Dimensions of Group Dynamics – Keys to Effective Group Learning Discussions

In an age when active involvement of learners is recognized as crucial to effective learning, teachers and instructors in all settings are using group discussions as a method to promote more active involvement.

While some critics caution that brain-based learning research tells us there is still a need for time for individual reflection, it is hard to deny the fact that group activities promote more active involvement on the part of most learners. In addition, they are cost-effective and relatively easy to implement.

Teachers look for creative ways to structure group tasks, but some fail to recognize the importance of effective group functioning in achieving learning objectives. Simply turning over a task to a group is often not enough. The group must be able to function to perform the task while at the same time achieving beneficial learning outcomes for each participant in the group.

The academic discipline of Social Psychology has been studying how individuals perform in groups for decades. While there may be some debate over some issues, a review of the literature reveals five key dimensions for group functioning cited by most experts. Although there are differences in terminology, the underlying meaning is the same. The following five dimensions were popularized by Organizational Psychologists Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in their book, Spectacular Teamwork. Here are the dimensions:

1. Power and authority
2. Roles and responsibilities
3. Norms and standards
4. Morale and cohesion
5. Goals and objectives.

All groups – even those coming together for the first time – will exhibit these dimensions to varying degrees depending on their personal experience. In seminar and workshop settings, participants come from organizations structured under a “boss.” In the absence of a designated leader, some groups may choose to elect one. In other cases, a member emerges to fill the role. The point is, at some level, someone in the group must have or take the power and authority to provide direction to the group.

In some highly structured work groups, roles and responsibilities for different aspects of group functioning are assigned. Person A might be the designated timekeeper while Person B is the designated group recorder. In other cases, roles are assumed and different members may play different roles at different times.

Norms and standards are guidelines for acceptable behavior. For example, some work groups have discussion standards that only allow participation when the leader recognizes an individual. Other groups have norms that allow some individuals to contribute little to the discussion without being challenged. In a seminar setting, these norms and standards will develop over time, but initially, they are nothing more than the sum total of the experiences of the participants.

In the early stages of development, groups lack cohesion or a sense of togetherness. Consequently, morale is often neutral. Over time, effective functioning leads to increased cohesion and successful outcomes breeds a sense of morale.

Finally, all groups have goals and objectives. The most obvious is the group outcome as defined by the task. However, each individual in that group has his or her own goals and there can be a great deal of divergence across those goals. In some cases, individual goals can actually be at cross-purposes, making it difficult for the group as a whole to work towards a common objective.

Is the Serta Mattress the Best on the Market

Serta have been making high quality mattresses for over 70 years and claim to make the world's best mattress. But is their claim justified, especially with the development of the memory foam mattress by new innovative manufacturers?

Serta are firmly placed near the top of the mattress pile. Along with Sealy, Simmons and Spring Air, Serta dominate the mattress market. Not only are their mattresses found in millions of homes but, the chances are, the next time you check-in to a hotel, it'll be a Serta mattress you'll be sleeping on.

You can not make a good quality mattress if you do not use top notch materials. There's no denying that Serta does use the best materials. The heart of the Serta mattress is the StabL-Base Double Beam Foundation. It is on this wooden frame that the spring system is mounted. Only the best wood is used – without knots – which would cause structural weaknesses. Also, every mattress Serta makes coming with an advanced open-flame resistance system; FireBlocker. The ticking and quilt layer also uses the best materials.

A Serta mattress uses the best materials, but does it use the best manufacturing technology? Serta relies on a spring system to give the customer the correct posture and comfort. The innerspring mattress has been around a long time and remains the most popular type of mattress, and this is the system used by Serta. There are three types of innerspring mattresses; hourglass-shaped, continuous-coil and pocket springs. Serta's Perfect Sleeper series uses continuous coils. Whilst continuous-coil springs are more durable, and maintain their shape longer than hourglass springs, they are inter-linked, which means you're disturbed by the movements of your partner. Pocket springs are different: they are in their own "fabric pocket" rather than being connected to each other like hourglass and continuous-coil springs, so the springs move a little more independently and you are less affected by your partner's movements. Serta's Perfect Night mattress uses pocket springs. Serta's innerspring mattresses rate is highly many consumer reports; in fact, for the $ 880 to $ 1100 price range, the Serta Perfect Sleeper is probably one the best innerspring mattresses you can buy.

There's no denying that the memory foam mattress has caused quite a stir in the mattress world and is becoming ever more popular. For people with back problems memory foam mattresses have been shown to improve sleep quality. Serta has finally realized the benefits of the new viscoelastic mattresses and have begun making their own; The International Touch. Serta claim that their memory foam mattress is the cheapest on the market – up to 30% cheaper than the market leader. However, being cheaper does not mean better. If you can afford it, you're probably better buying the market leader's memory foam mattress – the market leader being Tempur-Pedic.

But memory foam mattresses are not everyone's favorite. That's because foam mattresses do not feel as fluffy or squishy as an innerspring mattress with pillow tops and cushy quilted ticking. Also, many consumers have reported a rather unpleasant smell from their new foam mattress.
So, if you prefer the more traditional foam mattress, then you should seriously consider a Serta mattress. Many consumer reviews highly rate the Serta mattress and they have been making mattresses for longer than most. A Serta mattress is good value for money when you consider the quality of materials and manufacturing that goes into the making of each mattress. Serta can claim to make one of the best mattresses on the market.

The Seven Basic Skills of Wrestling – Introduction

Wrestling, man’s oldest and most challenging sport, can trace its history back 5,000 years. Inscriptions on the walls of the tombs at Beni Hasan, Egypt, show maneuvers that are the same as those practiced in any wrestling room today.

This article describes the Seven Basic Skills as outlined by USA Wrestling’s National Instructional Staff.

As a member of the USA Wrestling National Coaching Staff, I had the privilege of introducing the Seven Basic Skills at the USA Wrestling National Developmental Camps, Clinics, and at training camps for team members.

With these skills as a foundation, a well conditioned and mentally prepared athlete can attain the level of CHAMPION. They will help the wrestler reach his/her full potential. In all athletic endeavors, mastery and application of these fundamentals will produce competitive excellence.

The Seven Basic Skills include:

Position

Motion

Changing Levels

Penetration

Lifting

Back Step

Back Arch 

These Basic Skills provide sound bio-mechanical skills needed to obtain competence and proficiency at all levels of wrestling. As a coach it is essential that you learn the fundamentals of these skills and develop a proficient communication that will enable you to train your wrestlers daily using a consistent vocabulary that expresses these basic skills. You must coach your athletes in such a consistent manner that they will understand when you are telling them that they need to improve their position they will know what you mean. If you are telling them that they need to change their level or create motion during a match they will understand clearly what you are telling them to do. By adopting such a fundamental vocabulary you will be able to take your wrestlers and your program to that championship level.

