"Espionage Management" Part 2. Mikhail Kryzhanovsky, KGB and CIA


Special tools

3.1 Surveillance

  Actual espionage is not what you see in the movies and you have absolutely no chance of evasion if a real professional surveillance crew is following you. Why? Because they use multiple methods and mixed methods.

I. Physical surveillance.

3.1.1 Methods

1. “One line” – officers follow the object forming a line behind him and passing him one by one.
2. “Two lines” – officers form two lines on both sides of the street.
3. “Circle” – officers block the area and start searching (used in case they lose the object).
4. “Fork” – one officer (a car) moves in front of the object, another one — behind, other officers (cars) move along parallel streets.
5. “Box” – used when the object enters supermarket, hotel, restaurant. One or two officers follow the object, the others wait for him at the exits.
6. “Demonstration” – officers demonstrate their presence to press the object and lower his activity.
7. “Provocation” – officers attack the object, beat him, steal (secret) documents. Often used to lower his activity if he’s trying to play James Bond.
8. “Outstrip” – officers do not follow the object because they know exactly where he’s going.
9. “Football” – officers pass the object to each other (car — a group — bicyclist — car…)
10. “Movie” – the crew watches the object in stages: first day — to the subway only, second day — from subway to his office, etc. (used abroad). The crew has to have a female member if they are watching a woman (she could use the ladies room for a secret meeting) and members of various ethnicities (white, black, Latino) because the object could go to a specific ethnic area.

3.1.2 If you’re the object and you’ve noticed surveillance:

Don’t rush, move at the same speed.
Relax at the nearest bar (and relax the crew).
Don’t show how professional you are by trying to disappear, otherwise they could intensify surveillance or even neutralize you (smash your car, beat you up).
Postpone the operation you were engaged in .
Use a “draught” if you need to see your agent no matter what. Change lanes (if you are driving), stop the car and then drive left or right.

If you don’t see surveillance, that means either there’s no surveillance or you’ve failed in counter-surveillance. Discreetly watch the agent who’s coming to meet you and try to detect any possible surveillance; or you may have been “outstripped.”

3.1.3 Surveillance crew mistakes:

The same crew follows the object all day long.
The object “rules” the crew and calculates it (he moves faster — the crew moves faster).
A crew member is too noticeable (unusual dress, haircut, disabled parts of the body, too fat or too skinny, too ugly or too pretty).
The crew starts to search possible hiding places for espionage evidence right after the object leaves (and he may be watching).
The crew leaves traces after a secret search of the object’s house (office).
The crew does not report its mistakes or the fact that they’ve lost the object.
The crew is not professional (using childish tricks like jumping out of a subway train just before the doors close).

II. Technical Surveillance

1.  Visual surveillance. Done through special holes in the ceilings and walls, through the windows from the opposite building (car) or by installing the camera inside the house (you can substitute something, like a clock, for the same thing but “stuffed” with a camera or recorder.) You can use informant as well to watch the object outside his house (especially if you want to do a secret search).
2.  Listening devices. The easiest thing is to listen to the object’s phone (record all calls, including those dialed “by mistake”).  If you work inside his apartment, make sure you equip the room where he usually talks. Attention: avoid widespread mistake when your agent keeps the listening device on his body; install a miniature device in his clothes or shoes, because the object could try a test and ask the agent to take off his clothes or invite him to the sauna or pool.
3. If you are working abroad, listen 24/7 to local counterintelligence surveillance radiofrequencies.
4. Reading the mail. When you control the object’s mail, remember he could use multiple addresses and PO boxes. Open all the letters with no return address or PO box. Watch when you open the letter — the object could leave a tiny piece of paper, hair, etc. to check if anybody opened the letter. Analyze the text carefully — there could be a cipher or the words with double meaning (jargon), especially when you read mafia mail.
5. Combination of above-mentioned methods

3.2 Murders:

3.2.1   Regular

Shooting, explosives or poison (cyanides, curare). Use a sniper or a “mouse” car (loaded with explosives and parked on the object’s route) if access to the object is impossible because of high security. Anyway, the murder is obvious and investigation is inevitable.

General scheme.
The best thing to do is to recruit or ” install” somebody with access to the object’s security system and get information on his schedule (plus health and habits), places where he likes to relax. Try to gain access to his phone.
Then prepare the plan and train three groups: surveillance (with optics and radios), action (includes snipers, explosives technicians or staged accidents specialists), and security (these people neutralize bodyguards, witnesses and other people who could interrupt the action; they complete the action if the action group fails; and they can neutralize the action group later, if planned so; they “cover” the safe retreat of action group and “cut” the chase).
For some operations you can modify the ammunition to make it more deadly – hollow cuts in the tip of the bullets will cause the lead to fragment upon impact, making a huge exit hole. You reach same effect using bullets with a drop of mercury in a hollow tip and you can also coat bullets with arsenic or cyanide. Use depleted, non-radioactive uranium bullets (uranium is much heavier than lead – it can be used to make a bullet with a smaller slug and a larger portion of explosive). Teflon bullets are good because with Teflon’s antifriction characteristics they pierce bullet proof vests.

3.2.2  Complex

  Staged accidents (suicides, catastrophes, drowning or fall, robbery or rape followed by murder, technical accident (fire, electricity, gas), drugs, weapons, poison, explosives misuse. Also, staged natural death (stroke, heart attack, chronic illness as a result of special technical devices like irradiation).
 Attention: you can conceal injection sites by choosing areas that could not be easily detected, such as fingernails or toenails. For staged accidents you can use acetone (absorption of large quantities via either the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract results in decreased respiration, stupor and death); carbon monoxide — acetylene gas, illuminating gas (coal gas), automobile gas, furnace gas; or a simple novocaine + coffee combination. In some cases nonbacterial food poisoning is suitable. It can occur following the ingestion of (1) certain species of mushrooms such as Amanita Muscaria, which contains the toxic alkaloid muscarine, and Amanita Phalloides, which contains phalloidin or other toxins, (2) immature or sprouting potatoes, the active poison of which is colanin, (3) mussels — death may occur as a result of respiratory failure, (4) grain, especially rye, which has become contaminated with the ergot fungus, Claviceps Purpurea. Ergot contains a number of active principles including ergotoxin, tyramine and ergamin (histamine), (5) fruits sprayed with salts of lead or arsenic and food stored in cadmium-lined containers.
 Staged botulism is effective, too. It’s an acute intoxication manifested by neuromuscular disturbances, following ingestion of food containing a toxin, elaborated by Clostridium botulinum, a common soil bacillus. The disease is always caused by the ingestion of improperly preserved food, usually a home-canned product, in which the toxin has been produced during the growth of the causative organism. The spores of Clostridium botulinum are highly resistant to heat; in water they require exposure for 5 hours at 212°F to ensure their death.
  The preserved food wherein the toxin is most commonly found are string beans, corn, spinach, olives, beets, asparagus, sea food, pork products and beef. The mortality of botulism may be as high as 65 per cent. Most of the fatal cases die between the 2nd and 9th days following the ingestion of the toxin. Death usually results from respiratory paralysis or from secondary bronchopneumonia. In those who survive, the disease usually reaches its height in the first days of illness. Recovery is characteristically very slow and residual weakness of the ocular muscles may persist for many months.
  Some cases demand usage of poisons, both organic — like concentrated nicotine that enters the body through skin or concentrated inhalation of horseradish, garlic or rotten meat, which causes breathing paralysis; poisons extracted from rattlesnake, cobra, stonefish, and inorganic — arsenic, thallium, cyanides. Teflon can generate a deadly methane gas; or carbon tetrachloride can be boiled or burnt so that it gives off lethal phosgene gas. Any poison could be mixed with an agent that enters the body through the skin and takes anything with it.
 Against terrorists, use their own weapons — high and low explosives. High explosives include TNT (trinitrotoluene), nitroglycerine, dynamite, plastique. Nitroglycerine is a mix of nitric acid (made by mixing saltpeter, potassium nitrate and sulfuric acid, then heating them and condensing the fumes), pure sulfuric acid and glycerin. TNT (nitric acid, sulfuric acid, toluene) is far more stable. Plastique is composed of cyclotrimethylene trinitramine, isomethylene and motor oil.
 Low explosives – gasoline, saltpeter, picric acid, acetone peroxide, urea nitrate.
 Many ingredients like gasoline, paraffin naphtha, acetone, swimming-pool cleaner, high-nitrogen fertilizer are generally available. Saltpeter is extracted from any soil with old decayed animal or vegetable matter – pour boiling water through, filter the water through wood ash, boil solution, remove salt crystals and leave the remaining solution to evaporate until only the potassium nitrate (saltpeter) crystals are left.
 Mixed with sulfur, lampblack and sawdust it becomes a black powder. Urea nitrate involves boiling a large quantity of urine down to one-tenth of its volume, mixing that with nitric acid and filtering for the urea nitrate crystals. Like saltpeter, these crystals are used in pipe bombs. Picric acid is used as explosive or as a booster for high explosives. Very easy thing to make is nitrogen tri-iodide — filter ammonia through iodine crystals and when the resulting brown sludge dries, it will explode on contact.
 Fertilizer mixed with fuel oil can be used in a pipe bomb.
 A 5-pound bag of flour used with a small amount of low explosive and an incendiary such as aluminum powder can create a dust explosion big enough to demolish a room.
 Swimming pool cleaner is used in pipe charges. Bleach, acetone and sulfuric acid combined can form a primary explosive. The explosive substance from a commercial detonating product can be mixed with acetone and mineral oil — then a book or newspaper is soaked in the solution, and dried, to create a powerful explosive that can be detonated with a blasting cap.
 Use incendiaries (firebombs) like a Molotov cocktail — a mixture of gasoline and oil in a corked bottle with a gasoline-soaked rug as a fuse. Similar is the fire bottle with mixture of gasoline and sulfuric acid. 
 Light bulbs can be booby trapped with explosives. Letter and parcel bombs can be made with friction-sensitive tabs.

