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Most people would not prefer their income to drop after retirement. In fact, necessities and luxuries don't change. You cannot get out from what you have been used to for so many years. These factors have made the baby boomer generation hover over the fact of how they should invest right to have an organized life after retirement. Thus, one has to plan for investment for this part of life. Direct stock purchase plans can work to make life safe and usher financial security. This is a sound way one can project his income and comfortably meet with living expenses.
A Good Way to Make Future Stable
On the basis of direct stock purchase plans, one can make the most of the retirement benefits that he is to receive from his employer. Through such a form of purchasing, you can keep your finances intact even after retirement. Through direct stock purchasing, one can make the most of tax-deferred savings and pension based programs. Even if, you don't work under an organization, you can still make your future secured through SEP IRAs and other profit-sharing policies. It's all about saving for your future and making it stable. Life after retirement becomes fiscally unsure. You have chances to fall back on your nearest family members financially. Thus, to escape such encumbrances, it is nice to be a part of a solid income plan like direct stock purchasing.
The Method of Buying Stocks
In matters of direct stock purchase plans, one can make personal investments in buying shares. You can make the purchase with discount, or you can even do the same at the current market rate. For buying stock market shares, you can receive employer's assistance in the form of below market loans or non-recourse financial solutions. There are ways you can keep to the stock shares. Moreover, an employer's investment in the same is definitely going to be a plus.
Investing After Shares for a Better Future
There are organizations to boost you in matters of stock share purchasing through direct stock purchase plans. This is a great way the company makes an attempt to convert an investor to a potential customer. With the kind of plan, you are bound to become brand specific. In the manner, the investor offers with a chance to help a company make a profit through their stock investments. This is also a good way to make a good amount of money specifically for days after retirement. Stock purchases are available with a host of benefits. There are reasons why people are happy to invest after shares.
The Several Benefits of the Plan
Direct stock purchase plans are not age specific. Even teenagers can participate in this financial program. With this facility, a person can start investing from an early age. Thus, the amount, which mounts up till the retirement period, is really huge. The amount of money you have to pay for direct stock purchasing is less than the amount required for paying a stock broker. You just need to make a onetime payment to put up with an initial account. Through stock shares, the baby boomer generation receives dividends after every three months. They can easily make a reinvestment with the dividend amount rather than settling for expenditure.

Spinal cord injury can be extremely dangerous. In fact, in some cases it even leads to death or makes the person bed ridden for the rest of his life. This is the reason why this type of injury should not be taken lightly. It is possible that the injury is mild and leads to slight discomfort which the person will get fixed by going through proper medical treatment. These treatments, that can help the affected person lead a completely new lifestyle, are extremely expensive and a large number of people find it unaffordable completely. This is where spinal cord injury grant money comes for help.

The government is trying to help people in all types of financial problems and people facing different types of practical problems too. When you are looking for grants to help you pay for the treatment for your spinal cord injury, you need to search for the grant programs specially designed for this purpose. Since these grants are limited, you will have to spend some time and find out options available for you.
It is quite possible that when you are looking for spinal cord injury grant programs, you find some related grant programs for which you qualify. Apply for all of them. After all if you will receive money through these, they will release at least a part of stress from your mind and shoulders. It is advisable not to underestimate any funding resource. Do not hesitate applying for funding through private resources unless there is some unacceptable clause. Just keep in mind that these grants are designed to help people in need and so, if you need the money, apply for it.
Internet is a vast source from where you will be able to gather a lot of information. These details would be very helpful for you and help you apply for more and more grant programs successfully. The only thing is that you should seek genuine and firsthand information and save yourself from scams and frauds. Just take necessary precaution and keep your eyes and ears open when you are researching for free money.
Once you get the list of spinal cord injury grant programs from internet, check the prerequisites of each grant program. If you meet the eligibility criteria, read the guidelines for application and then complete the process with caution and care. Apply for each grant program as if it is your only chance to get money.

It is not always easy to do the right thing. At times it can be hard to know what the right thing even is.
Bad personal experiences and stressful work environments make long-term thinking and personal morals a challenge to execute consistently. Or even at all.
Life comes at you fast.
So fast that it’s natural to react to life experiences by making the choice that is least painful at the moment. By choosing to relieve temporary uncomfortableness with a decision to get you out of trouble for the moment.
But most of the time, the fast decision is the wrong decision. The easy decision is the wrong decision. The decision that fixes “right now” is the wrong decision.
The fact that you feel forced into the decision makes the odds of you making the right decision even harder.
You’re not thinking straight.
Your view of the world is screwed up.
It’s biased in a big way.  Your mind and body is screaming at you to do whatever it takes to relieve the pressure and pain that is squeezing down on you at the moment.
So it’s important to remember how important making the right decision really is.
"The truth is that what your life becomes is a direct result of all the stressed-out, painful short-term decisions you make each and every day. Each decision contributes to the results that you will realize one day.  You are creating your future."
If you make the wrong decisions consistently — even small ones — you will end up with results that are embarrassing and expose you to be the fraud that you really were all along.
If you consistently take the “easy way” and pursue shortcuts in the hope of “getting rich quick”, then you’ll find yourself in a future where you continue to be poor — mentally and financially.
If you blame others for your mistakes and refuse to take correction or learn from bad decisions that you have made in the past, then the results of your life will only be misery and arrogance.

I was recently hired by a company that is growing, doing well and wants to develop and train their salespeople to create a repeatable process for their current and future salespeople.
As often happens, the client is not willing or able to spend the amount of time and money up front to have us experience their environment as well as do our extensive research and analysis.
We interviewed salespeople and managers, pre/post support people. We looked at win/loss reports and reviewed their current presentations and proposals. We talked with the people responsible for their CRM, and created a clientized program for them that addressed the most significant areas including:

  • Mirroring using a combination of DiSC and Meyers-Briggs
  • Prospecting to be less dependent on incoming leads,
  • Discovery, via our S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue to better qualify the sales process
  • Presenting and Objection Handling to present more value and navigate the sales process and close more business.
The training went well. People were participative, receptive and open to the new techniques we were practicing. The feedback was excellent. However, the most relevant, significant, important and impactful part of going through and experiencing the training were the insights that we had together.
Here is my summary to my client regarding these insights:
Thanks for the commitment to IPG and our program. I want to note your presence in the training which was significant. Here are my observations (those in bold are the insights):
  1. Salespeople need to use S.PRI.N.G. to keep better control of a sales process and not get lost as often as they do
  2. Salespeople need to integrate and address the issues much earlier in the sales process that are most common, important and prevent sales from occurring. These include:
    • Planting seeds that differentiate and demonstrate XYZ's value
    • During the S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue, asking qualifying questions (budget, process, competition, etc.) later in the process vs. too early to help get better answers
    • Address the reasons people defer
    • And understand where XYZ's solution fits in their priority scheme, ESPECIALLY if there is no definitive compelling event
    • Develop a standard presentation and proposal format that captures the key elements of the S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue AND addresses the most common reasons people defer on going with XYZ
    • Practice the best ways to anticipate and handle the most common objections
    • Get more comfortable using analogies to present XYZ's process so that people don't get confused
    • Create their hit list of accounts they want to sell and use the prospecting techniques and why you why now to get more appointments
  3. The management team needs to:
    • Embrace and become experts at the key elements noted above especially around mirroring
    • Develop, mentor and reinforce a repeatable sales process
    • Integrate these into the sales fabric of XYZ including:
    • Commit to a weekly schedule of practicing and role playing
    • Using 1:1's and forecast sessions
    • Bring into discussions of deals that are crucial or in trouble
    • Integrate into NetSuite as a support mechanism

Jonathan London - President of the Improved Performance Group, Jonathan has been in sales and management for 34 years. He has been the #1 performer worldwide, (and in many cases industry wide) for such companies as Olivetti Corporation, NBI Word Processing, IBM/Rolm, BusinessLand, Wyse Technologies and PictureTel. Jonathan founded IPG in 1994, has trained over 15,000 people in 23 countries using the same techniques that made his own selling career so successful. His book "An Entrepreneurs Guide to Selling" will be published Q2 2009. He has successfully sold through 3 recessions.

Answer the question, Is your car insurance as cheap as it looks, before you renew the same old policy you've had for years. Compare online insurance companies before you renew with your old one.

Nobody looks forward to choosing their car insurance. Many people stay with the same company year on year to avoid endless phone calls or trawling quote comparison sites at renewal. Nowadays, however, many companies offer significant introductory and online discounts which only apply for the first year. What this means for the consumer is that shopping around makes good financial sense. But while it can be extremely tempting to go for a cheap policy, it's wise to know exactly what you're buying into.

