How Egg Cookers Work

Almost everyone loves to eat eggs. In fact, we even have different preferences with the way we want our eggs. Hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, scrambled… there are several ways to cook eggs. If you want a great kitchen helper to help you cook eggs to suit all of your family’s taste, then an egg cooker will be your best bet. It will help you to perfectly cook eggs according to the different preferences of your family. So how do egg cookers work?

There are actually several kinds of egg cookers and how they look can greatly differ. Even if some of them serve different purposes, and even if they look totally different, most of them work on the same principle. Electric cookers usually have a heating element hidden in its base. They also have a water reservoir and they cook the egg through steam. The consistency of the egg will depend on how much water you use. You can easily choose the amount of water either through a water level gauge or through a measuring cup that comes with it.

To help you understand egg cookers better, here is a rundown on the two commonly used kinds of cookers:

• Countertop Egg Cookers – These are the most advanced and most elegant of the cooker family. They usually have inserts for steaming and for poaching eggs. Some models even allow you to cook eggs of different consistencies at the same time. Isn’t that great? This is especially useful if you want to cook a combination of hard, soft and medium boiled eggs. Counter top cookers also have electronic timers and alarms so you won’t need to watch over your eggs. Some of them even have a delay timer and a keep warm function so you can prepare the eggs ahead of time. Plus some of them can also double as a food steamer.

• Microwave Egg Cooker – These cookers really come in handy especially if you already have a microwave oven. They can cook faster than countertop cookers and most of them are easier to clean; however, every set of eggs you cook will be of the same consistency. There are several kinds of microwave cookers and they will let you poach, boil, scramble, meurette or coquette eggs. You may have to purchase different ones but don’t worry because most of them are quite affordable.

The choice is up to you. Microwave egg cookers and countertop electric egg cookers can both deliver on perfectly cooking eggs, but they do have some advantages over each other. If you want to save money, then you can purchase only one type of cooker. However, they are both very affordable so I will encourage you into getting both. The best combination for me is to get these: 1) a countertop cooker that can boil and poach eggs plus along with steam meat and vegetables, and 2) different microwave cookers for making omelletes, coquettes and meurettes. You don’t have to get a microwave cooker for poaching and boiling eggs if you already have the countertop one, but if you want to get them as well, go ahead.

Cooking eggs has never been easier and more convenient with the invention of egg cookers. Aside from the convenience they bring, they also promote a healthy diet. You can enjoy a healthy egg dish anytime you wish, even if you are in hurry.

A Brief Overview of the Several Types of Car Grills

It is important to note that a car grille serves several purposes apart from enhancing vehicle aesthetics. These durable plastic or metallic panels not only shield the engine compartments from the rocks, debris and dirt of the road, but they also keep the engine panel cool by letting the air pass through.

The grille of car often goes unnoticed by many, but it is actually the most visually appealing part of a car after the wheels, lights and front panel. It is one of those distinct sections of a car that differentiates it from its peers and as such making strategic choices while opting for a custom car grille proves sensible indeed. Now, let us have a quick look at the several types of car grilles out there that deserves a mention.

• Mesh Grilles

Luxury and sleek design are the couple of distinct aspects that make mesh grilles a highly preferable choice. These front panels are actually thin strips of plastic or metal which are interwoven to create visually appealing patterns. Manufacturing of mesh grilles involves two specific approaches, either by casting the strips or punched out of a metal sheet, as and when applicable. Car owners who are looking to give a distinct look to the vehicle can consider opting for these grilles because they have a variety of patterns unlike the other counterparts. Overall, these panels come in simple designs and a range of patterns. This is what makes them an ideal option for stylish and luxurious cars.

• Billet Grilles

Generally thick strips of plastic and metal serve as the most prominent material of usage while manufacturing billet grilles. Vertical or horizontal placement of the metal or plastic bars actually creates the distinct look. It is important to note that the structural orientation of the overall frame around the metal bars actually interprets a different style. While the vertical style implies luxury, the horizontal one actually portrays masculinity and goes well with the big pick-up trucks and fast sports car. The term billet actually refers to a bar of metals, while many people actually confuse it with simple aluminum construction.

• Custom Grilles

Custom grilles often serve as a superior option than the OEM parts owing to the flexibility and design they offer. These grilles promote better performance and durability, thus, serving as an effective alternative of the stock parts. There are several manufacturers that offer these grilles; however, one should go for the one that promises quality.

When it comes to selecting a grille, a vehicle owner should definitely consider both style and functionality, to make sure better vehicle performance.

20 Conditioning Exercises You Can Do at Home

Doing an effective whole body conditioning and weight loss workout can be done entirely at home without any fancy equipment. A couple of dumbbells is all you will need. (Even if you don’t have dumbbells there is usually something lying around the house that is heavy enough to substitute in for them)

Here is a list of 20 exercises you can do right in your own home for a great whole body conditioning and fat loss workout.


Group 1:

Bodyweight Squats

Bulgarian Split Squats


Prisoner Squat

Reverse Lunge

Step Ups

One Leg “Get Ups”

Group 2:

Push Ups

Push Up and Point

Mountain Climbers

Decline Push Ups

Push Ups/Stick Ups

Step Up and Press

Squat and Press

Group 3:


Side Plank

Curl and Press

One Arm Rows

Bird Dogs

One Leg Deadlifts

Pick one exercise from each group and do them all back to back for a mini circuit of 3 exercises. Do each exercise for a timed interval of 10 seconds for a total of 30 seconds per mini circuit.

As you get better at them work up to doing each exercise for 20 seconds for a total of 60 seconds per mini circuit.

Take 30-60 seconds rest between mini circuits.

For beginners do a total of 3 mini circuits to start. Working up to 4 or 5 as you get better at them.

