Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Makes a Starfish Simply Amazing

The starfish is a truly remarkable animal, imagine it is shaped like a star, and the cool thing is that its mouth is underneath its body. Starfish can crawl over a meal like a clam, force open it and start eating it. Another cool thing about starfish is that it has no teeth. It simply digests its meal and receives nutrients from its meal. A friend of mine even thinks that a starfish is not an animal but a rock.

Starfish is also known as a sea star, they are not really a fish but are echinoderms, and they belong to the family of Asteroidea. There are roughly 1,800 species of starfishes in the world. Some of them don't even look like star. A typical profile of a starfish is that it usually has five arms. However, some specie has more than five arms.

The Philippine starfish is usually hard and have horns. They are quite abundant in the Philippines. Certain processes need to be followed so that it can be preserved for a long period of time. The Philippine starfish is one of the most easily preserved specie of starfish.

Proper classification and processing of this Philippine Starfish are very important, ignore this, and you end up with a rotten, smelly starfish. Our processes employ's a marriage of both traditional and modern way of cleaning and preserving starfishes.

Packaging also plays an important role in this business. We should consider the transportation time from our warehouse to its destination. Again if we ignore this, molds would surely develop, and it is very important to incorporate a desiccant into the packaging to prevent moldings.

A well-preserved starfish will last for quite a long time. We have this tendency to associate things from the sea as giving us some sort of a calming effect as it will remind us of the sea. The sea is truly a magical place. It can comfort us and relaxes us. What better way than to bring a creature from the sea into our homes to remind us about the pleasures we associate with the sea. Another great fact about Starfishes is that most species can regenerate, remember the spider man movie. The villainous lizard has this quality of growing damaged limbs.

Starfish is one of the most lonely creatures around, you want to know why? It is because they can reproduce even without a partner. For us humans it would be a curse to be alone, but for a starfish, it is a necessity to ensure the survival of its population.

Casual Jobs for Students - Good or Bad?

Students often question themselves whether finding a casual work while studying is beneficial or detrimental to their career.

Researches point out that people who had casual job experience while studying are the highest achievers in life.

No matter what kind of casual job you embark on, it will always add to your professional and life experience. Even when the job is not tied to your field of study or pursuing career you will eventually see the benefits of casual jobs.

Casual work can arm you with a set of tools that will make you more independent and financially successful. If something isn't going well with your future job, you have the skills and experience to perform another temporary job or even switch career. Not to mention that many companies prefer to employ someone equipped with knowledge and experience in different areas or as they usually say, an all-rounded professional.

You might be asking yourself, what will a coffee making job experience contribute to your career as an architect. Well, not much directly. But you will improve your interpersonal skills, gain customer service experience, work better under pressure, increase your sociability and make many friends and contacts that will prove advantageous in the future.

Casual work can also interfere negatively in your Uni performance. In that case you should consider some effective time-management techniques, reduce your working shifts/hours or even postpone your casual job venture.

Many celebrities and wealthy business people attribute their success to their casual job experiences.

Andrea Bocelli used to play piano in a piano bar in the evenings while he was studying law at the University of Pisa. He completed his law course and worked as a lawyer for one year. However, his casual job yelled louder to draw his successful career. Abocelli is known as the most popular Italian singer in the World.

Nicolas Cage used to sell pop corns at Fairfax movie theatre in Hollywood.

Rod Stewart first worked as a Newspaper delivery boy. Later he became a grave digger at Highgate Cemetery.

Donald Trump used to be a rent collector.

Don't underestimate the power of casual work. It will increase your self-esteem, make you more confident and open many doors to success.

There are many websites that offer casual work for students. Sometimes Universities offer casual jobs for students on their own website.

Gap A Job provides one of the most efficient and effective online platform for jobs with an emphasis on casual jobs for students, utilising a unique timetable match-based feature. Likewise, Gap A Job connects undiscovered talents to potential employers, companies or other talent seekers.

Gap a job is an innovative online platform for jobs with an emphasis on casual jobs for students. The unique timetable match-based system makes finding and advertising jobs easier, more effective and efficient. You can find or advertise any kind of jobs on Gap A Job... from tutoring to crocodile wrangling.

Securing Wordpress: What Are the DO's and DON'Ts?

If you are managing a Wordpress website, then you have to make sure its safety in every possible method. Nowadays, this platform is among the greatest methods to make and increase money online. However, hackers can also view it as a chance to take precious things from your website. This includes your personal information, methods and other important things. As an outcome, your blog will be useless and may encounter disastrous result if it continues.

On the other hand, there are many methods when it comes to securing Wordpress. You simply have to find methods that can aid you to protect your blog from any kind of threat. If you know exactly how to protect it, then you can sleep safe and sound without worrying with any act of notorious hackers. Several online marketers think that it is secure to log in to their websites from anywhere.

It is huge disadvantage on your part if you log in to your blog in unsecure places. You have to connect to it on a protected spot of Wi-Fi and securing Wordpress on Windows. Remember that unprotected spot of Wi-Fi will allow anyone to view your username and even in odd cases, your password as well. Nowadays, hackers can do almost anything that they desire to access and infect their particular targeted sites.

Also, if you really want to protect your blog site, do not try to open it in public. By this way, you will be sure of that you are not threatening your own site to be hacked. Aside from that, you also need to pick the plugins that are certainly trusted by many. You can do this by securing Wordpress with SSL. Most trusted plugins come with SSL certificates to let you know that you are safe to exchange information from foreign browsers.

You also need to use.htaccess in your site. It is a simple file made from any usual text editor for the configuration of web server for all the files that runs on the web server of Apache. It makes the management and controls of your website simple and easy. By securing Wordpress with htaccess, you can protect your password as it improves the web protection of your file. Furthermore, .htaccess can also be used for redirects purposes. It can also be utilized to block IP address that can harm your blog. With these benefits, you can be certain for the security of your blog site without worrying about the hackers attack.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Components of the Blood and the Immune System

We all have a general idea of what blood is. The heart pumps it through our body, and we need it to live. It is used to swear eternal friendship. We use it to save lives. If we are sick, the doctor can test our blood to find out what is wrong. But how can the blood reflect how we are sick, and why is it so essential to life? In the following article, I will give an overview of the blood components and their function.

What are the components of blood?

Your blood makes up about 7% of your body weight, and in an adult amounts to around 5 liters (= 1.3 gallons) (1). If you lose too much blood, for instance during a trauma or an accident, it can be life-threatening, and you may need a blood transfusion. We are able to donate up to half a liter, which is about 10% of our total blood volume, however such blood donation requires overall good health, and time to rest and recover afterwards. Roughly half of the blood volume consists of various blood cells, while the other half is blood plasma, the liquid which enables your blood to flow throughout your body. Every component in the blood has their own critical function, which will be introduced in this article.

