Treating Mental Health and Forensic Populations

No longer is it possible to assess and/or treat a mental health population without also interfacing with forensic issues such as legal infractions, Courts, violence, sexual behavior problems, delinquency, crime, Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, substance abuse, and others. The training and approaches to the mental health population is different than that for a forensic population. So what is to be done, if a person has both issues? We must be cross trained for dually affected clients.

How Are the Populations Different

A Mental Health population is comprised primarily Axis I disorders, such as Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Major Depression, PTSD, and Anxiety Disorders. Daily functioning is on a continuum. Recovery is quick for some and slow for others and is also on a continuum. Well controlled intermittent, mild to moderate episodes of a mood or anxiety disorder will not necessarily interfere with daily functioning. Someone with severe, chronic Schizophrenia or Mood Disorder requiring periodic hospitalizations and extensive community support, will have impairment in daily functioning. Goals for these folks are often pro-social and involve being an active member of society. A therapist can be fairly sure that the mental health client without forensic issues will be relatively honest in his or her interactions and the therapist can take most of what he/she says at face value. An emphasis on a strengths model works well when no personality disorder is involved.

A forensic population can be defined as having personality disorders, interpersonal difficulties, behavioral problems, multiple problems and life long courses of various levels of dysfunction or difficulty. Again, this population fills the full spectrum of effective daily functioning. However, social functioning is often the most severe impairment. There are issues of trust, appropriate relationships, ego centrism, moral development, honesty, manipulation, and danger to self and others. They often have a negative view of themselves and others, especially authority figures. Moral development is often delayed leaving them at the egocentric stage of development. This means that what serves the self is what matters and empathy for others and the ability to have an honest relationship with another person may not yet have developed. Their goals are often self-serving.

The capacity to understand the importance of the best interest of the group through laws and rules that we voluntarily follow, may not be well understood. Many, if not most, have histories of childhood abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence. The assessment and interventions with this population is necessarily different that those for a people with no Axis II disorder or trait. The people with forensic issues do not always tell the truth because of their lack of trust in relationships. The therapist cannot take what he/she says at face value. The therapist must separate the sincere from the manipulative moves for self-gain. The internal boundaries are such that they need the therapist to put external boundaries into place for them. Information must be checked with other sources of information.

How Assessment Tools Differ

In a mental health population, assessment can quite effectively be done through instruments such as the MMPI-A, BASC, and MACI. These self-report tools are quite sufficient for this population and will elucidate psychological dynamics and mental illness, if present. Self-report is not as much of an issue as it is in the forensic population, where third party verification is more important. However when a youth has multiple problems, both mental health and forensic, a combination of tools is preferred.

Forensic evaluation tools rely less on self-report because of the trust issues and because it is not always in the client’s best interest to be completely truthful. Self-report assessment instruments can be used, but third party and official reports should also be used in the evaluation phase of a forensic assessment. Courts are concerned with public safety, therefore, the need for tools that assess future risk of dangerousness to others. Risk of future aggression and sexual behavior problems that have been derived from statistical models (actuarial tools) should be part of the evaluation since clinical assessment of risk of future dangerousness is only a little better than chance. While risk assessments are not perfect, they are better than clinical judgment in this area.

How are Interventions Different?

Major Mental Illnesses, while often chronic, can often be very effectively treated with medication and therapy. At the higher functioning end of the continuum, therapy can be supportive, psychotherapeutic, family, or cognitive behavioral. Therapists are trained to accept what the client presents and start where the client is functioning and how the client sees the world. The clients are usually self-motivated and seek therapy voluntarily. They accept responsibility for their behaviors and for making changes in their lives. Use of a strengths model is often very effective. Many people recover fully and lead quite “normal,” non-disrupted lives. When someone is on the lower end of the continuum, with major disruption in every day functioning (work and family),despite medication and therapy, major supports for housing, jobs, and activities of daily living and medication are needed for a very long time, perhaps a life time. However, their life goals are often still pro-social. Serlf-directed care works well with the mental health population without Axis II diagnoses.

In the area of intervention, different approaches are needed for the forensic population. Some level of social and family dysfunction is generally intergenerational and lifelong. These clients are often Court ordered to an assessment or therapy or they are having significant problems at work or within the family causing others to seek assessment or therapy for them. They do not always accept responsibility for their actions or for changing. There are skill deficits that need to be addressed, such as social skills, anger management, and problem solving. You cannot take what these clients say at face value. Third party information is always needed. This is because you need to trust someone in order to be honest with them and most of these folks have been abused, neglected, or exposed to domestic violence and a suspicious arm’s length treatment of others is a coping strategy that is difficult to give up.

This population often has multiple problems so that Multi-systemic Therapy that approaches many areas that need to be addressed is often effective (treating the whole person). Group work and trauma therapies are also good tools. Self-directed therapy may not be effective because of the need to protect oneself from what may appear to be an unsafe world. Nurturing, setting good boundaries, and structure are essential in this work. Motivational interviewing and stages of change can be very helpful. When clients have issues in the mental health and forensic arenas, both approaches must be used to the extent possible.

Conclusions

Clients in a mental health setting range from the single diagnosis of a major mental Illness to the dual diagnosis of a major mental illness and a personality disorder and/or forensic/legal issue. The approaches to these dissimilar populations is unique when clients are dually diagnosed, both approaches are needed. Assessments and treatment for a mental health population can be self-directed and strengths based.

However, the approach for the forensic population cannot be self-directed because the client’s goals are often antisocial and by definition counter to the best interests of society. The therapist or evaluator cannot accept everything the client says at face value because not being honest is part of the disorder that the therapist is treating. Motivational interviewing seems to blend the views of traditional mental health and forensics in a way that is beneficial for the client and society.

How to Get Rid of Uric Acid in the Body Naturally

Gout sufferers need to get rid of high uric acid in the body. You can use drugs or natural remedies. Here are 3 natural ways to get rid of uric acid without the side effects and cost of drugs.

High uric acid in the body over time can produce crystals in your joints, which then cause the horribly painful symptoms of gout.

Uric acid is produced by purines in the body and in foods. Purines help to produce our protein and energy needs, but in that process they breakdown and uric acid is formed as a byproduct.

The acid is processed by your kidneys and most of it is excreted through urine. Relatively low levels are then retained in your blood as an antioxidant, doing things like looking after your blood vessel linings for example.

High uric acid in the body can occur if your kidneys aren’t working efficiently, or, if your body is producing too much acid so that your kidneys just can’t cope.

Gout sufferers need to get rid of those high levels, to help get gout relief, and, to prevent further gout attacks. And as a gout sufferer, you are highly likely to have recurring gout episodes.

Modern medicine can do both through drugs that can be very effective. Things like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), colchicines and corticosteroids for relieving gout symptoms and pain, and, drugs like allopurinol and probenecid for reducing high acid levels.

But they can have very bad side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, ulcers, bleeding, skin allergies, etc. And the drugs for reducing the acid need to be taken over the longer term because they only work while you take them. Stop, and there isn’t anything to prevent your levels rising again.

So many people are using natural gout remedies. These can act in the same way as drugs, i.e. reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and, lowering uric acid.

There are many natural ways to get rid of uric acid in the body by using specific herbs, fruits, vegetables, supplements, and so on. Some seem to work better for some people than others, so you have to discover the ones that work best in your particular case.

