Facts About LAN Cables and Connectors

LAN(s) or Local Area Networks are the small-sized sets of connections to which various users of home and office computers primarily connect. LAN networks facilitate the sharing of printers, drives and files at the same time regulating interchange to and from the internet.

Despite the fact that “Wi-Fi” connections are becoming so prevalent, the utilization of LAN cables is still applied specifically for large size networks with combined wireless and wired networks. This type of network system has a very significant part in the general operation of large networks. Thus, before you build up a large networking system, you have to know and understand how to manage a cable network well.

It is required to set up a speedy LAN network to sustain the current and future needs of your network services and applications. By tradition, UTP or Unshielded Twisted Pair structured cabling system provides fast and reliable connections using the high-speed technology – the Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet (GE). For the potential development of your wired network, the GE for backbone LAN wiring is suggested. Using GE or even faster Ethernet together with the optical fiber backbone is mandatory in diffusing fast inter LANs.

In order to have a high performance and unfailing wire connection, a perfectly designed system for cabling is necessary. There are sets of standards and requirements in setting up a system for computer network. LAN cables commonly utilized in the network are classified into Coaxial LAN Cable, Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) and Unshielded Twisted Pair (“UTP”) Cables. On the other hand, the coaxial type is no longer employed in the current time because of the era of fast Ethernet where the UTP cables are the most in demand.

Furthermore, users of networks may be linking with one of the many classes of LAN connectors based on the type and age of device. No matter what kind of connector is being used, LAN connectors perform a similar function that is transmitting data between the connected network and computer. Sending data by means of the LAN connector, the computer can share and exchange information with the other computer units. They can also get data on devices situated all over the world, as long it has an access to the internet. The connector uses protocol depending on the network type to which the device is linked. However, majority of the up to date connectors break up data into packets or small segments. Also, they designate an IP or Internet Protocol address matching the destination of the packet and send it out over the linked up system cable.

Regardless of the type of LAN connector, be it wired or wireless type, coaxial or Ethernet, they are the major crossing point of the internet, local network connections and computer equipment. Computers are still the main channel to access the Internet and the foremost means for operating and designing Internet services, and these connectors play an important part in the advances of computer technology.

Many users enjoy the application of LAN cables and connectors because they are the principal link between a computer device and local area networks as well as the internet. Users can exchange and share information, music, movies and files with users either on local or any connected equipment around the globe. Nonetheless, aside from the benefits and importance of LAN, using the system also involves risk. The user may produce the chances of electronic infringement; also any computer networked may encounter hacking threats from the other users.

How to Raise Your Credit Score From 499 to 600

For many people who want to fix credit rating, It would be ideal to have a 700 credit score but if your FICA scores are lower than you may need to make some adjustments to the way you’ve been doing things.  A low report affects your ability to get a mortgage, buy a car, apply for a store account and just about everything else having to do with money.

If your FICO score is between 499 and 600, then here are some simple methods that allows you to fix your credit report.

  • Get a copy of your credit report with credit scores online.  If you’ve been denied a loan for any reason, the reports are free.  If not, they are free annually from each of the 3 credit bureaus.  If there are any mistakes report them to either Experian, TransUnion or Equifax, whichever one had the mistake.  Once you know the problem then it’s easier to make repairs.  If there is a low number, you can attach a letter that explains the circumstances such as losing your job or getting sick or whatever happened at the time.
  • Paying off all your bills on time or completely will move your numbers up, but not enough to move 100 or so points.  Making a payment when it is due and then another after it is due, will increase your score more rapidly since it is computed monthly.  So paying off more than your balance really helps.
  • Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first while making more than the minimum payment on the others.  Paying more than the minimum always increases your ratings.  This will also reduce the overall amount that you owe which also affects your score.
  • Reducing the amount you own on all of your loans or notes each month when compared to the overall amount of credit available to you will also improve your credit score.  If you always have 100% credit available like many people who pay off their cards every month, you can actually have a higher score if you say keep a balance of say 10% of the available credit.  Remember it’s a “credit” score not a cash score.
  • Sign up for your bank’s online bill payment program and make sure you pay more than the minimum on each credit card.  You will never be late and never worry about stamps or the mail getting picked up on time.  Most of it is done electronically.
  • If all else fails and your score is really low, then try to convince a relative with a good score to allow you to piggyback on their credit.  You will immediately see an increase in your score due to their mentoring, strong history of good credit and the opportunity for you to learn more about good credit ratings.

Credit scores are just one part of get a lower interest mortgage or credit card.  Other factors should be considered just as important.  Knowing as much as possible before you apply for a credit card is the surest way to financial freedom.

What Are the Advantages of a Semi Recessed Basin?

There are numerous bathroom basin styles and designs available on the market today, ranging from traditional pedestal basins right through to contemporary and sleek inset basins. However, one often biggest trends of the market today is the semi recessed basin, which has continued to gain popularity around the world.

Although all basin designs and styles have their advantages and disadvantages – ranging from practical issues right through to how these designs fit in within a particular style or interior design of a bathroom, there is nothing like a semi recessed basin for those who are looking for a unique basin look in their home; here are some of the main benefits of one of these models.

The first attribute of semi recessed basins is that they are exceptionally stylish, which is why they are so popular around the world today and widely used by interior designers looking to create an incredible looking bathroom. The reason for this is that these sinks only partially protrude from the surface they are placed on, unlike inset or countertop basins.

This results in something that is halfway between the two, and also protrudes out from the edge of the countertop. This creates a very unique and interesting look which works exceptionally well in modern bathrooms as a style feature.

Indeed, that the design of these sinks is so eye-catching means that it they are often great centre pieces for any bathroom, and are a great choice in a some situations. These can include when you have a smaller, minimally decorated room that needs a pop of style, or in a very contemporary bathroom that has a lot of cutting-edge and captivating features.

Of course, this type of basin comes in a huge range of materials, shapes and sizes, which means that it is often possible to find something that suits your interior design perfectly. Even though this is very modern look, ceramic sinks in this style can still look great in a rustic or more traditional home when paired with other natural-looking materials and simple shapes.

The advantage of these types of sinks is that they are very practical for a number of reasons. One of these is that they protrude slightly from the countertop, which can make them more accessible for children. They are also easier to clean around and under than a sink which is fully inset or even placed on top of a bathroom cabinet.

There is another practical element and this is that these types of sink can often be placed on the narrowest of countertops, which is great for communal bathrooms where only a type of ‘shelf’ is required than full sink units. This minimal countertop is a great space saver for much smaller environments, but also gives more surface to work with than with wall hung sinks.

A final benefit of the semi recessed basin is that these designs are often very easy to install and carry out, although it is often recommended to hire a professional to do this due to the unique design and installation process that these basins need. If you are thinking about investing in one of these designs, seek professional advice for best results.

Although there are many basin styles that all have their plus points and their minus points, this particular style of basin is often coveted by those who want to join a unique design and style into their home. These sinks are also extremely practical, saving on space and being much easier to clean and install than other popular options on the market today.

10 Steps to Make Your Tongue Send Her to Heaven

In California there are oral sex classes where the learning process is taking place with the help of plums and candy. In England there is a school where a young girl is acting as a practice material. That would be great to attend one of those schools, but for those of us who are not planning to put that on the agenda any time soon here are the ten simple rules, which are very useful when applied in practice.

1. Warm-up lap. The more energy and time you spend preparing your girlfriend for cunnilingus, or oral sex, the more results your efforts will bring. A bubble bath with rubber toys (not a vibrator, just regular ducks!) can serve as such preparation. Let her get into the bath and blissfully remain motionless. After a couple of minutes you can bust in there yourself, take off your underwear, yell out: “Look who is here” and jump into the water. Then start with a light and unobtrusive petting: stroking, kissing, and massaging.

2. Once the underwear is gone. After you dry up after the bath, proceed to creating an intimate atmosphere. Everything like in romantic movies: candles, semidarkness, clean bed sheets. The essential condition of an orgasm is a long and right foreplay. When she starts to passionately rip the clothes off herself, lay her in bed determinately, plant a long kiss on her lips and then go down south.

3. Clitoris science. We are not going to go over what clitoris is and where it can be found. We will just make a note of the fact that girls are not mass produced at some factory, they are all very different, and their sexual physiology is not an exception. Some have their clitoris higher, some have it lower, some have their clitoris deep in skin folds, and some have it stick outside. In other words, there is no single universal approach for all girls. Obviously, the sensitivity is also different for everyone – the deeper the clitoris is hidden, the less it is in contact with the outside world and the more tender and thorough treatment it requires. The main thing is not to attack a newly found clitoris as a five-year-old boy who just got a robot-transformer. Start with slight tongue movements along the labia and around the clitoris, gradually constricting the radius of action until you are on the home straight. When your tongue is concentrating on the clitoris, use one hand to caress her breast, and the fingers of the other hand to slowly enter the vagina.

