Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dear all readers : HAPPY NEW YEAR

HAPPY NEW YEAR................

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Globally mobile lifestyle......

The innovative designs of three Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) students are included in flat knitting machine builder Stoll's current Trend Collection for Autumn/Winter 2009-10, titled Nomads.These designs are the result of a competition held at FIT during the winter 2008 semester by Stoll America Knitting Machinery in the U.S. and Stoll's Germany-based Fashion and Technology department. The competition required FIT students to address the challenges of global mobility by designing garments that have multiple uses and function in a variety of climates. Stoll looked for designs with the sophistication necessary to provide its customers with up-to-date, innovative pieces that would also showcase the capabilities of Stoll's machines. From submissions of sketches by ten students, four designs by three students were selected for production. Casey Pyle, who graduated in 2008 with a degree in Fashion Design, created a catsuit that converts into a shoulder bag and a sweater that becomes a backpack. Hye Jin Choi, a 2008 Textile Development and Marketing graduate, designed a blouse that converts into a dress. Min Kwon, who is expected to graduate in 2009 with a degree in Fashion Design, contributed a top that can be worn as a skirt. Stoll provided both the expertise of its knitwear specialists and its extensive technology to help the three students turn their sketches into garments. The Nomads Trend Collection for Autumn/Winter 2009-10 can be downloaded and fabricated by Stoll customers. Jorg Hartmann, head of Fashion and Technology at Stoll, said, "We were very excited to see that a close cooperation between industry and education turned out to be equally beneficial. The students experienced a unique chance to work with knitwear specialists, and in exchange Stoll received valuable creative input from upcoming designers who challenged the technical capabilities of our equipment." "The winners of the Stoll's Trend Collection Autumn/Winter 2009-10 competition had the unique opportunity to collaborate with Stoll's development team in putting their designs into work," said Ann Denton, assistant professor, Textile Development and Marketing at FIT. "For a student pursuing a career in fashion, the experience of working side by side with industry professionals is extraordinarily valuable." Stoll has been working in close cooperation with FIT for over two decades as part of the company's global strategy to support educational institutions. "The Stoll-FIT collaboration has created a wealth of opportunities for FIT students," Denton added. "Our Fashion Design, Textile Development and Marketing, and Production Management students receive formal classroom training on Stoll M1 workstations in their knit classes. As part of their coursework, they develop a wide variety of fabrics and garments for production on our Stoll CMS machinery." In addition, many FIT students attend demonstrations of Stoll M1 and CMS equipment, allowing them to become increasingly familiar with the technology.

Stoll also has donated machinery and software to FIT's knitting lab, given talks at the college, trained faculty on software, provided technical assistance to students, and loaned a large library of samples for students to use as inspiration. "In the fields of knit design and product development, creativity alone is not sufficient," said Denton. "A strong command of knitting technology is also necessary, and FIT's ability to train students on state-of-the-art Stoll equipment is key to building this technical foundation. "When a creative individual has sophisticated technical skills, that person's design work can be tremendously exciting. In an increasingly competitive global economy, innovative design and product development is critically important to the fashion business. Stoll's longstanding collaboration with FIT helps build the skills our students need for career success in this challenging environment," Denton continued. Stoll is an international leading manufacturer of flat knitting machines and pattern preparation systems that looks back on a long and rich tradition. Now in its 135th year, the firm is owned by the fourth generation of the Stoll family. Today, Stoll employs a workforce of approximately 1,000 around the world. Of these, approximately 750 are based in Reutlingen, Germany. Flat knitting machine production takes place exclusively in Germany.Even the company's computers and control systems are developed and manufactured by Stoll. Overall, Stoll operates in more than 70 countries around the world and has sales offices in France, Italy, Japan, India, and the U.S. A Chinese subsidiary, the Stoll Fashion and Technology International Center, has been established in Shanghai. FIT, a leader in professional career-oriented education, is a selective college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York (SUNY), with 44 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS degrees. The college serves more than 10,000 students in such diverse areas as fashion design, advertising and marketing communications, toy design, home products development, and fashion merchandising management.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How to Stop Living from Pay to Pay

just can't seem to get clear of your bills?

.Earn OK money but never seem to have any left over?

.Need help to get your debts off your back?
.Looking for a book on how to fix up your money life that talks to you and not at you?

.Well, you've got the right book!

In Greg Smith's latest money masterpiece you'll find ripping yarns, valuable how to's and plenty of helpful advice on how to get you out of the pay to pay cycle.

In fact, this book is just like having Greg sit down right next to you and chatting with you one to one about your money issues. He writes the way he talks, so get prepared for a good old chin wag and easy to read a book that you feel like you are actually having a conversation with. Not only is it relevant to you, it's down to earth, informative and at times funny.

Greg has written this book straight from the heart, as he knows all too well how it is to live from pay to pay as he candidly shares his story over the last ten years - showing that anyone (no matter what their income) can fall into the pay to pay cycle. As you will discover the key is to know what to do to get yourself out. And that's where this book comes in. Here you'll discover how to build up a whole stack of knowledge that will tell you what to do and how to do it. Plus be inspired to build your confidence with money.

No more scrimping and scraping or going without just to make it to the next pay day. Simply follow the easy to understand and implement advice and you will very quickly master how to break that vicious pay to pay cycle.

This book is going to have a huge impact on your life as you'll :

• Discover the psychological and external factors that influence your approach to money and help you understand why you do what you do with your money.

• Get greater direction in your life (or get you back on track) by learning how to identify the sort of goals you want to achieve (be they personal, professional and financial). And then find out the all important keys to putting action plans into place to make things happen.

• Find a method of managing your money flows that suits your day to day lifestyle so that you finally get a good handle on where every cent is coming from and going. Sounds like fun huh? There are also online spreadsheets to make calculations easy.

• Work out whether you are a 'Drunken Sailor, Greedy Grabber, Therapist or Entertainer' when it comes to you Spending Mindsets and learn how to improve your spending patterns on food, clothing, shelter, education, health, to travel and entertainment.

• Knock over your debts in times frames you could have only dreamed of using Greg's 'Debt Buster Program.

• Reacquaint yourself with the fine art of saving and wealth accumulation and learn how to develop a set of passive income streams that will ultimately give you the freedom to one day say 'ta ta' to your boss (in the nicest possible way of course!).

• Learn how to deal with those Money Monsters (ie unexpected bills, fines, loss of jobs etc). and 7 Deadly Money Sins (greed, envy etc) that can destabilize your delicate money balance.

• Also learn how to keep a good paperwork system and build a solid money team to keep you on track and your finances in good working order. As Greg says "the more time you spend on your money the more money you will have to spend!"

