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Understanding Rodan & Fields: Can You Really Make Money With Rodan & Fields?

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Rodan & Fields were founded by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields in 2002. They focus their company and products around dermatology-based products and bringing quality skincare options to the world. In 2010, they were named Rising Star by the Direct Selling Association (DSA) for their business opportunity along with their skincare products.

The Thing:

As mentioned before, Rodan & Fields offers skincare products to fight the loss of skin firmness, reverse the effects of dullness and discoloration, to fight acne and post-acne marks, to soothe the skin with lotion type products, make-up related products to enhance the skin and beauty of individuals, and anti-aging products to give persons a younger-look. Their products redefine, reverse, unblemish, soothe, promote, and enhance the skin.

  1. Soothe Regimen – They offer 4 full size cream wash products for $160.00 designed to soothe dry, irritated, sensitive skin providing a healthy-looking skin complexion.
  2. Redefine Regimen – This product also is offered as 4 full size restorative cream washes. You can get this for yourself for $193.00 and it is designed to help your skin become firmer and smoother while fighting the aging process.
  3. Unblemish Regimen – Once again, 4 full size treatment washes selling for $171.00. This package is designed to combat the entire acne cycle, unclog pores, clear acne blemishes, and clear your face of blackheads.

The Opportunity:

In addition to the skincare products, Rodan & Fields offers a business or income opportunity for those that have an interest in marketing their company or products. The big question remains, can you really make money with their business opportunity? In order to discover the answer to that question we must look into the company’s compensation plan! Rodan & Fields offers 5 total ways in which you could possibly make an income stream marketing their products or company.

  1. Retail Profit – As a Consultant for Rodan & Fields you are able to generated income from the products in which you personal sell. You can purchase the product yourself for a discounted price and then you sell the product for the retail price. After the sell, you keep the remainder as profit. If the retail price is $193.00, you will be able to purchase the product for $145.00. After making the sale, you keep $48.00.
  2. Consultant Commissions – In order to achieve this payout, you have to be an active Consultant. You must have a minimum of 100 Sales Volume (SV) each Commission Period to become and remain active. You are able to earn 10% commission from your Level 1 consultants in which you have personally sponsored.
  3. Personal Team Commissions – In order to receive this payout you must have a minimum of 600 Personally Sponsored Qualifying Volume (PSQV) each Commission Period. After you have achieved the required amount of PSQV you are then able to earn 5% of all Commissionable Volume generated by the Consultants and Customers in your Personal Team.
  4. Generation Commissions – Once you have achieved all payouts mentioned before, you are able to help an individual that you have personally sponsored move up as well to their third payouts type (Personal Team Commissions). Once you have done this, the Consultant you personally sponsored and helped has his/her personal team moved to what is called your “Generation 1”. You are then able to earn 5% commission on all your Generation 1 personal volumes. This payout continues as you grow more Generations.
  5. Performance Bonuses – This payout is only eligible to those living in the United States of America. You will be able to have the chance to earn rewards or bonuses from high performance such as residual income or the possibility of earning a paid-for vehicle. This payout is somewhat like a performance lottery.

To Conclude, Yes, You Can Make Money With Rodan & Fields Business Opportunity!

The Cost:

By becoming involved or affiliated with Rodan & Fields business opportunity, you must understand that you are opening a business for yourself. All businesses require some type of capital to begin. The good thing about opening a business like this in comparison to a traditional business is they are generally cheaper and you are working for yourself usually at home, hence Home-Based Business. So, what is the cost to get affiliated with Rodan & Fields and begin making an income stream from their business opportunity? There are 4 total ways in which you can get started with Rodan & Fields business opportunity.

