Category Archives: Buy & Sell

Top 10 Action-Comedy Movies (Duo)

Lethal Weapon

I love Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in all of the four movie series, which were all blockbusters. Gibson’s funny way of being a mad cop complemented Glover’s fears of getting old and retirement. I think it’s the addition of Jet Lee in the final sequel that made it the best among them.

Rush Hour

This three-movie mega hit series of action superstar Jacky Chan with Chris Tucker is all funny from start to finish. Chan’s comical side in making stunts was equally paired by Tucker, without “hurting” each other. With their misadventures as police detectives, I think both actors were perfectly fit for their roles.

Shanghai Knights

This 2003 action-comedy film sequel to “Shanghai Noon” proved again that Jacky Chan is fine with a partner. Owen Wilson was at his best in his funny acts in the 19th century set-up. The romance between Wilson and Fann Wong, who played the role of Chan’s sister, is cute and entertaining.

Bad Boys II

This Michael Bay’s action-packed comedy film has placed Martin Lawrence and Will Smith into the next level. It was released in 2003 as a sequel to the 1995 movie Bad Boys. It received negative reviews for its violent sense of humor, but I think Lawrence has successfully portrayed his funny moments.

Men in Black II

Released in 2002, this second sequel of the three-movie series MIB starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith can be categorized as a comedy film. While some alien creatures and dialogues may not be suited for young kids, there are a lot of funny scenes. The special visual effects are good enough.

21 Jumpstreet

Based on the 1987 television series of the same name, this 2012 Hollywood comedy movie revealed the comic side of hunk Channing Tatum. His tandem with Jonah Hill as two unlikely weird cops resulted to a perfect combination. Its upcoming sequel “22 Jump Street” is likely to be hit too.

The Other Guys

Both Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg did well in sharing hilarious moments in this 2010 action-comedy film. No wonder, the movie won the “Best Comedy Film” award at the first annual Comedy Awards that year. I believed Director Adam McKay has successfully applied his skills in his earlier comedy films.

Another 48 Hrs

This 1990 action-comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte is a sequel to the 1982 film 48 Hrs. It was more successful than the first one in terms of box-office, and funnier. Murphy, who was then successful for his “Beverly Hills Cop,” once more proved that his funny face really works.

Knight and Day

This 2010 action film starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz is funny more being than a romance movie. For me, Diaz is charming and funny with her innocence of the mission of Cruise. If you love Cameron in Charles Angels, then you will also love her humorous role in this movie.

Starsky & Hutch

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson played as David Starsky and Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson, respectively. This is the 2004 American film adaptation of the 70s TV series with the same title. Born comedians, I think both actors have justified their talents in mixing action with comedy as the iconic street smart undercover cops.

Source by Char Reyes

The Naked Truth About Errors and Omissions Insurance in the World of Indie Film Distribution

Errors and Omissions Insurance (E & O Insurance) is something every movie producer needs if they want to sign a movie distribution deal.

I’m not an entertainment attorney or insurance salesperson, but Errors and Omissions Insurance protects you and the movie distributor you sign a deal with from different lawsuits common in the entertainment business.

These include allegations of breach of contract, copyright infringement, defamation or degrading of products (showing trademarks on camera), invasion of privacy, infringement on title, slogan and lots of other nasty legal salvos.

It’s an insurance policy that protects a movie producer and movie distributor’s ass in the course of doing business in the entertainment industry.

Errors and Omissions Insurance doesn’t deal with the creative side of making movies, so lots of times some indie movie producers don’t plan for it in their movie budgets.

But if you want to sell your show to a movie distributor you’ll have to learn what it’s all about at some point.

That’s unless you’re movie distribution plan is using your own blog to sell digital downloads or DVDs online or hitting the streets with copies in the trunk of your hybrid vehicle.

I know more than a few indie filmmakers that make decent money selling movies that way without ever having to worry about the cost of an Errors and Omissions Insurance.

I respect their energy and push to get out there to sell their movies directly online or in person through all sorts of ways. That’s a post on self-distribution left for another day.

The Catch-22 with Errors and Omissions Insurance has to do with dealing with movie distributors.

Every distribution deal coproducer Tim “Timbo” Beachum and I have been involved with from selling indie movies to reality programs has involved E & O Insurance.

After you finish your movie odds are you’re going to want to land meaningful distribution for it.

That means working with a movie distributor to get released by mainstream retail outlets domestically and internationally in every medium possible.

Movie distribution deals for indie cinema usually happen two ways. A movie is screened at different film festivals, gets the attention of distributor and a film distribution agreement is offered to acquire the rights or an offer is made to buy the movie rights outright.

Or you skip the film festival circuit and contact movie distributors directly with a screener and your other marketing materials like artwork etc. If they like what they see a distribution agreement is sent your way to consider.

By this time the euphoria of making a movie has faded. You’re now dealing with the business of making movies. You have film investors you have to pay back with interest.

