Cosy Up Your Bedroom During Winter Months

Create The Perfect Focal Point:

Chances are your bed is the biggest piece of furniture in your bedroom and quite possibly the most visually pleasing so focusing your attention on this area first will have a huge impact on your room. A quick fix is to layer up your bedding with throws, blankets and lots of cushions. All the different colours and textures will blend together adding to the warm atmosphere you’re aiming to create.

If your bed is lacking in the wow factor, it may be time to invest in a piece that does. Think solid hardwood frames and luxurious hand finished detailing like our Frank Hudson beds range. Each bed is hand crafted and offers exquisite detailing. Our French Louis XV Frank Hudson bed below offers a decadent and luxurious 1750s style with stunning ornate detailing. This lavish bed will sit proudly in any bedroom with the warm tones of the frame adding to the cosy feel of your bedroom.

Go Dark:

Perhaps it’s just us but when we think of cosy we think of dark! Dark walls, dark accessories, dark lighting all help create a warming environment. A recent design trend has been to paint one or all of your walls in a dark, bold paint and mix it with metallic style accessories such as copper and gold. This trend works perfectly in a bedroom and can help create that all important focal point. Painting the wall behind your bed creates a wonderful backdrop to feature your bed in front of as well as allowing you to hang mirrors, wall art and feature accessories to add warmth.

If you’re not feeling that brave you can always incorporate dark with black framed mirrors, wall art, black cushions and even black bedding. Dark colours are a great way to add the feeling of cosiness whilst also remaining chic and stylish. The touches of dark colours offer a sumptuous feel that is bang on trend!

Make Use Of Mirrors & Lighting:

Lighting and mirrors can make such a huge difference to a space and actually complement each other perfectly. Add some soft low light lighting to your bedroom like table lamps, chandeliers or even fairy lights. A bedside lamp with a low watt bulb with a warm tone can create a soft, warm glow that is charming and delicate. Draping fairy lights around your bed or even around a mirror can also make a stunning visual appearance. Chandeliers are a great option for bringing a touch of glam to your bedroom, opt for a brass, champagne or gold finished chandelier to guarantee a warm glow.

Mirrors work exceptionally well with lighting and can help project the light around your room. Adding a mirror to your space can help add life to your bedroom as well as covering bare walls that can give off a cold impression. There are various ways to incorporate a mirror into your bedroom space. A full length, wall or cheval mirror is great for functionality, you can also feature a mirror directly above your bed or perhaps behind each bedside table to create an eye catching feature. When selecting a mirror opt for an ornate framed design with lavish gold, silver or champagne finish.

Invest In A Bedside Table:

This is a must for any bedroom and it doesn’t have to match your existing furniture. If you have space either side of your bed the addition of a bedside table can actually help to add warmth. Without it your bed would look lonely and the extra space could add a cold, minimalist feel which is the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve.

Look for a unique, eclectic style or perhaps a charming, rustic design that is able to add elegance and charm. You can then dress it up with a bedside lamp that can be dimmed and perhaps some candles that can be lit to create a relaxing, calm feel. These wonderful additions either side of you bed can create a comfortable, inviting little nook that exude cosiness and style.

8 Essential Travel Tips For Safety

Travelling can be exciting and frightening at the same time. When you are travelling to some destination for the first time, follow these ten essential travel safety tips to make sure that you have the safe and happy journey.

Select Your Ground Transportation Sensibly

When you are travelling in a rickshaw, taxi or bus check with the companies that the mode of transportation is safe, try to avoid travelling in less reliable transportation like a rickshaw. When you are driving yourself, check that the car which you have rent is functioning properly always wear your seatbelt while driving.

Check With The Government Department

You know you can gather all the safety information about any country from the state department. You can visit their website and get accurate details about any country where you are visiting. You can find all kinds of information from types of crime, vaccinations, travel warning. You can register with them so in case if there is any natural disaster or civil unrest you can come back home immediately.

Review The Hotel Escape Route

Let’s be truthful when we check in our hotel room; we are more interested in seeing the facilities and the view from our room, rather than reading the security map placed behind the door. But before you get settled we recommend that you read the emergency escape routes, because in case if there is an emergency then you will be glad to know where to head out from.

Leave An Emergency Contact

Going on a relaxing vacation alone seems to be fun, but that doesn’t mean that you disappear for the world. Leave your contact number, where you are travelling to which hotel you are staying at and when will you be back with a trusted friend or family member; try to contact him or her once every day. That way if something unusual happens with you they will know.

Scan Your Important Documents

Before you head for your travel destination, it is best that you scan your passport, identification card and driving license card you can save it on your smartphone or email it to yourself. This way if you are out and you need to show the passport which is at the hotel then you can show the scanned one.

Confirm Visitors With Hotel Reception

You are in your hotel room, and there is a knock at the door, somebody from the housekeeping is there to clean your room. Before you allow the person in, call the reception and ask them if they have sent anyone from the housekeeping, you never know a thief can enter your room pretending to be from maintenance dept.

Don’t Show Off Your Cash

Keep your valuables like jewellery and cash in your hotel safe or in your purse, while paying off your bills don’t leave huge tips or show off your money. Although when you are travelling there is a strong urge to take pictures with your smartphone, try not to take it out often as there are many thieves around who love to steal cell phones from people.

Keep A Backup Car Gear

When you are driving your car or rent one for a road trip, then make sure that you have packed an emergency car kit. This emergency kit should include flashlights, battery, first aid kit, blankets, bottled water and canned food, the backup battery for phone, a tire gauge and snow shovel.

The Origin Of The Term Dumbwaiter

Dumbwaiters, that is to say small industrial freight lifts, are an almost ubiquitous sight in hotels, bars and restaurants nowadays. Often used to reduce trips and simplify everyday tasks for kitchen and hotel staff, these devices are extremely popular for their compact size, versatility, ease of use and relative sturdiness.

Yet while many people are familiar with the concept of a dumbwaiter, very few are likely to have actually stopped and thought about where that name originates from, and why it was adopted for that specific implement in the first place. Aside from being common in the kitchen areas of hotels and restaurants, what other link is there between an industrial lift and a waiter? Where does the ‘dumb’ part originate from? Does it refer to lack of intelligence, or lack of ability to speak? All of these questions and more will be addressed in the lines below.

The Unspeaking Staffer

The exact origin of the term dumbwaiter is hard to pinpoint, but its etymology is relatively uncontroversial. The expression derived from the fact that the small freight elevators of the same name were often used as an inanimate stand-in for an actual member of staff; ‘dumb waiter’ therefore referred to the way in which these devices carried out some of the tasks that the help would normally take care of, while at the same time being unseen and unheard, or in other words, ‘dumb.’

The term is thought to have first been used sometime in the mid-19th century, in wealthy homes and estates in the United States. It seems consensual, however, that the term first rose to prominence in public consciousness when it was used in a theatre play, ‘The Dumb Waiter’, by Harold Pinter. First performed in 1957, the piece quickly rose to international fame and renown, and with it, the term ‘dumbwaiter’ as a synonym for a small-scale industrial freight lift. It is thanks to this play that the expression is thought to have entered public consciousness once and for all, and therefore, it can be considered its true originator, or at the very least responsible for its diffusion across western society.

