Developmental after school=programs 430

Developmental after school programs As a child grows into an adult, different aspects of his physical, emotional and mental self needs development. To help a child reach his full potential, it is necessary to recognize the child's developmental needs and abilities. To be effective, after school programs should assist children with tasks they must accomplish during each stage of development. A child's growth curve can be divided into three main parts: 1) Young child (ages 3-5) 2) Middle school (ages 6-8) 3) Older school (ages 9-12) The four important domains of development are: The Physical Domain, the Social Domain, the Emotional Domain and the Intellectual Domain. Each of these domains needs to be separately addressed during the various phases of a child's growth. After school programs should concentrate on developing each domain as applicable to the age of the child. Although the children participating in these programs may have similar developmental needs and age, do not expect development to be uniform. Children will develop as and when they are ready. Physical Domain: When children are young, they want to perfect skills that they have just learnt to control. A variety of movements such as jumping, catching and throwing delight them. The middle school child, on the other hand, wants to learn more complex skills and get involved in team sports. This is also the best time to learn about rules and discipline in sport. The older school child is ready for more adult-like activities that need greater structure and discipline, like dancing, gymnastics, music classes etc. Social Domain: Young children are observing others and will be interested in games where they play the roles of family members. They develop short-term friendships and need an adult's presence to assure them. The middle school child is intrigued by society and will love trips to factories, public buildings etc. They want to know the 'how' and 'why' of things. The older school child is ready to learn about different cultures, food and customs. They want to do some amount of social work too. Intellectual Domain: Young school children will practice what they are learning. Middle school children want to learn more skills and will show interest in reading, drama and problem solving. The older school children are ready to research and probe. They enjoy getting a puzzle and pondering over it. Any after school program needs to address the interests of the child depending on the category he belongs to. Knowing the children in your program and appreciating their needs and interests will help staff to plan and structure programs that are most useful to that group. (Word Count 430)



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Will you pay 135 million for a small piece of canvas

Copyright 2006 Socrates Olympio In many respects one could say that this question is almost like a misnomer on any given day. $135 million? For 99.9% of the world's population the question may not merit a decent response if any at all. Simply because most of the world’s population are either middle-class, working class, living hand-to-mouth or are in abject poverty. So that leaves the veritable 0.01% or less of the world that have the disposable income or wealth enough to splash out on a small piece of canvas. Now for argument's sake, lets all assume that you and I did form part of that elite group. Will you still pay that amoount of money? I can almost hear the questions coming through very loudly. What kind of canvas is it? Well, short answer is its an oil painting. An oil painting for 135 humungous ones? Yes and you better believe it. Not too long ago, Gustav Klimt’s iconic “Mona Lisa of Austria” that was looted by the Nazis went under the hammer for a whopping $135 million. The entire art world was rightfully astounded by the auction price. But to you and I probably a bit on the sinful side of things. How can you justify the price of such a piece? Easily, I say. Forget the price for a moment. Lets try and place some value to it. A little history sleuthing should help us on the way: Who was the artist? When was it painted? How many are there? Why was it painted? Indeed even to the non-art lover, the mention of heavyweights such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Van Gogh etc., is enough to spark interest simply because the impact of their work is so ubiquitous in daily life such that no one can ignore the mastery and uniqueness of their pieces. I once saw a saying that goes '...if no-one ever took risks, Michaelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor!' (Neil Simon, playwright) If you havent seen it, seek it on the web or in person at the Vatican, its simply breathtaking! Clearly the age of a piece of artwork also impacts on our decision to splash out. Recently another bizzare auction took place in London. Dubbed the holy grail of vintage wine, a 1787 Sauternes from Chateau Yquem went under the hammer for a rather ‘paltry’ $100,000! Clearly age must have something to do with how we value collectibles. Then there's the lingering desire for exclusivity. Does anybody else have one? Indeed how many of the same are out there? If the answers are no and one respectively, expect the price to skyrocket. Notice how your average male makes an absolute fuss about having the latest ride in town when he's the only one with it? Well, seemingly the same trait permeates art collecting as well. Amongst the super rich and the “old money”, its not the type or number of 'horses in your stable” but rather which art pieces you have in your hallway! This is effectively the bling bling for the super-rich. Finally, although to a lesser degree we seem to enjoy stories. If the painting doesnt tell a story, its rank will be on the lower end of things. Let it tell an intriguing story or better-still spice it with a myth or legend and bingo! Price shoots up again. All in all, we can agree that there distinct factors in deciding whether and how much we pay for antiquated art pieces. But $135 million? Not me, for that kind of money I can find 135 charities at least whose operations will be transformed for a long time and boy that is a better feel-good factor than what’s in my hallway.



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New headlight technologies could save more lives

Each year, approximately 5,000 pedestrians and bicyclists are killed along U. S. roads - 2,300 of them occurring at night - and another 70,000 pedestrians are injured in traffic crashes, according to a 2003 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. New automotive lighting technologies, including Xenon and Adaptive Front Lighting Systems, can help improve nighttime pedestrian safety, according to the Motor Vehicle Lighting Council. According to researcher Michael Flannagan of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, drivers "overdrive" the headlights on many of today's vehicles, meaning they are going too fast to stop safely within the distance made visible by the headlights. "The critical safety need in low-beam lighting is seeing distance," Flannagan said. "The maximum safe speed with today's average low beams is only about 45 mph. Our studies indicate there is a major safety problem that headlights could address." One possible solution is Xenon headlights, also known as High Intensity Discharge or HID. Based on a gas discharge process, Xenon uses an arc instead of a filament as a light source. The result is enhanced roadway vision by increasing the light output to the sides of the road. A 2004 University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute test revealed that Xenon headlamps provided twice as much light for seeing critical objects on the road while producing 25 percent less glare. The wider beam coverage also provides better lighting on road shoulders, where pedestrians and bicyclists are commonly found. Nearly 120 vehicle models equipped with Xenon headlights were sold in North America in the 2005 model year -; up 21 percent from 2004. Another emerging headlight technology is AFS or Adaptive Front Lighting System. It provides optimal illumination in various driving conditions by automatically modifying the beam pattern of the headlights in response to various speed, weather conditions and road situations. The headlamps automatically move as the steering wheel is turned. This helps illuminate the road at an earlier stage, allowing the driver more time to adjust and steer or brake as needed.



