Do You Have Gout?

Gout is one of those conditions which can be aided considerably with a change in diet and lifestyle, and is a form of arthritis which is normally associated with “high living”. This condition causes a rather painful accumulation of crystals of uric acid around the joint. I have seen many gout patients over the years, and I think I have seen one or two a women over the years in my clinic complaining of this rather painful condition.

I can still remember the first gout patient I ever saw, I was practicing in the student clinic in the 90’s. A male aged mid forties came in complaining of a very painful right ankle and big toe. He was a mechanic who enjoyed a beer, in fact he said: “Eric, I’ll do anything you suggest, I won’t be stopping my beer however, but I can’t live with this pain anymore”.

A gout attack of pain usually strikes unexpectedly, but generally subsides in a few days with treatment. However, some guys can experience pain for several weeks with gout attacks often re-occurring and without the correct management the attacks of pain may become more frequent and can be very debilitating indeed. You should contact your doctor if really severe pain in a joint recurs or lasts more than a few days, especially if the pain is accompanied by chills or fever. Now let’s have a closer look at gout, what it is and what causes it and more importantly, how we can help the gout patient with some good natural medicine suggestions.

Gout is arthritis

Gout is regarded as a form of rheumatism and is one of the most painful forms of arthritis. There are different types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis, the “wear and tear” arthritis of the larger joints like hips, knees, back, etc. Then there is rheumatoid arthritis which is the inflammatory (heat) arthritis affecting the smaller joints generally like the writs, fingers, etc. And then there is gout, what I call the “red-blooded male’s arthritis”. I can remember reading a book awhile ago about the era of the large ocean going vessels such as the Endeavour during the golden age of discovery. Many officers on board such vessels suffered terribly from gout. Mind you, they were the commanding men who drank plenty of rum and ate plenty of beef with lashings of gravy. So what has changed? Blokes still like to command, drink rum and coke or cold beer, and eat hot steaks and what red-blooded guy doesn’t? I have never seen a committed vegetarian suffering with gout, and very much doubt they even exist in this country.

Signs and Symptoms of Gout

Recurrent, acute attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, inflammation and swelling around the smaller joints especially the joint of the big toe. Why the big toe you ask? Common sense – because it is the joint at the lowest point of the body, the area where deposits of uric acid and other wastes tend to form due to gravity. If you are right-handed, the right big toe joint will be more likely affected than you left, and vice versa. This is because you step off and lead with your right foot as you walk, and is will have therefore a slightly better circulation of nutrients (and therefore also a little more deposition of wastes) than your left foot. Reflexologists often talk about “crystals” forming around the toe joints, and you can feel “crunching” sensations if you prod firmly under your toes or wiggle the toe joints at times. The patient can also feel quite a sharp and rather intense pain in a small joint, particularly the toe or wrist. The affected joint can be red, hot, swollen and even throbbing. It may feel “on fire”. As earlier mentioned, the pain can be so unbearable that even a bed sheet can cause excrutiating pain.

Gout statistics

· Gout afflicts approximately up to 0.5% of the population of the western world.

· Over 95% of gout sufferers are men aged 30 or over.

· Gout is twenty times more likely in males than women.

· Gout is strongly associated with being overweight and having high blood pressure.

· Gout can also occur in women, more commonly after menopause.

· Maori (New Zealand indigenous peoples) and Pacific Islander peoples in particular tend to have high uric acid levels and are predisposed to gout, especially the Maori patients I see who love abalone, mussels, roe (fish eggs like caviar) and crayfish (like lobster). I would expect that indigenous American or African peoples would similarly be affected by gout, particulary when they live in the developed Western countries and eat foods high in purines.

· The type of individual most commonly affected by gout is an overweight man who drinks large amounts of alcohol, is a regular meat-eater, loves rich foods and who may have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

What causes an acute gout attack?

· Certain medications, such as some types of diuretics, can cause gout. Aspirin and niacin (Vitamin B3) can also raise uric acid levels.

· Certain diseases can lead to an excessive production of uric acid in the body, including some leukaemias, lymphomas and some haemoglobin (blood) disorders.

· Some studies have indicated an increased prevalence of low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) in people with gout.

· Dehydration (alcohol & caffeine dehydrates).

· Injury to a joint.

· Excessive intake of purine-containing foods (see list below).

· Heavy alcohol intake.

· Recent surgery (this may be related to changes in the body fluid balance because of fasting before surgery).

· Family history – hereditary.

What is Uric acid?

Approximately 70% of gout patients have an overproduction of uric acid, the remaining 30% of gout patients have a poor elimination of uric acid, therefore it makes sense to eat fewer foods which help to produce uric acid, and improve uric acid elimination by way of the kidneys.

Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of certain foods in the body, and gout was once considered to be closely related just to diet. It is now understood that inheriting a problem with uric acid excretion from the body is probably one of the most common reasons for gout to occur. Improving a person’s kidney function as much as possible has helped many gout sufferers I have seen over the years.

Uric acid is the end product of the metabolism of chemicals called purine that are found in many foods. Purines are also found naturally in the body, and normally, the body disposes of excess uric acid via the urine, but in people with gout uric acid accumulates in the body. This can be due to reduced excretion of uric acid by the kidneys or to overproduction of uric acid by the body. This accumulation of uric acid may also cause kidney stones, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that you need to improve the kidney function as much as is possible to help the patient overcome gout.

Gout can be very painful indeed

How come gout hurts, where does all that pain come from? Simple, when the uric acid accumulate in the blood and tissues it can crystallise out into a joint, forming a multitude of tiny, jagged, needle-shaped crystals. This triggers an intense inflammatory response that causes a painful arthritis attack called a gout attack. Have you ever stood on a pin or a needle, perhaps some broken glass and got annoyed and irritated by this? Then you will know how a gout sufferer will feel – they can be most irritated and annoyed like a child who has just stood on a pin cushion. Pain has a way of bringing out the worst in many people! As I mentioned, gout commonly strikes the big toe, but other joints can be affected, including the instep, ankle, knee, wrist, elbow and fingers. Acute pain is generally the first symptom and then the affected joint becomes inflamed (almost infected-looking): red, swollen, hot and extremely sensitive to the touch. I have many times seen a case of gout in the clinic that the patient’s doctor referred to as “osteoarthritis”, when in fact it had all the makings of gout. Signs and symptoms such as a needle-like pain affecting the small joint, male patient who enjoys alcohol drinker, crayfish and roe (fish eggs), enjoys barbeques and steaks, etc. Common things happen to people commonly, I have often said.

The funny thing with guys is, you see them once then you don’t tend to see them again in the clinic. I believe that it is purely the pain that brings them ultimately to see the practitioner. This is especially so for some larger blokes I have seen where the pain was not helped to a large degree by the standard gout drugs, and then there is much more of an urgency to that appointment. I have often said that there is nothing more than a high degree of pain to bring a guy to your room as a patient. If you are a regular reader of my column, you may recall that I have often said that males belong to the “John Wayne School of Health”: “I’ll be alright, there’s nothing wrong with me, and I’ll just get right back on that horse and keep on riding”. I can recall in one Western that even John Wayne himself went to see a doctor when the pain of a rather large shotgun blast in his shoulder was preventing him from actually getting on his horse, and even then the doctor’s visit seemed was under duress!

Good thing that, the pain, it may be nature’s way of getting guys off their horses (or out of their cars) and into clinics! If a woman experiences pain, let’s say one out of a scale of ten – then she is off to get it investigated. She tends to be much more proactive, is it any wonder a woman will live longer than a man? Males tend to wait until the pain moves from four to five out of ten, and even then, the visit is seen as an “inconvenience”. If a man would only start to improve his gout when he experiences the pain at a level of one out of ten, then he will find it a lot easier to turn gout around than when the pain is nine out of ten. This is because at low occasional pain levels, gout is not quite a disease process yet, it is a functional disturbance which can be much more easily corrected. An appointment with the naturopath at this stage will reveal that the man will probably be eating and drinking the wrong foods contributing to the progression of his gout, all he needs at this stage is a change of diet and an improvement in his kidney function to help the clearance of uric acid. Better still, if his blood can be cleansed with appropriate treatment such as a detox process, he will feel much better, reducing and even possibly eliminating his chances of developing full-blown gout.

A visit at high pain levels will only be sought in terms of pain relief, and there will be pathology or disease present. And the stronger the pain, the more urgent will be the pain relief naturally. Seriously bad gout pain can make the biggest blokes cry like the biggest babies, I have seen this on one occasion when a tough Aussie male burst into tears as he told me that even the thin sheet at night on his big toe was excruciatingly painful. This guy was into cold beer and hot pies and had plenty of both, the tears were real and no laughing matter folks!

These cases are harder to turn around because all the focus is purely on strong pain control. Supplements may work, but are not as powerful as pharmaceutical drugs when it comes to pain control, hence the reason why we only see the gout patient once. The drugs which control pain wreck the person’s digestion in time, that’s the real problem and the stark reality. And the underlying problem is not really sorted either, the offending ways continue and so does the gout. So convenient, just switch off that pain. Interesting if we compare the recent financial crisis which was due to “extending credit”, I think medicine is going down the same path until we end up with the upcoming “health crisis” globally which will be due similarly to extending credit of a different nature. You temporarily solve a problem by taking away the pain but create the long term crisis and avoid treating the real underlying causes. I have to admit, this is one area in which natural therapists fail – strong pain control. We are the preventative medicine experts. Acupuncture will have some benefit here, but many patients are just not keen on the needles. Herbs or supplements? Not really, drugs do work well but why wait until you need strong pain relief is my question, why not address conditions like gout BEFORE you require the strong solution?

Conventional Treatment of gout Allopurinol is the pharmaceutical drug of choice used in long-term prevention of gout and decreases the body’s production of uric acid. People experiencing gout attacks should, however, avoid medications containing aspirin as these can make gout worse. Pain relievers such as paracetamol or other more powerful analgesics, are often used to manage the pain. Anti-inflammatories, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are used to decrease joint inflammation and reduce the pain. If NSAIDs cannot be given because of an ulcer, your doctor may use colchicine may be used to settle an attack. I have found the homeopathic colchicines (30c) can be very useful for the gout patient instead of this drug. Do you take a “water tablet” or a diuretic? Pharmaceutical diuretics may cause gout in people who are genetically predisposed to gout by increasing the accumulation of uric acid within the body.

Resting the joint, possibly in a splint, and applying ice packs may help. Ice is a great acute gout treatment which I highly recommend.

Preventing further gout attacks

Prevention is the thing which you need to focus your attention to, and in my opinion is equally as important as treating the gout.

