The Race to Be Hottest Halloween Costume of 2009

With Halloween rushing to meet us I guess the biggest question is going to be what are the biggest Halloween costumes for 2009? If we are looking for the blockbuster for this year then we will have to negate home made or DIY Halloween costumes as obviously they are unique to the maker so are seriously going to be the largest of the year. So lets take a look at the commercial end of the market and figure out what the big manufacturers are pinning their hopes on.

Personally I think the tragic early demise of Michael Jackson this year is going to be a big catalyst for fans of the pop legend to pay tribute by dressing up as their hero this year. For the manufacturers this is a godsend as they already have a number of costumes available and unlike when there is a big blockbuster film, they will not have to spend time and money designing a new costume, although we will have to wait and see. As of now there is the archetypal thriller costume, made famous by "that" video, the Billie Jean costume, Beat IT and Bad. There is also a range of accessories like wigs, gloves etc.

In the category of blockbuster movie costumes GI Joe is obviously going to come into the reckoning. GI Joe is still one of the most popular toys in the US and the fact it is now a box office smash can only boost its chances of being the number one costume this Halloween. Boys will want to dress up as their favorite toy / hero and now that they have a "real" hero to look up to, you can imagine the desire will be even larger. And as for us grown ups, who would not want to look like a stone cold ninja!

Superheroes will make there normal appearance too and expect to see swarms of Batman Costumes both small and large. For the adults there are some seriously hard core Dark Knight costumes out there despite for the very authentic ones you could be looking at hundreds of dollars. Might be worth it if only to impress that young lady you have had your eye on!

For the kids Harry Potter costumes will be a big hit again this year and not as much of a burden on the parents wallets! The costumes are pretty straight forward and if you are a bit handy craft wise you can probably create a Harry Potter costume as good as any on offer in the stores.

So the race is on and we'll see, but definitely think it will be a 2 horse race in the Halloween costume run in between Michael Jackson and one of the Batman costumes and for the younger generation Harry Potter is sure to wipe the floor again year.

Source by Zara Jones

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Pelvic Floor Exercises – How Many Per Day and For How Long?

If you have recently given birth, or have noticed that your bladder has become weak, you may want to consider doing pelvic floor exercises. These exercises, also known as kegel exercises help to tone the pelvic area, resulting in a stronger bladder and more sensation in the region (great for sex).

However, it can be unclear as to exactly what you are meant to do. How are you meant to know whether you are doing the exercises right, or simply making things worse?

Well, do not worry pelvic floor exercises are not that hard to do. The first thing you need to do is to become familiar with where your pelvic floor muscles are located and how to control them. To do this, next time you are on the toilet, simply try to stop yourself urinating mid flow. Try stopping and starting the flow of urine. This will let you know exactly where the muscle are, but it will also give you an idea of ​​how strong your muscles are.

Once you have located the pelvic floor muscles there are several ways you can tone them up. Here is a run down of the exercises you can try:

1. Contract and Release – Lie on your back with your legs apart. Place your hand over your pelvic bones and contract your pelvic floor muscles. Imagine pulling them in towards your hand. Hold this for 2-3 seconds and then release. Do this 10 times and gradually increase to 20 times per day.

2. The Flicker – The flickering of the pelvic muscles happens when you orgasm, but in this exercise you need to flicker them yourself. You can do this exercise in any position. Just flicker your muscles, quickly contracting and releasing as fast as possible, around 30 times per day.

3. The Lift – Sit down, or lie on your back and pull your pelvic floor muscles upwards as you take a deep breath in. Imagine you are lifting your muscles up from your vagina, to your genitals. Hold this for a second and then release the muscles slowly going back down, as you release the breath. Do this 10 times per day.

4. Stop the Flow – You can exercise the muscles by stopping yourself urinating mid flow and then starting again. This is fairly easy, but should not be done on a full bladder.

Source by Catherine Smith

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ACLU or ACLJ – The Difference is Like Night and Day

The ACLU has championed many causes since it was founded in 1920 by Mr. Roger Baldwin. Some of the most notable causes or rulings the ACLU supported have to do with abortion rights, homosexual and lesbian rights and removal of prayer from the public schools. Some of its most notable positions were of lesser significance but created much more press because they bordered on the frivolous and were more a nuisance than a legitimate cause. They adopted positions against bible studies and prayer groups in public schools and the removal of manger scenes in public during the Christmas season. Can’t you hear the voices of many grateful Americans in a resounding…gee thanks?

