Effective Tips To Help You Evaluate Your Eye Exercise Program

Eye exercises are a somewhat controversial subject on the internet nowadays. Everyone seems to have a different opinion as to whether or not eye exercises work. Some people swear by eye exercises. Others are convinced that these techniques that are designed to improve your vision are not eye related quackery, but real effective natural remedies that correct eyesight problems naturally. As a consumer it is very easy to get very frustrated over the confusing information that you continue to see on the web regarding this issue. You may be wondering who can you really trust on this particular issue. When it comes to the subject regarding evaluating eye exercise programs on the web it is often difficult to determine which eye exercise program is right for you. For instance, there are literally numerous eye exercise programs out there promising that you will achieve 20/20 eyesight without glasses. Have you ever wondered to yourself is there some kind of criteria that I can use in order to evaluate an eye exercise program to make sure that I choose the program that is right for me? Additionally, you are probably wondering if there is a guideline that would help making this decision an easier process. Therefore, here is some information regarding this issue:One of the major considerations that you need to take into account when you are searching for the right program of eye exercises is that you need to ask yourself the question is there a program out there that is best suited to your own individual needs as a consumer. In other words you need to ask yourself if the program you are choosing is right for you and will consist of a program of techniques that will be easy, simple, straightforward and user friendly. So that it makes it easy to stay on track with the program and get on a path to achieving your vision improvement goals of better natural vision without glasses.You also need to know that the eye exercise techniques that you will be required to perform are not time consuming at all but would be a suitable kind of program that you can easily fit into your busy schedule even in spite of the fact that you may have a hectic routine. You also need to ask yourself what is the track record of this particular program in terms of the results that it has provided its customers for instance. For example, you need to ask the question was the program designed by a medically trained eye care practitioner with many years of experience in the field of optometry or natural eye care? Another relevant question is what the customer satisfaction rate of this particular product is. By evaluating these key factors you can be assured that you are closer to making the right decision as to which eye exercise program is right for you.Another vital factor that you should take into consideration before choosing the right eye exercise program to improve your vision naturally is what kind of rating has this product received in reliable reviews that are independent and unbiased. Additionally, you need to find out whether or not the program you are choosing is comprehensive in nature. For instance, does the program include a thorough and easy to follow nutritional guide that instructs you on specifically what foods you should eat that end up improving your vision as opposed to what foods you should avoid that end up worsening your vision? Along with what herbs, vitamins and nutritional supplements to take to improve your vision besides a guide with eye exercises. A final consideration when choosing the right eye exercise program is to find out if the program also includes an aspect that incorporates a mind/body connection element that emphasizes the vital role that mindset and positive thinking plays in improving your vision health.There are many different eye exercise programs to choose from to help you to achieve the goal of obtaining sharper natural vision without glasses. Some considerations that need to be taken into account when making such an important decision includes determining whether or not your program has a good track record, good independent and unbiased reviews. In addition to a program that is comprehensive in nature. In other words the program should be thorough in terms of the fact that is should combine the most vital keys necessary for succeeding at a natural vision improvement program. These keys to success include a helpful nutritional guide in addition to eye exercise techniques that are suited to your individual needs. Additionally, such a program should include an effective mindset component. This component should help you to speed up the results of your vision improvement program for faster results in achieving sharper vision without glasses. By following this important criterion you can be assured that you will make a wise decision in choosing the vision improvement program of eye exercises that is right for you.

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Managers Coaching in the Workplace

