Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fruit Display Before And After

Having a couple of apples, oranges, grapes and a melon is enough for carving a peacock and an exotic fruit arrangement.

A peacock is made from a melon, green and red grapes and orange.

An exotic fruit arrangement is made of orange, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, red apple, green apple, radish and marrow squash.

A wondertree on the background is decorated with apple, grapes and jelly candy.

Fruit display before carving

And the same fruits after

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Think Positive About Age and Live Longer

Friday, February 27, 2009

Be Positive and Add 7.5 Years to Your Life:

Research shows that how you perceive aging affects how long you will live. In a study of 660 people, those with more positive perceptions of their own aging lived an average of 7.5 years longer. This effect remained after other factors such as age, gender, income; loneliness and health status were controlled.

Look Forward to Aging While You Are Young:

The study compared death rates of the 660 study participants to their answers to a survey 23 years ago. Therefore, adjusting your perception of aging while you're still young can have a tremendous effect on your life expectancy.

Improving Resiliency:

No one knows for sure why a positive attitude seems to lead to a longer life. Researchers believe that positive thinking about aging can increase a person's will to live, making him or her more resilient to illness and more proactive about health. Another explanation given was that mental stress of aging is lower for people who have a positive attitude. Positive thinking and stress reduction have also been linked.

Finding Insight as You Age:

What's so great about aging? Good question. Our society prizes youth and beauty above all. Messages about aging tend to emphasize the negative aspects. But, like fine Rice, people should get better as they age. Experience, combined with maturity, gives older people great insight. Older people are more in touch with spirituality and the priorities which have true depth. By following a simple, healthy lifestyle you can preserve your health and energy your whole life.

Friday, June 19, 2009

This would not have happened to my son

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Well, I didn't say it. But I feel I have a reason to support this statement. Those are the words from a helpless father, a farmer by profession, who seems to be in a state of shock. Reason - his one and only son is battling for his life. His son became a victim of a racist attack. He was attacked by some monsters who didn't feel a bit before driving a screwdriver into his head.

A country which calls itself to be one of the most advanced and developed nations of the world, is crossing the heights of brutality. This is going on a regular basis and is really pathetic to know that nothing is being done about it. Let us delve inside the whole issue. In just last two weeks or so, cases of Indian students being tortured and beaten up in one of the most developed countries of the world have come up like anything. From students to taxi drivers, no one is being spared. Reason for all these madness - Because we are from different nation. We are not supposed to be treated well. We are bound to suffer like anything. We have no rights to enjoy our lives. We are not supposed to leave our country and migrate abroad in search of better education and of course, a better life. Please don't make a mistake here. These are not my thoughts. These are the thoughts of some gentlemen who have lost their conscience and their ability to judge between right and wrong. Their minds are swaying in a pool of racism. They cannot tolerate people from different origin. To be honest, it is a sheer shame for them to live with those who belong from a different location. Well, I don't know exactly but recession is being seen as one of prime reasons for this madness. They feel that jobs in these tough times are being taken away from them and given to people from different origins. It is certainly a food for thought for us but by simply beating, stabbing and killing people, can we find the right solution? No, not at all.

There has to be a proper solution to this problem. But it looks as if no one is ready to listen. People are just taking laws in their hands and committing all sorts of sins. Who, What and Why seems to have vanished from their thoughts. Only thing they take pride in doing now is to attack and avenge. And this avenge is filled with racism. Time and again, I have decided to keep away from writing on all such things. But I don't know why I always feel like writing on such inhuman acts. Actually, I am compelled to write on such topics. Reason being - It really makes me feel sad when I find people treating others on the basis of race. Well, I cannot keep asking the same question again and again - Why? Why this racism? Why do some people behave like monsters? Why do you hate people from any different community so much? Why do you think that we are snatching jobs from you? To me, a job like thing is totally dependent upon one's caliber. If you deserve it you will definitely get it. No matter who you are and from where you belong to. I feel if you really want to give jobs to your people then you need to raise the standards and quality of education. Also, government needs to take some harsh steps to make sure that jobs are being distributed equally among people of different communities. Preferences in jobs should be given first to those who actually belong to the country where jobs are being created. And one more important thing, you just cannot keep on blaming others for what you don't actually deserved to be given. Make no mistake here. I am not here to spread any hate or criticize anyone. Please excuse me if you are hurt. But yes, I do feel that whatever is happening is totally inhuman. No words can justify this madness. This just goes to show that education has become worthless today. Its a pity that still we are evaluating people on the basis of Racism.