· Reduction or elimination of alcohol consumption, this is the BIG one in my opinion. Alcohol causes uric acid levels to rise and has a diuretic effect that can add to dehydration and bring on gout attacks

· Make sure you drink plenty of water to promote the excretion of uric acid;

· Weight reduction, is often necessary. This can be achieved by reducing dietary fat and calorie intake, which should be combined with a regular (walking) programme.

· “Crash diets” should be avoided as this can lead to an increase in uric acid levels through lowered uric acid excretion, you put more pressure on the kidneys and liver when you try to lose weight too quickly and end up with more problems than you can solve!

· Dietary changes to reduce uric acid levels in the blood. Avoid purine-rich foods such as shellfish, organ meats (liver, brains, kidney etc.), and fish roe, abalone, lobster or crayfish, crabs, anchovies and sardines.

· Limit the intake of dried beans and peas and yeast products like beer and bread.

· Try an ice pack on the affected area, sometimes a foot spa can help as well.

· Reflexology has helped many patients and is well worth a try, so is aromatherapy.

Eric’s gout recommendations

  • Water
    This is the BIG one, drink at least six glasses per day and make sure that you have one of the glasses before you go to sleep – it helps get rid of uric acid. The more you pee the more uric acid you get rid of.
  • Reduce serum uric acid levels.Vitamin C in doses of 4000 up to 8000mg/day increased urinary excretion of uric acid and lowered serum uric acid levels in many trials. This effect would presumably reduce the risk of gout. However, it has been argued that rapid mobilisation of uric acid could trigger a gout attack; although such an effect of vitamin C supplementation has not been reported. To minimise this theoretical risk, I recommend the gout patient to start vitamin C at lower doses and build up gradually.Eat cherriesBlack cherries are the best (fresh or canned) up to 250gr aday or the equivalent amount of cherry juice, has been reported to relieve acute attacks, prevent recurrences, and reduce serum uric acid levels. Sweet yellow and red sour cherries were also effective. I have seen major improvements in more than a few males who stepped their intake of cherries up with acute attacks and have major pain relief (drug-free) within a week. Folic acid in doses of 10mg/day, when combined with unspecified doses of vitamin C, has been reported to reduce serum uric acid levels.
  • Reduce fructose intake. High consumption of fructose (fruit sugar) may increase the risk of gout due to the ability of fructose to increase the body’s production of uric acid.If you have bad gout, avoid these high fructose food items: Honey, dates, raisins, figs,
  • Alcohol Daily drinking habits, lack of exercise, and dehydration enhance the increase in plasma concentration of uric acid induced by alcohol, and it is important to pay attention to these factors, as well as to the ingested alcohol volume and type of alcoholic beverage. An excess of alcohol should be avoided. Total abstinence and avoidance of alcohol may be required in severe cases. The worst alcohols to consume with gout are the ones you “can’t see though” like whiskey, bourbon, rum, beer, etc. The alcohols which don’t seem as bad are the “clear” ones like vodka and gin. You should avoid ALL alcohol if you have bad gout. See now why guys don’t tend to come back to the naturopath now if they have bad gout? One male gout patient called me the “fun police”, when I made the recommendations of abstinence. I expect his pain levels were not high enough, believe me, ANY male will do whatever it takes to get rid of that pain!
  • Diet Consume a moderate amount of protein. Limit meat, fish and poultry to 100 – 120 grams per day. Try other low-purine good protein foods such as low fat dairy products, tofu and eggs.
  • Body weightMaintenance of, or gradual reduction to, ideal body weight could prove helpful. Your blood pressure will drop, so will your cholesterol and not only your likelihood to avoid gout attacks, but you will reduce your chances of most chronic diseases.
  • Diet Avoid as much as possible: anchovies, crayfish or lobster, shellfish, abalone, fish roe (or eggs live caviar), herring, mackerel, meat extracts, beef in general, kidney or organ meats, lamb, pork, mussels, paua, roe, sardines, yeast (baker’s and brewer’s, taken as supplement) coffee, tea and ALL alcoholic beverages, chocolate, cocoa, caffeine containing soft drinks, wheat germ, pastry, high fat biscuits and cakes, whipped cream, fried potato, potato chips, broth, bouillon, consommé, meat stock soups and gravies. Eat these foods with caution: Asparagus, dried beans lentils, meat, mushrooms, dried peas, spinach (silverbeet) To have in your diet: Milk and milk drinks, carbonated beverages, cereal/grain beverages. All breads and cereals, low fat biscuits, cakes, and puddings. Fat in moderation only, fruit juices such as cherry, blue berry are particularly good. Eat cherries and blue berries. Fish ok, but stick with younger fishes. Chicken and ham, soups, most all the common vegetables, condiments, herbs, nuts, olives, peanut butter, pickles, popcorn, relishes, salt.

What Causes Cold Sores to Reactivate?

Cold sores, also called as fever blister are small painful blisters that suggest the sign of herpes simplex outbreak. It is estimated that around 80-85% of the total world population will have herpes simplex sometimes in their life. Although cold sores are mild compared to other viral infections, they can cause extreme physical discomfort and have tremendous negative effect on social life. It not only impact the lives of the sufferers, but also those of family members and relatives. Cold sores are generally seen on lips, mouth and inside nose. In some cases like immunocompromised people (those with HIV Aids, Diabetes, Cancer) they may even occurs inside mouth, but for normal healthy people its rare.

What causes cold sores?

Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2. More than 90 percent of cases are caused by type 1 virus (HSV-1) and few percent accounts for type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-2 virus causes genital herpes in human. What are the triggering factors of cold sores? Based on two factors, internal and external factors herpes simplex virus can be triggered anytime during the life. Internal factors are those which can’t be prevented while external factors may be prevented and avoided. Below are some of the triggering factors for herpes simplex virus.

Internal factors that triggers herpes reactivation

  • Fever
  • Infection with another virus like flu and common cold
  • Minor infections
  • Menstruation
  • Metabolic diseases like diabetes and thyroid disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Factors or diseases that suppress your immune system
  • Gastrointestinal disorders

External Factors that triggers herpes simplex reactivation

  • Excessive prolonged sun exposure
  • Anxiety, stress and other emotional disorders
  • Prolonged and excessive dryness of the lips
  • Some allergic reactions
  • Cold or chills
  • Any physical injuries
  • Dental procedures

There is no cure for herpes; once you are infected with herpes simplex virus, it stays inside your body forever. Most of the herpes infection are acquired during childhood and stays inactive inside your body until certain factors like above mentioned triggering factors reactivates it. Good thing is that, if you avoid such triggering factors and are immunocompetent cold sores may not return and you could live a normal healthy life.

Quick note:

  • Do not squeeze bite or pick the blisters
  • Avoid foods that are acidic in nature and avoid salty, spicy foods
  • Avoid sharing day to day applications like towels, razors, lips balm etc.
  • Herpes simplex is highly contagious, avoid kissing or other oral activities during the breakouts

How to Become a Home Health Care Nurse

Home Health Care Nursing Information and Overview

Home health care is allowing the patient and their family to maintain dignity and independence. According to the National Association for Home Care, there are more than 7 million individuals in the United States in need of home health care nurse services because of acute illness, long term health problems, permanent disability or terminal illness.

Home Health Care Basics

Nurses practice in a number of venues: Hospital settings, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and home health care. Home health care nursing is a growing phenomenon as more patients and their families desire to receive care in their homes. The history of home health care stems from Public Health Nursing where public health nurses made home visits to promote health education and provide treatment as part of community outreach programs. Today academic programs train nurses in home care and agencies place home health care nurses with ailing individuals and their families depending on the nurse’s experience and qualifications. In many cases there is a shared relationship between the agency and the academic institution.

Many changes have taken place in the area of home health care. These include Medicare and Medicaid, and Long Term Care insurance reimbursement and documentation. It is important for the nurse and nursing agency to be aware of the many factors involved for these rules and regulations resulting from these organizations. Population and demographic changes are taking place as well. Baby boomers approaching retirement and will present new challenges for the home health care industry. Technology and medical care in hospitals has lead to shorter inpatient stay and more at-home rehabilitation. Increases in medical outpatient procedures are also taking place with follow-up home care. This has resulted in the decrease of mortality rate from these technologies and medical care has lead to increases in morbidity and chronic illness that makes the need for home health care nursing a greater priority.

Home Health Care Nurse Job Description

Through an array of skills and experience, home health care nurses specialize in a wide range of treatments; emotional support, education of patients who are recovering from illnesses and injury for young children and adults, to women who have experienced recent childbirth, to the elderly who need palliative care for chronic illness.

A practicing nurse must have the skills to provide care in a unique setting such as someone’s home. The nurse is working with the patient and the family and must understand the communication skills for such dynamics. Rapport is evident in all nursing positions, but working in a patient’s own living space needs a different level of skill and understanding. There is autonomous decision making as the nurse is no longer working as a team with other nurses in a structured environment, but is now as a member of the “family” team. The host family has cultural values that are important and are different for every patient and must be treated with extreme sensitivity. Other skills include critical thinking, coordination, assessment, communication, and documentation.

Home health care nurses also specialize in the care of children with disabilities that requires additional skills such as patience and understanding of the needs of the family. Children are living with disabilities today that would have resulted in mortality just twenty years ago. Genetic disorders, congenital physical impairments, and injury are just a few. Many families are familiar with managing the needs of the child, but still need expert care that only a home health care nurse can provide. It is important that a home health care nurse is aware of the expertise of the family about the child’s condition for proper care of the child. There are many complexities involved, but most important, a positive attitude and positive reinforcement is of utmost importance for the development of the child.

Medication coordination between the home health care nurse, doctor, and pharmacist, ensures proper management of the exact science behind giving the patient the correct dose, time of administration, and combinations. Home health care nurses should be familiar with pharmacology and taught in training about different medications used by patients in the clinical setting.

Many advanced practicing nurses are familiar with medication regiments. They have completed graduate level programs. Home health care agencies believe that a nurse should have at least one year of clinical experience before entering home health care. Advanced practicing nurses can expedite that training by helping new nurses understand the home health care market and teaching.

Employment and Salary

According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 2.4 million nurses in America, the largest healthcare occupation, yet many academic and hospital organizations believe there is a gross shortage in nursing staff. The shortage of nurses was 6% in 2000 and is expected to be 10% in 2010. The average salary for hospital nursing is $53,450 with 3 out of 5 nursing jobs are in the hospital. For home health care, the salary is $49,000. For nursing care facilities, they were the lowest at $48,200.

Training and continuing education

Most home health care nurses gain their education through accredited nursing schools throughout the country with an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), or a master’s degree in nursing (MSN). According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2004 there were 674 BSN nursing programs, 846 ADN programs. Also, in 2004, there were 417 master’s degree programs, 93 doctoral programs, and 46 joint BSN-doctoral programs. The associate degree program takes 2 to 3 years to complete, while bachelors degrees take 4 years to complete. Nurses can also earn specialized professional certificates online in Geriatric Care or Life Care Planning.

