Bloons the Original – Interesting Levels – 4, 42, 46 and 50

Level 4 (Triangles)

35 bloons required to complete the level. You have a total of five triangles of bloons. Aim towards the left of the left hand triangle, this will take out many bloons as the dart moves through its arc. With the remaining darts, aim towards the leftmost dart of each section remaining. It isn’t too hard to actually complete this level rather than achieve a percentage.

Level 42 (Chilly Chips)

42 balloons required to complete the level. With your first dart be careful to miss the ice bloons on the left. Use the dart to pop as many as possible of the group in the center of the screen. Next get as many of the triple darts as you can, include the ice bloon to their right as it will not affect the remainder of the level. With the triple dart aim to get as many of the regular bloons on the left as possible and then, with your final dart take out the whole row of ice bloons to raise your score.

Level 46 (Ears)

25 balloons required to complete the level. There are so many ways of trying to do this level, all fairly straight forward provided you miss the ice bloons. The easiest may be to do a low level arc with the first shot over the ice bloon on the left side. Another shot in the center going over the wall and coming down between it and the ice bloon. Finally go for wherever the most bloons are left, probably at the bottom of the screen.

Level 50 (The End)

50 balloons required to complete the level. Well you take a first look at the screen and think “no way”. However, just hit the red bloon to the right of the monkey and watch the final screen unfold before your eyes. Congratulations!

Archery Tips – Common Beginner Mistakes

Archery is a simple sport to pick-up, but a hard one to master. No matter what archery tips you receive, if you do not practice, you will not be able to put them to good use, and you will not improve. Considering this, there are many mistakes that are common among beginners and sometimes even among more experienced archers. Correcting these mistakes will help you greatly improve your archery skills and accuracy.

· Poor stance is very common among beginners. One of the most important archery lessons should be concerning the foundation of form in archery, which is the T-shaped form stance. Stand perpendicular to the target with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your weight even on both legs. Raise your arms to form a T, turn your head to look at the target, and move your drawing hand to your face. That is the foundation of form.

· Gripping the bow handle tightly is another mistake. Your grip on the bow needs to be soft and relaxed; otherwise, the bow will move and rotate. This rotation will cause your arrows to have a kick to the sides, causing accuracy problems.

· Many beginners lack consistent anchor points. These are the positions on the face where the hand is placed consistently when the bowstring is at full draw. When these anchor points lack consistency, the draw lengths will change from shot to shot, leading to inconsistent results. It is recommended to have a minimum of 2 anchor points, one for your index finger, and another for the bowstring. A very popular anchor has the index finger under the chin with the nose touching or almost touching the bowstring. You should choose comfortable anchor points in such a way that your archery clothing will not interfere.

· A loose upper back is common as well. As you draw the bowstring, engage your upper back muscles and retract your scapula. This provides you with more power and more upper body stability, leading to better shots.

· Relaxation and concentration are important parts of archery. Those undertaking archery need to relax, breathe in, clear their mind, and concentrate on their target. If your mind is racing and your breathing is short or erratic, then your aim will be erratic as well.

· Many beginners do not follow-through with their shots. Most bring down their bow arm to and lose their form as soon as the arrow is propelled because they want to see where their arrow will land. What happens in this case is that the bow arm is brought down too early, causing the arrow trajectory to shift, which leads to missed shots. Keep the form mentioned in the first point until the arrow hits the target, and you will notice an increase in accuracy.

These are some of the most common mistakes seen with those who starting archery. Avoiding these mistakes and following the corresponding archery tips will surely help any beginner drastically improve their archery skills.

5 Most Common Roof Problems Roofing Contractors Can Take Care Of

The roof makes one of the most important parts of your home or property. This is the part that directly defends you against harmful environmental and climatic elements. Your roofing system should therefore be designed to last long and keep your valuables safe and protected. However, depending on the type of roof you have installed and the conditions in your location, it is not uncommon to face several roof issues some of which require professional repairs or even call for roof replacements.

Fortunately, roofing contractors have what it takes to restore your roof and they are able to take care of any problem you could be facing with your roof. But considering that some of the problems can be costly, it is best that you have regular roof inspections and maintenance so that small issues are handled before they develop into bigger expensive ones. Below are the most common roof issues you might face.

1. Shingle damage – The aesthetic roofing option protects underlying structures of the roof from the elements. But over time they can weaken because of UV rays, wind and rain. Warped shingles, missing or broken shingles will necessitate roof repairs and your roofing contractor will be able to offer the solutions that you need for this.

2. Roof leaks – They are major roofing problems and they always should be fixed as soon as they are identified before they cause damage to your property and valuables. Because some of the leaks can be hard to identify until there is clear water damage signs, you are safer scheduling regular inspection of the roof and property to ensure that the roof is watertight and to have any problem areas handled before they develop into anything major.

