earned it the nickname of “Little Paris”.

Bucharest has much historical charm – from the streets of the Old City Centre, which are slowly being restored, to the grand architecture of the Royal Palace and the lush green of Cismigiu Park. The city also claims a large number of museums, art galleries, exquisite Orthodox churches and unique architectural sites.

3. Dubrovnik – Croatia

Dubrovnik is one of the world’s finest and best preserved fortified cities and features two kilometres of walls, some 6 metres thick in places lined with turrets and towers, that run around the city. George Bernard Shaw said in 1929: “If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik”.

4. Ljubljana – Slovenia

Ljubljana is a charming city, the numerous parks and a vibrant cultural scene. There are numerous art galleries and museums and a mediaeval castle located at the summit of the hill that dominates the city centre.

Ljubljana Zoo covers has 152 animal species. An antique flea market takes place every Sunday in the old city. Tivoli Park is the largest park in in the city, has 3 main avenues, planted with chestnut-trees.

5. Sarajevo – Bosnia

Sarajevo is surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated around the Miljacka river, commonly known as the Sarajevo River. This river is one of the main features of the city. In December 2009, Lonely Planet listed Sarajevo as one of the top ten cities to visit in 2010

A great way to get around this city is on the electric tram system. Sarajevo was the first city in Europe to have a full-time operational electric tram network running through the city.

6. Skopje – Macedonia

Mother Teresa was born in Skopje, and the Memorial House of Mother Teresa commemorates this. There are many old churches and mosques to visit for those who love history and architecture.

Many famous worldwide artists have attended the music festivals over the years. The Skopje Jazz Festival is part of the European Jazz Network. The Blues and Soul Festival in early July is part of the Skopje Cultural Summer Festival and the May Opera Evenings have been one of the most visited events in Skopje.

The City Park is home to the main museum, several monuments, small lakes, cafes and restaurants. The city Zoo and stadium are also here along with several nightclubs.

7. Sofia – Bulgaria

Sofia is nestled in the foothills of Vitosha Mountain, which makes it an ideal location for hiking and skiing. The city of Sofia is a lively, bustling and cosmopolitan city with many nightclubs, live venues and traditional Bulgarian taverns and restaurants. Many famous musicians have played in Sofia.

Sofia houses numerous museums and art galleries, including the National Historical Museum, the Bulgarian Natural History Museum, the Museum of Earth and Men.

The city has many places of special interest, museums and churches, and has a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Boyana Church

8 Split – Croatia

The city is located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and offers great links to surrounding seaside towns and to the numerous Adriatic Islands.

The city centre is taken up by the Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian, which is UNESCO World Heritage Site.

9. Athens – Greece

Athens is home to the world famous Acropolis? The Parthenon and the other main buildings on the Acropolis were built by Pericles in the fifth century BC as a monument to the cultural and political achievements of the inhabitants of Athens. You could spend some days exploring this and it is best to start early on the hot summer days.

The Plaka is the oldest section of Athens. It is now a pedestrian area of restaurants, tourist shops, and cafes and is an enjoyable place to relax.

The National Archaeological Museum ranks among the top ten museums in the world.

10. Istanbul – Turkey

Istanbul, the historic city that stands in Europe and Asia and has the status of 2010 European Capital of Culture is an ideal venue for a city break.

In Istanbul’s steep and bustling streets, and visitors can spend hours buying or viewing the wonderful products on offer in the markets, where bargaining is essential. The Grand Bazaar, has over 4,000 craft shops, selling carpets, pottery, jewels, and antiques in its labyrinths.

There are many monuments and historical sites including the Hagia Sophie and one of the greatest examples of Islamic architecture, the “Blue Mosque”

Be sure to take a ferry along the Bosphorus Strait, and enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the city especially at sunset.

There are many more places in the Balkans that make it ideal for a short city break.

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Danger of Blood Borne Pathogens Contaminations!

Blood borne pathogens are microorganisms such as viruses or bacterias that are carried in blood or body fluid and can cause disease in people, including, Hepatitis B (HBV), AIDS and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Blood borne pathogens can be transmitted through contact with infected human blood and other potentially infectious body fluids.

Occupation Exposure can occur through :

1. Accidental puncture from contaminated needles, broken glass, or other sharps.

2. Contact between broken or damaged skin and infected skin and infected body fluids.

3. Contact between mucous membranes and infected body fluid.

In an emergency situation involving blood or potentially infectious materials, always use Universal Precautions and try to to minimize your exposure by wearing gloves, splash goggles, pocket mouth to mouth resuscitation masks, and other barrier devices.

If you are exposed:

1. Wash the exposed area thoroughly with soap and running water. Use non-abrasive, anti-bacterial soap if possible. If the blood is splashed in the eye or mucous membrane, flush the affected area with running water for at least 15 minutes.

2. Take a blood test and Hepatitis B vaccination.

3. Tell your doctor the source individual. Try to get the individual blood tested as soon as possible for HIV or HBV after consent is obtained.

Anytime there is blood-to-blood contact with infected blood or body fluids, there is slight potential for transmission.

Unbroken skin forms an impervious barrier against blood borne pathogens. However, infected blood can enter your system through:

Open sores, cuts, abrasions, acne, and any sort of damaged skin such as sun burns or blisters, damaged or open wounds.

Always take precaution and treat all human body fluids and items soiled with human body fluids as contaminated. With contaminated, always first thing to do is to disinfect all spills of body fluid and pre-soak all contaminated clothing.

Athens, A Trip To Antiquity

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Anyone who studies the classics or has a unique interest in history of philosophy should venture to the great metropolis of  Athens . The first step in planning such an adventure is obtaining a US passport. After that feat is accomplished then  Athens  is only a plane ride away.

Passports

Passports have been around for quite a while, they originated in France and then the US picked up on them. They became valid travel documents permitting travel to foreign lands. They are required today in order to travel to another country. They used to be somewhat difficult to obtain, now through technology and the internet they are readily available as well as ll the other passport services that may be needed.

 Athens 

 Athens  is named after the warrior Goddess Athena. She is the patron deity of this ancient thriving metropolis. Greek myths of the clash of the titans versus Olympic Gods have permeated literature and other aspects of world culture. There are very few people who are completely unfamiliar with any Greek myth. History books are full of ancient epic battles involving the Athenians and surrounding ancient peoples.

Sites

There are many sites to visit in  Athens , each rich with history and culture. The Parthenon is perhaps the most famous of the Athenian ruins. Its is the temple to Athena that stands on the top of the great hill, or Acropolis. There is also Syntagma Square, The National Archaeological Museum, and Mount Olympus. These are just a few of the many sites that  Athens  has to offer.

Parthenon

The Parthenon is one of the most famous sites of  Athens . It is atop the hill, Acropolis. This structure was built in honor of the great Goddess Athena who was the cities deity. The Parthenon has had many uses since it was temple to Athena. It has been a church, a Muslim mosque, and was even a munitions depot when the Turkish occupied Greece. Through all that it has remained almost in tact.

Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square is the central of the  Athens  business district. Synt
agma translated means constitution. So it is constitution square, where government buildings are and fountains and even Greek guards. Syntagma Square is where all major filming and photo shooting is done in Greece.

National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum is the countries largest museum. It was originally constructed to hold the excavated finds from the nineteenth century, but since then it has grown. It now holds over 11,000 exhibits from Ancient  Athens  and beyond. The items featured range from pre-historic collections to the Bronze Age and also feature items from Egypt as well.

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Tips for Success During College

1. Taking a year off before starting college usually does not work; “find yourself” during the Summer after you graduate from high school. The best time to start and complete college is between the ages of 18 and 22. It is more difficult to start and complete college after these ages, because your responsibilities increase as you become older

2. Understand the number of classes and credits that you will need to graduate, and spread them over the number of semesters it will take for you to graduate; typically 8 semesters over 4 years. Note, some colleges refer to “units” and “semester hours”, instead of “classes” and “credits”. If you take classes during the Summer, you can lighten your load during the school year or graduate early. Note also, an increasing number of students are completing college over 5 years, instead of the customary 4 years.

3. Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your classes.

4. When choosing classes, take one tough class, two moderate classes, and one easy class; do not bury yourself by taking all difficult classes in a semester.

5. Spread your classes over at least 4 days per week. This will typically spread out your final exams. You want to avoid having to take multiple final exams on a given day.

6. Ask other students about their experiences with professors, and keep a list of the good and bad professors. Professors are also rated on the internet. Avoid the bad professors.

7. When scheduling classes, be cognizant of the location of such classes. You do not want to have to hurry between classes to avoid being late.

8. Get your books ahead of time whenever possible.

9. At the beginning of each semester, schedule all projects and exams; stay organized throughout each semester; utilize a written or electronic planner.

10. Turn your phone off while attending class, and while studying.

11. Spread your homework over seven days. Do not fall behind with your homework.

12. Review your class notes every evening, and add to them when necessary.

13. Before submitting papers, use the spell check on your computer and fully justify your papers.

14. Professors typically make themselves available during office hours, do not be scared to ask for help.

15. Do not skip classes; the professors usually emphasize the material that will be on the exams.

16. Some professors make available old exams at the library, or online; look at them when available.

17. When studying for an exam, study the material that you do not know, instead of the material that you do know. Do not always review the material from the oldest chapter to the newest chapter. Once in a while, start with the newest chapter and work backwards.

18. Two weeks prior to your final exams, your entire focus should be on completing your final papers and studying for such exams.

19. Prior to starting your first answer on any exam, quickly scan the entire exam so you can allocate your time between questions.

20. If you finish an exam early, take the time to check your answers before turning the exam in.

21. When it comes to choosing a major, pick something that you enjoy, something that interests you, and something that will allow you to make a living after college.

22. After you choose a major, be aware that higher level courses are not offered every semester. As a result, plan your schedule of classes accordingly, so that you do not have to attend an extra semester or two to complete your coursework.

23. Look for Summer internships to gain experience in your chosen field, and to prepare you for a career after graduation.

24. Treat college like a full-time job; you will need to commit a substantial portion of each day to attending classes and studying.

25. Keep a list of those professors who show an interest in your performance, and who you believe will be willing to provide you with a recommendation for graduate school or when applying for a job.

26. Begin your post-graduate work as soon as possible after graduating from college.

27. If you need to borrow money to go away to school, only borrow what you need. Alternatively, consider attending a community college for the first two years to reduce your outstanding student loans when you are finished.

28. Do not use your student loans to pay for Spring Break or other vacations; you will regret it later.

29. Alternatively, attending a four year college that you can commute to is also a viable option, which will also help you save for graduate school or life after college.

30. If you need to work part-time while attending college, accumulate your work hours over a couple of days if possible. This will reduce the downtime that is involved in preparing for, and traveling to and from, work.

31. If your parents are paying for your tuition, room and board, and meals, thank them repeatedly; they are making sacrifices for your benefit.

32. If you are leasing an apartment or house, read the lease closely before signing it. Immediately upon moving in, inspect the apartment or house thoroughly and submit a dated list of damages and repairs needed for the apartment or house. If possible, it would also be beneficial to take date-stamped photos or videos upon moving in, and after moving out, of the apartment or house. College town landlords are notorious for excessive repair costs and refusing to refund security deposits.

33. When moving out of your apartment or house, make sure to transfer the utility bills out of your name. Do not rely on roommates who may be staying in the apartment or house for an additional period of time. If these utility bills remain unpaid and end up in collection, they will damage your credit score for years.

34. If you live off campus, consider purchasing a meal plan so that you can eat at a nearby dorm between classes, so as to avoid the hassle of returning home for lunch.

35. Stay in touch with your parents and siblings. This will keep you grounded and you will feel more secure.

36. Ask your parents to keep your bedroom intact, so you have something to come home to, and feel comfortable in, when times get tough, when you become homesick, when you are home for the Summer and holidays, or when you just want to visit.

37. Get your rest. Treat college like a marathon, and not like a 100 yard dash.

38. Take a shower every day and wash your clothes regularly; it will cause you to be more desirable and efficient.

39. Learn to manage your time.

40. Limit the tattoos, body piercing, and gauging. If you do not limit the same, you will regret it when you get older.

41. Do not party like it is the last day of your life; everything in moderation, which includes Spring Break.

42. When you do party, do not get wasted; nothing good comes out of it.

43. Inevitably, the police will show up at a party that you are attending; show them respect and behave yourself in their presence.

44. Do not drink and drive. Note, being ticketed as a minor in possession can also be detrimental to your career.

45. Walk away from conflict. There is no need to get into a brawl over anything.

46. Avoid being involved in hazing. If you do get involved in hazing, use your common sense; make sure the person being hazed is not physically at risk.

47. If you become sexually active, practice safe sex and birth control. Remember, some sexually transmitted diseases last forever; and “no!” means “no!”.

48. Be a leader, not a follower.

49. There is no substitute for dedication and hard work; your effort should be 100% at all times.

50. To be successful, you need to grab the bull by the horns, stick your foot halfway up its rear, and try to control it.

51. Success during college, and obtaining a college degree, is your ticket to a better life. Do not waste the opportunity.

The Difference Between Being Smart, Educated, and Intelligent

I’ve always been intrigued by the subject of intelligence. As a child my mother would refer to me as “smart,” but I quickly noticed that all parents refer to their children as smart. In time I would discover that all children are not smart, just as all babies are not cute. If that were the case, we’d have a world full of beautiful, smart people – which we don’t.

Some of us are smart; but not as smart as we think, and others are smarter than they seem, which makes me wonder, how do we define smart? What makes one person smarter than another? When do “street smarts” matter more than “book smarts”? Can you be both smart and stupid? Is being smart more of a direct influence of genetics, or one’s environment?

Then there are the issues of education, intelligence and wisdom.

What does it mean to be highly educated? What’s the difference between being highly educated and highly intelligent? Does being highly educated automatically make you highly intelligent? Can one be highly intelligent without being highly educated? Do IQs really mean anything? What makes a person wise? Why is wisdom typically associated with old age?

My desire to seek answers to these questions inspired many hours of intense research which included the reading of 6 books, hundreds of research documents, and countless hours on the Internet; which pales in comparison to the lifetime of studies and research that pioneers in the fields of intelligence and education like Howard Gardner, Richard Sternberg, Linda S. Gottfredson, Thomas Sowell, Alfie Kohn, and Diane F. Halpern whose work is cited in this article.

My goal was simple: Amass, synthesize, and present data on what it means to be smart, educated and intelligent so that it can be understood and used by anyone for their benefit.

PRENATAL CARE

With this in mind, there was not a better (or more appropriate) place to start than at the very beginning of our existence: as a fetus in the womb.

There is mounting evidence that the consumption of food that’s high in iron both before and during pregnancy is critical to building the prenatal brain. Researchers have found a strong association between low iron levels during pregnancy and diminished IQ. Foods rich in iron include lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, seafoods, nuts, dried fruits, oatmeal, and fortified cereals.

Children with low iron status in utero (in the uterus) scored lower on every test and had significantly lower language ability, fine-motor skills, and tractability than children with higher prenatal iron levels. In essence, proper prenatal care is critical to the development of cognitive skills.

COGNITIVE SKILLS

Cognitive skills are the basic mental abilities we use to think, study, and learn. They include a wide variety of mental processes used to analyze sounds and images, recall information from memory, make associations between different pieces of information, and maintain concentration on particular tasks. They can be individually identified and measured. Cognitive skill strength and efficiency correlates directly with students’ ease of learning.

DRINKING, PREGNANCY, AND ITS INTELLECTUAL IMPACT

Drinking while pregnant is not smart. In fact, it’s downright stupid.

A study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that even light to moderate drinking – especially during the second trimester – is associated with lower IQs in offspring at 10 years of age. This result was especially pronounced among African-American rather than Caucasian offspring.

“IQ is a measure of the child’s ability to learn and to survive in his or her environment. It predicts the potential for success in school and in everyday life. Although a small but significant percentage of children are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) each year, many more children are exposed to alcohol during pregnancy who do not meet criteria for FAS yet experience deficits in growth and cognitive function,” said Jennifer A. Willford, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Paul D. Connor, clinical director of the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington has this to say about the subject:

“There are a number of domains of cognitive functioning that can be impaired even in the face of a relatively normal IQ, including academic achievement (especially arithmetic), adaptive functioning, and executive functions (the ability to problem solve and learn from experiences). Deficits in intellectual, achievement, adaptive, and executive functioning could make it difficult to appropriately manage finances, function independently without assistance, and understand the consequences of – or react appropriately to – mistakes.”

This is a key finding which speaks directly to the (psychological) definition of intelligence which is addressed later in this article.

ULTRA SOUNDS

Studies have shown that the frequent exposure of the human fetus to ultrasound waves is associated with a decrease in newborn body weight, an increase in the frequency of left-handedness, and delayed speech.

Because ultrasound energy is a high-frequency mechanical vibration, researchers hypothesized that it might influence the migration of neurons in a developing fetus. Neurons in mammals multiply early in fetal development and then migrate to their final destinations. Any interference or disruption in the process could result in abnormal brain function.

Commercial companies (which do ultrasounds for “keepsake” purposes) are now creating more powerful ultrasound machines capable of providing popular 3D and 4D images. The procedure, however, lasts longer as they try to make 30-minute videos of the fetus in the uterus.

The main stream magazine New Scientist reported the following: Ultrasound scans can stop cells from dividing and make them commit suicide. Routine scans, which have let doctors peek at fetuses and internal organs for the past 40 years, affect the normal cell cycle.

On the FDA website this information is posted about ultrasounds:

While ultrasound has been around for many years, expectant women and their families need to know that the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known. In light of all that remains unknown, having a prenatal ultrasound for non-medical reasons is not a good idea.

NATURE VERSUS NURTURE…THE DEBATE CONTINUES

Now that you are aware of some of the known factors which determine, improve, and impact the intellectual development of a fetus, it’s time for conception. Once that baby is born, which will be more crucial in the development of its intellect: nature (genetics) or nurture (the environment)?

Apparently for centuries, scientists and psychologists have gone back and forth on this. I read many comprehensive studies and reports on this subject during the research phase of this article, and I believe that it’s time to put this debate to rest. Both nature and nurture are equally as important and must be fully observed in the intellectual development of all children. This shouldn’t be an either/or proposition.

A recent study shows that early intervention in the home and in the classroom can make a big difference for a child born into extreme poverty, according to Eric Turkheimer, a psychologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The study concludes that while genetic makeup explains most of the differences in IQ for children in wealthier families, environment – and not genes – makes a bigger difference for minority children in low-income homes.

Specifically, what researchers call “heritability”- the degree to which genes influence IQ – was significantly lower for poor families. “Once you’re put into an adequate environment, your genes start to take over,” Mr. Turkheimer said, “but in poor environments genes don’t have that ability.”

But there are reports that contradict these findings…sort of.

Linda S. Gottfredson, a professor of educational studies at the University of Delaware, wrote in her article, The General Intelligence Factor that environments shared by siblings have little to do with IQ. Many people still mistakenly believe that social, psychological and economic differences among families create lasting and marked differences in IQ.

She found that behavioral geneticists refer to such environmental effects as “shared” because they are common to siblings who grow up together. Her reports states that the heritability of IQ rises with age; that is to say, the extent to which genetics accounts for differences in IQ among individuals increases as people get older.

In her article she also refers to studies comparing identical and fraternal twins, published in the past decade by a group led by Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., of the University of Minnesota and other scholars, show that about 40 percent of IQ differences among preschoolers stems from genetic differences, but that heritability rises to 60 percent by adolescence and to 80 percent by late adulthood.

And this is perhaps the most interesting bit of information, and relevant to this section of my article:

With age, differences among individuals in their developed intelligence come to mirror more closely their genetic differences. It appears that the effects of environment on intelligence fade rather than grow with time.

Bouchard concludes that young children have the circumstances of their lives imposed on them by parents, schools and other agents of society, but as people get older they become more independent and tend to seek out the life niches that are most congenial to their genetic proclivities.

BREAST-FEEDING INCREASES INTELLIGENCE

Researchers from Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand studied over 1,000 children born between April and August 1977. During the period from birth to one year, they gathered information on how these children were fed.

The infants were then followed to age 18. Over the years, the researchers collected a range of cognitive and academic information on the children, including IQ, teacher ratings of school performance in reading and math, and results of standardized tests of reading comprehension, mathematics, and scholastic ability. The researchers also looked at the number of passing grades achieved in national School Certificate examinations taken at the end of the third year of high school.

The results indicated that the longer children had been breast-fed, the higher they scored on such tests.

TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Thomas Sowell, author of Race, IQ, Black Crime, and facts Liberals Ignore uncovered some fascinating information that every parent should take note of. He writes:

There is a strong case that black Americans suffer from a series of disadvantageous environments. Studies show time and again that before they go to school, black children are on average exposed to a smaller vocabulary than white children, in part due to socioeconomic factors.

While children from professional households typically exposed to a total of 2,150 different words each day, children from working class households are exposed to 1,250, and children from households on welfare a mere 620.

Yes, smart sounding children tend to come from educated, professional, two-parent environments where they pick-up valuable language skills and vocabulary from its smart sounding inhabitants.

Mr. Sowell continues: Black children are obviously not to blame for their poor socioeconomic status, but something beyond economic status is at work in black homes. Black people have not signed up for the “great mission” of the white middle class – the constant quest to stimulate intellectual growth and get their child into Harvard or Oxbridge.

Elsie Moore of Arizona State University, Phoenix, studied black children adopted by either black or white parents, all of whom were middle-class professionals. By the age of 7.5 years, those in black homes were 13 IQ points behind those being raised in the white homes.

ACCUMULATED ADVANTAGES

At this juncture in my research it dawned on me, and should be fairly obvious to you, that many children are predisposed to being smart, educated, and intelligent, simply by their exposure to the influential factors which determine them long before they start school.

An informed mother, proper prenatal care, educated, communicative parents, and a nurturing environment in which to live, all add up to accumulated advantages that formulate intellectual abilities. As you can see, some children have unfair advantages from the very beginning.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of top-selling book Outliers, wrote that “accumulated advantages” are made possible by arbitrary rules…and such unfair advantages are everywhere. “It is those who are successful who are most likely to be given the kinds of social opportunities that lead to further success,” he writes. “It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention.”

With that in mind, we turn our attention to education and intelligence.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WELL EDUCATED?

Alfie Kohn, author of the book What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated? poses the question, does the phrase well educated refer to a quality of schooling you received, or something about you? Does it denote what you were taught? Or what you remember?

I contend that to be well educated is all in the application; the application and use of information. Information has to be used in order to become knowledge, and as we all have heard, knowledge is power.

Most people are aware of the floundering state of education in this country on some level. We tell our children that nothing is more important than getting a “good” education, and every year, due to government budget shortfalls, teachers are laid off, classes are condensed, schools are closed, and many educational programs – especially those which help the underprivileged – are cut.

The reality is, we don’t really value education. We value it as a business, an industry, political ammunition, and as an accepted form of discrimination, but not for what it was intended: a means of enriching one’s character and life through learning.

What we value as a society, are athletes and the entertainment they offer. The fact that a professional athlete makes more money in one season, than most teachers in any region will make in their careers, is abominable. There’s always money to build new sports stadiums, but not enough to give teachers a decent (and well-deserved) raise.

Ironically, the best teachers don’t go into the profession for money. They teach because it’s a calling. Most of them were influenced by a really good teacher as a student. With the mass exodus of teachers, many students are not able to cultivate the mentoring relationships that they once were able to because so many are leaving the profession – voluntarily and involuntarily – within an average of three years.

At the high school level, where I got my start, the emphasis is not on how to educate the students to prepare them for life, or even college (all high schools should be college-prep schools, right?), it was about preparing them to excel on their standardized tests. Then the controversial “exit” exams were implemented and literally, many high schools were transformed into testing centers. Learning has almost become secondary.

This mentality carries over into college, which of course there’s a test one must take in order to enroll (the SAT or ACT). This explains why so many college students are more concerned with completing a course, than learning from it. They are focused on getting “A’s” and degrees, instead of becoming degreed thinkers. The latter of which are in greater demand by employers and comprise the bulk of the self-employed. The “get-the-good-grade” mindset is directly attributable to the relentless and often unnecessary testing that our students are subjected to in schools.

Alfie Kohn advocates the “exhibition” of learning, in which students reveal their understanding by means of in-depth projects, portfolios of assignments, and other demonstrations.

He cites a model pioneered by Ted Sizer and Deborah Meier. Meier has emphasized the importance of students having five “habits of mind,” which are: the value of raising questions about evidence (“How do we know what we know?”), point of view, (“Whose perspective does this represent?”), connections (“How is this related to that?”), supposition (“How might things have been otherwise?”), and relevance (“Why is this important?”).

Kohn writes: It’s only the ability to raise and answer those questions that matters, though, but also the disposition to do so. For that matter, any set of intellectual objectives, any description of what it means to think deeply and critically, should be accompanied by a reference to one’s interest or intrinsic motivation to do such thinking…to be well-educated then, is to have the desire as well as the means to make sure that learning never ends…

HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF IQ

We’ve always wanted to measure intelligence. Ironically, when you look at some the first methods used to evaluate it in the 1800s, they were not, well, very intelligent. Tactics such as subjecting people to various forms of torture to see what their threshold for pain was (the longer you could withstand wincing, the more intelligent you were believed to be), or testing your ability to detect a high pitch sound that others could not hear.

Things have changed…or have they?

No discussion of intelligence or IQ can be complete without mention of Alfred Binet, a French psychologist who was responsible for laying the groundwork for IQ testing in 1904. His original intention was to devise a test that would diagnose learning disabilities of students in France. The test results were then used to prepare special programs to help students overcome their educational difficulties.

It was never intended to be used as an absolute measure of one’s intellectual capabilities.

According to Binet, intelligence could not be described as a single score. He said that the use of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as a definite statement of a child’s intellectual capability would be a serious mistake. In addition, Binet feared that IQ measurement would be used to condemn a child to a permanent “condition” of stupidity, thereby negatively affecting his or her education and livelihood.

The original interest was in the assessment of ‘mental age’ — the average level of intelligence for a person of a given age. His creation, the Binet-Simon test (originally called a “scale”), formed the archetype for future tests of intelligence.

H. H. Goddard, director of research at Vineland Training School in New Jersey, translated Binet’s work into English and advocated a more general application of the Simon-Binet test. Unlike Binet, Goddard considered intelligence a solitary, fixed and inborn entity that could be measured. With help of Lewis Terman of Stanford University, his final product, published in 1916 as the Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence (also known as the Stanford-Binet), became the standard intelligence test in the United States.

It’s important to note that the fallacy about IQ is that it is fixed and can not be changed. The fact is that IQ scores are known to fluctuate – both up and down during the course of one’s lifetime. It does not mean that you become more, or less intelligent, it merely means that you tested better on one day than another.

One more thing to know about IQ tests: They have been used for racist purposes since their importation into the U.S. Many of those who were involved in the importation and refinement of these tests believed that IQ was hereditary and are responsible for feeding the fallacy that it is a “fixed” trait.

Many immigrants were tested in the 1920s and failed these IQ tests miserably. As a result, many of them were denied entry into the U.S., or were forced to undergo sterilization for fear of populating America with “dumb” and “inferior” babies. If you recall, the tests were designed for white, middle class Americans. Who do you think would have the most difficulty passing them?

Lewis Terman developed the original notion of IQ and proposed this scale for classifying IQ scores:

000 – 070: Definite feeble-mindedness

070 – 079: Borderline deficiency

080 – 089: Dullness

090 – 109: Normal or average intelligence

110 – 119: Superior intelligence

115 – 124: Above average (e.g., university students)

125 – 134: Gifted (e.g., post-graduate students)

135 – 144: Highly gifted (e.g., intellectuals)

145 – 154: Genius (e.g., professors)

155 – 164: Genius (e.g., Nobel Prize winners)

165 – 179: High genius

180 – 200: Highest genius

200 – higher ?: Immeasurable genius

*Genius IQ is generally considered to begin around 140 to 145, representing only 25% of the population (1 in 400).

*Einstein was considered to “only” have an IQ of about 160.

DEFINING INTELLIGENCE

Diane F. Halpern, a psychologist and past-president of the American Psychological Association (APA), wrote in her essay contribution to Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid that in general, we recognize people as intelligent if they have some combination of these achievements (1) good grades in school; (2) a high level of education; (3) a responsible, complex job; (4) some other recognition of being intelligent, such as winning prestigious awards or earning a large salary; (5) the ability to read complex text with good comprehension; (6) solve difficult and novel problems.

Throughout my research and in the early phases of this article, I came across many definitions of the word intelligence. Some were long, some were short. Some I couldn’t even understand. The definition that is most prevalent is the one created by the APA which is: the ability to adapt to one’s environment, and learn from one’s mistakes.

How about that? There’s the word environment again. We just can’t seem to escape it. This adds deeper meaning to the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” It means recognizing what’s going on in your environment, and having the intelligence adapt to it – and the people who occupy it – in order to survive and succeed within it.

There are also many different forms of intelligence. Most notably those created by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University.

Dr. Gardner believes (and I agree) that our schools and culture focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. We esteem the highly articulate or logical people of our culture. However, Dr. Gardner says that we should also place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich the world in which we live.

He felt that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, was far too limited and created the Theories Of Multiple Intelligences in 1983 to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

These intelligences are:

Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)

Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)

Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)

Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)

Musical intelligence (“music smart”)

Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)

Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)

Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

Not associated with Dr. Gardner, but equally respected are:

FLUID & CRYSTALLIZED INTELLIGENCE

According to About.com, Psychologist Raymond Cattell first proposed the concepts of fluid and crystallized intelligence and further developed the theory with John Horn. The Cattell-Horn theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence suggests that intelligence is composed of a number of different abilities that interact and work together to produce overall individual intelligence.

Cattell defined fluid intelligence as “…the ability to perceive relationships independent of previous specific practice or instruction concerning those relationships.” Fluid intelligence is the ability to think and reason abstractly and solve problems. This ability is considered independent of learning, experience, and education. Examples of the use of fluid intelligence include solving puzzles and coming up with problem solving strategies.

Crystallized intelligence is learning from past experiences and learning. Situations that require crystallized intelligence include reading comprehension and vocabulary exams. This type of intelligence is based upon facts and rooted in experiences. This type of intelligence becomes stronger as we age and accumulate new knowledge and understanding.

Both types of intelligence increase throughout childhood and adolescence. Fluid intelligence peaks in adolescence and begins to decline progressively beginning around age 30 or 40. Crystallized intelligence continues to grow throughout adulthood.

SUCCESSFUL INTELLIGENCE

Then there’s Successful Intelligence, which is authored by intelligence psychologist and Yale professor, Robert J. Sternberg, who believes that the whole concept of relating IQ to life achievement is misguided, because he believes that IQ is a pretty miserable predictor of life achievement.