It is imperative that all wrestlers understand clearly what each skill requires and that they include them in their repertoire of technique and skill set. No matter what maneuver is being executed, one or more of the Seven Basic Skills will be essential to completing the move successfully.

In the next article, I will discuss the first skill known as Position.

Coach Hatfield

Demons In A Dream House: The Sober Truth Behind The Amityville Horror

P aranormal researchers – if they are prudent – trust little of what's heard, and nearly nothing of what is read. Sensational stories, one finds, particularly of the supernatural sort, are catnip for a media often geared more to profit than truth.

Such was the case with Amityville.

The evolution of this infamous story tracks back to November 13th, 1974: Ronald De Feo, the Long Island son of a prosperous car dealer, fired eight shots from a.35 caliber rifle, killing his mother, father, two brothers and two sisters as they lay sleeping in their spacious, three-story Dutch Colonial home.

News of the criminals sent ripples of anxiety through the normally placid town, lifting the floodgates of speculation. Unexplainable wax drippings –leading a trail between rooms in the house – evoked dark murmurs of Satanic ritual and sacrifice. Others pondered the mystery of how De Feo managed to commit each of the six murderers without arousing his victims from sleep, asking why no one in the neighborhood had heard gunshots, and why all six victims were found lying face-down in death.

As Amityville's gossip mill ground overtime, attorneys in the case hunted for a motive. They did not need to look far. Abundant evidence shown De Feo harbored a deep-imprisoned malice for his family along with a "thirst for money": plaintiffs cinched their supposition of robbery with the discovery of a $ 200, 000 life insurance policy and an empty cash strongbox found hidden benefit the saddle of a closet in the family's master bedroom.

At first demonstrating his innocence, De Feo finally broke down and confessed. "It all started so fast," he told police. "Once I started, I just could not stop." He stated he had heard "voices" just prior to the murderers and upon looking around saw no one there, and assumed "God was speaking to him". William Weber, De Feo's attorney, pushed for an insanity plea, but lost. On December 4, 1975, De Feo was sent to twenty-five years to life on each of the six counts of second-degree murder for which he had been convicted.

Many residents expected that with De Feo's conviction the ugly fog of sensationalism which depended upon Amityville would at last begin to disperse.

But it did not; in fact, it thickened.

George and Kathy Lutz, a young, married couple from Deer Park, Long Island, were busy house-hunting. George worked as a land surveyor, and earned a respectable income. LaTelly, however, business had fallen off sharply, placing him in a financial squeeze. Of the 70 houses he and his wife had inspected, the De Feo house about the only one they found they could afford. Undaunted by its tragic history, high taxes and heating costs, they purchased it, and moved in with their three children on December 18, 1975.

The Luts had bought the house for $ 80,000, half of which was held in escrow by the title company because of a legal complication tied to the De Feo family estate. Sporting six bedrooms, 3-1 / 2 baths, an enclosed porch, and a matching boathouse and garage, it was – in the Luts' words – a dream come true. That dream, as much of the world already knows, was rudely shattered when, 28 days later, the Lutzes fled their home, declaring it was infested by demonic forces.

Newspapers such as Newsday and the now defunct Long Island Press splashed coverage on the story, reporting that De Feo's defense attorney, William Weber, had been introduced to the Luts in January by "mutual friends" and was now providing them "legal advice."

The Lutzes, Weber said, had expressed concern over "strange noises, doors and windows which mysteriously opened, inexplicable changes in room temperature, and sudden personality changes from pleasantness to anger", in the Amityville house. He added he had discovered that the land on which the house was built in 1928 was once a "forbidden" burial gound, and that one of the original owners had the name of a cultist who appeared in colonial folklore.

Based on the Luts' paranormal complaints, and providing an early whiff of foul play, Weber announced he was seeking a new trial in which he planned to argue that Ronald De Feo had been suborned into murdering his family through "demonic possession."

In the spring of 1977 – and ironically enough in Good Housekeeping – journalist Paul Hoffman presented a chronological summary of the Lutze's alleged experiences in a piece entitled "Our Dream House Was Haunted."

Hoffman had conducted extensive interviews with the family, and provided a dozen or so examples of paranormal activity that supposedly terrorized them into leaving. Many of the examples, however, were surprisingly mild in nature: senses of "unseen forces", temperature changes, strange noises and odors, mood shifts, episodes of obsessive-compulsive behavior – unsettling, no doubt, but far from extraordinary.

As for physical evidence, the Lutzes mentioned "black stains" that appeared on bathroom fixtures that could not remove and "tricks of red" that occasionally ran from some of the keyholes. The front door, which George Lutz claimed he'd double-latched earlier one evening, was discovered "wide open" the next morning; windows opened and closed by themselves. And once, George Lutz claimed, he awoke to find his wife sliding across the bed "as if by levitation."

Not long after Hoffman's article hit newsstands, Jay Anson, a screenwriter noted for his work on The Exorcist, conjured up real terror with his book The Amityville Horror: A True Story – creating an instant bestseller.

Within just a year, hardback sales of the book climbed to 3.5 million, and a movie – staring James Brolin and Margot Kidder, and penned by Anson himself – followed, and became a box office smash, raking in over $ 40 million in one month in New York alone. Anson and the Luts split all proceeding 50-50, making the Amityville story, not only one of the most publicized, but one of the most profitable in the history of the paranormal.

What instantly struck me while reading Anson's 200-page book was how dramatic and varied the phenomena had become since it had been reported to journalist Paul Hoffman earlier that same year. This kind of improvement – experience has taught me – is a sure sign of trouble.

How could anyone, for example, believe the Luts would have forgotten to tell Hoffman about something as shocking as a red-eyed pig named "Jodie," a ceramic lion that attacked and bit them – or green, gelatinous ectoplasm that oozed down from the ceiling? If anyone's memory is that bad, then it obviously can not be trusted at all!

Smelling a large rat in the woodpile, and anxious to expose what more and more I came to believe had been a tragic hoax, I began an official investigation into the case in November of 1977. Working in collaboration with a New York photojournalist named Rick Moran , I studied Anson's book carefully, and over a period of several months followed a trail of evidence that historically forced the case to crumble under an avalanche of contradictions, half-truths, exaggerations – and, in some cases, outright lies. In reality, one could devote an entire volume to all of the discrepancies dislodged during our investigation; in this condensed report, we will confine ourselves to the most glaring.

A central figure in Anson's book is a priest from the chancery of the Rockville Center Diocese. Anson credits this individual with a baffling array of hair-raising experiences, masking his identity with the name Father Frank Mancuso. The priest, it is claimed, was asked by the Luts to bless their new home and, upon entering the front door, was confronted by a disembodied voice commanding him to leave. Later, as the priest was traveling along the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens, his car was forced upon the shoulder of the road, the hood flew open, and, as he attempted to brake the car, it stalled. Shortly thereafter, Mancuso was supposedly afflicted with abnormally high temperatures accompanied by red, blistery splotches which appeared on the palms of his hands.

