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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Your New Year Trivia

One of the oldest and most exciting customs around the world is celebrating New Year. New Year is celebrated in a variety of ways in various countries. One can hear the church bells ringing, people singing, dancing and having lots of fun on this festive day.The New Year is a festive season that marks the beginning of the year. The New Year is a prefect time for a new start of making certain promises and taking resolutions.The New Year trivia is a time when people take certain resolutions that they swear to follow throughout the year. People wait to welcome the New Year with joy and excitement is in the air on New Year. Various countries have their own beliefs of what the new year holds in store for them.

The new year in United States is celebrated on Jan 1st by throwing parties on the night of December 31st. the new year trivia is sure to catch the mood of the people in an exciting manner. The Chinese celebrate New Year between January 17thand February 19th. This is at the time of the new moon. The New Year trivia is a perfect time for feasting and celebrations. The Chinese call this time of feasting and celebrations as Yuan Tan. The most famous decorations used by the Chinese for the New Year are the lanterns. One can see the lanterns glittering bright in the streets.The people in china believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits. The doors and windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. This is to keep the evil demons out.

The New Year in Scotland is called Hogmanay. The people in Scotland follow a ritual that has a great significance. One can find barrels of tar set afire and gradually rolled down the streets in the villages of Scotland. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and New Year is going to begin.The New Year trivia is sure to make the celebration of New Year fun and enjoyable. New year is simply the perfect time to take resolutions and make for a fun-filled day. So enjoy the New Year and have a blast.

New Year Trivia Quiz
•Question:Jan. 1 is New Year's Day in which calendar ?
Answer :Gregorian Calendar

•Question:When was the first new year holiday observed?
Answer :In Ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago

•Question: New Year's is celebrated in which month by practioners of Tibetan Buddhism ?
Answer :February

•Question:The first New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square happened in which year?
Answer :1907

•Question:The date of Chinese New Year is determined by which calendar?
Answer :Lunar Calendar

•Question:What is Jewish New Year called?
Answer :Rosh

Courtesy of 123NewYear

Friday, December 24, 2010

Crazy Parrot Singing Grunge Song! Amazing Voice

How do one-way mirrors work?

Just about everyone has seen a television show or movie in which a criminal suspect is questioned while detectives watch from behind a one-way mirror. How does a piece of glass manage to reflect light from one side while remaining clear on the other?

mirror mirror
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
One-way mirrors are coated with a half-silvered layer,
allowing the mirror to reflect half the light that strikes its surface.

The secret is that it doesn't. A one-way mirror has a reflective coating applied in a very thin, sparse layer -- so thin that it's called a half-silvered surface. The name half-silvered comes from the fact that the reflective molecules coat the glass so sparsely that only about half the molecules needed to make the glass an opaque mirror are applied. At the molecular level, there are reflective molecules speckled all over the glass in an even film but only half of the glass is covered. The half-silvered surface will reflect about half the light that strikes its surface, while letting the other half go straight through. It turns out that half-silvered mirrors are also essential to many types of lasers -- see How Lasers Work for details.

So why doesn't the "criminal suspect" see the detectives in the next room? The answer lies in the lighting of the two rooms. The room in which the glass looks like a mirror is kept very brightly lit, so that there is plenty of light to reflect back from the mirror's surface. The other room, in which the glass looks like a window, is kept dark, so there is very little light to transmit through the glass. On the criminal's side, the criminal sees his own reflection. On the detectives' side, the large amount of light coming from the criminal's side is what they see. In many ways, it's the same as if people were whispering in one room while a loud stereo played in the other. The sound of the whisper might carry into the room with the stereo, but it would be drowned out by the intensity of the music.

If the lights in the room with the mirror are suddenly turned out, or the lights in the observation room suddenly turned on, then the one-way mirror becomes a window, with people in each room able to see those in the other. You can see this effect in any mirrored office building at night -- if the light is on in an office, you can see into the office just fine. Visit Howstuffworks.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to Reduce Stress During Christmas

Christmas is full of contradictions. It’s a time of joy and family reunions. There will be parties to host and attend, gifts to exchange, holidays to enjoy. And because of all these, Christmas can also be extremely stressful for families.

In fact, according to the National Mental Health Association, nearly 60% of Americans suffer some form of stress-related depression during Christmas as a result of the increased demands of shopping, entertaining, family and relatives.
To beat the blues and enjoy the season to the fullest, learn some strategies to keep Christmas as stress-free as possible.

Start Christmas Shopping Earlier

Although Christmas sales generally don’t start until late October or early November, it doesn’t mean Christmas shopping cannot start earlier. In fact, it can be done all year round whenever there are sales. Keep an eye on gift items that are suitable and buy them when there is a bargain. When Christmas shopping is spread over the year, there is less hassle and less financial pinch. Plus, there won’t be frantic and crazy Christmas crowds swarming the departmental stores and shopping malls at other times of the year.

Have Reasonable Expectations of the Holiday Season

Avoid trying to make everything perfect. Setting the goal to make this Christmas the best ever is only going to cause more stress and anxiety. So plan ahead and prioritize things. Expect hiccups and obstacles along the way. Also, don’t be disappointed if this Christmas isn’t the same as it used to be. It may be different but can still be enjoyable.

Get Help with Christmas Cooking

Don’t try to be a supermum and do everything alone. Get help from everyone in the family with cooking and baking chores. If it’s going to be a big, elaborate dinner, it’s a good idea to ask others attending the dinner to contribute a dish. Allocate the dishes beforehand to avoid bringing the same dishes to the dinner. Keeping a copy of the menu close by is also helpful in preventing the hostess from forgetting to serve some of the dishes!

Be Prepared for Unpleasant Relatives

Family gatherings can be uncomfortable if there are some relatives that don’t get along well with each other. Be positive and put up with any unpleasant encounters and remarks. If someone is being rude, don’t bite back. Instead, in a calm manner, let them know such behavior is not appreciated and remind them that in the true spirit of Christmas, everyone should be nice to each other and keep opinions to themselves if they have nothing good to say.

Get Ready for Squabbling Kids

If there are young children in the family, the chaos is likely to increase considerably. Children may fight over gifts and toys, spill drinks on the carpet, throw a tantrum to get mum’s attention,or bite a visiting child. Granted, it’s hard to keep an eye on them when there is so much going on. If possible, assign an older child or a relative to watch over them while mum and dad are busy entertaining guests or preparing meals.

Have a Family Christmas Tradition

Having a special Christmas tradition within the family can be great way to relax and unwind during Christmas. Some families enjoy driving around the neighborhood on Christmas Eve to look at Christmas lights and decorations; reading Christmas stories aloud to the kids; making gingerbread houses with the kids; inviting people with nowhere to go over for the Christmas dinner. Start your own family Christmas tradition to make the big day even more special.

When families are prepared for the busy time at Christmas, the stress level will drop significantly. So it’s a good idea to plan and shop early, get help whenever possible, be prepared for possible unpleasant encounters at family gatherings and keep the kids under control. With less stress, the whole family will be able to enjoy Christmas the way it should be enjoyed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How Digital Signatures Work: Digitally Signing Messages

Public key cryptography gives a reliable method for digital signing and signature verification based on public/private key pairs. A person can sign a given digital message (file, document, e-mail, and so forth) with his private key. From a technical point of view, the digital signing of a message is performed in two steps:

Click here for a larger image.

Step 1: Calculate the Message Digest

In the first step of the process, a hash-value of the message (often called the message digest) is calculated by applying some cryptographic hashing algorithm (for example, MD2, MD4, MD5, SHA1, or other). The calculated hash-value of a message is a sequence of bits, usually with a fixed length, extracted in some manner from the message.

