Epilepsy in Dogs – How We Control Ours

I have spent hours trying to research this problem. This is not a scientific survey but we have records of every fit our dog, Wazir, has ever had and we are personally convinced that Zonegran stops the fits. I read Zoology at University College London so please bear with me.

We have a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Wazir. He is an epileptic. We used to blame his breeders but we now know that epilepsy is possible in the meanest mutt and not just the interbred showdog.

So, if you have an epileptic dog, here are the facts. Wazir weighs 22kg and is four years old, he has had epilepsy ever since an encounter with a labarador which frightened him by attacking him when he was one year old.

Wazir takes 50mg of Gardenal (a barbiturate) and 750mg of potassium bromide twice every day. This dose has been reduced from 75mg (1 ½ pills of Gardenal) twice a day and the dog is much happier for it, being less “doped up” he is transformed from an “old dog” to a dog we think more normal for his 4 years of age. We have tried a “super-magnet collar” and, if anything, it made things worse.

These drugs keep the epilepsy at bay but, around once a month, Wazir has a series of epileptic fits.

We have dosed him, for the last 21 months, with Zonegran 100mg, two capsules every four hours whenever fits have started. After around 12 hours the fits stop and we give a final single capsule when the last fit has been more than four hours.

This stops the fits but the dog doesn’t like the effect that this drug has on him and we have to be devious to get the capsules down him. Smoked Salmon, jamon serrano and pate de foie gras are useful tools.

Zonegran is a medicine used for human epileptics. It costs, here in Spain, €130 for 56 capsules. At two capsules every four hours, plus one at the end, the packet lasts around four months or four times of epilepsia. Our rule is to let Wazir have three fits and then start the Zonegran: the fits are over within 12 to 15 hours after starting the Zonegran.

Our vet (who we love and has known Wazir since 3 months old) told us that there was no way that Zonegran could have an effect in less than a week of constant use so we recently decided to try going through Wazir’s monthly session of fits without using Zonegran and to save money. Instead of having three fits before we dose with Zonegran and five or six fits while it takes effect, over a time-frame that normally does not exceed 36 hours, the poor dog had 39 fits in the three days before I could get to a chemist that stocks the drug and nine fits in the subsequent 13 hours before the drug stopped them.

48 fits over 90 hours compared with an average 9 fits over 24 hours. Wazir lost control of his bladder and bowel which does not normally happen. It obviously had a devastating effect on the dog who we thought might even be brain damaged afterwards (he seems OK now, three days later). Poor Wazir, who is normally blind after a fit but needs to take exercise because he primarily has fits when asleep or resting, was just lying in his own excrement unable to move through exhaustion. My wife had to fly back from the UK to help me cope with the sleep deprivation.

The makers of Zonegran are Eisai, a USA / Japanese company with a base in London http://www.eisai.com. €30 per fit session (roughly every month) on Zonegran is something that few pet owners can afford. Of course, human medicines are often subsidised by the state but if enough pet owners ask them, maybe they will release a veterinary product. They have no email address on the website and the telephone numbers take you through to a nurse so you may well have the same problem as me in getting through but please persevere.

Stroke Symptoms and Preventions

The thought of yourself or a loved one having a stroke is terrifying. Many people refer to a stroke as a brain attack. Nerves in the brain are injured due to being deprived of blood and oxygen. The attack can be mild to severe or may result in death. One of the most terrifying results of a stroke is the inability of a person to be able to perform basic functions of daily living. The patient may not be able to talk or move and will have to relearn all the basic functions. The sooner stroke treatment is given the better chance a person has of survival and recovery. It is important to be aware of stroke symptoms and even more important, to take steps with your health to prevent a stroke from occurring.

If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, are diabetic and smoke, you could be considered in the higher risk category for a stroke. You need to pay close attention if you develop the most common stroke symptoms. Seek medical care right away. As we mentioned earlier, time is crucial in the stroke treatment.

• Sudden numbness, especially if it is only on one side of your body
• Sudden changes in your vision
• You have a problem with your balance or walking
• You begin to drool and slur your speech
• Simple words are difficult to say and understand
• Sudden or severe headache

In addition to recognizing the symptoms, it is important to be proactive in your life and do your best to prevent a stroke before it ever happens. If you are in the high risk category you need to reverse your lifestyle. You can help control your high blood pressure and cholesterol with diet and exercise. You might add supplements to your diet that encourage circulation, strengthen blood vessels and keep your bad cholesterol at lower levels. Keep your diabetes under control and definitely stop smoking. Utilizing herbs and supplements, traditional Chinese medicine has been successful in increasing the effects of stroke treatment as well as preventive care. Many people prefer to take natural products in addition to their prescriptions.

No one would voluntarily welcome a stroke. Do not we owe it to ourselves to be as healthy as possible for as long as we can? Making good lifestyle choices might actually prevent you from having to make choices in your stroke treatment by eliminating your highest risk factors.

Hallucinations Are More Frequent Than We Think

An editorial in the September 2010 edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry challenges our ideas about the nature of hallucinations and delusions as a sign of illness or madness. Population-based studies using both self-report and interview surveys show that the prevalence of psychotic symptoms is far greater than had been previously considered. [1]

Hallucinatory experiences are as old as humankind and until the nineteenth century these experiences were generally attributed to mystical or divine sources such as gods or demons, whereas in modern times, hallucinations have generally been regarded as signs of illness.

Population-based studies using both self-report and interview surveys show that the prevalence of psychotic symptoms is far greater than had been previously considered, with a recent meta-analysis suggesting a prevalence rate of 5-8% in the general population (Schizophrenia has a prevalence of 0.8-1% in the general population).

Psychosis exerts strong negative fitness effects. Despite this apparent disadvantage, schizophrenia maintains a relatively stable prevalence worldwide. Several theories have been formulated to explain the persistence of psychosis in the human population.

Burns proposed that schizophrenia is a ‘costly by-product’ in the evolution of complex social cognition and Nesse developed this idea further in terms of ‘cliff-edge’ fitness, whereby certain traits may increase fitness up to a critical threshold, but beyond this point, fitness falls precipitously. For instance, strong tendencies to use metarepresentation and theory of mind can increase the ability to predict other people’s behaviours and discern their intentions, but, as Nesse explains, ‘it is only one step further, over the cliff’s edge of psychotic cognition… to finding secret meanings and evidence for conspiracies in other people’s most casual gesture.’

Recently, Dodgson & Gordon have proposed that certain types of hallucinations could be viewed as evolutionary by-products of a cognitive system designed to detect threat since, from a survival perspective, it is much worse to fail to recognise a threat such as the sound of an approaching predator than to mistakenly believe that a predator is approaching when it is not. Evolution may therefore favour a selective skew towards propagation of genes that promote false positives over false negatives, thus resulting in ‘hypervigilance hallucinations’ in the population. In social or pack animals, such as humans, hypervigilance is not necessary for every member, but the presence of this trait in at least some members stands to benefit the entire group. Such a trade-off allows the persistence of advantageous traits even in the presence of increased risk of disorder.

