Sabtu, 31 Juli 2010

Everyone Loves Discounts

Discounts are excellent and there are a variety of ways that consumers can obtain a discount on many different items. Many retailers both online and offline offer discounts to their customers on regular basis and they can range in percentage. For example, with certain credit cards different retailers will offer you special discounts for using that credit card with them. Gas charge cards are particularly good at this, certain businesses like hotels, and theme parks will give you discounts for presenting that card when visiting them.

Other types of discounts include, online discounts these are deals that a retailer will give you only on purchases made through their website. This will not apply to any purchased offline at their store; it only applies to their website sales. Other types of discounts are like senior citizens or veteran’s discounts. These are specifically for those over a certain age or hold veteran status. This typically applies to hotels, car rentals, or other businesses that you may encounter during travel. Senior Citizens also get discounts at restaurants, and on insurance as well.

With some companies, if you are a member of a specific type of club you will be able to enjoy discounts at a variety of retailers as well. For example, radio station clubs, or national charity organization clubs. Typically, discounts are offered in trade of a charitable donation or action.

Clipping coupons can also provide you with excellent discounts on particular items. Other ways to receive discounts is if you are an employee at a retailer that offers them. Typically, employees receive special discounts on their own purchases as an incentive of employment. Discounts, depending on the amount, can offer a great reduction in price and save you a lot of money over time. Many people come to rely on their discounts when budgeting their household income. Start saving money today and see if you qualify for any type of discount because of your age, military status, or the credit cards you possess within your wallet. You never know what kind of helpful discount you can get on a variety of items, at many different department stores and retailers.

Jumat, 30 Juli 2010

Europe: Places to Meet Pure Bred Aristocracy and Royalty

Want to meet a Duke or a true Prince and Princess? One of the easiest and most convenient places to meet pure royalty is at one of the prestigious hotel casinos. They hang out at many of the following five casinos and, once you are in, you can interact with them, play against them and if you are good enough, even beat them. Wouldn't you like to boast that you defeated a King? These five hotel casinos give you that chance.

But do not expect an all you can eat buffet or players with baseball caps and cool shades. Come dressed elegantly and only then will you be let in to share a baccarat game with pure-bred European aristocracy.

The European casinos listed here are the largest and the most luxurious casinos in Europe. Their appointed clientele is less the seasonal tourist gambler and more the upper crust. So, if you are looking for a stylish way to spend your latest lottery winning, you can shoot the dice in one of the casinos listed below while your traveling partners lie around the French Riviera beaches or go on wild shopping trips in the streets of London or Moscow.

1) Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco:
Monte Carlo has been the favorite gaming destination of Europe's rich and famous for almost 150 years with the first casino that was founded by Prince Charles III of Monaco in 1863. Casino de Monte Carlo is a complex of five posh casinos located by the seashore and decorated in French rococo style with marbled columns, golden ornaments and crystal chandeliers. The overall environment would make you feel like an extra in a French history movie.

2) Casino Metropol, Moscow:
The Russian Federation has the biggest number of casinos and slot machines in Eastern Europe. The best casinos for tourists are obviously the ones located in hotels. Casino Metropol is part of the five star Hotel Metropol, which is not only one of the most elegant casino hotels in the area but it is also conveniently located in the center of Moscow within a walking distance from the Red Square and the Kremlin. The lowest minimum table requirement is 25 dollars and a night at the presidential suite will cost you 2,000 dollars.

3) Baden Baden Casino, Baden Baden, Germany:
The veteran European casino was founded in 1809 and although it has changed several ownerships since then, its reputation as one of the finest casinos in Europe in general and in Germany in particular has not change. Nowadays, the Baden Baden Casino is one of the city's landmarks along with the famous thermal baths. If you ignore the table games and the slot machines, walking through the 32,289 square foot casino looks as similar to a visit in an European art museum with permanent exhibits of oil paintings and sculptures.

4) The Clermont Club, London, England:
If you are visiting the UK, you cannot just pop into a casino but have to apply for a membership at least a day ahead. If you plan to follow this procedure, the Clermont Club in Berkeley Square is one of the most reputable gaming clubs around. Set in a 17th century building, the Clermont Club was designed to resemble the Great Hall at Holkham. In addition to its friendly and convenient gaming room, the Clermont Club includes a bar and a clubroom where members and their guests can lounge over a banquet of a vintage bottle of champagne. Note that playing at online casinos is legal in the UK, so you can just pop into any internet cafe for online games.

5) Casino Barriere de Deauville, Deauville, France:
The elegant seaside casino resort had inspired Ian Fleming in depicting the Casino of Royale les Eaux in his first James Bond novel Casino Royale. First founded in the 1860s by the Duc de Morny, the extravagant palace is one of the most beautiful casinos in the world. In addition to its gaming facilities, Casino Barriere hosts variety of exclusive entertainment shows as well as cultural and artistic events.

Kamis, 29 Juli 2010

Etiqueta de Poquer

Si eres un principiante en el juego, o mas bien un experto que se ha dedicado toda la vida a apuestas y partidos de Póquer, aprender las normas de conducta nunca esta de mas. Aquí te presentamos algunas reglas no tan estrictas pero importantes a la hora de demostrar tu estilo y profesionalismo.

En el Póquer:
1) No debes mirar ni intentar leer las cartas de los demás jugadores antes de que ellos mismos expongan las cartas en la mesa. No es considerado apropiado.

2) No debes revelar el contenido de tus cartas antes de terminar ese partido o mano. Si lo haces los demás jugadores sabrán si has mentido o como es tu situación. También podrán saber que otras cartas quedan en las manos de los demás jugadores.

3) No debes comenzar la jugada si todavía no llego tu turno. No lo hagas ni en broma, y si lo haces por error, pide disculpas a los demás jugadores ya que es un acto que no es aceptado en el poquer.

4) No debes amontonar las fichas del partido apiñadamente o desordenadamente. Probablemente va a molestar en la mesa a los demás jugadores, e interferir en el reparto de las cartas.

5) No debes ayudar a demás jugadores ni decir cosas que influyan sus a sus decisiones en el partido. Puede causar problemas entre todos los jugadores. Cada uno deberá tomar sus propias decisiones y equivocarse es parte del juego.

6) No debes usar el teléfono celular en el casino. Si estas en medio del partido y debes recibir una llamada urgente pide disculpas a los demás jugadores y retírate del partido hasta que termines de hablar.

7) No debes hacer trampa ni estafar. Pretender que tienes mejores cartas de las que tienes es parte del juego, pero la trapa y la estafa están prohibidos.

8) No debes maldecir o usar lenguaje obsceno en el partido de Póquer. Tampoco debes amenazar al repartidor del juego ni a cualquiera de los jugadores. Es importante mantener la calma a pesar de los resultados del juego.

9) Es importante respetar el partido sin quebrar, llorar, estropear las cartas a la mesa o a las fichas.

10) Finalmente, no traigas objetos electrónicos como cámara fotográfica o filmadora, radio, etc. Son artículos inapropiados para mantener el estado neutral en un partido de Póquer.

11) No debes fumar deliberadamente en medio del partido. En muchos casinos esta prohibido, y si juegas con amigos asegurate que no moleste a ninguno.

Todas estas normas, como mencione previamente, no están escritas en ningún reglamento del Póquer pero si son importantes de respetar y recordar a la hora que te propongas jugar. Disfruta tu juego y buena suerte!

Rabu, 28 Juli 2010

Ethnicity of Russian-speaking girls of Kazakhstan

So I think it's important to know some historical facts. Kazakhstan during the centuries has been greatly influenced by diversity of Eastern and Western lifestyles, and two biggest in the country Muslim and Orthodox confessions. The state language here is considered to be Kazakh – one of the Turkic group tongues, even though Russian is the language that is widely spoken and used by the population.

Kazakh and Russian ethnic groups are the majority. All other national minorities also have their firm positions in the state. According to the “Wall Street Journal” this country is an example of ethnic and religious tolerance throughout the whole Asian region.

Russian and Asiatic cultures have created a unique synthesis of being here. The ladies greatly influenced by diverse of ethnic colors are extremely attractive, unusual, smart and proactive.

There is a common understanding of women in this area: European and Eastern types. Orient girls are well known for their mysterious look and men honoring; European background ladies - for their brightness and good treating of their husbands. All the ladies here are very well-mannered, charming and elegant; they all share their values and love secrets with each other. However, the most important is that they all are family focused from their childhood. For all of those girls, coming from ethnically different families one is unchangeable – traditionally their mothers raise them up keep telling that family is the most precious value in the world. That’s why all Russian brides make their best efforts and investments for the family creation.

Western people coming to Kazakhstan and meeting the Russian brides for the first time can’t hide their amusement and wonder of how much sincere, kind, understanding and caring they are. The ladies here like to do things regarding housing with their own hands, no matter if they work or not. They pretty much like to raise their kids and cook for their husbands. When talking about love, any of these sweet girls can tell you how much they are inspired to meet a man of their dream and fall in a greatest ever love with him!

Some real stories happened to the guys kept them endlessly happy about meeting their on-line brides here, in girls’ home-town. The men had a chance to witness their ladies’ being in so usual and natural for them environment.

Any wise man, after having several months of correspondence with the one he finally found for love and family creation wants to see his future wife in everyday life. At the same time, he accounts to get some understanding of fiancee’s national roots, life-style of the country she grew up in, etc. Of course, such an approach to serious relationships is important. It’s a best way of acquaintance for a mixed couple, coming from different cultures and mentalities. The gentlemen who visit their brides before the marriage, after attending her home know what difficulties their Russian bride can face in his home-land. Of course, it’s easy to guess that their relationships can benefit a lot from such an experience.

