Novel Ideas – Six Unique Ways to Introduce a New Novel to Your Class

There is nothing more exciting than introducing students to a great piece of literature. Conversely, there is nothing more disappointing than students’ lack of enthusiasm about a book you truly love. Unfortunately, your fervor about a novel does not always translate into cheers and applause on the part of your students. Reading a novel requires a lot of investment. Even novels with high-action plots take a while to build momentum. How can you quickly bolster students’ interest at the start of a new book? Below are six sure-fire ways to get your class excited about a new novel.

PLOT PIECES. Divide students into groups. Assign each group one page from a different part of the novel. After they have read the page, ask students to compose a paragraph that outlines the plot of the novel. To do this, students will have to use context clues gleaned from their excerpt. Ask students to elect a representative from each group to present their plot summaries. Compare plot summaries and revisit these summaries at the end of the novel. Asking students to conjecture the plot of the novel will pique their interest in the book and help them extract information from context clues.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS. Ask students to read the first page of text silently. Next, ask for a volunteer to read the first page aloud. Then, ask students to write down as many things as possible that they have learned from the first page. Next, ask students to write down three questions they have based on their reading of the first page. This activity will help students read context clues and it will teach them to site text evidence when making generalizations about a novel.

COVER UP. Read a summary of the novel from the back cover, from the inside flaps, or from an Internet source. If you prefer to leave the novel a mystery, read an excerpt from a select part of the book. You can also print out this summary or excerpt so that students can refer to it. Next, ask students to design a cover based on information gleaned from the summary or excerpt. Allow students to explain their cover design. If you are reading a novel that is divided into parts, have students design a cover at the end of each part of the novel. Revisit cover designs at the completion of the novel and ask students to write a paragraph discussing their various understandings of the novel. This activity will help students chart the ways their understanding developed throughout the reading.

FRONT MATTER. Though students read novels throughout their schooling, very few are taught the importance of the title, copyright, and acknowledgments. The pages that contain this information are called the “front matter.” In small groups, ask students to explore the front matter of the novel. Instruct students to list 10 things they learned from these pages. In a more open-ended version of this activity, you can ask students to answer the following questions: What does the front matter tell you about what will and what will not be in this novel? What does the front matter tell you about the novel’s plot and themes? A good explanation of front matter can be found at Vox Clarus Press’ website. Just search “Vox Clarus Front Matter.”

LAST LINES. Instruct students to read the last sentence or the last paragraph of the novel silently. Next, ask someone to read these last lines aloud. From these last lines, ask students to draw a comic strip that shows the plot of the novel. Each frame of the comic strip should contain narrative and dialogue. The last frame of the comic strip should be based on information gleaned from the novel’s last lines. Thinking about the ending of the novel will whet students’ appetite for the actual plot.

BEGINNING AND ENDING. Ask students to read both the first sentence and the last sentence of the novel. Next, ask the students to construct a poem, paragraph, or short story using the first and last sentences of the novel as the first and last sentences for their writing. Your students’ writing should summarize what they think will be the plot of the novel. Revisit these summaries at the middle and at the end of the reading. In a reflective paragraph, ask students to compare their initial impressions to the novel’s actual plot and themes.

When beginning a new novel, consider using one of the above activities in your classroom. These activities provide a new lens through which to view your new novel. Starting the study of your novel in a unique and unpredictable way will bolster your students’ interest and engagement.

How to Calculate Window Tint Visible Light Transmission (VLT)

Window tinting films are measured in visible light transmission levels (or VLT). This means that when we discuss a particular film, be it for fitting to a car or any other application, we normally refer to it with it’s VLT value. VLT is measured in percentage ( % ), so if you hear about a tint product being referred to as a percentage, it is the VLT that defines that percentage value.

For example, a tinting film referred to as Charcoal 5% is a charcoal coloured tint with a VLT of 5% and likewise a film referred to as green 50% is a green coloured tint film with a VLT of 50%. But what does the number actually mean?

Well, in simple terms the VLT value is the percentage of visible light that will be allowed to travel through the window tinting film from the exterior face side of the film to the interior side. This means that a 5% film will only allow 5% light travel through and a 70% film will allow 70% light to travel. In effect, this means that lower VLT films will appear darker. For instance, it is normally 5% tints that we will see on limousines for privacy.

So, fitting a 5% tint to a window will allow 5% light to travel through the glass from outside to inside, right? NO! Because we need to take into consideration the actual VLT of the window before the tint is even installed. There is no such thing as a piece of glass, no matter how clear it appears, with a VLT of 100%. This is because glass naturally filters out a little bit of visible light.

Lets look at car window tinting as this is one area where we speak of VLT often due to the fact that many countries have laws in place limiting how dark car windows should be tinted. Most modern cars come from factory with windows reading a VLT somewhere between 72% and 78%, depending on manufacturer, model and country. Say, our example car’s windows read at 72% and we add a 50% window tinting film, what is the new and final VLT of our car’s windows after installation?

The sum is very simple: V1 x V2 = V3 (Where V1 is the original VLT of the glass before tinting, V2 is the VLT of the window tinting film and V3 is the final VLT value of the glass with tint film applied).

Our car’s windows original VLT = 72% and the tint = 50 %, thus V1 = 72 and V2 = 50

The sum is 72 x 0.50 giving us 36, which we will express as a percentage. So a window with an original VLT of 72% will then have a VLT of 36% after application of a 50% film.