Even if it was your own hard-earned cash invested to produce your movie you’re going to want to be able to pay yourself back with interest.

Indie filmmakers all make movies from different financial places, personal motivations and creative needs. None of the reasons you make movies for really matters to a movie a distributor.

When you’re dealing with movie distribution agreements it’s all business. So once your film sales representative, entertainment attorney or you rep your own movie to hammer out a deal and you sign a film distribution agreement you’re going to immediately get hit with film deliverables list.

The film deliverable list can knock an unprepared filmmaker on their ass. Once again the film deliverables list is a topic left for another post.

On this movie making post we’re focusing on Errors and Omissions Insurance, which is one of the key deliverables a movie distributor requires you to meet promptly.

Like in a Hitchcock movie I mentioned Catch-22 with Errors and Omissions Insurance in the post, now it has to be used.

It always a lot cheaper to purchase your own Errors and Omissions Insurance from a reputable company than it is relying on a movie distributor to cover the cost.

The Catch-22 is that some, not all, but some movie distributors that cater to releasing indie produced films use E & O Insurance to gouge the eyes out of indie filmmakers with an inflated cost.

The movie distribution company will tell an indie filmmaker that doesn’t have Errors and Omissions Insurance not to worry. They’ll set up a policy with an insurance broker they know, pay for it and only deduct the cost from any advances or future film royalties.

Sounds good if you don’t have the money to buy an E & O Insurance policy yourself considering no money comes out of your pocket upfront. But it doesn’t feel good when you have your upfront advance or later royalty payments hit hard for E & O Insurance.

You can end up paying anywhere from a 200% to 400% mark up on the cost. Like I said not all movie distributors that cater to releasing indie films do this kind of BS, but there ones that do.

Every business has people out to screw you. Dealing directly with an agent to buy your own Errors and Omissions Insurance policy will ALWAYS SAVE YOU MONEY.

But I completely understand how it goes to finally finish a movie and end up not having a hundred bucks left in your budget to deal with the real hard costs of getting through film deliverables.

It’s a smart move in preproduction to contact companies that specialize in producer’s Errors and Omissions Insurance to compare quotes. Once you have those prices you can plug it into your budget.

I like to include it as part of the postproduction budget as a line item. It helps remind me as an indie movie producer working with a limited budget that after we wrap a movie there is still a long way to go to get through postproduction and film deliverables.

Even if you know you won’t have the money for E & O Insurance after you sign a movie distribution deal at least by knowing what policies cost you can negotiate the cost down the distributor will charge you.

This is the part I call the Catch-44. Be wary of dealing with movie distributors that won’t accept your Errors and Omissions Insurance policy.

They might have special requirements like your policy is not from a carrier licensed in their state or some other reason to decline your E & O Insurance.

If you’ve already signed a deal with them before asking if your own Errors and Omissions Insurance policy satisfies their requirements you could be in a bit of a fight.

You’ve played by the rules and saved money by buying your own E & O Insurance policy, but now you’re bumping heads on this issue. If you haven’t signed a deal move on to another distributor.

As long as your E & O Insurance policy is from a reputable company another movie distributor will honor it if they want your movie.

If you’re signed on the dotted line you might have to suck it up and bite the bullet and go with a broker recommended by the movie distributor that will usually charge a bit more than you would have paid on your own.

The insurance company doesn’t add the mark up. It’s the movie distributor adding their juice for doing you a favor covering the cost.

The truth about Errors and Omissions Insurance in the world of indie film distribution isn’t always fair or pretty, but either is life.

Source by Sid Kali

How Can Gift Cards Sell For Over Their Value

Here is a common question, appearing in many formats. One version runs as follows: I see Amazon gift cards on eBay right now that are selling for more than the value of the card. Why is this? l don’t get it. If I go to the Amazon web site, I pay the card’s face value to buy a gift card. If I go to Wal-Mart, I pay ten dollars for a ten dollar card, so I don’t understand why people will pay a premium on eBay, and buy the same card for over its value?

This has me stumped. I know of people donating their gift cards for disadvantaged kids, and I know of people buying their gift cards on the cheap from the second-hand market. (The websites Plastic Jungle, ABC Gift Cards and CardCash, among others, spring to mind.) But for people to pay out more than the value of the gift card? Hey, we can really make it big! We can sell our $20 gift cards for $25, then buy a $25 one and sell for $30 and before you know it, we will be looking into some nice beachfront property. Something tells me this ain’t for real…

My Theory:

Let me suggest my theory. It’s not fancy nor does it dabble in conspiracies, but it’s all I came up with; Perhaps these bidders are using automatic software that ups the bid. It could be that they are in cahoots with the seller, or that they ARE the seller, and their object is to maximize the bidding. However since the automated software cannot differentiate between some object of indeterminate value and a gift card with an obviously limited value, this ridiculous scenario ensues.

