3 "Little-Known" Exercises to Make You As Strong As a Bull on the Wrestling Mat!

If you want to gain a strength advantage over your competition, and don’t have a lot of fancy equipment, don’t worry. Here are 3 tried and true “unique” strength training exercises that can help get you stronger for the mat – FAST!

1. Bottom Squats – Bottom squats are incredible for developing hips and gluteal strength. In layman’s terms, that would be working your rear-end. Ok, have a quick laugh, and then get to work. These are a perfect addition to your wrestling strength training routine. Here’s what you do. With an Olympic barbell, you perform a regular full depth squat. This means you descend until the top of your thighs break parallel with the floor. Instead of standing straight up, you come up only half way. You pause in the half-way up position, descend to below parallel, and repeat. I would throw them in about once or twice a month, to keep the muscles “confused”. This forces the muscles to respond by getting stronger. In fact, you might want to perform a regular barbell squat or machine squat during the first workout. The next workout you might perform a barbell or trap bar deadlift. The third workout might be a bottom squat. Just perform each exercise with 100% intensity (with a spotter at all times) and seek to improve strength over successive workouts.

2. Negative-Only Chinups – This one is fantastic for developing the kind of upper body strength you need for the mat very quickly. Why? Because performing negative repetitions incorporates many more muscle fibers than the positive part of the repetition. In other words, you are 40% stronger lowering a weight than you are raising a weight. To apply this to chinups do the following: Grasp a chinning bar with a close, underhand grip. (Using this grip is much more effective than a wide grip for developing the latissimus dorsi muscle. The “lats” work with the biceps when you are performing a single or double-leg takedown.) By standing on a high bench or chair, hop up so that your chin is over the bar, and hold for 2 seconds. Slowly lower yourself under control until you reach a hanging position where the “lat” muscles are stretched. This lowering should take a good 8-10 seconds. Hop right back up to the starting position and again lower in 8-10 seconds. Repeat until it is impossible to lower with control. You may have to use additional weight around your waist if using body weight only gets too easy. Keep an arch in the middle back area when performing to force the back muscles to work harder than the biceps.

3. Negative-Only Dips – Just as the last exercise works the back and biceps muscles hard, this one works the antagonistic (opposite) muscles to them. This one will get the chest, shoulders, and triceps stronger fast. To perform you lock out the arms and support yourself at the top on a dipping bar. Keep the chin tucked into the chest to force more work from the chest muscles, and less emphasis on the triceps. Lower until the chest is fully stretched. This will take 8-10 seconds. Repeat. When you can’t lower in at least 6 seconds, the set is over. At this point take a much needed breather and get a drink.

Negative only training is very taxing on the body. I would do it for no more than 3 weeks at a time, about 4 times a year, to help push past a sticking point in your training. These 3 exercises can be performed by any wrestler. If a wrestler is young and hasn’t reached physical maturity, perform the squats with bodyweight only. For older, more mature wrestlers, go for broke. If you aren’t huffing and puffing, and can’t wait to get out of the gym, you didn’t work hard enough.

Discover the power of negative only training and watch your performances improve almost overnight.

Martial Arts Training – Moving Fluidly And Practically

Have you thought about the surface you train on? Do you practice in a dojo? Are the floors made out of wood or cement? Do you practice barefoot or in shoes? Do glide across the floor? Let’s make the training more practical….

Martial-Arts Movement — Do You Glide or Bounce?

For the most part, seasoned martial artists glide in their movements across the floor. The heads don’t bobble up and down. The head stays level as they move.

This applies to movement forward, backward, or to either side.

So, are you practicing on a surface where it’s easy to learn to glide without bouncing, or do your feet skid and prevent easy movement?

At first, try the smooth surfaces, like in a dojo or garage where you train.

Eventually, make your training more difficult. Add the realism of different surfaces.

Common Surface Offers Martial Problems

My garage where I train filled with … stuff. treadmills, beanbag chairs, boxes of books, vinyl records, and so on. This forced us to move to the next room over, for training.

Our new “training facility” is carpeted.

And I have never seen my students presented with such a problem as smooth movement across wall-to-wall carpeting. It’s like they lost their efficiency in one fell swoop. Who would have thought that carpeting would be the kryptonite of one or two of my students.

The solution was to go back to moving — practicing shooting forward, fading back, and quick steps to the side — all without bouncing the head up and down. All on carpet.

You should try it. It’s worth the practice.

Another Challenge to Smooth Martial Movement

If you are going to kick, then shoes that offer grip are preferred. Sure, you can slide forward better in shoes with a leather sole, but you can also slip quite easily onto your tush.

So, many martial artists prefer shoes with rubber soles. It makes sense.

The problem is that on a smooth floor, they tend to stick. And it’s the stickiness of the rubber tread that … causes that head to start bobbing again.

You should make practicing on different surfaces and wearing different shoes (barefoot, too) part of your regular training. Learn to move like a martial artist. There are several reasons not to bounce as you move.

To your efficient martial movement!

