Kamis, 28 Agustus 2008

0 9 Simple Ways to Go Green in the Office

If you are anything like me, then you probably feel responsible for our planet in some ways. Having those feelings doesn't mean we have to walk with picket signs or call our local member of congress. However, it does mean that we can perhaps see the value in changing our behavior a little.

Less is more as the saying goes and the more we can save and conserve our valuable energy sources, the better. Contrary to popular belief we can all do our little contributions to make the world a better place. What better way to start than in the home office.
  • Reduce Paper Clutter
    This is a given. Funny enough, in today's age and time we seem to be amassing more paper clutter than ever. You can contribute to the reduction by starting to keep digital backups of your online documents. You don't really need to print everything just to read it. If you absolutely must, then perhaps you can recycle the paper. If you work somewhere where the process call for handwritten copies of things, ask why!

  • Recycle You Shall
    These days it is so easy to recycle and you can recycle a lot more than paper. Best of all, many companies have made it their prime mission to sell recycled stuff, rather than further abuse the environment. Check out The Green Office for some cool green office gear.

  • Buy An Office Plant
    No kidding. A green plant in your home office will do wonders for the atmosphere. A green plant produces vital oxygen for you through photosynthesis. To see how this all works, take a look at this 3-minute video:

  • Switch Off The Light
    You wouldn't believe how many home workers use light during the day. I understand that on a dull day and in winter this is often a must. But instead of leaving the light switched on when you are not in the room, you could switch it off. Even better, use an energy saving bulb. LED lighting will be the future of energy saving lighting systems.

  • Hit The Off Switch On Your TV
    A TV doesn't belong in the office anyway. It would be more beneficial for your productivity to banish the TV from your office. If you absolutely must see that show, allow yourself a break from work. Your body will thank you for it anyway.

  • Print with Soy
    If you absolutely must use a printer in your office, then looking at soy based ink toner cartridges might give you green satisfaction. With the rising cost of oil it makes financial sense to switch from petroleum based ink toners to something more environmentally friendly. Using renewable products like soy is all the rage of the future.

  • Hit The Snooze Button
    Better yet, if you finish for the day, switch off your computer, opposed to leaving it powered all night. Not only is this better for energy consumption - and therefore the environment - but your computer will thank you for it with longevity. The same goes for your other office appliances. If you don't need them, switch them off.

  • Blinds Anyone?
    It is a known fact that using blinds on windows will prevent heat leakage in winter while keeping us cool in summer. You don't have to install expensive blinds either to make this work. I bought some groovy looking eco-blinds from a local manufacturer not so long ago. They are made from eco-friendly cedar wood and kill two birds with the one product, meaning, they are double effective in the green department.

  • Ergonomically Designed Office Furniture
    A real green stroke of genius is to use ergonomically designed office furniture if you can. This will prevent unwelcome visits to the doctor later in your life and acts as a prevention against unnecessary travels (e.g. using petrol) because you get sick from slouching and sitting with the wrong posture.

    These days you can find "healthy" office furniture in many retail shops around the country. An easy alternative to this is to use a Fit Ball or Swiss Ball. They will set you back around $ 11 -20+ and are top for improved posture, circulation and health.
With a bit of creative imagination and will it isn't hard to go green, even if you work from home. We can all contribute to a greener planet without spending a fortune. In fact, going green can actually save you a lot of money over the long term, as your energy bill will most likely be reduced.

How do you feel about the green movement? Are you already implementing some of these tips, or do you have additional tips to share? Let us know in the comments please.

Thank you for considering to make this earth a greener place.


Written on 8/29/2008 by Monika Mundell. Monika has extensive experience in Sales and Marketing and is now an established freelance writer and pro-blogger who is full of passion for all things Internet related. You can catch her at The Writer's Manifesto or MonikaMundell.com.Photo Credit: andriesss

0 Airborne Environments

[Image: Airbus A380, photographed by Robyn Beck/Agence France-Presse for Getty Images, via the New York Times].

Marc Newson's "retro-futurist" interior design for the new A380 super-jumbo airplane, to be run by Qantas, was the subject of an interesting article in the New York Times writes this morning.

Newson's "design language" for the airplane, we read, "is defined less by what the passengers see than by how they feel." One example of this is "the L.E.D.’s that illuminate the cabin":
They are programmed to wash the interior with colors that change subtly throughout the flight. Each shade is selected to create the ideal mood for a particular activity, like sleeping, waking or eating, regardless of time zone.
“Designing an aircraft is like creating a mini-world,” Mr. Newson said. “You’re putting people in a confined environment and controlling how they’ll feel with the oxygen, humidity and everything they touch and see. It all has an effect.”
Reading this instantly brought to mind a few things – including, somewhat obviously, the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, here transformed into a total environment sent aloft into the sky. Perhaps equally unsurprising, I was also reminded of Norman Foster's infamous choice of the Boeing 747 as his favorite building of the 20th century.

Are airplanes the future of architecture, after all?

Somewhat more obscurely, however, I thought of the dream academy of Konstantin Melnikov – Melnikov's so-called "Sonata of Sleep." As the Winter 2007/2008 issue of Cabinet magazine described Melnikov's bizarre architectural invention:
At either end of the long buildings were to be situated control booths, where technicians would command instruments to regulate the temperature, humidity, and air pressure, as well as to waft salubrious scents and "rarefied condensed air" through the halls. Nor would sound be left unorganized. Specialists working "according to scientific facts" would transmit from the control centre a range of sounds gauged to intensify the process of slumber. The rustle of leaves, the cooing of nightingales, or the soft murmur of waves would instantly relax the most overwrought veteran of the metropolis. Should these fail, the mechanized beds would then begin gently to rock until consciousness was lost.
In many ways, this Willy Wonka-like vision of synaesthetic architecture could be realized in the guise of international airplane travel, Newson inadvertently suggests. Lulled by strange colored lights and slowly changing sounds, passengers can be sent to sleep – or woken up – at the will of the pilot, who assumes a new, psychotropic role. It's an Esalen Institute in the sky.

[Images: Photos by Brett Boardman, for the New York Times].

A few brief questions:

1) What would an airplane designed by Jonathan Ive look like? Or if Mies van der Rohe had been hired to rethink the internal spaces of American Airlines? I feel like entire, speculative, university-level design courses could be organized around such lines of thought; they could be sponsored by Richard Branson. So does Newson's success – or, who knows, failure – in designing the Qantas A380 imply that our era needs a new Raymond Loewy? Or will climate change and high oil prices ultimately extinguish this temporary airborne niche in the field of architectural design?

2) Less relevantly, should airports look like the airplanes that depart from them? You walk from one tubular environment into another, and you sit in identical seats, served by similarly uniformed stewards – only the room you're now in suddenly accelerates, taking you up into the sky... Perhaps the interior design of airports and airplanes should be unified – made continuous – so, after too many drinks one night, waiting to depart from Dallas-Ft. Worth, you realize that you might be sitting in the airplane already... You demand to get off; hijinks ensue.

3) What were the test-environments for this airplane like? Did Newson have entire fake airplane hulls constructed somewhere, inside of which entire fake rooms and galleys could be installed – and what was it like to spend time inside that simulated airplane of the future?