3. Ponding water – If you notice standing water on the roof, then you definitely have a drainage problem that needs to be fixed. The best way to tell whether you have drainage issues is to check your roof after a rainstorm. For slanted roofs, the gutters need to be clear of any debris to ensure that the water drains appropriately. It is best to have such issues taken care of before you start seeing water stains on your ceiling.

4. Penetrations and punctures – They are usually a result of damage to the roofing material either by hail or wind. Usually the flashing and sealant around penetrations can get damaged leaving some parts of the roof exposed and not functional as they should be. It helps to have regular checks done on the roof to ensure that everything, including the sealant is actually in place and serving its purpose.

5. Tree damage – Trees around your home can be very beneficial in keeping the air around your home fresh and offering shade for sunny days. However, when you have tree branches hanging dangerously over your roof, you risk having lots of roof issues. The limbs could end up, rubbing and abrading the surface of the roof wearing offer the protective layer on top. There is also a risk of the branches falling onto the roof and causing serious damage.

Considering Buying a Wall Mounted Vanity?

Wall mount vanities are a very big trend. They are for the contemporary home with sleek styles and finishes. If you have a contemporary flair and remodeling your bathroom, a wall mount vanity will make a big impression. Since there is no bottom to the vanity it makes it really easy to clean as well. It sounds like an easy decision to make if you like the style but be forewarned. It may cost a lot more than what you may expect.

The installation of the wall mount vanity is where the cost can go up significantly over a floor mount vanity. Before making any purchase, discuss the costs with contractor so the expense is known upfront. Many contractors have never installed a wall mount vanity but they’ll tell you it’s no problem. It’s not unfair to question your contractor’s experience. If they have no experience, later they may come back to you with “unforeseen” issues and demand more money. It is important to discuss those details before the purchase is made and even then there still may be something “unforeseen”. This is unfortunately true with most aspects of the renovation process.

There are two main issues to address with your contractor when installing a wall mount vanity. First, discuss the installation to the wall. Since you won’t have the vanity yet, you may not know how it’s supposed to be installed. There may or may not be installation instructions available in advance or at all. This is more common than you may think but the industry is starting to provide more information overall. The installation is more about the wall and the stud and less about the vanity itself. Reinforcing the entire vanity wall before tiling is widely recommended. The vanity is normally bolted to the wall. Second, be sure to address the location of the plumbing supply lines and drain. Many wall hung vanities have a U-shaped cut-out to accommodate the drain. This is especially common for any vanity with drawers in the center. The supply lines and drain need to fall within the frame of the vanity and they must be centered if there are any U-shaped cut-outs. If the vanity is open on the inside without shelves or cut-outs then the plumbing doesn’t have to be in the center but it is more visually appealing when you open the vanity doors. If you will need to move the plumbing to accommodate the vanity, please discuss the additional labor costs before you purchase the vanity.

By addressing these two major issues with your contractor prior to your purchase, you will confidently understand the total cost involved with purchasing a wall mounted vanity. If you are doing new construction, you will still need to review the vanity specifications with the contractor.

Good luck with your renovation and wall mount vanity purchase!

Field Hockey Warm-Up Drills

Before starting any sports practice or game, you must make sure to run a thorough warm-up that gets players both physically and mentally ready to play. A good warm-up routine includes both a cardiovascular component such as running and a series of stretches that highlight the muscles used most during the sport in question.

The following field hockey warm-up drills are an excellent addition to any warm-up routine since they emphasize the basic skills of the game while getting the joints moving and the blood flowing to avoid later injury.

One thing I’ve noticed in my years of coaching field hockey is that players hate running laps. So at our field hockey practices we’ve replaced running laps with a 5-minute long version of freeze tag. Tag is an excellent way to get players running around while keeping their minds more active than if they were simply running laps around the field.

After the cardiovascular section of your warm-up is completed, it is time for the stretching. I like to start off with head rolls and neck stretches and make my way down. If you have no experience leading a stretching routine, don’t hesitate to contact other coaches or a certified yoga instruction for some guidance on which stretches are not to be missed for your field hockey team.

Hits and Misses

Once you’ve finished stretching your team’s muscles, it is time to begin the field hockey warm-up drills. When selecting drills for your warm-up, look for simple drills that emphasize the basic skills of the game without pushing players too far–save that for the conditioning drills!

The first warm-up drill I like to use at my field hockey practices is a basic hitting drill, since the hit is hockey’s most basic and useful skill. For this hitting drill, I divide my team into partners and have them stand facing each other 10 feet apart to start off with.