In With the Nu

AS YOU sit in one of the small and scruffy departure lounges at Kunming Airport, waiting for the connecting flight to Xishuangbanna in the southwest, you turn your attention to two large billboards situated prominently near the windows facing the cluttered airstrip. The posters, with glossy defiance, celebrate the ongoing construction of two large hydropower stations on the Jinsha River, the western branch of the Yangtze. The plants, built also to reduce the siltation pressures on the Three Gorges Dam further downstream, are airbrushed in clean and shiny whites and greys, and the water around them remains a perfect and implausible blue.

They are among many such construction projects currently being considered in Yunnan, where economic development has been given the priority above almost everything else, and where power corporations from the east have been rushing to take advantage. A project that will eventually submerge the celebrated Tiger Leaping Gorge – on the section of the Jinsha north of Dali – is also underway, arousing significant international opposition. The International Rivers Network says that the damage caused by the flooding of the valley to the local ‘cultural heritage sites’ will be ‘irreplaceable’. They are also concerned by the irreversible changes to a unique ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the provincial capital of Kunming continues to grow. The train station, renowned as the most unbearable in the whole of China, is still surrounded by rubble and temporary wooden partitions marking some new road or building. The entire city, cowed by roadblocks and scaffolds, picked at by cranes, seems – like many others in China – to be on the verge of an explosion. As the government slogan announces, peremptory and beyond refute, ‘Development is inevitable’.

In the far west of Yunnan, the untouched Nu River seemed to have been given something of a reprieve a few months ago. China’s single remaining virgin waterway, which winds north through some of the province’s most beautiful landscape, was about to be given a big seeing-to by the nation’s energy-mad authorities. Earlier this year, Premier Wen Jiabao was said to have intervened personally, asking developers to reconsider their plans. Still, one imagines that the ‘rape’ of the Nu is just a question of time.

The philosopher, Martin Heidegger, chose to illustrate the two different approaches to nature by comparing the construction of a bridge with the construction of a hydroelectric dam. Modern technology, he wrote, was ‘a manner of unprotecting’ nature. A bridge, connecting up the two banks, shows ‘respect’ for the river, but a hydropower station actually turns nature into part of its own ‘inventory’. The power plant is not built into the river, but the river is built into the power plant.

To illustrate the difference in perspectives, Heidegger compared the Rhine as part of the inventory of modern technology with the Rhine described in a poem by Holderlin. After it has been devastated by technology, the river remains as ‘a provided object of inspection by a party of tourists sent there by a vacation industry’. Such a description seems appropriate in modern Yunnan. While the power companies work their way through the region’s rivers, foreign and domestic tourists have transformed old cities such as Dali and Lijiang, and plans to improve the transportation infrastructure to the west and to the south will see the character of prefectures such as Xishuangbanna and the Nu River changed beyond recognition.

There are a number of small bridges connecting the banks of the Nu, but the favoured means of crossing by the local farmers seems even purer than that. Hooking themselves into a harness consisting of a rope and a piece of flat canvas, they sweep back and forth at massive speeds on a cable attached to a couple of trees, and carry bags of cement, grain and sometimes even livestock between their knees as they do so. One farmer agreed to carry me. Slung across the grey autumn waters and into a patch of worn grass on the Nu River’s left bank, the bowel-shaking fear quickly gave way to a sense of exhilaration.

I was taking a long ride from Dali with an incompetent local tour guide to the town of Liuku in western Yunnan, right on the bank of the Nu River. The area is a picture of health, ruddy and rugged and robustly green. Farmers spin past on motorbikes, trading chunks of meat with local guest houses and restaurants. At one stop along the way, situated on a bend on a country road, a three-legged horse skipped past – cheerfully enough, considering the circumstances. The half-whistle, half-bleat of the local birds could be heard everywhere. Tiny communities lived in wooden shacks on the hills, emerging on Tuesdays to trade at the local markets.

It was tempting to call the place quaint, and worthy of any preservation order that might be made to stick. It was, however, dirt-poor, and though much better and much more lively than a decade or so ago (according to our guide), most of the people living here would love to replace their stilted huts, their latrines, their drafty outhouses, with new buildings and indoor plumbing.

Usually, it is only outsiders who get sentimental. We, after all, can go home somewhere else. One isn’t entirely sure that the life of the poor throughout China would be improved by any degree were their barns, their slums, their shanty towns to become ‘heritage sites’. On the other hand, it is clear that the mass destruction caused by economic growth is not of much benefit to the communities affected. It is also clear that the ecology of Yunnan – one of the most varied and vibrant in China – is being put under threat.

Still, crossing the upper reaches of the Mekong, watching the silt-filled, chocolate-coloured waves and negotiating the old van past the piles of rocks cast down during a recent landslide, one cannot fail to be impressed somehow. I have been bruised, stupefied and generally thrown about by hundreds of poor-quality roads throughout China. Here, the biggest challenge was the occasional ford cutting across a narrow but mostly impeccable mountain pass. In harsh conditions, the road builders had performed well.