Higher than expected prevalences have been reported for depression and anxiety as well. Prospective studies are showing that up to half (and perhaps even a majority) of the population can expect one or more episodes of depression over their lifetime. Taking an evolutionary perspective, one could speculate that the tendency for unhappiness and dissatisfaction is intrinsic to the human species (man as the ‘unhappy ape’) and this is one of the features that has been a contributory factor in the success of our species, driving Homo sapiens onwards, even to the surface of the moon, in search of new terrain and challenges.

Evolutionary theories lend support for the idea of a continuum approach to the diagnosis of psychosis and provide some clues as to why the traditional Kraepelinian or categorical approaches to psychosis are beginning to prove problematic.

Van Os and Hansen interviewed 7076 men and women aged 18-64years with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Of the 1237 individuals with any type of positive psychosis rating (sample prevalence 17.5%), only 26 (2.1%) had a DSM-III-R diagnosis of non-affective psychosis. [2]


(1) Ian K, Jenner JA, Cannon M: Psychotic symptoms in the general population – an evolutionary perspective., Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Sep;197:167-9)

(2) van Os J, Hanssen M, Bijl RV, Ravelli: Strauss (1969) revisited: a psychosis continuum in the general population?, A (Schizophr Res. 2000 Sep 29;45(1-2):11-20.)

Delusional Disorders – Understanding the Signs of This Serious Illness

According to the Random House Dictionary, the basic definition of "delusion" is "false belief or opinion." While most of us have held a belief that was later proven incorrect at least a few times in our lives, how can we distinguish between an occasional inaccurate idea and a delusional disorder that needs psychiatric treatment?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, utilized by psychiatrists to categorize mental illnesses by symptoms, defines delusion as the following: "A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everybody else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture. " (This last portion is important because it excludes commonly held cultural or religious beliefs from this diagnosis.)

Many mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and others, may include delusions among their symptoms. Also, a range of physical conditions may cause delusional thoughts, ranging from diseases like Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer's to illnesses such as brain tumors, and even chemical imbalances of electrolytes, hormones or vitamins (to name just a few).

Those who suffer from delusions without the symptoms of other mental illnesses are said to have a delusional disorder. This is a relatively rare condition. If one or more family members have been diagnosed with a mental illness, genetic predisposition to this or other mental illnesses is a possibility. Women are more likely to be affected than men; however, men are more likely to act upon their delusions.

Many who are afflicted with this illness are fully functional and able to socialize normally. This may inhibit diagnosis and treatment for years. There are several different types of this disorder, including erotomanic, jealous, grandiose, somatic and persecutory delusions.

If an individual should erroneously be convinced that someone is in love with them, this is called an erotomanic delusion. This becomes problematic if the sufferer attempts to contact their perceived lover repeatedly or even stalks them. Alternately, when an individual is convinced that a spouse or partner is unfaithful without a factual basis, they suffer from a jealous delusion.

Those afflicted with grandiose delusions believe they are more talented, accomplished or important than what they really are. The somatic type is typified by an individual's belief that they suffer from physical defects or illnesses that they do not actually have. Eating disorders such as anorexia are one manifestation of this problem.

Finally, persecutory delusions are exhibited by those who think they (or their loved ones) are in constant danger or under surveillance. Some people exhibit multiple types, leading to a diagnosis of mixed delusional disorder. Regardless of the type, those afflicted may experience auditory or even visual hallucinations.

If you suspect that you (or a loved one) are suffering from any of the problems described, the first step is to see a physician or qualified mental health professional. A thorough physical exam, family history and necessary testing can determine if the delusions are the result of a physical condition. Health care providers must also evaluate persons suffering from this illness to determine if there is a potential for violence to themselves or to others.

Individuals referred to psychiatric help may be prescribed medications to help moderate the imbalances causing the illness, as well as being instructed in new methods of thinking to help them determine the difference between reality and their delusions.

Reproduction permitted only when all active hyperlinks and author resource boxes are included. 2010 All rights reserved.

Cluster Headache –What Is It?

The cluster headache is a malady that affects just 69 out of 100,000 people in the population-much fewer than those who suffer from migraines, sinus headaches, or one of the many other types of headaches. This is probably why it was not really recognized by the medical community until the last 150 years or so and is still largely misunderstood. One of the earliest known mentions of the cluster headache was by von Mollendorff in 1867. In 1956, Sir Charles Symonds gave a more complete account which helped to educate the general public about this little known malady. Over the course of time there have been many different names attributed to these headaches including erythroprosopalgia, spenopalatine neuralgia, ciliary neuralgia, Rader's syndrome, vidian neuralgia, and histamine cephalalgia. It is no wonder that a clear diagnosis was not available-and also no wonder that they started calling the condition a "cluster headache."


Classified as a treatable, it is usually episodic-which means that you will have 1-3 episodes within a few weeks and then go for months or even up to a year without an episode. They involve pain in the periorbital area (around the eyes.) However some people suffer from a cluster headache as a chronic condition-this means that they have no pain-free episodes. People who suffer from episodic headaches can alternately suffer from chronic headaches and then go back to episodic.


Although this type of headache is often classified together with the migraine headache, the cluster headache is not the same at all-even responding to different types of medication. Migraines typically respond to drugs containing propanolol, but clusters do not show the same relief from this type of drug. On the other hand, migraines do not really respond to drugs that contain Lithium, while a cluster headache generally will respond to this type of drug. The link that these two types of headaches sometimes share is that people who get clusters often suffer from migraines simultaneously-suggesting some sort of common cause.

Who Gets This Type Of Headache?

Unlike the migraine which affects far more women than men, the cluster affects men more than women at a ratio of 6: 1. The onset of the first episode with a cluster headache usually occurs sometime between the ages of 20 to 50, but there have been recorded occurrences in patients younger than 10 and older than 80. For women the onset is not related to their monthly menstrual cycle and women who are pregnant often experience a cessation in symptoms for the duration of their pregnancy. Taking birth control pills can also aggravate the condition for a person who suffers from the cluster headache.


There are many suggested causes, or "triggers" for this type of headache. They include: food, hay fever, stress, alcohol, relaxation, and exposure to heat, cold, or glare. Every individual has different trigger mechanisms so it is important that any person suffering from the cluster headache malady try to figure out what their individual triggers are. One way to do this is to keep a headache journal. When an episode starts record everything that happened in the day or so leading up to the episode. Write down everything you eat, drink, where you went, your state of mind, any other physical symptoms or problems that are or are not headache related (such as a head cold) and so on. Once you have done this before each episode, you may begin to see a pattern. With the pattern noted you and your doctor can more successfully diagnose and treat your condition. Although it is rare, treatments are getting better and it is becoming more understood.

