Thursday, January 29, 2009

Children aged under 15 should never be given alcohol

No alcohol' urged for under-15s
Parents can take control by taking the mystique out of it by giving them a taste and educating their children about alcohol.

Children aged under 15 should never be given alcohol, even in small quantities, England's chief medical officer has advised parents.
Sir Liam Donaldson said childhood should be an "alcohol-free time", as ministers prepare to publish guidance on the issue for the first time.
He told BBC News children who drink were at risk of "serious harm".
It is legal for parents to give a child over five alcohol in the home and the guidance is not expected to become law.
The guidance comes after a recent survey suggested 20% of 13-year-olds drank alcohol at least once a week.
'Serious risks'
It is also expected to say children over 15 should not be given alcohol on more than one day a week - and only under supervision from carers or parents.
Sir Liam told the BBC the practical advice was a direct response from parents who wanted information on the health effects of giving children alcohol.
"There is serious harm that can come to children if they drink and the main advice is that childhood should be an alcohol-free time. Certainly under the age of 15 there are serious risks."
The advice is the first on children and alcohol produced by the government but it is understood there is no intention to back it with legislation. The public will be asked for its views during a three month consultation period.
Ministers and doctors are worried by rising rates of binge-drinking and alcohol-related liver disease in the young and see the guideline as a necessary step in preventing people getting a taste for alcohol at too young an age.
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Tony Jewell, said: "We welcome the work led by England's Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, on guidance for parents on children's drinking.
"This is an important debate that affects the UK and we will await the outcome of the English consultation."
'Pocket money prices'
However, some parents, and researchers, have argued that giving a child an occasional drink helps demystify alcohol, and reduces the chance of bingeing later on.
Damion Queva, publisher of Fathers' Quarterly magazine, told the BBC he had given his daughter a small glass of champagne and orange juice on her 13th birthday.
"Teenagers shouldn't be drinking but in the real world it happens and they are going to get it elsewhere," he said.
"Parents can take control by taking the mystique out of it by giving them a taste and educating their children about alcohol and abuse of alcohol."
He added that the drinking culture seemed to be "getting younger and younger" and the pressures on teenagers to drink were "huge".
Ali is 16 but had his first drink at 10. He told the BBC he has been working with the Glaciere Project in Liverpool for 18 months, which helps children give up drinking by teaching them sailing and scuba diving.
He's also stopped drinking: "I was hanging around with a lot of older people and they gave me the drink and I progressed further.
"I was just getting myself into trouble. It just became a part of every day that you would have a drink.
"You would give a lot of grief to the police and they would arrest you.
"I think its a good idea that young people are not introduced to alcohol at a young age."

Alcohol Concern has already welcomed the proposal, with a spokesman telling the Observer newspaper at the weekend: "Parents have for too long received mixed messages about whether they should give their children a little bit of alcohol or not."
However, she added: "There are an awful lot more factors that influence young people's drinking than just what their parents say.
"The easy availability of alcohol at pocket money prices is far more important."
Professor Ian Gilmore, the president of the Royal College of Physicians and chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: "Alcohol is a drug; it's a drug of addiction.
"There's some evidence that youngsters who taste it early are more likely to become alcohol dependent in later life.
"One mustn't lose sight of the fact that alcohol is the biggest cause of death in young men aged 16-24.
"I think one of the key recommendations is that there should be parental supervision between 15 and 17 years of age - we know every year young people die from alcohol poisoning."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What did you say? is Community Education?

The distinguishing feature of community education is that its emphasis is on student need. Relevant education for working-class people depends on schools and colleges forging partnerships with voluntary community organisations.
Middle-Class Adult Education
Within the UK education service the most common use of the term "community education" is to describe classes for adults in adult education centres and, less frequently, in colleges of further education. For traditionalists, its defining characteristic is that it is non vocational - not leading to examinations and, in their view, unrelated to preparation for work.
Although initiatives in the 19th century - the mechanics institutes, the workers' education association (WEA), programmes in university extra-mural departments - aimed to include working-class people, the middle classes invariably took control. Their control of adult education has continued throughout the 20th, and into the 21st, centuries.
However, although students attend in their own time, instead of being sent by employers, it does not follow that the education experience is unrelated to their work.. Valuable contributions of the adult education service in the second half of the twentieth century included classes for women who wished to return to work after caring for young children, and support for people made redundant who wished to explore a new career path.
Because, in recent years, tuition fees for non-vocational adult education have increased, the students are almost all from the middle classes.
Vocational Education
The basis for the establishment's position on vocational education is described by Professor Eric Robinson (head of Preston Polytechnic, now retired) in the following terms:
The justification of the vocational imperative in further education is that, in contrast with the more able who are free to pursue their personal development in universities, the less able can have educational provision only on condition that it prepares them for work: the more able perhaps need guidance but the less able need direction, in the public interest. The argument is reminiscent of those adduced in parliament 120 years ago to justify the objectives of, and the limitations on, the curriculum to be provided in schools for the children of the working classes. It also resembles the justification of the limitations placed on secondary modern schools when they were created 50 years ago.
This emphasises the persistence of class divisions in the education service. It is also a reminder that, when government ministers state that the purpose of their policies is to increase "choice", they are not thinking of working-class citizens.
The division between vocational and non vocational education was devised, and is perpetuated, as an administrative convenience: it has never made any sense in terms of educational need. Flower arranging is a frequently quoted example of non vocational education and it may be the case that most students who attend flower arranging classes do so as a leisure pursuit.
However, there are plenty of jobs where skill and expertise in arranging flowers is an obvious asset: for example for employees such as personal assistants, secretaries, receptionists and people who work in flower shops.
Community Education
The curriculum in schools and colleges is inadequate because it is restricted to academic and vocational traditions. Community education, the third set of traditions, is generally ignored because it has developed partly on the margins of the state education service, but mostly outside it. .
Distinguishing features of community education are that the curriculum reflects what people need and want and that they are involved in consultations about it. . Although community education traditions have a history at least as long as academic and vocational traditions, stretching back to the wandering minstrels of the middle ages, they do not figure prominently in the standard books on the history of education.
The community education traditions of working-class people are ignored because they developed outside state systems and, for this reason, are considered of little value or importance.

But education in the community, organised by voluntary bodies, has always been the most important means of education for working-class adults and this remains true for large numbers, especially ethnic minorities, in the 21st century. In addition, the hostile environment of schools, especially for ethnic minorities, means that voluntary bodies continue to provide essential education support for pupils of school age.
Although places of worship have always been a focus for education in poor communities, a whole range of voluntary bodies have been involved: co-operatives, drama societies, friendly societies, groups formed to support the disabled, sports clubs, trade unions, women's institutes, youth clubs.
Historical Origins
In the nineteenth century hundreds of reading and discussion groups were set up, led by volunteers who supported public education. The voluntary workers were described by the social historian, R H Tawney, as:
Humble men and women whose names are remembered Lovingly in their own little towns and villages, who would have called themselves anything but educationalists, whose students were disciples rather than pupils.
Because radical thinkers, such as the Chartists, regarded education for all as the most important means of social change, the emphasis was on the personal and social development of the individual. However, the fact that adult workers learned to read and write through this education in the community was of significant benefit to the developing economy.
Relevance of Community Education Today
The relevance of community education arises from the fact that it evolves from students' needs, not the requirements of external bodies such as governments, employers' organisations, and the examination boards created to impose national policies. The previously excluded become involved when they recognise that tutor expectations result from an understanding of their educational needs. .
This community education exists because people, denied suitable education by the state system, wish to acquire qualifications. The initial need is at basic skills level for teenagers and adults who missed out at the secondary stage. Incidentally, the classes offered by voluntary groups also cater for under 16s and one of the reasons for truancy is that pupils find this community provision more relevant than the curriculum they experience at school.
The community education relevant to millions already exists in the classes offered by voluntary bodies: it is relevant and suitable because it relates directly to need. Recognising its value, and developing it, is the only means of further education making a significant contribution to tackling the challenge of the exclusion of working-class people.
Democratically operating partnerships, based on the principle of partner equality, between schools and voluntary groups would result in a major reduction in truancy and negative behaviour. The same applies to partnerships between colleges and voluntary groups to provide suitable provision for school-leavers and adults.
The key to successful community education is a commitment to anti-racism and equality and a willingness to recognise the community partners as equals. Without school/college partnerships with voluntary community organisations, relevant curriculum for working-class people cannot be developed. The necessary expertise does not exist in the state controlled education system.