His Successful Intelligence theory focuses on 3 types of intelligence which are combined to contribute to one’s overall success: Analytical Intelligence; mental steps or components used to solve problems; Creative Intelligence: the use of experience in ways that foster insight (creativity/divergent thinking); and Practical Intelligence: the ability to read and adapt to the contexts of everyday life.

With regard to environment, Mr. Sternberg writes in his book Successful Intelligence: Successfully intelligent people realize that the environment in which they find themselves may or may not be able to make the most of their talents. They actively seek an environment where they can not only do successful work, but make a difference. They create opportunities rather than let opportunities be limited by circumstances in which they happen to find themselves.

As an educator, I subscribe to Mr. Sternberg’s Successful Intelligence approach to teaching. It has proven to be a highly effective tool and mindset for my college students. Using Successful Intelligence as the backbone of my context-driven curriculum really inspires students to see how education makes their life goals more attainable, and motivates them to further develop their expertise. Mr. Sternberg believes that the major factor in achieving expertise is purposeful engagement.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

In his best-selling 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reported that research shows that conventional measures of intelligence – IQ – only account for 20% of a person’s success in life. For example, research on IQ and education shows that high IQ predicts 10 to 25% of grades in college. The percentage will vary depending on how we define success. Nonetheless, Goleman’s assertion begs the question: What accounts for the other 80%?

You guessed it…Emotional Intelligence. What exactly is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (also called EQ or EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Many corporations now have mandatory EQ training for their managers in an effort to improve employee

relations and increase productivity.

TACIT KNOWLEDGE aka “STREET SMARTS”

You’ve heard the phrase, “Experience is the greatest teacher…”

In psychology circles knowledge gained from everyday experience is called tacit knowledge. The colloquial term is “street smarts,” which implies that formal, classroom instruction (aka “book smarts”) has nothing to do with it. The individual is not directly instructed as to what he or she should learn, but rather must extract the important lesson from the experience even when learning is not the primary objective.

Tacit knowledge is closely related to common sense, which is sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. As you know, common sense is not all that common.

Tacit knowledge, or the lessons obtained from it, seems to “stick” both faster and better when the lessons have direct relevance to the individual’s goals. Knowledge that is based on one’s own practical experience will likely be more instrumental to achieving one’s goals than will be knowledge that is based on someone else’s experience, or that is overly generic and abstract.

BEING BOTH SMART AND STUPID

Yes, it’s possible to be both smart and stupid. I’m sure someone you know comes to mind at this precise moment. But the goal here is not to ridicule, but to understand how some seemingly highly intelligent, or highly educated individuals can be so smart in one way, and incredibly stupid in others.

The woman who is a respected, well paid, dynamic executive who consistently chooses men who don’t appear to be worthy of her, or the man who appears to be a pillar of the community, with a loving wife and happy kids, ends up being arrested on rape charges.

It happens, but why? I found the answer in Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. Essentially, intellect is domain specific. In other words, being smart (knowledgeable) in one area of your life, and stupid (ignorant) in another is natural. Turning off one’s brain is quite common especially when it comes to what we desire. A shared characteristic among those who are smart and stupid, is the difficulty in delaying gratification.

Olem Ayduk & Walter Mischel who wrote the chapter summarized: Sometimes stupid behavior in smart people may arise from faulty expectations, erroneous beliefs, or merely a lack of motivation to enact control strategies even when one has them. But sometimes it is an inability to regulate one’s affective states and the behavioral tendencies associated with them that leads to stupid and self-defeating behavior.

The central character in this book who many of these lessons regarding being smart and stupid revolve around is Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinksky.

WISDOM & CONCLUSION

My great grandmother, Leola Cecil, maybe had an 8th grade education at the most. By no stretch of the imagination was she highly educated, but she had what seemed like infinite wisdom. She was very observant and could “read” people with startling accuracy. Till the very end of her life she shared her “crystallized intelligence” with whomever was receptive to it.

She died at the age of 94. I often use many of her sayings as a public speaker, but most importantly, I use her philosophies to make sure that I’m being guided spiritually and not just intellectually. Many of us who are lucky enough to have a great grandparent can testify that there is something special about their knowledge. They seem to have life figured out, and a knack for helping those of us who are smart, educated and intelligent see things more clearly when we are too busy thinking.

What they have is what we should all aspire to end up with if we are lucky: wisdom.

Wisdom is the ability to look through a person, when others can only look at them. Wisdom slows down the thinking process and makes it more organic; synchronizing it with intuition. Wisdom helps you make better judgments regarding decisions, and makes you less judgmental. Wisdom is understanding without knowing, and accepting without understanding. Wisdom is recognizing what’s important to other people, and knowing that other people are of the utmost importance to you. Wisdom is both a starting point, and a final conclusion.

3 Star Hotels in Barcelona Centre

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Barcelona, as one of Spain’s most important and largest cities, offers the visitor an abundance of cultural things to see and do. Famous sights include the impressive Sagrada Família, the bustling Ramblas, several outstanding Gaudí buildings and a good selection of museums and galleries. Also, a rather unique characteristic of the city is the fact that it also lies on the coast and offers the rarity of sandy beaches and sunbathing; an ideal situation for those looking for culture as well as a bit of sea-side relaxation.

Of course accommodation will play a relatively large part in how much you enjoy your visit. A 3-star hotel will usually provide at least the minimum in the services and amenities expected for a comfortable and relaxing stay. Like many major cities, there is a good choice of 3 star hotels in Barcelona. They can be found all over the city, but for convenience it would probably be best to stay in a hotel in or close to the city centre, so that you can easily discover Barcelona on foot, even though the city’s public transport system is both cheap and efficient.

The centre of Barcelona is quite compact, making it viable to explore on foot. Furthermore, the centre is well connect via the city’s comprehensive metro network. In the centre you will find the Cathedral, Gaudí’s La Pedrera, the main shopping centre, some of the city’s best restaurants and cafes and many of the museums, such as the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Picasso Museum, the Maritime Museum and much more.

The following Barcelona hotels are well located in the city centre, one near Plaza Catalonia, one close to the Sagrada Família and the other directly on the Ramblas.

3-star Hotel Gran Ducat Barcelona: This hotel is a modern place to stay and run by friendly, professional staff. Located just off Plaza Catalonia, you will be close to where the Ramblas begin and where the city’s main shopping area can be found. There are 64 good-sized guest rooms in total, all en suite, air conditioned and well equipped with today’s mod cons.

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Hands-Only CPR: When and How to Do It

I’m frequently asked if giving breaths has been eliminated from CPR now that the CPR guidelines have been updated. The simple answer is no, the breaths are still instructed in traditional CPR classes. However, there has been a big push, especially by the American Heart Association, to teach a version of CPR without breaths. This approach is often called “hands-only CPR”.

In short, hands-only CPR is fast, deep compressions on a victim’s chest. If someone doesn’t respond to your efforts to wake them, and their breathing is irregular or they aren’t breathing, you push straight down on an adult’s chest at least 2 inches at a rate of at least 100 compressions a minute. This is a skill you need to practice with an instructor on a manikin, so I’m not going to go into further detail on how to perform this skill.

Hands-only CPR has many advantages over traditional CPR: it’s simple to do, it reduces the risk of disease   transmission  while doing CPR, and research shows it’s as effective or more effective when used appropriately.

Hands-only CPR is an acceptable approach when you witness someone suddenly collapse. If this is an adult, it’s probably because of cardiac arrest (a heart attack). The victim still has several minutes of oxygen in their blood because they were breathing moments before they collapsed. The goal of hands-only CPR is to circulate that oxygenated blood throughout their body. By continually compressing their chest, you are literally squeezing blood through their heart so it reaches the brain and organs. Those compressions will buy the victim valuable minutes until emergency medical personnel arrive.

However, hands-only CPR isn’t always the best approach. If the victim has become unconscious and isn’t breathing normally because of an airway emergency, they need CPR with breaths. Asthma, severe allergies, choking, drowning and suffocation are all examples of airway emergencies that can lead to a victim who is unconscious and not breathing normally. Because these victims are lacking oxygen, they need rescue breaths, along with chest compressions.

Children and infants usually have healthy, strong hearts so if they become unconscious, the cause is usually not cardiac related. Most likely they are suffering from an airway emergency. This is why every parent who takes a CPR class should learn to do CPR with breaths. Unless a CPR class says it’s a hand-only class, all American Red Cross and American Heart Association CPR classes will teach you how to give rescue breaths along with compressions.

Athens Concert Hall

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Usually people who visit Athens are more impressed with the antiquities and the famous monuments like the Acropolis and the Parthenon and don’t get me wrong I am impressed too… how couldn’t I be, but there are more things to Athens than people think so, theatres, cinemas, shopping malls and the Concert Hall of Athens which is not too far from the center of town and boats state-of-the-art technology and acoustics.

It was designed by a consortium of foreign and Greek consultants to correspond to the stringent demands of contemporary audiences and performers and can be considered one of the finest in the world.

Apart from the main hall Filon tis Mousikis – Friends of Music- which seats an audience of 2.000 it contains a smaller hall seating 500 people, a music library, recording studios, a restaurant and a foyer in which exhibitions of various kinds are held. It also houses an ultramodern conference centre.

The Megaro schedules concerts of all kinds from classical music of all periods to jazz and folk preformed by world class soloists, groups orchestras, operas and ballet companies throughout the year, except in summer.

It started operating in 1991 and it is an important cultural center of the whole Europe. Its superb acoustics have been acclaimed both by the public and by renowned performers of the music and art world.

The Athens Concert Hall has welcomed top class artists, music ensembles, composers, conductors and performers in an artistic trajectory that has left its mark in the country’s culture scene.

It is very easy to reach the Concert Hall of Athens since there is a metro station named after it which is only a few meters away. It is really easy to find it if you have a Metro Map. Buses and taxis are also available in the area.

As far as accommodation is concerned, there are many Concert Hall Hotels, meaning hotels close to “Megaro Mousikis” to choose from. Athens Hotels are among the best of Greece.

I went there many times for several performances and I even got the chance to see a classical concert dedicated to Antonin Dvorak, a famous musician. The Concert Hall of Athens really impressed me so I thought that I should really share this with you. Don’t miss an excellent opportunity to visit a place like this one!

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Top 10 Motorcycles Songs

1. Meatloaf – Bat out of Hell

Released in 1979, and again in 1993 it was written by Jim Steinman with lead vocals from Meatloaf. Steinman was insistent that the song should contain the sound of a motorbike engine being revved, and complained to producer Todd Rundgren in the final recording session when it was not added. Rather than use a recording of a real motorcycle, Rundgren himself played the section on guitar, leading straight into the solo without a break.

2. The Doors – Riders on the storm

Taken from their 1971 album, LA woman this song reached number 22 spot on the UK singles chart. The song was inspired by Ghost Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend.”

3. The Eagles – Life in the Fast Lane

This is the third single from the Album Hotel California which was written by Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Don Henley and reached number 11 in the Billboard Hot 100

4. Steppenwolf – Born to Be Wild

Born to be wild was Initially released in 1968 and was used on the soundtrack for the famous motorcycle movie Easy rider, staring Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda riding Harley Davidson Hydraglide bikes from 1949, 1950 and 1952

5. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run

Written in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1974 the song is a love letter to a girl called Wendy. Springsteen himself is a celebrated bike fan. He recently auctioned off his Harley Davidson at the NY Comedy Festival Event ‘Stand Up for Heroes: A Benefit for the Bob Woodruff Family Fund‘ for US$ 85,000.

6. Rush – Ghost Rider

This song is based on the motorcycle story Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. by Rush’s drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. Peart embarked on a 14 month 55,000 mile motorcycle journey across America after losing two of his family members.

7. Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness

This single by Welsh Rock band Manic Street preachers was inspired by a book by SE Hilton called Rumble Fish and is about biker gang culture. The lyrics have been interpreted by some as an attach consumer/capitalist lifestyle and how young people are expected to conform.

8. Shangri-Las – Leader of the Pack

This song became number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1964 and is about a girl called Betty who is seeking her parent’s disapproval by dating Jimmy, the leader of a motorcycle gang. Her parents claim he is from the “the wrong side of town” and will be a bad influence on her.

9. Bob Seger – Roll Me Away

Roll Me Away was written in 1982 by Bob Seger on the album The Distance by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Tit reached number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 char

10. Prince- Purple Rain

The song Purple Rain, taken from the album of the same name reached number 2 in the America charts. The album was thought by many as among the best rock albums ever it was ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as the second best album of the 1980s.

It’s Time to Learn More About Defending Our Own United States

If you are just like many individuals, there is a pretty good possibility that you will be incredibly worried about what exactly is taking place with this United States. It seems like as if absolutely nothing is working correct and every person is out to produce problems for everyone else. Due to this, it is very important to devote very close focus on the several things that happen to be happening on a daily basis. Take time to go to this amazing site to learn more about what’s going on inside the White House as well as the reason why the Pentagon will be being prepared for an unexpected situation. It really is unfortunate to believe that there is terrorists that happen to be looking for top reasons to create problems to Americans. Since this is such a concern, you will need to act and then come together with an agenda.

Invest time to view this content and also learn much more about exactly what He Said concerning the future of the United States. If you are in a position to click here now, this can keep you informed using what should be expected within the next couple of months while preparing with the election. You will discover Syrian rebels that happen to be finding ways to ruin Us citizens. It can be sad to think this is going on simply because they are actually asked in to our own nation in an effort to look for a much better life.

Spiritual homes are increasingly being invaded and then churches are increasingly being demolished since people are not aware the reality that it is time to go ahead and take authority once again. Spend some time to think about, why not find out more information? Many individuals can easily admit to the fact that it can be hard to pursue national politics. It seems as though there’s always a little something going on and it is hard to understand what needs to occur to try to make matters perfect.

Something is for sure, when we possess a dependable Leader inside the White House, they will likely make sure that individuals who are living proper and trying to be honest will be cared for. Spend some time when considering your candidate for the next election. That way, there will be no question as to whether this was the best choice in this land. Get more information right now.

Collecting Ancient Athenian Coins

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Coins issued by certain cities or empires took the leading role in dictating which coins were readily acceptable for trade in the Mediterranean lands. One such   city  was  Athens , which established the “Attic standard” that was to be adopted later by Alexander the Great. Silver was used to pay civil servants, soldiers and mercenaries, and it is believed that the latter is the reason that many Greek silver coins were struck in the first place. The non-Greek lands of the Near East issued large quantities of silver coins, most notably the Parthians, Sassanians and Baktrians. These coins vary in style and fabric, the thickness and purity of the planchet on which the coin was struck, and are relatively under valued compared to the more widely collected issues of Greece proper.

In Greek mythology, Athena was the goddess of warfare and wisdom. Later known as Minerva by the Romans, she was the goddess of not only wisdom and battle, but of certain crafts and the protector of all cities and states. At birth, according to one myth, she sprang from the forehead of Zeus, the king of the gods, fully grown and dressed in armor. Athena is usually shown wearing a helmet and a magic shield called the aegis. The goddess Athena was not only wise in war but also in the arts of peace. She supposedly invented the plow and taught men how to yoke oxen. Athena’s chief symbol was the owl and in Greek mythology, the owl is firmly linked with Athena who is usually picture with her owl perched on her shoulder. Some say that is why the owl, in modern times, associated with wisdom.

Athenian coins were used in exchange throughout the Greek world, hoards have been found as far away from  Athens  as Babylon, Afghanistan and Iran. The quantity of Athenian coins minted in last half of the fifth century BC, reflect the changed and powerful position of  Athens  in the eastern Mediterranean, from a small  city-state  defending itself on land against the onslaught of Darius at Marathon,  Athens  grew to be the  center  of an empire whose power was dependent on its control of the sea. From being a partner in and administrative head of the Delian League,  Athens  became its leader and its many  city-state  members paid  Athens  tribute.

Huge sums must have been necessary for the commercial activities of  Athens  port  city , Piraeus, construction atop the Acropolis and in the city, financing of the Athenian fleet, and perennial warfare. The money was derived not only from annual tribute received from the Delian League  city-states , but from rich silver deposits  Athens  owned and mined at Laurium, close to Cape Sunium as well. The mines provide the silver that paid for construction of the fleet that destroyed the Persians at Salamis in 479 BC.

Common to all issues of the coin are the goddess Athena, in profile on the obverse, and the owl, her constant companion, standing on the reverse, a sprig of olive leaves with a berry above its shoulder. Variations in design exist among denominations of the coin.

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Underground Electric Dog Fence

An underground electric dog fence is a great way to keep your dog safe from the street or roaming into uninvited areas like your neighbor’s yard. They come in a variety of sizes to fit all dogs: underground fences for little dogs of under 12 lbs, average sized dogs and even large dogs as well as extra wire for larger acres of land. The electric fence can be buried underground, stapled above ground or attached along an existing fence. These fences give precise and consistent correction and some are specifically made for the stubborn dog with strong retriever tendencies or low sensitivity and in need of beeps and stronger vibration for them to get the message.

These underground wired fences work on slopes or in hilly areas, treed lots, in water and acres of land. Their precision and consistent correction capabilities allow for good reliability near busy streets. The variety of collars that are interchangeable make them great for small dogs, like a Chihuahua or a large dog like a Great Dane.

A small indentation or groove made in the pavement is big enough for the wire to be brought beyond the driveway to the extended yard making the dog fence very practical, just backfill the driveway with outdoor sealant. If you don’t want to buy wire get the staples and run the wire above ground. Zip ties can help you secure the wire along an existing fence.

Correction depends upon the dog receiving the   transmission . Therefore, you need to make sure that the receiver collar is the right size for your dog. It should not be smaller than the space of your two fingers between the collar and his neck (we don’t want to choke poor “Pooch”!), but the prongs need to touch the skin of your dog in order for the shock to be felt. Remember, it’s a harmless shock that is meant to catch your dog’s attention and change his current behavior. Long or medium haired dogs may need a scissor cut around the neck area so the prongs will contact the skin. If necessary, there are long pronged collars available for the long haired dog as well.

We love our dogs but, let’s face it, nothing is certain with them for dogs are naturally impulsive. Therefore, even with the underground electric dog fence training is imperative if you want a great chance of solid obedience. We highly recommend training the dog before actually using any system. Flags are available for training the dog to learn the boundary. Take 2-3 weeks, depending on your dog, to walk around the boundary with the flags so “Pooch” can see where the boundary is. Then place the collar on him and walk around with him guiding him to retreat when the signal on the collar transmits a warning. Before you know it, your dog will readily stay within the boundary of the underground electric dog fence without your presence because he won’t know that he can run through it!

The Real Key to Wealth is Making Your Hard Earned Money Work for You

A lot of people will have a good work ethic and so are more than happy to consistently put in an honest day’s hard work for just a good day’s pay. Whilst being able to work hard is definitely both critical as well as admirable, most individuals’ capacity for toil has limits. It is because of this that you’ll often hear people declare, exactly where making money is involved, “Operate smarter, not harder.” You may also hear these folks say things such as, “Make your money work for you.” How, specifically does a person go about undertaking this? An individual may read in detail about it here, or obtain the highlights under. Preferably, your efforts may produce a certain amount of additional cash which you can use with regard to ventures.

There are a selection of countless ways by which a person can expend their money. Each and every diverse purchase includes a particular level of risk. Generally speaking, the chance of a reward is definitely greater in the event the hazard is significantly higher. Less dangerous purchases seldom generate as fantastic a return. Thus, when someone puts his / her cash in to passbook savings at his traditional bank, he’ll not make a large level of reward, yet he does not have to worry about losing his cash, either. The individual that tends to be normally on-line taking a look at stock price info as well as which invests within completely new technologies or maybe up and coming companies might make an undesirable choice from time to time, but if their investments pay off, he will probably often generate more than the person that plays it as safe as possible.

Many guides about investing were published, plus much of that info is on the net, free of charge. You can find great details from this author available here, for instance. Folks invest in a wide range of things. Many like selecting their own unique shares. Other folks choose to subscribe to index mutual funds, or eschew stock market trading completely, and instead, put their income into a pal’s company, into real estate, or maybe inside their own inventions, instead. The true secret to being successful with someone’s ventures is to possess a keen feeling of exactly where the globe is definitely proceeding as far as business and technological innovation are involved. Getting in on something totally new early is key. All things considered, who won’t love to make use of their modern hindsight and turn back over time to be one of the primary individuals to sink money into computers?

Techniques For Moving Coming From A Lease Holder To A Home Owner

When searching for a residence, it really is well suited for numerous people to choose a local rental instead of commit a huge sum of cash in buying a house. Letting a residence in the great neighbourhood where young kids have plenty of activities is a good idea for the majority of youthful families who are not yet able to invest in a home. It truly is crucial that you complete a significant amount of analysis before selecting a rental property in addition to check these guys out if you need some help. Leasing is not only cheaper than purchasing, it is additionally less complicated. Occupants can get their house to constantly maintain wonderful shape since the proprietor accounts for maintenance. In case the boiler or maybe ac unit breaks down, the roof contains a drip or a windows will get damaged by way of a kid enjoying golf outside the house, renters can expect the owner of your housing rental to repair it immediately. Obviously, this might occur with a expense for some problems nevertheless the owner would want to keep their house in good shape so renters will not have to worry about residing without warmth or warm water or possibly a shattered home window for too long. Most of the time, renting a house will not be the optimal situation. A lot of people desire to own their own personal home and are satisfied with renting because they really don’t have sufficient funds preserved to make a purchase. Individuals in this situation need to view publisher site for ideas that can help them save cash on housing bills whilst they plan for house ownership. When speaking to an estate agency with regards to a rental, they might additionally inquire about the expenses of a number of offered houses and the the latest movements in home price ranges. Despite the fact that pricing is continually altering, this info can help a family make to buy their own personal home in the future. Shifting from the lease holder into a property owner might be scary. Getting a home costs far more compared to the monthly house loan as well as it essential to acquire in a community that is pleasant for the entire family members. People who wish to buy a residence quickly may well elect to rent a property in the region prior to making a proposal to ensure these are satisfied there.

Convert Negative Social Media Comments into Clients for Your Business

There are very few issues that an enterprise values more than a favorable evaluation from a dedicated and also satisfied consumer. Not only do you have a few fantastic warm fuzzies, but the phrase distributes about the wonderful product/service/etc. your enterprise has to offer. As many people purchase online nowadays, even if these people decide to make their particular purchase close at hand, such individuals even now tend to search online and study critiques. Most people often pride themselves in being able to decide the one that “feels” as they generally do, or maybe who has exactly the same priorities, and their own investment selection is frequently greatly weighted with what they read in such critiques. Positive reviews frequently are a true boon to a business.

Sadly, however, unfavorable reviews also impact an enterprise, but not to its benefit. Even so, it must be remembered how the most forward-thinking people in society generally all believe that something negative always has a silver lining, and can be turned into someone’s benefit only if the time and effort is going to be made to see what its undetectable possible potential might be. Therefore, do not fear negative evaluations. It is possible to take just what a negative staff member, customer as well as company rival across town intended to injure you right into an element that makes people more new clients than before. The actual secret is to have a positive attitude and nothing to cover up, and then to disarm your accusers in your willingness to repair the situation such people view.

Before you accomplish that, nevertheless, you need to be conscious of the fact that the review was published. You’ll find way too many varieties of social networking right now to personally keep an eye on all of them – if you ever tried, you’d very likely do nothing at all else!  Using Chatmeter, it is possible to enter search phrases, like your business name, your name, your product titles and stuff like that and you will then be sent a text or email when such keywords seem to show up upon social media. Thanks to Chatmeter, you now can spend your entire day undertaking other things, and only care for a person’s brand’s recognition when you are purposefully developing it, or maybe whenever it becomes necessary on account of social media commentary.

Athens Holiday – The Greek Capital

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This metropolitan capital is also the largest and one of the oldest cities in Greece.  Athens  is rich with ancient history, myths and a contemporary touch of bars, café and restaurants.  Athens  is also the  city  of Olympics, architecture and holiday in  Athens  is nevertheless a complete adventure in itself, with  Athens  offering breathtaking archaeological rich places, beaches and crowded shopping areas.

Following are some of the tourist spots or attractions one must visit when holidaying in  Athens :

Acropolis

Acropolis is one of the major tourist spots as it stands high up on the hills, giving a spectacular view of the Greek capital. The structure is loaded with archaeological values and its origin goes back to 510 BC. The attraction is also worth paying a visit when holidaying in  Athens , due to the amazing temples surrounding it. Every year huge crowd of tourists and visitors come to acropolis when on a holiday in  Athens . Never miss acropolis when in  Athens .

Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon

This tourist spot is a great way to enjoy holiday in  Athens  by viewing sunset, also you get to experience archaeological rich monuments surrounded with striking sea view. The place is a quite a hit among foreign tourist and local visitors.

National Archaeological Museum

This popular tourist spot was structured in year 1889 and is home to some of the most amazing ancient artifacts and proof of really old civilizations. The museum is loved by many who plan a holiday in  Athens  just for its history and archeological richness. The museum has mask of Agamemnon that goes 3,600 years back. Greek sculptures, Cycladic idols, pottery and ancient jewelry, coins as well as a 2000 years old finding of a computer.

The Plaka

Plaka is loved by tourist and visitors and is a major way to wind down when holidaying in  Athens  and experiencing the thick and thin of  Athens’s  archeology. This 19th century narrow streets going down the acropolis is filled with shops, cafes, boutiques and local building. This tourist spot is round the clock surrounded with tourist and local visitors. You can always found good souvenir to take back to your country from souvenir shops on Plaka.

Piraeus

This attraction is found at the suburbs of  Athens  and has tourist and local visitors of  Athens  all dinning at best and sophisticated dine outs, taverns and sea food restaurants. Piraeus is not exactly a part of  Athens , but can be reached by ferries and is worth paying a visit, when relishing an exotic holiday in  Athens .

Kessariani

Maintained and run by a group of monks, the monastery is a regularly visited by tourist holidaying in  Athens , due to its historic and amazing built and background. The building built in 11 century got its mosaics in 16th or 17th century. This orthodox monastery is surrounded with pleasing scenery, flourishing gardens and enjoyable views.

Time to visit or holiday in  Athens 

The best time to holiday in  Athens  would be anytime other than months of summers, which are hot and humid enough to make the holiday a disappointment. Thus, it is better to visit  Athens , for that fun and enjoyment, in the months of March and October. Spring and autumn is always good time to tour  Athens .

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Five Things You Will Want to Know About the Honda CR 500

If there ever was a member of the Honda CR series that was popular, then it has to be the Honda CR 500. This, by the way, is the same machine that Robbie Knievel used for his entire jumping career, which featured an astonishing twenty world records. It is still remains a popular machine, the fact that its production was stopped by Honda, as did the production of the entire Honda-CR series. As such, many people continue to search for information regarding the Honda CR 500. And if you happen to be one of these, then you will find our discussion on ‘five things you will want to know about the Honda-CR 500’ interesting.

1) One of these things you could want to know about the Honda CR 500 is its engine power. This is something that motorcycling enthusiasts are very keen about, a factor on whose strength alone many have been known to make significant purchasing decisions. As it turns out, the engine power of the Honda-CR 500 (at 491 cc) maxes at 69 Horse Power – at 8,500 revolutions per minute, quite remarkable power by any stands.

2) The second thing you may want to know about the Honda CR 500 is about its transmission. As it turns out, the Honda CR 500 comes with a complete five-speed gear box. This is a remarkable feature, for a machine that was first developed in the 80s – and considering that there are ‘modern’ motorcycles that are yet to attain the complete five gear speed transmission up to this date.

3) The third thing you may want to know about the Honda-CR 500 is about its suspension, especially if you are a person who cares about the ‘comfort of your rides,’ as do many people. As it turns out, the Honda CR 500 comes with a complete and refined suspension, a remarkable thing, seeing that many motorcycles come with what can only be described as ‘crude’ suspension: whose effects the users are left to contend with.

4) The fourth thing you may want to know about the Honda-CR 500 is about the colors it comes in, especially if you are a person who cares about aesthetics – as every proper person is supposed to. Now although the Honda CR 500 came only in flash red when it was first released in 1984, it has evolved over time (color-wise), so that today, we have it coming in many literary ‘hot’ colors: flash red, the so-called nuclear red and the so-called fighting red. So, Honda-CR 500 mainly comes in red, but different hues of it for variety.

5) The fifth thing you may want to know about the Honda CR 500 is regarding what led to the discontinuation of its production by Honda. As it turns out, the reasons were mainly environmental, and not mechanical (or to do with popularity), as one would imagine. Yet in spite of the discontinuation of its production, Honda-CR 500 remains a much-loved machine, with strong sales on the specimens of it that are still on the market, and the pieces of it that emerge on the ‘second hand motorcycles’ market every now and then.

Secret Italy – City Breaks On the Road Less Travelled

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You probably already know the top five cities of Italy: Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice and Naples. But if you’re looking for a different side of Italy, city breaks in the less visited areas may be just the ticket.

Ranging in size, these places offer a great glimpse into authentic Italian life, perhaps unlike the hurried pace and bustling crowds you’ll find in Rome, Florence or Milan. Here are five other places to consider visiting in Italy – city breaks on the road less travelled!

Turin

Also known as Torino, the home of the Fiat automobile plant and the Shroud of Turin is an interesting yet often overlooked area in Italy. City breaks in the Piedmont region can be wonderfully relaxing here, nestled between the foothills of the Alps and the Po River. It’s an excellent base to stay in between exploring the nearby hills and vineyards.

With its Baroque architecture (extending to its elegant bars and cafes), arcaded shopping promenades and smaller museums of Italy, Turin offers a relaxed ambience. You can wander around Piazza Castello and Palazzo Reale, which feature lovely fountains and are ringed by grand buildings. Then, take a walk through Il Quadrilatero – a maze of meandering back streets with wonderful markets and charming churches. You’ll also want to visit the Borgo Mediovale, a recreation of a medieval village by the river, complete with a castle.

Perugia

Umbria is one of the country’s more overlooked areas, often overshadowed by its more popular neighbour, Tuscany. But if you’re looking for an interesting place to relax without forgoing sophistication in Italy, city breaks in Perugia – Umbria’s largest city, located almost at the very centre of the country – are ideal.

A lively walled medieval hill city with historic buildings, busy squares, and modern shops, Perugia is home to a university as well as an Italian language centre catering to foreigners. From here you can also explore other Umbrian attractions such as Assisi, Spello, and Gubbio.

