Archive | January, 2017

10 Tips on Creating the Gift of Gab For Fun And Profit

Yeah! We all know them. Those disgusting people who can walk into any situation and seem to fit right into the conversation. They seem to feel at home with any crowd, and they can turn a bunch of strangers into friends in moments. In fact, they can do it in the time it takes you and me to munch a couple of dainty sandwiches, drink a glass of punch, and fade into the wall paper.

I guess it’s one of those things you are either born with, or brought up to do.

Or is it?

Like many things in life, being able to feel comfortable among strangers, make conversation on topics you know little about, and come out on the other end with new friends or business contacts is a skill that can be learned. While being born with certain genes or having been raised a certain way can surely help, you can learn how to get around those presumed limitations, and might even wind up being better at carrying it off than those who seem to have a head start on you.

While entire courses and training programs could be committed to turning the most insipid wallflower into a blossoming conversationalist and bon vivant, here are a few tips to help you ratchet up your “gift” of gab to a point where you too can join the crowd in the corner and discourse wittily on the subject at hand…usually.

1. Start with who you are. Don’t ever fake it. If you’re a gardener and the topic is rocket science, listen and learn. When the garden crowd drifts over, there’s YOUR chance to shine. You are simply not going to be the center of attention, or even a small fountain of wit and wisdom in every conversation.

2. Listen and learn. Since we mentioned it above, let’s explore this a little. First of all, you can often seem wiser than you are by keeping your mouth shut. While it’s shut, listen to that rocket scientist. Maybe the dry, technical details are over your head, but he may say something that makes sense to you and you can use the info in a conversation later. He may whet your interest in the topic, and what better source of reference than to ask the learned speaker what his, or her, advice would be on how to learn more.

3. Be patient. We have already established that you don’t want to jump in over your head and that you may benefit from the discourse anyway. However, no matter how elevated the topic, any conversation may often drift to other, more mundane topics, particularly if there are others, like yourself, who are in the dark on some highly technical issue.

4. Be curious. As mentioned above, asking a pertinent question or even professing to ignorance in hope of enlightenment will generate sparks of familiarity with the speakers. More than once, I have watched several experts practically compete with one another in their attempts to simplify and communicate a difficult subject to someone who seemed genuinely interested. Anyway, people like to have their egos stroked, and giving them an opportunity to demonstrate their command of the subject, or asking them for their opinion can really get the juices flowing. In the middle of all this, you learn more, create new friendships, and grow more comfortable within the group.

5. Admit mistakes and ignorance, take blame, laugh at yourself. One of the easiest ways to put others at ease is to admit your own ignorance. When you begin a statement or question by letting the others know that you might not know what you are talking about, they feel less “threatened” if that is a good word. It is a tension breaker in all directions when someone owns up to ignorance or error. Most people feel inclined to forgive those who can own up to their errors or lack of knowledge. They will also feel more comfortable if you can laugh at yourself.

6. Have a sense of humor. While many subjects are serious and do not allow a lot of leeway for humor, most people in a conversation are generally open to humor as long as it is not mocking or of the keystone cops variety. Of course, if the group is just cutting up, then cut up with them.

7. Educate yourself. The essence of feeling comfortable in a group is knowing that you are as knowledgeable as anybody else there. While you may regularly feel this way at work, where you are among peers, it may be quite different at a party or on a date where your counterpart may be from some other field or social group. Keeping up with the basics on current events in the fields of politics, economics, sports, science, health, and entertainment gives you toeholds on which to stand above the crowd in many conversational venues.

It also helps to keep up with popular books and movies of the moment. Even if you can only get around to actually reading or seeing one, and that one is NOT the one under discussion, you will at least have some concept of what many other popular books (or movies, or TV shows) of the moment are about, and you will possibly be able to ask rational questions which gives those who ARE familiar with the subject the opportunity to shine.

8. Prepare yourself. While education as mentioned above is a daily process, and might not have much depth, preparation can go much deeper. There are two ways that this can turn you into a conversational powerhouse.

** Become an expert on a particular subject or area. It could be a hobby, or you could just find something that interests you and might be of interest to others. For example, if you were an expert on precious stones, politics, antique coins, rare books, health, or physical fitness, there will be opportunities for you to discourse learnedly on your subject. If it is a subject that you feel deeply about, the depth of your feelings will often mold your presentation and manner of speech in such a way as to leave an impression on your listeners.

** Cram before the event if possible. If you are going to be among investors, learn some investing terminology. If as you read you have questions that the books or tapes don’t seem to answer, save those. You may have a chance to ask a genuine (or assumed) expert.

9. Encourage others to speak. If Jane is commenting on a subject and seems to reach an end, encourage her to go on. You can simply say, “tell me more”, or you can ask a question as mentioned above. If Jane is standing in the crowd and you know she is itching to say something, ask something like, “Jane! Didn’t I hear you talking about that earlier?” Of course, if you have no idea what Jane is thinking, shut up and leave her in peace.

10. Follow up. If the people are of interest to you, or you want to learn more about the subjects discussed, get names and numbers, ask for business cards, and carry some of your own. Call them up later to tell them how much you enjoyed the conversation, invite them to meet you for a lunch or cup of coffee, or send them a small gift that in some way relates to the experience.

A few months ago, I attended a presentation given by a local newspaper editorial writer. In the process of his presentation, I realized that many of his points were similar to, though not the same as, some points made in a book that I had enjoyed. I chatted with him after the presentation for just a couple of minutes, but managed to ask him if he had ever read the book. He admitted that he had not but seemed interested in it, even taking a moment to get a business card and write down the title of the book and the name of the author.