First of all it makes the couple closer spiritually, and secondly, it prevents men from any sort of misunderstanding and mistreating of their spouses. For this reason “oksanalove” often hosts grooms in the agency’s Almaty branch. During such TOURS guys don’t stop getting excited and after, they just forget they had some doubts about the rightness of their choice.

The most memorable examples of fiance hosting is still something amazing to talk about in the “oksanalove” agency. It’s the stories about how guys were impressed by the hospitality of their future wives and how their brides even exceeded all of their expectations. They were completely puzzled by the fact that their fiancees can be so gorgeously beautiful and at the same time be just good housewives who cook, do the laundry, clean and take care of their men – simultaneously doing all these things.

Usually, when guys come to Kazakhstan to see their Russian-speaking future wives the girls go to meet them at the airport. This is what happened to one of Oksanalove's couple. When an American man came to Almaty for a face-to-face date with his bride. First of all, it’s worth mentioning that this girl lives in Karaganda – a northern Kazakhstan city, she also came to Almaty to meet her on-line groom. While waiting for a driver to pick her up from the apartment that was especially rented for the couple’s first date, she went shopping to get products for cooking. The bride was so keen by this; she so much wanted to make a surprise for her man that she forgot she may be late with her shower and other girl things. But Kazakhstani women are always lucky with this they can be inventive and get on well with everything. She made time to finish all the stuff and look fantastic, except of the fact that she didn’t manage to dry her beautiful long hair. She thought never mind and went out in a cold winter night to ride a car and meet her groom in the airport. Nobody has seen her so beautiful before that night when she dried her hair towards the heater in the driver’s car. When she told about her adventurous date preparation to her man he was just amazed and completely charmed! This wonderful and loving couple is very happy in their marriage.

Another nice and pretty lady every single day has cooked delicious meals at her home and was bringing them to her future husband in his hotel room when he was on his TOUR to Almaty. Such attitude never leaves people indifferent. That’s for sure! The fact is that, in comparison with girls from such cosmopolitans as Moscow, Kiev or Odessa that usually loaded with foreigners, Almaty is not so popular among them due to its remote geographical position. Local girls are not really spoiled by attention of travelers and their exquisite treating. All of the Almaty girls who grew up under hot Almaty sun in a friendly and specific multi-cultural environment are warm, passionate and unique. They all look for someone to give all their love and care sharing with their values.

Selasa, 27 Juli 2010

Ethical Relativism and Absolute Taboos

I. Taboos

Taboos regulate our sexual conduct, race relations, political institutions, and economic mechanisms - virtually every realm of our life. According to the 2002 edition of the "Encyclopedia Britannica", taboos are "the prohibition of an action or the use of an object based on ritualistic distinctions of them either as being sacred and consecrated or as being dangerous, unclean, and accursed".

Jews are instructed to ritually cleanse themselves after having been in contact with a Torah scroll - or a corpse. This association of the sacred with the accursed and the holy with the depraved is the key to the guilt and sense of danger which accompany the violation of a taboo.

In Polynesia, where the term originated, says the Britannica, "taboos could include prohibitions on fishing or picking fruit at certain seasons; food taboos that restrict the diet of pregnant women; prohibitions on talking to or touching chiefs or members of other high social classes; taboos on walking or traveling in certain areas, such as forests; and various taboos that function during important life events such as birth, marriage, and death".

Political correctness in all its manifestations – in academe, the media, and in politics - is a particularly pernicious kind of taboo enforcement. It entails an all-pervasive self-censorship coupled with social sanctions. Consider the treatment of the right to life, incest, suicide, and race.

II. Incest

In contemporary thought, incest is invariably associated with child abuse and its horrific, long-lasting, and often irreversible consequences. But incest is far from being the clear-cut or monolithic issue that millennia of taboo imply. Incest with minors is a private - and particularly egregious - case of pedophilia or statutory rape. It should be dealt with forcefully. But incest covers much more besides these criminal acts.

Incest is the ethical and legal prohibition to have sex with a related person or to marry him or her - even if the people involved are consenting and fully informed adults. Contrary to popular mythology, banning incest has little to do with the fear of genetic diseases. Even genetically unrelated parties (a stepfather and a stepdaughter, for example) can commit incest.

Incest is also forbidden between fictive kin or classificatory kin (that belong to the same matriline or patriline). In certain societies (such as certain Native American tribes and the Chinese) it is sufficient to carry the same family name (i.e., to belong to the same clan) to render a relationship incestuous. Clearly, in these instances, eugenic considerations have little to do with incest.

Moreover, the use of contraceptives means that incest does not need to result in pregnancy and the transmission of genetic material. Inbreeding (endogamous) or straightforward incest is the norm in many life forms, even among primates (e.g., chimpanzees). It was also quite common until recently in certain human societies - the Hindus, for instance, or many Native American tribes, and royal families everywhere. In the Ptolemaic dynasty, blood relatives married routinely. Cleopatra’s first husband was her 13 year old brother, Ptolemy XIII.

Nor is the taboo universal. In some societies, incest is mandatory or prohibited, according to the social class (Bali, Papua New Guinea, Polynesian and Melanesian islands). In others, the Royal House started a tradition of incestuous marriages, which was later imitated by lower classes (Ancient Egypt, Hawaii, Pre-Columbian Mixtec). Some societies are more tolerant of consensual incest than others (Japan, India until the 1930's, Australia). The list is long and it serves to demonstrate the diversity of attitudes towards this most universal practice.

The more primitive and aggressive the society, the more strict and elaborate the set of incest prohibitions and the fiercer the penalties for their violation. The reason may be economic. Incest interferes with rigid algorithms of inheritance in conditions of extreme scarcity (for instance, of land and water) and consequently leads to survival-threatening internecine disputes. Most of humanity is still subject to such a predicament.

Freud said that incest provokes horror because it touches upon our forbidden, ambivalent emotions towards members of our close family. This ambivalence covers both aggression towards other members (forbidden and punishable) and (sexual) attraction to them (doubly forbidden and punishable).

Edward Westermarck proffered an opposite view that the domestic proximity of the members of the family breeds sexual repulsion (the epigenetic rule known as the Westermarck effect) to counter naturally occurring genetic sexual attraction. The incest taboo simply reflects emotional and biological realities within the family rather than aiming to restrain the inbred instincts of its members, claimed Westermarck.

Both ignored the fact that the incest taboo is learned - not inherent.

We can easily imagine a society where incest is extolled, taught, and practiced - and out-breeding is regarded with horror and revulsion. The incestuous marriages among members of the royal households of Europe were intended to preserve the familial property and expand the clan's territory. They were normative, not aberrant. Marrying an outsider was considered abhorrent.

III. Suicide

Self-sacrifice, avoidable martyrdom, engaging in life risking activities, refusal to prolong one's life through medical treatment, euthanasia, overdosing, and self-destruction that is the result of coercion - are all closely related to suicide. They all involve a deliberately self-inflicted death.

But while suicide is chiefly intended to terminate a life – the other acts are aimed at perpetuating, strengthening, and defending values or other people. Many - not only religious people - are appalled by the choice implied in suicide - of death over life. They feel that it demeans life and abnegates its meaning.

Life's meaning - the outcome of active selection by the individual - is either external (such as God's plan) or internal, the outcome of an arbitrary frame of reference, such as having a career goal. Our life is rendered meaningful only by integrating into an eternal thing, process, design, or being. Suicide makes life trivial because the act is not natural - not part of the eternal framework, the undying process, the timeless cycle of birth and death. Suicide is a break with eternity.

Henry Sidgwick said that only conscious (i.e., intelligent) beings can appreciate values and meanings. So, life is significant to conscious, intelligent, though finite, beings - because it is a part of some eternal goal, plan, process, thing, design, or being. Suicide flies in the face of Sidgwick's dictum. It is a statement by an intelligent and conscious being about the meaninglessness of life.

If suicide is a statement, than society, in this case, is against the freedom of expression. In the case of suicide, free speech dissonantly clashes with the sanctity of a meaningful life. To rid itself of the anxiety brought on by this conflict, society cast suicide as a depraved or even criminal act and its perpetrators are much castigated.

The suicide violates not only the social contract - but, many will add, covenants with God or nature. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in the "Summa Theologiae" that - since organisms strive to survive - suicide is an unnatural act. Moreover, it adversely affects the community and violates the property rights of God, the imputed owner of one's spirit. Christianity regards the immortal soul as a gift and, in Jewish writings, it is a deposit. Suicide amounts to the abuse or misuse of God's possessions, temporarily lodged in a corporeal mansion.

This paternalism was propagated, centuries later, by Sir William Blackstone, the codifier of British Law. Suicide - being self-murder - is a grave felony, which the state has a right to prevent and to punish for. In certain countries this still is the case. In Israel, for instance, a soldier is considered to be "military property" and an attempted suicide is severely punished as "a corruption of an army chattel".

Paternalism, a malignant mutation of benevolence, is about objectifying people and treating them as possessions. Even fully-informed and consenting adults are not granted full, unmitigated autonomy, freedom, and privacy. This tends to breed "victimless crimes". The "culprits" - gamblers, homosexuals, communists, suicides, drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes – are "protected from themselves" by an intrusive nanny state.

