Are Personal Alarms Effective for Self Defense

Being in the self-defense industry, I’m always interested in what does and doesn’t work when it comes to you and me protecting ourselves against crime. Today we’re going to talk about personal alarms; what they are, what they do, and are they really an effective form of defense against crime.

First, what they are. Personal alarms are generally small, battery-operated devices that make a lot of noise. Their small size makes them easy to carry on your person, hence the name “Personal Alarm”. I know, I know, that sounds pretty obvious to most of us, but I had to start with a basic description just in case anyone out there is brand new to this sort of thing.

Next, what they do. Well, like I said, personal alarms make a lot of noise. That’s exactly what they’re supposed to do and as long as they’re working properly, that’s exactly what they do. The average personal alarm has a noise rating of anywhere between 100 decibels and 130 decibels. To put that into perspective consider this,

· A home vacuum cleaner is around 65 to 70 decibels loud

· An average alarm clock is around 80 decibels loud

· A chainsaw is around 100 decibels loud

· A jackhammer is around 130 decibels loud

· And a gun or an air raid siren is somewhere around 140 decibels loud

Sounds louder than 90 decibels are considered potentially dangerous to a persons hearing. Both the amount of noise and the length of exposure determine the amount of damage.

Most personal alarms are activated by either a push button, an on-off switch, or a pull-out pin that activates the alarm when the pin is removed from the device.

I personally prefer the ones with the pull-out pin, because if the alarm is dropped during a struggle, it won’t accidentally turn off. In fact, the only way to shut it off (short of smashing it to pieces) is to replace the activation pin or remove the batteries.

Finally, are they effective? Yes they’re effective but it all depends on what you expect them to do for you. Personal alarms work because they emit a loud, high-pitched frequency, which is far more irritating to the ears than a low pitch frequency of the same volume.

The screeching or sometimes siren like sounds that these alarms give off can quickly disorient an attacker for a few seconds, and they can also cause some pain to the eardrum, even if the person is not usually sensitive to loud noises.

But, the most beneficial use of these personal alarms, as I see it, is their ability to draw attention to your situation. Most criminals don’t want an audience when they assault someone, and a 130-decibel alarm can be heard from as far away as two or three city blocks, even with the sound of moving traffic on the street. So they can easily draw the attention of anyone close by while you’re walking through a parking lot or down the street, or even jogging through the park. This alone can often send your attacker running off in the other direction in search of less noisy prey.

Personal alarms only cost a few dollars, which makes them very easy to own. Also they are not weapons so they are legal to carry everywhere. But please keep in mind, that like any self-defense tool, a personal alarm is not magic. No matter how loud your alarm is, it does not put up some kind of magical force field that will protect you from all bad people in the world. They will however, catch most people by surprise and disorient them long enough to give you an opportunity to get away. And they will also attract attention to your situation even if you aren’t able to scream for help.

Panasonic TX-P42ST50B Review

Panasonic’s TX-P42ST50B is part of the Japanese electronics giant’s new ST50 series for 2012 which replaces the ST30 series. These televisions offer Full HD 1080p viewing with 2D to 3D capability all housed in a sleek, slimline unit. Keep on reading folks for a review of the TXP42ST50B.

The TXP42ST50 is a feature-packed 3D plasma TV made by one on the world’s leading electrical manufacturers, Panasonic. It offers excellent performance throughout and uses the recently developed 8-train speaker system technology. It also has the capability to take any 2D content and convert it into a 3D picture. It’s almost like a Blu-ray player upscaling a DVD and you’ll be delighted with the extra depth it gives to 2D viewing whether watching a film, sport or playing a game. The active 3D glasses you need are the TY-ER3D4 models but these are unfortunately not included with the television. Remember, this TV will function perfectly well without the glasses as a 2D set.

Let’s take a look at the specification of the Panasonic TX-P42ST50B and some of the main features it offers. With the Smart VIERA TV facility you can surf the internet, access multimedia applications, play games, watch catch-up TV and use social network sites like Facebook and Twitter. You get a Freeview HD tuner so you can watch several high definition channels for free such as BBC HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD.

It’s even possible to download a VIERA Remote App free of charge for your smartphone or tablet. This enables you to move content to and from the TX-P42ST50, play games or use it as a remote control. Due to the thin size and lightweight build of modern TVs, it’s difficult to get a truly excellent sound quality with the bass offered by old CRT sets. However, the duel 8-train speaker system really does churn out superb, wide ranging, high quality sound.

The Panasonic TX-P42ST50B has Wi-Fi built in for easy internet access and is DLNA compatible so it can connect wirelessly to your laptop or PC. From this you can view computer files on your TV and listen to music. This 3D plasma TV has 2000Hz focused field drive motion technology and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It’s also Skype ready but you’ll need to provide and connect a camera.

As you’d expect, there are a whole host of connections and inputs at the rear of the TX-P42ST50B including a quartet of HDMIs and two USBs. The HDMIs allow easy connection to other appliances like Blu-ray players, home theatre systems and HD games consoles while the USBs cater for a wireless dongle and files to be viewed like photos from a memory stick. You also get inputs for an SD memory card, composite in, component in, audio in, LAN port, digital audio out and a headphone jack.