What's Missing?

Sometimes one company will offer Fully Comprehensive coverage for the same rates as another's Third Party insurance. This should ring alarm bells, it's possible it's cheaper for a reason.

A car insurance policy booklet is divided into sections. The level of cover you have purchased will include some or all of these. Third Party Only is the legal minimum and included in all policies. Mandatory since 1930, it covers you for damage to another's person or property. Then Fire and Theft is added to that, followed by damage to your own car - Fully Comprehensive includes all three.

There are things we automatically assume to be part of a Comprehensive policy - European coverage, windscreen coverage, a courtesy car, coverage for driving other cars - but not necessarily so. Policies may have been stripped to the bare bones in order to appear cheap. The missing features may then be offered as chargeable extras, so take care.

If you are considering driving abroad, check what level of coverage you will actually have while out of the country. It might be lower than your normal level of coverage and you may only be allowed a limited time abroad. To increase the time or level of coverage would then be chargeable.

Auto Insurance Excesses

So you have a cheap policy that seems to give all the coveage you need. The next thing to check are the excesses. These are what you pay in the event of a claim, such as deductibles. Sometimes they can be high in order to keep the premiums down and there are compulsory excesses on top for categories of driver who the insurer perceives to be a higher risk. This may include young drivers, foreign drivers or those with points on their license - check which apply to you.

Extra Charges

Whether we want to believe it or not, it does cost an insurer to set up or cancel a policy, and to process your claims. As businesses, they will attempt to recoup the costs from the customer, probably in the form of cancellation fees or charges for amending your policy. If the premium is very low these charges may be higher to compensate. Some cancellation fees are even levied within the mandatory 14 day cooling off period, so be aware of what you're letting yourself in for.

Sadly the process of renewing your insurance remains a long, drawn out process and even higher premiums may not include everything so it's worth devising a checklist to use when you shop. Go in armed with your own questions and reduce your chances of unpleasant surprises later in the year.

Tesco car insurance has some special online Internet only "value" plans that might save you some money. So if you are looking for cheap car insurance check out Tesco and see what they can offer you.

Tesco: Love them or hate them there's no denying their reach across Britain. Their outlets have become a one stop shop for everything from a tin of beans to the latest smartphone. In recent years Tesco has even branched out into financial services, including car insurance.

The one thing Tesco's plans does well is keep costs down, especially if you're a regular shopper at their stores. Like the rest of their products, you can get a discount on Tesco's insurance policies by having a Clubcard. Tesco also counts one point on the card for ever £2 on insurance premiums.

Tesco claims Clubcard vouchers can be used to "pay" premiums, but this is a bit of a misnomer. Premiums must be paid in full with cash but Clubcard points can be applied to the balance to be refunded after payment. For example, if you have a £200 premium you can send in £200 and 5,000 points. Once this payment has been received you will receive a £50 credit. Tesco also discounts policies based on total premium cost up to 15% for card holders. For some drivers these discounts make the insurance far cheaper than other options.

Tesco Car Insurance Coverage

Basic liability and van coverage are similar to what you'll find with other companies. They also have an Internet-only "value" comprehensive insurance that lowers premium costs by raising excess payments. Extras like a courtesy car can be added to any of these plans at an extra cost, letting buyers pick which features they think they'll need. Additional discounts can be had by covering specific drivers instead of anyone who might drive the car.

Like Tesco Bank, Tesco insurance began as part of a partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Currently, policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, a subsidiary of RBS. Overall policy owners report more problems with Tesco-branded coverage than RBS's own offerings. Call centres are based in Britain, but claim processing can be hit or miss. However, this may soon change.

Here are some commercial fleet auto insurance tips. Get the
insurance tips for operating a safe fleet you need to ensure your buisness's vehicle fleet is insured properly and you are getting the cheapest insurance rates possible.

(NC)—When small businesses first get underway, it is common to have one or two vehicles as the primary methods of transportation for the company. And while this may work in the short term, transportation requirements can change dramatically as a business grows. Once a business is operating five or more commercial vehicles, that business is also managing a fleet.

“When business owners become fleet managers too, they need to review their commercial auto insurance policies to ensure they are properly covered and getting a good rate,” says Paul Lucarelli, fleet director at RSA Canada. “At the same time, take advantage of the risk management advice an experienced fleet broker and insurer can provide to help prevent accidents and contribute to the overall success of a business.”

According to Transport Canada, approximately 75 per cent of crashes result from driver error. The following tips from RSA Canada will start small business owners on the right path towards operating a safe fleet and ensuring they have right fleet insurance coverage in place:

• Assess Your Needs

How large is your company? How often are your vehicles on the road? Determining these answers will allow you to choose the best coverage for your business.

• Research, Research, Research

There are a number of options and plans available for commercial fleet insurance. Know the playing field before committing on the dotted line.

• What Type Of Vehicles Are You Insuring?

Depending on the values and types of vehicles that require insurance coverage, you may want to consider varied coverages and limits to provide the right coverage for the best price.

• What Are Your Intended Uses For The Vehicles?

Are they all going to be used for the same purposes? If not, you may be able to have a varied plan that allows you to save money.

• Invest In Driver Training

Make sure you're promoting a culture of safety in your organization. Well-trained drivers mean lower insurance rates and fewer accidents - that means fewer claims.

• Manage The Maintenance Of Your Fleet

This will result in a better performing fleet, reduce your potential for down time, and decrease your insurance rates.

• Work With An Experienced Fleet Broker And Insurer

Take advantage of their loss control expertise. Loss control officers can help you identify areas for improvement, save you money and help you prevent accidents.

Auto insurance fraud is targeting the health care system and that hurts everyone. When people file fraudulant claims against a car insurance policy, every one who pays for an auto policy ends up paying the price. Find out what is being done by insurance companies and health care practioners to prevent insurance fraud.

(NC)—Health care practitioners are on high alert to pinpoint and prevent identity theft. Common scams involve fraudsters stealing signatures, forms, and patient information to bilk payments from auto insurance companies.

This type of fraud is currently on the front burner of the insurance industry regulator, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) with its recent initiatives to assist, guide and protect health care professionals from becoming targets. Take a look at the recently launched e-brochure on this topic easily downloaded at In the Auto Insurance section look for the publication Insurance Abuse and Fraud in Health Care Services: Everyone Has A Role To Play.

You will see that through the illegal use of a practitioner's name (or other identifiable information) fraudsters have been obtaining payments for health care services that were never provided. As the fraud is uncovered, the practitioner unwittingly becomes the subject of a police investigation leading to any number of consequences, from reputation damage to legal costs. As well, every Ontarian is a potential target because patient information is also being used to falsify the claims.

Warning Signs

With heightened awareness of such scams, health care practitioners are advised to be on watch for suspicious documents and suspicious activities. Other advice includes: never sign blank treatment and assessment documents; always maintain exact records of the treatments provided; always record payment decisions made by insurance companies; never give personal information to a third party for processing invoices; always inform the Regulatory College when relocating; and immediately report suspicious activity. Each health care practitioner should be a gatekeeper to prevent identity fraud.

FSCO reports that the government's Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force is examining the scope of insurance fraud in Ontario. Building on current government initiatives, representatives from the insurance industry, academia, justice and the public are addressing, among other priorities, the nature and extent of such criminal activity, as well as proven strategies to curtail this opportunistic activity.

As their e-mail in-boxes filled with daily deal offers from Web sites like Groupon, Lea Pische and Edwin Hermawan, a pizzeria waitress and a former lawyer living on the Lower East Side, finally decided to buy one: a discounted Skillshare class on how to start a business. Their business plan? It was a service that would unsubscribe people from all those daily deal e-mails.

Three months after its introduction, has 7,800 unsubscribers, a number that nearly doubled in the last month. Ms. Pische and Mr. Hermawan tapped into deal fatigue, a malady that has been afflicting the small businesses that offer daily deals and is now hitting consumers too.

Daily deal services — like Groupon, LivingSocial and Google Offers — took off because they seemed to offer something for everyone: small businesses got a novel way to bring new customers in the door, shoppers got a discount and the deal providers got a large cut of every sale.

But signs of deal fatigue are everywhere, raising questions about whether Groupon and its competitors can continue their hyper-growth.

In the last six months of 2011, 798 daily deal sites shut down, according to Daily Deal Media, which researches the industry.