Once you’re ready to move to the next level add a second mini circuit by choose 3 different exercises (one from each grouping). Do your second mini circuit with the same time of work to rest ratio as your fist.

If you feel you are already at an advanced level you can add one or two more mini circuits up to a total of 4 mini circuits. These 20 exercises are just an example of what is possible, there are dozens more that would work in this mini circuit style, you can incorporate any exercise that you like into these mini circuits. This style of workout is a great complete whole body conditioning and fat loss program you can do right at home in under 45 minutes. I encourage you to give it a try and see that you can get a great workout done right in your own living room.

Where to Get Free Business Plan Samples

A lot of people go online to find free business plan samples to "save time" so that they do not have to "do all the writing". My advice is watch out!

Your plan is supposed to be your plan!

My experience with the prewritten plans is that most people get lazy with them. After they cut and paste their business name in and do a little customizing of the first few pages, they tend to skip changing the rest. This defeats the purpose of doing a business plan in the first place which is to help you plan (it's in the name, right?) How your business is going to operate successfully.

If you cut out the planning stage and do not figure out how your business is going to make it, you really hurt your chances of that happening.

Another big problem with prewritten plans is people forget to take out some stuff that does not apply. Then, inevitably, at a presentation or meeting they get asked about it.

Imagine how embarrassing it is to have to explain that there is something in your plan you did not even realize was there! It certainly does not inspire confidence in the people you are trying to pry money out of when you do not even know what's in your business plan!

Even if you find a plan that seems close to what yours is going to be, the research you have to do and the specifics that apply to your business are going to be significantly different. The time saved is going to be next to nothing compared to just simply creating your own plan.

The best approach is to use a good program that helps you write your own plan with the information about your business as quickly and efficiently as possible and then also provides you with the opportunity to get help and a review so you can be sure your plan came out the best it can be and it actually helps you launch your business instead of just copying someone else's.

Church Construction and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. The ADA was created, in part, to ensure that a person in a wheelchair is able to move from their car into a building, and access all public areas of the building without assistance. Most churches constructed prior to 1990 did not meet the design requirements of the ADA. Virtually every church, therefore, will need to consider the ADA when renovating existing facilities or building a new church.

Churches are finding that when they plan a building addition or renovation, local authorities will require the church to upgrade most, if not all, of their existing facilities to the ADA codes. Let’s look at an overview of some ADA requirements.

All required emergency exits must be wheelchair accessible with sidewalks out to the parking areas. Doors must be at least 3′ wide with lever handles or panic bars. Any changes in elevation must be made by means of ramps of specific design or approved elevators. About 2% of the parking spaces should be 8′ wide with 5′ access lanes between spaces. Reserved space must be provided in the sanctuary for wheelchairs equal to two percent of the total seating. Restrooms must have a 5′ x 5′ stall with out-swinging door, grab bars, handicap toilet and sink.

Some of the ADA is subject to local interpretation. Some states interpret public areas to include the platform and baptistery areas. In some states, all restrooms must meet ADA codes, including those in nurseries or classrooms. Some states require fire alarms to be visible as well as audible.

Some jurisdictions are requiring ramps or lifts to the platform, choir and baptismal areas from inside the building. Access to a raised platform from an outside entrance may not be approved in some areas. The maximum slope of ramps is 1″ in 12″ with a rest landing every 30 feet. A platform 36 inches high would require a 39′ long ramp. The ramp should also have a handrail. An elevator is usually required for access to upper floors and basements; with a possible exception for a second-floor that contains only balcony seating.

Every restroom should have at least one handicap accessible toilet and sink. The restroom should have a 5′ diameter clear area for turning a wheelchair. All doors should be at least 36″ wide and corridors should be at least 5′ wide, with 16″ of wall area adjacent to the door handle. A sanctuary seating 500 should have six designated areas for wheelchairs plus one additional wheelchair space for each additional 100 seats.

Any church will benefit by making their building more accessible to the elderly and disabled. Remember, however, any renovation work involving the structural, electrical or mechanical systems of your church will probably require a building permit.

Professional Staircase Accents And Railings

Staircases are much more than just steps and access routes. In fact, they are an essential part of any home decor or design. While most residences feature wooden banisters and railings, others showcase more contemporary and unique designs. This includes metallic accents, along with stained designs and especially glass components

In recent years, several homeowners have installed glass balustrades in their properties. These units are designed to refortify staircases with more durable components. Many customers have said that these products are an economic alternative to traditional wood banisters and railings. The choice, of course, is yours to consider or reject when opting to remodel or renovate your stairway.

These structures are also said to illuminate home or office lighting systems. Some customers, however, have mentioned that these products are no different than generic windows. As a result, it is essential to conduct adequate research before installing any of these accents or enhancements. This includes reviewing customer testimonials on the Web, along with price comparisons and industry reviews.

Glass railings are supposed to enhance any interior design. In fact, manufacturers consistently claim that they can match any existing decor or theme. While this might be true, the ultimate judge is of course the customer. If opting to enhance railings, keep in mind that not all products are designed to correlate with your existing theme. No truer is this then when it comes to abstract or stained pieces, which may throw off any traditional design or essence.

If you are determined to go with these units, local companies are always available. While they have installed a range of items for countless homes and properties, you must consult with them before agreeing to any job. For example: you may simply want dividers or sectional pieces for stairways and rooms. Local contractors, however, may try to lure you into other items that you may not need. This is why its imperative to discuss all your ideas and goals before going ahead with any installation.

According to industry experts, balustrades can also be done on outdoor patios and decks. The process is somewhat intricate, however, the objective is simply to reinforce existing components. At the same time, old or outdated wood divisions can entirely be replaced with glassy ones. The main goal of these installations is to remove any divisions within the existing designs. This includes frames and panes that make it difficult to get a clear and crystal view of the surroundings.