When running this and all other warm-up drills, the emphasis is on perfect form. For example, when hitting it is important to make sure the player’s hands are firmly together near the top of the stick. Use the hands and wrists to bring the stick backwards, and the goal should be to hit the lower half of the ball when the stick is brought back down. Don’t forget to follow though with the stick after the hit is completed. Another thing to remember is to keep the feet parallel to the direction you want the ball to go.

I have my players hit back and forth for 2 minutes at this distance, then I blow my whistle and have each player back up one giant step, repeating this process two more times before moving on to the next drill.

Push Pass Perfection

The next of the field hockey warm-up drills focuses on the push pass, which is a better way than hitting for moving the ball over large distances. Using the same partners as before, have your players stand anywhere from 20 to 40 feet apart and push pass to each other.

The form of the push pass differs slightly from that of the hit. For the push pass, players are to place their left hand near the top of the stick with the right hand further down. Keeping their eye on the ball with their knees bent, players are to shift their weight from the back foot to the front as contact is made with the ball. As with the hit, make sure to follow through completely. The follow through is complete when the stick is pointing towards the direction of the pass.

Power Plant Lakes in Texas

Winter time in the Lake Texoma area normally drops our lake’s water temperature into the forties and it also positions fish on deep water structure. While some days can be highlighted with good numbers and size of smallmouth, largemouth or striper, many are sluggish. For those anglers looking to remedy the slower action during our winter months, there are a few options not too far away.

If you are an avid fisherman or woman and haven’t experienced one of the warm water power plant lakes, you are missing out on some remarkable winter time bass fishing. Lakes Welsh and Monticello, located a couple of hours east of the Lake Texoma area along Interstate 30, offer a unique change to typical winter fishing patterns. As most lakes are slowing down for the months of December and January, the largemouth bass on Welsh and Monticello are in prime pre-spawn and spawning modes.

Both of these East Texas lakes are only one to two thousand acres in size and are utilized in the cooling of coal burning power plants located on their banks. Because of the small size and continuous inflow of warm water, these lakes remain in the 60-80 degree range throughout the winter. Lakes Welch and Monticello are excellent for numbers of fish, but are also famous for big bass as each has once held the Texas state record.

Lake Welsh, built in 1976, is a 1,200 acre reservoir located just south of Mt. Pleasant, TX. Anglers will find a multitude of fishing options as the lake has plenty of flooded timber and hydrilla and milfoil aquatic grasses. Some of the best winter fishing is to target both pre-spawn and spawning bass by throwing weight-less soft plastics in and around the edges of the flooded grass. The lake record largemouth bass, caught in December of 1983, is a hefty 15.23 pound fish. Welsh is an 18 inch minimum lake for all species of bass and is accessible by the one public boat ramp built on its west shore.

Lake Monticello, a 2,000 acre impoundment, was built in 1972 and is located just south of Interstate 30 between the towns of Mt. Vernon and Mt. Pleasant, TX. This lake is responsible for the lunker bass boom that began in the early ’80’s. Its lake record bass (14.90 pounds), caught in February of 1980, broke the previous Texas state record that was held for 37 years. When word of the fourteen pound largemouth spread throughout the state, Lake Monticello became one of the premier bass lakes in the southwest.

This East Texas Lake also has a variety of cover for anglers to fish including flooded timber, hydrilla and lily-pads. Some of the best winter time bass fishing is located on the northern end of the lake. Anglers can pursue spawning fish with soft plastics and spinner-baits in and around the dead lily-pad stems found in its two northern creeks. Another area to fish is just outside the hot water discharge. Carolina rigs and crank-baits work well on schooling fish that are positioned in the current. Lake Monticello has a 14 to 21 inch slot limit for bass that offers a great opportunity to catch multiple four to five pound fish.

The best time to plan a trip to these lakes is during the week as most weekends play host tournaments during the winter months. If you have never been to a power plant lake, use extreme caution when boating in the early morning hours as a thick fog will cover the entire surface. Visibility will only be a few feet until the sun warms the surrounding air.

Normally the coldest days of winter are the best on these power plant lakes. Dress in layers for warmth but also remember that the surface of the lake will be warmer than the adjacent land. If your hands or fingers get numb from the cold, just stick them in the water to heat up.

How to Build a Pitching Mound in Your Backyard

There are a few basic issues about backyard pitching mounds which must be initially considered. The first being, buying a pre-made portable pitching mound is expense, $700 to $1500 + depending on quality and accessories, secondly, to actually build a dirt pitching mound is an enormous amount of work, cost and should probably be undertaken only by a skilled professional due to the slope requirement.

