How to Dress a Mannequin in 10 Easy Steps

In the world of Retail Clothing, dressing mannequins and displays are an integral part of promoting Clothing Ranges and accessories. Dressing a garment on a mannequin and setting it within a display has proven to increase sales by up to 70% in some instances – so great idea for promoting poor selling lines! But the sales lift cannot just be put down to better visibility within the store i.e dressed on a mannequin – it also has a lot to do with the lifestyle that they create, the way they make the customer feel, think and act when they see the garments displayed on mannequins. Sometimes it can be seen as an endorsement to the shopper that if the store has selected these garments for display then they must be credible, stylish or on trend – so i’ll have one too!

When dressed on a mannequin the garment is presented immaculately (ironed without a crease in sight!) and draped on a perfect figured mannequin – then it suddenly becomes something more than just visibility and seeing more of the garment – its about prompting the suggestion to the customer: ‘that looks great on those models, i want one of those’.

The average customer is physically shopping when they are in a store, however few of them are actually engaged in shopping mentality – their minds are on a whole lot of other things, such as thinking about what they need to get in for dinner, remembering to pay a bil…etc etc. most are browsers simply because most are not mentally shopping. For this reason it is the power of display that makes them stop in their tracks and think – wow that looks fantastic!. A dressed mannequin or a display will always catch the customers eye before any garment on a hanger.

Now that we have established the importance of Mannequins and bustforms or tailors dummies, here is ten top tips to a successful display.

Top Tip – Always dress mannequins from bottom to top and the finishing off should always be from top to bottom.

1 – Carefully select garments and outfits to be displayed. It is important that the dressings co-ordinate especially if there is more than one mannequin in the display. Accessories that compliment the selected garments can also add ‘finishing off’ and ‘attention to detail’ to a display. Take time to select the outfits because what might seem like a small error of garment choice whilst dressing the mannequin in the back area will be a huge noticeable error out on display.

Note for point 1: Always select the garment size that perfectly fits your mannequin. Do not use oversized garments as these will give an inaccurate image of fit, drape and styling.

2 – Iron or steam thoroughly all garments and outfits to be included in the display. If ironing remember to iron on reverse side of all garments as a sheen will be left on the facing side making your garment look cheap and distressed under display lighting. Displays will amplify the good but also the bad.

3 – Ensure that the mannequin to be dressed has been separated into its separate components at the arms, legs and torso. Always begin with the legs and feet area. Fit the socks and shoes that have been chosen to compliment the outfit put them on the mannequin first before attempting to dress with clothing. The last garment to be dressed should always be the one that is most visible in the display (e.g jacket or top, dress etc) – dressing it last will ensure minimal creasing during dressing.

Note for point 3: This will mean that you may have to turn the legs upside down so the feet area are closest to you for dressing. Then flip it back on its feet again to add torso and continue dressing.

4 – Dressing from the bottom to the top, the next item should be the ‘bottoms’ – skirt, dress or trousers. Note for trousers these should be slotted over both feet just before putting on the shoes – the turned upright again and torso secured. For a skirt or dress the torso would have to be secured back on top of the legs/hip section first before draping the skirt or dress over the head of the mannequin.

5 – To enable smooth dressing of the top section (most visible section) it is necessary to first insert and secure one of the mannequins arms into the shoulder socket on the torso (make sure its the correct arm! right on the right side left on the left side). After securing one of the arms, open the blouse,shirt etc and slip it onto the secured arm – letting the excess fabric drape from the shoulder whilst you secure the other arm in place.

Note for point 5: If the garment will not open – such as a t-shirt, then it should be popped over the torso before any of the arms are inserted and secured. Once over the head, slip the mannequin arms up the short sleeve if width of arm allows, and secure to shoulder socket. Otherwise slip the arm through the neck and along to the shoulder to secure in the shoulder socket.

6 – The other arm should be slipped down the sleeve (insert from the neck line down the length of the sleeve hand facing downwards. Then once fully inside the sleeve the arm can be secured.

7 – Once the top garments are on and all components in place, the main ‘dressing can begin. But first check to ensure that the full mannequin is firm & secure to the base (usually through a hole in the calf or foot for the sprigot to fit in). Once full dressed and styled the mannequin should be handled very little to avoid creasing so positioning accurately beforehand is advantageous.

8 – Dressing and styling should start at the top and work down to the feet. Starting with the neckline and collars, ensure that they are straight and that buttons are lined up symmetrically on each side. For styling purposes collars can be flipped up, or just a single collar flicked up at the ends. If the neckline is straight or styled this will instantly give a good impression.

9 – Continuing down the dressing to the waistline and hips. The styling of the garment will depend on its length and whether it has a fitted waistline or not.

10 – Finishing off and attention to detail are the things that are done lastly but are the most crucial part of the dressing. If the finishing off isn’t sharp then the impression is gives to the viewer is untidiness and sloppiness, therefore spending a little more time on the finishing off could reap rewards.

Finishing off starts with standing back from the dressing and identifying areas that are unsightly or untidy – such as: unexpected creasing on items, necklines off centre, inside seams on arms facing out instead of in towards the body, accessories not straight or don’t match or maybe more required.

Ultimately dressing a mannequin is just like dressing yourself! You wouldn’t go to work with one collar in and one collar out or your buttons not in line etc. This how to guide and tips is simple yet crucial to the perception the customer will have on your display, brand and ranging – if displayed well and dressing is sharp this will increase the perceived value of the item and the customer may be willing to pay more for it!

Symptoms of Hemorrhoid Conditions You Need to Know

The symptoms of hemorrhoid problems will vary from person to person depending upon the seriousness of the inflammation and the type of hemorrhoids. When you know the symptoms, it will help you understand your condition so you can better treat or endure it. Let’s take a look at the common types of hemorrhoids and the symptoms they cause.

Internal Hemorrhoid Symptoms

Many times, you will not know you have symptoms of hemorrhoid specifically internal hemorrhoids until they have grown quite large because they develop in an area of the lower rectum that is not very rich in nerve endings. One of the most common symptoms of hemorrhoid development internally is bleeding. You may notice bright red blood in the toilet water or on the toilet paper after a bowel movement.

Internal hemorrhoids bleed easily because the mucus lining inside the rectum is fragile, plus the hemorrhoids are in the way of the stool as it passes through the rectum so they get rubbed and abraded easily. Since the hemorrhoids are internal, they can actually block the complete passage of stool and create more symptoms of hemorrhoid problems. You may not be able to completely empty your bowels. Other times you may fully pass a stool yet still feel like you have to move your bowels because you can feel the pressure of the hemorrhoid.

Internal hemorrhoids can also cause itching. This is because irritation to the lining of the rectum causes an increased production of mucus that then slides out to the rectal area causing it to itch. The hemorrhoids can hold the anus open enough to allow fluids and mucus to trickle out and irritate the skin. Another symptom of hemorrhoids which is internal is prolapsed. This is when a hemorrhoid actually falls through your anal opening. Sometimes they go back inside by themselves and other times you may have to push them back in.

External Hemorrhoid Symptoms

External hemorrhoids have the same cause as the internal variety; the only difference is that external piles arise from the skin outside of the anus. Because if this, they will often have a different appearance and be brown or dark in color since they take on the color of the surrounding skin.

