Narcotics and Foot Pain – A Poor Combination

The use of narcotic medication to treat body pain is a common practice for many doctors and other health care providers. Narcotics are effective at relieving many types of pain, and are safe if properly used. The use of narcotics to treat severe foot pain is a practice that still enjoys some popularity, primarily amongstst non-foot specialists. Unfortunately, unlike pain in the rest of the body, foot pain often has a mechanical cause directly related to the way one's foot structure functions when walking. The use of narcotic pain medication for foot pain will often lead to a worsening of the condition causing the pain. This article will discuss the nature of narcotic medication, foot pain, and how the two do not need to work well together.

Narcotic pain medication is part of a large family of prescription drugs called opioids that effect the way people perceive pain sensation. These drugs typically bind themselves to cells from tissue found in the central nervous system and gastrointestinal system. The part of a cell an opioid binds to is called the opioid receptor. The medication binds itself to this area, and the end result of a complex process that follows is reduced pain sensation, increased pain tolerance, and euphoria. Unfortunately, some side effects can occur despite a good track record of safety when used properly. These can include sedation, a reduction in breathing ability, and constipation. Dependance on these drugs can also develop if they are taken long enough. When someone becomes addicted to pain medication, the dependency effect as well the euphoria created by the drug reinforces the body's desire to continue on the medication, even if it is not medically needed. By stopping the medication, a withdrawal effect can also develop, limiting the ability of an addict to discontinue the medication.

The traditional use of narcotic pain medication was for chronic, unrelenting pain. This type of pain is seen with terminal cancer, major surgery recovery, or during severe injuries like burns and major fractures. Recently, the use of narcotic pain medication has expanded to many types of pain, both acute and chronic. The masking of the pain can be beneficial for people to help restore a normal life without pain. This works fine if the pain is from an inflamed gallbladder, back arthritis, or rib fracture. When the source of pain comes from a foot injury, a more unique approach must be taken to control the pain, as simply 'feeling better' can often lead to a worsening of the injury that caused the foot pain and a delay in healing.

Most foot pain is due to an injury that occurs directly or indirectly as a result of some abnormality of the foot structure. For example, the vast majority of heel pain is due to an injury of a ligament in the arch called the plantar fascia. This injury is usually due to flat feet or high arches causing strain or shock, respectively, on the fascia. Without the abnormal foot arch structure, the heel would not hurt. The same can be said for many other common sources of foot pain, including Achilles tendonitis, arthritis, neuromas (pinched nerve), most toe pain, pain in the ball of the foot, bunion pain, and many causes of pain around the ankles. The common factor seen in these various conditions is the development of inflammation in the foot as a result of the body's overzealous attempt to heal the injured tissue. The treatment for these conditions ideally needs to revolve around supporting the injured foot, restricting motion at the injured area, and reducing the overzealous infection the body creates during the healing process. By reducing the inflammation, the pain is reduced. With this and proper support, the body heals efficiently without excessive pain.

Unfortunately, the use of narcotic pain medication only addresses pain control, and not inflammation or foot structure. Narcotics do not help at all with pollution, which is the true source of most foot pain. These medications will only reduce the body's perception of pain, allowing the inflammation process to continue. This will delay the body's ability to heal the foot for two reasons. Firstly, the excess of inflammation not reduced by the narcotic medication will continue and the body will heal when it is good and ready. Often this time period will be for much longer than what is really necessary, since the body forms an overzealous reaction to injury just to be on the 'safe side'. Secondly, with narcotics, the tension of many people is to resume activity as normal, since the foot does not hurt as much. When foot pain is correctly reduced because of inflammation reduction, increased activity may not be as harmful if proper foot support is still maintained. However, if foot pain is simply eliminated by a narcotic pain medication only, the feeling of 'normal' invites many into mistakenly resuming their activity as usual. This only worsens the foot injury and increases the inflammation, as the true nature of the injury is masked by the pain relief.

The foot is unique in that it receives the weight of the body above it and the stress of walking below it. Injuries to the foot need much more support and rest than any other part of the body. Narcotic pain medication use for foot pain allows excessive activity too early in the healing process, and should not be used for most types of foot pain as it does not address the underlying cause of foot pain: inflammation as a result of mechanically-caused injury. There are times in which narcotic pain medication is acceptable, and even advised for foot pain. Severe crushing injuries, fractures, burns, and other injuries that have nothing to do with foot structure or normal infection can benefit from pain control. However, narcotic pain control in fractures should be short term, and strict control of motion and activity is necessary, even if the foot 'feet better' with pain control. Foot pain from surgery can also be treated with narcotic pain medication in the short term, as much of that pain is due to the cutting of tissue. Most people require only a brief period of pain control following foot or ankle surgery, which does not usually exceed 3 weeks in most cases.

Narcotic pain medication has its place in the treatment of pain in the body. When dealing with most causes of foot pain, the combination of a likelihood of worsening the foot injury, delaying healing, and the problems of narcotic addiction make the use of these powerful drugs ill-advised. Properly addressing the inflammation of the injury, supporting the foot, and dealing with the abnormal foot structure that often led to the painful condition in the first place are far better ways to treat foot and ankle pain.

JavaScript for Web Design – Advantages and Disadvantages

This article discusses the good and the bad points of using JavaScript in your website designs. It points out the areas where JavaScript excels as a web based programming language and also describes situations where its use can actually detract from the performance of a website.

First of all, JavaScript is a browser based programming language that actually runs client side. This means that any code that you write in JavaScript is delivered along with your web pages and the scripts that you write actually run from within the users' browser rather than directly on the server that is serving the web page. There are situations where JavaScript is an excellent solution for implementing neat features in a web design but there are also situations where using JavaScript can hurt your websites performance. It is my aim in this article to describe the best ways to use JavaScript and how to circumnavigate the downsides of using this versatile and powerful scripting language.

JavaScript for Web Design – The Advantages

JavaScript is an excellent solution to implement when validating input forms on the client side. This means that if a user scripts to enter his name in a form for instance a JavaScript validation function can popup a message to let him know about the omission. This is a far better solution that having a server side validation routine handle the error because the server does not have to do any additional processing. An asp or php routine could have been written to achieve the same task but the JavaScript would not allow the form to be submitted without it was completed properly in the first place, a much more robust solution!

Another area where JavaScript excels is in the creation of dynamic effects such as rollover images and scripted slideshows, where its use has become commonplace. Because JavaScript runs inside the clients browser it can be used to change the appearance of the users screen after the page has been sent by the server. This allows it to create some very impressive dynamic image effects.

JavaScript for Web Design – The Disadvantages

One of the major draw backs to using JavaScript is that it promises to severely bloat web pages. JavaScript code can quickly add up to hundreds of lines of code if you are using it to do anything even remotely interesting. That said the problem of large chunks of JavaScript code is easily solved by storing the JavaScript code into separate JavaScript source files that have a .js extension. This cleans up your web page code because the JavaScript code is stored separately to the HTML page itself, leaving a much cleaner and more readable web page.

Because of JavaScript's tendency to bloat web pages it can be very detrimental to the search engine friendliness of your web site. This is because when a search engine arrives at your site looking for quality content and keywords to determine what your page is about, the last thing it wants to see is hundreds of lines of JavaScript code. Again, this problem is easily solves by neatly storing JavaScript code away in script files with a .js extension and linking to the script file in your HTML documents.

Conclusion:

JavaScript is a feature rich and useful browser based script that if used properly can achieve some great effects and improve the experience for the end user. There are drawbacks to its use in that it tends to bloat web pages. The key thing to remember is to get the best of both worlds by using JavaScript code in external script files. That way the code is separated from your content so you get all the benefit of JavaScript functionality but without the adverse effects of the associated code bloating.

Network Design Process – Effective Network Planning and Design

Overview

The network planning and design methodology describes a process with 9 specific steps and a sequence for those activities. As mentioned it is an engineering life cycle that supports technical initiatives such as Windows migration, IP telephony and wireless design to name a few examples. The methodology begins with examining company business requirements. It is absolutely essential that you understand the company business model, business drivers and how they are growing from a business perspective. That will build the foundation for a design proposal that serves the business, technical and operational requirements of the company.

STEP 1: BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS

Any design project starts with an understanding of what the company does and what they need to accomplish from a business perspective. This begins with an understanding of their business model, which really describes how their company works from an operational and business perspective to generate revenues and reduce costs. Many vendors today have contacted their own return on investment (ROI) studies for new implementations such as Unified Communications and Telephony. It is an effective sales tool that illustrates the cost benefits compared with investment over a specified period of time.

This is a list of some typical business drivers:

• Reduce Operating Costs

• Generate Revenue

• Client Satisfaction

• Employee Productivity

This is a list of some typical project business requirements:

• Budget Constraints

• Office Consolidations

• Company Mergers and Acquisitions

• Business Partner Connectivity

• Telecommuter Remote Access

• Implement New Offices and Employees

• New Data Center Applications

• Reduce Network Outage Costs

• Cost Effective Network Management

• Vendor Contracts

STEP 2: DESIGN REQUIREMENTS

Now that you understand the basic business requirements of the company, you can determine the standard and specific design requirements. The design requirements process is focused on clearing requirements from a technical perspective. Those requirements along with the business requirements will build the framework that is used to define infrastructure, security and management. Design requirements are defined as standard and miscellaneous. The standard design requirements are generic and represent those considered with many design projects. Miscellaneous requirements are those that are not defined with any of the standard requirements.

