Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Surviving Infidelity - What Are the Solutions to an Extramarital Affair

An affair may be sexual in nature or it may simply be a matter of infatuation with another member of the opposite sex. The beginnings of such "affairs" can very often be traced back to some aspect of a marital relationship that is unfulfilled for one reason or another.

We have determined over the many years of counseling couples who have found themselves in the situation where one of the partners has "strayed", that there are basically 7 major reasons (or excuses) given by the offending spouse for the illicit affair.

They are:

  • The spark has gone out of the marital relationship.
  • They gave into temptation. - Many say that they were led into temptation by the other person in the illicit relationship.
  • No intimacy (or very little) in the marriage.
  • A one night stand. Often as the result of over indulging in alcohol.
  • Hooking up again with an ex partner or lover.
  • Lack of intimacy at home because of frequent business trips away.
  • The innocent spouse is suffering Ill health and is unable to respond to sexual intimacy.

If both parties to the marriage have decided that they are bent on surviving infidelity and really want to rescue their relationship then consideration needs to be given to several factors -- for example:

  • If the innocent spouse has had sexual relations with his/her partner since the beginning of their partners affair, then it would be wise to have a medical check to determine whether there are any health issues that require medical intervention. This is a matter that shouldn't be taken lightly as we are aware of many cases over the years of the transmission of a sexual disease to an innocent partner.
  • The matter of trust also needs to be given careful thought. Can I trust my spouse again after what they have done to me and our family?
  • Is it really possible for my spouse to break off the illicit relationship, or not to be tempted again even if they have promised that they will remain faithful in the future?
  • Consideration needs to be given to involving a third party to provide suitable counseling to ensure that if there is a determination on the part of both parties to make the marriage work then solutions and ground rules are firmly in place. In our experience it is difficult for both the person who has been affected by their partners extramarital affair, and the guilty partner, to sort out all the problems associated with this matter on their own.

If you are really interested in forgiving your spouse, surviving infidelity, and giving your marriage another go, there may very well be light on the horizon if:

  • Your spouse voluntarily admitted the affair.
  • They are open under questioning about it.
  • They have told you that they are remorseful that they strayed.
  • They have agreed to break all connection with the other party.
  • They have suggested or agree to be involved in counseling.

An extramarital affair doesn't have to mean the end of a marriage if you both really have the desire and the inclination to repair your relationship.

Our names are Brad and Michelle Ritchie. We are a married couple and are both relationship counselors having been in practice together since 1988.

We have written this brief item (which is covered in much greater depth on our website) to assist couples restore a marital relationship that is going through troubled times.

If you visit our site you will find the answers to many of the problems that married couples are facing today. We have put together the articles on our very informative site from a background of experience of dealing with countless troubled relationships over a period of 20 or so years.

If you are experiencing marital difficulties then we would love to assist you. Just follow this link: http://www.saveyourmarriageadvice.com/surviving-infidelity.html

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rev Up Your Glow This Year With LED Christmas Tree Lights

If you're trying to save on energy costs this Christmas season, you may want to try a new style of Christmas tree lights this year - LED bulbs. With the cost of energy being so high, many people are looking for ways that they can have the decorations and lights that they love while still being able to reduce the amount of energy that they consume. If you use a variety of lighting decorations, you may want to start looking into some that will help conserve some energy this festive season.

This year, if you want to try something different that is a bit more environmentally friendly, consider using LED Christmas tree lights this year. When you use LED bulbs for your decorating, you'll find that you can save about 80% on your electric bill. While you may find that other types of light bulbs are a bit cheaper than the LED style, they will end up being more costly, since they cost more in energy.

Not only do the LED style of bulbs help you to save on energy costs, but you'll often find that LED Christmas lights come right on the tree. It is so convenient to have one that is pre-lit, so you don't have to spend all that time getting the lights put up on it. This is already a very busy time of year, so this will allow you to save a bit of time on your already busy schedule.

You'll find that when you go with LED Christmas tree lights they are extremely durable. These bulbs are made without any tubes or fragments in them which can easily break. You'll also find that they are resistant to outdoor elements as well, which makes them a great choice for cold or warm climates. Not only can you use these lights indoors, but they can be used for outdoors as well.

Another great benefit of going with LED lights for your decorations is that they stay cool. There have been many people in the past who have lost their homes due to fires that were a result of light bulbs getting too hot and causing a fire. When you use the LED style lights you won't have to worry about this happening to you.

