The Smart Girls’ Guide to Buying a Car

If you’re tired of your car wax because it breaks down every so often, then the ceramic paint protection is exactly what you need. Buying a new car, or a car that’s new to you, can be a minefield. Women are traditionally vulnerable to con men when buying cars, taking their cars for a service or anything else related to motoring for that matter. Although we’d like to think that times have changed, and in the most part they have, there are still car sales people waiting for an innocent looking female to trot through the door. This applies to men too, so don’t be offended! At CoverGirl Car Insurance we want you to get the best deal, cheap insurance and above all a great car. So, we’ve compiled a concise guide to what can be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll have to make.

The first thing you will need to do is decide whether you want a new or used car. You probably have a make and model in mind already, so it’s best to do as much research into the car as possible. You can look in trade guides and on the internet to get some ideas about the production and engineering of your desired car. If you go to the dealer armed with this information then you will know what to look for and will know about any parts of the car that are particularly expensive to replace. Whilst doing your research you could also look out for any common problems with your car. For example certain vehicles have notoriously bad electrics and you could be left having to pay a large bill to have them repaired.

So what’s the best bet, new or used?

Buying a new car

Buying a new car gives you the peace of mind that your car hasn’t been rescued from an accident and ‘cut and shut’ (more about this later). Plus you don’t have to worry about service history and recurring problems.

If you decide to buy a new car then you have three options. You can either buy from dealership, from a broker or by personal import from Europe. There are pros and cons to each option so you should look carefully at each to decide what’s best for you. The benefits and pitfalls of each are as follows:

Dealership: Many dealers offer cheap finance schemes with frequent special offers, you can take the car for a test drive and you also may be able trade in your existing car. This is often a more expensive option so it’s worth looking around.

Broker: It is often cheaper to buy through a broker and relatively easy to organise. You may not be able trade your car in.

Personal imports from Europe: Cheaper in the majority of cases. However this is not the easiest way to buy a car. You’ll have to put in quite a bit of work.

What to check when you collect your car
We advise that you check your new car over before you drive off the forecourt. There are a few key things to check:

o That you’ve got a copy of the dealers pre-delivery inspection form

o Check that all lights, electrics, sound systems, alarms, door locks and windscreen wipers work

o Check for any scratches and check that there is no damage to the interior

o Check you’ve got the spare tyre and any tools that are supposed to come with the car

o Make sure you’ve got the manual and service book

Buying a used car

When you buy a used car there are a few more pitfalls to look out for but you can bag yourself a bargain if you look in the right place. It can also be great fun deciding whether you want a sexy classic like an Alfa Romeo Spider or a bargain run-around like a Ford Ka. Whether you chose to buy from a dealer or from the private market you’ll need see the history of the car. This is really important. You can either buy from a franchised dealer, a used car dealer or privately. Here are some of the pros of buying from each:

Franchised dealer: One of the safest places to buy a car. You’ll get a great choice from a franchise. You can get used or nearly new cars. A franchised dealership also might know the entire history of the car. They will also provide you with a warranty, so if anything goes wrong you can take it back and they will fix it.

Used car dealer: They will usually have checked that there is no bad history or outstanding finance. Most dealers have an excellent reputation but you should exercise some caution and again, do your own research about the type of car you’ve chosen. You will usually get at least a 3 month warranty from a used car dealer. But check to see what it covers. Service items like tyres, exhausts and brake pads are not usually covered.

Private purchase: Best place for an excellent bargain. This is the riskiest way to buy a car as the car could have been involved in an accident, and might not belong to the seller. You should ask to meet at the sellers’ home or work and ask the following questions:

1. Is it your car?

2. Has the car ever been in an accident?

3. Can I have a signed receipt?

‘Cut and shut’, counterfeit parts, car ringing and clocking

Unfortunately there are many unscrupulous people out there wanting to make a buck out of the innocent car buyer. Some of the tactics undertaken by an unethical minority leave drivers with dangerous, illegal and unreliable cars. Many cars are stolen and sold on or taken from accidents and patched up to look like new. The following are some ploys that con men use to cheat the buyer:

‘Cut and Shut’

This is when two cars are taken from a scrap yard after write off accidents and welded together. This is extremely dangerous and potentially difficult to spot. Look for mismatched panels, traces of paint on window seals and door handles, mismatched upholstery and signs of serious repair work. It is very difficult to spot a cut and shut but it’s worth a closer inspection in case the person who carried out the work has cut corners.

Counterfeit parts

These are fraudulent copies of genuine manufacturer branded components. They are intended to deceive motorists and can be incredibly realistic. They are however not intended to be safe. Their makers don’t care about the potential safety threat to future drivers. They have started to make fake brake pads, discs and steering linkages. All of these could cause fatal accidents if they go wrong. You probably won’t have the opportunity to check parts before they are fitted to your new car, but it is something you should be aware of when buying a second hand vehicle.

‘Car ringing’

This is where a stolen car has its identification number changed. The vehicle identification number is taken from vehicles that have been written off in an accident. By forging these details thieves can pass off stolen cars as the genuine article to innocent car buyers. Once you’ve paid for a ‘ringer’, it’s too late. It does not belong to you and if it is traced it will be returned to the original owner, so you will lose out considerably. You can look out for this by checking all documents to see if they look forged. If there is little or no paperwork you should also be suspicious.

‘Car clocking’

This is when the car’s odometer is reduced to make it look as if the car has not done as many miles as it has. This makes cars look more valuable than they are. If the mileage of a car looks suspiciously low you should look for other tell tale signs such as wear and tear to the pedal rubbers and seats.

All of the above are seriously detrimental to the buyer and will leave you with a stolen, dangerous or faulty vehicle. If you have any doubts it is advisable to get an independent vehicle inspector to check the car before you buy it. This will avoid any potential fraud and will eliminate the risk to you.

Good luck!

Buying a car should be fun. You could end up with the car of your dreams – if you follow our guide. It really is worth checking for any discrepancies before you make the purchase. There are many ways to check the history and safety of the car so it’s easy to do and worth it in the long term.

Once you’ve bought your car you’ll need to insure it. Visit CoverGirl Car Insurance http://www.covergirlcarinsurance.co.uk 0800 195 48 52 to get car insurance exclusively for women.

Editorial notes: CoverGirl provide cheap car insurance for women. Great value quotes are available online at http://www.covergirlcarinsurance.co.uk

By Sophie Evans

CoverGirl Car Insurance [http://www.covergirlcarinsurance.co.uk]

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How to Organise a Charity Walk Or Run

Donate now to contribute to funds that support children who live in poverty. Charity events in any form are always popular, but increasingly, many organisations are choosing to recruit their fundraisers through more interactive events such as walks and runs. A charity walk or run is not only a healthy way for your participants to raise money for a good cause, but also a very visible way of publicising your charitable cause to the community.

If a charity run or walk seems like a good fit for your organisation, here is an overview of some things you may want to keep in mind when planning the event.

THE PLANNING PHASE

Choosing a Route
When planning a mass participation event such as a walk or run it is important that you first take some time to carefully consider the route your participants will be following. Your choice of route will play a central roll in other decisions you make concerning resources, staff size, security, transportation, volunteers, signage, and ultimately the satisfaction of your participants.

When mapping out the course, first determine the type of event you would like to hold. Most fundraising events try to be as inclusive as possible because, simply put, more fundraisers translates into more donations for your cause! If your goal is to be as inclusive as possible that means you want people of all ages and physical abilities to be able to participate in your event. That said, when choosing your route it is a good idea to not only look at a map but get out there and actually walk the course yourself. When surveying the road, pay attention to elevation gain, traffic, road conditions, and any other factors that could potentially make participating in your event strenuous for the less physically able. You may also benefit from contacting a local running or walking club for suggestions of routes that may fit your participant’s ability levels. Some common route distances for charity events are 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon.

