The Difference Between Being Smart, Educated, and Intelligent

I’ve always been intrigued by the subject of intelligence. As a child my mother would refer to me as “smart,” but I quickly noticed that all parents refer to their children as smart. In time I would discover that all children are not smart, just as all babies are not cute. If that were the case, we’d have a world full of beautiful, smart people – which we don’t.

Some of us are smart; but not as smart as we think, and others are smarter than they seem, which makes me wonder, how do we define smart? What makes one person smarter than another? When do “street smarts” matter more than “book smarts”? Can you be both smart and stupid? Is being smart more of a direct influence of genetics, or one’s environment?

Then there are the issues of education, intelligence and wisdom.

What does it mean to be highly educated? What’s the difference between being highly educated and highly intelligent? Does being highly educated automatically make you highly intelligent? Can one be highly intelligent without being highly educated? Do IQs really mean anything? What makes a person wise? Why is wisdom typically associated with old age?

My desire to seek answers to these questions inspired many hours of intense research which included the reading of 6 books, hundreds of research documents, and countless hours on the Internet; which pales in comparison to the lifetime of studies and research that pioneers in the fields of intelligence and education like Howard Gardner, Richard Sternberg, Linda S. Gottfredson, Thomas Sowell, Alfie Kohn, and Diane F. Halpern whose work is cited in this article.

My goal was simple: Amass, synthesize, and present data on what it means to be smart, educated and intelligent so that it can be understood and used by anyone for their benefit.

PRENATAL CARE

With this in mind, there was not a better (or more appropriate) place to start than at the very beginning of our existence: as a fetus in the womb.

There is mounting evidence that the consumption of food that’s high in iron both before and during pregnancy is critical to building the prenatal brain. Researchers have found a strong association between low iron levels during pregnancy and diminished IQ. Foods rich in iron include lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, seafoods, nuts, dried fruits, oatmeal, and fortified cereals.

Children with low iron status in utero (in the uterus) scored lower on every test and had significantly lower language ability, fine-motor skills, and tractability than children with higher prenatal iron levels. In essence, proper prenatal care is critical to the development of cognitive skills.

COGNITIVE SKILLS

Cognitive skills are the basic mental abilities we use to think, study, and learn. They include a wide variety of mental processes used to analyze sounds and images, recall information from memory, make associations between different pieces of information, and maintain concentration on particular tasks. They can be individually identified and measured. Cognitive skill strength and efficiency correlates directly with students’ ease of learning.

DRINKING, PREGNANCY, AND ITS INTELLECTUAL IMPACT

Drinking while pregnant is not smart. In fact, it’s downright stupid.

A study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that even light to moderate drinking – especially during the second trimester – is associated with lower IQs in offspring at 10 years of age. This result was especially pronounced among African-American rather than Caucasian offspring.

“IQ is a measure of the child’s ability to learn and to survive in his or her environment. It predicts the potential for success in school and in everyday life. Although a small but significant percentage of children are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) each year, many more children are exposed to alcohol during pregnancy who do not meet criteria for FAS yet experience deficits in growth and cognitive function,” said Jennifer A. Willford, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Paul D. Connor, clinical director of the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington has this to say about the subject:

“There are a number of domains of cognitive functioning that can be impaired even in the face of a relatively normal IQ, including academic achievement (especially arithmetic), adaptive functioning, and executive functions (the ability to problem solve and learn from experiences). Deficits in intellectual, achievement, adaptive, and executive functioning could make it difficult to appropriately manage finances, function independently without assistance, and understand the consequences of – or react appropriately to – mistakes.”

This is a key finding which speaks directly to the (psychological) definition of intelligence which is addressed later in this article.

ULTRA SOUNDS

Studies have shown that the frequent exposure of the human fetus to ultrasound waves is associated with a decrease in newborn body weight, an increase in the frequency of left-handedness, and delayed speech.

Because ultrasound energy is a high-frequency mechanical vibration, researchers hypothesized that it might influence the migration of neurons in a developing fetus. Neurons in mammals multiply early in fetal development and then migrate to their final destinations. Any interference or disruption in the process could result in abnormal brain function.

Commercial companies (which do ultrasounds for “keepsake” purposes) are now creating more powerful ultrasound machines capable of providing popular 3D and 4D images. The procedure, however, lasts longer as they try to make 30-minute videos of the fetus in the uterus.

The main stream magazine New Scientist reported the following: Ultrasound scans can stop cells from dividing and make them commit suicide. Routine scans, which have let doctors peek at fetuses and internal organs for the past 40 years, affect the normal cell cycle.

On the FDA website this information is posted about ultrasounds:

While ultrasound has been around for many years, expectant women and their families need to know that the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known. In light of all that remains unknown, having a prenatal ultrasound for non-medical reasons is not a good idea.

NATURE VERSUS NURTURE…THE DEBATE CONTINUES

Now that you are aware of some of the known factors which determine, improve, and impact the intellectual development of a fetus, it’s time for conception. Once that baby is born, which will be more crucial in the development of its intellect: nature (genetics) or nurture (the environment)?

Apparently for centuries, scientists and psychologists have gone back and forth on this. I read many comprehensive studies and reports on this subject during the research phase of this article, and I believe that it’s time to put this debate to rest. Both nature and nurture are equally as important and must be fully observed in the intellectual development of all children. This shouldn’t be an either/or proposition.

A recent study shows that early intervention in the home and in the classroom can make a big difference for a child born into extreme poverty, according to Eric Turkheimer, a psychologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The study concludes that while genetic makeup explains most of the differences in IQ for children in wealthier families, environment – and not genes – makes a bigger difference for minority children in low-income homes.

Specifically, what researchers call “heritability”- the degree to which genes influence IQ – was significantly lower for poor families. “Once you’re put into an adequate environment, your genes start to take over,” Mr. Turkheimer said, “but in poor environments genes don’t have that ability.”

But there are reports that contradict these findings…sort of.

Linda S. Gottfredson, a professor of educational studies at the University of Delaware, wrote in her article, The General Intelligence Factor that environments shared by siblings have little to do with IQ. Many people still mistakenly believe that social, psychological and economic differences among families create lasting and marked differences in IQ.

She found that behavioral geneticists refer to such environmental effects as “shared” because they are common to siblings who grow up together. Her reports states that the heritability of IQ rises with age; that is to say, the extent to which genetics accounts for differences in IQ among individuals increases as people get older.

In her article she also refers to studies comparing identical and fraternal twins, published in the past decade by a group led by Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., of the University of Minnesota and other scholars, show that about 40 percent of IQ differences among preschoolers stems from genetic differences, but that heritability rises to 60 percent by adolescence and to 80 percent by late adulthood.

And this is perhaps the most interesting bit of information, and relevant to this section of my article:

With age, differences among individuals in their developed intelligence come to mirror more closely their genetic differences. It appears that the effects of environment on intelligence fade rather than grow with time.

Bouchard concludes that young children have the circumstances of their lives imposed on them by parents, schools and other agents of society, but as people get older they become more independent and tend to seek out the life niches that are most congenial to their genetic proclivities.

BREAST-FEEDING INCREASES INTELLIGENCE

Researchers from Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand studied over 1,000 children born between April and August 1977. During the period from birth to one year, they gathered information on how these children were fed.

The infants were then followed to age 18. Over the years, the researchers collected a range of cognitive and academic information on the children, including IQ, teacher ratings of school performance in reading and math, and results of standardized tests of reading comprehension, mathematics, and scholastic ability. The researchers also looked at the number of passing grades achieved in national School Certificate examinations taken at the end of the third year of high school.

The results indicated that the longer children had been breast-fed, the higher they scored on such tests.

TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Thomas Sowell, author of Race, IQ, Black Crime, and facts Liberals Ignore uncovered some fascinating information that every parent should take note of. He writes:

There is a strong case that black Americans suffer from a series of disadvantageous environments. Studies show time and again that before they go to school, black children are on average exposed to a smaller vocabulary than white children, in part due to socioeconomic factors.

While children from professional households typically exposed to a total of 2,150 different words each day, children from working class households are exposed to 1,250, and children from households on welfare a mere 620.

Yes, smart sounding children tend to come from educated, professional, two-parent environments where they pick-up valuable language skills and vocabulary from its smart sounding inhabitants.

Mr. Sowell continues: Black children are obviously not to blame for their poor socioeconomic status, but something beyond economic status is at work in black homes. Black people have not signed up for the “great mission” of the white middle class – the constant quest to stimulate intellectual growth and get their child into Harvard or Oxbridge.

Elsie Moore of Arizona State University, Phoenix, studied black children adopted by either black or white parents, all of whom were middle-class professionals. By the age of 7.5 years, those in black homes were 13 IQ points behind those being raised in the white homes.

ACCUMULATED ADVANTAGES

At this juncture in my research it dawned on me, and should be fairly obvious to you, that many children are predisposed to being smart, educated, and intelligent, simply by their exposure to the influential factors which determine them long before they start school.

An informed mother, proper prenatal care, educated, communicative parents, and a nurturing environment in which to live, all add up to accumulated advantages that formulate intellectual abilities. As you can see, some children have unfair advantages from the very beginning.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of top-selling book Outliers, wrote that “accumulated advantages” are made possible by arbitrary rules…and such unfair advantages are everywhere. “It is those who are successful who are most likely to be given the kinds of social opportunities that lead to further success,” he writes. “It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention.”

With that in mind, we turn our attention to education and intelligence.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WELL EDUCATED?

Alfie Kohn, author of the book What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated? poses the question, does the phrase well educated refer to a quality of schooling you received, or something about you? Does it denote what you were taught? Or what you remember?

I contend that to be well educated is all in the application; the application and use of information. Information has to be used in order to become knowledge, and as we all have heard, knowledge is power.

Most people are aware of the floundering state of education in this country on some level. We tell our children that nothing is more important than getting a “good” education, and every year, due to government budget shortfalls, teachers are laid off, classes are condensed, schools are closed, and many educational programs – especially those which help the underprivileged – are cut.

The reality is, we don’t really value education. We value it as a business, an industry, political ammunition, and as an accepted form of discrimination, but not for what it was intended: a means of enriching one’s character and life through learning.

What we value as a society, are athletes and the entertainment they offer. The fact that a professional athlete makes more money in one season, than most teachers in any region will make in their careers, is abominable. There’s always money to build new sports stadiums, but not enough to give teachers a decent (and well-deserved) raise.

Ironically, the best teachers don’t go into the profession for money. They teach because it’s a calling. Most of them were influenced by a really good teacher as a student. With the mass exodus of teachers, many students are not able to cultivate the mentoring relationships that they once were able to because so many are leaving the profession – voluntarily and involuntarily – within an average of three years.

At the high school level, where I got my start, the emphasis is not on how to educate the students to prepare them for life, or even college (all high schools should be college-prep schools, right?), it was about preparing them to excel on their standardized tests. Then the controversial “exit” exams were implemented and literally, many high schools were transformed into testing centers. Learning has almost become secondary.

This mentality carries over into college, which of course there’s a test one must take in order to enroll (the SAT or ACT). This explains why so many college students are more concerned with completing a course, than learning from it. They are focused on getting “A’s” and degrees, instead of becoming degreed thinkers. The latter of which are in greater demand by employers and comprise the bulk of the self-employed. The “get-the-good-grade” mindset is directly attributable to the relentless and often unnecessary testing that our students are subjected to in schools.

Alfie Kohn advocates the “exhibition” of learning, in which students reveal their understanding by means of in-depth projects, portfolios of assignments, and other demonstrations.

He cites a model pioneered by Ted Sizer and Deborah Meier. Meier has emphasized the importance of students having five “habits of mind,” which are: the value of raising questions about evidence (“How do we know what we know?”), point of view, (“Whose perspective does this represent?”), connections (“How is this related to that?”), supposition (“How might things have been otherwise?”), and relevance (“Why is this important?”).

Kohn writes: It’s only the ability to raise and answer those questions that matters, though, but also the disposition to do so. For that matter, any set of intellectual objectives, any description of what it means to think deeply and critically, should be accompanied by a reference to one’s interest or intrinsic motivation to do such thinking…to be well-educated then, is to have the desire as well as the means to make sure that learning never ends…

HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF IQ

We’ve always wanted to measure intelligence. Ironically, when you look at some the first methods used to evaluate it in the 1800s, they were not, well, very intelligent. Tactics such as subjecting people to various forms of torture to see what their threshold for pain was (the longer you could withstand wincing, the more intelligent you were believed to be), or testing your ability to detect a high pitch sound that others could not hear.

Things have changed…or have they?

No discussion of intelligence or IQ can be complete without mention of Alfred Binet, a French psychologist who was responsible for laying the groundwork for IQ testing in 1904. His original intention was to devise a test that would diagnose learning disabilities of students in France. The test results were then used to prepare special programs to help students overcome their educational difficulties.

It was never intended to be used as an absolute measure of one’s intellectual capabilities.

According to Binet, intelligence could not be described as a single score. He said that the use of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as a definite statement of a child’s intellectual capability would be a serious mistake. In addition, Binet feared that IQ measurement would be used to condemn a child to a permanent “condition” of stupidity, thereby negatively affecting his or her education and livelihood.

The original interest was in the assessment of ‘mental age’ — the average level of intelligence for a person of a given age. His creation, the Binet-Simon test (originally called a “scale”), formed the archetype for future tests of intelligence.

H. H. Goddard, director of research at Vineland Training School in New Jersey, translated Binet’s work into English and advocated a more general application of the Simon-Binet test. Unlike Binet, Goddard considered intelligence a solitary, fixed and inborn entity that could be measured. With help of Lewis Terman of Stanford University, his final product, published in 1916 as the Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence (also known as the Stanford-Binet), became the standard intelligence test in the United States.

It’s important to note that the fallacy about IQ is that it is fixed and can not be changed. The fact is that IQ scores are known to fluctuate – both up and down during the course of one’s lifetime. It does not mean that you become more, or less intelligent, it merely means that you tested better on one day than another.

One more thing to know about IQ tests: They have been used for racist purposes since their importation into the U.S. Many of those who were involved in the importation and refinement of these tests believed that IQ was hereditary and are responsible for feeding the fallacy that it is a “fixed” trait.

Many immigrants were tested in the 1920s and failed these IQ tests miserably. As a result, many of them were denied entry into the U.S., or were forced to undergo sterilization for fear of populating America with “dumb” and “inferior” babies. If you recall, the tests were designed for white, middle class Americans. Who do you think would have the most difficulty passing them?

Lewis Terman developed the original notion of IQ and proposed this scale for classifying IQ scores:

000 – 070: Definite feeble-mindedness

070 – 079: Borderline deficiency

080 – 089: Dullness

090 – 109: Normal or average intelligence

110 – 119: Superior intelligence

115 – 124: Above average (e.g., university students)

125 – 134: Gifted (e.g., post-graduate students)

135 – 144: Highly gifted (e.g., intellectuals)

145 – 154: Genius (e.g., professors)

155 – 164: Genius (e.g., Nobel Prize winners)

165 – 179: High genius

180 – 200: Highest genius

200 – higher ?: Immeasurable genius

*Genius IQ is generally considered to begin around 140 to 145, representing only 25% of the population (1 in 400).