Workplace coaching has been for the reserve of executives or individuals within organisations. Now organisations realise that managers using coaching skills can provide direct performance and business benefits.More than 70% of organisations with any formal leadership development activities use coaching as an important part of that. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) states that line managers typically deliver 36% of the coaching to their reports, while HR and Training and Development specialists were delivering 30%.This suggests an expectation for line managers to deliver more coaching.I will start with defining what is coaching in the workplace, and what it is not. I will cover how it works as a development tool, the topic of the Manager as coach, their roles and responsibilities; the deliverables to the business and the pros and cons of delivering coaching.I will cover how a manager can coach, who they will coach, and different styles and to conclude the issues that it may raise, how they can be recognised and some solutions.How does it work?
Organisations realise they can improve the performance and motivation of their people through coaching. A coaching style of management is preferred to the traditional command and control approach.Coaching is a more a management style rather than a tool. Application of coaching has many examples; delegating, problem solving, team building, planning and reviewing.Coaching embraces 2 fundamental principles, that of awareness and responsibility. Huge potential lies within all of us. What blocks that unleashed potential? Restrictive structures and company practices, the lack of encouragement and opportunities offered, and management style of the company. The most common internal block is self belief. Building self awareness, responsibility and self belief is the goal of a coach.Awareness can be raised by focussed attention and by practice. It is the clear perception of the relevant facts and information. It helps in recognising when and how emotions or desires distort our own perception.When we accept, choose or take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions, our levels of commitment increase, and so does our performance. Performance is likely to improve if someone chooses to take action, rather than being told.Effective questioning in conversation best generates awareness and responsibility. Questions should be open beginning with words like what, when, how (much/many), and who. Why is discouraged as it suggests criticism. Questioning will follow the coachee’s train of thought. If they appear to be going way off track a simple interjection like “I notice we haven’t talked about”, helps bring things back on course.What should we ask, and in what sequence? Several coaching models exist. The most familiar is the (T) GROW model. The G is for Goal, setting the agenda for the session as well as the long term aspiration. The R is for reality, exploring the current situation. The O follows for options or courses of action. Finally W is for what is to be done, when, by whom (the way forward).Other coaching models exist, such at the SHOOTS model. Here they cover Seek to understand, Hone the goals, Objectives set, Options and action planning, Try it out, Success review. One further coaching model the “Coaching path”, is another.The Manager as Coach the pros & cons
Can a manager coach and do their own day job? With the demands placed on managers these days, adding one more task to their list of objectives in an ever demanding workplace.Organisations realise they can improve both the performance and motivation of their associates through coaching. Focussing on encouraging people to think for themselves, a coach provides support, challenge, feedback and guidance, but rarely answers.A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests managers who have been trained in coaching can also self coach. While operational coaching carried out by line managers will help to improve performance, it is dedicated internal coaches who will bring about long-lasting behavioural change that can really add value.Dedicated internal coaches within an organisation must raise the question of value for money and cost effectiveness. My own observations of cost-cutting programmes, flatter organisations, and the need to demonstrate value for money leave little room for a coach to exist as a dedicated resource.There are some additional pros and cons for coaching a team From the perspective of the coach is a successor could be created, avoiding team members being “off the job” to develop skills, and could be cost effective. The downside to this is that they (the manager) feel their own job may be jeopardised, it can be time consuming, and giving people responsibility may encourage them to dispute the coach’s authority. The manager in coaching may develop a lack of confidence if the coaching experience does not go well.For the team the benefits are that they will be coached by someone who knows them and their development needs. Development is part of the job and is therefore directly relevant and useful, and it makes work more challenging and interesting. The downside could be if coaching isn’t taken seriously.Coaching may not always be appropriate. A manager may have to switch from a coaching role to a directing role and then back again. As long as this is explained to the team this should not cause an issue. If not then the behaviour can be seen as ambiguous.For the manager to be successful he needs to build rapport with the people he is coaching. Without this coaching will have limited benefits. The relationship will often be one to one, however in the case of a development or performance focus; the manager may have to report to a sponsor to give feedback. All parties will need to know this from the start.How can a Manager Coach?
Organisations need to decide how coaching will be deployed, who will do the training (internal/external) and how many managers are to be trained. This would usually be led by the HR function, supported by senior management. This could be built into the organisations objectives and targets. By the creation of a “coaching culture” coaching will be more readily accepted.Various coaching models are available for the manager as coach. The most common is (T)GROW. Used effectively it’s relatively simple to use (previously discussed). Regardless of which model the coach chooses to take, it will give them a repeatable model to use. One disadvantage of having many managers coaching in organisations is standardisation, a model will help.Assuming the manager has received coaching training, and is now armed with a repeatable model to follow, what next? There are several dimensions in the coaching relationship to consider. One is between the coach and the coachee (team or individual).A third dimension which is the manager to the organisation. This may mean reporting upwards on progress and developments of a coaching relationship.A manager can coach in various ways; coaching downwards, meaning coaching individuals who report directly. Coaching upwards, meaning the relatively unusual situation of coaching ones superior. This can be dangerous as a senior manager may ask for honest feedback, but does not want to hear the truth! I would advise extreme caution in this situation.Coaching sideways, meaning coaching colleagues peers or equals in the organisation. This occurs in different areas and can benefit the coach, coachee and the organisation with an exchange of views and knowledge. It allows challenging questions to be asked, which might not necessarily be raised if one had expert knowledge of the functional area.Team Coaching, is another dynamic where a manager can apply his coaching skills. For a team there are times when coaching intervention will be effective. These are the beginning, midpoint and ends. The beginning helps establish boundaries, identifies what to do regarding tasks and timings. This helps the group to have a good launch, and can significantly enhance member’s commitment to the team and the task. At the midpoint failures and successes can be shared, as well as experiences. Teams are able to review how they have worked together and will be open for some coaching intervention. The end of a task or performance should be time for lessons learnt for future project work.These 3 coaching interactions can be summarised as motivational in the beginning, consultative at the midpoint, and educational at the end. Evidence suggests that coaching a team in between these points in the cycle may have small beneficial effects.What issues does it raise?
There are three angles, the coach (manager) the coachee (individual and team) and the organisation.In all organisations politics have their place. It is important to remember that as a coach your role is non-judgemental. The manager needs to recognise when there is a conflict of interests and flag at the earliest opportunity. By finding themselves “in the middle”, this is potential for stress. Managers should be aware and take early action to avoid this situation.In commercial organisations, Return on Investment (ROI) or at least a clear measure of how coaching will impact the organisation is required. Few initiatives will be approved or deployed unless there is a clear measurement system. This is where a “coaching culture” may support the initiative. Being incorporated into the organisations missions, and values as well as one of the organisations corporate objectives will support success and adoption.Tracking success of coaching can pose a headache. Process tools & guidelines will help with this. For example specifying how long the coaching will last for, the assessment instruments and agreement as part of the contracting phase.One issues a manager may face when coaching in an organisation is that of standardisation. For example coaching models, how information is recorded, and how coaching sessions are conducted.A barrier to coaching is the perception the time to do it. Small companies and some owner managers are likely to complain that they don’t have the time to do everything. Smaller companies tend to have fewer dedicated resources. However it is accepted that some smaller businesses fail as a consequence because they had not adequately developed their key staff.Managers as coaches may well come across the international dimension and are an aspect that the manager as a coach needs to be aware of, even within a single organisation. This is particularly relevant in a more diverse workforce.Managers ought to understand how development impacts on people in the organisation. Managers need genuine interest; otherwise they may only pay lip service to the “coaching culture” or their organisations “strategy and vision”. In hostile environments (such as fast paced manufacturing) with aggressive attitudes and styles, change needs to happen quickly, and coaching is not automatically chosen.Autocratic environments where management “tell” their associates display language and behaviour in direct conflict to the coaching style. If managers have to “tell” their associates, they handle and remove any ambiguity in their role as coach. As long as this is explained to associates this should not cause an issue.If time is upmost then telling will be the fastest way. If the quality of the result is upmost, then coaching for high awareness and responsibility is likely to deliver. If maximising learning is upmost, coaching will optimise learning and retention.Coaching is a tool for people development. What if there is nowhere for the people to develop to? Organisations adopting flatter and leaner structures, particularly in the light of current economic situations there may leave little scope for individuals to move unless someone leaves. Succession planning helps here but people may have to “stand still” for some time.As a consequence of downsizing individuals find them with even higher workloads than before. Organisations typically shed jobs and restructure with little thought as to how the business processes and people are affected.Other organisational barriers to coaching success are lack of time, where the managers did not feel that they had the time; they want things done now so revert back to “command and control”.Fear of skills coaching used, for managers who can’t or won’t coach will oppose its use. They may feel weakness in their ability. Fear from the associate’s side their mangers are not confident in their role as coach, and some associates may be better than them. From the manager’s side there is the fear of the coach, that the coach can perform better than them and perceive it as a threat. There is the fear of risk, that if it does not bring the results that are expected (whether reasonable or not) that it would be a waste of money (externally provided), or resources and time (internally provided).Coaching is not a “catch all” for everything and everyone and the manager needs to recognise when coaching is not appropriate. As a guide but by no means exhaustive, when faced with the following situations, a manager may question if coaching is appropriate. If a criminal act is committed, serious health or emotional problems, stress, and substance abuse.Conclusion
Coaching has been recognised as adding value in the workplace, not only for high achievers and executives. Responsibility for delivering the coaching still rests largely with the line management team in an organisation ( 70%).Coaching is applied in a non-directional, non-judgemental way. Before improving performance awareness and responsibility need to be raised. Coaching models exist to aid the manager the most common being (T)GROW.Coaching may appear an additional task on f the manager’s already heavy workload. Done correctly, it allows the manager more time on core tasks such as long-term planning and objective setting. In developing staff it avoids them being “off the job” to develop skills. There are occasions where a manager will have to “tell” staff and needs to be handled by them appropriately.Coaching can be done at various levels within an organisation, team, individuals, peers, superiors or themselves. It is important for the manager to recognise when coaching is not appropriate and seek assistance.The manager needs to be aware of any conflicts of interest, particularly in the area of values and beliefs. A demonstrable measurement system will support the coaching approach. The standard of training and ongoing support to coaches is important to ensure that a coach does not have a negative effect on the workforce. Cultural and diversity dimension also needs to be considered.Coaching is clearly not a “catch all” or a sticking plaster for a manager to heal over their areas of responsibility. It is extremely powerful when used as a management style, supported by a strong and visible coaching culture within an organisation.The final question I would raise to any organisation not using, or considering using coaching is why would they not want to benefit from the overriding benefits that it can yield?

