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The Four Types Of A Modern-Day Hippie

The popular hippie counterculture that started back in the 1960’s were indeed so popular that up until now, the concept and the culture still manages to live on. However, the years have changed the counterculture a lot as well. Despite the attempts of true-blue hippies to carry out and retain the genuine hippie spirit as they make the transition from vintage hippies to modern-day hippies, the modern times still caused various changes. Now, the modern-day hippie has four sides.

The first type of what is called “modern-day hippie” is the true-blue hippie, a true child of the 1960’s counterculture. They are the true picture of a full-blown hippie, who lives the original hippie values from inside and out. They are now called New Hippies or Neo-Hippies. Similar to the hippies in the past, they are still politically informed and educated. They also advocate the same causes in the spirit of peace, love, and freedom. They keep up with current political and environmental trends. They protested against issues that contradict with their hippie values in the same manner that the hippies of the past protested. As true-blue hippies, they still also live with the good and the bad sides of being a hippie. They protest against way and violence as they promote peace. On the other hand, they also like to engage in unusual activities, use odd clothes and accessories, and experiment with drugs in their advocacy for liberal rights. They really are hippies to the core.

The second type of a modern-day hippie is a somewhat downplayed version. Their hippie side is reflected more by their environment-friendly, tree-hugging advocacies, rather than through their political and societal idealisms. They are mostly vegetarians, and tends to live through life in a breeze and simply focuses on their love for the environment and clean, healthy things. They are lighter and brighter hippies. They are sometimes called granola children. A “granola child”, according to the urban dictionary, is one who “enjoys tie-dye, granola, and peace”.

The third type of a modern-day hippie, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of a granola child. They are the angry hippies. They are more futuristic, and like to show off their hippie values in enhanced, exaggerated ways. They are called the “techno hippies”. They are more modern and more forward than the Neo-Hippies. They take the hippie character to the next level. They sport tattoos, body piercings, and strange hairstyles such as the famous dreadlocks. They also exhibit their opinions though rave parties where they mostly consume large amounts of drugs and alcohol. They also take their advocacies to the Internet and are in tune with the latest gaming technologies. They are, in a way, rebellious hippies.

Finally, the fourth type of modern-day hippie is not really composed of hippies anymore, as a lot of people claim. They are hippies without a cause. Cynics like to call them “rippies”, because they are simply ripping off the hippie lifestyle, for lack of an original generational style and culture to live by. There are a lot of terms closely associated with them. One of these terms is “yunkers”, which refers to a modern-day hippie who smokes and takes drugs a lot. Somehow, they give off the idea that they are merely using the hippie culture as an excuse to liberally take drugs. Accused of wearing the trendy, designer versions of distinct hippie clothes such as tie-dyes, vests, and sandals, they are also often referred to as the hippies who have lost their political activism.

These four types of a modern-day hippie may be completely different. But one thing remains the same: the clothing style. Any breed of hippie is still wearing sandals and tie-dyes. Now, that is a fashion culture that doesn’t just die.

Source by Robert Fuller

Schedule Slippage – Root Causes

“The single most important task of a project: setting realistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations based on inaccurate estimates are the single largest cause of software failure.”- Futrell, Shafer


With global and competitive market, it is very important to launch a product or service in the market on time, ahead of competitors. Definitely, timely launch depends on on-time-completion of the product development projects. Project planning has lots of challenges to overcome in order to finish the project on time – right from schedule predictability, envisioning future/possible risks and coming up with mitigation plans.

This article talks about some of the challenges, often faced in the Software Product Development industry that causes the schedule slippage.

Schedule slippage: Delay in the project completion from its initial estimated date of completion.

Each project plan will have a planned completion date (NRA, RA), and a bounding box or upper limit in schedule. Nowadays, it is a common practice to have three dates associated with any project plan:

  • Non-Risk Adjusted (NRA) date: Project completion date assuming no hurdles – Ideal conditions.
  • Risk Adjusted (RA) date: Project completion date assuming some risks will come on the way and will need extra time to attend to them.
  • Bounding Box (BB) or upper limit: The upper limit on the project plan before which the project has to be finished under any circumstances – Generally decided by the top management based on product/services roadmap and launch in the market.

Under ideal circumstances, any project is scheduled to complete by NRA date. Considering some risks that may come on the way and would eat some time off the schedule, the project should be over by RA date. If the risks were not envisioned and hence not planned well, then project may get delayed and would complete after RA date. Project completion crossing the RA or upper limit is neither good nor expected out of a well-planned project.

Root Causes

As we always plan for a project to get over before RA date, seldom is the case it happens as expected. There are multiples reasons for schedule slippage, right from improper planning, lack of resources to unplanned requirements and rework that eat away vital time off the planned schedule.

A typical project development process – Each project will have a team (development, testing and other functions) that will work through a process (requirement analysis, schedule estimation, design, implementation and testing) to deliver a product to the customer/end user. Each entity that participate in the project – directly or indirectly affect the schedule.

From the development process, we can identify the items that can cause delay in the execution of the project – for example, misinterpreted or unclear requirement adds up to completion time, unavailability of development tools or resources can prolong the project duration. Various processes like schedule estimation, detailed design and product development if not executed skillfully, may significantly blow up the project cycle.

For better understanding all these possible causes that may result in schedule slippage are categorized .

Let’s have a detailed look at the root causes of schedule slippage category wise.

1) Schedule Estimation: “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

For a project to be executed on time, it is very important to have it planned very well. Any mistake in project schedule estimation reflects as delay in the project completion from its deadline. There are several factors that contribute to improper schedule estimation:

· Underestimation of technical complexities: At the start of the project, many of the team members may not have thorough knowledge of technical complexities and hence their estimation would be incorrect. Sometimes it may so happen that the person giving estimates for a particular task is having no idea about the technical challenges involved in carrying out that particular task. You might hear, towards the mid/end of the project life cycle when the task is not finished on time – “Oh, I didn’t know that this feature also requires 5 more tasks to be done!” or “I was thinking this task to be so simple, but I under estimated it!”. · Lack of Design/Big picture: It is important to have a bigger picture / overview of the complete project to understand how a particular module/feature would fit in to complete project. Product or system level design helps in understanding the interfaces among other modules and the required coordination for product assembly and hence, a better insight into the work involved. Often, estimates without focus on detailed design tend to deviate more from the actual time taken for finishing the job. · Integration Testing: While making a project plan, testing also needs to be accommodated in the schedule. At times, the unit testing or testing done by individual contributors on their module is taken into account but not the system level testing. Toward the release, when all the individually tested modules are brought together, a system level or integration testing is a must. Having the time for integration testing not accounted in the overall project schedule will cause delay in the project completion.