When Groupon reported its second-quarter results this week, it said that active customers — defined as people who purchased a Groupon deal in the last year — grew just 1.1 percentage points, a significant slowdown from customer growth rates in previous quarters. While traffic to Groupon was higher at the beginning of 2012 than last year, it was down almost 10 percent in May and June from the same months in 2011, according to comScore.

Shares of Groupon have fallen 82 percent since it went public in November, and the company is now worth just $3 billion, half of what Google offered to buy it for in 2010.

Gilt City, a daily deal service owned by Gilt Groupe, laid off employees and closed offices in six cities earlier this year. Google Offers, whose membership has plateaued in some cities, has had to team with 35 other deal providers to supplement its own selection and help other companies reach customers. Facebook and Yelp were quick to jump on the fad, but backed off last year. Groupon is searching for alternative ways to make money, like buying movie tickets, watches and other goods and selling them to shoppers.

“Many of the other competitors have retreated or scaled down ambitions,” said Jordan Rohan, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus. “There are no real barriers to entry, but there are fairly significant barriers to success.”

One of those barriers is keeping merchants happy. Though small businesses were excited at first about a new way to attract customers in a post-Yellow Pages world, many soon soured on the daily deals. Customers who bought deals overwhelmed the businesses, spent the bare minimum and never returned.

The scene on a three-block stretch of Mississippi Avenue in Portland, Ore., is a snapshot of what is happening nationally, as merchants grow increasingly wary of daily deal services even as more daily deal salespeople try to court them.

Muddy’s Coffeehouse, which serves coffee and granola in a purple-trimmed Victorian home, offered $24 of food and coffee for $12. It paid Groupon half of that. Muddy’s succeeded in drawing crowds — but ended up losing money.

“I pretty much had to take a loan out to cover the loss, or we would have probably had to close,” the owner, Dyer Price, said. “They don’t warn you that you’re going to get hit really hard and that you have to be prepared. We will never, ever do it again.”

A few doors down, Mississippi Studios & Bar Bar, a former Baptist church that became a live music club and burger and cocktail restaurant, offered a Groupon deal but said it slowed down the bartender, who had to complete paperwork for each coupon, and brought in customers who did not return.

“It was a huge boondoggle for us, and we were counting down the days until it was over,” said Kevin Cradock, co-owner of Mississippi Studios. He said he had a better solution for local advertising. “We still do the old-school thing,” he said. “We print these posters and hire kids on bikes to put the posters up.”

He also tried Google Offers, whose deal was easier to process because Google sent an Android phone to scan coupons, but it did not attract repeat customers, either.

The story was the same elsewhere. Kevin Stecko, founder of, offered a Groupon deal for $20 off a $40 order, of which $10 would go to Groupon. Initially, the results looked good: 971 coupons were sold, and almost all of the customers were new.

But Mr. Stecko said he lost $2.96 per order on average, and only nine of the customers who used the Groupon deal had bought something else from the site since then. (He made some money, though, he said, because 14 percent of people who bought coupons did not redeem them.)

“It devalues your product,” said Rafi Mohammed, a pricing consultant. “You get people who come in who are very price-sensitive, who aren’t going to come back and pay full price.”

Groupon has added tools to help merchants with some of their most common complaints, like a scheduler so they can avoid an overwhelming rush of customers. The company said that in the last two quarters, half of its offers were from businesses that had previously used Groupon.

But that might not matter if shoppers continue to tire on daily deals.

Tamara Koedoot, 47, a real estate agent in Portland, has spent about $100 on four deals a month for several years. But lately, it has been testing her patience, partly because she said businesses discriminated against her for using coupons.

“As soon as they find out you have a Groupon, they don’t even want to work with you any longer, so that’s a turnoff,” she said.

Ms. Koedoot has cut back on buying deals because she has lost money when coupons she bought, like one for a Spanish language course, expired, or when she could not get restaurant reservations before the expiration date.

“My thoughts have definitely changed, and I think my friends are kind of feeling the same way,” she said. “We’ve got to quit buying so many of them because it’s like, ‘We’ve got this Groupon, we have to go now.’ ”

With unpredictable climatic conditions which cause global warming and other ecologically adverse conditions, the environment is potentially lacking favorable conditions for plant growth, both for agricultural purposes and for scientific research purposes.

Being said that, it is quite evident that environmentally conditioned and highly specialized plant growth chambers are gaining significance in various research and experimental activities in domains involving plant growth, study of microbes, fermentation, seed germinators, phytotrons, tissue culture applications, enzyme reaction studies and many more. Plant growth chambers are also widely used in various other customized industrial and research applications which require a controlled environmental set-up.

A plant growth chamber is designed in such a way that it replicates environmental conditions like humidity and temperature in a very controlled and optimum manner, so that it is in an excellent condition which favors maximize plant growth. These chambers are very much similar to environmental chambers or terrestrial plant growth chambers as the plants or the microbes are exposed to real environmental conditions of temperature and humidity inside the walled chambers for experimentation purpose.
Different plants and organisms require different levels of temperature and humidity. This problem gets solved by the use of an efficient plant growth chamber. The main application of plant growth chamber is in the domain of botany or the domain of plants like plant breeding and genetic research, photosynthesis, nutrition, and other aspects of plant physiology. Even though it is an enclosed area which is suitable for plant growth, it is different from green house.

The main advanced features of a highly specialized plant growth chamber may include digital touchscreen controls, observation windows to check the progress in the middle of experiment, additional lighting facilities, humidity control, CO2 enrichment, spray nozzle packages, air-cooled condensing, remote-controlled condensing, dry alarms, cabinets and shelving, dimmable lighting, extended temperature ranges, and heated or glass doors.

Plant growth chambers are generally available in two models like reach-in and walk-in. It is also possible to get the plant growth chamber customized as per the requirement, so that it specially meets your challenging research needs. Apart from botanical interest, plant growth chambers are also used for military forces, educational institutions and other research and development institutions.

The Incident Command System was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide first responders such as police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) with a guide to managing an incident and establishing cooperation and coordination of all agencies involved.

The Incident Command Post, often a vehicle, is the on scene location where efforts are planned and coordinated. There is only one incident command post, however other vehicles may be used as satellite support centers. As a first responder speed and efficiency are obviously critical. One of the biggest challenges for many departments has been the inability to clearly distinguish which responder units are satellite and which vehicle is the command vehicle. Because first responders usually arrive in vehicles of all shapes and sizes they need to be able to make the most out of what they have and often this can become confusing.

This is where personalizing your vehicle with the right equipment for incident response pays off. For a minimal price ranging falling between $175 and $375 emergency departments can furnish a vehicle with an easy up vehicle canopy or complete response kit including command post Flag and lighting. This equipment is compact and easy to stow, allowing emergency responders to quickly set up clearly marked positions with shelter that extends 3 to 4 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle. The center of command is also identified using a flag and lighting that is clearly visible above any other vehicle.
Yes, Command Vehicles Come in All Shapes, Sizes
A mobile command unit could come from any response agency ranging from the trunk of a police car to a specially equipped SUV worth a quarter-of-a-million-dollars. Most everything that needs to be done could be done from the trunk of a police vehicle. An emergency SUV could be housing additional radios, computer equipment and, in many cases, a fax machine and copier. The common denominator is that they all carry equipment essential to managing an emergency situation such as forms, administrative supplies, tactical equipment, barrier tape and checklists.

Because first responders will be arriving in vehicles of all shapes and sizes they need to be able to make the most out of what they have to work with and the elements are rarely on your side. That's why when responding to an emergency, having a system that provides additional shelter to provide a working area and protect equipment is a must.

Over time incidents have become bigger affecting more people across many regions translating into a need for specialized command units. Over the past 10 years fire departments, specifically, have shown an increased interest in using specialized command units to deal with major incidents and weather conditions.

Chief Craig Long of the Allentown Fire Department, knows all too well the challenges of setting up a mobile command post with the changing seasons of Eastern Pennsylvania that include winter snow and ice to summer heat and rain. Purchasing this type of tailgate truck tent has proven to be the perfect solution for their command vehicle, an SUV where the rear area of the vehicle was designed as a mobile command center. Since the command area required opening the rear doors, it was necessary for their department to find a protective device not only for the command area but for the personnel operating it.

Campus or school education isn't sufficient to equip one with these very vital leadership skills. This is because what individual encounters at on the job is generally quite different from what he has studied in college. It's for this fact that organizational leadership training is a must for any person who wants to run to his best capacity in an organization. Organizational Leadership training program is a vital thing for any organization. Most of organization can advantage from its management obtaining leadership training program. An organization may be more inclined to boost lots of sales training but do not recharge the concernment of organizational leadership training program. Basically the flow on influence from having managers, CEO and older staff having suitable leadership skills are apparent in better working relationships between the employees and productive staff, higher authority, and more motivated and a more reliable working atmosphere.

