Jesus Christ – The World’s Lighthouse to Salvation

What did Jesus mean when He said that He was the light of the world? Are believers the light of the world also? The first analogy that comes to my mind is the lighthouse. The lighthouse is the perfect metaphor for describing the Christian life. The lighthouse is a tall tower built on a strong foundation with a beam of light that assist with the navigation of ships to the shoreline or harbor mouth. The same purpose in the erection of a lighthouse is in close comparison to the purpose of the believer’s life through Jesus Christ.

The lighthouse is a tall tower that is usually built on an island or cliff. They are built near the sea; but, placed on a strong foundation above sea level. The lighthouse is used as a refuge to lost ships for guidance and safety purposes. The attributes of the lighthouse are similar to the hope we have in our Savior. Jesus Christ came as refuge to a dying, sin-sick world. We receive salvation by calling on the name of Jesus Christ. This is the only name in which anyone can be saved from an eternal death. His very name is a strong tower because the righteous can always rest in the safety of His love and strength (Psalm 61:3). We have to keep our eyes above our circumstances and stay focus on our faith in Him. Our God is truth. He is our Rock that is incapable of change. We have a strong foundation in God through Jesus Christ which gives us the assurance of everlasting life (1 John 5:11-12).

The lighthouse has a leading beam of light that rotates across the water in a unique pattern that allows ships to stay focused on their destination and avoid hazards near the shoreline. Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Once we accept Him as Lord and Savior in our lives we have that same “light” within us. We have been sanctified or set apart for His good works to a lost world. Because of the “light” that is now in us, we have become a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9). Our pattern of living should be based on the life Jesus Christ exemplified when he lived on the Earth. We are to live our lives in such a way that the unbeliever will be drawn to the “light” in us and seek salvation through Jesus Christ. When we allow our light to shine, it helps others from continually stumbling in the darkness of this world. Our lives should illuminate the eternal hope we have in serving a loving God and deter a dying world from the hazard of being eternally separated from Him.

The lighthouse is in operation twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. It is important that it is constant operation to be a guiding light to the ships out to sea. It is imperative that the ships have a constant guide to the shoreline and be able to avoid the hazards near the harbor mouth. Jesus Christ is our guiding light. He illuminates the pathway to our heavenly Father and has given us that same “light” to shine before mankind. In everything we do; such as our speech, actions, and circumstances, we have to let the good works of Jesus Christ illuminate through our lives to the darkness of this world. Jesus is the light of this world; and as His disciples, we are the light of the world also. We should always exemplify the “light” inherited through Jesus Christ. The Lord is the light of our salvation and is the world’s only escape from eternal darkness and the pathway to our heaven Father (Psalm 27:1).

Reasons for Globalization

Most companies move their business operations to foreign countries by going global. They take their business overseas for different reasons. These companies adopt the reactive or defensive approach to stay ahead of the competition. A few of them take the proactive or aggressive approach to accomplish the same purpose. A majority of them choose to adopt both approaches to avoid a decrease in their competition. In order to remain competitive, companies move as quickly as possible to secure a strong position in some of the key world or emerging markets with products customized for the need of the people in such areas in which they plan to establish. Most of these world markets are attracting companies with new capital investments with very good incentives. Some of the reactive or defensive reasons for going global are:

(1) Trade Barriers

(2) Customer Demands

(3) Globalization of Competitors

(4) Regulations and Restrictions

In the case of trade barriers, companies move from exporting their products to manufacturing them overseas in order to avoid the burden of tariffs, quotas, the policy of buy-local and other restrictions that make export too expensive to foreign markets. Companies respond to customer demands for effective operations and product assurance and reliability, or/and logistical problem solutions. Most foreign customers, who seek accessibility to suppliers may request that supply stay local in order to enhance the flow of production. Companies usually follow that request to avoid losing the business. For the globalization of competitors, companies are aware that if they leave companies overseas too long without challenge or competition, their investments or foreign operations in the world market may be so solid that competition will be difficult. Therefore, they try to act quickly. Most companies’ home government may have regulations and restrictions that are so inconvenient and expensive, thus limiting the expansion, encroaching in the companies’ profits, and making their costs uncontrollable. Hence the reason for the companies moving to different market environment with few foreign restrictive operations. The proactive or aggressive reasons for going global are:

(a) Growth opportunities

(b) Economies of Scale

(c) Incentives

(d) Resource assess and Cost Savings

Many companies will prefer to invest their excess profits in order to expand, but sometimes they are limited because of the maturity of the markets in their area. Therefore, they seek the overseas new markets to provide such growth opportunities. So, these companies, in addition to investing their excess profits, also try to maximize efficiency by employing their underutilized resources in human and capital assets such as management, machinery, and technology. Companies seek economies of scale in order to achieve a higher level of output spread over large fixed costs to lower the per-unit cost. They also, want to maximize the use of their manufacturing equipment and spread the high costs of research and development over the product life cycle. Some of the developing countries that need improvement and development through capital infusion, skills, and technology voluntarily provide incentives such as fixed assets, tax exemptions, subsidies, tax holidays, human capital, and low wages. These incentives seem attractive to these companies due to their increase in profits and reduction of risks. Caution: The repatriation of profits and foreign exchange risks due to instability in leadership of these developing countries should be put into consideration in negotiation. Access to raw materials and low operational costs in financing, transportation, low wages, lower unit costs, and power are attractive in terms of resource access and cost savings. Most companies move their headquarters to overseas to avoid their respective home countries’ high taxes and other costs associated in business operation in those countries.

Companies need to develop strategies, design and operate systems, and also work with people, different companies, and countries around the world in the form of strategic alliance to ensure sustained competitive advantage. Global management and management functions are usually formed by the prevailing conditions and ongoing stable and unstable developments in the world. A few countries take advantage of these companies, but when companies become aware that they are being used, they should then learn how they can be useful in that different cultural environment in order to make a lot of profits.

Got the Baquacil Blues?

The easy way to change back to chlorine in your pool.

Baquacil was a huge hit when introduced to the pool market in the late 1980’s. While pricey, it gave pool owners the convenience and confidence of a “cook book” solution to the hit or miss job of pool care. If you followed the Baquacil recipe your time invested in keeping your pool water clean and ready was drastically reduced and water quality was rarely a problem. Sound too good to be true?