3.3   Coup d’etat

Coups, like war, are one of the most violent tools of special services and one could be artificially staged in a target country by “feeding” and “pushing” the political opposition or by using VIP agents in the government. Most coups are “Bureaucratic,” and entail mainly a change of leader, usually by person #2. That person might be the trigger or might be induced to practice “passive sabotage” and allow certain others to take over.  It is also an example of political engineering. Coups usually use the power of the existing government for its own takeover.

  Conditions for a successful coup:
-the army is supportive or at least neutral (a coup usually involves control of some active
-portion of the military while neutralizing the remainder of the armed services)
-the leader is out of town (vacation, visit abroad) or is ill
-a political or economic crisis.
-opponents fail to dislodge the plotters, allowing them to consolidate their position, obtain  the surrender or acquiescence of the populace, and claim legitimacy

3.3.1  Military Coup

Changing a civilian government to a military one, usually in developing countries.
Conditions: a long-term political and economic crisis that threatens national security and the unity of the country. Military chief(s) eventually let the people elect a civilian president and form a civilian government after “re-construction” of political and economic systems. They usually leave for themselves the right to control further political process. A good example is the attempt of anti-Nazi officers to assassinate Hitler in a coup. On July 20, 1944, Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg brought a bomd-laden suitcase into a briefing room where Hitler was holding a meeting. The bomb exploded and several persons were killed. Hitler ws wounded, but his life was saved when the suitcase  was unwittingly moved away by  someone. Hitler was shielded from the blast by the conference table, leaving him with minor injuries. Subsequently about 5,000 people were arrested by the Gestapo and about 200,including Stauffenberg, were executed in connection with attempt, some on the very same day (which means that Himmler was involved and knew perfectly well about the coup).

3.3.2  “Democratic” Coup

A democratic coup would be a change of the government by the most aggressive (nationalistic) political party.
-artificial or actual government crisis
-mass anti-government propaganda
-organized “democratic” movement all over the country
-provoked mass protests (10,000 particiapants and up) and civil disobedience actions
 To provoke a mass anti-government meeting you have to bring to the place well-trained group of agitators (bring as many as you can), and they will inevitably attract an equal number of curious persons who seek adventures and emotions, as well as those unhappy with the government (unemployed people, young and old, are usually very supportive). Arrange transportation of the participants to take them to meeting places in private or public vehicles. Design placards, flags and banners with different  radical slogans or key words; prepare flyers,pamphlets (with instructions for the participants), posters and signs (to make the concentration more noticeable). It’s good if you place a surveillance team on the top floors of the nearby buildings  – they will report any changes in the event; have also messengers to transmit your orders.Remember, if you clash with police and military and a participant(s) is being killed, the conflict inflames right away.
 Your people can also infiltrate  the spontaneous anti-government meeting and turn it ito a mass radical demonstration with fights and incidents. Key agitators (with security attached to them) have to be dispersed and stand by placards, signs, lampposts; they have to avoid places of disturbances, once they have provoked them.
-the leader of the meeting must be protected by a ring of bodyguards (they protect him from police or help him to escape).
-government buildings  must be “covered” by a blockade
“Democratic” nationalistic coup in Ukraine (2004), so-called “orange revolution”. Scenario: acts of civil disobedience, strkes, sit-ins (in the central square), agressive propaganda, mass demands to revote the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election.

3.3.3 Revolution

A change of government and political and economic systems by political gangsters, usually fed, pushed, incited, and possibly funded and equipped by the secret services of another country. (Even the American Revolution would not have succeeded without French military advisors and financial support.) Government buildings are blockaded, the government isolated, all communications and transportation systems captured, government media closed, new government formed.
-political and economic crisis
-mass anti-government propaganda (in the army too)-provoked mass protests and civil disobedience actions -terror and urban guerillas

3.3.4 Self-coup

The current government assumes extraordinary powers not allowed by the legislation. It often happens when the president is democratically elected, but later takes control of the legislative and judicial powers.

The Pros and Cons of Using Bleach

We use bleach for a variety of different things. Bleach does everything from lightening hair to killing germs that are present in our kitchens and bathrooms. Although bleach is so helpful, it has also been linked with various health problems. Before you decide to utilize this chemical, you should look at the pros and cons of using bleach.

First, as mentioned above, bleach does a great job protecting you and your loved ones from germs and other microbes that can be hazardous to your health. Because bleach kills viruses as well as bacteria, it is a good all-purpose cleaner for “germy” areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Additionally, because bleach can be manufactured in a chlorine form, it is often added to pool water to kill amoebas and bacteria in the water to protect you as you swim.

Next, bleach is well-known as a whitener and brightener. For people wishing to turn their dark locks blonder, bleach strips your hair of its color so that it can be dyed any way you choose, or just left blonde. As well as hair, bleach strips color from clothing. Although pure bleach can damage your clothing fibers, when it is added as an ingredient to stain removers, it can be very effective at removing dark stains such as ketchup, wine, and grass. Now, laundry detergent manufacturers can combine bleach with other chemicals so that it brightens your whites without stripping your clothing of all its color.

On the other hand, bleach can be very harmful, especially when combined with other chemicals. If inhaled as a gas, bleach fumes can cause breathing problems, headaches, loss of consciousness, and nausea. Additionally, those with asthma and chronic bronchitis as well as other lung disorders should avoid these chemical fumes because it can worsen their condition.

If bleach is used with a product containing ammonia, such as some glass cleaners, it can form chlorine gas. Chlorine gas is so hazardous to your health that is was actually used as a weapon in chemical warfare during WWI and WWII. It irritates the linings of the eyes, throat, and lungs. Because it is heavier than oxygen, it can accumulate at lower levels. If you are using these products to clean your house, try not to have your head very low if you are scrubbing floors. Additionally, make sure that the area is well-ventilated.

Lastly, bleach can also irritate your skin. If you have noticed skin redness, rashes, and sensitivity after swimming in a pool, the bleach in the water could have caused these problems.

Your household products should warn you if they contain this toxic substance. While bleach can be helpful, you should know how to properly handle the substance as well as use it in moderation to protect your health. Sadly, sometimes product labels fail to warn consumers of the dangers that are associated with the product, such as bleach in toilet cleaners.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a product due to mislabeling, you should speak to an attorney about product liability. For more information, talk to a personal injury and product liability lawyer from the firm of Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C., today.

Pilates Helps Lessen Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause is a term that means you’ve had your last menstrual cycle or period. Typically age for this is between 48-55. Menopause can be accompanied by a number of physical changes and symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, joint pains, anxieties, irritabilities, depressions and sleep disturbances. Menopause and post menopause time are also risk of health problems such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

Many studies have shown that women who are physically active can lessen their menopause symptoms more than sedentary women. Some studies found also that weight gain after menopause is more likely in sedentary women than in women who maintain physically active lifestyle. Exercise appears to have a great influence on women’s total body fat and abdominal fat.  Abdominal fat storages are linked with heart disease and diabetes, so it’s important to keep your body fit and waist trimmed. Exercise has positive impact to your mood too and has been shown to be a helpful treatment of depression.

Pilates is a great exercise method for menopause. Pilates has been proven to improve quality of life for menopause women. Here are some of the benefits of Pilates method

  • Improves posture (less pain and aches, prevent arthritis)
  • Enhances pelvic floor muscles (prevents incontinence)
  • Increase spinal mobility (less back pain)
  • Improves muscle flexibility (maintains joints range of motion)
  • Enhances muscular strength, flexibility and endurance (less muscle mass loss per year, toned muscles boost your metabolism)
  • Decreases or prevent low back pain (core strength)
  • Makes you feel younger and more dynamic in your daily life (boosts energy) 
  • Improves bone density and joint health (prevents osteoporosis)
  • Improves lung capacity (active breathing technique is part of Pilates)
  • Relieves muscle tension (stretches your tight muscles)
  • Boosts self confidence and body image (body and mind connection)
  • Decreases mood swing (boosts energy and mood)

Long list but all this is true. Our bodies change with age but we have more control on it than we think. Pilates teaches you many valuable skills you can use in everyday life, giving you the feeling that you are really involved and helping you to enjoy your life by keeping your mind and body healthy.

Caught in a Stress Storm?

Imagine you’re on your way to meet friends at a bar. You’re late and stuck behind a slow-moving van when the entire street lurches into darkness. Suddenly that man crossing the street in front of you looks like a potential robber. The cars around you seem to be hemming you in. Everyone and everything appears dangerous. You’ve gone from slightly stressed to completely strung-out in an instant.

When you finally get to the bar, your friends are deep in conversation about blackouts, crime and their plans to leave the country. What should have been a light-hearted, fun-filled evening has turned into one riddled with anxiety.