Community education officer: Job description and activities

Job description
A community education officer works to promote and facilitate access to a wide range of voluntary educational and developmental activities by all members of the community, regardless of age. The work involves liaising with local individuals and groups to identify community interests, needs and issues, and planning and running a wide range of activities and programmes in response. To make efficient use of resources, community education officers work in partnership with a range of other professional groups and a range of local authority and voluntary sector providers.
The aim is to enable individuals and communities to take control of their learning and to help break down barriers. The role is therefore closely linked to current widening participation and lifelong learning initiatives.
» Typical work activities
Community education roles vary widely, but typically involve an element of outreach work to increase participation in mainly informal educational activities. Some roles, such as in adult literacy work, may also include tutoring, but most involve the following tasks:
liaising with community groups, such as residents' associations and voluntary agencies;
identifying local interests and needs;
helping potential learners to overcome existing barriers to learning;
formulating plans and priorities, in cooperation with other providers;
encouraging and influencing the development of new learning opportunities;
supporting the development of community or local voluntary groups;
recruiting and training staff;
allocating and monitoring budgets;

evaluating provision and reporting to advisory bodies and management groups.
Depending on the role, some community education officers have responsibility for particular groups, such as young people, families, black and ethnic minority groups or unemployed adults. Others promote participation in specific settings, such as national parks, urban and rural areas, and in specific communities of interest, such as homeless people or carers' groups. Community education officers usually work in areas of social deprivation or high unemployment, to develop provision and to challenge individual, collective and institutional perceptions about learning. Some may have a specific focus on enabling access to appropriate qualifications and relevant training. This often involves working sensitively and creatively to overcome barriers and may entail many setbacks before success rates are obvious.
More senior roles include:
strategic planning;
staff recruitment and development;
policy development;
bidding for, negotiating and monitoring funding;
developing new initiatives, such as more flexible programme delivery.
Voluntary projects particularly emphasise education as part of a more holistic approach to inclusion and to empowering communities to overcome structural and other barriers. There may be strong links with social work, health or housing support agencies. Government initiatives are currently encouraging lifelong learning and increasing access to education in sections of the community that have not traditionally participated fully.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The best things in your life, and your dreams will come true.

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.
Always hold tight to believing in yourself, focusing on the best things in your life, and your dreams will come true.
One of the very best ways to stay positive, especially when it seems the world around you is making this a seemingly impossible task is to work as hard as you can to focus on your best attributes, all the positive things in your life, and your dreams and goals.
By choosing to direct your energy on the positive side of life you will find that you will attract positive energy into your life be it friends, career opportunities and even a significant other! It is no coincidence that Donald Trump is a success. He believed he would make millions, he believed that he would be a success and his energy propelled him to become what he believed he was; an influential billionaire who is admired and respected. This will be the same for your life.
Everyday, you are learning how to maneuver away from negative influences. Everyday you are creating a clearer picture of your ideal dream life. Everyday, the more you think about, visualize and take actions toward your dreams, they are formulating a crisper image in your mind and are becoming even more tangibly within your optimistic reach!

Walt Disney said it best:
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
There is no such thing as failure.
And for all the many obstacles that have been placed in your path, the many times when you have fallen and have felt you could not get up another time, you did. Somehow you managed to do it. Somehow you found the strength within yourself, the belief that you are worth more than those who try to drag you down, more than those you do not believe in their own dreams. You have always known it because the beauty in your heart is limitless, timeless and as pure and giving as that of an innocent child. You have and can continue to maintain this purity of spirit. No one can ever break your spirit, no one.
Never let anyone jade your heart.
I have always believed that good people continue to rise and that their lives continue to progressively get better because as I stated earlier, like energy attracts like energy. And, when you believe in your worth, believe you deserve to be treated better, you will get this treatment back even if you have to struggle through many hardships; you will get all the beautiful things in life that you deserve. Believe to the end…
For more great reading:
The Most Beautiful Things in Life.
Man's Search for Meaning .
Quotes to Lift Your Spirit
.What is Your Biggest Fear?

we need to look ahead with a positive frame of mind and embrace the goodness in our lives.

Sensible Living Well 2009 Food Trends in George Hirsch Lifestyle eMagazine
Lifestyle Expert, TV host/author George Hirsch provides easy to do recipes, entertaining articles, practical home solutions and inspiration for living well in the Winter Issue of George Hirsch Lifestyle eMagazine. This digital magazine features George's You Can Do It empowering messages which encompasses his down to earth sustainable approach to food, family & community.

A Hirsch Productions Digital Publication offering cooking and lifestyle solutions for men and women, who want the most out of living well everyday, releases its Winter Issue today and is available at

The eMagazine's 2009 Top Ten Food Trends is based on George's sensible lifestyle for inspiring better ways on how to eat, travel, recreate and serve our communities. The trends stem from George's well-lived lifestyle as featured on the informative and entertaining lifestyle TV show 'George Hirsch Living It Up'. 'George Hirsch Lifestyle' eMag features the trends along with George's helpful home solutions, savory easy-to-prepare recipes, affordable value vacations, practical product guide, and healthy recreational activities. The interactive digital bi-monthly magazine is delivered in an engaging format for the reader's convenience and pleasure. The Hirsch Productions Publication is available by free subscription at
George's top three sensible food trends highlights affordability of breakfast and brunch dining gaining consumer attendance. And with a major increase in home gardening, home canning becomes the sustainable new norm. Also, eggs will be prepared as the main ingredient beyond just breakfast.
Sample Trend:
So Misunderstood- Eggs will take the position in the center of the plate beyond breakfast. Nutritious, flavorful, versatile & easy to prepare; an increased use of eggs will become common for lunch & dinners. A study recently published online in the journal Risk Analysis estimates that eating one egg per day is responsible for less than 1 percent of the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in healthy adults. One egg has 13 essential nutrients in varying amounts - including high-quality protein, choline, folate, iron and zinc - for only 75 calories.
For the complete George Hirsch Lifestyle 2009 Trend List
'George Hirsch Lifestyle' is an essential how-to source for family menu planning from preparing nutritious and comforting winter meals to gatherings for Game Day parties. This issue also includes how-to create satisfying crowd pleasers such as Cane Charred Shrimp recipe & video, White Turkey Chili, Spicy Corn Chowder and Hot Chocolate Berry Cupcakes. George will demonstrate his Game Day recipes and tips on LIVE with Regis and Kelly, Friday January 30, 2009.
Other highlights of this issue include:
Meal Solutions™: Scoop on Soups
Cruise Value Vacations & Touring a Princess Cruises Ship Video
StyleMaker™ Art of Wax Sealing & Make a Valentine Love Letter
Good Stuff: Sensible & Well-Made Products
Living Well Inspiration: You Can Do it Daily MessagesHirsch's easy-no-fuss style and positive living well nature offers a doable approach to life. George states, "Today more than ever we need to look ahead with a positive frame of mind and embrace the goodness in our lives."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Do you believe in fate and destiny