4. Power of silence. The best way to find out if you are acting right is to talk to the girl. Of course if you ask her she will say: “Yes, I feel great” or she may not say anything at all. Therefore ask her to take your hand into hers and masturbate with her hand so that you could feel what movements and where she likes the best.

5. Broaden the horizons. A clitoris is not a magical button that guarantees an orgasm. Do not concentrate too much on it, because it can actually be painful for her. There are a lot of other interesting things down there. You should broaden the area of applying your mouth and fingers. In fact what we are used to calling the clitoris is in reality just the head of the clitoris. The clitoris’ shape actually resembles the penis, except for its body is not outside but inside under the so-called hood. Feel about for the clitoris and squeeze it together with the top endings of the labia between your fingers. You will feel something resembling a wire – this is the body of the clitoris. Try to masturbate it like you would your own penis, only much slower and more careful. She will experience completely special and incomparable sensations that she is unlikely to have experienced ever before. Now you can rightfully demand a generous reward from her.

6. Tongue fitness. Your tongue is a muscle, and just like all the other muscles it can get tired from intensive work. Therefore it does need training. Try to keep these exercises a secret from your girlfriend.

Exercise #1. Take a ripe plum and squeeze it between your palms. Try to crack it and get the stone out of it with your tongue. The tongue’s movements should at least roughly resemble those that you perform during cunnilingus. The goal is not only the strength, but the skill also.

Exercise #2. Take the “Tic Tac” drops, squeeze one between your lips and start to suck it into your mouth and let it go back. Your goal is to achieve the maximum range of motion so that the drop would at the same time remain squeezed between your lips. When you master this trick, add the tongue and lick the drop with circle motions.

Exercise #3. Squeeze any round lollipop with your teeth and try to drill (or to be more exact lick) a hole in it with your tongue.

7. I will give you a slapping. Many of us think that the clitoris can only be licked and rubbed. With all our heart we feel sorry for those boring and limited people. Put your palm on her pubis with your fingers facing down and slap the clitoris gently with your index finger. This will cause a flow of blood and will increase her sensitivity. Keep in mind that you can do it not only with your finger but with your tongue also. After 15-20 seconds change the tactics. For example, move the skin folds adjoined to the clitoris apart put your finger on the clitoris and start rotate it as a joystick. One more option that is also good for the beginning is to fully strip the clitoris and blow (or breathe) on it, after which you can proceed to your normal procedures with your tongue or wet finger.

8. Let’s go! It’s time to show the whole power of your tongue. Its muscles are very active and mobile but very few people use all of its capabilities. As a rule a lot of people limit themselves to unoriginal movements of the tip of the tongue. You should try something different. Run the wide middle part of your tongue over the labia so that you could completely cover it. Do several motions like that and then focus on the clitoris area and massage it with the tip of your tongue. Now try alternating these motions. Gradually concentrate your attention on the clitoris more and more. In order to diversify your entertainment program, flex your tongue as hard as you can and try to insert it into her vagina.

9. The main reflex. Remember exercise #2 with the “Tic Tac” drop? It’s time to use this trick on a girl. Part the skin folds on the vagina as much as you can so that the clitoris was naked, take it with your lips and slightly pull it in. Then the same way as described in exercise #2 add the tongue. The main thing is being very tender and careful. Before this of course get her ready by using techniques from point 8.

10. Happy end. Watch her hips movements. But only watch, do not copy them. By moving she is trying to adapt to your movements’ rhythm and to position herself in the most comfortable and pleasant way. Just keep going the same thing in the same rhythm. Change one movement with another only when she is still. Do not clutch at her feet or anything else with your hands, give her the maximum freedom of movement. You can put your hand on her stomach: the flexed abs is the first sign of the oncoming orgasm. At this point you should forget about any experiments and keep doing what you’ve been doing up to this point – in the same rhythm and in the same range. When she reaches the long-awaited orgasm (most likely you are going to feel it either by the muscle contractions or by the deep breathing, or by the moans and cramps) – wait until it is over and stop. You do not need to do anything else, otherwise you will cause her unpleasant sensations.

Now you can relax your tongue and stretch out on the couch. It’s her turn!

Some Helpful Tips in Using the Dremel 8200-2/28 Rotary Tool

Tip #1 – Disconnect the battery from the tool before changing accessories to keep yourself from accidentally starting the rotary tool.

Tip #2 – The General Rule of Thumb to use when deciding what speed to set your rotary tool at is: The softer the material, the lower the speed to use. The Dremel 8200 Owner’s Manual provides 4 pages of suggested speed settings depending on the material and particular Dremel accessory tool the user is using.

Tip #3 – Use a series of passes with the rotary tool rather than trying to do all the work in one single pass. Don’t apply much pressure when using your tool. Let the speed of the tool do the work!

Tip #4 – The Dremel 8200 comes with 4 different size collets (1/8″, 3/32′, 1/16″, 1/32″) that the user can use. (A collet is small metal holding device that is held in place on the rotary tool by the collet nut, and the collet’s function is to hold an accessory in place during its use.) To determine the exact size of a particular collet he or she is holding, the user just has to look at the number of rings on the back end of the collet. A 1/8″ collet has no rings. A 3/32″ collet has 3 rings, a 1/16″ collet has 2 rings, and a 1/32″ collet has just 1 ring.

Tip #5 – When using the rotary tool, do not hold your face close to the tool (safety concern).

Tip #6 – To help you get used to using your Dremel on a particular type of material, practice using your tool on a piece of scrap made of the same material.

Tip #7 – For better and closer control, hold your rotary tool like you would a pencil.

Tip #8 – Do not leave your battery laying out in the sun. If the battery becomes too hot (over 113 degrees Fahrenheit) or too cold (under 32 degrees Fahrenheit), the charger will not be able to fast charge the battery. Once the battery’s temperature is between 32 degrees F – 113 degrees F, the charger will begin charging the battery. When the charger’s green indicator light is blinking, then the battery charger is charging.

Tip #9 – When the power in your battery is used up, the Dremel automatically turns off. To give you a heads up that your battery’s power is almost used up, the last light on the battery fuel gauge will begin flashing.

Tip #10 – Do not use gasoline, carbon tetrachloride, clorinated cleaning solvents, ammonia, or household detergents that contain ammonia to clean your rotary tool as they may damage the plastic parts.

Hopefully, these tips will help you as you use your Dremel 8200.

How to Become a Backline Technician

Depending on the size of a live concert tour, many people are employed behind the scenes to produce a successful show. Have you ever gone to a concert and wondered, “how do they get this whole stage set up, and torn down in one day?”

Typically, a live concert production arrives at the venue between 7 am and 12 noon and is ready for showtime at 7 pm. After the show, the entire production is loaded back into trucks and is headed off to another city by 2 am for another load-in the next morning. This incredible feat is made possible by the hard work of several small crews that travel with the tour, with the help of larger local crews. Touring crews are broken down into categories and can include production, audio, lighting, rigging, video, pyrotechnics and backline. Here we will discuss what a backline technician does, and how to become successful.

A backline technician is someone who travels with a band and sets up their guitars, drums, keyboards, and any other instruments or band gear being used. They are responsible for keeping everything in tune and working properly. At the end of the show, the backline technicians pack up the band gear and load the trailer or truck.

When you see a large concert in an arena or stadium you must realize that in most cases the band you are seeing started out touring in small clubs and theaters. Large touring acts will have huge crews traveling with them on multiple tour buses, and semi trailer trucks filled with sound and lights. Keep in mind they probably started out in one van pulling a small trailer with only their instruments and band gear. And their first crew members were probably a couple of inexperienced backline technicians!

So in order to figure out how one becomes a backline technician, lets break it right down and start at the beginning. Just like anything else in life, getting into this industry means starting at the bottom and working your way up. Let’s first discuss what skills you need to become backline technician. This is where you are going to begin, and this is what you are going to need to know!

A big misconception is that a backline technician must be a really good drummer or guitar player etc. This is simply not true. Being a good musician is definitely a huge asset, but it is not as crucial as you might think. That being said, you must have a fundamental understanding of these instruments. If you have never picked up a guitar, played a piano, or sat behind a drum kit, you have some work to do before even considering this line of work. If you are serious about becoming a backline technician I would recommend taking some guitar, drum and piano lessons in your spare time. Learn how to tune a guitar and play the basic chords. Learn how to play a drum beat and tune a drum. Learn how to play some scales on a piano. You don’t have to become a pro, just learn the basics. 4-8 weeks of half hour lessons can be done in your spare time. I have worked with many successful technicians on large scale tours who have very little playing ability. This hasn’t stopped them, so why should it stop you?

