"In Emergency, Please Use the Elevators" – A Sign in the Future?

Summary of learning from the Human Movement in Fire and Related Emergencies workshop held at Engineer's Australia, West Perth, 10 December 2008

The above instruction in the title of this article makes no sense to high rise safety traditionalists, but there is a paradigm shift sweeping the Globe in the science of tall building emergency egress (TBEE), headed by the research of Jake Pauls, CPE. It appears both elevators and stairways have relevance and applicability in TBEE, breaking a generations-old rule.

The role of human behaviour in TBEE is now being considered and foremost experts on the topic are not just fire safety engineers, but ergonomists, psychologists and risk consultants.

One of the key findings in this area, particularly on the back of the September 11 World Trade Center disaster, is we must 'carefully confirm the relevance of prevailing data' [1] we've always assumed to be correct. 9/11 smashed a lot of the theory regarding TBEE. For instance, descent speeds down stairways were actually only half that which were designed, and the ability to get people out of buildings was significantly overestimated.

One major reason for this has been stairway design, including stair width. The predominant stair width of 1,120 mm (44 ") is the alleged cause of much of the flow rate problem. It is recommended that stair width be 1,420 mm (56") to significantly increase flows during emergencies. This 27 percent increase in width delivers a 38 percent increase in flow rate, suggesting the optimal result for a Level of Service [2] at "Level E". [3] It is alleged that even increasing the width of stairways to 1,220 mm (48 ") brings significant improvement (but 1,420 mm is optimal).

As a rule-of-thumb a 1,000 mm stair width will allow sixty (60) people to flow through per minute, or one per second.

Another major reason for the gross overestimation of TBEE effectiveness is due to our physical size, fitness and fatigue factors; obesity is rapidly becoming an epidemic that is having a direct impact on TBEE.

Sixty to seventy (60-70) percent of Americans are overweight and thirty (30) percent are obese, and Australia is not far behind in second place, followed by Canada, the UK, France and Japan. With large people, not only is there less room, the added factors of lack of fitness and fatigue come into play. In extreme cases, there have been stories of three or four fire fighters required to move one person to safety.

Obesity is not only a public health crisis. Such is the extent of this problem, grossly overweight people are now surpassing the mobility impaired as the major issue in overall TBEE.

A further problem relating to obesity is larger people have a greater propensity for slips and falls down stairs.

Another issue is the factor of "human sway." Until recently, human sway [4] was not considered. Ironically, we sway more as we slow down. This means as the flow down stairways slows down due to congestion, there is the compounded effect of more sway reducing the available space.

"Traffic lanes work for cars, not for people," was cited. People also do not adhere to the rules of neatly uniformed road traffic. Not surprisingly, studies indicate human behaviour during evacuation is hard to predict.

Six (6) percent of people have major difficulty using stairs, besides there are practical difficulties in evacuating tall buildings, including the time required. It takes approximately ten times longer to walk down the stairs of tall buildings than it does using an elevator.

British Standard BS 5588: 1999 is cited as a remarkably relevant document regarding its benchmark standards, but it has only been adopted in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. The rest of the world lags behind this Standard regarding stairway design, complete with lobby and dedicated fire elevators. [5]

Elevators, together with stairways, are now being considered in both phase one and phase two of TBEE's. Phase one is the initial evacuation of the residents of buildings and phase two is the staging and mobilisation for fire crews in rescue and recovery of remaining evacuees.

The Eureka Tower in Melbourne is a building employing a "Life Safety Strategy" [6] with combined elevator / stairway methodology for TBEE, with two staging areas, at the 52nd and 24th floors.

In brief

Whilst it is not yet considered as recommended that elevators be used during multi-storey evacuations, there is a paradigm shift occurring and strategies for the combined use of elevators and stairs could become the norm in years to come.

Use of elevators for evacuating residents of buildings (phase 1) and staging and mobilisation for fire crews in rescue and recovery (phase 2) is already in place in some countries, including one example cited above in Australia.

This information has relevance to anyone who regularly inhabits buildings of any more than a few floors to one as high as 200 storys tall.

ENDNOTES:
[1] This was a refrain repeated during Mr. Peter Johnson's presentation.
[2] The concept of Level of Service (LOS) was developed by John J. Fruin, Ph.D. LOS "is a measure-of-effectiveness by which traffic engineers determine the quality of service on elements of transportation infrastructure. Whilst the motorist is, in general, interested in speed of his journey, LOS is a more holistic approach, taking into account several other factors. " See Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_service for Further information.
[3] "Level E" flows are the most efficient rate of flows for high density traffic whether pedestrians or vehicles. At "Level F" for instance, the congestion slows the rate of flow.
[4] "Human Sway" is said to be the swaying effect of a person moving their weight from one foot to another requiring increased space particularly at the shoulders. This significantly decreases overall flows due to the impact on limited space and other people.
[5] Reference was made to parts 5 and 8 of this Standard titled: Fire precautions in the design, construction and use of buildings.
[6] Part of the strategy is "to protect in place," ensuring a self-sustaining 'safety in design' as part of TBEE.

Does Warren Buffett Have Asperger’s Syndrome and Does This Make Him Financially Gifted?

Before I tell you about Warren Buffett, I first need to lay some groundwork for the article because there are some very common misconceptions about Asperger’s Syndrome, and in this particular case, I mean it as a compliment to Warren Buffett’s extraordinary abilities to think that he has this.

Asperger’s Syndrome (sometimes shortened to “aspergers” or “AS”) is the name now used for a mild form of autism that is thought to affect as many as 1 out of 300 people. People who have Asperger’s Syndrome are often affectionately referred to as “aspies” by those who love them. Most experts do not consider Aspergers to be a “mental disorder” but rather an uncommon neurological phenotype. Aspies often come across as “eccentric.” They are sometimes deemed to be “oddballs” by others but many blend in so well in society that no one would ever guess they have aspergers. It just depends on the person.

Many aspies have a very high IQ’s. In fact, some exhibit “off the charts” intelligence. The most famous aspies throughout history have mostly been highly gifted artists and scientists such as Mozart and Einstein or technical people like Bill Gates. However, aspies can also be financial geniuses because many are very good with numbers and possess other traits that can make them exceptionally good at understanding business and picking stocks (see below).