For homeowners looking to protect their pools, there are external dividers available. While they do protect pools from debris and weather elements, most installations are to secure convenient entrance and exit paths to and from these outdoor structures. At the same time, full enclosures have doors that offer access to and from living or other connected rooms.

Glassy enhancements are said to make rooms and areas look classy. However, there are several things a homeowner must keep in mind before adding these glass balustrade items. For one, there are units that only have plain sheets, while others resemble cubed blocks that are mainly used in Jacuzzi settings. The decision will be yours to make when it comes to which brands and products you feel will best meet your needs.

The Law of Attraction and Other Unexpected Surprises

I have always been a believer in the Law of Attraction, that is to say that I was aware of my ability manifest what I gave attention and acted upon. I also believe that when I feel good (clear conscience) about my decisions that things not only will work out – they will be work out well for everyone. My confidence in this law goes beyond knowing that my thoughts will create what I desire. My thoughts will also draw to me experiences that my soul needs to grow. The following story about how a small disaster was actually just what I needed to create a successful business.

I had just finished that last concrete pour on a large stamped concrete project for a wealthy family in an exclusive area. The work included a backyard patio, the front porch, walk and long driveway. We poured the last section of driveway, which connected to the street. I set up barricades at the street to safeguard the work before heading home. This was the last pour on the project and it went well. I was quite satisfied. However when I arrived the following morning to do the final detailing on the job I discovered that a brief and localized rain shower had damaged a very small yet visible part of the fresh concrete. All the last section was beautiful, except this one small area where the rain marred the surface. The entire job had gone well and the work was beautiful. I wondered, “How could this happen”? I felt sick to my stomach. It hadn’t rained at my house just a few miles away! I felt like a victim.

My mind raced as I explored several thoughts searching for a solution. Maybe the owner would not notice. What about people driving by? They might notice only the imperfection never knowing the rest of the work was perfect. Maybe I could patch the damaged area; it would be fast and cheap. But what if it didn’t match? I still felt the knot in my stomach. I pursued another line of thinking. Removing the entire last section would be more expensive, but it would mean that everything would match. The entire project then would be impeccable. I breathed and this slowed my thinking down. I mentally calculated the cost of the replacement: the labor; the concrete; the hassles of calling other customers to say I wouldn’t be there when I said. I figured the profits from the work I had scheduled for the following two weeks and resolved that there was more than enough profit on this job and even more in the next two weeks. I decided to replace the entire last section. I felt great relief instantly! Slowing down so I could have thoughts different from the panic and fear made all the difference. My stomach immediately was more relaxed.

A moment later the man of the house, a prominent dentist, came out to say hello. Between sips of his coffee he complemented me on work well done. I drew to his attention the area that concerned me. Even after I pointed it out, he said he couldn’t really see the blemish. I encouraged him to look from a different angle. “Ah, looks fine to me” he said. For a brief moment I thought maybe I could leave it as it was. I could not. I needed to have a clear conscience. Even though the blemish was only about 4 square feet of a project involving thousands of square feet, I knew that it is the imperfections that catch the eye. I wanted to clean and clear leaving an impeccable project. This entire scenario unfolded in the space of a few minutes. The decision I made represented a milestone in my consciousness and in my career.

In those brief moments I moved from fear based thinking to possibility thinking and also about viewing responsibility differently. I didn’t think then that I had responsibility all figured out and I still don’t. However the experience was an eye opener. The way I reached that conclusion concerning the driveway was to realize I needed to respond to my own standards, not someone else’s. While I didn’t like the feeling I had when I thought it was a disaster and I would lose large amounts of money what bothered me more was to have a job I was not happy about.

I took time to breathe. I thought about the work I had scheduled and what the profits would be. By breathing and reasoning I reassured myself that the funds would be available to do the job right, still pay all my bills, and have a profit left over. The biggest consideration was that of being true to my standards. I was committed to doing high quality work, all the time.

I needed that lesson to forge the commitment to excellence that has paid dividends ever since. There were additional Universal Laws that came into play. Knowing that I really did have more than enough money describes the Law of Abundance. Knowing more money was coming in describes the Law of Prosperity. As soon as I made the decision that supported my goals I felt more grounded and whole. My body immediately relaxed. I felt great because the fear was released! Fear is usually the unproductive use of the imagination. I was able to be present, to breath and instantly feel better after making the right decision. The veracity and value of that decision in terms of business returned to me many times over as both the architect on that job and the owners referred me work for years afterwards. This was the beginning of being responsible to myself more than to others. I was forming an attitude of sacred service to my higher self. I was living my Ideals.

That lesson, coming early in my decorative concrete business, caused me to set the bar high in terms of delivering the best product possible and also treating the customer as I would like to be treated. This is the meaning of the Golden Rule. I learned to always take the high road and that the money would always come back. Money is temporary and transitory. It comes and it goes. Having more money than I need today does not mean I am more or less spiritual today than yesterday. Money represents energy. Money is energy. Money is a tool to be used and so doing we recognize our value. The money spent replacing the last section of driveway was insignificant compared to the volume of work that came to me for years after. Furthermore it reinforced the principle of being true to the Self and not compromising one’s standards.

The principle of doing one’s best sets up an attractor field that is greater than we can consciously image. Integrity is attractive. Trust worthiness is attractive. The intention to always doing our best produces prosperity and abundance. It works all of the time, for anyone, anywhere. If we always feel we don’t have enough we will only attract lack, until we decide to choose a different response to the stimulus. Thinking I am not valuable and unworthy makes it very difficult to attract more money (or energy) to me because I am sending a plea to the universe to create situations in my life that offer me the opportunity to change my thinking, to make another choice about my attitudes with money and my self value.

