Water as a natural acne remedy

: natural acne remedy There are many products designed to treat acne. Some are over-the-counter cleansers, creams, and medicated pads, while others are prescribed medications given to you by a dermatologist. The increasing popularity of has also become prevalent in treating many common conditions, and acne is no exception. This article discusses one of the most common natural remedies and why it is preferred. It may even surprise you. One of the best natural remedies for treating acne is water.

Water is used to hydrate the body, which, of course, hydrates the skin as well. The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and must be properly hydrated to work correctly and serve its purpose. This is accomplished in two ways: by washing the face, which hydrates the surface of the skin, and by drinking water, which hydrates the entire body, from the inside out. This, of course, includes the skin. Drinking plenty of water will keep the skin looking and feeling healthy. Healthy skin cells promote a healthy body. Doctors tell us we should drink six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. While this sounds like a lot of water, think of what it can do for your body.

In addition to improving skin tone and texture, it can stimulate cell growth and will help all your organs work correctly. It also helps filter out unwanted substances that can be harmful to your skin. Water is also a crucial component deep within your skin. It provides the basis for a soft, smooth, and healthy complexion and will help you look more youthful. Though very little water is stored in the outer layers of your skin, this moisture is important and is constantly removed by outside elements such as sun and wind. Sun and wind can dry your skin, removing moisture and irritating its surface.

When this occurs, pre-existing acne can become even more irritated, which in turn prolongs the problem. While irritation won't directly cause more acne to form, it can worsen the problem. It is important to keep proper moisture in the skin. Perhaps one of the most common myths is that oily skin does not need moisture. This is not true. Just because skin is oily, does not mean it is moisturized. By cleansing the skin, you are wiping away excess oil, and my moisturizing it, you are helping it remain smooth and decreasing your chances for irritation.

Properly hydrating the skin not only promotes and stimulates cell growth, but also helps the other organs of the bodywork together. If properly hydrated, the skin will not wrinkle or sag as easily, and will appear youthful for a longer period of time. Though water is not the only natural remedy for the skin, it is the most important. Without it, the skin could not do its job in keeping the rest of the body in check. natural acne remedy Steve



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How to choose a scooter

Scooters seem to be the latest craze. They are affordable, fun, efficient forms of transportation and useful for many other things. When buying a scooter there are many issues that you may want to look into before dropping the cash. For starters you want to evaluate the person you are buying one for to make sure you get a scooter that is right for him/her. A few things to look at are quality, price and size. Quality. You want something that is good quality but without a hefty price tag. You also usually want something made out of an aircraft grade aluminum or equivalent so that the strength and support is there but not the weight. Most of the top name scooters out there are made of an aircraft grade aluminum. Aircraft grade aluminum offers strength without increasing the weight a ton. Price. Obviously you want to spend as little as possible without losing quality. For this you may want to go with a brand name like Razor©. They offer quality scooters while maintaining a decent price tag. Size. They make everything from little kids scooters to scooters for adults. Make sure you get the right size for whomever you are buying it for. Too big of a scooter makes it hard to control. Too small makes it difficult to ride as well. A few other options you may want to consider are motorized scooters. Motorized scooters are very cool. You can find them powered by either gas or electric. Gas usually offers a little more speed and power but electric offers efficiency and a smaller price tag. If you are looking for something for zooming up and down your street I would recommend an electric scooter. If you are looking for something to run errands with you may want to get a gas scooter that will provide you with more speed and power. All in all scooters are a very efficient form of transportation and can provide people with a lot of fun. Check out some online stores before buying one and get the one that is right for you.



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Attracting and keeping top performers

Good people are hard to find, the saying goes. For example, by the year 2000 over 190,000 computer programmer and other information technology jobs will be vacant, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. (This is now a bit out of date, and although the dot-com bustups and the 2000-2001 recession has eased things a bit, it is still difficult to lure top talent.) It may be easy to fill these empty positions if you are a software giant like Microsoft, but there is a tremendous challenge attracting (and keeping) top performers if you are smaller and less well known. According to chief executives and industry recruiters who were interviewed for this article, there are three main areas on which to focus: the quality and market position of your product or service, environment, and compensation. Leading edge technology and a high perception of quality will lure top technical and design people, salespeople and support people, all for different reasons. Technology people relish the challenge of developing something new, plus they need ongoing opportunities for skill enhancement to remain fresh. As for top sales people, a strong product means they can earn bigger commissions, and their egos are fulfilled by being on the leading edge.

And top support people are smart enough to know that a quality product makes everyone's job easier, and it enables them to earn their incentives. For everyone, superior products will earn your company better returns, enabling more reinvestment in R&D, providing challenges and adventure for your technical people, and more and better product for your sales and marketing team. What if your product is not cutting-edge, or your quality not up to snuff? Appealing to top performers is not going to be your only problem. Unless you control a mature market niche, your company will need to update and upgrade to remain viable - this requires high caliber people. If you want to survive in the marketplace you must concentrate harder on the next two factors. Environmental factors - the corporate culture, the caliber of co-workers, the attitude of your management team, and your physical environment can be pivotal in finding and retaining talented people. Corporate culture is one area smaller companies have an edge - that "hell-bent-for-leather" attitude makes it exciting and challenging to come to work, and there are fewer layers of bureaucracy people find so stifling.

Real teamwork, where success is shared and the team affirms a common commitment, will draw other top professionals. Having a smart, talented staff will captivate more smart, talented people. So will a collegial atmosphere which values the opinions of the rank-and-file along with open-management policies keeping the troops informed on the state-of-the-company. A training plan, designed career paths and professional conference attendance are more ways to attract and keep people. Other small but significant options include dress code, flextime, telecommuting, offices with walls - these all help. Last is the issue of compensation. The big salary problem is no matter how much you pay, a competitor can pay a little bit more. So in terms of salary level itself, you simply have to be at or near your market rate.

Pay-for-performance however, can take compensation much higher while avoiding salary inflation. A system of carefully designed bonuses and incentives will enable you to pay people for exceptional production. Equity - stock grants, options and equity-like phantom stock - is a powerful way for smaller companies to entice people at all levels. Plus, smaller companies can grant equity without the usual waiting period required by public and larger companies. (Just remember to include a forfeiture clause in case of early termination.

) What does all this mean in real terms? Some of the ideas in this article are harder to implement than others, and some describe conditions you simply can't achieve. Must you arrange for every item mentioned above? Of course not, but systematically providing your people with the challenge to be their best, the opportunity to learn, the freedom to be creative, the incentives to perform and produce, a feeling of ownership, and the respect as professionals - these are the things that will make top technical and sales people want to join your company, and have them stay.



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Why is the macedonian stock exchange unsuccessful

The Macedonian Stock Exchange (MSE) is not operating successfully. True, some of the parameters which we use to measure the success of a stock exchange have lately improved in the MSE. For instance, the monthly money volume has increased together with the number of transactions. But this is a far cry from success. Who is to blame? Is the current management of the MSE incompetent? I do not think so. Actually, I think the MSE has an excellent management team, doing their best to incorporate new trading techniques and to list new firms.

The problems lie elsewhere. A stock exchange is a very important financial market. It is a highly efficient and visible instrument of financing. In the West, it is used to finance most of the needs of corporations, way above financing available from banks. Individuals and firms save some of their income and invest it. The stock exchange is meeting grounds for savers wishing to invest their savings - and firms looking for investments.

Another function of stock exchanges is to assist governments in financing their internal borrowing requirements. Governments sell obligations (called bonds) to investors through the stock exchanges in their countries. A stock exchange is, therefore, an indispensable tool for re-financing national debt. But a few conditions must prevail before a stock exchange functions properly. The most important condition is the existence of a healthy, growing economy in the stock exchange's country. Investors flock to robust economies and shy away from sickly ones. On the face of it, the Macedonian economy belongs to the latter category. High unemployment, low savings, retarded growth, a gaping trade and payments deficits.