Not to be mistaken for something that actually qualifies as the protection of our civil liberties is the new battlefield conjured up by the ACLU in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The three crosses adorning the city logo is a point of pride and history for the residents there but for the ACLU, they have given cause for it to rear its head and wield the battle axe. It has resulted in making “what ever happened to common sense” being the most oft used phrase in internet blogging history. But wait, it doesn’t stop there.

The latest fit the ACLU has begun; concerns prayer offered by the U.S. military’s chaplains. In short the ACLU thinks it should be stopped. Whew! That’s good thinking. I don’t know about you but the last thing I would want to have happen to me just before I went to battle for my country is to have my country tell me I couldn’t go to God in prayer. In particular they are trying to stop chaplains from praying in the name of Jesus Christ. In a volunteer force made up of mostly Christian men and women isn’t that an infringement of their religious freedom? In fact it is more than that.

The constitution says “Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or to infringe the rights of conscience.” What genius does it take to see that the ACLU is actually crying “unconstitutional” while they are proposing laws that are clearly unconstitutional? Don’t want to be crass but perhaps the ACLU lawyers and aides should all take a day off to watch Forrest Gump together. If I remember correctly the most often repeated line in that movie is, “stupid is, as stupid does”

Diametrically opposite the ACLU is the newly formed but no less formidable, ACLJ. The American Center for Law and Justice founded in 1990 is headed by Jay Sekulow who is the ACLJ’s Chief Counsel. He is a well respected advocate for constitutional freedoms and has argued many cases before the U.S, Supreme Court.

The Center for Law and Justice has successfully argued cases and supported positions in other cases which resulted in an impressive list of good common sense decisions and rulings. A short list of the accomplishments of the ACLJ is as follows.

o A guarantee for minors who want to be involved in the political process by protecting their free speech rights in political affairs.

o Rulings to protect the constitutional rights of religious groups to obtain equal access to public facilities.

o Protection for the free speech rights of pro-life demonstrators

o The right for public school students to form and participate in religious organizations such as Bible clubs.

The ACLJ is currently on the radio waves daily soliciting signatures for a petition to stop the ban on prayer by the military chaplains. The response is said to be very powerful at the least. Upwards of ten thousand people a day are asking to have their names added to the petitions.

It is shameful that Americans must pound away to ward off organizations like the ACLU whose agenda looks like it originated in la-la land. The constitution is under attack by those who feign that they are working to protect it. After all this is America and they have a constitutional right to mess with the constitution. Let’s not mess with their right to do that, but lets hope and pray (if they don’t stop us) that they don’t prevail.

The Bible tells the believer to respect the rulings and laws provided by the secular rulers because the powers that be, are all ordained of God. Romans 13:1. Almost all bible believing Christians take this mandate seriously and endeavor to be law abiding citizens. You would think that this respect for secular law would hold things in balance between those who believe in the Bible and revere the constitution and groups like the ACLU, but it does not. The ACLU seems bent on removing all reference and allusion to God on any level. What would the result be if they were successful in this plight? I choose to let the Bible answer that question.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Romans 1:28

Source by Michael Bresciani

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Back to School Supplies and A Bouquet of Newly Sharpened Pencils

It's that time of year again; summer fleetingly passed by and the buses are en route carrying kids back to the halls of learning once again. Lunch boxes are being packed with sandwiches and Hostess Twinkies® and backpacks are being loaded with the many tools of education. It's back to early bedtimes and homework.

Bright Yellow Pencils

I love the part in the movie "You've Got Mail" when Tom Hanks aka Joe Fox pens an email about how he loves New York in the fall and how it makes him want to go out and buy school supplies.

Back to school memories to me include thoughts of bright new yellow # 2 pencils, notebook paper, wire bound composition notebooks, and a new box of sharp unbroken Crayola® crayons. He goes on to say that he's love to send his "pen pal" a newly sharpened pencil bouquet if he knew her name and address.

Shorter Summer Breaks

I know buying school supplies always made me eager to get back in class and go to work on my studies. Not to infer that I did not enjoy the summer break, and they were long summer breaks back in my day. School ended promptly in May and did not start back until after Labor Day. Now the kids where I live barely have any summer at all; actually many of them start back the first week of August.

Large Family – Tight Budget

I grew up in a family with five kids, so the budget was tight when it came to back to school clothes and supplies. My mother made a lot of our clothes. She went to work in the summer at her Singer® sewing machine to make at least one new outfit for each of us for the upcoming school year. We all also got a pair of new shoes.