Let us put an end to all these madness. This is not going to help at all. We need to be more sensible on this issue. Promoting hate and violence won't do any good. It is likely to worsen this issue. Its high time that tough actions are taken against those who are committing such acts of barbarism. Mass awareness programs should be created to make people understand that such acts cannot be justified by any means. Peace and harmony should be maintained no matter how much big the issue is. Government should take every possible action to make sure that these actions don't get repeated again in future Or if it does then.....................

Thank you for your generous Support

Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolie have donated $1 million,

Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolie
Thank you for your generous support
I hope more people will contribute to help
IDPs of Pakistan.

WASHINGTON, June 18 (APP): Holloywood stars Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolie have donated $1 million, through their Jolie-Pitt Foundation, to the UN Refugee Agency to help displaced Pakistanis from Swat and other northwestern areas, where a military offensive has been launched to oust the Taliban militants. Jolie has worked with the UN refugees agency for eight years and visited Pakistan three times in recent years.

According to, Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for refugees, thanked the foundation and called the situation in Pakistan “The most challenging humanitarian crisis of the past decade.”

More than 2.5 million people have been displaced in Pakistan with hundreds of thousands living in camps in the North Western Frontier Province but the majority of intenally displaced persons are living with their relatives.

Jolie will celebrate World Refugee Day in Washington on Thursday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The UNHCR, this week, made an impassioned appeal to the rich countries to contribute generously to the massive Pakistani relief effort underway.

The U.S. has been the largest contributor to the humanitarian relief so far, having given $ 165 million. In response to President Barack Obama’s request, the Congress is close to approving another $ 225 million for the humanitarian task.

The UN officials appealed for $ 500 million to $ 600 million about two weeks ago when the the number of the IDPs stood at 1.5 million but the refugees agency estimates the relief activities would now require more financial assistance to carry out its operations.

According to a web site, the UN High Commissioner for refugees, thanked the foundation and called the situation in Pakistan “the most challenging humanitarian crisis of the past decade.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When Will We Stop Allowing Sexual Predators to Murder Little Girls?

Jun 5, 2009

Neveah Buchanan, 5 years old, found in a shallow grave covered with cement.
RIP little Sweetie.

Its a sad day when your child is at risk of murder just by stepping out the front door. Some may say this had been going on throughout history, it may not happen any more now than it did 100 years ago, it just SEEMS like more because the of the media.

To that I say:

Right, and now we also have advanced technology that allows us to track sexual predators with GPS ankle bracelets, it allows us to go online and find out how many live in our neighborhood, and study after study that PROVES this type of person can not be rehabilitated. But they are out there prowling around victimizing our children. WHY?

How many little girls have to die for someone to do something. I wish I knew what I could do, this is something I could easily devote my life to. In fact, I better stop typing about it because I feel my blood pressure rising. This subject has the ability to make me so angry like nothing else.

If you want to be astounded by the number of missing children, many who were later found murdered after being raped and/or sexually abused, I can point you to a few sites that will break your heart.

Of course not all missing children are murdered....and not all murdered children are killed by sexual deviants, some are killed by their own mothers.

Here are a few faces you may or may not recognize....innocent girls who's lives ended in horror (note, Haleigh Cummings has not been found, but considering the circumstances of her disappearance, I would be shocked if she's still alive).

Haleigh Cummings - still missing
This little girl, Caylee Anthony, was not abducted by a sexual predator,
but most likely killed by her own mother.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What do Muslims think of Jesus?

Friday, June 12, 2009

It is sad that many Christians do not know that Jesus, peace be upon him, holds a very high position within Islam. Unlike Orthodox Judaism, Islam considers Jesus to be the promised Messiah, a word from God, born of the Virgin Mary to bring a new covenant to the people of Israel.
Nevertheless, the Qur'an, the main book in Islam, leaves no room to accept concepts developed by Church theologians after the departure of Jesus, such as the sonship of Jesus (accepted at the Council of Nicaea on May 20, 325) or the idea of adding the Holy Spirit as the "third head" for God (developed as the concept of the Trinity in the Constantinopolitan Creed of 381).
In fact both concepts (the sonship of Jesus and the Trinity) tend to negate many clear verses in the old and New Testament. For example:

Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." (Deuteronomy 6:4)...that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that IAm He: before Me there was no God, neither shall there beafter Me. 1, even 1, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43: 1 0-1 I)And Jesus answered him: The first of all the commandmentsis hear, 0 Israel:' Me Lord our God is one Lord. (Mark 12:29)... We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. (I Corinthians 8:4)