All reliable algorithms for message digest calculation apply such mathematical transformations that when just a single bit from the input message is changed, a completely different digest is obtained. Due to this behavior, these algorithms are very steady in cryptanalytical attacks; in other words, it is almost impossible, from a given hash-value of a given message, to find the message itself. This impossibility for retrieval of the input message is pretty logical if we take into account that a hash-value of a message could have a hundred times smaller size than the input message. Actually, the computing resources needed to find a message by its digest are so huge that, practically, it is unfeasible to do it.

It is also interesting to know that, theoretically, it is possible for two entirely different messages to have the same hash-value calculated by some hashing algorithm, but the probability for this to happen is so small that in practice it is ignored.

Step 2: Calculate the Digital Signature

In the second step of digitally signing a message, the information obtained in the first step hash-value of the message (the message digest) is encrypted with the private key of the person who signs the message and thus an encrypted hash-value, also called digital signature, is obtained. For this purpose, some mathematical cryptographic encrypting algorithm for calculating digital signatures from given message digest is used. The most often used algorithms are RSA (based on the number theory), DSA (based on the theory of the discrete logarithms), and ECDSA (based on the elliptic curves theory). Often, the obtained digital signature is attached to the message in a special format to be verified later if it is necessary.

Verifying Digital Signatures

Digital signature technology allows the recipient of given signed message to verify its real origin and its integrity. The process of digital signature verification is purposed to ascertain if a given message has been signed by the private key that corresponds to a given public key. The digital signature verification cannot ascertain whether the given message has been signed by a given person. If we need to check whether some person has signed a given message, we need to obtain his real public key in some manner. This is possible either by getting the public key in a secure way (for example, on a floppy disk or CD) or with the help of the Public Key Infrastructure by means of a digital certificate. Without having a secure way to obtain the real public key of given person, we don't have a possibility to check whether the given message is really signed by this person.

From a technical point of view, the verification of a digital signature is performed in three steps:

Click here for a larger image.

Step 1: Calculate the Current Hash-Value

In the first step, a hash-value of the signed message is calculated. For this calculation, the same hashing algorithm is used as was used during the signing process. The obtained hash-value is called the current hash-value because it is calculated from the current state of the message.

Step 2: Calculate the Original Hash-Value

In the second step of the digital signature verification process, the digital signature is decrypted with the same encryption algorithm that was used during the signing process. The decryption is done by the public key that corresponds to the private key used during the signing of the message. As a result, we obtain the original hash-value that was calculated from the original message during the first step of the signing process (the original message digests).

Step 3: Compare the Current and the Original Hash-Values

In the third step, we compare the current hash-value obtained in the first step with the original hash-value obtained in the second step. If the two values are identical, the verification if successful and proves that the message has been signed with the private key that corresponds to the public key used in the verification process. If the two values differ from onr another, this means that the digital signature is invalid and the verification is unsuccessful.

Reasons for Invalid Signatures

There are three possible reasons for getting an invalid digital signature:

  • If the digital signature is adulterated (it is not real) and is decrypted with the public key, the obtained original value will not be the original hash-value of the original message but some other value.
  • If the message was changed (adulterated) after its signing, the current hash-value calculated from this adulterated message will differ from the original hash-value because the two different messages correspond to different hash-values.
  • If the public key does not correspond to the private key used for signing, the original hash-value obtained by decrypting the signature with an incorrect key will not be the correct one.

If the verification fails, in spite of the cause, this proves only one thing: The signature that is being verified was not obtained by signing the message that is being verified with the private key that corresponds to the public key used for the verification. Unsuccessful verification does not always mean that an attempt for digital signature adulteration is detected. Sometimes, verification could fail because an invalid public key is used. Such a situation could be obtained when the message is not sent by the person who was expected to send it or when the signature verification system has an incorrect public key for this person. It is even possible for one person to own several different valid public keys along with valid certificates for each of them and the system attempted to verify a message received from this person with some of these public keys but not with the correct one (the key corresponding to the private key used for signing the message).

In order for such problems to be avoided, most often when a signed document is sent, the certificate of the signer is also sent along with this document and the corresponding digital signature. Thus, during the verification, the public key contained in the received certificate is used for signature verification; if the verification is successful, it is considered that the document is signed by the person who owns the certificate. Of course, it is always necessary that, when certificates are used, we should believe the certificate only if its validity is verified or the certificate is self-signed but is obtained from the sender in a secure way (not from the Internet).

My next article will introduce the class libraries for working with digital signatures and certificates on a Java 2 platform and gives a short description of the most important classes and interfaces from Java Cryptography Architecture (JCA) and Java Certification Path API that concern the use of digital signatures and certificates.

About the Author

Svetlin Nakov is part-time computer science lecturer in Sofia University, Bulgaria. He has over 5 years of professional software engineering and training experience and currently works as IT consultant in a leading Bulgarian software company. His areas of expertise include Java and related technologies, .NET Framework, network security, data structures and algorithms, and programming code quality. More information on his research background, skills and work experience is available from his home site

Monday, December 20, 2010

Best Christmas Movies for Kids

best christmas movies

Macaulay Culkin in "Home Alone." Credit: Everett Collection

For many families, settling down together to watch a Christmas movie is as much a tradition as hanging stockings and trimming the tree. To help you plan your viewing schedule, we've rounded up a list of our 20 favorite Christmas movies for kids. From tots to teens, you will find a little something for everyone here. Included are the old classics, some more recent favorites and a couple you may have even forgotten about.

Think we left something out? Tell us your favorite Christmas films by leaving a comment below!

1. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1964): From a 1939 story by Robert L. May, the character of Rudolph was made famous in this stop-motion animation movie that first aired on NBC in 1964. Digitally remastered in 2005, this heart-warming story about a misfit reindeer and his glowing red nose has become a Christmas tradition in many families.

2. "Olive, The Other Reindeer" (1999): A character born out of a misunderstanding of the lyrics to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," Olive the dog got her own animated special thanks to executive producer Matt Groening of "The Simpsons" fame. Olive is a sweet little dog who misunderstands Santa when he says he needs the help of "all of the other reindeer" to prevent Christmas from being canceled.

3. "A Christmas Story" (1983): What could be more entertaining than a loving-but-dysfunctional family at Christmastime? Set in the 1940s, the story of Ralphie Parker and the build-up to what he hopes will be the best Christmas ever gets funnier every year. Catch it during its annual 24-hour airing on TBS each Christmas Eve.

4. "Frosty the Snowman" (1969): The story of a magical snowman with a big personality, this movie was based on a song made famous by Gene Autry in 1950. In addition to a magic hat, this 30-minute animated movie has drama, redemption and a surprise appearance by Santa Claus himself.

5. "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947): Every child who has ever wondered if the department store Santa is the real thing will find reason to believe in this Academy Award-winning movie. A young Natalie Wood gives a beautiful and touching performance as a little girl who helps those around her learn the true meaning of Christmas.

6. "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (1966): He's a mean one, but we love the Grinch as he tries to spoil Christmas for the residents of Who-ville. As with all good villain movies, the bad guy learns a lesson in the end and everyone lives happily ever after.

7. "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000): The beauty and whimsy of Dr. Seuss' imagination comes to life in Ron Howard's live-action remake of the 1966 classic. Jim Carrey is perfectly cast as the Grinch and the mayhem and madness are laugh-out-loud funny.

