Showing posts for January 2005

Reply To: Music

Music can have many effects on the human body. It can be used for things like drowning out unpleasant sounds and feelings to encouraging the release of tension. Some of the many effects that music can have on the human body are:

  • Masks unpleasant feelings and sounds

  • Affects the blood pressure and pulse rate

  • Affects respiration

  • Regulates stress

  • Reduces muscle tension and improving body movement and coordination

  • Strengthens our memory and learning

  • Boosts the body's immune system

  • Enhances romance and sexuality

  • Boosts productivity

  • Generates a sense of well-being and safety

  • Fosters endurance

This long list makes you start to see why music can make a large influence on many people.

Masks unpleasant feelings and sounds

Music can drown out or help mask unpleasant sounds and feelings in many ways. An example of this is the dentist. The dentist plays music in the background while he is using the drill. Although this does not drown out the sound of the drill, it gives the patient something else to focus on.

Affects respiration

The rate at which you breath can be affected by the music you are listening to. Slow music is known to calm you down. This calmness promotes a slower breathing rate.

On the other end of the scale is the fast music. This music will make you more awake and aware of your surroundings. This means fast music can increase your respiration rate.

Affects the blood pressure and pulse rate

This is similar to the affect music has on the respiration. As your breathing slows down when you are listening to calming music, your blood pressure and pulse rate also fall. This is simply due to you relaxing and taking things easy.

Fast music makes you want to get up an move. It is this extra movement that fast music promotes that causes your blood pressure and pulse rate to rise when you listen to faster music.

Reduces muscle tension and improving body movement and coordination

Slower music can reduce muscle tension and improve body movement and coordination. A study done at Colorado State University in 1991 showed that music has a direct affect on coordination. 24 undergraduate women had to complete a range of physical exercises including the striking of objects. When music was played, the women coordinated their movements and swings with the beat, instead of going at their own rate. The rhythm and timing of the music helped the women to know when to start their swings and gauge how fast to move.

Regulates stress

The calming effect of music can also help relieve stress. The simple act of listening to a relaxing piece of music helps you relax. This relaxation is the best method to relieve stress.

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Music

If you think music doesn’t affect you, you’ll be changing your tune after reading this. This is a true story of a recent study from Leicester University in England.

You’re off to the supermarket and decide to stop by some shelves offering French and German wine. You make up your mind to buy a bottle of the French wine.

While checking out, you’re asked why you picked the wine. You respond “The label looked great”, or “I liked the price”. Then you’re asked if you noticed the French accordion music that was playing when you took that bottle off the shelf. You say that you did. Did it affect your choice of wine today? No, of course not, you answer.

That’s funny because on the days that French music is played nearly 80% of shoppers chose the French wine. On the days that German music the Opposite happens.

In other words, this study found that if you bought some wine from their shelves you were 3 or 4 times more likely to choose a wine that matched the music than the wine that didn't match the music.

Guess what these wine-buyers responded when asked at the checkout if the music influenced their choice. Only 1 out of 44 customers said that the music was the reason they bought the wine. That’s 2%!

The influence of the music was Huge but the customers Didn’t Notice or Believe that it was affecting them. It only took a matter of minutes or seconds for music to get into these people’s brains in a powerful way.

Similar experiments have shown that classical music can make people buy more expensive wine.

Here’s another study to chew on. Most of us go out to eat at least once a week. Do you know which music makes you spend more when you’re at a restaurant?

In this study, a British restaurant played pop music, classical music and no music over the course of 18 evenings. Average spending prices per person were calculated for the following categories:

Appetizers, Main Courses, Desserts, Coffee, Drinks from the Bar, Wine, Overall Beverage Bill, Overall Food Bill, and Total Amount Spent

They also measured the total time people spent in the restaurant. Here’s what they found.

There was a Significant difference between evenings when classical music was played and no music or pop music were played. Classical music resulted in higher spending. Across the board in all categories. Other restaurants here and abroad have had similar results.

What does this mean? It’s pretty simple. Classical music relaxes and makes you feel good. And feeling good makes you want the best.

That’s why so many successful people listen to high frequency classical music. They know it helps them work better, think better, and get higher levels of energy. They know it won’t deplete them, get them distracted and raise their heart rates, like hard-hitting low frequency music does.

The amazing effect that music has on your mind and body is being proven in study after study. It’s information that should not be ignored. Especially these days, when we’re exposed to music anytime we enter a building.

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

In Britain and the U.S. there is an lot of people still set on using the imperial system of measurement. It is yet another case of the desire for tradition against globalization and standardization.

The Imperial units are an irregularly standardized system of units that have been used in the United Kingdom and its former colonies, including the Commonwealth countries. The Imperial system is also called the English system or the British system.

The metric system or International System of Units, is the most widely used system of units. It is used for everyday commerce in virtually every country of the world except the United States.

What is good about the imperial system

There has been many claims to why the imperial system should be around, but most are belief that are not backed by fact.

  • Traditional weights and measures should be kept as part of the national heritage
  • People already know the imperial system
  • Some metric units are less convenient
  • It could increase costs
  • Involves rewriting English literature which in any case already uses many units strange to us today

What is good about the metric system.

  • A much simpler system
  • No conversions (only one unit for each quantity)
  • No numbers to memorize (derived units are defined without numerical factors)
  • No fractions (decimals only)
  • No long rows of zeros (prefixes eliminate them)
  • Only 30 individual units (compared to hundreds of traditional units)
  • Easy to pronounce and write (short names; simple letter symbols)
  • Based on natural standards (size of Earth, water, laws of physics)
  • Coherent system (symbols can be manipulated algebraically)
  • World standard (even traditional U.S. units are defined by it)
  • The only nations other than the USA which remain officially non-metric are Liberia and Myanmar (Burma).

There is one main point that prevents the change from imperial system to the metric, understanding. There are a lot of people in all areas of all industries that want to preserve the way things were measured in the past. Some schools in the U.S. and other places do not teach enough metric measurements as their teachers are so used to using the imperial measurement.

People are opposed to change, even if it is for the better.

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Music

Music affects our moods, it is the great mood enhancer. We may not understand the words, but instead recognize the expression of its musical beauty and power to de-stress. Music has been called 'The International Language' - a very simple thought with much meaning behind it. Even if you can't speak the language of a country, you can move, sway, dance and most of all, enjoy the music of the country. We may not understand the words of a musical selection but we do understand the beauty.

Have you ever heard the saying, 'Music soothes the savage beast?' It's true. Music can calm and revitalize us in ways even a lengthy nap can't. Music holds the power to elevate our moods above our worries and relieve debilitating depression. It can also perk us up if we use it with exercise or dance.

Try listening to classical music for a sense of power. Soft lullaby-like music to unwind. Medium-fast to fast selections for exercise and housecleaning.

Putting more music in your life is a powerfully enriching tool. But other than turning on the car radio in our busy lives, what other ways can we do this? One way to do this is to take advantage of your public library's collection of music. It's fine to have a personal favorite type of music such as rock, or jazz, but discover other music you may have not thought of. Try country music. And if you decide you don't like that, try opera or alternative music. You won't believe how many tyopes of music you're going to find once you start looking. You don't have to like it. Just learn to appreciate it on its own.

Give it a chance.

When listening to music, listen to the words and rhythms as well as the melody. You may find something to like about a type of music that previously you didn't like at all.

Learn about music. Find out who wrote the pieces you like to listen to and when. What was going on in the rest of the world at the time the melody was written? Does it reflect what was happening at the time or could it have been used as an 'escape' - a more pleasant alternative than what current events dictated?

What musical instruments are played? What do you know about those instruments? Experience new musical artists. Many worthwhile musicians and vocalists go unnoticed to the general public because of a 'stuck in a musical rut' listening technique of those that only listen to a certain genre of music.

Free musical events are listed in the local newspaper. Some may turn up with names such as 'brown bag' concerts or recitals. 'Brown bag' refers to the fact they will be held during the noon hour and usually in a public place such as a park where you can bring your lunch. Recitals are usually given by music teachers to showcase their student's budding talents and also an advertisement for the teacher's own abilities. Colleges sponsor several free musical events every semester and they are worth looking into.