Here are three that people have found to be effective in getting rid of uric acid from the body…

CHERRIES

Dr. Ludwig Blau is said to have cured his own gout in 1950 by eating between 6 and 8 cherries every day. But more recent studies suggest anything up to 40 can be effective. Between 30 and 40 is probably nearest the mark.

Cherries contain anthocyanins which act like NSAIDs and studies have also shown that they can actually lower uric acid in the body.

BLUEBERRIES

These also have anthocyanins allowing them to act as natural NSAIDs and help reduce inflammation and pain. Probably 1 cup of blueberries every day should be enough, but you need to find out what level is best for you.

WATER

This is perhaps very overlooked by gout sufferers. A dehydrated body finds it more difficult to get rid of uric acid, and it is easier for uric acid crystals to form. Plenty of water helps to prevent crystals forming, and, helps your kidneys to get rid of uric acid more effectively. Drink at least 12 x 8oz glasses every day.

These three can work quite well to get rid of uric acid in the body, but there are many more issues to consider for staying free of more gout attacks. And, remember, if you have suffered even one gout attack, you’re very likely to have more.

You should avoid this as recurring gout can lead to permanent joint damage and kidney problems over time.

Bankrupt Words: Natural Gas

“He who controls the language controls the masses.”

– Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals

LIGHT

My mom switched to “light” cigarettes after the mandatory warnings appeared on her boxes of smokes in the early 1970s.

CAUTION: CIGARETTE SMOKING MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH.

I used to break her cigarettes in half and put them back in the pack. It was my feeble attempt as a ten year old to stop her habit. The focus on milligrams of tar and nicotine in the marketing messages kept smokers from quitting for years.

Baby steps, they told themselves.

Everyone thought light cigarettes were the lesser evil.

Mom finally quit her pack a day habit after more and more evidence of harm continued to pile up. Years later, she died as a result of complications following surgery to remove a football sized tumor in her lung. She never had a chance to know her granddaughters.

LIGHT continues to be a term used on food and cigarettes. Light yogurts have less sugar than regular yogurt. But it turns out that those artificial sweeteners are even more hazardous to your health than regular sugar. Cancer, diabetes, migraines and weight gain top the list of the less than sweet side effects.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners are as addictive as cigarettes. We really don’t want to face these facts. So we soothe our worries with words. Words like LIGHT that have no meaning.

Maybe tomorrow we will stop.

When the evidence of harm, more cases of obesity, cancer and diabetes become so obvious that we cannot look the other way. Or will it take losing a loved one to wake up?

NATURAL

Another word that means essentially nothing.

People assume that natural foods are minimally processed which do not contain additives like hormones, colors or flavors that were not originally in the food. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not developed a definition for use of the term natural.

Natural sounds nice. Like something we’d strive for. But it is a word divorced from any real meaning.

People pay more for natural foods. The words are soothing.

Whoever came up with the term “natural gas” was a genius.

The technical term is methane, a deadly and destructive fossil fuel.

Thanks to the tireless work of ANGA (America’s Natural Gas Alliance) and the API (the American Petroleum Institute), most Americans falsely believe that natural gas is “clean“, “safe” and a “bridge fuel” to the future.

These words are outright lies.

There is nothing clean about methane, just ask the thousands of families in Porter Ranch, California who are evacuating because of a methane leak. Their pets and their kids have unexplained rashes, nosebleeds, headaches and more. Who knows if Porter Ranch residents will grow old to see their grandkids or if a cancerous tumor will get in their way.

SAFE Nope.

Methane is flammable and explosive. Just ask the folks in San Bruno, California where a methane pipeline exploded, incinerating more than 40 homes and killing 8. The methane fueled fires burned out of control for hours.

Saying natural gas is a bridge fuel to the future is similar marketing for light cigarettes. It keeps everyone deluded into thinking that they can transition to a better energy one day soon.

Baby steps, right?

The lesser evil, right?

Proponents say gas burns cleaner than coal. But when it leaks it wrecks far more damage than coal. Fugitive methane is 80+ times worse as a greenhouse gas, fast tracking all of us to an unlivable climate situation that no one wants to face.

We are in quite a pickle.

We have numerous addictions that are a very real threat to our health, safety and future.

It’s going to take some real work to look through the bankrupt words, face facts and take meaningful action.

The evidence of harm continues to mount.

What will it take for people to look beyond the soothing words created by corporate masterminds?

What words are needed to break the trance?

This is my quest.

Hair Loss Tendencies Come From the Mother

Androgenetic alopecia among men or male pattern baldness is quite prevalent. When a person has this condition, hair loss begins as early as the age of twenty. Sometimes, the onset of baldness might come even during the patient's teenage years. Hair loss usually begins with receding hair lines. As such, the frontal hair line becomes higher. In addition to that, hair shedding becomes excessive and the hair at the back portion of the head becomes thinner. Based on some researches, the person who just inherited the hair loss condition might suffer either a greater or lesser hair loss. Unfortunately, there has been no efficient cure for an androgenetic hair loss condition. Scientists noted that continuous research on the cause of hair loss condition should be made.

In pursuance to the goal of devising a cure for hereditary hair loss conditions, many studies have been made in order to identify the specific gene which is involved in the occurrence of hair loss. Fortunately, a recent study has reaped significant results. Researchers headed by Professor Markus Nöthen of the Life & Brain Centre of the Bonn University Clinic and Dr. Roland Kruse of the Skin Clinic of Düsseldorf University Clinic announced that they have discovered one of the genetic factors that are responsible for hair loss.

Background of the Study …

Researchers conducted a study among several men which had androgenetic alopecia. The criterion was that alopecia should run in the family. As such, several male family members should be experiencing hair loss during the study period. After the researchers were chosen, blood samples were taken from the respondents. The researchers then used the blood samples in order to look for "candidate genes". In their initial step, they successfully identified a series of chromosomes that might be the culprit for hair loss. Professor Nöthen points out that "one variant of this gene was found among men who suffered from premature balding at a very early stage."

Further Explanations …

Axel Hilmer, one of the researchers says that the genetic variant that promotes hair loss might be caused by the presence of high levels of androgen receptors in the scalp. He explains that based on the study findings, "Either more androgen receptors are formed among the men affected, or the variant of the receptor which develops as a result of the genetic change is more stable and is not broken down so quickly." Such occurrences may account for the increased amount of androgens, which in turn promotes hair loss.

Researchers say that the findings of the study showed not only why hair loss potentially happens. Rather, it also explains how hair loss is inherited. They discovered that the gene that serves as an androgen receptor lies on the X chromosomes. Based on initial studies, the X chromosome of males is always inherited from the mother. As such, the study implies that men usually take on hereditary characteristics from their grandfather on their mother's side.

However, researchers also pointed out that hair loss conditions are not only caused by just a single gene. Rather, they stress out that their studies show that there are also other genes that might be involved. These genes are independent of the gender of the patient. Therefore, hair loss might also be inherited directly from a father to a son.

Control Hair Loss

Male pattern baldness (MPB), sometimes referred to as a "receding hairline" in the early stages, is the most common type of hair loss. It is successfully treated with remedies such as Rogaine®, and men, women and children of every ethnic background can also begin to lose patches of hair on the head or somewhere else on the body without much warning. In every case, those who suffer with this problem want to control baldness – although the condition is not always permanent, depending on the related cause and treatment.