Safety

Participant safety is something to strongly consider when mapping out your route. How much traffic travels along your route? Are there adequate pedestrian lanes that will keep your participants a safe distance from the traffic? Does your route require that your participants cross any especially busy streets? Is any stretch of your route undergoing construction? Will the course be open to the public making it easy for non-registered people to come in contact with your participants? Asking yourself these questions will help you chart your course around any potential hazards and allow your participants to have a fun, care-free experience on event day.

Transportation
When choosing the location of your route, also keep participant and spectator access to transportation in mind. If you want crowds of spectators to turn out and easy access to the event for your participants, make sure that the course is in close proximity to public transportation and parking for those who have automobiles. If your event is not in a metropolitan area, it may be a good idea to hire busses and choose some meet up locations where people can catch a ride to the event site.

Resources and Staff
The number of participants and spectators you expect on event day as well as length of course are the two main factors that will determine the size of your volunteer staff and resources needed. Here is a list of items commonly used by event walking and running events:

  • Two way radios
  • Rope, tape and cones for course marking
  • Signage for start and finish areas
  • Signage for services and support areas
  • Portable toilets
  • Trash cans
  • Food
  • Water
  • Tents
  • Tables
  • Stage for awards ceremony
  • PA system
  • Generator

Looking at your course map, you will be able to strategically position your water stops, trash cans, portable toilets, concessions stands and so on. When placing these resources, keep in mind that many people will want to gather around in the finish/celebration area after the event so you may need additional resources in that area. When planning for food and water for your participants, you may want to ask a local market to sponsor the event in the way of donated oranges, bananas and water that you can position along the course. For your spectator concession stands, you will need to determine what types of food you will sell and if you will need to prepare or cook food on site. There are many companies that you can hire to staff and prepare food at your concession stands or you could use your volunteers. In either case you should check to see if you need a special permit to sell or prepare food for the public.

Legalities of a Charity Walk or Run
Speaking of special permits, there are several legalities to consider when planning a charity walk or run. Now that you have chosen your route, have you looked to see if you need permission to use this planned route? You may need to speak with the local council or the person who owns the land. Have you checked to make sure there are no other events planned on your route come event day? Have you obtained liability insurance for your event? Ideally, your insurance should cover any medical problems that occur during the event as well as damage to the land and surrounding property. With the size of event you are expecting, are you required to schedule police presence or request road closures? Do you have permission from the organisation you are raising money for to use their logo and name?

Considering every city, town, or district have their own set of regulations, how you address them will depend on local law and requirements. What we highlighted above are only some of the larger items you should investigate. We would suggest contacting your local council for more information.

FINDING PARTICIPANTS

Marketing
Now that you picked an event location and have all of the necessary approvals and permits, its time to start spreading the word! Traditional event marketing consists of mail, tv, radio, newspaper advertisements and signs posted up about town. These methods can be effective, reach large audiences, and should be looked into but they can come at a high cost. Don’t let that get you down though – the internet has spawned many highly targeted, low-cost, and sometimes free marketing channels that are ideal for creating a buzz about your charity event. Here is a list of some web marketing options that you may want to consider:

Build a website – This is a must. Nowadays, any successful event has an official website where they can direct the public, media and interested sponsors for more information.

Facebook, Twitter, Social Media – There are countless online communities and fan pages out there that are filled with people passionate about the same cause you are raising money for. Get involved with these people and immerse yourself in the online conversation. Build a Facebook Fan Page or Twitter page for your event, invite your new online friends and encourage them to recruit their friends to get involved for the cause.

Paid Search Advertising – Google and other search engines allow you to bid on keyword phrases and place an ad at the top of their search results. Try bidding on keywords such as “London charity events” or “London fundraising run”. Create compelling ad copy and entice the user to click through to your official event website for more information.

Submit Your Event to an Online Events Calendar – There are many websites that will give you a free event listing on their online calendar. Submit your event profile to as many of these as possible and make sure to include a link back to your website in the description.

Email Advertising – Does your organisation already have a list of members who subscribe to your monthly newsletter or email announcements? Send your contact list an attractive HTML email with information about your event and a link to your. Make sure to include “share” buttons in your emails to make it easy for the recipient to pass it on to a friend. Also, on your website, Facebook page and Twitter page, include a feature where the visitor can join your mailing list.

Participant Registration

Something important to consider from the start of the planning phase is how you will collect contact information, entry fees, and fundraising commitments from people who want to participate. Until recently, most events collected participant data and entry fees in person in the event office with a paper registration form. To streamline the staff workload that comes along with paper-based registration, you may want to find a technology provider that specialises in event management software and online event registration. An integrated online event management system will allow you to build a custom online registration form, link to that form from your website, and collect your participant contact data online. We would suggest that the technology you choose include a merchant gateway integrated with the registration form so that you can seamlessly and securely collect payment online during the registration process. Depending on your technology provider, the data collected on an online registration form should be captured and stored in a database that you can log into, manage the data, run reports, email participants and process cancellation refunds if needed.

Examples of questions that could be included on a charity walk registration form are:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Emergency Contact
  • Shirt size (if you are offering a free shirt with the entry fee)
  • How did you hear of this event?
  • Number of times you have participated in this event
  • Team Name (if you are offering team fundraising)
  • What is your fundraising goal?
  • What distance will you walk?
  • Will you be attending the pre-event celebration dinner?

If you hope to grow the size of your email database, it is very important that you make the Email question compulsory so that every online registration has an email address associated with it in your database. You will be able to use this email to send out reminder emails about changes to the event schedule or important notices about fundraising. Any fully integrated online event management system will also need the email address to send out an automatic confirmation email letting the registrant know that their payment has been accepted and spot saved for event admission.

Fundraising Tools

Some more advanced event management systems include an online fundraising platform that you can integrate with your online registration form. What’s great about this is that every person who registers online will automatically have an online fundraising website created for them. The fundraiser can customise their website, ad images, set a fundraising goal, blog about their progress and training for the event, and communicate with their donors. The donor can visit the fundraising site and make an online donation with their credit card at which point the donation amount is added to the fundraisers goal total and money is sent to the charitable organisation. Many organisations are moving their fundraising efforts completely online because the general consensus is that people are likely to donate more if they are able to do it online from the comfort of their own home.

Communication up until event day

The key to a successful event is to steadily build the registrant’s excitement and anticipation from the day they register all the way up until they arrive on event day. Participants that register months prior to the event may loose interest or slow down their fundraising efforts if they are not engaged and encouraged on a regular basis. This is where collecting your registrations online will be very useful. Since you have a database of registrants including their email address, you will be able to send out reminder emails and keep the communication going up until the event. Some content ideas for a weekly newsletter could be:

Updates and special announcements of developments to the event schedule or added entertainment
Fundraising Tips
News and articles from the organisation your event will be raising money for
A training plan for those getting in shape for the event
Special contests for the post-event awards ceremony
Free prizes and incentives for those participants that recruit friends to join the cause

You should also send one final email to your registrants 2-3 days before the event including:

  • Event start time
  • Instructions on how and where to check in upon arrival
  • Schedule of events
  • Reminder to bring extra money if they want to buy merchandise or food at the celebration party
  • Summary of prizes that will be awarded to the top fundraisers
  • The cost of late registration if anyone wants to bring a friend to the event
  • Weather forecast so that people dress appropriately
  • List of hotels in the area for anyone who plans to stay the night

AFTER THE EVENT

You and your staff may be exhausted after the long build-up to a successful event but believe it or not, you should already be thinking about next year’s event! Considering everyone had a great time, send out a follow-up email and offer your registrants a discounted rate for next year’s event if they register for it now. Or offer them a “returning participant” coupon that they can use when you activate next year’s online registration form. Another smart thing to do is send an online survey out to your participants and ask them what they liked and what can be improved upon for next year’s event. You can offer your participants a free gift or registration discount if they complete the form for you. This participant feedback is extremely valuable and will help you get a sense of the participant experience on the ground that many event organisers are so often shielded from on event day with so many administrative tasks to juggle.

