Portrait Painting Techniques – How to Paint Hair

Painting Hair

Painting portraits is a great hobby that gives both the artist and the model much pleasure. It is better for both however if the texture, color and flow of the hair closely matches the model. Follow these steps to obtain more realistic colors in your next portrait.

Before painting hair, you should always have the rest of the face finished first. The flesh color extend into the hairline. This is so that the flesh color shows through and the hair does not look unnatural. Remember that hair is much more than one layer, therefore, you need to paint it in layers. There are also hundreds of shades of hair color. To keep it as simple as possible try to base each portrait with, blonde, brown (this includes red), black or gray.

Under paint the entire hair area with a very light mixture of one of these colors. These are called undertones. This under painting will actually be the highlights because as you work you will not cover all of this. Notice where the dark or shadowed areas are and paint them in. Now use a darker color and start stroking in hair strands. Black is the opposite. Start with the darkest as the undertones, then add lighter layers. Continue until you are satisfied with the results. It is very easy to overdo hair. Know when to stop!

Here are the colors you will use for any hair tone. Remember to apply the undertones first

Blonde (Reds) Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Medium, (Alizarin Crimson)

Use Burnt Umber to darken blonde and red hair

Brown Titanium White, Burnt Umber

Use Cadmium Red or Ivory Black for red or blackish tones

Black Ivory Black Undertones

Warm Black – Ivory Black & touch of Brown

Cool Black – Ivory Black & touch of Blue

Gray Titanium White, Ivory Black for a Gray Undertone

Warm Gray – Ivory Black & touch of Brown

Cool Gray – Ivory Black & touch of Blue

Start the first layer, or undertones with a very watery mixture of paint. Use a medium to large brush because you are not painting details. Don’t try to paint in individual hair strands at this stage. Start adding more paint color to your brush and add some more layers. Pull the brush in the direction of the flow of hair. Use a liner brush to add some indications of individual strands. Add any deep pockets of color to really give the portrait depth. I added some deep shadow on the side of the neck.

Congratulations! You should be well on your way to being your own master portrait painter. As always, don’t forget to sign your painting.

The Chinese Water Lantern Festival

The Chinese have designed and crafted lanterns that can float in water and glide in the air. Though sky lanterns were initially crafted as a device, to send signals, today they are used as decorative articles. Water Lanterns in Chinese festivals have its own importance.

There is an interesting story to the History of Chinese lanterns. It was believed that these lanterns, both the sky lanterns and the Water lanterns used in Chinese festivals were initially created out of necessity rather than artifacts for decorations. The Chinese have a history of inventing several new things and also leading the way in several new technologies. But, initially, the Chinese did not have access to or the knowhow to make a vital building material – Glass. Hence they did not have glass lanterns or glass windows. On the other hand, they had the skill of making paper. The paper industry in china was so advanced that it could produce paper that was very thin, to let light pass through it. They could also add beautiful colors and embellishments to the paper. Thus was born, the world’s first source of portable light – the lantern.

These lanterns were then gradually adapted to float in water and glide in the sky. Such was the skill of the Chinese craftsmen that these lanterns were used for lighting public places, homes and even battlefields. There is a story of a military strategist Zhuge Liang, having used paper lanterns to help the army march by night and attack by the day.

Over time, this battlefield beacon turned into an epitome of hope and wellbeing and festivity. The origin of the Lantern festival can be dated back to the Han Dynasty. During this time, the city is decorated with lanterns that are beautifully crafted in different shapes and sizes and then displayed with wishes or riddles written on them.

Water lanterns in Chinese festivals like the Moon Festival are a major tourist attraction. People from all over the world come to witness this event. On this day children and adults make or buy Water lanterns and write wishes on them. They then set these lanterns afloat in the water under the moonlight and watch them float away.

Water Lanterns in Chinese Festivals alongside other lanterns are used to light up the way to guide the spirit of their ancestors to come and bless them. Even today this tradition is followed, and people decorate their homes and public places to welcome their ancestors.

Gemini Twins Card Trick

The Gemini Twins card trick is a classic card trick that is completely self-working (i.e. no sleights) and yet still looks great and amazing. It always gets a good reaction from your spectator.

Card Trick Performance

You select two prediction cards. Your spectator then has you stop in two separate places, and you put a prediction card face up in each spot to mark it. You then reveal each pair (marked by the prediction cards). In each pair, the two cards match each other.

Card Trick Secret

Take prediction cards that are pairs of the top and bottom cards of the deck (i.e. 4 of hearts on top so you take the 4 of diamonds, 8 of clubs on bottom so you take the 8 of spades). Deal cards one at a time off the top of the deck until your spectator calls stop. Put the card that matched the bottom of the deck face-up to mark the spot (8 of spades in our example). Then put the rest of the deck on top of it, already completing the pair (since the 8 of clubs is on the bottom). Then deal cards off the top in a similar manner, marking the spot with the other card (4 of diamonds). Put the rest of the deck on top of it (makes a pair with the 4 of hearts). That’s it! All you have to do is pull out each pair (a pair consists of your prediction card and the card directly on top of it) and each will magically match.

