Monday, March 29, 2010

Boracay Environmental Woes – an N-Viro Opportunity

I just recently visited the famous Boracay Islands, Philippines. Of course I expected the amazing white sand which is so fine and stays cold under your feet as you stroll on the summer heat. Really amazing! And then my German friend brought me around for a walk, we went around the town, climbed mountains, viewed the surfing areas and tried other beaches. There are too many tourists and sprouting number of commercial establishments. With his head shaking in annoyance and disgust, he would occasionally point to landfills, stinking canals and indiscriminate waste. How the hell would they solve this huge problem of processing and disposal of accumulating waste?

Before these environmental woes swell and my German friend loses his cool, let us look at how this problem in Boracay and anywhere else in the world could be worked out with amazing technologies from N-Viro International Corporation. For more than a decade, N-Viro has been focusing on its motivation to divert tons of bio-organic wastes from landfills and canals to renewable energy source in order to save the environment. Biosolids and wastewater mud present great opportunities to find large supply of alternative energy. These N-Viro patented technologies, which have been effectively launched throughout US and internationally, process wastewater biosolids using certain alkaline waste from coal combustion electric generation, cement and lime production and turn these into opportunity fuels such as biomineral agricultural and soil enrichment products with actual market value, generating sales exceeding $40 million since the October 1993. By disinfecting and stabilizing such bio-organic waste, these unsightly environmental threats are transformed into beneficial fuel/energy source.
See N-Viro Video
Furthermore, N-Viro International Corporation is running full scale by licensing its amazing technology to municipalities like the famous Boracay and even private companies. Their complementing suite of green technologies follow a unique concept of transforming traditionally landfilled waste products into safe and long-term energy solutions. One such product is the N-Viro Fuel, the so called ‘clean coal’, a renewable alternative fuel entirely synergistic with the coal combustion industry.

If everyone would only care for our environment just like my German friend in Boracay, then the search for a lasting solution of accumulating waste should rightfully start at

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Instead of School Supplies, Give 'Life Supplies'

Calhan High School seniors in Colorado, USA.Image via Wikipedia

by: Mark Hansen

It's no secret that involved parents make for more stable teens, but a study released this month confirms it.

According to a new study published in the journal Child Development, teenage girls with involved fathers tended to practice safer sex than those without. Specifically, teens with involved fathers tend to use safe sex to protect against STDs more than other teens. According to the article, mothers are important to teen sexual behavior, but fathers have twice the effect.

"Too many people talk in abstracts about communicating with their kids," said Mark Hansen, author of Success 101 for Teens: 7 Traits for a Winning Life from Paragon House ( "You have to talk about specific issues, and this study makes it clear that the risks of not talking to your kids about the important things are great."

Hansen, a former West Palm Beach, FL School Board member, thinks that the weeks prior to the start of school is the perfect time for parents to discuss not only dating and sex, but friendships in general, with their kids.

"Teen-age sexuality is always a provocative topic, but the truth is many kids wind up in trouble not because of sex, but because they've simply chosen the wrong friends," Hansen said. "At the beginning of every school year, kids meet new friends every day, and it's important to recognize that sitting next to a guy who feeds you answers in English class is not necessarily the best basis for a friendship. As adults, we evaluate our friendships based on whether people share our interests and values. If parents taught their kids to approach their friendships in the same manner, they may discover they have fewer problems with their children hanging out with the ‘wrong crowd.'"

Hansen believes there are seven traits kids should look for in themselves, as well as in their friends:

  • Determination means being committed to what you want to achieve and making sure you are mentally and physically prepared
  • Responsibility revolves around accepting full responsibility for ourselves. We are each the only example of who we are, we are each in charge of our own behavior and actions
  • Confidence is about believing in yourself, because if you don't believe in yourself, no one will.
  • Love means understanding the power of that emotion. It has the power to drive us to do both wonderful and dreadful things, and we must be able to manage that power with wisdom and judgment.
  • Persistence maintains that you must stick to what you are looking to achieve and continue forward with making sure what you are doing is supporting what you want to accomplish.
  • Dreams are important, because they are the fuel for our engines. We must keep each of our dreams alive, each of our personal dreams that we have for ourselves.
  • Attitude is about making choices. Each morning when we wake up we have a choice and that attitude we take for ourselves is our choice. A consistent positive attitude is the attitude we need to have in order to accomplish all of our dreams.

"Every day there are discussions in the media about problems with our youth," Hansen said. "Just read the papers each day. My belief is that we must counter that attack and provide a step by step guide for our youth to follow, empowering them for a winning life."

About the Author : Mark Hansen is a successful businessman and a former elected official who relates to struggles in adolescence because he went through tough times after being hit by a car as a child. His struggle to overcome partial paralysis and regain the abilities to walk and talk underscores the passion he has for teaching young people the lessons he learned the hard way.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


In February 28, 1996, eighth grader Yinton Bentor presented his science project to his class at school. It was an interactive periodic table of chemical elements displayed on an Internet browser — a new tool that Yinton had coaxed out of the connecting digital world. At the time there were only a handful of periodic tables on the World Wide Web. In the months that followed his class presentation, Bentor’s project took first place in his school science fair’s brand new Computer Science/Mathematics category and won the “Navy/Marines Distinguished Achievement Special Award” at the 40th Piedmont Region, Illinois Science Fair. These are commendable achievements for an eighth grader, but school recognition was just a beginning.

The project Yinton Bentor put online a decade ago is still there and he still hosts it and tinkers along with improvements. Two other period tables of elements, one from Los Alamos National Laboratory and another from the University of Sheffield, along with Bentor’s, nearly always are the top three periodic tables listed in a search for “periodic table of elements” on Google.

Order of learning that emerges from the chaos

The three websites are examples of the Internet’s bountiful nuggets of free, open content for learning. This sort of open and free digital online content is the superior content for learning in the 21st century and is now available for any subject expected to be learned at school from pre-K-20. As the table of elements example illustrates, open content for learning is produced from many kinds of sources, in that example by a single individual, a government laboratory and a university.
What is a serious educator to make of subject content created by non-pedagogues bouncing around Google instead of coming up through the channels of vetting, publication and pre-selected Internet links that have been the tradition? A more timely question for that educator to confront is why the education/learning sector does not appear in the Ubiquitous Web World shown in the figure below. Why are visionaries not including education in the seamless, ubiquitous experience?