There are going to be lot of cutting edge LED, LCD and plasma televisions released this year but it’s a safe bet to say that Panasonic’s new releases are certain to be up there with the best of them. The TX-P42ST50B will cost you around £800 but remember if you buy from a reputable dealer you’re likely to get a free five year guarantee.

Strength Training – It's More Than Pumping Iron

If you've been reading my articles over the years you already know that I am a big proponent of strength training. Strength training though is more than lifting weights. When most people hear strength training they have images of body builders pumping iron. I've tried to make it clear that strength training is much more than that and the training that I am a proponent of is probably better labeled as strength and conditioning. Simply stated strength and conditioning addresses more than the muscle building aspects of fitness training. It includes flexibility / mobility training (more than stretching), prehab exercises to prevent injury, core strengthening (not sit-ups), strength training, and aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.

For the purposes of this brief article I am going to focus on the strength training aspect of strength and conditioning. I define strength training as the movement of a mass by accelerating force against the resistance of that mass over a determined distance at a determined speed. The amount of mass, the form of that mass, the selected distance, and speed of that movement are all variables of a training program.

So you are probably wondering should the mass be heavy, should you move it quickly or slowly, should you move it a large distance or a small distance? The answer is yes to all of the above. Heavier masses will be moved more slowly while lighter masses will be more conducive to power training and can be moved more quickly. You should train for both strength and power so you should move heavy weights (mass) more slowly and perform movements with lighter resistances (mass) more quickly.

In regards to distance, I find that when you perform movements that challenge you from your toes to your fingertips you get the most bang for your buck. These exercises, like picking up a weight from the ground and then lifting it above your head are very challenging to say the least. You are using multiple muscle groups in a synchronized way to perform the movement. These movements are more functional then let's say a machine biceps curl performed sitting down, because they resemble real life everyday movements like picking up a box or a laundry basket and placing it on a shelf or a bed.

The more muscle groups you use in performing a movement the greater the energy demand, so the greater caloric expenditure. And when you put a series of these total body exercises together back to back with minimal rest you are not only getting a strength benefit but also a condition conditioning similar to cardiovascular training. Your heart rate will get up higher than using the elliptical while performing the circuit and will take longer to recover when you're finished resulting in an after-burn; an important aspect of metabolism that I have addressed in earlier articles.

Strength training also referred to as resistance training is not reserved to just lifting dumbbells. While dumbbells and barbells are excellent tools that I use regularly, there are other tools that provide challenging and unique stimuli to our bodies that deserve consideration. Training with sandbags can provide a very challenging workout. Because the sand moves while you lift or carry the bags there is the added demand on your body, especially the core, to maintain stability.

Performing exercises where you lift the sandbag, place it on one shoulder and then carry it a determined distance, before lifting the bag and switching shoulders for the return trip are very challenging. Kettlebells, because of their shape and design, are great for swinging. The kettlebell swing is excellent for hamstrings and glutes, and the motion and speed of the exercise can really get the heart rate going.

The TRX suspension trainer is a great tool for training the entire body using your bodyweight and gravity as resistance. It takes bodyweight training to a whole new level. These are only a few of the tools out there that can take your strength and conditioning to a whole new level. Not only are these tools effective, but they are also a great deal of fun. After training with these tools myself, I can not see why anyone would want to simply go to a gym to sit down on a machine perform an exercise and then move on to the next machine, or plop themselves on an elliptical trainer for 60 minutes . Many of us work at jobs where we sit all day, do you really think the exercise we need is at a gym that encourages us to move while sitting down or move without going anywhere?

In conclusion, strength training is more than pumping iron. It is functionally challenging yourself to move against resistance to get stronger and to improve your performance of daily activities and recreational sport. While cardiovascular training has been attributed to adding to the length of your life, strength training will help improve the quality of your life. And when total body movements are performed in sequences or complexes the heart healthy benefits of this type of training can also be realized. If your workout looks like play then you are probably on the right track. On the other hand if it resembles that of a hamster on a hamster wheel it's time for a change.

Web Video – Do You Make These Video Lighting Mistakes Creating Videos?

Looking at many of the videos on YouTube and other video sharing sites, it's often difficult to decide if the sound quality is worse than the lighting – or vice versa.

In an earlier article, I looked at simple ways the sound quality of a video can be raised, so now we'll discuss how to improve the visual appearance of the video with some simple lighting tricks.

Oftentimes, you will see videos shot without any thought to lighting, looking like they were videoed at the bottom of a mine shaft. That's a great pity, because it is a simple matter – and fun – to light your video properly. Nor does it have to be expensive, because you can use the new low energy light lamps, which are becoming all the rage. Before these were universally available, I used to use full spectrum natural color fluorescent lights. The problem is these are awkward to handle, being about five or six feet (150 – 180 cm) long. Now, being able to use these low energy lamps (actually tiny fluorescent lamps) means it's easier than ever to light your "set".

If you live in colder climates, you could use the sort of halogen work lamps construction workers use. These are very cheap and very effective, with one proviso: they heat up the room very quickly. So if you are shooting in a small room or in a hot climate, go for the cold running, low energy, fluorescent solution.

Of course, to get a half-decent result, you should be using a camcorder, which is becoming cheaper by the day. And basically all camcorders have a simple adjustment you can make which will lift the quality of any video shot under artificial light. It's called the "White Balance".

