New Experiences Equal Freedom

Is it possible that meeting others who are different than you can be both liberating and imprisoning? This was the question posed to a group of us by one of our classmates. Some of the group said no; it was one or other but not both. Some of the group said yes, it can be both liberating and imprisoning at the same time.

How can the experience of meeting people who are not like you be both liberating and imprisoning?

Let's say you meet someone who comes from a different culture or a different religious background than yours. This can be very liberating. When you get to know someone who is different and you learn about their culture and their traditions it can be very freeing. You might find yourself eating food you have never eaten or joining in celebrations that you never knew existed. You can learn about their history. You can listen to their music. Even if you simply pick up a new word from them and add it to your vocabulary you have experienced some growth. All of these possibilities represent a type of liberation because you free yourself from your own constraints. When you join in a celebration that is new to you, you are freeing yourself from only recognizing the celebrations that come from your culture. When you open yourself up to new experiences and perspectives you can liberate yourself from any limiting or preconceived notions that you had about another culture.

Now when you meet someone who comes from a different culture or religion, it can be imprisoning. If you look at them and decide that their ways are weird and wrong and you want nothing to do with them, you are placing yourself behind bars. You are denying yourself growth and you are literally imprisoning yourself right where you stand.

That shows how meeting new people can be either liberating or imprisoning; how can it be both? Each of us walks around with some degree of bias. You are influenced by your background and your own belief system. This is neither good nor bad, it just is. When you are confronted with a new belief system your way of encountering it is through the lens of your belief system. For most of us something is normal if it is close to our way of doing things, something is odd if it not close to our way of doing things. In this way we evaluate new information. In this way meeting new people is both liberating and imprisoning. You can be liberated by the new experiences and perspectives you gain, as long as you do not allow your bias to hold you captive.

When you have new encounters, take note of your reactions. Pay attention to why you find something to be odd or different. Pay attention to why you consider something to be good or normal. In this way you can experience more liberation and less imprisonment.

The Secrets of Selling Cars Fast at the Best Price

While there are various ways in which you can sell a car fast, selling it fast at a reasonable price may be a daunting task to many. In most cases, many people sell cars fast because of a serious pressing need for cash. It must also be noted that every seller would want to get the best price for his property. The buyer, on the other hand, will want to purchase a car that is of high quality, but at the lowest possible price. To ensure that the car is salable at a reasonable price as quickly as possible, there are two very vital factors to consider, namely the price and the presentation of the car.

Because you want to sell the car fast, you should set a price that will not have you wasting time bargaining with the buyer. This does not, however, mean that you should set the price very low. You should in fact set the price slightly higher than that which you are prepared to accept. If for example, you are prepared to accept $750, you can set the price at $800.

Presentation of the car:
To sell a car fast, you must ensure that it is presentable to the buyer. Even if a car is in good working condition, a bad shape may cause it to attract low price. It is recommended that you take your car for some panel beating as well as a mechanical check up. Customers will be willing to buy a car that is bright and good looking. The car is also likely to fetch a good price if it is fitted with a music system, anti car theft devices, and such other car accessories. With this in mind, the following are the tips that you must follow if you want to sell a car fast, and at the same time, get the best price possible.

1. Selling to the company that deals in the purchasing of used cars:
You can sell a car fast at a reasonable price if you contact the companies that deal in the buying and selling of used cars. These companies have ready cash, and the right professionals to assess the car. You can contact these companies over the phone or through email. In most cases, they will want to conduct an assessment of the car in your yard. Once you agree on the price, these companies will just issue you with a check for the agreed amount and then tow or drive the car away. You can even conclude the deal with company in only one day.

2. Placing advertisement in the newspapers:
If you want to sell a car fast by placing advertisements in the newspapers, you must make your advertisements look different from the rest. You should ensure that you take clear photos of the car and provide the information about the car that the buyer needs. You should be careful to ensure that you do not exaggerate the information. You should be honest to enable the buyer to make an independent decision to purchase or not. You should also be cautious to not to portray yourself as being desperate to sell the car. You should be prepared to accept only the most reasonable price.

3. Placing advertisement over the internet:
The internet is the best place to get all the hottest deals, including the selling of cars fast. You can contact an online advertisement company and ensure that your advert is special. You can instruct them to place a red banner with the message "Quick Sale". Note that the online advertisement will come at a cost, but it will be worth your while because you can easily get several willing buyers very quickly.

Product Features of the Panasonic VIERA TC-L32C5

With the release of the new, Panasonic VIERA TC-L32C5, high definition television viewing has never had it better. Panasonic, a pioneer in the home appliance industry, has come out with another good device, with its new, 32 inch, 720p LCD HDTV, which enables you to watch vivid, like life pictures, that comes at a reasonable price as well, not compensating anyhow on the quality of the product as a whole.

The Panasonic VIERA TC-L32C5, highlights the use of a USB port (Universal Serial Bus), using which you can play saved data from anywhere. Also, because of the inbuilt Panasonic Media player software, any type of supported format, (JPG\MP3) can easily be viewed. Along with this, comes the Intelligent Scene Controller, to give you optimal image content. With a viewing angle of about 176 degrees, a comfortable, and easy on the eyes television experience is ensured. Along with an Aspect ratio of 16:9, and 1366 x 768 pixels, a superior quality of picture has been ensured.

There are two HDMI ports that support various Hi Definition Multimedia devices, like the HD cable or the satellite box and even the personal computers. Thus, you can work on your personal computer, on the high resolution wide screen of the Viera. A Built in, Closed Caption decoder device is also built in the system, and you just need to check the availability of the captions, your cable provider to activate this particular function.

For the gamers, VIERA automatically chooses the optimal settings, to give delicately rendered details that makes your gaming experience more fun. Thus, you can enjoy your favorite characters, with even more discernible images and graphics. With two dedicated surround sound speakers (ten watts rating), the game music and sounds are beautifully brought to you. Someone studying nearby? Just attach the headphones, and you are good to go!

Next up, for the power saving option, we have the ECO Mode, that automatically adjusts the brightness, or turns the power off, depending on the status of the system. If there is "No Signal" for ten minutes, for "No Activity" for three hours, the system is automatically switched off. The C.A.T.S. - Contrast Automatic Tracking System, automatically senses the room's ambiance, and controls the systems' brightness levels. The Panasonic VIERA TC-L32C5 works at AC 110-127, 60 Hz frequency, with ATSC/QAM/NTSC receiving system. The 32 inch is supported by a LCD panel, which are packaged in a lightweight base. Consumers have asked about a few problems, for example, when one switches off the television, a small tick (or clicking) type of sound is heard, or the back cover getting warm. No need to panic, these are just due to the electrical components, during their normal operation.

In general, the Panasonic VIERA TC-L32C5 makes for a good HDTV, because of the various accessibility options it provides. Along with the television comes a remote, and Panasonic's warranty. With added benefits like PC Connectivity, HDMI ports and Closed Caption support, and a trilingual support (English/Spanish/French), Panasonic has ensured a nice viewing experience.

How to Select The Right Long Range FM Transmitter

A long-range FM transmitter has the ability to be used in many different applications, from health clubs to correctional facilities to holiday light shows. It's the distance that sets it apart from the run of the mill FM Transmitters you can find at Best Buy.

In case you didn't know, all FM transmitters are not engineered with the same capabilities, some have 30 feet of broadcast range, while others can go as far as 150 feet. Some only transmit over a few selected FM frequencies while others can go up and down the entire FM frequency.

Since the FCC has placed strict regulations on the distance and power of long range FM transmitters, it's important to do a little research. Some unscrupulous people have used these transmitters to host their own pirate radio shows and knock regular radio stations off the air. Of course, this is illegal, so you should make sure the one your looking at contains the FCC approval stamp.

It's also important to note that not all of these have the same flexibility. Many were designed to work with a few select audio sources, while other can be used with a wide array of audio sources, it just depends on the manufacturer and what the deemed important when they engineered it.

So now you have a general understanding of how they work and the type of flexibility some are equipped with, now it's time to look at how most long range FM transmitters are powered. As you are smart enough to know, most are powered via a 120 volt AC wall plug in. A few can be powered by batteries. And only a select few can be powered by USB, 120 AC, batteries, and by a car cigarette adapter. In fact, very few are flexible enough to allow multiple methods of powering.

When you looks at the different factors that make up the plethora of transmitters, you can see how it can become hard to decide which one you would like to implement. If you are looking for one for a Christmas light show, then you would probably need one which could be powered by USB since your light show will be using a laptop for synchronized music.

If you will be using one for just in home use, then all you really need is one which will run on 120 V A/C and if you want one to use in your car then you will probably need it to plug into the vehicles cigarette/utility adapter.

Hopefully, you had some clarification and will be able to make a more informed decision, if you plan on purchasing a long range FM transmitter.

Tone It Down - Looking at the Meaning in Writing For the Web

The right tone is important. If it's off the music just doesn't sound quite right. And when you're speaking to somebody, the wrong tone can completely twist the meaning of your words.

Speak too softly and you'll be painted as accusing and secretive, too enunciating and you'll be construed as condescending.

True, these assumptions have a lot to do with the context of the physical situation. But just because there is no bodily presence or audible voice doesn't mean that there is no tone on the Web. If anything, it is doubly more important there.