This is a great, almost two-for-one card trick. Have fun.

Slips and Falls on Ice and Snow – The "Hills and Ridges Doctrine"

The “Hills and Ridges” Doctrine provides protection to persons in control of property on which a slip and fall occurs on ice or snow. However, confusion exists as to the applicability of this defense, which is only available when the fall is caused by a natural accumulation of ice or snow.

Pennsylvania Standard Civil Jury Instruction 7.04, titled Owner/Occupier’s Duty of Care (Ice or Snow on Abutting Public Sidewalk or Walking Surface) states the following:

One in possession of land is required to remove ice and snow that has accumulated on the public [sidewalk] [walking surface] abutting his or her property within a reasonable time after he or she is on notice that a dangerous condition exists. To establish liability upon the landowner, the plaintiff must prove that each of the following three essentials was present:

First, that ice and snow had accumulated on the [sidewalk] [walking surface] in ridges or elevations that unreasonably obstructed travel and were a danger to persons traveling on the walk;

Second, that the defendant property owner knew or should have known of the existence of such conditions;

Third, that it was the dangerous accumulation of ice and snow that caused the plaintiff to fall.

The first “essential” in the Standard Jury Instruction is commonly known as the “Hills and Ridges” Doctrine. The Doctrine protects an owner or occupier of land from liability for “generally slippery conditions resulting from ice and snow where the owner has not permitted the ice and snow to unreasonably accumulate in ridges or elevations.” Morin v. Traveler’s Rest Motel, Inc., 704 A.2d 1085, 1087 (Pa. Super. 1997). The rationale behind the Doctrine is that a possessor of land should not be liable for general slippery conditions, for to require that one’s walkways be always free of ice and snow would impose an impossible burden in view of the climatic conditions in Pennsylvania. Wentz v. Pennswood Apts., 518 A.2d 314 (Pa. Super. 1986).

However, there are limits to the applicability of the “Hills and Ridges” Doctrine. The Doctrine may be applied only in cases where the snow and ice complained of are the result of an entirely natural accumulation following a recent weather event, because the protection afforded by the Doctrine is predicated on the assumption that these formations are natural phenomena incidental to our climate. Bacsick v. Barnes, 341 A.2d 157 (Pa. Super. 1975). As such, where the ice and/or snow is localized and there are no generally slippery conditions in the community or when a slippery condition is caused by an artificial condition rather than a recent weather event, the Doctrine is inapplicable. For example, icy conditions resulting from the melting and refreezing of snow and ice rather than a recent storm would not be subject to the “Hills and Ridges” Doctrine. Similarly, icy conditions resulting from a defective water pipe or leaking gutter would not be covered by the Doctrine.

In the recent case of Harvey v. Rouse Chamberlin, Ltd., 901 A.2d 523 (Pa. Super. 2006), the Superior Court held that the “Hills and Ridges” Doctrine would not apply when Mrs. Harvey fell on a road which had been recently plowed and appeared to be clear and dry, but actually had black ice. The Superior Court found that the trial court’s granting a non-suit based upon the “Hills and Ridges” Doctrine was inappropriate because the condition of the land was “influenced by human intervention” namely snowplowing, such that the ice was not the result of an entirely natural accumulation. Id. at 527.

When pursuing or defending and slip and fall case involving ice or snow, it is critical to understand and properly analyze the “Hills and Ridges” Doctrine in order to determine whether or not the defense applies.

Bad Face Lifts – 3 Ways to Make Sure You Don’t Become a Victim of Bad Face Lifts

Bad face lifts are probably the most major concern any woman has when considering getting a facelift.  We all know they exist– we’ve heard the horror stories, seen the pictures, and often know more than one person who it’s happened to.  So if you’re ready to make the move towards a more youthful, vibrant, and alive you, how can you make sure that you don’t end up being another victim of bad face lifts?

There are three things you need to do to make sure that you’ll be getting the results you want.  One, you’ll need to research and choose the right face lift procedure.  Two, you’ll need to select a top notch doctor.  And three, you should definitely make sure that you’ve looked into facelift alternatives and that the procedure that you’re considering really is what you need.  If you make sure to do all three of these things, you shouldn’t have to worry about bad face lifts.

Choosing the right procedure is very important.  Just because you know someone who had a certain kind of facelift and looks absolutely incredible doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for you.  Each different kind of facelift technique– both surgical and non-surgical– is suited for different areas of concern, and for different candidates.  Some techniques only work well for people with a light complexion, and others only help in the lower part of the face, and some are just best for creases around the eyes.  One of the most common causes of bad face lifts is when someone goes into a facelift procedure that’s not really right for her and her face, so choosing the right technique is a must in avoiding bad face lifts.