Few years ago, a nice man that I did not know much about has involved into a car accident and passed away instantly at the scene. I have met him once through his friend's introduction at a company Christmas party. That were the first and the last time that I have met him. The second time I attended an occasion that involved this man was his own funeral. The fate that linked this man and myself was like when I was in my car driving and he was like another driver next to me at one point then I just took a quick glance at him as he drove pass my car. Ever since his death, I could not take my mind off this misfortune.
He was cruising his motorcycle going uphill when another automobile from the other direction crashed into him. His body was ejected from his motorcycle into a ledge of a hill and broke his neck. Two witnesses stopped their cars came to him and called 911. These two witnesses were destined to be the last people who saw him shortly before he took his last breath. At the funeral, during the eulogy, his wife had shown her appreciation toward the two observers for being able to tell her that her husband has died peacefully without any pain. She quoted these two witnesses as her husband's "angels."
What does the above story had anything to do with destiny or fate? May be destiny is an active process for a person to work toward his/her fate? Fate could be described as an outcome and a predetermined and invariant factor. I do not know if fate happens accordingly to a fixed time line; but it seems to me that it represents a passive pathway, where every single one of us somehow is destined to pursue. By saying these, I did not refer fate as something negative. However, I do think that fate is unavoidable or inevitable.
Some people think, "I am in control of my life and destiny." People do have free will which people get to pick the way they want how their destinies to be. However, no matter what the choices and the path they have chosen, the outcome would still has been the same. How many people were born with the imprinted code in the brain for saying his/her life purpose in this world? When an individual was born, he or she were born along with a fixed schedule. God or "the author of the universe" whomever you want to call was the one who is responsible for writing a real time novel – a predestined lifetime story for that particular person. I believe that people are destined to have a role in this world and when they finished with their mission, they can be excused. The fixed schedule represents the list of where, what, when, and how a particular person executes his/her action accordingly. This might be a very passive and pessimistic thinking but the concept makes sense to me. If you ponder about the belief that I just mentioned, you might agree with what I just said.
Life is a mystery. Who would know precisely what the real meaning of life is? At this point of my existence, I genuinely do not know. Perhaps, when the time comes where I will be closed to the end, then God might open my mind. When that moment comes, he will allow me sit down at his special "theatre" and allows me to watch my own memoirs – from the moment when I was born to the moment when my soul leaves its host.
People in this universe are united and are met each other by fate. Life is just like a big movie theatre and everybody has his/her own character to play. Since you cannot modify the fact, then might as well join and act along with them. When this world end, the movie is over, or should I say when the individual dies, he/she will leave with the movie forever. I guess all the relationships between individuals during this lifetime only last once - may be!

Get-gorgeous ideas to get you set for the year ahead.

Day 1: De-puff post-party.Your parting gift from last night's shindig? Puffy eyes. Send those bags packing with a cooling eye gel such as Vichy Aqualia Thermal Eyes De-Puffing & Fortifying Soothing Hydrogel,

$26.Day 2: Get jet-lag relief.Holiday travel can take its toll on your skin. Recharge with My Blend Anti-Jet Lag Relief Emergency Booster, $45, a cocktail of moisturizers for plane-parched skin, with stimulating green coffee and soothing cotton seeds.

Day 3: Steam-clean your pores.Drop a Lush Toner Tab, a tablet that when steeped in hot water creates steam infused with hydrating essential oils. Try the Vitamin C Toner Tab, $1.50.

Day 4: Toss your old, cruddy makeup bag.Try a fun, chic bag from Sonia Kashuk Beauty at Target like the Foldover Clutch,

$15.Day 5: Deep-clean your teeth.After too many festive glasses of red wine, your smile may need a brightening boost. Try Crest Weekly Clean Intensive Cleaning Paste, $4, with ingredients similar to what your dentist uses.

Day 6: Boost immunity from the toes up.Feet absorb health-enhancing essential oils best after a warm soak. So give yourself a preventative pedicure. Donna Perillo, owner of Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa in New York City, suggests a rosemary salt scrub and soak (relieves muscle aches), followed by a eucalyptus lotion (promotes circulation). Try Bliss Hot Salt Scrub with Rosemary and Eucalyptus, $36, and Thymes Eucalyptus Body Lotion,

$22.Day 7: Go pure.A detox wouldn't be complete without fruits and veggies. Boost your intake with 100% Pure, a makeup line that uses produce-derived pigments. Try First Crush Eyeshadow Palette with Fruit Pigments, $32, made from berries, tea, tomatoes, and chocolate.

Day 8: Log on for free beauty booty.Sign up for free samples at

Week, Bobbi Brown created Bobbi Brown Bobbi Brights Palette, $70, irresistible to women who aren't afraid to experiment with color — 35 bright, matte shadows.

Day 11: Tune in to the smoky eye.Written instructions for tough-to-do makeup trends are often not enough. Log on to and watch makeup pro Tricia Sawyer go to work.Day 12: Relive your youth.Channel the first diva in your life — Smurfette — with Too Faced The Smurfette Collection. Our favorite pick, the So Smurfy Eye Shadow Collection, $32.50, is an eye quad with shades of pink, two glittering neutrals, and, of course, blue. It's la, la, la-la la la lovely.

Day 13: Cozy up.Get your skin ready for snuggle season with the decadent Shea Cashmere Collection from Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa, made with shea butter and cashmere extract.

Our favorite: Bubble Bath, $18, which comes in its own cashmere bag. Does it get any more luxurious?Day 14: Pick the perfect perfume — from your desk.Check out's fragrance finder and choose a new scent based on the notes you like.

you could be one of those people who love negotiating and get a discount on everything

Be a Better Negotiator
Did you ever wish you could be one of those people who love negotiating and get a discount on everything? Well, you can. All it takes is some knowledge of basic negotiating tactics and a little bit of guts. Follow these strategies and you'll be happily haggling in no time.
Inquire about a better price. Ask any great negotiator how she gets good deals and she'll likely shrug and say, "I just ask." The first step to any successful negotiation is making the choice to engage in one. The simple question "Can you give me a better price?" or "Is that the best price you can offer?" will often earn you an immediate discount on a product or service. Is that really all it takes? Sometimes, yes.
Ask for extras.
This is a good strategy to use with a small, independently owned business. If they're already making a sale, they're more likely to sweeten the deal with a little something extra. But again, you have to ask: "If I buy the skirt, the two tops, and the belt, can you throw in the earrings for free?" The worst they can say is no.
Offer to pay in cash up front.
This is a great tactic to try with party vendors, small-business owners, and entrepreneurs. Cash up front saves them from credit-card fees and the potential for bounced checks or late payments. If you can afford to do it, paying early and in cash will often win you a significant discount -- just be sure to get a receipt!
Do your homework. When dealing with a large national chain store, car dealer, hotel, or bank, your best negotiating tactic is your knowledge of the competition's pricing. Searching online for other stores' prices can give you a leg up -- especially if you bring a printout of a better price from a competitor with you. Stores will often match the better price, even if it comes from an Internet-based competitor.
This is also an important strategy when negotiating salary or benefits from a potential employer. Research your industry, region, and competitors' salary ranges ( and are two good sources) so you are not picking a number out of the ether. Information is power -- use it.
Blame the negotiation on someone else.
This is called the "empty chair" technique -- pretending that an absent third party is forcing the negotiation, not you. Car dealers are masters at this strategy ("I'll have to bring that number to my sales manager"). This saves you from looking like the bad guy. Try something like this: "My boss/partner/manager/investor won't like that number, but I can probably persuade her to accept 10 percent lower. Can you do that?"
Be nice.
One of the most unsuccessful negotiating tactics is anger. Yelling, complaining, or threatening will annoy the other party and make them far less willing to cut you a break. Personality and friendliness count.
Be willing to walk away.
Finally, the best negotiators have a bottom line and are willing to walk away if they don't get what they want. Detachment is a great negotiation strategy. If you want something too much, the seller or employer can smell your desperation and is less inclined to bargain.

How to Achieve implementation in life..