Campaign for Change

Perhaps more surprising than the origin or meaning of the term dumbwaiter is the fact that, in recent years, several parties have been lobbying for it to be changed. The expression is nowadays seen as mildly derogatory, and a number of replacement terms have slowly but surely been taking its place over the past few decades. Alternative names for these types of devices include microlift, lazy Susan, and serving tray, all of which are considered more acceptable and politically correct than the term defined in the lines above.

Regardless of these efforts, however, it seems unlikely that the term dumbwaiter will slip out of public consciousness any time soon. Even if these alternate denominations do catch on with an increasingly more socially conscious general public, the transition will not occur overnight; the process is likely to take a number of years, and until then, these small, useful implements will continue to be known by their current name.

Whatever name they are known by, however, one thing seems clear: dumbwaiters should continue to play just as key a role in the hospitality and catering industry in upcoming decades as they do now. The versatile and easy to use nature of these lifts makes them an indispensable asset in any large, industrial-style kitchen or laundry room, and this status looks to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. Whether they are known as dumbwaiters, microlifts, lazy Susans, serving trays or any other name, these lifts should continue to be hotel and hospital staff’s best friends for as long as they remain in production.

Linking Areas of the Home With a Dumbwaiter

There are many reasons that people choose to install a dumbwaiter in their home. Sometimes it is installed by the home builder as the home is being built. This can help to increase the value of the home and its appeal to potential buyers. Other times, the homeowner will decide to install a dumbwaiter into their home after it is built.

There are many advantages to having a dumbwaiter in the home. These devices help make it much easier to do the many chores around the home. For instance, bring groceries up from the garage, is much easier when you can simply load up the dumbwaiter car and push a button. They can also make it much easier to bring laundry to and from the laundry room. These devices can also make it much easier for caretakers who need to bring food or supplies upstairs on a regular basis.

There are several popular kits that are used today to allow a homeowner to retro-fit a dumbwaiter with ease. The electric dumbwaiter is the most common type used, but some people prefer a manual dumbwaiter instead. The disadvantage of a manual dumbwaiter is that it will only be able to support less weight than an electric dumbwaiter. Also since you must use your own power to raise or lower it, they can be rather unpractical.

When installing an electric dumbwaiter, it is necessary to do some planning first. Usually the car of the dumbwaiter, which is the part that holds the goods as they are moved between floors, takes up about two feet by two feet of space. This means you will need a vertical shaft between floors that is about 4 feet squared. This is one reason that it is easier to install the dumbwaiter as the home is being built.

In retro-fit situations finding a space can be an issue, but usually most homes have an area that will work. The car can be configured so that the door opens on different sides, so this means you could configure it to open on one side in the kitchen and a different side upstairs. This increases the flexibility of the device. Often if all else fails, a closet can usually be converted to hold the dumbwaiter.

A track is used to keep an electric dumbwaiter and the car moves along the track. Most tracks are designed so that they can be installed into a wood framed home. The track comes in sections and can be slid together. This makes it much easier and more manageable to install the track.

Some dumbwaiters are in large part already assembled. The cable drive system is already installed along with the car on a short section of track. This piece will be placed at the top of the shaft, then after the track is attached to the shaft, there is little left to the installation. Since the installation is simpler and takes less time, it will in turn cost less to install.

There are many people that choose to install a dumbwaiter in their home. These lifts make it much easier to take care of tasks around the home.

Can I Use Redwood Instead of Pressure Treated Lumber For My Mudsills?

I get asked this question a lot, short answer…Yes. But there is a reason that very few contractors use redwood over pressure treated (or p.t.) for mud sills and bottom plates.

Let me first say that I have remodeled homes in areas of San Francisco and Marin that were over 100 years old- built entirely out of redwood- and are still in great shape structurally. That is because redwood is naturally high in acids which prevents rot and keeps bugs from eating it, seeing as those are a homes two worst enemies, redwood makes good sense. Until you look at the price tag. Fact is many redwood areas were over logged and the ones that weren’t are now protected. As a result the price of redwood is very high compared to other framing products and they are now using younger growth trees which equals more knots, twists, and wanes.

So to cut cost Pressure treated lumber was introduced as a wood that could mimic the attributes of redwood but for half the cost. Pressure treated lumber is usually Douglas fir or sometimes hem fir and injected with many toxic chemicals (copper or zinc napathane being the most potent). These chemicals are what prevent the rot and pest infestations but have also been known to cause cancer by polluting ground water when disposed in land fills. In California, the scrap pieces of p.t. must be disposed of at a bio-hazard waste yard. Recently the levels of toxins have been lowered by approx. 50%.

It is also worth noting that it is never acceptable to attach un-treated Douglas fir lumber in direct contact with concrete. There are several ways to treat Douglas fir yourself and make it rot and pest resistant. The #1 way to do this is apply copper napathane in either a spray can or regular liquid to be brushed on. You can find this at just about any neighborhood hardware store but be careful doing this! It will stink bad for a day or two so don’t apply directly in living spaces. Be sure to read any and all factory directions regarding the application of any sealant or rot preventing product.

So to answer the question, yes… absolutely, redwood is a great product for mud sills. But if you are gonna use redwood, save yourself some money and get ‘rough cut’ lumber, this will be slightly larger so you’ll have to cut it down width wise, but the price difference is worth the extra work.

Using a Pancake Griddle to Make Perfect Pancakes

Probably the most important secret that you will need to learn when you want to make great pancakes is how to get the right temperature on your pancake griddle and how to maintain that temperature.

It’s important of course to start with a good pancake recipe or mix. Search the Web and you will find many excellent pancake recipes and making pancake batter from scratch will give you wonderful results. And while some may look down their nose at ready to make pancake mixes, it is usually the cooking that spoils the pancakes and not the mix.

When the kids are begging for pancakes on a weekend morning, and time is of the essence, a good premade mix and a little water will have pancakes on the table in record time. Poor preparation rather than the poor quality of pancake mix is usually the reason box mixes are looked down upon.

Start out with a cast iron pancake griddle:

If you want to make excellent tasting pancakes consistently with the least amount of mess and cleanup time, the perfect answer is a cast iron pancake griddle. Using this properly on an electric or gas stove converts your kitchen into a grill just like the ones in a commercial restaurant. A cast iron griddle heats evenly and because of its weight and mass it maintains its temperature much more evenly as you cook.

Other types of cookware such as lightweight Teflon coated frying pans or electric fry pans or griddles are notorious for having rapidly fluctuating temperature control and uneven heating. A time tested cast iron griddle is the perfect answer to take care of these problems.

The main reason people have trouble making good pancakes is that they do not have a good method of determining the proper heat of the griddle before they start cooking. If pancakes are cooked at too low a heat they turn out tough and chewy. When cooked at a temperature that is too high, which is more common than not, the outside burns and crisp while the inside remains a raw and soggy mess.

The next time you make pancakes, take a few minutes to determine the proper settings for heating your pancake griddle with the following method. The trick to this method is known by many cooks but most probably don’t know the science behind it.

