Teaching Ballet – 7 Best Exercises For Students To Do At Home

Anybody teaching ballet will attest to the fact that this is one form of dance that needs some daily homework. Just dancing at the lessons that you take may not be enough to make you a great ballet dancer. This means that before or after your lessons you will need to do various exercises at home that will help you execute the intricate and complex movements of this beautiful dance. Here are seven of the best at-home-exercises for people learning ballet.

1. Lower body exercises – fill in your home exercise routine with lower body exercises such as squats because your lower body and especially your legs play a major role while teaching ballet. Do exercises that will stretch your thighs, calves, ankles, feet and your toes as well because each of these are responsible for important functions such as extensions, turns, leaps and holding up your weight.

2. Body core exercises – a professional teaching ballet will tell you that to be prepared for ballet class, you will have to have a strong body core. To achieve this you must perform exercises that work the core of your body, which means the middle waist part. The core supports lifts and leaps during ballet and partners lift you up by holding you from the waist, which is why these muscles must be well toned.

3. Arm exercises – watching your instructor while they are teaching ballet will show you that the arms play a major role in making the dance look as graceful as it is. The arms are regardless the most visible and obvious part of a ballet dancer's body and for this reason students should perform exercises at home to keep their arms loaded such as lifting small weights.

4. General muscle tone – at the ballet barre in lessons you will have to hold in your stomach muscles, tighten the muscles under the rear, hold up your chest, push your shoulders back and keep your chin up; all at the same time. This is the basic post that you need to volume and for this it applies that practice makes perfect; at home practice standing, sitting and walking with your muscles lightly adjusted.

5. Mimic ballet barre exercises – while instructors are teaching ballet they lay great emphasis on ballet barre exercises and if you do not have a barre at home, use something as a substitute such as a chair or dresser.

6. Ballet shoes on at home – practice routines that you learn in class at home with your ballet shoes on; these help to strengthen and firm your feet, ankles and legs.

7. Stretching – teaching ballet involves communicating the importance of practicing stretching at home with exercises such as the split stretch, hamstring stretch and calf stretch.

10 Tips for a Hotel Stay in New York City

Before you embark on your New York journey read about the hotels that will make your stay a memorable one.

The Library in Midtown Manhattan

The Library Hotel is more 'literati' than 'glitterati' : more private club than hotel. Each of the ten guestrooms is dedicated to one of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System: Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts and Religion. Each of the sixty rooms is individually designed with a collection of art and books relevant to one thematic topic within the category of floor it belongs to. Guests may request their room based on their personal interests. The Writer's Den with its skyline views and the Poetry Garden , a sparkling green house, are perfect places to relax and absorb this culture.


Access to the hotel's video library of the American Film Institutes top 100 films – Monday through Saturday there's a complimentary wine and cheese reception – For the night time players, magical nights await you at the Bookmarks Lounge on the 14th floor, which serve signature cocktails like the Great Gatsby and the Capote.

Sofitel New York in the Manhattan area

The contemporary 30-story Sofitel New York, represents the French art of living through its décor. Art work of old Paris and New York fill this space. Traditional French fare is served at the French brasserie, Gaby Restaurant and even the staff uniforms are designed by renowned designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac. Guests will enjoy the hotel's evening turndown services, which include Evian water and a fresh cut rose. The Art Deco sitting room is the perfect place for some downtime as well as viewing the extensive collection of contemporary art that adorns the walls. The hotel's award winning design surrounds a 30-story curved tower bordered by two 20-story wings, which overlooks the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building.


Do not leave New York without sampling the inventive French cuisine with Asian influences, served up at the Art Deco inspired, Gaby Restaurant – The Petit Bijou gift shop is an exquisite emporium with items imported from France.

The Hudson Hotel in the Midtown area

The Hudson Hotel is a brand new offering from hotelier extraordinaire, Ian Schrager. It is said to be the hippest hotel on the block with stunning views across the Hudson River. Designer, Phillipe Starke has created a fantastical world where flawless design dances with daredevil technology in a perfect combination of light, sound and shape. There's an exhibition kitchen restaurant, a lobby bar, and library bar with billiards, indoor and outdoor private park, and a ceiling fresco by renamed painter Francesco Clemente, 18.000 square feet of indoor / outdoor event space and a business center. The design was inspired by ocean travel romance and the setting of a private cabin on an upscale yacht. Vogue Magazine describes the hotel as "surreal chic, brilliantly designed, and gorgeous."

Hudson Sky Terrace located on the 15th floor is a large private landscaped terrace where you can enjoy cocktails and sweeping city and Hudson River views – For your sleeping pleasure, Hudson beds have Egyptian cotton sheets with 300 thread count.

The Dream Hotel in the Midtown area

The Dream Hotel in New York was opened by socialite-hotelier Vikram Chatwal in 2004. The décor includes a copper statue of Catherine the Great, Neptune and Madonna with child, all surrounded by mismatched armchairs. The design theme is best described as haute couture meets Alice in Wonderland 'whimsical' . This luxury playground has all the latest technology and three lounges each offering their own delights: Subconcious is subterranean lounge with a Labyrinth of Alcoves, the Epernay and Lobby Bar is a vibrant space designed by architect Mark Zeff and AVA, named after movie star Ava Gardner is the Dream Hotel's penthouse lounge which offers cocktails and stunning views of Time Square .


