Friday, November 2, 2012

Important Thing to Consider when You Buy Life Insurance

You must realize that your children and your family deserve to get the best from you because it is the part of your responsibility as a parent. Protection is one of some important things you can provide for the beloved ones physically, mentally and financially. For the financial protection, you can start arranging it by buying life insurance. You must understand that the life insurance you buy will be protecting your children from any financial difficulties as you pass away. Now, do you know what you should consider when you decide to buy life insurance?

The important thing you should consider before you buy life insurance is you should make sure that you buy one from the best life insurance provider for the best coverage and quotes. You know that by buying the life insurance with the best coverage, you can make sure that your children will really get what they need in the future. Besides, you can minimize the expense if you can find the best one at affordable price. To find it, you can compare some life insurances including the aspects you need to consider. In this case, you can follow the link available to compare life insurance quotes and to get any information related to life insurance you are going to buy.

Available Help for Your Cash Need

Let’s assume that your life is a sentence in English. You have to follow the rules to make the sentence perfect, right? Now, let’s assume that the verb you in the sentence is the problem you face. It means that if you do not put the verb properly, your sentence will be considered as imperfect one. Sometimes you need an auxiliary to make the sentence proper and meaningful. So does in your life. Sometimes you need someone else to help you solving the problems you get. Therefore, you should not be ashamed of asking for help when you need it.

Even for financial difficulties, the helps are always available for you. The clear example is the existence of online payday loans to get the money you need immediately. You should know that the lenders are ready to help you getting the money so that you just need to go online and apply for the loan. However, you should understand that different lenders may have different policies. It means that you should find the best one to make sure that you really get the cash you need. In this case, you can find the best lender on the website I link on this article. Just visit it to meet the lender that will help you financially.   

Car Insurance to Help You Overcome any Risk On Roads

Many experts in transportation field agree that the highest number of transportation accidents happen on the road. You can try to find the statistics about how much accidents happen a day even in a single state. What I want to discuss here is the risk you may get when you drive your car along the road when you have to commute everyday. It is clear that you need to get the protection to make sure that you can drive safe without thinking about the risk. Buying car insurance must be one of some best idea you should do out of your own driving behavior.

You know that buying car insurance is very essential if you relate to the condition you have to face everyday when you drive your car. You may get problems so that you have to pay for the cost as the consequence. Buying car insurance will really help you to avoid getting the financial problem because the car insurance company has made a kind of commitment to pay for the cost as long as the damage is concluded in the coverage. Therefore, buying car insurance with the appropriate coverage related to your needs and daily conditions must be very important. You can do it by comparing car insurance quotes to find the best for you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to Choose a Sleeping Bag

During vacations, many families love going camping to spend their vacation. During this time, there is the urge of everyone thinking of where they will sleep. Since we have decided on going camping, it is a convenient way of saving and cutting costs other than sleeping in a motel. However, when going camping, one does not carry along their beds and mattresses to sleep on.

During this time, it is then that one starts thinking of where he/she put their sleeping bags and if one does not have one they start thinking of the costs. When trying to purchase these types of sleeping bags, it is important to get a proper one. Since it is camping and you will be sleeping inside a tent, then getting a warm bag for sleeping is the best choice. At daytime, the weather might be warm, but when night comes, it gets a bit chilly.

Camping Sleeping Bags

When it comes to choosing camping sleeping bags, the local climate is among the most important things to consider. The climate of the region you will be camping is an important aspect to consider. It is important to check whether the region is chilly or warm. These camping sleeping bags come in variety of designs. Many people love the kind of design that zips open, since it offers an additional padding. With the padding, during hot summers, one can cover themselves up with just a sheet. However, it is not the same for the chilly season. The advantage of these bags is that they have thermally insulated.

Apart from this, you should go for moderate temperature sleeping bags when choosing a camping sleeping bag. The most important factor to consider when purchasing a camping bag is that one should choose a camping sleeping bag that is suitable for the area you will be camping. By being suitable, it means that you get a sleeping bag that goes with the type of weather in the region for camping. It is important to consider the budget, durability, warmth, weight, comfort, and laundering, when purchasing camping bags is important.

How To Choose a Sleeping Bag?

Sleeping bags come in different shapes, sizes, materials, and temperature rating. It is important to know how to choose a sleeping bag. Other aspects to consider include the type of material. Bags are made of different types of material. Some are made of natural materials such as cotton, and wool. Bags made of such materials are light in weight and they retain heat. Many people love bags made of these two types of material not only because they are of lightweight and good heat absorbers. However, it is because wool is a type of material that repels water whilst for cotton, is of low cost.

Another aspect to consider when shopping for a camping bag is the shape of the bag. These bags come in many different shapes. However, there are the most common types of sleeping bags, which are the basic and the mummy shapes. If one says he/she want a bag in form of a basic shape, they are ones that are rectangular, with zippers on both or three sides. The basic shaped sleeping bags are best for car camping trips. Unlike the basic shaped sleeping bags, some factors make the mummy shaped bags superior to the basic shaped bags.

Some of these factors include these bags have tapering from head to toe. Some have a special way of reducing volume and surface area. Another characteristic of mummy shaped bags is that unlike the basic shape, the mummy bags have zippers only on one side thus reducing heat escape. They have an added advantage which is they also have a hood like feature at the top of the bag that help in preventing heat escape.

The third factor to consider is the temperature. A good bag is one that has a liner. A liner helps in providing additional warmth while sleeping. Bringing along a camping sleeping bag liner during the cold season or in cold regions is a brilliant idea since it provides the required amount of heat to make one have a comfortable night. The good thing about this type of bag is that it has an advantage of one being able to use on its own during those hot nights. Since they are usually made of cotton, silk, or polyester material they are of lightweight hence easy to carry along and wash. When picking bag liners, make sure you pick the right shape and size.

