Best States for Jobs

By Anthony Balderrama, writer

Location is everything, according to the real estate adage. Many people learn the wisdom of these words after they move into their first apartment on a tight budget and have a view of a landfill and the smells that come from it.

The same holds true for job hunting. Your chances of finding the right job – or any job, really – depend on where you live. The unemployment rate is the ratio of job seekers to the working population. Therefore, a low percentage means few people are having any difficulty finding work.

If you’re looking for a job, you want to be in a state that has an unemployment rate lower than the national average, which is 5 percent according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Here are the 15 best states to find work ranked by their unemployment rates.

South Dakota
Unemployment rate: 3 percent*
Population: 796,214**
Mean annual wage: $30,460
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (19.9 percent)***

2. Idaho
Unemployment rate: 3 percent
Population: 1,499,402
Mean annual wage: $34,810
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (20.2 percent)

3. Wyoming
Unemployment rate: 3.1 percent
Population: 522,830
Mean annual wage: $34,290
Top industry: Government (23 percent)

4. Nebraska
Unemployment rate: 3.2 percent
Population: 1,774,571
Mean annual wage: $34,300
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (21.1 percent)

5. Utah
Unemployment rate: 3.2 percent
Population: 2,645,330
Mean annual wage: $35,540
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (19.7 percent)

6. Hawaii
Unemployment rate: 3.2 percent
Population: 1,283,388
Mean annual wage: $38,630
Top industry: Government (19.6 percent)

7. North Dakota
Unemployment rate: 3.3 percent
Population: 639,715
Mean annual wage: $32,440
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (21.4 percent)

8. Virginia
Unemployment rate: 3.5 percent
Population: 7,712,091
Mean annual wage: $41,450
Top industry: Government (18 percent)

9. Montana
Unemployment rate: 3.6 percent
Population: 957,861
Mean annual wage: $31,290
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (20.5 percent)

10. New Hampshire
Unemployment rate: 3.6 percent
Population: 1,315,828
Mean annual wage: $39,250
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (23.3 percent)

11. New Mexico
Unemployment rate: 3.7 percent
Population: 1,969,915
Mean annual wage: $33,980
Top industry: Government (23.2 percent)

12. Delaware
Unemployment rate: 3.8 percent
Population: 864,764
Mean annual wage: $41,680
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (18.7 percent)

13. Maryland
Unemployment rate: 3.8 percent
Population: 5,618,344
Mean annual wage: $44,030
Top industry: Government (18.2 percent)

14. Iowa
Unemployment rate: 4 percent
Population: 2,988,046
Mean annual wage: $33,250
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (20.4 percent)

15. Vermont
Unemployment rate: 4 percent
Population: 621,254
Mean annual wage: $36,350
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (19.4 percent)

*Unemployment rates, mean annual wages and industry percentages obtained from BLS in January 2008. Percentages based on nonfarm payrolls, seasonally adjusted.

**Population figures based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

***Top industries are those that employ the largest percentage of a state’s labor force.

Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

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‘My boyfriend has no ambition’

Dr. Gail Saltz advises a girl on what to do about her unmotivated partner
By Gail Saltz contributor

Q. I love my boyfriend and have never been happier, but he has no ambition. While it's not a problem now because we are young and I am still in college, I am afraid it will be one day down the line. He has absolutely no dreams other than to live life. But he has so much talent and he takes brilliant pictures. If he had the motivation to apply himself, he could be a great photographer.

I feel this is a problem because I have big dreams and when I am done with school, I am going for them. I want to spend the rest of my life with this man and I do not want him to settle for anything less than his best or my best, for that matter. How do I help him believe in himself and make him see that there is more to life?

A. You might not be able to.

It’s not clear what elements go into making a person driven or ambitious, but obviously this personality characteristic comprises many factors. Some people are born with a more intense, assertive, demonstrative temperament than others. There is also a psychological component to this, which you note when you ask how you can make him believe in himself. Some people are truly conflicted about succeeding and therefore avoid it.

Your assumption is that he doesn’t believe in himself and therefore he doesn’t try. That’s possible. Some people are so lacking in confidence that they don’t try because they believe they will fail.

Others merely lack intensity. They may not feel the need to be exceptionally successful, and truly find pleasure in the moment rather than striving toward the future.

It’s not that somebody who lacks drive and ambition is bad or flawed, but such a person has a different personality than you do. If this is truly a pervasive part of your boyfriend’s nature — if he never feels that any work effort is worthwhile — that can be a problem for a couple. The same goes for any big difference in a significant domain in life, such as future goals.

It sounds like you want your boyfriend to change but he is content with how he is. Pointing out how he could change, and the advantages of doing so, either will or won’t move him to action.

But if you have been trying to change him and it isn’t working, I suspect he is just a laid-back kind of guy. It may simply not be in his temperament to be competitive. If this is the case, marriage to this man will make for a lot of frustration.

If you could truly be happy to take the lead and be the breadwinner, that would be fine. In fact, some people want to be the star of their relationship and don’t do well with a competitive spouse. But if it is important to you to be part of a power team and you need a husband who shares your passion for goals and success, then this kind of difference can truly erode your future: He might get tired of hearing that you don’t like the way he is. You might end up feeling contempt and disdain for his lack of ambition. You might feel ashamed of him in the presence of your friends and colleagues.

If you have children, these issues come to bear in your parenting style. Some parents push their kids to achieve; others take a hands-off approach. This is yet another realm where you might butt heads.

So if you can’t change your man’s behavior and you can’t change your own attitude, you should take a pause and examine whether this relationship can work well for the long term. This isn’t a small, easily-ignored issue.

Look inside yourself to see if this will be an ongoing source of disappointment and frustration for you, and if you will always wish to turn your man into something he is not. It might be worth exploring this issue with a couples counselor, who could shed further insight with an objective third-party view.

Dr. Gail’s Bottom Line: A fundamental difference in life approaches can erode a relationship if one partner doesn’t take action.

Dr. Gail Saltz is a psychiatrist with New York Presbyterian Hospital and a regular contributor to TODAY. Her latest book is “Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie.” She is also the author of “Amazing You! Getting Smart About Your Private Parts,” which helps parents deal with preschoolers’ questions about sex and reproduction. Her first book, “Becoming Real: Overcoming the Stories We Tell Ourselves That Hold Us Back,” was published in 2004 by Riverhead Books. It is now available in a paperback version. For more information, you can visit her Web site,

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Gals make passes at guys who wash glasses

Men who share the load (of laundry and otherwise) inspire lust
By Diane Mapes
MSNBC contributor

I had a party not too long ago where a funny thing happened. One of the guests — a 30-something, single straight guy — came out to the kitchen and volunteered to do my dishes. “That way you won’t be stuck with a huge mess after everyone leaves,” he said, filling the sink with hot, soapy water.

As he started scrubbing wine glasses, I glanced over at my guests. Every woman in the room was staring at him with what can only be described as pure, unadulterated lust.

Behold the appeal of the dishy man.