*Einstein was considered to “only” have an IQ of about 160.

DEFINING INTELLIGENCE

Diane F. Halpern, a psychologist and past-president of the American Psychological Association (APA), wrote in her essay contribution to Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid that in general, we recognize people as intelligent if they have some combination of these achievements (1) good grades in school; (2) a high level of education; (3) a responsible, complex job; (4) some other recognition of being intelligent, such as winning prestigious awards or earning a large salary; (5) the ability to read complex text with good comprehension; (6) solve difficult and novel problems.

Throughout my research and in the early phases of this article, I came across many definitions of the word intelligence. Some were long, some were short. Some I couldn’t even understand. The definition that is most prevalent is the one created by the APA which is: the ability to adapt to one’s environment, and learn from one’s mistakes.

How about that? There’s the word environment again. We just can’t seem to escape it. This adds deeper meaning to the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” It means recognizing what’s going on in your environment, and having the intelligence adapt to it – and the people who occupy it – in order to survive and succeed within it.

There are also many different forms of intelligence. Most notably those created by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University.

Dr. Gardner believes (and I agree) that our schools and culture focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. We esteem the highly articulate or logical people of our culture. However, Dr. Gardner says that we should also place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich the world in which we live.

He felt that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, was far too limited and created the Theories Of Multiple Intelligences in 1983 to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

These intelligences are:

Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)

Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)

Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)

Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)

Musical intelligence (“music smart”)

Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)

Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)

Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

Not associated with Dr. Gardner, but equally respected are:

FLUID & CRYSTALLIZED INTELLIGENCE

According to About.com, Psychologist Raymond Cattell first proposed the concepts of fluid and crystallized intelligence and further developed the theory with John Horn. The Cattell-Horn theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence suggests that intelligence is composed of a number of different abilities that interact and work together to produce overall individual intelligence.

Cattell defined fluid intelligence as “…the ability to perceive relationships independent of previous specific practice or instruction concerning those relationships.” Fluid intelligence is the ability to think and reason abstractly and solve problems. This ability is considered independent of learning, experience, and education. Examples of the use of fluid intelligence include solving puzzles and coming up with problem solving strategies.

Crystallized intelligence is learning from past experiences and learning. Situations that require crystallized intelligence include reading comprehension and vocabulary exams. This type of intelligence is based upon facts and rooted in experiences. This type of intelligence becomes stronger as we age and accumulate new knowledge and understanding.

Both types of intelligence increase throughout childhood and adolescence. Fluid intelligence peaks in adolescence and begins to decline progressively beginning around age 30 or 40. Crystallized intelligence continues to grow throughout adulthood.

SUCCESSFUL INTELLIGENCE

Then there’s Successful Intelligence, which is authored by intelligence psychologist and Yale professor, Robert J. Sternberg, who believes that the whole concept of relating IQ to life achievement is misguided, because he believes that IQ is a pretty miserable predictor of life achievement.

His Successful Intelligence theory focuses on 3 types of intelligence which are combined to contribute to one’s overall success: Analytical Intelligence; mental steps or components used to solve problems; Creative Intelligence: the use of experience in ways that foster insight (creativity/divergent thinking); and Practical Intelligence: the ability to read and adapt to the contexts of everyday life.

With regard to environment, Mr. Sternberg writes in his book Successful Intelligence: Successfully intelligent people realize that the environment in which they find themselves may or may not be able to make the most of their talents. They actively seek an environment where they can not only do successful work, but make a difference. They create opportunities rather than let opportunities be limited by circumstances in which they happen to find themselves.

As an educator, I subscribe to Mr. Sternberg’s Successful Intelligence approach to teaching. It has proven to be a highly effective tool and mindset for my college students. Using Successful Intelligence as the backbone of my context-driven curriculum really inspires students to see how education makes their life goals more attainable, and motivates them to further develop their expertise. Mr. Sternberg believes that the major factor in achieving expertise is purposeful engagement.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

In his best-selling 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reported that research shows that conventional measures of intelligence – IQ – only account for 20% of a person’s success in life. For example, research on IQ and education shows that high IQ predicts 10 to 25% of grades in college. The percentage will vary depending on how we define success. Nonetheless, Goleman’s assertion begs the question: What accounts for the other 80%?

You guessed it…Emotional Intelligence. What exactly is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (also called EQ or EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Many corporations now have mandatory EQ training for their managers in an effort to improve employee

relations and increase productivity.

TACIT KNOWLEDGE aka “STREET SMARTS”

You’ve heard the phrase, “Experience is the greatest teacher…”

In psychology circles knowledge gained from everyday experience is called tacit knowledge. The colloquial term is “street smarts,” which implies that formal, classroom instruction (aka “book smarts”) has nothing to do with it. The individual is not directly instructed as to what he or she should learn, but rather must extract the important lesson from the experience even when learning is not the primary objective.

Tacit knowledge is closely related to common sense, which is sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. As you know, common sense is not all that common.

Tacit knowledge, or the lessons obtained from it, seems to “stick” both faster and better when the lessons have direct relevance to the individual’s goals. Knowledge that is based on one’s own practical experience will likely be more instrumental to achieving one’s goals than will be knowledge that is based on someone else’s experience, or that is overly generic and abstract.

BEING BOTH SMART AND STUPID

Yes, it’s possible to be both smart and stupid. I’m sure someone you know comes to mind at this precise moment. But the goal here is not to ridicule, but to understand how some seemingly highly intelligent, or highly educated individuals can be so smart in one way, and incredibly stupid in others.

The woman who is a respected, well paid, dynamic executive who consistently chooses men who don’t appear to be worthy of her, or the man who appears to be a pillar of the community, with a loving wife and happy kids, ends up being arrested on rape charges.

It happens, but why? I found the answer in Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. Essentially, intellect is domain specific. In other words, being smart (knowledgeable) in one area of your life, and stupid (ignorant) in another is natural. Turning off one’s brain is quite common especially when it comes to what we desire. A shared characteristic among those who are smart and stupid, is the difficulty in delaying gratification.

Olem Ayduk & Walter Mischel who wrote the chapter summarized: Sometimes stupid behavior in smart people may arise from faulty expectations, erroneous beliefs, or merely a lack of motivation to enact control strategies even when one has them. But sometimes it is an inability to regulate one’s affective states and the behavioral tendencies associated with them that leads to stupid and self-defeating behavior.

The central character in this book who many of these lessons regarding being smart and stupid revolve around is Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinksky.

WISDOM & CONCLUSION

My great grandmother, Leola Cecil, maybe had an 8th grade education at the most. By no stretch of the imagination was she highly educated, but she had what seemed like infinite wisdom. She was very observant and could “read” people with startling accuracy. Till the very end of her life she shared her “crystallized intelligence” with whomever was receptive to it.

She died at the age of 94. I often use many of her sayings as a public speaker, but most importantly, I use her philosophies to make sure that I’m being guided spiritually and not just intellectually. Many of us who are lucky enough to have a great grandparent can testify that there is something special about their knowledge. They seem to have life figured out, and a knack for helping those of us who are smart, educated and intelligent see things more clearly when we are too busy thinking.

What they have is what we should all aspire to end up with if we are lucky: wisdom.

Wisdom is the ability to look through a person, when others can only look at them. Wisdom slows down the thinking process and makes it more organic; synchronizing it with intuition. Wisdom helps you make better judgments regarding decisions, and makes you less judgmental. Wisdom is understanding without knowing, and accepting without understanding. Wisdom is recognizing what’s important to other people, and knowing that other people are of the utmost importance to you. Wisdom is both a starting point, and a final conclusion.