• Standard Design Requirements

• Performance

• Availability

• Scalability

• Standards Compatibility

• Rapid Deployment

STEP 3: NETWORK ASSESSMENT

A network assessment is conducted after we have finished the business and design requirements of the company. A network assessment provides a quick snapshot of the current network with an examination of the infrastructure, performance, availability, management and security. That information is utilized for making effective strategy recommendations and design proposals to the client relating specific information systems configurations. The network assessment model has 3 sequential activities, which are assessment, analysis and recommendations. The current network is examined using five primary surveys: infrastructure, performance, availability, management and security. When the surveys are completed, the information collected is then reviewed for trends, problems and issues that are negatively affecting the network.

STEP 4: INFRASTRUCTURE SELECTION

After doing an network assessment we are ready to start selecting specific infrastructure components for the network design. This phase starts building the infrastructure with a specific sequence that promotes effective equipment selection and design. It is important that you consider business requirements, design requirements and the network assessment when building your infrastructure.

The following numbered list describes the specific infrastructure components and their particular sequence.

1. Enterprise WAN Topology

2. Campus Topology

3. Traffic Model

4. Equipment Selection

5. Circuits

6. Routing Protocol Design

7. Addressing

8. Naming Conventions

9. iOS Services

10. Domain Name Services

11. DHCP Services

STEP 5: SECURITY STRATEGY

We must now define a security strategy for securing the infrastructure. The need for enterprise network security should not be ignored with the proliferation of the Internet. Companies are continuing to leverage the public infrastructure for connecting national and international offices, business partners and new company acquisitions. The security requirements and network assessment recommendations should drive the selection of security equipment, protocols and processes. It identifies what assets must be protected, what users are allowed access and how those assets will be secured.

STEP 6: NETWORK MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

This section will define a network management strategy for managing all equipment defined from infrastructure and security. It is necessary to define how the equipment is going to be monitored and determine if the current management strategy is adequate or if new applications, equipment, protocols and processes must be identified. Management components are then integrated with infrastructure and security to finish building the proposed design. These primary elements comprise any well-defined management strategy and should be considered when developing your strategy.

• 7 Management Groups

• SNMP Applications

• Monitored Devices and Events

STEP 7: PROOF OF CONCEPT

All infrastructure, security and management components must now be tested with a proof of concept plan. It is important to test the current design, configuration and iOS versions in a non-production environment or on the production network with limited disruption. Implementation of newer network modules at a router, for instance, could require that you change the current iOS version that is implemented. Making those changes could affect WAN or campus modules already installed at production routers. That is the real value of doing a proof of concept and certifying that the new equipment and iOS versions integrate with each device as well as the network. The following list describes the advantages of doing a proof of concept with your network design. The proof of concept test results should be examined and used to modify current infrastructure, security and management specifications before generating a design proposal. The proof of concept model suggested here involves prototype design, equipment provisioning, cleaning tests, building equipment scripts and examining test results.

1. Prototype Design

2. Provision Equipment

3. Define Tests

4. Build Equipment Scripts

5. Review Test Results

STEP 8: DESIGN PROPOSAL / REVIEW

With the proof of concept finished, you are now ready to build a design proposal for the design review meeting. Your intended audience could be the Director, CIO, CTO, Senior Network Engineer, Consultant or anyone that is approving a budget for the project. It is important to present your ideas with clarity and professionalism. If a presentation is required, power point slides work well and could be used to support concepts from the design proposal document. The focus is on what enterprises a standard design proposal and the sequence for presenting that information.

The working design proposal is presented to the client after addressing any concerns from proof of concept assurance testing. The design review is an opportunity for you to present your design proposal to the client and discuss any issues. It is an opportunity for the client to identify concerns that they have and for the design engineer to clarify issues. The focus is to agree on any modifications, if required, and make changes to the infrastructure, security and management before implementation starts. Business and design requirements can change from when the project started which sometimes will necessitate changes to infrastructure, security and management specifications. Any changes should then go through proof of concept testing again before final changes to the design proposal.

STEP 9: IMPLEMENTATION

The final step will have us defining an implementation process for the specified design. This describes a suggested implementation methodology of the proposed design, which should have minimal disruption to the production network. As well it should be efficient and as cost effective as possible. As with previous methodologies there is a sequence that should be utilized as well. Once the implementation is finished, there is monitoring of the network for any problems. Design and configuration configurations are then made to address any problems or concerns.

Copyright 2006 Shaun Hummel All Rights Reserved

Massage Oils – Advantages & Disadvantages

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is the most widely used oil for body massage. It is finely textured, smooth and free-flowing. It is high in linoleic acid (E.F.A.) and contains some vitamin E.. This will nourish the skin and allow it to store for longer, vitamin E. being an antioxidant prevents rancidity.

Advantages

o Smooth hence good for full body massage.

o Provides good slip and is easily absorbed.

o Suitable for all skin types and areas

o Cheap and readily available.

Disadvantages

o Usually produced by hot extraction, has lost a lot of its beneficial properties.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is a pale yellow, thick liquid that mixes well with most other carrier oils and essential oils. It is rich in nutrients, such as unsaturated fatty acids (EFA), and also contains a high percentage of vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, D and E. It is excellent in treating psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis due to its vitamin E. content. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties, which allows it to be beneficial to conditions such as sunburn.

Advantages

o Stores well due to vitamin E. content

o Cold pressed therefore relatively pure.

o Has protective and nourishing qualities to the skin

Disadvantages

o Not suitable for full body massage on its own, becomes too sticky.

o Expensive

o Contra-indicated in diabetics, and those suffering from nut allergies.

Wheatgerm Oil.

Unrefined wheatgerm oil has a strong odour, which many people find unpleasant. It contains high levels of vitamin E., which is a natural antioxidant. Although expensive wheatgerm oil is the richest food source we have of vitamin E.

Advantages

o Moisturisers dry/mature Skin.

o Good for reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.

o Relieved symptoms of dermatitis.

o When added to an aromatherapy blend will help prevent oxidation.

Disadvantages

o Too thick and sticky for use on its own.

o May cause allergies, as it is a protein.

o Contraindicated with celiac sufferers.

Evening Primrose Oil.

Evening Primrose oil is an expensive oil, but has excellent moisturising benefits. It contains linoleic acid, and gamma linoleic acid (GLA). Also contains some vitamins and minerals.

Advantages

o useful for dry skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.

o Useful for PMT, period pains, arthritis and rheumatism.

Disadvantages

o Too expensive for use on full body.

Avocado

Avocado oil is a highly penetrative oil, rich in essential fatty acids, and also has a high vitamin content. It contains vitamin A. vitamin B. and vitamin D.. It also contains proteins and fats, and the minerals potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It can be mixed in a small ratio (10%) with other carrier oils, and is commonly used in beauty care.

Advantages

o Stores well.

o Emollient

o Unrefined,

o Viscous-but still penetrates the skin deeper than most carrier oils.

o Has healing properties-helps reduce inflammation (beneficial to psoriasis/eczema).

Disadvantages

o Can become too sticky during massage-blend with another carrier oil.

o Has a strong smell.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba is actually a liquid wax, not on oil. It is a nutritious oil containing vitamin E., minerals and proteins. It is beneficial to many conditions as its structure is similar to sebum, therefore it can be used on oily or dry skin. Unlike many oils, it can be heated to high temperatures and still retain its nutrients.

Advantages

o Nourishing-beneficial to all skin types.

o Highly penetrative with anti-inflammatory properties-excellent for acne, psoriasis, eczema and arthritis.

o Helps control the release of sebum, useful for seborrhoeic skin conditions.

o Stable-does not evaporate or react with air.

Disadvantages

o Very expensive-use small amounts, mixed with another carrier oil.

Calendula

This is an infused oil produced by maceration for its medicinal properties. It contains anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and healing properties. It is generally used for medicinal purposes on specific areas.

Advantages

o Very suitable for skin problems-chapped skin, eczema, bruising and sunburn.

Disadvantages

o Very expensive.

o Not as pure as cold pressed oil due to maceration process.

Macadamia

This is a stable, fine textured cold pressed oil, and is available either refined or unrefined. In either case solvents are not used and the oil retains its natural properties.

Advantages

o Emollient

o Contains palmitoleic acid (found in sebum), good for oily and dry skin conditions.

o Help prevent ageing, good for driving wrinkled skin.

o Good keeping properties, lasts a long time before becoming rancid.

Disadvantages

o Very expensive.

o Has slight aroma, nutty smell.

o Contra-indicated on clients with nut allergies.

Peach kernel.