At the same time, reports Anson, the putrefying odor of human excrement pervaded the perpetrators' quarters at Sacred Heart and caused other practices to flee the rectory.

The priest – who real name is Ralph Pecoraro – was forced to leave his practice in New York as an ecclesiastical judge in the wake of massive public stirred by the release of the book. Pecoraro filed a lawsuit against the Luts for "invasion of privacy," claiming that was reported in Anson's book concerning him had been "grossly exaggerated." The suit was eventually settled out of court.

In addition, a fellow clergyman who challenged he was with Pecoraro on the evening of that fateful drive on the Van Wyck claims they experienced nothing more than an ordinary flat tire! The impact of the vehicle as it stuck a claim reportedly caused some minor damage opening the hood and door, but the reason for the accident was an old car in disrepair – not the interference of unseen forces, as Anson implies.

In a final blow to the story, Father Alfred Casola, pastor of Sacred Heart, dismisses the report of a pervasive odor in the rectory as "nonsense." Priests present at the time of the alleged incident also have no recollection of any such stench and deny being forced at any time to leave the building.

More troubling inconsistencies emerge with regard to Sergeant Pat Cammorato of the Amityville Police Department. Shortly after the publication of Anson's book, Cammorato found himself burdened with chronic problems over trespassing and vandalism at the Amityville house. Although by then the house was occupied by new owners (Jim and Pat Cromarty) who had not reported any psychic activity, this seemed to have done little to dampen the enthusiasm of the steady stream of thrill-seekers who nonetheless came at all hours of the day and night to inspect it.

Cammorato's heads were composed by claims made in Anson's book that the police officer once conducted an "official investigation" into reports of psychic disturbances at the Lutz's home during which he witnessed a wrecked garage door, the snow prints of a "cloven-hoofed" animal , and was overcome with "strong vibrations" upon entering the house. Cammorato punctures deep holes in these claims, and hauled out police logs to show why they could not possibly be true: on the very day Anson claims Cammorato visited the Luts, the logs indicate Cammorato was out on sick leave for surgery. The logs also testify to the fact that the Luts had not contacted the police during their own stay in the house, only afterwards, at that time requesting that the house be watched on account "it was empty."

For me, however, a nagging question about Seargeant Cammorato remains. Was he implicated in Anson's story merely by accident? Or was there possibly an ulterior motive? An incident concerning Ronald De Feo and Cammorato that occurred in the summer of 1973 suggests a possible answer.

While driving home from work one evening, Cammorato stopped at the De Feo house to talk to Ronald (whose nickname was Butch). Commarato had known the De Feo's since they had first come to Amityville, and his daughter was a good friend of Ronald's sister, Allison. "You know, Butch, we're having an awful lot of larcenies of outboard motors," he told him. "We have reason to believe you may be involved. If you are involved, you bettter stop because we're going to get you." "I do not steal outboards," De Feo replied.

Near the end of September, Cammorato spotted Suffolk Police arresting De Feo outside the latter's home. The officers were standing next to the open trunk of De Feo's car, which contained an outboard motor. Cammorato stopped to get the details. The seventeen-hundred-dollar motor had been stolen from a Marina in Copiague. Although Cammorato had nothing to do with the collar, he could not resist saying something. "See, Ronnie," he told De Feo, "we did get you." A few weeks later, the sergeant's daughter told him that Butch De Feo had threatened his life. The sergeant phoned Ronald De Feo, Sr., who blew up at his son.

Did Anson learn of De Feo's refused for Cammorato by entering into a secret collusion with him?

Alex Tannous, a noted psychic, recalls an interesting visit he made to the Luts' Amityville house in the spring of 1976. While there, he says he could sense nothing of a paranormal nature. Deciding to try psychiatry, he asked the Luts if they might happen to have anything personally connected to De Feo. He was handed a sample, he says, of De Feo's handwriting that he was shocked to see was part of a legal contract outlining he distribution of profits from a proposed book and movie. The experience served to reinvigorate his original feelings that the matter was a collective hoax.

The "horror" in Anson's book about Amityville is provided, in large measure, by manifestations of physical damage – at times mushrooming into epidemic proportions. Through the story are countless reports of damage to the house, garage and grounds we are told were fixed by outside repairman. Proof of this, however, is notably absent.

The book states that George Lutz contacted the services of the same repairmen and locksmiths that were originally used by the De Feo family. Checks, however, made with these businesses failed to confirm the commission of any such repairs at the Lutz home. More importantly, my investigation into this case with Rick Moran culinated in a detailed inspection of the entire house and no signs of damage were visible anywhere – no new hardware, no new locks, and no signs of repairs to any doors.

A comic perversion of logic was never more striking than in Anson's report of how George frantically nailed boards across the doorway to one room he felt was most negatively "tainted" by the surrounding forces of evil. We could not help noticing, however, that the door to this room, as do all doors on that floor of the house, opens inwardly – and, once again, shown no signs of damage.

In another scene from Anson's book, Cathy Lutz hurls a chair at a red-eyed entity through her daughter's bedroom window; yet there are no signs of any such damage and that particular window is at least as old as the others on the floor.

As for the third-floor window which the Luts often claimed "opened by itself," Moran and I found it surprisingly easy to reproduce this effect purely by stomping our feet in the center of the room. The window, it turns out, is counter-weighed improperly, with the weights heavier than they need be. The result is that any moderate-sized vibration will cause the window to open if they are not latched properly; that latch is broken now and was broken when the Luts lived at 110 Ocean Avenue. On interviewing the De Feo housekeeper we learned that finding the window open was no surprise, as it happened even when the De Feo's lived there.

A prominent feature of Anson's tale is a "secret" red room, hidden behind a bookcase in the basement of the Amityville house. The room is approximately 2 feet by 3 feet, with head room too low for anyone – except perhaps a hunchback mouse – to stand in. In reality, it is part of an existing gravity-fed water system from an earlier house built on the lot. The land was originally owned by Jesse Purdy, who was then in his 90s and lived in the house that once stood at 110 Ocean Avenue. This house was moved in the early 1920s to lot several hundred yards away. Part of the water storage system for the old house, the "secret" room is now used to give access to the water pipes that otherwise would have been walled up. Why is it painted red? Local neighborhood children said they painted it that color. As they indicated this is where they traditionally stored their toys, red appeared an appropriately bright and cheerful color. Anson, though, blithely ignores these facts, and links the room to images of blood, demons and animal sacrifice.

