Rabu, 30 Juni 2010

Do We Need Labels?

We all know that having a bowl of hot steamy soup is about filling our tummies - and perhaps about a nice warm up after a sojourn in the cold or wet.

But for Campbell Soup it's also about filling the coffers of some very needy folks and facilities - the institutions that teach your children.

More than 30 years ago Campbell introduced its Labels for Education program. This charitable idea produced or contributed extensively to several long-standing and noteworthy projects: Special Olympics, Labels for America, fire safety, fighting hunger, Read Across America, Champion Literacy, Tanner's Manners, Safe America, and the First Lego League. In addition, Campbell's Center for Nutrition and Wellness set up an informative site, http://campbellwellness.com, which teaches children and adult caregivers about staying healthy. The site offers healthy recipes as well as articles and tips on such topics as staying on your diet while dining out, managing stress, antioxidants and other valuable plant byproducts, and exercise while traveling.

Labels for America is about children helping children. Students sign up to volunteer for one of the Campbell's chosen charitable organizations or one of their own choosing. They then complete the Campbell participation form. Once approved, their school is awarded 500 bonus labels for each program, up to a total of 2000 labels per participating student.

Campbell's fire safety effort is a partnership with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to teach children and adults about how to keep themselves and their property safe from fire. When children participate in some way to National Fire Safety Week they earn bonus labels for their school.

The Campbell Soup First LEGO League is an exciting science organization that puts children together with FIRST, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire students to explore the wonders of science and technology. Students who volunteer earn 500 bonus labels for their school. This fun-filled learning experience starts with a FIRST junior robotics kit and ends with a student and community team of engaged volunteers who learn from each other while building their robot.

These are just a few of the projects on the Campbell Labels for Education plate (or should I say bowl?)

Why does your school want these Campbell bonus labels? Well, they can be redeemed for valuable merchandise. You can also collect your own labels and submit them as well.

Campbell's massive array of education merchandise includes software, art, computers, cassettes, transportation, electronics, physical-education-related items and music. Your school's label redemption might provide your classroom with a TV/DVD/VCR combo, a flag set, a talking globe, or an easel for your teacher. Your art class could benefit from Labels for Education merchandise such as crayons, brushes, glue sticks and watercolor paint trays. Your school could earn a computer, scanner, printer or digital camera. Sports products for your gym include basketballs, footballs, jump ropes, batting tees, a power climber and even a parachute.

The products whose labels qualify for these great Labels for Education items are not as limited as a warm bowl of Campbell's Soup, however. The corporation's other labels - Franco American, Pepperidge Farm, Swanson, V8, Prego and Pace are eligible as well.

Selasa, 29 Juni 2010

Do It Yourself DNA Testing

DNA testing was popularized only in recent years mainly due to having it extremely handy when it comes to high-profile criminal investigations as well as in paternity cases. DNA, otherwise known as deoxyribonucleic acid, is most commonly used in trying to prove the relationship of an individual to another person, that linking is aimed at trying to determine whether or not those two people are related or not.

1. New Testing Methods

There are also various new tests that have been created in recent years, however, which have also turned to DNA testing, a highly popular tool for determining a person’s ancestry. As DNA is passed down from one generation of your family to the next, there are some parts that still remain almost unchanged. This creates the highly unbreakable link between family generations and through DNA testing. DNA testing can also be of great help when trying to reconstruct one’s family history

2. Paternity Tests

However, DNA testing, in spite of its many benefits is not able to provide you with your entire family tree or be able to tell you who your ancestors are. DNA testing can, however, determine if you are related to the other person whom you have the test with. DNA testing can also determine if you and that other person have a same ancestor. DNA testing will also be able to provide you with the information that you will be needing in order to prove or negate the research you have been able to obtain about your family tree. Lastly, through DNA testing, you will be provided with clues in regards to your ethnic origin.

3. How DNA Testing Works

DNA testing has been around for so many years yet is has only gotten quite a following only recently since a lot of people can not afford the incredibly high rates that they will be charged for their DNA testing. However, there are home DNA testing kits which can either be ordered through the mail or even over the internet at a price which is still befitting of one’s budget (less that $300 to be exact) and all you have to do is to just be able to obtain a sample of your cells through a cotton swab or through a mouthwash, it really is fairly easy to do.

Then you have to be able to send those samples back to the lab for your DNA testing wherein you will have to wait for around a month or even two months before you get the results of your DNA testing. The DNA testing results are a series of numbers that represent the key chemical markers within your DNA. These numbers can be compared with the results from other individuals who took the DNA test in order to help you determine your ancestry.

When it comes to DNA testing, one must be extremely patient waiting for the results - and whatever the result you get from your DNA test, just accept it as the tests are over 99% accurate.

Senin, 28 Juni 2010

Do Highway Lights Turn Off Around You Too

You’re driving down the highway at night and out of the corner of your eye you notice the highway lamp pole turn off its light. Weird you think to yourself. But over the course of time you start to notice it more and more. What exactly is going on?

What you may or may not be experiencing is something researchers have termed “street light interference” or SLI for short. Some paranormal researchers have deemed that our bodies have the capabilities to interact with different light sources and affect their ability to turn on and off.

Personally, this has happened to me since high school. I can clearly remember one time when I was driving back from my girlfriend’s house after a fight and coming onto the highway at night. Upon approaching the onramp, in the foul mood that I was in, I noticed that a whole row of lights went out. I thought nothing of it at the time. I couldn’t associate it with anything. Plus, I was ripped at my girlfriend for ticking me off. Now, individual lights turn off around me while driving (and while I’m driving different cars too..so much for the “misaligned headlights” theory). Not only do they turn off on the highway but they also turn off on backroads. It hasn’t happened yet inside a house or other structure..only when I’m driving.

I really have no explanation for it. I can theorize it’s this or that, but who really knows. I’m spiritually in touch with myself enough to think that it’s loved ones who have moved on who are just giving me a quick hello, or, we’re still here with you. I like that thought better than anything else.

I’ve talked to some people who have experienced this (as my father has as well), and some people cannot wear battery operated watches. Again, this points to something logically towards how our bodies act as conductors or capacitors of energy. You ever rub your fingers on the carpet, or dragged your feet on the carpet and then touched something metal? Yep, static electricity. Our bodies were designed to hold certain amounts of electricity, thus acting in some ways as a capacitor.

The next time you’re driving at night, pay some attention to the street lights around you. If you see them turn off (consistently during the week, or inconsistently), feel free to come over to http://www.realghostpictures.net and leave me a message to discuss what happened to you. I’d love to talk about it.

Minggu, 27 Juni 2010

Do Capitalism Increase Disparity Of Wealth?

The year is 1300 AD. The place in a small tavern in Peking. Somebody burst into the room. Alert! The mongol attacks with brand new weapons.

What weapon? Catapult? Horse Archer? Gun? Nuclear Weapon?

No. They subsidize their farm product and try to fire sell it to us here. Also many of their workers are willing to work here for cheaper price. Not to mention hordes and hordes of capital coming in to increase labors' productivity and sallary. We're invaded!

Oh shit. We've been deceived... If we knew that's their weapon, we wouldn't bother building all this big wall do we?

Nowadays, thousands of envy bigots driven by rage wage worldwide demonstrate against globalization. Their kind shall face more bitter judgments than the barbarians.

If only our barbaric ancestors would see all the miracles and prosperity capitalism brings, they would have repented and embraced the free market.

Repent for globalization is near.

But why people oppose free market?


Humans nature and preferences are fine-tuned for gene pool survival. That means we're selfish and evil.

You see, women prefer the rich. When one male gets many women, the others don't get any. So when one male becomes succesful, the others will get in the way.

That's why so many people oppose capitalism. It's not there to help the poor. It's not there to improve the economy. It's simply there to prevent you from getting rich.

Guess what? It's not even work.

Capitalism do not cause disparity of wealth. Capitalism simply changes the way such disparity is earned.

In countries that oppose capitalism, like North Korea, wealth disparity exist anyway. Kim Jong Il, simply gets all the money by enslaving workers.

I tell you the truth. Those who oppose globalization is more evil than Hitler or Nazi. If Germany and Japan could buy natural resources through trade they wouldn't have enough incentive to go to war. People like Hitler wouldn't raise to power.

When we're not at war, we're in a race. That's simply the way we evolve. Those who oppose free fair competition is wanting the alternative. That's, in a sense, is the root of all evil.

However, capitalism do cause wealth disparity in a way most people don't see.

You see, due to envy, many capitalists are prosecuted. When women pick a financially irresponsible ghetto stud, it's humans' right. When women pick rich smart males in clubs, it's illegal due to anti prostitution laws despite being consensual.

The former requires you to pay tax to support their kids. The latter will create more tax payers on your site.

Why? Because people hate the more capable and want to exterminate them.

So the most productive among us are often forced to inherit his wealth to just 1 kid. This while the poor split his wealth to 10 kids.

If we make the same amount of money, and I make 10 kids, you make 1 kids, which one is more succesful? Does it make sense if my kids then complain that your kids are richer?

Also, capitalists are often too nice that they love even their enemies. When we're too nice, we're not being fair. When we're not being fair, we do not properly align our interests with other humans.

When those running the fastest don't hit the hardest, success will simply be a bridge to gas chamber.

Perhaps this article can help encourage our truly endangered species, the capitalists, to make more kids, for everyone's sake.

Sabtu, 26 Juni 2010


I know that diversity has been a big topic of conversation ever since the early 1990s when research supported the demographics that by the year 2000, 85% of the entering workforce would be female, African-American, Asian-American, Latino, or new immigrants. The fact that white males would be a minority entering the workplace was a wake up call for corporate America.

How have we done sine then? I suggest that there has been definite improvement in the area of hiring but it seems that once women and minorities are hired, there are informal, relatively unconscious systems in place that prevent advancement of the minority worker or women, even today.

