Rating of Wooden Model Ship Kit Manufacturers

There are about 20 wooden model ship kit manufacturers throughout the world. It can be challenging to determine who’s kit will suit the model ship builder the best because of all the variables involved. The idea is to match up the kit manufacturer with the needs and wants of the builder so at the end of the day, the ship model builder has an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Cast Your Anchor has been in the model ship supply business for 7 years and been ship modelers for over 30 years. Over this time we have formed opinions on model ship kit manufacturers either through direct experience or from listening to our customers relate their experiences. We have summarized our findings below for 10 of the ship model manufacturers.

We provide the history and background of the manufacturer, location of their factory, the North American distributorship channel, their tendency when it comes to the kit skill level requirements and of course their rating.

The distributorship channel is most important when considering after sales service. Direct contact between the retailer and the manufacturer is usually best but not in all cases. The tendency for manufacturers to build kits aimed at a certain builder skill level is very important when it comes to the instructions that are provided in the kit. Entry level kit instructions generally assume that the model builder will require guidance with ship model building techniques in addition to specific instructions related to the vessel construction.


Rating 1 -10: 1-3 Poor, 3-7 Good, 8-10 Excellent. All categories are considered equally rated because there are alternative options the builder can exercise should there be an issue in any one of the categories.

Skill Level Tendency – Some manufacturers tend to lean towards a specific builder’s skill level in their kits. Other manufacturers have a good variety of kits to suit all levels of skills. Skill Level Tendency: E – Entry Level, I – Intermediate Level, A – Ambitious Level.

Availability – Ranges from always in stock to fulfillment within a few weeks or months. Availability can be adversely affected by the distribution network of the manufacturer. If the manufacturer allows for direct buying the availability tends to be quite high.

Types of Vessels Available – The two areas looked at were era of the vessel and the vessel type. Some manufacturers have a limited range while others have offerings in almost all categories. One manufacturer has vessel types that are unique to what other manufacturers have to offer.

Historical Accuracy – The accuracy of a model ranges from barely recognizable to reasonably accurate. Detailed information of many vessels is not available which leaves for a fair bit of interpretation. When it comes to paint colours some manufacturers don’t even try to recognize the true colours of the vessel.

Detailing – Some kits are highly detailed while others have minimum deck fittings. The accuracy of the detailing in terms of the era of the ship as well as the materials used at the time that the ship sailed is also considered.

Instructions – Good accurate instructions that if need be have been properly translated from the host language as well as detailed instructions on the techniques of model ship making range not just from one manufacturer to another but between the skill levels of the kits. Novice kits tend to be more explicit with regards to modeling techniques than advanced kits.

Design – This refers to part fit. Precut bulkheads and all parts that are laser cut should fit reasonably accurately without too much modification. Also there are some kits with inherent design flaws that result in misshaped lines of the vessel.

Parts and Fittings – The fittings should be accurate, to scale and made of high quality materials depending on what the parts is.

Completeness of the Kit – The builder should not have to purchase anything outside of the kit unless there is a desire to augment the fittings or parts in order to improve on the historical accuracy. There should be enough wood and rigging material so that extra material does not need to be purchased.

Price – The manufacturer should produce a range of products at different price points.

Overall Value for Money – This refers to the combination of quality, price and product that the manufacturer has assembled in order to the give the builder a positive overall experience regardless of his skill level.

After Sales Service – This refers to being able to obtain extra parts or responses to customer questions concerning the build. Manufacturer’s who have set up distribution channels tend to give fairly poor after sales service.

Manufacturer’s Rating

Amati: Overall Score 7.27 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “I”. Strength is availability of kits and after sales service. Weakness is instructions.

Established in Italy in 1879, Amati moved quickly from printed fretwork models to the model ship line. For over 120 years, Amati, thanks to the collaboration with designers and craftsmen, offers to the modelers the best products and the modern technology. Nowadays customers can rely on a large and varied choice of models from the most beautiful and famous America’s Cup, to historical sailing ships, and world-wide known motor boats and submarines. Thanks to the high quality of items, detailed construction plans, the product’s originality and the constant introduction of new designs, Amati is a world leader in the wooden ship model hobby. Retailer is serviced direct or through distributors in Canada and the US.

Artesania Latina: Overall Score 7.27 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “I”. Strength is price and overall value for money. Weakness is after sales service and parts and fittings.

Artesania Latina began its journey in 1970 in Barcelona Spain. In 1979, 80% of revenues came from outside Spain and their products were known and recognized in 40 countries on five continents. A key aspect in the evolution of the company has always been innovation. In 1994, Artesania Latina released a second family of products, basically but not exclusively for women and in 2001, they opened an office in Hong Kong focused on strategic positioning in emerging markets. In the 34 years of activity, Artesania Latina has continued to evolve in line with the needs of the market every day, year after year, with a passion for the hobby attracting thousands of friends around the world. Retailer is serviced through a distributor in the US.

Billings Boats: Overall Score 6.73 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “I”. Strength is availability of kits, types of vessels available and completeness of kit. Weakness is after sales service, price and instructions.

In the early 50s Ed Billing, a former RAF pilot during WWII, was working as an Architect in the town of Esbjerg in Denmark. His wife was running a Hobby shop called Vestjydsk Hobby and Mr. Billing was proudly displaying his build up model of a Danish Fishing Boat. At that time there were no actual model boat kits around, from which you could make a boat. One day a Danish magazine saw this beautiful model in the window of the Hobby Shop and were very interested in buying 50 “build ups” of this Fishing Boat for a competition the upcoming summer. Mr. Billing was very keen on the idea, but it was a huge undertaking making 50 models, so he came up with the idea to make the model as a kit, exactly the same way you would build a real ship. This was when the concept “plank-on-frame” was invented by Mr. Billing, which is now used by all model boat manufacturers around the world. Up until 1958 the kits were produced under the name “VHT” Vestjydsk Hobby Teknik, but this changed as Mr. Billings products became known outside Denmark. During the 60s, 70s and 80s the kits were improved, and gradually made easier for consumers to build. The frames were precut or die cut, and in the 60s ABS-hulls were introduced for the people that wanted to go out sail with RC. In 1989/90 the first laser cut machine was brought in, and everything became easier to produce, but also to make for the model builder. August 2008 was the 50th Anniversary of the Billing Boats brand name. Retailer is serviced through distributors in Canada and the US.

Bluejacket: Overall Score 6.73 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “E”. Strength is instructions and after sales service. Weakness is types of vessels available and detailing.

BlueJacket Shipcrafters, Inc., located in the United States, has been in continuous operation since 1905. In 1905, Horace E. Boucher, a French-born naval architect with the U.S. Navy Department and head of the Navy’s model shop in Washington, founded the model company that bore his name. Boucher’s models were prized by museums all over the country-more than 40 are in the Smithsonian alone. His innovative idea of mass producing cast fittings and selling kits to the general public started a new industry in the United States and helped turn what had been the art of a few craftsmen into a hobby enjoyed by thousands. The company name was changed to BlueJacket Shipcrafters after Boucher’s death. Bluejacket strives to manufacture the finest and most historically accurate wooden model ships in the world. Retailer is serviced direct or through distributors in the US.

Constructo: Score 7.64 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “I”. Strength is price and overall value for money. Weakness is after sales service and design.

Founded in 1942, Constructo wooden model ships was a pioneer in its field. Constructo, a well-established Spanish toy and games manufacturer, added wooden ship kits to its line only a few short years ago. The kits are of high quality, with accurately cut laser parts. Constructo produces high quality kits for children.

Corel: Overall score 6.36 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “A”. Strength is historical accuracy, parts and fittings and completeness of kits. Weakness is instructions and after sales service.

Corel, located in Milan Italy has been making model kits for period and modern ships since 1971, and enthusiasts will know about their high quality. The company pride themselves in the manufacture of some of the highest quality model boat kits available to the modeler with the best plans in the business. Corel are also able to supply very high quality fittings and materials to model boat

builders. Retailer is serviced through a distributor in the US.

