The Root of All Religions – The Awe of Creation

Before you begin reading this article, please understand that nothing I am writing is with bad thought. I realize that religion is a very touchy subject and some may get offended from my statements, but I do not mean to offend. But- the time has come to put everything on the table. We can not just tiptoe around important issues that are impacting the world in ways that may not be understood until it is too late. Anger is brewing all over and religion as well as social class (which, in my opinion, are directly related) is at the top of the beef list.

I am a Jew. If I were not a Jew, I might not understand the Jewish people. I may feel angry and even hateful. Do the Jews really think they are the "chosen" ones? Are you kidding? What ?! – everyone else is just here to serve them and that is how they think Gd wanted it? What right do they have to just do whatever they want … be crooked lawyers and accountants. Cause entire banking systems to crash. Kick people out of their country so that they can "return"? Who do these people think they are? Do not they get it that they are causing others to suffer under the guise of Gd?

But – on the other hand … was not the first Bible given to the Jews? Was not Jesus a Jew? Is not the basis of all western religion Judaism? Some sects of Christianity even teach their constituents to give respect to the Jew as the Jew is the root of the tree. Is not Israel sacred and were not the Jews called the Sons of Israel (Bnei Yisroel) in the Bible itself? Does not the story go that the Jews were brought out of Egypt into the desert to receive the Torah (the Bible) and it was given to us because none of the other nations accepted it and we did? Can not a Jew say … What ?! Now you want to accept it? …

I want to talk about this because this has caused me a lot of grief in my life trying to understand this issue. I have faith in Gd and my faith relations on the fact that Gd is merciful and must have the ultimate power of understanding human nature better than any person on this planet, obviously. If this is so, which I have to assume it is, Gd understands that humans have this funny thing in us all called a competitive streak. You may not think you do, but you do, in some way or another. Not only do we have a competitive streak in all of us, but that competitive streak has even caused some great men (such as Darwin) to say that is what makes us or breaks us as humans altogether. This competitive streak is the root of all of our conflicts within humanity. Who is richer? Who is better looking? Who is physically stronger? Who is smarter? Who is nicer? Who is more of a giver? Who is more obedient? Who is wiser? Who is more knowledgeable? Who is the most relaxed? Who lives a better life? Who does Gd like better?

Gd does not speak to us in a direct manner because if it were easy, what would life be worth. There would be no challenge or growth to enjoy. Experience is the essence of life. Experience is our "fun". Free will is our gift to enjoy the "fun" with. Put these two together and life becomes the only true blessing that has been given to us.

With that being said, Gd, our Creator, I have to assum, wants us to enjoy the blessing of life that He / She / It hasave to us. But how can we enjoy life if there is competition involved. In competition, someone has to win and someone has to lose. All of us are Gd's creation. In order for someone to breath, they have to have life in them. Life is part of Gd and Gd will never lose. Therefore, all breathing creatures are aspects of Gd that can not lose. We need to understand this before we can move ahead to the next phase of life – PEACE!

We have to rid ourselves of the un-G-dliness in ourselves. That un-G-dliness is our competitive streak. Life is a game, but not a competitive one. It is an interactive game. Competition divides. We are supposed to One. We are supposed to help our fellow pieces of Gd to find connections to one another so we can become whole again – not separate. We need to stop this nonsense of who is better and who is worse. There is no such thing. There is only one thing -GD!

We are all part of a machine. We are all vital. Even the smallest screw on the most advanced machine is vital. Without that small screw the whole machine can disassemble. We have to realize that our screws are falling out of the Machine and we are disassembling. We are causing our own destruction because we have taken up ourselves to decide that the screws were not important and that we can disregard them.

We need to accept that we are one and that our connection is the Awe of Creation. We are pieces to a puzzle and when put ourselves together we can see the big picture. Even religions need to find their right place because each religion is vital to the person that was born to it. Are Jews "chosen" or were they "chosen" to teach this concept that was given to us in a Book Written by Gd to everyone else. Do Christians have more heart or are they necessary to remind the Jews that heart has a place in the puzzle? Are Muslims more Gd fearing than all other religions or are they here to shake us up a little so we do not get too carried away with the concept of Free Will, and are reminding us that boundaries are still necessary …?

I want to mention one more idea … The idea of ​​social class and religion being interrelated. I am just going to say this … the statement "Gd blessed me with a lot of money" really gets my goat. Really? … That's it? Gd blesses people with money? That's all Gd could come up with? Come on now people. Let's elevate our thoughts just a little. Gd has a lot more up His / Her / her sleeve than money …

Why Exotic Pets Should Not Be Banned

We all know how special interest groups can blow things out of proportion – like the nonexistent “Exotic Pet Crisis.” If you listened to some animal rights groups, you’d think keeping exotic pets is cruel, dangerous, and even bordering on treason! Before you buy that agenda, consider that a junior high student once made a convincing case for banning dihydrogen monoxide: colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it kills thousands of people every year.