The Chopra Center which is devoted to Ayurveda , an ancient Indian healing science study by founder Deepak Chopra is located below ground. A glass elevator transports guests to this world of exclusive pampering – A fever of sublime Northern Italian cuisine awaits you at the Fellini-inspired restaurant, Serafina, designed by the Rockwell Group.

The 60 Thompson in the SoHo District

100 room luxury-driven lifestyle hotel by famed designer, Thomas
O'Brien is a favorite with the trendy downtown scene. The breathtaking roof "members" lounge , and Kittichai restaurant complement the modern and chic sensibility of 60 Thompson. This luxury hotel is set back from the street behind a courtyard of birch trees. The interior features photographs by Laura Resen and a roof garden that has a 360 degree view of Manhattan's skyline . This hotel was selected as "One of the World's Hottest Hotels" by Conde Nast Traveler and Entertainment Weekly named it the "It Hotel" for entertainment's elite.


Indulge your senses at chic Thai restaurant Kittichai on the ground floor with patio dining and a gold-suffused bar – Feel like a princess in swanky marble-swathed bathrooms with mosaic tile floors, and Philosophy bath products.

Trump International Hotel & Tower in the Manhattan area

Location, location … this hotel certainly is prime real estate: located at the foot of Central Park , and just across Columbus Circle from the Time Warner Center. Opening in 1997, the contemporary 52-story tower hotel was designed by restructured architects Philip Johnson and Costas Kondylis. Today, Trump International Hotel & Tower is one of only four properties in North America to hold the prestigious Mobil five-star rating for both the hotel and its in-house restaurant, Jean Georges. With a host of unique innovations and complimentary amenities there is no doubt you're staying in the world of the super-rich, Donald Trump. The rooms have ten-foot high ceilings with nine-foot floor-to-ceiling windows so guests can have the pleasure of all-round views of Manhattan.


A 6,000-square-foot health club with 55-foot indoor lap pool and a full-service spa – For guests its business as usual at the 383 square feet Executive Boardroom with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Broadway and Lincoln Center – – Each guest receives personalized stationery and business cards along with a cellular phone on request.

Hotel Plaza Athénée in the Manhattan area

Located on the fashionable Upper East Side of Manhattan, this hotel brings a bit of Europe to the finest streets of New York . Renovated in 2003, and a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Hotel Plaza Athénée is without a doubt one of New York's finest hotels. This European-style boutique hotel with its 152 rooms is located on a tree-lined residential street that offers a peaceful and home-like atmosphere. All of the rooms and suites have French fabrics, period furniture, artwork, and rose aurora marble bathrooms and suites. Earth tones and smoking rooms bring back a bit of old-world charm.


Serious shoppers paradise : walking distance to Madison Avenue with Georgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's, Barney's, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman Department stores – – Do not leave New York without having a cocktail at the Seine and Arabelle Bars where Carrie Bradshaw sat and drunk when they filmed Sex in the City .

The 70 Park Avenue Hotel in Midtown Manhattan

One of New York's most revered midtown hotels is located near Grand Central Station, right on famous Park Avenue. The 70 Park Avenue Hotel recently went through an extensive multi-million dollar renovation under the direction of restructured residential designer Jeffrey Bilhuber, who has worked with celebrities such as David Bowie, Iman and Hubert de Givenchy. The hotel is decorated in warm earth tones and rich dark woods and the lobby living room features a 14-foot limestone and sandstone fireplace. The 188 newly decorated guest rooms including 6 parlors and 3 penthouse suites are bright and spacious with stylish neo classic décor and luxurious comforts.


Leisure guests will find convenience in the walking distance from Fifth Avenue boutiques ; the city's finest arts and cultural centers, which include the Museum of Modern Art, Empire State Building, United Nations, Broadway and Times Square – – The 2,000 square-foot Penthouse Suite with wrap-around balcony and great views from its 17th floor perch is ideal for swanky social events or parties.

The Benjamin in the Midtown area

Originally opened in 1927 as The Hotel Beverly it was considered one of the world-restructured architect Emery Roth's most successful creations. The hotel was purchased and renovated to its original grandeur in 1999 by Affinia Hospitality and named after its founder, Benjamin J. Denihan, Sr. Today, this sophisticated, boutique style hotel has lavish marble bathrooms, rich mahogany-finished furnishings and a personal well-equipped business area, appealing both business and leisure guests. The Benjamin is famous for its custom-made mattresses adorned with Frette linens and down filled duvets. It's probably the only hotel in the world that offers a menu of ten different pillows! One block from Park Avenue businesses, near the Empire State Building, the United Nations, Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue shopping.


One of only four Five-Globe ECOTEL , certified properties in the world, this eco-friendly hotel's core philosophy, encompasses every aspect of hotel operation and guest service – The Affinia Wellness Spa is a holistic experience that will transform your mind, body and spirit.

The SoHo Grand Hotel in the SoHo area

Built in 1996 as the first hotel in SoHo in more than a century; the SoHo Grand Hotel was designed by Bill Sofield and architect by David Helpern. This 17-story hotel is a favorite of the fashion and entertainment industries . The Grand Bar & Lounge, also known as "SoHo's living room", has recently been redesigned by retired designer, William Sofield. Famous guests Kevin Spacey, Spike Lee and Naomi Campbell have stayed here. Pets have stayed here too . In fact dogs are offered their own toothbrush and toothpaste. A total of 367 custom designed rooms , 16-foot windows draped with 900-pound velvet curtains and a ceiling fitted out of handmade mercury mirror glass with a stainless steel wire.