Achieve Fulfillment
It's completely natural to hold deep thoughts. However, this becomes unnatural when this is all a person has to fill their life. By offering more and caring about the truly important matters in life, you will get so vastly more in return.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting excited about the smaller things in life. If waiting for your monthly magazine subscription or looking forward to your favourite television programme puts a smile on your face, then that's a good thing. What's not so great is when deeply shallow people don't have anything more to offer. They also have nothing more to gain.
Take a leaf out of Craig Busch and Karen Grey Brook's book. They run Zion Wildlife Garden's in New Zealand, a renowned sanctuary for big cat's. Both are unbelievably inspirational and highly dedicated individuals who, for four years lived in one bedroom ex-quarantine facility in the park. They are a publicly funded organisation which allows them to preserve such a remarkable species. No doubt they enjoy the simple things in life but that's ok because they possess such a giving nature that the rewards themselves reap the benefits.
Those who hold no significant meaning or value just simply end up coasting through life. Some may feel fine with this but those who constantly feel empty won't achieve fulfilment unless they do something about it. There are many ways in which we can all make a difference, even if it isn't something on a grand scale. Some times in life, the best things are the simple things.
Making a difference doesn't necessarily mean having to spend a lot of money or give up too much valuable free time, maybe even none at all. Find something that you feel passionate about and persevere with it. Trust me, it will make your life seem full. There isn't really such a thing as a selfless act but that's ok. Just by carrying out a good deed, it's still a good deed even if it makes you feel good about yourself. In my opinion, it's even better because not only do you help someone else but you help yourself too and there's nothing wrong with that.
If everyone in the world only cared about superficial things such as designer labels, fancy cars, posh houses, etc, it would be a very selfish and uncaring society. Yet if a person was to also care about deeper things in life such as poverty, child and animal cruelty, homelessness, etc, then it would make caring about shallow things seem less insignificant.
So, start by donating some of those superficial possessions to charity, volunteer at a shelter, help those less fortunate because if the shoe was on the other foot, wouldn't you want to live in a more caring society and be helped by those luckier than yourself?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Health-related resources on the Internet & get the best medical Advice Online

The Internet has twice saved Jola Stettler's life.
In November 2006, the 39-year-old mother of three was diagnosed with ocular melanoma that had spread to her liver.
"My oncologist flat out told me that there is no treatment," remembers Stettler, who emigrated to the U.S. from Poland in 1994. "He said for me to go home and enjoy with my family whatever time I have left, which could be up to six months."
Stettler's husband, Marek, couldn't fathom the oncologist's terminal diagnosis and instead turned to the Internet. Hours of research led him to Dr. Charles Nutting, an interventional radiologist at the Swedish Medical Center in Denver. Dr. Nutting agreed to treat Stettler, also a Denver resident, with a cutting edge therapy that injects the tumors with radioactive beads to gradually shrink them. A year-and-a-half later her tumors began to grow again.

In Depth: How to Get the Best Medical Advice Online
That's when Marek returned to the Internet and discovered that the National Institutes of Health was in the midst of a clinical trial to treat cancer patients with a radical new therapy that uses six times the amount of chemotherapy while not allowing it to enter the body's bloodstream. Dr. Nutting hadn't yet heard of the trial, but agreed to help Stettler participate. Four treatments this year have shrunk the tumors by 75%.
Safe Searching
Though Stettler's case is an extreme example, it is a reminder that online medical resources and advice can be a powerful tool if used wisely. The most reliable and accurate Web sites, blogs and list-serves can lead users to information about prevention, diagnosis, treatment and experts, sometimes helping them to improve their quality of life dramatically.

The Medical Internet
There are countless medical resources online. Dr. Harlan Weinberg, author of Best Health Resources on the Web, started with a list of 20,000 Web sites and took three-and-a-half years to whittle it down to 1,000 reliable and accurate sites. In addition to reference sites, there are also list-serves and blogs which can connect patients with their peers and other experts. With the abundance of information, Dr. Harland urges users to be skeptical and not believe everything they read.

How to Surf the Web for Medical Advice
You could start out by typing a key word into a search engine, but don't just click on the top results. A Google search for diabetes, for example, offers Web sites for health care media publishing companies in its top three results. But perhaps more reliable is a site run by the National Institutes of Health, which contains basic research on the disease in addition to information about ongoing clinical trials and alternative therapies.

Don't let paranoia dominate your search habits when looking for medical information online. A recent Microsoft study of Internet use and medical research found that of more than 11,100 search sessions, 5.3% led to a "query escalation." In such cases, the subject began associating a common symptom with a serious medical condition, like starting with "headache" then proceeding to "headache tumor" and "brain tumor treatment." Caffeine withdrawal is far more likely the cause.

Involve Your Physician
Internet savvy patients can find experts and remedies that change the course of their treatment, but that the newfound knowledge should be parsed by a trained professional. "It's a tool," says Dr. Harlan Weinberg, head of the critical care department at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y, "but you still need to have someone doing the critical medical thinking."

Delegate Research Responsibilities
When Jola Stettler, a 39-year-old mother of three, was diagnosed with ocular melanoma that had spread to her liver, she relied on her husband to use the Internet as a research tool. "I was trying to occupy my mind with something else," she says. So her husband began investigating treatments for the disease and eventually found a radiologist willing to treat her as well as a clinical trial being run by the National Institutes of Health.

Remember that You're Unique
When discussing health issues and concerns through a list-serve, blog or other medium, remember that your case is unique. Despite shared symptoms and experiences, try to think about how your care and treatment might differ from that of online contacts. There are basic rules about treating certain ailments, but gender, age and lifestyle can make a huge difference when it comes to finding the right approach.

Relaxation techniques for anxiety.

Uneasiness, apprehension and worry are feelings with which most are familiar. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly one in five Americans aged 18 and older suffer from an anxiety disorder in a given year -- that's 40 million Americans.While understanding just how far these mental malignancies reach is important, learning how to get the help you need is the ultimate goal. However, the very nature of anxiety itself makes it hard for sufferers to reach out. So here's to hoping that we can help with a few relaxation training techniques for anxiety. The following is a quick review of four of the most effective relaxation training techniques for anxiety. This is no hocus-pocus; these techniques proved highly effective in a recent review of all clinical trials on relaxation training conducted over the last 10 years. The best part: You can master some of these techniques on your own, although undergoing training under the guidance of a registered therapist is still recommended.
Jacobson's Progressive Muscle RelaxationDeveloped by American physician Edmund Jacobson in the early 1920s, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a popular relaxation training technique for anxiety that works on several basic principles: Anxiety is often accompanied by muscle tension, so by reducing muscle tension, you can reduce anxiety.What it involves: This relaxation training technique for anxiety requires deep concentration in a relaxed setting. Mentally focus on distinct muscles, muscle groups or body parts and systematically attempt to relax each, one by one. The process is often called body scanning. Body scanning is a great way to relax
muscles prior to or after physically working out as well.Time commitment: It requires five to 10 minutes. Do it once a day at first, then as required (although continuing PMR daily is never a bad idea). Verbal instructions can be taped to help you proceed.
Autogenic TrainingDeveloped by German psychiatrist Johannes Schultz, autogenic training is a more comprehensive relaxation training technique for anxiety than PMR, although underlying mechanisms are very similar. What it involves: Autogenic training involves six standard exercises that make the body feel warm, heavy and relaxed. Visual imagery and body awareness are commonly used.Time commitment: This takes about five to 10 minutes to complete, and it should be repeated several times a day and may take about four to six months to master. Some may require the help of a trained therapist to deliver instructions, although taped instructions may be sufficient.
Applied RelaxationFirst described by Lars-Göran Öst, applied relaxation is really a combination of stress management techniques that focus on identifying signs of anxiety and learning ways to overcome anxiety. The focus is on teaching patients to relax increasingly quickly and to apply relaxation techniques during daily activity. Near the end of training, patients are often gradually exposed to feared situations to practice application. What it involves: Techniques include self-observation, progressive relaxation, release-only relaxation, cue-controlled relaxation, differential relaxation, rapid relaxation, and application training.Ease your mind with these relaxation training techniques for anxiety.

Vespers Relaxation Therapy!
Feeling over-whelmed? Nerves frazzled? Need to chill? You need some 'me time'. Follow these simple, but effective tips and feel the tension and stress ebb away and peace and relaxation blanket you.
Now, put on some chilled music, draw the drapes, dim the lights. Pour yourself a glass or have a herbal tea. Climb onto the cosy bed, lie on your back, with your arms by your sides, palms uppermost and close your eyes. Starting with your toes, concentrate on each part of your body and imagine it getting heavier and heavier, breathing deeply in and out, in and out and feel the tension ebb away. Banish ALL TALK, slick on some lip balm and drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth to fully relax.
There is no better way to relax than in a warm bath. Drizzle a capful of your favourite aromatherapy bathing oil into the bath and fill your space with wonderfully aromatic vapours well known for their powerful calming properties and simply DRIFT AWAY, as the essential oils work their way into the skin, relaxing the mind and body.
If you're with a friend, ask them to give you a massage, concentrating on your head, neck and shoulders to really release tension. Opt for an aromatherapy massage oil, containing natural botanicals that penetrate the skin for fast relief.
Another wonderful way to relax is from the outside in, by preparing your skin. Applying a cream, rich in relaxing essential oils to your face and neck, or to pulse points when stressed, will help you to REPOSE and relax, whilst you lay back and watch the television or listen to music, deeply drawing in the fragrant, calming scent.
Improving circulation, will help regulate your heartbeat and thus help you to relax and feel less tense. Try applying a foot or leg balm to your lower legs and elevate them, on the headrest for instance. Opt for an aromatherapy balm containing active ingredients as this will increase your circulation, reduce fluid retention and help to eliminate toxins... AAAHH! that's better.
You can improve the ambience of a room and make it feel really cosy by lighting a fragrant candle. Close your eyes and let your mind wander to exotic places. To lose yourself in a dream is as good as a sleep for recharging the batteries and will help that state of ALL QUIET.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to explore for the mastermind outside You..