One of the key factors behind a company success and growth is the influential leadership. Unfortunately, many companies intentionally or unintentionally don't provide proper organizational leadership training program to bring out leadership skills in believable and loyal employees. Leadership development training is lots more than comfortably discussing the philosophy of program, providing guidebook to learn theory, giving classroom lectures on leadership qualities.

Effectual organizational leadership program deals more than a classroom lectures. They include a variety of organization training aimed at motivating and inculcating qualities in people. Some of the most effective training programs are aimed at these following skills:

* New leaders must be trained simply to take quick and proper decisions. A leader stands responsible for the major decisions of any organization. Because, the program ought to concentrate ought to focus on developing this qualities in an employees. One rash decision and the organization may face big losses. The leaders ought to be given suitable training in data analysis, understanding workers and their difficulties. It's the step towards budding appropriate leadership development talents.

* To be a successful leader, an individual must know about the organization in detail, including its vision, mission, and past history, and then work mannerly to fulfill the objective of organization. This job can work constructively in the progress of company.

* Organization's leaders must be developed on how to deal their employee and motivate them to get the work done correctly and timely. A perfect leader ought to always develop proper balance between friendly and professionally. Some leaders of organization become overfriendly with the staffs that often end-up degrading the work quality. So, maintaining leadership is a must.

* Imparting appropriate communication skills through the use of all the communication channels efficaciously ought to be the basic idea behind every organizational development training program. Organization's leaders must be educated to use all communication fields that include one-on-one interaction, addressing employees, giving speeches or other members confidently, and dealing with customers efficaciously.

Balanced Scorecard Basics The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals. It was originated by Drs. Robert Kaplan (Harvard Business School) and David Norton as a performance measurement framework that added strategic non-financial performance measures to traditional financial metrics to give managers and executives a more 'balanced' view of organizational performance. While the phrase balanced scorecard was coined in the early 1990s, the roots of the this type of approach are deep, and include the pioneering work of General Electric on performance measurement reporting in the 1950’s and the work of French process engineers (who created the Tableau de Bord – literally, a "dashboard" of performance measures) in the early part of the 20th century. The balanced scorecard has evolved from its early use as a simple performance measurement framework to a full strategic planning and management system. The “new” balanced scorecard transforms an organization’s strategic plan from an attractive but passive document into the "marching orders" for the organization on a daily basis. It provides a framework that not only provides performance measurements, but helps planners identify what should be done and measured. It enables executives to truly execute their strategies. This new approach to strategic management was first detailed in a series of articles and books by Drs. Kaplan and Norton. Recognizing some of the weaknesses and vagueness of previous management approaches, the balanced scorecard approach provides a clear prescription as to what companies should measure in order to 'balance' the financial perspective. The balanced scorecard is a management system (not only a measurement system) that enables organizations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action. It provides feedback around both the internal business processes and external outcomes in order to continuously improve strategic performance and results. When fully deployed, the balanced scorecard transforms strategic planning from an academic exercise into the nerve center of an enterprise. Kaplan and Norton describe the innovation of the balanced scorecard as follows: "The balanced scorecard retains traditional financial measures. But financial measures tell the story of past events, an adequate story for industrial age companies for which investments in long-term capabilities and customer relationships were not critical for success. These financial measures are inadequate, however, for guiding and evaluating the journey that information age companies must make to create future value through investment in customers, suppliers, employees, processes, technology, and innovation." Perspectives The balanced scorecard suggests that we view the organization from four perspectives, and to develop metrics, collect data and analyze it relative to each of these perspectives: The Learning & Growth Perspective This perspective includes employee training and corporate cultural attitudes related to both individual and corporate self-improvement. In a knowledge-worker organization, people -- the only repository of knowledge -- are the main resource. In the current climate of rapid technological change, it is becoming necessary for knowledge workers to be in a continuous learning mode. Metrics can be put into place to guide managers in focusing training funds where they can help the most. In any case, learning and growth constitute the essential foundation for success of any knowledge-worker organization. Kaplan and Norton emphasize that 'learning' is more than 'training'; it also includes things like mentors and tutors within the organization, as well as that ease of communication among workers that allows them to readily get help on a problem when it is needed. It also includes technological tools; what the Baldrige criteria call "high performance work systems." The Business Process Perspective This perspective refers to internal business processes. Metrics based on this perspective allow the managers to know how well their business is running, and whether its products and services conform to customer requirements (the mission). These metrics have to be carefully designed by those who know these processes most intimately; with our unique missions these are not something that can be developed by outside consultants. The Customer Perspective Recent management philosophy has shown an increasing realization of the importance of customer focus and customer satisfaction in any business. These are leading indicators: if customers are not satisfied, they will eventually find other suppliers that will meet their needs. Poor performance from this perspective is thus a leading indicator of future decline, even though the current financial picture may look good. In developing metrics for satisfaction, customers should be analyzed in terms of kinds of customers and the kinds of processes for which we are providing a product or service to those customer groups. The Financial Perspective Kaplan and Norton do not disregard the traditional need for financial data. Timely and accurate funding data will always be a priority, and managers will do whatever necessary to provide it. In fact, often there is more than enough handling and processing of financial data. With the implementation of a corporate database, it is hoped that more of the processing can be centralized and automated. But the point is that the current emphasis on financials leads to the "unbalanced" situation with regard to other perspectives. There is perhaps a need to include additional financial-related data, such as risk assessment and cost-benefit data, in this category. Strategy Mapping Strategy maps are communication tools used to tell a story of how value is created for the organization. They show a logical, step-by-step connection between strategic objectives (shown as ovals on the map) in the form of a cause-and-effect chain. Generally speaking, improving performance in the objectives found in the Learning & Growth perspective (the bottom row) enables the organization to improve its Internal Process perspective Objectives (the next row up), which in turn enables the organization to create desirable results in the Customer and Financial perspectives (the top two rows).

The sense of taste, in its higher, more refined state, is capable of discerning what the body most needs at any given time. However, when blunted or debased, it discerns not what is wholesome in a given moment, but what is tasty, or even what will feed a health-undermining craving.

A de-based sense of taste can be redeemed, returned to its higher purpose.

There are different times of the day when the body craves different elements. It varies with each individual, but there is also a general pattern.

In the morning, the body most craves whole grain; at noon raw vegetables; in the evening lightly cooked vegetables, with greens as a staple nutrient-bearer.

The more �live� a vegetable or fruit is, the more enhanced is its etheric energy, the life force of the plant world. However, predominantly raw food diets are met best by a healthy etheric force in the individual eating them. If one�s etheric is depleted, by either illness or exhaustion, lightly cooked foods are easier to assimilate. For most people a balance of raw and cooked works best.

Experiments with live foods (raw, sprouted, and such) show that graying hair can be reversed. Also, there are numerous accounts of the reversal of debilitating illnesses.

Plants can be looked at as the inverse of the human form.

Root - head
Stem, leaves, - rhythmic system
Flowers, fruits - metabolic

If a person is suffering from an ailment that resides principally in the head region - headaches, etc - then the body will benefit from ingesting more root vegetables. If the lungs or heart are an issue, then more of leafy and stem parts of the plant. And if the issue entails the metabolic organs, or limb system, then the body can benefit from more fruits and �flower� vegetable portions - such as broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

The potato is not a root, but a tuber. Roots are far more optimal for nutrient needs.

The potato feeds a part of the brain that causes one to become more materialistic in one�s thinking. Further, potatoes are debilitating in a general way, and also specifically debilitating for eyesight. One would make out better if one ate the skins of potatoes and threw away the white portions - but unfortunately, the other way around is the usual custom.

Mass meat products, including �prison-raised� chickens, pigs, beef, and other crowded and abused species, carry negative karma for those engaged in the trade, support, or consumption. Is it really worth it to buy such products on the basis of �it�s cheaper�?

Further, the �cheaper� turns out to be quite the opposite - when one considers overall costs to health and shortfall of nutrients per volume purchased.

In the end, both the karmic price and the health price is exponentially higher than the monetary price.

The same is true for most non-organically raised food of all kinds. Do we want to contribute to depletion of the Earth, or sustain and amend the Earth? Even when one frames the issue purely in terms of self-interest, one only needs to consider the masses of overweight people who are continually stuffing themselves, yet always hungry - they are not getting the nutrients the body needs, so they keep eating, caught in a vicious cycle.