Most deaths are caused by inhalation, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Dihydrogen monoxide is also known as hydroxl acid, is the major component of acid rain, may cause severe burns, contributes to land erosion, may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes, and has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

This report was presented to 50 students, asking them what should be done about the chemical. 43 students favored banning it, 6 were undecided, and only one correctly recognized that ‘dihydrogen monoxide’ is actually H2O — plain old water. How gullible are you?

Banning my cat makes about as much sense as banning yours – and the results are just as heartbreaking for pet and owner. Are you ready for the truth about the “Exotic Pet Crisis?”

  • Exotic pets are not dangerous! One study showed that the risk of injury to exotic cat owners was less than the risk of injury due to a domestic dog bite. And every person who drives a motor vehicle subjects themselves and their family to a risk three times greater then does someone who owns even a large exotic cat such as a tiger.
  • Most exotic pet owners are kind, intelligent people who adore their animals and take excellent care of them. We love our pets just as you love yours.
  • Exotic animal bans result in beloved pets being confiscated, impounded, and usually killed. A lucky few live out their lives in cages under the care of strangers in zoos and sanctuaries. This is the dirty secret animal rights groups don’t want you to know. Banning does not help animals: it kills them!
  • Exotic cat ownership is already regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CITES, the Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Lacey Act, more city, county, and state regulations than you can shake a stick at, as well as existing animal welfare and public safety laws that govern both exotic and domestic animals.
  • “You can buy a tiger on the Internet for $100.00,” research-averse activists proclaim in horror. Just try to order up a tiger online, or even a serval. You won’t succeed. This urban legend has great repeatability at cocktail parties and save-the-cute-animals-from-evil-humans fundraisers, but is severely lacking in the reality department. Breeders do have web sites, but it takes much more than a click of the mouse to purchase an exotic cat.

Factors Affecting Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior refers to the selection, purchase and consumption of goods and services for the satisfaction of their wants. There are different processes involved in the consumer behavior. Initially the consumer tries to find what commodities he would like to consume, then he selects only those commodities that promise greater utility. After selecting the commodities, the consumer makes an estimate of the available money which he can spend. Lastly, the consumer analyzes the prevailing prices of commodities and takes the decision about the commodities he should consume. Meanwhile, there are various other factors influencing the purchases of consumer such as social, cultural, personal and psychological. The explanation of these factors is given below.

1. Cultural Factors

Consumer behavior is deeply influenced by cultural factors such as: buyer culture, subculture, and social class.

• Culture

Basically, culture is the part of every society and is the important cause of person wants and behavior. The influence of culture on buying behavior varies from country to country therefore marketers have to be very careful in analyzing the culture of different groups, regions or even countries.

• Subculture

Each culture contains different subcultures such as religions, nationalities, geographic regions, racial groups etc. Marketers can use these groups by segmenting the market into various small portions. For example marketers can design products according to the needs of a particular geographic group.

• Social Class

Every society possesses some form of social class which is important to the marketers because the buying behavior of people in a given social class is similar. In this way marketing activities could be tailored according to different social classes. Here we should note that social class is not only determined by income but there are various other factors as well such as: wealth, education, occupation etc.

2. Social Factors

Social factors also impact the buying behavior of consumers. The important social factors are: reference groups, family, role and status.

• Reference Groups

Reference groups have potential in forming a person attitude or behavior. The impact of reference groups varies across products and brands. For example if the product is visible such as dress, shoes, car etc then the influence of reference groups will be high. Reference groups also include opinion leader (a person who influences other because of his special skill, knowledge or other characteristics).

• Family

Buyer behavior is strongly influenced by the member of a family. Therefore marketers are trying to find the roles and influence of the husband, wife and children. If the buying decision of a particular product is influenced by wife then the marketers will try to target the women in their advertisement. Here we should note that buying roles change with change in consumer lifestyles.

• Roles and Status

Each person possesses different roles and status in the society depending upon the groups, clubs, family, organization etc. to which he belongs. For example a woman is working in an organization as finance manager. Now she is playing two roles, one of finance manager and other of mother. Therefore her buying decisions will be influenced by her role and status.

3. Personal Factors

Personal factors can also affect the consumer behavior. Some of the important personal factors that influence the buying behavior are: lifestyle, economic situation, occupation, age, personality and self concept.

• Age

Age and life-cycle have potential impact on the consumer buying behavior. It is obvious that the consumers change the purchase of goods and services with the passage of time. Family life-cycle consists of different stages such young singles, married couples, unmarried couples etc which help marketers to develop appropriate products for each stage.