A Brief History of Sleeping Bags

Early records of sleeping bags involve French customs officers who watched the passes of the Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France. These early bags were made of sheepskin, for the water resistant properties, and lined with wool. The bags had five buckles so that they could be rolled. In the 1850’s, Arctic explorers made beds out of a course wool blanket covered with linen, which was then covered with a Mackintosh, rubberized fabric which was invented in 1824 by Charles Macintosh (we recognize this as raincoat fabric of today). Another early sleeping bag example was used by German peasants in the 1850’s. This was a simple strong linen sack that was then stuffed with dry leaves, hay, or straw. One of the earliest alpine sleeping bags was tested by Francis Fox Tuckett in 1861. This early bag was made from a wool blanket with a Mackintosh rubber bottom. However, Tuckett was not overjoyed to learn that the rubber bottom gathered condensation while sleeping, and thus the design was abandoned. All these early designs were somewhat of a hassle to get in and out of, due to the fact that they were essentially sacks that one climbed into.

The first mass produced, commercially successful sleeping bag was the Euklisia Rug, invented by Pryce Pryce-Jones of Welsh origin. Pryce-Jones, or P.J. as he called himself was a draper’s apprentice at the age of 12, and went on to become the father of the mail order business. The Euklisia Rug was a wool blanket that folded in half and fastened together, thus solving the inconvenience of having to climb into a sack. The rug also had a sewn-in, inflatable, rubber pillow. The Russian army was the first big order, in the amount of 60,000 Euklisia Rugs, and there is record of them having been used in the Siege of Plevna during the Russo-Turkish War. However, the city fell, leaving Pryce-Jones with 17,000 extra rugs. He added the extras to his catalogue, advertising them as inexpensive bedding for charities to provide for the poor. The rugs then began to see service in the British Army and Australian Outback. The Euklisia Rug was 6 feet 11 inches long by 3 feet 31 inches wide.

The military also have had a hand in the development of the mass produced sleeping bag. Military issue sleeping gear before WWII consisted of five wool blankets and a ground sheet to them up. By the beginning of WWII, the mountain sleeping bag and the M-1942 design both featured a mummy shape. The mummy shape had been gaining in popularity among sportsmen in the years leading up, and the mummy design was adopted by the military to save weight and space in soldiers’ rucksacks and to address a shortage of down feathers (not as many were needed to fill a mummy shape). The mummy design had the added benefit of conserving heat more efficiently than the rectangular design. Military issue sleeping bags featured a full length, quick release zipper as well. The M-1942 was later replaced by the M-1949, which was a mummy shaped and filled with feathers. The M-1949 had a modular sort of design, where it’s water proof case could be laced to the main body of the sleeping bag in order to provide more warmth and water protection. In the early 2000’s the military started issuing the Modular Sleeping System, one that we recognize today as various liners that can be combined to achieve many different temperature ratings.

Cork Flooring Vs Carpet – Which Is Better?

When it comes to choosing the right flooring solution for your household it can be a daunting task. There are some many different types of flooring it can make your head spin. Generally, most people end up going with carpet in rooms such as the living room and bedrooms. However, we’d like to compare another flooring solution to carpet, and it’s called cork flooring. This short article is going to compare these two flooring solutions and help you the consumers decide which will be better.

First, you’d assume that carpet with padding would be the most comfortable solution. Actually, cork is quite comfortable; this is due to its cellular structure. Cork material actually has hundreds of millions of honey comb like structures. These structures contain up to 90% gas and provide comfort to anyone standing or laying on them. These also help insulate; meaning temperatures will be easier to maintain and also allow some sound reduction.

Second, carpet isn’t anywhere near as durable as cork. Carpet can easily be damaged and stained and will show wear and tear after a few short years. However, the same cellular structure of cork that we talked about earlier actually makes it very durable. Cork can survive daily and high traffic use. In fact, cork can actually be compressed over 40% and return to its normal shape without damage; just think of a cork stopper in a wine bottle, it’s the same effect.

Third, carpet is terrible if you have pets. It can trap pet hair and dander and make it hell for someone who has allergies to pets. However, cork flooring does the exact opposite. Cork is proven to be anti-allergenic and makes it quite simple to clean up pet hair and dander with a simple broom and vacuum. Trust me, you’re friends with pet allergies will be grateful that you got a flooring solution that doesn’t drive their allergies nuts when they come over.

However, cork floors due tend to cost more than carpeting, this is due to the fact that carpet is widely available and cheap to manufacture. But, unknown to most consumers cork flooring is actually an eco-friendly product and sustainable natural renewable resource. This sadly is the reason cork costs more than carpeting; it can only be obtain from the cork oak tree that is located only in parts of Africa and the Mediterranean area. Plus, vendors always tend to charge more for so called green products, since certain customers will only buy green products.

Either way you look at it both carpet and cork floors have their own pros and cons. Hopefully this article gave you a basic idea on which solution might be best for you. If you’d like to learn more about cork flooring then visit the links below. They will help educate you more on this amazing flooring product and further consolidate your choice on what’s best for your household. So, if you’re ready to learn more then click on the links below.

How Is Microsoft Office Used in Investment Banks


New graduates, seeking exciting high flying jobs in the city, often don’t know what to expect once they arrive in the slick new glass towers in the sky. University IT courses are often too bland to be of any use, or too specialist for the entry level roles that they begin with. For example, back in the day, my Microsoft Office training from academia included writing mock letters in Microsoft Word and generating double-order bookkeeping spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel. I did also study ER databases, but was taught Oracle rather than Microsoft Access.

Duties for entry level graduate positions will also be extremely varied, often involving Perl for parsing log files, Bash Scripting for automated tasks and a healthy dose of what is known a Spreadsheet Jockeying.