Great, all I wanted was a pitching mound in my back yard which I could practice throwing off and you’re telling me I need a ton of money to do it. Oh contraire my friend. If you have moderate building skills, I’m going to show you how to build a perfect practice pitching mound for a mere $200 or less if you have spare lumber around the house.

Finished Size 4′ wide – 8′ long with 2′ top and 6′ downward slope.

Required Material:

1. 5 – 2″ x 10″ x 8′

2. 1 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′

3. 1 sheet – 4′ x 8′ Plywood ** There are two factors to consider when buying the plywood, ¾” plywood is much stronger and stiffer than ½” plywood, negating any softness in the platform, but it’s also much heavier and more costly.

4. 1 – 4′ x 8′ piece of Astroturf and contact cement.

Step 1

Place your tape measure on the end of one 2″ x 10″ x 8′ and measure down 2′ and make a pencil mark.

Beginning at this 2′ mark, which is the edge of your platform base, (top of the pitching mound) begin your marking for your down slope by measuring down 1′ – then measure down 1″, another foot and measure 2″ down, another foot and 3″ down until reaching the end of the board.

Step 2

Using a chalk line, hold it at the 2′ mark and extend to the bottom, snap a line and it’ll mark the downward slope of the pitching mound, which is 1″ drop for every foot of slope. Using a power saw, carefully cut along this line, which will give you a template to produce 4 identical 2″ x 10″ pieces.

Step 3

Lay the 4 stringers out equally spaced apart. Attach a 2″ x 10″ x 4′ to the back of each stringer. Attach a 2″ x 4″ x 4′ to the front of the stringers. I’d advise cutting 2″ x 4″ or 2″ x 10″ pieces and attach them in between the stringers at the beginning of the mound’s downward slope. You’ll have extra wood from the bracing.

Step 4

Cut a 2′ x 4′ piece of plywood and attach it to the mound’s flat area. Use the remaining plywood to cover the slope. Use at least ½” screws placed every 4″ apart to secure the plywood to the framing, you don’t want any wobbling.

Step 5

Cover top area with contact cement and attach 2’x4′ piece of Astroturf. Repeat for the slope using remaining Astroturf and contact cement.

Tips:

*** You can try to attach Astroturf as one piece, but it’s quite difficult to transcend the flat to slope without cutting it.

*** The finished pitching mound will be very heavy, it’s suggested you place it where you want it before attaching the plywood.

*** You can install a pitching rubber or a piece of wood simulating a pitching rubber for better accuracy of foot placement, with screws.

This mound, although possibly crude looking in comparison to a $1500 pre-made mound, fulfills every requirement needed to practice throwing off a pitching mound, which is totally different from throwing on a flat surface, and for a possible ZERO cost.

What Materials Are Used to Make Printed Circuit Boards?

Printed Circuit Boards are also called a PCB. They are inexpensive boards that are used to connect electronic components. They are often made under high volume production through the electronics industry. Quality control of these boards are maintained through the IPC.

The materials that are used to comprise PCBs are usually made from a copper conduit layer that contains an overlay of laminate. The laminate that covers the board is usually made from an epoxy resin, which is somewhat like a hard plastic. Most of these products are green in color due to the resin that is used to cover the board, which is a green epoxy. However, there are other colors that are available through different types of laminating materials. These materials include cotton paper mixed with epoxy as well as woven glass with epoxy. The standard for creating PCBs, when it comes to materials, is using a thin layer of copper along with a green mask epoxy.

There are a process of electroplating steps that are then used in the board, depending upon how the board is going to be used. These include silk screen printing as well as photo engraving. These processes either etch out the unwanted copper or use a chemical etching process to remove the copper foil.

Some of the printed circuit boards are comprised of several thin boards put together, these are usually known as multi layer boards. Once the PCB is created, the PCBs are mounted with the various components that are needed in order to get them to work properly. These boards are used in most aspects of the electronics industry and have been around for over 100 years.

Companies that create printed circuit boards can create them specifically for the intention of the customer as well as their needs. Those who have a business in the electronics field can hire a company to create a custom board for their company with the exact specifications that they need to operate their electronic equipment. The printed circuit board will be created from both the conduit and non-conduit materials, provided with the correct electronic components and then tested to make certain that it works properly. It will then be protected in packaging for delivery to the customer.

Businesses can easy find online companies that will be able to provide them with custom printed boards online. As most printed circuit boards are all created from the same type of materials, it often pays to get the boards from an online dealer rather than through a computer or electronics stores.

Album Review: Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

Chicago native Andrew Bird's latest offering "Break it Yourself" stays true to the clever wit and one-of-a-kind whimsy that fans have come to expect from his music.

