An unforgettable lesson in hope

In a town where everyone knows everything, the author of this lovely, unconventional memoir came to live in a place no one knows exists. In "Still Life with Chickens" (Hudson Street Press, $21.95), Catherine Goldhammer wakes at midlife to find herself newly separated and several tax brackets poorer, forced by circumstances to move from the affluent New England suburb of her daughter's childhood into a new, more rustic life by the sea. Against all logic, partly to please her daughter and partly for reasons not clear to her at the time, she begins this year of transition by purchasing six baby chickens, whose job-she comes to suspect-is to pull her and her daughter forward, out of one life and into another. As she gradually transforms her new home-with its tawdry exterior but radiant soul-she watches her precocious 12-year-old daughter blossom into a stylish and sophisticated teenager. And as she tends to the needs of six enigmatic chickens, Goldhammer's life slowly shifts from chaos to grace. Beautifully written and quietly profound, "Still Life with Chickens" is an unforgettable lesson in hope, in starting over and in the transcendent wisdom that can often be found in the most unlikely of places. The brave, funny and heartbreakingly beautiful memoir is available wherever books are sold. Jim Wicht has requested a thin black line around the photo.



Online An unforgettable lesson in hope

The new way of helping consumers customer service call center

The New Way of Helping Consumers: Customer Service Call Center Call centers have been the human crossing point for years in several areas including order-taking, catalog sales, post-sale service, and telephone solicitation. With the booming of e-commerce, call centers are becoming more important since they play roles in organizations without the need for other physical presence or human contact. Nowadays, customer services have taken many forms. Consumers expect that they will be able to obtain the same quality of services and answers through whatever medium convenient for them; e-mail sending, filling out forms, telephone calls or even through online services. So, what are the requirements of establishing a customer service call center? To answer that question, exploring the elements, connections, and overall skills involved is necessary. The Elements of a Customer Service Call Center Having a good customer service and knowing the elements are not that difficult to determine. In some way, it can also be helpful if one places himself or herself on the consumer standpoint. Elements of a good customer service normally include the requirements for the agent. It does not necessary end with good communication skills but a complete understanding about the product or the service as well. Aside from those qualities, someone who is able to listen to the consumer’s situation and needs is also necessary. Additionally, the agent should also be empowered and intelligent enough to resolve the situation effectively. But most importantly, the element of a good customer service is someone who can treat a consumer with respect. The Methods of Connecting With the Consumer The methods of communication with the consumer can help determine the issue of staffing levels and technology. However, besides the volume of requests for information or calls, it is important to also consider other issues. Such issues may include the difference in time zones between you and the customer, consumers who are using the company’s services or products at some time other than business hours and the total variation in the volume of calls. Nowadays, customers may also require the staff to be available in a number of ways, such as: on the phone, by fax, by e-mail, by VRU or Voice Response Unit, by interactive ways on the Internet, or even in person. Taking into account all these factors can help in determining the staffing levels and the technology going to be used as a method of customer communication. The Overall Agent Skills Basically, agents are required to achieve some sort of exemplary caliber regarding communication skills. Although, agents must also be screened for their writing abilities since there are customer services requiring e-mail responses. Agents should also be proficient in utilizing the equipments. By orienting them about the proper use of several tools in the office, bungling transfers, sending e-mails to wrong addresses and other fumbles can be easily avoided, thus maintaining the company’s credibility. Most importantly, the agents should have the knowledge about the company’s products and services. It may be helpful to provide them with materials that can help them answer the questions from the customers. Listening and judgment skills are also important. Customer satisfaction is easily the most important goal of any call center. It is critical to train agents who are deeply enthusiastic about their job and are able to provide terrific services. Customer service is probably the hardest and most challenging aspect of any businesses. By developing the proper system for handling customer service, fortunately, can help the company establish its name on the market.



Online The new way of helping consumers customer service call center

Open source content management systems an overview

Publishing documents on the World Wide Web can seem daunting for the self proclaimed ludites out there. Let's face it HTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript to name just a few of the technologies that you would need to be familiar with in order to develop a truly professional looking website for yourself or your business. Fortunately there is a solution to the problem, it is called a content management system and it is an easier way for just about anyone willing to learn to publish to the Internet. Some of these content management systems have stemmed from the need of publishing data to the web. CNet for example created one of their own in house content management systems which they later spun off into a separate company called Vignette. Since publishing to the web began to take off in 1995 the development of these systems has really begun to progress.

However my focus will be only on open source versions of the web content management systems. The first open source system that I want to mention is called DotNetNuke ( dotnetnuke. com) which is a AsP. Net based system. By far one of the more popular open source projects out there today DotNetNuke has an avid following of hundreds of thousands of users.

The benefits of using this system is the rapid updates to the platform and the intense support you will receive from it community. These are two very important factors when considering an open source system, the level of updates and the support you will receive from its creators or users of the platform. Further the innovations that are built into this system make it one powerful application by any measure. For instance the skinning mechanism is by far one of the easiest to modify and customize and the scheduling processor reduces some of the more mundane tasks of maintaining any website. However DotNetNuke does not come without any drawbacks. Since this system was developed in ASP. Net this means that you will need at least Visual Studio 2003 Professional or greater in order to truly modify the source and customize the system as you see fit. This can be a serious drawback as the cost of this development platform can run into the hundreds of dollars. The second open source system that I have some experience in using is called AXCMS. Net ( axcms. net) which is again built upon the. Net platform.

This system is as feature rich as other open source systems such as DotNetNuke. However, this system has some definite drawbacks. First is its somewhat difficult setup and deployment problems that can seriously hinder any project. Also, there does not seem to be as an avid user base as DotNetNuke. However the system is as "solid" as they get and you will definitely be rewarded by your efforts once you have the system fully setup and ready to use. Also since this system is really a neat way to get introduced to the development team any updates or customizations you may need will be for a fee from the creators of the system. This really hinders the community support of the system and makes adoption that much harder.

There are many other open source systems out there with some more being developed as I write this article. The main factors when adopting any open source content management systems you should consider are: how well is this system supported by the community and how often is this system updated by its core development team. Even an open source system can have some hidden cost that must be considered before adoption into any business or enterprise.



Online Open source content management systems an overview

The best isp for you and your family

Announcing the winner of the best ISP award…the one that works for you and your family! Finding the best ISP is finding the one that works best for your internet experience and your needs. There is not an across the board best choice that will make every user satisfied. You need to choose an ISP that enables you and your family to use the internet in the ways and for the uses that you choose. The best ISP will be one that offers software upgrades regularly and has been in business for a long time. The software upgrades will show you that they are constantly changing to give their users more features and speed.

They will have a good track record with customers and their customer service associates will be available 24/7 with quick and efficient responses. The number of email addresses available per account will help you decide which is the best ISP for you. If the number does not match or exceed the amount that you need for you and your family, then that ISP may not be the best choice for you and your family. Nothing is worse than your children fighting over an email address or reading each others emails. If you have young children, then the best ISP choice for you may be one that offers the blocking of websites that are inappropriate for children. Some ISPs also offer special children's offerings like games, cartoons, and movies. They also may offer links to homework help sites and other child appropriate sites. The best ISP will be one that offers SPAM blocker and virus protection for your email and computer. This will protect your computer from any viruses that may be sent to you. SPAM blocker will help to save you time in reading your emails as it blocks many of those irritating emails that you do not want.