External hemorrhoids can also cause a great deal of pain and discomfort as they can interfere with the ability to sit comfortably for extended periods of time. This can lead to the symptoms of hemorrhoids discomfort of increased irritability and the inability to concentrate on work or other important tasks. Generally speaking, external hemorrhoids cause more pain than internal hemorrhoids. Since these piles are on the outside, they will be easily irritated by clothing and toilet paper when wiping. This can cause them to itch and bleed. Itching and irritation often sets up a vicious cycle that is difficult to break and very annoying.

Understanding Symptoms of Hemorrhoid Conditions

You can examine your rectal area by feeling and by looking in a mirror. If you have external hemorrhoids or internal hemorrhoids that have prolapsed, you will be able to see and feel them. The classic appearance is like a cluster of grapes. If the color is reddish pink, they are probably prolapsed internal hemorrhoids. If they have a dark purple color, they are probably thrombosed or have clots. If the bumps are more of a brown color, they are probably external hemorrhoids.

You should remember not to scratch your rectal area even though you may itch intensely. Itching is usually caused by the irritating fluid that leaks out and scratching may make it worse or cause infection. Itching is usually worse with internal hemorrhoids or if external ones are located close to the anal opening so that it is kept open. Bleeding is common and nearly unavoidable in certain cases of hemorrhoids. It should not be a cause of concern unless the bleeding is excessive or chronic.

However, if you have never had hemorrhoids before, or if your symptoms of hemorrhoid development are severe, you should visit your doctor so he can examine you and put your mind at ease.

5 Aphrodisiacs That Fight High Blood Pressure

Just because one may be predisposed to, or living with high blood pressure, (hbp) doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a healthy sex life. After all, both deal with matters of the heart! (pun intended) In this article, we will explore notions surrounding food as an aphrodisiac and a potential relief for elevated blood pressure. Since time immemorial, food has always been suspected to play a leading role in our amorous activities.

In old Egypt, the leg-bone of a sheep or cow would be mixed in a pot with cayenne, thyme, onions and greens and used to attract someone from the opposite sex. The Aztec ruler, Monteczuma, was said to have drunk 20 goblets of chocolate a day to increase his libido. The good news today as more research becomes available, is that you can have an exciting sex life minus the stroke or heart-attack scare due to your condition.

Let’s look at some of the multiple benefits of these foods and spices;

Chocolate

A study found that eating three ounces of dark chocolate a day reduced levels in those with essential hypertension. Chocolate contains flavonoids, a rich antioxidant believed to be key in lowering pressure levels. Fibre, polyphenols, magnesium, arginine and theobrimine are all components working against high blood pressure. Phenylethylamine and seratonin are secreted when chocolate is consumed. They’re two chemicals that we naturally produce and are found in chocolate. That’s that euphoric feeling we get in anticipation of something good happening. They boost stamina and energy levels also and can be mildly addictive, hence the term, “Chocoholic.”

Chocolate has always been associated with love, (Valentine’s Day) lust and stamina throughout ancient and modern times.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne dilates the blood vessels and helps blood flow to all the vital areas. This is helpful to the heart and penile erections. “The heat effect” one feels when ingesting cayenne can lift the mood towards desire.

This chili has been known to reduce HBP as it flushes the arteries, lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycercides in addition to supporting good cholesterol. (HDL)

Garlic

Like cayenne, garlic is believed to reduce the bad cholesterol while supporting the good cholesterol. It behaves like an antibiotic and improves blood flow. Dialyll-sulphides and allicin are the native elements that may assist in reducing blood pressure. As an aphrodisiac, the blood circulation is vigorous, especially in men, according to recent studies. For thousands of years, the Chinese respected garlic highly as a libido enhancer, food flavoring, stimulant and an anti-viral, anti-fungal spice. It was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, “The Boy King,” and other Pharoahs’ chambers outlining at least 22 uses, one being increased stamina.

Ginseng

Ginseng is regarded as an adaptogen; meaning it improves resistance to chemical and biological stress factors. It is excellent for an overall boost in energy and vitality. A study conducted by American researchers found that American ginseng reduced blood pressure levels down to normal with extended use. However, no study was done on Korean and Chinese variants of the herb. What is uniformly indisputable about all types of ginseng is its’ effects upon the potency of desire.

Ginger

Ginger is commonly known as a digestive aid but it has virtually myriads of other uses. Aside from it being great for motion sickness, morning sickness, nausea and diarrhea, to name a few, its’ reputation as an HBP reducer is starting to take form. Chinese and Indian holistic doctors see potential in this rhizome to normalize HBP levels. The blood-thinning and cholesterol-lowering abilities of ginger represent hope for the prevention of heart disease. As a sexual stimulant, the data goes back a thousand years.

Confucious wrote about its’ effects and a famed mistress of Louis XV once gave the spice to all of her lovers including the king himself. The intent was to have them submissive to her every whim. Pliny, in the 1st Century A.D., spoke about ginger’s effects on the male organ and throughout the history of china and India, the spice has been revered as a “revitalization” herb.

How to Massage Your Penis to Make it Bigger and Firmer – Improve Erection Quality

Massage has been used as a natural treatment to make one’s penis bigger and firmer for improvement in erections and its performance during lovemaking. Massage improves blood flow to the tissues and arteries in the penis as male organ contains no muscles, this increased blood flow helps in improving the girth, length and the strength of the male organ for better performance to have more pleasure and give higher satisfaction to the partner.

To gain maximum benefits by massage one has to follow proper techniques of doing it. Every technique is focused on bringing in more blood flow and teaching the blood vessels and tissues to hold it for longer period. One should not try to over do it for quicker results. Going gently and according to his own capacity will prove more beneficial rather than jumping on to it desperately. The penis is a delicate organ when it is flaccid, so extra pressure or pressure applied at wrong points may not be helpful in improving erection and performance.

One of the popular techniques is ballooning technique. In this technique, first select a good quality herbal supplement cream, gel or oil such as Mast Mood Oil or Butea Superba Gel for promoting blood flow to the genitals. The herbal product is advisable as they are free of side effects and can be used by anyone. These products are thick in texture to sufficiently lubricate the upper skin of penis so that it is not irritated during the massage. Apply the Mast Mood massage oil on your intimate organ and slowly start massaging penile shaft, base, groins, scrotum, footing and pubis this will initiate the blood flow in the reproductive organs. Keep massaging them and hold your ejaculation as long as possible, as soon as you feel like ejaculating stop the massage and reduce your excitement and start again, make sure that you do not loose any erection. As many times you can control your ejaculation better the results.

By holding back your ejaculation you will be able to stimulate the metabolic activity of testosterone hormone in the body to improve erections and performance. Initially start with 15 minute session and slowly increase the duration. Make sure that you apply just the right kind of pressure on the parts, it should not be too harsh to cause any sort of pain and neither too light. Regular massage with this technique will give you bigger and firmer erections.

Another effective technique of massaging the penis for better erection and lovemaking performance is called milking technique. This is an easy one and resembles the milking motion used for drawing milk from animals. This is started with penis in semi erect position, apply Butea Superba Gel or Mast Mood Oil and encircle the penis base with your thumb and forefinger. Slowly with sufficient pressure move the grip towards the tip of the male organ, once one hand has reached at the top start the motion with other hand and repeat this motion for few minutes. This technique dilates the blood vessels and strengthens them to hold more blood for longer duration to make penis firmer and bigger. These massages shall be done regularly for quicker and assured results.