After a time word began to circulate that it was too good to be true. Too often after two or three years of using the product not only did water quality decline but some weird and unusual infestations took hold in pools on the Baquacil program. Don’t misunderstand, Baquacil is safe and has all the proper approvals but as with other sanitizing systems things can go wrong. Unfortunately with the Baquacil system putting things right again usually involves draining the pool and starting fresh.

If this has happened to you and you’ve decided you want to switch back to good ole chlorine here’s the simplest recipe I know to do it.

1. Shut off your pump and shock your pool with 2 lbs. of granular dichlor per 10,000 gallons. Prepare for a jolt because the pool will almost instantly develop a heavy and unsightly surface scum. This is supposed to happen.

2. Let the scum sit overnight. Next day the scum should be sitting on the bottom of the pool in a fine layer. At this point turn on your pump and set the filter to waste and vacuum the scum out of the pool. You will lose some water during this process.

3. Shut down the pump again and test your water with the Baquacil test kit. If it shows Baquacil still present shock the pool again as in step 1 but use 1 lb dichlor per 10,000 gallons. The scum may reappear but should be much lighter and easier to remove. Let the pool sit overnight, vacuum and retest.

4. If your test kit shows no Baquacil present you can refill the pool and restart on a chlorine program right away.

This program is virtually foolproof and is what the pool chemical manufacturers actually recommend. Instead of having your pool drained and out of service, not to mention the expense of refilling, you’re up and swimming again in a couple of days.

VITALLY IMPORTANT-Never vacuum the scum into your filter or you will have to change your sand or replace your cartridge. Always vacuume to waste during this process. Baquacil is NOT compatible with chlorine products (that’s why it scums up) and is extremely difficult to remove once introduced into a filter.

Top 10 Meeting Ice Breakers

Getting people comfortable in a group setting before a team meeting can be the best investment of ten to 15 minutes of time that you can make. Ice breakers get creative juices flowing, can increase the exchange of ideas, establish team identity, and create a sense of community. All of these items are important in forging top productive teams. But how do you get people to participate and not feel uncomfortable with an ice breaker?

For meetings in a business setting in which participants are professionals, ice breakers that require actions not normally associated with day-to-day behaviors in the office generally make people uncomfortable. Successful ice breakers for these type of groups generally consist of having attendees share memorable information with each other, create innovative ways to get people to introduce themselves to each other, or have group members collectively work on a problem where everyone has to contribute.

We’ve selected our top ten team meeting ice breakers that are sure to get your meeting participants relaxed and ready to focus on your agenda as well as to connect with others in the group.

1. Brainstorm!:Break the meeting into teams of four or five. Give each team a topic. Pick topics that are fun and simple like, “What would you take on a trip to the desert?” or “List things that are purple”. Give your teams two minutes, no more, and tell them “This is a contest and the team with the most items on their list wins.” Encourage the teams to write down as many things as they can and not to discuss anything, just list things as quickly as possible. At the end of two minutes, the team with the most items on their list wins! This helps people to share ideas without fearing what other people will think.

2. Same or Different:

Divide the meeting into teams of three or four and give each team a large sheet of paper and then give each person a different colored marker. Have each person draw a large oval such that each oval overlaps with the other ovals in the center of the piece of paper. Give the group or groups, a theme that pertains to your meeting objectives. Ask the participants to write down at least five or more entries in the non-overlapping and mutually overlapping areas of their ovals. Give them five minutes, no more than that, to talk about their similarities and differences and write them in their own ovals on the paper. If there is more than one group, compare results and identify common themes in both parts of the diagrams and what light these similarities and differences shed on the purpose of the meeting. This helps team members develop an understanding of shared objectives and in a non-confrontational way learn how their views differ from others in the group.

3. Fact or Fiction:

Have everyone write down three surprising things about themselves, two of which are true, and one of which is made up. Each person, in turn, reads their list and then the rest of the group votes on which “fact” they feel is the “false” one. If the group does not correctly pick a person’s made up “fact”, then that person wins. A group can have more than one winner. At the end, the whole group votes on which of the “winners” of the final round, had the most deceiving “fact”. This helps people get to know and remember their colleagues.

4. Free Association:

The object of this ice breaker is to have small groups generate as many words or phrases as they can that are related to a particular topic that focuses on the objective of your meeting. Give the group or groups a key word you want them to associate with and then give them two minutes to list, as quickly as possible, as many words or thoughts that pop into their heads. For example, if your company is trying to decide on whether to reduce travel and increase the use of teleconferencing, you might use the word “teleconferencing” and have people list as many words or phrases they can that they associate with the key word. For example they might say: “saves money”, “saves time”, “impersonal”, “need to see other people”, “get distracted”, “sound quality”…. This reveals what people are thinking, similarities in viewpoints, and possibly even problem areas or topics that need addressing or further discussion.

5. Nametags:

Prepare nametags for each person and put them in a box. As people walk into the room, each person picks a nametag (not their own). When everyone is present, participants are told to find the person whose nametag they drew and introduce and say a few interesting things about themselves. When everyone has their own nametag, each person in the group will introduce the person whose nametag they were initially given and mention something of interest about that person. This helps participants get to know and remember each other.

6. Desert Island:

Group people in teams of five or six and tell them they will be marooned on a desert island. Give them 30 seconds to list all the things they think they should take and each person has to contribute at least three items. At the end of 30 seconds, tell the teams they can only take three things. Have the person who suggested each item on the list tell why they suggested it and defend why their item should be one of the chosen three. This helps the team learn about how each of them thinks, get to know each other’s values, and how they solve problems.

7. Commonality Plus:

Group your meeting participants at tables. At each table ask the group to list ten ways that everyone in that group is similar. Let them know that they cannot list body parts or clothing and that what they select cannot have anything to do with work. One person at the table should be tasked to make their list. At the end of your time limit have the group share their list with all meeting members. This is a great opportunity for your meeting attendees to learn about each other’s hobbies, families, and common interests.

8. Line Up:

As people enter your meeting hand each one a piece of paper with a different number written on it. Ask the group to arrange themselves in numeric order without using their voices, hands, or showing their number. This helps the team to think of other ways to communicate with each other and to work together to achieve a common goal.

9. Meet and Greet Shoe Pile:

This works great in large groups and is a variation of the name tag ice breaker. Have everyone take off one of their shoes and throw it into a pile. Have each group member pick up a shoe and walk around the meeting room greeting other people as they try to match their selected shoe to the one another team member is wearing. This is a great way for new people to meet several members in a group.