But this is an optical illusion. The economy is in much better conditions that most Macedonians would care to admit. The unemployment figures are skewed. They reflect efforts to evade paying social taxes - not real unemployment. The economy is growing, even by official estimates.

The black economy is growing even faster. The deficits are covered by enormous capital infusions from donor countries. Macedonia is receiving more international credits per capita than Russia. It is always convenient to blame the worsening economic climate - but the cold, objective figures do not bear this out. When an economy is growing - the profits of companies (including those listed in the MSE) will grow with it. This makes the shares of these companies an interesting buy. Since no one is buying - we must look for the problem elsewhere. A prospering stock exchange is linked to the existence of the right micro and macro economic management. Macedonia has more than its share of problems in this respect. The process of transformation of businesses with social capital had four basic flaws: first, it introduced no new management, ideas or capital to the beleaguered firms which were "transformed". The market simply does not believe that they were transformed. The same people run the same shows under a different hat. Second, such transformation violates the concept of Hierarchy, a chain of command. It blurs the distinction between labour (workers) and capital (owners). What is wrong with that is that a ship must have a captain - and only one. Someone must have the authority and the responsibility. Collective management is no management at all. Moreover, innovation change and revitalization are all prevented. What change could come from the same set of worn out managers? How can thousands of owners decide to worsen the conditions of the workforce - if owners and labourers are one and the same? So, management is polluted by irrelevant, non-economic considerations: power struggles amongst groups of workers, social considerations and political ones. We identified one villain. The other one is high (real) interest rates. When interest rates are high, three effects prevent the resuscitation of the stock exchange: First, firms have high financing expenses (interest payments) - which reduces their profits. Second, it is not worthwhile to borrow money and to invest in shares. Third, it is more tempting to invest money in bank deposits, yielding high interest rates - than in shares. High interest rates are the poison of stock exchanges. The same is true for low savings rates. If people and firms do not save - there is no capital available for investment in stocks. This, exactly, is the current situation in Macedonia : impossibly high interest rates coupled with exceedingly low savings. There is basic mistrust between clients and their banks. They prefer other ways of keeping their money. But all the above is far from exhausting the list of pre-conditions for the proper functioning of a stock exchange. Investors must have timely, accurate and full information about the firms that they invest in. This will allow them to respond in real time to developments in the company and to prevent losses. This will also make it difficult to cheat them - which is were we come to the question of accounting standards. Only lately have the accounting rules in Macedonia been revised to conform to the Western systems of accounting. Even now, the similarity is very slight. Macedonian firms maintain a double accounting system. One set of books is tax-driven. It is intended to show losses or profits at the whim of the management. An elaborate scheme of hidden reserves lies at the heart of the typical financial statements of the Macedonian firm. Another set of books - if they are kept at all - reflects reality. This is an enormous barrier to foreign investment - and foreign investors are the driving force in every modern stock exchange. The trust of investors in the stock exchange is based on legislation to protect their property rights against the firm's management' against the authorities and against other investors who might wish to rig the market or manipulate the prices of stocks. But legislation without an effective judicial and law enforcement systems is like a stock exchange without money. To enforce property rights in Macedonia takes ages and even then the outcome is not certain. Laws, regulations are in their embryonic stage and some of them seem to have had an abortion: they were hastily and unwisely copied verbatim from legal codices of other countries (Germany, Britain). Last - but definitely not least - is the existence of a fair, transparent and non-corrupt marketplace. The stock exchange, the banks, the regulatory authorities, the police and the courts have to be above suspicion. For the market to be utterly efficient - it must be utterly free of any ulterior considerations and motives. Corruption distorts the market's allocative mechanisms and powers. It is easily discernible in dealings in the stock exchange for all to see. A stock exchange is, after all, the showcase of the local economy. But there is a problem which towers above all other problems and it is almost endemic to Macedonia. It helps to explain much of the predicament of the stock exchange in Skopje. It is the fact that the market is missing its most important player: the Government. Investors - both foreign and domestic - look for the Government to be active in the local stock exchange. Governments throughout the world use their stock exchanges to sell shares of state-owned enterprises to their populace. The stock exchange becomes a mechanism for the distribution of the national wealth - as embodied by the state owned enterprises - to all the citizens. As we said before, governments also use the stock exchange to borrow money from their citizens. The Government of Macedonia does neither. It totally ignores the MSE. Not one company was privatized through the MSE. Not one Denar was borrowed from a Macedonian citizen through it. A government's activity in the stock exchange is proof that the government believes in it. Therefore, if it does not operate in the stock exchange - it proves that it does not believe in it. If the government does not believe in the stock exchange in its own country - why should the investors believe in it? There are a few additional structural characteristics which are considered to be the hallmarks of a healthy stock exchange. But those are the by-products of all the above mentioned conditions. A stock exchange must be liquid so that investors would be able to convert their shares into cash easily and expediently. It must include many investment options - professionally put, it must be diversified. This will allow the investors to choose from a variety of investments and also to reduce their risks by dividing their money among a few types of investments. The management of the stock exchange can help it by introducing efficient trading techniques, computerized trading and settlement systems and so on. The faster investors meet their money when they sell their shares - the more they will be inclined to operate in the stock exchange that allows them that. The easier it is for them to liquidate their assets by meeting buyers - the more they will prefer to work in that stock exchange. Investing in the stock exchanges in the markets of the emerging economies has been an unfortunate decision in the last three years. Stock exchanges from Russia to Hungary and from Lithuania to Poland have jeered wildly since the end of 1993. They resembled a roller coaster in their performance, going up and down by tens of percents annually. There are exceptions to this rule. The Ljubljana Stock exchange, for instance. The trading volume there has gone up 10 times since December 1993 - and the market capitalization is up 30 times. But this is because of the performance of the general economy in Slovenia. In Croatia, the government is privatizing its holdings in state owned companies by auctioning shares to the public through the Zagreb Stock Exchange. This has helped it a lot. Newly-established stock exchanges are highly volatile and very dangerous. Volatility goes hand in hand with risk. They are long term investments. Since 1988, they outperformed the more established stock exchanges in the world, like Wall Street. But these stock exchanges are growing fast, they are cheap by any measure and they are the best investment that a country can make in its own future.



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Generosity is the seed of wealth

Generosity, which includes the free, no strings-attached sharing of resources, money, and information among people, is the seed of prosperity. What was the initial seed planted that caused the “Silicon Valley Miracle” No, it was not the invention of the oscilloscope by David Hewlett and William Packard, but, rather, an act of no-strings attached generosity, the founding of Stanford University by Leland Stanford. (See the “Founding of Leland Jr. University” below.) With help and funding from Stanford University and their advisor Fred Terman, , David Packard and William Hewlett were, able to invent the first oscillator, and Hewlett-Packard was the first electronics company, the seed around the others grew. The Founding of Leland Jr. Stanford University The Stanfords had only one son, Leland Jr., whom they loved dearly. He was fond of playing at their sprawling Palo Alto ranch, especially on his miniature railroad with 400 feet of track. In 1884, while the family was vacationing in Europe, young Leland, just two weeks shy of his 16th birthday contracted typhoid fever and died. The family was devastated. That tearful morning Leland Sr. turned to his wife Jane and said, “The Children of California shall be our children.” With that passionate thought, the Stanfords decided to donate their millions in remembrance of their young son who never reached his 16th birthday. Today, you are all fortunate to be blessed with an American Treasure - Stanford University.



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Are you sabotaging your career

My experience working with thousands of leaders world wide for the past two decades teaches me that most leaders are screwing up their careers. On a daily basis, these leaders are getting the wrong results or the right results in the wrong ways. Interestingly, they themselves are choosing to fail. They're actively sabotaging their own careers. Leaders commit this sabotage for a simple reason: They make the fatal mistake of choosing to communicate with presentations and speeches -- not leadership talks.

