Homestead-Miami Speedway Leaves Spectators in Smoke!
For all of the adrenaline-seekers and race car fans out there, the Homestead-Miami Speedway offers everyone the opportunity to burn rubber on the same cement slabs that legends Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick, just to name a few, have graced with their very own tire tread marks!
Johnson himself has been crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion four consecutive times in the season-ending Ford 400 at the Miami Speedway. In addition, Patrick has consistently represented the Izod IndyCar Series and was a challenger to beat at this South Florida track. Now just as the IndyCar drivers do, NASCAR competitors have to fear her as she races there on the championship weekend of NASCAR racing.
The Homestead-Miami Speedway presents the general public the chance to proudly race their own automobiles on the track, an experience visitors at Bluegreen Resort, Solara Surfside, just can not pass up while in Miami, Florida! For the minor cost of twenty dollars, fans can race their street-legal cars on an eight of a mile straightaway on almost any Friday night after 6 pm How many other people can say they have abused where the professionals have on the same Florida Speedway that has seen six major races between the NASCAR and IndyCar alone?
The TnT experience, test 'n' tune, allows drivers unlimited turns to try and beat past records, or to simply make their own personal-best times. Overseen by professional race track employees, you can go head to head with other racers to vie for fastest car, as your times are recorded with the same highly technical equipment used for the pros!
Do not forget to bring your own fans along to cheer you on and to take photos from the Pit Road Cabanas, so that you always can remember your time as a race car driver!
For those just as fond of their vehicles but less thrilled to race, the Homestead-Miami Speedway allows owners to prominently display their cars for fifteen dollars in the exact garages that NASCAR, IndyCar, and Grand-Am use for races. The displays are for car enthusiasts to come and enjoy, while the owners proudly stand by. Those not looking to race or to display can simply enjoy the racing action from the Pit Cabanas for only ten bucks!
Although Speedway TnT is an incredibly popular event on non-racing weeks, the Homestead Speedway has several other well-liked events including the karting program, which is a great way of improving team-unity and community within an organization or group. The Luxury Driving Experience also brings out high-speed fans for an exhilarating tour around the Miami Speedway's 2.21 mile course in luxurious sports and exotic cars. Lastly, the Richard Petty Driving Experience and Indy Racing Experience both consist of private driver's lessons and ride-alongs.
Although the non-sporting events draw large crowds and fans to the speedway, there is nothing like attending one of the major six races held year round, and personally experiencing the vibrating sensations of thundering engines speeding by at speeds faster than the blink of an eye ! The power melt is like none other! Whether in attendance for the race, qualification, or even practice rounds, any NASCAR, IndyCar, or Grand-Am event is unforgivable!
The beginning of racing season in Miami usually tends to be around the month of March with the Grand Prix of Miami, the Grand-Am's R0LEX Sports Car Series. One of the series' toughest tracks to maneuver, drivers come prepared to earn the prestige of being the best road racer.
After the Grand Prix, the next race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway is not until the beginning of autumn when the IndyCar's take their turn battling it out for the championship. The Firestone Indy Lights Miami 100 allows open-wheel drivers to earn rides in the top tier of their sport, the Izod IndyCar Series. Stars such as Patrick, Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves, and Sam Hornish Jr. are featured in the 200 lap race around the 1.5 mile Homestead oval for the series championship, which then helps decide the Miami 300.
Most anticipated in November is the United States' most popular weekend for motorsports, and one of Miami's main yearly attractions, the NASCAR Championship. NASCAR Championship weekend combines three events. The Ford 200 completes the Camping World Truck Series. The Ford 300 closes out the Nationwide Series, an apprenticeship series much like the Indy Lights series. Patrick, the best-known if not most accomplished female open-wheel driver ever, began crossing over to NASCAR in 2010, racing in the Nationwide Series.
Talk about saving the best for last. The final race of the weekend is the Ford 400, 267 times around the track for series points that determine the championship and final season driver standings. So much is at stake each year for stars like Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, and that invariably makes the Ford 400 the most compelling race of the year.
Whether visiting South Florida during a major racing event or not, the Homestead-Miami Speedway is a great attraction for you and the family. On a Friday night, race your car, check out the auto-show, or even watch others racing! You never know, you may even end up watching a future NASCAR champion in action!
Source by Paul Negron
- Published in Uncategorised
3 Things to Consider When Designing a Data Analytics Project
"Design is not just how something looks, design is how it works". These are the immortal words used by the late Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc. These words are so true and yet so many individuals do not fully appreciate the value of design in their projects. There are no exceptions to this ideology, there is just lack of intention to implement good design in any project. Analytics projects are not very glamorous but they are extremely critical. Thus, it is critical that the overall process from raw data inputs always to final outputs are carefully designed. These are the main focus areas to focus on designing while conceptualizing an analytics project:
1. Scope – At its core, the goal of data analytics projects is to mainly provide answers to questions based on raw data to analyze the current trends in the market and anticipate future trends. If left to the imagination, any query can shoot of any number tangential questions. So it is important to define the baseline for any analytics project to keep the original goal in focus always. This would help design the initial data requirements and final outputs.
