Entrepreneurs – The Two Top Priorities For Your Start Up Company and Business Plan

As an entrepreneur with your business plan in hand, what are the two top priorities you have on every day's action list as you start up your start up company?

Starting and running a company can be overwhelming. Endless new action items seem to appear magically on your To Do List as you day develops – with all of them either whispering or screaming to be your top priority. And, when the day is done, it often seems that one or more of those unanticipated priorities won – and the most important action items you originally had on your list when you walked into your office this morning did not get done – again.

So, how is an entrepreneur to decide on their priorities – especially when there is so much that needs to be done? The answer is surprisingly easy.

  1. Priority 1: Absolute top priority for the CEO of a start up company: maintaining a comfortable cash balance. That's what is in your checking account. It can not go to zero or go negative. Period.Every morning, everything on your priority list has got to focus on either maintaining or increasing your cash balance so that, as a minimum, it exceeds your comfort level. Everything else is secondary.If this is not your top priority, you greatly increase your risk that you will go out of business.
  2. Priority 2: The only thing that is close in priority … but that is still second to Cash Balance … is generating positive cash flow from operations. If you have this, a lot of # 1 is automatically taken care of. Remember, even the smallest of cuts that never stops bleeding will eventually kill you.Get above break-even as quickly as you can and stay there. There are two basic ways to do this: increase sales and cut costs. Running lean and keeping costs low by cutting all fat but no muscle is almost always a good idea.However, you can only cut so much and still have the infrastructure that you need to be in business. That leaves sales as the primary way to get above break-even and stay there. Every day, your Priority 2 should be driving sales – including short-term and long-term revenues. For a start up company, I recommend that the CEO spend half of every day on action items that directly relate to marketing and generating sales.
  3. Priorities 3 – 101? See Priority 1 and Priority 2. Yes, they are that important.
  4. Priorities 102 – 1,001? Items that at least indirectly, but positively, help Priority 1 and 2. Period.
  5. Priorities 1,002 – 10,000? Everything else required to run and grown your company.

Ignoring this pecking order of priorities is why most start up companies fail … so slay those dragons every day by focusing on Priority 1 and Priority 2.

How do you know what a comfortable cash balance is for your company? How do you know where real break-even occurs with your current products and services?

You have a realistic business plan – and you measure actual versus budget every month.

Too many entrepreneurs make a huge mistake throwing together their business plan with sweeping generalizations that skew their projection so badly that their whole plan really is a case of GIGO – Garbage In / Garbage Out. The only thing worse than going the wrong direction based on Garbage Out – is to go the wrong direction, enthusiastically.

A bad business plan usually gets you going the wrong direction, often enthusiastically. The result is that most entrepreneurs do not recognize this problem until it is too late to change direction and save their company.

What makes much more sense is taking the time to generate realistic and meaningful start up, revenue, personnel and operating cost numbers for your new start up company. If you need help, get experienced mentoring from someone who has the expertise you need – someone who can ensure your underlying assumptions make sense for your company in the real world.

Then, you can use your business plan to know how much start up capital you will really need, where your cash balance will be each month and each year … and when you will get to sustained positive cash flow from operations.

With this knowledge, you will know how to best invest your Priority 1 and Priority 2 time on your start up company to get you maximum results.

What are Attractor Fields?

There are a lot of therapies around today that owe their origins to Chinese Medicine. These treatments appear to be drawing more and more adherents as so many appear to grow disillusioned by an increasingly pharmaceutical dominated Western Medical profession. In the “Yellow Emperor’s Book of Internal Medicine” that first took written form some three thousand years ago there was a detailed description of acupuncture. This system of healing required the insertion of needles into specific pre-detemined locations along 12 minor and two minor energy channels that took the name meridians, which curiously enough is a geographical term.

In the early 1990s scientists made an interesting discovery when they came across a perfectly preserved corpse embedded in a glacier in the remote Oetz Valley in Austria. Seemingly the body was 5,000 years old, was approximately 45 years old at the time of death, what was fascinating, though, was the evidence that “Oetzi” as he was affectionately christened by his finders was suffering from arthritis amongst other things at the time of his death. There were a series of black markings on his body that aligned perfectly with the acu-points used today for the treatment of, yes, you have guessed it, arthritis. It seems that, the Europeans, too knew about the curative powers of acupuncture at the same time or if not before the Chinese. This suggests that if a particular healing technique has been around for five thousand years there must be something to it! Because if it did not work it would have been discarded a long time ago!

Jeff had been suffering from a prostate problem for quite a considerable time; the situation had reached such seriousness that he had to have a catheter. His brother in law offered to teach him a technique based on Chinese Meridian work that he had recently learned. Jeff agreed with alacrity as he was prepared to try anything at that stage. He was given a brief description of AFT or Attractor FieldTechniques and then his brother-in-law taught him the tapping points and asked him to carry out the routine on a daily basis. Four weeks later he reported back to say he was feeling very much better and that AFT had worked. Another lady tapped for a couple of weeks and found the corns on her feet had disappeared, and so it goes on!

AFT was developed by Dr Kurt Ebert and others and derives from the seminal work of American psychiatrist Dr. David Hawkins who in 1973 co-authored with Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling the innovative “Orthomolecular Psychiatry”. Hawkins has spent a quarter of a century honing an extraordinary theory that he lays out in his book “Power versus Force. An Anatomy of Consciousness”, or the “Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour”, which first appeared in 1995.

In his book he explodes the myth that we live in a world inhabited by forces we can control. Instead Hawkins suggest we are influenced by unseen forces he calls “Attractor Fields”. These forces, he claims can be codified and present a hierarchy starting at 0 which signifies death and rising to 1,000 that intimates “Godhead”. Presumably the stratification is feasible because these Fields have differing vibrational frequencies. The forces not only shape our physical being but also form our mental/emotional states. They could supply explanations in areas where science has been unable to. Cellular differentiation is a case in point. Mendel and his successors have tried to explain this genetically, but I am afraid this explanation simply does not hold water for me. Every cell contains the same genetic information. So how is it possible then that one cell can go on and form brain tissue and another cell with the same information is able to make the nail on your big toe? Where is the commonality of connection here?