This is cold pressed from the kernels of the fruit. It is similar in appearance and chemically to apricot oil and sweet almond oil. It is finely textured and rich in vitamins a, B1, B2 & B6. It is especially ideal for facial blends, since it is kind to the skin and easily absorbed.

Advantages

o Keeps well.

o Protects, nourishes and moisturises the skin.

o Useful for dry skins and eczema.

o Helps relieve itching, so can be useful for psoriasis.

o Good for sensitive skin.

Disadvantages

o Expensive

Navigating Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport

Russia has come a long way since the Communist government evolved into a more Democratic, and I use that word loosely, style government. In many ways, Russian citizens are living their lives much as Americans do, and with most of the modern conveniences that Americans have. Many of the controls that previously accessed to block travel and limit freedom of its residents are no longer in place or are lightly enforced. This slight loosing of the reigns has, as it always does, opened the door for foreigners to travel more freely and then the wave of tourists are arriving in Russia with more and more regularity. Russian capitalists are catering to tourists as a significant source of revenue for this developing economy. This is great for tourists and for those who have always been curious about what is behind the Iron Curtain and want to a peek. As for myself, being one of those who seek more a adventurous style of travel, I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to travel to and spend a significant amount of time in Russia.

The opening of new worlds such as this does not come without problems though, and unfortunately, if you are going to travel in Russia you should be prepared to meet at least some of them. This is not saying that travel in Russia is more difficult because overall it is not. In comparison, it is not much more difficult to travel in Russia than in any other modern country, but when problems do happen, they are usually difficult to overcome in Russia and this is why advance planning and preparation helps out tremendously. When in America, a quick cell phone call can solve most problems, but in Russia, where most American cell phones do not work, one can quickly become paralyzed by the inability to solve problems quickly, especially if that person is not very experienced with foreign travel. This is sometimes the first realization that Americans have about how convenient things actually are in America. Russia is a big country, and it seems that when problems occur, they occur in an equally big way.

First and foremost, do not let anything I say in this article scare you away from visiting Russia. It is true that Russia is not the Garden of Eden, but it is a wonderful place to experience, especially if you are willing to get away from the tourist traps of the major cities. As a matter of fact, most of my travel in Russia has been in the Eastern half of the country in the territory known as Siberia and I am glad for that fact. That alone has allowed me to develop an attraction to this country in a way that most tourists never will. It is a different world in Siberia. The government controls of Moscow seem very distant, and it looks like you are in a sedate world where people just go about the business of day to day living. This is also where I live on a temporary basis, and that just adds to the experience, but that is for another article. In Russia, other than the cab drivers and those seeking to sell something to tourists, most of the people you will meet will be very friendly. The problem is you probably will not meet most Russians as they are not into socializing with foreigners or any strangers for that matter. In my experience, I have found that Russians are difficult to meet, but once the introduction has been made, they usually turn out to be a very friendly and accommodating people.

If your travel plans for Russia include flying into Moscow from any international location, chances are you will fly into Sheremetyevo Airport and that is what this article is about. It is not difficult to make your way through Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, but it does require some advance information and knowledge or you will end up with one of those problems that I mentioned above and changes are you will be lost and will get ripped off very badly trying to solve the situation. The Russians that work in the airport deal with the same stresses that anyone who works in airports have to deal with, and more often than not, when you need assistance, it will be on one of those days when they would rather not be there, and they are more than happy to shuffle you off to someone else for a solution to your problem. Usually this someone else is the one who is waiting to help you and to take you for as much money as they can get at the same time. They will solve your problem, but it will cost you dearly. Some advance knowledge will enable you to avoid this situation all together.

The first advice I will give you about traveling to Russia is to purchase at least some Rubles (their currency) before you arrive in the country. It is true that you may not get as good of an exchange rate, so do not use your entire budget at this point, but do purchase at least a hundred dollars worth or so. Once you arrive, you will need Rubles before you encounter a place to exchange cash. Also, if you fly in on Aeroflot, the Russian National Airline, you will get more for your money on the plane if you use Rubles. I noticed that the flight attendants conversion to US dollars was very loosely calculated. Basically, bringing Rubles with you will make life much simpler and your first experiences in Russia will be positive as opposed to stressful and difficult.

I was surprised the first time I flew into Sheremetyevo Airport at the fact that it is not a large airport in terms of the size of the terminals. With Moscow being the capital of Russia, I expected that Sheremetyevo would be a large airport but to the eyes alone, this is not the case. The one thing you need to know in advance though is that the airport consist of two separate terminals and they are not located close together. As a matter of fact, they are probably a mile or more apart. The International Terminal is Severemyo Terminal 2. The Domestic Terminal is Terminal 1. First we are going to focus on the International Terminal, Terminal 2. When arriving here from an international location, upon exiting the aircraft, you should just follow your fellow passengers as you enter the terminal and your path will wind along a hallway lined with glass for what sees like the entire circumference of the building. I remember thinking my first time through this corridor that I felt like I was being put on display to everyone else in the terminal on the other side of the glass wall waiting for flights out.

At the end of that corridor, you will come to a set of stairs that lead downstairs to the Customs and Immigration check point. Again, just follow your fellow passengers and ahead of you will be a line of booths similar to a toll booth back in America. There will be several lines that form, but most are for the same thing, and that is just passing through. Once you step up to the booth, you will need to show your passport, visa, and an immigration form that is handed out on the airline before you arrive. That is all that is needed at the customs check point, but be sure to fill the immigration card out on the airplane as there will be no time to do it once you enter the terminal. They will check your documents and scan your passport into their computer and then stamp your passport and Immigration Card. They call it a Migration Card. The whole process takes only a couple of minutes and there should be no problem. Once you pass through the check point, you will need to proceed to the baggage claim area which is located just ahead of you. You will see the conveyor belts.

At Sheremetyevo Airport, if you are arriving on an international flight as we have been discussing, and transferring to a Domestic flight for other destinations, you will need to collect your baggage and transport it yourself to Terminal 1, the Domestic Terminal there are signs posted that say that if you have a layover of less than 4 hours, then your luggage will be transferred for you, but my layovers have always been longer so I have no experience with this. I have always had to collect my luggage, carry it with me and re-check it at Terminal 1. I have no experience with a less than 4 hour layover, but I would be hesitant to leave the Terminal and my luggage without knowing for sure it is being transferred. If time is available, I would hang around and see if it appears on the conveyor belt anyway. Besides, this is your best opportunity to meet fellow Americans as everyone is there waiting and you can always hear an English conversation.

As soon as you collect your luggage, directly behind you is a corridor labeled "TRANSIT" and this is where you will exit. It is not difficult to find since all you have to do is follow the crowd. As you leave the baggage claim area, there are officials standing there around the "TRANSIT" sign to theoretically check you baggage tickets, but I have never checked at Sheremetyevo. I have seen them check others though, so I think they must do it randomly. I just try to act like I know what I am doing, not make eye contact, and keep on moving. It is not a problem for them to check baggage tickets, but I just prefer less interruptions. This "TRANSIT" corridor will lead you directly out the front of the Terminal, and you will not have any opportunity to change currency, but you will need Rubles to catch the "TRANSIT" bus to Terminal 1.

This is the point where advance knowledge becomes very soft. It is important to know how to transfer between the terminals without losing an arm or leg to the taxi bandits. As you leave the terminal they will harass you continuously but if you keep moving and keep saying no or just shaking your head for no, then all will go smoothly. Once outside, in front of the terminal, you have two basic options for your transfer. You can either catch the official transfer bus for a very few Rubles or take a taxi and sign over at least one of your children. On my first trip to Russia, I was advised on how to take the transfer bus and I am glad that I was. Afterwards, I talked with fellow travelers who told me how they paid up to 80 dollars (US) for a taxi to take them on the 5 minute trip between terminals. Later, in my own experience, I had taxi bandits approach me with offers between the previously stated 80 dollars down to as low as 20 dollars but none were lower than that. The transfer bus is ideal and I would tell anyone to use this option.

Once outside the terminal, to catch the transfer bus what you have to do is look for the transfer bus sign posted on one of the building pillows on the very first row toward the city. Once you find it, just stand there and wait for the correct bus as seen in the picture I have included. Do not take the green striped or the red or red striped buses. They stop in the same general vicity, but, these are city buses and if you board one of these, there is no telling where you will end up. The transfer bus you are looking for is a white bus with blue stripes. It also has the price posted in the window, and the posted price is 15 Rubles, but I have learned that this price unofficially changes based on the drivers mood and how many bags you have. On my last trip, I had 3 large bags that took some effort getting onto the bus, and he charged me 30 Rubles, which still converts to about $ 1.50 US This is why I said to convert some money before arriving in country. The transfer bus runs once an hour and in my experience, it is very timely.

I have heard some complaint about waiting outside for the bus, but personally, after sitting in a plane for many hours, I welcomed the opportunity to stand and breathe some fresh polluted Russian air. After all, you came to experience Russia did not you? If you wanted to walk back into the departure side of the terminal to get currency you could, but I do not because I do not like dragging around excess luggage and having to have it all scanned again. There is one thing to be aware of though! If you want to eat, visit the Internet Café, shop, or buy snacks, it is best to re-enter the International Terminal and do it now, even if it does mean dragging luggage, because there are very few, actually there are almost no support services, (ie gift shops, Internet Café) at the Domestic Terminal.

