Choosing Your First Metal Lathe

If you’re the type person, who wants to go beyond woodworking or perhaps try your hand at building a small steam engine or IC (internal combustion) engine you most likely will be looking for a metal lathe. Choosing a metal lathe is somewhat intimidating, especially for the first time buyer. A simple web search will yield all kinds of opinions and choices. One thing you quickly learn is there can be fierce loyalty to brand names, country of origin, size, and sometimes-even color!

So I may as well get in the fray and submit my ideas. However, be forewarned, I have a few dogs in the fight. Over the past 20 years I’ve owned an American and Asian lathes, in fact I’m on my forth lathe right now. I hope that during the past 20 or so years I’ve been able to pick up a few tidbits that may help you in your choice.

First, let me break tradition. Most people will tell you “any lathe is better than no lathe.” However, I don’t necessarily agree with that. I believe, a worn out lathe is nothing but trouble, ESPECIALLY for someone who has never used a metal lathe before. Therefore, before we start talking about size, heritage, or color, if this is your first lathe, please seek out a lathe that is at least in “good” condition, not some worn out hunk of cast iron.

Next, let’s look at sizes. The size of lathes in the Unites States is measured in terms of the diameter and the lengths, in inches, of the material that can be turned. For example, you will see lathes that are sized as 6 X 18, 7 X 14, 12 X 36, etc. That means a 6 X 18 lathe can theoretically turn a 6-inch diameter piece by 18 inches long. In reality, it will be somewhat smaller since you have to allow slight room for the lathe tooling. BTW, our English friends would measure the same lathe 3 X 18 since they measure from the center of the lathe spindle (3 X 2 = 6). One last thing about size: Get one big enough. I’ve seen and known, folks who buy too small and then have to upgrade within a year or two.

The next critical decision is deciding on manual change gears or quick-change gearbox. I’ve had both and believe me a gearbox with useable speed changes is a tremendous time saver. However, the key word here is usable. I’ve seen (and owned) lathes that the low speed was good but the high speed was excessively slow and vice versa. Moreover, I’ve owned manual change gears that, while it takes about 5 minutes to change gears, the speed selection is spot on. Pluses and minus, just like life. After 20 years, here’s my conclusion. If you can live with the selection of speeds on the quick change, go for it. However, don’t let it be a deal breaker, the lathe I currently use most is a manual change and I really don’t miss (most of the time) the quick change as much as I thought.

Now for the big question-USA or Asian? What a can of worms this is. Once again, I’ve owned both. Bottom line: Today’s Asian lathes are not a bad tool. For a long time, folks considered them a ‘kit’ of sorts that once bought you took the machine apart, cleaned everything, smoothed casting marks, usually replace bolts with USA stock and put it back together. Today things are a lot different. The last lathe I bought was a Lathemaster 9 X 30. All it needed was uncrating, cleaning the shipping grease off and start turning. It took less than an hour from the back of the truck to switch on and ready to run. And the Lathemaster is truly a fine machine and a pleasure to use.

Final thoughts: Look for a solid machine, ask lots of questions on the many home shop forums out there and make a decision. Just like life, nothing’s perfect or easy, and it’s the same when choosing a metal lathe. Nevertheless, go for it. Choose one that fits your needs and after you have a year or so under your belt, then you’ll make a better decision next time.

Putting The Right Nutrients Into Your Breast Milk

During pregnancy the baby is like a parasite and will take all the nutrients that he requires from you. If your diet is sufficient in nutrients for both, it does not cause any problems. If on the other hand your diet is insufficient for both, then your recovery and the ability to produce breast milk after the birth will take longer and if you still do not replenish your body stores during the confinement period, you may remain weak for a long time. If you are breast-feeding, you need to increase the amount slightly because you are eating for two. A nursing mother must continue to eat high quality food recommended during pregnancy in order to establish lactation and maintain an adequate supply of her breast milk. A deficient diet not only upset the nutrient content of her milk but can also reduce the quantity of milk produced. This is probably why our elders make such a lot of fuss about eating well during the confinement period. It is important that you eat nourishing food that includes all of the main food groups at every meal.

Just remember the following pointers:

1. If you are breast feeding whatever you eat will be transferred to your baby via your breast milk therefore it is important that you eat a balanced diet so that your baby will get the right nutrients for optimum growth and development.

2. Some food does cause the baby to become ‘windy’ or have loose stools. If you find that your baby is suddenly quite unsettled, try to think of what you ate during the last 12 hours. Avoid that food for a few days and then try again. If the same happens again, then you should avoid that particular food for a while and re-introduce it into your diet by taking a very small amount and see how baby reacts then slowly increase the amount so that baby gets used to the food.

3. You may find that your appetite is slightly low especially during the first week. This is normal as your body is readjusting to its non-pregnant state both physically and mentally therefore it is better to have small frequent meals instead of the normal 3 big meals a day.

4. You need to drink plenty of fluids in order to make sufficient breast milk and it is best that you get this from sources such as soup or nourishing tea. Drinking too much plain water will dilute the breast milk and therefore is not nutritious for the baby.

So what should you eat?

Protein – The building blocks are amino acids that contain oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. Only eight amino acids are obtained from the food we eat. It is necessary for growth and repair of cells in the body. It helps make enzymes that enable us to digest food, produce antibodies and hormones. Too much protein in the body are converted into glucose and urea. Sources – Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, cereals (wheat, oats and rice), pulses (beans, lentils and peas), nuts and potatoes.

Fat Soluble vitamins

Vitamin A – Retinol and Beta-carotene are necessary for cell division and growth. To maintain healthy mucous membranes of respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts and is important for good eyesight.

Sources –

Retinol – Liver, oily fish, dairy produce and eggs.

Beta-carotene – Carrots, red peppers, mangoes, spinach and kale.

Vitamin D – Calciferols is needed to absorb calcium and phosphorous for healthy teeth and bones. It is also produced by exposing the skin to the sun. Sources – Eggs, tuna, salmon, sardines, fish liver oil and fortified margarines.

Vitamin E – Tocopherols prevent oxidation of free radicals polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes and other tissues. Sources – Vegetable oils, nuts, wheat germ, seeds and margarine.

Vitamin K – Phylloquinone is essential in forming certain proteins and for blood clotting. Sources – Green leafy vegetables especially green cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts

Water Soluble vitamins

Vitamin B

Thiamin (B1) is needed to obtain energy from carbohydrates, fats and alcohol and to prevent build-up of toxic waste substances. Sources – Pork, liver, heart, kidneys, nuts and pulses.

Riboflavin (B2) is necessary to release energy from food and for the functioning of vitamin B6 and niacin. Sources – Milk, yoghurt, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and fortified cereals

Pyridoxine (B6) helps to release energy from proteins and is also important for immune function, the nervous system and formation of red blood cells. Sources – Lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish, tofu, wholemeal bread, nuts, bananas, yeast extract and soya beans

Niacin produces energy in cells to form neurotransmitters. Maintain healthy skin and an efficient digestive system. Sources – Lean meat, poultry, pulses, potatoes, nuts and fortified cereals.

Pantothenic acid helps release energy from food and is essential for synthesis of cholesterol, fat and red blood cells. Sources – Meat, vegetables, liver, dried fruits and nuts.

Biotin is important in the synthesis of fat and cholesterol. Sources – Liver, peanut butter, egg yolk and yeast extract.

Folic acid is necessary for cell division and the formation of DNA, RNA and proteins in the body. Sources – Brussels sprouts, liver, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, pulses, wheatgerm, fortified breakfast cereals and bread.

Cyanocobalamin (B12) is necessary for making DNA, RNA and myelin. It helps transportation of folate into cells. Sources – Meat, poultry, fish, tofu, eggs and diary products.

Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid is necessary to make collagen and neurotransmitters like noradrenalin and serotonin. It is an antioxidant in the body and aids absorption of iron. Sources – Fruits, particularly citrus fruits, kiwis, strawberries, peppers, potatoes and vegetables.

Carbohydrates are converted into glucose and glycogen to give the body fuel for energy.

Glucose is in the blood and glycogen is stored in the liver and muscles. If the level of glucose drops, glycogen is converted into glucose for use. Sources – Sprouting grains, starchy root vegetables, fruits, cereals, pulses, milk and diary products.


o Saturated fats

o Monounsaturated fats

o Polyunsaturated fats

o Cholesterol

Rich source of calories for energy and provide fat soluble vitamins. It maintains healthy skin and body functions. Necessary for the production of sex hormones, synthesis of vitamin D and production of cell membranes and nerve coatings. Sources – Butter, cheeses, fatty meat and all forms of cooking oil.


Potassium regulate heart beat and maintain blood pressure. Maintain fluid and electrolyte balance within cells. Sources – Avocado, fresh and dried fruits, banana, seeds and nuts, citrus fruits, potato and pulses.

Calcium is a vital component of bones and teeth. Vital for nerve transmission, blood clotting and muscle function. Sources – Green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, tinned sardines, milk and dairy products.

Chloride is vital for stomach acid formation. Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance. Sources – Salt and any food containing salt.

Magnesium is important for muscle contraction and assists in nerve impulses. It is an important constituent of bones and teeth. Sources – Wholegrain cereals, green vegetables, nuts, sesame seeds and pulses

Sodium works with potassium to regulate fluid balance. It is essential for nerve and muscle function. Sources – Table salt, processed meats, yeast extracts and tinned anchovies

Phosphorous help to form and maintain healthy bones and teeth, help to release energy in cells and essential for absorption of many nutrients. Sources – Red meat, poultry, fish and seafood, milk and diary products, seeds and whole grains.


Iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin which carries oxygen. It is needed for synthesis of RNA, DNA and collagen for healthy gums, teeth bones and cartilage. Sources – Liver, kidneys, red meat, sardines, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, raisins, dried apricots

Zinc is essential for normal growth, reproduction and immunity. It aids the action of many enzymes. Sources – Oysters, animal proteins, beans, nuts, whole grains, pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Selenium protects cells against free radical damage. It is vital for normal sexual development. Sources – Meat and fish, butter, avocados, brazil nuts and lentils.

Water is vital for life. It is necessary for digestion and elimination of waste products. It acts as a lubricant for eyes and joints and regulates body temperature. Sources – Drinks, fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, bread and cereals, milk and dairy products.

Food for thought

It is not only Asian communities that advocate lactating mothers refrain from eating fruits and vegetables, some Western communities do the same. In my opinion, the reason for avoiding fruits and vegetables is that some contain high levels of oxalate that interferes with calcium absorption. Lactating mothers require high calcium intake for adequate milk production.

Fruits high in oxalate – Kiwi, guava, star fruit, blueberries, figs and strawberries

Vegetables high in oxalates – Tapioca, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, garlic, watercress, brinjal, leeks, turnip, chives, lady’s fingers, parsley and spinach

Tip – Blanching the fruits and vegetables could lower the oxalate level.

Fruits low in oxalate – Papaya, langsat, banana, avocado, cherries, lemon, mango, watermelon, honeydew melon, ciku, durian and peeled apples.

Vegetables low in oxalates – Cauliflower, cabbage, kai lan, petola, green pea, capsicum, potato, tomato, cucumber, iceberg lettuce

Tip – If you love your fruits and vegetables and is worried about calcium absorption, then it is best that you have your milk drinks 3-4 hours before or after your main meals.

Avoid taking too much salt as this may reduce breast milk production. Cooling and windy food may contribute to baby becoming colicky. Acidic food may increase bleeding in the mother and diarrhea in the baby. What you eat also depends on what you believe in and who cooks for you. I hope that with the above information you will be able to tell your ‘cook’ what is best for both you and your baby.

Solving The Andromeda Galaxy’s Bright Mystery

Our Milky Way’s closest large galactic neighbor, the spiral Andromeda galaxy, has a strange, and very well-kept secret that it has long successfully hidden from the prying eyes of curious astronomers. Andromeda features a powerful source of high-energy X-ray emission, but its identity has remained an intriguing mystery–until now. In March 2017, a team of astronomers reported in a new study that NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission has managed to detect the elusive object that is the culprit behind this high-energy radiation. The object, called Swift J0042.5+4112 is a possible pulsar–a newborn neutron star that is the extremely dense, city-sized corpse of a doomed massive star that has perished in a fiery, brilliant, and beautiful supernova blast. Born spinning wildly, as they emerge–much like the Phoenix Bird of Greek mythology–from the raging funeral pyre of their massive progenitor stars, pulsars are highly magnetized objects, and Swift J0042.6+4112 shows a spectrum that is very similar to known pulsars inhabiting our own Milky Way Galaxy.

This new interpretation of the identity of the mysterious object, haunting Andromeda, is based on its emission in high-energy X-rays, which NuSTAR is uniquely capable of measuring. Furthermore, Swift J0042.6+4112 is likely a binary system, in which material from a companion star gets sipped up by the vampire-like pulsar–which spews out high-energy radiation as the stolen material grows hotter, and hotter, and hotter.

“We didn’t know what it was until we looked at it with NuSTAR,” commented Dr. Mihoko Yukita in a March 23, 2017 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Press Release. Dr. Yukita, who is of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, is lead author of a research paper, describing the mysterious object, that is published in the March 15, 2017 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. The JPL is in Pasadena, California.

This newly discovered possible pulsar reveals its presence as a blue dot in a NuSTAR image of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31). The color blue was chosen to represent the highest-energy X-rays. The pulsar candidate shows itself to be brighter than anything else in its host galaxy.

Neutron stars are Tokyo-sized stellar ghosts, and pulsars are rapidly and regularly whirling newborn neutron stars. Stars, like people, do not live forever. When a massive star, that is still on the hydrogen-burning main-sequence of the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram of Stellar Evolution, grows old, and has finally depleted its necessary supply of thermonuclear fuel, it reaches the inevitable end of the stellar road. The imploded mess, composed of what is left of the erstwhile hydrogen-burning massive star, creates from this wreckage a very dense core–which will become the lingering neutron star. During the explosive event, the progenitor star’s outer gaseous layers collapse toward the core–the neutron star–then violently rebound outward in the terrible, fierce fireworks of a supernova tantrum. The rapidly twirling baby neutron star–the pulsar–shoots out a brilliant beam of radiation into space. This beam is frequently likened to the brilliant, sweeping beacon of a lighthouse on Earth, and it can be observed by astronomers as pulses of radio waves and other forms of radiation.