• Occupation

The occupation of a person has significant impact on his buying behavior. For example a marketing manager of an organization will try to purchase business suits, whereas a low level worker in the same organization will purchase rugged work clothes.

• Economic Situation

Consumer economic situation has great influence on his buying behavior. If the income and savings of a customer is high then he will purchase more expensive products. On the other hand, a person with low income and savings will purchase inexpensive products.

• Lifestyle

Lifestyle of customers is another import factor affecting the consumer buying behavior. Lifestyle refers to the way a person lives in a society and is expressed by the things in his/her surroundings. It is determined by customer interests, opinions, activities etc and shapes his whole pattern of acting and interacting in the world.

• Personality

Personality changes from person to person, time to time and place to place. Therefore it can greatly influence the buying behavior of customers. Actually, Personality is not what one wears; rather it is the totality of behavior of a man in different circumstances. It has different characteristics such as: dominance, aggressiveness, self-confidence etc which can be useful to determine the consumer behavior for particular product or service.

4. Psychological Factors

There are four important psychological factors affecting the consumer buying behavior. These are: perception, motivation, learning, beliefs and attitudes.

• Motivation

The level of motivation also affects the buying behavior of customers. Every person has different needs such as physiological needs, biological needs, social needs etc. The nature of the needs is that, some of them are most pressing while others are least pressing. Therefore a need becomes a motive when it is more pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction.

• Perception

Selecting, organizing and interpreting information in a way to produce a meaningful experience of the world is called perception. There are three different perceptual processes which are selective attention, selective distortion and selective retention. In case of selective attention, marketers try to attract the customer attention. Whereas, in case of selective distortion, customers try to interpret the information in a way that will support what the customers already believe. Similarly, in case of selective retention, marketers try to retain information that supports their beliefs.

• Beliefs and Attitudes

Customer possesses specific belief and attitude towards various products. Since such beliefs and attitudes make up brand image and affect consumer buying behavior therefore marketers are interested in them. Marketers can change the beliefs and attitudes of customers by launching special campaigns in this regard.

Distinction Between Provisions And Reserves

Reserves

1. It is created by debiting the profit and loss appropriation account.

2. It is created to meet an unknown liability, or to strengthen the financial position of the company or for equalization of dividends etc.

3. A reserve is created only when there is profit in the business.

4. It can be distributed among shareholders as dividend.

5. The reserve is created without taking into consideration the actual amount required except in the case of redemption of debentures when a definite sum is set aside.

6. Creation of reserve depends upon the financial policy of the business and discretion of its management.

7. It is usually shown on the liability side of the balance sheet as it is not a specific reserve.

Provisions

1. It is created by debiting the profit and loss account.

2. It is created to meet a known liability or a specific contingency, e.g.. provision for bad and doubtful debts, or provision for depreciation etc.

3. A provision is created irrespective of whether there is profit or loss in the business.

4. It is not available for distribution as dividend among shareholders.

5. A provision is made for a definite amount and, therefore, a definite sum is set aside every year to meet the known contingency.

6. Making of a provision is a must to meet known liability or contingency.

7. The provision is generally shown on the assets side of the balance sheet.

Distinction between general reserve and specific reserve

General reserve

1. It is created for a specific purpose.

2. It is utilized for that specific purpose, for which it was created.

3. Whether profit or no profits, it must be created.

4. It is necessary to create in order to ascertain profit.

5. It is shown on the debit side of profit and loss account.

6. Net profits are reduced because of it.

Specific Reserve

1. It is created not for any specific purpose but for meeting future contingencies.

2. It can be utilized for meeting any future loss.

3. It is created only when there are sufficient profit.

4. They are created only when there are profits i.e. they depend upon profits.

5. It is shown on the debit side of profit and loss appropriation account.

6. Only distributable profits are reduced because of it.

Reserve Fund

Profit set aside and used in the business is a reserve. But profit set aside and invested outside the business is a reserve fund. Thus, the use of the term ‘fund’ indicates

investment of reserve outside the business.

Sinking Fund

A sinking fund is a fund built up by annual contributions. The contributions are invested outside the business in readily realizable securities. Interest received on investments is reinvested in the same securities.

A sinking fund may be (i) for replacement of fixed assets or (ii) for the redemption of debentures or repayment of loan. A sinking fund for the replacement of a fixed asset is a provision. But a sinking fund for redemption of debentures or repayment of loan is an appropriation of profits. A sinking fund represents amount invested outside the business.

Distinction between reserve fund and sinking fund

Reserve fund

1. Investments are not for definite period.

2. It is created always out of divisible profits.

3. Interest received on investments representing reserve fund may not be re-invested.

Sinking fund

1. Investments are for a definite period.

2. It is not always out of divisible profit e.g. sinking fund for replacement of asset is provision for depreciation, it must be created even if there are no profits.