4) Could you purchase one of Newson's perfectly molded bathrooms, receive it by delivery a week later, and then hook it up somewhere inside your own grounded house? I remember hearing once that the Spice Girls liked the mattresses that they slept on so much when they came through Philadelphia and stayed in the Four Seasons they that they simply bought the beds upon check-out. So could you fill out a form at the end of your trans-Pacific, San Francisco-Sydney flight, and say, sure, I'll buy two bathrooms and a couchette... deliver them to my house in Marin County? A whole subsidiary industry begins: you send experimental interiors into the skies of the world, aboard international business flights, hoping to sell a few rooms to your well-served, half-drunk passengers. What would happen if you could buy rooms from inside any building you've ever visited? Surely every interior could be given a price tag?

0 OMG Mike totally proposed to me!!

Ok la, I was exaggerating.

What happened was that one day I had this conversation with Mike:

Me: "Why won't you marry me?!"

Mike: "We are as good as married."

Me: "No!"

Mike: "Why no? We are living together, seeing each other everyday... "

Me: "I wanna you to marry me!!!!"

Mike: "But we are as good as married! There is no difference."

Me: "Ok lor in that case I shall tell everyone we are engaged."

Mike, laughs: "You do that."

The first step nowadays to being engaged is to be facebook-engaged!!

Therefore, this morning when I was very bored, I logged onto his facebook account and.... totally proposed to myself.

I know... It is infinitely loserish but it is still damn shiok!! Those of you who have not been facebook engaged/married before should try it!!! AHAHAHA!!

Omg I got a relationship status request!! Got heart shape somemore!!

Mike totally wants me to add him as my fiance!!

I am touched beyond words!! Yes my love, I accept!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*sobs uncontrollably*



*hops around the room showing off non-existent 2 carat Diamond ring to everyone*

I know!! He loves me so much!! I am so blessed!!

*wipes away tears*

OK... That was really fun, even though it is a self-directed love story/comedy.

On a sidenote ah, I was told that an engagement ring is the one with the big diamond, and the wedding ring is normally just a simple band.

Then, after being married, girls wear the wedding ring daily, and the expensive engagement ring is then safely kept in a box.


If Mike spends $10k on my engagement ring and $3k on my wedding ring, then obviously I wanna wear the $10k shit everyday right? Why would I keep it in a bloody box?

That's just stupid man. It doesn't make sense.

I mean, it does make sense for most girls lah since they have to work and their rings can't be too bling anyway, blah blah... But whatever!

I want my wedding ring to be fucking ostentatious!!!

Please don't talk to me about how less is more hor!! That doesn't even make sense. More is more please! Duh!!!

Talk somemore I scratch your face with my humongous diamond ah!

So anyway, I have thus concluded that my engagement ring should be the simple one (I think maybe a row of smaller diamonds... ahem... for my more toned-down days) and the wedding ring shall be like...

Wait wait wait... I shall google!!


Here's my engagement ring:

In my process of googling for rings, I have decided that 3 rows of diamonds is infinitely better than just 1 row

Correct what... You compare!!

Kua kua... See? 3 rows of diamonds. Nice. Ahem. So much for toned down days.

So anyway, as for the wedding ring, I am inspired by this science teacher I used to have in River Valley. She's very pretty!!

And since I am so short and so talkative/naughty, I am inevitably placed in the front row of classroom seats.

In fact, I am not only in the front row, I am right in the middle, just beside the bloody OHP projector.

Everytime this teacher uses that contraption, her wedding ring REALLY sparkles underneath the intense light as she uses the hands to arrange her transparencies.

Bling bling bling... I spent hours getting distracted by her chioness ring!!

And her ring is a single humongous (or so it seemed to me at that time) solitaire diamond one.

Not 4 clasps:


Not 6 clasps:


But the magical number of 5.

I don't know... I guess its a small detail, but to me it's quite important coz I really do think it's much chioer this way!

Hahahaha!! Talk so much, skarly nobody even wants to marry me lor!!

Wait, why is this one so chio?

Pink diamond leh!! Are real pink diamonds even purchasable in Singapore???

p/s: We are not really engaged. I'm just being boh liao.

0 11 Productive Things To Do When You Can't Access The Internet

Written on 8/28/2008 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. You can catch him at Jeet Blog where he blogs about different Web 2.0 apps and online tools and how they can help you become more productive.Photo Credit: noii's

For many of us, the internet is a primary source of recreation and a critical part of everyday work. No matter how you use it, it's expected to be there - at all times.

When the connection goes down, sadness quickly fills the room. It's funny just how addicted people are to the internet. We're so hooked that the loss of connectivity seems life altering. I admit, when I lose connection, my frustration level skyrockets and I feel utterly helpless.

However, it's important to remember that it isn't data running through our veins, it's blood. We don't live and die online and there are loads of things we can do to keep busy while the ISP fixes the issue. So let's not whine about it, let's put the extra time to good use.

Here are some ideas:
  • Read ebooks
    You surf online, come across a nice ebook, download it and save it in your ebooks folder to come back to it later. That 'later' is now. This is the time to open those PDF files and read them. If you have liked an ebook in the past, read it again. I'm sure you can get some valuable information in this process. Don't have any ebooks? Check out Project Gutenberg where you can access thousands of books for free.

  • Catch up with friends
    There's no MySpace or Facebook, Google Talk or Yahoo to communicate or chat with your friends. So what do you do ? Simple - pick up the phone and call your friend next door with whom you have always found easier to chat on Facebook. This could be a nice time to meet your friends who stay in the same city.

  • Read magazines or newspaper thoroughly
    Pick up and read that magazine or newspaper that you dismissively flipped through yesterday. I know it's a shock - who has time to read the newspaper when you can get news in a click, right ? But the conventional way of reading news has its own charm and its own importance too. And yes, it's always offline too :)

  • Clean your computer
    The perfect time to unplug those cords from behind the computer tower, open the tower and start cleaning the heaps of dust that have accumulated over the past few weeks. Also you can clean and organize your entire desk and give it a new look.

  • Defragment your PC
    Right time for windows users or in fact any computer user to do some offline maintenance work. One of them could be a disk cleanup and defragment. This process could take time, sometimes hours to get completed. But it's one of the essential ways to maintain your computer. You could also try out other steps like going through the list of installed programs and getting rid of the unwanted ones.

  • Go for a run
    You don't need to sit with your eyes fixed on your computer when you are running the defrag or disk cleanup. Unless it's bad weather outside, get your shoes on and go for a run. Kill two birds with one stone :)

  • Play a game...not a computer game
    Good time to complete that unfinished chess game with your younger brother. You could also go out and join those teens for some basketball, tennis or a badminton knock.

  • Write ( or draw ) something
    This time with pen and on paper. Write an article, write your thoughts, write a dream, write anything. It'll feel different and nice to use the mighty pen, again. It gives a different feeling, a feeling which your keyboard could never give. And if you are good at art, this is a great time to sit and draw something really nice.

