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Friday, July 21, 2006

How to invest money: mutual funds or stocks?

You have money that you would like to make a safe and ample return on. Learn how to invest your money to make it go the furthest.

The question has once come across every investors mind: Mutual funds or stocks? This question is mostly asked by the beginner who wants to start investing, but doesn't know where to put his or her money. What is the answer to the question? There is no correct answer, but it can be argued for either side. Determining whether to put your money in mutual funds or stocks depends on you. How you will determine which is best is what I'll show you.


Stocks are shares of ownership in a company. You can buy shares through a brokerage at the price per share. Historically, the stock market has averaged annual returns per year of 11 percent. Of all the different types of investments, stocks will give you the most for your money. However, stocks can also be the most volatile. Risk and return go hand-in-hand. In the long run history has shown that financial markets recover, so stocks should be considered investments for the long run.

A mutual fund is a huge collected amount of money from a large group of investors that the mutual fund manager uses to buy lots of different stocks, bonds, and/or other assets that meet the company's investment criteria.


When you buy shares in the fund, you become a shareholder. When you give your money to the fund, you are giving your money to the expert money manager of the mutual fund.


Mutual funds give you diversification and expert money management which allows you to sit back and relax.


Your choice of whether to pick a stock or mutual fund, is based on comparing their risk, return, and their expenses. You should also look at the pros and cons of both mutual funds and stocks.


Mutual funds carry a low amount of risk. If you are a low risk taker, mutual funds may be for you. If you can't stand watching your money going up and down every day by large amounts, then invest in mutual funds. Why are mutual funds such safe and low risk investments? Because they diversify. They give your money a little taste of everything. The fund will invest your money in a number of different stocks in different industries. That way, a single company's depreciation can balance out with another company's appreciation.


Mutual funds are generally good investments for retiring, saving for college, or any other goal that needs time. If you have some money that you don't need anytime soon, and don't want to take too much risk or spend time tracking your investment, then invest your money into a mutual fund.


However, mutual funds do have their disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage to know about a mutual fund is that most mutual funds underperform the stock market's average (represented by the S&P 500 Index) every year. 90 percent of mutual funds, in the last decade, have underperformed the market. Think about it, all those "expert" money managers can't even beat the market.


"Mutual funds are boring!" That's what anxious investors who want to gain their wealth a little quicker say. They think of investing their money in stocks as an adventure and can live with price fluctuations, while they scowl at leaving their money in a snail speed mutual fund.


The beginner often sees what the expert overlooks. Who says you can't invest better than a fund manager? Regular people do it all the time. A blind folded monkey can throw darts at a stock listing and compete very well with the money mananger. While the fund manager is looking at all his numbers the common investor is using common sense.


Both mutual funds and stocks can be for long term investors. But over the longer period of time, the stocks will prevail over the underachieving mutual funds. Those who cling too tightly to the familiar deny themselves many opportunities. There is no progress without risk.

Written by Paul Nowak - © 2002 Pagewise

Discover the money secret

The New Year leaves many households facing more than just the difficulties of stubborn pine needles. For some of us, serious debt causes not merely difficulties, but devastation.

It is entirely appropriate then, that January 2005 saw the launch of Rob Parsons’ new book, The Money Secret. It could be the most widely relevant and timely book that he has ever written.

“Since the beginning of Care for the Family, I have watched as debt has destroyed families,” Rob says. “So many people in broken marriages have told us that financial pressures played a big part. But debt is no respecter of income or age – all kinds of people need help.

How debt affects us
“Devastation aptly sums up what debt often does to people,” says Rob. “It hits them in several areas at once … self-esteem – “How stupid I’ve been”; hope – “I will never get out of this mess”; fear – “What will happen to me? Will we lose the house? Will I go to prison? What will happen to the children?” And especially isolation. Although we know that others go through these issues, when it happens to us it feels like just us.”

Told in story form, ‘The Money Secret’ is immensely readable, full of the practicalities and theory of money management. Why did Rob choose to communicate debt issues in this way? “I wanted to ‘switch lights on’ for people, so that they not only understand the facts but believe that somebody understands how debt feels. Stories are powerful. This tale of a young woman about to take her own life and Lydia, the unusual elderly woman who saves her, enabled me to take readers into very different situations of debt – from the lives of those who are very poor to the seemingly very rich.”

“But ‘The Money Secret’ isn’t just about debt, is it?” I ask. “It’s for all of us who want a wiser and wider grasp of our finances.”

Making wise life choices
“Absolutely,” agrees Rob. “It’s for everybody. It’s not so much about debt as wise life choices and how to understand the way the money system works.”

I admitted to Rob that I personally found some of the research in the book shocking, even when I consider myself fairly switched on to the facts. Rob agreed. “So did I. Particularly the realisation that credit card companies often target those they know have the most difficulty in making repayments, offering cards with very high interest rates. It’s also shocking to discover that some banks and credit card companies love it when they ‘have’ to levy late repayment fees or higher rates of interest because we have gone over our overdraft limit. It boosts profits.”