In addition, for those nurses who choose to pursue advancement into administrative positions or research, consulting, and teaching, a bachelor’s degree is often essential. A bachelor’s degree is also important for becoming a clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners (U.S. Department of Labor, 2004).

All home health care nurses have supervised clinical experience during their training, but as stated earlier advanced practicing nurses hold master’s degrees and unlike bachelor and associate degrees, they have a minimum of two years of post clinical experience. Course work includes anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, psychology, and behavioral sciences and liberal arts. Many of these programs have training in nursing homes, public health departments, home health agencies, and ambulatory clinics. (U.S. Dep. of Labor, 2004).

Whether a nurse is training in a hospital, nursing facility, or home care, continuing education is necessary. Health care is changing rapidly and staying abreast with the latest developments enhances patient care and health procedures. Universities, continuing education programs, and internet sites, all offer continuing education. One such organization that provides continuing education is the American Nurses Association (ANA) or through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).


There are many rewards to becoming a home health care nurse. Some rewards include the relationship with a patient and their family, autonomy, independence, and engaging in critical thinking. The 21st Century brings with it many opportunities and challenges. We must meet these challenges head on – there is an aging baby boomer population, a growing morbidity factor due to increased medical technology and patient care, and the growing shortage in nursing care.

Becoming a home health care nurse today is exciting and an opportunity to make a difference one life at a time. With clinical experience and proper education, a home health care nurse will lead the future of medical care.

How To Spot The 4 Types Of Workers You Need In Your Dream Team

In order for your Dream Team to work in creative harmony, you need 4 types of workers.

Step 1: Project Categories

In the One Minute Millionaire, Hansen and Allen describe how Allen Fahden and Marie West break project-oriented work into four main categories.  These are:

  • Solutions: This is all about identifying ideas and options to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities
  • Strategies: This is about taking your highest-priority idea and deciding on a plan of action
  • Analysis: This is the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ bit!  Brainstorm what could go wrong with your solution
  • Results: This is where you create a system to carry out your plan of action and then you do it!

Step 2: Match The Worker To The Category

Hansen and Allen describe four types of workers that correlate with the four categories above.

These are:

 Hares: These are the creative, ideas types.  They often prefer to leave the ‘follow-through’ to others.

 Owls: These are the “Give me an idea and I’ll show you the plan and strategy’ types.  They love making connections too.

Turtles: These are the traditionalists.  They don’t like taking risks and have a talent for anticipating problems, hence saving the team time and money by addressing the issues early on.

 Squirrels: These are the organizational types who love the detailed, step-by-step work.

In order to build a dream team, you must have people of each type to perform the duties and tasks within each of the four categories.

Hansen and Allen state that if your team lacks one type you will be in danger.  If your team lacks two of the types, you ‘face disaster’!

You will also find that most people, including yourself, have one primary work style, for example the Hare, and one secondary one, for example the Owl.

If your team consists of two people, you and one other, you should ideally have a combination of all four types between you; for example, Hare/Owl plus Turtle/Squirrel or the combination of Hare/Turtle and Owl/Squirrel.

So this is what HOTS stands for…Hares, Owls, Turtles and Squirrels!

Step 3: Take The HOTS Test!

The way you match yourself and each team member to the type that fits with one of the four categories is by identifying the strengths that match each one.

This is easy because Hansen and Allen have designed a free diagnostic instrument, available on their website, that reveals people’s strengths.


So go to the website of the One Minute Millionaire, click on Tools and then select the HOTS Survey and identify your strengths. Then make sure each of your team members do it too!

I’m a Hare.  What are you?  What difference will it make to you now, knowing what other types of people you need to look for to build your dream team?

How To Heal Jock Itch Easily

Jock itch can be attributed to a lot of causes. A lot of athletes and men actually have this because of the activities that they do most of the time. Friction and fungus can be the main risk factors for a person to have this kind of infection. Fungi can grow well in damp and warm environment and cause a full blown infection. Obesity is also being associated with this infection. A lot of people have experienced it and a lot of treatments have been formulated also. You can now even heal jock itch while at home. It is important that you will be able to get rid of this discomfort as it will just distract your focus on your work. You need some tips on how to heal jock itch easily so you need to remember them always.


As much as possible, you have to keep the affected areas in your groin, genitals and thigh dry all the time. Moisture will just aggravate the discomfort. One thing that you can do to keep it dry and heal it fast is to apply powder or cornstarch. You may sprinkle talcum powder to absorb moisture in your skin. It can also help in reducing the friction as it will make the skin much smoother.


There are a lot of ointments that you can purchase over the counter. Anti fungal creams are available in the nearest pharmacy. Look for those that contain miconazole or clotrimazole. These are known to be very effective in treating jock itch. Before you apply the ointments, you must read the instructions first to see the contraindications. Make sure that you will wash and dry up the affected areas first before you apply the ointment.


Apply cold compress on affected areas so that you will be able to find some relief. The itchiness that it will cause will surely become disturbing even if you want to sleep already. One thing that you can do is to place some ice cubes inside a clean cloth. This must be applied on the affected areas for no more than 20 minutes to avoid skin damage. Also, you have to make sure that you will not apply the ice cubes directly on the affected areas. Dry up the affected areas after applying cold compress.


You have to make sure that you will clean your groin area regularly. Wash it with water and mild soap and dry it up immediately after. Also, you need to relax and avoid much physical activities as it will just aggravate jock itch. Relax to avoid providing moisture in the groin area which can be very favorable for this infection.

Jock itch is indeed very disturbing and dreadful. You have to do your best to heal and treat it the fast way. You need to get rid of it as soon as possible. To do it, you have to follow some tips. These will help you to do the best thing.

Loss of Penis Sensation – Is Penis Feeling Gone Forever?

Loss of any degree of penis sensation can be a guy’s worst nightmare. Although the average male does not want to admit to lost sensitivity in this all-important organ, the fact is that more than three quarters of all men experience reduced penis feeling at some point in their lives. Diminished penis sensation can result in loss of sexual pleasure, relationship problems, and low self-esteem; men who have a numb penis may worry that their sex lives are over forever.

The good news is that, although loss of penis feeling may in some cases be caused by a serious underlying condition, the answer is often fairly simple and can be treated in a straightforward manner. In addition, treating the penile skin with penis-specific vitamins and minerals may help to reduce the risk of chronic penis numbness and even restore lost sensation.

What causes loss of penis sensation?

In more serious cases, penis numbness may be caused by spinal problems, chronic health issues such as diabetes, or a sexually transmitted disease. For most men, however, reduced sensation of the penis is caused by one of three things:

1. Frequent dry masturbation can damage the fine mesh of nerve endings that lies directly below the penis skin. Without proper nutrient support from skin vitamins and minerals, the neural cells are unable to repair themselves efficiently; over time, this can lead to a reduction in sensitivity.

2. In addition to nerve damage resulting from dry rubbing, the friction caused by masturbation can lead to “calloused” or thickened skin on the head and shaft of the penis. This in turn leads to desensitization of the penis which can only be reversed by softening the penis skin and restoring it to its natural, healthy condition.

3. Poor circulation and restricted blood flow to the penis can cause numbness and loss of sexual pleasure; maintaining healthy blood flow and keeping the blood vessels in good working order is necessary to ensure a fully functional penis.

Is sexual intercourse still pleasurable with diminished penis sensitivity?

While men report that they are still able to achieve an erection when the penis head is numb, they relate that it can take hours of stimulation and steady concentration to have an orgasm. Other guys note that they are able to please their partners, but that they experience little to no pleasure themselves, and often, reaching an orgasm is impossible. In some cases, relationship problems result, as women often blame themselves for the inability of their partner to feel pleasure or to reach climax.

How to prevent or reverse loss of penis sensitivity

To avoid developing a numb penis, it is important to address the root causes of the problem. Providing adequate nerve support through nutrients such as vitamin B5, as well as certain amino acids that are needed for repairing damaged nerve cells, can increase the healing power of the neural cells, ensuring healthy response to sexual stimulation.

In addition, it is necessary to maintain hydration of the penis skin through the use of moisturizing agents such as shea butter and vitamin E, which creates a natural barrier that prevents dryness and desensitization of the dermal tissue.

Maintaining good circulatory health by nourishing the capillaries of the penis with vitamin C, which is needed for repairing damaged capillaries and providing structural support to the cell walls of the blood vessels, is also an important aspect of preventing lost penis sensitivity.

These nutrients are vital to sustaining penis health and preventing loss of penis feeling. Treating the penis skin with a specialized penis health formula (most health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can ensure that these nutrients are delivered directly where they are needed most – to the skin of the penis, where they are directly absorbed and begin working within minutes to keep the penis skin in top condition.

Progesterone: The Rodney Dangerfield of Hormones

Hormones control every system of the body. Knowledge of how hormones interact gives practitioners an important tool towards achieving wellness in their patients. Those people involved with bio-identical hormones, namely, compound pharmacists, physicians, and nurse practitioners, are already much aware of the importance of progesterone with regards to a woman’s gynecological well-being.

However, there seems to be a lack of appreciation for the role progesterone plays in the area of men’s health, as well as how progesterone can be utilized to benefit weight control in men, women and children. Please be aware that there are over 300 receptor sites throughout the body for progesterone. It is beyond the scope of this article to delineate all the potential benefits and actions of this hormone. Consider what I discuss here an introduction to the clinical benefits of this hormone.

Let me begin by stating a known fact – men and women have identical hormones. Although this fact seems obvious, it is commonly not appreciated. Progesterone is usually considered a “woman’s” hormone, perhaps related to the fact that its role in the male body is never mentioned. Interestingly, I consider it the second most important hormone in men after testosterone.

One of the main roles progesterone plays in males, as well as females, is to control insulin production. Insulin is obviously an important hormone, but excess quantities can be very detrimental. It is the number one cause of obesity in this country, it is perhaps the number one cause of “essential” hypertension, it is the number one cause of type II diabetes and it is probably responsible for most of the complications of diabetes with regard to nerve and blood vessel damage, it raises cholesterol levels and is the number one hormone that speeds up the aging process. If you consider that progesterone is the number one hormone that helps keep insulin levels down you can immediately appreciate the tremendous therapeutic effect this hormone has with regard to treating weight problems, blood pressure problems, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, etc.

