August 2011

Monthly Archive

Koh Phangan Highlights

31 Aug 2011 | : Travel

It is often the case that people visiting a place for the first time head for the main tourist hub and never manage to escape the ‘tourist traps’. When these people return home and talk to their friends who have been to the same area they often realize that they didn’t make good enough use of their time; that they weren’t adventurous enough. In order to avoid that sense of regret for all those planning on going to Koh Phangan for the first time, I have compiled this short list of highlights.

1)    The number one attraction of Koh Phangan is undoubtedly the Full Moon Party or FMP as it’s also called. Just 10 minutes away by bike or taxi from Haad Rin is the small village of Ban Tai. At Mac Bay in Ban Tai is the Black Moon Party, and in the jungle 5 minutes up the Thong Nai Pan road is the Half Moon Party. Both are well organized parties with 1 main stage. They are well attended events that all serious party heads shouldn’t miss.
2)    There is a walking trail from Haad Rin north to the small beach of Haad Yuan. It is a beautiful secluded beach without mains electricity that seems a million miles away from the noise and crowds of Haad Rin. It takes about an hour to walk to Haad Yuan. You can catch a longtail boat back to Haad Rin if you are too tired for the return journey.
3)    Koh Phangan’s highest mountain is Khao Ra. It takes about 2 hours to reach the summit and on the way is a great waterfall called Phaeng Waterfall. The views along the trek are great and it gives you the chance to see something of the unspoiled interior of the island.
4)    Another waterfall worth visiting is Than Sadet waterfall. This waterfall is near the quiet hippy beach of Than Sadet. For Thais it is a place of pilgrimage because 3 Kings of Thailand have carved their initials on a rock near the waterfall.
5)    Tucked away in the north east of the island are the two gorgeous beaches of Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai. They are set in a lush amphitheater of mountains and are often regarded as the best beaches on Koh Phangan.
6)    Koh Ma, Haad Yao and Haad Salad on the west coast of Koh Phangan all have coral reefs just off shore. They are great for snorkeling and contain lots of marine life.
7)    The main town on the island is Thongsala. It is a great spot for souvenir shopping. At night there is a lively night market with the cheapest food in Koh Phangan. It is a must for those wanting to experience authentic Thai culture.

I’ve confined my list to seven items so people on a short holiday can do one thing a day and still have plenty of time for mingling with the herds in Haad Rin.

Treatments for Back Pain When Sitting

31 Aug 2011 | : Health

Many people who experience back pain when sitting regard it as more of a nuisance than an actual condition which needs treatment. They seem to be pleasantly unaware of the amount of pressure exerted on their back while in a sitting position. Back pain when sitting usually occurs when a person has been seated for long periods of time. There are a number of treatments which can be applied for a person to recover from back pain when sitting.

Massage therapy is a popular treatment for back pain when sitting. A massage relaxes the back muscles and can therefore reduce the pain in the back muscles. Aside from lessening back pain when sitting, massage recreation techniques help circulate the blood. Improved blood circulation can aid in a person’s recovery from muscle tenderness caused by physical activities. Massages also have the ability to increase the production of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are proteins which help in making people feel good; thus, it is quite successful in handling chronic back pain when sitting. However, people with lower back pain must not rely on the effects of a massage alone.

Exercise routines and simple stretching can help reduce back pain from sitting. For people whose situations involve them to be seated for long hours (e.g. desk jobs, traveling, driving etc.), it is recommended that they stand up, stretch or walk around at least once every hour. In this way, one can eliminate foot and leg cramps as well as back pain when sitting. Exercise routines like morning jogging can also reduce back pain from cramped muscles and slouching. This lifestyle, coupled with a massage every now and then, can greatly reduce the chances of you acquiring lower or middle back pain when sitting.

A faulty sitting posture may very well damage your back and eventually cause back pain when sitting. For this reason, people who suffer from back pain need to correct their postures or find a chair which will not aggravate their back pain when sitting. Luckily for them, there are products out in the market which can do just that. Back pain chairs, also labeled as ergonomic chairs, oftentimes come as adjustable products in order to support the backs of various customers with different body builds. These chairs were intended to diminish the intensity of back pain when sitting for an extended time.

Treatment methods for back pain when sitting are determined by the severity of the person’s situation or condition. Bed rest has long since disappeared as a form of treatment for back pain. Instead, doctors are now urging people to live physically active lives to prevent any future onslaught of back pain when sitting. Chronic and low-grade pain may respond to a warm compress. If this doesn’t work, try using a cold compress instead.