· Unplanned dependencies: Project planning is not only about breaking the project into minute tasks and managing them. A well-planned project schedule also needs to consider certain unplanned dependencies. Some of these are:

o People: Optimum utilization of human resources calls for same set of people working in multiple projects. A person may not be available to work for currently planned/assigned project due to extended/unplanned work in another parallel project. Another issue related to people could be unplanned/unexpected attrition that will affect the project plan. Time is also lost in mentoring of new member by a senior (more experienced) person which goes unaccounted if not planned.

o Tools & Equipments: Project can be delayed if team is waiting for release of upgrade or procurement of any vital tool (hardware or software being used in the project) or if the equipments required for development and testing are not available. “We had a 3-months project for validating our existing solution on new product platform using customer DUT (device under test). We had to wait for the DUT for nearly 1.5 months as it got stuck in customs. After getting the DUT, we realized that it’s been damaged partially during transportation. As a result we had to ask for another DUT and whole project took more than 5 months to get finished.” – I am sure that such cases will be quite familiar to many organizations. Other reason for timely unavailability of tools / equipments is that they are shared among various projects to reduce the operating cost. Any unplanned dependency on their usage or wrong assumption about availability of these shared resources would cause delay in the program. Team members might have to work on shifts to optimize the usage of shared resources which can cause reduced work hours and/or productivity loss and results to schedule slippage.

“I was waiting for Matlab license to be released by another person in the team but he left the office without doing so and I lost 3 hours figuring out what to do?” – is it something you faced before?

o Other programs: If multiple programs have deliverable dependencies, then delay in one project will have cascaded effect on other projects, which directly or indirectly depend on its deliverable. “We got delayed because we had to wait for a critical UI component from the framework project team” or “We didn’t plan for bug fixes for a component which was supposed to be delivered defect free for our usage” are the common scenarios for delays in program which are dependent on other program deliverables. Parallel programs may affect the schedule of your program in a different way as well – Sometimes, management changes the priority of the programs running in parallel. If your project is considered as a low priority one then there might be lack of resources assigned to your project that may result in schedule slippage.

· Beta releases: How many times we seek feedback on our product during development? And how often we allocate time for it? It’s important to plan beta releases if we desire to have our product validated by expert users or lighthouse customers during development. Getting feedback from beta customers becomes important especially when their requirements echo that of a mass customer base. Process of giving workable releases to customers, collecting their experience, having their feedback analyzed, and then incorporating in the final product version takes significant time.

· Risk mitigation and plan B: Every project will have some or the other risks. These risks can be of varying severity and probabilities. While making project plan, it is important to treat the risk individually based on their severity and probability of occurrence. If high probable risks with higher severity are not planned with their mitigation plan (or plan B), they will have huge impact on schedule deviation from planned one. As in one of the previous examples quoted, getting a DUT on time for validation was a risk. Had there been a mitigate plan (plan B) like – Validate with other DUT or if DUT is not available here, let one developer travel to customer’s place and finish the validation on time, the schedule slippage would have been avoided.

2) People: Ultimately, projects are executed by people who may not be skilled or talented. Hence, looking for perfection in projects involving human beings may not be a feasible thought. Certain unpredictable and hence unavoidable issues under this category are:

· Poor leadership: Before thinking of project execution, it is project planning that actually would set the platform of success. Execution of the project depends on its team while planning is taken care by the project leader. The project leader is expected to have enough technical know-how to understand the project goals and to the details of the tasks involved. Poor leadership and superficial knowledge of assignments often results in invalid effort estimation and ad hoc task delegation causing stress and possible delay in project execution. People leading the team are also responsible for keeping the team spirit and motivation level upbeat. Poor personal commitment due to lack of motivation results in loss of productivity and may cause schedule to slip. Another reason that adds up to delay in projects is inability of leadership team to track the schedule progress and take the correction action.

· Attrition: If the project duration is large and job market is hot, it may be difficult to retain people in the project till its completion. Attrition may further delay the completion especially if the person leaving the job was in critical path. A person leaving the organization would leave a gap in the project that a new person may not fill immediately, which in turn causes sudden reduction in the task force.

· Learning curve: When ever a new person or team member is included in the project, he or she may require some time to understand the project to keep in pace with other members. Learning curve is needed for new team members, joining the team either due to attrition or due to any specific technical competency requirement. · Context switching: In smaller organization or groups where people work on multiple projects simultaneously, it is important to have some buffer for context switching. A person planned to work in project ‘A’ for two hours after a gap of two weeks, would take more than scheduled time to complete that task. Gap of two weeks and the fact that he or she was involved in other project would require some time for the member to get back to the context of current project. · Global development teams: In an era of globalization and outsourcing, it is common these days to have development team distributed over different geographical regions. Project plan needs to account for different time zones and working culture. You might expect an input for your task on Monday morning your time but it may be Sunday late evening for that person and finally when the input arrives, you might be on your way to home after work.

Sometimes schedule estimation might go completely wrong if you have not understood the work culture of the region your teammate belongs to – “In my previous work, I was given a task to be completed with a heads up that its very critical task and needs immediate attention’. When I asked my project lead how many days/hours I have for it, I had been time for 2 weeks for high priority and ‘immediate-attention’ work.” Definition of ‘urgent’, ‘high priority tasks’ changes with culture and region.

· Communication Issues: People communicate differently. If important issues are not brought to the notice of the team members, or are not escalated on time, the entire project may suffer. Often fear of embarrassment stops team members from reporting issues faced during execution leading to more time being spent on that task that can easily be executed additional help.

3) Customer Involvement: These issues are quite serious if customer or end users of the product are involved in the development phase. Understanding customer’s priorities, defining your expectation from their involvement needs to be clear and in agreement with both the parties.