Making the right choice in a face lift surgeon is also vital.  Bad doctors give bad face lifts, and there’s simply no way around that.  Look for a surgeon who’s board certified and has lots of experience with the particular technique that you’re interested in.  A good doctor will also interview you extensively to make sure he knows exactly what you want and may give suggestions about other techniques that can help you achieve your goals.  Get real live references, and not just before and after pictures.  Doing an online search for your surgeon will also show you if there are any bad face lifts that people have reported getting from him.

Finally, trying out some face lift alternatives is a great way to avoid bad face lifts. While you might be certain that the only way to achieve the look you want is to actually have some sort of face lift procedure, that just might not be the case. There are some truly incredible face lift creams on the market today, and you may be very pleasantly surprised by the results. You might realize that you don’t need as complex a procedure as you thought you did, and that a less invasive or expensive technique will be sufficient. Or, having those crow lines and creases around your mouth disappear might give you such dramatic results that you realize you really don’t need a facelift after all.

Typical Symptoms of the Flu

Many people that have the flu actually misjudge it as being a cold since their symptoms are so tolerable so it can be confusing.

What Causes the Flu

It is important to understand that the influenza virus constantly changes and can mutate into a more severe or mild strain at any time. This allows it to infect someone’s immune system who has had a flu shot because their vaccination may not protect against what the strain has become.

The flu is one of the easiest illnesses you can catch because it is spread through contact or by even breathing in infected air. Therefore, if a person walking in front of you at the mall coughs or sneezes into the air and you walk through those tainted air particles, you can become infected. Alternatively, if that same person covers their mouth with their hand when they cough or sneeze and then touches a railing or elevator button that you touch after them, you have picked up the virus.

What are the Symptoms?

Nearly everyone who has the flu experiences a pretty high fever, children can see dangerous levels. This is almost always accompanied with a sore throat, fatigue and muscle aches. Most people describe this uncomfortable feeling as everything hurting. Headaches can also be present and there is a good chance that you will have a runny or stuffy nose.

The majority of the population who experiences these symptoms will recover within two weeks, others will develop pneumonia, which can result in death.

When are Symptoms an Emergency?

Every fever or sore throat is not considered an emergency situation. However, it is important that you do seek medical treatment if symptoms become severe or if you experience abdominal or chest pain, difficulty breathing, persistent vomiting, confusion or dizziness. Due to the scare of the swine flu, doctor’s offices and emergency rooms have been overwhelmed by individuals who have very mild influenza symptoms which takes time away from other patients who need attention more.

Additionally, symptoms of the flu in children can become serious quite fast so it is crucial that they are closely monitored. Your child should see a doctor if they are extremely irritable (more than average), not waking up, having a hard time breathing, not drinking liquids or have blue or pale skin. Children can become dangerously dehydrated pretty fast so this is always a concern with the flu.

Battery Cancer: How Sulfation Destroys Forklift Batteries And What You Can Do About It

Lead-acid industrial battery systems have been around for over 150 years and today’s batteries aren’t that different from the ones invented in 1859. Although these power cells are inexpensive and reliable, they eventually fall victim to a condition called sulfation.

How Lead-Acid Batteries Work

Lead-acid industrial battery systems are really pretty simple. Two plates are immersed in sulfuric acid: a negative plate of lead and a positive plate of lead dioxide. The cell provides power when the plates react with the sulfuric acid, producing deposits of lead sulfate on both terminals while generating a flow of electrons from the negative plate to the positive plate. The creation of lead sulfate is called sulfation.

When you recharge a power cell, you reverse this chemical reaction. The electrons flow in the other direction and the lead sulfate breaks down into sulfate ions and lead or lead dioxide. In the ideal world of a college physics class this process continues forever as the reaction is completely efficient. However in real life a small amount of sulfation remains after each recharge cycle, especially if not charged to full capacity, and the buildup eventually prevents the unit from holding a charge.

Reversible And Permanent Sulfation

Sulfation is not itself a bad thing. It is a normal part of the operation of industrial battery systems and the formation of these sulfur compounds is how the cell releases its stored power. Problems arise when a battery is not adequately recharged, preventing the sulfur compounds from breaking down completely. If the unit goes too long without a charge the small sulfate crystals, known as reversible or soft sulfation, evolve to larger and more stable sulfate crystals called hard sulfation.

Reversible sulfation is, as you might have guessed, reversible. If you overcharge a battery that has a reduced ability to hold a charge, you can break down the soft sulfation crystals and restore much of the cell’s function. However hard sulfation cannot be removed and will eventually require replacement of the power cell.

Preventing Sulfation

There is no way to make lead-acid industrial battery systems last forever, but you can prolong their lives by caring for them properly. The number one way to minimize sulfation deposits is to fully recharge batteries when they are drained. Power cells typically require a 16-hour recharge and yet many forklift fleets charge them only for 8 hours, or one shift, in order to keep more trucks in service.

