Interesting Facts About Cholesteatoma and Anatomy of the Middle Ear

The ear comprises of the auditory as well as the vestibular systems. The former system detects sound and the latter does the work of maintaining body equilibrium. Functionally and anatomically, the ear can be divided into 3 regions; the external, middle and inner ear. Let us read in detail about the anatomy of the middle ear.

Middle Ear Anatomy

It is interesting to study about the ear and even more to know about the anatomy of the middle ear. The tympanic cavity or middle ear is an uneven, laterally compacted space inside our temporal bone. The air in the cavity is transferred from the nasal passage. It contains movable bones that connect the lateral and medial walls. The tympanic space consists of the actual cavity that is opposite our middle ear membrane. The other part is called the epitympanic recess or the attic which is situated above the membrane. The attic has the upper portion of malleus and a large part of incus. The cavity is surrounded laterally by its membrane and in the middle by the side wall of our internal ear. The Roof or Tegmental Wall is made up of a thin bone plate called Tegmen Tympani that separates the tympanic and cranial cavities space. The Floor or Jugular Wall is narrow; it consists of the Fundus Tympani which is a thin bone plate.

About Cholesteatoma

If you want to know what is cholesteatoma in the ear, read on. When dead skin cells grow behind your eardrum, it can cause problems to the entire ear. In fact, it can be an obstruction between the ear and the brain. It can even cause harm to the veins carrying blood to the brain. Other serious problems include hearing loss, ear infections, dizziness and sometimes even infection in the brain. Although the cholesteatoma tissue is destructive, it is actually not malignant. The illness consists of two types; acquired and congenital. The former is more common; in this type, cholesteatoma grows in a healthy ear. It begins with a tiny hole or retraction in your eardrum.

Cholesteatoma Treatment

An Otologist diagnoses the problem with an advanced microscope. Surgery for cholesteatoma is the only solution by which the ingrowth is cleared. There is also a secondary advantage of restoration of hearing loss which is caused as a result of the illness. The operation to remove the growth is known as tympanomastoidectomy. The surgery is not complicated and takes only between 1½ to 2 hours. However, patients with large or even moderate cholesteatomas have to undergo two stages of surgeries; the first is conducted to get rid of the growth. The second one is done about 6 to 12 months later. At this procedure damaged ossicles are corrected or replaced with prosthetics. Often the illness cannot be diagnosed without a comprehensive examination by an experienced Otologist.

Getting Rid Of Cockroaches – What Do They Eat?

Is your home infested with cockroaches? They probably like the food you serve (and a bunch of other tasty treats around your house that cockroaches eat as well.) You would not be the first person in human history to have a group of cockroaches living with you. As a matter of fact, it is likely that cockroaches have lived with humans as long as there have been humans.

Cockroaches like warm humid environments with plenty of food and water. This just so happens to be same conditions of the average human home. So, it’s no surprise that they move in when they get the chance.

One element of an integrated cockroach eradication plan is to cut off there food supply, which begs the question…

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Here is a short list of some of the most common household items that a cockroach will eat.

  • Kitchen Crumbs, Grease, etc. – this one is obvious
  • Paper
  • Human Dander
  • Glue – in book bindings, shelf paper backing, etc.
  • Other Roaches – the weak don’t make it!
  • Much, much more…

Keeping a clean home is important. Your kitchen should never be left with dirty dishes or crumbs on the counter. Place your food inside sealed bags and plastic containers. Make sure and regularly clean under the stove and refrigerator. Vacuum and dust frequently to control dust and dander from humans and pets. Promptly dispose of newspapers, boxes, and bags.

Cockroaches really are not picky eaters and you will be hard pressed to eliminate all of the potential food sources that exist in your home. And, they can live for months without food (but only a short time without water!) That is why it is vital to have an integrated solution to eradicating your cockroach infestation and keeping them from ever returning.

Cockroaches often enter your home on the clothing of people with infestations in their own homes, as well as in boxes and bags. So, dispose of boxes from delivers quickly and do not let these items build up in your home.

Cut of access to your home, easy food and water sources, and nesting places and you will be well on your way to permanently eradicating cockroach infestations from your home.

Grilling Tips – How to Grill Chicken Drumsticks

Here’s how to make the perfect chicken drumsticks that your children and the rest of your family are going to ask for time and time again. While there’s no one single trick that helps make the perfect drumstick, there is a group of instructions that when followed carefully will yield grilling success.

Tip #1: If you are using a coal-fired grill make sure your coals are nice and hot. Then, move the goals to one side of the grill by stacking them on top of each other. If you are using a propane fired grill make sure you turn up the temperature too high so it gets hot as well.

Tip #2: Find a large metal bowl. Pour your chicken legs into the bowl. Next, find some high quality vegetable or olive oil. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil into the bowl.

Tip #3: Add your favorite spices to the chicken. If you don’t have a group of favorite spices try using the following: add 1 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons dry mustard, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 tablespoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and 1-1/2 teaspoons of smoky chipolte powder. Mix the spices with chicken and let the chicken sit for 15 minutes while it absorbs the spices.

Tip #4: Place your chicken legs on the hot grill.

Tip #5: You want to give your chicken drumsticks a really good sear. By searing the drumsticks, you help the drumstick retain its juices. Moreover, you will produce is beautiful sear marks that make grilled foods look so appetizing. Make sure to do this on all sides of the drumstick. But be careful, especially if you’re using coal because flames can shoot up if fresh juices drip onto the hot coals.

Tip #6: Let the chicken cook for about 25 minutes. After 25 minutes you can add a barbecue sauce of your choice. Some people prefer their drumsticks without barbecue sauce. So if you have a picky family you might want to make half with just spices and the other half with spices plus BBQ sauce.

Tip #7: Let the chicken cook for an additional 25 minutes.