8. "The Year Without a Santa Claus" (1974): In this claymation television special, Santa Claus does the unthinkable: He gets fed up and decides to take a vacation instead of delivering Christmas gifts. Mrs. Claus comes to the rescue as she and the elves try to help the world rediscover the spirit of Christmas.

9. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965): It just wouldn't be Christmas without Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. A timeless story about a boy searching for the true meaning of the holiday, the film is memorable not only for the sad little tree in which he finds it, but also for the wonderful score by composer Vince Guaraldi.

10. "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992): Jim Henson's Muppets do Dickens in this kid-friendly adaptation of the classic story. With Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Miss Piggy as his wife, the film is as silly as you would expect and surprisingly touching.

11. "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993): Santa gets the Tim Burton treatment in this offbeat and somewhat bizarre stop-action fantasy movie. Alternately scary and funny, the movie features a ghoulish Jack Skellington kidnapping and torturing Santa in an effort to take over Christmas.

12. "Home Alone" (1990): Bumbling criminals try to take advantage of a boy left home alone on Christmas in this slapstick comedy by the late John Hughes. The movie that launched Macaulay Culkin's career is as entertaining today as it was when first released.

13. "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" (1992): Not quite as good as the original but still a blast, this film showcases New York City decked out in all its Christmas finery. The slapstick comedy might be over the top, but the hilarious work of Tim Curry makes it all worthwhile.

14. "Eloise at Christmastime" (2003): Eloise, the imp of the Plaza Hotel, plays matchmaker in this movie based on the popular books by Kay Thompson. Charming and sweet, Eloise teaches the adults around her about compassion in her own mischievous and delightful way.

15. "An All Dogs Christmas Carol" (1998): Charles Dickens goes to the dogs in a canine version of the classic Christmas tale. A big, bad bulldog gets schooled in the true meaning of Christmas by lovable Charlie and his cute sidekick, Itchy.

16. "The Polar Express" (2004): Live performances were translated into digital images for this unique-looking animated film starring Tom Hanks. Groundbreaking filmmaking technique aside, it's a timeless story about a young boy trying to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

17. "Elf" (2003): Will Ferrell is up to his usual tricks as Buddy, an orphan raised by Santa Claus and his elves. Returning to the real world in search of his father, Buddy finds hilarious adventure -- and love -- in New York City.

18. "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (1983): Disney's version of the Charles Dickens classic takes Ebeneezer Scrooge McDuck on a journey to find the true meaning of Christmas. Ghosts Goofy and Jiminy Crickett, along with Bob Cratchit Mickey and his nephew Fred Donald, help Scrooge see the light before it's too late.

19. "Prancer" (1989): A tear-jerker with a happy ending, this film features a young girl struggling to repair her broken family while nursing a special reindeer back to health. Full of heart and warmth, the film is touching without being too sappy.

20. "A Christmas Carol" (1951): Of all the versions of Dickens' classic story, this one is by far the best. A beautifully simple presentation devoid of special effects and gimmicks, it's a film every family should see this time of year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

10 Most Expensive Properties Listed for Sale in 2010

Wasn't 2010 the year that we rejected our gluttonous spending ways, when we convinced ourselves that less was more and that Dante intended to have a circle for those who couldn't make do with any fewer than five bathrooms? Well, no doubt the following homeowners just want to join the downsizing party.

Presenting, the Luxist List of the 10 Most Expensive Properties on the Market in 2010. (An asterisk or two: Some of these listings are holdovers from 2009, one even from 2006. And while it's inconceivable that a publicly listed home in this price bracket would escape our attention, frequently homes are available as pocket listings -- the owner will sell them for the right price, but oh-so-quietly.)

1) The Manor -- or aka, Candyland, as the Candy Spelling mansion is dubbed. On the market at $150 million for eons now, the mistress of the mansion appears unwilling to bequeath the title of "most expensive home in America" to anyone else. Fair enough. But unless the frog she kisses turns into a Saudi prince, we fear this palace will be heading our list in 2011 too.
Besides, in this new era of austerity, what does one woman really need with 123 rooms and 56,500-square feet? It's the largest home in Los Angeles County and was built by Candy and her deceased husband Aaron Spelling, the entertainment mogul who created -- among other things -- "Beverly Hills 90290" that starred their daughter Tori Spelling. The two-story house has a level between the second story and the attic that is just for closets. There is a screening room, bowling alley, three rooms for wrapping presents and a parking lot for 100 cars. Oprah is said to have looked but if she did, she didn't buy. Listing agent: Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills, who shares it with partner Rick Hilton and Coldwell Banker agent Sally Forster Jones.

2) Fleur de Lys, the 41,000-square-foot estate that makes no attempt at understatement. Listed at $125,000 million, it is modeled after a French Ducal palace. Following the Candy Spelling School of Real Estate Marketing, owner Suzanne Saperstein hasn't budged on the price since it was first listed in 2007. If you're interested, talk to Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker, who shares the listing with Robert Kass of Hilton & Hyland.

Gallery: Fleur de Lys

3) Tranquility in Zephyr Cove, NV remains on the market at $100 million as it has been since 2006. That's four years folks. The seller is Joel Horowitz, the co-founder of the Tommy Hilfiger Corp., and the estate sits in the tax-favorable Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. The estate has its own private lake, boat house and sits on 210 prime acres. The marble flooring in the entrance hall of the 20,000-square-foot main house is patterned after that of the New York Public Library's and the staircase is a replica of the Titanic's. Is there a lesson here involving sinking ships? Shari Chase of Chase International has the listing. Continue reading here!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

7 Tips on Maintaining Healthy Relaxed Hair

Relaxed hair, by its definition, undergoes controlled damage in order to straighten it, but maintaining this hair in a healthy fashion is possible with several simple steps. If you're not currently following most of these tips, your hair may not be as healthy as it can be. All hair should be pampered, but relaxed hair requires even more special treatment due to its processed nature. See if these seven tips for maintaining healthy relaxed hair can't help you get your straight tresses into the best shape possible.

1. See a Professional for Chemical Applications

This is typically where you'll spend the most money in maintaining relaxed hair, but it's worth investing in a trusted stylist for touch-ups and/or coloring. They're licensed for a reason. Too many women (and children and men) are walking around today with damaged hair that's the result of home treatments.

Find a stylist you trust. This may not be easy; you may have to try several salons and get recommendations before you find someone you're happy with. Once you find a professional and build a good relationship with her, she should be able to advise you whether a lye or no-lye relaxer is best for you, which cuts will best flatter your face and how to care for your hair on a daily basis.

2. Avoid Overprocessing

Applying relaxers to previously processed hair or leaving chemicals on for too long are two of the most common mistakes made when it comes to straightening. While home kits are easier to use than ever and cheaper than having a professional apply treatments, these products also make it easy to overprocess the hair. Not waiting the recommended time frame between touch-ups is another risky relaxer move.

Consistently applying straightening chemicals to previously processed hair will eventually lead to damage, breakage and possible permanent hair loss.

Even if you must apply your own relaxers, have a trusted friend help you with back sections of the hair whenever possible. Better yet, however, save those pennies and see a stylist for this task.

3. Choose Low or No-Heat Styling

Flat irons and curling irons are very convenient, but daily use will eventually lead to dryness and damage. Heat tools are fine for occasional use, but try to get into the habit of low or no-heat styling when you can. Examples of styling techniques that don't require a lot of heat include:

  • Wet sets
  • Wrapping
  • Satin-covered rollers
  • Curlformers
  • Flexi-rods

Also, try any of these hairstyles that don't need to have ends "bumped" or curled:

  • Buns
  • Braids
  • Updos

4. Wrap and Protect at Night

Not only does wrapping your hair at night save you time in the morning, but it also protects your delicate tresses while sleeping, especially if you add in extra protection in the form of a silky hair cover or pillowcase.