Not All Dogs Benefit From A Summer Haircut or Shave Down

It would be impossible to count how many times each summer a professional groomer is asked to shave a client’s dog in an attempt to make it cooler. Here in rural Montana where the summers are scorching, I have had requests to shave almost every breed imaginable. It is a common misconception that all dogs would automatically be cooler if they had less hair.

First it is important to consider is what type of hair the dog has. All dogs can basically be divided into two groups. First we have those who need to have their cut on a regular basis, such as poodles, shih tzus, cocker spaniels, lhasa apsos, terriers, etc. Dogs in this group have hair that would continue growing longer and longer until it was cut. These breeds can be shaved with no problem. Taking off excess coat by shaving them down in hot weather will indeed make them more comfortable and cooler, and will not cause damage to the dog’s coat. However, this is not the case with the second group.

This group of dogs consists of all the other breeds, longhaired or shorthaired, whose hair grows to one length only and then remains that length. These dogs typically shed much more than dogs in the first group. These include retrievers, pomeranians, great Pyranees, chow chows, pugs, German shepherds, huskies, and the list goes on and on. Their coats act as insulators against the elements, and should never be shaved. After all, do you take the insulation out of your home in the summer to make it cooler? Absolutely not, and the same goes for these dogs as well.

The coats of the dogs in the second group consist of two different types of hair, a soft, downy undercoat, and harsher, thicker hairs called guard hairs. These two types of hairs are actually designed to mat and tangle up to form a hard shell or pelt around the animal to keep their temperature regulated in extreme weather. Without proper brushing and grooming on a regular basis, this often happens, leading the owner to the false conclusion that the coat needs to be shaved off to make the dog cooler. However, shaving the hair off of these dogs takes away their insulation from the heat, actually making these dogs hotter and more uncomfortable. Shaving also makes them more susceptible to sunburn as well.

It is important to understand that if you make the decision to go ahead and shave these types of dogs anyway, their hair will never be the same again. Shaving will change the coat forever. Not only does the hair grow back in extremely slowly, but also it grows back in much softer and sparse. The color of the coat will be different too, as the hair will be at least two shades lighter than it was before.

One of the worst things about shaving a dog with this type of hair is that the dog can develop what we call clipper alopecia. In simple terms, it just means that the hair does not grow back. This is caused by a change in the guard hairs when they are cut. Clipper alopecia usually develops first in a patch on the dog’s back, located right in front of the tail. After shaving, only thin layer of hair will grow back there, usually reaching a maximum length of about one half of an inch. Dogs that develop this condition have coats that appear to be moth-eaten. This is not an attractive sight!

Okay, so what happens if you do have a dog that is matted to the skin and appears to be too hot in this balmy weather? Seek the advice of a properly trained groomer to determine the best course of action. With the many miracle grooming products that are out there on the market, many times these coats can be saved with a couple of intense grooming sessions and some effort in daily grooming from the owner. This optimizes the dog’s coat to perform its insulating tasks properly. Occasionally, the coat truly is beyond repair and does in fact have to be shaved to start over. Your groomer can help you with this decision and give you pointers on how to avoid this situation in the future.

It is important to note that if you have a mixed breed dog, it can be difficult to determine which group the dog falls into. Most groomers can evaluate a dog’s coat upon inspection to let you know which group the dog falls into, and what course of action to take, the risks involved, etc.

As a former professional groomer, I strongly feel that it is the groomer’s responsibility to fully explain these things to clients wanting to have their dogs shaved. It is important to share knowledge with the clients to make the best decision possible for the pet in need of grooming.

COPYRIGHT 2008 Shannon Heggem

Reasons to Choose a Natural Hair Loss Product

Have you ever though that why people always choose nature over chemicals? It is true in every case. When somebody wants to cure a certain things like pimples, other infection and even hair loss they rely on the natural ingredients. The main reason for this is that the natural products do not have side effects. The products which use chemicals are usually avoided by everybody just because they know after using them some kind of reaction is going to occur. You might cure a particular illness with the chemical product but along with that you get something else. So for hair loss too people opt for the natural hair loss product.

The herbal treatments have also become a part of natural treatment. There are many herbs which can be very helpful but for that you also need to know the right use of these herbs. The other reason why people choose natural products over chemical is safety. Natural products are much safer because if it does not work for you it would not create any harm instead of that. The natural products do not have any adverse reactions. Whenever you buy a product you need to make sure that the product is safe for use. Natural hair loss product is one of the safest treatments of the problem.

It has been undoubtedly proved that the natural hair loss product is far better than the chemical based product. This is why it is also suggested that a person should avoid using the shampoos and conditioners which have a chemical base. It might be harmful to the hair. There are lots of natural supplements which can treat it better than the doctor’s prescribed medicines. These supplements are usually over the counter and hence they do not require the doctor’s prescription. Another reason to choose natural products is that they do not use drugs that might be risky for you.

Natural Pet Care – Holistic Treatments For Your Pet

Natural pet care is made up of a number of holistic treatment segments with the basic message being to look at the big picture on the way to achieving both short and long-term health. This approach to natural pet care takes into account such things as whether or not your pet is getting the proper nutrition, finding out whether certain factors might be influencing your pets stress level, and determining whether environmental toxins could be contributing to illness or disease.

The holistic practitioners oath is built around the premise of doing no harm first, while taking steps to enable your pets body to heal itself and fend off disease by strengthening immune system function through non-chemical means.

This common sense approach to veterinary medicine will in itself help to avoid overuse of or misuse of many drugs including steroid, antibiotics, vaccinations, and other treatments.

While initially this may not seem like such as big deal research tells us that the overuse of antibiotics is creating a who new strain of super-bugs. One example would be in the area of pet urinary tract infections where the condition is now becoming chronic almost 50 percent of the time due to antibiotic use and misuse.

Another example would be steroids to treat bone and joint diseases that only mask the symptoms potentially speeding cartilage deterioration. On the other hand, a holistic approach consisting of glucosamine, chiropractic care, and some common sense lifestyle changes might actually be able to reverse the condition and improve your pet quality of life.

The holistic pet practitioner will always be asking “why” and working from there. Conversely, my experience with conventional veterinarian medicine tells me the focus will be more about short-term treatment worrying about why later, if at all.

Don’t get me wrong I am not against conventional veterinary medicine as I have many friends in the field who are both really smart and caring but in order for true healing to take place a balance must be struck between natural pet care and other forms of medicine.