Dumas: Overall score 7.36 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “E”. Strength is types of vessels available and after sales service. Weakness is price and overall value for money.

Al Dumas started marine model boat kits in Milwaukee, WI in 1946. These kits were made of balsa wood with parts printed on the wood for modelers to cut out. About 1980, Dumas moved to its present location at 909 E 17th St. Most of the boats are not only beautiful on display, but they can also be run with electric or gas power and radio control. Dumas line of model boats is most encompassing. Dumas has an exclusive license to manufacture Chris-Craft mahogany runabouts and pleasure craft. Retailer is serviced direct or through distributors in the US.

Mamoli: Overall score 6.36 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “A”. Strength is in detailing, parts and fittings and completeness of kits. Weakness is availability, price and after sales service.

Besides its normal commercial activity, the firm has established a “Naval Modeling Department” for the production of period ship kits. The models presented, which from the structural point of view are of an extremely advanced conception, are the logical continuation of a line begun more than 20 years ago by the designer Luigi Volonté, whose long experience allowed him to personally set up and follow a production, which was regard as one of the best, both for the facility of construction and the clearness of the plans, which are full of perspective drawings and fully described in four languages. Retailer is serviced through one distributor in the US.

Mantua: Overall score 6.09 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “A”. Strength is in detailing, parts and fittings and completeness of kits. Weakness is availability, instructions, price and after sales service.

Mantua Model, located in the ancient town Mantova, Italy, has built its reputation on the ultimate in large, elaborately detailed ship model kits. Mantua Model Group (includes Sergal and Panart) have been producing period model boat kits since after the war and were the first company to innovate and use the cutting ability of laser beams to produce very accurate and high quality products. Designed for the experienced modeler, most use a combination of photo-etched brass and cast or machined bronze fittings. Several feature solid bronze ornamentation cast one piece at a time by the lost wax method. Retailer is serviced through one distributor in the US.

Midwest Models: Overall score 7.36 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “E”. Strength is instructions, completeness of kits and after sales service. Weakness is price, types of vessels available and detailing.

In 1952, friends combined their passions for model airplanes to develop a thriving business dedicated to providing high quality products to enthusiasts around the world. More than 50 years later, Midwest’s product line and distribution have grown and changed, but its passion for quality has remained steadfast. Today, Midwest Products is a leading supplier worldwide of quality raw materials, accessories and kits to distributors and retailers. People use our products for leisure, educational and professional pursuits, from model airplanes and boats to architectural and educational projects. Retailer is serviced direct or through distributors in Canada and the US.

Model Shipways: Overall score 7.36 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “I”. Strength is instructions and after sales service. Weakness is historical accuracy and price.

Model Shipways (A Division of Model Expo), in continuous operation since 1946, is the oldest ship model factory in America. As a leading manufacturer and provider of historically accurate and authentic model kits and precision tools, Model Expo serves more than 40,000 customers and hobby stores throughout the world. Model Expo was founded in 1976 and partners with over 40 companies worldwide to include Italy, Spain, Europe, and China. Retailer is serviced through a distributors in the US.

Occre: Overall score 5.64 out of 10. Skill Level Tendency “A”. Strength is historical accuracy and completeness of kit. Weakness is availability of kits, instructions and after sales service.

Above all else, OcCre (Ocio Creativo) is a brand whose potential for development is based on its highly integrated team of people, capable of creating products of excellent design and creativity. OcCre is a fairly new company with a manufacturing facility in Spain. Retailer is serviced through a distributor in the US.

Cast Your Anchor continually looks for the best fit between the ship model builder and the ship model kit manufacturer. Should you wish to comment on this article or would like more information, please contact Cast Your Anchor at castyouranchor@bellnet.ca.

Metabolism Diet Plan 101 – How to Lose Weight Fast With Your Dieting Plan

You can lose 9 pounds in 11 days if you can take a good metabolism diet plan. Yet, you may not really know how you can do so. In this article, I will layout the essential points about such a dieting plan and you will be able to lose weight with it easily.

First of all, let us discuss briefly about metabolism. As you may know, it is the mechanism for your body to convert the fat stored to energy. As a result, you will be losing fat fast if you can boost your metabolic rate. And this is why you will need to take a metabolism diet plan.

You will need to eat more frequently. In fact, your metabolism will be slower if you do not have the energy. This means that you will not be able to burn fat efficiently if you are hungry. The idea of eating more often is that you will not feel hungry easily. This will provide your body enough energy to burn the fat.

Besides, you should not skip any meals. As discussed, you will not be burning fat efficiently if you do not have enough energy to do so. You will not have the energy to burn fat if you skip meals.

Now, let us discuss briefly about the foods that should be included in your metabolism diet plan. Without any surprise, you need to consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. As a matter of fat, lean meat can help to increase your metabolism. You will also need to have some fish because fish oil contains omega-3 and this will also help the process of fat burning.

As a matter of fact, the technique of calorie shifting is one of the best techniques to help to boost your metabolism. As a result, you can lose weight fast if you take a calorie shifting diet. You will not need to starve yourself when you take this diet. Instead, you will be encouraged to eat in order to boost metabolic rate. This is certainly the best diet technique for you to lose weight.

Mold in Spas & Hot Tubs

We’ve seen White Water Mold (WWM) in swimming pools for almost 20 years. Now we are beginning to see it spas & hot tubs as well. WWM is a “naturally” ocurring fungus that can show up anywhere there is water or moisture.

Customers are calling and asking about and mentioning a “wet tissue like” substance on the surface(s) of the spa shell, filter pleats and other places. Sometimes, a slight “pinkish” coloring is noticed alongside the mold. That is called “pink slime.” The two often go hand-in-hand.

Unfortunately, by the time you notice the WWM or pink slime in the spa itself, it almost always means that the plumbing lines, jets, pump components, etc. are completely infested. By the way, WWM & Pink slime is not harmful – it just looks REALLY bad.

How do you get rid of it? With lots or effort! The WWM is a biofilm that builds up overtime in the plumbing lines & gradually spreads throughout the spa. Customers typically notice that the spa has a “funky” odor and they can’t maintain a good level of sanitizer (chlorine, bromine, or biguanide). The biofilm build-up is VERY resilient against any kind of shocking or high levels of halogens (chlorine or bromine). The bottom line is you want to prevent it rather than treat it.

How do you prevent White Water Mold & Pink Slime? Pretty simply. Follow these steps:

  1. Maintain a good sanitizer level.
  2. Shock regularly (at least weekly).
  3. Maintain good water balance (pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness).
  4. Add a good quality natural enzyme such as SpaGuard Natural Enzyme or Natural Chemistry Spa Perfect. Enzymes do great jobs “eating up” organic matter. That’s what these 2 critters are – organic matter. Using enzymes according to label instructions will make a world of difference. A couple of ounces weekly makes the difference.
  5. Keep up on your regular maintenance – keep the surfaces wiped down (all surfaces under the water). Wipe around spa pillows, jets, lights, handrails, etc.
  6. Chemically clean the filter at least every 6 weeks. Rinsing alone will not suffice.
  7. Drain & refill the spa every 3 to 4 months. The bulk of problem cases we see occur when the spa is not regularly drained, cleaned & refilled.
  8. When draining & refilling, be sure to use a product like Spa Purge, Swirl Away or Spa System Flush. These products will break down a lot of biofilm build-up prior to draining. Regular use whenever the spa is drained will prevent re-infestations.

One of the newer products that we are having very good success with is AquaFinesse. AquaFinesse specifically targets biofilms allowing a better “kill” by the chlorine or bromine. Customers who are or have been using AquaFinesse, report really nice feeling water, simpler water balancing care and a significant decrease in the use of chlorine.