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lifestyle fashion brand Stella McCartney announced their collaboration to develop and introduce a distinctive mobile advertising campaign

Millennial Media, Inc., the industry’s largest and fastest-growing mobile advertising networks company, and luxury lifestyle fashion brand Stella McCartney announced their collaboration to develop and introduce a distinctive mobile advertising campaign for holiday shoppers throughout North America. The campaign, which launches today, and continues through the end of January 2009, represents the fashion designer’s first foray into mobile marketing. In addition, the initiative plays a critical role in the company’s holiday-focused integrated marketing efforts, which also include print and online advertising, direct mail, in-store, point-of-purchase signage, channel marketing, and public relations programs. Created and implemented exclusively by Millennial Media, the campaign seeks to build awareness and consumer interest for the Stella McCartney spring and summer 2009 collections, while concurrently establishing a significant presence for the Stella McCartney brand on the mobile Web.The collections feature pieces with Stella McCartney’s signature style of sharp tailoring, natural confidence, and sexy femininity. The effort is specifically targeted at modern and style-conscious shoppers. “Stella McCartney is a luxury lifestyle brand, and this partnership, through a unique and unconventional campaign, is geared towards further strengthening the brand’s presence to a wider audience,” said Stella McCartney. “This initiative enables Stella McCartney to target, with a new approach, fashion consumers in the U.S., while also being true to the brand’s efforts in environmental responsibility since the campaign is digital and avoids any wastage.” “With in-market competition and global demand for luxury goods at unprecedented levels, the world’s most respected designers and luxury brands are recognizing that old-fashioned marketing tactics are no longer the most viable means of engaging target audiences, particularly in a world dominated by online and mobile device usage,” said Paul Palmieri, president and chief executive officer of Millennial Media, Inc.“As result, cutting-edge fashion houses such as Stella McCartney are readily embracing and committing to fresh, new initiatives, including mobile advertising, to strongly differentiate their brands and product lines from an increasingly-crowded field of luxury goods purveyors.""Moreover, mobile offers the added benefits of exceptional brand interaction and engagement through its ability to create distinctive, highly-personal user experiences, all of which other mediums cannot specifically offer to same extent.” For the launch of the campaign, a series of distinctive banner advertisements will be prominently placed on various mobile Web sites within Millennial Media’s premium mobile advertising network. This network is the largest in the U.S. with over three billion monthly impressions across more than 2,000 quality sites.

As consumers visit news and information sites on the mobile Web, they may click on any Stella McCartney banner to be immediately transported into an interactive fashion experience that closely replicates window shopping via a mobile device. In addition, the initiative offers shoppers an easy-to-use mobile store locator to pinpoint the closest Stella McCartney retail location, and a feature for subscribing to future news and information updates from the Stella McCartney brand. The primary product focus of the Stella McCartney business continues to be its successful core women’s ready-to-wear collection, but in recent years, the company has focused on putting in place the foundations for strategically important partnerships with specialists in their related domains. The company has also invested more heavily in the development of its accessories collections, while still respecting the brand’s principles to avoid use of leather and other animal products.


About Stella McCartney ..

Stella Nina McCartney" (born 13 September 1971) is an English fashion designer. She is the daughter of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and his first wife, rock photographer and animal rights activist Linda McCartney.

Early life
Stella McCartney was born in London, the second child of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney. She is named for her maternal great-grandmothers: both of Linda McCartney's grandmothers were named Stella. As a young girl, McCartney travelled the globe with her parents and their pop group Wings, along with her siblings: older half-sister Heather (who was legally adopted by Paul McCartney), older sister Mary, and younger brother James. According to her father, the name of Wings was inspired by Stella's difficult birth. As his daughter was being born by emergency caesarean section, Paul sat outside the operating room and prayed that she be born 'on the wings of an angel.' Wings toured from shortly after her birth in 1971 until 1980.
Despite their fame, the McCartneys wanted their children to lead as normal an existence as possible so Stella and her siblings attended the local state school in East Sussex. McCartney has said that while attending state school, she was a victim of bullying.
Stella McCartney became interested designing clothes at age 12, when she made her first jacket. Three years later, she interned for Christian Lacroix, working on his first fashion design collection, honing her skills on Savile Row for a number of years.
She studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the early 1990s. Her graduation collection in 1995 was modelled by friends and supermodels Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon and Kate Moss – for free – at the graduation runway show. The collection was shown to a song penned by her famous father, called 'Stella May Day.' The show made front-page news, and the entire collection was sold to Tokio, a London boutique. The designs were licensed to Browns, Joseph, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
In 1998 she designed her sister Mary's wedding dress for her wedding to television producer Alistair Donald.
As a strict vegetarian, McCartney does not use fur or leather in her designs and supports PETA. Some of McCartney's designs have text that elaborates on her 'no animal' policy; for example, one of her jackets for Adidas says, 'suitable for sporty vegetarians' on the sleeve. Her father is also known for supporting PETA by protesting against designers who use animal fur, and those who wear it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What color is Jewish music?

What color is Jewish music? Jewish musicians are gravitating towards African American music, but the underlying issues aren't so black and white.

In the last 2,As I was scrolling through the songs on my iPod the other day, I came to a personal epiphany. We Jews like African American music. I know this is nothing new. Where was I when jazz and the blues were new and big, or when rock and roll rose out of those jazz and blues cultures with plenty of Jewish musicians in the mix? Well, I wasn't born yet, so cut me a little slack. But this idea is two-fold: not only do we like black music, but Jewish musicians like playing black music. Sure, we dabble in other musical forms too, but the list of Jewish musicians who play what has traditionally been black music is long and impressive (think the Hip Hop Hoodios, So Called, Y-love, and the Beastie Boys).
Why does African American music appeal to us so much? It's possible we're tired of being seen as part of a non-descript white culture, or maybe we just like what we like (hip hop is popular and thriving; why wouldn't we like it?). But I'd be a disgrace to my Jewish upbringing if I didn't ask the underlying question: So what does it all mean?
Eric Goldstein, author of The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and the American Identity, has suggested that Jews are now fighting against what they once sought as if it were the Holy Grail. After centuries of trying and succeeding to integrate into the white American majority, we're now looking for ways to retain some separation by means of borrowing from black culture. Lucky for us, hip-hop is popular with mainstream America while still retaining an aura of the ethnic outsider. It's a little convenient, and perhaps a little superficial, that we can take our cultural vitamins from black music and then eat our dinner with the white American majority.
But it's more than that. Jews have a long and complex history with black music tracing back through the blues-infused melodies of Bob Dylan and Billy Joel, to the swing era's Artie Shaw, to jazz enthusiast and innovator Irving Mills (a big-band era precursor of today's Jewish hip-hop moguls and managers). Though many times the effects of these musicians have been positive, the road hasn't always been pretty.
In 1927, Al Jolson (born Al Yoelson) starred in the first "talkie" movie, The Jazz Singer, playing a cantor's son who wanted to sing jazz. Jews were still struggling then to assimilate and become an accepted part of the white majority, so performers like Jolson happily catered to WASP bigotry using blackface, vaudeville, and humor to entertain whites. Though these methods were certainly crass and insensitive in today's terms, Jolson was just a performer, doing what performers did at the time. Clearly he is just one example, but the complex issues involved with Jolson's performances mirror the complexity of the relationship between Jewish musicians and black music.
Jewish musicians rock for Chanukah
In the last 2,000 years or so, the library of Christmas carols, jingles and Kenny G lounge hits has grown into a vast and almost unnavigable collection of cheer.
But, hark, the creators of Chanukah hits are making a Maccabean effort to catch up. Come sundown tonight, when the holiday starts, you can be shuffling numbers from klezmer to comic on your iPod dock as you prepare for the eight-day celebration.
This season's repertoire got a boost thanks in part to "Lights: Celebrate Hanukkah Live in Concert." The performance, filmed in Los Angeles in late October, has been replaying on PBS stations around the country, and the soundtrack is for sale on iTunes.
Produced and hosted by Craig Taubman, "Lights" featured guests including the Klezmatics, "Jewish Pavarotti" Alberto Mizrahi and saxophonist Dave Koz, and it turned the spotlight on local favorites Josh Nelson and Michelle Citrin, Brooklyn-based musicians who've made waves with radio-ready Jewish-themed music that embraces pop styles without straying from its roots.
Citrin, in particular, has charmed fans and become a YouTube favorite to the tune of 1.2 million hits and counting. Last year, she introduced her online persona, Rosh Hashanah Girl, and followed up this spring with her post-Passover tune "20 Things to Do With Matzah."
In preparation for the holidays, she created a music video entitled "Pass the Candle," cutting together video clips submitted by fans to show a shamash candle being passed through about four dozen homes, as well as trips and a Hollywood vacation, before it ends up back in her hands to complete the lighting of her menorah.
"There are a lot of other Jewish-themed videos that we found inappropriate or like they're trying too hard or it's really kitschy," Citrin tells us of her work with collaborator Will Levin, an animator. "We were looking for the kind of song we could have in the background at a holiday party."
Indeed, for many listeners the phrase "Chanukah song" instantly calls to mind the off-color kitsch of Adam Sandler, but Citrin boasts plenty of pretty, plaintive tunes in addition to her online opuses.
Likewise, even a new CD from one member of a comic family comes with hauntingly beautiful selections. Erran Baron Cohen, older brother of "Borat" creator and star Sacha Baron Cohen, released his "Songs in the Key of Hanukkah" in November, an electronica-influ enced collection laced with world beats.
"The idea was to update everything and sort of remix it — we have Y-Love, a New York-based rapper, rapping in Yiddish," Cohen tells us.
"A Chanukah tune like 'Dreidel' is very cool now. It's got this hip-hop groove but also a gypsy kind of feel." Cohen included collaborators such as Israeli singer Yasmin Levy, who performs a sultry "Ocho Kandelikas" in Ladino, a language derived from Old Spanish and influenced by Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic.
The track netted a rave review from Sheryl Crow, who called it her personal fave. The only downside of this holiday music diaspora? With Chanukah music growing faster than ever, it can't be long before celebrities get in on the mix — generating massive backlash.
Producer Marc Ronson recently told Rolling Stone that he's dreaming up a Chanukah album with Amy Winehouse.
"She's got songs called, like, 'Kosher Kisses' and 'Alone Under the Mistletoe,' " Ronson said. "She was kind of [bleep]ing around, but I was like ... 'We should do something.' "