The next thing you are going to need to do is become educated on the maintenance of these instruments and gear. For this I would suggest contacting local musical instrument repair shops and asking if you could volunteer. Find out who the guitar and amp repair technicians are and try to meet them. Explain to them that you are interested in becoming a backline technician and would like to learn some basic skills of guitar setups, guitar repairs, amp repairs, and drum repairs etc. Ask if you could come in for a couple of hours and watch them work. Maybe offer to sweep the floors, or clean up the shop in exchange for lessons on instrument repairs. As long as you are courteous and show interest in their profession you might be surprised how eager these people will be to help you. You might even get a part time job and get paid to learn! You do not need to be a professional musical instrument repair person, but you need to have a good understanding how the instruments are set up and repaired. If you live in a larger city there might be backline companies that rent gear out to local venues for events. This would be a great place to volunteer and gain a better understanding of backline gear.

Once you have acquired some of the basic skills mentioned above you will be ready to start looking for some hands on experience. Living in a large city is going to make this part easier, but this can be done in smaller urban areas as well. Don’t think you have to live in New York or Los Angeles in order to get into the music industry. Successful bands come from all over the map and the goal here is only to get experience. Once you become an experienced backline technician it doesn’t matter where you live because you will be working all over the world, and never in your home town.

You will need to make some flyers to post on bulletin boards advertising that you are looking to volunteer as a guitar technician, drum technician or a general backline technician for local club and theater shows. Post your flyers with your contact information at local band rehearsal studios, music stores, recording studios, coffee shops, anywhere you think musicians might hang out. You can even put out ads on various free classified sites such as craigslist.com, or backpage.com. Most bands who are just starting out have very little money coming in, if any. They normally set up and tear down their own gear because they don’t even consider the idea of having technicians yet. You can capitalize on this fact by learning how to set up and tune all the instruments and help them during the show. Most musicians dream of someday being able to have someone set up their gear and you will certainly get some bites from your ad.

Since you are working for free, for someone who has probably never had a tech before, you will not be expected to be perfect. You will be making mistakes, but you will also be learning a very unique trade. Just being in this environment will put you in a position to learn valuable lessons from the people around you. Most likely some of these local bands will be on bills opening for national or regional touring acts coming through town. During the day you will be be setting up your band, and meeting the other headlining bands and their technicians. At this stage it is important to work very hard, offer to help everyone, and show that you are a great person to work with. Make sure you meet everyone, especially tour managers for the headlining acts. Make business cards to hand out to everyone and make sure they know that you are an “all around backline tech” that can do drums, guitars, bass and keyboards. Being able to wear several hats makes you very valuable to a tour with a limited budget. Getting on a tour with a small budget is your next step! You want to get gigs with several bands who perform local shows and get as much experience and exposure as possible. This is the type of hands on networking that is necessary in order to start getting paid to be a backline technician.

Once you have an offer to work your first gig, you are going to need to understand the procedure of setting up a band for a live performance.

When multiple bands are performing, the last band to perform is usually called the “headliner”. The headlining act normally sets up their gear first, and does a sound check. Then, the band that plays before the headliner sets up in front. This band is referred to as the “opener”. It is not uncommon to have multiple openers and depending on the size of the stage, the first band to perform sets up last, in front of each band playing after them. If the stage is too small to fit every bands’ gear, some of the middle openers will have to move their gear off stage. They will move it onstage right before their performance. This is called “striking”. For instance, if the second band’s gear is not able to fit on the stage, it must be striked. If any gear is set up during a sound check, and then striked, it is important to mark the exact spot that piece of gear goes when it is brought back onto the stage. this is usually done with small pieces of colored tape and is called “spiking”. It is rare that a headlining band will be expected strike any of their gear.

A well run show will have what is called a “day sheet” posted in multiple locations around the venue. This day sheet will outline the load-in times of each band, the sound check times, and show times for each act. It is important to pay close attention to the day sheet and make sure you are in the right place at the right time. Always be courteous to the stage manager and try to stay out of the way as much as possible.

Most likely you will start out working for an opening act and won’t get a sound check. You will have to test and tune your guitars, drums, and amps off stage and do a very fast check right before your band goes on stage. It is still a good idea to watch the headlining act do their line check and sound check to learn how this works.

Before the artists come in for a sound check, the backline technicians must perform what is called a “line check” with the audio crew. Each instrument is individually sent out to the speakers and monitors through lines. These are either microphone lines, or direct input lines also know as D.I. lines. Each line is sent to a channel on a mixing board where the audio crew will adjust levels and frequencies according to the acoustics of the room. If the band does not have any technicians they will have to do this themselves.

To fully understand what a line check is, one must realize there are two audio systems involved with a live music performance. The large speakers hanging from each side of the the stage pointing towards the audience are operated by a “front of house” engineer, often called FOH. There are also smaller speakers on the stage pointed towards each band member called “monitors” or “wedges” that are operated by a monitor engineer. Larger acts often use in-ear monitors connected to belt packs that transmit their mix wirelessly through headphones. This eliminates the need for wedges on stage and gives the artist a much more controlled and isolated mix. These systems are becoming more common and affordable, but you will most likely only encounter traditional monitors in small clubs and theaters.

While the large FOH speakers are a master mix of the entire band that the audience hears, the monitors on stage pointed at each artist are individually mixed according to what that artist needs to hear during the performance. The singer might want to hear his voice louder and have less bass, the bass player might want to hear more kick drum in his mix. The technician will know how each artist likes his monitors mixed. During a line check, the technicians will run through each instrument line, and work with the monitor engineer to make sure levels are correct. The technicians will also work with the FOH engineer making sure each line is getting to FOH properly. Once the line check is complete, the band can then come on stage for the final sound check to make sure they are comfortable and make any adjustments. The band will usually perform a few songs so the FOH engineer can make sure everything will sound good to the audience.

The most important part of being a backline technician is preparation. Make sure you have all the tools you need and always be thinking ahead! You need to be aware of how much time you have and then prioritize accordingly. Be aware that your main goal is to do everything in your power to make the artist comfortable onstage. They shouldn’t have to worry about anything but performing. Always make sure the gear is working properly first. It doesn’t matter if you changed strings on every guitar in the rack if the guitar amp doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter if you polished all the cymbals if the kick pedal is broken. Make a routine of always checking every battery, and that every jack is properly plugged in. Learn to anticipate problems. Tape cables to the floor so they don’t become unplugged when they are kicked. Then move on to less important tasks depending on how much time you have. Try to understand what is most important to each artist and make sure you perform those tasks first.

Before and after the sound check is your time to prepare. Always make time to get a bite to eat. You need to be thinking clearly. Working on an empty stomach is never a good idea. You will probably have to make set lists for the band. Set lists are a list of the songs the band plans to perform during the show. These can be written out with a sharpie pen, or typed and printed out. Guitarists and bassists often use different guitars for different songs, that are also in different tunings. It is a good idea to plan in advance to make sure all the guitars are tuned properly. You might also have to get water, other beverages, towels, and anything else the band members might need during the performance. You will also have to make sure the band has extra sticks, picks, strings and any other supplies you might need during the show.

Once you have done everything in your power to prepare for the show it is time for the band to hit the stage. Your most important task is to pay close attention to the band members at all times. If something goes wrong, try not to panic. Nine times out of ten the problem will be very simple to fix. If you loose your cool you will probably make it worse. Take a deep breath and analyze the situation. If a problem occurs, do your best to fix it. After the show explain what happened to the artist, apologize, and most importantly, learn from your mistakes. Suppose a guitar stops working during a show and it turned out it was because a power cable was knocked loose from a pedal. You should explain later why the problem happened, and accept responsibility. Then explain that from now on, you will secure that cable before every show, along with every other similar cable in the guitar rig. The artist should appreciate your honesty and be confident that problem will never happen again. Remember that you will be making many mistakes when you first start out. Only once you learn from these mistakes, will you become a valuable backline technician.

After the show it is absolutely imperative that you carefully pack up every piece of equipment that came into the venue, and make sure it all makes it back into the trailer or truck. Do not leave things laying around during the day as this will make it very difficult to find everything at the end of the night. Keep your work station tidy and organized and make sure you know where all of your gear is at all times. Make sure everything is labeled clearly. It is very common for gear to be stolen from venues so you must be aware at all times. When you load into a venue, count each piece that goes in. When you are loading the trailer make sure you have the same amount of pieces!

Book Review – Vanessa Greatorex’s Wilmslow Through Time

Wilmslow Through Time by Vanessa Greatorex (Amberley Publishing £9.99)

Wilmslow, home to almost 40 000 people, including celebrities such as Alex Ferguson and Coronation Street’s Bill Roach, is the subject of a new book,Wilmslow Through Time, by Chester author and historian, Vanessa Greatorex. Using photographs from 1890 onwards, plus captions, the recent history of the bijou Cheshire town is captured in storybook form.