The blood plasma consists of approximately 90 % water (1)

Water is critical for life. A human can survive for days and even weeks without food, but only a few days without water. The reason is that water is a resource that constantly recycles. We lose water from our body both through urine and as evaporation from our skin through sweat. Neither of these processes are something we can consciously control, but they are important processes for temperature control as well as getting rid of waste products. On the other hand, our water intake is under our control. We get water from what we drink, but also through food. Mild dehydration may lead to headache, overheating, or dizziness, but is not life-threatening under normal circumstances. In cases of extreme dehydration, you can get liquid through intravenous transfusions directly into your blood.

The blood plasma contains various soluble components

In addition to giving blood its fluidity, so that blood cells can be transported throughout the body, water is also important as a solvent for transport of nutrients and waste products. Minerals, vitamins, glucose, and various types of proteins, along with the water, make up the blood plasma. Although the color of the blood is red, the color of the blood plasma is actually yellow. The red color comes from the large amount of red bloods cells, as will be described below. The yellow color of the blood plasma comes from the various water-soluble components, such as nutrients and various signaling molecules. Furthermore, your blood is the carrier of various waste products, that are filtered out from the blood to the urine through the kidneys. In addition, the blood contains various proteins that have both structural as well as regulating or signaling roles. One type of important structural proteins are the coagulation factors that are required for proper blood clotting. Insulin is an example of signaling molecule. People suffering from diabetes must closely monitor and adjust the glucose and insulin levels in their blood, to ensure a proper balance.

The cells in our blood

The cells in our blood are divided into two main types: The red blood cells, and the white blood cells. In addition, there are specialized cell fragments, called platelets, that are derived from a specific type of white blood cells, the megakaryocytes. The red blood cells (RBC, also called erythrocytes) take up about 45% of the total blood volume (1). The red color is due to abundant amounts of the protein hemoglobin, which binds and transports oxygen from the lungs throughout our body. The white blood cells are critical for our immune system, which can broadly be divided into the innate and the adaptive immune system. The innate immune system recognizes patterns that are associated with pathogens, and mounts a fast reaction towards infections. The adaptive immune cells recognize specific eptiopes, and can be educated to recognize epitopes associated with disease. The response of adaptive immune cells are initially slower, but the education leads to a "memory" so that upon later encounters, we can quickly recognize and eliminate the threat. Immunization is based on the ability of the adaptive immune system to recognize the pathogen and develop a protective "memory" or immunization. Lastly, the platelets, also called thrombocytes, are not cells, but rather cell fragments. They are critical for blood coagulation, to ensure that upon a cut or damage to a blood vessel, the bleeding will stop.

Auto Refractometers

Discover a new range of constructive refractometers, in the marketplace named auto refractometers widely used as an ophthalmic diagnostic product allowing a more natural measurement. An auto refractor or automated refractor is a computer-controlled machine used during an eye examination to provide an objective measurement of a person's refractive error and prescription for glasses or contact lenses. This is achieved by measuring how light is changed as it enters a person's eye. In some offices this process is used to provide the starting point for the optometrist in subjective refraction tests.

Automated refraction is particularly useful when dealing with non-communicative people such as young children or those with disabilities. It can measure small pupils down to 2 mm in diameter. Pupils of patient all over the world can be measured easily. The ideal refractive measurement can be achieved since the far point is measured while the person is looking at the target in distance.

The Auto Refractometers uses the fogging system for the relaxation of accommodation. It tends to allow instrumental myopia for the person who doesn't accommodate well. This is because the patient is looking at the inside target unnaturally. The Auto Refractometer takes away this weak point by using the open view window. It allows a more natural measurement and satisfactory analysis of the patient's vision. Additionally, a reliable objective refraction measurement is achievable since the far point is measured while the person is looking at the target in distance.

The Auto Refractometers Refractometer is a precision ophthalmic instrument. It can be used to measure the parameters of farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, axis and pupil-distance for prescription of vision correction. Some key features of the auto refractometer are -

• New color LCD screen 
• Easy to use,convenient to measure 
• More broad measurement range of Min 
• Pupil size to suit the people all over the world

Auto refractometers is acknowledged for its sturdy construction, long lasting performance and precise dimension.

The integrated Auto-Start function automatically starts the measurement as soon as the correct measuring position has been detected. The measurement results are immediately displayed on the large-size color monitor. The monitor can be tilted in three positions to ensure that you can work expediently either standing or sitting. For documentation purposes the measurement results can be optionally printed via the installed printer or output via an interface. The printer also features an automatic cutter which cuts off the printout as soon as printing has been completed. The paper can therefore be removed easily without having to tear it off.

Proven Features

> Quick Measuring Process 
> Active Accommodation Relaxation 
> IOL Measuring Mode 
> Reliable PD Measurement 
> Convenient Adjustable Chin Rest 
> Large Cylinder Measuring Range up to 10 DPT. 
> Measurement as From 2.3 Mm Pupil Diameter.

National Microscope Exchange has been in business since 1991, selling and servicing refractometers, microscopes and inverted microscope. The service staff has 30 years of experience with microscopes, and is the authorized United States service facility for Atago refractometers.

Gene Assembly: DNA Sequencing of Gene-Sized Fragments Using Primer Walking

Next Generation (Next-Gen) sequencing is a new form of technology capable of determining the sequence of DNA the size of a bacterial genome. Despite this capacity to sequence millions of bases, Next-Gen technology is not always efficient or cost effective. Sequencing smaller fragments of DNA is an example of this. Sometimes researchers prefer to sequence a single gene to determine function or fill in gaps left by the more advanced technologies. Primer walking is a common practice still employed for sequencing smaller regions of DNA. Capillary sequencers have improved the capability of sequencing DNA with faster times and longer base read lengths. However, the basic process of primer walking and gene assembly remains the same.

Isolating the DNA Fragment

The first step in sequencing a selected DNA fragment is to isolate the fragment from genomic DNA. Isolation is often performed by amplifying copies of the chosen region using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). PCR produces copies of (amplifies) a region of DNA determined by smaller single stranded oligonucleotides called primers. The primers anneal to the start point on the forward strand and the start point on the reverse strand as amplification proceeds in both directions. Amplification by PCR produces millions of copies of a given region of DNA. However, it requires knowledge of the sequence before and after the region in order to select primers for amplification.

Researchers sometimes choose to sequence the DNA fragment (PCR product) directly. However, many researchers prefer cloning using a bacterial plasmid as an alternative.