· Expert user testing: In the beginning of the project, expert user testing cycle needs to be planned. Process of giving builds or releases for testing and collecting their feedback, analyzing and incorporating them in your product takes significant time which, if not planned, can delay your program. · Timely feedback: “I got feedback from customers for features, delivered in development milestone-1, after milestone-5 towards the release. These feedbacks are critical but now I am worried how to incorporate them without affecting the schedule.” It sounds like a common problem. Incorporation of feedback from customers needs to be planned well taking a commitment from the customer. · Product requirement specification review: Having a product requirement review planned and executed will keep you on right track throughout the project. Reviewing the requirement specification will avoid requirement related defects fixing which otherwise would have delayed, the project.

4) Ambiguous Project Requirement: For any project to be initiated, the first thing is to have requirements for it. In the product development life cycle, requirement phase acts like a foundation. Clear requirement or vision for the project navigates the team to success. However, requirements may not be clear at the time of estimation and may result in delay in the project completion. Issues related:

· Evolving specs: If you are making a product based on a standard which is not yet matured or still evolving, you are more prone to have this risk. Frequency changes in the specs will change the requirement for the project during different stages of product development and team will continue to work on something that is not yet evolved. This results in rework that would delay the project if time for dealing with these changes is not accommodated in the schedule. “We developed an algorithm and hence measurement that was based on certain industry standard. Towards the release of the product, the specs changed and our measurement was no more valid. We had to redo the algorithm to reflect the changes in the specs. This caused our product release delayed by 2 months.” · New requirements: Sometimes new requirements are added as the project evolves towards completion. Implementation of new requirements is not planned at the beginning of the project and hence is not accounted in schedule. Adding new feature without revising the schedule may result in delay.

· Untold expectation: Requirements from the customers may be of two types – implicit or explicit. It is important to have the requirements well documented. Implicit requirements needs to be better defined and documented to avoid any confusion towards the end of the project. Customers may not describe their requirements related to system performance, memory issues, user interface quality and usability but they are very keen on providing feedback in those aspects once the product is given for expert user testing. If we are not clear about such requirements, out design might not address them. Addressing them towards the end of the project may call for design changes and extra work that would delay the project.

5) Unplanned Tasks / Reworks: Bounding box for the project is set by higher management and often lack buffer for unplanned task(s). Having more of unplanned task that creep up at different phases of project can cause schedule slippage. The unplanned tasks or rework may arise due to:

· Sustaining work: In smaller organizations, some of the project team may also be responsible for sustaining / customer support of existing products. These unplanned tasks, which come on event basis, related to customer support are always of high priority. Excess or prolonged sustaining work may take resource out of the planned project causing a potential threat for schedule slippage. · Defect fixes: Defects are bad as they degrade the product quality and consume extra time/effort to fix them. It is good to have testing of the intermediate releases of the project to find and fix defects sooner in the development life cycle. If the fixing-cycle for such internal-milestone defects is not planned, then either the project is either going to slip or product is going to be of poorer quality. Poor programming skill of the team, not adapting to modern programming practices and having ad hoc development processes may lead to higher number of defects which would take more time to fix then planned and cause slippage.

· Task spillover from previous milestone: Tasks that are not completed in previous milestone, due to whatever reason (inefficiency, vacation of the team member, resource crunch etc), will have to be completed in the next milestone thereby increasing the load on the team. If adequate buffer is not planned, these tasks spilled from previous milestone over to next, can delay the project. · Requirement change / refinement: Requirement changes during the product development will result in rework of what has been previously done with first version of requirement(s). Addressing changes in the requirements needs extra time and effort and may cause schedule slippage. In some cases, the requirement from customer is misunderstood resulting in wrong system design and implementation. Additional, unplanned time is lost in correcting the design/implementation which causes schedule slippage.


On time delivery is the challenge software development companies are facing globally. To have a complete control over estimated schedule, it is very important to identify the elements in the development cycle that cause schedule slippage. This article uncovers and explains the root causes of delay in programs using examples from real world. Having an insight to the root causes will help the program managers to make good decisions to avoid future schedule slippage.

Source by Mukesh Soni

Benefits of Discount Moving Boxes

Whether you are relocating your house or work place, packing your beloveds is something that haunts everyone. Most of us have so many items and blessings, that at the end of the day we give up and hire professional movers and packers or professional packing companies and keep fretting over their exorbitant charges.

Apart from charging for their services, they also charge you for transportation and for each packaging box or moving supply used. All this mount to an obnoxious amount, which does not justify the work done or services used by us.

However, do not worry; Discount moving boxes are soon acquiring ground in the market. Many people are now moving past their hesitation and moving beyond the pre conceived notions regarding the bad quality of these pre used boxes as compared to the brand new ones. Instead of fretting and cringing back from using these cheaper versions of boxes, let's take a step forward towards smart purchasing and saving money where we can.

Benefits of Discount Moving Boxes:

  • The best advantage has already been stated above, that is, you save a lot on the expenditure of purchasing brand new moving boxes.
  • Apart from being an economic option, the quality of these discounted boxes is not as bad as pre conceived by people. The boxes you get are sturdy and strong enough to serve your purpose of packing and moving.
  • Remember, there is a difference between good qualities discounted moving boxes and low quality Cheap Moving Boxes. Many people opt for low quality boxes boxes, however, they later face the brunt when the boxes split and tear while packaging or moving, breaking and damaging the packed items. Here, it is always better to opt for and rely on these discounted versions as they are of much better quality than these cheaper options. You save money and you can be sure of their quality. The companies that sell these discount moving boxes first check the quality of the boxes before handing over these boxes to the customers, to ensure little hassle during their relocation. Moreover, they offer you a large variety of boxes of different sizes and shapes, so that you can pack as many items you want and that that too in a secure manner while transportation.

There are also many discounted moving supply kits available with these companies, which includes supplies of different shapes and sizes that you might need while packaging. These kits are extremely functional and come at a discounted price! These kits are available as follows:

  • Apartment Moves
  • Short and Long Distance Move
  • Office Relocation
  • Start Kits
  • Ward and Dish packs

The size and quantity of these kits may differ, however, usually these kits include five medium sizes boxes, three large boxes, ampleant bubble wrap, two extra large boxes, packing paper, packing tape, plastic bags and films, coded labels and tags , And other packaging supplies. Customize them as per your convenience and secure them nicely with abundance of good quality tape.

Source by Jaudith Pinkaman

Gel Fiber Pillows – Advantages and Disadvantages You Should Know

Gel pillows (also known as gel fiber pillows) are becoming increasingly popular. Does one deserve to be on your bed? Let’s look at their main advantages and disadvantages. But first, let me explain exactly what a gel pillow is.