  1. Express Business Kit – $995.00. This kit comes with all 4 Regimens overall valued to around $1,800.00 in addition to a business portfolio, anti-age before and after posters, product catalogs, and many other things to help you get started and making money immediately.
  2. Big Business Launch Kit – $695.00. Containing all 4 Regimens overall valued to $1,300.00 in addition to the same things offered in the Express kit, but much less.
  3. Personal Results Kit – $395.00. All 4 Regimens valued at $500.00. The same things are included in this kit as the Express and Big Business Launch kit, but once again, much less!
  4. Business Portfolio – $45.00. You are able to get the Business Portfolio included with all the previous 3 Kits mentioned before in addition to products, catalogs, worksheets, and many more. However, this is the lowest costing option available to get started with Rodan & Fields opportunity. All this kit basically contains is in-depth information about the company itself. It is then your decision to progress further and purchase products provided you enjoyed the information and think that it is for you.

Final Thoughts:

The prices for the products are pretty expensive and they don’t offer many that combat wrinkles, but they do combat the aging process which is nice but not the same thing. They also offer a business or income opportunity for those that would like to market their products or company and make money. Yes, you definitely can make money by becoming involved or affiliated with Rodan & Fields and they include 5 different types of payouts. However, in order to actually achieve these payouts you have to do quite a bit of work and achieve a certain Volume in addition to a certain rank. If you do not achieve these ranks, you will not make money. Plus, there isn’t a lot of detail into what the products do exactly, you kind of have to search around to figure out what they do and when you find out, it still remains pretty broad.

*Dustin Hale is NOT affiliated with Rodan & Fields or their business/income opportunity

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Skype Guitar Lessons – The Pro’s & Cons

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Learn to play the guitar through Skype

With the growth of the social media through sites like Facebook, Google+, Instagram & Snapchat, the whole world is now tied into the internet in one way or another. People are finding it easier to communicate online rather than actually talking via a normal phone line. We even find it easier by shop online rather than having to drive into the city, struggle to find a parking space and queue up in the store.

Companies are finding new and interesting ways of reaching out to people through the internet so it wasn’t hard to see that eventually education and learning would be available via the internet.

Skype isn’t a new program; it’s been around for a number of years now but it really wasn’t until Hi Speed broadband became readily available that it became a medium for reliable video and audio streaming.

Now we can replace the classroom with a monitor and the catchment area for students has become worldwide.

However, we must still remember that the same rules apply when selecting a teacher if you want to learn to play the guitar.

Education

Opinions differ over whether a guitarist needs to have studied their instrument formally. Your teacher may have gone to school, but also may have studied one-on-one with dozens of professional players.

If you’re considering a teacher without a college background, look for a list of references and review what they teach.

Besides showing you technique, you’ll want a teacher who will explain music theory to give you a deeper understanding of what you’re playing.

Experience teaching

Many great guitarists can teach, but they may not be experienced teachers. Conveying information is its own art form, and everyone learns differently. A good education alone won’t do the trick – choose a guitarist who has at least a few years of teaching behind them. If they’re new to teaching and you’re OK with that, make sure they give you a rate competitive with other teachers.

Teaching style

Casual or rigorous? Loaded with theory, or focused on a single technique or song? There are as many different ways to take a guitar lesson as there are teachers and students. Ask yourself what you want to get out of your experience. If you’re just doing this for fun, you may want a more laid-back teacher. If you’d like to learn as much as possible, find someone who will keep you on your toes.

Of course there are pro’s and cons for selecting to learn online, here are some of these in greater detail.

Pro’s

Because you are no longer confined to region locations you can select a teacher from any location in the world.

No more lost travelling to your lesson,

Student’s can practice right up to the point of their lesson to ensure they are warmed up and ready for the lesson.

Student’s are more comfortable being in their home environment and feel more relaxed and find it easier to perform and play more than they would do in a classroom situation.

Due to the nature of Skype lessons, student’s actually spend more time playing than they would normally do in a face to face lesson.

If you’re a busy parent and trying to find time to attend classes and also look after another sibling then is problem goes away, the student can take their lesson why you have time to do other things.

Con’s

Teacher isn’t in the same room as the student so he is unable to manipulate their wrists, fingers, elbows, etc.

Teacher and student are unable to play together due to a lagging webcam (and all webcam sessions experience lag).