Are Aerial Lifts Completely Safe? The Real Answers

To find out whether the aerial lifts are completely safe or not our first task is to find out the list of the necessary features which is required in a lift. After that depending on the necessary features, operating expenses, expected durability and the cost which can be afforded, then decide for the new or the lifts. If you want to purchase a used aerial platform lift the things which you should do is get a documented inspection and try to acquire information as much as possible you can about where and how the lift was used.

Always ask for written warranties

Remember that whether you are buying a used or even a new aerial equipment you should always ask the seller for written warranties, guarantees. Collect information of the parts and the service for the lifts. If you are buying the lift from the original manufacturer or from the broker try to explore different financial options available in the market such as rental and leasing.

Other functions of aerial equipment

The function of lift equipment is to support the people and the goods safely to the ground level to a height greater than 100 feet. You would see that there are different types of aerial lifts that are available in the market. The either type which is known as the scissor lift and the platforms accommodates people and goods. Other types of aerial lift are designed for rough terrain and single person operation. Before starting the buying process it is good to start from the basic level. First ask the question such as where the aerial lift platform will be used and the reason for which you would be using for. After that, think; is there any other application where the aerial platform can be used? It will be good in reducing the cost if the same aerial lift platform can be used for other applications too.

The third thing to remember is that it is good if you rent the aerial lift platform first instead of buying it. If you are in doubt while the new aerial lift will pay for the work itself then you can consider renting the aerial lift platform instead spending a lot of money to buy it.

The question as to why the aerial lift platform is not safe, the main reason for this is its height. As we know that it is more dangerous to work on height rather than working in the ground. The second thing is that the aerial lift is made up with very heavy metal. Handling of this heavy metal is not at all risk free. The third thing is that if the proper training is not given to the operator who is running the machine then also danger may take place. At the end we can say that although we can not eliminate the danger of using aerial lift but by taking the precautions you can have a safe and enjoyable piece of aerial equipment.

Ideas For Moroccan Decor And Your Home

There are a number of ideas for Moroccan home decor, and these include the use of colors, accessories, soft furnishings, and wall decorations.

The colors found in Morocco are perfect for home decorating, because they are rich and exciting, and this is exactly what they will bring into your home. The homes traditionally found in Morocco may appear plain and drab from the outside, but the interiors of these homes are full of vivid colors, interesting designs, rich textures and textiles, ornate Moroccan furniture, and interesting shapes.

Moroccan home decor will include furnishings which are elaborate, surfaces which are highly decorated, and a large number of objects and art work which includes wood and brass.

Wall Decoration Ideas With Moroccan Decor

Color is critical when it comes to Moroccan home decor. Shades of which are intense but also warm are used for the walls, and these can include yellows, reds, and oranges. A common theme with this style is to use less vivid yellows for the wall, and then to use objects and accessories which are colored more brightly as accents.

A rug which has a design that is geometric and includes colors that are warm can be ideal as a wall hanging and Moroccan decor. Other possibilities may include the use of mirrors that have wooden frames that are elaborately designed, and these accessories can make the room seem larger. You can also include smaller cupboards which have doors that are carved and intricately designed. Wall plates that have designs in turquoise and cobalt blue are traditional in Moroccan home decor and can add an interesting focal point on the wall.

Soft Furnishing Ideas With Moroccan Decor

Soft furnishings are also essential with Moroccan home decor. The fabrics used for Moroccan furniture and cushions include vivid colors and shiny metals. Fabric choices will include silk, canvas that has been softened, chenille, brocade, and even satins. The designs used for Moroccan furniture and accessories often includes star shapes that have eight points, zigzags, crosses, and other geometric patterns. These patterns can be mixed as long as the colors are similar and work well together. Balance can be achieved by allowing plain color in some larger areas.

Shutters are normally included in most Moroccan homes, but there are other options that can work just as well. A light cotton fabric can be used which is close to the base color of the walls. Attach this fabric to a wooden pole that has a darker color utilizing tab tops for this purpose. Add some silken cord that is multicolored and adds tassels, making sure to use the same color as the room. This will create a tight back for the fabric which attaches to a walls look that is almost invisible. The same wooden Paul can be used in Moroccan home decor for another effect as well. This involves using a fabric that is light, plain, and white in color. This option gives a contrast to the colors used in your Moroccan decor.

Moroccan Flooring Ideas

With Moroccan home decor the flooring will usually include tiles, as well as dark wooden flooring and carpets in neutral colors. Colorful rugs with intricate patterns are added as well, for a layered look that is fantastic.

Moroccan Furniture Tips

Moroccan furniture involves piece is which set low end are created for comfort as well as appearance. This furniture includes large numbers of cushions in brilliant colors, and these are very inviting. Floor cushions which are oversized can also be included in Moroccan home decor, and small stools are strategically placed around the room. The addition of a dark wood coffee table that is also set low to the floor adds another authentic Moroccan touch. Beverages such as mint tea and coffee can be served using a brass tray, and needs should be accompanied by a small bowl or plate of nuts or fruit to snack on. This will complete the Moroccan home decor and make your home a tempting oasis in the desert.

The Three Types of Fire Damaged Properties in Real Estate Investing

There are basically three types of damage to evaluate when investing in fire damaged properties. The first is what most people see when they look at a property that has been burned. This damage appears to be so extensive that it can’t be repaired. Seldom is this the case unless the roof has caved in and the walls aren’t structurally sound.

Actually, most damage is much less severe and falls into one of the following three categories:

1. There is slight soot or smoke damage throughout most of the property with the major damage contained to one room, usually the kitchen or a bedroom. These usually start when a pot on the stove over-heats and catches fire. The smoke generated is electrostatically charged and adheres to everything including the walls and ceiling. This type of damage is very easily corrected and should cost in the area of $15 to $20 a square foot for the entire living area of the property.

2. The ceiling has been penetrated by the fire and the trusses have been burned. However, the roof is not penetrated or is only slightly burned through. In some cases the roof has been opened by the firemen. Usually a couple of rooms are heavily damaged. This type of damage should be in the area of $20 to $35 a square foot.

3. The interior is heavily damaged and the roof is completely burned through in various areas. This is the most extensive type of damage and could run from $40 to $70 a square foot or more. Be very careful on these properties as a contractor can get started and have trouble finishing the job because he underestimated the repairs and labor needed.

More accurate estimates of these repair costs should be gotten from local contractors who are in the business of rebuilding burned properties. Keep their phone numbers as contacts for your buyers list and ask for referrals to investors who work with these contractors so you can sell them your deals.

The opportunity that exists for even more damaged properties is to put them under a purchase and sale contract or get an option agreement with the seller. Next market them to a buyers list of local contractors and companies that repair smoke damage. Look to buy these properties at about 10% of their After Repaired Value (ARV) and sell them in “As Is” condition for twice what you paid as a wholesale property.

In summary, there is excellent potential to sell wholesale burned properties. Do not worry about the condition of the properties, just get them under contract and wholesale them to investors who know what they are doing. Properties in category #1 above offer super potential as the repair work is labor intensive but only minimal materials are required. A homeowner will generally get a substantial insurance payment from his insurance carrier and whatever he sells his home for is essentially found money. You have no risk except for your deposit with the homeowners so try a few burned properties to see how easy they are to acquire and sell.

Firefox Add-ons For Those on Limited Bandwidth Connections

There are times when you are using your computer on limited bandwidth like with an air card limited to 5 gigabytes per month. There are also times when you are on a slow connection that you need to save bandwidth so you can get to your content faster. Firefox offers a few great plugins that will help you get the meat of the content on the internet without chewing up extra bandwidth.