When you mold your hair to the shape of your head, you preserve body and volume in a low-maintenance fashion that requires absolutely no heat.

5. Condition Regularly

Relaxers strip away some of the hair's natural oils during the process of straightening; replacing moisture is essential to keeping hair in good shape. Instead of greasy, petrolatum-laden products, which don't actually moisturize the hair but only coat it, rely on good quality conditioners to maintain proper moisture levels in your hair. Follow each shampoo with a rinse-out conditioner and deep condition two to four times per month, depending on your hair's needs.

6. Trim as Needed

The ends of your hair can become excessively dry if not cared for properly. They're the oldest and most fragile parts of your hair and they need to be treated with extreme care. However, they're not going to last forever and it's better to get rid of split and dry ends sooner rather than later. If you routinely pamper your hair and observe other good hair care practices, you'll need to trim less often than someone who flat irons daily or never deep conditions.

7. Wear Protective Styles

Why protective styles such as chignons, updos and braids? Because these hairdos keep your hair's ends up and out of sight, which allows them to retain moisture, which in turn leads to more hair retention. Even if your goal is not to grow hair down your back, healthy ends are still important, as they fit into an overall healthy head of hair.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Amazing Tips for Perfect Looking Skin

1. A face mask made of Egg White and Honey gently removes tan from your face.

2. Mix Oats with Honey, Yogurt and Ground Almonds. Apply this on your face, leave it for 10-15 minutes and wash with lukewarm water to get Smooth and Glowing Skin.

3. Cucumber is a natural cleanser. Mix Cucumber Juice with Milk, apply it on your face and rinse off after 15 minutes.

4. Take 1/3-cup Cocoa, three teaspoons of Heavy Cream, 1/3-cup ripe Papaya, 1/4-cup Honey and three teaspoons of Oatmeal Powder. Mix it all together. Apply on your face. After 10 minutes, wash your face with warm water to get Glowing Complexion.

5. For oily skin, apply a mixture of Grapes, Lemon Juice and Egg White. Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. While lemon acts as a natural cleanser, grapes will soften your skin and egg whites will tighten it. Don’t be alarmed if your skin tingles.

6. Cut the Lemon and rub the wedge all over your face. Leave it for about 20 minutes, then rinse off with cold water. Don’t do this if you have dry skin.

7. Apply a mixture of Honey and Milk on the face . This will make your skin Glow.

8. Mix half-a-cup Honey to your bath water for soft and smooth skin.

9. For a soothing body pack, prepare a paste of Mint Leaves and Almonds. Mix it with warm water and apply all over your body. Leave it till it dries and rinse with warm water to get Soft and Smooth Skin.

10. Buttermilk dabbed on skin for 15 minutes will soak up oil from your skin without drying it.

11. For dark underarms apply Lemon Juice mixed with Cucumber Juice and a pinch of Turmeric daily. Leave this on for 20 minutes and rinse off.

12. For removing facial hair apply a sticky paste of Egg White mixed with Sugar and Corn Flour. When it dries, gently peel it off.

13. Thin Apple Slices rubbed onto oily skin will help in controlling excess oil.

14. For Supple Skin, apply a ripe smashed Banana on your face for 20 minutes daily.

15. Carrot Juice applied daily fades blemishes.

16. For a Fair Skin, try this natural bleach.
Mix Orange Peel Powder (sun dried and powdered) with Milk, apply this paste on your face and leave for 25 minutes and wash off

17. Mix half teaspoon dried Curry Leaf Powder with Fullers Earth and water and apply on the face. Wash it after it dries to get Glowing Complexion.

18. Apply the mixture of Tomato Juice and Honey on the face and neck , wash it after 15 minutes. It will help you get rid of tan.

19. Apply the mixture of Carrot Juice and Basil. Leave it till it dries and wash the face for Clearer Complexion.

20. Add two teaspoon of Tomato Juice with 4 teaspoon of Yogurt and apply on the face to get Brighter Complexion.

21. Mix 1 table spoon of Barley Powder with half teaspoon of Lime Juice and 1 teaspoon of Honey. Apply it on the face and wash after 20 minutes to get Lighter Complexion.

22. Mix Pineapple Juice and Carrot Juice together and apply it on the face and wash it after 15 minutes to get rid of Marks and Scars.

23. Mix Vinegar and Rose Water in equal quantities and apply to get Toned Skin.

24. Mix Yogurt and Cucumber Juice and apply it on the face. Its a Natural Cleanser.

25. Apply the mixture of Coconut Water and Pineapple Pulp. It cools your skin and helps fade Blemishes.

26. Make a paste with 1 teaspoon of Milk Cream, 1 Egg White and 1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice and apply on the face. It keeps wrinkles and fine lines away.

27. For Dry skin, Make a paste with Egg Yolk, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice. Apply it on the neck and face, wash it out after 10 minutes.

28. For Oily skin, take a mixture of Oatmeal, Lemon Juice and Egg White and apply it on your face and neck. Rinse off after 15 minutes.

29. For Glowing skin, apply a mix

ture of Chickpea Powder and Milk, keep it for 20 minutes and rinse off.

30. Apply the mixture of Turmeric Powder and Milk Cream on the face and wash it after 20 minutes. It will Lighten your Complexion.

31. Apply the mixture of Honey, Chickpea Powder, Milk Cream and Olive Oil as a face pack for Lighter Complexion.

32. Apply the paste of Fenugreek with Milk on the face and let it dry. Wash off with luke warm water. Fenugreek is a soothing skin conditioner and milk is a natural cleanser.

33. Make a paste of Red SandalWood Powder and Milk and apply it on your face once in a week to get Glowing Complexion.

34. Make a paste with Red SandalWood Powder and Coconut Milk and apply on the face for Soft Skin.

35.Mix Honey, Lemon and Olive Oil . Apply this mixture and rinse off after 15 minutes to get soft and lighter complexion.

36. Prepare a mask by mixing a slice of Pumpkin with Egg Yolk and Milk. Let this mask set on your face for 30 minutes and rinse off for a Glowing Skin. Thanks to Leon

Monday, November 22, 2010

Anne Hathaway jokes about being paid to be naked with Jake

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal spend a lot of time in very little clothing for their next film ‘Love and Other Drugs,’ which doesn’t seem like too rough of a gig.

As Hathaway is appearing on a special for Chelsea Handler’s show, she jokes that it was easy to film the scenes, states

“I spent weeks and weeks naked with Jake Gyllenhaal and they paid me,” the actress says about the filming process.

Do you think these scenes would be hard to do?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why are there more thunderstorms in the summer?

A little knowledge about how thunderstorms develop will give a better understanding of why more thunderstorms occur in the warm summer months. The two things needed to cause a thunderstorm are moisture and rapidly rising warm air. The time of the year we are most likely to have those conditions is the spring and summer.

During the spring and summer months, the sun heats the earth’s surface during the day. The heat on the surface of the earth warms the air around it. The warm air, being lighter than cool air, rises in what is called an updraft. As it rises it expands and cools. If the air is moist, then the warm air condenses into a cumulus cloud. This continues as long as the warm air below continues to rise.

Thunderstorms develop more often in areas of high humidity. It is the moisture in the air that rises into the atmosphere in conjunction with warm temperatures where it can cause a thunderstorm to form. Summer air has a greater potential for bringing on a thunderstorm because it is able to hold a lot more water vapor than colder winter air.