This article shall provide readers with some concrete examples of what graduates have had to perform in the early days of their careers. The year may be 2010, but new hires will still have to do the donkey work, as it’s always the monkeys at the bottom who have to do the boring stuff. Learning from their experiences should help future graduates prepare for their new jobs, making their first days a little easier, and gaining an edge over the competition. If you can produce a fancy PowerPoint presentation while your peers are struggling with the documentation, you’ll shine like a star already be one step ahead.


Report Generating

Mr N was the new boy at a bulge bracket bank a few years ago. He was placed in an IT Infrastructure Reporting team, and his job basically involved collecting data, tidying it up, and then aggregating it into a Powerpoint report.

Going into more details:

  • He copied a lot of data from website based reports into Microsoft Excel

    If you only want to paste the values, and none of the formatting information, you need to use the Paste Special option, and paste as text. To get there the fast way, enter the keyboard sequence Alt, E, S.

    If you can’t do sums on numbers that you’ve pasted, they are probably being stored as text. Try using the TRIM() function on them.
    He copied a lot of charts from Excel into Powerpoint

    To copy a chart as an images, you may need to use Paste Special again, in order to paste the charts as images rather than chart objects. This is because chart objects sometimes look a bit strange when printed.

  • He parsed a lot of text data in Excel VBA

    Data came from a variety of sources. Some is in the form of formatted text. To parse this, he had to use the regular expression functions in VBA.

    He made good use of Pivot Tables, VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP

  • He had to condense a lot of data into pretty tables. This was done with liberal use of Pivot Tables, and the vlookup and hlookup functions. So make sure you know how to use these well!

Model Analysis

Mr M was an entry level analyst at a hedge fund. Unfortunately, he was not supervised properly, and was told to do some model analysis in Microsoft Excel. While this is possible, and leads to easier visualisation, it does not tend to scale well and large spreadsheets are inherently unstable. For example, if you are trying to analyse inefficiencies in a 30 stock portfolio, modifying your spreadsheet to analyse a 50 stock portfolio might not be too easy.

Anyway, in order to do this work, Mr M needed to make good use pivot tables, vlookup functions (to line up the dates from multiple time series) and some Excel VBA. The VBA was for looping through parameters in the model. Computer scientists will know that this solution is sub optimal, but new boys are there to do what they’re told, not rock the IT boat.

Skills Required

To summarise, a fairly broad range Microsoft Office skills will be required by the new boys and girls in the city. If you are one of them, make sure you can:

– Copy and paste

Make sure you can do unformatted text, numbers, charts and images

– Manipulate data into tables with Pivot Tables, Vlookup and Hlookup.

– Use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)


If you are one of the lucky few to get a job during this nasty recession, remember to be well prepared, but to not take things too seriously. Hopefully this article will help you to prepare for the IT side of things, but it’s only drawn from a small sample size, and the tasks that you’ll be set will be both varied and challenging.

If you don’t have the latest version of Microsoft Office 2010, please note that large organisations often run a few versions behind. This is because upgrading many computers is a slow process. And the IT support staff like to wait for a few service patches to ensure stability.

Beginner Scrapbooking Vocabulary, Part One: A Through H

Scrapbooking is like any specialty hobby; it’s got its own vocabulary! When you first start out, you can feel like everyone around you is speaking a foreign language. To help you figure out what everyone’s talking about, here is the first in a series on scrapbooking vocabulary.

A is for Adhesive. Adhesive is the sticky stuff you use to attach photos and other embellishments to your layouts. It comes in a variety of formats, from tape runners to glue sticks to glue dots. What you use depends on what you’re trying to stick.

B is for Bazzill. Bazzill is one of the largest and most popular scrapbooking manufacturers. They are known for high-quality cardstock in dozens of shades. In recent years, the company has created cardstock colors to match patterned paper from other manufacturers, making it easy for scrapbookers to coordinate their projects.

C is for Crop. When used as a verb, “crop” means to trim your photos. When used as a noun, a “crop” is a gathering of scrapbookers where they get together to work on their scrapbooks (and eat M’n’Ms).

D is for Design Principles. Because scrapbooking is a visual medium, it relies on basic laws of design. These include guidelines such as the visual triangle, the rule of three, and color theory. The more you learn about design principles, the stronger scrapbooker you will become, just as great writers are familiar with the rules of grammar and spelling.

E is for Embellishments. “Embellishments” refers to anything you add to jazz up your scrapbook page. It includes memorabilia, brads, stickers, ribbon, buttons, and anything else you adhere to the page in addition to your title, journaling and photos.

F is for Flocking. Flocking is like glitter, only fuzzy! You can add it to glue by sprinkling to create a fun texture, or add to pre-made adhesive shapes. It comes in a variety of colors. Warning: It’s addictive — and messy!

G is for Glue Dots. Glue dots just might be the best invention ever made. They are circles of adhesive that come in a variety of sizes, and they are perfect for adhering heavier or bulkier embellishments to your scrapbook layouts.

H is for Heat Embossing. Heat embossing is a technique used to create dimensional images using embossing powder, embossing fluid, and a stamp. You stamp an image in embossing fluid in the desired location, then sprinkle embossing powder on top. Using a heat tool, you heat the area, melting the powder. The resulting image is raised and often shiny.

The Benefits of Using Adhesive Tapes For Safety and Fun

Adhesive tapes are very common and are practically considered household articles, and with good reason. Most people use them to wrap their various gifts and presents, however you can use these types in many other various ways. Once you know a bit more about the different types of tapes you can get, you realize that the possibilities to using them are practically endless.