There will be times when even the most natural health minded pet parent must rely on the skills of conventional veterinary medicine with complementary medicine only playing a supporting role.

Examples would be in cases of severe trauma, certain types of infections, and blockages of the urinary track which require immediate action.

For example if a struvite or calcium stone/urolith was the reason for the urinary tract blockage a conventional approach might be necessary to remove it, possibly including surgery. Once removed and urine flow is restored then a holistic approach to diet and wellness would be an excellent preventative path moving forward.

Another example would be if a severe bacterial infection of the urinary tract required antibiotic treatment then a holistic approach to diet, exercise, stress reduction, in combination with a homeopathic urinary tract tonic would be an excellent natural way to proceed in hopes of avoiding chronic infection requiring a lifelong regime of low dose antibiotics.

In conclusion, natural pet care involving holistic treatments for your pet is wide-ranging including behavior modification; herbal medicine; homeopathy; vitamin, mineral, and supplement therapy; veterinary chiropractic; and even acupuncture.

The truth is you don’t need to be on board with all the complementary pet treatment methods above to embrace a holistic treatment approach for your pet, or pets, only have the desire to ask “why”, find the root cause of the problem, and make natural choices to cure and prevent re-occurrence.

Take Prenatal Vitamins for Important Nutrients During Pregnancy

Taking prenatal vitamins and eating foods that contain essential nutrients and vitamins are important for bringing a healthy baby to term. Eating a healthy diet serves both the mother and the growing fetus well during the gestation, but taking specific vitamins is crucial to ensure that the baby has everything it needs to grow and develop properly. Even for someone who eats well, taking the vitamins will give the mother’s body what it needs.

Key Ingredients in Prenatal Vitamins

While prenatal vitamins typically contain about a dozen individual vitamins, the four most important include folic acid, calcium, iodine, and iron.

  • Folic acid, found in green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, citrus fruits and fortified foods, is important for preventing neural tube birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. Since these systems develop early and approximately 50% of pregnancies are unplanned, any woman of childbearing age should take about 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day, even before becoming pregnant. This should be continued for at least the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and throughout lactation. Nursing mothers should continue to take them throughout lactation.
  • Calcium keeps a woman’s bones strong, as the baby takes calcium from the mother to develop its own bone.
  • Iodine helps maintain proper thyroid function and is essential to prevent deafness, severe mental disabilities, and stunted physical growth. A deficiency of iodine can result in miscarriage or stillbirth.
  • Iron enriches the blood of both mother and baby with oxygen, and promotes growth and development.

What Should You Look for in a Prenatal Vitamin?

An ideal prenatal vitamin might include:

  • 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid
  • 400 IU of vitamin D
  • 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 70 mg of vitamin C
  • 3 mg of thiamine
  • 2 mg of riboflavin
  • 20 mg of niacin
  • 6 mcg of vitamin B12
  • 10 mg of vitamin E
  • 15 mg of zinc
  • 70 mg of iron
  • 150 micrograms of iodine

These vitamins are available over-the-counter. As different brands vary in the amount of specific ingredients, it is important to carefully read the label to buy the best one. In some cases, your provider might recommend a particular brand, write a prescription for some, or offer guidelines. Some OTC brands may give too much or too little of specific vitamins and may vary in consistency and quality. Your provider may also recommend that you take increased folic acid or other supplements separately, so as not to increase the concentration of other vitamins such as A, which can be toxic to the fetus in large quantities. For example, if you have previously given birth to a baby with a neural tube defect, your provider might prescribe up to four milligrams of folic acid before and during future pregnancies.

Side Effects of Prenatal Vitamins

Despite the importance of taking prenatal vitamins, some women find that taking the pills makes them nauseous as well as constipated. In this case, your provider might suggest that you buy a different brand of vitamin, use a stool softener, take the vitamins with a snack, or switch to a liquid, soft chew, or soft gel form of the product. He or she might even want you to take separate folic acid, calcium with vitamin D, or iron supplements if nothing else works for you.

If you are pregnant, taking prenatal vitamins is essential for your health and that of your unborn child. Your doctor or midwife at Rocky Mountain Women’s Health Center will discuss your options and further explain the importance of prenatal vitamins in fetal development to ensure a healthy baby.

How to Prepare for UPSC / IAS Exams

Civil Services Aptitude Test –

New Recruitment Process of Civil Services Exam conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is called the CSAT or the Civil Services Aptitude Test with effect from 2011. No changes are being introduced at this stage in the Civil Services (Main) Examination and Personality Test in the scheme of Civil Services Examination (CSE).

Scheme of Civil Services Examination

The Civil Services Examination consists of two stages –

(I) Civil Services Preliminary Examination (Objective type) for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination; and

(Ii) Civil Services Main Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts noted above.

The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks. There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each. The question papers are set both in Hindi and English. However, questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills are tested through passages from English Language only without providing Hindi translation. Each paper is of two hours duration. Blind candidates are allowed extra time of twenty minutes for each paper.

Scheme of CS (Preliminary) Examination

This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination. Thus in short –

The successive stages of examination are:

(1) Preliminary Examination for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination

(2) Main Examination (Written) for the selection of candidates for interview for a Personality Test.

(3) Interview (Personality Test)

How to apply?

Candidates are required to apply only through online mode no other mode for submission of applications is allowed. Detailed instructions for filling up online applications are available on the UPSC official website.

The e-Admission Certificate will be made available in the UPSC website for downloading by candidates. No Admission Certificate will be sent by post.

Academic Eligibility for IAS Exams

(1) A degree of any of recognized University or possess an equivalent qualification

(2) Candidates who are awaiting results of qualifying exams are also eligible to appear for the Preliminary Examination. All such candidates who qualify to appear for the Civil Services Main Examination must produce proof of having passed the said examination along with their application for the Main Examination.

(3) Candidates with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees.

(4) Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However they must submit along with their Main Examination application, a certificate from the concerned authority of the University / Institution that they have passed the final professional medical examination. At the Interview stage they must then produce a certificate from a competent authority that they have completed (including internship) all the requirements for the award of the Medical Degree.

Other Eligibility Conditions for IAS Exams:

(i) Nationality – For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.

For other services, a candidate must be either –

a citizen of India or

b. subject of Nepal or

c. subject of Bhutan or

d. Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favor a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (b), (c) and (d) above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.

A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him / her by the Government of India.

(ii) Age Limits:

(A) Minimum 21 years and maximum 30 years.

(B) The upper age limit prescribed above will be relaxable.

(I) up to a maximum of five years for SC / ST

(Ii) up to a maximum of three years for OBC.

(Iii) up to a maximum of five years if a candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period from the 1st January, 1980 to the 31st day of December, 1989.

(Iv) up to a maximum of three years in the case of Defense Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof.