A Look At Why Women Experience Low Sex Drive

There are a number of reasons why many women experience low sex drive. Low sex drive can be brought on by many physical problems. The most severe medical issues related to low sex drive are disorders that affect the neural (nervous) system or cause nerve damage, such as Diabetes, Multiple Sclorosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and stroke.

If you have poor circulation, blood won’t flow properly to the genetalia, and will not only make arousal more difficult, but can inhibit your natural lubrication, making intercourse painful and unpleasant. This can also happen as a result of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), STD’s, and liver disorders. Alcohol can aggravate these conditions, increasing with age, as can smoking.

Hormones play an important part in sexual interest, and any type of hormonal imbalance will also affect sex drive. Women who are nearing or experiencing menopause, are pregnant or postnatal, or who have had a full or partial hysterectomy, may experience low sex drive, as a result of fluctuating levels of the hormones estrogen and prolactin.

Certain medications, including birth control pills, blood-pressure pills, and anti-depressants, can cause hormonal imbalance and low libido as well. Androgens, such as testosterone, decline in women with age, but there is still much debate about whether or not low levels of testosterone have anything to do with a decrease in libido and treating a woman who is experiencing low libido with testosterone can prove effective for some.

Excess weight and inactivity are other common causes of lessened sexual desire. Being overweight contributes to many physical and mental issues, including fatigue, depression, insecurity, and more importantly, high cholesterol, breathing difficulties, and heart strain.

Any of these, alone or combined, can have a major negative impact on sex drive. Exercising often, even if it’s only a 20 minute walk every other day, can greatly improve your overall sense of well-being, and libido.

For some women, low sex drive stems from a psychological or emotional issue. The most common complaint is stress. Since women are emotional creatures, stressful situations can and often do affect every aspect of our lives. Marital or relationship problems, financial struggles, life crisis, anxiety, problems at work, excess weight, religious repression, guilt – there are endless factors that can cause stress and, in turn, a decline in sexual interest.

For a much more detailed explanation which takes you step by step into the causes of low sex drive in women and an in-depth look into some of the best vitamins and herbs for low sex drive in women, please see: http://www.womans-health.net/low_sex_drive.htm.

While there are several medical options that help improve low sex drive, you may only need to look as close as your personal habits and your kitchen.

Aside from frequent exercise, there are many foods and spices that will not only make you healthier, but will make you feel better, improve your mood, and raise libido. Remember: anything that is good for your overall health is good for your sex drive as well.

A low-fat, well balanced diet, including things like cold water fish, such as salmon, a lot of vegetables, and avoiding high-sugar, starchy foods, junk foods, and sodas, is a great place to start. Spices such as cumin, cayenne, and curry warm your body, and will also act as a kind of aphrodisiac. So, try putting a new spin on the term “romantic dinner,” and see what you can cook up, both in – and out – of the kitchen.

Fast Body Fat Loss Tips For You

Losing fat is one of the objective of every person in this earth who is fat. Well, do not know if there are any extra terrestrial human beings outside this earth. Well , if you are fat it causes lot of inconveniences to you.

It affects your daily routine and feel really frustrated about being fat. You think I need to lose fat and get a permanent remedy cure to lose fat. It is possible to lose fat permanently, but that requires a lot of effort on your part to lose it. You need to focus yourself to lose fat by focussing on your diet habits and have a plan and taking steps to lose fat. It may take few months and may be a year. But you shall lose fat finally.

The Main Factors To Focus To Lose Fat is:

Diet: Many people around the globe are fat because of the food habits which they adopt . So you need to focus diet and control it. Avoid oily and fast foods (burger, pizzas, hotdogs etc.)., Avoid to much table sugar intake (in tea, coffee & candies etc.),Non-veg should be used in white meat (like fishes).

You need to consume more of juicy fruits , fibrous vegetables. Drink lot of Water.

Do Exercise: Do physical exercises regularly, If you live in building or work in a office building with 5 floors or more, take the steps instead of the lift which automatically completes your exercise for the day.

Additionally, you can do yoga which is one of the most popular and ancient technique of keeping the body healthier.

Doctor: It is always advisable to have doctor’s advise to in order to lose fat in your body . This will include your medical check up of your health .

Books: Do read good books about losing your fat which will have plenty of information to learn.This may be procured from libraries and the internet.

Always remember “Where There Is a Will , There Is a Way”

Save Yourself and Identify the Early Warning Signs of Breast Cancer

General Information on Breast Cancer

Breast cancer has been one of the leading health concerns for women. For over 3,600 years the cancer has affected the lives of women in immeasurable ways. According to the Edwin Smith papyrus, awareness of breast cancer has been well established since 1600 BC in Egypt, thus making it the oldest form of cancer known to humans. “There is no treatment”, this is what early Egyptian physicians writes about breast cancer according to the papyrus and for centuries this has been the attitude displayed by both health practitioners and patients.

But while the Egyptians have considered the disease incurable, we now have medical advancements that make survival almost an absolute certainty at early stages. All we need is a firm knowledge on warning signs of the cancer and the determination to go through the treatment process.

What are the Causes of Breast Cancer?

About one in eight women will be diagnosed with this cancer in a lifetime. There are several risk factors which are part of our lives that we could not change. This includes aging, familial history, genetics and menstrual cycle.

The risk of getting cancer becomes higher as a person ages. Advanced cancer stages are commonly found in women fifty years old and above. About thirty percent of women who have breast cancer have a family history of breast, ovarian, uterine or ovarian cancer.

Some people have gene defects that make them more susceptible to acquiring the disease. This includes defects commonly found in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Women with these gene defects have an eighty percent chance of getting breast cancer. Those who have started menstruation before the age of twelve or went through menopause after the age of fifty-five have higher breast cancer risk.

Women who never had children or gave birth only after the age of thirty also have an increased risk for breast cancer.

Other risk factors include alcohol consumption, obesity, hormone replacement therapy to avert menopause, the use of the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriage, and radiation.

Curiously, there is no evidence linking the use of breast implants, antiperspirants, pesticides and underwire bras in raising cancer risks.

What are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Undergoing regular breast examination is important in detecting cancerous growths because in early stages, cancer of the breast may not manifest any symptom at all. As the cancer develops women may experience one or a combination of the following.

  • A painless hard lump with uneven edges in the breast or armpit area.
  • Noticeable change in size, shape, feel and texture of the breast and nipple.
  • Unusual fluids, such as pus, coming out of the nipple.

For women who are in advanced breast cancer stages, symptoms may include bone pain, pain and discomfort in the breast area, skin ulcers in the breast or underarm, weight loss, and swelling of one arm.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer?

Since some risk factors are uncontrollable, awareness is the most important step in fighting the disease. In general, having a healthy diet and lifestyle reduces a person’s chance of getting cancer. Early detection of the cancer raises the cure rate and thus, breast self-examination (BSE), clinical breast examination and screening mammography are highly recommended.

Experts advise BSE once a month for women over twenty. The test should be done a week after their menstruation. For those between the ages of twenty to thirty-nine, clinical examination should be done every three years.

Women above the age of forty are generally advised to undergo a complete breast examination and mammography once a year. Breast MRI should also be done for women who are have higher breast cancer risk factors.