Other ways to incorporate music into our lives are waking up to a musical alarm, bathing to soothing, relaxing music and even dining with soft music playing in the background. Listening to music is such a basic pure pleasure that many of us forget the tremendous value of it. And dance whenever you get the chance.

Organize a music appreciation group and post notices at the public library and other spots around town. These groups get together to discuss music and musicians, listen to music and go, as a group, to musical events together.

Volunteer to share your acquired musical knowledge with others. Do this by visiting hospitals and nursing homes, senior citizen's centers and organizing talks for elementary, middle and high schools. Special interest groups are always appreciative of speakers with interesting topics.

If you play an instrument, you'll find you've stumbled onto the best audience in the world. Go back often to visit and play. In this way, you've not only made the lives of other people brighter through your music, but you're going to find yourself in much better spirits.  

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

Just think of being in front of a warm crackling fire with you partner in your hands, with a kiss and a cuddle. But have you ever thought about why people kiss? It could be a greeting or a sign of affection, but we all kiss.

Origin of the kiss

The strangest theory on the history of the kiss that I have heard finds its roots in the age of the cave man. It is thought that in primitive times that a mother pre-chewed the food for her baby and transferred it 'in a kiss'. Although this could never be proved, it would explain why the kiss is a sign of affection, between mother and child and later, adults.

The second theory that I found was that the kiss was reflected in the Ziller Valley of Central Europe, where the exchange of pre-chewed tobacco between a male and a female was common. The young man would let a tip of the piece of tobacco, or spruce resin, etc rest between his closed teeth and invite the girl to grasp it with her teeth -- which of course obliged her to press her mouth firmly on that of the young man -- and pull it out. If a girl accepted the wad of pre-chewed tobacco, it meant she returned the boy's love.

The third theory that I found was from a religious or sacred origin. There have been examples from around the world, as early as 2000 BC, which show that people could have brought their faces together to symbolise spiritual union. Even in the Indians culture, it was believed that the exhaled breath was part of the soul, and by two people bringing their mouths together, showed the joining of their souls. (Another variation on this believed that kissing evolved from the smelling of a companion's face as an act of greeting.)

Kiss through history

Even without fully knowing where the kiss came from, it is well known that the kiss has been with us for a long time.

  • In the sixth century in France, dancing was one way to display affection, and every dance was ended in a kiss.
  • Apparently, Russia was the first to incorporate the kiss into the marriage ceremony, where a promise was sealed with a kiss.
  • The Romans kissed to greet each other. One Roman emperor showed a persons importance by what part of his body they were allowed to kiss, from the cheek to the foot.
  • In 16th century England, the clove-studded apple originated. An apple was prepared by piercing it with as many cloves as the fruit could hold and then a maid carried the apple through the fair until she spied a lad she thought worth kissing. She would offer him the apple, and once he'd selected and chewed one of the cloves, they would share a kiss. After that, the apple passed into the man's possession, and he would venture off in search of another lass to continue the game with.
  • At one stage it was even thought that people found kissing pleasurable because when the two lips met during kissing, an electric current was generated.

A kiss is a kiss

Now days, kisses range from small pecks on the cheeks as a greeting, to the use of the lips and tongue as a sign of passion. It is that action that causes hormones to be released into the blood stream when two people embrace, inducing a sense of euphoria that you feed (or feel?) in the sweetness of your lovers mouth.

 It's a kiss that brings every fibre of your being alive, turns your stomach over and sends Goosebumps up your spine. It's a kiss that forgives your misdemeanours and smiles at your mistakes. Ingrid Bergman puts it together in that "a kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous".

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

Scientists have discovered a cure for the dreaded Monday morning blues - stop sleeping in on weekends.

A new study has found that lazy Saturday and Sunday lie-ins can disturb your body clock, leaving you fatigued at the start of the week.

Flinders University sleep expert Leon Lack said people often used the weekend to catch up on sleep lost during the week.

But he told the Australasian Sleep Association Conference in Perth that while this might help pay off a "sleep debt", it came at a cost.

"We've discovered that these sleep-ins are actually putting your body out of whack enough to change your Sunday night bedtime and set you up for Monday blues," Professor Lack told AAP.

His research team tested the theory by tracking 16 people over a weekend, asking them to go to bed a little later than they would on a weeknight but sleeping-in an extra two hours.

By comparing saliva samples and hormone tests he found participants' body clocks had been delayed by 45 minutes.

"That might not sound like a lot but it means that you're not quite as sleepy on Sunday night at the normal bedtime and you'll be much sleepier the next day," Prof Lack said.

Questionnaires completed on Monday and Tuesday showed much higher levels of self-reported fatigue and tiredness compared with pre sleep in days.

This was because the subjects' circadian rhythms - which determine patterns of alertness and tiredness - had been disturbed, creating an effect similar to jet lag.

By mid-week most people manage to get back on track but then they start staying up later, getting into "debt" once again and perpetuating the cycle.

"These days, we're pushing ourselves a lot, particularly during the week and the weekend is our only refuge," Prof Lack said.

The problem, he says, is that this comes at a price.

"It's a bit like paying off a mortgage - you take out a big one and you'll have a lot to pay off later on."

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

As a writer, one of the most annoying things is to not have anything to write about and can not focus. This can be a big problem for all of us, when writing a letter or even an email.

What causes it?

The first step to solving your writers block, is to understand what is is that is causing it. There are many things that can cause writers block.

  • Too much pressure to complete the writing to a to higher standard
  • We do not know that our readers know, or what they what to hear
  • We lack the fact and information
  • Lack of structure to your writing
  • No interest in the topic
  • Being tired
  • Have not thought about the topic enough.

How to solve it

There is no one solution to writers block, but the main idea is to try many different ideas over a period of time.

  • Think about alternative wordings and phrasing
  • Make many draft copies
  • Wait for an inspiration
  • Start a difficult sentence with words that help lay out the sentence, for example "Due to the fact that..." and "it is imperative that..."
  • Make notes about ideas as they come to you
  • Try brainstorming
  • Break the writing into sections and complete each section before working on the transitions between the sentences.
  • Try explain what your writing about to another person
  • Leave hard sections for latter
  • Be flexible and willing to through out sections that are causing problems.
  • Take breaks
  • Think about your audience; who are you writing it for
  • Practice your writing skills
  • Work on several articles simultaneously
  • Sleep on it
  • Allow ideas the time to develop
  • It is alright to spell a word wrong while you finish getting down your current idea

Look for ideas

When I am writing for my website, I often find myself lacking ideas to even start on. To get around this for of writers block, there are many places to look for ideas.

  • Visit forums on the internet to find what other people what to know about
  • Read newspapers and magazines
  • Brainstorm
  • Participate in chat rooms
  • Ask people around you for ideas
  • Browse the internet
  • Keep a notebook of ideas
7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

Al Capone is America's best known gangster and the single greatest symbol of the collapse of law and order in the United States during the 1920s Prohibition era. Capone had a leading role in the illegal activities that lent Chicago its reputation as a lawless city.

Capone was born on January 17, 1899, in Brooklyn, New York. Baptized "Alphonsus Capone," he grew up in a rough neighborhood and was a member of two "kid gangs," the Brooklyn Rippers and the Forty Thieves Juniors. Although he was bright, Capone quit school in the sixth grade at age fourteen. Between scams he was a clerk in a candy store, a pinboy in a bowling alley, and a cutter in a book bindery. He became part of the notorious Five Points gang in Manhattan and worked in gangster Frankie Yale's Brooklyn dive, the Harvard Inn, as a bouncer and bartender. While working at the Inn, Capone received his infamous facial scars and the resulting nickname "Scarface" when he insulted a patron and was attacked by her brother.

In 1918, Capone met an Irish girl named Mary "Mae" Coughlin at a dance. On December 4, 1918, Mae gave birth to their son, Albert "Sonny" Francis. Capone and Mae married that year on December 30.

Capone's first arrest was on a disorderly conduct charge while he was working for Yale. He also murdered two men while in New York, early testimony to his willingness to kill. In accordance with gangland etiquette, no one admitted to hearing or seeing a thing so Capone was never tried for the murders. After Capone hospitalized a rival gang member, Yale sent him to Chicago to wait until things cooled off. Capone arrived in Chicago in 1919 and moved his family into a house at 7244 South Prairie Avenue.