Amplifying the DNA Fragment in a Bacterial Plasmid

Once the selected DNA has been amplified by PCR, it is inserted into a bacterial plasmid. The plasmid is a circular DNA molecule with known sequence. The circular DNA is broken with restriction enzymes allowing the unknown DNA fragment to be inserted. Most commercial plasmids contain universal sights from which researchers can select universal primers to sequence the inserted DNA in the forward and reverse directions. Capillary sequencers typically generate 800 to 900 bases for each primer for a single set of sequencing reactions yielding 1600 to 1800 total bases of data. This may cover the entire insert for smaller DNA fragments. However, genes are generally over 5,000 bases. Therefore, one set of sequence results would not complete the sequencing of the entire fragment of DNA.

Sequence Results Provide Templates for Primers

Gene assembly and primer walking involve using known sequence to select primers for additional sequence data. Using a result generated from a universal primer provides the sequence template for designing the next primer. The primer will likely be selected around the 700 base region for a result with 800 bases of quality sequence. The remaining 100 bases will allow overlap with the new generated sequence. Primer walking continues until the forward sequence results intersect with the reverse sequence results. A 5,000 base insert would likely need 5 to 8 results to achieve overlap between the forward and reverse directions. Researchers may sequence both the forward and reverse strands completely to provide the entire sequence of the double stranded molecule to confirm the accuracy of all the bases.

Software Assembles the Sequence Results

There are commercial software programs designed to assemble sequence results in the order of their overlapping regions resulting in a consensus sequence. Many of these programs use chromatogram data that allows base peak calls to be reviewed and corrected if necessary. The chromatogram is a view of the actual data showing the quality of peaks generated during electrophoresis. Some programs simply use the text of the base calls, but this does not allow as detailed a review of the results.

What Are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are unique because they combine two key properties: Pluripotency and self-renewal. Pluripotency means that they can differentiate and give rise to multiple different cell types. In addition, they have the ability to divide and self-renew to maintain the original population.

There are two principally different types of stem cells: Embryonic stem (ES) cells and adult stem cells (or tissue-specific stem cells). In addition, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are very similar to ES cells, and are the focus of intense ongoing research and development.

Embryonic stem cells (ES cells or ESC) arise from the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. The first few rounds of division this fertilized egg undergoes create both the extra-embryonic tissue as well as a pool of identical ESC that eventually will give rise to the new individual. The unique ability of ESC to give rise to absolutely all cell types in the body has lead to increased interest in these cells for both basic and medical research. Such research can improve our understanding of normal development and genetic diseases, and also has a potential for development of tissue regeneration therapy. However, there is also controversy in regards to ethical issues when it comes to the use of human ESC.

Researchers have developed a method where mature differentiated cells can be reprogrammed to become immature pluripotent cells, named induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells or iPSC). These iPSC are found to be very similar to primary ESC, but are not identical. These cells provide an alternative source of pluripotent cells. iPSC and ESC therefore remain the focus of intense research, both to understand the mechanisms of pluripotency and to improve the method of reprogramming to create iPSC.

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Sir John B. Gordon and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka for "the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent" (source: ), further emphasizing the importance of research on reprogramming and induced pluripotency.

Adult stem cells are also referred to as tissue specific stem cells and can give rise to all cell types within a specific tissue. One example is the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC). In adults, most HSC are found in the bone marrow (BM), but can be immobilized into the blood stream for instance for the purpose of HSC transplantation for treatment of leukemia. HSC are pluripotent and give rise to red blood cells, platelets, and all white blood cells required in the immune system. These stem cells alternate between a quiescent (non-dividing, resting) and a proliferative state (undergoing cell divisions), and provide a life-long source of all blood and immune cells for the individual.

The self-renewal property is crucial for life-long replenishment of the downstream cell types. Exhaustion (or defective self-renewal) of stem cells will lead to disease. For instance, an exhaustion of the HSC, which give rise to all blood cells, will lead to anemia and immunodeficiency. Anemia is the reduction of red blood cells that are crucial for oxygen transport. Immunodeficiency is a defect in any immune cell that is required to protect your body against infection, damage and cancer.

However, the property of self-renewal is also potentially dangerous, as uncontrolled self-renewal is a key feature of cancer cells. Thus, in healthy stem cells, as well as other diving cells, self-renewal is tightly regulated. A critical combination of mutations can lead to loss of this regulation and give rise to cancer. Control of self-renewal is also a major concern and challenge that scientists face in regards to the potential use of ESC or iPSC for tissue regeneration therapy.

One Person, Twelve Bodies

It is obvious that all human beings go through various cycles during their life, progressing from infant to child to adolescent to adult to senior citizen. Each of these stages builds upon previous biology and experience while evolving from one to the next. The concept that the body changes form as it ages has been around ever since early man sat around campfires and compared grandfather to a newborn baby boy. It is obvious change occurs, but no one knew how or why. They did know, even back then, that if that baby boy got fed regularly and stayed out of the mouth of large animals, chances were good that he would someday look like grandfather. Still, it was hard for early man to grasp the idea, and make much sense out of the fact that grandfather was once a tiny baby himself, and that he occupied all the various body shapes and ages in between the two extremes. That was one of life's mysteries that they just blindly accepted.

So the process of aging was known, early on, to involve noticeable and significant changes in body shape and size, hair color, skin texture, strength, weight, stamina, agility, appetite, thinking ability, hearing, vision, sleeping patterns, communication, and perhaps most notably, wellness. As the baby boy grew into adolescence, and then into manhood, and then into middle age, he no doubt suffered the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" as Shakespeare might have described it. Perhaps he wore a few scars to prove his more stressful experiences; and most assuredly, he probably grew to know many aches and pains, loss of energy, sickness and disease, weight fluctuations, and all the other curses and afflictions that accompany growing old.

During Shakespeare's time, the average life expectancy was a mere 35 to 40 years, and people thought the body entered a new "age" roughly every five or so years. According to Shakespeare's estimation, a person only had seven bodies. He wrote about this observation in his play, As You Like It, saying that "... man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages."

The concept of seven-year body change cycles has been found in many sources including the Torah, Buddhist lore, Native American tradition, the New Testament, American folk wisdom, the philosophy of the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, traditional Chinese medicine, and the phases of the moon that change every seventh day, which influence women's reproductive rhythms and hormonal pulses.The seven-year body change cycle has its deepest roots in traditional Chinese medicine dating back to 1500 BC, which claims that natural and normal health changes occur at regular seven-year intervals in women and eight-year intervals in men. The two most significant changes in women's bodies occur at around 14 years, when menstruation begins, and around 49 years, when menstruation becomes less frequent and eventually ceases altogether. It is thought in this medical tradition as women age, much of their vital essence and nutrients are lost in their monthly periods and this transforms them eventually into old, stooped grandmothers. The consensus of understanding today, from all these various opinions, is that every seven years individuals grow a new body, but unfortunately; it is not nearly that routine, nor is it accurate.

