Virginia Center For Healthy Communities

Helping You To Look After Yourself

Virginia Center For Healthy Communities - Helping You To Look After Yourself

Onesie Zoo Leads The Way With Animal Onesies

If you are looking for an Animal Onesie for Bestival 2013, here’s a little run-down of what’s popular, what’s hot and what are some of the more uncommon but awesomely fun onesies that you can get your hands on for Bestival.

Jamieson runs Onesie Zoo, which supplies animal onesies to corporate and private parties and individuals interested in the whole Kigurumi / Cosplay scene. And with the onset of the holiday season, things are busy at her home & office in middle England.

These days, the company is keeping between 40 and 45 people in costume. In non-holiday times, that number drops to around 10 or 15. Sales of animal onesies have gone through the roof since the introduction of the Kigurumi phenomenon from Japan. Nowadays you’re just as likely to see fans out in the streets in their cosy onesies at hen and stag parties and festivals as you will find curled up cosily in front of a warm fire. It’s not just bedtime wear anymore, although they are still popular as pyjamas.

While that number may not sound particularly high, the company’s gross earnings are far from measly. In this, its first year of business, Onesie Zoo has made its fair share of profit.

That figure comes without any sort of paid advertising, too – not even an ad in the Yellow Pages. All the company’s business has come from word of mouth and contacts made through social media marketing.

Generally, college students inhabit costumes, but Jamieson, 32, still suits up occasionally. While the bulk of her time is spent on the phone or behind a desk, getting out once in a while helps keep the job fun.

“I don’t get to go out as much as I would like to,” she admits. “But the entertainers that work for me are so good, I’d rather let them go.”

About 70 per cent of Onesie Zoo’s business comes from festivals and conventions. The rest is the company’s roots – private birthday parties, usually for kids. Kids’ animal onesies are growing in popularity and the adults are getting in on the act, too.

The costs for an appearance vary. Private parties range from £55 an hour to £75 an hour, depending on the show. Corporate events hover around £50 an hour, but go down if the character is needed for several hours.

The onesies are numerous – Monkeys and Tigers are the favourite at corporate parties, while the kids love Panda onesies, Bees and Lions – Dinosaurs are also very big. These days, newly added jungle animals are all the rage.

“I never would have thought that my company could do animals in such a big way,” she says. “But when someone said; ‘Could you do this?’ I thought ‘Well, a lot of my students are acting students from Unis.’ We got them together and they’re awesome.”

One of the keys to her company’s success, she says, is its focus. Rather than trying to organize a party, she just tries to be the life of it.

“I don’t do everything,” she says. “I do one thing well and that’s onesies. Every now and then I’ll throw in something else if the people that work for me have the talent. But I don’t plan. I don’t supply the food. I don’t supply the tents. . . . I do nothing but the onesies.”

Of course, Jamieson has her favourite onesies. While she won’t identify a specific one, she says she is more fond of the headed animal onesies like lions, tigers and bears than the non-headed character human variety like Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” Disney onesies are a firm favourite, though, along with Hello Kitty and other contemporary faves.

“You can really believe in them because you can’t see their hands or their feet,” she says of her choice. “And kids just really, really believe when they see something that’s that big and that real. I think they’re just a lot more fun.”



Cell Phone Health Dangers: Jury Still Out

Kristin Smith, 17, just broke up with her boyfriend. Now her friends want to take advantage of her free time. They have no trouble doing that because Kristin has a cell phone. She can take their calls no matter where she is–shopping at the mall, driving in her car, dining in a restaurant …

Cell spying software

Cell phones / Health Research

Kristin’s not alone. She’s one of the more than 100 million cell phone users in the United States–a number that grows every two seconds, as someone new signs up for wireless service. (Source: Cell Phone Spying News)

The ease and convenience of cell phone use, valued by so many people, may come at a price, however. Scientists, government organizations, and even some companies that sell wireless technology are concerned that cell phones might be bad for human health.