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Healthy Lifestyle Cuts Your Risk of Strokes Drastically

living a healthy lifestyle contributes to lower risks of contracting various serious illnesses, such as coronary heart disease, cancer and diabetes. But little had been proven about the link between healthy living and one’s risk of getting a stroke.This gap has been closed by the findings of a recent study conducted by the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health."This study shows that following a healthy lifestyle, which has been associated with up to 80 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease and 90 percent lower risk of diabetes, may also prevent more than half of ischemic strokes," said Dr. Stephanie E. Chiuve, leader of the study funded by the National Institutes of Health.Stroke – a major killer todayEach year, it is estimated that over 780,000 people in the United States alone suffer a stroke -- this works out to about one person every 40 seconds. Of this figure, about 600,000 are first-time occurrences.An ischemic stroke takes place when the blood supply to a part of the brain is reduced, and the affected brain tissue suffers dysfunction and necrosis. This could happen, for example, when a blood vessel becomes blocked. Ischemic strokes are the most common kind of stroke, with about 87% of all strokes estimated to be of this nature.When categorized separately from other cardiovascular diseases, strokes are the third highest killer in the United States today, behind cancer and heart disease.Details of Stroke StudyThis latest study, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, analyzed the living habits and health status of a total of 43,685 men as well as 71,243 women from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) and the Nurses’ Health Study respectively.The participants reported on their medical status and lifestyle factors every two years, with the males tracked from 1986 to 2002 and the females from 1984 to 2002. In the course of the respective periods, 994 men and 1,559 women suffered strokes, of which 600 and 853 respectively were ischemic strokes.In the study, a healthy or low-risk lifestyle was defined to contain the following elements:* maintenance of a healthy weight (body mass index less than 25);* at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day;* not smoking;* moderate drinking of alcohol; and* consumption of a relatively healthy diet, as indicated by a calculated healthy diet score. Some factors here include the consumption of good amounts of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, chicken and fish, as well as low amounts of trans fats and saturated fats.Findings of the StudyThe results of the study were quite astonishing. Men who met all five healthy lifestyle criteria were 69% less likely to suffer any type of stroke and 80% less likely to get an ischemic stroke as compared to those who did not meet any of the five criteria.For women, the corresponding figures were 79% for any type of stroke and 81% for ischemic stroke.Further, it was estimated by the researchers that 52% of ischemic strokes suffered by men, as well as 35% of all strokes suffered by this group, could have been avoided by following a healthy lifestyle.As for the women, the proportions of ischemic and total strokes which might have been prevented through healthy living were estimated to be 54% and 47% respectively.ConclusionAll in all, the findings of the study revealed that people who fit the definition of having a healthy lifestyle were about 80% less likely to get an ischemic stroke, as compared to those who did not meet any of the five mentioned criteria.This has led the study team to conclude that “a low-risk lifestyle that is associated with a reduced risk of multiple chronic diseases also may be beneficial in the prevention of stroke, especially ischemic stroke”.Living a healthy lifestyle and having a decreased risk of killer diseases –- this is a relationship which many of us would have been convinced of through common sense alone. Now, with the release of these findings, we will all have one more concrete and proven reason to embark on a healthier lifestyle

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Avoid overdosing on fruit cake and candy canes.

DOCTORS issuing Christmas revellers with a bizarre warning this year - to avoid overdosing on fruit cake and candy canes.
Australians have also been warned that fruit cake, cranberry sauce, candy canes and other Christmas foods are high in sugar and can be big contributors to tooth decay.
Hunter New England oral health clinical director Dr Lanny Chor said people not only ate more sugar but ate it more frequently during the Christmas period.
"Frequency is as bad as quantity because the constant sugar levels stop saliva from doing its job, which is keeping the right pH levels in the mouth,'' Dr Chor said.
"One of the problems with the Christmas cake, chocolate-coated peanuts, candy canes, glace cherries and champagne is that there is often a continual period of eating between Christmas and New Year, exposing teeth to continuous acid attacks.''
Recent World Health Organisation data showed Australians eat an average 63 kilograms of sugar each year - more than a kilogram a week.
"Over the Christmas period, eat sensibly, brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, especially before sleeping, and invest in looking after your teeth for the long term,'' Dr Chor said.
The Australia Medical Association said many Australians also associated heavy drinking with the festive season, but urged people to have a good time without putting their health at risk.
"Excess alcohol consumption is responsible for billions of dollars worth of illness and tragedy in Australia each year,'' AMA president Dr Rosanna Capolingua said.
"Alcohol abuse is the cause of many chronic health problems including cardiovascular disease, obesity, liver disease, and brain damage, and can lead to serious health risks such as acute alcohol poisoning.
"In addition to what it's doing to your body, excessive drinking can be the cause of all kinds of accidents, and no one wants to spend any time in a hospital emergency department.''

Blogger to global novelist-Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami: From blogger to global novelist
Her latest novel won Japan's top prize for new fiction writers. Kawakami is one of an emerging group of young Japanese women writers.
Mieko Kawakami hops off her bicycle outside Tokyo's Mamehiko cafe and heads in for some iced tea and conversation. Casually dressed in a jean vest and flouncy skirt, she appears unrushed, despite being one of the most sought-after young authors in Japan this year. When a young man recognizes her, she happily chats briefly with him about the play he is writing.

Ms. Kawakami says that writing hit her life suddenly – much like a traffic collision. A singer and songwriter, she turned to poetry and blogging– not unusual in a country that leads the world with 1.5 million daily blog postings, and whose authors have been adept at parlaying Internet exposure into literary success.

Her first novel was formed from her blogs. Her fourth, "Breasts and Egg," was tapped for the Akutagawa Prize, Japan's top award for new fiction writers. That put her in the company of such internationally renowned authors as Haruki Murakami, whose work includes "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" and "Norwegian Wood."

Kawakami, whose work has been translated into Korean, German, and Chinese (but not yet English), is part of an edgy and unconventional generation of female writers who are tackling women's stories of marriage, divorce, friendship – and finding a receptive audience at home and abroad.