How then can we best explain Attractor Fields? British biologist Rupert Sheldrake came up with something very similar when he talked about M. or morphogenetic fields. He said these fields contained similar patterns of information and described the 100 Monkey syndrome. If one monkey starts to wash its food then other monkeys even in distant geographical areas begin to do the same. How is this information conveyed? We don’t really know but it could explain a lot of things. For instance in 1954 Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in four minutes. Once he had broken this barrier others were to follow in quick succession. It seems once someone had achieved the seeming impossible others learned to do the same thing, gathering their know-how from out of ostensible nowhere.

That takes us back to “Oetzi” and Chinese acupuncture. How was it something as complex as the treatment of illness by acupuncture could be known in two places as diversely different as the remote Oetz valley and China itself? They lie thousands of miles apart at a time when communications were barely possible, To travel to the next village was a major undertaking and to another region unheard of. So lets say there are pockets of information that circulate energetically through the ethers. This information floats from place to place without let or hindrance . This would make communications between Austria and China relatively easy, wouldn’t it? So let’s take it to the next step, shall we? Dr. Hawkins has identified fields of energy that correlate to specific mental/ emotional states. He has measured them and given them a hierarchy. For instance Level of Consciousness 20 relates to the field of shame and 30 to guilt. Ebert has identified a host of diseases that exist within each of the levels. Unsurprisingly the sexually transmissible diseases inhabit the pattern surrounding shame. Dr. Ebert shows that tapping on a series of acupuncture points sends an electric charge through the system. This charge raises the energetic rate, which then breaks down the energy field creating the problem. Neat isn’t it? Here is a simple healing technique that has proved itself effective in treatments as diverse as getting rid of the common cold to treating serious liver disorders. Want to know more?

How to Decorate a Small Bedroom

Small spaces are notoriously difficult to decorate, primarily because you need to find a good balance between form and function. It's important that the room contains all the required furniture, while at the same time looking uncluttered, attractive, and welcoming. The following tips will help you achieve this:

1. Storage

Using tall units is a great way to provide lots of storage without compromising on floor space. Floor-to-ceiling wardrobes are perfect because they can hold a huge amount of stuff in a relatively compact area. Another great way to provide more storage is to use a bed with space underneath, and then use under-bed drawers which slide in and out.

2. Bed

Fairly obviously, the bed is one of the main pieces of furniture in a bedroom. It is also the one which takes up the most floor space, so it is important to choose the right one. If you are set on having a double bed, you could consider a small double, which still provides ample sleeping space, but in a slightly smaller area. Otherwise, a single bed or fold-down bed can give you a significant increase in floor area.

3. Lighting

Although clever use of lighting will not make your room any bigger physically, it can give the appearance of doing so. Rather than having one central light hanging from the middle of the room, use a number of smaller lights and lamps dotted around near or on the walls. This will help give the impression of a bigger room.

4. Color

It is a well known interior design principle that using lighter colors creates an impression of space and airiness. Light whites and creams will achieve this very well, whereas dark browns and purples can make a small room feel oppressive, and even smaller than it really is.

By following these simple tips you can maximise the use of space in your bedroom to make it feel larger than it really is, giving you a more comfortable environment to sleep and live in.

Garage Door

If you've ever driven through Levittown, Long Island, you've seen the paradigm of post-World War II housing. Designed for the young parents who were giving birth to the baby boom generation, Levittown houses were built in accordance with the principles of pre-fabricated housing constructed for servicemen, but they incorporated the "must-haves" of post-war life: big yards , modern appliances, a television antenna, and other conveniences. Promotional photos for Levittown over a period of years show that the evolution of the garage followed major trends in the changing American lifestyle.

The earliest house plans from the 1940s show boxy, Cape Cod-style homes with a living room, dining room, bath, and two bedrooms. There were no driveways: the single car owned by most families was parked on the street. By 1950, the company brochure offered five houses in a modified Cape Cod / Ranch style, each with a driveway leading to a single attached carport. And in the sister suburb of Levittown, PA, in 1954, the developers presented a variety of homes that incorporated the latest essential in home design – an enclosed garage.

Today, if you drive through even the most moderate suburban neighborhood, you're likely to see a gaping, two- or three-car garage opening directly onto the street, with living quarters sprawling behind and above. The garage has become the façade of the modern American home.

The growth in the importance of the garage has coincided with the presence of more and more cars in the typical American family. When Henry Ford lowered the price of his Model T so that "the workers who build them can afford to buy them," the option of owning an automobile became a reality for families of modest means, and through the decades from 1910 to 1930 car ownership grew steadily.

Auto sales fell as World War II limited both income and the availability of raw materials, but millions more women learned to drive as they filled jobs previously held by servicemen. By the time the subdivision building boom began shortly after the war, nearly any young couple could afford a house for $ 8,000 and an $ 800-dollar station wagon. Typically, after driving her husband to the commuter train station, the housewife used the car to shop and run errands. (African American and other minority families, including Jews in many suburbs, were shut out of housing opportunities by restrictive covenants in the North and Jim Crow laws in the South. But that's another story.)

Soon, though, a single car was not enough: Dad wanted the family car, and Mom needed her own. By the 1960s, it was not uncommon for a teen to get a vehicle – often a grandparent's old car – for his 16th birthday. Instead of parking on the street or under a single carport, a family now needed at least a double garage plus room to park a third or even fourth vehicle. Today, in addition to a garage for two cars (or, more likely, one car plus an attic's worth of clutter), many suburban and rural homes include an additional, oversized garage for the RV.

Doors Garaj have changed, too. The earliest ones in the late 19th century were simply barn doors that allowed a farmer to bring a horse-drawn buggy into the garage for loading and unloading or storage out of the weather. They hinged outward or rolled sideways on steel tracks like a sliding closet door and were used for mechanized vehicles – tractors, cars, and trucks – as they came into wider use. Carriage houses, originally built by the wealthy for horses and carriages, also began to hold automobiles.