I add that one of the things that unsettled me the most as I read the book was the apparent irresponsibility of so many large companies and financial institutions which effectively entice borrowers into debt.

“It is an absolute scandal,” says Rob. “And it’s one reason that I don’t subscribe to the view that if we are in debt it’s all our fault. I know that people say, ‘nobody forced you to take that loan’, but the truth is that many providers of credit – some of them very big names – offer finance in an irresponsible way, often on terms that are almost impossible to understand. Just ask a few friends if they really know how much interest they are paying on their credit or store cards and then get them to check with the company. We live in a society where credit is thrown at us from every angle. It is vital to understand how the system works and to spot the dangers.”

Getting out of debt
So how might we use the book to overhaul our own financial world and help those who have lost their way in their own?

“‘The Money Secret’ takes the lid off the way banks, credit card companies and store card providers work,” explains Rob. “But it also shows why many of us get into debt in the first place – why we find it so very hard not to buy. Then it gives a clear system to begin to get out of debt. The main character, Amy – the girl who at the beginning was about to take her own life – is equipped not just to help herself but to get alongside others who are traumatised by debt.”

I ask Rob to have the last word to explain what impact he would like ‘The Money Secret’ to have: “My hope is that millions of people will realise that they are not alone in financial trouble, and I pray with all my heart that ‘The Money Secret’ will genuinely help those who are shackled by debt to become free of it – forever.”

Adapted from Care for the Family magazine – Spring 2005 issue

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Eight Important Tips for Women Who Want to Earn More Money

1. Concentrate on career options in the hard sciences, not the social sciences. Engineers and computer scientists get paid more than teachers, journalists, and social workers. Female engineering managers earn an average annual salary of $83,000, but only 10 percent of professionals in the field are women.

2. Get hazard pay without the hazards. Women in the military have an 8-to-1-safety ratio over men (e.g., not a single woman has died in the Marines or Air Force in the War in Iraq). Women cab drivers routinely work safer shifts (and sometimes areas) than their male counterparts, as well as get higher tips, in spite of not necessarily helping with the baggage. And for a woman unwilling to take any physical risk, there’s the lucrative option of starting up a construction company. Thanks to laws governing federal contracts, she’ll have government agencies, universities, and other organizations competing for her business.

3. Choose fields with higher financial and emotional risks. Male doctors and lawyers earn more than females in part because they are more likely to be in private practice. Risk is a huge reason venture capitalists earn between $100,000 and $300,000 a year—substantially more than supermarket cashiers who receive a regular paycheck and "check out" at the end of the day. About 91 percent of venture capitalists are men.

4. Put in the hours. People who work just ten hours more per week earn almost twice the pay. Dr. Farrell explains why this happens, and how to take advantage of it if you have a family (while still giving your children even more one-on-one time with mom or dad).

5. Know the Ninety Fields that Pay Women More than Men. While more than ninety fields pay women more than men, Dr. Farrell identifies thirty-nine large fields that pay women at least 5% more than men. For example, female statisticians earn a third more than the men and female speech-language pathologists make 29% more.

6. Understand the Trends Reshaping the Workplace. Pharmacists now earn more than physicians. Technology is now transforming many male-dominated fields into female-friendly fields (e.g., manufacturing and steelwork). Why? Muscle and heavy lifting are being replaced by microchip and mind. (Dr. Farrell presents 25 of the fastest growing careers for the next seven years —see Table 15 on pages 119-122.)

7. Being Upwardly Mobile Means Being Vertically Mobile. Women account for half of today’s professionals but only 18 percent of all employees transferred abroad, and only a similar percentage of frequent fliers. But women who move up are willing to both travel on the job and relocate, especially overseas. Dr. Farrell explains how to do this without neglecting the children.


8. Switch to a higher-paying subfield. The same 25 ways to higher pay in any given field also lead to higher pay in a subfield. For example, a nurse who wishes to become a nurse anesthetist can make twice the pay of a general nurse; one who wishes to travel can earn much better income as a traveling nurse.



Adapted from WHY MEN EARN MORE: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap - and What Women Can Do About It by Warren Farrell, Ph.D. (AMACOM Books).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cute Face

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Solidinvestment.com investment scam

By WORLDLawDirect [July 11th, 2006]

Fraud warning regarding the firm "Solid Investment" and its site solidinvestment.com


Comments from our site users regarding solidinvestment.com

"...as of mid-day Saturday July 8th, 2006,
the Solidinvestment site has been down, as well as the forum:
http://www.ecurrencyforum.com, which we now believe to have
been controlled by them (SI).

It is imperative therefore, that we proceed with swiftness, to
keep SI from pulling off one the BIGGEST HYIP scams in Internet history!"

Operators of Solid Investment and the site solidinvestment.com have collected funds, failed to make promised payments, and have now disappeared.

Solidinvestment was supposedly a Belize-based company. A review of Internet records has shown the operators to be in several locations.

Criminal charges are being filed as of today. If you have further comments or information, or need help, email us here at WorldLawDirect.

