Advertise no matter if you are big or small

: What is your attitude as a small town businessman when it comes to advertising or taking help of an advertising design agency to provide creative design solutions? I bet, more often than not it is on the lines of "What ever is left over, we'll use for advertising". Well, you are not alone. Most of the small town businessmen treat advertising as such, as they feel that they know most of their customers who will come back, advertising or not. Fair enough, but what if you have a competitor within the town or even without in the form of E-commerce ensuring doorstep delivery and definitely much larger choice. You getting the point? Competition or not, you always need to remind your customers that you are there and what value you bring to them. This way you not only ensure that loyal customers remain so, but you net new customers.

Remember marketing and advertising is an investment, not an expense. Without enough money put aside for advertising your sales can go down and you suddenly have less and less for promotion. You advertise most when you need business. You advertise more when you don't. A small-budget advertiser doesn't have the ''deep pockets" to develop big advertising campaigns or go for top shot advertising design agency. In this case you need to break the rules to be noticed.

Avis did it by admitting they were "Number 2" in the car rental business and that campaign took them from 6th place to second place. Now you must be wondering is there any sure shot way of advertising which not only is cost effective but has maximum impact. To be sure, there isn’t any readymade formula for bull’s eye hitting creative design solutions but this article proffers some tips to get this sort of marketing in place. Before we get to the tips let's look at the basic strategies of successful advertising.

* In order to be successful, your advertising must provide a consumer benefit or solve a problem. * That benefit or solution must be wanted by the consumer. * The product or service you are offering must be tied directly to that benefit or solution. * The benefit or solution must be distinctly communicated through medial advertising. In other words, be clear, forget the advertising glitz and make sure the message isn't lost in the ad. Average cost of advertising is usually 1 to 5% of gross sales, which can vary according to location, local advertising rates, and industry.

Budget conscious advertisers must achieve top results for their advertising dollar. Expand your dollars by adopting some creative techniques. Some Tips * Place your ads in off hours or in unusual locations on discounted rates. This will help you in containing the cost. Many times you can still reach your target market with these spots. * Instead of a one-time big splash ad, be consistent with frequent small ads that work to keep reminding your customers of your presence. * Consider advertising in regional issues of national magazines. The costs are lower and you can reach your target market. TV Guide is also a good choice.

It stays around for at least a week. * Sponsor a community event if you can like a fun-run, golf tournament, or other event that will be well publicized in the community. Your name may not be prominently displayed but sometimes the positive exposure in the community will bring in new customers. * Exploit the media you choose to the fullest. If your message is verbal, you don't need TV. Use radio, billboards and newspapers to the fullest. * Consider direct mail. A letter and brochure before customer contact can increase business. *Hire an advertising design agency which might not be top of the heap, but can get creative and specializes in interactive campaigns to provide you with creative design solutions. I hope these tips will help your business grow.

Not all may be relevant to your particular situation. Hopefully, they will illustrate the importance to plan and control your advertising budget.

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Write articles that relate to your product or service

If you want to make money online a good strategy that won't cost you a dime is to write articles that relate to your product or service. Search Engines are constantly on the "look out" for freshly written content that has been submitted online. So how do you come up with ideas for your next article? Here are several suggestions that may help... * Hang out in online forums. Watch what people are talking about. Look at the questions they are asking. The topics that are bringing the greatest number of visitors would make for an excellent article. * Take a look at what information is being broadcast on TV, radio, newspapers, and online.

This information is usually a hot topic. * Read blogs. What are people posting about? What kind of comments are they leaving? What questions do they have? Blogs are the hot internet marketing medium right now and you can literally find them everywhere on any topic. This is an excellent source for your next article idea. * Survey your current customers or website visitors. Ask them what kind of article they would like to see in your next ezine or published on your website.

* Check bookstores online. What are the top sellers? This can be a good way to come up with an article that catches the attention of what people are reading. * Be seasonal. Write about what is going on that time of year. Holidays, festivals, sports, graduations, etc. all make for an article that someone will want to read. * Write an article about a current fad. There is always something that is hot at the time and could make for interesting reading from you. * Keep track of what your customers and prospects are asking you. If you get an email or phone call with a question this may make for a good article. Others may have the same question, but are afraid to ask it. * Start a swipe file on what others are writing about. If it is of interest to you it will probably be of interest to others. Never plagiarize the work of others, but you can certainly get good ideas this way. The biggest benefit of a swipe file is having it handy to refer back to over and over whenever you are ready to write your article and are not sure what you want to write about. Hopefully this will give you some ideas on how to come up with your next article. The internet marketer who can write interesting articles has a huge leg up on their competition. If you can master this strategy there is no limit to how much money you can make online.

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Coal reduces reliance on foreign oil

Recently, the price of a barrel of oil rose to $40, the most expensive price in American history. With the rise in oil prices and constant instability in the Middle East, the United States seems headed for an energy crisis. But there is an abundant, low-cost energy source located throughout the country. That energy source is coal. After years of mine shutdowns, there is a renewed interest in coal in the United States. Companies such as Quest Minerals and Mining Corp. are now reopening mines and resuming coal production. There are 274 billion tons of coal in mines across the country.

That amount of coal could last the United States for about 250 years, considering that the average American uses 7,000 pounds of coal each year. Using this resource decreases dependence of foreign oil and stimulates the economy in several ways. First, coal stimulates the American economy by maintaining and creating jobs for people that work in the mines and in coal transportation. For each of the four major freight rail lines, coal represents at least 40 percent of the total tonnage hauled each year. Many people are dependent on coal for their livelihood and will remain so if Americans increase their use of coal as an energy source. Moreover, because coal is a domestic resource, the cost of transporting it is much lower than the cost of importing oil from other nations. Transportation costs of coal are also lower because there are more options for transporting coal from one place to another. Coal is carried by barge and by train. Using coal is beneficial for more than just jobs and reducing transportation costs.