A further note on the meat industry: beef has been linked to the onset of Alzheimer�s disease. Because of the spongiform condition (Mad Cow related) created by both foolish cattle feed practices and long term debilitating animal husbandry, consumption of beef could be creating the spongiform condition in the human brain, a condition that may not show up for many years.

Better options include bison, wild game, organic poultry, or fish. In the case of fish, the smaller the better, as toxins augment in the food chain (which means the lowly sardine is now king). Some tins of tuna now contain the maximum level of mercury recommended to ingest in a year (in a single tin!).

Even better than the above, go with the leading edge of evolution and make your diet increasingly vegetarian. Vegetarian diets require forty times less acreage than meat-eating diets, and the leading edge of human evolution is becoming more responsible in the arena of animal-human relationships.

Certain food habits create layers of waste in the intestines that act to block transfer of nutrients. White grains are akin to glue - rice, flour, all white grains. As well, the widespread habit of combining milk or cream with coffee or tea creates a substance that is equal to leather, it is indigestible and adds to the layers of �skins� that line the intestines. Colonics, and other cleansing practices, can re-establish a clear intestinal tract. Once clear, the amount of food required to meet nutritional needs drops, thus saving money and resources.

A big factor of the current world food crisis (2008) is due to the white grain issue. The vast majority of people in the world consume these watered down versions of grain. A person can eat three times as much white grain as whole grain, and still does not feel fed. Less nutrients, plus blockage, equals a wider net of starvation and illness.

Many foods are actually not ingested, but are reproduced, or �copied� by the bodily forces in the digestive tract. For example, when protein is eaten:

one) the body can only assimilate about 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound at a time - if more is consumed it is not only wasted, but can create a barrier to assimilation as it lies rotting in the intestines. And,

two) the forces of assimilation actually �copy� the protein that is passing by on the other side of the intestinal wall (versus assimilating it across the intestinal tract). The blood stream reproduces the protein molecules out of various components taken in else-wise (e.g, nitrogen and oxygen brought in through the lungs, hydrogen through drinking water, etc.). But because �memory� forces don�t inhabit the assimilation process, it has to have the protein passing through on a daily basis (unless the body learns to manifest memory forces in the assimilation process, that is. Voila! The breatharians! - so that�s how they do that. . . ).

Because the body can only assimilate1/4 to 1/3 pound of protein at a time, and the rest remains as waste, straining and toxifying the body, the notion of needing more protein when living a more active lifestyle may be partially true, but is over-rated. Even when a body is very active, working hard day by day, the1/4 to 1/3 pound limit still applies - it just means that instead of protein input once or twice a day, it calls for an extra serving.

A tomato picked ripe off the vine has significant life-enhancing forces, especially when eaten in tandem with other raw vegetables, as in a salad - the vitality of the other vegetables is synergistically enhanced. However, if picked green and allowed to ripen off the vine, the tomato�s forces are reversed, so that it becomes debilitating to the human system.

Yet, again, if subsequently cooked, it�s forces become neutralized, so that it is safe (although not the nutrient-enhancer of the fully vine-ripened tomato).

Raisins, and other dried fruit, soaked for 24 hours attain a higher level of etheric energy, become enhanced in vitality.

Fruits are �eliminants,� or cleansers, and are meant to be eaten alone, between meals, as most other food works in the opposite arena to eliminations - that is, as a binder.

When grain is �exploded� - as in puffed rice, wheat, etc - most of its nutrients are destroyed.

There is such a thing as getting too fussy with one�s food. A test study of blemishes on members of the brassica plant family (cabbage, broccoli, kale, etc.) revealed anti-cancer agents, and immune system boosting elements.

Wheat has, by and large, been ruined as a food. The original DNA chain on wheat was a basic 8-link chain. But because of excessive hybridization over decades for so many factors - drought, productivity, disease resistance, etc - wheat�s DNA has been stretched to a complex 30-something chain - too convoluted for the human body to digest without complications. Whether aware of it or not, most people are allergic to this product.

At this time, there are many good alternatives - spelt, kamut, and even rye is still fairly decent. Most other grains are fine, too, if grown organically (biodynamic is even better) and eaten in whole form.

Different grains have different influences on the human body. There is a continuum of effects on the quality of energy that runs through the various grains. On one end, there is rice, which has a light, airy, somewhat �ungrounding� effect, while the more bread-type grains � spelt, kamut, rye, have more of a grounding effect. Oats, barley and millet lie midway along the continuum. Every individual has to sense for themselves what combination of grains is optimal for their own system.

Alcohol once served a purpose in human evolution. Now it is largely pass�. Alcohol sends the spirit out of the body, in effect, takes the place of spirit. (notice how hard liquor is referred to as �spirits�!) That�s one reason why it is so prevalent in a social fabric such as ours, with its materialistic bent, to the point of being considered a norm.

There are those who laud alcohol - �a drink a day prolongs life.� But there is �life� and there is life. These kinds of drinker�s codes serve to enable the habit. There are plenty of alternatives to substances that will effectively prolong one�s life - Qi-gong, for one (and it has numerous other benefits to boot - see Enhancing Etheric Energy). Beware the remedy-popping/substance quaffing route - think, rather, in terms of attaining one�s optimal state as a result of one�s own efforts and disciplined practices.

As to longevity, Mozart lived to age 34, but his life was worth more than a thousand alcohol-soused lives living until age 94!

Give me life while I�m living, not some long-stretching stupor. . . .

Chi/prana/etheric energy - now lives in the thinking. Using the mind to enhance the subtle energy field that radiates through the chakras, one can direct freely-accessible universal energy to pour in and augment one�s own limited resource. When used with movement exercises, the practice brings the astral element into play, harmonizing the etheric and astral interweave, integrating, and enhancing.

Closing notes:

Periods of hunger through the day are beneficial for health. When in a state of hunger, the body creates white blood cells, boosting the immune system. It is known that overweight dogs have a greater incidence of tumors than lean dogs.

Opting for organic foods is actually cheaper in the long run, not more expensive. One needs less food, receives more nutrients. As well, there is less of a weight problem - people who eat substandard food are always hungry, eat all the time, but are not fed. Organic food has more nutrients. A person who buys unprocessed food saves money, too. Over 80% of the items in supermarkets are pointless, money-draining products.

Eating organic means less need to spend money on remedies for one�s health. More energy and well-being translate into more income at one�s work.

Also, karmic wealth builds as one goes more organic - caring for the land, the Earth, pays spiritual dividends.

As Steiner pointed out, to paraphrase, all healthy processes are natural, and all diseased processes are natural.

Here in northern California, allergies are a significant health problem leading to fatigue, sick days from work and school, and secondary infections. Allergic rhinitis is a reaction to seasonal airborne allergens. It affects about 7 percent of the population of North America and is a risk factor for 88 percent of asthma patients. We have some excellent prescription medications for treating this, and there are many over-the-counter medications available also. However, BEWARE of the sedating effects of those nonprescription medications!!! Recent studies have shown that an individual on a therapeutic dose of diphenhydramine (Benedryl) is a more dangerous driver than one who is legally drunk on alcohol.

Fortunately, there are also some effective alternative therapies for allergic rhinitis.

Remember: no matter what method you use to treat your allergies, nasal rinsing to clear the mucus membranes of trapped allergens is essential. It only takes about 30 seconds, doesn't hurt a bit when done correctly, and makes all the difference. I recommend Nasopure®, a product developed by Dr. Hana Solomon, a pediatrician who has put together in one simple kit all you need for successful nasal rinsing. There is an excellent article about this on the Nasopure website ( If you are regularly using your Nasopure®, and still having difficulties, you can try some of the following remedies without significant side effects.

Vitamin and mineral supplements:

* Vitamin A - 10,000 IU/day

* Vitamin B6 - 50-100 mg/day

* Vitamin B5 - 50-75 mg/day

* Vitamin C - 1,000 mg/day in 3 divided doses

* Vitamin E - 400 IU/day

* Zinc - 20-30 mg/day

In addition some herbs and nutrients can help:

Quercetin has anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory effects if you take it 250mg two or three times a day.

Freeze-dried stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) can relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis at a dosage of 300mg twice a day.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), also called fish oil, can help asthma patients with allergies by stabilizing the airways. They come in capsules and the total dose of the combination should be 2-4 g/day.

Acupuncture has given many patients significant relief. The Chinese medicine paradigm is very different than Western medicine, so I can not explain the mechanism of action. But I know that it is effective!

See your doctor about allergy symptoms if you are unable to manage them on your own - the nonsedating antihistamines and anti-inflammatory nasal sprays available today are excellent in treating this significant health problem!

