Three Major Concepts of Psychoanalytic Theory – A Brief Summarization

Sigmund Freud was most noted for his five stage theory of human development. This theory originated through his observation and thorough documentation of adults’ recollections of memories during therapy sessions and was conceptualized by Sigmund Freud himself. Freud began his work in the 1880’s, and by the end of the 1890’s, his theory began to take on more of the formal attributes of its five stages. The theory was in response mainly to patients with hysterical symptoms who had reported sexual traumas that occurred early in their lives and the subsequent repression, or subconscious “pushing away”, of these sexual traumas as well as other uncomfortable thoughts of previous life events. Although a comprehensive review of all of the underlying assumptions regarding Freud’s theory of personality theory and the massive quantity of information that he wrote during his lifetime that would be virtually impossible to sum up, even over a period of many years are far beyond the scope of this project, some of the major assumptions will be discussed. However, with respect to the overall knowledge base and for the benefit of greater understanding of the five stage theory, it is my opinion that, prior to discussion of his stage theory of personality development, it is essential that his theories of the division of the mind and his components of personality are mentioned as these two major concepts are intricately intertwined with his five stage theory.

One major concept and underlying assumption of Freud’s theory subdivides the human mind into three distinct categories. According to his theory, the components of the mind include the conscious, pre-conscious and sub-conscious areas (Freud, 2002 revised ed.). As is implied by the title, the conscious mind consists of those things of which we are currently aware and to which we are currently attentive. The conscious mind also includes our current thinking processes, behaviors and environmental awareness. Hence, it can be obviously concluded that the conscious mind constitutes the major part of our current awareness. This concept can be validated as most people have, on occasion, heard statements from others such as, “I have a clean conscious”, or “I was not conscious of that at the time”, in casual conversations. Also according to Freud’s Theory, the preconscious mind consisted of all those things of which we are aware, but currently are not attentive (Freud, 2002 revised ed.). He further conceived that we can choose to pay attention to these and deliberately bring them into the conscious mind. Finally, with respect to the pre-conscious mind, Freud believed that we can control our awareness to a certain extent, from focusing in very closely on one conscious act to a wider awareness that seeks to expand consciousness to include as much of preconscious information as possible. At the subconscious level, the process and content are out of direct reach of the conscious mind. The subconscious thus thinks and acts independently (Freud, 2002 revised ed.). One of Freud’s key findings was that much behavior is driven directly from the subconscious mind. This has the alarming consequence that we are largely unable to control our behavior, and in particular that which we would sometimes prefer to avoid. More recent research has shown that the subconscious mind is probably even more in charge of our actions than even Freud had realized Murphy, 2001).

Three major components of personality were included in Freud’s massive, overall theory. These components include the Id, the Ego and the Super ego. The Id contains our primitive drives and operates largely according to the pleasure principle, whereby its two main goals are the seeking of pleasure and the avoidance of pain (Freud, 1962). Freud goes on to say that it has no real perception of reality and seeks to satisfy its needs through what he called the primary processes that dominate the existence of infants, including hunger and self-protection. Unlike the Id, the Ego is aware of reality and operates using the reality principle. The reality principle implies that the Ego recognizes what is real and understands that behaviors have consequences. This includes the effects of social rules that are necessary in order to live and socialize with other people. It uses secondary processes such as perception, recognition, judgment and memory that are developed during childhood. The dilemma of the Ego is that it has to somehow balance the demands of the Id and Super ego with the constraints of reality (Freud, 1962). The Ego controls higher mental processes such as reasoning and problem-solving, which it uses to solve the Id-Super ego dilemma, creatively finding ways to safely satisfy the Id’s basic urges within the constraints of the Super ego. The Super ego contains our values and social morals, which often come from the rules of right and wrong that we learned in childhood from our parents and are contained in the conscience. The Super ego has a model of an ego ideal which it uses as a prototype against which to compare the ego and towards which it encourages the ego to move. The Super ego is a counterbalance to the Id, and seeks to inhibit the Id’s pleasure-seeking demands, particularly those for sex and aggression.

Now we turn to what is the most famous aspect of Freudian theory, the five stages of human development. This theory sprung from Freud’s observations of adults’ recollections in therapy of their lives (Freud, 2003 revised ed.). He stated in this work that children were not directly observed. Although Freud’s theory has been roundly criticized for its lack of scientific character, it does stand however as a grand metaphor for describing personality. The stages of development include the Oral Stage which is the first stage. This stage begins at birth and generally ends at approximately 2 years of age. In the oral stage, infants and toddlers explore the world primarily with their most sensitive area, i.e., their mouths. They also learn to use their mouths to communicate. The next stage is the Anal Stage. This stage usually begins around 2 years of age and last for about a year. In the anal stage, children learned to control the elimination of bodily wastes. The Phallic Stage is the next stage. It generally begins at around 3 years and last until about age 5. The Phallic Stage is probably the most controversial of all of the stages because of the strong sexual underlying principles with respect to opposite parents at such an early age in life. To further explain, the controversy comes from Freud’s description of the Oedipus and Electra complexes, with their attendant concepts of castration anxiety and penis envy, respectively. The Oedipus Complex refers to a son’s sexual attraction to his mother while the Electra Complex implies just the opposite. Those complexes lead, according to Freudian theory, to normal differentiation of male and female personalities. The defense mechanism of repression was invoked to explain why no one could remember the events of this stage. In this stage, Freud also theorizes that children discover their sexual differences and inequalities. The phallic stage is followed by a Latency Period in which little new development is observable. In this stage, boys play with boys, and girls with girls, typically. Sexual interest is low or non-existent. The final stage is the Genital Stage. It started around 12 years of age and ends with the climax of puberty. Sexual interests re-awaken at this time. However, the sexual interests that come about during this period are appropriate and are toward genuine partners rather than opposite parents.

It is my assertion that an arbitrary and somewhat capricious character can easily be concluded from Freud’s theoretical framework. As it did with me, the importance of the divisions of the mind and the major components of personality with respect to decision making processes and appropriate progression through each stage of development should also become apparent. To further explain, a person’s level of awareness of self and surroundings should be directly proportional to a successful transition from birth to adulthood. The earlier in life this awareness begins should also increase the likelihood of successful personality development. Freud’s assumptions about the function of social work are not clear, but it does appear that a firm understanding of his major concepts would be very useful to have when working in applied social settings. That is to say, with respect to applications in real time social work practice situations for example, it would be most advantageous to know if a person has successfully and functionally developed as an adult, if they have a keen sense of awareness or if repression of past memories are factors. I truly believe that the aforementioned applications are also the major strengths of Freud’s theory. As previously mentioned, Freud’s work was so extensive that it is difficult, albeit not impossible, to determine its efficacy in most cases. The way I see it is that in most cases Freud was successful. Although it can not be accurately or adequately quantified as compared to applied behavior analysis, for example, it appears that the application of his concepts could be beneficial to most anyone.