The causes of losing hair for men, women and children

Hair loss may result from prolonged illness and high fever, experiencing severe stress, as a reaction to a virus, or as a side effect of a particular medication the victim is taking. It is often successfully treated with a 5% minoxidil solution or a series of cortisone injections.

Why women suffer hair loss

Whether it is partial or dramatic, female thinning hair is particularly disturbing for women since it affects 30% of them, and it is potentially damaging to their self esteem. In their case, some additional causes for this problem include hormonal imbalance (when too much male hormone or too little female hormone is present), experiencing menopause, after giving birth, and the use of oral contraceptives.

What women can do when this happens

Some topical treatments that women have used successfully to control hair loss include saw palmetto-based remedies, aromatherapy (now quite popular) and Women's Rogaine®. More specifically, too control hair loss from the damage caused by various treatments used for hair styling, including dyes and excessive heat, women can alter their hair styling regimen and begin a series of vitamin treatments to affect a cure.

Dealing with alopecia

When there is a total loss of body hair (alopecia), topical immunotherapy is recommended to treat and control hair loss. In this case, a chemical irritant is applied to the affected area that "coaxes" the hair into growing once again by stimulating the body's immune system to combat the problem.

Hearing Problems

Our ears have two main functions to hear and maintain balance. Throughout our life span, the hearing function gets worn out and less effective. It is a fact, one in three people over age of 65 has a hearing problem and 50% of seniors more than the age of 75 also have hearing problems. But you do not need to put up with it. Find professional help and find the best treatment for you. It may be be that a simple, modern hearing aid is exactly right for you. Hearing loss is often due to over-exposure to high volume sound, heredity or both.

The indications you are suffering from loss of hearing is pretty easy to detect:

A) You will notice that everybody sounds muffled when they are talking.
B) It is challenging to decipher their words easily.
C) You have to ask for others to speak more slowly or loudly.
D) You always seem to need to increase the volume on your home entertainment or TV set.

Should you suffer from any of the above problems it is quite likely that you will have a yearning to retreat from personal interaction and make every effort to side step social settings. In effect you are embarrassed by your loss of hearing.

Nearly all hearing difficulties result from impairment to the cochlea (a coiled construction in the inner ear accountable for hearing). This disability is commonly an outcome of excessive exposure to loud noises of 85 decibel or more. A decibel is the unit used to rate degrees of loudness and is Frequently shortened to dB.

Other frequent causes of hearing problems are:

A) Infections of the ear
B) Abnormal boney growths.
C) Tumors in the outer or middle ear.
D) Ruptured ear drums.

Other non-age interrelated causes for deafness are Auditory Neuropathy, Meniere's Disease, Noise Ostosclerosis and Usher's Syndrome.

There are three fundamental types of hearing difficulty:

Type # 1 – Conductive Hearing Loss

This happens if sound is not transmitted successfully to the middle ear, which may well be caused by fluid, earwax, infection, foreign matter or abnormality of the middle or outer ear.

Type # 2 – Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This condition happens after there has been some sort of impairment to the inner ear (cochlea) or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Disease, birth injury, drugs or genetic syndromes can be other causes of Sensorineural hearing loss. Further causes may well include noise exposure, viruses, head injury, tumors and a persons age.

Folk suffering from this type of hearing difficulty could show a lack of speech comprehension.

Type # 3 – Mixed Hearing Loss

On occasion a person may well suffer from conductive hearing loss along with a Sensorineural hearing loss. This type of problem is recognized as mixed hearing loss.

A person can exhibit a loss of hearing in one ear or the other ear. The degree of the severity of hearing impairment in each ear may well be equal or disparate. The loss of hearing can either present suddenly or over an extended interval of time.

Some folks suffer with hearing losses that fluctuate and their problem may well go downhill or get better erratically. This is typically caused by an ear infection causing conductive hearing impairment.

If you suspect you experience a hearing difficulty, you must consult your health specialist to acquire a qualified diagnosis and appropriate care for your problem. Treatment may be very simple or may require the fitting of a modern hearing aid.

Korean Movies

North Korea doesn’t have much of a film industry, so this look at Korean movies is strictly limited to those works produced in South Korea. The film industry experienced a major boom in the late 1990s, and this success has carried over into the new millennium. With projects boasting high production values, original and challenging storylines, and plenty of talented and attractive actors, Korean movies have garnered international acclaim with no sign of slowing down.

The following list is intended to be an introduction to the cinema of South Korea. You’ll notice that the oldest film on the list was released in 1998, but that was an intentional choice on my part. I want to get viewers who are unaccustomed to foreign films interested, and I’m guessing that including Korean movies from the ’60s and ’70s isn’t the best way to go about this.

Oldboy (2003) – The second film in director Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, Oldboy tells the story of businessman Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-sik). Captured and imprisoned in a hotel room for unknown reasons, he’s released after 15 years and tasked with finding the identity of his captor. What follows is a wickedly beautiful tale of revenge and forbidden love. Voters on CNN named it one of the 10 best Asian films ever made, and it’s drawn rave reviews from Quentin Tarantino.

Attack the Gas Station (1999) – A gang of likable thugs rob a gas station at the beginning of the movie, and then they turn right around and rob it again the next night. But this time the manager has stashed the cash, and so the quartet of hooligans kidnap the employees, pump the gas themselves, and keep the money. As they fend off bullies, cops, and deadbeat customers, they become more sympathetic and learn a few things about themselves.

Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) – The directorial debut of Bong Joon-ho (The Host), this film revolves around an out-of-work college professor who’s driven up the wall by the barking dogs in his apartment complex. Resorting to abuse and kidnapping to silence them, he’s soon pursued by a plucky young employee at the building (Bae Doona). In case you’re wondering, it’s a dark comedy.

Thirst (2009) – Park Chan-wook helms this tale of a priest who gets turned into a vampire due to a failed medical experiment. As he tries to cope with his condition, he falls for the abused wife of an old friend–with rather bloody results.

The Quiet Family (1998) – Combining horror and dark comedy, this Korean film centers around a family who opens a lodge for hikers, but their clients always end up dying. Korean stars Song Kang-ho and Choi Min-sik co-star.

Joint Security Area (2002) – When two soldiers are killed in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, a special investigative unit is dispatched to get to the truth. Quentin Tarantino named it one of his 20 favorite films since 1992.

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005) – The final film in Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, the motion picture follows a mild-mannered woman just released from prison for the murder of a schoolboy. It turns out that she’s innocent, and every day spent in prison was a day she was plotting revenge against the man who was actually guilty of the crime. A delicious tale of revenge and high-heel pumps.

The Host (2006) – An average Korean family is nearly torn apart when their youngest member is captured and drug into the sewers by a mutated amphibious monster. Pooling their talents together, they seek to rescue the girl and destroy the loathsome creature. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, it’s the highest-grossing South Korean film of all time.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) – The first film in Park Chan-wook’s excellent Vengeance Trilogy, Sympathy takes a look at a deaf-mute man trying to get a kidney transplant for his sister. When things don’t work out, he resorts to kidnapping the young daughter of an executive–with tragic consequences.