If there is to be a true advancement in the area of valuing diversity, then the system must be revised so that there truly is equal opportunity for advancement for everyone, including the white male. I am not advocating for a system that promotes workers who are incompetent to meet some type of quote system.

What I am suggesting is that management begins to closely examine the formal and informal systems that are in place that prevent advancement by women and minorities. Of course this is a monumental task and many would like to believe that it is unnecessary---that there is no problem here. That is part of the problem. On the surface, it seems that things or improving, however, under close scrutiny there are many flaws.

Why would a company make a commitment to this self-introspection? Wouldn’t it make things worse before they got better? The answer to the second question is quite possibly yes. The answer to the first question is bottom line dollars and cents, as well as the fact that it is the humanitarian thing to do.

America is a multicultural nation that is becoming more multicultural daily. That is a reality. Unless a company intends to market and sell to only mainstream America, the contributions of minorities and women in the workplace are invaluable. This does not even begin to touch on the advantages of diversity for the global market!

Addressing the diversity issue is a three-part one. The first step is what I call Awareness. This is a time for individual self-reflection for each member of the workforce. There are many skilled training programs available that are designed to raise the awareness of the individual. If this step is missed, then taking the next two steps will be ineffective.

Individuals must develop a certain amount of empathy and understanding for the experience of being a minority in the country. With this empathy and understanding, a new motivation will develop to learn more and to be in tune with the needs of female and minority workers on the job. Even those who believe that they are aware and knowledgeable will be surprised at how much they really don’t know.

The second step involves honoring, respecting and valuing the diversity of each individual. Diversity is so much more than race and ethnicity. It has been defined as a total way of life and is learned. Take a white person and have him raised by African-American parents, and his culture will be that of African-American. Conversely, a black child raised by Caucasian parents will have a Caucasian culture.

When difference is truly honored, respected and valued, no longer are people concerned about who is right and who is wrong. There is a place for everything and no one is wrong. What works best in one situation may not work best in another. Everyone’s opinion is valued. Instead of shutting down when differing views are expressed, the new paradigm is to listen for the wisdom in the difference and the means to incorporate it into the way things are currently done for the good of all.

The final, and perhaps the most difficult, stage is to examine the systems that are already in place. One of the systems that has continually been blamed is that to get along in the world of work, women and minorities need to “act” like white males. It is this acculturation that will currently get a person ahead.

This is fine in the short run for the company, however, in the long run, when embracing difference, having workers who are comfortable with their own culture and can bring with them the advantages and benefits from that culture into the workplace is invaluable. Also, setting it up so minorities and females realize that they must acculturate on the job is not a good thing for the worker. People want to be their authentic selves in all situations and why shouldn’t they be permitted to be that unless it interferes with the quality of the products or services produced?

There are several other systems in place of which most in management are completely unaware. It generally takes a consultant from outside the system to come in and do a complete analysis of what is working and what is not. Once the areas for improvement have been identified, then the real work begins!

There are some companies in America who have been working on workplace diversity for years and are still striving for higher levels. To truly be committed to the process is probably a lifetime commitment. Diversity appreciation is more of a journey than a destination.

Jumat, 25 Juni 2010

Discovering The Cosmos - Why

I am not against any scientific enquiry. I support science and I fully support the work of science in making living better for all of this. My respect for science makes me think about something.

We are trying to send spaceships to the corners of the solar system. We are sending some that will go even beyond. We are trying to find out more about the surface of Mars and about satellites of Saturn. All this needs billions of dollars and millions of man-hours of the best brains of science. At this same time on our earth, there are countries, which are so poor that many children die of malnutrition. People have to walk many kilometers to fetch small quantity of water. Children die because they have nothing to protect themselves during the winter. There have no medicines to protect against early blindness and many other diseases that make their life hell forever. The world is as much full of poverty, as much of prosperity.

What are we gaining by finding out about the surface of Mars? If the same money and the same brains are used to prevent early deaths in the interiors of Africa, will it help us? If some money is diverted and water is sent to villages in poor countries, will that help more?

What helps us more? When I say us, I mean not a nation, but the earth. Many people are working to alleviate misery, but a lot needs to be done. Will science be more beneficial if it is used to help mankind than finding out how and when the cosmos was formed? A child dies of hunger and thirst. A child dies of diseases. A child dies of winter. Is saving that child less important for us than to find out if Mars has any ice on its surface?

Kamis, 24 Juni 2010

Discount Fetish

We have all experienced the rush of adrenalin associated with the realization that we are about to buy something that has been discounted. Our culture cherishes the notion of a discount via a sale or clearance. The quality of the merchandise or service is seemingly no match for the price. Coupons flow from every crevice of our mailboxes and newspapers. Our names and addresses are sold and resold to advertisers with a panderer’s delight. Consequently we find ourselves fishing through a stack of .10 cent tuna fish coupons to get to the real mail. Or are the coupons the real mail? We are, ostensibly, in the holds of a discount fetish.

An analysis of our current state of discount addiction is in order. In recent years more and more discount exclusive businesses have surfaced. How many of you have been to a .99 cent store? They represent what could be referred to as the extreme of our discount culture. Costume necklaces, stale bread and off brands litter the aisles where disciples of discount peruse. How many of us have been caught in the .99 cent trap? Radio and television remind us that we must take advantage of all things .99 cents. Hamburgers and tacos are at the top of this list as the toxic mix of food and discounts are rehabilitated as good and desirable. Our conditioned state is affected by the mere mention of a sale, by the idea of getting a superior deal.

As technology advances, our culture adapts. Online businesses are using discounts to attract customers. Emails have replaced coupon flyers. Discounts now tantalize us from our desktops. Clothes, jewelry and music are some of the more popular categories for the taking, as it were. Customer information is traded, bought and sold like commodities. After all, a good email list combined with the claim of massive discounts can generate a windfall of cash for a struggling business. 25% off, 50%, 1000%, do we really know the difference? The smart shopper will not trust the salesman’s claims. Instead they will do their homework and comparison shop. But many of us don’t have the time or inclination to do so. We would rather trust the retailer as we expect not to be lied to as a common courtesy of doing business.

The idea of a society developing a discount fetish is certainly not new or necessarily bad. The .99 cent store may serve those who are in dire straits economically. Competition for customers keeps discounts rolling and brings prices down, generally. Consumerism remains high stimulating business, which in turn benefits our national economy. It can be argued that a discount fetish is conceivably a healthy development. So why not embrace this side of ourselves. It can be stated that it is our duty as loyal participants in this nation to clutch our coupons and raise them high, while continuing to search for the next good deal.

Rabu, 23 Juni 2010

diggita, italian social bookmark

Diggita is a succefull italian social network devoted to news, it's the italian version of the american social news site: digg. Like Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online
destinations to the most obscure blog, Diggita surfaces the best stuff as voted on by users.

Diggita is made with pligg, an open source content managing system, The main features that make Pligg unique are collaborative bookmarking, social networking, folksonomy and blogging. Each of the News links, unit of pligg content, has a vote button, URL and optionally a short description of news. Here Visitors are supplier, consumer and judge of the content. Every visitor has right and freedom to vote and veto any news item. At the end of the day, depending on count of vote news are either promoted to main site,or move or remains in incoming queue, or permanently removed from site. Being a collaborative CMS, Pligg sites grow very fast in terms of traffic and popularity.

Diggita using the inspiration of digg and the power of pligg made one of the biggest social bookmark in Italy.
It works with adsense revenue sharing so it sharing 50% of operating profits with google adsense between users.

Selasa, 22 Juni 2010

Different Types Of Psychic Abilities

In the swirl of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and general confusion surrounding the fields of parapsychology and psychic activity, most people have no idea how to make distinctions between different types of psychic abilities. Wait a minute, you say, I didn't even know there were different types! You're in the same boat as most everyone else who has a basic understanding of psychic reading and activity. Little does the general public know, it's not all tarot cards and psychic phone reading -- There are sharply defined distinctions between everything from the obvious (tarot reading and telepathy) to the surprising (clairaudience, clairsentience, and clairvoyance).

First, let's discuss what defines psychic ability in the first place! Extra-sensory perception (ESP), prophesies of the future, and a “sixth sense” could all be defined under the blanket term “psychic ability”. But where does psychic ability come from? Actually, no one really knows – not even psychic readers. People who claim to have psychic abilities describe a sense of just “having it” without having any conception of how it got there. Most say that it is part of their regular consciousness, and that they simply “know” or “feel” things before, during, or after they happen – despite being unable to explain how. Though parapsychology has been heavily criticized, scrutinized, and stigmatized, the truth is that as much evidence points towards its veracity as against it.

So what are some of the different types of psychic abilities? To begin with, there is the art of “channeling,” which is defined as the ability to receive and transmit information from another external consciousness while in a decidedly altered state of mind. Though each incident varies in intensity and resulting activity, many share the same basic traits: a semi-trance like state and the appearance of an outer entity expressing itself through the channeler. Many people have been able to obtain a psychic reading of another entity and consciously channel that entity – but professional parapsychologists don't recommend trying it until you've been well-trained and prepared.

Three more (related) types of psychic ability are clairaudience, clairsentience, and clairvoyance. Clairaudience is generally defined as the ability to hear or sense sounds that cannot be perceived by a non-psychic person. Clairsentience is another type of extrasensory perception in that clairsentient people can sense past, present, or future events through “sensing” them, though non-clairsentient people cannot perceive them. Clairvoyance is a synonym for extrasensory perception – any knowledge or consciousness of an event outside of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, or smelling it.

Divination is another often-misunderstood type of psychic ability. Divination is the act of making prophesies or predictions through the practice of occult arts. Contrary to popular belief, this is different from intuition – which is defined as the ability to perceive or act based on “just knowing” that it's the right thing to do. Tarot Cards and tarot reading is a form of divination. Although the mainstream ideas of divination and intuition have been tweaked to seem like anyone can tap into this psychic energy field, the truth is that only a few people take the time to hone and develop their extrasensory perception skills.