Jennifer Matthewson, a 30-year-old caterer from Portland, Ore., has witnessed this heady phenomenon time and time again.

“My husband is great at cooking and great at cleaning,” says Matthewson, whose spouse handles the kitchen end of their catering company while she takes care of the business and the books.
“And every time we would do an event, there would be 10 to 15 starry-eyed women standing around him, asking him all kinds of baking and cooking questions. They’d be like, ‘Wow, does he have any brothers?' Even my mother once joked, ‘Oh, if only he were older.’”

For Heather Peterson, of Cambridge, Mass., the dishy man effect is nothing short of money in the bank.

Part of a tongue-in-cheek organization called the Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative, Peterson and her colleagues recently published a collection of photographs of fully clothed men cooking, cleaning house and offering up comforting cups of tea. The book, entitled “Porn for Women,” has sold more than 140,000 copies after just 11 months and has already spawned both a calendar and the newly released “Porn for New Moms.”

‘That's hot’“This is a humorous book, but it does manage to convey some of the things that women really do fantasize about,” says Peterson, spokesperson for the group. “When a man is willing to step up to the plate — and wash it for you — you’re going to think about him in a very different way. It’s not just that he’s domesticated. It’s that he recognizes that these things have to get done. That they’re not just automatically going to be done for him. And that’s hot.”

According to a May 2007 in American Journal of Public Health, a guy who pulls his own weight around the house isn’t just hot, he’s a boon for his lady’s health.

‘When a man is willing to step up to the plate — and wash it for you — you’re going to think about him in a very different way.’
— Heather Peterson
Cambridge, Mass.

Researchers at the American University of Beirut studied 1,652 married couples and found that wives whose husbands were minimally involved in housework were 60 percent more likely to be distressed, three times more likely to be uncomfortable with their husbands, and more than twice as likely to be unhappy.

“Our results showed a significant association between husbands’ involvement in housework and their wives’ psychosocial health,” wrote Marwan Khawaja, author of the study.

Are there any benefits, aside from soulful glances and the satisfaction of a sparkling clean floor, that exist for men who share the load (laundry and otherwise)?

That’s hard to say, although there are some interesting indicators. A recent survey by Parenting Magazine found that “choreplay,” i.e., husbands pitching in around the house, was what put 15 percent of moms in the mood.

Research conducted by Laurie A. Rudman, a psychologist at Rutgers University, also seems to point to a hot soapy love connection. Her study, recently published in the journal Sex Roles, looked at feminism’s impact on romantic relationships. Among other things, she found that men with feminist partners reported both more stable relationships and greater sexual satisfaction.

“We didn’t ask who was doing the dishes or taking care of the kids,” says Rudman. “We asked broadly about the quality of the relationship and about the agreement of gender roles in the relationship. But we did find that if men were with a feminist woman, they had more sexual satisfaction and their relationship was more stable. Men benefit from having a feminist partner.
Now the next step is to look at why. What is it about gender equality that brings about more relationship satisfaction?”

Sharing the load (of laundry)For Maureen Judge, a 44-year-old marketing consultant and divorced mom from Seattle, that’s a no-brainer.

“Women have been out in the workforce for a really long time and it’s staggering how many women still do most of the housework,” she says. “Not sharing the load has got to be one of the biggest things that can negatively impact a relationship. So, yes, men who do their share of household chores are absolutely more attractive as potential partners than traditional guys who won’t even pick up a toilet brush. That’s where the bar should be set.”

Are men working their way towards this bar? Signs seem to indicate the Tide may indeed be turning.

A handful of housecleaning guides — by men, for men — have hit the market in recent years, each with titles that subtly play up the steamier side of the egalitarian household, i.e., “How to Satisfy Your Woman Every Time: A Straight Guy’s Guide to Housework and Good Grooming,” “How to Iron Your Own Damn Shirt: The Perfect Husband Handbook Featuring Over 50 Ways to Win, Woo and Wow Your Wife,” and “Clean Like a Man: Housekeeping for Men (and the Women Who Love Them).”

Single men have even started to fly their helpmate flags in online personal ads. A quick sweep through Craig’s List yields numerous postings where, along with interests in football, fishing, and romantic nights in front of a fire, men are expressing their affinity for household chores.

Tired of Being Alone, a 43-year-old bachelor from Sacramento, Calif., says he will “cook, clean house, do laundry and quite a few other things.” 210 Reasons to Email Me, a 25-year-old single guy from Phoenix, lists as his No. 1 incentive: “I clean and do laundry and I also know how to use an iron.” Educated Guy with a Great Career, a 39-year-old divorced dad from Minneapolis, provides a complete resume of household skills. “In addition to being able to cook all the meals, I am housebroken,” he writes. “I do my own ironing. I do laundry and fold it. I do the dishes and put them away. I make the bed. I keep the kitchen clean.”

Kitchen sink savvyAre these ads an indication that guys have stumbled onto the dishy man effect and are trying to edge out the competition with kitchen sink savvy? Are stereotypical gender roles truly becoming a thing of the past? Or is it a little bit of both?

“I have no problem doing household chores,” says Travis Letellier, a 24-year-old civil engineer from Boston, whose ad talked up his willingness to do dishes and give foot massages. “It was always the norm growing up and it’s something I do regularly anyway. I wasn’t really trying to impress a woman by mentioning that I do dishes, but I guess I was trying to entice one.”

John McDougall, a 38-year-old medical student from Bozeman, Mont., says that while he’s never formerly advertised his “dishiness,” he has noticed it scores major points.

“When I cook for a woman on a first date, most of the time they’re stunned,” he says. “They’re like, ‘Not only do you keep a decent apartment, you can cook. Holy smoke!’ It’s like the icing on the cake. I suppose there’s probably a positive feedback loop going on that reinforces that behavior on my part. But I also think housework can be therapeutic if you choose to see it that way. Making a clean space out of a disordered space offers an internal sense of satisfaction.”

Move over, June Cleaver. Looks like you’ve finally got some stiff competition.

Diane Mapes is a Seattle freelance writer and author of "How to Date in a Post-Dating World."

© 2008 MSNBC Interactive

The Hard Stuff: "He Needs a Real Job!"

By Karen Karbo

Q: My husband was laid off from his engineering job about five years ago, and hasn't been able to find another one. He's been working as a substitute teacher and is good with special-needs kids, but won't become certified or accept permanent work in this area. When we don't discuss his job hunt, he stops looking. I recently tried to approach him again about getting certified, and he screamed and sobbed. I can barely manage our finances on my teacher's salary, and our kids will need college soon. Any advice? —L.N., 48, Mesa, AZ

A: Sometimes men are a little like horses — you quit kicking them on, and they figure this means it's time to stop and graze. But it isn't your job to kick your husband on. Rather, you need to understand what your financial responsibility is and what his is and proceed accordingly. So sit down and figure out your monthly expenses, including at least 15 (but preferably 20) percent of your salary that will go toward savings.

Whatever amount you arrive at, half is his responsibility, and he's got to figure out how to get it. Maybe he'll push harder to land an engineering job.