What Happens When these Guys Win?

The question in my mind is what happens when they win the auction, and win it they certainly will, – because no one in their right mind will outbid them – do they need to pay what they bid? Is this perhaps a business model; Buy gift cards in low demand and resell it on eBay for the full face value or more?


Rolling up my sleeves, I tried to get to the bottom of this. I found that it’s common that gift cards sell for over their value. And that the reasons are both legitimate and non legitimate. A good reason can be someone too lazy to go out to a store. They will overpay to save on the gas costs and the bother. Other people want to get the money out of an account that does not allow them easy access. A PayPal account that has no bank account attached is a good example of someone who might use gift cards as a way of extracting their money from their account.

Less legit is that drug runners and terrorist groups looking for ways to transfer money incognito will use gift cards – ten thousand dollars’ worth at a time – as a harmless-seeming venue to do so. They will buy up these cards as a monetary vehicle. At the border the officials might ask you how much money you have with you, but do they investigate the gift cards in your wallet? And they will pay a premium if need be, to be able to get the transfer.

What is especially unsettling is the scammer schemes. Some people will bid $120 on a $100 gift card because they never intend to pay. They will put in a valid credit card, and claim either to never have received the card or that is had been used up already. eBay will typically refund the buyer. Now the buyer has the goods, and there is little you can do to prove that the card you shipped was unused.

What To Do:

What can you do about this? In essence, the eBay experience is predicated on trust. If a buyer or seller abuses their position, they will lose the ability to trade on that platform. Therefore, you need to examine if the person would care about that. Look at the amount of feedback the buyer has and if it is all positive. If they have done business a while on eBay they are less likely to jeopardize their ratings for a few bucks. In addition, their good track record also supports the trust you can have in them. Someone new overbidding, however, is suspect. Also, try getting eBay insurance to cover a chargeback, and implement as many security mechanisms as they afford you.

Source by Mac Cohen

Ionic Air Purifiers – Safety First

Strange but true. It is very, very difficult to find well-organized, properly documented scientific research about the technologies behind ionic air purifiers, a multimillion dollar global industry!

Strange because if the science is solidly grounded, I would expect any manufacturer of ionic air purifiers to trumpet the scientific basis of their brand. I would expect them to expound on the efficacy and effectiveness of their unique technology. Even more so, I would expect them to profusely assure users that their technology is perfectly safe, that they kill microbes but are perfectly harmless to human beings. Sadly, my expectations are not met.

True because I have spent countless hours looking for scientific technical papers supporting the technologies behind existing ionic air purifiers that are on the market and yet I have very little to show for it. Whether deliberate or not, marketeers of ionic air purifiers simply do not bother to put up scientific papers on their websites. Where they do, they make no distinction between safety, efficacy and effectiveness of their specific brands. The scientific references are mentioned only in brief and do not provide enough detail for study by the serious prospective purchasers of the particular air purifier. It is as if manufacturers do not expect anyone to question and scrutinize their products!

Inaccessible Scientific Research

Where I have stumbled upon relevant scientific research papers on the web, they are not readily accessible as they typically come at a prohibitive cost, being charged on a per article basis! I suppose if I am an entrepreneur looking to manufacture a new ionic air purifier I would be willing to invest in the hundreds and possibly thousands of technical papers indicated at some scientific journal websites. But I am only looking for a reliably safe product to buy for my personal use!

It is unfortunate that the scientific world is also commercially driven so that research of great importance is not made freely available to all who are interested or who need to know.

Logical Criteria

Nevertheless, though my head is still spinning from the deluge of inconclusive and confusing web data, my search for the ideal air purifier continues, along these criteria:

(1) Safety – the ionic air purifier technology must not cause any bodily harm to users;

(2) Efficacy – the ionic air purifier technology has been tested in the laboratory to really work on the basis on some thorough scientific research;

(3) Effectiveness – the ionic air purifier technology has been successfully transplanted from the laboratory into an appliance that will deliver the same results in a user setting i.e. home, office, factory, school etc.

Safety Issues

In this article, I want to concentrate on the safety of ionic air purifiers, a factor which I believe overrides the other two criteria of efficacy and effectiveness. There is no point having something that works wonderfully in eliminating microbes but is so powerful that it harms our health. Two important questions need to be answered:

(1) Do the purported beneficial active agents of ionic air purifier technologies cause harm to human tissue? Are negative ions, bipolar ions, hydroxyl radicals, Sharp’s patented plasmacluster ions or whatever name they go by, safe?

(2) Do the unintended by-products of the ionic air purifier technologies cause any harm to human tissue? By-products include ozone and nitric oxides that are highly reactive and known to be harmful in high concentrations.

Beneficial Active Agents – Do They Harm Human Tissue?