Tip #8: Get your meat thermometer and check to see the temperature of the chicken. When the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees it’s ready. If not let it cook until this temperature is reached.

Tip #9: Gather your friends and family around the table and watch them devour your perfectly cooked drumsticks.

If you follow these steps carefully you will produce some incredible chicken drumsticks. Feel free to experiment with these tips. Perhaps you might improve on the recipe.

Fixing The Thumper Mini Pro2

Stop The Presses!

I just received an e-mail concerning a mechanical problem with a Thumper massager.

A gentleman was asking me if I knew about possible places to get a malfunctioning Thumper unit back to working condition.

At that moment in time, I did not have any answers for this individual (as far as a local repairman) but, while researching these percussion massagers, I did come across many reviews that mentioned receiving assistance from customer service over the phone (with a real person) and being talked through some common but simple repairs on their Thumper massage units.

I am not sure if these repairs are as simple for every massager model but the most common repair for the Thumper I own (MP2) seems to be with the switch and it appears to be a fairly easy fix.

Here are the instructions for correcting a malfunctioning switch.

Fixing The Switch On The Thumper Mini Pro – Problems:

  1. The switch has stopped working and it no longer “clicks” between settings causing the device to be unable to be switched on or off.
  2. There is a long delay before the massager starts to vibrate. Can this problem be corrected?

Both of these situations occur when the internal connections of the switch or the switch housing are faulty or broken. I have the same model Thumper, the MP2, and experienced the same problem.

Correcting The Problem:

First you want to check and see if the switch moves freely.

If the switch is jammed or stuck down (not making a clicking sound) you will need to clean the switch connections and switch housing (plastic part the switch slides in) and then refit the switch.

Don’t let the word “refit” scare you (it’s just a cool word for ‘put back together’), this is an easy to do job and you won’t need any special tools, just a tiny flat head screwdriver and maybe a Phillips head screwdriver should do the trick; oh yeah, and a little steel wool.

What To Do First:

First, the unit needs to be opened and the panel behind the switch needs to be cleaned and the connection should be rewired if they are broken away from the contact points, if not, (and this is usually the case) the connection points need to be cleaned.

Before unscrewing anything, try this first:

*Pry off the switch (actually it’s a cover), you will see the actual switch underneath.

Once you access the switch, take a cotton swab wetted with 91% rubbing alcohol and clean the contacts (keep in mind that there are several sets of contacts that control the speeds).

If the simple swab with alcohol doesn’t do the trick, roll up some steel wool (a small piece rolled nice and tight) and stick it into the switch openings that are clear on top of the switch (when you have the switch open in front of you, this will make more sense).

With the steel wool in place, take a small flat screwdriver and moved the steel wool up and down along the switch until you see that the contacts are clean.

Make sure to move the switch up to clean the bottom contacts and down to get access to the top ones.

Let’s See If It Works:

This is kind of important:

You want to be sure and blow any excess wool particles out of the switch before reassembling and testing the switch.

When you plug your Thumper Mini Pro back in it should work just like new in all three speeds.


If you have any problems or it still isn’t working, please contact Thumper Inc. at 1-800-848-6737.

Getting Back To The E-Mail I Received

Unfortunately the switch was not the problem with Mr. C’s unit, his problem sounded a little more internal then a dirty contact but the parts he needed were made available to him, he just wasn’t interested in fixing the machines himself and he wasn’t to excited about sending them off for repair because of exorbitant shipping costs.

He told me they had two Mini Pros that need service and as you can imagine, shipping them to Canada and back is expensive.

He wanted to know if there was anybody here in the U.S. that works on them?

He received a few circuit boards and miscellaneous parts from the merchant he went through but he didn’t want to get into fixing them himself (if he could avoid it).

I told him that I have not had any deep mechanical problems with either of the thumpers that I own, just a minor switch problem, but on my website I did make reference to a review where a fella got quite a bit of over the phone help.

I can understand not wanting to maintain the unit yourself but its nice to know that, if you were so inclined, these are machines that can be repaired by the owner (as opposed to being disposable) with the correct guidance.

I was aware that this was not much help but I did wish him the best of luck.

My Personal Experience

Unfortunately I was unable to help Mr. C with his problem but I do empathize with him because I own two Thumpers myself and have yet to experience any major problems with either of them (I’m knocking on wood as I type this).

I don’t like having to spend money unnecessarily and a shipping expense to Canada and back for something that weighs 7 lbs is probably not cheap so I am very happy that Thumper is willing to provide replacement parts and instructions to get my machine going again, I would truly miss my Thumper if it was gone for three weeks.

It sounds like Mr. C would too, why else would he have one of each if they didn’t do exactly what they said they do and do it well.

Depression Isn’t So Uncommon – Changing the Stigma NOW

In the ever-changing, fast-paced world we live in, it is no wonder that the numbers on depression are rising significantly. We think we’re trudging along and getting by just fine, even if we’re feeling that weight pulling us down, we seem to just get through it and somehow are catapulted into another set of circumstances that are out of our control. All of this adds up.

If you’re a mom and you grew up thinking you had to do it all. If you’re a single dad and you think you need to prove yourself. If you’re so independent that you’ve held yourself to a standard not many could handle then you’re leaving yourself open to this thing we call depression. There isn’t one person I know that isn’t all of these things and more.

When I was growing up the word “depression” had this very hard, weird connotation associated with it. When it was brought up in certain circles it was whispered about. It was this hush-hush conversation. The sad part of this next sentence is that this may be the thing you thought of too. I’m here only to tell you that together we can change this stigma. We can change the way someone feels about having depression and about the people we love that suffer from this.

I jumped into this world of learning about depression after seeing most of my clients deal with it in one form or another. I also took care of my ex-husband who suffered a massive stroke, who couldn’t see the good in the dark places he found himself in. I love these people as if they were a part of me. I have always loved and felt too much for every being on this earth. I wouldn’t give you advice on something that I hadn’t seen or walked through myself.

