How To Use A Hair Straightener

Hair straighteners can be a huge help to anyone with frizzy or very curly hair. If your hair just tends to go nuts with humidity and warm weather, you might want to use a hair straightener to keep it under control and give you smooth, manageable locks.

It is not difficult to use hair straighteners. Most of them are pretty straightforward and come with easy to read instructions. Here, we will go over the steps you need to take to smooth out your hair without any problems.

First, you should wash your hair and then blow dry it. Most people find this is their normal process after a morning shower. Towel dry your hair first to speed the process up. You want your hair to be dry before you use hair straighteners, as they are not meant to be dryers.

Give yourself plenty of time the first time you use a hair straightener. It takes a little while to get the hang of it and you will want to make sure that you are able to finish your entourage head before having to rush out the door to work or another engagement! You may also want to ask your salon for tips on hair straightening.

The next step is to separate your hair into sections. Use clips to hold 1 "strips of hair apart. This makes the process of using the hair straightener a lot easier. your hair separated.

Now that you have your hair divided into 1 "sections, it is time to straighten it. it will take a little practice to discover how slowly this part needs to be done in order to get the best results. time to the heated plates or you will end up with frizzier hair.

Dealing with frizzy or curly hair can be frustrating, but straightening it can really help. Use hair straighteners that are made for your hair type to ensure that you are not damaging your hair.

Understanding the Effects of Facial Aging

You look in the mirror and the reflection you gaze upon no longer looks like what you remember. For some this seems to happen overnight. For others it is a gradual process that at a certain point in time becomes undesirable. Friends or coworkers may have told you that you look tired but inside you feel like the same vibrant individual you have always been. Can you get that youthful healthy look back? Can you look as good as you feel? The purpose of this article is to explain the anatomic changes that occur in the face with aging so you can address what you feel is important.

Aging happens at different rates for all individuals. The process may be accelerated with environmental stimulants such as excessive sun exposure, cigarette smoke, and poor nutrition. Aging is not skin deep: it is deeper. The process affects the skin, the underlying fat, muscle and bone of the face.

The skin consists of two basic layers: the outer epidermis that protects the body from the environment, and the inner dermis that holds the elasticity of the skin. When the skin is youthful the epidermis is thin and smooth relative to the dermis. The dermis holds the skins organs and its elastic fibers such as collagen and elastin. As the skin ages, the epidermis tends to get thicker and the dermis thinner. The dermis is the skins foundation and it loses some of its collagen and elastin. Thus the skin begins to form wrinkles and have less elasticity. This means it does not snap back like it used to.

Below the skin are a variety of thicknesses of fat that cover and surround a multitude of layers of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. The fat is separated into multiple different compartments throughout the face and each compartment ages differently. Some compartments tend to decrease in size while others increase and some remain the same. Fat regions that decrease in size tend to produce characteristic hollowing of the aged face. These are located in the temples, in the cheeks and in the chin. As they sit next to areas that may stay the same or increase, this accentuates what patients see as the jowl, parentheses lines (nasolabial folds), and marionette folds.

Superficial muscles in the face surround the eye and form a covering throughout the neck. These muscles tend to sag and elongate with time. This can produce the characteristic aging changes around the eye and in the neck. In fact in the neck, the bands that people see as they enter their mid forty’s and become exaggerated in their fifties and sixties are caused by the large flat platysma muscle loosening from the deeper structures of the neck.

Even the bones in the face change as we age. We lose bone throughout areas of the facial skeleton. This is seen in the orbit, the bones that hold the eyes in position, and in the maxilla, the bones in the central portion of the face. As a result, the older a patient gets, the more the eyes sit farther back in the eye sockets and the bones around the nose and mouth shrink.

Aging of the face therefore causes wrinkling in the skin, decreased elasticity in the skin, shrinkage of some fat compartments and an apparent prominence of other fat compartments, muscle laxity and loss of bone. When you are youthful, the envelope that forms the outward appearance of your face has a certain surface area and volume. It is also elastic. As we age the outer surface area remains the same but it loses its elasticity and the inner volume shrinks. The result is that the outer envelope begins to sag and we interpret that as the signs of aging.

To create a natural youthful appearance, the plastic surgeon must address the individual issues that each unique face presents. Skin quality, fat volume, muscle redundancy and bone loss should all be appropriately evaluated and addressed to create an anatomically correct rejuvenation.

What Hackers Know About Your Network – That You Do not!

Whether you call them hackers, crackers or cyber criminals does not matter. What does matter is whatever you call them – they're looking for a way into your network!

You may not realize it but hackers are scanning your Internet connection looking for an opening.

What will they do if they find one? They'll launch an attack against that opening to see if they can exploit a vulnerability that will allow them to remotely execute some commands thereby giving them access to your network.

But it all starts with scanning your network.

Automated Tools Are a Wonderful Thing

Cyber ​​criminals do not scan each individual network on the Internet one by one. They have automated tools that randomly scan every IP address on the Internet.

Hackers are not lazy people – just very efficient. And very intelligent. The tools that use can be preloaded with a range of Internet addresses to scan. As this tool finds an Internet address with certain openings it produces a list of the address and the opening. This list is then fed into another tool that actively tries to exploit that opening with various programs. If no exploit works, the hacker's program moves on to the next potential victim.