The possession of a right by a person imposes on others a corresponding obligation not to act to frustrate its exercise. Suicide is often the choice of a mentally and legally competent adult. Life is such a basic and deep set phenomenon that even the incompetents - the mentally retarded or mentally insane or minors - can fully gauge its significance and make "informed" decisions, in my view.

The paternalists claim counterfactually that no competent adult "in his right mind" will ever decide to commit suicide. They cite the cases of suicides who survived and felt very happy that they have - as a compelling reason to intervene. But we all make irreversible decisions for which, sometimes, we are sorry. It gives no one the right to interfere.

Paternalism is a slippery slope. Should the state be allowed to prevent the birth of a genetically defective child or forbid his parents to marry in the first place? Should unhealthy adults be forced to abstain from smoking, or steer clear from alcohol? Should they be coerced to exercise?

Suicide is subject to a double moral standard. People are permitted - nay, encouraged - to sacrifice their life only in certain, socially sanctioned, ways. To die on the battlefield or in defense of one's religion is commendable. This hypocrisy reveals how power structures - the state, institutional religion, political parties, national movements - aim to monopolize the lives of citizens and adherents to do with as they see fit. Suicide threatens this monopoly. Hence the taboo.

IV. Race

Social Darwinism, sociobiology, and, nowadays, evolutionary psychology are all derided and disparaged because they try to prove that nature - more specifically, our genes - determine our traits, our accomplishments, our behavior patterns, our social status, and, in many ways, our destiny. Our upbringing and our environment change little. They simply select from ingrained libraries embedded in our brain.

Moreover, the discussion of race and race relations is tainted by a history of recurrent ethnocide and genocide and thwarted by the dogma of egalitarianism. The (legitimate) question "are all races equal" thus becomes a private case of the (no less legitimate) "are all men equal". To ask "can races co-exist peacefully" is thus to embark on the slippery slope to slavery and Auschwitz. These historical echoes and the overweening imposition of political correctness prevent any meaningful - let alone scientific - discourse.

The irony is that "race" - or at least race as determined by skin color - is a distinctly unscientific concept, concerned more with appearances (i.e., the color of one's skin, the shape of one's head or hair), common history, and social politics - than strictly with heredity. Dr. Richard Lewontin, a Harvard geneticist, noted in his work in the 1970s that the popularity of the idea of race is an "indication of the power of socioeconomically based ideology over the supposed objectivity of knowledge."

Still, many human classificatory traits are concordant. Different taxonomic criteria conjure up different "races" - but also real races. As Cambridge University statistician, A. W. F. Edwards, observed in 2003, certain traits and features do tend to cluster and positively correlate (dark skinned people do tend to have specific shapes of noses, skulls, eyes, bodies, and hair, for instance). IQ is a similarly contentious construct, but it is stable and does predict academic achievement effectively.

Granted, racist-sounding claims may be as unfounded as claims about racial equality. Still, while the former are treated as an abomination - the latter are accorded academic respectability and scientific scrutiny.

Consider these two hypotheses:

That the IQ (or any other measurable trait) of a given race or ethnic group is hereditarily determined (i.e., that skin color and IQ - or another measurable trait - are concordant) and is strongly correlated with certain types of behavior, life accomplishments, and social status.
That the IQ (or any other quantifiable trait) of a given race or "ethnic group" is the outcome of social and economic circumstances and even if strongly correlated with behavior patterns, academic or other achievements, and social status - which is disputable - is amenable to "social engineering".
Both theories are falsifiable and both deserve serious, unbiased, study. That we choose to ignore the first and substantiate the second demonstrates the pernicious and corrupting effect of political correctness.

Claims of the type "trait A and trait B are concordant" should be investigated by scientists, regardless of how politically incorrect they are. Not so claims of the type "people with trait A are..." or "people with trait A do...". These should be decried as racist tripe.

Thus, medical research shows the statement "The traits of being an Ashkenazi Jew (A) and suffering from Tay-Sachs induced idiocy (B) are concordant in 1 of every 2500 cases" is true.

The statements "people who are Jews (i.e., with trait A) are (narcissists)", or "people who are Jews (i.e., with trait A) do this: they drink the blood of innocent Christian children during the Passover rites" - are vile racist and paranoid statements.

People are not created equal. Human diversity - a taboo topic - is a cause for celebration. It is important to study and ascertain what are the respective contributions of nature and nurture to the way people - individuals and groups - grow, develop, and mature. In the pursuit of this invaluable and essential knowledge, taboos are dangerously counter-productive.

V. Moral Relativism

Protagoras, the Greek Sophist, was the first to notice that ethical codes are culture-dependent and vary in different societies, economies, and geographies. The pragmatist believe that what is right is merely what society thinks is right at any given moment. Good and evil are not immutable. No moral principle - and taboos are moral principles - is universally and eternally true and valid. Morality applies within cultures but not across them.

But ethical or cultural relativism and the various schools of pragmatism ignore the fact that certain ethical percepts - probably grounded in human nature - do appear to be universal and ancient. Fairness, veracity, keeping promises, moral hierarchy - permeate all the cultures we have come to know. Nor can certain moral tenets be explained away as mere expressions of emotions or behavioral prescriptions - devoid of cognitive content, logic, and a relatedness to certain facts.

Still, it is easy to prove that most taboos are, indeed, relative. Incest, suicide, feticide, infanticide, parricide, ethnocide, genocide, genital mutilation, social castes, and adultery are normative in certain cultures - and strictly proscribed in others. Taboos are pragmatic moral principles. They derive their validity from their efficacy. They are observed because they work, because they yield solutions and provide results. They disappear or are transformed when no longer useful.

Incest is likely to be tolerated in a world with limited possibilities for procreation. Suicide is bound to be encouraged in a society suffering from extreme scarcity of resources and over-population. Ethnocentrism, racism and xenophobia will inevitably rear their ugly heads again in anomic circumstances. None of these taboos is unassailable.

None of them reflects some objective truth, independent of culture and circumstances. They are convenient conventions, workable principles, and regulatory mechanisms - nothing more. That scholars are frantically trying to convince us otherwise - or to exclude such a discussion altogether - is a sign of the growing disintegration of our weakening society.

Senin, 26 Juli 2010

Enhanced Online Features At Blue Cross Blue Shield Help You

Blue Cross/Blue Shield has been helping Americans receive affordable healthcare for decades. Without its existence, millions of hard-working American citizens would not receive the kind of care and treatment they deserve, especially after decades of paying taxes and helping to grow this great and prosperous nation.

Like many traditional socially-centered organizations, Blue Cross/Blue Shield has embraced the new technologies developed in recent years. In an effort to provide better service to Blue Cross/Blue Shield members, the organization has enhanced its website and now offers more services for people to use. is one of the new online features now available at Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Surfers can access useful newsletters from the past year and the current one so that they may stay current with potential health issues and ways of dealing with them. The service can be initiated and terminated at any time. While active, members will receive a newsletter via e-mail every month with a host of useful information that is of vital importance to anyone concerned about their health. Health issues such as the avian flu epidemic sweeping Asia are just some of the hot topics covered in newsletters.

One of the other major improvements to the online website for Blue Cross/Blue Shield has to do with customer service. What was once formerly known as the “Contact Us” portion of the website has been changed to “Customer Service”. The enhancements to this section were made primarily due to overwhelming demand by Blue Cross/Blue Shield members.

One of the time-saving and beneficial advantages offered by the new service is to allow members to change the spelling of their name on official Blue Cross/Blue Shield documentation. What once was a time consuming task bogged down by red tape, this simple but essential service speeds up the correction of mistakes and ensures continuation of benefits without worry of interruption. The new online service also allows people to change date-of-birth and social security information as well.

The timely and useful enhancements to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield customer service section also allow members to access information about their individual enrollment plans to check for accuracy and updates to coverage. Also, at times when the service area for a local Plan is not available, members may access records without leaving the comfort of their own home.

Unfortunately, members cannot access their information at all times of the day or night. Access is only permitted at present on Monday thru Saturday, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., EST. But, for persons that utilize the services during these hours, any changes made to their personal information will be posted and applied during the next business day. Plans are currently in the works to expand hours of access so that the website becomes even more convenient and useful to members.

Although not all transactions can be conducted online, the truth is that the new additions to the online services offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield have made the entire process far more accessible and convenient for members. The newsletter provides members with critical healthcare information while the enhancements to customer service reduce waiting time and increase the ease of use for services.

Minggu, 25 Juli 2010

Electronic Medical Record Software and Patients Paying for Missed Appointments

In a recent BBC study two thirds of all doctors polled said that any patients who miss appointments have to pay for the appointment of at very least pay a fine or a penalty.

Here in the United States the physicians are a bit tight lipped. There is even a legal question as to whether or not a doctor can even charge for a missed appointment. The answer is a big maybe.

Many believe it has to do with the relationship you have with your doctor and if there a contractual obligation by the patient. Others say that there can not be a charge for "Services NOT rendered".

Many doctors charge and just as many would like to but think it may be a public relations nightmare. There are even more considerations. What about insurance, will they pay for missed appointment, actually some will.

Obviously this is a sensitive subject for all but most progressive physicians have purchased practice management software (electronic medical records and EMR software) that can mitigate the problem. New electronic medical records and medical billing software such as ReminderPro is a user-friendly, interactive patient calling system that delivers doctor-to-patient communication through telephone and email messages automatically. Practices are able to enhance patient care, reduce appointment no-shows, and increase productivity.