Roads are the big thing in Yunnan. Plans are underway to complete a regional high-speed road network that will connect Kunming with Singapore. Coming back from the wild elephant park in Xishuangbanna, we were halted by a fleet of trucks and steamrollers inching along to assist a team of miscellaneously-dressed labourers spreading grit across the tracks. Above us was the skeleton of an overpass, its bare stanchions planted in the fields nearby. The old road will eventually become superfluous for the majority of freight traffic surging through the region and into southeast Asia. Things will change, we thought, and Jinghong, the region’s major city but run at a painfully slow pace, will no doubt be brought up to speed by an opportunistic migrant population from Sichuan or the northeast.

LIUKU is a small urban centre and trading spot for the hundreds of small counties and villages scattered throughout the area, several hundred kilometres west of Dali. Whatever purists might think, the locals would love it if streams of tourists were suddenly to pour in from the more fashionable areas further east, but apart from the way it nestles comfortably – if a little chaotically – in the mountains running along the banks of the Nu, there is little to distinguish the place. Its greatest advantage is its location, and visitors note the great potential of the riverfront, where a couple of cafes now provide much of the town’s nightlife.

As one enters the town, an old Ming Dynasty temple lies on the mountain above the intersection of the Yagoujia River and the Nu River itself. As is customary, the temple appears as if it was built out of papier mache and painted yesterday morning by industrious local schoolkids. A huge laughing Buddha decked out in gold paint seems to dominate the gaff from his little stage. Dogs patrol the high steps, and spiders, each two inches long, nest in the frames of doors and in the overhead lights.

Across on the other side of the river, the effects of the previous night’s rain storm were clear to see, with policemen knee-deep in mud and the road – the only route north – blocked by piles of displaced rock.

The foreigners, so prevalent in Dali, and less so in Jinghong further south, were nowhere to be seen. Hardcore travellers head north to see the enclaves of Tibetans, or the old ethnic ways of the Lisu, the Nu and the Drang nationalities. Some come to see the immense volume of indigenous butterflies, with a couple of Japanese collectors even managing to steal a few rare specimens under the noses of the local authorities a few years ago. There were also stories of a pair of American travellers crossbowed in the back by Lisu hunters after trying to abscond with some significant local religious icon – the man with the story wasn’t quite sure what the object was. The rest of the local legends about foreigners involve them being attacked by Tibetan dogs and carried out of the forests, bleeding. Still, foreigners here are once again the objects of fascination, rather than the sort of seen-it-all-before scorn one gets in Shanghai, or the dollar-sign gazes in Dali and Lijiang.

Guidebooks such as Lonely Planet abhor the current pace of Chinese development, of course, and as the years pass and the new editions enter print, the laments about the high-rises and highways seem to get longer and longer. China is losing its character.

We can understand this. And yet, after a week on the road along the Nu River, speaking no English and staying in the dingiest of guest houses, we still longed for the pizzas, banana pancakes and foreign influences in Dali. Many agreed, and many long-hatched tour plans are thwarted by the magnetism of the town’s bars and cafes. Some foreigners on year-long tours find themselves stuck, unable to leave, trapped in a perpetual marijuana haze and remaining lucid enough just to teach a few classes in the main city and pay for their lodgings.

Travelling further north from Liuku on the way to Fugong the following day, rain clouds lingered like smoke on the mountains, and dozens of blue, three-wheel buggies chugged down the slope on the only road out. We drove through building sites, where workers squatted on dunes of mud, and through villages in which cattle and old nags wandered wearily past, and where tiny, friendly little dogs lounged on almost every stoop. Streams of water, bloated by a heavy rain storm the previous evening, cascaded into the rough Nu waters.

We stopped off in a small market village called Gudeng, close to the Binuo Snow Mountain, and watched the local farmers manhandling a couple of disobedient black pigs. Another offered us a glass of warm corn liquor he had just produced at a makeshift stove attached to a dirty plastic pipe. The dominant presence in the town was the family planning centre, where government slogans about improving the quality of the population were pumped out from a pair of loud speakers, drowning out the Chinese disco beats emerging from the market itself. Apart from the family planning centres, there are other things that seem ubiquitous throughout China, from Xinjiang to Shanghai and from Guangdong to Yunnan. One of them is the pool table. Another is the bill poster advertising cures for sexually-transmitted diseases.

WE CAME to understand that in the pretty little town of Fugong, where we spent Mid-Autumn festival, the local residents – mainly of Lisu minority – would also have longed for the sort of opportunities afforded to Dali. Cafes, restaurants, and a place on the tourist trail would revitalize the place, and would ultimately be of far more value than a hydropower station. Can the two be disconnected? Some of the villages along the banks of the Nu River didn’t even have a watt of electricity until the last decade. It is a fact of life that further development – including the tourist industry – requires more power.

Purists are unlikely to consider the contradiction, and may indeed prefer to slum it – for a week in any case – in tents or in the dingy, second-rate guest houses available en route. Still, the woman at the reception of the guest house in Gongshan seemed apologetic. ‘Are you sure you want to stay here?’ she said.

Heading across the river, we came across a large wooden public house built on an old water mill. Wheels driven by the Nu River itself churned away beneath a section of rooms lined with soggy woven carpets and old Lisu paraphernalia – the traditional costumes and weaponry of the bulk of the local people. A dozen girls from a local hair salon were dancing in the middle of one of the stages on the upper tier of the building, moving two steps forward and two steps back, hand in hand. They greeted us favourably, encouraging us to join in their drinking games. We had a ‘one-heart drink’ (tongxinjiu) – where two people drink from the same glass, their cheeks and mouths touching – with every one of them, the sweet local liquor dripping onto our clothes.