No scientific data is available on the web on whether negative ions, bipolar ions, hydroxyl radicals, plasmacluster ions etc are safe in that they do not harm human tissue. There is plenty of data that demonstrate that these active agents effectively eliminate microbes, a subject which I will deal with in a later article. Here I am concerned that the touted potency of the active agents are equally destructive on fragile human tissue. Why is there a paucity of scientific data when millions of dollars are spent by consumers on ionic air purifiers every year?

After extensive but fruitless web searches, I did the next logical thing – ask the manufacturers of ionic air purifiers! From a few enquiries, the answer slowly became clear – the scientific data exists but manufacturers do not want to make them public lest they incur the wrath of animal welfare groups! Is this a real fear or are they hiding some unpleasant truth about their product?

Googling “animal testing” immediately threw up the huge controversy surrounding the use of animals in testing the safety of products meant for human beings. A case in point would be that of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a UK research company that conducts safety testing of commercial products, pharmaceuticals and home appliances. To this day, there is much conflict between testing companies and animal welfare groups. No wonder the cloak of secrecy by ionic air purifier manufacturers who are likely to conduct safety tests using similar testing companies.

Documented Animal Testing

A chance web search result helped me to better understand the animal testing controversy. The safety tests mentioned on the website related to a liquid product, not directly related to any ionic air purifier technology. The liquid is applied onto furniture and other household fittings. In the explanation of one of the benefits, it is claimed that when ultra-violet light in sunlight shines on the liquid, hydroxyl radicals and superoxide ions are released into the air hence destroying any microbes like bacteria, viruses and mold that may be present.

To prove that the liquid is harmless to humans, four categories of safety tests were performed on mice, guinea pigs and rabbits (please be warned that you may find the next paragraph offensive and you may wish to skip to the next paragraph).

They are:

(1) Test for acute oral toxicity – the liquid was orally fed to mice;

(2) Test for primary skin irritation – the liquid was applied onto deliberately abraded skin of rabbits;

(3) Test for skin sensitivities – the liquid was injected under the skin of guinea pigs;

(4) Test for mutagenicity – the liquid was applied to salmonella bacteria to ascertain if they caused mutation in the bacteria nuclei so as to ascertain if the liquid has the ability to cause cancer.

Animals Unharmed

Pretty grim and repulsive stuff! I feel so even though the reports indicate that the tests were conducted in accordance with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Chemical Testing. I can begin to empathize with the animal welfare camp about such safety testing. Fortunately, for this liquid product, all the animals (even the salmonella bacteria) were found to be unharmed by its application.

This brief insight into animal testing explains why manufacturers of ionic air purifiers refrain from publicizing or even making mention of such tests when they are conducted.

Safety Footnotes

Despite this concern of manufacturers, my web searches have revealed footnotes for certain brands whereby they indicate that safety tests have been conducted on the active agents. In searching for my ionic air purifier, I would be looking for such footnotes. I would expect that no animals had been harmed or the purifier would have no good reason to be on the market for human beings. I would also ascertain that the safety testing was conducted by reputable institutions that are accredited as GLP (Good Laboratory Practice), a set of principles issued by the OECD to recognize organizations which comply with strict scientific testing standards.

Human Testing

In the final analysis, does this mean that there is really no safety testing for the effects of active agents on human beings who use ionic air purifiers? Hardly, if you think about it. All the users become testers, having unknowingly volunteered by the act of purchasing one and using it!

Unfortunately, all we will hear on maufacturers’ websites would be glowing testimonials of the benefits of the purifier. Such testimonials, while helpful, come under the cloud of cherry-picking i.e. only the positive ones are featured. To be considered solid scientific proof that the active agents cause no harm to human tissue, the users’ operation of the ionic air purifier would have had to be subject to very stringent testing criteria and parameters of a GLP laboratory.

It would appear that this is an issue that will never be properly resolved. The only comfort for me is that many other products on the consumer market are sold in the same manner, purely on the good faith of manufacturers and considered safe until proven otherwise.       

Safety – Second Aspect

In a future article, I shall discuss the second aspect of safety. Quite apart from the active agents, human tissue may also be harmed by potential by-products, deliberate or unintended, of ionic air purifiers.

Source by Min En

The Impact of Technology on the Developing Child

Reminiscing about the good old days when we were growing up is a memory trip well worth taking, when trying to understand the issues facing the children of today. A mere 20 years ago, children used to play outside all day, riding bikes, playing sports and building forts. Masters of imaginary games, children of the past created their own form of play that didn’t require costly equipment or parental supervision. Children of the past moved… a lot, and their sensory world was nature based and simple. In the past, family time was often spent doing chores, and children had expectations to meet on a daily basis. The dining room table was a central place where families came together to eat and talk about their day, and after dinner became the center for baking, crafts and homework.