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What You Must Know About Vending Businesses

From an online marketer’s perspective, owning a vending machine business is not ideally suited for automation or scalability.However, vending machines are big business. But this does not mean a vending machine business is right for you.I know the appeal this business model has on people because I’ve “been there, done that.” Please, if you’re thinking about getting involved with vending, read this article first, and go in with your eyes wide open.Aside from the obvious questions about machine price and delivery, here are 3 questions you must ask yourself and the person trying to sell you either vending machines or a vending machine business opportunity:1. What is the mean time between failure for your machines?You probably won’t ask the question quite like that, but the point is, you need to know how much it is going to cost to keep your machines operational and reliable. You may also want to consider whether or not you have the mechanical skills to do the maintenance yourself.In my experience, some of the machines, and especially the currency acceptance devices, can be very difficult and expensive to repair. One piece of gum jammed in a coin receptacle could theoretically put your $5,000 in the back of the shop, out of order.2. What type of products will I be able to sell with your machines, and will any of them require that I maintain a food service permit?Amazingly, many potential vending entrepreneurs fail to consider this, and find themselves retrofitting their home warehouse to meet food service standards.Also, in the section below I discuss the categories of vending products that sell the best. Hopefully, your machines will be able to market these.3. Where can I put my machines? And, if the machines are already in place, how long can they stay there?Perhaps the most critical point in this business is the placement of your machines in high traffic areas. Sadly, as a vending machine business owner, you will be faced with strong resistance in this area. After all, what’s in it for the property owner to allow your machines on his or her premises?You may find yourself having to share profits with the property owner in order to place your machines.The vending industry accounts for over $45 billion in annual sales volume, which is a substantial chunk of money. Very briefly, here are the key factors to success in this business:1. Ability to buy and maintain quality machinery2. Placement of your machines in high traffic areas3. Control of employee costsAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 44,000 people work in the vending machine industry, with about 18% of those owning their own vending business, and a projected growth rate of 7% per year. At one time I was both an employee of a vending company and the owner of my own vending company.In this exclusive report, I will discuss my personal experiences in the vending machine business, a few caveats you should consider prior to getting started, an overview of your potential to make money with vending machines, and a look at the current market and possible websites you can investigate further.My Personal ExperienceAs an employee of a vending company I had a regular route where I serviced about 100 food and beverage machines. On any day I would normally have to deal with machine maintenance issues, customer refunds, expired food, and being asked to get my machines off the property, that day.As an employee I took all of this in stride. It was just a job.Several years later I decided to buy an existing vending machine business. I then learned just how hard it was to get machines placed in profitable locations. I also found out how expensive those “little” maintenance issues were. For example, to replace a dollar changer was going to cost me several thousand dollars. The sales at that particular location did not warrant that kind of expense, so I had to pull two snack machines and one drink machine to allow another vendor to come in.I also dealt with vandalism on numerous occasions. At one time I got a call from my local airport where I had placed a phone card machine. I was informed that my machine had been broken into. I lost over $300 in inventory and about $100 in cash in that one incident.Challenges To SuccessThere are essentially six challenges you will face in your drive to make money with a vending machine business:1. Getting your machines placed in profitable locations2. Maintaining and servicing your machines3. Loss of product due to theft and spoilage4. Labor and vehicle expenses associated with servicing machines spread around town5. Liability issues related to machines and food products6. Vandalism of machinesIf you can generate enough profitable sales to cover these expenses, plus the value of your time, effort, and capital risk, then the vending machine business may be right for you. Keep in mind that there are companies that specialize in locating and servicing your machines, but their fees may not be realistic based on your projected sales and profits.Making A DecisionI’m sorry I may sound a bit negative about the vending business, but believe me, I speak from hands on experience as both an employee and owner in this industry.The idea of making money from your little profit centers spread all over town sounds great–but reality bites.Do some solid research in this business before you jump in. At the very least, go to work for a vending company for a while and see what’s involved.Vending Machine Statistics in U.S.The sale of cold beverages represents over half of all vending machine sales, followed by non-refrigerated snacks.Interestingly, while cold beverages sold in containers, such as bottles and cans, rank well in the industry, the “cup-drop” variety of cold beverages does not do nearly so well. In my experience, cup-drop machines may pose significant maintenance challenges, these machines are also fairly scorned by the consumer.Within the cold beverage arena, vendors typically choose either a closed front, or glass front machine. The closed front currently dominates the market, but the glass front is gaining in popularity as the glass front allows the consumer to see the product, which in itself aids in the marketing of beverages.Among cold beverages, soft drinks account for about half of all sales, with diet drinks coming in second. There is also a growing trend for marketing bottled water and energy drinks.Within the snack category, rolled candy and gum represent only a fraction of the overall market, with candy bars and bagged pastries leading the way. Keep this in mind when you look at snack machines.You want a machine that can handle the bestselling product categories. If you commit to a machine that only allows gum, or small rolled candy, you may be limiting yourself.Of note, the hot selling bagged pastries and chips typically require dispensers specifically designed for those package sizes. Again, this was a mistake I made when purchasing snack machines, and found myself sorry that I was not able to offer more variety to my customers.While it is hard to quantify, I am sure there were many missed sales opportunities as a result.It should also be noted that a snack machine should almost certainly have a glass front. The customer’s ability to see the product is essential in this category.Should You Hire Employees?According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the majority of vending machine firms retain employees, with some of the larger ones having as many as 66,000 employees. Ideally, you would want to start your vending company without employees, and hire route service people as your machine placements and profitability grow.As an employer, let me expand on why it so important to carefully manage the hiring and retention of employees in your small business.If you want to make money and eventually attempt to allow employees to manage the bulk of the day to day activity in your business, keep in mind that vending machine employers often pay near minimum wage to its employees, which means you will have a high turnover of employees. Additionally, keep in mind that your employer costs will represent between 22-25% of base wage expenses.For example, if you pay an employee $10 per hour, your true cost will be around 10×1.25 = $12.50 per hour. Given an 8 hour shift, you would need to realize $100 in profit from your sales to breakeven with this one employee.In my experience, I was able to sale my products with a typical 25% mark up, with between 2-5% in product loss due to theft and spoilage.That means you would have to sell over $400 in product to breakeven on your employee costs for that day.Additionally, costs not even considered here are the expenses associated with operating a truck driving around town for hours each day.Is it any wonder that some vending company owners choose not to hire employees?Additionally, you need to think about the health care and insurance implications associated with hiring employees.Law Of Large Numbers: 3 Ways to Make More MoneyThe Law of Large Numbers basically states that success in any endeavor is directly related to the number of trials and failures. This is particularly true in the area of small business, especially the vending machine business.In any business there are ratios, percentages, and customer conversion rates that impact how that business is operated, and its profit potential.Operating a profitable vending machine business is no different, so, knowing the numbers that govern your success is critical, and comes back to what I call The Law of Large Numbers.Here are three suggestions for applying this law to your vending machine business…1. Find Your True Sales Conversion RateUnderstand that success requires a much larger number of trials and failures than you may realize. For example, some marketing programs will tell you that their product offer converts to a sale for every 20 people who pass their machine.However, in reality, your experience may suggest it actually takes up to 100 visitors to generate a sale.Knowing that conversion rate is important, and although sometimes it may prove difficult to accept, knowing the truth is the only way to stay motivated and progress in the vending machine business. Do not accept assumptions or marketing sales pitch data when you are attempting to buy into the vending business, add machines, or chose locations for your machines.Much of this data will come from experience, but you can also conduct research online using government vending association websites. One word of warning: Do not accept the sales figures and profit potential published by the manufacturers or suppliers of vending machines. Obviously, they are in the business of selling machines, and their data and survey results may tend to over state the profit potential.If you purchase a vending machine and expect to get the results a vending machine supplier advertises, you may be disappointed.2. Know Your Costs and Profit MarginsIf it takes an average of 20 visitors to your product offer to make a sale, is the profit potential worth the effort, time, and expense to place and service a machine in that location? For example, if you place a machine in a factory that employs 500 people, you may be able to expect around 25 product sales per day. If each product offers a 50 cent gross profit after wholesale product prices and location fees are considered, is the $12.50 in profits for this machine worthwhile?It may or may not be, depending on your other costs, including employee expenses, number of times per week the machine requires servicing, and your return on the investment in the machine.These are important numbers to consider before investing in the vending machine business. If you don’t have a clue what these numbers are, you may not be ready to take the plunge.3. Put Your Marketing Into High GearFinally, if the conversion rate, costs, and profit margins are acceptable, you should consider ramping up your marketing efforts to the maximum sustainable rate to capitalize on the profit potential.For example, if you could consistently make a profit off of one machine, after all expenses are factored in, what would happen if you had 10 machines placed in comparable locations? The answer lies in the Law of Large Numbers. As long as it remains profitable to do so, add machines and grow your business.Final Thoughts on VendingI’ve come down pretty hard on vending in this article, but the point I’m trying to make here is that just because a business industry has potential, or built-in consumer demand, does make it an automatic winner for you.In any business endeavor you pursue, act like a pro:1. Keep an open mind.2. Do you due diligence.3. Decide if the business is right for you or not.4. Take massive action.