I sometimes wonder about the odds of that rain shower and how it came at the right time for me to formulate and to solidify a life-guiding principle of what it truly means to be responsible – responsible to one’s Self.

"Switch How to Change Things When Change is Hard" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath Business Book Review

Business mavens, Brothers Heath released their new book, entitled, “Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard,” (Broadway, 2010), in February. The authors address change at the individual, organizational, and societal level. Change involves the brain’s emotional and rational side. The Heath brothers identify the overpowering emotional element as the Elephant. The rational, decision-making component is secondary and sits atop the Elephant as the Rider. When conflict between the two exists, the Rider is inherently the underdog. To make lasting change, the Elephant and Rider need to unite. Also key is having clear direction. Following is an example from each of the nine principles contained within the triad to accomplish long-term change. It’s noteworthy that the change framework benefits anyone without a vast amount of authority or resources.

DIRECT THE RIDER-Analytical, Rational Thinking.

Find the Bright Spots. In 1990 an international organization that helps needy children accepted a Vietnamese government invitation to decrease malnutrition. They earned six months to make a difference. The short timeline negated ending poverty, purifying water and building sanitation systems to address starvation. Organizers traveled to a rural village and met with mothers. Despite widespread malnutrition, some children were thriving. Why? The team searched for bright spots-successful efforts worth emulating. They discovered bright spot moms fed their children four times a day (easier on kids’ digestive systems), vs. the standard two. Another finding among several was that bright spot moms added shrimp and crab from the rice paddies into their kids meals. Cooking classes originated with bright spot moms teaching other mothers how to prepare healthy meals for their children. The mothers already had the emotional component (Elephant) – natural concern for their kids. They needed direction (Rider) not motivation. Six months later, 65 percent of the village kids were better nourished and stayed that way.

Script the Critical Moves. Doctors studied a case history of a patient with chronic arthritic hip pain. Their options were to perform drastic hip replacement surgery or administer a single untried medication. They chose the drug 47 percent vs. doing hip surgery. Another doctor set studied a similar case history with two untried drugs presented as a choice. Here, only 28 percent of the doctors chose one of the prescriptions. The remainder selected hip surgery. The study results display decision paralysis. Too many choices tax the Rider’s strength; and it will always revert to the status quo. Change creates uncertainty and ambiguity. Any successful change requires translation of ambiguous goals into concrete behaviors. Script the critical moves (not every move but key moves). In the above studies, the critical directive to “Use invasive options only as a last resort” would have resulted in more physicians choosing the drug option. Clarity dissolves the Rider’s resistance.

Point to the Destination. In the mid 1980s a popular investment firm’s research department ranked an embarrassing fifteenth in its ability to generate revenue for banks. Top executives recruited a new leader who became both GM and coach. He announced that he expected analysts to initiate at least 125 client conversations a month. He promoted a team environment; requiring analysts to cite colleagues’ work at least twice during presentations. He also declared that the firm would crack the premiere investment magazine’s Top 5. He not only scripted the critical moves (make 125 calls, cite colleagues’ work); he also created a destination postcard- a vivid picture from the near-term future that shows what could be possible. In three short years the firm leapfrogged from fifteenth to first place. When you describe a compelling destination you decrease the Rider’s ability to get lost in analysis paralysis.

MOTIVATE THE ELEPHANT-Emotional, Instinctive.

Find the Feeling. In the late 1970s, a state’s Department of Youth Services (DYS), an agency that focuses on delinquent kids; overhauled its operations. Nonprofits including group homes and halfway houses replaced youth prisons. The head of accounting for DYS ruled his division with an iron fist, earning the title of Attila the Accountant. Expense reports submitted with a single mistake like a date omission or miscalculated subtotal were returned to the offending nonprofit for corrections. The organizations operated on a shoestring budget and delayed payments jeopardized their ability to service kids. Frustrated, Attila’s colleagues invited him on a field trip to visit some participating nonprofits. He witnessed firsthand their operational and financial challenges; and returned to the office a changed man. He was still authoritarian but less nitpicky about expense report submissions, allowing the nonprofits to receive their payments faster.

Shrink the Change. A local car wash ran a promotion using loyalty cards. One customer group received an 8-stamp card, earning a free car wash once filled. Another customer set received a 10-stamp card, with 2 stamps already completed, advancing them 20 percent towards their goal. Several months later, only 19 percent of the 8-stamp customers had earned a free car wash, vs. 34 percent of the head-start group, which also earned their free car wash faster. The authors state that people find it more motivating to be partially finished with a long-term goal than to be at the starting gate of a shorter one. How could you rally your family, coworkers, community, etc. to achieve a long-term goal by highlighting what’s already been accomplished towards its completion? To motivate an uninspired Elephant, shrink the change.

Grow Your People. In 1977 the St. Lucia parrot faced extinction. Island natives undervalued the bird, some even eating it as a delicacy. No clear economic case for saving the parrot existed. Conservationists knew an analytical case for protecting the bird would fail. Instead, they implemented an emotional appeal. Their goal was to convince St. Lucians that they were the kind of people who protected their own. They wanted St. Lucians to swell with pride over their exclusive island species. The St. Lucia Parrot Campaign included T-shirts, bumper stickers and locally recorded songs about the parrot. The animal became part of the natives’ national identity. In 2008, conservationists noted that no St. Lucian had been caught shooting the parrot in fifteen years, resurrecting the species from extinction.

SHAPE THE PATH-Provide Clear Direction.