When you see the scanning activity in your firewall logs, you'll know where you're being scanned from and what they're trying to target. Armed with that data you should check to see if you're running software that uses that port and if it has any newly discovered openings. If you are using software listening on that scanned port and there is a patch available, you should have that patch applied immediately – because the hackers may know something you do not.

NOTE: It's been our experience that many businesses patch their Microsoft Windows software but rarely do they check for patches for all the other software used in the business.

As described, you'll see this activity in your firewall logs – that is, if someone is actually reviewing your firewall logs.

Oh, my firewall has logs?

However, when most business owners are asked about their firewall logs, the typical response is usually something like, "Oh, my firewall has logs?" Yes, all firewalls produce log files. Most of them only show what's been blocked, which is like showing pictures of all the thieves that are in prison, while the bank down the street is being robbed.

Would not you want to see all traffic? This produces more work, but if your firewall only logs activity it knows about, you're security is totally dependent on the ability of your firewall and the way it's configured.

Many firewall companies want to reduce their number of tech support calls. Their business model revolves around having tech support available, but in the process they're also seeking ways of reducing the number of times people call in. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but when their products have fewer features, then fewer benefits as a result – that is a bad thing.

Most firewalls designed for the small business market lack features that most small businesses would benefit from. Many of them have all the technical buzzwords like "deep packet inspection", "spyware prevention", "intrusion detection" and many others, however they do not go into the level of detail needed to be effective.

First, many firewalls that are "designed" for small businesses start with companies that have 100 – 250 users. These might be considered small businesses by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but for technology purposes companies of this size have their own IT staff (96% do). Not just one IT person, but an IT staff which means that someone is probably responsible for security. If not, they'll have someone train them in the proper setup, installation and monitoring of security appliances.

The businesses we consider small have anywhere from 3 – 50 PCs. The companies at the higher end of this scale may have someone dedicated to handling IT issues. But this person is usually so inundated with PC support issues that they have little time "left over" to effectively monitor firewall logs.

Toward the lower end of this scale, they usually have either an outside person or firm responsible or they have an employee who "is pretty good with computers" who has other responsibilities as well. Rarely will these small businesses have someone watching the firewall logs on a consistent basis. Someone might look them over if there's an issue, but these logs rotate when filled so the valuable information might be lost before it's ever reviewed. And that's a shame. Without reviewing the logs you have no idea what or who is trying to get in with which or what.

An Example Log File

Let's review some logs. This happens to be a log from a client. The columns are labeled accordingly. This report has been cleaned up to make it easier to explain and understand.

Date Source Source IP Port Port Destination IP Destination Port

06/18/2007 12: 04: 03.416 12200 55.66.777.1 6588

06/18/2007 12: 16: 05.192 4925 55.66.777.1 5900

06/18/2007 13: 08: 02.256 12200 55.66.777.1 6588

06/18/2007 13: 22: 10.224 58,180.199.163 4637 55.66.777.1 2967

What is this showing?

Well the first source IP (Internet) address is from Heilongjiang, a province in China. The destination is our client (mangled to protect the innocent) but the important data is the destination port. That identifies what they're looking for.

Port 6588 can be a few different things. They could be scanning for a Trojan that uses that port. If their scan responds with the typical response of the remote access Trojan, they know they've found an infected system. Port 6588 can also be a proxy server (which we will not describe here) with a recent bug. This bug makes it easy for a hacker to exploit theby giving them remote access to the system running the proxy server software. The hackers system will tell them what service is listening on port 6588 so they know what tools to use to attack that port.

The second line in our log file above is from Africa. Port 5900 is VNC which is used by many, many system administrators to remotely connect to a system to perform maintenance on it. This software has had a few exploits and one just last year allowed the attacker to have remote control of the system with VNC installed without having to crack any passwords!

Line 3 has our friend from China back trying again. Same port. They must be trying a few exploits against this port. Maybe they know something that the general security community is not aware of yet.

On line 4 in our logs we see a new IP address in the source. This one is from Korea but notice it's scanning port 2967. This happens to be the port that Symantec's Anti-virus software listens on for new updates.

There is a known exploit which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via unknown attack vectors. When hackers find this port they know exactly what exploit to try. In other words, the security software that is designed to protect systems is actually a way in for hackers due to a software bug. It could be that there is a new "hole" in Symantec's software that hackers know about but Symantec does not. The previous hole was patched so either the hackers are looking for yet unpatched Symantec software or they know a new hole and are looking for ways to infect them.

Without reviewing your logs you have no idea what is trying to get into your network.

Without a properly configured firewall, this type of attack would certainly get through. This happens to be a firewall we configured so we know of ports like this and we blocked outside access because this client does not use Symantec products.

When talking security with a business owner I always ask, "When was the last time your network was scanned for openings?" They usually respond with, "Never". To which I reply, "Oh you've been wrong there.

Regular scans of your network show you what the hackers are seeing of your network. It's a simple process and should be performed at least once a month. The results should be presented to you in a very readable, understandable report.

What to Do Next

The first thing you should do is check your firewall to make sure it's logging all activity. Then, your job is to start reviewing the logs either everyday or at a bare minimum, once a week. Some routers have the firewall "built-in". I've often found these are very limited in their ability to protect. Even more limiting is their logging functionality. Typically these devices will only show what's blocked. Often these router / firewalls have the option to have the logs emailed to someone when they're filled up with entries. This is a nice option as you can have them directed to someone who will (should) review them in detail and notify you of any entries to be concerned with.