As we age, one of the functions that can often deteriorate dramatically is our mental function - our brain power, if you will. The good news is, researchers may have discovered a way to prevent this kind of decline: Eat more berries.

That's right. According to research published in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, eating more blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits may help prevent age-related memory loss and other mental status changes.

In the journal article, Dr. Barbara Shukitt-Hale, PhD, and Marshall G. Miller note that as we live longer on average, there are increasing concerns about the social and monetary costs of treating Alzheimer 's disease and other forms of mental decline. That concern will only grow as the U.S. population continues to age.

Keep your brain healthy and functioning as you age

According to the research, eating more berries can have benefits for the aging brains. "To analyze the strength of the evidence about berry fruits, they extensively reviewed cellular, animal and human studies on the topic," said a press release from the ACS.

A review of the data found that there was strong scientific evidence that berry fruits help the brain remain healthy in a number of ways. For example, berry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, "compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals." In addition, research shows that berry fruits alter the manner in which neurons in the brain communicate.

"These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition," said ACS, a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress.

"They suggest that further research will show whether these benefits are a result of individual compounds shared between berry fruits or whether the unique combinations of chemicals in each berry fruit simply have similar effects."

'Berry' good benefits

The ACS research isn't the first to suggest that antioxidants in berry fruits are beneficial to your overall health. The Global Healing Center also says berries are high in antioxidants and "have been shown to be some of the healthiest foods on the planet."

The antioxidants in berries and other fruits act as "scavengers" of free radicals, which create a destructive process on the cellular level, causing molecules within cells to become unstable, according to Dr. Edward Group.

"They may even be a big player in the formation of cancerous cells by a 'chain-reaction' effect, causing other cells to become damaged," he writes. "Because of the inherent instability of free-radicals, they try to attack other healthy cells to get stable themselves. This then causes the once-healthy cells to react in the same way, attacking others in [a] never-ending attempt for cellular stability."

But just like with everything else, some scientists and researchers say you should be careful not to overindulge in antioxidants.

Spring is upon us, and the concept of "spring cleaning" our domiciles comes to mind. It can apply to the health conscious as well for cleaning out the body's master cleanser, the liver, while increasing supportive nourishment.

Coincidentally, Chinese medicine associates spring with the liver and gall bladder; both work together as blood cleansers. It's like they've worked to keep our other organs and blood relatively free of toxins all winter, now it's time to clean them out so they can function to their fullest. Liver dysfunction leads to chronic poor health, disease and death.

The symptoms of a sluggish liver can be vague, but chronic fatigue and/or increased irritability may be indicators. Mainstream medical liver tests only spot major problems such as hepatitis, sclerosis and fatty liver. Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine practitioners are better at diagnosing troublesome liver problems in their early phases.

There are several methods that can be utilized to cleanse and strengthen the liver and gall bladder system. Ten will be pointed out here with some links to give you details.

(1) Coffee enemas: There's no better assurance of efficacy and safety than knowing Max Gerson used coffee enemas to detox the liver while curing cancer. The Gerson health protocol uses it daily still, and so does Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez with his alternative cancer therapy based on Dr. William Donald Kelley's earlier groundbreaking cancer therapy.

If you're not dealing with cancer, the coffee enema can be used as infrequently or frequently as you wish. Here's how (

(2) Liver-gall bladder flush: This one is controversial. Whether it actually eliminates gallstones or fatty globules is the issue. This link contains two different views with instructions for you to peruse and decide what's right for you (

(3) Alpha lipoic acid (ALA): ALA, especially R-ALA, has been used to treat serious liver diseases. Here's more (

(4) Glutathione: The master antioxidant. You must ingest precursors to synthesize glutathione in the liver because it can't get past the GI. Look for subhead "How to Increase GSH" in here (

(5) Milk thistle and dandelion root: These two natural herbs are commonly used to protect and cleanse the liver. Milk thistle is the protector, and dandelion root is the cleanser. They can be taken separately, but many liver supplements contain both. These herbs can be taken regularly over time with or without obvious liver issues.

(6) Vitamin C: Vitamin C is great for liver health. Earlier studies have shown large quantities of vitamin C flush out fats and repair liver damage. Here's how to make your own mega dose encapsulated orally consumed C, linked at bottom of this article's text (

(7) Lecithin: This helps the liver emulsify fats. You can use sunflower lecithin if want to avoid soy based lecithin, but non-GMO soy lecithin granules are used for encapsulating ascorbic acid in (6) above.

(8) B complex: All the Bs are helpful, especially B12, which has been used to help hepatitis patients. But you need the right type of B12 administered the right way separately from other B supplements. Find out here (

(9) Lemon water: Start out the day with a half glass of warm strong lemon or lime water without any sweetener. Chinese medicine promotes sour tasting food as conducive to liver health. The warm lemon/lime water stimulates a sluggish liver.

(10) Avoid or minimize alcohol and all over the counter and prescribed pain suppressant drugs containing acetaminophen, a known liver toxin.

(NaturalNews) There are many factors that affect weight loss, making the process more complicated than it may seem. The body produces different hormones in response to different types of foods and/or drinks. Losing weight is not only about calorie consumption but also about the types of foods and drinks consumed. Alcohol is one of the worst culprits when it comes to inhibiting weight loss because it disrupts the delicate balance of nutrition, fluid and hormones needed to lose fat.

Alcohol boosts cortisol, a fat-creating hormone

Drinking heavily or even occasionally increases the body's release of cortisol - the hormone that breaks down muscle and retains fat. This loss of muscle can mean a huge slowdown in one's metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. In addition, alcohol causes a drop in testosterone in men, a hormone which helps burn fat.

Alcohol also blocks the body from burning fat. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that fat metabolism can be reduced by as much as 73 percent after only two drinks of vodka and lemonade in a one-hour time period. In effect, alcohol shuts down the body's ability to access fat stores for energy. The body needs to be well-hydrated in order to build muscle and burn fat. Alcohol has the effect of dehydrating the body.

Drinking often accompanies irresponsible eating

Because drinking often puts one in a relaxed party mood, it is easier to indulge in snacks, potato chips and other unhealthy party foods -- the more one drinks the less one seems to care.

Alcohol is a powerful appetizer. An aperitif is often offered in restaurants to stimulate the appetite. Research has shown that there is a definite correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed before a meal and the amount of food eaten and that people eat more when they have beer or wine with their meal. Since alcohol causes the brain to release dopamine, the pleasure and addiction hormone, the result is an often addictive desire for more alcohol and food. This means one is hit with a double whammy when it comes to gaining weight: excess calories come from both the alcohol and the extra food that is usually consumed as a result of a stimulated appetite.

Alcohol is high in calories

Alcohol comes with very little nutritional value but is very high in calories. It is very easy to knock back a 200ml glass of wine but that is equivalent, in calories, to eating 25ml (5 teaspoons) of butter. Seldom do people stop at one glass of wine or one beer, and mixing alcohol with sugary mixers such as lemonade means even morecalories as the drink now contains sugar and alcohol.

Indigenous water frogs can be crowded out by immigrant or imported species. This is the finding of a Franco-German study. The scientists investigated water frog populations in France and Northern Spain and noticed that the marsh frog (Rana ridibunda), which normally occurs only in Eastern Europe, has the potential to crowd out indigenous species like Graf's hybrid frog (Rana grafi) and the Iberian water frog (Rana perezi).The scientists believe this ability is related to the fact that the marsh frog lives longer and grows faster than the indigenous species. In addition, the female marsh frogs produce more progeny than their competitors, the researchers write in the scientific journal Comptes Rendus Biologies.

The marsh frog has now spread from Central Asia as far as France and Spain. This latest spread is attributed to imports of live animals for culinary purposes. As the foreign species mix with the indigenous species, the indigenous water frogs are being pushed back into just a few areas.

Imports of invasive species by humans are regarded as one of the main threats to species diversity on earth, alongside climate change.

Most stable marsh frog populations in France and Switzerland originated from frogs bred for gourmet restaurants or imported directly from various source countries. The frog fauna along larger river flood plains in both countries has now altered significantly in favour of the new frog species. Until now though, it was not clear why the new species had been able to establish themselves in the face of the indigenous species. The team of scientists investigated over 700 water frogs from 22 locations in the Rhone drainage basin in France and four locations in the Ebro drainage basin in Spain.