As a master of blending virtuoso violin playing and a signature whistling style that's seemless in its own right (among other delightful flourishes), Bird manages to always effortlessly maintain a pop sensibility that warrants repeat playing without becoming too dull. It's no different this time around.

On "Desperation Breeds", the album's opener, Bird delicately ruminates on the world's bee shortage before slowly breaking into a high pitched violin squal that that dips into a frenzy of his trademark fingering skills. It almost literally looks to channel the frustration and confusion of the bees themselves.

"Eyeoneye", a track that manages to correlate heartbreak and the complications of a tumor called a teratoma is as catchy as anything he's done in the past, if not more so. The driving force of the melody makes vulnerability seem like a fun experience that no one should miss out on. This is especially clear towards the end when he sings / chants "Go ahead and defibrillate yourself" before the pounding drums build to a crescendo … and then fizzle with, of course, a light whistle; as if we just ran a hardcore marathon like it was nothing. Exhaustion does not exist here, but exultation.

The hearbreak theme continues in "Near Death Experience Experience", where the happiness of surviving a plane crash is dancing "… like cancer survivors … grateful simply to be alive". But do not let the dark subject matter fool you. The careful mood of the song is so happy it's like skipping down a sidewalk under a row of apple trees. Only when the apples hit your head do you realize the power conveyed in the lyrics of triumph over pain.

Who knew the subject of conquering fear and doubt could be so purely gorgeous? Take "Fatal Shore", where a mellow Mr. Bird mediates on the subject as quietly subdued as ever, but no less emotionally powerful as some of his best tracks. The drums gently tap along with the guitar and bass like a gentle stroke on an aching back as Bird and vocalist Nora O'Connor harmonize beautifully while repeating such lyrics as "You never know any doubt like we who break in and out".

A welcome comeback since 2009's "Noble Beast", we get a record not quite as immediately accessible or endlessly playful, but one that still stands as strong as most of his best work does. The details become more evident with each listen, and that's when the realization sets in: "Break it Yourself" is not just an album about a break-up. It's actually a complete, beeing entity, not too unlike a heart with its own love to give.

I personally would not want to break this kind of heart by myself. That's where you, the listener, comes in … to feel the joy of heartbreak. An oxymoron that only makes sense in Andrew Bird's world.

How Does a Phone System Work?

One of the greatest inventions of mankind is the telephone. Over the years, it has evolved into something that provides utmost convenience to its users. It does not only have the function of transmitting your voice from one end to another but it does that in a clear, wireless way.

How Does It Really Work?
Basically, it functions using what they call a PSTN or a Public Switch Telephone Network. This is a particular network that houses the use of numeric switches that allow signal transmission through fiber optic cables and wires. Fiber optic cables are the most flawless form of transmission and also the fastest which enables it to transmit signal even when there are information traffics.

A typical phone system has a receiver. This receiver can pick up signals. It also has a microphone-that mouthpiece with holes in it, that allows data to be converted. It will pass in the communication pathway to be delivered to the person you are calling. This is much the same process of wireless phones too. Only in wireless, they can utilize a satellite dish.

The Evolution Of PSTN
It has slowly evolved over the past few years. The first major change was pushed in the early 1960s. The then analog phone systems were adjusted into T1 carrier structures. Unlike the previous analog systems, this allows the use of 3 KHz of voice transmission signal. It is a wider voice channel but somehow it did not make it quite as big as what the inventors expected it to.

Digital transmission then progressed to the use of fiber optic cables. This kind of transmission cost much less than the analog ones which is why they were immediately embroced by the public.

Telephone Over IP
Now, there is also what we call the Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP. This allows users to call using the telephone but channeling through IP networks. This internet telephone system is now widely used due to its affordability and reliability. Even businesses now employ the use of VoIP.

There is a marked disadvantage despite. In comparison to the usual phones, if there is a power interruption, VoIP functions cease without you use UPS or Uninterruptible power supply. Also, with this type of phone system, you do not have a stationary and fixed address. This can be a problem if you want to call fire department or 911. However, the advantages still do outweigh the disadvantages.

Five Kids Craft Ideas – Eggshell Igloos, Puzzles, Construction Set, Paper Hat and Mexican Balero

Looking for some craft ideas that you can easily make with items around your house? Here are five kids craft ideas!

Eggshell Igloos: Eggshells can be used to make some very real-looking Eskimo houses. Use a pencil to draw doorways on the eggshells and to indicate the blocks of ice from which real igloos are made. Paste the eggshell edges to a piece of cotton so it will look as though the igloos are surrounded with snow.

Jigsaw Puzzles: A series of jigsaw puzzles will make a good present to take with you when you go to play at someone else’s house. Brightly colored greeting cards make good puzzles, especially those printed on heavy paper. Cut each greeting card into ten or twelve irregular shapes, then put the pieces in a clean, white envelope. A good way to keep the puzzles identified is to write on the front of each envelope a short description of the puzzle picture.