In discussing the physical phenomena Anson claims held the Lutzes in a visgrip of fear for 28 days, I would certainly be remiss were I did not make mention of the infamous green. gelatinous substance said to have nearly flooded their home. This material has undergone a radical change in both form and color since I first saw it mentioned in Paul Hoffman's article in Good Housekeeping, in which the Luts witnessed a keyhole in one room oozing a "red, blood-like substance, a few drops at a time. " In Anson's expanded version, however. the material looks more like lime gelatin, although George Lutz tasted it, and remarked that it was not. The substance, according to Anson, ran in such quantity that it had to be taken out in bucketfuls and dumped into the Amityville River. Here again we are faced with a truly unfathomable mystery: why would George Lutz be so curious as to taste and smell the offending material, but not curious enough to save some for analysis?

Anson closes his book of horrors with a description of a dramatic seance conducted at the Lutz home on February 18th, 1976. Seated at the dining room table were a useful of psychics, one newsman, and a representative from the Psychical Research Foundation (PRF) in Durham, North Carolina. The participants, according to Anson, reported impressions which ranged from glimpses of dark menacing shadows to shortness of breath, heart palpitations, numbness, quickened pulse rates, and nauseous unrest. Except for PRF's field investigator, psychics present at the seance, says Anson, were firm in their belief that the house on Ocean Avenue harbored a demonic spirit and could only be removed by an exorcist.

In contacting Jerry Solvin, Project Director of the Psychical Research Foundation, however, I was informed that while the book's description of the seance is basically accurate, Anson, Solvin charges, tends to "select facts to support his own conclusions." Solvin, for instance, dismisses Anson's claim that George Kekoris, PRF's representative at the time, suddenly became "violently ill" and was forced to quit the room. Solvin claims he has recently become "queasy", but does not find this odd given the hot, stuffy, "emotionally-charged" situation. Moreover, he explains, the room was small – approximately 12 feet by 15 feet – and more than 20 persons were present, including a film crew using hot movie lights. Solvin also explained that members of the Psychical Research Foundation did not conduct a full investigation of the Amityville case for two reasons: 1.) the family had moved out of the house at an early stage, reducing in PRF's opinion the probability of continued activity; 2.) the phenomenon reported were far too "subjective" to be reliably measured.

Given the foregoing, it seems impossible to escape the conclusion that Anson's account of what transpired at Amityville was large, if not entirely, one of fiction. This is based not only on conflictual evidence and testimony, but on disturbing revelations published by People magazine and other sources in 1979. William Weber, Ronald De Feo's defense attorney, announced that year he was suing the Luts for "breach of agreement" and for a share of the Lutz profits on grounds they had "reneged on a deal with him and another writer." "I know this book's a hoax," Weber confessed. "We created this horror story over many bottles of wine." I told George Lutz that Ronnie De Feo used to call the neighbor's cat a pig. . "

While under oath, George Lutz began to repudiate some of the book's more spectacular claims, accusing Anson of abusing his creative license. A solid wooden door which, according to Anson for example, was wrenched off its hinges by a "demonic force" was in reality, Lutz said, a frail metal screen door which had blown off during a winter storm.

Lutz also deflated Anson's account of the infamous green "slime", noting it was more "like jello", and that there had only been small "dabs" of it which appeared here and there.

Being a charitable sort, I will concede the possibility of Lutses may, in fact, have been telling the truth when they first reported their experiences of light paranormal phenomena to the press in February of 1976, and to Paul Hoffman the following year. Allowed for this, however, severely dissuades parapsychologists from consigning the case to the circular file.

So badly tainted is the affair, so slippery the characters implied, that in the end one is left wondering as to who the demons of Amityville really were.

Contemporary Furniture Design – History And Influences

Contemporary furniture design came about through the combination of enquiring, innovative minds, advances in technology and the ability to produce incredible furniture at more affordable prices. The industrial revolution also played a huge part in this, particularly in terms of cheaper materials, access to factory space and the ability to create artistic furniture pieces at a price more suited to the public at large.

From the late 19th century, designers started to look towards sleeker, simpler designs for modern furniture. Whereas in the past furniture had been constructed almost entirely from wood, resulting in heavy overstated pieces indicative of grandeur and luxury. This access to new materials and different ways of working allowed designers to make more compact and modest sized items. These new furniture designs were easier to incorporate within any required living space and also gave the purchaser an opportunity to buy items that were an expression of their own personal tastes, with less limitations. Contemporary furniture design became known for being serviceable and functional but with a creative slant that saw modern furniture often viewed as pieces of art in their own right.

Odd angles, clean lines, curved shaping and materials such as metal and moulded plastic paved the way for modern furniture to infiltrate into our consciousness. It’s hard to ignore the striking designs of contemporary furniture pieces – the fluidity and sharpness often used in these designs made people really start to sit up and take notice of modern furniture.

Many designers of modern and contemporary furniture are also noted for being incredible architects – contemporary furniture is really about functional items being seen as architectural and artistic designs. Architects such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright and even Antoni Gaudi started to incorporate contemporary furniture design into their overall architectural visions. Gaudi would often design furniture pieces to complement the interesting nuances of his buildings, creating a harmony between the external structure and internal decoration.

Other notable contributors to the contemporary furniture movement include Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier and Lilly Reich. Mies van der Rohe invented the now famous and often copied ‘Barcelona chair’ and his contemporary furniture often used cantilevers to enable supportive yet delicate framework, often created out of chrome. Mies worked in collaboration with Lilly Reich for over a decade, sharing both a professional and personal relationship. In addition to her involvement in the design of the Barcelona chair, the couple also worked together to create the Brno chair, another iconic piece of modern furniture that continues to be cited as both inspirational and aspirational.

3 More Foods To Avoid If You Have H Pylori

H pylori infections are relatively common. Some people develop nasty symptoms, whereas others do not. The majority of people who do develop symptoms experience problems in the upper GI tract, such as heartburn, bloating and stomach pain, though some may also develop lower GI symptoms such as diarrhea.

What many folk don’t realize is that a number of commonly eaten foods can cause exactly the same – or similar – symptoms as H pylori. This can lead to confusion. First, H pylori can be successfully eradicated only for symptoms to remain if these irritating foods are not avoided. Second, symptoms can all go away when people avoid these foods, even when H pylori is still present.

Thus, eradicating H pylori and overcoming symptoms are not necessarily the same thing! Unfortunately, the medical system does not address foods and diet when treating patients who have H pylori. But think about it: the foods that you put in your mouth day in, day out, are sure to influence the health of your gut.

Fortunately, it’s relatively simple to avoid these trouble-causing foods, as long as you know the what alternative foods are available.

In a previous article on this topic, I explained how gluten, coffee and soy-based foods can all irritate the stomach and intestinal lining in much the same way as H pylori does. Gluten and soy, in particular, are enormous problem foods. The author is allergic to soy, develops flatulence and loose stools when eating it and can attest first hand to the problems this so-called health food can cause.

Three more foods that can act as major irritants to the gut are cow’s milk, especially when heavily processed, spicy foods and polyunsaturated oils from seeds and nuts.