Depression is normal. Depression is completely normal. Who says that?? I do and with good reason. I have met the kindest, most generous, beautiful souls you could ever know. All of which were dealing with depression. I just want to be real about this. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of. There is no hush-hush sideways conversation that needs to happen here.

There are many ways you can “lift” your energy to not feel like a ton of bricks, even in a moment. If you’re in a job where you’re not happy then try to figure out where your passion lies. I mention this first because we need to live and to live we need to work but if your work is draining you and robbing you mentally and otherwise, please know it’s never too late to be who you always were meant to be. I don’t care how old you are, or young you are. WHATEVER you want in this life YOU can do, YOU CAN have.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you laughed so hard your belly hurt?? Did you ever twirl around, while looking up at the sky and fell down and it made your heart smile? It made you silly, it made you light. That’s where I’m getting at. This is the place we need to find in our lives as adults.

We’re all made of energy and the lighter we can get that energy and keep that energy the better off we feel. The better our lives are mentally, emotionally and physically. I’m not suggesting to stop taking prescribed medications if you happen to be on them, or stop whatever you are doing to battle depression currently. I want to supplement these with some energy lifting exercises. What’s more these “exercises” won’t cost you a gym membership and you won’t sweat even for a minute.

Do you remember the first time you kissed your spouse or partner? You had these butterflies giving you wings. You felt that goose-bumpy feeling, right?? So, say you’re in a difficult situation no matter where you are – get to that place. See it in your mind’s eye and let your body physically get goosebumps. That energy will go through you like a bolt of lightning. It won’t make your boss less of a hassle but it will make you feel supported by something bigger than that moment.

Did you ever hold a kaleidoscope in your hands? You hold it one way, and you get to see the most beautiful colors and shapes that make you feel whimsy somehow. Handling a bad day, or difficult people can be the same way! It’s all perspective. If I’m getting a result I don’t like, I’m going to think about seeing it in another capacity so I’m not feeling that heavy, dark energy that drains me.

When you get up in the morning plan out your day in your mind. We all work our bodies out to keep them healthy but we don’t think of doing the same with our minds. If you take a few minutes in the morning to play a movie in your mind about the way you want your day to go, you’ll be amazed at the results. You are setting yourself up for the greatest day. When you play this “movie” in your mind taste the coffee you sip, smell the smells that you see in this movie, taste the richness of the coffee. The more you can be there with your senses in this moment the more real it will feel. This energy-starting tip could set your day full of happy coincidences.

The bathroom trick… When we find ourselves breaking to go to the restroom we always wash our hands and look in the mirror to fix our hair, check our teeth, make sure our clothes look alright. In these moments there is not one person I know that doesn’t pick themselves apart in some way. THIS has got to stop. SO, the next time you find yourself in front of a mirror look for something beautiful. Whatever you look for you will find. So, look for the good, always look for the good. Make yourself feel beautiful in that moment. There is always at least one thing we all love about ourselves, look at that and let that zingy, goose-bumpy feeling happen, and take the catwalk out of the bathroom and enjoy the rest of your day!

I have worked for well over ten years with helping clients through this and walking the plank myself. I wouldn’t advise you on something I didn’t experience personally. I am here to tell you that depression is your life’s way of telling you that you deserve better than what you’ve been accepting in this life. You deserve the WORLD. Nothing in this life is impossible. I am sending you love, I send you strength, I send you the grace to overcome anything in your path.

Great Gatsby’s Blueprint For Success

When I read biographies, autobiographies, or management articles and textbooks, I’m always impressed by one commonality among all successful people: they all set goals. I suppose all normal human beings do that every day; they have a mental plan of what they will accomplish during the day, or in the short run.

For the successful individuals, though, those goals they set for themselves are for the short run and for the long run. And they write those objectives down. This is the secret of success, for plans, goals, and objectives not committed to writing, often are nothing but dreams. A concrete written list will make you a doer, a mental list a wayward dreamer.

While many readers search for the Jay Gatsby’s magic hidden formula for riches and success, I’m sure they simply gloss over Gatsby’s schedule for self-improvement. But let’s not be mistaken; therein we find the roots of his success.

Here’s an exchange between Jay’s father and Nick Carraway, the narrator:

Jay’s father: “Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he’s got about improving his mind? He was always great for that. He told me I et like a hog once and I beat him for it.”

Nick: “He was reluctant to close the book, reading each item aloud and then looking eagerly at me. I think he rather expected me to copy down the list for my own use.”

Nick wasn’t about to copy the list down since he’s already a formed man, well connected, Yale-educated, and wealthy. Not a self-made man. For others, though, we can see that from an early age that Jay Gatsby had contracted with himself to become a success.

Gatsby’s schedule:

Rise from bed………………………………………….6.00……………..A.M.

Dumbell exercise and wall-scaling…………………6.15 – 6.30……….”

Study electricity, etc…………………………………7.15 – 8.15……….”

Work……………………………………………………8.30 – 4.30…….. P.M.

Baseball and sports………………………………….4.30 – 5.00……….”

Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it…..5.00 – 6.00……….”

Study needed inventions……………………………7.00 – 9.00……….”

What can we learn from this schedule? We learn that he’s an early riser; that he takes care of his body as well as his mind. What is poignant is that his vision of success included a persona or an image-a cultivated and well-poised image. As the story develops, we learn that he uses everything that he included in his schedule, from wall-scaling (maybe social climbing) to inventions, and baseball and sports.

His general resolves:

No wasting time at Shafters or [a name, indecipherable].

No more smoking or chewing.

Bath every other day.

Read one improving book or magazine per week.

Save $5.00 [crossed out] $3.00 per week.

Be better to parents.