Power To Change

by Marilyn Reichert

I believed that having children would bring me contentment, but as much as I loved my children, marriage and motherhood were not bringing the fulfilment I had longed for.

Being a wife and a mother had been my goal in life. When neither of these roles filled the void inside me, I thought perhaps a new career would do the trick. I got a job as a part-time receptionist in a real estate office. The job soon progressed to full-time, and then promotions which led to Regional Administrator. Career-wise, I had arrived, but still I lacked fulfillment.

As my career took off, my marriage suffered. I was resentful that I had been working for five years while my husband had stayed home with the kids. I was very angry with life.

After 17 years with my husband, Tom, I decided to take the children and separate from him. Perhaps the fighting would stop, and I would have peace. In October 1987, I put the children into the car, picked up my purse and drove away! I thought that fulfilment would surely come as I pursued my career and became a more attentive mother to my children. It did not.

Within two months, it was worse than ever. I would be spending most of Christmas alone at my sister's, without the children that were the only reason for my existence. I was very distraught at the way life had turned out–there seemed to be no meaning, no purpose and no way I could get it under control.

I was driving my boss to the airport when he turned to me and said, "You know you have nothing left to lose. You don't have a home, a husband or your kids. All you have is your car, and your job. So, why don't you give your life to Jesus?" So, for no other reason than to keep this man happy, I repeated the words of a prayer asking Jesus to come into my life and take over.

At that point I didn't think that it would change a thing. But before I could lift my head and open my eyes, something profound had happened inside me. I could not explain it, but I knew it was real. For the first time, the feeling of "hopelessness" was gone from my gut. When Jim told me I was forgiven for all of the mistakes I had ever made, I knew what he said was real somehow. I felt very free, and very much at peace.

In the months that followed, there were many more storms to go through and many disappointing events, but there was peace. Every day at work began with prayer and every night I read my Bible and listened to tapes about the Bible. I joined a noon hour Bible study and began to attend church on a regular basis. I was always amazed that the pastor was speaking on things that were happening in my life. I stopped drinking and smoking.

The biggest change of all since I asked Jesus into my life was that the void was gone and life had meaning and purpose. I no longer seek fulfilment through human relationships, whether it is my children or my friends. They can disappoint.

I have found the One who never disappoints. There are still many trials (my youngest son, Jonathan, has had cancer and my mother passed away suddenly), and there are times of calm. But life is not the roller coaster ride it used to be. Fulfilment–the filling of that void–comes in only one person, and His name is Jesus.

Take a look at your life. How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times. There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?

Living with hope

If you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here's a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.

Is this the life for you?

If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you'll experience life to the fullest.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

The History of Football (Soccer)

A sport similar to football was played 3000 years ago in Japan. Chinese text from 50 BC mentions football-type games between teams from Japan and China. A text dating from 611 AD confirms that football was played in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan.

Ancient Greeks and Romans also played a game that resembled football - although the Greeks permitted carrying of the ball. Olympic games in ancient Rome featured a 50-minute football game with twenty-seven men on a side.

The early days
How the sport spread from the East to Europe is not clear but England became the home of modern football. At first the game had a bad reputation among English royalty - possibly because of the noise the fans made - by whose insistence the government passed laws against it. King Edward (1307-1327) proclaimed, "For as much as there is a great noise in the city caused by hustling over large balls, from which many evils may arise, which God forbid, we forbid on behalf of the King, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city." In 1365 King Edward III banned football because of its excessive violence and for military reasons playing took time away from archery practice the game had become too popular to be curtailed. King Henry IV and Henry VIII passed laws against the sport, and Queen Elizabeth I "had football players jailed for a week, with follow-up church penance"

Laws failed to slow the popularity of football and by 1681 it received official sanction in England. The games were still ruff and noisy, with players hardly ever leaving the field without broken bones or even being spiked. There was no standard set for the size of teams or the field; the earliest organised games, usually bitter confrontations between teams from two or three parishes, had goals as far as 5 km (3 miles) apart. It was only by 1801 that it was (somewhat) agreed that teams should have an equal number of players and that the playing area should be about 91 metres (100 yards). Records show that Eton college drew up the first written rules of football in 1815. (The modern standardised rules are known as the Cambridge rules.)

Until the mid-1800s football rules still varied across regions. Team sizes ranged from 15 to 21. The 11-player team was standardised in 1870. The crossbar between two goalposts became mandatory in 1875. The goalkeeper was formally distinguished in the 1880s.

F I F A
The first football club was formed in Sheffield, England in 1857. The Football Association was founded on 26 October 1863 by 11 clubs meeting in London. (The word association was abbreviated to assoc., which became "soccer.")