  • Get involved in creative pursuits
    Get back to your once upon a time favorite but now neglected and dejected hobbies. If you like painting, do it now. If you love cooking , great time to cook your favorite recipe. So get involved in your creative pursuits or simply, what you ' liked ' to do before this internet thing overtook and overpowered you. :)

  • Complete pending chores
    You could please your Mom or your wife by telling her that you are available to get the groceries or do some other household chores. You might hate doing it but it could have good returns for you later in the day, in the form of delicious food...or something else. ;)

  • On another note, this is also a good time to complete pending work like getting your car serviced or doing some repair work.

  • Meditate
    Finally, if you are too frustrated and just can't seem to do anything else, sit back, relax, take deep breaths and meditate. You may not find enlightenment like Buddha but you'll feel better for sure :)


Rabu, 27 Agustus 2008

0 Will All of This Matter In Five Years?

Written on 8/27/2008 by Ali Hale. Ali runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.Photo Credit: striatic

A few years ago, I had a lot of trouble keeping things in perspective. A bad day at school, a nasty comment from a classmate, a disagreement with my parents, all had the power to kill my day, sometimes my month. To me, everything was a big deal and I couldn't just get over the lumps and bumps of life like most people seemed to.

I also never managed to stick to the things I started. I kept "going on a diet" – for all of three days. I began short stories, I began a novel, I began to teach myself Latin, I started designing a website. None of the projects were completed. For goodness sake, I bought some classic novels but never opened them. Why not?

There was always something else competing for attention and none of them, none at all, were important as it pertains to achieving my goals. Simple things like TV or computer games won the daily battles and subsequently were awarded my time.

Then I discovered six little words have helped me through stressful times and kept me focussed on what's important in my life. Those simple words "Will it matter in five years?"

When your day goes south, ask, "Will it matter in five years?” The answer, more times than not, is no - not even close.
  • Maybe you got a bad grade on a pop quiz in school – Will it matter in five years? Nope – in fact, it’ll probably be forgotten within a week. If the trend continues throughout your schooling years, the answer is different, but one test or quiz should not be allowed to sour a semester.

  • The washing machine’s broken down, the beds aren’t made, and the kids are running around in their pajamas having eaten chocolate for breakfast. Will it matter in five years? Of course not! Again, if this is your daily ritual, the kids are going to have some problems, but a day off from "the schedule" will not set the course for failure.

  • You’ve lost your wallet, with all your cards and $50 cash inside. Will it matter in five years? No – it’s a temporary nuisance, not a disaster. Make the calls, cancel the cards and get new ones.
As you can see, asking “Will it matter in five years?” is a fantastic way to put things into perspective. However disastrous your day’s been, it’s rare that anything happens which won’t be forgotten long before the five years are up.

What about real catastrophes, though, times when something significant has gone wrong?
  • You didn’t get into the college of your choice and you’re disappointed. Will it matter in five years? Probably not unless need Harvard Med for some reason. It’s likely you’ll have a great time regardless, and once you’ve got a job, most employers won’t care where you studied.

  • You’ve made some poor financial decisions and you’ve spent all your savings. Will it matter in five years? Maybe. But five years is long enough to recover from almost anything. Focus your effort on the bounce-back plan, not wallowing in agony over the loss (I bounced back from zero savings to $10,000 in eight months.).

  • You get laid off – not because you’ve done anything wrong, but because of the economy. Will it matter in five years? Yes, but probably not in the way you expect: you might start a new career that you love, figure out a better work/life balance, take some time to go traveling, learn about your passion and purpose in life, etc. Use this as an opportunity.
The most powerful way to use those six little words, though, is when you’re deciding what you want to spend your time doing. Some activities might be fun or profitable right now – but they won’t matter in five years. Others might seem like a lot of work for little reward in the present – but you’ll reap huge dividends a few years down the line.
  • When you’re thinking about what you eat and how much exercise you do, ask, Will it matter in five years? The truth is that it will – whether you make good or bad choices, your body will be affected by them every single day. Five years is long enough to get your body into pretty much any shape you want. It’s also long enough to ruin your health for good. And it’s the little choices you make every day that decide that.

  • When you can’t be bothered to brush your teeth or get a check-up from your dentist, ask yourself, Will it matter in five years? It will – as many people who regret not taking better care of their teeth could tell you!

  • When you’re dithering between watching television and hammering out another chapter of the novel you’re writing, ask yourself, Will it matter in five years? It’s unlikely you’ll care by then about Big Brother 2008, but if you work on that novel instead, you might just be a published author.

  • When working your way out of debt seems futile, because you’ve got so much to pay back, you might be tempted to just enjoy the money you do have. Ask yourself, Will it matter in five years? That new DVD or computer game won’t; getting into a debt-free position definitely will.
Are there worries in your life which just won’t matter in five years’ time? Are there activities which you never quite get round to doing which you’ve now realized will matter? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.


0 The Comparative Literature of Massive Construction Sites

[Image: An etching by Daniel Stojkovich called Tower of Babel 2, exhibited as part of Top Arts 2007 at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia].

I was clicking around on a local university's engineering school homepage yesterday morning when I misunderstood the way the page had been organized. For a second I thought that Comparative Literature had been re-classified as a sub-field, or specialty research group, within the university's engineering school – and so I had to wonder what exactly those students might be reading.
Aside from technical manuals, what might be the comparative literature of engineering?
Before I realized that I'd simply misread the list of links, I thought that perhaps there should be a comparative literature of construction sites: famous monuments, tombs, bridges, houses, and cities throughout history, together with the thoughts of the people who built them.
You collect the oral histories of construction workers all over the world, only identifying what building they were working on in the footnotes; what emerges is a kind of architectural hivework with no clear purpose or outline taking shape all over the planet, with towers and stadiums and whole urban neighborhoods assembled in a fog of exhaustion and low-grade injury.
You then go back through all of literature, from the Bible to the Upanishads to The Odyssey to The New York Times, culling long quotations about construction sites. The private houses of emperors; the pyramids; recollections of the construction of jungle temples; mountain lookouts in a time of war; Victorian train lines; Dubai.
In fact, I'm reminded of the excellent book Dart by Alice Oswald in which conversations with people living along the river Dart have been combined into a single, long-running commentary about the riverine landscape; only here it would be a kind of Dart of architecture: thousands and thousands of construction workers and site engineers and geotechnicians and consultant elevator repair servicepersons all speaking about the act of putting architecture together in space.
Epic poems of building assembly.
I do wonder, meanwhile, if the temporary micro-culture of the construction site has been adequately documented by architectural historians. Industrial yards have certainly had their day, from documentaries about WWII dockworkers to historical surveys of Solidarity; and construction sites have obviously long been a focus for painters and photographers.
But have literature and history given the attention due to sites of architectural assembly?
Do we need a Construction Site Reader – the comparative literature of massive construction sites?

0 How to Choose an Online Bank

Written on 8/27/2008 by Jim. Jim maintains a great personal finance blog named Blueprint for Financial Prosperity where he discusses everything from insurance and investing to credit cards and retirement.Photo Credit: Jeff Belmonte

ING Direct was the first to offer a high yield savings account. However, since its offering many years ago, there have been at least a dozen banks to jump into the fray.