If your firewall does not provide the level of detail described in this article, you should seriously consider upgrading. You can keep your existing router just turn off the firewall feature and buy a dedicated firewall.

Then you'll know what the hackers know about your network.

Laguna Phuket for High-End Clients

You know you are going somewhere special when your resort complex has its own lounge at the airport. Laguna Phuket Airport Hospitality Centre at Phuket Airport is available to resort guests for relaxing after or before their flight. And there is staff on hand to assist with arrival and departure queries.

Laguna Phuket is situated on sandy Bangtao Beach around 30 minutes south of Phuket International Airport. The beach stretches some 8 kms, along the edge of the Andaman Sea, on the west coast of Phuket Thailand.

Today, Laguna Phuket is probably Asia’s premier resort complex but when I first saw the area in 1982 it was nothing more than wasteland.

The dramatic transformation was brought about by the visionary Chairman of Singapore’s Wah Chang Group. From a tin-mining wasteland there grew 5 top-quality hotels and a shopping ‘village’ all set amidst beautiful landscaped gardens and a network of lagoons. Between them the hotels have 30 bars and restaurants and a whole host of facilities including gyms, games rooms, tennis, archery, swimming pools and watersports.

Adjacent to the resort is the 18-hole Laguna Phuket Golf Club This par 71 course makes good use of the undulating landscape and lagoons. All Laguna Phuket guests can enjoy reduced green fees.

Each of the hotels has a spa and by all accounts the Banyan Tree Phuket Spa is probably the best. When it comes to awards I tend to be a little cynical but there must be some substance when a hotel, like this one, is voted World’s Best Spa Resort by readers of Condé Nast Traveler, the Top Spa & Retreat Experience by Arts & Entertainment Television Networks, USA, and a Top 10 Hotel Spa by Travel & Leisure magazine. The spa offers a wide range of treatments from body scrubs, to facials, manicures and pedicures. There are also complimentary (chargeable for visitors) yoga classes.

The Banyan Tree Phuket even has a dedicated Spa Pool Villa featuring a ‘floating bed’ pavilion with king-sized bed, a swimming pool in landscaped gardens, an open-air sunken bathtub, Jacuzzi, steam and sauna room, massage pavilion and an outdoor Thai sala.

I have to say though that if a spa is important to you the facilities at the other hotels cannot be dismissed, more especially as they come from the same pedigree. At the Dusit Laguna, Laguna Beach Resort Phuket, and the Sheraton Grande Laguna you will find an Angsana Spa.

Angsana Spas were developed by the Banyan Tree Spa and place particular emphasis on the use of aromatherapy. They also offer body scrubs, skin treatments, facials and a variety of massages including Thai, Swedish, Hawaiian, Balinese, Indian Head and warm oil.

So there you have it. Top quality hotels with a wide-range of facilities, an 18-hole golf course, 8 kms of sandy beach and an award-winning spa. All with easy air access via Phuket International Airport. Could you wish for anything more?

Tips and Tricks on How to Photograph Architecture

When you think about photography architecture, just remember it includes many more structures than just buildings and that's what makes it such a popular and fascinating venture. Architecture can include all types of man-made creations from the most primitive to the most modern in the world. These include bridges, monuments, windmills, towers, and lampposts etc. No matter where you travel there will always be many opportunities to capture some great shots of architecture.

There are some techniques which could help you take more creative and interesting shots and many of these include lighting, framing, and composition. As with all types of photography, the best way to develop your skills in it is simply by practicing. This will allow you to inject your personality into the images.

Modern designs

If your goal is to capture some magnificent images of modern architecture it often works when you use an abstract or more modern style of photography. You could do this by trying out a wide-angle lens as it will give you an extreme perspective. Another good method is to take shots from unique angles. Since modern skylines feature buildings that sit close to each other you may want to try cropping in tightly in a building as it will not appear unnatural.

Photographing Older structures

When you're photographing architecture of older buildings and structures, it's a good idea to use simple and straightforward composition techniques. This will enable you to show off the elegance and natural beauty of your subject. You may also want to include a bit of surrounding background or scenery as it will add some context to the structure while letting it seem less cramped.

Adding surrounding scenery

Some people prefer to show the surrounding of a structure in their shots while others do not. it really depends on personal taste and how you want viewers to see the photos. It's a wise idea to ask yourself if any events will take away or add to the context of the image and how you want to portray it. If you feel the surrounding scenery makes the shot better than go ahead and take a wider shot. Adding more to the photos is a good idea if it tells a story. For example, a centuries-old church sitting in between a pair of skyscrapers would be a scene begging for some surroundings to be added if you wanted to show the contrast between the old and new.


It's important that you get the lighting right in architectural photography. This means you're going to have to use the available light as well as you can. The best type of lighting for architecture is generally side-front lighting. It usually offers enough lighting as well as long and interesting shadows. This often creates a more three-dimensional appearance since the detail and texture is more visible. The worst type of lighting is back lighting since it results in dark, uniform surfaces. You could try a longer exposure with back lighting and possibly crop the sky out for a better image. Of course, you could always shoot the structure as an interesting silhouette.

Night shots

Some of the best architectural shots are taken at night, especially modern structures since many of them are designed to be shown off as part of the skyline when the sun goes down. Once night falls many of these structures are lit up in a kaleidoscope of colors to give them a life of their own and to create some brilliant shadows. It's a good idea to take a tripod along at night and use a low ISO setting to reduce the noise in the shots.