Many people will consider physical therapy when experiencing back pain when sitting. However, physical therapy is useful for cases in which the pain lasts for more than two weeks after medical treatment. It may also be necessary if the person has experienced numerous bouts of pain during the previous year.

Negative Ions and Far Infrared Rays

30 Aug 2011 | : Indoors

The title of this post might sound like a science project but it is in fact an attempt to throw a little light on the various claims made for the wonders of bamboo charcoal. It is no doubt that bamboo is a great renewable resource and that bamboo charcoal can be used for a number of purposes including removing bad smells from a home and getting rid of excess humidity in the air; but what does it mean when you read on Amazon that bamboo charcoal also emits negative ions and far infrared rays? Should you be excited about this or is it merely a marketing ploy? This post will try to shed some light on these questions.

Negative ions are formed by the movement of air and water. For this reason the negative ion count is high around waterfalls, in the mountains and on beaches. The movement of air and water breaks air molecules down into negative and positive ions. In contrast, the negative ion count can get very low or even zero in buildings where there is no natural ventilation. Indeed electrical appliances give off positive ions that neutralize the negative ions present in the air.

The Japanese are firm believers in the benefits of negative ions. There isn’t much scientific proof to back up the claims of negative ion machine producers that insist that a high negative ion count improves human happiness. Still such machines are often found in homes and offices in Japan.

There are a few studies done on the benefits of negative ions by scientists on the fringe of the mainstream academic community suggesting that negative ions like sunlight are essential effectors of human mood. The jury is very much out on this matter.

Similarly, big claims are made for the health benefits of far infrared rays. Infrared rays are electromagnetic waves with a frequency beyond the visible spectrum. There are short, medium and far infrared rays. The first two are used for many things such as night vision glasses. Far infrared rays have few applications because they only cover a distance of 5mm.

Again the Japanese have made a far infrared ray sauna which is like a metal belt that can be put over damaged parts of the body. It is claimed, among other things, that far infrared rays can treat cancer, reduce blood pressure, relieve muscle pain and arthritis and cure carpal tunnel syndrome. None of this has been conclusively proved. Far infrared rays are the darling of the ‘wellness’ industry.

It seems to me that it is better to try to get your dose of negative ions and far infrared rays from bamboo charcoal in the home, in clothing and in bedding than waste lots of money on Japanese equipment. If it works you are a winner, if it doesn’t you have only lost a few dollars; not thousands.

The problem with sports supplements.

30 Aug 2011 | : Health

Anyone who’s ever tried to improve their body shape by building muscle, will tell you that it’s not just as simple as turning up to the gym and lifting a few weights. In order to make serious muscle gains you will need to be on the right kind of diet, and stick to it religiously. The key ingredient in that diet is protein, and you’ll need to dramatically increase your protein intake if you want to have any chance of building that extra muscle.

You can do this by adjusting the foods that you eat, but that will mean eating loads of extra chicken, red meat or nuts – all of which are high in protein. The simpler way, though, is to take a protein supplement – which will, most likely, mean drinking protein shakes. These are a great way of getting the extra protein you need, all you need to do is drink one shake twice a day and you’re ready to build that muscle!

Or so they tell you on the packet… in real life, it’s just not that simple. Don’t get me wrong, protein shakes do everything they claim – they’re scientifically proven to help build muscle, but there are a few drawbacks that aren’t ever discussed. First of all, they’re incredibly expensive – manufacturers are definitely cashing in on people’s desires to improve their bodies, and charging a premium for the basic ingredients that go into these shakes. You can buy whey protein powder separately, and mix up your own drinks in a blender – a bit of milk, and some fruit… you could save a fortune. It’ll also help with the second drawback – the taste. There’s no way around it – whatever the flavour it says on the tub, most protein shakes taste awful.

If you’ve managed to hold your nose long enough while you drink, you’ll soon notice the bloated feeling that these shakes can give you. They can play hell with your digestion, at least while you’re getting use to them, and can make you feel like running to the toilet instead of the gym.  If you’re combining these shakes with any other type of sports supplement, you could make things worse – even the best pre workout supplement can leave you feeling a little full, so with a protein shake on top you could be ready to burst – not the best way to prepare for a strenuous weights session.