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5 Easy Steps to Retaining Women to Trades, Science and Technology Classrooms

Step One: Bridge the Technology DivideThe reality is that overall women tend to have less experience with technology than their male counterparts, whether we are talking about computer technology or auto technology. Instructors who are successful in retaining female students recognize that they need to start with the basics during the beginning of the semester so that the less experienced students get the basic building blocks needed to be successful (this is helpful to male students missing those basics too). So that might mean an introduction to tool identification and use or the basics of navigating the Internet. Instructors should also provide open lab time for students in need of additional hands-on experience. If possible, staff the lab with a senior female student, women are often more comfortable asking questions of other women in a male-dominated field. For some best practice case study examples that illustrate these concepts look at the Cisco Gender Initiative’s Best Practice Case Studies developed by the Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science (IWITTS) (1).Step Two: Collaborative Learning in the Technology ClassroomMany female students lack confidence in the classroom and this negatively impacts their learning ability. There are several reasons for this: first, overall, male students have more experience with technology, especially hands-on labs; second, male students tend to boast of their accomplishments while females tend to think that they are doing poorly even when they are doing well; third, male students tend to dominate in classroom discussions and lab activities.Technology instructors can overcome these factors by using collaborative group methods in the classroom designed to increase student learning, interaction and support of each other. Some examples of these group methods are: 1) grade students in teams as well as individually; 2) put female students in positions of leadership in the classroom; 3) assign students to teams or pairs rather than leaving it up to them to pick their partners; 4) have female students work together in labs during the beginning of the semester; 5) enlist the help of whiz kids with the teaching of their fellow students, providing them with a constructive outlet for their talents.Step Three: Contextual LearningThe recent adage that women are from Mars and men are from Venus is alive and well in the technology classroom — women and men have different learning styles when it comes to technology. Most men are excited by the technology itself — how fast it is, the number of gigabytes, the size of the engine. Most women are engaged by how the technology will be used — how quickly the network will run, how much information can be stored, how far the vehicle can go without refueling. These Mars and Venus differences have implications for the class curriculum: female students will better understand technical concepts in the classroom when they understand the context for them. Don’t front load your computer programming classes with writing computer code with no context for this if you want to retain most of your female students. For more information on this subject including off-the-shelf curriculums for teaching contextual technology read IWITTS’s Making Math and Technology Courses User Friendly to Women and Minorities: An Annotated Bibliography (2).Step Four: The Math FactorMost technology courses require an understanding of applied math. Many women and girls are fearful of math and have had negative experiences in the math classroom. This phenomenon is so common that courses and curriculum on math anxiety for women are in place around the country. The key to success in teaching most females math is — like technology — contextual and group learning. Fortunately many off-the-shelf curriculums exist for teaching math contextually, see IWITTS’s bibliography linked above. Many technology courses at the two-year college level have math prerequisites that are unrelated to the technology coursework and omit the applied math that will be needed. Technology courses should only require math that is relevant to their courses and/or develop contextual math modules to add to their curriculum.Step Five: Connect the Women in Your Classes with Other WomenA female mentor or peer support network can help your students stay the course when they are feeling discouraged and can provide helpful tips for succeeding in a predominantly male environment. There are many on-line and real-time associations for women in technology, connect your female students to them. See the Career Links on WomenTechWorld.org for a list of some of these networks. Also, WomenTechTalk on WomenTechWorld.org — a free listserv for women in technology and students — provides a combination of support and expert career panels to it’s over 200 members from across the U.S.

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Real World Project Management – Communications