Terry Price is a regular contributor to MiniLightsGalore.com [http://www.minilightsgalore.com/] which is an informational website offering many exciting new swag mini lights [http://www.minilightsgalore.com/swag-mini-lights.html], mini lights for crafts and great money saving lights for Christmas.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

School Information In The Global Information Economy

Causes for concern in school education...

According to a report entitled "Economic Impact Of The Achievement Gap In America's Schools" by the consulting firm of McKinsey & Co., attainment levels are declining in the United States while at the same time improving in other countries.

For example:

  • In 1995, the United States was tied for first in college and university graduation rates - but by 2006, the country had dropped to 14th
  • Forty years ago, the United States had one of the best levels of high school attainment - but in 2006, it ranked 18th out of 24 industrialized nations in high school graduation
  • In 1970, the United States had 30% of the world's college graduates - but today, it has less than 15%

According to McKinsey & Co., Finland and Korea ranked numbers 1 and 2 in PISA mathematics tests, and numbers 2 and 1 in PISA science tests in 2006, whereas the United States ranked numbers 25 and 24. The United States ranked number 18 in PISA reading tests, and number 29 in PISA problem solving tests in 2003.

PISA is the Program For International Student Assessment organized by the Organization For Economic Co-operation and Development for 15 year olds around the world.

According to the United Nations Education Index, which is measured by the adult literacy rate and the gross enrollment ratio, the United States ranked number 20 in 2007, with Australia, Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand jointly ranked number 1.

According to a report entitled "Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective" by the Organization For Economic Co-operation and Development, the United States:

  • Ranked number 3 in the percentage of patents filed by firms under five years old - with Norway ranked number 1 and Denmark ranked number 2
  • Ranked number 11 in venture capital investment as a percentage of GDP in 2008 - with Finland ranked number 1 and Sweden ranked number 2
  • Interestingly enough, the results are not dissimilar to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. The countries with the least perceived corruption include:
  • Denmark (ranked 1)
  • New Zealand (ranked 2)
  • Finland (ranked 4)
  • Sweden (ranked 4)
  • Australia (ranked 8)
  • Norway (ranked 10)
  • United States (ranked 22)

Is the relationship between education and corruption related to what values are taught in schools or because money for education is diverted elsewhere, or both?

Causes for concern in the relationship between education, entrepreneurship, the economy and employment...

Education, innovation, and entrepreneurship are key drivers of the economy, which in turn creates employment opportunities. Closing the achievement gap between the United States and top performing countries (Finland and Korea) could add between .3 and .3 trillion to the United States' gross domestic product according to McKinsey. In 2010, the United States' budget deficit is .3 trillion.

Some educators are concerned that the United States' education system:

  • Destroys creativity and divergent thinking
  • Fails to teach children "how to learn how to learn"
  • Relies too heavily on multiple choice testing versus other methods of assessment
  • Fails to promote teamwork - a key ingredient for success in arts, sports, and employment
  • Addresses the needs of the industrial age as it was eighty years ago or so, not the information age as it is and will be in the future
  • Is more concerned about developing university professors than contributors to the future economy in the information age

The structure of the economy is changing fast through disintermediation caused by improving information, telecommunications, and transportation technologies, which in turn contribute to globalization:

  • Middle management white collar jobs are being eliminated because information technology improves communication flows and performance reporting from shop floors and front lines to executive management
  • Engineering white collar and shop floor blue collar jobs are being eliminated because computer aided design and manufacturing and process control technologies require less human intervention
  • Clerical white collar jobs are being eliminated because information technology is automating administrative and operational processes
  • Blue collar jobs are being eliminated because manufacturing can easily be shipped offshore to lower cost producers that accept designs electronically, and then send products via sophisticated container shipping ports and vessels

Improved supply and demand chains on a global basis between suppliers and end-customers have reduced the need for vertically integrated enterprises, eliminating jobs that will never be replaced. As globalization continues, enterprises will continue to consolidate to obtain benefits from economy of scale, thus causing further job elimination.

Job creation is a result of entrepreneurship in emerging and growth enterprises, and intrapreneurship in growth and mature enterprises. Without entrepreneurship, jobs in new areas of the economy will not be created; without intrapreneurship, enterprises will cut costs and expenses in order to remain profitable, which means loss of employment - not job creation in existing areas.

The consequence is that the workforce has to be reeducated to become knowledge workers in a global information-based economy, and that all individuals have to be more adept at promoting themselves in an environment of job uncertainty. However, teamwork will be important as technology permits collaboration across functional units within enterprises, and between them across the world.