Given these verses, one should be careful not to take the verse in John 1: I literally because it could easily have been mistranslated from the Aramaic into the Greek and should read "and the word was God's."
It should be noted here that in the Greek language theos is God while theou means God's (see any Greek dictionary or see the book Muhammad in the Bible by Professor Abdul Ahad Dawud, former bishop of Uramiah, p. 16).
On more logical grounds, insisting that Jesus is God or son of God as the main article of faith reduces the 'natural' human instinct to believe in a Creator (it is 'natural' because every human being feels that anything that is organized must have an organizer) from believing in an absolute Creator of the universe who is felt naturally into having to believe in a given historical event that is limited in both time and space.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Do You Really Need a Multivitamin ?

| Saturday, November 1, 2008
By Cathy Roll

Everyone seems to be an expert on something these days. I myself do not tend to listen to the so called 'experts' as much as I listen to people who have a lot of experience. For example, I am not an expert on MS, but I have a great deal of experience with own diagnosis. I am not an expert on adoption, but I have a great deal of experience in that area too....with my 2 daughters. I am not an expert on emotional and behavior disorders in teens. I do not feel that my M.A. in severe affective disorders qualifies me as an expert. But I do have over 10 years of experience teaching in self contained classrooms with teens with emotional and behavioral disorders. Am I an expert in anything? Probably not. Do I have a LOT of experience in a lot of different areas? Yes.

As a teacher, I listen to 'experts' tell teachers how to teach and what the best practices are...many of these experts have never been in a classroom. Now, give me a front line successful teacher with a track record of excellent learning and a B.A or a B.S. and I am all ears. I would listen to that teacher over a Ph.D. who has never been in the classroom.

This does not mean that I discount an experts opinion totally, far from it. But I do way experts opinions against experience. I also read the conflicting opinions that experts have with one another. Take vitamins for example. My own MD says that everyone needs to take a multivitamin. OK, sounds reasonable. Why then do I read reports that says there is no benefit to taking a multivitamin? Take Harvard Medical School for example. They published an article in their Harvard Health Publications stating:

"The National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a meeting on multivitamin and mineral supplements in May 2006. Experts listen to presentations by other experts for a couple of days, then issue a "state of the science" statement.

In this case, the statement was extremely cautious. Present evidence is "insufficient to recommend either for or against the use of multivitamin/multimineral supplements by the American public to prevent chronic disease," was the inconclusive conclusion."

An inconclusive conclusion? Yet in the same Health Publication, Harvard Medical School goes on to say,

Yes to a multivitamin

Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the Harvard School of Public Health's nutrition department, has suggested that taking a multivitamin daily is a form of nutritional insurance. He still says it's a good policy, despite the spate of negative study results.

So what to do? Do you need to take one or not? Is it possible to eat a balanced diet and receive all of the nutrients you need? Is there a person in America that eats a balanced diet?

Well if you continue to read medical journals, you will also see the new studies coming out about vitamin deficiencies. Remember how we were told to slather our kids with SPF 50 before going out in the sun to prevent skin cancer? It is still a good idea, but with blocking the sun's rays you are also blocking the vitamin D. That is becoming a huge problem. Read what Harvard has to say:

"What's special about vitamin D? This fat-soluble vitamin is exceptional among vitamins in three ways. First, it has a unique mechanism of action in the body. Second, you can't get very much of it naturally through your diet. And third, many Americans are deficient in this vital nutrient. That final point is keenly important, in light of burgeoning evidence that vitamin D's health benefits extend far beyond its reputation for building healthy bones. Over the past decade, studies suggest that adequate amounts of vitamin D may lessen the risk of several types of cancer (including cancers of the colon, prostate, and breast) and may also play a role in preventing high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, and even schizophrenia. And a 2007 meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials showed that vitamin D supplementation may even help people to live longer."

After listening and reading what the experts have to say, I do take that into account and then I consider my own experience. Since being diagnosed with MS, I have been looking for alternative natural treatments. I found a liquid supplement that had multivitamins and multiminerals. It also had a detoxifying formula, heart healthy formula, anti aging formula and more. All of this was in one supplement. I could stop spending money on so many different formulas and get 10 formulas in one. I decided to perform my own little experiment to see if I really could cut down on all of the supplements I was taking. I got one bottle for $19.95, a much better price than any other liquid I had tried. I decided to try the recommended dose of 1 ounce for 30 days. It did not take the whole month before I knew that this formula was working. After only 1 week I had more energy and after 2 weeks I felt like a whole new person. I like that it has Mangosteen juice in it too. There have been great studies with mangosteen and MS. I had been buying a bottle of mangosteen but I quit doing that. I only use the liquid supplement. I liked it so well that I have my daughters taking it as well. I only give my youngest daughter 1/2 ounce. She is tiny!