This is an essential part of preparing to video under any form of artificial light of which many people are unaware. Yet this simple adjustment will make an awesome difference to the picture quality of your video. It simply takes a shot of a piece of white paper held up by the talent, with your video lights switched on. You then carry out the white balance set-up, as detailed in your camera instructions. In essence, it gives the camera a reference point of what really is white, in that particular type of lighting, from which it can adjust all the colors in the spectrum and compensate for the changes in color any form of artificial light inevitably brings about.

Spectrum Equalizer Analyzers For You

A spectrum analyzer can be a powerful tool that can be used to well-tune several audio signals. There are a number of uses for a spectrum equalizer. One important function of the spectrum equalizer can be used to try and check the response of a tape recorder. This equipment can even help identify the minute rumble frequencies in an air conditioner. This data can be used to filter out noise in recording studios or improve sound quality while recording. The market for such gadgets is becoming popular as ever.

There is a high price to pay for owning a commercial spectrum analyzer. Such an ownership presents a major problem and its high price may not be that affordable for some people. LED or (Light Emitting Diode) versions of spectrum equalizers may have cost many hundreds of dollars today, but it seems to be the most widely used unit.

A high quality spectrum equalizer model can also run into thousands. Such spectrum equalizers paved the way for producing high quality audio. And the valuable component is here to stay to provide consumers with great quality sound as well as more accurate signal calibration.

Although a real-time spectrum analyzer is more convenient and easy to use because of its simultaneous display of all frequency bands, an older manually swept model is no less professional and effective and its use follows well-established practice. In fact, a continuous sweep can detect narrow peaks and dips, which would be ignored by a real-time unit.

For all of the filter components on a spectrum equalizer, it is important to use the one with the closest tolerance available. Choosing One-percent metal film resistors, which are not only the best in the market, but also because of their accuracy and for their reduced sensitivity to temperature. In the absence of the metal film, polycarbonate or Mylar capacitors and other components are the best choice for the actual filter stages. Supplied bypass disk capacitors are not only sufficient for use but are also preferred, since they possess the least series inductance.

There are also several Tubular Types, though generally considered the more temperature stable component. They are constructed of long strips of foil which when rolled up for compactness become inductive thus reducing their effectiveness at high frequencies. Besides being able to easily vary and change the audio quality and tune to its regarded frequency, a state-variable filter can also provide.

Painters and Painting Business – Time and Material

Painting Businesses think time and material is great. Time and Material-In a nutshell, don’t do it. On first glance this seems like a win-win situation. Usually when there is a job that is difficult to estimate due to unknown factors contractors will fall back to T&M; because, they believe they are safe. They reason to themselves and the customer that if they estimate they may be higher that it really is. And they tell the customer that they will save, etc, etc.

Often enough there are jobs like wallpaper removal, where it is impossible to know how the paper was hung. Did the paperhanger size or prime the wall, or did the put the paper directly on the cheap builder paint. Painting contractors who have been in business long enough will have experienced this. The nicely sized wall with strippable paper might take only 2 hours; where the unprimed wall with extra paste might take 8 hours. And I don’t like working for free, so we all at one time or another think we struck gold when we “come up” with this idea.

As you work this plan you can and usually do make money. Sometimes you make more money even charging the same rate, as you do when you estimate a job. This is a real eye opener, when you are charging the same rate per hour T&M, as you do to prepare your estimate. At the end of the day you wonder, is it my estimate that is wrong, or are the painters slacking off?

An even bigger eye opener is when your customer agrees to T&M with your hourly rate, and you go merrily along working. The end of the job occurs and you present the bill, and the customer faints. After she wakes up she says no way did she envision that the small wall paper removal in her powder room would cost her $400. She is semi hysterical, and you say, “Mrs. Smith you were here, and you saw that we only took a small break at lunch time and we didn’t goof off, blah, blah. You are beginning to whine, and she is unmovable. She comes up with some figure that she will settle on. By now you are going crazy yourself because her number means that you or one of your employees will be making no money.

How did it go wrong? You say. T&M is supposed to protect you. Instead you work for next to nothing.

The idea is fine until you do a job that really takes a lot more time than expected, which is exactly the reason for T&M. The customer is all too happy to take the T&M when it works in their favor; but, will protest until you give in. Saying, the wallpaper removal cost 2 times as much as painting the master bedroom.

What went wrong? You did. For whatever reason, be it a lack of historic job costs or laziness, or lack of faith in your estimating abilities, or that you wanted the job so bad that you knew you would get it, if you didn’t disclose what the T&M could possibly add up to be. So many times it is better to walk away than lose.

The best solution for the problem is to sit down and complete a real estimate. And if it means going a little higher than it might cost just to protect yourself, then do it. At this point the customer can either say yes or no. They know up front, and won’t be unpleasantly surprised by some really high number. If they say no, then you can feel good about yourself knowing you are not giving your work away. Ultimately the pressure is on the contractor, and the way around this is for you to keep records on some of these jobs that were nightmares. Giving the customer a firm price is really is the only way, make yourself a promise that you will stick to your estimate. And make that promise to the customer. Saying that, you will never come to them and ask for more money, and that your price is your word. Their eyebrows will go up when they discover a contractor that won’t come whining for more money.

Then the pressure is on them. Take it or leave it.

Lifting Techniques-How to Lift Properly

You will avoid back injury and pain when you learn and use proper lifting techniques. If you already have back pain, you will relieve it by doing all necessary lifting or carrying the right way.