Neutron stars can travel throughout our Universe as isolated bodies, or as members of a binary system in close contact with another still-“living” main-sequence star–or even with another stellar ghost, similar to itself. Neutron stars have also been observed embedded within bright and beautifully glowing supernova remnants. Some neutron stars even serve as the stellar parents of very unfortunate planets. Pulsar planets are hostile worlds that are mercilessly showered by a constant rain of radiation flowing out from the young (and deadly) neutron star. Indeed, the first batch of exoplanets, discovered back in 1992, orbit a pulsar. Pulsars famously flicker brilliantly off and on with remarkable regularity The pulsations of these spinning objects occur because of their extremely rapid and regular rotation. Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered the first pulsar in 1967, when she was still a graduate student at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Stars are immense spheres of searing-hot, roiling, glaring gas. These brilliant balls of fire are pulled together very tightly by the relentless tug of their own powerful gravity. This is why the cores of stars are both extremely dense as well as extremely bright. In fact, stars are so hot that they can engage in the process of nuclear fusion–and it is this very process that lights their fires. Nuclear fusion causes the atoms of lighter elements–such as hydrogen and helium–to fuse together to form increasingly heavier and heavier atomic elements. The production of heavier atomic elements, within the cores of stars, is called stellar nucleosynthesis. Stellar nucleosynthesis starts with the fusion of hydrogen atoms. Hydrogen is both the most abundant and lightest atomic element in the Universe. The extremely hot cores of stars fuse hydrogen atoms into the second-lightest atomic element in the Universe–which is helium. Atomic elements heavier than helium are termed metals by astronomers. All of the metals were formed in the cores of seething hot stars–or, alternatively, in the supernova explosion that ends the life of a massive star. The heaviest atomic elements of all–such as gold and uranium–are fused in the supernova explosion (supernova nucleosynthesis).

Nuclear fusion churns out a large amount of energy, which is why stars are both hot and bright. This energy production results in radiation pressure that pushes everything out and away from the star. This pressure is powerful enough to maintain a very necessary balance, because the relentless pull of gravity squeezes everything in. Radiation pressure and gravity are in a constant tug-of-war within the star. The battle continues until the star finally has managed to burn its necessary supply of nuclear fuel. At this very critical stage, gravity goes on to win the war. As a result of gravity’s victory, the star’s core implodes–and it goes supernova. This very delicate balance between gravity and radiation pressure is dependent on the mass of the star, with the most massive stars being squeezed much more tightly than their less massive kin. Because, in massive stars, the squeeze of their own gravity is so intense, their nuclear fusion reactions proceed much more quickly than in smaller stars. Massive stars live fast and die young. Less massive stars can live quietly and peacefully, for a very long time, before they finally perish.

The weird stellar corpses that are neutron stars are commonly only about 20 kilometers in diameter. However, they weigh-in at about 1.4 times that of our Sun. Indeed, one teaspoon full of neutron star material can weigh as much as a herd of buffalo. These hot, dense, and relatively small spheres have magnetic fields that are about 1,000,000 times more intense than the most powerful magnetic fields on Earth.

The collapsing iron core belonging to a doomed massive star–that is just about ready to go supernova–triggers a chaotic, violent, brilliant event. An iron core marks a massive star’s grand finale in the universal drama. This is because iron cannot serve as fuel in the process of nuclear fusion–and nuclear fusion is what has kept the erstwhile main-sequence star fluffy against the terrible squeeze of its own gravity.


Spiral galaxies like our large Milky Way, and the nearby Andromeda, are majestic, starlit pinwheels twirling elegantly in Space. Both our Milky Way and Andromeda are the two largest inhabitants of the Local Group of galaxies, which also hosts about 40 smaller galactic constituents. The Local Group is a few million light-years across. However, this is actually a small region when compared to immense galaxy clusters. Enormous galactic clusters can host literally hundreds of resident galaxies. Our own Local Group is situated near the outer limits of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster whose core is about 50 million light-years from us. The numerous groups of galaxies and galaxy clusters are themselves smaller denizens of the unimaginably immense web-like, heavy filaments, and slender broad expanses, that compose the Cosmic Web. For example, the so-called Great Wall is a sheet-like collection of galaxies situated approximately 200 million light-years away from us, and a similar enormous structure is named the Great Attractor. The Great Attractor is exerting a powerful gravitational pull on the entire Virgo Cluster of galaxies. We are, of course, carried away with the rest of the galactic inhabitants of the Local Group at the breathtaking speed of several hundred kilometers per second.

Right now, Andromeda is a safe 2 million light-years away from our Galaxy–but this will change. Unfortunately, gravity’s powerful grip is pulling Andromeda towards our Milky Way at about 100 kilometers per second–and the two large spirals are headed for a violent smash-up. The good news is that this fatal collision will not happen for about 4 billion years–but when it does, both our Milky Way and Andromeda will experience a sea-change, merging together to create an elliptical (football-shaped) single galaxy–replacing the duo of former elegant and lovely spirals. The new elliptical galaxy will be twice the size of the two spirals that went into its construction. The new galaxy, that will form from the wreckage, has been given the playful name of the Milkomeda Galaxy by astronomers–in honor of the duo of former spirals that will merge together to create it.

Solving The Andromeda Galaxy’s Bright Mystery

The new study uses numerous different observations of the mysterious, bright, and bewildering object dancing in Andromeda. The observations of this intriguing object were derived from various spacecraft. In 2013, NASA’s Swift satellite reported it as a high-energy source, but its classification was unknown. This is because there are numerous objects emitting low energy X-rays in that particular region.

It turned out that the lower-energy X-ray emission from the object was a source first detected back in the 1970s by NASA’s Einstein Observatory. Other spacecraft, such as the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory had also spotted it. However, it wasn’t until the more recent observations from NuSTAR–along with help derived from Swift satellite data–that astronomers realized that it was the same object as the probable pulsar that emits the high-energy X-ray light of Andromeda.

Astronomers have long thought that voracious black holes, which are more massive than pulsars, usually dominate the high-energy X-ray light in galaxies. As a delectable banquet of shredded stars and clouds of gas spiral down, down, down into the greedy gravitational grip of the hungry black hole–forming a bright structure surrounding it called an accretion disk–this unfortunate material gets hotter and hotter and hotter, and these extremely high temperatures emit high-energy radiation. The pulsar, which sports a lower mass than any of Andromeda’s resident black holes, is brighter at high energies than the galaxy’s entire black hole population.

Even the supermassive black hole lurking within Andromeda’s center does not possess significant high-energy X-ray emission associated with it. Therefore, it is puzzling how a solitary pulsar could be responsible for dominating Andromeda in high-energy X-ray light. Supermassive black holes are thought to lurk hungrily in the hearts of probably every large galaxy in the Universe–including our own–and they possess millions to billions of solar-masses.

NuSTAR has made us realize the general importance of pulsar systems as X-ray-emitting components of galaxies, and the possibility that the high energy X-ray light of Andromeda is dominated by a single pulsar system only adds to this emerging picture,” Dr. Ann Hornschemeier explained in the March 23, 2017 JPL Press Release. Dr. Hornschemeier is a co-author of the study, and is based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Andromeda is slightly larger than our Milky Way. It is close enough to us for observers to see it without the aid of a telescope on clear, dark, starlit nights.

Dr. Hornschemeier added: “Since we can’t get outside our Galaxy and study it in an unbiased way, Andromeda is the closest thing we have to looking in a mirror.”

Clearing Copyright: YouTube Cover Songs

Cover songs are a fast and relatively cheap way to get your talent noticed and discovered on YouTube.

Making and uploading an inexpensive music video, synced to a cover song record, has helped many undiscovered singers share their talent with the world – and even some stars of today, make their claim to fame.

But how do you make sure your video does not get suspended, or your account terminated?

In order to legally publish your cover song music video to YouTube, you need permission from the original song copyright holder, to use their song in conjunction with your cover recording and visuals.

Although the standard YouTube license offers a thin layer of protection for public domain songs, it does not guarantee that the original copyright holder of the song you opt to cover, automatically offers their approval – meaning your cover could potentially violate copyright and be taken down at any time.

There’s nothing worse than this, especially after you’ve collected some views, likes and subscribes already.

The permission you need to get to do things legally, is called a synchronisation license and a mechanical license, for the song you opt to cover and publish on YouTube.

There are many music rights companies that can help you get this license, so you may proceed to legally upload, share and publish your cover song video – without the risk of having it removed, or committing copyright infringements.