Capone went to work for Yale's old mentor, John Torrio. Torrio saw Capone's potential, his combination of physical strength and intelligence, and encouraged his protégé. Soon Capone was helping Torrio manage his bootlegging business. By mid-1922 Capone ranked as Torrio's number two man and eventually became a full partner in the saloons, gambling houses, and brothels.

When Torrio was shot by rival gang members and consequently decided to leave Chicago, Capone inherited the "outfit" and became boss. The outfit's men liked, trusted, and obeyed Capone, calling him "The Big Fellow." He quickly proved that he was even better at organization than Torrio, syndicating and expanding the city's vice industry between 1925 and 1930. Capone controlled speakeasies, bookie joints, gambling houses, brothels, horse and race tracks, nightclubs, distilleries and breweries at a reported income of $100,000,000 a year. He even acquired a sizable interest in the largest cleaning and dyeing plant chain in Chicago.

Although he had been doing business with Capone, the corrupt Chicago mayor William "Big Bill" Hale Thompson, Jr. decided that Capone was bad for his political image. Thompson hired a new police chief to run Capone out of Chicago. When Capone looked for a new place to live, he quickly discovered that he was unpopular in much of the country. He finally bought an estate at 93 Palm Island, Florida in 1928. 

Attempts on Capone's life were never successful. He had an extensive spy network in Chicago, from newspaper boys to policemen, so that any plots were quickly discovered. Capone, on the other hand, was skillful at isolating and killing his enemies when they became too powerful. A typical Capone murder consisted of men renting an apartment across the street from the victim's residence and gunning him down when he stepped outside. The operations were quick and complete and Capone always had an alibi.

Capone's most notorious killing was the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. On February 14, 1929, four Capone men entered a garage at 2122 N. Clark Street. The building was the main liquor headquarters of bootlegger George "Bugs" Moran's North Side gang. Because two of Capone's men were dressed as police, the seven men in the garage thought it was a police raid. As a result, they dropped their guns and put their hands against the wall. Using two shotguns and two machine guns, the Capone men fired more than 150 bullets into the victims. Six of the seven killed were members of Moran's gang; the seventh was an unlucky friend. Moran, probably the real target, was across the street when Capone's men arrived and stayed away when he saw the police uniforms. As usual, Capone had an alibi; he was in Florida during the massacre.

Although Capone ordered dozens of deaths and even killed with his own hands, he often treated people fairly and generously. He was equally known for his violent temper and for his strong sense of loyalty and honor. He was the first to open soup kitchens after the 1929 stock market crash and he ordered merchants to give clothes and food to the needy at his expense.

Capone had headquarters in Chicago proper in the Four Deuces at 2222 S. Wabash, the Metropole Hotel at 2300 S. Michigan Avenue, and the Lexington Hotel at 2135 S. Michigan Avenue. He expanded into the suburbs, sometimes using terror as in Forest View, which became known as "Caponeville." Sometimes he simply bribed public officials and the police as in Cicero. He established suburban headquarters in Cicero's Anton Hotel at 4835 W. 22nd Street and in the Hawthorne Hotel at 4823 22nd Street. He pretended to be an antique dealer and a doctor to front his headquarters.

Because of gangland's traditional refusal to prosecute, Capone was never tried for most of his crimes. He was arrested in 1926 for killing three people, but spent only one night in jail because there was insufficient evidence to connect him with the murders. When Capone finally served his first prison time in May of 1929, it was simply for carrying a gun. In 1930, at the peak of his power, Capone headed Chicago's new list of the twenty-eight worst criminals and became the city's "Public Enemy Number One."

The popular belief in the 1920s and 30s was that illegal gambling earnings were not taxable income. However, the 1927 Sullivan ruling claimed that illegal profits were in fact taxable. The government wanted to indict Capone for income tax evasion, Capone never filed an income tax return, owned nothing in his own name, and never made a declaration of assets or income. He did all his business through front men so that he was anonymous when it came to income. Frank Wilson from the IRS's Special Intelligence Unit was assigned to focus on Capone. Wilson accidentally found a cash receipts ledger that not only showed the operation's net profits for a gambling house, but also contained Capone's name; it was a record of Capone's income. Later Capone's own tax lawyer Lawrence P. Mattingly admitted in a letter to the government that Capone had an income. Wilson's ledger, Mattingly's letter, and the coercion of witnesses were the main evidence used to convict Capone. 

In 1931, Capone was indicted for income tax evasion for the years 1925-29. He was also charged with the misdemeanor of failing to file tax returns for the years 1928 and 1929. The government charged that Capone owed $215,080.48 in taxes from his gambling profits. A third indictment was added, charging Capone with conspiracy to violate Prohibition laws from 1922-31. Capone pleaded guilty to all three charges in the belief that he would be able to plea bargain. However, the judge who presided over the case, Judge James H. Wilkerson, would not make any deals. Capone changed his pleas to not guilty. Unable to bargain, he tried to bribe the jury but Wilkerson changed the jury panel at the last minute.

The jury found Capone not guilty on eighteen of the twenty-three counts. Judge Wilkerson sentenced him to a total of ten years in federal prison and one year in the county jail. In addition, Capone had to serve an earlier six-month contempt of court sentence for failing to appear in court. The fines were a cumulative $50,000 and Capone had to pay the prosecution costs of $7,692.29.

In May 1932, Capone was sent to Atlanta, the toughest of the federal prisons, to begin his eleven-year sentence. Even in prison Capone took control, obtaining special privileges from the authorities such as furnishing his cell with a mirror, typewriter, rugs, and a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Because word spread that Capone had taken over in Atlanta, he was sent to Alcatraz. There were no other outfit members in Alcatraz, and security was so tight that he had no knowledge of the outside world. He was unable to control anyone or anything and could not buy influence or friends. In an attempt to earn time off for good behavior, Capone became the ideal prisoner and refused to participate in prisoner rebellions or strikes.

While at Alcatraz, he exhibited signs of syphilitic dementia. Capone spent the rest of his felony sentence in the hospital. On January 6, 1939, his prison term expired and he was transferred to Terminal Island, a Federal Correctional Institution in California, to serve his one-year misdemeanor sentence. He was finally released on November 16, 1939, but still had to pay fines and court costs of $37,617.51.

After his release, Capone spent a short time in the hospital. He returned to his home in Palm Island where the rest of his life was relaxed and quiet. His mind and body continued to deteriorate so that he could no longer run the outfit. On January 21, 1947, he had an apoplectic stoke that was probably unrelated to his syphilis. He regained consciousness and began to improve until pneumonia set in on January 24. He died the next day from cardiac arrest. Capone was first buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chicago's far South Side between the graves of his father, Gabriele, and brother, Frank, but in March of 1950 the remains of all three were moved to Mount Carmel Cemetery on the far West Side.

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Musical Instruments

Strings age and wear out whether they're metal or gut. Preventive medicine is the prescription. Do a "transplant" before they give out during a performance.


  • STEP 1: Loosen all four strings gradually. Remove each string from the hole in the doweling that penetrates the scroll.
  • STEP 2: Retrieve the bridge that supported the strings. Place it in the violin case for later use.
  • STEP 3: Cut the violin strings from the "tail-piece" keyholes. Mark these holes to remember which string is mounted where.
  • STEP 4: Tie a small knot at the base end of each string to fit below the string slot, forming an anchor point when tension is applied.
  • STEP 5: Thread the clean end of each new string through the underside of the hole slots in the tailpiece. Be sure the string is securely set and will not slip when tension is increased.
  • STEP 6: Thread the opposite end of each violin string through the holes in the proper doweling rod so that additional turns will lie on top of the end of that string and prevent it from slipping. Tension is not to be applied yet.
  • STEP 7: Set the strings on top of the bridge indentations with the bridge foot over the tone post.
  • STEP 8: Gradually tighten the strings; tighten them all in rotation, a little at a time.
  • STEP 9: Use a four-note pitch pipe or a piano to begin the pitch matching and the tuning process.
  • STEP 10: Be aware that the tuning will gradually "flatten" due to the normal stretching of new strings. Stretching should be complete in one week.