What's the difference between psychometry and psychokinesis? Well, psychometry is defined as the ability to glean information about an object by obtaining physical contact with the object. Good examples of this are seen in countless movies. Envision it: The hero touches a book and, upon contact, is filled with images of its previous user and the fate that befell him or her. Psychokinesis is the ability to move objects through willing it or thinking it.

Senin, 21 Juni 2010

Desperate Haste

"Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises?"... Henry David Thoreau.

These lines were written while Thoreau was living in hut at the edge of Walden pond near Concord, Massachusetts, between 1845 and 1847. Even then, this individualist philosopher recognized the problems of society's materialistic value system.

It seems no one listened as we see the beginnings of the twenty first century with the "Corporate Alien" dictate of "desperate haste." Companies go in and out of business, they merge to form bigger companies and exert an ever growing influence on the general public. Products come and go as there seems to be an ever growing need to innovate.

Marketing dictates our entire existence: from politicians and statesmen, whose campaigns cost millions to ordinary citizens whose lives are being entirely led by the commercialism of today's media. The few that have acquired large amounts of wealth are setting the standards for the rest of us so that their wealth would continue to grow at our expense.

It's not enough for one family member to earn a living these days. It seems that we're all hurrying to work and hurrying back home on our workdays. Traffic rush hours are starting earlier and ending later. We're always in a hurry to get somewhere in our cars. Some of us can't just drive; we must chat or conduct business on our cell phones. It seems that many drivers usurp the rights of the lowly pedestrian. The auto seems to have the right of way because it's bigger than the non mechanized walking individual.

Kids don't just go out and play, like people of my generation used to do. Now kids have to be kept active with school sponsored activities, so parents must also drive them back and forth from school, to school and from one activity to another. Everything is so rushed, there seems to be very little time to get to know something really well.

There is no shortage of cars on the streets these days. People only walk far enough to get from their car to the store and from the store to their car. Even if the store is a couple of blocks away, they still take their cars. There are very few pedestrians, and these poor souls must yield the right of way to most drivers or face death or serious injury. Hit and runs are becoming very common. Drivers hit someone because they're in too much of a hurry. They leave the scene because they can't bear to face the financial and psychological burdens imposed by the complexity of modern laws.

When you consider all the news sources, if you did nothing but read for twenty-four hours per day, you still would miss quite a bit of news. Bloggers are encouraged to post every day, so that people wouldn't get bored with your blog. We are living in an age of information overload and "desperate haste."

It seems like everyone is desperate to sell us something. Our emails are bursting with discounts on everything from Viagra to substantial home loans. They promise to make us millionaires for $49.95. They give us more credit than we could handle so that we remain poor but buy things as if we were rich. They place spyware on our computers to track our buying habits.

The rise of the Personal Computer was, in itself, an exercise in desperate haste. Twenty six years ago there was a computer called the Commodore 64 that ran with 64 kilobytes of memory and was able to run basic office functions. Today's computers are being sold with from 512 Megabytes to 1 Gigabyte of memory and this number is still growing as newer software gets developed. From 64K to 512M, today's memory needs are about 10,000 times greater than that of early machines. The disk storage went from the single-sided 5.25 inch floppy storing 180K to commonly available 160G and larger hard disks. Disk storage has increased a million fold in twenty-five years.

You may claim that this is truly progress, but it is actually too much progress in too short of a time. Much of this progress was done to continually obsolete old equipment and sell new equipment. It also adds to the frustration of people trying to learn new software and just as they get good at it, it becomes obsolete.

Because everything was done in such a hurry, the systems designed are relatively inefficient. They must be constantly patched to keep from being taken over by viruses and spyware. I believe that we could have had extremely efficient systems consisting of an old IBM PC containing an 8086 processor, 640 Kilobytes of memory and 30 Megabytes of storage. But because there is no efficient software written for this type of system, it finds itself in a museum.

It seems the harder we work, the less time we have to stop and smell the roses. The more we rush, the poorer and more frustrated we become. As the world gets more corporate, the pace of our lives will quicken even more.

Today there is no value, no idea, and no purpose that doesn't have its roots in some financial scheme. As long as we worship the corporate alien god we called money, our lives will continue to move with "desperate haste."

Mr. Thoreau had a suggestion for us if we want to challenge today's overly fast paced environment. He said "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

Minggu, 20 Juni 2010

Design Award of Excellence Goes to Minnesota Home

The prestigious Residential Design Award of Excellence for 2004 has been given to a home built in Hugo, Minn. The competition, sponsored annually by the National Concrete Masonry Association, recognizes excellence in projects featuring the use of concrete masonry to build quality homes.

The winning residence was designed by Villa Architects and is home to the Wagner family. Materials for construction were supplied by Willow Creek Concrete Products Inc. DC Landscaping performed the installation.

The home features a distinctive and elegant entryway, with a raised concrete paver patio and partition wall supporting an elegant trellis. This inviting entryway provides usable space for traffic flow and outdoor lounging.

An independent panel of distinguished architects and landscape architect professionals chose the home out of more than 75 entries from across North America.

"Our Design Awards of Excellence program helps not only to promote quality homes, but also to showcase the innovative and exciting ways that concrete masonry can be used in building attractive, sustainable structures that promote societal and environmental advancement," said Mark B. Hogan, president of the NCMA.

The winners of this award are featured in a special issue of "Concrete Masonry Designs" magazine.

"Architects, engineers and landscape architects all realize the value associated with the exposure gained from the promotion and publication of excellent examples of innovative and relevant award-winning designs," said Marsha Lea, a principal with EDAW Inc. who served as a member of the jury panel.

Sabtu, 19 Juni 2010

Demon Possession is it real or just a mental disorder

Just about everyone these days has heard about ' demon possession ', it was made a household name by the 1973 movie ' The Exorcist ', and again it has become popular after the 2005 movie ' The Exorcism Of Emily Rose '. To myself and thousands of others, we have known and believed in demon possession for a long time from another source, the Holy Bible. The Bible written in sections or books, some more than a couple thousand years ago, tells us all we need to know about demon possession and that it is a very real condition.

In this day and age, when you mention demons or demon possession, most folks laugh or joke about it. Do these same folks laugh and joke about the Holy Bible ? To laugh and joke about the belief of demons and demon possession, is the same as laughing and joking about the Holy Bible and the word of God. If you are a true Christian and you believe in the Holy Bible as being the divinely inspired word of God, then you should have no doubts about the existence of demons and demon possession.

What are demons ? Demons are supernatural beings with great power and knowledge, their knowledge comes from not just their high intelligence, but the fact that they have been alive since before the earth was created. They are often called or known as ' fallen angels ', in fact that is exactly what they are. When satan rebelled against God, he along with his followers, (1/3 rd of the angels of heaven), were cast out of the Third Heaven, where God's throne and the actual city or place called Heaven currently exists. These ex-angels, now called ' demons ', were banished forever from the 3rd heaven where they once worshipped God and his son Jesus. Now for thousands of years, they have been condemned to live in what is called heavens 1 and 2, this area encompasses the planet earth, the sky above it, the stars, planets and the solar systems beyond it.

Demons are usually invisible in their natural state to the human eye, but they can take on any solid form they wish, and then we can see them. Demons can appear as wips of what looks like smoke, lasting only a few seconds, or at other times they look like fleeting shadows, often seen out of the corners of the eyes. They can take on any shape they choose, even an animal, they can appear solid or transparent and ghost-like.

What does the Bible tell us about demons and some of their abilities:

1. Demons seem to desire a body to possess or use as a host, like a parasite. It could be that when they were cast down from Heaven that they were changed into another form, or they just have a strong desire to control and cause as much trouble to humans as they possibly can. In ' Mark 5:12 ', when Jesus was exorcising demons from a possessed man, the demons spoke to Jesus and begged him, saying: ' Send us among the herd of pigs; allow us to go into them '.
2. Demons have great strength. In ' Luke 8:29 ', a man was possessed by demons, and while possessed he was able to break chains easily, the demons also made the man want to dwell among graves and lonely places.
3. The demons are responsible for many of the diseases and illnesses that people have. In ' Luke 11:14 ' , a man that had been mute and unable to speak, became able to speak normaly when Jesus removed a demon from him.

What are some causes of demon possession ? Sin. yes, sin is the cause or thing that leads to someone being controlled and ultimately possessed by demonic forces:

1. Abuse - Some folks claim they were abused as children, and this has brought them under the control of demons.
2. Occult Activity - Reading and trying spells and other things in occult books.
3. Spirit communication - Using an ouija board, channeling, or automatic writing, is an open door to demon possession.
4. Astrology and Fortune Telling - Using ones horoscope or visiting a fortune teller to know the future is wrong according to the bible, clearly a warning that demonic forces are involved with it.
5. Music and Movies - Movies and music can be fun and inspirational, but most of the movies today are very sinful. Todays movies are full of such sinful things as sexual encounters that are out of marriage or with the same sex, cussing or using Jesus's name in vain, and there are numerous movies these days that show or try to let us think that dabbling with spells, sorcery and witchcraft are ok, when the Bible clearly says that any witchcraft or sorcery is wrong and can open the door to demon forces.
6. Sexual perversions - Pornography is very addicitve and often leads to more and more perverted sexual desires, such as same sex encounters and sex with animals which is growing more and more in todays perverted world, all of which is evil and wrong according to the Bible and Jesus. Demons can use these filthy and perverted desires to weaken our wills and mental states, until we allow them to enter us, and possess us.

There are many other activites and things that can ultimately lead to someone becoming possessed and controlled by demon forces, but the main cause is sin.