The first person to voice concern about the possible dangers of cell phones was Florida neurologist David Perlmutter. A neurologist treats diseases of the brain and the rest of the human nervous system. Speaking on CNN’s Larry King Live television show in 1993, Perlmutter said that one of his patients had a brain tumor, or cancerous growth, that he believed was caused by her cell phone. The brain tumor, Perlmutter said, was suspiciously close to the area where she held her phone.

How might cell phones cause cancer? Holding a cell phone to your ear and turning it on unleashes a smattering of electromagnetic radiation–waves of energy that can travel through space and matter at the speed of light. The kind of radiation emitted by a cell phone is similar to that produced in a microwave oven, which can penetrate solid materials, such as a glass casserole dish. If the low levels of radiation emitted by a cell phone antenna have the same penetrating power as the energy in a microwave, that could spell trouble for brain tissue.

Cellphone Tracking Software

The response to Perlmutter’s alarm from the medical community was mixed. Many dismissed Perlmutter’s claim that cell phones cause cancer. Others took it seriously and launched a major research effort costing millions of dollars.


Of the various studies undertaken since then, several have turned up interesting findings. Researchers in North Carolina recently exposed batches of human blood cells to the levels of radiation typically emitted by cell phones. Then the researchers hunted for mutations, or changes, in the cells.

The researchers examined the blood cells that had been exposed to 24 hours of constant cell phone radiation, said Graham Hook, one of the researchers. Then they examined the cells for signs of damaged deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA holds the chemical instructions in a cell. Damaged DNA can cause cancer.

DNA is housed in the nucleus, the control center of each cell. When a strand of DNA breaks, a micronucleus, or small nucleus, can form. The North Carolina researchers found that human blood cells exposed to cell phone radiation for 24 hours had more micronuclei than a control group of cells that received no radiation.

Increased quantities of micronuclei are indicators of a potentially harmful effect of radiation. However, Hook said the results of his study are a long way from proving that cell phones actually cause cancer. “Does [cell phone] radiation affect cells?” he said. “Under these exposure conditions, the answer is yes. But that’s all you can say.”


While some researchers are working at the cellular level, others are focusing on cell phone users–particularly those who have brain cancer. Joshua Muscat, an epidemiologist at the American Health Foundation in New York, was the lead investigator in a five-year study of 500 cell phone users who had brain tumors. Epidemiologists study the occurrence of disease in a population. Muscat looked for a correlation, or parallel relation, between the locations of the brain tumors and the side of the head on which the users usually held their cell phones.

Muscat’s research has not been published yet in a scientific journal, so he would speak only briefly about his results. “Overall,” he said, “it seems that cell phone use is not a cause of most brain cancers.

“But it still may be too soon to rule out any harmful effects from cell phones” he added. “Long-term [correlational] studies are needed.”

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a statement saying: “Although research to date does not show that mobile phones pose a significant health hazard, there is not enough information at this point to be absolutely certain that these products are without risk.” Two months later, a Maryland doctor filed an $800 million lawsuit against seven cell phone manufacturers and service providers and two industry associations. The doctor alleges that his cell phone caused his own brain tumor.


So the jury is still out on cancer risks associated with cell phones. Still, most of the data published so far has come from studies on adults. Some scientists say young, developing brains and nervous systems might be more susceptible to cell phone radiation.

“We don’t know yet what kind of effects could occur in children,” said Hook. “We do know that children’s heads are different from adults’ heads. And for that reason it’s better to be cautious.”

The human brain takes nearly 20 years to develop fully. And a brain that’s still developing is more susceptible to environmental hazards, such as radiation.

Last year the British Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) spent eight months reviewing evidence on the health effects of cell phones. In a report published last May, the IEGMP said it had not found evidence to suggest a significant health risk from cell phones. However, a “precautionary approach,” particularly for children and young adults, was recommended until more detailed information becomes available. In a nutshell, young people who use cell phones, particularly those like Kristin, who are glued to their cells, should take precautions.