Warren Buffett, the most famous investor the world has ever known and certainly considered to be quite eccentric, is widely rumored to have aspergers or some other closely related form of mild autism. This of course is a “pop diagnosis” because, to my knowledge at least, there has never been any official announcements of Warren Buffett being officially diagnosed with aspergers. At the very least, however, he demonstrates many of the traits and quirks that are commonly associated with aspies.

Many aspies are highly resistant to change, especially in their personal lives. It is quite interesting that one of the richest men in the entire world still lives in a very humble home in Omaha Nebraska, the same home he has lived in since 1958! He eats at the same restaurant almost every day and orders the same rather bland food almost every time. Most of his day, every day, is spent reading financial reports and periodicals and he very seldom varies from this routine. In fact, he has fixed routines and does not like these to be changed. He considers them to be “distractions” from his ability to work.

People with Asperger’s Syndrome usually have some problems interacting socially with other people. They also often have some inner-personal emotional issues with the people they they are closest to. They really are not “anti-social” as some people assume because they do like to be social sometimes (just not all the time) and they do seek out close bonds with family and friends. However, they do often struggle in this department.

Many of those who have worked with Warren Buffett over the years have commented on how odd he is and how he can sometimes blurt out “inappropriate” statements. They sometimes comment on his lack of other social graces. Buffett has freely admitted in interviews how socially awkward he was when he was young. Just the thought of standing up in front of people and talking made him want to throw up. He was not very successful in the girlfriend department either and many classmates considered him a “smarty pants” and hard to get along with. However, as a young man, Buffett discovered Dale Carnegie’s book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” and he put it to the test in his real life. He was quite impressed with the results and later took Dale Carnegie’s leadership training course. Buffett credits this course to his success in business and in other aspects of his life. He proudly displays his certificate of completion in his office but does not display his college diplomas! That should tell you how much he values his Dale Carnegie training.

Regarding his abilities with interpersonal emotional issues, Warren Buffett’s family, including his deceased first wife and his son, have made public statements about how difficult it is and was to connect with him emotionally. It is quite clear that he loves his family very deeply but expressing this seems to be more of an issue than with most people.

There are many other traits that Warren Buffett exhibits too that are known traits for mild autism. It is well known that he can be painfully honest — some say “honest to a fault.” Although he usually wears a business suit, he is often disheveled, As a child, he had some very unusual interests. He would read toy railroad train catalogs for hours, roll pennies down the bath tub and time them over and over again, record the license plates of passing cars, memorize unusual facts, and sit and stare for hours at a time.Even today, he still has some very unusual “hobbies” such as spotting the square roots and cube roots of large numbers on license plates. It has been pointed out by experts that these are very “aspie-like” traits.

It is easy to see how some of Warren Buffett’s traits that could be considered to be asperger-like have helped him to be the extraordinarily gifted investor that he is. For starters, he has the uncanny ability to hyper-focus for very long periods of time and he can do this on subjects that would bore most people to death. Plus, he has has continued to do this for years. This hyper-focus is just not a trait that can be duplicated by most people no matter how hard they try and it is a known aspie trait.

“Fluid intelligence,” which I personally believe Warren Buffet likely has, is a special kind of intelligence that has been shown to be present in highly intelligent aspergians. It is a true gift and allows one to see connections between topics that most people, even intelligent people, can not see. It also allows a person to very easily recognize patterns and trends. I believe this “fluid intelligence” may be another critical key to why Buffett is such a talented investor and why it is very difficult to truly imitate him.

Warren Buffett does not seem affected by the same “peer pressure” that most investors are subject to. In fact, he seems to pride himself on being different and bucking Wall Street paradigms. He doesn’t seem to much care if he is different. This is very much an aspie trait that I believe has allowed him to amass a fortune by developing his own very unique and very successful style of trading which has evolved over the years to accommodate his ever increasing amounts of wealth.

Most aspies develop what is usually termed “special interests” which are intense interests in subjects that are esoteric and/or unusual. Aspies will go to great lengths to learn absolutely everything there is to know on their special interest subjects. Often times they have a genius level savant ability in their special interest. These usually start in childhood and Warren Buffett’s interest in making money and the financial world certainly started in childhood. Further, he continued to pursue this special interest with an intensity that is very seldom seen in other individuals.

In interviews, Warren Buffett himself has said that he thinks he is “wired differently” than most people. From my research, I agree with him and I believe he demonstrates many traits that are common in those who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. I also believe that these very special traits are the reason he is so financially gifted. The human race is quite lucky to have these rare individuals come along ever so often. Given all that he has taught other investors and the enormous donations to charity that he has recently so generously given, he has become one of the most influential people of all time and I believe will continue to make a positive impact for many generations to come.

Why I Write

I must have written a hundred articles on “why I write” so I won’t attempt another article of this nature – this one is about you. Why do you write?

There are so many different reasons why we write: for business, for pleasure, to see our name in print or just because we have little else to do but scribble in a diary or journal or write poetry – whatever it is we’re

doing, at least we’re writing.

Let’s assume that you are writing to become published, and go from there. Where and how do you start? What do you write and how do you submit your manuscript to publishers? Who will you send it to? Will it be accepted or rejected? When do you submit? How will you react if it is rejected? What do you do with a piece that an editor rejects but suggests advice on a rewrite? Do you need an agent? These are legitimate questions that need a legitimate answer.

1) First, you need something to write about. You can wait for an assignment from an editor or better yet, you can browse several back issues of a particular magazine that interests you – read articles that you are

interested in writing about or if you have an idea of an article or story that might be of interest to the editor and readers of a magazine, start with that. Do the necessary research on the publication of interest – request writers guidelines and get a feel of the interests and needs of that particular publication. That way, you’ll know exactly how to slant (or how to write) your article or story.

2) Once you have done the initial marketing research above, and know what it is that you need to write, get busy. Lay it aside for a few days, revise and edit it. When you feel that it is ready to be submitted, follow the guideline submission rules, and submit it. The internet has afforded us such a luxury these days that it might be easier to email it. But be sure of what the writers guidelines says about internet submissions.

3) There is no way of knowing that a piece will be accepted or rejected but you will never know if you don’t submit your work to the editor. Give it at least 6 to 8 weeks before contacting the editor about your piece if you do not hear from them during that time.