Later, when I was checking it out on Amazon, I realized that I could get a copy sent to him for a few dollars and did so. A few days later, he contacted me, thanking me for the book. He and I have communicated occasionally since then, and he has offered me encouragement and advice on my writing, and has even suggested I join a professional organization I had not even known existed.

One of the most important investments you can make in any “growth stock” is in the quantity and quality of your personal and business contacts AND your friends. Life is much easier for those who have invested wisely and widely in these. With a good list of friends and professional contacts, the next job is easier to find, the solution to the next problem is in your address book, the right contact is a phone call away, and life is a pleasant passage indeed.

Posted in Yoga0 Comments

Best Method to Remove Pubic Hair from Testicles

The best method to remove hair from testicles is a lot safer, easier, quicker and painless. Throw away your scissors, razor and regular trimmer, and then read on;

Removing unwanted pubic hair from your testicles can be a very scary thought. Especially when it involves scissors that snip, razors that nick and cut, and regular trimmers that bite.

There’s a better way;

Personal shavers and trimmers, also known as pubic hair shavers and trimmers, are devices that have been specifically designed to remove unwanted pubic hair on private parts including testicles.

These two devises will ensure that you never get snipped, nicked and cut or bitten. The whole process is quick and painless.

Let us go into more depth on these two devices;

The reason why personal trimmers can trim pubic hair on your testicles to a stubble without ever hurting or injuring you, is because its teeth are so closely positioned together. Try that with a pair of scissors and you will be sweating.

Personal shavers are used to shave away your stubble so that you are left with smoothly shaven testicles. The reason why you will never get hurt or injured during the process is because of their special rotary blades that are covered by a very thin foil. This rotary effect helps prevent you from getting ingrown hairs, razor burns, nicks and cuts. Try achieving this with a regular razor blade.

However, like most things in life, there are good quality personal shavers and trimmers and bad quality ones, and the difference in performance between the two is great.

So before you make any decisions on purchasing one, ask your self this; “How precious are my jewels?”

Posted in Hair Care0 Comments

Bodybuilding Workout – 3 Bodybuilding Workout Tips You Must Know

Do you feel like all the blood, sweat and tears at the gym has been for nothing? Are you fed up with all the flashy new supplements that don’t produce what they promise? Do you just want some help so that you can get the body you so desperately desire?

The 3 following workout tips have been created for you in mind. Follow them and you will start building muscle quickly, safely and effectively. (Even if you are a skinny hardgainer!).

Ok, so let’s get started.

1. The first bodybuilding workout tip is to include Squats and Dead lifts in your workout routine. Squats and dead lifts are the two “bad boy” or “animal” exercises which are a favourite of muscle building experts worldwide. Because of the amount of intensity and strain which they put on the body they create hormone spikes which mean you will gain muscle mass faster all over the body. Furthermore these exercises work a large portion of your body, including your chest, shoulders, back, gluts and core muscles all at once. These 2 exercises must be included in your bodybuilding work out, especially if you’re skinny or a hardgainer.

2. Reduce your workout time and lift the intensity. Perform more work in less time and not only will you save time which you could spend doing something else but you will also increase your workout capacity which results in big muscle gains. Have smaller rest periods (but make sure they are consistent) and hustle from one exercise to the next. You will start to improve your fitness and get a lot more out of your bodybuilding work out as a result.

3. Cardio. There is a popular myth out there that cardio makes it harder to build muscle, and one which I admit I used to believe. However the truth is that cardio actually helps you build muscle! By speeding up your recovery time and keeping your heart in lungs in good order, it gets your body in maximum muscle building mode. Surprising but true!

OK, so now that you have completed my 3 bodybuilding workout tips you are ready to start building some muscle. The tips may seem quite simple, but if you correctly apply all 3, then you are in a much better position to gain muscle than those who don’t.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

Life Jackets For Kids, US Coast Guard Approved, What Does This Mean?

When in a swimsuit our three-year old daughter is fearless! She splashes about, chases waves, and giggles in pure delight. She holds her nose as she “dunks” herself, then she jumps-up to “surprise” us… a new rendition of the peek-a-boo game. While I’m thrilled that she is spunky, confident and loves to explore, still… I wonder… is she safe? As a parent I pay attention to too many heartbreaking stories about Moms distracted for only a moment, sometimes sitting at only an arms-length of her child, yet the child drowns; a horrific accident; a reminder that drowning is often silent and un-dramatic.

I have a Puddle Jumper strapped around my daughter’s chest (an upgrade of the well-know water-wings or inflatable armbands that keep kids afloat in the water), but is it enough? The Puddle Jumper is a U.S. Coast Guard approved, Type III personal flotation device. As I continue to wonder about my daughter’s safety I become curious, what does “U.S. Coast Guard Approved” mean? It sounds impressive, like a prestigious endorsement. A product that owns this seal of approval must mean that the product is a good one and will, therefore, keep my daughter safe. This was my thinking when I bought the Puddle Jumper.

But now as the word “endorsement” echoed through my mind I was wondering what the phrase “U.S. Coast Guard Approved” really meant. My free-associations to the word “endorsement” conjured-up uncomfortable images: political endorsements, which I rarely trust; TV-ads featuring public figures, or worse, Hollywood actors endorsing products and services. Yikes! Have I been too naive? Have I blindly accepted an “endorsement” put forth by the U.S. Coast Guard? Have I put my daughter at risk?