References

American Psychological Association. (2002). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC

Freud, S. (1962). The Ego and The Id (The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud). N.Y., New York. W.W. Norton and Company

Freud, S. (2002 revised ed.). Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. N.Y., New York: Basic Books

Freud, S. (2003 revised ed.). An Outline of Psychoanalysis. N.Y., New York: Penguin Classics

Murphy, Joseph (2001). The Power of the Subconscious Mind. N.Y., New York: Bantam

Know the Benefits of Covered Walkways

Covered walkways are one of those products that you use in your house or building for more than one purpose. As the name suggests, the covered walkways are meant to provide protection in the walkways. These walkways are available in different shapes and sizes so that you can choose according to your needs. At the same time, different new features are becoming available in the market today. So, you have a lot of option to choose from when it comes to these walkways.

However, if you have not yet installed these walkways in your house or building, it is wise to know some of the benefits that you can enjoy with these walkways. This will give you a clear idea why you need to have a covered walkway in your own premise. Well, if you are not very well aware of this aspect, take a look at the following few lines.

The first and the most obvious benefit of these walkways is the protection that it provides against the sun and other harsh weather conditions. As we all know too much exposure to the rough weather can cause a lot of problems and sickness to us. The covered walkways are very nice way to avoid it. In fact, researches have shown that too much exposure to the sun can cause serious problems like skin cancer as well. So, the covered walkways will protect you from that.

This is one of the reasons why the schools are installing these walkways. These days, walkways are available that will offer you complete protection against the UV rays and other harmful elements of the weather. So, they are a great means of protection for the little children as well as for the adults.

However, there are plenty of other reasons why the schools are using these walkways so frequently. After all, with the growth of the population, these days the schools are facing problems to accommodate the students. The covered walkways offer them an opportunity to expand their school premise by linking it to a remote area. Of course, the cost is one major factor that encourages them in this decision. After all, these walkways are much cheaper than brick and mortar roads.

This is something that is encouraging even the home owners to install covered walkways in their houses. After all, they are stylish and beautiful and in addition, you will save some money as well. Also, they will greatly enhance the appeal of your house.

To Extend Your Car's Life, Clean Your Rc Car Kit

Some people, after a hard day of racing, but the car away for the next event. However, when investing in few minutes before leaving the track to your long way to adding life to your RC car kit. It is definitely not as tedious as breaking down your RC car kits once a year to give it an overall. It is also definitely not as expensive as replacement parts, and perhaps the entire RC car kits, if you put off the regular daily maintenance.

The first thing you should do is to clean your radio controlled car kits. If you race in the mud, you will want to get it off before it crossed over inside every crevice of your night for car or truck. This not only affects the looks of the car but can also cause parts to break down more frequently than they would if you had not cleaned the car kit. Shake off as much dirt as you can, then spray some denatured alcohol to get the rest of it. If you are lucky enough to have an air compressor nearby, you can drive a car with it. Finally, spread the car with the silicone lubricant such as WD-40. Not only does WD – 40 replace water, you were also prevent corrosion and add a slippery surface to let the dirt slide off the next time.

The next thing you'll want to do is if you still have some gas left in the tank, you should drain it before putting the car way. Disconnect the feel one from the carburetor and. Feed it into your fear well. Plug in a fresh, clean feel too into the pressure fitting on the feel tank. Go into the tube but be careful not to inhale. This will help pump out any remaining fuel. Always drain the fuel into your bottle, never on the ground. Now, if you have raced into you ran out of gas, you do not have to blow the gas out of the tank, obviously. Instead, go ahead and start up the engine may idle and run into all the gases burned off the carburetor and the fuel line.

You should also lubricate the piston and sleeve. Take out the globe lad and use a light or else such as Hobbico After Run oil to drip into the engine. Turn the fly will gently to allow the world to circulate.

Matthew Arnold’s Concept of ‘Sweetness and Light’

Matthew Arnold is a well- known figure of Victorian Age. This era is very glorious in the history of England because of It’s an exemplary progress in all branches of life. This age is very popular by its material prosperity, political awakening, democratic reforms, industrial and mechanical progress, scientific development, social unrest etc. He remained pessimist in the age due to a conflict between religion and science. He wrote a book ‘Culture & Anarchy’ with a view to reviving the values which were like honey in ancient Greek. He checks the values of his own time by the light of that culture. His work ‘Culture & Anarchy’ is a collection of a few separate essays; they show his fighting and struggle against material affluence.

Here, we analyze his concept about ‘Sweetness &Light’. In this treatise, his central focus and argument is on curiosity. It is defined as a liberal and intelligent eagerness about the things of mind or mental activities. According to him, the natal place of curiosity is a desire. It is desires that make some body pursue. The work of desire is to see the things as they are. If it is pursued by an intelligent person with an impartial understanding of mind, it becomes praise worthy. It bears a genuine scientific passion that is the right kind of curiosity. Such curiosity leads us to real culture. So, beyond the man of culture is curiosity.

Matthew Arnold views about a social aspect of culture. It comes out from the love of neighbor. In other words, it can be said that this aspect of culture gets birth from the desire for removing human errors and diminishing human misery. It is a person of culture who works in the society for its betterment. Such desire sees the things as they are, and the man of culture works impartially with eagerness. So, it gives birth to sweetness and light. He calls it a real culture that inspires a person to lean the world better and happier than he found it. Indeed, it occupies a genuine scientific passion and a balance and instruction of mind to fight against the diseased inclination of mind.

The author goes to the origin of culture that lies in the love of perfection. In other words, it can be called that culture is a study of perfection. In it two dominant desires work in harmony__the scientific passion for pure knowledge and moral and social passion for doing well. The man of culture should have the pursuit of pure knowledge with impartial desire or passion and prevail it in society for diminishing human miseries. Such miseries can be diminished by prevailing sweetness and light that is the job of a man of culture or a man of pursuing perfection. Such job is easy for a man of culture.

Culture is inclined to real reason and the will of God to prevail. It consists of the study and the pursuit of perfection. The direct inspiration for man to desire for perfection comes from religion. Arnold calls religion’ the voice of the deepest of human experience’. All the voices of human experience are available in art, science, poetry, philosophy and history which a man of true culture listens with a distinguished attention. All the above fields make man perfect internally, or its aim is total human perfection. The out ward expression of culture is shown in the general sweet expansion of thoughts and feelings, rich in dignity, wealth and happiness of human nature. The culture brings internal as well as external perfection of human. It quits all partialities and errors of man. Partialities and errors make anarchy in society.

Arnold finds sincere and genuine connection between culture and the idea of sweetness and light. His ideal man of culture is a Greek man called Euphuasis. Arnold borrowed the phrase ‘sweetness and light’ from Swift. The character of a man of culture is moulded by religion and poetry. The aim of religion is to make man perfect ethically, where as the poetry possesses the idea of beauty and of human nature perfect on all its sides. Culture has the power to prevail peace and satisfaction by killing our bestiality and drawing nearer to the world of spirituality with perfection. Indeed, religion fails to lead us to such perfection. He describes about religious organizations of his time in England that they seem to have failed morally. He submits example of Puritanism that is based on the impulse of man towards moral development and self -conquest. This perfection leads to the idea or impulse of narrowness and insufficiency. He jumps to such conclusion by judging the religious organizations in terms of sweetness and light.

Culture has perfection that is free from all kinds of narrowness.it stands against all the mischief men who have blind faith in machinery. In his opinion, the pursuit of perfection is the pursuit of sweetness and light. He who works for sweetness works in the end for light also; he who works for light works in the end for sweetness also. Those who work united for sweetness and light, work to make the reason and the will of God to prevail. Culture looks beyond machinery___ social, political and economic, beyond population, wealth and industry, beyond middle class liberalism and avoids all kinds of narrowness and hatred. Culture has one great opinion, the passion for sweetness and light.