One such company that can help you get permission, is called Kobalt Music.

Normally, your copyright clearance request would have to be directed in writing to the original publisher of the song you opt to cover. They will then review your request and decide to grant or deny it – and if any fees or royalties will be payable by you per digital “performance” of the song.

Obviously this can work out much more expensive, than it is actually worth – if you are not careful.

It also means you would have to establish who the song’s original copyright holders and publishers were, make contact with them, and then motivate what title you want to cover, and why. Their approval is not guaranteed.

Kobalt Music can do all this on your behalf (there are other companies too, if you search for “clearing synchronisation rights” on Google).

Instead of charging you a fee, they will “monetize” your cover song video on YouTube, on behalf of the original publisher, collecting ad revenue from YouTube that your cover song generates, and sharing that revenue with their client (copyright holder), if the song you opted to cover is in their catalogue.

This way, the clearing of the synchronisation rights won’t cost you anything, and allow you to publish and share your cover video legally, keeping your views, likes, subscribes and followers.

If in addition, you now also learned how to “tag” your cover music videos on YouTube, to get more views, likes and subscribes from YouTube’s search engine, you could build a fan club, literally even while you sleep, if the song you opted to cover was in reasonable demand.

From there, you could also sell an MP3 download of your cover song, using annotations and links in the video description AFTER you clear the mechanical rights to the song, using a service like Easy Song Licensing and CDbaby.

The mechanical rights allow you to record, release and distribute your music for sale on a “top-up” basis. For every copy you plan to sell either digitally via download, or as a physical track on CD, you buy a unitary license and then recon your licenses with actual sales, buying additional units if necessary.

Hardgainer Basics: Common Sense Training To Transform Your Physique

You're skinny and lean. You've always been this way. If you wished to be a competitive swimmer or perhaps a basketball player, then you'd be ideally build it. However, you've decided you wish to have a bodybuilder – and this certainly does not match your body type. You've trained and made some gains, but you're still skinny – and it's time for that to change!

The good news is that it can be done. Look at the "before" images of many of today's top bodybuilders and you'll see that they were often skinny and weak for years before they discovered the iron. Granted, they often used chemical assistance to move from skinny to world-class bodybuilder, but its very possible for you to move from skinny to "well built regular guy" without the use of steroids. So without any further delay, let's check out a few hardgainer basics for adding muscle size & strength to your body.

Use the Big Three

Squat, Bench Press & Deadlifts are the exercises you should be using on a daily basis to radically change your physique. They stimulate muscle fibers well beyond the primary and even secondary muscle groups being targeted. They're not just compound exercises – they are almost "Super compound" movements. You can use only these three movements and you'll make gains. Use them in conjunction with biceps curls, triceps pressing, shoulder press and calf raises, and you're in excellent shape. Use the big three as your foundation for all other movements, and build a day around each of them.

Eat Six Times Per Day

You'll never make incredible muscle gains while only eating 3 times per day. Your body will be able to assimilate adequate protein to see any real gains. And the required number of calories needed will stretch your tummy beyond belief. Start small, by enjoying 6 very small meals per day. As you train harder and your appetite grows, they will soon become 6 medium to large meals each day, giving your body the calories it needs to grow.

Take a Daily Nap

Your body releases growth hormone not while you're in the gym – but while you're healing in bed. Sleep a small amount every day – even if it's only a 20 minute meditation break on your lunch break – and watch the muscle gains improve and body weight increase.

The bottom line is that as a hardgainer, you are going to find it tougher to build new muscle size and add strength as a result. That's okay. This spiked metabolic rate will benefit you when it's time to diet down and get lean one day. In the meantime, use these tricks as the basis for your new muscle winning plans.

Internet Marketing Systems Cost Money – Read This First

Who Am I

I’m not going to attempt the normal practice you’ll see all over the internet, and especially when being sold Internet Marketing systems, of telling you how poor I was and how cold it was living under a bridge in New York. I don’t believe any of that any more, having read it in nearly every other sales pitch on the ‘net. No; I’m an ordinary healthy bloke, nearly fifty, married with two kids, and four grandchildren. I am very blessed to live in New Zealand, own the home, drive a nice car, have plenty of work as an independent contractor, and am priviledged to fly the old DC-3 Dakota for fun.

So why am I getting into Internet Marketing? Because I have ten to 15 years of useful working life left, before my value to my customer base diminishes. Nobody wants to engage old farts, and there is no leverage in selling my time. When I take a day off, a day’s pay is lost – for good! While I do live the good life, I do have debt and don’t wish to retire that by selling assets. I am determined to pay off all the debt, while also enjoying my lifestyle, and more. I want to replace my income, and boost it!

Internet Marketing Costs Money

If you are down to your last five bucks, go buy a lottery ticket! You won’t turn your luck around on the internet, and establishing yourself on the net is going to cost money. I’ll be honest, I’ve spent in the order of $2,500 on Cost per Click (CPC) marketing perhaps two years ago, to make $40 after several months which I never collected; and another $800 – 1,000 in the last three weeks getting started up again. I’ll be honest, I’ve made $26.40 so far, and that was within the first few days. Since then, nothing! So I’m not a guru, but I am here to tell you what I’ve learned.

I’ve bought three products in the last three weeks:

  • a Cost Per Action (CPA) Pay Per View (PPV) system,
  • a web page template system, and
  • a traffic generation system.

What I bought doesn’t matter, but here’s what I’ve learned. These systems are good, and I’ve no doubt that they’re going to work when I get them all tuned up. One warning though, these systems sell flat out so don’t expect a personal response to your questions. These guys have email engines set up to deal with the sales process. They’re not sitting at their desk servicing your questions very often. Face it, they’ve made it already and they’re out on the beach!

Lessons I’ve taken from the last few weeks:

  • there is no instant money system, everything needs setting up and that takes time and money;
  • after your first purchase you will always be upsold, always; and
  • you are going to have to do some homework, there are some things you’ll have to learn for yourself.

It Costs Money and There’s Always More

Typically here’s what will happen. You’ll see an advertisement for a ‘sure thing’ marketing system. You’ll watch a very credible video, and you’ll decide to spend the first $40 – 60.00. Once you’ve bought the system, you’ll be offered a set of ‘copy and paste’ campaigns that you can put to work right away, then another bonus that will save you months and months of learning on your own. Within 20 minutes you’ll have spent over $500.00. Next, you’ll discover that you need to set up an account with a CPC network, or a PPV network; and that you need to register a domain. This will all cost you more before anything starts to offer your advertisements, or sell a thing. Nothing for it really, but to knuckle down, persevere and do the work. Be prepared to fund some set up costs, and feed the networks until you’ve learnt what works! It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it will require some time and funding.

Buy In Steadily

The good news is that you can buy in for just the initial sign up fee, usually of $75 or less. The trick once you’ve bought that is to read the following offers carefully then decline them. Each time you decline, the offer will be discounted – up to three or four times more. Decline them and get started with the basic package. The first introductory lesson will tell you not to worry if you didn’t buy the special or the bonus, as you can still follow though and they’ll be available to you anyway. Take the time to go through the training that comes with these packages and follow through with the required action. The lack of the bonus offers won’t hinder your learning. Buy the bonus packages when you’re set up and ready to use them; they’ll be worth it then.

If you look at the detail on a lot of these pages, they’re at least two years old and still selling. Compare the dates on the ‘evidence’ they present. Don’t give in to the urgency of the offer. It’s there to upsell you.

While I wouldn’t buy a system that hasn’t got a money back guarantee, I’d treat that guarantee with some scepticism. Be prepared to ask for your money back though if the system isn’t performing for you and especially if the upgrade package is not available to you.