What Does It Mean: U.S. Coast Guard Approved

Who are we to trust as “the expert” about kids and water safety? Who are we to go to as the authority on how accidents happen and how to prevent them? Who is rightly esteemed and who possesses enough credentials to speak on the grave nature of my concern… the breath-of-life of our little ones, our kids, my daughter? I admit, for me the United States Coast Guard was the only agency that came to mind, but not because I had personally investigated their integrity.

To ease the anxiety that my free-associations were conjuring-up, i.e. my growing distrust about an “endorsement” put forth by the U.S. Coast Guard and an “endorsement” widely used by retailers who sell, and therefore advertise, the Puddle Jumper, I needed to know exactly what the “endorsement” meant.

I was surprised when I discovered that the Coast Guard was willing to point to a “best” life jacket. Reading further, however, I found that the “best” personal flotation device was described in only a generic way and with conditions attached.

The “best” one, says the Coast Guard, is:

  • The one you’re willing to wear!
  • The one that saves your life every time it’s needed.
  • The one that matches your needs!

In the very next paragraph the Coast Guard voiced a vexing problem: “The perfect life preserver, lifejacket, or PFD (personal flotation device) has not yet been designed.” Not even the United States Coast Guard was a definitive one-stop, end-all and be-all authority.

Further, I learned that with a particular life jacket “endorsed” as “U.S. Coast Guard Approved” comes an attached “Think Safe” pamphlet. The pamphlet is an integral component of the endorsement. When I bought my daughter’s Puddle Jumper I had not even read the pamphlet.

The stamp-of-approval plus the “Think Safe” pamphlet equals the full meaning of: U.S. Coast Guard Approved. The one cannot be separated from the other.

The “Think Safe” pamphlet is a list of conditions that the Coast Guard attaches to the approval of a particular personal floatation device. Using the Stearns Puddle Jumper as an example: The Stearns Puddle Jumper is Coast Guard approved…

  • If the child wearing it is 30 to 60 lbs.
  • If the water is calm and/or if the body of water is an inland body.
  • OR If there is a good chance for fast rescue in or around the body of water.

Also, when it comes to children and the selection of a PFD the Coast Guard offers more advice:

  • You must teach your kids how to properly wear a PFD.
  • The PFD must fit snugly on a child.
  • The purchased PFD should be tested immediately after purchase: in a swimming pool, and on the child who will be wearing it.
  • PFDs are not babysitters; an adult should always be present.

You Must Teach Your Kids How To Properly Wear A PFD

The Coast Guard knows that children panic when they suddenly fall into water. The suddenness of the fall causes them to move their arms and legs violently which makes it hard to float safely in a PFD. While the PFD will keep the child afloat, it might not keep a struggling child face-up. I remembered reading an anecdotal story about the Stearns Puddle Jumper; a parent had a “just-learning swimmer” and she said, “She (the child) had to learn in the first few times (of using the Puddle Jumper) how to use it… that she would have to balance herself to keep her face out of the water.”

The PFD Must Fit Snugly On A Child

To check for a good fit the Coast Guard recommends picking the child up by the shoulders of the PFD. Since the Puddle Jumper does not have a shoulder-section I could test it by picking my daughter up by the chest-piece of the Puddle Jumper, then proceed and conduct the snug-fit test. In either case a child’s chin and ears should not slip through the flotation device.

The Purchased PFD Should Be Tested Immediately After Purchase

The Coast Guard cites the obvious. They note that children come in many sizes and shapes, and therefore, just because a PFD works for one infant or child does not mean it will work for another in the same manner. The Coast Guard therefore urges that PFDs be tested immediately after purchase: test in a swimming pool and with the child who will be wearing the PFD. They urge parents and guardians of children to check for three things:

  • Proper Weight Range
  • Comfortable fit
  • (And especially) A stable face-up position in water.

PFDs Are Not Babysitters

The U.S. Coast Guard reminds parents and guardians, more than once, to never leave a child unattended on a dock, on a boat or in the water, even if the child is in a PFD.

Conclusion: Lessons Learned

It was good and right to reconsider my mindless purchase of the Puddle Jumper. While the Puddle Jumper is a fine product, I had simply bought the “advertising hype”on the tags: “U.S. Coast Guard Approved.” I had uncritically trusted an “endorsement” put forth by an unknown authority, i.e. the U.S. Coast Guard. The blind trust I exercised in purchasing the Puddle Jumper left my daughter vulnerable because I was unaware of my role and responsibility about how to safely use the product that I had purchased.

U.S. Coast Guard Approved products are great, but, read the attached “Think Safe” pamphlets!

Posted in Stress0 Comments

The Fool’s Diet – Weight Loss For Idiots – Lose Weight in 14 Days!

Upon hearing of a safe and quick diet, “guaranteed” to shed those unwanted pounds in mere days, many immediately think that it’s too good to be true. Why not, when over the years, hundreds of regimens have advertised the same thing with no results, or worse, causing even more serious health problems. Today, people are less easily fooled. But the question remains: Is there really a way to quickly, safely lose weight in mere days?

The answer is a resounding YES. Known as the Fool’s Diet, this weight loss program promises to get rid of those pounds in 14 days. Before you scrap this diet for another gimmick, check out why the Fool’s Diet Weight Loss Program is different from all others, and why it might just be the answer to your dieting needs:

* The regimen follows a cycle of 14 days, wherein the food you will eat will be plotted out. Contrary to other regimens which work on making you eat less to the point of starving, this program actually allows you to eat a variety of foods, from lean proteins to starchy carbohydrates.