Unlimited internet usage is also the mark of one of the best ISPs. If you are on the computer several times daily, then this is the way that you want to go. Otherwise you could be paying extra money for any minutes over your specified time limit. Price may be a factor in choosing the best ISP for you and your family, but keep in mind that you should not use price as the primary decision maker. Prices vary but so does service. The best ISP should be one that connects quickly and loads websites and information speedily.

This may not happen with an ultra-cheap ISP. So choose the best ISP for you and your family to ensure that you receive the service that you need and deserve!



Online The best isp for you and your family

Credit card rebates finding the right card

There are many rebate credit cards available that offer rebate options that sound too good to be true. With so many credit card rebates to consider it can be mind-boggling trying to figure out which one to pick, if any. Understanding what each rebate credit card has to offer, APR, annual fee and overall terms and conditions will make things a lot clearer and will help you tremendously in your attempt at finding the right card for you. Compare Rebate Offers Carefully The rebate programs offered by various rebate credit card companies vary widely. Rebates, in the form of cash back, rewards you with anywhere from 0.25% up to 1%, a full 1% and a full 2%. The percentage you get back usually depends on the amount you purchase. For example, one card may give you 0.5% when you spend up to $2000, whereas you earn 2% when you spend $6000 or more. The thing to look out for when selecting a rebate credit card is terms for those offering only "up to 1%," as compared to credit card rebates that offer "a full 1%", for example. Consider Your Spending Habits Rebates are credited to you based on your spending. The more you buy, the more you get back in cash. However, depending on the card, this may not always apply to every purchase you make. In other words, one card may allow you to use your card at any establishment, whereas another card may require you to make purchases at a particular store. Be sure to pick a rebate credit card that you can use at your favorite stores. Try To Find A Card With A Low APR and No Annual Fee Rebate credit cards tend to have higher APRs and annual fees as compared to other cards. Cards with high interest rates and annual fees can quickly zap you of your entire rebate. Another thing to keep in mind, if you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month, then the cash back won't really amount to much. Using a card under these circumstances defeats the purpose of getting that type of card in the first place. Rebates are best for those who spend a lot on their card but pay off their balances. Unless you spend huge amounts of money on your card and the rebate offers are high, chances are you won't get much in return - net return. Scout around for cards that have very low APRs and no annual fees. That way, all the fun of racking up those great rebates won't be spoiled. Steer Clear Of Shady Terms And Conditions You've heard this stated many a time, "read the fine print." The "fine print" serves a good purpose on behalf of the rebate credit cards company. Although usually very text-heavy, I don't think the companies use fine print merely to save space. Often times, small type is placed where it is not very noticeable. It often contains specifics that are important for you to know but not necessarily what a company wants you to fully understand. Pay attention to those teeny-tiny footnotes. They sometimes point at exclusions or restrictions to what the company is claiming to offer. For example, a rebate offer of "2% on all purchases" might actually mean 2% on all purchases made from a list of affiliated retailers. These retailers may not have the products you are interested in or the products may have a high mark-up. Also, look for wording that may be a little deceptive. A rebate credit card may claim to give you "5% APR" but reading the fine print it you'll interpret is as really meaning 5% on balance transfers only or 5% for limited time. Once you know exactly what to look for, you will find it easy to select the best rebate credit cards. Comparison shop on the internet and take advantage of all that credit card rebates have to offer.



Online Credit card rebates finding the right card

Toe nail fungus

: Toe nail fungus and finger nail fungus is a condition in which fungi get under the nail of the toe or finger and cause an infection in the area. The infection can be of the nail itself or for the underlying skin in the area known as the nail bed. The condition is one in which you will want to have treated, especially if you find that it is painful or embarrassing to have. If you suffer for other conditions, such as diabetes, your doctor may want to take care of the problem as soon as possible so that it does not cause further damage to your skin. While you can have finger nail fungus, it is most commonly a toe nail fungus that will be present. In fact, at any given time, up to 18% of the population will have nail fungus infections. Nail fungus does not necessary have to be treated. If it is not causing you any pain and you do not have a problem with the way it looks, then you may choose to not treat it at all. But, if you do this, you are increasing the chances for it to spread and worsen which may result in pain. It is also likely that it will take longer to treat at that point.

The good news is, though, that you do not need to live with this condition. Nail fungus cures are available to help you. There are several over the counter medications that can help in this condition. There is not a 100% nail fungus cure, but many people do find relief from these topical treatments. If you do not see any relief from them, you can and should contact your family doctor.

He can prescribe medications that are stronger to help. Some of these medications do have side effects though. Toe nail fungus and finger nail fungus is something that many people have, yet you do not need to suffer from it when you seek out the help of fungal treatments such as these. Please visit some of my web sites at Nail Fungus and Nail Fungus Cures



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Los nombres detras de las bandas de musica

Muchas bandas de mъsica son nombradas a partir de diferentes situaciones, personas o cosas que jamбs te haz imaginado. Aquн te contaremos todas las historias detrбs de las bandas de mъsica mбs famosas de la historia. Los orнgenes de las bandas de rock y seudуnimos de artistas son un misterio que te revelaremos aquн. Diviйrtete! 1) Los Bee Gees: Los hermanos Giba primero tuvieron en mente el nombre de " Los Rattlensnakes" para su banda. Luego tuvieron la idea de honorar las iniciales de los dos hermanos Giba y un amigo cercano y uno de sus primeros soportes, DJ Hill Gates, quien no tiene nada que ver con el fundador de Microsoft. Es asн como Los Bee Gees fueron nombrados luego de las iniciales Bill Gates. 2) Bob Dylan: Su nombre original es Robert Zimmerman, y era demasiado largo y ademбs el era un fanбtico de Dylan Thomas. 3) The Doors: Primero fueron nombrados Psychedelic Ranger. Luego fueron inspirados por una cita de William Blake: "si las puertas (doors) de la percepciуn serian lavadas, todo aparecerнa al hombre como es, infinito." 4) Elton John: Su nombre real es Reginald Dwight. Tomo su nombre artнstico de otros mъsicos britбnicos, Elton Dean y John Baldry. 5) Elvis Costello: Naciу llamado Decнan Patrick McManus. Cuando comenzу su carrera musical, adopto un alias creado por una combinaciуn de Elvis Presley y Lou Costello, simplemente porque representa lo opuesto de el otro Elvis. 6) Eurythmics: Su nombre es originado en un sistema de instrucciуn musical de 1890 que se focaliza en respuestas fнsicas. 7) Everything but the Girl: Se inspiraron en una propaganda de ropa britбnica que vendнa todo menos a la chica (Everything but the girl). La implicaciуn era que todo estaba en rebajas menos las cosas de chica. 8) Green Day: Si fumas marihuana y luego te relajas todo el dнa, has tenido un dнa verde (Green Day). 9) Guns and Roses: De los nombres de Axl Rose y Tracii Guns. 10) Marilyn Manson: El seudуnimo del lнder de la banda mezclo dos de las celebridades favoritas americanas: Marilyn Monroe y Charles Manson. Otros miembros de la banda usan los pseudonimos Ginger Fish, Twiggy Ramirez y Madonna Wayne Gacy. 11) Nirvana: En el budismo significa el estado de bendiciуn perfecta obtenida por la destrucciуn de uno mismo. 12) Pet Shop Boys: En la disco gay "underground" habнan los cuartos oscuros en los cuales no sabes con quien estas teniendo sexo. Una variaciуn son los Pet Shops: no sabes con lo que lo estas haciendo. 13) Queen: Una palabra que caracteriza a los travestis y la realeza. Connotaciones perfectas para el nombre de la banda en los ojos de Freddie Mercury. 14) Ramones: Una historia un poco "freaky". En el principio de su carrera, Paul McCartney se llamaba a si mismo Paul Ramone. 15) R. E.M: "Rapad Eye Movement" Movimiento rбpido de ojos, que es un estado de sueсo. 16) TLC: Las iniciales de los apodos de los miembros de la banda son T Boz, Left Eye y Chilli. Tambiйn sugiere los acrуnimos de "Tender, Loving y Care". 17) UB40: La banda fue desde un principio relacionada con temas polнticos y fue nombrada a partir de un formulario de desempleo en britбnico. 18) U2: Un tipo de aviуn espнa usado por los estados unidos, Bono explico una vez que U2 creciу de pensamientos de interacciуn con la audiencia... como en "you too" (vos tambiйn). 19) Velvet Underground: Nombrados a partir de un titulo de un libro de sexo desconocido que uno de los miembros de la banda habнa encontrado tirado en la calle. 20) XTC: Esta banda de punk fue formada en 1976 antes de que usar drogas sea popular. La banda habнa cambiado su nombre original Star Park luego de mirar a Jimmy Durante clip en el que dice:"Estoy en Йxtasis!" 21) Yeh Yeh Yeh: De acuerdo a Karen O, la inspiraciуn de esta banda de Hip hop vino de la frase Newyorkina que significa "Whatever".