Where does the word "soccer" come from?
In the 1880s students of Oxford university abbreviated words by adding "er" to the end; for instance, breakfast became "brekkers" and "rugby rules" was referred to as "rugger." When one student, Charles Wreford Brown, was asked if he'd like to play rugger, he was the first to abbreviate "association rules" (Football Association rules) by answering, "No, soccer." Brown later bacame an England international and Football Association vice-president.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), was created in 1904 to co-ordinate the national football associations in the world. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Complete Listing of World Wonders


The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World


-The Great Pyramid of Giza

-The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
-The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
-The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
-The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
-The Colossus of Rhodes
-The Pharos of Alexandria


The Seven Wonders of the Medieval Mind

-Stonehenge
-The Colosseum
-The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
-The Great Wall of China
-The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
-The Hagia Sophia
-The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Seven Natural Wonders of the World

-Mount Everest
-The Great Barrier Reef
-The Grand Canyon
-Victoria Falls
-The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
-Paricutin Volcano
-The Northern Lights

The Seven Underwater Wonders of the World

-Palau
-The Belize Barrier Reef
-The Galapagos Islands
-The Northern Red Sea
-Lake Baikal
-The Great Barrier Reef
-The Deep Sea Vents

The Seven Wonders of the Modern World

-The Empire State Building
-The Itaipú Dam
-The CN Tower
-The Panama Canal
-The Channel Tunnel
-The North Sea Protection Works
-The Golden Gate Bridge

The Seven Forgotten Natural Wonders of the World

-Angel Falls
-The Bay of Fundy
-Iguaçú Falls
-Krakatoa Island
-Mount Fuji
-Mount Kilimanjaro
-Niagara Falls

The Seven Forgotten Modern Wonders of the World

-The Clock Tower (Big Ben)
-Eiffel Tower
-The Gateway Arch
-The Aswan High Dam
-Hoover Dam
-Mount Rushmore National Memorial
-The Petronas Towers

The Seven Forgotten Wonders of the Medeival Mind

-Abu Simbel Temple
-Angkor Wat
-Taj Mahal
-Mont Saint-Michel
-The Moai Statues
-The Parthenon
-The Shwedagon Pagoda

The Forgotten Wonders

-The Aztec Temple
-The Banaue Rice Terraces
-The Borobudur Temple
-The Inca City
-The Statue of Liberty
-The Mayan Temples
-The Temple of the Inscriptions
-The Throne Hall of Persepolis
-Petra
-The Suez Canal
-The Sydney Opera House
-The Red Fort in India

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Nice Painting

Dangerous Dihydrogen Monoxide

Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means death.

Dihydrogen monoxide:

* is also known as hydric acid, and is the major component of acid rain.

* contributes to the "greenhouse effect."

* may cause severe burns.

* contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.

* accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.

* may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.

* has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

CONTAMINATION IS REACHING EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS!

Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. In the midwest alone DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

* as an industrial solvent and coolant.

* in nuclear power plants.

* in the production of styrofoam.

* as a fire retardant.

* in many forms of cruel animal research.

* in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.

* as an additive in "junk-foods" and other food products.

Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

THE HORROR MUST BE STOPPED!

The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

IT'S NOT TOO LATE!

Act NOW to prevent further contamination. Find out more about this dangerous chemical. What you don't know CAN hurt you and others throughout the world.

(Note: Dihydrogen monoxide is another way of saying H20, or just plain water)

Chinita - From Friendster.Com

From Friendster.Com

Cover Letter Writing Tips

When writing your cover letter, keep in mind that the reviewer is only interested in one thing: the facts. Do not think of your cover letter as an autobiography; it should be brief and to the point. The purpose of the cover letter (and resume) should be one thing – it should demonstrate that you meet or exceed the requirements listed in the job description. It should demonstrate that you're interested in the position, and that you're available to accept the position if offered. Additional information beyond this can be counterproductive, as it dilutes the core purpose of the cover letter.
When writing the cover letter, avoid negatives. A cover letter is not the place to explain why you left or are leaving an employer, why there are gaps in your employment dates, etc. These "negatives" are best delivered in person during the interview so that your personality can counter them.
Try to avoid a salary history in the cover letter. Even if the position specifically asks for your salary history, providing this information will more likely cost you a job than not. If the job ad specifically says that resumes without a salary history will not be considered, give a historical salary range, and state that your salary requirements are flexible based on the opportunity the position will provide.
Spend time thinking about the layout of your letter, and make sure that it's easy on the eyes. It should be easy to scan the letter, and have a logical progression. Keep in mind, the reviewer of your cover letter and resume has hundreds (if not thousands) of cover letters and resumes to look at, so make it easy for him/her to find the information you want to highlight. Bunched up text in long paragraphs will frustrate anyone who has to review hundreds of resumes and cover letters a week. In addition to the layout, don't just repeat your resume. Your cover letter is not a summary of your resume; instead, it's an introduction of yourself, and an argument for why you are the best candidate for their company and the specific position. Above all, avoid the generic cover letter that you get from books. If you are not sure how to write a targeted non-generic cover letter, we suggest using a professional cover letter writing service. The services are fairly inexpensive - professional cover letter writing services start at about $30.
PLEASE do NOT follow the advice of poorly written resume and cover letter books and web sites that advise on using platitudes and cliches in your cover letter. Resume reviewers do this for a living. They know that almost every candidate promises "excellent written and verbal communication skills", and the ability to "think outside the box" and "juggle multiple tasks". The point here is to be different and stand out. The goal is to demonstrate your written communication skills by writing a good cover letter – Cutting and pasting a phrase from a cover letter / resume book is not impressive.
As noted above, personalize your cover letter if possible. Your cover letter should be addressed to a specific person - avoid the "Dear Sir or Madam". Form letters insult the reviewer's intelligence and indicate that you, the writer, are broadcasting his/her resume to every employer in the area. Or you have not made an effort to learn more about the company. Generic/canned cover letters can lead to failure.. Even if you do not know the name of the recipient, you usually can find a contact name at the company fairly easily. Go to their company web site, and search the "about us" pages for names of individuals to address your cover letter and resume to. It takes a few seconds and it will make your letter stand out.