The abundance of coal allows the price to remain stable, unlike oil prices in the volatile Middle East. Commodities like coal, whose costs remain stable or decrease, keep inflation low. Low inflation rates allow Americans to be confident that their savings and investments are safe. Another major benefit of coal power is the cost of electricity generated by coal. Generation of coal power costs one-fourth that of natural gas power generation. Businesses using coal power keep their overhead costs low and maximize profitability. Furthermore, coal is used to generate electricity for telecommunications, computers and all other electric-based technologies that boost the American economy. The benefits of coal power make it a logical choice for the power source of the future of the United States.

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Presentation design why is well done so rare

Your job as a presentation designer is to make ideas into visual images. For your presentations to work, the visual images must convey exactly what you want to say and require the least possible effort on the part of your audience to “get it”. The difference between a visual that works and one that fails is good design. To appreciate of how good design adds to the quality of our lives, it helps to look at some examples of truly bad design that we all deal with on an everyday basis. Bad design abounds, and everyday our lives are a little less pleasant for it. The really unfortunate thing about poorly designed objects is that countless unpleasant times might have been spared if only the designer had thought through his or her approach a little more thoroughly. The line between good and bad design is often fine. It can be no more than positioning a button in a spot not easily accessed by mistake; a label placed where it could actually be seen before the wrong action is taken; a multi-step process where you don’t have to get to step seven before you realize you did step three wrong; or a lever or handle shaped more like the movement it wants you to make. When you acquire a more developed sensitivity to design, you begin to look at all things with questions such as, “Might it have been better to do it this way?”, or “What would it have taken to make it work like this?” Then take a look at the last presentation you delivered. Do you suppose there were elements that caused even temporary confusion? And then when you explained the element, did they say, “Oh I get it - but why didn’t you just say it this way?”? All bad designs cause the expenditure of more effort to produce the same result. The more effort it takes to absorb your message the less energy is available for processing the message itself. Effort causes discomfort. In the presentation environment, that can mean disaster because - for the very same reason - discomfort leads to disassociation from the message. That’s why professional trainers make certain the learning environment is as comfortable as possible - fresh water, good seats, frequent breaks. “The mind can only absorb what the buttocks can endure” is old but still relevant. Bad presentation design is a pain in the ass, and it stops message uptake just as quickly. Now let’s step back from presentations for a few moments. Think about the various devices - electrical, mechanical, architectural, digital, whatever – that you use or come in contact with on a daily or weekly basis. Keep in mind that anything manufactured for human consumption was first designed by a human. You know that some humans are more talented than others. If you’re like most people, you have probably been annoyed or frustrated with a device than was designed by one from the less talented group. Next time you use your hair-dryer, notice whether the high-low switch works the way you would expect, or to affect a High setting you need to push the switch to its Lower position. Can you get water into and coffee out of your drip-style coffee-maker without dripping any of either? Where does your refrigerator spew more ice – into your glass or onto the floor? Can your friends operate your microwave without your showing them how? Discussing how design affects our everyday lives is purposeful in getting you to think very hard about how your presentation designs affect the people you subject them too, and why it is worth the effort to do them well. And although it is kind and thoughtful to design in ways that enhance, rather than detract from, the quality of your audience’s experience, the bottom line is simple: good design goes down easier. You need every opportunity to get your audience on your side, and you must allow nothing in your control to discomfort the people you’re trying to persuade. As Edward Tufte says, “audiences are fragile; respect them”. One last sad truth about bad design is that so many people who are frustrated by things that don’t work think it’s their fault! When people don’t understand what they’re told, or audiences don’t understand what they see on the screen, they often blame themselves – they believe that they’re either stupid or slow or perhaps they simply learn in other ways. Ask yourself: Do your presentations have a less-than-evident “operating system?” Before someone can get your message (the function of your presentation) do they first have to learn and comprehend your design? Your main goal when designing a presentation should be to keep your audience’s attention on your idea, your pitch, your proposal---your message. They should never be distracted by, or even really aware of, your design. Dazzling them with bells and whistles will help them remember the bells and whistles, not your message. You need to make your message the star so that nothing takes their minds away from it. Your audience has gone to some effort to let you speak your piece. Thank them for showing up by rewarding them with good design.

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The advantages of an executive suite over a home office

Choosing the right executive office suite can be the solution you are looking for when your home office no longer supports your business’s success. The benefits of a home office may soon be over shadowed by staff growth or the need to branch out to more prominent city locations. The natural progression of your office needs may also complete the image you have of your business. Executive office suites can offer your business completely furnished amenities, the perfect image, and a professional support staff. Leasing an executive office suite from a reputable office space leasing agent may provide you services that your home office isn’t able to support. For instance imagine having a cordial receptionist to greet clients in a furnished waiting area, or an office manager to take care of administrative tasks.

Having a technical staff on site would surely allow you to spend more time generating business than trying to fix a copier or printer. A prestigious address in your area can add convenience and growth that your home office may limit. More than likely your home office is just a spare bedroom with a computer and phone. This spare bedroom office may be all you need to conduct your daily business however, are you sure you want to see your potential clients traversing residential streets trying to locate your home office? Your business’s image will benefit more if your office is located in a professional environment. Branching out your business to different locations may be the answer to achieving success in an unfamiliar area. Consider having an executive suite located in the same city as your primary supplier. This option could act as your distribution center as opposed to your garage. Think about the shipping costs you could save and the extra space you’ll gain.