Shiri (1999) – The South Korean version of a Hollywood action film, Shiri is about a team of North Korean agents intent on wreaking havoc against their southern neighbors. Their most successful member is a female sniper who’s been active in South Korea as a sleeper agent for years, picking off a number of government officials during that time. An honest cop and his partner must try to unravel the plot and root out the enemy agent, although her true identity may prove troublesome for very different reasons. You’ll recognize Yunjin Kim, better known as Sun from the television series Lost.

If you’re the type of person who avoids subtitles, I’m hoping this brief look at Korean movies may tempt you to give at least one film on the list a try. You’ll find Korean cinema to be a rich blend of foreign culture and modern filmmaking techniques, and they’re currently turning out some of the most entertaining motion pictures on any continent. This is just the tip of the iceberg, however, and a search of online rental sites such as Netflix and Blockbuster will turn up hundreds of other films from the country.

A Career As a Speech Pathologist

As more institutions realize the importance of speech language pathology, there will be more job opportunities becoming available in this stimulating and rewarding career. A speech pathologist also referred to as a speech therapist or speech language therapist, helps patients overcome or manage communication problems. Speech pathology involves assessing, diagnosing, and treating speech disorders. Speech problems are linked to difficulties with the voice, language and speech, and fluency in which one speaks. Speech impediments may be the result of delayed development, a mentally challenged condition, brain injury, a stroke, loss of hearing, cleft palate, and cerebral palsy. Because the success of speech therapy greatly affects the emotional and physical well being of patients and their families, a speech pathologist requires a personal dedication and desire to help patients recover.

The recent importance placed on speech disorders, particularly in children, has resulted in Federal laws requiring treatment of speech disorders in schools. These professionals are gaining full and part time careers in elementary and secondary schools. With the increase in our aging population, there is an increase need for them in hospitals and senior citizens’ facilities. Progressive modern medical treatment has led to saving more lives in accident cases as well as in cases of strokes thereby increasing the need for speech language pathologists.

They can practice in a wide range of environments. This includes health departments, institutions for the developmentally disabled, hospitals, medical clinics, schools, colleges, universities, government institutions, nursing homes, speech centers, child care centers, research institutions, and rehabilitation institutions that includes both military and civilian facilities. They can also work in the private sector.

To obtain a career as a speech pathologist, one must receive a degree from an accredited speech therapy program. These programs cover such topics as acoustics, phonetics, statistics, speech disorders, voice disorders, stuttering assessment, language development, language disorders, neurology, neurophysiology, linguistics, non vocal communication, psychological disorders, and much more. In most states a person must have completed a master’s degree in speech-language pathology to gain employment. Some states will only license speech therapists who have graduated from a program that is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Graduate students receive supervised clinical training. To gain employment as a speech pathologist, one will require a certificate that confirms clinical experience

When searching for a job, many graduates retain the services of health care staffing companies such as TheraKare and The Medical Staffing Network. These staffing companies provide recruiters to find your dream speech therapy career and secure benefits such as high bonuses, top pay, vision, medical, and dental insurance, life insurance, free CEU’s, and much more.

Compared to many other professions, these jobs are steadily increasing. As their services become more valuable, employment candidates are being offered high salaries and benefits. Speech pathologists held about 110,000 jobs in 2006. Median annual earnings of salaried speech language therapists were $57,710 in 2006

Employment opportunities for speech pathologists are expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2016. Bilingual will be in the greatest demand, especially who speak Spanish and English. More are expected to gain employment in private practices. There is also an expected increase in speech pathology contractual services offered by hospitals and other health care facilities, as well as educational institutions.

In this troubled economy where job prospects are diminishing in many sectors, a career in speech pathology may the answer. It can be a financially and personally rewarding experience

Iceland – A Global Leader In Renewable Energy

In the area of ​​renewable energy, Iceland is one of the world leaders. Currently, renewable or green energy sources provide 72% of the country's electricity needs. And, Iceland is one of the few countries with plans to completely wean themselves off of fossil fuels in the near term.

Iceland derives this energy from two main renewable sources, geothermal and hydroelectric. Currently, the country gets about 26% of its power needs from geothermal power and the remainder from its many hydropower plants. The country has numerous power plants, of both types around the country and plans to develop two more geothermal plants by 2010.

Sure, one could argue that supplying energy to a population of approximately 300,000 is a lot easier than 300,000,000 like in the United States. And, Iceland did develop these resources out of necessity, because it has few other natural resources. This was true especially in the early stages of Iceland's industrial development. That fact belies the country's current and ever-growing commitment to environmental quality and sustainability. So, however they got to this place may be a mute point; the fact is, they are currently one of the leading countries in the utilization of renewable energy and they may have much to teach the rest of the world. Iceland is a country that has leap-frogged out of relative obscurity to international prominence in renewable energy technology. In many ways, the country's small size and minimal industrial development as compared to other developed nations is now an asset, leaving the country more nimble and less dogmatically devoted to an infrastructure built upon fossil fuel consumption.

Recently, a local engineering company, Mannvit and a California-based technology company named Carbon Recycling International, have started the development of the world's first geothermal to liquid fuel plant. The plant will have the capacity of producing 4.5 million liters per year of methanol which will be blended into fuel for general automotive consumption.

As many people know, most homes and businesses in Iceland are heated by thermal water, the intentional byproduct of many of the geothermal plants. This very hot water is piped into all the major cities, such as Reykjavik and Akureyri as well as some of the most rural locations imaginable. In fact, well before the country was producing electricity from geothermal plants, it was heating homes. This is obviously a very important energy source for a cold climate and one of the big reasons that Iceland has such excellent air quality because it has not had to burn fossil fuels for home heating for the majority of the population for many, many decades now.

Iceland is a true innovator in geothermal energy. A recent project of note was the development and construction of the world's first geothermal power plant utilizing Kalina technology. This innovation is drawing interest from countries around the world who wish to develop new geothermal power plants utilizing this latest technology which is capable of generating significantly more energy from low temperature geothermal fields.

One of the last areas of energy consumption that Iceland intends to tackle is the use of gasoline and here too the country has plans to completely wean themselves off of gasoline powered automobiles by approximately 2020 through the utilization of hydrogen as the sole fuel source for all cars , trucks, buses and fishing boats.

I strongly believe that we will be hearing much more from this tiny island nation just below the Arctic Circle in the coming years and hopefully many developed and developing nations will start following their lead and the lead of other forward thinking countries.

Dying of Acute Alcohol Poisoning

Randy was a junior in high school. He and his buddy cut school and went to a friend’s house to do some serious drinking. Incredibly, the friend’s parents were home part of the time and knew (or should have known) what was going on. They had stolen a half-gallon of whiskey from one of their parents’ liquor cabinet. They began to drink.