Hours later, after crossing the bridge again and singing Lisu songs as we parted company with our new friends, we managed to stumble through a tunnel and into the grounds of the local Public Security Bureau, where the Fugong police were also celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival with a form of dance which, by the time we started to participate, seemed to involve running at top speed while kicking our legs as high as possible in the air. Local police chiefs, conforming to the stereotypes of drunkenness that seem more or less international, told us that national boundaries didn’t matter, and that friendship transcended all countries. We agreed.

The next morning, driving out of the town and past a long row of old wooden buildings with red sliding doors and a range of shoddy garages that serve as shops and diners, we headed for Gongshan along a spectacular stretch of scenery, part of a 300-km gorge lined with waterfalls, brooks and white cloud pierced by the mountains on both banks. Houses seemed to balance precariously on the plateau, only a storm away from complete collapse. Women carried large squares of corrugated iron along the slopes, their children following.

The whole Gongshan region, an old man in the guest house told me, has now been renamed the ‘Three Rivers Gongshan Region’. ‘They are creating a trademark,’ the man said, shrugging his thin shoulders. The Mekong, the Nu, and the Jinsha all pass through before reaching their source, and the local government are trying to draw in the trade.

The town itself, another sleepy cluster of apartments, restaurants and trading posts all piled up in layers along the slopes leading from the river to the mountain, was actually far from untouched. As was the case in Liuku, the missionaries had already been and gone, leaving a curious legacy of Roman Catholicism among the local minority communities. Mothers sat weaving on the steps of a church – a square, squat one-storey affair with a bright red cross built on the mountain – waiting for evening prayer. Prayer notices on the wrought-iron door of the church were transcribed in a romanized version of the local Lisu language. Some hours later, an implausible disco beat pounded out from a wooden house further up the hill, and the church was empty.

A Tibetan girl, working in a curious entertainment complex close to another Catholic church further down in the valley, asked us if we were fellow believers. She answered to her Catholic name of Mary, and was from Dimaluo, an ethnic mishmash of Tibetans, Lisu, Drong, and others some way further north along the river. There was a sadness to her as she told us her life story, about her stalled education, about the death of her father after a sudden and inexplicable ‘infection’, and about her preference for the countryside from which she hailed.

In the stores nearby, posters of Zhou Enlai, Sun Yatsen and the Panchen Lama swayed slightly in the wind, and beneath them lay the usual clutter of mooncakes, cigarettes and cheap, defective batteries.

What worried us about ‘untouched’ places like Fugong or Gongshan was not so much the prospect of development, and the ‘exploitation’ or ‘despoliation’ or ‘swamping’ of the local culture and character, but the thousands of local residents, educated to a degree, certainly aspirational, but cut off even from the possibility of ambition, marooned in a remote town that is linked to the nearest city only through a single mountain pass that requires two days to traverse. As we did at the Three Gorges, we started to wonder whether the sacrifice of the local scenery could somehow be made worthwhile, if it could allow these people a way out. After all, it might be more appropriate to judge the vitality of a culture by its porousness, and more pertinently, by the opportunities it gives its members to escape and try something new.

Heidegger hated the way the Rhine had become an object of the tourism industry as well as the hydropower industry, but on the Nu River, we had to allow for the fact that the proposed construction of an airport in remote Gongshan, the construction of highways, and the development of local industry might actually be good for the area, in the absence of any other options. Heidegger hated TV and spent most of his final, disgraced decades in a wooden shack in the Black Forest, but he had choice. The local residents in Fugong and Gongshan have TV, and they see the glitter of wealth and opportunity. But they have no wealth. And no opportunity.

And yet, the ‘current mode of development’ is all about exploitation, and the further enrichment of China’s east coast at the expense of the west. The scenery is ruined, the ecology is damaged, and old farming communities are moved to nearby urban slums, where they have little prospect of work or prosperity. Here, as in the Three Gorges and other regions, one imagines that the local people will reap little of the rewards of ‘opening up’.

Packeteer PacketShaper

Wide-area networking and the Internet are becoming more and more reliable, to support strategic objectives. This has restructured the way businesses work, and even in some cases stay afloat. Today companies are faced with more applications, more users, and more desktop power, but with less visibility, control, and predictability. With unprecedented network demands and without the ability to control how they effect your business. PacketShaper can assist you in controlling and enhancing the performance of your WAN. PacketShaper continues providing visibility and control across your WAN, to enhance the application monitoring and performance for any user, in any location, throughout networks of enterprises spread around. Depending on the speed of the network links it will manage, this device comes in a wide range of levels to suit. The lowest entry level box is for a 128k line with the high-end box being able to monitor and manage a 1 Gigabit link.

The PacketShaper traffic shaping technology enables the administrator to resolve WAN and Internet performance problems that effect networks. By actively preventing network congestion, shaping controls application performance and bandwidth consumption. Administrators can achieve more important tasks in lesser time, with fewer performance-related complaints and a higher Quality of Service (QoS) for all networked users. With PacketShaper, the never-ending cycle of bandwidth upgrades is a thing of the past. PacketShaper optimizes application throughput throughout your current network infrastructure.