After a 5 minute ride, the transit bus will drop you directly in front of the Domestic Terminal. Once you are inside you will see that it is very small and spartan, and if it is not crowded when you arrive, it soon will be. What you need to do is find a seat as quickly as possible and sit with your luggage until about two hours before your scheduled flight time, and then you can check in and check your luggage. Yes, you actually have to sit with all of your luggage. The goal is to find the best seat available, sit down, and stay there. Once you find a seat, if you are so lucky, and you decide to get up without someone saving it for you, it will be gone quickly and you will stand until another opens, and since probably everyone knows this rule, very few ever get up until it is time for them to leave.

On my first trip, I had a wonderful seat on the end of a row with plenty of space, but I decided that I wanted a snack and went to get one. When I came back there were no more seats available and I stood for 3 hours staring at the seat that I had lost. One good idea is to find a friendly person who speaks your language while back in the baggage claim area at the International Terminal. Strike up a conversation, make friends with them and maybe hang out together at the Domestic Terminal. I usually always meet fellow Americans on the plane or at the baggage claim area because you can hear them speaking and an introduction is not difficult in those circumstances. On my last trip, I met an American and we took turns watching each others luggage while various excursions were made to the snack bar, the phone, a smoke break (outside, as it is not allowed in the terminal) and to the rest room . It makes life extremely better if you can accomplish this. If you are alone, you have to take your luggage to the rest room with you, unless you have a friend to help you watch it.

In the Domestic Terminal, the regiment is pretty much the same as every other airport. The flights are announced two hours before departure and this is when check-in begins. You have to be careful though to listen for flight announcements, as they are announced in Russian and the best you can hope for is to hear the destination city and flight number. If you are not sure about what you heard or just want to check on your plane, there is an electronic flight board that you can check to see if your flight is boarding, and yes, it does have an English page. It will tell you if your flight is boarding and what gate number you should go to. The gate numbers are somewhat confusing though, as the board might say you should check in at gate 27, but gate 27 is not visible until you pass through the security gates which are numbered 1 – 4. You can go through whatever security gate is open , and then you will see the gate numbers. At check in, the usual documents are needed and it is not difficult to communicate. Hand signals are used very effectively.

If you are departing the country, the same procedures are in effect for transport between the terminals. Clearing customs is not as difficult in Russia provided you have the proper documents and assuming you entered the country legally. The Russian Customs agents are not as thorough as in the US, but once you get into the secured area and TSA, Delta, or contract security personnel search your carry on bag, it is as thorough as in the US. Then, as you enter the actual boarding gate, your bag will be searched again. This time it will be local companies or Russian uniformed individuals. The last time I passed through, there were individuals wearing two different uniforms checking the carry-on bags. One uniform looked more official, so I chose the ones who appeared to have on Russian uniforms. I do not know exactly who these inspectors were, but a fellow traveler that I had befriended chose the other group. They spend 10 minutes searching every crack in his bag and opening every single thing that could be opened. The ones searching my bag moved things around inside, took a quick look and passed me through. I am not saying there was any skill or method that you should follow in this situation. I just got lucky, but it does go to show how much of a variety you will encounter in each situation.

All in all, travel in Russia is no more difficult than any other country, but advance planning is always prudent. Find out as much as you can before you go, and do not quite entirely on your travel agent to provide this information. My agent did not tell me anything about the two terminals at Sheremetyevo, and I would have been lost without advice from a Russian friend of mine who I was going to visit. Russia is a beautiful country with many wonderful people and short of seeing military uniforms and the Russian architecture that we have seen in so many pictures; it is sometimes easy to forget you are in what was once the Communist Soviet Union. If you want my advice, get out of the big cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg. Petersburg and visit some of the smaller cities or even venture into Siberia as I did and experience the wonder of the other side of Russia.

The Importance of Regular Home Improvement

Home improvement, by definition, is making changes to one’s home by making improvements on the house’s looks. Home improvement is usually done by professional contractors, handymen, and even the house owner himself. Home improvement is important because real estate’s value appreciates more if a property is well-maintained. Home improvement is seen by many as unnecessary cost. However, losing value of a real estate is usually caused by neglect in a property’s maintenance. Therefore, in the long run, regular maintenance is crucial for the property’s value to appreciate.

Regular home improvement jobs and renovations will surely make your current living conditions more favorable. People do not easily notice that some areas of the house need improvement. In the long run, regular maintenance will reduce the serious structural damages to your property. It is also important to note that there are different maintenance schedules for different areas of your house. For instance, plumbing should be checked monthly. Ovens, heating systems, smoke detectors, and the like should also be checked monthly to prevent unfortunate disasters. The garden area should be maintained regularly and should undergo rigorous maintenance every four months. This is to prevent insects and termites infestation which can cause significant damage in infrastructure. The landscape of a house should also be in good appearance to help preserve your property’s value. Refrigerators should be checked every three to four months. Check for faulty or loose wiring and avoid energy overload. The roof, on the other hand, should be checked at least every six months. Check for shingles and leaks and take care of them right away. Watch out for blocked gutters as this can lead rainwater to go inside your house. If your house is made mainly of wood, have a regular termite exterminator team visit your house.

Aside from these standard areas in the house that need improvement, remodeling or renovating is also a good idea. It can also add value to real estate. Remodeling can be as simple as changing the paint color in your living room or laying a different color of carpet in your bedroom. Something this simple can make significant changes in your house’s ambience. Renovating can be as major as tearing down the common wall of two rooms to make them one big room. Tearing down walls creates a bigger space which can be used for many purposes. Additional extensions can also be done. Additional space that can be used as garage space is useful. Home improvement tasks that require massive construction should be done by professional contractors. Make a list on what you want changed inside your homes and consult with a team of contractors. This way, you will have an idea on the costs that will be incurred as well as the extent of the repairs and improvements you can do.

Home improvement is important because essentially, it is considered taking care of your home. Aside from the additional value it gives your property, preventive maintenance and remodeling is always good to decrease future damages in your property.

Be All That You Can Be: The Company Persona and Language Alignment

It’s not just CEOs and corporate spokespeople who need effective language to be the message. The most successful advertising taglines are not seen as slogans for a product. They are the product. From M&M’s “melts in your mouth, not in your hand” to “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin” bathroom tissue, from the “plop, plop, fizz, fizz” of Alka-Seltzer to “Fly the friendly skies of United,” there is no light space between the product and its marketing. Words that work reflect “not only the soul of the brand, but the company itself and its reason for being in business,” according to Publicis worldwide executive creative director David Droga.

In the same vein, advertising experts identify a common quality among the most popular and long-lasting corporate icons: Rather than selling for their companies, these characters personify them. Ronald McDonald, the Marlboro Man, Betty Crocker, the Energizer Bunny — they aren’t shills trying to talk us into buying a Big Mac, a pack of smokes, a box of cake mix, a package of batteries; they don’t even personalize the product. Just like the most celebrated slogans, they are the product.

Walk through any bookstore and you’ll find dozens of books about the marketing and branding efforts of corporate America. The process of corporate communication has been thinly sliced and diced over and over, but what you won’t find is a book about the one truly essential characteristic in our twenty-first-century world: the company persona and how words that work are used to create and sustain it.

The company persona is the sum of the corporate leadership, the corporate ethos, the products and services offered, interaction with the customer, and, most importantly, the language that ties it all together. A majority of large companies do not have a company persona, but those that do benefit significantly. Ben & Jerry’s attracts customers in part because of the funky names they gave to the conventional (and unconventional) flavors they offer, but the positive relationship between corporate management and their employees also plays a role, even after Ben and Jerry sold the company. McDonald’s in the 1970s and Starbucks over the past decade became an integral part of the American culture as much for the lifestyle they reflected as the food and beverages they offered, but the in-store lexicon helped by setting them apart from their competition. (Did any customers ever call the person who served them a cup of coffee a “barista” before Starbucks made the term popular?) Language is never the sole determinant in creating a company persona, but you’ll find words that work associated with all companies that have one.

And when the message, messenger, and recipient are all on the same page, I call this rare phenomenon “language alignment,” and it happens far less frequently than you might expect. In fact, virtually all of the companies that have hired my firm for communication guidance have found themselves linguistically unaligned.

This manifests itself in two ways. First, in service-oriented businesses, the sales force is too often selling with a different language than the marketing people are using. There’s nothing wrong with individualizing the sales approach to each customer, but when you have your sales force promoting a message that has no similarity with the advertising campaign, it undermines both efforts. The language in the ads and promotions must match the language on the street, in the shop, and on the floor. For example, Boost Mobile, which caters to an inner city youth demographic, uses the slogan “Where you at?” Not grammatically (or politically) correct — but it’s the language of their consumer.