The Leidenfrost effect:

When you let a drop of water fall onto a hot pancake griddle, the water drop will dance around and stay in its droplet shape while it skitters across the surface. The scientific name for this is the Leidenfrost effect. When the drop hits the hot surface the water that comes in contact is immediately vaporized and the steam created pushes the remaining water in the drop up and away from the heated griddle.

This will not happen on a surface that is merely warm. In normal cooking situations it is agreed that the Leidenfrost effect occurs when the temperature of the griddle is at approximately 325 degrees F.

Find and record the best setting for your stove:

Since the ‘dancing water’ or Leidenfrost effect occurs at 325 degrees F, and the best accepted temperature for cooking pancakes that turn out perfectly is 375 degrees F, you can use a simple method to determine the setting for the burners on your stove. Start by warming up your pancake griddle to a very warm, but not hot temperature. Make sure it is preheated well but it is not hot enough to exhibit the Leidenfrost effect.

Then slowly increase the settings on your burners until you determine the point where a drop of water landing on the griddle will ‘dance’. Give the griddle time to heat to each new setting as you slowly increase the heat by changing the settings of your burners. You will want to make sure that the pancake griddle has reached the maximum temperature of your current settings before you test with a few drops of water.

When you see that the Leidenfrost effect is taking place, make a note of your burner settings so that in the future you can start right off and heat the griddle precisely. By knowing these settings you will always be able to reheat your griddle knowing that you have an exact point of reference.

According to some cooking guides, the temperature of 325F or 160C correlates to the ‘medium-low’ setting on your stove or range. The pancake cooking temperature of 375F (190C) is closer to ‘medium-high’.

Record the settings that work best for your stove:

Since the dancing water effect might be a little low for perfect pancake frying, you should now increase the temperature a little before your pour out your first pancakes. Try a small increase at first for one or two test pancakes and if you feel that it takes too long for them to finish increase the setting and give the pancake griddle time to adjust to the new heat setting before trying again.

Once you have determined the best pancake setting for your equipment make a note of it. In the future you’ll be surprised at how quickly you will be able to turn out perfect pancakes. All you will need to do is put your pancake griddle on the stove, turn the burner settings to these predetermined marks and give the griddle a little time to heat up.

Just by using a few drops of water and with knowing how the Leidenfrost effect works, you will easily be able to tell if your pancake griddle is ready and at the right temperature. You’ll be able to turn out great tasting and most importantly properly cooked pancakes in less time than it will take you to finish your first cup of morning coffee.

Official Boston Baked Bean Recipe

Throughout its history, Boston has been linked to beans. Surely the lowly legume is not the sort of association city forefathers would have sought when striving to cast their city’s mark in the New World. But find each other they did — as evidenced by the names Beantown, Boston baked beans, Beanpot Hockey Tourney and the Boston bean pot, among others.

It hasn’t been until the 1900s, however, with its emphasis on healthy eating, that the homey image of a bubbling pot of beans has gained cache. Beans are of the moment, the very definition of what our food should be about — carbohydrate and fiber rich.

As anyone who’s ever done the cooking for a Boston ham-and-bean church supper will tell you: the ideal method for cooking beans is in a bean pot in the oven – to make Boston Baked Beans in the authentic old fashioned way. For that deliciously slow, sweetly fragrant baking, you want traditional pots and sturdy stoneware protecting your beans from burning or overcooking, while keeping them moist and tasty. This recipe embraces the traditional way of cooking authentic Boston baked beans.


Serves 8

2-1/2 Quart Bean Pot Version

1 package (1 pound) navy or pea beans

1/4 pound salt pork, cut in 2 pieces

1 small whole onion, peeled

1 teaspoon dry mustard

8 cups water

1/3 cup molasses

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1) Soak beans overnight in a large sauce pan in 6 cups of water. Add baking soda. Heat to boiling and simmer 10 minutes. Drain in colander over a large bowl. Save liquid.

2) Place beans, salt pork and onion in the bean pot. Add molasses, salt, sugar, dry mustard, pepper and a cup of water. Stir thoroughly. Add enough water to cover the beans. Cover the bean pot.

3) Bake 2 hours at 300 degrees. Add the rest of the water and stir again. Bake additional 1-1/2 hours (or until beans are tender). Uncover last 1/2 hour.

The History of the Ford Pinto – One of the Worst Cars Ever Made

The Ford Pinto was Ford’s first domestic subcompact car. It was marketed in 1970 with competitors being the AMC Gremlin, Chevrolet Vega and imports from Volkswagen, Datsun and Toyota. It was a very popular car with 100,000 units delivered by January 1971. A version produced under the Lincoln Mercury name was called the Bobcat.

The Pinto used powertrains proven in Europe but the Vega had an innovative aluminum engine that caused problems. Robert Eidschun’s design of the exterior of the Pinto was chosen which was unusual because most cars consist of style elements from many designers. The Ford Pinto offered an inline 4 engine and bucket seats. And entry level Pinto was $1,850 which made it the cheapest Ford since 1958.

Seating in the Pinto was low to the floor compared to the imports. Body styles were the two door coupe, a hatchback called the Runabout and a two door station wagon. A top of the line Pinto Squire had faux wood sides. Road & Track magazine did not the suspension and standard drum brakes but loved the 1.6 L Kent engine. The Pinto was available with a choice of two engines and Ford changed the power ratings practically every year. The Ford Pinto Pangra is a modified sporting Pinto produced by Huntington Ford in California and only 55 were sold in 1973.

The Ford Pinto is most well known for it’s design problem that allowed the fuel tank to be easily damaged in a rear end collision. Deadly fires and explosions were common occurrences in rear end collisions. The Pinto had no real bumper or reinforcing structure between the rear panel and gas tank. In some collisions the gas tank would be thrust forward into the differential which had protruding bolts that could puncture the tank. Also the doors could jam during an accident due to poor reinforcement. This led to the Pinto’s nickname as a barbeque that seats four.

The Ford Pinto memo is the cost benefit analysis that Mother Jones magazine obtained that they claimed Ford used to compare the cost of an $11 repair to the monetary value of a human life. This characterization of Ford’s decision as a disregard for human life led to lawsuits though Ford was acquitted of criminal charges. The NHTSA ruled in 1974 that the Pinto had no recallable problem but in 1978 Ford initiated a recall providing a dealer installable safety kit that put protective plastic material over the sharp objects thereby removing the risk of a gas tank puncture.

The Ford Pinto has the dubious honor of being on Time magazine’s list of the fifty worst cars of all time.

Why A Hollister Models Diet And Exercise Routine Is Much Different Than Yours

Why is it that Hollister models who sport a good amount of muscle mass look much different than your average bodybuilder in gyms today? Could there be a reason why their muscles look more visually stunning than the average weight lifter or is it because of good genetics? Is it possible to be as slim and fit as these models? Many people wonder this but it is important to understand why a Hollister models diet and exercise routine is radically different than your average muscle building program.