* The foods that you are allowed to eat in this diet are mostly those that you can get from your local supermarket. There’s nothing exotic there that you will have to pay loads to get.

* The program is so easy to follow, thus the name Fool’s or Idiot’s Diet. You only have to make sure that your meals consist of fruits, proteins, and a bit of carbohydrates.

* It’s not expensive since most of the foods you can get at your local grocer.

* You will definitely see the effects within a few days. However, you must maintain the diet so that your weight loss will continue.

Personally, I think the best part of this program is that it actually tells you to eat until you are almost full. Unlike other programs wherein you’d probably faint from hunger by the end of the day, this program actually doesn’t make you suffer while giving you great

results.

Posted in Diet0 Comments

Jelqing Techniques for Girth – 3 Tips To Increase Penis Girth

If you are interested in increasing penis girth, then you probably already know how important increased width is. Women attribute the “size matters” issue with girth size. That is, yes size does matter, but it is not so much the length, but girth which makes the big difference in the bedroom.

If you are reading this article, you also are probably aware of jelqing, which is the exercise guys use to increase penis size. Jelqing both increases length and width. But a lot of guys are solely concerned with width, and could care less about length (again, they’ve become aware of what really matters when it comes to bigger penis size).

There are jelqing techniques for girth. Here are 3 tips on how to increase penis girth size with the jelq exercise.

  1. Basic Jelqing. The first jelqing technique for girth that should be tried is simply performing basic jelqing. Guys forget that basic jelqs do produce increased girth, and before trying any advanced techniques, one should do the basics first to see how well you respond as far as girth results go. Many guys will experience girth gains first, before even getting to length. Basic jelqing is performed with the penis being at about a 40-60% erection and the hands in the traditional “OK” sign, with thumb meeting the forefinger, forming a circle. One hand is wrapped around the base of the penis and gently and slowly forced towards the head, releasing just before reaching the head. Then the same is repeated with the other hand. A number of sets and reps are performed based on the routine you are following. Now while length gains are usually the main focus of performing basic jelqs, girth results should equally be expected, and you may very well be satisfied with the results, meaning you won’t have to do any specialized exercises for girth. And if you don’t mind some added length, then doing basic jelqs first, before getting into more advanced techniques, may be the best route to take.
  2. Reverse jelqs. A jelqing technique for girth specifically are reverse jelqs. This is simply doing basic jelqs, but instead of releasing before the head, you reverse the motion back down to the base. You will be working the shaft back and forth and generally a shorter amount of area will be covered, as you get a rhythm going. With basics, you are starting at the base and forcing your grip forward, which inevitably comes off as a stretching like movement. With forward and reverse motions, it’s more like an accordion. While you jelq forward, you quickly reverse before coming to a full out stretched position. Working in reverse you work more of the penis chambers which can lead to better girth gains. Now some guys will increase their “semi-erection”, closer to the 60 -70% mark. It’s hard to give exact percentages but in general a slight increase in the semi-erect state when performing jelqing techniques for girth is used.
  3. The V-Grip. An alternative for grip when performing jelqing techniques for girth is the “V-grip”. This is where a “V” is formed with one hand and placed on the top side of the penis at the base. The other hand is then cupped under the penis (not in a “V”, just “cupped” as if you were collecting water in your hand). Then the motion is forward and before the head you reverse it back to base. This is repeated for a certain number of sets and reps depending on what routine you are doing. You’ll see the “V-grip” focuses pressure specifically on the side chambers of the penis, working the girth aspects to larger penis size.

Posted in Workout0 Comments

The Wrinkle Cleanse – 4 Simple Steps to Softer, Younger Looking Skin

Oh that mythical fountain of youth! We’ve longed to find it since the sixteenth century when Juan Ponce de Leon sought the mysterious waters that would cure aging. Though we joke about that magical fountain, the truth is that the “waters of youth” can actually be viewed as the fluids within our own bodies that carry nutrients to our cells, feeding them and flushing away cellular waste. If those fluids contain even small amounts of toxins, cells cannot excrete waste or take in nutrients efficiently.

In 1912 French physician and biologist Dr. Alex Carrel of the Rockefeller Institute won a Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on the immortality of the cell. Dr. Carrel experimented with various tissues and organs, keeping them alive in laboratory experiments with pure nutrients and continuously cleansing away wastes. His research indicated that aging takes place because minute amounts of toxic substances build up in the blood and other fluids throughout the body. This led Dr. Carrel to conclude: “The cell is immortal. It is merely the fluids in which it floats that degenerates. Renew this fluid at proper intervals, and give the cells nourishment upon which to feed, and so far as we know, the pulsation of life may go on forever.”

Wrinkled sagging skin begins with the plasma membrane. This membrane is where most damage occurs. As this membrane ages, it stiffens and loses its fluidity. When it hardens, water can’t pass through the cell wall with nutrients or remove waste properly. Waste products build up and cause inflammation, which is one of the primary contributing factors in aging, along with sun damage, stress, and sleep disturbances. Cleanse the body and the cells have the best chance to remain supple and young.

Would you like to stay young and healthy for as long as possible? Many people believe that there is no way to halt the inevitable aging process-at least not without expensive drugs, surgery, or high-tech interventions. But what most people don’t realize is that they do have the power to look younger and feel healthier-beginning with their next meal. A diet rich in raw foods, vegetable juices, pure water, whole grains, and lean protein can begin to gently cleanse the body and protect it from inflammation and free radical damage that causes wrinkles and other symptoms of aging. Add to a healthy, whole foods diet periodic cleanses, and you could literally watch the years roll off your face.