3. In case of sinking fund, interest is always re-invested.

Best Accessories for Drones

Aerial photography has been developing rapidly in the past 3 years. If you have followed this trend and purchased a camera drone, you are about to have a lot of fun. But after a spending a while with the drone you’ll realise they do not look like the AMAZING photos you have seen on Instagram. Don’t be surprised, because many of those photos were probably shot using some extra accessories. All photographers depend on additional accessories to make their life easier and to take their photography and video footage one step further. Rest assured, you can do it as well. Listed below are among the most useful drone accessories I’ve had the chance to use and test. These accessories can assist you with enhancing your overall drone experience, improving video quality, flight adventure and safety.

1) Additional Propellers and Propeller Guards: Propellers (also known as fans or blades) are the most fragile part of a drone. You should always have extra propellers with you when you are going out to fly your drone. If you crash your drone propellers are the first parts that will get torn apart. I’ve got enough drone experience, and I’ve had over 20 different drones. But even I crashed initially when I first received my DJI Phantom 2. Prop guards are yet another story. They are not necessary, but they come in handy if you fly indoors or hovering in limited spaces. During the past six months, I have used propeller guards only once or twice, but a majority of people use them day-to-day. If you’re crashing your drone often and breaking your propellers a lot, then you should definitely get prop guards.

2) Additional Battery: Drone technology have come a long way in the past few years. The latest DJI Phantom 4 Pro offers 30 minutes flight time according to their website. For the majority of non-commercial drone pilots, this will never be enough. Considering the time spent on flying up and landing, you will have 20 minutes for recording footage. So make sure to purchase an additional battery pack or even more to get a reliable backup anytime you need. If you own the Phantom 4 Pro, you may want to want to upgrade to the quick battery charger instead of the one that comes with the package. It’s going to charge the P4 Pro battery in 40 minutes instead of 65 minutes on the regular charger.

3) Additional Battery Charger: Additional battery power makes much more flight time possible, nonetheless they also need to be charged. Once you have 2 or even more batteries and each and every battery requires sixty minutes to charge, the waiting time period can rapidly increase to hours with extra batteries sitting down idle. So it’s best to purchase additional battery charger or better yet, you might want to get the multi-charger, that allows you to charge your batteries simultaneously.

4) Vehicle Battery Charger: When you’re away from on a road trip and also the only electrical power source you have may be the auto’s battery, That’s why it is important to get a car battery charger for your drone. So if you have 1, 2 or maybe 3 electric batteries, even then when you’re out on trips, you’re most likely to use up all your power juice at some point, so what you certainly require is the ability to charge your batteries when you’re not anywhere in close proximity to a mains power point.

5) Tablet Or iPad: Controlling a drone whilst handling it along with the online video feed from the smartphone, it gets uncomfortable, to say the least. The display is too small to get a distinct look at what is happening up there. So you better buy a trusted tablet PC which has a display large enough to provide a reliable video clip feed. Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tablet or some other equivalent tablets with enough processor speed are generally great possibilities based on your financial budget.

6) ND Filter: To manage the amount of light that goes into your camera lens, and manage tiny shakes, while increasing motion blur, getting an ND Filter is a smart choice. ND filters really are a must, in my opinion, they make the video on Phantom series drones look more cinematic and are they great because they increase no considerable weight to your drone’s gimbal. The new gimbal on the P4 Pro is extremely light and fragile, I also would wait to include any weight to the front of that camera lens.

7) GPS Tracking device: When flying your drone in remote areas, like mountains, or on the sea, it’s going to be very hard to find your drone if you ever crash it. A drone GPS tracker attached to the legs of your drone might come in handy when you go on a mission to rescue your drone. Using the GPS tracking app on your smartphone, you will be able to locate your drone on your smartphone’s maps, with an accuracy of up to 2 meters.

8) Storage Space: Additional electric batteries will not be any practical when you lack sufficient space to store the footage you record. The default 16 gigabytes micro SD card that is included with DJI Phantom 4 pro could only store about 50 minutes of video footage. Consider buying 64 Gb micro SD card if you do not wish to transfer the video clips to your PC after each 2 flights.

9) Backpack or Travel Case: If you are planning on taking your drone along your journeys, camping, bicycling or road trip you will realise the default packaging that comes with drones will not last for very long and not comfortable to carry along, to say the least. To get a more comfortable and safe solution, get a specifically created drone backpack or travel case; you will find loads of available options. In my opinion, hard-shell backpacks are the most functional and steady backpacks for the value.

Photography and videography tools have always depended on accessories and so do drones. You should consider spending on accessories if you are trying to shoot amazing drone videos.