I do not consider progesterone alone to be the panacea for all these problems. But used in conjunction with other therapeutic approaches it provides the ability to enhance whatever approach is being utilized. For example, progesterone by itself is very effective for preventing an over-production of insulin. People who start on progesterone cream are very quick to note that they no longer get sleepy in the afternoon between 3PM and 4PM, and they don’t get sleepy while driving or after eating. These are the classic times that insulin levels peak. However, progesterone cannot compete with a diet that is high in carbohydrate content – this situation produces an amount of insulin that overwhelms the ability of progesterone to control it. Utilizing certain bio-identical hormones can actually be considered the next step beyond Atkins to maintain weight control.

As men approach the age of 50, hormonal changes start becoming more evident. This is about the time that men stop producing progesterone; accordingly, they start developing weight around the midriff because their insulin levels are now higher. In concert with this drop in progesterone, their testosterone levels continue to drop and their estradiol levels start to rise.

After the menopause, whether surgical or natural, women continue to make estradiol. However, men’s level of estradiol is commonly higher than women’s after the age of 50. When looking at estradiol, keep in mind that it is a hormone that contributes to six different cancers in women – breast, cervical, vaginal, ovarian, uterine, and colon. It is the only known cause for cancer of the uterus (except for Tamoxifen). The prostate and the uterus embryologically are derived from the same tissue. Therefore, logically it would appear that estradiol is the probable cause of prostate cancer.

Progesterone very likely prevents every known cancer cause by estradiol. Since prostatic cancer mainly occurs in men at a time that their progesterone levels are low or non-existent and that their estradiol levels are high would it not seem logical that giving men natural, bio-identical progesterone cream might prevent prostate cancer?

A classic example of the importance of progesterone in men may be best exemplified by one of my patients who presented himself to me by saying, “Doc, if you don’t help me, I’m going to commit suicide”. He was 57 years old, obviously depressed, and also complained of severe hypoglycemia, asthma, and he had osteoporosis.

At the time of his visit he was taking a combination of liothyronine (Cytomel) 25mcg, Armour thyroid and Actonel. Review of previous records indicated that he had been on a variety of regimens for depression and asthma including Paxil, Serzone, Effexar, Singular, and Flonase. He had been on a constantly changing thyroid regimen for over 20 years.

Prior lab studies showed a persistently low T4 and usually elevated T3 levels. TSH levels were always around the 0.01 range. This latter fact exemplifies a classic error done by most doctors who evaluate thyroid studies. They consider a low TSH as an indication of too much thyroid being given. They are perhaps unaware that there are several different types of hypothyroidism. The most common is primary hypothyroidism where the thyroid itself is unable to produce enough thyroid. The most common cause of this is a result of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

However, there is also an entity called secondary hypothyroidism. This occurs when the pituitary fails to produce enough thyroid stimulating hormone and results in a hypofunctioning thyroid that is frequently misinterpreted as being hyperfunctioning.

In any event, the reams of old records he brought with him were virtually worthless. He told me that he had spent over $200,000 in the two years prior to his seeing me; he had been all over the country consulting with the “top” doctors in the most prestigious medical centers. In addition to their failing to figure out what was wrong with him, they neglected to realize he had adult ADHD, fibromyalgia, and restless leg syndrome.

Initial lab studies showed:

Free T4 0.8 [0.8-1.8] NG/DL

Free T3 816 [230-420] PG/DL


The proximal cause of all this man’s problems was a deficiency of progesterone. When I told him this he was, of course, skeptical. But I was his last resort. I gave him a prescription for progesterone cream 100 mg/ ¼ tsp, at a dosage of ¼ tsp TID applied to the wrist/forearm area. I also prescribed T3 S/R 7.5 mcg BID along with levoxyl 0.125 mg. Three days after starting on this regimen he ran into my office and stated, “Doc, in my entire life I have never felt this good!”

Please note: The dosage of progesterone utilized for this patient is higher than the usual dose I would recommend for men. This is the dosage specifically utilized for those with ADHD and is continued until symptoms of hypoglycemia are gone. At that point I lower the dose to 100mg to 200mg/ day.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to have utilized progesterone in hundreds of men. I am very much aware of what this hormone is capable of achieving. Therefore, I was not surprised by the effect that it had on his particular patient. Much of his depression was related to the fact that he was internalizing anger. He was a type A personality, workaholic, successful, and had a short fuse. In other words, he produced a lot of adrenaline. He was a classic adult ADHD. On this basis alone I knew that progesterone would help him. In addition, progesterone affects many of the neurotransmitters in the brain, also helping to alleviate depression.

Progesterone helps to prevent hypoglycemia by preventing a rise in insulin. It has a powerful effect on asthma − partly because it breaks down into cortisone and also because it blocks estradiol, a known cause of asthma. His osteoporosis was also most likely related to a lack of progesterone; it is a hormone that both prevents osteoporosis as well as treats it.

Delineating all the benefits of progesterone for men is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say a major benefit is related its ability to keep insulin levels down. This helps to prevent weight gain, lower blood pressure and prevent diabetes. This tendency to lower insulin leads to the elimination or helps to alleviate a number of conditions felt to be incurable by the medical community. This includes disorders such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia, and type II diabetes. Of course these types of benefits relate to women as well as men.

In summary, this article provides a small overview of the potential of bio-identical progesterone for men, as well as the importance of progesterone in helping both men and women to control their weight. Please note that the benefits mentioned are based on utilization of progesterone in a transdermal form thereby allowing for its uptake by progesterone receptor sites.

You will notice at the end of this article there will be no references made to other articles in other journals or publications. The reason is that what I am writing is based on my own personal clinical observations. There is some intuition and logic involved, but primarily I rely on feedback I get from patients rather than relying on the dubious findings of “double-blind studies”.

©2006. Dr. Michael E. Platt/All Rights Reserved. This article is copyrighted, but you have permission to share it through any medium as long as the proper copyright and credit line is included.

How to Win Your Ex Back – The Alpha Male Way

Before you read this, I must tell you this – this guide is not for the faint of heart, and it is most definitely not for women. In fact, any woman reading this will immediately accuse me of being a sexist pig – and rightly so. But you know what? This guide can help you win your ex back – and that’s what really counts, right? So read on to discover how you can get your ex back – the alpha male style!

First of all, what’s an alpha male, you ask? Well, they’re men who know their real worth! They know exactly how good they are – and they know that it is women who should put THEM on the pedestal, and not the other way around. In other words, alpha males don’t mess around pleading with their ex for another chance – they know full well that if a woman dumped them, it’s her loss, not theirs; and while an alpha male can get ten women like her, she’ll never meet a guy as good as him.

Sounds radical? Believe me, women fall for this more often than the typical “good guy” attitude and here’s why: women love to be dominated. They crave to have a man in their life who can take charge of them. Of course, too much dominance can be a bad thing in a relationship; but taken in moderation, a lot of women would be more comfortable with an alpha male who can take initiative and do things his way.

Why does it work? Because, above all, women respect strength in their men. If you show her that you’re strong, independent, assertive and don’t care a bit about whether she’s gone or not, you’ll send a clear signal that she had better not mess around with the break-up. You’re an alpha male and you’re not going to tolerate all the mind games that come after a separation – if she wants you back, SHE needs to step up to the plate and show you why SHE is worthy of your attention.

The simplest way to do this is to cut all contact with your ex. Stop calling her every day and following her around – an alpha male doesn’t do that. Instead, an alpha male will get back on his feet after the break-up and live his own life – with friends, gym, career and yes, any random women that come his way. In the meantime, your ex will be totally freaking out. She’ll start thinking that you’ve forgotten about her, that you’ve moved on and that she never meant much to you in the first place. Very often, this show of strength will drive her to make contact with you and, in a subtle way, encourage you to give her another chance.

Chronic Leukemia – A Less Dangerous Cancer, But Harder To Treat

Leukemia is a dangerous form of cancer, and it affects thousands of people every year. It affects the white blood cells. The body loses control of the quantity and quality of blood cells, and it becomes very vulnerable because the white blood cells are supposed to protect our organism against infections. There are two main types of leukemia – acute leukemia and chronic leukemia. Acute leukemia is more dangerous because it spreads much faster, but chronic leukemia can be tricky because it has almost no symptoms.

The first organ that is affected by chronic leukemia is the bone marrow. The bone marrow is a tissue that can be found on some of the main bones in the body and that has the role of producing blood cells (red blood cells and white blood cells).

White blood cells are the guardians of the body. They can be found anywhere in the blood and they attack and neutralize any type of bacteria that enters the body and that can be harmful.

When a patient has chronic leukemia, the white blood cells from his blood are deffective and they are continuously created. A normal person should have less then 10000 white blood cells white a person with leukemia can have more than 100000, but although there are so many the protection against infections is decreased because most of the cells are malfunctioning.

A particularity of chronic leukemia is that patients who have it also have a lower number of red blood cells.

The causes of all types of leukemia are unknown, doctors cannot determine why some people have this illness and other don’t. Though, scientists discovered some factors that increase the risks of becoming ill of leukemia. Among these factors radiations play an important role, many that were exposed to radiations were soon diagnosed with leukemia. Also, a malfunction in the genes can cause the blood cells to transform, so it can have a genetic cause. The causes and risk factors are still being researched.

The bad thing about chronic leukemia is that it usually shows no symptoms that can give he patient an idea about his condition. It’s often discovered during routine lab tests. Some of those suffering from chronic leukemia reported having a general state of weakness and fatigue. As the disease advances blood can start to come out of the nose or of the gums for no reason, and because the organism is weakened and its defense is lowered, leukemia patients can be vruised very easy, and they are often infected with foreign microorganism.

Chronic leukemia treatment depends on each patient. After the diagnose a series of tests are made to determine which therapy the patient responds to. Chemotherapy is used in most situations. The number of people that are cured of chronic leukemia is increasing as time passes, but a there is a notable number of victims too.

New drugs and cures keep being researched by doctors and scientists and the survival rate is rising, so maybe in the near future chronic leukemia will be musc easier to treat.

Tips & Gadgets For People With Multiple Sclerosis Or Other Physical Disabilities

Sometimes life has a way of putting some seemingly insurmountable physical challenges in your path, especially if you are in a wheelchair. I like to think of myself as a problem solver, able to sometimes “outsmart” the problem by thinking outside of the box. A time when I had to use this “I can do this” mindset was an Easter dinner several years ago.

Easter was two days away and the whole family was coming for dinner. If I was going to get the ham thawed in time, I needed to get it out of the freezer and into the refrigerator. I decided I could get the ham on the counter and I would ask my daughter to put it in the refrigerator when she visited that evening. Good plan; the only thing is my daughter came and went and the ham never crossed my mind. Now I had a real dilemma. The ham could not sit out all night and I was not expecting other guests that evening. Every time I tried to lift the ham from my lap to the refrigerator shelf, it would drop. Now it was time for some creative problem solving. To overcome this obstacle, I created a transfer board out of a cookie sheet. I put one end of the board on my lap and one end on the shelf. All I needed to do was slide the ham up the cookie sheet to the shelf. Voila! Sometimes we just have to go about things in a different way to accomplish the task.