Online Los nombres detras de las bandas de musica

Avoid sex with the ex

Divorce, rebuilding your life, avoid sex with the ex Divorce is something that no one wants to face. It is a hard situation that many people have to find the strength to get through. Sometimes there are hard feelings between the two couples and sometimes the couple will still get along very well. It is hard to tell what is going to happen and sometimes you just have to see how it goes. The ball is in your court and you need to make the best choices that you can. One thing is for sure; once you are divorced, you do not need to be having an intimate with your ex. This is not something that is wise because of the issues that will come along with it. You want to break your ties so that you are free and able to move on easily to better and bigger things. You will want to remain friendly with your ex. This is for obvious reasons. When things go a lot smoother, you will find it to be a lot easier to get things accomplished. You really can kill them with kindness however you do not want to be so kind that you are jeopardizing your health and well being for any reason. You do not want to get involved with the complicity of having sex with your ex when you are trying to rebuild your life and make something better for your future. When you are trying to rebuild your life, you want to do the right things. You need to make the right choices for you and you family so that you are not putting anyone's well being at risk. This will also include your ex. When you are still carrying on an intimate relationship with your ex partner, you will find that you may be setting either one of you up for a very big fall. This is not something that you should be doing at this stage of the game. A divorce is something that can be very complicated and when you are combining sex with your ex, you are only making the situation more complicated. You need to make sure that you are severing these ties and making it very clear that you are not interested in this part of your life anymore. You need to of course make sure of this before you file for divorce but having a physical relationship is not the only thing that matters with a marriage. You need to have all the factors there so that you can have a successful relationship that works for both of you. There are so many things to worry about when you are trying to rebuild your life after a divorce. You do not want to have to deal with too much when you already have so much on your plate. You want to be careful and make the wise decisions that you know you can make. You have to be willing to let the physical side of your relationship go so that you can free your mind and body up for the next chapter in your life. There is so much life out there and when you are divorced, you are able to take it all on. You should not be holding on to the past even if it is comforting at the time. You want to get out there are find out who you are and what your goals and dreams are in life. This is the only way that you can make your new life a huge success. This is going to be worth the self-control that you have when it comes to refraining from having sex with your ex.



Online Avoid sex with the ex

Using a scientific calculator in mathematics exams

Using a Scientific Calculator In Mathematics Exams With exams approaching this is a short article with reminders and advice for anyone about to take a mathematics exam and who will need to use a scientific calculator. The most common calculator problems are: - setting up the calculator in the right mode - not being able to find the calculator manual ! - remembering to change calculator modes - rounding and inaccurate answers Why Use a Scientific Calculator? Scientific calculators all use the same order for carrying out mathematical operations. This order is not necessarily the same as just reading a calculation from left to right. The rules for carrying out mathematical calculations specify the priority and so the order in which a calculation should be done - scientific calculators follow the same order. This order is sometimes abbreviated by terms such as BODMAS and BIDMAS to help students remember the order of doing calculations. 1st. Brackets (all calculations within bracket are done first) 2nd. Operations (eg squaring, cubing, square rooting, sin, cos, tan ) 3rd. Division and Multiplication 4th. Addition and Subtraction Being aware of this order is necessary in order to use a scientific calculator properly. This order should always be used in all mathematical calculations whether using a calculator or not. Scientific calculator check There are two types of scientific calculator, the most recent type being algebraic scientific calculators. Algebraic scientific calculators allow users to type in calculations in the order in which they have been written down. Older scientific calculators need users to press the mathematical operation key after they have entered the number. For example to find the square root of nine (with an answer of three) press: [button] Algebraic scientific calculator: [SQUARE ROOT] [9] [=] Non algebraic scientific calculator: [9] [SQUARE ROOT] [=] Both these types of scientific calculator are fine for exams, but make sure you know how to use your type. If you are not sure whether you have a scientific calculator are not, type in: [4] [+] [3] [x] [2] [=] If you get an answer of 14, then you have a left to right non-scientific calculator. If you get an answer of 10, then you have a scientific calculator as it has worked out the multiplication part first. Lost Calculator Manuals Calculator manuals tend to get lost very easily or you can never find them as an exam is approaching. A frequent request is what can you do if you have lost your calculator’s manual? If it is a relatively new model then you can download a copy from the manufacturer’s web site. If it is an old Sharp or old Casio calculator manual then you can probably find one on the internet. Even with search engines, finding these manuals can take some time - use the following quick link for Casio: website and old calculator manuals; Sharp: website and old calculator manuals; Hewlett-Packard calculators and Texas Instruments calculators: http:// gcse-maths-revision-cards. co. uk/maths_calculator_exam_paper Calculator Mode Now that you have your calculator manual you can set your calculator to the correct settings. The standard settings are usually: COMPUTATIONAL: (use MODE button – choose normal not stat) NOT: SD or REG DEGREES: (use MODE or DRG button) NOT: RAD OR GRAD NORMAL: (use MODE or SETUP and arrow keys) NOT: FIX, SCI, ENG Many calculators have a reset button on the back that can be pressed in using a pen or paper clip if you want the original factory settings. The most common mistake is to leave your calculator in a previous mode and forgetting to CHANGE IT BACK AGAIN ! (We’ve all done it, just try to avoid doing it in the exam !) Common Calculator Mistakes (a) Pressing the DRG button by mistake and not doing trigonometry questions in DEGREES mode. (If you are doing more advanced work then forgetting to change out of DEGREES mode !). (b) Borrowing an unfamiliar calculator or getting a new calculator too close to the exam and not being familiar with the keys and how to change modes. (c) Forgetting to write down and check work. Any exam with a calculator should have a warning on it! It is essential to write down the calculations that you're doing so that you can get method marks. You should also try and double check all calculations in case of pressing a wrong button. (d) Round only at the end of a calculation. Store calculations in the memory and use all the decimal places during calculations. If you use a rounded value too soon then you will lose accuracy. (e) Forgetting to use brackets on division calculations (e. g. when dividing by ALL the bottom part of fraction). Many calculators are now very powerful and have amazing computational power. Some of the programmable calculators are mini computers. Although they will all calculate 100% accurately every time, unfortunately they are only as good and as accurate as their operator! It is often the case that candidates perform better without a calculator as it is very easy to make simple mistakes when using one. If you can do so, it certainly helps to have an idea of the rough size of the answer, so that you can see if an answer is sensible or not. It is also a good idea to repeat all calculations just in case you have made a mistake.