Getting into Internet Marketing is no different to getting into any other business, it costs money, takes time, and requires you to learn and apply lessons. You’ll need to put time into setting up pages and systems. Dont let that knock you back though; while it costs money, it’s not outrageous. Consider it an investment in a business, and you’ll be on the right track; think of it as the silver bullet, and you’d be better to go buy a lottery ticket!

Good luck. Get started, and stick with it. See you on the beach one day!

Maximize Patient Collections with a Patient Payment Policy

Healthcare practice owners and managers are often astounded to realize that it can cost as much as $6 or $7 to successfully collect a patient payment using traditional invoices through the mail. Considering employee time, as well as postage and envelopes, the cost truly adds up when sending dozens of invoices each week. The hours spent preparing invoices also detract from other endeavors around the office – valuable time that could be focused on improving patient flow, records management, etc. – not to mention that most patients are sent two or even three invoices before they return payment. Establishing a formal payment policy with your patients can help improve collections and reduce practice overhead.

Designing a Patient Payment Policy:

When designing your payment policy, spend some time talking with your staff, the person responsible for your billing and colleagues at other practices. These resources often provide insightful information from direct personal experience about what works and what doesn’t. Consider the history of your practice in defining how far you should to reach with your payment policy; there are variations from one locale to the next with respect to age, economic status, and so on. In some areas a written statement of which insurances you accept and that “payment is due in full at the time of service” might be satisfactory. Other areas might require detailed information about payment plans, minimum payments and your use of collections agencies to set the appropriate expectations.

Just remember to keep it simple. The more straightforward your policy, the more effective it will be. Be upfront about your rules, clear on how you will handle non-payment, and direct with enforcement. Too many practices have found out the hard way it’s much easier to offer a clearly written policy in advance than it is to calm a shocked patient down when asked to remit a large payment on the spot.

A Few Considerations:

The most straightforward, direct payment policy would require all patient obligations are met at the time of service, but that’s not always an option. What about patients who “forget” their checkbook? How about those patients who just don’t have enough money to cover an expensive procedure? Below are a few options you might want to consider.

Invoicing Charges:

Some practices offer to send out patient invoices in lieu of payment at the office but add an “invoicing charge” to each mailed statement. These charges often range anywhere from $1-$5 per statement and help defray some overhead, but rarely all of it. While invoicing charges can be effective in getting patients to remit payment with the first bill, they can reflect negatively in a saturated market with strong competition between practices, not to mention for new practices seeking to build a patient base.

Payment Plans:

Payment plans can be a good alternative for patients unable to meet full obligations at the time of service, but detailed parameters are an imperative. Keep in mind payment plans that run too long increase the risk of default. Some practices have found the best approach is to limit terms to six months or less.

For some types of practices, an example payment plan policy might establish a minimum of say, $100 due at the time of service, with the balance divided into equal installments over the following 6 months. Or, you might divide the total balance into 6 monthly installments, with the first installment due at the time of service.

Regardless of how your payment plan is structured, it should focus on two equally important goals. First, keep it simple to avoid confusion. Second, find a reasonable balance between collecting as much as possible up front, at the time of the visit, and what the patient can bear. If patients stretch too far upfront, they may not be able to make the remaining payments over the following period, resulting in the worst case scenario for everyone – default.


Most offices offering payment plans do not charge interest, but it’s not an unheard of practice. Interest charges, like invoicing charges, can be a negative determining factor in competitive markets and for new practices. Charging interest also requires additional staff time to calculate invoices before mailing, rarely offsetting the added overhead. Another important factor to remember with interest charges is adherence to the rules Truth in Lending Act. This can add several more layers of requirements to your practice’s administration, creating further unnecessary complications.

Collections Agencies:

Teaming with a collections agency can provide you with some recourse if patients fall into default, but consider your options carefully as collection agencies can charge anywhere from 15% to 50% on receivables. Any such partnerships should be thoroughly researched in advance, and outlined in detail in your policy, including agency contact information for your patients.

No Shows:

Patients who fail to show up for a visit without notice is, frankly, annoying and rude. But invoicing no shows can turn patients away from future visits, not to mention they typically have a very low receivable rate. If you plan on invoicing no shows, keep both of these points in mind as the overhead costs of invoicing may give you enough cause to write it off completely.

Alternate Payment Methods:

Consider offering as many payment methods as possible. Recent years have seen a decrease in credit card processing fee, making them more attractive even for practices with only moderate patient traffic. Credit cards can also be used to bill for monthly installments and payment plans if signed authorization is provided. This will also help circumvent the proverbial ‘check in the mail,’ and, you’ll know immediately if the charge is rejected.


Whatever parameters are defined in your payment policy, communication is key to ensuring smooth implementation. Remember that your office staff is on the front line when it comes to addressing the policy with patients and should be given clear instructions on all aspects. An office wide meeting can benefit everyone, offering the opportunity for staff to ask questions before implementation. Provide front office staff with an “internal” copy of the policy with suggestions on when and how to remind patients of the policy.

In relaying the new policy to patients, a sign at the check-in counter stating “All patient obligations must be resolved at the time of service” is an easy first step. Second, create a detailed flyer outlining your policy and keep a stack visible in the waiting area, and, for the first few months, each patient should be provided with a copy of your flyer upon check-in. Front office staff should of advise patients when they call for an appointment and remind them verbally when upon arrival. If steps are necessary, you might require each patient sign a “Payment Policy Agreement” and keep it with their records.

Some practices now even send a “new patient information packet” when an appointment is scheduled far enough in advance. This is an excellent opportunity to include billing policies with other information about your practice. Practices might also include background information on providers, healthy living suggestions geared toward the practice specialty, or information on how patients should prepare for an office visit.


Creating your policy is the first step to improving out of pocket collections, but it will only be as effective as your implementation and follow through. A few small adjustments to office procedures will ensure this is carried out successfully.

First, it should become standard procedure for staff to obtain pre-authorization from insurance carriers – before the appointment, not just before a claim is filed. Create a list of steps associated with scheduling a patient visit that includes researching co-pays, deductibles, visitation allowances, etc. directly with the carrier. Although pre-authorizations can be made over the phone, “self-serve” online with many carriers is much quicker. Common carrier websites could even be bookmarked on workstations for easy access.

Second, condition your staff to leverage information from pre-authorizations and discuss patient obligations at check-in. All parties should be fully aware of their responsibilities and patients expected to advise how they will remit payment.

Third, to ensure patients don’t “get away” without paying everyone should be required to check-out, as well as check-in. All members of your staff – doctors, nurses, assistants, whoever is the last to visit with the patient – should clearly remind them to stop by the front desk or cashier to address co-pays on the way out, and receive detailed instructions on additional balances that will be billed to them.

Finally, review the performance of your policy. Allow one or two weeks for changes to take effect and begin evaluation of results. Arm yourself with detailed information about collections rates for the weeks and months prior to the change and compare against the weeks immediately following. Take note of what’s going on around the office; evaluate how the staff is managing the new policy and make changes as necessary. If something does not appear to be working, make sure you’ve given ample time to fully measure results, but don’t be afraid to make another change. Remember, maximizing out of pocket collections is an ongoing task, but if done properly it can yield great improvements in your practice’s overall profitability.

Traditional India or Modern Luxury in Udaipur?

A sojourn in Udaipur, with its kaleidoscope of romance, art and architecture, gives a glimpse into the fabled bygone era of Indian royalty. It is, for many, the most magical of all the famous Rajasthani towns – so beautiful it feels like a fairytale – so do not miss it off your itinerary.