Do You Need Sports Psychology?

It’s not unusual, in fact it’s becoming the norm in the MLB and other professional sports, for players to consult and work with “mental performance coaches.” I feel I can speak for the majority of these athletes when I say 99% of them wishes they had known and worked on these mental skills much earlier in their careers.

So why did these supreme athletes ignore the benefits of mental performance enhancement, imagery and focus training, to name a few. I don’t believe they ignored it… they weren’t aware of it and that’s our fault not theirs.

Many coaches are mired in the rut of thinking mental performance training shouldn’t be considered until players are much older and only at very high skill levels of play.

I wonder how many young players were never able to reach their full potential due to mental performance issues? And for those who were able to attain higher levels of play in their sport, how many spent more agonizing times than were necessary battling performance issues which could have been alleviated through mental actions.

Even if the kid obviously doesn’t possess the skills to reach high level competition in the sport, the experience will help him in other aspects of his life.

So why would a parent paying big bucks for private lessons, a player putting in exhaustive hours of practice and a coach pouring over films and stats, ignore, or at least not put forth the effort to learn and understand the use and need of sports psychology?

I believe they just don’t know how to overcome a few mental obstacles of their own when dealing with sports psychology. For instance.

Misconception #1 “I don’t need it.”

When players are playing well, in the zone as it’s known, the idea of needing any help, especially mental help, is the farthest thing from their mind. However, if the player was more mature he’d know every player has their ups and downs, and if they could identify and harness the emotions and thoughts they are feeling while playing well, they could call on them for help when the time comes they’re not playing so well.

Misconception #2 “I’m not a freak or something.”

It’s quite unfortunate mental training has somehow become linked or synonymous with being “Mentally Weak,” such as being unable to endure tough times or control your emotions. We know this is a totally False assumption as many elite athletes, tremendously mentally strong, still use sports psychologists on a regular basis.

The issue should be viewed from a different perspective. Why do MLB players continuously work with a batting coach? Their game is not “weak or broken”. They work with a coach so they can continue to improve, and to maintain their competitive edge.

So be it with athletes who seek the services of sport psychologists, as they want to improve their mental skills.

Misconception #3 “I don’t get nervous- I’m mentally prepared at all times.”

There are athletes that actually don’t get nervous, but that’s no indication they are mentally prepared. They may suffer in other areas such as dwelling on mistakes, lack of focus, playing as well as they practiced, frustration issues, and being “prepared.”

So nerves aren’t an issue, big deal. Most players who say they are mentally prepared, if asked, could not list the steps they take before a game or any specific techniques they use. While an athlete may think he’s prepared, they often have no concrete plan to deal with both positive and negative events.

Misconception #4 “I already talk to my kid about thinking positively, why do I need someone else to do that?

Congratulation for realizing the importance of positive thinking, and it is imperative that parents are involved in helping formulate the techniques their kids are learning, however kids often tend to listen to other people before their parent. Sorry, but that’s the way of the world.

To sooth your feelings one must remember there is no single technique or modality that works well for all athletes, for all issues. Just as the field of medicine has various specialties to address various issues that patients present, sports psychology is similar. A professional has learned an array of interventions that can be customized to adapt to the wide variety of psychological issues athletes face at every level of the game.

Hot Business Trends for 2004… And Beyond: Maybe One Will Turn Into a Creative Business Idea for Yo

I always look forward to the December issue of Entrepreneur magazine. That’s the issue that features the publisher’s annual pick of hot businesses, markets, and trends for smart entrepreneurs – or those who aspire to be.

Some of the high tech businesses cited like mobile gaming or online learning tend to require six and seven figure start up costs. This can seem daunting (although not impossible) for the person just venturing into self-employment. So I’ve decided to focus on the markets, trends, and businesses that speak to someone operating on a somewhat more limited budget. Let’s start with hot markets:

HOT MARKET: Middle-Aged Women

Since I’ve recently entered my last year in my 40s, I thought it only appropriate to start with this group (although like most boomers, I still have a hard time thinking of myself as anything close to “middle aged”). Not surprisingly, products and services for women in their 40s and 50s that center around anti-aging and menopause are hot. The magazine cites such promising areas as counseling, exercise spas, yoga, smoking cessation programs… any product or service that helps women stay healthy and feel good about themselves – both inside and out.

The reference to smoking cessation got me thinking… Residential treatment facilities for other forms of substance abuse are common- place, but I’ve personally never seen a retreat, spa, or other residential-type place specifically aimed at people who need help quitting smoking, and who would benefit from doing so outside their home environment. I’m picturing morning walks, meditation, massage, support groups, good food, and of course, lots and lots of punching bags!