Maybe he'll see if he can snag some more substitute-teaching work, or maybe he'll decide that becoming certified is a good idea after all. Maybe a flush relative can float him a loan. If worse comes to worst, they're always hiring at Starbucks. The point is, as long as it's legal, how he decides to solve this problem is up to him. Give him a couple of months to get his ducks in a row, then tell him when you're going to expect his full contribution.

Of course, there's always the possibility that, without telling you, your husband has made the unilateral decision to, um, retire early. If that turns out to be the case, I'd find myself a couples counselor to impress upon him the seriousness of the situation. Money can't buy love, but serious, unresolved conflicts over money can press love to its limits. Your husband needs to know this.

Award-winning writer Karen Karbo is the author of How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living From Kate the Great. She's also a mom, a writing teacher and a horse owner. Send your questions to her at: The Hard Stuff, REDBOOK, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019 or Letters may be edited for clarity and length, and must include your initials, age, city, and state. For more advice from Karen, go to

Source: MSN

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The Latest Advances In Cosmetic Laser Surgery

By Melanie Pitre

Cosmetic laser surgery has introduced itself to the mainstream and is becoming used and growing in popularity. It is successfully taking its place as the preferred choice of cosmetic enhancements. Without the scary and often times intimidating procedures of invasive cosmetic surgery, laser surgery is boldly pushing traditional surgeries offstage and are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Lasers today offer patients a vast array of options for whatever aesthetically-altering surgery they are looking for. Though lasers are most often used for facial resurfacing, there are treatments that can be used for many different types of skin imperfections.

Lasers can remove:
  • moles
  • warts
  • wrinkles
  • age spots
  • scars
  • hair
  • port wine stains
  • birthmarks
  • tattoos
and many more imperfections anywhere on the body. They offer a much more precisely estimated outcome, as well as less bleeding, bruising, scarring, and drastically reduced recovery time. Let's take a look at the most innovative and effective procedures:

Laser Resurfacing - There are two types of lasers mainly used in resurfacing: The Fraxel which is excellent for improving wrinkles and fine lines, discoloration such as patchy areas and birth marks, pore reduction and age spots. Next, researchers have developed an Erbium-YAG/CO2 combination to drastically improve mild to severe acne, a traditionally difficult task with CO2 or Erbium lasers alone, though both separately are excellent lasers as well.

Hair Removal - The safest and most effective hair removal laser treatment is the "Candela GentleLase Laser System."As its name suggests, the laser delicately removes unwanted hairs without causing damage to delicate pores and skin structure.

Moles and Warts - The "Surgitron Laser Treatment" is effective in removing not only warts and moles all over the body and face, but is quite effective in reducing wrinkles and lines, including smoker's lip, crow's feet, and mild acne scars. The entire procedure is usually painless as an injection of a local anaesthetic is given and 30 to 40 minutes later a patient can walk out of the clinic.

There are many options as well as doctors who are permitted to perform cosmetic laser surgery, so researching the laser and treatment you want before booking the procedure is highly recommended. Also, be very weary of their credentials. Most doctors are allowed to administer cosmetic surgery without specializing in it at all! Please ensure that your doctor is certified and completely capable of giving you the very best in laser care.

Melanie Pitre writes articles for the website Tummy Tucks -

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Download Movies Music Games And Shows

By Luis Aguirre

Downloading. This has become the tool of choice for people who want their favorite shows, movies, music and even The time when companies like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video ruled the movie and game section is now coming to an end. Online video game and movie companies are now taking things to the next level, people don't want to get in their car and drive to the store and rent a movie or game and then return it when you are done with it. No, you want to sit at home and watch the movie right away, and the only thing you should be getting up for is the popcorn.

Downloading a movie is much better than renting one. Getting your favorite music or game has always come natural to the younger generation of our time, problem is you gotta know where to look. Most will search on Google for their favorite game or movie, when all you need to do is become a member of a website that provides this kind of service for a small monthly or yearly charge. Imagine just having to search for your favorite movie and then clicking a button and in minutes if not sooner, you have what you want at your fingertips. The information era is making everything easier, movies are clearer, games look and perform better, music is crisper.

Having one of the most well put-together databases on the web takes some serious work.
Searching for movies shouldn't have to be like pulling teeth from a T-Rex. Mp3 downloads have gotten a bad reputation in the past 10 years, from illegally downloading them from networks like Morpheus or Kazaa to Napster (which is now legitimate). Companies like Apple have gotten into the mainstream of things and started to offer good, solid alternatives to downloading music illegally.

Games are another phenomenon that is taking the country by storm. Online gaming and console gaming is getting bigger and bigger, with consoles like the PlayStation 3, X-Box and Wii there is no end in sight. Games are getting faster, look better, and they clearly outperform their older counterparts a million times over.

TV Shows are another thing people want to own, but they are getting expensive to purchase in bulk. If you want a whole season of a show then you better be able to pony up the cash for it.
They can cost as much as $100 for a single season, and if you love a show and it keeps going for 10-11-12 seasons then it can get pricy real fast. Most of the time, you wont need to buy whole seasons, just the episodes you want to watch.

All of this and more can be obtained if you just know where to look, companies that offer that kind of downloading capability don't have crappy video or audio quality, most of it is either higher than TV or PC quality..leading into Hi-Def or higher.

Author: Luis Aguirre

For Movies, Shows, Music & Games...Check Out

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Massage School Learning Experience

By Roblynn Neumann

At the end of our first day of massage school, we all circled up to share our feelings. I got teary eyed and said, "I miss my kids and cannot wait to go home and see them."

The months, weeks and days leading up to this experience had been very stressful for me. I had been a stay-at-home mom for the past fifteen years, with six children ranging in age from two to fifteen. I was embarking on my second career. My husband could not understand my stress and concerns. His constant reassurances that everything would be fine at home for the next five months, and that it was no big deal to undress in front of complete strangers, did not help.

As the first day of school got closer, I was so stressed that I broke out with a huge fever blister, right smack dab in the middle of my bottom lip. It hung around for the first two months of school!

It was amazing for me to realize how many of my ideas about education could be traced back to my elementary school teachers. I was actually remembering educational experiences from over twenty years ago; which fed right into my stress, of course.

Another stress was the unknowns of massage school in general. Would I be the old lady in a class full of young people? Would there be guys I would have to work with?

Did my brain even still function? All of these and many more doubts went through my mind.

The first day of school erased about half of these worries. There were eleven students in my class; all but three attending for the purpose of a second career, like myself. They all seemed harmless enough, including the three guys. What a relief!

Thus we embarked on our five month journey together. I have seen and heard about classes were everyone became instant friends forever. We were all pretty much to busy in our own lives for that to happen.

Massage school definitely has a way of showing you yourself, up close and personal. I had always considered myself to be laid back, nice. This unraveled with the first learning experience; which was just a nice name for a test. It is supposed to help mentally to call it something else. At that point I found out that I was very competitive, and even almost mean about it. Wow! Insight number one.