Entrepreneurship is the foundation of the American dream and your home office is just the starting point. Don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal by limiting success to your spare bedroom. Contact a local office space leasing agent today and discover the possibilities having an executive office suite.

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Know how a merchant account works

As an online business owner and proprietor, you probably know how important it is to be able to offer your customers the ability to pay for your merchandise or services with a credit card. The ability to offer that service to them can significantly increase your revenue and your customer base. These days, shopping online has become a quick and convenient way to buy merchandise, and more and more consumers are turning to the Internet to make all kinds of purchases, from minor to major. And the vast majority of these shoppers prefer to pay for their goods with their credit cards. By opening an internet merchant account, you will be able to provide a convenient service to your customers that will keep them coming back to your business, while potentially exploding your profits. Basically, a merchant account is set up through a bank or an online merchant account provider for a retail or online organization in order to accept credit cards as payment from customers. Traditionally, merchant accounts were only offered by banks and providers to retail businesses that were located in a physical location. With the huge success and increase in online shopping over the past several years, merchant account providers have turned that way in order to provide services to online merchants.

Most banks still do not provide online merchant accounts, due to the constant concern over credit card fraud. However, there are an ever-growing number of online merchant account providers that offer services specifically to those business owners that market their products on the Internet. Because there are so many providers out there, it is important that you research all aspects of merchant accounts, especially the costs, so that your profits stay in your pocket. It is also important to find a provider that offers services to make being a business owner easier and less stressful. There are several types of costs associated with opening and maintaining an online merchant account.

Not all of the fees are necessary, and not all providers charge them. One type of cost is the application fee. This charge is to cover the costs of processing your application, whether you open an account or not. Some merchant account providers will waive the fee if you open an account. Some providers do not charge this fee at all. Another type of common fee is the statement fee. This is a monthly can be as much as $25 per month, and is purportedly imposed by the account provider to cover costs. The discount rate is a fee that the merchant account provider earns from each of your sales, usually between 2 and 4 percent. The fixed transaction fee is also based on each sale, but the provider takes the same amount no matter the cost of the product purchased, usually .20-.30. There is usually a termination fee included in the account contract. Because some providers require a commitment period of 2 or 3 years, this fee can apply if you choose to cancel your account before then.

Finally, there are miscellaneous fees that are imposed on your account as well. Often, these separate fees are levied if a customer requests a refund, and wants the amount credited back to their card. This can be $10-20. As you can see, there are many costs associated with an online merchant account. It is important to compare different providers in order to save yourself the money you have worked so hard to make. It's not a bad idea to use your current sales information to estimate the costs of your merchant account.

A relationship with a merchant account provider should be a long, trustworthy one. Your provider should provide you with an assortment of services that will make running your business easier. They should be able to accommodate several types of credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, etc.), as well as provide several payment alternatives, such as the popular PayPal. Your online merchant account provider should have a record of good service and customer satisfaction, as well as a reliable reputation. They should also have a reputation of excellent customer service providers. They should be able to help you with problems quickly and efficiently.

A merchant account provider is a necessity if you want to make the most of your business by accepting credit card payment from customers. Your merchant account provider can make or break your business with its fees and service. That is why it is important to know all of the aspects of a merchant account, and choose your provider wisely.

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Replacing your steering wheel

An important part of your whole vehicle is the steering wheel. Imagine your vehicle without it and it would seem like you could go nowhere. That is because the steering wheel is a steering control. It is manipulated by the driver and it becomes a channel that directs that control towards the rest of the vehicle. Upon purchasing a vehicle, you could actually note that some vehicles contain a good looking steering wheel while for other vehicles the steering wheel simply looks dull.

That is why many people often try to replace their vehicle’s original steering wheel with one that would not only suit their tastes and would suit their vehicle, but they would also try to find the right kind of steering wheel that could respond and perform excellently according to the directions given by the vehicle’s driver. If you would like to replace you vehicle’s original steering wheel, it would be best if you are armed with ample and the right kind of information regarding the original one. You should know the measurements of the original steering wheel so that when you purchase a replacement, you would be able to find a new one that would fit and work well with your vehicle. Keep in mind that when you choose the new one, you should make sure that the new steering wheel would not actually obstruct your view of the gauges on your dashboard. Locate the right kind of store to purchase the steering wheel of your choice.

If you have no idea yet as per what kind of steering wheel you would like to have for your vehicle, ideas are available in automobile magazines, in auto shops and auto parts stores, and online as well. You can also ask your friends and family where they purchased new steering wheels. Remember that steering wheels come in various styles. There are four spoke steering wheels, three-spoke ones, multi-color, boomerang-style, ultra-tech style, and even Formula One style racing steering wheels. Try to choose the right one that would not give you much confusion yet would give you satisfaction. Also, you have to choose what kind of finish you would like your steering wheel to have. Some of the choices to choose from include wood, vinyl, leather, and carbon fiber.

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Good websites stand out from the masses of boring hard to travel

Good websites stand out from the masses of boring, hard to travel, and overly commercial sites that now rule our Cyberspace. Interactivity and integrity are necessary for a site to become a hub of activity. Websites, there’s literally billions of them out there in cyber-space. How many of them do you go to and just think this is boring, bland, or hard to use? It seems like too many to mention. So what makes a good website?

I reckon it’s about interaction. You’ve got to make the visitor interested. You’ve got to grab their attention. Many sites use plenty of bright and shiny gimmicks to attract you, but once you make it through to the content of the site it’s just not worthy. A good site uses easy navigation, relevant content, and interactive media like comments and message boards.