Today’s families are different. Technology’s impact on the 21st century family is fracturing its very foundation, and causing a disintegration of core values that long ago were what held families together. Juggling work, home and community lives, parents now rely heavily on communication, information and transportation technology to make their lives faster and more efficient. Entertainment technology (TV, internet, videogames, iPods) has advanced so rapidly, that families have scarcely noticed the significant impact and changes to their family structure and lifestyles. A 2010 Kaiser Foundation study showed that elementary aged children use on average 8 hours per day of entertainment technology, 75% of these children have TV’s in their bedrooms, and 50% of North American homes have the TV on all day. Add emails, cell phones, internet surfing, and chat lines, and we begin to see the pervasive aspects of technology on our home lives and family milieu. Gone is dining room table conversation, replaced by the “big screen” and take out. Children now rely on technology for the majority of their play, grossly limiting challenges to their creativity and imaginations, as well as limiting necessary challenges to their bodies to achieve optimal sensory and motor development. Sedentary bodies bombarded with chaotic sensory stimulation, are resulting in delays in attaining child developmental milestones, with subsequent impact on basic foundation skills for achieving literacy. Hard wired for high speed, today’s young are entering school struggling with self regulation and attention skills necessary for learning, eventually becoming significant behavior management problems for teachers in the classroom.

So what is the impact of technology on the developing child? Children’s developing sensory and motor systems have biologically not evolved to accommodate this sedentary, yet frenzied and chaotic nature of today’s technology. The impact of rapidly advancing technology on the developing child has seen an increase of physical, psychological and behavior disorders that the health and education systems are just beginning to detect, much less understand. Child obesity and diabetes are now national epidemics in both Canada and the US. Diagnoses of ADHD, autism, coordination disorder, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders can be causally linked to technology overuse, and are increasing at an alarming rate. An urgent closer look at the critical factors for meeting developmental milestones, and the subsequent impact of technology on those factors, would assist parents, teachers and health professionals to better understand the complexities of this issue, and help create effective strategies to reduce technology use. The three critical factors for healthy physical and psychological child development are movement, touch and connection to other humans. Movement, touch and connection are forms of essential sensory input that are integral for the eventual development of a child’s motor and attachment systems. When movement, touch and connection are deprived, devastating consequences occur.

Young children require 3-4 hours per day of active rough and tumble play to achieve adequate sensory stimulation to their vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems for normal development. The critical period for attachment development is 0-7 months, where the infant-parent bond is best facilitated by close contact with the primary parent, and lots of eye contact. These types of sensory inputs ensure normal development of posture, bilateral coordination, optimal arousal states and self regulation necessary for achieving foundation skills for eventual school entry. Infants with low tone, toddlers failing to reach motor milestones, and children who are unable to pay attention or achieve basic foundation skills for literacy, are frequent visitors to pediatric physiotherapy and occupational therapy clinics. The use of safety restraint devices such as infant bucket seats and toddler carrying packs and strollers, have further limited movement, touch and connection, as have TV and videogame overuse. Many of today’s parents perceive outdoor play is ‘unsafe’, further limiting essential developmental components usually attained in outdoor rough and tumble play. Dr. Ashley Montagu, who has extensively studied the developing tactile sensory system, reports that when infants are deprived of human connection and touch, they fail to thrive and many eventually die. Dr. Montagu states that touch deprived infants develop into toddlers who exhibit excessive agitation and anxiety, and may become depressed by early childhood.

As children are connecting more and more to technology, society is seeing a disconnect from themselves, others and nature. As little children develop and form their identities, they often are incapable of discerning whether they are the “killing machine” seen on TV and in videogames, or just a shy and lonely little kid in need of a friend. TV and videogame addiction is causing an irreversible worldwide epidemic of mental and physical health disorders, yet we all find excuses to continue. Where 100 years ago we needed to move to survive, we are now under the assumption we need technology to survive. The catch is that technology is killing what we love the most…connection with other human beings. The critical period for attachment formation is 0 – 7 months of age. Attachment or connection is the formation of a primary bond between the developing infant and parent, and is integral to that developing child’s sense of security and safety. Healthy attachment formation results in a happy and calm child. Disruption or neglect of primary attachment results in an anxious and agitated child. Family over use of technology is gravely affecting not only early attachment formation, but also impacting negatively on child psychological and behavioral health.