This image is a slide dated March 2006 from a presentation prepared for the
Next Generation Web Conference by Jonghong Jeon, a member of the
research staff the ETRI, Protocol Engineering Center in South Korea.
(Used with Mr. Jeon’s permission.)

My answer to these questions, as this article explores, is that education practice today does little more than toy with the emerging innovation of digital connectivity—when, in fact, a new knowledge ecology it causes will have to become central to global learning for education as an institution to remain relevant into the future.
You may believe that education does not belong in the open chaos of the emerging Internet. But thinking that misses a wonderful new cognitive order of learning that emerges from the chaos of connected knowledge. Education should be right in there with the other major elements in the ubiquitous mix of the Web world. The openness of the content within the Internet is a change for learning that is as complete as the invention of phonetic symbols was for language. But that is getting ahead of our story.

If not in the picture, where?

If education is not in the Web world picture today, where is it? A review of the responses to the Internet that educators have made sheds some light. In the earlier days of the Internet it seemed natural for educators to think of using the new medium as a way of teaching at a distance. Distance learning implied reaching outward through digital networks to connect students to the campus instructors and resources where knowledge was traditionally offered and archived.
A second wave of educational response to the Internet was for publishers and campuses to import raw virtual knowledge for piecemeal packaging by the pedagogical experts into the usual education textbooks and curricula to be offered by their institutions (both on campus and by distant outreach to students). For example, many old time lesson plans would have a few suggested reference links to selected websites plugged in here and there.
Both of these older approaches — distant learning and link cherry picking — are now out-of-date ways of engaging knowledge content for the simple reason that both of them miss the benefits to knowledge of its online interconnectivity. Because what is known has moved online, primary access, aggregation and amplification of what we learn must occur online to be current and in timely context. The primary learning environment where that now occurs is the global virtual knowledge ecology.
The new global virtual knowledge ecology is the theme of my new book 109 IDEAS for virtual learning.* My explanation there consists of three main points, followed by some commentary and action suggestions. The first main point is something of a rant about the delay the education establishment has managed in engaging the content in its new primary location. The second describes the cascade of what is known by humankind into the Internet over the past decade. The third, and I think by far the most novel and interesting, is about the networking phenomena of the new ecology of open content for learning. In the remainder of this article, I will highlight the first two points briefly and then turn to the serendipitous new venue of knowledge aggregation that has formed our global, virtual ecology.

The Attitude of education

If, in fact, the Internet holds the primary power to deliver knowledge, why is that not being shouted from the education institutional rooftops? The answer, I think, is the institutional inertia of the education establishment.
A similar institution that may well have persisted by a similar inertia in ancient Egypt was the scribal caste. The training to master hieroglyphics to become a scribe was long and difficult. The scribal caste maintained its high status for thousands of years, during which some much less sophisticated neighbors in Phoenicia invented a simpler writing system where only 22 characters could be written to represent the sounds of language. Wikipedia explains what happened:

The Phoenicians are credited with developing the Phoenician alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet arose around 1400 BC from a need to communicate with the diverse languages of their trading partners that encircled the Mediterranean Sea. Their 22-letter alphabet based on sound was widely received, as opposed to the myriad of symbols in cuneiform or hieroglyphics prevalent at the time. The Phoenician alphabet served as the origin of the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Arabic alphabets. Phoenician traders disseminated the concept along Aegean trade routes, to coastal Anatolia (Turkey), the Minoan civilization of Crete, Mycenean Greece, and throughout the Mediterranean. Classical Greeks remembered that the alphabet arrived in Greece with the mythical founder of Thebes, Cadmus. See Wikipedia

Although the Egyptian scribes imbedded some phonetic symbols into their much more complex writing system, they never made a fundamental shift to using the few sound symbols primarily. Why, for example, did the travels of Ramses II “the Great,” who led broad Egyptian conquests through phonetic language lands in the 1200s BC, not lead to the importation of the phonetic system into Egypt?
Was the inertia that caused the scribes to persist in their old ways of writing protecting their high caste status? The answer is unknown. It is known that Egypt drifted from world dominance in the centuries during the rise of what became known as Western Civilization. Languages of the West used essentially phonetic alphabets. The Arabic language, which platformed the post-pharaonic golden ages of Islamic north Africa is, as well, a phonetic language. The simple key the scribes missed was the liberation from complex pictures of ideas to representing just sounds of words. The scribes, instead, mixed in a few phonetic symbols with their old way of writing based on pictures. The echo of a few Internet links mixed into old curricula is eerie.
The simple key the educators have not grasped is the connectivity among nuggets of open Internet content that forms context and lets fresh thoughts emerge dynamically from on the fly connections. Until open (connectible) content is used in schools in this way, education will not take its place in the seamless ubiquitous experience of the Web world.
So far, like ancient Egyptian scribes, establishment education continues only to toy with tokens of the great change. The readers of this article are at the center of deciding whether that will continue.

The new Access to knowledge

I will not linger long here because this is the point at which most educationist discussion — and thinking! — about the new virtual status of academic knowledge muddles and stops.
There is an assumption — which ranges from tacit to cavalier — that online is essentially another place to access some learning subject content. That assumption lets educators who make it dismiss Internet learning as “just another means of access to knowledge.” That dismissal is usually reinforced by comments along the lines of “I prefer books” or “we must not deny teachers to our children.” Both lines of dismissal are red herrings, and in this small space do not merit pursuit.
The assumption is factually wrong. Access to a high and increasing percentage of the freshest and most complete knowledge can, in fact, only be achieved openly online. The latest versions of genome sequences are only there. New scientific knowledge routinely first appears online and there in context with related ideas. The same is true for news and historical discoveries. Increasingly, literature is arriving on the Internet before it is distributed in print. Classic literature is richly interfaced online with interactive comparative tools not possible in print. Music and other artist work will soon pour forth through widened broadband with stunning richness. Blogging has made the Internet the first choice medium to interface more and more opinion.
Another specious twist educators have used to block student online research is the dismissal of Internet knowledge as too easy to get, thereby dumbing down learning and stopping deep inquiry. Easier than what? Easier than a few textbook paragraphs disembodied from context beyond the classroom? Easier than investigation of myriad printed resources of the typical 21st century school library? In the late 1990s finding quality links could be daunting, but search engines today are certainly the most effective way to find the finest knowledge resource, short only of asking Socrates in person.
Although the access to the best knowledge is a forceful, and I think irrefutable, argument for making online knowledge resources primary for education, there is a much more vibrant and elegant reason for doing so than access — than using open content just because the stuff is there. The scribes worked a few phonetic symbols into the hieroglyphics but missed the liberation of a sound-based system. Just accessing content from the Internet misses the cognitive power of network knowledge aggregation.