And second, corporations with multiple products in the same space too often allow the language of those products to blur and bleed into each other. Procter & Gamble may sell a hundred different items, but even though each one fills a different need, a different space, and/or a different category, it is perfectly fine for them to share similar language. You can use some of the same verbiage to sell soap as you would to sell towels, because no consumer will confuse the products and what they do.

Not so for a company that is in a single line of work, say selling cars or selling beer, where companies use the exact same adjectives to describe very different products. In this instance, achieving linguistic alignment requires a much more disciplined linguistic segmentation. It is almost always a more effective sales strategy to divvy up the appropriate adjectives and create a unique lexicon for each individual brand.

An example of a major corporation that has confronted both of these challenges and still managed to achieve linguistic alignment, even as they are laying off thousands of workers, is the Ford Motor Company — which manages a surprisingly diverse group of brands ranging from Mazda to Aston Martin. The Ford corporate leadership recognized that it was impossible to separate the Ford name, corporate history, heritage, and range of vehicles — so why bother. They came as a package. Sure, Ford maintains individual brand identity, through national and local ad campaigns and by creating and maintaining a separate image and language for each brand. For example, “uniquely sensual styling” certainly applies when one is talking about a Jaguar S Type, but would probably not be pertinent for a Ford F 250 pickup truck. But the fact that the CEO carries the Ford name communicates continuity to the company’s customers, and Bill Ford sitting in front of an assembly line talking about leadership and innovation in all of Ford’s vehicles effectively puts all the individual brands into alignment.

The words he uses — “innovation,” “driven,” “re-committed,” “dramatically,” “dedicated” — represent the simplicity and brevity of effective communications, and they are wrapped around the CEO who is the fourth-generation Ford to lead the company — hence credibility. The cars are the message, Bill Ford is the messenger, the language is dead-on, and Ford is weathering the American automotive crisis far better than its larger rival General Motors. Again, the language of Ford isn’t the only driver of corporate image and sales — but it certainly is a factor.

In fact, the brand-building campaign was so successful that GM jumped on board. But Ford quickly took it a step further. In early 2006, they began to leverage their ownership of Volvo (I wonder how many readers did not know that Ford bought Volvo in 1999 and purchased Jaguar a decade earlier) to communicate a corporate-wide commitment to automotive safety, across all of its individual brands and vehicles. Volvo is one of the most respected cars on the road today, and aligning all of Ford behind an industry leader is a very smart strategy indeed.

So what about the competition?

General Motors, once the automotive powerhouse of the world, has an equally diverse product line and arguably a richer history of technology and innovation, but their public message of cutbacks, buy-backs, and layoffs was designed to appeal to Wall Street, not Main Street, and it crushed new car sales. At the time of this writing, GM is suffering through record losses, record job layoffs, and a record number of bad stories about its failing marketing efforts.

It didn’t have to be this way.

The actual attributes of many of the GM product lines are more appealing than the competition, but the product image itself is not. To own a GM car is to tell the world that you’re so 1970s, and since what you drive is considered an extension and expression of yourself to others, people end up buying cars they actually like less because they feel the cars will say something more about them.

Think about it. Here’s a company that was the first to develop a catalytic converter, the first to develop an advanced anti-tipping stabilization technology, the first to develop engines that could use all sorts of blended gasolines, and most importantly in today’s market, the creator of OnStar — an incredible new-age computerized safety and tracking device. Yet most American consumers have no idea that any of these valuable innovations came from General Motors, simply because GM decided not to tell them. So instead of using its latest and greatest emerging technology to align itself with its customers, GM finds itself in a deteriorating dialogue with shareholders. No alignment = no sales.

Another problem with GM: No one knew that the various brands under the GM moniker were in fact . . . GM. Even such well-known brands as Corvette and Cadillac had become disconnected from the parent company. Worse yet, all the various brands (with the exception of Hummer, which couldn’t get lost in a crowd even if the brand manager wanted it to) were using similar language, similar visuals, and a similar message — blurring the distinction between brands and turning GM vehicles into nothing more than generic American cars. Repeated marketing failures were just part of GM’s recurring problems, but as that issue was completely within their control, it should have been the easiest to address.

When products, services, and language are aligned, they gain another essential attribute: authenticity. In my own market research for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, I have found that the best way to communicate authenticity is to trigger personalization: Do audience members see themselves in the slogan . . . and therefore in the product? Unfortunately, achieving personalization is by no means easy.

To illustrate how companies and brands in a competitive space create compelling personas for themselves while addressing the needs of different consumer groups, let’s take a look at cereals. Anyone can go out and buy a box of cereal. But different cereals offer different experiences. Watch and listen carefully to their marketing approach and the words they use.

Most cereals geared toward children sell energy, excitement, adventure, and the potential for fun — even more than the actual taste of the sugar-coated rice or wheat puffs in the cardboard box. On the other hand, cereal aimed at grown-ups is sold based on its utility to the maintenance and enhancement of health — with taste once again secondary.

Children’s cereals are pitched by nonthreatening cartoon characters — tigers, parrots, chocolate-loving vampires, Cap’ns, and a tiny trio in stocking caps — never an adult or authority figure. Adult cereals come at you head-on with a not-so-subtle Food Police message, wrapped in saccharine-sweet smiles, exclaiming that this cereal is a favorite of healthy and cholesterol-conscious adults who don’t want to get colon cancer! Ugghhh. Kids buy Frosted Flakes because “They’re grrrreat!” Adults buy Special K because we want to be as attractive and vigorous as the actors who promote it. When it comes to cereal, about the only thing parents and kids have in common is that the taste matters only slightly more than the image, experience, and product association — and if the communication appears authentic, they’ll buy.

And cereal certainly sells. From Cheerios to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, more than $6 billion worth of cold cereal was sold in the United States alone in 2005. If you were to look at the five top-selling brands, you would see a diverse list targeted to a diverse set of customers. The language used for each of these five brands is noticeably different, but in all cases totally essential.

In looking at the first and third best-selling brands of cereal, one might initially think that only a slight variation in ingredients mark their distinctions. Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios are both based around the same whole-grain O shaped cereal, but are in fact two very different products, beyond the addition of honey and a nut-like crunch.

The language behind Cheerios is remarkably simple and all-encompassing — “The one and only Cheerios.” Could be for kids . . . could be for young adults . . . could be for parents. Actually, Cheerios wants to sell to all of them. As its Web site states, Cheerios is the right cereal for “toddlers to adults and everyone in between.” The subtle heart-shaped bowl on each box suggests to the older consumer that the “whole-grain” cereal is a healthy start to a healthy day. But the Web site also has a section devoted entirely to younger adults, complete with testimonials and “tips from new parents” talking about how Cheerios has helped them to raise happy, healthy children. The language behind Cheerios works because it transcends the traditional societal boundaries of age and adds a sense of authenticity to the product.

While you could probably live a happy and healthy existence with Cheerios as your sole cereal choice, there is a substantial segment of the cereal market that demands more. For the cereal-consuming public roughly between the ages of four and fourteen, a different taste and linguistic approach is required. Buzz the Bee, the kid-friendly mascot of Honey Nut Cheerios, pitches the “irresistible taste of golden honey,” selling the sweetness of the product to a demographic that craves sweet foods. While the parent knows that his or her child wants the cereal because of its sweet taste (as conveyed through the packaging), Honey Nut Cheerios must still pass the parent test. By putting such statements as “whole-grain” and “13 essential vitamins and minerals” on the box, the product gains authenticity, credibility, and the approval of the parent.

Two different messages on one common box effectively markets the same product to both children and parents alike, helping to make Honey Nut Cheerios the number three top-selling cereal in 2004. So with the addition of honey and nuts, General Mills, the producer of the Cheerios line, has filled the gap between toddlers and young adults, and completed the Cheerios cradle-to-grave lifetime hold on the consumer.

To take another example, if you want people to think you’re hip and healthy, you make sure they see you drinking bottled water — and the fancier the better. No one walking around with a diet Dr Pepper in hand is looking to impress anybody. These days, there’s almost a feeling that soft drinks are exclusively for kids and the uneducated masses. There’s a cache to the consumption of water, and expensive and exclusive brands are all the rage. Now, there may be a few people who have such extremely refined, educated taste buds that they can taste the difference between Dasani and Aquafina (I certainly can’t), but the connoisseurs of modish waters are more likely than not posers (or, to continue the snobbery theme, poseurs). You won’t see many people walking around Cincinnati or Syracuse clutching fancy bottled water. Hollywood, South Beach, and the Upper East Side of New York City are, as usual, another story.

There’s one final aspect of being the message that impacts what we hear and how we hear it. How our language is delivered can be as important as the words themselves, and no one understands this principle better than Hollywood.