Another eye opener came a few weeks into school when we were having a communications class. I usually skipped these. In this particular situation we were to partner up with another student, and tell how we felt about each other. My partner told me that when we had begun school she did not like me, but she was beginning to! That hit pretty hard, obviously, since I still remember it.

Number three came in our daily circle when we were given time to share how clinics were going, and how we felt about the work we were doing outside of class. I was so excited to share about my work with the university cross-country team. When the teacher called my name, another student remarked, "What are you going to brag about today?" Boom! Insight number three.

I am glad to say these three and many other experiences did encourage introspection and change, but that did not make them any easier to take at the time. The biggest lesson learned was to be careful about the words coming out of my mouth. This has served me well in my business and my life. This lesson, still with my twelve years later, is the same, with this addition: be kind.

On the last day of massage school we all circled up to share our feelings for the last time. When my turn came I said, "I'm glad this is over, and I can't wait to go home to my children."
Everyone chuckled, but all agreed.

Roblynn Neumann is Co Director and owner of Costa Rica School of Integrative, a study abroad massage school located in Heredia Costa Rica. You can contact her at She has owned and run a private massage practice for 12 years, and taught for 3 years.

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A Small Wedding Provides Flexibility

By Marie Esselstein

Though the average wedding today has 150 guests and costs thousands upon thousands of dollars, if you are able to keep your wedding small you will find there are a lot of special advantages. For example:

A tiny wedding can be held almost anywhere. If your heart is set on flying over the Grand Canyon, hiking to a summit or scuba diving as you say your vows, it can be done.

"Receptions" can be intimate parties rather than huge affairs. How many people were at the last wedding you went to? If it was anything like the average American wedding, there were so many people that the couple had next to no time to speak to their guests, much less enjoy them. In addition, there were probably a handful of people that neither the bride nor the groom recognized. Now there is the reason The Wedding Crashers is so funny-it could easily be true! If you keep the wedding small you get to spend quality time on your wedding day with the people who really matter to you.

You can have your event in so many cool places. Think of how many places you can have a party for 500. Now 200. 100. 50. 25. 10. Now, can't you think of exponentially more places to have your party as the number goes down? A major benefit to the tiny wedding.

You won't be stuck with "reception food." Catered food tends to be mediocre and overpriced. For a tiny wedding you can simply call in a big carry out order to your favorite restaurant. And if Aunt Nancy wants to cater for you, food for 12 is a way smaller responsibility than food for 100.

The event is more flexible. You have always hated the bouquet and garter toss. If you have 200 people, there will be disappointment if no one gets a chance to snag your bouquet and watch you get embarrassed as the garter is removed. If you have 20, no one will care.

Marie Esselstein

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A Cat Island Bahamas Vacation

By Pete Marciulonis

The Hermitage is a bit of an historical oddity, fascinating and strange. The hike up to see this religious site will take visitors through small villages along beautiful trails, full of island flora and fauna. It is located at the top of Mt. Alvernia, which is 206 feet above the sea and the highest point in the Bahamas.

The Hermitage itself is made from the limestone of the cliffs, with each piece painstakingly extracted, shaped and set by hand by the Canadian mule-skinner turned Anglican turned Roman Catholic priest known as Father Jerome. The Father built the structure to scale, designed it to fit his rather diminutive form. Beloved by the island people, the priest passed away in 1956 after reaching the ripe age of 80.

Other historical sites include an Arawak cave, found at Columbus point, and plantation ruins, left over from the islands efforts at joining the worlds cotton growers. Deveaux mansion was once the residence of Andrew Deveaux of the US Navy, who participated in the 1873 battles to get Nassau back from Spain. Another well known ruins is the remains of the Ambrister plantation, near Port Howe.

For those interested in water sports, the Cat Island Dive Center is the place to contact. They operate out of the Greenwood Beach Resort and have a variety of diving and snorkeling packages available, and there are many fine areas to explore, offering a wealth of marine life and fascinating geological formations. They also have water sport equipment to rent.

Cat Island is the sixth largest island in the Bahamas, and boasts extraordinary beaches. There are literally miles and miles of virtually undisturbed beaches, where swimming and relaxing can be done in near complete privacy.

Fine meals can be had at several locations on Cat Island. Hawk's Nest Resort and Marina serves a variety of dishes, but among the best are the fresh, grilled fish and the roasted rack of lamb. Fernandez Bay Village is the place to go for creative and delicious native dishes, served either in the dining room or a patio table by the beach. Greenwood Beach Resort's Bahaman cuisine is complemented by their marvelous breads, which are baked every day.

Cat Island is an excellent choice for vacationers who are seeking a natural beach experience, and enjoy a peaceful and very laid-back atmosphere. The island can be explored at a leisurely pace, which is a much better way to enjoy the local flora and fauna, as well as to enjoy the local culture.
Because it is so much smaller in population than many of the other islands, it's easier to get a real feel for the people and their way of life. Cat Island is an interesting place that will make a lasting impression on its guests.

Pete Marciulonis

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The Wonderful World of Pixel Art - Animated Gifs and Free Emoticons

By Paul Nizhinsky

The internet is a huge place. By its very nature it's home to an almost infinite amount of weird and wonderful interests and pursuits that most of us probably don't even now exist. With its sheer size and user-generated content, it's a place full of discovery that panders to every human whim, fancy, and interest. One of these is the wonderful, quirky, and often adorable world of pixel art.

Let's cover the basics: what is pixel art? Pixels are the tiny little squares used to make every image on your computer screen, and can be used to make tiny animations in .gif format. You can make these yourself in programmes like Corel Photo-Paint, or more specific programmes like Jasc's Animation Shop. Many, particularly younger people, will be familiar with some of the uses of pixel art. Emoticons, anikaos, and animated gifs are all examples of basic pixel art used on forums, MySpace, and Windows Live Messenger as a means of aiding expression in an essentially text-based form of communication, as well just simply for fun. Emoticons are perhaps the most widely used and searched for.

A range of emoticons come as standard with Live Messenger and most forums. These tend to be your basic set of emoticons to cover the main emotions and actions expressed while chatting.
Many websites however offer more advanced and diverse emoticons in varying sizes and shapes, some even with sound. The latter tend to frequent more on pay-sites. There are though far more user-generated emoticons on the net, and are frequently exchanged between users of Messenger - which allows you to add and save emoticons used by others.

While emoticons are by far the most popular in the west, their eastern counterparts 'anikaos' (pronounced ani-cows, meaning literally 'animated faces' in Japanese) are becoming more and more popular as interest in Japanese popular culture continues to grow. Anikaos are typically floating spherical blobs bobbing up and down with a cute face depicting any number of emotions and actions. They tend to be used more on forums and are incredibly diverse, ranging from generic white blobs to household animals, peas, and characters from anything between Star Wars and Dragonball-Z. The user-generated nature of anikaos, like most pixel art, means their diversity and numbers continue to multiply.