The new Aggregation of open content for learning

Open is a trendy word in the Internet world and refers to several matters. Open source pertains to software, and not to the content that the software may platform. Open networks are networks with certain unimpeded functional technical connectivity. Open Internet, as the term is used here, is the network outside the firewalls of intranets of universities, subscription journals, for-profit education sources and other closed off digital locations.
Open content for learning is not school administrative content like attendance records, and it is not communication among faculty and students such as email and managing distance classes. The content that is open is the nuggets of knowledge itself: algebra, mitosis, Plato and tables of elements.
Open content for learning, which is the substance of the global virtual knowledge ecology, is free, reusable, connectable learning subject content within the open Internet. It is easy to assume open content is applauded because it is altruistic for content creators to let what they produce be used charitably, for free. A much more fundamental advantage is the openness in the sense of being connectible to all other open content. Any content that is closed in the connective sense will atrophy in a withering that will ultimately punish those who sought proprietary profit.
The source of open content for learning’s revolutionary importance for education is the connectivity potential that can be seen in the Ubiquitous Web World in Figure 1. Within each of the sectors — automotive service, mobile, office, shop, outdoor and home — any and every element can connect to any and every other element. Not only is connectivity open within each sector; connectivity exists openly among the sectors. The mobile device can be used to shop and the outdoor connectivity can locate your automobile. It is this connectivity that creates the seamless, ubiquitous experience.
The global virtual knowledge ecology — the online environment where open content for learning abounds — looks just like the other sectors in Figure 1 except the content is different. The open content of the ecology is subjects like mathematics, physics, history and literature. The interconnectivity within and among the subjects is what is new. Like the phonetics were to the ancient world that could only write in pictures, the open connectivity is a new intellectual mechanism. I would argue that this shift of knowledge into a virtual ecology is at least as epochal as the change that occurred post-Gutenberg to printed content Rand Spiro has described his columns. Perhaps that discussion can continue in these pages in future issues.
Within the global virtually knowledge ecology, the learning engages two types of network connectivity. First, there are static networks which are the Web pages containing the open learning content and the links among those pages. Second is the dynamic networking that emerges as students click connecting content in patterns of research and thought. Figure 1 calls what it presents a seamless, ubiquitous experience which describes the experience of studying a subject within open content for learning. Everything is connected and those connections are, for the subject matter of the pages, among related ideas.
Traditional grade level curricula is aggressively disconnective. Students might learn about cell structure in the fourth grade, mitosis in the sixth grade and DNA chemistry as high school juniors. In the open online virtual ecology, cell structure, mitosis and DNA richly interconnect so that precocious students can move through cognitive relationships to more complex ideas and kids who are unclear on a subject can move through cognitive relationships to simpler ideas and linger there until they understand. Traditional pedagogy chops ideas into separate units; the virtual ecology formed by open content for learning interrelates ideas in context and allows learners to explore and learn freshly connecting meaning dynamically.

Grateful digital natives

What would it take for established education to embrace the global virtual knowledge ecology so that learning will take its place in the Ubiquitous Web World? In terms of our historical example, it would mean education would abandon hieroglyphics and adopt phonetics. Printed textbooks, curricula with its parts related by grade level and standards would no longer be used, and every student’s connection to knowledge would be through his or her personal mobile Internet device. Students would connect their knowledge education directly into the cognitive relationships within the open content ecology. Their learning would become a seamless, ubiquitous cognitive experience within the Web world that now awaits education.
The inertia of established education has diminished little over the ten years during which the other sectors of the Ubiquitous Web World have morphed into the seamless ubiquitous experience. There has been some engagement of the global virtual knowledge ecology within some universities and colleges, especially by small and specialized academic disciplines. But traditional curricula and textbooks march on to campuses with a barely disturbed cadence year after year.
At the K-12 levels little has changed even though those classrooms are now populated by students who were born into the Internet age.
The Egyptian scribes show us that it is possible to go on doing something the old way when a new way is right there in your midst. That has been happening for a decade with the response of established education to Internet open content for learning. The scribes showed non action can continue for a very long time. The readers of this magazine are among those who can follow the scribes or can act on the emergence of open content.
There are people within the education world who agree with what I have been writing. To them, and any other reader who is interested in the course of action I suggest, here it is: On a subjective level, it would mean for the readers of Educational Technology to become adopters of (not adapters to) the ecology. That means focusing your creativity and advocacy concerning the use of knowledge in learning into the Internet. If you are doing that already, the digital natives in your education venue are fortunate and undoubtedly grateful for the cool friend that you are.

*Breck, Judy. (2006), foreword John Seely Brown. 109 Ideas for virtual learning: how open content will help close the digital divide. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.


Judy Breck is now a full time writer and blogger; she was Contentmaster of 1997-2001 and is author of four books on Internet learning content, most recently 109 Ideas for virtual learning, Rowman & Littlefield Education. (blog:; email:

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Fashion is a profound and critical part of the man’s social life, and is made up of the same ambivalent mixture of irresistible urges and inevitable taboos. It is so close in revealing a person's inner feelings. Well, everybody seems to hate to lay claim to vanity so people tend to push that away; but it's really too close to the quick of the soul. The following paragraphs tackle what seem to be the socio-philosophical aspects of getting into the fashion ramp. From choice of designer clothing to incorporating personal touch on fashion trends, the intricate socio-historical threads that interlace our sense of fashion carry our own secular catwalk. The divine vanity lays its threshold to our social sensibilities.