Tweak the Environment. The airline industry abides by the “sterile cockpit” rule. Anytime a plane is below 10,000 feet, either ascending or descending (the most accident-prone times), no conversation other than flight-related is permitted. At 11,000 feet the crew can talk freely. An IT group adopted the sterile cockpit tenet to advance an important software development project. They aimed to reduce new product development time from three years to nine months. They established “quiet hours” Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings before noon. It gave coders a sterile cockpit, allowing them to concentrate on complex bits of code without being interrupted. Ultimately, the group achieved their nine-month development goal. What looks like a people problem is often a situational challenge. People have a systematic tendency to ignore situational forces that shape other people’s behavior. Simple tweaks of the path can produce dramatic behavioral changes.

Build Habits. One of the subtle ways our environment influences us is by reinforcing (or deterring) our habits. Habits are important because they’re behavioral autopilot. They allow good actions to happen “free” without taxing the Rider’s self-control, which is exhaustive. To change yourself or others you need to change habits. Forming a habit involves both environmental and mental influences. “Action triggers” are effective in motivating action. They preload a decision and are most useful in difficult situations when the Rider’s self-control is strained. Action triggers create “instant habits.”

Rally the Herd. A hotel manager tested a new sign in the hotel bathrooms. It simply stated “the majority of guests at the hotel reuse their towels at least once during their stay.” Guests who got the sign were 26 percent more likely to reuse their towels. They took cues from the herd. In ambiguous situations we all look to others for cues about how to behave. Change situations often involve ambiguity along with their inherent unfamiliarity. To change things, you must pay attention to social signals. They can either guarantee a change effort or doom it. Lead an Elephant on an unfamiliar path and it’s likely to follow the herd.

The authors acknowledge that change isn’t always easy. When change works it tends to follow a pattern. People will change with clear direction, ample motivation, and a supportive environment. The Rider, Elephant and Path need to align in support of the switch. Visit the authors at

Neurodegenerative Disorders – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Neurodegenerative disorders form a group of diseases in which there is a progressive loss of structure or function of neurons or nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in progressive degeneration and death of the nerve cells causing problems with movement (ataxia) or with mental functioning (dementia). These disorders are characterized by a standard pathological process involving inflammation; oxidative stress; abnormal depletion or insufficient synthesis of neurotransmitters; and genetic mutations, causing damage to protein synthesis and premature cell death. This results in aggregation or deposit of abnormal protein clumps in various parts of the brain and spinal cord, and characteristic symptoms which help in identifying specific diseases. More than 200 such diseases are listed in this group; the commonly known diseases include Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Ataxias [including Spino-Cerebellar Ataxia (SCA)].

AD is characterized by cognitive impairment causing loss of memory; disturbance in reasoning, planning, language and perception; and behavioral changes. This disease causes deposits of fibril clumps of abnormal β amyloid protein known as senile plaques. This causes gross atrophy and degeneration of different parts of the brain including the temporal lobe, parietal lobe, parts of the frontal cortex, and the lingulate gyrus.

PD is a chronic and progressive movement disorder characterized by slow movement (bradykinesia), rigidity, resting tremor, and postural instability. There is an abnormal accumulation of protein known as Lewy bodies, causing death of dopamine generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain. Both AD and PD are usually associated with advanced age.

HD is an adult onset, autosomal dominant, inherited disorder characterized by involuntary movements, dementia, and behavioral changes. There is a loss of neurons in the basal ganglia and frontal and temporal cortex. The subthalamic nuclei send control signals to the globus pallidus which initiates and modulates motion. Weaker signals cause reduced initiation and modulation of movement resulting in the characteristic choreiform (repetitive, rapid and jerky) movements of HD.

ALS is a disease in which motor neurons are selectively targeted for degeneration. Motor neurons are nerve cells located in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord which serve as controlling units and communication links between the nervous system and voluntary muscles of the body. Motor neurons in the brain are known as upper motor neurons while those in the spinal cord are known as lower motor neurons. ALS is a rapidly progressive neurological disease affecting both the upper and lower motor neurons. There is a loss of voluntary control over arms, legs, and respiratory muscles. Muscle wasting, atrophy, and twitching (fasciculation) cause problems with movement, dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), dysarthria (difficulty in speech) and spasticity. Sensory function and cognition are usually well maintained. ALS pathology includes protein aggregates, mutation in the gene encoding the antioxidant Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD 1), and mutation in chromosome 9. The mutation first acts on the local astrocytes, which later causes a toxic effect on the entire motor neuron.

Ataxias are a group of neurological disorders in which there is degeneration and atrophy of the cerebellum, causing abnormal and uncoordinated movements, gait abnormalities, fine motor in-coordination, speech and swallowing difficulties, visual abnormalities, increased fatigue, and cognitive and mood problems. Ataxia types include episodic ataxia, idiopathic ataxia, ataxia telangiectasia, oculo-motor apraxia, vitamin E deficiency ataxia, and COQ10 deficiency ataxia. Freidrich’s ataxia is an autosomal recessive variety. SCA is an autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia. It has subtypes 1, 2 and 3; SCA 7 is a slightly different type where vision abnormalities precede the ataxia.

There is currently no cure for neurodegenerative disorders; conservative treatment is mainly symptomatic and supportive in nature. Vitamins and supplements are given to help reduce symptoms or slow down the rate of progression of the disease. Occupational therapy and physiotherapy are given to maintain muscle strength and tone. Medications are given to reduce anxiety, induce sleep, reduce pain and twitching, increase blood supply to the brain, and to help balance neurotransmitters.

In this scenario, Ayurvedic treatment has a special role to play in the comprehensive management and control of neurodegenerative diseases. Preclinical and clinical studies have conclusively shown that herbal medicines bring about autoimmune modulation and neuro-protection; reduce inflammation in nerve cells; reduce mitochondrial damage; and possess antioxidant properties.