MS has provided me with enough challenges to last a lifetime but it has helped me realize how difficult and exhausting even everyday tasks can be. Unfortunately, sometimes these challenges are not evident to the people around us. The suggestions presented in this article are an attempt to help families understand how they can help a physically limited relative or friend. Or, these thoughts might give you insight into how to become more self-sufficient.


MS has forced some of us to deal with issues of limited strength and dexterity, poor vision or balance, or lapses in memory. Any and all of these problems can make it difficult and unsafe to accomplish tasks that are necessary in the kitchen. In most cases, the longer someone can be safely independent, the happier they will be.

How families can help:

  • Think ready to grab, heat and eat. If some Good Samaritan fixes a large quantity of something, have it stored in the freezer in individual serving containers. Then, it can be microwaved and eaten from the same container.
  • Microwave diner plates with covers allow you to make a plate with multiple items and then freeze it. This would be a way for a family member to offer help. Just save a serving of each dish from a meal created for members of your household. Then, when ready to eat, it just has to be thawed and microwaved.
  • Use non-breakable containers instead of glass. Opt for small containers that hold one serving and can go from freezer to microwave. Deep walled dishes also provide sides to help scoop food onto an eating utensil.
  • Freeze bread, bagels and English muffins to keep them from getting stale. In this way, you can take out one serving at a time. Make sure the bagels and muffins are sliced before freezing.
  • People with poor sensation in their finger tips find it difficult to use storage bags that require you to line-up two tracks and press them together. Closing bags with twist ties or plastic clips, likewise, can be frustrating. I have everything transferred to zipper type storage bags.

Modifications to make food preparation easier:

  1. Induction Cooktop – Because of the physical problems encounter with MS, being around an open heat source poses the risk of burns. An Induction Cooktop uses magnetic waves to cause the coils in the bottom of a pot or pan to heat. The cooktop itself remains cool and accidentally touching the cookplate will not cause burns to the skin. My research leads me to believe a Pacemaker can be affected by these microwaves, so you need to use caution if the person coming in contact with it has this heart aid.
  2. Counter-top microwave – Many homes have a microwave over the stove which can be difficult to use and unsafe for a person with limited strength. A counter-top microwave allows the user to more easily transfer hot dishes to the counter. Smaller, individual serving bakeware make the weight more manageable. Since the bottom of the container gets hot, I keep a pie or cake pan handy and just slip dishes onto the pan. Make sure you keep items level in the transfer process
  3. Convection Oven – A hot, open oven door is an accident waiting to happen for someone with poor balance; or it can be a hazard when someone with limited strength tries to lift a hot baking dish out of the oven. A counter-top-convection oven, which is about the size of a regular toaster oven, allows food to be transferred much easier to the counter. Instead of heating food from the bottom, a convection oven uses a built-in fan to circulate hot air evenly through the cooking area. I find my convection oven does a very good job of baking without burning and operating it is not difficult to learn. Basic convection ovens, without all the bells and whistles, cost between $100 and $150.
  4. Electric Frying Pan – Electric frying pans allow you to cook away from the stove and even permit the cook to sit at a table. The problem with the regular size appliances is that they are heavy and large enough to cook for a group of people. The pan I am suggesting is only 7″ X 7 ” and lightweight enough that it is easy to carry to the sink for washing. An added desirable feature is that it is the perfect size to prepare a meal for one or two small eaters.
  5. Pull-out-shelves – Objects in the back of lower, cavernous, kitchen cabins can be difficult to reach and are often forgotten. Pull-out-shelves may be a problem solver to help make this area more accessible. These shelves can be found in large, local hardware stores, and someone with some carpentry skills can usually install them.
  6. Dycem Mat – A stroke or other health problem may leave a person with only one useful hand, without the additional hand to stabilize things. The Dycem Mat is a vinyl mat used to eliminate slipping and sliding problems on shelves, work surfaces, under plates or cups; or it can be used to provide an improved grip on handles, cutlery, arm rests, walkers, wheelchair seats, trays or footrests.
  7. PenFriend – Someone who is visually impaired may have difficulty distinguishing between foods, medications, ingredients or other products with small writing on their labels. The PenFriend works by placing a label on an item and an identifying message is recorded into the pen. When the tip of the pen is touched to the label, the message is spoken.

There is another assistive product I really prize and that is motorized blinds. Before I had automated blinds, if I wanted privacy at night, I would have to leave blinds closed all the time. My home was always a very dark and gloomy place. Being so cut off from the world, I sometimes did not even know what the weather was like outside. I could stand to adjust the controls but, because furniture was sometimes in my way, this was a fruitless endeavor. With motorized blinds, I just point and click and I have sunlight. These were expensive, so I selectively placed them in areas that were unreachable. For windows that I can reach the controls, I use blinds that are operated with a cord rather than a wand. Because of the physical limitations created by MS, the motion of turning a wand can be difficult for many people. When you see a person sitting in the dark, before making a quick judgment, it might be prudent to consider… which came first, the darkness or the depression?

I have discussed tips to increase independence but do not want to leave out one very important safety tip – an emergency alert button. While achieving independence, it is crucial you can call for help in the event of a fall or in another emergency. Call buttons worn on the wrist can be inaccessible if the hand that will push the button is pinned under you or in some other way inoperable. A pendant is accessible to both hands. Pin the pendant to the front of pajamas at night to keep it readily available but prevent it from flopping around. Check with your local Cancer Society, hospice, or other similar organization for recommendations in your area.

By putting a few modifications in place, you can roll away barriers preventing independence. Maybe you cannot do things the way you used to but, by changing your approach to the task, it is still achievable. Start thinking, “I can do this. I just need to figure out how”.

Origin And Development Of Guidance And Counseling Practice In Tanzanian Schools

1.0. Overview

1.1. Background and History of Guidance and Counseling in General in School Practice and other setting

The history of school counseling formally started at the turn of the twentieth century, although a case can be made for tracing the foundations of counseling and guidance principles to ancient Greece and Rome with the philosophical teachings of Plato and Aristotle. There is also evidence to argue that some of the techniques and skills of modern-day guidance counselors were practiced by Catholic priests in the middle ages, as can be seen by the dedication to the concept of confidentiality within the confessional. Near the end of the sixteenth century, one of the first texts about career options appeared: The Universal Plaza of All the Professions of the World, (1626) written by Tomaso Garzoni quoted in Guez, W. & Allen, J. (2000). Nevertheless, formal guidance programs using specialized textbooks did not start until the turn of the twentieth century.

Counseling is a concept that has existed for a long time in Tanzania. We have sought through the ages to understand ourselves, offer counsel and develop our potential, become aware of opportunities and, in general, help ourselves in ways associated with formal guidance practice. In most communities, there has been, and there still is, a deeply embedded conviction that, under proper conditions, people can help others with their problems. Some people help others find ways of dealing with, solving, or transcending problems as Nwoye, (2009) prescribed in his writings. In schools, presently if the collaboration between teachers and students is good, students learn in a practical way. Young people develop degrees of freedom in their lives as they become aware of options and take advantage of them. At its best, helping should enable people to throw off chains and manage life situations effectively. Unprecedented economic and social changes have, over the years, changed the ways in which we manage our lives. Consequently, not all the lessons of the past can effectively deal with the challenges of modern times. Effective counseling, especially in institutions of learning has now become important. Boys and girls, and young men and women, need to be guided in the relationships between health and the environment, earning skills, knowledge, and attitudes that lead to success and failure in life. The need for counseling has become paramount in order to promote the well-being of the child. Effective guidance and counseling should help to improve the self-image of young people and facilitate achievement in life tasks. Counseling should empower girls and boys to participate fully in, and benefit from, the economic and social development of the nation.

2.0. Definitions of Concepts

2.1. Guidance

Guidance is an act of showing the way for some people, like adolescents, who cannot find the right path. It is directing, pointing, leading and accompanying. Guidance is saying “Yes” to someone who is asking for help. It is saying “Yes” to an invitation of someone who wants a temporary companion along life’s way.

Guidance is giving directions to the lonely, confused, unloved, the suffering, the sick and the lost. It is pointing to some possibilities of thinking, feeling and acting. It is leading the person psychologically, emotionally and even spiritually to some newer ways of meaningful living. It is accompanying those who are fearful and uncertain, those who need someone along the rugged path of life’s journey.

From an objective point of view, guidance is part and parcel of the counseling profession. It is called directive counseling. High school and even college students need guidance when they are unsure of what choices to make or what directions to take. The guidance counselor “opens up” a world of choices for these persons for them to choose from. It is like presenting the universe when all that a person sees is the lonely planet earth. The guidance counselor enlarges and widens the horizon of people who sees only a narrow path or a concealed view of that path. Thus, the focus is on possibilities and choices.

Usually, guidance occurs in schools. High school and college students avail of guidance and counseling services in their school. More often, young people are unsure of what to do, how to react or respond, and how to act in certain choices. When this occurs, they need someone older, wiser and more experienced to show them the way, to guide them. This is the role of the guidance counselor to extend assistance when necessary to those who are confused, uncertain, and needing advice. However, some adults may need guidance too.

2.2. Counseling:

Counseling is guiding and more. It is a way of healing hurts. It is both a science and an art. It is a science because to offer counsel, advice or assistance, the counselor must have the knowledge of the basic principles and techniques of counseling. The counselor must be able to use any of these basic principles and techniques as paradigms in order for him to counsel well. However, it is not enough to use know these basic principles and techniques. The other important aspect is for the counselor to know how to counsel-the art of counseling. This aspect considers counseling as a relationship, as a sharing of life, in the hope that the person who is hurting will be healed. As a relationship, counseling involves the physical, emotional, and psychical or spiritual dimensions. The counselor must have the ability to relate to the counselee in an appropriate physical manner without being too intimate or too close for comfort or being too distant or aloof. The emotional dimension in counseling includes empathy, sensitivity and the ability to interpret non-verbal clues of the counselee in order to understand unresolved complexes or pent-up feelings. The psychical or spiritual dimension embraces the counselee’s “soul-content”—what lies inside. This is what is called the interiority of the person. The counselor must have the gift or grace of catching a glimpse of the interior world of the person, particularly his spiritual condition, for this is very important in healing the person’s hurts.