Now home to luxury car sales rooms, and the rich and famous (detached homes there can cost anything up to £6m), the town’s former milling industry factories, and humble worker’s dwellings, earn their place in Greatorex’s century of images and comment. Modern Wilmslow’s prosperity and comforts come at the cost of significant visual interference in the form of road markings, cars, lampposts and telegraph cabling, and some pretty awful modern architecture, as the pictures of Church Street show. However, the author is careful to delineate the reasons – usually dereliction, sanitation or fire damage in previous decades – for new build and demolition. Overall, a clear picture of continuity is presented in the book, with the key points of architectural interest and natural beauty being preserved through time, and forming the basis of Wilmslow’s reputation of well-established exclusivity.

Award-winner Greatorex’s typically succinct prose conveys a wealth of interesting and indeed entertaining snippets. On the Grove Street Jaw-Droppers page, for example, a 1970 photograph of the only camel to have walked the Wilmslow streets sits beside a recent shot of the equally strange-looking Barclays bank, which the author archly describes as more of a “seaside pavilion than a bank”. A very real sense of personal engagement with the town, and its people, is evident throughout. The reader cannot but share the author’s huge disappointment upon failing to locate a breathtakingly beautiful scene – the regimented line of riverside winter poplars, along with their symmetrical still water reflection – of a 1905 T.Baddely sepia photograph.

As a writer of thrillers myself, I was especially interested to see that, in true Midsomer Murder tradition, there is a dark flipside to the bucolic idyll suggested by photographs such as the Wilmslow Carnival pipers and horse drawn floats bearing costumed villagers. In 1984, Wilmslow made international headlines as the site of the Lindow Man, whose astonishingly well-preserved body was found in peaty, common ground just outside of Wilmslow.

Greatorex finishes her book with an arresting image of the dig for his remains, complete with inset of a pathetic, crumpled, high-born, young man who had been ritualistically murdered and his body dumped in the Wilmslow mud. The shadow cast by his tragedy reaches through time: in addition to Lindow Man, the excavations unearthed a skull fragment which prompted local man Peter Reyn-Bardt confess to the murder of his wife in the 1950’s. He was convicted, even though the skull fragment belonged to an Iron Age (some archaeologists argue, Roman) Wilmslow woman.

Wilmslow Through Time is more than a well-presented, highly readable work. It is a labour of love by a highly accomplished researcher and writer whose clear affinity and affection for the landscape of her childhood is evident in this meticulously sourced and well-presented series of anecdotes and images.

Boomer Bone Health – It’s Not Just Calcium You Need to Keep Your Bones Healthy

Unless you don’t believe in supplements as a vital part of healthy living then you are most likely, as a midife woman, taking a calcium supplement. You probably also do your best to eat foods that provide dietary calcium.

What else can you do to support the health of your bones?

Aside from weight bearing exercise, something most of you know about, here are a couple of food related ideas.

What to add and what to take out of your diet.

First I’m going to tell you what to include in your diet then I’m going to surprise you by telling you what to limit or eliminate.

According to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables is one good way to ensure health, flexible bones.

Yet another reason to make sure you eat plenty of what the plant kingdom has to offer and not just because they contain calcium although most do.

The reason has to do with the acid/ alkaline balance in our bodies.

Acid and alkaline balancing act.

Now if you’ve never heard about the acid alkaline balance, or have, but figured that it was just one more thing the vegans cooked up to lure us over to the dark side, it’s time to listen up. The blood in our bodies can either be neutral in ph, acidic or alkaline and lifestyle pretty much determines whether we are in or out of balance.

Our bones rely on a slightly alkaline blood ph to maintain their calcium stores. Too much acid, whether created by what we eat, stress, or prescription drugs, has to be balanced out or serious damage can be done to the intestinal system to name one. Alkaline producing foods neutralize excess acid but if there is a shortage it’s calcium to the rescue.

Where is the greatest store of calcium in the body?

It’s in the bones of course.

Why is this important? Because the typical western diet is high in protein, processed foods, sugar and dairy products—all acid forming foods. You smart women probably enhance your alkaline reserves with lower amounts of processed foods and greater amounts of fruits and veggies than the typical American. BUT you have you bought in to the dairy council’s advertising that “milk does a body good?”

Dairy is an acid producing food.

If dairy is acid producing but it also contains calcium wouldn’t it be worth the acid to get the calcium? Yes as long as you are ensuring the alkaline reserves so you keep the calcium where you want it-in the bones. Bottom line is, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables if you like dairy to ensure your bones’ calcium supply won’t be depleted to keep your blood at its desired pH.

Foods to think twice about.

Here are a couple of foods to eliminate or use infrequently to protect your bones.

Soda-especially colas, have a high phosphoric acid content and must have calcium and some magnesium to be neutralized.

Dairy products-most have a very low pH-low pH means more acid. The lowest is found in sweetened yogurts and other processed dairy products like ice cream.

Proteins-almost all flesh foods are acid producers so if you are an Atkins follower-know that you have the potential for a health challenge in the form of osteoporosis down the road.

In no way am I saying you cannot eat meat, drink the occasional soda or eat sweetened yogurt or cheese. Just work to balance your pH by incorporating lots of fresh fruits and veggies. You might want to learn more about which foods are acid producing -for example citrus foods are not, contrary to popular belief-by picking up a book or googling acid/alkaline.

Your bones are living structures.

Bones are always releasing and resorbing–re-absorbing–calcium and the best way to keep them healthy is to give them the proper environment so they resorb and keep as much as possible by eating well, eliminating stress, and watching your intake of chemicals whether pharmaceutical or agricultural.

Oh, and don’t forget the weight bearing exercises!

The Fruits Of Burma, Mango, Papaya And Co Part 1

Writing about fruits is similar to writing about e.g. flowers and/or vegetables. I think one cannot confine oneself to describing the fruit, flower or vegetable and some of the respective botanical aspects alone but should whenever it is possible and/or makes sense also address their origins, their trees or plants, the issue of symbolism and the uses they are put to – from the kitchen to the religious shrine to the pharmacy, as it were – as otherwise not only the reading about them might become a bit boring but also because the picture will remain incomplete. If you do not agree please tell me of what use it would be to merely tell you bananas and coconuts are growing in Burma and that bananas are yellow and bend whereas the kernel of the coconut is round to oval and brown? You see what I mean? I admit this article is a bit longer than my usual ones because I am also using a lot of botanical names (for the botanists amongst you) but it will nevertheless – so I hope – make interesting reading. It will at least – that I am very certain about – be quite instructive. By the way, you will be surprised to read that many flowers and/or fruits you like very much are belonging to families you would have never expected. Would you e.g. have expected that the strawberry is a member of the family ‘Rosaceae’ the flowers of which are known to you a rose? Or did you know that the core of the banana stem and the banana blossom are not only edible but are also very delicious? These things and much more will be revealed in this article.

OK, let us jump at the opportunity and learn more about fruits, in general, while concerning ourselves with the fruits of Burma (since 1989 also called Myanmar), in particular.

Burma is like all tropical and subtropical countries benefited by a climate that allows continuous growing, cultivating and harvesting of fruits both of seasonal and year-round kind. With its abundant moisture and warm to hot temperatures in the lowlands and temperate climate in the mountains it produces the most diverse fruits in high quality and in great quantities.

When speaking of fruits of Burma we must not only classify them into seasonal and year-round kinds but also into almost globally grown and cultivated ones such as e.g. the apple and grape or the strawberry and fruits such as the mango and the papaya or banana that are native to and exclusively growing in tropical and subtropical climates and countries.

In other words, the apple, grape and strawberry are non-tropical/subtropical fruits because they cannot thrive well without longer periods with temperatures about and below 0 degree Celsius/32 degree Fahrenheit, i.e. without frost and without essential environmental conditions such as the appropriate nourishment, soil drainage, proper degree of humidity, right amount of hours of sunshine/day, average temperatures, amount of water, etc. Merely soil, water and sunshine are not sufficient enough for a tree, plant or flower to thrive well.

Trees and plants may grow in environments they are not adapted to – which to become takes without interference through e.g. grafting and/or budding, a long evolutionary process – but cannot unfold their respective qualities to the full. So, do not expect of fruits that are not native to the tropics what you are in terms of size, colour, odour, flavour, sweetness, juiciness, etc. used to in your non-tropical home country where these fruits are native to. Do you have tropical or subtropical fruits such as bananas, mangosteen or papayas growing in North Europe or the north of North America? You see what I mean?

Nevertheless, I will, without spending too much time on them, include certain non-tropic fruits in this article as far as they are cultivated in Burma and will hopefully in a combined effort of nature and men by e.g. crossing of desirable parents or beneficial mutation in standard varieties adapt to the climate here. At the end of this process of the fruits concerned may have been developed new varieties with wonderful characteristics and qualities. Who knows? We cannot force nature to do its job; we can only assist and learn from it. Therefore, do not blame Burma for the fact that these non-tropical fruits are not as good here as in the countries they are native to and do not blame me for admitting that and just telling the truth. Burma cannot help it because it is a matter of nature and I am just being objective.