Rohan Miller is an online event specialist for The Active Network. For more resources regarding Club Management Software or even about Membership Management Software and especially about Event Management Software please review these pages.

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How To Make It Through The Holidays

Savour a tranquil Sydney picnic spots lunch while you soak up Clark Island’s exceptional vistas and historic surroundings. A question I am asked over and over again is how to make it through the holidays. I’ve written other posts about it, but then it got me thinking that there really isn’t a “holiday season.” What I mean by that is, yes there are holidays, but we have events throughout the whole year when we are faced with less than desirable food choices. If you live in colder climates, January through April or so is your comfort food time, which is usually heavier food. Let’s not forget Valentine’s Day when most people go out to eat. There’s also baptisms, first communions, Easter, Passover, etc. There’s mother’s day in May, Father’s day in June. Memorial day kicks off summer parties, golfing, BBQ season, right? So, it now becomes oh man, how do I go to these picnics week after week and maintain my diet? Now we hit Labor day big bash, local fairs, Halloween candy, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Years. Oh, and that doesn’t include all the birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. Do you see a pattern here?

Temptation
The real fact of the matter is, there isn’t one season where we have temptations. They face us every day. We have to determine if and how we want to make lifestyle changes to make it through all these events. They are always going to be there and if you allow yourself that “oh, it’s only once in a while pig out day” that is one thing. But look at all the days in one month that can add up to. They can add up to at least 4 or more times a month. That’s not once in a while, that is completely sabotaging your hard work. So you have to decide what is more important to you. Busting your butt all week with a clean diet and awesome workout routines to blow it every single weekend? Or would you rather bust your butt all week with a clean diet, awesome workout and learning how to control what you’re eating and drinking?

Invitations
I already know what you’re going to say, because I hear it all the time. Well so and so invited me over, I can’t be rude. OK, first off, if so and so is your family, friend or colleague and they are inviting you over, they should know your lifestyle well enough of what is important to you. There’s nothing wrong with asking what’s on the menu. Say you’d like to bring a dish. If they say no, they have plenty, say OK, but could you still tell me? Would it be OK if I brought an appetizer of a bottle of wine? Then you’ll at least know what they are serving. And if you know the whole meal would be nothing you’ll eat, then bring something you will eat. Yes, I said it. If they get insulted, then they truly don’t respect you or care about you. I cook beef when friends come over because I know they enjoy it. It’s not a favorite of mine, so I make it for them and I always have a salad and plenty of veggies. So I’ll either stick to that, or I’ll make chicken or something else along with the beef dish. You have to decide what you’re comfortable doing and what is important to you. If it’s someone you don’t know very well and are just making acquaintances, then what the heck eat before you get there. And either way, bring something to the host/hostess. I’m sorry, I don’t care how well you do/don’t know them, I was brought up that it’s impolite to show up anywhere empty handed. You could even bring flowers. No matter even if it one of my sister’s houses, they say don’t bring anything, I bring something.

Tips
Let me see if I can break down some tips for you.

  • Eat something before hand so you don’t go starving (which will give you more motivation to say no to the “junk” you know you mind wants but your body isn’t craving).
  • Bring something healthy you know you will eat and can share with others.
  • Go for the healthier appetizers: veggies/no dip, (or maybe hummus), shrimp cocktail, salsa (on veggies or baked pita wedges)
  • For the entrée – select mostly veggies, salad, etc. limit your animal protein amounts (no larger than the palm of your hand) and omit any carbs if it’s after lunch.
  • If it’s a picnic; stay away from any mayonnaise salad (including coleslaw) or white pasta/potato salad. (Besides ewwww mayo out in the heat? I think not.)
  • Go for the salads made with salad dressing, fresh veggies like broccoli slaw, Cole slaw w/out the creamy dressing.
  • If you’re going to have any animal protein, skip the bun and the cheese. Watch out for the condiments.
  • Fill up on fruits and vegies.
  • Drink lots and lots of water.
  • If you’re drinking alcohol, try seltzer with a little alcohol or wine in it. You’ll still get the alcohol, but fewer calories and you’ll drink it slower.
  • If you want dessert, allow yourself a taste, not a whole piece. Ten bites of something won’t taste any better than the first bite. Savor it and enjoy – don’t over indulge.
  • If you go out to dinner, omit the bread and carbs all together.
  • Ask for a salad, extra veggies and have your meat/fish broiled or baked and ask for no “sauce/marinade” unless it’s on the side.

When Harry Met Sally
We’ve all seen the movie When Harry met Sally, right? Sally orders everything on the side, or totally different than the menu. That is so me. I’ll tell you, I have friends that still bust me about what a pain I am when we go out to eat. Here’s what I say to them “I’m paying for it, so I should get what I want. If it’s on the menu, I should be able to have it with my meal. Frankly, I cook better than most places we end up eating, so if I’m going to pay money, I’m going to get what I want.” I don’t care if they like it or not, because it boils down to my health. And if people choose to eat salads soaked in dressing so it’s like soup, fried foods, butter, sour cream, that’s up to them. It isn’t my business. I just try real hard not to say anything when they complain about how they feel and how they should lose weight. I just bite my tongue and take a deep breath. The bottom line is, you can decide what you want to do. It’s your health and your body. You only have one life – make the decisions you can LIVE with.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Here’s to your health and mindful decisions.

Lisa has lost over 80 pounds and kept it off for over 12 years. She knows what it is like to get made fun of when you’re a child. She knows the pain of missing dances, the prom and dates through her teen years. Lisa struggled with yo-yo dieting most of her life. She’s gone through drastic measures to lose weight, but now found the real truth in keeping the weight off. Lisa now helps others get on the fit track; mind, body, spiritual and financial. She’s taught people measurable steps of what it takes to be successful. If you want to know how, or want Lisa to help you, go to [http://www.born2befit.com] and sign up to receive Lisa’s news letters. She will inspire you and get you on the right path. So do it now, you won’t be sorry.

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Simple Truths About Surfing and Earning Money Online Now

Surfing app is really exciting because of the unbridled action seen in your mobile, moving toward big waves and conquering fear, the fear of the unknown, the fear of being hurt or eaten and the fear of being really good or bad at it. Talking about surfing gets the blood pumping, it’s free, it’s fun and the excitement and movement is what keeps it fresh. The adventure of just being in the ocean is enough sometimes. It is the activity of surfing that brings the deep love of the ocean and the waves.

It is this same love of the Internet that brings an excitement to earning money online. It is just like the ocean, wave after wave of excitement and opportunity. Waves of success are meeting expectations as well as the doom of wiping out. Where else can it feel as though being eaten up from the competition or doing well is as prominent as it is on the internet. Certainly, it is the activity of the internet that makes it so exciting. Positivity, adventurous movement and the challenge of overcoming adversity is as fresh and titillating as the ocean can be.

When the first time comes to go surfing, it can be very difficult. There is staying on the board while you learn how to paddle. Just a little wax can help, but still, there is learning to ride the ocean. It is moving, alive with life and activity. There is peace in every little movement mastered by balance and agility. Movements meshed with the ocean, not fighting Mother Ocean, but blending with her. Flowing with the ocean is something very special and it alone can make surfing possible and easy. `When the time comes, that paddling has become fluid and strong, strength becomes your ally. Then it’s time to paddle outside of the “break water” and find a bigger wave; actually, a much bigger wave.

So it is with the internet, it can also be very hard to understand what activity needs to be done to rise to the occasion. At first it is difficult to navigate the waters. Just learning how to paddle can be a major accomplishment. If mentoring is available, it’s worth its weight in gold. The internet is constantly changing and developing with use. It requires the constant attention and practice to become skilled. When trying to master the challenges, there are plenty of strategies and systems that can make it something manageable. Once mastery and the understanding of this knowledge are conquered, it is time to go looking for the “big one”. It is time to start paddling out for that much larger wave of success.