Did you know that the first Scotch tape was first invented in the 1930s and it was practically the very first invisible tape all over the world?

There are so many varieties out there that one can truly get lost. For example you can find the trusted Scotch tape that we already mentioned, the double-sided tape, the spray adhesive tape, the regular adhesive tape, the pressure-sensitive tape, the foam tape, the masking tape, the packing tape, the duct tape, and many more.

For example, you can use them at home to protect your flooring from scratches. What you do is simply put a piece of adhesive tape to the feet of your tables and chairs and now you don’t have to worry any longer about kids using brute force in moving their chairs around the kitchen.

Also if you have blinds, you can find glue tapes that are particularly made to stiffen them to avoid sagging.

I’m sure you or your kids have at least one or more hobbies. Adhesive tapes are perfect for various crafts. I remember when I was a kid, I was always required to have my trusted tape with me so I can use it in various projects in craft classes. Also if you are home schooling, you can use the bright colored tapes to highlight important pages in various books. They stand out much more than using a regular highlighter pen as they are visible from outside of the book as well. Also double-sided tapes are great for hanging your children’s posters to walls and for bonding glass, metal or plastic surfaces together. This is what is mostly used in crafts projects at schools.

The construction industry has seen an increase in using them as well, particularly when it comes to the stronger types of adhesives, called duct tapes. They are used a lot in plumbing, in sealing windows, ducts and containers. They can also be used to fix various leaks and in constructing industrial products.

An interesting way to use glue tapes is to protect children on the roads when it is dark outside. There are some types of tapes that are used to increase visibility at night time and during bad weather, and when you know that your kids are out in these weather conditions, you can glue these adhesives on their school bags and even clothing.

Pain After The Removal Of The Gallbladder

At present, approximately 750,000 people will get their gallbladder removed this year in America alone. Thanks to popularity of laparoscopic surgeries, many people think that removing their gallbladder is a simple procedure. Though the procedure itself is not very risky, complications after gallbladder removal surgery affect about 10-15% of patients and it is known as postcholecystectomy syndrome.

Even after perfectly performed surgeries, some people develop post-op symptoms. These symptoms may last for many months, or even years. Such symptoms may include abdominal bloating and discomfort after eating, pain, usually in the right upper part of the abdomen.

There are many potential reasons for pain after gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy). For example, a wide range of nerves branches surrounds the gallbladder. They regulate not only the gallbladder, but also the duodenum, pancreas, stomach. The accidental cutting of these nerves can cause pain, and disrupt the normal work of these organs.

Common problem after surgery is that it disrupts the function of the sphincter of Oddi, the muscle valve between the bile duct, pancreatic duct, and duodenum. If the valve becomes spasmodic, the bile and pancreatic juice cannot be properly eliminated. It is called Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. The back-up of bile raises the pressure inside the ducts, leading to pain, and can cause severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) or bile ducts. Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction can be aggravated by using painkillers, which can lead to spasm of the sphincter.

The Sphincter of Oddi is the muscle valve which regulates the flow of bile and pancreatic juice into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The nervous system and special messengers- digestive hormones regulate the proper work of the Sphincter of Oddi.

The Sphincter of Oddi is closed if there is no food in the intestine. At this time, bile is remained in the gallbladder and pancreatic juice is retained in the pancreas. Spasms and blockage of valve may cause back up of the bile and pancreatic juice. If a small amount of bile reaches the pancreatic duct, severe trouble can ensue. Bile activates the digestive enzymes inside the pancreas so these enzymes start to digest their own pancreatic tissue, causing pain, congestion, inflammation (pancreatitis).

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction can affect people after abdominal surgeries. For example, statistics show that almost 20% of individuals after gallbladder removal have the Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction.

Here are some examples of what can make the Sphincter of Oddi spasmodic:

• Conditions such as mental stress, depression and anxiety

• Irregular eating, fasting, eating on the go or while watching television, dieting, and bad combinations of foods such as eating starches with fatty foods and sugars

• Using alcohol and nicotine, taking some drugs, medication,

• Lower thyroid function or menopause

• Acidic, aggressive, corrosive bile with sand, sludge in it, and more

Usually there are combinations of these factors in predisposed people with sedentary lifestyles overweight, chronic stress. The Standard American Diet, which is consist of processed and acid-forming foods such as sweets, red meat, alcohol, bad fats, white flour increases acidity in the whole body.

The Standard American Diet leads to acidic changes in the bile and pancreatic juice too. The bile is getting acidic and the quantity of bile acids in the bile rises as well. Aggressive bile acids irritate the wall of the Sphincter of Oddi leading to muscle spasms.

3-4 quarts of blend of the pancreatic juice and bile travel throughout the Sphincter of Oddi daily. When they become acidic, these fluids are very “aggressive,” corrode and irritate surrounding tissues, mainly the Sphincter of Oddi.

Bile is a vehicle for eliminating of the toxins such as bile pigments, heavy metals, drugs, medications from the body. Bile ducts is often harbor for parasites too. Therefore, is no question that the Sphincter of Oddi is an easy target for irritation and damage.

Gallbladder removal makes people think that “now everything is OK”. Unfortunately, surgery does not eliminate the provocative factors but can create Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction.

The most common and prominent symptom of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction is upper abdominal pain. This is often experienced like a sharp pain in the middle of the abdomen or below the right rib cage. Pain can be severe, may bring people to the hospital and require taking the pain medication. However, in large number of cases, pain may be mild and usually does not need painkillers. Pain is accompanied often by bloating, nausea and vomiting and can be worse after consumption of the fatty food or alcohol.