Cow’s milk:

Cow’s milk is actually the number one allergy causing food on the planet. It presents a conundrum because some people do very well consuming cow’s milk products. However some people are very sensitive to the sugar (lactose) and protein (casein) in milk, developing digestive symptoms, skin problems and other symptoms when they consume milk.

I recommend my clients avoid cow’s milk for 60-days, then reintroduce it, noting how they feel. In the meantime, I recommend they consume goat and sheep’s milk products, which tend to be more compatible with the human gut.

Spicy foods:

Because H pylori damages the delicate lining of the digestive system – particularly the stomach and upper intestine – spicy foods can exacerbate irritation in those areas.

However, there is a caveat here, which is that certain spices, including chilli of all things, can have anti-H pylori properties.

Again, I recommend to my clients that avoid spicy food if it causes problems, but if they feel OK eating spices, I tend to encourage their use from a therapeutic perspective.

Polyunsaturated oils:

This is probably the most controversial topic because seed and nut oils are heavily promoted as being healthy options and should replace the likes of butter.

This is false, dogmatic information. Seeds oils such as sunflower, safflower, corn, soybean and nut oils are damaging to the body, especially when consumed at levels seen in today’s society. They interfere with the body’s ability to make energy, disrupt thyroid gland function and oxidize readily in the body, setting the scene for cancer and heart disease.

Specifically, these oils affect the gut by down-regulating the activity of certain enzymes that help break down food. When food is not broken down properly, it can be putrefied in the gut, causing wind, bloating, loose stools or constipation.

I recommend coconut oil, olive oil (which has a different composition to the other vegetable and seed oils) and organic goat’s butter as optimal sources of dietary fat.

Olive oil has been shown to have anti-H pylori properties and coconut oil contains lauric acid, which also has anti-H pylori activity. Thus, not only are these oils non-disruptive to the gut, they may also assist in killing the H pylori.

In summary, if you have H pylori, avoiding cow’s milk for 60-days and removing spicy foods may assist in quickly reducing digestive symptoms. Avoiding seed oils such as sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oil has the potential to improve all aspects of your health.

Comparison of Eastern and Western Acupuncture

Since Americans have a hard time understanding or accepting the Qi or vital energy that Chinese believe flows through a person’s system, acupuncture had to evolve into Western standards thus leading to the creation of modern or medical acupuncture. This is advantageous when trying to combine or use the traditional treatment with modern medicine as medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and osteopaths use the same new terminologies, basis of diagnosis and treatments and systems.

East-West Comparison

1. Eastern acupuncture uses points and meridians in the body believed to channel Qi or vital energy through systems and organs. Western acupuncture ignores or reinterprets these acupuncture points since there is no scientific or physical basis that can verify the relative connection to diseases or the existence of such.

2. Eastern acupuncture is based on philosophical principles while western acupuncture works using modern biomedical understanding of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. Concepts of disease in the West are taken from medical data and pathology studies. Concepts of disease in the East still use medical theories from ancient times.

3. The terminologies may also differ since Eastern acupuncture describes using a Taoist metaphor and common language while Western acupuncture describes using modern biomedicine.

4. Traditional acupuncturists see modern acupuncture as a degraded version of the original since it is usually only used in modern therapy in conjunction with mainstream medicine. Sessions using traditional approaches can use more needles and last for 20 to 60 minutes while modern acupuncture may use fewer ones lasting only for 2 to 10 minutes. Traditional practitioners refer to the new methods as “dry needling”.

5. Knowing where to insert the needles is a matter of knowing where the energy flows through the body for Eastern acupuncturists. Western practitioners however, use two principles namely the gate theory of pain and the existence of natural opiates in the body.

Bearded Dragon Diets – Three Important Things To Remember

One of the most vital parts of giving proper care to a bearded dragon is ensuring that it is getting enough nourishment through proper diet. Here are some of the tips that you can consider to make sure that your beardie is eating the right foods that will make them healthy:

1. Insects and animals – pet reptiles love to eat insects and animals. Some of the great selections of insects for your pet beared dragon are the following:

  • Crickets – it is advisable to give hatchlings some "pinhead" crickets because these are smaller and easier to chew for them. However, for adult bearded dragon, full sized crickets are best to offer. Feeder crickets contain 69% moisture, 1% ash, 21% protein, 3% carbohydrates, and 6% fat. To ensure more nutritional value, it would be great if you will throw away some fruits or vegetables for these crickets to eat before actually serving them to your pet. With this your pet beardie can receive more nutrients and vitamins that their body needs. Crickets to be fed to your lizard can be bred but it is not actually a great move. You can bulk order 500 crickets online for around $ 21 which is a wiser choice since you do not have to go through the hard work of breeding crickets. These 500 crickets can be kept in a ventilated plastic storage bin until they are all fed to your lizard.
  • Roaches – another great food items for your bearded dragon are roaches particularly dubia. This food item for your pet contains 61% moisture, 28% protein, 2% ash, 3% carbohydrates and 6% fat. It is more expensive to feed your reptile with roaches compared with crickets because only reptile specialty stores offer these feeders roaches.
  • Mealworms and superworms – prolific mealworm is second most popular food for lizards. Mealworms contain 63% moisture, 1% ash, 19% protein, 14% fat and 3% carbohydrates. Superworms are more recommended for larger lizards.

2. Limit the fruits intake – bearded dragon is omnivore. Sometimes, it is good to mimic diet in the wild so it would be great to give vegetables and some fruits to your bearded dragon. Some of the best fruits and vegetables for them are carrots, turnip greens, strawberries, dandelion greens, blueberries and tomatoes.

However, it is advisable to limit the percentage of these foods intake. Fruits and vegetables must only be 25% of the overall mix of foods and it must not go beyond 10 percent of the whole diet of your bearded dragon.

3. Commercial diets – giving commercial diets mixture like Rep-Cal Maintenance Formula Bearded Dragon Food (6 oz) and Zoo Med Natural Adult Bearded Dragon Food (20 oz) are also advisable. These commercial diets are good for the lizard since it contains lots of the fruits and vegetables mentioned above plus great deal of nutritional supplements and vitamins.

However, there are instances wherein the beardie does not eat the commercial diet foods immediately so what you can do is moist it a bit or mix it with green vegetables and fruits until they get used to it.

These are some details that you should remember when it comes to the diet of your reptile It is also advisable to consult veterinarian first so you can have proper background and knowledge about your dearest pet. Giving them the right kinds of foods will help them grow healthy and active.

If you are really an enthusiastic individual and pet loving owner, you must read more details about Bearded Dragon diets . It will give you all information that you need to know about your pet.

The Pros and Cons of Overhead Projectors

Despite the rise of LCD digital projectors, overhead projectors are still widely used in different settings such as classrooms and business meetings. They are very sturdy, easy to use, and fairly affordable. In short, an overhead projector can be rightfully considered as a practical tool for presenting visuals to a large group of people.