A better option is to stock extra batteries and physically remove them for recharging rather than having the trucks sit idle during the recharge process. This allows you to keep your forklifts in operation 24/7 while giving the batteries the full 16+ hour charge and slowing down sulfation.

Take care of your industrial battery systems and they will take care of you. Practice proper maintenance and you will get more life from your power cells and save money on fleet expenses.

Camping Tips For Seniors – Looking For an Economic Way to Travel

More and more seniors are looking to travel with economical ways to do just that. After all, this is the golden years and what better way to travel then trying your hand at camping. Here are five tips to get you started in camping.

First, research campgrounds of areas that you may want to visit. To do that here are a couple of websites that may help you decide on where to go on your next adventure. One site I would suggest is the National Park Service and the other site is Reserve America. Each site is unique in giving information about camping by state, campsite maps, locate by activity and camping gear suggestions.

Secondly, you ask yourself what I would camp in. Of course, owning a RV would be nice and a more comfortable way to travel. That is something you can think about later if you plan on doing a lot of camping in the future. Even so, there is nothing wrong to begin your camping experiences in a decent tent at a more affordable price. Tents come in all sizes and shapes try to find the right one that will meet your needs. You can find them on line or better yet would be to see them in person at a sporting goods store that sells tents. Therefore, you would get a better perspective of the size that you would need. Another thought is you do not have to sleep on the ground if you have an aero bed and a big enough tent it will fit nicely.

Thirdly, the next area of concern is camping equipment. Everything from a camp stove, sleeping bag, cookware, and coolers. Believe it or not you may already have a lot of these items available to you. However, one of the most important items would be a camp stove to cook on. Car camping stoves work very efficiently to cook up sumptuous meals just like home. You can even use the pots and pans you have at home to begin your camp kitchen supplies.

Next, think about planning your meals a head of time. Preparing them at home not only will save time but money as well. Look in your cupboards and refrigerator for smaller items such as coffee, graham crackers, mustard, ketchup, mayo, and seasonings. Granted, look for items missed from your checklist on the road but try local vendors for fresh fruits and vegetables and discount stores instead. Why not ask about senior discounts as well. In addition, purchase blocked ice for the cooler it will last longer.

Lastly, look into a National Park Pass for seniors. They cost you $10.00 dollars, which will give you some wonderful price breaks in camping and other amenities. If you are 62 years of age or older and proof of age you may buy these passes at any national park. Check out this website for more information on this pass http://store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html. Happy travels!

An Easy, Quick Recipe – Baked Ham Steak With Pineapple

Are you often rushed in the evenings? Finding it hard to get dinner on the table and still have time for the important things in life? A few easy quick recipes, combined with a little planning will make cooking dinner a pleasure again.

Look for recipes that are simple –with minimum preparation, then let your oven or slow cooker do the work. This recipe features an easy preparation, then cooks quickly in only 20 minutes in the oven while you fix a salad and warm some dinner rolls. Baked Ham Steak with Pineapple is an old favorite that can easily and quickly solve tonight’s dinner crisis.

You will find these pre-sliced ham steaks vacuum packed in the meat department of your grocery. Sizes range from 1 to 2 pounds. This recipe calls for 1 1/2 pound, but choose a steak that will serve your family. If it is much smaller, then cook for a little less time. This serves 4 generously.

Baked Ham Steak with Pineapple

1 1/2 pound ham steak

1 can pineapple rings

brown sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Trim off or slice through the fat on the edge of the ham in several places to prevent curling in the pan.

3. Place the ham steak in a shallow ovenproof pan and place the pineapple slices on top. Pour the pineapple juice over all.

4. Place the ham steak in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (uncovered).

5. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven up to broil.

6. Baste the ham with the pan juices. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over the pineapple slices and dust with cinnamon.

7. Return to oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the pineapple is lightly browned. Serve each ham steak with a pineapple slice.

Serve with a tossed salad and dinner rolls for an easy quick dinner recipe solution. I hope that this menu will find its way onto your table soon.

Auto Body Repair Estimates Demystified – The 5 Most Common Items on a Repair Estimate

So you’ve decided to get an estimate from a local body shop. These days, most body shops will use a computerized estimating software to write your estimate. If the shop you have chosen does not use a computer to write your estimate that should be cause for concern. This is not meant as a jab at those long time owners and technicians and I am not implying they are “backward” or “luddites” or ignorant. Its more for accountability. Computerized software is now standard in our industry and insures a more uniform, unbiased and accurate appraisal for how long things take to repair. For instance, I was talking to a shop owner just a couple days ago who was remembering with fondness the good old days when he would routinely get 15+ labor hours to repair frames on cars that nowadays he only gets 4-5 hours on. The truth is however that 4-5 is the more accurate and fair rate (depending on the job of course it could be more or less). And since consumers and insurance companies are billed by the hours on an estimate the old days of falsely inflating hours are gone.