Further analysis of the impact of technology on the developing child indicates that while the vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile and attachment systems are under stimulated, the visual and auditory sensory systems are in “overload”. This sensory imbalance creates huge problems in overall neurological development, as the brain’s anatomy, chemistry and pathways become permanently altered and impaired. Young children who are exposed to violence through TV and videogames are in a high state of adrenalin and stress, as the body does not know that what they are watching is not real. Children who overuse technology report persistent body sensations of overall “shaking”, increased breathing and heart rate, and a general state of “unease”. This can best be described as a persistent hypervigalent sensory system, still “on alert” for the oncoming assault from videogame characters. While the long term effects of this chronic state of stress in the developing child are unknown, we do know that chronic stress in adults results in a weakened immune system and a variety of serious diseases and disorders. Prolonged visual fixation on a fixed distance, two dimensional screen grossly limits ocular development necessary for eventual printing and reading. Consider the difference between visual location on a variety of different shaped and sized objects in the near and far distance (such as practiced in outdoor play), as opposed to looking at a fixed distance glowing screen. This rapid intensity, frequency and duration of visual and auditory stimulation results in a “hard wiring” of the child’s sensory system for high speed, with subsequent devastating effects on a child’s ability to imagine, attend and focus on academic tasks. Dr. Dimitri Christakis found that each hour of TV watched daily between the ages of 0 and 7 years equated to a 10% increase in attention problems by age seven years.

In 2001 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that children less than two years of age should not use any technology, yet toddlers 0 to 2 years of age average 2.2 hours of TV per day. The Academy further recommended that children older than two should restrict usage to one hour per day if they have any physical, psychological or behavioral problems, and two hours per day maximum if they don’t, yet parents of elementary children are allowing 8 hours per day. France has gone so far as to eliminate all “baby TV” due to the detrimental effects on child development. How can parents continue to live in a world where they know what is bad for their children, yet do nothing to help them? It appears that today’s families have been pulled into the “Virtual Reality Dream”, where everyone believes that life is something that requires an escape. The immediate gratification received from ongoing use of TV, videogame and internet technology, has replaced the desire for human connection.

It’s important to come together as parents, teachers and therapists to help society “wake up” and see the devastating effects technology is having not only on our child’s physical, psychological and behavioral health, but also on their ability to learn and sustain personal and family relationships. While technology is a train that will continually move forward, knowledge regarding its detrimental effects, and action taken toward balancing the use of technology with exercise and family time, will work toward sustaining our children, as well as saving our world. While no one can argue the benefits of advanced technology in today’s world, connection to these devices may have resulted in a disconnection from what society should value most, children. Rather than hugging, playing, rough housing, and conversing with children, parents are increasingly resorting to providing their children with more videogames, TV’s in the car, and the latest iPods and cell phone devices, creating a deep and widening chasm between parent and child.

Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist and child development expert has developed a concept termed ‘Balanced Technology Management’ (BTM) where parents manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use. Rowan’s company Zone’in Programs Inc. has developed a ‘System of Solutions’ for addressing technology overuse in children through the creation of Zone’in Products, Workshops, Training and Consultation services.

Source by Cris Rowan

The Golden Spiral of Consciousness – Spiritual Inspiration and Enlightenment Through Art and Science

Flower of Life and Spiritual Transcendence    

The golden ratio or spiral is a unique relation existing in the universe between the whole and the part and has been in our consciousness for over 4000 years. Out of the golden ratio rises the golden spiral, whose familiar coil shape can be found everywhere in nature, such as in the structure of our DNA and fingerprints, sunflowers and seashells, storm clouds and tornadoes. Even a star cluster nebula like the Milky Way. The golden spiral, also called the flower of life, is a twirling pattern that forms out from a rectangle which has the golden ratio. What this means is–when this rectangle is squared, it leaves a smaller rectangle behind, and this smaller rectangle also has the same golden ratio as the original and when this is squared this also leaves a smaller rectangle behind and this continues on until the shapes become so small you can’t see them anymore. In other words, it goes on forever.

When you connect a curve through the opposite corners of these concentric rectangles, you form the golden spiral and the fact that it shows up in many growth patterns of plants, animals and even whole galaxies, makes us wonder if this unique shape is not the pattern of life. The principles of the golden spiral can also be seen in the design of buildings and architecture, as well as in art and literature. Golden proportions are to be found in music and even light. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese all depict golden ratio in their artwork. The Egyptians were probably the first to combine mathematics with art in the design of their pyramids. Pythagoras discovered the golden proportions of the human body and this has been portrayed by artists throughout the history of Greek art. Leonardo De Vinci found inspiration in the mathematics of art and nature and is almost certain he painted to conform to the golden ratio–especially the proportions set out in the Mona Lisa. 

Literature can draw on the golden ratio in the structure of words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters and pictures. Just as we see the existence of the spiral in our fingerprints and galaxies and in the creation of pyramids and paintings, the golden ratio also appears inside pages of a book, including the design of the cover, and this can be incredibly awe inspiring for the reader. This pattern of nature can be seen inside many art forms and has a universally stimulating effect on the mind. Enlightenment may be part of this pattern–a communication that is connecting consciousness through the language of the Universe.