Tips & Warnings

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Dating and Relationships

Asking for a second date can be just as nerve racking as asking for a first date. The fear of rejection when you ask for a first date still exists to a certain degree when you are asking for a second date. This is because you may be uncertain whether or not your perception of the first date  was shared by your date. If you aren’t positive that they had a good time on the first date then you may worry that they will not welcome the opportunity to go ona second date with you.

Laying the groundwork for a second date at the conclusion of the first date is one way to make asking for a second date easier. If you enjoyed the first date and suspect that your date did also, you can try suggesting a second date as you are saying your goodbyes on the first date. Be honest with your date about how you had a good time on this first date and would like to continue the relationship by going on a second date. Hopefully your date will also be honest in their response and if they had a good time as well, they will mostly likely be open to the idea of a second date. You do not have to establish the details of the second date immediately but finding out if your date is even interested in a second date can make it much easier to call them later in the week to officially ask them out on a second date and suggest specific details for the date.

Sending flowers as a thank you for the first date can provide the opportunity to ask for a second date. If you are interested in a second date, you might consider sending flowers a few days after your first date and including a note with the flowers that tells your date that you had a great time on the first date and would love the opportunity to have a second date. Not only is this a sweet way to say thank you for the first date but also it increases your chances of having your date agree to go on a second date with you. The other great part about this technique is that prevents you from having to ask for the second date face to face. This is especially helpful in the situation where you are not completely positive that your date enjoyed them as much as you did on the first date.

A similar way to ask for a second date is to send your date a souvenir that is intended to remind them of your first date. For example if you attended a concert on your first date, you might consider sending your date a copy of the band’s latest CD along with the ticket stubs from the concert. You can conclude a card with the gift that tells your date what a great time you had on the first date and how you hope to have the opportunity for a second date.

You can also use a casual get together as an opportunity to ask for a second date. You might consider asking your date to meet you for coffee one afternoon. The two of you can discuss your previous date over coffee and you can take this opportunity to ask your partner out on an official second date. Although some may argue that getting together for coffee is a second date, you can look at that as kind of a test for whether or not your partner will say yes to another official date. Chances are that if they are willing to meet you for coffee than they would be willing to go on a second date with you. Meeting to talk about a second date also gives you and your partner the opportunity to plan the second date in detail together. You can talk about where and when you would like your next date to take place so that you each have a chance to offer your input.

A second date is very rarely guaranteed so asking for a second date includes a risk of rejection. Whether you choose to ask for your second date by sending a gift or meeting in person, you may find yourself being rejected. It is important remember that even if you perceived the first date as going very well your date may have not felt the same way.

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

Trademe is New Zealand's largest online auction site and trading community. Trademe has taken New Zealand by storm and does not allow ebay to get a hold in the New Zealand auction market.

Editor of NetGuide magazine Nigel Horrocks said that the site's success in the NetGuide Web Awards is consistent with its outstanding performance over the last few years


"Trade Me is a cool New Zealand auction site where ' kiwis buy and sell online', a bit like ebay but friendlier. It's a good place to buy NZ stamps and LOTR memorabilia and other NZ stuff. They have a web cam where you can see people working in the office and sometimes they wave. Check out the messageboards, they are a real hoot. I go to Trade me every day to check out the new auctions and see what's going on.

"Trade Me is New Zealand's leading online-auction site. New Zealanders can easily and happily trade various goods with each under, and it's really easy to use. It's free to list goods, but if you sell something you have to give Trade Me a very small percentage of your earnings, but that's alright."

"Trade Me has a very clean and easy-to-use interface, and it runs on a great server for fast download times. The ability to auction off anything you have (even houses and boats) is a plus, and you can even add pictures."

"Overall, Trade Me is a very good website. Hurray for New Zealand."

"Trademe owns NZ's auctions market, and have a very simple user interface that ebay could learn from. A great site. "

"A nice site very fast loading and the biggest trading site in NZ. Excellent for selling your goods."

Try Trade Me today

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Dating and Relationships

Whether the other person is interested or not, you'll never know unless you ask. So gather up all your courage and follow these steps.


  • STEP 1: Introduce yourself to that person you've been admiring from afar.
  • STEP 2: Get the person's telephone number, or tell a common friend you would like the number.
  • STEP 3: Call. Choose a time that is not intrusive. Call when you are comfortable doing so, regardless of what your friends might say about the right time to call.
  • STEP 4: Reintroduce yourself once you're on the phone by saying something like, "Hey, it's Shirley. We met at the drag strip."
  • STEP 5: Using as little pretense as possible (ideally none), ask the person if he or she would like to get together for a cup of coffee or do something similarly casual. If you are politely refused, take the hint and get off the phone.
  • STEP 6: Meet casually for a brief time - half an hour or so. If that goes well, suggest a more formal date, such as lunch.
  • STEP 7: Go on the more formal date.

Tips & Warnings

  • Besides getting a cup of coffee, some of the best ideas for a date are the things you love to do the most, such as going to an art museum or getting muddy on a mountain bike ride. This gives the other person a chance to get to know more about your personality.
  • Humor is often the best remedy for rejection. Congratulate yourself for trying and move on.
  • Going to see a movie is not a very good idea for a date; it shows a lack of creativity and does not allow the two of you to spend much time talking.
7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

Toilets appeared early in history. In the year 2500 BCE, the people of Harappa in India had water borne toilets in each house that were linked with drains covered with burnt clay bricks. There were also toilets in ancient Egypt and China. In Roman civilization, toilets were sometimes part of public bath houses where men and women were together in mixed company.

  • The flush toilet was invented in 1596 by John Harrington
  • First valve-type flush toilet was introduced in 1738 by a man named J.F. Brondel (J.F. Bronde)
  • Alexander Cummings invented the Strap, a sliding valve between the bowl and the trap in 1775.
  • Samuel Prosser applied for and received a patent for a plunger toilet in 1777.
  • Joseph Bramah altered the design in  1778 so that it had a valve at the bottom of the bowl that worked on a hinge, a predecessor to the modern ballcock.
  • Thomas Twyford revolutionized the toilet business in 1885 when he built the first trapless toilet in a one-piece, all china design.
  • J. G. Jennings patented a washout closet in 1852. This unit had a shallow basin with a dished tray and water seal. The flush water drove the contents into the pan and then through the S-trap.
  • The U.S.Patent Office received applications for 350 new toilet designs between 1900 and 1932.
  • Engineers at the Emerson Motor Company in St. Louis have developed a 3.3 inch motor and a .2 horsepower pump that fits in a toilet tank to add speed and power to each flush.
  • Emerson partnered with pump manufacturers Zoeller Company and Hydromatic Pump Company to develop a plumbing system that liquefies waste.
  • Thomas Crapper didn't invent the toilet, but was an English plumber from the late 1800s who held nine patents for plumbing products.
7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

You've been thinking about that hot new kid all month. So when you see the object of your affection by the lockers, you take a deep breath and head over. As you approach, though, those clear green eyes turn your way and suddenly you can't breathe — much less think of what you wanted to say. So you keep on walking . . . right past your crush and over to the trophy display case, where you pretend to be fascinated with the 1992 boys' state badminton championship plaque. You gather your courage. Too late! A friend at the lockers has struck up the conversation you wish you could be having. You stare at the dusty awards and mentally shake yourself for wimping out.

Why can it be so hard to approach new people or try new things? If you find yourself hesitating because of what others might think or because of a fear of being rejected, embarrassed, sounding silly, or making a mistake, then chances are shyness is the culprit.

What Is Shyness?

Shyness is a social emotion that affects a person's feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Shyness is about feeling uncomfortable, self-conscious, scared, nervous, or insecure around others. When people feel shy, they hold back on saying or doing things because they're concerned about how others might respond. Physical sensations can be part of shyness, too — like feeling flushed, shaky, queasy, speechless, or breathless.

Shyness tends to strike in certain kinds of social situations — like the first day of school, when you're meeting someone new, initiating a conversation with someone you feel attracted to, or giving a presentation in class. People are more likely to feel shy in situations where they're not sure what will happen, how others will react, or when all eyes are on them. People are less likely to feel shy in situations where they know what to expect and what to do or say or where they are among familiar people.