When it comes to auto body repair the vast majority of line items on an estimate will be one of 5 things:

1. R & I. This is shorthand for “remove and install” and means to take something off your car and then to re-install it later. Parts that are not damaged may need to be temporarily removed to access another part that was damaged or more often so the panel it is taken off of can painted properly. For instance, say your electric motor for your window stops working. The interior trim panel will need to be temporarily removed for to gain access to the motor to see if it can be repaired (not likely!) or replaced. Or perhaps a molding needs to be removed from your door before it is painted only to be put back on later when the paint dries. One caution here is that if panels are being painted and you’re not being charged for R & I the shop may be taping them up which can actually cause peeling or flaking months or years later. So don’t be surprised if for instance a headlight needs to be removed to properly paint a fender. You should actually be more concerned if its not. FYI: R & I times are typically set to industry standards by estimating software and are not discretionary.

2. Repair. Repair (aka ‘Rpr’) is the most discretionary item on an estimate and typically the amount of time it takes to repair something will be underlined or asterisk-ed (*) to indicate this. This is where an insurance adjuster might say a dent will take 3 hours to fix and a technician might say it will take 4. There’s no hard and fast rule here and this needs to be negotiated between insurance adjusters, shop estimators and possibly even the technicians doing the job. My dad who has been in the industry almost 40 years taught me a long time ago that a dent which is about the size of a man’s fist should take about 3 hours to repair. From there you can adjust up or done for various things like a body line that runs through the dent (add an hour) or the dent has no creases and is accessible from the inside and therefore can be mostly popped out (subtract time). The reason these times are so important is that insurance companies are paying shops based on the number of hours on the estimate.

3. Replace. Replacing parts, sometimes shorthanded to ‘repl,’ is not a discretionary item on an estimate and is governed by industry standards or what shop folks call “book time.” If the book/software says it takes 3.5 hours to replace that bumper then that is what the insurance company will pay. No more and no less. It is pretty well standardized with only slight variations depending on which software is used and then it only differs by very little.

4. Sublet. Sometimes there are things that an auto body shop will send to someone else (typically a mechanic who takes care of more under the hood items) to perform and this is categorized as sublet. Popular things for shops to sublet out are air conditioner recharging and 4 wheel alignments when the suspension is damaged. The reason this is sent out typically is that the equipment and space required for these operations are not cost effective for a body shop. And when it comes to deeper engine repair, oil and paint don’t mix! Oil and grease can quickly ruin a paint job. So, shops that say they can do “everything” typically can’t do everything well.

5. Miscellaneous. Under this category will go small charges like “hazardous waste removal” (about once a month we pay someone to pick up and dispose of our hazardous waste in the safest way possible) and “car cover for overspray” which pays for paper, tape and plastic to cover the vehicle during the painting process so paint over spray doesn’t go all over the windows or adjacent panels.

Sadie "The Goat" Farrell – The Queen of the Waterfront

Volume 3 – Mobsters – Farrell, Sadie “The Goat” – The Queen of the Waterfront

She was not as vicious with her claws as the Dead Rabbits’ Hellcat Maggie. Nor as big and strong as an Amazon riverfront bouncer named Gallus Mag. But Sadie “The Goat” Farrell made more money than both women combined when she was the “Queen of the New York Waterfront.”

Sadie Farrell was born and raised in the slums of the Fourth Ward near the East River. As a young girl she hung around with street hustlers and thieves. Slight of built, but mean and vicious, Sadie usually worked the streets around the docks in concert with a male companion, who gave her the muscle backup she needed. When a mark emerged drunk from one of the local dives, Sadie would take a running start, then ram the top of her head into the victim’s stomach.

This was a dangerous maneuver, since sometimes the person delivering the headbutt does more damage to themselves than to the intended victim. But Sadie was a pro, and she made sure only the top of her head made contact with the victim’s gut, and not sensitive areas like her nose and forehead. The headbutt stopped the victim in his tracks, and as soon as he turned his attention to Sadie, her male companion used a slingshot to propel a rock to the side of the victim’s head. If that didn’t work, a bat or a sap always did the trick. Then Sadie and her partner would take everything of value from the unconscious mark, even his shirt, pants and shoes. This was small-time work for Sadie, but it still puffed up her reputation on the East Side docks.

One day, Sadie made the mistake of having one too many belts in the Hole-in-the-Wall bar on Dover Street, just two blocks from the East River. The bouncer at the Hole-in-the-Wall was a six-foot female creature from England named Gallus Mag. Mag patrolled the bar with a small bat strapped to her wrist, which she was not reticent to use on unruly customers. If after a few whacks on the head the drunk was still feisty, Mag would then wrap him in a headlock, then bite off one of his ears, before she flung him out the front door. The ear would then go into a jug of alcohol, which Mag proudly displayed behind the bar. The jars filled with ears behind the bar was called “Gallus Mag’s Trophy Case.”