Need Internet connection.

Student’s may find themselves distracted by outside sources, siblings, animals, neighbors, etc. however please note this can also occur in a lesson if a student is being taught at home.

Equipment Required

Here’s the minimum setup you’ll need:

High-speed internet connection

Computer, with enough processing power to send and receive streaming video and audio (anything on today’s market can handle it)

Webcam, either built-in on a laptop or bought separately

Microphone, again either built-in or separate, over time you may want to upgrade to a higher quality mic.

It’s also recommend to have a good set of headphones just in case they feel distracted or the internet quality starts to weaken during a lesson.

This is the minimum you will require to participate in a online lesson. You’ll need to install the Skype software on that computer. Go to Skype.com and they’ll walk you through it. Choose a username appropriate for you, usually your name itself, if it’s available.

Payments

Payment for online lessons are normally made through PayPal, speak with your teacher and he will normally advise you how he wishes to be paid. Some teachers offer packages of lessons that can save you money over a period of time.

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Things to Consider When Setting Up a Minecraft Server

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A few years back, a game named Minecraft was launched. Soon, it became one of the most popular games and tons of people from across the world became fan of it. The game is placed on different servers around the world. If you intend to make your own Minecraft server, we suggest that you consider the tips given below so you can make your server prominent.

Make sure the theme is appealing

For a good server, you may want to keep in mind that the theme is of paramount importance. What you need to do is carry out a Google search to know the themes that are being liked by the majority of fans. It’s even better if you add multiple themes to cater to most players.

Consider the Cost

It’s costly to install a powerful server but you have to bear the cost. If you want to set up a server for you and a couple of friends, the cost will not be high. However, if you want to open your server to the whole world, you have to be ready to spend a bit more. In this case, your server has to be up all the time. As soon as you become popular, make sure you opt for your own domain.

Spawn area is important

When landing at your server, what will the players see? This is very important. They will see the spawn area at first. So, make sure that the area is appealing. This way the players will be more likely to stay on your server for more exploration. Make sure the server rules are also given in the right area.

Read up on the best plug-ins

As soon as you have decided on the type of Minecraft server you need, your next move is to opt for the right plug-ins. For the safety and convenience of each server, you need some essential plug-ins first. You need three servers namely WorldEdit, Essentials and PermissionsEx. Make sure you get all of them installed on your servers as they are the must-have plug-ins. Without them, your server will be kind of incomplete and the players won’t be able to get the most out your servers.

Get the word out about your server

As soon as you done all the things mentioned above, you are good to go. No! You still have to do one of the most important things: advertising. If you don’t get the word out about your Minecraft server, how will the world get to know about you? You need to do mention your server on relevant forums, especially the official forum of Minecraft. What you can do is design customized banners and designers for the forum users. You can also consider a listener as it will reward the users who gave their vote for your server. They will get in-game items and money for this.

Long story short, if you are going to launch your own Minecraft server, make sure you follow the guidelines given in this article. This way you will be able to make a lot of moolah through your Minecraft server.

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Google Pixel Buds Vs Apple AirPods – The Battle of the Earbuds

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On October 4, Google introduced its new flagship Pixel phones, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. However, the biggest reason for which Google kept on mocking Apple last year seemed like a joke when Google announced their flagships without the headphone jack. Yes, this time they traded it off for getting IP 67 water resistance rating.

As an alternative Google announced its own new branded wireless earbuds called Pixel Buds. The buds follow in the strides of Apple’s own wireless earbuds, the AirPods, that implies everybody will be comparing the two wireless buds choosing which one to go for. We have assembled this comparison to help you out in your decision.

Specifications

GOOGLE PIXEL BUDS

Price:$159

Battery Life: Up to 5 hrs.

Battery Specs: 120 mAh

Weight:14 grams

Connectivity: Bluetooth

Sensors: Microphone, Accelerometer, Capacitive touchpad

Charging Case: USB Type-C

APPLE AIRPODS

Price:$159.99

Battery Life: Up to 5 hrs.