Interest in their work could be a small silver lining of Japan's "lost decade," whose economic doldrums upended long-standing social roles. In the process, says Rolands Kelts, author of "Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.," another phenomenon developed: women unencumbered by traditional expectations and eager to tell stories once sidelined by establishment culture. They were also adept at tapping into new technologies – such as blogs and cellphones – to share them.

"A lot of what these women write feels fresh to Japanese readers and to readers around the world, who have seen Japanese women as eternally submissive and docile," says Mr. Kelts.

Indeed, says Masako Honda, professor emeritus of gender studies at Tokyo's Ochanomizu University, "Japanese women are writing good novels, and they're more aware of being accepted internationally. They created something different and succeeded at it."

In Kawakami's case, her edgy use of dialect made her blog stand out. "I grew up in Osaka, and I use very casual, local words," she says. "The style is difficult to translate – and to understand." But, she notes, she read books by J.D. Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut and understood them. "That is the magic that language has."

Motoyuki Shibata, a literature professor at the University of Tokyo, says her language reminds him of rock, or rap, because of its speed – but that her subjects are classical. "One of her most conspicuous qualities is her willingness to deal with big questions, such as what constitutes the self, what kind of relationship the self has with the world," he says.

As her work extends its reach, Kawakami speculates that her willingness to sharply challenge traditional perspectives is attractive. She laments that people don't plumb the depths of what's happening around them. "I'm here to shake that up," she says. "I use my novel as a tool to give others the opportunity to think about things they had never thought about."
Mieko Kawakami (born August 29, 1976) is a Japanese singer and writer from Osaka. She was awarded the 138th Akutagawa Prize for promising new writers of serious fiction (2007) for her novel Chichi to Ran ("Breasts and Egg"). Kawakami has released three albums and three singles as a singer. "Chichi to Ran" is her second novel. It describes the I concept and the relation between the heart and the body through three female characters.

"Singer Kawakami wins Akutagawa Prize" – Tokyograph (January 17, 2008) (Retrieved on January 26, 2008)
"Professional singer wins coveted Akutagawa literary award" – Mainichi – Daily News (January 17, 2008) (Retrieved on January 26, 2008)
"Akutagawa, Naoki prizes awarded" – The Japan Times (January 17, 2008) (Retrieved on January 26, 2008)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Future Fashioning ...

Jasper Conran, one of the fashion authorities lending weight to the cause, spring/summer 2009...
JASPER CONRAN, Mulberry and Savile Row tailors Henry Poole are among the leading fashion authorities lending their support to a new campaign encouraging the government to invest more money into the UK's fashion colleges, following reported concerns that colleges were producing graduates who lack basic skills.

As a luxury goods manufacturer, craftsmanship is what sets us apart from the high street. There used to be a big pool of skilled labour, which has gone now," Ian D Scott, supply director at Mulberry, tells INDEPENDENT.CO.UK. "If you take a Mulberry Bayswater bag, there are three hours of craftmanship in it. You have someone sewing, another inking the seams, somebody riveting: these things are not made on a production line." Linda Florance, chief executive of Skillfast UK, the sector skills council for fashion and textiles which, as a result of these worries has set up the Behind The Seams, a campaign designed to highlight the need for craftsmanship in the UK fashion industry, explains: "If graduates do not have pattern-cutting, computer-aided design and production skills, they can't put their creative ability to use in the industry. We have heard from students who have paid up to £10,000 in course fees, yet have to pay again for private lessons, just to learn the basic skills that will make them employable."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Bangladesh is one of the few countries in South Asia, which remains to be explored. Bangladesh has a delicate and distinctive attraction of its own to offer and it is definitely not a tourist haunt like Nepal or India. Bangladesh is like a painter's dream come true with a rich tapestry of colors and texture. The traditional emphasis of the tourist trade has always been on the material facilities offered by a country rather than on its actual charms. This may be a reason why Bangladesh has seldom been highlighted in the World's tourist maps.It's a land of enormous beauty, hundreds of serpentine rivers, crystal clear water lakes surrounded by ever green hills, luxuriant tropical rain forests, beautiful cascades of green tea gardens, world's largest mangrove forest preserved as World Heritage, home of the Royal Bengal Tiger and the wild lives, warbling of birds in green trees, wind in the paddy fields, abundance of sunshine, world's longest natural sea beach, rich cultural heritage, relics of ancient Buddhist civilizations and colorful tribal lives, - Bangladesh creates an unforgettable impression of a land of peace. Bangladesh Visit You'll appreciate our culture and the environment. These are not simply sightseeing excursions, but real-time learning experiences. Enjoy an ideal blend of adventure and exploration with comfort and relaxation. Here you find that you are not alone. With us, any place in Bangladesh is a home away from home.
HISTORY: Bangladesh lies on the eastern fringe of the Indian Sub-Continent, and its people have always been great lovers of freedom. As a result, the area has nearly always enjoyed a fair degree of sovereignty during its entire history, sometimes as one state and sometimes as several, with only perfunctory allegiance to the central ruling powers. It became a part of the British Empire in the 18th century. In 1947, when the subcontinent was divided into Pakistan and India, it became a part of Pakistan. When the Bengali nation separated from Pakistan through armed struggle in 1971, Bangladesh became an independent and sovereign country.

LOCATION: Bangladesh lies in the North Eastern part of South Asia and is surrounded by India on the West, North & East. To the South it has the Bay of Bengal and Myanmar to the South East. It sits between 20’34” and 26’36” North Latitude and 88’01” and 92’41” East Longitude.
AREA: 1,44,036 sq. km.
POPULATION: approx. 120 million (Dhaka 10 million)
ETHNIC HERITAGE: The population of Bangladesh is a mixture of Dravidians, Aryans and Mongolians, belonging to the black-haired, dark skinned and short featured Austro/Mongoloid group. Hill tribes have their own distinctive racial features.
CULTURE: Our culture is rich and intermingling; Aryans, Hindu, Mughals, Iranians and colonial Europeans have left their marks in the cultural identity of the people.
CLIMATE: The climate of Bangladesh is subtropical and tropical with temperatures ranging from an average daytime low of 15*C in the cold season to a top of 35*C in the hot season. Annual rainfall varies from 1000 mm in the west to 2500 mm in the south-east and up to 5000 mm in the north-east where tea is grown.
Three-quarters of the annual rainfall occurs between June and September. The 90% to 95% humidity during this season is almost unbearable for some travelers. The humidity remains high all year round producing thick fogs in winter and making chilly nights in the north feel much colder than they are.
Bangladesh has three main seasons: the monsoon or wet season from late May to early October, the cold season from mid October to the end of February and the hot season from mid-March to mid-May. There are two cyclone seasons - May to June and October to November.
BEST SEASON: October to March, when the sun is mild and pleasant, is the best season for a visit. The "Monsoon" season (June to August) also has its own charms.
CURRENCY: The unit is Taka, made up of 100 Paisa. 1 U.S. $ is equivalent to about Tk.51.50 at present.
VISA: Anybody visiting Bangladesh must obtain a visa.
DHAKA: The capital Dhaka, intersected by the river Buriganga, is a sprawling and bustling metropolitan city, has an exciting history and rich cultural heritage. Founded in 1608, the city enjoyed the glory of being the capital of the region when it was successively under the Mughals and the British rule. Dhaka became the country’s capital when Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country in 1971. Once known as ‘city of 52 bazaars and 53 lanes’ and ‘city of mosques and Muslin’, Dhaka has an amazing blend of Mughal, Victorian and modern architecture as well as many historic relics. The recent spurt in high rise buildings is changing Dhaka’s skyline very fast.


Flora & Fauna of Bangladesh

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Now, researchers in Algeria have discovered that Orange Peel Can Help Clean Up Dirty Water

Simple orange peel could be used to remove acidic dyes from industrial effluent
Highly colored industrial waste water is a serious environmental problem as it seriously discolors waterways as well as blocking sunlight for photosynthesizing plant species in the water. Now, researchers in Algeria have discovered that nothing more sophisticated than orange peel could be used to remove acidic dyes from industrial effluent.
They describe their findings in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Environment and Pollution.