Not Just Any Word Will Do

On the Web there are no gestures, facial expressions, or other body language. There is no way to communicate intimacy by standing in closer, no way to read blushing or behold the intensity in one's eyes. Words on screens have no volume, presence, or depth. Sarcasm is difficult enough to gauge in person; trying to discern it from text is so subtle sometimes we miss it altogether.

In reading our only clues are the context of the surrounding words and sentences. When we read text off a website we gain the benefit of some visual context; the graphical style and imagery present elsewhere on the site, our reading container, can help impart in what mood the text should be consumed.

But what really comes down to decoding the tone from screentext is brevity. Which words are used, and which aren't? In what order are the words presented, and how are the sentences formed? Are they straightforward and concise? Veiled behind clever poetic devices? Hinting and vague? Exciting or bland?

The right word choice can communicate a light tone, or a dark one. Business-like curtness or quirky fun. A business that presents itself as quirky can be construed as either fun and inviting... or a mangled boor. A restaurant's website can either convey class or smugness. These are fine lines, and admittedly they are also subjective ones too.

The context of the audience at the time of reading your screentext can make all the difference. If they're in a foul mood they could misinterpret your content entirely. But such a situation is completely outside of the writer's control. All they can do is make sure their published content, their words, are written as precisely as possibly to steer the reader into the desired mindset.

That is why tone is so crucial, and its implementation is a very careful and honed art. Just as painters will obsess over the right shade, and musicians dwell on just the right note, so too must writers question the merit of each and every single word they pen.

Tone is the Vanguard

Getting the audience into the right mindset means all the difference in a successful communication exchange.

It doesn't matter what the exchange consists of; be it an advertisement (persuasion), information, or emotion; in order to be received the written content must be allowed into a receptive host. Not only that, it must find a hospitable nest waiting for it. Otherwise it will soon be discarded.

Paragraphs and sentences contain the information meant to be imparted; but tone helps the reader's mind prepare to receive and retain that info. The content could be the best, most attractive, most worthwhile topic in all the world and history. But if it is conveyed poorly, it won't germinate in any receptive minds. Because there would be none.

Doing More With Less

The advent of Twitter and ever decreasing amounts of text aesthetically allowed on web pages have made word counts only more intense. So much tone, emotion, and mindset must be conveyed and persuaded through so little amount of verbiage.

It is literary minimalism and in such constraints every, detail, counts. There absolutely can be no room for fluff, and yet the sentences must flow pleasantly enough for normal reading.

Tone is a complex attribute. Just as bodily context comes from so many subtle cues, the communication of just the right tone requires its own fair share of words. Paring it down to the extreme least risks compromising that tone and therefore miscommunicating over the right mindset into the reader.

The mark of a good content writer nowadays isn't merely whether they can write well. Or even if they can write concisely. It comes down to how they can manipulate their written tone; how they can anticipate the needs of their client and adapt to the demands of the client's readers.

A good writer can convey the same information but in two entirely different tones, and the audience will have believed they had read two separate, distinct pieces of content.

What a Difference Can Make

Tone is to content as CSS is to HTML.

Tone is to information as the right tie is to a suit.

Tone is to writing as your first impression is to new people.

Tone is an accent, a container, an impression, a detail. But it is one of the most important ones because it defines to others everything within itself.

What other elements do you think are important to content writing besides tone? Do you think with increasing amounts of video and photos that written tone will become less of a prominent issue?

Save Money By Booking Visakhapatnam Hotels Online

Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, is a major port city on the Southeast coast of India. Being the 3rd largest city on the Eastern coast of the country, after Kolkata and Chennai, it attracts millions of tourists from all across the planet. The city is known for having many industries and steel plants and also having the only natural harbor in this part of India. Having a large number of tourist footage all round the year, it's always advisable to make online booking of Visakhapatnam hotels much in advance.

Visakhapatnam is known for having one of the largest sea ports and the oldest ship yard in India. It has many tourist attractions which include long stretched beaches, naturally formed cliffs and attractive paths on its hilltops, facing the sea. Kailasgiri is one such place which overlooks and offers a beautiful view of the city as well as the Eastern Ghats. The city is known to host many zoological parks and wildlife sanctuaries, a sub-marine museum, limestone caves, lofty mountain ranges and colorful valleys, which provide a colorful backdrop for the entertainment and rejuvenation of its tourists. The Beach road, stretching from east point colony to coastal battery is flooded with parks, statues, musical fountains and a roller skating ground which make for an entertaining evening gathering point.

Online Booking of Hotels in Visakhapatnam

Looking at the popularity of the place and the busy lifestyle of city dwellers, it is far better to make online booking of Visakhapatnam hotels much before you physically step into the city. Not only does this provide you with a confirmed booking on arrival to the city but it also saves you from the harassment and embarrassment of going around hunting for the hotel with your family, loaded with your bag & baggage. Additionally, it also gives you an opportunity to view, pick and choose from many competitive travel packages available online and grab the best one as per your suitability. Many hotels have additional special offers along with discounted rates like free transfers from the airport or railway station and complimentary breakfast. Considering the advantages of online booking, it is a recommended way of reserving a nice hotel and it also gives you the freedom to conveniently make all your holiday bookings just by a single click right from the confines and comforts of your home.

The hotels in Visakhapatnam range from budget hotels to luxurious resorts, thereby catering to the needs and demands of people from different strata of society. Not only are they well equipped with all modern amenities which are mandatory for a comfortable stay but they even go to great length in providing personalized services along with a warm hospitality which ensures its guests a memorable and comfortable stay.

3 Tinnitus Remedies To Implement Immediately

Tinnitus is the medical term for "ringing in the ears" in the absence of an external source of the ringing noise. This is a common phenomenon experienced by many people, most of them are not aware that they have this non-specific symptom.

Tinnitus cannot be attributed to one specific cause, because there are a number of factors that might lead to ringing in the ears... If you have tinnitus constantly, you will find it not just to be inconvenient but also very annoying... Aside from that, a person's health and their quality of life are very much affected, especially if tinnitus remedies are not performed regularly.

Quite often tinnitus is ignored and left untreated by people suffering from these symptoms, but eventually try to cope with the issues and difficulties brought about by the irritating sound in their ears... If the tinnitus isn't too severe people won't need to rely or depend on medical help to be able to manage the condition themselves... There are tinnitus remedies that are very convenient and helpful. The following are simple to use tinnitus remedies:

1. Controlling the Attention on Hearing

A person with tinnitus can control his or her attention from the tinnitus towards a pleasant external source of sound. Taking a moment every day to change attention to different physical sensations from tinnitus can be a very good way to distract attention away from the tinnitus sound...

To be able to do this, you have to follow these straightforward instructions.:

  • Close the eyes
  • Focus on the tempo of breathing, inhale and exhale
  • Slowly change attention to the hands as fingers are mentally counted
  • Refocus on the rate of breathing
  • Switch to focusing on the tinnitus noise
  • Then focus on breathing again

If you follow these steps every day, you will easily control your attention away from the tinnitus noise.

2. Diversion

Covering up the noise coming from the tinnitus is an effective way to tame the annoying ringing in the ears. When a person diverts his or her hearing focus towards an external source such as a soft music or some low-frequency pleasant hearing sound, this will help the tinnitus become less noticeable. Participating in interesting activities is an effective way of diverting attention from ringing in the ears away to other things...

3. Stress Management

Tinnitus remedies are not limited to behavioral techniques. Tinnitus is more apparent when a person is suffering from stress... A patient might employ an exercise, massage, relaxation therapy or some form of stress management therapy... There are a wide range of relaxation treatments to choose from that are easy to implement...

19 Ways To Make More Time In Your Life For Meditation

If you are finding it difficult to meditate regularly then you are in good company, often it is a struggle to find space in your life. Like all things, it is only once you establish an action as a habit that it starts to feel vital to your day. These ideas can help you cut down the distractions that pull you way from your time to just sit and be.

1. Unplug

Turn off the computer, email, social sites, and funny cat videos. It is amazing how tempting this technology is and how much it distracts us. Please wait until you've read the whole of this article though:)

2. Turn off the television

Another of the great time killers. You can always catch up on that episode of 'Elephants That Ski' but if you miss your meditation session, it's gone. This is a great way to begin to learn about becoming aware of what you do with your time, moment to moment.

3. Get a timer

Okay, I'm not saying we get so obsessed about time here, it's just that when you raise your awareness of how you are spending time it opens up vastly in front of you. Using a timer is a great way to establish a committed meditation practice. Get a timer, set it. Sit. 5-10 minutes. It's enough.

4. Turn off your phone

Turn off your mobile and unplug the phone. Sometimes it's a good idea to tell anyone that you live with that you will be unavailable for the next half an hour. They'll get used to it (after the initial suspicious raised eyebrows).

5. Meditate at work

Have a lunch break outside, in the park, or at the shopping centre. Sit on a bench and have 10 minutes peaceful reflection. Don't bother trying this at your desk, unless you have a plush top floor office with your own secretary: 'Mrs. Bootle, I will be unavailable for 15 minutes'.

6. Early bird

Just get up 10 or 20 minutes early and use that time to meditate. Then leave the rest of the day exactly as it is. Simple. A morning meditation is probably the most effective thing you can do to give you a direction and positive energy for your day.

7. Decorate

Now I hate decorating and anything to do with home improvements, so if that's the same for you just think of it as a bit of a spruce up. Create yourself a dedicated meditation space. This might just mean clearing up a bit, but you could also consider soft lighting, candles, incense, music, and inspiring images.