(V) up to a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf – mute and orthopaedically handicapped persons.

No. of Attempts for IAS

A maximum of 4 attempts is permitted to every candidate and 7 to those belonging to Other Backward Classes. There is no restriction on the number of attempts in the case of SC / ST candidates. All this, provided you are still under the age limit. A physically handicapped person will get as many attempts as any other non-handicapped candidate of his / her community, but if they are from the general category they will get 7 attempts.


(I) An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be deemed to be an attempt at the Examination.

(Ii) If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, he / she shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the Examination.

(Iii) Notwithstanding the disqualification / cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.

Below is the list and descriptions of the list of services available through the civil service exams.

All India Services are as under –

Indian Administrative Service

India Foreign Service

Indian Police Service

Group A Services are as under –

Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service

Indian Audit and Accounts Service

Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)

Indian Defense Accounts Service

Indian Revenue Service (IT)

Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)

Indian Postal Service

Indian Civil Accounts Service

Indian Railway Traffic Service

Indian Railway Accounts Service

Indian Railway Personnel Service

Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force

Indian Defense Estates Service

Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)

Indian Trade Service, Group 'A' (Gr. III)

Indian Corporate Law Service

Group – B Services

Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer's Grade)

Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service

Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service

Pondicherry Civil Service

Pondicherry Police Service

It is wiser to be mentally ready for several attempts as cracking the Civil Services Exams is a tough nut to crack the first time around; and if you do qualify you may want to attempt again to improve your ranking and therefore your service allotment.

Reliable Stuttering Cures

Stuttering (also known as stammering) is an involuntary speech disorder that involves disinclination’s and involuntary repetition and prolongation of certain sounds. This includes abnormally elevated activity in the muscles that involve in speech production such as lips, jaw, tongue, and vocal folds.

Facts about Stuttering and Its Cures

Stammering can ruin the life of the affected individuals if it is not treated. It is a significant disorder. It is easy to treat; however, it is difficult or almost impossible to cure it. Stutters can talk in a fluent manner when they are alone or by modifying the style of speaking by concentrating only on their speech. There are many treatments available for stuttering. Some of them are breathing exercise, energy medicine, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, hypnosis, and so on. The medical practitioners use these medications to strengthen the mental state and to build self-confidence.

Breathing Exercises and Yoga

Certain yoga postures such as Suksham Vyayama, Surya Namaskar, and Simhasana and some breathing exercise such as Bhastrika, Nadi Shodhana, and Pranayama seem to very effective in treating stuttering. Oxygen deficiency is one of the causes of stuttering. Yoga and breathing exercises will help you avoid stuttering by providing more oxygen and reducing your stress level.

Energy Medicines

There are certain energy medicine kits such as GSR (galvanic skin response) available in the market, which are believed to be effecting in treating stuttering. Most of the kits contain CD, DVD, and booklet to teach you how to use the kit.

Herbal Remedies as Stuttering Cures

A few coriander seeds and a quarter teaspoon of palm candy (a candy obtained from palm tree) can chewed along with 3-4 dried leaves (or powdered leaves) of the herb Gotu Kola (also known as Brahmi, Centella asiatica) on a regular basis (twice or thrice a day, until you get rid of stuttering) will give better result in controlling stammering.

Homeopathic Remedies

Some of the homeopathic remedies are very effective alternative medicines in treating stuttering. You can use these homeopathic medicines successfully for treating stuttering and for many other psychological symptoms, which are associated with stuttering. However, you must consult a homeopath before you start using these medicines, as homeopathic medicines are unique.

Hypnosis as Stammering Cure

Many speech therapists are using hypnosis for treating speech disorders. Various triggers (e.g. mental condition in certain situations) induce stammering; hypnosis help to bring down the influence of these triggers by teaching you behavioral methods and meliorating self-confidence.


A speech impediment is not a disease; it is just a disorder. You can easily get rid of this problem by following the above-mentioned stuttering cures.

Black Berry Torch 9800

BlackBerryTorch9800 multi-mapanalytical through a comprehensive understanding of blackberry BlackBerry 9800

Recommend BlackBerry best bluetooth headset: BlackBerry HS – 500 (automatic volume and noise filter and support to listen to music)

BlackBerry Torch9800 multi-map resolution blackberry 9800 Photos appreciation

August 3 is bound to be big day for BlackBerry, BlackBerry Torch 9800 and the official release OS 6, let's dizzying.The latest BlackBerry Torch 9800 operating system with OS 6, and is the first BlackBerry slider, touch and full keyboard, the ultra gorgeous combination of products, from RIM officially announced the flagship BlackBerry Torch 9800 since, including various domestic and international CCTVmedia have given the full attention and coverage, impact really is not small.Today editor for everyone to bring more than one chart analysis, the hope it will not let you fatigue.

Positive first-come a picture according to Torch 9800

Continue blackberry all keyboard design

US mobile operator AT & T is RIM Torch 9800 phone's exclusive carrier, Torch 9800 by RIM's latest BlackBerry OS 6 system.BlackBerry 9800 Torch is the world's first full touch screen with integrated experience and features a full keyboard BlackBerry smart phones.Browse the Internet, you can use the navigation touch pad to contact with the optical zoom in or make online surfing more smooth, it can be said, BlackBerry Torch allows the user to carry out any way they want to communicate.

The appearance of a new generation of back cover

Slide, you'll hear the crisp sound

Experience the full touch screen and full keyboard smart phone

Blackberry has always been full QWERTY keyboard

Is not feeling a little twins?

Twins? We look at the next turn

BlackBerry OS 6 system will provide the first full-screen BlackBerry browser, and social network integration and the general search services.BlackBerry Torch 9800 using a 3.2-inch 480 × 360 resolution touch screen, built-in 500-megapixel autofocus camera.

480 × 360 resolution touch screen

500 megapixel autofocus camera

Hardware configuration from the point of view, 512MB of memory so you will not worry about speed, support for 802.11b / g / n also allow you to experience the 300MB / s limit of network connection, users can choose either capacitive touch screen input of information, but alsocan choose the BlackBerry is easy to use full keyboard, 95 and 97 series combines all the advantages of the king of this listing also marks the performance of RIM on the entertainment stage with the progress of the development

Full touch screen and full keyboard smart phone

Full touch screen and full keyboard smartphone

More details of the appearance of BlackBerry Torch 9800

Details of the full keyboard: many of my friends worry about sliding full keyboard BlackBerry operating experience and feel exactly what we think the actual experience of his Shangqie good, because the length of the fuselage and slide open, the thickness of the arc and other factors , not as straightBlackBerry full keyboard to the board cleanly.