Designer Clothing

Many of us love to wear designer clothing. There is a certain cache to wearing a designer brand. It shows that you have extra money to spend on nice things. It shows that you have good taste, that you know how to find excellent quality and understand the value of designer goods. Some people are so choosy about designer clothing that they only wear designer clothing; they would never consider wearing anything else.

are some designers that are known for designing for men and others known for designing for women. However, there are some designers that do design for both. This is an ideal situation. If you are part of a couple, chances are you want to wear complimentary clothing.

When you are attending a special event or even something casual, you want to dress in clothing that makes you look attractive standing next to your husband or wife. People may joke a little about people being married starting to look alike, but many husbands and wives truly do love the same designer clothing. Discovering great clothing designers is a wonderful resource that you can both use for so many purposes.

y Hilfiger is a well-known American designer that has created clothing for men, women and teens. His clothing always looks sporty but so stylish. Many Hip Hop musicians fell in love with Tommy Hilfiger’s fashions and they became even more popular. Hilfiger’s collection is ideal for the active man or woman that is involved in sports or everyday activities. Attractive, colorful and casual clothing that simply doesn’t look dressed down is what Tommy Hilfiger is known for.

Zara is a popular designer clothing brand that originates from Spain. Zara has men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. They also have shoes. Zara is known for creating classic styles that have a very modern look. Both bright and neutral colors can be found with great confidence in the Zara collections. Their children’s clothing is quite charming.

Perry Ellis is another designer that also designs for men and women. His collection is more for men than for women. With both casual and dressy looks available for men: a man can easily go from the office to a tennis match or golf event and then out to dinner wearing Perry Ellis clothing. There are selections available for women as well. Ellis is known for somewhat “preppy” and classic looks in both bright and neutral colors. Though Ellis’ designs do not look old fashioned, they are very much with the times. These are ideal for professionals of many levels.

Ralph Lauren also designs for men, women and children. Lauren even has a home collection, ideal to create a beautiful home designed in the Ralph Lauren tradition. Ralph Lauren’s classic and also contemporary style is timeless with great taste. Each new collection offers great
vibrant colors and attractive but subtle looking logos that show the distinctive Ralph Lauren brand. As many people that wear designer clothing are quite pleased to wear a logo or brand design that distinguishes that shirt or pair of pants from an everyday generic brand. Lauren’s popularity seems to grow year by year.

Designer clothing simply seems to look better, last longer and make us stand out from the crowd. Wearing designer clothing is not just a status symbol; it is a professional and personal necessity!

Fashion Trends

Fashion trends come and go, but a good fashion sense stays with you forever. Different people have different tastes in fashion, and while you may not always agree with them, they own up to their fashion sense with confidence. This is what makes a big difference between a fashion sense and fashion trend.

Fashion trends dictate that we wear whatever is in season otherwise we could be rudely stared at or whispered about in public, or worse, we can be cited as examples of what a
fashion faux pas is. While to some extent we are compelled to follow the norms in fashion, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we lose our own sense of style in the process.

Celebrities for instance, know that they are being judged by more than half the world’s population by what they wear on what occasion, and for this reason alone, they turn to famous designers to dress them up in the latest threads in fashion. However, you will also notice that most of them incorporate their own sense of style into these fashion trends, and they are quite successful at it, too.

Nevertheless, it gives you some sort of security and peace of mind even knowing that what you are wearing is within the
agreeable style of fashion for a particular season. Perhaps there is something to be said about the false sense of security that this kind of approval provides.

But on the other hand, it is actually not so much as seeking approval as the current trend really is appealing to the public. After all, fashion trends are there not only to dictate to us what to wear but more so to show us different comfortable styles that we can choose from if we fancy wearing them.

Fashion trends take a lot of factors into consideration such as the weather, season, comfort, and lifestyle. So in reality, fashion trends are there to help people decide which one suits them best and which ones they can go without.

Creating Your Own Style

If you go with the latest trends and use your imagination or creativity to make it your own style, you might find that there’s more to your wardrobe than only one look. You can also incorporate your mood into what you’re going to wear.

You can exude playfulness or show your sexy side on some occasions and then be a little conservative on other days. Remember that fashion trends are more of guidelines on what you can wear for whatever occasion.

For instance, if you’re stumped for ideas on what to wear to a formal event thrown by your company or you don’t know what to wear to a luau, fashion trends can help you solve this mystery. You can even ask fashion gurus who write in fashion magazines about advices on proper attires for every occasion.

After all, you wouldn’t want to be caught dead wearing flip-flops to your cousin’s wedding reception or jeans to a beach party, do you?

Historical Trend Sets

In the course of human development, fashion trends have mutated in line with changing social and economic contexts. Every decade, approaches to dressing have adapted to reflect prevailing political, psychological and environmental conditions, movements and interests. Bemusing styles propagated the process of fashion development, fostering innovation and signaling the disappearance of some design features-only for some to re-emerge centuries later.

As with any aesthetic epoch in history, our current responses to avant-garde styles appearing on the streets, or to fashion-art launched on international catwalks, range from shocked resistance to delighted amazement. However, it is not phenomenal in itself for individual or groups of designers to storm through the boundaries of accepted norms, so establishing iconic identities and labels. Nor is our post-modern enlightenment always entirely new - antecedents for apparel rebellion can be traced back far earlier than we might realize.

According to fashion folklore, a trend of wearing less and less was orchestrated in 18th Century France by Mesdames Racamier and Tallient. One day in 1796, two young women took to the Paris streets in attire that was arresting, so to speak-one in a length of sheer gauze swathed across her body, the other appearing topless. Transparent clothing, worn without underwear and adorned with jewelery across the thighs and breasts, did not last long, though, as the moral authorities of the time apprehended any women who dared to wear such revealing garb.