Battery Specs: 60 mAh

Weight:4 grams each

Connectivity: Bluetooth, W1 chip

Sensors: Dual beam forming microphones, Dual optical sensors, Motion detecting accelerometer, Speech detecting accelerometer

Charging Case: USB Type-C

Price

Getting the greatest obstacle off the beaten path, to begin with, there is very little to compare between these two choices, as the AirPods and Pixel Buds are both estimated at $159. The main issue as of now lies in accessibility since the Pixel Buds will not dispatch until November, and that is if Google does not keep running into any supply issues.

Design

Physically, each organization’s wireless earbuds look fundamentally changed. Apple’s resembles a white theoretical blossom with a long stem and a fat bud that fits in your ear. Google’s then again looks are round and more extensive. Everything is scrunched together. A length of rope likewise fastens Google’s Pixel Buds together, which is a pleasant touch as it implies it could prevent one of the buds from tumbling to the ground. So design wise Pixel Buds have the upper edge. However, AirPods are the one who completes the definition of wireless.

Controls

Both earbuds have tap controls, however, the Pixel Buds offer more. Apple’s AirPods enable you to play and pause music by means of a tap. The Pixel Buds enable you to do that as well, yet they likewise have a touch surface that enables you to swipe crosswise over them to change the volume.

AI Assistants & Translation

Obviously, both earbuds offer each organization’s AI assistants (directed through your cell phone). The AirPods offer Siri and the Pixel Buds offers Google’s Assistant. I believe it is undeniable which is superior: Google’s Assistant. Nevertheless, in case you are a non-English speaker, Siri wins, as it is accessible in numerous more dialects.

In any case, one region with the Pixel Buds wins clearly is their capacity to translate conversations continuously. Nobody has really attempted this component yet, so we have to hold up to perceive how well it functions.

Battery Life

The greatest purpose of the dispute concerning our cell phones or Bluetooth earphones is battery life. Who needs to manage to charge their earphones in the wake of utilizing them for only an hour or two?

Yet it appears that Apple and Google may have things made sense of. Both the AirPods and Pixel Buds are evaluated for up to 5 hours of utilization with each charge.

Moreover, Apple and Google both claim that their charging cases will give up to 24 hours of battery life for the earphones. That is a wild claim, yet in my opportunity with the AirPods, it certainly holds up.

Talking about charging, Apple guarantees that the charging the AirPods for only 15 minutes will give users to 3 hours of additional battery life. With respect to the Pixel Buds, Google asserts that 15 minutes of charging will give users an additional hour of battery life. Clearly, Apple gets approval here, yet mileage may fluctuate in case you are just utilizing them with an Android gadget, which does not exploit Apple’s W1 chip.

Considering the way that the Pixel Buds are not released yet, we will need to keep a watch out if Google’s cases hold up after some time.

Compatibility

Both gadgets are compatible with the organization’s different devices. For instance, AirPods are intended to be utilized (and have every one of its highlights accessible as well) with iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and Macs. Google’s Pixel Buds (as the name proposes) are intended to work with the organization’s Pixel telephone line as well as with recently launched Pixel Book. In any case, since both earbuds utilize Bluetooth, they will work with other phones- only the greater part of the highlights will not be accessible to those phones.

Connectivity

This is by far my most favourite component about the AirPods and I cannot clarify that I am so eager to see something comparative originating from Google. When you open the AirPods unexpectedly around your iPhone, a prompt shows up requesting you to connect them.

As indicated by Google, comparable usefulness will go to the Pixel Buds, implying that when your case opens, you will have the capacity to associate with your gadget with only a tap of the button. This is HUGE as it expels the need to experience and manage the irritating matching procedure that proprietors of Bluetooth earphones need to right now manage.

The best part about the Pixel Buds is that this feature will not be restricted to the Pixel 2/2 XL. Rather, you will require a gadget running in any event Android 6.0 Marshmallow and have Google Assistant introduced on the gadget. Which, advantageously enough, simply advanced onto the Play Store as an independent application.