Yet, beyond the world of communication-aiding emoticons and anikaos, the possibilities are even more varied. People can make literally anything they want in miniature using pixel art - and they do. People love to have things made tiny and love to use them on their websites, MySpace pages, and on Messenger.

A very popular form pixel art at the moment is animated gifs of Nintendo and Sega characters from the '80s and '90s such as Mario, Kirby, Link, and Sonic the Hedgehog recreated exactly from the 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit games on which they appeared. The current craze for all things retro, especially in gaming, is certainly adding fuel to this. Particularly with girls, animated gifs of the characters Hello Kitty and Pucca Love are also extremely popular, and can be found on many a MySpace page. Hello Kitty and Pucca Love are very cute characters that are used frequently to personalise web pages and make them more attractive.

The fact that both Hello Kitty and Pucca Love have huge merchandising markets 'offline' easily explains their popularity in this respect. Likewise with both sexes, Pokemon animated gifs are extremely popular, particularly on MySpace and gaming sites. The cuteness of many Pokemon characters and the fact they are already computer game sprites makes them perfectly convertable into animated gifs.

But it doesn't end simply at branded corporate characters, oh no. There is a whole pixel art culture out there with people creating weird and wonderful designs of their own constantly.
Witness blinking cheeseburgers, winking cake slices, a strange beige bob running towards you with a chefs for absolutely no reason at all! The possibilities are endless and quite frequently very, very strange. Very aptly, there seems to be a perfect miniature of the boundless lengths of human creativity contained within this little culture.

Mostly, gifs get passed around in networks fairly randomly, but if you're actively on the lookout, my advice would be to specifically refine your search. For example if you're specifically after gaming gifs, try punching in 'nintendo animated gifs' or 'super mario animated gifs'. Many sites with the best gifs don't even have domain names, so it pays to be patient. There are sites out there that endeavor to collect gifs together from around the net, but some are more organised than others and the quality varies from site to site.

A frequent problem is that they just won't be categorised, making your search difficult. If you find yourself falling in love with this kooky little world, then it doesn't even end here. Pixel art is not just animated gifs and emoticons - there are communities out there dedicated to making 'pixel art for pixel art's sake'. These people make incredibly high quality pictures and landscapes of such complexity that it takes your breath away. Pixel Joint is a great little community to get involved in if you find yourself going for this more advanced stuff, whether to appreciate or to create. Have fun!

Cutecore Gifs a GREAT resource for free animated gifs and emoticons.

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New Year Resolutions for Your Website

By Landon Wisser

Well, it's that time of year again, a time to look back and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your website and set goals for next year. With the ever increasing rise of internet popularity, 2008 will be as important as ever.

Get to Know your Customer
It's time to learn more about who is visiting your site and what they are doing once they arrive. This information is essential for determining how well your website is performing. Installing Google Analytics is a great free and simple way to obtain information about your site visitors. Google Analytics provides information on:

• How many visitors came to your site
• The amount of time your visitors spent on the site
• Number of pages viewed
• Bounce rate(aka how many people left your site immediately after they arrive)

Optimize your Site for Search Engine Consumption
Your sites ability to be found on today's popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo is of the upmost importance. What's the point of having a fabulous website, if no one can find it? There are many ways to improve your sites search engine optimization, a few of these are:

• The addition of content rich minipages
• Appropriate use of alt, H1, and title tags
• Focus on primary keyword sets
• Syndication of an RSS feed to your domain(back linking)

Keep your Content Up to Date
Continually update your sites content. Fresh and relevant content will keep your customers interested and coming back for more. If your site includes outdated pictures and information, it doesn't reflect well upon your company's image. Some key areas to watch out for in regards to outdated content are:

• The "About Us" page
• Your contact information
• External or internal page links
• ImagesStart

Start Blogging
A good way to include new and relevant content is by implementing a blog. A blog provides a great medium for introducing fresh content, and will also increase your sites search engine rankings by creating quality back links. A blog is also a good way to position you or your company as an authority in a specific field or industry niche.

Consult a Professional
One of the best ways to improve your websites productivity is to hire a professional. If you're unsure about where to start improving your site or if you have a great deal of questions, hiring a professional may be well worth your investment.

Landon Wisser is a content developer and web specialist at NLI Media Group.

NLI Media Group is an Austin based web development and media firm that uses cutting edge online marketing and traditional advertising and promotion to create premium brand experiences for clients.

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Become A "Human Lie Detector" And Flush Out The Truth From Your Partner If They Are Cheating On You

By Pushpa Pal Singh

Are you being cheated on? Do you know that some people are professional liars and can fake almost anything and everything at will? Is your partner one of those people who has been constantly lying to you about various things and you have not been able to catch them yet? Well you are about to be introduced to some sure shot ways you can use right now which would transform you into a human lie detector and you will be able to catch all lies from your partner. Read on to discover how you can do it...

Your partner will always be in the defensive mode- When you ask your partner any question he or she would be in the defensive mode which means he or she would try to explain each and every minor detail about where they were, what they did etc. You see this normally takes place when your partner is trying to hide something from you.

Starts getting angry the moment you question- Has it ever occurred to you that your partner instantly starts getting angry when you ask him or her questions about where they have been all this time? Well you see if your partner is not cheating than this shouldn't offend them and they would be more than ok to answer any and every question you have but if they get exceptionally angry and try to make an argument out of it than something fishy is definitely going on behind your back.

Ask them the same question more than once- Do you know that when your partner lies there is a very strong chance that they wouldn't remember what they said as the lie and when you ask them the same question after a few days they might fumble. You see this is probably one of the best ways to catch your spouse in the midst of a lie.

What you don't know yet- Ever tried to wonder what's in a woman's mind? What is she thinking about? Do you know that women do not always mean what they say? They might say something and mean the exact opposite. But what do women actually want? Do you know there are some secrets women don't want men to know but men absolutely must know these secrets in order to succeed with women? Read on to discover some of the most "Shocking Secrets" women don't want men to know- 9 Most Shocking Secrets Women don't want men to know

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Strike Up A Conversation Instantly With Every Hot Woman You See And Banish Hesitation Forever

By Pushpa Pal Singh

What is the one single most biggest fear most men have when it comes to dating and women?
Well it's basically not knowing what to say when approaching a woman. Has it ever happened to you that when you make your approach your mind goes blank, throat goes dry and you simply can't seem to find the right words? Well it happens a lot to men out there on a consistent basis but how come some men are able to strike up conversations with any woman to please at any given moment? Read on to discover what their secrets are and how you can use the same to strike up a conversation with any woman instantly...

Ask for help- Do you know that things like what is the time? Where is a nice restaurant near this place etc are great openers which can help you talk to any woman anytime? You see some men are able to use an opening line but are simply not able to carry on the conversation. What you need to do in that case is to ask her more questions for example you might ask her- What is the best restaurant around this place? She would say oh it's XYZ restaurant near the corner. Than you can carry on the conversation and ask her has she been to the place? What did she like and what's the specialty of that restaurant and this way you can carry on the conversation.