Certain drugs, such as Tamoxifen, are approved by the USDA for cancer prevention in women aged thirty-five or older. Preventive prophylactic mastectomy, or the surgical removal of the breast, is advised for those who already had one breast removed and for those who are identified to have genetic mutations that raise tumor risks.

What exams and tests are involved in the detection of breast cancer?

Your doctor will gather information of your symptoms and risk factors. A thorough physical examination, which includes the breast, armpit, chest and neck, would then be performed to check for possible tumor growths.

To confirm the diagnosis additional test may be performed, this includes mammography, breast MRI, CT scan and PET scan, to identify the size, shape and location of the breast lump. Breast ultrasound is also done to check if the lump is solid or is filled with fluids. Needle aspiration and sentinel lymph node biopsy is done for further laboratory examination of a breast lump and adjacent lymph nodes.

How do we classify breast cancer?

After positive diagnosis of breast cancer, further test will be done in order to check the extent of the cancer. This is called breast cancer staging. This helps doctors identify the treatment methods necessary and to give the patient a prognosis.

Breast cancer stages ranges from zero to four. When a cancer has not yet spread, it is called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The cancer may be noninvasive or invasive depending of the advancement of cancer.

A combination of treatments is commonly received by women and this differs on the stage of the cancer. In stage one, the goal to eliminate the cancer and prevent its spread to other tissues and organs of the body. For women with stage four breast cancers, the treatment is aimed at prolonging the life span of the patient as the cancer in stage four cannot be treated.

How is breast cancer treated?

The treatment of cancer depends on the type and stage of the cancer and its sensitivity to certain hormones. The cancer is also monitored for overproduction of the HER2 gene.

The general breast cancer treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Surgical removal of cancerous tissues is also done to effectively remove breast lumps. Surgery may be in form of removal of breast lumps (lumpectomy) or removal of the entire breast and nearby structures (mastectomy). Radiation therapy is the use of high energy x-rays to destroy cancerous tissues.

Treatments such as hormonal therapy and targeted therapy may also be done in order to avert possible metastasis and to stop certain hormones from fueling cancer growth. Some samples of hormonal therapy include drugs such as Tamoxifen and Exemestane which are used to block the effects of estrogen and reduce cancer development. Drugs such as Herceptin plus trastuzumab may be used as a form of targeted therapy in women with stage IV HER2 positive breast cancer.

What to expect after treatment?

There are a number of medical advancements that makes it possible for patients to live longer, more active lives after cancer treatment. Still, we cannot help but stress the importance of early detection. In the American Cancer Society’s study, the five year survival rate for stage zero and one cancer is at a high of a hundred percent and this goes down to at least twenty percent for stage four. Visit your physician and find out more about cancer and learn how breast self examination is done.

Facing Up to Age Spots With Natural Lotions

Face lotion to reduce age spots is not a wild notification. In fact, these days it is easier than ever to help fade away undesired age spots with 100% organic creams and lotions which target the causes of age related skin problems. With natural products you can look and feel younger inside and out.

The more we expose our skin to the powerful UV rays of the sun, the more we fall victim to the accumulation of free radicals in our bodies. These free radicals can cause an array of damage, including pooling of excess pigment in the outer layers of the skin which results in age spots. Fortunately, you can use face lotion reduce age spots and fight off the effects of sun exposure.

The first line of defense in fighting sun exposure is to avoid it entirely. Wide brimmed hats can shade and protect the face and sun block products with an SPF of at least 15 can minimize damage caused by the sun. If avoiding the sun is not possible, then there are other products including face lotion to reduce age spots and improve overall skin quality.

While there are more invasive methods which can be used to remove age spots including freezing and acid peels, by far it is much easier and less costly to use face lotion reduce age spots and feel better. When considering a face lotion to use for this purpose, you want to carefully look at the list of ingredients. Only truly natural, plant based ingredients can give you the kind of thorough healing you need to effectively fight age spots.

Some of the best ingredients for battling aging are CynergyTK, Coenzyme Q-10, plant based oils such as Grapeseed oil, Babassu Wax and Phytessence Wakame. Any time you use a face lotion to reduce age spots, you'll want to be sure it includes this type of organic ingredients to ensure that your skin is getting the treatment it needs. Together, these ingredients can help soften and smooth the skin, restore collagen and elastin, and remove free radicals which can directly cause age spots.

Phytessence Wakame, an extract from Japanese sea kelp, has been proven to protect the skin from UV damage, making it an effective way to prevent age spots. Babassu Wax is a natural emollient, helping to keep skin soft and protecting it from dirt and grimy by creating a barrier on the out layer. If you want to use face lotion reduce age spots and look your best, these ingredients can help you do so without harmful side effects.

By far the most important ingredient in face lotion to reduce age spots is natural anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E. These powerful fighters destroy harmful free radicals and other toxins, helping your entire body to look and feel healthy. By reducing free radicals, anti-oxidants can help to naturally fade away ugly age spots for a smooth, blemish free look.

Unfortunately, age spots can be an ugly fact of life but that does not mean you have to put up with them. Choose safe, gentle, natural face lotion and you can keep age spots from staring you in the face. Do not set for second best, let nature's healing power help you put your best face forward!

Bank REO Properties – Reduce Your Anxiety by Knowing What to Expect From Banks and REO Agents

You must have read a lot of posts on forums of investors describing the purchase of REO properties as one of the most stressful experience of their lives.

Many investors get frustrated that despite too much time invested in working with their agents, their bids are not getting accepted.

In some of these cases these buyers are not getting the right guidance from their agents. But there are also quite a number of instances when clients just have unrealistic expectations.

Below are some clarification on what you can expect from your REO agent and the bank.

1) Banks are informed sellers.

Banks work with local realors who give them 'broker price opinions' on how much the property can sell in the market. Unreasonably low offers will not be considered. Here, your REO agent should be able to provide you with critical information to 'make your most competitive offer properly.

a) Property inspection reports from the listing agent if there are any;

b) Selling price of comparative homes in the neighborhood,

c) Proposed supply of foreclosed homes in the market

2) Your REO agent's 'experience and industry network' matters a lot (as it is true with managing all complicated transactions).

REO properties involve a lot of hard work on everyones part (buyer's agent, bank's listing agent, bank's REO department, and YOU). A lot of paperwork and approvals from different individuals, companies, and even investors are needed to sell an REO property.

Here's your REO agent should be able to help you quickly provide the bank with a complete and competitive offer / counter-offer according to their specified format, requirements, and preferred method of receiving offers (e-mail, fax, and etc.).

And most importantly, your chances of buying a good REO property is increased if you hire an REO agent with a good relationship with bank asset managers and their listing agents, and have years of experience in helping buyers purchase REO properties.

So get ahead of the REO game by working with an experienced REO agent who can help you win a bid for a great REO property.

Herbal Medicines

Herbal Medicine is the oldest form of health care known to mankind. Herbs have been used in all cultures and form an integral part of modern civilization. Cave men studied the effects on animals when they ate certain plants and through trial and error each tribe will have added the medicinal powers of herbs to their own knowledge base. They systematically collected information on plants and herbs and developed well defined pharmacopoeias.