"Synthetic dyes are extensively used by industries including dye houses, paper printers, textile dyers, color photography and as additives in petroleum products," explains Benaïssa Houcine of the Laboratory of Sorbent Materials and Water Treatment, Department of Chemistry-Faculty of Sciences, at University of Tlemcen, in Algeria. "The effluents of these industries are highly colored, and disposal of these wastes into the environment can be extremely deleterious. Their presence in watercourses is aesthetically unacceptable and may be visible at concentration as low as 1 ppm (part per million).

In searching for an alternative to chemical treatment of waste water, Benaïssa has considered a common agricultural and food industry byproduct, orange peel. He has now tested waste orange peel as an absorbent for the removal of four acid dyes from simulated samples of polluted water.

The research demonstrates that absorption time depends on the initial concentration of the dyes as well as the chemical structures of the particular dyes being tested, but absorption can occur at just 25 Celsius rather than elevated temperatures. However, strong dyes including Nylosane Blue, Erionyl Yellow, Nylomine Red, and Erionyl Red were absorbed at between 40 and 70 milligrams per gram of orange peel from the samples.

"In laboratory-scale studies, the data show that orange peel has a considerable potential for the removal of dyes from aqueous solutions over a wide range of concentrations," Benaïssa says. "Orange peel may be used as a low-cost, natural and abundant source for the removal of dyes, and it may be an alternative to more costly materials. It may also be effective in removing other harmful or undesirable species present in the waste effluents."

Additional research is now needed in order to optimize and scale-up the process for the real-world clean-up of dye effluent. This will involve identifying the biochemical sites within the orange peel to which the dye molecules stick during absorption.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Fight Depression

If you feel depressed, it's best to do something about it — depression doesn't just go away on its own. In addition to getting help from a doctor or therapist, here are 5 things you can do to feel better.
1//Exercise. Take a 15- to 30-minute brisk walk every day — or dance, jog, or bike if you prefer. People who are depressed may not feel much like being active. But make yourself do it anyway (ask a friend to exercise with you if you need to be motivated). Once you get in the exercise habit, it won't take long to notice a difference in your mood.

In addition to getting aerobic exercise, some yoga poses can help relieve feelings of depression. Try downward-facing dog or legs-up-the-wall pose (you can find these poses on yoga websites). Two other aspects of yoga — breathing exercises and meditation — can also help people with depression feel better.

2//Nurture yourself with good nutrition. Depression can affect appetite. One person may not feel like eating at all, but another might overeat. If depression has affected your eating, you'll need to be extra mindful of getting the right nourishment. Proper nutrition can influence a person's mood and energy. So eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and get regular meals (even if you don't feel hungry, try to eat something light, like a piece of fruit, to keep you going).

3//Identify troubles, but don't dwell on them. Try to identify any situations that have contributed to your depression. When you know what's got you feeling blue and why, talk about it with a caring friend. Talking is a way to release the feelings and to receive some understanding. If there's no one to tell, pouring your heart out to a journal works just as well.

Once you air out these thoughts and feelings, turn your attention to something positive. Take action to solve problems. Ask for help if you need it. Feeling connected to friends and family can help relieve depression. (It may also help them feel there's something they can do instead of just watching you hurt.)

Express yourself. With depression, a person's creativity and sense of fun may seem blocked. By exercising your imagination (painting, drawing, doodling, sewing, writing, dancing, composing music, etc.) you not only get those creative juices flowing, you also loosen up some positive emotions. Take time to play with a friend or a pet, or do something fun for yourself. Find something to laugh about — a funny movie, perhaps. Laughter helps lighten your mood.

Look on the bright side. Depression affects a person's thoughts, making everything seem dismal, negative, and hopeless. If depression has you noticing only the negative, make an effort to notice the good things in life. Try to notice one thing, then try to think of one more. Consider your strengths, gifts, or blessings. Most of all, don't forget to be patient with yourself. Depression takes time to heal.

Monday, October 20, 2008

4 secrets of amazing sex that make your married life more happy...

THE credit crunch may be getting us all down but sex therapists say everyone can still have great sex - if they follow the four secrets to unlocking their passion potential.
The secrets are revealed in a new book The 4 Secrets Of Amazing Sex, reports The Sun newspaper.
“The first secret deals with how to sustain a heady passion with your partner. Most people assume they need to be seduced to feel sexy – wrong! We first create the desire in our own mind. It’s your responsibility to understand what turns you on. It’s about taking notice of how you are feeling – not expecting a partner to immediately trigger sexual feeling.”
“The second secret is all about the six senses. Absorb the energy between you and your partner, as well as remembering smell, touch, sound and taste. The six senses are often overlooked in our busy lives, but without them sex is dull.”


“The third secret is when you feel safe to surrender to your partner and have sex. Thanks to secrets one and two, your mind is ready and your senses alive. You need to feel you want to be there and your mind is present to feel connected to your partner.”
“If you’ve had fun with the first three secrets, reflection is about looking back on the experience and feeling you want to do it all again. If the experience is bad, people will look back on it negatively and may avoid a repeat performance and lack confidence.”
Now try Georgia’s five tips to help create a new sexual you.
1. Ignore that niggly voice in your head saying your thighs are fat or your bum wobbles and tell yourself you are gorgeous and believe it.
2. Trying new moves in the bedroom can be scary, so agreeing on a non-verbal sign on when to call time can help build trust and confidence.
3. Grab a moment to sit down with your other half and make a list of what originally made them turn your knees to jelly; it’s easy to forget why what you found attractive next to a mound of washing up.
4. Remember to breathe. When people are anxious they shallow breathe. A good relaxation method is; take deep breath, hold it for five and exhale. Repeat three times and feel your nerves melt.
5. Make one small change each time you have sex. It will keep it fresh and stop you going through the motions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mental soundness and health

Mental soundness
mental health - the psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment,

The Lord directs us to make the maintenance of good mental health a part of our lives.


No plan for a mentally healthy lifestyle is guaranteed to maintain good mental health. The reason is that such plans cannot possibly take into consideration all of the variables in the lives of everyone who follows such plans. These variables include how mentally healthy a person is or is not, the effects of age, needs determined by gender, how well the person follows the plan, etc., etc. However, following a mentally healthy lifestyle plan will increase the likelihood of maintaining good mental health. On the other hand, if God promises you that following a mentally healthy lifestyle plan will result in the maintenance of good mental health, then it will.
God promises us mental health if we do our part. II Timothy 1:7 says:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God has given us the spirit, the Holy Spirit, of a sound mind but God will only give us mental soundness (mental health) if we meet certain conditions. You will find some of these conditions in the following plan for a mentally sound (healthy) lifestyle.


This web page is for everyone.

Guiding Principles

One of the guiding principles of this plan is to keep things as simple as possible. This plan is as brief as possible.

Another guiding principle is that a mentally sound (healthy) lifestyle plan can always be improved. Therefore, this plan will constantly be updated. Many sources of information have been and continue to be consulted and new sources are continually being added. Some key sources of information are listed at the end of this web page. All but one are websites. If you cannot access a given website, let us know. We do not necessarily endorse everything on these websites.

Rating Scale

The number attached to each item rates its value with respect to maintaining mental soundness (health). The rating scale is from 1 to 10. “1” indicates least value. “10” indicates greatest value. As more information is obtained, the rating of an item may change. Please note that a rating lower than 10 still means that you should be concerned about the rated item. Also, the ratings of items we know will never change appear in white on a black background.