Longer lenses

The walls of a building can sometimes look distorted if you're shooting from close range. If you do not like this effect you may want to try a telephoto lens while taking shots from a further distance. This will provide you with straight-looking lines and walls. A telephoto lens will also allow you to come up with some fine-looking abstract effects. Taking the photos from a distance will typically flatten the subject's perspective and create parallel lines.

Keep it interesting

While the overall appearance of a structure can often be fascinating on its own, many buildings have small designs details that can stick out. Just think of all the smaller aspects of an old church or cathedral for example, such as sculptured gargoyles and angels etc. Taking shots of smaller details can tell a lot about the character and type of architecture.

Choosing the Right Length in Towel Bars

When it comes to essential accessories in the bathroom, towel bars are up towards the top of the list. While you may not think about it upfront, once you start using a bathroom regularly you’re going to realize how much you really want towel bars by the sink so you can easily dry your hands and other towel bars near the shower or tub so you can have a towel at the ready when you get out. But there is more to outfitting your bathroom than just knowing that you want towel bars.

Now you have to figure out what size is best suited to your needs. Towel bars come in a number of sizes. Directly off the rack at the store you may be able to find them in widths such a 7-inch, 12-inch, 18-inch and 24-inch. Beyond that, some will let you customize the length of the rack to exactly what you need. So how do you know what you need?

What Is It For?

The first question you have to ask yourself is what kind of work you need these towel bars to be doing. Essentially, how many towels do they need the hold? And how wide are those towels?

When it comes to putting bars by the sink, for a hand towel, generally you only need something that will hold one or two hand towels. Usually these hand towels will be folded so they don’t take up a huge amount of space. If you’re just using one hand towel, a 7-inch rack will be plenty of space. If you like the look of two hand towels, and maybe even one of those decorative washcloths on top of those, you probably should shoot for 12-inch towel bars.

On the other hand, near the tub, usually you don’t want to do with anything less than something that will hold two adult towels. Quite often, there are also decorative towels to put on these bars. If you use smaller body towels you may be able to get away with an 18-inch towel rack. However, if you have the space, you may want to go with a 24-inch towel rack so the towels don’t seem so cramped when they’re lying on the bar.

How Much Space Do You Have?

A major consideration when deciding what type of towel bar you want in your bathroom is just how much space you have to put a towel bar. If you have very little wall space or just have a very small bathroom, you may have to figure out how to make do with smaller bars. This can be done. For example, if you’re limited to a 7-inch towel rack by the sink and only a 12-18 inch towel rack by the shower or tub, the simple answer is that you can only hang one towel at a time.

Before you ever go shopping, you should carefully measure the amount of space you have in your bathroom to install towel bars. You also want to consider where you’re going to place them so that they’re convenient. For example, the bar by the tub or shower needs to be easy to reach from inside the tub or shower. Likewise, the bar by the sink needs to be in close proximity to the sink so you’re not walking around with wet hands.

5 Barriers to Successful Selling & Their Remedies

Here are five common and easily corrected situations that keep people from reaching their true sales potential.

Barrier # 1 – Poor Attitude

There is nothing so infectious as an attitude, and no one as good at reading them as a potential customer. Often we think that a smile pasted over an angry face is good enough to get us through. Not so. Customers are on the look-out for deception and are adept at 'reading' sales people. If your face says one thing and your body language, tone, and eyes say something else, you will fail more times than not. To succeed, you must become a master of your own attitude. Learn to deal with your emotions – releasing the negative and keeping those that serve you. Now, pass the positive attitude around, and watch your sales rise.

Barrier # 2 – Lack of Product Knowledge

You must have a solid, working knowledge of the product or service you are selling. In today's information age world, you simply can not fake your way through this part. Consumers are more knowledgeable than ever. Over time you will learn more details and nuances, (often from your customers), but a basic understanding of, and the ability to explain how and why your product or service works is mandatory.

Barrier # 3 – If you do not own it, you can not sell it!

If you do not believe in something enough to use / own / subscribe to / practice what you are recommending, your customer will not want to either. It's surprising to me how many people try to sell things they 'think' are good, but have not believed in enough to own themselves. More and more often today, a customer will ask if you 'own' your service or product. A moment's hesitation while you try to explain that you have not gotten to it yet (or some similar excuse) will kill the deal.

Barrier # 4If you do not listen, you will not sell

Sales are often lost because a sales person is so intent on her internal dialogue and process that she sells on the wrong points. Correct questions and active listening will give you, from your customer's own mouth, the points to sell on. You may see that your product is a perfect fit, but in order to make the sale, your customer must see it also. Learn active listening, and use it to show potential customers exactly how your service fits their concerns, needs and wants.

Barrier # 5 – Failure to ask for the Sale!

It's amazing to me how many 'sales' people never actually attempt to close a sale. Sometimes the sales staff looks to believe that simply presenting their product will induce a buying situation. Some seem to believe that they have asked the customer to purchase, but they are so subtle that the customer does not notice, and walks away. Customers want what they set out to purchase – that's why they are shopping. And if you do not ask them to purchase (either directly, indirectly, or by assuming the sale) they will continue to shop. And they will purchase somewhere else. Make a list of 25 ways and phrases you can use to ask your customers to purchase from you. Include both the minority and the obvious offers in your list. Then be sure to use them at least five times with each customer.