The drink of choice for killing oneself with alcohol is hard liquor simply because it has a much higher concentration of alcohol than beer or wine does. The alcohol builds up in the bloodstream faster, causing deadly poisoning before the side effects prevent or reduce the intake. It is possible to kill yourself with beer, but the lower concentration (6 percent or 12 proof [1 percent = 2 proof]) requires the consumption of much larger quantities. Before a fatal blood alcohol level is reached, the beer drinker may mercifully vomit or pass out. The same is true of wine, which, at 10 to 12 percent alcohol (20 to 24 proof), requires the drinker to consume a larger quantity than hard liquor. With 80 proof whiskey, 100 proof vodka or tequila, 151 proof rum, or 198 proof grain alcohol (white lightning or Everclear), it is a much shorter journey into oblivion. So when you are matching your friend drink for drink, guzzling several ounces of straight whiskey each time, you need to remember one critical fact. You can drink and absorb alcohol much faster than your liver and other tissues can metabolize and get rid of it, so the level is constantly rising. If it reaches 0.4 percent before you pass out, vomit, or somebody stops you, you may just die. Randy did.

There is a dynamic process going on when you consume alcohol: consumption, absorption, and elimination. Alcohol is absorbed rather quickly and at almost 100 percent efficiency, so consumption is roughly equal to absorption. Elimination is variable, but within a relatively narrow range. The novice drinker can metabolize one to one-and-a-half ounces of alcohol per hour. A veteran drinker, whose liver has had repeated exposures to alcohol and is more efficient, may be able to metabolize half again that much, but there is a limit to how fast alcohol can be cleared from the body. That upper limit may approach two ounces per hour. The blood alcohol level depends on how fast the alcohol is consumed and how strong it is.

When large amounts of highly concentrated alcohol are consumed quickly, the normal stages of drunkenness are passed through, but very rapidly because the drug is being consumed and absorbed at such a high rate. And as a high school junior, you’re not an everyday drinker, so your liver is not habituated. It doesn’t metabolize the alcohol efficiently. Your friend is the same height, but weighs fifteen pounds more, mostly fat. Because alcohol is evenly distributed in tissues, he can drink 15 percent more than you can for each stage of intoxication.

At 0.1 percent blood alcohol level,you are pleasantly buzzed. You feel lighthearted and happy. You’re talkative and funny. All your worries seem trivial, and you have a warm glow. Your lips might feel a little thick, and your balance might not be perfect, but you could probably pass a field sobriety test. You would fail a blood or urine alcohol test and a breathalyzer because the legal limit for alcohol is 0.08 percent. You are feeling good.

At 0.2 percent blood alcohol level as a rookie, you are feeling very drunk. Your speech is slurred, and your walk is quite unsteady. You may see double. You are not as mellow as you were, and you become loud and obnoxious as liquor dissolves normal social restraint. Males may still be able to get an erection, but it probably won’t be a great one. And there might be real difficulty having an orgasm. You’re just plain drunk.

When the blood alcohol level reaches 0.3 percent, most people pass out. If they are lucky enough to be in a temperate environment, a knowledgeable and caring soul may turn their head to the side to prevent them from choking on or aspirating their vomit. If they are unlucky and pass out alone in the cold, they could suffer hypothermia or freeze to death, as alcohol impairs temperature control and dilates capillaries close to the surface of the skin. They quickly lose their core heat to the surrounding cold and suffer hypothermia.

Unconscious, the drunk may vomit, plugging his airway. Worse, the vomit may be aspirated or sucked into his lungs. The effect of stomach acid and food particles is devastating on lung tissue, causing aspiration pneumonia. If not fatal,it may cause severe scarring and permanent reduction of functional lung tissue.

Randy and his friend shared a half-gallon of whiskey. That’s sixty-four ounces of liquor (thirty-two ounces of alcohol), and it killed him. He drank it so fast that he was able to reach 0.4 percent before he passed out, he got sick, or someone stopped him. When he finally did pass out, the alcohol level was so high that it stopped his breathing. Without oxygen, a heart already weakened by high alcohol levels cannot last long, perhaps a minute or two. Then it stops. And tragically, no one recognized what had happened in time to help. So the world lost another young person to alcohol and another bright and promising future that would not be. There was another devastated family, memorial service warning friends about binge drinking, and another obituary chronicling the life of a nice guy, promising student, and gifted athlete.

Principles of Speech Communication

Speech making is perhaps one of the innate abilities of man, irrespective of one’s citizenry, or ethnic affiliations. Yet many people speak without understanding that it is a special ability without which communication between people and groups would not be possible.

Speech communication differs from normal day to day talking in which one speaks sporadically without considering ethics and skills. However, it is similar to every day communication in that they are both driven by the aim to communicate meaningfully.

Speech making is an organized communication aimed at sharing specific message about a given subject to create impact towards solving human problems.

This article provides guidance in the following areas:

Types of speech

Sages/steps in the speech making process and

Structure of a speech

Types of Speech

The onus remains squarely, on every speech maker to identify the type of speech most suitable to his/her purpose. For emphasis, it should be known that the aim of your delivery should be the sole factor dictating the style/type of speech you should choose to use.

Generally, there are, for conveniences, sake, four basic speech types, viz:

• Argumentative speech

• Persuasive speech

• Educative speech and

• Informative speech.

Argumentative Speech Type

Arguments imply elaborate presentation of all perspectives to an object or a subject of discussion, before settling down for the most applicable option. What comes out of an argument as most acceptable may not necessarily be truer, or better than other options, but the process of arguing makes it best, when compared to the others. This is why one choosing this type must bear in mind that it is his/her approach to it, and the ability to convince that determines the success or failure of the entire process.

While this may be closely related to persuasive essay, the dissimilarity lies in using points to convince at all cost.

To argue therefore, the speech maker needs to clearly and exhaustively raise every point of the issue and state facts about it. And this statement of facts is the “why” of the validity or not of your argument.

Persuasive Speech Type

As the name indicates, this type of speech is meant to stimulate a favourable disposition towards the subject of your concern or to appeal to audience to see it your way and act as you desire.

Companies, individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that depend on project grants are often required to their proposals in brief, before forums of grant agencies. In doing this, they are expected to give brief, straight-to-point run down of what they propose to do to achieve goal, if given grant. This summary must necessarily include a statement of methodology and justification why it has to be your proposal, and not that of another. You must convince that using so and so method, you will be able to achieve set goals within the specified time, without waste of resources and this, you must do without doubt.

A high point worthy of emphasis is that to persuade, a speech maker must JUSTIFY why you are convinced that your method is most suitable to deliver best result. Your entire exercise will be meaningless if it fails to provide justification.

Also, students defending their research projects/thesis/dissertations ought to bear this in mind, as they will at one time or another, need to persuade their tutors I favour of their work.

Educative Speech Type

Although teaching in a class room situation requires more than speech making skills, it would do you well as a professional teacher, haven undergone training in the profession, to add these to your skills. As one who teaches in a school or a religious organization, one makes speeches often, both officially and otherwise.

Advertising agencies as well make use of this type of speech as product display demonstration to teach prospective consumers of a new product a step – by – step approach to using it.

An educative speech provides a comprehensible how-to-do-it guide to given subjects and must be done carefully to avoid confusing consumers/students/audience/congregation.

Informative Speech Type

The aim of this class of speech is to make known. This may come in presentable form in which the speech maker delivers it to audience or may be a press release. Whichever the case, both the writer and giver of speech must choose words carefully in order not to mislead, as the aim is to give accurate, unmistaken information as at press conference, organizational report forums, annual general meetings, state of the affair reviews etc.

Whether as government official, a politician or celebrity wishing to tell subordinated, colleagues or fans and the mass media something, this type of speech serves you best, as it equally serves the technology company wishing to inform its market of its newest innovation.