In the 20th century much has been learned from the herbal lore of native peoples and much of the scientific medicine has been derived from this lore. Many of the drugs used today are derived from plant material in fact about 25% of the prescription drugs issued today in the US contain at least one ingredient that has been derived from plant material. For example the powdered leaf of the foxglove plant is known as the cardiac stimulant digitalis which keeps millions of heart patients alive worldwide. St Johns Wort has become very popular as an alternative to Prozac, without the side effects, to help with mild depression.

The World Health Organization noted that of about 120 plant-dervived pharmaceutical drugs around 74% are used in modern medicine in ways that directly correlate to their traditional uses by native cultures. Extensive research is currently being carried out by major pharmaceutical companies on plant material collected from rainforests and other places to test their medicinal value.

Many people are starting to turn more and more to herbal cures for what ails them. The over prescription of antibiotics has left us with a legacy of "superbugs" on which modern medicine has little effect at times. Can herbal remedies help? Only time will tell if the "superbugs" are too much for natural cures.

It should be noted that care should be taken when dealing with herbal remedies and that too too much result in side effects. Any herbal supplements should also be obtained from a reputable source.

Celiac Disease Basics

Celiac disease is when the body absorbs undigested proteins that could damage the intestinal lining by gluten proteins. "Gluten is the protein in wheat, rye, and barley."

A celiac patient needs to have a gluten free diet ; gluten needs to be eliminated to avoid creating holes in the intestinal walls so that food allergies, toxins from many food dyes, preservatives, and artificial flavors would not be able to enter the bloodstream. Pathogens like bacteria, worms, fungi and viruses can invade the organs if a strict celiac diet would not be followed.

One in around one hundred have celiac disease. Many could have the disease witout having celiac symptoms. People with celiac disease experience symptoms like cancer, epilepsy, attention deficit disorders, chronic fatigue, malnutrition and other varying symptoms like emotional stress. It could also include bloating, malnutrition, gatric upsets, diarhea, fatty stools and vomiting.

Celiac Sprue

Celiac Sprue is also a form of celiac disease; it is a genetic disorder that primarily affects the digestive system. The intolerance for gluten leads to intestinal damage due to inflammation. Celiac sprue can be eliminated when a patient follows a strict diet so that gastric cancers and pernicious anemia can be avoided.

Herpetiformis Dermatitis (DH)

Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a skin disorder associated with gluten hypersensitivity. It attacks the skin like inflammation. It is characterized by blistering, excoriations and urticarial plaques. The typical place where lesions can be found is in prominently bony areas like the back, knees, elbows and buttocks. This condition is strictly itchy. An estimated 15- 25 patients with celiac disease are likely to develop DH.

Crohn's Disease

Is a gastro intestinal infection that affects the small intestines. This condition triggers abdominal pain; it could also manifest bloody stools, vomiting, dehydration and weight loss.

Sufferers experience sever mal absorption and diseases related t vitamin and mineral deficiency such as osteoporosis, scurvy, anemia and rickets in children. Common treatment would often include a complete dose of antibiotic treatments to fight off potentially dangerous infections.

Celiac Disease in Children

Celiac disease symptoms manifest within three to five months after the first intake. A child suffering from celiac will thrive until gluten is introduced into the diet; after that the child will refuse to be fed and would start losing weight. A child will exhibit symptoms like irritability and would develop a large abdomen. Stools would become abnormal and would be loose-like diarrhea.

Symptoms to Expect .

Inability to concentrate in children, difficulty with mental alertness, it could also include mood swings and depression that could also be experienced by teens.

Products like barley, rye and oats should be avoided. While fruits, grilled meats, vegetables, salads, eggs and potatoes can be staple choices for a person who is suffering from celiac.

Through the Darkness – Into the Light

"Go to the light, Carol Anne, go to the light" we heard in a popular 1980s movie. People with near-death experiences describe going to the light and coming back again. They were turned away at the cross-over point because it was not yet their time

We use light as a representation of all that is good. It's a symbol of what we each hope to reach in our lifetime. Yet, each winter we reach the darkest day of the year and began that return back to light.

When you experience that each year, is the dark so bad? If so, why?

Growing up in Maine, I associated the dark days with cold weather. The darkness also limited my after-school playtime. Winter was a time of less fun and more serious pursuits such as learning (not so bad), testing (moderately horrible) and definable sentences (grades) suggesting how smart you were.

Of course, some people are "snow bunnies." They enjoy skiing, snowboarding, skating and other winter sports. After the shorter days, they look forward to cold weather. I have even heard people profess that winter is their favorite time of year. They do not mind the darkness.

That's made me wonder if maybe – just maybe – the darkness has just as much to offer as the light, if we use it right.

Winter, with its increased darkness and cold, is a time of reflection and hibernation. It's a time to rest and allow ourselves to be some what dormant, like the land. Sure, there are still things that need to be done. However, winter is a great time to catch-up on one's sleep. It's a time to review, renew and plan changes. As the days get longer and the weather becomes more gentle, spring is there to help us with new beginnings.

Despite Nature's obvious message, to rest and review, many of us fight the darkness. We go against the rhythms of nature and life. To maintain our hemicace, we fight the elements and use stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine to keep going. We use artificial lights and try to act as if the days are not really shorter or darker.

We fear the darkness. The question is: Why?

"Night time sharpens, heightened, each sensation." Darkness wakes and stirs imagination. " Those open the song "The Music of the Night" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, The Phantom of The Opera.

That song reminds me of how easy it is to fall in love with the night.

Other lyrics in that musical refer to the power of the night. Truly, there is power in night, in darkness, and even in the void. It's a place that strips away illusion. It allows us to return to a pure self … a self we can not find in the brightness of daylight.

Our annual plunge into longer and darker days is an opportunity. We can rest the mind and body as well as detoxify the heart and soul. It's a built-in time of renewal, given to us by a generous God who understands us better than we understand ourselves.

Sadly, we throw away this opportunity each year as we are motivated by needs around approval, acceptance, perceptions of being better loved or even liked. Add to that are the fears of silence, death and what we may hear in that silence. A fear of what we might discover about ourselves, loved ones or even in the world in general if we allow ourselves to surrender. Release all we know as truth to see what truth comes back to us at the end of the journey.

Later in Webber's musical we are told to close our eyes and give in to the power of the night.

In my classes, I often use this music as a teaching tool. I tell my students not to hear these words uttered by the phantom but by their own quiet inner voice of guidance and intuition. It's that inner voice that gets drowned out in the hustle and bustle of daily living.

Hear the words as if that were triggered by your own inner voice. The music that sets you free is the music of divine flow, collective consciousness, and your soul's purpose.

The darkness of winter is an ideal time to disconnect from the Borg, step out of the Matrix and get off the race track. Allow yourself to drift into the void of your own unconscious.

Will you take this inner journey to see who you are, why you are here, and where your next step is? Or, will you continue to flee the darkness and the important insights it can offer you?

A Hearing Aid Helped My Brother to Grow Up

My brother is the only person I’ve ever known who spent energy trying to convince my parents to buy him a hearing aid. To some people it might seem awkward or set yourself apart among a group of notoriously shallow teenagers, but he knew that a little heckling was a small thing compared with constantly having the mute button on his ears.

He started experiencing problems when he was playing little league baseball. With a batting helmet on he couldn’t hear directions his coach was shouting from the dugout. At times we wasn’t sure what the count was because he couldn’t tell whether the umpire said nothing indicating a ball, or he simply didn’t hear him proclaim strike.