Online Using a scientific calculator in mathematics exams

Health benefits for chai drinkers

What is Chai Tea? “Chai” actually means “tea” in Hindi, so calling “chai” “chai tea” is actually rather redundant. However, marketers in the western world thought that “chai tea” would help them sell the “new” product to the western market. Chai is actually centuries old, with its origins in India. Generally, it is a milky, spiced tea made with black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, pepper, and various other spices. It is usually sweetened – most commonly with sugar, but some drinkers prefer honey. There is not a universal recipe for chai, as different drinkers like it different ways, so the spice list can change depending on who’s making it. It is most likely this list of ingredients not often found in western beverages that makes chai seem “exotic” to westerners. But in India, chai is as common as tea is in Britain and coffee is in the United States. In fact, it’s so common that in many Indian households, the first thing a host offers a guest is a cup of chai. Potential Health Benefits of Chai Some tea companies tout the health benefits of drinking their chai product – but buyer beware. While chai is certainly better for the body than a drink such as coffee, because not all chai is made with the same ingredients, it’s not really possible to state that chai is universally beneficial. And it’s also more likely to benefit the drinker when the drinker has brewed his/her own chai, rather than buying boxed chai or chai in tea bag form. Why? Simply because the spices and herbs being used are much fresher. Here is a list of some of the benefits of the different ingredients in most chai recipes: 1) Cinnamon: In a recent study by the US Agricultural Research Service, cinnamon has been shown to benefit diabetics because the cells are less likely to let insulin in. In lab rats with Type 2 diabetes, cinnamon helped lower blood pressure and prevented cell damage. Cinnamon’s oils also help to stop the growth of certain bacteria and yeasts. 2) Ginger: In the Far East, ginger has been used for over two millennia to treat upset stomach, diarrhea, arthritis, and heart disease. Recent research by western scientists also suggests that ginger may help lower the risk of colon cancer. 3) Cardamom: Like ginger, cardamom is often used to soothe digestion problems. But it is also used to treat respiratory problems such as asthma or people suffering from other kinds of respiratory spasms. Further, in Saudi Arabia, animal studies have shown cardamom to have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing muscle spasms. 4) Cloves: Used in Ayurvedic medicine as an analgesic, cloves are most often used to soothe toothaches and remedy halitosis. It also has antiseptic qualities, and can be used to kill intestinal parasites, fungi, and bacteria. These latter qualities have also led cloves to be used for treating diarrhea and similar digestive ailments. 5) Pepper: Most chai recipes do not usually contain enough black pepper for it to be of significant benefit to its drinkers. However, black pepper does reduce intestinal gas and works as an antioxidant. Just remember: The best way to ensure that your regular cup of chai provides you with the health benefits you’re looking for is to brew it yourself. Then you can select the herbs and spices that benefit your specific health condition.



Online Health benefits for chai drinkers

They re grrrrrrreat why the tigers may be for real

When you bet on baseball, the trick is to stay ahead of the curve. Since people are always going to bet on the Yankees and The Red Sox, it is difficult to get great value when you pick those teams. If you were fortunate enough to jump on the White Sox bandwagon early last year, you probably made some money. This year another team presents such an opportunity – The Detroit Tigers. Now, it is easy to be skeptical.

Wasn’t this team the worst in the league just a short time ago? Have they been close to competitive since that great team that got off to the 35-5 start in 1984? Well, they have had a few competitive years, but you get the point. Here are some stats that you might have missed and may surprise you: The Tigers have hit more homeruns than any team in the American League. Remember, their ballpark is not exactly considered a hitter’s park. Juan Gonzalez took a very bad gamble that someone else besides the Tigers would pay him $144 million because he had such a hard time hitting homeruns in Comerica Park. Rule V acquisition Chris Shelton has cooled off a bit, but others have picked it up. Magglio Ordonez, whose 5 year contract was described by many GM’s as “insane,” has hit 10 homeruns, driven in 26 runs, and is hitting .304. This is a guy who only a year ago was mysteriously sneaking off to Europe to see specialists for his shattered knee. The Tigers lead all of baseball in ERA. Kenny Rogers is not known for succeeding in October, but he has won at least 13 games in 5 of the last 6 seasons. Everyone knew Jeremy Bonderman was due for a breakout season. Justin Verlander was the number 2 pick in the draft in 2004, and he was thought to be a candidate for “Rookie of the Year” when the season started. Mike Maroth lost 21 games in 2003. The old saying is that “you’ve got to be really good to lose 20 games.” Maroth proved that, as he has improved steadily and is off to a great start with a 5-2 record and 2.18 ERA. Nate Robertson has rounded out the fine rotation. Fernando Rodney (6 saves, 1.59 ERA) and Joel Zumaya (2.76 ERA) have led a solid bullpen. The Tigers also have the best defensive efficiency in baseball, turning nearly 74% of balls in play into outs. With that kind of defense, pitching, and power, what’s not to like about these Tigers? Add in a resurgent Pudge Rodriguez, a steady Carlos Guillen, and an improving Curtis Granderson, and this is a team to be reckoned with. Finally, there were many doubters when the Tigers hired Jim Leyland. This was the guy who quit on the Colorado Rockies and said he had lost his passion for baseball. However this is also a guy with a World Series championship, two Manager of The Year awards, and three division championships. It seems the fire is once again burning for Leyland. I wrote earlier about the “Big Red Mirage” going on in Cincinnati. The surprise in the AL is a completely different situation. These Tigers might actually be Grrrrrreat.