By the early 1920s, as more and more middle-class families could afford Model Ts, a modified version of the garage appeared. Usually a small shed (often only eight or ten feet wide), the garage was not wide enough for a sliding door. A single hinged door would be too heavy and ungainly to move, so a split, hinged door, each half three or four feet wide and seven to eight feet tall, was used instead. These old wooden doors can still be seen in rural areas; they often look homemade, with small windowpanes and one-by-six-inch diagonal cross-braces across the front. But their weight put great stress on hinges, screws, and the frame, and, when there was snow on the ground, it had to be shoveled out of the way before the doors could swing open.

The invention of the articulated (folding) door was the first real innovation in garage doors. A door split into hinged vertical sections could slide or roll back into the garage itself. In 1921, Mr. CG Johnson designed an overhead garage door with horizontal articulation. Lifted from the bottom, the door rolled up and out of the way, each section leveling out as it followed the curve of parallel steel tracks. Five years later Johnson invented the electric opener, to assist people without the strength to raise the heavy door. Johnson's company became the Overhead Door Corporation, still a leading manufacturer of garage doors.

Later developments included the slab door raised on a strong track, and doors using lightweight materials, like Styrofoam-insulated steel, and steel alloys and fiberglass that roll into a compact space – the roll-down security doors seen at many businesses today.

Along with changes in technology came changes in style. As garages were gradually incorporated into houses – that is, going from a separate building to an attached one to part of the structure itself – the look and palette of garage doors evolved. No longer limited to the red-stained barn-door model or the white paint of early 20th-century design, they began to echo French Provincial, English Manor, Colonial, and California Ranch houses, among other popular architectural styles.

The modern garage, far from being an outbuilding or an afterthought, is as much a part of the typical American home as a family room and kitchen. And, in accordance with that status, garage doors today come in all the materials and styles favored by homeowners: traditional wood – with or without glass inserts and with or without resin impregnation – articulated steel and alloys, fiberglass, vinyl coatings, and aluminum.

Opening a Restaurant – Writing a Business Plan

Once you have decided to go ahead and open a small restaurant you will need to write a business plan. A business plan is a report where you compile all your research findings to try and prove that you idea is viable and that your goals are realistic. It will be an extremely useful document to you, as the owner, and may be essential if you have to convince lenders, partners or investors. Below are some of the things that you should consider including in a business plan for starting a small restaurant business.

1) Executive Summary – Let readers know what you will be talking about in the report, tell them about your personal background and reasons for wanting to get into the business. You should also briefly outline your restaurant concept.

2) Mission Statement – Write down what you hope to achieve with your business. Set out a company philosophy and values ​​and think about how you want to fit into the local community.

3) Goals – Set out some ways that your progress and success can be measured and then set some goals on a monthly basis for a three year period.

4) Ownership and Management Structure – Describe how ownership of the restaurant is divided among the various owners or investors if any and set out a management structure showing who is responsible for decisions. Set out a plan for hiring employees as the restaurant gets busier.

5) Start-up Costs and Requirements – List out everything that is needed to get the restaurant to the point where the doors are open for business. Do not forget to include an allowance for unforeseen expenses.

6) Funding – Discuss how the startup phase will be funded and the sources of funds available.

7) Location – Examine several possible locations for the restaurant and provide your reasoning as to why you would select one above the others.

8) Competitive Analysis – Include details of all major competitors in the area. Look for opportunities in the market that are not being catered to by these other restaurants and propose a way to meet this market demand. Outline how you plan to distinguish your restaurant from other market players.

9) Marketing Plan – Identify your target market and discuss how you can create a dining experience to suit their tastes. Write about the brand that you want to develop, discuss menu pricing and set out some ways that you intend to advertise and promote the restaurant.

10) Financial Analysis – Set out a spreadsheet showing expected monthly income and expenses and work out how much profit you can expect over the first three years. Run some optimistic and pessimistic scenarios as well to get an idea of ​​your profit potential if things go better or worse than you originally expected.

You can also attach an appendix to the report with photocopies of any supporting documents that you feel support your case.

A solid business plan can help you start your restaurant off right, avoid mistakes and keep you heading in the direction that you need to be in order to achieve your goals.

Lighting, Lighting, Lighting is the Key to Good Acting Headshots

I recently had conversations with two different casting directors about what type of headshots help get you or your child paid acting jobs. One casts a studio sitcom (situation comedy), the other does some films and a lot of TV commercials. I asked them each about headshots and got most of the same preferences as outlined in the advice in my previous articles.

(Whew, would not my face be red if they totally disagreed with what I've already told you.)

The one item they differed on was lighting. They both agreed that a properly lit photo is as important, even more important than some of the other guidelines I've given you. Where they differ is in the type of lighting. The Sitcom CD prefers studio lighting – which gives a better idea of ​​skin tone, eye color and general appearance on screen. The Commercial / Film CD prefers natural lighting.

However, they both agreed that while they have a preference, the MOST important thing about lighting is that it is good, clear and colorless. Here are the tips I gleaned from those conversations and my own experience.

Headshot Lighting Tips:

1) Make sure the entire face is lit – no shadows, or dramatic effects. Use a reflector to even out existing light.

2) Too much light is as bad at too little. Overly bright washes out skin tone and eyes.

3) Make sure the eyes are lit – a well-lit shot generally has some light reflection.

4) Use indirect light –
a) squinting into a bright light distorts the face.
b) heavy backlight turns the face dark.
c) for outdoor shots, try shooting under a tree or slightly shady side of the building or shoot an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset.

5) Do not use color lighting
a) "regular" household bulbs give off a color – this is often a yellow tone giving a jaundiced tone to the skin.
b) fluorescent lighting can be too bright or too blue giving the washed out vampire look (yes I know vampire shows and films are currently all the rage, but not what is needed for the other 90% of films, commercials and TV shows being cast .)
c) Color bulbs distort skin tone and eye color – that pretty green tint may be great for the cast photo for "Wicked", but not for a headshot.

6) If you think the lighting is good, but are not 100% sure, move the subject and the camera to try different angles of light to get it right.

Are Cell Phones Causing Cancer?