The four-step plan of the Wrinkle Cleanse is designed to flush toxins from the body, carrying away toxins and poisons. It outlines a detailed, easy-to-follow program to help you rejuvenate your cells and transform your health:

STEP 1: The Quick Cleanses. These begin with an All-Day Vegetable Juice Fast or a Two Day Raw-Food Rejuvenator, both of which will enliven the body and help repair damaged cells virtually overnight. These are an excellent “kick-start” to the Wrinkle Cleanse program or a “quick-fix” to prepare for a special weekend or event.

STEP 2: The 14-Day Day Diet. This portion of the program introduces a diet that includes raw vegetables, fruit, sprouts, vegetable juices, pure water, whole grains, legumes, leans proteins and other nutrient-rich foods. It eliminates the substances that increase inflammation and contribute to wrinkles such as simple and refined carbs, caffeine, alcohol, and junk food, resulting in firmer skin and improved muscle tone.

STEP 3: The Cleansing Boost. These cleanses give the body an opportunity to experience deep cleansing in the organs of the body, such as the intestinal tract, liver, gallbladder, and kidneys. These unique cleansing programs help to flush away toxins that congest organs and promote aging. The Cleansing Boost can totally transform your face and overall health. You begin with a colon cleanse then go to the 7-Day Liver Cleanse, the 7-Day Gallbladder Cleanse and the Kidney Cleanse.

STEP 4: Energy-Boosting Supplement Program. This aspect of the cleanse program outlines the vitamins and minerals that help renew skin and increase vitality. Antioxidants such as alpha- and beta-carotene, vitamin E, glutathione, selenium, and alpha lipoic acid bind to free radicals and keep them from damaging your cells.

You may think this sounds too simple. How could such an inexpensive dietary program make a person look younger? I can tell you firsthand it works. Several years ago I was traveling more than I was home. My eyelids and skin began looking considerably older with creases, wrinkles, and folds. My husband even commented that maybe I should get an eyelift. I knew that if I was looking older at an accelerated pace, aging was also taking place internally-perhaps even setting me up for major disease. I took action! I started a cleansing program with a diet of raw foods and a three-day vegetable juice fast. After the first week, I continued to juice vegetables every day. I cut out most carbs, even though I’m a mashed potato lover. It paid off. In a few months, I noticed my skin tightened, the creases and droopy eyelids were gone. My eyes look larger again. Even my chin line toned up. Someone asked me if I’d had an eyelift. Best of all, I felt really good. Alive! And you can too. Give the Wrinkle Cleanse a try. After all-you have nothing to lose but wrinkles. (C) Cherie Calbom

Posted in Skin Care0 Comments

10 Tips on Creating the Gift of Gab For Fun And Profit

Yeah! We all know them. Those disgusting people who can walk into any situation and seem to fit right into the conversation. They seem to feel at home with any crowd, and they can turn a bunch of strangers into friends in moments. In fact, they can do it in the time it takes you and me to munch a couple of dainty sandwiches, drink a glass of punch, and fade into the wall paper.

I guess it’s one of those things you are either born with, or brought up to do.

Or is it?

Like many things in life, being able to feel comfortable among strangers, make conversation on topics you know little about, and come out on the other end with new friends or business contacts is a skill that can be learned. While being born with certain genes or having been raised a certain way can surely help, you can learn how to get around those presumed limitations, and might even wind up being better at carrying it off than those who seem to have a head start on you.

While entire courses and training programs could be committed to turning the most insipid wallflower into a blossoming conversationalist and bon vivant, here are a few tips to help you ratchet up your “gift” of gab to a point where you too can join the crowd in the corner and discourse wittily on the subject at hand…usually.

1. Start with who you are. Don’t ever fake it. If you’re a gardener and the topic is rocket science, listen and learn. When the garden crowd drifts over, there’s YOUR chance to shine. You are simply not going to be the center of attention, or even a small fountain of wit and wisdom in every conversation.

2. Listen and learn. Since we mentioned it above, let’s explore this a little. First of all, you can often seem wiser than you are by keeping your mouth shut. While it’s shut, listen to that rocket scientist. Maybe the dry, technical details are over your head, but he may say something that makes sense to you and you can use the info in a conversation later. He may whet your interest in the topic, and what better source of reference than to ask the learned speaker what his, or her, advice would be on how to learn more.

3. Be patient. We have already established that you don’t want to jump in over your head and that you may benefit from the discourse anyway. However, no matter how elevated the topic, any conversation may often drift to other, more mundane topics, particularly if there are others, like yourself, who are in the dark on some highly technical issue.

4. Be curious. As mentioned above, asking a pertinent question or even professing to ignorance in hope of enlightenment will generate sparks of familiarity with the speakers. More than once, I have watched several experts practically compete with one another in their attempts to simplify and communicate a difficult subject to someone who seemed genuinely interested. Anyway, people like to have their egos stroked, and giving them an opportunity to demonstrate their command of the subject, or asking them for their opinion can really get the juices flowing. In the middle of all this, you learn more, create new friendships, and grow more comfortable within the group.

5. Admit mistakes and ignorance, take blame, laugh at yourself. One of the easiest ways to put others at ease is to admit your own ignorance. When you begin a statement or question by letting the others know that you might not know what you are talking about, they feel less “threatened” if that is a good word. It is a tension breaker in all directions when someone owns up to ignorance or error. Most people feel inclined to forgive those who can own up to their errors or lack of knowledge. They will also feel more comfortable if you can laugh at yourself.