4) If you receive a letter from an editor accepting your work, congratulations! Enjoy the ride! If they request a rewrite, it will be up to you to do the work required and again, you must wait for their response once

you resubmit your rewrite.

If it is then accepted for publication, again, congratulations.

If not, the best thing to do is keep trying until you get it right. Put the piece away for a while until you feel that you can come back and edit and rewrite it with a different perspective. Sometimes we writers think our work is perfect and can’t see it in any other way. If you let it set a while, you’ll be able to see it in a different light. Then is the time to rewrite and resubmit it.

In the meantime while that piece is cooling off, keep writing – having something simmering on the back burner will always keep you well stocked or “well fed”. I remember back in the day when my grandmother use to simmer beans on the stove all day long. We’d nibble around on food all day but when it came suppertime, we had a feast of beans and rice or whatever it happened to be simmering on the back burner. Though we were poor, we always had a pot of delicious food cooked for us each day. The same applies to writing – keep working on different writing projects between submitting and waiting for an answer. You will always have a stock pile of submissions and possible acceptances.

5) You do not necessarily need an agent to get started in writing. I never had one. But I do not have a book published yet so I will not answer that until that day comes. But in the beginning of my writing career years ago, I never had an agent, and still don’t today. It really depends on what you write. The choice is yours.

Now that you have a clear idea of why you write, get busy – stock up the stories and articles and get those pots on the back burner simmerin’!

Start writing!

How to Braid Bread

You can give your favorite kneaded yeast bread or coffee cake an intriguing twist by shaping it into a braid. For picture perfect results, just follow these simple directions. Plan to make one braid from a recipe based on 3 ½ to 4 cups flour, and two braids from a recipe based on 5 to 6 cups of flour.

Preparing the dough:

1. Mix up the bread dough following recipe instructions.

2. Knead the dough and let it rise in a warm place till double.

3. Punch down.

4. For each braid, divide the dough into thirds and shape each portion into a ball.

5. Cover and let rise 10 minutes so dough will be easier to handle.

6. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball into an evenly thick rope about 16 inches long.

7. Line up the three ropes, 1 inch apart, on a greased baking sheet.

Braiding the bread:

1. Begin in the middle of the ropes and work toward the ends.

2. (Working from the middle is easier and helps avoid stretching the dough, which results in an uneven loaf.)

3. Braid the ropes loosely so the dough has room to expand without cracking or losing its shape.

4. Gently straighten the ropes on the baking sheet.

5. Pinch the ends of the ropes together and tuck the sealed portion under the braid so the ropes, won’t come apart during baking.

6. Cover the braid and let rise in a warm place till almost double.

7. For a crisp, shiny crust, brush the braid with a mixture of 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk.

8. If desired, sprinkle with a little sugar, sesame seed, or poppy seed atop each braid.

9. Bake as directed in the recipe.

Leisure Activities – Plan Ahead

Do you feel a let-down–a sense of emptiness, uneasy or confused–when you have fulfilled a responsibility? If you have not prepared yourself to enjoy the periods of rest that will naturally follow task fulfillment you might feel a sense of emptiness, uneasiness or confused. Many people profess they look forward to leisure time, but then are at a loss as to how to use it constructively and enjoyably.

Leisure time is not necessarily only for mindless pursuits that are somewhat enjoyable. When you plan your time to ensure that your day contains a balance between focused accomplishments and thoughtful leisure, you will be contented knowing what is coming next and can make the most of every moment.

When you plan fulfilling activities to focus on when you have leisure time, you will be able to transition–releasing pent up stress in between periods of goal activity. You will find it easier to unwind when you have something pleasant on which you plan to focus.

Many people simply have not learned how to create leisure time or use it effectively. Thus, leisure is task-oriented, demand-oriented and packed with pressure to perform well. Instead of experiencing the joy and playfulness of leisure, they put themselves at risk of draining their energy reserves more.

Leisure is the time to renew yourself. Without that renewal time, you will burn out. Leisure needs to be time when you do it for the enjoyment of it. Leisure is as necessary as sleeping, exercising and eating healthy.

Set aside time each day for a leisure activity you enjoy, even if it is just a ten-minute walk around the block after a long day or between tasks. If leisure time during the day is impractical–consider giving yourself a 10-minute mini-vacation.

Sitting with your eyes closed visualize yourself in a peaceful and restful place–beach, skiing, swimming, hiking, boating, fishing, golfing, sleeping or reading. After this 10-minute mini-vacation you will feel refreshed, relaxed and your batteries will be recharged.

Best Baby Feeding Bottles

As first time parents, you will be facing so many decisions in caring for your baby. You will need to decide on what crib you will be buying, car seats you will be using, clothes, whether your baby will be rooming in with you or not, and so on. Another important decision is the baby feeding bottles you will choose to have your baby use.

There are many types of baby bottles in the market today; the traditional feeding bottles for babies are made of plastic and are quite inexpensive. However, there are also glass baby feeding bottles that are safer to use but much more pricey. You will also have to check on the types of teats that are appropriate for your baby's age. The teat or the nipple of the baby bottle feeding controls the amount of milk that your baby gets. While there are teats that only let in a small amount of milk into your baby's mouth, it is important for you to remember that it would still be more than what your baby gets from breastfeeding.

Feeding bottles have to be washed and sterilized a lot since your baby would need about 8 feedings in a day. Additionally, you might be raring to go back to work and would need extra bottles to store your own milk in for your baby when you are at work. This means that you need to have a load of feeding bottles at home that are sturdy and can last for a long time.

Plastic feeding bottles for babies are safe for use, regardless of bad publicity that made a lot of parents want to switch to glass bottles. There have been reports that some trace chemicals in the manufacturing of plastic feeding bottles could be harmful to your growing baby. However, FDA has already released a statement that this is not true. The only disadvantage of plastic feeding bottles would be that they should be changed as soon as the plastic is already blurred. This is not to say that it becomes less safe but only because you will have a hard time reading the demarcations for ounces.

Glass baby feeding bottles made a comeback right after the concerns on chemicals in plastic bottles surfaced. They are still a viable option though, if only to make you feel at ease with what you use to feed your baby. The only trouble is that because it is glass, it is much heavier and easier to break.