Match-Box Construction Set: A collection of match boxes (the kind that are used for safety matches) makes a splendid toy-construction set. The boxes may be used as separate blocks or may be joined together by pushing half of the inside of one box into the covering of a second box. Various building projects can be made with a match-box construction set.

Tissue-Paper Hat: Holiday season is a good time to make play hats because it is then usually possible to find some large pieces of fancy wrapping paper. Try to find a piece of paper that is around twenty inches long and ten inches wide. First fold the paper crosswise and pasted down on one end. Then fold a triangle at the top, and after that fold the peak down. Stickers can be used to hold the hat in place.

Mexican Balero: A home-made version of this toy is easy to make. Use a large spool, a pencil and a flat-bottomed paper cup. Punch a hole in the bottom of the cup and pull a string through the hole, then tie a knot in the end of the string so that the cup will not slip off. Tie the other end of the string to the pencil. The object of playing with this toy balero is to hold it by the pencil and toss up the cup so as to catch it on the spool.

Celebrity Autographed Checks

Autographs from celebrities have been collected for centuries. For many years the most common form an autograph available to collectors a letter, either handwritten or typed, a document, or on a photograph. Many autograph collectors prefer cancelled checks signed by celebrities.

Why are cancelled checks so attractive for autograph collectors? Checks signed by celebrities are desirable for many reasons. The primary reason is that signatures on cancelled financial documents are usually real. Unlike photographs, slips of paper, or index cards where a signature may be open to question, a cancelled financial draft is a legal document where a signature has been authenticated by a financial institution. Forgers would not usually bother to forge a celebrity signature on a cancelled check because it is usually not a cost-effective method of deception. Besides, forgers of legal documents checks are subject to a variety of commerce laws where punishments can be quite severe.

Checks can be so attractive. Unlike many modern checks with similar styles and conventional logos, vintage checks have elaborate engravings and beautiful imprints. They can be quite attractive. Many financial documents have the added benefit of handwriting of the celebrity in the body of the check. The additional handwriting is also useful for validating the authenticity of the document.

Checks are a moment in history that can be very revealing. We have seen financial documents from Edgar Allan Poe to his publisher, a bounced draft from James Dean to the New York Telephone Company, and a curious check from Robert Frost to a travel agency. Why is the travel agency on the Frost check so remarkable? Well, it was written shortly before he traveled to Washington to recite poetry at John Kennedy’s presidential inauguration. The handwritten draft by Frost to his travel agency was probably related to travel expenses to attend the inauguration.

Certain dealers and collectors specialize in checks autographed by celebrities. So consult with a knowledgeable financial document collector before you throw away your shoebox of cancelled checks stored in your attic or basement. You could be sitting on a treasure trove of great autographs.

A Data Scientist Is More Successful When He Is A Skillful Story Teller

These days business houses are stockpiling a huge amount of data which is often considered as the precious asset for the companies. It is surprising to know that more than 90% of the data which is available in nowadays has been generated in the last two years. In earlier days, due to the scant knowledge, the companies didn’t know how to extract the meaningful and relevant information from this stored data. But the advent of data analytics has successfully bridged the gap between the company and this unpolished data.

So, it can be concluded that the data analytics has completely changed the vision of the companies and by using the comprehensive business analytics, the companies can take the right decisions which will help them to surpass their contenders. Hence, the organizations are accentuating on data analysis which is extracted from raw data by specialized computer programs and are cultivating their employees regarding how to accustom and publicize the information that they are getting from these organized data.

Since the importance of data analytics is burgeoning day by day, hence the companies are appointing the sagacious professionals who will provide the company with the wider insights of the structured data. A data scientist will be responsible for designing and implementing various processes and different layouts for the intricate and large-scale datasets that are basically used for modelling, data mining, and various research purposes.

What are the core responsibilities of a data scientist? Why they became an integral part of every business?

Need to take care of those data which affect the organization most: A data scientist’s core job is to identify the most relevant data which will help the organization to make the right decisions so that they can proliferate their business and growth. A data scientist usually dives into the pool of data and with his expertise and knowledge, he used to find all the imperative information and ignores other irrelevant data so that the company can take the apt decisions quickly. Suppose a company deals with mobile phones, then they should try to find out who are using their phones currently? How can they find more users like them? Only a pedantic data scientist can answer these questions and hence, the companies are employing more data scientists into their core team.