6. Have a sense of humor. While many subjects are serious and do not allow a lot of leeway for humor, most people in a conversation are generally open to humor as long as it is not mocking or of the keystone cops variety. Of course, if the group is just cutting up, then cut up with them.

7. Educate yourself. The essence of feeling comfortable in a group is knowing that you are as knowledgeable as anybody else there. While you may regularly feel this way at work, where you are among peers, it may be quite different at a party or on a date where your counterpart may be from some other field or social group. Keeping up with the basics on current events in the fields of politics, economics, sports, science, health, and entertainment gives you toeholds on which to stand above the crowd in many conversational venues.

It also helps to keep up with popular books and movies of the moment. Even if you can only get around to actually reading or seeing one, and that one is NOT the one under discussion, you will at least have some concept of what many other popular books (or movies, or TV shows) of the moment are about, and you will possibly be able to ask rational questions which gives those who ARE familiar with the subject the opportunity to shine.

8. Prepare yourself. While education as mentioned above is a daily process, and might not have much depth, preparation can go much deeper. There are two ways that this can turn you into a conversational powerhouse.

** Become an expert on a particular subject or area. It could be a hobby, or you could just find something that interests you and might be of interest to others. For example, if you were an expert on precious stones, politics, antique coins, rare books, health, or physical fitness, there will be opportunities for you to discourse learnedly on your subject. If it is a subject that you feel deeply about, the depth of your feelings will often mold your presentation and manner of speech in such a way as to leave an impression on your listeners.

** Cram before the event if possible. If you are going to be among investors, learn some investing terminology. If as you read you have questions that the books or tapes don’t seem to answer, save those. You may have a chance to ask a genuine (or assumed) expert.

9. Encourage others to speak. If Jane is commenting on a subject and seems to reach an end, encourage her to go on. You can simply say, “tell me more”, or you can ask a question as mentioned above. If Jane is standing in the crowd and you know she is itching to say something, ask something like, “Jane! Didn’t I hear you talking about that earlier?” Of course, if you have no idea what Jane is thinking, shut up and leave her in peace.

10. Follow up. If the people are of interest to you, or you want to learn more about the subjects discussed, get names and numbers, ask for business cards, and carry some of your own. Call them up later to tell them how much you enjoyed the conversation, invite them to meet you for a lunch or cup of coffee, or send them a small gift that in some way relates to the experience.

A few months ago, I attended a presentation given by a local newspaper editorial writer. In the process of his presentation, I realized that many of his points were similar to, though not the same as, some points made in a book that I had enjoyed. I chatted with him after the presentation for just a couple of minutes, but managed to ask him if he had ever read the book. He admitted that he had not but seemed interested in it, even taking a moment to get a business card and write down the title of the book and the name of the author.

Later, when I was checking it out on Amazon, I realized that I could get a copy sent to him for a few dollars and did so. A few days later, he contacted me, thanking me for the book. He and I have communicated occasionally since then, and he has offered me encouragement and advice on my writing, and has even suggested I join a professional organization I had not even known existed.

One of the most important investments you can make in any “growth stock” is in the quantity and quality of your personal and business contacts AND your friends. Life is much easier for those who have invested wisely and widely in these. With a good list of friends and professional contacts, the next job is easier to find, the solution to the next problem is in your address book, the right contact is a phone call away, and life is a pleasant passage indeed.

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The Aspartame Report

Aspartame Defined

Aspartame is a synthetic chemical made up of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine and a methyl ester that breaks down into methyl alcohol (wood alcohol). It is 200 times sweeter than sugar (but considered to be calorie-free) and was approved by the FDA in 1981 as a tabletop sweetener and for use in gum, breakfast cereals and other dry products. The use of aspartame was expanded to soft drinks in 1983 and then for use as a general-purpose sweetener in all foods and drinks in 1996. It is marketed under the names Equal, NutraSweet and Canderel and is found in over 6000 foods (including many chewable vitamins) and beverages worldwide. The current “acceptable daily intake” of 50 mg/kg body weight represents the projection of animal studies based on lifetime intake.

Metabolism of Aspartame

Upon ingestion, aspartame breaks down into several chemicals, including phenylalanine, aspartic acid, methanol and formaldehyde, to name a few. Phenylalanine naturally occurs in the human body and aspartame’s breakdown to this essential amino acid poses a health risk to those born with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare inherited disease that prevents phenylalanine from being converted into tyrosine and eventually metabolized. All aspartame-containing foods sold in the United States must state “Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine” on their product labels.

Alcoholic beverages contain methanol impurities, the body is protected from methanol by the preferential metabolism of ethanol.

The human body lacks the enzyme required to split methanol from pectin in fruits and vegetables, so the methanol is never released into our bodies when consuming alcoholic beverages. There is so much more ethanol than methanol in alcoholic drinks that the body does not have time to metabolize the methanol and it is excreted naturally through the breath and urine. (You’d need to drink 58 bottles of Jack Daniels at once to reach toxic levels of methanol…)

The bad news is, when we ingest aspartame, humans do possess the enzyme required to separate methanol from the amino acids (aspartic acid and phenylalanine in this case). Methanol is then released and absorbed into the body, is unstable in the body and gets converted into formaldehyde, characterized as a class A poison, which is used to prevent dead bodies from decaying, i.e. embalming fluid. Some formaldehyde will be converted into formic acid, which can cause central nervous system depression, coma and death, in certain quantities. Adverse effects of formaldehyde include irreversible genetic defects, degeneration of white blood cells, leukemia, and nose/throat cancer.