Often touted as the Venice of the East, Udaipur has never been short on compliments. Built around the picturesque Lake Pichola, home to haunting marble palaces and surrounded by the Aravalli Hills, it's hard to remember it's actually in the middle of the desert.

If your budget runs to it, the perennial favorite for it's sheer uniqueness and majesty has to be the Taj Lake Palace. As the scene stealing location for Bond's Octopussy, the former Maharajah's Summer Palace is a vision of glazing white marble and mosaic positioned IN Lake Pichola – that's right, not on the banks, but smack bang in the middle! It really is a sight to behold. The Lake Palace is perfect for the romantics, in particular Honeymooners, with it's traditional theme and private dining pontoon it makes lovers swoon again and again with its traditional Indian atmosphere.

The sleek Udaivilas rarely misses the Top Five list of any reliable rating of the world's best hotels. Adorning the shores of Lake Pichola with to-die-for views over the lake, this magnificent but new structure is an amalgamation of regal Rajputana grandeur and modern luxury and is one of the Oberoi Group's signature properties. All the rooms have stunning marble bathrooms, many have private pools and the restaurants and service is ridiculously good.

For some, Udaivilas is the place to stay for its freshness, luxe details and romantic views of the lake and the Taj Lake Palace hotel floating in the middle of it.

The Lake Palace can not match the plushness of Udaivilas but is much more authentically Indian and the decoration is definitely heavier and more traditional. Suites are a swirl of sumptuous silks, myriad vibrant murals and intricately carved furniture. Butlers bustle around to fulfill your every wish including organizing magical supper locations – the Lily Pond, the Mewar Terrace overlooking the lake, the marigold-decked royal barge or a pontoon in the middle of the lake. It's utterly otherworldly. The downside is that this time, the service does not come close to that of Udaivilas, and when your paying upwards of $ 700 a night, that counts.

Although I'm a sucker for a classic, I just can not go past the Oberoi experience, so I vote for Udaivilas for sumptuous spoiling. Now all I have to do is find someone to share all that romantic ambiance.

PS Although this post deals with the upper stratosphere of classic high-end Udaipur, the charms and opulence of Devi Garh and the new Leela Kempinski are not to be overlooked and are also worthy contenders to host your stay. Udai Kothi and Jagat Niwas are also more reasonably priced alternatives with traditional architecture and great locations.

Tinting Plastic Lenses

Before you begin this project you need to have the following handy:

800 grit sandpaper, a bowl of water, paper, tinting product of your preference, paint, paint thinner, and tack cloths.

To assure the tint takes to the lens start by sanding the entire surface with 600-800 grit sandpaper. Pay close attention to the edges and any corners. This will give the lens a soft scratched look. Wipe the edges with paint thinner and start masking off the area you do not want to tint.

Green painters tape works best for this. With the edges masked off, now tape paper over the backs of the lenses to keep over spray from entering the inside of the lamps. Check the masking one more time and if everything looks ok, start cleaning the prepped surfaces. The best way to do this is wipe them with a cloth soaked in thiner and come back with a second cloth to remove any dust.

With a clean surface you can now start the tinting process. The key in this step is to keep the spray and thickness as even as you can. Too much VHT or tint and the lens will look overly black. Too little and you risk the lens looking splattered. To give you an idea of the technique you wan to use I have prepared a video at: A lot of painting comes down to practice but seeing it does is easier to follow than reading about it. With a little patience you should not have any problems achieving god results.

Apply as many coats as needed to get the results you want with the methods shown above. After you have the look you want, the key to a great result is clear coating. For that OEM shine take your newly finished lenses to a local paint and body shop. For a few dollars they will spray your lenses with a polyurethane clear coat. This coat will resist UV fading an cracking as well as help prevent any scratches from forming. All said and done this is a great modification to update the look of you car for under 50 dollars.

7 Top Tips for Safe and Effective Squatting

The Squat has earned the title, 'King of Exercises' and rightly so. No other exercise hits the muscle as hard as a good solid set of squats. No other single exercise can get the lungs and heart racing like the squat. No other single exercise can stimulate growth like the squat.

If you're not squatting then it's time you started.

The squat movement itself is pretty straightforward but can be performed with several variations to produce slight different results. These squat variations include, front squat, hack squats, dumbbell squats, sumo squats and box squats.

No matter which style you perform, stick with the tips below to ensure your squats are safe and effective.

  1. Ensure sure your feet point either directly ahead of you or slightly outwards. Never point your feet inwards. An inward turn can place disproportional stress on your knees
  2. Whatever foot angle you find most comfortable it's imperative that you maintain the same angle for both feet. Different angles can place uneven load on one knee – not good.
  3. When lowering, your knees should not extend ahead any further than the end of your toes. Over extending can cause extra stress on the knee joints.
  4. Following on from point 3, ensure that your knees remain vertically in line with your feet, not jutting out to the left or right. Having your knees 'out of line' with your feet can again, can place extra stress on your knee joints.
  5. Rather than trying to lift the bar, focus instead on pushing your legs down into the ground. You'll find this actually makes the lift 'seem' easier. Plus, this approach also helps you maintain proper form with a straight back by thinking about your legs pushing rather than your body lifting.
  6. Ensure your back remains at a constant angle to your body during the squat. You want the power to come from your quads (and hip flexors) not your back. Plus altering the angle places extra load on the lower back.
  7. Squat depth – there's been endless discussions on just how deep you should squat with no common agreement ad probably never will be. My advice ?, do not stick to just one depth, vary the depth of your squats regularly.

The squat is the # 1 exercise not just for legs but for complete body conditioning. I highly recommend you include squats in your routine, once per week is optimal.

I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised at the progress you make not just with your legs but with all aspects of your training.

Psychologists, When to See them, How they Work

Here’s the truth – about psychology, how it can give individuals and families the same “edge” it gives professional sports teams, and police departments. If you have ever –

• needed to shake off life draining depression and regain energy and joy de vie,


• needed to manage a hyperactive or disruptive child or teenager, or negotiate peace with your spouse or partner,


• shake off a fear that has crippled your talent and career or social life, such as a fear of speaking up at meetings, or calling on high status people, or of spiders, flying, crowded places, open spaces, elevators etc.,


• needed a psychologist’s report for your lawyer to present in court – for family court issues, criminal matters, criminal injury, workcover or other insurance claims,


• as an employer needed to have your best job candidates scientifically profiled so you can distinguish between the best of them,


• needed to fine tune your performance – in sport, business, academia, job hunting, or social skills?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above this could eventually prove to be the most profoundly life changing letter you have read! A psychologist could help you with any of the above issues.

FEES: Psychologist’s fees in USA and Australia can be rebated (i.e. some money refunded) by private health insurance if you are appropriately insured. In Australia Medicare rebates are available for patients who have special doctor’s referrals – see: [] NOTE: You don’t need a doctor’s referral to see a psychologist unless you are looking for a Medicare rebate)

Psychology “Basics”.

*Body and Mind are interdependent.

Biology is such that it is natural for us to fight or flee when we feel threatened. When we are threatened hormones are automatically released that maximise our bodies’ ability to do either of these as required for survival (while functions like digestion close down). When the threat passes our hormone levels and general biological balance returns to normal. The activity of “fight or flight” itself helps to “use up” those excess hormones and their effects. When the lion loses interest in the chase, the panicking herd of animals notice this and almost instantly settle back to grazing and digesting their food asif nothing had happened.