Brescia

For many visitors, the Lombardy region usually means Milan, but if you’re looking for something a little quieter, you may want to go east to the small city of Brescia – often overlooked in the excitement over the country’s fashion centre. Located between Lakes Garda and Iseo, Brescia is the gateway to the Valcamonica – a UNESCO site with the largest collection of prehistoric rock art in Europe. This is also the place where the annual Mille Miglia car race begins and ends. Places to see in Brescia include the castle, Roman ruins, Renaissance squares, and a medieval city centre named Piazza della Vittoria – where the famous car race starts.

Padua

Also overshadowed by a more popular neighbour, Padua is a wonderful place to spend a more laidback holiday. This small walled city located between Verona and Venice boasts Europe’s first Botanical Gardens – the Orto Botanico – and is also the home of many frescoes by Giotto.

Lecce

Because of its wealth of Baroque monuments, Lecce is often called the Florence of the south. For those visiting southern Puglia, making Lecce your base offers the advantage of a mild climate, accommodations that is inexpensive compared to other cities, and a -charmingly compact city centre.

There’s definitely more to see than the top four big cities in Italy; the less-visited areas will definitely give you a more complete view of the country in all its beauty.

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The Basic Principles of Preventing Infection

Basic Infection Control refers to measures designed to prevent the spread of infections or potentially infectious microorganisms to health personnel, clients and visitor. Various infection control measures are used to decrease the risk of transmission of microorganisms in hospitals.

Principles of Basic Infection Control

1. Microorganism move through space on air currents. Avoid shaking or tossing linens as these motions create currents on which these microorganisms can be transported. All isolation room doors should be closed to stop air currents.

2. Microorganisms are transferred from one surface to another whenever objects touch. When a clean item touches a less clean item, it becomes “dirty” because microorganisms are transferred to it. Keep your hands away from your hair and face. Keep linens away from your uniform. Always keep clean items separated from dirty ones, any object dropped to the floor is considered dirty.

3. Microorganisms are released into the air on droplet nuclei, whenever a person breathes or speaks. Coughing and sneezing dramatically increases the number of microorganisms released from the mouth and nose. Cover mouth when coughing and sneezing. Wash hands thoroughly.

4. Microorganisms are transferred by gravity when one item is held above another. Avoid passing dirty items over clean items or areas because it is possible for the microorganisms to drop off into a clean item or area. When storing items in a bedside stand, place a clean items on upper shelves and potentially dirty items such as bedpans on lower shelves.

5. Microorganisms move slowly on dry surfaces but very quickly through moisture. Use dry paper towel when you turn off faucets. Dry both basin before placing on bed side for storage.

6. Proper hand washing removes many of the microorganisms that would be transferred by the hands from one item to another.

Universal Precaution

1. Wear clean examination gloves for listed body fluids: Blood, semen, vaginal secretions, CSF, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, etc.

2. Wash hands:

  • a. Immediately after contact with body substances containing blood
  • b. Between patient care
  • c. Immediately after gloves are removed.

3. Wear masks and protective eyewear when appropriate.

4. Wear moisture-proof apron when appropriate.

5. Wear utility (household rubber) gloves appropriately

6. Dispose of equipment and secretions properly

7. Wear sterile gloves appropriately

8. Handle specimens of blood and listed body fluids appropriately

9. Handle soiled linens correctly:

a. Hold linen away from uniform

b. Do not shake or toss linen

c. Transport linen contaminated with blood or bloody fluids in leakage resistant proof bags.

What Causes Yeast Infections in Women – 3 Things That Will Shock You

What causes yeast infections in women? The answer may surprise you. This is one of the most common health issues that women experience. Tens of thousands of women are treated by doctors for this uncomfortable and embarrassing condition every day.

Yeast infections know no bounds of race, age, or geographic location. Any woman is susceptible to them. While there are a lucky few who are never bothered by this problem, most women will experience at least one yeast infection on their lives.

Once you learn what causes them, you’ll have a better idea of how they can be prevented.

1. Yeast infections can happen anywhere on your body. While the vagina is the most common location for these infections in women, problems can also happen in the blood, on the skin, and in the mouth. Dark, wet, and damp conditions cause yeast infections, so places on or in your body that have these conditions are breeding grounds for yeast.

In the blood, these infections manifest themselves as such things as PMS, depression, arthritis, and ADHD. On the skin, yeast causes rashes, and in the mouth, it causes thrush. Babies who get diaper rash are suffering from yeast infections (after all, a wet diaper is the perfect place for yeast spores to grow).

Eliminate these conditions, and you’ll be putting up a strong barrier against yeast.

2. Sugar feeds yeast. People who eat sugary diets are prime candidates for yeast infections. If you don’t consume a lot of sugar, it’s unlikely yeast will grow into much of a problem, even if you’re exposed to it. However, the more cookies and cake you eat, the worse your infection will become.

3. Yeast can be sexually transmitted. Men can be contaminated with yeast, but not have any symptoms. They can then pass it to their sexual partners without knowing it. The women get yeast, and pass it back to their partners in turn, creating a never-ending cycle of   transmission .

Attacking yeast at its roots is the best way to get rid of it for good. Even if you keep your body clean and dry, avoid sugar, and have protected sex, if you’ve already had an infection in your life, the yeast could still be there, lying dormant.

You’ve got to kill it all to ensure it won’t come back. There is a way to do this, and it’s safe and natural. Learning what causes yeast infections in women is easy, and getting rid of them for good can be easy as well, if you know what to do.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a City Center

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Some people say that city center is the best place to live. One has an easy access to all the amenities of life. Additionally, city centers are the places where all the business, educational, official and trade activity centers are located. The commuting time is nothing as compared to those living in the suburbs. There are, however, some big disadvantages of living in the city center as well. Following lines would give you a great comparison in this regard.

Advantages

The biggest advantage of living in a city-center is the easy access to all the business, trade and educational offices. City-centers are planned in such a manner that they become the hub of everything related to commercial, official or educational fields. Most universities and colleges are located in the city-center and students from suburbs have to commute long distances to reach their alma maters. Similarly, professionals have to take public or private transport to reach the city-center. Monthly fares of public transports, despite all the discounts, are quite expensive these days.

On the contrary, people living in the city-center do not have to incur any transportation costs. In most cases, all the famous buildings, business centers and universities are located within a walking distance. There are no expenditures in transportation costs and time wasted in travelling. Additionally, one can save money on dining costs as one can simply head back to home to eat during lunch breaks. People from the suburbs are unfortunate in this regard. They have to eat lunch from the push carts or restaurants and this entails some big spending, even if the rates are affordable. Monthly expenditures on food bills are enough to cause a big dent in your monthly budget.

Disadvantages

There are also many disadvantages of living in a city-center. First of all, there is no sense of privacy as the city centre remains active till late night. Secondly, the house rents are sky high in the city-center. Everyone wants to live there and homeowners take full advantage of this phenomenon. Another disadvantage of living in a city-center is the lack of suburban activities and neighbourhood attitude that is prevalent in the suburbs. There are hardly any parks and open spaces where one can breathe fresh air. In most cases, the environment is polluted because of thousands of cars that throng the roads and alleys. Similarly, the proportion of trees and shrubs is far less than a typical suburb that is usually green and pollution free.

The sense of community is also lacking in the city-center as people remain busy in their own affairs and do not pay any attention to their neighbours and friends. Another down point of living in the city center is the higher prices of commodities. As compared to suburbs, that are usually located close to farmer markets; city centers are cramped places with high property rents. Shops often pass on that high price to their customers.

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What Is The Difference Between Investment Management and Stockbrokers?

The investment services industry can be daunting and ambiguous for individuals who seek a return on their capital. After working hard earning your wealth, it is important to understand the different services offered by professionals and what solutions fit you personally. One of the main questions we get asked here is:

“What is the difference between investment management and stockbrokers?”

Firstly, let’s discuss what stockbrokers are – we all have a much better, clearer, idea of what they do and who they represent. Stockbrokers are regulated firms that offer financial advice to their clients. A stockbroker buys and sells equities and other securities like bonds, CFDs, Futures and Options on behalf of their clients in return for a fee or commission. A brokerage / stockbroker will receive a fee on each transaction, whether the idea is profitable or not.

A brokerage can specialise in any investment niche they wish for example:

  • FTSE All-Share stocks,
  • AIM stocks,
  • European Stocks,
  • Asian Stocks,
  • US Stocks
  • Combinations of the above
  • Straight equities,
  • Straight derivative trading (CFDs, Futures & Options)

The main reason why investors choose stockbrokers over any other professional investment service is simply down to control. Due to the nature of a brokerage firm, they can only execute a trade after you instruct them to do so. This means it is impossible for a brokerage to keep buying and selling securities without you knowing – known as churning for commission. This doesn’t however prevent stockbrokers providing you with several new ideas a week and switching your positions to a new idea.

However, there are natural flaws with the brokerage industry is that because trading ideas can only be executed after being instructed to list a few flaws;-

  • you may miss out of good opportunities due to moves in the market,
  • you may get in a couple of days later because you were busy and not make any money after fees,
  • you may receive a call to close a position but unable to without your say so.

The above are examples that can happen when investing with brokerage firms, but this is due to the reliance of gaining authorisation from their clients. So if you are ultra busy or travel a lot then you could potentially miss out on opportunities to buy or sell.

What are investment managers?

Now we understand what stockbrokers / brokerage firms are about, let’s discuss what investment management services can do for individuals.

Investment management firms run differently to brokerages. The core aspect to these services is that the professional investment managers use their discretion to make investment decisions. As a client of an investment management firm you will go through a rigorous client on boarding process (just like a brokerage firm) to understand your investment goals, understanding of the services being used, risk profile, angering to the investment mandate and allowing the service to manage your equity portfolio. The sign up with the service may seem long winded but it’s in your best interest to ensure the service is suitable and appropriate for you. In reality, it’s not a long winded process at all. Once you agree to the services offered then you will only be updated on the on-going account data and portfolio reporting in a timely manner. This means no phone calls to disrupt your day-to-day activities and allows the professionals to focus on your portfolio.

Investment management firms usually have specific portfolios with a track record, into which you can invest your capital according to you appetite for risk. These portfolios will focus on specific securities, economies, risk and type of investing (income, capital growth or balanced). All of this would be discussed prior or during the application process.

Another method used by investment management firms is different strategies implemented by their portfolio managers. These strategies are systematic and go through thorough analysis before investment decisions are made.

The fees usually associated with investment management firms can vary from each firm. There are three common types of fees and are usually combined, fees can be;-

  • Assets Under Management Fee – This is where you pay a percentage of the portfolio per year to the firm, usually an annual fee. E.g) 1% AUM Fee on £1,000,000 is £10,000 per year.
  • Transaction Fee – This is a fee associated with each transaction made through your portfolio – similar to the brokerage firm’s commission.
  • Percentage of Profits Fee – This is where any closed profits generated over a set time will be charged to the firm. E.g) 10% PoP Fee – the firm generates you closed profit of £10,000 in one quarter – you will be charged £1,000.

The main benefits provided from investment management firms is that after the service understands your needs and tailors the service around you, it is their job to build a portfolio around you. It is also the job of the investment management firm to adhere to the investment mandate you agreed on, we’ll take about this later, so you understand of the time frame given what you should expect. Another bonus why high-net worth individuals choose investment management services is because they are not hassled by phone calls every other day with a new investment idea.

The difference…

The main difference between investment management and stockbroking firms is:

  • Investment Managers offers discretionary services; no regular phone calls about stock ideas.
  • Stockbrokers give you more control as you can personally filter out ideas you think won’t work.
  • Investment Managers offer an investment mandate; this is where the investment management service provides a document of what they are offering you in return of managing your portfolio. You will understand what exactly they are targeting over the year, based on what risk, and should they achieve it – then they have fulfilled their service. E.g) the mandate could state that the strategies used and based on 8% volatility (risk), they seek to achieve 14% capital return.
  • Stockbrokers do not offer an future agreements but look to deliver growth during the time you are with them. They are not bound by their performances like investment managers.
  • Investment management firms have a track record for all of the strategies and services used, stockbrokers do not.

Which to choose?

Both services provide professional approaches to investing in the stock markets. Stockbrokers are chosen over investment managers by people who like to be in control and receive financial advice. Stockbrokers generally do not have a systematic approach to the markets but use selective top-down approaches to select stocks.

Investment managers are chosen by investors who want an agreement on their performances over the year and understand the risk up-front. Usually more sophisticated investors that wish to take advantage of the track-record and gain an understanding of the systematic approach used by the investment management firm.

Feel free to learn more.

DISCLAIMER: The above is not considered financial advice or any endorsement to use any particular service. If you wish to use any of the services mentioned, please seek independent advice.

RISK WARNING: Spread betting, CFD, futures and options trading carries a high level of risk to your capital and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit. They may not be suitable for everyone, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Past performance of a managed service is not a guide to future performance.

Philadelphia- the New Athens

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A city not only known as the city of American freedom or the birthplace of America but also known for the revolutionary role it has played since centuries. Welcome to Philadelphia, a life-size city in Pennsylvania and the birthplace of America. Philadelphia is often referred as the New Athens, the name first suggested for the work done by the famous native of the city Benjamin Franklin. Rightly so as Benjamin Franklin was responsible for the country’s first insurance company, the city’s first public library and the first fire department; Franklin also played a great role in establishing the city’s Postal system as well as inventing new conveniences such as bifocal lenses and the Franklin stove.

Philadelphia or “Philly” best known for its role in the American Revolutionary War saw the convening of the Continental Congress as well as the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. Shortly after the nation’s inception took place in Philadelphia, it was named the nation’s capital between 1790 and 1800 before it was relocated to its present Washington D.C. Philly is now a big metropolitan which accommodates around 6.2 million inhabitants from almost all nationalities.

One of the unique factors about Philadelphia is that it is the most walkable city in the US and this factor is well used for the better part of it. Signs like “Walk! Philadelphia” well compliments the cities uniqueness and at the same time guide visitors toward shopping, dining, gallery perusing, cultural enjoyment, local must-sees and public transportation should it need to be taken. The city has two very walkable shopping districts as well as the walkable Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is home to many museums, including the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art that was made famous in the Rocky series of movies.

Its geographic location makes Philadelphia accessible by all modes of transport. The Philadelphia International airport is a busy one and you can find regular flights to almost all the locations. You can even enjoy the road trip to Philadelphia. Moreover as a visitor you can find hotels for every budget and if by any chance you are on a tight budget you can definitely find a suitable place in the Philadelphia districts. There is a place for every budget in Philadelphia. Some of the regular facilities offered by the hotels in Philadelphia include air conditioned rooms, car rentals, airport pick and drop facilities, swimming pools, health clubs, spas, restaurants etc. The city provides a unique nightlife to all and that definitely means that you can take a ballet in the nation’s oldest grand opera house as well as knock back a Pabst and a shot of swill for three bucks. In all Philadelphia makes a great city for all and if you haven’t taken a note of that you better mark it in your next holiday destination.

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Your Life GPS

Lately I’ve been hearing from many people that their spirit guides have left them. This is not true. They haven’t left. They’re just getting out of the way so you can learn how to move forward under your own power.

After 12/21/2012 your spirit guides began stepping back in order to allow you to fulfill your destiny – that of taking your power back. This process involves learning how to utilize your own innate wisdom instead of relying on your spirit guides, angels, and other people and beings to whom you have given your authority in the past.

It’s much like watching a small child learn how to walk. Initially the child is supported and guided by an adult. At some point the adult lets go of the child’s hands in order to allow them to learn how to walk on their own and travel in the direction of their choice.

So it is with your spirit guides. They’re letting you know that it’s time for you to walk your life path using your own knowledge and wisdom, and choosing your own direction.

Oh, they’re still around in case you really need them for guidance. But remember, they’re spirit guides, not directors. They now serve in a different capacity. Rather than being your commanders and issuing orders to you, they’re now serving as your advisors.

Much like the GPS system you use in your car, your spirit guides are now acting as your Life GPS, ready to give you directions to a destination should you ask. However you have the power to choose if you want to follow their suggested route, take another route, or even if you want to use your Life GPS or not.

Just as the highest and best purpose of a GPS is to advise you as to the best route to take to your desired destination, it’s still only advice. You have the power of choice as to whether you want to follow that advise. You are now empowered to choose how you want to get to your destination. You have the power to choose a new and different destination at any time. YOU are now in command of your life.

Although a GPS is handy, it’s not infallible. Often it can lead you to an incorrect address. Likewise, spirit guides can give you advice that isn’t correct or accurate.

With a GPS your location is sent to a satellite and then bounced back to the GPS in your car, where it’s displayed on maps stored within the GPS. There may be distortions in the   transmission  of the data. Additionally, the data within the GPS may be outdated or incorrect.

Similarly, your Life GPS  transmissions  may be corrupted. After all, your spirit guides are transmitting through other dimensions and realities. Most of them have never been human, so they can only advise you from their perspective, which may be lacking in current and correct data.

Only you know the correct directions for you to make as you travel on your life path. Use your spirit guides as your Life GPS and remember… it’s advice, not orders.

How to Know If You Have Male Yeast Infection

Many males will be embarrassed by the fact that they have a yeast infection and will often not seek any medical help. A yeast infection is not something to be ignored and this article should help you to at least determine whether or not you have a yeast infection.

While, it is commonly said that a male yeast infection is a minor problem that can be eliminated by maintaining proper personal hygiene, the fact is that neglected male candidiasis can lead to severe health complications up to damaging the male reproduction organs. This is why it’s obligatory to learn about the symptoms of male yeast infection and ways to initially and properly diagnose the condition.

The following 5 categories will help you to know if you have a male yeast infection:

1. Painful

Things such a jock itch, burning sensations during sexual intercourse or urination. If the pain is server it is a good idea to see a doctor or seek out treatment immediately.

2. Visual

These include dry skin which may be flaky, redness of the penis head and in extreme cases a white discharge.

3. Indigestion

These will include problems such a constipation, diarrhea, intensive gas an in extreme cases even bad breath.

4. Fatigue

A simple lack of energy and mood swings.

5. Sexual dysfunction.

The inability to get or maintain an erection without pain occurring.

6. Dietary preferences changes

Most common of which are cravings for sweets and refined carbohydrates, etc. This is a bad thing because if you have a male yeast infection these types of foods should be minimized

Note that the last four male yeast infection category symptoms are associated with almost any other yeast infection subtype as well. This fact supports the widely accepted alternative medicine philosophy that claims that candida balanitis is first and foremost an internal problem that needs to be addressed holistically rather than a local or external condition.

If you are able to identify any of these symptoms then it is very likely that you have a male yeast infection. Many men are not very forthcoming about seeking help but this is a dangerous approach because a yeast infection should be looked at and treated as soon as possible.

Breathtaking Historical Athens

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The history of  Athens  dates back over five millennia and one can therefore imagine the rich culture, art and civilization that it must possess. Tourists like to visit  Athens  for its range of absorbing museums, to explore ruined temples and relish the exquisite Greek cuisine.

On an  Athens  tour one must explore the splendid Parthenon, considered perhaps, to be the finest of all Greek temples. The adjoining area too has a collection of temples which can be explored. Another captivating temple is the Temple of Olympian Zeus built by the Romans.

Being an ancient  city ,  Athens  naturally is home to a number of renowned museums. You would require almost a day to view the famous collection of ancient Greek artifacts on a visit to the National Archaeological Museum. The Theatre Museum and the Numismatic Museum are worth a shot for their fascinating displays.

You will be surprised by the rich cultural life that  Athens  is proud of. You must on a visit to  Athens  see productions of ancient plays in their original settings. It is an experience by itself to explore the many shops and classy restaurants of Kolonaki. A taste of Greek coffee on the streets of Plaka will impress you. One historical site which one must not miss is ‘The Acropolis Hill’ or also called the ‘Sacred Rock’. The area is home to three important temples: the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the temple of Nike in honor of the goddess Athena. These and many other  Athens  sites you can take pleasure in while enjoying the hospitality of  Athens  hotels.

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How to Find Free CNA Classes Online

In whatever field you would like to venture in for a solid career, you would have to start all the way from the bottom and that would be with education. If you’re interested in becoming a certified nurse assistant but don’t have the finances to gain the education that you need, then here are some ways you can find free CAN classes online.

Know that your search engine is your strongest weapon, so go online and start looking up free online classes. You may come across quite a few, but don’t join the first thing you see. Instead, take some time to research the course and program and make sure that it is accredited and recognized by the state.

Besides that, get in touch with your state’s nursing board and find out all the requirements necessary as they are the ones who are responsible for your licensing later on. When you’ve done that, start making calls to local nursing centers or even hospitals to see if they have couching services. Some of them have got classes conduction through the method of distance learning via internet, so if you don’t find out about them online, make inquires through phone or mail.

Also, you can also see if online institutes have got special financial aid or scholarships that you could apply for. There are too many online campuses these days that you wouldn’t have trouble finding one. Don’t forget that distance learning is worldwide and your geographical position doesn’t matter. All that counts is that the course you partake in is accredited and approved by the state in which you wish to practice in.

When you find a free CNA class to use online, don’t just rely on the limited materials given but use all your resources and study hard and make the time spent worth it.

Classical Athens to Modern One

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“Just as eyes are trained to astronomy, what are the ears to perceive the movements of harmony.” This quote belongs to the Athenian philosopher Plato, who possesses the highest figure in his time in the town that gave birth to democracy. The ideas around an architecture of parameters studied and balanced for a time in which the sage lived with Socrates and Aristotle differentiated way. This moment marks the zenith that Greece has had in its history, more refreshing than any other and that the Roman empire for centuries used this extension to the thinking in the West.

In these days of apathy the Athenian capital stretches slowly, but steadily. It is the epicenter of thinking, knowing and dedicated to the daily lives of its inhabitants, totaling nearly four million. Byzantine conquests enriched the past despite the political struggles that still exist between Turkey and the country and around the city today is a mixture of survival, rundown myth, and racial variety.

The desire to discover what lies beneath the ruins in  Athens  is a constant traveler who gets surprised by the way the most advanced social thought public education participates in the elitism of the port of Piraeus or small restaurants of the low of the Acropolis.

The first thing the visitor, a lover of the classical past of the city should do is make a booking in the Plaka. The hostels in  Athens , located in the winding streets of the place, offering access to the ancient Greek  city  and revolve around 10/15 Euros.

Then our meeting will begin with the city. The metro network (single ticket 0.80 EUR), tram and bus service is remarkable and is the best option (even reach the city from the airport) to scroll. To delve into classical  Athens , we know that we will move one or two areas where the development of our legs is important.

The pedestrian zone is around the Acropolis has an area of over three miles. By acquiring entry (General 12 EUR, Sundays and students free) walks around the ancient Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus by it would be advisable to begin the journey to reach the top of the polish (the acropolis). The vision of the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and Erechtheion (adorned with the rostrum of the caryatids) will be our reward in addition to the magnificent view it gives us the rise of the Gulf Sarano. On the hill, we will run into the theater where playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes premiered many of his works, the Theater of Dionysus.

The agora to which we referred earlier, and whose function was public communication among its inhabitants, is the valley between the Acropolis and the hill of Philopappou. The latter is the eponymous name funerary monument that we cannot ignore.

In the current political  center  of  Athens  are Plato’s Academy, reconstruction of Théophile Hansen in 1887 as a library, and the National Archaeological Museum (EUR 7 general admission, free EU student). Parts like the funeral mask of Agamemnon or the Zeus of Artemision are headquartered in place, althoughm ost of the city’s treasures were looted in the colonial period and taken to other cities. See, for example, the headquarters of the Elgin Marbles, the British Museum in London.

XXI century Greeks were aware of being the origin of language, culture and pace of life, but today nothing extrapolated. The appointment of Socrates “I am a citizen, not of  Athens  or Greece, if not the world” would be understood today pursuant to globalization, but not in the sense that the teacher of Plato meant to express universal ideas a  city  and country, classical  Athens  and Greece in half the world.

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Dog Health Concerns and Common Diseases

Dogs are truly man’s best friend. These loyal, loving, protective and playful creatures have served beside man for thousands of years with an undying and relentless devotion. It’s hard to repay such a service of love, commitment and duty. When put to the basics, we provide our dogs with shelter, healthy nutrition, exercise and friendship. However, a dog’s health and well-being sometimes goes beyond the basics, requiring an owner with an eye for disease risks and proper veterinary care.

If you’re a dog owner, you should make sure your animal sees a qualified veterinarian on a regular basis. The range of diseases, parasites and genetic conditions that dogs can succumb to is vast, so it’s important to keep up your pet’s vaccines, stick to regular check-ups and also know what to look for.

Keep reading to learn about some of the most dangerous and fatal diseases that can afflict your beloved pet along with effective prevention methods.

1. Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)

CDV attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems. The disease is contracted through contact with other infected dogs and can be fatal to both young and old dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, shivering, redness around the eyes, loss of appetite, weight loss, seizures, thickened footpads, cough and a discharge from the nose. There is no specific treatment, but sometimes antibiotics can be effective. However, a vaccine exists and should always be administered.

2. Canine Adenovirus or Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH)

Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH) is an acute liver disease, and highly contagious. The virus is transmitted through bodily fluids like urine, eye or nose secretions. Young and old dogs can be affected by ICH, but puppies are at a higher risk. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice and corneal edema, though a blood test is needed to make a final diagnosis. Many dogs recover, but it’s best to prevent ICH through a simple vaccination.

3. Para Influenza or Tracheobronchitis (aka Kennel Cough)

The common name for Tracheobronchitis is Kennel Cough because of its propensity for spreading in close quarters, such as in a boarding kennel. It’s highly contagious and attacks the dog’s upper respiratory system. Like bronchitis in humans, the symptoms are coughing, snorting, hacking and sometimes fever. Kennel Cough can be treated with antibiotics or prevented through vaccination.

4. Rabies

Rabies is not just a dog disease; it will affect all mammals that are not vaccinated against the disease. Rabies directly attacks the brain and the prognosis is often deadly. This common disease can be easily prevented through vaccination. In many states, vaccination for domestic pets is absolutely mandatory.

In short, keep your dog healthy by making sure it gets regular vaccinations. Almost all diseases are preventable.

Enjoyable Walks in the Heart of Athens

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Getting around as a pedestrian in certain cities can be as adrenaline-filled as cliff-diving. Dodging cars should simply not have to be a worry on holiday when relaxation and fun tend to take priority. In the lovely bustling  city  of  Athens , a welcome refuge from such unpleasant stress can be found on the Grand Promenade in  Athens . Closed to automobiles only a few short years ago, this pedestrian haven is filled to the brim with some of the best historical sites  Athens  has to offer. On this elegant pedestrian route, you will encounter marble temples, neoclassical museums, and ancient theatres. Of course, all the while you will be casually circling the Acropolis.

A great starting point is the Temple of Olympian Zeus located next to the National Gardens. This colossal temple took centuries to build. Completed in no less than 700 years by Hadrian in 131 A.D., it maintained its complete structure until a rogue storm in the 19th-century took out some of the columns.

On the southern side of the Acropolis, you will find the Theatre of Dionysus. This is the theatre that welcomed the dramatic arts as they are known today in existence in 543 B.C. It also served as the first forum for the plays of Sophocles, Aristophanes and Euripides in their day. The nearby Roman Herodes Atticus amphitheatre is closed to visitors except during the summer  Athens  festival when attendees can view its form and structure up close. If you decide to follow the marble walkway up to Filopappou and Hill of the Muses, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Parthenon and the Athenian skyline. From this promontory, you will be able to see as far as the Saronic Sea. With views like this, your camera may run out of memory space before you manage to pull yourself away and on to your next destination.

After such a hike, you may need a breather and possibly some refreshments. For that, your best bet is Apostolou Pavlou where you can sip espresso or perhaps some ouzo at a lively bouzouki club or quaint outdoor cafe and even take in a film at the Thission cinema. For a slow return into modernity, you can also check out the multimedia exhibits at the Centre of Traditional Pottery and the recently minted New Acropolis Museum. With this much culture and history to experience, the question isn’t what to do but, how to fit everything into one trip!

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Wide Area Network (WAN)

Types and Characteristics of WANs

What is a WAN?

There are two prevailing definitions of a Wide Area Network (WAN). The book definition of a WAN is a network that spans large geographical locations, usually to interconnect multiple Local Area Networks (LANs). The practical definition of a WAN is a network that traverses a public network or commercial carrier, using one of several WAN technologies

What are its Main Components?

The main components for a WAN are routers, switches and modems. These components are described below in the hardware section.

CPE – Devices on the subscriber premises are called customer premises equipment (CPE).

The subscriber owns the CPE or leases the CPE from the service provider. A copper or fiber cable connects the CPE to the service provider’s nearest exchange or central office. This cabling is often called the local loop, or “last-mile”.

DTE/DCE – Devices that put data on the local loop are called data circuit-terminating equipment, or data communications equipment (DCE). The customer devices that pass the data to the DCE are called data terminal equipment (DTE). The DCE primarily provides an interface for the DTE into the communication link on the WAN cloud.

Hardware

In a WAN you will need various types of hardware components for it to function. The typical items of hardware that you will need in a WAN are:

Router – An electronic device that connects a local area network (LAN) to a wide area network (WAN) and handles the task of routing messages between the two networks. Operates at layer 3, and makes decisions using IP addresses.

Switch – A switch is a network device that selects a path or circuit for sending a unit of data to its next destination. Operates at layer 2, and uses MAC addresses to send data to correct destination.

Modem – Short for modulator/demodulator, a modem enables a computer to communicate with other computers over telephone lines. Operates at layer 1, where signals are converted from digital to analogue and vice versa for transmission and receiving.

Wan Standards

WANs operate within the OSI model using layer 1 and layer 2 levels. The data link layer and the physical layer. The physical layer protocols describe how to provide electrical, mechanical and functional connections to the services provided by the ISP. The data link layer defines how data is encapsulated for transmission to remote sites.

Encapsulation

Encapsulation is the wrapping of data in a particular protocol header. Remember that WANs operate at the physical layer and the data link layer of the osi model and that higher layer protocols such as IP are encapsulated when sent across the WAN link. Serial interfaces support a wide range of WAN encapsulation types, which must be manually specified. These types include SDLC, PPP, Frame delay etc. Regardless of WAN encapsulation used it must be identical on both sides of the point to point link.

Packet and Circuit Switching

Circuit switching and packet switching are both used in high-capacity networks.

The majority of switched networks today get data across the network

through packet switching.

Circuit-switching is more reliable than packet-switching. Circuit switching is old and expensive, packet switching is more modern.

General Routing Issues

What is a Routing Protocol?

A routing protocol is a protocol that specifies how routers communicate and exchange information on a network. Each router has prior knowledge of its immediate neighbours and knows the structure of the network topology. The routers know this because the routing protocol shares this information.