That Jay Gatsby set off on a quest to become rich, there’s no doubt. That he achieved wealth by cutting corners and dubious business deals with shady figures, there’s no doubt. The text is quite clear. The question that lingers is, would he have become successful without a written contract with himself?

No architect, builder, or contractor would set off to build a house without the blueprints of the house. Success needs a blueprint.

Protecting Yourself From Hidden Cameras

Undoubtedly, there have been great advances in video and photographic technology which has allowed even the rank amateur to look like the greatest photographer on earth. Cameras have become lighter, smaller and much easier to use. Many include multiple modes of operation and even have an “auto” setting making them self focusing and simply point and shoot devices. With these advances also comes abuse.

It has become way too easy to snap a picture of someone without their knowledge. Many women have been horrified to find out they were the victim of a voyeurism attack when they find nude or other compromising pictures of themselves posted on the internet.

Voyeurism isn’t new, but the methods these sick individuals use are. For years all we had to do to protect our privacy was close the blinds or pull down the shades and the “Peeping Tom” was forced to look elsewhere for his cheap thrills. Cameras these days come in all shapes sizes and flavors. Both still and video cameras can be hidden in ANYTHING. Not to mention that just about every cell phone is equipped with a quality digital camera.

Voyeurism can generally be defined as “a place where one would have a reasonable expectation of privacy”. This varies from state to state and is widely interpreted. It simply means anyplace you think you should be entitled to privacy, is off limits to cameras, like a locker room, fitting room of a store, tanning booth, public rest rooms etc. BUT, where these laws fall short, and are exploited daily, are out in public places. Voyeurs or as I like to call them Perverts, have moved away from those locations covered by tougher laws and have begun stalking their prey out in public places. It is not uncommon to find hundreds or even thousands of pictures on porn websites of photos taken under women’s skirts and dresses. This is accomplished quite easily by hiding a camera on the tip of a shoe, a gym bag, or even a brief case and standing behind a woman.

Several states are proposing laws that will require all cell phone cameras to emit a loud and distinct “shutter sound” to make it more difficult to obtain voyeur type photos. There are already many different applications available to silence the noise a cell phone camera makes, so these laws although well intentioned will not do much to prevent victimization.

Unfortunately, women and children are the prime targets of voyeurs. The laws I have mentioned are good but not near good enough. Remember they only criminalize these activities in places where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This means that anyplace in public is fair game. So if you are in a mall wearing a dress it is actually LEGAL for a pervert to capture “up skirt” images under your dress, or “down blouse” down your shirt.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • It is very important for you to be aware of what is going on around you. Be alert to someone who is trying to stand very close, especially if he moves towards you after you move away.
  • Make sure you are conscious of the position of your legs when sitting on a bus, train, or other public location if you are wearing a dress or skirt.
  • When using an escalator, it is best for you stand sideways, with your back towards the hand rail. This will neutralize the position of advantage the voyeur naturally has by you being higher than he is.
  • When in a changing room, like in a clothing store, look carefully at any object that looks like it doesn’t belong. Keep in mind that cameras can be hidden in common, everyday items like smoke detectors, electrical outlets, tissue boxes etc. Take a close look at these items. When carefully examined, the camera lens does become visible.
  • If you find a hidden camera in a location where it obviously shouldn’t be, remain calm. Cover the lens if possible and notify the police immediately.

Most voyeurs are cowards and will run from confrontation. There are those though who are not content to just violate your privacy. They are intent on violating YOU! The same personal defense measures apply to a voyeur, as any other criminal looking to harm you. If you feel threatened, move away to a safer location, if you are followed, be prepared to defend yourself. Pepper Spray is always advisable and can help prevent an otherwise violent personal attack.

Cellular Wireless Network Handoff Protocols

In cellular wireless networks, it is very important to deal with Mobile station (MS) handoff between cells so that they can maintain a continuous and QoS-guaranteed service. There are four basic types of handoff protocols; network-controlled handoff (NCHO), mobile-assisted handoff (MAHO), soft handoff (SHO), and mobile-controlled handoff (MCHO). From NCHO to MCHO, the control protocols tend to decentralize the decision making process, which help shorten handoff delays; however, meanwhile, the decentralization makes the measurement information available to make a handoff decision also decreased. Next, we briefly introduce these four types of handoff mechanisms.

Network-controlled handoff

NCHO is a centralized handoff protocol, in which it is network that makes handoff decision based on measurements of the signal quality of mobile station (MS) at a number of based stations (BS). Specifically, if the MS is measured to have a weaker signal in its old cell, while a stronger signal in a neighbouring cell, then a handoff decision could be made by the network to switch BS from the old cell to the new cell. Such a type of handoff in general takes 100-200 ms and produces a noticeable “interruption” in the conversation. However, overall delay of such a type of handoff is in general in the range of 5-10 s. Thus, this type of handoff is not suitable to a rapid changing environment and a high density of users due to the associated delay. NCHO is used in the first-generation analogue systems such as AMPS.

Mobile-assisted handoff

MAHO distributes the handoff decision process. It is MS makes measurements, and the Mobile switch centre (MSC) makes decisions on handoff. Compared to NCHO, this mechanism has more distributed control, thereby helping to improve the overall handoff delay, typically in the range of 1 s.

Soft handoff

SHO is often used in conjunction with MAHO. Rather than immediately terminating the connection between a MS and a BS. In the course of handoff, a new connection is established first between the MS and a new BS, while keeping the old connection between the MS and the old station. Only after the new connection can stably transmit data, the old connection is released. Thus, SHO is a “make before break” mechanism. This mechanism helps ensure the service continuity, which is however at the cost of more capacity resource consumption during the handoff (as two connections are established simultaneously).