If you’re fortunate, whoever builds your site may even have a few tricks up their sleeves to make it really fun with sound, video, and other interactive fun stuff. Do you want people to come to your site and then tell their friend and family about it? Do you want to have huge amounts of visitors? Do you want to succeed in making your dreams come to fruition on the Web? Make your website exciting! It might be easier said than done, but there are people around whose job it is to construct and design sites for a living. If you can afford it, go for the best. How great is it when you come across a site that has some special feature that you’ve never seen elsewhere? Isn’t it great when you find a site that relates to one of your interests that is simple and easy to get to the information you want? If you want to have people to come back again and again, you’ve got to keep updating the content to keep it fresh and interesting.

Have a way for people to communicate with yourself and others who are into the same things. E. G. Forums, message boards and comments. The aim is to catch the ‘viewer’s’ interest. A lot of sites just look like giant advertisements and you have to search for the needle in the haystack to find out what the actual site is for. I know advertising is a way of making money, but if you want your site to have an authentic, respectable atmosphere that exudes a feeling of integrity, you better be careful. People are becoming wary of this consumer driven, mindless attack at the average civilian’s wallet. Some people will automatically leave a site if a bunch of commercials pop-up on the screen. Pop-ups, don’t even make me go there… So, the aim of the game is to make a site that offers the public to be part of the action as well as being a source of knowledge or information that is in demand.

A simple to navigate, good ‘feel’, and if possible-innovative site is the means to becoming the popular Internet magnate you’ve always dreamed of becoming. Another important fact is the idea of ‘you’. Your website is a chance to put your identity out there in the world. Be yourself. If you try to appeal to an audience in a way that doesn’t reflect your true self, you’re destined to fail. Be honest and speak from your real perspective on life. Give it to us from the heart.

Online Good websites stand out from the masses of boring hard to travel

Earning an online university degree

Earning a University degree online can be an experience that is every bit as enriching, interpersonal, and dynamic as attending college the traditional face-to-face way. A big misconception is that online learning is impersonal. This isn’t the case at all. Programs offered online present the same opportunities for group work, independent study, and interpersonal communication as do traditional methods of learning. In fact, attending college online helps to facilitate the independent learning process, as well as developing time management skills. Attending college online takes just as much commitment as the old-fashioned way of going to school, and the potential career and personal benefits are just as great, if not greater. There are many advantages for a student seeking a University degree to choose an online institution. A student does not need to live locally to attend the school of choice. Attending all classes and submitting coursework online eliminates the need for commuting or relocating. Earning an online University degree is a convenient way to advance your education and training. A school may offer more sections of popular courses, as well as night and weekend courses, which allows a student more flexibility. This is an ideal situation for those who work full time and/or care for a family.

Additionally, if you are a student who is considering returning to school after several years, going to school online is a perfect way to ease into the routine of class work and projects again, and can lessen the stress of feeling the need to fit in with younger students. Besides, who wouldn’t find it appealing to attend college from the comforts of home? It is possible to earn and online University degree in a fraction of the time that it would take to attend a traditional college or University. Many online programs offer accelerated degree programs.

This is ideal if you are looking to advance your career, and are in a hurry to do so. Many online programs also offer students the option of attending part time. These are often fully accredited programs, which is a benefit for you in having your degree recognized by potential employers and various professional organizations. Attending a fully accredited online University is also critical if you have credits from previous college courses that you wish to transfer, or if you decide to transfer to another University later on. It is important to check the credentials of the online institution to be sure of its accreditation. If you are worried that you might not be able to afford an online University, there are options. Some employers might offer to pay a portion or even all tuition and fees toward an employee receiving a degree.

Also, financial aid in the form of grants, loans, and even scholarships might be available to you. Check with the particular online program of interest to see what financial options are available. The type of degree earned at an online University is practically limitless. Aside from earning Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and PhD degrees, professionals can continue their educations and stay up to the minute in their fields. Online learning is no longer just for web designers and computer programmers. You may study Business, Social Sciences, Criminal Justice, Humanities, Mathematics, Human Resources, Fine Arts, and various Healthcare programs. Depending on the type of degree you are seeking (graduate, for example), there may be certain academic requirements that you have to fulfill to be able to attend. Make sure you do your research when trying to decide on an online University. With the prevalence of the Internet and technologies such as teleconferencing available today, it is possible to come away from the experience of attending and online University not only with a degree, but also being more in tune with technology, which has the potential to broaden your career opportunities even more.

Attending an online university is a legitimate, convenient, and flexible way for you to advance you education, as well as your career and personal potential.

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Bachelor degrees online

Should you get your bachelor degree online? For many people this would seem hard to do. Depending on the field of study that you plan to get, it can be actually quite welcoming and a great way to get in the education that you have always wanted. Sure, it isn’t easy but neither is college for that matter. The online bachelor degree programs are a good way for many to get the education that they need without having to get into a college that is set up traditionally. There are many programs that are offered through online bachelor degrees.

If you would like to know if any of the programs or classes that you need to take are available to you on the web, all you need to do is to log on to any of the various online schools and find out. This level of education that the bachelor degree is one that is advanced and will require much learning. One of the aspects of online education that people do not understand is how you get the hands-on training that many fields require. While you may or may not need this in the bachelor degrees that you plan to get, you will find that information about this is easy to find at the online university’s websites. In most cases, the online universities will work with area schools, offices, or establishments to allow you to get your lab time in. This is convenient and affordable as well especially useful when you consider you will be meeting some of the people that you may work with once you get your bachelor degree. You will benefit from leaning more about the online bachelor degree that you are after. You can easily find online colleges that offer the education that you are after in an online manner. See what they are, what their classes will include and find out just how well they will work for you. The online bachelor degrees that are offered are pretty wide-ranged too!