Security agencies and Public Relations Executives of all manner of corporate entities should be versed in this type of speech, as they will find it useful in the course of their careers.

Stages in the Speech Making Process

As already stated in the introduction, why you make speech is to communicate towards an end. Thus, your speech can only be seen as a success if the aim is achieved at the end of the day. To achieve an aim, professional speech communication follows a procedure, which is here written as the stages/steps in the speech communication process. They include:

• Research: If you are to speak, it means that there is someone you are to speak to, about something, something of importance to both of you, and at a given time and place. Your first responsibility is to FIND OUT what it is you are going to talk about. Whatever it is, you must study it to know far more than you will need to talk about and in this case, it is necessary to preempt the likely questions your audiences are to ask, and provide answers in the speech you make.

where and when necessary, consult with people such as experts, who have better technical understanding of the subject than you and to these, pose ALL your questions and let their answers be the knowledge with which you confront the exercise, as these answers should be the basis of the speech you present. In doing this, you should avoid stating the obvious. By this I mean elements that can easily be deciphered and understood should not be your primary aim to explain, rather you will do more good to seek out areas that are not likely to be understood at first glance by the lay man and on these, place your emphasis.

If for instance your speech is a political manifesto, it will be more profitable to describe in detail, what you intend to do to solve certain societal problems and your conduct in office, should you be elected, than to dwell on the might of your political party or on the electioneering process – whoever your audience are already know how to vote and how strong your party is but even if they don’t, there are people stationed to teach them those.

If on the other hand your concern is a product/service as a PRE/Advertiser, or an issue intangible as those handled by spiritual leaders and programme facilitators, seek out beforehand, opinions and opposing views about the product/service/issue. Be sure to find out details about the product/service/issue as to how it functions or implications of every standpoint in an issue. It is only this detailed understanding of subject that places you above your audience to be able to grant answers to their every question, including the ones they are not able to ask.

When you have satisfactorily understudied the subject of your presentation, you should as well endeavor to study the people to whom you will be speaking. This may require going the extra mile to study the various groups of people likely to be present at your presentation as well as their depth of understanding of the subject. Also, their depth of understanding of the language of communication is of importance, as this helps your diction for proper understanding.

You may as well, need to take a closer look at the place and time of your presentation. Though this may not be of same relevance as the first two, but is advisable because the place and time of an event contribute to a large extent, to the atmosphere of the event and in effective communication, the atmosphere is as important as the message itself as it colours the meaning of a message. This is why “good morning” at a time may be a greeting and at another time, a disturbance, as “yes” may mean yes at time but mean “no” at other times.

• Speech Writing: A well-researched speech may often end up poorly delivered if it is poorly documented, as many speech makers find the Read Only Strategy (ROS) more convenient than any other method. For a speech to be remarkable, its research, documentation and delivery must be sufficiently mastered.

Whether commissioned to write a speech for someone else to deliver or not, speech writing requires an interplay of excellent writing skills controlled by specific facts gained through research conducted at the initial stage with appropriate and accurate choice of words and illustrations, analogies etcetera.

Here are the basic formats of speech writing: the scripted speech, the semi-scripted speech, the outline speech and the unscripted format.

Scripted Speech: Earlier I mentioned ROS (Read Only Strategy) which is my description for a speech that is pre written and delivered verbatim unfortunately, this leaves no room for improvisation thus, where the speech writer is different from its presenter, the latter may have little or no idea about the technicalities of the subject of discussion, as he/she only read what is on paper. In this case, questions asked pose a great challenge to the presenter and may often be a source of embarrassment. A person delivering speech using ROS, without sufficient rehearsal may get pronunciations wrong and dodge questions at the end of the exercise as politicians do, because they are hardly involved in the creation of their speeches. However, this is the most used type of speech, practiced by political icons and celebrities because of its convenience.

The hugest merit of this is the convenience and the fact that individuals who are extremely shy or incompetent can hide away their weaknesses behind the paper already written for them. Also, the speech presenter may not need to have a deep knowledge of the subject, provided the writer of the speech does a good job. It is of advantage to persons who make many speeches within limited time and have little or no time to rehearse.

Notwithstanding, the problem with ROS is that it leaves the audience bored, as the speech maker is buried in the paper rather than keeping contact with the people to whom the presentation is being made.

The Semi – Scripted Speech Format: a speech is semi – scripted when only the principal lines of thought are written down, leaving the rest to be done on the spot of delivery. The preacher in a religious event may for example, write down a theme and scriptural texts while leaving the connected sentences to the process of delivery.

This method, a combination of ROS and improvisation proves beneficial when the speech writer is the same as the one to delivers. Otherwise, it becomes almost impracticable to deliver a semi – scripted speech prepared by somebody else. Where it is feasible, the writer and presenter must necessarily require massive effort at rehearsals which may not always be forth coming.

Out – Line Speech Format: Highly flexible and creative method that only notes in sequence, key points while leaving connected sentences to the delivery point. The advantage of this lies in the fact that where the atmosphere does not permit certain lines of thought or use of language, the speech maker changes direction. And because it is outlined rather than scripted, prevailing circumstances, at event venue, such as mood, time and language suitability are easily manageable. However, this method is most successful where the speech writer is the speech maker or where the latter has equal in-depth knowledge of subject and shares similar views with the former.

Unscripted Speech Format: This, otherwise referred here as improvisation or impromptu, is a speech format that requires no prior writing at all. Its success solely depends on the speech maker’s ability to improvise, that is, to create instantaneously, a spontaneous response to the situation. This, experience has shown, is the most effective speech style that does not fail to take audience along, as it is a child of circumstance.

Often you are asked to provide a repertoire or vote of thanks without warning. Using this format, you get your data from the prevailing circumstance and must immediately become a millionaire in thinking and in language if your audiences are of the millionaire class or you can be a road side mechanic if those are the people you are to communicate to.

The problem with this is that for beginners, improvisation could be challenging, as it requires tact and a lot of self-confidence.

• Rehearsals: After your documentation, the next stage is rehearsals. This simply means a trying out of yourself, a practice simulating the actual presentation you will be doing.

When doing this, critique your eye contact, facial expressions, gesticulations and general comportment. While practicing in front of your mirror may not be exactly similar to doing it in front of a thousand people, it gives you an idea of your look and performance and allows you to improve on those areas. You may like to present to your friend, spouse or kin to have their inputs.

• Speech Presentation: The essence of all the activities carried out from stage one is to achieve a remarkable presentation, such as would leave a desired impact by achieving the goal pursuant of which the speech was meant to be made. It therefore cannot be over-emphasized that this is the most vital aspect of the entire exercise, as it is the only thing people see and know about. Audiences do not follow you to your closet to see that you have researched your piece well but they will decide whether or not you have done well once you have delivered. For this reason, I like to say that it is better to conduct a poor research, do a poor documentation but superb presentation rather than having it the other way round.

To aid your performance in this regard, a couple of problems have been identified and solutions proffered here:

Overcoming Stage Fright: The incidence of stage fright is one menace too many that ruins otherwise, a remarkable speech. Your ability to manage this is as important as the other elements in the process involved, as your audience are not lenient, but are always looking for loopholes to capitalize on in unmaking your effort.