Recent research reveals that this popular folk notion is not exactly true because, although most cells in the body do, in fact, reproduce and replace dying cells during the aging process, not all cells do. Certain cells replace themselves many times over during a seven-year period, while some cells never change at all. The truth is that different cells have different life spans and rates of regeneration, depending on the kind of tissue or fluid in which they are located. For example, white blood cells have the shortest life expectancy and only last several days, while neurons in the cerebral cortex of the brain are never replaced. Yes, there are no new neurons added to the brain after birth, and any that die during a person's life time are never replaced. Think about that next time you go out drinking. Every time you get intoxicated, you destroy irreplaceable brain cells!

Adults produce their body weight in red blood cells, white cells, and platelets every seven years, but the cells in the stomach lining only last five days. Liver cells regenerate in four to six weeks, but it takes two full years for all the cells of the liver to turnover. Tooth enamel is one of the hardest tissues in the body, and the cells that form permanent teeth, that replace the milk teeth, often last an individual their entire life. Similarly, fat cells are replaced in adults at the average rate of about ten percent each year, or in other words, humans replace all their fat cells roughly every decade.

Cardiomyocyte heart cells, on the other hand, are replaced in the body at a gradually reduced rate as a person ages. Around age 25, for example, about one percent of these cells are replaced annually. Replacement gradually slows to only about 0.5% at age 70. Even in people with much longer life spans, less than half of the cardiomyocyte cells are usually ever replaced by the body, and those that are not, have been in most people since their birth. In the heart, the cardiomyocyte cells comprise the heart muscle, but the heart is also made up of other connective tissues and other cell types that do indeed grow in size, even though some are never replaced.

Scientists from all around the world are currently studying all the major tissues and fluids of the body to determine turnover rates and the aging process as a whole. While it is obvious that skulls and brains and hearts grow larger after birth, how can it be that certain cells do not reproduce? Where then does all that extra mass come from? In the brain, even though no new neurons are replaced in the cerebral cortex as previously stated, research is still ongoing on other parts of the brain as well. It appears there are lots of other kinds of cells that do get added such as glial cells, which may possibly make up about 90% of the cells in the brain, and lest we forget, the brain is composed 78% of water.

Human hair typically grows at a rate of about half an inch per month consistently across the scalp, depending on diet, age, race, gender, and general health. Human hair goes through three stages of growth. The first stage is the anagen phase, where the hair is actively growing for a period of two to six years. During this phase, cells in the hair follicle actively divide, pushing the hair up and out of the skin layer on the scalp. The next phase is the catagen phase in which the rate of growth stops because the follicle grows dormant. The final stage is the telogen phase where the hair falls out to make way for new hair growth. Human hair has a "terminal length" which is the maximum length a hair will grow, and it varies according to the individual. Some people have a terminal length of only a few inches while other individuals may grow their hair several feet long before the hair follicle eventually dies. The average human head has roughly 150,000 single hairs on it and most hairs are in different stages of growth. If a person were to shave their head completely bald and then grow it back in one event, it would take anywhere from a few months to several years depending on their health and the personal characteristics mentioned here.

The most dramatic physical changes to the human body occur within the first two seven-year body cycles. The skeletal system takes, on average, ten years to renew as bone-dissolving and bone-rebuilding cells work in concert to constantly remodel itself over a typical life span. Bones are the primary structural component of a human body and determine the individual's stature. Generally, girls usually grow until a bone age of about 14 years and boys stop growing after a bone age of around 16 years, depending on when they reach puberty. Children grow at a rate of about 2 to 2 ½ inches per year in early childhood up until they begin puberty, at which time their growth will slow to about 1 ½ inches annually. As they reach their peak growth velocity in puberty, there is acceleration in growth to about 3 to 3 ½ inches per year for girls and 4 inches per year for boys. Growth slows down again after puberty to about 2 ½ to 3 inches per year in girls following menarche (the first period) until they reach their adult height. Girls often reach their growth spurt at puberty about two years earlier than boys, which explains why girls are often taller than boys during early adolescence.

Skin is the largest organ on the body and has the ability to constantly regenerate itself. Human skin consists of primarily two main layers: the epidermis, or surface layer, and the dermis, or deeper layer. There are several other smaller layers of skin located within these two main sections. These include the basal and the stratum spinosum layers of the epidermis, which are mostly responsible for skin regeneration. New skin cells are born all the time and rise into the epidermal layer as old skin cells die and fall away on the surface. Young skin regenerates its epidermal surface area about every two to three weeks. As a person ages, the cell turnover rate slows down, but never completely stops. Direct sunlight is a major reason for this slowdown due to several factors. The skin is comprised of collagen, which gives the skin elasticity. Sunlight lessens collagen production which makes the skin thinner and less resilient. This causes skin cells to become disorganized and malformed and ages the skin to eventually form wrinkles and spots.

The regeneration process, unfortunately, doesn't continue forever, nor always works efficiently, because it is influenced by individual lifestyle habits, choices, environmental factors, and behaviors; which all impact cell renewal. Poor lifestyle choices, harsh living conditions, along with heredity, lack of exercise, and improper diet can develop into chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, liver disease, and even numerous forms of cancer.

Organs, tissues, and systems of the body are designed by nature to serve a specific purpose, and when not treated properly, they develop disease and dysfunction which impacts the body's homeostasis or metabolic balance and cell regeneration. The liver, for example, the second largest organ in the body, performs many critical functions such as producing immune agents to fight infection; it neutralizes toxins in the blood, and filters out germs and bacteria from the bloodstream. The liver also makes proteins that regulate blood clotting, produces bile to help absorb fats, and stores glucose for when the body requires energy. No one can live long, or well, without proper liver function because it is the metabolic factory of the entire body.

So with all this diversity in tissues and fluids within the human body, and all the corresponding differences in cell regeneration rates, not to mention all the numerous individual differences in the aging process due to influences from heredity, metabolism, digestion, personality, intelligence, sleep, diet, minerals, allergies, exercise, gender, race, disease, injuries, relationships, emotions, medical care, neighborhoods, weather conditions, and immune system function, in general. How would it ever be possible to conclude that the body changes completely every seven years? There are just too many variables and influences affecting a human body to be able to chop it up into nice, crisp intervals like this. It is just not that easy.

There is no disputing the fact that an infant baby transforms into an old man or woman over the course of a life time. However, rather than look at the normal human life span as one big continuum from birth to death, or divided into decade-long intervals, it is much more interesting, and more understandable, to view it as if it were composed of twelve individual and distinct body changes, each spanning seven years. This folk-notion viewpoint is a very useful tool and just makes better sense for understanding the human metamorphosis, even though it may not be 100 percent accurate. I prefer, and advocate, the seven year cycles because they provide more milestones and age groupings which can be viewed, and studied, as distinct separate bodies.