It’s as though a cloud of dark heaviness is hanging above us right now. Most of us are unaware of the extent to which worrying issues are affecting us. But if a high level of stress continues over a long period, paralyzing feelings of being overwhelmed can set in.Many of us could be in the heart of what is termed as a ‘stress storm’. Have you ever been in the situation where, because of stress, you couldn’t remember the name of one of your own family members? Perhaps you’re stuck in a depression, or maybe you’ve accomplished something great but the next morning you don’t want to get out of bed because you’re so down.

These are indications that you are caught in a stress storm – a place filled with fear and confusion, where you’re no longer thinking rationally. If this sounds familiar, read on to understand better what’s happening to you – and how to get to grips with it.

Why are we so Stressed?

In the USA we have a set of stressors to contend with – high crime rates, rising costs of food and gas, and an economic situation in which retrenchments are increasingly common. These compound everyday stressors such as work, family conflicts and financial pressures. We don’t let our bodies or minds relax, and develop distorted perceptions about ourselves – for example, we may think we’re accepted only if we’re performing well.

When people are taxed on so many levels, their resilience rapidly erodes. Most people can deal with one stressful area in their lives – even two – but few people can function optimally when every area of their life is affected by instability and stress.

Stress Poisoning

Our bodies are built to handle stress in short, sharp bursts, but when there is no let-up, stress can in fact be toxic for our bodies. When we’re stressed, our adrenal glands pump out cortisol. This ‘stress hormone’ is preparing our muscles for the fight-or-flight response triggered when our lives are in danger. All energy is diverted from other functions, such as digestion, giving our bodies a burst of energy to ensure we can fight or flee if necessary. Modern stressors, however, such as traffic jams, don’t come and go quite as fast as, say, an attacking buffalo. Consequently, the cortisol and adrenaline that our stressors produce never leave our bodies – our lives are constantly turned to a high-alert setting.

On a physical level – which is where symptoms are easiest to detect and treat – stress may show up as migraines, headaches, muscle aches and pains, skin breakouts (acne, psoriasis, eczema) and stomach problems (including irritable bowel syndrome and constipation). Emotionally, we become more prone to outbursts of temper, mood swings and negativity. Mentally, we feel less able to cope. Our outlook becomes distorted and it becomes very difficult to keep our perspective. Highly stressed people become ‘reactive’. This means they react more to everything in their lives, from the lack of milk in the fridge to the geyser bursting. We become so overwhelmed that we literally get ‘beside ourselves’.

Living on Autopilot

Jane, 27, a fashion planner, knows this feeling all too well. While working in a high-pressure corporate fashion job reporting to a demanding boss, she was being pushed to work longer hours and perform tasks she didn’t feel prepared for.

‘As the pressure built up over about five months, I began feeling increasingly anxious. My short-term memory started to let me down and I would forget things I was meant to do. For example, I’d walk into a room and then go blank, forgetting why I was there. I felt confused all the time and began talking more slowly and slurred my words. I lost a lot of weight and at the height of my stress my right arm would get very tense and feel taut. It’s a scary place to be. It can feel as though you don’t know yourself – as though you’re having a mental meltdown.’

This feeling is not uncommon. Stressed people often describe themselves as being on autopilot – as though they’re participating in the show of their own life, but not starring. They’re overwhelmed and often feel clumsy, awkward and off-centre. They may forget names of people or even the names of simple, everyday objects. This is due to the prolonged periods of cortisol production, but also, because we’re trying to remember too many things.

High levels of stress can affect our relationships too. Some people, like Jane, are too tired to go out and socialize, and often feel they’re a burden on other people. ‘Friends tried to help,’ remembers Jane. ‘I’d lost a lot of weight so they could see I was in distress but they didn’t really know how to help other than telling me to chill out’.

Others may drink more to be more sociable or in an attempt to forget, so the glass of wine suddenly turns into a bottle of wine. According to research women could be more prone to developing stress-related addictions (such as cocaine addiction) than men. The good news, though, is that stress is our body’s way of telling us to do something. But what?

The suggestions below are a good start. Don’t knock them for sounding obvious – at least not till you’ve actually tried them.

Stress Busters

Gain Perspective

Understand that there are certain things in your life that you have control over and others that you don’t. If, for example, you are concerned about the political situation, vote. If you’re concerned about crime, join or start a neighborhood-watch program. Be proactive about things you can influence and let go of those you can’t.


At work, if you find yourself getting stressed or anxious, go somewhere quiet and concentrate on your breathing. Imagine your breathing is like waves breaking on a beach. Maintain a regular rhythm. Imagine you are breathing all the way down to your toes when you breathe in, and all the way back up again as you breathe out.

Eat Well

Don’t hand your power over to food and drink. That fatty hamburger isn’t going to release your stress. Rather ask, ‘What will this drink or food do to my body over the long term?’ Cut down on sugar. Sugar gives you a temporary lift followed by a downer. If you’re craving something sweet, try eating fruit or a handful of nuts. Drink lots of water. Stress tends to dehydrate the body. Keeping your body hydrated will lessen stress symptoms such as fatigue and headaches.

Exercise More

One of the most effective ways of dealing with stress is to exercise. Try to do some form of exercise at least three times a week for 30 to 60 minutes.

Develop a Positive Internal Dialogue

This is a powerful way to help ourselves when we’re stressed. We tend to feel anxious about things we have no control over (the future, other people), and most of what we fear never happens. Remain in the moment. If you start to stress about tomorrow, remind yourself that you can only live today – tomorrow does not yet exist.

Talk to a Professional

Jane consulted a psychologist, who helped her see that getting through her stress storm meant removing herself from her stressful job. ‘I took three months off, stayed home and just slept, watched TV and did nothing.’ She saw her psychologist for a few months and gradually became her old self again, but this time with the tools to recognize and avoid another stress storm.

Gymnastics Article – Simulate the Skills with Straight Arm Conditioning

We all know there are so many different coaching methods, training programs, and coaching personalities. Many gymnastics coaches successfully get their gymnasts stronger, but they do not need to adequately incorporate sport training into their programs. I have seen gymnasts benefit from the general strength exercises such as push ups, but when it comes time to perform certain skills the gymnast's muscles are not always prepared, accustomed to the sequence of movements for the skills, or strong enough in each position required to safely complete the skill.

Gymnasts really need a variety of training to include sport specific training coupled general strength conditioning in order to more closely simulate the skills in our sport. For example, many straight arms exercises such as the front lateral raise, press handstand, or planche drills more closely simulated gymnastics skills than bent arm exercises such as the push up, bench press, or reverse dips.

Here is one straight arm exercise that has helped many gymnasts strengthen their chest, shoulders, and back muscles, becoming stronger in two very important motions. Since the gymnast often has to be able to open and close the shoulder angle during skills on uneven bars, I have included a very useful exercise which incorporates both up and down movements. This one should help her learn to efficiently transition from one arm motion to the next with ease. Picture your gymnast performing a glide kip, cast handstand, clear hip handstand. She will have to reverse shoulder movements several times within this short period of time. Once you see the shoulder movements necessary to connect these skills you will see the reasons I had for incorporating two exercises into one drill more than a decade ago. This exercise actually alternates the motions of opening and then closing the shoulder angle.

Lie Down Cast / Kip Drill (Barbell / Toning Bar)

1. Spot your gymnast during this exercise. Give her full instructions before she begins the exercise.

2. Setting Up: Have your gymnast lie on her back between two folded panel mats with her arms above her head. Her head must remain between the mats, but her hands and wrists should go beyond the mats in order to allow the bar to near touch the floor after it is lifted over head for full range of motion.

3. The folded mats must be a few inches higher than your gymnast while she is lying between them for safety reasons. The bar must be long enough so that each end can rest on the center of one of the mats. The bar will be lifted from and returned to the mats without touching your gymnast. There should be enough clearance for your gymnast to slide in or out while the bar rests on the mats. Although you will be spotting your gymnast, the mats will also help prevent the bar from touching her. If one mat on each side is not high enough, please use two folded mats on each side. If the bar is brought down too quickly or falls, it should land on the mats, not your gymnast. This is a very safe exercise when the coach and gymnast keep safety in mind.

4. Once the mats are set up, place the bar on the mats and make sure it will not fall between the mats or roll off.

5. Starting Position: Once the mats and bar are in place, instruct your gymnast to sit between the mats, slide her legs under the bar, and then lie down. She should position herself so that the bar is above her hips.

6. Once positioned, allow your gymnast to grasp the bar and then straighten her arms. Instruct your gymnast to keep her arms straight, but not to lock them.

7. Be careful the bar does not shift to an unsafe starting position.

8. Next, instruct her to lift the bar up toward ceiling and then toward the floor above her head to simulate a cast to handstand motion with her upper body.

9. Remind your gymnast to continue to hold the bar securely and then allow her to lift the bar off the floor, toward ceiling again, and then lower it to the mat above her hips to simulate a kip with her upper body.

10. Allow your gymnast to continue with several repetitions if she is able. Inform her that it should be a continuous motion once she is comfortable.

11. Your gymnast will likely need more spot lifting the bar from the mat (the initiation phase) which involves the shoulders (deltoids) than she will on the return phase which involves the back (latissimus) muscles. Be prepared to spot all phases of this exercise. You can have one coach spot each portion. To spot the lift from the mat, kneel on one of the mats to help your gymnast lift off the mat. Kneel near her head to spot the lift from the floor. Make sure you can reach the bar, especially when it is above your gymnast's body.