Near chic galleries, theaters, restaurants and shops: you'll definitely run into someone famous in the TriBeCa, Greenwich Village and meatpacking district –
Speaking of famous, the hotel's Gallery and Grand Bar & Lounge features the new 'out there' American cuisine like Maple Barbecue Quail and chocolate-dipped homemade graham crackers with brlléed meringue. Welcome to America!

The 5 Easy Ways to Market Your Daycare Center

You've taken the leap of faith and decided your going to open your own family daycare center. You start thinking about where you're going to have your daycare, and how it's going to be arranged and what toys you are going to have.

But one thing you may not have thought about is, "how am I going to get kids?" Well, I'm here to tell you do not worry. I really believe that there are a lot of families out there looking for childcare. Especially good childcare.

Marketing your new daycare can be reliably easy and painless. You do not need to spend a whole lot of money or time. Just use a little creativity and you are well on your way. So, let's begin with the 5 easy ways to market your new daycare center.

1. Visit your neighbors announcing your new business: Print up some flyers or invitations inviting your neighbors to an open house. Be sure to make it fun, serve juice and cookies and have some children's games planned. Nothing to complicated but just make sure it's fun. Remember even if your neighbors have no children, they may know someone who does so be sure to tell them to invite friends from work.

2. Reward Parents for telling others about your daycare: This is a surefire way of spreading the word about your daycare. For every parent who explains a friend who enrolls reward them with a special thank you. Sometimes a gift card, discount on childcare, something they would really enjoy.

3. Visit Employers in your area: Introduce yourself to human resources and or management. in any business. Tell them about your daycare and be sure to leave some business cards behind. Ask if you can place some on a bulletin board in the lunch room.

4. Become Good Friends with the School Secretary: Visit your local elementary school with a plate full of cookies and some business cards. Announce your new daycare and ask if they have a list of daycares in the area that do after school care. Be sure to place yourself on that list.

5. Get really excited about Halloween! Really decorate your home for Halloween and be sure to give out candy with business cards. Wear a costume and scare children as they walk up the side walk to your home. If parents see you love the holidays and you're having fun would not they be interested in coming to your daycare?

There's just a handy of fun and easy idea's I have about marketing your daycare. And as you can see most of them cost little or nothing. Having fun and making money is what it's all about.

How to Plan Your Reunions

It is a fact that class reunions come around five or ten years, so they should be a memorable experience for the attendees. Reunion attendees travel very long distances to catch up with the long-lost classmates and to find out exactly how much their beloved classmates have changed till. This is one of the many reasons to plan a high school reunion which can be difficult and expensive. However, it does not have to be both of these things. Invitations and consultants can make your high school reunion much easier!

The first step while planning your class reunion is to consider where you like it to be connected. You may need to check with classmates, as some may have access to restaurants, or hotels that could be the ideal location for the reunion. If you like to keep the total atmosphere casual, consider a barbecue at a local park. Still, the best idea may be to meet the administration of your old high school and then hold the reunion in the gymnasium or in an event room. When the classmates walk through the halls to attend the reunion, this will place the nostalgic atmosphere.

After choosing the location of the event, the invitations could be chosen. The invitation ranges from elegant one to casual, from classic to unexpected and so on. Some of the popular class reunion invitations will feature an event ticket theme. These cards are great for a funny, casual atmosphere. Invitation Consultants also will feature the invitations with a class reunion theme. These invitations will be classic and can be used for either dressy or sporty reunions. Also, elegant cards in ecru or silver with a textured or colored border will match any kind of reunion, and convey a sense of simplicity.

While planning the concrete events of the reunion, try to consider the year of graduation. Think about the movies, songs and trends that were very popular. Integrate these ideas into your theme of the reunion. For instance, take a CD of the popular songs and keep the music playing. Use many photos as you can find of your classmates as they appeared then and now how they appear. It could be an option to make inexpensive albums printed with a photograph of every classmate from high school level, along with what they are doing now, and with relevant contact information. The key here is nostalgia. Also keep in mind that guests talk with classmates, so the best part of the evening must be a time for socializing.

To plan a very successful reunion, what you have to do is to take your classmates back to a time period. For this, use music, pictures and trivia, something to remind classmates of when you were in schooldays. By bringing old classmates together and letting them to catch up old times, it will automatically bring back to a simpler time. Old friendships will be revisited and memories can be shared. These are the real ingredients desired for a successful class reunion.

Stanley Mirror Door

If you've decided your bedroom could use a makeover adding mirrored closet doors is one of the quickest and most effective ways to do this. And a Stanley mirror door is one of the best choices you can make.

Stanley has been building closet mirror doors for years and they devote a lot of time to making sure fitting the replacement doors is a quick and easy undertaking. And they also provide a variety of terrific options in style. What more could you ask for?

Nothing seems to brighten up an area and add style like a Stanley mirror door. It's the perfect way to complement your existing décor or turn up the heat and give your room a new face lift. And what a great way to show your personal style.

These mirrored doors are made from only the best quality glass. You will experience no distortion and images will be crisp and clear. The sliding system is of the highest quality providing quiet and smooth opening and closing. In fact the hardware has been tested to the equivalent of 25 years use and Stanley is so confident in its quality it comes with a lifetime warranty.