"We noticed that the introduced marsh frog has a high competitive potential, particularly in high-oxygen, low-salinity freshwater. In these conditions the indigenous frogs hardly stand a chance," declares Dr Dirk Schmeller of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). The displacement process is linked to the fact that the marsh frog grows faster than the indigenous frogs, and is in direct competition for food.

In addition, female marsh frogs live longer and are more fertile. This means that over the course of their lives they produce significantly more progeny, thereby crowding out the other frog species. The number of progeny is increased still further because when the marsh frog mates with Graf's hybrid frog (Rana grafi) or the edible frog (Rana esculenta), it produces marsh frog progeny.

This may sound astounding, but can be attributed to a special type of reproduction called hybridogenesis, which is a special feature of water frog reproduction. All these factors may lead to the extinction of the indigenous water frog species, the researchers believe, and therefore recommend that the spread of the marsh frog be closely monitored.

Physically fit frogs have faster-changing genomes, says a new study of poison frogs from Central and South America. Stretches of DNA accumulate changes over time, but the rate at which those changes build up varies considerably between species, said author Juan C. Santos of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, North Carolina.In the past, biologists trying to explain why some species have faster-changing genomes than others have focused on features such as body size, generation time, fecundity and lifespan. According to one theory, first proposed in the 1990s, species with higher resting metabolic rates are likely to accumulate DNA changes at a faster rate, especially among cold-blooded animals such as frogs, snakes, lizards and fishes. But subsequent studies failed to find support for the idea.

The problem with previous tests is that they based their measurements of metabolism on animals at rest, rather than during normal physical activity, Santos said.

"Animals rarely just sit there," Santos said. "If you go to the wild, you'll see animals hunting, reproducing, and running to avoid being eaten. The energetic cost of these activities is far beyond the minimum amount of energy an animal needs to function."

To test the idea, Santos scoured forests in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Panama in search of poison frogs, subjecting nearly 500 frogs -- representing more than 50 species -- to a frog fitness test.

He had the frogs run in a rotating plastic tube resembling a hamster wheel, and measured their oxygen uptake after four minutes of exercise.

The friskiest frogs had aerobic capacities that were five times higher than the most sluggish species, and were able to run longer before they got tired.

"Physically fit species are more efficient at extracting oxygen from each breath and delivering it to working muscles," Santos said.

To estimate the rate at which each species' genome changed over time, he also reconstructed the poison frog family tree, using DNA sequences from fifteen frog genes.

When he estimated the number of mutations, or changes in the DNA, for each species over time, a clear pattern emerged -- athletic frogs tended to have faster-changing genomes.

Santos tested for other factors as well, such as body and clutch sizes, but athletic prowess was the only factor that was consistently correlated with the pace of evolution.

Why fit frogs have faster-changing genomes remains a mystery. One possibility has to do with harmful molecules called free radicals, which increase in the body as a byproduct of exercise.

During exercise, the circulatory system provides blood and oxygen to the tissues that are needed most -- the muscles -- at the expense of less active tissues, Santos explained.

When physical activity has stopped, the rush of blood and oxygen when circulation is restored to those tissues produces a burst of free radicals that can cause wear and tear on DNA, eventually causing genetic changes that -- if they affect the DNA of cells that make eggs or sperm -- can be passed to future generations.

Before you ditch your exercise routine, Santos offers some words of caution. The results don't debunk the benefits of regular physical exercise, which is known to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Plumbing problems within your home can easily throw you into a panic, especially as they always arise at the most inopportune times likes in the middle of Christmas Dinner when you have the entire family round! Fortunately, it is now possible to call an emergency plumber London out whenever you experience water troubles.

Plumbing Issues

Plumbing issues can consist of anything from a pesky leak to a busted water heater, but both can easily cause chaos if left unresolved. It is extremely important that an emergency plumber London is called to your home as quickly as possible to fix the problem and to limit any damaged caused by the plumbing problem.

It can be easy, as you flap around in a wild panic, realising that your mother-in-laws new shoes have been ruined by a leaking washing machine, to delve into the yellow pages and call the first plumber you come across. However, it is important to stay calm and consider a number of choices before calling someone out to your home. The most important thing to make sure of is whether a plumber as a valid licence and insurance. If not then it is extremely wise to steer clear – you’re asking for trouble! His insurance will cover you should anything go wrong and pay for any mishaps.

How much?

One thing that you should be certain of, before agreeing to use a plumber, is how much you will be expected to pay. Often, the plumber will not be able to give you a quote until he sees the damage, but he should be able to give you a rough idea of his general charges. Once you have a quote, you can compare this to other plumbers’ quotes. You may be eager to get your plumbing issue resolved, but surely you don’t want to pay well over the odds to ensure this happens – be sensible and search for a good deal before committing.

You should also ask for references, as this will enable you to find a decent plumber who has provided a quality service to previous customers. In addition, you could search for online reviews and customer feedback, which can give you unbiased and honest views on a plumber.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to pay a dividend and buy back $10 billion of its stock, returning some of its $97.6 billion in cash and investments to shareholders as demand for iPhones and iPads boosts earnings.

Investors will receive a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share starting in the period beginning July 1, Cupertino, California-based Apple said today in a statement. The buybacks will begin in the fiscal year starting Sept. 30 and will take place over three years, the company said.

Apple’s cash pile has swelled amid surging demand for its products, such as the iPhone and iPad. Investors had urged Apple to return some of the balance in the form a dividend. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook fueled speculation an announcement might be coming when he said this year that Apple had “more than we need to run a company,” and that the board was considering its options.

“We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead,” Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said in the release. Apple said the company plans to pay out about $45 billion over three years.

The dividend will cost Apple about $10 billion a year and represents a yield of 1.8 percent on the stock’s March 16 closing price. The company generated $16 billion in cash in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended in December. Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., predicts that Apple will generate about $75 billion in cash this year.

Apple rose 2 percent to $597.31 at 9:30 a.m. New York time.

Record IPad Debut
“This is something that large shareholders have been asking for,” Wu said before the announcement.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Mizuho Securities USA Inc. also had predicted that Apple would institute a dividend. The dividend is in line with estimates from at least four analysts.

The growing amount of money on Apple’s balance sheet followed the introduction of the iPhone, the best-selling smartphone, and the iPad, the leading tablet computer. The company last week began selling a third-generation iPad, which comes with a high-definition screen and faster processor. Apple had a “record” weekend with the new iPad’s debut, Cook said on a conference call today, without elaborating.

Of Apple’s $97.6 billion in cash and investments at the end of December, about $64 billion was overseas.

‘War Chest’
A dividend is a boon to investors who have already seen the company’s stock rise 45 percent this year. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in October, long resisted calls to return some of the money to investors.

“We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure. You’ll see more of all of these in the future,” Cook said in the statement. “Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business.”

On the conference call, Cook said adding a dividend will expand Apple’s investor pool. Some investors will only buy shares in companies that pay a dividend.

Apple last paid a dividend in 1995, before Jobs returned as CEO and led the introduction of top-selling products including the iPod, iPhone and iPad. The final dividend, of 12 cents a share, was suspended amid leadership upheaval and dwindling computer-market share. According to a company filing, Apple’s cash, equivalents and short-term investments dropped by about half, to $491 million, in the year through Sept. 29, 1995.

Highlighting its turnaround since that period, Apple has surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) as the world’s most valuable company. The iPhone maker’s market value is $545.97 billion, based on its closing price of $585.57 on March 16. That compares with $407.4 billion for Exxon Mobil.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Satariano in San Francisco at

United Parcel Service reached an agreement on Monday to acquire TNT Express, a Dutch shipping company, for 5.2 billion euros, or $6.8 billion.

The deal, months in the making, would greatly increase the American company’s market share in Europe and open inroads in China. The newly combined company would earn 36 percent of its combined revenues outside the United States, compared with 26 percent of U.P.S.’s current revenues, according to a statement from both companies.

The deal for TNT Express was sealed after U.P.S. raised its takeover bid to about 9.50 euros a share from 9 euros a share. It would be the largest acquisition in the 105-year history of U.P.S., whose biggest purchase to date was its $1.2 billion takeover of the Overnite Corporation in 2005, according to data from Capital IQ.
U.P.S. has plenty of resources to pay for TNT Express, with almost $4.3 billion of cash and short-term investments on its books as of Dec. 31. It reported $3.8 billion in net income for 2011 on gross revenue of $53.1 billion. The company said it would pay for the transaction with $3 billion in cash reserves and through new bank loans.