Today you have banks that are online only, you have large brick & mortar traditional banks offering online accounts, and you even have banks offering two totally different online bank subsidiaries (Emigrant Direct and Dollar Savings Direct are subsidiaries of Emigrant Bank). So, how are you supposed to decide which is the best bank to put your savings?

Here are six steps to picking the right online bank for you:

Step 1: FDIC Insured
I won't put my funds in a bank that isn't FDIC insured. You can confirm that an online bank is FDIC insured by searching for it in the FDIC's Bank Find tool. Only banks in the United States can be FDIC insured, so that Icelandic online bank offering that 10% Certificate of Deposit in Icelandic Króna will never be FDIC insured. International banks with domestic banking subsidiaries, like HSBC, can be insured. If you're unsure, hit up the FDIC Bank Find tool.

Step 2: Interest Rate

A bank can offer all the bells and whistles it wants but the bottom line is the interest rate has to be competitive. The top rate at the moment is Washington Mutual's checking & savings account offering 3.75% APY indefinitely, which means you have to be within striking distance of that rate in order to compete. That leaves you a bank like FNBO Direct (First National Bank of Omaha) and HSBC Direct (Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) both sitting pretty at 3.50% APY, though HSBC Direct is weaker because they claim to only offer the rate until September.

Step 3: No Fees, No Minimums
There are two criteria that nearly all online banks have - no fees whatsoever and no minimum balance requirements. There are only a few banks that charge fees and only a fee that require a minimum balance, I recommend skipping those banks unless you have an exceptionally compelling reason to put your deposits there. Be sure to check everywhere for fees from transfer fees to annual fees.

Step 4: Brick & Mortar Locations
While not a requirement, having a physical branch nearby is always a nice bonus when it comes to an online bank. Washington Mutual, one of the largest savings and loan banks, has nearly three thousand branches and a broad geographic presence. This isn't a measure of how safe the bank is though, it's merely a matter of convenience.

Step 5: Check Reviews

Whether it's Bankrate's Safe & Sound ratings (an indication of bank solvency) or my opinion of the best high yield savings accounts (an indication of features), check the reviews of any online bank you're thinking about depositing with. Some offer Quicken and MS Money downloads, some offer check-less external account links, and some offer fancy investment tools. By reading all the reviews, you get a better idea of which account is a better fit for you.

Step 6: Test It Out

It costs nothing but your time to open another bank account (most online banks will not pull your credit prior to opening an account) so you might as well just open one. If you're indifferent, a great tiebreaker is whether the bank offers a signup bonus. ING Direct offers a $25 referral bonus for new accounts that deposit $250 (referrer gets $10, so find or make a friend) and Virtual Bank offers $20 to each. Once you've opened an account, play around with it and see how you like it. If you feel comfortable, transfer your funds in. If you don't, no harm in opening it.

Storing some cash in an online savings account is a simple way to really increase the amount you earn in interest. If we're talking about $20 in savings, it's not a big deal but if you have couple thousand sitting around, this is absolutely something to consider.


Selasa, 26 Agustus 2008

0 Problem solved!!

My blog is now virus-free again!!

Thanks to Roy who helped me. The file was was infected was my blogger.gif file... Kuakua... All I did was to delete it.

My blog readers are awesome!

0 Help help help why like this?!


I already removed all links to awfulplasticsurgery!! What else can I do?


P/s: Erm hello? I don't think some of you understand. It is not ME who has the virus, it is that my blog is spreading a trojan! What has scanning my computer got to do with it? I already did and my computer is A-ok!

All I know is that the trojan's name is giframe, and it is spreading itself through a file called blogger[1].gif, if I am not wrong.

Also, I probably got it coz I linked to awfulplasticsurgery.com, which is also spreading trojans. I removed the links but the trojan is still there.

This is fucking annoying!!

$100 to the first person to SUCCESSFULLY help me solve this problem!!! (Saying vague things like "try republishing your posts?" does not count.)

Please email me at xiaxue if you are some incredibly smart IT geek, thanks!!

UPDATE: Solved! I think! If you are still getting the trojan, please let me know.

0 Attract More Prosperity Into Your Home with Feng Shui

Written on 8/26/2008 by Evelyn Lim. Evelyn is a certified NLP practitioner and life coach. She wants to be rich, not monetarily, but in life, love, health, etc. Visit her popular blog at Attraction Mind Map. Photo Credit: ldcross

Many people today have heard of Feng Shui, but most do not totally know exactly what this means. Feng Shui is the ancient Asian art of the placement of objects and furniture in your home or office, to benefit your life. Feng Shui can be used for love, harmonious family, encourage a pregnancy, career success as well as to attract greater prosperity.

Feng Shui is a technique that is gentle and subtle. But its effects can be quite profound. If you have a home that gives you a great sense of comfort, you may have already unknowingly applied some Feng Shui tips. If not, get ready to move that couch – and perhaps do a little painting!

Here are a handful of ways you can change the feel of your home:
  • Clear out the clutter to free excess energy
    Karen Kingston, an expert in this field, discusses the importance of clearing out clutter in her book Sacred Space. Clutter affects us on a subtle, psychic level. It can be the reason for depression or even a “stalled” feeling in your life. Clearing out clutter can improve your prosperity and other areas of your life.

  • Bless your space to set an intention
    Kingston also states you should bless any space you inhabit (live or work in). You can say a prayer or a blessing, offer flowers, light a candle – anything that feels the most comfortable to you.

  • Use the Bagua to locate the wealth corner
    The Bagua is used by Feng Shui masters to divide any home and/or room into sections to show what parts of the room represent what parts of your life. When you walk into your home, the farthest left corner is the “wealth” corner. As you walk into EVERY room, the farthest left corner is also the “wealth” corner for every room.

  • Enhance the wealth corner
    To improve your prosperity, you must enhance your wealth corner. Adding gold coins or green jade can be classic symbols of prosperity. Or a healthy plant that you tend to, as the plant will represent the growth of your wealth.

  • Add color to the rooms
    Think of colors that mean wealth to you such as gold, green and burgundy. Adding touches of these such as a velvet pillow or even new shades for the room. Color can have a great impact.

  • Use symbols that say “wealth” to you
    It is not just the classic symbols that are important; it is what symbols are meaningful to you. If you have a picture of a sailboat – and to you this is the ideal image of prosperity, then add this to your wealth corner. Use symbols that resonate for you emotionally for best affect. If you are lacking in ideas, then by all means fall back on the classic symbols like paintings of goldfish, running horses and Chinese calligraphy of the prosperity word.

  • Create more light
    A home that is dark with not enough windows is definitely going to convey a more eerie and dense feel. Hence, you should either install a window or find ways to allow more light to come in. Allow a continuous flow of air and brighten up the room. Your mood also gets a natural uplift. Positive energy is needed to attract the vibes of wealth and luck.
Even if you have doubts as to whether this form of ancient art really works, there is really no harm in incorporating Feng Shui elements into your life. On the other hand, if you have a home office, then I would recommend considering them seriously. Most of what is required will not cost you an arm and leg. In fact, a lot of its teachings can be construed as common sense, because they serve to improve the flow of Qi or energy in your home.