Verdict

The AirPods are unquestionably advantageous considering the way that the wires are gone, however, you do not get any additional usefulness when utilizing them on an Android phone, as the greater part of the fun stuff is held for iOS clients.

In this way, the appropriate response here for Android users is self-evident. In the event that you have not pre-ordered your Pixel Buds yet do it right now. As somebody who right now claims AirPods, I truly can hardly wait to get my hands (or ears) on the Pixel Buds to put them through hell. Tell us what you think and in the event that you will be grabbing a pair for yourself.

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10 Things You Need Before You Write An Apple App

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You’ve seen the amazing statistics on Apple Apps and how ordinary folks are achieving success with writing apps for the iPhone and iPad. Well, the first thing I can tell you is that you’re right! The Apple App store is taking the world by storm (exceeding more than 2 billion downloads). And my suspicion is that this is all just the beginning.

The problem is, how do you go about writing an app? In fact, what do you need before you being app development? Well, that’s where this article will help. I’ll provide you with 10 things you need before you start writing your Apple app. Even if you’ve never developed content for a mobile device, or if you’re new to software development, you should know that learning iPhone development can be a fun and rewarding experience.

1. Get a Mac OS X Computer

To develop applications for the iPhone OS, you need a Mac OS X computer running the Xcode tools. Xcode is Apple’s suite of development tools that provide support for project management, code editing, building executables and debugging.

I know many of you might be PC users are some of you might baulk at the idea of using a Mac. Well, my advice is – give the Mac a chance. I’ve many friends who were once die-hard PC users who have now switched over to the Mac. Why? Because they want to write apps! And once they made the switch – they found the Mac to be so much easier to use and a really enjoyable experience.

2. Download the SDK

Apple distributes an iPhone app software development kit (SDK). You’ll definitely need to download this and read it from front to back. Don’t worry, it’s more complex then it seems. Give it time and you’ll soon be on the app development bandwagon.

3. Learn Objective-C

Mac programs are written in Objective-C Apple also introduced a special abstraction API for Objective-C called Cocoa Touch for iPhone (and iPod Touch) development.

Objective-C will come quite naturally to those who have programmed in C, C++ or Java before. Now, if you’re new to programming, Objective-C might be a challenge.

Try to grab a basic book on programming to before you get into the nuts and bolts of Objective-C. One of the better books for learning Objective-C is the Programming in Objective-C by Stephen G. Kochan. It does not assume you have any previous knowledge in this area.

4. Become An Approved Apple Developer

Becoming an approved developer for Apple apps takes some time. Many people do not know this. I hear that there is a six month waiting list to be an approved developer. Some have speculated that the time to wait may decrease now that interest in the iPhone and iPad has hit the roof worldwide.

Becoming an accepted developer only gets you into the App Store. Of course, that’s the only way to distribute your applications, so it’s a necessary part of the process.

5. Research Your App

As in all things related to software development, the goal of your app will be to provide a solution to a set of end users.

Make sure you research your app. There’s no point just jumping in to write apps which don’t meet any user needs. A year ago you could easily write an app that did some nonsense (e.g. make a fart noise) and expect people to download it. That’s not going to happen anymore. If you want an app that is popular, you need to make it useful.

Usually, in mobile device development, your audience is a person on the go. People who use mobile applications want to have quick interactions. They absolutely don’t want to write a Word document on the go. They want to do useful things by just pressing a button or two.

The other tip I have is to think of the Apple iPhone as a pocket computer. For example, successful applications like Pandora that have typically struggled in a desktop setting now flourish as a pocket computer solution. When planning your application think about what is unique to the iPhone that can be utilized in your app.

6. Write For Portability

What do I mean by portability? Well, depending on which frameworks (major components of the iPhone SDK) are used in your application, your app may not work on every iPhone device. For example, an application that makes use of the camera, compass or microphone will work on an iPhone but not an iPod touch.

Now, it’s OK to write an app that’s limited to iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS -but my feel is that you will be missing out on a potential chunk of target users.