Ayurvedic treatment is therefore very useful in improving general body immunity as well as specific immunity of the nervous system. Ayurvedic medicines strengthen the nervous system and bring about immunomodulation where there are definite signs of immune mediated damage. Herbal medicines reduce abnormal protein synthesis and aggregation, and help remove abnormal protein deposits. These medicines also help reduce nerve inflammation and help repair and reduce demyelination. Ayurvedic treatment helps improve muscle strength, tone, and neuromuscular coordination; helps rebuild damaged nerves and damaged and dysfunctional parts of the brain; modulates and halts programmed cell death of nerve cells; reduces and reverses mitochondrial dysfunction and genetic mutation; and also helps reduce damage due to the hereditary component of nerve degeneration.

Currently, scientific treatment of neurodegenerative disorders with Ayurvedic medicines is still in the infancy stage, with drug regimes being planned more on a clinical basis to treat functional impairment. This approach is reaping good dividends; affected individuals – with a previous lack of response to all medications – have started improving at a significant pace. Hopefully – in the near future – specifically targeted treatments will emerge, which will treat and reverse damage in specific parts of the nervous system. This will help expedite treatment results, and identify uniform treatment approaches, which in turn will help reduce the devastating effects these diseases have on affected individuals, and hopefully bring about a complete remission.

Parapet Roofs

In the most basic terms, a parapet roof is one with a wall-like structure located around the edge of the roof. This wall or railing usually stands about 3 feet high, and is generally considered a safety feature that prevents falls from the edge of the roof. However, parapet roofs offer unique features with respect to the construction and style. In fact, these kind of roofs are sometimes installed to give the appearance of a flat roof. Parapets around roofs are especially common in cities like London where older building acts banned the projection of wooden eaves as a potential fire risk.

There are several reasons you may want a parapet wall around the edge of y our roof. As mentioned, parapet roofs offer advanced fire protection as the parapet prevents flames from travelling up the exterior of the building and igniting roofing materials. Moreover, parapets reduce wind flow over the roof so that wind-uplift resistance is evenly distributed. The most common method by which wind can damage roofs is by lifting the edge of the roof and peeling back the roofing structure. Parapets reduce the risk of wind damage making them an excellent option for homes in hurricane or tornado zones.

Another obvious benefit of a parapet is that it prevents falls while also preventing objects and debris from being blown off the roof. Still, there are aesthetic reasons you may prefer a parapet roof. For example, parapets help to hid roofing material or equipment on a roof that may be unsightly or unattractive. Moreover, parapet roofs impact the appearance of a building by increasing its perceived height. Generally speaking, parapets have a similar finish to exterior walls so they blend seamlessly into the outer structure of a building. In addition, parapets can help prevent rainwater damage on the exterior of buildings. The top of the parapet can be angled inward so water will not stain the fa├žade of the building. Sometimes parapets also feature drip edges, further preventing staining of exterior surfaces of a structure.

Parapets are popular among architects who prefer the contemporary design of a flat roof. Unfortunately, flat roofs are more prone to collecting water that can leak over the edge of the roof. A parapet allows a designer to build a home or structure with a seemingly flat roof while still building on a slope. The parapet hides the slope so that the architecture appears perfectly flat. Indeed, parapets can be constructed in a wide range of situations and climates using various materials and construction methods. This makes parapet roofs a versatile roofing design that can be effective for minimizing damage in a wide range of climates while also improving the aesthetics of the structure.

Xbox 360 3RL Repair Guide – Fix the 3RL Error Yourself

Having an Xbox 360 repair guide on hand is important because even the top video console systems have problems from time to time, but what do you do when you have all these problems and really don’t have a ton of money to send your system off and have it fixed. One of the most common issues that gamers worldwide face is the infamous 3 red light error or the ring of death (a common term used by gamers). There is now a new Xbox 360 3rl repair guide that one can use to fix almost any of there 360 console problems.

The main problem with this error is mainly from the manufacturer’s themselves due to soldering connections that were done improperly within the graphics processor unit or GPU. When someone is in play or if the console itself gets moved around, the vibrations from the constant moving causes the weld or solder to loosen up and in return causes the 3rl error. Another common reason for the 3rl error or the red ring of death is a problem within the power supply itself. If the Xbox 360 is kept in a closed up area it will cause the console to overheat resulting in the 3rl error. Last but not least the third problem that leads to the 3rl error or the ring of death is the graphics processor unit or GPU getting to hot.

Another big issue of the Xbox 360 is the developers that made it. The overall design has a lot of flaws so having an Xbox 360 3rl repair guide would be very beneficial. An example of the poor design is because the 360 is so compact there is no room for ventilation which causes the Xbox 360 3rl error and if you are a little technical savvy you will be able to fix the problem. Just take the console apart and remove a few components, like the hard drive and the DVD drive. Take out the heat sink on the GPU; just make sure to be very careful when performing this. Also keep in mind that if you have been playing games up until the 3rl error appeared the heat sink may be pretty hot so handle with care.

You can go to your local electronic store and purchase some thermal paste so that you can apply it to the top of the GPU and then place the heat sink back on top of it. Next place the clamp that is shaped like an X back onto the motherboard, and put back the DVD drive and hard drive back into its proper spot. After all components are placed back into the right spots then you need to place the cover back on and power it on. Most of the time this is all that you need to do, it should power back on. Be sure that you put your power supply and Xbox 360 in a well ventilated area to allow your machine to cool properly. Most of the problems can be eliminated by this one step.

Antique Porcelain Dolls – Is Your Doll a Fake?

Collecting antique porcelain dolls can be a very rewarding hobby. Talented artisans have been creating beautiful dolls for decades. The number of choices from countries all over the world are enormous! Although today you can buy good quality reproductions, modern technology has also seen an increase in fakes. How do you spot these fakes being sold as originals? There are many tell-tale signs that will sound alarm bells. Here are the basics:

Doll Marks

This is a subject for its own article however, let’s take a quick look.