The trend is positive, many doctors that have implemented such EMR software now lowers the incidents of missing appointments and driving more profits to the practice's bottom line.

Sabtu, 24 Juli 2010

Electronic Discovery – Why aren’t more law firms using it

As the technology age creeps upon us and forces us reevaluate our personal lives in everything that we do, the same can be said for how lawyers practice. Partners who have been tied to their pen and paper presentations are now being confronted with a phenomenon that has started to pick up speed since the early 90’s- Electronic Discovery Requests.

In the general practice of law, opposing counsels will ask for relevant and pertinent data from each other under the aegis of full disclosure. But what happens when this information is contained on someone’s computer, more specifically an email, word document, or even an excel spreadsheet? Precisely, many lawyers do NOT know what to do.

This is where the niche practitioners of the field of electronic discovery come into place. These consultants and technologists assist lawyers and firms every day with their electronic discovery needs. From assisting with drafting proper discovery requests, to helping the firm understand how to deal with electronic discovery vendors to process their information, it truly is a growing field in this day and age.

So why is it that many law firms are not up to speed on this segment of practice. For many firms, there is no necessity yet to embrace this technology. But that will change in the near future as more opposing counsels levy electronic discovery requests against them to fulfill. Courts are starting to require firms to electronically file briefs and other court papers.

As you can see, the legal system will drive itself to accommodate the electronic discovery field. Pertinent data resides on cell phones, PDA’s, computers and even voice mailboxes. These are all discoverable under the federal rules of law. Lawyers will need to become educated as well as confident in their understanding of this new field. The pen and paper dinosaur will still be there, but in order for him to survive, he and his associates will need to adapt, and not be so afraid of this new world. Otherwise, they can be looking at extinction.

Jumat, 23 Juli 2010

El Término niño no Exitía en la Edad Media

Si miramos hoy en día a los niños que viven a nuestro alrededor, podemos ver que son niños que van a la escuela, tienen ropa para ellos mismos y cuidados especiales.

En la edad media, aunque suene increíble, no existía el término niño, solo se referían a los adultos y a lo que llamamos niño le decían pequeño adulto. En esa época no habían cuidados especiales para los niños como los hay ahora, antiguamente, cuando los niños podían decir su nombre, dejaban los pañales y no necesitaban de nadie para poder suplir sus necesidades (a los 7 años mas o menos) ya eran enviados con los adultos para seguir una vida normal de trabajo y convivencia con adultos.

No es fácil pensar que en esa época las cosas se daban de esa manera, hoy en día los niños son el centro de la familia, tienen cuidados especiales y son tratados de otra manera, los libros están escritos en un lenguaje que el niño puede entender con facilidad además de ayudarlos a entender los textos con dibujos, antiguamente solo se escribía para el publico en general.

No niego que en esta época también se ve un poco de lo que había antes, en algunos países, los niños desde los 4 años son enviados a trabajar para e sustento de la familia, se les ha visto parados en un semáforo vendiendo dulces y otras cosas para poder comer o simplemente para darle el dinero a sus padres para que prueben suerte en un Casino o gasten el dinero en otras cosas. Esto me parece algo muy injusto ya que todos los niños deben tener derecho a vivir su infancia dignamente, para trabajar van a tener el resto de su vida entonces es mejor dejarlos disfrutar de su infancia como debe ser.

Philippe Ariès, un historiador atípico, escribió mucho acerca de este tema, Ariès escribió que en la edad media, cuando hubo la época del renacimiento y la etapa del surgimiento de los burgueses, la reducción de los abortos y otras mas, el termino niño empezó a darse a conocer de diferentes maneras, ya sabían que era un ser especial y que debía tener cuidados especiales, según Ariès, el niño empezó a ser el centro de la familia, era un entretenimiento para los padres, como un juguete que decía cosas graciosas y a veces sin sentido pero por otra parte, la iglesia y los moralistas veían al niño como una criatura inocente que debía ser separada de los adultos para evitar que pudiera corromperse, para eso debía ser enviado a estudiar y a prepararse moral e integralmente.

En el siglo XXI el niño ya es reconocido como tal, (con algunas excepciones) y se le da prioridad en la familia y también en la sociedad. Pero por otro lado nos damos cuenta que algunas cosas de la edad media vuelven en si como por ejemplo los abortos, el maltrato a los niños, y en algunos casos los niños no son enviados a la escuela para ser educados, esto depende de muchos factores, la pobreza, la ignorancia, y la falta de conciencia de los padres y de la sociedad. ¿Cómo es posible que alguien traiga al mundo a un ser tan pequeño e indefenso y abandonarlo o privarlo de su infancia? Para eso mejor deben pensar antes de actuar.

Cada uno podrá reflexionar y responsabilizarse de sus actos, tengan en cuenta todos que ahora estamos en un siglo diferente y que si se quiere tener un hijo se debe pensar dos veces, pensar si están listos para enfrentar el reto de ser padres y si le pueden dar al niño lo que necesita para desarrollarse plenamente en la sociedad. Entiendan que lo que tienen es sus manos es la vida y el futuro de un ser humano y no de cualquier objeto que pueden tirar cuando ya no les sirva. El niño tiene derecho a vivir una vida digna, piénselo bien.

Kamis, 22 Juli 2010

E-Banks that Accept US Casino Players

Recently, the US Federal government banned online casinos from operating in America by making it illegal to transfer money to them through any US bank or payment system. As a result of this law, most of the popular online casino networks such as Party Gaming and PlayTech left the United States. Overnight, online casino players found themselves being chased by the Federal government.

But, after a fortnight, the online casino industry came up with a solution and new online casinos started taking root. These began to operate under a different business umbrella, and by doing that, rendered the transfer of money to and from them legal. A major part of this was enlisting electronic banking systems that would accept this new clarification and start doing business with me. Listed in this article are the electronic banking systems that accept players from the United States that wish to play in online casinos.

The Payment Systems You Can Use:
1, 2) MasterCard and Visa:
The most popular credit cards in the world, you can use these for depositing money into your casino account. But, please note that the casinos do not deposit your winning through your credit card. They use one of the other electronic payment systems. This is also the biggest reason why you should refrain from using your personal credit cards today for gambling.

3, 4) Visa Delta, Visa Electron:
These are debit cards that one can use to deposit cash into their casino account. By debit card, it means that the money you pay through the card, is immediately withdrawn from your bank account. This is a comfortable option, but here too, you cannot receive money into it.

5) Neteller:
Based in the UK and traded on the London AIM Stock Exchange, this e-bank company is one of the major independent electronic banking entities in the world, and it allows players to transfer money to and from an online casino.

6) Neteller Instacash
This is Neteller's version of the Debit Card, and, in fact, it is just like any other debit card with one difference. To use, InstaCash, you have to pay a small amount. But, most casinos will offer to pay this for you, so read their regulations.

7) EcoCard
Based in the European Union, EcoCard offers a wider range of electronic banking solutions than the other e-banks. Other than the regular card and debit system, you can decide beforehand how to create a flexible financial account. Because they use a wide network of banks in Europe, transactions made through EcoCard are quick and efficient.

8) FirePay
This e-banking system is solely web-based and carries out its transactions just like a debit card. You place cash into your FirePay account, and then, you can use that money to pay or deposit into your casino account. While it will not cost you a dime to open an account, you will be charged a minimal amount each time you transfer money from your bank account to FirePay.

9) Moneybookers
All you need to open an account is an email address! This e-banking system uses transactions from your credit or debit card or your bank account to whichever company you wish to move your money to. Regulated in the UK and run by Gatcombe Park Ventures Limited, this is one of the relatively new e-finance companies that allow transferring money to online casinos.

10) eWalletXpress:
Owned and run by Navaho Networks Inc, eWalletXpress is a new electronic payment system that has been created to answer the need for US players to transfer funds to online casinos.

11) 900Pay:
This is a completely different e-banking system. Instead of charging your bank account or your credit card, 900Pay charges your telephone bill for all your financial transactions. This is one of the fastest methods of electronic payment because you do not have to go through a long and detailed sign up process. And, if you were wondering, this does work to fund your casino account.

Rabu, 21 Juli 2010

Easy Games to Play for Fun

Get acquainted with a practical guide on the easiest games that you can play online. And once you read this article, you will find that you have at least stopped losing all your money. If you follow the advice well and to the dot, you will also learn how to start winning cash from other players or by beating the casino. Sounds interesting? It is.

Note that the games you must look out for are those where the house edge is very low. If these are hard to find at the casino you have entered, look for those games that depend more on skill than on luck. Some of these include blackjack and poker. The games to avoid because they depend solely on luck are any of the slot machine games such as Caribbean Stud or the regular or progressive slot jackpots. These rely only on luck and the house edge there is against you.

What is a House Edge?
Since the casinos and betting establishments are in it for making money, they have created an artificial method to gain leverage over the players. This is what they have termed house edge. What it means is that over and above what you win, the casinos deduct a certain amount for themselves. It is something like insurance but only for them and not for you. But the casinos do not actually do this. Instead, they have inserted these odds into the game winnings so that you do not notice it. When you win, you are paid according to the newly calculated odds and you are no wiser.

For instance, if you walk over to a casino and place a bet of ten dollars on a roulette table. (For arguments sake, let us also suppose it was an American roulette table.) If you win, you should be given three hundred and seventy dollars because the true odds is thirty-seven to one. Instead, you will only get three hundred and fifty dollars according to the odds of thirty-five to one. This is what I was referring to in the previous paragraph. What has happened is that you have lost twenty dollars to the casino as part of the house edge.