The mirrors have a safety backing so they will withstand impacts. They are available in a sliding style, swing style, or bi-fold style. The doors are easy to install and they look great not only in a bedroom but also in a family room, foyer, or bathroom.

So what are the styles available?

1. Framed Mirror Doors

Add a touch of class to any room with these beautiful framed mirror doors. Choose slider or bi-fold styles.

2. Swing Mirror Doors

The newest addition to the Stanley lines is these 6 panel mirrors which are perfect for a closet, bath, or bedroom.

3. Frameless Mirror Doors

Because of the no frame design these doors provide a beautiful uninterrupted flow that is a real compliment to any room's décor. They are available in both sliding and bi-fold styles.

4. Wood Frame Mirror Doors

The wood framed doors create quite a distinct look to any room. Choose from a variety of finishes from a rich mahogany finish to a chic white finish. The frame width is available in both 2 "" and 4 "widths. The distinction of these doors makes them an excellent choice for almost any room.

5. Classic Mirror Sliding Wardrobe Door Panels

The classic design is fitting to any room from the most traditional to a contemporary style.

6. Solid Mirror Wardrobe Door Kit

Here you can have your paneled doors match your room and then opening presents a full mirror. Nice touch to a bathroom.

There are many different manufacturers on the market that offer quality mirrored doors but Stanley has been in the business for what looks like ever and with Stanley you can certainly count on quality and pricing.

A quick search online will reveal many sites selling Stanley products so do your research and find out who has the best prices to offer. And of course check with your local dealers too.

Diwali Gifts

Diwali (also called Deepavali) the major Hindu usually takes place eighteen days after Dusshera in the month of karthika or ashwin (October/November) colloquially known as the “Festival of Lights,” it symbolises the victory of good over evil, and people traditionally lit lamps and place them around the home, in courtyards, verandahs and gardens as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. It is celebrated throughout India, as well as in Indian communities throughout the diaspora. Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships.

As with other Indian festivals, Diwali signifies many different things to people across the country. In north India, Diwali celebrates Rama’s homecoming that is his return to Ayodhya after the defeat of Ravana and his coronation as king; in Gujarat, the festival honors Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth; and in Bengal, it is associated with the goddess Kali. The lighting of the lamps is explained as a material substitute for the light of holy knowledge that was extinguished with Mahavira’s passing. Everywhere, it signifies the renewal of life, and accordingly it is common to wear new clothes on the day of the festival; similarly, it heralds the approach of winter and the beginning of the sowing season. The North Indian business community usually starts their financial new year on Diwali and new account books are opened on this day.

The celebration of Diwali festival is invariably accompanied by the exchange of sweets and the explosion of fireworks. Crackers resound and light up the earth and the sky. The faces of boys and girls flow with a rare charm in their dazzling hues and colors. And all this illumination and fireworks, joy and festivity, is to signify the victory of divine forces over those of wickedness.

However simple these may be, Indusmall excels in providing high quality Diwali gifts that ranges from traditional Indian sweets like kaju sweets, cadbury chocolates to dry fruits and Diwali gift packs. Shop Diwali gifts from this site for all your loved ones along with online e cards and corporate Diwali gifts to friends.

2007 Trends in LED Lighting

Often in the first world nations especially in places like the United States, they have figured out their energy needs and have plenty of energy. However just because a nation has plenty of energy does not mean they should have a free pass to waste that energy or to pollute the environment. Wasting anything takes no brainpower and really makes no sense at all. There are many ways to save energy through conservation and better technologies that use less of it.

LED lighting may be the answer to saving us from such hypothetical events as global warming. LED lighting is extremely efficient and illuminating due to the low power requirements it takes. If all the lights in the United States were changed to LED lighting the amount saved would mean the reduction of production of energy by nearly 30%. That is a huge savings and it also means less pollution would be generated as well.

LED lighting also makes sense for mobile applications, where generation of power is limited or non-existent. In fact there are 100s of killer applications for LED Lighting for everything from Space Ships and Space Colonies to factories, schools and stadiums. Then there are things like bikes, jogging lights, sailboats, RVs, submarines, aircraft and robotic applications to consider as well.

LED lighting is literally one of those revolutionary technologies which comes along every decade or so and yet not much attention is being paid to it. This is unfortunate although it also provides greater opportunities for start-ups and entrepreneurs who take the bull by the horns and run with it. In this subject we should also discuss a plethora of potential killer applications for LED lighting and potential futureities on the research and development fronts. I appreciate you reading this article. Perhaps this article is of interest to propel thought in 2007?

How Effective Are Complete Fire Doors For Adjacent Garages?

Do you know that you can buy a door that helps prevent the spreading of fire? They are available as complete fire doors and they were built to function as a heavy duty barrier for smoke and fire. They are not similar to the ordinary doors that most people use in their homes or buildings. These are door sets that are given custom inspections in order to check their integrity. Once a door like this is found to have some defects, they are recommended for repair or replacement.

A fire door certification will be issued for each door to determine how high the rating for each unit is. They are kept in tiptop condition so that they would be capable in protecting an area that's hit by fire. This protective function is called compartmentalization where the location of fire is kept from reaching to other areas because smoke, heat and fire can not escape the door as long as it is still standing. The conduct of regular inspections in these doors allows it to become reliable and people would be able to escape a fire disaster occurring in this place.

Inspectors of these doors are tasked to check all parts of the door, including the door frame, the seals, labels and hinges. Once any of these components are missing or missing, the proper action would be reflected in the report, giving the owner a clear idea what must be done to rectify the defects and make the doors fire-compliant again.