Don't reveal too much about yourself- What normally happens is most men fear that the woman might end up asking them a lot of questions which might or might not please her. You see the very first thing you need to get rid of is the disease to please women. The moment you stop trying to please them you would instantly get rid of all hesitation you might have.

What you don't know yet- Ever tried to wonder what's in a woman's mind? What is she thinking about? Do you know that women do not always mean what they say? They might say something and mean the exact opposite. But what do women actually want? Do you know there are some secrets women don't want men to know but men absolutely must know these secrets in order to succeed with women? Read on to discover some of the most "Shocking Secrets" women don't want men to know- 9 Most Shocking Secrets Women don't want men to know

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Strike Up A Conversation Instantly With Every Hot Woman You See And Banish Hesitation Forever

By Pushpa Pal Singh

Online Survey Companies and Making Money From Home

By Blake Allen

Online surveys have become one of the top tools of marketing companies. Every day, thousands of people go online to find online survey companies. It is a way of earning extra cash when a second job is not feasible.

When you first do a Google search, you will find millions of links to survey companies that pay you to take their surveys. It is important that you read the terms and conditions of the survey as well as the rules and regulations.

You will be required to register with each survey company that you choose. Be prepared, there will be a lot of questions to answer, however it is part of the process. it is important to note that survey companies will not ask you for personal financial information, this is how you can tell if they are legitimate or not.

It also important that when you are sent a survey, that you answer the questions truthfully, a lot is depending on your answers. There are some who do not take the surveys seriously and answer foolishly, however companies review the answers carefully and will dismiss you as a panelist if they feel you are not serious.

Survey companies will ask you a lot of questions when you first register. It may seem like it takes forever to get through all of them, however it is necessary to ask so many questions in order for the survey companies to send you surveys that are within your area of interest. It is an incredibly satisfying feeling when you know you are contributing to future products sales.

It is also an incredible feeling knowing that you may be among the first to try new products. Whether they are skin care products or food products, you will be contributing your opinion and it will directly affect the outcome of the product.

There are very few legitimate online survey companies. So beware. There is one however, that stands above the rest. Learn more about this legitimate, high-paying survey company by visiting:

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Start Your Holiday Shopping Now

By Meagan Farrell

I'll bet you are expecting an article about getting organized as part of your New Year's resolution? Surprise! I am actually going to tell you to go shopping!! January and February are the best times to shop. The stores are marking everything down to clear out inventory and bring new items. Personally, I spend a lot of time at Target around this time, waiting for the 75 % off clearance sales to start.

Why am I telling you to buy things? Because, if you start your holiday shopping now, you will have much less stress come November/December. Here is an idea: Take several paper shopping bags and write the names of those you need to shop for each year on them (one name per bag). Keep these bags in your closet, garage or hiding spot.

As you are out shopping, check out the sales with your gift recipients in mind. As you find things for your loved ones, bring them home and put them in the appropriate bag. As birthdays or holidays come up, you can go to that person's bag and find already purchased gifts for them. Not only will you save a ton of money, but you will save a lot of time and stress. Instead of frantically running around at the last minute looking for the perfect gift, buy it when you see it. Chances are it will cost less and it will really be the ideal present.

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at

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How To Benefit Playing Company Politics

By Gloria Hansen

At one time or another, we have been warned to stay out of office politics-it can be the ruin of a promising career! It is an old warning with a lot of tradition to support it.

Company politics has seen its evil days, but the day when close-knit groups resented each other in general and all ambitious newcomers in particular is drawing to a close. Most people are recognizing that such intramural skirmishing for prestige and influence did the groups no good while greatly impairing the productivity of the company.

"Company" in this context is a generic term that applies to any working situation. It does not matter whether it is private industry, government agency, educational institution or some other kind of organized work situation.

When people get along together, production rises; when they do not, it falls. Politics-good or bad-is inescapable. If people are not talking about their work at the drinking fountain, during a coffee break, or at lunch, they just do not care, and that is bad.

Company politics is here to stay. To close your ears to it is not to remove yourself from politics but from the company. How else are you going to know what is going on? And if you do not know what is going on in the company, how are you to know where you are going?

If you follow three simple rules, playing good company politics will be easy, informative and rewarding.

(1). Say something interesting or constructive about your work.
(2). Say something good about your boss, supervisor, or company policy-with sincerity.

If you cannot do those three things after a month or two on the job, if your work is so dull and the company so uninteresting, you are in the wrong job. Start looking for a different one now!

Private life and work are both parts of you as a whole human being. They cannot be completely separate incarnations. You are probably spending your most productive hours in each day at work-five days a week! Friendships do count in the business world.

Bad politics is based on greed, selfishness, power-seeking, and often prejudice. More often than not, the leaders are insisting that some outside influence is the cause of all their problems. They are unwilling to admit that their own actions might be at fault.

I once worked in an office where the goal seemed to be finding something nasty to say about the boss. It was almost a "can you top this" kind of daily conversational game.

The two most vocal individuals had worked for the longest time in the department. They must have been getting some kind of emotional payback from their actions in order to justify working for such an individual. Possibly: "You have the title but I am better than you in every way!"

Actually company politics is not the name for it, for the company will suffer irreparable damage in the long run. It is personal or factional, or clique politics, played for the advancement of the few, and let the company go hang, as it frequently does. Yet it cannot be ignored.

If bad office politics is to be counteracted intelligently, it must be recognized for what it is, from the lowest man subjected to its pressures to the president of the firm. If one is in no position to combat it, then one must know what it is all about for his own protection.

Personal success is not to be found where partisanship and bias have more influence than merit. Always remember that recognizing the talents and achievements of your staff and co-workers is a valuable asset. If you fail to give credit where and when it is deserved, there should be no complaints when the same thing is done to you.

Hard work and attention to detail does not automatically bring a promotion. Your skill working with others is an essential ingredient. It is almost tragic to overlook the constructive side of office politics. If you do not know what is going on around you, no one is going to know you are around.

Sign up for a free Becoming-Your-Best Newsletter at - The newsletter features lifestyle changes for optimum health, living life in abundance, feeling and looking great, changing your mind to change your world and other resources for self improvement.

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Best Affiliates

By Alice Sen

Online affiliates are like business associates who help in promoting the products and services offered by a merchant. One of the primary requirements for this kind of marketing is a website. Therefore affiliate marketers of online affiliates are basically website publishers or owners.

As business enterprises flourish in all parts of the world, the market is over saturated with products and services. To keep their business going, the business heads make use of every nerve to get hold of the customers. Apart from spending large amount of capital on advertising and promotions in the mainstream media, the firms are now knocking the doors of the online advertising and marketing authorities. The best examples of such industrious men who take upon the mediated messages campaign are the affiliates or super affiliates.

Best Affiliates and super affiliates: In affiliate marketing industry there are plenty of professionals who have achieved a great deal of success in terms of remunerations and their own credibility in the industry. Super-affiliates is the name given to affiliates who are able to make more than 10,000 dollars a month. Now that is some amount. There is no clear definition for a best affiliate, but by looking at some of the prospective business results and growth in the industry we can have a fair idea as who a best affiliate marketer is.