Arnold shows pleasure to insist on the arousing of his contemporaries in all spheres of creative activities in art, literature and life. He insists that the light of culture must guide this national re-awakening to sweetness and light. Culture works differently, and it does not work with ready- made judgment and watch words. Its appeal is not confined to any one peculiar class in society. It deals with the best self that has been thought and known in the world current everywhere. Culture implies itself to make all men to live in an atmosphere of sweetness and light, where they may use ideas as it uses them itself freely.

The great men of culture believe in equality and broad mindedness. They are possessed by a passion to spread culture from one end of society to the other. They carry the best knowledge and the best ideas of their times. It is the duty of these men to humanize knowledge, and therefore, it becomes the best knowledge and thought of the ages, and becomes a true source of sweetness and light. The great men of culture broaden the basis of life and intelligence and work powerfully to expand sweetness and light to make reason and the will of God to prevail.

Consequently, a man of culture is like a honey bee. The job of honey bee is to suck the juice from all flowers (sweet or sour) and to make honey. Honey is sweet and liked by all in all forms. Honey has wax that is not useless because the candles are made of it light. Hence, in the end of sweetness is light. In this way, a man of culture seeks knowledge from all departments and shares it to all. He is not narrow-minded because such knowledge brings perfection. So his pursuit of perfection is sweetness and light.

How to Be an Excellent First-Time Board Member

There’s a first time for everything, including becoming a board member for a nonprofit. Being asked to serve on a board can be a great opportunity and a rewarding experience. Nonprofit board members are the bridge between a tax-exempt charity and the community.

Nonprofit board members are essential in ensuring the sustainability and success of important community organizations. If you’re new to a board, there are some things you can do to help ensure you begin your tenure on a thoughtful and positive note:

  1. Request a meeting with the CEO: If you haven’t had a one-on-one meeting with the CEO, ask to set up a meeting once you’re on the board. Use this time to develop a relationship with the executive. Consider this session also as an opportunity to discuss what the CEO sees as his or her vision for the organization. And as a board member, ask the CEO what he or she sees as challenges and opportunities for the board and its members to help support the vision.
  2. Understand your governance responsibilities: The most important job any trustee has individually and collectively is ensuring good board governance. Many directors do not thoroughly understand their roles and responsibilities. If your board does not do an annual meeting that trains and informs its members, take it upon yourself to learn what your role and responsibilities. You can learn a lot about board governance with BoardSource.
  3. Fundraising is your priority: Most organizations have to deal with the fact that many (or most) people don’t like to raise money. It’s not uncommon to speak to prospective trustees and hear from them that they’ll do anything but not raise funds. Wrong. Fundraising is a board priority and one of the most important jobs of each director. If you don’t like raising money yourself, ask the CEO or chief fundraiser to work with you and develop a plan for approaching prospects.
  4. Set your goals: Well-oiled boards will have committees, so there’s a division of labor. Decide what skills you can bring and set some goals for yourself. Then speak with the board chair and make it a point to serve on one or two committees so you can achieve those objectives. Consider this an opportunity for you to bring energy, collaboration and fresh ideas to the committees you join.
  5. Know the team, but remain strategic: As a board member, you should get to know the organization’s management team. However, one of the most important things to remember is that as a trustee, your role is not to micro-manage. Ask strategic questions of management, but don’t get into the day-to-day. If you serve on a committee, request a meeting with the manager responsible for that area within the organization. And, as with the CEO, ask questions to understand how the department is addressing the vision for the organization. Learn about the challenges and opportunities.

Board membership is an excellent opportunity to give back to the community and leverage your expertise and knowledge. If you’re new to serving as a trustee, learn as much as you can about how to do it successfully so you can become one of the leaders.

Schedule Slippage – Root Causes

“The single most important task of a project: setting realistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations based on inaccurate estimates are the single largest cause of software failure.”- Futrell, Shafer

Introduction

With global and competitive market, it is very important to launch a product or service in the market on time, ahead of competitors. Definitely, timely launch depends on on-time-completion of the product development projects. Project planning has lots of challenges to overcome in order to finish the project on time – right from schedule predictability, envisioning future/possible risks and coming up with mitigation plans.

This article talks about some of the challenges, often faced in the Software Product Development industry that causes the schedule slippage.

Schedule slippage: Delay in the project completion from its initial estimated date of completion.

Each project plan will have a planned completion date (NRA, RA), and a bounding box or upper limit in schedule. Nowadays, it is a common practice to have three dates associated with any project plan:

  • Non-Risk Adjusted (NRA) date: Project completion date assuming no hurdles – Ideal conditions.
  • Risk Adjusted (RA) date: Project completion date assuming some risks will come on the way and will need extra time to attend to them.
  • Bounding Box (BB) or upper limit: The upper limit on the project plan before which the project has to be finished under any circumstances – Generally decided by the top management based on product/services roadmap and launch in the market.

Under ideal circumstances, any project is scheduled to complete by NRA date. Considering some risks that may come on the way and would eat some time off the schedule, the project should be over by RA date. If the risks were not envisioned and hence not planned well, then project may get delayed and would complete after RA date. Project completion crossing the RA or upper limit is neither good nor expected out of a well-planned project.

Root Causes

As we always plan for a project to get over before RA date, seldom is the case it happens as expected. There are multiples reasons for schedule slippage, right from improper planning, lack of resources to unplanned requirements and rework that eat away vital time off the planned schedule.

A typical project development process – Each project will have a team (development, testing and other functions) that will work through a process (requirement analysis, schedule estimation, design, implementation and testing) to deliver a product to the customer/end user. Each entity that participate in the project – directly or indirectly affect the schedule.

From the development process, we can identify the items that can cause delay in the execution of the project – for example, misinterpreted or unclear requirement adds up to completion time, unavailability of development tools or resources can prolong the project duration. Various processes like schedule estimation, detailed design and product development if not executed skillfully, may significantly blow up the project cycle.

For better understanding all these possible causes that may result in schedule slippage are categorized .

Let’s have a detailed look at the root causes of schedule slippage category wise.

1) Schedule Estimation: “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

For a project to be executed on time, it is very important to have it planned very well. Any mistake in project schedule estimation reflects as delay in the project completion from its deadline. There are several factors that contribute to improper schedule estimation:

· Underestimation of technical complexities: At the start of the project, many of the team members may not have thorough knowledge of technical complexities and hence their estimation would be incorrect. Sometimes it may so happen that the person giving estimates for a particular task is having no idea about the technical challenges involved in carrying out that particular task. You might hear, towards the mid/end of the project life cycle when the task is not finished on time – “Oh, I didn’t know that this feature also requires 5 more tasks to be done!” or “I was thinking this task to be so simple, but I under estimated it!”. · Lack of Design/Big picture: It is important to have a bigger picture / overview of the complete project to understand how a particular module/feature would fit in to complete project. Product or system level design helps in understanding the interfaces among other modules and the required coordination for product assembly and hence, a better insight into the work involved. Often, estimates without focus on detailed design tend to deviate more from the actual time taken for finishing the job. · Integration Testing: While making a project plan, testing also needs to be accommodated in the schedule. At times, the unit testing or testing done by individual contributors on their module is taken into account but not the system level testing. Toward the release, when all the individually tested modules are brought together, a system level or integration testing is a must. Having the time for integration testing not accounted in the overall project schedule will cause delay in the project completion.