Mobile-controlled handoff

In contrast to NCHO, it is MS that totally control and make decisions on handoff in the MCHO approach. A MS keeps on measuring signal strength from all the surround base station (BS)s. If the MS find that there is a new BS who has a stronger signal than that of an old BS, it may consider to handoff from the old BS to the new BS given a certain signal threshold is reached. MCHO is the highest degree of handoff decentralization, thereby enabling it to have a very fast handoff speed, typically on the order of 0.1 s.


We have introduced four types of handoff mechanisms that are widely used in cellular wireless networks. From centralization to decentralization, network-controlled handoff (NCHO) shows the highest centralization with the network totally controlling and making decisions on handoff, while mobile-controlled handoff (MCHO) gives full flexibility to MS to allow it to make decisions on handoff. As a result, decentralized handoff mechanisms show advantages of very fast handoff speed, while centralized mechanisms generally take much longer time. In modern cellular wireless networks, decentralized handoff mechanisms are widely applied due to their good scalability and fast handoff speeds.

This article was contributed by

Reshaping Your Forehead With Plastic Surgery

Reshaping the forehead is an uncommon patient request. While the plastic surgery techniques to do so are well known and not new, the need to do forehead contouring is not. Most commonly, forehead reshaping is done on patients who had a congenital skull deformity (e.g., craniosynostosis) or a frontal skull deformity secondary to trauma or after a neurosurgery craniotomy procedure. The cosmetic reasons would be to soften prominent brow ridges or to smooth out some forehead irregularities.

The treatment of forehead irregularities can theoretically be done by either burring down bone or adding a synthetic material to it. In reality, burring down bone on the skull is a limited procedure and can never make as big a difference as one would think. The brow ridges can be burred down but the limiting factor is the underlying frontal sinus. If the overlying frontal sinus bone is thin, then very little bone can actually be taken. Above the brow ridges, burring down forehead bone is very effective for small raised areas that are easily identifiable but is less effective at reducing large surface areas of bone.

Filling in or adding to the forehead bone is a much easier and effective procedure. The real question in forehead augmentation is what material to use. Traditional PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) has been around for a long time and has the advantages of a very low cost, high resistance to impact forces, and ease of intraoperative contouring. Its main disadvantage is that some patients over time can develop some low-grade reactions to it and it may get loose, become infected or the overlying forehead skin may thin, although these issues are fairly low risk. Newer ‘more natural’ materials such as hydroxyapatite cements (HA) have been available over the past 10 years. HA offers the advantage of being a more natural, less synthetic material as its structure more closely resembles that of bone. Its disadvantages are that it is considerably more expensive, has a low resistance to impact (easily shatters), and is a bit tricker for the plastic surgeon to use. The advantages and disadvantages for HA vs. PMMA must be considered and weighed on an individual case basis.

Regardless of the material used, synthetic forehead augmentation usually requires an open scalp incision which, because of its length, is a significant consideration in a cosmetic procedure. (particularly for men) Endoscopic or limited scalp incisions may be able to be used in small areas of augmentation in carefully selected cases.

Three Winning Strategies for Effective Public Speaking

If someone had told me when I was growing up that I would one day earn my living by speaking, I would have said,”No way!” As a child, I was constantly teased about my voice-too squeaky, too mousy, too soft spoken! So to become a professor, and a frequent presenter in a variety of settings at that, I had to learn to find my speaking voice; I had to learn to own my voice as something that was unique about me-to think of it as an asset and not a liability.

I did not benefit from a formal speaking forum like Toastmasters International. I wish I had. Rather, I learned how to become a public speaker on the job. Being in the academy, I learned the importance of having good organizational structure for a presentation, of voice modulation, how to maintain eye contact, and to watch for vocal interferences. Knowing how to cultivate good public speaking techniques has indeed helped to make me a more polished speaker; however, it is not what I think is most critical in making me or anyone not merely an effective public speaker, but an impactful one. Allow me to share with you three strategies that have helped me, and which I think will also help you find your voice to achieve speaking success:

1. Recognize that it’s not about you: Early in my career, I was intent on being “the presenter”-the one up front with the information to share with the waiting audience. The problem with this stance is that it separates you, the presenter, from your listeners, when the goal should be to connect you with them. Even if you have important information to share, it should be from the perspective that information is co-constructed between you and them-the audience.

When I give the same presentation to various groups, it is never the same presentation. It changes because the audience is different and our combined interaction creates a unique information sharing experience. The information exchange in each context is as much about what I have to say as it is about what the audience has to say to me, non verbally and/or verbally. In recognizing that, I have learned to privilege their presence above my own, and I listen to their needs as I speak and I am willing to accommodate as I go along, choosing to tell a joke or not, to know when to linger on a point or not, or to clarify further. Most importantly, when we choose to approach a speaking engagement in this way, the audience can feel it; it makes them more receptive to what we have to say. So recognize first of all that it’s not about you. It’s about the audience and the message.

2. Be Authentic: Every year my husband sets up a tripod and we take a family photo with our girls in front of our Christmas tree. Even I will admit that the photos often look Hallmark ready. Perhaps, the only thing that might make them better was if we had a boy and a girl-but there’s no helping that any more!!

When we do send our photo out to our relatives and friends, we get lots of “Oohs and ahhs!” But what they do not see are the dozens of photos that did not make the cut; the many freshening ups I did with the girl’s hair, and me begging them to please focus and smile. The perfect family photo is all a facade, isn’t it?

To find your voice in public speaking, it should be your goal to dispel the facade of the perfect speech or the perfect presenter. Lose the pretension and be real with the audience! They do not want a perfect speech or a perfect presenter. What they want is a message and a presenter with whom their own imperfect humanity can connect.

Last November, I spoke at a church my family has attended for the last few years. I would guess that the Christmas card photo is pretty much the image that members of the church see of us. However, when I spoke that morning, I referenced the time when I only had one pair of shoes for church. After the presentation, I received many compliments. Finally, a lady come up, hugged me hard and said,”Wow, I did not realize that you were one of us!” Others wanted to share their own one pair of shoes stories with me. I had broken through the facade by keeping it real.