A gel pillow is not filled with any type of gel or liquid-like substance. Rather, it is filled with polyester gel fibers. This makes the pillow similar to a traditional polyester / synthetic-filled pillow in some ways. However, polyester gel does have some unique properties, which I will now discuss.


Gel pillows have a similar soft and cushy feel as down, but they offer somewhat more support. The pillows can be easily molded or scrunched to provide support where you need it.

They are easy to take care of in that they typically do not need shaking or fluffing to maintain their loft as down pillows often do. And they can be machine washed and dried. Gel pillows are also light weight and hypoallergenic.

Finally, they are probably a good value because they are fairly inexpensive yet will likely last a few years.


The pillows may not provide the support needed for some people, especially side sleepers, because the pillow is quite soft and may not have the need loft / height.

Like other poly-fill pillows, gel pillows may shift, clump and develop hollow spots as they age. Also, a few owners complain of a noticeable smell when the pillows are new.

Finally, the poly-fiber fill of the pillows can be susceptible to dust mites, which can cause allergies.

Source by Nick Robinson

What Is Erotic Power Exchange?

Erotic power exchange is any situation where partners, of their own free will and choice, actively and willfully incorporate the power element in their lovemaking (and usually for a great deal in their relationship). Erotic power exchange is best known as either BDSM, S & M, D / s or sadomasochism, but these terms are all too limited, incorrect and all too frequently confused with stereotypes and forms of mental illness, which is why we like to call it Erotic Power Exchange (EPE).

The Holistic Approach

Allow us to quickly explain our view and approach. Not in order to try and force you into any direction, but to explain where we are coming from, so you will have a better understanding about the way, this online educational facility has been set up.

Erotic power exchange is a situation that incorporates – or often even encloses – spirit, body and mind and as a result will have an effect on each of these three areas that, together, make up the human being. As a result, we try to approach each area of ​​the art of erotic power exchange on each of these levels who – in order to create the wholeness of the human being – are equally important and all deserve their, individual, attention.
Erotic power exchange can take any shape or form within a relationship. From little things like blindfolding her when making love to anything like 24 hours a day, 7 days a week servitude.

The shape and form it takes entirely depends upon the fantasies, situation, preferences and boundaries of the partners involved. As long as it is informed consensual, safe, sane and voluntary it is called erotic power exchange. If any or all of these four elements are missing, it is called abuse.

Next, erotic power exchange requires a specific environment. Call it a biosphere, if you like. What it requires is a very sound, honest and sincere relationship, intense and open communication, trust, a lot of mutual understanding, an open mind, lots of love and care and a fair bit of creativity. Which does not mean the relationship necessarily has to be a long term one. Even within a one-night-stand or casual situation all these requirements must be there – albeit probably on a less intense level – to make things work.

People will often ask: what is wrong with straight sex? Why add things like power exchange. Well, there is nothing wrong with straight sex. But there are people – such as yourself – who want more out of their relationship. Maybe even more out of life. These are the people that will identify the power element, present in every relationship, and start to work with it, magnify it, play with it, explore and experiment. In every day life all of us have to deal with power. Your boss' power or political power for example, but not all of us become bosses or politicians or even take an interest in management or politics. The same is true for power within the sexual / relational context. Some do, some do not.

Giving away power to your partner can be an incentive erotic sensation. Being tied up, reliably helpless and being launched by your partner into your own fantasies and dreams – some people call that sub space – can be thrilling, relaxing and revealing at the same time. Pain, tickling and all sorts of other impulses – when administrated with care and skill – can pump up your endorphins, giving you the same sensation sports people will sometimes feel. On the other hand, the dominant partner will feel the adrenaline and serotonine flow freely through his or her body, giving them a very powerful feeling and very intense and caring emotion at the same time. No, the people that do it do not need the power element to be able to have an orgasm or an interesting and rewarding relationship, but yes, they do need the power element to be present and used in their relationship.

An umbrella for lots of different things

Erotic power exchange is a very individual, personal experience. That is why it is very hard to describe what it is exactly. The only element all these people – and that includes you – have in common is the fact that – for their own individual reasons – they are fascinated by the power element in a sexual / relational context. What they do, how they do it and why may be completely different things.
Erotic power exchange is an umbrella argument. One couple may fill it in as tying her up in bed, another may be fascinated by the idea of ​​a "strange" man walking into the bedroom capturing her and a third may have a relationship where he serves her in any aspect. Many others will look for the spiritual and personal growths, this may bring about. Others are in it for the kink. All of that is quite all right, as long as it feels good for you and it brings you what you are looking for.

Erotic power exchange is like golf: it is highly individual, you are the master of your own game and you are also your own referee.
It is entirely about what you want to do. You do not have to copy others. You do not even have to agree with what others do. It is your game, your thoughts, your emotions and your fantasies. It is what you and your (future) partner share. It is being able to explore the borders of your mind and imagination in a very safe environment.

To many people erotic power exchange is not just about sex, but a lifestyle. Most people that do it will recognize it as something very personal, something very much owning to themselves. To many it is a way to express themselves.

A definition of Erotic Power Exchange

Probably the most dangerous thing to do is to try and come up with definitions of erotic power exchange. Usually this will lead to furious discussions. However, the POWERotics Internet discussion group (one of the largest in its kind) managed to agree on a definition that sees a workable one as well as one that a large group of (Maledom / femsub oriented) people can agree upon. This is the definition, agreed upon by this group, plus the relevant notes about it.

* Erotic power exchange is defined as: voluntary and informed consensual acts of power exchange between consenting adults.
* Voluntary is defined as: not having received or being promoted any – financial or non-financial – incentive or reward in order to try and coerce or force any of the partners involved into actions that would not consent to without such reward or incentive; Not otherwise being forced or coerced (either through physical, mental, economic or social force or overpowering) into actions any of the partners involved otherwise would not consent to, of the own free will of all partners involved.
* Informed consentual is defined as: partners involved – prior to the act – have chosen voluntary to enter into acts of erotic power exchange and all partners involved – to the best of their knowledge – have made a serious effort to establish all other partners involved A reasonable level of understanding of both the activities, they agreed to, as well as the potential consequences and risks of such activities.
* Adults are defined as: of legal age in their area or country. Should such legal age be under 18 years of age, adult is defined as 18 years of age or older.All of the above may sound a little over the top to you – and in fact, to a certain extent we agree. However, it IS the first ever attempt to come up with a definition that is workable and that, although probably a little bit too "legal" for those inside the community, makes perfectly clear where the lines are drawn between consensual erotic power exchange on one End and abuse or outright sick or criminal behavior on the other.