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Suggestions For Making Auto Emergency Kits

Roadside emergencies happen at all times of the day and in any and all conditions. A breakdown could occur on a well-trafficked roadway during the day, or on a back road around midnight in colder weather. To prepare for all types of instances, as well as for a range of conditions, an auto emergency kit is a must.

No matter if you decide to purchase a kit or make your own, practically all options are economical. Some, as well, can be small enough to fit into a glove box. Others, once tools and supplies to withstand the cold are added, may be large enough to fit in a trunk or the back of a vehicle. Professional drivers should adhere to DOT standards when putting together a kit.

What should auto emergency kits do? On a basic level, supplies must assist with signaling for help, fixing any basic vehicular damage, and dealing with any major emergencies. Ideally a kit should contain enough supplies to address a vehicle and get you driving on the road again. But, as more serious injuries can occur, a kit assists to hold you over until roadside assistance arrives.

Even if you decide to purchase an auto emergency kit, not all options sold are identical. On a basic level, kits should include:

First Aid, with supplies to treat common injuries on the road, from cuts to insect bites to burns.

A Fire Extinguisher, as fuels to electrical difficulties all can result in a potential vehicle-related fire. An extinguisher, preferably one that is compact and easy to grab, lessens potential damage from this occurrence.

Warning Lights, Flares, or Reflective Triangles call attention to you on the side of the road. For whichever emergency lighting is used, it must be long-lasting and visible in a wide range of conditions.

Auto Tools, such as a tire gauge, jack and lug wrench, foam tire sealant, a compressor and plug kit, and jumper kit, assist with addressing common vehicle issues.

A Flashlight is a must for seeing in the dark, be it to make repairs, set up flares or triangles, or to find your equipment.

Gloves assist with protecting your hands from the cold and during auto repairs.

A Camera and pen and paper should be available in case an accident happens. Be ready to take pictures of the damage, leave a note, or exchange information with another motorist.

Blankets and Tarps are versatile and extremely helpful in colder conditions.

Water, Emergency Food, and a Radio are a must for longer trips or dealing with a breakdown in winter.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

ACT Test in February: Registration Strategy and Tips

When you register for the ACT test date held in February each year, there are a few tips that you need to keep in mind. I am constantly asked by parents what is the best month to take the ACT and what is the strategy for taking it more than one time. With that in mind, let's take a look at the Do's and Don'ts.

Why the February ACT Test Dates are Ideal

The biggest advantage of taking the ACT test in February is that you have the Christmas break to study and you have plenty of time after getting your score report to study for a retake on the June test date.

If you are taking the ACT for the first time in February, you should really prepare yourself by at least taking a full-blown practice test before that date. Just the familiarity with taking the full 3 1/2 hour test once before will help improve your score.

Retaking the ACT Test on the June Test Date

About three weeks after you take the ACT in February, you will receive your score report. The thing to do is to look past your "composite score" and focus on the English and Math sub-scores.

These will tell you exactly where you can focus your studying efforts to quickly bring up your score. "Just studying everything" is a very poor strategy that ensures you will work a lot harder than you have to.

Consider an ACT Prep Course

A very good strategy to increase your score over what you got on the February ACT test is to find a short, economical ACT prep course that will allow you to zero in on the exact areas where you need the most help. This will give you the quickest boost to your score.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Striking the Right Notes to a Successful Career in Music Production and Engineering

Music Production and Engineering (MP & E) is one of the fastest growing fields today with application in almost all aspects of society. Films and theatre, pivotal Indian institutions, demand music specialists for almost every step of production; and practically every Indian firm has acoustic needs - to establish a brand theme tune, for advertisements, as back ground music for corporate events, to play in foyers, etc. - fulfilled only by those knowledgeable in the field of music.

What does it mean to be a music production engineer?

We all know what it means to be an engineer: have an aptitude for science, a strong hold on mathematics, be on top of technology trends, and you're already on your way! But now a days, engineering is becoming merely an undergraduate stamp to put on your résumé, a stepping stone to a further and higher ambition.

Using engineering principles and applying the "engineer's mind," MP&E is that field which combines science and creativity. People involved in MP&E use aesthetics, creativity, and technical knowledge to create a musical production. In short, music production engineers are those involved in every step leading up to the creation of a musical recording. MP&E is cross-disciplinary, using engineering and production techniques to adapt to the music industry's rapidly changing technology and evolving trends.

So is it for me?

Can you pick out harmonies and instruments while hearing a musical track? Can you imagine how various instruments come together to create music? Do you just plain love music and have a knack for science at the same time? Then MP&E may be your thing! However, do beware of a common misconception: just loving to listen to musicis different from 'knowing' music. Most colleges abroad recommend at least two years of intense study of music, including a sound theoretical background, before you join a course in music production. Classical music (Western, Carnatic or Hindustani) tends to have a strong focus on the formation and composition of music, a prerequisite in the composition of sound, so being a student of one of these forms of music is a must.

How can I prepare myself to be in MP & E?

However, there's more to this field then just being a virtuoso instrumentalist or vocalist! As a high-schooler, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself for a career in the music industry. Intern at local recording studios in your area if you are interested in seeing real technology at work. Try to get involved in bands and ensemble playing to experience the fundamentals of team work in a musical setting. Try recording and tracking music using the freeware from trusted publishers such as Sony and Audacity that is available online. It's all about showing initiative, as no class can teach you more than you can learn by trial and error. Did you know that YouTube is one of the biggest platforms of amateur musicians around the world? Embrace the musical side of social networking!

Where can I study MP&E?

MP&E has tremendous scope abroad as well as in India. However, the educational facilities and programmes offered vary greatly due to the demand for courses. One thing is for sure: there's never a lack of options!

Studying MP&E in India

Undergraduate degrees: In India, due to there being few colleges specialising in music, one option would be to do a B.Tech in acoustical /sound engineering, with a dual-major in management studies. The Indian colleges which offer such undergraduate degrees include several large institutes -IIT, NIT, and BITS Pilani. The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune also offers courses in sound engineering. With this training, you can either directly jump into your career with internships or continue your education with an M.Tech in Acoustical Engineering or an MBA.

Diploma courses: Once you complete your B.Tech, you would be well advised to augment your knowledge and education by taking diploma or certificate courses in specific areas in order to jumpstart your career. Several specialised small colleges such as the Sound Engineering Academy (SEA), Kerala, the Audiophile Institute of Sound Engineering, Kerala, the Muzik Lounge School of Audio Technology, Chennai, and the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) institute, Mumbai, offer diploma and certificate programmes specialising in studio work. This is supplementary to your undergraduate degree. You can choose to take courses in a variety of areas, including:

• Diploma in Sound Engineering and Sound Recording: This is generally a one year (two semester) course, taken full time.