Many parents, grandparents, and daycare workers injure their backs simply by improper lifting of children. They bend over to lift a child from the floor or ground, and sharp back pain attacks. Others incur back pain by lifting or moving furniture. Some lift machinery or other heavy objects in the wrong way, and may even incur chronic back pain as a result of poor lifting techniques.

Lifting techniques are not difficult. Once you learn the simple system below, and use it consistently, you will avoid serious back injury.

Lifting Techniques: The 8-Step System

Follow these eight simple lifting techniques for good back health.

1. Plan to lift. First, decide what you are going to do. Think about what you will lift and where you will go with it. This will prevent awkward, unexpected movements while holding the object. If you are moving something to a different location, clear a path. If you are working with a second person, agree on your plan. Be sure both use good lifting techniques.

2. Hug the object. Hugging the object close to your body will give you stability, and make you stronger. Get a firm hold on the object, pull it close to your body, and keep it balanced there.

3. Plant your feet. Place your feet firmly under you, placing them about as far apart as your shoulders are. This will give you the most solid support base for lifting. As you move, take short steps.

4. Bend knees / straighten back. Take time to practice the lifting motion the way a golfer practices a swing before hitting the ball. Focus on keeping your back straight as you bend your knees to stoop and lift.

5. Tighten your stomach. Tight stomach muscles will hold your back in the proper position and prevent excess force on your spell.

6. Lift with legs. Use the greater strength of your leg muscles instead of your weaker back muscles. Bend your knees, not your back, as you lower yourself to lift. Look forward to keep your back straight.

7. Get help. Think of your back, not your ego. If the object is so heavy or awkward that you feel strain, get someone to help.

8. Use a back support. If you lift regularly on the job or around the home, you will benefit very much from a back belt or back support (affiliate link). You will support your lower back and maintain better lifting posture. Of all lifting techniques, this one is vital for workers.

Lifting techniques can be summed up by remembering four phrases: straight back; close hug; no twisting; and eyes upward. Master these and you will lift properly.

Flat Iron Heater Guide

Deciding on a flat iron can be more complicated than ever before, because of the expense and different features offered by different companies so you might want to do a little research before your final purchase. One of the most important features to look for before deciding on what model and brand is knowing the quality of the heater or the heating element.

When looking a little closer to flat iron heaters, one of the most advanced are the Integrated Advanced Heating System or IAHS. This technologically advanced system based on a tungsten element embedded inside 6 layered beveled ceramic plates. Placed between the second and third plate, the heating element is more effective by giving faster heating recovery for slightly wet to dry hair. These highly advanced heaters work efficiently, without any heat loss to give quality hair styling results.

Heater strength depends on the appropriated response of the initial flat iron heat up time. No matter what type of heater in embedded, the average heat transfer from the iron to your hair nearly 80 degrees is lost, between each application. Every flat iron with a technologically sound, quality heating element will continuously give good recovery time for optimized heating. The Farouk CHI has a 20 to 25 watt heating element, but most all other medium to top line flat iron models have a 40 to 60 watt heating element. Lower wattage affects holding the set temperature and reheating takes longer.

One of the best heating elements is the PTFC heaters, found in many high quality ceramic flat irons such as FHI Heat. PTFC elements are based on far-infrared heat, essential in ceramic plates that radiate slow and even heating and have an instant reheating feature. The top of the line flat iron brands incorporate this innovative technology to give users the best advantage of technology.

The definition of far-infrared heat is the deep and safe penetration of heat into the core of the hair cortex to seal the cuticle, molding it in any desired style from straight to curls. This is vital in protecting hair strands, helps sealing in hair moisture and lowering hair damage.

Ceramic and Tourmaline heaters have slight differences only while some flat irons are made with both Ceramic and Tourmaline heaters. Ceramic and Tourmaline heaters work to prevent hair damage from regular flat iron usage but Tourmaline enhanced ceramic elements produce 20 times more negative ions than pure ceramic heaters. The tourmaline is crushed into fine powder to be embedded into the ceramic heating elements. Negative ions are essential to counter-act hair’s positive ions, creating smooth, shiny and silky vibrant healthy hair.

When it comes to hair a heater setting that works efficiently, the best heat temperature setting for your hair depends on the thickness and texture of individual hair type. But with extensive research, it has been found out that an optimum setting of 370 degrees works well on most all hair types. If you do have very thick difficult hair or very thin brittle hair, you’re best desired temperature should be set higher or lower than the average 370 degree, setting for the most optimum hair styling results.

Vegan Cooking – What to Eat When There is No Meat

When approached by a situation that involves cooking for a vegan, even the most seasoned cooks can find difficulty in deciding how best to prepare for the main course and accompaniments that make up an evening meal. There follows a few useful guidelines to aid you in the process of devising menus for your vegan guests and relatives:

So, First Question – What Does Vegan Mean?

People often get confused between vegan and vegetarianism. While a vegetarian typically avoids all meat products, vegans avoid all fish and meat AND the by-products also. Such by-products include dairy, eggs, and even honey. Any product that comes from animals must be left out when preparing food for vegans.


Whether cooking one dinner or one dozen, fixing meals for vegans requires solid preparation. It is crucial for each meal to be full of flavor and nutritionally correct, which is often a problem for the chef who is familiar with using animal-based food products in recipes. The courses should be specced-out early in the process, considering the best way to add iron, protein, fiber, and taste to the vegan dinner.