Every year I would pick out the same exact shoe style. My parents would ask me, "Do not you want to try something different?" I figured if it was not broken, no need to fix it. My selection was always the navy blue Keds® that came with bright orange shoestrings, and they manufactured that same identical shoe style for many years. I guess they did not think they were "broken" either.

I think my favorite back to school supplies consist of a new lunch box, new shoes, fresh crayons, # 2 pencils, and a bright colored new ruler.

I remember my older sisters always had those light blue denim-looking style 3-ring notebooks, the kind with heavy duty rings and canvas covered exteriors. Those notebooks started out brand new and completely blank, and through the term they were pen scribbled with doodles and hearts surrounding boysfriends' names and plus signs that contained their initials along with whoever was the lucky beau at the time.

Live the Dream – Go Buy Some School Supplies

My daughter is in college now, so I miss the days when she'd get all excited about our annual school supply purchasing excursion to find a new backpack and all the wonderful things it was to hold. She'd spend time after the shopping trip organizing and labeling in anticipation of the first day of school.

I live right near a school, and the empty parking lot is once again full and I enjoy seeing the bright yellow / orange colored buses pass by; it brings back many fond memories of my youth, and my daughter's as well. Oh, what wonderful days those were! Tom Hanks has me wanting to go out this afternoon and buy some school supplies; heck, maybe I'll get some new Keds®, too!

Source by Mary Andersen

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How To Burn Fat All Day

Yes, there is a way to force your body to burn fat all day. This does not mean you will have to do your exercises non-stop for all your waking hours. You can still go about your daily tasks while efficiently stoking the inner furnace of your body to keep up your metabolism. If you set up your lifestyle and your body system the right way, your body will be working towards your fitness goals 12 hours a day. Even while you are asleep you will have a higher resting metabolism.

You already know that cardio workouts are the best fat burning workouts. By raising your heart rate to its maximum level and keeping that level for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 60 minutes you are putting your body in its optimum fat burning zone. You are also raising your metabolic rate at which it will stay for the rest of your waking hours. It is, therefore, most beneficial to do your cardio workout as soon as you wake up in the morning. This means your metabolic rate remains high longer for the rest of the day. By working out before breakfast you also get to your stored fats immediately because there are no glucose stores to first burn off. You should then follow this with an active day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk as much as you can. Stand rather than sit. Do your day to day tasks with as much movement as possible. All these push your metabolism even higher.

Even if cardio workouts are better fat burners, you should also include strength training for muscle building in your program. Not doing strength training could risk having your muscles wasting away. Remember that having more muscles further raises your metabolic rate for more efficient fat burning through the day. You should get proper information and advice on strength training to avoid injury. This is done on alternate days to give your body time to rest, recuperate and repair your muscles. That is a critical part of the strength training and muscle building process.

Finally, you should change your diet and eating pattern. Sugar, starch and all other simple carbohydrates as well as unhealthy fats should be eliminated. Eat only lean complete protein, complex carbohydrates with high fiber and healthy fats. Make sure your total calorie intake exceeds your calorie output while working out. Divide this total into six light meals through the day. This will keep your metabolism running on high.

By following these guidelines you are training your body to become an efficient fat burning machine. You will be burning fat all day on your way to your target weight and body measurements.

Source by Mark Warrington

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Online Income – 16 Ways to Make Money Online

If you are looking for ways to make more money online then this list will be a great help. There are 16 different ways to make money online listed below. There is a large variety of different ways so there is sure to be something for you.

1) Create Websites

You can make money on the internet by creating your own website there are many ways to make money from a website and these are shown below.

2) Google Ads

Google pay website owners to display Google ads on their sites. In return Google will pay you every time a visitor clicks on the ads.

3) Become an Affiliate

An affiliate profits advertising other company's products on your website and when the visitor clicks the link and buys the product the company will pay your a percentage of the sale. Some submissions are as high as 75%.

4) Become a Merchant

If you have the ambition to start your own online shop you can turn your website into your own online store, selling the products of your choice.

5) Buy and Sell Domain Names

While the dot com gold rush has long gone away and lots of the good names are taken, there are lots of opportunity's out there if you bare willing to put in the time and effort.

6) Surveys

Company's will pay for you to fill out surveys for them, so they can carry out market research.

7) Post on Forums

New forum owners that need to give their forum a boost are paying posters a per post fee to chat on their forums.

8) Stock Photography

If you have a talent for photography then you can sell the rights to your pictures online. Website owners can then buy the rights to use your photos.

9) Article Writing

Become a free-lance article writer and full fill the need of website owners who need constant fresh content for their sites.