In terms of boosting one's career, the difference between the two methods of leadership communication is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. Speeches/presentations primarily communicate information. Leadership talks, on the other hand, not only communicate information, they do more: They establish a deep, human emotional connection with the audience. Why is the later connection necessary in leadership? Look at it this way: Leaders do nothing more important than get results. There are generally two ways that leaders get results: They can order people to go from point A to point B; or they can have people WANT TO go from A to B. Clearly, leaders who can instill "want to" in people, who motivate those people, are much more effective than leaders who can't or won't. And the best way to instill "want to" is not simply to relate to people as if they are information receptacles but to relate to them on a deep, human, emotional way. And you do it with leadership talks. Here are a few examples of leadership talks. When Churchill said, "We will fight on the beaches ... " That was a leadership talk. When Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you ... " that was a leadership talk. When Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" That was a leadership talk. You can come up with a lot of examples too. Go back to those moments when the words of a leader inspired people to take ardent action, and you've probably put your finger on an authentic leadership talk. Mind you, I'm not just talking about great leaders of history. I'm also talking about the leaders in your organizations. After all, leaders speak 15 to 20 times a day: everything from formal speeches to informal chats. When those interactions are leadership talks, not just speeches or presentations, the effectiveness of those leaders is dramatically increased. How do we put together leadership talks? It's not easy. Mastering leadership talks takes a rigorous application of many specific processes. As Clement Atlee said of that great master of leadership talks, Winston Churchill, "Winston spent the best years of his life preparing his impromptu talks." Churchill, Kennedy, Reagan and others who were masters at giving leadership talks didn't actually call their communications "leadership talks", but they must have been conscious to some degree of the processes one must employ in putting a leadership talk together. Here's how to start. If you plan to give a leadership talk, there are three questions you should ask. If you answer "no" to any one of those questions, you can't give one. You may be able to give a speech or presentation, but certainly not a leadership talk. (1) DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS? Winston Churchill said, "We must face the facts or they'll stab us in the back." When you are trying to motivate people, the real facts are THEIR facts, their reality. Their reality is composed of their needs. In many cases, their needs have nothing to do with your needs. Most leaders don't get this. They think that their own needs, their organization's needs, are reality. That's okay if you're into ordering. As an order leader, you only need work with your reality. You simply have to tell people to get the job done. You don't have to know where they're coming from. But if you want to motivate them, you must work within their reality, not yours. I call it "playing the game in the people's home park". There is no other way to motivate them consistently. If you insist on playing the game in your park, you'll be disappointed in the motivational outcome. (2) CAN YOU BRING DEEP BELIEF TO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING? Nobody wants to follow a leader who doesn't believe the job can get done. If you can't feel it, they won't do it. But though you yourself must "want to" when it comes to the challenge you face, your motivation isn't the point. It's simply a given. If you're not motivated, you shouldn't be leading. Here's the point: Can you TRANSFER your motivation to the people so they become as motivated as you are? I call it THE MOTIVATIONAL TRANSFER, and it is one of the least understood and most important leadership determinants of all. There are three ways you can make the transfer happen. * CONVEY INFORMATION. Often, this is enough to get people motivated. For instance, many people have quit smoking because of information on the harmful effects of the habit * MAKE SENSE. To be motivated, people must understand the rationality behind your challenge. Re: smoking: People have been motivated to quit because the information makes sense. * TRANSMIT EXPERIENCE. This entails having the leader's experience become the people's experience. This can be the most effective method of all, for when the speaker's experience becomes the audience's experience, a deep sharing of emotions and ideas, a communing, can take place. There are plenty of presentation and speech courses devoted to the first two methods, so I won't talk about those. Here's a few thoughts on the third method. Generally speaking, humans learn in two ways: by acquiring intellectual understanding and through experience. In our schooling, the former predominates, but it is the latter which is most powerful in terms of inducing a deep sharing of emotions and ideas; for our experiences, which can be life's teachings, often lead us to profound awareness and purposeful action. Look back at your schooling. Was it your book learning or your experiences, your interactions with teachers and students, that you remember most? In most cases, your experiences made the most telling impressions upon you. To transfer your motivation to others, use what I call my "defining moment" technique, which I describe fully in my book, DEFINING MOMENT: MOTIVATING PEOPLE TO TAKE ACTION. In brief, the technique is this: Put into sharp focus a particular experience of yours then communicate that focused experience to the people by describing the physical facts that gave you the emotion. Now, here's the secret to the defining moment. That experience of yours must provide a lesson and that lesson is a solution to the needs of the people. Otherwise, they'll think you're just talking about yourself. For the defining moment to work (i. e., for it to transfer your motivation to them), the experience must be about them. The experience happened to you, of course. But that experience becomes their experience when the lesson it communicates is a solution to their needs. (3) CAN YOU HAVE THE AUDIENCE TAKE RIGHT ACTION? Results don't happen unless people take action. After all, it's not what you say that's important in your leadership communications, it's what the people do after you have had your say. Yet the vast majority of leaders don't have a clue as to what action truly is. They get people taking the wrong action at the wrong time in the wrong way for the wrong results. A key reason for this failure is they don't know how to deliver the all-important "leadership talk Call-to-action". "Call" comes from an Old English word meaning "to shout." A Call-to-Action is a "shout for action." Implicit in the concept is urgency and forcefulness. But most leaders don't deliver the most effective Calls-to-action because they make three errors regarding it. First, they err by mistaking the Call-to-Action as an order. Within the context of The Leadership Talk, a Call-to-action is not an order. Leave the order for the order leader. Second, leaders err by mistaking the Call as theirs to give. The best Call-to-action is not the leader's to give. It's the people's to give. It's the people's to give to themselves. A true Call-to-action prompts people to motivate themselves to take action. The vast majority of leaders I've worked with are hampering their careers for one simple reason: They're giving presentations and speeches -- not leadership talks. You have a great opportunity to turbo charge your career by recognizing the power of leadership talks. Before you give a leadership talk, ask three basic questions. Do you know what the people need? Can you bring deep belief to what you're saying? Can you have the people take the right take action? If you say "no" to any one of those questions you cannot give a leadership talk. But the questions aren't meant to be stumbling blocks to your leadership but stepping stones. If you answer "no", work on the questions until you can say, "yes". In that way, you'll start getting the right results in the right way on a consistent basis.



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Wholesale handbag your bag your choice

What makes a girl real feminine? Does the question sound weird? There are several ways for you to emphasize your femininity more. Your apparel, your jewelry and your accessories can reflect your being as a woman. Another stuff you should not forget about women, this is their ever-sophisticated handbags. Women have a passion for handbags, which they use to place their make up kit every time they have their girl’s night out and even every day when going to work or school. Handbags are sold in different sizes, colors and brands.

It depends on your preference whether you will go for a small or a big one. From the name itself, handbags are something you can conveniently carry anytime you want. Usually, you use your handbags by matching it on the color and the type of outfit that you are wearing. It somehow adds accentuation to your entire look. It can even make you become more attractive for other people. Handbags also come in various styles. It will depend on the kind of materials they are made of: • Beaded Handbags - This is one of the most difficult design of a handbag. It requires a lot of artisanship for the designers because you need to connect the beads one by one following a particular pattern. The beads can also be coupled with crazy ornaments to make it appear more pleasing to the eyes. • Straw Bags - From the name itself, this is made of straw materials. Different colors of straw are knitted to produce a lovely and stylish bag. This is a bit cheaper as compared to beaded bag. • Novelty Bags - When you are going to attend for special occasions such as party and night out, this is the most preferable style of bag for you. These are also smaller and more colorful. This is made of linen materials. • Stone Studs and Metallic Bags - This is almost a combination of the beaded and the novelty bag. It is made from a metallic cloth and designed with beads that appear to be like stones. This is also perfect for special occasions. • Fabric Bags - It is also an alternative for your backpacks. Since fabric material is used for this type of bag, you can bring this when you are in a semi-rugged outfit. It is called fabric bags. • Acrylic Photo Handbags - This is a different thing. It is one of the most expensive among the other types of bags because it is already made of acrylic pictures and illustrations. The materials used here are craftier. • Canister Handbags - If you are fond of using cute stuffs, this is the most suited for you. It has a peculiar coffee can shape handbags that has the flap opening. • Leather Handbags - If you want to take advantage of a good quality of bag that will last for longer usage, the leather bag is best for you. All of the said types of bags can be yours anytime you want. You can have it for lesser costs by purchasing it wholesale. If buying wholesale you can choose as many bags as yo want bags at a discounted price. Moreover, you can save your money for your other accessories. Handbag wholesale sources can be found online. Just go to your favorite search engine and search for "handbags wholesale"