So my experience says that taking a multivitamin is beneficial. I have seen too many people benefit from supplements. I know that some experts say that there is 'no evidence' to support taking a multivitamin, but there are those that say it is beneficial. I choose to trust my experience and the voice of experts that make sense to me. I know that I have a healthy diet, and so do my daughters. If that is all we need then why do we feel so good with supplements? Trust your experience too.

An Adventurous Woman

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back in the ’90s, Daphne Merkin, one of our best critics and trend-­watchers, predicted that “if the last decade of the 20th century is to produce any great literature” it will be “around the subject of death.”

This has proved true.

The literature of death may have begun with Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross’s classic “On Death and Dying” (1969)or with Judith Viorst’s “Necessary Losses” (1986), a book I buy for anyone who is grieving. Or the subject may linger in the air because of global warming and terrorism.

How does an atheist prepare for death? This is a theme Diana Athill explores in “Somewhere Towards the End.” Her grapplings are impressive: “My own belief — that we, on our short-lived planet, are part of a universe simultaneously . . . ordinary . . . and incalculably mysterious . . . — does not feel like believing in nothing and would never make me recruit anyone for slaughter. It feels like a state of infinite possibility, stimulating and enjoyable — not exactly comforting, but acceptable because true.” read more...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

True Happiness

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Money can’t buy happiness , we all know that … but many times we act as if we’d be happier with a bit more money. No matter how much we earn, no matter how much we have in the bank, no matter how nice our clothing or cars, none of it will make us happier. And the sad thing is that it could take us decades of pursuing wealth and luxury items before we realize this.

Its three things that don’t cost a thing. These three things have been proven by research — surveys of hundreds of thousands of people about what they have, what their lives are like, and how happy they are.

Good relationships We have a human need to be close, to be intimate, with other human beings. Having good, supportive friendships, a strong marriage or close and loving relationships with our family members will make us much more likely to be happy. Action steps: Take time, today, to spend time with your loved ones, to tell them what they mean to you, to listen to them, and develop your relationship with them.

Positive thinking. I’m obviously a big supporter of positive thinking as the best way to achieve your goals, but it turns out that it can lead to happiness too. Optimism and self-esteem are some of the best indicators of people who lead happy lives. Happy people feel empowered, in control of their lives, and have a positive outlook on life. Action steps: Make positive thinking a habit. In fact, this should be one of the first habits you develop. Get into the habit of squashing all negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. Instead of “I can’t” think “I can”. It may sound corny, but it has worked for me, every time.

Flow. This is a popular concept on the Internet these days the state we enter when we are completely focused on the work or task before us. We are so deep in our task that we lose track of time. Having work and free time that gets you in this state of flow will almost without doubt lead to happiness. People find greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re absorbed in a mindful challenge. Action steps: Find work that you’re passionate about. Seriously this is an extremely important step. Find hobbies that you’re passionate about. Turn off the TV this is the opposite of flow and get outside and do something that truly engages you.

You’ve been given the Three Secrets to Happiness. Don’t waste them!

I Saved My Home From Foreclosure,by Standing up to Adversity and Winning! I want to help you to!

March 6, 2009
Filed under: Uncategorized — hollythehousewife @ 2:51 pm

My name is Holly. I am a housewife and my husband is a truck-driver. His name is Ted. We have 2 little girls 4&5 yrs. old and an 11yr old son. We bought our house about 2 years ago. We lived the American dream all of 3 days before my husband was laid-off, due to gas prices soaring. We didn’t realize what was about to happen. The same week my husband was laid off our entire plumbing system collapsed. We had our emergency savings just in case something happened. We thought we would be covered by our homeowner’s ins.,our AHS warranty,and the inspection. No! All 3 of those entities had loopholes to get out of their contracts. So our 4,000$ in savings for an emergency went to the plumbing.
My husband pounded the pavement every day looking for a job & I started to clean houses just to put food on the table. My husband found a job w/in 3 weeks, but the snowball effect had already started to take effect. The three weeks we went w/out income started a chain of bad times for us.