The temperature of air is what controls the amount of water vapor it can hold. Since warm air is able to contain much more water vapor than cold air, then the warm summer air is conducive to the development of thunderstorms. As the temperatures rise, the air’s capacity for holding water vapor increases at an increasing rate.

Atmospheric instability is also a condition that favors the formation of thunderstorms. High surface temperatures can favor instability which has a tendency toward vertical upward motion. For this reason, thunderstorms are more numerous in the summer in the middle, warmer latitudes of the earth and during the warmer hours of the day.

Heat, however, is not the only requirement for the development of a thunderstorm. In addition the warm air must be rich in water vapor. The heat of the air causes condensation which, when released into the rising air, creates the principal source of energy for the storm’s development.

Thunderstorms often begin in the morning of a hot day when humidity is high. The sun’s heat causes the upward movement of the moisture and when it reaches the cooler heights, it condenses into clouds. These clouds increase in size until they become saturated with all the water vapor they are capable of holding.

When the clouds can no longer hold up the water vapor, the droplets begin to fall. If there is no instability then a light shower occurs. With atmospheric instability what happens is a thunderstorm. This is more common in the warm summer months. Thunderstorms are more frequently seen in the U S from the lower Midwest to the East and Southeast. These areas have much more humidity than other parts of the United States. Thanks to Annalou Mack

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

How Anti-shoplifting Devices Work

Let's imagine for the moment that you own a large department store, and you are having a big problem with shoplifting. (You're not alone -- retail stores lost $26 billion last year to shoplifting!) What are you going to do? You cannot let it continue, because every month your accounting system tells you that you are losing thousands of dollars to theft. It forces you to raise your prices, and that means you have to charge more than the store next door. That can make it very hard to compete, especially if the store next door is successfully discouraging shoplifting.

As a retailer focusing on the problem of what's known in the industry as loss prevention, you basically have three methods at your disposal to slow the shoplifters down: (1) You can watch everyone in the store like a hawk and make sure they don't steal anything. You can do that using security guards and/or video surveillance systems; (2) You can make things hard to remove from the store by bolting them down, attaching cables, putting things in display cases and behind the counter; (3) You can use a system that attaches special tags onto everything so that an alarm goes off whenever a shoplifter tries to walk out with an item. In this article, we'll look at each of these options in more detail.

Security Guards and Security Bars

The first option in loss prevention involves the use of deterrents such as security guards, observation mirrors (that allow store clerks to see throughout the store) and closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance systems. Most large stores use some combination of these techniques, which were among the earliest tools used to combat shoplifting. Smaller businesses, unable to afford security guards, were able to install video cameras -- usually in a prominent place so that shoppers knew they were being watched -- to record activity in the store. Later, the retailer could review the tapes, observe shoppers behaving suspiciously (sometimes even stealing) and note the vulnerable displays or areas in the store. The problem with this record-and-review system is that some shoplifters get away with stealing. On the other hand, experts say, the system has merit in that it allows for possible recognition of repeat offenders (something that is prevalent among shoplifters). By reviewing these tapes, the store owner can also learn about theft patterns and get ideas about ways to deal with them.

Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images
A shoplifter looks around a department store to check if anyone is watching her.

­Your imaginary department store would probably use electronic surveillance a bit differently than smaller businesses. You might have security staff monitoring store activity on closed-circuit TV as it happens in an effort to prevent shoplifting. Today, there are even systems that allow retailers with several locations to monitor stores and distribution centers from a single location. These remote surveillance systems allow users to send full-frame video image streams over high-speed phone lines to other locations and to electronically store digital video images for review or evidence.

And in larger stores, cameras are often less visible. Next time you're in your favorite department store, look around. High-speed, high-resolution digital cameras may be mounted in smoke detectors, sprinkler heads, thermostats or clocks. (It's popular to mount cameras in ceiling tile domes (they're bubble-like and tinted so no one can see where the camera is pointed). From this vantage point, a pan/tilt/zoom camera can swing about and follow someone around the store. (If security is not monitoring and operating the camera, it can be set up to pan automatically but will not follow someone around the store.)

Video cameras used for security purposes don't look anything like the video camera your family has at home -- they're becoming smaller and more specialized. A standard surveillance camera might be in the neighborhood of 4 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide with a lens on the end, according to Jeff Bates of ADT Security Systems in Raleigh, N.C. A hidden camera might be a board camera, which basically is a 1 inch by 1 inch square computer board with a tiny lens, perhaps 1/4 inch in size. These cameras are designed to two specifications, experts say: they must be small and easy to hide.

Now for option number two: locking things up nice and tight. Cable, wire products and security bars are also familiar types of retail security devices. They certainly work to keep your merchandise in the store. But retail industry experts say this isn't the best way to move your products because cables and other locking devices make it difficult for people to examine items and try on garments. Customers have to get a clerk to come release the item so they can try it on or look at it. Since most people are in a hurry, this might motivate shoppers to move on to a store where the merchandise is more accessible.

Having said that, if you need to use security cables and locking racks, there's a wide variety of products available to you. Security cables are made with a variety of properties: coaxial cables (for CCTV systems), alarm cables and fiber optic cables. Wire lanyards, which can be snaked through a garment to attach it to a rack or display, are being made stronger all the time. For example, Retail Security Products offers to send potential customers a lanyard test kit to illustrate the strength -- over 250 pounds in a pull test -- of their product. You've probably also seen the locked steel racks used for expensive coats and jackets -- again, these have to be unlocked by a sales clerk.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to Make a Flash Slideshow

It's easier than you think to make a flash slideshow. You can create professional looking albums showcasing your favorite photos and images and then you can post it to the Internet. It's also a great way to showcase products and add professional flair to your website without having to create an animation, which can be time consuming. Here's how to make your own flash slideshow.


  1. Import your images to your library in the Flash program. Go to File, then Import to library for each of your images.

  2. Insert keyframes, for each image you import to Flash. Press F6 or go to Insert, Timeline, and Keyframe. Your stage should be empty when you start.

  3. Assign pictures to keyframes. For each image, select a blank keyframe in your timeline and then just drag and drop an image in your library to that blank stage. If your picture is too large, make it fit within the white stage area by resizing.

  4. Add frames between pictures. Select each keyframe and add frames to them by pressing F5 or going to Insert, Timeline, and Frame. This extends the length of time of your image on the screen of the keyframe.

  5. Set the speed of the frames. Each frame represents a fraction of a second. For instance, 12 fps means 12 frames per second are visible, so each frame will appear for 1/12th of a second. For each 12 frames inserted, you will have an image appear for one second, and so on. Decide at what speed you'd like to make your frames to move.

  6. Export your slideshow. Press Ctrl>Enter or File, Export to view your exported Flash animation file. This creates a "swf" file and then you can upload it to the Internet.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why do people burp?

A burp (sometimes called a belch or by its medical term, eructation) is the release of gas from the digestive tract (in this case, the esophagus and stomach) through the mouth. It is part of the body natural clearing mechanism for removing excessive gas in the digestive tract (gastrointestinal tract).