Kava Ban Probably Unjustified – How it Unfolded

~How it unfolded back in 2003~

Last year, the German health authority, the BfArM, banned the sale of food supplement products containing kava, because of reports of cases of liver damage associated with consumption of the ingredient and other European Union governments followed suit (NIs passim).


The Kava Ban 2003

As a result, Phytopharm Consulting of Berlin, Germany, commissioned a report from the Center for Development of Enterprise, which has concluded that kava can be regarded as a safe and effective herbal medicinal product and that the measures taken by European health authorities are inappropriate and unjustified. The report was presented at the ProInvest/CDE meeting sponsored by the Pacific European Kava stakeholders, held in Brussels, Belgium, last month, at which delegates concluded that a ban on kava was probably unjustified.

Alternative strategies reviewed


At the meeting, alternative strategies which could be used to reintroduce kava into European markets were also reviewed. A detailed action plan was established and the possible roles and contribution of the different organizations and representatives in achieving these goals were identified.

The stakeholders acknowledged the significant economic, social and cultural damage caused by the market recalls, restrictions and bans. They noted that the negative publicity from the numerous kava bans, alerts and market recalls had led to an adverse economic impact on the South Pacific kava industry, predominantly located in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. Since 2001, the loss of local export earnings in the South Pacific has been more than $200 million, and thousands of jobs have gone in both that region and Europe.

The loss of business for the European importers was also noted. It was therefore agreed to resolve what was described as “this unjustified negative publicity and adverse impact by regaining confidence through a comprehensive public information campaign.” In addition to the economic losses, it was recognized that a huge number of patients “have been deprived of a safe and effective herbal remedy, which is without the risk of addiction.”

The participants also endorsed the findings of the scientific report: In-Depth Investigation of EU Member States’ Restrictions on Kava Products, written by Joerg Gruenwald of Phytopharm Consulting, and agreed to use this scientific evidence, which they said “clearly indicated that the basis for the ban, restrictions and market recalls by the regulators in respective EU countries were unjustified. Such bans and restrictions ignored the huge body of positive evidence on the efficacy and safety of kava.”

The strategy proposed in the Phytopharm report was adopted and a summarized, amended version of the Phytopharm strategy was presented by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The stakeholders agreed to undertake the following actions as a matter of immediate priority:

– establish a Kava Executive Committee (KEC) between EU and Pacific members to implement the coordinated strategy for re-establishing the kava market in Europe consisting of Pacific Islands stakeholders: Fiji (Fiji Kava Council); Samoa (Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters); Tonga (Tonga Kava Council); Vanuatu (Vanuatu Kava Exporters Council); and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat; and

– European stakeholders: the BAH (German Medicine Manufacturers’ Association); the AESGP (the Association of the European Self- Medication Industry); the EHPM (European Federation of Health Product Manufacturers Associations); ASSOERBE (Italian Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Producers and Traders Association); and the European plant extraction industry.

The organizers of this kava stakeholder meeting will call for an inauguration meeting of the KEC, at which time the Pacific Kava Crisis Committee will be dissolved and a request for funding from CDE/PROINVEST for Phytopharm to become the active coordinator of activities in Europe will be made;

– take immediate steps to address the following: provide the German and other relevant authorities with the Phytopharm report; Pacific members to make a request to the World Health Organization for re-evaluation of the report; the CDE to request the ACP Secretariat to include the issue of kava at the Cancun World Trade Organization Ministerial meeting; the CDE/PROINVEST to support the proposed strategy by providing technical assistance and lobbying support to the KEC; and

– use the scientific evidence to dispel fears of harm from kava and kava-based products. In this respect, more scientific evidence may be required, based on the responses and attitudes of regulatory authorities. Germany’s BfArM will be asked to disclose all evaluation documents used to justify the kava ban. These will then be re-evaluated by an independent and officially acknowledged scientific expert committee. A plan of action to strengthen the kava industry in the Pacific will be urged, with appropriate training programs. Moves are also proposed to secure funding from international donor agencies and to circulate the Phytopharm report as widely as possible, including to those EU countries that have not banned kava, to prevent any further restrictions.