Have you ever been on the side of the conversation where all you heard was a voice like Charlie Brown’s teacher? “Wa-wa-waa-wwaa.” (That’d be funny if you watched more Charlie Brown.)Or how about listening to your date? Yada, yada, blah, blah, Cubs game, blah, blah, beer, blah, blah, pizza.Or what about when your favorite project team member enters your office. He says, “Hi. Got a real problem I could use some help with. I’m having a tough time understanding the project requirements on this deliverable.” And you hear, “Blah, blah, blah, problem, blah, blah, tough, blah.”It’s not that you don’t mean to understand your date or your project team member–it’s just that you’re not listening. You’ve got a bazillion things racing through your head, you’re focused on seven different projects, and the baseball steroid hearings were so frightening that you can’t decide how your fantasy baseball league will shape up. (That’s shape up, not shoot up.)Communication, as you can tell from the above, is more than just talking. Communication is also listening. When it comes to project management, communication takes up 90% of a project manager’s time. That’s right–90% of your time.I communicated something to you and you did what I asked. If only projects were that easy! Sometimes you, the project manager, have to do a lot of begging and pleading, like I did above, just to get your project team members to do what they need to do. You know what needs to be done and you need to transfer that knowledge to your project team members. And then they go do it.Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.Real communication is about transferring knowledge. You know something and you tell someone else, and then they know it. But it doesn’t always work that way, does it? Communication is tough. There are two big categories of communications: written and oral.The Written WordWritten stuff, like this article, can seem to be direct. I write. My editor edits. You read. But what if I’m not clear in my writing? What if you don’t get my jokes? Or my grammar and punctuation is so poor that you miss the point? Communication fails.This is true in your life, too. Imagine that you sent an email to Susan, a team member. Here’s one draft of your email:Susan,I need a project team member who knows what Oracle is all about. You are smart, talented, on time, and savvy. Team members who are not like you admit to knowing nothing about Oracle. Our project is horrible when you’re away. This project is going great.Best,Your favorite Project ManagerWow! Susan sounds fantastic. But is that what you really wanted to say to Susan? What if your punctuation was so bad that Susan got the wrong message? Here’s what you meant to say:Susan,I need a project team member who knows what Oracle is. All about you are smart, talented, on time, and savvy team members who are not like you. Admit to knowing nothing about Oracle! Our project is horrible. When you’re away, this project is going great.Best,Your favorite Project ManagerYikes!Alright, so this is an extreme example, but I’d bet dollars to donuts you’ve added some sarcasm, a joke, or a comment that came off the wrong way in an email message and mushroomed into a huge problem. The point is that written communication has its challenges within a project. Email is great. I love it and use it every day, but when the message is muddy in any written message, it can have large ramifications.Say It Like You Mean ItSo if written communication has its challenges, verbal communications must be great, right? We know better. Think back to your teenage days, when your folks would say that it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Well, that’s what my dad would tell me. And, as usual, he was right.Dad was telling me, teaching me, about paralingual communications. Paralingual describes the pitch, tone, and inflections in the speaker’s voice that affect the message. Can you think of all the different ways a project team member can say, “Sure. I’ll get right on it.” I bet you’ve heard them all.And then there’s the nonverbal communication–all that body language. (For Olivia Newton-John fans: Let me hear your body talk.) Posture, facial expression, shoulders, tugging on the ears, crossed arms, hand signals accentuate or reply to the message you’re hearing.Ready for another statistic? Good. About 55% of all communication is nonverbal. If this is true, and I believe it to be true, you can see why phone calls, broadcast videos, and teleconferences aren’t as effective as face-to-face meetings.You’ve been in meetings and witnessed team members’ expressions when you’ve shared good or bad news. And then you’ve reacted to the expressions on their faces, right? You’ve modified your message for clarity, you’ve asked them if they’ve got a freakin’ problem, you’ve continued with your spiel because they’re nodding their heads in agreement with you.Just to be clear, and I want to be clear, a verbal message is affected by three major things:· The message itself· Paralingual attributes of the message· Nonverbal communicationTo be a great communicator takes experience. To be an effective communicator, you must ask questions. Do you understand me? Questions help the project team, the audience, your date, ask for clarification, deeper understanding, and an exact transfer of knowledge.One approach, sometimes called “parroting,” requires the speaker to ask the project team to repeat the message in their own words. For example:YOU: We’ve got to get this application developed by the end of the week or you’re all fired. Now, Jim, tell me what this means.JIM: You’re an idiot?YOU: No, you’re fired. Sally?SALLY: We’ve got to get this software developed by Friday or we’ll be joining Jim at Wal-Mart.YOU: That’s it. Get out. Get it done.Parroting can be demeaning, especially for Jim, but it’s effective. You can be a bit more subtle than what I’ve presented here, by asking the audience if they’re clear on the message, and then asking questions based on what you’ve presented.But What About Planning?Thanks for asking. Of course you have to plan to communicate. Communication planning comes down to this key question: Who needs what information, when do they need it, and in what modality?Who needs what? This tackles two major issues in any project. “Who” describes the stakeholders with whom you and your project team need to communicate. “What” describes the information that they’ll need.Not all of your stakeholders will need the same information. Sure, that sounds obvious, but have you ever met one of those moron project managers (yes, the guy a few cubes from you) who sends out all project information to everyone who’s even heard of his project? This guy thinks he’s covering all of his bases because everyone has all of the information. The problem with this approach is the same problem with giving your cat the whole bag of cat food at once: Only give what’s needed or things will get messy.One tool that can help the project manager and the project team to determine who needs to participate in communications is a simple communication matrix. A communication matrix is a table of all the project stakeholders in both the row and column headings. A check in the intersection of the two stakeholders represent that these two stakeholders will need to communicate.The hard part, the planning part, is determining what information is needed between the two stakeholders. Usually the major communications needs will be obvious; functional managers need to know information related to their employees on your project, such as schedules and time accountability. The project sponsor and key stakeholders need information on the project status, finances, and any variances in cost and time. You’ll need to work with your project team and the stakeholders to determine the more involved communication demands.You’ll also have to tackle the “when” problem. Depending on the stakeholders, information needs vary between daily, weekly, monthly, and “based on conditions in the project.” For example, your project sponsor may ask for weekly status reports, but the project champion may ask for status reports just once a month.The secret is to schedule and, if possible, automate the communication demands as much as possible. Yes, automate. If your project-management information system is worth much, you can create macros, templates, even auto-generate reports on a regular schedule. Think of the time you’ll save (and can invest in your fantasy baseball league) by automating communications. Many project managers I meet don’t automate, don’t schedule, and don’t use a communication matrix. And then these project managers forget who needs what and when they need it. And then everyone whines. Please.Now for the modality. Some communications can be accomplished in a quick email. Others require an extensive spreadsheet, report, and executive summaries. Some communication is expected in quick, ad hoc meetings, while other needs may mean business suits and, gosh, PowerPoint slideshows. The point is simple: Give stakeholders the information they need in the modality they’ll be expecting.Communication Is Also ListeningTime to shut up. You’ve planned for communications and now you’re following your plan. But you have to listen to what’s being said. I don’t know about you, but I have two ears and one mouth. I’ve heard that this means I should listen twice as much as I talk. I have to listen to understand and receive the messages being sent to me.As a project manager, you have scores of communication channels. And within your project there are potentially hundreds of communication channels. The larger the project, the greater opportunity for communications to break down. Here’s a nifty formula to show you just how many opportunities there are for communication to fail: (N*(N-1))/2. That’s N times N-1 divided by 2. N represents all the key stakeholders.Wanna try it? Let’s say we have a project with 10 stakeholders, including you, the project manager. That’d be 10 times 9, a big 90. Divide that by 2 and you’ve got 45 communication channels. Now ask yourself, “What’s for lunch?” Sorry. Ask yourself, “How many stakeholders are on my project?” A bunch, I bet.Go ahead and try this formula on one of your projects. I’ll wait.See how the possibilities for communication failure just came into focus? Scary.So, to be effective, we’ve got to listen to what’s coming at us, what’s being discussed among our project team, and what they’re telling our stakeholders. You, the project manager, must be at the center of communications; you have to be the communications hub.Now do you believe that communication takes up 90% of a project manager’s time?