12. Start with the lightest bar possible, maybe even a broomstick to ensure proper safety and form. Once accustomed to this exercise, your gymnast can use weights on a barbell or a toning bar, but it should always depend upon her strength and experience. If you are using a bar with no weights, you can wrap a thick towel around each end to help prevent your gymnast's knuckles from touching the floor.

The second exercise is more obvious. This one also helps the gymnast with specific gymnastics skills because it will be in and out of a handstand. The Planche – Virtual Handstand – Planche Drill is a great exercise for body tightness, control, upper body strength, and core strength. This drill is an appropriate exercise for gymnasts on so many levels, including those expected to perform the cast handstand and clear hip handstand on bars in the near future.

1. Instruct your gymnast to stand with her back to a spotting block or mat stack, place her hands on the floor, and then place one foot / ankle on the block. Once your gymnast has one foot / ankle on the block, she can then place her other foot / ankle up on the block.

2. Now your gymnast should be in an elevated push up position with her feet on the block. Your gymnast's legs, hips, and chest should remain off the floor through this exercise.

3. Now that your gymnast is in the elevated push up position, instruct her to move her hands closer to the spotting block and her shoulders forward in order to form a slight planche position.

4. Once your gymnast is in the plane position with her feet on the block, instruct her to squeeze her buttocks and then to pull her belly button in. You should see the lower portion of your gymnast's back elongate into the correct low back position for a handstand (pelvic tilt).

5. After your gymnast has formed the correct shape with her lower body, instruct her to push down on the floor and pull in her chest simultaneously. The portion of your gymnast's back between her shoulder blades should rise toward the ceiling. Your gymnast has just performed a protraction / shoulder shrag in the planche push up position. To help teach the shoulder shrag touch the portion of your gymnast's back that is between her shoulder blades and ask her to push up on your hand to form the round back.

6. Instruct your gymnast to hold that tight shape throughout the rest of the exercise.

7. To start the exercise, instruct your gymnast to lift one of her legs up toward the ceiling, but to keep her other foot / ankle on the block. Your gymnast's body, with the exception of the foot / ankle still supported on the block should have moved as one unit up to the single leg, or virtual, handstand. The leg that is pointed toward the ceiling should be the one forming the handstand shape along with the upper body.

8. Your gymnast's shoulders, hips, and one ankle should be directly above her hands while the other leg remains supported on the block. Inform your gymnast that her hips and shoulders should remain square with the block. Her buttocks should be under, belly in, hip opened, chest in, and shoulders in a shrug / stretched position. Remaining square and tight is not always easy for the gymnast.

9. Once your gymnast is in the correct single leg, or virtual, handstand position she can begin the return motion by slowly lowering her free leg back to the block and shifting her shoulders slightly forward so she returns to the planche push up position. Your gymnast's body should move as one unit to the starting position. Instruct your gymnast to keep her head in line with her spine, either tucked in nor tilted back.

10. Next, instruct your gymnast to return to the single leg, or virtual, handstand position by lifting her free leg back up above her hips so that she is vertical, with the exception of her supported leg. She must also open her armpits back up, and square her shoulders and hips with the block. Your gymnast must bring her shoulders and head into alignment for the correct handstand shape again. Instruct your gymnast to look at the floor just above her hands for the planche and then at the block for the handstand.

11. Once your gymnast understands the motion of the virtual handstand to planche and back to the handstand, ask her to complete a few repetitions before stopping if she is able.

12. Inform your gymnast not to planche too far forward until she builds strength and becomes very comfortable so she does not collapse.

13. You must also inform your gymnast to communicate when she is fatigued so that you can allow her to rest. This exercise puts tremendous pressure on your gymnast's wrists. You should allow her to rest when she communicates that her wrists are getting tired.

This exercise, when performed correctly, closely simulates the shoulder movements of the cast handstand and clear hip handstand on uneven bars. You can use a floor bar as long as the floor bar is stable.

The constant change in shoulder angle causes a change in the demand on your gymnast's upper body muscles. Your gymnast should develop strength in a wide range of positions after performing this drill frequently and consistently over the course of time.

As you can see, these exercises are so much different from push ups because of the straight arm training which so closely simulates gymnastics skills. Your gymnast's entire upper body will be challenged with this exercise. If performed frequently and consistently this drill should help tremendously with overall upper body strength in addition to specific gymnastics skills.

Although the push up and bench press are great exercises, they do not really simulate the gymnastics skills of female gymnasts. Gymnastics skills must be simulated in a safe manner in order to train a gymnast's mind and body to perform gymnastics skills safely and efficiently.

Karen M. Goeller


10 Abdominal Exercise Substitutions

Today, you’re going to discover the six-pack abs approved abdominal exercise substitution list AND 1 exercise you should never do.

Please print this exercise substitution list out and email it to your friends. Heck, you could even post it at your gym.

HERE WE GO – starting with the 1 exercise NEVER to do…

Now yesterday I told you about how I saw a trainer put his client through a BACK-DESTROYING exercise, and here’s what it was:

The exercise was weighted Stability Ball Crunches – but there were not normal crunches on the ball that you see people do. No way.

You see, not only did the client do a full-on sit-up motion, but she kept going – violently – into a total body flexion movement that ended with her almost putting her head between her knees.

But doing any type of spinal flexion can be harmful to your low back because this will compress the disks in your spine.

In fact, Dr. Stuart McGill, the world’s expert on low-back injuries and abdominal training, said in a recent New York Times article, “…no sit-ups, they place devastating loads on the disks.”

The disks in your spine are the same disks that get herniated in low back injury. And moves like sit-ups essentially CRUSH the disks between the bones in your spine, causing terrible pain and nerve damage.

So STOP doing crunches and sit-ups!

Fortunately, you can still get six-pack abs and a flat, sexy stomach by using back-friendly ab exercises instead.

So let’s review a huge list of abdominal exercise substitutions:

1) Replace crunches with:

Planks, mountain climbers, and stability ball jackknives

2) Replace cross-crunches (i.e. twisting or oblique crunches) with:

Side planks and cross-body mountain climbers

3) Replace sit-ups with:

Stability ball jackknives, stability ball planks, stability ball pikes, stability ball rollouts, and hanging knee raises

Now let’s take a look at how we can make some of these back-friendly ab exercises even harder for your abs:

1) How to increase the difficulty of the Plank

First of all, before you move on from the plank, you have to master it.

Dr. McGill says that we should all be able to do a plank for 2 minutes straight.

Now I’ll be honest, I let myself go on this exercise last summer, and not surprisingly, it was probably one of the reasons I had back pain.

At one point, I was only able to do a strict plank for 75 seconds, but I’ve worked my way back up over 135 seconds, and now my back pain is gone.

You can also do pushup-planks, as those will help prepare you for pushups if you are a beginner.

Eventually you will graduate to the Stability Ball Plank, which is 30% harder for your abs than regular planks.

2) Harder versions of the Side Plank

Advanced versions include the Side Plank with Leg Raise and Side Plank with DB Lateral Raise (allowing you to train your shoulders at the same time). Dr. McGill adds that we should be able to do aside plank for 90 seconds straight.

3) Mountain Climbers substitutions

You can use the Spiderman Climb exercise as a replacement, and this is excellent for lower-body and hip mobility.

A harder version of mountain climbers is the Cross-Body Mountain Climber, and you can also do mountain climbers with your hands on the ball or with your hands on the floor and feet on the ball.

One of my favorite advanced versions is the “Hands on the Floor, Feet on the Ball Cross-body Mountain Climber” or even the “EXTREME X-Body Mountain Climber”.

Stability Ball NOTE

If you don’t have a ball, you need to get one. They are cheap, and I’m not asking you to do any dangerous circus tricks on them!

But if you don’t have a ball, you can replace the Stability Ball Plank with the Mountain Climber exercise, but it will not be as difficult.

4) How to increase the difficulty of the Stability Ball Jackknife

Eventually you’ll progress to the Stability Ball Pike. And another way to do this exercise is using the TRX straps. That is one of the exercises that gets improved by the TRX. Very effective movement. But even with the ball you can step up your training by using this exercise.

5) The Stability Ball Pike

This is another exercise improved by using the TRX, as well as a cool toy I bought called the Power Wheel. The key to the exercise is raising your hips up as high as possible, and again, using the Power Wheel or TRX allows you to do that better.

6) Alternatives for the Stability Ball Rollout

If you are new to this exercise, you can use a modified Roll-out that is easier.

Plus, you can substitute an ab wheel in place of the ball or you can even use the TRX in a similar type of movement. It works because you are fighting the extension of your torso.

Stretch your abs on the way out, and contract your abs to return to the starting position. This movement will leave your abs quite sore if it is a new exercise for you!

7) Additional Advanced Abs Exercises

Once you’ve dominated all of these Stability Ball exercises, you can move to traditional advanced ab exercises of of Hanging Knee Ups and Hanging Leg Raises.

However, you should only do these exercises if you can fully ELIMINATE momentum from the exercise. Do NOT swing your hips or rock back and forth.

8) Pushups That Workout Your Abs

You should also understand that a LOT of traditional exercises work your abs and slight variations of traditional moves can work your abs very hard.

For example, some of the best pushups for abs include:

* Elevated Pushups

* T-Pushup

* Spiderman Pushups

* Decline Spiderman Pushups

You’ll get all of these in six pack abs home workouts, of course.

9) Pulling Exercises that work your abs

Back in the day, I trained a fit woman who had never been asked to do a chin-up by her previous trainers. So I had her do 2-3 sets of 3-5 repetitions.