8. Keep a journal

Note down each time that you meditate and any thoughts or insights that came up. You will find it motivating to look back after a month and see how far you are into your practice. It will also make you more likely to keep up the routine.

9. Read

Take the time to read inspiring literature and texts before your meditation session to get you in the right frame of mind. Why not make it educational as well as enjoyable?

10. Earplugs

Isolate yourself from the world with a decent pair of earplugs or noise cancelling headphones. It does wonders for your focus.

11. Use apps

There are loads of meditation apps and timers which can help you time your session, plot your progress, and connect with other people meditating at the same time. Just make sure that you don't spend all of your time buying apps instead of meditating.

12. Slow down

Purposefully slow down your day. You will become more efficient once you stop rushing at things and start flowing. With the time you save you can sit and meditate.

13. Find a meditation group

Link up with a meditation buddy or group. This not only gives you a different, perhaps deeper, meditation experience but always means that you are less likely to blow it out if other people are expecting you.

14. Set a limit

Give yourself a maximum time that you will meditate each day. Once that is completed, you're done. It is tempting to think that you should meditate for hours at a time - resist this temptation. Keep it short and focused so that you look forward to your session the next day. Don't overdo it and burn out.

15. Don't feel guilty

If you miss a day, don't be too hard on yourself. It's just feedback. Are you trying to meditate at the wrong time of day? Is the location right? Could you try a different technique instead?

16. Make meditation a part of your day

Put the dinner on then go and meditate. Put the kids to bed and take some time to sit while they sleep. Make meditation a part of who you are, everyday rather than this extra thing you are trying to cram in.

17. Keep people out

Lock your door and stick a picture of an angry Tibetan God on your door. Do not disturb means just that.

18. Use audio

Instead of a timer you can use meditation audios to give you timed sittings. Use binaural beat recordings or subliminal tracks for deeper relaxation and focus.

19. Bliss Out

Every now and again book some time for a meditation session or retreat out in the middle of nowhere. This could be a 1 hour trip into the mountains or a 10 day holiday in Bali.

Polish Your Writing - Avoid Redundancy

Once you have the basics down, its time to focus on polishing your writing. Neglecting the smaller details, can make one's writing seem amateurish. One important thing to watch out for is redundancy. You'll see it all the time in newspapers and student essays, especially when using quotes.


The chair of the fundraising committee says she's excited about next week's event.

"I'm super excited about next week's event," said Stacey Stoked.

The sentence introducing the quote should have something to say about what's in the quote, but shouldn't just be a paraphrase.


The chair of the fundraising committee says she's excited about next week's event.

"Everything is going to be fantastic - the music, the dancing the comedy act. I can't wait," said Stacey Stoked.

Redundancy often shows up when similar words with the same meaning show up in the same sentence.


This cleaning feature allows the mechanic to reuse the filter again.

Sometimes, as in a list, a writer will deliberately reuse words with similar meaning for emphasis.


The criminal was callous, cold-hearted and unfeeling.

However, you have to a pretty good writer to avoid the pitfalls of this technique. The reader might assume you don't have much else to say on the subject, that you're being hyperbolic or that you just haven't figured out that the words you are using all mean the same thing.

One final problem, which is surprisingly common despite how easily it can be spotted, is using the exact same word over and over in a paragraph.


The burglar quietly entered the house through the back door. He quietly crept up the stairs. He quietly opened the door to the room where the man was sleeping.

You get the picture. Most instances aren't that obvious, but you can clear up repetition by giving your writing a quick read over.

Although many people would suggest reading your work aloud, this is rarely practical. Pronounce each word in your head as you read your final draft. You'll catch the errors you miss by scanning.

Pay particular attention to the quotes and paraphrases of your interview subjects. Avoid using repetition simply to pad a weak story. If your story doesn't quite reach the minimum word count, check your notes. Perhaps there was another angle you could have explored. Maybe there's another issue you avoided raising due to the complexity, but could be worth a second look. Or, it's possible that there just isn't enough meat in this story for the reader.

While most writers have competent editors to help them revise their work, in this era of internet self-publishing, it pays to develop the skills to become your own editor.

The Ever Revolving World Of Retail - Some 2012 Thoughts On Trends

There is probably no industry which is studied more than the retail sector. Just when you think you know everything you can, a new trend emerges, an old fad died, and some analyst or expert warns you of a potential eventuality which will change the game forever. Perhaps you recall the chaos and controversy that came forth due to the dot-com roaring 90s, only to watch it implode in the year 2000. Still, it's now almost back on top as retailers fear the growth of Amazon, along with all the other smaller websites selling their goods and services online.

Many retailers have a dual approach, but for some that isn't working too well. Especially when their online businesses outperform their brick-and-mortar stores, and the shareholders ask why. They don't dare tear down the brick-and-mortar stores or their brand-name because then they are subjugated to the fickleness of search engine algorithms, which can make or break an online store overnight.

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal in the property report on August 1, 2012. This is a trend which is happening in Europe. The article was titled; "European Mall Giant Shrugs off the Crisis - Unibail-Rodamco Says Its Focus on Top-Quality Shopping Centers Attract Strong Tenants, Boost Market Share," by Anita Likus. The article noted that consumers are coming back to the mall as a place to enjoy, a destination location, while they do a little shopping. Meanwhile, the retailers, food courts, and restaurants are enjoying the return of the consumer.

Now then, does this mean that large retail malls are making a comeback in the United States? Well, one should look at the mall your own city, the mall in our city has been renovated with a brand-new food court, and it's looking pretty classy even if some of the anchor tenants seem to be dying on the vine, the shoppers are back, and they are buying, carrying around their bags of purchases, dressing up for the occasion and smiling as they waltz through the mall in the ambience of upbeat music.

Does this mean that the big box store concept is out? It doesn't seem to, the people are still shopping there but they are also comparing those ads to the prices online. Sometimes they go into the stores to look at the merchandise, and buy it online anyway as they can save money, sometimes on the sales tax, and sometimes 10 to 20% on the actual purchase of the item.

Meanwhile, there is a new thing going on with mobile technologies and GPS, reminding consumers as they are passing by their favorite store, or big data is using information about the individual to deliver the perfect ad almost second guessing their own minds. Interestingly enough, all of these trends are converging and it is making for a very interesting and highly evolved retail sector in 2012. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Boost Your Business With Strategic Email Marketing

Promoting a business online has certainly become one of the most important aspects of the overall marketing strategy of an organization. And this is not just the case with small businesses or start-ups. Even some of the biggest brands resort to strategic email marketing initiatives to enhance their brand equity, and consequently, revenue.

The first benefit of investing in strategic email marketing initiatives is its phenomenal reach. One can easily get in touch with hundreds of thousands of recipients, all at the same time. This tactic is also extremely convenient for businesses, as they can always outsource this process, obviating the need for hiring people dedicated for this purpose. This approach is also extremely personalized, which is quite unlike conventional advertising where the masses know the message is being conveyed to everyone at the same time. In case of email marketing, since the message is delivered to the inbox, the recipient feels that only a select group of people are receiving the same. Also, one can easily customize each message by inserting the name of the recipient, for an even more exclusive approach. Further bifurcations can be in the form of customizing the content according to the customer's needs. This might take a bit of effort, but the end result would certainly be very rewarding.

Strategic email marketing is also very effective due to the fact that it's interactive. So, one can not only send text messages, but can also include different graphics, music and videos so as to make the piece of communication even more attractive. It is a proven fact that audio-visual elements have a tendency to incite a better response and get faster recall. Hence, email campaigns also help in building long term relationships, as opposed to conventional advertising which is more or less a one-time spurt. Continuous contact with the TG is a great way to ensure sustained success, and email marketing is the way to do it!

Including the right kind of call to action is also an aspect of strategic email marketing that is often ignored. This results in a perfect email message not getting the kind of results in terms of click-through cases, which it could have achieved. What generally happens that the focus on getting the right mix of a compelling headline, an impactful visual and striking body copy completely overshadows the need for an attractive call to action that seals the deal. Research has shown that the call to action is as important as the subject line or the headline, while many industry experts are of the opinion that its importance is even higher from the point of view of the recipient, than what is perceived by marketers.

Lifestyle - Live It the Healthy Way

Lifestyle is the way that you live your life and it is a composition of habits, some healthy, some not so healthy, the choices we make, the priorities we set. This short article gives some tips on how to live a healthier life on a personal platform.

Smoking, Drinking And Drugs

If you are on any of these, I am sure you know where this path leads. The final destination of where this journey is going to end is called "misery". Along the way, you will come across many health problems, lose all your hard-earned money to find solutions to treat it and your social and family life may be disintegrated. This is a fact what these 3 poisons will do to harm your body, what it will do to your personality, how it is going to jeopardize your career, your family and friends. Quit now, before its too late. It is not worth putting your whole life on the line for poisons.


Seven to eight hours sleep is the norm for most people and 5 hours is the minimum to wake up in the morning recharged and energized. Studies show that 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep promotes strong physical health, emotional well-being and longevity.

After a real good night's sleep, yo wake up fresh, think better, emotions are stable and productivity high. Sleep deprivation will lead to a whole list of chronic illnesses such obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even early mortality.

Why is sleep important? Your body is busy producing extra protein molecules to help boost your immune system to fight infection,building new cells, repairing old cells and help you stay healthy while you sleep.