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College basketball scores

How to Score Through College Basketball A Brief Introduction Still thanks to the undying efforts of Dr. Naismith, intercollegiate basketball was formed. He became both an instrument and an inspiration. Establishing college basketball, he extended extra efforts by coaching for the University of Kansas. This lasted for 6 weeks and then handed his position over to the well-known Forrest Allen. Naismith advocates and disciples spread through the country and reached each state far and wide. People like Amos Stagg who introduced it to the University of Chicago and Adolph Rupp became the coach for the University of Kentucky. The Real Score There are only a few who can make it through college basketball. And only those gifted and well-trained teams get into the finals. How you ask. It’s all in the moves you execute. Basketball moves are those actions done individually by players. It could either be a defensive method or an offensive one. This will enable the player to successfully gain total access to score a basket or perform a clean pass to an open teammate. There are typically 3 ways to outsmart an opponent. 1. Dribbling - a move that is required while bringing the ball at any point inside the court. Dribbling is one requirement to avoid travelling. There are several ways to perform dribbling, some, in the most creative and protective manner. One kind of dribble that confuses the opponent is the crossover. The one handling the ball tends to change from its normal pace to freeze or confuse the aggressive defender. You can usually see this move in street basketball. This is a playful way that is often seen with players who wants to generate an easy jump shot or layup. Familiar players like Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson can be seen using this kind of dribbling. The crossover is also called as the "ankle-breaker" because this dribble often catches the defenders off guard, suddenly lose their balance and sometimes fall down. 2. Passes - literally, this means passing the ball. To know these techniques makes the ballhandler be more skillful on thinking how to pass without the opponent getting in between or being able to get it. There are several ways to pass. One of which is the fundamental chest pass. This is a stepping stone of learning how to pass effectively. A chest pass is performed by stepping with one foot toward your target then push the push forcefully from their chest outward using two hands while making the hands turn over. This is most effective on the perimeter or in open court. The bounce pass is another kind of pass that is considered as a very effective type of passing the ball. Using a strong amount of energy, the ball is passed by bouncing it off the floor with an angle going to the teammate. At a flash, this could also be an assist because of its speed that can intercept the opponent from retrieving the ball. 3. Shots - these are the basic and most essential element that is needed to win a game. Every shot must be made into perfection to gain a point. Shots can be classified as layups, putback and tip-in, and bankshot. Other moves and shots involved are the up and under which will rely on a fake shot that is the up and the step-through that will be the under. A hook shot is also one of the most attractive and effective shots made yet difficult to do. Learn more about these techniques because this will definitely help you score into college basketball.



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The great stock market secret

When the stock market is going up and all your stocks and mutual funds are making money you feel like a genius. It is too bad that some folks don’t remember what happened in 2000. Of course, right now we are in one of those genius phases. Your broker and financial planner are encouraging you to buy, buy, buy. And I can’t fault that at this time. You remember back in 2000 how many times they told you to buy, buy, buy while the market was going down, down, down. Are we in another of those periods now that are leading up to a humongous crash? Hey, I don’t predict, but I do listen to the voice of the market. The great Wall Street mantra is “buy a good stock and put it away”.

Did you keep WorldCom and Global Crossing? Even if these were exceptions because of fraud a smart investor would not have lost any money. In fact he could have made a nice profit. But Al, they went under! Yes, I know, but the smart money still made out because they sold near the top. As a former exchange member and floor trader I was not right every time I bought something and I especially did not like giving back nice profits that had accumulated. You don’t have to be psychic to know when to sell and don’t think you are going to be able to pick the top. A really smart trader waits for a stock or fund to start up and then jumps on it with both feet. When it starts down he jumps off looking for another equity that is going up. The wise trader knows he can’t buy the bottom and sell the top. What he wants is a big bite out of the middle. When you make a sandwich most of the meat is in the center and a professional trader does the same with his trading. He wants to take a bite out of the middle of the move. You can do this too by looking for stocks, mutual funds or Exchange Traded Funds that have a nice upward pattern. As I said before buying is not the secret. Then what is? You must learn to sell - for two reasons. First to protect your equity after your initial purchase and second to keep from giving back profits you have made as the equity advances. The great Wall Street secret is an exit strategy: knowing when to sell. Unless you learn to sell you will not be successful in the market. Brokerage companies do not want you to sell and rarely issue sell signals. You must decide how much you are willing to risk before you buy. The simplest way is with a percentage stop loss order of 5%, 7%, 10%, 12%, whatever you can live with. Instruct your broker to place a trialing stop or you can change it yourself every week. Do not lower a stop. Selling is the great secret you will never hear from your broker.



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Getting your best deal on a consolidation loan

If you find yourself having to make too many payments a month, you might consider getting a consolidation loan. Used for a variety of purposes, a consolidation loan can take multiple loans (such as personal loans and auto loans) and combine them into a single payment, or it can provide money to pay off a variety of bills and debts and consolidate them into a lower monthly payment. People of all credit levels can apply for a consolidation loan for different reasons, and the loans can be secured or unsecured. Secured loans and unsecured loans In most cases, a consolidation loan is a secured loan… meaning that some property of value is used as collateral, or a guarantee that the loan will be repaid. If the borrower doesn't repay the loan, then the lender can legally take possession of the property (most often an automobile or real estate) and sell it to regain the money that they lost through the loan. Occasionally, though, a consolidation loan will be unsecured… meaning that no collateral is needed. If a consolidation loan is unsecured, then it is usually being used to consolidate other loans held at the same bank or finance company and is being issued to a regular customer or to a customer with a very good credit rating. On very rare occasions, loans that are being used to consolidate debts may be unsecured, though they are often for much smaller amounts than typical loans of this type. Unsecured loans are charged a higher interest rate than secured loans due to the lack of collateral as a guarantee of repayment. Shopping around for a consolidation loan Unless a consolidation loan is being used to combine other loans at a single bank or finance company (or unless the borrower has a lot of business with a particular bank or lender), it's a good idea to shop and compare loan rates among several institutions to find the best interest rates and lending terms. When comparing the rates and terms of several lenders, you should always use the same collateral (if any is being used) and request the same amount at each so that you can get quotes for the same loan at the different locations. Go to the lenders that you've had positive experiences with in the past first, as they're likely to give you the best rates, and then check a few banks or finance companies that you've never dealt with to see if their rates are any better. Once you've obtained several quotes, compare both the interest rates and the repayment terms among all of them… you'll be looking for the lowest interest rate and the most flexible terms. When you find the lowest interest rate with terms that you like, go back to that lender and apply for your loan, making sure that you get the same rate and terms that you were quoted. -- You may freely reprint this article provided the following author's biography (including the live URL link) remains intact:



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Business owner s essentials the 5 biggest challenges for today s business owner