So, try them if you like – they probably will help…  getting that muscle bound body you’ve always dreamed off won’t be plain sailing, but hopefully one day you can look in the mirror and know that it was worth it in the end.

Gallstones Symptoms: Important Facts Concerning Gallbladder Problems, Treatments and the Honey and C

30 Aug 2011 | : Health

Gallbladder issues and gallstones symptoms are definitely a well-known instance however, several individuals are unaware of what these problems are and what the real symptoms for gallstones are. Many folks are additionally unaware of how gallbladder problems are treated and what kinds of remedies are truly safe and successful. Gallstones are, factually, solid deposits of intestinal fluids, which congeal into solid shapes, instead of remaining in fluid form. That happens, basically, because of surplus cholesterol, extra bile (otherwise referred to as bilirubin), or because of a failing gallbladder. Because these changes within the body, gallstones can develop and become stuck in the liver or bile tube, which brings about severe pain, generally on a persons right side.

The size of gallstones can differ among diverse individuals. The gallstones can range in dimension from huge gumball size or the size of a golf ball, and these stones can be as tiny and the head of a pin. Ones that are tinier pass via the intestinal system and then disbursed from an individuals body, devoid of the person enduring a lot of pain or even realizing there is an issue. When people are unable to pass the stones, normally the larger ones, various problems can arise, like swelling, infections and additional critical issues because the passage of fluids for adequate digestive absorption is vital and if fluids are not passing through the liver and bile ducts, an obstruction could occur.

Gallstones that bring about difficulties, and more serious gallstones symptoms, sometimes require advanced procedures and have to be shrunk or removed in the majority of instances. With most circumstances, it is really better to remove an individuals gallbladder as well as the stones than to prescribe medications to help shrink or disintegrate them. Medicines are administered only if surgical procedures are not an alternative, for example, if it is not in the patients best interest, health wise, or if he or she has a condition in which surgery cannot be performed. To prevent gallbladder troubles, people can consume foods with high fiber and taking suggested daily amounts of Vitamin E C consequently, no other foods are reported that assist with avoiding gallstones at this time.

There has been mention, however, of homeopathic treatments that can assist. One common remedy some quote as helpful is the honey and cinnamon hoax. As of late, no confirmed treatments exist to take care of gallstones, except for honey and cinnamon and postponing medical treatments could bring about critical outcomes, even fatal results. Folks who declare the honey and cinnamon hoax has actual affect with curing gallbladder problems and helping people avoid gallstones symptoms ought to be ignored as untrustworthy and people need to seek real medical guidance.

The macro-environment of the offshore access Industry: Threats and opportunities

29 Aug 2011 | : Business

Introduction
One of the fastest growing businesses is the offshore access industry. The companies in this industry enable their clients to transfer their employees from a boat to a stable platform offshore. The industry receives more and more orders every year, as both market segments the industry supplies to grow too. Therefore, the offshore access industry can be an attractive industry to invest in. However, it has to be said that the industry itself is hard to understand for outsiders, since the high-tech nature of this industry and the rapid innovations. For example, the industry is very vulnerable to external factors. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to describe the surroundings of the companies in this industry and what opportunities and threats may rise out of it.

Energy accessibility
As easily accessible oil reserves at land are almost exhausted, oil companies are forced to drill for oil at difficult and hardly accessible spots, like in the Gulf of Mexico. More and more oil and gas has to be extracted offshore in deeper water. This impacts the companies since more platforms in deeper water has to be accessed where the offshore access system is one of the most reliable and at the same time cheapest solution. It is important to prepare the new systems for the harsh sea far away from land to be even more reliable especially for the new platforms way out in the sea. The better the systems work the better the reputation for reliable operations.

Relevant legislation in politics
The politic legislation plays an important role since no part of the sea is privately owned. The platforms produce the oil for the nation the sea belongs to. The more ecologically oriented the leading party is, the stricter the restrictions on building new platforms. Especially after the explosion on the Deep Water Horizon in April 2010 regulations have gotten stricter. Of course fewer platforms will decrease the demand for an offshore access system, though it will be minor due to the total amount of running platforms. The companies should not focus on a particular geographic area and rather have a broad regional distribution of clients in order to prevent a strong dependence on political decisions.