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The Cost of Active Fund Investing

There are many options for buying a group of securities in one product. The most popular ones are mutual funds, segregated funds and exchange traded funds. What they have in common is that these products are an easy way to buy a group of securities at once instead of buying each security individually. The fund can also proportion the securities so that you the individual investor does not have to. There are two main classifications for what type of fund you can purchase in terms of costs. It is important to know how these costs work so you can avoid paying too much for this convenience. These products differ in terms of how they are administered, access to the products and their costs.Active Versus Passive InvestingBefore getting into which of the products are suitable for you, there are some aspects that need to be considered so that you understand what the variations are among the products.Active investing is when someone (a portfolio manager) picks the stocks that are in the fund and decides how much of each one to hold (the weighting). This portfolio manager would also monitor the portfolio and decide when a security should be sold off, added to or have its weighting decreased. Since there is ongoing research, meetings and analysis that must be done to build and monitor this portfolio, this fund manager would have research analysts and administrative personnel to help run the fund.Passive investing has the same setup as active investing, but rather than someone deciding what securities to buy or how much of each one to buy, the portfolio manager would copy a benchmark. A benchmark is a collection of securities which the fund is compared against to see how well it is doing. Since everything in investing is about how much money you can make and how much risk it takes to make that money, every fund out there is trying to compare to all of the other funds of the same type to see who can make the most money. The basis for the comparisons is the benchmark, which can also become comparing between peers or funds managed the same way. Comparisons are general in done only for returns. The risk aspect of the equation is handled by looking at what type of securities the fund holds or how specialized the fund is.How Do I Know By the Fund Name If it is Active or Passive?The short answer is that you have to get to know how the fund manager operates the fund. Some clues to know more quickly if the fund is active or passive are given next. If they are intentionally trying to pick securities according to some beliefs that they have about the market, this is active management. If the fund description talks about “beating the benchmark” or “manager skill” then it is actively managed. Looking at the return history, if the returns vary versus the index by different amounts each year, then the fund is actively managed. Lastly, the fees may be expensive and have sales loads.If the name of the fund says “Index” or “Index fund” there is a good chance that the fund is passively managed. If the name of the fund says “ETF” or “Exchange Traded Fund” this could be a passive fund, but you need to make sure of this because some ETFs are actually active funds, but they are managed in a certain way. Most of the passively managed ETFs are provided by BMO, iShares, Claymore, Vanguard and Horizons in Canada and Powershares, Vanguard and SPDR (or Standard and Poors) and others if the holdings are from the U.S. Most of the other companies would have actively managed funds only. If the fund description states that the fund is trying to “imitate” the performance of an index or benchmark, then this implies that it is copying the index and this is passively managed. From the return perspective, passively managed funds will be very close to the index that they claim to imitate, but slightly less due to fees each year. The amount that the returns are under the index will be close to identical each year unless there are currency conversions or variances in cost which may come from currency fluctuations or hedging that the fund may do. Passive funds typically do not have sales loads as they are geared toward people who invest for themselves.There are some funds that try to mix active and passive management. These products can be assumed to be actively managed, although their results will be closer to the benchmark than most of the other funds, so this is something to consider if the variation from the index is a factor.Types of CostsWhatever product you buy, there will be a cost associated with buying it, keeping it and selling it. This will be true whether you have an advisor versus doing it yourself, and whichever institution you go to. Even buying your own individual stocks will have trading fees which you must account for. How much you are paying for each product as well as the advice will make a large difference in what return you will receive at the end of the day.There are many types of costs to be aware of when you are deciding which products to invest in. This article will focus on the active funds that make up most of the selection for retail investors.The Management Expense Ratio (MER)This is the largest cost for most funds and represents the cost of managing the fund. “Managing the fund” means running the investment company, researching the investments, advertising, overhead and the cost for the advisor or sales person when it applies. Administrative costs like GST within the fund and accounting for trades and record keeping are also part of the expense. The MER covers all of these costs in an actively managed fund. The MER is given as a percentage, which is the percentage of the assets that the fund manages or invests over a year of time. If you have $100,000 invest in a fund, and the MER is 2% per year, you are paying $2000 per year to keep this fund. The cost is subtracted from the return and what you see in your investment statement is your return net of fees, or after fees. There are exceptions to this rule if you have a high net worth account or a special arrangement with the fund company, but for the typical investor, this would be true. The Management Expense Ratio is the management fee plus the administrative costs. The administrative costs are usually between 0.05% and 0.1% of the assets of the fund. If the information you obtain states a “Management Fee” instead of a “Management Expense Ratio” you would have to add on the administrative costs to get the true fee. Seek out the prospectus and look up fund operating costs to find exactly how much the number is. In some cases, an advisory fee is also added to the management fee and administrative fee which can be substantial. If your advisor does not disclose this, the prospectus is the next best place to find out what the costs are.For American funds, the MER would be called the “Expense Ratio” or “ER” which is the same thing as the Canadian MER, but advisory fees are not included in the ER and would be included in Canada for the MER if the product is actively managed. If the product is passively managed in Canada or the U.S., the same names apply, but no advice would be part of the cost since these products are used by people who invest for themselves and would pay for advice separately if they retain it.MER Will Depend on ClassThere are products that have various classes of the same product, the same way there are different models of the same car or the same cell phone. For investment products, the classes indicate how you came across the product, or what restrictions you have on access to the product. For example, Class A is usually a retail class where anyone can buy the product with any amount of money. There is Class I, which can be obtained through an employer or another institution. An example might be buying this product through your company pension plan. There is a Class O which typically has no fees embedded in the return and is reserved for non-profit institutions of high net worth clients that buy direct from the company. There are also classes that are part of different portfolios that are set up by the issuer, like Class F which would be available depending on who your investment dealer is. There are also classes that vary depending on what type of advisor you have and what relationship they have with the fund company. The best thing to do here is ask what class you are being offered and get material form the issuer on how much it would cost. In some cases, you can get the same product in a different class and pay less for it. Some companies may have “Series” instead of classes or some variation thereof. The key thing to note is that different versions of the same fund would different fees, and the differences can be substantial.Sales LoadsWhenever you see the word “load” on a fund it refers to a sales load. This fee is paid to a sales person for advising you and recommending the product to you for the company. There are “front end loads” which are paid as a percentage of the amount you initially invest. If a front end load is 4% and you invest $100,000, you will pay $4,000 up front just to buy this fund. These funds may have the code “FE” in the fund name on your statement. Note that sales loads are not related to MER fees – they are separate fees. There is also a “back end load” or “Rear end load” which is a percentage charged to you when you sell the fund. These are marked with the code “DSC” or “Deferred Sales Charge”. If a back end load is 5%, and you sell $120,000 worth of this fund, you would pay $6,000 in fees to exit the fund. These funds tend to have a DSC redemption schedule which means the sales load will decrease the longer you stay in the fund. Most companies stop charging the rear end sales load after 6 years of holding the product. Since each company varies, you should obtain the details of this schedule up front and understand how the numbers apply to your holdings. There are also “no load” funds which do not charge sales loads at any time. You may also come across “Low Load Funds” and “Level Load Funds”. Low load is similar to the fees discussed above, but they are discounted or lower than average. The level load idea means that the same percentage of sales load is charged over time.Some companies charge an early redemption fee if you sell their fund within a short period of time. How short the period is will depend on the institution. In some cases, it is 30 days, but it can be 90 days, 6 months, 1 year or some other time period. This fee is designed to discourage quick redemptions or short term trading of the product.The best thing to do to clarify which load you have is to ask up front and have it explained to you. If the information is not forthcoming, it may be time to find another place to invest your money or do the research on your own. Note that sales loads only apply to a fund that is sold through a sales person. You may be able to get the same fund without the sales person in some cases. Passive investing generally does not have sales loads – but the exception would be if an advisor recommends these funds and charges you some type of referral fee. This would be another question to ask if you are being advised to buy a passive fund and are not seeing any direct cost to buying the product.Currency Hedging CostsThis type of fee will occur in funds that trade in non-Canadian currencies and hedge them so that the price you receive would be in Canadian dollars. The cost of transacting the hedge itself is the fee being described here, and it can range from 0.5% to 1% per year. If the fee is not disclosed, assuming 0.5% is the cheapest that it will likely be. If you are investing in emerging market currencies or non-developed market currencies, the hedges are much more expensive to put in place and go higher than 1% per year. This is a cost embedded in the return of the fund, but should be examined to flesh out exactly what you are paying to have this hedged. Both active and passive funds pay the same fee for this type of activity.The alternative would be to keep the securities in their home currencies and whatever changes happen to the foreign exchange rates would be reflected in the price of the product. The fact that currency exchange rates can change is a risk of your investment, but it is not considered a fee like the other fees discussed in this article. This fee does not apply if the fund price is in your home currency. You may have a U.S. dollar account, buy a fund that trades in U.S. dollars and then redeem this fund for U.S. dollars. Until you convert the money on your own to Canadian dollars, there is no currency charge. You would only have a conversion charge to change the final dollar amount to Canadian dollars.Referral Fees or Trailer ChargesThese can sometimes be called Service Fees. This type of charge is paid to a third party who sells the product to you on their behalf. It can be thought of as a referral fee or trailer fee. This fee tends to be captured by the MER, but this should be investigated with the company you are dealing with as this may vary. This type of fee tends to arise with active management as passive management products usually do not have any referrals attached to them.Performance FeeThis fee is based on whether a fund achieves a return over a required benchmark – a reward for good performance. This type of fee is common with hedge funds or exotic types of products, but it is sometimes embedded in funds sold to retail investors. Like with most of the fees, ask questions and do your research because this type of fee will be different for every institution and product. This fee is optional in that it usually will not apply if the return on the fund is negative or positive but not that high, but the question should still be asked to minimize surprises.Fees of Holding One Fund Inside of Another oneIf a fund that you are investing in has other funds within it as part of its holding list, then you will pay the MER fee for the fund you are buying as well as the fund that the fund holds. The best way to check if this is happening is to look at the holdings list. If a fund holds another fund, it will be a large holding so a fact sheet with a top 10 holdings summary should provide good information. The actual numbers for each of these items will differ depending on specifically what the fund is and how it is managed. Some of the other fees like Sales Loads and Referral Fees would not apply to a fund held inside of another fund. If the fee is necessary to operate the fund, like currency hedging, then this would be included. Whether a fund holds stocks or another fund can also impact withholding taxes if the fund is investing outside of Canada – particularly for U.S. products. This topic can get complex, so it will not be discussed here. Some funds will have other funds to get access to illiquid markets, or parts of the world that have hundreds of securities. Buying a fund in these cases would actually save on time and trading costs, so it can be justified depending on the market being invested in.Intangible CostsThe key takeway is that you need to do a cradle to grave analysis of what you have and see the costs from beginning to end of your investment period to get an idea of what is really happening. Ideally, the costs should factor in time spent, effort spent on research, and costs of discipline and assurance which would be available when dealing with an advisor that may not be there when you are doing it yourself.Where to Find These Costs?The most comprehensive place that will contain the most detail regarding fund costs is the prospectus. This can be found be searching for the product name and the word “prospectus”. If you do not know the exact product name, you can search the internet by the company name only, find their web site and then search for the product name there. The fund companies will have these documents with the regulator as well as their own web sites and they will be typically in PDF format which can be read and downloaded from your computer. A simplified prospectus would also have the same data that you would be looking for regarding fees.