Homes that have an adequate garage would be sentenced to fires. It was discovered that attached garages and here are several reasons why it is vital to install complete fire doors:

Welding work – a lot of garages are places where welding happens. The sparks from welded material can land on flammable materials or combustibles so fire can occur any time.

Take note that heaters and boilers may be stored in the garage and these types of equipment may cause sparks to ignite nearby fluids or existing fumes. On the other hand, car batteries can spark in a few circumstances.

It is possible to the cars can drip fuel like oil or gasoline. If the three elements are present, ignition, oxygen and fuel, then it will not take long before the garage can be on fire. What's good with a door with fire rating is that, no matter how large the fire in the garage will be, time would be provided for the occupants of the house to escape.

Other types of materials stored in the garage would be gasoline, motor oil, flammable liquids like brake fluid, paint thinner, varnish and paint. All of these are quick to catch fire when ignited.

While nobody wants to be caught in a fire disaster, it is sensible to have a door with fire door certification so that in case this really would take place, the house will not be ruined by fire in a matter of minutes and people can still be given time to save themselves from possible harm.

Avoiding Fuel Poverty and Saving Energy by Insulating Hard-to-Heat Solid Wall Homes


Do you remember the saying “It’s the ECONOMY, stupid!”. It is a statement that has gone into political legend. But as far a global warming is concerned we need to recognise that “It’s the HOUSE, stupid”. In fact individual homes in Western Developed Nations are responsible for up to 50% of global warming – and hence climate change – problems.

Heating causes most of this because a great deal of the energy used comes from burning fossil fuels. It doesn’t matter whether this is in the home or at some remote electricity generating station. Wherever the fuel – the coal, gas, wood, oil and so on – is converted into energy it gives off carbon dioxide gas – the main “green house” gas that helps cause global warming.

In fact 25% of all the UK’s CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions come from household energy use, with 70% linked directly space heating and hot water.

Because the problem is so urgent the UK Government has decided this must be reduced by at least 20% by 2010. But at the same time it has committed to ending fuel poverty by 2015.

Both are tall orders.


Let’s first take a look at fuel poverty – where any household has to spend more than 10% of disposable income to make their home comfortable to live in.

The WHO (World Health Organisation) regards 21°C as being an adequate temperature for Living Rooms, and 18°C elsewhere. However, if it’s 2°C or less outside, 18% of UK homes fall way below this, recording only 16°C in their living rooms.

It 2000 AD there were over 5 million such homes in the UK, more than 3 million of which were solid wall properties – i.e. buildings that do not have cavity wall type construction..

Significantly 83% of people suffering from ‘fuel poverty’ are considered socially and economically ‘vulnerable’. That is to say older people, families with children and those who are disabled or have long-term illness occupy properties that are the most fuel inefficient.


Because many of them don’t spend enough on heating to reach even minimum comfort standards, their homes may be cold and damp – conditions associated with ill health and early deaths.

People living in rural areas often face additional problems, like no gas network, higher heat loss from detached properties, more solid wall construction, and general lack of good quality housing for those on low incomes.


In the UK over 60,000 cold-related deaths are recorded in the UK each year, some 40,000 of these in winter. Thus it is reckoned that exposure to cold is responsible for 30% more people dying than need to.

Cardiovascular disease accounts for 50% or more of these ‘excess’ winter deaths, while respiratory diseases are responsible for 30% or so. Although hypothermia itself is only responsible for less than 1% of these, for every degree C below the UK winter average there are 8,000 extra deaths.

Contrast this with the fact that Yakutsk in Russia – the world’s coldest city – records no excess winter deaths.


Living in cold homes affects us in the following ways:-

– Below 18 – 24 Deg C…. comfort and health

– Below 18 Deg C…….. discomfort but no serious health risk

– Below 15 Deg C……… risk of respiratory disorder

– Below 12 Deg C……. cardiovascular strain, risk of heart attack and stroke

– Below 4 Deg C……… risk of hypothermia after 2 hours

Additionally there are other effects on health. Living in a cold, damp home affects us in other ways. It exacerbates asthma and bronchitis, leads to reduced dexterity and muscle power, increases the incidence of confusion and depression, and there are many other problems related to the mould growth that can occur under such conditions.


Through the building regulations and other measures the UK Government is now pressing for even greater energy efficiency in homes. The aim is to achieve required comfort levels at lowest cost for occupiers, while simultaneously minimising damage to the environment.

However, these measures only apply to new homes, improvements and extensions. We still the need to tackle the mass of solid wall properties throughout the country. These waste an excessive amount of energy and have proved extremely difficult to insulate at anything like reasonable costs.


With around 25 million homes in the UK, almost 11 million (43%) are built of solid brick, stone, concrete, pre-1944 timber frame and other ‘non-cavity’ wall construction. To reduce CO2 emissions the need to improve their thermal insulation is of key importance.

While over the last 30 to 40 years many property owners have installed cavity wall insulation, Local Authorities, Housing Associations, private landlords and individual homeowners have largely ignored the need to Improve thermal efficiency in solid-wall properties. Mainly this has been because available solutions have been seen as disruptive and not cost effective. Consequently they have come to be regarded as “Hard to Heat Homes”. But this is not strictly true. While considered very expensive to insulate, they are not hard to heat.