• Certificate in Sound Recording: 6 month course

• Certificate in Live Sound: 3 month course

• Certificate in Pro-recording: 2 months

Studying MP&E abroad

Undergraduate degrees: Abroad, MP&E is often offered as a separate four or five year course at the undergraduate level. A prerequisite is to have formal education in physics and mathematics. Scholarships are often awarded to those who show proficiency either in vocalability or instrumentals, and also demonstrate a clear interest in, and knack for, music. The great thing about MP&E and acoustical engineering is that it's a viable option in several reputed universities. Indiana University, Texas State University, and John Hopkins University, for example, offer very interesting undergraduate programmes in MP&E.

Diploma courses: There are also small private schools in the US that offer diploma and certificate courses in MP&E that can be taken in a short period of time, after your undergraduate degree, similar to those diplomas available in India. Here are a few specialised colleges for music production and engineering:

• SAE Institute: The SAE Institute is one of the largest audio engineering colleges in the world, with campuses in 23 countries (including India - in Mumbai, as mentioned earlier). The full-time programme spans nine months, while the part-time takes twice as long. Scholarships are available as well.

• Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences: Located in Tempe, Arizona (USA) this college has only 12 students per class, enhancing the overall learning experience. The programme lasts for 42 weeks and scholarships are available as well.

• McNally Smith College of Music: Looking for a college with a lot of options, reputed staff, and a larger student body? This Minnesota, USA based college may be the right fit.

• Institute of Production and Recording: Yet another Minnesota college, this institute provides rigorous course work and classes to efficiently train you for immediate job placement after earning a bachelors' degree in audio engineering.

Do keep in mind that MP&E is one of those majors with hands-on practical training. It requires constant interaction with musicians, producers, and engineers.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Examples of Bad Writing That Got Published Anyway

Thus, it would seem reasonable that shortening of 10 cm at skeletal maturity or predicted shortening of this amount when the child reaches adulthood would be sufficient to consider Syme amputation.

That was published. What does it mean? Well, you have to stop and think about it, don't you? Break it up into phrases. Shift some things around in your mind. Presumably your mind will reach a conclusion similar to:

A Syme amputation should be considered for a shortening or predicted shortening of 10 cm at skeletal maturity.
I don't think the reader should have to work that hard.

Here's another.

If the organism demonstrates to be a staph on the gram stain, one may consider drilling the femoral neck for prophylactic decompression as this may be secondary to a metaphyseal osteomyelitis.
That's nice. Say it three times fast. Basically, it's a little if... then statement. Very useful to the medical profession. If you see this symptom, then you do that procedure. Why make that so hard to figure out?

If the gram stain shows staphylococci, consider drilling the femoral neck to drain the metaphyseal abscess.
That's better.

Nathaniel Hawthorne never did any scientific writing that I know about, but do you know what he did write? "Easy reading is damn hard writing."

I like that better than I do his novels and short stories. Here's something Hawthorne didn't write:

It has been suggested that the utilization of surgical intervention be deferred until attenuation of the infectious symptomatology.

It has been suggested that... ? I call those "weasel words." Delete them. Always. Also, teach your word processor how to replace "utilize" with "use." But you know what? In this case, we can do even better than that.

LaRocca recommends that surgery be delayed if the patient has an infection.
That's better. Or if you'd rather not dump the responsibility on your good buddy LaRocca because the patient died, try:

Surgery should be delayed if the patient has an infection.
That'll work.

George Orwell noted that good writing is like a window pane. Here's an author who needs a big ol' shot of Windex:

It is common for the need to voluntarily evacuate the pouch to occur on one occasion nightly; more frequent defecation interfering with the patient's sleep has not been encountered in our continent patients.
Thirty-three words. That's bad.

Patients who are continent need only empty their stomach pouches once each night.
Thirteen words. That's good.

I refer to long-winded passive-voice writing that leaves readers wondering "What does that mean?" as speed bumps. You're cruising along at a nice steady pace, reading something, and BAM you've got to stop or slow down. Double back. Sort out the meaning that the author hid because of laziness, incompetence, or unclear thinking.

In writing, speed bumps are bad. Will the reader start reading again, or will he put down your article and go do something else?

Does this author even care? Is he even trying? Make an Acquisitions Editor wonder that enough times and you won't have a reader, because you won't get published at all.

It kinda nags at me that these were actually published, by the way. We've got a bad case of don't-care-itis to treat. Here's another symptom:

The study confirmed the hypothesis that clinical instructors of undergraduate medical students would choose instructional techniques limiting active student involvement in patient care activities when faced with problematical situations.
When I gave this lecture to undergraduate medical students in Thailand, they should've all known what that sentence meant because they were experiencing it. But I didn't always give them time to "translate" the bad English into good English before I blurted out the answer.

Medical teachers of undergraduates tend not to let students look after difficult patients.
Yeah, my examples lean heavily toward medicine, because I lectured for so long at Chiang Mai University's teaching hospital. But my examples and my message apply to all scientific writing.

Remember when I said you should read your writing aloud? One good reason for that is, if you do, you'll automatically simplify the sentences as you go. That's good.

For the other reason, I'm going to detour briefly into fiction.

"I'm coming," he ejaculated.
There's no way you could read that aloud without bursting into laughter. Then you'd delete it from your manuscript and make the world a better place.

Finally, let's detour briefly to the US government. The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires that government documents are written in "plain language" which is defined as "writing that is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience."

So what I'm teaching you here isn't just a good idea. It's the law.

 From the Department of Health and Human Services:

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a half hour or more of moderate physical activity on most days, preferably every day. The activity can include brisk walking, calisthenics, home care, gardening, moderate sports exercise, and dancing.
That was changed to:

Do at least 30 minutes of exercise, like brisk walking, most days of the week.
A few examples were sacrificed, but the meaning is the same and it's certainly easier to understand.

After notification of NMFS, this final rule requires all CA/OR DGN vessel operators to have attended one Skipper Education Workshop after all workshops have been convened by NMFS in September.
That's nice. I wonder what it means.

Vessel operators must attend a skipper education workshop before commencing fishing.
Okay. Thanks.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

NEW: Do Spirits Age? (Psychic Medium FAQ)

Psychic FAQ: Do Spirits Age or do they stay the same age as they were when they passed away?

One of the most common (and controversial) spiritual questions that psychic mediums are asked has to do with the evolution of spirit after death. Do they continue to grow, mature and evolve in the afterlife... or do we simply stop, and continue on in a frozen state of being as we were when we passed from this life into the next?

This question comes up MOST frequently as it pertains to people who see and speak to people they've loved and lost in this life, as many find that someone who crossed over in a sick or aged or diseased state will appear younger, healthier and happier when they "visit", often looking 20 or 30 years younger than they did when they crossed.