There are number of different factors that causes burping or belching. The most common one is the swallowing of air while eating or drinking. When you eat or drink, you swallow air at the same time as you swallow your food or liquid. The trapped air (gases such as nitrogen and oxygen) in the stomach build up and rise to the upper stomach creating a pressure in surrounding area thus, causing a sensation of the need to belch. This excessive gas accumulation is then forced (regurgitated) out of the stomach and released (belched) back up for relief through the esophagus and eventually through the mouth as a burp. Interestingly, burping can be caused by swallowing air (aerophagia) when one is nervous or anxious and even unconsciously out of habit. Drinking carbonated beverages (e.g. sodas, beer and champagne containing carbon dioxide to make it fizzy), talking while eating, eating too fast, chewing gum, sucking through a straw, sucking candy, chewing tobacco, smoking a pipe or cigarettes as well as, eating onions, chocolates and drinking alcohol are some other causes that can cause (trigger or aggravate) belching. Burping (belching) can sometime be a symptom of indigestion.

Burping can also be caused intentionally from being humorous or through learned behaviors. It can be done intentionally out of entertainment of being humorous by children and some adults alike. In some eastern cultures, a belch after a good meal is considered to be a compliment for the chef. It is as a sign showing appreciation of a satisfied eater. However, in the Western world, burping out loud is considered impolite - rude and poor manners. Therefore, burping quietly and covering ones mouth is important and should be accompanied by saying "excuse me" whether your burp is loud or quiet.

Why do we yawn when we’re sleepy?

And why do we yawn when we're not sleepy? Yawning is a curious behavior. People keep themselves up at night trying to come up with answers to this gaping mystery. Basically, three different solutions have been offered, but each one has its problems.

Solution #1: We yawn because we need extra oxygen. Our body senses we're running low on oxygen, and forces us to take an extra big gulp of air. Problem: Why don't we yawn after running a mile? Surely, if there were ever a time we needed more oxygen, that would be it.

Solution #2: Yawning is healthy for our lungs. Perhaps, every now and then, we get pockets and wrinkles in our lungs. A deep breath and a good stretch will smooth these wrinkles out. We know that yawning is very common among creatures with a backbone, including fish, crocodiles, and humans. All these creatures have a special fluid in their lungs, and yawning might spread this fluid out. Problem: This doesn't explain why yawning is "contagious."

Solution #3: Yawning is a form of social communication. A yawn is a sign we're sleepy. If lots of us start to yawn, then it's time for the whole group to go to bed. It's an unspoken agreement that we'll take a nap after Thanksgiving Dinner, and not sneak away to eat the leftover turkey. Problem: This solution doesn't tell us why yawning is so common among creatures with a backbone. What's a goldfish trying to tell us when it yawns? Also, we yawn when we get up in the morning, even after a good night's rest. Does this mean we should go back to bed? That's a nice thought, but it doesn't explain yawning.

What and How a Taser Gun Works?

A taser is a non-lethal self-defense weapon that uses compressed nitrogen to shoot two tethered needle-like probes at an assailant in order to deliver an electric shock.

The probes travel at a speed of 135 feet per second (41 meters per second) with a maximum reach of 15 feet (4.5m). When the probes attach to the attacker's clothes or skin, an electric shock passes between them, through the body, incapacitating the assailant's neuromuscular system. The attacker will lose all control and coordination. The taser will continue to apply the electrical charge in an auto-timed sequence of an initial charge of several seconds followed by many short bursts. This prevents the assailant from recovering from the initial shock and removing the probes. During this event the user can abandon the taser on the ground and escape.

Because the charge passes through the part of the body that is directly located between the two probes, for maximum effectiveness the taser probes should land with at least a 6-inch (15cm) spread between them. The closer the attacker is to the taser when it is fired, the closer together the probes will land. Therefore the optimum distance to fire a taser is between 7-10 feet (2.2-3m) to give the probes a chance to spread about 16 inches (41cm) to deliver the greatest possible shock to the body.

Tasers cannot permanently harm the muscles, nerves or heart, nor will it interfere with a pacemaker. The current of 0.3 joules is far below the 10-15 joules which marks the threshold, beyond which problems could occur. The affect of the taser is that the attacker will be dazed for several minutes, before fully recovering. Tasers can be used safely in water and will not cause electrocution. They can also be used in weather ranging from -20 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 to 71C), and will perform at any altitude.

A taser cartridge only holds one set of probes so once it is fired the spent taser cartridge must be replaced before it can fire more probes. However, if the user misses the target or if there is more than one assailant, the end of the taser can be used as a touch stun gun. By pressing the end of the taser against the attacker or his clothes and discharging it, an electric shock passes into the attacker, incapacitating him in the same way previously described. Visit here for more.

How deep is the Ocean?

The world's deepest point in the oceans is the Challenger Deep which is found within the Marianas Trench. The Marianas Trench is a depression (deep cracks) in the floor of the western Pacific Ocean. Marianas Trench is formed (as other ocean trenches) as a result of the oceanic plate being pushed against a continental plate whereby causing the oceanic plate to pushed downward making deep fissure. Its location is east of the Mariana Islands and is 1,554 miles long and averages 44 miles wide (see diagrams below). The Marianas Trench depth is 36,200 feet (11,033 m or 11.03 km).

[click to enlarge images]

Marianas Trench is far (miles) beyond the reaches of sunlight where it can no longer penetrate the ocean. The seas' pressures at this depth is unimaginable. It is 8 tons per square inch or 16,000 pounds on every square inch. At this depth it also has very cold temperatures along with darkness. Imagine an underwater depth that is higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France which is 1,052 ft (321m) or the Empire State building in New York, US which is 1,472 ft (449). It could take 5.4 Empire State Buildings in order to reach the bottom of the deepest ocean - the Mariana Trench. Better yet, the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest (29,141 feet), would be covered by over 1.25 miles of water.

Beneath this ocean surface at such a depth, lies an alien dark cold world with its own life where very eerie looking fishes and other life form can be found. It was once thought to be a lifeless place when it was discovered by the British survey ship Challenger II in 1951 (where it got its name). This belief of the deepest point on Earth being lifeless was however proven wrong in 1960 when Jacques Piccard and Navy Lt. Donald Walsh descended in the U.S. Navy Trieste, a bathyscaphe ("bathy" = deep & "scaphe" = ship), to the bottom of the Mariana Trench - Challenger Deep. The first and still the only manned vessel to go to its bottom. They provided the measurement for the depth of the Mariana Trench. Unmanned vessels have also recorded its measurement although they do not go as far as the Trieste.

-From the Did You Know? site:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Clear a Stuffy & Clogged Nose

A stuffy nose, otherwise known as a nasal congestion, sinus infection, or of nasal congestion. Are you experiencing congestion because of sickness and colds, or because of allergies?
Clear your stuffy nose.
  1. Choose an OTC drug. Consult with your pharmacist as to the best OTC product to relieve your congestion, and the proper way to use it. Pick according to the cause, according to what has worked for you in the past, and according to side effects you want to minimize, such as drowsiness. Another consideration is the amount of active ingredient in a dose, what it is, how often you take it. You could actually save yourself money by buying a drug that treats only nasal congestion instead of a multi-symptom cold relief drug, and by purchasing a 12 hour relief formula instead of doses that need to be taken every 4 hours. Some active ingredients serve in both allergy and cold relief applications.


If you can weep or bring tears in eyes by any means, this causes a lot of water rushing down through nose which results in clearing the stuffy nose. However it should be noted that weeping and crying can in some cases cause vasodilation in the sinus areas, which can lead to further congestion.

Freezer and Cold Therapy

  1. Stick your head into the freezer and breath in from your nose, out from your mouth. Do this for a minute or so. Repeat occasionally.
  2. Alternatively, you could also get an ice cube, place it in an ice bag or wrap it in a towel, then place it on the most comfortable part of your nose.
  3. You can also soak a washcloth in cold water, then place it over your nose while lying down. It should unclog your nose soon enough.