Strategic Muscle Gains In All The Right Places

A muscle building program for a Hollister model is specifically designed to enhance certain areas of the body. This is done on purpose so that the overall appearance is visually stunning. They focus on addressing both sarcoplasmic muscle growth and myofibrillar hypertrophy in order to gain the proper muscle mass and density. The areas of the body that receive the most attention are the upper and inner chest, biceps, triceps, deltoids, and back. Adding muscle size and density in these areas can dramatically improve your appearance. But did you notice that traps and the lower body were not included?

Why Direct Leg Work Isn’t Needed

Hollister models do not have huge legs nor do they have protruding trap muscles. Building the trap muscles will hide the appearance of wide, angular, shoulders and will create a more rounded look. A thick upper back and neck is not desirable. It is very important for the upper body to resemble a “V.” This is why exercises like squats and dead lifts are typically avoided. Squats and dead lifts do a great job of adding mass to the hips, thighs, butt, and waist. You do not want excess mass in these areas of the body. Adding muscle to these areas will take away from the slim and angular “V” that the upper body carries. Don’t worry; you are not a “bodybuilding heretic” by skipping out on direct leg work. Having too much lower body mass can cause the models to have a hard time fitting into pants or jeans. Models need to be able to look hip, not big and bulky. Well defined legs don’t have to be large. HIIT cardio and a good diet will give you the right size and definition.

But What About Six Pack Abs?

Of course this is a given. You can’t be a good looking model without great abs. Hollister models obviously have this down to a science. Their abdominal muscles are not big and bulky, but are well defined. Planks do a great job of sculpting the midsection without adding bulk while hanging leg raises develop the “V” between the lower portion of the hips and abs. Having a slim and angular waist is extremely important for models. Even though planks and hanging leg raises are great abdominal exercises, did you know that the key to revealing your abs actually has nothing to do with abdominal exercises? Diet is the most important aspect of great looking abs. I don’t care what your trainer or gym buddy says about the best ab exercises if your diet isn’t in check. As long as you are consuming more calories than what you are burning you will continue to have stubborn body fat blurring your definition.

Diet Is Key For Whole Body Definition

Now that we have established that great abs is more about diet than anything, what about the rest of your body? Hollister models have very low body fat levels. This can be very difficult for people to achieve because they tend to underestimate how much food they actually consume in a day. If losing fat is the goal, everything you put into your mouth counts. Models do not eat like huge bodybuilders or the average gym rat. If you want to lose weight then you need to cut back on the junk and fill it up with high intensity interval training. Combining intermittent fasting and HIIT workout routines with your muscle building program will burn off that list bit of stubborn body fat in no time. Simply eating less with high intensity interval cardio will help you stay lean and stick to low body fat levels comparable to Hollister models.

Why Slightly Chubby Models Don’t Make The Cut

This is why a Hollister models diet and exercise routine is so specific, slightly chubby models will never be considered. Being “photo ready” is crucial for models. This is why they have to stay lean and mean all year round. Even though it takes much more discipline to stay slim and fit, it pays off in the photo shoot.

PTSD And Planning For The Future

Failure to recognize or plan for the future is a very common Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptom. Why do people who have this disorder have such a hard time acknowledging events that may take place in the future and plan accordingly? Making and carrying out future plans does seem like a logical way to conduct your affairs, but this is a very big problem among those with PTSD.

The answer lies in what PTSD truly is. People acquire this disorder because they have been terrified and rendered helpless in a moment in which they believed that they would die. They have seen death very close to them. This is the diagnostic criteria and defining factor with this disorder. An event in which anyone sees the end of their life coming to an end, an event in which they do not believe that they will survive, robs them of their sense of trust and safety. It takes a certain amount of faith to believe that there will be a tomorrow. A sense of trust and safety are required in order to believe that future plans will actually come to pass. People who suffer from PTSD have lost these concepts and have a markedly foreshortened sense of the future.

Some people who suffer from posttraumatic stress can manage to plan a day or a week in advance, but every one who has this disorder has a threshold of what they can comfortably look forward to. Some people can’t even foresee tomorrow or the next day and this is why we live our lives solely in the present.

If you are in a relationship with someone who has PTSD, you know how frustrating it is to make plans for a week or two in advance and then watch them fall through. Anxiety has much to do with this phenomenon. Depression can contribute to the inability to follow through with pre planned occasions.

You have likely noticed that we don’t become excited about events until about 5 minutes before they actually occur. Many people who have PTSD do all of their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve because in our minds, the event has to be hours away in order for us to trust that they will occur. This makes no logical sense to someone who does not have this disorder, but it is extremely normal to someone who has PTSD.

Being in a relationship with someone who has PTSD can be challenging and confusing at times. Sometimes you have to use a lot of critical thinking, common sense, and flexibility. At times, it is hard to know what will be the most helpful and what will make a symptom worse for them. Ultimately, education is the key to dealing with PTSD. Once you know what PTSD really is and what to expect, it is not too difficult to personalize a solid plan that is specific to the person that you love. Belief in a foreshortened future can be overcome, as can many common post traumatic stress symptoms.

The Benefits of Using the Mobile Application of Websites

A website is a significant tool for the promotion of any business or organization. With the increase in the usage of mobile devices, the procedure of developing the mobile friendly software has been augmented too.

No matter whether the organization is big or small, the prime focus of an entrepreneur is the promotion of his or her trade. With the progress of the technology, the requirement of a website has increased too. Today, the best way to endorse a business or a company is to create a well decorated and well-designed website.

But, today people live a busy life where they get a little time to switch on their desktop. Moreover, people use android mobile devices today, which have all the advantages one can get on the desktop. Using the internet is quite easy in the mobiles where one can watch movies and read books and do many other things too. Besides, there are numerous social networking websites, matrimonial sites, online shopping applications which have their own mobile-friendly applications.

The mobile application development is a procedure of developing software which can be accessed from the mobile devices. Different operating systems maintain different rules. Therefore, developing software for the iOS and Android are not the same. There are several services where the expert developers follow these rules to create a successful mobile app. The numerous benefits of these applications are given below-

Easy to use

Connecting to the world is easier with these applications. For example, if one wants to use the online software of the taxi, he or she doesn’t have to switch on the desktop or carry a laptop for entering into the site. He or she can easily search it and book a cab from the mobile only.

It endorses the business

Today, each and everyone uses mobile. Therefore, the mobile application development helps in the promotion of the trade. Putting an ad on the app can attract the attention of many potential customers.

Communication with the consumers

One of the benefits of using these apps is that they help in interacting with the customers easily. Gone are the days where one had to use the desktop for sending queries or giving feedback about the website or any product or service. Today, clients can get connected with the website administrations from their phone only.

Maintaining reputation

The mobile application development aids as a bridge between the entrepreneurs and the consumers. As it engages more and more customers, it helps to grow the reputation too.

4 Self-Defense Strikes That Are Better Than The Clenched Fist for Executing Face Strikes

Let me ask you a question, if the odds are against you already in a self-defense attack, why would you aggravate things more by increasing your disadvantage? I mean, you’d have to be nuts to hurt yourself, and help your attacker – to be an accomplice to your own ass-kicking… right?

This article is about avoiding doing just that. In it, I share with you the number one reason why I avoid teaching my students to use a standard clenched fist when striking your assailant’s face in a self-defense street attack. And, I’m going to give you 4 strikes that are much better for getting the results you want, without the same risk of damage in the process!