HOT MARKET: Toddlers/Tweens/Teens

According to market research firm Packaged Facts, last year 5 to 14 year olds spent $10 billion on food and beverages. Other favorite product areas for kids are sports, fashion, music, and technology.

And apparently home décor and remodeling isn’t just for adults anymore (who knew?). Stores like IKEA and Pottery Barn are starting to selling home furnishing products aimed at teens.

With baby boomers having more discretionary income with which to spoil their grandchildren, babies and toddlers have also become hot markets. Online start-up ELittle Luxuries offers designer baby furniture and more than 600 other upscale baby items. ([http://www.elittleluxuries.com/])

HOT MARKET: Overweight People

After reading how much kids spend on food and beverages, it’s no surprise that 15% of children and teens are overweight. But we adults have them beat. A whopping 64% of Americans are considered obese or overweight. Businesses that offer products and services to help people slim down and develop more healthy habits are the most obvious. But entrepreneurs willing to think outside the “solve the problem” box by looking for ways to make overweight people’s lives easier verses trying to fix them, will also do well.

HOT MARKET: Metrosexuals

With the enormous appeal of stylish soccer super star David Beckham and shows like Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy where gay men help straight men with fashion, grooming, home décor, and social skills, a growing number of heterosexual men are allowing themselves to tap into their fashionable side.

One enterprising guy who jumped into the metrosexual market early has seen phenomenal growth. With $20,000 and a dream, Tom Granese launched Regiments, an online store that sells high-end grooming products for men. Less than two years later, Tom opened his first storefront in Dallas with a projected $210,000 in first year in-store sales.

HOT MARKET: Hispanics

The Hispanic market is certainly nothing new – in fact it’s made Entrepreneur’s list for many years now. The magazine cites opportunities in anything from food and entertainment, to financial services and Web services.

Now let’s look at two of Entrepreneur’s picks for hot trends in 2004…

HOT TREND: Outdoor Living Spaces

Into gardening or design? According to Joanne Kostecky of the American Nursery & Landscape Association, and president of her own garden design company, the concept of outdoor living rooms that is so popular in the south and some urban areas is beginning to reach the rest of the country. The fact that more consumers are investing in courtyards and elaborate gardens means the gardening and outdoor design businesses are bound to grow!

HOT TREND: Fast-Casual Food

Health and taste conscious consumers on the go are turning to fast- casual restaurants and chains. In my own small town of Northampton, two of the more popular joints are benefiting from the fast-casual boom. One serves upscale burritos (my favorite is the Thai burritos) and the other is a hip soup, salad, and sandwich joint that opened in a greatly remodeled former Taco Bell restaurant.

Idea: Back in my old softball days I always wished someone would cater to all those hungry players and fans by starting a high quality food wagon.

Other Hot Trends… Boating and water sports, the hunger for low- carb foods (a trend being taken seriously by restaurants, grocery stores, and food manufacturers), oils and sauces, and multiculturalism which includes the gay and lesbian markets.

Hot markets and hot trends lead to hot businesses. Here are some of Entrepreneur’s picks…

HOT BUSINESS: Children’s Enrichment Programs

With so many parents in the workforce, more kids than ever before are engaged in extracurricular and after school activities. If you like the idea of working with kids, you can opt to open a physical location like a gym, dance or art studio, or camp, take your program into the schools, or provide private lessons.

If you think opening your own place is financially out of reach, think again. While $12,000 is no small sum of money, it’s a lot less than a lot of people might expect they’d need to shell out to start their own dance studio. But that’s how much former dance student turned instructor Archer Alstaettter dug up in cash and credit cards to found Dance Emotion in Irvine, California. That was five years ago. Today Archer’s studio has 500 clients and expects 600-plus to be enrolled by spring. You go Archer!

HOT BUSINESS: Home Improvement

Remodeling, refurbishing, and redecorating are all the rage. There are some 30 cable shows on home improvement alone. And home improvement isn’t all about décor. Worth noting are businesses that help home owners maximize the space they have as well as those making homes more accessible to an aging population. (To read about a unique, highly successful, and legitimate home business opportunity that matches home owners with reputable home repair contractors go to http://www.ChangingCourse.com/hrnsuccess.htm)

HOT BUSINESS: Yoga & Pilates

According to Entrepreneur, companies are bending over backwards to cater to the growing market of people practicing yoga. Clothes, mats, DVDs, music, and classes aimed at seniors, pregnant women and children as young as three are just a few products and services aimed at this growing market.

And with a reported 47 million Americans taking Pilates, a work out that builds abdominal muscles, opportunities abound for gym owners and instructors alike. If you like the idea of teaching Pilates, studio owner Maria Leone recommends starting out by keeping overhead low. She suggests renting space for one-on-one sessions from a small gym or chiropractic office. Fees for a typical Pilates session range from $50 to $70 an hour. Meditate on that!