In order to do this, you will need to have Firefox installed to you machine and know how to install the add-ons and plug-ins that Firefox has available.

To install new add-ons, simply click on Tools then Add-ons to bring up the menu. Then click on Get Add-ons which will bring up a box to search for whatever one you want. Do a search for the add-ons described below if you would like to use them to save bandwidth.

Ad Block Plus

The majority of the time when you are surfing the web, you are there to read the content, not to check out the flash banners and the unnecessary scripts running, These will take up 10 times or more of the bandwidth than the actual content itself . You can get the add-on called Ad Block Plus to block these bandwidth hogging ads. When you need to cut back on your usage, turn this plug-in on so that it will get rid of the extra stuff you do not need on web pages.

Image Like Opera

The Opera web browser has a great image settings that Firefox does not. This add-on will fix that problem and add that functionality to your browser. One setting that you can put your computer on is to only load up pictures that are in your cache. This means that if your browser has loaded that picture before, you will see it. If it has not, you will not see the images.

Using these two plug-ins will significantly cut down on your bandwidth usage. If you avoid video sites and downloads, you can surf the internet for an hour hour this way without eating up more than 20 megabytes of your bandwidth. Even on a 5 gigabyte a month cap, you should have hundreds of hours that you can surf the internet in this mode.

If you are on limited bandwidth, sometimes you run out of it before the month is over. With Firefox and certain add-ons, you can get many more hours of web browsing done without exceeding your limited monthly cap.

Polarized Sunglasses – Who Invented Them?

Polarized sunglasses, like many great inventions, are used by many of us without a second thought. But did you ever stop to think about where polarized sunglasses come from? Somebody had to come up with them.

Actually, we owe the creation of polarized sunglasses to four men. In the 1750s, James Ayscough experimented with using tinted glass to correct vision problems.

Many scientists of the time were studying the properties of light and color. In 1808, Etienne-Louis Malus, a French physicist and mathematician, he discovered that light waves from the sun, which usually vibrate in all directions, can be aligned into one direction when it is reflected off something, like water. According to Malus’ law, the intensity of light transmitted through a polarizing filter depends on the angle of the filter in relation to the light.

While Malus’ law is important in the study of optics, it remained for Scottish physicist, astronomer and inventor Sir David Brewster to discover the angle at which light with a particular polarization can be transmitted through a surface with no reflection. This he did in the year 1815. The angle, called Brewster’s angle or the polarization angle), is critical in the invention of polarized sunglasses.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, experiments continued. People began using yellow- or brown-tinted sunglasses to counteract light sensitivity. People realized that color had something to do with polarization. The optical company Bausch & Lomb began producing a dark green glass to protect U.S. Army Air Corps pilots from glare at high altitudes.

However, it wasn’t until 1936 that Edwin H. Land, an American inventor, created polarizing light filter that was light and inexpensive enough to use on sunglasses. He later created the Polaroid Corporation and developed many inventions, including the Land camera, which allowed amateur photographers to watch their pictures develop instantly.

Land’s invention was quickly put to use in sunglasses produced by Ray-Ban, a unit of Bausch & Lomb. Ray-Ban also created the distinctive “aviator” frame that protected a pilot’s eyes as he repeatedly glanced down at his instrument panel. Army pilots received these glasses for free and as their popularity grew, Ray Ban soon began to sell them to the public. The polarized sunglasses helped pilots to see and complete their missions safely. Their ultra-cool and effective sunglasses added to the pilots’ mystique and soon everyone wanted them in order to imitate their heroes.

Polarized sunglasses are one fashion trend that continues to serve a useful purpose.

3 Common Sports Injuries Require the Involvement of a Doctor

Are you a sports person? If yes, then you may know that injuries and sports have a very close relation. Actually, as an athlete, you can never avoid injuries; it is not in your hand at all. There are various reasons that cause wounds and some of them include the incorrect process of exercise, wrong training procedure, and weakness and so on.

Most of the cases, home remedies may treat these injuries. However, there are certain cases, in which they fail to respond to home remedies. Now, this is the time to visit the sports medicine physician. The doctor provides you with the best treatment to cure you.

Well, some common types of the injuries which need the help of an orthopedic sports doctor. In the below section, I have discussed some common types of wounds that the athlete generally face. Have a close look at the below section to get a clear idea about this topic.

1) Ankle Sprain

You may face ankle sprain when the ligament in the ankle tear. Ligaments are the long and stretchy bands which help in stabilizing the ankle. The basketball, soccer and volleyball players generally face this problem. If you have this problem, you are likely to face the following symptoms,

• Tenderness to the touch

• Itching

• Swelling

• Bruising

• Stiffness and so on

If you feel severe pain, you should take the help of a renowned doctor.

2) Knee Injury

Ligament injuries in the knee like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can put you on the bed for 2 weeks. The ligaments in the knees which are prone to injury include,

• Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)

• Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)

• Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)

If you have a knee injury, you may feel severe pain. Swelling is a very common symptom. If the injury is mild, it may heal on its own in time. For the severe knee injuries, visit a reputed and trustworthy orthopedic sports doctor.

3) Shin Splints

After your daily run, your shins may ache and throb. if you face this problem, there is a possibility that you may face shin splints. Weakness in the muscle of the hips, stress fractures is the causes of this injury. If you face shin splints, you may follow the following tip to cure this wound,

• Take rest

• Ice on the shin

• Consume anti-inflammatory painkillers

• Use the orthotics for the shoes

• Take physical therapy

Visit the sports medicine physician to get the best solution and the latest treatment. Choose the doctor wisely to have the proper treatment for treating the injury.

The 4 Stages of the Counseling Process: What Every Youth Counselor Should Know

There is a natural progression that takes place within the context of the helping relationship. This process enables you and the person you are working with to build a relationship, assess the situation, set goals and come up with a plan to bring about your desired results. This progression is known as the counseling process. There are four stages of the counseling process. They are: developing a relationship, making an informed assessment, establishing mutually agreed upon goals and objectives and developing an implementation plan.

Phase 1. Developing A Relationship

In order to develop positive helping relationships with youth, you’ve got to be able to connect with them. This can only happen when youth are made to feel like you genuinely care about their well-being and that you understand where they are coming from. It’s about behaving in a way that demonstrates the core conditions of genuineness, respect and empathy.

To develop solid relationships with youth, you need to create a safe environment where young people will feel comfortable enough to open up to you and talk to you about anything that is on their minds. You also need to help youth see that despite their circumstances they have strengths. In short, you should start things off from a strengths-based perspective.

Questions to Consider When Trying to

Develop A Relationship

· In what ways can you build better relationships with the youth in your program?

· If there are youth who are not actively engaged, what can you do differently to engage them?

· If a youth is resistant, what steps can you take to reduce resistance?

· What worked in the past with resistant youth?

· How do you know when you’ve built a solid relationship with a youth? Could you use these indicators to strengthen your relationships with other youth?

Phase 2. Making An Informed Assessment

An informed assessment happens when both you and the youth gather information in order to figure out what’s “really” going on so that you can assess what needs to happen next in order to change the situation for the better or build up the youth’s coping skills to better deal with a problematic situation. The first step in making an assessment is to find out if change is necessary, and if it is what needs to happen for change to take place. If you have determined that change is necessary, then the next step is to figure out what needs to change. Is it a behavior? An attitude? A situation?

A good assessment can provide an opportunity for a young person to see how his/her behavior or attitude might be contributing to an undesirable or unhealthy situation. Assessment is an ongoing process. You need to regularly check in with your youth to see how things are going. Reassessments enable you to ensure that you and the youth are on the right track.