But first, let me share with you the number one reason that you’d have to be crazy to punch someone in the face with a clenched fist.


Because you’ll probably damage your own hand in the process.

Don’t believe me? How can this be so? After all, isn’t that what everyone does?

For the most part, the answer is “Yes.” But, at what price?

Look at the boxers and other fighters who get into fights outside of the ring. Do you know what happens, even if they win? What happens is that most of them…

End up with broken hands, fingers, or wrists in the process.

Not very smart.

And the reason that this happens is because it’s almost impossible to punch a human being in the face without making impact with the chisel-like “processes” or ridges on the frontal, facial, part of the skull. In fact, it’s impossible to punch someone in the face with a standard clenched fist – from the eye brow ridge down to the jaw, and from the edge of the eyes across the face to each side – without making contact with one of these chisel-like ridges.

So, now what?

The “now what” is…

What if I could show you how to punch an assailant in the face – to get the same kind of mind-rocking effect that only a head-shot gives you (more in fact) – without risking the breaking of your hand, fingers, or wrist in the process?

Would you be interested?

Somehow, I knew you would.

So, instead of trying to figure out how to hit someone with the same “caveman-style” punch that everyone else is using – regardless of the consequences – let’s look at 4 alternate “fists” that will do more with less energy…

AND… that will not trade off a broken hand for whatever damage you do manage to get in the process.

  • 1) Palm-heel strike – By using the base of the palm – the solid part of the palm that is in alignment with the firearm bones, you get the battering-ram like power without the need to worry about your wrist folding, or breaking the smaller bones of your fingers when they collide with the facial bones. In fact, like most of the fists that I’m sharing with you today, it actually fits right in-between the problem areas that I am constantly warning my students about!
  • 2) Thumb-drive strike – The tip of the thumb can deliver amazing power and damage to the thinner bones in front of the sinus cavities, as well as everywhere else on the face. By making a standard fist, and then pressing the middle joint of the thumb down on top of the folded index finger, you know have the capability of taking the power generated by the mass of the larger clenched fist, and concentrating it into a much smaller point.
  • 3) Knife-hand strike – Also know conventionally as the “karate chop” or “judo-chop,” the knife-hand strike concentrates the striking force along the outer-edge of the palm. Again, just like the palm-heel strike, the narrow nature of this “fist” allows it to slip easily between and into the bone surfaces behind the face that everyone else focuses on.
  • 4) Forearm strike – What most people think of as a tool merely for blocking, the real self-defense expert sees as a clubbing weapon. The forearm – especially the ulnar bone (the bone on the outside edge of the forearm) – can cause even the most determined attacker to drop in his tracks.
Each of these strikes is unconventional to say the least. But, that’s the point of training, isn’t it – to develop stronger, more accurate, and better techniques, tactics, and strategies that will allow you to be the winner?

Of course it is.

Just remember that fighting, even self-defense, holds the risk that you could be severely damaged. But, your training should not cause you to hurt yourself! And, especially when it comes to defending yourself, the idea is to “fight smarter – not harder!”

Ancient Greek Agora

From the moment people began to organise themselves into groups they had to have a place where they could meet and make decisions on matters of common interest. Such places demonstrate the existence of a community life: they were the public squares. We don’t know what they were called in pre-historic times; we do know that the Greek word for such a place is agora, from the verb agorevein (speak), which shows clearly its initial function. With the growth of trade and the use of speech in buying and selling, the verb agorevein lent its form to agorazein which acquired the meaning of “purchase”, to reflect new needs. Similarly, the movable table for transactions was then called “trapeza”, the modern Greek word for bank.

In pre-historic times, when the first settlement was established on the protected southern side of the Acropolis, the northern side was used as a necropolis, or cemetery. In a well from the neolithic period, a statuette representing a headless semi-reclining woman was found dating from the 3rd millennium BC. It is a marvellous example of primitive sculpture with the characteristic abundant flesh indicative of fertility. Many examples of Mycenean pottery were found in the same vicinity as well as a number of large jars (pithoi). Among the funeral customs of antiquity was that of enclosing the bodies of very young children in such jars, which were then buried; older children were laid straight in the ground. Only after puberty was the cremation of the body permitted. As the city grew, the graves were moved to the Dipylon area which was the potters’ district, Kerameikos, so that very few graves remained in the area around the Areopagus hill after 1000 BC.

Thus were the Agora and Speech related. Plutarch reports that the Agora first began to function as a meeting place for the residents of the federated townships during the rule of Theseus, when a Prytaneion was established. The altar bearing the sacred fire of this first official building became the symbol of newly constituted state. Other important buildings were the Bouleuterion, the Eleusinion sanctuary and the temple of Aphrodite Pandemos. The latter was a tribute built by the municipalities to the goddess with the great power over human nature. There was a great deal of traffic in the area, making it suitable for the practice of the oldest profession; the women were dedicated to the goddess thereby giving the term “pandemos Aphrodite” its meaning of prostitute. We do not know the precise location of these early sites, although they must have been somewhere in the clearing between the Areopagus and the northwestern corner of the Acropolis.

After the monarchy was abolished and the citizens acquired the right to express their opinion, a need clearly arose for more public buildings and a larger place in which the citizens could gather. The level ground east of the Areopagus was regarded as being the most suitable location for the Agora which was to have several new sanctuaries and public fountains. While the Acropolis was devoted exclusively to religion, the Agora from the very beginning assumed the function of a civic and administrative centre. No trace of these first public buildings has survived up to our time, since they are underneath the present, densely populated district of Plaka.

The establishment of colonies, which the orator Isocrates would later refer to as the best possible solution to political problems, and the resultant growth of trade made it absolutely essential to have a more convenient place to do business. Thus, early in the 6th century, Solon selected the most appropriate spot for the Agora, i.e. the site we know today. The flat ground north of the Areopagus formed a triangle with its apex facing northward and its western side protected by a plateau. On the east was the main road which started at the Dipylon Gate, the entrance to the city, and ascended to the Acropolis. In addition, the roads from the outer townships ended in this lowland near a little creek called the Eridanos.

From the first moment, it proved to be an excellent choice. The plateau was named Agoraios Kolonos, and on its slopes the first public building was erected, very possibly a council chamber. Small temples followed, as did a Bouleuterion (Council House) and a Prytaneion. Solon chose the entrance to the city as the best position for a portico and gave orders for the written laws to be kept there. The Agora was beginning to take shape.

In the second half of the 6th century, during the tyranny of Peisistratos, the site was provided with a water supply and drainage system. A monumental fountain and rainwater duct were built. Like all dictators, Peisistratos was not especially keen on the idea of increasing space for meeting and voting; instead, he filled the city with projects to benefit the public. During the years of his rule, the great road followed by the Panathenaic procession took on its final form. On the south side of the Acropolis, the people’s courthouse of the Heliaia was built and, at the northern crossroads, the Altar of the Twelve Gods.