As for the former (the apple, etc) they are not as good in Burma as in other countries with proper natural environment but that should not pose any problem to foreign visitors to Burma who come e.g. from Europe or North America as they have these fruits in highest quality and abundance in their own countries. After all, these people do certainly not come to Burma in order to eat here those fruits which are cultivated in their home countries, maybe in their own garden. Actually they are not coming just to eat fruits but once being here it would be a shame not to eat them. They would be missing out on something really wonderful. However, as for the latter (the mango, etc.), Burma/Burma has a lot to offer that is truly remarkable. Mind you, we are not speaking of fruits that are available in Burma when speaking of the ‘Fruits of Burma’. It is true, all kinds of fruits are available in developed countries, even the most exotic, and those fruits that are not available there do simply not exist anywhere else, but tropical and subtropical fruits such as those of Burma might be available in foreign countries but do not grow there.

When speaking of fruits of Burma we are speaking of fruits that are typical of Burma and ripen here on the tree, bush or on the stem and not artificially and at storage facilities as those fruits that are determined for consumption in foreign countries are plucked prematurely in order not to be overripe when ultimately displayed in shops of far-away countries. In other words, fruits are often transported over great distances what even nowadays with our fast means of transportation takes a long time from the tree of the fruit farmer to the shelf of the shop in which they are finally sold. They must arrive at their destination close to or on but not after the peak of their ripeness since fruits decay very rapidly. Therefore they are plucked or picked before they have almost reached this point on the tree. And that makes a great difference in colour, odour and flavour. This is a difference that makes out all that what eating of fruits actually is about: savouriness. And savour you can the fruits of Burma in Burma; they are tree-ripened.

If you have a soft spot for tropical and subtropical fruits, Burma is the place to be because here they grow. From A as in ‘Awza thee’ or custard apple, as it is called in English, to Z as in ‘Zee thee’ or plum, here you get something for every taste even when allowing for the fact that not everyone likes every fruit what may be true especially for the ‘Du win thee’ (durian) and/or ‘Pein gne thee’ (Jackfruit), which are very healthy and much loved by almost all of the locals but not necessarily so by foreigners as at least their pungent smell, if that is the word, needs very much getting used to; if that is possible at all, that is.

But that you get here something for everyone is not all. As for certain fruits that are also growing in other tropical countries, in Burma you get the very best of them.

Now if you do not mind come and accompany me on my trip into the realm of Burma’s flora. Let us take a closer look at the fruits of Burma and in doing so keep the very best, the highlights of the journey, as it were, till the end. This trip is a little bit longer but as I hope both informative and entertaining. Fasten your seatbelts; here we go. The non-tropical fruits cultivated in Burma are e.g. the apple, grape and strawberry.

Those tropical fruits that are native to Burma and those that are not originated in Burma but have over time become part of its native flora are, in the category ‘year-round fruits’, e.g. the banana, papaya, lemon, lime or sweet lime, grapefruit/pomelo, pomegranate, avocado, coconut and fig.

In the category ‘seasonal fruits’ these are in the sequence of their season e.g. the mango and jackfruit, durian and mangosteen, guava, rambutan, lychee, pineapple, custard apple, orange, and water melon.

Let us begin our journey with the apple locally called ‘Pan thee’ that as stated above – though not native to Burma – is cultivated here since British times. As the locally grown quantities were not sufficient to meet the demand in terms of quantity and quality apples were imported and according to those of my friends who ate them they were very delicious. Still, apples are imported from e.g. China but they too are not so good. They are big and look good but have in the way of flavour, sweetness and juiciness not much to offer that is worth writing home about. Besides, they are relatively expensive.

In Burma apples are mainly cultivated in the north-eastern part of the country, in the foothills of the Shan mountains where in the higher regions at about 3510 feet/1070 metres the micro-climate is European-like, thus the temperatures lower than the usually tropical temperatures. But in size, odour, flavour and colour they do not quite meet the quality of those growing in western countries as the locally grown apples are rather tasteless, quite dry and not very sweet either. As for the vitamin contents, too, the level may not be as high as in Europe so that the ‘An-apple-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away’ method might not work out so well here.

Be that as it may, ‘Pan thee’ is in Burma mainly eaten in the fresh state but can also be served as chief ingredients of deserts such as fruit salads, backed apples, apple pie and apple strudel. They can also be processed into dried apple slices, jelly, pasteurised juice, canned sauce, cider, vinegar and apple brandies. Apple upgrades as complement the flavour of many dishes but can also be an integral and main part of dishes, and is e.g. used as ingredient of pickled white cabbage (sauerkraut), goes very well with all kinds of game, is used as stuffing of goose roast and also makes a tasty meal when stewed and combined with either potato pancake or boiled potato topped with bacon sauce or in combination with fried sausage.

Apples are widely cultivated throughout temperate world regions such as northern Europe and North America and apple trees are best adapted to regions in which the average temperature approaches or is dropping to freezing point and below. Here the apples are best. The exact chilling requirements vary slightly from variety to variety but apple trees can withstand temperatures down to -40 degrees Celsius. Its native home is most probably the region between the Caspian and Black Sea.

The apple fruit develops from a blossom that is of rounded appearance and in its majority white with stripes or tints of rose. Some apple species do, however, bloom with white or red flowers. They wary in size from slightly bigger than a cherry to a grapefruit and have five seed pockets the number of seeds contained in them varying with the variety. Apple trees constitute the genus ‘Malus’ of the family ‘Rosaceae’. About seventy genera of the rose family are cultivated for e.g. food amongst them the apple and believe it or not the strawberry.

Strawberries though they too are not native to Burma are also cultivated here. The strawberry has no local name and is therefore here in Burma also called ‘strawberry’. This fruit that makes up the genus ‘Fragaria’ of the family ‘Rosachilaensis’ is although being smaller than the, e.g. in Europe consumed species developed from ‘Fragaria moschata’ growing galore throughout the cooler months of the year in the ‘Pyin Oo Lwin/Maymyo’ region. Maymyo is located some 68 kilometres/42.5 miles north-east of Mandalay in the foot hills of the Shan mountains.

The local variety is more like ‘Fragaria Vesca’, the forest strawberry, but very sweet when ripe.

Surely, this is good news for all those who cannot do without them for even a shorter time and happen to be here in the right period from January to March, which – by the by – is a time when in northern Europe the local strawberries are not yet on the market.

So, what most likely will immediately spring to the mind of western early post WW II generations visiting Maymyo/Pyin Oo Lwin during the strawberry season is the 1964 Beatles world-hit “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Strawberries are rich in zinc and vitamin B9 or folic acid, which is a coenzyme needed for forming body protein and haemoglobin (an iron-protein compound in red blood cells) and quercetin that helps to alleviate allergies.

Strawberries are mainly eaten in the fresh state with sugar and cream but are also made into juice, syrup, wine, jam, used as chief ingredient of desserts such as fruit salad, ice-cream and for e.g. strawberry tart and cake.

The grape, local name ‘Tha byet thee’, is another example of a fruit not native to but cultivated in Burma since some three decades. They are cultivated in the area of Meiktila (Mandalay division) but are in size, taste and sweetness definitely inferior to, for instance, European and North American grapes. They are eaten in a fresh state, processed into raisins, and tread and made into wine, which however is more often than not on the rather sweet side. But the influx of foreign specialist during the last years has led to the production of high-quality vines mostly offered in higher class hotels and restaurants.

The banana, locally called ‘Hnget pyaw thee’, is like the papaya, guava and lime one of the year-round tropical fruits. The banana tree and the fruit are cultivated for their versatility. The local name hnget pyaw thee is a combination of ‘hnget’ (originally spelled ‘het’), which means ‘splitting’, ‘pyaw’ what means as much as ‘pulpy’ and ‘thee’, meaning ‘fruit’.

The banana belongs to the family ‘musaceae’ and makes up the genus ‘musa’ one of which is classified as ‘musa paradisiaca’, the other ‘musa textilis’ or ‘Manila hemp’, also ‘abaca’, which is native to the Philippines. The fibres of musa textilis are as its name denotes used for the production of high-quality matting.

The banana family with its two genera and about 40 species and many varieties typically occurs in the tropics and is originated in Southeast Asia. Bananas have sterile flowers and the fruit develops unfertilized so that bananas contain no seeds. The production of new plants is by vegetative means and propagation is from suckers that develop at the bases of old plants. Planted once they multiply without end. The banana tree is omnipresent in Burma although certain varieties prefer certain regions. It is almost impossible to make a step without seeing another banana tree; even in the big cities. They grow everywhere from the flatland to mountains in altitudes of 4.000 feet.