2.3. Other Definitions of the Concepts

Biswalo (1996) defines guidance as a term used to denote the process of helping an individual to gain self understanding and self direction (self decision-making) so that he can adjust maximally to his home, school or community environment. This process, however, depends on counseling. He also defines counseling as a process of helping an individual to accept and use information and advice so that he can either solve his present problem or cope with it successfully. He goes further remarking that sometimes the process helps the individual to accept unchangeable situation for example, loss of dearly loved ones and to some extent change it in its favour rather than letting himself be overcome by the situation. Guez and Allen (2000) remarked that it is difficult to think of a single definition of counseling. This is because definitions of counseling depend on theoretical orientation. Counseling is a learning-oriented process, which occurs usually in an interactive relationship, with the aim of helping a person learn more about the self, and to use such understanding to enable the person to become an effective member of society. Counseling is a process by means of which the helper expresses care and concern towards the person with a problem, and facilitates that person’s personal growth and brings about change through self-knowledge. Counseling is a relationship between a concerned person and a person with a need. This relationship is usually person-to-person, although sometimes it may involve more than two people. It is designed to help people to understand and clarify their views, and learn how to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well-informed choices, and through the resolution of emotional or interpersonal problems. It can be seen from these definitions that counseling can have different meanings.

3.0. Origin of Guidance and Counseling Practice in Pre-Colonial Era

Counseling in Tanzania in different forms and with different interpretations, has existed in societies for a long time before colonial era. The differences and contradictions in present-day, have their origin in the social and historical forces that have shaped modern culture. In Tanzania people in all societies, and at all times, have experienced emotional or psychological distress and behavioural problems. In each culture, there have been well established ways and methods of helping individuals with their problems. However, there are no sufficient written sources about the origin of guidance and counseling practice in Tanzanian schools. But like other places before colonial era there were outstanding unique elements which held the societies together in their livelihood. The elements include the extended family system, including the clan and the tribe, chieftaincy, taboos, various forms of initiation and close links with ancestors and elders.

The village is the focal point of society. While each one of these elements is important, only a few are used to illustrate the role of guidance and counseling in present-day Tanzanian societies. Basically, traditional chiefs had multiple roles which included serving as a symbol of authority and as a regulator. Since these roles were accepted and respected by all, there was a clear direction in the day-to-day affairs of society. The elders, the chief included, were a valuable source of guidance and counseling for boys and girls. In most cases, the chiefs were regarded as a vital link between ancestors and the present generation. This link was strengthened by the rituals, ceremonies and taboos attached to them. It was easy to guide and counsel the young, since the rituals or ceremonies were also aimed at preparation for adult roles in society. The extended family, the clan, and the village, made society supportive. No individual regarded him/herself as alien. Counseling was readily sought and provided. The forms of guidance and counseling involved were given advice and sharing wisdom.

4.0. The Developments of Guidance and Counseling Practices in Tanzanian Schools

4.1. Guidance and Counseling Practices in Tanzanian Schools Trends

In realizing this perhaps, since we are thinking of the concepts in school setting, we should think the meaning of counseling in education discipline. One could think that the definitions given above on the term guidance and counseling, their meaning can be directed to education grounds and now give the meaning correctly. Guez and Allen (2000) pointed out that a term educational counseling was first coined by Truman Kelley in 1914 in Makinde, (1988), educational counseling is a process of rendering services to pupils who need assistance in making decisions about important aspects of their education, such as the choice of courses and studies, decisions regarding interests and ability, and choices of college and high school. Educational counseling increases a pupil’s knowledge of educational opportunities.

The ever growing complexity of society in Tanzania, coupled with social problems like HIV/AIDS and the rapid development of science and technology, place heavy demands on education. The school, as an important social institution, was required to adapt quickly to changing patterns, and help prepare citizens for tomorrow’s challenges. That is where guidance and counseling in the educational system should help boys and girls alike, to develop their capacities to the full. These include intellectual, social, physical and moral capacities. This help is of the most important in Tanzania as long as the history and age of education provision and in its systems found today.

Guidance and counseling practices development in Tanzanian schools can be traced back from the time when vocational education was emerging right at the colonial period. In the process of establishing counseling services in Tanzania, there was a need to first understand the underlying factors that influence people’s beliefs and perceptions about such practices. However, this is thought that was not taken in to consideration at the time and it may be up to recent time. It is especially important to understand the economic, socio-political, religious beliefs, customs and traditions, and cultural changes that are present in different regions of the country. Young people should be understood within this context, but also within the paradoxical situation of having to face the traditional and the modern world, but this is a big challenge to Tanzania and many developing African countries. During colonial period there were some form of vocational guidance under the career guidance and it was administered by career masters. But the career masters who were selected by the head of schools had no professional training in vocational guidance. In fact the duty was limited to helping students fill out employment forms and writing letters of application. In the missionary schools vocational guidance was confined to religious services. The teachers who were usually ‘fathers’, pastors, or reverends guided and trained spiritually inclined youths to become sisters, brothers, fathers and pastors upon their completion of formal education.

Apart of what could be done in schools in Tanzania, guidance and counseling was more or less a private family affair. Parents and relatives counseled their children on all matters of life management and problem solving. It is true that in many families the duty of general guidance was the traditional duty of senior members of the family, father, mother, uncle, aunt, and grandparents. In case of serious personal or family problems, counseling was done by a specially organized by the community as a competent in handling that specific problem. This is done without any knowledge obtained from formal or informal school system but rather through experience and age wise through collected wisdom. This kind of early form of counseling from school setting and community helped the young to be brought into the bright image of living in the future to the society.

4.2. Guidance and Counseling Practices in Tanzanian Schools in Post-colonial era

In several literatures and sources, guidance and counseling in education sector in Tanzania and some other African countries is regarded as the youngest discipline. This is evidenced by First International Conference on Guidance, Counseling and Youth Development in Africa held in Nairobi, Kenya from 22nd to 26th April, 2002 which pointed out that the Guidance, Counseling and Youth Development Programme was initiated in Africa in April 1994, following the First Pan African Conference on the Education of Girls that was held in Ouagadougou in 1993. It is designed to introduce or strengthen guidance and counseling in African countries. It focuses on capacity building in the countries involved and provides training at both regional and national levels on issues of guidance and counseling of schools and colleges.

What we can call professional guidance and counseling in Tanzania schools begin in the year 1984 following the National October 1984 Arusha Conference, where guidance and counseling services were endorsed by the government as and integral part of the country’s education system (Biswalo, 1996). The aim of the conference is to establish systematic criteria for secondary schools students’ guidance and counseling. Students were then advised, guided and counseled on matters concerning their job selection and student placement for further education. This job was assigned to career masters and mistresses as explained below, however, there were no sufficient guidance and counseling personnel not only in the responsible ministry but also in the schools.

Guidance and Counseling is now becoming slowly institutionalized and spread in educational institutions. Schools, for example, have to a large extent taken over the task of providing psychological support to boys and girls. However Biswalo (1996) comments that in Tanzania policies pertinent to guidance and counseling is still lacking. The Ministry of Education, however, has somehow tried to institutionalize the services within the education system by appointing career masters and mistresses. He continued saying that the personnel are charged with the responsibility of advising heads of secondary schools concerning students job selection and student placement for further education; to try and help students understands and develop interest in appropriate jobs or further education or training; to asses the students talents and capabilities and to encourage them to pursue careers or further education best suited to them and to help students solve their personal problems which may affect their general progress in school.

This is an impossible and realistic burden on these untrained personnel. It reflects the apathy of policy and decision makers regarding the new field of guidance and counseling in schools; the strength of the myth of planned manpower in which career guidance is erroneously regarded as redundant and the gross lack of trained personnel who would provide effective guidance and counseling services in schools. It is unfortunate that even after the National October 1984 Arusha Conference on the strengthening of education in Tanzania, where guidance and counseling services were endorsed by the government as and integral part of the country’s education system, the services are to-date still patchy and ineffective in Tanzania’s educational institutions. Guidance and counseling in this manner is discussed by different scholars in primary, secondary and tertiary education levels together.

5.0. Guidance and Counseling Practices in Primary and Secondary Schools

In primary school levels in Tanzania in actual fact there were and are no specified pupils’ teacher-counselors. However, the activity is left to teachers themselves to decide what is to be done since there is no programmed or time-tabled activity concerning guidance and counseling. Teachers are left to use part of the teaching to practice guidance and counseling in and outside the classroom although not all teachers have gone teacher-counselor training. As children enter school they need orientation on school itself, its environment, school community and the curriculum to motivate and develop positive attitude toward learning and school community as well (Biswalo, 1996). As the pupils grow older and pass through different grades they need to be directed in studying skills, overcome learning difficulties and other school related problems. But this activity is not performed systematically in primary schools in Tanzania.

In the case of secondary schools till to-date there is also insufficient programmed or time-tabled system of guiding and counseling students. In some cases this duty is left to discipline masters and sometimes to class masters and head of schools. At secondary school level, students would seek educational opportunities, information of all kinds and any other help pertinent to educational pursuits. These needs are catered to by educational guidance and counseling (ibid). At this level students are helped with subject choice, study techniques and tests and examination. Biswalo (1996) pointed out that sometimes during subject choice, pride of placing as many students as possible in prestigious streams, such as science, takes precedence over actual abilities, interests and aptitudes of students. He said this unfortunate situation has been born out of the lack of genuine educational guidance and counseling services in secondary schools.

The school has an important role to play in preparing pupils for continued secondary education, paid employment, self-employment and life in the community, as clearly set out by the Ministry of Education in the objectives for its secondary curriculum. Perhaps uniquely, there would be total agreement among pupils, teachers and parents over the relative emphasis a certain schools placed on the preparation for further education, with its focus on academic knowledge and the pursuit of success in the national examinations. That is, the secondary schools where counseling is not well performed placed little emphasis on citizenship and the development of a responsible attitude to life in the community at the local, regional or national level and employment opportunities. However, what is de-emphasized is the informal sector including self-employment but the emphasized is employment in the formal sector with its implied emphasis on white collar jobs.

5.1. Vocational, Career Guidance and Counseling

In Tanzania teachers have the capacity to directly influence their pupils’ choice of careers. The achievements and attitudes of pupils have been shown to be related to the characteristics and achievements of their teachers (World Bank, 1995; quoted in Nyutu, P.N. & Norman C.G. 2008). However, the influence of the school depends on the formal interactions and communication which take place between teachers and pupils in the classroom whereas television and radio, act through the informal interactions pupils have with these media. The influence of parents and siblings is through both formal and informal means.