Mike learned to combat these problems by starting to read the lips of his coach. He would sometimes step out of the batters box and double-check the count with the umpire. In school, he learned to sit in the front of the classroom. Still, he was missing things during the course of the day.

While we got prepared for meals at home sometimes mom would ask him to set the table or grab an ingredient out of the refrigerator and he failed to recognize the request. It was at a family reunion that my parents finally realized he needed a hearing aid.

We were having a picnic when an errant frisbee came soaring in our general direction. My dad recognized it first and screamed to “duck.” My mom and I bent down so that we didn’t get struck. As we bent, the frisbee went right over our heads and crashed into Mike’s nose. He simply had not heard dad’s warning.

The difference in his hearing was immediate when he got the hearing aid. Instead of always being defensive and wondering whether he was missing something, he lived his life with confidence and knowledge that he was not different than anybody else. Because of his full understanding of the situation, the heckling that occasionally took place from peers he brushed aside. Mike knew that being able to listen and understand their mocking was a lot better than missing whatever else they or anybody else might be saying.

He has lived with that hearing aid for more than a decade now. To me he’ll always be a great brother. What brings a smile to my face is the fact he knew what he wanted, adjusted perfectly, and has moved on to graduate from college, get a great job, find a beautiful and wonderful spouse, and early next year they are expecting a baby boy. Understanding that everybody has unique qualities and if you don’t like your condition there are ways to change it has been a tremendous lesson that he has proven to our family and all of his friends.

Increase Libido Naturally – Male Sex Enhancers That Are Worth Trying

In many books; libido has been described using the same to words over and over again; 'sexual desire'; and the absence of libido may demand pulling in other words like impotence and erectile dysfunction. Some of the basic symptoms of reduced libido are lowered urge for masturbation, lack of initiation, lack of fantasies, lack of sex desire for a long period, reduced sexual thoughts etc. In as much as there could be other inherent health problems, the main hormone that surrounds the problem of libido is testosterone all through. Every listed form of treatment makes this step of supplying this hormone in any form.

Herbs are the ideal natural form of treatment to handle libido; their target remains basically how to get a permanent solution to the problem; wage war against factors that hamper arousal, remove stress, create a way of raising testosterone and address the general sexual health and well being. Nutrition may in some way be the main cause and should not be brushed aside because persistent loss of a balanced diet precipitates long term debilitating consequences.

Looking at some of the herbal derivatives, about seven have been isolated as supplying potent support to all men experiencing low libido. These are Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris), Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia), Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), Damiana, Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium grandiflora), Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and Maca (Lepidium meyenii).

Tribulus leaves provide two main glycosides that have been isolated and adapted for use in the treatment of victims of low libido. This compound pricks the pituitary gland to release leutinizing hormone which in turn pushes testosterone up to work on the gonads. The automatic counter effect is sperm lifeline increase from morphology to sperm count. The victim is capable of resuming normal sexual life within a span of less than 2 months of treatment.

Damiana an herb from North America mainly Mexico has been used for a long time by the red Indians to treat sexual dysfunction emanating from the nerves. It is an activator of low libido and turns victims on within a period of 3 months. Tongkat Ali mainly found in Indonesia and Malaysia targets testosterone hormone levels in the body. It has all the capabilities of raising this hormone very well and works as an aphrodisiac as well. The herb raises sexual desire, fears impotence and partnerships about long lasting erections.

The Korean ginseng is a blood circulatory activator or stimulant; it has been in use in many Asian countries from China to India. It is known to handle stress and anxiety raising low libido and calming any form of depression.

Horny Goat Weed works on the nervous system bringing about the increase in arousal and performance. The moment blood circulation is increased, side effects of exhaustion are reduced and the victims are able to revoke their worn out libido again.

Maca and Saw palmetto provides similar treatment to victims of low libido. Maca a root plant found in South America turns round sexual weakness and partnerships about increased stamina stabilizing hormones and promoting mental focus and clarity.

The Exceptional Cognitive Abilities of Dolphins

Dolphins are perhaps the most intelligent aquatic mammal on Earth. With their self-awareness and abilities to communicate, reason, express emotions, adapt, and perform altruistic acts, they have spread across every ocean and many freshwater rivers in the same way humans have populated every continent. The cognitive abilities of dolphins are exceptional. Below is a close examination of this mammal’s brain size, structure and remarkable cognitive abilities.

I. Brain Size/Structure:

Dolphins have a large, folded brain with an exceptional intellectual capacity. As a result, they learn extremely quickly and possess the ability to produce creative responses.

Although their cerebral cortex is 40% larger than that of humans, it is shallower, resulting in a neocortical volume that is 80% of that of humans. Nonetheless, both possess comparative cerebral hemispheres and folding to process sensory information and stimuli.

The average bottlenose dolphin brain weighs 1.7 kg (.4 kg more than the average human brain). When comparing brain size to body size – the Encephalization Quotient (EQ), the average dolphin brain registers between 4 and 5 (second to the 7 EQ of the average human brain and significantly higher than the EQ of any other type of animal including the great apes). This indicates a close proximity to human cognitive abilities.

In comparison to humans and other land mammals, a dolphin’s brain has five versus six layers in their neocortex, with no functional segregation. This likely permits humans to focus on greater detail and dolphins to process sensory information at greater speeds, which may be more critical in a 3-dimensional water-based environment with few distinguishable landmarks where sound travels 4-5 times faster than on land.

In addition, relative to brain size, a dolphin’s brain has a significantly larger cerebellum than a human. This is likely since an aquatic environment places greater need on motor control. Furthermore, a dolphin’s cerebellum is also larger due to the absence of functional specialization, since it is likely used for cognitive processing.

Unlike the human brain, a dolphin’s brain includes a paralimbic lobe to enhance integrated information and emotional processing. It is likely that emotions play a greater role in a dolphin’s life than a human life.

Dolphins generally sleep in a semi-alert state by closing one eye and resting one side of the brain at a time. They usually alternate, closing one eye for 5-10 minutes and then the other. Within a 24-hour period, dolphins generally rest each eye and each side of the brain between 3-4 hours.

This is necessary so that dolphins can keep a lookout for potential predators – usually large sharks and killer whales. Remarkably, many dolphins in captivity, having recognized the absence of potential predators, rest both sides of their brain simultaneously, sleeping with both eyes shut.

II. Social Setting:

Dolphins are exceptionally social animals, consistent with humans, great apes and other creatures displaying high levels of intelligence. They occupy home ranges and live in pods or schools known as fission-fusion societies based on subgroups of age and sex-related individuals with size varying dramatically from about 6 to up to several thousand. At times, when there is an abundance of food, pods can join with each other forming superpods.

Although membership in pods is flexible and fluid, members of a pod form strong bonds with each other. Some pods are long lasting while others are merely temporary associations of individuals formed for a common goal. Nevertheless, dolphins refuse to abandon injured or ill individuals, assisting them to stay afloat to breathe if necessary. In addition, mother dolphins are known to take loving care of their young while entire pods will risk their safety to protect a mother and her calf from harm.