Have you ever wished to know why you are still struggling with your same life and why not anything is changed?
If you are the one who has gone during tough time and is stressed with life and do not know what to do then its time to engage in personal assessmen.

If you are the one who has gone through tough time and is struggling with life and do not know what to do then its time to take up personal assessment.
A personal assessment is judging oneself and knowing everything you should know about yourself.
So before you start please have a pen and a paper ready.
Ask yourself few questions, as given below and do as advised.
What you desire from your life?
What you want to achieve in this life?

Write whatever first comes to your mind even it seems unimportant.
Do take time to remember and recollect everything you feel you want from your life.
Next step is to do SWOT analysis.
Say you want to start your own organization then you should have good educational background, current market and economic status known, you must be financially sound etc...
In other words, you should know what your strengths and weakness are like wise opportunities and threats.
Know your strengths:
It is very important for you to evaluate your strengths related to your life.
According to your desire, you need to know your strengths.
So write down your strengths and carry on with other part of SWOT analysis.
.Know your Weakness:
As you have written your strengths now its time to be very open to yourself and without hesitation write down your weakness. Do not worry if your weakness turns out to be more then your strengths and this personal assessment is meant to change your weakness to your strengths.
.Know your Opportunities:
What ever you desire you should find out opportunity for it and grab those opportunity. Opportunity are sometime open and some time closed it is you who should change the direction of that opportunity.
.Know your Threats:
It would be wise to know the real aspect, which can affect your life, and to overcome it you need to have a handy tool to fight your threat as this is the best .

.way know it and plan it.
When you have written all the answers take time to plan and work on your weakness. As per example given above if, you want to start your organization and say you are not financially scoring then this is your weakness and so try to find out ways by which you can gain financial help or a loan. When you overcome your weakness, you can list it on your strength list.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Health elucidation to encourage lifestyle changes

If one’s New Year’s decision involved living healthier and safer in 2009, then this weekend is a immense time to get a solid establish.
From Thursday to Saturday this week, at the Knoxville Convention Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee will be holding its Healthy Living Expo, which promotes healthy living in all aspects of life.

Karen Ray and her partner Harry Tindell, a Tennessee state representative who works with Blue Cross, started the Blue Cross Healthy Living Expo five years ago. Ray’s company, Corporate Services & Events, helps businesses in Knoxville organize and plan special events such as the Women’s Today Expo and the Knoxville Auto Show.

Ray said working for this company gave her the experience to start the expo.

“We decided since we had the experience to do events and I was on a personal health journey and with many people currently interested in better health, we should start our own health and fitness expo,” Ray said.

This year, Ray said the events and booths are diverse.

Expect a “huge variety of information on health, fitness, nutrition and safety,” Ray said. “It’s like the Health and Fitness Mall of America.”

Throughout the three days, more than 200 exhibits will be at the expo, including booths from companies such as Rita’s Water Ice, In Synergy Yoga, Dick’s Sporting Goods and the cosmetic company Sephora. The expo will exhibit an assortment of food companies, many of which will be giving out free healthy food samples.

Ray said the expo will feature various give-aways, some with large prizes such as a Nintendo Wii or a six-month membership to the Rush Fitness Complex.

OUTLIVE, UT’s newly founded program to help raise money and awareness for cancer, will be holding a quarter-mile walk with several UT Athletes and selling fundraising T-shirts. At the indoor track, attendees can join gold medalist, track Olympian Deedee Trotter for a quarter-mile walk.

Other exhibits include a rock climbing wall and rowing equipment. A 30-day free membership to The Rush will be given away just for attending the expo. Also, the event will have more than 30 free health screenings.

Tindell said he encourages all to come and experience the opportunities the expo has to offer.

“Just for the health of it, try it,” he said.

The expo will be open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thursday and 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets will be $6 per day at the door.

Determinants of Health
"Individuals and their health cannot be understood solely by looking inside their bodies and brains: one must also look inside their communities, their networks, their workplaces, their families and even the trajectories of their life" (Prof J Lomas, CEO, Canadian Health Services Research Foundation).

The best health care system in the world, alone, will not improve health and wellbeing. A person's health cannot be adequately explained by health behaviours and risk factors alone, but result from a combination of a multitude of factors.

A person's health and wellbeing is dependent on:
A GOOD START - Genes, food, water, shelter, air, housing, space, safety, transport, behaviour and lifestyle
A GOOD FUTURE - Education, skills, work, income, self esteem

GOOD CARE - Life skills, health care, community services, government policy

GOOD SUPPORT - Parents, family, friends, social connections

These influences are known as the determinants of health- the social, economic and environmental factors that determine whether or not we enjoy good health and well being.

The relationship between the determinants and actual level of health is complex. Because health determinants are inter-related and interdependent, outcomes of one determinant will influence and produce other outcomes.

For example, low income can result in lower levels of education, which influence where people live, their social contacts, their behaviours, lifestyle and overall health status.

Outcomes are also cumulative. Individuals or groups who experience low income, low educational attainment, lack of control, lack of social supports and inadequate coping skills have a poorer health status than those with fewer health risks.

New technologies are promising to save money and improve services

The Future Of Health Care

It's not just automakers, finance firms and state coffers that stand to gain from government loans and stimulus spending. If President-elect Obama is able to pass a stimulus package early next year, rumored to cost $850 billion, it could be a boon for the health care industry as well.
In addition to funding an expansion of state Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the Washington Post has reported there are plans to allocate upward of $10 billion to implement a nationwide, interoperable electronic medical records (EMR) system. The investment could jump-start a flurry of spending on health information technology (IT).

In Depth: The Future of Health Care
If well funded and adopted widely, many different technologies--from electronic records to algorithms to remote monitoring devices-promise to streamline the health care system, saving money and improving services.
"I think we'll look back and see the real reflection of change," says Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, of these technologies' potential. "We will not be having the discussion about electronic medical records. [That] will be standard."
The end result, he says, is a future in which health care is more personalized--and frequently delivered outside of the doctor's office and hospital.

A Costly Proposition
This sounds ideal, but it's an expensive proposition. Campaign for America's Future, a liberal think tank based in Washington, D.C., expects a nationwide electronic medical records system to cost $7.6 billion a year over 15 years.
The high cost is due partly to the fact that few providers currently use health IT. By 2006, only 12% of America's physicians and 11% of its hospitals had adopted computer applications to help modernize their record keeping, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Amplify Your Luck Factor with These Tools