Adverse Effects

By 1995, the FDA received 7,232 complaints about aspartame. (See Table 1). Continued use of aspartame can cause aggravation of diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia, convulsions, headache, depression, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, arthritis and brain tumors. Aspartame use can create symptoms that simulate multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, System Lupus Erythematosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) to name a few. Aspartame intake can result in increased food consumption, damage to the retina or optic nerves and can affect the amino acid-derived neurotransmitters. In addition, aspartame changes the ratio of amino acids in the blood, blocking or lowering the levels of serotonin, tyrosine, dopamine, norepinephrine and adrenaline.

Table 2 below shows a breakdown of specific complaints associated with aspartame use. (Roberts, HJ. Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 2001, http://www.sunsentpress.com)

Complaint – #

Eye

Decreased vision, blurred vision, tunnel vision, “bright flashes” ,etc. 302

Pain (one or both eyes) 87

Decreased tears, trouble with contact lens, or both 95

Blindness (one or both eyes) 27

Ear

Tinnitus (“ringing”) 146

Severe intolerance for noise 80

Marked impairment of hearing 57

Neurological

Headaches 516

Dizziness, unsteadiness, or both 376

Confusion, memory loss, or both 376

Severe drowsiness and sleepiness 150

Parenthesis (“pins and needles”) or numbness of limbs 183

Convulsions (grand mal epileptic attacks) 129

Petit mal attacks 36

Non-classified seizures 21

Severe slurring of speech 124

Severe tremors 101

Severe “hyperactivity” and “restless legs” 78

Atypical facial pain 70

Simulation of multiple sclerosis 28

Psychological/Psychiatric

Severe depression 281

Suicidal ideas/attempts 46

Extreme Irritability 194

Severe anxiety attacks 201

Marked personality changes 167

Recent severe insomnia 169

Severe aggravation of phobias 77

Addiction to aspartame 32

Chest/Heart

Palpitations, tachycardia or both 193

Shortness of breath 110

Atypical chest pain 85

Recent hypertension 64

Gastrointestinal

Nausea 127

Diarrhea 106

Abdominal pain 125

Pain on swallowing 61

Skin/Allergies

Severe itching without a rash 87

Severe lip and mouth reactions 54

Uricaria (hives) 47

Severe genital itching, rash, or both 25

Lupus Erythematosus-type eruption 7

Other rashes 101

Marked thinning or loss of hair 71

Aggravation of respiratory allergies 17

Dual sensitivity to MSG 14

Weight Disorders

Paradoxical marked weight gain 83

Marked weight loss 40

Rheumatologic/Muscular

Severe joint pains 163

Fibromyalgia 27

Leg and hand cramps 28

Myasthenia gravis 8

Endocrine/Metabolic

Problems with diabetes (loss of control/aggravation of diabetic complications, etc.) 118

Aggravated hypoglycemia 74

Menstrual changes (reduction or cessation of periods) 76

Hyperthyroidism (Grave’s Disease) 8

Fluid/Urinary Disturbances

Frequency of voiding, burning on urination, or both 126

Intense thirst 116

“Bloat” 100

Fluid retention and swelling (feet and legs) 43

Kidney stones 3

Aspartame Disease

The term “aspartame disease” has been coined to encompass the reactions to the chemical sweetener. For a chemical that was originally being tested to prevent ulcers, it has been shown to create peptic ulcers. In addition, aspartame use has been reported to mimic Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Post-poli Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Grave’s Disease, Mainer’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Hypothyroidism, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Parkinson’s Disease, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Attention Deficit Disorder.

Health professionals are often unable to diagnose a case of aspartame toxicity when they see one since other disease’s may be mimicked. The American Diabetes Association (which receives considerable funding from the aspartame industry), suggests that aspartame is useful in managing diabetes. Aspartame is known to interfere with production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter important in appetite regulation. Emerging evidence suggests that ingestion of aspartame can lead to carbohydrate craving.

Many individuals who reported complaints in Table 1 and 2 reported recurring symptoms after re-challenge with the product. In one study, nearly 2/3 of aspartame reactors experienced symptomatic improvement within two days after avoiding aspartame. With continued abstinence, their complaints generally disappeared. 6 pilots lost their licenses for unexplained seizures while consuming aspartame products. All had been in otherwise excellent health. They purposefully re-challenged themselves to be “absolutely certain” of the causative role of aspartame. All sought to have their licenses reinstated by such objective confirmation on re-challenge.

Timeline of FDA approval

(see rense.com/general33/legal.htm and mercola.com/article/aspartame/fda.htm)

Aspartame was discovered in 1965 by a chemist from Searle company who was working on an anti-ulcer drug.

Based on data submitted from Searle to the FDA, aspartame was approved for limited use in 1974.

A researcher from Washington School of Medicine (Dr. John Olney) revealed that holes in the brains of mice appeared after consumption of aspartic acid, a major ingredient of aspartame. This prompted the FDA to organize a Task Force (1975) to investigate Searle’s original research.

One of these studies was by Dr. Waisman who did a study for Searle (1969) in which aspartame was mixed with milk and given to seven infant monkeys; five monkeys had gran mal seizures and one died.

The FDA discovered that when Searle submitted the Waisman study, all the negative data had been omitted.

Upon further investigation, the FDA uncovered serious deficiencies in Searle’s animal research to accurately determine toxic potential which overall, compromises the scientific integrity of the studies.