10. First or Worst:

Have each member tell the group their first or worst job in turn. This easy to use ice breaker works great with teleconferences too and allows team members to spark conversation with each other and to have some fun commenting on the jobs that they have each done. Many of our top ten ice breakers can be used for on-site meetings and teleconferences alike. The nature of ice breakers is to get the group to talk, to share, and to get to know each other in a casual exchange. The best and most successful teams start with a little bit of fun; learning how to value what each member brings into the group. Ice breakers can help facilitate this exchange of information and comfort in doing so at the very start of the team forging process.

Beware the Barghest! Black Dog Legends of Yorkshire and Beyond

Imagine that it’s the dead of night. There’s electricity in the air as the long-threatened storm finally breaks. You’re alone in an unsettling place, somewhere like a graveyard perhaps, or an ancient crossroads where many years ago, as local legend has it, a hangman’s gallows used to stand.

Suddenly you feel the hairs on the back of your neck rise up, and you get the unpleasant feeling that you’re being watched. You turn and there, right in the centre of the road, is the largest dog you’ve ever seen. Its coat is so black that you can only just make out its shape against the night and it’s just standing silently, staring back at you with its horrible glowing red eyes. The fear and desire to run are almost unbearable, but even worse is the feeling of utter despair.

You’ve just been visited by a Barghest.

That’s what this supernatural hound is known as here in Yorkshire, and although the mythological creature’s name may change, its spooky legend remains remarkably similar from Scotland and the north of England to Wales, Cornwall and the Channel Isles.

Up and down the country since at least the 12th century there have supposedly been sightings – usually at night-time – of monstrous Black Dogs the size of calves or even bigger. They have huge teeth and claws, and eyes as big as saucers that can glow a devilish red. Sometimes they attack and kill people immediately, on other occasions they’re known to be portents of death, with either the person who sees the dog or one of their close family dying shortly after the sighting. In some accounts only one person in a group sees the hound, with their travelling companions seeing nothing there at all; evil will soon befall the poor solitary victim.

The dog often fades from sight as the poor soul watches in horror, or has disappeared when the marked person looks back. Sometimes the animal is said to appear to members of the same family down the generations, usually heralding each person’s demise in turn.

It’s said that if anyone dares to return to the place of the sighting they may find the ground where the creature stood scorched or burned. This gives credence to the theory that the Barghest is a being from the fiery pit of Hell, come to take the soul of an evil-doer back from whence it came.

In Wakefield the creature is called Padfoot, while the Welsh refer to him – and strangely enough the dog is always male – as Gwyllgi, the Dog of Darkness. On the Isle of Man it is known as Mauthe Dog, and in Norfolk they’ll talk of Black Shuck. Even those unfortunates over on the wrong side of the Pennines know the creature. They call him Guytrash or Skriker. Whatever its name the beast is always huge, black and terrifying.

Sightings have become scarcer in these more enlightened days, but the Black Dog is still very familiar to us from the arts, and suspense literature in particular. Perhaps the most famous of all Black Dogs in popular novels is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. In that celebrated Sherlock Holmes tale set in the mists of Dartmoor, a great black beast is said to haunt the Baskerville family as a result of a pact made with the Devil by one of their clan. The Devil Mephistopheles first appears to Goethe’s Faust in the shape of a Black Dog, albeit in the slightly less frightening form of a small black poodle, but even this seemingly harmless pup leaves fire in its wake. And what is the title character in Susan Hill’s classic novel and subsequent long-running stage play The Woman in Black if not a chilling human version of a Barghest? All black, silent, frightening in the extreme, a harbinger of death but only visible to those on whom the calamity is about to befall; she’s a Barghest through and through.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula tells how the vampire’s arrival at Whitby is in the shape of a huge Black Dog leaping from his ship to the shore. Whitby is particularly associated with sightings of the Barghest, something that Stoker would certainly have been aware of when working it into his novel. The town’s links with the spectral pooch have long been celebrated by the recently revived Black Dog Brewery, whose tasty

products nicely echo the alternate spelling of Barguest.

Many people have claimed to have seen the creature in our locality over the centuries: The bleak Troller’s Gill at Appletreewick, the old stone bridge over the river Swale where pall bearers would rest their heavy load on the way to Ivelet, a disused well on Slaughter Lane at Baildon – all have recorded Black Dog appearances. Likewise Egton, Grassington, Nidderdale, Ilkley Moor, Sedbergh and Skipton. Even Sheffield’s Graves Park has allegedly been visited by the infamous goblin-dog.

York too has its own special version of the legend, with the unholy canine having been seen by several lonely travellers in the narrow alleyways that abound in that ancient city, usually with fatal consequences. It is most unusual for the hell-hound to be reported in an urban setting like this. The majority of sightings have historically been made on lonely moors, graveyards or out-of-town roads.

Of course the image of a Black Dog is also associated with depression, as in Winston Churchill’s famous quote of his “Black Dog on my shoulder.” This metaphor wasn’t of Winston’s own invention though. The father of the English dictionary, Samuel Johnson (of whom Churchill was a fan), used the term in his letters in the 18th century, but its roots go back much further. Even the Greek classics feature accounts of Black Dogs appearing to foretell of an untimely death. Perhaps these stories were originally created as warnings against travelling alone through dangerous areas? Or perhaps they were based around simple but calamitous coincidences. Or maybe, just maybe, there’s something in them after all?

Whatever the truth is, take care if you should find yourself in lonely, desolate places. If you hear heavy paws and the clicking of vicious claws following you, don’t turn to look. The Barghest can strike anywhere.

(c) Shaun Finnie 2011

The Cure for Common Pool Stains

A stain on the wall or floor of a swimming pool is either caused by metals in the pool water, or by something organic. The best clue to the source of the problem is the color of the pool stain. Stains on the walls or floor of a pool that are a greenish brown color are typically related to something organic, such as leaves sitting on the floor of the pool during the winter, or algae. A simple shock treatment and scrubbing with a stiff brush may quickly remove the stain. If brushing or scrubbing does not remove or lighten the stain, a natural ascorbic acid based product or diphosphonic acid based pool stain remover should be used. If a pool stain appears at the water line of the swimming pool you may use the appropriate tile or vinyl cleaner to gently scrub the stain away, or you might try one of the many very effective enzyme based cleaners. All natural pool enzymes will eat away at the oils holding dirt on the surface of the pool at the water line, to remove the stain with little or no scrubbing.