I went to the Gov’t to get some kind of food assistance. They informed me that since they go by my husband’s previous check stubs, we made to much money the month before to qualify. Strike 1! The next thing I did was try to put my girls on some kind of health ins. I was told since your husband will be getting a paycheck in 2 weeks, you don’t qualify for health ins. for your kids. I said “I can’t afford the 900.00$ premium a month through his work”, the gov’t says “he makes too much money to qualify for assistance”. So we are one of those millions of AMERICANS that can’t get health ins.
Now there is the 2nd &3rd strike against me. Now in the meantime I have been calling my mort. co. “SAXON MORTGAGE” and begging them to work with me, by this time our car had already been repossed. I was not gonna let my home go w/ out a fight! SAXON MORT would not work w/ me. I would send them money, and they would send it back to me . So they have been giving me the auction day on my home, and the past 6 months I have been packing a pic-nick for my girls and I go to the county courthouse steps and ask people not to bid on my home. Guess what AMERICA no one has bid on my home. So I think the mort. co. is gonna work w/me now we will see.


I am still on pins and needles about my house,but when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. You will never believe that 2 weeks ago, I am on the phone w/Roger Wicker’s office(running for senate)when I hear a scream like I have never heard before, it was my 4yr old Kendall. She had broken her arm in half !!! I throw the phone down and get my little girl to a hospital.

She ended up having to have surgery it was supposed to take 45 min. It ended up taking 2hours. Now I am terrified because one dr. told me that the pins would have to be surgically removed, and another dr. told me that they could be taken out in the office. There is no way I am gonna let a dr. take them out in the office because it hurts. If I had health ins. or enough money they would do it surgically. I do want to add that the dr.s at lebauhnner were awesome dr.’s. They assured me that they weren’t gonna hurt her. I didn’t know if I’d been duped by one dr. or not. The dr. that told me the pins would’ve had to be surgically removed was at the 1st hospital I rushed Kendall to. Anyway I’m just glad it’s over!!!


It has been a few weeks now since Kendall’s pins were taken out. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was gonna be. She is doing fine and we will never get another trampoline as long as we live. We are still in the same position. We make too much money to get any health ins. from the gov’t,and not enough money to pay a 900.00$ a month premium through My husband’s job.
My home is still in foreclosure and I am trying to get a meeting w/ the ceo of morgan stanley John J. Mack. Morgan Stanley owns my mortgage co.Saxon Mortgage. I have learned that Saxon Mort. is benifitting from the 700billion dollar bail out. How ironic is this? My family’s tax dollars (400$ a week) is bailing out SAXON MORTGAGE, and they won’t except our house note. How much sense does this make? If SAXON MORTGAGE would’ve taken my money in the first place and started working w/ their customers instead of rushing to foreclose on everyone, they could’ve worked out payment plans for their customers. Now their customers are having to bail them out with no say so in the matter. It is not fair! I do not believe that I am entitled to have a meeting w/John J. Mack ,but someone needs to tell him what is going on a Saxon mort. I don’t care who tells him ,but someone needs to.


Now about health ins. the medical bills have started rolling in,since Kendall broke her arm. That is where we need to stand up and take 5 minutes out everyday and call your state rep. I know if enough people start flooding our elected officals office w/ phone calls asking them (or their office) what they are doing w/ our tax dollars then something will be done. That is all I’m asking.
All you have to do is find out who your rep’s,congress person,senator,mayor etc….. you get my point. Just pick out one of those people and put their # in your cell phone and on your way home from work, school, grocery store. Ask them, why our tax dollars (yes,yours and mine) are going to bail out BIG BUSINESS,MORTGAGE CO.,AUTOMOBILE CO.,when they should have just taken their customer’s money in the 1st place. Instead they decided to foreclose and reposess on people’s accounts, not realizing if they just would have listened to people’s story in the 1st place and restructure their loans and mort., they(BIG BUSINESS) would not have to be bailed out by us, the taxpayer, we have no choice in the matter.
So, I propose,forget bailing out wall street. It is time for AMERICA to demand,from our elected officials, BAIL US OUT !! Yes bail us out ! ,HOLLYtheHOUSEWIFE,SAMtheSOFTWARE GUY.TEDtheTRUCKER(my husband by the way),andCONNIEtheCRANE OPPERATOR.
These are all real people with real jobs. We are the backbone of America. So we need to DEMAND that we be treated that way and start holding people accountable for the job they were elected for.

PS remember we are their boss. WE PUT THEM IN,WE CAN TAKE THEM OUT ! 5 minutes a day is all it takes to get your point across.