Sleeping Bag Price

One finally has a clue and idea of the type of bag he/she wants and of what material. It is obvious that when shopping for a camping bag for going camping, you will get one that offers you enough comfort and warm. These two thing matter a lot when choosing bags. However, they matter too when it comes to the sleeping bag price. Since many companies manufacture bags they tend to differs when it comes to how much they cost.

Before making a decision on the type of sleeping bag you want to purchase, it is important to first, carry out further research. Look for a good quality of bag. It should not necessarily be a product of a reputable company just as long as it is of good quality. After getting what you want, try to compare the prices of the different manufacture. Some of them might be sold at a cheaper price yet they are not of quality. It is important to get something that is worthwhile instead of going for a cheap product that will not even serve you for months.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Owning A Swimming Pool Provides A Number Of Advantages

Whether you're adding a pool to your home to improve the value of your home or just want a form of fun recreation right in your own backyard, a swimming pool provides hours of fun and also has health benefits. A pool also serves as an instant gathering place for family and friends. With the variety available through custom designed pools, residents can enjoy a pool that fits their budget, their backyard, and their recreational needs.

Create an Instant Party

When you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you can create an instant party without the need for much preparation. People enjoy swimming and gathering outside during nice weather, so with a few refreshments you can quickly throw together a pool party for any type of celebration. Kids also enjoy having a swimming pool because it can turn a normal day around the house into a fun-filled day when they invite a couple of friends over to swim. Add a slide or waterfall to your pool and you'll notice that your family spends more time outside than inside when the weather's favourable.

Health Benefits of Owning a Pool

Swimming pools aren't just for fun and recreation. Many people find that their pool is useful for exercise and even pain management. Since swimming is a low-impact form of aerobic exercise, people at different fitness levels can take advantage of water aerobics, lap swimming, and even water walking or jogging without putting any strain on muscles or joints. Water therapy is sometimes prescribed by doctors for people with chronic pain, and having a pool on your property is one of the easiest ways to manage your health.

Swimming Pool Designs Cater to Any Style

This area is known for its outdoor recreation along the coast, but not everyone has the ocean in their backyard. Packing up the family and making the trek to the ocean where the peak seasons have plenty of crowds can get tiresome for some and can mean you don't get an opportunity to swim as much as you want. With the various pool designs, families can have a pool that's designed to remind them of the ocean, blend in with their landscaping, or take the most advantage of the space available in the backyard. With a custom pool, you can feel like you're at your favourite vacation spot every day. A pool designer can also add in waterfalls, waterspouts, a hot tub, great lighting, and other features that will make your pool a popular place to be during the summer months. Owning a pool has countless benefits, with opportunities to have fun and take care of your health.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Increasing Vertical Jump - Tips For Jumping Higher

Vertical Jump can be used as a means for measuring how powerful a player or athlete is. It may also be a skill required in playing a game such as in basketball. To increase your vertical jump, what you basically need to do is to practice jumping higher numerous times within a week. Soon, your brain will realize what you have been trying to do and to achieve. In response, the brain will signal the body to act accordingly. You will eventually see that your body has been developing strength and needed qualities such as coordination. You will soon find yourself jumping higher, smoother and more effectively.

It all sounds and seems too simple to perform; but if you practice jumping incorrectly, you are more likely not to achieve your goals. This is why it is important to know first how to correctly do the jump practice. It is equally essential to implement some great tips to further help increase your vertical jump.

There are two types of jumping that one can perform. One is jumping from a standing position and the other is jumping while running.

Jumping While Standing

This is simpler compared to jumping while on a run. In this jumping style, keep in mind that you need to stand as tall as you possibly can before jumping in order to achieve excellent results. You have to rise up on your toes and then raise your arms upward surpassing the top of your head. With this, you can achieve better distance for generating downward forces. These eccentric forces will assist in facilitating your use of stretch cycle.

Jumping While Running

Off the run jumping has an obvious goal of being able to use horizontal speed in achieving better vertical jump results. The added variable from the horizontal movement can considerably make jumping more complex than the simple jump while standing.

You can take a look first into the track and field area. Observe the athletes and runners as they perform long jump, high jump or triple jump. Although the three events have varying approaches, you could get the similarity among them to know the best way to jump off from a run.

You need to work on your run up. For the track and field athlete, he first ensures the maximum distance of his jump wherein he will not run into the bar. You can do this, even without participating in the track and field event, by determining the spot where you exactly want to have a takeoff. From here, you can work backwards. You do not necessarily need to do it as accurate as that of an athlete. Choose a spot within the playing court where you can work at your maximum, yet controlled speed.

Controlled speed is crucial because it lets you absorb the force from running and use it accordingly to jump high. Without controlled speed, you might also be hurting yourself as you jump. When you do your takeoff, this momentum and speed you have while running will be transferred to your height in jumping. So, you have to maintain your speed as consistently as possible.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Don't Forget the Metal Detector

No matter where you are going or what kind of metal detecting you are going to be doing, you should have a check list of what to take along. If you're like me, I invariably get to my spot and I've forgotten something. That's so frustrating. Even if I can continue my hunting without the forgotten item(s), in some cases, I have to turn around and go back home to get whatever it is I forgot because it's something I can not do without - like my metal detector (duh). Don't ask my husband about that story. He loves to tell that one... all the time.

Here is a list I've come up with of things that you should probably have on all your metal detecting hunts. You may or may not think of other things that you personally want to take along, and this list is by no means set in stone, but all in all these things are good to have with you.

Metal Detector- Duh! I say this because sometimes - more often than I'd like to admit, I get so carried away in packing all my stuff that I forget to take the most obvious. Has that ever happened to you? Come on, admit it. Like going to a concert and forgetting the tickets... just saying.

Headphones - If you use headphones, and I think most detectorist's do. Make sure you have them packed. Headphone really help our hear the distinct tones your metal detector makes.