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Tofu for baby disover how this amazing food can benefit your baby s diet

Tofu for baby - discover how this amazing food can benefit your baby's diet. Tofu - that's just for vegetarians, right? Wrong. Tofu is a highly nutritious food that, rather than being seen as just an alternative to meat, should be included in your baby's diet on its own merits! Tofu is part of the legume family. It is fermented soymilk curd - the process by which it is made compares to the way that cheese is made from milk. Tofu is a rich source of protein, calcium, iron, fibre and fatty acids - key components for good nutrition. There are two basic types of tofu - hard/firm tofu, often used in recipes that needs a consistency which holds together well - and soft or silken tofu, generally used for desserts, smoothies, soups and sauces. Fresh tofu has a sweet aroma when opened - any sour odour would indicate that it is stale and should not be used for your baby. It will keep for seven days in the refrigerator and should be placed in an airtight container of water. It is, however, essential that the water is changed on a daily basis. Tofu does not freeze particularly well - upon defrosting it becomes somewhat spongy in texture and appears discoloured. You can introduce this versatile and healthy food to your baby once he/she is at least 8 months of age. (It is important, however, to be aware that soy is a potential allergen. When introducing it to your baby for the very first time, watch carefully for any signs of an allergic reaction. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stuffy or runny nose, watery or red eyes and wheezing. Should you ever suspect your baby is allergic to a particular type of food, then contact a medical professional immediately). It is very easy to incorporate tofu into your baby's diet because it has very little taste of its own. Instead, it absorbs the flavours of any foods it comes into contact with. Initially, you could try blending tofu with cottage cheese or avocado, for a simple, nutritious meal. Soft tofu creamed with fruit would make a delicious dessert for baby. Alternatively, tofu can be cut into chunks and served to your baby raw, as a healthy finger food. Taking into account tofu's extensive nutritional properties, along with its versatility, it would clearly provide a very worthwhile boost to most babies' diets.

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The history of five card stud poker

Poker has a long and indistinct history. Some hold that it originated in Persia as it closely resembles a game called As Nas and may have been brought to the United States via Persian sailors in New Orleans. This game was played with 25 cards with 5 different suits. This game was played similarly to modern Five Card Stud with many of the hand combinations such as three of a kind. It seems likely that the name “Poker” descended from the French poque, which originally came from the German pochen, ‘to knock’. The game was reportedly played in New Orleans around the late 1820’s, with a deck of 20 cards and players betting on the value of their hands. The earliest known form of Poker was played with a 20-card pack (A-K-Q-J-10) evenly dealt amongst four players. There was no draw, and bets are made on a narrow range of combinations: one pair, two pair, triplets, and ‘full’ - so called because it is the only combination in which all five cards are active - and four of a kind. Unlike classic Poker, in which the top hand (royal flush) can be tied in another suit, the original top hand consisting of four Aces, or four Kings and an Ace, was absolutely unbeatable.

The spread of the game after this seems to have been facilitated by the practice of gambling on Mississippi riverboats. Soon after this the deck was expanded to the present day 52 cards and the flush was introduced. The additional cards were introduced mostly to allow more players. The game was expanded and developed further during the Civil War, with many of the variants of the game being introduced then, including Five Card Stud. Poker was initially played with only one round of betting with all five cards dealt face down and no draw cards, very similar to today’s Five Card Stud game. Professional gamblers later added variations and rule changes in order to increase the profitability of the game. Wild cards and bluffing became common occurrences and the draw was added around 1850, allowing yet another round of betting.

Many of the features of modern Poker, such as the draw and some versions of different hands, as well as the straight and the flush originated in the earlier forms of the British game Brag or Bragg. Brag’s modern form differs greatly from modern day poker, however.

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Secrets to win any gambling

Gambling can be a lot of fun. But it isn’t when you are always on the losing end. If you can not afford to lose your money, never mind gambling. But you can make serious money in betting. Well, you can even be rich. Contrary to the usual belief that you gamble solely on pure chance and luck, adding in a little mathematics and some proven game strategies will not hurt. In fact, it can guarantee you a good pay out. Here are some secrets to win any kind of gambling. * Know the right type of gambling for you. There are hundreds of gambling games that you can try for yourself. Casinos, sports betting, or even arbitrage betting. If you pick one, master it. * Learn about the game. Read related materials of the game such as basic rules and tips. As the old clichй goes, knowledge is power. You can have the edge by investing on good books or download tips and secrets on the web. * Set a minimum bet in every game. After a win, bet only half of the pot you put in the previous round. When you lose, go back to your least bet. This is often regarded as progressive betting. Use it rather than straight betting. * Always check the odds. Choose a betting game that has 3 percent or less casino advantage. Among others, popular games are poker, black jack and craps. * Watch the trend Be attentive to your winning and losing trend. Get the probability and ratio of your winnings and losing. If you think that you are on the brink of losing, then don’t bet. * Stick to a strategy. Pick a strategy that works best for you. There is no such thing as the greatest strategy but there are proven ones. Collate all known gaming strategies and select the one that is effective and works for you. * Don’t be overly greedy Being greedy might give you a couple of dollars more but being overly greedy might cause you to lose them all. * Be optimistic Muster some confidence that you will win those dollars. This attitude would keep you betting until you get some good pay. But never expect to win all the time, which barely happens. You lose some, you win some. Keep in mind that winning doesn’t mean you have to win a bet every time. What matters most are your total net profit earnings.