Copyright 2006 Andy Warren Some of these challenges have been around since business began and others are new ones that are being faced as technology and the marketplace evolves. As a business owner, you need to be sure that you are handling each of these effectively and looking out for where they might destroy your business. 1. Cashflow Management This is the number one essential for all businesses, no matter what stage they are at. Even the most successful businesses can fail if they take their eye off the ball on cash. Your cashflow is the difference between how fast money comes into your business from your customers and how fast you pay it out to your staff, your suppliers and the tax man. Many business owners don’t realise that their cashflow can be at most risk when they are growing fast or taking on big orders. This happens because, in most businesses, products and raw materials have to be bought and paid for before they can be provided to customers and billed. This is also similar for services, where your employees and contractors have to be paid at the end of the month but the client may not be billed until the following month or when a job is completed. And they may not pay you until some time after that. In periods of high growth your costs can go up and out of the door long before the cash from the increased sales comes in. And suddenly you find you have a cash crisis on your hands. 2. Your staff Your employees can make or break your business. When you choose the right ones they can massively add to the value of your business. When you get the wrong ones they can be a drain on your time, your money and they can hold back your business. The usual mistakes made include recruiting people who are not as smart as you so that they make you look good; Hiring too fast and firing too slowly; Not investing in training and development for your staff; Not listening to what they’re telling you; Not taking up proper references when recruiting; Not adopting good, consistent and fair HR policies within the company. Many business owners find that employee issues are the number one drain on their time and attention. And often the issues don't get resolved and lead to litigation and expensive legal bills. The first key is to recruit high quality people, who are smarter than you, who are motivated to build and grow your business and who come with a good track record. Also, always take up references and carefully check CVs or Resumйs for any gaps or inconsistencies. The next key is to treat your staff fairly and reward them for good work. Whatever you measure and reward will get done more, so consider this carefully. Create clear and consistent policies for employee development and training and make sure you allow good time for one-to-one reviews where the discussion is allowed to be open and frank. And above all, keep the lines of communication open and clear and trust them. 3. Getting Noticed in a Crowded Market You may have a great product or service but unless your potential customers know what you provide you’ll never have a great business. You need to get out into the market and deliver your message to the people you want as customers. The challenge comes with the fact that today people receive an average of 3,000 marketing messages a day. And they’ve become immune to many of them. Your job is to be able to cut through all those messages and stand out enough to get noticed by your customer. The best way to achieve this is by focussing on a niche. This way you can target your marketing with a laser focus to match your desired customers directly. And when you specifically target your prospects with a message that is tailored to them and their needs, they’re far more likely to take notice and listen. The standard reaction to this is to worry that by focussing on one niche you could miss out on other customers. The reality is that the scatter gun approach that throws your message out to anyone and everyone is extremely hit and miss in its results. And it rarely works now because the message becomes so generic that no-one believes it applies to them. Remember, you can always select another niche once you’ve worked the first one. So you can eventually get to all of your potential market in a far more effective and targeted way. 4. Poor planning It’s said that when you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. This means that without a clear plan and objective you can get distracted and diverted all over the place and never achieve what you really want for your business. When businesses fail to plan they find themselves losing money, losing staff, losing momentum, losing customers and losing business. Without a plan, you won’t know whether you’re on the right track and you’ll have no guide as to whether you need to go faster or approach the business in a different way. Stumbling through simply doesn’t cut it for a good business. Making plans allows you to prepare for more eventualities. It allows you to foresee potential problems and avoid crises. It actually gives you more flexibility because you can flex around your plan and revise it as you go. It also makes it easier to make decisions because you have something to judge the outcome against. You’re able to assess whether taking a specific decision takes you further along your plan or moves you away from it. 5. Neglecting customers The final challenge that is faced by every business in this supposedly service oriented world is neglecting customers. After all the uphill struggle of finding a prospect, telling them about your product or service and closing a sale, are you just going to let them go? Many businesses do. They are so focussed on making new sales that they forget that the best source of additional sales and new business referrals comes from their existing customer base. They also forget that when you neglect a customer and lose them, they will tell others. And as a customer with experience they will be believed and that can knock a significant hole in all your marketing efforts. It costs significantly more to find and sell to a new customer than it does to keep and sell more to an existing customer. Make sure you get your customers' contact details, look after them and keep building and strengthening the relationship. The first sale should be just the beginning. And a happy, satisfied customer can do more to market your business than almost anything else.



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Business students thinking moving toward globalization

Today, all over the world there are major deals and transactions occurring that can in due course change a company’s positioning power or simply have a detrimental affect on their earning per share for investors. Some countries, even third world countries are beginning to play a major role in the distribution of goods and services to world markets. Some major US companies are moving abroad and repositioning their business philosophy congruent in remaining competitive. With some of these departures of US companies where does the business student come in and how is he or she affected? How could they affect the national and international structure of business in the future? Students graduating from college within the next few years need to make a significant effort to include several areas that will be conducive to their success in the business world. Not only are students competing with their counterparts in the U. S. but competition in the international arena as well. It is not just about a student’s GPA, class ranking, GMAT score, school they attended, internships, college business connections or college organizations involvement. These are well oriented in their place; but it is the adaptation of educating students to meet global needs for their organizations or businesses. These skills will become crucial and should not be limited to the paucity of any business schools’ cognitive thinking process.

Students should be well diversified in global business antics, local culture, social, political and intra relationships to different cultures in order to become movers and shakers of the international business unit. The theories, practicum’s and ideas must not only be instructed in classes, but should be practiced and students should take the initiative to attend seminars, workshops and additional training classes to be well rounded, prepared and grounded in the culture in which they will be working for or with. An onsite atmosphere or environmental group of the culture is a starting point in providing the significant labor of that culture. Professors and the schools play a critical role in the developmental stages for students to compete on a global stage by helping to provide the tools for universal success.



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Everything with professional digital printing

The modern printings in our age have come far long in its way when it comes to printing facility. Basically all of them involve a digital process that enhances the efficiency and superiority of the final product, in fact digital input is used at many steps along the way, most effectively at the design and transfer of proof stage, removing delays while clients approve the final copy. For less than 30 years digital printing has established itself as an important process which offers various advantages over traditional techniques, and has brought printing right before every home and offices worldwide. Ranging from simple dot-matrix printers to the introduction of inkjet and laser technology, this method has transformed high-quality domestic and business printing a realistic opportunity. Furthermore the addition of scanning has also marked a significant contribution to the speed and accuracy of true copy printing. Professional digital printing can provide you with scanning capabilities, color output from a disk, image enhancements, and a personalized presentation of your materials. With color printing, you can opt for full color copies, signs, wide format and spot color. You can also request a four color process printing for your print job. And according to an experts as they define Professional digital printing is the industry standard, especially in color. Research shows that color professional digital printing can make people 85% more likely to buy something and improves comprehension by up to 73%. With color also they believed that people locate information faster. Knowing the type of your file applications, digital printing will now be very easy. While some specialize in the Corel Suite of applications, while others accept QuarkXPress, Illustrator, Photoshop, Word and other reputable graphics programs. No matter what, you will be able to find a printer that can produce digital designs and layouts executed in the program of your choice. Print like a PRO, use digital printing services for your four color printing needs.