2. Workflow – Once the scope is clearly defined, the next step is to define the standard workflow ie the raw data files (specified with details of all required data points), intermediate files Ie the tables that created from the raw files, the final output tables ie the data sets that would have been extremely used to provide the final reports for the end clients. At this stage, the team must layout the specific details for all the tables that are expected to be created in the project. As the details of the intermediate and final tables are ironed out, the teams are also able to create standard scripts. SQL or Audit Command Language scripts could have been used to design such a workflow. These tools allows for data of a project to be insulated from other projects. A standard workflow also allows for an iterative feedback loop to be able to verify the tables created at each clearly defined stage of the process.
3. Infrastructure – At this point, it is matter executing the workflow. The team must then decide on the tools that are to be used to provide the desired results / reports. These decisions would involve factoring in the cost of resources infrastructural and personnel. Any decision should keep in mind future scalability so as to be able to accommodate further development of the solution.
Following these or similar guidelines to design an analytics solution is critical in achieving success by leveraging every resource to its complete and derive maximum value from the money invested. Design an efficient workflow is not an easy task but it is worth investing time and effort to reap the rewards.
Source by Mohit Prabhakar
- Published in Uncategorised
8 Head Games the Narcissist Plays – Ping-Pong, Anyone?
Narcopath Manipulation Characterized as Games
Narcopaths (malignant narcissists, narcissistic sociopath) are masters at playing mind games. They play to win and take no prisoners. They are sore losers and if they don’t win they will often react in a fit of rage and stomp away like a little child.
I have to say upfront, I am not comfortable calling what a narcopath does to us as games, but I can’t think of a better alternative. I used manipulation characterized as games, but that’s a mouthful. Anyway, every therapist I’ve talked with uses the term, so I will, too. When I think of games, I think of fun, laughter and enjoying myself. Nothing about my experience with the narcopath comes even close, so it’s hard for me to think of the narcopath and games in the same setting. Polar opposites in my mind.
I don’t want to play games with a narcopath anymore. The rules are not written down and change according to her whim. I’ve lost before the game even begins. However, I am not a pacifist by any stretch of the imagination. I won’t walk away when I’ve been challenged very often, so when I urge you not to play the narcopath’s games, it’s not because I don’t like a good challenge. I just want a fair playing field or at the very least be playing by the same rules. The narcopath is too skilled and had far more experience playing these games than we ever will. If we are going to triumph against the narcopath, and we are going to, we have to play by OUR rules, not theirs. Oh, you may win a skirmish here and there, but remember, they don’t think like we think. This article reminds me a story a friend of mine, Dale, told recently. He and his young five-year-old son had a marathon checkers match one evening, and after several hours of winning game after game, Dale told his son he was calling it a night, but his son looked perplexed and exclaimed “But, the game’s not over yet!” Dale said he told him they played about a hundred games already, and what did he mean “the game’s not over?” His son looked at him with the most serious look a five-year-old could muster, and said, “the game’s not over until I win”. This mentality is what we face with the narcopath.
The most important thing you must remember about all these game is that no one can know the rules except the narcopath. Here are some of the more common “games” that narcopaths play:
- Ping-Pong: When a person begins to understand how a narcissist works, he or she realizes that it’s a bit like playing ping-pong. Anytime a narcissist has to self-reflect about anything, they will immediately throw the ball back to the person they consider their opponent. Narcissists will always throw the ball back to the other person. They do this in the expectation that they won’t have to take responsibility for their behavior. Narcissists hope that by not taking responsibility for their own actions (by using blaming, shaming, projection, denial, etc.) their partner will do what they have always done-forgive the narcissist, make excuses for the narcissist’s behavior, claim the narcissist couldn’t help himself because he was having a bad day, and so on. The narcissist is a moving target and you are always on the firing line. To get away from them (or expose them), you always have to keep an eye on the ball i.e., their actions and motives for playing their games with you. You have to stop wanting to play. You can stop catching the ball and put it back in the narcissist’s court by setting boundaries and making him aware of his actions. He then realizes he has no one to play with anymore. He will either drop the person like a hot potato, try to punish the person, or run away.
- Crazy Eights: This is a favorite game of narcissists. YOU are called crazy anytime you confront them, bring up past issues or behaviors, or expose them when they’re doing something appalling. The game goes like this: he/she tells you that you have an overly active imagination, you don’t know what you’re talking about, they have no idea what you’re talking about, or that you’re simply making things up to cause problems. They’ll tell you that it’s obvious that you are the one who is crazy (and tell you that everyone around you agrees with them about you being crazy). They will claim not to remember even unforgettable events, flatly deny they ever happened, and will never entertain the possibility that they might have forgotten. This is an extremely aggressive and infuriating tactic called “gaslighting”, a common technique used by abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your own intuition, memory, or reasoning.