My Boyfriend Is Nervous About Marriage

He has just popped the big question and now you are in the middle of organizing your wedding, but you feel and you see that your husband to be is nervous about it. Do not panic, it is not a sign that he is thinking to call everything off. On the contrary it is a sign that he takes things seriously and that marrying you is not something that he does because it is a must, but because he wants it and wishes everything to be perfect, just as much as you do.
The reasons for feeling nervous about marriage are very different from women to men. Women are not scared by the prospect of being with the same man for the rest of their lives, so their reasons are much more connected to organizing the perfect wedding as to anything else.

Whereas women worry about the menu, the flowers, the dress, the music, the wedding location, the guests and the traditions that are expected to be followed at the wedding, men may become nervous because they are aware that the step they are taking is a very serious one.

Because men’s actions are mostly guided by reason, they will be the first to worry about the finances. First of all, a wedding never comes cheap and, if you have been subtly “dropping” into conversations, your secret wishes for a perfect wedding or for your honeymoon, which are not exactly friendly with his bank account, here’ s one very good reason for him to feel nervous.

If he is a responsible man, then he is definitely aware that, from now on, his needs will no longer come first, but second, or at least on the same level with yours. He will also have you and your needs to think about if he wants to make the marriage work. And then, there will be the children, of course.

All these things mean that he has to put an end to the life that he had until he met you and to begin another stage of his life, where he needs to be more responsible, understanding and tolerant.

Efforts will have to be made, some moments will require greater sacrifices than others, his freedom will have to suffer, and it is normally for him to be worried, sad, insecure or simply distracted. You have to admit that he is not exactly to blame when you look around and you see so many people breaking up or if you listen to the way marriage is being mocked nowadays even in the media.
So, if you want to help your boyfriend feel less nervous about your marriage, you have to be the stronger one, to appear relaxed and not burden him with things that you know he dislikes or fears.

Talk about how funny and fulfilling your marriage will be, how confident you are that everything will work out, give him the space he needs and reassure him that nothing will change after you take this important step.

A Dramatic Rise in Sewing and Crafts

Time magazine has weighed in with its “The Simple Life” cover. Faith Popcorn ain’t talking about those poor, harried yuppies no more. Rolex watches have given way to Timex.

Now, for retailing’s moral equivalent, would you believe sewing and crafts? Heartland retailers like Wal-Mart Stores and Ben Franklin have always given sewing and crafts strong play. In the kind of small-town markets they serve, sewing and crafts never went out of style.

But as Wal-Mart bursts out of its small-town core to invade big-city suburbs, it’s finding that expanded sewing and crafts departments are one sure way to drag in the mainstream masses. Wal-Mart didn’t get to be the biggest retailer in America by missing trends. It is keenly aware that specialty stores have already discovered that crafts and sewing are decidedly in.

sewing equipment

cotton reels

Most of retailing has been struggling just to stay even in the current depressed shopping environment. Meanwhile, chains like House of Fabrics, Hancock Fabrics and Fabri-Centers of America are humming along with same-store sales gains of 13% to 18%. Michaels Stores is a 141-unit chain based in Irving, Texas that sells nothing but crafts. The chain posted a 17% comparable-store sales gain in its most recent quarter, and 11% for its last fiscal year.

Michaels’ customer base would make many marketers drool. It is more than 90% female, ranging in age from 19 to 50, but mostly concentrated in the 35-to-44 category. Two-thirds of them work outside the home and have household incomes of $35,000 to $50,000. More than half have children under 18, and 75% own their own homes.