If pain and other symptoms after gallbladder surgery continue non-drug, alternative treatment may be helpful. Alternative medicine for healing of the Sphincter Oddi Dysfunction is widely used in other countries all over the globe.

The healing program of the Sphincter Oddi Dysfunction may include:

• Herbs

• Nutritional Supplementation

• Customized Healing Diet

• Taking healing mineral water prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt at home

• European Whole Body Cleansing with Colon Hydrotherapy

• Restoration of Friendly Intestinal Flora

• Various style of the Acupuncture

• Chiropractor’s adjustment

• Abdominal Massage

• Relaxation, Meditation, Hypnosis, Custom Hypnosis CDs

Alternative and holistic medicine can be used independently or as complementary medicine.

The information contained here is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is not to be used to replace the services or instructions of a physician or qualified health care practitioner.

Car Dents Can Be Easy to Take Out of Your Car – Here’s Some DIY Tips

Car dents are an unsightly looking thing. Most of us take great pride in the car we own and drive even if it’s not the most modern compared to the new Mercedes going past you. So it still hurts when someone bangs a shopping trolley into you, or, you suffer a minor road collision, or, are even hit by large hailstones which does happen from time to time.

Depending on the size of the dent you’ve either just got on your car or just noticed on your car, you may have to visit your local panel beater or auto body shop for them to take a look at it. Or, if it’s small enough then you may be able to undertake this repair yourself with just a few DIY tools.

You’ll first have to have a good hard careful look at the damage. If you’ve got ripples or a line or crease in this dent then unless you’ve had some kind of experience at this, you are going to have to take it to a panel beater for them to access it and come up with a price. It’s unfortunate if you do end up here for what may look like something quite small and cheap to fix but even the very small does take time, especially if there’s a crease in the dent to take out. However, if you have something simple that has dented your car like a large hailstone, then you may be able to carefully tap it back out. If it’s a whole panel that has taken a beating in a minor road accident then if you are a competent welder, you could just buy another panel, remove the dented panel and just replace with the new.

One handy tip for dents with no creases is to use the household plumbers plunger. You’ll have to be extremely careful here. The technique is to very, very slowly apply pressure on the dent with the plunger being over the top, just like if you were about to clear a blockage. So, gently but forcefully push the plunger down until there’s no more air in the plunger. The best result here is to apply a little water or grease around the rubber edge of the plunger to keep it as airtight as possible, Next, with a very steady grip, pull the plunger back and you should release the dent. This is hard work and probably impossible to do on corner dents, but ideal for side dents, roof dents and bonnet and boot dents on flat panels that because of the interior trim which is difficult to remove, can be a quick and easy fix.

Another dent repair method is to use a block of wood, an old towel and a rubber mallet. This is good for dents larger than the surface area of the plumbers plunger. The towel is to protect the edges of the block of wood. So, wrap the towel around the block and make certain that the block has no hidden sharp edge left as if it has you are likely to cause even greater damage. This is great for bonnets and roofs and boots/trunks. If the dent is on your bonnet, open the bonnet and hold the block of clothed wood against the underside of the dent, then gently tap away until the dent has disappeared.

7 Questions to Determine If You Have a Weak Man

Kevin thinks he is his own man. He does whatever he wants regardless of the circumstances. He does not listen. Kevin claims to understand manhood because he has fathered several children. However, Kevin lives with his mother and is jobless. He constantly evades child support payments and bill collectors. Yet, reality never sinks in his mind. He proclaims to the world that he’s a ‘real man.’ Sadly, Kevin represents a growing number of weak men in our society.


One night I could not go to sleep. I watched a movie classic, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” which featured Paul Newman, Burl Ives, and Elizabeth Taylor. Ex-football player and alcoholic Brick (Newman) reunites with his father, Big Daddy (Ives), who is dying of cancer. The movie showcases an assortment of personal conflicts and family drama. One of the strongest conflicts is between father and son. In one scene, Brick is found arguing with his demanding father, “I didn’t want a boss. I wanted a father. All I ever wanted was you to love me.” The movie provides a clear theme for the issues associated with manhood today. In the movie, the father’s controlling behavior contributes to the weakness of his son. Likewise, many people in America share the blame for creating weak men. Are we unknowingly contributing to the growth of weak men? It is a troubling observation as we look at our society. The hot story today is about the brutal treatment of Rhianna by boyfriend Chris Brown. Many pundits and women’s advocates highlight the negative nature of abusive relationships. While these stories are the tragic realities of our culture, they are often forgotten as a passing snapshot before another sensational news story. Yet, the most disturbing thing to witness is the growing trend of more weak men in our society.

The Real Problem

The storyline is very troubling. Weak men are negatively impacting our society. According to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, 25% of women had been raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime in the 1995-1996 study. Women experienced 20% of all nonfatal violent crimes at the hands of an intimate partner.

Celebrities tout their wealth as a symbol of good character. Consequently, destructive behavior is rewarded with million dollar contracts. The model is developed. Many men consider toughness a virtue and kindness a weakness. Young people follow what we do and not what we say. Therefore, a vicious cycle takes place in our culture where manhood isn’t understood. Men are depending more on women to provide for them and take the leadership role in their homes. Some men do not feel any commitment to the young lady. She is disrespected and taken for granted.