Young people entering the work place today have to be prepared for lifelong learning because technology will erode both current and future jobs, especially as robotics technologies become mainstream. They have to be prepared to be self-sufficient in the future economy because job and social security as their parents and grandparents knew it are less likely to exist.

Innovation has to be fostered to drive entrepreneurship to create future jobs. Fostering innovation means encouraging creativity first in school systems.

Mobile technology that can deliver multimedia content ubiquitously is fast being introduced into the marketplace, and is being assimilated by young people.

Online education and learning systems are being introduced into both public and private schools, primarily delivered through desktop and laptop computers, both in school and at home. Mobile devices are becoming a vehicle for accessing online curricula, and already some schools are permitting their use in the classroom.

Such technology can eliminate the need for textbooks, enable the student to proceed at their own pace, monitor progress at each step in learning the curriculum content, and enable the teacher to tutor each student individually. It can also employ interactive problem solving techniques to stimulate critical thinking.

One example of an online learning system is the Virtual Classroom Suite from Education 2020, which is a web-based, teacher-led instructional approach.

According to a "meta-analysis" released by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009, online learning has definite advantages over face-to-face instruction. The study found that students who took part or all of their instruction online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through face-to-face instruction only. Furthermore, those who took "blended" courses - those that combine elements of both online learning and face-to-face instruction appeared to do the best of all.

Whereas this technology can deliver educational content for middle and high school, college, and university curricula, according to one 24 year old tutor, "The kids get it. It's the parents and teachers that are afraid of it!"

Is addressing the achievement gap enough?

Innovation is about developing new ideas; creativity is about bringing them into being - both activities stem from vivid imagination. Without innovation, it is not possible to find new activities or better ways of performing existing ones; without creativity, it is difficult to adapt to new situations.

Entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial activities are functions of mindset and action: the mindset to turn innovative ideas into value; the action initiated from a willingness to take risk to realize the value.

Sometimes it is necessary to be wrong in order to be right - success comes from lessons learned from failure. Thomas Edison once declared that he had not failed when attempting to develop the light bulb - he had just found 10,000 ways that would not work.

Will passing examinations be sufficient preparation for the uncertainty of life in the future? Some educators believe that to stimulate creativity and innovation, it is necessary for children to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills early in life.

According to D.N. Perkins, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the basic goals of education strive for retention, understanding, and active use of knowledge and skills, but in reality are hard to achieve.

According to John M. Carroll in his book "The N├╝rnberg Funnel," the conventional method of education is teaching or "instructionalism," where a teacher located in a conventional classroom informs students about a particular domain (subject area). He suggests that learning is the act of constructing knowledge from information in the world around the student based upon a learning paradigm by Seymour Papert. Papert calls this paradigm "constructionism" in his project entitled "Constructionism: A New Opportunity For Elementary Science Education" and his book entitled "Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas." Constructionists believe that the knowledge is derived from mental activity, whereas instructionalists view that the mind processes and mirrors the world. Papert's work is influenced by ideas from Jean Piaget, the father of constructivism, who argued that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas.

According to Edith Ackermann, constructivism offers a window as to what children are interested in and are able to achieve, whereas constructionism focuses on learning to learn, and making things in learning.

Making things is about models of the real world, which is what mathematical physics is all about.

Seymour Papert, Nicholas Negroponte, and Alan Kay launched the One Laptop Per Child initiative to put constructionist learning into practice in the developing world.

The Sugar "desktop environment," which is delivered with the Fedora operating system for XO computers used in the One Laptop Per Child initiative, and available for use on other platforms including Mac OS/X and Windows, has been designed with the goal of being used by children for learning. This environment enables applications (known as activities) to be run that encourage constructionist learning. Sugar encourages problem-solving, collaborative learning, and critical thinking in children aged 6 through 12. One of the consequences is that children are learning to program as early as 8 years old.

Edubuntu is a free education-oriented operating system available to children aged 6 through 18. It is designed to enable educators with limited technical knowledge to set up an online leading environment with ease.

The Intel Computer Clubhouse Network is an international community of 100 clubhouses located in 20 countries provides an out-of-school learning environment for skills development. Yasmin Kafai, Kylie Peppler, and Robbin Chapman explain the concept in their book "The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity in Youth Communities." This initiative is aimed at providing young people with "practical 21st century skills."

Both instructionalism and constructionism approaches are necessary to teach the curriculum prescribed nationally and develop problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary for encouraging creativity.

However, according to Theodore Levitt, creativity is thinking up new things, innovation is doing new things.