God’s Guidance
Ask God to show you how to maintain mental soundness (health). God is greater than any mentally sound (healthy) lifestyle plan.

Definition of Mental Health

Mental health is mental soundness.

Signs of Mental Soundness (Health)

A mentally sound (healthy) person does not try to harm themself and does not try to harm others except, if necessary, in self-defense and/or the defense of others.


Fulfill your responsibilities. Your mental soundness (health) is influenced by your moral soundness. An unrighteous person does not have the mental health that a righteous person has.

Physical Health

Follow our “Healthy Lifestyle Plan” (see our Health page). Good physical health means good brain health. Note that we said “good brain health” and not “good mental health.” Mental health is not brain health. Brain health is sometimes necessary in order for a person to have mental health. Sometimes it is not necessary. For example, a person can have a brain tumor that causes partial vision loss. This particular lack of brain health cannot affect one’s mental health. Therefore, one can lack brain health and still have mental health.

Brain Health

Maintain adequate levels of the brain fuel glucose by eating often enough. Poor concentration and low energy levels can be a sign that it's been too long since your last meal. Folate (folic acid), vitamin B-12 and vitamin E are nutrients to investigate with regard to brain health.

Folate sources:

· Leafy dark green vegetables

· Legumes (dried beans and peas)

· Citrus fruits and juices (orange, lemon, etc.)

· Most berries

· Wheat bread is better than white bread.

Vitamin B-12 sources:

· Meat

· Poultry

· Fish

· Dairy products

· Eggs.

· Fortified cereals

Vitamin E sources:

· Soybean and its oil

· Safflower and its oil

· Corn and its oil

· Sunflower seeds

· Nuts

· Whole grains

· Wheat germ

· Leafy vegetables (Contain an appreciable amount of Vitamin E.)


Read our Chastity page. Your mental soundness (health) is influenced by your moral soundness. An unrighteous person does not have the mental health that a righteous person has.


Only knowledge that prepares one to have sound beliefs is necessary for mental soundness (health).

Sound Beliefs

Sound beliefs are the nutrition of the mind. Here are a few sound beliefs a person must not reject if they are to have mental soundness (health):

Fundamental (Intuitive) Beliefs

· An idea is not a physical object.

· A physical object is not an idea.

· A thought is not a sentence.

· A sentence is not a thought.

· A mental image is not a physical object.

· A physical object is not a mental image.

· The mind is not a physical thing.

· Emotions are not physical things.

· Emotions are invisible.

· The mind is invisible.

· The idea of the mind is not the mind.

· The mind is not an idea.

· Knowledge is invisible.

· Beliefs are invisible.

· The soul is invisible.

· Emotions occur in the soul.

· Emotions do not occur in the body.

· Emotions affect the body.

· The mind is not the brain.

· The brain is not the mind.

Progressive (Rational) Beliefs

· Pleasure is better than pain.

· Pleasure is better than numbness.

· Numbness is better than pain.

· Good is better than evil.

· Love is good.

· Hatred is evil.

· Wealth is better than poverty.

· It is good to plan ahead.

Advanced (Moral) Beliefs

· God exists.

· God is invisible.

· God rules the universe.

· God rules the world.

· God holds people accountable for their actions.

· Murder is a sin.

· Adultery is a sin.

· Stealing is a sin.

· Laziness is a sin.

Sound Beliefs (Spiritual) (rated 9)

Spiritual beliefs promote mental soundness (health) but they are not indispensable to mental soundness (health). Here are a few:

· God loves people.

· Every person has the opportunity to be granted a place in heaven.

· It is good to love God.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Guidelines : makes your health fit.

In an effort to help harried Americans fit exercise into their hectic lives, new government guidelines released this week recommend slightly more than two hours of physical activity a week to stay fit.
The recommendation tweaks existing guidelines that suggested adailyworkout was best.
"Being physically active is one of the most important things Americans of all ages can do to protect and improve their health," said Rear Adm. Penelope Slade Royall, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For most people, all it takes is 2 1/2 hours a week to stay healthy, she noted.
"The previous recommendation for moderate-intensity physical activity was 30 minutes a day five days a week. This is now just one way to meet the minimum guideline," Royall said. "The same health benefits accrue to people who exercise vigorously for half the time."

Being physically active helps reduce the risk of dying early from heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression -- and it also helps you think better, according to the guidelines.
"We are trying to reach out to our sedentary nation and encourage people and help people find ways to become physically active," Royall said. "We were meant and made to move. In the past, human beings spent their days running around looking for something to eat or running as fast as they could away from something that wanted to eat them."
Now people have to find ways to integrate exercise into their lives, she added, because, over time, the amount of physical activity people get has been "engineered out" of society.
The newPhysical Activity Guidelines for Americansare based on the latest scientific evidence about the health benefits of physical activity. It's the first such review in a decade, Royall noted.
The guidelines recommend a minimum amount of physical activity to promote health, but the more exercise you get the greater the health benefit, Royall said.
Aerobic exercise should be done for at least 10 minutes. To get even more health benefits, adults should get at least five hours a week of moderate exercise or 2 1/2 hours a week of intensive exercise, the guidelines recommend.
Pregnant women can also benefit from 2 1/2 hours a week of moderately intensive aerobic exercise. This activity should be spread throughout the week, the guidelines recommend. Pregnant women who previously engaged in vigorous exercise should check with their doctor about how their routine should be modified.
Children and adolescents need even more exercise then adults. They should try to get at least one hour of moderate or vigorous exercise a day, and at engage in intense exercise at least three days a week. For children and adolescents, exercise improves hearts, lungs, muscles and bones, and improves body image.
For adults with disabilities, the guidelines recommend at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate aerobic activity a week, or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. If they can't do that much exercise, they should do what they can to remain physically active.
People with chronic medical conditions should also be physically active, but they should do so with the advice of their doctor, the guidelines say.
Many professional groups such as the American Society for Nutrition and the American Heart Association support the new guidelines.
"The development of U.S. physical activity guidelines is a positive step forward for the country," James O. Hill, president of the American Society for Nutrition, said in a statement. "We hope this effort can be integrated with the development of new dietary guidelines to help Americans achieve healthier lifestyles," he added.
But one expert warns that guidelines, while welcome, aren't enough.
"Guidelines are no panacea," said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. "Despite clear guidance on tobacco, many people still smoke. We've had detailed dietary guidelines for years, and the typical American diet still fails to resemble them. Physical activity guidelines are the starting line, not the finish line."
"We now need policies and programs that provide various ways for most of us to meet these guidelines during a standard day or week. And we need the will to make meeting these guidelines a priority for ourselves, and our families," Katz added.

What Works Best for You?
Here are some examples of what types of exercise work for different people, according to the new government guidelines.Moderate activities for adults include a brisk walk, water aerobics, ballroom dancing and general gardening.Vigorous activity for adults include racewalking, jogging or running, swimming laps, jumping rope and hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack.In addition to aerobic exercise, build muscle with weight training push-ups, sit-ups, carrying heavy loads or heavy gardening, at least two days a week.Moderate exercise for kids and teens include hiking, skateboarding, bicycle riding and brisk walking. Vigorous activities for kids and teens include jumping rope, running and sports such as soccer, basketball, and ice or field hockey. Kids and teens should also do muscle-strengthening exercises, such as rope climbing, sit-ups, and tug-of war, three days a week and bone-strengthening exercise, such as jumping rope, running and skipping, at least three days a week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

voice chat between the real world and Second Life.