She came back the next session and couldn’t believe how sore her abs were from this exercise. So again, you will get a lot of ab work from traditional movements. In addition to the chin-up, here are my favorite “total body pulling muscle ab exercises”.

* DB Renegade Row

* Pullups

* Chinups/Pullups with kneeups

* Spiderman Pullups

Use those to make your workouts more efficient.

10) Shoulder/Arm Exercises

YES, you can use shoulder and arm exercises to work your abs. Any time you do a standing exercise, you’ll need to brace your abs HARD in order to maintain a stiff torso. That works your abs as hard as planks and side planks.

Plus, in the triceps extension exercise, you are stretching your abs as you lower the weight and contracting your abs as you contract your triceps to return the dumbbells or bar to the start position. I’ve had super-sore abs just from doing triceps!

So here are my favorite upper body exercises for abs:

* 1-Arm Press

* 1-Arm Curl

* DB Triceps Extension

Hope you enjoyed that massive list of ab exercise substitutions!

Just say NO to crunches!

Toxic Alopecia; Possible Treatments that Exist

Toxic alopecia is a form of hair loss that occurs as a result of fever that can be caused by the following;

  • High fever as a result of sickness such as malaria
  • Severe poisoning by heavy metal
  • Hyperthyroidism and other endocrinopathies
  • Crash diets
  • Certain medicines (chemotherapy) e.g. thallium and vitamin supplements

Diagnosis of this kind of alopecia follows some laboratory tests to determine the root cause of alopecia. Once the cause of this alopecia has been determined the following options for baldness may be recommended depending on the extant of alopecia.

Patients that have alopecia as a result of fever caused by illness can first be treated for the illness using drugs that are specific to the disease. Once the disease has passed including all its symptoms, the patient can now be treated for hair loss using minoxidil and anthralin topical creams. The 5% concentration minoxidil topical cream can be used to treat even severe hair loss (up to 90% hair loss on the scalp). Anthralin is a topical cream that is available in 0.1; 0.25; 0.5 and 1%. Anthralin is to be applied to the scalp and washed off after about five minutes. Time of stay on the scalp can gradually be increased with number of applications up to a maximum of an hour. Anthralin application is done once a day.

In certain cases, such as when alopecia is caused by an overdose of vitamins as well as other drugs, it is recommended that the patients first be detoxified. When all toxic levels of the drug are removed, they can then be treated for hair loss. It is however, more advised that their body be given a rest so it would not be wise to administer to them some oral hair treatment drugs. It is therefore ideal that they are given hair treatment formulas like Revivogen. Revivogen is made from all natural ingredients. Revivogen exists in the form of shampoos that can boost hair growth. The advantage is that Revivogen has no side effects, so patients will not suffer any further stress that may cause further hair loss.

In other chronic conditions such as cancer, where the chemotherapy used to treat the disease can cause severe hair loss, other hair treatment procedures such as hair transplanting and low intensity laser therapy may also be considered. After chemotherapy, normal growth of hair is supposed to start. In some cases, that will not happen. This may be due to some follicles that would have been completely destroyed. In such cases, hair transplant therapy may be the possible solution. A hair transplant will introduce active hair follicles into the regions that have no hair growth. If the hair follicles are not dead but have just become dormant, they can be stimulated back into production by a low level laser intensity. This therapy is very effective and it is known to revive dormant hair follicles back into production by over 90%. So, do not let toxic alopecia ruin your looks, for it can be treated.

Collecting Wrestling Action Figures

If you are a wrestling fan, then you probably enjoy collecting memorabilia that is associated with your favorite sport of superstar. Everything from t-shirts and books to trading cards are available, but perhaps the most popular is that of action figures. The reason is because these small collectibles bare the resemblance of a wrestling superstar and take up very little space in the display case. In addition, when they are first released, wrestling action figures are very inexpensive.

As the years progress, wrestling action figures can significantly increase in value. As a general rule, anything that is left in it’s original packaging is more valuable because, you guessed it, most people take them out and play with them. Action figures are very popular among children, which is why it is so often difficult to find a specific wrestling action figure in it’s original packaging. In addition, collectibles that are kept in mint/near mint condition inevitably increase in value much more than something that has visible scratches or other defects.

If you are a collector who is also purchasing wrestling action figures for investment, it’s not a bad idea to buy two of each item. With this approach, you will have one wrestling action figure for the display and one that you can keep in it’s original packaging for investment. If you are thinking like an investor, then you already know that any collectible that is produced in a limited edition will prove to be the most valuable in years to come. Additionally, those limited edition pieces are often higher in value if they have a low serial number. For instance, if there were to be 5,000 wrestling action figures produced of a certain superstar, the ones that may prove to gain in value the most could very well be those with the lowest number in that edition. An example would be 10/5,000 or 100/5,000. As a general rule, the closer you can get to the first collectible made, the more valuable your object becomes.

There is no shortage of ways to find wrestling action figures, with the newest releases being made widely available at most retail stores. The more rare collectibles will often be found in a sports collectibles store or at an annual memorabilia show. If you opt for the latter, be ready to shuck out some bucks if you plan to shop because show dealers are knowledgeable in the products that they sell and they aren’t likely to be offering a bargain. It is significantly expensive to set up a booth at a memorabilia show, so dealers tend to bring their top dollar merchandise for just such an occasion.

The internet is a virtual haven for all things collectible, including wrestling action figures. If you are looking for a rarity or just browsing for a mini replica of your favorite wrestling superstar, you are more likely to find it online than anywhere else. With a world of retailers, there really is no other place to shop that offers a better selection. If you want to be the one to set the price, check out the online auction sites and see if you can snag a bargain.

New York Personal Injury & No-Fault FAQ

Every personal injury claim is different and there are no guarantees. Below are rough answers to some questions we hear frequently about personal injury. Further below is a specific FAQ on No-Fault in New York.

Personal Injury FAQ

Q: How much do lawyers charge?

A: For most personal injury claims, there is no fee unless you collect. Most lawyers in New York charge a one-third contingency fee. When the claim is resolved, the lawyer gets reimbursed for expenses out of the award. Next the lawyer takes the one-third fee. For example, if a claim settles for $35,000, and the lawyer has $2000 in expenses, the fee is $11,000 (1/3 of $33,000). The client would get $22,000.

Q: Does the lawyer always pay the expenses up front?

A: Usually, but not always. There are two major situations where we don’t. First, some personal injury claims are not very strong, but we might still be willing to work on a contingency fee basis. In such claims, we will tell the client that they will have to pay the expenses. The other situation is when there is a good offer and the client refuses to accept it against our advice. In these lawsuits we require the client to cover all future expenses.

Q: What are typical expenses in a personal injury lawsuit?

A: In New York personal injury lawsuits, filing fees usually total less than $500. Deposition transcripts also usually total less than $500. The biggest expense is when a lawsuit goes to trial and we have to pay doctors and other experts to testify. We have paid anywhere from $300 to $7500 for a doctor’s testimony, and some doctors charge as much as $5000. Other expenses include process servers, investigations, medical records, and meals. In some cases you may need other experts. In one big case we spent about $10K on an accident reconstructionist. The other side spent about $40K on theirs.

Q: What is the process?

A: First most lawyers negotiate with the insurance company. If negotiations are unproductive, the lawyer files a lawsuit. For a few months the lawyers exchange paperwork with the insurance company attorneys. Next come depositions, where they question the plaintiff client and the plaintiff lawyer questions theirs. Then the insurance company might have the plaintiff examined by their doctor in what’s known as an IME – Independent Medical Examination. Plaintiff lawyers prefer to call this a Defense Medical Examination. Last is trial. A lawsuit might settle at any point along the way, even while the jury is deliberating.

After a trial the losing side can appeal. Sometimes even the winner can appeal. Cases sometimes settle during the appeal process.

No-Fault FAQ

When you are hurt in an automobile accident in New York State, No-Fault insurance can help with many of your costs. The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) will help you to understand when and how No-Fault pays, what it pays for, and what you have to do.

Q: Am I eligible for No-Fault benefits?

A: You are eligible to receive No-Fault benefits in New York State if:

1. You are injured in an automobile accident;

2. You are a pedestrian struck by a car or motorcycle;

3. You are hurt during the use, operation or maintenance of a motor vehicle unless you are injured in the course of the business of repairing or maintaining a vehicle.

*** Motorcycle drivers and their passengers are not eligible for No-Fault benefits.

Q: What do I do first?

A: Submit your medical expenses and lost wages. Forms for No-Fault and New York State Disability income benefits are provided by the No-Fault carrier (the insurance company that insured the car you were in or struck by at the time of the accident). To begin the process, you have to submit paperwork to that carrier. Failure to file in a timely manner may result in a denial of benefits. We recommend submitting this information as quickly as possible, and we can help with the process.

Q: What information will I need to submit?

A: You will be asked to list all medical providers and facilities that are treating you. The No-Fault carrier will send forms to your doctors. Most will submit their bills directly to the carrier. You should also list your employer(s), and any other related expenses.

Q: What if I go to a new doctor for treatment?

A: Give the new doctor the name and address of the No-Fault carrier so that they too can submit their bills for payment by the carrier. Once your application has been filed, the No-Fault carrier assumes responsibility for the medical bills resulting from the accident.

You must also list your employer on the application for No-Fault benefits so that any lost wages you incur as a result of the accident can be recovered.