In the tropics the stems are annual. They die after perfecting the fruit and then new stems develop from the buds in the rootstock. Their growth is so rapid that their fruit is usually ripe within 10 months after the offsets are planted. The banana fruit itself ripens within about 6 months as is reflected in the local wisdom: “The bunch of bananas is ripe and fit when the babies learn to sit.”

The stems, which are actually not a stem at all but overlapping leaf bases can grow to a height of 10 to 40 feet/3 to 12 metres with crowns of large leaves of a lengths of up to 10 feet/3 metres. The flowers spring from the centre of the crown and are arranged in whorl-like clusters along the spike. The flowers on the top are male flowers and those at the base female flowers.

The banana fruit varies in lengths from about 4 to 12 inches/10 to 30 centimetres and the average weight of a bunch is about 25 lb/about 11 kg with some of them exceeding 40 lb/18 kg. The edible part of the banana fruit contains on average 75 percent water, 21 percent carbohydrate and about 1 percent each of the fat, protein, fibre and ash. Usually the banana is of yellow colour but there are also green, red and blue varieties, the latter being very rare.

After having worked ourselves through a lot of rather general stuff pertinent to the banana issue we will now come to the part with more local flavour and take a closer look at the ‘Burma banana family’ with some 12 members out of some 25 varieties that are said to exist in Burma.

Our ‘family’ however consists of those varieties that are mainly cultivated. Starting with the smallest one, the first member of this family is ‘musa cavendishii’, the small, sweet and slightly sour Chinese variety with the local name ‘Wet malut’ or ‘Pig’s limbo tree’.

Two other members locally called ‘Thee Hmwey’ or ‘fragrant fruit/banana fruit’ are the golden yellow thin-skinned it and the even when fully ripe thin-skinned green one. They are my favourite and very tasty. To my opinion not one of the European import standard brands comes close to it. The fruit pulp of both is of slightly yellowish-white colour and not too soft.

Since a family to be complete needs a mother we take for it the ‘Nanthabu’ or ‘short and perfumed’. Nanthabu makes a good mother because it is petit, fragrant, soft-skinned, well and round shaped, sweet with firm yet soft texture (like the thee hmwey) and not stringent.

Wet malut’s (the smallest family member) bigger brother is ‘Hpee gyann’ or ‘coarse hand’, a name that indicates that the fruit has here and there grainy excrescences. Unlike other varieties, which are not very tolerant to pressure this one can take a biff as it is very thick-skinned. The fruit is very thick and angular in shape. Its pulp is a bit sour and grainy and has like its brother ‘Hnget pyaw’ or ‘blue banana’ the skin of which sheens silvery-grey medicinal properties as it is conducive to digestion and bowl movement.

The father of the ‘Burma banana family’ is ‘Byat pyeih’ or ‘tray full’. Byat pyeih is huge and therefore nicknamed by locals ‘Hsin an’ what means ‘elephant tooth’. The fruit is bulky and its bunch is very heavy due to the giant size of bananas of this variety. You eat a maximum of four of them and you have definitely had your fill. The edible part of the fruit is compared to other varieties rather tasteless and has quite a coarse texture but is none the less very well edible. I like it.

The eldest son and pride of the family is ‘Shwe nga pyaw’ (‘Shweyni’) or the variety ‘Rubra’ of ‘Musa sapientum’. This variety is also known as golden or red banana. In its early stage it is of greenish-brown colour but as it matures it takes on a more and more shimmering red and in places reddish-golden/yellow colour. The fruit is almost as bulky and huge as byat pyeih and its pulp is slightly mealy, scented. It has a slight after-taste of a kind which may not be to everyone’s taste and is more on the yellow side yellowish-white. Shwe nga pyaw is the favourite banana for ceremonial offerings and comparatively expensive.

Two other family members are from Rakhine State on Burma’s west coast at the Gulf of Bengal. These are locally called ‘Rakhine nga pyaw’ or ‘Rakhine banana’ and ‘Nga pyaw chin’ or ‘Sour banana’. Rakhine nga pyaw is called by the Arakanese (Rakhine nationals) ‘Kalar nga pyaw’ or ‘Indian banana’. The fruit has a round body with a yellow and thin skin. The pulp is soft, yellowish-white and has a very pleasant, sweet taste what makes it much sought after. Nga pyaw gyin (sour banana) is as the name implies slightly more stringent and smaller in size than Rakhine nga pyaw yet quite tasty.

The next – also a fragrant type – is ‘Musa sapientum var. champa’, locally called ‘Htawbhat nga pyaw’ or ‘butter banana’ what gives already the information that the pulp of this variety is of creamy texture. The taste is pleasantly sweet, slightly fragrant and its skin is thin and yellow. Personally, I find the pulp a bit too soft but the taste is good.

The last member of our ‘Burma banana family’ is locally called ‘Thange zar’ or ‘Children food’. Its pulp is somewhat grainy, sweet and slightly stringent. In size the fruit is rather small and its skin is yellow.

The banana fruit is generally eaten in a fresh state either as part of a meal or in between. However, it is also served as chief ingredients of various cakes, deep fried with a coat of rice flour batter, as pancake filling or coated in a layer of chocolate on a stick. It is also preserved into crispy, dried slices (banana chips) with and without honey.

But it is not only the banana fruit that is eaten. Its flower and the core of the stem too are very delicious. The red flower petals of the bud at the apex of the spike give a very tasty salad.

Slices of the core of the banana tree stem are indispensable part of Burma’s very popular breakfast dish ‘Mohinga’, which is a thick, peppery, yellow fish soup/gravy made of fish, banana stem, ginger, garlic, lemon grass, oil, chilli powder and turmeric that is eaten with rice-noodles. It is very, very tasty.

Finally, the banana bud is also an architectural design motif, locally called ‘Hnget pyaw bu’ and plays as such an important role in Buddhist architecture. The banana bud is to be seen on tired roofs of pagodas, monasteries and in the spires of stupas.

The next year-round fruits in Burma are ‘citrus fruits’, namely the lemon, lime and the grapefruit/pomelo.

Citrus is the common name for several related evergreen trees and shrubs of the rue family and generally for the fruits they produce. This includes the citron, grapefruit, shaddock/pomelo, lemon, lime, orange, tangerine and bergamot (a pear-shaped orange). Citrus are native to Southeast Asia, belong to the family ‘Rutaceae’ and constitute the genus ‘Citrus’.

The lemon, also of the category ‘year-round’, locally called ‘Than ma yo thee’ develops from blossoms with five petals that are on the upper surface white and on the lower surface pinkish. The trees are cultivated throughout the tropical and subtropical regions and are small and thorny. They grow to about 10 to 20 feet/3 to 6 metres height and are sparsely covered by foliage.

The lemon fruit is of pale yellow colour, elliptically shaped and technically a berry. Its pulp consists of 8 to 10 segments, is of light-yellow colour and contains small, pointed, white seeds. The peel surrounding the fruit contains ‘oil of lemon’, which is used in the manufacturing of perfumes and lemon flavouring. The fruit is picked six to ten times yearly and a mature lemon tree may produce 1.000 to 2.000 fruits in this period.

Usually, the fruit is because of its stringency not eaten but cultivated for its juice that is refreshing and has medicinal properties and flavour. Lemon juice and/or syrup is used widely as a constituent of beverages, as a drink, salad dressing and as flavouring. The pulp of the lemon is used to making concentrated lemon juice that is used medicinal for its high vitamin C and ascorbic acid content.

In Burma, lemon juice is much favoured as present for elderly family members around the full moon day of Thadingyut that falls into September/October. Lemon is an antiseptic and due to its vitamin contents ant scorbutic, which are properties that are conducive to maintaining teeth and bones, the cleansing of body impurities and the prevention of diseases. Lemon is classified as ‘Citris limon’.

Lime is native to Southeast Asia and cultivated chiefly in tropical regions. Its local name is ‘Tham ya thee’ and its fruit develops from white flowers, which have five petals. It is spherical to oval in shape with a thick, yellow-greed rind. The pulpy flesh of the segments is acid, juicy and of yellowish-green colour. The lime tree grows to a height of approx. 15 feet/4.6 metres. Lime juice contains small quantities of vitamin C. Lime is classified as ‘Citrus aurantifolia’ and the Perrine lemon as ‘Citrus limon aurantifolia’.

Now we have reached the end of this leg of our long journey through the flora of Burma and I hope that you have enjoyed it (I have done my best to keep things entertaining) and on our way developed an appetite for the ‘Fruits of Burma’. They are at their best here in Burma where they grow and are waiting for you.

Top 5 Martial Arts for Self Defense

Martial arts have grown more and more over the years. It’s not only a great way to get fit but it also adds a more of a personal growth element to the practitioner. This list looks at five of the best martial arts for self defense.