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Using clicktracks

Part 1: Getting Started If you're just getting started with ClickTracks, you'll find it's a very versatile tool. It presents information by overlaying it on your actual Web pages. It also allows you to create reports "on the fly" so that you can look at your visitors' behaviour on your site in very different and detailed ways. But if analyzing Web metrics is new to you, the charts, figures and mass of potential data can still be quite overwhelming. It's helpful to have some starting points and questions in mind as you study the reports so that you can find the most useful information. This article offers some ideas and examples to spark your thinking: Navigation Report This report shows you (among other things) how many visitors clicked on each link, and how long they spent on this page. If you have links that receive few or no clicks: Is the link image or the link text too small? * Is it in a colour that doesn't show up well or could pose problems for visitors with visual impairments? * Is it badly placed or hard to find on the page? * Is it too far down? - check the time spent on the page to get an idea of whether * visitors are reading most or all of the content. Remember that the first screenful of the page has the best chance of being seen. If none of the above seem true: Is the link text confusing - perhaps the wording is different or not included on other pages? * Is the link not attractive or engaging to your visitors? * Or, is the content behind the link simply not of interest? Links that receive many clicks: Should the content behind this link be highlighted even more on your site, since it is clearly of interest? Placements to think about: If you have an internal search engine on your site, is it linked in a prominent place on each page? * Featured products or other items - can you increase the clicks that they receive by improving their position? Time spent on the page: Does the average time on this page seem too short, especially if the page is long? - check the number of visitors who are exiting the site from this page. If a lot of people are spending a short time on a page and leaving, consider splitting the content across more pages: This can be especially helpful, e. g. when displaying a list of items for purchase - showing each on a separate page allows you to track which offerings are the most interesting to visitors, and to highlight them better Shortening pages also reduces the risk that visitors will miss items further down if they choose not to scroll Search Report This report shows the keywords and phrases that brought visitors to your site, broken down by individual search engines. Which keywords or key phrases are most effective for you: Which search words or phrases draw the most traffic? Which search words or phrases result in the most time spent on your site? These are the visitors who are most engaged in your content, but what were they looking for when they came to you? Are there any surprises? Sometimes search engines pick up keywords from your site copy that you may not have thought of as significant - these can be valuable information about how your visitors describe or think about what you offer. A lot of demand for something on your site can give you ideas for enhancing or expanding your products and services. Which search engines are the most effective? If your site is optimized for one search engine in particular, is that engine bringing you traffic? If you're paying for search engine optimization (other than pay per click), is your service providing a justifiable return on investment? If you have very effective keywords on one search engine, can you improve their position on others? Do you recognize your non search engine referrers? How are you linked to? Are the references to you legitimate? Are there sites that link to you that you're not comfortable with - either because they're not describing your site offerings correctly, or perhaps you simply don't want to be associated with them! Should you thank the referrer? Often, sites will link to you without letting you know. If you appreciate them for doing this, you can create an even stronger - and potentially more profitable relationship. For help in creating specific ClickTracks reports, see Part 2: Labelling Options. For help in using ClickTracks to evaluate your "must-see" pages, see Part 3 of this series. Part 2: Labelling Options ClickTracks allows you to segment your visitors in many ways using the "Create Labels" tool. You create instant reports to answer questions about the patterns of specific types of visitor, and track their responses to your site. Here are some ideas for using this option: Comparing Search Engine / Non Search Engine Traffic Visitors come to your site either from search engines, from other sites that link to you, from e-mail marketing messages or e-zines, or perhaps from their own bookmarks. Use the ClickTracks "Create Labels" tool, and select "referred from any search engine" as your criteria to track all search engine visitors. Then, create another label using the same criteria, but select "Inverse" to identify all the visitors not referred from a search engine. Now you can investigate: Are search engine visitors more responsive to your site than those who find you in other ways: Which type of visitor spends longer on the site? Which type of visitor is more likely to reach one of your "goal" or "must-see" pages? (see Part 3 of this series for more on this topic). If you have very specific keywords, then probably search engines will produce your most valuable traffic. However, if you are publishing content on external sites that link to you, visitors from these sites may be more valuable than those from search engines, since they already know about your products or services, maybe have read something that you've written, and are more ready to do business with you. Comparing Short / Long Visits Looking at the amount of time spent on your site can give clues as to how well it's meeting visitor expectations and engaging their interest. Use the ClickTracks "Create Labels" tool, and select "had a certain session length" combined with "at most 5 seconds" as your criteria to track people who left your site almost immediately. Then, create another label using the same criteria, but select "at least 60 seconds" (or your preference) to identify all the visitors who spent some significant time on your site. Now you can investigate: Which are your best performing keywords and referrers: Which keywords and referring sites result in long visits? Which result in short visits? If you have a lot of traffic from certain keywords, but these result in very short visit lengths, check the landing pages for those searches (see Part 3 of this series for more on this topic). It may be that the first page that visitors see is not meeting their expectations, and should be modified. If you have keywords that are very successful in generating visitors who stay on your site, check that you've optimized them for as many search engines as possible. Which pages do the people who stay on your site (long visits) see: Which pages engage your visitors the most? (check the time spent on the page from the Navigation report). Then ensure that you have appropriate calls to action on these pages to drive your traffic to the next step, so that visitors are not leaving from these points. Are these pages attracting enough traffic? If you have pages which are clearly successful once you've got visitors to them, are there ways to increase the number of people who see them? Is the navigation to these pages sufficiently attractive from other parts of your site? Should they be better positioned? For help in using ClickTracks to evaluate your "must-see" pages, see Part 3 of this series. Part 3: Evaluating Critical Pages Landing Pages It's important to know the exact pages of your site that the various search engines link to for each of your major keywords and phrases. These are called "landing pages", and are the first pages that visitors see when they click on search results. Landing pages are critical for initial impressions and credibility, especially for people who are not familiar with your business. It's also important to ensure that these pages fulfill the visitors' expectations based on their search terms. Use the ClickTracks "Create Labels" tool, and select "used a certain search engine query" combined with the keyword or phrase as your criteria to track people who came to your site with that search. Now you can investigate: What are the Top Entry Pages (i. e. "Landing Pages") for this search term: Is the search term included in the page content? Often, visitors will be looking for their keywords to confirm that they're in the right place. If your page doesn't seem relevant to them, they'll leave. Combine the landing page information with Top Exit Pages or Short Visits for this term for clues as to whether your landing page is sufficiently engaging. Does the Landing Page drive visitors into the rest of your site: If you do have relevant content on the page, but visitors still leave, could there be other reasons for their lack of engagement? Landing pages are also those that you link to in your e-mail marketing messages - and again, are the first thing that the reader sees when they click through from one of your campaigns. Often, site owners assume that every visitor sees their home page, which is the primary means of navigation. Your landing pages are the first that visitors will see, so they need to act as mini-home pages too. Use this information about what visitors are seeking when they arrive at your site and what their expectations may be to direct them to other pages that will meet their needs. Goal or "Must-See" Pages The key pages on your site where people make decisions to buy a product, download a sample, subscribe to your newsletter, etc are known as "goal" or "must-see" pages. These are the places to which you drive your traffic to in order to achieve your site objectives. Use the ClickTracks "Create Labels" tool, and select "visited a certain page" combined with your goal page name as your criteria to track people who visited that page. Now you can investigate: Is this page hard to find? Do visitors take a long time to reach this page? (check the average time to the page from the Navigation report) Are there other "must-see" pages that are critical on the path to this page? (check the "Previous Page" information in the Navigation report) These findings can give you ideas for improving the navigation to, and positioning of your "Goal Page". Does how the visitor found your site affect the success of the "Goal Page"? Are there critical keyword searches or referring URL's that generate better traffic in reaching your goal? Combine this information with your most effective keywords data to ensure that you're paying for the best return on investment in generating quality traffic. (c) Philippa Gamse. All rights reserved.