Feng Shui experts agree that making changes to your space can be exciting as people start to see results, but that making too many changes can be overwhelming. Try making one or two changes and then wait several weeks. See if you like the results and then consider adding other changes one or two at a time. If you implement changes all at once, you are not able to track which one has been most effective in attracting prosperity.


Senin, 25 Agustus 2008

0 5 Reasons Why Dreamers Can Be Leaders

Shockingly, the dreamer is the least known and understood personality of an entrepreneur or a leader. The world perhaps would not have witnessed the birth of the personal computer if it wasn’t for Bill Gate’s dreams. We would not see spectacular songs like “Imagine” and “Yes! I'm your angel” if John Lennon didn’t dream of becoming a musician. These men dreamed and they dreamed BIG! It’s for the whole world to see.

You can have dreams but then what good are they if they can’t be turned into reality? Surely, dreams must have more significance than just a part of your sub-conscious mind. Right? There is no denying the fact that motivation is an inevitable part of leadership. Motivation can stem only if you have a goal and a goal exists when you want something, dream of something. So what is it that separates leaders from dreamers? The following should answer the question :

Clarity of Vision
A man who tries to ride 2 horses always falls. It will be clearer if you learn the next reality: 10% of the success of a business depends on it’s products. 90% of it depends on the strategy which you apply for getting it to the market. This can sustain only if there is a dream. The only way one can realize his or her dream is only if there is a complete clarity of what is desired. If your vision of what you wish to achieve is blurred, you might never be able to realize your dream. A leader has to visualize a dream for touching the pinnacle of success. Let’s take the example of Steve Jobs. Steve took years to achieve what he wanted but only because he had a clear vision of where he wanted to get. Apple Inc. would have never seen the light of the day if it wasn’t for his vision.

Radical Thinking

A man with dreams is the closest to himself. His approach is very radical, pertaining to the roots. Since he understands his dream closely, he can connect with the majority. He can show the world a different way of thinking altogether by bringing new perspectives to life. Once he gets through to the people, he automatically becomes a leader. A man by the name of Mahatma Gandhi who wore a single piece of cloth set an example for leaders all over the world just by his words and non-violent practices. Who could have thought that this man would free a nation just by bringing people together to fight without the use of violence or weapons. For that matter, even Hitler wouldn’t have succeeded to become one of the greatest dictators in the world if it wasn’t for his radical thinking.

Burning desire
“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” - Napoleon Hill
There is a fine line between dreamers and leaders/achievers: Desire. A dreamer has the advantage of an intense passion which can only grow for fulfilling what he wants. That desire itself makes him successful and keeps him alive as far as achieving his goals are concerned. It has the ability to motivate and inspire people as the burning passion can be seen in one’s eyes, leave alone work. For eg: Chris Gardner, the self made millionaire and entrepreneur fits perfectly as an example. The owner of Gardner Rich & Co. made it from the streets just because he had a passion for learning and the dreamed of living it big.

Reservoir of confidence and strength
A man’s dream is often so magical that it gives them immense confidence and strength which works not only for him but also people around him. When you know where you want to get and what you want to get, you will make the finest of decisions and would be willing to take risks in situations where people would not even dare to think about. Your attitude towards your dream would always be positive. Can you recall the “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. where he spoke of his desire to unite the blacks and whites? He had a dream and he lived it against all odds. Just one man stood against millions to show them a better and a peaceful world. He gained the confidence and strength to do so just because of that one dream.

Pouring the heart
Last but not the least, one of the most important reasons of why dreamers can become leaders, pouring the heart into it. A man’s dream lies where his heart is. Dreams emerge not just in the brain but in the heart as well. The willingness to do a job is more when you do it from your heart. The dreams have the power to drive you to success because your heart would be with it. A dreamer learns from his mistakes and is persistent just because he wants to achieve that dream. The energy levels automatically shoot up. Ray Kroc, the owner of McDonalds was turned down eight times before he applied for a loan to start the chain.

The reasons stated above should be a good start for non-dreamers to start dreaming. By that I do not mean day dreaming but something closer to your heart. It’s amazing how one dream can change someone’s life. A dreamer may not be a leader but a leader definitely is a dreamer. So, what are you waiting for? Start dreaming and make it happen. Please feel free to comment and suggest your ideas.


Written on 8/26/2008 by Ritu Pant. Ritu is the editor for Marketing Hackz and Net Hackz. Besides writing for blogs he is also a blog consultant and a social media junkie.Photo Credit: Jay White

0 New vids again!!


I am so busy!!

My freaking computer crashed AGAIN. I think I got some shitass virus, and I honestly can't be arsed to try and fix it so I just formatted it lor.

Gah! Can you believe my luck? This must be the, I dunno, umpteenth time this year. HATE! (Thank god I don't have any saucy chatlogs with male celebrities otherwise lost how? Just kidding... I've got not 1 but 2 portable hard drives!!! I am that Kiasu!!)

So anyway, I swear I'm coming up with the bestest blog entry ever!! But it is not done yet, so just wait for a bit yeah?

Meanwhile I have an advertorial to finish too, and Indulgz also invited me for round 4 of food tasting so I am very excited!! Woohoo!!

And hor, just to clarify, I DID NOT send Plastic's pictures to awfulplasticsurgery hor, thanks.

Just so happens that the day before her pictures were posted up, I also linked that website!! Got more suay or not you tell me?!?!?!

I swear I didn't know what the webmaster was going to post, ok! Sompah!


Maybe I am a prophet? YOU THINK? I could be!! Ok, I predict tomorrow's weather will be rainy again. Let's see if I really have propheting skills.

WTF man... If I were the one sending in the pictures you can be certain those won't be my descriptive words! (Coz I certainly don't think she is prettier now...)

So anyway, new videos!!


Bff auditions round 2!

See the contestants in the flesh!
I love them all :D


The Quiz Challenge

Is KK or Paul smarter?
Paul displays his skill at naming planets.


Sleazy Aerobics

I'd love my gym teacher to be this amusing!!

Click to watch all!!

Btw, please do not insult the bff contestants in the comments, thanks. :)


p/s: Is there some sort of virus on my blog?? GASP! How the hell do I remove it?! And how did I get it?!

p/p/s: I think it has to do with awfulplasticsurgery la!! My comp was saying it is an attack site and I still went to it... Nabeh then tio virus!!! I removed all links to that site already, so it shouldn't be a problem now. Please let me know if you know anything, or if the virus is still around!!

p/p/p/s: I am SO SORRY if you kena virus from my blog!! Remember to always back up your stuff and please don't install any weird files with weird extensions ok!!!

Minggu, 24 Agustus 2008

0 Tactical Landscaping and Terrain Deformation

[Image: A screenshot from Fracture by LucasArts. Via Wired].

Over on Wired this weekend I read about a game called Fracture, by LucasArts, which features "terrain deformation" as a central factor in gameplay.
Fracture is "a game centered on the wanton reformation of land masses," Wired reports; the author then goes on to introduce us to the game's "terrain deformation mechanics."