Men and Women

Men

1. All men are extremely busy.

2. Although they are so busy, they still have time for women.

3. Although they have time for women, they don't really care for them.

4. Although they don't really care for them, they always have one Around.

5. Although they always have one around them, they always try their Luck with others.

6. Although they try their luck with others, they get really pissed off If the women leaves them.

7. Although the women leaves them they still don't learn from their Mistakes and still try their luck with others.

Women

1. The most important thing for a woman is financial security.

2. Although this is so important, they still go out and buy expensive Clothes.

3. Although they always buy expensive clothes, they never have something To wear.

4. Although they never have something to wear, they always dress Beautifully.

5. Although they always dress beautifully, their clothes are always just "An old rag".

6. Although their clothes are always "just an old rag", they still Expect you to compliment them.

7. Although they expect you to compliment them, when you do, they don't Believe you

THE CHINA GREAT WALL


The Great Wall of China was built over 2,000 years ago, by Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China during the Qin (Ch'in) Dynasty (221 B.C - 206 B.C.). In Chinese the wall is called "Wan-Li Qang-Qeng" which means 10,000-Li Long Wall (10,000 Li = about 5,000 km).

After subjugating and uniting China from seven Warring States, the emperor connected and extended four old fortification walls along the north of China that originated about 700 B.C. (over 2500 years ago).

Armies were stationed along the wall as a first line of defense against the invading nomadic Hsiung Nu tribes north of China (the Huns). Signal fires from the Wall provided early warning of an attack. The Great Wall is one of the largest building construction projects ever completed. It stretches across the mountains of northern China, winding north and northwest of Beijing.

It is constructed of masonry, rocks and packed-earth. It was over 5,000 km (=10,000 Li) long. Its thickness ranged from about 4.5 to 9 meters (15 to 30 feet) and was up to 7.5 meters (25 feet) tall. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Great Wall was enlarged to 6,400 kilometers (4,000 miles) and renovated over a 200 year period, with watch-towers and cannons added.

The Great Wall can be seen from Earth orbit, but, contrary to legend, is not visible from the moon, according to astronauts Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Jim Irwin.

10 Tips For Successful Public Speaking

Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and healthy. It shows you care about doing well. But, too much nervousness can be detrimental. Here's how you can control your nervousness and make effective, memorable presentations:

  1. Know the room. Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
  2. Know the audience. Greet some of the audience as they arrive. It's easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.
  3. Know your material. If you're not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech and revise it if necessary.
  4. Relax. Ease tension by doing exercises.
  5. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear, and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.
  6. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative, and entertaining. They don't want you to fail.
  7. Don't apologize. If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you may be calling the audience's attention to something they hadn't noticed. Keep silent.
  8. Concentrate on the message -- not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties, and outwardly toward your message and your audience. Your nervousness will dissipate.
  9. Turn nervousness into positive energy. Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.
  10. Gain experience. Experience builds confidence.

Superman Girl : Kate Bosworth


Friendster Link from Friendster.Com - Tasha

Can You Make Money With Your Idea or Invention

Summary

Innovative ideas are essential to business progress. It is very difficult, however, for innovators to get the kind of financial and management support they need to realize their ideas.
This publication, aimed at idea people, inventors, and innovative owner-managers of small companies, describes the tests every idea must pass before it makes money.

You've Got an Idea? Great!

So, you've had an idea for an invention or an innovative way of doing something that will boost productivity, put more people to work, and make lots of money for you and anyone who backs you? As you've probably heard, you're the kind of person your country needs to compete in world markets and maintain its standard of living. You're the cutting edge of the future.

You are another of those individuals on whom progress has always depended. We all know that it hasn't been huge corporations that have come up with the inventions that have revolutionized life. As the discoverer of penicillin, Sir Alexander Flemming, said, "It is the lone worker who makes the first advance in a subject: The details may be worked out by a team, but the prime idea is due to the enterprise, thought and perception of an individual." Innovators like you are the lifeblood of business.

Owner-managers who have started companies on new ideas know first hand about the innovation process. They also know that you can expect to hear.

You've Got an Idea? So What?