In 1993, a man filed a lawsuit against the cell phone industry, claiming that his wife died from a brain tumor caused by her repeated use of the cell phone. The tumor was on the same side of the head where she held her cell phone and was shaped like the cell phone antenna. The case got widespread media attention and was featured in CNN’s Larry King show.

Although the claim was dismissed by the court due to lack of sufficient evidence, it was a public relations nightmare for the wireless industry. It also marked the beginning of the global search for a definitive answer to the question: are cell phones safe or not? Does it cause cancer and other degenerative diseases? Brain cancer is up 25% since cell phones became popular. Every year, there are 183,000 more cases in the US alone. Some health experts say there’s a link with cell phone use, but is there proof?

In an effort to diffuse the negative publicity from the high-profile lawsuit, the cell phone industry itself funded a $25 million dollar research program to prove that cell phones are safe. After 6 years of intensive research, however, the results were not what they were looking for. Dr. George Carlo, the chief research scientist of the program, found evidence that cell phones pose some health risks, possibly even cancer.

The first evidence of cancer link that shook the cell phone industry came in 1997. Dr. Michael Repacholi and his colleagues from the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia reported that long-term exposure to the type of radiation that comes from digital cell phones caused an increase in the occurrence of lymphoma in mice. The study received widespread international media attention because it was the first time that cancer has been linked to the cell phone in a well-conducted study.

THE RED FLAGS: SOLVING THE CANCER PUZZLE

In order to show a link between cell phone radiation and cancer, let’s look at several studies Dr. Carlo investigated that made him blow the whistle, so to speak. These red-flag findings provide the pieces that fit together to form the cancer picture:

– DNA Damage in Human Blood Studies

– Breakdown in the Blood-Brain Barrier

– Studies of Tumors in People Who Use Cell Phones

– Studies of Cell Phone Radiation Dosage and Response

DNA DAMAGE IN HUMAN BLOOD

All tumors and all cancers are the result of genetic damage. Most often that damage includes the formation of micronuclei–fragments of chromosomes that form membranes around themselves and appear under a microscope as additional nuclei in blood cells (which normally have just a single nucleus). The relationship between micronuclei and cancer is so strong that doctors around the world test for their presence to identify patients likely to develop cancer. The presence of micronuclei indicates that the cells can no longer properly repair broken DNA. This deficiency is considered to be an indication of an increased risk of developing cancer.

– In December 1998, Drs. Ray Tice and Graham Hook of Integrated Laboratory Systems in North Carolina have shown that blood cells exposed to cell phone radiation suffer genetic damage in the form of micronuclei. In their studies, DNA and chromosome damage in human white blood cells occurred when exposed to signals from all types of phones–analog, digital, and PCS. Damage was shown even from signals occurring at a SAR level below the government’s “safety” guideline.

– Using different methods, the above finding was confirmed by Dr. Joseph Roti Roti of Washington University in St. Louis in 2000. His research showed that human blood cells exposed to radiation at wireless phone frequencies did indeed develop genetic damage, in the form of micronuclei. This finding received a lot of notice because Dr. Roti Roti is a prominent scientist who does hiw work under funding by Motorola Inc.

This has a very serious implication. If cell phone radiation encourages the formation of micronuclei in blood cells, and micronuclei are said to be “biological markers” for cancer, then based on these studies alone cell phone use could be said to increase the risk of cancer

BREAKDOWN IN THE BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER

The blood brain barrier is a special filter in the blood vessels of the brain that keeps dangerous chemicals from reaching sensitive brain tissue and causing DNA breaks and other damage.

– In 1994 and again, in 2002, Dr. Leif Salford from Lund University in Stockholm, Sweden found in his studies that rats exposed to cell phone radiation showed a breakdown in the blood brain barrier, as well as areas of shrunken, damaged neurons.

The micronuclei studies of Tice, Hook and Roti Roti and the blood-brain findings of Salford provide a two-step explanation for how cancer could be caused by cell phone radiation.

Step One: A leakage or breakdown in the blood brain barrier would provide a pathway for cancer-causing chemicals in the bloodstream (from tobacco, pesticides, air pollution, etc.) to leak into the brain and damage sensitive brain tissue that would otherwise be protected. These chemicals could break the DNA in the brain or cause other harm to reach those cells.

Step Two: While a number of studies showed that cell phone radiation by itself does not appear to break DNA, the micronuclei findings suggest that they do impair the DNA repair mechanisms in brain cells. Micronuclei result from a breakdown of the cell’s ability to repair itself. If the brain cells become unable to repair themselves, then carcinogenesis–the creation of tumors–induced by chemical toxins could begin.

DNA carries the genetic material of an organism and its different cells. Any damage that goes unrepaired affects the future generation of cells. The change has procreated and this mutation is seen as a possible cause of cancer.

TUMORS IN PEOPLE WHO USE CELL PHONES

Epidemiological studies, performed by different investigators using different methods, show some evidence of an increased risk of tumors among people who use cellular phones.

– In 1998, Dr. Ken Rothman of Eidemiology Resources, Inc. in Newton, Mass., did a study showing that users of handheld cell phones have more than twice the risk of dying from brain cancer than do car phone users–whose antennas are mounted on the body of the car, far removed from the users’ heads.

– In 1998, Joshua Muscat, a research scientist from the American Health Foundation, showed in his study a doubling of the risk of developing neuro-epithelial tumors on the outside of the brain among cell phone users, particularly on the side of the skull where cell phone antennas are held during calls.

– Muscat also showed in another study that people who have used cell phones for six years or more have a 50-percent increase in risk of developing acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor of the nerve that controls hearing and extends from the ear to the brain. Acoustic neuromas can cause hearing loss and can be life-threatening if untreated.

This was confirmed in a separate study in Stockholm, Sweden by Anders Ahlbom in 2004 and sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), which finds that people who have used cell phones, this time for at least 10 years, may have an increased risk of developing acoustic neuroma.