- Liars Poker: Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) play this game fantastically. They lie better than anyone I’ve ever been around. Unless you know them well, they don’t show any of the tells experts look for in exposing deception. My guess is this is how they are able to con so many therapists. I know first hand what that look is on a narcopath. When she was here, the things she didn’t tell us, most with tears in her eyes. I felt so much sympathy for the horrible things that her ex and her parents did to her trying to control her. The stories she told us were outrageous and I bought every one of them, hook, line and sinker. Their persona and their entire world are totally based in lies. Their positive attributes and alleged actions are all made up to trick and seduce others into giving them their fix of narcissistic-supply: praise, adulation and accolades.
- Gotcha! The narcopath is a master of phony empathy. He/She appears to take you in, appears to understand what you are experiencing, and appears to genuinely be able to put himself in your shoes. These acts cause you to let your guard down; just when you think there is a genuine give-and-take in your relationship, he pulls a fast one on you-a “gotcha”- most often when you’re at a low point. He will suddenly tell you about his extraordinary new career move, a luxurious trip that he’s taking, or a huge shift in financial status that will make you feel even more diminished. Narcissists perfectly execute an unexpected psychological pounce; their purpose is to grind you down, to humiliate you, and make you feel small and inferior.
- Death by a Thousand Cuts: This is a really fun game that all narcissists like to play! Some of your strongest trauma bonds are created with this sadistic game. It involves destroying your soul, your ego, your accomplishments and any belief system you have that does not agree with their beliefs. You both start with empty buckets. The first one to fill his/her bucket wins. They win the game if they are successful at turning everything about you and everything you do into a complete failure. They earn extra points when they successfully take all the credit for everything good that has ever happened in your life, and you thank them. They earn double points when they manage to put all blame for everything bad in your bucket.
- King/Queen Game: Either the king narcopath or the queen narcopath gets to make up the rules as they go along; they don’t have to tell the you the new rules, and they change the rules when it suits them. They are the king/queen and, as your superior, entitled to win this game, always. You suffer the consequences for breaking the rules, even those you didn’t know existed.
- Cat and Mouse: This is a kind of competitive patience (solitaire) game for two players. It is also known as Spite and Malice. You start this game by arranging the cards from low to high with the Kings/Queens being wild. Suits (the normal order of things and/or common societal rules) are irrelevant in the game. The game ends when someone wins by playing the last card of their “pay-off” pile. The game can also end if the players run out of cards, in which case the result is a draw. Cat and Mouse (or Spite and Malice) is a perfect game for a narcissist because it is actually a form of solitaire, it requires “one-upmanship”, and involves pulling out “better” cards to beat the opponent. It involves a “payoff” and for the narcopath, that usually means hurting you somehow. They keep track of real and imaginary things you do, have done, or might do. This is their “pile” and they will pull a card from it and use it against you when they feel like it.
- Guess Who?: This is a pretty simple game, and quite popular. The rules are few. Basically, you must summon all your psychic skills for this game. It is your job to read the narcopath’s sick mind, then decide what kind of mood he/she is in, and respond to her without her saying a word. Your options include, but are not limited to, two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum; Guilt-tripping puppeteer; Poor unappreciated Cinderella; Cock of the Walk; Coy tease; Inquisitor; Keeper of the Gate; add your favorites to the list. If you get it right, then you win the right to change your behavior to mirror his/hers, and your day will be a good one. Get it wrong and you lose. You get to listen to what a loser you are all day long. Either way, they win. OR, you don’t guess at all this time. Instead, you pack up and leave crazy narcopath and win you back.
The only way for the you to win any of the narcopath’s games to not play. If you are in a relationship, you can walk away from the toxic narcissist in your life. If your boss is an abusive narcissist, you can find another job. You can walk away from your parents, too, if they are abusive. If it’s a family member, move away, go no contact or low contact.
Keep Away Game for You: Keep Away is a game the narcopath doesn’t play, but if you must stay in near the narcopath, it’s one you need to master, and the rules of this game are not to respond the any of the narcopath’s attempt to pull you into one of her no-win games. You are not allowed to respond to jabs, barbs, promises, put-downs, etc. It will take focus and determination to break old habits and create new ones. It only takes 21 days of consistent behavior modification to create a new habit. This is not going to be easy, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quick. Think of it like this: if you’re playing a game of catch, the only way to stop the game is to not catch the ball when someone throws it to you. It’s possible to stop playing games with a narcissist, as long as you mentally prepare for the challenge, and prepare yourself for the onslaught of negativity, accusations and histrionics. Ignore inciting words, don’t respond to inciting words, hang up the phone politely or leave. Take a drive, go for a long walk, anything. Just get away. There are many ways you can refuse to catch the ball and not throw it back. This is the game of “Keep Away”. You stay away, walk away, and refuse to play. This is a game that you, yourself, must learn to play. It is important to recognize that the narcopath will never acknowledge that he/she is now, or has ever played mind games. It’s up to you to stop playing. Don’t try to get them to acknowledge or take responsibility for their words or actions because they will always say they didn’t do it or it never happened or it was your fault.