In the first place, the chances that you are the first to come up with a particular innovation are somewhere between slim and none. Secondly, even if you have come up with the better mouse trap, nobody—but nobody—is going to beat a path to your door. In fact, in the course of trying to peddle your better mouse trap, you'll beat up plenty of shoe leather wearing paths to other people's doors. You'll stand a good chance of wearing out your patience and several dozen crying towels as well.

Why is it so hard to find backers for your brain children? One consultant put it: "Nobody wants unproven ideas. Nobody wants to be first. Everybody wants to be second." Why this fear of the new?

Well, new product failure rates are estimated conservatively to be between 50% and 80%. One survey of major companies with millions of dollars to spend on R & D, market research, and product advertising, and with well-established distribution systems found that of 58 internal proposals only 12 made it past initial screening. From these 12 only one successful new product emerged.

Another group set up to help innovators has found that of every 100 ideas submitted 85 have too many faults to bother with. They can be eliminated immediately. Of the remaining 15, maybe five will ever be produced. One of those might—only might—make money. With odds like 99 to 1 against an idea being a monetary success, is it any surprise that your idea is greeted with a chorus of yawns? People—companies, investors, what have you—are basically conservative with their money. Ideas are risky.

Does that mean you should forget about your idea? Of course not. It merely means that now you're beginning to see what Edison meant, when he said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."

Again, those of you who own small firms started on innovations are well aware of the truth of Edison's words. You've been through the hard work.

Can You Exploit Your Idea?

Although coming up with what you think is a sure-fire idea is the biggest step, it's still only the first one. You've got the other thousand miles of the journey to success still ahead of you.

Many things remain to be done before you can expect to realize the first dollar from your invention or other innovation. You should be prepared for the unhappy discovery that the end of the line for your idea may turn up well before the point you needed to reach to make money from it.

At a bare minimum, your idea will have to pass the following tests:

Is it original or has someone else already come up with it?

Can someone produce and distribute it if it's an invention or other product, or use it if it's a marketing innovation, a new use for an existing product, or the like?

Will it really make money? (Will someone buy it?)

Can you protect your idea?

That seems to be a modest enough list, and it is. The problems arise from the dozens of underlying questions that must be answered before the major questions can be resolved. Here, for example, are 33 areas that each idea may be submitted through to determine if it has commercial merit:

Legality

Development Status

Safety

Investment Costs

Environmental Impact

Trend of Demand

Societal Impact

Product Line Potential

Potential Market

Need

Product Life Cycle

Promotion

Usage Learning

Appearance

Product Visibility

Price

Service

Protection

Durability

Payback Period

New Competition

Profitability

Functional Feasibility

Product Interdependence

Production Feasibility

Research and Development

Stability of Demand

Potential Sales

Consumer/User Compatibility

Existing Competition

Marketing Research

Perceived Function

Distribution

Now that is not a modest list. However, for the moment let's ignore the 33 and look at the four broad questions.

Is Your Idea Original?

Obviously, if somebody has already come up with and produced as good an item or a better one, it would be pointless for you to pursue a similar idea any further. You'd only be wasting your time and money.

There are lots of places to look to find out. If your idea is for a consumer product, check stores and catalogues. Check trade associations and trade publications in the field into which your invention or innovation fits. Visit trade shows relevant to your idea. Look in the business and popular press.

Don't be afraid to ask people in the field if they've ever heard of anything along the lines of your idea. In the pure idea stage it's not very likely that somebody will steal your idea—all the hard work still has to be done. Besides, you can ask general sorts of questions and keep the details of your idea to yourself if you're really anxious that your idea will be pirated. Patent rights to an idea in major foreign countries will be jeopardized by uncontrolled disclosure prior to filing a patent application in the United States.

Obviously, if what you've come up with is an invention or an idea that can be put into patentable form, you'll eventually have to make a patent search. You could do that in this early stage, but it's probably a better idea to hold off until you've taken a look at your idea in the light of the next two questions.

How Will the Invention Be Produced and Distributed?

The first thought many innovators have is to take their ideas to a big national company. Provide the dazzling idea, they think, and let the giant work out the details. After all, the national company has the money, the production capability, and the marketing know-how to make this surefire profit maker go.

Unfortunately, the big companies are almost never interested in ideas from outsiders. Whether that's because the outside technology is "a risk, a threat," or simply because large corporations need potential sales of an item to be in the tens of millions of dollars, doesn't matter. The cold fact is that selling a big firm on your idea is in the 100 000 to 1 shot range.

On the other end of the scale, you may be able to produce some items yourself, working out of your home and selling by mail order. This method can be a good way to get started, but after a while you may find yourself getting tired of having 200 000 better mouse traps stashed in your bedroom.

To be sure, if you can start (or already have) your own company, you will be better off. It's easier to sell a company than a patent, even if the company is losing money.

Many potential buyers understand a company much better than they understand the technology of an invention. Business people usually look at the profit-and-loss possibilities differently from the way an innovator does.

Many of these business people follow what one innovator has called "the 'Anyhow' theory of economics": We have a plant anyhow. We have a sales force anyhow. We advertise anyhow. We're smarter anyhow. Such business people also know that by the time they purchase a company most of the bugs are out of the technology and customers exist.