Online They re grrrrrrreat why the tigers may be for real

Poker history

Currently and probably for the foreseeable future, poker remains the world’s most popular card game with legions of poker players, casual and dedicated, amateur and professional. Poker has literally hundreds of variations of which stud, draw and hold’em are most often played. The basics of poker games are pretty much the same. Players are dealt concealed cards or a combination of concealed and face-up cards, or concealed cards to the individual players and face-up community cards for all players use as in hold’em poker games. Traditional poker hands in order of importance are: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair. Wagers are made into a central pot to be awarded to the player with the best hand. The game of poker goes back a long way. Many people believe that card games played in Germany (Pachen) and France (Poque) around the 17th century may have been the very beginnings of the game we all know and love. What we do know for sure is that an early developmental form of poker was being played in the United States before the Civil War. The game was played with only Twenty cards, aces, face cards and tens (A-K-Q-J-10) and was gaining popularity over the then favorite card game of three card monte.

Around the 1850s, the full English deck of fifty-two cards was introduced. A larger deck meant more players could participate and the pots would be larger – a gambler’s dream come true! Within a few years, inventive minds developed the flush, the straight, games such as draw and stud and wild cards. But even more importantly, the draw of additional cards and the ability to change the value of one’s hand, changed poker from a game of chance to a game of skill. From the saloons and gaming parlors of New Orleans to the river boats plying the Mississippi, poker’s popularity spread. After the Civil War, the game of poker followed the settlers, drifters and gamblers to the unknown frontier of the early west. It was there in the town of Deadwood, in Dakota Territory on August 2, 1876, that a poker hand became a legendary symbol of western lore. The hand was aces and eights (two pair) and was held by none other than the storied gunfighter James Butler, better known as “Wild Bill” Hickok. He was shot from behind while playing a round of poker and that hand of aces and eights became forever more known as “the dead man’s hand”.

The popularity of the game continued to grow and was spread worldwide by the United States military in the two great wars. Although poker remained popular after World War II, it was not a big money maker for the casinos in Las Vegas. However, thanks to a Texas cowboy named Benny Binion, poker is now the world’s most popular game. Benny owned a casino on Fremont Street in what is now referred to as “downtown” Las Vegas. In 1970, the Binion’s Horseshoe played host to a poker tournament that has morphed into the gargantuan World Series of Poker that today is entered by thousands and watched on television by millions.



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The secret of rooting cuttings

The secret of rooting cuttings can be summed up in two words. “Timing and technique”. When you do your cuttings is every bit as important as how you do them. So if you do the right thing, at the right time of the year, your efforts are sure to bring success. Through this article you will learn both. "Rooting Hardwood Cuttings of Deciduous Plants" Hardwood cuttings are much more durable than softwood cuttings which is why hardwoods are the best technique for the home gardener. A deciduous plant is a plant that loses its leaves during the winter. All plants go dormant during the winter, but evergreens keep their foliage. Many people don’t consider Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Mountain Laurel evergreens, but they are. They are known as broad leaf evergreens. Any plant that completely loses its leaves is a deciduous plant. There are three different techniques for rooting cuttings of deciduous plants. Two methods for hardwood cuttings, and one for softwood cuttings. In this article we are only going to discuss rooting cuttings using the hardwood methods. If you are interested in softwood cuttings, you'll find a very informative article at http:// freeplants. com Of the two hardwood techniques is one better than the other? It depends on exactly what you are rooting, what the soil conditions are at your house, and what Mother Nature has up her sleeve for the coming winter. I have experienced both success and failure using each method. Only experimentation will determine what works best for you. Try some cuttings using each method. When doing hardwood cuttings of deciduous plants, you should wait until the parent plants are completely dormant. This does not happen until you’ve experienced a good hard freeze where the temperature dips down below 32 degrees F. for a period of several hours. Here in northeastern Ohio this usually occurs around mid November. Unlike softwood cuttings of deciduous plants, where you only take tip cuttings from the ends of the branches, that rule does not apply to hardwood cuttings of deciduous plants. For instance, a plant such as Forsythia can grow as much as four feet in one season. In that case, you can use all of the current years growth to make hardwood cuttings. You might be able to get six or eight cuttings from one branch. Grapes are extremely vigorous. A grape vine can grow up to ten feet or more in one season. That entire vine can be used for hardwood cuttings. Of course with grape vines, there is considerable space between the buds, so the cuttings have to be much longer than most other deciduous plants. The average length of a hardwood grape vine cutting is about 12” and still only has 3 or 4 buds. The bud spacing on most other deciduous plants is much closer, so the cuttings only need to be about 6- 8” in length. Making a deciduous hardwood cutting is quite easy. Just collect some branches (known as canes) from the parent plants. Clip these canes into cuttings about 6” long. Of course these canes will not have any leaves on them because the plant is dormant, but if you examine the canes closely you will see little bumps along the cane. These bumps are bud unions. They are next year’s leaf buds or nodes, as they are often called. When making a hardwood cutting of a deciduous plant it is best to make the cut at the bottom, or the butt end of the cutting just below a node, and make the cut at the top of the cutting about 3/4” above a node. This technique serves two purposes. One, it makes it easier for you to distinguish the top of the cutting from the bottom of the cutting as you handle them. It also aids the cutting in two different ways. Any time you cut a plant above a node, the section of stem left above that node will die back to the top node. So if you were to leave 1/2” of stem below the bottom node, it would just die back anyway. Having that section of dead wood underground is not a good idea. It is only a place for insects and disease to hide. It is also helpful to actually injure a plant slightly when trying to force it to develop roots. When a plant is injured, it develops a callous over the wound as protection. This callous build up is necessary before roots will develop. Cutting just below a node on the bottom of a cutting causes the plant to develop callous and eventually, roots. Making the cut on the top of the cutting 3/4” above the node is done so that the 3/4” section of stem above the node will provide protection for the top node. This keeps the buds from being damaged or knocked off during handling and planting. You can press down on the cutting without harming the buds. When rooting cuttings this way it helps to make the cut at the top of the cutting at an angle. This sheds water away from the cut end of the cutting and helps to reduce the chance of disease. Once you have all of your cuttings made, dip the bottom of the cutting in a rooting compound. Make sure you have the right strength rooting compound (available at most garden stores) for hardwood cuttings. Line them up so the butt ends are even and tie them into bundles. Select a spot in your garden that is in full sun. Dig a hole about 12” deep and large enough to hold all of the bundles of cuttings. Place the bundles of cuttings in the hole upside down. The butt ends of the cuttings should be up. The butt ends of the cuttings should be about 6” below the surface. Cover the cuttings completely with soil and mark the location with a stake, so you can find them again in the spring. I know this sounds crazy, but rooting cuttings this way does work. To increase your chances of success you can cover the butt ends of the cuttings with moist peat moss before filling in the hole. Make sure you wet the peat moss thoroughly, then just pack it on the butt ends of the cuttings. Over the winter the cuttings will develop callous and possibly some roots. Placing them in the hole upside down puts the butt ends closest to the surface, so they can be warmed by the sun, creating favorable conditions for root development. Being upside down also discourages top growth. Leave them alone until about mid spring after the danger of frost has passed. Over the winter the buds will begin to develop and will be quite tender when you dig them up. Frost could do considerable damage if you dig them and plant them out too early. That’s why it is best to leave them buried until the danger of frost has passed. Dig them up very carefully, so as not to damage them. Cut open the bundles and examine the butt ends. Hopefully, you will see some callous build up. Even if there is no callous, plant them out anyway. You don’t need a bed of sand or anything special when you plant the cuttings out. Just put them in a sunny location in your garden. Of course the area you chose should be well drained, with good rich topsoil. To plant the cuttings, just dig a very narrow trench, or using a spade, make a slice by prying open the ground. Place the cuttings in the trench with the butt ends down. Bury about one half of the cutting leaving a few buds above ground. Back fill around the cuttings with loose soil making sure there are no air pockets. Tamp them in lightly, then water thoroughly to eliminate any air pockets. Water them on a regular basis, but don’t make the soil so wet that they rot. Within a few weeks the cuttings will start to leaf out. Some will more than likely collapse because there are not enough roots to support the plant. The others will develop roots as they leaf out. By fall, the cuttings that survived should be pretty well rooted. You can transplant them once they are dormant, or you can wait until spring. If you wait until spring, make sure you transplant them before they break dormancy. There really is no exact science when it comes to rooting cuttings, so now I am going to present you with a variation of the above method. This method still applies to hardwood cuttings of deciduous plants. With this variation you do everything exactly the same as you do with the method you just learned, up to the point where you bury them for the winter. With method number two you don’t bury them at all. Instead, you plant the cuttings out as soon as you make them in the late fall, or anytime during the winter when the ground is not frozen. In other words, you just completely skip the step where you bury the cuttings underground for the winter. Plant them exactly the same way as described for method number one. As with all cuttings, treating them with a rooting compound prior to planting will help induce root growth. Hardwood cuttings work fairly well for most of the deciduous shrubs. However, they are not likely to work for some of the more refined varieties of deciduous ornamentals like Weeping Cherries or other ornamental trees. Rooting cuttings of ornamental trees is possible, but only using softwood cutting techniques. Now let's discuss rooting cuttings of evergreens, using hardwood techniques. Hardwood cuttings of evergreens are usually done after you have experienced two heavy frosts in the late fall, around mid November or so. However, I have obtained good results with some plants doing them as early as mid September, taking advantage of the warmth of the fall sun. When doing them this early, they need to be watered every day. Try some cuttings early and if they do poorly, just do some more in November. Hardwood cuttings of many evergreens can be done at home in a simple frame filled with coarse sand. To make such a frame, just make a square or rectangular frame using 2” by 6” boards. Nail the four corners together as if to make a large picture frame. This frame should sit on top of the ground in an area that is well drained. An area of partial shade is preferred. Once you have the frame constructed remove any weeds or grass inside the frame so this vegetation does not grow up through your propagation bed. Fill this frame with a very coarse grade of sand. The sand used in swimming pool filters usually works. Mason's sand is a little too fine. If you have a sand and gravel yard in your area visit the site and inspect the sand piles. Find a grade that is a little more coarse than masons sand. But keep in mind that most any sand will work, so just pick one that you think is coarse enough. If water runs through it easily, it's coarse enough. Make sure you place your frame in an area where the water can drain through the sand, and out of the frame. In other words, don't select a soggy area for your cutting bed. Standing water is sure to seriously hamper your results. Making the evergreen cuttings is easy. Just clip a cutting 4-5 inches in length from the parent plant. Make tip cuttings only. (Only one cutting from each branch.) Strip the needles or leaves from the bottom one half to two thirds of the cutting. Wounding evergreen cuttings isn’t usually necessary because removing the leaves or needles causes enough injury for callous build up and root development. Dip the butt ends of the cuttings in a powder or liquid rooting compound and stick them in the sand about 3/4” to 1” apart. Keep them watered throughout the fall until cool temperatures set in. If you have some warm dry days over the winter, make sure you water your cuttings. Keep in mind that sand in a raised bed will dry out very quickly. Don't worry about snow. Snow covering your cuttings is just fine, it will actually keep them moist, and protect them from harsh winter winds. Start watering again in the spring and throughout the summer. They don’t need a lot of water, but be careful not to let them dry out, and at the same time making sure they are not soaking wet. This method of rooting cuttings of evergreens actually works very well, but it does take some time. You should leave them in the frame for a period of twelve months. You can leave them longer if you like. Leaving them until the following spring would be just fine. They should develop more roots over the winter. Rooting cuttings of the following plants is very easy using this method. Variegated Euonymus varieties, Taxus, Juniper, Arborvitae, Japanese Holly, Boxwood, and English Holly. Rhododendrons and Azaleas prefer to have their bottoms warmed before they root.