Source by Byrlyne Van Dyke-Dowers
- Published in Uncategorised
Installing Rope and Flexible LED Strip Lights on Your Deck or Dock
Can you install ROPE LIGHTING on your DECK and/or DOCK? YES – For years we’ve had rope lights on our dock that began with decorating the dock area during the holidays. They’re easy to install, fairly inexpensive and puts out just the right amount of low-key, indirect, ambient lighting.
For those who want to have rope lighting as a more permanent form of accent lighting, there are rope lights constructed for this purpose. WATERPROOF FLEXIBLE LED STRIP LIGHTS are specifically made for the outdoors.
Waterproof Flexible Strip LED lights offer the perfect solution to creating energy-efficient, stylish accent and mood lighting. Strip lights are discreet, flexible, and can be cut to fit your area, and since they come with a strong adhesive, they can be mounted virtually anywhere. Available in multiple colors you can create special effects on practically any surface, marine, auto and/or home.
Steps to Install Rope Lights: The simplest and most common method to install rope lighting is to nail it on the surface using cable clips. You need cable clips, a hammer, a power source and the rope lighting. The time needed for installation depends on the length of the rope.
1. Decide where to install the rope lights – Choose where you want to install the rope lighting. In most cases, the rope lighting is installed on the ceiling, the roof trusses or on the floor decking in order to produce the desired results. Consider the position of the source of power to ensure that your rope reaches the socket.
2. Mount the rope lighting – Use the hammer to clip the lighting on the surface. Slide the rope in the open arcs of the cable clips during the installation as you twist it in your desired pattern. Ensure that the hammer does not miss the target while hitting the clips because it can destroy the rope lighting.
3. Test their output- Switch off the socket, and plug the rope lighting in. Use the extension cord if the length of the rope lighting does not reach the power outlet. Switch the socket on to see if it lights.
Quick answers to the most common questions
• Do I need a controller for my strip lights? A controller is optional but adds the ability to turn your lights on and off and control other features such as dimming.
• Can I connect multiple strips? Strips can be connected end to end up to various meters, depending on your product.
Steps to Install Flexible LED Strip Lighting with Solderless Connectors:
1. Materials Needed – Have all your materials ready. You will need scissors, LED flexible strip lights, a connector, ruler (if needed), and a set of hands.
2. Measuring how many feet of LED strip you need – You may have your LED strip light sent to you in a roll (16 feet) or by the foot, depending on the quantity ordered. Decide how much flexible LED strip lighting you will need for your project. Since the LED strip can only be cut every third LED, you may have to go slightly over or under your desired specification.
3. How to cut the LED strip – As you can see below, the flexible strip light can only be cut along the designated lines. Take a sharp pair of scissors and cut along the line.
4. Pay attention to positive and negative markings – IMPORTANT: Notice the positive and negative sides of the LED strip light. This is important for the next few steps. Sometimes when you cut the LED strip light, things can get mixed around.
5. Introduction to the connector – Each connector has two sides. To insure you have the correct side up, make sure the wider of the white sides faces up. This is the top. BE GENTLE and pull the locking device out away from the wires. Do not pull on the wires to do so, as the connector is fragile.
6. Attaching the connector to the LED strip – IMPORTANT: Color does not always matter! Make sure you follow the positive side of the flex strip down through the connector wire to the power supply. Red/black can either mean (+) or (-) depending on what side you have hooked the connector to.
7. Securing the tray to the LED light – In the example below, if we were to attach the connector to the other side of the flexible strip light, the red would be negative and the black positive. Next, GENTLY secure the locking tray back in place, connecting the terminals of the LED flexible strip light to the connector. Be gentle and make sure the mounting tray is securely closed, or the lights will not work.
8. Connecting the LED strip to power – You are now ready to plug your LED Flexible strip light to the LED power supply. Match the positive and negative markings with the positive and negative wires from the power supply. Make sure the power is off when you do this.
If your strip lights do not light up:
1. Wire color does not always matter! Make sure you follow the positive side of the flex strip down through the connector wire to the power supply. Red/black can either mean (+) or (-) depending on what side of the LED flex strip you have hooked the connector to.
2. Another common problem is that the connector may be installed upside down; repeat steps above and try again.
3. Also, MAKE SURE the tray is closed all the way. Be gentle!
4. Check your power supply and make sure it is hooked up properly, with correct (+) and (-) as well.
5. How many feet of LED strip are you using vs how large your power unit is? If you are using 1 reel of 24 v Ultra bright with e 2.5 amp power unit, it will not work because the power unit is too small.
Source by Linda Langston
- Published in Uncategorised
Act Like a Millionaire
Did you know that there are now 10.1 million households in the US with $ 1 million or more in investable assets, excluding the value of their primary residence? This is from a 2015 article by CNBC. What do these folks do and how do they act? Let's talk about money in a way that might shift your view of rappers, like 50 Cent, posing with stacks of movie prop cash to create the illusion of immunity wealth as he navigates our bankruptcy system. Heck, let's just talk about money.
I read an article recently, written by Dan Kennedy who is internationally recognized as the "Millionaire Maker," helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. His article was published in my business coach's newsletter. My coach, Richard James gets his coaching from Dan Kennedy, so by default, I receive the benefits from Dan Kennedy too. Since the primary focus of my law practice is to help my clients attain freedom from their debts, I focus much of my articles on money.