The Masculine Definition

In order to understand a weak man, an individual must understand the meaning of manhood. Being a real man is about possessing responsible character. It involves moving beyond the trivial to the significant in life. This concept is revealed biblically in 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up my childish ways.” The problem is that so many men have not grown up and are living the lives of grown-up ‘children.’ There is plenty of blame to go around: parents, media, celebrities, and society in general.

Young men are growing up confused about the meaning of manhood. Therefore, a fight exists between doing the right things and doing what’s in my own selfish interest. It is the battle of the internal man. General George Patton said, “Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.” Below is how to determine if you have a weak man:

  1. Is he a dependable person?
  2. Does he take responsibility for his situation?
  3. Does he work with you on building a shared vision for the future?
  4. Is he willing to make a commitment to you?
  5. Can he keep a full-time job on a consistent basis?
  6. Does he encourage your dreams and ambitions?
  7. Does he demonstrate that he respects you by his actions and words?

If the majority of your answers are ‘no,’ you’ve got a very weak man on your hands. Therefore, it is up to you to improve your conditions in life, not that weak man.

Society must allow men to become more self-sufficient. In the movie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Big Daddy operated in ways that enabled Brick, his son. As a consequence, Brick never really experienced the consequences of his bad decisions. Likewise, many people promote the weak man model by cuddling and shielding these men from the realities of life. However, today’s men must be accountable, responsible, and character leaders in society.

Giving young boys positive male role models is important in stopping the epidemic of weakness. However, it is crucial that they interface with strong men through organizations like churches and community organizations. If adults take positive steps today, society can prevent this growing problem in communities across this country.

Future Outlook

Can you afford to have a weak man in your life? The media constantly bombards us with negative caricatures of manhood. Instead of producing positive results, they generate the negative unintended consequence of weak men. Some parents want to shift the blame to the schools or the government. It is time that we reject this weak man model today. Many men and women are attempting to correct this problem in order to raise more dependable men in our society. Real manhood is not glamorous as the movies would have you believe. Real manhood is not an easy process. It is about shouldering your responsibilities, making commitments, and making hard choices. Can you survive with a weak man?

4 Tips to Find No Credit Check Apartments

Who knew apartments required good credit before giving you a lease? Many unsuspecting bad-credit-applicants have realized this fact the hard way. I know I did.

Why do apartments do credit checks anyway?

Turns out apartments view a lease as a loan. If you’re seeking a 12-month lease on an apartment that’s $800 a month, you’re essentially taking out a $9600 loan that you repay over a period of a year. If you’re late, you’ll get a late fee. If you’re too late, they’ll repossess the apartment. So in that sense, I guess it is a loan.

Just like a loan from a bank, you must have a pretty decent credit score if you want to get approved for most apartments. Without that score, you’ll have to fork up the cash to pay for the apartment, get someone credit worthy (and often a property owner) to co-sign, or you’ll have to look elsewhere. Looking elsewhere is the only option for most people with bad credit.

If you want to rent with bad credit, you’ll have to find a no credit check apartment.

Anyone who’s been apartment hunting using those free guides you pick up from the gas station and Wal-Mart knows no credit check apartments aren’t easy to be found. A Google search for “no credit check apartments” returns over 1 million results. Few of them are actually websites of places that will give you an apartment without a credit check. That’s because finding apartments that don’t do credit checks is a little tough, as you’ve probably already seen. People who own no credit check apartments don’t do much advertising and they certainly don’t advertise in the glossy pages of apartment books.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you look for an apartment that doesn’t do credit checks.

  1. No credit check apartments are typically owned by individual landlords rather than a large property management company. Individual landlords often own one or two properties. So based on the number tenants they have, it’s often not worth it to do a credit check.
  2. Large apartment complexes almost always do credit checks. The way they see it, they can’t afford to lose money on a non-paying tenant, so they do their due diligence upfront to prevent that from happening.
  3. Apartments with lots of amenities are typically owned by large property management companies and are more likely to check your credit. So, if you have bad credit, stay away from the apartments with pools and workout rooms.
  4. An individually-owned condo or townhouse probably won’t require a credit check, especially if it’s newer. Chances are the owner hasn’t been through many tenants and probably hasn’t had a tenant skip out on the rent, so they don’t have much reason to do credit checks.

No credit check apartments are out there. Use some of these clues to weed out apartments. Look for an individual who owns an apartment rather than a large company. That’s your best bet for getting into an apartment with bad credit.

Brioche Knitting: How to Decrease and Knit a Two-Color Flat Brioche Scarf

To decrease for the top of a hat in two-color brioche knitting, the simplest decrease is worked over three rounds and is called the br-ssk (brioche-slip, slip, knit).

To perform the decrease, you’ll need to learn these abbreviations:

wyif – with yarn in front

sl 2 yo – slip the next two stitches, one after the other, then wrap the yarn around to the back like a regular yarnover. You will have two slipped stitches accompanied by a wrap.

To decrease in two-color brioche in the round:

Round 1: Work in brioche up to 2 sts before the stitch you want to decrease (you can place a marker on this stitch, if that helps). Slip the next st knitwise, twice. Br-k the next st (the marked st). You will have two same-color sts next to each other. Work in brioche to end of rnd.

Round 2: Work in brioche up to the two same-color sts next to each other. Wyif, sl 2 yo. Work in brioche to end of rnd.

Round 3: Work in brioche up to the two slipped stitches. Br-k the two slipped sts together with their wrap. Work in brioche to end of rnd.