The Persian campaign left much of the city in ruins which began to be cleared away after 460 BC, when Kimon was in power. Many new buildings were put up then, including porticoes with shops, a large Bouleuterion, special places for meetings of military leaders (strategoi) and civic administrators (prytanes), as well as altars and monuments honouring local heroes. On the highest point in the Agora, the temple of Hephaestos, the blacksmith god, was built. This Doric temple preceded the Parthenon, and also housed a statue of Athena, goddess of wisdom. Thus were the two gods brought together showing the association between philosophy and art, teaching that intellectuals and artisans cannot live one without the other.

During the years that followed, the Agora became the true heart of the city. Although decisions were made in the Council of the Deme and in the neighbouring Pnyx, the draws to determine who would take part in the administration of the state were held in the Agora. The laws, their enforcement, the penalties imposed on violators, the minting of currency, buying and selling – all had their own particular spot in the Agora. Processions, races, auctions and feasts were all characteristic of this political, civic, cultural, commercial and sometimes religious centre. The streets of the growing city may well have been narrow and full of hazardous potholes and the wooden houses may have had but one ground floor room with perhaps a wooden addition above. The walls of these houses may have been brick and susceptible to thieves. Cooking fires may have been lit on the road and the lack of proper sewers may have been responsible for epidemics. But when the Athenian citizen entered the Agora, he felt that he was participating in and contributing to the miracle of his times. Philosophers, orators, politicians and citizens caused Demosthenes to say, in the 4th century, that the customary greeting between Athenians meeting in the Agora was: What’s new? At the end of the Hellenistic period, the Agora was crowded with buildings, including a recent graceful portico donated by Attalos of Pergamum. The Romans who followed began competing to build other edifices which caused the Agora to spill out beyond its initial bounds. Altars, temples, a library and gymnasium, porticoes and colonnades, all of which were open to the public, made Saint Paul say that the Athenian citizens and metoici did nothing but stroll around the Agora discussing politics. Athenaios from Egypt was also highly impressed, and wrote in his Deipnosophists that in the Athens Agora, one could find with equal ease: fruit, false witnesses, complaints, pap, pedlars, honeycomb with honey, peas, trials, lotteries, roses and irises, laws, hydraulic clocks, pimps, informers, myrtle branches…

The weakening of the Roman Empire brought barbarians. In 267 AD, the Agora was sacked by the Herulians who respected only the temple. A wall was built from the rubble of the buildings, but it could not save the Agora from Alaric’s Goths in 396. This total devastation was followed by reconstruction which kept the site functioning until 529. This was the year of the final blow against Athens, when the Byzantine emperor Justinian ordered the closing of the philosophical schools, which the new religion regarded with such hostility. The Agora was abandoned, its monuments fell into disuse and then decay, the site was gradually covered over by earth and mud because there was nobody to keep the drainage ducts cleared. During subsequent centuries, houses were built of the plentiful debris. On top of the buried antiquities, the lovely Byzantine church of the Holy Apostles was built in the year 1000. Meantime, the ancient temple of Hephaistos had already been consecrated to St George.

Throughout the 400 years of Turkish rule (1456-1829), the Athenians lived perched on the north side of the Acropolis, where the heart of the Polis had once beaten most proudly. Many houses were destroyed during the Greek War of Independence, especially during the siege of Athens by Kiutahi Pasha. But with the designation of the city as capital of the new Greek state, new homes were soon built on top of the ruins of older ones. The architects Kleanthis and Schubert, who had been assigned to reconstruct the capital, vainly proposed that the new city be built some distance away from the old one so as to leave the ground free for future excavations. Short-sightedness, pettiness and profit, however, proved stronger than reason. The first traces of the ancient Agora were revealed in 1859, when foundations for houses began being dug. Much later, in 1931, the American School of Classical Studies undertook regular excavations which continued until after 1945, with constant appropriations of property. It is estimated that more than three hundred thousand tonnes of earth and rubble were moved in order to bring the Agora to light. Today the ancient heart of Athens, spread out as far as permitted by the surrounding modern buildings, reveals its beauty, its eloquent ruins and its rich memories of days past, days of eternal glory.

The most impressive monument in the ancient Agora is indisputably the great Doric temple which dominates the site. Built on the top of a plateau, known as the Agoraios Kolonos, this temple is the best- preserved ancient building in Greece, having survived a great number of adventures, threats and changes including the alteration of its original name. For centuries, this temple was known as the Theseion, as it was believed to have been a temple dedicated to Theseus, a conclusion drawn from its sculpted decoration depicting the hero’s feats. This restless prince of prehistoric Athens was mythified by the Athenians, as the Attic counterpart of the Doric Hercules. Tales were invented about his birth, his achievements, his wanderings. It is said that he fell in love with the beautiful Helen when she was still a child and he an old man, and that this love pitted him against her brothers the Dioscuri, which forced him to seek refuge on the island of Skyros. There the local king Lykomedes killed him by throwing him off a cliff. After an oracle from Delphi, Kimon went to the island in 469 BC to fetch the bones of the founder of Athens and bury them properly in his ancestral city. A temple was built on Theseus’ grave and was called Theseion, which Thucydides mentioned as a place where hoplites would gather. Aristophanes used the mocking name “Theseion-frequenter” to denote people who, having nothing to do, would wander about aimlessly. Plutarch wrote that the Theseion was a refuge for slaves, but its precise location is unknown.

Pausanias refers explicitly to the large temple in the Agora as being dedicated to Hephaistos and indeed he even described the cult statues there: one of Hephaistos and one of Athena with blue eyes. The celebrated Roman orator Cicero greatly admired the bronze statues which had been sculpted by Alcamenes just after 421 BC, praising the artist for his skill in presenting the lame Hephaistos standing upright without showing his physical disability. This testimony is the only trace of these statues that remains today.

The temple was built after 449 BC, based on plans by an unknown architect, similar in size to the temple of Poseidon at Sounion and that of Nemesis at Ramnus, near Marathon. It is indeed remarkable that, despite all the disasters that befell the Agora during the years of the barbarian invasions, the temple was left intact. Later, under Byzantine rule, it became a church consecrated to St George. An apse was built on the eastern side, and a door was opened on the west. In about 1300, the original ceiling collapsed and was replaced with the present-day vaulted brick one, which stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the building. It may even have been due to these changes that the temple escaped destruction, particularly during the years of Ottoman rule. It used to be said that in order to permit services to be held in the church, the Turkish governor would demand the weight of the key to the building in gold. At that time, keys were huge and gold rare, which was why the building only opened once a year. Services were held solely on the feast of St George, a fact which lent the building its picturesque name: St George the Akamatis (Lazybones).

In the early 19th century, during the Revolution against the Ottoman Empire, the temple was called “thirty-two columns”; it was used to chant the Te Deum when King Otto arrived in the capital in 1834, signalling liberation from the Turks. A marvellous painting of the period shows us the young king being welcomed by the awestruck crowd, as he started out unsuspectingly along the road to his destiny. Services were held in the church for the last time in 1934, on the 100th anniversary of the new Athens; two years later its restoration as an archaeological monument began.

The temple of Hephaistos stands firmly on a foundation of three steps, the bottom of which is poros stone, the other two are Pentelic marble; the columns are of the same material, 13 on each of the long flanks and six on the facades. Outside the columns there are traces of pedestals of votive offerings and statues. On the east side, is a carved representation on the floor beside the columns which shows that some lazy people used to spend their time either playing something like modern board games or scratching the marble with the age-old destructive mania of bored people.