Look at the soul as being a bridge between your mind and the intangible essence of your spirit, and that it is gently guiding your mind through a doorway of transcendence to a higher plane of awareness. By bringing the flower of life to words and pictures it can spiral your consciousness to a realization greater than itself. The golden spiral can spiral you to soul awakening. The flower of life transcends itself from the physical-mathematical form by which it is more commonly known (sacred geometry), into a spiritual equivalent we call unconditional love. This little flower of life transforms into the pattern of love. Truth seekers, poets and prophets teach love as being at the centre of all things. When your soul connects consciousness with the golden spiral you become love. Love is the infinite pattern of the Universe. And so are you. 

Our world needs to undergo an incredible transformation. We must heal our emotions and weary bodies. We should sincerely connect to spirit and love–the intrinsic nature in everything.

Most cultures throughout history, from Aztec to the Celtic, have documented a significant correlation with physical form and spirituality, clearly expressed through their art and sacred geometry, like the mandala; these beautiful, mesmerizing patterns bearing ritual and spiritual significance. Psychoanalyst Carl Jung identified with the mandala saying it was a representation of the unconscious self and believed these patterns were a means towards wholeness in personality. The discovery of the Mandelbrot Set, named after Benoit Mandelbrot, is a collection of numbers that form fractals.

These are objects that display self-similarity at various scales, and so we can journey into the wondrous world of fractal geometry, gliding through never-ending self-similarity repeating patterns arising from a simple definition. Quantum physicists show us that the substance of our reality is shaped, if not created, by our own consciousness. Both old and new worlds of thought now come together as science greets spirituality in a uniform field of thought. The Universe speaks to us and we ought to listen.

Source by Robin Clark

Learn About The Three Basic Types Of Computer Mouse

1) Mechanical: This is a type of computer mouse that has a rubber or metal ball on its underside and it can roll in every direction. Sensors within the mouse, which are mechanical, detect the direction in which the ball is moving and moves the pointer on the screen in the same direction. A mouse pad should be used under the mouse to run on.

2) Optomechanical: This type is the same as the mechanical mouse except that it uses optical sensors to the motion of the ball. A mouse pad should be used under the mouse to run on.

3) Optical: This type uses a laser for detecting the mouse’s movement. You don’t need a

mouse pad but you can use one made for optical mice. Optical mice do not have any

mechanical moving parts. This type responds more quickly and precisely than the mechanical and optomechanical mice and now that they have been around awhile the price is pretty comparable.

How does a computer mouse hook up to the computer?

Serial mouse: these ones connect directly to an RS-232C serial port or a PS/2port. This is the simplest type of connection.

PS/2 mouse: connects to a PS/2 port.

USB mice

Cordless mouse: These are not physically connected to the computer. They rely on infrared or radio waves to communicate with the computer. Cordless are more expensive than both the serial and bus mouse. The nice thing is that there is no cord to constrain or get in your way.

Source by Bonnie Archer

History Of Renaissance Clothing – How Today’s Fashion Is Affected

During the Renaissance period, the rich and more prosperous members of a town, city, or region often wore elaborate and highly-decorated clothing that was hand crafted from a variety of rich and expensive fabrics and finishes. In fact, the wealthier a family was the more ornate and expensive their Renaissance clothing was. Your attire was was one of the primary methods of indicating stature and wealth during the Renaissance era.

The history of Renaissance clothing is one of rich and ornate design. There are a number of elements that can help one to identify this period in history and the fashion of that time. One can still see the influence of this era in today’s fashion.

Where the men are concerned, one of the most important pieces of clothing worn was the codpiece. This was used to cover the area that is known as the fly in trousers. This piece was sometimes exaggerated so that it will become the center of attention. There were different fastenings that were used to keep this area closed.

Today it is a big part of heavy metal and pop rock bands. In these modern performances it is usually made of leather. Unlike the period from which it originated from, it is not used to accentuate this area as much, but to draw attention to the design itself. There are many male performers in other genres who have worn the codpiece as well.

For women, the corset became popular during this time period. It was used to create a slender figure and to fit the acceptable ideal of the time. There are some people who think that this was uncomfortable due to the myths that they have been told. But, in many ways it was useful, especially for those who have back problems.

Today there are many variations of the corset that are worn in wedding dresses and other types of formal wear. Female entertainers wear them as well on certain occasions. Corsets can also be found at costume parties. There are some women who wear the corset so that they can create a smaller waistline.

These are just two of the most important items in the history of Renaissance clothing. It was a period of extravagance and this is mostly seen by the rich who took advantage of the luxurious fabrics that were available to them. Today one can still see the influences of this time period in the fashion world.

Source by David Lawson

Dress Shirt Size Chart for Men

Readymade shirts have been ruling the overall market from quite some time. The new generation has almost forgotten that before the trend of readymade shirts that are bought from local clothing stores, there were tailor shops everywhere. In order to have a new dress shirt, one had to give measurements and wait for some days or a week for tailor to stitch the shirt. However, the trend of disposable and readymade things has changed the whole lifestyle of people. In dress shirts, people have again started noticing that readymade shirts bought from local stores have low quality stuff with ill fitted size and no style. The fabric is also of poor quality and is worn out after some time.