14 Tips on How Parents Who Have a Child with a Disability Can Organize Their Estate

As a general rule, parents should keep their original documents (wills, special needs trust, etc.) in a safe deposit box, in a fireproof safe, or with their attorney.

Parents should also use a binder that contains all the information that future caregivers will need to carry on after the parents are gone.

The binder should be kept in a place that is readily accessible, so parents can update it periodically, and so the people who will act as the child's advocate after the parents are gone will be able to find it. Many parents purchase small fireproof safes for this purpose.

The binder should generally contain separate folders in which parents place the following:

1. An overview of the estate plan in plain English – that is, without any legalese, that the attorney should write.

2. Important legal papers for any children with disabilities (for example, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and health-insurance cards).

3. A description of the goals and purposes of the special needs trust, which the attorney should write.

4. A copy of the Letter of Intent, which parents should update at least once per year. The Letter of Intent is a nonbinding document that passes vital information about a person with a disability to future caregivers.

5. Unsigned copies of any wills.

6. A letter spelling out any wishes regarding final arrangements (burial, cremation, or religious services or other ceremonies that may be desired).

7. Living wills and / or Power of Attorney for health care that may have been prepared.

8. Extra signed copies of any trusts- special needs trusts, living trusts, or insurance trusts- that may have been prepared. Remember, signed copies will be needed to complete property transfers, and additional signed copies will prove to be useful.

9. A list of major assets and information about where they are kept (for example, a list of insurance policies, stocks, mutual funds, bank accounts, with policy and account numbers and storage locations, and the names of any brokers, insurance agents , and investment advisors).

10. Guardianship papers, if any, and a list of advocacy organizations that may be helpful.

11. The names of government agencies or case workers that the parents may have deal with and the parents' thoughts about them.

12. A list of government benefits that the person with a disability may receive, as well as copies of any filled-out application forms. (These application forms will help the parents the next time they apply for benefits and will be especially helpful to future caregivers who may not understand the complexity of these applications.)

13. Other miscellaneous papers, such as tax returns filed by the person with a disability, information about housing options, schooling, photographs of the family, parent's Social Security numbers, parent's birth and marriage certificates, certificates and awards for the person with a disability .

14. Information about where the original documents are kept.

The estate planning process, especially when parents are planning for the future security of a child with a disability, can often be heart wrenching. But when parents are through, they can feel confident that they have done all that they can to secure their child's happiness after they are gone.

Copyright (c) 2007 L. Mark Rusell

Improve Joint Flexibility – How to Press and Stretch to Relieve Muscle Tension

Muscle tension, joint flexibility, and the feeling of being tied up in knots can all be caused by a phenomenon called trigger points. Have you ever had a pain in one area and when a massage therapist rubbed a different place on your body you felt the pain melt away? If so, you've experienced the result of "trigger point therapy."

Trigger points are also called muscle spasms. Technically they are areas of hyper-irritability in a muscle that may refer pain & / or numbness to another area. In other words, a trigger point is a "knot" in the muscle fibers which follows the muscle fibers from lengthening to their longest length. Since muscles generally insert at a joint, when the shortened fibers are pulling on the insertion they are causing tension, limiting range of motion, and weakening the entire muscle because these fibers are basically out of commission.

Trigger Points and Stretching

A muscle originates on a bone, crosses over a joint, and inserts onto a bone that will move when the muscle contracts. This is the way the body moves, and it functions perfectly until a trigger point forms in the muscle. As the muscle shortens it is pulling on the insertion point and when you try to move in the opposite direction you feel stiff, inflexible. You may decide to stretch, however, people sometimes complain about feeling worse after stretching than they did before doing the stretch. To stretch a muscle, while it still has an active trigger point, could cause tiny tears to occur in the fibers, and could cause even more pain.

Consider this analogy. If you tied a rope onto a strong tree and then went straight across and tied the other end of the rope onto a flexible tree, the smaller tree would continue to stand straight. If you then tugged on the rope the flexible tree would bend. However, if you tied a knot, or two, or three, into the rope, the flexible tree would be leaving over. If you then pushed the bent tree so it was again standing up straight, you would only cause the knot in the rope to tighten, and you would overstretching the fibers on either side of the knot. This is exactly what happens when you try to stretch a muscle that is shortened by knots in the fibers, without first releasing the trigger points.

Five Tips to Effectively Treat Trigger Points

As mentioned, the trigger points caused knots to form in the muscle and the shortening of the fibers put a strain on the insertion point on the other side of the joint. You can reverse this situation by doing the following steps:

1. Treat. Hold the pressure on each trigger point. In order to effectively stretch a muscle you need to first press on each trigger point, holding the pressure for 30-60 seconds.

2. Understand the Muscle Movement. Look at the muscle that you will be treating. To best treat and stretch a trigger point, you need to know what movement the muscle makes. For example, the muscles in the back of your neck will pull your head back so you can look up at the ceiling, and the muscle on your shoulder blade raises your arm. To stretch, you need to go in exactly the opposite direction as the movement of the muscle.

3. Stretch. Move so the muscle needs to stretch. For example, the trapezius muscle will raise your shoulder, so to stretch it you want to move your head away from your shoulder. You can accomplish this by dropping your head in the opposite direction while pulling your shoulder down toward the floor.