Although the external dimensions of the building are typical of the classical age, the interior was an unsuccessful effort to achieve the perfect symmetry of the slightly later Parthenon.

The pronaos which once existed had two columns which were removed when the building was converted into a church, and was more spacious than the corresponding opisthodomos on the west side. Another equally unsymmetrical element could be seen inside the temple, where the inner Doric columns, five columns on the flanks and three on the west, were very close to the outer walls, and appeared to diminish the space. In front of the three columns on the west side a base of grey stone shows where statues of the gods had stood. Nothing has remained of the initial marble flooring, since for some centuries now it has been the custom to bury famous citizens here. On the interior wall of the north side one can still see an Englishman’s gravestone bearing an epigram by Lord Byron.

The sculpted decoration of the temple has not been well preserved since for centuries it has been exposed to the weather and changes of season. The pediments have suffered most of all: on the east the sculptures have been lost altogether, while on the west some animal hoofs have remained which might have been part of a representation of the battle with the centaurs, a subject directly related to Theseus. The eastern metopes narrated the labours of Hercules while on the north and south side there are four relief slabs again depicting the feats of Theseus. On the exterior wall of the temple proper, there was a frieze on the facades alone, not on the flanks. On the eastern side Theseus was presented fighting against his kinsmen the Pallantides, who had disputed his hereditary right to the throne of Athens. To portray all these fighting figures, the sculptor used the entire width of the cella facade. By contrast, on the opposite, western side, the classical battle of the Centaurs and Lapiths occupied considerably less space.

Around the temple there were two rows of shallow pits at regular intervals. Even today, on the south side one can see traces of enormous clay jars half-buried in the ground; they were flower pots for the ornamental plants that adorned the site during the Hellenistic and Roman age. In a dry city like Athens, plants have always been welcome; we know that in an earlier age, Kimon himself had taken care to plant myrtle and plane trees in the Agora. There was once an enclosure round the sacred precinct of the temple, but not a trace of it remains. The same is true of the access point from the Agoraios Kolonos plateau to the lower level of the Agora; the grand staircase which used to be there has been completely destroyed.

Just north of the temple, but at a somewhat lower level, traces were found of an enormous colonnaded structure which had been almost entirely hewn out of the natural rock. Archaeologists believe it to have been a 4th-century building that was either related to the Athenian army or, because of the large number of Panathenaic amphoras found there, a storehouse for sacred oil. But the existence of strongly- built walls and a system for collecting rain water in underground cisterns makes it difficult for scholars to identify this strange building and its function. There was another building, too, on the Agoraios Kolonos: the little temple dedicated to Urania Aphrodite, the ruins of which were discovered accidentally in 1890, during the building of the railroad that was to link Athens with Piraeus.

We know that Aphrodite was a very ancient deity. The personification of love and fertility, she began in Babylon where she was worshipped as the all-powerful Ishtar. In addition to temples, the inhabitants of Babylon with its mythical wealth, had dedicated even the main entrance of this heavily walled city to their powerful protector. This is the gate which we can see restored today in the Museum in Berlin. The same divinity was called Astarte in Phoenician regions while the monotheistic Semites feared her as Ashtaroth: a divine but extremely dangerous woman who made it difficult for them to observe the strict rules in their lives. Herodotus reported, in the third book of his history, that in the land of the Phoenicians the all-powerful goddess had another name as well: Alilat. The Sumerians called her Inanna and the Persians Anahita for whom she was protectress of the water, which in their dry country was life itself. The influence of this supreme goddess spread throughout the entire Mediterranean, carried by Phoenician seamen who brought her as far as the city of Eryce on the western tip of Sicily, where she was worshipped on top of a steep rock. In the other great Phoenician colony, Carthage, she was called Tanit.

This goddess with the many names was worshipped according to the needs of the society in which her sanctuaries were located. Not only were her names different, but so were her rites: orgies, sacred prostitution, even the sacrifices of first-born children, as was the case in Carthage in the worship of the bloodthirsty Tanit. It is worth noting that the symbol of this Carthaginian goddess can be seen in Delos, on the threshold of the house of the dolphins, like a magic charm to keep misfortune away from the householders.

From clay slabs found on the coast of Syria, we learn of the correspondence of an Ugarit chief with his counterpart in Alasia, as prehistoric Cyprus was called. These relationships explain the way in which the Eastern divinity was carried to the island of Cyprus, where as early as the 12th century BC, there was a sanctuary dedicated to her near Paphos. But here the insatiable goddess changed form. She became identified with the sea and was named Pelagic.

In his Cosmogonia, Hesiod wrote some strange things about how this universal heavenly power came to be in the Helladic world. He said that Kronos castrated Uranus and threw the immortal parts of his divine father into the sea somewhere near Kythera. On that spot, a great foam was created out of which emerged the beautiful goddess. This accounts for her name in Greek, as Aphrodite means “arisen out of the foam”. The waves embraced her and brought her gently to Cyprus where she acquired yet another name: Cypris.

Associated with humankind’s most powerful emotion, Aphrodite was worshipped everywhere with zeal, as her cult conquered one region after the other. She enchanted both gods and mortals, accompanied by a retinue consisting of the mischievous Eros, the Graces, Desire and Lust. She was by her nature a fateful goddess, who could not stand to be spurned; she punished the unloved harshly, as she did Hippolytus, son of Theseus. The proud goddess tormented him and led him to his doom because the rash young man dared to prefer to worship the virginity of Artemis. In Sparta, Aphrodite was worshipped as a martial goddess, in keeping with the paramount local values, and in Athens she was exalted as Urania, heavenly protectress of the noblest form of love. There was of course the other sanctuary, in her Pandemos form, but it was as Urania, her refined form, that she was honoured on the Agoraios Kolonos, alongside the temple of her husband Hephaistos who had gone through so much during their married life. Pausanias referred to the sanctuary of the goddess and to its cult statue, a work by Phidias from choice marble, but today only a few stones have been saved on the slope of the hill beside the train tracks. In order to build this central communications line, the ruins of the greater part of this ancient building were sacrificed.

The Self Defense Company Review

Damian Ross from The Self Defense Company says that his system is “The most lethal martial arts/self defense program in the world”. I have used the program for over a year now and I believe without a doubt that up to this point in time that statement is unequivocally true. I have been into the martial arts thing about 20 years or so and I have always looked for stuff that I thought would be the real thing (Work in real life). When I first started looking for “styles” of fighting that would work in a street fight I came across “Jeet Kune Do” from there it was on. Over a year ago when I noticed the Self Defense Company for the first time I, like anybody else, didn’t know what to expect. I spent about one or two months looking at reviews and googling “The Self Defense Company Scams” and reading over any customer complaints and looking at people bad mouthing them in forums before I bought the product. I couldn’t find any intelligent arguments or whatever that convinced me not to give them a shot. So I ended up buying the whole thing at once. I was pretty excited when I finally got it in the mail. I am the type of person who gets really excited when I get something new but after about a week or two if whatever it is sucks I feel like a complete an idiot and get extremely ticked off and actually call and demand my money back. “Nobody gets one by me!” Yep, well that’s what I tell myself so I feel better. But let me tell you, after over a year of using the system, I really think its great.