Advanced planning is less complicated if you can discover a specialist on-line recipe collection with a collection of vegan recipes. Even then, you must verify each of the vegan recipes item by item before using them. Unfortunately, a few recipes described as vegan are not even fully vegetarian. Sadly, some individuals have very different opinions of what 'vegan' really means. Still, if you make an effort many of these vegetable recipes are very tasty and highly nutritious. A few may need particular ingredients, but once again, the internet can be a major help in tracking these down. You may actually locate online sellers of vegan food stuffs, which, as they are usually 'experts' in the vegan lifestyle, should even be able to give advice on replacement ingredients for your vegan cooking.

Vegan Variety

In vegan cooking, it is tempting to create bland dishes that seem similar to each other. You can easily avoid this mistake. In Point Of Fact, dishes can be as exciting those cooked in carnivorous meals. With the huge number of TVP style alternatives to animal based ingredients, you can use substitutions for ingredients from beef to bacon, which can also introduce plenty of flavor and variety to the beast.

Do not Make Dangerous Assumptions

As the main cook for a vegan meal, one of the most important tasks is to be utterly sure you are honoring your guests' beliefs. It would be very simple, as well as far sooner, to simply accept that all non-meat ingredients are not animal based and prepare a dinner accordingly. However, a good chef will remember to read through the essential lists of all bought items needed for the meal so you can be perfectly certain the food is OK for vegans. You will find some surprising places that meat products and their by-products crop up, for example:

o Sugar: About 50 percent of the sugar processing plants in the US use carbon from animal sources to filter the sugar. For this reason, many vegans avoid refined sugar.
o Gelatin: Many chefs do not realize that gelatin is derived from fish or animal sources.
o Soups: Some vegetable soups are have stock made from beef in their ingredients.
o Breads and Pastries: Even those that are not made with milk or eggs may contain animal-derived lard.
o Worcestershire Sauce: This ubiquitous sauce is made with anchovies, look out for vegan alternatives – they are out there

Honoring these tips, any cook can prepare a meal that is a delight for carnivores and non-meat-eaters alike, and your vegan friends will without doubt thank you for care and attention to detail.

9-Question Interest Inventory: A Great Way to Learn About Your Students

The first homework assignment of every school year for every student in each of my middle school math classes included a 9-question “interest inventory.” This particular interest inventory is a self-assessment tool that invites students to reflect on their past experiences.

My students agreed that answering the 9 interest inventory questions was a nice change from the typical “What’s your favorite this/that” survey, and I certainly had fun reading my students’ responses! Straight away – at the very start of the school year – it is a very good way to get a bigger picture (even just a slightly bigger picture) of each student.

For teachers, the interest inventory can provide good initial information about student strengths and weaknesses. In fact, I think this questionnaire invited some students to talk with me in person about their strengths and interests, giving me even more information about learning styles.

Here is the 9-question inventory. I always asked students to answer all parts of each question, and to neatly write their answers in complete sentences.

1. What is your favorite activity or subject in school? Why? What is your least favorite? Why?

2. What subjects are difficult for you? What makes them the hardest?

3. If you could learn about anything you wanted to, what would you choose to learn about? Please be specific. (For example: meteorology, science fiction writing, architecture, cooking, carpentry, movie-making, etc.)

4. If people were to come to you for information about something you know a lot about, what would the topic be?

5. If you could plan a field trip, where would you go? Why?

6. Fill in the blank and rate EACH choice 1 = best, 2 = ok, 3 = worst

I learn ____ alone.

I learn ____ with one other person.

I learn ____ in a small group.

I learn ____ in a large group.

7. What helps you learn? (For example: hands on experience, reading quietly, taking notes, reading out loud, etc)

8. What projects – either past school assignments or outside of school – are you most proud of? Why?

9. Think of a great teacher you’ve had. Describe what made this teacher so terrific.

One student knew a lot about horses, and throughout the year gave me unsolicited tidbits of information (such as defining riding styles and saddles), and every once in a while updated me on her training and competitions. Getting to know her a little bit more outside the math classroom helped to engage her inside the math classroom.

Another student was proud of training her hamster, named El Noche, to win the local Petco Hamster Derby! I had to ask her about it because I had never heard of Petco Hamster Derbies. She happily described how she executed her training regimen in one of the hallways in her home.

The student who answered “I want to learn how to draw faces” is now a student at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts. Without asking her at the start of the school year, I wonder how long it would have taken me to notice this very, very quiet student’s inclination toward art…perhaps in the spring of that year when we studied geometry and she told me that she like how I used different colors to help highlight specific angles, sides, etc.

Questions 3, 4, 5, and 8 always gave me the most smile-inducing answers. I used the 9 questions above for 6th graders, but in general all the questions are great reflection questions, requiring answers with much more relevant information than favorite colors/food/sports/etc.

Earbuds: Foam Versus Rubber Tips

When it comes to technology, every part of a contraption serves as a way to complete a bigger picture. You will rarely see anything extraneous inside of a piece of technology as a result. You don’t find exra buttons on a remote. You don’t find extra steering wheels in a car. The same concept applies to your music. So, you decide you want to listen to some jams, and you realize that the earbuds you’re using make your ears bleed. What gives? The general rule of thumb is that the more expensive the ear buds are, the better the sound quality and overall craftsmanship will be; however, it is still important to take earbud tips into consideration when shopping.