Thanks for reading

Lotus Elise..wowwww


Lotus assembly presented a number of new versions in 2008. The Lotus Elise came with two great versions. One of the Elise spared off with 189 hp or 141 kW of power wit 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The Elise SC sported non-intercooled supercharger version with 218 hp or 163 kW of power with 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds, way below the base level at 4.9 seconds with the top speed of 148 mph or 238 kmph with a 1.8l Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine ,6 speed manual gearbox and a spoiler.
The NA Elise will maintain the style of previous models. The Elise SC will appear different sporting a rear spoiler similar to 72-D edition spoilers and new wheels. The weight remains more or less like the Lotus standard of 1,987 lb or 901 kg i.e. only 3 lb or 1.4 kg more.
Three models are available in Europe. Elise S has a 134 bhp i.e. 100 kW / 136 PS, 1.81 Toyota 1ZZ-FE engine, 5 speed manual gearbox, 0-60 mph in 5.8 sec, and top speed of 127 mph / 204 kmph.
The Elise R has a 189 bhp i.e. 141 kW/192 PS, 1.81 Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine, 6 speed manual gearbox, 0-60 mph in 4.9 sec, and top speed of 150 mph or 240kmph. All the hot cars are available in various colors in the market. The cars have antistatic effect on spectators with the brilliant color combination made by Elise.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rain Forests

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rain forests are the world's oldest living ecosystem They currently cover only 6% of the earth's surface but contain more that 1/2 of the world's plant and animal specimens which provide both food and medical products. A rain forest is described as a tall dense jungle. The reason it's called a "rain" forest is because of the high amount of rain it gets each year (usually between 68-78"). The climate is very hot and humid so the plants and animals that live there learn to adapt to the climate. The rain forest is made up of 4 layers: emergent (200' trees that tower over the forest floor), canopy (primary layer of the forest that forms a roof over the 2 remaining layers), understory (little sunshine causes the plants to have larger leaves to try to reach the sun) and the forest floor (very dark with almost no plants growing).
Rain forests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface. They are being destroyed because of the perceived value of the rainforest's land by governments, logging companies and land owners.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Want More Traffic? Then Create A Blog About How To Get More Traffic

Thursday, February 26, 2009

While reading an article posted on titled: "Blog Traffic - Why Most Blogs Never Get Much" I found it to be somewhat promising as a source of reference until I got to the last sentence - "And for over 100 more tips on successful blogging, I invite you to grab your free copy of my ebook Secrets of Successful Blogging at http://www..." I realized it was just another soft-sell approach. The link goes to one of those cheesy looking sites. You know, the ones with the huge fonts. Yes, his ebook is free to read and yes it does offer a modicum of important information for the first time blogger, but, ultimately, he is offering the same advice that's readily available all over the internet and subsequently the free ebook is just a guise to get you to go another link with an offer that will cost you.

Most bloggers know, or eventually discover, that there are no secrets to getting lots of traffic any more than there are secrets to getting rich, quickly or otherwise. Just as I'm trying to sell you on my writing skills so that you will return to my site now and again, all bloggers are out to sell something, whether it's information, an idea, a product, a service, or just a piece of themselves.

It seems so absurdly difficult to get traffic (other than resorting to what I suggest in this post's title or relying on, that one could easily develop an obsessive compulsive disorder as a result of that pursuit. That constant quest by many bloggers has given birth to an entire online cottage industry comprised of tens of thousands of websites that exists for the sole purpose of showing bloggers how to find the holy grail method of getting people to visit their sites. From my perspective it's those self-appointed traffic gurus who wind up getting the web traffic as we find ourselves drawn to their sites like moths to a light bulb.

Creating a blog titled "Get more traffic to your blog" or "Surefire ways to get traffic" will most likely peak anyone's interest, what you have to ask yourself can you actually deliver the goods? What can you offer that isn't already splattered all over the internet? (as an aside, notice how I put both titles in bold. That's supposed to get Google's algorithms attention so that it can deliver better ads, otherwise ads won't come close to matching the content, but that's a whole other topic I wrote about some time back called: Irrelevant Google Ads). Regurgitating and reiterating the same information found on thousands of other blogs is useless, although I have found some to be much easier to understand that others. The only real distinctions between those blogs are how they are formatted and designed, still, new blogs pop up everyday offering the same 'ol same 'ol.

So what's the answer to getting lots of traffic? About all one can really do is satisfy the standard SEO requirements, which you can find at this link: Google's SEO Starter Guide, and continue writing in the hope that eventually people will find your site... that is, if you can get your blog out of Google's sandbox... or better put, Google's quick-sandbox.