Q: What if my child is hurt in an accident?

A: In New York State, if a minor (someone under the age of eighteen) receives medical treatment as a result of an automobile accident, the parent or guardian is legally responsible for those medical bills. Thus, the parent or guardian must forward the minor’s medical bills to the No-Fault insurance carrier, just as they would their own. Again, the No-Fault application must be timely filed, or benefits may be denied.

Q: Besides medical bills, what other costs can I recover through No-Fault?

A: In New York State, you may be reimbursed by the No-Fault carrier for the cost of lost wages, prescriptions, travel expenses for medical treatment, and household help while you are recovering from your injuries – including costs of child care while you visit medical providers. To get reimbursed for these expenses, you must submit them to No-Fault. We recommend submitting expenses immediately.

Cider Making Process

Cider for me is the best alcoholic beverage, from when I was sipping a shared bottle of white lightning in the local park (we've all done it) to enjoying a cold one at the pub during the summer months it always had the same refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating effect. My appreciation of this beverage has lasted year after year, so this article will hope to enlighten you just a bit more on what is cider, how cider is produced, and what is the best cider. I hope it's useful.

Cider is a renowned drink through the United Kingdom and Ireland; it comes in a range of forms from the traditional dry cider to the sweet cider, which allows it to be enjoyed by a whole range of individuals.

Most apples grown are suitable for cider making, though in a region like Kent cider-makers prefer to use a mixture of eating and cider apples or just cider apples if you are in the West Country.

On collection of these apples they are immediately grounded down in to what is known as a pomace or pommage. This process back in the day would of been undertaken at cider mills by hand or using either water or horse power. These days most cider presses are electrical, with the whole process looking to ensure the pomace is only exposed to air for a limited amount of time.

After this the all important fermentation process takes place, this is done at a temperature of 4-16 degrees C, which is low for most fermentations but is beneficial to cider at this temperature. Before the fermentation process consumes all the sugar, the cider is moved to a new vat, leaving dead yeast cells and any other undesirable materials at the bottom of the old vat.

Finally the last stage of fermentation creates a small amount of carbonation, which can be enhanced by adding some extra sugar. After a three month fermentation period the cider is ready to drink, but it is commonplace to leave it in vats for up to two years.

They are then removed from the vats and bottled. In some larger-scale cider production they have ciders produced from different varieties of apple, which in this case the cider may be blended to accord with market taste. When the cider is bottled usually some extra sugar is added for sparkle. Cider bottles are normally used but some home brewers use beer bottles, which work well and are inexpensive.

The West- Country is known as a leading cider producing region and one of the best (in my opinion). The majority of ciders in this part of the United Kingdom are known as Scrumpy which is a local term for small or withheld apple. They are over 25 Cider produces in Somerset and then following is Cornwall who is another big Cider county for the West Country.

In Cornwall there is a range of traditional ciders such as the previous mention Scrumpy Cider which is a strong cyder that can be bought medium dry and medium sweet at 7.4% alcohol volume.

Recently a new Cider has started becoming popular across the UK. The beverage that I speak of is the Cornish Rattler. This cider was originally only available in draft format, but after requests from numerous customers they have now bottled it. Made to be different in taste and appearance, this cloudy Cornish cyder is 6% ABV and sparkling. It was voted Best Bottled Cider at ciderfestivals.co.uk 2008. If I was to recommend you try any Cider it would be the Cornish Rattler, I feel its taste retains the original Cider taste but then adds certain delicate sweetness which is not sickly and compliments the original cider taste well.

So with Rattler now available in your local retailers I would recommend you go and check it out, if you like cider you will not be disappointed.

Bluetooth Headphones Tips – Prolonging Li-Ion Battery Life

Many Bluetooth headphones use the lithium-ion type of rechargeable battery. It is actually the most popular type of rechargeable battery not just among Bluetooth headsets but also for other electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones.

One main reason that Li-ion (lithium-ion) batteries are the favorite battery type of a lot of Bluetooth headphones is that these kinds of batteries have a bigger energy storage capacity. What this means is that Li-ion batteries have a greater energy-to-material ratio than the other kinds, such as nickel metal hydride (NiMH) or nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries. For the same amount of nickel or nickel-cadmium, the lithium-ion battery can hold more power.

The second main reason is that Li-on batteries do not degrade in performance even if you repower them while they are not completely depleted of stored power. Unlike other batteries, the Li-ion battery does not show the so-called memory effect. It also has stronger resistance to severe temperatures and does not self-discharge as fast as the other types when it is in storage.

Much as everyone would like Li-ion batteries to be eternal, the fact is that they have a limited life. When used appropriately and cared for, they can actually provide your Bluetooth headsets with power up to about three years. The key here is in knowing how to make your Bluetooth earphones’ Li-ion battery packs reach their optimal life span. Here are a few tips.

Do not completely empty your battery of power. Li-ion batteries actually do not need to be fully empty before you need to recharge them. As a matter of fact, you will decrease the life span of your batteries if you frequently let them go empty first before recharging them. However, it is also healthy to completely discharge your Li-ion battery from time to time, say, after every 25 or 30 partial recharge cycles.

Never subject your Li-on battery to high temperature when you recharge them. Not only will the heat be a safety risk but will also shorten your battery’s life and energy capacity.

If you are intending to leave your Bluetooth headsets unused for some time, you should make sure that the batteries are at least half-charged. Also, never leave the battery inside your Bluetooth earphones if you won’t be using the devices for a long period. If you do, the active material may leak out and corrode and damage your unit. Store the batteries in a cool place. Even the refrigerator will do, but never the freezer.

These practical tips are easy to remember. If you keep them in mind and follow them, you can be sure that your Li-ion battery for your Bluetooth headphones will last up to its maximum lifespan.

Chemistry – Matter and the Divisions of Matter

Matter is all the stuff around you.  It is the food you eat, the air you breathe and the clothes you wear. Even you are made-up of matter. Therefore, you need to know the different types, forms and properties of matter.

Matter is anything that has mass and volume. Mass is the amount of inertia in matter and the volume is the amount of space occupied by matter. Inertia is the resistance to change and the greater the inertia the greater the mass.


Many times matter is divided into two categories: pure substances and mixtures.  It is important that you can distinguish one form of matter from another so that you can describe the changes you observe.

Pure substances consist of one material with a definite composition and definite properties.  Pure substances are divided into two groups: elements and compounds. 

Elements are the simplest forms of chemical substances and cannot be broken down by ordinary chemical means.  Examples would be hydrogen (H), sulfur (S) or gold (Au).  The simplest form of an element is an atom.

Compounds are chemical combinations of elements that can be described with a chemical formula and can only be separated by chemical means.  Examples of compounds are water, sugar and salt.  The simplest forms of a compound are molecules or formula units.


Mixtures are all around you.  A salad is a mixture of vegetables, a glass of soda is a mixture of water, sugar and flavoring and air is a mixture of gases like nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Mixtures are physical combinations of two or more substances with varying compositions, varying properties and can be separated by ordinary physical processes.  Usually, mixtures are divided into two main groups: those that are homogeneous and those that are heterogeneous.

Homogenous mixtures are the same throughout and do not separate into phases when left alone. Many homogeneous mixtures are solutions that consist of a solute and a solvent. The solute is the material that dissolves and the solvent is the material that causes the dissolving. Solutions are completely dissolved and see through. 

An alloy is a solution of two or more elements, at least one of which is a metal, where the resulting material has metallic properties. Alloys are usually made to improve on the properties of the elements that make them up. Steel for example, is much stronger than iron, which is its main component.

Heterogeneous mixtures have no definite composition and separate into phases when left alone. Heterogeneous mixtures can be separated by ordinary physical means. Examples of heterogeneous mixtures are blood, Italian salad dressing and soda pop.

 Another type of mixture is a colloid. A colloid is a suspension that doesn’t separate because the particles aren’t completely dissolved and remain suspended causing the mixture to appear cloudy. This cloudiness, called the Tyndall effect, is due to the scattering of light by the suspended particles.

A solution does not scatter light because the particles are at the molecular level and way too small to reflect light.  However, the colloidal particles are large enough to reflect light and yet small enough not to settle.  The scattering of light from automobile head-lights in fog and of a light beam by dust particles are examples of the Tyndall effect.

Colloids are formed from all combinations of solids, liquids or gases (except mixtures of non-reacting gases which are true solutions). Aerosols, foams, emulsions and sols are different types of colloids. Examples of colloids are shaving cream, whipped cream and gelatin.

Striking The Superb Figure Of The Morgan Horse

Justin Morgan was a teacher, composer, businessman, and horseman who acquired a small rough-coated bay colt of relatively unknown lineage who was born in 1789 and named him Figure. He was a rather unremarkable horse that nobody wanted because he was too small, yet he became the foundation of an entire breed of horses recognized for quality and dependability.

The ancestry of the colt name Figure who founded the Morgan breed is unknown, but is thought to be of Dutch, Thoroughbred, or Arabian breeding. History’s best guess is that his sire was True Briton, who was respected for his excellence and who sired quality horses. His unnamed dam was described as being of the “Wild-air breed” with her sire being a son of Church’s Wildair by Wildair (Delancey’s) out of a mare named Wildair.