Protocol

RIP (Routing Information Protocol) was one of the most commonly uses protocols on internal networks. Routers use RIP to dynamically adapt changes to the network connections and communicate information about which networks routers can reach and the distance between them. RIP is sometimes said to stand for Rest in Pieces in reference to the reputation that RIP has for breaking unexpectedly and rendering a network unable to function.

Routing Algorithms

Distance Vector

This type of routing protocol requires that each router simply inform its neighbours of its routing table. The distance vector protocol is also known as the bellman-ford algorithm.

Link State

This type of routing protocol requires that each router maintain a partial map of the network. The link state algorithm is also know as Dijkstra’s algorithm.

IGRP

IGRP is a type of distance vector routing protocol invented by cisco used to exchange routing data in a autonomous system. Distance vector protocols measure distances and compare routes. Routers that use distance vector must send all or a portion of their routing table in a routing update message at regular intervals to each neighbour router.

Addressing and Routing

What does routing mean?

Routing is the process of deciding how to move packets from one network to another.

The directions also known as routes can be learned by a router using a routing protocol then the information is passed from router to router along the route of the destination.

IP Address’s

Every machine connected to the internet is assigned an IP address. An example of an IP address would be 192.168.0.1. IP addresses are displayed in decimal format to make it easier for humans to understand but computers communicate in binary form. The four numbers that separate an IP address are called Octets. Each position consists of eight bits. When added to together you get 32 bit address. The purpose of each octet in an IP address is to create classes of IP addresses that can be assigned within a network. There are three main classes that we deal with Class A, B and C. The octets of an IP address are split into two parts Network and Host. In a class A address the first octet is the network portion, this determines which network the computer belongs to, the last octets of the address are the hosts that belong to the network.

Sub netting

Sub netting allows you to create multiple networks within a class A, B or C address. The subnet address is the address used by your LAN. In a Class C network address you would have a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. A subnet mask identifies which portion is network and which is host. For example 192.168.6.15 the first octet three octets are the Network address and the last octet being the host(Workstation). It is important to subnet a network because gateways need to forward packets to other LANS. By giving each NIC on the gateway an IP address and a Subnet mask it allows the gateways to route packets from LAN to LAN. Once the packet arrives at its destination, the gateway then uses the bits of the subnet portion of the IP address to decide which LAN to send the packets.

Circuit Switched Leased Lines

A circuit switched network is one that establishes a dedicated circuit (or channel) between nodes and terminals before the users may communicate. Here are some terminologies associated with a Circuit switched network.

Frame relay is a telecommunication service designed for cost-efficient data transmission between local area networks (LANs)

Basic rate interference is a service used by small business for internet connectivity. An ISDN BRI provides two 64 Kbps digital channels to the user.

Primary rate interface (PRI) is a telecommunications standard for carrying voice and data transmissions between two locations

All data and voice channels are ISDN and operate at 64kbit/s

Packet Switching

http://www.raduniversity.com/networks/2004/PacketSwitching/main.htm – _Toc80455261

Packet switching refers to protocols in which messages are broken up into small packets before they are sent. Each packet is then transmitted over the Internet. At the destination the packets are reassembled into the original message. Packet switching main difference from Circuit Switching is that that the communication lines are not dedicated to passing messages from the source to the destination. In Packet Switching, different messages can use the same network resources within the same time period.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asynchronous_Transfer_Mode

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a cell relay, packet switching network and protocolwhich encodes data into small fixed-sized cells.

ISDN is used to carry voice, data, video and images across a telephone network. ISDN stands for integrated services Digital Network. Isdn also provides users with a 128kbps bandwidth. This is done through frame relay. Frame relay complements and provides a service between ISDN, which offers bandwidth at 128 Kbps and Asynchronous Transfer Mode which operates in somewhat similar fashion to frame relay but at speeds from 155.520 Mbps or 622.080 Mbps. Frame relay is based on the older X.25 packet switching technology and is used to transmit analogue signals such as telephone conversations.

PSDN stands for packet switched data network and is a data communication network. Packet switched networks do not establish a physical communication signal like the public telephone does (circuit switched network) Packets are sent on a fixed length basis and assigned with a source and a destination address. The packets then rely on the routers to read the address and route the packets through the network.

Mobile and Broadband Services

Digital Subscriber line(DSL) is mainly used to bring high bandwidth connections to homes and small business’s over a copper wire telephone line. This is can only be achieved if you stay within the range of the telephone exchange. DSL offers download rates of up to 6mbps allowing continuous transmission of video, audio and 3D effects. DSL is set to replace ISDN and compete with the cable modem in providing multimedia to homes. DSL works by connecting your telephone line to the telephone office over copper wires that are twisted together.

Asymmetric Digital Subscribers Line is most commonly used for home users. It provides a high download speed but a lower upload speed. Using ADSL, up to 6.1 megabits per second of data can be sent downstream and up to 640 Kbps upstream.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetric_Digital_Subscriber_Line

Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line is a digital subcriber line which runs over one pair of copper wires. The main difference between ADSL and SDSL is the difference in upload and download speeds. SDSL allows the same upstream data rate and downstream data rate as ADSL upstream can be very slow.

[http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0],,sid7_gci558545,00.html

HDSL High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line, one of the earliest forms of DSL, is used for wideband digital transmission within a corporate site and between the telephone company and a customer. The main characteristic of HDSL is that provides equal bandwidth in both directions.

IDSL is a system in which data is transmitted at 128 Kbps on a regular copper telephone line from a user to a destination using digital transmission.

The Local Loop enables operators to connect directly to the consumer via copper local loops and then add their own equipment to offer broadband and other services. This process involves operators accessing local exchange buildings to connect to a network of copper lines which connect them to homes and businesses. BT is an Example of a Local Exchange. The local loop connecting the telephone exchange to most subscribers is capable of carrying frequencies well beyond the 3.4 kHz upper limit.

Benefits of using DSL

DSL can provide virtually instantaneous transmission of voice, data and video over ordinary copper phone lines. A DSL connection can eliminate delays when waiting to download information and graphics from the Internet. It provides users with a cost effective high speed Internet connection. Another benefit is that a DSL connection is always on-line (like a LAN connection) with no waiting time for dialling or connecting.

There are now more than 10 million broadband connections in the UK. By December 2005 there were 9.792 million broadband connections in the UK and the average broadband take up rate during the three months to December was more than 70,000 per week.

Athens – A Gourmet Delight

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If you want to experience Greece, then Athens is the city for you. Imagine going to the Parthenon on top of Acropolis Hill to enjoy the breathtaking view. Acropolis is known to be the Sacred Rock. It is situated on top of 512-foot limestone rock. Acropolis was originally built in 1500 BC.

Erechtheum is another impressive sightseeing spot. It is a temple that is built to honor Greek gods: Athena and Poseidon. The Propylea is a huge ancient gateway. It is situated right next to the Temple of Athena Nyke or Wingless Victory.

At night, you can find astounding sound and light show in the Acropolis. This show is held every night in English, and it is performed every night, except on the full moon night. The show lasts for around 30 minutes.

After the show, you can walk to the Plaka which is full of cafes and restaurants. Even if you don’t speak Greek, there is no need to worry. Most waiters can speak and cater English speaking customer. The food here is delicious and inexpensive.

In the afternoon, if you don’t have too much time for all of the sightseeing in Athens, you can stop at the souvlaki shop for gyros and authentic Greek salad. In case, you want to eat on the go, you can buy cheese pie, spinal pie, Piroski bread from the street vendors.

Syntagma Square is another area that is known for great foods. There are many great cafes in this area. Metax is a sweet brandy which is often served here.

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Best Investment Ideas and Best Safe Investments for 2012

Here we list some of the best investment ideas and tackle the challenge of finding the best safe investments for 2012. What might appear to be one of the best investment ideas to the uninformed could turn out to be one of the worst.

Looking at the big picture for investment ideas in 2012, moderation in asset allocation and a balanced investment portfolio will be the most basic key to success. There are 4 asset classes, and average investors need to spread their money across at least the first three to keep their overall portfolio risk moderate. The 4 categories in asset allocation are: safe investments, bonds, stocks and alternative investments like gold and real estate (optional). Asset allocation can be simplified, because there are mutual funds available to average investors that represent each of the 4 asset classes. Now let’s get more specific about the best investment ideas for 2012 starting with safe investments.

Safe investments earn interest and do not fluctuate in price. You will need to look outside of mutual funds in 2012 to find the best safe investments because record low interest rates have taken yields on money market securities (and hence money market funds) down to just about zero. One of the best investment ideas if you have an account with a discount broker or major mutual fund company is to shop for one-year CDs paying higher rates if you can’t get competitive rates from your local bank. Do not tie your money up for longer periods just to earn a little more interest. One of these days interest rates will go back up and you will be locked in at a lower rate and face penalty charges if you cash in early.

Finding the best safe investments will be truly challenging in 2012, but here are some more investment ideas. If you are in a retirement plan like a 401k that has a fixed or stable account option do not overlook it. You can often get a much higher interest rate there (maybe 4% to 5%) than anywhere else outside of your retirement plan. If you own an older retirement annuity or universal life insurance policy, it might have a fixed account you can add money to that is guaranteed to never pay less than 3% or 4%. Remember, truly safe investments like U.S. Treasury bills and bank money market and savings accounts are paying WAY LESS than 1%!

Over the past 30 years bonds and bond funds have become a favorite with investors because they have been consistent performers and returned on average about 10% per year… basically about equal to what stocks have returned, but with considerably less risk. Many investors have fallen in love with their bonds funds and consider them to be among the world’s best safe investments. Bond funds are NOT safe investments. They have performed well since 1981 (when interest rates and inflation were at record highs) for one primary reason. Both inflation and interest rates have been falling for 30 years, which has sent bond prices higher. Loading up on bond funds now is NOT one of the best investment ideas for 2012. In fact, it is one of the worst investment ideas.

When interest rates and/or inflation turn around and head upward bond funds, especially those that hold long-term bond issues, will be losers. That’s how bonds work. One of the very best investment ideas for 2012 is to sell your long-term bond funds if you own any, and switch to funds holding bonds with average maturities of about five years. These are called intermediate-term bond funds; and average investors should have some money invested here as part of their asset allocation strategy to add balance to their investment portfolio. These are not truly safe investments, but they are much safer than long-term funds.

My best investment ideas in the stock department focus on stock funds. Do not go heavily into the more aggressive funds that invest primarily in growth and/or small company stocks. These pay little if anything in dividend income and tend to be more risky and volatile than the average stock fund. Go with funds that invest in high quality large-company stocks with excellent dividend paying histories. Look for funds that are paying 2% or more in dividends. One of the best investment ideas for 2012 and beyond: invest in no-load funds with low yearly expenses. No-load means no sales charges, and low expenses mean higher net returns to the investor.

Alternative investments include the likes of real estate, gold and other precious metals, natural resources, commodities, foreign investments and so on. One of the best investment ideas for managing a truly balanced investment portfolio is to include this fourth asset class as well. The simplest way for the average investor to add these alternatives to their portfolio is with mutual funds that specialize in these areas or sectors. My best investment ideas here: don’t go heavily into any one area, and don’t chase after a sector (like gold) just because it’s hot. Real estate and natural resources funds would be my picks as two of the best investment ideas in the alternative investments asset class.

Moderation and diversification across the asset classes will be the key to asset allocation in 2012. I have also listed some specific best investment ideas for keeping the average investor in the game and out of serious trouble should the investment scene turn ugly. Above all else memorize this: long-term bond funds are not among the best safe investments for 2012. They are not safe investments, period.

The Top Three Benefits of Changing Transmission Fluid

There has always been some debate on the pros and cons of changing your transmission fluid on a routine basis, per your vehicle owner’s manual recommendation. One of the many rumored suspicions is that doing so will open your car up to having dreaded transmission issues sooner. To debunk those conspiracy theories, let’s get into the meat of the topic and explore, together, why it absolutely makes sense to change it regularly; and how not doing so could actually cause your car to run sluggishly – potentially costing you precious pennies in the long run!

1) Heat is the enemy

The number one reason that manufacturers recommend you change your transmission fluid regularly is because it degrades as it continually heats up during driving. There are exhaustive studies about the precise temperatures in which its effectiveness actually wanes. Suffice it to say that most owner’s manuals duly recommend changing your fluid every 30,000 miles. There is one exception to this rule: newer vehicles using Dexron III ATF fluid can often go up to 100,000 miles before needing to be changed. As you drive, and the transmission heats up, the viscosity of your fluid changes; over time, this heat causes transmissions to burn up and this is the single-most cause of transmission repairs today – burned up transmissions.

2) Gunk and sludge

As your transmission continues to heat up and it continues to break down, your car’s transmission components begin to get bogged down with gunk and sludge. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that gunk and sludge are going to clog up your transmission gears, causing unnatural wear and tear on your vehicle’s transmission. If you want your transmission to continue to operate smoothly, it is vital to keep it clean.

3) Leaky seals and putrid odors

No, I’m not talking about a horror flick here. A well-maintained machine is one whose owner regularly checks the transmission fluid levels – yes, using the dipstick! You should ideally check your transmission fluid level when your engine is warm and idling. Transmission fluid should be bright red and should smell sweet, not putrid or rancid. It shouldn’t be brown or black or even dark red. It should look like the tip of the spindle after Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger. If your transmission fluid level is low, or the color is not right, it’s time to change your transmission fluid and check (or have checked by the mechanic) all of the seals around the transmission for leaks.

If you want your transmission to last throughout the life of the car, it is imperative that you change your transmission fluid regularly, following your owner’s manual guidelines and a few common sense rules. In today’s world of disposable everything – neglecting your transmission can be a rude awakening to your wallet. The potential costs associated with ignoring the routine maintenance guidelines on your transmission could total thousands of dollars that would be better spent on a nice, warm vacation to a sunny spot this summer.

Using Power Tools 101

The power tools of today are not the same as the ones that were carefully placed on the pegboard near your grandfather’s workbench- they are actually quite far from it. Modern technology has made amazing advances in the simplest of features, including automatic shut-off, enhanced guarding and more resilient materials just to name a few. But one trait has come to be worth its weight in gold within the power tool industry, and that’s the owner’s manual.

Today’s manuals not only have better graphics showing its users what each part of the device should look like (and what to do when it doesn’t), many individual manufacturers will have explicit directions and instructions for the safety and maintenance of each individual power tool. Of course, no instructions are completely fool proof, especially if the content of such manuals isn’t completely understood by the user. This is why many manufacturers have implemented training seminars and classes for both companies and individuals on the proper procedures for optimum performance and safety. Local home improvement stores often hold such classes and seminars on a regular basis.

However, a bit of common sense and know-how never hurt anyone, so there are a few safety guidelines which should be followed by all users of power tools. For example, wearing the proper clothing is essential, and you should never wear loose clothing that could easily get caught in a power tool. Safety gear is crucial- hard hat, safety goggles and gloves, along with the proper footwear. Using the right tool, whether it be size or something else, for the job at hand, including the right type of extension cord (indoor, outdoor, proper length) if applicable. The work area should be clean, uncluttered and well lit. Keep all electric tools away from water and flammables. Do not use power tools with frayed or damaged cords. Damaged parts anywhere in a power tool, including saw blades and drill bits, can cause damage to the tool itself or the individual performing the task. Unplug all electric power tools when finished with or before changing to another tool.

As far as the maintenance aspect of such power tools, common sense is again of the highest importance. For example, making sure that the proper guards are placed on saw blades when not in use is both a safety and maintenance issue. Saw blades need to be sharp to deliver the best performance possible, but can also be incredibly dangerous, so taking the proper preventive measures will yield the best results in all aspects, not just project outcome.

For more information on power tool basics, the U.S. government has many publications that can be of high value to consumers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers product recall information, and OSHA has a few such publishings regarding both general industry and personal use of power tools.

A Fragile Lifeline: Lessons I Learned Answering The Aids Hotline

Dial 1-800/AIDSNYC

Every Monday and Wednesday morning, promptly at 10 a.m., I leave behind

my daily life and turn to volunteering as an AIDS Hotline counselor at New York

City’s GMHC [Gay Men’s Health Crisis], the nation’s largest social service

agency for AIDS.

For the next four hours, my co-volunteers and I sit in front of a bank of

constantly-ringing telephones, talking to men, women, and teens who call in

from across the nation with urgent questions about AIDS, the ravaging disease

that has left 13.9 million people dead worldwide.

After almost 20 years, a whole generation, families are still facing the

heartache of tending the sick, while scientists continue to be confounded by

this stubborn, ravaging virus.

Although the federal government currently spends$4 billion per year on

AIDS research, and $15 billion worldwide, there is no cure in sight for the viral

infection and no vaccine available. Small wonder that the GMHC AIDS Hotline,

the nation’s first, is flooded with more than 40,000 calls each year.

Listening to callers 8 hours each week, I often think the Hotline is actually a

direct link to the soul of callers–an anonymous forum that allows each to

reveal secrets and fears that they might otherwise never discuss with anyone.

A Morning in May

This is the way it began: “Good morning, GMHC AIDS Hotline, can I help

you?”

“Yes…I have a question…[hesitantly] My son…he’s 21…and he just found

out…he’s HIV-positive [voice breaking] I’m…..alone, divorced. And I need some

help…someone to talk to…”

“Of course….happy to talk to you…it sounds like this has been devastating

for you….”

“It’s terrible. He told me two nights ago….he’s…he’s so young….I don’t

want him to die. He’s my only child….why did this have to happen?” [crying]

Her son, she explains, had sometimes neglected using condoms, convinced

he wouldn’t contract HIV infection from his female partners.

“How could he be so stupid?” she now asks angrily. “Why didn’t he know

how to protect himself? I don’t understand. What am I going to do?”

We talk for 35 minutes, and by the end of the conversation, I notice I’m

barely breathing. The distraught woman’s anguish is palpable. Her situation is

every mother’s worst nightmare.The life of her child is in jeopardy and she

feels helpless and afraid. I can’t imagine anything worse.

During the call, I do my best to employ the GMHC Hotline protocol of “active

listening,” which involves using silence, empathy and gentle probing with

open-ended questions. I’m also having my own emotional reaction to the panic

in her voice, and I’m worried about whether I’m doing enough.

Toward the end of the clal, when she exclaims: “I don’t want my baby to

die,” my heart plummets: “I know….I understand that, but there is hope,” I tell

her. I find myself on the verge of tears.

The Bad News

This mother’s story is too common. According to the Centers for Disease

Control in Atlanta, Ga., 40,000 Americans (half of them under 25) are newly

infected with the AIDS virus each year. Unprotected sex and intravenous drug

use remain the principal modes of   transmission .

“Teenagers,” notes AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor, “are being very hard hit.”

She refers to the three million adolescents who contract a sexually-transmitted

disease annually.

“Heterosexual teenage football players who are healthy and drink milk can

get it too!” says the 71-year-old actress, who has singlehandedly raised $150

million for AIDS research. “But teens are very ignorant and feel invincible. They

believe there’s an invisible shield protecting them from the virus, when it’s

actually aimed right at them.”

Taylor believes in addressing the problem head-on: “Tell your teenage son:

‘Maybe a condom doesn’t feel as good, but if it saves your life, it’s better than

being six feet under.’ Intelligence must replace random sex.”

Although a new generation of AIDS-fighting medications is prolonging the

lives of thousands, nearly half of the 900,000 people infected with HIV in the

U.S. cannot afford these drugs. Since the virus was discovered in l981, 410,800

Americans have died from AIDS-related complications, and the disease has left

13.9 million dead worldwide.

Who Calls a Hotline?

Not long ago I took a call from a 15-year-old boy living in a small town who

said he feels guilty about his sexual attraction to other boys and is scared to

discuss this with his parents. I ask him if there’s a school counselor or relative

he might talk to, but he says he’s too afraid to confide in anyone.

Being a teenager is hard enough, I thought, without the pressure of

keeping this kind of secret. I felt angry and saddened that this child can’t

comfortably discuss his feelings with his own parents.

I encourage him to call the Gay Community Center Youth Program in a

nearby city. In the meantime, I assured him that he could call our Hotline

anytime, that we’d be there for him.

This call was typical of the many we get from teenagers,whispering from

their parents’ homes, confiding their blossoming sexual feelings and concerns.

Our Hotline also receives calls from married men who phone from their offices,

worried about extramarital sexual encounters; gay men suffering side effects

from medications; mothers caring for a sick child or grieving for one lost to

AIDS; even health care professionals themselves confused and requiring

burnout support.

One particular morning, I’m struck by the number of single women who

turn to our hotline for help. At 10:15 a.m. a distraught young woman calls,

explaining that she had been dating someone “very charismatic,” after a two-

year period of sexual abstinence.

“At first we used condoms and I was taking the pill to avoid pregnancy,” she

says. But after her partner assured her he was HIV-negative, the couple began

having unprotected sex. A few months into the relationship, she recounts, his

behavior became “unpredictable,” until he finally admitted he was sleeping with

other women and was addicted to heroin. Now she has to withstand the

“terror” of waiting 3 months before getting an HIV antibody test. To help her

cope, I give her the names of three terapists in her area. The call lasts 43

minutes.

At 11:15 a.m. I take a call from a woman who is breathing heavily.

She says that four months earlier she’d had a brief affair with a limousine

driver, “not out of passion, but because I felt lonely. This was so totally unlike

me,” she continues. “I come from a traditional Orthodox Jewish family…”

Although they used condoms, and she has since tested negative for HIV, she

feels deeply ashamed, and has stopped seeing him. And because she has both

a persistent vaginal yeast infection and a rash on her neck, she’s convinced she

must be infected by HIV.

Although rashes, high fever, swollen lymph glands, heavy night sweats, sore

throat, or other flu-like symptoms may indicate HIV, they can just as easily

accompany the common cold or flu, or other type of infection. I encourage her

to seek medical help and counseling, but the calls ends on a down note. “I

must have it [AIDS],” she moans. I’m exasperated because it doesn’t sound

that way to me, yet I can’t get through to her. The call lasts 22 minutes.

It’s 11.38 a.m. when a well-spoken woman, who says she’s an attorney,

calls from her office, asking for the names of anonymous testing sites. At first

very businesslike, she calmly takes down all the information. I ask her why

she’s considering a test. Total silence. Then she begins to cry: “I….I can’t

talk….I’m sorry…you see, I have swollen lymph glands….[crying]….And my

doctor wants to rule out HIV…I feel overwhelmed…” Then, abruptly: “Where

can I send a donation?” She thanks me and hurries off the phone after just 3

minutes.

These were one-time callers, but, as in any epidemic, an element of panic

prevails, and our hotline also attracts an army of “chronic” or repeat callers

who are intensely fearful no matter how benign their risk, many revealing

continued misconceptions and paranoia about a disease that can be effectively

prevented. We do our best to help them, but often they’re impervious to

counseling.

Most poignant are calls we get from AIDS patients, phoning from their

hospital beds, attempting to navigate the exhausting labyrinth of insurance

and health care matters. One man, in hospice care, said he craved

companionship and missed the “good old days” when he was handsome and

healthy.

That call was a tough one for me as just the day before a close friend of

mine, Joe, who had battled HIV for 16 years, had finally succumbed. Although

at the end Joe was a mere skeleton, he was nonetheless at peace. “I’ve done

what I wanted to,” he told me on our last visit. An avid gardener, he insisted

on a final trip to his country house to see his garden one last time. For a

moment the caller’s reality and the memory of my deceased friend blurred in

my mind and I was overcome. Time for a break.

Face to Face

One of the most and unique services GMHC offers is called “A-Team

Counseling,” a one-time, in-person session that’s free and anonymous.

Recently, I was on an A-Team counselling a 26-year-old HIV-infected

mother from the Midwest. She had traveled to Manhattan by bus to find her

estranged boyfriend, who, she recounted tearfully, had kidnapped her 7-year-

old son. Disheveled, painfully thin, the woman was a disturbing sight. She’s

learned that the two had already returned home where the boyfriend was, and

the child put in his grandmother’s custory. custody of his grandmother.

Meanwhile she’d run out of money for the return trip, been refused a loan by

her family, lost her ID, gone hungry and spent two nights on the street.

Fortunately, this woman was registered at a local AIDS organization in her

town. I telephoned her caseworker and persuaded him to buy her a one-way

Greyhound bus ticket for $115.00. I also gave her subway tokens, a basket of

food, juice and coffee. Smiling shyly, she thanked me for caring.

Shaking hands good-bye with this woman was a bittersweet farewell. What

will happen to her? I wondered will her health deteriorate or improve? Will she

gain control of her life and be able to provide for her son? I’ll never know. One

thing I do know: She’d appeared with the sorrow of a difficult life in her eyes,

but when she left, she was elated at the thought of being reunited with her

child. It seems that with faith and a helping hand, almost anything is possible.

* * * * *

10 BIGGEST MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AIDS AND HIV

(This list would probably be most effective when presented in a vertical chart,

the misconception on the left, the correct answer on the right.)

1)The AIDS virus can be transmitted through saliva, sweat, tears, urine or feces;

also through deep kissing.

1) HIV can ONLY be transmitted through four bodily fluids: blood, semen,

vaginal secretions and breast milk–and can also be transmitted from a mother

to her child before birth, during birth, or while breast feeding. The exchange

of saliva through kissing is no-risk, unless the saliva has blood in it and both

you and your partner are bleeding in the mouth simultaneously.

2) HIV may also be transmitted through casual contact with an infected person.

2) You can’t get infected from toilet seats, phones or water fountains. The virus

can’t be transmitted in the air through sneezing or coughing. You can’t get

HIV from sharing utensils or food or from touching, or hugging. HIV dies after

being exposed to the air. Therefore, touching dried blood on a shaving blade, a

toothbrush or a bathroom counter top is no risk. In any case, unbroken skin is

impermeable, like a rubber raincoat, and cannot absorb the virus whether it’s

alive or dead.

Blood transfusions and medical procedures in the U.S. are safe. Giving blood is

completely risk-free. The chance of getting HIV from dentists or other health

care providers is too low even to measure.You can’t get it from mosquitoes or

other insect or animal bites.

3) Oral sex is just as risky as vaginal or anal intercourse.

3) Although not 100% risk-free, oral sex is considered a low-risk

activity,except if: you have bleeding gums, recent dental work, open sores such

as a herpes lesion, any cut, blister, or burn in the mouth, or if you’ve just

brushed or flossed your teeth. Also, oral sex with an infected woman is riskier

if she is having her period, since menstrual blood can contain HIV. Overall,

latex barriers, (such as condoms or dental dams) used during oral sex reduce

the  transmission  of not just HIV, but other sexual transmitted diseases.

4) Animal skin, latex and polyurethane condoms are all equally effective in

preventing HIV infection and you can use ANY lubrication on the condom

desired.

4)Only latex or polyurethane condoms may be used, as HIV can pass through

an animal skin condom. With latex condoms, only water-based lubricants–like

K-Y jelly or H-R jelly–may be used. No lubricants with oil, alcohol, or grease

are safe.Petroleum jelly,Vaseline, Crisco, mineral oil, baby oil, massage oil,

butter and most hand creams can weaken the condom and cause it to split.

However, with polyurethane condoms, petroleum-based lubricants can be

used.

5) Women have to rely on men using condoms during intercourse to protect

themselves against HIV.

5) Women may employ the “female condom,” a plastic sheath that can be

inserted in their vaginas and used for protection against HIV. It can be inserted

up to 8 hours before sex, has rings at both ends to hold it in place and can be

lubricated with oil-based lubricants that stay wet longer. In addition, women

can carry conventional condoms for their male partners’ use.

6) If a woman is HIV-positive, her offspring will automatically be born infected

with HIV.

6) With no medical treatment taken, about 25% of HIV-positive women will

give birth to infants who are also infected. However, the use of anti-HIV

medications has resulted in a significant decrease of mother-to-child

 transmission  of HIV in utero and during delivery to less than 5%. (NYT 10/19/

99].

7) AIDS is fundamentally a gay disease contracted by white males.

7) Recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

indicate that young gay Hispanic and African-American men and heterosexual

women are the fastest growing segment of the population being infected with

HIV. Women now account for 43% of all HIV infected people over age 15. [NYT

11/24/98] African-American and Hispanic women account for more than 76%

of AIDS cases among women in the U.S.

8) Heterosexual men are not really at risk for contracting HIV, even if they

don’t use condoms.

8) The inside opening of the penis is composed of highly-absorbent, sponge-

like mucous membrane tissues, which can provide a route for HIV-infected

vaginal secretions or blood to enter the bloodstream. Proper condom use

protects men from infection.

9) The AIDS epidemic is largely over because new AIDS medications like

protease inhibitors and others have turned AIDS into a chronic, not a terminal

disease.

9) In the U.S., AIDS is the fifth leading cause of death for people 25-44 years

old. Roughly half of all those infected with HIV in the U.S. are not receiving any

medications or medical care. AIDS now kills more people worldwide than any

other infection, including malaria and tuberculosis.[NYT 11/24/98] In 1998

alone, 2.5 million people died of AIDS worldwide. 13.9 million people have

died since the virus was discovered in 1981.

10) If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV through unprotected sex, you can

take an HIV antibody test 2 weeks later and get an accurate result.

10) The standard “window” or waiting period remains a full 3 months. However,

because the widely-used HIV antibody tests (The ELISA and Western Blot) have

become so sensitive, about 95% of people will procure an accurate result 4-6

weeks after a possible exposure to the virus.

* * * *

[Note:The information stated above was reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr.

Todd J. Yancey, an infectious disease specialist practicing in New York City and

affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital, NY, Cornell Campus.]

THE CHILD LIFE PROGRAM

“Mommy takes a lot of medicine and Mommy’s really tired sometimes and she

can’t take you to the park as much as she used to. It’s not that I don’t love

you…and that I don’t want to…but Uncle Jack’s going to take you to the park

today.” –A mother living with AIDS, a client at GMHC, talking to her 6-year-

old son.

In New York City alone, 28,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS since the

epidemic began [NYT 12/13/98]

GMHC’s unique Child Life Program serves HIV-infected parents and their

children–who may, or may not, be infected with the virus. “We help families

strengthen their ability to cope, relieve the pressure of parenting with support

services, and teach parents how to talk to their kids,” says Child Life Program

Coordinator Alison Ferst. “Unfortunately, should a parent or child be sick

enough to be facing death, we also help them walk through it with grace and

dignity—as opposed to feeling alone, isolated and frightened.

“We also encourage sick parents to make stable legal plans for their

children who may be left behind,” adds Ferst, “and to have disclosure

conversations with the children in advance, so you don’t have a child standing

at her mother’s funeral, not sure where she’s going next.”