· Unplanned dependencies: Project planning is not only about breaking the project into minute tasks and managing them. A well-planned project schedule also needs to consider certain unplanned dependencies. Some of these are:

o People: Optimum utilization of human resources calls for same set of people working in multiple projects. A person may not be available to work for currently planned/assigned project due to extended/unplanned work in another parallel project. Another issue related to people could be unplanned/unexpected attrition that will affect the project plan. Time is also lost in mentoring of new member by a senior (more experienced) person which goes unaccounted if not planned.

o Tools & Equipments: Project can be delayed if team is waiting for release of upgrade or procurement of any vital tool (hardware or software being used in the project) or if the equipments required for development and testing are not available. “We had a 3-months project for validating our existing solution on new product platform using customer DUT (device under test). We had to wait for the DUT for nearly 1.5 months as it got stuck in customs. After getting the DUT, we realized that it’s been damaged partially during transportation. As a result we had to ask for another DUT and whole project took more than 5 months to get finished.” – I am sure that such cases will be quite familiar to many organizations. Other reason for timely unavailability of tools / equipments is that they are shared among various projects to reduce the operating cost. Any unplanned dependency on their usage or wrong assumption about availability of these shared resources would cause delay in the program. Team members might have to work on shifts to optimize the usage of shared resources which can cause reduced work hours and/or productivity loss and results to schedule slippage.

“I was waiting for Matlab license to be released by another person in the team but he left the office without doing so and I lost 3 hours figuring out what to do?” – is it something you faced before?

o Other programs: If multiple programs have deliverable dependencies, then delay in one project will have cascaded effect on other projects, which directly or indirectly depend on its deliverable. “We got delayed because we had to wait for a critical UI component from the framework project team” or “We didn’t plan for bug fixes for a component which was supposed to be delivered defect free for our usage” are the common scenarios for delays in program which are dependent on other program deliverables. Parallel programs may affect the schedule of your program in a different way as well – Sometimes, management changes the priority of the programs running in parallel. If your project is considered as a low priority one then there might be lack of resources assigned to your project that may result in schedule slippage.

· Beta releases: How many times we seek feedback on our product during development? And how often we allocate time for it? It’s important to plan beta releases if we desire to have our product validated by expert users or lighthouse customers during development. Getting feedback from beta customers becomes important especially when their requirements echo that of a mass customer base. Process of giving workable releases to customers, collecting their experience, having their feedback analyzed, and then incorporating in the final product version takes significant time.

· Risk mitigation and plan B: Every project will have some or the other risks. These risks can be of varying severity and probabilities. While making project plan, it is important to treat the risk individually based on their severity and probability of occurrence. If high probable risks with higher severity are not planned with their mitigation plan (or plan B), they will have huge impact on schedule deviation from planned one. As in one of the previous examples quoted, getting a DUT on time for validation was a risk. Had there been a mitigate plan (plan B) like – Validate with other DUT or if DUT is not available here, let one developer travel to customer’s place and finish the validation on time, the schedule slippage would have been avoided.

2) People: Ultimately, projects are executed by people who may not be skilled or talented. Hence, looking for perfection in projects involving human beings may not be a feasible thought. Certain unpredictable and hence unavoidable issues under this category are:

· Poor leadership: Before thinking of project execution, it is project planning that actually would set the platform of success. Execution of the project depends on its team while planning is taken care by the project leader. The project leader is expected to have enough technical know-how to understand the project goals and to the details of the tasks involved. Poor leadership and superficial knowledge of assignments often results in invalid effort estimation and ad hoc task delegation causing stress and possible delay in project execution. People leading the team are also responsible for keeping the team spirit and motivation level upbeat. Poor personal commitment due to lack of motivation results in loss of productivity and may cause schedule to slip. Another reason that adds up to delay in projects is inability of leadership team to track the schedule progress and take the correction action.

· Attrition: If the project duration is large and job market is hot, it may be difficult to retain people in the project till its completion. Attrition may further delay the completion especially if the person leaving the job was in critical path. A person leaving the organization would leave a gap in the project that a new person may not fill immediately, which in turn causes sudden reduction in the task force.

· Learning curve: When ever a new person or team member is included in the project, he or she may require some time to understand the project to keep in pace with other members. Learning curve is needed for new team members, joining the team either due to attrition or due to any specific technical competency requirement. · Context switching: In smaller organization or groups where people work on multiple projects simultaneously, it is important to have some buffer for context switching. A person planned to work in project ‘A’ for two hours after a gap of two weeks, would take more than scheduled time to complete that task. Gap of two weeks and the fact that he or she was involved in other project would require some time for the member to get back to the context of current project. · Global development teams: In an era of globalization and outsourcing, it is common these days to have development team distributed over different geographical regions. Project plan needs to account for different time zones and working culture. You might expect an input for your task on Monday morning your time but it may be Sunday late evening for that person and finally when the input arrives, you might be on your way to home after work.

Sometimes schedule estimation might go completely wrong if you have not understood the work culture of the region your teammate belongs to – “In my previous work, I was given a task to be completed with a heads up that its very critical task and needs immediate attention’. When I asked my project lead how many days/hours I have for it, I had been time for 2 weeks for high priority and ‘immediate-attention’ work.” Definition of ‘urgent’, ‘high priority tasks’ changes with culture and region.

· Communication Issues: People communicate differently. If important issues are not brought to the notice of the team members, or are not escalated on time, the entire project may suffer. Often fear of embarrassment stops team members from reporting issues faced during execution leading to more time being spent on that task that can easily be executed additional help.

3) Customer Involvement: These issues are quite serious if customer or end users of the product are involved in the development phase. Understanding customer’s priorities, defining your expectation from their involvement needs to be clear and in agreement with both the parties.

· Expert user testing: In the beginning of the project, expert user testing cycle needs to be planned. Process of giving builds or releases for testing and collecting their feedback, analyzing and incorporating them in your product takes significant time which, if not planned, can delay your program. · Timely feedback: “I got feedback from customers for features, delivered in development milestone-1, after milestone-5 towards the release. These feedbacks are critical but now I am worried how to incorporate them without affecting the schedule.” It sounds like a common problem. Incorporation of feedback from customers needs to be planned well taking a commitment from the customer. · Product requirement specification review: Having a product requirement review planned and executed will keep you on right track throughout the project. Reviewing the requirement specification will avoid requirement related defects fixing which otherwise would have delayed, the project.

4) Ambiguous Project Requirement: For any project to be initiated, the first thing is to have requirements for it. In the product development life cycle, requirement phase acts like a foundation. Clear requirement or vision for the project navigates the team to success. However, requirements may not be clear at the time of estimation and may result in delay in the project completion. Issues related:

· Evolving specs: If you are making a product based on a standard which is not yet matured or still evolving, you are more prone to have this risk. Frequency changes in the specs will change the requirement for the project during different stages of product development and team will continue to work on something that is not yet evolved. This results in rework that would delay the project if time for dealing with these changes is not accommodated in the schedule. “We developed an algorithm and hence measurement that was based on certain industry standard. Towards the release of the product, the specs changed and our measurement was no more valid. We had to redo the algorithm to reflect the changes in the specs. This caused our product release delayed by 2 months.” · New requirements: Sometimes new requirements are added as the project evolves towards completion. Implementation of new requirements is not planned at the beginning of the project and hence is not accounted in schedule. Adding new feature without revising the schedule may result in delay.