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Private companies weigh employee options

Q: I understand that Entrex has brought public market standards and disciplines to the private market. What does this mean for my employees and the possibility of stock ownership or options? - Al Davenport, business owner, Pompano Beach, Fla. A: This is a great opportunity to show your employees the value they bring to your company. Just imagine if employees could actually see quantifiable gains and losses in the value of the company through their efforts. Public companies have the advantage of being able to option employees with shares that have quantifiable value. Now, by following the standards for public company disclosures and reporting, private companies and their shareholders can measure performance against established benchmarks. As a company owner, you have the choice of providing limited distribution of company data or offering wide access to the community of alternative investors. In either case, by participating in the private company market, you provide employees the means of having a tangible quarterly valuation of their stock and ultimately, the possibility of liquidating their shares. You didn't mention whether you have an actual employee stock ownership plan program, or if you have limited distribution of stock to key employees. While ESOPs may provide liquidity for the founding shareholder, new owner/employees have generally fewer liquidity options, because they have limited exposure to the financial community. The private equity market provides a vehicle for companies to gain exposure, allowing their stock to trade freely among alternative investors. By simply following industry-accepted valuation principles, owners, optioned employees and external investors can acquire shares, track share value and know their liquidity options.



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What to consider when choosing a college major

: So you’ve picked a school (college or technical) but what are you going to study? I’ve compiled a list of things to consider when choosing an academic major. Level of interest: Do you enjoy the subject? You are more likely to be successful if you enjoy your major. If it bores you, you will likely be unmotivated and may suffer academically.

Do you have a natural talent/skill? Don’t discount any natural talents or skills, instead, let those skills guide you to success. Possible careers? What sort of job will your degree prepare you for? Will you need additional schooling to achieve your career goals? Is your major geared toward one particular trade (for example; engineering or accounting) or can you apply it to many careers (Majors such as English, history, psychology that teach marketable, non-trade specific skills such as reasoning, critical thinking, writing and communication)? What are the requirements? What courses and how many will you have to take within the major as well as supplementary courses outside your major (i. e. accounting students take courses in marketing, economics, and business as well as specific accounting courses). Does the program require a minimum GPA for admission and retention? Will you need a minor? Will you be required to complete an internship or a co-op program? Prerequisites. Are there specific courses you must complete prior to engaging in major specific courses? (Prerequisites are often lower level introductory courses that establish a basic set of knowledge that will be referred to and built upon in subsequent classes.

) For example if you wanted to major in psychology you would most likely be required to take a course introducing theories, models and major researchers in the field. Evaluate the instructors. How qualified are the teachers? Where did they go to school, what sort of degrees do they hold, where have they previously worked or taught and what have they published? Find out about reputations from other students as well. Is a certain professor notorious for being rigid or difficult? A good relationship with an instructor can benefit you when you begin applying to graduate schools or jobs and you need recommendations. Program reputation. Does the program receive national attention? What do graduates think of the program?

What sort of jobs do alumni hold? Are you considering a double major? A double major can be a huge undertaking. This can be fruitful but you will need to be more organized when planning class schedules and picking classes. Some majors will not allow you the time to devote to a second major (often called comprehensive majors.) Be informed and be prepared to work! Check out survey and introductory courses in a variety of programs. These courses will be more general and give you a better understanding of what to expect from the program as a whole. Remember, you probably are not going to like every single class or topic in your major.

I had a friend who loved cost accounting but hated her tax accounting class. Browse the course catalog. Familiarize yourself with the policies and requirements. Read the school’s handbook regarding the differences in requirements for an Associate’s Degree, a Bachelor’s of Arts, Bachelor’s of Science, Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, etc. These will each require a different set of courses. Also, check your school’s general education requirements. These are often a set core of courses every student must take in order to earn their degree. Check for overlaps and conflicts with your major. Some departments won’t give credit for certain courses in a major that were used for general education requirements.

Use your advisor. These people know the ropes. They are there to help you navigate the system. If all of this is overwhelming (and don’t feel bad if it is) relax! If you have an advisor who just isn’t helping you, see if your school has a set of general advisors set up for undecided students. These counselors will often have access to information about general school topics (deadlines, procedures) as well as tools to help you find information regarding specific degree programs.

If you already have a major but are unsatisfied with your advisor, consider asking for a reassignment. Often this can be done in the department office. Talk to other students. They can often provide insight and experience that will be beneficial. An upperclassman can be your best friend when it comes to figuring out the system.

Not only do they know the best places to eat, but they might know the best places to buy and sell books, the best advisors and the best teachers. Don’t be afraid to change your mind. In the long run it’s better to spend an extra year or two in college than to be miserable or regret your decisions. People change their majors all the time (I changed mine 3 times.) and while it’s a big decision, it is only a piece of the larger puzzle.



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Saving money on kitchenware how to buy pre owned cookware and not get ripped off in the process

In the 21st century, the typical family finds itself living on a pretty tight and restricted budget. People simply do not have a great deal of money to spend -- even when it comes to making the purchase of cookware, kitchenware, and appliances for the home kitchen. Perhaps you are the head of a family that works very hard to make ends meet. In that regard, you likely have found yourself searching for ways in which you can save money on the basic necessities that you need for your home -- including such items as cookware and kitchenware. One way in which you can end up saving some money on cookware and kitchenware is through the purchase of pre-owned products and merchandise. With this in mind, there are some tips and pointers that you need to keep in mind to make certain that you do not get ripped off or burned on your purchase of pre-owned cookware and kitchenware.