The FDA discovered that Searle researchers cut out tumors in animals that were fed aspartame and neglected to report all of them. Some animals were “reported as dead” but later were reported alive again. Investigators report they “had never seen anything as bad as Searle’s testing” finding their procedures shoddy, full of inaccuracies and “manipulated” test data.

The FDA discovered that Searle falsified data from a IUD product which eventually was pulled off the market due to a lawsuit.

Searle later admitted that certain tumors were related to the ingestion of a breakdown product of aspartame, Diketopiperazine (DKP).

Due to all the above, a grand jury investigation of Searle was ordered by the FDA (1977) due to “concealing material facts and making false statements” in aspartame safety tests. This is the first time in the FDA’s history that they request a criminal investigation of a manufacturer. Conveniently for Searle, the statute of limitations ran out and the investigation was dropped. (FYI-Dec, 1977 William Conlon, one of the U.S. Attorneys in charge of the investigation leaves the U.S. attorney’s office and takes a job with Searle’s law firm).

1980 – Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (recent Secretary of Defense through December 2006) vows to get aspartame approved (the FDA banned aspartame based on a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry in which 3 independent scientists confirmed that it might induce brain tumors- the Board stated that it “has not been presented with proof of reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive.”).

1981 – Ronald Reagan is inaugurated and Searle re-applies for FDA approval to use aspartame in food. Reagan appoints new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hayes Hull who appoints a 5-person commission to review the inquiry’s decision. The panel upheld the ban 3-2 but Hull installed a sixth member and the vote became deadlocked. Hull then personally broke the tie in aspartame’s favor, ignoring his own internal FDA team and he approves NutraSweet for dry products.

1983 – the National Soft Drink Association says that liquid aspartame, when stored above 85ïEUR° F, breaks down into DKP and formaldehyde, both are which are known toxins.

1983 – Consumer Attorney, Jim Turner of the Community Nutrition Institute, files suit with the FDA objecting to aspartame approval based on unresolved safety issues.

1983 – aspartame is approved for use in diet soft drinks. Hull later leaves the FDA under allegations of impropriety and takes a position with a PR firm for Searle.

1985 – Monsanto company purchases Searle and formed a subsidiary for the aspartame product ultimately forming the NutraSweet Company.

1992 – the patent expires on aspartame.

1990s-2006 -FDA continues to refute studies showing adverse effects (see European Ramazzini Foundation research) of aspartame.

1995-list of adverse effects submitted to the FDA (see Table 1)

1996 – the FDA removed all restrictions from aspartame allowing it to be used in all foods

The FDA defines safe as “reasonable certainty of no harm”. Brain tumors and seizures in aspartame-fed animals indicate possible risk to humans.

So, is Aspartame “safe”?

This has been a topic of hot debate for many years. There are those who have very negative physical reactions to this product, and those who claim they do not. Our stance is that anything we put in our bodies has an effect, whether it is obvious or not. A healthy body is one that does not have pain, disease or some kind of physical issue, and our experience is that there are very few who can claim that. We recommend the avoidance of all chemicals and artificial products like Aspartame so that the cause of undesirable “symptoms” can be determined and corrected.

Detoxifying from Aspartame and Breaking Aspartame Addiction

Following are some steps you can take to detox from Aspartame:

Attend a Health Recovery Center, like Essence Recovery Center, who specializes in detoxification and a return to health through the use of holistic practices, including Orthomolecular Medicine, and the healing arts and sciences, or detoxify on your own by the following:

1. Discontinue use of all sugar-free products from your diet,

2. Eat plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables for natural sugar content,

3. If you need sweeteners, use natural products like honey or organic brown sugar sparingly,

4. Drink plenty of water,

5. Exercise regularly, and,

6. Get plenty of rest.

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Horizon PST6 Treadmill Review For the Fitness Enthusiast

The Horizon pst6 treadmill is a great treadmill with lots of features. This treadmill would be an excellent choice for anyone from expert or beginner at a good price. Horizon is also a very trusted brand in the fitness equipment industry.

The pst6 goes from 0-12 miles per and can easily be adjusted. It has a zero to twelve percent incline range. The higher your range and speed the more weight you will lose and the more stamina you will build. Some of the brands in the same price range only go ten miles per hour and don’t even have an adjustable incline.

There are 8 built in workout programs that can help you meet your fitness goals. You could do a different workout each day of the week and never get bored! Other models that are the same price have workouts on cards that are sold separately. You’ll save money right from the start and not have to worry about losing separate cards.

Horizon Fitness designed their PTS6 model with a blue backlit high-definition screen that gives you super clear viewing. The one touch speed and incline keys are also backlit. For those of you that can’t read the monitors on other brand the pst6 model would give your eyes a break! The monitor shows speed, time, pulse, distance, incline, calories, program profiles, and pace. All the information you could ever want to know about your workout is right there.

The pst6 model has a two and a half horsepower MagForce motor. It holds up to a 375 pound. weight capacity and is perfect for larger people who need a wider belt. This tread belt measures 20″W x 55″L.

The warranty on the Horizon pst6 is one of the best offered! It has a lifetime frame warranty, a 20-year warranty on the motor, and one year on all parts and labor. Some of the other brands only offer 90 days!

The Horizon pst6 also has a pulse grip heart rate monitor which is very convenient ant. Just hold onto the handles and your heart rate will be displayed. This keeps you from having to stop your workout to take it manually.

The Horizon pst6 treadmill is a great treadmill with many of features not offered on other treadmills in this price range. With this treadmill you get a great brand and a fantastic warranty. This could be the only treadmill you ever have to buy.

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