According to Dan's article, entitled, "the 5 'tools of the mind' you need to become a millionaire thinker," lays the universal foundation that most people think about money in a negative way like, "worrying, budget-wrestling, can ' t afford, and jealousy of others. " I'll add that we feel guilty when we can not pay our debts and feel an awful MORAL obligation to repay our debts. I believe that it is our thoughts about money that keep us perpetually stuck in a cycle of debt and poverty consciousness. I "m on a personal mission to wipe out the personal debts for my clients and partner with them to shift their perspectives about money, wealth and retirement through my bankruptcy practice.
What is Dan's secret? He says that your dominant thoughts are things and cited to Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich. What this means is that if you're constantly seeing lack, you'll get more lack. If you're focused on thoughts that you can leverage, to initiate positive and right actions in your life, then you can kickstart your journey to a better financial life. It all starts with a decision; a choice.
Dan's five tools include planning, environment, reading, engaging in the right activities, and having the right associations. Have not you heard that you are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with? I can tell you that I personally find that I grow in environments where I am not the smartest person in the room. I'm a student of life and soak up these environments like a sponge. Guess what? My business grew by 17% last year and is on target for a 40% growth in 2016. The bottom line is that we start with our thoughts and then take decent actions toward our goals.
This works by opening you up to opportunities you may have never considered, like bankruptcy to quickly eliminate your debts, which then frees up your monthly budget to focus on more important matters, like saving for a home, college, or retirement. Maybe that new business idea becomes your ticket into the 'Millionaire's Club.'
Acting like a millionaire requires first, a shift in your thoughts. Next, you must take action to implement your thoughts. I can tell you that millionaires do not always have like Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent) who poses with fake stacks of cash while in bankruptcy. Many millionaires drive a Prius and pack their own lunches for work. Millionaires save their money for retirement to the tune of 20% of their gross income. Millionaires act like they're broke. It's when people act like they have money, which creates the illusion of wealth. Look around and you'll be surprised to notice the millionaire next door who is wearing sweat pants to the grocery store.
Take a moment and think about how long you have been working. For some, it will be longer than others. Then, add up all the money you have earned so far during your lifetime. What do you have to show for all that money spent? Do you have a retirement plan? Do you own your home? Have you invested in your Self ?, through education and ongoing learning? Or, do you continuously find that you're a victim of circumstance? Make a decision today to no longer tolerate circumstances to take your money by taking control. Eliminating debt first is the single fastest way towards building wealth and acting like a millionaire.
Source by Christine A. Kingston
- Published in Uncategorised
The Call Every Woman Dreads
We were driving from Albany to Nashville, and it was my turn to drive. As I was going 80 mph down Route 81, when my cell phone rang, and I looked down and saw it was my doctor's office. I allowed for a minute before I picked it up and said "Hello." The voice on the other end said: "Gina, this is Mary from the doctor's office, and there is a problem with your Mammogram." To be honest, I did not hear anything else after that until she said: "We made an appointment for you next Tuesday at 2:00 for a diagnostic mammogram." I said "Thank you" and hung up the phone. I'm not sure exactly why I was thanking her for this news, but I was polite. Rob apparently had seen what I thought was happening, that my face was losing all color, and he said: "Why do not I drive for a little bit."
I tried, unsuccessfully to put it out of my mind, but instead, I started googling things as we sped down the road. I ignored the text from sister-in-law, who is a doctor when she said: "Do not Google it." I ignored my other two sisters and their texts that said: "It will be fine, breast cancer does not run in our family", and I silently freak out.
After that phone call, I spend hours and days repeating in my head – it will be fine, it will be fine, over and over as if to will it to be true. But what if it was not going to be fine, what if it was all going to turn to shit. Then what? Then what do I have on an endless loop in my mind? I knew it would not be fine; I knew it would not be fine? The truth is, in the five days from the call to the actual appointment there was a lot more of "I knew it would not be fine" going on in my head then "It will be fine".
The day before the second mammogram the doctor's office called to confirm my appointment, again I had the blood rush from my face. In a few hours I had to take a shower and go to a birthday party for Rob with the kids and act like I was not scared to death, but the truth was I was panicking. All I could think of was my sweet chickens and Rob. What if I had to tell them I had breast cancer? How would they react? I did not tell them at the birthday party, and I bowled like I did not have a care in the world and for a few hours, I had forgotten about the next day and the follow-up appointment.
As I sat in the packed waiting room, I could hardly breathe. Across from me was an older Italian lady with dark circles under her eyes and she look scared and distant. Next to me was a thirty-something lady wearing a breast cancer tee shirt, one with a witty saying and she had a ten-year-old girl sitting next to her. It was all I could not do to get up and run. My heart stopped every time they would call someone else's name.
The thing that got me crying during the exam was not my X-ray staring at me on the wall with a spot big enough for my untrained eye to see. But, it was, in fact, the very moment the technician said she had to mark the spot in question. She took out a sharpie and made an "x" and by the time she put the cap back on I was in tears.