Subsidies of the government
Subsidies for wind energy as an alternative source of energy are popular. Great Britain tries to have 30% of the total energy supplied generated through wind turbines by 2020 according to The Telegraph (Leach & Gray, 2010).
The realization will be supported by subsidies of the British government. There are potential clients in the near future who might like to be supported by offshore transport systems. It will be important to stay informed about where Great Britain and other European countries plan to build new offshore wind parks where turbines have to be operated and maintained. The offshore access system will be able to give people a very safe access to the turbines. There is huge potential to sell a system to large wind parks, since it will be used ongoing to maintain and repair the offshore wind turbines. A perfectly customized system that works together with the adjusted wind turbines can be a solution to make it even more attractive to buy a system.

Evaluation

The offshore access industry is thriving. There are some threats, especially after the Deepwater Horizon accident, but as long as the companies in question operate efficiently, there will be no problems. Therefore, it might be a good move to invest funds in offshore access companies or to search for an offshore employers to land a job in this industry.

The History Of Video Conferencing

29 Aug 2011 | : Technology

The use of video conferencing dates back to the 1960s. It started as a contraption in the form of a picture phone. The integration of video and voice into the technology was first realized in the Advanced Technology (AT) labs in 1956. In this invention, the telephone caller could not only hear the other person talking but in addition, they would see who they are talking to at the same time.

At that time, there was very little knowledge of the emergence of video conferencing. People could however communicate across board rooms at dispersed locations. People could transfer documents like visual presentations and word files from different departments.

In 1970, there emerged a couple of picture phones that were incorporated into commercial operations. AT & T at this time predicted that towards the beginning of the 80s, there would be world wide coverage of the technology.

The original picture phone was expensive and thus was not easily accessible by a majority of consumers. On the other hand, the usability and use of portability of the software were in question. Just like any other debut technology, the software used to operate slowly since it made use of analog transmission. The pictures were blurry because of low pixel counts in many of the abacus CRTs of that time. The pictures could not be seen properly also.

The AT &T was not the main player in this industry. There were a couple of other companies working on their innovativeness and in 1982, the first ever free video chat system was released to the market by Compression labs. The system was extremely power consuming and made of use of many resources. This system retailed at $250000 and was accompanied with a connection fee of $1000 hourly. This thus meant that the system was affordable by the wealthy. This became the only available system in the world until the emergence of PictureTel, a company in Massachusetts which charged lower prices with $80000 for the system and $100 hourly connection cost for the leased line.

International Business Machines (IBM) pulled resources with Picture Tel and produced a black and white conferencing system which cost $20000 but still this price was well beyond the reach of the normal user. To this end, there needed some inclusion of video conference rooms but the setup was expensive.

In 1992, AT & T introduced the Videophone mainly channeled to the home users whose price tag was lowered to the range of $1500. In this time, Macintosh introduced the CU-SeeMe v0.1 intended for use with the PC. Unfortunately this system lacked audio capability but the quality of the videos was exemplary.

In the year 1994, Microsoft introduced their own flavor of CU-SeeMe and subsequently the Surf & Call system which allowed a one-on-one e-commerce platform.

In the year 2000, Samsung released the 3G streaming video phone. This allowed the users to read from it, view and hear voice when delivering messages. Currently, the price of video conferencing system is greatly varied depending on need, and manufacturer among a couple other factors.

The Emotional Side of Having Bad Acne

29 Aug 2011 | : Health

Most people focus on the visible aspect of acne and how to get rid of it as quickly as possible. When you see commercials for acne products they tell you that their creams and lotions can provide relief but they don’t mention the emotional impact acne can have. Sometimes it’s much more than finding the right cream and hoping for the best. There are many people who go through long periods where there is seemingly no option that works. During this time they can suffer in silence as they experience the extreme embarrassment related to standing out in such a visible way. Having bad acne is almost as if you are wearing a mask that hides your true self. It can be difficult to handle everyday situations whether their social or professional. This is one aspect that acne product companies it nor, but it’s important to be aware of how to keep yourself mentally healthy throughout the battle for clear skin. Otherwise it’s possible that your condition can lead to isolation from the public or even depression.

It’s important to realize there are many acne sufferers out there. If you happen to have bad acne and it can feel like you are alone or that your particular skin situation is the worst. It may be hard to believe, but there are people with worse acne then you and there are also those who have faced more challenges. You are definitely not alone and connecting with others can be of tremendous benefit. There are online support groups and forums dedicated entirely to sharing experiences or learning about how to get rid of acne. It might be a hard thing to talk about in person, and you could also try reaching out to friends who have gone to the exact same thing. Another acne sufferer will know exactly what you’re going through and you won’t have to face the usual preconceptions or assumptions that you would with other people.