Creativity is about ideas, but innovation is about ideas and productivity - the entrepreneur has to turn mindset (innovative ideas) into action to achieve value (innovation). The demands on the school system are high in terms of trying to close the achievement gap and prepare students with the knowledge and skills required for the entrepreneurial, innovative, and technological world of the information age.

Key questions:

  • What changes should be made to the curriculum? For example, should disciplines such as computer programming, business management, and personal finance be part of the baseline or discretionary?
  • What can be done to improve problem solving and critical thinking methods?
  • What changes should be made in teaching methods? To what extent should online education methods augment, coexist, or replace traditional classroom methods, and if so - how?
  • Should the role of district leadership, administrators, teachers, parents, and students change, and if so how?
  • Should partnerships be established between schools and businesses, so that students have a better appreciation of the characteristics of the emerging workplace?
  • What can be done to ensure that equal opportunity is provided to all students such that they can make decisions in their future careers and personal lives that are sustainable environmentally, economically, and socially?

Whatever the education system provides, it is important that every individual take charge of their own careers, and understand their competencies.

...and to assess your individual competencies in thirty minutes or less, claim your opportunity for instant access when you go to http://www.individualcompetencies.com

From Nigel A.L. Brooks - Management Consultant and Motivational Speaker

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Energy Efficient Home Ideas

With energy prices on the rise, it is becoming increasingly important to cut costs and save money wherever possible. There exists a multitude of products and ideas designed to do just that. From reducing energy loss to increasing overall efficiency, there's room in any budget.

One of the easiest ways to increase a home's energy efficiency is to change it's lighting. A compact fluorescent lamp, or CFL, uses between one fifth and one third of the energy required to power an equivalent incandescent bulb. While a CFL can cost 3 to 10 times more than a similar incandescent bulb, they typically square the difference in about one month. One article suggests that, a home spending to change 30 fixtures can save between 0 and 00 over the lifetime of the CFLs (about 5 years.) For low-light applications, such as a reading lamp, LED bulbs can offer even greater efficiency. Most current models, however, don't emit nearly as much light as their counterparts, and tend to be directional in nature. This makes them impractical for everyday use. Where outdoor lighting is concerned, things like timers and motion detectors save money by switching lights off that aren't in use. Solar landscape lighting requires absolutely no outside energy source while adding an aesthetic appeal.

Water heating, on average, accounts for around 13% of utility bills. The quickest ways to reduce this cost include regulating how much hot water is used, adjusting the heater's temperature, and thoroughly insulating the heater itself. For greater savings over the long-term, it may make sense to install a more efficient heater. Solar water heaters save the most, as they get all of their energy from the Sun. This is a great option in locations that receive sufficient sunlight. Tankless "demand" water heaters pass water through heated coils, providing hot water as it's needed rather than storing it. This effectively eliminates the energy loss that occurs when stored hot water cools down on it's own. However, they are not always able to keep up with the high demand of some homes.

When you own a home, investing in energy efficiency is tantamount to investing in your own peace of mind. In financially uncertain times, those things of which one can be certain are more and more important for you, your family, and your way of life.

Edmund E. Taylor has researched and writes on a number of topics including solar energy, the green movement, renewable resources and recycling. His background is in teaching and higher education. For more of Edmund's articles on green energy, please visit PV Power, a supplier of residential and commercial solar power information.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Samsung LED LCD TV Features

The term LED stands for light emitting diodes. It is a new technology that has replaced the use of standard fluorescent tubes in televisions. Samsung LED LCD TV uses this technology to produce extremely fine images.

Samsung TV has received the esteemed "Innovation Award" from the European Image and Sound Association because of its outstanding features and extremely high quality. In Samsung LED television, the TV is based around their LED backlighting technology; more specifically RGB Dynamic LEDs are used for backlighting which enables local dimming thus producing sharper images. Moreover, the color contrast ratio, slimmer designs and environmental friendly features introduced in LED TVs have made them to be in high demand.

There are a number of differences between LED-backlit LCD Televisions and the conventional LCD Television and they are as follows:

  • Images that LED LCD TVs produce are livelier when compared to the conventional LCD TVs.
  • Due to the use of Edge - LED lighting the size of the TV is reduced drastically, thus the thickness of most recent released models is hardly an inch thick.
  • They are energy savers in that they use 40% less power as compared to the ordinary LCD TV that is of a similar size.
  • Due to local dimming capabilities the LED TV produces finer dark images by reducing the white light in the required areas.
  • The problem of viewing the TV from different angles is solved with the introduction of LED lights behind the LCD panels.
  • Price of LED LCD TVs is higher than the traditional LCD TV but the quality of the vibrant images that they produces enhances the viewing experience making the increased cost worth it!