“With this combination, both U.P.S. and TNT Express will significantly enhance their ability to serve our combined customers’ complex global logistics needs,” the U.P.S. chief executive, D. Scott Davis, said in a statement. “The additional capabilities and broadened global footprint will support the growth and globalization of our customers’ businesses.”
The transaction, which is supported by the boards of both companies, must still receive regulatory approval. U.P.S. said the deal would close by the end of September.

The company said it expected to achieve annual pretax cost savings of up to $725 million by the end of the fourth year after completing the deal. The company added that implementation costs related to the transaction would total $1.3 billion over four years.

The proposed deal ends months of questions about the fate of TNT Express, which was spun off from the Dutch mail carrier TNT in May. Investors in the company have grown impatient over the lagging stock performance of TNT Express, which executives say was driven by reduced demand for air shipping amid a global economic slowdown.

TNT Express reported a loss of 270 million euros for in 2011 on revenue of 7.2 billion euros.
The activist hedge fund Jana Partners began a proxy fight in December, seeking at least two seats on the company’s board in an effort to spur operational improvements and to prod TNT Express into a sale. TNT rejected Jana’s candidates.

U.P.S. and its principal rival, FedEx, have pursued TNT’s express mail delivery business in recent years.

Talks between TNT Express and U.P.S. appeared to stall last month over price, after the European company publicly rejected the offer of 9 euros a share as too low. The companies continued negotiations, discussing matters like job reductions and possible asset divestitures aimed at winning antitrust approval.

U.P.S. and TNT Express confirmed on Friday that they remained in “constructive discussions” on a possible union. Under Dutch takeover rules, U.P.S. had four weeks after approaching TNT to clarify its intentions for the company. Both sides have also had to contend with concerns from unions representing TNT Express workers about forced job cuts tied to any deal.

Shares in TNT Express leaped after the company acknowledged its talks with U.P.S., and have risen more than 50 percent since Feb. 17. They closed on Friday at 9.35 euros.

The proposed takeover would be one of the largest deals announced in what so far has been a tepid year for merger activity. Despite the presence of numerous factors for a healthy pace of deal-making, including ample cash on corporate balance sheets and a willingness of banks and bond investors to finance deals, merger volumes remain depressed.

About $385.8 billion worth of deals have been announced this year, a 39 percent drop from the period a year earlier, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

Yet bankers and lawyers say they expect merger activity to rise this year as corporate management teams and boards regain the confidence needed to pursue growth through takeovers.

Morgan Stanley, UBS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised U.P.S., while Goldman Sachs, Lazard and the law firm Allen & Overy advised TNT Express and its supervisory board.

With so many credit card companies these days, makes choosing the best among them are quite difficult as well as stressful. It is simply because most of the offers are very intriguing such as 0% rates, rewards, cash back and such. Even so, best credit card program is not only decided by low rates, nor only by the rewards or cash back, but more aspects are involved.

Choosing the credit card program by only paying attention to the low rates or rewards is not fully wrong as long as the companies they apply the credit card with are pretty familiar and get numerous good reviews from other applicants. But still, the best credit card only can be determined by the cardholder themselves, so choosing the most suitable credit card program is out of question.

Aspects to Consider on Choosing Credit Card Programs
Finding all possible options from different credit card companies surely will help you a lot to find the best among them. But think this way, the best credit card program is the most suitable program that matches with your needs and your lifestyle best. It means that no general best credit card as different person would choose different program that suits their needs.
First aspect to consider is to seek out any unbiased and independent information about the credit card program. You can find this independent information from many places online or offline. The best place to seek the information is from Consumer Reports that has rank most of credit companies based on customer satisfaction regularly. Consumer Reports also includes rewards the credit company offers to be added as a point on the rank. Reading the reports based on consumer review right before choosing a credit card program surely gives you ease at mind as the consumer review is never wrong.

If you already find a couple of creditcompanies that placed on top of the list thanks to their service to customer, the next aspect to consider is to seek out the information about the fees and interest rates. Choose the one that fits your capability best.

Once you got few more companies out of your list, the last thing to consider surely is the rewards. Many credit card companies are giving dazzling rewards to attract more customers. Although not the very important, rewards, especially an expensive one, can become the proof that the company is on healthy financial status, so you will not have a problem in the near future about your credit card monthly bill such as any unclear fees.

In the end, the best credit card are still depends on the needs of the cardholder. Even so, choosing a good recorded creditcompanies as well as learn about their programs closely based on independent customer reviews surely makes choosing credit card program easier. And never forget that a good credit company always gives an optimal service to their customer, no matter what program they use and how many limits they have. You also should take this matter as a consideration before applying for any program.

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You are finally guilty for the truth or inside of your credit file, including but not restricted to information delivered in the credit report and/or score harvest. Satisfy note that pursuant to slice 609f of the FCRA, customers can attain their credit score at any time for a statutorily situate charge. Get complimentary credit report from Experian, to locate consumer, bankruptcy, money, loan, and credit information in your report.

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The credit reporting agencies utilize a composite recipe which compiles all of the information in your credit sleeve to decide your score, which is used as a "snapshot" of your credit fitness. The procedure takes into account your sum narration, the number and age of open credit appearance that you have, how long you've had a credit record, the types of credit accounts you have, the entirety credit that you have obtainable and how much of it you've used, and the number of investigation there are on your report. The credit report tells how you have administered your credit in the earlier period.

Companies scrutinize your credit report before making a decision whether to present you credit. The credit report follows you ubiquitously so be certain to get liberated credit report from Experian. Like this, creditors have a way of caution each other that somebody shouldn't be trusted to reimburse their loans.

The credit reporting agencies are necessary to hold your corrections contained by a month. If any mistake is not handled within a month, the information should be detached from your credit report. The credit reporting agency then should explore any piece you consider to be in blunder on your report within a rational period of time. Any errors that the agency finds must be corrected within a sensible time period. Any information on the report thought to be in blunder that cannot be demonstrated as acceptable by the agency must be obliterated from your credit report.

Let’s say you made one of those big no-no credit mistakes. You went out of town on vacation for a week, came back home and realized you totally forgot to pay your credit card bill. It happens all of the time.

Chances are you are okay. The worst thing that may happen is you have to pay a late fee, but more than likely the creditor won’t report your one-time late payment to the credit agencies. Most lenders and creditors will not report bad repayment history until you are 90 days late, and if they do not report it, it does not end up on your credit report. Since your credit score is calculated by the information on your credit report, you’re in the clear.
But what if they do and that late payment ends up on your credit report. Sadly, if you have an otherwise good credit score, this will affect you the most. It could knock 100 points off your credit score – ouch! Late payments by people who already have a crummy credit score won’t get dinged nearly as bad.

This may actually not be entirely true though. The way FICO is calculating credit scores going forward now gives some forgiveness to people who made that one-time mistake, but will further penalize people who have a history of not paying their bills.

The best solution to make sure this does not happen is to set up automated bill paying. That way, no matter what, your bills get paid.

If, however, you have a history of making late payments, you’re in a bit more trouble. You’ll wan to get a copy of your credit report and take some of the steps to increase your credit score, which you can do completely on your own.

You should consider hiring a claims adjuster if your insurance company isn’t acting quickly to replace your losses or you aren’t pleased with the terms of the settlement. In a crisis situation, caring for loved ones and establishing a temporary residence increase in priority. Do you feel confident that you will be able to negotiate the best possible settlement in regards to your insurance claim during this very difficult time?

Public adjusters are trained professionals that represent your best interests when you have a large property claim to file with an insurance company. An experienced insurance adjuster can offer the assistance and guidance necessary to bring your claim to an equitable and speedy resolution. They have specific industry knowledge and will be able to interpret your contract and better determine your rights and the insurance company's responsibilities.

Here are some cases when it could be practical to hire a public adjuster:

-When a portion of the property has been destroyed by water, fire or wind damage, and a public adjuster is needed to take inventory of which possessions survived, those that are damaged beyond repair.

-In cases when it’s too time consuming to follow up on your claim and you don’t have accurate records of your possessions or they were destroyed. Public adjusters will be able to provide the correct information for your file.

-If loved ones were injured or perish as a result of a natural disaster or accident, you might lack the piece of mind to negotiate with your insurance company

-If you are the owner of a commercial property, a certified public adjuster would allow you to focus on the operations of your business and negotiate a more favorable settlement.

Although you have to take a decision as quick as possible, you shouldn’t hire just any public adjuster. After you’ve contacted the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters and/or the Texas Association of Public Adjusters, you should consider interviewing possible candidates. Ask questions about their former clients and circumstances surrounding those claims. Determine if he/she performed over and above expectations. Contact their references to get their feedback. Follow up with the industry association to validate their credentials.