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How is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?

Parkinsons disease is a comparatively common condition of the nervous system which is as a result of problems with the nerve cells in the part of the brain which generates dopamine. This is a chemical substance that is needed for the smooth management of muscles and motion, so the symptoms of the disorder is a result of a reduction of that chemical. Parkinson’s disease mostly impacts individuals aged over 65, but it can and does come on at younger ages with 5-10% developing before the age of forty.

The chief clinical features of Parkinson’s disease are a tremor or shaking, that will commences in one arm or hand; there is often a muscle rigidity or stiffness along with a slowness of motion; the stance gets more stooped; additionally, there are equilibrium concerns. Parkinson’s can also cause greater pain and result in depression symptoms and create problems with memory and sleep. There isn’t any specific test for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The identification is usually made primarily based on the history of the symptoms, a physical along with neural evaluation. Other reasons for the signs and symptoms also need to be eliminated. There are imaging assessments, such as a CAT scan or MRI, that can be used to eliminate other issues. From time to time a dopamine transporter diagnostic might also be utilized.

The actual cause of Parkinson’s isn’t known. It does appear to have both genetic and environmental elements with it plus some specialists think that a virus may induce Parkinson’s as well. Decreased amounts of dopamine and also norepinephrine, a substance which in turn is responsible for the dopamine, have already been found in those with Parkinson’s, but it is not yet determined what is causing this. Unusual proteins which are named Lewy bodies have been located in the brains of those who have Parkinson’s; nevertheless, experts don’t know what role they may play in the development of Parkinson’s. While the specific cause just isn’t known, studies have identified risk factors that establish groups of people who are more prone to develop the condition. Men are more than one and a half times more prone to get Parkinson’s as compared to women. Caucasians are much more prone to get the condition as compared to African Americans or Asians. Those who have close members of the family who have Parkinson’s disease are more likely to develop it, implying the inherited contribution. A number of toxins could raise the potential for the problem, implying a role of the environment. People who experience difficulties with brain injuries can be more likely to go on and have Parkinson’s disease.

There is no identified remedy for Parkinson’s disease. That will not imply that the signs and symptoms can’t be handled. The main method is to use medicines to raise or replacement for the dopamine. Balanced and healthy diet together with frequent exercise is crucial. There may be changes made to the surroundings at home and work to keep the individual involved as well as active. There are also some options sometimes for brain surgical treatment which can be used to relieve some of the motor symptoms. A diverse team of different health professionals are often involved.

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Understanding the Impacts of Gout

Gout is among those historical problems because there are numerous mentions of it in historical literature, at least since ancient times. The traditional typecast of it is that it is related to the upper classes that binge in alcohol and certain foods. This image was pictured in early art work illustrating people who had gout. Gout has stopped being viewed as a problem of over consumption, because of the current research demonstrating an important genetic component to it.

Gout is a distressing inflammation related disorder which mostly impacts the joints, most commonly the great toe joint with the feet. It is because of uric acid crystals getting placed in joints in the event the bloodstream uric acid quantities are increased. The uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines which come from the consuming of foods like venison, salmon, tuna, haddock, sardines, anchovies, mussels, herring along with alcohol consumption. It is possible to understand how that old misconception was produced according to the overindulgence of the higher classes in those types of food and alcoholic beverages. The actual problem is not really the quantity of those foods which can be consumed, but the actual genetics of the biochemical pathway which usually breaks the purines in these food items down into the uric acid and how your body deals with it.