The nobility of bygone eras also played a part in fashion evolution-such as Lord Raglan's famous sleeve, and the cardigan being named after Lord Cardigan. The Duke of Windsor (King Edward VIII after his abdication) brought his distinctive necktie-knot into common usage, and was known for popularizing turn-ups on trousers. The creasing down the front and back of trousers is credited to royalty. King Edward VII is said to have ignited the practice of unbuttoning the lower portion of a waistcoat, and the emergence of long coats is attributed to King Louis XIII wishing to mask his bandy legs.
The naming of fabrics has always been an important element in textile manufacturers' marketing strategy, seeking to capture the sensory appeal created by the textile's color and texture, and to resonate with contemporary lifestyles. Designers working with the new fabrics had to be inspired by such names. In the 18th Century, some odd examples emerged in this context: "Sick Spaniard", "Unhappy Friend", "Poisoned Ape", "Sewerage", "Small-Pox" and "Carmelite's Paunch". In 1961, a fabric dye called "Congealed Blood" became one of the colors most favored by UK fashion designers.

Fashion concepts have often been constructed around weaponry and even used to
hide weapons. A South African firm manufactured a brassiere designed to hold a small pistol. In 1959, a British tailor made suits with a "cosh-pocket" for local teenagers to carry a baton on their person. Teenagers in Glasgow during the 1920s and 30s embedded razor blades in the edges of their peaked caps. Men's double-breasted coats, with the left flap buttoned over the right, derive from 18th Century and earlier European styling to accommodate swords, and the buttoning of tunics was implemented to prevent the hilt of the sword from catching on the coat when drawn.

Wearing pants below the hips, exposing the top of the buttocks or underwear, is not unique to contemporary urban style. In 1964, the unzipped-trouser look was introduced in women's clothing: shorts were unzipped in the front to reveal bikini underwear as an erotic teaser. The word "bikini" comes from the Bikini Atoll, the site of a nuclear weapon test-clearly analogous with shock value; it was reasoned that the excitement of the bikini, co-conceived by French engineer
Luis Reard and fashion designer Jacques Heim in 1946, would be likened to a nuclear blast. Even the style of the modern bikini is not a modern concept: archaeologists have discovered murals in Sicily depicting women in the years 286-305 wearing items of skimpy clothing that we would currently identify as bikinis.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fashion Design Software Accentuates the Clothing Industry

Nowadays, the good-old designer sketchpad is giving way to that virtual sketchpad which is an integral part of design software that give life to clothing designs on the computer screen. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) has turn out to be progressively prevalent in the fashion business. It enables designers to conveniently examine their clothing design on virtual mock-ups, which allows them to tweak the form, shade, and even the cut without the time and expense required to build out a new trial model. This affords designers the creative space to walk around with possibilities before committing to a final version. Fashion design software applies 2D and 3D CAD technology to every step of the clothing design process, from pattern-drawing to runway-modeling. It's possible to create a clothing design virtually that, due to time constraints or the expense involved, you might not be able to create in reality–especially when first starting out. Even though computer design software will not essentially build you up to be the next Jay McCaroll or the next Bella Freud, it can assist you accentuate your fashion creativity and facilitate your design, so you can create more and better clothing designs. This even saves you extra dollars for paying real women models as 3D rendering provides greater freedom for visualization.

Imagination is only part of the game. Clothing designers today wield the same technical skills as graphic designers. Fashion designing is not all fun and glamor, but a little bit of technology can make it so much easier. Good programs have certain key features that may help streamline the design process and even boost creativity. Good fashion design software (computer aided) can help every type of designer -- even amateurs -- execute professional-looking designs. If you are considering to use one, here are some features to look for:

  • Facility to try out different cuts, fabrics, prints, textures, and colors. This allows you the freedom to experiment with different combinations without necessarily having to buy the entire material & spending too much money and time.
  • 2D and 3D rendering for editing or experimenting.
  • Option to upload designs and share them online
  • Tools that can replicate 3-D fabrics on screen providing realistic visual representations and see your design in different colors and cuts,
  • Availability of a database of different fabrics, textures, and prints as well as update options that let you add new fabrics and patterns to your database.
  • CAD drafting system
  • Pattern making and design
  • Grading and detailing

Some of the fashion design software applications you can expect to encounter in fashion school or that you can use on your own exploration are:

  • Pattern Design - Generate new patterns or digitize and edit hard copy patterns. Pattern design software allows designers to add grommets, darts, pleats, seam allowance, advanced measurements, and dimension changes.
  • Textile Marker - Plan pattern cuts to make the best use of textiles, minimizing waste and labor. The software even marks striped and plaid textiles to ensure the continuity of the pattern across cuts.
  • Made-to-Measure Modulator - Modulate the shape of a garment to fit the four key dimensions of the human form: shoulder, bust, waist, and hips.
  • 3D Runway Designer - Visualize your clothing design on a moving model. This 3D animation software allows the clothing designer to create and clothe an avatar. The fashion design software simulates the movement of the cloth based on the pattern and fabric characteristics.
  • AccuMark V-Stitcher - Experience true-to-life representation. Simulate texture, draping and fit of garments by displaying them on a realistic, virtual human body based on your pattern, fabric and texture data.
  • Amethyst Handbag Library - Illustrated database of the key handbag silhouettes and treatments.
  • pdm.assyst - A powerful tool used in the initial design through to the production phase to manage and control all relevant data.
  • Autodesk Inventor - Design software tools for producing, validating, and documenting complete digital prototypes.
  • C-DESIGN Fashion - Allows you to create ready-to-wear collections and to release your technical files quickly and efficiently.
  • CAD - An integrated suite of accurate pattern making software for perfect fitting garments.
  • Colour Matters Pro - Windows-based fashion design software with a user defined design drawing area and pressure sensitive stylus pen.
  • CM-32 Professional - Set of illustration, imaging and layout tools, providing total coverage of the Fashion Industry.
  • DesignSew Diva+4 - Apparel design and digital pattern making software.
  • Evolution Textile Design - Turnkey textile design software solution for all your designing and coloring needs.
  • EDraw Max - Graphics utility that makes it simple to create professional-looking fashion designs.
  • Fashion Toolbox - A complete fashion and textile design software package that comes with loads of clipart and storyboad samples.
  • Artworks Studio - Design and merchandising system, provides tools for every aspect of the process.
  • Digital Fashion Pro - Collection of custom built vector based garment templates, stitch patterns and Digital Fabric.
  • Pattern Maker Professional - Windows application for the design of counted cross-stitch patterns.
  • Gallery V2 - Solution for preparing apparel collection plans, assessing costs, and structuring information.
  • Marker Making - Pattern Design, Grading, Marker Making, Nesting and 3D for full design, optimization and visualization of your designs in the pre and post production steps.
  • PatternMaker - Start with a pattern from one of the garment collections or use CAD abilities to create new or alter existing patterns.
  • FACE - Product visualisation tool that allows the photo realistic rendering of designs, colors, surfaces, textures & patterns on images.
  • PolyNest - Functions include digitizing and grading, pattern design, DXF and AccuMark translators and plotters.
  • Millennium III - Embroidery design product. Integrated punching, editing, and lettering systems.
  • REACH CAD - Pattern engineering, grading and marker planning to minimize fabric consumption and supply sewing sections with accurate cut parts.
  • Jewelry Modeling - Create, edit, analyze, and translate NURBS curves, surfaces, and solids in Windows.
  • STYLEtexpro CAD - Maintain your edge in designing, visualizing and communicating their garment and textiles lines.
  • SnapFashun-Schools - Interactive fashion libraries for women, men, and kid's in proprietary software plug-in for Adobe Illustrator.
  • Pebblestone Fashion - Product data management software for the fashion industry. Integrates with Microsoft Dynamics
  • Virtual Fashion - VF Professional brings together intuitive 3D tools, world class fabric simulation, industry leading graphical detail and simulation in a single platform that saves time, resources and effort
  • Zdesign - On-Demand PLM giving you the purchasing power to pay for what you want, and what you need, transforming your business
Fashion design software has really transformed the clothing design process, enacting virtual "dress rehearsals" to arrange each step. Designers, manufacturers, and fashion merchandisers rely on CAD tools to trim down labor costs and material waste. Digital clothing design skills are vital in today's fashion industry.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