Take on New Empowering Beliefs Using NLP

Change your Self-limiting beliefs – using NLP

What is your opinion of you? Whatever that is, is a belief, your belief. Who created that belief? Well you are the only person who could, aren’t you? No one else has access to your thoughts do they?

Whatever you believe about yourself will take shape in your life. When you believe that you are say, a great competition cyclist, then you will begin to take more interest in your fitness levels, your equipment, your diet. Then you will ‘know’ that you have prepared well for your activity and will feel more ‘confident’ in yourself. You are then more likely to be successful in competitions. This will encourage you to step up to the next level and learn from those more experienced than you. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The danger is that negative beliefs about ourselves can start to become like facts in our minds. We just know that the tomorrow the day will dawn. Whatever we choose to believe about it, it is a fact. Believing something different won’t change it. However, believing that everything else in our life is an unchangeable fact too, is where the problems begin.

Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes. It was widely believed at the time that no man could run a mile in less than four minutes. Guess what? Shortly after he had achieved this record breaking run, many other athletes did the same. What had happened? Their belief that no man could run a mile in less than four minutes had been shot to pieces.

So here is the ‘how to’ create a positive belief about yourself:

Do this simple yet powerful exercise to help you change your beliefs:

Rememeber a belief which is definitely true for you. It could be something like, “I am a woman”. Was there an image created in your head? Notice if there were colours, was it bright, was the picture moving? Were there any sounds to accompany it, were they loud or soft, soothing or jarring. Did you get a feeling in your body? Whereabouts?

Now think of a belief that you would really like to change, a belief that is holding you back in your life? A belief that if you could change would really make a dramatic difference to your life. Aim high.It could be something like,”I will never get the kind of job I really want.”

Overlay the qualities of your original belief which you know is definitely true for you, onto those of the belief that you would like to create. So for example, if your original picture was colourful,you would make your new belief picture colourful and bright. If you heard singing and laughter you would attach those sounds to your new picture. If you had a feeling in your chest, create that feeling in your chest for this belief too.

The magic is, that you can use this simple technique very easily and very simply for any beliefs that you want to take on. Start now and make that list of new beliefs that will change your life.

Save Yourself From a Receding Hairline

Male pattern baldness involving thinning of the hair from the forehead line is known as receding hairline. This is most commonly found in males but there are also rare cases of females with the same condition. It is seen as a sign of aging mostly. But this condition in the early adulthood is an issue of concern. Receding hairline is also known as frontal hair loss. This will ultimately end in baldness if left untreated

Loss of hair is due to dihydrotestosterone which is a male hormone. The high levels of this hormone bring about increased fall of strands. Females with high DHT also face the same problem. Testosterone combines with 5 alpha reductase to from DHT. The DHT thus formed attacks the hair follicles and loses its hold on the hair leading to the loss, this being the genetic reason behind greatest issue faced by people across. There are also other reasons that lead to a receding hairline.

Excessive usage of chemicals on the hair is one of the major reasons for frontal hair loss. Shampoos, dyes, gels etc when used beyond the limit will ultimately lead to hair loss. Limit shampooing your hair to twice in a week. Using different shampoos each time might also become a reason for hair loss. Good food and proper diet can help maintain healthy hair and also plays the role in blocking DHT. The body should be supplied with the vitamins and minerals required to maintain it healthy. Excessive intake of any particular nutrient can also be harmful. Some disease conditions also cause hair loss. Proper disease diagnosis and treatment can stop any hair loss related with it. Certain hair styles also can lead to receding of the frontal hair, like tight ponytails. They pull the hair backward and loose the hold of the hair follicles on the roots. This pressure on the follicles for longer periods of time will detach the hair from the follicle. Sometimes, a cotton pillow case can also alleviate the problem. In such a condition, a satin or silk pillow case will come handy. Excessive combing also can lead to hair loss. Combing will cause slight fall of hair but when it comes to frequent combing, each time the strand is lost.

These are the ways to prevent frontal problems with the hair. But if you are already stricken with this condition, these may not come handy. In such a case, hair transplant is highly recommended. There are also other medications containing Finasteride and Minoxidil which has been approved by FDA to cure frontal hair loss.

Over-The-Road Independent Truck Driver Segment – Signage Strategies Considered

Most of those running truck stops and truck washes have considered the rough economy and hardship of the American Trucker, including future challenges with higher fuel costs due to oil inventories and anticipated seasonal diesel fuel price spikes coinciding with increased freight as economy recovers (or double dip). It was noted that the new Independent owner operators are more likely to go to a Truck Wash due to the “Hand Washing” methods, as this is of extreme value to this segment.

To attract more of this choice market and full-paying customer it was noted that better signage for trucks approaching from either direction 25 miles out with a reminder at five miles left for the truck wash made sense. One recent truck washing manager suggested a trailer with signage parked adjacent to the freeway made sense.

Ask yourself; are some buildings on the frontage outside of town that are blank block walls and perhaps, their owners might be enticed to some signage. Maybe contact the state DOT to find out about privately owned billboard rules that your Truck Wash could use and then contact freeway frontage property owners about signage on their land. It should be noted that high winds at certain times of the year would mean signage would need to be robust and maintained regularly, perhaps inspected weekly?

Many truck washes paint their roof a very unusual color so it becomes extremely visible from the freeway many miles out, reminding frequenting truck drivers on that highway or freeway where they are. One day hoping they will stop, and then killing them with great service and a first class truck wash. Some truck washes give a $10 discount each time if you allow them to put on their mud-flaps on the back of your trailer, this can be a good deal for both the truck wash and the independent driver trying to squeeze out a little more profit and lower costs.

Your truck wash should have signage visible to all trucks pulling out of nearby truck stops, it only costs a little to put a sign across the street from a truck stop, usually they are located where the land is cheap enough. Don’t be shy when it comes to signage for your truck wash. You may think you are being a “signage whore” said one marketing consultant recently in Transport Topics, but what the heck, you need to increase volume and good signage is probably the easiest way to do just that.

How To Win Someone's Heart

Ever tried to penetrate the tough guy facade? Or been turned away by the 'I do not need you or anyone else' face? There is a secret to winning someone's heart. This article does not guarantee that you will it merely equips you with the best tools to do so.