At a small table tucked away in the corner of a boutique Italian restaurant on the outskirts of Beverly Hills, I had the opportunity to dine with legendary actors Charles Durning, Jack Klugman, and Dom DeLuise. The entire dinner was a litany of stories of actors, writers, and the most memorable movie lines ever delivered. (Says Klugman, an Emmy Award winner, “A great line isn’t spoken, it is delivered.”) Best known for his roles in The Odd Couple and Quincy, Klugman told a story about how Spencer Tracy was practicing his lines for a movie late in his career in the presence of the film’s screenwriter. Apparently not pleased with the reading, the writer said to Tracy, “Would you please pay more attention to how you are reading that line? It took me six months to write it,” to which Tracy shot back, “It took me thirty years to learn how to say correctly the line that took you only six months to write.”

Spencer Tracy knew how to be the message — and his shelf of Academy Awards proved it.

Excerpted from WORDS THAT WORK by Dr. Frank Luntz. Copyright 2007 Dr. Frank Luntz. All rights reserved. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold.

His Most Famous Painting (Portrait of Violette Heymann) – Odilon Redon

French Symbolist painter, printmaker, draughtsman, and pastellist Bertrand-Jean Redon or Odilon Redon (April 20, 1840 – July 06, 1916) was an eminent frontrunner of ‘Post-Impressionism’ and ‘Symbolism.’ He was only 10 when he won a drawing prize at school. Odilon began studying drawing formally at 15, but had to switch to architecture on his father’s insistence. He was back to painting, once he failed to pass the entrance for architecture, at École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. The creator of the “Portrait of Violette Heymann,” Redon, studied etching and lithography under Rodolphe Bresdin, until his artistic career again had to take a break when he joined army in the Franco-Prussian War, in 1870.

The year 1878 gained Odilon recognition, with his creations the ‘Guardian Spirit of the Waters’ and his first album of lithographs, ‘Dans le Rêve’ in 1879. In 1890s, he started using pastels and oils, which was heavily seen in his works for the rest of his life. He added a couple of etchings and lithographs catalogs to his count, later in life. Odilon’s works were hugely imaginative, which ranged right from a human headed spider to quaking ground. His popular works included ‘Spirit of the Forest’ (1880), ‘Cactus Man’ (1881), ‘The Crying Spider’ (1881), ‘The Buddha’ (1904), and the “Portrait of Violette Heymann.”

The “Portrait of Violette Heymann,” created during the last years of Redon’s life in 1910, was one an immensely imaginative work. Measuring 72 cm x 92 cm, this pastel work displays a young woman, Violette Heymann, surrounded by many, intensely colored, blooming, and somewhat unfinished flowers around. To match up with the theme ‘Violette,’ Odilon has made an ample use of violet color. Violette is shown sideways, sitting on a chair, which is supporting just her back, while her neck and head stay unsupported. She looks passive, owing to her expressionless flat face. Her dress is also quite simple without much elaboration and style. She is a wearing a white colored, high neck inner, with a greenish-blue upper having golden border. Her black hair is shoulder length and is pinned at her back.

Odilon Redon described his works as ambiguous and indefinable. He explains, “I have often, as an exercise and as sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an insatiate thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased.” Reflecting his own thinking and psyche through his work, Redon tried to “place the visible at the service of the invisible.” The same ambiguity is reflected in Violette’s expression, owing to which Odilon’s this artwork always gathered mixed reactions. The “Portrait of Violette Heymann” is presently displayed at the Museum of Art at Cleveland, Ohio.

Mind Power Seduction Techniques – 2 Tips to Seduce & Attract Girls

Before I go into detail about the seduction techniques, I would first like to explain why they work (other than the fact they are time tested). A woman's mentality is completely different from a males perspective. They look at life and situations through how they feel, not their rational thought. Now all people do this to an ample but woman are hardwired by them, it is their ruling emotion.

1 * The First Mind Power Seduction Technique is called Fractionation, also known as Positive-Negative Theory

The basis for this seduction technique to attract girls is as you might have guessed, saying something extremely positive immediately followed by something negative in conversation. This will subconsciously create an emotional roller coaster for the woman. Assuming that you are able to hold a conversation, this technique is one of the most effective.

For Example, If you are trying to seduce and attract woman or just that special girl.

"Do you remember that time when your best friend was next to you, and it makes you feel tremendously happy, you feel important, loved, appreciated. then one day my friend got sick and died almost immediately. (Pause) She was gone. "

Now, obviously that is a very extreme example, but that is the basis for that seduction technique, which works like gangbusters.

2 * The Second Mind Power Seduction Technique is called Strawberry Fields (Replace with fruit of your choosing …)

This tactic is to be used only when you have built up sufficient rapport with the woman. At this point you will be able to seduce and attract her easily using this tactic.

"Imagine that you are standing at the gate to a strawberry field. You look in and see ripe and delicious strawberries.

(Yes)

"How high are the gates surrounding the field?"

(This answer will generally determine her mindset towards sex, higher the gate, the higher her guard)
"Imagine you are inside the field, how many strawberries would you pick and eat?"

(This answer will determine how many sex partners she desires)

"After you finished eating the strawberries, you realized you were observed from a farmer from afar, how do you feel about him?"

(Her response will show how she feels about her partner after sex)

This strong subconscious stimuli will compare her mindset to something pleasurable and give you a better understanding of her sexual attraction.

Again, I would like to stress to use this techniques with extreme caution. Remember, just focus on making the woman feel pleasant and all of your dreams to attract and seduce woman will come true.

Quarter Sawn Wood Furniture VS Plain Sawn

Furniture artisans such as Gustav Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Amish used and often preferred the look of quarter sawn woods, especially oak, over any other woods. In oak the quarter sawn pattern exposed is often informally known as "tiger oak", especially when the cut has created that amazing striped effect. Popularized in the Arts and Crafts era by Mission furniture designers, the quarter sawn look is timeless and intriguing.

What then is the difference between plain sawn lumber and quarter sawn? Why does each one present their own beauty and production issues in furniture making?

The various sawing techniques used on the timber will affect and cause a difference in the wood's appearance. The way it is sawn even affects the properties of the tree and eventually its final use. The efficiency of the plain sawing technique means the production yields more. It is much faster and more efficient to plain saw and leaves less waste that can be sold for much less. An important factor furniture makers must consider is that the nature of wood is to expand and contract depending on the grain. Plain sawing timber can typically cause the board to be less stable. Because of wood movement plain sawn wood has some disadvantages. Plain sawn wood, however, can even have a very thoughtful after and interesting pattern to its grain called cathedrals and really can not be recreated by any other method.

A real prize of any furniture craftsmen or collector is in the grains and the ray flecks, of the woods. A tree always display growth rings and rays but the more obvious the rays, the more character is in the wood. Irregular growth rings can actually enhance the character of the rays. The proper cutting technique alone will bring out these other hidden lustrous rays. The nature of the oak is always beautiful and strong but the true beauty, much like in a good diamond cutting, is arguably revealed in higher priced quarter sawn oak. A log is first cut into quarters lengthwise and then each quarter is cut again lengthwise with parallel cuts. These cuts run sort of perpendicular to the tree's natural growth rings. This style of cutting, while less cost effective to produce, has an advantage. Because of the properties of the grain quarter sawn lumber makes it less pre to warping and shrinkage. Plain sawn lumber's grain is in many directions so making it more vulnerable to these two common enemies of wooden furniture. Quarter sawn wood adds a certain stability to furniture. Also, because of the features of quarter sawn boards, furniture makers can glue together boards for large projects and the grain can be matched as if it were seamless. This can make larger high end quality designs a masterpiece of nature and man.

Since cost is a factor in many furniture designs plain sawn boards have been used by many furniture manufacturers for decades since they are less expensive. Depression era furniture is often identified by its plain saw cut woods, or by its slightly more expensive quarter sawn veneers. That said not all veneers mean low end furniture but in many cases it is a cost cutting measure. Like Gustav Stickley, honorary father of American Arts and Crafts Mission furniture, the Amish still carry on the use of quarter sawn white oak with no veneers in their Craftsman style furniture.

Pheromones – Myth or Fact – Do Pheromones Work?

I did a quick search on the Internet for pheromones.

Pheromones are chemicals released by an organism into its environment enabling it to communicate with other in its own species. There are many different types I soon learned.

Insect Pheromones

Alarm Pheromone.

When an ant is disturbed, it releases a pheromone that can be detected by other ants several inches away. They are attracted by low concentrations of the pheromone and begin to move towards the region of increasing concentration. As they get nearer to their disturbed ant releasing an alarm pheromone, their response changes to one of emergency and alarm. They run about to try to break up the disturbance that caused the alarm.

Without additional amounts of the alarm pheromone are released, it soon wears off. This ensures that once the emergency is over, the ants return to going about their business.
Honey bees also have an alarm pheromone which is why if you get stung near a hive you can expect more bee stains really soon if you are not careful.

Leaving a Trail Pheromone

A trail pheromone is left by hands as they move about once they have found food. This trail joins and tells other ants where to go to find the food. It is continuously renewed as long as the food holds out. When the supply begins to dwindle, The trail Pheromone ceases to exist. The trail pheromone evaporates quickly so other ants stop coming to the site and are not confused by old trails when food is found elsewhere.