Hair Dryer

  1. Breathe in through your nose while pointing your hair dryer at your face. The idea here is to breathe the hottest air that you can comfortably tolerate. Similar to being in a sauna without raising your core body temperature, this localized "fever" may just kill off the offensive germs.


  1. Get a bowl of steaming or hot water.
  2. Inhale the steam slowly.

  3. Try mixing in essential oils such as menthol, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil for improved results.
  4. Alternatively, try slowly sipping hot water or tea with a bit of lemon in it, keeping your nose close to the cup.
  5. Try taking a warm shower as well, to let the steam help clear your nose.

Neti Pot

  1. Use a neti pot. This is a form of personal home remedy called "nasal irrigation" which can be as simple as snorting water from cupped hands. Though it is relatively less known in Western countries, it is common in parts of India and other parts of South Asia.

Sniffing salt water

  1. Boil some water for the best results; this is not required, though
  2. Add salt to the water, and wait until the water is approximately so hot, that if you stick your pinky into the water, you almost won't feel it
  3. Cup your hand and put some of the salt water in it
  4. Place your nose in your hand, in a way your clogged nostrils are both covered with water. For better results, block one of your nostrils with a finger, quickly inhale and repeat with the other nostril. This will sting and burn a little, especially if you have been blowing your nose a lot but the minor pain will be over in less than two minutes
  5. Blow your nose and be sure to keep your nose clean for the next period of time, or it will clog again

Tiger Balm

  1. Purchase a product such as Tiger Balm, which is high in menthol and camphor. Vicks VapoRub also works, but Tiger Balm is much better.
  2. Rub generously on nasal area of face and/or on chest/throat, if that is affected. Tiger Balm may cause skin to sting a bit or turn red, but there is no real harm done.

Monkey Bomb

  1. You can get this at an Asian market . It is very strong . It helps stomache ache and helps keep your nose clear with it's strong scent . Similar to Tiger Bomb and Vapor Rubs .

Nasal Spray

  1. Try using different nasal sprays to relieve a stuffy nose. The mist works really well and doesn't go down your throat. You can find these at grocery stores, and drug stores too. However, keep in mind that these are for very short term use only, since you can become dependent on them with prolonged use. Courtesy of Wikihow.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Screwdriver Types and Uses

A hammer drives nails and a screwdriver drives screws. Unlike hammers—which can drive a wide variety of nails—screwdrivers are carefully matched with the screws they drive by the shape of the hole in the head of the screw, into which the tip of the screwdriver fits.

Flat Blade Screwdrivers

The flat blade screwdriver and matching screws with a vertical slash through their heads are the most common screws that most people see. The tip of the screwdriver should fit snugly into the slot and not slip around when turned. It should also be the same width as the screw head. The flat blade screwdriver was the first developed and was used in the early 1800s.

Phillips Head Screwdrivers

This is possibly the second most common type of screw, with an x-shaped head that matches the X on the head of the screw. Invented by Henry Phillips and patented in the 1930s, the screw first became important in automobile manufacture.

Don’t confuse the Phillips head screwdriver with the less common Reed and Prince screwdriver, which has a pointed, rather than a blunt, tip, and has straight edges on the tip, whereas the Phillips head screwdriver has curved edges.

Another similar screwdriver/screw set is the Posidrive™, which looks like a Phillips but with a small square area in the center of the tip.

Allen Key or Allen Wrench or Hex Key or Hex Head Wrench

The driver for the Allen screw or setscrew has many names, none of which include the word screw or the word driver. Nevertheless, it is one by definition. An Allen key is an L-shaped piece of metal with a hexagonal head. There are special ballpoint Allen keys made to work on an Allen screw that can’t be reached at a right angle.

Allen screws are often found on bicycle seats and on some build-it-yourself furniture made with pressed wood.

Less Common Household Screwdrivers

    • Square shank screwdrivers
    • Clutch head screwdrivers—fit a butterfly-shaped screw
    • Torx™ screwdrivers—a star-shaped screw and driver tip, used in some seatbelt systems
    • Scrulox™ screwdrivers—feature a square drive
    • Robertson™ screwdrivers—feature a square tip with a slight taper

Socket and Screwdriver Sets

These sets have a driver shaft that can be used with a variety of bits, including, for example, Phillips, flat blade (sometimes called slotted), Robertson™, standard and metric sockets.

Cordless Electric Screwdrivers or Power Screwdrivers

construction worker Run on a rechargeable battery, cordless electric screwdrivers end in a chuck, into which a screwdriver bit is inserted. They may have one or more speeds, and may have a reverse button. Plug-in models are also available. For very large projects, an auto-feed screwdriver that holds a large number of screws might be worth considering.

Electric screwdrivers are similar to power drills, but drills take more kinds of bits. Written by Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, October 2, 2010

50 Best Playing Tips for Golf

Easy keys for making the most of every swing during every round

50 Best Playing TipsAre you one of those golfers who absolutely pures it on the practice range with every club in the bag, but eventually goes into the tank during the course of play? It’s an unfortunate scenario experienced by a vast majority of golfers, most often caused by too little time dedicated to practice or too long a time period between rounds. For most golfers, the onset of trouble starts on the very first tee, where high anxiety invariably sends the tee shot deep into the woods. For others, the tanking occurs gradually as the round unfolds—a loose swing here, a twitched putt there and poor shot selection in between—until, around the 14th hole, you say to yourself, “I guess it’s not my day.” The worst of it is, you’re right—it isn’t your day. However, there are methods to protect your game from suffering a complete collapse on the course. To play your best golf, you need an arsenal of skills and strategies to insulate your game when the heat is on. This 17-page feature presents a catalogue of specific golf advice, ranging from mental thoughts and images to easy-to-accomplish swing changes that guarantee better performance during your round. Among the top 50 are quick and easy tips to harness more speed from your swing (Power section), reduce grossly off-line shots (Accuracy), create better scoring opportunities (Strategy), get up and down every time (Short Game), keep round-wrecking scores to a minimum (Safe vs. Sane) and, most important, prevent the wheels from coming completely off during the course of play (Damage Control). I call this collection of advice the “Top 50”—you’ll call them lifesavers. Use them wisely and enjoy great results even when your “A” game turns into a “C” or worse.

Switch On The PowerPower

1. Switch On The Power
Here’s a simple thought to help turn on your power switch: Your weight shift and the clubhead should travel in the same direction. During the backswing, both the weight and the clubhead move away from the target; during the downswing, the direction switches—your weight and your clubhead move toward the target.

2. Own A Release
A horse and rider arrive at a seven-foot wall at top speed when, suddenly, the horse stops, catapulting the rider over the jump. The image that’s important for your golf swing is the “passing along” of energy because this is how you transmit power to the golf ball.

The wall of your golf swing is your front leg. The rider is your clubhead and his separation from the horse is the release of your clubhead through the hitting zone. The key to all of this is that the release is “passive”—it’s simply the result of your arms and hands abruptly slowing down and passing their energy down the shaft and into the ball. In other words, a good golf swing doesn’t require manipulative hand action. Correctly “passing” energy and creating power should occur without effort. Remember, you don’t “do” a release, you “have” one.

Pre-Round Stretching3. Generate, Transmit And Deliver
Web Tip: Learn How To Generate Power
Imagine a generating station located on the outskirts of town. Here, the big turbines generate the power that’s transmitted via power lines and dumped to the end user.

In the golf swing, the turbines are the large muscles of your hips, back and legs. Your shoulders, arms and clubshaft are the transmission lines, where levers acting like transformers ratchet up the power until finally the energy is dumped to the end user—the golf ball. Power begins at the source: If you fail to coil, the amount of power available for transfer is reduced.