As a matter of fact, in some cases... they aren't even recognizable to the person who sees their "ghost" or spirit - especially in the cases of very young children who report seeing a grandparent from a picture taken in their youth! (as was a case a reader recently shared with us where their 6 year old said - "that is the man who visits me when I go to sleep... pointing to a newly discovered family picture of his grandather taken when he was a 30 year old man... and NOT the 82 year old who passed over from Alzheimer's many years later")

The answer, from a psychic medium perspective is interesting, inspiring and can vary a bit depending on what each medium believes:

Some psychic mediums believe that spirits "choose" how they want to appear based on their own sense of spiritual self.
Others believe that the way the spiritual world "works" is such that a spirit will appear in the way that provides the most comfort, help and VALIDATION for the person who is still living... to help them recognize and realize it is actually a genuine experience.
Most mediums say this in my experience - and certainly, I think the evidence bears this out. (e.g. - it's usually a combination of what the spirit WANTS to look like as they appear, as well as the most powerful way that conveys genuine recognizable proof that they are real as well to the person having the experience)
Of course, there are lots of different thoughts and perspectives on what happens to our soul or spirit when we pass on, and how (or if!) we "age" depends a bit on lots of other factors that there are not easy answers for at all.

For example?

Does time exist as we know it to be here?

(most psychics and mediums and indeed... many spiritual and even scientific minded spiritual researchers believe that time itself is NOT something that exists once we are released from the limitations of human sensory experience)

Do we have bodies when we pass over... or, are we beings of light, thought and energy that have no physical form at all?

The truth is, as unsatisfying as this may be to those who want there to be only 1 truth... the true nature of reality, and your authentic spiritual self, is much more complex and more wonderful than most simple answers would want you to believe.

There is ONLY real way to know for sure is to have your own experience with spirit, to seek out your own truth, and by talking, interaction and challenging genuine psychic or medium that you trust to offer answers that resonate with YOU!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Flatulent Ghost Stories

Those of you among my reading audience who are frail of heart or who are disturbed by vivid descriptions of supernatural events involving the ghosts of smelly insane murderers, talk show host phantoms and gay wedding planner apparitions may want to skip this article. Fair warning to all - It is my intention to use the razor sharp writing skills and clever literary techniques that we professional writers have been given by the divine grace of God to scare the poop out of you. What you are about to read may alter your perception of reality or at the very least force you to sleep with a kitten on your head. Here are true ghost stories that are so horrific that I urge all of you not to eat your fingers off (or other body appendages) in pure terror as these tales unfold before your unbelieving eyes. Read on if you dare!

The Flatulent Ghost of Piggly Manor

In the small village of Eddington, England, there is a stately manor home that sits atop a small hill surrounded by grey, treeless moors. Or perhaps the manor home sits upon a grey tree in a small moor, surrounded by a stately hill - I get confused that way sometimes. Either way I expect you to cooperate in your reading and imagine the scene as quite dreary and unsettling. This imposing estate has the aristocratic name of Piggly Manor. Overnight guests at this manor have reported many frightening encounters with a apparition so vile and so unbearable to witness that many guests doubt their sanity after their encounter. These guests have all become the disgusted victims of The Flatulent Ghost of Piggly Manor.

Guests to the manor home report being on the verge of sleep, when suddenly a foul odor roughly equivalent in power to the combined farts of 25 gaseous bulldogs fills the room. After initially blaming and pushing their innocent spouses out of the bed, the guests are startled to see an eerie light begin to fill the room. The bewildered guests then hear the unmistakable sounds of footsteps and butt toots coming up the deserted hallway to their room door. Suddenly the door is thrown open and "It" enters the room.

Peering out from under their bedcovers, manor guests report seeing a grossly overweight English gentleman in a dressing gown, float through the door to their room holding a candle and a copy of the London Times under his arm. The portly apparition hurries to the bathroom while emitting loud and noxious flatulence, pulls up his dressing gown and sits down on the porcelain throne - without even having the common decency to close the door. He begins to read a news story in the London Times describing a postman who humorously delivered mail to a haberdashery in Darby that was meant to be sent to the Queen. The ghost begins to laugh fiendishly at the delightfully funny story. To the horror of the disbelieving witnesses, the huge ghost next proceeds to engage in a series of bathroom waste elimination processes that assault their senses in every way possible.

Farts louder than an atomic explosion, and smells more horribly disgusting than a room full of skunks with poor hygiene fill the room. The nasty ghost continues to sit on the toilet calmly reading his copy of The London Times as his odor pollution fills the nauseous guest's bedroom. After five minutes of this rude and obnoxious behavior, the Flatulent Ghost is finally done. In a final act of behavioral completely outside of the social norms, the apparition turns to the terrified room occupants, wishes them a good night and floats from the room, WITHOUT flushing the toilet. Guests or hotel staff members are left with the unnerving job of flushing ghost poop down the toilet. Tidy Bowl - Extra Strength is highly recommended.

The Phantom of the Oprah

Although staff members were reportedly told not to discuss the matter in public, sources close to The Oprah Winfrey Show reveal that this treasured talk show was haunted for years by a mysterious creepy, phantom of the night. No, I am not talking about Dr. Phil. I am talking about a masked ghostly figure who would appear suddenly backstage or in the rafters of the theater to terrorize guests and staff members of the show.

The first encounter with The Phantom of the Oprah occurred when frequent guest, Sean Connery, reported that an intruder in a black cape and mask had suddenly appeared in his dressing room. The intruder pranced around the room making noises like a chicken and then told the former James Bond that he liked him in "Thunderball", but never cared for "Goldfinger". The Phantom explained that he found that movie to be poorly written and derivative. He then pulled out a flyswatter and hit Mr. Connery's pet poodle on the butt. He ran from the room and disappeared into the dark backstage rafters. It was reported that Sean Connery was shaken, but not stirred.

A few weeks later, Oprah had her own "aha moment" with the Phantom. Always a true professional, Oprah was preparing for her upcoming show that day on "dangerous dieting", by making herself throw up after eating an entire cow for lunch. Just as she was about to stick her fingers down her throat for a second round of vomiting, she felt a gloved hand grab her wrist. She turned around to see a masked apparition, standing behind her. Too afraid to even speak, Oprah listened in disbelief as The Phantom asked if she had any hot taco sauce he could borrow. She stammered "no", and the ghost politely thanked her, left the room and caught a taxi to Taco Bell.

The final known victim of the Phantom of the Oprah was movie star Robin Williams. Staff members were shaving Mr. Williams back hair to donate to one of Oprah's cancer-victim-hair-loss charities when an eerie light filled the room. Williams and staff members were amazed to see The Phantom emerge from a closet dressed in a cucumber costume and doing an impersonation of a pickle. Unable to resist the zany fun, comedian Williams joined The Phantom in a ten minute impromptu exchange of bad puns, impersonations and one-liners that had staff members rolling on the floor. After the ghostly encounter, Williams and The Phantom exchanged telephone numbers and promised to get together for lunch at Taco Bell sometime.