Stigma & Truth

There are all sorts of knockdowns on the subject of erotic power exchange around, all of them often used by legislators as well as others who oppose erotic power exchange. All of these are based on assumed psychological or psychological "knowledge" or "facts". The fact of the matter is that none of these are actually true or proven. We have collected the most common ones around and compared them with the real facts.

"Once you start, you will want more and more"

This is what pseudo-experts will introduce as the "stepping stone theory".

In other words, once you have tasted the effects of, for example, pain, you will want more and more of it and it will end in excessive behavior and addiction. In fact there is no "stepping stone theory" (the term originates from research into the causes of drug-addiction in the late 1960's and by the way the theory did not work in that area either) as far as erotic power exchange is concerned .

Fact number two is this. Like almost anything about erotic power exchange, there is hardly any serious and published scientific research on this subject. Next, nearly all research commonly referred to as being about EPE has been research done in individual cases or extremely small groups. Any conclusions, based on such research, are not valid for the entire group for simple statistical and mathematical reasons only, if nothing else. Research has predominately been done by psychiatrists and psychologists – into cases that almost all relate to direct questions for help or significant health-related problems. And the objective of almost all of these articles is to promote the therapy of that particular therapist. General sociological research in the area of ​​erotic power exchange is rare and, if available, has been done predominately in the gay community or with such small – and country or area specific – research groups that it is impossible to draw any general conclusions in a responsible Way.

Fact number three is that the reality of erotic power exchange shows an entirely different picture. People who are into erotic power exchange will usually start to experiment with it and in this experimental phase will usually want to explore all possibilities. As time progresses their emotions will settle down, pieces of the puzzle will fall into place and their wants and needs – once explored and identified – will settle down to the level that usually corresponds with the fantasies people originally had.

"The need to go into power exchange always hides a traumatic experience"

This knockdown is based on Freud who, as we all know, tried to explore the relationship between all sorts of human behavior – not only the sexual behavior – and (early) childhood experiences. His method is called psycho-analysis and in modern psychology is considered outdated and large irrelevant.
Although it is a fact that some people who are into erotic power exchange have a history of abuse or childhood trauma, a general connection has never been established. What may be true in individual cases most certainly is not true as a general argument. What research did establish is that there are no significant differences between the number of people with traumatic experiences in the erotic power exchange community than there are in any other group.

More recent research points to both genetic influences as well as to a creative and inquisitive mindset as factors that may be of influence to the development of erotic power exchange emotions and emotions. However, this research is far from finalized and in fact again is only limited to individual cases, like most of the scientific research done in this area.

Another – relatively new – area that may play a role is the influence of endorphins. Endorphins are hormones, natural opiates, produced by the body and commonly known as "emotion" amino acids. Different mixtures of different types of endorphins will create different emotions. Some of these mixes are created as a result of fear, stress and pain. What role they play when it comes to the development of erotic power exchange emotions is yet unknown.

"The need for power exchange points to a Stern upbringing"

Again a "semi-Freudian" misconception and based on one case of one man, researched and published about by Freud.

The fact of the matter is that most of the people who are into erotic power exchange have had a perfectly normal youth and upbringing and the major come from families where sexuality was a subject that could be discussed freely and openly. Again there may be individual cases where people had a stern – or sometimes very religious – upbringing but when or not there are any connections between upbringing and erotic power exchange emotions in general is yet to be determined and probably very unilaterally as far as the development of The emotions as such is concerned.

"People into erotic power exchange can not find full sexual satisfaction in other ways"

This is an outright lie, based on research done in cases of excessive clinical sadism and masochism (ie the mental illnesses). It is true that the severe mental distortions usually described as sadism and masochism may (but not always do) show this type of behavior. Erotic power exchange, however, has nothing to do with mental distinctions but with perfectly normal erotic / sexual behavior between perfectly normal, well-adjusted, responsible adults.

People into erotic power exchange will usually consider their feelings and emotions important and will identify erotic power exchange as a lifestyle, but that does not mean they have a compulsive need. The lack of compulsive behavior in fact is what separates erotic power exchange from clinical sadists and masochists.

In fact in many cases people will identify their erotic power exchanges as inherently different from sexual emotions or – for example – an orgasm.

"Dominant men are just male chauvinists"

The fact of the matter is that the majority of dominant men are very caring, loving and open minded people – as are most dominant women by the way. The position of the dominant in erotic power exchange by definition requires a lot of understanding, caring, trust and most of all a great interest in the desires and needs and emotions of the submissive partner. What to the outsider may seem a very strict, direct, powerful and maybe sometimes somewhat aggressive looking macho man in fact is only role play, using symbols and role behavior but underneath is almost always a very caring person.
The average submissive partner, when asked, will usually describe the dom as understanding – generally knowing more about his submissive partner than (or did) him or herself – supporting, careful, loving and protective.

"Submissive women betray the movement for women's rights"

Being submissive and allowing these emotions to come out is a very self-confident statement and decision as well as a difficult and scary process. Submissive women are usually very self aware and are making very conscious decisions about their submissiveness. They are anything but "doormats" and have – generally speaking – gone through a long process of identifying and accepting themselves as well as their submissive feelings and emotions.

Just as dominant erotic behavior is not an indication of general dominance, neither is submission an indication that the (wo) men will display submissiveness in every day life. Usually they will be anything but submissive, although it is a fact that as long as submissive emotions have not settled down, submissive women especially sometimes may have trouble separating some of their submissive feelings from other things.
The argument itself originates from hard line feminist activists who – predominately out of fear for unwanted influence – try to separate women from other opinions than the ones such activists have.

"People who are dominant in every day life are submissive in bed and vice versa"

Sexual / erotic behavior is usually not an indication for any other form of social behavior, neither are there any proven links between the two. Dominants can have both dominant as well as non-dominant positions in every day life and the same goes for submissive's. A female executive can be submissive in the bedroom, a male nurse can be dominant. The above statement is a classic example of stereotyping, mainly based on pornography and stories from prostitutes who – through indicating they have "socially important or significant customers" – in fact try to market their profession and often use arguments like these in a rather naive effort To gain more social acceptance and respect for their trade.