When an HIV-infected Mom arrives at GMHC to have lunch, attend a support

group, consult with a lawyer, or access the acupuncture clinic, she can leave

her children in a spacious playroom, decorated with fanciful murals and a giant

tree hand-painted by the famed children’s story writer and illustrator, Maurice

Sendak, who donated his art. [see photos] The program provides: child-

sitting, nutrition services, a food pantry, art and magic classes, and

recreational trips–church picnics, seasonal apple-pumpkin picking,

amusement parks, zoos, museums, beaches. Also: homework help sessions,

holiday parties, hospital visits, summer sports and weekly support groups for

HIV- positive parents and their HIV-negative children.

This unique program also features: Cooking classes for kids who sometimes

prepare meals for sick parents; Pediatric Buddies, GMHC adult volunteers who

play with sick children and also assist with family chores; Fun With Feelings

Support Group, Friday Evening Family Time, Birthday parties, and a Holiday Gift

Drive.

“Children infected or affected by AIDS,” concludes Ferst, “want to be like

other kids: They want to play with their friends, want to know that someone

will always take care of them, want to know they’re not alone, and often

wonder if it’s their fault when Mom or Dad gets sick.” These children need a

helping hand and any of us can provide one.

All About Athens

Athens is the capital city of Greece. It is a modern, big city as the capitals of other European countries are, and more than a million people live in Athens and its suburbs. But Athens is also one of the most important cities of history. Thousands of years ago, when most of the men on earth were still ignorant savages, the learning and the science and the art of today had their start in Athens . About five thousand years ago, men first built a city where Athens stands today. They built the city around a rocky hill about four hundred feet high.

On this hill they built walled-in fortifications called an acropolis, about which there is a separate article. The people lived around the hill and farmed the land. If an enemy attacked, they could all go to the Acropolis for safety. All cities in those ancient times passed under the rule of one king after another, fought and lost many wars, sometimes were conquered and ruled by neighbouring peoples, and sometimes conquered the neighbouring peoples and ruled them. For hundreds of years, Athens rose and fell in this way.

But about three thousand years ago-not long after the year 1000 B.C. – the people of Athens began to develop a civilisation greater than the world had known before. The first step toward this was the Greek language as the Athenians learned to use it. No other language then had the words needed to write great books of science as well as great poetry and other literature. The poetry of Homer, written in this language, is still as great as any that has ever been written. In the hundreds of years that followed, the drama was born in the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and others. Three of the greatest philosophers of all time, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, taught and wrote in this Greek language.

Laws written in this language, by the great statesman Solon and others, gave Athens one of the earliest democratic governments. The Greek language is still used by scholars throughout the world. Athens became a democracy in 508 B.C. The two hundred years that followed were the times of its greatest glory. During this period the sculptor Phidias and other Athenian sculptors built the magnificent buildings on the Acropolis and carved statues that are still models of beauty. The people elected their own leaders. Athens was a ” city-state ,” which means that it was a city but also an independent country. There were many slaves, however. In 338 B.C., Athens was conquered by King Philip of Macedon, a neighbouring country in Greece. (Philip was the father of Alexander the Great, who conquered almost the entire civilised world.)

After it fell under the rule of Macedon, Athens did not become big and independent again for more than two thousand years. The Romans ruled it, then a series of conquerors until the Turks made it part of Turkey about four hundred years ago. Athens became just a small town. In the year 1834, the entire country of Greece became independent again and Athens was made the capital. It began to grow, and now is a great city again. It is the seat of the Greek Orthodox Church (also called the Orthodox Catholic Church), and the capital of the kingdom of Greece. About two thirds of all the manufacturing in Greece is done in and near Athens . The remains of many of the great buildings of ancient Athens , including the Acropolis, can still be seen there. During World War II, the Germans occupied Greece and captured Athens , but it was not damaged.

Legal Protection for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in Nigeria

For healthy and continuous in flow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Nigeria, the country has over the years put in place friendly legal framework for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) protection.

In this Foreign Investors’ Guidelines for Doing Business in Nigeria Series, we shall be examining the legal mechanisms put in place for the purpose of encouraging an increasing FDIs inflow and ensuring foreign investors’ confidence in the country.

We shall be discussing foreign investors’ protections ranging from certainty of arbitral proceedings and other dispute resolution mechanisms in the country.

The fact with modern economic systems is that no country can be an island economically; Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) protection is very essential to the successful attainment of foreign investors’ business objective(s) and economic development of any economy.

There are steps that host countries can lawfully take in the exercise of their sovereignty and power can lead to depriving foreign investors of reaping the fruits of their investments.

Host government actions that can affect foreign investment adversely includes nationalization; the act of a government taking control of a private enterprise and converting it to state or public ownership.

Expropriation; the act of a government taking possession of or otherwise meddling with privately held assets or property for the use and benefit of the public, or in the public interest.

The legislative and administrative acts of the government as government action can also have adverse effects on foreign investors’ businesses in Nigeria.

This is the indirect or creeping form of expropriation. The only difference is that, it mode of operation shifted attention from the physical and actual taking-over of an investor’s assets to the legislative and administrative acts of the government.

While not depriving a foreign investor of the ownership of an asset in this type of government control, it is capable of significantly reducing the value of properties and investments of the foreign owner.

Foreign investors don’t like investing in country’s with risk such as arbitrary revocation of a license; permit or a concession after the investor has made the requisite investments.

The advancement and expansion of international business relationships and the importance of foreign direct investment to the economic development of Nigeria has made the country to put in place some foreign business protection laws for the purpose of encouraging foreign investors.

Nigeria has performed greatly in providing protections to potential foreign investors.

Investment Treaties

In spite of the provisions of Section 12 of the Nigerian Constitution, investment treaties entered by the country are binding on, and enforceable against Nigeria upon ratification under the principle of ‘pacta sunt servanda’.

Also, by a literal application of Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which provides that a treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in agreement with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty.

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs): Nigeria entered into its first Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with Germany in 1979 which came into force in 1986.

According to finding from my investigation Nigeria has entered into 28 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) between 1986 and November, 2015.

Of the total number, 13 are currently in force, 14 are signed and 1 repealed. The Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) currently in force are the ones entered into with Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.

The 14 BITs which have been signed by Nigeria but are yet to enter into operation were signed as far as back as 1996.

In addition to the usual investment protection standards, these BITs provide that a contracting state shall not damage by irrational or unfair means the maintenance, management, disposal of investment in its territory of nationals or companies of the other Contracting Party.

And the same recompense for losses suffered due to a safety event made to a domestic investor shall be allowed to the investor from the other contracting state.

These BITs also provide for the right of subrogation allowing foreign investors to obtain suitable investment insurance and for these investment insurance providers to seek remedy on their behalf from Nigeria.

The BITs that are presently in force have also made satisfactory requirements for the standard investment protection. These include fair and equitable treatment, umbrella clauses, most favoured nation status, national treatment, obligations against arbitrary and discriminatory measures and security.

Multi-lateral Investment Treaties (MITs): Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) treaty is one of the famous MITs Nigeria have entered. The ECOWAS treaty was signed on 28th May 1975; it came in into force on the 20th June, 1975.

The treaty currently has 15 signatories who are member states of ECOWAS.

Article 2 of the Treaty gives ‘Community Enterprise’ status to businesses whose equity capital is owned by two or more member states, and citizens or institutions of the Community.

Article 16 of the Treaty provides that Community Enterprise shall be accorded favourable treatment with regards to incentives and advantages, and shall not be nationalised or expropriated by the government of any member state except for valid reasons of public interest, and subject to the payment of prompt and adequate compensation.

Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) investment treaty is another MIT Nigeria has entered into in relation with providing favourable conditions for foreign investments in the country.

OIC is a treaty with an Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments among Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which came into force in September, 1986.

Chapter 2 of the Treaty mandates all member states of the Organization of Islamic Countries to provide adequate security and protection to the invested capital of an investor who is a national of another contracting member state.

The terms of protection specifically include the enjoyment of equal treatment, undertaking not to adopt measures that may directly or indirectly affect the ownership of the investor’s capital or investment and not to expropriate any investment except it is in the public interest and on prompt payment of adequate compensation.

Host states are further obligated to guarantee free repatriation of any capital and returns due to an investor.

Conventions to which Nigeria is a Signatory:

The country is signatory to a number of Conventions which have been entered into for the purposes of protecting foreign direct investment.

The most significant convention in this regard is the Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention).

International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) as an arbitral institution under the World Bank Group is a fully integrated, self-contained arbitration institution that provides standard arbitration clauses, arbitration proceedings rules, arrangements for venues, financial arrangements and administrative supporting including the appointment of arbitrators to parties.

Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID) primarily provides for the settlement of investment disputes between investors and sovereign host states.

It has also taken the necessary legislative measures to make the Convention’s resolution effective in Nigeria by enacting it as a domestic legislature in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Enforcement of Awards) Decree No. 49 of 1967.

Another significant investment protection convention Nigeria has entered into is the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

New York Convention was adopted by the United Nations in June, 1958 and it mandates domestic courts in signatory countries to give effect to arbitration agreements, and to also recognise and enforce valid arbitral awards given in other signatory states.

The New York Convention in other words is particularly significant for the enforcement of arbitral awards resulting from non-ICSID investment arbitration proceedings.

In an attempt to bring into conscious awareness the legal guidelines to undertaking business in Nigeria to intended foreign investors, we shall specifically be reviewing domestic legislations and investment treaties which collectively make up the legal framework for foreign investment protection in the country.

The Domestic Legal Framework:

The notable investment legislation in Nigeria is the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act, CAP N117 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (“NIPC Act”).

The NIPC Act provides the fundamental and suitable legal framework for the protection of foreign investors in the country. Part 5 of the NIPC Act provides that foreigners may invest and participate in any enterprise in Nigeria.

They are assured unrestricted transfer of funds attributable to the investment such as profits, dividends, payments in respect of loan servicing, and the remittance of proceeds obtained from the sale or liquidation of assets or any interest in the venture through an approved dealer in freely convertible currency.

Section 25 of the NIPC Act clearly provides that no enterprise shall be expropriated or nationalised without prompt payment of compensation; the same section also provides a protection clause to an investor to claim “creeping” expropriation by establishing that the acts complained of indirectly results to expropriation or have expropriatory tendency.

Lastly, the NIPC Act provides that disputes between a foreign investor and any government in Nigeria arising from an investment shall be submitted to arbitration within the framework of any investment treaty entered into between the government of Nigeria and any state of which the foreign investor is a national.

It further provides that where there is a disagreement between the Nigerian government and the foreign investor on the mode of dispute settlement, the dispute shall be submitted to ICSID for arbitration.

Foreign investor is thus at liberty in Nigeria to institute arbitration proceedings against a government even after bringing a claim or counterclaim against the government in a court or domestic arbitration.

Another domestic legislation that provides protection to foreign investors is the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions Act) CAP F34.

Section 15 of this Act provides that any person may invest in any business venture with foreign currency or capital imported into Nigeria through an authorized dealer who will issue a Certificate of Capital Importation to the foreign investor.

Sub-section (4) of the same section in addition guarantees unconditional transferability of funds in freely convertible currency of any such monies arising from an investment made in Nigeria with foreign currency, including dividends and profits, payments in respect of loan servicing, and remittances of the proceeds of sale or liquidation of assets.

A similar provision on repatriation is also found in Section 18 of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Act, CAPN107 (“NEPZA Act”).

Section 18 of the NEPZA Act provides that foreign investors who invest in outlined businesses within an export zone shall be eligible to remit profits and dividends earned in the zone and repatriate foreign capital investment at any time with capital appreciation of the investments.

Other foreign investors’ protection laws are the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The act gives foreign investors the opportunity to determine the mode of settling disputes that may arise out of their investments without resort to litigation in domestic (Nigeria) courts.

With the anticipation that such settlement will unfailingly and efficiently protect and enforce the rights of foreign investors and their investments provides a framework for domestic arbitration it also makes provisions for international commercial arbitration which is more preferable by foreign investors.

Section 56(2) (d) defines ‘international arbitration’ to include any arbitration that the parties have expressly agreed in the arbitration agreement to treat as international arbitration. The Act provides that every arbitration award is capable of enforcement under the New York Convention.

Nigeria’s entries into these investment treaties and its enactment of the Conventions into domestic legislation have made the protection mechanism part of Nigeria’s legal framework for protection of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) friendly and convenient to actual and potential foreign investors.

Athens – The Capital of Greece

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During the independence of Greece in 1830,  Athens  was a small town, with the size of a village. Now it is a great town with authentic look that is still fascinating. What makes it unique is the diversity of architectural styles, good people, sirtaki and the icy ouzo…all these things will spell you.

In  Athens  you cannot get bored, but you should take some time for an afternoon nap. In the summer time, between two and four in the afternoon, the killing Athenian sun shines mercilessly. That’s why the most appropriate time to travel to Greece is in the early autumn or late spring.

 Athens  is both the capital and the largest  city  in Greece. It is situated on Attica peninsula, in a relatively hilly area and is connected to Piraeus port.

Your trip with bus to Greece will not cost much. It is very comfortable and you will be able to see many places there. There are many hotels where you can stay for little money.

When you go to  Athens  you will have the chance to walk for hours and to try the delicious food of some of the small restaurants in the narrow streets. You can sit in one of the thousands cafes and taverns full of lanterns and musicians. Here is the paradise of the Greek salad, covered with olive oil and olives. In Piraeus, the port of  Athens , you can find seaside taverns, where the most delicious thing is the seafood – fresh octopus, squid and fish and ouzo as an aperitif. At about nine or ten o’clock local people go to dinner, drink coffee or cocktails. If you decide to join the nightlife, one o’clock at night on Friday and Saturday is the right time.

It is clear that if you are on holiday in  Athens , you will want to see some attractions of the town. You will find many new beauties there – from beautiful squares, monuments to taverns. It is better for you to get a map and to mark your route and put some red circles around the places you want to see. The historic  center  of  Athens  is the Acropolis (now a museum) with the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Temple of Nike, Erechteum and others. This is definitely the place that you should visit. At the foot of the hill are located the theatre of Dionysus (5 century B.C.), the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the ancient necropolis, agora. Do not miss the political and cultural center, Academy of Sciences, the National Archaeological Museum, the National Gallery and the Museum of Byzantine art. The chief town square is Syntagma.

There is a great possibility that you will fall in love with  Athens . It is really wonderful town and you will be amazed by all the sights there.

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Gas Moped Scooter – Not Just For Fun

Buying a gas moped scooter is a great way to have fun on the road without emptying your bank account. In the past scooters have mainly been used by teenagers for getting to and from friends houses, school or college. You can often see them admiring each others scooters outside coffee shops etc. The most popular models being the Vespa, Lambretta, piaggio and the smaller Honda models.

This trend is now starting to show signs of change, the main reason is the recent rise in gas prices and heavy city traffic, consequently more and more commuters are looking at the gas moped scooter as a reliable way of getting around town.

The scooter companies are beginning to recognize this and are producing higher spec models to entice the more mature dollar their way. One of the biggest producers is Honda who have a stunning range of higher powered scooters, such as the Silver Wing; this a stunning gas moped scooter which is sleek and stylish it has a smooth liquid cooled twin engine and the acclaimed Honda v-matic transmission. The Silver Wing has a seating capacity for two and tons of storage for that hard to stow brief case and spare motorcycle helmet.

If you want the comfort of the Silver Wing but with a smaller engine the Honda Reflex is a great choice. From city streets to country roads to long stretches of highway, the Reflex gas moped scooter is built for any number of rides. Its smooth 249cc engine, automatic transmission and comfortable seating for two deliver the goods to get you going, wherever the day takes you.

The Piaggio X9 Evolution 500 is an excellent gas moped scooter and satisfies all needs. Agile, easy to handle and the most compact of all maxi scooters. Once out of town, it is able to shift character and open up to wide open spaces with remarkable ease. The X9 has a top speed of 98mph comes with disc brakes and and on board computer.

It is well worth considering using a scooter or small motorcycle for getting around the city or those short trips to the store or football game where you can just park and forget it. You will be amazed how much you will save on insurance premiums and most of all gas. One fill up will probably satisfy the average commuting needs for a month so why not make your next vehicle purchase a gas moped scooter.

The Old Temple of Athena Polias

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Farther along the Sacred Way we notice the foundations of an ancient temple in front of the Erechtheion. On account of its length of 100 Attic feet, this edifice was wrongly believed for centuries to be the Hecatompedon, until identified as the Old Temple of Athena Polias (Athena of the City). This is the most ancient building uncovered on the Acropolis; it was originally a simple sanctuary dating from the remotest times. The modest Doric temple of limestone was restored in the sixth century BC by Peisistratus, who embellished it by adding a colonnade and pediments depicting a Battle of the Giants, while its opisthodomos served as the Athenian Treasury.

In this heap of stones, enclosed by a railing, we can distinguish two bases in poros for the support of wooden pillars belonging to the Mycenaean megaron (palace) of the first King of   Athens . This was the center of the public life of the citadel and extended as far as the north wall of the Erechtheion. A flight of rock-cut steps built in Pelasgic times connected the megaron and the Acropolis with the lower city. Later, in historical times, on these Mycenaean vestiges was raised the above mentioned Temple of Athena Polias, a rectangle of 32.80 m. long, that is 100 feet, whence its name of “Hecatompedon” (temple of a hundred feet). This temple was rebuilt after it was destructed during the persian invasion but it appears that after the completion of the Erechtheion it became useless and an encumbrance, and was finally destroyed in 406 BC.

Opposite the ruins of the Old Temple of Athena Polias and close to the seventh column of the Parthenon, there is an inscription which reads: This spot was consecrated, after being indicated by an oracle, to the Fruitful Earth. Exactly on this spot was a statue of Earth beseeching Zeus to send rain. Nearby is a circular base, which formerly bore the statues of Conon and his son Timotheus and farther along is the base of a statue dedicated to Hermolycos, son of Deitrephes.

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How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores Fast And Resume Your Daily Life

Suddenly you feel the tingling sensation at the edge of your lip. There is no doubt in your mind that a cold sore is coming. Although you can’t cure it at the moment or prevent it completely, but you can speed up the healing with the following remedies.

Peppermint Oil

Essential oils can help your cold sores to heal faster. One study shows that peppermint oil can eliminate herpes simplex virus outside the cells in 3 hours. In other words, essential oils are not effective if the virus is hiding in the nerve. To use peppermint oil, you need to dilute it with olive oil because at high concentration, it is toxic. Apply it when you notice the tingling sensation.

Lysine

Taking high dosages of lysine has been found to speed up healing of cold sores. It replaces arginine in the cells. Arginine is the fuel for herpes simplex virus. The lack of arginine in the cells forces the virus to retreat.

You can reduce the consumption of foods that contain arginine. These include grains, chocolate, nuts, and seeds.

If you don’t want to take lysine supplements, increase the intake of lysine rich foods such as meat and dairy products. Just make sure they provide between 3000 and 9000 milligrams of lysine daily.

Abreva

Abreva is FDA-approved over-the-counter cream. It contains docosanol or behenyl alcohol that can get rid of cold sores fast. For best results, you have to use it as soon as the first symptom appear. It requires up to 5 applications per day.

Compeed

One study compares the speed of healing between Compeed Cold Sore Patches and acyclovir 5% cream. The result is that Compeed has the similar quick healing abilities as acyclovir cream. According to consumers’ reviews, many find that their cold sores clear quickly after patching their sores with Compeed. Unlike topical creams, Compeed is not messy. It is transparent so you don’t even know the patch is there. It also prevents the virus from spreading. In addition, it is an ideal remedy for pregnant women who have concerns about prescriptions.

Manage Your Stress

When you are under stress, your immune system weakens. This does not help your body to recover quickly for the herpes outbreak. If you want the cold sores to go away faster, you have to reduce your stress. Take a stroll, or join yoga classes. Modify your hectic schedule to give you time to relax.

The problem I find with today’s cold sore remedies is the timing. Most treatments will work the best if you act the moment you spot the tingling sensation. If you fail to do so, it will take longer time for you to resume your daily activities. Although the above remedies can get rid of cold sores quickly but what if you have to attend a major meeting or event tomorrow?

Edinburgh – The Athens of the North

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Europe may be the second smallest continent in the world, but it is possibly one of the most diverse regions on earth.

The sheer variation in language, culture, architecture and even weather, makes Europe one of the most visited regions in the world, and it’s easy to see why. For modern metropolises there is London, Paris and Barcelona. For warm weather and beaches there is thousands of miles of Mediterranean coastline spanning Spain, France, Italy, Greece and numerous other countries; all with quite distinct historical, cultural and linguistic differences.

But as great as it is to have such massive diversity squeezed into such a relatively small space, it could be argued that there are probably bigger metropolises and better beaches located elsewhere in the world. Indeed, what makes Europe truly special are those ‘one-of-a-kind’ places, and Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is such a place.

Located in the south-east of Scotland close to the River Forth, Edinburgh is often considered to be one of the most picturesque cities in Europe and is certainly regarded as a major tourist destination, attracting around 13 million visitors each year.

But what makes Edinburgh a truly mesmerising city is its landscape and architecture. To realise how stunning a city the Scottish capital is, it only takes a short hike up one of the several hills that the city is built around. Arthur’s Seat, for example, offers perhaps the most panoramic view of the city and is only a mile from the city centre. As an extinct volcano, it consists of rocky crags and basalt cliffs, rising to about 250 metres high and affords magnificent views across the city, with the world famous Edinburgh Castle taking centre stage.

The one striking feature of the Edinburgh skyline is the lack of skyscrapers or any other particularly tall building. This has been a deliberate attempt not to spoil the famous cityscape that has seen both the old and new town districts of Edinburgh listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

And it’s these two districts that make Edinburgh what it is. The medieval, windy streets and alleys of the Old Town sandwiched in between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, contrasts splendidly with the beautiful Georgian architecture and Greek-inspired neo-classical designs that are spread throughout the New Town.

Indeed, the New Town is generally considered to be a masterpiece of  city  planning and is partly responsible for Edinburgh’s reputation as the ‘ Athens  of the North’, which is quite a compliment considering the esteem in which Greek architecture is held throughout the world.

Of course, like any other city in the world there are all the usual activities to keep visitors happy throughout their stay such as restaurants, cinemas, clubs and pubs; ensuring that hotels in Edinburgh are always in great demand.

But in a city of Edinburgh’s breathtaking beauty, these could be considered merely as distractions from the main attractions. It is difficult to think of anywhere else in the world that can compare to Scotland’s capital city, which is why it truly is, one-of-a-kind.

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Windscreen Wiper Water May Cause Pneumonia and Here’s How to Prevent It

Legionnaires’ disease, a rare disease, is a severe bacterial infection affecting respiratory tract (pneumonia). The organism involved in this condition is Legionella pneumophila that usually founds in mist from hot tubs, air-conditioning units and showers. Transmission occurs by breathing in mist from water that contains these bacteria. General symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle pain and headaches.

Windscreen wiper may cause Legionnaires disease A recent study found that “Windscreen wiper water may be the cause of 20% of cases of Legionnaires’ disease and adding screen-wash to wiper fluids could save lives”. This finding is based on a case-control study which surveyed the driving habits and known risk factors of the Legionnaires’ disease. They study was conducted after an unusual high number of cases were reported in England and Wales and around this time it was well established that professional drivers were five times more likely to get Legionnaires’ than people from other lines of work. The study was aimed to further explore the possible reasons for the difference between the occupations.

The researchers contacted the 75 surviving cases who had acquired Legionnaires’ disease and also included 67 control people without the disease. The participants were provided with a questionnaire asking about their driving habits, other recognized risk factors and possible illness sources in the vehicles. They were asked what kind of vehicle they drove, its age, car service history, content of the wiper fluid tank and whether their driving was for societal or occupation reasons.

The results showed that two factors were associated with a high likelihood of being infected: driving all the way through industrial areas and driving or being a traveler in a motor vehicle that used windscreen wiper fluid with no screen-wash. The researchers calculated that about 22% of infections in people could be due to driving or being a traveler in a car that did not use screen-wash in the windscreen wiper fluid. The detected a firm link between people who do not use screen-wash and the danger of Legionnaires’ disease. Although because of case-control nature of study it cannot confirm causation, the investigators state there is a reasonable biological connection. They believe it is plausible that the bacteria grow in the sluggish water of the wiper’s fluid tank that can become an aerosol when it is sprayed onto the windshield.

Though not proved causal relation, until more conclusive results comes, it is advisable to add screen-wash to your car’s wiper fluid as it can limit the transmission of bacterial causing Legionnaires’ disease.

Who Will Become Wealthy in the Information Age?

As you know, we’re now well and truly in the
Information Age. It began about 10 years ago. In fact,
many economists say it began in 1989, with the Fall of
the Berlin Wall (and the start of the World Wide Web).

To understand who will become wealthy in the
Information Age, first we need to understand how the
Information Age differs from the Industrial Age (born
about 1860, died about 1989).

In fact, let’s get a complete overview and go back to
the Agrarian Age.

In the Agrarian Age, society was basically divided
into two classes: the landowners and the people who
worked on the land (the serfs). If you were a serf,
there wasn’t much you could do about it:
land-ownership passed down through families and you
were stuck with the status you were born into.

When the Industrial Age arrived, everything changed:
it was no longer agriculture that generated most of
the wealth, but manufacturing. Suddenly, land was no
longer the key to wealth. A factory occupied far less
land than a sheep farm or a wheat farm.

With the Industrial Age came a new kind of wealthy
person: the self-made businessman. Wealth no longer
depended on land-ownership and the family you were
born into. Business acumen and factories were creating
a new class of wealthy person. But it still required
enormous capital to build a factory and start a
business.

Then came the World Wide Web (in about 1989) and
globalization. Suddenly, everything changed again.

Factories (or real estate) were no longer necessary to
run a business. Anyone with a website could start a
business. The barriers to wealth that existed in the
Agrarian Age and the Industrial Age were completely
gone. People who could never have dreamed of owning
their own business were making millions from their
kitchen table.

Of course, the Information Revolution didn’t begin
in 1989.

It began in 1444 when Gutenberg invented the printing
press in Mainz, Germany.

But the printing press (newspapers, magazines,
paperbacks) belonged to the Industrial Age, not the
Information Age.

The printing press is a ‘one-to-many’ technology. The
Internet is a ‘many-to-many’ technology. And that was
what changed in 1989.

The Industrial Age was about centralization and
control. The Information Age is about
de-centralization and no control. No government and no
media magnate controls the Internet. This is the
crucial thing to understand about the Information Age.

As we moved from the Agrarian Age through the
Industrial Age to the Information Age, there’s been a
steady collapse of the barriers that kept one section of
society wealthy and the other section poor.

In the Information Age, literally anyone can become
wealthy.

So now that we have a clearer picture of how the
Information Age differs from the Industrial Age, let’s
ask that question again: ‘Who will become wealthy in
the Information Age?’:

(1) People Who are Self-Taught

To explain this better, let’s go back to the Agrarian
Age and the Industrial Age, and the   Transmission  of
Skills.

In the Agrarian Age, skills were passed on from father
to son. If you wanted to learn how to be a blacksmith
you had to be a blacksmith’s son. If you wanted to
learn to be a stone-mason, you had to be the son of a
stone-mason.

With the coming of the Industrial Age, all this
changed. You could go to University and learn whatever
skills you wanted. Knowledge was freely available.

But in the Information Age, the  Transmission  of Skills
is changing once again.

The skills necessary to succeed in the Information Age
are not being learnt from our parents (as in the
Agrarian Age), nor are they being learnt in schools
and colleges (as in the Industrial Age). Children are
teaching their parents computer skills. And many of
the entrepreneurs who start hi-tech Internet companies
have never been to college.

The millionaires (and billionaires) of tomorrow
probably won’t have a college education. They will be
high-school drop-outs, self-taught people.

(2) People with New Ideas.

Again, it’s the people who are able to think outside
of the existing structures who will become wealthy in
the Information Age. Often, it’s just a Simple Idea
that launches people to success in the Information
Age.

Take Sabhir Bhatia, for example – the man who invented
Hotmail. Bhatia was a computer engineer working in
Silicon Valley. He had no previous business
experience, whatsoever.

But one day, while he was driving back from work, a
friend called him on his cell phone and said that he
had an idea: What about starting a free, web-based
email service? Bhatia knew this was the idea he’d been
waiting for. He told his friend to hang up immediately
and ring him at home on a secure line.

Three years later he sold Hotmail to Microsoft for
$400 million.

(3) Writers

The third group who will become wealthy in the
Information Age are Writers.

In the Industrial Age, Writers depended on large
publishing Houses to get published (remember that the
printing press is an Industrial Age technology – it is
centralized and controlled). And the Publishing Houses
took the lion’s share of the profits.

In the Information Age, Writers are doing their own
publishing – and keeping most of the profits
themselves. Indeed, Writers are flourishing on the
Web – mainly through eBooks and Ezine Articles.
But even if you don’t write eBooks or Ezine Articles,
if you own a website, you are a Writer.

Why?

Because the Internet is basically a written medium. It
favors writers, people who are able to communicate
effectively through the written word. Remember, it’s
not the graphics on your website that sell, it’s the
words you use.

In the Information Age, we’re all Writers!

Piraeus Port – Athens, Greece

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The port of  Athens , Piraeus was the greatest port of the ancient world and remains one of the busiest in the Mediterranean. In a country that derives most of its livelihood from the sea, Piraeus is the true capital, while  Athens  is a sprawling suburb full of bureaucrats. Still, it’s hard to find much charm in the tall buildings and dusty streets, although Zea Marina and Mikrolimano with their yachts, brightly-lit tavernas and bars are a handsome sight.

Themistocles founded the port of Piraeus in the 5th century BC when Phaliron,  Athens ‘ ancient port, could no longer meet the growing needs of the  city . The Miletian geometer Hippodamos laid it out in a straight grid of streets that have hardly changed. The centre of action was always the huge central agora, where the world’s first commercial fairs and trade expositions were held. All religions were tolerated, and women were allowed, for the first time, to work outside the home.

As Piraeus was crucial to  Athens ‘ power, the conquering Spartans destroyed the Long Walls linking  city  and port in 404, at the end of the Peloponnesian War. After the 100-year Macedonian occupation and a period of peace, Sulla decimated the city to prevent any anti-Roman resistance, and for 1,900 years Piraeus dwindled away into an insignificant village with a population as low as 20, even losing its name to become Porto Leone. Since the selection of  Athens  as the capital of independent Greece, Piraeus has regained its former glory as the reigning port of a seagoing nation, but much of it dates from after 1941, when German bombers blew the port sky-high.

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Even Beginners Can Make Money Investing in Mutual Funds

Even if you don’t really understand stocks and bonds and the markets they trade in, you and other beginners can make money investing in mutual funds once you get a handle on the mutual funds universe. Here we take the mystery out of investing for beginners.