How do you gather information in order to make an informed assessment? You can gather information in a number of ways: talking with youth, observing the youth’s behavior and interactions, discussions with other people who are involved in the young person’s life, and reading any documented information on the young person. Keep in mind that when utilizing someone else’s verbal or written report as a source of background information, you run the risk of subjecting yourself to their biases and assumptions.

Points to Keep In Mind When Making An Assessment

· Be aware of your biases and how they impact on the assessments you make.

· Involve youth in the assessment process.

· Don’t rely on one single source to make an assessment, gather as much information as you can from a variety of sources.

· Don’t automatically label a behavior as dysfunctional because you don’t understand it, or it is not germane to your culture.

· Make sure to point out a young person’s strengths even when addressing problematic behavior.

Phase 3. Establishing Mutually Agreed Upon Goals and Objectives

Why is it important to establish “mutually agreed” upon goals and objectives? Because if a young person is in agreement with the goals then he/she is more likely to follow through on them. When a youth is actively involved in the goal setting process and is in agreement with the goals, then he/she is more inclined to take ownership of the goals. What are goals? Goals are broad statements that identify what you want to accomplish. Think of goals as the end result that you are trying to achieve. While goals are broad statements that identify what you want to accomplish overall, objectives are the measurable steps that you take to achieve your goals. For example if you have a goal that states, “youth will be better able to manage her anger.” One of your objectives might be, “youth will recognize emotional triggers that lead to angry outbursts and use positive, self-talk to calm herself down.” Your objectives should always be concrete and measurable. They should also be derived from the overall goal.

Questions to Consider When Developing

Goals and Objectives

· What do you and the young person want to achieve?

· How are you going to achieve it?

· When do you want to achieve your stated goal?

· What obstacles do you anticipate?

· How will you address these obstacles?

· How will you use to measure and monitor progress?

· Are your goals realistic?

Phase 4. Implementation Plan

The implementation plan is a plan that you and the youth work on together. It is designed to prevent, intervene, or address unhealthy behaviors and practices. The implementation plan identifies who will perform the activities, where the activities will occur, how frequently they will occur, how they will be carried out and when they will be carried out. Implementation activities are designed to help individuals re-think risky behavior, work through problematic issues, address unhealthy lifestyles practices, learn new skills and build strengths. Implementation activities can include: counseling, crisis intervention, training and education, supportive services, concrete services and constructive use of free time.

As you can see, each stage of the counseling process builds upon the former. As you move through each stage, you will come to realize that it takes patience and practice to counsel youth effectively, but if you are committed to the goal you’ll do just fine. You may not feel completely confident in your ability as a counselor, but as you expand your knowledge base, gain more experience and strengthen your helping skills, you will become a more effective counselor.

Copyright © 2006 by Cassandra Mack

Excerpted from Cassandra Mack’s book, “Smart Moves That Successful Youth Workers Make”

Building a Deck – Designer Tips on Decking Construction

Decking has become a popular solution to maximizing outdoor living space. With constant exposure to the environment, decking needs to be able to withstand all external conditions including fire hazards, insect damage, the sun, rain and windy conditions. When designing a deck you must factor in all of the local conditions in your area and select decking materials that will provide superior strength, longevity and dimensional stability.

There are a number of different materials that can be used for a deck's frame and covering.

Lets start with the Frame …

Primarily there are two choices for decking frames – steel of timber. Most steel frames combine of colorbond steel bearers, joints and reinforced steel posts. Steel frame decking is quick to install and ideal for using in fire hazard areas. Timber frames can include timber for bearers, joists and posts or a combination of timber frame with steel posts. If selecting a timber frame for your deck then there is a choice of either hardwood or softwood such as treated pine.

Decking Materials

With the deck covering you can use a number of different hardwoods such as Merbau, Tallow wood, Ironbark and more. Hardwood is naturally more durable and resistant to insect damage and is the strongest choice in timber decking. Treated pine can also be used as decking material. The most common sizes of timber boards used for decking construction are 70mm, 90mm and 140mm.

An alternative to timber decking is 'compressed fibro sheeting' which then gets tiled over. The compressed fibro sheeting with tiles is one of my favorites because the finished product looks like a concrete slab but without the high costs. This method works best with steel frames and posts as they allow much less movement than timber. A compressed fibro deck if built correctly will last for over 30 years.

Handrails

There are many styles of handrails to complement your deck including tubular (pool fence type), stainless steel wires, glass or timber. The most popular style tends to be tubular because it is cost effective, looks great and is maintenance free.

Stairs

If your deck is elevated or requires stair access then just like deck construction, there are a number of different materials available for stairs. Including a steel welded stringer with timber treads, or a full set of hardwood or treated pine stairs.

Timber decking is ideal for sloping barriers, to cover old concrete patios or as an alternative to paving. Timber decking can be built at the same level as your existing floors to facilitate a smooth transition from indoors to outdoors. When designing a timber or steel frame deck remember that north facing decks are the best positioned to receive the winter sun and summer shade.

Tip

Do not forget to protect timber decks with a quality timber finish such as decking oil or timber stain.

When Will Your Baby Understand a "No"?

Although it is surprising, it is a proven fact that parents encourage the habit of crying in infants by attending to them when they “cry”. Being the most intelligent species on earth, human babies take no time to understand that they are being attended to when they cry out for any reason. Parents try to answer every call, and their attempts would be always positive to satisfy the baby with a “Yes”. However, it is essentially not possible for all parents under the sky to satisfy the baby every time. No matter how resourceful the parents are, there are certain phases where they have to restrict their children with a “no” for the best interest of their child.

It may be easier for a toddler to understand a restriction from the parents but how does an infant understand a ‘no’ in the initial days. Like every other milestone, the time to understand a refusal from the parents is also unique for every infant. It should be somewhere in between six months to eighteen months. Infants discover it all by themselves or the parents have to teach it to their wards slowly. When the baby does something unacceptable, it is necessary to channelize the kid’s energy to some other element for diversion. If required, quietly tell her ‘no’. Handover something different to them and they are sure to forget the old one in the excitement of the new toy or thing. Or keep them away from the element to avoid them getting in touch with the same thing.

Undoubtedly, there are many incidents where the parents may have to restrict a child and if you feel that the ‘no’ is being used more than often, you can try being creative by using different words to explain the kids why it is a no-no. If the kid wants to enter a dark room, it is essential to explain to them that they may fall, or hit something, due to dark environment of the room. It is not suggested by child psychologists to threaten kids by saying that there is a devil in the dark room to avoid them from going in there. Rather, it is important to make them understand that the room is still the same even in the darkness; however, darkness creates the opportunity for anyone to unknowingly hurt themselves. Saying ‘no’ with a stern voice when they attempt to go the wrong route may help alerting the child. To communicate better, use words such as hot, cold, spicy, etc. in a stern voice to make them understand the impending cause of danger.

Approaching hot irons or ovens, getting into cold water tubs, attempting to eat peppers or chilies, fingering electrical sockets, swallowing poisonous repellents, playing with fragile items, etc. are all a cause of concern and are strictly on the range of a ‘no’. It is on the parent’s part to keep the home as child safe as possible rather than having to say a ‘no’ constantly. The lesser the ‘no’s’ the better the positivity in the child and higher the spirits are. Although ‘no’ is a negative word, try to inculcate this concept in the child’s mind with more positivity.

Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe in Summer

Yes, summer does that to your baby – transform him/her from a little bundle of joy to an irritable and shrieking tiny-horror troubled by dehydration, rashes, sunburns and itches all over. It leaves you wondering how you can make the first summers of the baby’s life cool and fun. Here is how:

Keep your baby out of harsh sunlight

Summer is no reason to keep your baby locked up at home; every baby needs its share of fresh air and sunlight. However, a baby’s soft sensitive skin is particularly vulnerable to lasting sun damage. So make it a rule to stay indoors between 10 am and 5 pm when the heat is unbearable. Instead, go for a stroll in the relatively cool early morning or evening. While outside, remain in the shade as much as possible and avoid too much direct sunlight.

Proper clothing keeps the baby cool

Synthetic fabrics make the baby hot and uncomfortable. Besides, it blocks air passage causing prickly heat or rashes. Cotton clothes are the ideal choice as they keep the body cool and allow air to flow freely. The baby’s head and face can be easily protected with a wide-brimmed hat – preferably, one without a constricting elastic band.

A dollop of sunscreen – is it safe for babies?

Sunscreen in summer is crucial because sunburns sustained in the first 15 years of life are responsible for skin cancer later. Though there are no confirmed reports that sunscreen itself is unsafe for babies, you might choose not to apply it on infants less than 6 months old. On older ones, an SPF 50 sunscreen recommended for babies protect skin against UV rays from sun. A generous quantity of this sunscreen should be rubbed into skin 30 minutes prior to stepping out into sunshine; for added defense, dab sunscreen on parts of skin covered by clothing. While driving in a car or even on a cloudy day, let every inch of your baby be sunscreen protected!

Sunglasses make your baby look and feel cool!

Opinion is divided but some suggest that good quality sunglasses can protect babies’ eyes from sun. Plastic fancy/toy goggles are damaging to the eyes and do not offer adequate protection. Always, buy good quality sunglasses – whether for your baby or for yourself!

Keep the baby hydrated at all times

A baby’s surface area is high compared to body mass, so they get dehydrated quickly. Babies below 6 months of age should be breast-fed whenever they like. Others must be encouraged to take extra drinks of water at regular intervals. If signs of dehydration – no urination for 4 – 6 hrs, crying without tears, sunken eyes etc – are noted, give enough water and apply a wet sponge to the forehead at once, to revive the baby. If symptoms persist rush to a hospital: your baby could be suffering from heat stroke.

Keep your guard up against food poisoning

There is at least one group that loves the heat and humidity of summer – microbes. They flourish in foodstuff causing food borne illnesses. To avoid contamination, wash your hands clean before handling food; all surfaces coming in contact with food, like dinner service, cutting boards etc should be meticulously clean. While traveling, carry moist towelettes or tissue for cleansing. It is safer to discard food left out of refrigerator for over 1 hr. The water your baby drinks can be as much a source of microbes as the food: see that every drop of water ingested is safe.

A pristine baby pool delights and cools

Splashing in the backyard pool affords the baby instant relief from heat. And for the parents, it is a delightful scene to watch. Make the experience hassle-free by ensuring that water is treated to kill microbes: otherwise, it can lead to pink eye, sore throat, cold etc, or diarrhea, if water is accidentally swallowed. From time to time check diapers and in the event of a leakage change the water. Remember not to change diapers by the pool; take the baby to the bathroom instead. In summer steer clear of public swimming pools, spas etc. All this guarantees that your baby is playing in water that is as fresh as it looks.

Drive those insects away

Swarms of insects launch full-fledged attacks, and those nasty red rashes on pudgy hands and feet make us wonder if babies are explicit targets. To shield your baby against bites deploy insect-repellents, preferably with natural ingredients, like oil of lemon, eucalyptus, citronella etc; use a product safe for babies and follow directions. While applying, avoid their hands (obviously enough, they put their hands in their mouths all the time!) and the area around mouth and eyes. Wash off as soon as possible. Apply more to clothing than to skin. However, insect repellents may not be safe for infants under 2 months. In case you are repelled by repellents, as some parents are, invest in long trousers, long sleeves and a mosquito net; lighting citronella candles in the evening can drive mosquitoes out of your house. As a matter of principle, avoid infested areas, and start clearing that wilderness in your backyard!

Erase those rashes and itches

Even babies sweat profusely in hot weather. Accumulated sweat clogs skin pores (especially under the elastic band of nappies) causing rashes and itches. Cloth nappies fashioned out of good quality cotton dries sweat faster. Frequent bathing, moisturizers and medication help banish those rashes and itches. Home remedies like applying yogurt or a cooling pack of Fuller’s earth and rose water can alleviate rashes. Greasy moisturizers and commercial talcum powders should be rejected as they make the condition worse. If you are in the habit of giving the baby oil massages wash the oil off thoroughly.

Sometimes, bringing up a baby seems like a whole lot of responsibility, doesn’t it? Except, before their arrival life was not nearly as rewarding. And we wouldn’t dream of taking chances where they are concerned, would we?

Effective Communication For Managers

Effective communication is a staple of good management. It is partly about learning the difference between communicating and merely talking. You can talk for an hour without properly conveying a message. To communicate effectively, never waffle, but use concise, clear and intelligible language. Good communicators coherently assert ideas and commands so they are fully understood. It is also about receiving ideas and information from employees.

To effectively communicate, understand the different kinds of communication both verbal and non-verbal and know when each one is appropriate. A modern workplace encourages and depends upon an exchange of ideas and information to achieve maximum productivity, innovation and efficiency. This cannot be achieved by a one-sided issuing of commands, but only by fully engaging with staff, clients and suppliers.

It is therefore important to understand the different ways you can communicate and how effective they are in different situations. The first and often the most effective is face-to-face communication. Take the trouble to talk in person to show respect. You not only took time out of your busy schedule to deliver the information personally, but you required direct contact to do it. This method of communication is often the most effective when conveying something negative or unpleasant.

When telling a client that something has gone wrong and their project will not be completed in the given timescale, a quick email will invariably provoke an unfavourable and sometimes damaging response. The client does not have to look you in the eye while complaining, they can simply hit the reply button. A face-to-face meeting in a professional setting with an apology, an action plan and a chance for the client to give feedback and voice opinions will reduce the negative impact. The client will feel that you respected them enough to take the time to fully explain the issues and the solutions. When dealing with employees, face-to-face contact will provide a healthy setting for two way conversation and quick fire ideas.

Another popular method of communication is by email. The email should never be a manager’s primary method of communication for several reasons. When discussing a difficult subject you can avoid a potentially awkward conversation by firing off an email. It allows a certain amount of anonymity on your part. You can deliver a message without having to watch the reaction of the recipient. The recipient however is aware that this is why you have chosen to deliver the message via email and realises that you are making the situation easier for yourself by putting your own comfort first.

When you are telling someone something positive, it can seem offhand when it is not backed up with a positive tone, a smile or a handshake. If the recipient is looking at you and seeing a confident smile and body language while the message is being delivered, while being given the opportunity for immediate feedback then whatever the message, they are likely to feel better about it. An email can simply show a lack of respect. It can also cause misunderstanding. Your tone and inflection may be misread and something you may say as a light-hearted comment may be read as more personal than it was intended. ‘Tongue in cheek’ should never be attempted via email!

I once worked in an office where one team member had a problem with something another team member did. He sent a fairly uptight email to all team members telling them not to do something most of them never did anyway. Since it was an email it came across as aggressive and this annoyed several people. We all responded with equally aggressive emails of complaint. The situation continued until managers began to be included in the reply emails and the situation was blown out of all proportion. The author of the original email worked in the same building as everyone else. We were all called together where the issue was discussed and the employee who sent the emails apologised for the aggressive tone, suggesting it was not intended. It was agreed that there should be a weekly team meeting set up where issues could be discussed face to face to avoid this kind of unnecessary escalation.