Traits found in the best affiliates: Best affiliates are market gurus; true products of the online marketing industry. It is a general finding that affiliates who have a good exposure of e-commerce and advertising do fine as affiliates. The primary skill set involved in affiliate business encompasses advertising and selling. People who have been engaged in one of these practices can really do wonders in online marketing.

The second interesting fact about the best affiliate marketers is that they are proficient in web development. Web development is a holistic term and involves various aspects like the website design, website promotion, search engines and optimisation, etc.

Key to success: To be a successful affiliate you have to be the best and for that you need to work out on every strategy and move that you make. Starting from the development of your own website, you can keep on reevaluating the content and design; at the same time keeping in mind your audience and potential customers. Try to find out what the customer wants and how you can convert most of the audience members into customers.

Keep a record of every thing. It is like managing a firm. You must store all information, all statistics and all findings at one place. By analysing the facts and figures you can bring in more value to your affiliate business.

Go for the best affiliate program. The best affiliates in the industry know where to dig. Take your time and select an appropriate affiliate program. The program must meet both your requirements as well as the requirements of your website.

A website is more or less like a shop or store. It has to have that look and feel; after all you are selling like shopkeepers do. There should be enough space to look around; a range or collection of articles and your shop must be on the right street and visible to all.

To boost up your sales you can give your customers incentives, like product reviews, specifications, user manuals, advertisements and may be some funny jokes also. All this helps in retaining your visitors and the probability of their visiting again to buy increases.

Top affiliates know which beats to play and rather than putting few commercials on their websites they focus on giving their customers a shopping experience which no one can. It is pure experimentation but then the people who make it are adept with the tools and techniques they utilize.

Alice is a technical writer and is engaged in developing content on various topics related to Internet and Search Engine Marketing. Want to know more about Best Affiliates or about Top Affiliates. Visit

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Decorating Country Style on a Budget

By John Rutledge

Contemporary country style decorating is about clean lines, basic structure, good bones, soft color schemes and simple furniture. It's an aesthetic that is warm, inviting and hearkens back to a simpler time when design was basic and everything was well made.

Keep reading to learn how you can implement a contemporary country style in your home while still staying on budget.

1. Start by painting the room in a subdued color, typically a cream or soft white with a milk-paint finish. You want a color that will not take away from the simple beauty of the room and will show age with grace. For just a few dollars a gallon, you will be that much closer to your country style.

2. Look for country furniture that exudes a simple, but sturdy feel. The look you are going for is rustic and worn, but strong. Ask around at flea markets, thrift shops, garage sales and antique markets for "farm furniture" or "shaker furniture."

Typically, you are looking for basic items that are simply colored, made of wood and free of flourishes or intricate design embellishments.

3. Tone down your window dressings with simple, single-sheeted, white or gingham-print curtains. Instead of splurging on fancy blinds and intricate curtain designs, opt for a simpler look that is fresh and will give your home a farmhouse-feel.

4. Choose country themed fabrics like checked ginghams or tiny, vintage prints. Most boutique upholsterers will carry replicas of classic patterns, or you can go hunting in antique stores and fabric shops for authentic, vintage fabrics. One enterprising designer made country style curtains out of a 1930s farm dress.

5. Update your fixtures with rustic-themed light fixtures, wrought iron light switches and antique vent coverings. Look for classic antiques, or opt for newer items that are made to look weathered.

6. Make new furniture old by distressing it yourself. Start by battering the wood with a hammer, carving scratches with a knife and digging a couple wormholes with your axe. Then sand down the entire piece to remove any leftover paint or finish. Follow this with a dark glaze that will work to highlight your newly afflicted scars. And finally, an application of clear paste wax will seal it.

7. Look for handmade accessories to add a final rustic touch to your space. Wicker baskets, hand-knit blankets and hand-shaped pottery are all beautiful accent pieces that can really pull out the splendor in a room without breaking the bank.

For information on practical home flooring recommendations, please visit, a popular site providing great insights concerning help with floor renovation ideas, such as Armstrong Vinyl Flooring, Mannington Flooring, and many more!

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Be More Creative - 7 Ways You're Choking Your Creativity - And What To Do Instead

By Dan Goodwin

Often, it doesn't matter how much you're doing to try to be more creative, if you're constantly sabotaging and choking our creativity on a number of different fronts. Here are 7 of the most common ways you may be choking YOUR creativity, and what you can do instead:

1. You don't create regularly.

When you create erratically, you never give yourself the chance to get into the flow and the habit of creating. By creating for a minimum amount at the same time everyday, you give your creativity permission to be creative and send the clear message that creating is something that is a priority and of great importance to you. Your creativity responds and flows like never before.

2. You don't capture your ideas.

When it feels like you never have any good ideas, what's actually happening is you never record your ideas and forget them as quickly as they came. Use an Ideas Journal - simply a small pocket notebook to jot your ideas down when they appear - and soon you'll have more ideas than you can capture!

3. You don't acknowledge you creative strengths.

We're each unique in our creative strengths, so rather than focusing on what you feel you lack, recognise and celebrate your creative strengths. What would a good friend of yours say if they were asked what your biggest creative strengths were? Write them all down and make the most of them.

4. You let your inner critic have the last word.

We all have negative voices in our heads telling us we're not good enough, or we have no talent. You have the choice whether to be dictated to by these kind of thoughts or whether to tune them out as background noise and carry on creating the best you can create anyway.

5. You intimidate yourself with too many materials.

A classic cause of getting stuck creatively is to simply give yourself too many options then get completely overwhelmed. Set a few simple boundaries in the form, size, style, theme and so on of what you're going to create. When your creativity has a few edges to push against, it can really be at its resourceful best.

6. You've lost touch with why you create.

When creating has been a struggle for some time, and you only have negative associations with creating, it's easy to get demoralised. Spend time getting back to why you create, and remembering what it is that creating gives you that nothing else can.

7. You forget you always have a choice.

In every part of creating, you have a choice, though it's easy to forget. You can choose to make time each day to create, you can choose to acknowledge creativity as the important element in your life it is, and you can choose to give yourself permission to be as creative as you can possible be. Choose creativity!

Which of these resonate most for you? What steps can you take today to loosen that stranglehold and let your creativity breathe freely again?

Take the next step to increase your creativity today by getting your copy of Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin's powerful and practical "Explode Your Creativity!" Action Workbook. It's FREE when you sign up to the FREE twice monthly ezine "Create Create!" at

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An Overview of the Top iPod Classic Accessories

By R James Cook

The popularity of Apple's iPod has spawned a huge industry of iPod accessories. There is such a wide variety to choose from, it can be hard to decide which ones are important to look at and which ones are pointless fluff. Here's a look at the five iPod classic accessories that every iPod owner needs to consider.