Sadie being Irish and Mag being from England was an accident waiting to happen. It’s not certain who started the slurs first, but it’s a good bet it was Sadie, and that was not a smart thing to do. Mag, who was twice Sadie’s size, bopped Sadie on the head a few times with the bat, but Sadie still flailed away at Mag with a vengeance.

Another not a smart thing to do.

Mag enveloped Sadie’s head with her massive arms, and in a flash, one of Sadie’s ears had been detached from the side of her head. Mag deposited Sadie on her rump on Dover Street, then deposited Sadie’s ear in an alcohol-filled jug, and proudly displayed it behind the bar. Mag even scripted on the jug, “Sadie the Goat’s Ear.”

Disgraced and disheartened, Sadie took her show on the road and wound up on the West Side docks, clear around to other side of Manhattan from her former haunts. One day while wandering around trying to figure out how to make a score, Sadie witnessed members of the Charlton Street Gang unsuccessfully attempting to board a small sloop anchored in the middle of the North River (now called the Hudson River). The Charlton Street Gang was so inept and disorganized, the ship’s crew had no trouble beating them back and beating them up in the process. Sadie figured with her expert direction, the gang would do much better than before if she were the boss. So Sadie helped the gang members lick their wounds, and then convinced them with her brains and their brawn, they could make a very successful team indeed.

A few days later, with Sadie leading the gang, they were able to hijack a much larger sloop, and with the “Jolly Roger” (skull and crossbones) flying from the masthead, Captain Sadie led the gang up and down the North and Harlem Rivers, up to Poughkeepsie and beyond. They raided small villages; robbing poor people’s farm houses and the riverside mansion of the rich. Because ocean liners and major shipping vessels were so well-protected, Sadie and her crew concentrated on raiding smaller up-river merchant ships instead.

Sadie was so into her “River Pirate” routine, she began reading voraciously on pirate history and pirate lore. After discovering that pirates had once kidnapped Julius Caesar, she ordered her crew to go on a kidnapping spree. In the spirit of old pirate traditions, some true, some contrived, Sadie even forced several members of her own gang to walk the plank if they did not do exactly as she demanded.

For several months, Sadie and her crew were extremely successful in their endeavors. They stashed their booty in several hiding places, until they could dispose of it for cold, hard cash, though the various fences along the North and East Rivers. One of these fences was Marm Mandelbaum, who through her store on Clinton Street, was said to be the largest fence on the entire east coast of America.

But all good things must come to an end.

After several home owners were murdered by Sadie and Charlton Street Gang, the upstate Hudson Valley residents banded together and formed a force of resistance. The farm folk ambushed the Charlton Street Gang as it came ashore, and police patrolling New York’s harbor stopped them from pillaging the small merchant ships on the North River. Soon, so many gang member were killed, Sadie was forced to abandon her pirating ways. What was left of the Charlton Street Gang went back to the West Side docks, and soon they completely disbanded.

Sadie decided to return to her old haunts in the Fourth Ward, where she was now hailed as the “Queen of the Waterfront.” With the cash she had earned from her pirating days, Sadie opened up her own gin mill.

Soon after Sadie’s return to the East Side docks, the Hole-in-the-Wall bar was the site of seven murders in just two months. As a result, the New York City police shut down the Hole-in-the-Wall bar for good. But before last call at the Hole-in-the-Wall, Sadie visited Gallus Mag. The two girls made up, and Mag was so gracious, she went behind the bar, retrieved Sadie’s pickled ear, and returned it to its rightful owner.

Sadie wore her severed ear in a locket around her neck for the rest of her life.

How to Win the CBN/NYSC Annual Venture Prize Competition

This competition is an initiative of the CBN as part of its corporate social responsibility and in consonance with the principle of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). It is designed to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the youth corps members during their service year and to encourage them to imbibe entrepreneurial concepts and ideas. The Annual Venture Prize Competition is majorly aimed at reducing the dependence on white collar jobs which would stimulate economic growth, development of local technology and generation of employment.

It is open to only serving corps members in every batch of a given year. The Award is in two categories (State/National) and it covers all legal business concepts except commerce. Interested corpers are expected to submit a business proposal to the state level for critical examination by the state Inter-Agency Selection Committee where three winners usually emerge. The prize money for the state awards is;

– 1st Prize: N200,000.00

– 2nd Prize: N150,000.00

– 3rd Prize: N100,000.00

Ten best proposals from each Development Finance Office are sent to the Department and subjected to further examination by the National Selection Committee to select the national winners which has the following prize money tied to it.

– 1st Prize: N1,000,000.00

– 2nd Prize: N750,000.00

– 3rd Prize: N500,000.00

All winners will be given Certificates of Merit, linked to banks to sponsor their projects and invited to participate at a course at any of the Entrepreneurship Development Centers (EDCs).

Annual Venture Prize Competition draft procedure.

Identify a Need or Problem

For you to be a participant of this millionaire making award you must have a business concept or idea. There must be a need or market you are willing to satisfy. Your business idea might be innovative or an improvement on an existing concern which would add value to the life of the people.