– In a study also requested by WHO, researchers headed by Dr. Lennart Hardell of the Orebro Medical Center in Sweden examined 1,617 patients aged between 20 and 80 who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour between 1997 and 2000. They were then compared to healthy people. Those who used cell phones for less than 10 years faced a 20% higher risk of developing brain cancer. But for those who used them for more than a decade the risk was 80% higher. The study also found that tumours were 2.5 times more likely to be on the same side of the head as the phone was held. The cancer of the auditory nerve, acoustic neuroma, showed a larger increase–3.5 times greater risk.

CELL PHONE RADIATION DOSAGE AND RESPONSE

All studies mentioned showed that an increase in cell phone radiation exposure also increases the likelihood of the adverse effect occurring.

In Repacholi’s study of mice, the risk of lymphoma increased significantly the longer the mice were exposed to the radio waves.

In the research work done by Tice, Hook, and Roti Roti, the risks of genetic damage as measured by micronuclei formation increased as the amount of radiation increased.

In the three epidemoiological studies–two by Muscat and one by Hardell–the risk of tumors was greater in the areas of the brain near where the cell phone was held.

In Salford’s study, the higher the radiation exposure level the rats were exposed to, the more damage was apparent in the blood vessels in the brain and the neurons.

THE BIG CANCER PICTURE

The test tube studies by Tice and Hook; the mouse study by Repacholoi and Selford; and the epidemiological studies by Rothman, Muscat, and Hardell all agree in that they suggest an increased risk of cancer among cell phone users. They fit together to form the beginnings of a picture that everyone can see. They perhaps don’t form the complete picture yet, but there are enough already in place to see that there is cause fo genuine public health concern about cell phone safety.

According to Dr. Carlo, “The big picture is disturbingly clear. There is a definite risk that the radiation plume that emanates from a cell phone antenna can cause cancer and other health problems. It is a risk that affects hundreds of millions of people around the world. It is a risk that must be seen and understood by all who use cell phones so they can take all the appropriate and available steps to protect themselves–and especially to protect young children whose skulls are still growing and who are the most vulnerable to the risks of radiation.”

MORE PIECES COMING

– In 2000, a team of Sydney researchers published a scientific hypothesis about how mobile phone radiation causes cancer. The report claims that the radiation generated by cell phones causes ongoing stress to the body cells, causing them to give off ‘heat shock proteins (HSP).’ The human cells sometimes release these proteins in response to injury or infection. Such a chronic activation of the heat shock response affects the normal regulation of cells, which could result in cancer.

– In 2002, cell biologist Fiorenzo Marinelli and his team at the National Research Council in Bologna, Italy, exposed leukemia cells to continuous radio waves similar to that of cell phones. The exposed cells had a higher rate of death than the controls initially, but after further exposure, a curious thing happened: instead of more cells dying, the exposed cells were replicating furiously compared to the controls. Genes that trigger cells to multiply were turned on in a high proportion of the cells. The cancer, although briefly beaten back, had become more aggressive. Marinelli suspects that the radiation may initially damage DNA, and that this interferes with the biochemical signals in a way that ultimately triggers the cells to multiply more rapidly.

SO WHY ARE CELL PHONES STILL AROUND?

Now with all the mounting evidence, the cell phone industry still maintains their position that cell phones are safe and have even begun marketing towards children. The governments have been slow in stepping in to warn people of any danger from using cell phones. Fortunately, health officials and experts in several European countries are taking the first steps, having issued public warnings to parents urging caution about kids and cell phones,

If the previous environmental issues involving tobacco, asbestos, and lead are any indication, it takes years and even decades to accumulate the amount of evidence that would produce a definite ruling. In the case of cigarette smoking, it took two decades of study and 100 years of consumer use to gather enough data to meet research standards to demonstrate the need for the U.S. Surgeon General’s warning label on cigarette packs. Some experts say that in the case of cell phones, it will not take that long as data are coming in at a faster pace. But at the present the authorities can only urge people to exercise caution.

Replication of research is another problem. A study that comes out with a new finding generally does not gain immediate acceptance in the scientific community or the wireless industry unless another research lab has been able to replicate the work and the findings. The industry has cleverly perpetuated their position by creating an illusion of responsible follow up by always calling for more research.

When Dr. Salford published his study in 2003 showing that rat brain neurons were dying from exposure to cellphone radiation, he warned there might be similar effects in humans that over time could lead to degenerative diseases of the brain. His study was written off by the industry as a “novel” finding that needed to be replicated.

But achieving the scientific standard of replication can be complicated. Salford says if studies aren’t absolutely replicated, providing an apples-to-apples comparison, there’s wiggle room to dispute follow-up findings. Research studies require funding, and the wireless industry, after Dr. Carlo’s revelations, have been reluctant to put money into more comprehensive research. As for governments, again many European governments are taking the responsible course by funding research, but the U.S. and Canada are lagging poorly.

In 1999, CNN’s Larry King once again featured a man who brought a multimillion dollar lawsuit against cell phone manufacturers. This time the man, a Maryland neurologist, was himself diagnosed with brain cancer–again located on the side of the head where he held his cell phone. The suit was yet again dismissed, however, and the man died not long afterwards.

According to WHO report, 0.1 billion people have died from tobacco use in the 20th century, and 10 times as many will die in the 21st century. No one is suggesting that cell phones could cause as much casualties, but do we really want to wait and find out?

AIMING FOR RESPONSIBLE TECHNOLOGY

Unlike tobacco, the cell phone has become as an indispensable part of our lives as television and computer. It has enabled us to make a gigantic leap in the way we communicate with one another and has been credited widely with saving people’s lives in emergency situations. Cell phones are here to stay, and perhaps rightly so.

The question is not how to stop people from using this ubiquitous device but rather how to make it safer. The first step always is to admit there is a problem, hence the industry and the government have to acknowledge the health risks inherent with the present technology. This way we can all find the proper solutions that we may more enjoy the benefits of its use without sacrificing our health and wellbeing.

copyright 2005 Taraka Serrano

Everything You Need to Know When Selecting a Home Safe

Safes come in all different shapes and sizes and with a host of different security features. Depending on where you want your safe for will influence what type of safe you will require. For the home you will probably be looking for a small scale security safe. The safes can be split into two categories; these are burglary resistant and fire resistant.