In order to overcome this lapse, trend of online custom dress shirts was introduced and started offering dress shirts on affordable price. The custom shirts bought from online stores gives the users open option to design their own shirts while selecting fabric, style, fitting and measurement of their own choice. The problem, which arises amid all these things are the lack of knowledge about dress shirt measurements and sizes. To buy a custom made shirt, it is necessary to know how to measure correctly. Size of readymade shirts available at local stores is based on neck size while arm length, chest size, waist and other sizes are adjusted according to neck size. Below we will discuss this important element so that one can take prompt decision.

This could help the audience for making proper decision for picking best dress shirts.

Measuring Neck Size

First, it is necessary for you to know your neck size as it determines the overall shirt size. To measure your shirt size, get a measurement tape and put it around your neck where the collar generally sits. Now measure your neck, while giving half-inch space for your neck movement. Then add increment of one or half inch more according to your comfort level. Some people like having tight collars whilst others feel suffocated with tight collars and prefer a loose one. To add increment some people just insert two of their fingers between neck and measure tape and get the required measurement. Mostly people have neck size of 14 inch to 16.5 inches.

Chest Size

Chest size is another major attribute for dress shirts. To measure your chest, help from another person would be needed, as you would be unable to get the exact measurement all by yourself. Stand up straight and get the measure tape around your chest and under your arms. Now exhale all your breath and measure the size. Keep your finger on the size and inhale deeply while expanding your chest, the size will automatically increase. Then add one or two fingers gap in between your chest and measure tape and note down the size. Men of average body physique have 34 to 44 inches chest size.

Sleeve Length

Like in chest, you will need an assistant to help you get exact measurements. Stand up straight, stretch, hold your one arm to your respective side and slightly bend it from elbow. Start measuring the sleeve length from middle of the back of neck, go across shoulder, down to your arm, while following the curve of shoulder and elbow and end it at wrist bone. It is better to repeat this process to get exact measurement. Add one inch as increment and consider the size as your sleeve length. If you are opting for athletic fit dress shirt then you would also need to measure the size of your biceps, which can be easily done by putting the measure tape around your bicep and tighten up your muscle to expand it and note down the size you get.

Waist Measurement

Most of the men generally know their waist size, as they have to check it every time they buy a pant. However, in shirt the waist size is little different, keeping in view the type of shirt you are going to opt. Simply put measure tape around your waist and get the waist size. If you want an athletic fit dress shirt then add one to one and half-inch increment in size. While if you want regular fit shirt then add up to three inches or more.

Conclusion:By following all the above mentioned points, one should be able to get his exact measurements and feel comfort while making formal dress shirt order.

Source by Lan Laurie

Fluro Clothing & Neon Clothing – 80s Fashion Or Fancy Dress?

Fluro clothing or neon clothing, depending where you are from, is certainly coming back in fashion.

This means article isn’t just about 80s fancy dress, however, I am guessing that there will be some people who keep fluro clothing as an 80s costume idea, only!

Neon clothing is so much fun, and is really awesome to wear under the black lights in raves, nightclubs and discos.

I read comments by a social commentator somewhere, that fluro clothing is becoming popular, as we are looking for ways to just have fun and be a bit crazy, in these times of financial hardship with the global financial crisis. Sounds good to me!

So the fact that fluro is returning to the fashion table, and the fact that neon yellow and fluro orange are associated with safety high vis clothing, means you should be able to easily find neon clothing items to wear.

Just walk through your local shopping centre. I don’t reckon you will find too much in the second hand op shops or charity stores, except maybe work related high vis clothing.

On this note, Bonds clothing sell fluro yellow trucker chesty singlets in packs of 3. I see these on people when they go to the cricket, or sport, and dress up.

To me, fluro clothing started to become very big in 1984, about the same time that the Madonna look, was also very popular. This is also when George Michael from Wham, released “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go!”, in all of it’s fluro neon fashion glory!

Roller skating was also massive, so we loved wearing white and fluro, under the black disco lights.

80s tee shirts predominantly were white, and had a cute 80s designed picture on the front, with the colours high lighted in fluro.

How to wear your fluro socks

My all time favourite with fluro though, were the fluro socks. You had to buy every colour. Cyan bright blue, lime green, yellow, hot pink and orange.

To wear them to their best, and, just because you could, wear two pairs over the top of each other, and pull them up.

Then, roll down the top sock on each leg. Now, roll down the second sock on each leg.

Do not be too concerned with making sure the colours match.

They can all mismatch if you want. this meant it didn’t matter if you couldn’t find a matching pair in the washing.

You could be tricky, with say, fluro pink / fluro green on one side, and fluro green / fluro pink the other.

So when you look at someone, the colours would match adjacently, not identical.

Source by Deni Griffiths