PacketShaper is simple to configure and comes with basic step-by-step instructions comprising such things as passwords, IP addresses and connection speeds etc. Initial physical installation is extremely easy, and once the PacketShaper is on the network it can accessed through a web browser and can be configured on of two ways: by a normal http connection or a secure http connection.

Internal attacks from worm infections, unauthorized recreational traffic and rogue servers can severely impact network capacity and bring down critical applications but PacketShaper assists in recognising when PCs are infected or unauthorized traffic is passing through the network, and also protects the performance of crucial applications. PacketShaper alsoprotects the performance of the network during attack-all while providing hard ROI from bandwidth savings, enhanced WAN capabilities and accelerated application performance. An additional effective function of the PacketShaper is its graphing abilities. It is simple to locate older data from the ‘straight out of the box’ system. Clear and simplified graphs are presented in the form of either line graphs or pie charts, though it is possible for this data to be shown as raw data if required, which makes it easy to export it to other programs. Installation of IP Telephony (IPT) and Voice/Video over IP (VoIP) vary from company to company and its employees, effecting every network in a different way. A successful implementation depends on guaranteed bandwidth and QoS, and also fitting more calls onto a restricted WAN resource.

PacketShaper efficiently controls vital IPT protocols, providing WAN capacity and true QoS functionality to guarantee the highest quality end-to-end communication for each call. It makes sense to unite servers from remote sites to centralized data centers, although the additional traffic loads call for precise classification, monitoring and shaping before any advantages can be appreciated. PacketShaper detects and controls common traffic-including CIFS, VoIP, CRM, Web and P2P-while also tracking Microsoft’s underlying CIFS changes in R2. MPLS and IP VPNs are beneficial for relating distributed locations, but advantages cannot be noticed if applications are oversubscribed, traffic stalls in bottlenecks and critical applications are inappropriately designated to best-effort classes. PacketShaper carries on the MPLS promise, weighing up performance, detecting and marking application traffic with special handling requirements so traffic can move freely to the enterprise edge. This system is integrated in a single appliance with multiple software choices that deliver:

  • Control over application performance and network utilization.
  • Visibility into application performance and network utilization.
  • Compression to accelerate performance and increase WAN capacity.
  • Centralized management of performance analysis, reporting, and policy administration for large Packeteer deployments.

The Packeteer PacketShaper is an architected bandwidth management device that is incredibly useful and at the same time simple . It delivers an easy and user friendly interface that can be advantageous to any organisation from low-end, to expert users. With minimal configuration, PacketShaper will become a crucial tool in keeping the network secure and also managing bandwidth.

Your Life GPS

Lately I’ve been hearing from many people that their spirit guides have left them. This is not true. They haven’t left. They’re just getting out of the way so you can learn how to move forward under your own power.

After 12/21/2012 your spirit guides began stepping back in order to allow you to fulfill your destiny – that of taking your power back. This process involves learning how to utilize your own innate wisdom instead of relying on your spirit guides, angels, and other people and beings to whom you have given your authority in the past.

It’s much like watching a small child learn how to walk. Initially the child is supported and guided by an adult. At some point the adult lets go of the child’s hands in order to allow them to learn how to walk on their own and travel in the direction of their choice.

So it is with your spirit guides. They’re letting you know that it’s time for you to walk your life path using your own knowledge and wisdom, and choosing your own direction.

Oh, they’re still around in case you really need them for guidance. But remember, they’re spirit guides, not directors. They now serve in a different capacity. Rather than being your commanders and issuing orders to you, they’re now serving as your advisors.

Much like the GPS system you use in your car, your spirit guides are now acting as your Life GPS, ready to give you directions to a destination should you ask. However you have the power to choose if you want to follow their suggested route, take another route, or even if you want to use your Life GPS or not.

Just as the highest and best purpose of a GPS is to advise you as to the best route to take to your desired destination, it’s still only advice. You have the power of choice as to whether you want to follow that advise. You are now empowered to choose how you want to get to your destination. You have the power to choose a new and different destination at any time. YOU are now in command of your life.

Although a GPS is handy, it’s not infallible. Often it can lead you to an incorrect address. Likewise, spirit guides can give you advice that isn’t correct or accurate.

With a GPS your location is sent to a satellite and then bounced back to the GPS in your car, where it’s displayed on maps stored within the GPS. There may be distortions in the   transmission  of the data. Additionally, the data within the GPS may be outdated or incorrect.

Similarly, your Life GPS  transmissions  may be corrupted. After all, your spirit guides are transmitting through other dimensions and realities. Most of them have never been human, so they can only advise you from their perspective, which may be lacking in current and correct data.

Only you know the correct directions for you to make as you travel on your life path. Use your spirit guides as your Life GPS and remember… it’s advice, not orders.

Some Interesting Common Cold Statistics For The New Season

Common cold statistics provided by government agencies indicate that on the average children have six to ten colds per year, but some children have as many as twelve. Seeking treatment for a common cold is one of the leading causes of doctor visits, though doctors can do little to treat the illness. Antibiotics are ineffective and should not be taken for common cold prevention or treatment. Over use of antibiotics is believed to be the cause of an increase in more resistant strains of bacteria.