Stains that appear reddish brown or very dark colors are typically related to the metals in your pool water. The metals that commonly cause pool stains are iron, manganese & copper. A guide to the color of pool stain resulting from each of these metals is included below. If a swimmer’s blonde or light colored hair turns green after swimming in your pool, this is an indication that there is a high concentration of copper in the water.

  • Copper – Blue, Green or dark (Black)
  • Iron – Rusty, Brown or Green/Brownish
  • Manganese – Brownish/Black or Purple

These metals can occur naturally, and may be in the water you use to fill the pool. If you have hard water or fill your pool with well water you are more likely to have metal pool stain problems, and regular testing for metals is suggested. Metals may also be introduced into the pool when the pool pH or pool alkalinity levels are not properly maintained, and the water becomes corrosive. Corrosive pool water will eat away at the pool surface and inside of pool plumbing and equipment, releasing metals into the water. The plumbing inside a swimming pool heater, called the “heat exchanger”, is made of copper. If the pool pH and pool Alkalinity levels are not properly maintained, this heat exchanger will quickly corrode and dissolve copper into the pool water causing pool stains.

The first step to eliminating a pool metal stain is to have the pool water tested for metals, and determine how the excess metals were introduced into the water. Take measures to prevent the stain from quickly returning. If there are excessive amounts of metals in your pool water, and stains return again and again after trying each method of treatment, you should partially drain the pool and re-fill with fresh water that has been tested to confirm there is very little or no metals. As with stains caused by something organic, metal pool stains can be easily removed using a natural ascorbic acid based product or diphosphonic acid based product. Another method for removing stains from the floor of a pool is to place ½ pound of pH Reducer in a sock, and drop the sock onto the stain. Position the sock with your telescoping pole, and leave it on the pool stain for 5-10 minutes. If the stain has been removed, place the sock on each affected area for 5-10 minutes.

4 Rules for Bench Press Safety

The bench press is the “holy grail” of all weight training exercises. When you hear weight lifters or gym rats discussing their workout routine with one another, one of the first things you always hear is them talking about how much they can bench press. How much you can bench press is something that we “gym rats” take great pride in. While it is important to push yourself in order to maximize your abilities – it is more important to take the proper precautions so you don’t end up on the wrong side of a horrific injury.

The bench press injury that USC star running back Stefan Johnson suffered in 2009 was a real eye opener in the fitness community, and made us realize how important proper safety is. Johnson was injured during a routine workout in which he was bench pressing 275 lbs. The bar fell on his throat and caused some very life threatening injuries. Johnson had to have emergency surgery to repair a crushed vocal cord, Adam’s apple and torn muscles. Doctors credited his incredible survival with strong muscles in his upper body and neck which helped to keep open breathing passages.

I imagine I have your attention now! This story is not meant to scare you – it’s meant to show that you need to take the proper precautions because if this can happen to a star college running back at one of the nation’s most touted programs, it can happen to anyone.

1. NEVER lift without a spotter.

Even if you are lifting relatively light weight, it is important to get in the habit of having a spotter present with you bench press. The spotter should place both hands firmly on the bar when you life the weight off, and not release until it is 100% clear that you have control of the bench press bar. Even if you are lifting light weight for your strength level, it is easy to have a hand slip or even a shoulder/elbow give out. The bench press is a very physically daunting exercise, and a lot of things can get injured during the movement. The bench press puts a lot of stress on upper body joints so having a spotter around at all times is absolutely necessary!

Another good rule of thumb is to know your spotter, and try to lift with the same person every time. If you ask a stranger to spot you, you are taking a chance because you don’t know their experience level and they don’t know how much weight you’re accustomed to lifting.

If for one reason or another you are bench pressing by yourself, make sure to do so on a “power rack.” Most gyms have power racks and they contain safety pins that catch the bar if it happens to drop. Make sure to set the safety pin on the power rack so it does not interfere with your repetitions on the way down.

2. KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS!

I can’t stress this enough. We all feel like Superman once in a while in the gym and think we can push it farther than we ever have. The majority of all injuries have happened when people are attempting to life more weight than they ever have before. If the most weight you have ever attempted to bench press in 250 lbs., don’t be the fool who attempts to lift 285 lbs. and ends up with a torn pectoral muscle or has the bar violently dropped on your chest. Attempting to lift even 25 lbs. more on the bench press than you have ever done is very physically demanding, and most people underestimate this. If you want to attempt a one rep bench press max, don’t go more than 5 lbs. over your current maximum lift at a time. If you complete the lift going up 5 lbs., then you can try to lift 5 lbs. more – but NEVER without a spotter.

If you are attempting a career high bench press, make sure to let your spotter know. A good spotter should keep his hands on the bar and guide you down to make sure that you are able to stabilize the weight. On the way up, the spotter should keep his hands on the bar without helping – unless you need the help. This can prevent a lot of injuries, and if the bar comes crashing down on your chest because its too heavy, the spotter will already be in perfect position and can help prevent a bad injury.

3. Always wear workout gloves.

Some of the bars become very slick when they are worn, and if your hands start to sweat they can become very slippery. A good pair of workout gloves will give you an iron grip on the bar, plus a nice psychological boost to to lift more weight as well. When you are attempting to lift heavy weight on the bench press, a good pair of workout gloves is key. Wearing gloves is a great preventative measure to take, and should eliminate any kind of hand slippage on the bar.

4. Make sure you’ve stretched.

Take the time to get your entire upper body loose before jumping on the bench. You should stretch out your shoulders, back, chest and legs, as all of these muscle groups are involved in the movement. Many injuries can be avoided by understanding and practicing this often overlooked step.

Before your next session, remember to review all 4 of these rules to help prevent any accidents or injuries. The bench press is meant to be a fun fitness challenge, just make sure to do it safely!

Types of Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts have been popular with youth, adults, and children throughout the ages. With the recent popularity of “The Amazing Race” and reality TV shows, scavenger hunts are just as popular today as they have ever been. They can take a variety of forms, be modified with different rules, and be tailored to a variety of themes, locations, and age groups. They are great for building community, fostering team work, and generating lots of fun and excitement.