At first, sitting there quietly is kind of frustrating because it is so calm on the outside of the break. But, as time goes by, the frustration turns into peaceful vigilance. Watching the horizon for a long time, finally a glimmer turns into a line, which turns into a mountain of water that plants the seed of hope for riding this new challenge successfully. Turning toward shore those once unsure paddling movements become power packed, sweeping motions gracefully deployed. Now, the rear of the board starts to lift from the back, paddling harder and arching the back, the board gains momentum. In the half second it takes to stand up, standing bent-kneed on the board, on the face of the wave, wavering but standing; success!

This is a reminder that the internet can lull away much of the original excitement of starting an internet business online from home. But, with work, commitment and persistence finally the time comes when that level of desire starts to payoff. What once seemed to be an unattainable goal is now coming into view. Making preparations this whole time now pays off as the strategies and systems take shape. Now, the final push to make all the ends come together, are harnessed and released. As a wave of success pushing the business in great abundance floods the senses, it becomes clear how much wealth can be attained.

It’s the moment in every surfer’s life when the love of the sport exudes itself the “drop in”. Now the speed increases and the virtual dance with the wave begins. Dodging in and out, up and down and yes even sometimes through the barrel. Most especially, until the wave has been conquered and beaten, does the full excitement reach the pinnacle. Then the paddle begins again and again and again…

The love for attaining excitement, success, wealth, health and fulfillment can be measured both with surfing and earning money online. The time it takes to do either is well worth the work and commitment it takes to become a master of it. Now, life has offered all a way to become masters. What will be the next step that creates abundance? Come do what needs to be done by earning money online now!

AJ McNitt is an Online Internet mentor teaching how to create a business on the Internet. Business mentoring is part of an ongoing desire to help people succeed. As a Small Business Networking Specialist, AJ McNitt is qualified and certified to help all who are looking for this service. His series of free articles are given to uplift and mentor. If there is a desire to ask questions or ask for advice AJ can be reached at 619-339-8973 or go directly to his website at: http://bit.ly/6XJryQ.

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A Brief Introduction to Recycling

Recycling

Office rubbish removal Sydney is highly trained in the art of waste disposal and have years of experience managing, sorting, getting rid of and cleaning up trash. During the 1960s and ’70s it was thought that emissions from factory chimneys and sewage pipes constituted the biggest environmental problem. But since then, due to new, worldwide “Eco-laws”, these discharges have decreased considerably. Instead, the focus has switched to the environmental problems associated with the goods that are produced and consumed in modern society. Many of the most environmentally damaging substances are currently being supplied through glass bottles, newspapers, plastic bags, coke cans, cardboard boxes and sweet wrappers just to mention a few.

To tell you what recycling is and what the word actually embodies may seem strange to you. I am sure all of you think you know exactly what it entails. But in theory recycling involves the separation and collection of materials for processing and re-manufacturing old products into new products, and the use of these new products, completing the cycle.

Glass is one of the most common man-made materials. It is made from sand, limestone and sodium carbonate and silica. The ingredients are heated to a high temperature in a furnace until they melt together. The molten glass from the furnace cools to form sheets, or may be moulded to make objects. Actually glass is completely recyclable and making products from recycled glass rather than starting from scratch saves energy resources. Recycled glass is made into new beverage bottles, food jars, insulation and other construction materials. Usually, clear glass containers are recycled into new clear glass products, while coloured glass containers are recycled into new coloured glass products.

In fact, the recycling of glass as well other products, such as aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, car tyres, newspapers and certain plastics is a growing industry in most of the world today. In South Africa however, we don’t have a very high level of recycling. There aren’t enough people who take an active interest in the environment and try to do their bit in preserving nature, by for example, taking used bottles, aluminum cans or even leaves and other garden refuse to recycling sites. This is probably due to a lot of reasons. The first and foremost being that, in South Africa, we don’t have many recycling centres and, lets face it, how many of us really sort our rubbish before throwing it in the rubbish bin?

Since it is now these products, and no longer industrial emissions, that accounts for most of the environmentally harmful substances being discharged in nature the conditions for environmental efforts have fundamentally changed. As the “release sites” or the polluters, have become so numerous, a totally new system for controlling and handling environmentally harmful wastes is needed.

One way could be to transfer the responsibility for this to the producer of goods, according to the established principle “the polluter pays.”

However, I found this principle not be all that efficient in practise. To find out what is actually being done at the industrial level, I spoke with William Footman, one of the regional managers of Nampak, which is one of South Africa’s 2 glass manufacturers. He told me that the reason we don’t have a very developed glass recycling programme in this country, is due to the fact that we only have two factories where glass can be recycled back into beverage bottles. And as it is far too expensive for the companies to transport old bottles back to their factories for recycling, they would rather produce new, rather than re-use the old glass.

But, producers who put a product on the market should, quite simply, be responsible for taking back as much as is sold. What is important for environmental policy is the creation of a system in which each producer assumes his responsibility. But should all the responsibility lie on the producers? Every consumer who buys these products should make an asserted effort to help keep our planet clean.

I searched the Internet to find out exactly how poorly we as South Africans compare to the rest of the world in recycling. The country that has been in the forefront of recycling, particularly for household waste, is Sweden. Swedes have to carefully recycle and separate their own rubbish for the refuse collectors on a daily basis. Even in the middle of their very cold winters, in raging snowstorms, the Swedish people go to the recycling stations with their household trash to perform the daily ritual of separating cardboard from plastics and glass from biological waste.

Actually nearly all 1st world countries and many developing countries have developing or already highly developed recycling programmes, and South Africa desperately needs to jump on the ‘recycling wagon’. A step in the right direction could be to build recycling plants all over the country. Every town should set up a sufficient number of collection stations and every household should share the responsibility and sort their rubbish to ensure that batteries and electrical appliances are not thrown in landfills, that glass, aluminium cans and plastic bags don’t clutter the country-side. Working together with the producers, consumers should send items back to factories, to be recycled and thereby reused.

The process of recycling, for example paper, entails the conversion of waste paper to various types of finer grades of paper. First, careful sorting is required so that items such as plastic wrapping, paper clips and staples can be removed. Waste paper is divided into categories such as newsprint; typing and computer paper; and magazines, which have shiny paper and coloured inks and need special treatment. Next, the ink must be removed. This is done by soaking the paper and breaking it up into small pieces in giant washers, then treating it with chemicals that loosen the ink so that it can be rinsed away. Sometimes more than one such chemical must be used because many types of ink must be removed. Finally, the wet, shredded waste paper is blended with other materials according to the type of end product that is desired. Old pieces of cloth, which are used to produce the finest, most expensive grades of paper, may be mixed in. Wood pulp and other forms of cellulose such as straw may also be added in varying proportions. If white paper or paper for greeting cards or stationery is to be produced, bleach may also be added to lighten it; if newsprint is to be produced, a mixture of red and blue dyes is added to reduce the greyness of the final product. Chemical preservatives are also added at this point.

At this time, the fully treated material is a sort of liquid sludge that is ready to be made into paper. In most papermaking operations, the sludge passes through a machine called a beater, which is essentially a very heavy roller that presses the fibres in the sludge together and squeezes out the water. The paper is formed and held together by the natural interlocking of the long cellulose or cloth fibres as they are pressed and dried. No glue is used in the process and in fact, the natural glue in wood is removed chemically before the paper is made.

A refining machine brushes the roll of sludge to smooth out irregularities. The papermaking machine presses the sludge into thin slices, which are then further dried by pressing or by being placed in furnaces. Finally, the paper is polished or chemically treated to give it the proper finish and lastly packaged and sent to customers.