· Untold expectation: Requirements from the customers may be of two types – implicit or explicit. It is important to have the requirements well documented. Implicit requirements needs to be better defined and documented to avoid any confusion towards the end of the project. Customers may not describe their requirements related to system performance, memory issues, user interface quality and usability but they are very keen on providing feedback in those aspects once the product is given for expert user testing. If we are not clear about such requirements, out design might not address them. Addressing them towards the end of the project may call for design changes and extra work that would delay the project.

5) Unplanned Tasks / Reworks: Bounding box for the project is set by higher management and often lack buffer for unplanned task(s). Having more of unplanned task that creep up at different phases of project can cause schedule slippage. The unplanned tasks or rework may arise due to:

· Sustaining work: In smaller organizations, some of the project team may also be responsible for sustaining / customer support of existing products. These unplanned tasks, which come on event basis, related to customer support are always of high priority. Excess or prolonged sustaining work may take resource out of the planned project causing a potential threat for schedule slippage. · Defect fixes: Defects are bad as they degrade the product quality and consume extra time/effort to fix them. It is good to have testing of the intermediate releases of the project to find and fix defects sooner in the development life cycle. If the fixing-cycle for such internal-milestone defects is not planned, then either the project is either going to slip or product is going to be of poorer quality. Poor programming skill of the team, not adapting to modern programming practices and having ad hoc development processes may lead to higher number of defects which would take more time to fix then planned and cause slippage.

· Task spillover from previous milestone: Tasks that are not completed in previous milestone, due to whatever reason (inefficiency, vacation of the team member, resource crunch etc), will have to be completed in the next milestone thereby increasing the load on the team. If adequate buffer is not planned, these tasks spilled from previous milestone over to next, can delay the project. · Requirement change / refinement: Requirement changes during the product development will result in rework of what has been previously done with first version of requirement(s). Addressing changes in the requirements needs extra time and effort and may cause schedule slippage. In some cases, the requirement from customer is misunderstood resulting in wrong system design and implementation. Additional, unplanned time is lost in correcting the design/implementation which causes schedule slippage.

Conclusion

On time delivery is the challenge software development companies are facing globally. To have a complete control over estimated schedule, it is very important to identify the elements in the development cycle that cause schedule slippage. This article uncovers and explains the root causes of delay in programs using examples from real world. Having an insight to the root causes will help the program managers to make good decisions to avoid future schedule slippage.

Revivification of Consanguinity to Curtail Fanaticism

Man is a social animal; Therefore, he is dependent upon others for his social needs. The presence of viable social institutions is mandatory to groom the people into reasonable citizens having a balanced approach. In the contemporary world, fate of economic, religious, political and family institutions is ubiquitously in the doldrums. Therefore, the number of enlightened smut-hounds and moderate cool cats is continuously dwindling. The degraded social institutions indoctrinate erratic emotions that dominate personality of a wooly back and hothead pussyfooter. Thus tentacles of immoderations ensnare him permanently and squeeze him perpetually. Although, the crackpot man has made much progress but ironically all his progress is counter progress. Professor Jody precisely pointed towards the deterioration of humanity in these words, "Man has learned to fly in the air like birds and admitted the skill to swim in the water like fish but he failed to find out how to walk on the earth like human. "

Family is a fundamental unit and key social institution for appropriate socialization by indoctrinating forbearance in individual through controlling conflicts of inconsistent lyricisms. Therefore, the people who upbringing is done in an apposite way become sensible and conscientious smart guys, and vice versa. Almost all of the obstinate lunkhead yobbos victimized by aberrant passions have some vacuum in their personal development. Human persona is like empty transparent vessel. It will reflect what you infuse in it. The kith and kin care about each other's business; Therefore, there is emotional attachment among members of kinship. Strength and solidarity of consanguinity depends upon magnitude of affiliation and coherence of bond among its members. Majority of needs of individuals are met through family; Therefore, it is a source of affection, satisfaction and recreation. It acts as a shield to protect its entities from wiles of strangers and dangers between race perpetuation.

Each family inherits a system of nomenclature with pertinent culture, traditions, values ​​and norms. Psychologists are of view that mental growth of moppets and bubs completes within first five years. After this duration there is only polishing of characters with diverse life experiences. Therefore, one can assess circumstances of a family circle from behaviors of its elements because actions of a person reflect his family background. David Farrington, British crime psychologist, rightly said in his article printed in The Times (London) (May 19, 1994), "Problem children tend to grow up into problem adults and problem adults tend to produce more problem children." (1)

As mother is heart of each family, therefore, she can provide open-minded Comstocks and modest wowsers to society. It is an open secret that if unfortunately a mother breathes her last during early age of her nippers, their chances of ruining mount manifold. However, if unluckily father kicks the bucket, in majority of the cases mother can properly tend her or kiddiewinks devrived of shadow of male parent. Napoleon Bonaparte suitably said, "Give me a good mother; and I will give you good nation." "(2)

There is no alternative for parents. They have unbounded love for their children. It happens once in a blue moon that siblings after becoming adult respect and look after their old parents, as they love and philanthropize them through life. Crumb-crushers imitate their parents; Therefore, most of the parents who spruce up their dustbin lids excelently get a hold of blessing in the form of obedient jumping cats and vice versa. Majority of diddybops of broken families are spoiled due to indulgence in bad companies. These grunge rootiepoots searching mental contentment are reduced of strong opinions and security. Therefore, religious and vulgar extremists can easily entice them by providing transitory mental satisfaction. Subsequently, they can be used by zealots for nefarious agendas through brainwashing.

Well-educated mothers lick into shape their ankle-biters by inculcating moral values ​​and ethical principles. Lap of mother is said to be the first institution of learning. Therefore, education of mother is indicative to polish her sprigs to workable members of a society. Indian religious leader Ruby Manikan said, "If you educate a man you educate a person, but if you educate a woman you educate a family." (3) Women have been physically tortured, mentally strained, socially ridiculed, politically marginalized and economically exploited in our gender biased patriarchal society. In our feudal culture male community is ruling the roost; Therefore, raising a voice for women rights in such stagnant ambiance is to show red rag to male chauvinist feudal bulls. Consequently, fundamental rights of females are hanging in the balance. The leading top cats must hammer into their minds that no nation can make progress by carefully keeping half of its population sidelined in all avenues of national life. Children can not be nourished in streets and day care centers. They need a home because production and rearing of a chickabiddy is only done in place of abode in the best possible way. A home remains incomplete without mother. In the western countries, official duty is 8-12 hours with two holidays at the weekend. High cost of living and capitalism has ensnared people of the west. Therefore, parents can not give sufficient time to their rug rats and leave them in day care centers. The doddering needles are bound to bear the brunt of old houses. In the western societies this degeneration of family has given birth to individualism, selfishness and distrust. Due to dilapidation of kinship casinos, dance clubs, splurging mushy wingdings, cinemas, bawdyhouses and beaches are the excellent places of entertainment and monstrous fountainheads of innumerable social evils in these glittering countries.