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When you cannot attend a memorial service writing a condolence letter can help

Condolence letters are considered some of the most difficult letters to write and send because of their very sensitive nature. Even so, when someone close to you is dealing with the loss of a loved one, the grief and bereavement, writing and sending a condolence letter is probably one of the most considerate, kind, and thoughtful things you can do. A condolence letter, if written properly, can show that you care about your friend and what they’re going through and that you are sympathetic to their loss. Although there are many different ways to remember a loved one, such as a funeral, memorial service, online memorials, and online obituaries, writing and sending condolence letters can also be your way of not only expressing sympathy but also in remembering a loved one and sharing those memories with your grieving friend or relative. The problem is that many people have a hard time finding the right words to express themselves in writing during such a sensitive time. Before you put pen to paper or start thinking of what on you are possibly going to write, keep in mind that your letter, in addition to being carefully and well-written, should aim to achieve three main purposes. The first is to express sympathy and comfort to your friend or relative experiencing the loss of a loved one. The second is to honor and pay tribute to the deceased and the third is to let the bereaved person know that you are available should they need help. If you are able to keep these three things in mind, and put them on paper, your condolence letter will in fact be honest and heartfelt. Try to be personal and heartfelt in your condolence letter, without being too sentimental and gushing. You can start by acknowledging what happened—the person’s death, how you found out about it, how it made you feel, etc. Do not go into detail about how or why the person died—this is completely unnecessary and unhelpful. Move on to express sympathy and comfort to your friend or relative in bereavement. If you don’t know the name of person who died (for example, it could be your best friend’s grandmother), find out. This will make your condolence letter more personal and meaningful. If you’re uncomfortable asking, find out at the funeral or memorial service, or search online - their obituary may be online or an online memorial may have been set up. Next, include positive statements about the relationship between the deceased and your friend or loved one, if appropriate, as well as positive statements about your relationship with the deceased. Don’t forget to include something positive about them in general—his or her good qualities, characteristics, personality, hobbies, interests, good memories, etc. In writing your condolence letter, avoid clichйs like “I know how you feel” or “This is for the best” or “This is God’s will”—these statements are generally not sincere or heartfelt and don’t really serve a purpose. Also, avoid writing general statements about your willingness to help if needed (this is unfortunately very common in condolence letters). While you likely have a desire to do something for your friend or relative who is grieving for the loss of a loved one, think of something practical that you can specifically do, and then offer your services—but only if you can follow through. How do you send a condolence letter? First of all, it’s usually not appropriate to type and then print one out using your computer. Secondly, avoid e-mailing a condolence letter, save for special or extreme circumstances. The best way to write and send your letter is to handwrite it using stationery. Remembering a loved one and offering support through a condolence letter requires a personal touch. When mailing your letter, make sure it’s mailed within two weeks or so of the person’s death in order to properly pay your respects in a timely manner. Writing a condolence letter is not an easy task. It is a difficult but necessary thing we may all have to do in our life to help aid a loved one in a time of need. Take this as a simple guide to get you on your way as you have to take on the task. ~Ben Anton, 2007

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What is narcissism

A pattern of traits and behaviours which signify infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition. Most narcissists (50-75%, according to the DSM IV-TR) are men. The Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is one of a "family" of personality disorders (known as "Cluster B"). Other members of Cluster B are Borderline PD, Antisocial PD and Histrionic PD. NPD is often diagnosed with other mental health disorders ("co-morbidity") - or with substance abuse and impulsive and reckless behaviors ("dual diagnosis"). NPD is new (1980) mental health category in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM). There is only scant research regarding narcissism. But what there is has not demonstrated any ethnic, social, cultural, economic, genetic, or professional predilection to NPD. It is estimated that 0.7-1% of the general population suffer from NPD. Pathological narcissism was first described in detail by Freud. Other major contributors are: Klein, Horney, Kohut, Kernberg, Millon, Roningstam, Gunderson, Hare. The onset of narcissism is in infancy, childhood and early adolescence. It is commonly attributed to childhood abuse and trauma inflicted by parents, authority figures, or even peers. There is a whole range of narcissistic reactions - from the mild, reactive and transient to the permanent personality disorder. Narcissistic Supply is outside attention - usually positive (adulation, affirmation, fame, celebrity) - used by the narcissist to regulate his labile sense of self-worth. Narcissists are either "cerebral" (derive their narcissistic supply from their intelligence or academic achievements) - or "somatic" (derive their narcissistic supply from their physique, exercise, physical or sexual prowess and romantic or physical "conquests"). Narcissists are either "classic" - see definition below - or they are "compensatory", or "inverted" - see definitions here: "The Inverted Narcissist". The classic narcissist is self-confident, the compensatory narcissist covers up in his haughty behaviour for a deep-seated deficit in self-esteem, and the inverted type is a co-dependent who caters to the emotional needs of a classic narcissist. NPD is treated in talk therapy (psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioural). The prognosis for an adult narcissist is poor, though his adaptation to life and to others can improve with treatment. Medication is applied to side-effects and behaviours (such as mood or affect disorders and obsession-compulsion) - usually with some success. The American Psychiatric Association, based in Washington D. C., USA, publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), 2000. Click here to read the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The international equivalent of the DSM is the ICD-10, Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders, published by the World Health Organization in Geneva (1992). Click here to read the ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The DSM defines NPD as "an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts." The ICD regards NPD as "a personality disorder that fits none of the specific rubrics." It relegates it to the category "Other Specific Personality Disorders" together with the eccentric, "haltlose", immature, passive-aggressive, and psychoneurotic personality disorders and types. The DSM specifies nine diagnostic criteria. For NPD to be diagnosed, five (or more) of these criteria must be met. (In the text below, I have proposed modifications to the language of these criteria to incorporate current knowledge about this disorder. My modifications appear in bold italics.) (My amendments do not constitute a part of the text of the DSM-IV-TR, nor is the American Psychiatric Association (APA) associated with them in any way.) Click here to download a bibliography of the studies and research regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) on which I based my proposed revisions. Proposed Amended Criteria for the Narcissistic Personality Disorder Feels grandiose and self-important (e. g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements); Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion; Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions); Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply); Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment; Is "interpersonally exploitative", i. e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends; Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others; Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly; Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "above the law", and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.