Focusing on the burglary resistant safes first these will normally include security and key cabinets. The security safes have different ratings depending on the capacity, the low end range from around 2000 dollars through to 75000 dollars in insurance ratings. This is worked on the capacity of cash and valuables, so for example a low end 2000 dollar insurance rated safe will be insured for the value of 2000 dollars in cash or 40000 in valuables, this will vary depending on the type you choose. The safes will usually be fitted with either a key or electronic combination and the fixing would be to the wall or the floor. Within this range there are many options to satisfy your needs, these will range from laptop security safes to under floor safes.

A very common form of burglary is for the intruder to enter the premises or the house and steal car keys; usually the theft of the vehicle is to order. Many people make this easy for the intruder by having their keys near to the door. It is possible today to buy a key safe or cabinet that can hold your keys in a secure unit that will make the theft of your car keys harder for any intruder. It is also possible to keep your keys inside your security safe to provide additional security. Often the security safes are not fireproof and would not be suitable for storage of important paper documentation. There are many fireproof safes now on the market which are suitable not only for documents but also for data storage.

Data storage safes are common place in business where many organizations need to keep important files secure. Fireproof safes offer a range of protection from 1 hour to 2 hours fire resistance. The safes can protect important data items such as cds, dvds, dat tapes and optical disks. The other fireproof safes are for document storage again depending on the type that you buy the resistance can range anywhere from thirty minutes up to four hours. The smaller models are suitable for home use and start in price at around 75 dollars, making this a very cost effective solution to protect your valuable documents.

When choosing your safe you can have different styles of lock, these include key, electronic and combination locks. On the lower end safes you will most likely have either a key or electronic lock, if you have difficulty in remembering number sequences then it would be advised to choose the key lock over the electronic. Some of the high end safes will have a combination lock that will be set to turns and numbers; these are not normally found on the lower end safes made for the home environment.

A Guide to Buying Ceiling Roses For Your Home

Ceiling roses are ornamentations traditionally made of plaster that are used to decorate the area surrounding a central ceiling light. They were standard fashion items throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras, particularly among the upper classes where they were often used to complement a chandelier in a room with a high ceiling. Today, ceiling roses are made from a variety of materials including polymer-based products. This makes them much lighter than traditional plaster ceiling roses and therefore easier to install. Making ceiling roses from modern materials also gives a higher level of definition for those ceiling roses that are ornately decorated. Ceiling roses offer a focal point to a room and can be used to complement its contents. However, before you buy one there are a few things that you ought to consider that might influence your choice.

Firstly, you should consider the question – why you want to install a ceiling rose? Is it for entirely aesthetic reasons or is there a practical factor involved? Aesthetically, ceiling roses can add character to a room and help recapture the ‘period feel’ that a building can have. They may be used to accentuate the beauty of a chandelier and to highlight the lines of light it throws out. Alternatively, it may just be used to cover cracks in the ceiling! Ideally, you should install your rose in the centre of the ceiling and this will have some bearing on your choice as in the case of ceiling roses, size really does matter.

Initially, there is the size of the ceiling to take into account. If the rose is too large, it will simply dominate the room and serve to make it feel more ‘closed in’, rather than acting as a centrepiece. On the other hand if it is too small it will be a pointless exercise and the rose will become ‘lost’ in the expanse of ceiling. There is also the height of the ceiling to consider. A high ceiling will cheerfully show off a larger ceiling rose, whereas on a lower ceiling it will tend to dominate the room. The room’s height may also affect the level of decoration you wish your ceiling rose to have. The higher the ceiling, the bigger and bolder the design you can expect to accommodate. The lower the ceiling, the finer the detail you can sport, although in modern houses it is generally better to opt for something plain as installing an ornate rose can often be a case of ‘over-egging the pudding’.

There is also the question of existing decoration. Unless the room is being entirely redecorated, you may have to choose something that is sympathetic to its existing style. If you have intricately-patterned wallpaper you might want to minimise the amount of embellishment on your rose so that the overall design of the room does not become too ‘fussy’. If there are existing cornices and coving then it is far better to select a design that blends in than one that will confuse the focus of the room. Detail is also a concern should you be planning to adorn the area surrounding a chandelier; the more ornate your chandelier is, the less your ceiling rose should be. In these instances ceiling roses are there to offset the lighting, not the other way round.

Basics of Paneling

Many homes have applied wood paneling just to improve the looks of their house. This covers the walls, from study room, dining room, living room or the family room. Even your bed room can be paneled. There are different types of paneling according to the material used, or according to where it will be used (wall, floor, ceiling). You can always mix and match as desired, like a wood paneling on the ceiling, while having vinyl paneling on your floors.

Paneling is putting several small components side by side to produce a filled effect. There are many types of paneling. The most common materials used are bamboo, brick and vinyl paneling. These three are found mostly at homes.

Why do we panel? Most people panel to add warmth and elegance to their house. Not to mention that it is very affordable. Paneling has been the most attractive decoration for houses and offices. Sometimes, paneling symbolizes the wealth, status and excellent taste of the owner. It reflects the personality of the owner, depending on the design, material, and style applied.

Panels can also come in different colors. You can add color after applying such panel. It is best to attach the panel first before having it colored because it can result to a more appealing look.

Wallpaper paneling is one of the easiest. It is beautiful in a bedroom. It comes in thousands of different designs, and is easy to install. These are special types of paper with designs printed on them already. A special adhesive is used to stick this on the walls or ceilings. It will just take a few minutes to do this and it instantly transforms a room.

Wood paneling can be with the interlocking woods, any solid pieces of woods or other resembled wood. The wood panel sheets normally are very thin, of about ¼ to ¾ of an inch. They are from variety of hardwoods that have clear finish. There are also that are from less expensive woods which can be stained or even painted to be able to resemble a wood that is more expensive.

Wood paneling are sold as 4 x 8 foot sheet with either simulated wood surface or wood veneered. These can be attached to wall studs, drywall or any other surface.

Next to talk about is the raised panel style wainscoting. This is the finest and oldest style of wainscot that is available in the market. They are affordable decor that gives elegance and warmth. It was first introduced during the 17th century.