Within these pods, dolphins maintain intricate social networks. Each dolphin has a few close associates and additional more casual relationships with others within the pod. Dolphins breathe together, hunt together, coordinate their movements to capture prey, and take turns ingesting such prey. In addition, dolphins frequently alert others when large amounts of prey are discovered enabling others to get more food while enhancing safety with their greater numbers since potential predators may be interested in the same food source. Dolphins work exceptionally well during times of danger.

Dolphins are among the few species known to teach their young survival skills and culture. Mother dolphins teach their young to hunt through playful-looking movements, pointing gestures, and repetition. When teaching a calf to hunt, mother dolphins consistently take 8 times longer to capture and ingest their prey – often capturing and releasing it so that their calves can learn through observation and repetition. This transfer of knowledge is called “theory of mind.”[1]

In addition to learning to hunt, young dolphins undergo extensive training. They learn about the rules of the pod, are disciplined when they act inappropriately, are taught about collaboration and cooperation, and about the identities and personalities of each member. Furthermore, to assist with the tasks, mothers share responsibilities and often take turns watching over hyperactive calves.

Dolphins are also taught to communicate through sound imitation. At this time, dolphins are the only non-human mammal to display strong evidence of vocal mimicry, vocal learning,[2] and learning of body movements through imitation.

In May 2005, it was discovered that the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin passed on cultural behavior by teaching their young to break off sponges and cover their snouts with them while foraging for food. At the same time, it was discovered that some male dolphins in Brazil taught their young to use weeds and sticks as part of their sexual rituals.

Like other creatures of higher intelligence, dolphins at times engage in acts of aggression using their teeth and snouts as weapons. These disputes likely arise over competition for mates. At times these acts are so intense that targeted dolphins leave the pod or unfortunate calves fall victim to infanticide.

While sexual acts between dolphins are usually brief, foreplay can be lengthy and sexual acts can be repeated many times in a short timespan. In addition, dolphins may engage in sexual activity for pleasure and among different species, producing hybrids. However, at times, sexual activity can be violent with male dolphins displaying aggression towards both females and other males.

Complex play is also an important part of a dolphin’s life. Dolphins occasionally perform acrobatic tricks, play with seaweed and other food, produce bubble rings that they then observe and even bite, and play-fight among themselves. They also enjoy surfing waves and even interacting with boats and other creatures such as whales and humans.

III. Multi-modal Sensory Perception:

Dolphins primarily use four senses to perceive the world around them. These senses, used in simultaneity and conjunction with each other, are vision, echolocation, taste, and touch. Together they are used to integrate information from their surroundings. Such information is processed at high speeds. Yet despite the multi-modal nature of dolphins, it appears that they have no sense of smell.

Dolphins have acute vision both in and out of water. In addition, their eyes possess both rods and L-Cones enabling them to see in dim and bright light, and possibly colors within the red and green light spectrums. Dolphins, however, cannot see blue coloring except under certain light conditions when both the rods and L-cones, which have a very low sensitivity for blue light, are active. However, with 7,000 times as many rods as the human eye, dolphins can see extremely well in dark conditions such as murky water.

In addition, dolphins can move their eyes in different directions at the same time. One eye can look to the side while the other looks up enabling them to have two fields of vision with a 300° panoramic view. These two fields of vision can also overlap.

Dolphins generally hear tones within the frequency range of .25 to 150 kHz versus the average human auditory range of .02 to 17 kHz. In echolocation (the ability to see with their ears, in which the dolphin receives sound waves in the form of nerve impulses that are interpreted into a visual depiction of the object), dolphins may emit up to 700 clicks per second at between 40 to 150 kHz to detect the size and location of an object hundreds of meters away. In fact, dolphin echolocation is so sensitive that it can detect a 3-inch steel ball from approximately 90 meters away. Echolocation is also valuable in detecting echo signatures of potential prey.

Dolphins possess the ability to taste and differentiate between salt, bitter, sweet, and sour. This can be useful for navigation (ocean currents may have distinct chemical traces), orientation, discovering food, locating other dolphins, reproduction, and even stress sensitivity.

Dolphins also are extremely sensitive to touch which can be useful in sensing water movement and utilizing it to their advantage. The reason dolphins have such acute touch is because unlike human skin that possesses an epidermal layer of dead cells, a dolphin’s outer layer of skin is composed entirely of live cells.

IV. Shape Recognition:

Studies have shown that dolphins can match simple and complex shapes with precision. In an early study, dolphins were able to match a cube, pyramid, and rectangular prism with high accuracy based on vision and echolocation.

In another study, a dolphin’s ability to match 16 pairs of complex shapes and designs was tested through vision, echolocation, and multi-modal (vision and echolocation used in conjunction with each other) perception. The results were astonishing. During this experiment, an 8 year-old female bottlenose dolphin, Ebele was able to match 94.6% of the pairs through echolocation to vision (detected the pairs which hidden in a box through echolocation and then matched them through vision with pairs suspended in the water), 97.1% of the pairs through vision to echolocation (detected through vision pairs suspended in water and matched them with pairs hidden in boxes through echolocation) in a sample consisting of 384 trials. The results were even equally astonishing when Ebele’s multi-modal skills were tested. When tested to match pairs projected over a television screen (for which echolocation cannot be used) with pairs suspended in the water that allowed Ebele to use vision and echolocation simultaneously, she was able to identify 95.8% of the pairs in a sample consisting of 24 trials.

V. Mirror Self Recognition (MSR):

The ability to possess sentience or self-awareness to think about oneself in the physical and mental realms illustrates a complex level of abstract thinking that is rare among animals. Studies have shown that dolphins possess this self-awareness.

Studies have shown that dolphins can recognize themselves in a mirror and investigate their own bodies. They have also shown that dolphins are aware of their own behavior and body parts as well as their feelings of doubt when subjected to difficult memory tests.

During the MSR tests, dolphins proved that they possessed selective attention in that they could pay attention to themselves in a mirror and were aware that they were viewing themselves instead of another animal.

When dolphins were marked with non-toxic ink or water markers consisting of no ink, they immediately swam over to a mirror or the most reflective object (when a mirror was not present) to inspect themselves. Furthermore, when dolphins had been marked by non-toxic ink, they spent more time in front of the mirror, carefully examining the marking on their bodies.

With their self-awareness, dolphins can also form analogies between their bodies and those of another, even improvising when the body of another species looks nothing like their own body. For example, if a person raises a leg, a dolphin may raise its tail.

In another example of self-awareness as well as understanding of cause and effect, dolphins have been observed to splash water on people who have approached their tanks and then raise themselves out of the water to determine the response their actions had elicited.

Dolphins can also discern the difference between reality and television. When observing others being fed on television, they initially swam up to the TV to check for fish. Afterwards, upon realizing that televisions projected depictions of reality, dolphins swam to their feeding areas when they saw others being fed on television, in anticipation that they too were about to be fed.

VI. Language and Communication:

Being among the most vocal of animals, dolphins are capable of producing a broad range of sounds ranging from whistles (their primary means of communication), burst-pulsed sounds (primarily used to convey a dolphin’s emotional state ranging from pleasure to distress), and clicks (primarily for echolocation).

From a very young age, dolphins learn to produce a signature whistle (likely their name) based on imitation of a mother’s signature whistle. This signature whistle allows others to identify the individual. In addition, dolphins also learn to imitate another’s signature whistle so that they can likely address other dolphins by name, a key component of any functional language. They often whistle and respond to whistles to let others know where they are. In addition, a mother and calf who become separated, whistle frequently to locate each other until they are reunited. It is also believed that dolphins use whistles to refer to prey and objects. However, the extent is not known.