Need to present data in such a way that anyone can understand it: Though a data scientist should be well-equipped with all the technical and machine languages like R, Python, etc., but he should present the data in a facile and simpler way so that even a layman can understand the insight from the data. A data scientist should never show a regression analysis or a plot from R because only a few people have an adequate knowledge regarding these. Rather he should present the data in a story telling way which consists of simple slides and visuals instead of numbers. Visualizing and communicating data are equally important, specially for the nascent companies who are making the data-driven decisions for the first time or the companies where these professionals are viewed as people who help others making data-oriented decisions. In this way, everyone in a company should understand which portions or departments of the company need further improvement.

Help in the promotions and other marketing strategies: A data scientist will also work coherently with the marketing team and helps the company to conduct the fruitful campaigns and promotions which will certainly enhance the sales and profit. If a mobile company has an idea who are their most engaged customers, then a data scientist will help the company to see what campaigns those members liked the most or what made them get involved so closely with the brand? By evaluating all these questions, a company can design their promotional campaigns and other marketing strategies in such a way which will help them in enhancing their customer base and visibility.

It would be an arduous job to describe what are the prime job roles of a data scientist within a few words. Apart from having a proficient knowledge of technical, a data scientist should know how to create directives from the data, and how to present the data in a story telling way. Nowadays, along with the marketing and production or service teams, these professionals are also the pillars of the company for its growth. Hence, the companies are commissioning more data scientists into its team so that it can go beyond its competitors.

How Are You Handling The Five Biggest Challenges Facing Managers and Business Owners Today?

There are ten fundamental premises that will determine your overall management success. Before we get to the five biggest challenges facing managers I thought I would give you the ten since thet are closely related.

1. When you have an issue, problem, failure, dysfunction or whatever – any –

where in the organization – look up the ladder for the cause and down the ladder

for the solution.

2. Everything that happens in an organization is the direct or indirect result of

that organization’s culture, philosophy and core beliefs.

3.You get the behavior you reward.

4. Effective management is not about the latest fad or philosophy. It is about a

fundament trust and respect for people and treating them accordingly.

5. Growing a business is not hard and it should be fun for everyone.

6. Integrity and ethics must be the foundation for all of your decisions and

actions.

7. If you want effective and productive employees you must see employee

development as an investment and not a cost

8. What employees want to be motivated and performance driven

is appreciation, recognition, validation and to feel important and to feel like they

belong.

9. The job of management is not to motivate employees but to create a positive

motivational climate where employees take responsibility for their own motivation

and performance.

10. You are responsible to your employees and not for them.

Here are the five biggest challenges today. They are;

·Corporate culture. Corporate, organization and department culture all flows from the top down. The written and unwritten rules, policies and philosophy of a manager or the organization all eventually find their way into the attitudes and performance of almost everyone in the organization. One of the critical things to remember when dealing with people is: you get the behavior you reward. If the culture directly or indirectly rewards a certain type of attitude or behavior, you are, by your actions or inactions, probably reaffirming that these are acceptable. If you want to change behavior, you must first evaluate the culture that is in place that may be rewarding the type of behavior you are getting but don’t necessarily want.

·Communication style. Rumors, hearsay, memos, emails, meetings, individual counseling sessions and bulletin boards all have one thing in common – they communicate information – some more effectively and timely than others. If communication in an organization is all top-down, you can be assured that you are not in touch with the realities of your organization, the marketplace, your customers or suppliers.

·Organization direction. One of the biggest challenges managers face today is effectively communicating corporate direction with clarity and consistency to all employees who have a right and need to know. Most organizations do a poor job of this at best. One way to find out what your people believe is to conduct an anonymous survey of attitudes, perceptions and opinions.

·Decision making. Many managers make decisions that other employees will either have to implement or that will affect them. If these decisions are made without bottom-up feedback, you can guarantee that the outcome of the decisions will be less than desired or expected.

·Feedback mechanisms. Employees want to know how they are doing – whether poorly or well. Failure to give them the feedback they need is to keep them in the dark regarding the assessment of their performance and how and where they need to improve.

Are management roles changing?

There are a number of conditions that are impacting the roles of managers today. A few of them are;

– Greater cultural diversity.

– Several very distinctive employee age groups.

– Increased impact and use of technology.

– A growing international market place.

– Ethical standards that are unclear or inconsistent.

– Greater stress levels among all employees.

– Corporate direction and strategy is under fire by consumers.

– The desire of employees for greater independence and autonomy.

– Increased consumer choices for products and services.

– Fewer specifically skilled employees.

– Relentless and accelerating change.

There’s more, but I don’t want to be responsible for ruining your day.

With all these factors, again I ask you, are the roles of managers, supervisors, executives and business owners changing today? You betcha. Here are just a few that I have observed during the past few years coaching and consulting with many of my clients in a variety of industries worldwide.