Proper maintenance makes spa & hot tub care easy. It also enhances your enjoyment of your hot water investment.

Caring For Teak Wood and Shorea Wood Patio Furniture

Teak wood patio furniture and shorea wood furniture have very similar qualities and therefore can be cared for in very similar ways. Both woods contain a high amount of natural oils, making them very dense and durable. Their high oil content also makes them very resistant to moisture and insect infestations. Because of these qualities, these woods have been chosen for use in creating outdoor patio furniture.

As far as maintaining your teak or shorea wood odoor furniture, not much maintenance is required. Furniture made of these woods can be left outdoors and exposed to the elements year-round and it will simply transform colors to a warm gray tone. If you simply love the original honey color of these woods you can follow these easy steps to maintain this coloring on your NEW patio furniture:

Step One – Clean and Dry

When teak wood furniture is made it usually has been mechanically sanded with causes the fine particles created by this process to actually clog the pores of the wood giving it the soft, silky texture that makes it so appealing for furniture. If you are going to apply a treatment to this type of furniture, you must first clean away this residue. You can use a mixture of laundry detergent and water to wash away the waxy coat that is created by the sanding process. Once the waxy coat is gone and it is completely dry you can begin to apply a teak sealant.

Step Two – Apply Sealant

You may find teak wood sealants come in a variety of shades to allow you to create the perfect coloring for your furniture. To apply a teak sealant to your furniture you will want to use a foam brush applicator and liberally apply the sealant, allowing the furniture to soak up as much as it can. Once you have completed one coat, a second coat can be applied right away. Once the second coat has been applied use a rag to wipe away any excess sealant. In dry weather, the furniture will be dry to the touch within an hour and ready for use in 24 hours.

This process should be repeated annually to maintain the honey coloring of the wood.

How to Update the Firmware and Factory Reset Your Adtran MX-2800

Updating the firmware on your MX-2800 ensures you are using the latest, most stable version of the multiplexer possible. Adtran releases firmware updates for free and are definitely worth the time to upgrade your network. The firmware for the multiplexer can be downloaded directly from Adtran’s website.

Before we continue, you following is required in order to complete this process.

• A populated MX2800 Chassis (1200290L1)

• A DB9 to RJ-45 serial cable for consoling into the MX-2800

• A network switch to connect both your MX-2800 chassis and your PC to the same network.

• A TFTP Program for transferring the.bin file from your PC to the multiplexer. We use SolarWinds TFTP as it is both free and easy to navigate.

• A program to console into the multiplexer and send commands to it. We use PuTTY because of its versatility

Start by running the serial cable from your computer’s COM port to the multiplexer’s console port. Connect your MX-2800’s LAN port to the network switch you are using. The PC should also be connected to the same switch.

Move the.bin file you downloaded from Adtran (in our example this is 1205288L1a_342a_1f5f.bin) to your TFTP-Root folder and make sure that your TFTP-server is up and running. Also take this time to find out your computer’s IP address. You will need this information as well when transferring the firmware update to your multiplexer.

Once you have that information and your TFTP server is running, you’ll want to launch PuTTY. Select connection type ‘Serial’ and specify a Baud rate of 9600. Once you are in the console hit enter until you see a screen appear asking for your username and password. Enter your username and password combination. If you do not know this, the default answers are written below:

Username? adtran

Password? adtran

Once logged into the multiplexer, you’ll want to enter 3 for configuration. Hit ‘Enter’ to proceed to the configuration page. Here you’ll want to hit 3 again to get system management. You’ll want to enter an IP address and Gateway IP Address for your MX-2800. We set our IP address to and the Gateway address to but you will want to set these values to whatever is appropriate for your network.

In order to enter the IP address, select 1 and then punch in the IP address you’re using. The same is done for the Gateway address by selecting the option 2. Once you have inputted your code, back out t othe configuration page by pressing the ESC key.

Now select option 4 (Utilities) from the Configuration menu to enter the System Utilities screen. Here you will see the two system controller cards loaded in your system. We will want to update these mx-2800 system controller cards to version 3.42A.

To start, press 2 for ‘Update FLASH Software’ and press 2 again for ‘Update via TFTP server.’ Enter your PC’s IP address and type in the server file name of the.bin file you wish to transfer from. Once these values are correct enter 3 to being the transfer.

**Warning** Do not disconnect the MX2800 at all during this process. Any sudden power loss or change in state can cause irreparable damage.

Once you are finished head back to the ‘System Utilities.’ You’ll now want to load default settings by using option 1. This will take you to the ‘Load default settings’ screen. Select option 3 to reset your multiplexer back to default. Confirm by entering 1. Once this is done, back out by pressing ESC twice.

You will know you are done when both cards installed are set to code version 3.42A. One of the cards may not be displaying correctly. This can take a few minutes to update, so be patient. Once both cards display correctly you will know you are finished! Feel free to power down the system or resume using the system as you were before.

Snoring & Mild Sleep Apnea – Positional? Pillow, Shirt, Vest, Backpack & Brace Performance Explained

Most users seem to prefer pillows over the other positioning devices. The apparent reasoning is that there is basically no interference at all with their lifestyles. There may be a slightly higher degree of comfort to the user than with other positioning devices. The big question is are the pillows beneficial. The answer will be that it depends on the individual, their health conditions and design of the pillow mechanism.

When you move in your sleep you must have a pillow with slots or sleeves for your arm or an attachment that keeps you off your back, in a snit position, elevated from the waist up or in whatever position your condition requires. If it does not secure you in some way it does not matter what is stated, it will not benefit you if you move off the pillow in your sleep. Also even if the pillow has the attachments and you do not use them you will not benefit if you move in your sleep.

Shirts, Vests and Backpacks have the advantage over pillows of allowing freedom of movement in bed while asleep. As long as it is of a good design (some input below) you can be fairly confident you will not roll onto your back while asleep. Unlike pillows you know there is some resistance behind your back but you also have freedom of movement and to move your arms. This is a huge benefit to a user with rotor cuff repair, a shoulder problem, a toss and turn sleeper or everyone that moves at all in their sleep.

Shirts, Vests, Backpacks and Body Braces with limiting on the back mechanisms also need to be evaluated when it comes to keeping you reliably off your back. Many allow you to almost reach a supine position before they either become uncomfortable (ball or hard foam) or are positioned on the lower area of back to allow shoulder to twist toward bed and therefore head to be facing upwards (tongue and tissues fall back and may obstruct airway. The general recommended placement of the limiting mechanism is between shoulder blades on the spinal area where even if the lower upper body twists toward bed your shoulder will stay elevated and your head will lay sideways and tongue and tissue will fall to the side of mouth which will help the airway stay clear.

Many use a t-shirt to accomplish this task. At home try a t-shirt on backwards with a ball in pocket (even though the pocket will not be centered on the spine) and simulate movement in your sleep by rolling back and forth from side to side on your bed and see how long the pocket stays in place. Try the same thing with a pajama top on backwards (have your partner button it). This type of top will not easily stretch (like a t-shirt) and will normally be better at keeping limiter on or near spine.

Vests are not as dependable in keeping limiter on spine as a shirt but depending on limiter dimensions and placement perform similar and they should not be made of stretch type materials.

Body Braces like pillows must be of a good design to reliably keep you off your back.

Backpacks will in most cases work well keeping you off your back and if designed only for sleeping can be comfortable and reliable.

Also of great importance is the design of the limiter. Some use Air Bladder. Some use Flexible Type Foam. Some use Hard Foam. Some use a Wiffle or Tennis Ball (which will not usually be sized within the shown guidelines). Size of Limiter including depth and width or diameter should be at least ¼ to 1/3 of width across shoulders ( in other words somewhere between 5″ and 9″) (depth and width or diameter)and being 10″ to 15″ in length for most users. This in most circumstances will prevent rolling onto your back while asleep. The limiter also needs to begin at shoulder blade area and extend along spinal area towards lower back for better outcomes.