Playing Poker:
Pick and play this exceptional game because ,here, you are not competing against the house at all. It is other players like you who you are up against. Do battle against them and defeat them for cash. No house edge comes in the way here, but you do pay a small part of the money you win to the casino as a commission. This winning commission is called rake, and its so minute that you do not feel it pinch your pocket.

In addition, this is one of the best games to play if you are good at it and if you have razor-sharp skills. You will be able to mint money like crazy if you can read other expressions and count the cards well. You can also pick from a variety of game variations such as Red Dog Poker and Texas Holdem.

Playing Blackjack:
This is one of those games that the casino does not like you playing. If it was up to the betting establishments, they would remove these tables altogether. Why? Because the edge for them is only a half percent! Thus, is you play well by remembering that you have to beat the dealer and not reach 21, you stand a big chance of accumulating a large sum. I also suggest you brush up on your mathematical skills.

If you wish, learn how to count cards, but be careful. Because card counting works, casinos have banned it. All you have to do is count the colored cards (the cards that are ten and above). Then, it will be easier to decide which bet to make and which not to make. Practice again and again at home because you not only have to master this skill but you also have to learn to do it silently so that the casinos do not catch on.

Video Poker:
This is a game very much like one of the many regular and progressive slot machines games you will run into at a casino, but it is different. Unlike slots, skill plays a big part in the results, and thus you have a bigger chance of winning than at one of the slot machines.

But, before you begin, glance at the payment structure pasted on the machine. You should make your gaming decisions based on the house odds and payment structures of the machine.

Selasa, 20 Juli 2010

Early Pregnancy and Prenatal Vitamins

If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, you probably know that it is important for you to get plenty of folic acid. Folic acid helps to reduce brain and spinal defects in your baby, especially in early pregnancy. What you may not know is how important it is to take multivitamins, as well.

A study, recently published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, noted the importance of taking multivitamins if trying to conceive or newly pregnant. Their research concluded that women who take multivitamins in early pregnancy reduced their child’s risk of developing certain brain tumors.

Researchers found that women taking multivitamins close to the time they conceived had babies who were less likely to develop medulloblastoma and primitive neuroectodermal brain tumors. Brain tumors are fairly rare in children, occurring in 1 in 20,000 kids under the age of six. Medulloblastoma is the second most common brain tumor in children.

The study at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia compared 315 children with brain tumors to 315 randomly chosen healthy children. Researchers called each mother and asked if they had been taking multivitamins before or after conception. The findings were slightly significant , yet they were comparable to a study conducted in 1993 by a different group.

Interestingly, taking a multivitamin during the later stages of pregnancy did not significantly reduce the infant’s risk of developing brain tumors. This makes it all too clear that if you are trying to get pregnant, you should begin taking your multivitamins right away. Then continue with the approval of your physician at least through the early stages of your pregnancy.

Women are strongly urged to choose a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid. Reproductive women should eat healthy foods with plenty of vitamins and folic acid.

When choosing your vitamin, check its vitamin A content. Never take more than 770 micrograms of Vitamin A. Too much can cause birth defects in babies.

You should also look on the label for the letters USP. This means the vitamin has been evaluated and meets certain criteria by the U.S. Pharmacopeia Organization. Vitamins with a USP stamp have certain standardized levels of purity, safety, quality and content.

Your OB/GYN will help you choose a pre-natal vitamin before you even get pregnant. So good luck if you are trying to conceive, and take that multivitamin for both you and your baby!

Senin, 19 Juli 2010

Dumaguete: The City of Gentle People

Dumaguete is the capital city of the Province of Negros Oriental. It is located within the Negros Island in the Central Visayas Region. Dumaguete is also known as "The City of Gentle People" because of the friendliness of the people and the warm welcome you will get every time you visit the place.

Dumaguete has a land area of about 3,551 hectares. On November 24, 1948, Dumaguete became a chartered city of the Philippines.

Dumaguete is rich with historical sites as well as tourist attractions, both man-made and natural. Dumaguete is the home of the Cathedral Bell Tower that was built in 1811. The Silliman University and its Luce Auditorium and Anthropological Museum as well as the Rizal Boulevard are among the man-made tourist attractions of Dumaguete. Structures like centuries-old churches and historical shrines are abundant in the city.

Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete is named after the Philippine national hero Jose P. Rizal who made a visit to the city on the way to Dapitan to be exiled. Today, Rizal Boulevard is Dumaguete City's place for nightlife because it has a beachfront promenade and many landmark manors.

Natural tourist attractions are abundant in Dumaguete. There are beaches, forests, caves, mountains, lakes, underground rivers, hot springs, dive sites, and other attractions.

Dumaguete is predominantly an agricultural city. The coconut and sugar cane products are the city's top earners. Products like vegetables, rice, fruits, root crops, corn, poultry, and livestock are produced in Dumaguete and shipped out to other parts of the Philippines.

The construction industry is now growing in Dumaguete with the increase of the cement consumption within the city. The small-scale industries in Dumaguete are mainly focused on the cottage-based products.

The climate in Dumaguete City is great. The seasons are wet and dry seasons. June to November are the rainy months and December to May are the sunny months of the city. Dumaguete is seldom affected by strong typhoons.

Dumaguete has a seaport located on the eastern coast of Barangay Looc. The seaport has about 13,231 sq. meters of land area for operations. The seaport of Dumaguete has two lighthouses. The lighthouse that is operational is located at the top of the building of the Philippine Coast Guard. The other lighthouse is non-operational and is located at the Pier 1 entrance.

Dumaguete may be a small city but the city has many interesting sites that the people are proud of. To visit Dumaguete City is to be around people who are warm and friendly.

Minggu, 18 Juli 2010

Dubai's unprecedented rise in the world of trade and commerce and tourism is largely due to the hardworking expatriate community living there. Up to eighty percent of the city's population is estimated to be made up by the Europeans, Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, East Asians and people from many other regions of the whole world. They have been the main cause why Dubai has had unparalleled growth in the world of commerce for the last several decades. This presence of outsiders however, often leads to many social issues taking place and the matter being fiercely debated across various social strata. Among these comes the issue of Dubai's bachelors who are always over the barrel and under a constant demand for being segregated from the rest of the community. However, not only does it require a herculean effort for accomplishing any such segregation, but it also calls for the basic human rights of the singles being taken into due consideration by the authorities.

As the world knows by now, Dubai is one of the most sought after destinations for the job seekers around its neighbourhood. Many recruiters go as far as the Indian subcontinent and the Far Eastern countries for making fresh recruitment. This involves well paid positions for those who might be ready to spend from six months to several years on instant assignments. Obviously, a large number of these rookies have to travel all alone for attaining livelihoods. They are given accommodation at places that are either outdated or are yet to fully develop. A majority of the adjoining localities may find all such occupations intruding.

Complaints of harassment by the single population have been made from time to time and the issue raised at several fora, so much so that the administration was forced to intervene on many occasions. It's no secret that despite Dubai's modern outlook, its Islamic background plays a crucial role in many spheres. There are no orthodox codes for the behaviour of men and women, but the conservatism still looms over large. Nobody likes in this world anyway, their womenfolks being stared and commented upon by the singles next door. Singles on their own part, living away from their homes for months and years, may sometimes fail to understand this basic ingredient of living peacefully, and therefore end up being a headache for their hosts.

Dubai's administration has made all its efforts to keep bachelor housing as much segregated as possible. However, the issues still refuses to die down amicably. Dubai's government has recently announced that all bachelors will be segregated from the rest of Emirate's community, and given separate housing. This may take up to two years to fully accomplish. A recent estimate suggests, out of the total 1,321,453 Dubai's citizenry, 74.86 per cent or 989,305 fall in the male category, and 25.14 per cent or 332,148 in the female one. This increase of the male population could directly be attributed to the booming construction and economic activities in the Emirate, which requires calling for a significant outside workforce, comprising mainly of the bachelors.

Only time will suggest how successful Dubai's administration proves out in tackling the singles versus non-singles conundrum. It's going to be hard time ahead for the bachelors on their own part, as they will have to move out of their present housing areas to the newly built ones. Bachelors are somewhat stranded in Dubai's environs today, waiting for their fate to be decided by the latest administrative moves.

Sabtu, 17 Juli 2010

Drug Rehabilitation Centers: What Are They?

Gloomy hospital corridors and generic treatment programs are things of the past. Addiction is hard enough as it is. People need drug rehabilitation centers that enable complete focus on healing both the mind and the body. Sobriety is only possible when all physical and mental needs are met. Highly personalized care and soothing, naturally rejuvenating surroundings are vital. New rehabilitation philosophies are making drug addiction easier than ever to treat and overcome. “Progressive” drug treatment programs utilize the priorities of maximum-comfort, individualized care, and nature’s serenity and beauty to assist clients in regaining control of their lives. Not all rehabilitation centers are the same, but with a comprehensive program that fully covers the following four main components, an addiction-free life is not just possible; it is permanent.