It does not matter if the situation is a boy trying to win the heart of a girl, a parent trying to get through to his rebellious teenager, an employer trying to help a disgruntled employee, or a wife trying to break down emotional barriers in her husband, the answer to accomplishing this is the same: understanding.

No one can win another's heart without first understanding what it took to get that person to the place they are. When you can walk emotionally and even, to some degree, mentally in the footsteps of another person, your understanding of who they are, how they got where they are, and why they do what they do will increase dramatically. This allows you the chance to win someone's heart.

Understanding accomplishes the following:

IT REDUCES YOUR ANGER

When you know why someone did what they did, you are often less inclined to get angry. If you knew that the person that stole your wallet was a 12 year old kid that had not eaten a thing in two weeks, you would probably not get very angry. If you knew that the person that cut you off while driving was desperate to get his pregnant wife to the hospital, you probably would not get angry.

If you knew the circumstances that brought a person to do what they did, you might not get so upset. That does not excuse what they did; it just means that you will be in more control over yourself, giving yourself greater opportunity to win that person's heart.

IT BRINGS COMPASSION

There is a story in the Bible about Jesus in Luke 17. A widow woman had just lost her only child and was on the way to bury him. Jesus knew within Himself that she was all alone. Understanding her situation brought greater compassion. Jesus resurrected her son.

During my years of counseling as a Pastor, I have discovered that well over 80% of all child molesters were molested as a child themselves. The path they were set upon was one that was forced on them. It in no way excuses their deplorable, despicable behavior, but it does allow me to have more compassion towards them. This compassion allows me the ability and opportunity to help them. Enough, perhaps, to change them from their previous path.

IT PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY

When someone loses their spouse, the person who is able to help the most is usually someone who has also lost their spouse. When someone is abandoned or divorced, those that are most helpful are often those who have gone through what they have. Again, the key is understanding. To understand someone allows you the opportunity to help them and to reach them.

The more you try to understand someone, the more opportunity you will have to help them.

CONCLUSION

Instead of just passing judgment on a person, why do you not attempt to understand them better? Understanding is the key to winning someone's heart!

DIY Solar Or Wind Charge Controller

For many people who want to live off the grid, a charge controller is a valuable piece of equipment for solar panel or wind turbine power systems. What it does is regulate the amount of DC electricity flowing from the power source to the back up batteries. When you are using alternative energy sources, you will get fluctuations in power. A charge controller will monitor that incoming voltage and and will turn off the circuit when the batteries are fully charged. A diversion load charge controller will even send the extra voltage to another load, like the grid, after your batteries are charged. This protects your back up system from damage because it does not allow your batteries to be over-charged which will lower the life of your expensive batteries.

You do not have to buy a charge controller, because you can get the "DIY" 0r "Do-It-Yourself" plans and schematics to build one. These plans come with everything you need including a detailed diagram for the DIY charge controller circuit and a list of the materials and tools you will need for the job. It will also give the websites you will need to order the different parts from, since some of these will not be readily available locally. A good DIY plan will also have detailed, step-by-step instructions with full color photos, and for more technical steps, full diagrams and other information to make building your own charge controller quickly and easily. For an example, it could make suggestions where to install the controller for the best effectiveness or how to do all of the electrical hook ups for the system.

A good DIY charge controller plan should also include options to make just the basic controller, or include all the fancy diodes and specialized circuits if you want. A good plan should also be able to upgrade as new technology comes out so you do not have to start all over. It can also include other helpful tips and information to get the most out of your controller. You should be able to follow the instructions well, and still have a bit of the DIY challenge.

Everyone wants to save money; otherwise you would just pay the expense of buying a charge controller that was already assembled. A charge controller plan, including all the necessary parts should not cost more that just buying an already assembled one. The plans themselves should not be more that $ 20, and all the parts you need under $ 20. The only big expense would be buying a tool like a soldering iron which you may not already have. It is not a huge piece of equipment, so it should not cost an arm and a leg.

Can the find : many You different websites That offer DIY charge controller plans. It is a good idea to shop around in order to find the right plans at the right price. Make sure that if you are looking for one of these, that you choose websites that are geared towards alternative energy sources. They will have the most expertise in the field and will sell you a plan that is tried and true. One of these websites is also ideal because you will have access to more alternative power ideas.

Building Your Own Computer for Editing Video

If you have a serious interest in editing video with a PC, you may have discovered that just any run of the mill computer will not do. Degraded image quality is often the result, with a loss of resolution, and even dropped frames. Professional quality results require a professional quality machine, but the price for one of these can be outrageous.

Do not be discouraged. If you're smart enough to make a movie, then you're smart enough to build your own computer to edit it on, and save as much as $ 700 to $ 1000 by doing so.

Usually when you build a computer, you design it around the CPU. This one time, I'll ask you to take a different path. Since what you are going to do is edit video on a machine dedicated to that purpose alone, I want you to first select the editing software package you want to use and work from there.

Let's say the program you prefer is Premiere Pro. Essentially what you'll be aiming to create is a computer that will run Premiere better than any other machine out there. The first step to insure this is to get a capture card dedicated to this software.

By "dedicated", I mean a card whose manufacturer designed it to work specifically with Premiere Pro, one example being the Matrox cards. Often these items will be bundled together, software and card, at a great savings in price. Sometimes, other programs will be thrown in with the bundle, virtually for nothing. They often include a basic 3-D animation program, sound effects, and similar items.

With your software / capture card selection made, you're now ready to return to a more traditional method of parts selection. Which CPU is right for you is your next decision.

Of course, the software you picked will have a minimum recommended processor, but I rather doubt when buying a top quality editing program that you'd want to hamstring it with a slow CPU. Things like rendering effects require your computer to do some heavy duty number crunching. The faster your chip, the quicker the job gets done.

This is one situation where I can recommend a dual core processor, and here's why: let's say you're using a program like Cinelook to make a video clip look like film. Depending on the size of the clip, that can tie up your computer for a long time. But what if you have a 3-D animation, or some other item you need to get done?

With a single core processor, I'd say you'd just have to wait. But with a dual core, it's almost as if you have two computers in one case. You can go ahead with your 3-D project, while your video-to-Cinelook clip gets done at the same time.