4. Press and Stretch for Optimal Benefit. To optimize the treatment, whenever possible, continue the pressure on the deactivated trigger point and then move your body so the muscle is forced to lengthen.

5. Slowly Move the Joint in a Smooth Circle. Slowly rotate your shoulder in a circle, move your leg so your hip joint loosens, curl and open your fingers fully, circle your neck, and arch your back like a cat. Finally, stop pressing on the trigger points but continue the slow, relaxed movement of your joints.

The more often you limber up your joints, the more flexible you will feel. Always go only to the point of "this promises great," never trying to overstretch or make a move that is beyond your comfort level. Stretching feet great when you have untied the knots that have held you bound!

Options for Adding Discount Hardwood Flooring

The look of hardwood flooring does not need to cost a large amount. If you want to replace your carpet or vinyl with hardwood, two options for affordable flooring are available: going with a lower grade or choosing discount hardwood flooring. "Discount" and "value grade" flooring, however, are not the same. While value grade wood is determined by the amount of type of imperfections on the surface, such as knots and color variations, discount hardwood flooring encompasses all grades sold at a lower price.

Typically sold wholesale, discount hardwood flooring takes a significant percentage off the original price and the quality is not compromised. Exotic and domestic species of solid and engineered hardwoods are all sold at a discount.

Exotic and domestic solid hardwood are sold wholesale at a discount. Solid hardwood, regardless of price, is cut directly from a wood log into a plank and has tongues and grooves added to all sides. Sold in thicknesses from 5 / 16ths to 3 / 4ths of an inch, solid hardwood is sensitive to changes in humidity and, as a result, can only be installed at or above ground level. When installed, the wood needs to be nailed down on top of a wood subfloor.

With more location options, engineered hardwood flooring can be purchased at a discount for domestic and engineered species. Although 100-percent hardwood, engineered flooring is more resistant to moisture and consistants of three to nine thin wood plys bonded together through heat and pressure. The top ply is the visible species, and all below are the same or a more stable wood.

Engineered hardwood flooring can be placed below ground level in a dry basement and in locations at or above ground. The material can be placed over a radiating heat source, concrete, or any hard subfloor, such as vinyl or tile. The wood itself can be glued or stapled down, and floating also saves time and preserves materials. Several brands of engineered hardwood offer click-lock or lock and fold flooring, in which all glue and groove edges lock together and the planks just need to be set in place.

Prefinished and unfinished are two options for discount hardwood flooring . In addition to a lower price, prefinished flooring takes less time to install. If you are covering a large area with new hardwood, prefinished is best for the job. If, however, you want to match new hardwood to existing flooring, installing unfinished hardwood and adding your own finish often creates a better match and seamless appearance.

Business Firefighting and Lean Six Sigma Root Cause Analysis

When researchers studied firefighters, they discovered significant differences between novices and veterans when looking at a burning building:

• Novices notice obvious things like flames and their locations.

• Veterans saw a story. They noticed where and how the fire started, how it progressed and what it was likely to do next.

In essence, veterans did a root cause analysis (where the fire started and why).

Business Firefighting

Often, business owners and employees complain about the amount of firefighting required on a daily basis. The rewards in these companies go to the heroes who put out the fires. And companies create whole departments just to put out fires (e.g., customer call centers).

Most employees look at these “fires” like a novice, not a veteran. They notice the mistakes and errors. They sense the customer’s anger. But few bother to wonder why the mistakes occurred in the first place.

Veterans look at corporate “fires” as a story, as cause and effect. Veterans notice how and why the mistakes were made in the first place. They ask why, why, why, why, why until they discover the root cause. Then they ask: “How can we prevent this problem completely.”

Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Root cause analysis is pretty simple:

1. State the problem.

2. Ask why, why, why, why, why until you’ve identified the potential causes.

3. Verify which causes are actually at the root of the problem.

RCA Mistakes

Perhaps the biggest mistakes people make in root cause analysis is assigning the blame to:

• People (untrained)

• Not enough Money

• Not enough Time

No amount of training will truly prevent a problem because employees change jobs. If the problem is big enough, there’s always enough money and time.

Invariably, employees get stuck in mental traps. It takes creative, out-of-the-box thinking to figure out ways to change existing processes and systems to make them mistake-proof (i.e., prevents mistakes completely). The goal should be that even a brand new employee should be able to do the task error free.


I worked with a call center group that had too many time sheet errors. Time sheets were kept in Excel spreadsheets. There were two symptoms:

• Employees overwrote formulas in cells

• Employees entered time incorrectly (e.g., 4.30 instead of 4.5 for four and a half hours).

They had spent a lot of time trying to teach employees how to fill out the spreadsheet correctly, but to no avail. Since I’m an Excel geek, I showed them how to use Excel’s Data Validation to prevent incorrect time entries and how to protect formulas in cells from changes (Protect Sheet).

These two changes made it impossible for these two errors to occur. Excel enforces correct data entry. No training required.

Here’s My Point

Are you still treating business “fires” like a novice or a veteran? Do you see a blaze or a story? Sure you need to put out fires when you find them, but veterans go back and identify the source of the fire, and put methods in place to prevent future fires.

Root Cause Analysis is easy; just ask “why” five times. Figuring out how to mistake-proof the system or process to prevent the problem forever is a very creative, rewarding activity.