If you’re trying to save money, and you are stuck with having to choose between two earbuds, always look for the shape and contour first. You never want to settle for anything that is flat shaped because such shapes do not complement the shape of your ear canal. Those who buy flat shaped earbuds tend to have many complaints of the tips falling out of their ears while they are engaging in normal, every day, activities. The shape of the devices, itself, causes sound to be impolitely reverberated off of the entrance of your ear and back into the headphone; furthermore, some of the sound- if not a lot of it, simply jettisons into the atmosphere.

When buying earbuds, make sure you take into account that the tips are round; therefore, they are able to actually stick inside of your ears. Now, you have about three major options when choosing between earbud tips once you cancel out anything that is flat shaped.

The first option is that you look for rubber tips. Rubber is pretty inexpensive, and it creates an excellent suction in your ear in order to keep your music where it should be- in your ear! You can find many earbuds with rubber tips. Many sports earbuds have some variation or polymer of rubber in their earbud tips in order to give their ears that extra bounce.

Silicone tips tend to block out sound even better than rubber, but you should take great care in selecting what you do with the tips. If you’re not the type of person who takes legitimate care of his or her things, then these are probably not the way to go. Even though silicone does a better job performance-wise for earbuds than rubber earbud tips, rubber has a major advantage: Rubber it simply stronger. It can withstand extremes better.

The main debate is really between Rubber and Foam tips. Foam is excellent because it really match the shape of your ears. Shure actually markets its earbuds with such quality. Shure’s tips are made out of a special type of memory foam that really matches the shape of your ear. Since everyone is different, the earbud tips will really adjust and make a great home. Foam makes it so that external sounds fall into significantly lower disturbance levels than music heard through other materials. Generally, though, foam tips come with expensively expensive buds, so expect to be dishing out some good cash.

If you’re trying to be more conservative, then your best option is to go for the rubber tips. They will last you a very long time when compared to silicone tips. Now, these are not laws of any sort. We understand that in various situations and mixes, any of these three can topple the other two; however, as a general rule of thumb, go with the foams. They create better suction, they last longer, and they really isolate the sound. If you can’t do that, go rubber. Avoid flat shaped earbuds at all costs, though.

Anaemia Due to Iron, Vitamin B12 Or Folate Deficiency

What is anaemia?

Red blood cells contain haemoglobin, which is the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood. The red cells travel through the lungs where the haemoglobin becomes oxygenated (picks up oxygen) and bright red in colour. The red cells are then pumped by the heart to the rest of the body where the haemoglobin gives up its oxygen to the tissues and becomes dark blue in the process.

‘Anaemia’ means that the level of red cells, and therefore of haemoglobin, in the blood is abnormally low. As a result the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood is reduced. Anaemia may be caused by excessive bleeding, by destruction of red cells or by decreased production of red cells. Anaemia caused by decreased production of red blood cells is discussed here. Anaemia from excessive bleeding is discussed in a separate Factsheet.

What causes anaemia and who is at risk?

Decreased production of red cells is mainly caused by:

  • not enough iron (iron deficiency),
  • vitamin B12 deficiency, or
  • folic acid (a vitamin, also called folate) deficiency.

For red blood cells to be produced by the bone marrow, many nutrients are needed, such as iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid. These are taken in by the body from food, and iron is also recycled from red cells that have died. Except for infants, a diet deficient in iron (which is predominantly found in red meat) does not cause anaemia. Generally, the only cause of iron-deficiency anaemia is chronic (prolonged) bleeding, during which the body’s supply of recycled iron is too low and the shortfall cannot be made up by the diet. Menstrual bleeding is the most common cause of iron-deficiency anaemia in women before the menopause, but after this and in men it is usually caused by bleeding from somewhere in the gut, such as a polyp (a benign growth), cancer of the large bowel or a peptic ulcer.

Chronic (prolonged) diseases, such as infections, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, can cause iron-deficiency anaemia because the developing red cells in the bone marrow are unable to use the iron stores.

Red blood cells also need vitamin B12 and folic acid to mature. If either is lacking then an anaemia called ‘megaloblastic anaemia’ develops in which the red cells are large and abnormal (called ‘megaloblast cells’). The main cause of vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia is ‘pernicious anaemia’, in which there is inadequate absorption of vitamin B12 from the diet (mainly from meat and some vegetables).

Vitamin B12 binds a protein called intrinsic factor which is produced in the stomach; this complex of vitamin B12 and intrinsic factor travels to the small bowel where it is absorbed into the blood stream. Without intrinsic factor, vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed; in pernicious anaemia, the stomach does not produce intrinsic factor and so vitamin B12 is not absorbed, however much is taken in the diet.

This anaemia can often take more than two years to develop because there are large stores of vitamin B12 in the liver. In some diseases of the small bowel, such as Crohn’s disease, vitamin B12 absorption can be impaired. A strict vegetarian diet can also cause vitamin B12 deficiency.

A lack of folic acid, which is more common in the Western world than lack of vitamin B12, also leads to megaloblastic anaemia. The main cause is a diet poor in folic acid, which is mainly found in fresh fruit and raw vegetables. Reduced uptake of folic acid can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption and by certain medicines.