If you are buying in the USA, all dolls made and imported after 1891 required to be marked with the country of origin. Although the form of mark can be located on the back of the head, chest, shoulder or the soles of the feet they can also be encoded within the material or simply an attached label. The presence of a mark immediately dates the doll as post 1891. The mark will commonly involve a mould number, size number, patent number and of course the manufacturers initial or stamp. No marks MAY mean pre 1891. If the doll has no marks be sure to check the following:


Take a look at the eyes closely and look for these signs:

  • Look for glass not plastic.
  • If the doll is meant to have ‘sleep eyes’ make sure they work and not simply glued in place.
  • The eye socket or cut should be symmetrical.
  • The porcelain at the socket edge should be thin.
  • Does the eye socket have the correct colours for that doll? Usually antique dolls only have eye shadow.


  • The eyelashes should not be symmetrical.
  • One eyelash should have more strokes than the other.
  • They should be fine, thin strokes not thick.


  • The eyebrows should be finely painted. Similar to the eye lashes.
  • They should not be symmetrical.
  • Check the location on the face. The doll should not have a surprised look on its face.


Legitimate porcelain will have been around a while and most probably made from a bisque that looks realistic. Expect to see some fine crazing. Of course any cracks or evidence of repair will effect value.


  • Is the dolls costume or dress appropriate for the era of the doll?
  • What material is used? There should not be polyester or any other relatively modern material.


  • Mohair or human hair not polyester.


Most antique porcelain dolls are actually are combination of parts from different manufacturers. It was common practice for manufacturers to specialize in heads and supply to the greater market. Be sure to check for marks. Refer above.

It is difficult to quickly assess whether an antique doll is real or a fake. Although the above list is a short insight, familiarize yourself with the particular doll/s you are interested in by visiting museums and other collections to study up close what the real thing should look like. This will give you a good benchmark.

Beginning Your Speech – 7 Techniques To Open Your Speech With Impact

If you’ve ever had any speech training you’ve probably heard the advice, “Tell them what you’re going to say, say it, then tell them what you’ve told them”. While this is technically correct, how you tell them what you’re going to say is critical.

Many beginning speakers open by saying, “Today I am going to talk about… ” Don’t open your speech with a boring opening like this. Instead, try one of the following techniques to open your speech with impact, and get your audiences leaning forward for more.

Tell a story

Opening with a story is one of the best ways to begin your speech. Launch straight into your story. But wait. Make sure it is story drawn from your own experience, or from someone you know or have spoken to. If I were going to give a speech about crime, I could open with a time we had an intruder at a resthome I worked at:

I tried to hold the phone still as I dialled. Why were my hands shaking so much? Finally, I heard the dial tone. Seconds later, I heard someone asking me, “Fire, Ambulance or Police?” “Intruder,” I said.

Or I could tell about the time I was mugged on Queen Street, one night at work, and fought off a number of attackers. Or, if I’m giving a speech about crime, I could open with a story about the time I came home and saw that my unit had been broken into.

I walked up the path to my front door, but something didn’t seem quite right. I couldn’t work out what it was. Then it hit me. The sensor light wasn’t coming on. I began to get that sinking feeling in my stomach. I opened the door and straightaway saw that the kitchen window was broken. I’d been burgled.

Use an interesting statistic

There’s an ad that’s been playing on TV here in NZ recently that uses this approach. It shows a range of products in silhouette, and a voiceover says in a gravelly voice, “There’s a common consumer product which, when used exactly as the manufacturer intended, kills over 50% of its users.” Want to know what product that is? Cigarettes.

Try using a similar approach to bring your statistics alive. Have half the audience stand up, or just one row, or just ‘block out’ one section of the audience with your arms and say,

In NZ, one third of the population will have suffered some form of cancer by the time they are 50. (I just made that figure up. You, of course, will research your speech and have the correct statistics.)

Patricia Fripp, the world’s best speaking coach, admired how Newt Gingrich shared the following statistic. He opened his speech with

If you were born today, you would already owe $186,000 to pay off your share of the national debt.

Use a little known fact

Using a little known fact should arouse curiosity in the audience.

For years you’ve been told that HIV is the cause of AIDS. Today, you’re going to find out why this can’t possibly be true, and why an increasing number of scientists and doctors are saying that HIV is not the cause of AIDS.

Ask a rhetorical question

The problem with asking a question of the audience, is they may not answer, and will leave you hanging. If no one answers, it will look as if no one’s interested. So try a rhetorical question, and then give some possible answers the audience might have.

If I were to ask you, Do you want to make more money? you might say, “No thanks, I make enough”. Or, you might say, “Yes, I’d like to. Can you show me how?”

Make a bold claim or promise

Tell your audience what they will be able to do as a result of hearing your speech.

After this speech, you will be able to create dynamic openings for your speeches by choosing from at least seven different opening methods.

Or, if I were giving a speech on how to begin selling on Trade Me or eBay, I could say

In the next ten minutes, you will learn my seven most important tips for success at online auctions, and you will also learn where to go to source hundreds of wholesale products to get you started.

Give the stated purpose, or hoped for outcome

One of the members of my Toastmasters club, who is a volunteer fire fighter, gave a speech about fire extinguishers and how to use them. One of many openings he could have used:

By the end of this presentation, you will understand how fires start and burn, and you will be able to identify three types of fire, and which class of fire extinguisher to use for each type of fire.