HOT BUSINESS: Upscale Pet Services

According to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association, Americans spent an estimated $31 billion on pets in 2003. A few of the luxury services cited include pet hotels complete with heated floors, limousine rides, day cruises, and personal shoppers. And apparently the spa trend has extended to the pet world with exfoliating treatments, aromatherapy, liposuction (I kid you not), and chiropractic services.

HOT BUSINESS: Outsourcing

Outsourcing is one of those good new-bad news things. If your job is being eliminated because it’s cheaper for your company to outsource functions like HR, accounting, and network security, then outsourcing is a bad thing. Outsourcing is particularly hot in IT – and when it comes to outsourcing jobs overseas, it’s also controversial. The good news for freelancers is the federal government plans to open 850,000 jobs to outsourcing, with $85 billion in federal IT contracts to be awarded over the next three years

Other Hot Businesses: Spas, organic foods, online matchmaking, senior care, wireless, tech security, and voiceover IP (VoIP).

If you believe as I do that it’s better to be the boss, than to have one, why not make 2004 the year you start putting your entrepreneurial plans into action? You don’t have to quit your job or mortgage your home to get the ball rolling. You might resolve to do some research, start putting together a business plan, take a course on marketing, glass blowing, woodworking, web design, or whatever sparks your fancy, get certified to teach yoga, buy a book on how to launch a successful on-line business, start a Barbara Sher style Success Team… or just order a subscription to Entrepreneur.

If you don’t already subscribe to Entrepreneur you can do so at http://www.Entrepreneur.com. The site also features a ton of free resources for anyone who already is – or dreams of – working for themselves. For other free resources for people who want to start their own businesses visit http://www.ChangingCourse.com/newbiz.htm

Okay, but what if you don’t see a trend, market, or business here that speaks to you? Then find the one that does! I had a client who is crazy for horses and photography. It took me all of 30 seconds on Google.com to find a group called the Equine Photographers Network.

In addition to their conference this February in Florida, the group offers a free public online discussion group with over 700 members who range from top-of-their-field working pros to amateur photographers to magazine editors and writers to horse owners, all interested in improving their equine photography skill and knowledge. Learn all about the Equine Photographers Network at http://www.EquinePhotographers.net.

The way to find the “hottest” business idea for you is to get in touch with the passion that burns the brightest in your heart. Then make 2004 the year resolve to you take those first bold steps on behalf of your dream!

Great Things Worth Knowing About Plus Size Styling

Buying the right clothes for your curvy figure can be tricky. After all, most of the regular brands don’t have enough sizes and there are very few that specialize in plus size clothing. In this post, we will talk about styling and fashion with regards to plus sizes. These are the things you need to know, regardless of the size you wear!

The Basics:

1. First things first, don’t wear black because it makes you look thinner. While the concept itself isn’t bad, it’s passé and doesn’t make much sense anymore. Instead, look for colors that really flatter you and are trending everywhere, including pastels, pinks and even stripes.

2. Don’t wear loose or ill-fitting undergarments. Look for a size that fits you, and if required, go to a good store and ask their sales staff to help you. There are so many different kinds of bras and panties that are meant for plus size women.

3. Don’t fit in. The right outfit will fit you, and not the other way around. Make sure that you try brands that make women plus size clothing in particular. If you are ordering online, you can always order two near sizes to find the one that accentuates your curves.

4. Invest in shapewear. Shapewear doesn’t only reduce your body size to some extent, but also helps in toning the body, so that you can wear the best dresses without that protruding belly. The sizes can be different, so take a close look at what might fit you.

5. Say no to body shaming. People are entitled to their opinion, and there is no harm in seeking help from others who may know more about fashion. However, do not encourage anyone who makes fun of your body type or shape.

Styling Tips:

1. Don’t wear clothes that are baggy. A better idea is to go for a fitting session. Just buy a size larger than yours, and you can choose to get it styled according to your needs.

2. Choose your materials wisely. If you aren’t comfortable with the material, you will feel unhappy the whole time. Unless it’s an occasion, stick to natural fabrics to the best possible extent.

3. Go for accessories. There are all sorts of accessories in the market, depending on what you need. Invest in handbags, statement jewelry and other things like stoles and scarves that never go out of fashion.

4. Buy nice heels. Heels add an element of height, which can make your legs look slimmer. You might want to go for wedges, which are more comfortable, but make sure that you have a pair of high heels too.

5. Lastly, get yourself a few good dresses. Dresses don’t really go out of fashion, and you will find all sorts of options, depending on what you like to wear. Go for cold shoulders, polka dots, stripes and pastel shades that are really in vogue these days.

Style your closet today, and you can always thank us later because we made it easy!