Drug Detox: The Biological Process

Ideally on-site to provide a unified program, all treatment programs must begin with thorough drug detox. The residual presence of alcohol and other harmful drugs forces the body into a constant state of defense. Enzymes and chemical reactions attempt to protect the brain as unwanted substances damage cells and DNA. Eventually, the body grows used to these damaging forces doing battle and dependency naturally takes over. The detox process is the only way to rid the body of that resulting dependency. Since withdrawal symptoms may include jitteriness, shakes, insomnia, and convulsions, it is important that detox centers provide one-on-one medical care twenty-four hours a day. Psychiatrists, neuropharmacologists, and highly trained nurses are needed to care for already diagnosed problems and arising complications. Although often painful, drug detox is a necessary part of the rehabilitation process, and it is only temporary.

Drug Counseling: The Psychological Process

After detox physically removes all poisons from the body, the mental recovery of substance abuse can begin. People must not only work through the underlying problems that initially led to dependency, but also ready themselves for addiction-free lives. Highly trained drug counselors assist in the self-discovery needed to heal past wounds. Soon, people regain control of their lives and are ready to move successfully forward.

As drug rehabilitation centers bring people with a common thread together, camaraderie strengthens support. This is essential to the healing process. However, addiction is ultimately a personal experience. While the facts of addiction may be the same for all, each individual situation originated from a unique life story and will affect each person’s life differently. Dependency will never be destroyed until the source of all emotional and mental issues are healed. Not everyone is going to benefit from the same program. It is vital that rehabilitation centers recognize and closely address this reality.

Individualized treatment must begin with the actual counseling process itself. Everyone is an individual. True rehabilitation programs recognize the inadequacy of group therapy. Frequent and personalized counseling is crucial. While everyone has different needs, deeply personal, hurtful issues are often too embarrassing to share in a group. Healing cannot occur when a person is constantly forced to fear exposure. Full self realization and understanding cannot occur without adequate time, attention, and safety. Numerous individualized counseling sessions devised by the collaboration of many specialists provide true, enduring healing.

New research continuously discovers that connections between body and mind are more complexly intertwined than ever imagined. Stress and pain in one area will inevitably manifest in a multitude of different forms. Too often, people are cheated with meager imitations of group-driven drug treatment programs. Only holistic methodology can bring adequate healing.

Counseling treatments must be organized. Within a holistic framework counseling can extend past issues of chemical dependency. It is natural for people to deny or repress painful memories. Therefore, treatments such as psychotherapy and the psychically induced, mentally relaxed state of hypnotherapy provide significant results. While family/marriage counseling focuses on the strained relationships that cause and/or are damaged by addiction, spiritual and life purpose counseling provide a non-religiously-specific way for inner exploration and growth. In order to ensure complete holistic healing, comprehensive drug treatment centers complete their programs with even further specializations, such as nutritional counseling, image therapy, and treatments incorporating yoga/music/art are offered. Most importantly, rehabilitation centers must offer customized therapy opportunities. With holistic therapy the unique individuality of every person can be met.

Mind, Body and Spirit

Likewise, physical treatment should never be reserved to the initial detox process. Services, such as physical training (both in and outdoors), massage therapy, other forms of bodywork, and acupuncture treatment, should be a component of your rehabilitation program. Within the mind and body’s connection both rigorous and low-endurance exercises provide essential outlets towards recovery.

A rehabilitation center’s surroundings also serve as a crucial component of its quality. The majestic powers of nature and the comforts of a fully furnished residential area complete the comforting effects of the body/spirit connection. Dwelling in the harmony and tranquility of their surroundings, residents can soak in the calming effects of such radiance.

Holistic & individualized drug rehabilitation centers offer a multitude of mental and physical therapies. Embracing each person’s individuality, they bring true enduring healing.

Inpatient and Outpatient

Scheduling and patient-regulations is another important factor to consider before choosing which treatment program to enter. Drug Rehab centers must offer the flexibility of both in/outpatient services. Ideally, centers should offer opportunities that extend, shorten, and break up basic program lengths. It is also important that centers do not forbid valued life objects, such as computer, telephone, favorite music or visits from family and friends. By incorporating people’s real lives into treatment whenever possible, clients more readily embrace treatment and endure the stresses of return shock.

Providing true rehabilitation, an individualized and holistic drug rehab center will highly reduce stress and discomfort. With an individualized and holistic approach, drug rehabilitation centers provide a smooth and long-lasting recovery. Don’t be afraid to call. The ideal program waits to personalize its complete body/mind treatment for you. If substance abuse affects you or a loved one, call right now to reach friendly and understanding staff. Addiction has monopolized too long; it cannot be ignored. Freedom from addiction waits only moments away.

Jumat, 16 Juli 2010

Drug Rehab: Outpatient vs. Inpatient - What's The Difference?

When an addict finally decides to seek out the help they so desperately need, they will have two primary types of addiction treatment programs to choose from: inpatient and outpatient. Understanding the differences and similarities of these two programs will help make it easier for the addict and their loved ones to identify which is best for their individual needs.

Similarities Between Inpatient and Outpatient Addiction Treatment Programs

Inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs have many characteristics in common. For instance, both types of programs generally utilize individual and group therapy. Because addiction has an effect on the entire family, most provide couples and family therapy. Inpatient and outpatient programs also educate the addict and the family about the nature of addiction while guiding the addict through goal setting and monitoring of those goals.

Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Addiction Treatment Programs

The most obvious difference between an inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment program is the location of the patient during treatment. As the name implies, those who receive help through an inpatient treatment program remain at a treatment facility 24 hours per day. The exact number of days the patient remains at the inpatient treatment facility depends on the policies of the rehab center and the individual needs of the patient. In general, these programs last three to six weeks. After the intensive inpatient treatment is complete, it is generally suggested that the patient receive extensive outpatient treatment.

An outpatient program, on the other hand, allows the patient to remain at home while undergoing treatment. This makes it possible for the addict to continue working and to be with his family while undergoing care. In an outpatient program, the patient attends treatment during the day. As with inpatient treatment, the number of days the addict attends treatment per week and the length of the program depends on the rehab center policies and the individual needs of the addict. 85% of people participating in an addiction recovery program opt for outpatient treatment.

Another option some addicts choose to follow is partial hospitalization. With this type of treatment, the patient remains home at night, but attends treatment more frequently than a person undergoing standard outpatient treatment. Generally, a person in a partial hospitalization program attends the program three to seven days per week for three to twelve hours per day.

Advantages of Outpatient Treatment

When it comes to choosing the right addiction recovery program, there are many factors to consider. For example, an outpatient treatment program may be best for a person that:

* Needs to continue working every day while undergoing treatment
* Cannot afford to pay for inpatient treatment, which tends to be quite costly
* Needs to remain near to family
* Has a supportive household that will ensure he attends treatment programs and carries through with program goals while at home

It is important to note that a person utilizing outpatient treatment needs to be able to deal with the real world while recovering from addiction. For some, this is too much to bear, while for others the daily tests they encounter can help to strengthen their commitment and their methods of coping with addiction.

A partial hospitalization program has many of the same advantages of an outpatient addiction treatment program. It does, however, provide more structure and more intensive programming than outpatient treatment. Partial hospitalization is usually more costly than outpatient treatment, but less costly than inpatient.

Advantages of Inpatient Treatment

There are many reasons to consider inpatient addiction treatment rather than outpatient. These reasons include:

* The addict has already undergone outpatient or partial hospitalization treatment and it was unsuccessful
* The addict has other medical problems, such as digestive problems, liver problems, infections, heart problems, anxiety, or intense depression that requires a greater amount of attention
* The addict lives too far away from the drug rehab center to make outpatient treatment feasible
* The home situation of the addict is chaotic and unable to provide the support necessary

Despite its advantages, inpatient treatment can be difficult to undertake. Perhaps the hardest aspect is the difficulty patients have reconnecting with their community, family, and friends after being away for a period of time. It can also be difficult to provide after care services to a patient that lives far away from the treatment facility.

Kamis, 15 Juli 2010

Drug Legalization: The Beginning of the End

For decades now, drug use and addiction has grown enormously. What was once an epidemic in lower class urban cities, has rapidly spread throughout the country, subtly leaving its lasting effect. As drug use spreads, there are those who believe that the only way to control this disease is to legalize drugs completely. These activists argue that people should be free to make their own choices, and as with the earlier prohibition of alcohol, a ban of drugs will only cause a greater demand. If in fact drugs are legalized, the structure of American society will consequently collapse. As with alcohol, legalized drugs will increase the likelihood of addiction, as well as the deaths relating to it. With a rise in addiction, the occurrences of drug induced crimes will multiply throughout the country. Gradually American society will become inefficient and unmanageable, shattering everything that its hard working citizens have achieved since their fight for independence.

By legalizing and increasing the availability of drugs, drug addiction will quickly escalate, and eventually make overdoses and deaths inevitable. Drug activists claim that as long as drugs are deemed illegal, they will be sought out more and more. Although it is human nature to crave what is harder to obtain, this idea poses no solution to ultimately ending drug use. Legalized drugs will enable people to obtain drugs at their own convenience, and at a dramatically low price. With no regulation on how much or how often drugs can be used, buyers will quickly adapt to this new sensation. Those that can now freely experiment with drugs will quickly realize that recreational use is impossible, as their heightened feelings of independence and self worth will become shorter and less frequent. Sooner or later their addiction takes over, and the constant availability of drugs makes it even more difficult to maintain a drug free lifestyle. Some of these addicts may try to correct their lives and get over their addictions, while others would continue to fall even further.