3. Speak from your Pain and Your Passion: This is the hardest skill to master. But if you want to provide added value in you presentations, you must learn to own your story and tell it with conviction and power. No matter what the topic is that I am called on to present, I look for ways to connect it to my pain and my passions because I know that these are my secret ingredients.

We live in an age of information obesity. Almost any information can be found with a few taps on a keyboard. Yet, you and I own something valuable that cannot be found using Google-our story, our convictions, and no one is as qualified as I am to tell my story, as you are to tell your story. Now it is indeed hard to master this skill because it requires discipline to speak about your passions with conviction but not with anger; it requires courage and discipline to speak about your pain without falling apart at the podium. But then again, it’s okay if your voice quivers a bit. It’s okay if a tear falls because it tells people that you are just like them-human. Aspire to speak from your pain and your passion.

In 2009, my best friend passed away after a 5 year battle with cancer, and I was asked to give a tribute at her memorial service. I did. But I am sure if that speech were evaluated on the basis of technique, it would be viewed as an epic failure. I cried my way through almost every major point, runny nose and all, with frequent pauses to compose myself all the way to the bitter end. I was a mess! And yet, as I listened to the audience through my tears, I heard and saw them laughing at my funny recollections, grieving with me this loss, and waiting patiently for me in those moments when I needed to compose myself. Someone had even gotten up from the pews and come to the podium to hand me some tissue.

I can now look back on that presentation as one of my finest hours in public speaking because I was applying these three strategies: I recognized that in that moment it was not about me but about giving my friend a tribute she deserved; I was being authentic about the feelings in my heart; and I was speaking through my pain and my passion with this same soft voice. I had come a long way in finding my speaking voice. I wish you every success as you continue to advance towards finding yours.

* A slightly different version of this post was given as a presentation to the Toastmaster Group of Tortola, British Virgin Islands on March 1, 2016.

Is A Granny Cam A Good Way To Monitor My Elderly Parents?

As our parents, siblings, and relatives get older, we have to make sure they are being cared for. No matter if they are being taken care of in their home, your home, or in an assisted living facility, you need to make sure they are not being abused. Rest easy with a hidden Granny Cam that will be your eyes while you are not there.

You see a lot of horror stories about the people who are suppose to be taking care of our elderly parents, and are caught on video either stealing money or pills, physically abusing them, or just not taking good enough care of them. The question of if you should have a Granny Cam is not necessary, you owe it to your loved ones to have one. The real question will be which one should you choose? Granny Cams or Nanny Cams are just tiny video surveillance cameras that are hidden inside an everyday item to catch someone doing something they should, or should not be doing. Then, it transmits the video over several different methods so it can be viewed.

You can choose hidden cameras that are Color, Black/White, or Color that turns to B/W when it gets dark. You can add a low lux feature that helps you see in the dark, and some of the wireless cameras have a high-power addition that can increase the broadcast distance from 700 to 3,000 feet.

There are four basic types of hidden cameras that use different ways to transmit the video.

  • Wired Cameras
  • Wireless Cameras
  • SD Card DVR Cameras
  • Secure IP Internet Accessible Cameras

Wired Cameras: The wired hidden cameras have been around the longest, are the most cost efficient, and offer very good quality. They are tiny wired board cameras put in an everyday item that requires electricity, so a cord won’t look out of place. Usually the item will work as planned, like a pencil sharper, can opener, air purifier, or fan.

They also have a male video cable adaptor, so you can plug in a video cable to run the video feed to a Quad, PC, or DVR. A PC can be set up with software to monitor the feed on the computer, or over the internet for additional costs. These work best when your parent is staying at their house or your house, as the video cable might get detected in an assisted living facility.

Wireless Cameras: A wireless hidden camera has an internal 2.4GHz transmitter that sends the video silently across the air to a receiver, which is set up in another room. No hidden cables that could be found, and these make for some of the best hidden cameras, as they can be put inside a Pringles can, tissue dispenser, wall clock, etc. They also have internal battery packs to supply the power to the camera. Since there are no wires or cables sticking out, it is very hard to know it is recording your every move, unless you use a hidden camera detector.

The video could have interference if you use other 2.4GHz devices, or other receivers might tap, or conflict with your signal. You can also feed the video into a PC with surveillance software and monitor them from the PC, or install software that will allow you to monitor the camera from the Internet. This is a good choice for home use, though if you use it at an assisted care facility, you will need to change the battery packs frequently (8-12 hours).

SD Card DVR Cameras: These are the next generation in hidden camera surveillance systems. They use a tiny internal DVR that records the video directly to a hidden SD card for playback later. No wires or signals to be discovered, they are 100% self contained. The advantage of this set up is that you can just set down an item like a desk clock, boom box, or even hang up a wall clock, arm it with the keychain remote, and come back later to remove the SD Card for viewing on a computer or T.V. This is the best camera to use in an assisted living or hospital situation, as there would be no way anyone would know the device is recording their every move.

Secure IP Cameras: If you are looking for a way to monitor your parents without having to buy extra software or hardware, the Secure IP cameras offer a very easy way to monitor them over the Internet. They use the electrical wires in the house to transmit the video directly to your computer, which can be accessed anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

The camera is hidden in an ever day item like a desk clock or air purifier that plugs into an adaptor, that plugs into the wall socket. The video is carried over the electrical lines to another adaptor that plugs into your computer. Using the installed software, you can see what the camera is doing at any time, and you can hook up to six cameras and monitor them all in real time.

They are best for your home or their home, as the camera will have to be plugged into the wall, into a small adaptor that could be noticed. Not recommended for assisted care living as it only works in the building where the camera is.

These are the four ways you can monitor your parents or loved ones who need assistance with their living. A hidden Granny cam will give you peace of mind and a good nights sleep.