What to take for a common cold is a matter of some debate. Practically everyone has there own home remedy and researchers have studied many of these for effectiveness and safety. Over the counter drugs such as antihistamines have been evaluated for their effectiveness in treating common cold symptoms and while research indicates that these products are safe when used as directed, many of them may be ineffective. One study showed that the most effective of these over the counter drugs is one called guaifenesin, an expectorant.

Common cold statistics relating to lost days of school indicate that 22 million school days are lost each year on account of the illness. However, many products should not be taken by children. The directions for a common cold remedy will typically say “not for children under 12” and may advise doctor consultation. Additionally, parents should not give child aspirin or products that contain aspirin because of the established link between aspirin use, viral infections and Reye’s syndrome, a rare, but sometimes life threatening disease than can follow viral infections in children. A number of infant and toddler deaths have been associated with overdoses of over the counter cold remedies. When treating your children, read directions carefully, age and weight are factors. Those products that are designed for “children” are usually not safe for infants. Always check with your doctor before given any over the counter medication to a child.

Adult common cold statistics vary greatly. On the average, most adults have two or three colds per year, but some people have none and some have more than three. Those who care for school age children probably have more than the average. People who have asthma are more susceptible to colds. Scientists studying asthma patients found that they produce less than average anti-viral proteins. Anti-viral proteins, produced by specialized blood cells, can prevent a virus from being able to reproduce and can destroy viruses by attaching to them and causing holes in their cellular walls. Products that stimulate immune system function are sometimes recommended for a common cold, for this and other reasons.

Most immune system stimulants contain vitamin C. During an infection, vitamin C levels in the bloodstream decrease dramatically. Vitamins A, E and the mineral zinc are also necessary for proper immune system function. Other nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium are needed so that the cells of the body can easily absorb vitamin C. In other words, a good daily multi-vitamin, in addition to a well balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can be good for a common cold and for overall good health.

The latest common cold statistics from Reuters Health Information concerns a study performed at the University of Virginia, in which researchers enlisted 15 people who were infected with the rhinovirus (the virus that causes the majority of common colds) to stay in a hotel room overnight alone. The objects in the room that the participants reported touching were swabbed and tested for active rhinovirus on the next day. The researches concluded that the virus remained active and capable of infected others for a day or longer. Previous information for a common cold causing rhinovirus indicated that the virus could remain active on surfaces for as long as three hours. What this new study means is that the virus remains active longer and is more easily transmitted than previously thought, making good health habits to prevent   transmission  even more important. To learn more about the common cold and natural products that may help reduce the number you get every year, please visit the Immune System Booster Guide.

Yoga-Based Education System

If anybody has to practice yoga at a young age, people would remark, “Yoga, so early?” Even now many people still think that yoga is only a pastime for retired people, but I always felt that yoga has more to do with the evolution of the human mind and the human body.

Mind preparation for yoga

When you want to prepare a garden, grow flowers and trees, what do you do? Do you just sprinkle seeds? Many people might do that, but nothing would grow. First you have to prepare the soil, make it soft and pull out the weeds. Then you can sow the seeds and they will grow into nice flowers and fruit-bearing trees. The same law applies to the human mind. The mind has to be prepared for accepting the seeds.

The mind assumes many stages. There are certain stages where nothing goes into the head. Surely you have met such people in your life. Whatever you tell them falls on deaf ears; nothing penetrates their brain. They are like hard soil, and the best of seeds will not grow there. No matter

how much you work at it. Then there are some people who are like soft soil. When you tell them something, they are completely responsive. These people have what are called receptive minds. Therefore, what is important in yoga is that we try to transform the quality of consciousness. They everything can be planted in the mind without any obstruction.

Place of Super Mind

In fact, millions of years ago pineal gland played an active role in the development of the human brain. Therefore, people of those times has greater psychic and spiritual qualities and better control over their emotions, but with the passage of time the pineal gland has followed a course of degeneration.

In yoga, the pineal gland is said to be the physical correlate of ‘ AJANA CHAKRA’. Mystics and occultists refer to it as the third eye and philosophers call it the super mind. The pineal gland is very active in children, but by the time they reach the age of eight or ten it begins to calcify, and in elderly people it has little or no role to play in life.

This is very unfortunate because in yoga the pineal gland is considered to be the controlling and monitoring station in the brain. Just as an airport has a control tower. The human brain also has a directing, regulating and blocking tower, which controls all the faculties of the brain. In yoga we call this control station ‘AJANA CHAKARA’ ; the word ‘AJANA’ itself means monitoring, ordering or regulating.

When the pineal gland starts to degenerate, the pituitary gland comes into action and the action and the emotions shoot up. This is the reason why so many children become emotionally unbalanced and disturbed during their adolescent and adolescent years.

Adrenal glands have a very important role to play in the child’s moral behaviour. Usually, those with criminal tendencies have a overactive adrenal system.

Yogic system of education

There are various processes through which knowledge can be implanted in the human brain. During the last few decades many methods have been introduced into the educational system. The oldest method, of course, is teaching in a classroom with a cane. When the child is intelligent give him high mark, and when he is dull give him a big zero. The teacher gives a lecture, writes the points on a blackboard and the student is expected to understand. If he does not then give him a cross. This is a system of teaching, but not a system of education.

At every moment of our lives, right from birth, we are constantly receiving impressions, but these are not registered in the same form as when they went in. they are registered in the form of symbolic vibrations. Have the educators developed a system to teach children which works like this?