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Empowering women to choose methods and forms of birth control

It was not long ago that it was considered illegal to either purchase or sell birth control or contraceptive products. When the birth control pill was first offered to the Canadian market, it was sold as a product for regulating a woman's menstrual cycle. The ban was finally lifted in 1969 when the federal government allowed the use of birth control products. This included condoms that come out from under drugstore counters, where they are being sold only to those who specifically asked for them. For men who have not undergone vasectomy, the condom proved to be the most effective option to avoid pregnancy. However, it is more often marketed as the best protection against the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Today, a lot of options are being offered especially for women who want more control over their choice and use of different forms of birth control. Different forms of birth control are now readily available after major research and investments have been made by the giant pharmaceutical companies into the birth control product business.

Birth control pills have two types: the combination pills that contain estrogen and progestin; and the progestin only variant. Combination pills prevent ovulation or the release of eggs by a woman's ovaries. Progestin pills usually work by thickening cervical mucus, which prevents sperm from joining with an egg. Another common form of birth control would be the contraceptive patch. It delivers a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones when a patch is attached to skin. Like a bandage, it is applied to either the abdomen, buttocks, upper arm, or upper torso. The patch, however, has received a number of criticism for its alleged serious side effects. Forms of birth control can even come as devices that fit just inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Also known as intrauterine devices, or IUDs, this T-shaped device is inserted by a doctor into the uterus where it can remain for at least five years. Made of copper or plastic, this device prevents the sperm from fertilizing an egg. This form of birth control has several advantages over other methods. They can stay in place for years, they do not release hormones into the body, they can easily be removed if pregnancy is desired, and they cost cheaper. There are also contraceptive injections for birth control. Depo-Provera which can last for 12 weeks, and Noristerat, which can last for 8 weeks. Each delivers the hormone progestin to stop ovulation. The shot is considered 99 percent effective. However, if you go longer than the 12 or eight weeks between injections, your risk of becoming pregnant increases dramatically. Another common form of birth control would be the use of a diaphragm. It is a thin rubber dome that is inserted by a woman into her vagina before sex. It fits over the cervix and is held in place by vaginal muscles. On its own, it won't offer much protection against pregnancy. But combined with a spermicide, it is considered 86 to 94 per cent effective. Ultimately, it is up to a woman to decide what specific form of birth control she wants to use. Men should likewise take responsibility for birth control. Still, getting medical advice from qualified health professionals should be part of the making decisions about birth control methods.

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Contact lenses new trends

Fashion industry is brimming with new trends one of them is the use of contact lenses. Youngsters today prefer varied eye colors for different appearances. This has created a strong demand for disposable contact lenses or soft lenses in the market. Disposable lenses come in variety of replacement options. Replacement refers to how frequently the contact lenses could be changed.

Daily disposable lenses are to be changed daily. Disposable (daily wear) have a replacement duration of 14 days or two weeks. Seven day extended wear lenses are to be replaced after a week . Planned or frequent replacement lenses are to be changed after one or more months depending upon the brand.

The conventional contact lenses are replaced after an year. These replacement durations are very general n nature and vary according to the amount of lipid; the proteins; produced by the eyes. Earlier cleaning of lens was a tedious job with various solutions. With passage of time lens manufacturers developed better quality lenses and lens solutions that are easier to use. Lenses protect eyes from UV rays of sun. UV rays from the sun are associated with formation of cataracts. Excessive exposure to UV rays leads to photokeratitis. It is a condition in which the sun burn is caused to cornea of eye leading to temporary vision blindness known as “snow blindness”.

It is easy to find whether a lens is UV blocker or not. UV protection layer is clearly visible on a lens. Also, the packaging of the lens clearly states if the lens is UV protected or not. However, these lenses only cover the cornea of the eye for protecting the other parts of eye from sun it is essential to make use of sunglasses. Also, the 30 day continuous wear lenses are back in market. They are made up of better material than they were earlier. They allow a lot more amount of oxygen to reach the eye even when you are wearing the lenses. Thereby making them much safer and convenient to use. A few manufacturers are also making bifocal & toric lenses in disposable styles in addition to the conventional styles that last from one to several years. The replacement schedule of a lens depends on whether i can be worn during sleep or not. There are lenses that have the caliber of correcting vision. This is known as corneal refractive therapy. Under this therapy special contact lenses are worn during night when you sleep.

These lenses reshape the eyes in order to improve your vision. As a result you can see even when you are not wearing them.