The western people have been harvesting bitter fruits of this blatant genealogy degradation in the form of progressively increasing tempos of uncontrolled extramarital relations, constantly on the rise digits of homosexual adventures, steadily increasing numbers of rapes, continuing rising figures of illegitimate children, swiftly mounting divorce Rates, rapidly growing suicide rates, quickly escalating sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, Hepatitis B and syphilis, and hastily upward numerals of deeply affecting psychological illnesses, etc. To telescope a cherry in the unbridled sexually lavish western civilization is becoming problematic.

People of same gender in the West avoid shaking, hugging and staying together to avoid label of nonconformist. They live with their opposite sex happily even without marriage in order to avoid costly and lengthy court procedure vis-à-vis divorce. US columnist Dave Barry presented this gloomy picture in following words, "All life is bad, but family life is worse." (4) Legitimacy of gay marriages and licensing of cathouses in some of the grubby cultured developed countries are zeniths of repercussions of hearth and home ruin. These degraded civilizations are treading on the course of self-immolation. Renowned poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal forecast this social ruin in these golden words, "Tumhari tehzeeb apne khanjar se aap he khud kushi kare gi; Jo shakhe nazuk pe asheana bane ga na-paidar ho ga." (5) (Your civilization would commit suicide with your own dagger; the nest that is formed on the delicate twig would be shaky.)

Due to intermingling of opposite genders in our West-inspired society at educational institutions, neighborhoods, offices, etc., the development of sensual attachments among couples and love marriages are becoming very common. Some of these nuptials are successful but majority of them culminate in divorce because such twains lose their top most ambition and goal after marriage. In most of the cases the families of one or both spouses have an aversion to such wedding. Parents of some couples reject them and they set a house apart from their relatives. No one can play role in case of ignition of a family conflict. Therefore, majority of the run-away matches conclude in civil litigations and termination of conjugality. Abuse of drugs of addiction, involvement in crimes, selling of kidneys to stand on their own feet, entangling in the snare of devious persons and committing of suicide is very common among these couples.

Today, divorce seems to be the penicillin to cure all marriage related tribulations in the West. Married couples who are struggling with personal and business gauntlets do not bother to fix the problem to avoid divorce. Instead, they overlap it and see divorce as an easy, expedient conclusion to a bad marriage. Now, a divorce is cooking for the odd stick fat-arse author of 'The Satanic Verses' and his Top Chef host wife, Padma Lakshmi, but it was a little unclear who was stirring the pot. Lakshmi, 36 said that she "has agreed with her husband-author, Salman Rushdie, to end their marriage." (6) in a statement released by her publicist, Christina Papadopoulos. The statement issued by the host of the hit Bravo reality cooking show and the author of the Easy Exotic cookbook continued to say , "After an eight-year relationship including over three years of marriage, Lakshmi regrets that their mutual efforts failed to make the marriage Work. " (7) It means that the sewer mouth alligator and the paraffin lamp splash have five years spurious correlation that is a pictogram of novelty in the western culture.

The traditional joint family system acts as a small economic unit. The members of the clan work cohortly and share their feelings that help them in socialization and development of tolerance. In these alliances, there are moral values, ethical principals, social customs and collective traditions that are compulsory primary instruments to keep check and balance on individuals. Now the numbers of extended families is continuously shrinking due to their replacement with nuclear families. Due to idealization of the western culture individualism and materialism have given birth to egocentrism. Owing to veto of people at home there is a formal decline of moral and religious control on the populace.

Millions of people in the West lead an individual life. This individualism has generated selfishness and psychological illnesses in the western society. On April 16, 2007, on the Virginia Teck Campus in Blacksburg, Viginia (US) Seung-Hui Cho of South Korea murdered 32 people and injured 25 before committing suicide, making it the deadliest shooting in modern US history. He was suffering from psychological illness due to living an individual life that resulted in a blood-spattered untoward incident. Eat, drink and be merry has become the sole aim of life in the advanced countries. Now the effects of this inhuman degeneration have permeated in posh areas of the developing countries that idealize western civilization. They must bear in mind that there is something beyond leisure that distinguishes man from animals.

Each nation is a throng of families and each family is a bunch of its members. Therefore, good families breed a good nation. The world is facing the spate of fanaticism, terrorism and suicide bombing. Therefore, there is crying need of rejuvenation of family institutions to alleviate the menace of extremisms and to develop tolerance in society. Media should launch an unprecedented crusade for promoting unity and fraternity among the individuals instead of promoting eccentricity. Parents should indoctrinate moral principles and ethical values ​​in their siblings instead of sumptuously spending on materialistic schooling. They are bound to provide learning to their children in all arenas of life. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, "No present or gift of a parent, out of all gifts and presents to a child, is superior to a good liberal education."

1. David Farrington (1944-), given at LEARNING SPACE, cited at [http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=184708]

2.Napolean Bonaparte, given at adhunica blog, cited at [http://adhunika.org/blog/2007/09/18/am-ia-good-or-a-bad-bangladeshi/]

3. Ruby Manikan, given at Dedicatio.com, cited at http://www.dedicatio.com/categories/education

4. Dave Barry (?), US columnist and wit. As Far as You Can Go (1963), given at Microsoft Encarta World English Dictionary

5. Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Qulyat-e-Iqbal

6. Chris Georg, Salman Rushdie to Divorce Fourth Wife, Jcited at

7.ibid

Taj Mahal – The Voice of Mumbai

Director Chandra Barot who directed the 1978 Amitabh Bachchan starrer DON was right when he showcased Mumbai as the city of opportunties and success stories, a city for dream and dream merchants and a city of Gold. Barot's lyrical reference to the song 'Ei Hai Bambai Nagariya tu dekh Babuwa? Sone chandi ki dagariya too dekh babuwa '. Narration of the song has also witnessed the beauty of Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel very well covered with Amitabh Bachchan performing in this dance number.

Kalyanji Anandji's music made the song an all time hit but today 30 years down the line coupled with the recent atrocity which rocked India's financial capital what set of me thinking the fact Is Mumbai still the city of Gold? Is the city's infrastructure collapsing thereby making the plan to turn Mumbai into Shanghai just a distant dream?

Mumbai is known as a city where everything is possible – fast money, faster cars and even faster running hours of life! The Taj has been a favorite hub not only for the upper middle class families but has been equally popular inside the NRI community on their visit way back home. With the riots and blasts taken place in recent times what intrigues me is the fact: Will The Taj once again prove to be the citadel of empire as it was earlier?

The past may have been tough on all of us leaving each one of us totally despondent and dejected, but the spirit of Mumbai has always prevailed with oneness. Many lives are affected by such calamities, be it by panic or palpitation, injuries or loss of loved ones. However even today after this incident every Mumbaikar sees a "mosaic" of faith. In its imperfections lies the perfection of Mumbai. The global war on terror must be fought simultaneously on all fronts if a country needs to show its best.

Forgive my impudence in asking the question – Will Taj be the same again? Will the top brass people of the corporate world come out of the woods of the broken heart to forget their past and make Taj their rendezvous once again? Would Taj mean business as usual? Will the delicious merge of two souls leading to one's espousal be celebrated once again in the Taj? Well, time changes many aspects of one's life and so will the Bade Miya, The Taj.