Read on and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using this type of projector.

Pros

1. They are easy to operate. The most obvious benefit here is that these projectors are equipped with simple technology. It doesn’t have complicated parts nor does it have too many cables that’s why setting it up is never a hassle. You won’t have to worry about figuring out different settings and requirements such as software troubleshooting and others. This also means you will be able to avoid computer-related concerns which could possibly ruin your presentations.

2. They are less expensive to acquire and maintain. Compared with modern LCD projectors, overhead projectors require lesser amount of money to acquire and maintain. Purchasing from the right resources could lead you to about 50 percent savings and so this makes a nice choice if you are tight on budget. Look around and try browsing the available options. You will likely find projectors that have almost the same price as an LCD lamp.

3. Transparencies are available everywhere. Regardless if you are using an inkjet or laser printer, there are transparency films that are perfect for your device. These transparencies can be bought from nearby stores that carry office supplies and they are often available for a cheap price.

Cons

1. The heat. Although projector cases are designed to endure the heat of internal lamps, you as a user may still find it too hot to touch. Moreover, certain parts could even cause burns if you are not too careful. Also, be extra cautious not to place flammable materials beside it during or after use. This is important so you can avoid untoward incidents.

2. The toxins. There’s always the tendency for the projector’s plastic and metal parts to melt because of its heat level. When this happens, the machine will likely release toxic chemicals which may induce dizziness, skin irritation, and others. In case you suspect that you are are experiencing any of these symptoms after using the machine, then it’s always best to contact a professional technician to perform checks and repairs.

Head YouTek Prestige Midplus Tennis Racquet Review

Every major racquet company has a flagfish racquet that is synonymous with the brand. Wilson has the Pro Staff 6.1 95, Babolat has the extremely popular Pure Drive, and Head has the Prestige. Originally introduced in the mid 80's as the Prestige Pro, the Prestige family of racquets has become instantly recognizable in the hands of such greats as Goran Ivanisevic, Marat Safin, Gustavo Kuerten, and young guns Marin Cilic and Stanislas Wawrinka. Head's newest incarnation of the Prestige line is the Yutek Prestige infused with Head's patented d3O technology and a classy new cosmetic. For this particular play test, I took out a new Youtek Prestige Mid Plus strung with a Polyblend at 57 lbs.

Anyone who has played or demoed a Prestige in the past knows that this racquet is geared for control and more control. Everything about the frame from its moderately low stiffness rating (which is 62 by our RA), thin beam, and dense string pattern (18×20) are geared for pinpoint precision, and this racquet does not disappoint. Starting from the backcourt, I could instantly feel that this racquet has superior stability and plow through on the ground. My ground strokes were deeper and more penetrating than racquets with less weight, and I felt no vibration whatever when connecting with well stuck balls from my opponent.

Moving into the net is where I really started to enjoy the feel of the new Prestige. For anyone who has had some higher level player frames from Head in the past (ie Radical, Prestige), there is a tendency for the racquet to feel something dead near the top of the racquet. For this reason, I sometimes struggle with my feel at net with my current racquet (Microgel Radical MP). This was not the case with the new Prestige. I felt that all of my volleys were crisp and accurate, even when I did not connect right in the center of the sweet spot. This was a big bonus for me as I actually picked up some free points at net that I would not normally get.

While I certainly enjoyed the Prestige from the backcourt and at the net, the racquet really excels when you start to serve. From the service line, I was able to crack hard flat serves down the "T" and slice some great looking serves out wide. With other racquets, I sometimes have to hold back in order to gain my control within the box, but I was able to let loose with this racquet and gain some much needed free points.

From my review you might think that this racquet is magical and will instantly make you a better player. While I certainly approve of this new version of the Prestige, here are some things to consider. First, the racquet is heavy in comparison to most of your other racquets in the market, and will be best suited for strong players 4.0-4.5 and up. If you are not used to playing with a racquet this heavy you can really start to feel the weight, especially if you have to go a third set. Second, this racquet provides you with control for days, but that means that you must generate most of your power from your swing. Nothing short or compact will work here; it requires those long loopy strokes. If this sounds like your kind of racquet, feel free to use the coupon at the end of this newsletter for a free week long demo of the new prestige!

The Nike Dunk – Shoes Designed For Basketball

Nike, Inc. launched the Nike Dunks in 1985 as a line of product positioned side by side the Nike Terminator. The plan was to bend the basketball shoe market a bit introducing colors instead of the usual white pair with black swoosh. They had their eye on the target and Nike knew what to do.

Designed for basketball

The Nike Dunks were really intended for the basketball players. Nike had the shoes designed with a lower profile outer sole compared to the previous shoes. The objective was to offer shoes that are lighter in weight, closer to ground, and equipped with better paneling for improved performance. The improvements were made so that the player could attain optimum pivoting and blocking.

To market the new line, a program called the College Colors was launched in various colleges and universities. Selected schools were signed up for exclusive Nike sponsorship. The jerseys were to be matched with the Dunks that will be provided for by Nike.

The eight schools that were chosen for the Dunks program included University of Maryland, St. John's University, Syracuse University, Villanova University, University of Iowa, University of Kentucky, University of Michigan, and University of Nevada.

The production for the Nike Dunks was put on hold for some time until Nike re-launched the line in 1998. The new Dunks had tongues made of nylon and arch support – those were the signature styles that differentiate them from the present releases. The shoes exhibited the classic university colors but new colors were also released.

Unexpected niche in skateboarding

In the early 2000s, the skateboarding market started to peak. Although many skaters already started to use the Dunks even during the 90s, it was not until 2002 that Nike launched the Nike Dunk SB, which targets the skateboarders.

Skaters or riders got attracted to the Dunks because of the same features that made them very good basketball shoes. The skaters needed shoes that will be comfortable for them as they ride their boards. The lower profile design of the outer soles made it possible for them to feel the board better. What made the basketball players move freely and function effectively on the court were the same features that made the skaters perform better with their skateboards.

Sneakerheads and their eye for fashion

Overlapping with the skateboarders, there emerged a pop culture where fashion was focused on the sneakers. This was also hyped up by the hiphop culture, which also started to flourish in the 90s. Sneakerhead refers to a person who collects shoes, which he intends to wear for purposes of fashion and everyday wear. Most often, the shoes of choice are those intended for sports like tennis or basketball.

The return of the Nike Dunks proved to be a successful more by Nike. With the new branch, Nike Dunk SB, the shoe line is now cashing in on their limited editions, which often sell at insane prices. The popularity of these special versions is attributed to the hype that is being given to the Dunks in the Internet.

House-Training a Puppy – Top 10 Survival Tips

House-training a puppy does not have to be a difficult or time-consuming process when you have the key points covered. I find that many new dog owners approach house-training as if they were dealing with another person.

Let me assure you that this approach will not work. You actually need to appreciate and take advantage of differences between dogs and people. For any kind of dog training, the most important difference is that dogs are creatures of habit and not creatures of reason.