The papermaking process itself is pretty much the same whether one uses virgin materials, recycled materials, or a mixture of the two. The difference is in the preparation of the sludge. Recycled material requires careful sorting. This in turn means that the paper mills must have a place to store waste paper and the staff to sort it, as well as a means of disposing of waste paper that cannot be used. Removing ink from waste paper also requires special chemicals, equipment, and equipment operators. As a result, some paper mills are not set up to use any recycled materials. That’s why the forests are getting smaller and smaller.

Also, not all paper products can be made with recycled paper. Brown grocery bags, for example, can be recycled into other types of paper, but they must be made, at least partially, out of virgin materials because only virgin materials have the long unbroken fibres that give the bags their necessary strength. Unlike glass bottles and aluminum cans, which can be recycled an infinite number of times, paper cannot be recycled indefinitely. Each time it is recycled, its quality degrades slightly because the fibres become more and more broken. At some point recycled paper has to be mixed in with virgin material, and eventually after repeated uses, it ends up in a landfill or and incinerator.

Obviously as recycling plants and collection sites have to be set up all over the country and for all the various types of materials we use in every day life, it is going to be a very expensive process to start, but it is vital that the wheels are set in motion before it is too late! In turn this will lead to many new jobs opening up for unskilled as well as skilled people in South Africa helping to keep our country cleaner as well as decreasing unemployment and thereby promoting the economy.
I know that to fully understand why recycling is important and to have a general feeling of responsibility and to want to keep the environment clean stems from having an education and understanding the concept of pollution. I also understand that it is not easy for the many people in our country without a proper education, to feel the need to recycle, as they may not understand they urgency of it. But if all of us in this room today already knew and understood what recycling is and how much damage is done to the ecosystem by not recycling, why do we not feel the need to take action and start taking care of our beautiful country!

References:

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Nina_K/112441

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SEO – What is Search Engine Optimization and How it Can Benefit Your Business

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization, which is also known as SEO, is the process of increasing the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via organic or search results through the help also with a freelance SEO consultant Sydney. The higher your company’s website ranks on Search Engine Result Page (SERP), the more searchers will visit your site.

As a marketing strategy for increasing site’s relevance, SEO consultants consider how search algorithms work and what people search for. A SEO process may involve a site’s coding and structure, content and copywriting, site presentation, as well as fixing other problems that will prevent search engines from indexing your company website. If your company’s website is not indexed by search engines, there will be no chance at all for your site to get high visibility rankings on search engines. Therefore, it is extremely important for businesses to take note of SEO and make sure that their websites are properly indexed by search engines.

The term “SEO” can also refer to “Search Engine Optimizer”. This is an industry term that refers to agencies and consultants that carry out search engine optimization process on behalf of their clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Every agency and consultant has their own SEO methodology; therefore they may use different methods to achieve high organic rankings for websites. In most cases, in order to have effective SEO, it may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics will be incorporated into website development and design. That is why almost all credible SEO agencies and consultants will first look at the design and back-end architecture of a website before starting any SEO process. This will ensure that SEO is carried out effectively.

Search Engine Optimization as a Marketing Strategy for Businesses

So how should businesses use SEO as a marketing strategy? The primary objective of implementing SEO to a company’s website is to drive targeted traffic to it. Eye tracking studies have shown that searchers scan a search result from top to bottom and left to right, looking for relevant results. Therefore, if your site is near the top of organic listings rankings (organic listings refer to the web results that are listed on the left hand side of the SERP), it will most likely increases the number of searchers who will visit your site.

A successful online marketing campaign may usually involve SEO, but it also consists of the use of paid advertising on search engines, building high quality websites to engage and persuade site visitors take action either through enquiries or online sales, setting up analytic programs to allow site owners to measure their successes and improving a site’s conversion rate.

Benefits of SEO for Businesses

Businesses can benefit from SEO in a lot of ways, be it to increase brand awareness, get sales leads or increase sales revenue. The following is a list of benefits that businesses can get from SEO:

o Get more targeted traffic. SEO can increase the number of visitors to your site who are actively searching for your product or service.

o Increase brand awareness. SEO can give your brand a high international profile. You can also use SEO to create brand awareness for any new service or product by optimizing related product/service key phrases to rank higher on search engines.

o Marketing your brand 24/7. With SEO, your website will get exposure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – without stopping.

o Higher sales. As SEO brings you targeted traffic, it can mean increased sales of your product or service.

o Long term positioning. Once a properly optimized & designed site is in place, rankings on organic listings should be consistent whereas the cost for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising is ongoing.

o More value for dollars. Once your company’s website has achieved high organic rankings for various key phrases, you will not have to pay for each visit. Whereas for PPC Advertising, to enjoy high ranking visibility on search engines, you need to pay for each click or visit to your site.

However, to make sure that you have a successful SEO implementation, you need to make sure that your dedicated SEO agency abides to the guidelines of search engine when optimizing your site…

White Hat SEO VS Black Hat SEO

When it comes to SEO, there are 2 schools of thoughts – White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO. White hat SEO is techniques that search engines recommend as good practice and black hat SEO is those techniques that search engines do not approve of. For SEO consultants who practise white hat SEO, they tend to produce results that last a long time. Black hat SEO techniques may get a website to rank well initially, but the site will eventually be banned either temporary or permanently once search engines discover what they are doing.

So it is very important for you to know the best practices in the SEO industry and make sure that the SEO agency that is handling your account uses techniques that conform to the search engines’ guidelines and involves no deception.

White hat technique is generally summed up as creating content for users, not the search engines. The content that is created should be easily accessible to search engine spiders, rather than intending to trick the algorithms from its intended purpose. So, the general rule of thumb is to stay on the safe side by creating content that is relevant to your target audience. Search engines value relevancy – they will definitely want to rank a site higher their organic listings if the content on the site is what searchers are looking for.

Black hat technique usually involves techniques that attempt to improve rankings that are disapproved by search engines, or involve deception. One common black hat technique is to use hidden text, either as text coloured similar to the background of the website, or positioned off-screen. Another common technique known as cloaking is to load a different page depending on whether the page is accessed by a human or a search engine spider.

Search engines will penalize sites which use black hat techniques, either by reducing their organic rankings or even eliminating them from their database completely. This is a very costly mistake on the business point of view as you will lose out a lot of grounds as your competitors are enjoying free organic traffic from search engines due to their high rankings for major key phrases. One infamous example was in February 2006, whereby Google removed BMW Germany from its database for use of black hat methods. However, the company has quickly apologised and cleaned up the offending pages and were eventually restored to Google’s database.

Therefore, it is very important to make sure that your SEO agency is moving away from black hat methods. You will not want to be blacklisted by search engines which will translate into loss in sales and profits.

Keyword Research – The Key Factor to Successful SEO Implementation

Major search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN Live and AOL get a lot of searches every day. Before you implement SEO to your website, you must know what key phrases or keywords your target audience is using to search for the product or service that you offer.

Whether you like it or not, there is a good chance that many people have never heard of your company. These people might be your customers, if only they can find you on search engines and buying from you. It is well accepted that building awareness is the first step to land a new customer. For example, when someone sees a TV advertisement about that new car, you hope that he or she is in the market for a car at the moment. However, relatively few people are in that situation at any one time. Majority of people who saw the TV advertisement have no interest in buying a car at the moment. But someday they will. So advertisers know that the messages – the model of the car and company name in their commercials will stick in viewers’ minds, who might remember the message later when they are ready to buy a car. It is the same for SEO.

Searchers might not know that your company offers a particular product or service unless they see your site listed on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Unless they see your listings, they will not think of you. Most of the time, searchers looking for a product or service for the first time might not be aware of any specific company or brand name as they are just gathering information. However, according to a research done by search marketing consultancy iProspect, more than 55 percent of searchers expect to see big brands listed at the top of search results. The same study also shows that over 66 percent of searchers believe that sites that are listed at the top of search results are the top companies in their field. So can you imagine how this affects your company’s brand awareness? If your company’s website is not listed at the top of search results, they will not see your company as a “big brand” in their mind. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to optimize keywords or key phrases that your target prospects will use to find the product or service that you are offering.