When you are awake, your heart is constantly under pressure and sleep is when it helps to reduce the levels of stress and inflammation, lower blood pressure. Sleep induce a state of relaxation and in so doing slows down the aging process, this is why a person looks so much fresher after a good night's sleep, haggard and with eye bags when sleep deprived.

While you are sleeping your brain is busy organizing and correlating memories, and retaining information, this is why after a good night's sleep you find it easier to concentrate and your memory is better.

When you are lack of sleep, you feel sluggish and you will burn glucose slower and hence a spike in sugar level and this is one reason for the cause of type 2 diabetes.

When you lack of sleep, you will have mood swings and gets irritated and agitated and blow small incidents that could be easily resolved out of proportion creating a very incongenial atmosphere and the result at the end is stress.

Some tips on getting quality sleep:

• Determine and follow a regular sleep schedule and keep to it. It is easier said then done, but if you put your mind to it, your body will be able to adapt and this healthy habit will form.

• Set a bedtime routine such as reading a book, lowering the lights or play some soothing music. Your brain will soon recognise these triggers and prepare you brain and body to wind down for sleep.

• Avoid eating a big meal, watching horror suspence movie or engaging in office work at least 2 hours before your bedtime.

• Check and ensure you have a conducive environment for sleep, have your room clean and smelling fresh, with comfortable mattress and pillows.

If you do have problem sleeping try having a tea to help you to sleep. Hot water over 3 gms of matricaria flowers,(chamomile) soak for ten minutes before putting it through a strainer. This herb will hep you sleep like a baby. You can also get this over the counter in capsule form.


Though we may be cooking our own meals, there are still times where we may not be able to cook the varitey needed to have complete nutrition or some nutrition may not be found in food. We cannot go without and what we can do is to take supplements to compensate.

You cannot go wrong with multi-vitamins as this is almost what everyone needs. They are affordable and they supplement what is missing in food. When taking supplements, do follow maufacturer's label on dosage and instructions.

Money Matters

Money makes the world go round and without it, it is definitely one BIG stressor. So for a healthy and long life, you need to get your finances in order, you must know your income and from there what you can or cannot afford. Live within your means.

Some tips here to manage your finance:

• It is tempting to always want what others have, but cut your coat according to your cloth so the saying goes. Consider your finances and your budget before you embark on unnecessary expense.

• For convenience you may want to buy on credit, but settle within the same month to avoid paying the related interest.

• Share the household budget with members of the family to create a sense of responsibility and so everyone is aware how much is coming in and how much is going out and everyone can help in their own way to save cost.

• Eating out is not only bad for health, for your weight, it is also hard on the wallet. Eat out only if necessary to celebrate occasions. Further more, if you eat out often, celebrations will not be special anymore.

Spend within your budget, control, check and balance and you will lead a happier and stress free life. Share finance problems with your spouce. Two heads are always better than one especially when it comes to numbers and you need all the brain


It does not mean that you have to scrimp all the time, reward yourself where appropriate. Set mini reachable goals in your daily life. It helps you to move forward and spur you on to the next. Reward yourself as you meet the goals.

Rewards can be simple such as having an ice-cream (for meeting your weight target), a night out with the gals or guys, or a romantic dinner for two with your spouse.

In this way, the going will be easier and you will soon find that keeping and maintaining healthy lifestyles are not that difficult.

Focus on changing the unhealthy ones, or eliminating them, cultivating new healthy ones and this will help you to live healthier and longer.

How To Bring Fun Back to Fitness

Are you looking for a way to have fun and get a good workout at the same time? For many people exercise and fun are not usually found in the same sentence.

In fact statistics show that gym membership numbers have increased considerably over the past 10 years, rising from 36.3 million in 2002 to more than 42.8 million by 2011[1] yet 67% of people never used their membership.[2] Not even one day.

So here's a few ideas that might put a smile on your face and give you a fabulously fit body:

1. Pole Dance Fitness. Pole dancing is becoming one of the fastest growing fitness trends across the world. It can be seen in almost every Cirque du Soleil show currently running. It has been featured on Oprah, Ellen, The Doctors, and Conan O'Brien as a fantastic workout. Why is it so popular? It works every major muscle group in your body and anyone, any size, and any age can do it! In fact an hour of advanced level pole fitness can burn over 600 calories! The best part, you can make is as sexy or as athletic as you want it to be! Trust me, you'll never look at a subway pole the same way again!

2. Themed races. Many fun obstacle races are popping up all over the country. For example Run For Your Lives is a zombie infested 5K obstacle course race. Racers, wearing a flag football-like belt with three flags, must make strategic choices over natural obstacles to find the quickest route to the finish line with at least one flag to complete the race as a survivor. Even if you don't "make it out alive", you can still join in the Apocalypse Party, which will feature live, local entertainment, music, vendors, food, beverages, and of course, zombies.[3]

3. Bellydancing. How many workouts can strengthen your core, hips, back, legs, arms, and abdominals while giving you a cultural lesson about the Middle East? If you are lucky to have found an instructor that is versed in different styles, you can virtually travel the world within one class! Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Greece, and beyond... the learning is endless and the workout is fantastic! To quote local celebrity bellydancer Tava Naiyin, "This is a dance that allows women to move in a graceful and feminine way, and it is arguably one of the oldest forms of movement. It is obvious why it continues to explode in popularity, and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon."

4. Be a kid again. When is the last time you played on a swing set? Played kickball? Jumped rope? Ran with your dog at the dog park? Shot a hockey puck into a net? If you have kids, be a participant in what they do. You will get a great workout and create fond memories at the same time. Don't have kids? So what! Leave your self-conscious home and do a few cartwheels in the park. You will leave smiling and few calories lighter!

Whatever you chose to do for exercise, make sure that it is something that is fun! If you don't find yourself anxiously waiting to do it again, maybe it wasn't the workout for you. If you feel inspired and motivated, the rest will be easy.



[2] Club Industry, Club Manager Central


The History of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota

Sturgis, South Dakota is home to the largest Motorcycle event in the entire world. Nearly a half a million riders crowd into the city with a normal population of just over 7,000 people. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is always held the first full week of August. The weather is normally hot and dry, which makes it nearly perfect for motorcycle riding.

First Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Race
The first race and rally to take place in Sturgis, South Dakota was in 1938. It had a total of nine riders. Local motorcycle fan founded what was then known as the Black Hills Classic. From that first race in 1938, the race and rally has turned into a major tourist attraction with riders coming from all over the world to take part in the festivities. J.C. "Pappy" Hoel was the founder of this very popular event.

Sturgis, South Dakota was founded in 1878 and is located near Fort Meade. The U.S. Calvary soldiers came into the town for fun and recreation. The rally was named for the commander of the Fort, Colonel Samuel D. Sturgis.

The Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club History
Pappy Hoel was a member of this early organization. He started his career in his family's ice business but purchased and developed one of the largest and most successful motorcycle franchises in the area. The first race was held on August 14, 1938 with only a small group of people watching. The Jackpine Gypsies still own and operate the tracks and the hills where the event is centered. The club was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1997.

The Woman Behind the Sturgis Rally
Pappy Hoel is credited with beginning the tradition of the Sturgis Rally, but it is a well-known fact that Pearl Hoel was the driving force behind the scenes. Mrs. Hoel was noted for her hospitality and was recognized as the keeper of the oral history of the Rally. She married Pappy in 1929 while she was employed as an investigator for the WPA. She also was elected to serve as County Auditor. Through it all she was a stalwart supporter of her husband's motorcycle franchise and the Rally. The Hoel's would set up a tent for the attendees in their yard and served coffee and donuts to the riders and campers. She continued the tradition of hosting a Coffee Party with old friends until her death.

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame
The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame had its first home in an old church, renovated by nearly the entire town. It opened its doors in 2001 with borrowed vintage and classic motorcycles. The success of the Museum made a move to a larger building essential for its survival. It is now located in what used to be the town's Post Office located on the corner of Junction Avenue and Main Street. The museum offers a variety of exhibits of motorcycles, one dating back to 1905. The Wall of Fame honors those that were instrumental in the growth of the sport. The Wall also honors celebrities and riders who furthered the cause of motorcycle sports.

The Culture of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Those riders who make the trip to Sturgis for the Rally each year normally go for the party atmosphere. Live concerts, racing, music and alcohol are all a part of the Sturgis Rally. The camp sites are well known for their parties and plenty of the activities include the girls. There is a lot of competition involving girls and their bodies. The city of Sturgis tries to keep a tight rein on nudity but there are many who will push the boundaries. The camping areas are big party sites and most are not recommended to riders with children. Investigate the camp sites and find some that are family friendly if you want to allow your children to attend. Alcohol is also a big part of the party scene in Sturgis.

Other Local Places of Interest
You can't go to Sturgis for biker week and not visit the Full Throttle Saloon. It is one of the world's largest biker bars and the place is "the" place to be during Biker Week. Previous events held at the Full Throttle have been midget wrestling, the "burn-out" pit, Beer Belly Contest and the Miss Full Throttle Saloon Contest. The Saloon also features a Bikers Breakfast Bar opening at 6 AM and a free beer happy hour between the hours of 5 and 6 PM.

The Fort Meade Museum has many exhibits that will keep you occupied for hours. You will see the timeline and history of the area and how it was developed. This would be a family friendly activity and it is especially popular during Sturgis Rally Week.