I have slept with all of the above and the most dependable and comfortable for me were the Air Bladder and Flexible Foam. Advantage of Air Bladder is weight. Disadvantages are that Air Bladder feels a little stiff and may leak which can become aggravating. Advantages of Flexible Foam are long useful lifespan with a reliable consistent pillow feel. Disadvantage is when not laying in bed there is more weight to foam than air bladder.

Backpacks, Shirts and Vests with frontal attachment mechanisms are also easier for users to put on and take off especially with the limiter on back.

With most positioning products available today only Air Bladder and Flexible Foam are designed to keep you off your back while not disturbing your sleep.

In conclusion, there is plenty of detailed information available about Positive Pressure, Dental Devices and Surgery available. When it comes to Positioning there is very little with the exception of using the old method of sewing a pocket on the middle of the back of a tee shirt and inserting a tennis ball in it. An inclusion of the importance of the above type of products to positional therapy would appear to benefit the sufferer of some sleep conditions. These products while not necessarily limited to the following include pillows, shirts, backpacks and braces. Any of which may benefit the positional patient.

The reality is that there are devices being marketed that are priced very reasonable, are comfortable and work for many positional sufferers which may not have some of the drawbacks that other therapies might have.

Time To Get Real: My Ten Strategies To Help You Live And Speak Your Truth

Whose Life Are You Living, Anyway?

As a therapist and transformational life coach and guide specializing in relationships and honest communication, I know first-hand how challenging it can be to live in an authentic manner. Not only do I see my clients struggle with this daily, but I, too, have had to work very hard to live the truth of who I am as a result of growing up in an extremely shaming, controlling, and judgmental environment. Although living as one’s true self might seem like a natural and easy thing to do, many of us grew up in family environments that did not support our uninhibited and natural expressions. Gradually we disconnected from the truth of who we were so as to be accepted by those we were dependent on for basic nurturing and care. But in unconsciously disconnecting from our true self in order to emotionally survive, we may later find ourselves as adults people-pleasing others and hiding behind a facade, with no idea how to express and live our truth. Learn how hiding your true self may be interfering with your ability to create integrity-based, mutually rewarding relationships, and consider trying out my ten strategies for creating a more joyful and emotionally honest life.

My Ten ‘True Self Cultivation’ Strategies For Living An Emotionally Honest Life

  1. Recognize You Have A True Self Nature: Each of us enters the world possessing an innate, core, true self. Each one of us is an ‘original model’, and as such we all have unique gifts to offer to the world.
  2. Remember And Reflect On When You Felt Happiest As A Child: Think back to when you were young. When did you feel most free, happy, and alive? Take a few minutes after reflecting on what caused you to feel joyful in your youth, going back to your earliest conscious memory. Then write about the people, places, things, and activities that brought you the greatest joy while you were growing up. This simple ‘remembering and reflection’ exercise can put us deeply in touch with the innocent purity of our original true self nature.
  3. Make A Commitment To Recover And Reconnect With The Joyful, Authentic Child In You That Is Your True Self Nature: In a certain sense, recognizing and consciously reclaiming our own unique, true self nature is a paradoxical process of finding and embracing what we never really lost. It is an excavation project, of sorts, i.e., it is a process of uncovering, discovering, recovering, and consciously reclaiming who (and what) we in fact have always been, and will always be – That which is most true, honest, expansive, and alive within ourselves, yet constant and unchanging.
  4. Make A Decision To Release All That Feels False And No Longer Serves You: Becoming authentic and emotionally honest requires that we be willing to release the parts of ourselves that we were conditioned to become by the various social systems we have been immersed in like a fish swimming in the sea, from our family-of-origin to the cultural and social systems we currently identify with, and everything in between. Ask yourself if you feel ready to begin doing that. If not, I encourage you to explore what might be inhibiting you from living an emotionally honest and authentic life. Change is never easy. It’s never too late to “get real”!
  5. The Process Of Letting Go: I often ask my clients who are engaged in a process of true self recovery and reclamation, “Is this (person, place, thing, behavior, situation) serving you at the highest level today?” Whatever is not serving us at the highest level is more than likely not serving others in our life at the highest level either, regardless of how it may seem. It ultimately serves no one when we allow ourselves to remain small, diminish our internal light, and hide our truth from others (and perhaps even from ourselves.)
  6. The Only Way Out Is Through: It is often during this process of letting go of all that now feels false that long-buried emotions unconsciously repressed in childhood may surface, resulting in our possibly becoming sad, anxious, angry, and even genuinely depressed. At times such as this it is imperative that a person feel he or she is not alone in the valiant task of facing any painful feelings and memories that may arise head on, versus avoiding the challenging, difficult work of genuine transformational growth; therefore, this is a time when the help of a trusted therapist, counselor, transformational life coach, and/or a psychoeducational peer-support group can prove to be invaluable to a person engaged in the task of reclaiming and authentically embodying his or her true self.
  7. It’s Okay To Experience And Release Old, Pent-Up Feelings From Childhood: It is also not uncommon for a person whose true self nature was shamed and dismissed in childhood to find they are experiencing feelings of intense anger, even rage, during this critical transformational time of inner self-exploration and excavation. This can especially surprise those who strived to be ‘nice’ their entire lives to avoid upsetting others and risking conflict. I like to remind my clients during such times that the word ‘courage’ includes the word ‘rage’, and successful passage through the dark night of the soul is ultimately brought about by processing these more difficult feelings and emotions that society labels as ‘negative’. Those who were victims of neglect and/or other forms of abuse in childhood are especially prone to finding themselves overwhelmed with these darker, extremely intense feelings; thus, working with a licensed psychotherapeutic professional and/or abuse recovery network such as Adult Survivors of Child Abuse can be especially critical during this phase of recovery, healing, and growth.
  8. Pay Attention To Your Dreams: I have also learned from both personal and professional experience that this is a time to pay attention to one’s active imagination, dreams, and fantasies, as suggested by the great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, for these signs and symbols emanating from deep within our unconscious invariably reveal important keys to a given individual’s growth, including acting as an inner wise guide, when one understands how to begin to interpret the personal and universal symbols contained therein. A book that I often recommend to clients for such creative dream work is Jeremy Taylor’s Dream Work: Techniques for Discovering the Creative Power in Dreams.
  9. Release The Limiting Views Of Others: This is also a time when a person might report to their therapist, transformational life coach, or support network that they are feeling increasingly uncomfortable around family members, colleagues, and friends if those relationships were dependent on their being a certain way -A way that now no longer feels authentic, embodied, or emotionally true. This is especially the case when one has knowingly or unknowingly been playing out a particular role within a given relationship and/or system (e.g., hero, rescuer, ‘black sheep’, enabler) and/or been an unwitting recipient of another’s psychological projections (a process whereby humans defend themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others). At some point you may have no choice other than to make it clear that you are no longer willing to distort or hide your true self in order to protect the feelings of others, and that you simply will not accept being manipulated into living out old, familiar role(s) in the dysfunctional system’s ‘script’ (typically one’s family-of-origin) so that the status quo can be maintained.
  10. You’re Not Obligated To Play By Other People’s “Rules”: If it wasn’t clear before, once you commit to live your life authentically it will quickly become evident that every system has it’s ‘rules’, be it a family system, a work system, a political system, etc. This is a good time to remember that whatever the system can’t change, control, and/or accept, it will attempt to diminish, label, reject, and even (in extreme cases) ‘eject’. And this is why I see each and every person who is engaged in a sincere process of true self recovery and reclamation as being heroic, for it is no easy task to realize the truth of who and what one is while attempting to maintain relationships with others who may be demanding we “change back” (whether overtly or covertly) so that they might feel more comfortable, in control, and secure.