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Get personal with google

Anyone who's been on the net any time at all knows that Google has been the search engine of choice for many for a while now. Whether that continues remains to be seen, but for now, with MSN still in development and Yahoo going through some growing pains, many still feel that Google is the leader. As such, it's worth dropping in to the Google Labs every now and then to see what's going on there. For example, Google's Personalized search offers a fun and useful way for searchers to interact with part of the mysterious and closely-guarded Google search algorithm. You can set a search profile that's stored as a cookie on your computer. The easy-to-use Google profile interface allows you to pick specific topics that interest you. Once chosen and saved, you can then do a search from the Personalized search page. At first, you'll see normal Google results. But at the top of the page is a slider bar, and by moving this to the right, those same search results will be dynamically altered to narrow in to focus on your personalization settings.

For example, a standard search for "restaurants" (without the quotes), will return several large, well-known sites among the first 5 results. These include restaurants. com, zagat. com, restaurantrow.

com, the official Subway corporate site, and the Yahoo restaurants directory. But let's say you've selected Texas as a geographic area of interest in your personalization profile. Move the personalization slide all the way to the right on the same search, and now the top 5 results are from guidelive. com, Landrysseafood. com, Houston Citysearch, and Austin360, followed by restaurants. com. Each of your personalized results are marked with small spheres of red, blue, and yellow. There are many personalization topics to choose from, including Arts, Business, Computers, Health, and many other categories which can be further narrowed. By Jakob Jelling http:// sitetube. com



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Choosing credit cards the basics

There really are an amazing variety of credit cards available to today’s consumers; the number of options is simply staggering. Virtually every company around these days has some form of affiliated credit card option available to its customers. While most of these cards are affiliated to one of the major credit card brands, such as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express, they still represent a major source of options from which to choose from. That is why it is important the go back to basics, and remember what are the fundamental reasons you opt for a credit card in the first place. Below are some of the reasons we look for credit cards and some of the features we should be able to find in them, if they really are as good an offer as they claim to be. -Is the credit card offered by a company you know and trust? -What is the annual percentage rate (APR) for the card? -Is this a temporary, introductory or permanent rate? -What is the credit limit they have offered you? -How often are you billed? -How are repayments calculated and is the outstanding balance free of interest if you pay off the full amount each month? -Are there other charges or fees associated with the card? These are all important questions you should be asking yourself before sending that application form back to the company. However, while these may seem like straightforward questions with simple answers, they may not be as clear cut as they seem. For example, your bank will usually be a company that you are familiar with and know you can trust. However, this does not automatically mean you should accept a credit card from them. This is not because the terms will be unfavourable compared to other lenders but rather because you should be thinking of the consequences if you prove unable to repay your credit card bills. While it is no doubt a serious matter to fall behind in credit card payments, for most people, this will be even more serious if this is also their bank that controls their mortgage and other finances. Also, while the APR will be calculated in a standard way for all lenders, this is not the only aspect of the price of the card that you should be looking at. While the APR may seem attractive, it will be less so if the company levy hefty charges for late payment or reserve to right to alter your interest rate in the future. Also, if your choice of credit card is based on the rewards that are being offered by that particular card, you should take into consideration any of the small print associated with the awarding of these rewards. For example, did you know that if you go above your credit limit with certain credit cards you forfeit all rewards that would have been awarded on your spending in that month? Also, the same may apply if you fail to make at least the minimum payment in any given month, the credit card company may withdraw your rewards for this too. In short, while getting your hands on a credit card may be easier today than it has been in the past, and there are a host of companies out there willing to lend to you, you should remember that credit card agreements are complex contracts and you should think about all the aspects of it before you get involved.



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The trading teacher

When I studied the principles of investing in university, I was taught that the price of a share reflected the value of the company. With fundamental analysis, there are many methods on how one can analyse the financial statements of companies to find out whether a share is a good or a bad investment. You can conduct horizontal and vertical analyses on standardised financial statements, which are just fancy terms for comparing numbers. You can calculate certain financial ratios to get a better understanding of a company’s liquidity, working capital management, its ability to remain in business over the long term, and its profitability. I applied these concepts when I started trading the stock market. Soon I found that if I wanted to trade shares in a timeframe of less than three months, decisions based on these analyses were not useful. I did not want to buy shares only to receive dividends. I wanted to trade for capital gains. I was dissatisfied with my knowledge, the tools and the methods that I had to trade the markets. With my desire to trade a timeframe shorter than three months and my strengthening belief that emotions greatly impact on trading, I began to search for different approaches to buying and selling shares.

I went back to one of my textbooks in university. I wanted to know how else I could analyse the markets. From the passage I read, I learned that one can analyse the markets in one of two ways: fundamental analysis and technical analysis. I bumped into a newspaper ad one day for a trading seminar. While reading through the ad I saw the words: technical analysis.