Eco-Friendly Exports - Bamboo Wholesaling

The whole world has gone organic, preferring organically produced foods, unscented laundry detergents and other products which are in harmony with the ecosystem. As carbon emissions have become a worldwide problem, pollution and deforestation threaten the earth's intrinsic balance; concerned global citizens have grouped together on the grass roots level to find a way to bring the earth back into its natural balance.

The recent introduction of organically produced fabrics has been a highly successful win-win for concerned global citizens everywhere. Everyone knows that cotton clothing is ideal for its comfortable fibers, softness, and wear ability. It keeps the body warm and covered and is absorbent for natural perspiration and humidity. It has been called one of the most ideal fabrics available.

In recent years, pure cotton clothing made from bamboo fibers has become nothing less than a fashion rage! Made from the pulp of the bamboo stalk, it promotes the environment in a variety of ways, which we will go into later. This eco-friendly material is incredibly soft to the touch, inexpensive to produce and readily available in many parts of the world, particularly southeast Asia and Australia. Coincidentally, bamboo tends to flourish in areas where tropical rainforests and damp climates reign, areas often known for their poverty and likelihood for flooding and devastation. This new industry is a fantastic new development for economic redemption in Third World Countries

As this new production technique gains publicity, customers have begun requesting the ultra-soft fabric by name. To help respond to the international need, a new business of bamboo wholesaling has come to the forefront. Pacific Rim companies have seen the potential of bamboo based organic cotton clothing exportation, a hot and timely trend for the 21st century. Employing natural production methods, without the use of carbon emissions, like polyester processing does. Bamboo plants also help prevents soil erosion, adding oxygen back into the environment.

Bamboo is used for its wood in building lightweight but sturdy furniture, musical instruments, and lightweight constructed objects, like the ladies' skirt rings of yesteryear. Lovely harmonious wooden door coverings are often constructed from hollowed out pieces of bamboo, fancifully painted and decorated. Bamboo was used by farmers and laborers in Asia to weave reflective lightweight hats while working in the hot sun. These hats were effective at protecting the workers' heads and could be easily folded up and placed in a pocket when the sun's glare was no longer a threat.

Both the plant itself is resold to buyers all over the world who are interested in cultivating a crop for its own production needs. The bamboo plant provides excellent shade, a hedge between houses and properties, a wonderful designer touch due to its spindly trunks and decorative leaves. The bamboo is also quite well known for its rapid growth. There is one type of bamboo plant that grows up to a meter a day. The majority of bamboo does not match this level, but manage to grow an impressive eight to ten centimeters a day. Its rapid growth makes it a plentiful item, keeping its costs lower than other clothing options.

Ringing in Your Day With These Wedding Bells Theme Ideas

The symbolic meaning and lovely simplicity of wedding bells has couples choosing this theme more and more these days.

Wedding bells symbolize love and a new life. Back in the 50s and early 60s there were a number of hit songs written about wedding bells.

Often wedding bells are rung after the ceremony as the couple walk back down the aisle to celebrate the beginning of a new life together.

This is why you might want to use wedding bells as your theme for that day of days.

A number of your larger most popular craft stores feature an assortment of wedding bells in plastic, metal and glass.

An excellent place to shop for wedding bells is online. Places to check in particular are eBay and Oriental Trading Co., but do your own search as there are others that you can find if you take the time to look around.

Plastic bells today are beautifully made and used in your decor can look very elegant.

Start with pre-ceremony music played by a group of bell ringers.They can be hired and play lovely songs just for your wedding. It gives the simple yet warm feeling you will like to start the day.

Use shimmering lengths of tulle draped over the ends of each pew.The top is then accented with tulle pew bows, small white silk flowers and a lovely paper wedding bell.

At the wedding reception a bell decorated arch can be placed at the entrance for guests to walk through as they enter. Decorate the arch with theme colored tulle draped and tied with tulle bows and wedding bells.


1. A simply and unusual wedding table centerpiece is to buy inexpensive large bowl wine glasses that feel sturdy at your local dollar or discount store. Buy as many glasses as you need for the tables you will have.

Buy silk flowers that match your colors and you will only be using the bloom itself. Lastly, buy votives and votive candle holders.

Now this is what you do to make the centerpiece:
Take the silk flower and cut the stem at the blossom so you only have the blossom. Place the candles in the holders. Turn the wine glass over, place the blossom underneath the bowl. Put the votive holder on the wine glass base and when the time comes light the candle.

Make sure the base is flat and the votive holder sits comfortably on it.

If you can get small wedding bells arrange them attractively around the glass or tie them to the stem where it meets the bowl.

2. Calla lilies have a lovely bell shape and make a great centerpiece. Just arrange them in a tall clear vase and tie tulle around the vase with a pretty bow.
Place it on a reflective mirror for added elegance.

Bell Wedding Favors and Place Card Holders

1. Take a silver wedding bell do the work of two things. They have really lovely silver bells you can buy that are meant to be place card holders. They are inexpensive when you get them in bulk. After the reception the guests can take them home as favors.

Don't forget to have someone instruct all guests to ring them in unison as you two leave. It is a wonderful way of wishing the couple a good life and wonderful time together.

Wedding Bell Favors

1. You can buy buttermint bell shaped candy and put several in a favor box and finish it off by tying it with personalized ribbon.

2. Buy bell shaped candles and if you tie a ribbon around it with your guest's name on it then you have your place card, too.

Tissue Paper Accordion Bells

1. The tissue paper accordion wedding bells are really quite lovely when you use them as decorations. They are really beautifully made these days and so versatile. You can find them at your local craft stores and on the internet and in quite a few different colors, too.

2. Tie two together with a pretty ribbon and bow and use them hanging from the ceiling of your reception area, at the corners of your head table with swags of tulle draped in between and the cake table in the same way. Really your imagination is your limit on how they can be used inexpensively and look terrific.

Carry on this theme when choosing napkins and place cards and guest book.

This romantic theme makes for a beautiful wedding cake or even cup cakes if that be your chose

I hope these wedding bells theme ideas help you as you plan your special wedding day. I know that it will ring in your hearts and that of your guests.

'Pitch Perfect' Movie Review

In the world of movies that are based on books, here's one you wouldn't expect to find on that list: a story about competitive collegiate a cappella groups. Thinking that concept doesn't translate into entertainment? You couldn't be more wrong.

THE GOOD: Take one slightly unsociable college Freshman named Beca (Anna Kendrick), add a father who is bribing her to attend school with the promise of funding her dream of eventually mixing music in California, plus two competing groups of offbeat a cappella singers -the all female "Bella's" and the all male "Treblemakers" - and the scene is set for something resembling a mashup of 'Glee' and 'Bring it On'. It's catchy and ridiculous all at once, which -let's face it - kind of sums up a cappella competitions in general. But there's no denying that when these groups start a performance, no matter how cheesy the song choice or accompanying choreography is, it's impossible to NOT enjoy it. As an added bonus, we have the character 'Fat Amy' (played by Rebel Wilson) who brings her own level of snarky humor to the game. There's nothing sassier than a curvy girl who beats everyone to the punch by showing a little self deprication, yet still manages to have self confidence.

THE BAD: If you are hoping for deeper meaning to the storyline than "which team wins the competition", there isn't much more to see here. There's no real hidden moral to the story, and you can pretty much see the ending a mile away. There are certainly some hilarious moments, but be forewarned that the humor can sometimes be a little racially insensitive and crass.

THE UGLY:... and speaking of crass: I won't spoil the surprise for you, but there is a projectile vomiting scene in the film that, although admittedly funny, is not for anyone with a weak stomach. If the thought of watching someone hurl makes you queasy, this may not be the entertainment you are looking for.

The film is probably geared more toward the younger crowd with any adult in the movie being shown as hopelessly lame, but even if you're NOT in your 20's, this film hits all the right notes with it's harmony and humor.

The Trophy Wife gives this movie 3 trophies.

"Pitch Perfect" has a running time of 1 hr 52 min and is rated PG-13 for sexual humor, drug references and crude language. (F word used once)

10 Tips to Become a Visual Merchandising Expert

What every shop owner ought to know about his silent sales person

Are you a small business with a retail shop? Do you feel stressed about how to decorate your store? Have you heard about visual merchandising but don't know how to get it right?

Especially in difficult markets it is vital not only to focus on discounts but providing shoppers with an atmosphere of entertainment and giving them a positive shopping experience. There are two things that help you increasing your sales figures: one is an outstanding customer service, the other is your silent salesperson, visual merchandising.

How many hats are you wearing?

But often visual merchandising is neglected, especially in small businesses, where the shop owner wears many hats every day, being the sales person, accountant, product buyer, marketing manager, recruiter, trainer, cleaner and decorator. Visual merchandising ends up at the bottom of the job list and does not get the necessary attention.

This article provides you with valuable information every retailer ought to know about his silent salesperson, visual merchandising. My 10 tips will help you to get started with visual merchandising and create a unique experience for your customers. Eventually you will make your store a destination where people return because they love your shop.

Become a Visual Merchandising expert with my 10 tips to make your store a destination

1. Have a plan

Before you start moving anything around, take the time to make a visual merchandising master plan. You think you don't need it because your store is only small and you have everything in your head? If you do not have a plan, you play a game of dominos: move one item and the knock-on effect begins.

Your plan can be scribbling down bullet points or a detailed description of what you will do. But it is crucial to allocate some time to planning and write down your thoughts and ideas.

2. Think like a designer

Have you ever wondered why it looks so good when the merchandisers have set up a product or window display? Well, there is no magic behind it. It all comes down to understanding the elements & principles of design. All designers, no matter if they are interior designers, stylists, artists, graphic designers or landscape designers, use these design principles in their work.