Realizing (And Living As) Your True Self

As illustrated in the above ten strategies, remaining committed to an ongoing transformational process designed to further our personal and professional growth, enhance our relationships, and increase our overall sense of confidence and well being is not always a simple or enjoyable task, especially in the beginning. And yet, those who decide to do what it takes to live from a place of emotional integrity and fearless honesty invariably discover that it is worth the effort required, for it is by courageously committing to recovering the ‘lost child’ within that we are able to become the true self we were always destined to be. And what could be better than that?

Tips for a Successful ISO Audit

An ISO quality management or environmental management system audit can be an uneasy and stressful time for many people in companies today. This article gives 16 common sense tips for a successful audit are based on real world experiences consulting with dozens of companies and auditors over the past two decades. These tips apply to ISO 9001; ISO 13485; ISO 17025; ISO 14001; RC 14001; AS 9100 or TS 16949 audits.

In my consulting practice I have observed people at all levels in an organization getting “uptight” or having “audit anxiety” about an ISO registration or continuing effectiveness (surveillance) audit by their registrar. Proper preparation can help lower the anxiety level. These tips can help you and everyone in your organization be better prepared for the audit.

  1. Know your job, roles and responsibilities.
  2. Know where to find the appropriate procedures, forms and documents; It is o.k. to refer to them to answer questions, do not guess. Be sure all forms and records are up to date and completed properly.
  3. Be sure your work area is clean and clutter free; have files, records and information readily accessible.
  4. Know your quality policy and how it applies to your job.
  5. If you don’t understand a question, ask the auditor to clarify or repeat the question. If a question is still not clear, then ask someone to help you understand it. It could be a question that should be asked of someone else, if so tell the auditor it is not a part of your job and ask him/her to talk to ask else. Do not guess at an answer.
  6. Answer questions honestly, clearly and concisely. Do not keep on talking after you answer the question. Be aware that whatever you tell the auditor may have to be supported by the appropriate documents or records.
  7. Know what is done with a customer complaint (if it applies to your job).
  8. Know what to do with any non-conforming material (if it applies to your job).
  9. Know that we have a corrective action process and who is responsible for it.
  10. If there are regulatory or special requirements for your job, process or product know and be able to explain them (i.e. FDA, FAA, special handling requirements; soldering; sterilization).
  11. Know the quality objective and/or goals that apply to you.
  12. If there are areas of which you are unsure, do not guess, defer to someone else!
  13. DO NOT ARGUE with the auditor. Questions of the auditor are fine, but don’t argue.
  14. Remember, this is not an adversarial situation. Your company is paying the auditor to be there to do his/her job and the auditor is actually a customer. The auditor cannot fine you, send you to jail or get you fired. The auditor is there simply to insure the QMS meets the requirements of the standard.
  15. The auditor will not tell you how to do something, but may say something like “I have seen…..” Listen and learn.
  16. Be positive. We have an effective quality system and are a good company. Talk about our successes as appropriate…just be aware that anything said could require documented evidence.

Sinus Infection Symptoms – How to Identify and Classify Them

Acute Sinus Infection Symptoms (Sudden Onset)

Sinus infection Symptoms vary somewhat, depending on the type of sinus and whether the infections are acute or chronic.

The most common type of sinus develops in the largest sinus cavities in the skull, and those are situated in the cheekbones. Typical symptoms are as follows:

Maxillary Sinusitis (in the cheekbones)

  • Red or swollen cheeks that feel tender when touched.
  • Painful upper jaw and aching teeth.
  • Pressure headache focused across one or both cheeks and below the eyes.
  • Prolific nasal discharge with occasional plugs of thick yellow or green mucous.
  • Post-nasal drip (down the back of the throat), sometimes accompanied by a sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Low-grade fever is fairly common.
  • Pain and pressure is worse when upright or bending forward and better when lying down.

Frontal Sinusitis (in the forehead)

  • Severe pressure sinus headache in the brow area on one or both sides.
  • Thick yellow or green tinged nasal discharge.
  • Post-nasal drip, occasional sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pain eases when upright and intensifies when lying down.
  • Low-grade fever is common.

Sphenoid Sinusitis (behind the eyes)

  • A cap of dull, deep pain that seems to encircle the head, starting at the back and continuing round to just behind the eyes. Pain in the top of the skull.
  • Double vision, tunnel vision, bright flashes, eyesight goes in and out of focus and other disturbances may be experienced. These indicate that sinus pressure extends to the membranes lining the brain (a rare and dangerous condition).
  • Thick nasal discharge with plugs of yellow or green mucous.
  • Post-nasal drip, occasional sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pain intensifies when lying on the back or bending forward.
  • Low-grade fever is common.

Ethmoid Sinusitis (between the eyes, just above the bridge of the nose)

  • Pressurized pain in the corners of the eyes close to the tear ducts, or down one or both sides of the nose.
  • Pressure headache in one or both temples.
  • Sinus congestion with occasional prolific nasal discharge containing yellow or green plugs of mucous.
  • Post-nasal drip, sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pressurized pain intensifies when coughing, sneezing or lying on the back, and eases when standing or sitting with the head upright.
  • Loss of smell can occur.
  • Low-grade fever is common.

Please Note: Acute sinusitis is considered to be an infectious disease.

Do not Underestimate the Dangers of Sinusitis

On rare occasions infection could spread to the meninges surrounding the brain and sometimes right into the facial bones themselves. The infection can also cause an abscess to develop in the eye socket, facial bone or brain.

Sinus infection symptoms related to the eye socket can start with swollen or droopy eyelids, fixed dilated pupils, inability to move the eyes and vision problems. These complications are associated with ethmoid sinusitis.

A person experiencing any of the above would become totally incapacitated and dangerously ill.

Immediate hospitalization and specialized care would be essential; these conditions could lead to permanent blindness, coma and even death.

Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms (Long-lasting and Recurrent)

The cause of repetitive sinus attacks is largely unknown. However, careful observation has shown that the condition often occurs in people suffering from asthma.

If this turns out to be a major cause of chronic episodes, then one must assume that the reason for many attacks could logically be traced back to either allergic reaction or to fungicidal causes. This argument is supported by the fact that most asthma sufferers have allergies.

Maxillary Sinusitis

  • Dull pressurized pain below the eye.
  • Pain increases with allergic reactions, colds or ‘flu.
  • Dull, aching toothache in the upper jaw, (known as “sinus toothache”).
  • Discomfort builds up during the day and culminates in nighttime coughing.

Frontal Sinusitis

  • Persistent low-grade sinus pressure headache in the brow area.
    This is a sign of abnormal anatomic variations inside the nose, such as a deviated septum that restricts the nasal passages.

Ethmoid Sinusitis

  • Congestion.
  • Chronic nasal discharge.
  • Persistent background pain across the bridge of the nose.
  • Pain on bridge of nose intensifies when wearing eyeglasses.
  • Post-nasal drip.
  • Chronic sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pain worse in the late morning.

Sphenoid Sinusitis

    Continuous low-grade headache in most patients.

Unlike the acute variety, chronic sinusitis is not considered to be infectious.

Wide Ranging Implications of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a United Stated (US) Federal law which was introduced as a part of a Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act in 2010 to increase tax transparency and tax revenues. The regulation requires all Financial Institutions (FI) (banks, funds, brokers, custodians, asset managers, insurers, etc.,) outside of the US to search their records for any listed US persons and report their assets and identities to the US Treasury.

There are thousands of US citizens with non-US assets, such as astute investors, dual citizens, or legal immigrants. FATCA is aimed at obtaining information about them and bringing them in the US tax net. During a discussion at the US Congress, it was revealed that approximately $100 billion is lost by the US annually due to tax evasion and avoidance of citizens residing outside of the US.

As per the regulations, all FIs are required to comply with FATCA requirements or they will be subject to 30% penal withholding on specific type of incomes received from US sources.

Implementation of FATCA has evolved since the enactment of the statute, but it is clear that the implications surrounding this new regime are wide-ranging for foreign FIs.