Located primarily in Sunbelt markets from Florida to Southern California (but also in cities like Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis), Michaels Stores is benefiting from what may be the dominant new trend in retailing: the focus on home-based activities. Even kids are getting in on the act with many retailers stocking kid’s sewing machines.

sewing machine

Sewing: Boom Time

It’s hard to pick a “most popular” niche in the crafts industry, says Michaels vice president. “It runs the gamut from framing and stitching to silk and dried-flower arrangements to general arts and crafts,” he says. “The common thread is that these are fairly affluent consumers, and the focus of their non-work activities is their home. They want to make it comfortable and attractive.”
The trend toward cocooning is just one of the factors benefiting sewing and fabric retailers. According to retail consultant Kurt Stein, 64% of American families own their homes, spend more time there than they did in the past, and are looking to save money on the way they dress. “That is made-to-order success formula for niche concept retailers like fabric and craft stores,” he says.
Home sewing of apparel saves lots of money, about two-thirds off the price of a store-brought garment. Even hiring a seamstress to make a dress from fabric purchased by the consumer cuts the price in half.

More American households own sewing machines than VCRs, according to a consumer information group called the Sewing Council. New computerized sewing machines, coupled with 90-inch fabric bolts, make it easy even for beginners. And the widespread availability of patterns from designers such as Perry Ellis, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, Bill Blass and Emanuel Ungaro means homemade fashions don’t have to look it.

Apparel sewing is just part of the picture. Over the past two years, craft sewing for home decoration has been a prime growth area, says Stein. Popular projects include slipcovers, window treatments, tablecloths, dust ruffles, pillows and bedspreads, says Sewing Council spokeswoman Carol Thomas. “Besides the economic appeal of self-crafted home decorating, many women find sewing to be therapeutic and a good outlet for their creative urges,” she says.

It’s not just your old maiden aunt who’s into sewing these days. “Women who sew tend to be well-educated,” Thomas says. The typical home sewer is a 25-to-45-year-old mother, college-educated, with an income of $35,000 to $40,000, who owns her own home. Sewing’s image has also been boosted by its high-profile participants, such as Olympic gold medalist Florence Griffith Joyner and TV personality Deborah Norville.

Retailers have lots to like about sewing and crafts. As much as 85% of the industry’s $3.5 billion to $4 billion in annual sales may be generated through specialty stores, making it possible for mom-and-pop shops to get a piece of the pie. And there is little seasonality to the business. About 10% of sales are rung up in December, and no month accounts for less than 7% of sales. In contrast, many retailers are critically dependent on the Christmas selling season for the bulk of their sales and virtually all their profits.

Given all that, perhaps it’s no surprise that Fortune magazine’s Investor’s Guide picks sewing and crafts retailing as one of the most promising industries of the new decade.

Cell Monitoring Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be

U.S. luxury car manufacturer advertises that with a call to its 24-hour help desk you can get directions from where you are to where you want to go. The company doesn’t happen to mention that the car is using satellites to keep track of where it is and can, upon a request via radio, report its location.

* The FCC is requiring all U.S. providers of cellular phone service to be able to accurately report on the location of the origin of any cell phone call to help support911 emergency call centers.

* Fortunemagazine reports that NTT in Japan has a prototype system with which the company can report, on request, the location of any cell phone in NTT’s system that is turned on, down to the floor of the building the phone is on.

* Many U.S. trucking companies use radio tracking systems to monitor the location of their vehicles.

This all is more Orwellian than Orwell ever was.

Who is the keeper of all this tracking data? In almost all cases it is private industry, a group that has not shown much restraint in exploiting any information it might have on individuals.

This is not an area where we should be complacent and trust the good intentions of the business community. Specific and strict legislation should be quickly passed to restrict the distribution of this type of information.

I doubt that Congress would be willing to do the right thing, which is to require that the data be destroyed as soon as the use for which it was obtained has been fulfilled.

The law enforcement people will like the idea of being able to track everyone’s movements far too much for that to happen. Using the tech to monitor a husband’s cell phone may be taking things a tad too far. But they should at least require a search warrant and prohibit all other distribution of the data under threat of large fines and jail time.

Who “needs” to know?

Meanwhile, there is a desire for even more location data. I was at a meeting recently where the “need” to know the physical address of all Internet users was brought up — so that the right locality could tax each user’s electronic purchases.

As a balladeer recently sang, “It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.” Unfortunately, one does not need eyes all that good to see the darkness approaching.