Elements of design are line, direction, shape, size, colour, tone and texture. Translated to your retail environment, elements are all things that make up your shop: windows, floors, walls, fitting rooms, fixtures, posters, tickets, signs, etc.

Principles of design are repetition, unity, contrast, rhythm, balance and harmony. In other words the basic guides to visual organisation. In retail it is simply what you do with all your store elements to create an overall pleasing display for your customer.

3. Tell a compelling story in your window

Which story does your window tell? Stories are an important element in creating ideas that stick. Humans process information much easier when it is in the form of a story.

To create a story for your window think about which particular product you would like to highlight. Your window should always tell a clear and compelling story as it is the first touch point with your customer.

But before you start moving anything go back to your master plan. Write down answers to the following three questions you need to think about:

A. What is my story?

B. Which colours do I choose?

C. Which technique do I use?

You can choose your stories or product themes according to fashion trends/ new stock, promotions for Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, anniversaries, lifestyle/ celebrities, science/ technology, art/ design, movies/ literature or seasons, e.g. summer, winter. Think about six product themes during the year and you can do a major window change every second month.

Once you have chosen your story, think about colours you want to use. Colour is the most powerful tool when it comes to non-verbal communication and the design element that makes a space come alive. By choosing the right colours you can literally stop people as they pass by your store.

You can choose your colours according to stock in your store, seasons, current colour and fashion trends, promotions, e.g. Valentine's Day. If you focus on a specific colour, this colour becomes your window story.

Step three is about choosing your merchandising technique. Now you need to display your story and colours in the best possible way. This means you decide about a method how to place every item in the window.

Techniques are horizontal, vertical or pyramid merchandising. Live merchandising means to set up a scene or picture like in real life. For example, a fully decorated Christmas table, if you sell home ware and kitchen products. Hero merchandising means focussing on one single product in your window display.

4. Make your hot zone sexy!

The hot zone is located just inside your front door and the first point of contact for your customer. Your customer will decide at this point if he keeps shopping in your store or if he turns around and walks out. This area is crucial and you must make a statement here!

Your best products should be merchandised in the hot zone. Treat this zone like another window. This area is great for promotional merchandising, e.g. Christmas, Mother's Day etc. Rotate products in your hot zone on a fortnightly basis. Don't overload your hot zone. Less is more!

Always remember: first impressions make all the difference!

5. De-clutter your counter

Don't overlook the importance of merchandising your POS area. Keep it clutter free and display impulse items or selected products. Use a fixture or a stand on top of the counter for smaller items and to create an interesting waterfall display.

Stylist's Tip: Engage a graphic designer to create point of sale material that is unique to your store

6. Keep your store clean and tidy

Housekeeping should happen every day. Dust and vacuum clean once or twice a week. Make sure your windows are clean by hiring a weekly cleaning service. Maintain the good appearance of your shelves, racks and other point-of-sale material. If something is damaged, repair it or decorate the damaged part.

7. Enhance the ambiance of your store

Create a sensual shopping experience for your customer by using a scented candle, playing music and adding the right light.

Lighting not only creates atmosphere, it helps minimising theft in the store. Illuminate your displays from an angle a customer will see it, which is usually front-on. Only show light beams and hide the light source away.

Don't hang lights directly above a product to avoid creating shadows. Use lighting to highlight focal points. Be careful not to create glare. Be aware of how different lights will change the colours of your merchandise. Save energy by using LED decoration lights.

8. Regularly check your overall store merchandising

Take some time with pen and paper and write down what catches your attention. Go into detail and look into every nut, bolt and screw. Then brainstorm what you would like to change in your store, what props you would like to use for your windows. What needs to be replaced or repaired? But be realistic with what you can achieve and afford. Write this down in your master plan and go step by step. Remember, your plan will help to manage your time and resources!

9. Add icing on your cake

Props can be a great finishing touch for your product or window display. To work with props you need to invest some time sourcing them and they cost money. But by using interesting props in your display you can add value to the existing merchandise and enhance your story.

If you are not sure where to find props in your area, contact a stylist, or browse antique stores and auction centres for a wide selection of interesting pieces.

Always remember to first merchandise your products! This is what you sell and has priority. Everything else is an addition.

10. Be an explorer of the world outside your store

Keep your eyes open and go shopping every couple of month to see what your competitors are doing! Visit a big shopping mall or discover a suburb where you normally do not go for shopping. Draw inspiration from everything you discover. Take your camera to take a few pictures of window displays and store presentations that speak to you. Make notes and gather as many ideas and inspirations you can!

Things That You Need to Know About the Paid and Free Anti-Virus

Computers have been very useful to many people. They have become more useful to people since the time the internet has been introduced. Different kinds of people cite computers as important machines as they help them get their things done in a day, for example, businesspeople use computers in doing their business reports or promoting their business to the market. Also, students use computers in doing many things especially those that concern their studies. These include doing research work, homework and gathering important information.

With the rise of the internet, these people were able to do more things than what they have used to do while using computers. They include watching movies, listening to music, doing online business, playing tons of computer games, and many more. To make these things possible, they have to go to several websites available on the net and there are many of them to choose from. There are websites that are helpful to users as they are very informative. They can include sites about products, education, new inventions, science, the everyday life, and many more. However, their availability on the net does not mean that users can go through them in an instant. Users should be reminded that not all sites are safe for their computer system even though they may contain information which they needed. There are sites which may cause their system to have viruses, hence, making them not to perform well. Eventually, the system can be destroyed if not fixed right away.

Such happening motivates the computer experts to launch anti-viruses in the market. It has been known as the best ways to protect the computers from harmful software that come from the several websites available on the net. Many companies are offering anti-viruses nowadays and they are usually termed as professional anti-viruses as they have features that make them more useful to affected computer users. In addition, there are anti-viruses that can be accessed easily by the users since they can just download them through the internet any time they want. So, instances of damaged computers can easily be avoided with the help of the free anti-viruses. However, there are arguments telling about the advantages of using paid software and the disadvantages of free software. In this article, users can learn things about paid vs free programs. Their advantages and disadvantages will also be discussed here.

Facts About Paid or Free Anti-Viruses

  • Antiviruses can be accessed in two different ways: buying them on certified distributors or downloading them on the internet. This is the very reason why many computer users feel safe while they are surfing the net during these days. The days wherein users are afraid that their computer system might be destroyed by the viruses are over since the key to protect them has been unveiled and made known to the public. However, the introduction of anti-viruses goes along with the spread of harmful software in the net. This means that users have more reasons to be very careful and to start availing the program.

  • Their features. Antivirus is created to protect the computer system of many people from the viruses which are growing in number. Some experts believe that if you got your anti-virus from authorized distributors, you will surely get an increase degree of protection. Also, they make sure that their users will not feel sorry for buying, which everybody termed as "professional" anti-viruses. They got all the protection that they need, too, just to protect their system. However, this was contradicted by those who patronize the free software. For them, paid antivirus vs free antivirus based on their performance, features and quality, the latter wins. Aside from its easy access, free anti-virus offers the same and the nice thing here is that they do not have to spend money to protect their system. They are so happy with this fact and will never think of going to paid anti-virus anymore.

  • The issue of quality: paid anti-virus vs. free anti-virus. Many believe that things that are given for free do not last long or their quality is questionable. Users of paid and free anti-virus both alleged that when it comes to quality they are comparable. As to the length of time, users of the paid anti-virus do not have to worry about it because their anti-virus is set to last for a longer time. They can even hand down their anti-virus to their children or children's children. As to the case of free anti-virus, users have to update of them most of the time to enjoy their service. If they fail to do such, the possibility of having viruses entered into their system can likely happen. This is the great risk of having anti-viruses just for free.

  • The Installation of paid vs. free anti-virus. When you buy it at an authorized distributor, you get to receive a free instruction of it will be installed. If still having a hard time, the service provider is a phone call away. You can call its customer service and seek for its assistance. Also, the free anti-virus seems so easy to be installed as what their users affirmed. A simple right-click of the tab can be done, downloading that only takes for a few minutes and everything is done! You are now ready to use the software; the sad thing here is you do not have someone to help you when you encounter problems. If this happens, maybe you need to do the simple fixing or surf the net to search for some answers or some tips to help you.

These are just some of the facts about the paid and free antivirus. Those without antivirus in their computer system can start looking for one to make sure that their system is protected from any harmful software. They may choose to avail anti-viruses that are for free or those that can be purchased at authorized distributors. They will get the same protection which they want with these anti-viruses.

A Short Outline That Explains Why Audio and Video Cables Are So Important

Cables are the backbones of several systems, whether it is ones LCD, TV, PC, CCTV, video, stereo system or perhaps ones camcorder. Audio and video cables are crucial just about everywhere and also for all kind of connectivity. You might buy costly systems and also sets nonetheless until you have correct cables in place, your systems may not function. You have to have good cable connections for stable systems and also long lasting results. Faulty cables would certainly lead to imbalances as well as poor performance, finally bringing about system failure.

The electronics marketplace can be confusing to those who don't know much about the various solutions that are available to the modern consumer searching for audio and video. Each shopping trip begins with a budget and a product in mind, but often concludes with an over-priced product that doesn't fit the requirement of the shopper. With all audio and video cables, one thing to look out for during buying is the compatibility factor. One needs to make sure that your system is compatible with the cable you are buying.