You can not simply appeal with a dog or punish him in order to make him understand what you expect from him. You must correct his bad behavior and praise his good behavior. Then do this over and over until your dog gets it. Once you realize this key to successful dog training, house-training will become much easier.

I'm about to give you 10 of the most important tips for house-training your puppy. These tips, which apply to both housebreaking and paper-training, cover all of the essential components of successful house-training.

  1. Visit your veterinarian . This is always a good first step because it will help to ensure that there are no medical reasons preventing or hindering your house-training efforts. Plus, it's always a good idea to have a new pet checked out as soon as they're introduced into the family unit.
  2. Start house-training your puppy early . As soon as your new puppy arrives in your home, start house-training him. But, do not expect too much from a very young puppy. They have almost no control over their bladder and bowels. So it's up to you to get them outside regularly.
  3. Decide what method of house-training is right for your situation . If you live in a high-rise apartment building or if you're disabled or handicapped, you might want to consider paper-training rather than housebreaking.
  4. Get your puppy on a schedule immediately . Do not miss the importance of this step. Puppies need to eliminate shortly after they eat, drink, play, and sleep. If you can schedule these events, you can get them outside (or onto papers) at the appropriate time. This can speed training considerably!
  5. Use confinement and supervision religiously . Never allow your puppy to wander around the house unsupervised. I can guarantee that he will have an accident. And, every accident that goes unaccompanied slows the training.
  6. Consider Crate Training to speed house-training . When done correctly crate training is very beneficial for any puppy. It provides a secure retreat for your puppy and it also helps him to learn to control his bowels and bladder. That's because dogs by nature do not like to eliminate where they sleep. So as long as you do not leave him in the crate for hours on end, your puppy will try to hold it until you let him out.
  7. Correct an accident only if you witness it . Without you see your puppy eliminating in the house, you can not do anything except clean it up and try to supervise him better next time. If you do catch him, do something to interrupt him (like saying "NO!" In a strong tone) and get him outside immediately. Never hit him or try to punish him after the fact! You'll only be teaching him to be afraid of you. This could backfire causing him to urinate every time he sees you.
  8. Praise every successful elimination . Never miss the opportunity to praise your puppy profusely when he goes where and when he should. Praise is the golden key to successful and quick house-training.
  9. Be patient . Try to be as patient with your young puppy as you would be with your child being toilet trained. Different children take to toilet training at different speeds. The same is true for puppies and house-training.
  10. Be consistent . I saved this for last because its probably the most important. If you're not consistent in all your training efforts, your puppy will find it hard to recognize exactly what you want him to do. And, failure is assured.

Remember, your puppy would like nothing better than to please you. As soon as he figures out what it is that will please you, he'll be eager to do it! And, the training will be pretty much complete.

Therefore, your task is to make it very clear to him exactly what you want and expect from him. And you do this by correcting mistakes WHILE they're happening and by seeing his successes.

If you do this consistently , you can not fail!

How to Build Lessons With a Project Learning Matrix Design

I suggest using diplomacy and patience to build your OAR. It is the matrix behind project learning and is the rudder to steer student participation, along with your active classroom management skills.

Objectives

These are taken from your school district curriculum standards. It's a good idea to post them on the board or location students can refer to them during class.

Teaching students responsibility begins with setting them up for success. I refer to the objective at beginning of class and as we go through the lesson. This supports the student in tying together what we are discovering.

Activities

Each lesson will have a minimum of two or three activities. Students have plenty of energy so a variety of work to do in class gives them a chance to use it in a positive way.

Assessments

Every lesson has two or three situations where a teacher can review student work to understand concept comprehension. Many are informal and you can always use formal (quiz, test, etc.) as a traditional class does.

Resources

Beside needing a rubric, other materials can be necessary to complete an activity. For example, here are some typical requirements for more common activities:

– white boards
– erasers, marker
– slides, LCD
– blank paper
– crayons
– calculators
– reading material
– note paper
– scissor
– timer

Here is a lesson designed with an OAR using Project Learning Matrix design in my science class:

Standard

Students will understand the cell types and their properties.

Bell Work

What are two similarities and two differences between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells? (Discuss bell work answers and give student work) 5-10 minutes

Activity (Paired Work)

Explain the work: student pairs work on white boards to make Venn diagram of prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. [5 minutes]

Student work (while students work I walk around and review boards which helps me prepare for remaining work in class) [10 minutes]

Students post boards around room (on shelf, chalk trays) [2 minutes]

Students take notes on papers using "T" chart of 10 similarities and 10 differences (building analytical skills here and I point that out while they are doing this) [5 minutes]

Randomly call on students to say one similarity or difference that has not been stated yet from comparing the boards. [8 minutes]

Summary (Class Discussion) [10 minutes]

Show a slide of pictures: water, rock, fire, plant, fish, and dog using LCD

Two minute discussion in group to answer:

What type of cells makes which and what is evidence?

Then I randomly call on groups for answers and to question evidence. My purpose is to solidify student understand of cell properties and who / what each type of cell.

Students put materials away [3 minutes]

A Project Learning Matrix Lesson is multidimensional

This lesson design uses reading, writing, listening, speaking, collaboration with peers, analyzing, investigating, and making an educated guess.

A must beginning to class is a "getting down to work" which is why I use bell work. This is a sure fire way to turn on student thinking. The bell work question either reviews class work from the end previous, or is something to determine prior knowledge of a concept we have not studied but will begin studying that day. My bell work question is placed on a separate white board in the front of the room and remains there the entire class. That board is located next to the learning objective (s) for that class.

Something at the end of class to tie everything together is a key strategy. The easiest way for me is using a class discussion to summarize what was discussed. I always call on students randomly. This lesson segment is not a teacher lecture. Instead, it's lead by the teacher asking questions ….

– what is one thing we covered today?
– who can tell me what ______ is in relation (compared) to ___________?
– how would you describe ______ as we use it today in our ________ (culture, food, clothes)?
– explain one reason that ________ is occurring or did occur? What is the evidence?

An even better summary activity …. Ann individual student reflection where students have a few minutes to jot down their thoughts from one or two prompts I give them (write on board).

Activity Ideas

There are a host of various activities that students can use as projects that foster collaboration.

Make poster Class write Write a story Teach a portion of lesson

Sampler stations Science lab Paired sharing White boarding

Build model Read with partner Do radio show Make or complete a puzzle

Design brochure Make and do survey Play learning game Use graphic organizer

Whatever the activity is, be sure it's interesting and challenging to student skills. Have your rubric done before the lesson so you can preview it with students. Set students up to win ….. keep them informed on how to do well and they will do well. Be sure during an activity that you are walking around and interacting with groups and individual students.

Do not sit at your desk and do teacher work or view your email. When students see you're interested they'll work harder.