"Every player is equipped with a tool called an Entrencher," we read. The Entrencher "gives them the ability to raise or lower most surfaces at will," including the surface of the earth itself:
    Gone are the days of studying a level, and simply memorizing sniper positions and the fastest routes. Resourceful players will be digging trenches, raising their own cover and manipulating level elements to fortify their positions... fundamentally altering the way levels are played.
Which means what, exactly?
    Can't find a way across that slime pit? Raise the ground underneath it. You can also terrain-jump by leaping as you raise the ground beneath your feet, launching yourself into the air.
"The rule of thumb," the article adds, "is that if you can walk on it, you can probably alter it."
Using weapons like the Tectonic Grenade, you can reshape the planet. Quoting from the official Fracture website:
    The ER23-N Tectonic Grenade sets off localized shockwaves when detonated, causing small, concentrated earthquakes that raise the immediate terrain around the point of impact. The weapon is extremely useful for shaping the terrain and providing cover.
There's also a Spike Grenade. As LucasArts explains, "Tectonic scientists discovered that lava tubes lying dormant deep below the surface of the earth could be stimulated to eject a pyroclastic column." These columns can "be used as a 'natural elevator' of sorts, allowing a soldier to access hard to reach high elevation areas."

[Image: A screenshot from Fracture, by LucasArts, showing a pyroclastic elevator at work].

There are even Subterranean Torpedoes that burrow into the planet and create landforms on the surface far away.

[Image: A screenshot from Fracture by LucasArts].

Of course, the idea that an instantaneous and semi-magmatic reshaping of the earth's surface might have military implications is an interesting one – and probably not far from technological realization. I've written about the weaponization of the earth's surface before, but Fracture seems to illustrate the concept in a refreshingly accessible way.
However, there are many historical precedents for the idea of politicized terrain creation, and these deserve at least a passing mention here.
I'm thinking, in particular, of David Blackbourn's recent book The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany. The "making" in Blackbourn's subtitle is meant literally, as the book looks at coastal reshaping, bog- and marsh-draining, and other projects of imperial hydrology; these were the activities through which the territory of Germany itself was physically shaped.
It was terrain deformation: a militarized reshaping of the earth's surface under orders from Frederick the Great. Frederick sought to transform the lands of northern Germany – then called Prussia – in order to create more space to rule.
In his book, Blackbourn describes what these imperial "hydro-technicians" actually did:
    The task of filling in the squares on Frederick's grids remained. That meant ditching and diking the future fields, constructing sluices, uprooting the old vegetation and planting willows by the new drainage canals, preparing the still heavy, intractable soil, building paths and bridges, houses, farms, and schools, all the while maintaining the new defenses against the water.
These "new defenses" have since been so naturalized that we mistake them for a pre-existing terrain upon which modern Germany was founded – but they were and are constructed landforms, a "brave new world of dikes, ditches, windmills, fields, and meadows."
These were lands created through military intervention in order to host a particular form of political governance.
In this context, then, Fracture would seem to be simply an accelerated - or what Sanford Kwinter might call an "adrenalated" – version of this tactical landscaping.

[Image: Celestial Impact].

Meanwhile, a commenter over on Wired points out that there are conceptual similarities between Fracture and another game called Celestial Impact.
In Celestial Impact, "the landscape is fully deformable in all directions."
"Build and dig your way around the landscape in various strategic ways," we read, ways that are "not limited to destruction":
    [T]he players also have the ability to add terrain to the landscape in the middle of combat using a special tool called Dirtgun. With the Dirtgun, players can add or remove terrain during combat as they see fit, simply by aiming and firing the dirtgun. Depending on the chosen action, this will either add or remove a chunk of dirt from the landscape. So as the teams are battling, the landscape receives vast changes opening up for various tactical approaches each team can use.
When your weapons are set on build-mode, the game's creators explain, "the Dirtgun adds terrain in the form of a pre-selected shape in front of the player. The shapes could be a simple cube, a part of a bridge or even a defensive wall."
In many ways, this sounds like a weaponized version of Behrokh Khoshnevis's building-printer – subject of one of the earliest posts on BLDGBLOG – here remade as a kind of propulsive instant-concrete mixer retrofit for imperial military campaigns.
As Discover described Khoshnevis's machine back in 2005, "a robotically controlled nozzle squeezes a ribbon of concrete onto a wooden plank. Every two minutes and 14 seconds, the nozzle completes a circuit, topping the previous ribbon with a fresh one. Thus a five-foot-long wall rises – a wall built without human intervention."
Now make an accelerated, portable, and fully weaponized version of this thing, put it in a videogame, and you've got something a bit like Celestial Impact.
Here are some screenshots.

[Image: From The re-naturalization of territory by Vicente Guallart].

Finally, I couldn't help but think here of architect Vicente Guallart. Guallart's work consistently seeks to introduce new geological forms into the built infrastructure of the city – artificial mountains, for instance, and "new topographies" through which a city might expand.

[Image: From The re-naturalization of territory by Vicente Guallart].

I suppose one question here might be: what would a videogame look like as designed by Vicente Guallart? Would it look like Fracture? If Vicente Guallart and Behrokh Khoshnevis teamed up, would they have created Celestial Impact?
But a more interesting, and wide-ranging, question is whether designing videogame environments is not something of a missed opportunity for today's architecture studios.
After all, how might architects relay complex ideas about space, landscape, and the design of new terrains if they were to stop using academic essays and even project renderings and turn instead to videogames?
It seems like you can take your ideas about terrain deformation and instant landscapes and nomadic geology and you can license it to LucasArts, knowing that tens of thousands of people will soon be interacting with your ideas all over the world; or you can just pin some images up on the wall of an architecture class, make no money at all, and be forced to get a job rendering buildings for Frank Gehry.
So would more people understand Rem Koolhaas's thoughts on cities if he stopped writing 1000-page books and started designing videogames – games set in some strange quasi-Asiatic desert world of Koolhaasian urbanism?
Or do all of these questions simply mistake popularity for engaged comprehension?
The larger issue, though, is whether or not architecture, increasingly popular as a kind of Dubai-inspired freakshow (rotating skyscrapers! solar-powered floating hotels!), is nonetheless not reaching the audience it needs.

[Image: From The re-naturalization of territory by Vicente Guallart].

If architects and architecture writers continue to use outmoded – I might even say totally irrelevant – forms of publication, such as $20/copy university-sponsored magazines and huge books purchased by no one but college librarians, then surely they can expect only people currently enrolled in academic programs even to be aware of what they're talking about, let alone to be enthusiastic about it or appreciative of the implications.
$100 hardcover books do absolutely nothing to increase architecture's audience.
So what would happen if architects tried videogames?

[Image: The constructed geologies of Vicente Guallart, from How To Make a Mountain].

In any case, terrain deformation, dirtguns set on build-mode, and other forms of militarized landscape creation – these seem like good enough reasons to me to add gaming consoles to a design syllabus near you.

0 Find Out Exactly Where Your Money Goes: Keep a Spending Log

Written on 8/24/2008 by Ali Hale who writes about healthy eating for busy people at her blog, The Office Diet.Photo Credit: Jeff Keen

Rich or poor, budgeter or freespender, most people care where their money goes. Money is earned, generally by hard work, and seeing it leave your hands at uncontrolled rates is, well, painful and often regretted.