If you are only looking to listen to background music, or to watch new shows, etc., you can use the cheap audio and video cables that come in the package with the other components. But you can only do this if you are not too concerned about the sound or picture quality and what other components you are hooking up to the cables. Several types and many brands of audio and video cables can be found. If you find yourself using the suitable cables for your devices, it is possible to see a tremendous improvement in the quality of the audio along with the picture.

People who are more keenly interested in higher sound quality or better picture quality have more options. Audio and video specialists have products developed for greater quality and durability. Some of these cables can cost as much as five hundred dollars or more. Even though many folks have trouble telling the difference between sound or picture coming through the most expensive audio and video cables and through the ordinary cables, you have the elite who think simply no price is too big on the subject of getting the very best audio and video cables for the ultimate entertainment experience.

Audio cables can be broadly split into four categories; analogue audio leads, audio video leads, audio speaker leads and digital leads. The purpose of such cables is to minimise the loss of quality by controlling Resistance, Inductance and Capacitance.

A video cable would connect your video player or DVD player to the LCD or normal television. Initially you might find video cables to be a bit cumbersome to handle and especially to setup. However if you have read the instruction manuals carefully, then there is nothing much to be concerned about. The handbook will assist you in guaranteeing you will have the appropriate audio and video.

Audio and video cables are often made up of flame resilient components in order that they don't get burnt down easily in case of any short circuits. They are usually easy to install and also safe to use. Also, these are easily available over online shopping websites and can be ordered right at your doorstep. Nevertheless you'll want to go for a one which comes with a guarantee period of time as well. Also, there are many cables that come with voltage stabilizers. This protects your equipment from getting broken from low or high voltage.

The Spirit Only Interrupts, Never Plans?

"Jesus, we have a schedule for today's service, but we ask your Spirit to take over and run your own program." I have heard this petition to God more times than I can remember. Many from the Pentecostal culture I grew up in, like to recall the glorious times when the Spirit would "lead a church service" by causing many unplanned things to spontaneously and unexpectedly occur.

As far as the way this looked, I've heard many different reports including sermons that broke off mid-thought leading into fervent prayer, or one preacher/prophet taking over for another and etc. Some preachers even say writing down notes in unspiritual and back in their day they would pray for a few hours, then get up and preach, by this showing the Spirit is leading them.  Regardless of the exact manifestations today, many people often like to say that the Holy Spirit is free to take over our program and replace it with his own program (though by program they mean "church service schedule.")

God can change our plan...

I wholeheartedly agree, often we come to Jesus and have our own intentions, desires, and ambitions, and in those cases it is very merciful that God takes over our desired plan and replaces it one that is pleasing to him. God often lets us make mistakes to teach us to rely on him, not on ourselves. God specifically wills and intends for us to make our mistakes with our own will, in order to lead it to good, take the story of Joseph, for example. His brothers willed or meant to do evil and God willed/meant it for good (Gen 50:20). While the brothers chose their actions by their own volition intending to produce evil, by a great paradox God had already chosen them to do that very action with an outcome intended for good (to save Israel from the famine, causing the heritage that brings us Jesus to be saved. God clearly intended to bring Jesus to this world before Josephs brothers planned to hurt Joseph). Thus, when we chose to do bad things, God already chose it for good as is, or with changes (Rom 8:28).  However, this is not the topic I want to address, instead I want to point out our small view of God when it comes to changing our church plans.

But He also designs our plans

Even in schedules and preaching I fully acknowledge that at many times the Holy Spirit will bring to mind things/ideas that are not scripted. Yet in my experience, there are many people who view written communication, schedules, and outlines as un-spiritual, or at the least purely human and not in any way associated with the divine. I've had friends listen to a sermon and critique it by saying it's not led by the Holy Spirit because "he has everything written down." The last church service I made an outline for, started with one of the elders (at a visiting church) pray invoking God to change our mere human schedule and replace it with a Spirit led one (implying, as always, that what we have produced by thinking and writing is not Spiritual). I have translated a few sermons where the preacher clearly had no outline and managed to touch on every bible character, and this is often applauded as spiritual merely because it's spontaneous. What? Let me ask you a few question about God.

  1. Does not God plan and control everything?
  2. Did God not create, predestine, foreknow, ordain, all the things and events in history?
  3. Are the scriptures not filled with thousands of prophecies that have been fulfilled exactly and specifically?(there are close to 2500 total and 2000 have been accomplished!)

Think about it! God has a very good record. Of about 2000 "schedules" that he designed to happen up until now, all 2000 have went exactly according to schedule (the rest are "scheduled" for later). That is one good track record.

The things that God did were not spontaneous and unplanned, in fact Gods word is against that idea, saying God won't do anything without revelation (Amos 3:7- this doesn't mean God won't give you a job promotion without a "personal prophecy," in the OT there is no such thing as personal prophecy and this refers to big concepts such a sending Jesus to die for our sins). And surely God has revealed (scheduled) the whole history of the world through his prophets who wrote the bible. God designed and wrote down everything that he did, before doing it. God did not wake up one morning and randomly change his mind, altering human history this way and that.

The problem? We believe in a small god who can only interrupt our plans, not shape our plans.

Here is the heart of the issue, we cannot (or don't want to?) fathom a God that is so superior and mind blowing that he actually predestines and plans everything. It's scary to think that all of the little things we plan are somehow part of Gods big plan (Prov 16:9).  Many pastors can accept random interruptions to the church schedule as "spiritual things," claiming that "this is the work of the Spirit," yet they cannot imagine that God is so sovereign that he would actually be in the pastors office the day before when the church service schedule is being written.

But instead, God is a sovereign God who controls all things. God controls the entire universe: Ps 103:19; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11. God controls all of nature: Ps 135:6-7; Mt 5:45; 6:25-30; Amos 3:6.  God controls angels & Satan: Ps 103:20-21; Job 1:12. God controls nations: Ps 47:7-9; Dan 2:20-21; 4:34-35. God controls human beings: Pr 16:9; Pr 21:1; 1 Sam 2:6-7; Psa.105:13-14; Gen. 39:21; Isa. 40:23-24; Gen 20:6. God controls animals: Ps 104:21-30; 1 Ki 17:4-6. God controls "accidents": Ex 14:24-25; Pr 16:33; Jon 1:7; Mt 10:29. God controls free acts of men: Ex 3:21; 12:25-36; Eze 7:27; 1 Chron. 5:22. God controls sinful acts of men and Satan: 2 Sam 24:1+1 Chr 21:1; Gen 50:20; Judges 14:4; Exodus 14:17.

Pre planned Music is spiritual

Some musicians frequently sing songs claiming they did not plan and therefore the Spirit led them to do it. We look to them as to super spiritual conservatives or a modern prophetic singers/etc, though in fact the singer may be merely overwhelmed by emotions and overexcited by the attention (and of course this only happens as allowed by God, but he often doesn't restrain us from our bad choices in order to teach us our mistakes). In truth, a band who spends hours practicing for the glory of God may be much more "spirit led," for the Spirit himself was leading them to learn and practice the song all the while.

Pre planned Preaching is spiritual

Some people often claim the spiritual part in a sermon is when they say things they intend or plan, but they may just be rambling for thirty minutes. I'll be honest I have heard a lot more spontaneous ramblings and road-trips-through-the-bible-with-no-point than spontaneous and yet biblical sermons. And while we're expecting the Spirit to be unexpected, the pastor who spends 10 hrs carefully crafting and practicing his words is led by the Spirit the whole week as he meditates and lets Gods word permeate his mind.

Pre planned schedules are spiritual

Some elders repeatedly say the order of services is human and we can put God into a box. Then in turn this can allow confusion (Paul often rebukes the church for it, two chapters, 1 Cor 12 and 13 were written specifically to rebuke the church for allowing disorder, including people spontaneously using their gifts). And if not confusion, this wastes peoples time as unplanned events (that can wait until next service) often cause interruptions as people are fumbling to set up extra equipment/microphones and etc, while the congregations is silently sitting and waiting.

Instead the pastor who has the program written down and humbly follows it, to ensure things run as smoothly as possible, is led by the Spirit, for was it not God who placed every single person on that schedule? If we think that, then we think of God not as an all powerful, all knowing, all seeing, all sovereign God who holds the universe in his palm, but as if he is a being that runs around and tries to tweak little things here and there.

Review: Striker (CAN) - Eyes in the Night (2010)

Striker is a Canadian speed metal band formed in 2007. The band released their first demo in 2008 and first EP in 2009 called Road Warrior. This is a young band with fresh guys in heavy metal field. I was quite unfamiliar with this band too, but their sound caught my attention immediately (which doesn't happen too often in case of new bands). Striker plays tight sounding speed metal with powerful speedy palm-muted riffs and melodic leads thrown in to the mix. Guitars practically slaughter with the chainsaw-rhythms and screaming guitar squeals (pick harmonics) used very often. The drumming is also quite thunderous on this album. Vocals on Dan Cleary remind a bit of Sean Peck of Cage or perhaps Halford at higher pitched screams. He uses his range from mid-high to high pitched well and sounds quite powerful. Cleary has very slightly rough edge in his melodic voice meaning he's not totally clean but almost. Expect a lot of high notes on this album but they fit well and aren't done so overly or out of key that it would annoy the listener. Also backup vocals are used at places to make vocals more strong.