News flash: Tens of millions of Americans make money investing in mutual funds without knowing what they are doing. Caution: They also lose money unnecessarily and they are not investing as beginners, because they have been doing it for years. Let’s look at what you really need to know to make money investing on a more consistent basis while avoiding serious losses.

Mutual funds were created and promoted as the average investor’s vehicle for investing money in stocks and bonds. That’s just what they are – packages of investments managed for investors by professional money managers. They make investing for beginners simple. You simply open an account, and put your money down with instructions as to how much to invest in which funds. Example: You send in $10,000 to buy shares of ABC Stock Fund. Soon you will own shares in that fund and will own a very small part of a very large portfolio of stocks. The number of shares you will own will depend on the share price at the time your purchase order is processed.

Whether or not you make money investing in mutual funds without taking much risk depends on which funds you invest money in and how you go about it. There are basically three traditional fund alternatives: stock (diversified), bond, and money market funds. You should invest in ALL THREE TYPES if your goal is to consistently make money investing in mutual funds. You also need to understand asset allocation, so you can tailor your total mutual fund portfolio to fit your risk profile. And remember, investing for beginners need not be difficult.

Diversified stock funds are the riskiest of the three and they are your growth engine for earning higher returns. They invest your money in a broad spectrum of stocks representing a number of different industries. This makes investing for beginners simple compared to picking your own stocks. You make money investing here primarily through price appreciation (the fund share price going up) and through dividends. The major risk: share prices fluctuate and can fall significantly when the stock market falls. One year you can make 20%, 30% or more; and you can also lose that much. Over the long term, investors have averaged about 10% a year. Notice I said LONG TERM.

Bond funds invest your money in bonds, which are debt securities that pay interest. Their primary objective is not growth, but rather to earn higher interest for investors than they could earn from safe investments like bank CDs. Traditionally, you make money investing in these mutual funds primarily through the dividends they pay you from the interest they earn. Normally they pay considerably higher dividends than stock funds do, but similar to stock funds their share price fluctuates (usually much less). You can profit from higher share prices, but you can also lose money here. They are considered to be safer investments than stock funds, but bond funds are not necessarily safe investments.

Money market funds invest your money in high-quality short-term debt instruments (IOUs) and pay current interest rates in the form of dividends. Unlike the other two mutual funds, their share price is pegged at $1 and does not fluctuate by design. As interest rates go up the dividend increases, and as rates fall so does the dividend. You make money investing in these mutual funds only through the dividends paid. These mutual funds are considered to be safe investments, and can be used as a cash reserve awaiting bigger opportunities.

To make money investing in mutual funds without worrying your head off you should invest in all three to have a balanced investment portfolio. Here’s what I mean by balance and why it is so important to investing for beginners. Holding either stock or bond funds involves the risk of losing money. If you invest in both this will lower your overall risk. Reason: oftentimes losses in one are offset by gains in the other. Money market funds add flexibility and a cushion of risk to your overall portfolio of mutual funds. The more safety you want the more you allocate to money market funds.

An example of investing for beginners follows. You invest $10,000 equally allocated to the three basic fund types. A couple of years later you see that the stock fund is worth quite a bit more than the other two. The good news is that stocks performed very well. The bad news is that a major decline in stock prices could wipe out your profits and more. To keep things in balance, rebalance once a year so that you are back to equal amounts in each fund. This is very important if you want to make money investing in mutual funds on a consistent basis without unpleasant surprises every few years.

Investing for beginners is not about getting rich quick and neither are mutual funds. If you want to grow your money for a long term goal (like retirement) this article was written for you. You can make money investing in mutual funds without much effort or worry once you get a handle on the basics.

Athens – Ancient Athens

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Let us try and bring to mind a picture of  Athens  as the ancients might have known it, drenched in diaphanous light, its arid mountains protecting it from the north winds and harsh weather, with the beauty of the Acropolis thrown into relief by the sun and the delightfully modest houses at the foot of the great rock. An  Athens  free of noise other than the voices of children and pedlars in the narrow streets. An  Athens  to be dreamed of.

That’s what it must have been like in the Age of Pericles, when the city was already very ancient. Research shows us that the area around  Athens  has been inhabited since the neolithic age, as testified to by artifacts found in wells near the Areopagos (Mars’ Hill) on the south side of the Acropolis, and in the Agios Kosmas peninsula near Alimos. The original inhabitants were then joined by waves of new settlers, Carians, Leleges and finally Pelasgians, mainly tribes of IndoEuropean origin. The intermingling of all these peoples contributed to shaping the Hellenes, with their contradictory temperament and frequent conflicts.

Sometime around the late 9th or early 8th century BC, Hesiod and Homer gave us the first myths, exaggerated, heroic tales which provided a glimpse of the kind of society where everything was dependent on an unknown divinity. During subsequent generations, these gods and heroes underwent many sea-changes in the service of local, often political needs. Myth may be a wonderful depiction of the world but it was also the easiest way for simple people to learn about their history. Thus the early inhabitants believed that their leaders-who sometimes took peculiar forms-were descended from the gods. Even their names can be explained in the light of societal needs.

Then gradually, over a period of time, the leaders ceased to be supernatural, and began taking on more human dimensions. And the people themselves, as they acquired knowledge of the outside world from the sea routes, stopped being afraid of the otherworldly and began to wonder about the world. It is a fascinating experience to watch myth evolving hand in hand with the development of a people and to discern historical truth through an imaginative construct.

Thus Kekrops and Erichthonios, the first kings of  Athens , were strange creatures, half-man and half-snake, whose form portrayed how they had sprung from the Attic soil. Kekrops had brought in master craftsmen, the Pelasgians who, having built a strong Acropolis, stayed on to settle round it. Names ending in -ttos or -ssos appear to have been Pelasgian, such as the Ilissos, Kefissos, Hymettos, Lycabettos, Ardettos; they are all geographic landmarks (mountains, rivers) which remain prominent in the topography of  Athens  up to the present day. Likewise, it was Kekrops who selected the goddess Athena as protector of his city, after whom he named it. It should be noted that some scholars believe the name of the goddess to have been derived from the Egyptian word aten.

With respect to Erichthonios, mythology provides us with a number of illuminating details. It is said that Hephaestos, the lame blacksmith of the gods, wanted to join in union with Athena, the great goddess of knowledge, but she drew back from his loving embrace and the divine seed fell on her legs. She then rubbed her leg with a swatch of the wool she was spinning and threw it to the ground. But whereas Athena refused the seed of the god, the Earth received it and thus did Erichthonios spring forth.

The Athenians always had a particular affection for their founding father in his snakish form: they built him an exquisite temple, the Erechthion, which priests made sure was constantly supplied with offerings of honey c
akes. In some myths, Erichthonios is called Erechtheas; in others Erechtheas is the grandson of Erichthonios and in a third version, Erechtheas has come from Egypt. Perhaps all these versions represented attempts to explain the successive waves of colonists inundating the Aegean during those turbulent years.

If we seek to unravel the threads of the myths, then the truth emerges in all its radiance. The name of Erichthonios shows us his origin: eriochthon means wool-earth, i.e. born of the earth and from it. His descendants intermarried with peoples from Thessaly whose genealogical tree shows their founding father to have been Prometheus. He was the wise Titan who gave mortals the gift of fire, i.e. the light of knowledge-previously the exclusive realm of the gods or perhaps of some priestly brother hood- and for this reason was cruelly punished on a rock in the Caucasus.

It was Prometheus’ son Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha who brought the human race back to life in the mountains of Thessaly after the great flood. His grandson was Hellene. Today we know that the Indo-European Aryan tribes, after discovering the use of metals somewhere in the Caucasus, learned to craft strong weapons. Some tribes spread out into central Europe and the Balkans, some remained to take advantage of the good grazing lands while others pressed on southward.

The initial root began to put forth many branches as Hellene, grandson of Prometheus, had sons who were quite different one from the other. There were Aeolos, Xouthos and Doros, who gave their names to Hellenic tribes in later years. Xouthos, which means “the fair”, was quite distinct from the early Athenians who had the darker skin of the Aegean peoples. He was to marry Kreousa, the granddaughter of Erechtheas: their children were named Achaeos and Ion, the forefathers of the later Hellenes. Another variation of the myth had Ion as the offspring of Apollo’s secret liaison with the same princess. This detail helped advance the mythic cycle from the primeval, with its demonic forms of nature, evolving into humanized deities like Apollo who led man to thought, poetry and philosophy.

Many modern historians believe that the later Hellenes came from Pindus, on the border between Thessaly and Epirus. This fits in admirably with the Attic myths about the genealogy of their kings and the various intermarriages, documenting the arrogance of the ancient Athenians toward the other inhabitants of the region, since from the very outset, gods would frequently come down and intermingle with the mortals, lending a divine dimension to many conjugal dramas.

We know that the first inhabitants of the Attic earth were cultivators, but its poor, arid soil made them turn toward the sea. The story of Theseus who volunteered to go to Crete and kill the Minotaur, delivering  Athens  from the terrible annual tribute of youths sent to feed the insatiable monster, may perhaps be telling us about the Athenians’ first great campaign at sea and their independence from a ruling naval power.

From then on, Theseus never stopped traveling, like all those who, having once experienced the vastness of new horizons, could never thereafter remain closed within narrow confines. He went with the Argonauts to the Pontus (Black Sea), fought against and defeated the imperious Amazons, winning their queen, and taught the spoiled Centaurs a hard lesson in good behavior. But he also took care of his own region, joining together little individual townships into a large and powerful confederacy, with temples in which gods and ancestors were worshiped and with a citadel for security against jealous neighbors.

Theseus was possibly a historic figure who, over the passage of centuries, has become wrapped in the glory of myth to serve domestic expediencies and presented as the scion of the divine race of Ion. A hero who was also a demi-god was always more impressive than just a worthy leader; the inhabitants of the city favored with such a leader would feel special and try to emulate him. Thus the descendants of the first Athenians began their fearless exploration of the sea. As they succeeded in guaranteeing their livelihood, their numbers grew; they learned, became wealthy and expanded their activities around the Mediterranean coasts, creating bridgeheads of commerce and free thought. The colonizers of the east side of the Aegean were called Ionians; and it was there that the ideas of philosophy, the principles of human rights, ethics, metaphysics and the harmony of the universe were born.

Economic ease created a new order of things. Until then, the head of the largest family had been king; but when other men gained power through trade, they too claimed the right to a voice in government, thrusting aside the custom of the hereditary monarchy. A special place was needed for the exchange of commodities and this was how the Agora (market) grew up. The meetings of the local people with strangers made it necessary for them to learn how to develop convincing arguments; from this need sprang the art of rhetoric.

The interests of the people had to be protected. As there were already a great many people, the proper role models had to be found on whose example they could shape their behavior, which at its most sublime moment, led to the formulation of laws by Solon the Sage in the 6th century. Developments in the administrative system were accompanied by cultural progress. The local clay was used to make ceramics which, while initially serving the needs of daily life, soon became objects of trade and then developed into works of art, since men, having assured themselves of the necessities, now sought the beautiful. Athenian potters began producing enormous grave amphoras with austere ornamentation, dominated by Greek key designs and shadowy figures. Black-figured vases were the next phase, with their stylized silhouettes; these evolved into the marvelous red-figured vases which sometimes bear the craftsman’s name under vivid compositions depicting moments from the lives of gods and men.

The gods were worshiped in stately stone temples decorated with marble statues that replaced the earlier idols. The myths became overlaid by a multitude of heroic details, as gods and mortals alike came alive in a new form of ceremony which took place in the theater. Meanwhile, more and more Athenian ships were sailing to and fro in the Mediterranean, carrying new developments and provoking envy in other lands which rapidly turned into the desire of foreign leaders for conquest and expansion. The result was the Persian wars at the beginning of the 5th century BC.

The decisive military confrontation at sea and  Athens ‘ defeat of the Persians in the battle of Salamis, promoted  Athens  to a position of foremost power and intellectual leader over the other Hellenes, much to Sparta’s great annoyance. The Athenians, having acquired the social comfort that accompanies economic prosperity, had by then developed the versatility of thinking people with freedom of opinion and political views. On the contrary, the strapping sons of Sparta remained products of a rigid military education and attitude. Thus, when the gold-bedecked invaders, decimated and in tatters, retreated back into the hinterlands of Persia,  Athens  justifiably assumed a position of preeminence, achieved greatness which culminated in the classical age, and produced works of eternal beauty which have remained vital until the present day. It caused the historian Thucydides to prophesy that if ever the two great adversaries  Athens  and Sparta were someday lost, everybody would know where  Athens  had been by its wonderful monuments whereas Sparta would have left not a trace to remind people of its once great power.

These wonderful monuments were what roused military Sparta’s ire and ultimately led to the armed confrontation. Like all civil wars, the Peloponnesian War was devastating and, unbeknownst to anyone at that time, it signalled the beginning of the end for the proud  city  of  Athens . This was a slow decline which lasted for centuries; it saw insults and passions, tyrannies and uprisings, flaming rhetoric and objections; it saw  Athens  yielding to the Hellenes of the North, the Macedonians, and finally its subjugation by the Roman legions. All this occurred in the shadow of the Parthenon, at a time when the theatres continually presented works by playwrights whose names would become renowned throughout history, and when Athenians would gather under the colonnades of the Agora to listen to the wandering philosophers and discuss the current political situation.

The Christian religion which was slowly spreading hope of deliverance among oppressed peoples, began to gain followers while the philosophical schools were still full of young people seeking enlightenment on questions of rhetoric, the written word and even theology. One of the most famous students of these schools (4th century A.D.) was Julian, later the Byzantine emperor who came to be known as the Apostate because of his attachment to pagan religion; others were Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, future Fathers of the Church. The philosophical schools of  Athens&nbsp
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functioned until the 6th century, at which point Justinian closed them by decree, perhaps because freedom of philosophic thought conflicted with the dogmatism of what had become the state religion. At this point,  Athens  entered the Dark Ages.

Deprived of its intellectual nourishment, the city was gradually forgotten, destined to continue its progress through time as an insignificant village, the roads of which were studded with pieces of marble from statues that had been smashed by fanatics remembering the heathen past of this once-great city. It was this past that made the official Byzantine state neglect the birthplace of art and beauty, which they regarded as a dangerous incitement to those who tended to disagree with the medieval terms of immortality. The religious exaltation of the period could in no way be reconciled with the frivolity of the ancient gods and thus Christianity’s fight for dominance was a tough one without concessions or exceptions.

In the 13th century, when the Crusaders transferred their need for expansion to the East, thinly disguised under a veil of religion, knights who had been excluded from the division of the conquered lands fanned out over the Aegean and around the coasts snatching land by brute force. During the years that followed, the Franks and Catalans established their principalities in Attica and fought to keep them safe from the rising power of Islam. All during this time, the few remaining residents of  Athens  were simply struggling to survive, as they sank ever deeper into the lethargy of illiteracy, poverty and obscurity. The rest of Europe welcomed the educated Byzantines who had fled after the fall of Constantinople (1453), and this infusion of new culture helped push forward the Renaissance, contributing substantially to what we now know as Western civilization. But at that time, this forgotten corner of the earth was not even called Hellas, even though from time to time, travellers would fill tour journals with notes about the monuments, carved stones and inscriptions they had seen on the ground along the pathways of Attica.

It was these descriptions which awakened the memories of Hellas and soon the travellers would start coming in earnest to look, dig and depart in order to send others in ever greater numbers. The Ottoman conquerors, gazing down indifferently from the heights of the Acropolis, where they had established themselves for security reasons, looked condescendingly upon those who came to do research, while the suspicious local population tried to make some money by helping those people whom they, in their ignorance, termed “silly strangers”. In the mid- 18th century, lists had already begun to circulate around Europe of the most significant Greek monuments; some of these lists were even accompanied by drawings. By the early 19th century a few collections of the plunder had already been established.

The French Revolution brought a different atmosphere to the intellectuals of Europe. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity became accepted values. Romantic verses by Lord Byron brought back to the Western mind the memory of Hellenic culture associated with this part of the Balkans, rather than the Greece that had become known through the wealthy Greek merchants in various cities of Europe. Thus the news that the Greek War of Independence had been proclaimed fell on fertile ground and the voice of the enslaved Greek nation was heard once again after centuries of silence, inspiring artists to paint episodes from the desperate struggle waged by the few descendants of the heroes of Marathon and Thermopylae. The scene depicting a mounted, turbaned warrior fighting against an impassioned footsoldier. In his fustanela inspired a sense of heroism and the confrontation between life and death, as well as awakening feelings of anger against the oppressors and support for the oppressed.

In June 1822, the Greeks captured the Acropolis and made it their command post, while the struggle continued with an uncertain outcome on all fronts. Five years later, Kiutahis Pasha had recaptured the citadel in a last ditch effort to suppress the revolution. But the Great Powers of the times formed an alliance -either because they wanted to bow to public opinion or because they were counting on gaining influence in the new independent state in the strategic Mediterranean region, or because they regarded the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire as inevitable-and in the decisive battle of Navarino, it was they who administered the final blow to the Sultan, which gave Greece her freedom.

As soon as it gained its independence, the newly constituted state became an apple of discord for European politicians, while the dusty village of  Athens  was, as a matter of courtesy, designated capital. Still reeling from their bloody fight and from the heady feeling of freedom, the Greeks were struggling to rediscover their identity, and at the same time to wipe out the taint of slavery. They wore European clothes, avoided the brigand-riddled mountains and began building mansions that resembled their monuments. The simple people were awed by the fact that their huts had been built on the settlements and graves of their forefathers and began to be aware of themselves as constituting part of a long, unbroken chain. They all started tearing down, clearing away, digging up and restoring. At last, the Attic earth was ready to surrender its treasures and ideals to humanity.

It was in this way that Greek archeology, the new science of antiquities, was born.

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Hemorrhoids and Anal Warts

It’s pretty bad when you find out you’ve got hemorrhoids, but it can be a lot worse if you get hemorrhoids confused with another health issue. I mean, the pain, anxiety and embarrassment of discovering something wrong in the anal area is bad enough, much less not knowing exactly what you’ve got. On the bright side, there aren’t too many health conditions that can come up in that area. One of the most common health conditions confused with hemorrhoids is anal warts. While neither is very much fun, they stem from entirely different causes and are treated in very different ways.

Anal warts, also known as condyloma acuminata, are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). This virus is highly contagious and most often transmitted through sexual intercourse. Some strains of HPV can lead to increased risk of cervical cancer, but these are not the same strains as the ones that cause anal warts. The virus gets into the skin or mucous tissue cells and starts making them grow in the distinctive wart pattern. HPV infection does not lead to hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids originate from weak points in hemorrhoidal veins below the skin or mucous tissue. As the weak point gives way, it stretches out and takes surrounding tissue with it. Traumatized hemorrhoids may get infected with a variety of bacteria and/or viruses, but infection does not lead to hemorrhoids. That would be like putting the cart before the horse.

Anal warts and hemorrhoids can both feel like lumps or masses of tissue around the anal area. However, there are several differences that can lead to a proper identification upon close inspection. While doing a close inspection may not sound like fun, it’s much better than trying unsuccessfully to treat the wrong thing. Upon said close inspection, anal warts have a distinctive “rough” texture and range in size from the head of a pin to about the size of a pea and are rather hard to the touch. They occur in clusters around the anal opening and may sometimes continue up towards the genital area. They almost never occur alone. Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, have a smooth texture that’s identical to the tissue they originate from, whether that’s external skin or internal mucous membrane. They are often soft or “squishy” to the touch, and they range in size from the size of a pea to the size of a grape. You’ll never find them anywhere except right around the anal opening. In addition, warts almost never hurt, though they may itch a bit. External hemorrhoids, on the other hand, often hurt quite a lot.

Hemorrhoids are usually best treated at home through a high-fiber diet, a healthy amount of exercise, and easily obtained over the counter relief. Home remedies often work well on hemorrhoids and surgery is only rarely needed. Anal warts, on the other hand, always have to be treated surgically, usually on an outpatient basis. The warts will not go away on their own. Instead, a physician has to use liquid nitrogen to freeze them off. In addition, hemorrhoids can often be kept away by keeping the lifestyle changes that were made to help cure them. Anal warts will often come back for no reason under your control, because the virus can live dormant in your skin cells for a long time. One day that virus can wake up and bam, you’ve got anal warts again.

So, as you can see, getting anal warts confused with hemorrhoids can lead to some serious problems. At the least you’ll be stuck trying to treat a problem you don’t have for a while. Why waste all that time and discomfort? If you can’t figure out what you’ve got on your own, make a doctor’s appointment and get your diagnosis confirmed. It’ll save you a lot of trouble, pain and grief in the long run.

Activity Diagrams – Advantages, Disadvantages and Applications of Use

Activity diagrams describe the actual work flow behavior of a system in Information Technology. These diagrams are very similar to state Diagrams because activities are the actual state of doing something. These diagrams describe the actual state of activities of a system by showing all the sequence of activities performed. Also, these diagrams can show activities that are conditional or parallel.

When to Use: Activity Diagrams

Activity diagrams should be used in alignment with other modeling techniques like interaction diagrams and State diagrams. The main reason behind using these diagrams is to model the work flow behind the system being designed. these Diagrams are also useful for analyzing a use case by describing what actions need to take place and when they should occur, describing a complicated sequential algorithm and modeling applications with parallel processes.

Activity diagrams’ advantages:

  • UML modeling language included that these diagrams are normally easily comprehensible for both analysts and stakeholders.
  • In UML for the IT Business Analyst, “The activity diagram is the one most useful to the IT BA for depicting work flow [because] it is simple to understand-both for BAs and end-users.”
  • Since they are among the most user-friendly diagrams available, they are generally regarded as an essential tool in an analyst’s repertoire.
  • Additionally, as stated above, activity diagrams allow an analyst to display multiple conditions and actors within a work flow through the use of swimlanes. Swimlanes, however, are optional as a single condition or actor is normally displayed without them.

Activity diagrams’ disadvantages:

UML modeling language include that these diagrams have the potential to become overly complex because their user-friendly nature may lend itself to an all-inclusive description. In other words, since it is so simple to display the information related to the project, why not include all of it? When an analyst has a large project, creating a single, overly complex diagram can be a temptation.

However, as one author notes, “if you are using activity diagrams to define the structure of a work flow, you should not attempt to explore several levels of activity graphs down to their most ‘atomic’ level”. Instead, an analyst should try to present a new diagram for each work flow, or if more applicable, to use swimlanes to present different actors within the same work flow.

Another aspect of these diagrams is that they may not be used in lieu of a state diagram or sequence diagram because “activity diagrams do not give detail about how objects behave or how objects collaborate.” This is not a disadvantage per se, but it is important for an analyst to keep in mind when applying diagrams to their work.

In conclusion, activity diagrams are fairly easy to get the hang of, and will be useful for most projects because they plainly and moderately clearly demonstrate how things work.” Unlike many diagramming techniques, these diagrams also enable the depiction of multiple choices and actors within a work flow, and they are easy for even non-technical users to follow

Applications of activity diagram:

This diagram has been extended to specify flows among steps that transmit physical matter (e.g., gasoline) or energy (e.g., torque, pressure).

  • Additional changes allow the diagram to better support continuous behaviors and continuous data flows.
  • The UML 2 specification significantly prolonged the features and scale of activity diagrams beyond their earlier classification as a special case of state diagrams.
  • Today, activity diagrams can be thought of as flow charts for the 21st century, and UML modelers use activity diagrams to describe it.
  • Also, these diagrams are useful in following methods:
  • Business Rules
  • Functions that occur in parallel
  • Complex chain of multiple use cases
  • Software flows and logic control configurations
  • Procedures with judgment points and alternate flows
  • Single use cases

A City Guide to Athens

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Named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom,  Athens , capital of Greece, reached its zenith in the fifth century BC with the construction of many classical buildings some of which survive even today and are on the UNESCO World Heritage List including the Acropolis, standing proudly in the heart of the  city . A visit to  Athens  is an enriching experience. Listed here are just some of the attractions you can see on your next visit to  Athens .

Agorá (Market):In its heyday, Agora was the centre of city life – today it hosts ruins from different periods. It was here that ordinary people, stall holders, and merchants mingled with public figures, officials, philosophers and politicians. The main attraction here is Hephaisteion (Temple of Haephaistos), one of the best-preserved ancient temples in Greece, and dating to the fifth century BC. Also visit the Museo tis Agoras (Museum of Agorá) that houses an amazing range of everyday artefacts found in the area. It is housed in the Stoa of Attalos.

Acropolis: This UNESCO World Heritage Site dominates the city and the skyline. Acropolis refers to the rocky outcrop that formed the original settlement in  Athens . The site includes the Acropolis Museum and four sacred buildings, dating to the fifth century BC. Ascend the steep summit to the Propylaea, a monumental gateway, which serves as the entrance to the site. To the left, you will see the Temple of Athena Nike. The original temple was destroyed in the 17th century by the Turkish forces but has now been carefully restored. The Parthenon, the largest building on the Acropolis, is built entirely from marble and was intended as a sanctuary for Athena and once housed a statue of the goddess.

Delphi:According to Greek mythology, Delphi is located at the point where the two eagles released to the East and West by God Zeus met, thereby marking the centre of the world. Delphi is the sanctuary of Apollo and the seat of his oracle. The ancient site is in ruins but still attracts thousands of visitors who throng here to see its remains. The site also houses the impressive Delphi Museum which exhibits various statues and offerings from the sanctuary of Delphi. The UNESCO World Heritage Site houses the Temple of Apollo, the Sacred Way, an amphitheatre, and a stadium.

National Archaeological Museum: The museum is housed in a late 19th century building and houses one of the finest collections of ancient Greek artefact including the fascinating Mycenaen Collection comprising beautifully crafted gold work dating from between the 16th and 11th centuries BC, and the Bronze Collection.

Tourism is one of the main industries in Greece and continues to flourish even in the uncertain economic times. Every year,  Athens  attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe. There are several accommodation options available to cater to their accommodation needs from bed and breakfasts to resorts to private Greece villas.

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Painting Light

HOW TO PAINT LIGHT

I teach students how to paint and draw light. I am also a lighting specialist. My fascination with light encompasses, not only the commercial, retailing aspect, but the artistic as well. Once drawing and painting skills are developed to the point where students can accurately put down what they see, creating light and shadow is studied and faithfully delineated subject matter emerges in a world of space and volume.

LEARNING TO SEE

Basically, the depiction of light and shadow is accomplished by using dark and light colors in painting and tonal gradations in drawing. For a beginning student this often requires some visual skills.. First, I tell the student it is necessary to convert what they see to a two-dimensional vision that they can translate to a two-dimensional surface like a canvas or a sketchbook page.

POWERFUL GRIDS

Seeing objects two-dimensionally can be done in several ways. The easiest (and most time-tested) is to construct a grid in front of the subject matter–that could be actual objects, a photo or a picture. This can be done most simply by holding a pencil vertically and horizontally against the viewed objects, comparing their shapes to the vertical and horizontal lines of the pencil.

Another time-tested method is to literally construct a grid on plate glass or Plexiglas and place that grid in front of the objects. Now the viewed objects are intersected by many squares (depending on how large or small the squares in the grid are.) Each quadrant (square) of the grid can then be painted or drawn independently and upon completing the entire grid, the composition of objects is finished to compose an accurate picture of the objects.

Light and shadow are more easily discerned and created with this grid method. How objects are illuminated can be defined on paper or canvas by observing and re-creating light and shadow at play in each quadrant. In accomplishing this by shading and highlighting, illumination and therefore, volume is created, the illusion of the three-dimensional space is created, reborn on a two-dimensional surface.

EARLY LINE AND COLOR

Accuracy, as well as light and shadow were not always the motivation behind depicting artful images. Before the Renaissance, art works in Europe depicted objects ( figures, landscapes, buildings) in a flat space. There was no light and shadow. Figures were delineated and colored in a style much like a coloring book. These images translated well to stained glass windows and mosaics. Their simplicity of line and color contributed to the strength of the iconography, often of religious significance.

EARTHLY LIGHT

With the discovery of perspective, space and volume became important to artists as well as the depiction of light and shadow. Symbolic icons and images described by line gave way to depictions of illuminated space. In perspective, objects recede and advance in a two-dimensional space that is totally visually believable. To augment the receding and advancing figures with directional light and shadow completed the believability, creating a world the eye could explore as a simulated, illuminated three-dimensional environment.

GOLD LEAF TO EARTHLY LIGHT

Spiritual light, the vehicle of infinity was often expressed with the use of gold leaf in Medieval altarpieces. The warm, glowing, reflective surface behind religious figures imbued the work with a rich and reassuring statement-the glory of heaven and God’s power. A more earthly light replaced gold leaf in the Renaissance. Spiritual figures were bathed in sunlight and swathed in shadow. The light that illuminated the humble shepherds was the same light that shone on Jesus and his followers.

REPEATING HISTORY

It is interesting to me that the journey a beginning drawing or painting student takes often replicates the historical transition from the Medieval use of line and color-in style to the Renaissance application of illuminated space and volume. And, with more advanced students, their journey often continues to repeat the contemporary return to line and color-in, the preference for depicting flat, shallow space and solid color.

I find this reassuring. The art world is wide open, brimming with many styles, images, materials and skills. For today’s artist, everything is available, to use towards a creative purpose. All of history as well as the latest technological/digital images are ready to be researched and developed.

Investment and Its Importance

Investment is important from many points of view. Before doing investment, it is essential to understand what is investment and its importance?

“Investment is an act of investing money to earn the profit. It is the first step towards the future security of your money.”

Need of Investment

The investment can help you in the future if invested wisely and properly. As per human nature, we plan for a few days or think to plan for investment, but do not put the plan into action. Every individual must plan for investment and keep aside some amount of money for the future. No doubt, the future is uncertain and it is required to invest smartly with some certain plan of actions that can avoid financial crisis at point of time. It can help you to bring a bright and secure future. It not only gives you secure future, but also controls your spending pattern.

Important Factors of Investments

Planning for Financial investment – Planning plays a pivotal role in all fields. For the financial investment, one must have a pertinent plan by taking all rise and fall situations of the market. You should have a good knowledge of investment before planning for financial investment. Keen observation and focused approach are the basic needs for successful financial investment.

Invest according to your Needs and Capability- The purpose behind the investment should be clear by which you can fulfil your needs from the investment. In investment, financial ability is also a component that can bring you satisfaction and whatever results you want. You can start investment from a small amount as per your capability. You should care about your income and stability to choose the best plan for you.

Explore the market for available investment options – The investment market is full of opportunities, you can explore the market by applying proper approach. You can take help from financial planners, managers who have thorough knowledge about investment in the market. Explore the possibility of investment markets and touch the sublime height of success by the sensible investment decisions.