Along with a rise in addiction, the introduction of drugs into society will cause the number of drug induced crimes to mount as well. Unable to maintain jobs and relationships, and despite the decrease in the price of drugs, addicts will still continue to commit blatant crimes solely to obtain their next fix. Drug activists assume that as legalized drugs become less expensive, addicts will no longer have to commit crimes in order to fund their habits. One immediate difficulty with this proposal is that drugs already are exceptionally inexpensive. If you decrease the price of an addictive substance, addicts will then buy more of the less expensive product. A few decades ago when cocaine was being marketed in the high potency/low cost form of crack, addiction and crime rates still increased despite its price. If you legalize such drugs and the addiction rate increases, the result will be more people walking around and committing crimes. Addicts will pay almost any price in order to obtain drugs. Thus the question becomes not "What is the price of drugs," but instead "How many addicts are there?" Since the legalization of drugs directly increases addiction rates, related crimes are consequently going to occur.

With the increasing number of drug addicts and the growing crime rate due to legalized drugs, people will become inefficient, thus making society unmanageable. Throughout America’s history, hundreds of thousands of men and women have sacrificed there lives so that future generations could live freely, without any fear or barriers. The legalization of drugs would not only squander these efforts, but would once again put restrictions on the lives of those associated with it. Those that plight into addiction quickly become prisoners of their own mind, and worst of all, do not even know until it’s too late. Along with themselves, addicts place constraints on their families and friends, who hate to see them the way they are, but love them too much to leave. If in fact drugs are legalized, it would target the lives of millions of individuals, and despite this country’s size and strength, it would engage a war which would be impossible to overcome. As drug addiction would begin to incorporate its way into American mainstream, the lives and careers people worked years to achieve would be shattered within a few months. The initial and most common effects of legalized drugs would be noticed at the workplace, as an increasing number of people would begin to miss work and eventually be terminated completely. These same people would soon after lose their homes, families, and eventually end up on the street, still trying to pinpoint where they went wrong. As a result, an increase in the crime rate, homelessness, and unemployment, would inevitably follow, shattering the economy and further contributing to the downfall of society.

The destruction that drugs are capable of is limitless, and to legalize and introduce something of this magnitude would severely impact the lives of millions of Americans. Drugs are not just substances that have no effect outside of the user. Quite the contrary, the legalization of drugs would harm everyone financially and socially. An increase in drug addiction, crimes, and a collapse in society would bring about severe social costs on the American public. The inevitable spending increases for health care, social programs, and insurance from legalized drugs would furthermore affect all of society in a direct manner.

Rabu, 14 Juli 2010

Drug And Alcohol Interventions - A Life Changing Wake Up Call

A drug and alcohol intervention is a process of overcoming the barriers, getting across to the addicts and making them realize where they stand and what can be done to come out of the spell of substance addiction.

Intervention for drug abuse is a wake up call for someone who is going off the deep end. It is an attempt to put a safety net under the person whose life is spiraling downwards out of control. Successful interventions are behavioral interrupters. They address the problem, set boundaries, and offer solutions. They penetrate the addict’s denial system and are a turning point their life and ideally result in the individual going into a drug and alcohol rehab program.

A drug and alcohol intervention is an honest, heartfelt, communication. Intervention is an opportunity for family, friends and co-workers to say, “Hey, we’re watching you die, Man. It’s tearing our hearts out. What you do effects us too! We want you to get some help!“ An intervention of truth, piercing the protective armor of denial, is an incredible gift of love. It is opportunity of hope for a new life, for both the addict and his family.

Recovery does not have to be a painful process. Life is painful enough. Recovery should feel good. New alternative treatments that are holistic in nature are having remarkable results. In the past, addicts have resisted treatment, because it seemed more painful and difficult, than their active addiction. Thankfully, times have changed. Alternative treatment modalities have come a long way from the old days “break them down, let them suffer and feel the pain so they don’t do this again“ mentality. Today we know there is a lot more to recovery than shoving the twelve steps down someone’s throat.

Healthy treatment does not just give you a time out, put a band-aid on a wound the size of a decubicus ulcer, and send you on your way. Healthy treatment does not shame or degrade a human being, instead it heals low self esteem and empowers the individual to reach new heights. Healthy treatment gives you what you need to feel good physically, emotionally and spiritually. Healthy treatment reignites the spirit and restores the joy of living. Healthy treatment is holistic treatment of mind, body and spirit.

Recently the Art & Entertainment Network‘s show INTERVENTION, introduced America to a heroin addict using in her bathroom. We witnessed her progress while in treatment at North Miami’s G&G Holistic Addiction Treatment Program, better known as THE HOLISTIC CENTER. A sober year later, this woman is now working for the treatment center which helped her on her path to recovery. The before and after pictures are astonishing. We see two different people: 1) a heroin addict standing in a six hour long vegetative state in front of her bathroom mirror, nodding off after shooting up, and 2) a bright eyed, confident, joyful woman who is an inspiration to others, and who is self-supporting financially and emotionally. Her intervention was the bridge that transported her from the dead zone and gave her the opportunity to recover.

Think of an intervention as a cargo ship that transports the addict from active addiction to a destination, which is the protection of a addiction treatment facility. The captain is the facilitator. The crew is made of up of trusted family, friends, and co-workers. You have done your research and have a timetable and destination in mind.

Your cargo is your loved one and his emotional baggage. As Captain, you must steer the ship. Each crew member takes a turn at the helm, speaking his truth in love, chipping away at the addict’s anchor of denial. By the time, each person has shared their truth, feelings, needs, fears, and hope, the family will have traveled a great distance from denial into truth, and thoroughly defined the problem. It is now time to offer a solution.

Holistic Treatment is a solution, a blessing. Imagine treatment as a well of healing waters, not a prison from which you need to escape. It is imperative that the addict understand that they are receiving a gift, not punishment. Regardless of the mask’s of arrogance and defiance, the core of every addict is shame, guilt, self-hatred and fear. Love motivates and empowers. Acceptance waters the soul and facilitates healing and spiritual wellness.

In this day and age, when addiction recovery treatment is a billion dollar industry with pitiful success ratios, it is imperative to know that there is HOLISTIC TREATMENT that works, addressing the mind, body, and soul. Holistic treatment not only has the highest recovery rates, individuals seem to thrive, find genuine happiness, joy for living, and peace of mind.

Selasa, 13 Juli 2010

Dressing Doggy Up For Halloween

If you have never owned a pet, the idea of dressing up a dog in a Halloween costume definitely sounds a little silly. After all, it's not like Fido is going to go around asking for candy, right? To some, it may seem like a childish obsession to need to dress the family pet up like you would a person, to others just another way that the big companies of corporate America have decided to try and squeeze a few extra bucks out of patrons this Halloween season. For others, however, there is a certain charm to family pets being dressed up in celebration of the holiday.

Icebreakers and attention getters

As any kid can tell you, dogs are a great way to get to know people. Especially ones dressed in costumes. With the exception of the few people who might be afraid of dogs, many love to come up and say hello and offer a pat to a dog that they see on the street.

Of course, every kid out trick or treating has one goal – get as much candy as you can. Having a dog in a costume is a great way to do that. The houses that you visit will love the cuteness factor of the whole get up. Plus, it is sure to inspire some conversation, and the friendlier you are to people the more likely you are to receive candy in return. Get a dog costume that matches your own for extra cute points.

Protection and safety

A loyal family pet is going to look out for its family. So even though it is a good idea for mom and dad to come along while trick or treating, a dog is an extra bit of protection for your child should he or she get lost. Even a small dog will bark at something that is amiss, and larger dogs have the whole intimidation factor. Many children are also more careful about crossing streets when they are with a family pet.

Choosing a costume

There are a wide variety of costumes for dogs. Consider one that coordinates with your child's costume. As with costumes for any member of your family, you will want to be sure that it fits properly. Avoid any with long hems that could cause your dog to trip while walking. You will also want to make sure that wearing the costume will not interfere with attaching a leash. A few dry runs of walking around the neighborhood with costume on may be required to get your dog accustomed to wearing it.

If your child is going to be the one walking the dog, make sure that they are able to control it. You do not want your beloved family pet running off into the night. Also consider your dog's personality – very aggressive or very fearful dogs are not going to enjoy going out with all of the ruckus going on. And of course, be the responsible pet owner and always clean up after your pet.

Choosing a doggy Halloween costume can add even more fun to the holiday by allowing your family pet to join in.

Senin, 12 Juli 2010

Dream Interpretation of Places in Your Sleep [Part 5]

Where were you in your dream last night? Before you forget where you’ve been hanging around in your sleep and forever lose its life-changing meanings, read the following dream interpretation. Next time you find yourself there, you’ll know your way around.

Dreams of being underwater imply weightlessness and escape from gravity. If you are dreaming of deep-sea diving, enjoying peaceful scenes of fishes and the liberating feeling of silence, then it might mean that you ought to take a break from the pressures of real life and let yourself just float without care. If you dream you are drowning, it could mean you have let yourself be too involved in a particular matter, and it is slowly dragging you downwards with it. In which case you need to take a lighter approach to things.

Dreaming of being in a circus means you are in a the spotlight, cheered for by everyone, doing brave feats like eating fire, taming lions, or swinging high above. In real life, you may be shy, wary of people's attention, afraid to walk on the tightrope, and make decisions without a safety net. It is possible too that you worry about your performance and how you look to others, always expecting to fall and fail the audience.

If, however, you are one of the spectators, then your dream might be telling you that you need to be more involved in life instead of just sitting back watching the action unfold. You're not just after thrill; you're after something that lasts long after the lights have died and the audience members have dispersed.