Music sounds very much rooted 80's speed metal and overall atmosphere is really flashy yet melodic. Along the strong chainsaw riffs - lead melodies, very good solos and pick harmonics create multidimensional sound that doesn't sound too flat and boring but instead creates strong wall-of-sound. Everything is pretty much in your face headbanging material. This can be also slightly minus since when closing at the end of B-side of the album there's a bit of repetition. Still whole album is made with style and is enjoyable throughout.

My favourites here are: opening track Full Speed Or No Speed, which is furious headbanger and soaring vocal delivery from Cleary and some backup vocals done well. Solo doesn't let down either. More athmospheric Never Ending Nights with it's half-acoustic parts, slowdown parts mixed with faster headbanging ones and some melodic leads screaming. This is propably most moody and rocking song on the album yet manages not to sound overly pu*sy. The White Knight with ultra-speedy chainsaw rhythms and great lead guitar work and high pitched screams from Cleary and once again well used backup vocals from the band. Slightly laid back but still heavy Ice Cold that has slightly Maiden'ish feel in its chorus part practically at it's soaring vocal delivery and great pick harmonics along with some shredding. But my number one favourite has to be Eyes Of The Night. Just damn awesome guitar harmonics at the intro which leads to great lead guitar riffing which continues through whole song with double bass drums setting the rhythm. Melodies just stick to your head.

Overall a speed metal album from a young band done by great style. One can hear they certainly have talent. Very slightly repetitive but it doesn't really matter as all the songs are good-very good. Promising at least to say. I think they got their countrymates Cauldron's newest album beat with this record. Recommended to anyone who likes straightforward in-your-face speed metal rooted to 80's with high pitched strong screams and melodic lead guitar work added to the mix. 80/100 (Great)

Dan Cleary - Vocals
Ian Sandercock - Guitars
Chris Segger - Guitars
Dave Arnold - Bass
Magnus Burdeniuk - Drums

1. Full Speed or No Speed 03:09
2. Eyes in the Night 04:13
3. We Don't Play by the Rules 03:42
4. Never Ending Nights 04:37
5. The White Knight 03:55
6. Voice of Rock 04:09
7. Ice Cold 04:54
8. Terrorizer 04:22
9. Believe in Me 05:48
10. Hang on (To Your Life) 04:16
Total running time: 43:05


Bangkok Walking Tour - Prathunam

National Stadium

If you are walking from the National Stadium Skytrain Station, follow Rama I Rd away from the direction of Phayathai Rd and the National Stadium will be the first building you see on your left. Also known as Prathunam Stadium, this is Thailand's main arena for soccer and other sporting events. Thais are enthusiastic followers of soccer, especially the English Premier League, and a professional football league was started in 1996. The white, stylised art deco frontage of the stadium is quite elegant and on closer look, incorporates some interesting Thai motifs.

Jim Thompson's House

With the National Stadium on your right, walk along Rama I Rd and turn left into Soi Kasem San 2. Jim Thompson's House will be on your left at the end of this narrow laneway. Thompson was instrumental in reviving the Thai silk industry after World War II, and in 1959 built his own home from a number of traditional Thai houses which he brought down to Bangkok from Ban Khrua and Ayutthaya. These were then reassembled in an unconventional layout, with some of the walls even turned inside out to better highlight their craftsmanship.

The small garden is densely planted and overlooks a narrow stretch of the busy Khlong San Sap which also used to be a centre of traditional silk weaving. Thompson was a knowledgeable collector of Southeast Asian art and antiquities and the house contains some fi ne stone carvings, Buddha heads and traditional Thai paintings. There is an easy informality to the whole place - it feels almost as though Thompson himself has just popped out for a moment. In reality, this was what he did in 1967, except that he never came back - while on a walk, he disappeared without a trace in Malaysia. Access to the house is not permitted without a guided tour. There is also a gift shop and café, in a Thai-style building, located just inside the gates.

Siam Square

Retrace your steps down Soi Kasem San 2 until you emerge onto Rama I Rd again, then turn left and follow it until the junction with Phayathai Rd. Siam Square is across this junction to the left. This isn't a square in the usual sense, but actually a grid of small sois between Chulalongkorn University and Rama I Rd. Located just opposite the Siam Centre, one of Thailand's first shopping centres, and beside a number of popular cinemas, this open-air square is packed with small shops and stalls selling music, books, accessories and clothing. A number of young Thai designers also sell their work here. This area has become something of a new city centre of sorts, being the Skytrain interchange.

Across Rama I Rd from Siam Square there are a number of upmarket shopping centres, including the older Siam Centre as well as the newer Siam Discovery Centre and Siam Paragon complexes. Siam Paragon is also home to Siam Ocean World, a massive aquarium which is a huge attraction especially during weekends for families with children. Besides the obligatory underwater tunnel, there is a massive eight-metre-deep tank with a coral reef. A smaller tank also offers visitors the opportunity to touch sea creatures such as starfish.

Chulalongkorn University

Wander the different sois of Siam Square at will, and when you're ready to leave, go back out onto Phayathai Rd and turn left. There, Chulalongkorn University takes up most of the left hand side of the road after Soi Chulalongkorn 62. Enter the campus by the gates overlooking the park and lake. Founded in 1916 by Rama VI, and named in honour of his father King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), Thailand's oldest and most prestigious university covers two blocks of the city's downtown. The university's central gardens, between Phya Thai and Henri Dunant Rds, are the site of several attractive buildings, many of which are in the Rattanakosin-style, an attractive hybrid of Thai and Western architecture, and there is a large lake which is often used during the Loy Krathong festival.

Home to a number of museums and galleries, the university also contain an auditorium, which is mainly used for classical concerts. It is a pleasant place to stroll in, especially during term time when the neatly uniformed Thai students can be seen milling around the grounds.

Wat Pathum Wanaram

Wander around the Chulalongkorn University campus at will, exiting via Henri Dunant Rd and turn left. Walk all the way to the end of the road and turn right onto Rama I Rd and you will see Wat Pathum Wanaram on your left. This temple, with its delightful cluster of buildings asymmetrically arranged among mature trees and shrubs, and sitting overlooking a small canal, is unlike any of the others in the city. It does not feel urban or hemmed in despite opening onto a busy road and being overlooked by the Skytrain and surrounding skyscrapers. It is home to the Phra Meru Mas, which is a reconstruction of the late Princess Mother's crematorium. Supposed to represent Mount Meru, the mythical home of the gods, it is a rare example of ancient craftsmanship, featuring ornate stencils and lacquered sculptures. Following the Princess Mother's cremation at Sanam Luang in 1996, her remains were transferred here in an elaborate procession. She was particularly revered, for although being born a commoner she was the mother of two kings, Rama VIII and his brother, the current king, Rama IX.

Erawan Shrine

Leaving the temple complex, turn left onto Rama I Rd and the Erawan Shrine will be across the busy junction of this and Ratchadamri Rds. This garish L-shaped shrine is one of the best known in the city, mainly because of its prominent location on a busy corner outside the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. It dates from the 1950s when a number of accidents occurred while building the hotel, so a shrine to Brahma and Erawan (his elephant mount) was erected to try and appease the bad spirits. The accidents stopped, causing the shrine to rapidly gain a reputation as a place to seek divine intercession.

Busy day and night, the faithful come to light incense and pray. Devotees who have had their prayers answered often pay the colourfully dressed temple dancers to perform in thanksgiving. It is interesting to observe that even passing motorcyclists temporarily abandon their handlebars to make the traditional wai of respect as they pass at full speed! For a good view of the shrine, climb onto the elevated pedestrian walkway crossing this busy junction.

Prathunam Market

With your back to the Erawan Shrine, walk up Ratchadamri Rd, cross the bridge over Khlong San Sap onto Ratchaprarop Rd and you will see the Prathunam Market on your left. This popular market occupies a maze of covered stalls and takes up most of this city block. Prathunam means 'water gate' in Thai and refers to the canal lock which used to be located on Khlong San Sap here. Also known as Chalermlok, the market is a favourite shopping place for the locals as it stocks a range of general domestic items. It is a particularly good go-to spot for cheap Indian fabrics and sewing accessories. Should hunger pangs hit after all that shopping, Prathunam Market is also popular as a late-night eating haunt. Long after the nearby bars and cinemas have closed, its myriad noodle shops and food stalls stay open, serving up supper and snacks.

Baiyoke Tower II

Continue along Ratchaprarop Rd and take the first roadway to your left where the 309-metre-high Baiyoke Tower II looms ahead. The Baiyoke Towers I and II were designed by Bangkok-based Plan Architecture, and the balconies on the first tower have been painted a rainbow range of colours that seem to dissolve into one another as they ascend the building. The Baiyoke Tower I was once the tallest structure in the city, but it was quickly surpassed by the number of newer developments that sprang up in the area. However, its follow-up namesake, the Baiyoke Tower II, has the distinction of being the tallest building in Thailand. Though its pinnacle could have been a little more elegant, the Baiyoke Tower II remains an impressive sight nevertheless.

The 400-room Baiyoke Sky Hotel occupies the 22nd to the 50th floors and offers guests a birds-eye view of the cityscape. But for truly hard-tobeat panoramic views, the observation deck at the 84th story is the place to be, especially on a haze-free day. The glass-panelled access lift that rapidly climbs one of the building's corners is

another source for an aerial thrill.

Now head to the nearby plush bar at the Sky Hotel to enjoy a cool refreshment and savour the experience of this wonderful Bangkok Walking Tour.