By taking help from an experienced, proficient financial planner and traders can also give you confidence to do well in the field of investment. Now the question strikes the mind that what are the types of investments?

Types of Investments

Mutual Funds- Basically the mutual fund is a managed investment fund in which money is pulled from the investors to buy the securities.

Commodity Market- In India, it is a popular place of traders to invest their money. The commodity market comprises of MCX (Multi Commodity Exchange) and NCDEX (National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange) both. In Multi Commodity Exchange market, you can invest in crude oil, precious metals as gold, silver and base metals as copper, aluminium, nickel, zinc and many more. While in National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange market, you can invest in all agricultural commodities as guar, soya bean, cotton, sugar cane and many more.

Stock Market- It is the place where various people trade globally and earn the maximum return on investment. However, it is essential to know the bull and bear of the stock market for investing in it. The Stock market for investment also includes the equity market and nifty market. You can invest in equities and nifty market and get good amount profit by focused approach and keen analysis of market trend.

Bonds – It is the best ways to gain interest on your principal amount. The interest and period of time depends on the agreement. In this, a holder lends a particular amount to the issuer (borrower) for a fixed period of time. At this time, you will get the interest from the borrower and after completing that fixed period of time borrower will return back your money. A long term tool for financial investment.

Fixed Deposits – The Fixed Deposit (FD) service is provided by various banks that offers investors a higher rate of interest on their deposits as compared to a regular savings account. Fixed deposits have the maturity date to gain the return on investment.

Real Estate- One can also invest in the real estate and deal with the residential and commercial property. This is also a trending way to earn a good return on investment.

There are various financial planners, financial managers, trading tips provider who can give you numerous options for investment in the market. But it is essential to choose the options wisely.

Visiting Athens

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Pay homage to Athen’s most impressive legacy- the Acropolis, haggled with

the merchants in the old Turkish bazaar around Monastiraki Square and Explored the 19th-century quarter of Plaka…all before noon. Now you are ready to drink like Dionysus.

Where to crash

 Athens ‘ first “hip hotel,” the Semiramis, is located in Kifissia, a wealthy suburb about 10 miles north of the  city   center .

Styled by trendy designer Karim Rashid, the hotel has such features as a glowing-pink cube in the entrance, a rotating collection of contemporary art in the rooms, and digitally

programmed door signs.

NightLife

What’s a Flagrant without checking out the nightlife?

Bars are the staple of Greek nightlife, with new establishments opening every week. In summer, many of the most popular spots, especially dance clubs, move to temporary venues along the coast (check with your hotel concierge on seasonal whereabouts of clubs).

Frequented by the under-30 crowd, these clubs are usually huge, lively, and packed.

Getting to them can be a nightmare, especially on weekends, when the coastal road, Poseidonos, becomes a kilometers-long traffic jam.

Most bars stay open at least until 3 AM. Drinks are rather steep (around EUR6) but generous, and often there is a surcharge on weekend nights at the most popular clubs. Foreigners usually get in automatically; large groups of single men may have some trouble on a busy night. Most clubs and bars do not take credit cards for drinks.

From September to May, Athen’s beautiful people make an appearance at Central to see and be seen in the cool, creamy interior while enjoying cocktails and sushi.

From May to September, Central is closed in town; it reopens on the coast as Island, which is dreamily decked out in gauzy linens and directly overlooks the Aegean.

with notes from Fodors and USA Today

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Investing Money in 2014 and 2015 for Retirement – An Old Pro’s Viewpoint

In 2014 and maybe 2015 and beyond, investing money will be tougher and putting together the best investment portfolio might mean investing money for safety vs. higher investment returns. The best investment ideas are slim pickings. There is very little that is normal in today’s world of finance. My reasoning and background follows.

In 1971 I had my Masters in Business (finance) and knew nothing about the investment world or investing money. Actually, I found it quite embarrassing, because adults that I would meet in the business world thought that I might have the best investment ideas in my pocket – due to my education. The years that followed were not the best investment environment, and I became a stock broker in Columbus, Ohio in 1972. I learned real quick what my job was really all about: selling investment ideas… SELL the sizzle NOT the steak… I was informed by my sales manager.

Forty years later, investing money is a game that I find has changed little. It’s all but impossible to find the best investment, and the world of investing money is primarily a sales game aimed at uninformed investors (more than 90% of the investing public). I once read that NOW is always the hardest time to invest money. I’ve seen difficult times in the markets for over 40 years and I’ve NEVER repeated that phrase until now.

At this time, I am afraid that it is really true. Allison and I have three children, who are all basically 30-something and trying to make it in a difficult world. Investing money for retirement is not an option for them. It is an absolute necessity if they don’t want to work for the rest of their life. Many folks my age are covered by pension funds plus other entitlements, but that’s not the norm for 2014 and beyond. Now, let’s get down to business and talk about investing money in 2014 and beyond; and the best investment ideas I can muster as an older (but still on top of my game) retired financial planner.

If you have a 401k at work participate in it, and take maximum advantage of your employer’s matching contribution if your company offers this feature (it’s free money). Investing money here is automatic and almost painless. This is one of the best investment ideas available for accumulating a nest egg for retirement. Plus, the tax advantages will put a smile on your face each year at income-tax time.

Open a Roth IRA with a major NO-LOAD mutual fund family and start investing money each month through their automatic investment plan. Enter “no-load funds” into a search engine and you’ll see some of the biggest and best fund companies at the top of the page, names like Vanguard, Fidelity and T Rowe Price. Give them a toll-free call if you have questions – like do you qualify, how much can you invest a year, and will they send you free literature. A Roth IRA (or Roth 401k if available) is one of the very best investment ideas for accumulating money for retirement. A Roth account (IRA or 401k) is TAX FREE investing, as long as you follow the rules. Tax free is as good as it gets and difficult to find.

Mutual funds are the average investor’s best investment vehicle because they offer both professional management and instant diversification in the form of a managed portfolio of stocks, bonds, and money market securities. When you invest money in a fund, you own a very small part of (own shares in) a very large investment portfolio. There is always a cost for investing money in funds. All funds charge for yearly expenses. This can amount to less than 1% a year in NO-LOAD FUNDS, with no sales charges when you invest money and no extra ongoing management fees. Or, you can pay 5% in sales charges off the top when you invest money, 2% or more for yearly expenses and 1% to 2% in additional management fees if you work through a sales rep (financial planner, adviser, or whatever).

One of the best investment ideas for 2014, 2015 and beyond: keep your cost of investing money as low as possible. This could make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars over the long term. A dollar saved is a dollar earned.

Do all that you can to learn about investing money; and especially learn about stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Once you understand stocks and bonds, getting a handle on mutual funds is a piece of cake. What are the investment options inside your employer’s 401k plan? The vast majority of them are likely mutual funds – mostly stock funds, bond funds, and/or balanced funds (that invest in both stocks and bonds). There will likely also be one or two safe investment options that pay interest: a money market funds and/or a stable account.

Investing money successfully in 2014 and beyond could be very difficult due to today’s investment environment. First, record low interest rates mean that safe investments that pay interest are paying close to nothing. Second, bonds and bond funds pay more interest, but when interest rates go back up to normal levels they WILL LOSE money; that’s the way bonds and bond funds work. Third, stocks and stock funds are pricy, having gone up in value and price well over 100% since 2009. In other words, best investment ideas are few and far between.

Here’s the best investment strategy in 2014 and beyond for beginners who want to start investing money for retirement and keep it simple. In a 401k and/or Roth IRA account invest (monthly or each payday) equal amounts into a stock fund, bond fund, and money market fund. If your 401k has a stable account option use this instead of the money market fund if it pays more interest.

Mutual funds are always one of the best investment ideas for most investors – if you invest money in low-cost no-load funds. (Your 401k plan should have no loads, sales charges). When investing money for retirement in 2014 and 2015 keep three factors in mind. Two of these always apply: keep costs low and invest money across the board in all three fund types listed above. Your third factor is to give money market funds equal weight in 2014 and beyond for added safety. Normally, you would give them less weighting.

Athens City Breaks Guide

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For more than 3500 years  Athens  has been attracting visitors. Rich in history and home to one of the most famous buildings of the world – the Parthenon, which represents the golden age of  Athens  urban planning, it is impossible to compete with the impressive architecture of the  city . Apart from being just a tourist spot,  Athens  is also home to more than half the population of Greece.  Athens   city  breaks will surely help you know about this extremely beautiful city.

You are sure to fall in love with the jumbled and elegant skyline of neoclassical facades, whitewashed sugar-cube houses, the Plaka quarter – a colorful mixture of flea markets and antique shops, markets that have stalls piled with huge tubs of olive, fresh fish and well stocked tables laid out of the pavement tavernas.

The acropolis is one of the places visited most by tourists. It provides the best of classical architecture that you can find anywhere else in the world. You find the slender ionic columns of the Temple of Athena and the six female caryatids of the Erechtheion included in the satellite buildings. Theater had a great role in ancient Greece. The Roman theater of Herodes Atticus still stages summer shows for theater enthusiasts. After having a cultural feast at the Acropolis, you can visit the Benaki Museum where you can kindle your curiosities, and the National Archaeological Museum will keep you occupied for days. If you are looking to take a break from the hustle of the Athenian life, a peaceful walk along the 40 acres of the National Gardens is the best.

It is believed that modern  Athens  was born in 1834 and restored as the capital of the newly independent Greece. After the second world war, a massive expansion took place that was funded by American money. The Mediterranean climate was responsible for the high temperatures in the city. Pollution and excess traffic were some of the problems that  Athens  began to face. Visitors and philosophers felt that the architectural excellence were overshadowed by the urbanization. However, more than 3 million people visit this city each year and have a quick look at their favorite places.

Apart from the celebrated classical sites, the city
also boasts of Byzanthine, the medieval and ninth century monuments and some of the famous museums in the world. You will also appreciate some of the areas that are immersed in surprisingly natural beauty. Though there is heavy traffic, the village like qualities are very evident in their cafes, markets, tavernas, and in the maze streets surrounding Plaka.  Athens  is also known for its fine restaurants and colorful and varied night life. The port at Piraeus and the metropolitan area are economic powerhouse and industrial areas of Greece. The Olympics in 2004 brought in many new developments that included an airport, new sports venues, extension of the metro system, up-gradation of hotels and renovation of many top museums.

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9 Fun Speech Class Activities

Speech classes are a lot more fun when everyone gets involved with special activities! Try some of these ideas to warm up your next class:

  1. Impromptu speaking. Give students various topics for them to speak on without any preparation. The topics should be relatively easy at first, such as “What is your favorite movie and why?” or “If you could only eat one food for a month, what would that be?”
  2. Lost on a deserted Island game. Present the scenario: Following a ship wreck, the entire class has been stranded on a deserted island. Each person is allowed to bring one object to the island. Have each student describe what that object would be and why. (You can extend this into a team-building activity by breaking into teams and have each team figure out how to creatively combine their items to increase survival).
  3. Tongue Twisters competition. Have two people come up at a time and take turns repeating a tongue twister. “unique New York” “Red Leather, yellow leather.” Faster, and faster. When someone messes up, they sit down and a challenger comes up. Someone can keep score with the class roster.
  4. Dramatic alphabet or numbers. Students can “lecture” the class by reciting the alphabet or counting to 30, but with gestures, drama and eye contact. A, BCD! E, F, G… , H? I, JKL-M… , etc.. You could emphasize the eye contact by adding this activity: the speaker is to make and hold eye contact for at least 3 seconds per person. All the students raise their hands. When the speaker initiates eye contact with someone, that person mentally counts to 3 and then lowers his or her hand, letting the speaker know that the 3 seconds is up. The speaker can then move onto someone else. You could even make it a competition.
  5. Dramatic reading. You, of course, could pick an intriguing passage, or you could do something like having them read definitions outloud, just to make it silly by being dramatic.
  6. Transitions exercise. Pass out 3 slips of paper to each of the students-and have some categories written on the board. (Places, People around the school, Foods, TV shows). Ask that each student pick 3 of the categories and write a word that falls into that category. Then collect the slips in a container. Each student goes up to the front of the room in turn and picks a slip and starts talking about whatever is on that slip. Then, after a little bit of time, you pick another slip for the student and say, “OK, Amanda, your next topic is… ” and then the student’s job is to transition from the one topic to the next. It’s OK for the audience to help. It’s OK to offer another topic if the student is stuck. Using “apples” and “New York City” as examples, transitions can be phrases such as: Now that I’ve told you about the health benefits of apples, let me tell you about the health benefits of living in New York City. Finally, let me tell you how New York came to be called the Big Apple.
  7. On the other hand. Have 2 students come up. Ask one student to speak “for” a topic and then the other person to speak “against” the same topic.
  8. One word story. Line up 7-10 students in front (actually it’s better if they stand in a circle) and have them tell a non-rehearsed, non-thought out story one word at a time, cycling to the beginning until the story comes to a somewhat logical conclusion. The key is that each person can only say one word at time and this includes the boring words like “and” and “the.” You could start the story by saying something like, “One.” (The logical thing to come next would be “day,” but it certainly could be something else).
  9. Sell a product. Have odd objects for students to “sell” to their classmates. You can introduce the FAB format and ask them to use it. F=Features, A=Advantages, B=Benefits. The focus should be on the benefits. Toilet paper, anyone?

Add a few fun activities and see the interest level soar in your class!

Athens Syntagma Square – Athens City Center

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The heart of present day Athens is fashionable Plateia Syntagmatos which lies below the imposing mass of the Old Royal Palace. Plateia Syntagmatos, which translated means Constitution Square, commemorates the constitution granted by Othon I in a proclamation from the balcony of the Palace on the night of 3rd September 1843.

The OLD ROYAL PALACE, which since 1935 has housed the Parliament, was designed as the residence of King Othon, at his own and his father’s expense, by the Bavarian architect Friedrich Garther and built between 1834 and 1842.

At the foot of the west facade of the Old Palace is a large square bounded on three sides by walls on which, in evocation of the ancient custom of hanging the victor’s shield in the temple, are set bronze shields flanked by the names of the many victories won by Hellenic arms since National Independence. Built into the center of the retaining wall is the TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER, a relief impressive in its simplicity, which depicts a dying hoplite. This work is by the sculptors Constantinos Demetriades (1881-1943) and Phokion Rok (1886-1942), and was unveiled on 25th March (National Independence Day) 1932.

South of Plateia Syntagmatos lies Leophoros Amalias, which is so called after King Othon’s consort, who, with the horticulturist Friedrich Schmiedt, created the delectable retreat adjoining the Old Royal Palace that we know today as the NATIONAL GARDEN. The National Garden is open daily from sunrise to sunset and the shade of its multitudinous trees provides a cool and peaceful oasis in the heart of the city.

On the east side of the Garden are the busts of Capodistrias and Jean-Gabriel Eynard, a great Swiss philhellene who donated large sums of money to the cause of Greek Independence. Both these busts are the work of the famous Pelopennesian loannis Kossos. Other busts in the National Garden are those of three leading Greek poets of the 19th century: Dionysius Solomos of Zante, who is considered the national poet; Aristotle Valaoritis, also a native of the Ionian Islands, and Jean Moreas, which was the nom-de-plume of loannis Papadiamantopoulos, an Athenian who lived the greater part of his life in Paris.

Contiguous to the National Garden is a large public park called ZAPPEION after the brothers Evangelos and Constantinos Zappas of Epirus, who donated it with its splendid exhibition hall to the Nation. On either side of the entrance to the exhibition hall stand statues of the donors, that of Evangelos by loannis Kossos; that of Constantinos by Georgios Vroutos. Among the many pieces of statuary by famous sculptors is the bust of loannis Varvakis by the master Leonidas Drossis. Varvakis is best known as the founder of the renowned boys’ school, the Lykeion Varvakeion, for the endowment of which he bequeathed his huge fortune. Other busts include those of Constantinos Paparrighopoulos, the greatest historian of Modern Greece, of Stephan Dragoumis, the most prominent political personality during the Macedonian struggle (1903-1909), and of George Souris, the leading satirical poet of his times.

A short distance from Plateia Syntagmatos, on the right of Odhos Panepistimiou, we come to a Renaissance edifice of Italian inspiration. This is the NUMISMATIC MUSEUM, which contains a rich collection of Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins, cameos and seal-stones. Built by the noted architect Erst Ziller in 1878, it was the private residence of the illustrious archaeologist Henry Schliemann.

Still keeping on the right-hand side we come to a five-storeyed building situated at the corner of this street and Odhos Omirou. Here are the premises of the ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, built entirely in marble. The classical motif of the magnificent bronze door with its richly painted and gilded surround and the ceiling coffered in a delicate blue and gold deserve the greatest admiration. Besides creating the first National Archaeological Museum the Society, which was founded in 1837, has excavated sites all over the country.

Immediately after the Archaeological Society’s premises stands the ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL. As the Latin inscription shows, the cathedral was begun in 1853, completed in 1887, and dedicated to St. Dionysius Areopagite. It is a three-naved basilica designed by Leo von Klenze (1784-1864), Bavarian Court architect and master-plan ner of modern Athens, and built under the direction of Lysander Kaftanzoglou (1811-1885), the outstanding Greek architect of the period.

Adjoining this edifice is the OPHTHALMIC HOSPITAL, a Byzantine-style construction designed by Theophil Hansen (1813-1891, the younger of two Danish brothers, both distinguished architects), in 1847, and completed by Lysander Kaftanzoglou four years later.

Just beyond the Ophthalmic Hospital is an ensemble of neo-Classical buildings: on the right the Academy, in the middle the University, and on the left the National Library. All three were gifts to the Nation from wealthy patriots; they are the most sumptuous monuments of Modern Greece.

The HELLENIC ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES, a meticulously accurate reproduction of an edifice of the Classical period erected in the graceful Ionic order by Theophil Hansen at the expense of Baron Georgios Sinas, was begun in 1859 and completed in 1875.

The nine sculptured pediments and all the statues before the Academy are the work of the Athenian master Leonidas Drossis. The relief in the central pediment, which portrays The Birth of Athena, and the two gigantic statues of Apollo (right) and Athena (left) standing on tall columns, one on either side of the principal facade, are particularly impressive. The seated figures flanking the short flight of steps leading to the portico represent the philosophers Socrates (right) and Plato (left).

The portico consists of a double row of columns. The coffered ceiling is painted in bright blue and gold and the door opening into the vestibule has a surround of classical inspiration executed in brilliant color and gilding. A statue of the donor Baron Sinas stands on the right of the vestibule, while the interior of the Academy Hall is decorated with eight superb panels by the Oldenburg painter Christian Griepenkerl (1839-1916), depicting scenes from the Myth of Prometheus.

Visitors to the University will be surprised to see a statue of William Ewart Gladstone, standing on the right of the lawn surrounding the forecourt. The dedication on the plinth of this statue immortalizes the prominent part played by the great British statesman in the deliverance of Epirus and Thessaly from Turkish oppression, and their return to the Motherland in 1881.

The statues at the top of the steps leading to the entrance commemorate the great philologist Korais (1748-1833), ardent patriot and “father” of the Modern Greek literary language (right), and Capodistrias (1776-1831), first Head of State (1827-1831) and one of the major architects of modern Greece.

The UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS was founded in 1836, and was initially established in a large house which Schaubert and Cleanthes had built in Plaka (the old quarter of Athens) when they first came to Athens in 1831. This building, at the corner of Odhos Prytaneiou and Odhos Tholou, is still standing and is converted into a museum devoted to the earlier history of the University. The present University buildings were designed by Christian Hansen and the foundation stone laid by King Othon in 1839. The central building was ready for use in 1842, but owing to lack of funds, the buildings as a whole were not completed until 1850.

A colonnade with a handsome portico in Pentelic marble fronted by two Ionic columns with gilded capitals, and a coffered ceiling in blue and gold in harmony with the classical motif of a painted and gilded door surround, gives access to the interior of the main building.

On the upper part of the wall a fresco by the celebrated Austrian painter Karl Rahl (1812-1865) shows the resurgence of arts and sciences under King Othon. Statues of two national heroes, Patriarch Grigorios and the martyred poet Rhigas Pheraios, stand respectively at the right and left angles of the facade.

The NATIONAL LIBRARY, which is built of Pentelic marble on a foundation of poros, consists of a central building in the form of a Doric temple, with two wings. It was planned by Theophil Hansen in 1887 and the work executed under the supervision of Ernst Ziller, at the expense of the Valianos brothers of Cephalonia in 1901. A statue of one of these munificent benefactors, Panayis, stands outside the central building, and those of his two brothers Andreas and Maris inside the entrance hall. All three statues are the work of Georgios Bonanos.

The eminent philologist Andreas Moustoxidis on the island of Aegina formed the nucleus of the Library in 1827. The books were brought to Athens in 1833 and stored in the beautiful church of St. Eleutherius (the “Little Cathedral”). In 1842 they were removed to the first floor of the central building of the University – which had just been completed – where they remained until the National Library was inaugurated in 1903.

In recent years many fine nineteenth century buildings have been demolished and unimaginative concrete structures built on the sites, so that with the exception of the Ionian Bank of Greece on one corner of Odhos Pezmazoglou and the former buildings of the Arsakeion College for Girls (founded in 1836) on the other corner over the Doric portico, built at the expense of Apostolos Arsakis of Epirus in 1848, nothing remains of the splendid buildings that once lined both sides of this street of central Athens.

Continuing along Odhos Panepistimiou for a short distance, we turn right into Odhos Patission. A few hundred meters further down, on our right, stands a construction in the finest Pentelic marble, in which two educational institutions of University status are established: The POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL (Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Naval, Chemical and Mining Engineering, Architecture, and Topography) and the SUPERIOR SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS (Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Engraving, etc.). Two wings in the Doric order serve as propylaea to the central building of two storeys, the lower erected in the Doric order, the upper in Ionic. This edifice is the work of Lysander Kaftanzoglou, who built it between 1862 and 1880, and owes its name -METSOVION POLYTECHNEION- to the fact that the principal donors Nicholaos Stournaras, Michalis Tositsas and his widow Helen, were natives of Metsovo in Epirus.

A Change of Pace in Athens Greece

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When someone mentions a holiday in Greece, the first thing that pops up in most people’s minds is sandy beaches and sparkling clean water. With a coastline 13,676 kilometers long, there is certainly a beach to suit every taste. However, Greece is also known for its capital  city ,  Athens ; a buzzing metropolis that never sleeps. Apart from the many fine hotels that are available, there is also alternative accommodation such as studios or apartments for a more affordable stay. For the tourist who wants to experience this city up close and work up a sweat at the same time, the best way is to rent a bike.

There are many cycling enthusiasts willing to take the challenge in a foreign country. Greece has many cyclists of its own and a plethora of agencies renting bikes or offering bike tours. All you have to do is decide how you want to do it; on your own or with a group. Since  Athens , like any big metropolis, has constant traffic congestion, cycling will certainly give you the freedom you’re looking for. Once you have studied your maps, you will be ready to zip in and out of traffic and discover secrets of the city that are off the beaten track.

Right in the heart of this modern city lie the ruins of an ancient civilization. As you head towards the city centre, you cannot miss the majestic hill of the Acropolis, a world heritage site. Sitting proudly at the top of the hill, is the famous columned structure of the Parthenon, which was built in honor of the goddess Athena. The hill and surrounding area abounds with the splendid remains of the past such as the ancient theatre of Herodes Atticus, the Erectheion and the Agora, the marketplace of ancient  Athens . All roads and narrow alleys lead you to these proud remains and reveal the mysteries of a distant world that is set amidst a modern city.

Along the way, you will find people and places to accommodate you on your tour. There are many roads that are off limits to cars as well as wide pedestrian pathways that are bicycle-friendly. Of course, during high season, the streets are dotted with people from all walks of life who come here to see the sights and experience the culture. The cafes and many eateries overflow with tourists while the locals, most of them fluent in English, are friendly and welcoming. Various artists and musicians are also there to entertain the crowds and shops spilling over with beautiful souvenirs.

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Building A Custom Chopper Motorcycle, Where Do You Start?

So you want to build a custom chopper? I do too, so the first question I asked myself, is where do I start. Should I make a business plan, a schedule, a financial statement, or should I just buy my wife some flowers and blindly proceed? I guess I should do all of the above but not necessarily in that order.

I will start by trying to justify this purchase and or endeavor, to do this I will make a list of my reasons for building a Chopper. 1) I want to ride a custom chopper, a totally cool stretched out, fire breathing, gas eating, pavement pounding, old lady scaring, 2 wheel monster. 2) I want to be able to say “I built that” when someone asks me where I got that totally sick bike. 3) I want to be able to customize the bike beyond the standard add on parts I can get for my current bike a Harley Davidson Fatboy. 4) I want to be able to make this dream come true, meaning I need to be able to pay for it. A $35,000 chopper is out of my current budget. 5) I have been talking about this for 5 years so why don’t I get to it and stop doing all the talking and start doing some building.

Now I have a few reasons on paper a will look at my options, then make a plan, a schedule, and find some extra money.

Let’s start with a my build options, and plan on a slow and steady approach. I realize I will need to do a lot of research before I start. I have 4 basic options, a kit bike, a rolling chassis, a start from zero build, or an extreme makeover of a current motorcycle.

Option 1) If I start with a motorcycle kit I maybe the farthest ahead from a mechanical perspective, and farthest behind from a financial point of view. What do I mean by this, well a kit bike has all the parts it just needs paint, labor, gas, oil and some love. The problem a complete kit bike will cost me $12,000 dollars right up front. This is a bit out of my spend a ton of money now then not be able to ride a bike for a year or two thinking. If I get a kit, I maybe able to get it together faster, as I will be motivated and have all the parts ready to go. As a first bike I think this is a very good option, when you consider all the expensive mistakes I may make along that way. One drawback to this option is the amount of customization I can do to the bike as it is put together. Because all the parts are in the kit, I may resist the urge to get new bars or different sheet metal, or other parts.

Option 2) Start with a Rolling chassis, this is the middle of the road option, spend a lump sum of money, about 1/2 of what the overall bike will cost and get a basic setup that all works together.

A Rolling chassis kit consists of a Frame, 2 wheels, the forks, and triple clamps and bars, all build and configured to work together. Add a motor and a transmission and all the major workings of the bike are in place. This setup helps avoid some of the major work needed to mix match and fit these items together. This option also allows for a ton of customization in the parts that people see and the parts that give a bike it’s personality. For me this is a very serious option to consider. I would only have 1/2 the cost and 1/2 the parts sitting around and gathering dust until I get time to get it together.

Option 3) Find each and every part one at a time and build a completely custom motorcycle. I know I could do this, but I also know I will encounter more unexpected and possibly expensive issues with this type of build. This option would give me a bike that no one would ever duplicate. This could be very good or this could be very bad. What if some possible combination of frame, motor, forks, or wheels didn’t work together? It would not be discovered until the motorcycle was all together. I think this option is better left to the serious professional who build bike all night long, as the are working on other peoples bikes, and running businesses during the day. I may consider this for my second custom chopper.

Option 4) Take an existing bike and start cutting and changing it. This is maybe as involved as chopping and re-welding the frame to create a new rake and angles. Or it could mean just getting a new frame and using the engine, transmission, and various other part to build a new machine. I like this idea, and I think it would be a lower cost alternative to all new custom parts. With this option you are also able to keep the current registration and title if the frame is not replaced. This is also a lower cost option because a lot of the miscellaneous parts can be reused.

I know that in one page all the possible combinations of Custom Chopper build can’t be completely explained, I just hope this information give you something to start with and build on. It has help steer me in the direction of a rolling chassis, so I better get shopping.

Spyware, Viruses, Malware, Worms, Trojan Horses, and Adware: Symptoms, Solutions, and Prevention

Virus:

A Virus or Computer Virus is a self-replicating program or piece of script or code that make copies of itself and then either attaches itself to an existing file on the infected system or store copies of itself on the system with innocuous sounding names like ‘repair tool’.

The virus is limited to spread itself only by either being transmitted or sent by an unwitting user or carried on a portable storage medium from one system to another. However, if a virus gets embedded somewhere on a network drive then anyone who opens or clicks on the infected document or file can end up getting infected as well.

Spyware:

Spyware is software that gathers information about a users Internet habits, browsing patterns, email passwords, usernames and even credit card information, in essence, ‘spying’ on the hapless user. This type of software usually gets installed without the knowledge of the user and can transmit the collected data to a third party over the Internet secretly as well.

Malware:

Malware can refer to any number of malicious forms of software or code that has been intentionally designed to perform one or more of the following malicious acts:

> Infiltrate a users computer system without their consent.

> Gather sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, birth dates, or system passwords.

> Create back doors or remote entry points to allow hackers access to the system.

> The destruction of critical data and/or corruption of system files.

Malware is a general term and is commonly used to include, Viruses, Worms, Spyware, Trojan Horses, and some forms of Adware. The actual intention of malware can vary but by definition it is any software that is destructive by nature. Because the term Malware is so broad it is hard to cite one specific source for the most infections.

Worm:

A Worm or Computer Worm is a self-replicating piece of computer code that uses a computer network to spread copies of itself to the other nodes on the network. Unlike the Virus a Worm can accomplish this without any intervention or help from the user. Also unlike a Computer Virus the Worm does not have to attach itself to an existing computer program or file.

Many times a Worm will also be used to carry a ‘payload’. The ‘payload’ is code that is designed to perform some specific function. In some cases the payload allows the Worm to send documents through the email accounts of the infected system attaching itself and its payload to the email as an attachment. When the unsuspecting recipient of the email opens the attachment the process starts again.

Trojan Horse:

A Trojan or Trojan Horse Virus is a program that usually gets downloaded installed and executed on a computer system which then appears to be performing some useful function but is unknowingly allowing unauthorized access to the user’s computer system at the same time.

Hackers use Trojans to gain access to a user’s computer remotely and then perform any number of malicious activities. These nefarious activities can include but certainly are not limited to:

> Data Theft.

> Keystroke Logging.

> Downloading or Uploading Files.

> Viewing the Victims Screen.

> Crashing the Users System.

Adware:

Adware is advertiser supported software that displays, plays or downloads advertisements either onto the computer desktop or into the computers web browser as a condition of the software installation. Most Adware is free to use as long as you don’t mind annoying pop-up windows appearing at random intervals advertising some product or another. I have seen some Adware that opened a new window about every 1 to 2 minutes, making it nearly impossible to use the system at all until the software had to be removed.

Additionally, Adware will almost always be collecting data about your Internet habits and browsing behavior to tailor ads specifically to best match the data recovered. In that respect it is actually very similar to many types of Spyware. In most cases Adware is simply a way to place advertisements in the face of the user although it’s a fine line before you could also classify it as Spyware.