Thus we can say without any doubt that the LED Samsung TV has enhanced home viewing and the enjoyment of watching your favorite films, programs and video games even if it does come at a slight premium.

Providing articles and information about all aspects of LED TV and specifically Samsung LED TV.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cruise Terminal Adventures - Norwegian Star Review

We scheduled a repositioning cruise on the Vision of the Seas from Los Angeles to Vancouver, BC and I had checked the website and found that NCL was offering a one-night Dinner & Dance cruise from Vancouver, BC to Seattle, WA for an unbelievable rate in a Balcony Cabin. Score!

This trip proved to be an adventure for a one-nighter. I am going to try and keep a light tone to this review but it was nasty, as several thousand cruisers can attest to.

We disembarked from the Vision of the Seas at the Balentine Cruise Terminal and waited 40 minutes for a taxi with several new friends that we made on the Vision and then took 45 minutes for what should have been a 5 minute taxi ride to Canada Place Cruise Terminal. Traffic through the city was horrendous. While we were driving through the Gastown there was a gentleman dragging a suitcase whose rollers had broken down the street, we initially passed him however while we were sitting on the street watching the traffic basically go nowhere he passed us and finally disappeared, if we did not have all the luggage we did it was quite obvious that walking was much faster than driving. We should have realized at this point that we were in deep do-do.

We arrived at Canada Place Cruise Terminal, checked our bags, and found a line of around 1,000 people. We were trying to figure out whether this was our line or the line for one of the other ships when we found a Port employee and were told that all ships went through the same line, we were then informed that we could not get in line and had to wait an hour or two because our ship had arrived late. We should have realized that this was the second sign of cruise terminal hell on earth.

We headed out of Canada Place foraging for food and coffee and found a food court across the street where we wrestled a black bear for a table and set ourselves with some natural Canadian Mexican food to wait out our hour delay.

An hour later we wandered back to madness. Think I'm kidding? I'm not. We took the underground tunnel into Canada Place and found the route via Elevator to the Cruise Terminal. The doors of the elevator opened and we found ourselves in the middle of an even longer line. I don't like line cutters myself, so we followed the line, over the river, through the woods, up the hill, over the dale, around the corner, in front of the hotel, up the steps, down the walkway, to the front of one of the ships. If you have never been to Canada Place imagine a huge building, bigger then some sports stadiums, long enough that two of the large cruise ships can park right next to it, one in front of the other and you can get an idea of how long this line was. I would guess that there were a good 4,000 people in front of us in line at this point.

Needless to say, people were getting testy and annoyed; we literally stood in one spot for almost an hour. I may have been imagining this, but at one point I believe the line started doing the "can can" and a conga line formed as well, at least I think it did, until I clicked my red heels together and wished to go home and found myself standing in line again. Finally the line started moving again and about 3 hours later we were ushered down a stairway into the 2nd basement level. Comments about dungeons abounded and several people in line thought it may be possible that we were being led to the bottom of the ships to row or shovel coal.

At this point thing started moving quickly, we were rushed through security, the line moved briskly through customs, enough that we felt a breeze, and we were finally to the cruise line desk, got our door keys and was directed to the ship.

NCL is very conscious of the possible health issues on the ship as we were required to clean our hands with hand cleanser before we could board the ship.

We got to our cabin and our bags were already there, they had been partying for some time, the garment bag asked us where we had been and did we have any vodka with us. The carpet bag was balancing on a rail trying to be a tight line walker; fortunately it did have good balance.

We found our swimsuits and hobbled to the elevator for a quick trip to deck 12 and the blissful relaxation of the hot tubs. When we got to the pool deck we were amazed by how large the ship really was with a nice large pool with 2 water slides and 4 hot tubs. The outside diner was active and the food smelled great.

After soaking in the hot tubs we went back to our cabin and placed reservation for dinner then wandered the ship for a bit, it really was a nice ship. We then headed to the main showroom for the production show "Cirque Pacific".

"Cirque Pacific" was like most Cirque shows, best enjoyed when you are under the influence of something. Fortunately I did have some pharmaceuticals with me, too bad they were in my cabin. The show started with an announcement that smoking was not permitted in the auditorium, then them filled it with smoke, I know, show smoke, but still. I suspect that the smoke was a symbol of the state the director and choreographer where in when they put the show together; I seriously suspect they had smoked some happy grass beforehand. I had never seen hula girls doing river dance, women in blenders, and a character that looked like it belonged in "Tron" being representative of things from the Pacific region, but there they were. In reality the show was interesting and had some good high points and some of the performers were terrific, but Tarzan boy was just a little over the top. *winks*

We had Dinner in the "Endless Summer" restaurant, which was TexMex cuisine, it was as good as any TexMex restaurant that we had eaten at previously, with good flavor and plentiful portions.