Why are some people luckier than others? Although many accept as true that some people are luckier than others, it simply isn't true. If you want good luck, a talent for following hunches is the most vital tool you can develop. Here are three most important rules you should follow.
Learn To Follow Your Hunches
If you want good luck, a talent for following hunches is one of the most essential tools you can develop. How many times have you been in a situation where you had a feeling that you should do something in particular or had a feeling about someone you just met? These gut feelings are hunches. It is your inner voice talking to you.
A hunch is something you think you know, but you don't know how you know it. That is why a hunch comes with that peculiar feeling of "almost not knowing." So where do hunches come from? Some think this inner voice is divine while others believe it is an ESP thing. Many psychologist think they can explain them without attributing them to the occult or ESP. They believe that a hunch is a conclusion that is based on real data or objective facts. A hunch, however, is based on facts you don't consciously know. They are stored and processed on a level of awareness just below and behind your conscious thoughts.
New York psychologist, Dr. Eugene Gendlin is an expert on this intriguing subject. He has spent most of his career studying this not-quit-conscious level of awareness. He believes that lucky people are those who have discovered how to delve down into this level of awareness and access the huge amount of information, wisdom and knowledge that is stored there.
Either way, hunches are powerful tools that are built into our minds that many of us ignore. I am sure you have had hunches that you have ignored and then looked back in retrospect and wished that you had followed them. By being more aware of hunches and gut feelings, we become more apt to follow them. Here are three major rules you should follow:
Learn to Assess Your Hunches
A hunch comes unbidden. It is a strong feeling that something is true or about to happen. In order to benefit from hunches, you must first examine the situation and the hunch you are feeling. Here are some easy guidelines that will help.
Never trust a hunch about someone you just met. If you met somebody a half an hour ago and have a hunch about his or her honesty, dismiss the hunch as unreliable. Never commit your money or emotions on the basis of a first sight hunch.
Unlucky people tend to make commitments on the basis of first impressions. Lucky people go back for a second look. Doing so will reaffirm your initial feeling or prove it to be false. By giving yourself a little time before coming to conclusions, you are more apt to be correct.
If you aren't sure of a hunch, wait awhile and sleep on it. On second and third sight you may feel little tendrils of worry creeping in around the edges of your hunch. If that happens, the hunch is usually wrong.
Never fall back on a hunch to avoid work. Any time you want to act on what you fondly believe is a hunch, ask yourself earnestly whether you are merely inventing an excuse for avoiding honest study or to avoid people who might answer your questions in a way you wouldn't want to hear. Many times, people fall into this trap, not realizing the difference between wishful thinking and hunches.

Make Room for Hunches to Grow
Hunches are made of facts but they come as feelings. Since many people are woefully out of touch with their emotions, they are unable to effectively follow hunches. To hunch soundly you must correctly identify and be in touch with your feelings, respect them and give them a full hearing. This is very important if you want to be able to increase your luck effectively.
Don't smother a hunch by over analyzing it. A feeling about a situation always contains vastly more information than could have been figured out intellectually.
Get in touch with the large vague feeling of the hunch and give it time to grow and come into focus.
Collect "soft" facts along with the hard data. Learn to evaluate the emotional "vibes" of people who are involved and the "feel of the room" so to speak. The ability to perceive these vibrations will come easier with practice. To become good at it, you have to do it everyday and in every situation.

Never Confuse a Hunch With a Hope
A lot of bad hunches are just strong wishes in disguise. This is the defining line when it comes to knowing which hunches to follow. It is also the most important factor that decides whether you are lucky or unlucky. When you really want something, it is easy to talk yourself into believing it will happen.
Examine your hunch closely. Nobody can really be sure of a hunch, but you can evaluate it by testing its strength and feeling around the edges of it.
Deliberately try to make your hunch break down. Argue with it by listing reasons why it might not be valid. If a hunch is not strong, or if it is based on wishful thinking, it will be unable to defend itself.
Recognize that you are in a situation where hunch and hope may become confused with one another. When that awareness hits you, it will make you more careful. I can not stress enough the importance of giving yourself enough time to fully evaluate your hunch.
Lucky people typically organize their lives in an analogous way. They know that almost any venture can lead to either loss and gain. They have the ability to discard bad luck before it become worse luck. This sounds simple and no more than common sense. However, that is not always the case. A great number of people (usually the unlucky) never seem to be able to master it. They habitually get themselves stuck in bad situations and in many cases, remain stuck for life. By remembering these next two points, you can avoid this pitfall.
It's too hard to admit that you are wrong. This is one of the two main reasons for bad luck. Unlucky people get stuck in a situation by being unable to reverse decisions. This sentences them to stagnation in bad situations or in counter=productive plans of action.

It's too hard to abandon an investment. This could apply to a financial investment or one made up of emotions and or time. Being willing to cut your losses in order to change your luck factor is a major requirement.
By following these guidelines you will be able to determine whether or not to follow a hunch more effectively. Keep listing these guidelines in your head regularly in order to drill them into your way of thinking. By doing this regularly, you are deliberately cultivating the habit of effectively following hunches. Make sure to follow them closely and faithfully. Remember, your luck factor will be sure to increase over time, so don't be discouraged. With time, your factor will surely grow.

Success is the the major vital thing in human life.

Must be challenge To Think and more exploit
At first sight, it seems that Success is the most important thing in human life. If you ask me, everyone wants to set the Thames on fire, however, first must keep abreast of the times. To be accurate this person ought to be in advance of the rest. Day after day, that individual has to work hard to achieve accomplishment. He/she must take advantage of an occasion, and look ahead. His/her affair cannot prove abortive. He/she is not be able to be absent-minded, must go ahead. At all hours, he/she has to be at his/her best. He/she ought to be above-board to be at his/her best. If he/she has good ideas, he/she must take a chance, and carry them into effect. He/she should come on, and count on himself/herself. He/she consistently must drive at the aim, that not to say wise after the event. This person has to stay face to face with problems, and face the music. He/she must behave honestly to be in favour of his/her future customs, because there is no smoke without fire.
Sometimes, as the known proverb says: “Better are small fish than an empty dish”, because there is as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it. He/she may try his/her fortune and make a fortune, but if he/she puts his/her foot in it, he/she will achieve nothing. It will be a flash in the pan, and according to the next proverb: “send a fool to the market and a fool will return again”. For all I care, think that as easy as anything is much speak and little do or give somebody good advices. Everyone must make hay while the sun shines and it cannot be helped. If he/she is used to be on the job, he/she may achieve success. It is said if somebody is keen to do something, he/she will do it. Occasionally it is necessary to stand on one’s head to be able to be successful.
Overall, it is essential to get through. Many people think that it is easy to attain achievement. In my opinion, they are in the dark. It is required not to fall from bad to worse. For aught I know if the person who wants to achieve the triumph has not an atom of common sense, this success come to be impossible to attainment. In addition, that person says then if I had been wiser, I would have had a lot of money today. At best, he/she sinks in tears, and is most often out of work, and he/she towards to make away with himself/herself or falls into bad habits.
In short, it is indispensable by all means, on all accounts stick out for his/her rights to life, to work, and first of all to achieve the success. Sometimes it is necessary to bang on the table, to say him/her that it is worthwhile, and not to say I wish I were a rich man. Because, where there is a will, there is a way.

Secret Of Success strong ,Healthy Lifestyle
The Importance Of Communication Skills
Communication skills simply do not refer to the way in which we communicate with another person. It encompasses many other things - the way in which we respond to the person we are speaking, body gestures including the facial ones, pitch and tone of our voice and a lot of other things. And the importance of communication skills is not just limited to the management world, since effective communication skills are now required in each and every aspect of our life. However, in this article we will discuss the importance of communication skills in two areas namely business and relationships.

First, let us concentrate on the importance of communication in business. We can measure the importance of communication skills in the business sector when we take a look at job advertisements. There is little chance that you will come across an advertisement which does not mention that candidates should have good communication skills. Perhaps this is the only criteria which creates a positive impact when a person goes for a job interview. This is because technical qualifications are likely to be more or less the same for the candidates.

Without effective communication skills, a person may find it impossible to climb up the corporate ladder. Promotions come to those who can communicate effectively at all levels, from senior management level to the lowest employee. You might find out more online service.

As for communication within relationships, it should be remembered that maintaining good relationships is a way to a healthy lifestyle, and a good relationship can only be maintained by maintaining healthy communication with our near and dear ones. They are the ones we stay with on a regular basis. They are also the ones who see us at our best as well as our worst.

Good communication skills help the relationships to develop along good lines, and ensure that arguments and disagreements are kept to a minimum. Good communication will avoid arguments and insults.

Another important part of communication in relationships is taking the initiative yourself. Do not wait for your best friend to call you after a long break. Instead take the phone and also take initiative to start the conversation. Often people have this problem while communicating, which comes from fear. They always think a thousand times whether to approach a person or not. But a person with good communication skills is always the first to start a conversation.

Given the importance of communication skills in both the personal and the corporate world, any individual who want to make progress with their life should develop this important skill.