Between the extremes of starting your own company and having a big business buy you out, is taking your idea to small and medium-sized businesses. Many smaller firms are interested in producing quantities that do not interest larger companies. It is true that smaller firms may lack the marketing and distribution expertise characteristic of larger firms, however, at this point it is important that you use the smaller firms to get your foot in the door.

Will Your Idea Make Money?

This is the question that worries everybody. Here is where the risk arises that makes it so difficult to interest people in backing your idea.

It's a question that's really impossible to answer with any assurance. After all, major corporations even with massive market studies hit clinkers all the time. Remember the Edsel? On the other hand, an idea so seemingly stupid that you'd think it was somebody's idea of a silly joke might make millions. Don't you wish you'd thought of the pet rock?

So many factors need to be considered to answer this question. Is there a market? Where is it? Is it concentrated or dispersed? Could the size of the market change suddenly? Will competition drive you out? These questions are by no means the bottom of the iceberg. Yet, answering the money question to the satisfaction of potential backers is the key to the other questions.

Can You Protect Your Idea?

Once you've come up with tentatively satisfying answers to the originality, production and distribution, and saleability questions, it's time to consider protecting your idea. After all, it looks like you have something.

If you do have a patentable item, it's time to look into trying to protect it under the patent laws. Here briefly are the steps you'll need to follow:

Obtain a patent information booklet that is available through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). They can be contacted by looking up their phone number in the government listings in your telephone directory or log on to their Web site.

Contact a patent attorney or agent to discuss the intricacies of the patent process and the potential costs of this process. The patent office will accept an application for a patent only from the inventor or from a recognized patent attorney or agent. You will want to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of attempting to put an application together yourself or using professional services that have experience in this field.

Having a patent won't mean you have absolute protection. In fact, one survey found that in over 70% of the infringement cases brought by patent holders to protect their patents, the patent itself was held invalid.

Defending your patent can be very expensive. If you don't have a patent, however, the probability of successfully protecting your invention approaches zero.

Mere ideas or suggestions can't be patented. Some of these you may be able to put in patentable form, but for those that you can't it's pretty much do-it-yourself. Consult with a patent attorney/agent or the Patent Office about the classes of patentable subject matter.

Say, for example, you think you have a great gimmick for selling more of Company A's products. Leaving aside the likelihood that Company A won't be interested, how do you approach Company A with your idea with any assurance they won't simply use it without paying you a cent?

About the best you can do is write them a letter telling them you have a promotional (or whatever) idea and, without giving them any details, offer to send it to them. Include in your letter a statement to be signed and returned by a Company A representative promising they won't divulge your idea or make use of it without compensation (to be negotiated between them and you), if they'd like to know the details of your plan. They'll probably say thanks but no thanks or that they can't promise any such things without seeing the idea, but it's the only course open to you.

Is There any Hope?

Each section of this publication seems to be packed with bad news, but the publication wouldn't be doing you any favors by raising false hopes. The point is, you need to be more than an idea person to make money out of an invention or other innovation.

Many small businesses have been doomed from the start because of false hopes. Those of you who already operate going firms have avoided wishful thinking in other business areas. You need to avoid it where innovations is concerned, too.

What are potential idea and invention backers looking for? If you read around in the subject, you'll run across many comments to the effect that:

What we want is an entrepreneur, someone who cannot only invent a product but find capital and a way of getting the product on the market.

It's better to have a fair new product and a great manager than the other way around.
Management is the most important element for success of an invention.

Edison wasn't only an inventing genius. He was also a promoting genius, a publicity genius, a capital-raising genius, a genius at seeing potential markets for inventions.

Have you ever heard of Joseph Swan? A strong case could be made for saying he invented the electric light eight months before Edison. Who got the patents? Who got the bulb on the market? Edison. Who invented the electric light bulb? Edison.

Few of us are Edisons. We may have brilliant product ideas, but we aren't usually knowledgeable, let alone brilliant, in all of the areas that need to be covered. We need help.

Where Can You Go for Help?

While you probably still have to invest considerable perspiration yourself, you can get help with some of the sweating. Even Edison had some help.

Patent Attorneys and Agents:Attorneys and agents can help you make patent searches and applications, if you can't do them yourself. You can find attorneys and agents by looking in the classified section of your telephone directory under "Patents."

Invention Promotion Firms:Also likely to be listed in the "Patents" section of the directory, are firms that offer—for a fee—to take on the whole job of protecting and promoting your idea.

Caution is necessary in dealing with such promoters.

If you elect to use an invention promotion firm make sure:

They can provide you with solid evidence of their track record—not just a few flashy success stories, but verifiable statistics on the number of clients they've had and the number who have actually made money.

They don't collect the entire fee in advance.

They will provide you with samples of their promotional materials and lists of companies to whom they've sent it. (Then check with those companies yourself.)

You check the promotion firm's reputation with the local Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, a patent attorney, or a local inventors or innovators club.