Unlike Last Season, Early Schedule Will Challenge Cubs In 2017

The celebration has ended, the 108 year drought is over, and baseball on Chicago’s North Side should return to normal. In other words, fans of the Cubs can go back to worrying.

Several big concerns face them as they look toward the 2017 season, in addition to the nearly impossible task of topping the World Series Championship they earned in October. No team has won the Fall Classic back to back in this century, although a much shorter span than the Cubs endured between titles.

That trip to the World Series was made easier by the early schedule, an arrangement the Cubs will not enjoy next April. Chicago did not play a winning team until April 18 against the Cardinals, which was their fifth series of the season. The Cubs did not play another winning team until May 2, when they played the Pirates.

Spending the first month against the likes of Cincinnati, Arizona, Atlanta, and Milwaukee would provide nearly any team with the confidence needed to carry them through the most important stretch of the season. To emphasize just how important a hot start is, examine the National League from last season.

All four of the teams who reached the Division Series posted winning percentages over.700 during the first week of 2016, led by the Cubs and Nationals winning eight of their first nine games. The Giants were victorious in six of their first eight, and the Dodgers won seven of their first ten.

The advantage of opening against non-contenders will not be available to the Cubs in 2017, when the early part of their schedule features matchups against the only two teams that had winning records against Chicago last year. They open in St. Louis on April 2nd, a Sunday night game between the two rivals that will be broadcast on national television.

What could make that initial series even more troubling for the Cubs is the strong possibility that one of their most exciting players from last year will be playing for the opposing team. Center fielder Dexter Fowler, Chicago’s spark plug at the top of the batting order, is a free agent. Many baseball writers have projected St. Louis as the most likely team to sign Fowler.

After the series in St. Louis, the Cubs must play the team that nearly eliminated them in the NLCS. The Dodgers, who won both of their regular season series against the Cubs in 2016, have the opportunity to avenge their playoff loss on the opening weekend in April.

The hot start Chicago used to build momentum for their World Series run last year is far less likely to befall them in 2017, simply because of the competition. Instead of opening against last place clubs like San Diego and Cincinnati, the Cubs will be tested right out of the chute by teams expecting to be contenders.

Treating Common Penis Health Problems

Almost all men encounter minor skin conditions of the penis at one time or another. Symptoms of penis health problems may include dryness, flaking skin, rash, soreness, and foul odors. However, while these common penis conditions can cause some discomfort or embarrassment, they are generally no reason for concern. Most penis issues can be easily treated at home using a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). However, penis problems that are painful, cause problems during intercourse, do not respond to home treatment within a few days, or are accompanied by a headache, fever, or unpleasant-smelling discharge indicate a more serious penis health condition and should be treated by a doctor. Some of the most common skin conditions of the penis are described below.

Chafed or Irritated Skin

Chafing or irritation of the penis skin is highly common. Irritation may result from a wide range of causes, including rough masturbation, aggressive sex, drying cleansers or detergents, restrictive clothing, or poor hygiene.


Signs of irritated skin may include redness, soreness, a dry, wrinkled appearance, and rough or flaking skin.


Treating and preventing chafing or irritation of the penis skin consists simply of washing with a mild cleanser, wearing loose-fitting clothing, avoiding harsh laundry detergents, and moisturizing the skin on a regular basis; use of a personal lubricant during masturbation or sex may also help to prevent irritated penis skin.

Fungal Infection

Fungal infections may occur anywhere on the skin; the penis and genital areas are especially prone to fungal infections, as fungi tend to thrive in moist, warm areas that are not frequently exposed to air. There are numerous different types of fungal infections, including jock itch (caused by the same fungus responsible for athlete’s foot) and yeast infection.


Signs of a fungal infection may include a red, spreading rash, severe itching, dry skin, soreness, and an unpleasant odor.


Treating a fungal infection usually involves over-the-counter topical medications; for fungal infections that will not go away, medical treatment may be necessary. Men who are experiencing a fungal infection should avoid sexual contact, as these skin conditions are contagious. Avoiding fungal infections is as easy as keeping the area clean and dry, treating with a daily moisturizer, and wearing non-restrictive clothing.

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections are a fairly common cause of penis discomfort. The surface of the skin is covered with tiny organisms; these are generally harmless, but they may cause unpleasant symptoms if they are allowed to penetrate through the outer dermal layer to the inner tissue. Irritation caused by chafing, rough handling, or dry skin can result in tiny fissures in the skin’s surface, allowing the bacteria to enter and cause infection..


Bacterial infections may cause symptoms such as redness, inflammation, rash, and soreness; infected skin may be warm to the touch.


The best treatment for bacterial infections is, of course, to prevent them in the first place. Caring for the penis skin with a mild cleanser and using a daily penis moisturizer may help to prevent infections from occurring; if any of the above symptoms are present and do not resolve on their own within a few days, antibiotics may be required to fight the infection.

Keeping Your Penis Healthy

The best way to prevent penis problems is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, limiting alcohol consumption, drinking plenty of water, and not smoking or using other tobacco products; it is also important to be selective about the choice of sexual partners. In addition, it is suggested that a penis health crème, (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) containing penis-specific vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients be used daily to moisturize the skin and protect the penis from bacterial or fungal infections, chemical irritants and environmental contaminants that may lead to more serious penis health conditions.

What Do Tiger Tattoos Symbolize in Eastern Cultures?

Tigers represent various characteristics – virility, strength, power, arrogance, pride, passion and royalty amongst others. Tigers symbolize various things across cultures. But mainly, tigers have an important role to play in Indian, Chinese and Japanese cultures. Since tigers are such majestic animals, they are one of the top animals people wish to get tattooed on with.