The Nature of the Internet Marketing Online Business

Since the arrival of the internet, the face of the marketing and advertising business has dramatically changed. The internet has provided an infinitely wide advertisement board where companies all over the world can post their information, product catalog and brochures. With the increasing number of products and services, internet marketing online business has become a growing industry with fair chances of good profit.

Internet marketing, also called e-marketing or online marketing, is the marketing and advertising of products and services on the internet. The definition of what it is depends on because there are several jobs within the field. For example, the owners of a manufacturing company may develop a website that advertises their own products. Some advertisers can be hired to provide ways on increasing the popularity of specific products and services. There are internet marketing groups and firms that work by optimizing website content. Some websites earn by advertising other websites.

There are several forms of marketing that utilize the web. One is e-mail marketing that is the direct sending e-mails from the company to the customers. The e-mails contain new offers and products, updates and promos. However, the biggest deal of e-marketing is focused on website development.

The primary tool and object of internet marketing online is the website. A good website displays the image the company wants to show to the public and the message they want to convey. Its web pages must be easy to navigate through and they must completely show the products and services offered by the company. If the site wants the viewers to be directed to other web pages, their links must be visible and placed at strategic spots. Most importantly, for a website to be effective, it needs people to see its content- the internet traffic. Internet traffic is the subject of competition among all the websites.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very popular internet marketing strategy. SEO explores the more technical aspects of web page design. It is the arrangement of website content and coding so that it will receive high rank positions when displayed by search engines. Referrals of search engines through SEO are free. To contrast, back then, companies simply pay search engines to include them in the search results but they are not guaranteed of high ranks. There are several firms that offer SEO services for other companies.

Other models of e-marketing include blogging, articles and review writing, and pay per click (PPC). There are sites that host blogs for free so many online marketers, many of those just at home, make use of them to advertise products. Many also post their product reviews on blogs, including referral links. In the PPC system, a company hires several sites to host their links in forms of text or images. The hired sites are paid every time the links are visited by surfers. As a summary, all these methods work if the hosting website receives a good amount of visitors.

Internet marketing is practically a web with interdependent sectors, providing equal number of job opportunities- even to those at the comfort of their own home. That makes the internet marketing online business to continue to be a source of good income despite the tough competition. Experience, knowledge and creativity are required to succeed in this field.

Favorite Disney World Resort Pools

A major part of any Orlando vacation is relaxing and swimming at a Disney Resort pool. When picking your Disney Resort, you may focus your attention on finding a great pool for your whole family. Here is a list of the most popular pools at the Walt Disney World Resort, selected from the guests that visit Disney.

Best Overall Pool – Hands down, Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort is picked for the best pool at the Walt Disney World Resort. This 3 acre pool area includes a pool with real sand and a tube area where you can just relax in a tube and bask in the sun. This pool also has the best water slide at Disney World. The water slide is a huge pirate ship!

If the pool area gets too busy, you can even relax in a chair or hammock on the beach overlooking a beautiful lake. In the evening, you can enjoy a swim in the pool and then a campfire sing along or movies on the sandy beach. This pool area has fun for everyone, which makes Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort the most popular pool at Disney World.

Best Pool for Adults – Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort takes the prize for best pool for adults. This pool area is naturally beautiful with a waterfall and beach entry. The hot tubs are a little more private compared to the other Disney Resorts. Plus, you can see the animals right from the pool. What a fun way to enjoy an afternoon swim!

Best Pool for Teens and Preschoolers – One of the Disney Resorts Resort called Disney's Coronado Springs Resort gets the most votes for the best pool for teens and preschoolers! Let's start with the teenagers. Disney's Coronado Springs Resort has a lot of fun amenities all in the same pool area. You can grab a snack at the poolside bar, play some sand volleyball, ride a Jaguar water slide, and then play some video games. All of the teen favorites in one area!

This resort also got the most popular pool for preschoolers. The pool features a pyramid with a waterfall trickling down the pyramid. There is also a kiddie pool and Dig Site playground, just for preschoolers. The Dig Site is a playground and sand pit for the little ones to dig up artifacts and bones. This is a perfect area for the little ones and teenagers.

Pool with the Best View – Disney's Polynesian Resort was one of the most popular pools at the Walt Disney World Resort and came in right behind Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort for the best overall pool. Since this is such a great pool, we made up a category for this pool. So, the Disney Resort pool with the best view is Disney's Polynesian Resort. This fun pool features a huge erupting volcano and beach entry. There is also a separate water jet area for the little ones to play. Just feet away from this pool is the sandy beach that overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom. You can see Cinderella's Castle right from the pool. This is a great pool to enjoy in the evening. You can relax at the pool and watch the Electrical Water Pageant and Wishes Fireworks!

These are the favorite Disney World Resort pools for your next family vacation.