Torch 9800 full keyboard, the key size as the 9700

Details of the mute and standby buttons: the top is still the mute button and the standby key, slider button in the lower, improve texture, feel good

ãEUREUR Mute key and the standby button at the top

Details of interface design: BlackBerry models and the overall shape of the side buttons are perfect combination of the right to 3.5mm headphone jack, volume keys and the shutter button, the left MicroUSB Interface

Body MicroUSB Interface

3.5mmheadphone jack, volume keys and the shutter button

Details of the SIM plug mode: the same eternal, SIM card does not support hot-plug (big brother wore it because the battery …). Picture Talk, insert the SIM card is very easy to pull out although there is no similar boost like 9100 design, but the thing is not too difficult.

Overall design of the battery compartment

SIM cards have a black figure at the top of the cushion, laminated floor in the usual software location, the memory card operation, the need to turn up the cushion, paste into the card flat floor together.Padded insert card slot at the top position just to fill the vacant place, so the memory card can be assured of a good place to stay plugged.Overall, I think that this design saves space.

Slot soft pads

9800 SIM card slot and better than 9700

Beijing October 15, 2009, RIM the company released a new mobile phone in Germany, BlackBerry 9700, some people used to call this phone Bold 2.Xiao Bian remember the 9700 appearance as the new generation to replace the flagship 9000 mobile phone, upgrade to the traditional trackball navigation touch panel TrackBall TrackPad, greatly enhance the life of the touchpad.Now, 9700 could not escape the young Torch 9800 instead become the king of the latest generation.

appearance of the difference between9800 and 9700

9800's screen size and resolution consistent with the 9700, with the 480 × 360 screen.Display and fine level is still quite good, just wondering why did not RIM will be upgraded to the mainstream of the WVGA screen level.9500 have used the touch screen on that hydraulic headache, but fortunately this method is useless in touch blackberry 9800, its use of the latest SurePress touch screen technology.

9800 PK 9700 difference between screen size

We are here to explain what is SurePress simple touch-screen technology, simply, is to gently press and can not be confirmed, but need to hold down the hard part of the icon screen, so bring the whole screen to complete the confirmation.Supports multi-touch, we can operate like a BlackBerry as the iPhoneoperation9800 PK 9700 no much difference between the back shell design

9800 navigation key to continuation of the advanced navigation touch panel TrackPad.In addition to the efficacy of some innovation, it is clear that many people took the lead in new technology like this, this technology allows the BlackBerry's navigation keys to life extension

9800 PK 9700 navigation with touch panels for the TrackPad

9800 PK 9700 Comparative full keyboard

Contrast top of the body

9800 PK 9700 mobile phone is similar to the thickness of

Because smaller screen, so the overall size of the BlackBerry 9800 is not large, 111 x 62 size or even smaller than 9700, you can see the width of the BlackBerry 9800 mobile phone is larger, thus increasing the feeling, especiallyQWERTY keyboard can feel better , which is essential for wid

e-body design

9800 PK 9700 Dimensions similar

9800 PK 9700 mobile phone is similar to the width

Although the increase QWERTY keyboard, but the BlackBerry 9800 and BlackBerry 9700 will not be thicker than the number, 14.6mm thickness at the QWERTY keyboard, the smart machine was considered more moderate size, 161 grams of weight are basically similar with the BlackBerry 9700, BlackBerry seems toefforts in the hand, and many, because of its need to attract the traditional BlackBerry users, with the older models remain similar size and weight is inevitable

9800 PK 9700 mobile phone is similar to the thickness

9800 PK 9700 mobile phone is similar to the thickness of

9800 compared with other phones

9800 PK iPhone 4 "is not successful, they pay the price," the sad

If RIM can not be the last trump card to turn things around, it should be the "New York Times" commented said, RIM really is twilight, and ended the era of the Blackberry.

9800 PK iPhone 4 "is not successful, they pay the price," the sad

9800 PK iPhone 4 "is not successful, they pay the price," the sad

9800 PK HTC EVO 4G

Meanwhile, the Google Android operating system based on the new phone seems to have began to emerge.They gave RIM brought a lot of trouble.Last year, eroded since the iPhone and Android phones key North American market since RIM, RIM's sales fell 14% .

9800 PK HTC EVO 4G

9800 PK HTC EVO 4G

9800 PK Samsung i897 are afraid of a rival iPhone4

Samsung i9000 Galaxy S will have the recent listing of all regions in the world, but this phone in the hands of different operators, will also launch a customized version of the difference, i897 as AT & T revised i9000.Galaxy S this model as Samsung's top models, certainly does not lose its configuration other brand flagship.Android phones can be called a top.

9800 PK Samsung i897 are afraid of a rival iPhone4

9800 PK iPhone4 Samsung i897 are afraid of a rival love you to the bone

apart BlackBerry 9800 Torch

Blackberry 9800 has just released two days, geeks from abroad site CrackBerry BlackBerry released the BlackBerry Torch 9800 on the dismantling, and full video recording.Here we look through this video to BlackBerry sliding full keyboard plus touch this phone in the end, what kind of mystery to it.

Can be seen from the video, BlackBerry Torch high degree of modularity, crackberry site who are all lined with the component, so we have some understanding of the internal phone.Then everyone will see next Xiaobian BlackBerry Torch with each component.The first is a Blackberry 9800 Torch completely disassembled the whole family.

First half of the body and the battery cover pallets, according to disassemble said, BlackBerry 9800 Torch design is very clever, with a magnesium alloy sliding bearing pallets, a bit like a design similar to the bumper of the car.

ãEUREURLeft to: navigation touch panel TrackPad module right is: battery cover

ãEUREURFirst half of the fuselage pallet

Screen disassembly

Dismantling the whole keyboard

But the focus of the next Photo! Is connected to the motherboard underneath Dingdingyouming antenna module.Think of the recent scandal iPhone4 antenna, antenna design and the BlackBerry 9800 does not use the exposed design.

Under the black board is the antenna module

Body components in the box

Top left: 500w camera on the right: vibration motor BlackBerry maker RIM's prospects look bleak, Torch 9800 and OS6.0 with the introduction of the number of points "is not successful, it will pay the price," the sad and dreary.RIM has always been firmly in control of the US enterprise market, but now, its defense has been torn by competitors.Apple announced last week that, in the Fortune 100 companies, over 80% of the company is testing or deployment of iPhone.Meanwhile, the Google Android operating system based on the new phone seems to have began to emerge.They gave a lot of trouble to bring RIM.

BlackBerry There is one final trump card.The new operating system, may be able to help it fight back.But left to its time is running out.Torch 9800 is for the Blackberry, this time can be met without resort.Apple's iPhone 4 released a rare mistakes occur, the antenna design fault that Apple is temporarily on the defensive, which makes 9800 the opportunity to grab attention, no matter how short.