Research and Development in building materials technology is now beginning to address these problems. New ideas are coming forward, like the use of nanotechnology to create insulating paints. But new applications for old ideas, like ‘magic wallpaper’, are also emerging.


For many years the problems of condensation that caused damp walls and mould growth was a major issue in homes with solid walls, many built before World War II. But it also became a problem in some building systems introduced to address the post-war housing crisis.

Finding ways to keep the surface of inside walls warm so as to reduce or prevent this condensation led to its manufacture some 30-40 years ago. Now special development work over recent years has led to a new 10cm thick variety, specifically created for energy conservation and already dubbed ‘flexible insulating lining’.


Successfully installed in thousands of local authority flats and houses throughout the UK, it is a remarkable material. Applied on the inside of external walls it significantly reduces heat loss and leads to rooms instantly feeling warmer and more comfortable. But this is not just a ‘feeling’, or sense of greater comfort. It is a reality.

Tests by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory and calculations from the National Building Research Establishment show considerable kilowatt savings. So much so that the material is now approved by the UK’s Energy Saving Trust as an Energy Saving Product, meaning it qualifies for Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) Funding and, under their Market Transformation Action schemes, is given a 50% uplift in reducing CO2.


Shown to deliver excellent carbon reduction, the annual CO2 savings for a 3 bedroomed semi-detached house are around 679 kg. – the same as can be achieved by cavity fill insulation. Not surprising then that the Energy Savings Trust recommends it for insulating solid wall homes.


Besides walls it can be applied to ceilings, including flat concrete ceilings, dormer and mansard roof ceilings. Ideal for use by proficient DIY’ers, the material is simple, quick and easy to fix with hardly any mess. It can be decorated with almost any paint, emulsion or wallpaper and can even be tiled

Netgear WNR2000 Wireless Router Review

Around a year ago I wrote an article on whether upgrading to Wireless N was worth it or not. At the time Wireless N routers were expensive and most people would not see much benefit in upgrading. Time's have changed though and wireless N routers are at rock bottom prices, and with people doing a lot more streaming of media over their LAN's then upgrading to wireless N can definitely be worth it.

The Netgear WNR2000 is probably one of the cheapest N routers currently available. Its main features are:

• Wireless N speeds of up to 300mbs (100mbps in normal conditions).

• 4 x 10/100 wired ports

• One touch connect feature

• SPI firewall

Wireless Performance – In comparison to other similar models the WNR2000 performs very well and was able to achieve speeds of just over 100mpbs between two wireless N clients. Transferring a music album took less than ten seconds. The signal strength was also impressive and coverage was very good all through a medium size house that the tests were performed in.

Remember that to get the maximum performance out of the WNR2000 your wireless clients will need wireless N cards, although the router is backwards compatible and will work with wireless G, you will not achieve the same speeds.

One Touch Feature – This is a nice little addition that allows you to connect clients at the touch of the button. The main advantage here is that you will not need to remember any passwords. The downside is that this will only work if your clients have Netgear wireless cards that support the one touch feature.

Security – Wireless security comes in various flavors, from WEP all the way up to WPA / 2 (Which is recommended). With your wireless network secure you will also be able to take advantage of the SPI firewall. This basically detects packets as they arrive from the outside internet and analyzes them for any suspicious activity. This adds a nice layer of defense to your home network and will help against any hack attempts.

Summary – The WNR2000 is a nice little router for those looking to upgrade to wireless N without any of the extra features. With that being said though you do get the SPI firewall and one touch feature with this. In addition the WNR2000 is able to perform just as fast as many other top end models for a much lower price tag.

Painting Tips – Simple And General Guidelines For Making Amazing Paintings

The play of color in a canvas is what can be called as painting. A good painting is an intellectual self-expression of its creator. It requires great aesthetic sense, artistic concepts and creative power to lay down a painting. Various schools of arts have established different theories on paintings. Ethnicpaintings one of the largest portals on art and paintings has come up with some useful painting tips to offer as first hand knowledge on painting. These tips on painting are simple and general guidelines that may help to create various forms of paintings. The amateur painters and the beginners can put a glance on the painting tips before trying their hand out. Our online art gallery will also entertain you with some of the finest paintings in the world. Drop in and get spoiled with choices.

While sketching the under-painting use light pencil or thin acrylic or oil as the base. Under-painting is just the foundation of your painting; so do not thicken it with dark tones. At first try to apply thin and light touches and then cover them up with thick layers. Put your colors on the palette and apply coats using a paintbrush. After application of the first coat let dry and then start applying the second coat.

In case of watercolor painting you can use wet cotton pieces to remove the excess paint from an unwanted area. In case of oil painting you can wipe out a layer by using oil varnish. Be very careful while preparing the mixture of paints and oil in an oil painting. Improper mixture may crack up the painting. You can use colors having lead or manganese in them, as these enhancement the drying process. Do not dry oil painting in the absence of sunlight.

Color and tone are the most important aspects of painting. It is very necessary to understand the visual effect of each shade of colors. Red, green and blue are the primary colors. These colors can create other shades of colors when blended in appropriate portions. If you are not very used to mixing shades then use particular shades that you are acquainted to.

If you are hesitant about how a specific color will look in a particular area then put the color on the palette knife and hold it near the place where you want it to apply and check out how it appears to be. While painting concentrate on your object and try to think it in terms of its dimension that is its shape, size, length, breadth and height. Work on every part of the painting simultaneously. Visualize your painting half closing your eyes from a distance at frequent intervals to get a better perception.