That is in most cases in Tanzania and may be other states where guidance and counseling is rarely done in schools; parents play the big role to influence on their children’s choice of careers. Others who have lower level careers i.e. teachers, clerks, drivers, personal secretaries, soldiers etc. do not anticipate their children ‘following in their footsteps’ because for the children who are able to study to higher level sometimes saw these jobs as narrow and lacking in interest. However it is suggested that parents’ occupation might have influenced their children’s choice of careers, but this happened to children who have generic skills useful in such jobs, and a few may have job skills relevant to those jobs. Access to information through the media and other forms of technology is giving young people aspirations that, for the most part, cannot be satisfied in their own environment. Choices have to be made and young people must acquire the skills to assess situations and make informed decisions. There is no longer a natural, understandable order from birth to adulthood for the Tanzanian young.

Vocational guidance at secondary school levels is provided but in very few among others because of shortages of school or vocational trained counselors. For those lucky schools with these kinds of counselors, students are helped but vocational counseling is not emphasized because most pupils, teachers and of course parents push students to make long range plans of study so that to prepare well for the envisaged careers. These counselors plan with school administrators and teachers to provide appropriate class placement for students with special abilities or disabilities for course selection by students.

5.2. Tertiary Level

The tertiary level students are provided with orientation and other educational guidance and counseling. In Tanzania tertiary level have at least fulfilled the need of having qualified students’ counselors for both psychological and academics, though they are few in number. Here counselors play a big role in compiling comprehensive information on all aspects of the careers related to the training offered in the institution. Counselors sometimes integrate with administration or practicum department to organize field practices for students and even more rarely might contacts with relevant employing agencies (Biswalo, 1996).

6.0. Notion on Guidance and Counseling in Tanzania

According to the research by Sima (2004), professional counseling is yet to be recognized as a stand-alone profession in Tanzania and in many African countries. Nevertheless, the coming and setting of HIV/Aids in the country has strengthened the base for counseling. This is particularly because of the multifaceted nature of the HIV/Aids pandemic whose attention, unlike other human diseases, goes beyond the prerogatives of the medical profession. Thus, counseling is perceived as a crucial avenue for prevention of HIV infection through provision of adequate and relevant information, and for social and psychological support of people infected and affected by the pandemic. Ibid continued saying that since the emergence of the pandemic in the country, a number of non-governmental organizations have been offering counseling services however, there is lack of clarity on the type and nature of counseling services offered by these organization. The nature and characteristics of counseling clients also remain fuzzy.

In Tanzania the professional counseling as aforesaid is relatively a new phenomenon. Outwater (1995) quoted in Sima (2004) comments that before HIV/Aids epidemic, there was no formal counseling service in Tanzanian hospitals, no professional counselors and no formal system for training counselors. There was a need to fill this gap by training as many counselors as possible to provide optimal care for AIDS patients and their relatives (NACP, 1989; quoted in ibid). Since then many para-professional counselors have been trained in basic knowledge and skills of counseling. Currently there are many counseling centers working not only on HIV/Aids related problems but also different problems affecting Tanzanians. However, as counseling became popular with the advent of HIV/Aids, many people assume that it is only meant for people infected and affected by HIV/Aids and shy away from it for fear of being labeled (Sima, 2002; quoted in Sima 2004).

7.0. Problems and Challenges

The Tanzanian government have not yet formulated in the education policy issues pertaining guidance and counseling in spite of the crucially and necessity in schools. Biswalo (1996) pointed out that in Tanzania policies pertinent to guidance and counseling is still lacking. He continued saying that efforts directed towards fulfilling guidance and counseling needs are apparently thwarted by several difficulties including financial resources to support the even established tiny counseling activities in several schools.

In Tanzania till today counseling is relatively new phenomenon. There are no enough qualified counselors in schools and other education institutions. However, there are limited number of qualified counselors, they are either not utilized well in schools or they are engaged in other activities rather than what they are trained for. Some of school counselors are also teachers and they are fully occupied with teaching responsibilities. More surprisingly counseling is perceived as a crucial avenue for only prevention of HIV infection through provision of adequate and relevant information, and for social and psychological support of people infected and affected by the HIV/Aids (Sima, 2004).

There is slow growth of guidance and counseling in educational systems attributed to lack of funds, training facilities, and high turnover of guidance counselors to green pastures and in adequately trained counselors. For instance in many schools they lack counseling offices, trained teacher-counselors and counseling equipments. In terms of funds there are various options that can be explored to alleviate financial constraints. Special schools on behalf of parents in need can approach non-governmental organizations.

The absence of solid professional counseling association in Tanzania to set standards for the appropriate practice is another challenge (Nwoye, 2008). Also insufficient availability of professional counselor training programs in Tanzanian colleges and universities is another contributing challenge.

There are no efforts to establish counseling curriculum in secondary schools and colleges and guidance and counseling courses in the universities. Guidance curriculum and responsive services can then be structured to address the five content areas, namely human relationships, career development, social values, self development, and learning skills. A guidance curriculum could be taught to students at different levels or in small groups to address issues that are similar to them. For guidance and counseling programs to be effective in Tanzania, trained professionals should be employed to manage and offer services in schools. Such professionals should also be provided with relevant facilities and structural support. At the same time, universities and teacher training institutions will have to establish and develop programs that train professional school counselors and other guidance personnel.

There is still insufficient assistance in higher education institutions to enable students achieves their career aspirations. However, students today indicate a higher need for career guidance than students in the past decade. Students may therefore be encountering an increased need to acquire relevant career information that will enable them seek better paid jobs. Many schools have in the past appointed some teachers as career masters without providing them with the necessary training and facilities for career guidance. Such career masters usually assume that all students will end up in universities and only focus on helping students complete university application forms and no more. It is the high time for the government to set and implement the policy that will enhance guidance and counseling from primary schools to the tertiary level and in turn will develop programs that train professional school counselors and other guidance personnel.

8.0. Conclusion

Guidance and counseling sought to prepare pupils in their schooling program to enter into the world of appropriate work by linking the school curriculum to employment. For the school to be successful in this endeavor, subjects should be taught at a pleasant and convenient environment and should be made relevant and interesting to the pupils. Another factor that needs to be considered is the recruitment of competent teachers capable of guiding and counseling learners in relating what they teach to the job market. What is taught and how it is taught can have great influence on the interest and perception of learners. In Tanzania the spirit to plan and use guidance and counseling services in the effective development and utilization of their respective young human resources is evidently strong. However, as Biswalo (1996) said the efforts directed towards fulfilling this need are apparently thwarted by several difficulties. It appears total and enlightened commitment on the part of policy and decision makers is necessary and should be definitely surmount the problems.

The emergence of career development in western countries as a construct suggests that it may be an essential area in developing country like Tanzania where students need assistance; students particularly need assistance in selecting colleges and courses. To this end, the schools should offer a career guidance and counseling programme under the able leadership of qualified school counselors.

Introduction to 3D Technology

Seems like whole world is talking about 3D this year, though half of them think 3D is dead before it even began, and the other half knows very well that 3D is simply the next step in the evolution of viewing digital video. In actual fact, much of the technology being touted as amazing new 3D has been around for around 20 years or more. Let’s take a look at the 3 main types of 3D display out there so you’ll know what they’re trying to sell you in the local electronics store next time you go to upgrade your TV.

First though, what on earth is 3D and why is it so important?

3D is how the average human sees the world around them – though you should know that not being able to perceive in 3D is actually quite a common disability among many adults. Assuming you do see the world around you in 3D though, how can you artificially produce and replay something in 3D, like a movie or video game?

Being able to see in 3D means that your vision has a sense of depth, of how far objects are from your eyes. Your brain automatically calculates this for you by combining the images it gets from your left and right eyes, and working out the tiny differences that occur when you look at something from a different angle. You can see what I mean by holding a finger in front of your eyes and looking forward. Close one eye, then open it and close the other. Do this quickly and you will see how different each one looks. Your finger is in a completely different place to each eye, but your brain recombines the two and figures out that it means your finger is close to you.

Making a 3D movie is as simple as using two video cameras, which are fixed together at roughly the same distance as the human eye. Each one takes a slightly different recording, which when played back to the human brain is able to show you not only the visual scene but also the depth of everything you see. If the movie was animated on a computer, making it into 3D is easy as it merely involves re-rendering all the movie data from a slightly different angle. If the movie is shot with 3D in mind from the start – as Avatar was – the effects are stunning.

3D games are actually incredibly easy to do, as all the data required to figure out where each object is in 3D space is held right on the computer and can be processed in real time. In fact, many of us were playing PC games in 3D as early as 10 years ago, and the technology is exactly as those in a lot of 3DTVs and cinemas today.

Assuming you have some 3D data, either a movie, computer generated animation, or video game – the problem is then how to show it to the viewer. This is the technology aspect we’re going to be discussing a little today.

Before I explain some of those though, let me say I won’t be talking about those tacky red/blue glasses you get with cheap old 3D DVDs and comics, as that isn’t true 3D and the quality is shockingly poor – quite apart from the fact that everything you see is then coloured red and blue!

All these 3D technologies essentially boil down to how to get that slightly different image to each separate eye – without the other eye seeing it too. Since regular TV’s show the same picture to both eyes no matter what you do, 3D is impossible on them. That’s why you absolutely have to get a new TV if you’re going to view any kind of 3D material.

But how can we deliver a unique image to each eye?

1. Passive Polarized Glasses:

Polarization means making light beams point in one direction only. Normally, like comes at us pointed in all different directions. A Polarizing filter only lets light from one direction through. They’re generally used in photography to avoid reflections – for instance, if you tried to take a photograph of a window, you wouldn’t really be able to see the other side as light would be bouncing off of it and into your lens. With a Polarizing filter, you’d cut that out, and be able to see whatever was on the other side of the window.

The unique and useful properties of a polarizing filter mean that by combining 2 filters, we can make a kind of dimmer switch for light. If you take two pieces of polarizing film (think back to junior high science classes now), and slowly rotate them around, at one point they will let most light through and at another point they will let zero light through. This is because in the first instance the direction of the light is aligned by the first filter than allowed to pass through by the next filter. However, when you rotate the second filter, you are slowly making it so that the aligned light is unable to pass through and reach your eye.

In terms of 3D tech though, being able to filter out particular light beams so they can or can’t be seen by each eye means we can deliver a unique image to each eye at the same time. How? We have two images at the TV side of things, and each one can be polarized in a different direction. We then add the same filter to a pair of lightweight glasses, and each eye will only see the light that is polarized in one particular direction.

This is basically the cheapest method of doing 3D, and it is far from perfect. It is used in large 3D cinemas where the quality of movie isn’t so important as the experience, and probably isn’t a full length movie – like at Disney World, for instance. The primary benefits are that the glasses are lightweight and incredibly cheap to produce, so it doesn’t really matter if people break them or ‘misplace’ them.