After a series of x-rays, the technician started to leave the room and told me not to worry if it took a long time for her to come back. It did not mean anything bad it just meant she was waiting for the Doctor. So when she came back in less than 5 minutes, I figured I was good to go, and I was, good to go on to the ultra sound. "Can I get you anything to drink?" she asked as we were walking to another waiting room. I had to force myself not to yell yes a vodka tonic, please.
In the end, it turned out to be a couple of cysts, that they are slowly worried about and I left the examining room with a note to follow up in six months. When I walked into the waiting room and collected my husband, we walked out of the building. When I told him it was just cysts, I burst into tears. The emotions I had been holding in for the last five days came flooding out of me, and while I dug in my purse for a tissue, he asked me if I wanted to go for ice cream.
As we bulldo home, I was relieved there would be days of ice cream in my future. I was relieved I did not have to tell the chickens that something was wrong. As we bulldo home, it started to rain, and I was even relieved for the rain. It was a scary week for me, but I managed to get through it, and I was just relieved.
Source by Gina DeNicola
- Published in Uncategorised
Wii U System Review
Since the Wii U's release on November 12th of last year, it has been at the center of some mixed criticism and a lot of discussion about Nintendo's current business model. It launched with some good games, but it's taken the first year year to expand from that and to really start getting some strong and unique titles. At $ 349.99 for the 32GB "Deluxe" model, it has had a hard time hitting its target market in competitiveness with the PS3 and Xbox 360. That may not change with the coming Xbox One and PS4 but the Wii U is seeing a $ 50 price drop on September 20th, and either way it should not be dismissed just yet.
The system is a nice piece of hardware; it feels sturdy and not at all cheap, despite being thin and streamlined. Even after being on for hours at a time, it does not get hot or run loudly. It has HDMI and composite outputs (it comes with an HDMI cable), an SD card slot and 4 USB ports. The Wii U comes with either 8GB or 32GB of system memory that can be expanded with a USB hard drive (all the way up to 2TB), so plenty of memory can be added if you ever need that much. Being able to buy a base system with some memory and expand it so much should actually be cheaper than what current systems have been doing at least. Even though it has a USB slot, you can not use SD cards for game downloads- that is just for Wii stuff and game saves.
Much of the discussion and controversy is based on how it compares to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and the upcoming next gen systems. Honestly, Wii U games look just fine, with very modern and clean HD graphics. New Super Mario U looks very sharp and ZombiU (like most launch titles) had good things and some sloppy things in the graphics department. I have yet to experience any frame rate issues at all which is a big plus, and more important than other parts of a game's presentation. So is it really under powered? On paper, yes- but remember that at the 360's launch, some of its games just kind of looked like Xbox games. The Wii U has some games that look like current PS3 games. But look how far those systems have come in 6 years: the hardware in the Wii U is more current than both the PS3 and 360 and it shows promise. Games on the way and the ones released since launch have shown some very nice HD graphical presentations and it can really only get better as years go on. Nintendo has a knack for pulling the most out of their systems- just look at Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii.
The actual gameplay is very interesting and very new, and at the same time feels familiar. Most of the WiiU experience (at least for now) involves the GamePad, which gives a dual screen experience (your TV and the screen in your hand). Each game puts this to use differently and can be as complicated a dual screen experience as the DS, or only used for maps and inventory or extra buttons and / or just for allowing off TV play. ZombiU uses it for inventory and maps mostly but it is also used for game events and as a camera- all cool features that help flesh out the game. It also allows for mini events like lock picking to take place on the GamePad screen while your game on the TV switches views for optimal awareness of your surroundings. Nintendo Land makes uses of the Gamepad with more camera control, full gameplay, secondary buttons, and as an input device. Balloon Trip (based on Balloon Fight from the NES), has you using the touch screen to control the wind to move your character. This is a very relaxed approach and very reminiscent of many DS games and will likely show up in many casual titles. More recent titles like Pikmin 3 used it as a map and for off TV play; the map always being ready allowed for fast multi-tasking. Of course some games may not use the GamePad at all; possibly those developers targeting more "hardcore" crowds will forego it entirely. That would be a shame; the GamePad does not really slow anything down and allows for more options. But using both the Controller and having the GamePad sitting on its stand to be used for other things could be an interesting feature as well.
The GamePad is an impressive controller and comfortable to use. It is not too heavy and the grips make it easy to hold up, relaxed in your lap or with one hand. All of the (familiar ABXY) buttons feel very responsive. The D-pad feels classic and well-sized and the joysticks are very responsive and smooth and click well when used as buttons. The shoulder buttons- not triggers like the Gamecube controller, but rather buttons like the Wii classic pro controller- are well made. There is a camera built into the controller which works well, in addition to loud and clear speakers. Battery life is not an issue- by the time your battery is exhausted you should probably be letting your system have a break anyway. And while the GamePad can not be charged by the system, the dock with the deluxe bundle makes charging it easy and looks nice on display.