Communication skills are very important and direct influence to your secret of success. Healthy Lifestyle created with your proper communication skills, especially if you are in sales fields.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A colorful life is very vital. It's what makes life appeal living.

At the end of the rainbow, looking back at my life, I’ve seen many colors beautiful and bright, dark and gloomy. My life has been filled with beautiful children, family and friends, bright memories that will never end. Dark days when the smoke seems to cloud up my mind and I couldn’t think clearly, gloomy days when the sunshine wasn’t near..

Looking back at my life I have no doubt there will never be an end to my rainbow. As long as there are colors within our souls our rainbow will never end.

Rainbow’s never end

When the act Moves On

THIS week, the eyes of the world will be on Washington as perhaps two million people descend to bask in the Obama glow. City officials expect more than 10,000 tour buses to roll into the area. Hotels 150 miles away have been booked for months. Even campsites are booked.
Washington suddenly has the stars — Halle Berry, Steven Spielberg, Jamie Foxx — who are coming to rub elbows with the biggest star of all.

But it also has control of the money: cowed and battle-scarred Wall Streeters are now at the mercy of the federal government, whose cash infusions are keeping their storied institutions afloat. The new administration in Washington has lured some of New York’s best and brightest, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, formerly the state’s biggest political star; and Timothy Geithner, once of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who is on the verge of being assigned to save the entire economy.

The sudden downturn has affected the very industries that give New York its identity — finance, media, advertising, real estate, even tourism — with extreme prejudice.

The result is that some New Yorkers feel that the city is losing, along with many jobs, its swagger and its sense of pre-eminence, which is no small matter in a town where many feel like it takes an outsize swagger to survive.

Dan Geiger, a journalist for a real estate trade publication, said he left a meeting on Sixth Avenue and 55th Street at 10 a.m., on a recent Tuesday and was alarmed to find the customary Midtown bustle absent. “The place was deserted, I mean dead,” he recalled. “I’ve never seen Sixth like that at that time of day before. It had a strange feeling to it, like a holiday almost.”

The swift reversal of fortune feels even more painful for having come on the heels of one of the most colorful epochs in the city’s history, marked by a skyrocketing economy and an expanding global profile, by championship sports teams and hit television shows that sold the world a vision of life in New York as the Emerald City.

Meanwhile, some other cities around the country — cities that never made any claim to being the capital of the world — can find at least some cause for solace in the current climate. Los Angeles keeps spinning out hits (“Gran Torino,” “Bride Wars”), proving that some kinds of entertainment really do seem recession-proof. In New York, meanwhile, nine Broadway shows closed on a single day this month.

While the New York region’s unemployment has climbed to 5.6 percent as of October, from 4.8 percent the previous year, the metropolitan areas of Seattle, Houston, Washington and Dallas actually saw net gains in employment over the last year.

No less a New Yorker than Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg conceded a loss of verve last week when he said the city was “shaken” (but “not broken”) as he put forward an ambitious jobs-creation plan.

Even Portland, Ore., seems to have borrowed New York’s smugness. Recently, one civic group’s television spot was picked up and circulated as a YouTube video portraying blissful bicyclists pedaling past tree-lined streets and frame houses behind a graphic reading, “Is Portland the most European city, or is Europe the most Portlandian continent?”

Isn’t that supposed to be New York’s line?

“It feels as if a layer has been peeled back on New York,” Haley M. Rubin, 23, an advertising assistant account executive in Manhattan, said in an e-mail message. “When I’m out in bars and restaurants, there is a sheen that is missing. Not to say New York isn’t still exciting and fun, but it feels a little grittier; there is a sense that the thrill of paying $20 for a cocktail is over. I find that my friends are still going out and want to have fun but their tolerance for the ‘price of exclusivity’ has waned.”

One possible reason it feels like a mood has been lost is something called “emotional contagion.”

A few years back, when everyone seemed flush, even those who never received a seven-figure bonus enjoyed the ride because success is infectious, said Michael R. Cunningham, a psychologist and a professor at the University of Louisville. That’s what psychologists call “emotional contagion” — someone else’s optimism becomes yours, if they stand close enough.

“People are influenced by the mood of the time in which they live,” Dr. Cunningham said. The problem is, emotional contagion also works the other way.

In other words, a friend of yours gets laid off and you bask in his ambient bummer.

Todd Rosenberg, an animator who lives in Brooklyn, said that he finds himself sharing in the psychic pain of the city when neighborhood businesses go into their death throes. In recent months, he recalled, one local bar attempted desperately to transform itself from velvet-upholstered Asian cocktail lounge to a rugged, taxidermy-filled hunting lodge to a gay bar, all to no avail. It closed soon after. A local bakery that seemed to specialize in stale pastries met a similar fate, he said. As of yet, no one has moved into either space.

“Now they’re just sitting there empty, so I’m actually missing the stale baked goods,” said Mr. Rosenberg, 39.

The overall result, he added, is a city that feels like it is “definitely shedding whatever New York was a few years ago.”

Also being shed are some of those colorful and slightly absurd microindustries — de-cluttering consultants, aroma therapy for pets — that sprouted in recent years by catering to the well-heeled, said Caitlin Zaloom, an assistant professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University who studied the culture of the Wall Street boom.
All those high-end services are a sign of financial froth,” Dr. Zaloom said, and are also the first thing to go when times get tough. The city, she added, loses a degree of its boomtown air of specialness, its grandiosity.
Massive development projects like Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards, with its planned Frank Gehry-designed sports arena and 60-story skyscraper, appear stalled. There’s no sign the New Jersey Nets will be moving to the borough any time soon.

“I think the city that never sleeps definitely needs a nap,” Michael J. Petruzzello, a prominent Washington public relations consultant, said in an e-mail message. “Washington, not Wall Street, is where all the action is right now. We have the money, power and the celebrities. We own all of the banks and financial giants. The Obamas are the hottest power couple on the planet.”

Can a city be considered “over,” like Pete Doherty? Unless the city in question is Ephesus, the Ionian metropolis that was sacked by Goths in third century A.D.; or La Corona, the lost Mayan city in what is now Guatemala; or possibly Detroit, cities don’t stop being cities. Even Pompeii, buried for centuries under ash and pumice, still attracts its hordes (albeit, to pick through the bones).

Ray Cha, 35, a trend consultant who lives in Manhattan, said, “New Yorkers love to complain,” and one of the things they “most love to complain about is that the city isn’t as good as it used to be. When the city is flush with Wall Street cash or dot-com I.P.O.’s, people complain about $20 cocktails or $300 bottle service.”

In fact, some New Yorkers feared their city was past its peak in the early ’90s recession. And in the bankrupt ’70s. And as long ago as the late 19th century, when New York felt compelled to annex Brooklyn in part to keep pace with its booming rival, Chicago, which at the time was enjoying the attention of the world as the site of the 1893 World’s Fair, said Mike Wallace, an author of “Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898.”

Indeed, in a city with a considerable taste for overstatement, residents have perennially declared it past its prime. “New York is over — O-V-E-R,” sneered Lexi Featherston, the party-girl character from “Sex and the City,” in an episode from Season 6, simply because some health-conscious partygoers forced her to aim her cigarette smoke out an open window (which she later fell from). The episode was broadcast in February 2004, a year when Manhattan residential real estate values gained 14 percent and Wall Street paid nearly $15.9 billion in bonuses.

Also that year, Thomas Keller opened Per Se, with its $270, nine-course tasting menu (with wine pairings), in the towering new Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle — where one apartment had sold for a then-record $45 million.

A phone call to Per Se for a reservation earlier this week revealed an opening for two that same night, and another one the next night.

To some, New York’s cyclical sense of having lost its swagger even serves as muse. Joan Didion famously declared New York, at least her New York, over in the essay “Goodbye to All That,” which was published when she was 32.

“The last time I was in New York was in a cold January, and everyone was ill and tired,” she wrote. “Many of the people I used to know there had moved to Dallas or had gone on Antabuse or had bought a farm in New Hampshire. We stayed 10 days, and then we took an afternoon flight back to Los Angeles.”