But where conventional cell phones, which have a 20-mile range, require only a handful of towers and antennas to carry their signals, PCS phones, with a range of only a few thousand feet, require an extensive network of thousands of antennas and transmission towers to function. As fact that easily escapes some manufacturers as wives continually try to monitor their husband’s cell phones. According to Tim Ayers, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), by 2025, a seamless wireless communications system will be in place that will include up to 125,000 antennas. As of last year, close to 51,000 antennas had already been erected across the United States. While the increased convenience is attractive, many health experts believe this network of antennas crisscrossing the nation may be detrimental to our health.

The concern is that PCS systems emit low-level microwave radiation, considered a possible health risk. And when it comes to compliance with radioactivity safety guidelines, cellular phone companies are not regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)–the companies police themselves.

A recent study conducted by Washington, D.C.-based biologist Alan Fry, Ph.D., published in the March issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, showed that digital cell phone users were more likely to suffer from headaches than analog cell phone users. Fry, who has studied the effects of this type of radiation for more than 30 years, suggests that such headaches may herald a much larger public health problem–one akin to the widespread effects of cigarettes on smokers and nonsmokers alike. “The operation of cellular telephones exposes people to secondhand microwave emissions without their consent,” he says.

Other nations have recognized the potential hazards of PCS, says Duane Dahlberg, a Moorhead, Minn.-based physicist. New Zealand, for example, has instituted PCS antenna-free zones to protect public health.

Still, not everyone in the scientific community believes PCS phones are harmful. Numerous studies suggest that low-level microwave radiation is safe, according to Martin L. Melts, Ph.D., professor of radiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. A CTIA consultant, Melts has studied the effects of low-level microwave radiation for the U.S. Air Force for more than 15 years.

Nonetheless, a growing grassroots opposition movement is working to stop the spread of PCS technology. Since 1996, when Congress passed the Telecommunications Act that deregulated the telecommunications industry, about 600 municipalities have enacted temporary moratoriums on the installation of PCS equipment. Legislation also has been introduced in both the House and the Senate to overturn the 1996 Telecommunications Act. One goal is to return control to local governments, which currently have no authority to block placement of the PCS equipment in their jurisdiction. Several lawsuits have been filed as well. In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, the Cellular Phone Task Force has a federal lawsuit challenging the safety of the PCS system pending against the FCC, the CTIA and several cellular phone carriers. Because it will take years for these legal challenges to wend their way through the courts and for additional studies to yield more conclusive data, consumers must decide for themselves if the convenience of a PCS cell phone outweighs the potential health risks. “It’s really a shame because cell phones are useful,” says Fry. “But is society willing to accept the price?”


Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad Review

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Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad

Review of Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad

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  • Publisher: Yale University Press (2012-09-18)
  • Language: English
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Emjoi Micro Pedicure Battery-Operated Remover Review

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Emjoi Micro-Pedi Battery Operated Callus Remover

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Systems in Graphic Design: A Handbook for Graphic Artists, Typographers, and Exhibition Designers Review

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Grid Systems in Graphic Design/Raster Systeme Fur Die Visuele Gestaltung (German and English Edition)

The specs of ‘Grid Systems in Graphic Design/Raster Systeme Fur Die Visuele Gestaltung (German and English Edition)’ are:

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Just a little something..A tip, if you will….

You can get the same effect in the studio with artificial light, preferably a constant tungsten light rather than flash, so that you can study the contours and make sure that they are not being struck by stray light. The trick is to place your subject well in front of the background so that only the background is lighted. Contour designs need not be limited to backlighting. Small objects can be sub-illuminated by placing them on a light box and making close-up designs, as we did with the fishline (see photo, page 10). The sinker and the wooden frame show soli black shapes while the hook make a point about sharpness. The effect is somewhat like that of a photogram.