Here are some of the more common types of Scavenger Hunts.

Classic Scavenger Hunt

This is the traditional scavenger hunt where participants are given a list of items to retrieve and bring back within a designated time limit. Examples include both common and hard to find items like: a basketball, an 8 track tape, a spork, a coin with a specific date, or a postage stamp. The scavenger hunt consists of a list of the selected objects and some rules. Variations may allow photos of an object to replace the actual object or creative substitutions. The rules may forbid the purchase of items or restrict the participants from going to their own homes or malls to collect items. Various points are assigned to the objects based upon the difficulty necessary to obtain them. Themes can focus the items and add fun to the hunt. For example, a superhero scavenger hunt may require them to bring costumes, comics and other collectibles related to specific superheroes.

Destination Unknown

In this scavenger hunt, clues lead participants to a specific destination where they find a clue to the next location. Successive clues will ultimately lead them to a specific location where there is a party. Clues may be in the form of riddles or directions to follow and serve to guide participants to famous landmarks and other locations. Sometimes helpers are positioned at the various locations to hand out the next clue. In other places the clues may be hidden under a park bench or other inconspicuous locations where the public is not likely to remove them.

Find the Pieces Scavenger Hunt

Hide pieces of a jigsaw puzzle around the designated game area. This could be a school, a church, or even a local park. Instead of a puzzle you can use any machine or object that has multiple pieces. As an Example, for a Halloween party you could purchase plastic skeletons and disassemble them, hiding the bones before the party starts. Let the participants search for them and then reassemble the skeleton. Hide batteries, a tape recorder, and a cassette tape with a pre-recorded message describing the next clue. Hide chess pieces, ingredients for a meal, or even clothes and accessories. One of the activities may be to dress up as superman, but to do so they must collect several pieces of the costume which have been strategically hidden around the game area.

Information Scavenger Hunt

Instead of retrieving objects, or taking pictures, participants in this scavenger hunt must find information. It could be the date on a tombstone, the last item on a restaurant menu, the inscription on a cornerstone, or any other factual information that requires participants to visit a specific location. Victory goes to the first team to correctly collect the most answers or to the team with the most answers in the time limit.

Mystery Photo Hunt

In this scavenger hunt you scout out the location in advance with a digital camera. Take photos of textures, objects, landmarks, unspecified locations, and items from around the venue. Tightly crop them so that they are not easily identifiable. The images should be tightly cropped to a small square that only shows a portion of the object. Examples: The last few letters on a street sign, a small portion of a painting n the wall, a statue from a local park, the nose of a sculpture, the number 8 from an elevator, the intricately carved frame of a wooden door, the hose of a fire extinguisher, the handle on a cabinet, and others. Participants are then given a printout of all the photos and must identify each object and where it is located within the time limit. Online examples of this can be found at: http://www.mysteryphotos.com

People Scavenger Hunts

In various incarnations, these scavenger hunts have groups search for people rather than objects. These could be people that participants know or total strangers. Participants can be required to get autographs, business cards, or photographs with the persons in order to prove they found them. Targets may be in disguise, dressed as certain characters from famous books, or simply roaming about a large mall.

Photo Scavenger Hunt

In this scavenger hunt, participants must take photos of their group with objects or in specific situations. The scavenger hunt format is a list of situations and objects to be included in the photos. One common variation is to include an object that must be present in every photograph such as a school mascot, a flag, a teddy bear or even something as outrageous as a couch. Participants may be given an instant 35mm camera or a digital camera. Boundaries and time limits can be used to limit the scope and duration of the game. Pictures are variously awarded points based upon meeting the stipulations of the photos and the creativity of the teams.

Pre-Arranged Scavenger Hunt

This is similar to the classic scavenger hunt, but the items are placed in the designated playing area in advance. A traditional Easter Egg is a common version of this hunt. Participants may be given a general instruction to “Find all the wrapped Christmas packages” or be given a list of specific items to find. In one variation, participants are to leave the item in place and merely note the exact location of the item. Alternatively the first team to locate the item and retrieve it will get the points. There may be more than one item hidden about the play area. You can even hide an item for each team to find. Simply color code the items with a piece of colored yard or thread. Disqualify any team that interferes with another team’s items.

Sound Scavenger Hunt

Instead of retrieving objects, students are given a tape recorder or other audio recording device and given a list of sounds to record. Sounds may include those made by objects, such as a ticking clock, ringing church bell, something announced on the radio or a radio commercial, a message from a person, animal sounds, and many others. The team that collects the most sounds from the list in the designated time is declared the winner.

Treasure Hunt

In a treasure hunt there is one final thing to search for rather than a list of items. Successive clues lead to a final destination where the treasure can be found. Teams compete against each other to solve the clues, and follow them to the treasure.

Video Scavenger Hunts

In this scavenger hunt, participants are given a list of actions and situations that must be filmed on video. Teams film video footage of themselves or other people in certain places and performing challenging and sometimes ridiculous tasks. Video is usually 30-45 seconds for each situation otherwise the time to view entries will be too long. This can be combined with community service so that some of the items might include the team raking leaves, helping someone take groceries to their car, etc.

Combination Scavenger Hunts

Combine various types of scavenger hunts together and tailor them to your theme. In this case the list will have situations to video or photograph as well as objects to retrieve, people to find, clues to solve, and facts to discover. Various items will appeal to various personalities so that everyone has fun.

Make It A Date – Pottery Making a Favorite Among Couples

With internet dating on the rise, dating methods have continued to change over the years. As the way couples connect has broadened over the years, so have activities that couples engage in on dates. Dinner and a movie is no longer the standard date activity. One creative way to enjoy a date is to make pottery together. The good thing is that there are so many art and pottery options, from earthenware clay to ceramics, to meet the individual styles and tastes of any couple.

Many couples have found that painting pottery together, especially on the more nerve racking first dates, offers a common variable from which a comfortable, natural conversation can ensue. While applying dry glazes to a piece of pottery, couples can talk about everything from politics to work to family without the stress of staring across one another at the dinner table and trying to make conversation.

Drape molds are a great way to make a personal pottery piece on a first date. The particular drape, hump and slump mold can be used to made a variety of letters, forms and numbers with slabs of clay. Couples can make a mold with their initials or together work on letters to form one of their favorite words, such as LOVE, PEACE or JOY. Looking through any current design magazine, you will find the popularity of such inspirations, which allow your favorite sentiments to reside within the home.