We then went to the Casino, where we did what most people do, which is donate. But it was run professionally and while it was only open for a short time it was a good place to play.

Finally we decided to hit the rack. A little disappointed how difficult it was to get ice as none was left in the cabin and no steward returned our calls.

The next morning we had breakfast in the main buffet and it was about normal buffet fare. All guests on the ship were expedited departure, which meant we had to carry a weeks' worth of luggage off the ship ourselves, but we did get off quickly and were outside in Seattle in a matter of minutes.

While this was only a single day exposure to NCL it was a positive exposure with the exception of the madness at Canada Place. So hopefully we will be on one of their ships again in the future.

Tom Truxton lives in Portland, Oregon, is the father of 4, a website developer and with his wife also operates a home-based travel agency and website at http://www.timeenoughtravel.com

Monday, July 9, 2012

New York's Historic SoHo District

So named for its location, South of Houston, the New York City neighborhood referred to as SoHo has a rich and eventful history that belies its current status as the premier high fashion and arts district of downtown Manhattan.

Beginning as farmland, downtown Manhattan quickly grew after the English bought the island from the Dutch in the 1600s, leading to the construction of many taverns, brothels and hotels throughout the early part of the 19th century. From its early cultural prominence in the mid-1800s, the area of SoHo became primarily home to manufacturing plants and sweatshops of cast iron construction towards the turn of the 20th century. The growth of uptown sapped the neighborhood of vitality, leaving behind abandoned structures little to no indigenous culture and raw industrial space most would consider uninhabitable. In the mid-1960s, an ill-fated campaign by then-mayor John Lindsay to turn the neighborhood into a thoroughfare (the Lower Manhattan Expressway, or LoMex) failed due to local activism in the name of cultural and historical preservation of the buildings in the area, which were constructed with cast-iron support columns and facades and representing the largest collection of such structures in the world. This led to the middle era in SoHo's exciting history, in which artists took the neighborhood (and its improvement) into their own hands.

After the prospective highway plan was thrown out, many of the remaining historically important buildings remained nearly (some completely) unoccupied. Unlike the brownstones common in other areas of New York, SoHo had previously been a manufacturing district and thus fulfilled the requirements for many artists, who began to move into the neighborhood throughout the 1960's and 70's. High ceilings, large windows with abundant natural light, and extremely cheap rent all contributed to the influx of artists, who began to organize over this period to petition the city to rezone SoHo as a quasi-residential area. Many of the inhabitants converted their spaces from previously unlivable raw manufacturing space into live-work loft spaces without any protection under the law. In 1971 the area was rezoned, following active lobbying by residents requesting legal recognition of their improvements to the buildings, leading to increased occupancy and an explosion of the local art scene. Over time, the neighborhood became renowned for its forward-thinking artistic contributions, ranging from pop-up galleries to special events.

However, SoHo's transformation was not yet complete. The noticeable improvement of the neighborhood through artists and their cultural expansion eventually led to improved economic conditions and gentrification, leading to the coining of the term "the SoHo effect" that has been used to describe this process in other neighborhoods and cities across the US. As NYC generally and specifically downtown improved, the rising property taxes meant that the cheap rents that had initially attracted the avant-garde to SoHo eventually displaced many of them, leading to their seeking out cheaper areas (which would often suffer similar fates). Now SoHo is one of the most popular districts in Manhattan for shopping, apparel, walking tours and other tourist attractions in addition to events and exhibitions that are still held in the neighborhood. While many artists remain in the upper stories, high-end boutiques and fashionable clothing stores have come to replace many of the art galleries, most of which have moved northwest into Chelsea. Now some of the most expensive downtown real estate, SoHo still has a few exceptional large exhibition spaces, which often host events ranging from runway shows by the most prestigious fashion labels to large corporate events, food and wine tastings, photography shoots, and trade shows that draw enthusiasts from all over the city and worldwide.

With its exceptional location and beautifully preserved architecture, there are few areas in New York that represent the city's endless capacity for renewal and remembrance of its humble beginnings so well.