Geography, history, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, botany or anything can be taught through symbolic methods. This is the form of education which has to be used for the dull type of student. You can explain a certain concept to an intelligent child and he will understand it, but the dull child will not know what you are talking about because his conscious brain, his intellect, is incapable of receiving the knowledge that you are giving him. Therefore, you will have to transmit the knowledge in a symbolic form directly into his subconscious mind. This is precisely the system of education in yoga.

General Motors Unveiled A Right-Hand-Drive Hummer H3

The Hummer is the closest thing that General Motors can come up to the Jeep. It should be remembered that GM has been trying to build a vehicle that can match Chrysler’s Jeep and so far the best that they can build is the Hummer. Unfortunately, what supposed to be a competition has ended in forming two distinct classes headed separately by Jeep and Hummer.

The Hummer and the Jeep are distinct from each other not only with the obvious exterior features but also with its auto components starting from the complex down to parts like Jeep ignition coil from that of the Hummer’s own version of ignition coil. But both vehicles are remarkable machines that are worth checking out.

Recently Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, global product development, unveiled a prototype right hand drive H3 during the opening ceremony of their new Hummer facility in Manchester, UK.

GM is hoping that Hummer’s iconic design and unparalleled off-road capabilities would appeal to a wide audience globally. Lutz said that they are determined to build upon the brand’s unique recognition in Europe and most especially in the UK.

The right hand drive Hummer H3 will be built at GM’s Struandale plant in South Africa and will be made available in other right-hand-drive markets like those of Japan, Australia, and South Africa.

It can be remembered that it was in late 1999 when General Motors acquired the Hummer brand. It was only in May 2005 that the H3 made its debut in North America which helped the Hummer brand to become one of the fastest growing truck brands in the United States by the end of 2006. The H3 with its smaller, more efficient package makes it accessible to more customers.

In addition to the growth in the United States, Hummer was also able to expand to other parts of the world. And by 2006, Hummer was able to obtain an approximately 34 percent sales growth globally translated to 82,000 delivered vehicles compared to the 61,000 figure achieved in 2005. This performance was further strengthened by the new Hummer H3.

All the previous H3s were assembled in General Motors North American facility in Shreveport, Louisiana however the new international H3, intended for markets outside North America are assembled at the Struandale Assembly facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where GM was said to have invested more than $100 million to prepare for production of the H3.

The Hummer H3

From the start the Hummer vehicles have created a class of their own characterized by extreme style and capability unparalleled by its competition. The latest addition to the Hummer family is the H3 which is designed to answer the demand from global markets for a premium everyday driving vehicle but at the same time maintains that legendary Hummer performance.

The H3 was designed for global distribution and was built in South Africa. The H3 embodies the brand’s unique styling features and iconic shape. Plus its premium interior design and 3.7 liter engine is offered with the choice of a manual or automatic transmission and a full-time four-wheel-drive system.

H3 is also loaded with original Hummer style and capability which boost its compact dimensions. But compared to the Hummer H2, the H3 is 39 mm shorter, 171 mm lower and 73 mm narrower. Although roughly the same length as the larger family saloon, the H3 is remarkable in navigating through traffic and yet still maintains its prowess when it comes to crawling and climbing capability off-road.

The 4782 mm long Hummer H3 is powered by GM’s Vortec 3.7 liter engine which revs up 242hp/180kW at 5600 rpm and 328 Nm of torque at 4600 rpm. It also comes with dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing. The H3 is the first Hummer ever to offer the choice of a manual or an automatic transmission.

The H3’s Hydra-Matic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission and the five-speed manual transmission provides it with ultimate driver control. At the heart of the H3 is its electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system which is amplified with traction control, an optional rear differential and StabiliTrak control which is offered as standard feature. The H3 can cross 407 mm deep water at 32 km/h or 610 mm deep streams at an 8 km/h pace plus climbed 407 mm vertical steps or rocks.

Lastly, the H3’s more compact size increases it maneuverability making it easy to park or to make tight turns when off-roading.

Self Mastery – Insight and Reason

The Scripting One individual plays the lead in each vignette to follow.

Can you find common threads?

A nine-year-old girl bounces off the bus and runs for the front door to tell her Mother about the incredible day she’s had at school. She’s met with great acknowledgment, hugs and musings about how smart she is. By the time the little girl is 12, this type of support begins to fade and when she reaches her early teens the outer reflections are almost completely shut down, replaced with comments about how she is too full of herself. As her childhood relationship with her Mother fades away, the girl goes within to find both her answers and her worth, doing more observing than interacting. As her the relationship with her inner voice matures, she occasionally offers up her wisdom in the face of family issues. Occasionally her comments are tolerated, yet mostly they are disregarded, or met with lots of resistance, criticism and invalidation.

“You’re such a know it all!” her Mother says this venomously, her teeth clenched, at least once daily.

A man and a woman in a potential romantic relationship are talking about their spiritual experiences on the phone one evening. They have a lot in common; movement and body-oriented therapies are at the root of their personal spiritual practice. He speaks to his decades of Tai Chi practice, she speaks about the many different modalities she’s learned and practiced over the past 25 years, all of which play a deep role in her current self-discovery. He speaks loudly and authoritatively about his teachers and gurus, the transmission he’s received from years of focusing on one thing and how this is the only way to a deeper understanding and spiritual advancement. She “gets” what he’s saying as her cells remember many lifetimes as a yogi, a monk and other similar paths. She’s also experienced depth in the energy of his particular method when she attended a 6-week class several years ago.