Shyness can vary from person to person. People can be mildly shy, moderately shy, or extremely shy. Some people with mild to moderate shyness feel shy only in certain circumstances. For these people, shyness may feel uncomfortable at first, but it often melts away after a few minutes. They often learn to push through their immediate shyness, knowing they'll warm up to new people or situations if they can just get through that initial reaction.

People who are extremely shy find it hard to push through their initial shyness. They may avoid social situations, have trouble making friends, or hold back on trying new things. Eventually this can interfere with their self-confidence and self-esteem.

What Causes Shyness?

Occasional mild to moderate feelings of shyness are like any emotion — as with happiness or sadness, feelings of shyness can be a part of how we experience things and react. But other factors can also influence shyness:

  • Temperament. People can be shy by nature in the same way that people can seem grumpy, upbeat, nervous, or easygoing. Scientists believe that temperament is determined by the genes children inherit from their parents. Someone with a shy nature is more likely to be cautious, slower to get used to changes, and prefer to stick to what's familiar. He or she is more likely to hesitate when faced with something new. People who are shy by nature are also more likely to watch everyone else for a while before joining in on a group activity. They might be more sensitive to emotions — not only their own, but the feelings of others as well. Because of their emotional sensitivity, people with this temperament are often kind and caring toward others.
  • Learned behaviors. Someone's natural tendency to be shy can be influenced by what they learn from others, especially family members. If parents are overly cautious or shy and find socializing uncomfortable, their actions might teach a child (especially one with shy temperament) that socializing is uncomfortable or distressing — even without meaning to! Young children also learn to expect certain reactions based on how people respond to their actions. If children are constantly receiving critical or disapproving reactions, they may grow into adults who expect others to judge them negatively. These people are more likely to be reserved, shy, scared, or intimidated by certain situations.
  • Uncomfortable experiences. What a person learns from experience can influence shyness, too. Someone with a shy nature might become even more shy if they get pushed too much into unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations. Getting teased, bullied, treated unkindly, or humiliated by peers, siblings, or adults will probably make someone who's already shy retreat even more. On the other hand, if someone who's shy is allowed to approach new things little by little, this positive experience can help them learn to feel less shy.

What Can Someone Do About Shyness?

The good news is that no one is destined to be shy. People with shy natures can overcome shyness. Old patterns and experiences can be unlearned when they're replaced with new, positive experiences that teach new skills. If you're a shy person, the key to overcoming shyness is surrounding yourself with good people.

The way others react to someone who's shy can make a big difference. When you're shy, simply having someone who understands and accepts you is really, really important. This person might be a parent, a sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, teacher, counselor, or best friend. Knowing someone's behind you as you learn to take slow forward steps can help shyness melt.

Good friends and supportive family members know how to help a shy person approach a new experience at their own pace. Really good friends and loved ones also know not to overprotect someone who's shy. Being protected from an experience doesn't allow someone to learn to handle it. The person doing the overprotecting sends a message that the experience is too much for the shy person to handle — even if they don't really believe it. That's not a confidence builder!

Here are some tips things to keep in mind if you're dealing with shyness.

  • Learn and practice social skills. People who are shy give themselves fewer chances to practice social behaviors. It's no wonder that people who shy away from socializing don't feel as socially confident as peers who chat it up a lot. Practice social behaviors like eye contact, confident body language, smiling, introductions, small talk, asking questions, and invitations with the people you feel most comfortable around. Build your confidence this way.
  • Plan ahead. When you're ready to try something you've been avoiding — like a phone call or a conversation — write down what you want to say beforehand. Rehearse it out loud, maybe even in front of the mirror. Then just do it. Don't worry if it's not perfect (few of the things more confident-seeming peers do are perfect either). Be proud that you gave it a go. Next time, it'll be even better because it will be easier.
  • Be your own best friend. People who are shy are concerned with how others might judge them. Because they're always tuned in to the possibility of negative judgments, shy people are sometimes pretty judgmental themselves. And the people they're the hardest on? Themselves. Notice the negative judgments you might be making about yourself. Ask yourself whether you'd criticize your best friend for the same things. If not, then treat yourself like your own best friend. Accept yourself with all your imperfections.
  • Act as if you're not shy. Sound strange? "Acting as if" is a technique that can help you shift into a more self-assured attitude and let you try social behaviors that you don't normally use. Think of people whose social ease you admire and respect. Act as if you were in that person's shoes.
  • Develop your assertiveness. Shy people are often less assertive, but that doesn't mean they're wimpy or cowardly. Because shy people might be overly concerned with others' reactions to them, they don't want to rock the boat. But this can mean they are less likely to speak up for themselves when they should, ask for what they want when they need to, or tell people when their toes are being stepped on (ouch!). Assertiveness skills can help people find respectful ways of standing up for themselves and build self-respect. Think quiet power.
  • Focus on your strengths. What do you do best? What qualities in yourself do you feel really good about? Ask your best friend or family members what they think your strengths are, too. When you're in a situation that makes you nervous, think about your qualities and strengths. As with assertiveness, when you feel competent, you feel more self-assured. And your confidence builds.
  • You're just fine the way you are. We can't change our true inner nature. (And who would want to? If everyone were perfect, we'd all be the same — which means we'd all be pretty bored with each other!) But we can learn outer behaviors, like "acting as if" and confident body language, that help us cope better with the situations we face.

When Shyness Is Extreme

For as many as one out of 10 people, shyness can be as powerful as any strong fear. With extreme shyness, someone rarely feels comfortable around others and might feel very anxious in almost any social situation.

Mild shyness might make someone blush and want to crawl under the desk when they say something silly in class. Extreme shyness can interfere with a person's ability to answer in class at all. People who are extremely shy might sit through class completely unable to pay attention because they are so preoccupied with the fear that the teacher might call on them.

People who are extremely shy might feel so uncomfortable at a party or so afraid they won't know what to say at the lunch table that they avoid these situations completely. This kind of extreme shyness is called social phobia. Like other phobias, social phobia is a fear reaction to something that isn't actually dangerous, although the body and mind react as if the danger is real. The person with social phobia who's afraid of being called on in class might stop going to class completely.

When someone is so extremely shy or so fearful about talking to others that he or she just doesn't talk in school, to certain people, or in certain social situations, that's a form of social phobia known as selective mutism. This term simply refers to not talking (being 'mute') in certain situations but not in others (selective). People who feel too anxious to talk because of social phobia or extreme shyness do have completely normal conversations with the people they're comfortable with (such as parents or siblings, or a best friend) or in certain places (like home). But other situations cause them such extreme discomfort that they may not be able to bring themselves to talk at all.

Although avoiding the situations that prompt social phobia may seem like a relief at first, it can actually make things worse. The more a person with social phobia avoids a particular situation, the more fearful he or she becomes about it. That person may continue avoiding more and more social situations until he or she feels alienated and alone.

Because of the intensity of feelings involved in extreme shyness, it can be a lot harder to overcome alone. People with social phobia or selective mutism often need the help of an expert to talk through their difficulties and help them find solutions to their problems. Professional therapists who are trained in dealing with shyness can not only help teach a shy person new social skills but also work on managing the anxiety and reducing the stress that go along with social phobia.

Avoid Avoidance

What happens when you get into a swimming pool and find the water really cold? If you jump out immediately, you miss out on the fun of swimming. Imagine if the next day you don't even put your foot in because you think to yourself, "the water might be cold and I'll feel awful." That's avoidance. It's the same thing as planning to talk to your crush but then bailing out because you think it might feel uncomfortable. Guess what? It might be uncomfortable at first. But you can handle it.

Back to the pool. What happens if you jump right into that cold water? After a bit, you feel warmer, not because the water has heated up but because you've become used to it. The same is true for shyness. If you stay in the situation, you'll get used to it and warm up. Warming up takes a little more than just staying power, though. A person could stand shivering in the cold pool and not warm up much. That's where a social situation is like the pool. Warming up means being a little active, using your skills. Talk, smile, say something (anything!), and remember your strengths. It's not easy, but it's worth it. After all, that hottie with the gorgeous green eyes may want to talk to you as well — but be too shy to make the first move.