What your future partner decides to create can also reveal parts of their personality that they might not be comfortable sharing on a first date. Painting a plate for a beloved grandmother or a coffee cup to get in with the boss, these are just a few things that might tell you a little more about a potential mate and more.

You don’t usually think that the creating a plate comes before dinner, but make it a first. Another creative idea for pottery making is to design plates together and then make dinner together. You can use the plates that you painted and/or deigned and then use that as a springboard for dinner conversation over you penne pasta and Caesar salad or whatever other culinary delight you create together. It has been said over the years that the couple who dines together stays together. Perhaps, the same could be true for the pottery making couples of the world. Much like the internet, it is certainly one of the modern ways of connecting.

Burger Bundles – A Family Favorite on the Grill

What is a Burger Bundle?

How to make a Burger Bundle?

One of our favorite family meals are Burger Bundles. We grill them on the Gas Grill or you can use a Charcoal Grill if you desire. I would recommend using the Gas Grill, because it is quicker and you would not get any charcoal flavor anyway.

To make a Burger Bundle, you start with three layers of aluminum foil approximately 18″ long. The reason for the extra layers is you don’t want to take the chance of a hole being poked in the bottom which will cause a flare up and also keep the ingredients from burning on the bottom.

The ingredients can vary from each family members tastes. You start with a 1/4-1/2 lb of ground hamburger pressed into a patty. Place the hamburger in the center of the foil. Now you can layer sliced potatoes (not peeled), sliced carrots, sliced onions, sliced green peppers, sliced mushrooms or any other favorite raw vegetable. Sprinkle in your favorite seasonings, we like Montreal Steak seasoning, garlic salt, pepper & Jane’s mixed up salt. For the moisture, slice up a 1/2 stick of butter and place on top. The butter will melt down through the ingredients.

Now its almost time to start grilling. Start the grill and let it preheat to 200-300 degrees. Fold up your foil in a bowl like shape on the bottom to keep any juices from escaping out the sides and overlapping on the top to seal together. In our family, each person makes their own bundle with the ingredients that they want. For example, my youngest daughter only likes hamburger, potatoes and onions. I personally throw everything in. We take a permanent marker and write our initials on each bundle, so you don’t have to search for your bundle when it is time to eat. Place each bundle on the grill and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes on low to medium heat. You can test them by opening one of the bundles and poking the vegetables with a knife to see if they are tender. Be careful when opening, don’t burn yourself on the steam and also don’t poke a hole in the foil. When the vegetables are tender, your bundle is ready to eat.

When the Burger Bundles are cooked, remove from the grill and place on each family members plate. You can now add shredded cheese or my favorite would be Famous Daves devils spit BBQ sauce. You can eat your bundle out of the foil or you can pour it on a plate, but be careful not to burn yourself.

We grill our Burger Bundles at home on the backyard gas grill. When camping or tailgating, we use my gas grill attached to my truck hitch.

5 Ways To Reduce Your Waste At Work

Although many people are going to great lengths to conserve energy and recycle their trash at home, the same people are not always as “green-conscious” in the workplace. Businesses are one of the biggest sources of trash, and energy waste. It can be difficult to follow conservation practices at work when things are already hectic and there is little time left over for taking care of the planet. Yet it is more important than ever to maintain our “green” methods wherever we are; at work, at home, on vacation, or simply a night out with the family. This article discusses five ways to reduce the amount of trash you create the office. Once you finish reading the article, pass on the ideas stated within to your boss and coworkers.

Use, Then Reuse, Paper When copying and printing, use both sides of the paper. Remember: Reduce, Reuse, And Recycle. Once the document on one side of the sheet is read and has no further use, stack it in a box for reuse in the printer or copier. In a small office, one box near the printer and or copier may be enough but for larger companies each person may need a tray to store used paper ready for reuse. Not only will using both sides of the paper reduce the amount of waste the office produces, it will also save the company money.

Envelopes and folders can be reused as scrap paper. Instead of expensive and wasteful post-its and memo pads, jot down notes on used envelopes and file folders. Although this may seem more disorganized and cluttered, think of all the good it does for the environment. Less trees used for paper, less paper waste, less energy used to recycle barely used paper. Isn’t it worth a little more inconvenience?

Set Up A Central Memo Location By setting up a bulletin board area for office notices, you will eliminate the need to send an individual copy of each memo to every person in the office. The Memo Location should be set up in a place, like the employee lounge, where everyone is likely to go during the day. Dry Erase boards can also be useful if your company is not too large, but there is always the risk that a message gets erased or smudged before it can be read. Take some time to compare alternative methods for getting messages to everyone rather than using large amounts of paper for memos. Chances are there is a way that is not only energy saving but time and money saving as well.

Take Advantage Of New Technology Using email is another more energy-efficient way to communicate with coworkers over sending memos. Companies could save thousands of dollars and hundreds of trees each year by using email instead of paper for correspondence. Also, read the email online before decided if it needs to be printed out. Avoid simply auto printing correspondence and use cut and paste with a word processing program (or Google Docs) to only print out the necessary information from the email.

Another good way to use technology to conserve paper is to use a fax-modem, which allows faxes to be sent directly to a computer without printing out a paper copy. If you do send faxes through a regular fax machine, only send a cover page if it is absolutely necessary. Use Office Products Made From Recycled Materials Use recycled paper and other office supplies that are made from recycled materials. Staples, Office Max and other large office supply companies sell such items but you can also search online for a wider variety.

On the other end of the recycling process, you should set up bins around the office and in the employee lounge for paper, plastic and metal items. Setting up a recycling program may take a little work but the benefits far aweigh the inconvenience.

Avoid Using Disposable Products Whenever Possible Disposable products add to the ever-growing landfill problem in this country and are often completely unnecessary. Disposable paper cups can be replaced with ceramic mugs. Certain printer cartridges can be refilled. Packing materials can be used and reused over again. Small companies that use the regular coffee machines can purchase reusable filters instead of the disposable paper ones.

Look around the place where you work. I’m sure you will find small changes that can add up to big differences to the environment.