Trying to do everything on your own can be downright impossible when you’re attempting to juggle so many things on your plate. This is why it’s essential that you see a dermatologist for further help with acne and blackhead removal. It can be a scary experience to see a skin doctor for the first time, and some people get nervous at the thought of even making an appointment. But keep in mind that dealing with acne is a skin doctor’s specialty and they’ve seen it all before. A single session might be just the thing you need to put yourself on track for the right type of treatment and advice that will give you the clear skin you’re looking for.

Help with Far Infrared Rays

28 Aug 2011 | : Health

I am sure that I am not alone in getting puzzled when I read about a wellness or holistic treatment that uses some technical phrase that is not properly explained. It is often in the nature of alternative medicine to dwell on the benefits of a treatment without carefully explaining the product.

This is my recent experience with bamboo. I’m a firm believer in the many benefits to had from using bamboo products in the home and garden but when I read that bamboo charcoal emitted far infrared rays that cured just about every ailment I could think of I got irritated. What are far infrared rays?

I did some research. Far infrared rays are electromagnetic rays that have a frequency beyond the visible spectrum. There are three types of infrared rays – short, medium and far. The first two types are used for several things including night vision glasses and thermal imaging. The third is far infrared rays that have few applications until a few years ago when the Japanese made a far infrared ray sauna. This is like a wide belt that can put over a person to treat various conditions. Far infrared rays only travel 5 mm so the sauna must be close to the skin.

It is claimed that far infrared rays lower blood pressure and increase the white blood cell count and thus helps fight diseases such as cancer. Far infrared rays also improve cardiovascular strength and speed up the regeneration of damaged skin tissue. The benefits do not stop there – the ‘heat’ from far infrared rays also treats arthritis and muscle spasms. It helps people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. It also unclogs the pores of the skin and helps get rid of acne. These are just some of the supposed benefits of far infrared rays.

I did some research. Most of this is unproven. Dr. Sasaki Kyuo has written a book that the academic world has ignored about the benefits of far infrared rays. The best evidence that I could find was that NASA used far infrared rays to keep astronauts in the 1970s healthy.

It might not be worth your while booking far infrared ray therapy. Since bamboo charcoal emits the rays why not sleep on a mattress containing bamboo charcoal or wear clothes that contain bamboo charcoal? Getting your far infrared rays from bamboo charcoal seems more environmentally friendly than encouraging the Japanese to build hi-tech far infrared ray saunas.

Enjoy The Fun Of The Fitness Bootcamp Experience

26 Aug 2011 | : Health

If you have just finished your first fitness bootcamp exercise session you might be tempted to throw something at me when I say what I am about to.  It is always tricky to see the light ahead when you are so utterly drained and aching.  But that is not the bootcamp but the problem with having lives that involve so much sitting and not enough exercise.  Starting out is always tough at first.

At Fitness Bootcamp Power I talk about bootcamp benefits and try to explain that it is the fun and enjoyment elements that really stand out for participants.  Challenges and group motivational atmosphere bring about strange changes in human psychology.  It speeds up bonding and communication and this makes having fun so much easier together.

The benefits of fitness bootcamp session rely on this group arrangement.  At first it is easy to hide in a group.  But that group has to provide anonymity without a focus.  So having people of similar ability and fitness, means that at first no one is going to be way ahead and everybody is just as nervous.  You can sweat together and grow together.  This makes it easier to bond properly as you go along.  A group siege mentality if you like.

The fun starts when you start to communicate and talk which will happen.  This may be just short comments on the exercises or how you are finding it or they are finding it at first.  As soon as you discover that you will not be reprimanded or put down for some talking and banter you will relax and enjoy.  Humans are not solitary creatures by nature.

So you start to have fun together, even if it is physically intensive.  Exercises are varied, unlike a gym.  So there is a good mix of interval training and plyometric exercises, maybe with some calisthenics thrown in for good measure.  You will build up a rapport with your trainer that makes it a really good laugh as you go along.  In group competitions are a great way to have friendly fun.  Enjoying as a group is so much more beneficial and enjoyable.

Of course for many fitness bootcamp attendees this will actually continue outside the group as well.  Many hook up between sessions for a coffee socially or to keep the training going with a run together for instance.  They also function as a support group to help and encourage in difficult times.  Having fun with friends and colleagues is great.  Doing it whilst getting fit and losing weight is even better

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