ãEUREURBlackberry 9800 is considered a weapon to shut up the critics, after critics have complained that the BlackBerry browser awkward, boring, app store, and even the lack of vital touch.At this point, officially started the launch of BlackBerry OS6.0 opportunity to fight back, a glimpse of the new operating system and modern interface of the opportunity to pledge your web browser will be faster, more accurate, easier to use also a good performance of the hardware.

In fact, the BlackBerry is not so much introduce new Torch 9800 exchange that started with the iPhone 4, as it is to Dafanshenzhang, because with the iPhone and other smart phones in the competition, BlackBerry is constantly losing ground.According to market research firm Gartner, BlackBerry's market share in the first quarter from a year earlier 55% to 41%, while the combined share of iPhone and Android phones by 23% over the same period last year, soared to 49% .If the BlackBerry last trump card can not turn things around, it should be the "New York Times" commented said, the BlackBerry is really twilight, while the BlackBerry has declared an end to the era

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Pulsating Tinnitus – What Exactly Causes Pulsatile Tinnitus

What is pulsatile tinnitus- pulsating tinnitus? Very little is actually explained to the people about tinnitus. The only thing which everyone commonly comes to know is its symptoms. Most of the people do not know about the actual causes of this pulsating tinnitus. Many people also come to a perception that there are no cures for tinnitus. So I would like to list some of the major and minor causes of the tinnitus. This article could help people know more about the causes of pulsating tinnitus which could easily help people in prevention and cure.

Pulsating tinnitus is a ringing sound that you alone seem to hear in the absence of any real noise around. In simple, it the sounds of your own pulse, heart beat or even your blood flow which causes the ringing sound in your ears. Tinnitus may be objective tinnitus or subjective tinnitus. Objective tinnitus is the one which can be heard by other people. Its not common but its easy to treat. Subjective tinnitus is the most common around and it will not be easy to treat unless we figure out the exact cause of the tinnitus. Now we can go in detail about the causes of tinnitus.

The majority of tinnitus sufferers have somehow damaged the delicate structures of the inner ear. It’s called chronic inflammation. This inflammation causes increased blood flow to the damaged tissue, which is present in the ear. This blood flow causes the ringing sound or tinnitus. Then a patulous Eustachian tube, in which the Eustachian tube remains intermittently open, causing an echoing sound of the person’s own heartbeat, breathing, and speech. The Eustachian tube is present behind the middle ear is the major reason for tinnitus, when it is damaged or infected. When this tube is infected or damaged, a fluid is accumulated in the air filled space in middle ear. This causes pulsating tinnitus.

Sinus problems also lead to pulsating tinnitus. When a person takes in excess of antibiotics it causes thickening of the mucous in the inner ear. This mucous has to drain out through the Eustachian tubes. But the mucous has become too thick to drain out through the narrow tubes. Thyroid Dysfunction also causes pulsatile tinnitus. In a particular dysfunction Hyperthyroidism, causes increased faster heart beats. This in turn causes pulsating noise. Some other causes of tinnitus may be due to stress, side effects caused by prescribed drugs, tumors in the middle ear etc. These are some of the common causes of pulsating tinnitus. There are other causes of tinnitus but its occurrence is very less.

So now you would have got some idea about the causes of tinnitus. Pulsating tinnitus is not a disease by itself. It is the side effect or the after effect of the other malfunctions in our body. Finding the root cause of pulsating tinnitus is the difficult part. If its done the cure will be easy.

Future Shock: Voice Recognition Identification Technology

Backgrounder: Kay Hughes, flight attendant for today’ s non-stop coast-to-coast flight is busy checking her catering order and prepping the cabin. Bob Harmon is the captain and Jeff Mortowski is his first officer. Both are situated in the cockpit going over the pre-flight checklist. The pax are from various companies in the New York area or individuals on personal business who have bought seats on his flight.

The Story: Kay woke up with a start as the alarm on her clock radio blared. Reaching across her pillow, she noticed the time, 5:15, and hammered the snooze button in the hopes of grabbing another five minutes of sleep. Tired as she was, her mind began to race as she considered the day ahead. In less than four hours she would be enroute to L.A. with an aircraft full of passengers. Slowly the thought of additional sleep became less important as she considered all that she had to do before leaving Teterboro. Quietly she slipped on her robe and slippers, poured herself a cup of coffee, and slinked into the shower.

As Kay walked across the tarmac, she saw the fuel truck pulling up to her aircraft and the caterer at the gate waiting for a security clearance. It was 6:48 and already she could feel the heat lifting off of the pavement. Another scorcher she thought; at least L.A. will be cooler.

Kay greeted Jeff who was busy overseeing the fuel delivery; she then climbed onboard the G-V and gave a similar greeting to Bob who was occupied with updating paperwork. Bob finished what he was doing and briefed Kay with the day’s schedule. Minutes later Kay turned to assist the approaching caterer with the day’s order. Within the hour, the first of the passengers began to arrive. Each sat in the lobby of the FBO waiting to be boarded. At precisely 8:00 a.m., Kay left the aircraft and walked down the ramp to the FBO. She whispered to the waiting security agent who signaled to the FBO customer service representative to make the boarding announcement. “Ladies and Gentlemen, Jet Aviation Flight #001 departing TEB for LAX is now boarding. Please present your identification card and boarding pass to the security agent. Once you are cleared, you will be boarded. Thank you for flying Jet Aviation and enjoy your flight.”

Kay turned and left the FBO and walked back to the aircraft. Both pilots were onboard completing their preflight preparations. Kay stood at the bottom of the steps leading up to the aircraft waiting for the security agent to bring the passengers to the plane. She knew that with fourteen passengers the security clearance would take a bit longer than normal.

Kay considered waiting inside the cabin to keep cool, but knew that it was important that she greet the passengers at the base of the steps in case one of them needed assistance climbing up.” It must already be 85 degrees out here,” she thought as she watched the heat vapors rise off the pavement.

After what seemed like an inordinate delay — Kay’s hair was slowly losing style in the heat — Bob poked his head out of the cockpit and said, “Sorry for the delay, but we caught another one.” Startled, Kay stammered, “You mean one of the passengers failed security clearance?” Bob replied, “Not only that but he is on the FBI’s wanted list of suspected terrorists. The remaining passengers checked out okay, but we’ll be delayed until the agents finish interviewing them to see if they knew the guy.” Despite the heat, Kay shivered as she thought of the potential chain of events a terrorist onboard the aircraft might unleash.

Her fears gradually subsided when Jeff reminded her that the VOICE RECOGNITION IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGY (VRIT) unit in the FBO was flawless in the nearly six months of use. Over that time, twenty-six people with a criminal element were pulled, most of whom had been charged previously with petty crimes [such as tax evasion] and were either on the run or would be in violation of their parole restrictions had they left the state. Today marked the first time that a suspected terrorist was caught and as the squad car sirens wailed, Kay knew that this day would be anything but normal.