Probe- If you do not have a probe yet, I suggest you invest in a good one. A probe will help to pin point your treasure so you can dig it out without harming it. It's a very good and useful tool to have along.

Digging Tool- Trowel or shovel - Keep your digging tool clean and sharp. There is nothing worse than a dull shovel. Many sites have special digging tools and/or sifters; a great investment, however, a simple garden trowel and shovel does the job also.

Pouch/Bag/baggies - You can't forget to take along something to put your treasures in. I like to take small baggies to keep things separate if I want to. Some sort of collecting bag is essential.

Spare Batteries- Always, always, always have spare batteries with you when you're on your metal detecting excursion. There is nothing more frustrating than having your battery go dead right in the middle of a 'sweet' spot.

Magnifying Glass- I like to take a magnifying glass with me. Sometimes I'll find a relic or coin that I want to investigate closer. With a magnifying glass you can possibly see the date of the coin or item or any small engraving.

Gloves- Gloves save the hands from dirt, cuts, mud, etc. or you can go naked and hope for the best. I like to have gloves. It sucks to ruin a nice manicure.

First Aid Kit- Just in case. Better to take care of a boo-boo right away instead of waiting to get home.

Water/Food- I take a small cooler, and I put in several bottles of drinking water, maybe a soda or other beverage of my choice. I also like to take a gallon jug of water for rinsing, etc. should the need arise. Then I always like to take along snacks. No treasure hunting expedition is complete without snacks... or not. Up to you.

Towels/rags - Always good to have with you. Saves you from wiping the dirt and grime on you pants or jacket sleeves.

There you have it. Just a few items that I think are necessary. Depending on where you're going to be hunting there would be other items needed also.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Online Backgammon: From The Ancient World To Wireless Networking

Sites that allow individuals to play online backgammon are the result of thousands of years of gaming. Backgammon is a well-respected game that people have loved since old days. Many people have gladly made the shift towards computerized variations. This isn't a new phenomenon either. In fact, backgammon was one of the titles that even the very first of computer game fans got to test.

There were only 4 games for the Intellivision gaming console during the time of its release. ABPA Backgammon was among these games. The name pertained to the American Backgammon Players Association, that provided the game an air of legitimateness that few titles of that time had. The title was even involved with the Intellivision Lives! game parcels that were distributed for certain current systems. The reality that backgammon was between the few titles that were featured implies that the founders understood simply how common backgammon is.

INTV Corporation later converted the software from ABPA Backgammon to create Triple Challenge. There were still probably plenty of people that continued to appreciate the initial game. The success of the Intellivision unit decreased, but backgammon thrived. The Neurogammon program was on the horizon.

In 1989 the 1st Computer Olympiad was arranged in London. Neurogammon defeated all oppositions at that occasion. Gerald Tesauro developed the software. He practiced at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and he earned a lot of popularity for that institute by writing the initial working backgammon application that used neural net systems. Plenty of individuals consider the software to play at the level of an medium human competitor.

The computer program implemented a procedure that let seven different neural networks to choose the very best motions possible. One of the networks was committed to determining what to perform with the doubling cube. The other 6 analyzed moves from different phases of the game. Tesauro provided a record of 400 games to exercise the networks. He actually played every game independently, and designated the software to mark his particular actions as the finest achievable in a variety of scenarios. His penultimate application was still a couple of years off.

Tesauro finished creating TD-Gammon in 1992. It combined the input characteristics from the earlier Neurogammon application with a kind of unsupervised learning. TD-Gammon played at the skill level of a world-class backgammon athlete. With highly advanced computers, however, no one is required to go through all this hassle to join a game.

The world of online backgammon presents lots of possibilities for fans to play against other people. There are also plenty of websites that also allow one to check out their luck vs a computer. A player can experience his or her number one game anytime there is no one else around either way. Playing in the physical world is still the most pleasurable for some people, nevertheless it just isn't always possible

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sports Injuries and Their Complications

I have decided to write this article to highlight the importance of understanding the complications that can result from misdiagnosis and untreated injuries.

My story began back in 2001 when doing some free sparring at the gym I used to attend in Manchester, UK. Unfortunately the flooring was uneven and when I went to turn my opponent from a clinch position my right foot became lodged in part of the uneven floor and my body turned 180 agrees. I heard a pop and immediately my knee gave way. Thinking it was just a sprained muscle I just rubbed some Thai oil on it and tried to contain with the sparring session. However the knee went again and I decided to get changed and go home.

Upon returning home I felt like there was something stuck in my knee joint, which was causing this problem. I got my mother to pull my leg out straight in the hope that "something" would pop back into place. However it didn't do the trick and I thought I would just give it some rest. Over the next few months I continued to have problems with my knee going, but I still contained to train because I was actively fighting at that time and didn't want appear to be "soft" to my instructor.

I did visit the doctors a few more times after that. However they kept telling me it was just a pull muscle. The injury really came to a head one morning when my knee locked. That was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life. We called an ambulance and I was taken to the local hospital where they were absolutely no help at all. Later that afternoon I discharged myself still unable to walk properly. Fortunately my knee unlocked itself later that day.

After the above happened I decided that I would go to a knee specialist to see exactly what was happening with my knee. We were well into 2002 now. After a 15 minute consultation at a cost of 150 I was diagnosed with a torn / snapped anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which would need reconstruction surgery. However the cost of the surgery was over 5000 and I didn't have medical insurance to cover it, so I would have to go on the National Health Service (NHS).

After a few months I got to see a knee specialist on the NHS and underwent a MRI scan to see the extent of the damage. The results of the MRI scan were not good. I had actually snapped the ACL and had done a lot of cartilage damage. This could have been avoided if the doctors I initially saw didn't tell me it was a pulled muscle, which made me play down the injury and keep training on it.