To really take advantage of this, you'll need a motherboard with a fast bus. Its processor socket will have to match the CPU you've selected, such as a 775, a 939, or whatever chip type you picked. You'll also have to accommodate the slot your capture card requires. Most of them still use PCI, but some are coming out in the new PCI Express type.

When buying a motherboard, you'll find the very newest and latest models on the market are usually expensive. Boards with many of the same features that came out only a few months before can be found that sell for a fraction of the price. Higher price does not equate to better quality. There are bargains to be found if you shop around.

Something special I'd like you to consider is using a pair of hard drives. Have one drive for doing captures and editing, and use the other for storage of clips, stills, and all the other things you'll put in your movie.

In the past, we'd have more than one hard drive because drives were limited in size. Now, one disk can hold what ten did only a few years ago. It would seem that one drive would be plenty.

Yet, there is a good reason for having two drives. The more stuff you crowd onto one drive the slower it gets. If you use your main drive for only captures and editing it stays lean and fast. Your storage drive not only holds the clips you captured, but each day's finished work as well.

If all of this is beginning to sound complex, it really is not. You can build one of these in an afternoon, if you plan your machine carefully, and have a good how-to book guiding you. As I have told many people "There are only eleven major parts in a computer. All of them either snap together, or plug in. If you can connect just eleven items, then you can build a computer."

Starting a Cabela Retail Franchise

Cabala is a very famous store that caters to people who love the outdoors. Before you think about starting a retail store you must consider these things.

1. Is there a need for a Cabela franchise in your local community? You do not want to open a retail franchise in an area where it will not be profitable. You should go out and interview people and see if they know what type of merchandise they carry and if they would shop at the story that you are thinking of starting. Market research is crucial to knowing where to think about starting a Cabela retail franchise.

2. Evaluate how much knowledge you have of Cabela products. You need to have prior knowledge of the products that you will sell before you think about starting a retail store. These are some of the products that their franchise would carry: archery equipment, hunting equipment, ATV accessories, camping equipment, shooting gear, hunting dog accessories, clothing, fishing equipment, and boating equipment.

3. Compile a list of states that do not have a Cabela’s if one of their retail franchises is not needed in your area. This would require moving to another state but if you are really serious about your idea, then it is well worth the sacrifice in the long run. Here are examples of states where there are no franchises: Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alaska, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Oregon. These states all have consumers who could need a retail franchise in their state because many people love the outdoors. Many people who love the outdoors do not want to order everything they need online, they want to be able to see and touch the items that they need before they purchase them.

4. Assess your financial situation. In order to start a franchise you need start up capital and usually that requires a business loan. You need to know if you have good enough credit to secure a business loan. You also need to examine how this franchise would affect your household’s finances.

5. Find potential investors or partners to help fund your franchise. This will help alleviate some of the financial burden on you. It also helps you if you cannot secure a large enough business loan to give you the necessary startup capital that is necessary.

6. Before you ask for a business loan, see how much the entire start up of a franchise in the location that you have chosen will cost. This will allow you to properly budget and ask for the correct amount of money from the bank.

Cabela’s have been around since 1961. The company is even listed on the New York Stock Exchange and in 2006 sent out over 135 million catalogs to consumers. In the second quarter of 2008 their total revenue was 526 million dollars which is an increase of 16.6 %. If you decide to start a retail franchise and find the perfect location, necessary startup capital, and skilled and knowledgeable employees, then you will have a recipe for a profitable business. And remember, franchising is the best kept secret of the 21st Century!

Ten Places to Go to in Chad

Chad is one of the countries of the Saharan Africa. It is bordered by Libya to its south, Niger and Cameroon to its east, Central African Republic to its North, and Sudan to its west. Chad is also a country that boasts of some wonderful places to visit, and here are some of them.

1.) N'Djamena

The war has brought down the liveliness of this biggest city of Chad, and after the war, Chad is tying to regain back its reputation as one of the liveliest city in Africa. Here in N'Djamena, you can still see buildings riddled with bullet holes, but despite of this, there is still some cheerful atmosphere to it as you tour its historic quarters as well as the its marketplace. You can also visit its National Museum to see wonderful artifacts from the Sarh culture.

2.) Zakouma National Park

This is a national park where you can also see the Bahr Salamat and its branches as they run across the plains. During the war, this national park lost most of its wildlife because of poaching and the effects of civil war. But now, the government of Chad has reintroduced back the animals, and so the park is what it once was, full of wildlife.

3.) Lake Chad

This is a historic site since it was once the center for the salt trade industry in Africa. But now, it is rapidly shrinking, and there are fewer animals around the lake. But still, this is a good place to visit, and it is best to visit this lake at about August to December when it is at its fullest, and you can see a lone hippopotamus or a lone crocodile swim by.

4.) Sarh

This is Chad's second biggest city. Its main source of income is through its sugarcane and cotton plantations. What you can see and enjoy here is its national museum and the Center Artisanal where you can also buy some of your souvenirs to take home with you.

5.) Moundou

Recognized as the country's third biggest city, it is made more popular by the Gala Brewery. You can visit the brewery for a tour and get to taste some of the most delicious beer in Chad. But you have to prepare for about a day to reach this place.

6.) Abeche

If you want to see more desert charm, then Abeche is the place for you to go to. Here, its oriental charisma is palpable. You can stroll along its streets made from cobblestones and visit some of its mosques as well as the markets.

7.) Tibesti Mountains

This is a must-see place as it is home to the Toubou Tribe. This is also popular for its racing camels. What you can see here are majestic chasms and crags, perfect for any nature lover.

8.) Restaurants of N'Djamena

It is not worth it to travel to an exotic country and not taste its foods. Here in N'Djamena, there are many French as well as authentic African restaurants that you can visit. Do not forget to taste their rice covered in peanut sauce as it is one of their specialties.

9.) Bars and nightlife in N'Djamena

If you are tired of nature and desert, then hit some of the bars in N'Djamena. Although a war-stricken city, it does its best to entertain the visitors. Drink their best beer, Gala, in these bars as well as join in some open-air dancing.

10.) Novotel N'Djamena La Tchadienne's Casino

This is a very beautiful hotel located in N'Djamena. If you are still in need of some modern entertain, then go to its casino. Here, you can play poker and blackjack.