10) Gambling

A high risk way to earn money online. Some people make good money online from gambling. Only worth doing if you are a professional.

11) Blog Posting

Blog owners are willing to pay for every blog post that you add to their blogs.

12) Write Articles For pay a percentage of ad revenue for articles that are written for the website. If you can write good how to articles then this would be worth a shot.

13) Create Your Own eBook

If you enough about a subject to write a book on it, then creating your own eBook can make you money online.

14) Enter Logo Creation Contests

Many forums have logo creating contests. Enter as many as you can and if you are good then you can make a career out of website logo design.

15) Sell on eBay

Selling on eBay is one of the most popular ways to make money online. If you are new then read as much as you can about it before you take the plunge.

16) Currency Trading

Trading currency on the Forex market is another way to make money online. The risks are high but so can be the rewards. Many traders use Forex robots to do their trading for them.

Source by Andy Hook

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What Are You Really Buying?

I read with great interest the article "Burt's Bees, Tom's of Maine, Naked Juice: Your Favorite Brands? Take Another Look – They May Not Be What They Seem". Andrea Whitfil does a great job unearthing how many natural and organic brands that we perceive as being manufactured by small companies are in reality now owned by large multinational corporations. And she's very bothered by the deception.

When you offer a product or service, you're actually making two separate promises: a primary logical offering and a secondary branding promise. The logical offering addresses the reason someone would choose your offering: price, speed, cost, efficiency, resources, quality of life, etc. These benefits are easily measured: how much faster / cheaper / better / bigger is your business or life.

The branding promise is much more humble. Purchasing the offer will create a feeling in the buyer. They'll feel like they're now part of a specific community. They'll feel better about them self. It will create an emotional response to making the purchase. The emotion may not make logical sense, but the feeling it produces is real enough.

What Andrea is complaining about is that many products have broken the branding promise. Andreas felt that she was supporting small businesses that were working hard to make a difference to the planet. Buying those small business products made her feel better about herself (and a belief she was helping others continue this worthy mission), so she embroced the product and the mission of the business.

Let's say that you're selling a successful product with a primary (logical) benefit and also have a great branding message that goes along with the product. And something happens that changes the story (it's now made offshore, etc.). The product is made with the same exacting standards. Should you now change the branding message and risk sacrificing your success?

The large corporations that Andrea mentions decided to keep the branding message and hide their affiliation. Andrea would probably not be as upset with the duplicity if the products had updated their story to say something like, "Making a well-intentioned product is only good if it also produces a good livelihood. we make sure that they are also putting the same quality into their product as we did (even at a larger scale) .If enough people buy these high quality products, increasing profitability, then companies will see the bottom-line and change their values ​​as well. "

Remember that some buyers look for stories when considering products. Some Buyers look for products when considering communities.When all things are equal with a product, people look for differentiators. Your well-crafted branding story can be a key differentiators to attract buyers.

Source by Jay Hamilton-Roth

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Hotel Ambiance – What is Essential is Invisible to the Eye

We define ambiance as the mood or the atmosphere that we encounter in a particular place at a particular instance of time. Ambiance, in this context, is a very important aspect of the hotel experience. It’s not really something guests see, but rather something that is felt, something that is experienced.

Without ambiance, hotels will simply be buildings with a bunch of rooms for lodging-and nothing more. Ambiance helps transform the hotel from a building with accommodations to a home away from home, an establishment where guests can be alive and well. Ambiance is the hotel’s character, important both for the hotel’s own mark as well as for the enjoyment of its many patrons.

Take the Gravetye Manor Hotel, for example. It is perhaps one of the most ambiance-filled hotels ever. This garden hotel located in England may not be the most flamboyant and spectacular hotels in the world, but it is filled with an inherent beauty and character afforded by the garden, the hotel’s stone construction, and a remarkable view of the surrounding English countryside. Its unchanging composition makes travelers come back for more.

Another excellent example is the roof of the Lebua at State Tower, located at the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. With its breathtaking perspective overlooking the sprawling Bangkok cityscape, it’s no wonder many voted it one of the most ambient hotels in Asia.

See, the thing about ambiance is that one hotel doesn’t have to be located anywhere in particular just to simulate an atmosphere. Sure, being surrounded by lush groves and a rustic setting helps create a particularly relaxing mood, but it takes more than location to pull it off.

When it comes to creating that perfect atmosphere, well-appointed rooms that complement the hotel’s desired theme or character are always a big plus. Every tiny little detail should be able to work with every other detail as well as the environment, in order to create a unified mood that meshes together perfectly to achieve the desired result.