The threats we face in modern life however, usually cannot be escaped by using our muscles and rarely end quickly. The adrenalin and other stress chemicals that would normally be “burned away” by a muscular response to a short term stress stay in our systems too long. These perceived stresses come from our work-life, family and social life. Some of the threats driving us are generated from within ourselves as a result of attitudes we learned in childhood causing us to be chronically vigilant. Three simple examples are compulsive perfectionism, cleanliness or approval seeking. When a sense of threat stays too long it means that our bodies are geared-up for danger too long and then things start to break down: We develop such physical symptoms as stomach aches, heart pains, dizziness, rashes, our immune system weakens and we become more vulnerable to illness. Our desperation to cope with perceived threat may drive us to eccentric behaviours, or “twitchiness” (noticed by friends, family and workmates) or painful emotional states such as panic attacks, depression and anxiety. When these latter two go together, it is commonly called a “nervous breakdown”. Most of us encounter this situation at least once in our lives.

“Pulling Ourselves Together”

It is a very human form of self-delusion to think we can deal with our chronic psychological conflicts and anxieties by the application of willpower alone. This is why a “pull-yourself together” approach is ultimately unhelpful in changing ones’ inner realities and their eventual consequences.

When conscious will is out of harmony with inner reality.

Doctors and psychologists commonly see patients suffering debilitating illness resulting from the tension caused by a strong commitment to a lifestyle, or a form of work for which they are not temperamentally well suited. Psychological assessment and counselling helps to investigate and rationalise the factors involved. Sometimes a lifestyle change is needed, and a psychologist can help guide and support the change process which can be difficult.

Possible reasons for being referred to a psychologist.

*You suffer a medical condition that can be aggravated by stress

Certain kinds of heart problems, skin conditions, alopecia (hair loss), some cases of torticollis (shoulder muscle spasm), ulcers or other digestive system problems are just a few examples. Some medical conditions indicate a change in lifestyle for continued well being. A psychologist can teach you stress management techniques and attitudes, and coach you through life-style changes, often as part of a “2-pronged” approach involving both medical and psychological interventions. Work Cover patients often need psychological treatment and rehabilitation counselling.


Irrational fears, of say spiders or birds, inanimate objects or of driving a car subsequent to motor accident, can interfere with the conduct of everyday life. Psychologists are specialists in helping you overcome these fears.

*Panic attacks:

These sudden, crippling attacks of anxiety (fear) are usually related to specific situations, e.g., crowded venues such as shopping centres or conversely, wide open spaces. Psychologists use standard techniques for gradually guiding patients to overcome these attacks using behaviour modification methods often in concert with a detailed examination of ones’ life history. Often these conditions, when severe, respond to a combined medical and psychological approach to therapy.


This comes in various forms. Some sorts of depression have an organic basis and respond only to medication. The more common forms of depression result from a sense of loss, or a feeling of failure. In the later stages of life one becomes prone to depression based on an acute awareness of mortality and the difficulty of finding meaning in life. Psychologists often use “cognitive behavioural” techniques to help guide clients through this depression. It is an important area where doctors and psychologists work together because depression is a very common condition. Depression is usually accompanied by some degree of anxiety. Sleep and appetite disturbances are the common symptoms of depression.


This is a feeling of fearfulness. It can be attached to an object or situation as in a phobia or it can result from having to deal with a difficult life situation, or it can be “free floating” meaning that one feels fearful without knowing why. Psychologists use cognitive behavioural techniques to treat anxiety. Extreme anxiety is also a feature of serious mental illness requiring medical intervention.

*Personality problems:

Shyness with the opposite sex, stage fright in business meetings, or a fear of approaching high status executives can interfere with social life and business life. Psychologists guide their clients through these problems with a high level of success.

*Trauma counselling:

Persons who have suffered a severe trauma such as a motor accident can suffer many of the symptoms mentioned above, e.g. panic, anxiety, depression, bad dreams, “flashbacks” and specific fears.

*Children’s problems:

Poor school performance and behavioural problems are investigated by psychologists who can then help parents and teachers devise effective approaches to managing the problem. Teenage behaviour too, is often a source of family tensions that need improved management and is helped by a psychologist’s guidance.

*Relationship counselling.

A skilled independent person like a counsellor can keep discussions focussed and constructive.

Psychologists’ Methods.

Many psychologists use a combination of methods that can be thought of as (a) “cognitive-behavioural” and (b) methods that can be loosely thought of as “analytical”. The former methods encourage you to see yourself and your world from a new viewpoint, to experiment with and practice new forms of behaviour. You might be asked to study the behaviour of someone who is very good at what you are not good at, or to keep a diary in which you note your behaviour and reactions at certain times or situations. The notes are then discussed. You might be shown how to relax and asked to visualise certain scenes in your mind and possibly to recall certain memories and “rewrite” them as if the memory was just a movie that needed to be rescripted and refilmed.

Or you might actually be taken out into the community to practice certain behaviours in real life with a mentor by your side. “Analytic” methods however examine your life history, and your dreams in detail to uncover any faulty learning that might have occurred, or the symbolic meaning of any symptoms you might suffer. Regardless of the method used sometimes a psychologist will suggest using hypnosis to help you more sharply focus your concentration. Hypnosis is not a therapy anymore than a scalpel is a therapy. Hypnosis can be used to entertain an audience and a scalpel can be used to sharpen a pencil. Hypnosis is however often used to “supercharge” almost any of the psychotherapy and counselling methods. For more information about psychology and mental health issues:

Automobile Industry Position in Russia

The Russian car industry experiences the most severe crisis of the last years. For the First Quarter of 2005 the sales of Russian automobiles have fallen down by 14% while imported car sales have increased by one and half times. The car factories think that they will have no other way out but to assemble foreign cars.

In 2004, the car industry has shown an incredible growth. Russian domestic car sales have grown by 10%, and foreign-made car sales doubled. Experts believed, that the explosive sales growth would continue, as the market had enough room for both domestic cars, as well as for foreign-made cars.

However, the miracle did not happen. According to domestic cars sales experts, the First Quarter showed domestic car sales plunged by 14%. The sales of new imported foreign-made cars have increased almost two times, the sales of second-hand foreign-made cars increased by one and half times, the sales of "Russian foreign-made cars" increased by 17%.

The discussion of Russia's automobile market problems and the development of domestic car industry became a hot topic. It is necessary to notice, that the discussion went from governmental offices into the streets of the Russian cities.

At first sight, the main reason for mass protest of motorists is the attempt to make right steering wheel cars illegal and to increase customs duties on second-hand foreign-made cars. However, the essence of the conflict is much deeper. The main issue is the crisis of the automobile industrial policies of our state.

We can speak about a more or less complete industry development strategy only since mid-2002 when the government approved the Concept of Automobile Industry Development in Russia. This document has been adopted actually in private and under heavy pressure of the Russian car manufacturers is a bright sample of eclectic bridging of opposite problems. On the one hand, they proposed integration of the country into global automotive market, on another trial to reserve the archaic domestic car industry and even creating greenhouse conditions for the latter. All these years the authorities are trying to do pleasant things for the motorcar guys that have barely changed since the Soviet times, and to do useful things to constantly growing peoples' needs for reliable and safe automobiles.

The power of lobbyist efforts of representatives of the Russian car industry is much stronger than foreign manufacturers' lobby what forces us if not to trudge back, but to stay at the same point. Therefore, the reasonable decision to drop import duties for components and cars is adopted with a biennial delay, and the request to make the transition by 2004 to manufacture vehicles that are EUROS – 2 EURO – 3 ecologically compliant, has not yet been adopted. At the same time we see the debate of the proposals to restrict market competitiveness so that the interests of ¬ęZhigulis" and "Volgas" manufacturers are preserved.