This example of bad communication could have been avoided if the team member had thought about how best to communicate his instructions. Post it notes and emails are fine for quick notes that do not need explanation or discussion. They should not be your most frequent method of communication and should not be a way for you to avoid a potentially embarrassing or awkward discussion. The best use of emails as a communication method is to sum up and confirm what has already been discussed in person.

This face to face communication also allows people to build a rapport with each other which is another important aim and result of good communication skills. Building a good rapport with clients does mean that when there are problems, the client is less likely to take quick negative action. It is more common for them to be understanding and tolerant when things go wrong. This is because the rapport you have will mean they see a complaint against you or your service as a complaint against you personally and the relationship you have built and they will be more reluctant to do this. They are far more likely to call you personally about small issues giving you the chance to deal with them, rather than calling or emailing your managers with problems.

Building a rapport with your staff is also vital. If they are comfortable with you then they will work harder and you will be able to ask more of them. If you are obviously feeling awkward when talking to them and not communicating effectively then they will feel unable to approach you and they in turn may communicate by emails or methods with minimum personal contact. Problems may occur such as misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Do not be afraid to build up a relationship with your staff. Do this in both professional and social environments. There are simple ways to do this. Make sure your demeanour is friendly and approachable. Acknowledge them when you first see them and ask how they are. On more social occasions or during breaks, attempt to find common interests you can discuss.

Building a rapport does not mean becoming an employees close friend to the point where you no longer feel comfortable managing them, but it does mean actively taking an interest in them so they feel that you care about them as people and they recognise you as a good person. When extra work out of hours is required, they are more likely to agree if they have a good relationship with you since they will not want to let you down. It is harder for people to say no when they realise it may damage the high quality working relationship you enjoy. If you are a distant, unapproachable figure that shows no interest in your staff other than their basic productivity then they may see no reason to go the extra mile for you. It will also be easier to discuss more difficult topics with people.

Is Wood Flooring For You?

I once hear someone say that wood flooring is the key to a woman's heart but a thorn in the side of a man. Perhaps you've never heard this saying, but it can be true that a woman simply looks at the beauty – and the man realizes the upkeep. This article will look at a couple of things you might consider before choosing wood flooring for your next home project.

The Good and the Bad

There certainly are pros and cons to any type of flooring surface that you may choose whether or not you're building a home or remodeling. I happened to be very good friends with someone who installs and repairs wood flooring and he has often told me that it can be a very stressful job.

Laminate Flooring May Be the Way to Go

One thing that you might consider is some sort of a laminate surface because this can be a little bit less costly, yet still have the durability and beauty that you are after. The other real benefit to possibly choosing laminate is that this is something that you can put together yourself with some good plans.

If you do install laminate wood flooring in your home on your own – you will want to follow the instructions very carefully. Most manufacturers have detailed instructions on how to install and care for their flooring surfaces. Then you can just replace a small section. Although real wood flooring can be repaired by small sections – It can get much more expensive.

Bodybuilding – How To Treat Overtraining Syndrome

If you’ve been slaving away in the gym on a bodybuilding routine trying as hard as you can to gain weight but are not seeing the progress you’re looking for, consider the fact that you might just be overtrained.

Overtraining syndrome is potentially the most common issue seen, especially amongst those who are new to weight lifting. They start out and are incredibly motivated to do everything they can to get the results they’re hoping for from their program. With such dedication though, they forget that they do still need a break from the gym.

They’re in there six days a week, pounding away with full effect. Unfortunately, their body can’t quite keep up.

This is when overtraining syndrome sets in.

Overtraining is something that you don’t want to take lightly as it can take anywhere from a week to a few months to overcome. How long it takes you to recover will depend on first, your own individual recovery abilities, along with how deep into overtraining you were when you finally decided something had to be done.

Here are the things you need to do in order to promote a full recovery.

Remove Yourself From The Gym

Yes, this is going to be hard. If you are on the verge of having a training addiction, chances are, not working out is the last thing you want to do at this point. BUT, consider this. How many more months are you going to go without making any progress at all with your weight gains? If you don’t take time off now, you’ll just be wasting time into the future.

Being out of the gym does not give you an access pass to start up some outdoor physical activities either. The point of this is to rest. Rest means rest means rest. For some trainee’s, this must be really drilled into their head.

If you simply cannot fathom the idea of relaxing, go for a light walk – this is to be done at an easy pace for 20-30 minutes each day. Nothing more intense than that should be performed.

Eat More Food

Your next defense is to increase your food content. Right now your body is in recovery mode and as such, needs food to help heal itself.

Neglecting to give it the nutrition it needs and you are essentially neglecting recovery. Again, look at this way. If you don’t eat, you’ll just have to stay out of the gym longer. Is that what you want?

Chances are unlikely.

Do not worry, you aren’t going to get fat by taking a week off – if anything it’s going to help with your muscle gains. Some people actually find they get leaner after taking a week off and eating more food.

In particular, if you’ve been eating a reduced carbohydrate diet, you need more carbs. Your muscle glycogen stores are likely depleted and this is part of the problem for causing overtraining.

On the other hand, bumping your protein intake up slightly can also be a smart idea, as this will help ensure you are giving your muscles plenty of amino acids to which they can use for repair.

Fat can be added as extra calories if necessary.

Find Something Psychologically Relaxing

Finally, the last thing you want to do is find something that’s going to psychologically relax you. You would be amazed at how everyday stress affects the CNS. When you combine this with too much physical training, you have got big problems.

Doing some activities aimed at total relaxation can really improve the overall situation and help you recover a great deal faster.

This could be reading, seeing a movie, trying meditation, or whatever you feel will help with your situation.

So, if you have been feeling fatigued on an ongoing basis, it’s time to sit up and take notice. You really shouldn’t keep pushing yourself if you feel this way because all you will end up doing is more harm than good.

Fix the problem, then get back on your program. You won’t see gains until you do.

4 Tips For Blasting Away Stubborn Belly Fat and Building a Lean Set of Sexy Abs

Even men who are overweight have six pack abs. The reason that they can not be seen is because of the layer of fat that has built up over them. Choosing the right six pack abs diet plan for men could soon have yours appearing.

In fact when it comes to getting a great looking six pack you need to be dedicated to achieving your goals. Not only do you need to be following the right kind of six pack abs diet plan for men but also exercising regularly.

When it comes to the dietary part of your reign there are certain things to remember that can help yours to be more effective. Below are five tips you may find useful to ensure that you stick with your diet.

Tip 1 – It is important that you ensure that you eat breakfast each morning as without it your six pack abs diet plan for men simply not work. Eating breakfast each day, which should consist of foods such eggs, cereals, fruit or milk will help to provide your metabolism with a boost. As a result your body will find burning off unwanted calories and fat a lot easier.

Tip 2 – There is not any need for you to eat less if you want to get a great looking six pack. Instead what you should be doing is cutting out as much processed food from your diet as possible and opting to eat more healthy fresh food each day. Especially make sure that you include lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet as well as meats and fish that are high in protein. Plus make sure that you include plenty of brown rice, brown bread, whole grain pastas and oatmeal into your diet as well.

Tip 3 – As part of your diet make sure that you no longer just eat 3 large meals each day. Instead through the day at regular intervals you should be eating 5 to 6 small meals. Again this will help to provide your metabolism with a boost and although you may be eating more even though the portion sizes are smaller the energy needed by your metabolism will help to burn unwanted fat and calories off easily.

Tip 4 – Finally make sure as part of your six abs diet plan for men that you drink plenty of water. This will help to remove toxins from the body that causes it to store fat.