Online The secret of rooting cuttings

The diagnosis myth

Although I risk dissension by doing so, I must say something that I think many of us in the mental health community have acknowledged for quite some time: every single diagnosis of a mental disorder is fallible. Before I proceed, I should note the value of diagnoses. They are immensely useful categorical tools. The human being cannot productively navigate the uncertain tides of reality without the use of symbols and structures. Symbols and structures allow us to determine where our glasses end and our tables begin. Accordingly, when Patient A is compulsively cleaning her apartment and Patient B is speaking to invisible demons, it is important to have the words "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder" to describe the former and the word "Schizophrenia" to describe the latter.

Categorizations such as these not only help us to distinguish between ailments, they also assist us in making reliable behavioral predictions and selecting appropriate modes of treatment. I have no intention of ignoring these facts. However, two unsettling flaws consistently accompany diagnoses of mental disorders. When one breaks an arm and is diagnosed with the linguistically sophisticated ailment known as a "broken arm," there is finitude on display. Witnesses could line up from the patient's bed to the hospital parking lot, and they would all agree that the patient was suffering from a broken arm. The Law of Averages insists that one or two jokers would, due to rebelliousness or sheer foolishness, concoct some other diagnosis, but I believe that my point is clear: physical diagnoses are better suited for objective consideration than are mental ones. Despite the probable existence of Patient A and Patient B, the mind is a realm of liquidity and abstractions. Absent are any features remotely approaching the rigidity of a bone.

Even for its most stubborn bearers, the mind is a place of motion. When it is possible for a Depressed patient to shift from numbness to panic to auditory hallucinations within the space of a single afternoon, of what ultimate use is the "Depression" label? To be sure, some symptoms achieve prominence within some minds, but all minds, we must acknowledge, never stop shifting, advancing, reversing, and flowing. Every mental disorder is therefore an abstraction at best. I have been diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. This seems about right, but what am I to make of my occasional bouts of Panic? Are they "part of" my O. C.D., or do I also have Panic Disorder? And, further, what am I to make of the one or two professionals who have said that I may have Attention-Deficit Disorder? Is my A. D.D. an offshoot of my O. C.D. or does my O. C.D. stem from my A. D.D.? Which of the two shares a stronger bond with my Panic?

Even more confusing: as part of my O. C.D., I sometimes obsess about the possibility of becoming Manic. This obsession seems to tangibly alter my moods, but am I authentically Manic, or am I merely Obsessed? I feel like panicking. We must admit that all mental disorders, however distinctive their given names, are members of one large dysfunctional family. This family is so huge that I question the merits of memorizing all its members' names and faces. The second inevitable defect of a mental illness diagnosis is the fact that Its Recipient Is Also Its Source.