There are a lot of folks that say demon possession is just symptoms of either a mental illness or some other medical condition, or sickness. This can be true at times when the person does have a medical problem, but in a true case of demon possession, there will be signs or activity that NO sickness or disease can manifest, such as:

1. Knowledge of future events and hidden things - Demon possessed people have been known to gain a sudden knowledge about things that was never shared with others, or to even reveal future events that come true.
2. Superhuman strength - Possessed individuals have been known to break ropes, chains and other restraints with ease, and it often takes up to 4 full grown men to hold a demon possessed child down.
3. Speaking in unknown or strange languages - Demon possessed inviduals who have no prior knowledge of foreign languages have been known to start taking fluently in strange languages or foreign tongues, such as Aramaic, Latin and other languages.
4. Levitation and Psychic Powers - Demon possessed individuals have been known to levitate and hover in the air in front of other witnesses, or cause objects in the room to move by themselves.
5. Smells - Often in the presence of a demon possessed individual the surrounding air will become so horriblly smelling that folks will get sick, the smell has been described as the smell of cancer or death, or even sulphur.
5. Reaction to Holy relics or sacred items - Demon possessed individuals have been known to fear or even react violently to crosses, bible reading, holy water or other sacred relics and symbols. In one case of demon possession in pennsylvania in the early 1980s a young man, who was possessed had his head covered with a sack, so he could not see. He held his hands behind his back and a few different items were placed in his hands, when a cross was dropped into his hand, it burned his skin and became hot to others that touched it.

The best way to avoid demon activity and possession in your life is to avoid sin as much as possible. Read your bible as often as you can, go to a nice bible believing church, and most importantly, accept Jesus Christ as your lord and saviour, repent of your sins, and try not to sin like you did before your conversion.

As we are now living in what I call the ' End Times ', we will be seeing and hearing a lot more news about possession and demon activity. If you would like to know a lot more about the ' End Times ', and read some great Christian articles on such subjects as 'Being Saved, Armageddon, The Rapture, and much more, visit the website: ' Signs Of The End Times '


By Robert W. Benjamin

Copyright © 2007

You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.

Jumat, 18 Juni 2010

Deauville LaMagnifique

Les grands hôtels de Las Vegas, Macao et Monte Carlo font tout pour obtenir le privilège de les faire jouer. Ils sont la source assuré de gros profits car statistiquement, ils vont perdre. Les hôtels n'hésitent pas à mettre à leur disposition un avion privé pour les faire venir ainsi que leurs meilleures suites. Quant on est en mesure de perdre des centaines de milliers de dollars, tout le reste peut ètre offert. On peut dire en français "un flambeur".

Mais pour nous, simple debutant ou joueur non encore confirmes, je vous propose de decouvrir le casino a la francaise: DEAUVILLE.

Le Casino de Deauville est l’un des premiers casinos du groupe qui comprend entre autre les casinos Barrière de : Besançon, Ribeauvillé, le Palais Casino du Touquet, Carnac, Dinard, Enghien-les-Bains, l’unique de la région parisienne, Chamonix, Cannes, Sainte-Maxime, Biarritz et bien d’autres répartis entre la France, la Suisse, la Belgique et Malte.

Depuis 1990, le capital de l’empire est répartit entre Barrière-Desseigne, le Groupe Accor (34%) et Colony Capital (15%).
Le chiffre d’affaire du casino de Deauville s’élève à lui seul à :215,3 millions d’euros en 2004.

Découvrez à la fois le luxe et la sobriété du Casino Deauville!Son immense palais blanc vous ouvre ses portes sous ses prestigieux tapis moelleux et une architecture incomparable, pour mieux vous faire vibrer au son des
cliquetis rythmé des jackpots, les tables rutilantes, ses bars et ses restaurants toujours avenants…

Dans cette ambiance festive et chaleureuse, venez retrouvez au Casino Barrière de Deauville tous vos jeux favoris.
Casino Deauville c’est 325 machines à sous réparties en 3 salons, 6 tables de Boule, sans oublier ses Machines à Rouleaux et Vidéo Poker de 0,10 à 20 euros

Entrez dans la salle de la Boule. Vous y retrouverez 6 tables avec mise minimale de 2 euros.

Le Casino Barrière de Deauville porte l'héritage de la splendeur du passé. Dans ce décor somptueux, vous pouvez varier les plaisirs à chaque instant.

Vous y retrouverez les jeux à mise minimale d’un euro :
2 tables de Roulette Française (mise minimale de 5 euros),
1 table de la roulette Française (mise minimale de 10 euros),

4 tables de Roulette Anglaise,
10 tables Black Jack,
4 tables de Stud Poker,
1 table de Punto Banco,
1 table de Craps.

Mais Casino Deauville, c’est aussi ses spectacles tels le festival swing et ses loisirs tels le Golf.

Celui-ci, situé sur le Mont Canisy, à quelques minutes du centre de Deauville, offre une vue exceptionnelle à la fois sur la mer et toute la campagne environnante, dans une tranquillité absolue. Vous y retrouverez les parcours à 9 ou 18 trous. Des compétitions y sont aussi organisées.
Alors pourquoi attendre plus longtemps ! Rejoignez vite le Groupe Casino Lucien Barrière à Deauville ! Le seul Casino à vous offrir en plein cœur de la Normandie le plaisir des jeux mélés au plaisir du sport !

Kamis, 17 Juni 2010

Deauville La Magnifique

Les grands hôtels de Las Vegas, Macao et Monte Carlo font tout pour obtenir le privilège de les faire jouer. Ils sont la source assuré de gros profits car statistiquement, ils vont perdre. Les hôtels n'hésitent pas à mettre à leur disposition un avion privé pour les faire venir ainsi que leurs meilleures suites. Quant on est en mesure de perdre des centaines de milliers de dollars, tout le reste peut ètre offert. On peut dire en français "un flambeur".

Mais pour nous, simple debutant ou joueur non encore confirmes, je vous propose de decouvrir le casino a la francaise: DEAUVILLE.

Le Casino de Deauville est l’un des premiers casinos du groupe qui comprend entre autre les casinos Barrière de : Besançon, Ribeauvillé, le Palais Casino du Touquet, Carnac, Dinard, Enghien-les-Bains, l’unique de la région parisienne, Chamonix, Cannes, Sainte-Maxime, Biarritz et bien d’autres répartis entre la France, la Suisse, la Belgique et Malte.

Depuis 1990, le capital de l’empire est répartit entre Barrière-Desseigne, le Groupe Accor (34%) et Colony Capital (15%).
Le chiffre d’affaire du casino de Deauville s’élève à lui seul à :215,3 millions d’euros en 2004.
Découvrez à la fois le luxe et la sobriété du Casino Deauville!Son immense palais blanc vous ouvre ses portes sous ses prestigieux tapis moelleux et une architecture incomparable, pour mieux vous faire vibrer au son des
cliquetis rythmé des jackpots, les tables rutilantes, ses bars et ses restaurants toujours avenants…

Dans cette ambiance festive et chaleureuse, venez retrouvez au Casino Barrière de Deauville tous vos jeux favoris.
Casino Deauville c’est 325 machines à sous réparties en 3 salons, 6 tables de Boule, sans oublier ses Machines à Rouleaux et Vidéo Poker de 0,10 à 20 euros

Entrez dans la salle de la Boule. Vous y retrouverez 6 tables avec mise minimale de 2 euros.

Le Casino Barrière de Deauville porte l'héritage de la splendeur du passé. Dans ce décor somptueux, vous pouvez varier les plaisirs à chaque instant.

Vous y retrouverez les jeux à mise minimale d’un euro :
2 tables de Roulette Française (mise minimale de 5 euros),
1 table de flash roulette Française (mise minimale de 10 euros),

4 tables de Roulette Anglaise,
10 tables Black Jack,
4 tables de Stud Poker,
1 table de Punto Banco,
1 table de Craps.

Mais Casino Deauville, c’est aussi ses spectacles tels le festival swing et ses loisirs tels le Golf.

Celui-ci, situé sur le Mont Canisy, à quelques minutes du centre de Deauville, offre une vue exceptionnelle à la fois sur la mer et toute la campagne environnante, dans une tranquillité absolue. Vous y retrouverez les parcours à 9 ou 18 trous. Des compétitions y sont aussi organisées.
Alors pourquoi attendre plus longtemps ! Rejoignez vite le Groupe Casino Lucien Barrière à Deauville ! Le seul Casino à vous offrir en plein cœur de la Normandie le plaisir des jeux mélés au plaisir du sport !

Rabu, 16 Juni 2010

Death penalty: for or against?

Every evening when we sit back on our sofas and relax, we watch TV. In the evening action is on mostly. Daily we see how someone is murdered, but we find it exciting and watch such films with pleasure. What could the consequences be if some of these episodes could be taken into the real life? A verdict can be very strict, the most cruel verdict at all. Murderers are charged death penalty. But nowadays we have a conflict on this basis. Should one be condemned to death or just get a life sentence and that’s it?