There is also raised paneling. It came from raised central panels that are beautifully crafted. They are surrounded by a fine crafted trim. Wainscot can be finished or painted depending on the wood quality and home design.

Raised panel is very popular for some reasons. It is traditionally steeped. They have been the best of all the best. They gave prominence to the house.

Ceiling panel is also well known. They act as suspended ceilings that are made from many materials. They have appearance that is used in interior decoration. It can be directly attached to the ceiling's underside. They provide decorative finish, sound and heat insulation. It is another simplest way to change the appearance of your room. Your ceiling can have improved appearance when you apply the ceiling panel.

These are just some of the things that will result if you apply paneling. You can add more decoration by just paneling. Try to apply paneling and you will see how beautiful your house can be. The simple panel that you choose, the simpler your house can be.

Wood Flooring – Basic Information Guide

About Wood Flooring: –

Wood Flooring is becoming more popular in homes all over the world. It is replacing carpets which after a couple of years start to look worn and dirty, for with wood as long as it is looked after will always look new and clean. Although the initial out lay for Wood can be expensive, the long term value can often work out cheaper, For example you could pay for a quality lounge carpet but need to replace this maybe 2 to 3 times in 10 years but with wood you can pay once and it can last 20 to 30 years. So the long term aspects of wood work out cheaper than carpet.
These days wood is produced with high impact laquers on the top surface making it more durable to things being dropped onto it or to prevent scratching. It can also add value to your home by making it more desirable if you come to sell your house. Over all it can be a great investment making your home, furniture, decor stand out and giving a warm, inviting feel when people visit your home.

Different types of Wood Flooring: –

There are various types of wood floors from Oak, Beech, Mahogany to Maple, cherry and much more.

Choosing the wood type is a matter of choice depending whether you require a dark wood (Mahogany, walnut) or mid range (cherry, Oak) or a light wood (beech, Maple) and with the hard wearing laquer that the wood floors have choosing a wood for it strength no longer matters.
An alternative to real wood is Laminate Flooring which looks like wood but is a Laminated veneer. These are an economical solution if real wood is to expensive. Laminate is hard wearing, easy for cleaning and does not require sanding or sealing, Ideal for rental properties, or for a cheaper way to brighten your home.

Another Floor that is getting more popular is bamboo flooring, A more ecological friendly floor as bamboo grows at such a rate, so there is no shortage. Basically a grass more than a wood but when made into a floor gives a very similar appearance to oak floors and bamboo also varies in colours and styles.

Installation: –

I would always recommend installation by a qualified installer, for they can fit the floor in a quarter of time with much higher quality finish and in a lot of cases can actuall work out cheaper this way.
many wood / laminate floors are what is known as floating floors, these are actually easier to install.

Basically take existing flooring so you are back to floorboards / concrete, then lay foam underlay on which wood goes onto. When Starting off always start on the longest squarest wall laying 3 rows together to give you a base, using wedges to give you the 10mm required expansion gap. Generally the cut that comes off the end of the first run starts the second and so on. Once fitted either fit back new skirtings or if using existing fit a wood beading to cover the expansion gap.
This is basically the method of fitting but can be explained in much more depth.

Pro's and cons: –

Wooden floors always look warm, clean and expensive, they can brighten up any home. They are easy to clean and can be quite low maintenance (depending on styles etc). Wood floors will last for years, even lifetimes if treated with respect for example taking shoes off when you come in etc.

The cons are that wood floors can scratch but as i said earlier the laquers are very strong now that protects the wood, Or if get wet they can lip or slightly buckle.
But the Pro, s far out way the cons as the cons can be prevented with the right care.
Basically I have wood floors through out my Home, I have 2 dogs, 2 kids and it still looks as good as the day I fitted it. For me they are one of the best investments I have made for my Home and would recommend wood floors for all Homes.

Trane Heat Pump Reviews for Household Models

The Trane heat pump reviews specifically for household models were created to help consumers buy the right products for their needs. The household versions of the are different compared to heavy duty models. The main difference lies on the power consumption, size, capacity and components of the models. Household models are smaller and more compact. This is necessary since homes have very small and limited spaces. The should be able to fit in any area of ​​the house without any problems. People can choose from different models that have been designed to have specific shape and size. Wall hanging models are ideal for houses with a high ceiling and limited floor areas.

The power consumption is another important aspect of the which should be given great attention. This is necessary especially for families which are experiencing financial distress and shortages. The amount of electricity utilized should be minimal in order to prevent significant increase of the power bills. The optimum heat producing capacity of the household should range from 500 to 1000 watts. This would suffice for a small house with an average area of ​​300 square meters. The heat pumps should be equipped with an electrical battery in order to store the excessive power utilized. This feature has been recently added to provide longer use even if the electricity has been cut off. People should make sure that they buy models which are equipped with a long lasting battery.

The heat pumps reviews also discuss the durability of the products. The people involved in the review have tested the products extensively. The products underwent abusive and continual use. Extreme assessment of the product includes continual operation for a couple of weeks without turning off the unit. The units are also brought in room with excessively cold temperature. The writers try to check if the unit would able to increase the temperature and heat level.

The Trane heat pump reviews for household models are very extensive and comprehensive. The consumers would be assured that the information they acquire would be reliable and useful in different conditions.

Characteristics of Bad Public Speakers

Congratulations! You’ve set your sights on a lofty goal, being one of the worst public speakers imaginable. It will take a while and require a lot of practice, but if you do your best at being the worst, soon nobody will want to hear you speak in public. Follow these simple rules, and you’ll soon develop a reputation as one of the worst public speakers around!

1) Mumble and Speak Softly: Good public speakers want their messages to be clear and precise, easy for listeners to follow, so in order to be the worst you need to be as incomprehensible as possible. Mumble when you talk and speak softly, so that none of your listeners can hear what you say or understand your words. If even the front row of your listeners has to lean in to hear you, you’re doing a great job.

2) Avoid Eye Contact: The last thing you want to do is look at the audience; they might mistakenly understand something you’ve said, or at least think that you genuinely want to connect with them. Instead, look almost every place else; the ceiling, your shoes, the walls, or behind you, away from the audience (perfect if you have a chalkboard or white board to stare at the whole time). As long as you are looking somewhere other than towards the audience, they’ll get the clue that you’re really not interested in them.