I was informed that they would be able to do the surgery to repair the ACL in 6 - 12 months. Having just finished my degree I decided that I would go travelling in south east asia. I brought an ACL brace which was damm expensive and off I went. 3 months later I returned to the UK and another 3 months passed and I was finally in hospital for the surgery. It was now 2003 by this time!

The surgery went smoothly. They took some hamstring tendons and strapped them across my knee and put a few screws in there to hold everything in place. Now it was time for the real hard work. 18 months of physiotherapy to build up the muscles! This was bloody hard work and I found in the winter months I would get a dull aching pain in my knee, which whilst not painful it was very uncomfortable.

I was told after the surgery that I would never train Muay Thai again. However a year after surgery and physiotherapy I did go back to train and teach, but I have never taken place in competitions since. It's just not worth the risk.

You might be thinking what is the point of this story! Well what I would like people to take away from this is that when you get an injury don't down play it. If you feel it's not improving then get specialist advice. You know your body better than most people and you know when something is seriously wrong. This is something I didn't take notice of and was brain washed by people that I was just been "soft", which was compounded by misdiagnosis by general practitioners.

They took x-ray after x-ray and because they couldn't see anything broke then they just assumed it was a pulled muscle. A MRI scan is the only way that I am aware of that will show tendon and ligament damage. However they are reluctant to do this on the NHS, because it costs them a lot of money.

In any sport you are at risk of injuries. However knowing how to treat and look after them could make the difference between recovery and surgery. In my case I would have needed surgery regardless. However I could have saved some of the cartilage in my knee and a lot of pain if I was diagnosis correctly and didn't ignore what my body was telling me.

Now in 2012 I seldom think about the injury and it doesn't cause me any problems. However during the time I had the injury and a few years later it did effect me physiologically, because I always had it in the back of my mind that if I do this then my knee might give way and it will cause me a lot of pain. I hope you found this post helpful and if you are suffering an injury that isn't improve please get the proper advice.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How to Launch Your Pilates Instructor Career

Being a Pilate's instructor is a career choice that many people think about. Of course in order to launch this career you need to have training. This training is the best way to start your career but you have to know some things before going on a course. You first have to identify if you really want to be a Pilate's instructor or if this is just a stepping stone to something else. Once you have figured this out you have to look into the different courses and the advantages they have.

Do you want to have a Pilate's career?

What exactly do you want to do with your life? Do you want to teach Pilates as a career or is it more a hobby? Are you going to teach Pilates as a way to get into a different career? These are all questions you have to ask yourself before you start any courses. If you are planning this as a stepping stone then you have to think about whether it would be easier to simply do a different course.

What Pilate's courses should you take?

When you look into Pilates courses there are some things that you should be aware of. You should always find out if the course you want to take is accredited. This can be done by either contacting the institute running the course or the professional body for Pilate's instructors in your area. If the course is not accredited then you may want to look around for one that is. The reason for this is that accredited course will hold more power when you look for work.

Find out if the people teaching you are properly qualified. Again you can find this out from the course institute or you can go onto the website of the professional body and see if the teachers are registered. The reason for this is that you need qualified teachers to properly train you.

Look at what will be taught in the course. There are certain things that you should learn in a course. One of these is the theory behind Pilates. By knowing the theory you can better understand the practical aspects. You should also learn about anatomy as you have to know how the body works and how certain actions will affect the body.

The techniques and methods of doing Pilates need to be a part of the course. This should not only be covered in theory but also in practise. You should be shown a few different techniques as well as the ways to properly instruct other people. If this is not covered then you may find yourself having a hard time when it comes to actually teaching other people.

If you are looking into a career in teaching Pilates then you need to have proper training. The courses that you look at should have adequate theory and practical aspects which will teach you all you need to know to instruct others. You also have to make sure the course is accredited and that the teachers are qualified.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Story of How Trophies Came to Be - Awards for Champions

Athletes struggle and compete against each other to win the coveted trophy and award. Trophies, awards and accolades inspire moral, and encourage the fighting sprit within people. So what are the origins of the trophy? How did the practice of giving awards come about? Here is the story.

The year is March AD 978. Britain's King Edward was riding on the outskirts of the city on a hunt. Soon, he was drinking and making merry when suddenly from behind, he was stabbed with a knife and died on the spot. Subsequently, in order to prevent the recurrence of similar assassinations, British rulers developed a banquet etiquette which doubled up as an assassination defense: a cup filled with wine would be passed around the drinkers, and people stood up to crowd around the drinker as a form of protection. After the cup was used for drinking sessions after a week later, the cup became a potent symbol of a precious gift. In later ages, people followed on this tradition to award the cup as a form of reward and recognition to the deserving recipient.

This carried on to evolve into the trophies of modern sporting competitions. With the increase in sports and competition events, the production and design of trophies, cups and awards continually underwent a process of refinement and improvement to include new shapes and styles. The trophy became pregnant with meaning and some became valued as precious works of art.

Some of the most famous trophies in the world are associated with the name of the sports sponsor or the donor of the trophy. Often, these trophies go on to become prestigious events known throughout the world. For example is the International Badminton Championships Men's Team Champions Cup, Thomas Cup. In 1939 British badminton player Thomas made a donation for the trophy. In his honor, the trophy was called the Thomas Cup. In more recent years, trophies have been associated with corporate sponsors. A good example would be the Barclay's Premier League Trophy.

Of all the trophies in the world, most are made of alloys, clay, wood, or plastic; but very few are made with gold or silver. The World Cup, also known as the "Goddess Cup", is made from 1800-grams of pure gold. Brazil won the honor to keep the cup after they won it for the third time in 1970. At present, the most expensive trophy in the World Football Cup trophy, the FIFA World Cup, which is the production of 5 kg of pure gold. This cup is made in the shape of two hands to holding high the Earth and is worth $2.5 million.