Dreaming of standing in front of the fridge means you are looking for more than just something to your solve your immediate hunger, but something more chronic. You could be browsing the fridge for some inspiration or solution to your problem, or you could be looking for love among the many choices present there.
Also, the contents of the refrigerator has something to do with your life. Are you staring at instant foods, or frozen ones, or too many leftovers, or mostly gooey, soupy foods, or foods past their shelf-life? If we are what we eat, then we are what we also store in our fridge.

Rock concert
Dreams of being a rock star onstage applauded by thousands of shrieking fan obviously touch on the aspect of desire to be famous, wanted, approved of, and loved. It is not enough that just one person adores us, but lots. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are insecure or that you are pompous. On the contrary, enjoy these kinds of dreams. Even if you can’t be on stage touring with a band, you can still be on a platform of your own making in real life, doing great things for people, more than just singing a bunch of songs for them. We are all stars, after all, if we only take time to believe it more often.

Prom night
We all have our awkward and shining moments during our prom night, and it could be that we are just reliving them in our dreams. It could also be that we want to go back to that past to set things aright once and for all. High school life is especially a volatile stage for us: we form friendships and love there, beliefs and opinions, habits and addictions. It's where we meet nerds, bullies, terror teachers, weirdos, queens and pricks, crushes, friends, and foes. Your dream may be telling you that you are mature now to face anything or any character from that menagerie called the prom night. Those things you were too afraid/shy/or doubtful to do back then, you can still do today.

The dimly-lit bar is a place of anonymity. You can be anyone there, hiding your true unacceptable self, and no one would be the wiser. You adopt a new identity which you think will fetch someone over to your side, someone you can talk with, exchange your life stories and possibly more. Dreaming of being in a bar means you are in search of someone, whether a life-long partner, or someone fleeting. Dreams like this imply a thrill of the hunt, concerns about rejection and loneliness, and the eventual triumph of lovely things shared between two persons. Next time you are in a bar, don’t just rely on alcohol and smokes to feel alive. You already are.

Minggu, 11 Juli 2010

Dragon Sketches - Learn to Draw

Firstly, find some current pictures of Dragons - the older and more mythical..the better. The best type of dragons are those of a traditional scaly dragon, with wings. Inspiration can be found by doing a search for "Welsh Dragons" via Yahoo Images.

For the first Dragon Sketch, roughly place the head, body and legs. The flow of the spine and wings are important but basically just figure out the composition first.

Develop the dragon by adding a "lizard look", change the head to a more reptilian style and remember the eye shape is very important.

Refine the drawing by adding muscles in the joints and limbs and linking the anatomy. At this point its useful to go back and reference your Dragon Sources.

Shading and cross-hatching are important in adding depth to a sketch. It's easy to over-work a drawing, but if detail such as claws and scales are added it will improve the Dragon.

At some point in time you may want to colour your Dragon. The usual colour is muddy greens, but I like to experiment with reds or dark brown where the Dragon could have been scorched by it's own flames!

Sabtu, 10 Juli 2010

Donating A Used Vehicle To A Charity

If you are interested in making charitable donations and claiming then on your tax return then you should consider donating a used vehicle to a charity. This will allow you to claim a deduction on your tax returns. However, there are some rules you will need to follow and some safeguards you should keep in mind.

The first thing you should do is check to see if the organization you plan on donating the vehicle to is qualified. This is actually very easy to do and all you need is an Internet connection. Go to the IRS web site and search charitable organizations and see if the one you plan on donating to is listed. If the organization is not listed then you will not be able to claim the donation on your tax returns, so this is an important step to take.

Another important question you need to ask the charity is what are their plans for the vehicle? You have every right to ask this question and receive a reasonable response. Some charities might accept vehicle donations and then sell them in order to raise money while other charities might use the car for poor people without transportation. Regardless, find out what the vehicle will be used for before you donate it. If you do not receive an answer then perhaps you will look for a different charitable organization to donate to.

Also, the IRS requires that you determine the fair market value of the vehicle to claim on your taxes. Reporting the Blue Book value is not an option, so you will have to come up with the fair market value. Fortunately, there are several IRS guides that will help you determine this number.

Another tip is to find out what laws govern the donating of a vehicle to charity in your state. Some states will require you to transfer the title to the charitable organization while other states handle the transfer differently. Also, you will need to remove any license tags from the vehicle before giving it to the charitable organization. This will keep the car separate from you once you have donated it.

After you have done the research required for donating your vehicle to charity, if you still have additional questions then you should call the IRS directly to have your questions answered. This is really the only way to get accurate information so do not rely on what the charitable organization tells you. Make sure the IRS provides you with your information.
Donating anything to charity is a good action, especially if you donate a vehicle, because you are allowing others with little to nothing lives to be a little easier. However, take care when making donations in order to make the most of them on your tax returns.

Jumat, 09 Juli 2010

Donate A Car To Your Charity

Making charitable contributions is a wonderful way to help out your fellow man, but it is also a good way to get some tax breaks. One really good method is to donate a car to charity. However, there are some things you will need to do in order to donate a car to charity and claim the donation on your tax returns.

First of all, make sure the organization is qualified. You can do this by logging onto the IRS website to check for qualified charitable organizations. If the organization you donate a vehicle to is not qualified then you will not be able to claim the deduction. So you will want to check this out before you make your donation if making the deduction is important to you.

Another question you will need answered before you donate your vehicle to charity is what will become of the vehicle? Will it be sold to make money for the charity or will the charity use it for transportation? Also, the car might be given to someone poor who needs transportation. Regardless of what the car will be used for, you have a right to ask the question and decide if you believe it is a charitable cause. If not, then you can look for another charitable institution that will use the vehicle in a means you approve of.

Make sure you determine the fair market value of the vehicle in order to claim the donation on your taxes. You will not be able to simply claim the Blue Book value for your vehicle but will have to take into account the vehicle’s condition, and accessories you have added, and the like. There are several IRS and other guides that will help you come up with the fair market value of the vehicle.

Make sure you follow any laws required by your state regarding donating vehicles to charity. More often than not laws require you to transfer the title to the charity, if at all possible, and do not leave license plates on the vehicle. This will eliminate liability issues as well.

If after reading all the information on the IRS website and following these steps you still have questions regarding your charitable vehicle donation then you should contact the IRS directly in order to have your questions answered. It is better to have your questions answered before you make a donation than after, so be proactive.

Donating a car to charity is a really good thing to do and it will help you out on your tax returns as well. Just be careful because there are charities that will tell you what you want to hear, which can cause problems for you when you try to claim your donation. Just make sure you have all questions answered by the IRS.

Kamis, 08 Juli 2010

Don't Ignore The Need For Energy Conservation

Unless you don't have a television, the internet or access to a newspaper, then it is likely that you have heard a lot about the need for energy conservation in the past months and years. I have heard so much about the energy crisis in our land and I am convinced that every citizen of the West cannot ignore the fact that there is a need for energy conservation on the individual level and on the corporate and national level.

One of the first things you can do to better understand your role in energy conservation on a personal level is to become informed. I am convinced that you cannot effectively be part of the solution to a problem unless you know the truth about the problem. So inform yourself. Get to a local library or bookstore and see what materials you can read. Talk with friends who are informed on the needs for energy conservation and see what the people in your area are doing to help the situation. Learn the truth of the most prominent problems then look for ways to involve yourself.

One of the biggest myths that people deal with regarding the energy conservation crisis is that the problem is so big that individual people, families or even cities cannot do much to help solve the problems. And while it is true that there is an abundance of problems facing the world, it is never a better solution to sit out of problems simply because they seem hard to fix. The best way to combat that lie is to become proactive in a couple of small ways. Think about how you can do small things to help solve the need for energy conservation.

If everyone in the West would take small steps then we would go a long way in seeing the problems solved as we each commit to energy conservation methods. So rally your friends and neighbors and see what all of you can do together. Get kids involved from a young age and teach them to be passionate about contributing to the health of our society in positive ways. Explain to them the important role that each person and each family has in energy conservation.

If you are lacking motivation for this, just think about your children and the kind of life that you want them to lead. All of the time and energy you put into energy conservation will be worth it for the sake of your children.

Rabu, 07 Juli 2010

Don't Have a Cow This Holiday Season -- Give One

Want to give a meaningful gift that won't be forgotten or stashed away after the holidays?

Heifer International, an organization working to fight hunger worldwide, has a solution: livestock.

By donating a sheep, cow or any other farm animal in honor of a loved one through Heifer International, you can help impoverished families get the resources they need to get out of poverty and become self-reliant.

The farm animals provided by Heifer International give families wool, milk, eggs, transportation and other necessities. Families can sell their surplus products and use the money for school supplies, medicine, farming supplies and housing improvements.

A goat, for example, can supply a family with several quarts of milk each day. Extra milk can be sold by the family or made into cheese, butter or yogurt.

Heifer International also provides llamas, water buffaloes, heifers, chicks, ducks, geese and hives of honeybees - to name a few.

Here is how to set your gift in motion:

1. Contact Heifer International to receive a free gift catalog.

2. Request a unique gift card that you can personalize and send to your honorees, describing the generous contributions you've made in their name.

3. Revel in the joy of knowing that, thanks to your gift, a struggling family is on the road to self-reliance.

4. Watch your gift multiply. Every receiving family promises to "pass on the gift" of its animal's first offspring to another family in need. Thanks to this act, entire communities can lift themselves out of poverty.