Small Closet Spaces

Living with a small closet can become torturous if you don’t get it under control. Organization is a must. There are lots of ways to maximize the little space that you have and make the most of it. There is no room for clutter in a tiny closet and sometimes there isn’t even enough room for your clothes. Using tips like these can help you make the most of the space. When everything has a place to go, clutter stays under control and your closet will once again be your friend.

The best thing to do if you have a small closet is to set up a wardrobe rotation. There is probably no room for a winter and summer wardrobe. So, you’ve got to get a plan. Figure out where you have space around the house. If you have room under your bed, you can invest a small amount in large, shallow containers that slide right under. Some are even designed to work like a drawer so that you can quickly get what you need if you happen to need to get in there. If your bed is not high enough, use risers to lift it. Your dust ruffle or duvet will cover the space and you can make a lot of room for your off-season clothing.

Don’t make the mistake of buying a whole lot of storage bins and expect to organize the closet. If everything is stored, then it becomes hard to get to. In a small closet, you have got to have everything efficiently organized. This means you can’t just buy any closet organizer. You really need to specifically plan for the things that you own. If you have a hundred pairs of shoes, then shoes will be your focus. If you have too many clothes hanging, then shelving will be your main concern. Many shirts do not wrinkle bad and can be neatly folded into a stack and placed on a shelf. It’s easy to see what you have and the space that they take up can be minimal.

Utilize the vertical space. You can install a small shelf above the closet door on the inside. Here you can keep valuables and things that you don’t want children to get into. You can put corner shelves all the way up the front two corners of the closet. You can use a hanging shoe rack on the door, or any other over-the-door organizer for keeping track of everything from ties and belts to gloves and scarves.

Take a look at the space that is wasted near the ceiling. Most people have a good 40-50 square feet just empty up there. Your suitcases are only so tall. Consider moving that shelf up higher and store things like blankets and duffel bags inside of your suitcases. You may be able to add another shelf just below it above your bar and create even more room.

Finish out the closet with space saving hangers, like slimlinehangers, to make the hanging clothes that you have take up as little space as possible.

The Online Guide on How to Write a Good Book Review

First, what is a book review and why do people want them?

You have just read a book and are offering your opinion. Essentially, you are providing a mini-version of the book so someone else can decide for them if it's worth their money and time.

A book review is a description, analysis, and evaluation of a book. It talks about the quality, meaning, and significance of a book. It is not just a short, 6 paragraph retelling. It's not a book report or a summary.

It's your reaction to the strengths and weaknesses of the material. It's how you felt about the book's purpose, content, and authority.

There is no right or wrong way to write a book review. Book reviews are personal and reflect your opinion. There is no minimum or maximum length. If you're writing one for an Amazon, you will need to be concise and to the point – but if you're writing for a magazine, you could run 1500 words or more.

One way to write it is to state what the author has tried to do, compare (in your opinion) how that author succeeded, and back it up with evidence.

Here's some guidelines:

1. Write an opening statement giving essential information about the book: title, author, first copyright date, type of book, general subject matter, special features (maps, color plates, etc.), price and ISBN. (In online reviews, this can be skipped, since it is part of the blur for the book and that data is just a few paragraphs above.)

2. State the author's purpose in writing the book. You can often get this from their preface or first chapter. Where they do not come come out and say so, you can ask yourself these questions:

A. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?

B. From what point of view is the work written?

C. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of something?

D. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it?

E. Who is the intended audience?

F. What is the author's style? Did it suit your own tastes?

G. Scan the Table of Contents to see how it's organized sensibly.

G. How did the book affect you? Did you change any ideas you held because of it? How does it fit in with what you think or own your personal world view? Did it bring up old memories of yours?

H. Did the book realize what it set out to do?

I. Would you recommend this book to others? How come?

3. Sum up the book in an elevator pitch – if you had to recommend this book to someone during an elevator ride, in the time between floors.

4. Explain how the author got his point across. What descriptions did they use? How did they tell the story – and did they keep you interested? Did their arguments make sense? Did they leave anything out or leave you unconvinced at the end?

5. Check into the author (this is fairly easy on the Internet) and see if what you find – reputation, qualifications, influences, biographical, etc. – Establishes them as an authority. Do you see any relation between the author's philosophy, life experience and book you're reviewing?

6. If relevant, make note of the book's format – layout, binding, typography, etc. Are there maps, illustrations? Do they help your understanding?

7. Check the back matter. How's the index? Are the footnotes accurate and useful? What does the bibliography look like – long, short, haphazard? Make notes of what you find.

8. Summarize (briefly), analyze, and comment on the book's content and its summary. List the main topics, and briefly summarize the author's ideas about these topics, main points, and concluding. Use specific references and quotations to support your statements. Once you have a good grip on that book, the conclusion will some simply.

Decoration Basics for Potters Making Decorative Plates

One of the most important attributes of an expert potter is learning about the decorative basics that can make their product excellent for decorative purposes. It is a natural tendency with the buyers and users of decorative pots to think about the pots that are covered with rich colors and shiny glazes. However, items like decorative plates and such other pottery items can be decorated in multiple ways even without rich colors and shiny glazes.

Glaze, Over Glaze and Under Glaze
Perhaps the most important task that the decorative potter has to accomplish is striking a fine balance between the aspects of glaze, over glaze, and under glaze. A huge variety of items are available including almost every color imaginable and many types of textures used for the purpose. Whether it is imported pottery, hand painted ones, or decorative plate stands, excess glaze or too little glaze would be defeating the very purpose of using the decorative products.

Proper Use of Glazes
Glaze can be used by layers on top of one another. This will surely create more effects for the viewers and users. Simply using unfired glaze on top of each other and thereafter maturing them at the same temperature can have wonderful effect for the potteries. Sometimes using over glaze could be possible when the base glaze is already fixed up. However, the potter will require using a third firing in case of the over glazes and such firing should be made at a lower temperature. On the other hand under glazes are not glaze in the true sense. They are the colorants that are applied to the bisque ware even before the glaze is applied. When the glaze is fired the colors will show up through transparent glazes covering it.

Use of Liquid Slurry Clay
Both in Europe and North America, liquid slurry clay is used to create more glazes on the decorative plates and other such items used to decorate the home or some other places. Known as "slip" in Europe, they are also known as "engobe" in North America. When it comes to decorating wet green ware, they are the best bets for the potter as they can conveniently add color, texture as well as dimensional designs to the finished product.

Thus merely hand painted pottery is not the only decorative item that can be created by an expert potter but depth combination of colors, glaze, and texture.

Hate to Cook or Can’t Cook? Buy a Slow Cooker or Crock-Pot

If you hate to cook or can’t cook, buy a slow cooker or crock pot. A slow cooker will allow you to free up time to do other things while your meal tends to itself. You can prepare a meal the night before, place the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning, set the timer and go. When you return home, you’ll have a meal ready to be served, and the only chore after eating, will be to wash up dirty dishes and an easy to clean crock.

Even if you are on a busy schedule and find yourself stressed for time, buying a slow cooker will provide relief in not having to worry about cooking dinner, when you come home tired from a hard days work or dinner being late because you worked overtime. With the use of this counter top appliance, you can save on the cost of eating out, lower your grocery bill by buying cheaper cuts of meat and cooking them to the same tenderness of more expensive cuts.