To knit a two-color brioche-stitch scarf, you’ll need to use a needle that has two ends, because you’ll have to slide your work from one end of the needle to the other, to repeat the row with the other color. Either twp double-pointed needles or a circular needle will work, although two DPNs (double-pointed needles) will be easier because there is no cable to get in the way of what you are doing.

Practice on the following swatch. Note that you are going to cast on an odd number of stitches, and work each edge stitch as a selvedge stitch, so that the edges are even. Again, we designate LC as “light color” and DC as “dark color.”

Two-color brioche knitting – flat:

Using both DPNs held together (this makes the cast-on looser) and with DC, CO an odd number of sts (e.g. 13 sts). Remove one DPN. Turn.

DC set-up row: with DC, (p1, yf sl1yo) to last st, end p1.

Do not turn work. Slide sts to other end of needle.

LC set-up row: sl 1, with LC (br-k1, yf sl1yo) to last st, sl 1 wyif. Turn.

Row 1: with DC, k1, (yf sl1yo, br-k1) to last 2 sts, yf sl1yo, k1. Do not turn. Slide sts to other end of needle.

Row 2: sl 1, with LC (br-p1, yf sl1yo) to last st, sl 1 wyib. Turn. Row 3: with DC, p1, (yf sl1yo, br-p1) to last st, end p1.

Do not turn. Slide sts to other end of needle.

Row 4: sl 1, with LC (br-k1, yf sl1yo) to last st, s 1 wyif. Turn.

Repeat rows 1-4 until you are ready to bind off. Using DC, BO using any stretchy bind-off.

Now you can make a gorgeous two-color reversible brioche scarf. Try this with different types and combinations of yarn – thin yarn on larger needles will give you a light, ethereal effect.

The Importance of Regular Car Maintenance

Like any machine, cars need regular maintenance and care to operate properly. One of the greatest dangers to driver and passenger safety is a poorly maintained vehicle. Vehicles that do not receive regularly scheduled maintenance are unreliable and may malfunction while running, possibly causing an accident. When you decide to purchase or lease a car, make sure you know how often to check all parts and fluids for maintenance needs. Your owner’s manual will have a schedule of recommended maintenance, either by mileage or time.

What’s the Big Deal?

When a car is not properly tuned up, it could experience internal damage that puts the driver at risk. Even small internal damage could turn into a much bigger problem later on. A car has hundreds of parts that must all work together for the vehicle to run smoothly. An issue with one part could cause other parts to fail, leaving you stranded on a drive or causing a severe accident. Additionally, a small problem that may cause major internal damage will be much more expensive to fix later.

When to Have Your Car Checked

The time line for a checkup depends upon the part in question. Generally, it is recommended that you take your car in for a tuneup every 3,000 miles. Your vehicle’s oil should be changed at each of these tuneups, and other fluids such as brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid should all be checked for leaks or dirty fluid. Tires should be checked and rotated every 7,000 miles or so to ensure that they do not wear unevenly, which increases your chance of getting a flat or blown out tire. Consult your owner’s manual for other guidelines regarding maintenance.

Many safety concerns will be checked yearly during your state inspection, but serious problems could arise during the year between inspections. Space out your car maintenance throughout the year to increase your chance of catching potentially big problems early and to make it more affordable. Preventative maintenance could save you from a costly car accident and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Shop Liability

When you take your car in for a tuneup or inspection, the mechanics working on your car are responsible for ensuring that car problems are detected and that new equipment is installed properly. If you take your car in to have work done and then have car trouble that causes an accident, the auto shop may be liable for your injuries and damages. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney immediately to determine if you have grounds for initiating a lawsuit for compensation.

For More Information

To learn more about car maintenance concerns and accident liability, please visit the website of Sheboygan car accident lawyers Habush, Habush & Rottier, S.C. today.

Central Line Stations With Tourist Attractions and Shopping Activities

The Central Line, the red line on London Underground maps, runs across central London.

The line starts from Epping in the north-east and terminates at a) Ealing Broadway in the west and b) West Ruislip in the north-west. The Central line covers a distance of 74km (46 miles) and serves 49 tube stations.

Listed below are some of the 49 tube stations that most tourists are likely to use when they visit London.

Stratford station is the stop where the Olympic Village (London Olympics 2012) is located. You need to change here for the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and stop at Pudding Mill Lane (1 stop from Stratford station) where the Olympic Stadium is located.

Liverpool Street station is one of the main railway stations in London. This is the station where visitors take the train to Stanstead Airport.

Other attractions near Liverpool Street station include the Gherkin Building, Toynbee Hall and the Whitechapel Art Gallery.

Bank station is close to several tourist attractions including Mansion House (the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London), the Bank of England, The Royal Exchange, Leadenhall Market and the Lloyd’s Building.

Lloyds Building is the home of the insurance institution, Lloyds of London, the world’s leading insurance market.

St Paul’s station is a short walk to St Paul’s Cathedral, the second largest cathedral in the world after St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.

Other tourist attractions near St Paul’s station include the Museum of London, Millennium Pedestrian Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern. From the Tate Modern you can take a relaxing walk along the river bank and enjoy the wonderful sights and sounds of London.

Near Chancery Lane station are the Inns of Court, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Yeomanry Museum and the London Silver Vaults (the home to the world’s largest retail collection of fine antique silver).

Stop at Holborn station for Lincoln’s Inn, the British Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum, The Hunterian Museum, the London School of Economics and the Royal College of Surgeons.