3) Move Constantly While Speaking: Whether it’s a simple nervous twitch or full blown pacing up and down the stage or other public speaking area, you want to make sure that you never stop moving. Not simply walking calmly or making a few hand gestures either; you want to be moving frantically and unpredictably, one minute circling the stage, the next minute waving your arms around randomly. At no point do you want your movements to have anything to do with what you are talking about; the less sense your actions make, the better.

4) Don’t Practice Beforehand: The very first time you say your speech should be when you are on stage, looking at an eager audience who expect you to talk like a professional. Even if you are an expert on the speech material (and why would you give a speech on something you know when you’re trying to give a bad speech?), if you don’t practice what you want to say, you’ll be sure to struggle with the speech, making long pauses as you try to find the words you’re seeking, and fill the speech with ums and ahs.

5) Don’t Write Down Your Speech: While we’re on the subject, you definitely don’t want to write down your speech or any notes about what you want to say. If you have notes, you might stay on track with your speech, covering the material you wanted to cover, and generally staying on track. If you do keep papers on you during your speech (perfect for if you need something to look at rather than your audience), make them random and unorganized, flip through them at regular intervals, and read the most boring and irrelevant parts throughout your speech.

There you go; if you want to be a horrible, atrocious, and downright bad public speaker, all you need to do is to follow these simple rules, and you’ll be widely known as the worst speaker by anyone in your audience. Keep it up for a few speeches, and nobody will ever ask you to speak again! (Or, you could do the exact opposite of what this article says, and you’ll end up giving a fairly solid, well liked speech. Why you would want to do that, I don’t know, but the possibility is there if you want.)

Outfit Your New GMC Sierra With Aftermarket Pickup Truck Accessories

GMC Sierra pickup accessories are a great way to accessorize your ride. When you purchase a brand new or used Sierra pickup truck, chances are, you are purchasing a very basic model. So what accessories are these, you might ask? Well there are actually a lot of different aftermarket accessories that you can add to really make your ride fit into your own style, or basically something that transforms it from basic-to-luxury. Instead of listing out all of these interior, exterior and performance accessories, I will rather list some of the areas of the accessories, so you can determine what part of the vehicle might need the most improvement.

A starting point to begin the customizing process is to have a digital camera and a notepad ready to chronicle the process from start through the evolution process. Before and after automobile decorating photos and ideas is fun to share with friends and family. It's exciting when you have just completed a particular project; you simply stand back and say "Wow, I did that."

While the factory did a good job of building a quality pickup truck like the GMC Sierra, sometimes you yearn for a little extra. That's where adding exterior accessories come in. Whether you're looking to protect your front end with a new grille guard or adding a little bling with chrome trims, exterior accessories allow you to create your dream truck that not only looks great but also performs the way that you want it to be. Some of the most popular Sierra pickup truck exterior design collections include, but are not limited, to the following; custom grilles, chrome trim accessories, bugs and stone deflector for the hood, bull bar or grille guard, nerf bars and running boards, truck tool boxes, tonneau covers, custom wheels, mud flaps, lighting upgrade, rain guard wind visors and trailer hitches . There is almost no limitation to the exterior modifications you can make to your GMC Sierra. The foremost limitation will come down to the resources you have and your vision to create a first rate style.

Another area of ​​enhancement might be the interior design. While the options become slightly more limited here, it does not imply that it is any less important to the overall scheme. The interior accessories can be any of the following; adding custom floor mats, music and audio upgrade, navigation systems, custom designed sunshade, steering wheel covers, wood dash accent trim, bed liner or bed mat, tie downs, console trim, and even some seat covers to add a little bit of class while you are saving the quality of the seats in your ride.

If you wish to rev up your Sierra a notch, there are performance accessories like air filters, air intake systems, brake upgrade, performance chips, exhaust performance upgrades, suspension systems upgrade to help accomplish your goal without compromising your available factory warranty. Whether you're after more horsepower and torque or just looking for better fuel economy, these performance accessories will get you up and running in the right direction.

If you have been looking for aftermarket accessories to spruce up your GMC Sierra, look no more. The above accessories will help enhance the interior, exterior and performance concept of your automobile.

Potholes – A Dangerous Road Defect

Odds are all drivers have experienced rolling over a pothole at some point in their lives. It is the sort of thing that makes you cringe as soon as you realize what is happening: the sound is terrible, your car shakes, and you immediately think about how bad it must be for your tires, wheels, and shocks. Fortunately, most of the time, driving over a pothole does fairly little damage. In certain circumstances, though, it can cause devastating consequences.

Although most people have a clear image in their head when they hear the term "pothole," it is worth looking at what causes these road defects to form. The word pothole can be used to label any place where part of the road material is broken way or sunk-in. The majority of potholes form as a result of pavement fatigue. As cars continually drive over the same spot, cracks form and eventually the pavement breaks away. Water can enter these cracks and expand in low temperatures, causing the degradation process to speed up. If they are not tended to, potholes can grow to be multiple feet across.

Even at low speeds, crossing paths with a large pothole can cause damage to a car's tires or suspension, resulting in expensive repairs. When high speeds or other extenuating circumstances are involved, though, the consequences can be much more serious. If a car suffers a tire blowout when it hits a pothole, it may be sent careening out of control endangering the driver, the drivers of other vehicles, and nearby pedestrians. If a pothole is located near a sharp turn, hitting it may cause a car to lose control temporarily and run into a median or guard rail. In all of these cases, there is a very real risk for serious injury, property damage, or even death.

As is the case with most road defects, it is the state's job to repair potholes. The Department of Transportation has a responsibility to drivers to maintain safe roadway conditions. If complaints are ignored and a pothole is allowed to grow and grow until it becomes a hazard to drivers, the state may be held liable for damages resulting from their negligence. An experienced legal professional can help you determine if this may be the case in your accident.

More information about For road defects, visit the website of Stevens Point car accident attorneys Habush Habush & Rottier, SC