An expert trader was going to speak on the exact topic I was interested in learning. It was a free seminar and everybody was welcome to come along. So I called a friend of mine and I asked if he would be interested in attending this trading seminar. He was. The seminar was organised by a business selling trading courses: courses to instruct people on how to trade the share market. When we arrived, we were led into a small room. There were about thirty people. The spokesman was apparently a veteran trader who wrote two books on trading. Let’s call him Bauer for the purpose of this article. Bauer had a very strong presence. He was a huge, tall man with a clean-shaven head. I was on the front row seat trying to listen and understand every word this man said. It was his teachings that planted the seeds of how I eventually grew as a trader over the years. Many times, I heard his voice in my head, reminding me of the lessons I learnt from his books and the lessons I learnt from him that day. I will try to enumerate the lessons I learnt from this man to help you the way they helped me. This man had my attention from the very beginning. “The share market is a game where people try to steal money from other people. That is the objective of the game and it is legal”, he began. I wondered what the professionals in Wall Street would have thought about that statement if they heard it. I smiled. I liked him already. He continued: “If you are going to join this game, you are essentially given permission to steal money from other people and in exchange, you are okay with them stealing your money also. Some of the brightest people in the world will be playing with you. Therefore, if you are going to war and fight an army with real weapons, you better make sure you do not go there with a plastic gun.” He said that people rush to the markets to lose their money. It sounded laughable but I guess it was the only conclusion one can draw from the fact that most people begin trading without sufficiently preparing and educating themselves. Of course, most of us do not put on a trade with the hope of losing our money; however, that is what we are effectively doing when we trade without adequate preparation. “They just cannot wait to lose their money. They do not bother learning about the market first. They think it is easy. Most people know that they need training before they can fly a plane or perform surgery, but I do not know why they think it is easy to make money trading”, he exclaimed. He was quite emotional about it. “Trading is hard”, he declared. Only about 5% of people know how to trade profitably. And so the probability of finding someone else who knows what they are doing is very, very small. “Do not rely solely on the advice of your brokers, your fund managers or whoever else. Your best hope for success is to educate yourself. The sooner you do that, the better off you’ll be.” “When it comes to buying and selling shares, there is no such thing as investing. What people normally refer to as investing means long-term trading to me”. When people hold on to their investments for five or more years with the intention to sell later, then all they are effectively doing is trading…just with a longer time frame. “Do not buy shares solely for the dividend payments. They offer you measly rewards”, he said. “Do trade only with the purpose of making money from capital gains. Buy low, sell high and that’s how you should make your profit.” At the time, I was juggling between the concepts of short-term trading or investing for the long-term. I did not know whether I was taking the right approach by attempting to make short-term profits. He made his stance on the matter strongly. He asked us if we knew what drove prices up or down. Remembering what my lecturer said in university, I responded, “the price moves up and down close to the intrinsic value of the share”. He turned his attention to me and asked, “What share are you trading?” “XYZ (I changed the name for the purpose of this article)”, I replied quite happily. Perhaps I could squeeze a tip or two from him about the stock. “Do you know what the intrinsic value of XYZ Company is”, he asked. I nodded my head sideways and muttered, “no”. “I’ll tell you what the value of XYZ is… it is zero!” He barked. I was taken aback by his response. Zero? Then what are we paying money for when we buy a share? I thought. Then he clarified himself. “Price is only a perception – it is people’s perception of what they think the value of the share price is”. “The key to success in trading is psychology”, he continued. Psychology? I thought. How did psychology get involved in this? “The stock market is like an opinion poll. It is a measure of what people think is going to happen. If they think the price will go up, you will see an upward movement on the chart because there are more buyers so the sellers increase their price because some of these buyers are willing to buy at higher prices”, he explained. He then used an example to explain a typical trader’s behaviour when he trades without a system. As he explained it, I recognised my own behaviour in his demonstration. This was all a revelation for me. When I was buying and selling shares I wondered what type of people were on the other side of the trade because collectively, they were pretty smart. Now I know. It was people like Bauer who were on the other side of those transactions, doing the exact opposite of what I was doing, using similar methods like the ones he was using. They were looking at the share market with a philosophy and an approach that were completely alien to me. Traders like him were making all the money and traders like me were losing. I shook my head in disbelief that other people saw things the way they did. I felt excited knowing that there was another alternative, another approach in analysing the markets. “What you need, is to develop your own trading system.” He exclaimed to everybody in the entire room. “Without a trading system, you will fail. I guarantee you. This trading system must be something that is suited for you and you only. Even if I give you my trading system I am certain that you will fail to make money, because my system is not designed for you. It is designed for me. That is why you need to learn how to use the tools and acquire the skills needed to be a trader”. I accepted his advice without fully understanding this concept of matching a trading system to suit the trader’s own personality. It lingered in my mind for a long time. The wisdom of his advice became apparent to me as I slowly learnt more about the nature of trading. Bauer diverted our attention to the charts on the screen projected from his laptop. All I saw were lines, curves, rectangular boxes and more squiggly lines. The tools of a professional trader: I thought. I was being shown the tools that my market ‘adversaries’ have been using to ‘clobber’ me with all this time. My heart was beating faster than usual. I was in awe. I wanted those tools. I asked Bauer what program he used to analyse the markets. He told me. I also asked him how many indicators he used. I had read enough about technical analysis by that time to know that technical analysts use indicators to analyse share prices. There are many indicators to choose from so I wanted to know how many of those are used by professional traders. He started counting his fingers. ‘Seven’, he said. I think many people there had not really read up on technical analysis but I had done my homework and by that time, I was pretty much the only person in dialog with him, asking him questions. I wanted to gain as much knowledge and wisdom he was willing to give me. Then I heard one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt which minimised my losses during my early years of trading: “Trade so small that it is almost a waste of your time. Assume the next trade is going to be the first out of a thousand trades you are going to be making in your life. Even though your profits are smaller, your losses are smaller too. There is no need to rush. Do not worry about getting rich too quickly.” He was suggesting that novices like me should trade using small position sizes. That means to buy small number of shares at the start. I was intrigued. I did not know a person should trade that ‘small’. Eventually, the seminar ended. I grabbed the booklets and brochures given out by some of the staff. In one of these brochures was the name of the program he uses. They were selling the software with the courses they were offering. I could not afford the entire package but I knew I had to buy the same charting software Bauer used. I decided to learn as much as I could about how to use charts and graphs to analyse the market. I needed to develop my own trading system. As for my friend, he said he had a car loan to take care of first. He would look into trading shares later when he had a little more money to set aside. A couple of days later, I got a call from the organiser of the seminar, telling me that based from the questions I had been asking that night, I was the type of person that would most benefit from their education package. Bauer was asked to demonstrate the need for trading education because he traded the markets. In the process, he was selling the courses well. Bauer seemed knowledgeable and experienced. He has enlightened me and probably several other people in that room about how much there was to learn. I was sold. I just could not afford the courses at the time but I wanted them so badly that I asked the sales person on the other end of the line if I could work for them in exchange for the course. I did not get to do the course but I bought the software from a different distributor at a cheaper price. I also bought the two books Bauer wrote. I figured that I could acquire the skills and wisdom through self-education. I learnt a lot from those two books and from using the software. Having that opportunity to attend that seminar was a ‘gift from the heavens’, as far as I was concerned. Wherever you are, Bauer, I thank you. You – and others like you -- have made me recognize the value of passing on knowledge and experience for others to follow. - END OF ARTICLE - Please activate all hyperlinks and include the paragraph below if you are republishing this article online or in print.



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Toy dog breeds

Toy dog breeds include greyhounds, terriers, pinschers, pugs, chihuahuas, pekingese, spaniels--the official list of the AKC is quite extensive. Regardless of breed, toy dogs are desired for their cuteness and cuddle-ability. Many retain the characteristics of a puppy for their entire lives. This may be one of the big attractions that toy dog breeds hold over larger breed dogs. Diminutive size, however, does not mean that toy dog breeds are less hardy. Once safely past puppyhood, their energy levels and enthusiasm rival any breed of dog. Some are excellent watch dogs, but they won? t be able to follow through preventing entry of an intruder. The hue and cry of toy dog breeds can be enough to make your hair stand on end! There are several advantages to toy dog breeds. Besides the ease of handling a smaller sized dog, they are more appropriate for apartment dwellers because they do not require as much exercise space as a large dog. Additionally, toy dog breeds usually shed less than their larger counterparts--not because they have different coat characteristics, but because there is less dog! All sides of dog care are smaller: from cleaning to clean-up and food consumed to food expelled. Historically, toy dog breeds were used as companion dogs. They were friendly and alert, yet willing to be held and petted. They are very comforting and can bring peace to an owner. Nursing homes and adult care facilities have found toy dog breeds to be soothing for their patients. Contrary to common perception, there is no law preventing animals from living in nursing homes. It is up to the eldercare facility to allow--or disallow--pets. The calming influence of any pet, especially one that will transfer affections to everyone equally, is a wonderful aid for patient facilities. You don? t have to reside in an eldercare facility to enjoy toy dog breeds. They do provide companionable joy for many who otherwise would be concerned about space, exercise and care requirements of a larger breed of dog.



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Getting down payment help from the government

A large hurdle you must overcome to purchase a house is the down payment. Fortunately, you can get down payment help from the government for your dream home. Getting Down Payment Help From The Government When it comes to buying a house, the government can actually help. No, really. HUD stands for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. With such a name, you can see why everyone just calls it HUD. The department’s stated mission is to pursue initiatives that make home ownership available to as many Americans as possible. HUD does this through making guarantees on home loans and other initiatives. A common misconception about HUD is that it actually issues mortgages to borrowers. It does not. Before you get too disappointed, HUD does offer initiatives in the housing down payment area. In December of 2003, HUD started an initiative known as the American Dream Downpayment Initiative. Yes, they actually spelled downpayment as one word, but who is going to complain about such help? The initiative is part of the American Dream Downpayment Assistance Act passed in 2003, which provides $200 million dollars in down payment assistance. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is! The goal of the initiative is the same as all HUD programs, to wit, to increase homeownership by helping people with the hurdle of down payments. The initiative is available only to first time buyers and is focused on revitalizing neighborhoods, giving minorities a leg up as well as lower income individuals. With the skyrocketing real estate prices of the last seven years, the initiative represents a breath of fresh air. Under the initiative, HUD will provide assistance with down payment and closing costs. The help is capped at $10,000 or six percent of the purchase price, whichever is greater. Put another way, this is not some token assistance program. $10,000 or six percent is nothing to sneeze at. What do you know, a government program that actually helps people. In truth, HUD is one of those rare government agencies that does a great job. To find out more about the American Dream Downpayment Initiative, contact HUD.