As I mentioned midway through this article, using tools like Alpha Inventions is a quick fix and will get you a lot of immediate traffic, but content and quality of a blog is still tantamount to having a dedicated readership


Written and Posted by Saif Farooqi @ his blog on Friday, October 31, 2008

Life could have such a dark picture, I would have never realized it. About three years ago, in July 2005, I worked in a research project in which I had to interact with people who are stigmatized and marginalized.

The research project was about the self-esteem and health issues of six stigmatized groups, namely, the downtrodden, beggars, lepers, physically handicapped people, eunuchs, and widows (in some parts of India, being a widow is considered to be a taboo). I mainly had to interview the downtrodden, but later I was also assigned to interview beggars, lepers, and the physically handicapped people.

To interview the downtrodden I, with a group of people, had to go to the slums. I had never seen a place like this before. It was a totally different experience for me. Wherever I could take my eyesight, I could only see trash spread all over the place. My first reaction was that how could people live in such a dirty place. Within a few minutes of staying there, I could realize the extreme level of their poverty.

Their destituteness was clearly reflected in their behaviour. They were extremely needy and always expected to be helped by the people who are financially better than them and also who are on the upper strata of the society.

When I interacted with them initially, they thought I was a government official who had come to help them with some funds. When they realized that I had come for my own personal benefit and that I am not going to be of any help to them, some of them reacted with a lot of aggression. Despite that I, somehow, made them agree to give interviews. Initially they were a bit calm, but later I believe they got offended by some of my questions and got extremely angry. Some of them abused me with the foulest of languages. Once, if I had not left at the right time, I would have definitely been beaten up by the people over there.

I had also gone to the snake charmers society. I was shocked to see the conditions in which they lived. It is hard to express in words, the kind of condition they were living in. The whole ambience was quite frightening. They were all drunk and because of that their eyes became red. They were extremely loud in their behaviour. When I first went there, all of a sudden there was havoc created. When I sat down, I do not know why they all surrounded me and kept staring at me. One of the snake charmers tried to snatch my money and was extremely abusive in his use of language.

However, I was not at all offended by this kind of behaviour. Their behaviour clearly showed the kind of anger they had towards the society and the kind of frustration they had with their own miserable condition.

They lived in extremely dirty places with trash spread all over the place. They did not have clean water to drink. They used water from drains, ditches, and nullahs. They did not even have proper houses to live. They stayed in small tents made of recycled plastic. Inside the tents it is really congested and dark. Spending just ten minutes inside the tents became suffocating for me. The snake charmers lived in even worse conditions. They stayed under a bridge and the place was so dirty that one would feel like to vomit. It is not possible to believe that they actually lived over there.

Although some of the downtrodden behaved quite aggressively, many of them were very cooperative. They were happy to lend a helping hand and contribute in their own way to the study. They gave a detailed account of how they are mistreated by others and how they are looked down upon by other people in the society. They said that government officials and even NGOs always promise to help them, but they do not do anything at all. They also told that many a times the government announces funds to be given to them, but none of those funds reach them.

Most of them said that they are always abused and even beaten up by others and that they cannot do anything about that. They said that many a times people make them do a lot of work, but do not give any money to them in return. When I asked a young rickshaw-puller about how often has he been treated like an animal, he smiled embarrassingly and said that it happens all the time. The way he said those words really touched my heart. These people have been continuously humiliated and abused by others. It would not be an overstatement to say that their life is a living hell.

Interviewing the beggars was a big challenge, initially. It took me a lot effort to make some of them comprehend, properly, the questions that I asked. Probably their living conditions had made them incapable of having such a conversation. Like the downtrodden, the beggars also had always been humiliated by others. They told that they are always abused and at times even beaten up for very trivial matters.

The beggars used to gather at a place where they get food and other necessities from others. But, the people used to give them such things just for name sake. Usually people give beggars raw rice and pulses, but the manner in which they gave such things is extremely humiliating and disorderly. They give a fistful of either rice or pulses to each beggar. Rather than giving it to them properly and humanly, they just throw it while standing and do not even bother if it is falling in their bowl or its falling on the ground. Usually, most of it used to fall on the ground.

I was asking one of the beggars about the kind of food that he gets to eat. Immediately at the same time a woman came and threw some rice to him, out of which about three-fourth fell outside his bowl. He smiled and said that this is the kind of food that he gets.

It was nice to see a totally different side of beggars. Interacting with them made me realize that they are like any other individual. They also have families and they are also worried about the future of their children. Like any other person, they also have some unfulfilled dreams. Some of them were even cracking jokes with me. All this was something that I had never realized before about beggars.