The screen on the Gamepad is the main focus and really brings a lot to the table. It is as responsive as the DS and 3DS touch screens, just a lot bigger and with pretty good resolution. It is not going to be as clear as your HD TV screen but it does not look sloppy either. I also found that reaching for quick touches with my thumbs is easy (even with my shorter fingers). The last thing it does is work as a remote for your cable box and TV. You can switch the input on your TV or turn up the volume while playing without needing to get up or use another remote.
Nintendo has finally taken a big step into online gameplay and connectivity with the Miiverse. Sure, you have video chat, and friend lists but the MiiVerse integrates everything when you turn it on or play games. MiiVerse as an app is essentially where you manage your friends and profile but it also functions as a giant Nintendo forum or social hub where you post twitter-like updates and photos of your gaming experiences. It also allows you to chat with friends; hopefully later on it will be able to give you a notification when your friend responds.
While this is all cool, how it integrates directly into games is the best part. When playing New Super Mario U , MiiVerse updates can appear on the over world map relating to each level. Or when you are sitting in the Mii plaza the Miis that appear are essentially talking using the MiiVerse posts. You may even see Miis show up in games; the best example right now is in Nintendo Land where they walk around your theme park plaza or show up in the background of the games. MiiVerse can be accessed on the fly while playing any game too, so you can always update it or see what someone else is saying about the game. When you switch to MiiVerse your game pauses and that screen is what you can post to MiiVerse if you so desire. Certain games can even implement a sort of achievement system where they ask if you want to post to MiiVerse when you do something cool; New Super Mario U does this now.
All of this is linked and used with a Nintendo Network ID, aka your username. This makes users easy to friend and find, a big and welcome change to the deservedly maligned friend codes. Unfortunately these IDs are linked to the console where you register them; certainly this is related to some sort of privacy and protection policy, but inconvenient if your system should die or if you want to update to a special edition color later. Nintendo has hinted at changing this, but nothing has happened yet.
The Wii U is backwards compatible with the Wii and Wii U games support Wiimotes and other Wii accessories. Compatibility functions for Wii games cause you to boot to a new menu. You'll use your Wiimote at this point and only Wii accessories. Wii games do actually play in 1080p, as do all the menus and anything else. I played Goldeneye for a bit and you can see a difference, both good and bad. Some things in game look much smoother from the upscale but mistakes or ugly filters stand out more; the cut scenes looked really gross. This is because it is an upscale of resolution but no re-rendering is happening, no new filter or anything. This is not like emulation where new rendering processes can be applied; it is just a resolution increase. So you'll get good things and bad things from playing Wii games on Wii U- it depends on the game. Either way the backwards compatibility is a nice and welcome feature.
To sum it all up, I'm pretty happy with my Wii U and feel like it has a promising future even after a very slow year. My Wii had its moments of constant play and heavy dust collecting and even if my Wii U meets that same kind of fate I do not feel like my money was wasted. The system had a decent price point which is only better with the recent $ 50 price drop and has already provided that it can be very fun and opens a world of new gaming possibilities. As the game library increases we will see some fun games; If you are a social gamer and a social network lover it may be a system to check out just for that. The only issues the Wii U has is a sparse library, which should improve, and the fact that despite being a nice piece of hardware it will not hold up as well during this next generation of gaming. It is a sharp HD system but due to the small gap in power it will eventually fall to being a system for Nintendo exclusives again.
Source by Kevin Willingham III
- Published in Uncategorised
How to Write a Screenplay – Have Something Exciting Happen Every Ten Pages
A key tip about how to write a screenplay is to have something exciting happen every ten pages. This is one of simplest and most effective tips about writing a screenplay. Every ten pages, have something that shakes up the script a little bit happen. It doesn’t mean that you have to start bumping main characters off every few pages (unless you’re making a horror movie, in which case, good luck and God bless), but it does mean that you have to keep the story moving forward.
Think of it this way — if you’re describing a movie that you just watched to a friend who’s never seen it, you don’t focus on every little detail, right? You end up telling them the major plot points, the important stuff. My personal suggestion would be to try to write out your movie to yourself in a couple of paragraphs on one sheet – don’t focus on the little stuff, the character minutiae and all the esoteric character jazz – just give yourself the plot, in its most bare bones form. Those events in the paragraphs that move the story forward? Those are the exciting things that you need to pace out throughout the script while you’re learning how to write a screenplay.
I want to take a moment here to discuss structure in a broader sense, before we go any further — be very, very careful about how much of it you put into your script, especially when you’re first learning how to write a screenplay. I would suggest thinking about it in musical terms – most people know that it takes a lot of skill to be a classical musician, but how many people regularly listen to classical music? Just because you can show off your technique or mastery of skill does not mean it will go noticed and be appreciated by an audience. If you need further proof of this, let me remind you that “The Big Bang Theory,” the number one sitcom in the world is, from a structural standpoint, one of the worst technically written things on television right now yet it says much else about the overlooked aspects of how to write a screenplay.
You have to keep in mind that while you, and other writers and film buffs, may have an appreciation for your brilliant Act 2 setup or your excellent dénouement, the reality is that the vast majority of audiences have no clue what the hell those terms even mean – they’re in a theater to be entertained, and if you’re too rigid with your structure, they’ll see everything you’ve got laid out for them from a mile away, and then nobody goes home happy.