Those who stand for death penalty always use the famous Bible quotation “An eye for an eye”. They also refer to the Bible when they say that someone breaks one of the Ten Commitments which is “Don’t kill”, and the punishment is death. Revenge is a powerful motivator to take actions. Those whose relative was killed want the criminal to suffer as much as their beloved has suffered. Death penalty was widely used in the past and for different purposes. For example your head could be cut of for stealing the cattle in Frankish Empire, you could be tortured and killed for betrayal in Old England, and you could be fed to the dogs for killing a lord in Old Germany and so on. The examples can be numerous. But the question is: do we possess the authority of God to take somebody’s life even if he/she took somebody else’s? Are we to judge other people? This can be a good topic for a custom term paper if to go deeper into the problem. God tells to forgive, this is also one of the Ten Commandments and we are not to break it. Nowadays a saying “An eye for an eye” is a bit old-fashioned. You will not kill a cat because he accidentally scratched you. We live in a democratic, free state where everybody is equal before the law and have to behave as such. In Europe there is no country left where death penalty still exists. It is rather hard to believe, for Europe was eager to execute everybody who went against the law. The ways to punish became milder, easier, and faster. Then, step by step, death penalty was canceled because of victory of humanism over revenge.
What is worse: death penalty or life sentence? A lot of students perform a term paper order on this topic. This idea can bring a good grade to the owner if closely researched. Of course life is the main value and there is nothing more valuable, but what is life, spent in for walls with those who were originated in the gutter of society, thinking about what a fool you were to do such a fatal mistake. But people who deserve to die have to be kept in very severe conditions. Unfortunately, our society can create real monsters that will not consider killing somebody an awful sin and crime. But no matter how guilty a person is, humans have no right to kill others to revenge; we have no right to do so. We are not to judge, this is God’s authority to decide. And who knows, maybe killers are suffering more when they are locked in four walls than when they peacefully pass away to the other world.

Selasa, 15 Juni 2010


To die means to live no more. A person who was identified by a name, a family, a character, a nationality and many lovely values is no more. That person will never be found again on the earth ever again. A neighbor, who you see everyday, can not be found again even if you look for him/her around the earth all your life. What was taken for granted, is not there suddenly. Death has taken the life away.

Sometimes I wonder about soldiers. Most of them are very lovely people. They love not only their friends and family, but also their society. A soldier when not on duty is hurt as much as the rest of us by a death. But the same soldier thinks nothing about killing thousand others who also belong to a nation, a society, a family, a mother, children and wife. This soldier who gets so pained by a single death in his/her neighborhood, has only one object in the war - kill as many enemy soldiers as he can. Bring as much destruction as he/she can to the enemy. The word enemy and the word war change the context of thinking and emotions totally.

Duty cannot be called brutality. But the result is same. So many wars have been fought on the earth that we have lost the count. Still they continue. The killings continue. Nationalities define boundaries and boundaries define friendships or enmity. What a tragedy! Did God draw the borders of nations? They evolved themselves. If we view our earth from the space, we will find it a small dot. No boundaries, no nationalities, only a very small planet. But as we walk on the planet, things change. Loyalties change, and man changes. The result is always death and more of death.

Senin, 14 Juni 2010

Dealing with anxiety before it turns to violence

Coping with anxiety is something that most people have probably dealt with at some point in their lives. Being nervous and twitchy about something is a natural reaction, particularly in a world of lawsuits, divorce papers, terrorist threats, and Orwellian paranoia. To top those off, there are also concerns about one's social status and place in the social hierarchy, which can sometimes compound social anxiety on top of regular anxiety. This multitude of factors makes coping with anxiety that much harder in modern society. While most people inevitably learn how to adapt, for others, coping with anxiety and having to deal with social anxiety can become a less than productive activity.

People with subtle mental issues, such as malignant narcissism, are hard to spot, though most experts agree that stressing out an already unstable mind can be a disastrous activity. Social anxiety is already seen as a common denominator among the psychological profiles of modern serial killers, with some people in the field believing it to be one of the root causes of the deviant behavior exhibited by such individuals. Others similarly theorize that the behavior of a serial killer is a way of coping with anxiety, albeit one that is affected by other psychological conditions.

Interestingly, people coping with anxiety and social anxiety do so in different ways, particularly in different cultures. For example, some Japanese people, buckling under the pressures of Japanese society and social duties, have found an unusual way of coping with anxiety. While the hikikomori tactic, which involves withdrawing from all social activity and interpersonal interaction for extended periods, is more accurately seen as running away from social anxiety, it is nonetheless their means of coping with the societal pressures in their lives.

Other Japanese people, generally males, have become drawn into otaku behavior as a means of dealing with social anxiety. In Japanese culture, an otaku is an obsessive fan of a particular show or series that ends up collecting each and every piece of merchandise of that specific obsession. While not as completely cut off from the rest of society as a hikikomori, an otaku is nonetheless a person that has little in the field of social skills, or at least perceives himself to lack such skills. To a degree, the otaku is using his obsession to substitute for human social interaction, though it also promotes meeting with similar individuals to locate potential buyers when the otaku eventually sells his collection in favor of starting a new one.

In Western culture, particularly in the US, social anxiety is seen as a weakness and something that is “not entirely normal.” Society has a tendency to push people that are socially withdrawn into the social arena, without any regard for their psychological capacity to adapt to such circumstances. In rare cases, when in conjunction with other mental disorders, these people can lash out at society, generally by openly rebelling against the social norm of their particular community. An example of this would be the “Goth” culture that crops up in some schools, which stand in direct defiance of the homogeneous social policies of most high school student bodies.

However, it is the ones that strike back covertly that one should be wary of. These people may not necessarily turn into serial killers along the lines of Dennis Rader, the infamous BTK strangler or Ted Bundy, they can potentially turn into another Dylan Klebold or Seng Hui Cho. The difficulty here lies in the fact that people tend to ignore the signs of this sort of backlash until the guns have already started blazing.

Minggu, 13 Juni 2010

Deadly Freedom: Inventing Hope In Dark Times

Totalitarianism has been tried many times and it essentially fails because human beings will in all ways subvert a singular narrative that is imposed by force. The fates of the totalitarian states of the last century illustrate this. Authority, the power to dominate the minds and bodies of humanity, has solved this problem by creating and dispersing a deadly form of freedom.

This deadly freedom, embedded in a mix of popular aspirations that are inherently conservative and fearful, lead not to the purported goals of happiness and personal agency and fulfillment but to an arid apathy anchored to a narrow and crippling selfishness.

What has this freedom got us? A mortgage? Unfulfilling jobs and confused relationships? Environmental and social degradation? High youth suicide rates and equally high levels of substance abuse? Chronic levels of depression, alienation and a culture industry that is largely bankrupt, caught in a materialist loop that offers escape from reality rather than commitment to it? Yearnings that seem illusive and cannot be framed in current language because the language for such deep aspirations is absent from the current personal, social and cultural context?


Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace prize winner and award winning author, in a recent interview with Time Magazine stated that the two most important dangers for humanity at present were hatred and indifference. The needed antidote to this condition he claimed was hope. Hope, even in hopeless times, needs to be invented (like Jacob the Liar) and Wiesel claimed that he “invented reasons to hope.”

Hope, however, is elusive and needs to be nurtured. It does not spring up sui generis and Wiesel would be the first to admit that his roots in Jewish mysticism are the source of his ‘hopefulness’. This is what he had to say:

“I believe mysticism is a very serious endeavor. One must be equipped for it. One doesn’t study calculus before studying arithmetic. In my tradition, one must wait until one has learned a lot of Bible and Talmud and the Prophets to handle mysticism. This isn’t instant coffee. There is no instant mysticism.”

Freedom gets in the way of this rootedness in tradition and this is why so many non-western societies are either suspicious of western democracy or out right antagonistic towards it. Mysticism is grounded in tradition, clothed in the language and actions of the present, and set ever before us all as we struggle into the future. It is the perennial source of hope.

Five Points

Traditions are sources of deep transformative power. There are five things you will find at the heart of all traditions be they overtly spiritual such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism or Indigenous spirituality; or more secular varieties such as humanism and romanticism.

Firstly, there is love. Wake up each morning and wait for an explosion of love to course through your veins. “I’ll wait a long time,” a cynic might quip. Yet this is the first condition, and love needs to be waited upon. Yearned for, courted, invited and fussed over.

Secondly, there is energy. All traditions are sources of energy, they carry energy from the past, focus it in the present and project it into the future. We are ancestors of this future and need to open up to the energy of tradition. It is a New Age folly to think we can invite energy into our lives without supplying a context for it. The absence of context is largely the result of toxic freedom and the isolation of the individual ego.

Thirdly, there is discipline. Traditions embody discipline; they enable it and make it OK to be disciplined. They do this because they create a meaningful and loving context for it. Remember that the essence of love is discipline. The two are indissolubly linked.

Fourth, and emerging from the previous condition, there is purpose. Our lives need a purpose that sits beyond our own selfish needs. Purpose directs our life, generates energy and hones discipline. Purpose means that we do not spill our life energy into the abyss of meaningless habit. Purpose creates the perfect feedback loop that will not let us down.

Finally, there is passion. When purpose is activated we become passionate individuals. We exude confidence and charm. We actually enjoy ourselves immensely as we engage with the fissures in our lives, our communities and the world at large. We live for the other, rather than fleeing from it.

Listen to the world; hear it groan, hear it sing. In listening we become still enough to hear the real song and pick up the fragments of our lives, see which parts we have got right, heal the wounded and denied selves that so far have held us back. Be creative and embrace the gifts that litter our world and see the deception that lies at the heart of the modern dream of freedom. The paradox comes here: only when we reject deadly freedom do we really become free.

Sabtu, 12 Juni 2010

Dating with several people. Is it normal?

Some of these guys seem really confused when they see so many beauties at Oksanalove.com web-site. All of those fabulous ladies also look for someone to share the rest of their lives with, and of course they also can be selective in their preferences. That’s why many men ask the question: can I or should I correspond with one lady or several of them at the same time.

Gentlemen who are so keen to find his special online Russian girl feel a little discomfort if they're dating a few brides at once. But at the same time they perfectly understand that they have to make a lifetime decision and choose the right one to trust their destiny to.

People may have different points of view on this issue what actually makes the thing worse. It makes guys torn over prospective with no confidence which’s correct.

On the one hand, for some guys it seems appropriate to get to know several ladies because they have more chances to have "love chemistry" with at least one. Some afraid that if they write to one Online bride and then find no chemistry in the personal meeting, then it all will have been a waste of their time, money and the most horrible – end of their dream.