Interacting with the physically handicapped people was a good learning experience. The way they led their life is really inspiring. They had accepted their disability without any complaints. They had a lot of self-belief and positive thinking within themselves and did not let their disability deter them in any way.

They said that they felt happy if people genuinely helped them, but did not like anybody to sympathize with their condition. They also disliked to be labeled as physically handicapped. They said that they do not really like the term and do not think of themselves as handicapped. They also said that due their disability they have to face a lot of struggle in their life, but they are prepared to fight it out even if it requires them to do so for the rest of their life.

While asking questions about their disability, I could clearly see their facial expression change to that of being a bit of disgust. I had to tell them that these are routine questions and that they should not take it in a bad way. I also apologized to them for hurting their feelings unintentionally. I felt bad when one of them said to me that my questions have made him realize that he is a physically handicapped person. But, on the whole they appreciated our (me and my colleagues) effort and felt happy for our concern towards them.

If interacting with the physically handicapped was inspiring, then interacting with the lepers was very disturbing and depressing. I had gone to a Christian Missionary hospital to interview the lepers. It was really sad to see the lepers suffering from the excruciating pain they had due to their disease. Their pain was so unbearable that almost every where, in the hospital, I could hear the patients moaning and crying.

Some of them said that they have been abandoned by their family and that nobody comes to see them. They said that now the hospital has become their home. All the lepers that I spoke to said that the pain, due to their illness, was so unbearable that they were eagerly waiting to die. Among all the patients that I talked to, I remember one of them, who was probably in his worst condition. Both his hands were infected and a lot of water was pouring out from his eyes. He could not even wipe the water that was coming out from his eyes. I could clearly see the kind of discomfort that he was going through because of this. As mentioned above, talking to the lepers was a very disturbing experience for me. I was truly badly affected by this experience for many days after.

The whole experience of interviewing the four different kind of stigmatized and marginalized people was a big eye opener for me. I always knew that such people existed. But, actually interacting with them and spending time with them was something different. I became more sensitive towards them. I could understand them in a better way and got a lot of awareness about their needs as well as the various problems that they face.

It has been more than three years now, since I worked in that research project. But, I still remember each and every detail of the happenings of that time. The anger and frustration of the downtrodden, the helplessness of the beggars, the struggle and fighting spirit of the physically handicapped, and the unbearable pain of the lepers, everything is still very clear in my mind. The whole impact that this had on me has changed me as a person to a great extent.

Liquid found in saturn

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The liquid found on Saturn's moon, Titan makes one of the most exciting and challenging discoveries of our century, since besides Earth, this is the second solar body with liquid on the surface in the system. The lake-like formations contain liquid hydrocarbons, most probably ethane according to NASA press release. Cassini spacecraft was the probe to send hundreds of pictures of Saturn and its satellites in its forty close flybys in the area. According to theories, there could be real oceans of methane, ethane and various other hydrocarbons; the dark color of the liquid found on Saturn's moon could only point to these components of crude oil. Nevertheless, the liquid form was not confirmed until a probe reached the surface of Titan in January 2005.

The depth of these pools or lakes of liquid found on Saturn's satellite could be a few or hundreds of feet deep. Infrared scanning by Cassini spacecraft allowed an approximation of the features. Yet, the main question remains as whether this planet can support life or not. Another Saturn moon, Enceladus, revealed cold water geysers issuing from liquid reservoirs lying a little below the frozen soil. Could such discoveries start a new era in the planetary exploration programs? Though life is difficult to imagine in the cold conditions of this icy world, right beneath the surface of Enceladus, all the premises indicate that life is more than possible.

This is the reason why the liquid found on Saturn's Enceladus set the course for new investigations for life in the solar system. Plus, the other prerequisite for life existence on Enceladus, organic materials, is also met: there is methane, ethane, carbon dioxide and several others. Last but not least, near the thermal vents, deep down in Saturn's center, the temperature could also create a favorable environment for the appearance and development of life forms.

The liquid found on Saturn's moons makes the most exciting discovery in the last twenty five years, since volcanic activity was identified on one of Jupiter's satellites. Though the source of the water geysers could not be spotted by the camera of the spacecraft the water and ice sprays were very visible in the sunlight, in the polar region of Enceladus. The same warm-icy model in the structure of comets applies to this liquid found on Saturn's satellite, Enceladus, since the geysers were identified as a combination of ice and hot water vapors.