“You’re really arrogant aren’t you?” he says this softly, almost off-handedly, though its point searches expertly for the target inside her.

One friend asks another friend for reflections on her increasingly intense life situation. Nothing new, it’s been going on for 15 years and input is requested several times annually on this particular topic. The responder has gone from being thrilled and enthusiastic to help her friend out of the dilemma, to being disengaged, responding from a distant place of reason. Even so, she continues to share her insights honestly.

“Why are you so distant? You seem so disinterested?” the distressed friend asks. The input goes un-received for the umpteenth time. Or, she says, “Please don’t confront me now, your certainty is really scary!”

Raising the Bar This level of consciousness has a glass ceiling. In spite of its high level of beingness, it’s also like an unstable atom ready to either shatter the glass or to bounce off its invisible barrier, back into the chasm of anger, hopelessness and unconsciousness where it readies itself for another climb upward. Under its transparent umbrella, there’s a lot of angst and suffering, a breeding ground of inner, existential commentary coupled with fear of advancement into the unknown.

The way through this false transparency is humility, to ask and actually receive support from outside our own belief systems, beyond our rigidly held dogmas. Breakthrough happens when we are able to relinquish our controls and begin to see that other people are realizing and actualizing right alongside us.

Key in this discovery is to embrace all of humanity, to recognize our common potential, and simultaneously to sustain our individuation, our certainty and confidence, our will and courage within.

David Hawkins identifies this level of consciousness in his book, “Power vs. Force,” as ‘Reason,’ the home of great scientists, statesmen, religious leaders, lawmakers and Nobel Prize winners.

These people have reached the pinnacle in their vocations and careers, in the context of the highest, solely human, potentials. They are at the top of their financial games, they rule world governments and churches, they establish the height of the bar for global discovery and advancement.

There is one very crucial and forgotten piece here: the fact that we humans are filled with divine energy, that we are spirits embodied and we have a soul connection to a higher power, God or creator. Although many here are connected to spirituality and religion, we act like atheists in the context of our daily choices and actions, standing almost exclusively on our personal willfulness and physical energies.

Our lack of engagement with a greater spirit eventually exhausts our comparatively tiny resource bucket. Dangerous is the self-bred arrogance that comes with our intellectual knowingness, or at least the belief we have reached the top of some distant monument to ourselves, overlooking our domain.

Some of us know spirituality exists in this place, and likewise make statements to the fact that we’re following a soul path, yet we forget to include the divine in our daily lives. We forget to consult with our inner voices, our higher minds, the Gods and Goddess of our hearts, and our divine guidance.

Personally I see this as a place with immature satisfactions, a place with false floors. It’s also an important stepping-stone to achieving and sustaining a causal relationship with the eternal truths.

It’s a place we can visit occasionally while we grow into our integrity. Here we can sit in the sun and weed out attachments to dogma, gradually decrease our propensity for intellectual pontification and surrender our complacencies. A station with many benefits, we can stop here to gather Cosmic energy; we can observe where we’ve come from, and the road to where we’re going.

Knowing Reiki Massage

Reiki massage is a form of energy healing treatment that sends out energy and is directed into the chakra points. It is completely harmless and safe to use because it does not involve heavy skin to skin contact or massage.

Reiki massage is the treatment wherein spiritual energy is used and goes directly through the body’s chakra points. It incorporates healing in varying aspects of the recipient and may have little or no skin-to-skin contact. The word “reiki” is a Japanese kanji or Japanese words that are put together. Rei means “universal spirit” and ki means “life energy” and reiki means “universal life energy”. Massage is the process wherein the therapist rubs different parts of the body for an invigorating and refreshing feeling. Some therapists that are trained in massaging and also took Reiki attunement classes are called Reiki therapists and sometimes they use reiki and massage altogether to provide the maximum health benefits the recipient can get.

This massage is expected to have positive results such as providing pain relief and overall physical, mental, emotional or spiritual wellness. Commonly, this massage does not incorporate skin contact from the practitioner to the recipient, but the practitioner’s hand remains still and transmits reiki energy into the recipient’s body, which is spiritually guided and gives healing results. It is believed to treat muscle pain, any form of injury, tension, TMJ (also known as lock-jaw), stress and so much more.

The Reiki massage can be used in two different ways.

Healing from a distance

The recipient is advised to go to a relaxing place of their choice or set up a comfortable place inside their house where they will not be disturbed from any event in and outside their home. The practitioner will start the treatment and transmit Reiki energies from their body to the recipient. This all happens from a distance.

In-person healing

This form of healing is used when the practitioner is present and can interact physically with the recipient. The recipient is advised to lie on a mat or preferably a massage table and not advised to be naked. It is important to be completely comfortable and open to the healing energy one will receive during treatment. The treatment area should be relaxing; put aromatherapy scents around the room, play soothing music, etc. just to place the recipient in a relaxed state. The practitioner transmits reiki energies from their hands to the recipient’s body by gently touching different parts of the body.

The beauty of Reiki massage is that everybody can enjoy them but everybody can learn how to give them as well.