The most complicated thing for guys dating several Russian girls online is that each of these women is great, and men do not want to be wrong or hurt any of them without knowing in person. Some fear that each might feel that she has found "chemistry" with him. Any guy who simultaneously experiences several online affairs can get an increasing sense that each one of his ladies is feeling that their written relationship is becoming more serious.

It’s very common that a man usually starts his online wife- search being in touch with multiple girls who he thinks as potentially having a chance to be the queen of his heart. Then, most of the guys narrow it down to just two or even one lady before making a visit. It just naturally happens that during the long months of correspondence some girl may find another guy whom she thinks is more alluring for her. Some men intentionally do The Three-Way Conference Calls to be sure about the feeling they and their potential wives share, of course to get rid of some concerns and doubts. So, when a guy orders a call in the agency he accounts to guess things from what he hears and than, he is also able to follow the girl’s reaction in a live talk.

But do the ladies understand that their online fiances may date other girls from their agency as well? The ladies usually guess they are not the only brides their men writing to. But they also truly understand that as for themselves as for their men it’s a lifetime decision and the right choice can be vitally important. That’s why all the ladies try to be as much sincere as possible. They all believe in their uniqueness and really hope their true nature and personality are going to work. Many of them the same as their men believe that they can truly determine a "soul mate" from letters but still the face-to-face date is needed to find the personal love chemistry.

So, the best advice here can be – just listen to your heart. And if it says that this is the special person you were looking for to get merry with, than go for it. But if there still some little doubts, and you want some insurance, than choose another one female whom you find interesting and you feel you would like to know her better. And than, while visiting your Russian girl you can also have another date that will make yourself comfortable and confident with your decision.

Jumat, 11 Juni 2010

Dangerous Children In A Dangerous World

Juvenile violent crime rates increased 62% from 1988 to 1993, and then declined by just 6% from 1993 through 1997, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). However, the rates for juvenile drug and curfew violations, sex offenses, and simple assaults have continued to increase. The greater the number of risk factors and the fewer the resiliency factors the greater the risk that a youth will commit a violent act. To prevent dangerousness in youth, we need to understand the sources of the problem and intervene appropriately.

Youth with histories of aggression often have families that abuse or neglect them, expose them to domestic violence, exhibit untreated psychiatric or substance abuse problems, or are uninvolved in their children’s lives. According to OJJDP, children with more than five risk (community, family, individual, school, and peer) and fewer than six protective factors have an 80% chance of committing future violent acts.

If local community standards favor the use of drugs and firearms, and if there is an acceptance of crime as a way of life, the children of that neighborhood are more likely to use violent means to accomplish their goals. According to Prothrow-Stith (1993), by the time most children are grown, they have seen 100,000 acts of violence on TV, in video games, and in the movies. Many experts agree that media violence affects children. Vulnerable children are more attracted to and affected by media violence.

The families of violent children are often aggressive or neglectful, with problem behaviors, weak family bonding, and little warmth and nurturing, and family attitudes that favor drug use and crime. Additionally, violent patterns of responding can be learned in the same way we learn other standards of behavior or language. Children learn what it means to be a woman or a man and how adults behave through watching their parents and other adults. If the adults in their lives solve problems in a violent manner, that becomes the “norm” for expected behavior. Seventy-nine percent of violent children have witnessed violence between their parents. Violent children are four times more likely to come from homes with parental violence.

Troubled teens often experience academic failure as early as elementary school. As a result, they lack a commitment to school because it holds no positive rewards for them. Many of these children are learning disabled or have borderline or low IQs, making success in a traditional school setting difficult, if not impossible--especially if they do not receive needed services. If their social, problem solving and anger management skills are also poor, they may develop a pattern of fighting and bullying other students. Others drop out of school. "Allowing one youth to leave high school for a life of crime and drug abuse costs society $1.7 to $2.3 million" (Snyder & Sickmund, 1999, p. 82).

Success and positive self-worth are universal needs. When children fail to find these at home or in school, they seek out other youths with similar problems and views. In this deviant peer culture, they can become successful in their own eyes and in the eyes of their peers. A deviant peer group often reinforces antisocial behaviors and attitudes. Activities are often based on power and control and can escalate into violence. To take them away from that course, a new route to success must be offered. These children find it difficult to relate to “straight” kids--the peers who previously rejected them--who think, feel, and act differently. Bridging that gap can be a considerable task.

If you look at the reverse of the above risk factors, you will find the conditions that have the potential to protect youths from a violent lifestyle. It gives us hints as to where to proceed with treatment. Children need constant, positive, and nurturing caregivers that set rules, respect a child’s individuality and provide secure attachment in order to grow up emotionally healthy. School success and having prosocial peers can be a protective factor. Having a positive social orientation is also helpful. Higher IQ and resilient temperament can help a child heal from environmental insults and learn to cope more effectively. When there are bonds to supportive prosocial family, teachers, counselors, or other adults, kids have a chance to make choices other than violence. Clearly stated family and community rules and expectations and monitoring of child behavior can be effective in helping children learn to follow social norms. A child who has good social and problem solving skills, moral maturity, and an ability to manage emotions, particularly anger effectively, will have less problems with violence. Children who are curious, enthusiastic, and alert, set goals for themselves, have high self-esteem and internal locus of control will be more resilient. Resiliency factors include nurturing, stable caregiver with consistent, but not harsh, disciplinary techniques, positive activities, school success, and prosocial peers.

There is no one factor that predicts youth violence. It is the combination of more risk factors and fewer resiliency factors that can make the difference between a child that is dangerous and one who is not. Understanding that, allows us to plan interventions to help “at risk” youth.

Kamis, 10 Juni 2010

Custom Rubber Bracelets -- Fundraisers To ID Bands

Initially used for spreading awareness about cancer, custom rubber bracelets are now the darling of every non-profit organization – both for awareness generation and as a great fundraising tool. The Red Cross has its own red custom rubber bracelets for supporting Tsunami victims, while the relatives of American servicemen wear green custom rubber bracelets bearing the message ‘Support our troops.’ Besides, each cancer charity has its own custom color bracelets!

Custom rubber bracelets also serve as a fashion statement. That’s one of the main reasons for their popularity. Ace cyclist Lance Armstrong had returned to win the Tour de France title for a record seventh time after his successful fight with cancer wearing one of these rubber bracelets. Since Lance Armstrong cycled to victory wearing his famous yellow LiveStrong rubber band, the Lance Armstrong Foundation has sold 52 million rubber bracelets and contributed millions to cancer research. Snapping at the heels of the LiveStrong cancer rubber bracelets in popularity, we have the pink breast cancer awareness bracelets.

There are rubber bracelets worn by Hurricane Katrina rescue workers and custom rubber bracelets with the tsunami theme as well. You also have NBA, MLB, and NASCAR custom rubber bracelets, rubber bracelets with team symbols, or ones with any specific designs you like.

Now you can even design your own custom bracelets: when you shop online you can have silicon custom-embossed extra wide bracelets, twice as thick as the standard silicone bracelets; you can select the colors, the design, and the text you want to print. There are colors and designs that glow in the dark. Obviously, the more you want to customize your bracelet, the more expensive it becomes. Silicone, leather and metal custom bracelets are more expensive then the rubber ones. The former, though, are really great fundraisers.

There are also screen-printed silicone bracelets. These cheaper than the embossed versions. Contact the custom rubber bracelet agencies and they will provide you with the different color and design options they have for their bracelets. Once you select your color, design, and even the material (whether silicone, metal, or rubber), the agency will send you a full color proof. You can make further additions or any other changes to the proof. Once you are satisfied with the design, the agency starts the production of your custom bracelet.

Custom rubber bracelets are used as identification devices. In hospitals, custom bracelets are worn by patients. These bracelets have all the medical information of the patient imprinted on them. This is really useful in emergency situations when doctors can access all the information they need from the patient’s wrist. Newborn babies have bracelets around their wrists for identification in neo-natal wards.

Custom rubber bracelets are not just about a message or an attitude, but they are now important information tools as well.