Second Life Chat Crosses to Real Life
Linden Labs has announced SLim, a lightweight client that will enable instant messaging and voice chat between the real world and Second Life.
At this week's Virtual Worlds Expo, Linden Labs, the creators of the popular virtual world Second Life, announced a new instant messaging and voice client that will let Second Life residents communicate with the Second Life world without the significant overhead of the full-blown Second Life clients. Dubbed "SLim," the application will enable users to chat with their Second Life cohorts, breaking down some of the barriers between Second Life and, well, real life.
The SLim client will be developed by Vivox—the same folks who provide the technology for Second Life's in-world voice chat feature—and while essentially no details have been released, Linden Labs says the client will be able to run on "any" computer, will provide real-time "presence" updates of in-world friends and contacts, and will enable users to leave voice mail for offline friends.
"With Second Life becoming integrated into more aspects of our Residents' daily lives, we saw a need to expand the world beyond its borders, enabling constant connection regardless of location," said Linden Labs VP Joe Miller, in a statement. "In addition to all the enhanced communication benefits, SLim also helps solidify the value proposition of Second Life for enterprise use by providing a highly powerful VOIP and instant messaging client."
Although voice chat hasn't enjoyed uniform popularity among Second Life users, Linden Labs claims to have become one of the world's largest VoIP providers since launching voice chat a year ago, with residents logging more than 8.5 billion minutes of talk time.
Linden Labs hasn't offered any details on when SLim might be available, and there are no indications SLim will interoperate with major instant messaging services like MSN, Yahoo, or AIM.


Dads sacrifice work for his loving kids.

THEIR fathers could claim exemption from the middle-of-the-night feed because they were the main breadwinner and had to be fresh and on their game for work the next morning.
But, with women being as career-driven as men these days, families are looking for new ways to balance career and family life.

Taking turns with their partner to get up several times during the night to feed a newborn baby has taken its toll on productivity levels in corporate Australia, so an increasing number of companies have looked to flexible workplace solutions to ease pressures.
Companies, including investment bank Morgan Stanley and law firms such as Mallesons Stephen Jaques, have recognised the need to allow greater flexibility to attract and retain the best staff.
In a climate of threatened recession and rising unemployment, however, a leading workplace researcher has issued a warning to companies to resist the urge to wind back or suspend flexibility reforms.
Barbara Pocock, director of the Centre for Work and Life at the University of South Australia, said the prospect of recession could jeopardise gains made in recent years by companies adopting flexible work practices to allow for a better work-family balance.
"If there is a significant downturn in the market, and unemployment rises as a result, there will be less of a labour-market incentive to allow measures such as workplace-friendly policies that potentially reduce turnover,'' Professor Pocock said.
"A sudden decline could well have an effect on these provisions ... and it would be a very bad thing, as we need the contributions of working parents.''
As conditions have favoured employees for almost a decade, corporations have been adopting flexible working measures to attract and retain the best employees.
Now as the labour market looks likely to contract, measures that potentially detract from productivity may be threatened.
Henrik Moritz, a senior associate in mergers and acquisitions at Mallesons Stephen Jaques, said working part-time since the birth of his daughter had improved his productivity because he had become more content in his personal life and was thereforehappier and more focused at work.
"The flexibility has made a huge difference to how I feel about my input as a parent, but it has focused and motivated my career, as I have that meaningful balance in my life,'' Mr Moritz said.
"I'm more motivated and productive as a result.''
Mallesons Stephen Jaques prides itself on its arrangements with employees and claims a lower staff turnover as a result.
Mr Moritz, 34, works four days a week and has every Monday off to look after eight-month-old Rebekka. His wife Sarah, a lawyer at Minter Ellison, also work four days a week and has every Friday off.
"I'm enjoying work more because I'm happy with my family life; I've got more time and energy for them,'' Mr Moritz said. ``If I didn't, this would take away from the fun I have at work.''
Despite the benefits to both parties, Mr Moritz said his arrangement was still a "novelty'' in commercial law and he had not heard of any other male lawyers working part-time. Professor Pocock said many large firms had begun discussing flexible work practices but had not yet implemented such programs or convinced their staff that taking up flexible workplace options would not hurt their careers.
"Many industries and workplaces suffer `competitive presenteeism', with employees turning up and looking 100 per cent switched on to signal they are serious about promotion and career advancement,'' she said.
However, Juliet Bourke, an employment lawyer and partner at Aequus Partners, said developments in workplace flexibility had gone too far to be wound back or even suspended, even during a recession.
"Many firms struggle with the concept but the momentum is behind an expansion of flexibility,'' she said.
"If you think about law firms and the number of women coming through, things have to change.
"Our research demonstrates that managers are having to understand those requirements.''

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What you need to know for dummy

What’s Hot, What’s Not?
Clothing is very important in our society today. It has a huge impact on almost everything we do. Whether you are going in for a job interview, going to school, or just going out shopping, you will be judged by the clothes you choose to wear. It’s true that clothes aren’t everything, but a lot of the time they can make a huge difference. It’s also true that you may not be able to afford the latest fashions, but if you search around you will find something that’s in style and in your price range.
Have you ever gone out for a job interview, not been picked for job and had no idea why? If this has happened and you know that you have all the required skills, it could be because of what you’re wearing. This may sound a little weird but it’s completely true. If you go for an interview to be a secretary and show up in ripped jeans, a dirty shirt and a baseball cap, the chances are you won’t be picked. The people that are giving you the interview will likely think you aren’t “put together” enough for the job, no matter how perfect you could have been for the job. Although if you showed up in a suit, or a nice shirt and skirt and you had all or just a few of the required skills for the job, there would be a much higher chance that you would get picked for the job. So instead of showing up in a messy outfit, find something that will make you look and feel great and you might get the job sooner than you think.
Clothing has a big impact on how people look at you. You could have a really good personality but people aren’t sure how to approach you because of the clothes you like wear. Like I said earlier, clothes aren’t everything and your personality should count more, but this isn’t always the case. Some people judge others by the clothes they wear and might not even think twice about getting to know them if they don’t wear “the right” clothes. I know this isn’t always true, but lots of the time people just don’t think about it. Next time you think to put on those old those old jeans and old ripped sweater think about it for minute and ask yourself, “Will people approach me more if I’m wearing a nice shirt or my old ripped sweater” (no matter how much more comfortable you think it is). You don’t have to change your style completely but it could help to just tone it down a little bit. Before you leave for school or for the mall tomorrow think about what I just said and you could have a better time.

Is your trouble that you can’t afford all the new fashions? I think I can help with that. There are many stores that you can go to that won’t break the bank. If you have decided now that you want to change your look for an interview, going out, or just doing whatever, without spending a lot of money here are some stores for you. The first store (my personal favorite) is Garage. This clothing store is targeted at teen’s girls. Clothes here can vary in price from $5-$80. The clothing is always up to date with the latest fashions. There’s everything from long sleeve shirts to t-shirts to tank tops, skirts and leggings to jeans to winter jackets, you can even find a new pair of mittens or socks. The second store you could check out is Old Navy. They always have nice clothes here too, but these clothes are for any age. The prices vary from $10-$80. They have a big variety in their clothing, everything from clothing for babies, clothing for kids and teens, and men and women’s clothing too. In the summer they have bathing suits and flip-flops, and in the winter they have jackets and boots (fashionable of course).
The last store you could look at is American Eagle. It is true this store is a bit more expensive, but when they have a sale it’s pretty good and their clothing is for both male and female teens.
Clothing will always be an important thing for everyone. I hope the next time you chose to go for a job interview, out shopping, or to school you’ll decide to wear something a little nicer. If you take a little more time and put in a little more effort you could find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Always remember it
takes a little time (sometimes ).

How to keep your weight perfect.

No matter what kind of diet you have tried in the past, if you are reading this you probably did not have much success. I went from diet to diet for years. I spent a whole lot of money to lose weight and gain it right back. The reason fad diets never work is because in one way or another, you are trying to cheat your way to losing weight. Cheaters never prosper and weight loss is no exception.