So what types of keywords or key phrases should you choose? Businesses should target keywords that are relevant to the content of their websites. Basically, keywords can be categorized into 3 types, which are: “Too Hot Keywords”, “Just Right Keywords”, and “Too Cold Keywords”. Too Hot keywords are single word search terms like “Aircon” and “Translation” which do not seem to be targeted enough to get conversions. These keywords usually bring in high search volume (which is naturally tempting to optimize) but the conversion may not be as ideal as targeting keywords which falls into the “Just Right” category. (For examples: Aircon Servicing, Translation Agency Singapore”) By optimizing those “Just Right” keywords, businesses can get more targeted traffic to their websites and increase the chance of conversions.

Choosing the right keywords is the real beginning of any SEO effort. After you have determined the right set of keywords to target, you can start the work of search engine optimization.

Why do you need to outsource SEO?

SEO is a very time-consuming process as continual fine-tuning and monitoring need to be done. Therefore, it is advisable for you to hire a search engine optimization agency to plan out the optimization plan for your company.

A professional SEO agency will look at your site and make recommendations to increase your search engine ranking and website traffic. Once they start to optimize your website, they will provide recommendations and monitoring reports for you to know the progress of it.

Last but not least, in order to achieve successful optimization results, it is very important for your SEO agency to work closely with your website designer if you have your own IT department. This is because your company website needs to be both visually appealing and search engine friendly in order to achieve high organic rankings, as well as conversions.

Cheow Yu Yuan is the co-founder of OOm, an online marketing agency that provides SEO Singapore services.

Check out more about SEO at http://www.optimalonlinemarketing.com

Please feel free to republish this article on your website, or distribute it to your friends or clients, as long as you leave the resource box intact.

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5 Tips to Keep Your Car Looking Great

Some people made a wise decision in choosing car paint protection Adelaide, others are afraid of the risk will regret it. Having a car is convenient, but it takes a lot of responsibility to be a good owner. As with all material things, a car deteriorates over time. But if you know the proper way of taking care of it, you beloved vehicle will stay pretty and reliable much longer than an average car does. It takes some sacrifice, and a great deal of patience, but then you decide it’s time for a replacement, you will find that all your sacrifice will pay off when you try to resell it. So how do you keep your car looking great? Here are 5 tips.

Avoid scratches as much as possible. Are you the type who mindlessly drives against those bushes along your driveway? Then you should be reading this. Scratches are the biggest enemy to your car’s finish. Avoiding scratches is the best way to keep your car finish looking great. Although your paint is made to last some minor torture, that dirt and grime on the car’s surface needs to be rinsed off first with running water before you ever start washing it. Why because some of that dirt can be abrasive, and when rubbed against the surface, it may cause deep scratches. Anything that comes in contact with your car’s finish should be soft – like fresh clean water, wash mitt and chamois.

Protect your car against the elements. Where do you keep your car parked? To maintain its beauty, try to keep it parked in a garage or covered area. If you do not have a garage, then the use of a car cover is recommended. Exposing your car to direct sunlight all the time will cause significant fading of its paint. Sometimes, due to extreme changes in weather (extreme heat to rain to near-freezing temperatures) can make your car paint fade in severe cases the clear coat can fail and peel – and that’s the end of your beautiful car finish. One more thing you must remember – never park your car under a tree, where tree sap can drip on the surface, or under power lines where birds love to perch on. Tree sap and bird droppings, plus petrified bugs on the windshield can do much damage to the car’s paint and glass. Anything that was once organic will oxidize and leave a lasting mark on your car finish – so take it off asap, and don’t let it marinate on your car.

Always maintain a good coat of wax or paint sealant. Keeping a coat of wax on your car will prevent minor scratches, plus it also protects the car against the elements. Even if bird does their thing on top of your car, the paint is less likely to incur damage, since there is a coat of protection to prevent the preventable. Even too much sunlight will not affect a waxed as much as a non-waxed one. Think of it as some sort of sunscreen for your car. Wax your car every three to six months depending on the was/sealant (too much waxing is not recommended also) Cars that are parked under direct sunlight need to be waxed more often to maintain the shine and sheen of the car.

Keep the interior clean – always. Nothing is more pretentious than a car that is so shiny and clean outside, but extremely dirty inside! It’s like a woman who is so physically pretty but ugly deep inside. A car’s interior is just as important as a car’s exterior where appearance is concerned. Fabric covered car seats and car mats can be cleaned with an interior brush to remove dirt particles, then vacuumed. Vinyl or leather seats may be cleaned with a mild commercial detergent or leather cleanser. Clean the interior windows with a commercial glass cleanser. Keep the dashboard spic and span too by vacuuming the nooks and crannies, as well as wiping it with a mild cleanser. Some people even use leather conditioner for leather-lined dashboards. The dashboard takes the blunt of dirt and dust since it’s one of the most exposed and used parts of the car. Besides, all those crevices do have a tendency to gather plenty of dust and dirt. Keep the seats free from rubbish and food crumbs also, as these greatly diminish the beauty of your car.

Detail your car. By detailing, we mean extremely thorough cleaning, polishing and waxing of an automobile, both inside and out, to produce a show-quality level of detail. Besides improving appearance, detailing helps to preserve resale value of a car.When your car is subject to tough conditions, wash your car every 2 weeks – and this is the minimum. Never use dish washing detergent to wash your car with, as these remove the wax coating you spent hours putting on.. Use a PH Neutral car shampoo. Use clean water to rinse your car with, and then dry with a chamois to avoid smears or streaks. And don’t ignore the tires, because the true mark of a serious car owner is attention to all details. Scrub the tires with a brush, then give it a coat of tire shine to make it really stand out. The tire shine also prevents your tiers from going brown. Keep it looking new!

A clean car will be a sight to behold, so keep it looking shiny, bright and pretty. A beautiful-looking car says much about its owner.

Tim is the Owner of Northern Beaches Car Detailing [http://www.northernbeachescardetailing.com/]

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Online Ski Lessons – 7 Ski Techniques to Learn to Ski Well

This is why heli skiing Canada has become a popular thrill-seeking adventure, attracting more skiers and snowboarders every year, from first-timers to expert free-riders. The following fundamental drills are foundational to learn to ski well. While there are a variety of ski techniques, all use these 7 basics in one form or another. This is by no means an exhaustive list of exercises or drills, but they are the roots to learning to ski. Downhill skiing must of course be learned on the ski slopes. The following text will give you context, descriptions, and metaphors to give you a better understanding both before and after you actually ski.

ONE: Skiing On One Ski

If you’ve seen the Karate Kid, you’ll remember how Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel that he “must first learn balance!” Now, you won’t need to stand at the bow of a row boat or get pummeled by ocean waves (you can if you wish). You will, however, need to practice skiing on one ski. Start on easy terrain such as the beginner’s area, and slowly traverse across the hill lifting up one leg. Do this until you are comfortable with either leg raised. Practice both legs equally. Simply cross the hill back and forth, gently descending. Next, when you’re comfortable, start straightening out your turns more directly downhill. Practice this drill in small increments. It may be awkward at first, but you’ll improve rapidly.

TWO: Skating

This drill is exactly what it sounds like – skating. Just as in ice skating, you push off one inside edge of your skate to the other to move forward. You’ll just do this with skis on. On gentle terrain, push off the inside edges of your skis to propel/push yourself forward. You’ll notice that your skies with naturally form a V allowing you to push from the back (somewhat) to create the forward momentum.