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How journaling can positively impact your physical health

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, writing about stressful life events helped reduce symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis in patients with these chronic illnesses. The effects of the writing exercise were still evident four months later and resulted in clinically meaningful improvements in patient symptoms. Interestingly, studies showed that asthma patients who wrote about their most stressful life events showed a 19-percent improvement in lung function; similarly, rheumatoid arthritis patients had a 28-percent reduction in symptoms. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that links mental and emotional health to physical well-being. Although researchers aren’t sure exactly how expressive writing can lead to health improvements, they theorize that writing help people cope with stress, and stress—as well all know—clearly impacts health. University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker believes that regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes. He theorizes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health. Louise Moran, a nurse coordinator, has written about a patient who, during a serious illness, sent daily e-mails to friends and family about her illness, a practice the woman believes played a pivotal role in her healing process.

Moran said another patient felt that journaling helped her create a new life after breast cancer. There have even been studies suggesting that journaling in healthy people actually improves the immune system.



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Weight loss the vital role of your unconscious mind

Even inside the womb your unconscious mind is working overtime processing information and giving you your first emotional experiences. To this day, the power of the unconscious mind has barely been tapped and it is understanding this part of ourselves which is key to losing weight permanently. Your unconscious mind receives, processes and stores every single stimulus that you experience throughout your life. This is extraordinary when you think about it and it's no wonder that the unconscious mind can be put to fantastically good use. However, you have to know how to tap into the power of your unconscious mind in the correct manner. From what we know about this mysterious part of the brain we can deduce that interpretation of the raw data does not occur in the unconscious mind.

It simply takes the information and files it away into little blocks. The way this information is organized controls your everyday response mechanisms to all kinds of stimuli. The more often the same information is received and stored the more indelibly printed it becomes in your unconscious. This is how habits are formed. This unconscious habit forming is an essential part of being human. It is what allows you to do everyday things automatically like getting dressed, making the breakfast, riding a bike .... and so on. If the unconscious mind was not storing this data you would have to re-learn how to do all these things every day. This could get slightly tedious!

However, just like the yin and yang there's always positive and negative. The negative effects of this habit forming include overeating and weight gain. During your early years and as you were growing up your unconscious mind may have been programmed with bad eating habits. You may have found that polishing off a big cream cake made you feel better when you were upset. Again this is how the bad habits form.

When you finally decide to do something about it later in life, you find that your habits are so ingrained it feels almost impossible to reverse the problem. Luckily, there is a very simple mechanism which you can use to re-program yourself. You may think this is completely crazy but the secret is to talk to yourself. More often than not, you will want to ask yourself a question and this in turn prompts your unconscious mind to produce an answer. This answer almost always creates a mental image for you. Some call this a visualization. This visualization controls how your emotional response manifests itself. This is interpreted by others as a behavioural trait. It forms part of your personality.

If you have ever listened to the way an overweight person talks to themselves you'll find that commonly there is some very negative self talk going on. The person will ask themselves questions like : Why am I so big? Why did I get so big? Why does my diet not work? This negative self questioning of course has the effect of prompting your unconscious mind to give you negative answers. "You are big because you eat too much" or "You feel that the pressure of life is getting you down". We invariably find the unconscious mind will produce negative answers like this if you ask it negative questions. For each of these negative scenarios your unconscious mind would have created a visualization and this reinforces your self doubt.

Here's the interesting part. Your unconscious mind sends these negative visualizations into your waking consciousness. It tells you that this is how you look and this is how you will look. It will try and solidify this visualization and make it real. Oftentimes that's exactly what happens. All the power of your waking mind is directed at reinforcing these negative images. This is why you are overweight. It is highly likely that your unconscious mind never rests. It is always processing information and always tries to find answers to questions.

A great example is when you're trying to remember the name of something and you cannot for the life of you remember what it is. You will almost always find that a few hours later or maybe a couple of days later the name miraculously pops into your head. This is the result of your unconscious mind continuously working away trying to find the answer to the question which you asked it all that time ago. It finally found the answer and sent it instantly into your waking consciousness. Amazingly, it seems that if your unconscious mind cannot immediately find an answer to your problem it will take a look at the information it already has stored and formulate its own answer for you. This is a very powerful thing. This is why it's so important for you to ask yourself positive questions. Your unconscious mind will formulate a positive answer for you which in turn creates positive visualizations. You can see where I'm going with this. The positive mental picture manifests itself in your conscious reality and you begin to reverse your bad habits.

Simply, all you have to do is identify when you're asking yourself negative questions. Then just think of the reverse. Invert this negativity and turn the question into a positive one. You'll be shocked at the awesome power of this technique. There is not enough room in this article to go into the intricacies of positive self talk. A great book to read is "What to Say When You Talk to Yourself" by Shad Helmstetter. Just do a search on Amazon and you'll find it. Read Shad's book and you'll learn how to apply a positive self talk regime in your own goal of losing weight.



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Coffee antioxidant friend or foe

Before we get all excited over the recent news about coffee being our new antioxidant, we need to take a look at the “entire” picture. Is there truly a coffee antioxidant? If there is, how exactly is coffee an antioxidant? Does it become the antioxidant when it’s heated? Does the coffee antioxidant benefit everyone?