Choosing Cloth Adult Diapers For Incontinence Protection – Disposable Vs Cloth

Why would you want to switch to using cloth for an incontinence issue? There are a plethora of reasons which I will outline below. Many people wonder why anyone would want to use cloth. However, people stop wondering if they have an incontinence issue. Once someone is using disposable protection every day, everyone thinks about a better way that they can manage their protection system.

Disposable incontinence protection is EXPENSIVE (I mean crazy expensive). If you have a mild case of incontinence and don’t need full coverage, using disposables won’t be as pricy (but will still do a number on your checkbook). Using cloth can cost a chunk in the beginning stages, but will pay for itself almost immediately. Sewing your own cloth incontinence diapers (like the leading disposable brand) can cost the maker about $5-$10 a piece depending on the size of the wearer and what the maker decided to use for fabric. At my local store, a package of the leading disposable diapers brand cost $48. Obviously a maker can get 4-8 reusable products for the price of one disposable bag if they decide to sew them. If the wearer only needed enough protection for 2-3 days before washing how many would they need in total? I think it’s very possible to sew enough reusable adult diapers for 3 days for the same cost as one bag of disposables.

Disposable incontinence protection is filling our land fills. I’m sure everyone has heard about the landfills and how they are getting very full. Why should people add to it if we don’t have to? Why should people put garbage on their bodies when they can put something clean and natural against their skin? Most people have started using more reusable items since the “going green” trend has started. We should be promoting people to “go green” with their incontinence protection as well!

Using cloth incontinence protection will leave you cleaner. Many people would never admit to not being ‘clean’, but this issue is important and needs to be addressed. People who use disposable products are paying almost $50 for a bag of adult disposable diapers. If they have a ‘small’ leak or accident, the wearer might decide until later to change to save on the cost of the disposable protection. People simply cannot afford to change their protection every time they have a leak or accident! If the wearer had cloth adult diapers that they could reuse, then that person would take better care of themself. They wouldn’t mind changing the incontinence protection as soon as there was a leak or accident. This is the largest reason for switching to cloth.

Cloth incontinence protection is not as demeaning as disposable. If the wearer has to wear something that looks and feels like a child’s diaper, it makes them feel inadequate, insecure, depressed and angry! However, if the wearer had an adult diaper that looked and felt like underwear, they would feel secure and would uphold their dignity.

For men: Would you want something that was fun like camo? Or would you just want adult diapers that are a dark color and looked like a stash of briefs?

Women: Would you like adult diapers that had a cute print? Would you enjoy wearing a fun bright color? Wouldn’t you like to see and feel a soft fabric compared to a crispy white disposable diaper?

There are options out there! If you purchase adult cloth diapers, you will find that the options are not as many then if you sew them yourself. Typically you will find white products, or one color per size. This is not as dramatic of a change then if you used a sewing pattern to make the incontinence adult diapers.

What if you can’t sew? Hire a WAHM (Work at home mom)! Many WAHMS are available and desperately seeking odd jobs to make the family income stretch. If you hire someone to sew incontinence protection for you, it will not only save you time, but it would help a local family.

Are you a caregiver looking for options for your client or family member? Choose cloth. Save your family or client money and give them a boost of their self esteem. Keep the trash can available for other stuff (not disposable adult diapers), and hire a wahm to make adult diapers for you. Switching to cloth is the best choice that you can make.

Above all: DON’T BE EMBARRASSED! Millions of people have incontinence issues. Millions of people use disposable products to help take care of it. Only a fraction of people use cloth because until now it hasn’t been available. Well it’s available now! Start a trend in your circle of friends by switching to cloth. You’ll feel so good about it! Your family will feel good about it!

If you have decided to use cloth and want to sew them yourself, now you have to find an adult cloth diaper pattern for incontinence protection.

I’m so glad that you are reading this and deciding to switch to cloth. You’ll be very glad that you did! Our families for future generations will be glad that we switched to cloth to save the environment too!

Happy Cloth Using!

Web Hosting Bandwidth – How Much Bandwidth Will You Need?

Bandwidth in its simplest terms refers to the amount of data that sent to and from visitors across your website during a period of time, usually measured in a month. As many website newbies are confused about how network bandwidth works and many of them asked me many times about how much bandwidth will his/her website need, in this article, I will explain this technical term plainly.

What is bandwidth?

When you visit an online website, you are actually downloading a file, which can be an HTML web page, a gif image, a video files, a flash files or a combination of all of these. With the download of these files to your computer via web server, users are able to view your website through web browser. Any time when a user downloads a file, it can be translated into the data is transferred via the server. And according to the size of your web page, the data being transferred various. For instance, the size of your homepage is 1 KB, every time people view this particular page will cost you 1 KB data transfer. If there are 100 visitors get through your homepage every day, then 100 KB of data will be transferred per day, 3000 KB per month. Of course, calculate how much bandwidth will your website requires is not that simple.

How much bandwidth will your website need?

When comparing different web hosting packages from different web hosting companies, you may notice that the allotted bandwidth various greatly, from a very small amount of bandwidth to large or even unlimited bandwidth. Therefore, it may be difficult for you to choose the right solution with the appropriate bandwidth. How much bandwidth is most suitable for you anyway? Well. I think you should take these following three factors into accounts: a. how many visitors will visitor your website? b. How many webpage will the visitors view? c. The size of your web page files, especially if there is big images file or video file in your website. For example, if an average size of a web page (images included) is 50 kilobytes and each visitor to your website viewed an average of 4 pages per month, 5,000 unique visitors to your website every month, then the total amount of bandwidth will be 50KB*4*5000 about 1GB. This figure is reasonable, however, it is also a wise choice to go for provider who offers at least 2 GB and prepare for any eventuality. And this is also a rough estimate, i.e. it is not required to download images every time the visitor make a hit to your website, since the browser will store the repeat images in the computer. You should think carefully about your situation, if you expect to launch a forum, then it will cost your more bandwidth than the ordinary websites.

Website offering files download is most bandwidth consuming

Although 2GB bandwidth may be enough for average personal blog website with simple content, it will be not sufficient you are going to allow file downloads on your website. If you are planning to provide music files,.pdf files, flash files or even video files for visitors to download then you are required to provide extra bandwidth for the download process. You can calculate the bandwidth needed with the following formula: Bandwidth needed = [(Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Monthly Visitors) + (Average Download per month x Average File Size)] If the provided files are of huge size, then you will run out of bandwidth in a very short period of time. Take 2 gigabyte of bandwidth for example, if your website offers a video file that is of 4megabyte in size, you will be only able to serve up 5 hundreds times of download, which does not take the HTML file into account. And a video file of 4 megabyte only shows a short period of time. So you should make sure that your monthly bandwidth will be able to meet your anticipate requirements.