Ander Marketing is a leading supplier of quality acylic and crystal trophy awards, trophy cups, medals, plaques and other corporate gifts. Ander Marketing has been established for over 25 years and is based in Singapore.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Croquet Is Good Old Fashion Fun

People have been playing croquet for years and all ages can enjoy it. Children love croquet because they have a chance to play against other family members and often they can beat an older player.

All croquet sets are basically the same. They consist of mallets, balls, and some type of wire loops that the ball goes through. The loops are called wickets. It is set up on a lawn in a pattern that allows up to six players the chance to try to navigate the course. It is different than Mimi golf, but the same principle.

Family reunions are a great place to set up a game. Lots of different generations can play and it only takes a short time to complete a game. If the weather is nice and there is a flat lawn area, the game can be set up in a few minutes. Even children can set of the basic area and have it ready to play. For years people have been playing with Franklin croquet sets and the easy to follow directions make the game enjoyable for everyone. So many games have difficult rules to follow and can be hard to understand, but this is one game that follows the traditional game rules that people have played for years.

The game can be played with teams and often that is a great option when playing with several different age groups. For family night, let the kids plays the parents and then offer small prizes for the winner. Of course everyone is really a winner because they get to be outside and have fun.

Croquet sets come in various price ranges. Franklin croquet sets are well known and can be found at department stores for great prices. They are well made and if taken care of, can last for many years. Because they are often made with real wood, they need to be put away after each use. Some of them come in a case and others sit on a stand made just for them.

Croquet sets make great family gifts at Christmas. It is a gift that can be for everyone in the family, so there is no need to buy separate things, or spend extra time and money for things most people never use. This is a game that most people have played and are familiar with. They are usually happy to have a new set to use for family picnics, birthday parties and group gatherings.

This is the perfect game for grandparents to play when the grandkids come over. It will give them a chance to enjoy each other and everyone has fun. No video games, movies or electronic devices, just plain old fashion fun. Everyone should have a set ready for a sunny day. So, go ahead, pull out the set from the back of the garage and dust off the mallets and get ready to have some good old fashion family fun.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mistaken For Each Other

There is one distinction between two words that people typically garble in their everyday speech and they are park and playground. The words park and playground are typically used interchangeably in the vernacular, but do not actually refer to the same places. Typically a playground will be inside of a park, so the mistake is understandable. But, there never will park inside of a playground. They do have one thing in common and that people typically go to either of them to enjoy themselves. Other than that, parks can have a variety of purposes, while playgrounds always have the same purpose.

Playgrounds are expressly used as place for playsets, swings and such, on which kids play. Playgrounds tend to be located in urban areas, school yards, amusement parks and parks. Playgrounds are also expressly geared towards kids. Parents play in playgrounds for the benefit of their kids and teenagers might just because they are being obnoxious. To summarize, a playground is found in the same places and used by the same age group. Also, playgrounds tend to contain roughly the same type of things, playground equipment. Although, perhaps the biggest difference between a playground and park is the that a playground can be found indoors, while it is impossible to find a park indoors..

On the other hand, a park is a broad open space, as in no buildings or buildings of which to speak, used for various purposes. A park is just a piece of land set aside for people to go through it. There are national parks, which are spaces protected by the government, but people travel through them to marvel at nature. A state park are much like national parks, but they are also more geared towards providing a place for outdoor activity than conservation. Lastly, there are city parks. These parks are grassy places, maybe trees. The city park is supposed to a place where people can escape the concrete and breath some relatively fresher air, because of all the oxygen processing greenery. A park, because it is a place of recreation in one sense or another tend to contain at least one playground, although they do not have to have one.

Most people in their daily speech fail to distinguish between a park and a playground and use the words interchangeably. Although both are places of recreation, a park is spot of natural space, having various purposes. Meanwhile, a playground is a place that contains playground equipment on which children play. The name playground summarizes what it is adequately. In fact, park and playground are not interchangeable.

Monday, February 20, 2012

SKINS Compression: Built for the Athlete

Technology in sports is becoming a bigger factor in increasing both athletic performance and competitive levels. One of the most underrated aspects of sport technology is with regards to what garment they wear. Garments such as compression wear can help athletes maximize their physical performance while reducing the chances of both fatigue and injuries. One of the best in the compression wear market is SKINS compression. Why are their compression gear considered to be the best out there?

What makes SKINS different from the rest is the amount of time they have actually invested in creating their compression gear. Thousands of hours are spent on the research and development of SKINS compression gear because their earnest aim of helping the athlete achieve his/her absolute best. Utilizing their knowledge of the human body, SKINS create their compression gear to help the person push harder, go faster, and finish stronger.

SKINS compression gear is able to expand the person's performance through scientific means. It's a known fact that proper compression enhances blood flow to the muscles, resulting to increased performance. SKINS take this concept to the next level with the help of various technologies. Athletes are constantly in motion, which is why SKINS tried to study how muscles contract while in motion. It is through these studies that they were able to produce the ideal compression even while the body is moving, a concept they call dynamic gradient compression.

SKINS also invested hours in studying the exact amount of pressure and temperature needed for specific body regions. That said, they have engineered SKINS compression gear to provide the exact level of compression for each part of the body. Doing so creates a world of difference: it optimizes blood flow to specific parts of the body, in effect increasing strength, speed, stamina, and overall energy.

Utilizing data they have obtained from their countless researches, SKINS compression gear features state-of-the-art materials completely different from everyone else's. SKINS fabric is knitted in such a way that compression is kept at a specific level. Also, these materials are knitted in such a way that moisture is properly withdrawn from the body, keeping the athlete comfortable. And temperature is regulated in these compression materials in such a way that it keeps the body at an optimal temperature no matter what the weather conditions are.

Such levels of sophistication have made SKINS compression gear the leaders in compression technology. No wonder why world-class athletes and amateurs alike trust SKINS.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Croquet: Adapting the Game for Your Back Garden

The problem that most of us have is that our back gardens do not exactly conform to the size and shape required for the traditional set-up required for the prescribed croquet game rules! Well, why not create your own version!