In this day and age, a great resource for pre-owned merchandise is the Internet and World Wide Web. This holds true even if you are looking for cookware and kitchenware items that have been pre-owned. One type of website venue that you will want to visit in your online search for pre-owned cookware or kitchenware is a reputable auction site. Keep in mind that reference has been made to reputable Internet auction site. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, there are some disreputable operators on the Net that have set up less than reliable auction sites.

Therefore, if you are considering the purchase of pre-owned cookware and kitchenware from an auction site on the Net, make very certain that you access only an auction site that has established a reputation for fair dealing, reliability and honesty. In addition to the Internet, garage sales can be a perfect source for pre-owned cookware and kitchenware. You do need to keep in mind that many women and men and pretty intense about their garage sale shopping. Therefore, if you are interested in making the purchase of pre-owned cookware or kitchenware from garage sales, you need to plan on hitting to road in search of garage sales early in the morning. In most instances, the best merchandise available at garages sales ends up being sold very early on during the course of the day.



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Silver credit cards

The lowest in the hierarchy of precious metal named credit cards, silver credit cards have been around since the conception of credit cards in the mid-1950s. Today silver cards have been surpassed in prestige by gold credit cards and platinum credit cards and so have more commonly come to be known as ‘standard’ or ‘basic’ credit cards. Advantages of silver credit cards The advantages that silver credit cards have over other types of cards include: * lower annual membership fees (if any) * lower threshold salary which you need to earn if you want to apply * the same credit limit as other credit cards if you have a good credit history or manage your card sensibly * 0% interest for between 6 – 9 months when transferring your account balance from one credit provider to another The simple fact is, if you are not that fussed over the ‘image’ you portray when you are out shopping with your credit card, and are more concerned with how you manage your credit card debit, then silver credit cards are certainly more favourable than any other credit cards on offer. Disadvantages of silver credit cards * lower cash withdrawal limits * less rewards in rewards promotion packages, such as a lower percentage rate cash back return with cash back credit cards or lower airmiles with airmile credit cards * less travel perks – for example, if you have a gold or platinum card you may be entitled to automatic upgrades when travelling, but as there are far more standard silver credit cardholders, it is unlikely this benefit will be afforded to you as well * less prestige, which may mean retailers are less willing to give you the same service as they may provide to gold and platinum cardholders.



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Cure new diabetes pain type herbal natural treatment

INTRODUCTION Ya you might have come across this diabetes pain and you don’t know the reason. For this you might have visited some of the doctors for which they might have given you n number of medications. These medications might have not cured your diabetes pain. For this reason you began to surf at net to find a solution of this so to come out of it with a natural treatment. You might be realizing now the true health problems of the people with this diabetes. Although you have told that no one knows why you now have it. Do you believe that there are answers out there and it just doesn't make sense that doctors won't tell you? This is a good decision. You might go on searching it and reading number of web pages about diabetes pain treatment. You will realize that the people are just selling products that mask the problem and require you to buy their product. You can't afford that, and even if you can, it still doesn't tell you WHY you got it. If any of this sounds a little familiar and you are at a point where you just want the simple truth about why you have it and how to fix it, they you can stop looking, as you have found it here. "We want you to experience just how great it feels being healthy again. Imagine how great you will feel playing games again with the children because you have energy like you did when you were a child yourself". So, please read on.... Hello, My name is Mahendra and I must tell you, "I suffered a lot from past 17 years with this diabetes pain. Here I would feel great to share my experience with you regarding the treatment that I had at this center. I was worried because as this diabetes pain was not cured for more than a decade. I used to take all type of medications like allopathic, ayurvedic. But yet I could not come away of this pain. I used to have more than six tablets a day. I was fed up with these by which I turned myself to this center where I got the dietary supplements for my pain. These are working on me and its like a natural treatment with no harm at all. "If we could show you a simple yet affective way of eliminating your diabetes pain in record time with no fuss, would you jump at the chance to do it"? "Just imagine how good you will feel with the weight dropping off and your energy coming back by diabetes pain treatment". Extra Information Introducing a new style of information with simple facts” Cure diabetes pain treatment forever” gets straight to the point and lets you know what you need to do to cure yourself of this illness. Finally, someone will reveal to you the truth of this, so called disease. What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Because diabetics have a problem with insulin, their bodies can't use glucose for energy, which results in elevated blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) and the eventual urination of sugar out of their bodies. There are three main types of diabetes: * Type 1 (insulin-dependent and previously called juvenile diabetes). Type 1 diabetes is associated with a malfunctioning pancreas, which does not produce adequate amounts of insulin. It develops most often in children and young adults. * Type 2 (noninsulin-dependent, or adult-onset). Type 2 diabetes is associated with insulin resistant cells. It is much more common and usually develops in older adults. Type 2 diabetes is now being found at younger ages and is even being diagnosed among children and teens. * Gestational (pregnancy-related). Some women develop diabetes during pregnancy. Although it goes away after pregnancy, these women have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Diabetes Facts Here is a list of interesting, informative, and maybe terrifying facts about diabetes: * Diabetes is the 6th Leading cause of death in US: 150,000 per year * 20.8 million people in US (7% of population) have diabetes * For every person that is diagnosed, many remain undiagnosed * 8 million people remain undiagnosed * Newly diagnosed cases growing at an epidemic rate * Recent information indicates diabetes growing at 6% per year * About 176,500 people aged 20 years or younger have diabetes * Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people without diabetes of similar age Some diabetes symptoms include: * Frequent urination * Excessive thirst * Extreme hunger * Unusual or Unexplained weight loss * Increased fatigue * Irritability * Sudden or Blurry vision changes * Tingling or numbness in hands or feet * Poor ciculation * Poor sleep * Feeling very tired much of the time * Irritability * Very dry skin * Sores that are slow to heal * More infections than usual Complications of Diabetes * Eye disease and blindness * Kidney disease * Diabetic neuropathy * Amputations * Cardiovascular disease * Pregnancy complications * Flu - and pneumonia-related deaths * Sexual Dysfunction Alternative Natural Treatments There are several components to a natural diabetes treatment like: 1.Medicines 2.Self-help 3.Diet 4.Exercise 5.Supplementation 6.natural supplementary diets 7.Glucose/Sugar 8.Insulin Therapy