With Adware however, in some cases you may actually be given a chance to review and choose whether or not to accept the terms and conditions associated with the software before installing it.

IT WOULD BE ADVISABLE TO READ THESE TERMS VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE CHOOSING TO ACCEPT.

Symptoms of Infection:

> Very sluggish computer performance.

> Random system lockups or crashes.

> Browser redirection – you are taken to websites you were not searching for while browsing the Internet.

> Excessive number of popup windows appearing at random while surfing the Internet.

> You are informed that your system has ‘hundreds’ of active infections and you are redirected to a website that insists you pay for and download their specific software package to remove the infections.

Solution:

There are many good anti-virus / anti-spyware products on the market designed to detect and remove these types of infections. McAfee and Kapersky are good but AVG and Avast! have similar products and offer a free downloadable version. Be sure to complete a ‘Full’ system scan and quarantine and remove all active infections. Configure your anti-virus software to perform ‘active’ scanning or real-time system monitoring.

Prevention:

> Do not install software you have downloaded from the Internet unless it has come from a known, reliable source.

> Use caution if using file sharing platforms such as LimeWire or torrent sites to download files.

> Do not open any email attachments from unknown sources.

> Use a good anti-virus/anti-spyware application and scan your system at least weekly. Be sure your anti-virus software is totally up to date with the latest virus definitions.

> For Windows users: Be sure to visit the Microsoft update site and download all the latest Microsoft security patches.

Antenatal Classes – Pelvic Floor Exercises

Most of the pregnant women are probably hearing how important it is to have strong core muscle. If you have never come across core stability exercises, Pilates, Yoga and you are first time pregnant it is not easy to understand and start strengthening the muscle. Many pregnant women hear about the pelvic floor muscles and Kegel Exercise but not many are told where they are, how to find them and most importantly how to train them.

So let’s make it simple!

What is pelvic floor?

They are a sling of muscles that sits underneath the bladder and runs from the base of the spine (coccyx) to the pubic bone at the front.

What do they do?

The main purpose of your Pelvic floor muscles is to give your organs support and help to improve your bladder/bowel control and improve or prevent any leakage.

The pelvic floor muscles relax when you contract the bladder to let the urine out.

Why are they important for pregnant women and women who have children?

The pelvic floor muscles can weaken during pregnancy as they relax from the weight of the baby and a hormone called relaxin that softens the connective tissue of the pelvic structures in preparation for birth. During childbirth vaginal delivery may further weaken or stretch some of the supporting structures in the pelvis.

Can I do anything to help protect my pelvic floor from weakening?

Yes start your pelvic floor exercises straight away!

How do I know I am actually working my Pelvic floor muscles?

There are two ways to check that you are correctly contracting the pelvic floor:

Stop test

While going to the toilet you can try and stop the flow of urine, if you can then you are contracting the pelvic floor muscles correctly, but do not stop the flow of urine every time you go to toilet. This is a good way of seeing if you are exercising the correct muscles, but may cause problems with your bladder if you are doing the test more than once a fortnight. Remember this is a test and you must not exercise your pelvic floor muscle while urinating!

Squeeze test

You can also feel if your pelvic floor muscle is contracting by putting one or two fingers into your vagina whilst having a bath or shower. Tighten your muscles so they squeeze your fingers.

How often should I do my exercises?

Practice five pelvic floor exercise contractions five times a day

There are two types of pelvic floor exercises; low twitch and fast twitch. It is important that you do the slow twitch first and then the fast twitch each time you exercise your pelvic floor muscles.

Prepare to exercise:

Sit on a chair/toilet seat/toilet lid. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your legs slightly apart:

To perform the slow twitch exercises:

1. Close and draw up the muscles around the back passage as if you are trying to stop passing wind. Make sure you do not contract your buttock muscles whilst doing this.

2. Now close and draw up the muscles around the vagina, as though you are trying to stop the flow of urine.

3. Hold for a count of five, breathing normally and trying not to hold your breath.

4. Slowly relax and let go.

5. Repeat five times in total.

6. When you can repeat five contractions for five seconds, start to build up the hold to ten seconds, increasing by one or two seconds each time.

To perform the fast twitch exercises:

1. Pull up your pelvic floor muscles as before.

2. Hold for one second and relax.

3. Repeat five to ten times or until your muscles feel tired.

If you are performing slow twitch exercises and you find your muscles ‘let go’ too quickly and you cannot hold for a count of five then just hold them for as long as you can.

When performing pelvic floor exercises it is important NOT to:

1. Squeeze your buttocks together.

2. Bring your knees together.

3. Hold your breath.

4. Lift your shoulder/eyebrows/toe upwards.

5. Perform the exercises while urinating.

If you do any of the above then you are not contracting your muscles correctly.

Any other benefits of performing these exercises

Yes! For women, strong pelvic floor muscles can also mean increased sensitivity during sex and stronger orgasms.

Warts – Types and Treatment

There are many different types of warts, all of which have one thing in common… they are embarrassing, unpleasant, cosmetically unattractive, unwanted, annoying and sometimes painful protrusions that appear on the skin almost anywhere. They have always been considered ugly and in folklore over the years… witches have usually modelled a whole host of various ‘warty’ protrusions on various parts of their anatomy. In fact the larger the wart… the more evil the witch! The princess never had warts… the wicked stepmother had them though! The ‘goodies’ never sported a fashionable wart but the baddies were regularly seen displaying one or more particularly heinous ones.

What are warts and why do we get them?

They are completely benign epidermal tumors or growths on the skin and most of them are highly contagious. They originate from the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes the infection and more than 100 HPV subtypes are known.

Warts are particularly common in childhood and are spread by direct contact or by touching itching and spreading through touch. If a wart is scratched, the viral particles may be spread to another area of skin. It can take as long as twelve months for the wart to first appear and they can just as easily spontaneously disappear temporarily or even permanently. The majority of them have a hard surface and a tiny black dot in the middle or each warty mark can often be seen. This is a capillary blood vessel seen through the skin. Warts can develop individually or in clusters and can spontaneously disappear. Hygiene must be of the highest importance to avoid cross infection and if not treated they may spread.

In children, even without treatment, some warts disappear within 6 months and up to 90% are gone in 2 years. They are more persistent than this in adults but they can sometimes disappear of their own accord.

Warts are particularly numerous and troublesome in patients that are immuno-suppressed.

There are many types of warts:

1. Common warts arise most often on the backs of fingers or toes, palms of hands and on the knees.

2. Plantar warts (verrucas) are seen on the foot – mainly on the sole of the foot.

3. Mosaic warts are also seen on the sole of the foot and appear in clusters over an area often proliferating to several centimeters in diameter. Many little dots from capillaries underneath the surface of the skin can be seen throughout mosaic warts.

4. Plane, or flat, warts are often seen on the face or limbs and under the arms and can be very numerous.

5. Periungual warts grow at the sides or under the nails and can distort nail growth if left. Treatment can be difficult because of the sensitivity of the area and the risk of damaging the nail bed.

6. Filiform warts are on a long stalk and these can appear quite often on the face where they are a most upsetting and cosmetically unattractive addition. They often have a multi faceted top like finger like projections which are very dry and crusty.

7. Oral warts can affect the lips and even inside the cheeks. They include Squamous Cell Papillomas (not to be confused with Squamous Cell Carcinomas), are small benign (non-cancerous) growth that begin in squamous cells (thin, flat cells) that are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin (epidermis), the passages of the respiratory and digestive tract and in the lining of hollow organs of the body.

8. Genital warts are very common. There are at least 100 different types of HPV and at least 40 can infect the genital area they are often transmitted sexually and predispose to cervical, penile and vulval cancers.

Treatment Options:

Warts are not a serious health condition and many people will not bother to treat them as often the treatment is uncomfortable and requires considerable effort. To get rid of them, the body’s own immune system has to be stimulated to attack the wart virus. Persistence with the treatment and patience is essential!

There are several options of treatment, some more successful than others.

Electrolysis

Electrolysis has been around for over 130 years for hair removal but is fairly new to wart treatment but is proving high successful and illustrating excellent results. It is a very precise form of treatment not unlike Electrosurgery (curettage and cautery) but is gentler and less invasive. Treatment techniques depend upon the type of wart but with a common wart the tiny electrolysis needle (about the size of a eyelash) is used to cauterise the surface of the skin over the affected area. This is then inserted into the centre of the wart where a high frequency, radio frequency current is expelled. Following treatment the surface of the wart will scab over, which will, after a week or so, slough away leaving perfect skin behind. More than one treatment may be required with verrucas in particular being very resilient and definitely needing more than one treatment.

Other methods of treatment include:

Occlusion. By covering the wart 24 hours of the day may result in it clearing. Duct tape is often used.

Chemical treatment. Chemical treatment includes wart paints containing salicylic acid which remove the dead surface skin cells. Perseverance is essential as it can take 12 weeks to go or more likely to reduce in size.

Cryotherapy. The wart is repeatedly frozen with liquid nitrogen resulting in blistering, swelling and sometimes permanent white scarring following treatment.

Electrosurgery (curettage & cautery) is used for particularly large and annoying warts. Under local anaesthetic, the growth is pared away and the base burned by diathermy or cautery. The wound heals in about two weeks.

Other treatments. There are numerous treatments for warts and none offer a guarantee of cure. They include: Topical creams, oral medication, vaporisation, pulse dye laser destruction of feeding blood vessels and even duck tape and banana skin are home care options.

Using Serialization

A common problem in programming is moving the program data to another spot, such as a file on disk or another computer. For example, suppose a video game needs to store a saved file on the hard drive. Normally, the developer would have to write a method that takes all the game information and puts it into a format that can be placed on disk. Another method needs to be written to reverse this. The concept of serialization, used in some programming languages, bypasses this.

If a language has serialization libraries, this means that these functions are built in. You can input an object and have built-in language libraries convert the object to data. And of course, you can do the reverse. Instead of having to write code and create your own format for storing program information, you can just have the language do it. This has a wide variety of uses besides the video game save file mentioned in the intro. Suppose you want any program to store user-inputted data. You can simply put that data into a serializable object, that write it to disk. When the program starts up again, use the deserialization methods.

This can also be used for network communications. Consider the problem of writing client and server programs that can communicate with each other. Instead of having to process data, you can just serialize the object and transmit its data over the network. As long as the client and server know what class is being used, this works.

However, not all programming languages can be serialized. Generally, this is only a feature of higher-level languages. .NET has it with the Serializable attribute for a class. For Java, the java.io.Serializable interface is used. Classes that implement this interface can be serialized. Even low-level languages such as C++ have the ability, albeit not in the standard library. The popular Boost C++ library has functions that provide the serialization ability.

However, there are also problems caused by serialization. Many languages do not have backwards compatibility. So if you write a new version of the program and try to use it with existing serialized data, it can fail. Fortunately, some languages do have backwards compatibility features that avoid this drawback.

Serialization is a useful tool that all programmers should know about. It provides an easy way to store program data permanently and transmit it between multiple computers. For languages where serialization libraries are built-in, this is generally very easy.

How to Improve the Performance of Your HDMI Cables

There are some useful guidelines to improve your HDMI cables performance.

Use signal boosters. Depending on quality, most HDMI wires lost their signal in roughly 10 to 50 feet. With these devices, power is enhanced making them to continue on remaining powerful even on long cable runs. There are, however, HDMI cables which run for 75 feet and have already a built-in signal booster inside the cable.

Use signal equalizers. This is another device which can maintain the signal’s quality and strength even with longer cable runs. It can also be called a signal enhancer. Aside from enhancing the signal, it can also eliminate any superfluous noise disturbance. Losing the dynamics of the HD technology is not something to worry about as the device does not remove it.

Use signal extenders. It helps by extending the signal down the extent of the cable subsequent to receiving the signal.

Use signal restorers. They are minute gadgets where weak signals are re-harmonized to reach their HDMI quality to the fullest. It expands the distance to have the signal trek even for over a hundred feet.

Use fibre Optic Cable. This is the best but the most expensive alternative. Fibre optic cables are normally utilized after a maximum of 150 feet run length was attained. Likewise, HDMI cables can reach a maximum of 1,649 feet efficient run with its fibre optic.

The quality of the raw materials used dictates the maximum run length and efficiency of the cables. Thicker copper wires in twisted pairs are usually on the category of higher value cables, but spell add-on expense on the part of the consumer but still with no guarantee of efficiency. Even high quality HDMI cables strive to transmit better signals for more than a distance of 50 feet.

You still need to invest in other add-on devices to enhance the signal of your HDMI cable over long distance.

What is a Line Cook and the Responsibilities That Come With the Job?

Fire, a term used to get ready to starting an order that the waiter just placed in. The guest have probably been waiting for at least ten minutes from the time that they first sat down at their table, and are now waiting for that meal that the kitchen staff will prepare.

The front line in the kitchen is where most of the food is fired. It is divided and usually consists of a saute section, a broiler, a grill, a deep fryer, a salamander, cold reach-ins or drawers, and hot water wells. One that works on this line, which may consist of 2 to 3 even 4, depending on the size of the restaurant or the menu, are called line cooks. Sometimes the chef likes to get in on the action.

As a line cook you need to be prepared, you need to know the menu, all the different recipes, have all your tools on hand, have all your ingredients in the menu on the line, and of course you need the skills of cooking.

Being mentally prepared, by far, is one of the most important ingredient a line cook should have. One must be able to concentrate on the task at hand over all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen. the chef would be calling out orders, waitstaff are asking all kinds of questions, you maybe working on maybe three or more things at once, and timing is crucial, everyone on the line must be in sync. With all these distractions one must keep his composure. Getting stressed, or angry doesn’t help but it does happen. Waitstaff asking you how much longer, chef telling you to fire one more thing from another order, your saute cook is a little behind, it’s been almost an hour since this chaotic mess started and your wondering when will it end. Temperatures rise on the front line and I don’t mean the burners.

After all is said and done, there are no complaints, no one waiting long for their meal, guests are happy, a few compliments, waitstaff got their tips, line cooks getting ready to clean the line, and making a list of the prep that needs to be done when they return the next day. Everyone gets a pat on the back, job well done. That is the reward and one of the goals of the front line cook.

Guest satisfaction is the priority of the front line cook. The quality of the meal is your number one concern along with presentation. All the ingredients must be fresh, every cook must be on the same page as far as the recipes go, there needs to be consistency making sure that what you cooked today, will taste the same tomorrow or next week. This is what brings in repeat customers, this is what a restaurant focuses on and depends on. The line cook along side the rest of the kitchen staff strive to do this daily. As a line cook you need to take pride in your job, because if you do, that pride will certainly reflect on the meals you prepare.

The History of the Honda CD185 Motorcycle

The vintage Honda CD185 was first manufactured in 1978. Very few of these models were produced which makes finding parts a little difficult, but it is possible.

The stock engine was an air cooled 4 stroke SOHC twin which helped in both speed a mileage. The Honda CD185 comes packed with power, especially as a collectors item. The style of this bike is a roadster for both its ease of transportation and its high range of speed.

The transmission offers a 16 count front sprocket and a 36 count rear sprocket with a 112 count chain link. When you start your CD185 for the first time you will feel the 4 speed constant mesh every time you pull the throttle. This was a highly sophisticated machine for its time and it still has high value in performance.

The petrol capacity is 10.5 liters that will bring hours of riding before the next pit stop. This may be smaller than many current models but it still holds itself with the mileage the bike can get when maintained at 60mph on the motorway. When you have a choice to pick this motorcycle over others be sure to remember that this bike is a vintage and not to many were produced during its run.

When it comes to breaks there is both front and rear drums. The electric that will run through the motorcycle as you turn the key is 6 volts which is just enough to make your next ride a care free experience knowing that you won’t have to jump it before your next trip. The ignition is known as “points” and many review that it does its job fairly well. The Honda CD185 has many highlights that are just unseen even with today’s standards. But, that fact makes it clear that the Honda CD185 is a bike to keep your eyes peeled for.

The battery needed for Honda CD185 is a 6N12A-2D. The Honda CD175 have cables to operate the clutch and front brakes. It also has a manual cable operated choke. The Honda CD185 uses a 34 tooth rear sprocket and a 15 tooth front sprocket. The chain is a 428,112 link chain. Replacing the ignition switch can be a little tricky. Depending on the year of motorbike you need to check if it needs a 4 wire ignition switch or a 6 wire ignition switch. If you are looking the change the mirrors any 10mm thread mirrors would do the job. Lastly the spark plugs needed for the Honda CD185 are CR7HS and you will need two of these plugs.

How To Get Out Of A Low Sex Situation

The daily challenges in life, financial pressures, our jobs, taking care of kids, coping with aging parents and the like can take a toll on our desire for sex. This combines with the lack of sexual inventiveness can get us stuck in a sex rut which can hurt our desire. This can work in a vicious circle – low sex frequency leads to decreased sex drive and the depleted sex drive weakens the desire for sex.

How to get out of this situation so that you can have great sex again? Here are the 7 tips to help you to recover your sexual libido.

(1) Thinking about sex

If you hope to increase our interest in sex we have to take some time to flood our minds with sexual thoughts. This involves reliving those great sexual experiences you have with your spouse or to think of some new ways you can try to spice things up. You can also read some great articles or how-to help books or watch some informative videos, which can educate and allow you to know what is needed to improve sex life. The point here is to stimulate your mind in ways to get you into the mood.

(2) Increase your sexual attractiveness through dressing

The way you dress up yourself can play a great part in stoking those feel-good hormones, which can in turn influence your feeling of sexiness. How you look can influence how you feel. A changed outfit, a new fragrance, a makeover or a new hairdo can help to transmit the feeling that you are sexy and desirable. Even though you have grown accustomed to living with your spouse, this should not stop you from injecting some elements of surprise into the relationship, including the way you look.

(3) Communicating with partner

Sharing sexy words can be a great way for a sex-starved couple to reconnect and feel more inclined for romance. These words can be flowery, poetic and romantic like an old love letter or they can be spicy or graphic like a heated novel.

(4) Keep fit

Regular physical activity can boost the feel-good endorphins and can also improve your body image, promote blood flow to the sexual organs, making you feel sexier and giving your libido a healthy boost. In addition, Kegel exercises (done to tighten the pelvic muscles) can work to enhance sexual sensations and help boost desire.

(5) Spending time with each other

Just you and your partner only, separate from kids and work, during which serious topics such as kids and work are not discussed. You can plan a weekly date such as going out for dinner or a walk; but not to the movies or other activities that may not be conducive to talking to each other. If you cannot afford a babysitter, go out on the porch and have a glass of wine together after the kids go to sleep. You can also find some interesting and exciting things to do together such as going for tours, enrolling for some dancing or yoga classes.

(6) Allot some time to do something you enjoy

You can take time for yourself everyday even if this is only 10-15 minutes per day. This can help you to reduce stress and give you more energy for your partner. The more connected to who you are, the less you get lost in the daily grind, which pulls you away from your partner. The more sensual and the more connected you are to yourself, the more available you are for your partner.

(7) Just do it

If you have not had sex for a while, it is likely that your sexual desire will decrease gradually. The best way to overcome this is to have sex even when you are not in the mood at times. If you try to wait for the mood to come, chances are that you will never have sex again. Research has shown that the more we have sex, the more sex we want to have. Connecting sexually promotes the secretion of the attachment hormone, oxytocin, which can increase libido.

Top 7 Best MPG Mopeds

Are you looking to find the best mpg mopeds on the market? Are you wondering which are the best gas powered scooters? Would you like to conduct a gas scooter USA comparison, between available models – in order to know, which are the best mpg mopeds that might fit your needs perfectly?

Are you looking at purchasing a moped with a specific number of cc’s, for example the best scooter 150cc gas moped that you can find? Here we hope to provide you with the Top 7 best mpg mopeds available right now on the market today, in order to help you come to making a more informed purchase.

We provide specific details on the best mpg mopeds and the best gas powered scooters, your very own gas scooter USA comparison between models, exploring their individual strengths and further details about each moped in a very easy to read and perfectly clear, understandable format!

Right, let’s get started!

1/ First off the block for your best mpg mopeds is the:

Retro Scooter 150cc RR150RT RoadRunner i-Scooter.

The 2007 150cc Retro vespa style Scooter is an awesome looking gas powered moped, it’s fast, reliable and has plenty of legroom for those of you who are somewhat taller.

This retro scooter is an i-Scooter; it comes with a good sized rear trunk to put whatever you need to into it, an alarm system with remote, disk lock anti-theft and comes with a scooter cover. This scooter is low maintenance. Returning 73 miles to the gallon, it has a 1.4 gallon gas tank which will give you a good range. It’s air cooled, 1 cylinder, 4 stroke, 2 valves and maximum speed is 60mph.   Transmission  is continuously variable and is fully automatic. Fuel is Premium 89 + octane only. Oil capacity and type: 0.9 liters / 15W/40 motorcycle grade. The oil change is done after the first 300km and thereafter every 1000km.

The weight of this i-Scooter is 89kg or 196lbs. It’s maximum load is 145kg or 320 lbs. The total length is 191cm or 75″. Seat height is 73cm or 29″. Handlebar height is 93cm or 36″. Comes in a range of colors. A great one for the category of best mpg mopeds returning as mentioned above an economical 73 miles to the gallon. This scooter is street legal in every state except California, be sure to check out local laws. If bought new, it comes with 24 months (2 years) power train parts only guarantee. New prices start around $1100 or thereabouts.

2/ Second up in the best mpg mopeds and best gas powered scooters top 7 is the:

50cc Speedster Scooter.

Returning a whopping 100 miles to the gallon plus, this is an ideal scooter for all your home errands around town. Achieving a respectable 40+ mph, this is the perfect city commuters bike. This is a reliable scooter. This is a reliable, quality scooter; it’s fun to ride and road handling is superb, a very easy scooter to get used to surprisingly quickly. Saves a lot on gas this one! – This is a very, very economical method of transportation!

It’s power comes from a 49.5cc air cooled, 1 cylinder, 4 stroke, 2 valves engine which is pretty quiet too.  Transmission  is continuously variable and is fully automatic. A touch over a 200 mile range on one tank of fuel (2 gallons capacity). Gas – Premium 89 + octane only. Brakes front and rear. The maximum load of the 50cc Speedster Scooter is 145kg / 320lbs. The toal length is 167cm / 69″. Seat height is 75cm / 30″ and the handlebar height is 105cm or 41 inches. An excellent nippy little scooter which qualifies for our top 7 best mpg mopeds of choice. It is street legal in all states except California, check local laws first and comes with a power trains guarantee of 12 months (1 year).

This model will cost you brand new about $900. How long before these best gas powered scooters pay for themselves and start earning You money?!

3/ Next up in the Third pole position is the:

Road Queen 250cc iScooter by RoadRunner

This is truly one of the best mpg mopeds that you can buy, another qualifier for our top 7 ratings of best gas powered scooters. If a gas scooter USA comparison needs to be made, this choice could be high up on your list!

The manufacturer is: RoadRunner.

Boasting a top speed of 75-80mph and returning around 60 miles to the gallon this is a great fun scooter / moped to ride! Comes in a range of awesome eye catching colors, it is very stylish too with it’s sleek, aerodynamic design. These best mpg mopeds are perfect for so many uses, whether commuting to work on a daily basis or even for those slightly longer trips on the road. It will give you a smooth ride with good acceleration.

The engine type is water cooled, 1 cylinder, 4 stroke, 2 valves.  Transmission  is continuously variable and fully automatic. Fuel type is Premium 89 + octane only. The maximum load is 180kg or 400lbs. It’s total length 222cm or 87 inches. Seat height is 73cm or 29 inches. The handlebar height is 103cm or 40 inches.

This is one of the best mpg mopeds that you can get for the money, saving you not only lots of money on gas but giving you a great stable and fully enjoyable ride experience also. Perfect for most adults. It comes with an alarm too. 24 months power train parts only guarantee and street legal for every state except CA, check local laws first.

Prices from close to $2000.

4/ Mid way through the range of best mpg mopeds and best gas powered scooters is the moped / scooter taking our 4th position on the starting grid of mopeds or scooters seriously worth looking at with a view to making a purchase and it is the:

Race Scooter 250cc 19HP – RR i-Scooter, manufactured by RoadRunner Scooters.

Prices for this lean, mean racing machine also start at an amazingly low $2000. With a top speed of 85mph this scooter really does take some beating supplied from it’s 19HP engine. With this supremely quick scooter you need not balk at the idea of wasting money on gas, for it still will return for you, a very cool and surprisingly very high number of miles to the gallon.

This scooter is the epitome of stylish good looks and comes in a range of great awesome colors, something to suit everyone’s individual tastes. Acceleration is smooth and very quick at picking up speed.  Transmission  is continuously variable and once again, fully automatic. The engine type is water cooled, 1 cylinder, 4 stroke, 2 valves. Very, very little vibration even at higher speeds. Great specification package. If you are wanting to know which moped is right for you, these best mpg mopeds are certainly worth your very serious consideration. Perfect for near everyone!

Prices start at an amazingly low price under $2000!

Well able to covey most adults in comfort and with ease even upon winding roads or hilly terrain. Loaded with features also which include:

MP3 player, Speakers, Over-Sized Trunk, Pre-Installed Alarm with Remote, Disk Lock and Waterproof Cover. What a great package!

Maximum load is 400lbs. Length is 77 inches total. Seat height 31 inches. Handlebar height 40 inches. Street legal in every state other than CA, check your local laws first and comes with a 24 months, 2 years guarantee for the power train parts only.

An awesome scooter – perfect for someone like you!

Heading towards the back of the grid now, but certainly not least are our final 3 best mpg mopeds and best gas powered scooters. These final three choices will complete our first part gas scooter USA comparison review and best advice, buying tips guide.

In fifth place then, number:

5/ Engine rip roaring to go in the line up of the top 7 best mpg mopeds in fifth position (remember, these are presented to you in no particular order), is the:

150cc Racer Scooter by TANK.

A well balanced and perfectly well behaved scooter returning a good top end speed of 65mph and returning just for you, a quite awesome and astonishing 90 miles to the gallon. Just three dollars of gas in this scooter will take you far. Perfect for light shopping trips or quick errands around your city. Never get stuck in traffic again! Not only will you save money on gas but you will save time too, which means that you can either make even more money from each day or spend the valuable time saved with your family and friends, doing what is more important to you, rather than sitting in a traffic jam wasting gas and time getting frustrated.

These best mpg mopeds, the 150cc Racer Scooter by TANK is a great all round model to choose for the average user. Acceleration is smooth, the road handling is very good, the ride stable, very little vibration, great rider comfort, just perfect for breezing around on these hot summer days and nights. This scooter is not only very well balanced and designed, it is very low maintenance and comes at a very economical best deal price new at around $1,250 – now that’s what I call a bargain!

Capable of carrying most adults in comfort, the bike comes with extra accessories too.

Engine is Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, 149.7CC 8.84 HP. Air cooled. Electric or ignition start.  Transmission  is automatic clutchless centrifugal belt drive. Front brake is hydraulic disc brake with ABS and the rear braking system is a hydraulic disc brake. Wheel base 53″. Seat height 30″. Ground clearance 6″. Warranty is 1 year engine and drive train parts only. Alarm and remote control are included.

At around $1,250 this moped / scooter is a steal and will pay for itself in no time at all!

Highway legal in CA and most other states – Check local law. Motorcycle license required in most states.

6/ Second to last in our recommendations in sixth place for the best mpg mopeds and best gas powered scooters is the:

Honda CT70 Replica – Street Legal Mini Bike 110cc

Not intended for highway use (although can be used on highways if you wish), check local laws (see below). This one is ideal for private estates, gated communities, RV and camping grounds, light trail use etc and returns a whopping and incredible 108 miles to the gallon! Certainly it’s not going to set the world alight with any blisteringly hot world records for speed, nevertheless it will return for you 55 miles per hour and can easily convey all you big guys around with a degree of comfort.

Looks wise, it’s not bad, in fact, some might call it pretty stylish in it’s own inimitable way. With a 110cc 7.1hp engine, 4 stroke and manufactured by Lifan, reliability itself is assured for you.

Electric and kick start, 4 speed manual clutch, drum brakes, 7″ ground clearance, it comes with a warranty of 1 year parts only engine & drive train – 30 days limited labor.

Street and highway legal in all States – Check local law. Not legal in California. A motorcycle license required in most States. A great little machine guaranteed to give you years of pleasure and use.

Cost just under $1000!!

Last but not least in our top 7 best mpg mopeds and best gas powered scooters is finally our number:

7/ And what a beautiful looking and totally awesome best mpg moped we have here, the one and only:

Lifan motorcycle Enduro Trail Bike 200cc.

Yours for just under $1,450. This is a proper full size dual purpose Enduro dirt bike. If you have been looking for a wickedly cool dual purpose bike to cruise around and go off road, then you need look no further, we’ve got your ultimate motor bike right here. This is an awesome, supreme, top quality motorcycle by Lifan. It has style, speed and complete and utter reliability. The Lifan 200 cubic centimeters 163FML-2 mono cylinder 16.1 HP motorcycle engine punches out plenty of power to the rear wheel making it not only quick but lots of fun too, to ride on or upon off road conditions. Top speed is a little over 65mph. And if you want to save on gas, this motorcycle is very fuel efficient, deliverly an astonishing 102MPG. Can you better that?! That’s fantastic!

Engine is Single cylinder 4 Stroke, 196.9CC model 163FML-2. Maximum power is 16.1 HP at 8000 RPM. Max Torque 14.5 N.m at 6500 RPM. Electric and kick start. 5 speed manual clutch on the  transmission . Chain drive. Steel frame. Hydraulic disc brake on the front, on the rear, drum brake. Seat height 29 inches. Ground clearance 8 inches minimum. A standard warranty: 6 months parts only engine & drive train – 30 days limited labor. Speed 60-70mph. Over 100 MPG. Highway legal in most states – Check local law. Motorcycle license required in most US states. Color choice is red or blue.

This concludes out top 7 best mpg mopeds article, which we hope has been useful to a good degree for you.

Remember, before taking to the highway, it is highly advised that you undertake some level of training first by fully qualified instructors, this will ensure your safety to a better degree and the safety of other road users too. Also remember that protective clothing is there to do just that, protect you – a safety motorcycle helmet is recommended at all times.

We hope that you have enjoyed our top 7 best mpg mopeds review guide to the best gas powered scooters, so that you can now make a more informed decision upon the gas scooter that will fit your needs perfectly.

Buying a gas powered scooter potentially will save you shed loads of cash and the savings made, particularly with today’s very high gas prices, given time will be quite considerable.

When out on the road, whatever your mode of transport do please ride with care, concentration and consideration for others at all times!