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

A proxy server is a computer network service which allows clients to make indirect network connections to other network services. A client connects to the proxy server, then requests a connection, file, or other resource available on a different server. The proxy provides the resource, possibly by connecting to the specified server, or by serving it from a cache. In some cases, the proxy may alter the client's request or the server's response for various purposes.

A common proxy application is a caching Web proxy. This provides a nearby cache of Web pages and files available on remote Web servers, allowing local network clients to access them more quickly or reliably.

When it receives a request for a Web resource (specified by a URL), a caching proxy looks for the resulting URL in its local cache. If found, it returns the document immediately. Otherwise it fetches it from the remote server, saves a copy in the cache and returns it to the requester. The cache will usually have an expiry algorithm which flushes documents according to their age, size, and access history. Two very simple algorithms include LRU and LFU. LRU will remove the least-recently-used documents, and LFU that removes the least-frequently-used documents.

Web proxies can also filter the content of Web pages served. Some censorware applications -- which attempt to block offensive Web content -- are implemented as Web proxies. Network operators can also deploy proxies to intercept computer viruses and other hostile content served from remote Web pages.

Proxies can also operate at a lower level on the protocol stack. Network address translation, or NAT, is a method for proxying TCP connections and UDP datagram exchanges. NAT is also known as IP masquerading.

Many organizations — including corporations, schools, and families — use proxy servers to enforce network use policies (see censorware) or provide security and caching services. A normal Web proxy, or other application proxy, is not transparent to the client application: the client must be configured to use it, manually or with a configuration script. Thus, it can be evaded by simply resetting the client configuration. A transparent proxy or transproxy combines a proxy server with NAT so that connections are routed into the proxy without client-side configuration.

Both NAT and transproxies are somewhat controversial in the Internet technical community, since both violate the end-to-end principle upon which TCP/IP was designed.

The term proxy is also used in a different sense in SIP, the Session Initiation Protocol used in many modern voice over IP systems. A SIP Proxy, unlike a Web proxy, does not handle the content of client data.

Open proxies, abuse, and detection

Both Web and other network proxies have been abused by spammers and other network abusers. An open proxy is a proxy server which will accept client connections from any IP address and make connections to any Internet resource. Abuse of open proxies is currently implicated in a significant portion of email spam delivery. Spammers frequently install open proxies on unwitting end users' Microsoft Windows computers by means of computer viruses designed for this purpose. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) abusers also frequently use open proxies to cloak their identities.

Because proxies are implicated in abuse, system administrators have developed a number of ways to refuse service to open proxies. IRC networks such as the Blitzed network automatically test client systems for known types of open proxy. Likewise, a mail server may be configured to automatically test mail senders for open proxies, using software such as Michael Tokarev's proxycheck.

Groups of IRC and electronic mail operators run DNSBLs publishing lists of the IP addresses of known open proxies, such as Blitzed OPM and CBL .

The ethics of automatically testing clients for open proxies are controversial. Some experts, such as Vernon Schryver, consider such testing to be equivalent to an attacker portscanning the client host.  Others consider the client to have solicited the scan by connecting to a server whose terms of service include testing.

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

Color not only feeds the eye but has both physiological and psychological components. The following provides a nutshell description of what each color conveys psychologically and how it can affect the viewer physically.


Do you want to paint your room blue? If so, you´re in good company. Blue is the favorite color of both genders. Depending on the shade, blues relax, soothe, and make us feel more spiritual and centered. Blue is intuitively chosen for bedrooms for just this reason. It also improves productivity, so a good blue might be the right choice for a kids´ rooms where they will be studying.

Blue is also considered to be a clean color, so it works well in bathrooms and laundry areas. Blue seems to work less well in kitchens...maybe harkening back to our primitive instinct to avoid blue foods. When blues are used in connection with food, they can have the effect of suppressing appetite, which could be a good thing if you want to lose weight.


Red has the opposite effect of blue; it increases blood pressure and respiration rate. Red also makes people lose track of time and stimulates appetite. Red is a powerful color so it´s is generally best used as an accent. However, certain shades like orange-red and brown-red may be muted; they are cozy, comforting earth colors like terra cottas, brick, and cinnabar.

Using red makes a powerful statement, so red furniture and accessories should be clean and in good condition. Ratty red furniture is likely to look REALLY ratty...not just marginally ratty.


Yellow tends to cause more eye fatigue than any other color. It increases metabolism and upsets babies. People also tend to lose their temper more often in yellow rooms. Yellow often makes many people feel cheerful, energetic, and happy.

Buttery shades are easier to live with long term than bright, sunflower yellow. The range of yellows is vast and some lend themselves more readily to decorating schemes than others. Yellows also frequently prompt more opinionated feelings than other colors. People who like it, really like it and people who don´t, tend to dislike it intensely.


Greens represent a vast range of natural colors and, for that reason, appeal to many. Like blue, greens tend to calm and relax; it´s a healing color.

For interior color schemes, olive and sage greens seem to be appealing because of their neutral character. Lighter shades of both are easy to live with for a long time. Both combine well with many colors. Dark greens are favored as traditional banker´s colors like burgundy, ruby, and sapphire blue. Yellow greens and muddy greens are relatively unpopular. Chartreuse is one of those colors that delivers a big punch, but gets tiring quickly; as such, it might be better to use it in small doses.


Oranges are warm, welcoming, and vital. Melon, tangerine, and yellow-orange mango are bright, cheerful, and tend to improve appetite. Used in kitchens, breakfast nooks, and dining rooms, orange shades can be very comfortable.


Historically, purple is the color of kings. It may arguably be the most opulent of colors, and often connotes mystery or spirituality. Purples run the range of the red-purple such as eggplant to the blue-purples of a summer sky at sunset. Saturated purple is a dense, dark color that can provide a potent punch of color with great impact. As a tint, purple tends to lavender and is one of the daintier colors favored by many young girls. In certain shades, it can become a subtle, but very flexible neutral.


Do you have a teen who wants to paint their room black? If you find yourself balking, you might be able to head them off at the pass by letting them know that black is a color that denotes submissiveness (i.e., the cleric´s black robes and submission to God). On the other hand, if you are like many, you find black to be timeless, classy, and sophisticated.

Dark colors generally make rooms seem much smaller than they are, so unless you enjoy cocooning, black might not be a great choice for background color especially on walls. Also, painting over black generally takes more than two coats of paint, which makes it a nuisance to cover later.

Still, the number of color combinations using black are huge, though some like orange and black tend to have holiday connotations that would be downright irritating year in and out. One current trend is mixing a neutral room with some pieces of black furniture. The effect can be very elegant, and providesa contemporary twist for a traditional room. Black used with a mix of white and brights often looks very modern.


Pink is an interesting color because it has the cultural associations of being feminine, but it goes farther than that. Research shows that pink rooms reduce angry behavior at least temporarily. Some attempts have been made to use pink in prisons to control aggressive prisoners.

Pink generally is a comfort color and is favored by many for its sweet, childlike appeal. It´s a good choice for a young child´s room; young girls often like pink and lavender combinations.


Grey tends to enhance creativity, which can make it a good color for offices and studios. Grey is also favored as an executive color. As a neutral, grey provides an unobtrusive background for an infinite number of color combinations.

Greys on walls are often very liveable for a long while, provide an flexible neutral background for furnishings, and can be extremely stylish. Greys can be buttoned down and traditional, modern and contemporary, or beach house friendly.


Brown is all about security, credibility, and reassurance. It also tends to be soothing and comfortable. Browns wear well and are good for rooms that get a lot of use like family rooms. Browns also work well with spicy or warm colors.

Like greys, browns span a broad range of neutrals and, depending on the shade, are appropriate for almost any room. Combined with unexpected colors like pale blue, fuschia, or chartreuse, browns can be exciting and sophisticated.

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive

Shyness can affect all of us in some way and if we do not learn to control it, it controls us. You are not alone when it comes to being shy as famous personalities and very successful business people experience shyness at times.

Here are a few tips to overcome shyness. If you are sacred to make conversation with familar people, you could always practice in another city.