Hosting is more than just about bandwidth

If you are looking for a web site hosting plan, you have to consider a lot of other factors than simply bandwidth. How about the usage of the other resource, such as CPU, RAM, as well as database connection? These are also as important bandwidth capacity. As a matter of fact, without sufficient resources on these aspects, unlimited bandwidth is mere facade. In addition, you should never overlook the server stability, server uptime, and server speed etc and also put your eyeball on complete guarantee of 30 day money back to safeguard yourself if you are not completely satisfied with the service.

Final Words

Knowing what you expect to accomplish will allow you to know what you will need. It is crucial to get an idea of your website future development before shopping around for hosting packages. By knowing what you plan to do with your website, you will have a good understanding of how much bandwidth you’re going to use. If you expect to establish a much more complicated and huge website with many video, music and large flash files, then you can be a good choice to go with a reliable dedicated server and have more control over your server as you may be charged a lot if you overuse the bandwidth provided by shared web hosting companies. If you are going to create a new small website that does not requires much bandwidth, then you are advised to sign up with some inexpensive web hosting packages offer enough amount of bandwidth to meet your websites.

Red Ring of Death Fixes – The Fastest Way To a Working Xbox 360

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video gaming console is subject to a variety of technical issues as well as certain failures that can render the device virtually useless. Certain technical problems that may arise can be identified through a series of glowing red lights that is positioned around the power button of the console. Xbox 360 users have provided a nickname for these flashing red lights, “the Red Ring of Death”, otherwise known as “RROD”.

If your Xbox has that problem, you will need one of the red ring of death fixes. Aside from the more common technical issues that may arise in an Xbox 360 video game console, there are additional problems that can also affect the integrity of the gaming console such as discs becoming scratched inside the drive as well as bricking of the consoles due to dashboard updates.

The indicators surrounding the power button is divided into four quadrants where quadrant one (Q1) is positioned at the top left corner, quadrant two (Q2) at the top right corner, quadrant three (Q3) at the bottom left corner, and quadrant four (Q4) at the bottom right corner. When you power on the game console, the first quadrant should illuminate green, assuming that the console is operating optimally.

The number of quadrants that is being lit by the LED (Light Emitting Diode) light indicates the number of game controllers that are connected. Unless there is some sort of error, the LED lights should not be flashing. Red ring of death fixes are needed if your Xbox does not indicate the correct green lights.

If your Microsoft Xbox 360 is not functioning properly, or if it has some errors, there are ways to figure out what type of error the console has detected. All you need to do is understand the signals that the flashing RROD is sending you. If the fourth quadrant, or Q4, is flashing red, that usually indicates a hardware failure.

You should check all hardware and make sure they are connected and are working properly. If your Xbox 360 reaches unusually high temperatures, the device will automatically shut off the CPU and GPU, run the fans at optimum speeds and flash the first and third quadrants until the video game console has cooled down satisfactorily.

Now, if a general hardware failure occurs, or one or more hardware components are not functioning properly, Q1, Q3, and Q4 will be flashing red. It is quite similar to the one flashing red light error, but unlike the one light error where an error code will be displayed on the connected display, a general hardware failure will not display any error code. Finally, if all the quadrants are flashing red, this usually indicates an A/V cable error.

This usually happens when there is no A/V cable detected by the console. If you are extremely unlucky, however, the flashing ring of death could indicate a serious error, hence the nickname. The only solution in this case is to use one of the red ring of death fixes.

Ever since the Xbox 360’s release way back in November of 2005, a several number of articles have appeared in the media exposing the game console’s failure rates. There have been legal actions that were taken trying to hold Microsoft responsible for the game console’s failure rate.

As you can see, Xbox 360’s Red Ring of Death nickname was not coined without any reason whatsoever. The flashing red ring used to mean the death of your Xbox 360, but now with a few red ring of death fixes available, there is still hope.

Mature Dating Tip – How to Flirt

Flirting is ageless; you have the license to do it whether you’re 20 or 60. You need to know how to flirt in order to navigate the mature dating scene. Done right, it is a harmless and easy way to spark that special someone’s interest and make him or her want to know you a bit more. Here are some flirting tips to use on other mature daters you have just met. Do these and you’re guaranteed to get a second date:

1. Use your hands. The key to successful flirting is breaking the “touch barrier.” By initiating physical contact, you let the other person know that you are interested.

Be subtle but playful. Touch your date’s knee or arm while you make a point, for example. You can also let your knees touch subtly under the table. Don’t make the mistake of grabbing or lingering too long. Think short and subtle moves.

2. Laugh together. Reacting positively to your date’s jokes and funny stories is a big part of flirting. Aside from laughing, you can also show your interest by asking, “Really?” or saying “Wow.” Don’t fake it, though. If you’re truly not interested, there’s no need to try and appear like you are. Your boredom will show through.

3. Pay him/her compliments. Both men and women love to receive genuine compliments. If you think your date looks good, say it. Give your date a sincere compliment about his or her physical appearance. This implies an immediate attraction, and gets the date going to the direction you want it to go.

4. Say your date’s name. Consciously repeat his or her name to subtlety reveal your willingness to create a more intimate connection.

5. Body language. Your non verbal movements say more about how you feel than your words do. How genuine interest by “opening up” your body towards your date. Don’t cross your arms across your chest, for example. When talking, face your date directly.

Another way to show your interest is “mirroring.” If your partner leans in to talk or rests his or her elbows on the table, for example, you should do the same. Duplicating your date’s actions is a good way to show that you are in-synch.

6. Look nice. A date is not the time and place to wear your jogging pants. Be sure to dress a little bit more nicely than you usually do, even if you’re just going out for a walk or for coffee. Don’t make the mistake of trying to “dress young,” though, or you will just look older. Accept that you are already in the mature dating scene and that you need to wear age appropriate clothing. Torn jeans and a rock t-shirt will probably just turn off your date. Wear something nice even for a casual lunch date. For men, a good fitting collared shirt and flattering jeans (with no holes in them) should do the trick. Older women look good in A-line skirts and flattering tops. Make sure you smell nice, too.