During the year Law students are required to dine “in Hall” of Lincoln’s Inn a certain number of times before they qualify to be “called to the Bar”.

You get off at Tottenham Court Road station if you are visiting the British Museum, the Dominion Theatre and the Central YMCA. Most of the West End theatres and London Chinatown are located in the south of Tottenham Court Road station.

Tottenham Court Road shops are renowned for the sale of electrical goods like televisions and computers.

Oxford Circus station is the centre of the busiest shopping district in London. This is where Oxford Street (running in east-west direction) meets Regent Street (running in north-south direction). Both Oxford Street and Regent Street are very busy shopping streets and that is why most people prefer to stop at Oxford Circus when they come to the West End to shop.

Bond Street station is one stop west of Oxford Street station. Shops in Bond Street stock elegant and expensive designer clothes and accessories. Celebrities from all over the world are often seen shopping in Bond Street.

New Bond Street and South Moulton Street, both streets renowned for elegant and expensive jewellery and watches, are only a short distance away from Bond Street station.

Selfridges Department Store is just a couple of minutes walk from the station.

Marble Arch station is located at the west end of Oxford Street. Opposite Marble Arch station is Park Lane, famous for its 5 star hotels such as the Dorchester Hotel, InterContinental Hotel and Hilton Park Lane. If you walk halfway down Park Lane, you will see the Animal in War Memorial. This memorial is to commemorate the contributions made by animals that serve alongside troops during the war.

Hyde Park is located to the west of Marble Arch station and the Speakers Corner is only less than 5 minutes walk away.

Lancaster Gate station is where you get off if you are visiting the Hyde Park Italian Gardens, the Serpentine, Diana, Princess of Wales Fountain and the Bayswater Road Artists Gallery.

Queensway station is the stop if you are visiting Kensington Palace. You can also start your “Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Walk” from Kensington Gardens across the station. This is a 7 mile walk across 4 Royal Parks, 3 Royal Palaces and several popular London landmarks. You just follow the Diana Memorial Walk plaques that are embedded along the route.

Fashionable Notting Hill Gate is renowned for the Notting Hill Gate Carnival. This event is held here annually during the August Bank Holiday and is organised by the Caribbean community. This is a very popular event and each year hundreds of thousands of people converge here to join in the celebrations.

Portobello Road Market is also internationally known and is busiest on Saturdays.

Holland Park is a lovely park with its famous Orangery, Kyoto Garden and open air theatre.

Holland House, originally known as Cope Castle, is now a ruin, having been destroyed by bombs during World War II.

Next to Shepherd’s Bush station is the Westfield Shopping Centre with more than 300 shops under one roof and is currently the largest urban shopping complex in Europe.

White City station. Here you can visit the BBC Television Centre and join its tours. Nearby is Loftus Road Stadium, home of Queens Park Rangers Football Club and the London Wasps Rugby Club.

Apart from Stratford station (zone 3) and Holland Park, Shepherd’s Bush and White City stations (zone 2), all the other Central line stations listed above are in zone 1. So if you are not planning to visit these stations, you only need to buy a 1-day Travelcard for zone 1. That will give you unlimited travel for a day in zone 1 by bus as well as by tube.

HDMI Cables – Exploding the Myth and Biased HDMI Cable Reviews

Your home cinema system or audio visual system will require a certain level of cabling to maximise the available sound quality of your system. Therefore you will want to maximise your equipment with digital connections to each audio visual component to achieve the best listening experience. The very good news is that you can obtain noticeable sound quality improvements from your home cinema system through using suitable digital HDMI interconnects (High Definition Multimedia Interface).

In this article we explode the industry biased HDMI Cable Reviews and show you how with inexpensive standard HDMI cable you can achieve excellent results and enhance your home cinema listening experience and get noticeable sound quality improvement through your audio visual system utilising the available digital connections.

Choosing the best HDMI cables for your own system is a fairly straightforward process and there are a few things to be considered before you buy. Firstly, do not get brainwashed by retail shops that try to sell you the most expensive cables because they want you to spend as much as possible rather than understanding the needs or requirements of your home cinema setup – don’t be fooled.

So what HDMI Cable would be best suited for my home cinema system?

Firstly, the basic principle behind HDMI is to transmit uncompressed digital data via 2 interfaces and digital data cables should be mainly compared by the quality of the components and manufacture. The HDMI Cable Reviews available seem to focus on the more you spend the more you achieve – well stop and think again. Good quality manufacture of an inexpensive HDMI connector cable gives the same results as spending 10x or 20x more.

Generally you will find that many of the available HDMI Cable Reviews do not explain the importance of the usages in differing applications of the standard home used HDMI interface. It is very useful to understand the importance of the different HDMI specifications, whereby, a Cat 1 cable is capable of sending an audio visual signal to achieve maximum results on a 720p or 1080i TV/LCD screen and a Cat 2 HDMI Cable is capable of delivering an audio visual signal to achieve best results on 720p, 1080i, 1080p & the new 1600p TV/LCD devices. The standard specifications for HDMI are a number ranging from 1.0 to 1.4 which represents the new HDMI specification and interface versions being made available right now, 1.4 being the latest DHMI interface specification. However, don’t worry about these numbers as any new HDMI equipped devices are backwards compatible for cabling purposes.

It is important that you choose the minimum length of cable for connecting your equipment and getting an HDMI interconnect that has top manufacture quality. In order to achieve the best sound and video quality from your equipment the digital cabling plays a big part.