For comprehensive information on Painting and related topics, please visit Ethnic Paintings

Build Your Own Homemade Gold Sluice Box

Have you ever thought of going prospecting for gold? Using a sluice box may help you find more of that beautiful yellow stuff. Here how you can plan and build your own gold sluice box. These do it your self projects are popular with lots of folks, and fun to think about even if you just end up buying a store bought product. Here are some thoughts on how to build your own do It Yourself, hand fed Gold Sluice Box – I think it's a great project for beginners. A wooden sluice like this was the first piece of prospecting equipment I ever built.

A sluice box lined with riffles is one of the oldest forms of gravity separation devices still being used today. They are simple and have been in use all across the world for thousands of years. A sluice is really nothing more than an artificial channel lined with devices to catch gold through which water flows, moving the lighter materials such as clay, sands and gravels out of the sluice. They heavy materials remain behind, trapped by the riffles. For many years, most sluice boxes were home made affairs designed and built in the gold prospector himself. To this day, in the gold bearing regions of third world countries, prospects design and build sluice boxes out the most unusual items – sometimes whatever materials are available locally. You do not really need any special sluice box plans – the exact size is really not all that critical.

Making your own gold sluice is actually a very good beginning project for new prospects in my opinion. Just take a close look at the sluices being offered by the manufacturers, and that will show you how to build your own sluice box. It will not be difficult to get some ideas to make your own plans. Sluice boxes can be made out of wood, aluminum, plastic or steel. Injection molded plastic is not really an option easily available to the do-it-yourself prospector, and steel has a tendency to rust, so wood and aluminum are the preferred options.

In developing plans for a homemade sluice box, the more time you spend thinking about your design, the better. You do not want to have to buy parts you do not need, but on the other hand your slice box needs to work and catch the gold efficiently. A good plan and a good understanding of how a sluice box traps gold are important to your design. I think using miners moss underneath your riffles is a real important item for capturing that fine gold. That is why miners moss is used in the sluices of almost all commercial suction gold dredges. Having a liner underneath the riffles is an important aid in catching small gold dust, and is very worthwhile. I went with miners moss under all the riffs in my sluice, and I strongly recommend it for you.

The typical wooden home sluice is made of boards and varies in width from 8 to 18 inches, usually with a depth of 6 inches to a foot. A typical length would be in the three to 6 foot range. Riffles can be made from half inch square dowel nailed about every 6 inches down the length of the sluice. The section without riffles in the top of the box about a foot long is often left for the spot where material shoveled in. This type of sluice box does catch gold, and is easy to build, but is hard to clean out at the end of the day. In addition, the gravel will beat up the wooden riffles over time. It is also possible to create steel riffs that fit inside a wooden sluice, and in that case you can also use miners Moss or some similar material to line the bottom of the sluice underneath the metal riffles.
Homemade sluices can also be made from lightweight aluminum. Wooden sluices tend to become waterlogged in increased very in weight after they have been in the water for time. This gives aluminum quite an advantage and it is certainly preferred in the construction of the homeware sluice. The trough of the sluice, whether aluminum or wood, is usually rough about the same size.

For those interested in making their own home made hand fed sluice box from aluminum with steel riffles as a do it yourself type of project, I can say If you have any metal fabrication skills, you will find this an easy project. A little welding, a little metal folding and the project is done. If you purchase fairly thin aluminum sheet it will be able to bend it yourself into the trough shape as a single piece (just do not go too thin). More information and detail can be found on the authors website.

Alternative Health

Certain alternative or complementary therapies are gaining credence among doctors as well as patients. But how much do you know about acupuncture and aromatherapy … etc

Acupuncture And Other Techniques
Practitioners believe a type of body energy flows along channels called meridians. Therapists therefore work on certain points of the body to increase, release or calm the flow. They use needles (acupuncture); fingers (acupressure); electric current (electro-acupuncture); a laser beam or magnet; colored light (color acupuncture) or a burning herb (moxibustion). Auriculo-therapy means that only the ear is worked on. Acu technique may help conditions such as back pain, nausea, fibromyalgia and migraine.

Alexander Technique
This uses various exercises, manoeuvrings and practical tips to re-educate movement and posture. The aim is to avoid unnecessary muscle tension, which saps energy and encourages illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, headaches, backache, indigestion and high blood pressure.

This uses aromatic plant oils, such as lavender, ylang-ylang, geranium, neroli and rose. It can lift spirits, encourage relaxation, boost energy and head illness. Apply essential oil (diluted if necessary) to the skin, add it to bath water or inhale its vapor. Particularly good for stress.

Art Therapy
Using shapes, colors, lightness, and darkness when creating pictures or sculptures, for example, can symbolize the way you are feeling, and release emotions in a non-destructive way. Helps heal depression, stress and addictive behaviors, such as eating disorders, drinking too much or being a workaholic.

Anger Management And Assertion Training
Special group workshops or one to one therapy training can help people understand their anger and use it positively, in ways that do not damage themselves or others. People can learn skills to help them be assertive rather than passive and / or aggressive. Boosts well being by relieving mental strain.

Bates Method
Involves exercises and advice to relieve eye strain and improve sight. Exercises used in this program include frequently looking up from close work to focus on something far away; screwing up your eyes or blinking; covering the eyes with the palms of the hands and splashing the eyes with warm and cold water.