Are there still dangers to drinking coffee? How much coffee is good for us and when does it become bad for us? First let’s try to break this down to something we can all understand. I mean, have you read the information about, “Green coffee antioxidant extract?” Here’s a quote from the applied food sciences, “Chlorogenic acid has been proven in animal studies in vitro to inhibit the hydrolysis of the glucose-6-phosphate enzyme in an irreversible fashion. This mechanism allows chlorogenic acid to reduce hepatic glycogenolysis (transformation of glycogen into glucose) and to reduce the absorption of new glucose. In addition, in vivo studies on animal subjects have demonstrated that the administration of chlorogenic acid lessens the hyperglycemic peak resulting from the glycogenolysis brought a....“ Here is a link to the entire pdf file if you like. http:// biochemix. com/pdf/gca_antioxidant. pdf Basically chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant. This is one of the components in a coffee bean. Antioxidants are said to be an inhibitor of certain types of diseases. However, they are talking about cholorogenic acid in an isolated form. So, don’t start chewing on coffee beans just yet. When I realized how much mumbo jumbo was in that. pdf file I decided to try and find something a little less science lab nerd related and here’s a quote from the next site I discovered, “The specific antiradical activity against the hydroxyl radical of the water soluble components in green and dark roasted Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta coffee samples, both in vitro by the chemical deoxiribose assay and ex vivo in a biological cellular system (IMR32 cells), were determined. All the tested coffee solutions showed remarkable antiradical activity.” http://coffeescience. org/antioxidant Do these people think we all have medical and science degrees??? I mean come on Mr. Science guy, get a clue, write something with fewer ego-stroking sentences ok? Once you get down to the very bottom of that article, you’ll find something that makes sense, “The results indicate that brewed coffee contains many antioxidants and consumption of antioxidant-rich brewed coffee may inhibit diseases caused by oxidative damages.” I should get high kudos’ for giving that little bit of information up so freely. Now let me give you an idea of what I had to chew threw in order to get to the “bottom line”. Coffee beans are not all a like. Not all coffee beans are of the same quality or even the same make up. Sort of like comparing tennis shoes to sandals. Both go on your feet, but they are not made up of the same components. You can actually break coffee down into several different water-soluble components. The dietary fiber derived from roasted coffee silverskin. This is one component of the coffee bean that has high antioxidant content. Here’s something else I found to be a bit tweaky. When they conduct these studies it’s not like they get a huge group of people together, poor them all a cup of coffee and then measure just what sort of antioxidant effects are derived from drinking it. I mean really, doesn’t that make sense? Wouldn’t that be the easiest way to figure this out? No? Hey, did he just call me a knucklehead! Okay, so that’s not how science works. What they do in fact is the break down the coffee beans into different components. They filter out the components that the coffee antioxidant is found in, and then they test lab rats in a variety of experiments to determine how well they survive with or without the various additives in their diet. When they discover something really swell, like a coffee antioxidant, our culture of coffee drinking addicts suddenly becomes a feverorish mob. For years and years we’ve heard bad things about coffee of which most of us ignored, things like, “It’s bad for your heart, increases blood pressure, may cause breast cancer, probably keeps you awake at night, and my personal favorite, has a poisonous gas when brewed.” So, when the world of coffee addicts even gets a tiny hint that coffee could have something beneficial, believe me they don’t just drink more coffee, they try to get everyone to join them. Suddenly everyone’s an expert. Webmasters quickly write articles about how coffee cures cancer and helps to eliminate world hunger – ok, well maybe they didn’t say that, but believe me, some of the stuff I’ve read online will make you percolate too. OYEE! So, here we now have scientific studies “proving” to us that coffee has antioxidants. Researchers have identified several compounds in coffee that create a coffee antioxidant. Why would this be of interest to us? Because scientific studies are showing that antioxidants may help prevent cancer. You see the connection here. Coffee has Antioxidants = Coffee cures cancer. (WRONG) However, until human studies are done, science cannot state exactly how much coffee must be consumed in order gain this protection against colon cancer or any other type of cancer. I read this one article about studies on how they took human intestines and well… you don’t wanna know. Anyway, they mention the colon caner thing in that study. In all the reading that I have done I still find that there is conflicting information. The thing about the Internet is this – just because it is written online, doesn’t mean it’s based on truth or fact. Before the coffee is roasted the antioxidant benefits are varied. However, once the coffee is roasted and served as a drink things get evened out. They all seem to have the same degrees of antioxidants. Some studies suggest coffee having other benefits such as added fertility in men and some benefits for those suffering from diabetes. You’ll have to read those studies on your own. It’s far too much garbled scientific goop for me to repeat here. Here’s the problem with all this information. The translation from scientific research to a commonly read article is not easily done. Imagine if you had to translate a story from its original language using only a dictionary for both languages. Somewhere along the line things are going to be misinterpreted. The fact that a coffee antioxidant exists may be true, but the reality is that coffee can be just as harmful if your body doesn’t like it, if you consume too much, if you have high blood pressure, and if it keeps you awake at night. So, what do I know now that I’ve read far too many science studies and online articles? Is there truly a coffee antioxidant? Yes, but the actual amount needed to be consumed in order to receive the anti-cancer benefits by humans is unknown. How exactly is coffee an antioxidant? Coffee alone isn’t the antioxidant, it’s several different components that are part of the coffee bean. Roasting and heating the coffee changes the total antioxidant output. Does it become the antioxidant when it’s heated? It seems that although some coffee beans like green coffee beans may be higher in antioxidants that other more common beans, once they are roasted and heated for consumption, the results are the same regarding the antioxidantal benefits. Does the coffee antioxidant benefit everyone? Honestly, this is NOT a question easily answered. In fact, the truth is it is still unknown just how beneficial coffee antioxidants are for humans. Are there still dangers to drinking coffee? Yes, of course there is. If you have high blood pressure and you have “seen” how coffee enhances this problem, you know it’s bad for YOU personally. If you can’t get proper sleep or you drive everyone around you nuts because you can’t sit still or shut-up, you know coffee is bad for you. Use common sense and listen to your body. Coffee is not good for everyone and unknown just how good for anyone. How much coffee is good for us and when does it become bad for us? Again – drink coffee in moderation, pay attention to your own body. Exercise and good eating habits are a far better way to get healthy than drinking 10 cups of cappuccino a day. All things in moderation. After reading everything about this new thing called a coffee antioxidant I have decided that there are better ways of getting antioxidants into my blood. Coffee may have many benefits, but so does water and it is possible to drown from drinking too much water. Yes, I know, you have to really drink a lot to accomplish this, but it’s the principle of the matter. Too much of anything is not a good thing.



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Seven snacks that taste great and won t cause you to pack on the pounds

Copyright 2006 Mike Ramsey If you are truly serious about watching what you eat and trying to lose weight, then there are certain times of the day for which you must be prepared. In general, most people can count on feeling hungry after workouts and especially between meals – usually around 10 a. m., 3 p. m. and 9 p. m. In fact, many people could actually set their clock by the regularity of their hunger pains each day. To ensure you stay true to your diet and continue on the path to successful weight loss, you should begin preparing now for these times of the day – so that you will have good healthy snacks available to satisfy your hunger pains whenever they come. Failure to plan ahead for hunger is a leading reason why so many people fail at dieting. When you’re hungry and you don’t have anything healthy on hand to eat, it is just too easy to settle for something unhealthy such as candy or chips or cookies. So what should you have on hand to eat? Here are seven simple, healthy, low-calorie snacks that also taste great. Keep these around and keep that weight melting off! 1. Fruit – including Oranges, Bananas, Apples, Berries and More. Fruit, such as oranges, bananas and apples, are packed with vitamins, including Vitamin C; minerals; antioxidants; good carbs; and fiber. Plus, they are easy to carry with you! A piece of fruit or a cup of berries is usually 80-120 calories, depending on the fruit. 2. Popcorn. Popcorn is a whole grain food, which makes it a high-quality carbohydrate source that is not only low in calories, but a good source of fiber. This means it takes longer to chew and makes you feel full sooner and for a longer period of time compared to non-whole grain snacks. Compared to many snack foods, popcorn is also low in calories. Air-popped popcorn provides only 30 calories per cup. When oil-popped, it contains only 55 calories. Even drizzled lightly with butter, it's only 90 to 120 calories per cup. 3. Yogurt. Yogurt is a healthy snack and a fantastic energy booster. Yogurt is also a significant source of protein, which is essentially muscle food. Eating protein will also make you feel fuller longer. A 16-ounce container of yogurt is usually 100-200 calories, depending on whether you choose fat-free or low-fat 4. Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs. These easy-to-carry snack packs make counting calories easy. Each pack contains 100 calories worth of one of Nabisco’s favorite snack foods. You can choose between Mini Wheat Thins, Honey Maid Cinnamon Crisps, Ritz variety packs, Kraft Cheese Nips and thin, crispy, wafer-style versions of Oreos and Chips Ahoy. 5. Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews. Nuts, particularly almonds, walnuts and cashews are packed with good fats and fiber – so you will feel fuller longer – plus many other beneficial nutrients including Vitamin E, the Omega-3s, selenium and more. One ounce of almonds, walnuts or cashews is approximately 160-170 calories. 6. Nutrition Bar. Nutrition or protein bars have dramatically improved in taste over the years. Today, many taste just like candy yet offer the perfect balance of carbs and proteins and are packed with beneficial vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, folic acid, iron and much, much more. For example, the Pria from Powerbar is a light, crispy bar that contains 22 grams of carbs, 11 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat and 25 percent less sugar than other leading brands. It’s available in Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp, Chocolate Mint Crisp and French Vanilla Crisp. One bar is 170 calories. 7. Turkey sandwich. Lean turkey or chicken on whole wheat bread with mustard will provide you with energy-boosting carbs as well as valuable protein that will ensure you feel full longer. A full sandwich would be approximately 400 calories while a half a sandwich would be around 200 calories.