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Taking care of your vintage and antique collectibles

Antiques can be a great reminder of our family, history, or even an exotic touch from another place and time. Caring for these items properly ensures that they can be passed down to another generation or sold for their highest value. The following is a brief overview of caring for your vintage and antique collectibles. Sites such as the BBC and Antiques-UK provide detailed information on caring for various antiques. If you are in doubt you can contact a professional conservator that specializes in your type of antique. PAPER: Paper needs to be stored properly to preserve its value. Use acid-free and archival quality storage. If you have a book that needs to be cleaned, use air to blow off dust and particles. Never wipe a book with a rag. Don't store books and papers in sunlight - it will cause fading. GLASS, POTTERY and PORCELAIN: Wash individually in a padded washing basin to prevent chips. Use warm water - never hot or cold - and a gentle cleanser with a soft bristled brush. Never wash antique glass or dishes in the dishwasher since the extreme heat and harsh detergent may be harmful. Gently wipe glasses dry or allow dishes to air dry. Store and display glass and dishes in a safe place away from heavy traffic. Avoid displaying on an open shelf, rail or on the wall, especially if there is heavy traffic through that area. RUGS and TEXTILES: Rugs and textiles require extremely gentle handling when moving, storing and cleaning. Moving should be done slowly and carefully as antique fabrics are delicate and can easily tear or pull apart. Rugs should be rolled with the pile facing outwards to prevent crushing or damage. Garments should be hung on sturdy hangers and covered in white cotton or rolled with acid free paper and tied closed on either end. Rugs and textiles can be cleaned gently with a vacuum on a low setting. Be very careful with textiles as the suction can pull fibers apart. For spills it is recommended by BBC Antiques to put white paper towels under the rug and above, replacing them until no more liquid comes out. Any other cleaning should be done by an expert. Avoid exposure to sun or humidity. FURNITURE: Dusting should be done with a soft, lint-free cloth. Wood furniture should only be waxed with quality beeswax. Avoid placing furnishings in bright light or in rooms which experience great changes in temperature or humidity. Be very cautious when moving antique furniture, always lifting and never dragging. JEWELRY: Clean with a soft brush, like a makeup brush, to remove dust. Next use windex, or other window type cleaner, and a very soft toothbrush to polish and clean. Do not use soap, or harsh abrasive. It is a great privilege to own antiques and proper care will help your investment increase in value or enable you to pass them on for the enjoyment of your family.

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Don t get scammed

It seems these days that everyone wants to start a part time business. We all want to find ways to bring in some extra money. The rising acceptance and popularity of Internet commerce has also created an explosion of scam artists and online business schemes. You’ve probably seen lots of ads claiming that it’s easy to make big money on the Internet. Some tell you that all you have to do is put up their free website and watch your bank account grow with no effort on your part. But the truth is that websites don’t make money by themselves. You have to sell a product or service, and you have to have a way to find large numbers of visitors for the site. Others declare that you can own your own successful “business” if you just follow their secret system. They post long ads about all the benefits and wonderful features you’ll receive only if you buy their method. These ads usually go on and on about the supposed value of all the different components that are included before finally letting you know what their “bargain” price actually is. With many of these programs, the only thing you get for your money is instructions on how to put up your own ads doing the same thing to other people.

If you’re looking for ways to get something for nothing, there’s no end to the schemes you can try. Most of them are cons, many of them are illegal, and few of them make any money – except for the one who starts it. Another popular rip-off is the so-called work at home job opening. Although there are some legitimate job offers and telecommuting opportunities available, many of these are also cons designed to separate you from your money. So how do you tell the difference? There are a couple of ways. First you can look carefully at the ad itself. Does it try to use fantasy or emotion to create some idyllic image in your mind? Is it skimpy on the specific details of the offer or the price? This is one clue that the offer is not what it seems. Another thing to watch out for is cost. An actual work at home employment offer will not ask for money. You don’t have to buy a list, or purchase instructions. And you also don’t have to send money to get the details of the offer. A real job offer will include contact information for the company doing the hiring. They will ask you about your experience and qualifications just like any other job. They won’t claim that “anyone can do it”. Use your common sense when considering any offer for home-based work or businesses. The old adage is true: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Take for example the two popular scams of envelope stuffing and home product assembly. Why would a legitimate company incur the expense of shipping items and paying you to do something that can be easily and cheaply done on site with automation or their own regular employees? Avoid these offers. The same guideline applies to business offers. If it’s that easy, they don’t need you to do it for them, except as an additional channel to peddle their product and produce profits for them. A real business takes real products and services, and real work. All of the offers you see aren’t scams, but most are – so make sure to always carefully evaluate all the facts.

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Purchasing spyware software avoid the scams

With the demand for anti-spyware tools continuously on the rise because of the constant release of new and more invasive spyware scams, computer users may find themselves falling victim to malicious software downloads while searching for the right spyware removal tool. Several spyware removal software programs have been identified as fakes, but not before many computer users were drawn into the trap. Spyware Assassin claimed to be a spyware removal tool released by MaxTheater but underneath the claims to remove malicious spyware, the program was found to be a fake. The tool offered users a free scan that of course detected spyware, whether it was there or not because there was actually no real scan taking place. Once the results from the scam scan were presented to the user it was advised that they immediately purchase the entire program to rid their computer of the malicious “spyware.” Recently, however, the Federal Trade Commission uncovered their scam to make money off of false spyware tools. An even sneakier spyware scam was put on by Seismic Entertainment Productions who used tactics to infect user’s computers with actual spyware and then advised those users to purchase Spy Wiper or Spy Deleter to remove the spyware. Any of these fake software programs are obvious reasons why computer users must learn to research the credibility and background of a program before purchasing or downloading. If a company bombards you with aggressive advertising for their product or pushes you to take immediate action by offering scare tactics, it is best for users to steer clear of that product.

Any company, especially new or young companies that claim perfect results or all around protection is something to look at with caution. No spyware tool can offer users complete protection and any one that claims they can is using irresponsible advertising. Computer users should also remember not to purchase or download a spyware program based on their name. The name is not a depiction of what the product offer. When searching for a legitimate spyware tool spend time researching the program and company’s background and avoid believing everything the advertisements tell you.

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