Sometimes it’s all about getting all things perfectly matched. From the food to the furnishings to the music played in the dining hall, these details all help create a unique ambiance. Lighting, of course, has a big effect on the ambiance. Even the decorations on the doors and the intricate tapestries adorning the walls play a significant role in establishing a mood inside the hotel.

People look for ambiance practically everywhere, from where they will be sitting at lunchtime to where they will be drinking their venti caramel frappuccino when the night comes. Atmosphere is everything-well, maybe not everything, but it sure is a very big something-especially when it comes to choosing hotels. Getting that particular mood just right helps establish the character of the hotel, and it is this defining characteristic that will help make guests book at the hotel more than once. Great ambiance translates to happy clients, and having that down pat means the hotel is well on its way to success.

Source by Kelvin Kong

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How Does a Phone System Work?

One of the greatest inventions of mankind is the telephone. Over the years, it has evolved into something that provides utmost convenience to its users. It does not only have the function of transmitting your voice from one end to another but it does that in a clear, wireless way.

How Does It Really Work?
Basically, it functions using what they call a PSTN or a Public Switch Telephone Network. This is a particular network that houses the use of numeric switches that allow signal transmission through fiber optic cables and wires. Fiber optic cables are the most flawless form of transmission and also the fastest which enables it to transmit signal even when there are information traffics.

A typical phone system has a receiver. This receiver can pick up signals. It also has a microphone-that mouthpiece with holes in it, that allows data to be converted. It will pass in the communication pathway to be delivered to the person you are calling. This is much the same process of wireless phones too. Only in wireless, they can utilize a satellite dish.

The Evolution Of PSTN
It has slowly evolved over the past few years. The first major change was pushed in the early 1960s. The then analog phone systems were adjusted into T1 carrier structures. Unlike the previous analog systems, this allows the use of 3 KHz of voice transmission signal. It is a wider voice channel but somehow it did not make it quite as big as what the inventors expected it to.

Digital transmission then progressed to the use of fiber optic cables. This kind of transmission cost much less than the analog ones which is why they were immediately embroced by the public.

Telephone Over IP
Now, there is also what we call the Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP. This allows users to call using the telephone but channeling through IP networks. This internet telephone system is now widely used due to its affordability and reliability. Even businesses now employ the use of VoIP.

There is a marked disadvantage despite. In comparison to the usual phones, if there is a power interruption, VoIP functions cease without you use UPS or Uninterruptible power supply. Also, with this type of phone system, you do not have a stationary and fixed address. This can be a problem if you want to call fire department or 911. However, the advantages still do outweigh the disadvantages.

Source by Alan Cassidy

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Choosing an Online OSHA School

Like many of us, you are in search of a quality, online safety school. You might be interested in an OSHA Outreach 10 hour course or a 40 hour HAZWOPER course, but before you jump the gun, here are a few things to consider when making the choice.

1. Content Providers

Now this is something that most people do not know, but for the thousands of online safety school providers out there, there are only a handful of content providers. This means that in a nut shell, most of the websites out there are selling the exact same course. This is a good thing because it narrows down the list in a big way. The two big names out there are 360Training and ClickSafety. I find 360Training to be a great choice when choosing a content provider because they provide 24 hour support 7 days a week, including live chat and a toll free number, their media loads quickly and is updated regularly.

2. General Aesthetic

General Aesthetic in this sense refers to how a website looks. It may not matter much to you, but I find that if i am spending 10 to 40 hours on one website, an obnoxious website can make that experience go from bad to worse. Generally, something nice and clean is always preferable. The look of a website can also be a good indicator of how much the owner cares about the website, and thus how much they care about their customers.

3. Customer Feedback

It might seem obvious to check the customer feedback of an online business, but you would be surprised at the number of people who give out their credit card information to a shady company without even considering the legitimacy of the company. Keep in mind that a lack of feedback is just that. It is neither a good omen nor a bad omen, it just means either the company has no negative feedback or is relatively new.

4. Price

This part of the search is pretty straight forward. Since most of the websites are selling the same course, there’s not necessarily a “You get what you pay for” mentality. Most websites will be offering the course for about the same price, but there is a way to get more for less. Some websites provide study guides ($49.00 value) and standard books (up to $150.00 value) free of charge with the price of enrollment. The bottom line is some websites offer more than others for the same price, so shop around.


Choosing an online safety course provider can be a daunting task, but if you follow these simple guidelines, you should find it to be easy and rewarding. I hope this has helped you.

Source by Chad Marshman

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