Carryout an In-Depth Business Analysis

You must engage in a critical analysis of the business. The profitability, durability and legality of the business must be ascertained. You must have a good understanding of the proposed business.

Create a Marketable and Exceptional Business Plan/ Feasibility Report

After you have ascertained that the business idea is viable and profitable, compose a winning business plan. The plan must be written according to the statutory format. The format is as follows:

1. Business Plan and Corporate Directive ( Vision, Mission and Objectives, etc)

2. Operational Strategies ( Uniqueness of the Organization)

3. Strategic Plan and Objectives

4. Projected Outreach, Market Share and Marketing Strategy

5. Financial Projection/ Strategy

6. Sustainability Strategy

7. SWOT Analysis

8. Risk Identification and Mitigation Strategies

9. Economic and Social Justification – Business Benefits to the Society

10. Environmental/ Infrastructural Analysis (Assessment of the likely Impact of Environmental Factors of the Proposal)

11. Management Structure, etc.

Your business plan is your representative. You will not be there when it will be examined. In fact, your passport to the award process is your feasibility report. Therefore you must ensure that you business plan is outstanding.

If you don’t know how to write one, contact someone that is fully skilful in writing business plans. If you are hiring a professional to assist you in writing the plan, ensure that you are part of the preparation process. That is; be part of the preparation process. This is to enable you learn and understand everything in the report.

It is not advisable to hire a professional that is far from you. This is true because, he will just give you a finished work without educating you. You might be asked to defend the proposal before the Committee.

You can also make your business plan unique by adding pictures, PowerPoint slides and audiovisual CDs to make your business points clearer.

Submit Proposal

Ensure you submit your proposal within the stipulated time. It should be submitted to either the Head, Development Finance Office, in the branch of the CBN in the state of service or to the Director, Development Finance Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Corporate Headquarters, Abuja. Also ensure that the proposal carry your NYSC call-up number, contact address and phone number. Make sure you follow-up the proposal by visiting the Committee office to get information. You must also listen to daily news and read current dailies to get new hints as regards to the Annual Prize Competition.

Components of a Winning Proposal

– The business starting capital must be from one hundred thousand to a million naira: Given that the lowest prize money is N 100,000.00 and the highest is N1, 000,000.00 let your business be the type that can be started with the minimum of the least prize money and the maximum of the highest prize.

– The business must be legal: There are businesses that are illegal in Nigeria. Ensure you go to Corporate Affairs Commission to get the full lists of legal business. Also there are some goods that are contraband in Nigeria.

– The business must be resident in Nigeria: The sole aim of this programme is to boast the economy of Nigeria and not foreign countries. Therefore, the business must be located in Nigeria.

– The business must have the tendency of employing Nigerian citizens: The business must have the capacity of employing you and other unemployed Nigerians

– You must prove that you will not abandon the business for a white collar job: This competition is solely for entrepreneurs. Consequently, if you have the intention of starting the business with the intention of abandoning it immediately you secure a white collar job, this programme is not for you. It is strictly for passionate entrepreneurs.

– You must prove that the business would be profitable. One of the goals of this initiative is to Stimulate economic growth. Therefore, the proposal must show that you business has the capacity of making profit.

– Your proposal will receive massive attention when it is geared towards using and develop local technology.

– This programme covers all business concepts except commerce. Commercial activities are very risky. Your business idea must not be to buy and sell of finished goods. Rather it should be able to produce better goods at a competitive price and time.

– The cost of your products must be competitive: Your goods or services must be exceptional but affordable.

– Your business idea must contain something good that your competitor are not doing or are not doing well.

– Your proposal will scale-through if your business is using locally produced raw materials

Nordictrack ACT Elliptical Trainer Review – A Good Buy For You?

Thinking about the Nordictrack ACT elliptical? Wondering if it’s a good buy for you?

The ACT trainer has been a popular elliptical for over 4 years now – and Nordictrack usually updates it every few years.

The main advantage of the Nordictrack ACT is that it’s what’s known as a “center drive” elliptical. This means that instead of 1 large flywheel either out front or in back of the footpedals, you get two smaller flywheels on either side of the footpedals.

This has several benefits:

#1. You Stand More Upright On the Pedals

This more upright position tends to feel more comfortable for most people. And because you’re not leaning as much on the handrails, you may also end up burning more calories (the machine is not shouldering as much of your weight).

#2. Closer Footpedals

The pedals tend to be placed closer together with this design – which lessens the strain on your hips. This position tends to more closely mimic the natural running motion of your legs – and it feels more comfortable.

You may notice this especially if you plan on doing long workouts – which can put more of a strain on the hips.

#3. More Compact

The Nordictrack ACT takes up less space than a front or rear-drive elliptical. It’s more of a box footprint and less of a long rectangle. So if you have a smaller workout area in your home this might be a good option for you.