The first iPod classic accessory that every owner should purchase is a protective case. A case is especially important if you travel with your iPod, and if you shove it in your pocket or purse with your keys you're just asking for trouble without a case. The finish of the iPod classic is especially vulnerable to the dings and dents of everyday life. A protective case will keep your iPod looking pristine, and helps keep dust and dirt away from the vulnerable electronics inside.

Screen Protector
Almost as important as a case is a screen protector. Most cases do not cover the screen, because users want to be able to see the screen without taking it out of the case. A screen protector will protect the screen, which is even more vulnerable to scratches than the metal body. And a scratch across the screen is even more annoying than a scratch across the body, because you'll be looking right at it every time you look at the screen. Like the case, if you move your iPod classic around a lot, a screen protector is a valuable iPod classic accessory that will keep your iPod looking good.

An iPod with a dead battery is basically a paperweight. An extra charger or two is an iPod classic accessory worth having, both for convenience and to reduce the chance of running out of juice.

Having an extra charger means you can charge your iPod at home and in the office, and you won't run out of power in the middle of the day. If you spend a lot of time in the car and listen to your iPod while driving (through speakers or an iTrip, please don't use headphones while driving), a car charger that plugs into the lighter jack will ensure that you have music the whole way.

Cables are another necessary iPod classic accessory. With just about every computer peripheral now using a USB connection, free USB ports may be at a premium on your computer. Fear not, because you can get a cable that lets you connect your iPod to your computer's FireWire port instead. Also, if you have iTunes installed on your computer at the office as well as your home computer, an extra sync cable will save you from having to transport the cable back and forth. There are also cables available that let you connect your iPod to your home stereo.

Speakers are one of the most popular iPod classic accessories, and therefore come in a wide variety.
Most speakers plug into the headphone jack, and are either battery powered or plugged into a wall outlet.

There are also speakers that the iPod classic can dock with, which will have the added benefit of charging the unit while it's playing. Many of these docking station speakers come with a remote, so you can skip songs and adjust the volume without going over to the unit. Speakers will generally give better sound than headphones, and will allow you to share your music with everyone in the room. If you're looking for portability, go with the battery-powered speakers.
Otherwise, AC-powered speakers will sound better and can have the added functionality of being a docking station.

The wide variety of iPod classic accessories available can be overwhelming. Now, you've been given the information that should help you to decide on what accessories you need, and what ones you can avoid.

Visit R James Cook's website at for iPod accessory information, products, and reviews.

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Pay Per Click Goes Video

By Sameer Kh

Google is the most innovative search engines and this has been proved time and time. Google just announced that it will provide a whole new platform for providing PPC VIDEO ads. It has already starting testing different types of paid ads including images, maps and interactive ads.

Google's vice president Marissa Mayer mentioned in the latest press conference that text based ads are not a good solution for website having videos and other web content because users will usually ignore the text.

The video ads will play only if they are clicked. However, there are lots of questions going around in the SEO circles on whether this strategy will decrease the importance of organic search which are normally text based.

Ms. Mayer also informed "People who advertise a movie want to show a trailer. Why shouldn't they have the same format we use for search results and have a little plus box that says watch the trailer?"

The entire focus of Google is still to maintain the original relevancy concept and the new ads platform will just be an added benefit of using paid advertising.

Right now, to advertise on PPC video, the advertisers will pay the same amount of money they are paying for text based ads. To advertise your first video ad you must create a regular AdWords accounts and follow the instructions to create video ad campaign.

Google is going to start the test site from today and the target market will be companies who want to advertise their brand instead of a product or service.

Sameer khan is a marketing consultant who really understands how a lethal combination of offline and marketing can put you way ahead of the competition in the attention deficit society.
After managing the marketing department of two successful multi-million dollar companies Sameer started his own consulting firm and he helps business owners to get fast traffic and business growth using proprietary online and offline marketing techniques. For more information on Sameer latest work and to find out what really works, you can join his face book group at

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Adolescent Mental Health - 5 Warning Signs That Need Your Attention

By Deborah Clark Ebel

Do you ever look at your teen and wonder, "What's with him (or her)?" If you had your own troubles as a teen, you may silently dismiss your child's negative behavior as a passing phase, hoping that things will improve and that he'll quickly and safely pass through the storm.

Or, on the other hand, you may worry whether things might get worse.

In either case, you must be aware of some signs that your adolescent must be seen by a mental health professional as quickly as possible, and five of those signs are given below.

If your child is thinking or talking about suicide, you must act quickly. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) issued a special press release in 2007 concerning the alarming increase in suicides for young people ages one to nineteen: an 18.2 percent increase from 2003 to 2004. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the United States for fifteen to twenty-year-olds and the fourth leading cause of death for ten to fourteen-year-olds. If your child or adolescent tells you that he or she feels suicidal or wants to die, take them seriously. Do not think that it is "just a joke" or a way to get attention. You cannot take that chance.

Experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence is not uncommon, and there a lot of reasons they do this. The average age at which boys first try alcohol is 11 years, and for girls it is 13 years. There is no way to know ahead of time who will go on to develop a serious drug or alcohol problem, but the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism tells us that adolescents who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21. If your teen is showing signs of unusual fatigue, reddened or glazed eyes, personality changes, poor judgment, dropping grades, or troubles with the law, you need to address the problem.

Expressions of worthlessness or guilt on the part of your adolescent may be a sign that he feels that there is nothing left for live for. Telling you that he doesn't feel "good enough", or that he is caught in a situation that he can't get out of, or that he feels devastated or alone in the world may be your adolescent's way of telling you that he wants and needs help.

Some children innocently harm insects or other small animals when they are very young, but most are guided by their parents and teachers to be gentle with animals ("Don't pull the cat's tail) and quickly develop empathy and concern for any pain that an animal may feel.

Unfortunately, some may continue abusing animals and extend that cruelty on to people. The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Northeastern University tell us that those who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse. The American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty to be one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder.

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, has very much been in the news of late, as the media has speculated that some celebrities may be suffering from the disorder. Those persons with bipolar disorder suffer through extreme highs and lows in a cyclic fashion. You may have heard that bipolar disorder affects mostly adults, but these days, many children and adolescents are being diagnosed with the disorder. If one or both parents have bipolar disorder, the chances are greater that their children will develop it, and a family history of drug or alcohol abuse may also be associated with bipolar disorder in adolescents. Manic (high) symptoms include the teen being either unusually happy or silly or very irritable, angry, agitated or aggressive, unrealistic feelings about abilities or that he or she has special powers, having an extraordinary level of energy and the ability to function with little or no sleep, and taking part in high-risk behaviors, such as abusing alcohol and drugs, reckless driving, or sexual promiscuity.

Depressive (low) symptoms include frequent crying, sadness that doesn't go away, irritability, not being able to enjoy favorite activities, and major changes in eating or sleeping patterns, such as oversleeping or overeating.

There are more signs to be on the alert for, but if you are concerned that your child may have an emotional or behavioral problem, seek the advice of a mental health professional immediately.

Deborah Clark Ebel is the author of The Forgotten Future: Adolescents in Crisis, due out in early
March. Visit the author's website at for more information.

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