Why do this? It will help your body position, which is critical in order to Ski Great! It will also help you feel the pressure and edge of your skis. You want your skis to become an extension of your body. Just as a tennis racket is an extension of Andre Agassi or a golf club of Tiger Woods, you need to feel, know, and trust your skis.

THREE: Side Slipping

This drill is also just as it sounds. You’ll be slipping down the hill sideways. Don’t worry – it’s not as scary as it sounds. Simply stand perpendicular on the hill (so you’re facing the woods or the side of the hill). The edges of your skis, which you can feel really well because you’ve practiced “Skating,” will hold you in place. While on gentle terrain, slowly flatten your skis by relaxing your ankles to the point where you start “slipping” sideways downhill. Let yourself slip side away. Tighten your ankles to stop. Then start again. Practice this exercise facing both ways. Next – have a little fun and try slipping slightly forward by pressing your toes down while you flatten your skis. To slip backwards, lift your toes up. Once comfortable with this, try it on steeper terrain.

FOUR: Stepping

We do this every day when we walk down the street. We put one foot in front of the other. We don’t lean too far forward or tilt backward – we walk in perfect balance. With this drill, you’ll just be walking with skis on. On gentle terrain, try stepping through a turn. Traverse slowly across the slope and prepare to step through another turn. What you’re doing in this exercise in training your body to lean forward (just like you do when you take a step). Just as you lean forward to begin walking down the street in perfect balance, you need to lean forward to get your body down the hill, while maintaining balance. Not an easy exercise to illustrate, but imagine taking tiny baby steps around a corner. You want your skis to stay parallel – avoid the “snow plow.” While the snow plow turn (also known as the wedge) may be helpful to brand new, or nervous skiers, stepping is “just as easy to learn.” The stepping exercise has the added benefits of not encouraging bad habits and helps you to learn to ski better faster.

FIVE: Shuffling Skis

This lesson is similar to “Stepping,” except your skis are kept on the snow. Start by sliding one ski forward and the other back. It will be similar to Cross-Country skiing or using a NordicTrack Skier. On gentle terrain, shuffle your skis back and forth as you traverse the slope. You want to train your body (your hips specifically) to stay directly above your feet.

When your hips are positioned above your feet, you have optimum control of your body and skis.

SIX: Rail Road Tracks

This is a bit more of an advanced drill that will take your skiing to new heights. Essentially you want to ski on the edges of your skis (by shifting your ankles) so you leave rail-road-track-like marks in the snow. Start with wide a parallel stance tipping both ankles and knees while simultaneously engaging your ski edges. Traverse gentle across the slope, back and forth. This should be done on gentle terrain.

SEVEN: Pivot Flat Ski

This is the most difficult exercise, but has the greatest rewards for you. Master this and your skiing will skyrocket! Start perpendicular on the hill (like you do with the “Side Slipping” technique), but release the edge of your skis by leaning your upper body across and over your skis – rather than relaxing your ankles. This body positioning will force your skis to flatten naturally. Once you feel your skis start to move, steer your feet so you swivel and face the opposite direction. Repeat and turn in the other direction. Try doing this with as little forward momentum as possible. It takes practice, but will give you the skills to ski virtually any terrain – trees, bumps, powder…etc. Own it!

For photos of the above exercises visit Online Ski Lessons

Theodore P. Olson
Editor-in-Chief, http://www.SkiGreat.com
Learn to Ski – Online

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What’s In The Future For Electronics Recycling?

We identified an opportunity to develop a company that turns up on time every time, and that provides friendly and personable, cost effective and reliable electrician Brisbane Southside services. Electronics recycling in the U.S. is growing as the industry consolidates and matures. The future of electronics recycling – at least in the U.S., and perhaps globally – will be driven by electronics technology, precious metals, and industry structure, in particular. Although there are other things that can influence the industry – such as consumer electronics collections, legislation and regulations and export issues – I believe that these 3 factors will have a more profound impact on the future of electronics recycling.

The most recent data on the industry – from a survey conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) and sponsored by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) – found that the industry (in 2010) handled approximately 3.5 million tons of electronics with revenues of $5 billion and directly employed 30,000 people – and that it has been growing at about 20% annually for the past decade. But will this growth continue?

Electronics Technology
Personal computer equipment has dominated volumes handled by the electronics recycling industry. The IDC study reported that over 60% by weight of industry input volumes was “computer equipment” (including PCs and monitors). But recent reports by IDC and Gartner show that shipments of desktop and laptop computers have declined by more than 10% and that the shipments of smartphones and tablets now each exceed that of PCs. About 1 billion smart phones will be shipped in 2013 – and for the first time exceed the volumes of conventional cell phones. And shipments of ultra-light laptops and laptop-tablet hybrids are increasing rapidly. So, we are entering the “Post-PC Era”.

In addition, CRT TVs and monitors have been a significant portion of the input volumes (by weight) in the recycling stream – up to 75% of the “consumer electronics” stream. And the demise of the CRT means that fewer CRT TVs and monitors will be entering the recycling stream – replaced by smaller/lighter flat screens.

So, what do these technology trends mean to the electronics recycling industry? Do these advances in technology, which lead to size reduction, result in a “smaller materials footprint” and less total volume (by weight)? Since mobile devices (e.g., smart phones, tablets) already represent larger volumes than PCs – and probably turn over faster – they will probably dominate the future volumes entering the recycling stream. And they are not only much smaller, but typically cost less than PCs. And, traditional laptops are being replaced by ultra-books as well as tablets – which means that the laptop equivalent is a lot smaller and weighs less.

So, even with continually increasing quantities of electronics, the weight volume entering the recycling stream may begin decreasing. Typical desktop computer processors weigh 15-20 lbs. Traditional laptop computers weigh 5-7 lbs. But the new “ultra-books” weigh 3-4 lbs. So, if “computers” (including monitors) have comprised about 60% of the total industry input volume by weight and TVs have comprised a large portion of the volume of “consumer electronics” (about 15% of the industry input volume) – then up to 75% of the input volume may be subject to the weight reduction of new technologies – perhaps as much as a 50% reduction. And, similar technology change and size reduction is occurring in other markets – e.g., telecommunications, industrial, medical, etc.

However, the inherent value of these devices may be higher than PCs and CRTs (for resale as well as scrap – per unit weight). So, industry weight volumes may decrease, but revenues could continue to increase (with resale, materials recovery value and services). And, since mobile devices are expected to turn over more rapidly than PCs (which have typically turned over in 3-5 years), these changes in the electronics recycling stream may happen within 5 years or less.

Another factor for the industry to consider, as recently reported by E-Scrap News – “The overall portability trend in computing devices, including traditional form-factors, is characterized by integrated batteries, components and non-repairable parts. With repair and refurbishment increasingly difficult for these types of devices, e-scrap processors will face significant challenges in determining the best way to manage these devices responsibly, as they gradually compose an increasing share of the end-of-life management stream.” So, does that mean that the resale potential for these smaller devices may be less?

The electronics recycling industry has traditionally focused on PCs and consumer electronics, but what about infrastructure equipment? – such as servers/data centers/cloud computing, telecom systems, cable network systems, satellite/navigation systems, defense/military systems. These sectors generally use larger, higher value equipment and have significant (and growing?) volumes. They are not generally visible or thought of when considering the electronics recycling industry, but may be an increasingly important and larger share of the volumes that it handles. And some, if not much, of this infrastructure is due to change in technology – which will result in a large volume turnover of equipment. GreenBiz.com reports that “… as the industry overhauls and replaces… servers, storage and networking gear to accommodate massive consolidation and virtualization projects and prepare for the age of cloud computing… the build-out of cloud computing, the inventory of physical IT assets will shift from the consumer to the data center… While the number of consumer devices is increasing, they are also getting smaller in size. Meanwhile, data centers are being upgraded and expanded, potentially creating a large amount of future e-waste.”