In other words, because the mind of a diagnosed patient is the seat of her affliction, knowledge of a diagnosis can provoke greater mental distress. Said distress can arrive in several forms. The patient's symptoms may increase due to her renewed awareness. The patient may develop an Inferiority Complex (yet another disorder!) or drift into a state of panic. Most troubling, the patient may adhere so strongly to the notion of being SICK that her mind will never trust itself to part with its imbalance.

I can sense the naysayers closing in on me. You likely think, "The patient will surely never improve if she's ignorant about the existence of her disorder!" I agree wholeheartedly. Acknowledging the presence of a problem is the first step toward solving it. Nonetheless, our collective perception of mental diagnoses is ripe for a change. Not only do these labels fail to holistically summarize the people they're attached to, they also tend to make said people feel stuck. Upon being diagnosed with a mental disorder, a patient should regard her diagnosis as a handy signpost en route to treatment and recovery. Regarding such disorders as fixed, deep-rooted states is a terrific way to make them hang around longer and sink in even deeper.



Online The diagnosis myth

Cervical cancer hpv vaccine

: Gardasil: Cervical cancer is caused by a virus many people get in their teens and 20s. Now there is a vaccine available to protect women from the most common cause of cervical cancer: a virus called HPV. What is HPV? HPV (human papillomavirus) is a common virus that affects both females and males. There are actually more than 100 types of HPV. Most of them are relatively harmless, like the ones that cause common warts on the hands and feet. For most people, the body’s own defense system will clear the virus. However, there are a few types of HPV you should really know about. Genital HPV: About 30 types of HPV affect the genital area. - Some are “high-risk” types (such as HPV Types 16 and 18) that can cause abnormal cervical cells and cervical cancer - Others are “low-risk” types (such as HPV Types 6 and 11) that can cause genital warts. Genital Warts: Genital warts are usually flesh-colored growths that are most often caused by certain “low-risk” types of HPV. Anyone who has any kind of sexual activity involving genital contact can get HPV and genital warts – intercourse isn’t necessary.

And many people with HPV do not have genital warts or any other symptoms, so they can pass the virus without even knowing it. The warts may appear within weeks, months – or sometimes not at all. More common than you might think: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 80% of women will have had genital HPV by age 50. It’s estimated that most people get HPV within their first 2 to 3 years of becoming sexually active. A cancer vaccine? Gardasil is a vaccine that helps protect against the following diseases (these are diseases caused by the HPV Types in the vaccine (6, 11, 16, and 18)): - Cervical cancer - Abnormal and precancerous cervical lesions - Abnormal and precancerous vaginal lesions - Genital warts Gardasil is indicated for girls and women ages 9 through 26. The vaccine is given as a series of three injections at 0, 2, and 6 months. Gardasil is intended to prevent, not treat, the above mentioned diseases. However, you may benefit from Gardasil if you already have HPV. This is because most people are not infected with all four types of HPV contained in the vaccine. In clinical trials, individuals with one or more vaccine-related HPV types prior to vaccination were protected from disease caused by the remaining vaccine HPV types.

What about women of other ages and men? The main purpose Gardasil is to protect women against the HPV types that cause cervical cancer. Men are obviously not at risk for cervical cancer so, at this time, there are no efforts to vaccinate men. Some men may choose, however, to get the vaccine simply for the partial protection it will give them against contracting genital warts. How effective the vaccine is at protecting men from genital warts has not yet been sufficiently studied. The age range for women is based on the fact that HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that most women encounter within the first 2 to 3 years of being sexually active.



Online Cervical cancer hpv vaccine

Christmas decorating trends for 2005

This year, the latest craze in Christmas decorating is going back in time. Homeowners seem to be less interested in the icicle-type lights and the use of single color strands. Baby boomers seem to be harkening back to the days of their youth, by bringing back the full color glory of traditional Christmas lights. Lawn ornaments have become a must-have for the decorating elves in your neighborhood. Families everywhere are installing huge lawn ornaments, many consisting of animated light patterns. They sheer number of choices for shapes, sizes, and designs should tell you that these are very popular with festive homeowners. I am a huge fan of the old-style bubble lights (you know…..

the ones with colored water and bubbles inside), and they have returned with a vengeance. Many people seem to be gravitating back to using real trees, instead of using plastic pre-fab ones. Who can blame them? They smell great, and they make Christmas feel that much more real. My family has always used a real tree. It has become a family tradition to go out and cut the tree ourselves.

We usually wait until mid-December. We all get bundled up in our snow gear, get our sleighs out, along with a thermos of hot apple cider, and make our way into the bush. The kids love it, the dog loves it, and it makes for an excellent family adventure! It seems that Christmas flowers have also changed with the times. Although the classic red poinsettia will likely be with us for the rest of time, many florists are offering their customers alternatives. As has been the case with flowers in general for some time, florists are now adding dyes to traditional holiday flowers and bouquets. My personal favorite happens to be a bright violet poinsettia. My daughter prefers cobalt blue.

What is yours? Whether you are a staunch Christmas traditionalist or you are keen on changing along with the current decorating trends, Christmas decorations have never before been so varied and left consumers with so many choices. So get out there and shop, shop, shop! Tis the season, after all!



Online Christmas decorating trends for 2005

Home safety tips arm yourself against the threat of a break in

(NC)—In 1999, Statistics Canada reported that there were approximately 92,485 break and enters reported to police, however, some of these crimes remained unreported. Property crime losses ranged from little or nothing of value to materials costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, burglars can do much more than steal your possessions. They can commit rape, robbery, and assault if they are surprised by someone coming home or pick a home that is occupied. "If you have been a victim of a burglary, chances are that you will be vulnerable to a burglary a second time," explained Patrice De Luca, V. P. of Marketing and Business Development for Protectron Security Systems.

"The burglar will know how easy it was the first time they targeted your home. This experience will forever change your life. However, for a small amount of time and money you can make your home more secure and reduce your chances of being a victim." According to De Luca, many burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds trying to break into a home. That's why good locks and good neighbors who watch out for each other are big deterrents to burglars. De Luca also suggests these following tips: • Thieves don't like bright lights. Install outside lights and keep them on at night. • Keep your yard clean. Prune back shrubbery so it doesn't hide doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs that a thief could use to climb to an upper-level window. • A high percentage of burglaries involve the theft of newly purchased items, such as, new electronic equipment, computers and TVs. "Thieves are always on the lookout for homes with big cardboard boxes at the curb highlighting new purchases," added De Luca. "It's important to eliminate or break up these boxes into unrecognizable pieces not to advertise new purchases to the neighborhood." Also, don't leave valuables in sight through windows, where they will tempt burglars. • If you travel, create the illusion that you're at home by getting some timers that will turn lights on and off in different areas of your house throughout the evening. Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty house. • Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions. Don't let your mail pile up, call the post office to stop delivery or have a neighbor pick it up. • Alarms can be a good investment, especially if you have many valuables in your home, or live in an isolated area or one with a history of break-ins. • Alarm systems are an effective deterrent. Nine out of ten convicted burglars agree they'd avoid a house protected by an alarm system. • Security system decals and signs are also an effective deterrent. • Make sure your security system includes a loud inside alarm, detectors at all exterior doors, and motion sensors in the master bedroom and main living areas. For more information on home security visit protectron. com. - News Canada



Online Home safety tips arm yourself against the threat of a break in

How big a hole do you have in your wall

(NC)-Imagine punching a hole in one of your home's outside walls and feeling the cold, dry winter wind rush into your house. Now imagine what all that cold air will mean for next fall's heating bill. The equivalent of such a hole is probably already there, especially if your home was built before 1980. It doesn't sound like much, but the tiny cracks around your windows, walls, vents and wall plugs can cost as much as $350 per year in extra heat - more, if natural gas and oil prices continue to rise. For example, if you added up the leaks in the average home in Toronto, the "hole in the wall" would be more than 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter. That means you can pay yourself back for your energy improvements by permanently cutting your heating bill. Of all the things you can do to make your home more efficient, draftproofing gives you the biggest bang for the buck. The big bonus is year-round comfort - anything that keeps the winter heat in keeps you cooler in summer as well. And anytime you use less energy, you help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. If you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, you probably already know where to find caulking and weatherstripping in your local hardware store.