"Erotic power exchange is dangerous"

There are all sorts of stories around about accidents, that happened during erotic power exchange sessions. The most "famous" one around is the story about the man who – after cuffing his wife to the bed – climbed the near cupboard in an effort to jump on her, broke both his legs, fell into the locked closet and the couple had to Wait for two days before help arrived. This story – like many others – is around in almost all countries and – like almost all others – is a tall story. Of course, anything one does without sufficient knowledge can be risky or even dangerous. The truth of the matter is that safe, sane, voluntary and informed consensual erotic power exchange is perfectly safe, provided people know what they are doing.

Early Recollection

The vast majority (over 50 percent) of the people actively nurturing erotic power exchange emotions recollect fantasies about power role play at an early age, prior to their 18th birthday. Just about half of this group (in other words 25 percent of all BDSM-people) recollects having such fantasies before the age of twelve – quite frequently as early as six or seven.

Research by the POWERotics Foundation shows women typically recollect erotic power exchange fantasies and emotions earlier than men on average. Recollections of fantasies and emotions before the age of 12 for example are more frequent (24%) in the female group (men 16%). Very recent recollections, after their 18th birthday, are more frequent in the male group: 22% as opposed to only 5% in the female group.

There are no real differences when it comes to the importance of personal fantasies. Between 40 and 45 percent of both groups indicate that it has been these fantasies that triggered their erotic power exchange emotions. The same goes for the influence of books and general media on the development of such emotions. Around 20 percent of both groups indicate this as a trigger. There are, however, big differences when it comes to the influence of the Internet. Almost twice as many young women (15% opposed to 8%) name the Internet as a trigger of their emotions, whereas almost twice as many young men (11% versus 6%) say they have been influenced by pornography. It is important to notice however that the impact of both the Internet and pornography are only of minor influence, when compared to other triggers such as private fantasies and general media.

Young women in general consider erotic power exchange of a greater importance in their lives than young men. 53% of the young women consider it to be either a very important or the most important thing in their lives, whereas 44% of the men consider it important but have other priorities as well. Slightly more young men (12%) than women (10%) see erotic power exchange as just a kick.

Source by Hans Meijer

How to Buy the Right Air Compressor

Dan is a DIY kind of guy. He wants to do everything on his own from installing the wood floors to painting his son’s bike with airbrush. Right now he needs a new air compressor because his old one just past it’s lifetime. He wanted a new one for a long time but his wife insist that he will keep using the old one until it broke off. It finally did. He felt no love for his old compressor and happily loaded it onto his truck and drop it off on the dumpsite. Now that he got rid of the old guy it’s time to find a new one.

Dan really wants to buy an air compressor that will give him allot of bang for his buck. Mind you, his wife won’t let him spend big bucks to buy one. She think it’s such a waste to spend lots of money to buy a big boys toys.

He decided to spend some time thinking about it . Grab his little notepad and starts jotting down to list what are the essential things that he wants from his new air compressor. Luckily he agrees to share us what he just wrote there so let’s take a peek :


Dan lost count on how many times his wife complain about the noise his old compressor gave. He wonders if she couldn’t stand it why doesn’t she just let him buy a new one a long time ago. Anyway, Dan never really mind about the noise because he thought that is just normal. But a couple weeks ago he visited his friend’s workshop and found out that his buddy’s air compressor make noise just as if a vacuum cleaner is running next door. It was so much quieter that his. He asked and found out that it was an oilless type so it has lower noise factor. He is making note to make sure he’ll buy an oilless compressor this time to make his wife complain less when he’s working.


His old compressor was a stationary type so he was relying on really long cords and hoses when he wanted to work other that in his own workshop. He doesn’t mind if he get one with wheels made of hard plastic. As long as he can move it around easily he is more than happy.


The old compressor took almost two whole minutes just to reach 150 psi. Dan think it’s a bit overkill just to reach that pressure. Just like anybody else he hates waiting. He want a compressor that is fast enough especially when he’s doing non-construction works like pumping the bike tires, etc.

Space saving

As a long non-believer of the cliche “bigger is better” Dan prefers small tools to do the job. His workshop is already too crowded with everything else anyway so after asking left and right he want to buy one with space-saving vertical design.

Easy maintenance

Dan really hates getting on his belly to open and close the drain plug off his old compressor. And he also hate how the drain just can’t drain the water completely from the tank in either the vertical or horizontal positions. He decided that before buying he will asked the seller to demonstrate draining the compressor and if seller is making ugly poses while doing it then he ain’t gonna buy it.

Now, those five factors on Dan’s note aren’t the only signs of quality air compressors. You will need to add your own personal preference of course. But i sincerely hope that the short list can help you finding the best compressor from all those choices in the market.

Source by Arman Panji

Home Treadmill Purchase Tips

Buying a treadmill for most people is a big financial commitment so knowing what to look for when deciding on a treadmill can only be a good thing!

A treadmill enables the user to walk, jog or run without having to go outside where it may be raining or dark. Using a treadmill at home has many advantages, firstly you do not have to leave the comfort of your own home. You can watch or listen to what you like when working out and if you've got children you can keep an eye on them too.

Treadmills generally consist of a frame, motor, deck, running belt and a console. The quality of these components usually dictates the price of a treadmill. Home treadmills start from as little as £ 400, but like with most things the more you spend the higher the quality. Ideally you need to asses your requirements; There is no point in someone purchasing a £ 2000 home treadmill when there only intention is to use it for walking, a £ 500 – £ 750 treadmill would offer a good quality deck and suitable motor for walking periods.

When purchasing a treadmill look at the motor ratings, most manufacturers provide power ratings of the motors fitted to their treadmills, if they do not I would probably walk away. Ideally you're looking for a motor with a power rating of between 1.5 – 4.0 continuous duties HP (horse power). Peak power is the maximum power the treadmill motor can generate and is not a good means of assessing whether it is suitable. The heavier the person and the more intense the use of the treadmill the higher the hp rating needs to be.

The running belt is tensioned over the running deck with two rollers which are located at each end of the running deck. The running decks are absorbent to reduce the impact on your joints and higher priced treadmills have higher quality elastomers which reduce the stress even further. Remember to look at the size of the running deck when purchasing a treadmill, taller people will require a longer deck. People intending on using their treadmill for running may also benefit from a larger running area. The running belts thickness and quality again is generally dependent on the price, Nautilus have a reputation for fitting thicker more absorbent running belts and they also claim that it reduces stress on your joints and increases the time between replacing the belt, which makes sense.