While diet is still important in the treating of gout and lowering the quantity of food which have the purines with them continues to be considered essential, however it is becoming apparent recently that this is just not sufficient by itself and just about all those who have gout probably will need pharmaceutical management. It goes without saying that drugs are likely to be needed for relief of pain throughout an acute flare up. The acute phase of gout is extremely painful. Over the long term there are two forms of drugs which you can use for gout. One kind of medicine block chemicals in the pathway which splits the purines into uric acid, which simply implies there will be much less uric acid in the blood stream that could find its way in to the joints to trigger an acute episode of gout or lead to the long-term gout. The other main kind of drug is one that can help the renal system remove much more uric acid. This would also reduce the urates in the bloodstream. Generally, only one of those drugs is all that’s needed, however occasionally both are needed to be utilized at the same time. Since these prescription medication is ordinarily pretty successful, that will not indicate that the life-style and eating habits changes may be pushed aside. Local measures, including wearing good fitting shoes if the big toe joint gets too painful is important. Also ice packs during an acute flare up will also help with the relief of pain.

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How To Approach Removing Asbestos Removal in Sydney

Planning to renovate your home built decades ago? Well, you got to be careful! There is a good chance it may have asbestos. This is a popular building material used throughout Australia before it was completely banned in 2003.

Asbestos is not generally considered hazardous. In fact, homeowners are only allowed to remove up to ten square meters of non-friable asbestos. More than that, people are advised to seek professional help, especially handling friable ones. Because of the health risks involved, DIY removal is considered illegal.

This is particularly prohibited in Sydney. Hence, the expertise of your trusted asbestos removalists is required to handle the dangerous job.

Why Removing Asbestos Can Be Dangerous?

There are many DIY ideas. Some are equally fun. Whilst, others can be hazardous, like removing asbestos by yourself.

Here are some reasons why removing asbestos without proper knowledge can be dangerous:

Exposure to diseases

Small quantities of asbestos are present in the air most of the time and are being breathed in by everyone without ill effects. But, exposure to high levels of asbestos for a long time is pretty serious. It can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Accidents and Injuries

Asbestos is used in cement sheeting, drainage and pipes, guttering, and even roofing. But, asbestos roofing can become fragile over time. Hence, you might risk breaking it apart, releasing harmful fibres into the air. Also, a single sheet of asbestos can weigh 30-50 kilograms. Such weight can cause injuries.

Wrong removal and ill-fitting equipment

You may not know the proper ways to remove asbestos, exposing you to very harmful fibres. And the recommended removal equipment is quite expensive. You don’t have to deal with it on your own.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Asbestos?

Asbestos removal can be pretty costly. It is determined by the type and size of the area, as well as the amount of debris to be removed. The safety risks of asbestos also increase the cost, especially when friable asbestos is involved. But health is wealth. It is always worth the price.

Most junk removalists in Sydney are priced from $99.99 per cubic metre, however, given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, prices may be higher. It’s important to receive a few quotes before proceeding with an asbestos removal service.

How To Find The Right Asbestos Removal Provider?

There are a few key things you can do right now to ensure that your search for a provider is a successful one. They include:

Check Online Reviews

Does the asbestos removal service provider have an abundance of positive Google reviews? Check the history of their reviews to make sure that they are in-fact, legitimate. Businesses with legitimate reviews tend to have a stream of reviews that span across years of their lifetime; not just all within a few months.

Service Locality

Hiring a local asbestos removal business is always best. This ensures that you receive the best pricing as the business is local and nearby to your location. Typically, local businesses tend to take more pride in their workmanship as a positive reputation is key to their ongoing success.

Number of Years in Business

Given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, it’s important to check how long the business has been in operation. A business who has over 10 years servicing the local community may provide cheaper pricing, given that they likely will have more refined practices.


Take your time while in search of a suitable asbestos removal provider. Due-dilligence is important and always shop around for the best quotes.

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A Pall Settles Over America

I see it in their eyes, downcast and wary. I see it in their steps, shuffling and tentative. When they talk, they use a word I rarely hear, depressed.

These are the producers, those who make the country work. Hourly and salaried employees and managers, who go to their jobs every day, work hard and provide for themselves and their families.

They’re the kind of people who have been with us since the country began. Back then, we called them Pilgrims, sod-busters, and settlers. Today they go by many names, Physician, Technician, Engineer, and Laborer. But for all of them, life has a rhythm, just as it did two centuries ago, that comes from our agricultural heritage.

Spring has always been the time for planting, and looking forward to the year ahead. Summertime is when they cultivate the crops. Fall is harvest time when we enjoy the fruits of our labor and thank God for blessing us. Winter is the time of austerity, the time to prune, the time to cut back.

But not this year. This year, we are still in harvest time. Yet the pruning has already begun. Major companies across this land are already cutting back, eliminating staff to reduce.

For thousands of laid-off workers, it comes at the worst possible time. Just before the holidays. A time when many who have children will have to cut back this Christmas. There will be little joy for those who lost their jobs these holidays.

If you’ve lived through a corporate “downsizing,” you know that anxiety runs high. No matter how often the boss has assured you that you will be kept on, you’re never sure about your future. Should you start looking for a new job now, or wait? Does the boss know what lies ahead, or might he be on the corporate chopping block? There is no job security once layoffs begin.

But there is much more to our collective angst this year than at any time in our memory. These corporate cutbacks are merely reflecting a more significant issue, an issue that is nationwide.

Our country is headed in the wrong direction. That is a sentiment shared by three-quarters of us. And we’ve felt that way for a couple of years. Producers know that the country should be operating better. Yes, there were all difficulties associated with the Pandemic. But those are now behind us.

Today recovery should be well underway. But it’s not. Despite all the trillions of dollars pumped into the system, our standard of living is falling. Each day inflation marches on; real income is declining. Gasoline, food, and shelter costs accelerate in real-time, but a salary rise comes annually. Corporate raises will arrive at the end of the year and likely come nowhere near the level of inflation we’ve already experienced.

Producers see all of this.

Producers also know that many, perhaps most, of our problems come from Washington. We see that a feeble old man has his bony fingers on the nation’s tiller, steering us straight for the shoals. He, and those who surround him, have a policy of austerity. In their eyes, less is better, and fewer is preferred. We should use less heat this winter, drive smaller, preferably electric vehicles, and eat vegan. And the less we consume, the better. From this perspective, we are the problem. Our destiny is to have shortages and wants. And they’ve pushed us in that direction.

However, these leaders told us last week that we could change everything. By walking into our voting booth, we could make our voices heard. We, the people, could take this country in a new direction that our leaders were indeed subject to the will of the people.

That didn’t happen. Counting votes has become a haze of computational complexity and slow-walking results. So that the incumbents in Washington get the results they want, it’s the complete inversion of the principal and values that the country’s founders intended. But there it is—today’s reality.

It’s the reason the word I hear most often from Producers today is: depression. And I’m afraid that’s where we’re headed.

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