A croquet set will normally consist of the following: mallets, six hoops, different coloured balls, a peg with various different coloured rings on it and some clips. The better sets will have boundary pegs and corner flags included. All very well when you have the 25 by 38 yards rectangular, manicured piece of lawn as required in competition croquet; not so perfect if you have a long and thin, round, odd-shaped or garden full of other garden game equipment cluttering the lawn area. To complete the setting, grandpa insisted on planting your birthday rose right in the centre! Fear not, croquet game rules can be adapted to suit whoever is in control.

Instead of using yard lines and chalk lines forming the perfect rectangular croquet court, why not use the flower beds as the out-of-bounds lines? Instead of following the normal set pattern for the hoops and peg, why not set out your own obstacle course, where participants can get snookered behind the sandpit, or the supports of the climbing frame? We have created very interesting courses that are in all sort of shapes and lines, causing frustration and hilarity at the same time, entertaining players and spectators alike, for extended periods of time. Whether the circuit is completed once or more than once, who cares!

As long as the rules are laid down before the start of the game, everyone is in the same boat. Providing the croquet equipment used is the same for all participants, all you need is a sense of fun, a will to win and a mean streak, ensuring your opponent's ball is in an uncompromising position after croquet was taken. An uneven piece of lawn will ensure that every shot has more than the usual dimensions to it and make planning shots ahead even more challenging. Just visualise how the contours and the lay of the land, influence the game of golf in shot selection and putting! We would not suggest that bunkers come into play in the game of croquet, but obstacles like trees, flower beds, garden furniture and other play equipment, bring challenges to the game that a flat, beautifully manicured lawn could not even dream to provide.

Croquet as a garden game can be enjoyed whether you are a nobleman with the appropriate lawns to enjoy, or the person with a postage stamp for a back garden. Croquet sets come in various sizes and prices; imagination we all have built-in at no cost already. Go outside, have a look at the croquet equipment and type of space you have to your disposal, grab a pen and paper and design the ideal course for you and your family and friends. Be mean but fair and set up your own set of croquet game rules and get stuck in for a fun time for all involved.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Competitive Eating: Sport or Mental Disorder?

You've probably heard of competitive eating before and there's a good chance you might have even tried it yourself as an amateur. I entered a couple of eating contests at local fairs in my day, especially as a young girl but it was nothing more than fun and games.

For some, however, competitive eating is something serious. So much so, in fact, that we now have Major League Eating, an international ranking of the top competitors in this unusual sport. It even inspired the reality TV show, "Man Versus Food."

This year's men's winner of the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest ate 62 franks and buns in 10 minutes and the first-ever women's winner ate 40 hot dogs. It's a fascination that is sweeping far more than just our nation as countries all over the globe feature similar eating contests.

The bizarre sport of competitive eating is nothing short of a freak show to some people. Depending on who you ask, it shouldn't be considered a sport at all. Some call it gluttony, others call it mental disorder- so what is it really?

A government watchdog group in Taiwan calls it a health hazard. "The frequent 'big-stomach' contests not only endanger health but violate the principle of fairness as the contestants who get sick are using the national health insurance resources," said the group, in a statement.

While such contests are not illegal, the group considers them to be against social fairness and justice as well as harmful to health.

Is there any truth to the health hazards of such excessive eating? There is one small study attempting to find out once and for all. The objective was "to assess the stomachs of a world-class speed-eating champion and of a control subject during a speed-eating test in our gastrointestinal fluoroscopy suite to determine how competitive speed eaters are able to eat so much so fast."

The study showed that a competitive eater seemed to lack the "satiety reflex" to cause them to stop eating and the stomach would inflate to an enormous rate to allow for the excess food.

"There's no real documentation of the risks and dangers associated with this sport," says Levine, a doctor in the study.

While some may think anyone who would eat that much food must have a mental disorder, there have also been no tests or studies done to date that clarify anything regarding the mental state of people who choose to participate in such contests. For some, it may be mere curiosity. For others, it's a way to stake their own little claim to fame.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Photographer Sol Neelman Loves Weird Sports and Sharing Them With Us

If you thought you'd seen everything, you probably have not seen the photos from photographer Sol Neelman who travels the globe in search of the world's strangest competitions. There are many weird sports out there that you may never have dreamed existed and now, thanks to Neelman, you can learn more about them through photos.

Here are 10 of the most unusual and exciting weird sports Neelman has to share:

    The Kaiju Big Battel is a mix between Japanese anime and professional wrestling that shows off the participants skills in a very humorous way.

    Have you ever heard of Underwater Hockey? It's sometimes called "octopush" and instead of pushing the puck around an ice-rink, players are pushing it around on the floor of a pool.

    When you combine gymnastics, capoeira and soccer to the sport of volleyball, you get Bossaball equipped with trampolines on both ends of the playing court.

    Snow Polo is an amazing game similar to the traditional Polo but players are on top of horses in a snow-covered arena. The horses wear special shoes to help with traction.

    The Pillow Fight League really puts on a show when these women gather together, go wild and fight each other with pillows. What an interesting way to cut loose and let out some anger.

    Surfing is not just for humans anymore. Both small and large dogs are getting in on some of the action when they go Dog Surfing. In this sport, the dogs surf alone or with their owners and it's one heck of a sport.

    One of the "Arctic Winter Games" includes an event called Pole Push in which two teams grab hold of the opposite end of a pole and each team tries to push the other team to the outside of the ring.

    Vancouver holds an unusual competition called the Ultimate Firefighter Competition in which the participants compete in a variety of events to see who is the best and fastest.

    Soccer is an amazing game that's fun to play or watch but here's something I bet you never thought you'd see. Blind Soccer is one exciting and powerful game that is played by four blind athletes and a goalkeeper who is visually impaired or sighted competing in a game of soccer in a field that has a wall around it.