Meanwhile the demand for foreign automobiles grows steadily. In 2004 for the first time, the purchase of foreign-made cars has exceeded sales of Russian-made cars by sales volume. The "sitting on the two chairs" policy limit is practically reached. Now there is a problem of choice. Either to reserve the domestic car industry as it is now by shutting the country down for foreign-made imports, a significant increase (because of lack of real competition) of the Russian-made automobile prices, what is going to make road traumatism situation even More pronounced (taking into consideration extremely low safety levels of our cars) and, at the end, sharp growth of social tension. On the other hand, it is necessary to acknowledge that we are unable to catch up with the advanced automobile powerhouses of the East and the West, and, hence, we should simply borrow their technologies, by organizing the production of foreign cars in Russia, Giving, thus, the option for each Russian citizen to purchase the car he wants, regardless of where it has been manufactured.

If one considers the first variant politically probable, he practically takes Russia on the road shoulder of the world economic process, hurts the interests of the middle class and, what is the most important, not only rescue the domestic car industry, but only prolongs its agony . The other choice, certainly, is not quite without pain. However, here in Russia, a small sacrifice helps winning the game. A large-scale foreign investment into motor industry responds to the interests of consumers, workers, and the state. It is only unprofitable to the autooligarches that have got used to parasite from their monopoly position and take advantage of imperious protectionist policy.

Ultrasonic Dishwasher Brings Emancipation to Housework

The dishwasher is widely used all over the world. The dishwasher is manufactured in complete sets of equipment in American and Europe, while the small size of the device is welcomed in Japan. It is reported that the sales amount of kitchen equipment reaches more than thirty billion US dollar, and the output of dishwasher is more than ten million nowdays.

The device is very popular because it really makes the housework easy at home. Modern people are very busy with work all the day that little time is left to do housework. Washing dishes is always a loathsome work after dinner because the ordinary detergent may hurt the hand. The ordinary dishwasher is not good enough to meet all the requirements; For instance, it can not clean every corner of the deep bowl. The ultrasonic dishwasher is invented to make up the shortcomings of the ordinary one, which is suitable to wash the bowls with heavy grease.

The ultrasonic dishwasher is consistent of ultrasonic signal generator and the cleaning trough. The device can release vast power via the process of bubble rupture, forming tremendous impact to the surface of bowl. The dirt in the surface and crevice will be cleaned quickly with the impact.

This device is able to clean the dish from all direction, and ideal for the deep bowls which is hard to clean by the traditional machine. It can wash the dishes quietly and quickly. The time that spends by the ultrasonic dishwasher is much shorter than the ordinary one. The function of disinfection is also added to the new device, utilizing the intensity, frequency and time of ultrasonic to kill the bacterium.

More advantages are listed below when the ultrasonic dishwasher was compared with the traditional one. Firstly, it does not need the electric machine, water pump, pressure water or circulated water when it is working. All the work is finished by the vibration of water, therefore, it causes little noise and be electric and water saving. Secondly, the construction of the new device is very simple, which does not need some complex components. It will have less chance to cause malfunction, and has longer service life. Thirdly, the ordinary dishwashers are quite too much on the professional detergent, while the ultrasonic dishwasher has no requirement to the detergent which is just the provisional thing. The related integrated circuit of dishwasher is ADC12662

House Cleaning Tips – A Housewives’ Selection of Shortcuts and Tricks

There are many tricks and tips that woman and housewives have discovered over the years to help get rid of stubborn stains and difficult things to clean. These house cleaning tips should help you save a lot of time, energy and effort by giving you a short cut to the quickest and easiest way of cleaning or removing stains.

To get rid of a nasty red wine stain, blot the affected area with paper towel and repeat until all the moisture has been soaked up. Then add soda water mixed with white wine. This should clear the stain right up.

If you have a particularly artistic child who enjoys drawing on the walls with the crayons you can remove the art by adding toothpaste to the area and scrubbing down. Rinse with warm water. Tomato sauce can also be very difficult stain to get rid of. Don’t panic though, rub the affected area with a kitchen towel and shaving cream, and then mop it up with a sponge.

Ovens can be difficult to clean, but if you wipe their insides out with a mixture of our vinegar and add hot water you should find the process quite easy. It is also advised that you clean your oven counter top while it is still fairly warm as this will prevent the dirt and stains from having time to settle in and harden. Depending on where you live, the water quality used in certain kettles tends to cause them to develop a thick lime scale inside. You can purchase products from your local supermarket specifically aimed at getting rid of this problem. Alternatively you can boil the water and then add vinegar leaving it to soak for a good few hours. You can then remove the water and clean the kettle out.

It is often difficult to get your glasses looking clean and sparkly without any residue on them. In order to achieve this sparkly look wash your glasses in soapy water separately from your other dishes. Then rinse in a mixture of hot water and white vinegar. Place on a drying rack to dry and avoid drying them up with a dish cloth as this can cause smudges.

Keep these house cleaning tips aside and store them in a notebook, because these are problems that you will most likely come across in your day-to-day life.

How to Combine Small Plastic Containers and Retail Wire Racks

If you were to ask the manager of any convenience store, candy shop, gift shop, or even ice cream parlor what a couple of the most convenient and often necessary display fixtures he uses were, chances are he’d tell you small plastic containers and retail wire racks. These two kinds of display fixtures are versatile, sturdy, and convenient for both storeowners and customers, and it’s no wonder they’re so prevalent in stores across the nation.

However, not only are these two kinds of display fixtures ideal on their own; they’re also ideal when paired together! Read on for tips on how you can combine small plastic containers and retail wire racks to create attractive and convenient merchandise displays for your customers.

Tip #1: Consider Your Merchandise

You might think “small plastic containers” is pretty straightforward, but the reality is there are many different kinds of small plastic containers. You can find them in round, square, rectangular, and hexagon shapes, as well as sphere or fish bowl shapes.

You can also find container with lids, which work well if you plan to display edible items that don’t have wrappers and need protection, as well as with handgrip and handles that make it easy for your customers to pour the merchandise. (Note that you can also pair accessories like plastic or aluminum scoops with the containers to add even more convenience for your customers.)

Because there are so many different kinds of small plastic containers out there, being familiar with the merchandise you want to display in the containers makes it easier for you to make your selection. For example, if you want to display something small like an assortment of children’s bouncy balls, a regular round plastic container might work just fine. On the other hand, if you want to display unwrapped gumballs, you should look for containers with lids.

Tip #2: Make Sure Your Retail Wire Racks Are Sturdy

Regardless of size, plastic containers are generally lightweight; however, they become significantly heavier once you start filling them with merchandise.

Make sure you choose retail wire racks that are sturdy enough to:

  • Withstand the weight of your containers once they’re filled with merchandise.
  • Withstand the force should a customer accidentally bump into them.

Tip #3: Don’t Overfill Your Small Plastic Containers

Given the “small” part of their name, it’s obvious you can only put so much merchandise in a small plastic container. Still, be conscious of how much merchandise – and how heavy the merchandise – you put in your containers. The heavier the container, the less likely it will work as well as it can with a wire display rack.

Plus, if a container is too filled with merchandise, it will become difficult for your customers to conveniently browse and access the merchandise.

Tip #4: Don’t Put Too Many Containers On Your Racks

Just as you don’t want to overstuff your containers, you don’t want to overstock your racks. Even if the retail wire rack is rather sturdy, extra weight adds extra stress.

Plus, if you have too many containers on your racks, your customers will find it difficult to view and select the merchandise they way.

Tip #5: Place Your Retail Wire Racks for Optimal Performance and Safety

You’ve made sure your containers aren’t filled to the brim and you’ve made sure your wire racks are sturdy enough to hold the weight and withstand any customers who might bump into them; still, you need to make sure your racks are situated in an area within your store that not only increases the safety of your merchandise and your customers but also increases your customers’ convenience.