5. Kick-boxing (muay thai)

Muay Thai, which roughly translates to “art of the eight limbs”.

Muay thai is from Thailand and is a martial art that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques.

The word muay derives from the Sanskrit mavya and Thai comes from the word Tai. Muay Thai is referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” because of the use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact”.

A practitioner of Muay Thai is known as a nak muay. Western practitioners are sometimes called nak muay farang meaning foreign boxer.

4. Wing Chung

Wing Chun also romanized as Ving Tsun or “Wing Tsun” is a concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense utilizing both striking and grappling while specializing in close-range combat.

Wing Chun was made famous by Yip Man. He taught such legends as “Bruce Lee”.

Wing Chun is a perfect art for people who aren’t looking to use brute force. The system relies on biomechanics, not brute force and is recommended for women to learn.

3. Jeet Kune Do

Jeet Kune Do is a hybrid martial arts system which is a mix of Wing Chun, Boxing, and Fencing, founded and developed by the legendary martial artist Bruce Lee.

JKD teaches that the best defense is a strong offense. For a person to attack another the attacker must approach the target. This provides an opportunity for the attacked person to “intercept” the attacking movement.

Bruce didn’t believe in methods but in styles. He believed that one should use what one found useful in any martial arts and make his own style. Anything that was not found useful should be discarded.

2. Keysi fighting

Keysi Fighting Method is a method of self defense that is based on natural fighting instincts and several street fighting techniques, developed by Justo Diéguez Serrano with the help of Andy Norman.

The Keysi Fighting Method became famous after it was used in the fighting choreography of the movies Batman Begins.

Keysi fighting makes uses of multiple attacking ranges, with or without weapons.

Unlike many other martial arts, Keysi tends to get into extreme close quarters when in combat. It also relies on understanding how people typically move or attack in a fight so that when striking, the opponent’s body moves to expose further targets.

The Keysi Method teaches one to being able to defend themselves against any number of attackers!

1. Krav Maga

Krav Maga meaning “contact combat” is an eclectic hand-to-hand combat system developed in Israel that involves striking techniques, wrestling and grappling, mostly known for its extremely efficient and brutal counter-attacks, and used regularly with special forces in Israel.

Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing threat neutralization, simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers, and aggression.

It’s said that Krav Maga is the most effective martial arts for self defense and threat neutralization purposes.

It incorporates Western boxing punches, Karate kicks and knees, Greco-Roman wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu ground fighting, Jiu-jitsu throws and grappling.

Also stressed are attacks to vulnerable body parts: the eyes, throat, and groin. Since most situations are a matter of life-or-death.

One can learn Krav Maga in only 3 to 6 months which is highly appealing to many interested in learning Self Defense.

How to Stop Your Mastiff Dog From Excessive Barking

If your mastiff puppy or dog is barking excessively, it could be from many different things. He or she could be getting caught on, or under a fence. He or she could be barking at other dogs in the neighborhood, or they could be lonely and feel depressed.

Dogs bark for many many reasons really. It would be impractically to think that your puppy or dog would never bark again, because some barking is actually good for a dog, and you!

Dogs bark to alert their owners or danger, or a suspicious person lurking around. But a dog that just barks and barks, and you don’t seem to know why, not only bothers you, but it usually always disturbs the neighbors as well.

One of the first things you need to find out is why your dog is barking in the first place. Does he or she see a squirrel or cat in a tree everyday, and bark at that? Or does your puppy or dog not get enough exercise, and is left alone outside for long periods of time, and they are barking from boredom. After you find out why they are barking, it is much easier to correct the problem then.

Puppies will naturally bark if they are playing and running around, it is in their nature to playful bark that is normal. If you can not notice what your dog is barking at, sometimes they can see or smell things that you can not, so you might need to take a closer look again. You should also make sure you have your mastiff puppy or dog checked out by a vet, to make sure he or she is fine, before you try to correct the problem.

It is good to have a nice place for your dog to sleep, like a dog house, a dog bed, and a nice place to make their own. You would not like it, if you had to sleep outside, and no one gave you a house or bed to sleep in, so be good to your dog.

Here are some ways to help curb your dogs barking. If your dog is barking, and you open the door to let him or her in, you are just reinforcing them to bark, each time they want to come inside. When they bark, they know you will come to the door and let them in, and the barking is working for them.

If you go to the door and stand there and scream at them like a raving lunatic, they will think you are joining them in the celebration, and they will want to bark even more! You are barking to them, so they want to bark also, and join in!

If you mastiff puppy or dog it barking, and you come and baby him, and give him or her treats, that is no good. They will take that as a sign that barking is what they need to do, to get more attention from you, so you should never reward this type of barking.

There are several ways to teach your dog that barking is not rewarded. If you are gone all day, and you are aware that your dog barks excessively while you are gone, he or she most likely thinks that if they keep barking, you will show up. Eventually when you show up, you immediately go to the dog, and the barking might stop then. In your dogs mind, he or she has been barking to bring you home, and it worked, you are home finally.

To cure this type of barking, when you get home, do not immediately go to your dog. Let the dog know that you are not rewarding him for barking. Do not go to the dog until after he or she has settled down, and then you can go to him or her, after the barking has stopped and does not start again for a bit.

If our dog barks when the phone rings, or your cell phone goes off, teach them to ignore it. You could do this by having a friend or family member, call your phone repeatedly, and you just sit their and don’t answer it. With repetition, your dog will bark less and less, and then get bored with the phone all together.

One of the easiest things to remember when training your dog, is to praise or reward your dog when he or she does something you like, and give a negative response to something you do not like. Over time, your dog through repetition will learn what is acceptable, and what is not acceptable. He or she will be a much better member of the family, and good for them also!

There are several ways you could train your dog not to bark when you leave your home. You would need something loud, like a can of rocks, or marbles inside the can, or a garden hose, and you would use these for the negative suggestions. You would leave your home, and then you quietly come back, and just hide outside somewhere in front.

When you hear your dog barking, use the hose to just put the nozzle over the fence, and squirt him or her, or throw the can of rocks or marbles in their general direction, careful not to actually hit them. The loud noise will scare them, and they will associate the barking with getting wet, or having loud noises come at them, they will eventually tire of the barking.

You could also use a treat and the command Quiet or Stop. When your dog is barking, you give the command Quiet and when he or she stops barking, you give them a treat and praise, and eventually you would just give them praise.

With just about any dog, it will never happen over night. It takes consistence and patience. Your dog will make great progress, and then fall back sometimes, that is only natural. They will move forward again, with patience and good dog training, you can make your dog an excellent family member.

Sometimes a dog likes to bark at a mail delivery person, or delivery person that comes around. In your dog’s eyes, this person is coming into their territory and is an intruder, an unwelcome guest, and your dog barks continuously at this person. The person usually does leave in a short period of time, and the dog thinks that his barking has made the intruder go away, and he or she has done a good job!

If you wanted to cure this type of barking, and you were friends with your mail person or delivery person, you could tell them your training method, and give them a bag of snacks to carry with them. Each time they would come to your house, they could give the dog a snack over the fence, and the dog would come to think of this person as a welcome guest, instead of an intruder, and the barking would settle down after a bit.

The best way to train any dog is for you and your puppy or dog to enroll in obedience classes together. You will have a much better understanding of just basic dog techniques, and you would bond with your dog even more!

Emergency Preparedness For Weight Loss Surgery Patients

Following weight loss surgery patients make a multitude of adjustments in their lives to accommodate the dietary and nutritional needs of an altered gastric digestive system. Even if weight loss has long been accomplished patients who have undergone gastric bypass, gastric banding or gastric sleeve surgical procedures must, for the rest of their life, maintain rigorous nutritional and dietary habits in order to be healthy. After time these adjustments feel like second nature to the patient and even those around them. But in preparing an emergency kit for use in the wake of a natural or national disaster it is essential that weight loss surgery patients treat themselves as “special needs” and ensure their nutritional and dietary needs are provided for in the event the emergency kit is put into service.

Flood, fire, national disaster, or the loss of power from high winds, snow, or ice frequently jeopardize the health and safety of thousands of Americans each year. This year weather events and natural disasters have been particularly harsh throughout the world and many thousands have found themselves without food, shelter or warmth. While we cannot prevent natural or national disasters we can assemble emergency supply kits to improve our survivability when disaster strikes.