The Aquarian – A Spiritual Adult

The hearts and minds of humanity are now sufficiently opened to be able to feel and to know that there is a link that connects all humanity and all life. This awareness has created a critical moment in the evolution of humanity. Humanity as a whole is now responding to the call from his individual and collective Self, to return to his heritage that is both Royal and Priestly. Under the influence of the planet Uranus that embodies the consciousness of Oneness and is the ruler of this New Age of Aquarius, mankind is beginning to respond to the urge toward Brotherhood.

For eons, mankind has grappled with the questions of his existence, his destiny, and the questions of: Who Am I? Where Did I Come From? What Am I Here to Do? And Where Am I Going? The struggles to find answers to these questions have led to much contemplation and inquiry by some and a feeling of frustration, hopelessness and being trapped by many others.

The confluence of energies now being emitted into our planet by the Spiritual Hierarchy coupled with the high level of human development is providing a suitable environment for the rigorous investigation to these pressing questions. Humanity is demanding more time for self-discovery and reflection. The more the individual knows of himself and of his environment, the greater the feeling of control over his life and his destiny. To gain that control, it is essential that his understanding of the Causal level of his existence and his reason for embarking on this adventure to Earth be realized.

The search for philosophical and psychological explanations for our existence has brought us to a wonderful and expanded mental and emotional level of development. One that now enables us to sense that there is a significant next step in our evolution. There is emerging a great desire to penetrate into an even deeper understanding of life at its Core, which is to reach above and within to find the Source of this Dance of Life.

All through our history, the more intellectually and spiritually advanced of our race have given us glimpses into the deeper realities, which lie behind and beyond the superficial beliefs and understandings of our present realities. Among these advanced souls are Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Francis Bacon and, of course, the elder brother of the Race of Man and leader of Piscean Age, Yeshua Ben Joseph. He is who we in the West call Jesus the Christ.

There are many schools of thought on the origin of Man. One of these ideologies is the ancient Masonic story acted out in the Masonic rituals. I will speak about Masonry at great length in this volume. It is important to understand the importance of this arcane knowledge and its significance to the Age of Aquarius. In this Age, Masonry will be a restoration of these ancient and sacred Mysteries. It will correctly reflect the expressions of the Soul which are the true intent for which the Great White Lodge on Sirius gave Masonry to Humanity. The distortions we have witnessed over the centuries are also reflective of the distortions of the personality expressed as separateness, exclusion and cruelty. Masonry is a gift to humanity and our destinies are inextricably linked to it.

The story of Masonry tells us that just as the Candidate for initiation enters into the Lodge from outside the Lodge, mankind entered into Planet Earth from outside this planet. Man, a spiritual entity symbolized by a circle, descended from his high estate into Earth, symbolized by the square. Spiritual man entered into the Lodge of Earth to unfold his full divinity while in flesh. This is what has been referred to as the “squaring of the circle.” In the Lodge, as on Planet Earth, the candidate subjects himself to graded, disciplined training with definite objectives. The primary objective is self-knowledge and with this knowledge, he has an obligation to be in service to all Life. The long years of intense formal and informal training unfolds in his heart and mind a deep understanding of his own nature and, therefore, the nature of all life and his connection to them. He later begins to extrapolate this knowledge so as to contemplate his connection with life in the solar system, the galaxy, the universe and all life everywhere. The Masonic story is occult in its nature. The word occult has conjured up frightful images in the minds of many who are ignorant of its true meaning. The term will increasingly become commonplace since the Age of Aquarius is the Age of occultism and the externalization of the Western Mysteries.

Conversely, we are leaving the Age of Mysticism, which we experienced under the Piscean Age, but we are not leaving its contributions behind. Occultism, which means hidden or secret knowledge was ironically, never hidden since nature lay bare all the so-called hidden mysteries. It was always available for all who were mature enough to “see”. The ancients have told us that whatever we are afraid of holds the greatest promise for our liberation. Mankind has tended to be afraid of what he does not understand. To change this pattern, he must seek to know.

In principle, all religions in all cultures have at their core the Masonic blueprint. The form in which it is practiced might be slightly different from culture to culture and reflect the level of consciousness thus far evolved. Over the last fifty years, a large percent of humanity has increasingly expanded his search for the hidden meanings of life. He is also now accepting that his teachings do not reflect the whole truth of his heritage and destiny. It is also true, however, that due to humanity’s emotional and mental maturity, he is now better able to understand more. He is now better able to respond to the sensor that is within him to gradually wake up to his true nature.

An examination of the Masonic ritual gives us some clues to the meaning of our life here and helps us answer the great philosophical questions of Life. When the candidate enters the Lodge, he is placed in the Southwest corner, the place of greatest darkness and ignorance. This was also the placement of the Planet in the solar System. The goal then is to move through and around the Lodge to the East by way of the North, where the veiled knowledge, the unknown or mysteries, resides. As the candidate increases in knowledge, wisdom and understanding, he is able to part the veils of illusion and this illumination duly places him in the East of the Lodge, the place of knowledge and Light.

This story of the candidate’s journey is analogous to that of man’s journey into form, from a place of high estate. It is similarly the story of the prodigal son spoken of in the Bible. He left home and went on a journey into the far country to gain a knowledge he could not acquire if he had stayed at home. Planet Earth is on a similar journey in the Solar System.

For many this idea resonates at the core of their beings because they have never lost the memory and knowledge of their place of origin. Most of our indigenous groups on all the continents have kept intact the knowledge and connection with their ancient home on the Stars. Robert Temple in the Sirius Mystery gives a compelling account of the long history of the Dogon peoples of Mali and their ongoing relationship with the star system Sirius. NASA later confirmed the precise information of the behavior and position of the planet.

Zechariah Sitchin, in his book, The Twelfth Planet gave a researched account of the origin of mankind and our eventual destiny. However, Ageless Wisdom has known all this and more for thousands of years. Mankind is being impulsed all the time to wake up out of his long sleep and to re-discover himself and his home. Man’s journey into this human experience is the combined effort of three Great constellations: the Great Bear, Sirius and the Pleiades. They represent the Supernal Triangle of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Mother aspect respectively. Qabalistically, they represent Kether, Chokmah and Binah on the Tree of Life. These three forces have influenced our experiment and adventure. Humanity is here to discover how far from the center of light he can travel and still make his way back home safely without losing all memory of his origin and his oneness with his fellow beings and all life. These three energies in a step down process express themselves through the three centers closest to humanity: Shamballah, the Hierarchy and Humanity.