There is quite an in-depth history and many stories about this particular little horse, including a Disney movie in 1972 “Justin Morgan Had a Horse” that was based on a book of the same name. Figure’s ability to out walk, out trot, outrun, and out pull other horses was legendary. For example, it is said that he pulled a log that no draft horse could budge, and that he outran the most winning racehorse central Vermont had ever known. From these anecdotes came the Morgan Horse owners’ claim that “this horse can do anything”, and apparently the breed does. Whatever equine discipline you can think of, the Morgan Horse will be found to be a part of it and likely excelling in it. Even when harness racing was popular in the1800’s, the world’s fastest trotting stallion was Ethan Allen 50, Justin Morgan’s great-grandson.

After Justin Morgan’s death, Figure was passed on to new owners and in the tradition of the times, he became known by his former owner’s name, Justin Morgan. He spent his life working on farms, hauling freight, and as a parade mount at militia trainings. Over a period of 30 years, the little horse remained sound in limb, stamina and sight, throughout a lifetime of two ordinary horses. He also had showy, ground-covering gaits with speed to spare at any one of them and was an extremely gentle horse around children.

Justin Morgan’s most valuable asset was the prepotency of his genes. No matter what type of mare he was bred to, draft or light racing horse, his offspring inherited his image, his abilities and his distinguishing characteristics. And not only his offspring inherited the traits, but the prepotency also went through several generations. Today, every registered Morgan Horse traces back to Justin Morgan through his most famous sons Woodbury, Bulrush, and Sherman. Sadly, the little Justin Morgan died in 1821 from an untreated kick received from another horse, so his true longevity was never realized.

Morgan Horses were used as cavalry mounts and artillery horses. They were sensible under fire; could march tirelessly all day; could maintain their condition on unpredictable rations; and were loyal to their riders. The only survivor in the Battle of Little Big Horn was Keogh’s Morgan-bred horse, Comanche. The First Vermont Cavalry was mounted entirely on Morgan Horses but of their more than 1200 horses, only 200 survived the war and in 1894, the first volume of the American Morgan Horse Register was published by Colonel Joseph Battell.

The American Morgan Horse Farm was established in Weybridge, Vermont in 1907, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the breeding and preservation of the Morgan horse. But it was not until 1909 that the Morgan Horse Club (MHC) was formed at the Vermont State Fair. In 1921, the MHC presented the Justin Morgan statue to the U.S. Morgan Horse Farm on the 100th anniversary of the death of Justin Morgan, and it is still exhibited there today.

The Morgan Horse ranges from 14.1 to 15.2 hands high with some individuals that are taller or shorter. They come in wide variety of colors, from bay, brown and black to silver dapple, roan, palomino, buckskin, dun, grulla, cremello, perlino, smoky cream, gray, flaxen, sabino, splashed white, and others.

The head is expressive with a broad forehead, large prominent eyes and a straight or slightly dished short face. The ears are short and shapely, set rather wide apart and carried alertly with mares having slightly longer ears. The throatlatch is deeper than other breeds. The neck is slightly arched with the top line of the neck being considerably longer than the bottom line and the stallion has more of a crest. The body of the Morgan Horse is compact with a short back and high-set tail that is carried gracefully and straight. The feet are in proportion to the size of the horse.

The Morgan Horse is distinctive for its stamina and vigor, personality and eagerness and strong natural way of moving. The Morgan walk is rapid, flat-footed, and has a four-beat elastic cadence with the accent on flexion in the pastern while the trot of the Morgan is a two-beat, diagonal gait that is animated, elastic, square and collected with the rear action in balance with the front action. The overall impression is a unique combination of draft-like substance, Arabian-like heads with a Saddlebred-like elegance.

The Morgan Horse is considered to be the oldest of all American breeds and was strong enough to contribute greatly to almost every other American light horse breed while retaining its own identity across two centuries. The American Saddlebred, the Quarter Horse, the English Hackney, the American Standardbred, and the Tennessee Walking Horse, among others, all owe much to the Morgan Horses in their own ancestry.

The Biggest Danger for Earth – The Hercolubus (Planet X) Inbound

Insiders from NASA, DoD national military intelligence, SETI, and the CIA speculate 2/3 of the population of the planet could perish during the coming pole-shift caused by the passage of Hercolubus (Planet X). Another 2/3 of those that survive initially could pass away to starvation and exposure to the elements within 6 months.

Most every secretive government agency in the USA is fully aware of what is expected and are readying themselves. The Vatican is fully abreast of what is expected. The public is not being warned and given their chance to prepare.

The volume of leaks from insiders, observatories, and the Vatican is bursting the dam of this disclosure wide open. The most important story on earth in over 3000 years is fast breaking loose from being held back by the controllers of the financial markets and major media for fear of panic and financial collapse.

These controllers put money in higher regard than people. The public can be given a chance to prepare by being informed. Our planet could very well be about to go through massive regular earth changes once again as a result of the passage of Hercolubus through our immediate solar system.

Many areas are now getting a minor preview of these events now because of the plasmatic electromagnetic connection between the planets. They are experiencing unusual weather, storms, volcanism, and seismic activity.

Hercolubus orbits between our sun and its dark twin. A diagram from the 1987-1989 NEW ILLUSTRATED SCIENCE & INVENTION ENCYCLOPEDIA in volume 18 under Space Probes shows our dead twin sun & the 10th planet.

It shows one of the more amusing pieces of evidence for the existence of Hercolubus is a picture from the 1987 New Science and Invention Encyclopedia. In a section on space probes, the encyclopedia shows the paths of the 2 Pioneer probes and illustrates how the probes were used in the search for more planets. It shows the Earth, the Sun, a dead star (at 50 billion miles or 538 AU) and a tenth planet (Hercolubus) (at 4.7 billion miles or 50 AU).

Zecharia Sitchin, the world renowned scholar and archaeologist, does indicate on occasion his knowledge of the return of Nibiru “AT THIS TIME”! To be too public about it, would perhaps prove dangerous because of his weight in the scientific community.

Sitchin also states absolutely & openly: “When Planet X (Hercolubus) returns, it would remove 90% of currently unsatisfactory human beings from the planet!”

A group of scientists in Russia, held several meetings in the year 2000 to discuss the inbound planet, discovered from one of their largest observatories. A 66 year old professor and physicist let it be known that he attended this meeting. This led to the infamous “2003 Problem” from a Reuters news service wire on Sept.13th, 2000. Top Russian government officials called for a commission to study the problem which was said to expect to cause “a string of calamities and a massive population shrinkage.” They openly wondered whether Russia would still even exist as a country afterward.

Andrei Shukshin, said: “What we do know is that Hercolubus (Planet X) is inbound now. Because of the comets tail drag, this factor keeps varying the speed and thus the time of passage can’t be calculated accurately”.

A large observatory in St. Petersburg, Russia admit they have been watching Hercolubus (Planet X) for 3 years and are worried about the substantial damage it may cause to Earth during its passage. The name they gave for Hercolubus was “Raja Sun” or “Great Star”.

A local observatory on Victoria Island, Canada, admits that they have seen Hercolubus but they do not want to speak about the damage it could cause with its passage.

Insiders in NASA & the military privately confirm that many of them are quietly contracting out the building of dome-homes (strongest structure known to man) in the upper USA (one of the said safest areas). These domes can withstand hurricane force winds and earthquakes. If these domes are built in the rolling hills or foothills, well away from the shorelines, major population centers, and flat plains (that are expected to flood with the constant rain and melting poles), they think the chances of survival are good.

But really that is not a safe shelter; the only possibility to survive to the arrival of Hercolubus (Planet X) is to have a minimum conscience level that allows you to pass to the next mankind without contaminate them.

Trusting the pentagon and the government to guard itself & relay needed information to protect you is clearly illogical. Hercolubus is Planet X, Nibiru, Wormwood, or THE MOST REVERED HEAVENLY BODY IN ALL ANTIQUITY. After 3660 years on its regular orbit, our 10th planet will pass again. Hercolubus’s effects on Earth, from prior passings, are recorded in ancient texts and in THE SCIENCE OF GEOLOGY & ARCHEOLOGY.

There are 50 names for Planet X. “The Destroyer” is the latest name from New Zealand.


Father Malachi Martin worked in and around the highest echelons of the Catholic Church, had an ear to the pope, and held 3 doctorates. He explained in 1997 that the celestial body approaching us will cause millions to perish during its passage in 5-10 years. He said to look to the skies for a sign of impending doom. The sign will be in the form of a cross and everyone will see it. (Hercolubus is said to look like a red cross in the sky when it first appears)

Also, Malachi Martin has read the “Third Secret of Fatima”, which he would not talk about it with Art Bell on the air. Art did ask him, “Would millions of people perish?” Malachi replied, “It is worse than that, it is worse than you can imagine”.

The Vatican actually owns its’ own telescope named VATT (Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope) which is operated out of the Mt. Graham Observatory, located in SE Arizona.

The purpose for Mt. Graham International Observatory is explained in an interview with Art Bell. The actual time of the clip is April 5th, 1997 at 4:30AM PST. The complete broadcast begins Friday, April 4th, 1997 at 10 PM PST.

Father Malachi Martin’s background: Eminent theologian, expert on the Catholic Church, former Jesuit and professor at the Vatican’s Pontifical Biblical Institute. He was trained in theology at Louvain. There he received his doctorates in Semitic Languages, Archaeology and Oriental History. He subsequently studied at Oxford and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

From 1958 to 1964 he served in Rome, where he was a close associate of the renowned Jesuit Cardinal Augustin Bea and Pope John XXIII. Martin passed away late 1999. Some believe his death was a result of his open disclosures of the inbound planet and that the Vatican did not want to reveal that Wormwood (Biblical name for Hercolubus) was also tied to the “Third Secret of Fatima”.