The above account is fiction, but it pre-supposes a couple of things that could occur in the intervening years that would bring about similar results, i.e., additional and more widespread terrorist attacks being a primary consideration. In addition, a change in the way we do business, i.e., selling seats to individuals instead of selling the entire flight to a company or an individual would have to occur — no longer would you have a lead passenger who could identify all of the other passengers. VRIT is now within reach and will, more than likely, become the norm of the day. Essentially, it works this way: a person speaks into a device that immediately matches the voice pattern with one in the database. The database identifies the person and when a match is made, the person is cleared [unless the database turns up a warrant for their arrest].

Naturally, in order to get onboard a flight we would require passengers to be part of that database. This could occur if VRIT becomes as mandatory as holding a social security number or a driver’s license. Foreign nationals would have to be keyed into the same system to make it work, so the potential for a worldwide Orwellian-type system would be great.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with Russ Cooper, a managing partner with COMPUTEK, a Wall Street company that has developed the latest generation of VRIT. He shared with me that both the FBI and CIA use an older generation of VRIT and his company is marketing the current one. Their customer base potential is impressive: government agencies, security firms, airports, airliners, automobile manufacturers, you name it. Wherever a positive i.d. on a person is needed, their technology might be utilized.

According to Russ, the technology is fail-safe. When I mentioned that a voice impersonator like a Richard Little type could sneak by, he claimed that VRIT would still know who he was even with the “Richard Nixon” voice. Apparently, voice patterns are distinguishable even when disguised.

We did not discuss “price” as he was not marketing his product directly to me. I can only imagine that the costs involved would be significant, but then I began to think that they could possibly be offset by lower insurance premiums if insurance companies see the benefit of “guaranteeing” passenger security.

So what role could the flight attendant play in utilizing VRIT? Perhaps in lieu of a security agent [especially in out of the way places like Bozeman, Montana], a VRIT unit would be assigned to your aircraft — much like a cardiac defibrillator monitor — and you would greet each passenger as they boarded the aircraft. Before the aircraft could be cleared for takeoff, the passengers would speak into the handheld VRIT and be given a security clearance on the spot.

Let’s return to our story and amend it with the security check being placed directly in the flight attendant’s hands:

Kay walked down the G-V’s steps carrying her mobile VRIT device and waited as the passengers exited the FBO and made their way to the aircraft. She announced, “Welcome onboard Jet Aviation flight #001 bound for Los Angeles. Please speak your name into the VRIT unit. Once you have been cleared, you may proceed up the steps. The first officer will take your boarding pass and you may be seated. If you need additional assistance, the captain will be glad to help you.”

One by one the passengers filed by, stating their name and waiting for the green clearance light to flash. As they spoke, a signal was transferred to an orbiting satellite and then beamed to VRIT headquarters in Washington, DC. As the last of the passengers approached, Kay continued to greet each one and wait for clearance. Finally, when all passengers were cleared, she climbed the steps and had both pilots speak into the VRIT unit. At last, Kay placed the unit in the First Officer’s hands in order to have him run clearance on her. Kay cleared her throat, spoke her name, but after an extended pause, the VRIT beeped loudly and signaled red. The color in Kay’s face drained away and she turned to flee. Within moments several arms reached forward to apprehend her as sirens wailed in the background.

All she could think about was running away…

Startled, Kay awoke from her dream as the snooze alarm blared away.

How to Cut Transcription Costs

Do you wonder why the cost of having your audio or video files transcribed can go up and up?

Let's do a breakdown.

15 minutes of audio (your dictation / recording) takes about 1 hour to transcribe. So if you have a 2 hour conference recorded that equals about 8 hours of transcribing.

Why does it take that long?

I am carefully listening to every spoken word and making sure that I type and spell everything correctly.

I will also need to start / stop the audio for a few reasons:

To look up a word for its proper spelling or definition.

To rewind the audio for clarification.

To pause and differentiate speakers.

Verbatim Style -typing every single sound to include coughing, false starts, laughter, etc. (Legal depositions, insurance claims, where emotions and strict verbatim is needed)

Some recordings I receive are of bad quality, have a lot of background noise and / or have many different speakers and interruptions.

I also do a second pass through to make sure all is accurate but I do not charge extra for this.

This all adds up to extra time; which "adds" up. Pun intended.

Unless one is a magician, a professional transcriptionist has to take the time to transcribe the spoken word with accuracy. It's not possible to type at the speed of a speaker without errors.

What is style?

This is your choice and it is the style of your typed audio / video file.

Verbatim-every spoken word is typed to include all emotions (laughter, anger, high-pitched voice) and distractions (coughing, sneezing, false starts like uhs, ums, stuttering, etc.). This is usually used for legal transcriptions like depositions, as well as claims and recorded calls or for any client that wishes to use this style.

Clean verbatim-this style excludes the coughing and background noises but still includes the false starts and stuttering. (Focus groups, one on one interviews, multiple speakers, etc.)

Intelligent- excludes all false starts and background noises so the transcription has an easy reading flow. (Speeches, student lectures, meetings, operative notes, dissertations, etc.)

Overall, the client determines what style and format he / she wishes to have for their audio / video files.

How much do these extras cost?

The answer varies greatly. Some companies charge an extra 25 cents to more than $ 1 for verbatim, more than 2 speakers, poor quality recordings, heavy accents and rush fees, on top of their base fee. I've seen $ between 3-5 per audio minute base fees. There other companies that charges much less like 75 cents per audio minute too.

Some companies charge per line, per page, per audio minute or per audio hour. I prefer per audio minute so that my clients know ahead of time what the cost will be.

Rush fees are for same day delivery service or within a certain time frame as per the clients request. I only charge a small fee for same day rush.

For example, if I receive a rush request for 2 hours (120 minutes) of audio, that means I have to prioritize and spend about 8 hours transcribing their project. So an extra fee is appropriate.

In summary, do the best you can to cut your costs:

Be sure to make your recordings in a quiet area to minimize background noise.

If you have a focus group or more than one speaker, ask those speakers to take turns in order to alleviate over lapses (start / stop / rewind-adds time).

Speak clearly into dictation equipment / microphone and spell out names, things or places if you have an accent or if you think it may be unclear to the transcriber.

Know how you want to have your document formatted; provide your specifics, and your style (verbatim, etc.).

Know when you want your audio / video files (transcribed) returned to you. Avoid rush fees by allowing a sufficient amount of time for work to be done. 3-5 days is acceptable.

* Most importantly, form a partnership with your transcriber. *

A happy client is what I strive for and multiple projects mean multiple discounts.