Or, if I were teaching people how to give a best man speech, I could say

By the end of this presentation, you will be able to confidently research, prepare and deliver an hilarious best man speech

Transport your audience to a different time or place

Take your audience back in time to an event or experience you want to share. The words you use:

Come back with me…

I wish you could have been there…

If you had been there with me when… you would have seen…

Imagine… Imagine you were with me as a ten year old when, for the first time, I…

For example

Imagine you were with me ten years ago one July evening as I walked into a hall, got up in front of fifty other people and said, “Hi, my name is John, and I’m an alcoholic.”

One final tip: Use a “you”-focus

Take a look at the example introductions above. Most of them will have the word “you” in them, which gives you a stronger connection to your audience. It is better to talk about them than about yourself. Don’t say, “I am going to talk about… ” or “I am going to share some tips… ” When you speak, your audience is thinking, “What’s in it for me?” So tell them! “You are going to receive this… ” or “You will be able to do that… “

Now go and take another look at the draft of that speech you are working on, and think how you can improve the opening by using one of the techniques above. And remember to use a you-focus when talking to your audience.

Strategies to Master Cornhole Games

If you have just started to get into playing cornhole, whether it’s with your family or friends, and you want to improve your skills, then you need to understand some basic strategies, and physics, in order to be successful. Granted, cornhole has increased in popularity in recent years and that means that there are actual tournaments to compete in for prizes, money, and of course, fame and glory. Okay, okay, perhaps the glory part is a bit overdone, but it’s nice to daydream a little bit once in a while.

Cornhole strategy: The toss

If you want to score well in the cornhole game, you need to be able to throw the bean bags with some level of consistency. Some people prefer to grab an edge of the bean bag and toss it that way, but you lose control over the momentum of the bag itself. The best way to hold the cornhole bags is to cup it in your hand, sort of like tossing a softball pitch. Use an underhand stroke and release at a consistent time.

How you throw the cornhole bags can be as important, if not more so, than any other strategy to date.

Cornhole strategy 2: The target

While the main goal is to get your cornhole bags into the small, six inch hole on the cornhole boards, it isn’t always the best strategy to go for the hole. The reason being is that you can still score points with your bags, as long as they stay on the cornhole boards and don’t slide off into the grass, or onto the pavement, or wherever you happen to be playing at the time.

As you stand 27 feet from the board, that six inch hole will seem even smaller and even the landing platform -the board- will not seem like a welcoming place for anyone’s bean bags. Your primary target should be the front third of the board. The bag will bounce, or slide, depending on the trajectory you choose to throw the bean bags. The higher the angle, the less movement the bag will make once it hits the board.

Strategy 3: The angle

Now, when you toss the bean bags, the angle of the throw will impact what happens once it lands on the board. A lower angle throw will slide much farther, often off the back or side of the cornhole boards. A steeper angle will bounce, but will stop quite a bit closer to its initial landing location. Sliding the bag down the center will have the best chance for getting it into the hole.

It takes practice to become good at anything, so if you’re interested in becoming an exceptional cornhole game champion, then you will need to practice and develop your own unique strategies that suit your personal preferences.

Laser Vs CCD Barcode Scanners

It is essential for businesses to organize their inventories, monitor the movement of goods, and ensure security on their premises. Accurate and efficient automatic identification of products is part of a successful business process. Barcode readers having high efficiency serve these purposes.

These days, barcode scanners (readers) are seen at many places. They are found at retail stores, libraries, warehouses, hospitals, and almost at every other place. As they improve the speed of data retrieval and processing, they are beneficial for any business. On the basis of technology used, they are classified into various types among which laser and CCD barcode scanners have a wide range of applications.

Laser barcode scanners

These readers use laser beam as a source of illumination for reading barcodes. They usually have a rotating prism or an oscillating mirror. It moves the laser beam forward and backward across the barcode. A photodiode in this reader measures the intensity of light reflected from the barcode.

Laser scanners have high precision and accuracy. They are considered to have a good performance because of their scanning range. They have the ability to read barcodes from greater distances and are preferred for non-contact applications.

CCD barcode scanners

Barcode readers using CCD (Charge Coupled Device) technology are termed as CCD scanners. They are also called as linear imager barcode readers. A series of small light sensors are arranged in a single row in a CCD barcode scanner. They measure the ambient light emitted by the barcode. They are designed in such a way that they can withstand harsh working conditions.

Both laser and CCD scanners are preferred by many businesses these days. Though laser and CCD readers are advantageous in their own way, here are some comparative views on their benefits.

Advantages of CCD scanners over laser scanners

CCD barcode scanners are beneficial over laser scanners in many ways. Some of them are mentioned here:

• CCD scanners incorporate use of LED lights for illuminating the barcode. They last for about ten times longer than laser scanners.

• Unlike laser scanners, they do not have any moving parts. So, they are less susceptible to damage or failure. They are resistant to regular wear and tear.

• When you use a laser beam, it is necessary to follow certain safety precautions with respect to direct viewing. As they do not use any laser beams, they are not associated with any safety specifications.

• CCD scanners are inexpensive when compared to laser barcode scanners.

• They have a higher scanning rate than that of laser scanners.

Advantages of laser scanners over CCD scanners

Laser barcode scanners have certain benefits over CCD scanners. Some of them include:

• Laser scanners can read barcodes at a wider range of distances. So, unlike CCD scanners, they can be kept at a distance from the barcode. Hence, they are mostly preferred for long range scanning.

• The other benefit of laser scanners is that they can read barcodes of longer lengths. CCD scanners can only read barcodes of three or four inches in length or smaller.

• Laser scanners are very easy to handle. Even an untrained operator can use it without any issues.

Both laser and CCD scanners are efficient and reduce errors associated with manual checking. They also save your time and effort. Consider the above mentioned benefits of laser and CCD barcode scanners and choose any of them based on the type of barcode and the environment in which you intend to use. You also need to consider the portability factor and average scanning range needed for your business. Selecting a right barcode scanner helps you to maximize business productivity.