As a quick exercise, try to list out where your disposable income went last month. If it all went to a large purchase, you'll know the answer. If not, if your leftover money went to a ton of random items, my guess is that you'll only be able to account for a small portion (i.e. you have no idea where your money went!).

The latter case mentioned above, where you have no idea where the cash went, is absolutely counter-productive to just about any financial goal you can think of. Most people want to take vacations, upgrade appliances, etc., but, most fail to plan. Have you tried, and failed, to force yourself to budget? Do you think you’re just no good at managing your money?

All you need is the #1 tool in the canny consumer’s tool kit: a spending log.

What’s a spending log?
A spending log isn’t that big chunk of wood you threaten to beat your partner with every time they splash out on something totally unnecessary (that’s the “spending stick”…). A spending log is a record of how much you spend, when, and on what. Your log can be as simple as jotting down a few figures in your diary or as complicated as a spreadsheet with rows and columns for every item you purchase and the precise time of day. For most of us, something in between will suit.

Creating your spending log
Either in your favorite spreadsheet program or on paper, draw up a grid with these categories as column headings:
  • Bills (this covers rent, electric, gas, water, car payments etc)
  • Groceries (anything you buy to eat/drink at home)
  • Household (toiletries, cleaning stuff, domestic appliances)
  • Travel (bus, train or plane fare, petrol)
  • Entertainment (CDs, books, magazines, meals out, days out)
  • Misc (anything else, eg. buying gifts)
You might want to include more detailed categories, such as “Lunch” if you tend to buy lunch out, “Charity” if you give regularly to charities, “Loan repayments”, “Studying”, and so on.

In the first column, write “Date” then put each day on a separate row:
Mon, Sept 1st
Tues, Sept 2nd, etc.

It’s up to you whether you fill your log in on paper or on the computer. The advantage of using a spreadsheet program is that you can automatically total your spending for the day/week/month, or your monthly spending across different categories. But you might find you’re better at regularly filling in a paper log as you can easily carry it with you.

Filling in the spending log
Each day, sit down and enter what you’ve spent into your log. Put some details that will be useful to you when you look back over the log – that might mean having a “notes” column if you’re using a spreadsheet on your computer. For example, if you’ve entered a figure in “Entertainment”, you might want to record exactly what you bought.

Enter large bills on the date which they go out of your bank account – this will help you when you’re looking at cashflow.

There are some occasions when it’s very hard to keep accurate track of spending – for me, this is usually at a bar or restaurant! The best method is to take out a set amount of cash at the start of the evening, and only spend that, rather than using a card. Afterwards, you can see how much you’ve spent at a glance.

At the end of a week…After you’ve been keeping your spending log for a week, think about whether you’re spending habits have been affected at all. Are you more conscious of what you’re spending, because you’re writing it down? Were there things you were tempted to buy, then didn’t? Just like keeping a food diary to track your eating, the very act of writing down your spending can help you reduce it.

At the end of a month…Once you have a full month recorded in your log, start doing some analysis. Have a look at
  • What you spent in total that month
  • Which category was the most expensive and which was least expensive
  • Any unusual expenses (weekends away, parties, large payments)
Most people are surprised how much they spend in certain categories. You’ll probably be able to identify areas where you could save money; perhaps cutting down on entertainment items, or buying your groceries more economically. If you have to travel most days by bus or train, a monthly ticket will almost certainly work out more cheaply than a daily one.

Challenge yourself to save $100 next month – figure out where you can cut back in order to afford that, and put that $100 aside into a savings account (or even take it out of the bank in cash and keep it in a money box) at the start of the month so that you don’t end up spending it.

Have you ever kept a spending log? Did you find it effective in helping you to spend more consciously, save up, or understand where all your money was going?


Sabtu, 23 Agustus 2008

0 Big One in the Big Apple

According to a newly published report in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, New York City is more at risk from earthquakes than previously thought.

[Image: A seismic map of the mid-Atlantic, via PhysOrg.com].

What's interesting here, though, is not some disaster film scenario in which the city is shuddered into a rubble of broken bricks and glass, but the fact that the land around Manhattan is actually an "intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting," as PhysOrg.com describes it.
Amazingly, for anyone who has ever studied architecture, they even describe "unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer." Gilles Deleuze must be rolling in his grave.
In a long excerpt, worth reading in full for its structural exploration of the land surrounding New York City, we read:
    One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone – and possibly more significant in terms of hazard – is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan's 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985.
The 125th Street fault? The Dyckman Street fault? The Dobbs Ferry fault? It was already clear that the built geography of Manhattan has been thoroughly determined by tectonic prehistory, but what future faults might yet be discovered down there – an Empire State fault, a St. Mark's Bookshop fault (with huge diagonal fissures extending infinitely down from the Critical Theory section), a Lower East Side fault whose all but imperceptible nighttime groaning gives new ideas to poets?
And shouldn't these faults be added to Google Maps?
Some of these underground structures were actually discovered during excavation work for new subways and water tunnels beneath the city, when digging crews came across sudden breaks in the rock seeming to slice off to nowhere. But if these "ill-defined" interruptions, as PhysOrg.com describes them, in the foundational security of New York City lead anywhere, it is to a "braid of smaller [faults]" that filigrees throughout the area. The whole eastern seaboard around Manhattan becomes a puzzlework of forgotten microcontinents – and someday, again, that puzzle might start to move.

Jumat, 22 Agustus 2008

0 10 Practical Tips To Move Your Blog From Obscurity To Stardom

Written on 8/22/2008 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. You can catch him at Jeet Blog where he blogs about different Web 2.0 apps and online tools and how they can help you become more productive.Photo Credit: tillwe

Popular blog search engine Technorati says that there are 175,000 new blogs born everyday and it is currently tracking 112.8 million blogs. Since spam dominates almost every kind of data related to the internet, you can safely assume that a huge percentage of these blogs are spam blogs or splogs, as they are called. But this doesn't mean that blogging as an occupation is any less popular.

From my own experience, since reading my first blog about 3 years back, I can see that blogs have come a long way and the blogosphere has experienced huge, almost unimaginable growth in the last 3 years.

It's true that many blogs today are full fledged internet businesses and it's equally true that there are many more blogs which people just don't know about in spite of their good content and some serious efforts. Usually there are 2 reasons behind such a miserable state of a blog - 1. The blogger isn't doing things in the right way or 2. The blogger is lazy and just doesn't want to do things in the right way.

This article is for those bloggers who fall in the first category. If you are someone who doesn't want to work then I can't help because there is no shortcut to success and you have to work your way to it. Also I'd like to mention that I started my own blog some 4 months back and today it has a good number of subscribers and receives anywhere between 150,000 - 200,000 pageviews per month. It still has a long way to go to achieve stardom but I certainly think it's on the right track and hence the following tips should benefit you too, because most of them are something which I've tried myself successfully.

  • Start Some Serious Networking
    If you have been focusing only on content creation and have ignored networking, then you've made a big mistake. There are people who would readily agree to help you expose your great content to thousands from the few hundreds who are currently reading it. So be active in the blogosphere, get in touch with more people and start talking!