There are a number of cheaper 3DTVs being produced this year for the budget market, but I would suggest you stay away from them. You tend to get a lot of blurring between the images (so you can see both the left and right at once), and really need to be in a dark room to get the best of this kind of 3D. Dolby also have a proprietary system that apparently produces better quality than standard filters, and is currently used in a number of better 3D cinemas.

2. Active LCD Shutter Glasses:

This is the best quality 3D you can get right now, and anyone who has harped on about how good Avatar was probably went to see it using this technology. Active LCD shutter means that the viewer must wear some pretty bulky glasses – each eye has a separate LCD screen inside it, as well as an infrared signal receiver that connects it to the movie being played. As opposed to passive polarization which just shows both images on screen at once, active shutter methods display one frame after the other, alternating between the views destined for the left and right eyes. The LCDs in the glasses then turn on and off in sync, blocking one eye out then the other. This flashes on and off so fast that your brain simply combines the two images and forgets the other 50% part where each eye couldn’t see anything.

The advantage of this method is that the quality is superb with almost no “bleeding” of one image into the other. Unfortunately, some people claim it gives them a headache. In all my years of playing games with active LCD shutter glasses from NVidia, I have never had a headache, so I suspect the problem is perhaps just something you get used to. When TV first came out, I suspect there were similar complaints from a large proportion of the population.

This will be the consumer 3D platform of choice for many years to come. Yes, the glasses are annoying, but then again we won’t be watching everything in 3D. When I sit down in front of my PC to play a game in 3D, for instance, I barely notice them. The latest incarnation of LCD shutter glasses from NVidia is actually quite light weight, wireless, and recharges from a small USB socket. The bulky models you get in high-end 3D cinemas are no longer bulky due to old technology, but simply to make them more resistant to wear and tear and discourage you from taking them home. If you are really against wearing glasses to view 3D content though – well, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Which brings us onto the 3rd method.

3. Parallax displays:

Parallax 3D displays show 3D content without the use of glasses. Though there are many competing technologies and there are rapidly evolving as we speak, the basic principle is that both images are shown on screen, then a filter of sorts bounces the images off in different directions. When viewed from a certain angle, you see the 3D effect. Most offer a variety of about 6 different angles you can view from, but outside of those you will lose the 3D effect and just see a blur of two images.

It’s a relatively new technology, and was shown first last year in the form of the words first consumer 3D camera by Fujifilm, which I had a chance to play with. The camera took 3D images, and was able to simultaneously preview and playback those images on it’s small 3D glasses-less screen on the back. This year, the Nintendo 3DS will be using a similar but somewhat refined version of the same tech to bring portable 3D gaming to masses.

My experience with Parallax displays has been less than impressive. Firstly, keeping your head in a fixed position is just annoying. Especially if you’re viewing something in 3D, your head has a natural tendency to move around and want to see it form different angles. Also, the depth you can perceive on one of these display is quite poor. It doesn’t really “pop out” at you at all, even if it does look somewhat like it is 3D. I have yet to see the 3DS though, so I won’t comment on that until it’s out. Either way, this kind of 3D will not be coming to huge 3DTVs anytime soon, or possibly at all.

I hope that gives you a little insight into all this new-fangled technology. Don’t forget to check out my other tech tutorials.

Bed Bugs – How Do They See?

Although bed bugs love feeding on human blood they do not have eyes that see like human beings. These parasitic creatures have what is called a compound eye structure. It is thought that they do not see in color, that they visualize in black and white.

A bed bugs eye is made up of hundreds of eye lenses called facets that fit together in a hexagon structure. An easy way to picture what this insects eye looks like is to think of a bee honey comb in a conical shape and not flat. It is like a soccer ball, but on a smaller, more complex level. The individual facets consist of two lenses, one on the surface and one on the inside. The bed bugs dual lens eye structure allows it to see in 3-D. All of these facets fitted together construct the parasites eye. These facets are connected to tubes that focus light down a central structure called the rhabdome. The rhabdome is light sensitive and directs the information through an optic nerve to the bugs brain.

Each individual facet in the bed bugs eye sends a different picture to it’s brain. When all these pictures are processed and put together a mosaic is created. This 3-D mosaic is how the bed bug can see it’s human host. It is not known if, as the bed bug moves, the picture it sees updates on a whole or takes micro-seconds for each lens to update the visual information. If this parasitic insect’s vision updates lens by lens then it would see a constantly updating picture. This view would kind of be like looking through a kaleidoscope with 3-D glasses on.

Bed bugs come out at night or in the dark to feed on their human hosts for a couple of reasons. One reason is because at night, when you are in your bed sleeping, you won’t feel them crawling on you and biting you. Another reason could be that these blood suckers have light sensitive eyes that enable them to see better in the dark. These compound eyes can also pick up a heat signature of the human body. This is why the majority of bed bug bites occur on the center of mass part of your body. Your heat signature is warmer on your torso, legs, and arms than it is on your fingers and toes.

Humans may have color vision that updates constantly where as bed bugs compound eyes see in black and white. Their eyes also do not constantly update the full picture at once, but they can see very well to do the job they are best at. That job is to find a human host in which to feed off of their blood.

Dry Fruits & Dried Fruits – What’s the Difference?

Hardly anybody knows that there is a vast difference between dry fruits and dried fruits. Generally when we say dry fruits we consider the dried one also but it is not so. There is a thin line of difference between the two.

Difference between dry fruits & dried fruits:

Dry fruits are basically natural and are of hard texture. Dry fruits are again divided into dehiscent – that whose seeds are contained in a seapod and indehiscent- those which are not in seedpod e.G cashewnuts, almonds, walnut, pista etc.

Dried fruits on the other hand are natural fleshy fruits which are dried either naturally or through machines such as food dehydrator e.G raisins, figs, cherries, apricots etc.

Benefits: both the dry fruits and dried fruits are essential for good health. They help in improving mental and physical development of human body. They contain high nutritional and nourishing qualities. It also helps in:

– creation of new blood cells

– strengthening the muscles

– enhancing freshness on face

– preventing anemia

– reproduction and the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates

– recommended in case of chronic constipation problems

– cases of debility and wasting diseases

– reducing young age problems of pimple, acne, dry skin and above all delays wrinkles

Examples of dry fruits and dried fruits:

Dry fruits:

cashew nuts: the botanical name for cashew is ‘anacardium occidentale’ and is also known as the the ‘nature vitamin pill’. It contains relatively high fat content which counts to 12 grams per ounce and 2 grams saturated fat. This fat content is considered good in medical terms. Its fat ratio is available in 1:2:1 for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Besides, it also has phytosterols, tocopherols, and sqaulene which are considered good for health and lowering the risk of heart diseases. Cashew nuts have zero percent cholesterol content. It contians 82.5 milligrams of magnessium and antioxidants high in cropper contents which helps in developing bone and connective tissue.

Almonds: the botanical name for almonds is prunus dulcis. Almonds are not truly nuts but drupe grown in deciduous trees. Almonds are of two kinds sweet and bitter. Almond which come out of white flowers are sweet and the ones out in pink flower are bitter. It is a rich source of vitamin e, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. It contains 26% of carbohydrates, and 24 mg of vitamin e, rich in monounsaturated fat which is considered ‘good’ fat. It helps in improving memory and gives strength and improves eyesight.

Pista: the botanical name of pista is pistacia vera. It is known as pistachio and is said to be a great source of vitamins. Pista contains phytosterols which compete with the cholesterol in the intestinal lumen and helps in reducing the cholesterol levels and keeping heart healthy. It is said to be an excellent source of copper, manganese and vitamin b6, as well as a good source of a variety of other b vitamins. It contains fiber and hence beneficial for gastrointestinal health. It is wise to take unsalted pista than the salted one as salted tends to shoot the blood pressure level.

Dried fruits:

raisins: does any one know what actually raisins are? Well, raisins are the dried grapes. Eat as you want, raw or cooked, just garnish the way you like them. Raisins come from a french word ‘rasin’ which means ‘grapes’. The sugar percentage in raisins ranges from 67% to 72%. It helps in cleaning the blood and helps in the free flow of the blood. Raisins also help to get rid of uncleaned blood. It also acts as an antioxidants making you healthier. The minerals present in raisins mixes with estrogen and thus make the bone stronger.

Figs: the botanical name for figs are ficus carica. Figs can be eaten both fresh and dry. These plants have the highest source of calcium and fiber. The dry figs are rich in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin k. It is really good for those suffering from constipation as it has a laxative effect and contain antioxidants.

Dates: date palm commonly known as the phoenix dactylifera. These are sweet edible fruits. It is one of the most beneficial food product both in terms of a medicine and tonic. It can be easily digested and hence it useful for supplying energy and repairing waste. The presence of nicotinic content helps in intestinal disturbances. It is also an excellent remedy for intoxicating alcoholism.

I hope this small description on dry fruits and dried fruits has given you the basic idea about the difference. Whatever be the difference whether it is dates, figs or cashew nuts, it is beneficial for health and thus is important.

Penis Enlargement Vitamins – How to Get a Huge Penis and Rock Hard Erections Naturally and Fast

Are you frustrated with the size of your erections? Do you want to be better at sex? Well, there are penis enlargement vitamins that will do wonders for your sex life. Let’s take a look at how they work.

Penis enlargement vitamins will do more for you than just making your erections harder. It will boost your sex drive and make you be able to last forever during sex. Plus, when taken over a short period of time, your penis will get longer and thicker.

There are specific herbs and minerals that will tackle problems your body is having with getting erections and with other sexual balance issues. When these herbs and minerals are combine properly, they will have an immediate and powerful impact on your body.

Here are just a few of the herbs that penis enlargement vitamins have:

Horny Goat Weed

The biggest physical problem men have with getting big erections is low levels of nitric oxide. This chemical is released into your blood stream when you get aroused. It allows your body to expand the blood vessels in your penis. When this happens, you become erect.

Horny goat weed will increase the production of nitric oxide. It has the same effect of a prescription erection pill but without the nasty side effects. Having the correct levels of nitric oxide is vital to getting big hard erections.


This herb is a very well known anti-oxidant that is used to improve energy and mental alertness. It also enhances blood circulation. In order to get hard and long lasting erections, you must have a healthy blood flow. Many men have poor circulation from years of poor eating habits so this herb is a definite must to get your erections big and hard.

Gingko even increases the flow specifically to your genitals. It’s exactly what you need to get hard. Any penis enlargement vitamins needs to have Gingko as an ingredient.

Muira Pauma Bark

Muira Pauma has been a natural remedy to increase sex drive for many years. It’s been widely used in Europe to treat erectile dysfunction. Sex drive is important to getting frequent erections.

Put all this to the test right away. Start using penis enlargement vitamins and you’ll be on your way to a phenomenal sex life.