Ironically, everyone has some level of stage fright. The only difference being that some see the high tensed atmosphere and the rapid beating of their hearts as a positive force that complements their strength of delivery, while others fret at it.

What constitutes stage fright is fear; fear of the many eyes gazing at you, possibly “dissecting” and finding fault in whatever you are telling them, what you wear and the entirety of your being. Surprisingly, all this is more imagined than real, as audience hardly have any doubt until you give them a reason to. When you give the impression that you are in control, they accept that you are and thus, look up to you for answers.

Your appearance and perhaps gesticulations which you may have seen as errors become model to be emulated. This is why you must make your fear work for you.

There are several tricks to achieving this, two of which are suggested below:

Ice-Breaking – this refers to a ploy of ventilating tension rising from high expectation and an aura of formality. Audience expecting or rather, awaiting your presentation are kin and formal. This formality exerts more pressure on you, as you feel intense need and anxiety to deliver. In extreme cases, this raises doubts inn you as to whether you can satisfy them or not so you begin to stammer, jump words on the speech or add nonexistent words to the already prepared piece.

To break-the-ice, you can tell a short, relevant story or begin by doing an out of the way exercise like giving a joke or introducing yourself. This breaks the air of formality and helps both you and your audience relax enough to conveniently and enjoyably face the business of the day. By the time you have made your audience laugh or you have expended your pent-up tension telling a story, you will have made the atmosphere informal enough and gained the rapt attention of the audience.

Pen Cap Trick: Another way of managing stage fright is by directing the tension to your finger tips rather than to your head and mouth. This is possible by keeping your fingers actively engaged, as the natural course of function of the human system directs pressure/energy to a part of the body that is engaged in an activity. Therefore, if your attention lies only with your eyes and vocal cord, they will have to find a way of expending all the energy directed at them and in the process, mistakes could be made.

Splitting this pressure from your upper region to another section helps to keep balance in the overall management of tension and helps you coordinate and concentrate better in the efficacious delivery of your speech. The trick is to keep an object in your hand which your fingers will be compressing while you do the talking.

Because this activity is more physical than the intellectual role of speaking, more tension/pressure in exerted and expended here, leaving your heart with less thuds per time, and your concentration devoid of excessive anxiety.

However, it is advised that you pick an object that would not attract more attention than the speech. Something small enough to be completely hidden in your pals, and that does not make noise would do. Many people use paper clip, which they bend and straighten many times, while they speak. I had used pen cap made of plastic.

Looking, not Seeing: When presenting a speech or any creative work before an audience, many beginners find that they get lost if they focus on keeping eye contact with specific members of audience. The fact that your audience are taken along more when you keep eye contact with them is not to say that you must pay attention to the expressions on the faces as this will, more often than not, distract you. You can look in the direction of your audience generally without seeing of focusing on any one in particular. That way, everyone thinks you are looking at the next person and you end up achieving satisfactory presentation at the conclusion.

Diction: This had been touched earlier, but cannot be exhausted. The language of presentation should be chosen in line with the characteristics of the audience. Generally, a verbose speech is unnecessarily lengthy and full of jaw breaking language that make everyone clap for you not for the meaning and sense derived from your presentation, but for the amusement. The bottom line is to communicate, not to impress.

Structure of a Good Speech

A good speech, like every good piece of writing, is not just poured out at audience, but is meaningfully communicated only when it meets a prescribed, conventional specification. Every speech, good or bad has the following components, which either makes or mars it, depending on the writer/presenter’s ability to weave the various components into one beautiful piece or failure to do so, which leaves the work deformed like a physically challenged man.

• An introduction: this being the first line of your presentation, it is the most important as it sets the tone and mood for the rest of the presentation. If therefore, your introduction is good, it captivates audiences’ attention and stirs up interest: sends questions, expectations and anxieties running in the minds of the audience. So also does a poor introduction kill their appetite, so that rather than get anxious to get the rest of the gist from you, they get anxious to dispose of your time wasting presence. Speech makers of reasonable experience will tell you that the most embarrassing moment of their careers was when an audience just stared at them indifferently, while they made frantic efforts to get their attention. Often, they’d ignore you and fill in the gap by telling stories and holding pockets of briefs underground.

To avoid such pitfalls, your introduction must stir interest and be interesting enough for one man to tell another to keep quiet let him hear you well, as each speech must be worth the time spent to receive it. Otherwise, they would just switch off psycho-mentally, while leaving you to make the noise.

To achieve this, you can ask a rhetoric question, use an anecdote (a short analogical story) or a catchy quote but which must be relevant and which would make your presentation easier to achieve.

• Linkage: while some may argue rightly that the body of a speech and this section are indistinct, there is a need here to split them for the purpose of proper better understanding. A linkage is a sentence or two that connect the introduction with the details’ section (body) of the presentation.

• The Body of Details: Haven captivated the interest of your audience in the introduction and properly linked it using appropriate word, the emphasis now rests on providing all the details that are the main thrust of the presentation. All the points you may have gathered in the research will now be knit together beautifully and well explained to answer the questions your audience are likely to be asking. Your points must be well explained and objectively convincing enough that at the end, your audience will be left in no doubt (even if their own opinion differ), but rather have clear understanding of your impressions.

• The Conclusion: the last line of a good presentation should leave a lasting impression on people’s minds. Often, a relevant quote or rhetoric does the magic but the speech writer or (and) the presenter should understand that the relevance of the devices to subject or occasion as well as your accuracy of expressions is what leaves indelible marks on the minds of audiences. The conclusion should be food for thought, something people should remember long after they may have forgotten everything else, including the speech maker.

Basic Principles by Dreg En Ay

Never Buy A Kodak Easyshare Z812IS Digital Camera

Do you ever wonder, what kind of people buy the truly bad digital cameras? Well, nine times out of ten, it's the person that spends ten minutes in their local camera store, tells the salesperson they have X amount to spend, and walks out the door with the first camera the salesperson recommends. Spending some time learning about the strengths, and more importantly the imperfections of the Kodak Easyshare Z812IS will help you decide if it's the right camera for your needs. With that in mind, let's shine some light on what's wrong with buying a Kodak Easyshare Z812IS digital camera.

Batteries have got to be the biggest deterrent to using any digital camera. Kodak has not really help make things any better with the Easyshare Z812IS. Between the mega-zoom lens on this camera, large LCD screen, and image stabilization, the Z812IS eats disposable batteries for breakfast, lunch and supper. It will of course run off disposable AA lithium batteries, or one CRV3 rechargeable batter pack. Unfortunately the CRV3 and the recharger required for it do not come bundled with the camera. So, be sure to include that extra expense in your budget, if rechargeables are important to you.

If you intend to shoot video with the Z812IS, be sure to stock up on HD cards. Being a high definition camera, this Kodak Easyshare will of course consume vast quantities of memory storage for videos. I'd recommend at least a 4Gb card (SD, SDHC or MMC), preferably a 8Gb, if your pocketbook is big enough. Another caveat to keep in mind is if your shooting video with lots of stops and pauses. Each stop or pause causes a separate video file to be written to the memory card. This could result in extra time in the editing room working with Z812IS videos files.