  • Comment On Other Blogs
    I'll be honest here. I personally don't get time to comment on blogs but still I strongly recommend you to do it if your blog isn't getting the traffic you want. Moreover, blog commenting is another effective way to make relationships with your fellow bloggers.

    Here are my 3 tips to get the most out of blog commenting:

    1. Always make relevant comments which give some valuable information, rather than just saying, "Great post" or "I love this article".

    2. Keep a good mix of popular as well as small blogs while commenting.

    3. If you are commenting on popular blogs, try to be the first one to make a comment to keep your name at the top.

  • Participate In Forums
    Participating in forum discussions could bring a good number of visitors who could later become loyal readers of your blog. There are forums in almost every niche so you just need to find out the right forum which represents your blogging niche and then start participating in the discussions.

  • Improve Your Content
    While you are marketing your blog, you shouldn't slack on creating great content. There is always room for improvement so try to make your content better and more insightful.

  • Write Guest Posts
    Writing guest posts on popular blogs could bring a lot of visitors to your blog and also open up new avenues of opportunity for you.

  • Read And Research
    Subscribe to great blogs and other blogs in your niche and analyze their style of writing and promotion. The more you read and research, the more you'll know about the nuances of managing and promoting your blog.

  • Get Some Advice
    If you're in doubt about something, don't hesitate to ask. Ask in forums, ask your blogger friends, ask your readers or email the popular bloggers...but just don't hesitate to get the advice.

  • Prepare For The Traffic
    While you are working hard to promote your blog, it's also important to prepare your blog for the surge in traffic. If you aren't sure about your hosting, get a good host. If you think there could be better elements in your blog design which could help visitors turn into loyal readers then make the change!

  • Connect With Your Readers
    Connect with your readers by replying to their comments, answering their questions or sometimes sending them a thank you email. This will help you build a great rapport with them and they will come back again and again to your blog.

  • Just Don't Give Up
    This is a kinda universal advice. It's true with almost anything you do but in case of blogging it's more true because blogging is something which requires loads of patience and persistence. and you shouldn't give up just after trying for a week or two. Carry on the momentum and your efforts will bear fruits sooner or later.
I am sure budding bloggers will find this article useful and I hope it helps them to make efforts in the right direction. However, I'd reiterate that it's no easy job and you might need to burn the midnight oil to get the best results.



0 How to Overcome Emotional Abuse

Written on 8/22/2008 by Evelyn Lim. Evelyn is a certified NLP practitioner and life coach. She wants to be rich, not only monetarily, but in life, love, health, etc. Visit her popular blog at Attraction Mind Map. Photo Credit: Lachlan Hardy

Emotional abuse may not leave scars, but it can cause pain for much longer than physical harm. Many women especially believe that just because they do not suffer from physical abuse by their spouse or partner, they are safe. However, it is not necessarily the case. The scars are mental and can cause a lot of grief and unhappiness. Although more women appear to suffer from emotional abuse, this does not mean that men do not experience mental torture either.

Emotional abuse happens when the other party erodes your sense of self esteem and literally, has a hold over your mind. Your sense of self worth shrinks so much that you no longer dare to challenge what is being said about you. You believe in the stories that are being told. Unfortunately, most of them are not true to begin with. Your partner spins a web of lies to control your behavior and for his or her own selfish motives. It is possible that he or she has an inferiority complex to begin with.

Perhaps, there comes a time when you decide that enough is enough. You refuse to be held hostage by your mental torture. And you want to move on. Fortunately, it is possible to overcome emotional abuse and regain the confidence and control that you may have lost to an abusive partner.
  • Dissociate from the past
    There is no point lamenting about what has happened in the past. It is over. Do not deny it either. Just accept that it has happened and that you are now on the road to emotional health. You may not have exercised control over your past but you can take charge over your own future from now on. Look at the past as lessons that point out what you no longer want for yourself.

    Admittedly, it will take time to heal from the emotional trauma caused by an abuser, but gradually, you will discover an inner strength and resilience to build a bright future. A change in environment may be helpful for you to de-associate from your past.

  • Build self-esteem
    Abusers are constantly hacking away at your self-esteem. When you come out of an abusive relationship it is essential that you rebuild your sense of self-worth. You need to recognize that you can be strong and capable of independent thought.

    Surrounding yourself with people who value you is an important part of the healing process. Form your own support group or join an online community that helps support its members to gain strength. It is vital that you remember what makes you a unique and valuable person.

  • You hold the power
    Emotional abusers do what they do to gain power over you. Consequently, you feel that you are being controlled and watched over every single movement that you make. You fear making decisions. In fact, you find it difficult to make one without consulting your partner. You lose confidence in your own abilities, incapable of rational thinking.

    The important thing is to understand that you are the only person who has power over yourself. One reason why you have been subjected to emotional abuse is that you have handed your power over to your partner. In reality, no one can make you do anything if you do not let them. Realize that only you hold the power. Look for ways to empower yourself.

  • You know what is right for you
    You are the only person who knows what is best for you. An emotional abuser will want you to make decisions that are self serving for his or her interest. However, such a decision may not be in line with yours. As much as you care for a harmonious relationship, you need to take an alternate decision if your inner knowing tells you otherwise.

    Hence, it is your job to take care of your own needs. It is not about being selfish, but about establishing certain boundaries. No one leads your life for you. Do what feels right. Trust your intuition.

  • You can only control yourself
    One reason that many women stay in abusive relationships is because they think they can help their partner change. A period in time will lapse and they would find that they remain stuck and with no signs of improvement in their partner.

    The truth is that you cannot make anyone change, you can only control the way you react to them. Instead, focus on improving your own life. In doing this you will discover your own self worth. You can then decide whether or not your partner is compatible with your new lifestyle.

  • Spend Time Setting boundaries and expectations
    People often expect a speedy recovery after being in an abusive relationship. If they do not allow themselves enough time to heal they will often fall into another abusive relationship. It is clear to see that they have not learnt their lessons. They continue to attract the same kind of relationships that have them feeling needy.

    Hence, it is important that you spend time setting boundaries and expectations for treatment in future relationships, before diving into a new one. Commit to a decision that you do not want to enter into any unhealthy liaisons any more. If you are clear in what you want, you are more likely to attract a loving and kind partner, unlike the one that you have been used to.

  • Do what makes you feel good
    Initially, you will feel free from coming out of an abusive relationship. However, you may start to experience insecurity because you do not know how to occupy your time. For this reason, it is important that you do not hang around by your phone, hoping that your partner will call and beg for forgiveness.

    Instead, find things to do that makes you feel happy. Take a class or pick up a hobby. Try to recall what it is that you have always wanted to explore. With no one telling you what to do or holding you back, the possibilities are endless.
In conclusion, it is important to have a vision of who you would like to become once you have regained control of your life. If it helps, look for role models. No longer will you be controlled without your permission. Most definitely, do what it takes to gain a sense of self empowerment.

Do not be afraid to ask for assistance from others either. You need time to heal and getting some form of support is always a good idea. You have the choice to make things right. Your future is bright; do not let anyone take that away from you!

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