There are several practical implications which FIs face or are currently facing in implementing FATCA. These implications are divided into two board categories i.e. (a) implications on business model / operations and (b) implications on Information Technology (IT) System.

(a) The implication of FATCA on business model

FATCA will have an impact on several aspects of operations of any FI. It will entail the FI to assess impact on their operations, register with Internal Revenue Services (IRS) i.e. tax authority of US and devise a detailed implementation framework. Foremost is change in account opening documents (account opening form, AML / KYC Form, Terms & Conditions etc.) to on-board new customer in accordance with FATCA regulations.

FIs will have to conduct a detailed impact assessment to identify the implications of FATCA and prepare adequate strategies in response.

As FATCA targets information disclosure from FIs, it will also compel changes in existing data privacy and disclosure legislation of relevant jurisdiction.

(I) FATCA affects Financial Institution?

Under FATCA, different FIs will have varying requirements, and these requirements will be identified by appropriate entity classification of the FI. In order to be compliant with FATCA requirements, FI will need to perform its legal entity analysis to understand what obligations it will have under FATCA. FI will have to assess the applicability of FATCA on them as per guidelines issued by relevant Government authority and FATCA regulations.

On a practical note, this can be a very challenging task for any FI as all the subsequent requirements for particular financial institution varies according to their entity classification. Giving an example of such difficulties, ‘Piraeus Bank’ in Greece had to perform entity classification analysis for its 250 entities in 7 countries for FATCA classification.

(ii) To comply, Financial Institutions need to register with IRS

After entity classification, FI will need to register with the IRS to commence FATCA implementation. Once, an FI is registered with IRS, its obligations under FATCA begins officially.

Not all FIs are required to register with IRS. FI’s classified as exempt FI’s under FATCA regulations will not be required to register themselves with the IRS, however, they will have to submit and claim their exemption from FATCA regulations.

With regards to FI’s which are neither exempt nor complying with FATCA regulations, they will be classified as Non-Participating Financial Institution by IRS and will be subject to penal withholding of 30%.

(iii) Smooth Implementation or Chaos?

Implementation of FATCA necessitates an appropriately defined framework or it may result in a chaos. It requires FIs to set up a FATCA implementation landscape to ensure smooth implementation across the board. Relevant Government Authority may develop and provide procedural guidelines to facilitate the management of FIs in their efforts towards FATCA implementation.

(iv) FATCA, a burden?

FATCA will definitely result in increased compliance, operating and technological cost. FIs may require enhancement to their documentation / record keeping procedures to keep record of all documents obtained to determine the US and Non US Persons status of clients.

Obtaining the initial information does not conclude financial institution’s obligation for compliance, a continuous monitoring of client/payee’s information for FATCA status is required which may well be seen by the entity as additional cost.

(v) Launching New Products will be harder than ever

In order to avoid inconvenience or additional cost FIs may require strategic shifts regarding their targeted client segments, product and investment options to offer. Product and services analysis needs to be performed to take into account different products and services offered by the FIs.

FATCA regulations impact certain types of financial accounts maintained by FIs and product analysis should be performed to evaluate whether the FI’s products and services fall under the prescribed ambit.

(vi) Legal aspects of FATCA

Legal consultants of the FI will be required to mend/update/modify terms and conditions of various service offering of the FI to include specific terms which allow the FI to disclose their information to IRS.

Many countries have already amended their local laws to cater FATCA requirements including Republic of Azerbaijan which has already amended its Banking Law, Tax Code, Law on Personal Data and Insurance Regulations to embed necessary FATCA requirements in its legislation.

(vii) Not just implement but train yourself as well

Training of client representative/ compliance/ risk management and other relevant members of the institution will be required on immediate as well as on continuous basis. Training will be required to ensure technical advice on FATCA and subsequent developments are understood and disseminated appropriately across the entity / group.

FIs will be required to develop awareness programs and implement procedures to ensure that training is provided to all requisite staff across the entity / group. In addition, the nominated responsible officer will need to ensure that training sessions are held regularly, as appropriate, and for all relevant new staff.

(b) IT Systems will be under FATCA Clouds

As mentioned earlier, FATCA will impact almost every activity/ function of FI and IT is no exception to this. FATCA will have a significant impact on IT system of the FIs. As the basic data capturing documents will evolve (account opening form, AML /KYC Form), the IT systems need to be modified to capture FATCA related information of customers.

Databases will need modification to store FATCA related data and produce reports as per the requirements of relevant forms and relevant Government Authority.

The FIs will have to assess and address the FATCA implications on IT systems keeping in view the following abilities of the system to:

– comprehend new information requirements and on-boarding requirements

– withhold withholdable payments when required

– report certain information to IRS and local authority

– accommodate changes necessitated by other global tax regulations

(I) Collect the Information of your Customers

The elementary implication will be on the Front End IT systems of FIs. Front end IT System will require significant modification to include US indicia (indicators to identify US account) and FATCA fields for new customer on-boarding. FIs will be required to obtain and store static data on account holders that is not required today.

Oracle and many other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software providers have already launched their FATCA compliant system interface for FIs.

(ii) Store the Information & Generate Reports

Changes in account opening and other documents are likely to require changes to underlying customer systems and databases to store additional data items. The FIs will be required to update their system database to store and recreate information captured by front-end IT system.

MIS generating system modules of the FI will require modification to generate reports pertaining to FATCA related customer and relevant customer details.

(iii) Penal Withholding – A Cost of Non-Compliance

A most common misunderstanding under FATCA is with regards to penal withholding of 30%. It should be duly noted that this is not the regular withholding, it is just to penalize the non-compliant FIs and customers.

However, new withholding responsibilities are required in this regulation and therefore additional systems capabilities and infrastructure will need to be developed to track for transactions producing withholdable payments to ensure that necessary business rules for withholding are applied.

(iv) Consistency at all times

All the front-end and back office systems will require integration to cater FATCA requirements. FIs shall have to ensure that all information captured via front office system is adequately transferred to the back office system and maintained properly in the database management system.

FIs with branches in multiple jurisdiction may face great difficulties in this regard as they will need to ensure that front end system across all the branches in world capture the same (required) information.

Conclusion – Impacts of FATCA are Far Reaching

FATCA has emerged as one of the most far reaching tax legislation of recent time which has impacted large number of financial institutions across the globe. As elaborated above, FATCA compliance is complex, may involve additional cost, time consuming and require co-ordination of several business units of the organization.

Nevertheless, FIs opting to comply with FATCA requirements in full, should consider the above mentioned implications of FATCA for their impact assessment and FATCA readiness.

Lastly, while implementing FATCA, FIs will need to ensure readiness for another tax transparency regulation i.e. Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) commonly known as Global Account Tax Compliance Act (GATCA) which may come into force in the span of next few years.

How to Break 80 – 9 Golf Tips to Shoot in the 70’s

Learning how to break 80 is a relatively simple task once you learn all the basic shots. It’s now just a matter of putting it all together to shoot in the 70’s. Follow these 9 golf tips to get you into the clubhouse with a career low score.

9 Tips to break 80

1) Work on the Lag Putts Before the Round- Right before you go to the tee, spend 10 or 15 minutes putting. Keep in mind the putts that are really going to make or break your round are the lag putts. Really concentrate on “dialing in” the distance. You want to have two putts all day, with tap ins for the second put.

2) Use Your Favorite Club Off the Tee- Face the facts. If you can’t hit the driver and keep it in play off the tee, then don’t use it! Use the club you can hit the longest, yet still keep it in play. Getting off the tee and keeping it in play is the most important part of playing a good round.

3) Play Your Own Game- This is closely related to the last tip. Play your own style of golf. Don’t worry about how others are playing the hole- what they are hitting off the tee, what club into the green, or what kind of short shot or putt. Only you know your strengths and confidence in certain shots. Try to play the best you can, not like someone else.