4. Pre-Round Tips
Before your round, ensure that you’re nice and loose. I like the “Superman Stretch.” Stand with both arms stretched out in front of you. Reach under your left arm and curl your right wrist behind your left elbow. Keeping this relationship, place your right palm on the right side of your face (see photo). Now, bend from your hip joints into your golf posture. Make a slow-motion backswing. Hold at the top for 30 seconds, then reverse for the other side.

Upon hitting the practice range, work on two things: balance and contact. Tee the ball and choke down on a 7-iron. Make three-quarter swings, and don’t worry about how far the ball travels because your goal is solid contact. In addition, strive to finish in perfect balance no matter where the ball goes. Soon, your brain will get the message—balance and solid contact are the order of the day.

Another key element of your pre-round preparation should be to determine what “game” you have on that day. If your “A” game shows (you’re hitting the ball solidly and accurately), your master plan is to play aggressively. If your “B” game surfaces (your contact and accuracy are just okay), understand that your shots won’t carry as far. Resolve to take one more club and pick your spots to be aggressive. When you have no game at all and almost every shot is a mis-hit, it’s “Short Game Time,” where the plan is to play it safe and get up and down. Hang in there until something good happens. If you get aggressive early in the round, you’re in for a long day on the golf course.
5. Remember To Rebound
As you swing through the golf ball, your club whips past your body at a high rate of speed, a result of your body whirling around your front hip joint. In order to stay balanced while you whirl, your spine must be allowed to tilt slightly away from the target—the correct reaction to the demands of physics known as “staying behind the ball.” Depending on your strength, flexibility and swing pattern, you may have more or less spinal deflection (in the five- to 10-degree range), but all good players have some spinal rebound.

6. Warm-Up For Power
Prepare your round for heavy doses of power with this drill. Stand upright and make non-stop practice swings as though you’re hitting waist-high fastballs. Keep the motion continuous as you gradually incline your spine toward your normal golf swing position until your clubhead clips the grass. Repeat five times and you’re good to go.

7. Cover The Ball
Web Tip: See The Cover Drill In Action!
The golf swing is a complicated event, full of many Cover The Ballmoving parts and varying demands on your body at different points during the motion. A well-oiled swing flawlessly keeps all of these parts in order by synchronizing their movement, from takeaway to finish. Here’s a great drill you can use on the course to synchronize your swing and create more powerful, more accurate golf shots.

Assume your address position with your club soled behind the ball. Then, keeping your clubhead in position, remove your target hand (the left for right-handers) from the handle and place it on the butt end of the club so that you can hold the club in position with that hand only. Now, simulate a golf swing using your right hand, allowing it to move to the top of your swing, then down to the ball until it moves under your front forearm through impact.

I call this drill the “Cover Drill” (Corey Pavin once used it as part of his preshot routine) because it forces the front shoulder to move upward through impact—just as it should—without spinning open. Thus, your shoulder “covers” the ball at impact and returns your arms back in front of you like they were at address.

8. Don’t Play Your Hunch
While it feels powerful to reach for the ball at address, it actually costs you power because it decreases coil. When you overreach to the ball, your upper back invariably “hunches,” and for every one degree of hunch, you lose two degrees of coil. In the correct setup, try to touch your shoulder blades at address and make sure to bend from your hips rather than your waist. If you bend from your waist, you’ll hunch your back and that’s a hunch you don’t want to play. Continue here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What are the different voice types?

Voice type is a system for categorizing classical and operatic solo singers, and the roles they sing, by the tessitura, weight and timbre of their un-amplified voices in an opera house or concert hall. This classification system is a tool for singers, composers, venues and listeners to categorize vocal properties, and to associate possible roles with potential voices.

The term tessitura generally describes the most musically acceptable and comfortable timbre for a given voice or, less frequently, musical instrument. This often refers specifically to the pitch range that most frequently occurs within a given piece, or part, of music.

Tessitura considerations include these factors: proportion of sudden or gradual rises and falls in pitch - speed of pitch changes; the relative number of very high or low notes; whether lines and phrases of music in the piece tend to rise or fall ¨C the muscular abilities of a singer may be more suited to one or the other direction.

Coloratura describes a style of vocal embellishment, as well as the voices able to perform them.

Female Voice Types:


Lyric coloratura soprano ¨C A very agile voice with a high upper extension, capable of fast vocal coloratura.
Dramatic coloratura soprano ¨C A coloratura soprano with a large voice which can sustain fast coloratura at full volume and sing over an orchestra, but does not necessarily have the upper extension of a lyric coloratura soprano.

Lyric soprano - A warm voice with a bright, full timbre which can be heard over an orchestra.
Light lyric - Light lyrics often have a ¡°full package¡± of musicianship, appearance and stagecraft.
Full lyric - Some full lyrics may have a more mature sound than light lyrics, making them less suitable for some of the lighter roles. Occasionally a full lyric will have a big enough voice that she can take on much heavier roles, using volume in place of vocal weight. This is done when a more lyric timbre is desired in an otherwise heavier role. Otherwise full lyric sopranos need be judicious with spinto and other heavy roles to prevent vocal deterioration.

Spinto soprano - It has the brightness and height of a lyric soprano, but can be "pushed" to dramatic climaxes without strain, and may have a somewhat darker timbre. It generally uses squillo to "slice" though a full orchestra (rather than singing over it like a dramatic soprano). It also handles dynamic changes very well.
Dramatic soprano - A powerful, rich voice that can sing over a full orchestra. Usually (but not always) this voice has a lower tessitura than other sopranos, and a darker timbre. - Used for heroic, tragic women of opera.
Wagnerian soprano - A dramatic voice that can assert itself over a large orchestra (over eighty pieces); substantial, very powerful and even throughout the registers. Usually plays a mythic heroine. Successful Wagnerian sopranos are rare, only one or two appear in a generation; arguably there are none singing today.

Mezzo-soprano - A mezzo-soprano's range can be the same as a soprano¡¯s; some mezzo roles call for the "soprano C", but the tessitura is lower. Mezzo voices tend to be quite versatile and able to take on a variety of roles with success.
Lyric mezzo-soprano - A higher and sometimes lighter mezzo voice and can have a range up to or above high C.
Dramatic mezzo-soprano ¨C A fuller and often lower voice than a lyric mezzo; can sing over an orchestra and chorus with ease.


Contralto is the lowest female operatic voice, usually with a deep and dark timbre. True operatic contraltos are very rare. Technically, "alto" is only a separate category in choral music where it refers simply to the vocal range.

Male Voice Types:


Leggiero tenor - The male equivalent of a lyric coloratura voice, this is an often light and very agile tenor voice, capable of coloratura and able to sing notes above the tenor C.
Lyric tenor - A strong yet not heavy voice.
Spinto tenor - Heavier than a lyric and more dramatic.
Dramatic tenor - A powerful, rich, heroic tenor.
Heldentenor - A rich, powerful, and dramatic voice.


Lyric baritone - High tessitura and lighter voice, quite often a comic character.
Dramatic baritone - Lower tessitura than a lyric, rich and full voice.


Bass-baritone - Also called "Heldenbariton", a bass-baritone has the tessitura of a baritone but the lower range that is customary of a bass. Bass-baritones play a variety of roles, and frequently play either villainous characters, or regal older men.


Basso cantante - Has agility but also a deep tone.
Basso profondo - A rich and deep, extremely dark dramatic male bass voice. Operatic bassi profondi are rare, and these roles are sung by most operatic basses.

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