    Racing in a kayak is exciting but when the kayak is make from a giant pumpkin that can weigh as much as 800 pounds, a whole new sport is born called the Giant Pumpkin Kayaking and it's one exciting race.

These are just a few of the amazing pictures that photographer Sol Neelman has to share when it comes to weird or unusual sports. His photography is amazing and the sports themselves are intriguing. I can't wait to see more.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Martial Art School

"Anyone can do art."

I strongly disagree. Maybe it's my art school talking, but I think it takes a serious dedication of time and effort to learn any art form.

In order to paint, I had to first develop a solid foundation in drawing and rendering. Then there's the terminology of painting: engaging the compositional frame, de-intensified color, luminosity, chroma, etc. Then you have to learn the nature of the medium. Acrylic or Oils? Matte or shiny finish? How do the pigments mix?

Until you have an intimate understanding of the basics, you'll never have all the tools at your disposal to communicate your intent.

With painting, the basics include canvas preparations, using paintbrushes, medium (acrylic, oil, or egg whites), and so on.

In martial arts, the basics include striking, blocking, grappling, distance, positioning, timing, posture, and power. Only after these basics are thoroughly explored can any student of the martial arts begin to understand physical conflict on any sophisticated level.

Art education is not just left to personal discovery and trial and error. Without systematic instruction it could literally take a lifetime to teach yourself the skills necessary to become an effective artist. With an experienced teacher you may find a friend, mentor, and guide on your path to success.

More than showing you the basics, a teacher can help you find your voice in any given medium.

The same goes for martial arts.

Whatever style you're studying, there should be a clear-cut process of instruction. Any school worth their while will focus, first, on communicating the system and then move on to advanced techniques. Be wary of any school that focuses too much on "free form" instruction. You could do that on your own; no reason to pay for it.

What you should be getting for your tuition is a qualified guide on your pathway to martial arts success.

The best schools will intertwine the higher levels of understanding into the basics, so you're actually learning at a much deeper level than simply one lesson at a time. This is different than simply trying to gain access to the highest levels of understanding as quickly as possible.

In the art world, this is done in your exploration of the basics. Consider drawing, for example. With something as simple as a pencil there is a myriad of applications. Line character, width, hardness, cross-hatching, shading, and so on. These basics are the essential building blocks used to create your masterpiece.

In the martial arts world, the concepts of how to fight should be woven into your instruction from day one. While you're working consciously on the simple tasks, you're being exposed to the higher functions.

In conclusion, there's no great mystery to learning martial arts. Learn from a good instructor who can make sure you understand the basics and then help you discover the higher levels of martial art concepts embedded in them.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Attention Ballroom Dancers, Have You Tried The Argentine Tango?

The Argentine Tango is actually a classic dance which emanated on the roads of Buenos Aires during the completion of the 19th century. This dance has actually developed in appeal over time with both social and professional dancers. The music is both varied and also more contemporary than the usual ballroom tango tracks thanks to added components and instruments, which is actually why at some get togethers the Argentine Tango alone is danced all evening.

The movements consist mainly of walks with the feet making close contact with the floor at all times. The follower normally walks with her legs outside of her partners. It is danced counterclockwise around the floor, and cutting across the middle of the floor is strongly frowned upon.

Argentine Tango is a bit different, a bit dangerous and a bit more exciting than the normal tango. The reason for this is that the woman must allow the man to utterly 'control her body.' It is danced in an embrace which can vary from wide at arms length to a very close chest on chest.

Apart from having to balance herself perfectly with his frame, she has to feel the slightest hint of him stepping forward, so that she can shoot her corresponding foot backwards and be ready for any sudden changes.

The lady can occasionally choose to decorate him with her foot or leg, but mostly she is his mirroring puppet. This I know won't suit a lot of strong-willed woman. It's like he is doing all the talking for once.

Some woman will struggle to come to terms with this imbalance, but this type of connection is very necessary to allow for the correct execution of the Argentine Tango.

With the right partner the Argengine Tango can be extremely sexy as well as strangely spiritual. The dancers have to give the audience the impression that they have been lovers for ages.

In Buenos Aires it is the custom to have milongas or gatherings where the Argentine Tango is the dance of the evening. There are however a few rules you need to follow if attending one of these Milongas.

Firstly you have to dance with a partner for at least three songs, even if he dances like a 'hefalump.' Woman are never allowed to ask the men to dance. Men tend to try and avoid rejection by simply looking at you and jerking their heads towards the dance floor if they want to dance with you.

Whatever way you choose, the Argentine Tango might just be the dance for you, and if you enjoy ballroom dancing, then you simply have to give it a whirl.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

3 Recommendations for Running Coach and Volunteer Background Checks in Youth Sports

No child should ever have to suffer from sexual abuse, especially while participating in a sports organization that is supposed to be about having fun, making friends and learning new things. While it takes a continued and dedicated effort from sports organizations, coaches, parents, volunteers and the rest of the community at large to protect youth athletes from sexual abuse, volunteer background checks can stop a lot of would-be predators from ever entering a youth sports organization. Here are a few things to consider:

1. All adult volunteers must complete a background check prior to working with any youth sports organization, including criminal history and sex offender registry checks. This includes anyone that might work for the league such as a coach, official, groundskeeper and so forth. Anyone who might have any contact (or opportunity to interact) with the children should be required to complete a background check, no matter how unlikely it seems that they would be a predator. The youth league is ultimately responsible for who is allowed into the organization and it's much better to be extra strict on making sure everyone passes a background check than risk letting even one potential predator slip through the cracks.

2. It's important that the league determines what offenses that could appear during a background check would automatically disqualify a volunteer from being allowed to join the organization. While someone with a history of abuse or violence is easy to disqualify, should people with DUIs on their records be allowed to volunteer? The league needs to decide that. Look at things in black and white; when everyone knows where the line in the sand is it's much easier to create a safe environment for youth athletes. No one should be exempt from this "no go" list, no matter what their qualifications may be.