If you ever have seen the show BullSh#$ by Penn and Teller you know how ruthless they can be. Well, they actually ended up doing a show on different kind of martial arts and Karate. They visited various dojos to see how ineffective they actually were. By the shows end they ripped every kind of fighting style a new one except Damian Ross’s training system. So where Penn and Teller big Fans of the Self Defense Company? Absolutely not! Actually, they said that Mr. Ross shouldn’t be teaching this program to ordinary citizens- only to the Army Special Forces and Policemen that are attendees at his class!

So how does the program work? The Self Defense Training System (SDTS) is made up of twelve different modules. Each module comes with a training manual and two DVD’s. One DVD is a Demonstration DVD that has an opponent attacking the instructor who performs the different moves on that opponent.The first DVD in each module basically gives you the scenarios where you would use the different moves. The second DVD in each module is a Training DVD showing you how to practice the moves yourself. Each training manual tells you which moves to practice and how to do each move.

What are my favorite modules. I know this sounds really corny but please bare with me. I’m giving my actual opinion here. They’re all awesome. You are probably thinking to yourself. “Well, that wasn’t a very critical review at all”. But I feel this way because It’s actually a system and you have to work and progress your way up proverbial ladder per say. You start out on the basics but as you progress to cool stuff like weapons and throws it just starts to come naturally. It actually builds off your empty hand training that you start off with at the beginning of the training. They say in the DVD’s that Samurai used to train this way.

How does this program stand out from the others?Well, first of all Penn and Teller in their show believe civilians shouldn’t be able to take this course and only elite special forces, army solder’s or police should be able to. This is actually a huge selling point for myself. I mean Penn and Teller are famous for relishing in trying to make people look retarded but they never will at the expense of making themselves look foolish. By that I mean they weren’t about to call the STDS bullsh%$ because if they did they would have made themselves look stupid in the process of doing so. They actually had no problem going around making fun of every other martial art out there. And you could tell they really enjoyed doing it too. But honestly, I believe STDS is the best Self Defense System out there, and so do they, up to this point in time.

Bell’s Palsy Symptoms – A Comprehensive Guide

Bell’s Palsy is the paralysis of the facial muscles caused by damage or constriction of the facial nerve (the 7th Cranial nerve) resulting in facial palsy to one side of the face (in 1% of cases this can occur on both sides of the face: Bilateral Bell’s Palsy).

Here is a comprehensive list of the most common physical Bell’s Palsy symptoms. This is not an exhaustible list and a Bell’s Palsy sufferer may or may not get some or all of them.

Certainly, when under the stress of getting acquainted with having facial paralysis, just knowing that a symptom is “possible”, that it has happened to others and is therefore nothing to worry about, is, in itself, extremely helpful.

It is most definitely useful for the friends and family of the Bell’s Palsy sufferer to be aware of this list, so that they can more immediately understand what the person with Bell’s Palsy is actually going through and can remind them that the latest “panic” is actually on this list and is therefore something that is “normal”.

The real symptoms of Bell’s Palsy – A comprehensive guide

  • Facial muscle paralysis or a weakness of the facial muscles giving an overall lop-sided appearance to facial expression. Bilateral Bell’s Palsy (a rare occurrence in approximately 1% of cases) produces a face with no expression whatsoever.
  • The facial skin loses any wrinkling (it is an ironically pleasing experience as they return)
  • Difficulty closing the eye on the affected side.
  • A extremely dry eye or an excessively watery eye as Bell’s Palsy affects both tear gland and tear duct function.
  • A pronounced “open” eye on the affected side due to the inability of the Orbicularis Oculi muscle (the muscle surrounding the eye socket) to keep the lower eyelid in its normal place. This makes the surface of the eye dangerously exposed to likes of dust and debris and this must be protected against.
  • “Bell’s Phenomenon” is a common Bell’s Palsy symptom. When attempting to close your eyelids the “eyeball” on the affected side will disappear upwards behind the affected eyelid. This is not really noticeable to the owner of the eye, but is very noticeable to a person watching your affected eye. It is not something to be worried about at all. Although there is no medically scientific reason why this should happen, it is an extremely helpful symptom because it helps protect the affected eye whilst your eyelid cannot. This symptom will go along with the others in the course of time.
  • A slight sensitivity to light most probably due to the fact that you cannot close one of your eyes completely.
  • Crocodile tears. Tears that appear when eating or when you are about to eat. These are not usually problematic, just “odd”. They are a sign of recovery, but if a person does not get them, they are still recovering.
  • Painful teeth (unlike toothache more as if the teeth on the affected side of your face have been frozen into one block. This can pass within a few days and again, is odd, rather than actually painful)
  • A runny or blocked nose.
  • A noticeable difference in the way the person with Bell’s Palsy speaks, due to the paralysis of the Orbicularis Oris (the facial muscle that surrounds the mouth) in conjunction with various other facial muscles, that allow us to move our lips.
  • A noticeable difference in the ease with which the person with Bell’s Palsy can eat and drink (they can eat and drink but it is very different and leads to a great deal of embarrassment and is very upsetting, especially at first) Hyperacusis – A pronounced sensitivity to sound in the ear on the affected side.
  • A feeling that the ear on the affected side is intermittently blocked (as if having partial deafness) upon facial movement when facial movement starts to return. Pain around the area of, or in, the ear of the paralysed side of the face.
  • A noticeable difficulty (impossible with bilateral Bell’s Palsy) to close the lips properly.
  • A drooping bottom lip (especially in Bilateral Palsy)
  • A constant thirst or an overactive saliva gland causing dribbling (This is again very embarrassing and can thus affect mood)
  • Whistling is an impossibility without manual manipulation to hold the lips in their proper place.
  • Facial swelling, or at least the feeling that your face, or parts of it, are swollen.
  • The loss of, or reduction in, taste in the anterior (front) 2/3’s of tongue, relating to the perception of saltiness and sweetness.
  • Eyebrows cannot be raised together equally, or individually on the paralysed side of the face.
  • Major distortions of the face when expressions are attempted, when speaking and when eating.
  • Minor (but stressful at the time) feelings of unsteadiness, or hyper- vigilance. These can occur purely due to the stress or fear of this or any scary situation.
  • Chronic tiredness as would be associated with having a virus (this will go incrementally with rest)
  • As recovery begins, a tingle, mild pain or twitch may be noticed in the area where the facial nerve ending has begun to receive a signal. As a warning, these feelings may appear and then disappear which is extremely upsetting (they usually always return, at which point they are nearly always stronger). A fresh “Twitch” is an extremely encouraging and mood enhancing experience to the Bell’s Palsy recoverer.

Recovery from Bell’s Palsy can take up to 3 months in the majority of cases (50-60%) and within 6 months 80% of people have experienced a complete recovery. Sometimes it can take longer, but healing continues long after the 6 months stage and can even be restarted or boosted many years afterwards with the help of facial exercises, facial retraining or electrical stimulation treatment.