Remember, Deming said that 99 problems out of 100 are caused by the system. Fix the system, prevent the fires. It’s that simple. So why don’t more people do it? Maybe because the rewards go to the novice firefighters that simply put out the fire, not the veterans who would rather prevent them.

Which are you? Heroic firefighter? Or veteran fire preventer?

How To Box In Around Pipes and Piping

Boxing around Pipes

Difficulty Levels

  • The work is simply regarding decoration requirements and does not contain anything very specialized

Listing of tools needed

  • Tenon Saws
  • Power Drill and attachments
  • Plywood or perhaps MDF
  • Various Hand Tools
  • 12mm thick square batten
  • Ruler / tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Screws
  • Rawl plugs (a plastic plug inserted in a drilled hole ahead of the screw is driven in. Holds the screw firmly)

Approximate time for you to complete

  • The task itself is uncomplicated however the more hours you spend considering the task, the more considerable the improvement on your lodging.

Amount of Risk

  • Medium – always take care when using your saw and, hammer and nails.

Why are we doing it

  • When you have unsightly piping you wish to conceal, boxing-in is the perfect remedy. It is cheap as well as relatively simple to accomplish and it is used to improve the overall look of one's rooms.

How you can undertake it (In Easy to follow steps)

1) Look at the size of the work

When you are coping with solar pipe then a uncomplicated box work is the best solution. Take into consideration whether you need to include entry to valves or maybe stop taps etc. When you are constructing a larger box ie to. to cover multiple pipes you simply must take more time so that you can plan the work.

2) Decide on your material

The material used for single pipe box work really should be sturdy enough to resist nailing (cracking). Plywood or even MDF is ideal for this job.

3) Take the measurements

Very carefully measure the whole length of the box work needed. The height of the box work will be based upon the height of the pipe and the width will depend upon the actual diameter of the pipe plus the distance from the wall it runs along. Indicate these dimensions on to timber or plywood. When you are dealing with hot water pipes they should be insulated to avoid the heat escaping and you should really need to allow room for this.

4) Cut the wood to suit

Utilizing a tenon saw and a vice to firmly hold the actual wood in position to trim along the marked outlines.

5) Trim the batten and secure on the walls

Cut this 12mm thick rectangular batten to the length of the box work. Using the drill as well as screws secure this to the wall. The top panel of the box (the lid) is going to rest on this. Secure a further batten horizontally onto the underside of the lid. The side panel of the box is going to be screwed onto this.

6) Build the box work and secure to the batten

Utilizing best suited type of screws attach the panels to the edge of the actual battens. Should the screw actually to large it can spread the wood and leave the surface of the boxing uneven. The same strategy is used in vertical piping.

7) Corner pipes (three sided box work)

For you to box around pipes initially measure and secure 12mm thick rectangular battens to the walls on each side of the pipe. Next screw a piece of timber to each of the battens. This timber bought to protrude from the wall a few millimeters in excess of the actual pipe. Lastly fit a third panel between your timbers and screw into place.

8) To get access to valves and stop taps

If you wish to access the valves or stop taps slip a washer (a soft metal ring to fit the shaft of the screw) onto the screw before you place the actual screw into the hole. This will make it easier to undo the screw when you need gain access to the valves or stop taps.

9) Cover the box work using tools

Finally, to make the box work far more appealing you may think about covering them with tiles maybe wallpaper or if it is a low horizontal pipe you could consider extending carpeting to cover the box.

A Renewed Campaign to Tackle Nuisance Bikers

As much as there is an almost complete unity in encouraging the switch to biking by policymakers and other holders, the issue of nuisance biking is one menace causing so much worry.

Nuisance biking

In the last several months the police in different parts of Britain have been locked in a continuous battle with this category of bikers. Nuisance biking is basically the riding of motorbikes, particularly off-road bikes like mopeds, quads or mini motos in unauthorized places and provoking both health and security concerns.

Nuisance bikers, residents usually complain, disturb the peace and increasingly expose themselves and others to the risk of accidents. Sometimes they are also found to be carrying a passenger on an off-road bike mean for one.

But the largest issue is that they ride in places meant for public use, such as parks or pavements, where innocent pedestrians could be crushed into. In addition to the fact that such motorbikes should be ridden only on a private property with the permission of the property owner, when young people riding this type of motorbike get on the road they strictly have any of the required documents to allow them on the road . Bike insurance is neglected, just as license is not taken seriously since the fact that failure to have them could get the biker into trouble with the law.

Christmas crackdown

In several places across the country the police were called to move in to check the menace of nuisance bikers last year. In some places gangs of young riders were apprehended and had their bikes confiscated. In some extreme cases such bike riders were charged and had to appear in court for a number of offences.

Shortly before Christmas the police cautioned parents against buying off-road bikes as presents for their children. The air was also clear over the issue of purchasing insurance cover for mini bikes. While many alleged erroneously that they did not need an insurance policy, they were reminded that bike insurance was a requirement as long as the vehicle was motor-propelled and would be used on public roads. To sink the message as deeply as possible retailers were also prompted to remind customers to get the cover and other required documentation for bikes.

Fresh campaign

Based on the extent this campaign has gone to, one would think that by now most people would have been sufficiently enlightened about the use of mini or off-road bikes in order to avoid a confrontation with the law. But the situation is still far from this.

Almost every time a young bike rider is caught at the wrong place on a mini bike possibly doing the wrong thing, they are also found to be in possession of none of the required documents. This, therefore, suggests that the battle is far from won and more needs to be done.