A well-prepared basic emergency supply kit will contain items to provide for the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends the following items be included in a basic emergency supply kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for a least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilitites
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers

Emergency readiness kits should provide water, food, clean air and warmth for 72 hours. Keeping that in mind a “special needs” weight loss surgery patient should consider including the following items in their personal readiness kit:

  • Vitamins and supplements for three days. Additional dosages of vitamins B and C may be included to relieve stress and boost immunity.
  • Non-NSAID over-the-counter pain relief medicine. Most surgical weight loss patients are discouraged from using NSAID medication for pain relief. Make sure acceptable OTC pain relief is included in the First aid kit.
  • Vitamin fortified or protein fortified powder drink mixes in individual packages. These are useful in adding minerals and nutrients to the diet while stretching the water supply because when mixed with the water rations they provide hydration and vitamin and mineral nutrition.
  • Ready-to-Drink (RTD) and Ready-to-Eat (RTE) protein drinks and protein bars. A weight loss surgery patient must have a minimum of 60 grams protein per day for best health. Provide at least 60 grams of dietary protein per day for three days of emergency use.
  • Sugar free hard candy to supplement food intake and keep the mouth moist.
  • Additional bedding or clothing for warmth. Body temperature regulation is difficult for those having lost body weight or body mass. Provide extra items for warmth in the event of a disaster that subjects the weight loss surgery patient to extreme cold or elements.
  • Emergency response information for the treatment of a bariatric patient including contact numbers. Make this information readily available to first responders.

Gather items for the emergency preparedness kit in one location. Stow the items in a portable duffel bag or plastic bin that is accessible and labeled for easy access in the event of an emergency. Ideally each household member will have a kit tailored for their needs. Periodically check the kit and replenish items that have expired. Make certain all contact information is current. It is not easy to think about facing a disaster, but should the day come when the emergency kit is needed a little preparation will go a long way in making a bad situation better.

Listening to Your Feet – Care of Toenail Fungus and Other Foot Maladies

Toenail fungus is just one symptom of bad feet care. If we are able to spend quite an amount to keep our faces clean and the face’s skin soft, why can’t we do the same for our feet?

While a few people love their feet to pieces, some just “wish” foot problems like toenail fungi away. This is a very, very bad practice.

Podiatrists agree

According to Joshua Kaye, a podiatrist residing in Los Angeles, California: “Consumers should know that these symptoms (pain, excessively dry skin, thickened or discolored nails, swelling, redness, and unusual sensations) are not normal. Whatever the problem is, don’t bury it in your shoe and hope it will go away.”

Proper foot care is instrumental in preventing toenail fungus. Proper foot care is also your first tool in making sure that toenail fungus goes away if you already have it.

To continue to neglect your feet is setting your skin and nails up for long-term damage. You never know what you really have until you lose it, or it becomes damaged.

“Let me see your feet…”- your doctor

If you have routine visits to a family doctor or the company physician, take off your socks during one of those physical examinations. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association or APMA, people do not show their feet to their doctors.

In an APMA survey of around 600 people, more than 70% stated that they never show their feet to their doctors. Toenail fungus treatment is still a medical condition that you have to show your doctor.

Some people are embarrassed to show their unsightly brittle nail fungi to doctors. But doctors will probably not even blink when you show them your foot problem.

A normal examination of such foot problems would only involve examination of the extent of damage. Then the doctor would prescribe medication that would work the best, and the fastest.

Deadly diabetes and toenail fungi

According to Jonathan Wilkin, M.D., a former director of the American Food and Drug Authority’s Division of Dermatology and Dental Drug Products, “A problem that seems minor for many people, like a fungal infection or sores on the feet, can become catastrophic to someone with diabetes or other circulatory problems.”

Wilkin also warns that seemingly inane problems like toenail fungus can lead to non-traumatic foot amputations. Diabetes and the complications arising from foot maladies are the leading causes of non-traumatic foot amputations.

Shoes as preventive treatment

Oral and topical medications address the growing problem of toenail fungus. However, did you know that your shoes could help you prevent toenail fungi in the first place?

According to Jane Andersen a podiatrist from Chapel Hill in North Carolina, “Shoes should be comfortable right when you buy them, you should be able to wiggle your toes. And shoes should have a strong sole that flexes at the ball of your foot.”

Ample space inside shoes means more air can circulate. Fungi hate air circulation because it removes surface moisture required for growth. Remove the moisture and you remove the fungi’s food and lodging.

How to Overcome the High Costs of Living Today

Are you always worried about your household average cost of food per month or what is the average cost of groceries per person? What about average monthly cost for health insurance or average annual cost of a car? If you are married with children, are you always worried about the average child care cost, or average cost of day care? In reality, are you always worried about the average cost of living in where you are located?

In this century, will you agree that wealth creation for the average household is getting more and more challenging for the working class these days? Do you realize that our cost of living increase every year? Are you facing this situation in your life today?

Depending on which city you live in, if you are married with children, you might be saying: “It is really not sufficient to live on without any added income from my spouse. After we had our first child, all of our income will go to various expenses such as housing, essentials, food, and car.”

If you are in another city, it might be also very difficult to find even less than $15 per head for a simple meal. Taking a taxi might be also a luxury in one city but not in other cities. Even if you can own a car in a certain city, there might be car tax and road taxes that will add to your expenses.

A lot of middle and lower income groups are being squeezed by rising costs and stagnating salaries. This is greatly due to the fact that a great proportion of our disposable income has to be spent on necessities such as food and housing.

Other expenses that you might be riddled with are:

1) Taking care of retired parents including medical expenses and monthly allowances.

2) Children: Tuition, milk, diapers, education, books, toys, childcare.

3) Housing: loans, rental, property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, repairs.

4) Daily expenses: Food, transportation.

5) Car: Installment, maintenance, repairs, road tax, parking, fuel.

6) Healthcare

7) Personal income tax.

8) Utilities bills.

9) Credit Cards bills.

10) Cigarettes (if you smoke).

Every month, there is less for savings and luxury items. I have often studied my own household balance sheet for many days on how to improve the cash position and I still end up concluded that the only solution I can think up with is to simply increase the household income, after already maximizing actions to cut down on other expenses.

What are the various ways that we can do to beat the high costs of living?

We can:

1) Increase our active income streams. For example: a salary increase, business sales increase, or profits from stocks trading.

2) Create an automated wealth system. In other words, increase your passive income streams such as property rental, dividends, or from royalties.

3) Cut down expenses. Feeling stress out and want to chill out? Save your money by going to the local library, go for a run, or a swim, or take a walk at the park.

> Make your own toys from scraps for your kids.

> Walk instead of using your car if it is a short distance.

> Drink more plain water. Add lemonade if you need to have some taste.

4) Increase your financial literacy quotient through various quality books and courses.

5) Be discipline in your financial practice.

Last but not least,

Helicopter Over-Pitching

The term “Over pitching” in a helicopter is often used by people but a lot of times there seems to be a misconception as to what exactly it means. For starters let’s look at coning or coning angle. When collective pitch is applied the blades will assume a position which is the resultant of two forces. In the true vertical is Total Rotor Thrust and perpendicular to Total rotor thrust in the horizontal plane is centrifugal force due to the rotation of the blades. The angle between the Plane of Rotation and the actual blade is the coning angle.

Another definition which might help in understanding over pitching is rotor disc or disc area. The imaginary line joining the tips of rotor blades which has coned up is called the tip path plane. The area contained below the tip path plane and the actual blades is called the rotor disc area. To understand it a bit better one can imagine an upside down umbrella which represents the disc area and the actual stem in the middle the Total Rotor Thrust. Simply put in order for the helicopter to fly the rotor disc area should be a certain size to support the weight of the helicopter in flight.

In order to keep the size of the rotor disc fairly constant during flight a certain Rotor Rpm has to be maintained and that value is determined by the manufacturer and displayed to pilots by the Rotor Rpm gauge in the cockpit (the rotor rpm should be maintained in the green arc). Any time the Rotor Rpm is allowed to decay below the prescribed limit by applying collective pitch the blades will cone up more resulting in a smaller disc area and effectively less lift. In other words too much Total Rotor Thrust and very little centrifugal force due to the low Rotor Rpm.

There are numerous ways that can lead to over pitching therefore let’s look at only a few examples. When flying a helicopter without a govenor will lead to over pitching when there is no or late anticipation by the pilot to open the throttle when applying collective pitch especially when approaching the hover phase of flight. Another cause is when the collective pitch is applied to rapidly from a low setting to a high pitch setting even when a governor is part of the engine system. This is more prominent when flying at high gross weights or high density altitude and even more so when the rate of descend of the helicopter is also high. Thorough planning in these conditions is obviously very important. Over pitching can happen in more advanced turbine helicopters as well so it is not limited to piston driven helicopters only however most new generation turbine powered helicopters uses FADEC fuel systems which anticipates power or collective applications more efficiently.

When experiencing over pitching in most cases the only and best recovery technique is to lower collective pitch and if throttle is under the pilot’s control it should be opened and even fully opened to recover Rotor Rpm. Depending on the phase of flight the thought of lowering the collective pitch might not seem the right thing to do especially close to the ground but it is the only way to recover low Rotor Rpm as pulling the collective pitch will result in the Rotor Rpm decaying even more.