The Easyshares LCD is acceptable, but nothing spectacular. Kodak made the decision to go with a pretty slow refresh rate, which can result in jerky stuttering on the LCD if you move the camera around too much. The Z812IS LCD does try to compensate for the ambient light in your environment, but tends to lean towards too dark a display in the outdoors. You'll have to learn to make manual adjustments.

Those shortcomings on their own should not be enough to stop someone from buying a Easyshare Z812IS, but here are a few more that might:

– No component cable connection for direct to HD TV viewing

– Docking station not bundled with camera

– Barrel distortion (bowing of image) is worse than it should be

– Color fringing is still visible with vibrant color transitions

– Image stabilization can not compare to competitors cameras

– JPEG file saves only, no RAW option mode

Apple MacBook Pro MD311LL / A 17-Inch Laptop

Apple Computer has done some serious work this year on its MacBook Pro line and the latest one that we have looked at the 17-inch MD311LL / A shows that Apple is not relying on its iPod and iPhone for its revenue. It shows that even though it uses processors built by others – Intel, in this case – it is still a serious computer company.

Interestingly, it is a computer company whose focus is on delivering some of the narrowest and lightest units on the market. Like the other MacBooks, Apple has used a single casting for the entire machine as a single unit that is less than an inch thick and while it is still 17-inches wide, it still comes in at little over five pounds which does make it a lightweight laptop that can be used for a variety of features.

There is little double that Apple knows what do to with computer components. For example, although it will only support a maximum of 8 GB of memory, the MD311LL / A 17-inch MacBook actually uses two separate video systems to deliver seamless video. For heavy duty work, it supports the AMD Radeon HDG770 video chipset with its own dedicated 1GB of GDDR5 RAM. At the same time, the Intel 3000 chipset is built into the system software so that it can rely on the Intel chipset for everyday video delivery.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro, like the others in the MacBook line, supports Thunderbolt technology which is similar to the old Applenet chain technology that allowed you to chain together Apple devices on their own dedicated high-speed network for greater throughput. In other words, if a device has the right Thunderbolt Display adapter, you can simply hook them together in a chain that can deliver up to 10 Gbps. Its Apple's proprietary network but it will also support, if the adapter is right, DVI, HDMI and other specialized devices.

Like other state-of-the-art laptops that use the quad-core I7 processor, Apple makes use of Intel's built-in multi-threading technology that allows each processor of the quad core to perform up to two tasks at the same time. In other words, you can have one device performing up to eight simultaneous tasks. Apple also makes use of Intel's direct access technology that lets each processor have full access to all available system memory on the 1333 front-side bus. The processor runs at its standard clock of 2.4 GHz and takes advantage of Intel's Turboboost mode to 3 GHz when needed.

Standard storage is handled by a 750 GB 5400-spin hard drive. This MacBook also supports an 8X CD / DVD Superdrive.

One interesting feature that all MacBooks share is the larger-than-normal glass-faced touchpad. Instead of including the extra buttons that other laptops include the MacBook's touchpad is extra large and will support functions that are similar to a more standard laptop which has the traditional left and right buttons plus a touchpad. It does not take long to learn to use this feature.

One thing to note, though, about the MacBook is that since it is made from a single aluminum case, it might run a little warm although they do have a pretty sophisticated cooling system to keep things running as cool as possible.

The MacBook also supports Bluetooth 2.1 and ultrafast WiFi 802.11 b / g / n, as well as having a standard tri-speed LAN port that supports 10/100 / 1GB speeds so it can be part of an over-the-air network, use public hotspots or be part of your home network.

It also has 3 USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire 800 port, and ExpressCard slot.

Overall, this is a fine update to a very good series and is a serious machine for users.

Tips for Getting Free CNA Training

Everyone is looking for a free CNA training program to join. In the world there are no free things and you should pay for all the service you get. Don’t get mixed up by the matter. Most schools that offer the course will require you to pay for the program. This is so as to help the schools pay the instructors some of whom are experienced professionals who are quite expensive to pay. In addition to that, the materials required, as well as the clinical training cost are high and you will be expected to foot for all these. Schools cannot therefore afford to give free training and run normally.

However, there are ways in which you can get a free CNA training and in such cases the schooling expenses are paid by some government agencies. To begin with, you can get your fee seat if you are unemployed. The United States government will want to get you working so as to reduce the ratio of unemployed people. The government therefore offers some educational funding and they will pay you as you attend your CNA classes. There are many students who get eligible for the free training in this way.

Other than that, you could also get financial aid if you joined any of the accredited institutions which are normally given funding from the government. Most of the community colleges in the US normally offer some financial aid which is through the federal government. You need to join any of these accredited schools and you will be granted some financial aid. If your income is below $ 25,000 per annum, you have children or you are a veteran, you have high chances of getting your CNA program being fully paid for. In some instances, on top of the free CNA training you get from these schools, you will be given even some grants and they will help you during the time you are taking your course.

Finally, to get a free CAN training program, all you need is to do inquiries of the colleges that offer the course free. Call some of the local healthcare centers like the elderly care facilities and hospitals or at times the CNA training programs and make on inquiries on any one who is giving an internship or funds to a CNA student. This method will be difficult as compared to the other two methods. However, a number of people have gotten sponsorships from good people and schools to pursue the CNA training course.

Don’t be afraid to try out on any of these methods. Even if you don’t get a full sponsorship you may benefit from both timely information and even partial help. If you are unable to get funding, you may have to pay for the course yourself. The course is sometimes a bit expensive and you will spend lots of money. The good thing is that it is short and you will soon after get a decent job that is free from the common economic downtrends. Its pay is above the minimum wages and within a period of just 4 weeks you could be earning some money.

Popular Types of Massage Therapy

There are well over 80 kinds of massage therapy available today. Of those that are most widely practiced in the massage industry, the most popular bodywork therapies include modalities like Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, acupressure, reflexology, sports massage and chair massage, among others.

Acupressure massage therapy, for example, is founded on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theories and is not only used on people, but as a form of canine and equine massage as well. Using meridian therapy as a guide to depressing key points on the body to relieve tension and blockages; and to restore the flow of energy (Chi) to the body, this particular type of massage therapy is believed to restore balance and enhance natural-healing capabilities.

Another form of massage therapy, reflexology, is a type of massage that is also rooted in Oriental medicine. Specific areas (reflex zones) of the foot sole correlate to particular organs and organ systems in the body. It is believed that by applying pressure techniques to these reflex zones, that these corresponding organ systems can be stimulated toward healing. While this particular massage therapy is more commonly used on the feet, reflexology is also administered to the hands, face and body.

For the athlete, massage therapy like sports massage may be helpful as a preventive therapy and health maintenance regimen In addition to using Swedish massage techniques, sports massage incorporates a variety of other touch therapies including compression, cross-fiber therapy, hydrotherapy, and pressure point methods, among others. Like acupressure, sports massage therapy is also administered to animals.

Deep tissue massage therapy is one of the foundational bodywork therapies taught in almost all massage and healing arts schools today. As the name implies, this is a deep muscle therapy that works the connective tissues and muscles to relieve chronic pain and tension.

Chair massage therapy, frequently referred to as seated massage, is gaining leeway in airports, corporate functions, and in shopping malls. This particular bodywork is administered while the client is seated in a chair in an upright position.

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Popular Types of Massage Therapy

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