The Gay Ghost of Sigfreid's Bridal Salon

Brides shopping for bridal gowns and making wedding plans at Sigfreid's Bridal Salon in New York City have repotted many scary experiences at the store - none of which are the result of pre-wedding jitters. This classy wedding shop has the distinction of having the first openly gay ghost in haunting history. Store patrons have reported frequent visits by the well-dressed ghost of a former store employee who was tragically crushed by a bull that was deftly maneuvering through the salon's china shop.

Always quick with a lovely compliment or scornful rebuke of a bride's wedding gown choices, the Gay Ghost loves to appear and sit next to bridal salon customers as brides show off potential wedding dresses on the store's runway platform. His advice and comments are wonderfully witty and charming. "I'm so sorry, but "green" is not the right shade for you! It makes the color of your eyes disappear quicker than Mexicans when they see a flashing blue light;" "You must be joking me, that dress is cut so low, I see more boobs than in a Three Stooges movie;" and finally "That dress is lovely, but if you want to fit into it - no more Taco Bell."

Paranormal investigative teams that have spent the night in the store to document the haunting, have been able to collect quite a bit of information about the gay afterlife from the talkative and friendly ghost. He has informed investigators and mediums that life as a gay ghost is generally pretty good although it is difficult for gay ghosts to be accepted as true horrific apparitions of the night. He feels that demons, headless poltergeists and other ethereal phantoms do not take him seriously due to the effeminate nature of his haunting efforts. As an example of his frustration he recalled a recent haunting in which he said to his intended human haunting victim "Boo! For god's sake, please put a coaster under that drink on the table". Laughter ensued. The Gay Ghost is currently participating in afterlife group therapy with Liberace, J Edgar Hoover and Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Friday, June 15, 2012

How to Cultivate a Discipline From Childhood?

Self-discipline is a vital quality to have if you want to be successful in the things you attempt during life. What we often don't realize, however, is that we learn the skills for self-discipline during childhood. Here are some ways that you can cultivate personal discipline from your childhood experiences.

Take the carrot and stick approach

As a child, you were no doubt rewarded for good behavior and punished for bad behavior. That's not to say you should try to ground yourself - but do mentally set yourself some consequences for certain actions. It seems like a strange suggestion, but many of us have used a swear jar at some point, so it's not at all as strange as it seems.

This is a great tool to use if you're looking for some motivation to complete a certain task - just tell yourself that if you get something done by a certain time, then you can have a treat. Your treat can be just a break, a bar of chocolate, or a night out. It's all about whatever will work to motivate you.

If you have a large project or task that needs completing, you may have something that you plan to buy yourself if you get it done. Or, if you have a weight loss goal, then maybe there's a dress you want to fit into (whether you plan to buy it, or already own it). It could really help you to stick pictures of this object you want around your house. Seeing this motivates you - this is why teachers and parents use reward charts and stickers with young children.

Try and keep unhealthy behaviors and bad habits to a minimum

Just how as a child you were probably only allowed candy as a treat, and under parental supervision, you should limit your caffeine, alcohol and food intake to a sensible and healthy level.

Have a set routine

Children have bed-times for a reason - to get the best out of yourself you need plenty of sleep, and to avoid the stress of rushing around in the morning. You also need to have time to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast. Try and stick to set bed-times and mealtimes and you will be functioning at your very best in no time at all.

Pause, breathe, and let go of your anger

Remember when you fell out with another child at school, and you were forced to shake hands and make friends with them again, even though you didn't want to? Although it may have felt pointless at the time because you may have felt that you were simply putting on an act to get a teacher off your case, going through this process probably allowed your anger to dissipate.

There's no need to go and bear hug someone you're angry with, but it may be better just to decide to let it go, or if there's an issue that needs addressing then give yourself some time to calm down before you try to talk to them. Otherwise, you may just end up shouting, and that's no good for anyone. Once the issue has been dealt with, it's time to forgive and forget.

Try, try, and try again

When you're growing up, there are plenty of things that you can't do first time. Think about a toddler first learning to walk, and then a child learning to read, and ride a bike. These things take time, practice and perseverance. If you give up as soon as you can't do something or find it too difficult, then you won't get very far.

Read and learn

Think of a child's natural inquisitive nature, and how much they learn from their own curiosity. Recreate this in adulthood - soak up as much knowledge as you can. Not only will it make you feel good about yourself and therefore help you perform better in your daily life, it will help you to reach the top of your game.

If you need to study something but it seems rather boring, then just try to see it as the opportunity of learning something new, that could prove to be useful at some point in the future.

Be punctual and conscientious

These are skills that you will learn during your school years, and hopefully had perfected by your mid-teens. Think about having to turn up to classes on time, meet deadlines and get every assignment up to the best standard that you can make it - then apply these principles to every aspect of your adult life.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fitting Education In a Busy Work Schedule

A sound education is of utmost importance in order to productively participate in the workings of the corporate world. This is the prime reason why executives everywhere are waking up to the need of brushing up their education and skills in order to rise higher in their work environment. This need is being met by a number of online courses that have been set up by various prestigious institutes. More and more professionals from different domains and walks of life are joining in for these courses and aiding their skill set with fresh knowledge.

It is vital to keep supplementing one's knowledge with fresh perspectives. The industry is dynamic and ever evolving. Things and scenarios change at the drop of a hat. A well versed skill set goes a long way in helping out with the technicalities of the problems faced by the professionals in their day to day corporate life. All these factors contribute to the importance of enhancing one's qualifications. The format and features that are offered by different executive programs available online vary, while they are all same in essence. They provide professional learning at reduced costs and time investments and are the most convenient modes of earning a viable professional degree.

Regardless of all the plus points that an executive education brings to your career, people shy away from going in for such a course because they face the difficulty of somehow adjusting a class in their busy schedule. It is often seen that professionals, despite wanting to resume further studies, grapple with the problem of time management, and cannot fit education in their tight schedules. Also, another hurdle is the family responsibility that one needs to assume at some point of time or the other. All this is taken care of by online education programs. With more and more esteemed colleges joining the league and providing solutions for professionals so that they are able to pursue education without leaving the comfort of their jobs. Since the participants of the program are from a working environment, special care is taken to schedule the classes in a manner such that they fit in everyone's routine and not be a hassle for any participant.

The project work and assignments are assigned to the study groups in a manner such that the group can easily divide the tasks and responsibilities and delegate work to each member keeping in mind his / her work schedule. The participants of an Executive MBA program learn how to manage their work and personal life in a better manner, in addition to the course work. They routinely supervise the impact that their professional life has on their personal life and effectively set aside time for their family responsibilities.