  • Try to look your best. Looking good makes you feel better about yourself and helps with your self-esteem
  • Join clubs that interest you. It is easier to talk to people with common interests.
  • Smile. A smile does wonders and makes you look approachable.
  • Make a real effort to stop worrying about what you think others are thinking about you. People who are worth having as friends will judge you not simply by outward appearances but by the kind of person you truly are.
  • Think positively
  • Judge others fairly
  • Learn to be sociable. Force yourself to smile, to greet others and to carry on a conversation. Remember that you have only 50 percent of the responsibility. The other person should carry the rest of the conversation.
  • Try to develop a sense of humor about yourself. Don’t condemn yourself if you say something wrong. Just relax and continue with the conversation, perhaps adding, “That didn’t come out right.”
  • Set realistic and meaningful goals for yourself. Start of with engaging in conversation with others, talking to people you haven’t yet met, acting in a confident manner.
  • If you are faced with a tough situation like a speech or a job interview, be as prepared as possible. Practice well beforehand. Maintain eye contact with your audience and be convinced that what you have to impart is of real value to your listeners.
  • But what really cured my shyness was joining a Toastmasters club (they are all nice people, honest)
7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Musical Instruments

Kinnor is the Hebrew name for an ancient stringed instrument, the first mentioned in the Bible (Gen. iv. 21), where it is now always translated harp. The identification of the instrument has been much discussed, but, from the standpoint of the history of musical instruments, the weight of evidence is in favor of the view that the Semitic kinnor is the Greek cithara. This instrument was already in use before 2000 s.c. among the Semitic races and in a higher state of development than it ever attained in Greece during the best classic period. It is unlikely that an instrument (which also appears on Hebrew coins) so widely known and used in various parts of Asia Minor in remote times, and occurring among the Hittite sculptures, should pass unmentioned in the Bible, with the exception of the verses in Dan. iii.


There are different variations of the Kinnor, each having a different number of strings. The following sample tunings are based on the Eb Major / C Minor scale:

  • 12-string Kinnor: Eb,D,C,Bb,G#,G,F,Eb,D,C,Bb,G# (High to Low)
  • 10-string Kinnor: Eb,D,C,Bb,G#,G,F,Eb,D,C (High to Low)
7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Archive
Good ideas are worth money. So why are hard headed operators giving them away for free? Join our experiment to find out says Graham Lawton

IF YOU'VE BEEN to a computer show in recent months you might have seen it: a shiny silver drinks can with a ring-pull logo and the words "opencola" on the side. Inside is a fizzy drink that tastes very much like Coca-Cola. Or is it Pepsi?

There's something else written on the can, though, which sets the drink apart. It says "check out the source at opencola.com". Go to that Web address and you'll see something that's not available on Coca-Cola's website, or Pepsi's--the recipe for cola. For the first time ever, you can make the real thing in your own home.

OpenCola is the world's first "open source" consumer product. By calling it open source, its manufacturer is saying that instructions for making it are freely available. Anybody can make the drink, and anyone can modify and improve on the recipe as long as they, too, release their recipe into the public domain. As a way of doing business it's rather unusual--the Coca-Cola Company doesn't make a habit of giving away precious commercial secrets. But that's the point.

OpenCola is the most prominent sign yet that a long-running battle between rival philosophies in software development has spilt over into the rest of the world. What started as a technical debate over the best way to debug computer programs is developing into a political battle over the ownership of knowledge and how it is used, between those who put their faith in the free circulation of ideas and those who prefer to designate them "intellectual property". No one knows what the outcome will be. But in a world of growing opposition to corporate power, restrictive intellectual property rights and globalisation, open source is emerging as a possible alternative, a potentially potent means of fighting back. And you're helping to test its value right now.

The open source movement originated in 1984 when computer scientist Richard Stallman quit his job at MIT and set up the Free Software Foundation. His aim was to create high-quality software that was freely available to everybody. Stallman's beef was with commercial companies that smother their software with patents and copyrights and keep the source code--the original program, written in a computer language such as C++--a closely guarded secret. Stallman saw this as damaging. It generated poor-quality, bug-ridden software. And worse, it choked off the free flow of ideas. Stallman fretted that if computer scientists could no longer learn from one another's code, the art of programming would stagnate (New Scientist, 12 December 1998, p 42).

Stallman's move resonated round the computer science community and now there are thousands of similar projects. The star of the movement is Linux, an operating system created by Finnish student Linus Torvalds in the early 1990s and installed on around 18 million computers worldwide.

What sets open source software apart from commercial software is the fact that it's free, in both the political and the economic sense. If you want to use a commercial product such as Windows XP or Mac OS X you have to pay a fee and agree to abide by a licence that stops you from modifying or sharing the software. But if you want to run Linux or another open source package, you can do so without paying a penny--although several companies will sell you the software bundled with support services. You can also modify the software in any way you choose, copy it and share it without restrictions. This freedom acts as an open invitation--some say challenge--to its users to make improvements. As a result, thousands of volunteers are constantly working on Linux, adding new features and winkling out bugs. Their contributions are reviewed by a panel and the best ones are added to Linux. For programmers, the kudos of a successful contribution is its own reward. The result is a stable, powerful system that adapts rapidly to technological change. Linux is so successful that even IBM installs it on the computers it sells.

To maintain this benign state of affairs, open source software is covered by a special legal instrument called the General Public License. Instead of restricting how the software can be used, as a standard software license does, the GPL--often known as a "copyleft"--grants as much freedom as possible. Software released under the GPL (or a similar copyleft licence) can be copied, modified and distributed by anyone, as long as they, too, release it under a copyleft. That restriction is crucial, because it prevents the material from being co-opted into later proprietary products. It also makes open source software different from programs that are merely distributed free of charge. In FSF's words, the GPL "makes it free and guarantees it remains free".

Open source has proved a very successful way of writing software. But it has also come to embody a political stand--one that values freedom of expression, mistrusts corporate power, and is uncomfortable with private ownership of knowledge. It's "a broadly libertarian view of the proper relationship between individuals and institutions", according to open source guru Eric Raymond.

But it's not just software companies that lock knowledge away and release it only to those prepared to pay. Every time you buy a CD, a book, a copy of New Scientist, even a can of Coca-Cola, you're forking out for access to someone else's intellectual property. Your money buys you the right to listen to, read or consume the contents, but not to rework them, or make copies and redistribute them. No surprise, then, that people within the open source movement have asked whether their methods would work on other products. As yet no one's sure--but plenty of people are trying it.

Take OpenCola. Although originally intended as a promotional tool to explain open source software, the drink has taken on a life of its own. The Toronto-based OpenCola company has become better known for the drink than the software it was supposed to promote. Laird Brown, the company's senior strategist, attributes its success to a widespread mistrust of big corporations and the "proprietary nature of almost everything". A website selling the stuff has shifted 150,000 cans. Politically minded students in the US have started mixing up the recipe for parties.

OpenCola is a happy accident and poses no real threat to Coke or Pepsi, but elsewhere people are deliberately using the open source model to challenge entrenched interests. One popular target is the music industry. At the forefront of the attack is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco group set up to defend civil liberties in the digital society. In April of last year, the EFF published a model copyleft called the Open Audio License (OAL). The idea is to let musicians take advantage of digital music's properties--ease of copying and distribution--rather than fighting against them. Musicians who release music under an OAL consent to their work being freely copied, performed, reworked and reissued, as long as these new products are released under the same licence. They can then rely on "viral distribution" to get heard. "If the people like the music, they will support the artist to ensure the artist can continue to make music," says Robin Gross of the EFF.

It's a little early to judge whether the OAL will capture imaginations in the same way as OpenCola. But it's already clear that some of the strengths of open source software simply don't apply to music. In computing, the open source method lets users improve software by eliminating errors and inefficient bits of code, but it's not obvious how that might happen with music.

It's also not clear why any mainstream artists would ever choose to release music under an OAL. Many bands objected to the way Napster members circulated their music behind their backs, so why would they now allow unrestricted distribution, or consent to strangers fiddling round with their music? Sure enough, you're unlikely to have heard of any of the 20 bands that have posted music on the registry. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Open Audio amounts to little more than an opportunity for obscure artists to put themselves in the shop window.