The frames of treadmills are generally constructed from steel and nowadays folding treadmills are very popular as they take up far less room. Generally the heavier the treadmill the more solid the frame and the stiffer it is. A number of years ago non folding treadmills where stiffer and more absorbent, but the demand for folding treadmills has meant that manufacturers have spent thousands of pounds on improving their folding treadmill range. A lot of manufactures now only sell folding treadmills.

The console on the treadmill will show you details such as, speed, distance, time, incline, calories consumed, heart rate, and program type. You should look for a console which is clear and easy to read, there are plenty of modern features that manufacturers fit nowdays such as cooling fans, MP3 players and TV screens but none of them are required for an affective treadmill workout.

Most treadmills have programs, the larger the array of programs the better as it provides more variety and encourages you to use it more frequently. Heart rate controlled programs are a safe and effective way to workout and are a feature I would recommend. Ideally you require a heart rate strap to take full advantage of heart rate controlled programs.

Source by Mark D Evans

Should A $5 Price Difference Be The Deciding Factor?

Periodically I search the world-wide-web checking-out price differences between the Basic vs. Deluxe models of the Stearns Puddle Jumper. The Stearns Puddle Jumper is a U.S. Coast Guard Approved, Type III PFD for kids, 30-50 lbs. A PFD is a personal flotation device. Generally speaking, retailers sell the two Puddle Jumper models at a $5 price-point difference. While the retail price fluctuates, especially in geographical locations where extreme seasons are experienced… spring, summer, winter, fall… still the difference in price is usually and approximately $5.

The Price Difference

Is the $5 difference in price the correct “determining-factor” when deciding which Puddle Jumper to buy? I think not. Not when you consider that a “better” life jacket has a greater probability of saving a life. What is a life worth? A life is priceless, right? Perhaps, however, I have rushed into an opinion. When I force myself to remember the many people who are standing in front of tough economic times, $5 becomes a relative amount of money. Young couples with young children, young people new to a career and therefore occupying entry-level positions, have limited resources. Then there are the people who are still in school, still preparing for their intended career who also have limited resources. In front of tough economic times $5 is most definitely a relative thing. Depending on life-circumstances a $5 meal can be as life-saving as a child’s life-jacket!

Other Considerations: Design & Fabric

If, however, a $5 price difference is not the driving determinant there are other differences that should be highlighted and considered.

First, note the similarities between the two models:

Similarities: Basic vs Deluxe Models

  • Both made with bright-colored fabrics.
  • Both made with animal designs applied and/or woven into the fabric.
  • Both constructed with polyethylene foam.
  • Both made for children 30-50 lbs (13.6 kg – 22.7 kg).
  • Both provide a vest that fits comfortably over a child’s chest and arm pieces thus providing stability to the child while in water.
  • Both are Coast Guard approved Type III performance.

Second, note the two major differences between the models: Design and Fabric:

The Design

  • Basic Model is made with simple animal designs.
  • Deluxe Model is made with more detailed animal designs.

Regarding the design, if your child becomes attached to a particular animal character he or she will want to “be with it” and will therefore want to wear the Puddle Jumper. The child who wants to wear a “flotation aid” because it is a friend versus the child who merely submits to an imposed rule: “a life vest must be worn” is a state-of-affairs that too frequently leads to life versus death, or vice-versa. Any flotation device, including the Puddle Jumper, can only save a life when it is worn. If your child is attracted to an animal character, then by all means buy the Puddle Jumper with the design your child is attracted to. With the “animal character” strapped across his or her chest your child is safer in the water, and, better able to adjust when stressful unexpected situations occur while in a pool, lake or at the beach.

The Fabric

  • Basic Model, Nylon Fabric
  • Deluxe Model, Woven Polyester

The type of fabric used to construct the Puddle Jumper is another difference to consider between the two models. Both nylon and polyester are lightweight and durable fabrics. Both are synthetic fabrics. Neither is a better fabric. They even share many of the same properties.


  • Easy Care
  • Lightweight
  • Wrinkle Resistant
  • Stretch Resistant
  • Shrink Resistant


  • Stronger
  • Softer (historically)


  • Faster Drying
  • Easier to Dye
  • Abrasion Resistant

Historically nylon was considered the smoother softer fabric, as compared to polyester. Over time, however, refined manufacturing capabilities have resulted in a softer polyester fabric that in many ways matches nylon. This is true enough that Stearns is now able to make the claim that the Deluxe Puddle Jumper has the “softer” feel, and therefore causes less chafing against your child’s skin.

Polyester dries faster. This is due to its’ water-wicking ability. Polyester is hydrophobic, which means it expels water to the surface of the fabric’s fibers where the water then evaporates. Nylon, on the other hand, absorbs water and therefore dries slower. The hydrophobic property of polyester goes to the feel of the fabric when strapped around your child’s chest and arms. Your child will not feel wet and chilled. As kids become accustomed to the Puddle Jumper they become almost oblivious to the fact that they are wearing a flotation aid. As this set of circumstances evolves the likelihood increases that your child will be wearing his or her Puddle Jumper at the most important time: while in the water, at the life-saving moment when it is needed.

Also compare the color-fastness of the two fabrics. Bright colored fabric is a key feature of the Puddle Jumper. It attracts and delights kids. The bright colors are also a safety feature; the bright colors help you, parent or guardian, to easily see your little one as they frolic about in the water. Therefore, a comparison of polyester and nylon in light of their colorfast properties is important. Polyester absorbs more color (more dye). This, again, is because of polyester’s water-wicking property. Since the polyester expels water when in the dye solution more dye bonds to the polyester fibers.

Conclusion: Which Puddle Jumper Model Is Best?

So what is the bottom-line? Which Stearns Puddle Jumper is the “best?” The answer begins with a quote from the U.S. Coast Guard. They say, “The perfect life-preserver, life-jacket, or PFD (personal flotation device) has not yet been designed.” Given these state-of-affairs respecting life-jackets, even so the Coast Guard is still willing to point to characteristics of a life-jacket that make it “the best”:

  • It’s the one you’re willing to wear!
  • It’s the one that saves your life every time it’s needed.
  • It’s the one that matches your needs!