It would be wonderful to find a magic pill that that would allow you to skip exercising and eat whatever you want without the consequences of looking out of shape and being unhealthy. Unfortunately, that will never happen. Fad diets will come and go as long as people are willing to cheat, they will keep you on an emotional roller coaster regarding your weight.

Losing weight requires will power and the proper mindset. You cannot deny it. Even when you start a diet that promises you that you can eat all of the protein you want, you still have to give up something and it gets rough. The best way to lose weight for good is to change your lifestyle. Either way you will have to make sacrifices, so why not make them work to your advantage instead of the other way around?

I lost 70 pounds in 4 months and have kept it off for over 15 years, and I did it without spending extra money and time. It all came down to following 3 simple steps. If you have been struggling with your weight like I did, keep reading!

Weight Loss Step #1: Meal Replacement
What if there was a scientifically engineered food that existed that gave you all of the nutrition of a 2,000 calorie meal, but it only had 180 calories? Your body would get all the proper vitamins it needs to become healthy without eating a ton of food. Sounds just like those fad diets I mentioned earlier that tries to cheat your way to lose weight, right? Well, guess again. That meal exists and that is what I used.

Not only did I replace one meal a day with this product, but it only cost $1.60 every time I did it! I actually saved money because I wasn't buying a meal somewhere else. The best part about it is that it conditioned me to begin making it a routine that has served me well as a lifestyle change. I don't even think about losing or gaining weight anymore.

Weight Loss Step #2: Snack Substitution
Much of your overeating may be unintentional, as you can eat foods with hidden sugar and oils put there to stimulate your taste buds. You cannot completely avoid sugar and fat. Both of these are present in fruits and vegetables in small amounts, but you can substitute healthy fruits and vegetables for processed snack foods that have unnecessarily large amounts of added sugar and oil.

It all boils down to being sensible. You don't want to starve yourself all day long, thinking the less you eat the more weight you will lose. What happens next is you will binge on bad foods because you are starving yourself. When you snack all day on healthy foods, like apples, carrots and soy nuts, you keep your energy up and your stomach content. Healthy addictions like this allow people to live a lifestyle without worrying about fluctuating weight.

Weight Loss Step #3: Move Your Body
Think about the things you used to do as a kid that are now luxuries. Getting up from the sofa to change the tv channel, rolling down your car window manually, riding your bike to the post off to mail a letter. All of these things got you moving and burning calories without it ever feeling like work. Having a sedentary lifestyle is a major component of weight gain and obesity. If going to the gym feels too much like work to you, get back to the basics.

You can certainly lose weight without exercising, but in order to have the best chance at keeping a healthy lifestyle, you have to start moving more. If you live near the places where you usually do errands, walk or ride a bike to get them done instead of driving your car everywhere. And by all means get up from behind the computer. Do not let the luxuries of technology rob you of your health by making your life too easy.

If you begin to follow the three simple steps listed above, you will begin to reach your targeted weight and never have to worry about being overweight or unhealthy again. My meal replacement came with a personal weight loss coach, and because I understood the value of support, I now have the pleasure and privilege of helping others lose weight and become healthy. You too can reach your goals just as I did. All that is required is the want, need and desire for you to make small changes in your lifestyle.

Bill Winch is a Personal Wellness Coach whose mission is teaching and coaching others who are struggling with getting healthy, losing weight safely and keeping it off for good. He is also a Certified Business Growth Specialist, former High School and College Business Educator and Counselor, and mentors from his home office in Rochester, NY. If you are interested in receiving his Free Report "9 Weight Loss Myths Exposed" visit his website by clicking on FREE REPORT or by calling him directly at (585) 271-3767 for a free wellness consultation.

Monday, September 8, 2008

In the U.K., Annabel Karmel is the go-to guru for health-minded children's meals

Trying to please picky palates
In the U.K., Annabel Karmel is the go-to guru for health-minded children's meals: Not only does she produce her own line of foods, but the mother of three is a columnist, author and TV pundit on the topic of feeding kids well.

Her latest work, "The Fussy Eaters' Recipe Book" (Atria), is focused on picky eaters (meaning most kids), but it doesn't spotlight bland food.

The flavors might be toned down a bit for tender palates, but Karmel's recipes - a tangy tomato dressing, a crisp, cold chicken salad - are colorful, texturally diverse and internationally inspired.

Just don't tell the kids.


Makes about 3/4 cup
If your balsamic vinegar is very sharp, then you might like to add an extra pinch of sugar - it's worth spending a little extra to get a mature balsamic vinegar with more rounded, sweeter flavor.

2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons tomato paste
4 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and whiz for 2 minutes, until thoroughly puréed. Strain the dressing. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks, and shake well before serving.


Makes 2-3 servings

1/2 cup jasmine rice
2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1/3 large cucumber, preferably English or hothouse
3 scallions, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup diced cooked chicken
1/4 avocado, sliced (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put rice in large pan with 1 1/2 cups cold water and pinch of salt. Bring to boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring halfway through; transfer to a bowl.

To make the dressing, gently warm the rice-wine vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the canola oil and stir into the rice. Leave until room temperature (refrigerate if using for a lunch box).

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Dice the flesh. Stir into the dressed rice with the scallions, bell pepper, chicken and avocado, if using, and season to taste.


Makes 4 servings

3/4 pound macaroni

For the cheese sauce:

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3/4 cup grated Gruyère
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup shredded sliced ham (optional)

For the topping
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water according to the package directions. Melt the butter, stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring over low heat for 5-6 minutes. Take off the heat, stir in the Gruyère and Parmesan until melted, then the mascarpone cheese. Drain the pasta, return to the pan, add the cheese sauce, and heat through gently. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and shredded ham, if using. Transfer to a greased, ovenproof dish (approximately 9 by 5 inches wide). Mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle on top. Place under a preheated broiler until golden and bubbling.


EDY'S SLOW CHURNED VANILLA WITH NESTLE CRUNCH BAR Frozen treats don't always have to be off-limits for those trying feed their kids in a healthy way, according to "Eat This Not That for Kids." A few tricks, writes Zinczenko, are to look for fruit bars and any pop that ends with a "sicle," as it's generally a "safe indulgence." These Edy's bars also pretty low in calories and fat per bar.The best way to feed your kids is with cooked-from-scratch foods, of course, but then life happens: You work late or little Joe screams for brand names at the store. That's when to pull out "Eat This Not That for Kids" (Rodale), David Zinczenko's new photo-illustrated guide to supermarket aisles and fast-food menus. The editor-in-chief of Men's Health tells you what's not healthy and what is, like these four kid-friendly foods.

KEEBLER LOW FAT CINNAMON GRAHAMS Cookies and milk are the classic childhood snack, but for treats with fewer calories and less saturated fats, look to Nabisco SnackWell's Creme Sandwich Cookies, a roll of Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie dough, Nabisco Sugar Snaps or the winner in the cookie category, graham crackers. Spread them with peanut butter, says Zinczenko, and kids will really feel full.

KRAFT TANGY ITALIAN SPAGHETTI CLASSICS :When stocking the cupboard with after-school snacks for older kids, macaroni and cheese, ramen and SpaghettiOs with meatballs are easy choices. But those are usually studded with fat and sodium. Instead, writes Zinczenko, pick options like SpaghettiOs shapes, Thai Kitchen's curry-flavor instant noodles and this Kraft spaghetti kit.

LIPTON SOUP SECRETS NOODLE SOUP Canned, boxed or bagged, soups are a lightning-fast way to feed a hungry child in mere minutes, but they can be high in sodium and fats. Avoid Campbell's classic Chicken Noodle, says Zinczenko, as it packs a whopping 890 milligrams of sodium per serving. Instead, he says, go for Campbell's Healthy Request version or easily portable packets like Lipton's Soup Secrets.