Tigers in Indian Culture

They are found in the Indian subcontinent and are now an endangered species. Indians believe some of their gods used the tiger to travel on from place to place. It is a revered animal and is even considered India’s national animal. People who opt to get tiger tattoos in India hope to get some of their majesty and ferocity into themselves.

Tigers in Vietnam Culture

They were feared a lot in Vietnam and many villages had temples for Tigers as they were considered holy there. Tigers raided the villages and the Vietnamese believe that by worshiping the creature, they could save their village from its wrath. Tiger tattoos in Vietnam are used to ward off evil spirits and represent strength of character.

Tigers in Chinese Culture

Chinese believe the tiger to be the king of all animals, not the lion. Its represent the yang side of things and are associated with powerful energy. They also believe that the it is the protector of the dead, and often tigers are tattooed onto tombstones as well as a symbol that their soul will rest in peace now. Tiger tattoos in Chinese culture represent prosperity, reverence, power, energy, protection, generosity and illumination. Chinese myths say that there are five types of tigers that balance the energy in the cosmos and prevent utter chaos in the universe, these are:

  • Black Tiger – Governs the water elements of nature and rules during the winter season.
  • Blue Tiger – Governs the earth elements of nature and rules during the spring season.
  • Red Tiger – Governs the fire elements of nature and rules during the summer season.
  • White Tiger – Governs the metal elements of nature and rules during the fall season.
  • Yellow Tiger – Rules all the above tigers and is symbolic of the sun.

Tigers in Japanese Culture

Even though they are rarely found in Japan, they play a very important role in Japanese arts. Tiger tattoos represent different things in the different ages of Japanese culture. They gained dominance in the Edo period of Japan, where the Japanese men were struggling to form a name for them. Since Japanese artists dint have exact sightings of tigers, their art can be very abstract and unique. In Japan, they represent dominance, aggression or goal orientation.

Fantastic Physique Photos – Tips For Taking Great Bodybuilding Pictures

Most aspirant or established bodybuilders take a lot of pictures of themselves during their quest for the perfect body. This is not a sure sign of narcissism though as these photos will be an excellent graphic record of progress during various stages of the process. It makes a lot of sense then to invest in the best photographic equipment one can afford at an early stage and also to spend a bit of time perfecting the techniques needed to take good solo bodybuilding pictures.

These points are often neglected, a fact amply demonstrated by the masses of really bad self taken bodybuilding pictures one sees. Bodybuilding is a sport that’s success is judged visually, both on stage and in pictorial form. If, for example, the venue lighting is bad on the day of a contest, contestants are going to have a hard time getting the maximum visual impact across in their routines. They may be seen clearly, but if the lighting is too muted or harsh and not placed correctly, muscle definition may be far less apparent and poses not as effective.

The same principles apply to shooting your own bodybuilding pictures. You are going to be spending a huge amount of time, effort and money on your sport so it is senseless to neglect the photographic component of your equipment. Fortunately it’s not necessary to spend thousands on a studio grade setup. Digital cameras are getting better and cheaper each year and it’s possible to get an intermediate level digital with good optics and high megapixel sensor for a very reasonable price. The only other critical item in a basic photographic setup is a tripod. Again, really good examples can be had at prices that won’t decimate your bank balance.

Let’s start by looking at camera choices. This, being the core of your photographic equipment, should be the absolute best example you can afford. In today’s environment it doesn’t make much sense investing in a film camera (if you can still find one that is). Digitals simply offer so many advantages that they represent the only serious option when considering camera choices. Always try and stay with the big names as optic and component quality is usually better as is the after sales service. Brand names such as Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus and Konica Minolta are always safe choices. Kodak, HP, Panasonic and FujiFilm also make decent cameras. One feature that would be a definite plus in a camera is a remote. This will allow for a lot of flexibility when shooting solo bodybuilding pictures.

 Photography is making magic with light. Lighting is possibly the most important factor in any photographic genre, and particularly so in taking bodybuilding pictures where muscle definition is so critical in creating visual impact. Again it’s not necessary to break the bank. Any fairly intense, directable light source will get the job done. For best results try and get two separate light sources set up at approximately 45° to your pose position and situated behind the point were you are going to set up your camera. Try to avoid using flash unless you have a flash diffuser as flash tends to wash out too much subtle detail. Remember that a high light position will emphasise shadow at the bottom of the muscle structure while a lower position will do the same for the lower abs but also possible detract from your chest.

Your camera should always be placed on a tripod to avoid any blurring that will play havoc with definition in your shots. If you have a portable, full length mirror it helps to place it almost directly behind the camera so that you adjust you poses for maximum effect. Just remember to look directly at the camera again before taking the shot. Keep unnecessary clutter out of the background that can detract from you as the focal point. This is especially true of items that could possibly cause a bout of blushing at a later stage!

Personal preparation for taking bodybuilding pictures should include the following points:

  1. Body hair should be removed as it detracts from muscle definition in bodybuilding pictures.
  2. Try to avoid eating for approximately an hour before you take the pictures. A recent meal will distend your stomach and ruin your profile.
  3. Pump before you shoot, and no, that’s not XXX grade movie advice either. A short workout prior to taking the pictures will increase blood flow and muscle volume.
  4. Skin tone and highlights are essential in showcasing muscle development in bodybuilding pictures. Concentrate on maintaining a good tan and oil up to increase highlights. This will really define your muscle mass.
  5. Practice good pose. Suck in that gut and keep you back straight or slightly arched back. When applying tension try to make it look effortless and smile! No war faces here.

Once the pictures are taken you can use software to edit the results if you can and are so inclined. Skin blemishes can miraculously disappear and lighting and exposure adjusted to maximise the effect. Superimposing Mel Gibson’s face is not on though!

It is impossible to briefly cover all the different techniques and settings that can be applied to get great results in bodybuilding pictures. Experience will quickly teach you how to maximise the results though and if you use the preceding tips you’ll soon be able to build a flattering portfolio.