#4. Lower Step-On Height

Again, because of the design, these ellipticals have a lower step on height which is more comfortable for people who may not have the best footing or coordination.

The ACT trainer also has some advantages beyond the center drive design as well including:

#1. Adjustable Footpedals

You can choose from 3 different toe-heel angles to find the right fit for you (or anyone else in your home).

#2. Adjustable Stride

You can choose from 3 different stride lengths – 18, 20 and 22 inches. Again, this is a great way to customize the feel of your workout since you can choose the most comfortable fit for you.

#3. Bright Backlit Console

The console on the ACT is bright and backlit with a scrolling message board that leads you through your workout.

You also get a bracket above the console to fit your tablet. So you can watch your favourite shows or go online as you workout.

So those are some of the main benefits of the ACT elliptical. You should know that there are currently 3 different models on the market – the ACT, ACT 7 and ACT 10.

Each one has the same basic design. But the ACT 7 and the ACT 10 have a few more upgraded entertainment options. The ACT elliptical however comes in (usually) under $1000 – which makes it very popular with buyers on a budget.

So it really depends on what you’re looking for.

No matter what you decide to do, remember to take your time, listen to your body and only do what you can while working out. Good luck!

What Is The Purpose Of Stair Nosing?

Many people often wonder why they need to install stair nosing in their homes or businesses – what is the point of it? It actually performs a number of functions – apart from the fact that it works to make your staircase safe, the nosing is very aesthetically pleasing. If you still cannot see the benefit in installing these sorts of strips on your stairs and see it as a waste of money, we hope that, by the end of this article, you have been convinced.

These days, most staircases are fitted with a stair nosing. You will actually find it extremely difficult to find one that hasn’t been fitted with 1 inch wide strips of material that are designed to provide your feet with more grip as you traverse between the floors of a building. In many commercial applications, it is actually required that you have a nosing, otherwise the stairs will not comply with codes and regulations.

There is a wide range of materials that can be used for stair nosing, some of the most popular in the home being carpet (which often covers the entire tread, but does work to provide additional grip) and metal. In businesses, you are likely to find metal and even plastic-based nosings that have been designed to provide as much grip as possible. This gives you a wide variety of materials to choose from to ensure that your stairs are safe.

One of the best ways to show you how important stair nosing is to your home or business is to have you walk up and down a staircase that doesn’t have nosing and then to walk up and down one that does. The flights should have the same sort of tread and riser sizes to ensure that you are able to compare the two experiences properly. Do you notice any sort of difference? Does one flight feel a little safer or more stable than the other?

So, whilst stair nosings are required to make your home or business as safe as possible, they are also extremely useful in improving the appearance of the building. If you are having trouble choosing a nosing material that suits your needs (as some are better suited to outdoor applications and others to indoor) make sure that you speak with a stair specialist for advice. Once the material is installed, you’ll wonder why you ever doubted it.

Digital Multimeters – A Look at Essential Parts and Basic Functions

A digital multimeter is a critical and indispensable component of the electrical technician’s toolbox. Companies such as Fluke, Mastech, Tektronix, and Extech to name a few manufacture popular brands of these devices.

These electrical measuring tools range in price from as little as $10 for the most basic models to around $5000 for top of the line units. Regardless of the make or cost, digital multimeters share many of the same functions. This article provides a brief overview of the essential parts and basic function of the typical multimeter.


A digital multimeter generally has a large and intuitive display that is simple to use and easy to read. Most displays have a four digit display, with the first being a 0 or 1, with a +/- indicator. Some units may also have additional displays, such as an AC/DC readout.


All digital multimeters have two connections for the probe; some models may have three, four or more. Connectors are attached to leads that are flexible, well insulated, and terminate with connectors that are appropriate for the particular meter.

The main connectors on these devices include:

1. Common connector, which is used for all measurements. The negative (black) lead probe is usually attached to the common connection.

2. Voltage, ohms, and frequency connector. This connector is used for most types of measurements. This connector accepts the red probe.

3. Amperage connector. Used for measuring amps (current), this connector also takes the red probe.

The Main Switch

Every electrical measuring device needs a switch to turn the device on and off. Digital Multimeters have one main switch used for that purpose. The main switch is normally a single rotary switch that is used to turn on the power and select the type of measurement that will be made.

Other Features

In addition to the above standard parts of the typical digital multimeter, there may be many other features on specific models made by different companies, such as additional displays and controls. Some multimeters include functions for specialized applications, such as a probe for measuring temperature, scales for measurement of decibels, capacitance, transistor gain, motor windings resistance, wiring continuity, insulation tests, and so forth.

Most manufacturers keep devices fairly simple however, and offer a standard layout that is common to all their products. This standard layout has been the norm for multimeters for many years and will likely be common for the foreseeable future – barring any new revolutionary design.

In conclusion, it is probably safe to say that whatever form these essential electrical measuring devices take in the time to come, they are certain to be found in every electrician’s tool kit for many years to come.