Sex Pheromones

Hundreds of pheromones are known with which one sex (usually the female) of an insect species associates its mates. Many of these sex attractants – or their close chemical relatives – are available commercially. They have proven useful weapons against insect pests as they can be used to attract insects to a trap, and to confuse males so that they will not reproduce. There are spiders that produce a moth sex pheromone to help catch their prey. A lot of animals such as dogs will mark their territory by peeing. It is said that the scent of pheromones is one of the territory marks.

Pheromones for humans.

There are Claims such as Gain MASSIVE Sexual Chemistry on Demand!

Instantly Arouse, Attract, Excite, Intrigue and Seduce Gorgeous Women Whenever You Want, Wherever You Want, As Often As You Want … Any Time You Are In The Mood.

If YOU would like to …

o Become a lot more sexually attractive.

o Meet more beautiful women, MUCH more easily.

o Grab the attention and get approached by women far more often.

o Make a fantastic, memorable, compelling impression, every time.

o Increase your self-confidence and masculinity BIG-time … then this may be the most important news you will read all year.

And other claims that are just as outrageous all over the internet. Human beings do not produce large quantities of natural pheromones. It has been noted that women who live together for awhile tend to sync their cycles. It has been written this is to a primer pheromone that women release.

If you're looking for the man or woman of your dreams, unsuspecting pheromones in your body scent are most likely playing a large and very clever role in mate attraction. According to an article in "Psychology Today," how our body odors are perceived as pleasant and sexy to another person is a highly selective process. We usually smell best to a person who genetically based immunity to disease differs most from our own. This could benefit you in the long run, making for stronger, healthier children. I watched a show on The Discovery Channel once about sexuality. They did a contest with a male and 5 females who so had very different types of immune systems. The females with similar immune systems to the male were more offensive in odor than the females with very different immune systems. I would imagine this is due to the different in pheromones. The pheromones though are naturally produced by our human bodies. There has been no research to pheromones produced in a lab.

Dating and Pheromones

What if we were to prey women were a little bit attracted to pheromones produced in a lab. If you go into a club after bathing in these pheromones how is a woman going to be attracted to you? You are emitting a scent that (supposedly) is turning any girl who smells it on. Well, what about the couple that is dancing next to you? In theory, that girl is getting turned on but who's to say she is getting turned on to you? She's getting turned on to the loser she is dancing with (Which this loser did not pay anything for pheromones)

So, assuming that they do work they would only benefit you in one-on-one situations.

The fact is that no research interviews synthetic pheromones. The companies selling products are synthetic pheromones. Do these work? Who knows there are much more reliable ways to gain attraction that a scent. I want someone to be attracted to me for me. Not some pheromone I'm wearing. How is she going to feel when I'm not wearing it. Also what is the effect of a women being exposed to the same pheromone all the time. Would not it trigger her to get used to that scent and therefore no longer react to it ?.

My suggestion is to look for other ways to attract someone that can produce consistent results without relying on some product.

Do I Have a Blown Head Gasket? – Critical Blown Engine Symptoms

You're sitting in traffic, minding your own business, when suddenly you see it: a cloud of white smoke drifting out from underneath your car hood.

Does this mean that you've got a blown head gasket on your hands?

Or how about this scenario: you open up the car hood to take a look at your engine, and you notice that the head gasket appears to be slightly warped. Does this mean that you have a blown head gasket? Or should it be considered normal wear-and-tear on a car, especially if it's an older model?

You do not need a mechanic to properly diagnose this problem; in fact, if you spot any of these symptoms while you're driving, then there is a high possibility that you've got a blown engine:

Early Symptoms

In order to prevent major motor problems – and saving yourself a surprise bill from your mechanic! – then watch out for some key preliminary symptoms, which arise when the head gasket is about to fail. Your car will often overheat, white smoke will appear from the exhaust and there will be a slight rumbling sensation when your car's idling.

Blown Engine

If you have not heard these preliminary symptoms, then watch out for the big-time signs: your car overheats, your air conditioning blows out hot air or your heater blows out cold air, there are clouds of smoke coming from underneath your hood, your car will roughly shake while idling, or it will not start at all. In either case, take a look underneath your hood at your engine. A warped or slightly bent surface can easily be fixed by a mechanic for a nominal fee; however, a crack in the block surface will indicate that the head gasket needs to be replaced altogether.

Another major symptom of a blown motor is oil running into your coolant. If your vehicle has been running it is very important to allow your car to cool before you remove the cap of your radiator. This may take 20-30 minutes. Then use a rag to remove the cap. If your fluid looks like chocolate milk, then you definitely have a blown head gasket.

If you engine repair, be sure to take your vehicle to an experienced mechanic with a stellar reputation and customer service.

The Stirling Engine

A ‘Stirling Engine’ is in the family of heat engines. It is a closed cycle regenerative hot air (or other permanent gas) engine.. Closed cycle means that there is a fixed volume of the ‘working fluid’ in the system. There is no intake, there is no exhaust.

The Stirling engine was first patented in 1816 by Dr. Robert Stirling. The original patent focused more on ‘The Economizer’ which was a heat exchange unit that saw primary interest for use as the first incarnation of the solar water heater.

Originally the Stirling engine was developed by Robert Stirling and his brother James. It resulted in many patents and the first Sterling in commercial use was used to pump water in a quarry in 1818. After more development many patents for various improvements, including pressurization, which directly affected the amount of work or force the engine could produce, came about in 1845. By this time, the power output of this engine had been brought up to the level that it could drive all the machinery at a Dundee iron foundry.

The engine was promoted as being very fuel conserving and was pushed to be a safer alternative to steam engines of the time that had many deadly incidents involve exploding boilers. However because of the heat required and the level of exchange required, coupled with the materials of the day, the Stirling engine could never really give the steam engine serious competition, and by the late 1930’s the Stirling was all but forgotten in mainstream science and industry and only represented in odd toys and small ventilation fans.

Around this time, Philips, the large electrical and electronic manufacturer was seeing to expand its market for radio sets into areas where a power source or supply of batteries was considered unstable. Philips further developed the Stirling engine through World War II and really only achieved commercial success with the ‘reversed Stirling engine’ cryocooler. However Philips did take out quite a few patents and gain a large amount of information about the Stirling engine.

Since the Stirling engine is a closed cycle, it contains a fixed mass of gas called the “working fluid”, most commonly air, hydrogen or helium. In normal operation, the engine is sealed and no gas enters or leaves the engine. No valves are required, unlike other types of piston engines. The Stirling engine, like most heat-engines, cycles through four main processes: cooling, compression, heating and expansion. This is accomplished by moving the gas back and forth between hot and cold heat exchangers. The hot heat exchanger is in thermal contact with an external heat source, e.g. a fuel burner, and the cold heat exchanger being in thermal contact with an external heat sink, e.g. air fins. A change in gas temperature will cause a corresponding change in gas pressure, while the motion of the piston causes the gas to be alternately expanded and compressed.

The gas follows the behavior described by the gas laws which describe how a gas’s pressure, temperature and volume are related. When the gas is heated, because it is in a sealed chamber, the pressure rises and this then acts on the power piston to produce a power stroke. When the gas is cooled the pressure drops and this means that less work needs to be done by the piston to compress the gas on the return stroke, thus yielding a net power output.

When one side of the piston is open to the atmosphere, the operation is slightly different. As the sealed volume of working gas comes in contact with the hot side, it expands, doing work on both the piston and on the atmosphere. When the working gas contacts the cold side, the atmosphere does work on the gas and “compresses” it. Atmospheric pressure, which is greater than the cooled working gas, pushes on the piston.

To summarize, the Stirling engine uses the temperature difference between its hot end and cold end to establish a cycle of a fixed mass of gas expanding and contracting within the engine, thus converting thermal energy into mechanical power. The greater the temperature difference between the hot and cold sources, the greater the potential Carnot cycle efficiency.

Pros and Cons of Stirling Engines

Pros

  • They can run directly on any available heat source, not just one produced by combustion, so they can be employed to run on heat from solar, geothermal, biological, nuclear sources or waste heat from any industrial process.

  • A continuous combustion process can be used to supply heat, so most types of emissions can be greatly reduced.

  • Most types of Stirling engines have the bearing and seals on the cool side of the engine; consequently, they require less lubricant and last significantly longer between overhauls than other reciprocating engine types.

  • The engine mechanisms are in some ways simpler than other types of reciprocating engine types, i.e. no valves are needed, and the fuel burner system can be relatively simple.

  • A Stirling engine uses a single-phase working fluid which maintains an internal pressure close to the design pressure, and thus for a properly designed system the risk of explosion is relatively low. In comparison, a steam engine uses a two-phase gas/liquid working fluid, so a faulty relief valve can cause an over-pressure condition and a potentially dangerous explosion.

  • In some cases, low operating pressure allows the use of lightweight cylinders.

  • They can be built to run very quietly and without an air supply, for air-independent propulsion use in submarines or in space.

  • They start easily (albeit slowly, after a warm-up period) and run more efficiently in cold weather, in contrast to the internal combustion which starts quickly in warm weather, but not in cold weather.