Rabu, 09 Juni 2010

Cruising GayTruckers

There is no real way to cruise, Keep in mind to make sure you have a head on your shoulders. I must say that cruising is always dangerous. This is why you must have a head on your shoulders. Especially if your cruising a trucker cause they are bothered all the time in rest stops, and Truck Stops. Truckers are bothered so much by cruisers that even when they want to sleep its not always that easy. This does not mean to not cruise truckers. I for one always wait till I know for a FACT the other guy is cruising, Knocking on Truck Doors, Walking around the truck when a driver is sleeping is really bad news. Use your best judgement and don't get to pushy. If the driver is is interested, he more than likely is going to let you know somehow he is interested, by a means of constantly flashing his lights or constantly clicking the cb mic, or constantly lighting cigs so you can see the lighter light up in the truck. He may also walk around his truck and or take a piss. If you see him take a second piss and its only been 20 min, More than likely that driver wants some head!. (Keyword: More than likely) doesn't mean he wants it and this all again falls back to good judgement.
Please keep in mind as stated above, These drivers are working LONG HARD hours, Some trucking 15 plus hours a day. Then they are pressured by there dispatcher to get the load there even sooner!. And the dispatcher basically tells them that he doesn't care how much you have to lie on your log book, just get it there. Due to all this pressure of the industry and LAY OVERS is when a driver usually is not making money can cause any driver, Gay , BI or str8 to be in a real piss bad ass mood!. Due to this above factor it can also cause a driver to want relief also!!, Please keep that in mind and again use your best judgement and don't be pushy.
I ( Your Webmaster ), trucked the eastern side of North America for about 8 years and part of that 8 years was even going out to the west and seeing the other side of the ocean. I for one rarely slept in rest areas, I got bothered way to much by cruisers. Especially when I was on 20 hours and no sleep and I wanted to sleep and getting my door knocked on? As stated above, Knocking on truckers door (Unless invited) is basically walking up to any house (This driver lives in that truck don't forget) so its basically like walking up to any house and knocking on the door at 3 am and saying, HI how are you , what's up? , Not good practice!.
This does not mean I didn't sleep in rest areas!. You bet your tidy little ass when I layed over or I had the time and had rest I was found in a rest area clicking my mic on my CB. I have even been noted to turn the truck around and head the other direction! HA HA, ya not to smart but I did that a few times when I was so horny and had someone on the CB.
Please keep in mind most of these truckers are looking for a BLOW JOB and that's it unless they really are a Gay Trucker and at that point they may be looking to do a little more.
I rarely cruised the truckstops as a driver. Reason for this is cause I owned my own truck, it had my business name on it. Even when I drove for a company I was still very skeptical on cruising a truckstop. This does not mean I did not do it!, Of coarse I did!. I just had to be smart and do things right. In a truckstop your truck is parked next to many other rigs. If its a major PETRO or FLYING J then chances are your parked with many hundreds of rigs in one LARGE parking lot. Due to this factor a driver must be real careful, Last thing a driver needs parked in a truckstop is to air on the cb radio that the BLUE TRL TRUCK in the FRONT ROW is a good buddy!. Though there is a lot of activity that happens at trucks tops and rest areas keep in mind your in a BLUE COLLAR type of environment, Many Married Truckers with families at home. Some willing to play and others not willing to play. And others willing to call the cops on you or come at you with a gun!. This is not meant to scare you off on cruising either.
I am just explaining to use proper judgement.
So use your head, Best judgement. If your new at cruising, Then spend some time at the truckstops and rest areas and just watch, Learn!, Listen, Get a CB and listen in on cb 19. Visual experience is the best tool for learning. Sit back in your car or truck and just listen in and watch. You will get the idea in no time how to do it.
With new technology like ( wireless internet ). Cruising Truckers online has become easier. There is a good amount of Featured and non featured drivers here at GayTruckstop.com Email um, Engage in community posts and make new friends!. Dont be afraid to ask questions and most importantly dont pressure them. They deserve all the relief they can get!, They are delivering americas frieght! So remember that the next time you put your clean pair of undies on! ( You can bet your ass a driver delivered them as some point!. )
Hope you enjoyed the article and grasped some info from it.

Jeff Bailey

Selasa, 08 Juni 2010

Croisière Pour Lune de Miel

Les bateaux de croisière sont de plus en plus spacieux, afin de vous offrir le meilleur en matière de détente et relaxation et vous proposent de découvrir de plus en plus de destinations de rêves, de l'Alaska aux Caraïbes en passant par l'Europe.

Les croisières vous offrent un confort digne d'un cinq étoiles, son lot d'aventures, ainsi que l'opportunité de connaître de nouvelles personnes et de vous faire de nouveaux amis.

Mais pour la réussite de votre lune de miel, la croisière doit comprendre à son bord:
1) Du Champagne et des fraises dès votre montée à bord
2) Des canapés et autres attentions dans votre cabine un soir de votre choix
3) Une soirée "Lune de Miel" spécialement destinée à votre attention
4) Mettre à votre disposition des photographes

Pour cela, choisissez bien votre bateau. Celui-ci doit vous offrir les salles et le confort minimal suivant:

1) Des Restaurants devant vous fournir des repas de haute qualité,

2) Des Pubs, vous proposant les meilleures bières irlandaises ainsi que du champagne, doivent être disponible aux quatre coins du bateau et près des salles de SPA et solarium,

3) Au minimum un Centre de conférence,

4) Des activités sportives comme un Centre de Fitness, parours de golf, terrains de basket ball et volley ball, mur d'escalade, piste de jogging, patinoire, jeu de palets et bien d'autres encore;

5) Des activités sportives et éducatives pour les enfants telles le Club enfants pour les enfants de 3 à 17 ans comprenant une discothèque, des jeux vidéo et même un espace où leur est servi un repas;

6) Des Salons de beauté, un Complexe thermal complet incluant Sauna, Spa et Solarium;

7) Pour vos loisirs: Piscines, Jacuzzis, Casino pour pouvoir vous divertir dans une ambiance Las Vegas à l'aide de ses machines à sous, Discothèque, Salle de spectacles, Salle de cartes, Café internet, un théâtre.

8) Mais aussi des services du quotidiens tels: Galerie Marchande (avec bijouterie, magasin de souvenirs, de photos), Bibliothèque, Centre médical, Blanchisserie, et enfin une Chapelle nuptiale.

Les bateaux recommandés pour ce genre de séjour dépendent énormément de vos goûts et du choix de votre destination, à savoir si vous rechercher une évasion romantique au travers des forets tropicales et des plages ensoleillées ou culturelle pour visiter des monuments historiques et découvrir des mentalités étrangères. Pour cela, les listes ne seraient être complètes.

Les deux bateaux de croisières les plus connus sont les suivants:
1) Jewel of the Seas:
Mis en service en mai 2004, le Jewel of the Seas est caractérisés par l'allure innovante des super-yachts. Il possède un design avancé avec ses grandes surfaces vitrées dans les espaces publics et des ascenseurs de verre donnant sur l'océan.

2) Explorer of the Seas:
En route vers les Antilles. Ce paquebot est le plus grand au monde. Vous y trouverez plus d'activités et d'expériences que vous ne pouvez imaginer. Découvrez des aspects novateurs tels que le mur d'escalade vous permettant de vous élever au dessus de l'océan, la patinoire où vous pourrez déguster un chocolat chaud. Le soir, les boutiques, les cafés et autres animations du Royal Promenade s'ouvrent à vous. Cette esplanade, où il fait bon se promener, s'étale sur une longueur équivalente à deux terrains de football et fait 4 ponts de hauteur.

Senin, 07 Juni 2010

Criminal Record - Stigma For Life

If you've ever been convicted of a crime, no matter how small, you know the stigma that you carry with you because of that conviction. Unfortunately, even something as minor as a shoplifting charge or disorderly conduct conviction can make life difficult in so many areas.

Probably the area where a criminal record has the most impact is in applying for and getting a job. While there are laws against discrimination, and yes, not hiring somebody because of a past criminal offence is considered discrimination, these laws are constantly being broken and are almost impossible to prove.

If you look at any typical job application there is almost always a section that asks if you've ever been arrested or convicted of a crime other than a motor vehicle offence. Many ex-convicts are hesitant to fill out this section because they are afraid that it will cost them the job. Ultimately, it doesn't matter because if the employer checks, the conviction will turn up unless it was while the person was a juvenile, in which case the records are sealed. If ever there is a question of whether or not discrimination occurred the employer will always fall back on the standard answer, "There were other applicants more qualified". Yes, discrimination against an ex-convict is very hard to prove.

Gaining employment isn't the only place where an ex-convict has problems. There is the social aspect of his or her life that probably gets the biggest beating. Imagine a guy meeting a nice girl, taking her out for a drink or maybe dinner, they get to talking and the girl asks what he's been doing with himself. Now if he's been out of prison for a long period of time this can be fairly easy to get around. But if he's just been newly released from jail and has been out of society for a while getting around the issue is close to impossible.

In the same situation, hardened criminals who have been serving a long sentence and are just not used to being in society, have a hard time fitting in as it is. Their appearance will be different from most. Their actions will seem strange. They will seem ill at ease with their surroundings. This isn't opinion. There are studies that show how difficult it is for an ex-convict to get back into normal society. Ultimately, the girl will either find out he was in prison or he will have to tell her. Studies show that the percentage of relationships that actually succeed under these conditions is very small. In most cases the girl will break it off as gently as possible.

There is an old saying that goes, "Once a con always a con". While this isn't always true, unfortunately, it is the perception of most people. We have a very hard time trusting somebody who has been convicted of a crime. Why? Simple. If they stole or injured or did something unlawful once, what's to say they won't do it again? In our troubled world as it is, it's hard to know who to trust, even if they don't have a record. Certainly someone who has already gone down that road can't be a good risk for getting into a relationship with.

Yes, unfortunately as much as we like to think of ourselves as a forgiving species, having a criminal record is usually a walking death sentence for ever having a normal life again.

Minggu, 06 Juni 2010

Dr. Rene Piedra Asks: Are You Afraid Of The Dentist?

"Drills, burs, retractors, excavators and probes. That sounds more like a construction zone then a place to maintain healthy teeth," says dentist Rene Piedra, DMD (http://www.afraidofthedentist.net). It's no wonder that according to the National Dental Information Center, 95 million Americans are afraid of the dentist. Odontophobia or fear of the dentist is so common that more and more patients are avoiding their dentist appointments or taking unnecessary measures to mask the experience. "Rene Piedra, DMD & Associates have made it a personal mission to eradicate this fear and change the face of dentistry," says Dr. Rene Piedra.

Known as the "people dentist" in Coral Gables, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami Beach and surrounding areas, Dr. Rene Piedra and his team embrace several practices to help people not be afraid of the dentist.

* They help patients get to the root of their problem rather then try to offer unnecessary medication by actually listening to patient concerns. Rene Piedra, DMD & Associates established a call center where patients can discuss their anxiety about dental procedures.
* During the appointment, the element of the unknown is eliminated. Patients are walked through the entire process and can choose to view everything on state of the art computer monitors.
* Using the latest in dental technology, regular procedures are now less invasive and easier on the patient.
* Rene Piedra, DMD & Associates' offices are uniquely set up so that when you come in, you will be welcomed into a soothing environment and greeted with a smile with no drill sounds or chemicals.
* Patients worried about the cost can relax. Dr. Piedra works with a variety of financial institutions which allows them to offer no down payments and interest free loans.

"It is all really about the people not the teeth," concludes Dr. Piedra. "Out of all of the patients whom initially got treatment under sedation, more than 90% of them are now able to receive dental care without it! It is always our goal to get the patient past their fears."