At the same time, it is known that dolphins use pulsed yelps during courtship, pulsed squeaks when in danger, and a rapid series of buzzing clicks when angry or involved in a confrontation.

In addition, dolphins also use body language as a means of communicating. This body language ranges from arching their bodies, bubble blowing, swimming with joined pectoral fins, flexing, head movement, nuzzling, jaw clapping, and even ramming and head butting.

Sufficient evidence exists that dolphins communicate information about “what,” “where,” and “who” while there is no substantive evidence of them communicating about “when,” “how” or “why.”[3] Furthermore, studies have shown that dolphins communication like that of humans, is intentional, the core purpose of developed languages. This communication ranges from playful, excited chatter to more serious conversation, for which the depth and content is not fully understood. A vivid example of dolphins’ intentional communication occurred in an aquarium in Hawaii. When a mother and her two-year-old calf were placed in separate tanks that were connected via audio link, both mother and calf were observed chirping at each other as they rapidly exchanged information over a telephone link.

In addition, studies have shown that dolphins are capable of understanding symbols and hand gestures (mainly from American Sign Language), can learn associations between symbols, sounds, and objects without specific reinforcement or direct intervention, and can classify relationships between events. In fact dolphins have proven to be as proficient as humans when it comes to comprehending constructed sentence structures with a strong understanding of syntax (knowledge that word order makes a difference and changes the meaning of a sentence, for example dolphins know they cannot fetch a person and put him or her on a surfboard) and semantics (comprehension of words and symbols). In addition, experiments have shown that dolphins can also discern between numerical values. They can comprehend if two or three objects are available and can also determine with little effort if something is absent. For example when a dolphin is asked to retrieve a Frisbee in the water, it does so with little effort when such a Frisbee is present. However, when asked to place a Frisbee that is present in the water on a surfboard that is absent, dolphins have been shown to respond that they cannot do so since the surfboard is not present.

VII. Memory:

Studies have shown that dolphins have excellent memory systems. This has been proven by dolphins’ abilities to learn sentence structure and meaning, retain human vocabularies of approximately 40 words in which thousands of sentences can be constructed, to memorize objects seen (matching them against new pairings consisting of pairs and triplicates of objects) and sounds heard (ranging from high frequency to long duration and match them against lists of between two to six different types of sounds) and by their ability to learn specific behaviors that can result in either adverse or rewarding experiences.

However, despite their excellent memory systems, the core of cognitive learning, dolphins appear to have a short-term memory that is more acute than their long-term memory. They were able to identify objects seen and sounds heard with a higher accuracy based on recency of effect.

VIII. Emotions:

Dolphins utilize vocal sounds and swimming patterns to express emotions in lieu of facial expressions.

Dolphins are generally affectionate creatures that show emotions towards their own kind as well as other species. They show concern for ill or injured members of their pod, they fiercely protect a mother and her young from predators, mourn for deceased members, and show excitement and joy when reunited with long lost members for which they had developed a bond. In addition, dolphins have displayed the capacity to show fear and concern and been shown to possess not only emotions that last for a short duration but also moods that could last for longer durations.

IX. Altruism:

Stories date back thousands of years about the altruistic, selfless nature of dolphins. Dolphins are not only altruistic towards their own kind but other species as well. Many examples of intra- and interspecies altruism exist. At times, dolphins have sounded an alert heard 10 kms away to call other dolphins to assist in saving a human being. This interspecies altruism is likely the result of a dolphin’s strong emotional feelings, self-awareness, “theory of mind,” consciousness, and perhaps even the existence of a conscience in that they could not bear to see a human being perish anymore than a person could bear to see a dolphin or cat or dog perish. As a result, they transpose feelings of anguish, hurt, and loneliness onto others producing the same feelings of compassion that humans have for another. In essence, dolphins possess an openness and caring for other species.

A dolphin reportedly saved Telemachus, the son of Odysseus when he fell into the sea and nearly drowned as was written by Homer (c. 850 BC). In gratitude, Odysseus placed the figure of a dolphin on his shield.

Roman scientist Plinius (AD23-AD79) wrote about a dolphin that befriended a little boy. The boy fed the dolphin each day. One day when the dolphin did not see the boy, it searched for him. Upon discovering that he had drowned, the dolphin pushed his body onto a beach, laid next to him and died. Roman mosaics also show men playing with dolphins.

In the 18th century, a pod of dolphins saved Vietnamese sailors after their boat was sunk by hostile invaders.

In 1996, Martin Richardson was saved from a shark attack in the Red Sea when pod of dolphins encircled him and created turbulence to scare away the shark. The dolphins did not leave until Mr. Richardson was rescued.

In 2004, a group of New Zealand lifeguards were saved by dolphins that had formed a protective ring around them. The dolphins maintained the ring for about 40 minutes until 3 m-long shark had left. The lifeguards then swam to shore.

In 2007 a pod of dolphins saved surfer Todd Endris from a great white shark that had attacked him.

In March 2008, a dolphin came to the rescue of two pygmy sperm whales, a mother whale and her calf that were stranded on a New Zealand beach upon hearing the whales’ distress calls. The dolphin led the whales 200 m along the beach and safely out to sea. This was similar to a 1983 incident at Tokerau Beach, New Zealand when a pod of dolphins herded a group of between 76 to 80 pilot whales and guided them safely out to sea.

Dolphins have been known to support a sick member of their pod and to standby an injured or ill companion regardless of the danger to themselves. They also work cooperatively in groups, assist each other in obtaining a mate, and put themselves at risk to defend a mother and her calf.

X. Conclusion:

Based on the exceptional cognitive abilities of dolphins, the existence of cognitive convergence (in which brains of separate species share remarkable abilities to process sensory information and input from their surroundings and to communicate and comprehend language), one can hope for the day when interspecies communication is possible so that all species may develop a greater understanding of the world, greater appreciation for each other, and most importantly collaborate for joint solutions to preserve our wonderful planet. When or if interspecies communication is made possible through technology (e.g. computer links – dolphins have already been proven to understand computer-generated bars and disks that symbolize words and phrases in sign language) and greater understanding, from what can we learn better about what it takes to and is like living in all the oceans of the world regardless of temperature, depth, and chemical content, and anecdotal evidence of marine world issues than dolphins?

____________________

[1] Dolphins and the evolution of teaching.  World Science.  7 August 2008.  17 January 2009. http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/080807_dolphin.htm

[2] Diana Reiss, Brenda McCowan and Lori Marino.  Communicative and other cognitive characteristics of bottlenose dolphins.  Trends in Cognitive Science. Vol. 1, No. 4.  Elsevier Science, Ltd.  July 1997. p. 2.

[3] Margaret Klinowska.  Brains, Behaviour and Intelligence in Cetaceans (Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises).  26 September 1994.  17 January 2009. http://www.highnorth.no/library/myths/br-be-an.htm

Additional Reference:

Adam A. Pack and Louis M. Herman.  Sensory integration in the bottlenosed dolphin: Immediate recognition of complex shapes across the senses of echolocation and vision.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  Acoustical Society of America.  1 August 1995. pp. 726, 729-730.