  • A Stirling engine used for pumping water can be configured so that the pumped water cools the compression space. This is, of course, most effective when pumping cold water.

  • They are extremely flexible. They can be used as CHP (Combined Heat and Power) in the winter and as coolers in summers.

  • Waste heat is relatively easily harvested (compared to waste heat from an internal combustion engine) making Stirling engines useful for dual-output heat and power systems

Cons

Power and torque issues

  • Stirling engines, especially those that run on small temperature differentials, are quite large for the amount of power that they produce (i.e. they have low specific power). This is primarily due to the low heat transfer coefficient of gaseous convection which limits the heat flux that can be attained in an internal heat exchanger to about 4 – 20 W/(m*K). This makes it very challenging for the engine designer to transfer heat into and out of the working gas. Increasing the temperature differential and/or pressure allows Stirling engines to produce more power, assuming the heat exchangers are designed for the increased heat load, and can deliver the convected heat flux necessary.

  • A Stirling engine cannot start instantly; it literally needs to “warm up”. This is true of all external combustion engines, but the warm up time may be shorter for Stirlings than for others of this type such as steam engines. Stirling engines are best used as constant speed engines.

  • Power output of a Stirling tends to be constant and to adjust it can sometimes require careful design and additional mechanisms. Typically, changes in output are achieved by varying the displacement of the engine (often through use of a swashplate crankshaft arrangement), or by changing the quantity of working fluid, or by altering the piston/displacer phase angle, or in some cases simply by altering the engine load. This property is less of a drawback in hybrid electric propulsion or “base load” utility generation where constant power output is actually desirable.

Gas Choice Issues

  • Hydrogen’s low viscosity, high thermal conductivity and specific heat make it the most efficient working gas, in terms of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics, to use in a Stirling engine. However, given the high diffusion rate associated with this low molecular weight gas, hydrogen will leak through solid metal, thus it is very difficult to maintain pressure inside the engine for any length of time without replacement of the gas. Typically, auxiliary systems need to be added to maintain the proper quantity of working fluid. These systems can be a gas storage bottle or a gas generator. Hydrogen can be generated either by electrolysis of water, or by the reaction of acid on metal. Hydrogen can also cause the embrittlement of metals. Hydrogen is also a very flammable gas, while helium is inert.

  • Most technically advanced Stirling engines, like those developed for United States government labs, use helium as the working gas, because it functions close to the efficiency and power density of hydrogen with fewer of the material containment issues. Helium is relatively expensive, and must be supplied by bottled gas. One test showed hydrogen to be 5% absolutely (24% relatively) more efficient than helium in the GPU-3 Stirling engine.[14]

  • Some engines use air or nitrogen as the working fluid. These gases are less thermodynamically efficient but they minimize the problems of gas containment and supply. The use of Compressed air in contact with flammable materials or substances such as lubricating oil, introduces an explosion hazard, because compressed air contains a high partial pressure of oxygen. However, oxygen can be removed from air through an oxidation reaction, or bottled nitrogen can be used.

Size and Cost Issues

  • Stirling engine designs require heat exchangers for heat input and for heat output, and these must contain the pressure of the working fluid, where the pressure is proportional to the engine power output. In addition, the expansion-side heat exchanger is often at very high temperature, so the materials must resist the corrosive effects of the heat source, and have low creep (deformation). Typically these material requirements substantially increase the cost of the engine. The materials and assembly costs for a high temperature heat exchanger typically accounts for 40% of the total engine cost. (Hargraves)

  • All thermodynamic cycles require large temperature differentials for efficient operation; however, in an external combustion engine, the heater temperature always equals or exceeds the expansion temperature. This means that the metallurgical requirements for the heater material are very demanding. This is similar to a Gas turbine, but is in contrast to a Otto engine or Diesel engine, where the expansion temperature can far exceed the metallurgical limit of the engine materials, because the input heat-source is not conducted through the engine; so the engine materials operate closer to the average temperature of the working gas.

  • Dissipation of waste heat is especially complicated because the coolant temperature is kept as low as possible to maximize thermal efficiency. This increases the size of the radiators, which can make packaging difficult. Along with materials cost, this has been one of the factors limiting the adoption of Stirling engines as automotive prime movers. However, for other applications high power density is not required, such as Ship propulsion, and stationary microgeneration systems using combined heat and power (CHP).[13]

    There are many possible uses for the Stirling design. More research and devolopment will help move the technology along.

Environmentally Friendly Fireplaces

If you have ever sat in front of a burning fire, you know that it can be a very pleasant experience. It is a great way to warm your home and it does reduce your electric bill. However, all fireplaces are not created equal and depending on what you want to use the fireplace for will determine what type of fireplace you need to have. You do want to use the most environmentally friendly fireplace that will suit your needs. Here are some of the more eco-friendly fireplaces you may want to consider:

Pellet Stoves

Pellet stoves use pellets made from waste materials and therefore are very environmentally friendly. They burn very clean and they are very low maintenance. The pellets can be loaded into an auger and can be automatically fed into the stove. Another added feature is that you do not need to install a chimney for the pellet fireplace.

There are however, some disadvantages to the pellet stove. They may not be allowed in mobile homes in your area so you will have to check with your particular county to see if you can install one in a mobile or modular home. They do require electricity to run and they can be very expensive. You will have to purchase pellets for your pellet stove. So, you should price the pellets and the unit, before you decide to go with this type of fireplace.

Wood-burning Fireplaces

Wood-burning fireplaces have a wonderful appeal. The fuel is renewable and if you have wood s on your property or know someone that does, you may be able to get your wood free. There is no electricity needed to burn wood except if you elect to put an electric blower on your unit. Putting one of these units on your wood-burning fireplace greatly increases the fireplace's heating capacity.

One thing about wood-burning fireplaces, and that happens to be one of the things that I do not like about them, is that they are messy. You do need to keep the ash cleaned out of the fireplace so it will work efficiently. Another thing about burning wood is the smoke that is produced which can be irritating to some people. Heat also escapes if you use an open fireplace versus a wood-burning insert. These are all things you should take into consideration when deciding which fireplace you want to use.

Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are not very expensive and they are convenient and portable. They do not produce real flames which makes them safer than a wood-burning fireplace. Actually, they are just a fancy space heater. They do, however, use electricity to run. They do not use as much as a central heating system does, but they still consume more than some of the other types of fireplaces.

Gas or Propane Fireplaces

These fireplaces are great. I have a propane fireplace because we do not have natural gas in our area. The gas or propane fireplace has a real flame but without the mess and the work of a wood-burning fireplace. Some of these models do not even require a chimney. No chimney means that you do not lose much of the heat as with a real wood-burning fireplace. And, if you have a blower on the unit, it will warm a large room rather quickly. When deciding on a gas or propane fireplace, check with the manufacturer regarding any carbon monoxide concerns. Carbon monoxide can be an issue with an unwanted or fireplace with no chimney. You will also need natural gas or propane to run the fireplace. Both of these are not inexpensive.

When deciding on one of these environmentally friendly fireplaces, check with the manufacturer or a knowledgeable person in the store where you will purchase it for information regarding the best type of fireplace for your needs.

Eco Friendly Fireplaces – Alternatives to Wood Burning Fireplaces

Fireplace wood contains carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides that cause smog, fine particles, soot and a host of gases and chemicals which may result in or complicate health problems, especially in children, pregnant women and individuals with respiratory problems living in the home. As for the environment, burning wood in your home may contribute to acid rain and smog.

During the cold winter months, it is still possible to heat up your home without leaving a carbon footprint in the process. Instead of burning wood in your fireplace, you may opt for wood pellets manufactured from sawdust and other byproducts of lumber as a more eco friendly solution. This is because these byproducts would otherwise have ended up as waste in landfills. These small logs are specifically formulated for very efficient burning – almost completely, mainly because of their low moisture content, which means that fewer pollutants will be released into the air both inside and outside the home.

In order to safely handle the wood pellets, you will require a pellet stove or a fireplace insert when burning. This insert fires the pellets using an igniter. It also has a blower which fans the fire and an augur that pours pellets onto the flames to keep the fire burning as long as you require. This set up eliminates the need to keep on opening your stove doors to feed the fire, which means that fewer pollutants are released into your living room area.

Alternately, you may also reduce carbon emissions from your fireplace by opting for a gas insert which burns either liquid propane from a swappable tank or piped-in natural gas. The inserts will draw air in to oxygenate the fire, while channeling the smoke outside either through a vent or up your chimney. You should note that hearth fires are unable to heat up large spaces as effectively as the free-standing wood, gas or pellet stoves.

Be sure to have your fireplace regularly inspected for leaks, cracks or back drafts which could have resulted in added pollution to your home. Have your chimney swept every couple of years to remove any blockages due to creosote which could increase indoor pollution of the air in your home. When installing a new fireplace or insert, consult a qualified professional to ensure that they set it up properly in the most eco friendly and efficient manner. Whatever fireplace fuel option you settle for, the health of your family and the safety of the environment should factor primarily in your decision making.