1. Many managers are responsible for increasing numbers of remote employees.

2. Some managers are finding that they are spending more time ‘doing’ rather than ‘managing’.

3. Some managers are spending increased time coaching employees on personal issues.

4. All mangers are faced sooner or later with position openings that they can’t fill.

5. Mangers in general have less time for their own personal development.

6. Most managers are having to learn to deal with a variety of different employees culturally, gender wise and age wise.

7. Managers in general are spending more time communicating via email than in person or by telephone.

Again, there are many more I could have included, but the essence is, that if you are still using management techniques and behaviors that you used more than five years ago I guarantee you are going to be less effective as a leader, coach and manager in today’s changing world.

The fundamental roles, attitudes or responsibilities of managers have not changed and a few of them are;

1. The need to trust your employees and your employees to trust you.

2. The need to respect their uniqueness.

3. The need to communicate openly and honestly.

4. The need to give them recognition and appreciation that is deserved.

5. The need to have a clear future career path available to them.

6. The need to compensate them fairly.

If you will do just these six consistently you will go a long way in successfully addressing many of the above listed factors.

What Causes Smelly or Yellow Well Water, and How Can It Be Fixed?

There are few things more refreshing than a glass of clear, cold, crisp water. But what happens when your tap water begins to smell or taste differently than it used to? If the water begins to carry a green or yellow tint, does that mean it’s unsafe? Depending on where a home is located, problems such as a sulfur smell, or “rotten egg smell,” and water discoloration can affect the quality of the well water. However, there are usually ways to address the rotten egg smell and discoloration issues, and a professional well drilling company will know best how to use water purification systems, or other methods, to make your water the best that it can be.

What Causes the Rotten Egg Smell in Water?

The primary cause of the rotten egg smell in water is hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is caused by “anaerobic digestion,” the process by which microorganisms break down organic material in the absence of oxygen. This process can occur in the mud and clay of swamps as well as sewers and wells. In addition to being unpleasant to the senses, hydrogen sulfide gas can be both poisonous and flammable in large quantities, though this is rare in domestic situations. Hydrogen sulfide also corrodes pipes, which can cause a myriad of problems in the home.

Hydrogen sulfide dissipates quickly from water. To perform a simple home test, the homeowner can fill a glass with water. If the smell dissipates in roughly ten seconds, hydrogen sulfide is likely the cause of the rotten egg smell. To make certain, the homeowner should have a professional either test the water on-site or take a stabilized sample back to the lab. Once it is determined that hydrogen sulfide is indeed the problem, there are several steps that can be taken to alleviate that nasty sulfur smell from the water.

How Can Smelly Water be Fixed?

First, the homeowner must determine whether the sulfur smell is present when both hot and cold water are running, or only when hot water is running. If the rotten egg smell is detectable only when the water is warm, the problem is likely what is called the “sacrificial anode rod” in your water heater. If this is the case, the sulfur smell is not being caused by anaerobic digestion, but is created when the water reacts with the anode rod.

If the smell is present whenever the water runs, the homeowner may want to have a professional well drilling and installation company install a fiberglass, bladderless water tank with a venting system. These systems are highly effective in removing both the hydrogen sulfide and its attending rotten egg smell from the water. If the water has a high iron concentration, and iron filter may be able to effectively remove the excess iron and smell. Yet another option is a carbon-based filter, which can remove smells from well water. Contact a professional well drilling company to determine which solution will best fit your needs.

What Causes Yellow or Greenish Discoloration in Well Water?

In addition to smelly water, discolored water can also be a problem for homeowners who get their water from underground wells. In general, there are two main causes for cloudy water. The first possibility is that iron is oxidizing in the water. This results when ground from which the well water is drawn contains a relatively high concentration of iron. A second possibility is that the cloudy water contains a high concentration of tannic acid. Tannic acid is particularly common if the well is located near or around a swamp, as tannic acid is caused by decaying vegetation near your water source.

A simple home test can help determine whether the discolored water is a result of iron or tannic acid. First, allow the water to run for about fifteen minutes. Then, fill up a clean, white bucket with tap water. If the water is immediately discolored, tannic acid is likely the culprit. However, the water is initially clear, but increases in discoloration with time, the result is probably iron.

How Can Discolored Water be Fixed?

If the water in the bucket discolors slowly, the homeowner should have the well water tested for high iron. If it turns out to be the case that the iron levels are high, the installation of an iron filter can usually alleviate the problem. If the problem is tannic acid, the solution may not be so easy. There are water conditioners that have tannin beds, but these systems are generally expensive and not extremely effective. In most cases, the best option is to drill a new well in a different aquifer if at all possible. A professional well drilling company will be able to determine what the best option is for each individual home and well.