With the rising cost of food, the slow cooker or crock pot is a welcomed addition to any one’s kitchen. Whether you hate to cook or can’t cook, you can’t miss with it. There is a size that will fit every one’s needs. Sizes are available from 1 1/2 quarts for one person to the 8 quart size for larger families. The 1 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker is quite adequate in cooking for those who are single or couples with no children. Even college students equipped with a mini-kitchen in their dorm will find the smaller size slow cookers provide a welcomed change from dining in the campus cafeteria. The 5 to 8 quart size will feed a family of 3 or more with the possibility of food left over for another meal. Your decision to buy one of these countertop ovens will, not only, provide you with a way to save time, but will also provide an easier way of serving your family healthier and more nutritious meals without the concern of additives and preservatives that are commonly found in processed foods. today.

So if you hate to cook or can’t cook, there are plenty of easy to prepare recipes available for all sizes of crock pots or slow cookers. Cookbooks are available with recipes from chicken to meatloaf, chili to lasagna and cakes to hor d’oeuvres. Whether you are cooking for one person, two people or many, there are recipes geared to the size of your family.

Once you buy and experience the ease and convenience of cooking in a slow cooker, you’ll find yourself cooking like a chef in no time and you will never say “I can’t cook” or “I hate to cook” again.

Finding the Best Shoe Organizer for Your Needs

Using the right shoe organizing methods means less clutter and frustration when it comes to keeping a collection of shoes organized. A wide range of strategies are available. It is just a case of finding which of the storage methods fits best in your home, lifestyle and gives the right protection from shoes getting scuffed or squashed. Some of the popular styles of shoe storage units consist of –

Shoe Cabinet – one of the larger storage units is the shoe compartment which can take up a sizeable amount of floor space, yet will give enough cubbyholes to take quite a few shoes. These units come in a wide variety of designs and colors to match the surrounding decor scheme.

Under the Bed – for the shoes that are not likely to used on a daily basis, it might be worth looking at the availability of the under bed shoe storage units. Often designed for a small collection of shoes, which can range from five to ten pairs of shoes. It is also worth getting one of the under bed organizers that closes or zips-up to stop dust, dirt or bugs getting in.

Over-the-Door – an over the door organizer comes in several different styles with a choice of canvas pockets to place the shoes or wire loops to hang the shoes on. An organizer of this nature comes in multiple sizes to hold a decent number of shoes. Although if you are going to put some heavy shoes in ones of these organizers, it is worth making sure the actual door and hinges is up to taking the extra weight. Some of the closet and wardrobe doors can be quite flimsy in construction and not really up to taking any extra weight.

Shoe Rack – a shoe rack comes in a wide variety of styles and designs which are perfect for storing a small collection of shoes and can come designed as a simple wall-mounted rack, a 2 or 3-tier shelve unit, or even compartment type Unit which closes, so perfect for those wishing to keep shoes out-of-sight.

Storage Box – a simple yet effective storage solution for protecting one or two pairs of shoes is to use a clear shoe storage box which often comes in a resilient plastic material. Multiple boxes of this nature are perfect to stack one on top of another. This organizing method may be more appropriate for off-season shoes rather than an everyday pair of shoes.

The Top 5 Best Core Exercises And Why You Need To Do Them Immediately!

If you're looking to increase gains in every area of ​​your workouts, these top 5 best core exercises will definitely do the trick. Before I get into it, let me first explain why you should focus on your core region more than anywhere else. You core is the central area of ​​your body, and without it you would not be able to do anything – literally. It supports every single part of your body.

It's so important that if you took 1 person with a strong core and 1 person with a weak core (all other muscles would be of equal strength) and made them test each other – the person with the stronger core would absolutely destroy the other person hands Down, in any exercise!

I've personally experienced this and it's actually how I came up with my list of the best core exercises that I do on a regular basis.

The Top 5 Best Core Exercises I Know

  • 1) Ab Wheel – The ab wheel is simply an amazing tool. Some people do not like it (probably because they can not do it), but I think it's absolutely fantastic. I've never seen my core strength shoot up so fast as I did when I first used this tool. I would rate this as the best core exercise that absolutely murders both your abs and lower back. When you can do a few reps from your feet, you know you're in great shape.
  • 2) Deadlift – The deadlift should be a staple of your routines. If it's not, you're really missing out. This will build a lower back of steel and hits the abs in a very efficient manner as well.
  • 3) Front Squat – Instead of doing a squat with the bar on your traps, try putting the bar on the front of your shoulders with your arms crossed and holding the bar. This absolutely kills your core, and is well worth the pain.
  • 4) Sandbag Pickup – This has recently become a favorite of mine. People may comment that it will hurt your lower back, but all you have to do is simply not round it out as you're bringing it up. Heave the bag from the floor to your right shoulder, then do the same to your left shoulder.
  • 5) Plank – Ahh yes, the plank. What an old time favorite exercise. Although this is more for endurance, it's still a tremendous exercise that everyone should be able to do for at least 2-3 minutes if they want to be considered as having a strong core. This is probably the best core exercise for a mix of strength and endurance.

There are many exercises people would consider the best core exercises, but these are simply my opinion of the top 5. Everybody responds differently from course, but I think it's safe to say that you'll do fabulous if you incorporate these top 5 best core Exercises into your program.

Remember, your core is one of the most important groups of muscles in your body for overall strength. Make a list of your own 5 best core exercises and be certain you follow them strictly.

How to Plan and Organize Home Improvement Projects

Home ownership is more than buying a house to live in happily forever. As soon as you and your family move into your new home, small fixes will claim your attention, including the review of streamlight flashlights, purchasing of handheld accessories and the change of flooring finishing’s, and even the installation of vinyl fencing.

Before any of the small fixes become major problems, develop a plan for home improvement and organize your projects. Pay attention to features that need your immediate attention, then go through the different steps of your plan, finishing with that issue with is not so urgent, but remembering that you will need to review the project for periodical maintenance.

Flooring is usually left off the list of a homeowner’s priorities. However, due to its extension, you can change your actual flooring for laminate flooring for increasing durability at affordable price, particularly if you have children at home. This type of flooring resembles real stone or wood, but is easier to care, being moisture and scratch resistant.

Vinyl fencing surrounds your home, providing privacy and security at a low price. A vinyl fence can be as tall as a castle’s wall or just delimitation between your property and that of your neighbor, but also a decorative element that may add value to your property as most of the home improvement you can make.

Other elements, which are part of a project to improve your home, are basically intended for planning and organizing remodeling or enhancement to the actual structure. However, some elements do not add value to the property, but tranquility of mind or handy tools for every day issues occurring in ordinary homes worldwide.

Streamlight flashlights are part of those elements we are talking about, and they must be part of all households. Flashlights are convenient, and you many need them in as many situations as your imagination can bring to your mind. From fixing a water problem below your kitchen sink, where a direct light source is needed to see what you are doing, to emergency cases, such as a power cut after an earthquake, not at all impossible if you live in California, as an example.

Handheld accessories are not only household elements, but also family companions. Wherever you and your family go, a handheld accessory can provide numerous services and connectivity among each other, including all corresponding wireless devices. From cell phones to PDA smartphones, or organizers, these items are useful and necessary in the average home in America, and major cities around the world.