In Coventry, which is one of the worst hit places, there is a renewed effort to tackle the problem. Unlike previous campaigns, barriers are being promoted to prevent youths riding bikes or quads from access restricted areas like pathways and roads.

The step taken by the council in this regard will no doubt reduce the seriousness of the problem, although it does not solve it. It is, however, worthy of emulation in other areas.

Irrespective of the above, a long-term solution is required to deal with the issue. Parents or guardians, as advised by the police, need to continue caution their children or wards. They also need to ensure they purchase the right cover for bikes or extend their home insurance to cover the bikes.

Ten Must-See Places in Yemen

Yemen is a country located in the Arabian Peninsula. It is a country rich in history and culture as well as wonderful places to visit. Although it is highly discouraged to visit the country right now because of civil unrest and terrorist attacks, it is still worth knowing the ten must-see places in Yemen.

1.) The Rock Art of Sa’da

You can see here ancient drawings and texts that were written by nomadic tribes. They date back to about 4,500 years ago. The drawings you will see in the canyon walls are animals that were predominant during that period (rams, snakes, cattle, people, etc.) as well as plants.

2.) Socotra Island

This is an island that has a very diverse flora and fauna that can only be found in the island. Only here will you see a centipede that eats flesh as well as a myriad of reptiles and birds. There are also the Dragon’s Blood trees, which is always a sight to behold.

3.) The Incense Road

In Socotra also, you can follow the ancient Incense Road. You will get to see many cities, towns and villages along the way if you are up for the 62-day journey. The Incense Road is legendary because it was calculated that more than 3,000 tons of incense was transported through this way during the ancient times.

4.) Wadi Dhahr

This is a valley where vegetables and fruits are bountiful. You can also see here the Imam Yahya’s palace, which was erected during the 1930s on top of a high rock. This high rock is called the Rock Palace or the Dar Al Hajar.

5.) Shibam

Anybody who sees this majestic group of clay and stone as well as wood buildings is sure to be struck with awe. Shibam is also fondly called as the Dessert Manhattan and is said to be the first city of skyscraper buildings in the whole world with some buildings having a height of eight stories. This is not an archeological site though, but it is a living city.

6.) The Shihara Suspended Bridge

Truly a sight to behold, this beautiful suspended bridge was built during the 17th century. But now, it is still a vital part of the two villages that it serves to connect – the Shihara Al-Qaish as well as the Shihara Al-Amir. There is also a Sunday Market here which is a popular tourist destination.

7.) Souk of Beit Al-Faqih

This is a great place for you to buy your souvenirs. This is a very lively and vibrant market that will give anyone a sensory overload. From pottery to animals to clothes to vegetables, you can find anything here.

8.) Old City of Sana’a

This has been listed also in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Islamic mosques as well as traditional houses can be seen in this ancient city. You can also see here beautiful tower houses made from rammed earth, and this adds more to the beauty and significance of the Old City of Sana’a.

9.) Aden City

This is a wonderful city in Yemen that is home to the Aden Museum. It is also a popular tourist destination where you can always enjoy a day at the water park or the lagoons, which are perfect places to go bird watching. There are also resorts here if you want to relax.

10.) Kawbakan City

This is a great place to go to if you are souvenir hunting. You can also here find many beautiful semiprecious stones set in beautiful gold or silver jewelries. But if you have to shop here though, you have to have a good haggling technique as the prices tend to be set higher for the tourists.

Tips for Distinct and Creative Legal Logos for Your Law Firm

If you are trying to create a logo design for your law firm that should be distinct and innovative, then follow the below mentioned tips:

1. Make sure that there is only one central concept in your emblem:

Many small firms make the mistake of using a lot of images and concepts together in their legal logos. Remember, the customer will never be able to remember your trademark design if it is too complicated to be interpreted in less than 20 seconds. So, before trying to craft your own monogram, write the basic concepts or ideas for the design on a paper and use only one of them which you think is the best.

2. Use images of animals, mythical creatures or objects that will represent the values ​​of your company stands for:

Animal attributes or mythical creatures make a great object to represent your business. For that you will need to browse through the internet to come up with mythical creatures or animals which basic attributes are in sync with your company values. For example you can use an image of an eagle or a lion to represent courage and strength or an image of a knight to depict justice with a touch of history. You can also use images of a balanced weighing scale or a gavel to represent your firm.

3. Make sure that the fonts and colors you use are formal and professional:

Since the profession of law is quite formal and you are already using creativity in your emblem image, you need to give the fonts and colors a formal touch. For the type face, make sure that the fonts are straight and thick so that they are easy to read and remember. You can use fonts like Times New Roman, Bodini MT or Arial with bold effects as these fonts are easy to read and professional looking. For the colors, brown and black are generally common choices but they tend to get a little boring. You can use colors like red, green or dark blue to add a little colorful touch to your symbol.

In conclusion, make sure that you create your brand mark once and use it forever. Do not keep changing the design as that will confuse your customers and will never make your emblem memorable.

Along with that, make sure that you use the same free legal logos everywhere; whether it is the stationary or on the billboards. That way your brand image will maintain consistency and gain easy recognition with the customers. You can alter the size and placement of the symbol according to your marketing medium. For example, for a letterhead you can place a small business symbol at the center of the page while the billboard or the banner can contain a larger version of the emblem.