Source by John Halas
- Published in Uncategorised
The 3 Biggest Obstacles To Good Decision-Making
Good decision-making is at the heart of every successful organisation. So, for leaders, it’s useful to understand a little more about how decision-making works – and what are some of the main obstacles to it.
Thankfully, advances in neuroscience in recent years have helped shed light on how people arrive at decisions; below we look at three of the main impediments to coherent decision-making, as uncovered by neuroscience.
1. Perceived threat
When we perceive threat, the more ‘primitive’ parts of our brain tend to take over as we go into a stress-response mode. This is the ‘fight or flight’ mentality. We still make a decision, and it can even be the right one in the circumstances: to run away from a loud bang, for instance.
However, in the workplace, physical threats (which our primitive brains are generally well-attuned to responding to) are few and far between. The threats we perceive are more likely to be to our reputation, our job security, or other such factors.
The response in the brain, though, is the same: cortisol is released, which speeds up the heart rate, and the more executive-thinking parts of our brain (which we often need to engage in workplace decisions) are essentially hijacked by the threat response. Where there is perceived threat, therefore, good decision-making is unlikely.
2. Unreliable memory
Human memory is very different to computer memory. Data is not just entered, stored, and retrievable in the same format, as needed. The data in our memories changes over time!
That’s because human memory is subject to influences and biases, and is far more complex. You will have experienced what can happen to memory when asking someone to recount the same event at different times. The two accounts are not usually identical.
Memory is heavily influenced by our ego; most people will naturally adjust memories in order to protect their sense of self- value, rather than have 100 percent truthful recollections. This is sometimes called the ‘self-serving bias’, and is just one of the many biases that can affect our decision-making.
3. Cognitive biases
Rational judgment and decision-making becomes even more difficult when we are subject to any of the many cognitive biases just mentioned. These can be powerful influences, leading us to make poor decisions – even when we know that we are being irrational.
Some common biases that affect people are:
- Selectively searching for, or interpreting, information in a way that confirms their own preconceptions (‘Confirmation bias’ )
- The tendency to think that future probabilities are changed by past events, when in reality they are unchanged (‘Gambler’s fallacy’)
- Giving preferential treatment to those who are perceived as part of the ‘group’ (In-group favouritism)
- Developing a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them (‘Mere exposure effect’ )
- The tendency to ‘go with the flow’ (The ‘Bandwagon’ effect)
- Relying too heavily on the first piece of information received (Anchoring bias)
You can probably recognise some of the above biases in others – how about in yourself?
Being aware of the three factors above is the first step to making better decisions. If we understand the potential threats to clear thought during the decision-making process, we can recognise when they are hijacking our brains!
Source by Mark R Stephens
- Published in Uncategorised
How To Sell Digital Products On Bonanza
Digital product authors and licensed resellers have sold their products on eBay for many years. Sadly, for the past couple of years eBay has made this increasingly more difficult. This is due to their restrictions on the sale of digitally downloaded products. As a result many digital product sellers have been forced to find an alternative.
Bonanza fit the bill perfectly!
If you’re not familiar with Bonanza, it’s an online auction site very much like eBay. Bill Harding founded Bonanza in 2007. Today there are over 20 million items for sale on Bonanza. These item listings are available to nearly every country in the world. Among these items are, naturally, digitally downloaded products.
Digital products are not only fully supported on Bonanza, the digital delivery to your customer is also handled. When your product is purchased and payment completed, the buyer is able to download the product immediately.
The ability to easily list digital products, has made Bonanza one of the top venues for selling downloadable software, eBooks, plugins and more.
Listing your digital downloads is easy
- Register a sellers account on Bonanza.
- Once your account is active, login and go to your seller’s dashboard.
- Set up your Seller’s Booth, following the provided instructions/suggestions.
- Select items, then add or edit items. This will open your listings page.
- Select add an item. This will take you to the listing creation page.
- Complete the Give Your Item A Title Field.
- Next you will upload your product images.
- In the item category field, select Digital Goods, then type of item from the list of options.
- Enter the number of items available in the Quantity Available field.
- Complete the Detailed Item Description field.
- In the Shipping Selection field you’ll upload your digital file. (.zip file)
- Set a price for your item.
- Click the, Add This Item To Your Booth button.
- You’ll receive confirmation that your listing is now live.
That’s all there is to it. When your item sells, payment will be added to your PayPal account, the buyer will be able to download the item immediately. All of this is handled automatically, with no additional action required from you.
Another great feature of Bonanza is the Rewards Program. You earn reward tokens for just about every action you perform on Bonanza. Logging in and listing items are just a couple ways you earn tokens. These tokens can be used for fee discounts, listing promotion and more.
There are many other great venues for selling digital products online. However, if you sell digital products, Bonanza definitely ranks among the best. Even if you currently sell on other sites, don’t overlook Bonanza!
Source by Robert Sellers
- Published in Uncategorised