Some drugs used to treat cancer also cause megaloblastic anaemia.

What are the common symptoms and complications of anaemia?

The symptoms of anaemia include:

  • tiredness,
  • breathlessness,
  • dizziness (especially when standing), and
  • a weak, rapid pulse.

Iron deficiency also causes:

  • inflammation of the tongue,
  • cracks at the sides of the mouth,
  • deformities of the fingernails, and
  • pica (a craving for earth, ice or other non-foods).

Vitamin B12 deficiency also causes:

  • damage to nerves (abnormal sensation and movement),
  • sore tongue,
  • pigmented skin,
  • colour blindness, and
  • depression, confusion and decreased intellectual function.

Folic acid deficiency also causes:

  • foetal malformations (including spina bifida) and
  • neurological abnormalities in infants.

How do doctors recognise anaemia?

Anaemia is identified by blood tests to measure the number of red blood cells and the amount of haemoglobin in the blood. Iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid levels can be measured and megaloblast cells can also be seen under the microscope. The source of bleeding is usually investigated in iron-deficiency anaemia and other more involved tests can be done to check vitamin B12 uptake for pernicious anaemia.

What is the treatment for anaemia?

Self-care action plan

A varied diet should be followed. If you are a meat-eater, make sure you eat plenty of raw vegetables and fruit. If you are a strict vegetarian, you should consider vitamin B12 supplements to prevent the possibility of permanent neurological damage. Pregnant women should take iron and folic acid supplements because of the increased needs of the baby. Indeed, women should take folic acid before conception.


Iron-deficiency anaemia is treated by stopping any bleeding, which may necessitate surgery and/or medicines for conditions such as peptic ulcer or excessive blood loss from menstruation. Iron supplements are also given; they may cause constipation and turn the stools black (this is harmless). Iron supplements do not help the anaemia of chronic disease and doctors usually try to treat the underlying condition. Vitamin B12 deficiency is usually treated with life-long monthly injections of vitamin B12 because poor absorption when taken by mouth is usually the problem. Folic acid deficiency is usually treated with folic acid tablets or syrup.

What is the outcome of anaemia?

Most types of anaemia are easily treated with appropriate supplements. If bleeding is the cause of iron-deficiency anaemia, the outcome depends on the underlying cause, as is the case with anaemia of chronic disease.

You Can Get Him Back Even If You Cheated – How to Get Your Boyfriend Back After Cheating

Cheating on your boyfriend would be one of the worst things you can do to him especially if has been committed to you thus far. This is mainly because cheating not only betrays his trust but may also give him a perception that he is not good enough for you and in a way it challenges his manhood.

If your boyfriend eventually gives you a second chance in working out the relationship together after you apologizing, do not betray him again as second chances rarely happen especially if it is based on cheating.

A mere sorry would not be adequate in this case, as your boyfriend may still have trust issues with you and hence you should prove yourself worthy besides reassuring him that you love him and only him.

After he has forgiven you, take time to talk to him and explain your actions. Men rarely express their feeling easily and thus you should be the one to open him up, on what are his thoughts on your fling and how he feels. If he still isn’t opening up to you, ask him to write his thoughts on a piece of paper as writing may sometimes be the gateway to open someone’s heart.

One of the first things most men would ask is who you cheated on him with and also the details of the relationship. Be frank and truthful in your answers and also provide him with every detail you could possibly remember about your fling with this other man. Think of yourself being in his situation and understand that it is also a hard situation for him to cope with.

Besides that, if you’re afraid your boyfriend may eventually confront and hurt your ex-lover, it is OK to ask for his word that he won’t harm this person. Furthermore, you could even blame yourself for the relationship and stating that it was all your idea, but show your boyfriend how sorry you are in the process.

Most women nowadays want to be free and away from the constant monitoring of their boyfriend and husbands but in your case, if you have cheated on your boyfriend allow him to monitor, know your whereabouts and who you are with when you’re out. Put yourself in his place and picture yourself, the heartache and violation of trust that he has felt is nothing compared to him monitoring you, as you have to start rebuilding the trust he had for you before you cheated.

Give him truthful answers and constantly update him whenever he asks, even if you’re leaving to meet someone for a moment, give him exact details on where, when and who you’re going to meet up with. Besides that, allow him to check on your text messages, emails and call logs as this shows that you have given him your full commitment especially since you have nothing to hide. Eventually he’ll start to gain trust slowly and with time he’ll stop checking on you.

Making love is one of the most important elements that you have to incorporate into your relationship especially after a breakup caused by cheating. Most men see sex, as a medium to incorporate the spark back into their relationship and to mend their feelings on what had happened. Besides that, making love also provides a platform for them to reclaim lost territory, so to speak, and also prove that they are a man.

Men rely on physicality and actions to portray their emotions and love making can be considered an important part in mending a broken relationship. If your boyfriend is OK with it, set up a wonderful evening with him such as lighting candles and cooking him dinner. Tend to his needs and pamper him with care and love. You can also make that evening even more meaningful with rose flower petals on the bed and also soft music playing on the background, although men seldom acknowledge what they see around them, he’ll soon be mesmerized on how much you’ve put into making the evening perfect.

Men although portrayed as strong, masculine and hard hearted, they too have emotions and women should never take advantage of this. If your partner loves you, and is willing to do anything to make you happy, repay him the favor and stay loyal to him.