Given all of the above information, and knowing that the Stearns Puddle Jumper is Coast Guard approved only for kids, and only if they weigh between 30 and 50 lbs (not for adults users, nor for infants) the prospective list of Puddle Jumper users is narrowed, irrespective of design or model.

For this narrowed list of users, children 30-50 lbs… our most vulnerable swimmers… the answer as to which model is “best” is simple.

IF the extra $5 doesn’t break the piggy bank and deprive your family of its’ next meal, and, IF the detailed animal design on the chest-band of the Puddle Jumper attracts your child’s attention and affection, then spend the extra $5. Buy the Deluxe Puddle Jumper. And, since polyester fabric is softer and more water-resistant and therefore more comfortable, increasing the likelihood that your child will wear the Puddle Jumper, then again the answer is simple, buy the Deluxe model.

Source by Kathryn K Slade

Steel Price Forecasting – An Econometric Modelling Approach

Steel price forecasting is somewhat fundamental to all investment decisions in the iron and steel sector. Recent volatility in steel prices however has been unprecedented. The international steel markets saw prices for hot rolled steel coil – very much a ‘benchmark’ steel product – rise from under $600/tonne in the first quarter of 2008 to almost ~$1000/tonne by mid-2008. Just a few months later, by early 2009, the hot rolled coil price was under $500/tonne, with similar price oscillations seen for reinforcing steel bar. Such wild and sudden swings in the international steel price have rarely if ever been witnessed before.

Price expectations

For some months after the onset of the crisis, it was felt that it would be several years or even longer before prices would return to the heady levels of mid-2008. But in the January 2011, discussions again turned to benchmark steel prices hitting $1000/tonne within a matter of months. The scene is set therefore for what may be very much more variability in steel pricing in the future than has been evident in the past. In these circumstances, the ability to correctly judge future steel price movements becomes yet more difficult.

An econometric price forecasting model

A statistical approach to price forecasting can be made, using econometric modelling techniques. Econometrics are defined as the application of mathematics and statistical methods to the analysis of economic data, so the approach should be well suited to the task. On this basis, a mathematical model was developed by MCI whereby:

  • monthly historic prices for hot rolled steel coil and reinforcing bar were gathered across a 16 year time horizon
  • monthly prices were also gathered for a range of commodities, including crude oil (as an indicator of commodity prices, generally), natural gas (as an important power source for steel pants), thermal coal (as an important fuel e.g. for steel power plants), metallurgical coal (used in the blast furnace), electricity prices (used to power electric arc furnaces), iron ore (as a dominant source of iron units for basic oxygen steel making), ferrous scrap (as a dominant source of iron units for electric steel making)
  • statistical correlations (i.e. the mathematical model) were established between the steel products on the one hand; and the commodity prices on the other.

Correlating factors

The steps above allowed a model to be developed between historic price of hot rolled steel coil and rebar; and the other commodity prices. The approach showed that some factors such as coal and scrap prices correlated very well with the historic steel price, whilst other price factors (e.g. electricity prices) did not.

Looking forward

Looking forward, independent estimates of future commodity prices were obtained from leading sources such as the World Bank and the Energy Information Administration. These forecasts were then plugged into the mathematical model obtained above. The result of this econometric modelling approach indicates that:

  • the forward projection is for maintained relatively high future hot rolled coil and steel rebar prices, with
  • average prices remaining well above pre-crisis levels from now to 2015
  • prices staying relatively constant across 2011 to 2013
  • further price rises expected in 2014 and 2015, which will raise f.o.b. hot rolled coil / reinforcing prices some $150 per tonne in the medium-term
  • but without return to a scenario involving f.o.b. steel prices at $1000-$1100/tonne [prior to 2016].

Source by Andrzej Kotas

The Ten Steps to Self-Reliance

The best way to succeed in today’s crazy economic environment is to become as self-reliant as possible. In order to succeed, you must be different and interesting…you need to make your mark. No matter what the state of the economy, you need to know who you are, your strengths, talents, skills and what you want to achieve. You must then become focused, actively engaged and passionate about attaining your goal. This is the essence of “being self-reliant.” The following ten steps will take you a long way in your journey of becoming a more self-reliant individual.

1. It all begins with becoming self-aware. You must identify values, beliefs, feelings and emotions as well as other personal attributes that help you clearly pinpoint your strengths, weaknesses and differentiating factors of self. When you truly know who you are, it colors your decision-making process in the most correct shade of truth for you.

2. Self-inquiry must be high on your list because of the importance of having an inquisitive mind in an age where knowledge is the currency, which buys success. Seeking information from many sources and staying informed, opens up many more possibilities.

3. Commitment to life-long learning is key. Your focus on personal development must be a never-ending process. Your ability to learn and continually expand your skills will be the most important ability to perfect, now and in the future.

4. You must explore and create opportunities. Your talent to exercise your research skills to identify, investigate, interpret, assess and seize the chance to make a significant impact will greatly affect your self-reliance.

5. Continual action planning must become second nature. Using your time effectively to identify steps needed to reach a goal, evaluate your progress and prepare contingency plans to help assure forward motion, are all important in providing the answer to the questions: Where am I now? Where do I want to be? What do I need to do to get there? How will I know when I have arrived?

6. Taking risks is a major part of the game. As you develop your self-reliance skills, you will become more comfortable at taking a myriad of risks, better at coping effectively with uncertainty, more creative and innovative, and better at adapting to ever changing circumstances.

7. Networking with others is the hallmark of the information age. Just like the network technology you use or come in contact with, you too must develop a network of relationships consisting of business associates, colleagues, mentors, coaches and friends. This type of support network will provide you with valuable advice and support. It will also provide an excellent feedback system for your innovative ideas, thoughts and concepts.

8. The political awareness to negotiate effectively will open doors for you as you learn to navigate in the new economy. Like it or not, it is very important for you to understand the power struggles, hidden tensions and location of power and influence within your organization. This awareness allows you to more effectively consider the interests and concerns of all stakeholders and increases your ability to reach “win-win” agreements.

9. The art of self-promotion is a positive attribute. Your ability to promote your strengths, talents and abilities for the greater good of the organization, in a convincing manner, is key to promoting your intellectual capital in an economy where knowledge is an absolute must, in the decision making process.

10. A self-reliant person must exercise leadership qualities. A self-reliant person does not stand around wondering what is happening. You must make things happen! You should help others as you have helped yourself.

Source by Roger M Ingbretsen