Assessment Ideas

There are plenty of ways to use formal or informal assessments in this lesson design. As I walk around observing students and groups during activities, it becomes clear who knows the material (concepts) and who does not. I like to use "tickets out the door" to document where students are and help them drill down a bit. Basically, a "ticket out the door" is me handing the students a small piece of paper (not a full or half sheet) and giving them a verbal prompt or two. Then they write their answer on that paper and turn it in as they leave. I've used this as an assignment grade ….. but not always. Here are some prompt examples I've used …..

– what is the same (or different) about ______ and ______
– tell me three things you learned, two things you want more info about, and one question you have
– what did the ________ become _________? What is your evidence for you answer?
– explain in two sentences or more how __________________
– what is a good question for the quiz on Friday that other students should know?

Conclusion

A matrixed lesson educates the whole child. This means that there are academic skills building abilities, social skill building abilities, and students are given an opportunity to manage their own time and success.

The academic skill requirements are easy to guide using the objective. The skill potential building is endless, they are arise from students being able to collaborate to accomplish specific tasks. Arranging students in workable groups is always a challenge for me. Sometimes I have them count off and then all the one's work together and the two's work together and so forth. I stay away from people picking their own partners because there is too much comfort zone in that. I like students to have some comfort but I like it more when they are pushing their own envelope.

Students who are absent or just do not contribute to a group can be challenging to any lesson. When students are absent I put them in a new group and they start over on the work, except it's an excused absence. I tell them that when we cover the rubric, with the intent no one is absent.

Students who do not work, their partners complain about them, I have a two step program. The first step is I talk to the accused and tell him / her what group members are saying. I also tell 'em, after letting them explain their side of the story, that if complaints continue then they'll be working at Table 8.

Tale 8 is reserved for all the students who get bounced from other groups for not working. The key is giving the accused one or two opportunities to get on track and start working, take some responsibility, before I bounce 'em to table 8.

In summary, matrixed lessons produce amazing results and students have fun while they work hard. Teachers, the bright red flag is when we do too much lecturing – that kills this type of lesson. Teacher lecture / presentation must be limited to 15-18 minutes each day. The rest of the period must be used in students performing tasks for certain activities defined by a rubric that the class has gone over.

Have fun and when you stick to this lesson structure, student learning will go beyond your expectations.

Gel Nails – Protecting Your Nails From Overexposure to Chemicals and Allergic Reactions

Our body is composed of chemicals and so are our nails. In addition, our daily routine exposes us to chemicals at home, at our workplace, on the streets in the form of smoke, dust and virtually in all the products that we use. Used in proportion chemicals like creams, sprays and so on protect our skin from aging and damage and add to our beauty. Similarly, used in excess these same products may cause chemical over exposure and allergic reactions on our body.

Allergies are a reaction of our immune system and are a form of hypersensitivity where white blood cells get excessively activated and cause inflammation, redness, boils, fever. At a nail spa, the technician and clients are constantly exposed to chemicals which are used to treat the nails. These chemicals should be carefully used to prevent over exposure which may in turn damage the nails. The nail tech should therefore pay careful attention to each step in the nail enhancement technique ranging from preparation of the chemicals to application and finally the finishing.

Allergies can appear either in stages over a long period of time or immediately after a short exposure to some substance. Allergic contact dermatitis is a condition which develops as a result of skin sensitization over a period of time due to exposure of a substance for few days or years. It is characterized by blisters, itching, redness, swelling of the skin which is present in the area of contact of the allergic substance. Irritant contact dermatitis develops due to heavy short term exposure or a long low exposure to a substance. The chemical or irritant enters beneath the skin and reacts with the tissues to damage the skin. The result is itchiness, swelling, skin damage like blisters and scales.

As nail techs constantly come in contact with nail dust, gels, acrylics, primers, polish removers, they are susceptible to allergies and should take adequate precautions to protect themselves. Clients on the other hand can develop allergies to some nail treatments and products like gels, acrylics, removers which may cause skin and nail damage.

Some tips that nail techs should keep in mind to avoid chemical over exposure to them and clients are:

o Keep your salon clean – use clean linen for each client, see that all equipment is sterilized before and after use, trash bags are changed daily.

o Maintain personal hygiene – wear appropriate clothing to protect your skin from nail dust, wear a face mask to keep away dust and odors frequently changing it and never treat your worktable like a dining area. Undesirable chemicals may pass into your food and cause adverse reactions.

o Carefully prepare your work area before each client appointment so that you do not end up mixing the wrong chemicals in a hurry and causing damage to client nails.

o Use and store all nail care products as per the manufacturer’s instructions and do not try to mix unadvised quantities as this may cause mishaps like burns on the skin and damage to the nail plate.

o Only mix the amount of liquid you will need for application and never more. This will avoid wastage as well as limit the amount of harmful vapors which will be emitted.

o Keep your spa well ventilated to release any vapors and odors which may linger on after a nail job.

o Keep a small area around the cuticle free of any product to allow the application to settle firmly and avoid over exposure of chemical on the nail plate.

o Do not keep wet brushes on towels or indiscriminately wipe them with whatever comes your way. Instead use disposable towels.

Maintaining these basic hygiene standards will go a long way in preventing any allergies or chemical over exposures to yourself and your clients. High standards will also add immensely to your appointment book.

Make Your Relationship Better – How Consideration Can Build A Relationship That Lasts

People come to me all the time and ask how they can make their relationships better. I have a simple formula that works like magic. All you have to do is just put it into practice and you will see what I mean. I call it the three c’s. Let me tell you about them. The first c is cooperation and I talked about it in a previous writing. The second is consideration and that is what we are going to talk about today. Finally there is comfort which I will discuss in a future blog post or article.

What does it really mean to be considerate? In a nut shell being considerate is just showing regard for another person’s feelings or circumstances. The easier way to think of it is to look at it like this. When you are being considerate you are taking into account that you are not walking in their shoes so you have no idea what it is really like. You are looking at all the obstacles in their way and taking time to think about how this might affect them.

Considerate people do not snap back when their partner is a little short with them. They take into consideration that the partner has had a hard day and that they probably aren’t meaning to be short. Considerate people listen more than others because they know that the other person has their own unique set of problems and the only way to understand them is to ask and listen. Considerate people complain less and help out more.

I heard a doctor on the radio today say “it is a scientific fact that husbands that do more housework get more sex than other husbands.” I posted this up on Facebook and the resounding response (primarily from women) was “DUH!” If you are considerate with your partner you will find that the rewards are exponential. Being considerate, like the other two c’s, is not hard. It is just something you have to keep on your mind and focus on.

Being considerate is the best way to grow your relationship into the healthy partnership that you desire, well it’s the best way if you include the other two c’s with it. Read more and find out about how comfort is the final c that brings it all together! With the three c’s you will find your relationship growing and more healthy that you might have otherwise believed.