That was 1967. She didn’t stay in Los Angeles. At press time, Ms. Didion was still living in a red-brick prewar building on East 71st Street.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Keeping Your Head in a disaster

If you are feeling worried or stressed then this article will help you to gain a sense of balance. Tried and tested methods for reaching a state where you can keep your head in a crisis when all around you are trailing theirs.
There is an art to keeping your head when everyone around you is losing theirs. The secret is in how you conduct yourself on a day to day basis. If you’re not sure whether you would be able to keep your head in a crisis then you would benefit from the advice in this article. Read on.
Whingers, Worriers, and What’s All the Fuss About.
Generally speaking when it comes to a crisis, or an impending crisis, there are three broad types of reactions.
Type one are the whingers. Whingers are the sort of people who go around spreading the bad news. If someone comes up to you and says “Oh dear, it’s awful, have you heard…” then you can reasonably assume that you are dealing with a whinger. Whingers like nothing more than to spend their time spreading bad news and getting other people to feel miserable with them. There are exceptions to this but as a rule the only way to deal with a whinger is to say never mind and then get on with what you are doing. Don’t buy into their misery, they really can make a drama out of a spring shower.
Type two are the worriers. Worriers are more of a nuisance to themselves than anyone else. They can make themselves thoroughly miserable over what might happen and spoil a pretty good day. It is pointless telling them not to worry. The only thing you can do is refuse to worry along with them. In some cases they will swallow their surprise at your seemingly hardened attitude and may take a leaf out of your book. In which case their lives will be easier and you don’t have to listen to what bothers them.
Finally there are those people who simply wonder what the fuss is all about. These are generally the kinds of people who are able to keep their heads in a crisis. So what do you have to do to become a person who wants to know what all the fuss is about so that they can help put it right?

Apart from the above advice regarding whingers and worriers, there are a three other steps you can take to make your life easier and help you to keep your head in a crisis.
Methods to Avoid Losing Your Head
However busy you are always take some time at the end of the day to review its happenings and to make a list of things that you are thankful for. It might be a baby’s smile, a nice meal, a sunny day, or whatever else you regard as good in your life. Just write down how grateful you are for those things and read through the lists often. What you can develop from this is an attitude of gratitude which will color how you look at the rest of life.
Recognize the following, you cannot control other people’s behavior, the weather simply is, time itself is not a problem, it is what you do with it that matters. It is ok to fail, everyone makes mistakes, just shrug your shoulders and start again. If a job is worth doing then it’s worth doing badly. This is not an injunction not to be bothered, but to recognize that we are imperfect beings in a less than perfect world and if a job drags on the only way forward is to get it done as best you can, badly even.
Always take some time in the day for yourself, no matter what is going on. You can’t help others if there is no store to give from. Don’t feel you have to justify your every action. If you know you’ve made a mistake then admit it and move on, don’t let others drag you into their manipulation of you.

Take all this simple advice on board. If you do these things consistently then not only will you feel better about yourself and the world in general, if a crisis does occur, you’ll find it much easier to keep your head while all around you are loosing theirs.

Sense of balance wealth building with lifestyle

LIFE has no bigger juggling act than the one performed by people aged in their 30s and 40s.
Children, ageing parents, the advance, credit cards, keeping up with the Joneses, careers and holidays all compete for the time and cash of the so-called Generation X - people born between the mid-1960s and late 1970s.

With such a busy lifestyle today, it is easy to fail to remember about building wealth to make tomorrow much more calm.

We asked South Australian financial experts for their tips and traps to help Generation X steer their way to a wealthy middle age.

KeyInvest managing director Ian Campbell said the 30s and 40s was a time of wealth accumulation: ``When smart savings and investment strategies can make a major difference when retirement finally comes around''.
"A key tip for Generation Xers is to set the financial foundations now for the long-term future. Although retirement may not be in front of mind for many, the money invested now can bring outstanding benefits 20 or 30 years down the track,'' he said.
"It is critical to prepare a weekly household budget and stick to it. This will allow you to prioritise your spending and allocate a proportion of your household income to investment and savings.''
Smartline Blackwood mortgage adviser Cathy Anderson said the family spending plan did not have to be ``mean''.
"Make sure there is some breathing space in there for things like gifts and take-away coffee a couple of times a week,'' she said.
"With many families in this age group having both partners working, what can often work well is to have the larger salary allocated to paying the bills and the home loan.
With the second salary, half can go to living expenses with the second half earmarked for saving and investing, or accelerating debt reduction.''
Nothing can build wealth as easily and as passively as owning your own home.
When Adelaide's median house price was $123,000 in 1999, almost nobody predicted it would be $350,000 in 2009.
Gains in the value of your home are tax-free, and while there are likely to be ups and downs in the future, history has shown that house prices always rise over time.
"Those who still haven't purchased their first home would do well to enter the market early this year, particularly with the First Home Owners Grant and low interest rates,'' Zobel Modbury manager Nick Foale said.
"For those looking to expand as the kids come along, it's a great time to be looking at mid-to-top-end properties as the market levels out,'' he said.
Homeowners can take advantage of recent interest rate cuts by maintaining their existing repayment levels, which will shave years and tens of thousands of dollars off a typical mortgage.
Repaying the home loan faster also frees up equity in the home which can be used for investing. NAB state general manager retail banking Ann-Marie Chamberlain said making extra repayments also built a buffer for when children arrived and the family's income dropped.
"The more voluntary repayments you can make in advance, the further ahead you will be when it's time to take maternity leave,'' she said.
"If you're far enough in front, this may give you the flexibility to lower your repayments for a period of time while you're living on one income.''
Whether its shares, a rental property, managed fund or their own business, most people only become wealthy when they invest in assets other than their home.
"If you have equity in your home, think about whether you want to use that to create future wealth,'' Ms Chamberlain said.
"It's worth seeking advice from a financial planner who can help you to navigate the investment landscape. The key is not to leave wealth creation until the last minute, but to plan it well in advance,'' she said.
Zobel's Mr Foale said in terms of shares, there were some ``excellent cost-effective options currently on the market, particulary in the banking and mining areas''.
"As with everything, do your research first,'' he said.
Superannuation is the most tax-effective way to save for retirement, and once you get there it is even better, thanks to the Federal Government last year making withdrawals tax-free for those aged over 60.
Co-contributions, spouse contributions and salary sacrifice are among the terms and strategies people should educate themselves about, said financial strategist Theo Marinis.
"Contribute bonuses to your superannuation - you won't miss them now, but they will generate great returns for you by the time you retire,'' he said.
Education can be the mother of all expenses, particulary for parents of children who attend private schools.
South Australian Secondary Principals Association president Jim Davies said some parents spent much of their life savings to send their children to an independent school.
"On average, the cost to put your child through an independent school is around $12,000 a year in fees. Over a 13-year education period, this amounts to a massive $156,000,'' he said.
An alternative was public schools, where fees ranged from $300 to $900 a year, he said. KeyInvest's Mr Campbell said there were products available to help parents save.
"The importance of a child's education cannot be overstated and Generation Xers can begin saving for this from the moment their child is born. Putting money away when children are still young for other likely life events further down the track, such as weddings or their first home deposit, can reduce the financial strain in later years,'' he said.
Mr Marinis said a potential trap was assuming you would remain employed until age 65.
"Big corporations in particular tend to make older people redundant, damaging a lot of retirement savings plans,'' he said.
People who aim to be financially secure by their 50s, rather than their 60s, will see working in their later years as a luxury instead of a necessity.
Apart from the emotional pain of a marriage break-up, the financial effects can be disastrous. Mr Marinis said divorce dramatically increased the chances of poverty in retirement.
Wealth For Life principal Rex Whitford said divorce was the biggest trap for generation X.
"Having spent so much effort in building up assets, to see half disappear and have to effectively start again can be an unrecoverable situation,'' he said.
"While there are some very good reasons why some people separate or divorce, in many cases the best financial advice would be to get professional marriage counselling to determine if there is any way forward.''
Life and disability insurance and income protection cover are vital for people who have a family and don't want them to suffer financially should disaster strike.
On the financial side, Ord Minnett private client adviser James Scott-Young said people should consider risk management as much as asset acquisition.
"They need to set gearing limits, diversify their entire asset base, acquire quality investments regularly in small chunks, and ensure their household has a cash flow that can weather the worst case scenario,'' he said.