Invention Brokers:Brokers work for a portion of the profits from an invention. They may help inventors raise capital and form companies to produce and market their inventions. They often provide sophisticated management advice. In general, you can expect these brokers to be interested in more complex technology with fairly large sales potential.

University Innovation/Invention/Entrepreneurial Centres:These centres, some funded by the National Research Council, show promise for helping inventors and innovators. The best known one, the University of Waterloo, for example, evaluates an idea for a very modest fee. The Centre evaluates an idea on 33 criteria (listed earlier in the publication) to help inventors weed out bad ideas so they won't waste further time and money on them.

The Centre also identifies trouble spots that require special attention in planning the development or commercialization of a potential new product. If an idea looks like it has merit and is commercially feasible, the Centre tries to link the innovator with established companies or refers him or her to sources of funds.

Small business branch of your provincial economic development office:The Small Business Branch can provide information about the market research, feasibility analysis, and business planning assistance necessary to make an innovation successful.

Small Business field offices can provide you with information about government programs. You may find other management assistance programs offered at the field offices to help in realizing your idea as well.

Inventor's Clubs/Associations/Societies:

You may have such clubs in your locality. You can share experiences with kindred spirits and get good advice, low cost evaluation, and other help.
Talking with other inventors is probably the most helpful thing you can do. Find someone who has been through the entire routing of patents, applied R&D, and stages of financing. It doesn't matter if the end result was a financial success or failure. Getting the nitty-gritty of the process is what's important.

Are You Being Unreasonable about Your Chances?

If you have read this publication and still think you can make money with your idea, some people might think you've missed the point. If you continue to believe in your idea after looking at the odds and obstacles, you are being unreasonable.

That's exactly what you should be. You're in good company.

All progress is made by unreasonable people, George Bernard Shaw observed. Reasonable people adapt to the world around them; unreasonable people try to change it.


Source:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Prepared by:
Saskatchewan Industry and Resources, Business and Co-operative Services

Looking for an Easy Money Making Idea?

By: Diana Pemberton-Sikes

The fastest, easiest way to make money is by doing something you enjoy and are good at. Often we look to "proven" opportunities to generate fast money when all we really have to do is take a good look at ourselves.

So with that in mind, let me ask you this: how do you relax? Do you garden? Play cards? Watch old movies?

What if you could find a way to turn how you relax into something that makes money? I know what you may be thinking: "My down time is off limits!" But it's precisely for that reason that it's a great way to make money. It's also why it's often overlooked.

Futurist Faith Popcorn concludes that with today's hectic pace, people would rather spend money than time. If you could combine your love of your leisure time activity with the knowledge that people will pay to have things done, you could find yourself with some potentially lucrative ideas on your hands.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

Several years ago, I was having lunch with a group of women I worked with. We started to talk about how we liked to unwind. One woman read books. Another liked to walk her dog. Cooking and watching television were also high on the list. But one woman just chuckled. "I know you're going to think I'm crazy, but I like to iron clothes." It was obvious. Everything she wore was always neatly pressed.

By the end of the meal, she had herself some clients. Before long, her quick, precise skill had won her an army of regulars-that had her netting several hundred dollars a month. All for a few hours a week of doing something that she enjoyed that helped her to unwind.

My husband's grandfather loved to mow lawns. It was how he could be by himself, think about nothing, and make money to boot. He mowed for several churches and schools and had private clients as well.

One of the men who works with my husband is a visiting scientist from Japan. After they'd been here a few months, his wife wrote a long letter to one of her friends back home, detailing her life in America. The letter found its way to the local newspaper editor, who asked for permission to print it. Now the wife is a regular contributor, chronicling her life in the States.

Love to wrap gifts? It's a lucrative sideline for one woman I know. With her specialty papers and unusual ribbons, she can transform a mere package into a beautiful work of art.

Her talent first caught the eye of one of her superiors when she wrapped a group gift that went to a co-worker. The boss paid her to wrap a birthday gift for his wife, who in turn hired her to wrap all of their Christmas presents. Word of mouth spread quickly, and before long, she had herself a fun way to earn enough to regularly indulge another past time: travel.

Another woman I know loves to cook, with holiday baking being a particular passion. The orders she fills during the holidays from friends, family, and co-workers regularly end up as hostess, teacher, and business gifts, and she usually makes enough money to cover all her own Christmas expenses.

Finally, my own grandmother, a regular social butterfly, used to love to host product parties for her business opportunity friends. Tupperware, Shaklee, Beeline Fashions-you name it, Grandma would have her girlfriends over for a look. Never interested in becoming a distributor herself, she'd settle for the hostess gifts and a percentage of the sales made during her parties. That way, she could enjoy the variety of things offered without ever having to handle products herself.

So how do you relax? Sew? Assemble photo albums? Tinker with cars?

If it's something you enjoy and are going to do regardless, why not make some money? A little word of mouth or even a classified ad could create enough steady business to put a whole new spin on relaxing. After all, people would rather spend money than time. Why shouldn't they spend their money with you?