If not, you'll save more energy if you call in a professional. Either way, it pays to get expert advice before you start. Under Natural Resources Canada's EnerGuide for Houses program, an advisor conducts a "blower door" test to find any air leaks in the house structure, uses a computer model to estimate your home's current energy use and suggests the most affordable energy-saving options for your home. With the technician's report in hand, an experienced renovator will know exactly what to do to help you cut your heating bill. More than 50 000 Canadians have already turned to EnerGuide for Houses for unbiased energy efficiency advice. To find the energy advisor nearest you, visit the program's Web site at http://oee. nrcan.

gc. ca/news, or call 1 800 387-2000 toll-free for a copy of EnerGuide for Houses' Comfort, savings, expert advice brochure. It's the first step to filling the gaps that are letting energy and money leak out of your home.



Online How big a hole do you have in your wall

America to sue rest of world for ungrateful behavior

America, which has sacrificed the lives of its citizens and its material plentitude more selflessly than any other nation in history to come to the assistance of other countries, noted the astonishingly heated negative commentary about it emanating from virtually every corner of the globe and has decided to sue the rest of the world on the grounds of ungrateful behavior. The President said, “You can’t just go out there and sacrifice your sons and daughters lives and expend so much of the national treasury and not get a little something back. We’ve got sorrowful families all across the land, with whose losses I deeply sympathize, and we can’t even afford to fix the potholes on federal highways. So what choice do we have? We’re taking the ungrateful foreigners to court. Justice will be served. We merit and demand some praise here.” A grandmother for the plaintiff stated, “My family has lost loved ones in three different wars and all in countries that I haven’t heard a good thing said in about America for years. When I take the stand, watch out. I’m patriotic pissed.” The international court at The Hague has declined to take the case, primarily because it is in The Hague. Upon learning of that court’s disinclination, the U. S. has appealed to the U. N. to find a venue that will hear the case.” A prominent attorney for America commented, “We’d rather not have the trial here. Holding it in our own country will detract from the credibility of the outcome, but having it in an unfriendly location is bound to create the kind of inflammatory demonstrations that will lead to a lot of free press.” Not surprisingly, France, Germany, and Spain have also nixed the idea of hosting the trial, maintaining that since they’re all being sued, supporting the action seems inadvisable. Britain and Italy are understood to be considering the matter. Tony Blair is the most disposed to hosting it, saying, “We hardly ever badmouth America, so we hope to come through the trial with flying colors.” The Italian government has expressed some willingness to host it but has indicated it may charge for rental of the courthouse. “I’m confident of victory,” another attorney for America maintained. “All you have to do is look at the newspapers. All the incriminating evidence you need is on the lips of leaders and the public in general in just about every country of the world. The only thing that stands in the way of a big win for the U. S. is finding a country where we can conduct the trial.” Should the verdict go as the plaintiff hopes, the expectation is that the guilty will henceforth base their comments on a true understanding of just who this country is. One of the most persuasive arguments the nation’s attorneys hope to present is based on the usual philosophical tactic of imagining the opposite argument. As the lead attorney for the country put it, “Will you please tell us what other country in the world, besides your own, you would prefer to possess the amount of power America has? We are, in fact, the first nation in the history of the world that could conquer it but, in addition to being freedom-loving people that the whole idea offends, we’re savvy business people who know we just can’t afford the worldwide upkeep.”



Online America to sue rest of world for ungrateful behavior

Cell phone helping you choose

When the first cell phone arrived onto the market it was very basic but in those days it was classed as the best invention since electricity. Would we dispute that now? The cell phone manufacturers today are in constant battle to win over your dollars with the latest cellular phones science has to offer. You are as the consumer need to aware of what is best for you. Many people receive their first cell phone after they sign up to a cell phone carrier for the first time. The phone may not exactly be what you want but it’s a starting point saving you money. What's the difference anyway?

There are so many differences when it comes to choosing cell phones. Price is one thing but functionality is most important. Cell phones such as, camera phones, PDA and GPS are all the rage on today’s market but you need to look at your own needs before choosing. Camera Cell Phones: Camera cell phones are as their name suggests a cell phone that can capture photographs. They are very popular with all ages but mostly with teens to those in their early twenties. All the major cell phone manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung, Siemens, and Motorola etc have seen their profits sore since their introduction onto the market. The idea of sending photos to friends and family via MMS appeals to most especially for those who have family living far away. The phone itself can also be attached to your home or office PC and the photo’s then uploaded to the PC and emailed globally if you wish. The camera cellular phones range in price depending on the quality of the camera, most now have built in zoom in / out options and offer a limited movie take generally 30 seconds to 1 minute. All in all the camera phone is good quality fun phone to have. GPS Phones: Firstly GPS stands for Global Positioning Satellite. GPS cell phones are at the higher end of the scale and once again all the major cell phone manufacturers are making them. They are ideal for a number of different people. For those of us who love outdoor adventure such as mountainous walks, climbing or skiing the GPS phone could be a life safer. GPS allows you to be pin pointed to an area at all times, so if in the unfortunate case of you being lost or hurt you will be tracked down and brought to safety. On the other end of the scale employers are purchasing the GPS cell phones for employees in order to keep track of their whereabouts (not a great idea for the employee who plays golf). The GPS phone is generally more expensive. PDA Phones: PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistant. PDA cell phones are more like your home PC, they are ideal for those who work in an office environment and need to travel to clients or simply work from home. Like your home computer they have a processor, memory and a good quality TFT display. You will even have a smaller version of windows to navigate around the different programs. As you might imagine the PDA phone is the most expensive on the market with all the functionality available to it. What one is for me? Well that a question for you but have a think about it, cell phones are not overly cheap so choosing wisely is a must. The camera cell phone is ideal if you are going to maximise it’s use for photo’s, be aware that sending photo’s via text or MMS as it is called is much more expensive than sending standard texts. GPS is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts or employers who need to keep track of staff. PDA cell phones are great as mini computer and ideal for office workers or even students. If you wish to travel internationally with your cell phone you need to check two things: Firstly ask your cell phone carrier about the coverage and roaming rates in the country you intend travelling too, roaming rates can be very high depending on what carrier you are with. Secondly your cell phone may need tri or quad band functionality so check the specifications of the cellular phone before purchasing.



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