4) Play to Your Strengths- You know your strengths, play to them. Try to put your ball in positions that allow you to use your strengths on every hole. This is different for everyone, but just having this thought is a game changer. Do you draw the ball? Make sure you are coming in from the correct side of the fairway. Are you good at the 150 yard shot? Lay up to that distance, etc…

5) Swing Easy Into the Wind- Swing smooth and easy when hitting into the wind. You’ll put less spin on the ball and hit it straighter. Realize you’ll have to hit more club and rely on the short game to get you a par or bogey.

6) Minimize the Damage- Don’t try that “one in a million” shot when you can play the ball away from the hole and guarantee a par or bogey. Knowing when to back off can save you 2 or 3 strokes on one hole. That’s the difference between a 77 and an 80.

7) Lay Up- If you can make the water, fine, take the chance. But you know when to suck it up and lay up! “There are no pictures on score cards” as they say, and the taunting of your playing buddies will be a thing of the past when you shoot a 76.

8) Play the Shot You Have that Day- Don’t fight the shot you are playing on the day of your round. If you can’t seem to stop hitting the draw, then just aim right. Same with the slice. Don’t struggle against the shots you keep playing. Use them to your advantage. You now know where the shot is going to end up!

9) Stick to a Routine- Having a routine before every shot will help you in those pressure shots coming down the stretch. Stick to a precise routine and you’ll keep your mind off the consequences of every shot.

There’s 9 tips to keep in mind as you learn how to break 80. If you can use your skill and keep these mental aspects in the back of your mind, you’ll be shooting in the 70’s in no time.

Burris Eliminator: The First Rangefinder Scope With BDC

Several years ago a number of well-known manufacturers of the rifle scopes have decided to move into a new direction. They were going to integrate laser rangefinder into a rifle scope.

The main idea was to make a shooter’s life easier by excluding extra equipment. Besides such rifle scope allows to measure the distance to the target almost instantly and shooter can use this information for ballistic adjustments.

Range estimation is very helpful for the shooter. If you ever shot at the distance of 300 yards and further – you will agree that serious experience and trained eye are needed to accurately determine the distance. Even though you have the distance you still need to spend some time to make the elevation (trajectory) adjustments because the range of adjustments on rifle scope is limited. Let’s take a look how it works.

You have estimated the distance to the target and are starting to turn adjustment turret to the right direction. If turrets are opened then you are lucky. If they are covered with the protective caps then there is a possibility that your targeted animal will sneak out.

That is why Burris went even further in the developing rifle scope with built in rangefinder. In their Eliminator scope Burris have implemented ballistic calculator. It simply calculates ballistic trajectory for your specific caliber and shows you illuminated aiming point for that precise distance.

There used to be three different models of Burris Eliminator scopes: Eliminator, Eliminator 2 and Eliminator 3. However in 2014 Burris has discontinued Eliminator 2 since they have introduced the new Eliminator III 3-12×44.

Basic Eliminator model

The first model of Eliminator series is pretty simple, so I will just briefly review it. Burris Eliminator comes with magnification range of 3.5-10x zoom. Its objective is 40 mm in diameter. This scope has range estimation and bullet drop compensation ability for the distance up to 550 yards.

Despite the fact that Eliminator 2 manufacturing has discontinued, it is worth to review this scope as it is still on the market.

Burris Eliminator 2

Burris Eliminator 2 is the rifle scope with magnification of 4-12x and objective diameter of 42mm. It has built in rangefinder and the ballistic calculator. The maximum estimated distance is 900 yards. The list with ballistic data of more than 1500 factory cartridges is included.

All you need to do is to find your cartridge and enter the data to the scope’s menu. The data you should be looking for is the bullet drop value in inches at 200 yards when sighted in at 5o yards or the drop at 500 yards when your gun sighted in at 100 or 200 yards. If your cartridge is not on the list you need to find its ballistic data on the box with ammo or at the manufacturer website and simply enter them to the scope.

I am not going to duplicate the user’s manual here but if you want detailed instructions on how to program Burris Eliminator 1 or 2 scopes visit the Eliminator’s product page at http://www.GGRifleScopes.com/Burris-Eliminator-1/.

After you entered the needed data the procedure is following: you are placing the rifle scope’s crosshair at the target and push the bottom to turn on rangefinder. Then illuminated dot will appear on the vertical post of the reticle. You need to use this point for hold over. Note that with Burris Eliminator scopes bullet drop compensation technology works at any magnification.

Burris Eliminator 2 allows you to estimate the distance and compensate for the bullet drop at the distance up to 1000 yards. Second model has remote control that you can use for more convenient shooting. Burris Eliminator 2 has build in inclinometer that allows shooting at any extreme angle.

As a matter of fact Burris Eliminator 2 and Eliminator 3 are unique rifle scopes. It is very innovative functionality to the rifle scope that nobody had ever implemented before. Even more expensive competitor’s scopes look pale comparing to Eliminator scopes.

Of course many of the professional shooters will not throw away their favorite analog rifle scopes. However they buy Burris Eliminator scopes constantly for their collection and just for fun shooting. Main buyers are those who want to reduce the efforts and resume the accuracy or those who just don’t want to waste time preparing for the shot and carry additional equipment.

Windage adjustment is one more thing that takes time to prepare for the shot. The experience and trained senses are required to choose holdover point even if you know the wind speed and its direction. Burris has decided to take care of this problem as well.

Burris Eliminator 3

Burris offers innovative system for windage compensation in its Eliminator 3 models. There are two models of this scope: Burris Eliminator 3 3-12×44 (new release in 2014) and Burris Eliminator 3 4-16×50.

These scopes allow you to make precise shot at the distance up to 1200 yards. Eliminator 3 has built in rangefinder and it automatically calculates trajectory of the specific cartridges that you use. After that it shows you illuminated holdover point.

New X96 reticle allows you easily compensate for the wind. However windage compensating system is not fully automatic. You still need to determine the speed and direction of the wind.

Burris Eliminator 3 requires some thinking from you. X96 reticle has mil dots from the left and right side of vertical post. These dots are used for holdover to compensate for the wind. X96 reticle will display windage compensation value for 10 MPH wind in addition to the distance. This is the value of the dots on which you need aim left or right. You still need to determine the wind speed and direction. Then you can use dots value for 10 MPH wind as a guideline to determine holdover for the current wind.

Note that with Burris Eliminator 3 windage compensation method works at any magnification. Burris Eliminator 3 has adjustable objective that allows you to adjust parallax from 50 yards to infinity, remote control and build in inclinometer for shooting at any extreme angles.

The last but not least question you might have about Burris Eliminator is on what type of weapon you can mount it? All Eliminator models easily calibrated for muzzleloaders, slug guns, rim fire or center fire rifles.

Modern Chandeliers And Their Versatile Characteristics

Chandeliers have been viewed as must-have lighting fixtures, because of the elegant radiance and appeal they bring to a home’s rooms.

This ornate lighting piece made its big surge in the 19th 20th th centuries, and was a staple in most palaces and mansions in Europe and the United States. These lighting fixtures eventually found their way into some of the more expensive estates and even many private homes in this country and overseas as well today.

In the age of the industrial revolution, mass production of this once exclusive lighting fixture came in full force, and because of that, chandeliers these days can be seen in a lot of homes and rooms. According to home lighting experts, one of the major characteristics of this elegant lighting fixture is that it creates a wonderful glow and appeal that makes a room extra special, and automatically lends a truly regal character and atmosphere to an otherwise drab or plain room.

Versatility Is A Major Characteristic of Chandeliers These Days

One of the defining characteristics of today’s chandeliers is their versatility. A home’s kitchen can be reinvigorated into classy dining area with the installation of this lighting fixture, and a spacious bathroom can be given an radiant glow with the installation of a chandelier. Some homeowners would also even put these in the main bedroom to also give it that wonderful feeling.