But, outside the U.S. – and in developing countries in particular – the input volume weight to the electronics recycling stream will increase significantly – as the usage of electronic devices spreads to a broader market and an infrastructure for recycling is developed. In addition, developing countries will continue to be attractive markets for the resale of used electronics.

Precious Metals
In the IDC study, over 75% by weight of industry output volumes was found to be “commodity grade scrap”. And more than half of that was “metals”. Precious metals represent a small portion of the volume – the average concentration of precious metals in electronics scrap is measured in grams per ton. But their recovery value is a significant portion of the total value of commodity grade scrap from electronics.

Precious metals prices have increased significantly in recent years. The market prices for gold, silver, palladium and platinum have each more than doubled over the past five years. However, gold and silver have historically been very volatile since their prices are driven primarily by investors. Their prices seem to have peaked – and are now significantly below their high points last year. Whereas, platinum and palladium prices have traditionally been driven by demand (e.g., manufacturing – like electronics and automotive applications) and generally more stable.

Telecommunications equipment and cell phones generally have the highest precious metals content – up to 10 times the average of scrap electronics based on per unit weight. As technology advances, the precious metals content of electronics equipment generally decreases – due to cost reduction learning. However, the smaller, newer devices (e.g., smart phones, tablets) have higher precious metals content per unit weight than conventional electronics equipment – such as PCs. So, if the weight volume of electronics equipment handled by the electronics industry decreases, and the market prices for precious metals decreases – or at least does not increase – will the recovery value of precious metals from electronics scrap decrease? Probably the recovery value of precious metals from electronics scrap per unit weight will increase since more electronics products are getting smaller/lighter, but have a higher concentration of precious metals (e.g., cell phones) than traditional e-scrap in total. So, this aspect of the industry may actually become more cost efficient. But the total industry revenue from commodity scrap – and especially precious metals – may not continue to increase.

Industry Structure
The electronics recycling industry in the U.S. can be thought of as comprising 4 tiers of companies. From the very largest – that process well in excess of 20 up to more than 200 million lbs. per year – to medium, small and the very smallest companies – that process less than 1 million lbs. per year. The top 2 tiers (which represent about 35% of the companies) process approximately 75% of the industry volume. The number of companies in “Tier 1” has already decreased due to consolidation – and continued industry consolidation will probably drive it more towards the familiar 80/20 model. Although there are over 1000 companies operating in the electronics recycling industry in the U.S., I estimate that the “Top 50” companies process almost half of the total industry volume.

What will happen to the smaller companies? The mid-size companies will either merge, acquire, get acquired or partner to compete with the larger companies. The small and smallest companies will either find a niche or disappear. So, the total number of companies in the electronics recycling industry will probably decrease. And more of the volumes will be handled by the largest companies. As with any maturing industry, the most cost efficient and profitable companies will survive and grow.

Outlook
What are the implications of these trends?
• The total weight of input volumes will probably not continue to grow (as it has at 20% annually) – and may actually decrease in the U.S.
• The electronics recycling industry will continue to consolidate – and the largest companies will handle most of the industry volumes.
• The inherent value for resale and materials recovery will probably increase per unit volume.
• Reuse and services may become a more significant part of the total industry revenue than recycling and materials recovery.

Conclusion:
In an environment of consolidation and potentially decreasing volumes, developing additional capacity or starting a new facility for electronics recycling in the U.S. could be very risky. Acquiring the most cost efficient existing capacity available would be more prudent.

All rights reserved © 2013 John Powers

For more information on electronics recycling – visit the Electronics Recycling Directory at: http://www.electronicsrecyclingdirectory.com – the most comprehensive website on electronics recycling – with searchable listings, articles, events, blogs and more – as well as a bi-weekly newsletter.

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Artists Take Advantage of Distance Learning

Concept board frames artist Sydney are artists who create illustrations of ideas, whether it’s of characters, scenes, or machinery. Artists today are continually learning new applications and are required to stay ahead of the curve as to what is up and coming and the newest ways of doing things. Most production artists have completed their formal education years ago and what they learned may now be obsolete. They must aggressively find alternative ways to learn their industry’s most popular applications, processes of using them like new workflows, and continue to improve on what they currently do.

Here are some of the more popular ways to learn:

  • On the job experience – This is the most common way that we’ve all learned a thing or two. It is probably the most effective way to learn what you need for your job. However, you may eventually be limited by what your coworkers can share with you and may find that there is a lot of information you’ll still need to know in order to move up or get another job. This way takes lots of time and patience and requires a good group of people willing to help you learn.
  • Conferences – They are fun and you get to meet a lot of people doing what you do or want to do. Most conferences foster an environment of sharing and helping. A lot can be gained from attending a conference for networking and its break-out sessions. However, they can be expensive (like traveling to South Korea!). With tightening budgets, they may not be cost-effective.
  • Onsite training – Many companies utilize this form of training to get specific information in an area that they are focused on. This is a great way to learn if you can afford it. Learners will have direct access to the instructor and can have the training catered directly to their environment. Specific questions can be asked and addressed instantly in a collaborative way.
  • Night classes – Many local Junior Colleges now offer digital art classes in the evening. These are usually general classes and you may find that you are above the level they are teaching unless you know nothing about the subject. These classes can be somewhat expensive and be very broad in the information delivered. In addition, these teachers (not in all cases) are not in the industry and may not be able to help you with specific questions to your liking.
  • Networking – Using social networking and forums is a good way to get answers and research how to accomplish certain tasks. However, there can be a delay in feedback which will motivate you to find answers in other places. But, there tends to be some good people giving back and willing to help you and stick it out until they are able to help resolve your question.
  • Webcasts – These are a slightly less formal means of training. The instructor usually has a loose idea of what is to be presented but it can change if needed. The lack of formality may cause some live viewers to be dissatisfied with the level of training and the lack of the instructor’s attention to detail. Webcasts are live and there isn’t time for editing and polishing. Sometimes these trainings can cost more than the more refined DVD trainings.
  • Web videos and DVDs – These tools are a great way to learn. You may have a specific topic you wish to learn like Model Rigging or Storyboarding and need to know it right now for a project or job. These trainings are or are near instant gratification. Usually, they require less commitment and are much cheaper than other means of learning.

There is a boom going on now in the creative education fields and there are many schools stepping up to fill that need. With the competition and strict requirements in place from their industries, schools are doing their very best to offer real-world training. However, as students, there is always a chance for there to be questions or the hunger for more information on a particular subject. This is the very nature of being a student. Inexpensive distance learning like Web and DVD training can fill in those gaps and answer those questions. Students should use these tools to supplement their education. School tends to be required to cover a large variety of subjects and as a student; you may want to take a little more time in one area. This type of training allows you to do just that.

For those of us who have already completed all the formal education we would ever like to do, we are still required to stay competitive. Already being in the “field”, many of us may have a certain level of understanding in a subject area but need to dig deeper or learn new and more efficient ways of completing common tasks. Learning from industry professionals will help busy creatives to learn more rapidly in a wide variety of subjects at their own pace.

Distance learning allows artists the ability to access hard to find, low-cost education that can begin to get them up to speed and production-ready in no time. Meaning, they’ll be able to jump right into a job or add the new knowledge gained in a short period of time to their artistic arsenal immediately.

Here are some interesting stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook

  • Employment of artists and related workers is projected to grow 16% through 2016, faster than the national average for other fields.
  • Multi-media artists and animators will be most in demand through 2016 — that profession will see a 26% increase in employment.
  • Fine artists will see a 10% increase in employment.
  • Multi-media artists and animators earn roughly $52,000 (this does not include figures from self-employed animators).

Best of luck and happy animating!

Frank Freeman is a freelance artist, trainer and CEO of Artistic Gurus, Inc. a creative training company that focuses on how-to videos in the 2D, 3D, Traditional Arts, Comics, and Manga fields. Read more about him today from http://www.ArtisticGurus.com or [http://www.RentArtVideos.com]

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