Secondly, light patterns created by strong sidelighting are to be found everywhere–in nature with bright sunlight, in the home beside a lamp or window or created in the studio with a single photoflood. Light patterns exist where shadows are cast or where part of an object is in light and part in shadow. It would be impossible to cite all the photographic situations and what to expect from them, but there are a few pitfalls to avoid. The great tonal range

Your subject probably will have a greater tonal range than the film will cover and rounded objects, such as a person, will have gradations from light to dark that will not appear as a sharp distinction from black to white, but will have transitional edges of a sort of middle gray. Before making the exposure, decide specifically what you want to show–what pattern tells the story–and vary your exposure, if need be, to hold that pattern. You may want to stop down to preserve detail in the light areas or perhaps increase the exposure to burn out the lights and concentrate on the shadow pattern.

Architectural forms, on the other hand, provide sharp edges and cast shadows such as in the church spire, page 12. The white spires in sunlight against a light blue sky would have been near impossible with the traditional graphic arts films, but the light patterns of the cast shadows and the clapboards promised an interesting design. We took advantage of the panchromatic characteristics of Polagraph and photographed it as we would have with a conventional black-and-white film. Adding a #25 dark red filter reduced the sky to a solid black and created a white-on-black overall design with only the slightest traces of gray. The use of filters will prove most creative and have a great impact on the graphic arts in general. Contrast in the making

Finally, there are unique designs to be made when the light is flat with no shadows and there is no contrast at all in the subject. Under these conditions the graphic arts film will most closely resemble a straight conventional black-and-white film. The slightest change in tone will be enhanced, creating new highlights and shadows. Any tactile surface will have its texture greatly exaggerated. The colonial tombstone (above) we photographed on a gray day would have been nearly a flat middle overall gray on a conventional film, with no pronounced subject or detail. Nuances of light on the shallow sculpture brought out the carved lines of the angel’s features and an overall texture that was not apparent in the stone itself.

Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (ME918LL/A) Review

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I’ve been using one of the most popular B/G routers for the past 8 years and once we moved I decided to try this one out. It is absolutely fantastic. I was able to specify IP addresses based on MAC address for all of my devices including TVs, game consoles, e-Readers, phones, and many more. The port forwarding is easy. The ability to run one 2.4 GHz network and one 5 GHz network is amazing (not to mention a guest network.) The Airport Utility which comes standard on iOS devices and Macs was able to set it up wirelessly. One thing that I didn’t even know about until after was that it has 1 Gbps ethernet which was the cherry on top. Streaming wired and wirelessly is seamless and I never have to worry about buffering interrupting my viewing.

Overall Rating (based on customer reviews): 4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (ME918LL/A)


The specs of ‘Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (ME918LL/A)’ are:

  • Manufacturer: Apple Computer
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6×4.8×4.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds

Here are some REAL customer reviews:

“Woah! Was planning on being unimpressed, but just the opposite. Great!”

I have an airport extreme only 5 months only (5th generation), but when I picked up this new Airport Extreme with the redesigned antenna geometry, and the Ultrafast 802.11ac Wi-Fi.I KNEW I’d get better bi-di communication on my brand new 2013… Read more

“Great Product, Very Much Impressed!!!”

I’ve purchased my base station a week ago, and finally it arrived last night. I was extremely happy to get my paws on it, and after reading all of the reviews below, I knew exactly how this package needs to be open.***For those that havent… Read more

“Wow… This was worth the money!”

I bought this product yesterday and it was a breeze to set up! The only issue I had with it was making it work with my AT&T service. I have a Motorola 3360 modem and I had to bridge the connection and configure the specifics (DNS, etc.) with tech… Read more

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I absolutely love how it has gotten simpler. I have used Every generation of Apple AirPort devices and this one is the simplest to setup, took about 3 minutes and it was done. Adding a printer took about 5 minutes or so, mostly for me to fiddle with the USB cable. It all works flawlessly. I can set it up or administrate it from my iPhone if I want even.