If you have had a bad experience in the past or in your youth or fear going to the dentist, Dr. Rene Piedra can help. To find out more information about the services offered by Rene Piedra, DMD & Associates, call their toll-free number at (866) 568-2195 or visit them on the web at http://www.afraidofthedentist.net.

Sabtu, 05 Juni 2010

Criminal Record - Holes In Reporting

Those who think that getting information on a person with a criminal record is as easy as picking up a phone and making a call may find this article an eye opener. It isn't that you can't get the information. The problem is that part or all of the information itself may not be available or even recorded.

In 2001, states maintained criminal records for over 64 million people, but upon investigation it was determined that many of these records had reduced usefulness because the records themselves were missing important information regarding the arrest or conviction. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in conducting surveys, discovered that a large proportion of criminal records lack what is called a final disposition. It is this final disposition that indicates the final outcome of the arrest.

There is a process in place that creates a criminal history record. In this process you have the arresting agency, the prosecutor, the court, and the correctional authority. Any one of these can provide the final disposition as each arrest can end with a different disposition.

To give examples we have the following:

A person is arrested on suspicion of murder. A few days later before a trial date can be set, the real murderer is apprehended. The final disposition in this case is that the arresting agency, in most cases the police, releases the suspect. This would be the final disposition of this particular case.

Let's take this one step further. The person is arrested for the same crime and goes to trial. In the trial the person is found not guilty. The final disposition in this case would be the court releasing the defendant.

In the case of a person who is actually convicted of a crime, the final disposition is with the correctional facility, either in recording that the person has done his time and was released on a given date, or in the case of life without parole, this is then noted.

The problem with the system, is that all of these final dispositions are recorded in different state agencies and while all the information should be contained in the person's overall record, what is too often found is that the agency responsible for the disposition does not forward the information to the central record keeping location, in most cases the hall of records of the city or town.

In surveys that were conducted it was estimated that about 46% of state agencies did not have complete disposition records on criminal history. This is a staggering figure when you consider how many arrests there are each year. When surveyed, state agencies reported that state prosecutors only forward 86% of their dispositions to the proper agency. When asked why, their response was that it was another agency's responsibility to forward the info.

Most of the problem with the system itself is in delays; the delay to get a speedy trial, the length of trials themselves and the time spent in correctional facilities. With all that is involved in a criminal record from arrest to sentencing it is no wonder that things fall through the cracks. Plus, prosecutors are less likely to report a misdemeanour than a felony because of the paperwork and time involved.

One thing the survey didn't ask is what each agency felt was the solution to this problem. Maybe that was the first question they should have asked.

Jumat, 04 Juni 2010

Charity Helps Change Children's Lives With Goats

An organization dedicated to ending world hunger has found that goats may be the answer to giving children in impoverished families the gift of a better life.

Since 1944, Heifer International has provided resources to millions of poor families around the world to help them become more self-reliant. For example, through the charity's gift of livestock and agricultural training, a family can obtain milk, eggs, wool and other income-producing benefits to feed, clothe and educate their children.

Recipients then promise to "pass on the gift" by donating their animal's offspring to other families in need.

While Heifer supplies all kinds of animals, its annual "Kids to Kids" campaign focuses specifically on giving children the gift of goats. This animal can easily be cared for by youth because goats are playful and respond well to lots of love.

Heifer has found that goats have everything necessary for a child to grow up healthy. They provide protein-packed milk to build healthy bones, rich manure to fertilize gardens and increase crop yields, and fine wool to make warm clothes.

Nanny goats often have two to three kids a year. As the herd multiplies, families are able to sell surplus animals, milk, manure and crops to neighboring villages for much-needed income.

Surprisingly, investing in a goat and in agricultural training for a poor family costs less than what a privileged family spends on dinner and a movie. But to Beatrice Biira of Uganda and others like her, the gift of a goat can make all the difference in the world.

Thanks to Heifer's gift, Biira went from severe poverty and hunger to having the health and extra income she needed to go to school. The tale of how the animal transformed her life was featured on a recent segment of CBS's "60 Minutes." Her story also is told in the award-winning children's book, "Beatrice's Goat," written by Page McBrier and illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter.

Kamis, 03 Juni 2010

Charity Commits $1M to Help Tsunami Survivors in Long Term

Heifer International, an organization working to end world hunger, has committed $1 million for programs that will help tsunami victims in South and Southeast Asia rebuild their lives over the long term.

"After the important relief efforts ensure the victims' immediate survival, Heifer International will reach out to help families in communities to rebuild their lives and livelihoods for the years to come," said Jo Luck, chief executive officer and president of Heifer International. "What families need now is hope for the future."

Over the next few years, Heifer's Indonesia staffers and partner organizations will work together to rebuild agricultural production, increase family incomes and support housing, education and public health efforts. The programs will provide training, livestock and related aid to tsunami survivors and farms on the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and elsewhere in the region.

For more than 60 years, Heifer International has worked with small farming communities to end hunger and poverty with its unique approach: providing food- and income-producing animals and training to millions of resource-poor families, thereby helping entire communities become self-reliant.

First, Heifer helps a community group analyze its situation. It asks: What do you need? What are your resources? What would you like to see happen in five years? With Heifer's help, the community plans specific activities to achieve its goals.

Farmers then prepare for their animals' arrival by participating in training sessions, building sheds and planting trees and grasses. Then the livestock arrives, providing milk, wool, draft power, eggs and other resources.

All families that receive assistance from Heifer promise to repay their "living loans" by donating one or more of their animals' offspring to another family in need in their community. This practice of "passing on the gift" ensures project sustainability, develops a sense of community and enhances self-esteem by enabling project partners to become donors.

Heifer's approach is to end hunger and poverty one family and one animal at a time. Its work is designed to bring about long-term self-reliance rather than temporary relief. The organization operates in 50 nations, including the United States. - NU

Rabu, 02 Juni 2010

Charity Auction Hits Timely Note For Musicians

Thanks to the efforts of two award-winning musicians and the support of an internationally known maker of fine time-pieces, a symphony of support has been created for the musicians of New Orleans.

Shortly after witnessing the devastation caused in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis created an organization called the New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village.

A division of Habitat for Humanity, the Village is a charity focused on building housing for musicians who lost everything during Katrina. The idea was to keep music talent in New Orleans so that future generations could enjoy the same musical atmosphere that Connick and Marsalis experienced growing up.

Connick, who had just completed a successful four-month starring role in the Tony Award-winning revival show, "The Pajama Game," added five final benefit shows to raise funds for Musicians' Village.

To support the effort, Longines, which has counted Connick as its ambassador and "Icon of Elegance" since 2005, created a set of exclusive limited-edition timepieces for the final benefit shows.

One watch from the group was auctioned live by the auction house Sotheby's following each sold-out performance of the show. All funds from the performances and the auctions were donated to the Musicians' Village.

The Swiss brand created the Longines evidenza limited-edition Harry Connick, Jr. timepiece, which raised $220,000 during the five benefit sold-out shows.

The evidenza limited edition is an automatic chronograph timepiece, with a tonneau-shaped rose-gold case. The case-back is engraved with Connick's signature. Each watch is individually numbered.

Other features include a chocolate-brown dial with white sub-dials and Roman numerals, automatic movement and a chocolate- brown genuine alligator strap.

Only 11 of these timepieces have been manufactured worldwide. Number 11 was presented to Connick as a gift from Longines.

Selasa, 01 Juni 2010

Changing Children's Lives: A Woman's Mission

Changing Children's Lives: A Woman's Mission

Word Count:

Life changed for Dorothy Samson in an Indian orphanage. Seeing the incredible needs of the children there, the Colorado resident knew she could make a difference.

Changing Children's Lives: A Woman's Mission

Article Body:
Life changed for Dorothy Samson in an Indian orphanage. Seeing the incredible needs of the children there, the Colorado resident knew she could make a difference.

So started a journey that led her to Compassion International and its unique child sponsorship program. Now, after just five years working with the ministry, 25 children count on Samson for prayers, letters and support.

"They crawl up into my lap; they call me 'Auntie Dorothy,'" Samson said. "They are my children."

Although Samson never had children of her own, that didn't stop her from sharing her love and compassion with little ones.

"I always wanted to have 12 children with an abundance of boys," Samson said.

From her home in Grand Junction, Samson began her Compassion sponsorship experience in 1999 with four children from India and one from Haiti. That number soon grew to 13 children, and she got that abundance of boys.

Later, when she learned that there was a need for sponsors for African children, she didn't hesitate to take on even more.

"Compassion told me that there was a lack of sponsors for African children because of the HIV/AIDS problem," Samson said. "I can understand people wanting to invest their money in children who are certain to grow up to be healthy, productive adults. But all children are precious, even those who might be HIV-positive. They aren't responsible for having the disease - they are innocent victims, and they, too, deserve the opportunity to have a happy childhood and to be loved and cared for."

Responding to the need, Samson sponsored 12 African children - eight of them in Uganda. And in September 2002, she spent five special days with "my youngsters," as she refers to them. She treated her children to a game park, a safari and a boat ride to see hippos.

"Of course, the kids were so excited. They'd never seen animals in the wild or even taken a boat ride. It was wonderful to see their excitement," Samson said.

Since she's returned from Africa, Samson has had several opportunities to share her experience and tell others about her precious Ugandan children, several of whom have already had to deal with the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, having lost parents, siblings and other close relatives to the disease.

"I don't know if any of my children have the disease," Samson said. " I pray that they do not. But it would never change how I feel about them. I love them as my own children. My hope for them is that they can have a happy childhood and become all they can be in Jesus - free from AIDS."

When Compassion International opened its first projects in Uganda in 1980, the scourge of HIV/AIDS had not yet affected the world. Little did anyone know that only a few years later, many of the children Compassion serves in Uganda would battle the effects of this deadly, incurable disease. Compassion International currently ministers to more than 164,000 children in five countries in East Africa.