It seems that the Catholic Church sponsors and engages in scientific studies and not just to prove biblical history.

As of late there’s been a rash of observatories that have closed their doors for various reasons or have been destroyed. Many will simply not point their equipment for anyone in the direction of the Orion constellation if they do remain open. Some will give an excuse that there is some sort of obstruction in the way or equipment failure.

All at once, renovations are their favorite excuse. Griffith Observatory is the latest of a handful of the nation’s oldest planetariums to undergo major renovations in recent years. Others include the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago and the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York. Coincidental or not, there are other observatories in various countries doing the same thing at this time.

Hercolubus (Planet X) has INTENTIONALLY BEEN MADE TO SOUND RIDICULOUS and confusing for several reasons. One of which is to avoid causing panic among the world’s population.

Many websites and articles continue to be written about Hercolubus (Planet X) that spread lies and disinformation.

1.) They say Hercolubus (Planet X) only MAY exist or there’s no evidence for its existence or it comes around only once every few million years if it does exist. This first level of disinformation is widespread.

2.) The second layer of disinformation is for people that have done their homework and absolutely know that Hercolubus (Planet X) does exist. For them, the disinformation artists are saying it will not arrive in our lifetime.

3.) Lastly, for the observatories that are completely aware of Hercolubus (Planet X) and its approximate arrival time, they are saying “keep quiet and don’t worry, nothing will happen during the passage.”

Hercolubus’s MASS, HIGH-PLASMA-CHARGED MAGNETISM, and DENSITY are such that it DISRUPTS the surface of EVERY PLANET IT PASSES. In fact, history shows a few YEARS PRIOR to its passage that its far reaching electromagnetic influence changes Earth’s core flows, TRIGGERING MAJOR WEATHER CHANGES.

VOLCANIC and SEISMIC ACTIVITY start to change 3-4 decades prior to each passage. Since 1996 traditional WEATHER has CHANGED DRAMATICALLY, breaking all time records regularly. The up-tick of QUAKES, VOLCANIC INCIDENTS and changes in ELECTROMAGNETICS are being kept out of the media as much as possible.

Weather alone can falsely be blamed on global warming & sun cycles but not earth’s rumblings and solar system wide changes at the same time.

99% of the universe is made up of charged-plasma at the atomic level. Planets are densely charged plasma spheres. The approach of Hercolubus (Planet X) back into our immediate solar system is sending a tremendous amount of electrically charged plasmatic energy particles in waves to all the planets in our solar system via the filamentary magnetic field lines that criss-cross the universe. The entire Universe is a connected web of electricity and plasma is the conductor.

The media would have you believe that the pollution of our industrial civilization is the cause of the weather changes or has caused global warming over the last few years. Since all planets in our solar system are experiencing dramatic changes, how can any of this be blamed on our irresponsible actions here Earth.

Why do they fail to mention the seismic and volcanic changes occurring simultaneously?

Why would ice cores show regular and dramatic changes in Earths climate from the past?

When you understand how our sun and every other planet in our solar system are being affected by Hercolubus’s approach, you’ll see how ridiculous the media cover-up becomes.

This is the Russian perspective on earth changes. Volcanic and seismic activities have increased 400-500 percent since 1975. All planets are changing, Earth is not singled out. Basically, everything in the solar system is experiencing unusual phenomena, increased activity and unusual weather. Hard facts are going unreported by western media. Dr. Dmitriev’s work shows that the planets themselves are changing.

They are undergoing variations in their atmospheres. For example, the Martian atmosphere is getting sizably thicker and Earth’s moon is growing an atmosphere and according to Dmitriev, there is a 6,000 kilometer deep layer of Natrium that wasn’t there previously. He says that we’re having this kind of change in the upper levels of Earth’s atmosphere where HO gas is forming that wasn’t there before; it simply did not exist in the quantity that it does now. It’s not related to global warming and it’s not related to CFCs or fluorocarbon emissions or any of that stuff. It’s just showing up.

Magnetic fields and brightness of the planets are changing. The planets are experiencing sizable increases in their overall luminosity. Venus for example, is showing us marked elevations in its overall brightness. Jupiter has such a high energetic charge now that there is actually a visible tube of ionizing radiation that has formed between it and its moon. You can actually see the luminous energy tube in photographs that have been taken recently. In addition, the magnetic field strength of each planet has increased.

Uranus and Neptune appear to have had recent pole shifts. When the Voyager 2 space probe flew past Uranus and Neptune, the apparent north and south magnetic poles were sizably offset from where the rotational pole was. In one case, it was 50 degrees off and in the other case the difference was around 40 degrees, both of which are pretty big changes.

The overall changes could essentially be broken down into three categories:

• Energy field changes

• Luminosity changes

• Atmospheric changes

Natural disasters increased 410 percent between 1963 and 1993. This does not take into account the largest increases that have taken place in the last 8-9 years since then! Dr. Dmitriev did a very elaborate calculation of natural disasters, to come up with these figures. Even the Sun’s magnetic field increased by 230 percent since 1901.

So, all in all, what we’re seeing is a lot more than just what they call Earth Changes. Very, very few people are aware of the work that is being done in the Russian National Academy of Sciences in Siberia, specifically in Novosibirsk, where they are doing this research.

Part of Dr. Dmitriev’s research shows that the glowing plasma at the edge of our Solar System has recently increased 1000 percent. Higher-charged energy is in turn exciting the plasma and causing more of it to form, so you see more luminosity, more brightness. This energy is then flowing into the Sun, which in turn emits the energy and spreads it out along its equatorial plane, which is called the Ecliptic.

All this is happening all at the same time and it’s all working up to a crescendo where there is going to be a sudden shift.

The Benefits Of Tea Catechins

In recent years, tea has attracted a lot of attention for its many health benefits. For years Asian cultures have used tea for many medical purposes, and science is proving out what Asians seem to have known all along – tea has many healthy benefits.

Among tea, green tea seems to provide the most health benefits. This is because green tea, unlike black tea is not fermented during its processing. Green tea leaves are left in their more natural state, compared to the leaves that are fermented. In their natural state, tea leaves retain all of their natural anti-oxidants, known as catechins.

Anti-oxidants are important to our health because they protect our bodies from free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen containing molecules that are created as a by-product of our digestive processes. Free radicals left unchecked damage our cells and DNA, leading to disease and aging.

Anti-oxidants keep these free radicals in check, ensuring that they’re wiped out of our bodies before they can do damage. Anti-oxidants are found in many plant products, including fruits, vegetables, cocoa and coffee.

But, it seems that the most potent anti-oxidants may be those found in the tea plant. The primary protective anti-oxidant, or catechin, in tea is a substance known as EGCG.

EGCG is associated with a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. It also appears to naturally regulate blood sugar, so it may have potential in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. EGCG has also been associated with assisting in weight loss.

For years it was assumed that green tea was beneficial to weight loss simply because it contains caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to speed up the metabolism, helping you burn more calories each day.

However, there have been studies that indicated that green tea is more effective than other caffeinated beverages in aiding weight loss, suggesting that something in addition to caffeine is doing the trick. In addition, green tea is lower in caffeine than black tea, coffee and colas, yet it aids weight loss more than any of these beverages.

It is believed that this magic ingredient that makes green tea a more effective weight loss aid than its more caffeinated counterparts is the tea catechins – primarily the EGCG. To further advance this theory, a study was conducted in Japan, evaluating healthy Japanese men who were overweight.

The participants in this study were divided into groups with similar weights and body mass indexes. During the twelve week study, the participants were fed either a bottle of tea containing 690 mg of tea catechins or a bottle of tea containing just 22 mg of tea catechins.

At the end of the study, the group ingesting the larger amount of tea catechins each day had lost significantly more weight than the group ingesting the smaller amount of tea catechins. In addition, their BMI, waist circumference and overall body fat were reduced significantly compared to the control group.

Not only did the group lose more weight and reduce their body fat significantly, but their cholesterol levels were also significantly reduced.

This is just another in a long list of research studies outlining the benefits of the catechins found in green tea. And, one of the great things about using green tea as a health supplement, whether for weight loss, or overall health protection, is that green tea has no side effects.

Green tea is an overall healthy beverage, and is well tolerated by most people, even those who are caffeine sensitive. So, even if green tea doesn’t help you lose weight, you can rest assured that you’re consuming a perfectly healthy and safe beverage. Plus, you’re protecting your body from many serious diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Many studies have linked green tea with a reduced risk of heart disease. This risk reduction is likely due to the fact that green tea can reduce your cholesterol levels, and seems to prevent the cholesterol that is circulating in the blood from turning into arterial plaque.

This is significant because this arterial plaque narrows the arteries, leading to blockages. Once arteries are blocked, this can lead to heart attack and stroke.

In addition, green tea has been linked to a reduction in the risk of some cancers. Cultures where green tea is widely consumed have significantly lower incidences of breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and gastrointestinal cancers. In some studies, green tea has even been shown to be an effective adjunct treatment for some forms of cancer.

So, as you can see, drinking green tea is a good idea, even if you don’t need to lose weight. However, particularly if you are trying to drop a few pounds, a regular dose of green tea may be able to help you shed those pounds more quickly and easily.