GPS Insight: A Sure Way to Fast Track Your Business to Success

If you are into vehicle-based industries such as service and trucking companies, you can now make money-spinning and sound management decisions based on precise and dependable measurement tools such as GPS (Global Positioning System). With GPS, so many ways of achieving efficiency, waste identification, and cost-reduction are provided. How can these concepts be realized? What is GPS and what business options can it provide?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a radio-navigation system that uses a constellation of between 24 and 32 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals to GPS receivers and thus provides reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services to civilian users continuously. The availability and accuracy of the Global Positioning System (GPS) offers increased efficiencies and safety for vehicles using highways, streets, and mass transit systems. Many of the problems associated with the routing and dispatch of commercial vehicles is significantly reduced or eliminated with the help of GPS. This is also true for the management of mass transit systems, road maintenance crews, and emergency vehicles. For anyone with a GPS receiver, the system will provide accurate location, speed, direction and time in all weather, day and night, anywhere in the world.

On the other hand, a GPS tracking unit is a device that uses the Global Positioning System to determine the precise location of a vehicle, person, or other asset to which it is attached and to record the position of the asset at regular intervals. The recorded location data can be stored within the tracking unit, or it may be transmitted to a central location data base, or internet-connected computer, using a cellular (GPRS), radio, or satellite modem embedded in the unit. This allows the asset's location to be displayed against a map backdrop either in real-time or when analyzing the track later, using customized software.

Looking back at your service or trucking venture, an augmented GPS service option is now available for your business exploits. GPS Insight, a hardware and web-software vehicle-tracking product, combined GPS, wireless networks (AT&T/T-Mobile), internet access and Google Earth to generate detailed reports of vehicle locations, driver activities and driving habits that were not previously practical to track. These reports concisely display trip times, stop times, as well as their averages and variances, which identify specific areas to drill down. Consequently with GPS Insight vehicle tracking system, exact locations, times, and activity can be verified, such as the 3-hour stop at a particular area or establishment. Other types of reports quantify who is speeding, how long various vehicles are used throughout the day, vs. payroll hours, when vehicles are used outside of normal business hours, whether or not the prescribed route is taken, and how many miles/hours are spent driving in each state, for simplified fuel tax reporting purposes.

GPS Insight makes every General Manager or business owner get a good night sleep. You’d feel as if you didn't just purchase this impressive product, you've also established a successful partnership with GPS Insight. If you're working in the field you need the best equipment and tools, or if working with the vehicles to make business happen, the best and the most precise tool is the right one. Precise time is crucial to a variety of economic activities around the world. They all rely on precision timing for synchronization and operational efficiency. GPS Insight reduces uncertainty on many quantities in an economical fashion, it qualifies as a very useful measurement instrument and thus, makes this vehicle-tracking tool absolutely necessary

At the GPS Insight website, the software/product offered online is very easy and friendly to use. GPS Insight support wiki for customers provides support information, helpful tips, and general information about the GPS Insight product. The helpful customer service you get when you call with questions or concerns makes the whole package favorably friendlier. The units you order will reach you up-and-running in less than a day or as early as the next day! They ship same day when paying by credit card, and have plenty of inventory. Most other GPS providers will take up to 60 days to perform a credit check, program your units, set up your account, and so on. GPS Insight streamlined process gives customers the rapid response they often require to solve problems with their fleet using GPS tracking.

Very affordable! GPS Insight cost $1.50 - $2.00 per day per vehicle, and your company gains from fuel savings, routing efficiencies, and streamlined vehicle maintenance, elimination of possible accidents, no more labor paid when people aren't really working, and more. And Yes! For orders of $2,000 or more, (4 units, typically), GPS Insight offer a lease at competitive rates, and have the paperwork complete within 3-4 days. You can still lease their product and be up and running within the week!