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See yourself losing weight

One of the most important parts of losing any weight is your own vision... can you see youself at the weight you desire? You literally can't lose weight if you see yourself overweight, or more importantly, not being able to lose weight... your mind won't let you. This is one reason so many struggle with weight loss... and keeping it off. This is called physcological reversal. You say you want something, but your inner mind says just the opposite. You say you want to lose weight, but your mind says "it's too hard", "I can't do that", "never been able to do it, why now" or any other belief you've let settle in to your mind the past. These beliefs in one way or another you've 'accepted' at some time in the past. You see, your subsconcious mind accepts anything you pass to it. It doesn't judge, analyze, reason, filter... nothing, it just accepts. If you've accepted in the past that it's too difficult to lose weight (for any reason), then almost any attempt to lose weight will fail unless you replace that negative belief. Once you replace any old beliefs about weight loss, you can "picture" yourself at your ideal weight. And now, thanks to high tech, you can even do it right on your computer! Just visit fitfoto. com and you can see your before and after pictures in almost real time! Brilliant idea. Just upload a current picture of yourself and the fitfoto. com software will create a picture of what you you'll look like at your ideal weight (or a close resemblence). And by the way, it's free. Keep the photo in a place where you can see it often and imagine yourself and how good you feel, the things you'll be doing and all the good feelings associated with your "new you". You CAN do it!



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Understanding amino acids and their importance in diet

The importance of protein in a healthy diet is well known to nutritional scientists, and widely understood by the general population. Indeed, every bodily system is directly or indirectly supported by protein. For example, protein supports the structural development of cells, helps ensure the integrity of tissue, aids digestion, carries hormones, and strengthens the immune system[i]. More recently, however, the motivation for people to choose protein-rich foods has been fueled by carbohydrate-free and carbohydrate-reduced diets, such as the Atkins™ Diet, South Beach Diet™ and Isometric Diet™. Via each of these diet programs, millions of people are vigilantly scanning food labels, and asking pertinent health questions when eating out. Added to this growing number of protein-aware people are, of course, the millions of bodybuilders, powerlifters and athletes who have demonstrated for centuries the irreplaceable value of protein in building and maintaining muscle. As impressive and inspiring as it is to see that more people than ever before are “protein-conscious”, there is still more useful protein information to learn. It is well past time to add an understanding of amino acids to this protein knowledge base. Many people – understandably -- do not recognize that amino acids are not acids as they are conventionally understood. Rather, they are the molecular units that comprise protein. They are, quite simply, the very building blocks of protein. Amino acids are organic compounds that contain two groups of molecules: amino (-NH2) and carboxyl (-COOH). There are a total of 19 amino acids in the human diet, of which 11 are non-essential, and the remaining 8 are essential. It is this critically important fact – that there are 2 kinds of amino acids -- that should be well understood and acted upon by eaters everywhere. If the term “amino acid” does not readily suggest the link to protein, the terms “non-essential” amino acids and “essential” amino acids can be sources of even greater confusion. The nutritional world is fond of the word “essential”, and uses it often to describe something that is important, or critical, or irreplaceable. For example, a nutritionist may rationally inform her patient that eating 50 grams of protein per day is essential; and by this she means “very important”. This same application of the term does now, however, flow to the “essential” and “non essential” amino acid vocabulary. Non-essential amino acids are those that the body is able to synthesize itself. This does not mean, of course, that the body can create these non-essential amino acids out of nothing. Rather, it means that the body’s own internal laboratory can create these 11 non-essential amino acids from raw materials. It is for this reason that these 11 amino acids are called non-essential; it has nothing to do with the term “important” or “unimportant”. These 11 non-essential amino acids include, in alphabetical order:[ii] Alanine Arginine Asparagine Aspartic Acid Cysteine Glutamic Acid Glutamine Glycine Histidine Proline Tyrosine The remaining 8 amino acids are called essential; and this refers to the fact that they cannot be synthesized. The body can only receive them exogenously (eg. through food). These essential amino acids include, in alphabetical order:[iii] Isoleucine Leucine Lysine Methionine Phenylalanine Serine Threonine Tryptophan Valine Understanding the importance of amino acids is critical, because a failure to eat foods that contain these essential amino acids can lead to deficiency and adverse health effects. These effects can include – but are not limited to -- fatigue, allergies, loss of memory, and even heart disease[iv]. When one considers the pain and suffering caused by any of these four ill health effects, and the myriad of subsequent ailments that they can provoke, it becomes readily apparent that a knowledge of amino acids, and especially “essential” amino acids, must be a part of an intelligent eater’s knowledge base. While there has been some movement on the part of nutritional supplement companies to provide eaters with convenient and palatable sources of protein, many of them have put their marketing needs first and ignored amino acids altogether. As a consequence of this omission, some eaters are actually suffering from an “overdose” of incomplete protein. This is because what they are eating may not provide them with the total, essential protein that they need. The only complete proteins on the planet are derived from dairy, meat, fish, poultry and soy, and these foods are not present in our most common foods. There are, however, protein supplements that also offer proteins with the full spectrum of amino acids. The solution here is uncomplicated and accessible. Eaters must simply choose to eat foods and nutritional supplements that offer a “complete” source of protein. This means that all 19 essential amino acids must be present including, of course, the “essential 8” amino acids that the body cannot synthesize. There are some companies – though still clearly in the minority – that create nutritional supplements that carefully ensure that all of the amino acids are present. It is notable that these companies do not necessarily have to do this, since neither the Food and Drug Administration nor many consumers are demanding this from their food labeling; at least, not yet. This is all the more reason to laud those companies that are putting people and nutrition first, and marketing a distant second. REFERENCES [i] Source: “Amino Acids. Diet-and-health-net. http:// diet-and-health. net/Nutrients/AminoAcids. html [ii] Source: “Amino Acids”. About. com. http://exercise. about. com/library/Glossary/bldef-amino_acids. htm [iii] Ibid. [iv] Source: “What are Amino Acids?”. Vanderbilt University. http://vanderbiltowc. wellsource. com/dh/content. asp? ID=759



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Is your dog malnourished

Americans are more concerned about health than ever before, so we should also have an equal amount of concern for our pets ... particularly with regard to the ingredients in their food. We would want the ingredients in our pets' food to be acceptable for human consumption. After all, If byproducts are not tolerated in our food, why should they be tolerated in our pets' food? We're also starting to realize that our dogs and cats need daily supplements the same way that we do, in order to take care of their bodies for the inevitable ravages of aging.