The impulse for this experiment came out of the constellation of the Great Bear, which represents the Primal Will or Divine intent for mankind. It is the center from which the idea for creative manifestation originated. It is the lower level of this Will that humanity calls self-will and it is through the medium of the zodiacal sign of Aries that this experiment was initiated. The seven leading Stars of the Great Bear are said to be that of seven constellations from which the seven planetary influences impact our Earth. These make up the seven Rishis or seven brothers of the Great Bear.

Sirius the “dog star” is said to be the “Great instructor of mankind” from which the governance of this planet is orchestrated by the Lord of Action and Reaction commonly known as Karma. The goal of its leadership is the development of cosmic consciousness on the mental plane. Sirius impacts our planet through the influences of Uranus, Neptune and Saturn to provide the conditions for the reaping of souls that is now taking place. The connection with Sirius is, therefore, being felt by a large number of souls due to the advancement of consciousness that has occurred here on planet Earth. The consciousness of Love-wisdom is the focus of this second member of the great supernal triangle. It is from the great White Lodge on Sirius that the work of the Seventh Ray of Ceremonial Law and Order issues. This energy will produce the conditions that will permit the re-appearance on Earth of the Mysteries of Initiation. It is in this context that Masonry will be reformed, understood and become open. The Sun has veiled the hidden planet Uranus but now employs it as the agent through which it focuses its influence like a lens to externalize the arcane mysteries in this Aquarian Age. The sign of Gemini, the sign of relationships, has provided a portal through which humanity came to experiment with relationships between all pairs of opposites. It is under this sign, and from Sirius that the Masonic tradition was given to mankind. Its distinctive symbols of the two pillars of the temple, one white and one black, offers for our meditation the extremes of relationships. The Hierarchy or the Soul level of expression of our planet is the medium through which the Lords on Sirius work.

The Pleiades, the third aspect of the triangle, is referred to as the seven sisters and the brides of the seven brothers of the Great Bear. It is this union of the seven brides and the seven brothers that the book of Genesis speaks of when it refers to “the sons of God who are gone down to lie with the daughters of men.” We place the seven sisters of the Pleiades in the sphere of Binah, the Great Mother and in union with the seven brothers of the Great Bear in the sphere of Chokmah. They gave birth to the Sons of men we call the seven planets: Jupiter, Mars, the physical Sun, Venus, Mercury, the Moon and the Earth. These seven planets express their seven vibrational frequencies or Rays through the seven chakras along the spine to support and nurture physical, emotional, mental and spiritual life on this planet. The Pleiades is situated in the constellation of Taurus, the sign of dense matter and of eventual illumination. Through the influence of Taurus, the aspirant presses on and finally develops the ability to “see”. From the cave of this dense matter, the Christ -child is hidden and is later born. The energies of the Pleiades are directly connected with the development of the personality and, therefore, work most closely with the Human Kingdom. The Pleiadean influences later move the aspirant from the Path of Probation to the Path of Accepted Disciple.

These three forces of the Great Bear, Sirius and the Pleiades, working through the Monad or Spirit, Soul and Personality centers, distribute their energies through the twelve signs of the zodiac under the influence of the seven planets. These twelve signs fall into two categories. Seven of these influence the evolution of planetary consciousness on our planet. The other five: Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces, directly influence the development of the five continents of Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and America.

The twelve signs can be configured to form three crosses expressing the triplicity and quadruplicity of the zodiac for every perfected soul that must pass through the metamorphosis of the Cross. The elements of Air, Earth, Fire and Water make up the four arms of the Mutable, Fixed and Cardinal crosses. These three crosses represent the crosses that stood on the Mount of Golgotha on which Jesus died.

The four arms of the Mutable Cross are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. This cross is called the Whirling cross, the cross of material change and of the Hidden Christ. Because of its mutable quality it provides the aspirant the fluidity between the pairs of opposites until it takes hold of the soul energy. The infant consciousness of the aspirant is nurtured and provided the opportunity to move from the animal soul to a true aspirant. Symbolically, the Mutable Cross represents the unrepentant thief and the personality development of the disciple. It is in the lower aspect of this Cross that the Nazi chose this symbol as theirs, thereby, expressing at the end of the material cycle of human existence, the false and evil use of matter of which separateness, cruelty and selfishness are key. The whirling “swastika” finally flings the aspirant onto the cross of chosen crucifixion, the Fixed Cross of pledged discipleship.

Mutable or Whirling Cross

When the soul has grown in maturity, it mounts the Fixed Cross known as the Cross of the Crucified Christ. The four arms of the Fixed cross are Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio. The man who ascends this cross does so by choice and with full knowledge and cognition of the Path he has decided to tread and with all of its implications. He knows that there is no retreat and so he places his feet firmly on the Path of Return. Symbolically the Fixed Cross represents the repentant thief and the Hierarchy or Soul expression.

The Fixed Cross

Having experienced the deaths of the personality and the Soul on the two previous Crosses, the aspirant now ascends the Cross of Spiritual Death upon the four arms of the Cardinal Cross. Libra, Capricorn, Aries and Cancer takes the now Initiate on to the Endless Way of Revelation. This state of achieved enlightenment marks the beginning of his Cosmic Life of service on the “Higher Way” with all the members of his group. This is the cross of the Risen Christ and all those who stand with the Father at Shamballah.

The Cardinal Cross

When the influence of all four arms of each of the three crosses has produced an effect in the disciple, a transition in consciousness is made from one cross to another. Each transition marks a point of crisis in the life of the individual on his Path of Return. The Seven Rays or streams of force conditioned by the seven energies of the Great Bear and the Pleiades give us the astrological framework within which to work out our own salvation.

The travels of humanity through the signs of the sun and all the Stars of the heavens reflect the suffering, triumph and the miracles of the illuminated man before and after Initiation. It is this challenge for the soul to consciously establish the relationship between the divine intent for man’s liberation and his physical experience in matter that beckoned us here.