It is better hardware – GPS Insight is the only company which includes engine diagnostics (engine light status/fault codes, real speeds, real odometer readings, real idling/RPM & actual fuel consumption/MPG) with its baseline product, no hidden fees, no commitment to a long contract, and the best mapping available. The Blog for GPS vehicle tracking provides detailed illustrations, feedback, reports and other relevant specifics to keep you tracked and well-informed.
GPS Insight gives your company's management the ability to report on:
  • Activity Detail
  • Fuel Consumption
  • Speed Violations
  • Vehicle Performance(Trouble Codes)
  • Landmark Activity
  • Odd Hours
  • Geofence Violation
Beyond the powerful standard product, specialized enhancements for exact industry and fleet needs are offered, such as:
  • Routing Optimization and Navigation Integration
  • State Mileage Reporting
  • Cell Phone Integration and Mapping
  • Customized Alerts, Emailed Reports, and Integration Services
GPS Insight provides a 30-day money back guarantee, and offers free trials for qualified companies. We do not bind you with long contracts, either. Live demonstrations can be happily given in their offices, at your location, or via WebEx presentations.

Significantly, GPS Insight product improves amazingly fast– taking input and advice from customers and adding capabilities, functions, and completely new areas on the website on a regular basis. All of these requests and enhancements, combined with the best in recent technology and mapping, are what makes GPS Insight stand out among the others. Try GPS Insight and you will experience the distinction in both product and support.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Live TV at

Would you like to see and watch live tv in your computer without paying any fees? If you do, then you should try visiting where you can see hundreds of live show online in their website. They have the best services in terms of live broadcast. Have the best entertainment in their website at and you will find out more about their services.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Take the Best Male Enhancement Pills at Sinrex

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Arundo Donax - How to turn a bog plant into a serenade

I began playing the clarinet when I was 11 years old, back in 1984, after many months of pestering my parents. Although I wasn't particularly good when I started, I loved the look and feel of the instrument and I persevered, and I finally ended up as a music student at Leeds University with the clarinet as my first instrument. I didn't find the notes that hard when I was a kid; I could produce a tune without too many tears, but my tunes just didn't sound very nice until I'd got to about grade 6. A lot of young players experience the same problem, and the problem is really twofold- 1) producing a beautiful sound takes lots of practice, and 2) producing a really beautiful sound depends on your reed.

What a Reed is All About

If you don't play a reed instrument you may well be wondering what I'm talking about, so I'll explain a little bit here. (For the already initiated, feel free to skip this bit!)

A clarinet is fundamentally a tube which is approximately 2 feet long; in fact it's the same length as a flute or an oboe. The flute has a small hole which you blow across. This makes the air inside the tube start vibrating, (like if you blow across the top of a bottle and hear a note). The oboe and the clarinet, however, use reeds. These are small bits of cane, (or sometimes plastic), which are attached to the top of the instrument. The cane goes in your mouth and you make it vibrate with your lips and jaw; this sets the column of air vibrating, and hey presto a note sounds. (It's very hard to describe how you actually do this because it all happens inside your closed mouth!) You can't play the clarinet (or the oboe or bassoon) unless you have a reed attached to the top, and these essential bits of kit have, unfortunately, quite a short life span. How long a reed lasts depends on lots of things, like how often you play, what brand you're using, and even what the weather's like. (It's a natural material so it's affected by the humidity of the atmosphere).

The Reed you really Need

So now you know you need a reed, off you pop down to your local music shop, or find one online. The first question they'll ask you is what kind of reed do you need? Narrowing it down to just "a clarinet reed" won't get you very far. You have to specify the strength of your reed. And choose a brand. And choose one of a range of reeds within that brand. And how many do you need to buy?

So how can a little bit of cane be so diverse and complicated? How can you possibly choose?! Let's take a look at the first dilemma: Strength.

Reeds are categorised by their thickness, and given a grading from 1 to 5, including half grades. Basically speaking, the thicker the reed, the more difficult it is to produce a note, but the nicer the note will sound. So, if you are a beginner, (and therefore in possession of relatively weak jaw muscles compared to a veteran), you should choose a low number, known as a "soft" reed. Around 1.5 would be good, but go for a 1 if the 1.5 is too difficult to blow on. As you get better, you'll gradually be able to progress to thicker reeds (known as "hard"). To get a decent sound, you need to be playing on a minimum 3.5, and most professionals will be playing on 4.5 to 5s. Personally, I play on a 3.5. OK, let's move on to brand and product:

In the UK there are mainly 2 companies battling it out in the clarinet reed field, and they are Vandoren and Rico. I'll try to make a comparison between them, since your basic purchasing decision will be between these two brands. Here's what Vandoren say about their standard B flat clarinet reeds:

"The most widely played reeds in the professional world."

And here's what Rico claim about their most similar product:

"The world's most popular reed." One thing you may be able to deduce from this is that Vandoren reeds are better and also more expensive. They produce a better tone for professionals, who are more picky about these things than amateurs. However, there are many more amateurs piping away in their bedrooms on a Sunday afternoon than there are professionals, and they tend to choose Rico, so they can't be all bad.

Here's how the prices compare from 2 reputable online firms, for a box of 10, (the normal number you get in a box).

>From Rico Reeds cost £8.50 and Vandoren cost £11.00

>From Rico cost £6.25 and Vandoren cost £10.25

Rico are well ahead in the tasty price league, so why is it that all these professionals are choosing Vandoren? It really boils down to the sound that comes out when you blow, which to the professional is the only major issue. For us mere mortals though, there are another couple of points to consider- how many of these 10 newly purchased reeds actually work properly, and how long will one last before I have to change it? I've played on both these brands of reeds over the 20 and a bit years I've been playing this instrument, and I believe that Rico are more consistent in the strength grades they put in the box, and they last for the same length of time as Vandoren's, but whereas a box of Vandoren sometimes produces a really stunning beautiful reed, a box of Rico never does.

When you buy a box of reeds, it is quite normal to find that some of them just won't work. This is rather annoying, (especially if you're paying more than a pound a piece), but it's a fact of life. The cane is rigorously tested by both companies, and left to mature for a considerable time, but nothing can stop the cane from becoming slightly modified once it's been packaged up in its box. My personal average from Vandoren is 50% usable reeds per box, while Rico usually gives me 7 or 8 that are playable. So, in effect, they work out even cheaper than you'd bargained for. I think that Rico's testing technology is perhaps superior to Vandoren's, to produce these results. They are more effective at eliminating inferior cane earlier in the process, before it actually gets in the box. In my mind there is no doubt that Vandoren Reeds sound better, but the large difference in price is not justified by the small difference in sound. Going back to my earlier point about the quality of!

my early attempts at the clarinet, I should point out that playing on the correct strength of reed, (and one that isn't too old), will ensure an acceptable sound from anyone. So how to find the correct strength? Read on!