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A shadow over your pregnancy how preexisting health conditions can affect you and your baby

One of the most important things for a woman to ensure while she is pregnant is that she remains healthy throughout the the nine-month period. This is because anything that affects the mother will affect the baby in her womb. With that into consideration, women should be aware that any preexisting condition they might have and/or the medications that they are taking can have a profound effect on their pregnancy and their baby. In some cases, this may increase the risk of babies being born with birth weight problems (either overweight or underweight), developmental problems, preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, pre-eclampsia, congenital heart block, or deformities. It may even be the cause of death for both mother and child. Among the preexisting medical conditions that pose a significant health risk for women during pregnancy are anemia, asthma, arthritis, sexually transmitted diseases, heart conditions, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), thyroid disorders, kidney diseases, liver diseases, infections, diabetes, hypertension, eating disorders, epilepsy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), substance abuse, depression, and other mental illnesses. While these conditions can pose complications during pregnancy, it is possible to manage them with medical assistance. It is highly recommended that women visit their obstetricians monthly during a normal pregnancy, but for women with preexisting conditions this may occur with more frequency so that their healthcare providers can monitor the progress of the pregnancy, how the woman is managing her preexisting condition and how it is affecting the unborn child.

For women with preexisting conditions who are planning to become pregnant, it is important to consult with a doctor before conception happens. A doctor will be able to explain the risks the condition poses to the pregnancy and help a woman weigh the pros and cons of carrying a child. This is called preconception planning, and when followed by early and on-going prenatal care, it is very helpful in ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy. Preconception planning can map out a possible plan for every step during the pregnancy, including counseling for the couple who wishes to have the child, the possibility of changing the medications currently being used to manage the preexisting condition, and of any changes in diet for the mother-to-be. In some cases, such as if a woman has an eating disorder or a predilection for substance abuse, the doctor may suggest going through therapy to eliminate these conditions before becoming pregnant. Both diet and medication have been proven to have an impact on the health of the child, since the baby is effectively sharing whatever the mother ingests. Chronic conditions don't have to threaten a woman's life or the life of her unborn child.

Apart from seeking medical advice about her preexisting conditions, it is also important to have the support of her family and friends around her. There are also groups composed of women in a similar situation that remind the the woman that she is not the only person going through this challenge. There are many women out there have triumphed over their illnesses to carry a child to term. Practicing preconception planning is just one of the steps in giving birth to healthy babies.



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Recognizing and treating a tension headache

A tension headache is by far the most common form of headache that people experience in every day life. However, in many cases, tension headaches may be confused with other types of headaches that may be more serious. Conversely, these more serious forms of headaches, which may require treatment from a physician, may be mistaken as a simple tension headache and thus go untreated for long periods of time. For this reason, you should know the causes, symptoms, and treatments of these headaches if you are experiencing pain, so you will be able to recognize them yourself. A tension headache is essentially, just as its name implies, a headache that is caused by tensing of the muscles, most often in the neck or the scalp. When these muscles contract, it can cause pain that ranges from mild, dull aches, to more severe pain, often accompanied by a feeling of tightness or pressure on the head, as though it were being squeezed by an invisible pair of hands. The pain is usually general, and dispersed over the head and neck, unlike other types where the pain is often felt most acutely in a specific area. Unlike many other types of headaches, tension headaches tend to build up slowly over time. The pain will at first be mild, or simply a feeling of tightness, and may increase until the pain has become quite severe. This is in contrast to other forms of headaches, most specifically cluster headaches that are known to begin and build up in a matter of minutes, and end just as quickly.

Tension headaches are somewhat similar to migraines in that they can be made worse by the presence of certain factors. These include bright lights and sounds, and other similar environmental stresses. This, however, may affect the headache for other reasons than they affect migraine headaches. For instance, they may be increasing the stresses that are causing the headache in the first place. A tension headache can be caused by a wide variety of different things. In short, anything that causes stress in your life may be a contributing factor to a tension headache, which is why they often set in during times of heightened stress levels. However, other factors may be at work, such as strain to the eyes or environmental factors such as temperature. They can also be caused by abnormal pressures on parts of the body, such as sleeping in a certain position, or even poor posture.

In most cases, a tension headache is mild enough that it can be treated with over the counter pain medication to take care of the headache itself. If possible, you may want to remove the causes of the headache as well, by relaxing more often or correcting poor posture. If you cannot pin point what is causing your headaches, you may want to write down when your headaches begin, to help you find a common link between them. If you experience a tension headache consistently, or your headaches become very severe, you should consult a physician, to be sure there is not a more serious problem. Copyright © Jared Winston, 2006. All Rights Reserved.



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Pet sympathy gifts

The loss of a pet is a devastating experience. Death or illness of the animals can have a drastic impact on the lives of the owners. Sometimes the death of the pet is considered to be worse than the loss of a human family member. Grieving for the pet can have painful repercussions, wherein the owner is likely to stop moving forward in life. Pet sympathy gifts are a good medium to express condolences. The sympathy gifts specifically address the needs of a grieving pet owner. The idea is to deliver a sympathetic message of support and comfort, as well as validate the grief of someone who has lost a pet. These gifts are aimed not at alleviating an individual’s grief, but they send a message of comfort and assure the recipient that people acknowledge his grief. A decorative keepsake box, gourmet chicken noodle soup, hot fudge sundae cake, herbal gourmet tea and honey straws, intention card or gift enclosure card are some of the commonly used gifts an individual can offer to a grieving owner. A burial ritual can bring solace to the grieving pet owner. Visuals or photographs of the pet can be a great reliever as well.

Picture frames, collages, and customized photo urns can make ideal gifts. Some of the sympathy packages can also include flowers, wreaths, and fresh fruit baskets to lift their spirits. Pet memorial products such as keepsake boxes make the owner feel closer to their lost companion. Some of the other gifts include personalized angel paintings, a pendant or bracelet, music CD, a personalized book of poems, a gift basket personalized to the family, a photo album or scrapbook of good times shared, a memorial garden stepping stone or bench, a Bible or a rosary, to name a few. An ideal gift that one can give after a gap is with another small pet. This would ease his sorrow and would also help him overcome the grief of his lost pet.



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Pool safety begins in your own backyard

At parks and beaches, there are fences, barriers and trained lifeguards on duty to keep swimmers and their families safe. Unfortunately, many residential pools don't have the same safety measures in place. Without proper poolside precautions, summer celebrations could quickly turn tragic. "Each year, more than 250 children under the age of 5 are drowning victims, often in their own backyards," said John Drengenberg, manager of consumer affairs for Underwriters Laboratories Inc., a not-for-profit product safety certification organization. Drengenberg says a child in trouble may not be able to alert anyone by splashing or yelling for help. "We all need to be more aware and attentive whenever our families are around a pool," said Drengenberg. He offers these tips for keeping your summer pool parties safe. * Follow the "10/20 pool patrol" rule. Anytime kids are in the water, have an adult on pool patrol.

A supervising adult needs to be able to scan the entire pool every 10 seconds and reach the water within 20 seconds. * If you own a pool, learn infant and child CPR and make sure your children take swimming lessons. * If a child is missing and a pool is in the area, don't waste valuable time searching elsewhere: Always check the pool first. * Install a fence that is at least 4 feet high with a self-closing, self-latching gate that has a locking mechanism beyond a child's reach. The fence should completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard. * Remove any overhanging tree limbs, chairs or ladders from the area to prevent children from climbing over the fence surrounding the pool. For above-ground pools, remove ladders and portable steps. * Consider adding a pool motion sensor and gate alarms to alert you to anyone approaching or jumping into the pool.

* Don't forget a pool cover. Power safety covers are recommended for in-ground pools. * Keep rescue devices such as life preservers at poolside. Also, have a telephone nearby and appropriate emergency numbers posted.

* Remove all toys when you leave the pool. Floats, balls and other toys may attract children to the unattended pool. * Always empty wading pools after your children are finished playing. Infants can drown in just a few inches of water.



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