3. Fingerprint-based screening is often considered the "gold standard" of background checks; however it is not permitted in some states and can be too expensive for many sports organizations to implement even if they do have legal access to it. While the laws from state to state may vary, each organization should make use of the most comprehensive screening available. Keep in mind that different states may have different information on the same person. Someone volunteering in California might have a criminal past in Pennsylvania, but that information might show up in the California state check.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

History of Playground Design

With playgrounds we recognize both intelligent design and evolution as supportive of each other in the development of new ideas. We often find ways to marry form and function. Initially, playgrounds were developed by landscape architects looking to create public spaces that would bring communities together. Artists moved in to exert their influence and in the process more creative forms for playgrounds began to be explored.

So how did we get here? Today's traditional "post and platform" design wasn't always the norm.

By 1900 playgrounds appeared in major American cities and consisted of a sandbox and a cubist metal climbing apparatus known as a "gymnasium". By 1912 New York City decided these gymnasiums were unsafe and were removed from all parks. By the 1930's landscape architects took a serious interest in playground design and sculptor Isamu Noguchi introduced abstract concepts that helped give the modern playground a push forward.

After WW II the Baby Boom demanded more playgrounds. Most postwar urban playgrounds were designed for combined use between schools and parks. But throughout the fifties playground designers were split into two camps: recreational movement (fitness) and art. Play was a structured affair. The idea of unstructured play had not yet hit home. Safety surfacing development was slow, at best. The playground was limited to a sandbox, see-saw, slide and swings. During the 1950's attention was given to the "handicapped", ironically the result of wounded warriors from WWII and Korea arriving at the playgrounds with their children. Noguchi's famous 1952 design for the United Nations was rejected by Robert Moses and touched off a heated debate. The design was revolutionary but not understood and it never got built.

By the 1960's play components started to link together. Composite structures were being explored along with massive climbing structures made of wood and stone. The idea was to make playgrounds interesting and draw kids to them or else they would be back out on the streets - presumably up to no good. Not all playgrounds were post and platform. Adventure Playground in Central Park is a wonderful look back to this transitional period where art and play came together. Water moves down lengthy channels and collects in a basin where it drains - no standing water. There is sand, water, and climbing structures. Every Landscape Architect should make a pilgrimage to this historic park!

By the 1970's we entered the Age of Litigation. Suddenly the City of New York and Chicago found themselves in multimillion dollar injury settlements and parks began to close. Property values plummeted if they had playground equipment on them. Some NYC coops closed down. New York City eliminated see-saws and they remain on the blacklist. Insurance company premiums were so high that some cities decided to self-insure. By the 1980's this debacle started to calm down when the CPSC formed guidelines and NPSI (National Playground Safety Institute) set up a certification program for playground designers. Safety-engineered playgrounds followed the new recommendations or guidelines and now some states are mandating CPSC code.

Playgrounds came back stronger with creative climbers that encouraged children to use different muscles. Slides had enclosures at the top and higher sidewalls. It got safer in a hurry - it had to. By and large playgrounds became better and better and by 2004 what we had was a playground so safe it was hard to say "no way." At then end of the day we still get broken bones but they usually are with children who fall 2-3 feet or trip when running. Their bones are weaker and let's face it, there was always one or two kids in the class who were prone to wearing a cast. You can't blame the playground

Isamu Noguchi may be the father of the Natureground. His concepts are in use today: molded forms of earth create hills, slopes, curves from which playground equipment can be positioned around. Research shows when playground equipment is placed in a natural setting around trees, plantings, berms, boulders children use them more often and for longer periods. A playground dropped into a box or rectangle looks more institutional and is less appealing. Even children seem to possess an aesthetic sense and we designers notice these things.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Activities to Enjoy Over the Weekends

Are you the type of parents who are too busy with work and rarely have time for your kids? Well, of course, it is understandable that you want to provide good future for your kids so you are doing your best to work hard. Working and providing money for the family is surely part of your role as provider but how about your role as parents? Do you think your children will give you passing scores? Well, do not let things reach that stage wherein your kids ask you for your time. To do this, all you have to do is to make sure that your weekends will be spent with them. You have to make sure that you will do no work during those days because it is your time for your family. Now, what activities could you enjoy with the kids? Of course, you should at least have a great plan to ensure nice and memorable time with the family.

Do not worry because in this article, we will give you some examples of activities that you could surely enjoy with the entire family including the kids.

Play bean bag toss game - one of the most popular and most enjoyable backyard game is bean bag toss game. It is easy to play so the kids will surely grasp the rules of the game easily. The great thing about this game is that it is enjoyable for everyone - kids and adults. The rule is simple - the players will each take turns throwing bean bags to a raised platform with a hole in the far end. Each bean bag in the hole scores 3 points and whoever gets 21 score first wins the game. It is easy yet very exciting for both kids and adults. To make the game more fun, it would be great to prepare some exciting prizes.

Go to some out of town trips - children loves travelling and they love to visit new places especially when those places feature some playgrounds or theme parks. You should prepare well for this kind of activity though since you will need to spend generous amount of time and money. But of course, the smile in the faces of your kids will surely be priceless. You could spare this kind of activity as a reward for your kids once they done great work at school or at home.

Have picnic at the park - kids are not hard to please and you would be surprised at how little things could make them truly happy. One example is having picnic at the park. You could bring packed lunches or some sandwiches and lots of chocolates and candies to share while you are at the park doing some sports or even nothing at all. Speaking of sports, you could also play some sports like badminton, basketball or volleyball at the park. The kids will definitely love to spend Sunday afternoon like that.

You should consider the tips mentioned in this article so you could have quality time with your kids. It is very important to promote balance in your life. You work hard but at the same time, you play nice with your kids too. That way, everyone will be happy and satisfied.