How Strong is your Jaw?

Rico Reeds come in strengths 1-5 (not all brands do). If you're a complete beginner, buy a 1, a 1.5 and a 2. (You can buy reeds singly, both online and in shops. Some shops let you try the reed out before you buy it just in case it's a duffer (see above), but not all of them.) Try the 2 first. If you produce a sound quite easily and without pain, congratulations! You've found the right strength. If you find it takes lots of breath to get a note and you can hear air escaping from the side of your mouth as you blow, the reed is too hard. Try the 1.5, and repeat the process. Remember that with clarinet reeds, the only way is up! When you have been playing on your 1.5 for some time, try the 2 from time to time. Don't play for too long, as your jaw will tire easily and you may bite into your bottom lip. If this happens, your mouth will be too sore to play until it's healed, and you'll have to start with a softer reed again. Gradually increase your playing time, until you can play on the 2 with no problems. Then move on to the 2.5, and repeat the process.

If you stick with a softer reed once your jaw muscles have become stronger, your sound will deteriorate. Playing on a soft reed produces a buzzy kind of tone and can sound flat. Higher notes on the instrument are more difficult to reach with a softer reed, which is another reason why you need to climb that reed ladder! Sometimes reeds are a little bit too hard or a little bit too soft, without being impossible to play on. You don't have to chuck them away in cases like this, you can "doctor" them slightly to make them more playable: if the reed is too soft, trim a VERY narrow (hair's breadth) strip from the tip of the reed with a sharp knife. Or push another reed between it and the mouthpiece of the instrument, pushing it away from the rectangular hole in the mouthpiece slightly. If the reed is too hard, you can sand it a little. Use a piece of 220-grain sandpaper. Rub just a little, then test the reed- a tiny rub can produce a large difference (which is why they don't always get it right in the factory- it's a precision art!)

Breaking in Reeds

All new reeds need to be "broken in". They won't produce a consistent sound until they've been used a few times. Rico reeds are faster to break in than Vandoren. You need to wet the reed (in your mouth or with water- I prefer my mouth, but Rico advise water, as some people have very acidic saliva apparently, eeww), then play on it for just a few minutes each day, until the sound becomes consistent. It's good to have a few reeds "breaking" as you never know when you'll need a new one.

Replacing Reeds

It's easy to tell when your reed needs replacing- after serving you well for a week or 3 (depends how much you play), one day it'll just sound rubbish, completely different to the last time you used it. Every time it goes in your mouth the reed is getting attacked by various germs and other organisms, and your saliva begins the process of breaking down organic matter ready for your tummy, so it's no wonder that they don't last forever! Another obvious sign that you need a new reed is when you accidentally slice it in half while attaching it to the instrument, a tragically common event. (It's held onto your plastic mouthpiece by metal band called a ligature. This has quite sharp sides and if you're not careful it'll cut right through in one go. Don't worry though, I've never heard of anyone cutting their finger on one!)

Arundo Donax

This is the technical name for the reed plant which Rico and Vandoren use to make their reeds. It grows in India and the Mediterranean, and can get as high as 6 metres tall. If you live in the right climate you can grow it in your garden, but I wouldn't suggest trying to grow and make reeds yourself from scratch, although some fanatics do.....

Other Types of Reed

For the standard clarinet, you will be buying B♭ clarinet reeds. It's unlikely that you would buy the wrong reed size, as this is what 99% of people play on, but just for the record, there are also E♭ and bass clarinet reeds. E♭ reeds are for a smaller instrument, and bass clarinet reeds for a beast of an instrument, so neither will fit. The A clarinet takes the B♭ reed, as it is only very fractionally bigger than the B♭ instrument. (Orchestral players need two instruments, an "A" and a "B♭"; see for more on transposing instruments).

Final Verdict

The Rico clarinet reed is a great choice for the amateur player. They are reasonably priced, reasonably consistent within the box, and produce a nice sound. They are easy to get hold of and excellent value for money, especially if you frequently slice them in half! If you want to get serious on the instrument, you should probably move on to more expensive reeds from Vandoren.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Make Your Own Website

There are plenty of options to make your own website. I will cover a few no cost, easy to set up sites. I will also discuss registering a domain name and choosing a hosting service. A blog is essentially a website but with more functionality and there are quite a few sites that will allow you to set up a blog for free. Make your own website for free, it sounds to good to be true. The trade off with free sites is they will usually display ads on your site unless you upgrade to their paid account option. You can try out a blog host for a couple of weeks and if you like the service you can either live with the ads or pay to upgrade your account. Blogger is one exception they have done away with their ads and it is easy to use with a robust feature set for users of all levels. Another popular option is Wordpress it has a clear interface and powerful features and best of all it is free. Xanga which is also free is one of the most popular blog host providers for teenagers and young adults. Another interesting feature than you can use in conjunction with your Blogger or Wordpress account is Audio Blogger, you can find it at It allows you to create an audio blog by either recording with your web browser or by calling in on a telephone. You can call from your cell phone from anywhere in the world and even interview someone on a conference call. A few years ago who would have have thought you could make your own website and call in audio from your cell phone, to create a podcast that could be heard by millions of people. Audio Blog also allows you to to upload videos to your blog. You can record digital video on your cell phone or webcam and upload it. The only drawback is it is 4.95 a month. If you would like to have more control over your blog you can chose your own domain name and web hosting service. I personally use business hosting from Yahoo! Web Hosting. I chose Yahoo because it is reliable and comes with a free domain name, all you have to do is pay the low monthly hosting fee. It also has one click installation of Wordpress. Hostgator is another affordable service and it is also easy to install Wordpress on their server as well. It has never been easier to make your own website. The reason I think blogs are better than a traditional website is that they have an RSS feed which stands for Really Simple Syndication. It allows readers to subscribe to your blog and easily keep track of new and updated content. Well there you go, I have given you a few options to make your own website. You should have one up and running in no time at all. Drop me a line and let me know how it works out for you.

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