Biofeedback Training
Electrical devices that register muscle tension, sweating or brainwaves help you recognize signs or stress. You can then focus on using relaxation exercise whenever necessary. With practice, this counteracts stress related illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and migraine.

These are rhythmical variations in the body's energy, appetite, sexuality and fertility, mainly due to regular exposure to light and darkness, which effects the production of hormones and neurotransmitters (nerve message carries). Going out in bright daylight for at least half an hour each day and getting enough sleep in a darkened room at night can normalize biorhythms. This helps combat winter fatigue and depression, sleep and fertility problems, shift work disruption, jet lag and Alzheimer's disease.

Your Attitude – Here Are 5 Things You Should Include In Your Attitude To Be Successful In Business

More people are becoming entrepreneurs. They are pushing the boundaries and they are taking their future into their own hands. According to business magazine, 8 out of 14 people are not satisfied with their current job. To help you, I have shared 5 things that I believe you should include in your attitude if you wish to have success in business.

You will have to include these things into your attitude:

#1 Passion

Passion is the ultimate driving force. Great passion can allow you to get new partners and clients. Passion is fueled with both tangible and intangible reasons on why you should start your business journey. When your journey starts to become bumpy and discouraging, focus on tangible reasons on why you should keep pursuing your dreams. What I recommend you do is hang out with the people who will give you constructive criticism and people who will praise you when you experience victories.

#2 God-consciousness

In my opinion, natural activities are controlled by spiritual components. In my opinion, the highest of all the components is God. He will give you ideas and help you on your journey to becoming wealthy. In my opinion, your association with God is key to your success.

#3 How you deal with fear

In my opinion, fear sucks. No one has ever lived without experiencing fear. If you can get to the root of what is causing fear in your heart, at any point of your journey to success, you will be able to deal with fear easily. Learn to become courageous. You will face many things that will potentially scare you, so prepare yourself and always move forward.

#4 Self-motivation

In my opinion, one of the best things you can do is motivate yourself. Your family members and colleagues will not be able to motivate you forever. You will have to develop the skill of motivating not only yourself, but your business partners as well.

#5 Your love for what you do

An entrepreneur that is lazy has never survived the test of time. In my opinion, laziness is the foe of progress. Laziness will stall your ability to innovate and grow. Make sure that your business keeps you happy and interested.

Do not start on your journey by yourself. I would recommend that you seek help from the experts who have been in the arena before. Fortunately for you, there are experts who offer free reports on how you can build your own wealth and build your own brand.

Are You Managing Your Life Or is Your Life Managing You?

You are a manager. You manage your time, your finances, your children, your household, your health and your pleasures. Or do they manage you?

If I had a dime for every time someone told me they had too much on their plate or that there was not enough time in the day to accomplish everything I would be able to retire by now. Well …. at least I would have a bunch of dimes anyway.

The last time I read it, the bible instructor man to take dominion over everything, not for everything to take dominion over man. It is called management. The art of scheduling, coordinating and effectively accomplishing things that need to be done in order for things to run smooth.

How well do you manage your time? Do you never seem to have enough at the end of the day? Are you stressed and tired all the time? Do you never have time for you, your family or even God anymore? How about fun? When was the last time you did something just for the fun of it?

The best way to get your time in order is to prioritize what you do in the importance it needs to be done and say NO to the things that do not fit. Put them on the calendar, tape them to your monitor, mirror or anywhere else you will see them and if you need to find someone to help hold you accountable.

Start with the following:

1. Schedule Time with God : This will prepare and equip you for the things the world will throw at you. Ignore this and you are setting yourself up for a bad day

2. Schedule time with your spouse if you are married. Get away a minimum of one evening a week and one weekend a quarter. This will help keep your marriage strong. If you skip this step, you may be scheduling an appointment with an attorney.

3. Schedule time with your children if you have them. Again, if they are that important to you, prove it. Love is time spent, not money spent. Skip this step and your time may be sent going to councilors or court appearances or worse yet the morgue !!

4. Schedule time with yourself. You need time to clear your mind and unwind. Pamper yourself, do something you enjoy. Take this time to analyze your life, dreams and goals. See if you are making progress and still headed in the right direction.

5. Schedule time to improve yourself. Knowledge is power. Reading, listening to educational and motivational Cd's. continuing education, online courses, all will help you grow. If you are not learning, you are not growing. Not as a spouse, an employee, a parent, nor spiritually. If you do not grow, neither will your relationships with God, your family or your bank account.

6. Clean Your Plate. If you are like most people, you are saying; "Yeah right! I would need an extra 2 days in the week to do those things." WRONG! God gave everyone 24 hours in a day and that is sufficient time to do everything we need to do PLUS have time left over for our desires as well. The most successful people ALWAYS make time for the things above. ALWAYS! Who said the kids had to be booked every evening of the week? Booking them for every extra activity does not make you a better parent. As a matter of fact, I know many instances where it hurts the children and their relationship with the parents. Who said you had to be at every function the church puts on? Who forced you to volunteer for so many things? Take some time to clean your plate. Learn how to say "No". Resign from so many positions, Allow the kids some time to breath and if you have to work 60 hours a week just to survive, maybe you should liquidate some of the debt you have so you can actually enjoy life for a change.

Bottom line folks; If someone came in to look and see how you were managing your life, how would they rate you?

You know what else? Someone is looking and they will one day ask you to explain what you did with the life he gave you. (Ouch!)