Based in New York City, Graham is an event planner for 82 Mercer, a beautiful 50,000sf space in historic SoHo. 82 Mercer offers abundant natural light, beautiful exposed brick walls and arches with high ceilings, and carefully preserved architectural features cast iron facades and columns in expansive, 25,000sf floor plans on two stories. If you're interested in planning an event in this impressive environment, whether for a conference, convention, exhibition, trade show, or any larger event please look over our website http://82mercer.com or to see photos! http://82mercer.com/photographs_1.htm

Friday, July 6, 2012

Boise, Idaho - Still Racist?

Boise, Idaho has a long lived, storied history of perceived racism from United States citizens throughout our great country. I personally, am originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan the home of our late President Gerald R. Ford. I grew up in a place where my mother was pitcher for our neighborhood softball team referred to as the ghetto all-stars. I am African-American and graduated from Mountain Home High School in Idaho where I played for former Olympic Basketball great Ed Palubinskas.

Boise, Idaho...well, let's start by saying its definitely a territory of very few African-Americans, but oh man, are there a lot of Hispanics, well just speaking with regards to any other race besides Caucasians throughout the state of Idaho. Cheering abruptly for the Boise State University Broncos, these days, is what it' all about, as far as the Boiseans are concerned. Revenue, revenue, revenue!

Lots of dollars are generated for the community of Boise and the "White Collar" guys of Boise's corporate world, of which I get "stares and glares" from at the local Boise Family YMCA on a daily basis. Go figure, I look like the very same kids at the skilled positions of Boise State Football and Boise State University Basketball, that they (whites) cheer for on a weekly basis. Oh, forbid the cheering is due to money being wagered or won after victories, or influenced by the alcoholic stimulation of a few cans of Coors Light!

Regardless, it goes without saying, I spend my fair share of time at Boise State University and I personally, do not see congratulatory hand shakes or appreciative gestures being given by community citizens to African-American players ever. I cannot remember the last time I heard former Boise State University and NBA players, Chris Child's name on the radio or news, and he's a multi-millionaire! I guess no one in Boise, has ever gotten a hand-out from him...even just a little...say, 0,000 to ,000,000!

The fact that community melting pots of visitors and local traffic like the Boise Public Library, Boise's Main Post Office, and even get this...the local media, including television (KTVB Channel 7, KIVI Channel 6, and KBCI Channel 2), radio and print, do not employ African-Americans on a consistent basis, worries me to some extent. The reason being, one would conclude, that African-Americans are either turning down job offers from these organizations (a means of earning a living) or simply not being offered the positions in the first place (that's so 1960-ish)! I would be willing to bet ,000,000 that job offers made to African American kids in college during their internships or after, would be received with welcome arms as a way to provide for themselves and their families, regardless of whether the position is located in predominantly "white" Boise, Idaho. In other words, the jobs are not being offered and definitely not interviews. The last time I saw an African-American reporting the news in Boise, I think Milli Vanilli was still perceived as REAL!

Either way Racism stems from the dinner tables of ignorance. By generations of ignorant people who have simply not seen enough Martin Luther King Jr.s, Harriet Tubmans, Jackie Robinsons, and oh yeah...Barack Obama our Nation's First Black President. Please, just one time, give me the opportunity to see an African-American news reporter or journalist. Please, just one time, give me the chance to see a former black Boise State Athlete featured on the radio (instead of some 'half-way' from Fruitland, Idaho that I've seen at a local sporting events puttin down 8 beers and then driving his wife and kids home), please, just one time, give me the chance to give my postal order to an African-American at the Boise Local Post Office.

Get this...I have not sat in the Boise YMCA's Local Hot Tub with over 5 different African-Americans (the catch is, I've been a member for nearly a decade, and I'm in the hot-tub 3-4 days/wk)! In other words, we (African-Americans), are still foreign to Boiseans, still less to Boiseans, still un-President-like to Boiseans, still...is Boise still racist?

I can't help but imagine if Boise State senior, "Bush" Hamdan who's real name is something like Jibran (Arabic), were not benched in favor of the Freshman Quarterback Kellen Moore, if ticket sales or the number of wins would have dropped. In other words, with Boise State's Football schedule...my grandmother could have played quarterback and led them to the Rose Bowl! Why not give an ethical endorsement of sorts to a senior (even though his name is from the roots of Islam). I thought, when he changed his name to "BUSH" they'd surely give him the nod...NOT!!!

How bout' when African-American quarterback Nate Sparks of Boise State (also during his senior year) was benched in favor of a sophomore who led the team to what anyone could have done based on their schedule. In other words, it always seems to be a rally cry for "whites" of Boise in terms of who gets cold shouldered for the position of quarterback at Boise State University. You can't tell me that the ethical responsibility to justly treat our communities beloved athletes is being adhered to at Boise State University. Listening to conversations throughout Boise; my take is that so many Boiseans are forgetting that, these are kids! Some of the comments I here at local venues showing the games on television are absurd!