TomTom START 55TM 5-Inch GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic & Maps and Roadside Assistance Review

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I have owned a Garmin Nuvi 750, I like the expandable memory, but I really hate the 89.99 dollar up date software that you have to get for it in order to keep it up to date. SO I went for the Start 55TM 5″ upgrade. The TomTom is three thousand times easier to use than the Garmin and the Magellan. It only takes fifteen seconds to find a GPS signal even in snow, rain, and overcast, you only need to have three satellites for a solid signal mine has always found ten. You plug it into your computer and it automatically updates its self no ninety dollar cds. You can even get traffic updates sent to the unit. I would never ever go back to any other GPS unit after having my TomTom.

Overall Rating (based on customer reviews): 3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars

TomTom START 55TM 5-Inch GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic & Maps and Roadside Assistance

The specs of ‘TomTom START 55TM 5-Inch GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic & Maps and Roadside Assistance’ are:

  • Manufacturer: TomTom
  • Product Dimensions: 7×6.8×1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds

Here are some REAL customer reviews:

“Very pleased but note this warning!”

I have just returned from a trip of 1500 miles roundtrip, and for 3 of the 4 days I used Tom Tom it was absolutely great! I love it! Here is the warning: on the last leg of my return trip today, the unit would/could not find GPS satellites! I tried… Read more

“Solid GPS Navigation Device”

GPS navigation devices have come a long way. What used to be exclusive gadgets that only a few could afford has become nearly as ubiquitous as the car stereo. In recent years this trend has only accelerated with the introduction of GPS navigation… Read more

“Excellent Low-Cost Navigator With Sub-Par Touch Interface”

I have tested many GPS devices over the past 5 to 6 years. Rarely do I use the same model GPS for more than 6 to 8 months. Over time I have seen a great amount of improvement in technology with these devices, and prices have dropped to where just about… Read more


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Like every GPS unit it shows “ghost roads” or roads that aren’t there but every other one I’ve owned did the same thing, and it will lag a little, after you take the turn it wants you to or you drive by it and it is recalculating it takes about a second till it catches up with what you are doing, but again all GPS units do it, so there is no getting around that. It doesn’t have expandable memory, but when you delete the fifteen voices that you aren’t ever going to use and update the software there is plenty of space for applications. In cold weather the mount doesn’t like to stick to the window because when you blast the cold window with hot air the mount simply expands and falls off, all I did was grab the dash mount that was supplied and stuck it on my dash.

Etymotic Research ER20 ETY-Plugs Hearing Protection Earplugs, Standard Fit, Clear Stem with Blue Tip (Light Blue) Review

Overall Rating (based on customer reviews): 4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars

Etymotic Research ER20 ETY-Plugs Hearing Protection Earplugs, Standard Fit, Clear Stem with Blue Tip (Light Blue)

It’s pretty strange the stuff you see going on nowadays. Take a healthy lifestyle, for instance. Folks would argue that this has nothing to do with fashion or trends, even down to how you shave or what you read on your summer vacation. But these folk are not looking at things with a holistic view.

The specs of ‘Etymotic Research ER20 ETY-Plugs Hearing Protection Earplugs, Standard Fit, Clear Stem with Blue Tip (Light Blue)’ are:

  • Manufacturer: Etymotic Research
  • Language: Spanish
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5×4.5×1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.2 pounds

Here are some REAL customer reviews:

“Great, but BE CAREFUL what size you buy”

“Baby Blues” which are made “for small ear canals”. The descriptions here are very weak and it's easy to make that mistake. The actual… Read more

“Works great”

Bought these for a photo shoot at a concert. Was right up front near the monitors and was able to shoot without any discomfort and left them in for the entire 2 hours. Was able to hear everything and the frequency response was perfect. It was just like… Read more

“Perfect for classrooms”

We use these at school for my son. He's in first grade and has sensory processing disorder, which makes it very difficult for him to tune out noises and focus in the classroom. These earplugs diffuse just enough noise to allow him to attend to his work… Read more

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So, take a leaf out of our book and knock yourself out with some of these bargains for summer season 2013. You can only have a healthy lifestyle if you’re feeling happy with your whole life. Not just your body…just something to ponder on while you kick back and relax on the beach this summer!

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