In the span of an animal's life, an early start at good health ensures less vulnerability to degenerative diseases, joints that are less likely to creak with pain and a healthier heart. Naturally we want our dogs and cats to live with us for as long as possible. Renowned holistic veternarian Dr. Jane Bicks says that when looking at dog food, one should be be weary of dyes, chemicals and artificial preservatives as much as possible. For example, BHA ... one of the most common synthetic antioxidant preservatives mainly used to prevent food discoloration and rancidity ... has been found in scientific studies to cause stomach cancer in lab rats at certain doses. In lesser doses, the preservative doesn't have a cancerous effect but there is no telling what BHA can do to the body in small doses over a long period of time. Dr. Jane states that the maximum life span of dogs is estimated to be between 25 to 30 years, but the average dog often lives no longer than 13 to 14 years. And she says that this difference is caused primarily by inadequate nourishment. She also states that protein is a critical part of a dog's natural development so pet owners should look for foods which have whole ingredients like meat, eggs, fish and dairy as opposed to byproducts.

Harder working or more energetic dogs require more protein and fat in their diet to maintain stamina and good body form. A dog food that is complete and balanced and includes at least 26 percent protein and 1650 kilocalories of metabolizable energy per pound is ideal. During the seasons when dogs are not working, their energy requirements decrease. Feed less of the high calorie food or change to a less nutrient-dense dog food. Unbleached rice is one of the more digestible carbohydrates and supplies a wide array of energy for your dog. Corn and wheat, meanwhile, are considerably more difficult to digest. It is also a great idea to look for antioxidants. In recent years, we have become much more conscious of our antioxidant intake, so why shouldn't we have that same attitude towards our pets?

Dr. Jane Bicks has been honored on many occasions by the veternary profession and is the author of several books inlcluding 'Thirty days to a healthier, happier dog' and 'Dr. Jane's Natural guide to a healthier, happier dog'. She has been involved in many advisory boards including Canine Companions for independence and has served as the President of the Veterinary Medical association of New York City. She formulates Life's Abundance premium dog food as well several types of dog supplements. For more information about Life's Abundance dog food and dog supplements go to http:// dog-food-nutrition. info/



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Winter air quality and your home

Step back and take a deep breath. Feels great, doesn't it? With the winter season well upon us, it is time to stop and think about the quality of the air you are breathing. Air quality issues do not get the same attention in the winter months as they might in the summer, but that does not mean that they do not exist. In fact, a number of studies have shown that indoor air quality is often worse in the winter. This happens for a number of reasons, the most obvious of which is the fact that we spend so much time indoors in the winter. During the summer time, most people open all of their doors and windows to increase the flow of fresh air into their home.

In the winter, we are all so preoccupied with staying warm that fresh air is often an afterthought. There are a number of good reasons to air out your home, even in the freezing winter months. A lot of people purchase new home furnishings in the winter, to improve on the level of comfort in their homes. This can be problematic, especially in the case of new carpeting and upholstery.

A great majority of the carpets and upholstery on the market emit toxic substances known as volatile organic compounds, which are a by-product of the manufacturing process. Volatile organic compounds are a suspected cause of eye, nose, and throat irritations, headaches, skin irritations, breathing difficulties, and fatigue. If you must install new carpet, have the work done in the summer…when you are on vacation. Along with new furnishings, people often try to take advantage of the time they are spending indoors by repainting the interior of their home. This, too, can be a significant source of indoor pollution. If you are considering some winter redecorating, try to find a quality paint that does not contain volatile organic compounds. Otherwise, it might be prudent to wait until the summer comes. In the case of VOC's, opening the windows in your home will not reduce the impact these chemicals can have on your health.

These chemicals are often emitted at very low levels, for a very long time. There are countless people who love nothing more than to curl up in front of a roaring fireplace to stay warm and cozy during the colder months. Fireplaces and woodstoves can have a detrimental impact on the air quality in your home. Your furnace, wood stove, and/or fireplace should be properly maintained and serviced annually. When they are not functioning properly, fireplaces can be a source of poisonous carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. Play it safe, and be sure to maintain your appliances annually. Your health and wellbeing may depend on it.



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Should you buy a house or a condo

A big debate these days is whether or not to buy a house, or buy a condo. Most of this debate comes from a lack of understanding about condos, and what they are. Hopefully, the following information will prove to be helpful. When Buying a condo, are you a tenant? No. That simply isn't true. When you buy a condo, you are buying a part of the corporation, and are thus an equal owner. It is true that you can be forced to move, if you are really disturbing the other owners, or causing problems. But this is true of residential homes as well. If your neighbors complain repeatedly about smell, health concerns, or criminal behavior, then you may be forced to move. The same holds true in condos and houses alike.

The board can force you to pay thousands of dollars arbitrarily, and without notice. At first glance, this may appear to be true. But keep in mind that the condo association is made up of owners who have the same goal as you… Having a comfortable place to live that is building equity. The members of the condo association do not make any money from their positions.

They are owners like yourself, who are volunteering their time. There can, however, be "special levy's" brought about by unexpected maintenance in the building. The same holds true of a house as well; the expenses just come from a different place. Ask anyone who owns a house how much it cost them for their last furnace. Or how much they spent repairing the water leak, and replacing the shingles.

The advantage in a condo association is that you share these costs with the other owners, and are forced to save money in advance for these repairs, through the reserve fund. Condo fees cost too much each month! Again, not necessarily true. If you were to add up the amount of money that a family spends over 5 years on the maintenance of their house, you'll usually notice that it equals more than 5 years worth of condo fees.

Also, many condo associations pay for their monthly expenses as a group. Heat, water, insurance, and maintenance are examples of such expenses. By purchasing as a group, they can often get these services at a lower rate than a single home owner can. I could never live in such close quarters That's probably true. Condos aren't for everyone. Every person has to make their own decision, based upon their own lifestyle; now and in the future. If you have 3 large dogs, 3.5 children, and 4 cars… a condo probably isn't for you. But, if you're a single young executive who works 80 hours a week, or you're retired and travel most of the year, then perhaps a condo is the right choice for you. Only you can make that decision, as it is a lifestyle choice. Here are some factors to consider in your decision. How much time do you spend at home? Do you want to shovel walks and mow lawns? Are you used to having your neighbours far away from you? Is the condo association that you're considering favorable to your children's lifestyle? Do you want a low maintenance home, or do you like tinkering in the yard and garage? Who's going to be living there? What are the neighbors like? In fact, these are issues to consider on any home, not just a condominium. It's just as easy to get "bad" neighbors when you buy a house as it is when you buy a condo. The best advice that can be given is to research your choices, and be objective when choosing a home. My favorite example of this is as follows: "A friend of mine asked me to help him find a home. He's a single young man who travels 75% of the time for his job and is rarely at home. When he is home, all he wants to do is sleep and watch TV. He wanted to buy an acreage so that he could have privacy. After looking at the amount of continuous maintenance required for an acreage, he realized that acreage living wasn't for him. He's very happy in his apartment style condo." Make your own decisions, based upon what's best for you. If a condo is where you'll be happiest, then buy a condo. If a house is what's right for you, buy a house.



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