Modern chandeliers today are available in different styles, shapes and patterns, and are made from a wide array of materials. Though the most common design pattern of a chandelier is made of crystal, different types like faux candles and other designs are also available. Home lighting experts say that one of the best ways of finding the appropriate style and size to complement your home, would be on the Internet, and shop around for what’s available.

Your Modern Chandelier Should be Able To Draw Your Visitor’s Attention

Homeowners need to take note that chandeliers usually would draw the immediate attention of a visitor, therefore it needs to complement the basic design pattern of your home. Proper sizing is a vital factor, as because a fixture that is too large for the room it occupies would surely make it overpower the room and may even lend an air of claustrophobia to your visitor.

However, a lighting fixture that’s too small for your room would totally look out of place regardless of its style. Although most modern chandelier designs today easily light an entire room, the end result could either be often create a harsher or more raw look. Home decor experts say that matching chandeliers with wall sconces, as well as having dimmers on these will allow you to attain the right balance of light released.

For those who wish to install modern chandeliers themselves, it’s vital that you need to keep some important factors in mind. You should know that most chandeliers offered today are much heavier than the usual lighting piece that they will be replacing. A typical lighting fixture is installed in an electrical box that is anchored on one side to a ceiling joist, which generally provides sufficient support for the fixture’s support base.

http://goldenageusa.com – Modern Chandeliers

Let’s Abolish High School

This is the title of the article published by Robert Epstein in Education Week datelined April 4, 2007 to which a student Robert Zahari says, “Epstein for some reason seems to be nostalgic for the “good old days” of child labor when children worked 12-hour days under exploitative and dangerous conditions in impersonal factories, and seems to think that the protections we have now are unnecessary and counterproductive”. In my opinion Robert Zahari does not make a fair criticism of Epstein’s article. There may be merits and demerits in Epstein’s article that should have been evaluated and analyzed, but Zahari passes a hasty opinion on the article. On the contrary a fair reading of Epstein’s article shows that the author has no where favored child labor of the kind Zahari points out. On the contrary the overall thesis of Epstein’s article seems to be that age is no barrier to intellectual and emotional achievement. In other words, an adolescent of 15 could be as or more emotionally and intellectually advanced than an adult of 25 or 35 or more.

I agree with Epstein (2007) that age is an artificial barrier to making decisions like voting, or even doing works that adults do. He further argues, “After all, past puberty, technically speaking we’re not really children anymore, and presumably through most of human history we bore our young when we were quite young ourselves. It occurred to me that young people must be capable of functioning as competent adults, or the human race quite probably would not exist” (Epstein 2007). I agree that human beings are well developed past puberty at least physically. Also, there are prodigies that may have attained greater intellectual, emotional, and spiritual heights at quite a young age. However, those are the exceptions. The fact is that we continue to grow mentally all our life. Therefore, child-adolescent-adult is a continuum rather than well defined stages and hence age is an artificial barrier distinguishing childhood from adulthood. Consequently, for a large majority of mankind there are things a 25 year old can learn but not an adolescent of 15 because exceptionally brilliant children are exceptional. We must also admit that “we bore our young when we were quite young ourselves” is/was true in an age when science and environmental factors did not enrich human lives. The average longevity used to be 25 to 30 years. Today the average life span in the developed world is close to or past 80. Further, society and life style are evolutionary in nature. Hundred or more years down the line, it wouldn’t be surprising that a child would not attain the age of majority till 35 pr 40 with 150 or 200 years of average life span.

Epstein favors abolition of High Schools because they were designed or created under conditions like industrial revolution, great depression, or for reasons like safeguarding the limited number of jobs for those that needed the most. I cannot agree more with the author. However, Epstein (2007) merely states the obvious. While agreeing that the school system today are superfluous, I still hold that every age since time immemorial had some formal arrangement for education. Even today we are experimenting with home schooling, distance learning, online learning and several other forms of education. If Epstein is arguing, which he does not of course, for abolition of education altogether, I cannot see any more ridiculous idea because every age has unique repertoire of literary, social, and scientific know how and skills that must be passed down from generation to generation for growth unless we wish to descend to the dark ages of savagery.

The focus of Epstein’s essay is that adolescents are as capable or more capable than adults in several respects: “The research I conducted with my colleague Diane Dumas suggests that teenagers are as competent as adults across a wide range of adult abilities, and other research has long shown that they are actually superior to adults on tests of memory, intelligence, and perception” (Epstein 2007). Therefore, they should be given freedom to learn, to earn, and to do anything creative and worthwhile they need to do rather than chaining them down under hundreds of restrictions including compulsory education. I completely agree with the author here. However, Epstein does not provide us a concrete scheme of arrangement so that the young people can express themselves to the best of their talents. What would they do once they drop out of high schools? Should they be allowed to experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex? Should they be allowed to remain delinquents or languish in institutions?

None the less, author identifies teenage turmoil in western culture and society. Therefore, the obvious solution that we have is to change the culture because there are hundreds of societies documented anthropologically that are free from teenage turmoil. I do not see merit in the logic because culture is a unilinear and irreversible growth not determined by an individual or even masses. Cultural growth is an outcome of several factors – known and unknown – that cannot be controlled. Several social scientists have evidenced that culture of a society progresses through stages from pre to post industrial stages.

I agree with the author that “Teenagers are inherently highly capable young adults; to undo the damage we have done; we need to establish competency-based systems that give these young people opportunities and incentives to join the adult world as rapidly as possible”. I agree that teenagers are highly competent. I also agree that we must have competency based systems. However, I can see that already taking place. Competent and meritorious students or teenagers are filtered quite early in life to take up sports or modeling, or television, or anything they excel at. However, a large majority still need technical or managerial or administrative or scientific and research skills that come with years of training.

Clemson University Name Explained

Established in 1889 as part of the land-grant university program enacted by the United States government (through the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890) in the 1800s Clemson University derives its name from an area man by the name of Thomas Clemson.

Born around the turn of the nineteenth century in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mr. Clemson was educated at a Vermont military academy before continuing his education across the Atlantic in Paris where he went on to receive a degree in a scientific field known as assay – a molecular biology specialty that predominately deals with minerals and ores. During a stint back in the US Clemson co-authored a piece of legislation on agricultural education and married the daughter of a prominent politician before returning to Europe where he served as a Belgium diplomat between the ages of 37 and 44.

The family of the women that Thomas Clemson married has almost as much to do with the eventual name of Clemson University as anything Thomas Clemson personally did. Clemson married Anna Calhoun when he was 31 years old and at that moment (November 13, 1838) cemented his presence amongst America’s elite by marrying the daughter of former South Carolina Senator and two term United States Vice President (under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson) John Calhoun.

The eventual death of the affluent and influential John Calhoun left his inheritance to be divided amongst his surviving wife and three children. The most sizable piece of wealth left behind was a plantation known by the name of Fort Hill which was located near Pendleton, South Carolina. Pendleton is located in Anderson County in the western most corner of South Carolina. Neighboring Pickens County is home to the city of Clemson and Clemson University, both of which are named after Thomas Clemson, the eventual heir to the Calhoun fortune after out surviving the blood heirs that included his wife who passed away thirteen years before he did.

During his career as a public servant Thomas Clemson worked under fifteenth President of the United States James Buchanan as the Superintendent of Agriculture where he urged for the establishment of agricultural colleges and other similar learning institutions. For the most part it was only in death that his wishes for greater agricultural education opportunities were realized.

After outliving his children and wife he left his fortune to the state in a will drafted a few years before his passing. Clemson’s generous donations were originally used to fund a military college known as the Clemson Agricultural College which was later renamed in 1964 to the present day Clemson University. Today a statue bearing the likeness of Thomas Clemson sits on the campus of Clemson University reminding all who pass by of the namesake that began the prosperous history of the school.