Let's not forget the turn-out when Barack Obama came to Boise's Taco Bell Arena. Oh man, I was there, on that cold, cold, cold morning. Husbands of wives who'd gotten them out of warm beds during the early A.M hours of the morning were "Ticked Off" to say the least. None-the-less, they stood there, in line for a very lengthy time. In fact by the time I got to the doors, my fingers felt like a frozen snicker bar when it's the only thing in the freezer with no company!

Everyone hip-hop-hoorayin, takin pictures, smilin, laughin, shakin hands like crazy. Oh yeah...Obama lost the State of Idaho by the 2nd largest margin of any State in America (the fron-runner was Utah and trust me, Boiseans almost seem envious of that)!

Is Boise still racist? Ask African-Americans with college degrees who've applied for bank teller positions in Boise, only to find white kids or even Hispanic (anything but African-American) with GED's received the position; ask African-Americans with college degrees who've applied for basic production jobs at Micron Technology or Hewlett Packard, only to find white kids or even Hispanics (anything but African-American) with GED's received the position (that's so 1960-ish); ask African-Americans with college degrees who've applied for basic entry level jobs at even temporary services, only to find white kids or even Hispanics (anything but African-American) with GED's (and in some cases not even a 'green-card!') received the position (that's so 1960-ish); ask African-Americans with college degrees who've applied for basic entry level telemarketing jobs at local Boise Telephone companies etc., only to find white kids or even Hispanics (anything but African-American) with GED's received the position (that's so 1960-ish); well... it's a good thing Idaho only represents 4 electorals during presidential elections, or Barack wouldn't be in! And that brings me to this...why was there such a huge turnout for a man who no one in Idaho seemingly voted for? Is he that attractive (that's so 1960-ish)? Is he that creative (that's so 1960-ish)? Is he that assertive (that's so 1960-ish)? Is he our nation's 1st Black President married to our nations very, very, very first AFRICAN-AMERICAN FIRST LADY (that's so...2009)?

Jamaal Al-Din

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eco Friendly Houses - What Is A Green Building?

What is a green building and why should you care? Why are people building efficient green homes? What is the number one reason for the increased demand for eco friendly houses? The answers may surprise you!

What is a Green Building? A green building (the noun) is a building that has been specifically designed to save energy, promote healthy indoor air and have much less impact on the environment.

Green building (the verb) is mainly a construction term used to describe whole house system design and techniques that use eco friendly, or green building, materials and components.

The following terms are pretty much interchangeable when talking about houses: eco friendly houses, eco friendly home, eco home, eco house, green house, green building a house, green home designs, or building efficient green homes.

Here are some great examples of using green materials for the home:

1. recycled glass counter tops - stylish and eco friendly

2. bamboo flooring - grows quickly (sustainable) with durability comparable to hardwood

3. eco friendly furniture - made from sustainable or recycled materials, or certified wood

4. tankless water heaters - water is heated on demand, saving energy

5. low flow shower heads and LED faucets that turn on and off automatically

6. energy saving appliances and light fixtures

7. renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power

Why are people building efficient green homes? Why eco friendly houses? As I mentioned, the answer may surprise you. Most people think the number one reason to "go green" is for the environment or to save energy...but, according to a recent survey done by the folks at Building Green TV and RCLCO, the number one reason people are building eco friendly houses is for health reasons! In fact, a full 42% of those surveyed replied that health was the number one reason to build a green home. Only 17% said they would be motivated by energy savings, and only 12% for the environment!

What do eco friendly houses have to do with health? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the list below contains just some of the things that may be causing your family health problems inside your home:

Radon, Environmental Tobacco Smoke, Biologicals, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Organic Gases, Respirable Particles, Formaldehyde, Pesticides, Asbestos, Lead, and Chlorine.

In fact, the EPA estimates that the pollution levels inside your home could be 3-70 times the outdoor pollution levels in major cities - yuk!

Makes you want to open a window now, doesn't it?

Want to know more about eco friendly houses?

I've just completed my brand new guide, 'Secrets to Creating a Healthy, Eco-Friendly Home'.

download it free here: eco friendly houses [http://www.ecohomesecrets.com/ezinearticles1s.html]

Isabella R. Green is a full time internet publisher, writing articles and ebooks that help people create eco friendly houses.