Cheating seldom leads to happiness, and most of the time you’ll eventually suffer with guilt that you have betrayed your man’s trust. Hence, love your partner truly and eventually your love life will be filled many more happy and memorable moments.

Tips for Making Use of Natural Lighting When Building a House

Natural light is bestowed by nature free of any charge. The more of it that enters your house, the more advantages you’ll get from it. Imagine the cost you’ll be able to save from your electricity bills. It also give a refreshing glance of your house because it imbibes positive energy. Here are some tips to let natural light help enlighten your house.

  1. Build house to where the sun is oriented. Most builders recommend to have most windows face the south direction. They will get the most sunlight than have it lost. According to experts, north light is more pleasing and free of glare.East and west-faced windows gets more sunlight but they can be difficult to manage and can trap more of the sun’s energy and give a hotter feel. If you can’t avoid having east and west-faced windows, be sure to have low E-coatings on those windows. Deciduous trees can also help give shade during the summer months, and let more sunlight enter during the winter months because they shed leaves.
  2. Have light control materials in your windows. Curtains and blinds are light control materials that will help natural light enter your house depending on the amount you want. During the first hours of the morning, it is good to get sunlight in because it gives a refreshing energy to move. As the day heightens, the curtains and blinds will help you control the amount of sunlight. They may seem low tech but they can help keep in or keep out the amount of sun’s light you just need.
  3. Have daylight harvesting system installed. This is an automated system which through the help of sensors and detectors can control the light inside your house. It combines natural light and artificial light to illuminate the parts of the house. This system detects the natural light intensity and signals the artificial light to give off the right percentage of luminescence to give an atmosphere that will be conducive for movement and productivity.

Natural light is important in a house. Aside from illumination, it gives health benefits particularly to the skin which needs the natural vitamin E that it gives. However, maintaining the amount of natural light that enters the house is still within the control of the owner. Through the tips given above, it is hoped that you somehow grasped the general idea of how to keep natural light inside your house just as you need it.

Running Your Pit Bike Engine For the Very First Time!

This article concerns everyone who just bought a pit bike online and are wondering what to do after assembling it!

Most manufacturer manuals and other sources will tell you the same thing about running the engine for the very first time:

Do not run your bike at more than two thirds of its full throttle and avoid high rpm’s during the first two hours of running. Often you are advised to drain the oil AFTER these two hours and use quality semi synthetic 10W40 4-stroke engine oil.

Because I just got myself a two new ssr pit bikes , I was browsing a very reputable pit bike forum ( looking for some info on assembly and breaking in and I stumbled upon some VERY valuable info. This article is a short summary of a newsletter article I found written by Motoman. Motoman is a very experienced superbike tuner who has his own newsletter (Power News Magazine).

This article “Break-In Secrets” is very controversial.

“Links to this article now appear on hundreds of motorsports discussion forums from all over the world. The reason is that over time, large numbers of people have done a direct comparison between my method and theowner’s manual method, and the news of their success is spreading rapidly.”

“The results are always the same… a dramatic increase in power at all RPMs. In addition, many professional mechanics have disassembled engines that have used this method, to find that the condition of the engine is much better than when the owner’s manual break-in method has been used.The thing that makes his page so controversial is that there have been many other break-in articles written in the past which will contradict what has been written here.”

Motoman wrote “break-In Secrets” after successfully applying this method to approximately 300 new engines, all with great results and no problems whatsoever. So I advise you to consider his advice!

According to Motoman, by just following the instructions from the manufacturer, you risk a permanent loss in power of about 2 to 10 percent. The direct result from a too gentle break-in will be leaky piston rings. This will allow pressure to blow by into the crankcase on acceleration, and to suck up oil into the combustion chamber on deceleration. In other words: loss in power and permanent contamination of the engine oil. The only solution to a bad break in will be: re-honing the cylinders, installing new piston rings and starting over again. In other will have to take the engine apart!

You only get ONE chance to break in your engine correctly! I will explain you why and how.

Correctly breaking in your engine is all about the piston ring seal. A correct break in will result in a better fit of the piston ring against the cylinder surface. This will prevent leaky pistons. New rings  must be worn in quite a bit in order to seal all around the bore. If the gas pressure is strong enough during the first miles of operation (open that throttle!), then the entire ring will wear into the cylinder surface, to seal the combustion pressure as well as possible.

So what is the problem with a too easy break in?

The honed crosshatch pattern in the cylinder bore acts like a file to allow the rings to wear. The rings quickly wear down the “peaks” of this roughness, regardless of how hard the engine is run.There’s a very small window of opportunity to get the rings to seal really well … the first 20 miles! If the rings aren’t forced against the walls soon enough, they’ll use up the roughness before they fully seat. Once that happens there is no solution but to re hone the cylinders, install new rings and start over again.

SO…the best advice i found about breaking in your engine is

1)Run it hard! (for specific methods: breaking in on a dyno, on the streets or on the racetrack…check Motomans 14 page article!

2)DONT use synthestic oil! Refresh your oil immediately when receive the bike, BEFORE breaking in, as you cannot be sure about its quality. Use Valvoline, Halvoline, or similar 10W40 petroleum CAR OIL. Cange oil and oil filter after first 20 miles!! After two days of hard racing you can change to your favorite brand.  Check the article to find out why.