The problems with open music, however, haven't put people off trying open source methods elsewhere. Encyclopedias, for example, look like fertile ground. Like software, they're collaborative and modular, need regular upgrading, and improve with peer review. But the first attempt, a free online reference called Nupedia, hasn't exactly taken off. Two years on, only 25 of its target 60,000 articles have been completed. "At the current rate it will never be a large encyclopedia," says editor-in-chief Larry Sanger. The main problem is that the experts Sanger wants to recruit to write articles have little incentive to participate. They don't score academic brownie points in the same way software engineers do for upgrading Linux, and Nupedia can't pay them.

It'sa problem that's inherent to most open source products: how do you get people to chip in? Sanger says he's exploring ways to make money out of Nupedia while preserving the freedom of its content. Banner adverts area possibility. But his best hope is that academics start citing Nupedia articles so authors can earn academic credit.

There's another possibility: trust the collective goodwill of the open source community. A year ago, frustrated by the treacle-like progress of Nupedia, Sanger started another encyclopedia named Wikipedia (the name is taken from open source Web software called WikiWiki that allows pages to be edited by anyone on the Web). It's a lot less formal than Nupedia: anyone can write or edit an article on any topic, which probably explains the entries on beer and Star Trek. But it also explains its success. Wikipedia already contains 19,000 articles and is acquiring several thousand more each month. "People like the idea that knowledge can and should be freely distributed and developed," says Sanger. Over time, he reckons, thousands of dabblers should gradually fix any errors and fill in any gaps in the articles until Wikipedia evolves into an authoritative encyclopedia with hundreds of thousands of entries.

Another experiment that's proved its worth is the OpenLaw project at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Berkman lawyers specialise in cyberlaw--hacking, copyright, encryption and so on--and the centre has strong ties with the EFF and the open source software community. In 1998 faculty member Lawrence Lessig, now at Stanford Law School, was asked by online publisher Eldritch Press to mount a legal challenge to US copyright law. Eldritch takes books whose copyright has expired and publishes them on the Web, but new legislation to extend copyright from 50 to 70 years after the author's death was cutting off its supply of new material. Lessig invited law students at Harvard and elsewhere to help craft legal arguments challenging the new law on an online forum, which evolved into OpenLaw.

Normal law firms write arguments the way commercial software companies write code. Lawyers discuss a case behind closed doors, and although their final product is released in court, the discussions or "source code" that produced it remain secret. In contrast, OpenLaw crafts its arguments in public and releases them under a copyleft. "We deliberately used free software as a model," says Wendy Selzer, who took over OpenLaw when Lessig moved to Stanford. Around 50 legal scholars now work on Eldritch's case, and OpenLaw has taken other cases, too.

"The gains are much the same as for software," Selzer says. "Hundreds of people scrutinise the 'code' for bugs, and make suggestions how to fix it. And people will take underdeveloped parts of the argument, work on them, then patch them in." Armed with arguments crafted in this way, OpenLaw has taken Eldritch's case--deemed unwinnable at the outset--right through the system and is now seeking a hearing in the Supreme Court.

There are drawbacks, though. The arguments are in the public domain right from the start, so OpenLaw can't spring a surprise in court. For the same reason, it can't take on cases where confidentiality is important. But where there's a strong public interest element, open sourcing has big advantages. Citizens' rights groups, for example, have taken parts of OpenLaw's legal arguments and used them elsewhere. "People use them on letters to Congress, or put them on flyers," Selzer says.

The open content movement is still at an early stage and it's hard to predict how far it will spread. "I'm not sure there are other areas where open source would work," says Sanger. "If there were, we might have started it ourselves." Eric Raymond has also expressed doubts. In his much-quoted 1997 essay, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, he warned against applying open source methods to other products. "Music and most books are not like software, because they don't generally need to be debugged or maintained," he wrote. Without that need, the products gain little from others' scrutiny and reworking, so there's little benefit in open sourcing. "I do not want to weaken the winning argument for open sourcing software by tying it to a potential loser," he wrote.

But Raymond's views have now shifted subtly. "I'm more willing to admit that I might talk about areas other than software someday," he told New Scientist. "But not now." The right time will be once open source software has won the battle of ideas, he says. He expects that to happen around 2005.

And so the experiment goes on. As a contribution to it, New Scientist has agreed to issue this article under a copyleft. That means you can copy it, redistribute it, reprint it in whole or in part, and generally play around with it as long as you, too, release your version under a copyleft and abide by the other terms and conditions in the licence.

One reason for doing so is that by releasing it under a copyleft, we can print the recipe for OpenCola without violating its copyleft. If nothing else, that demonstrates the power of the copyleft to spread itself. But there's another reason, too: to see what happens. To my knowledge this is the first magazine article published under a copyleft. Who knows what the outcome will be? Perhaps the article will disappear without a trace. Perhaps it will be photocopied, redistributed, re-edited, rewritten, cut and pasted onto websites, handbills and articles all over the world. I don't know--but that's the point. It's not up to me any more. The decision belongs to all of us.

7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K
Reply To: Health

At Home

It's convenient, comfortable and safe to work out at home. It allows your children to see you being active, which sets a good example for them. You can combine exercise with other activities, such as watching TV.  If you buy exercise equipment, it's a one-time expense and other family members can use it.  It's easy to have short bouts of activity several times a day.

  • Do housework yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it.    
  • Work in the garden or mow the grass.  Using a riding mower doesn't count!  Rake leaves, prune, dig and pick up trash.    
  • Go out for a short walk before breakfast, after dinner or both!  Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes.    
  • Walk or bike to the corner store instead of driving.    
  • When walking, pick up the pace from leisurely to brisk.  Choose a hilly route.  When watching TV, sit up instead of lying on the sofa.  Better yet, spend a few minutes pedaling on your stationary bicycle while watching TV.  Throw away your video remote control.  Instead of asking someone to bring you a drink, get up off the couch and get it yourself.    
  • Stand up while talking on the telephone.    
  • Walk the dog.
  • Park farther away at the shopping mall and walk the extra distance.  Wear your walking shoes and sneak in an extra lap or two around the mall
  • Stretch to reach items in high places and squat or bend to look at items at floor level.    
  • Keep exercise equipment repaired and use it!

At the Office

Most of us have sedentary jobs.  Work takes up a significant part of the day.  What can you do to increase your physical activity during the work day?

  • Brainstorm project ideas with a co-worker while taking a walk.    
  • Stand while talking on the telephone.    
  • Walk down the hall to speak with someone rather than using the telephone.    
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Or get off a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.    
  • Walk while waiting for the plane at the airport.    
  • Stay at hotels with fitness centers or swimming pools and use them while on business trips.    
  • Take along a jump rope in your suitcase when you travel.  Jump and do calisthenics in your hotel room.    
  • Participate in or start a recreation league at your company.    
  • Form a sports team to raise money for charity events.    
  • Join a fitness center or Y near your job.  Work out before or after work to avoid rush-hour traffic, or drop by for a noon workout.    
  • Schedule exercise time on your business calendar and treat it as any other important appointment.
  • Get off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home.    
  • Walk around your building for a break during the work day or during lunch.

At Play

Play and recreation are important for good health.  Look for opportunities to be active and have fun at the same time.

  • Plan family outings and vacations that include physical activity (hiking, backpacking, swimming, etc.)    
  • See the sights in new cities by walking, jogging or bicycling.    
  • Make a date with a friend to enjoy your favorite physical activities.  Do them regularly.    
  • Play your favorite music while exercising, something that motivates you.    
  • Dance with someone or by yourself.  Take dancing lessons.  Hit the dance floor on fast numbers instead of slow ones.
  • Join a recreational club that emphasizes physical activity.    
  • At the beach, sit and watch the waves instead of lying flat. Better yet, get up and walk, run or fly a kite.    
  • When golfing, walk instead of using a cart.    
  • Play singles tennis or racquetball instead of doubles.    
  • At a picnic, join in on badminton instead of croquet.    
  • At the lake, rent a rowboat instead of a canoe.
7 Jan 2005 by RaftingCanadian 1.1K