7. Always Document Your Ideas

Before you commit any code to your new project, take some time to document your end-user experience. This doesn’t need to be a lengthy requirements document. It could be as simple as writing down some notes on paper or sketching some drawings.

There is actually a great sketching product out there called UI Stencils that allows you to mock up a screen design on paper. I love it and highly recommend it for app development.

8. Give A Great User Experience

When you start looking at Apple documentation, one recurring theme you will see is reference to a document called the Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). Essentially this is the master document for how your iPhone application should look and behave. Make sure you familiarize yourself with it.

It’s also important to download and try out other apps made by other leading developers. To ensure a great user experience in your app, ask yourself why those applications are the leaders and what elements they used to create a great experience. Also check out the ideas of usability expert Jakob Nielsen.

9. Data Management

Oh, before I forget, one of most complex things you will need to consider is data management. If your app is a basic utility (e.g. a calculator) you shouldn’t have to worry about storing data. If you build an app that connects to an Internet-based service, you’ll connect to these online resources through web services. Your third option will be to store user data on the device using the Core Data Framework.

10. Manage Memory and Battery Life

Those who are a bit more technical will understand what I mean by memory and battery life management. Note that there is no garbage collection for iPhone. Garbage collection is a programming term which means that if your program has a “memory leak”, it could cause the iPhone to eventually crash without warning.

Also, take note that certain iPhone functions will use more battery life than others. For example, applications that stream data from the Internet or make extensive use of the Core Location Framework (e.g. GPS) will drain battery life more quickly.

Conclusion

I certainly hope this article has given you a heads up on the things you need before writing an Apple app.

There are quite a number of things you need – a Mac OS X computer, Objective-C know-how, UI design experience, amongst other things. But if you’re serious about going about your app development journey, you should not be discouraged.

Learn a little each day, and I guarantee that you’ll become quite the expert developer in no time!

Next time, I’ll write up some articles on how to actually program an app in Xcode tools and Objective-C. Until then, have fun learning to developing those apps!

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How To Shop For The Best Leggings?

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Before you decide to buy your next leggings, you need to understand a thing or two about this trendy body-helper. Not all leggings are the same; there are quite a lot of styles and fabrics to pick from. Though a few of them will look kooky and few others flattering, there are some points to consider when shopping online for the best one:

First, It must not be confused with Tights. Tights are thinner and do not look good when worn alone. Tights fall under the category of skirts and dresses. Tights and leggings are two different things, though made of the same form-fitting materials.

Tights tend to stretch over the feet: On the other hand, are always cropped at the ankles. Tights are generally tagged for use during the winter months, while leggings are for all seasons. While purchasing ensure you read the label pack well as some terms may be interchangeable.

Leggings are sold in various lengths; however, more often than not, you may have to choose among Capri leggings, knee-length leggings, stirrup and ankleleggings.

In Ankle-length, as the name implies, that extends all the way down to the wearer’s ankles. You can wear them as a workout outfit, like pants, skirts or under dresses and other types. They feature a style commonly called as jeggings, which has denim jeans faux pants running as full-coverage.

Capri Leggings go to the mid-calf. Less formal compared to full-length they deliver more or less the same function. Capri is suited to wear under athletic apparel and usually teamed up with long shirts. There are differences between regular Capri pants and Capri leggings in terms of the hugging materials of the leggings.

Knee-Length Leggings runs up to the knee and are typically worn during workouts, dance, yoga and gymnastics.

Stirrup Leggings, usually worn as layering garment and pants, come with a strap that wraps about the arch of your foot. These straps check the leggings from riding up your legs.

When you’re buying you need to consider factors such as the body type the length. Ankle-length is an excellent choice for all body types. Buyers should also complement the body shape with the colour of a pair of leggings. Black and darker-coloured leggings will make the wearer’s legs look slim. Leggings with bold patterns and lighter or brighter-colour leggings attract a lot of attention right down to the legs.

As for the material, leggings come with a range of fabric Lycra or spandex blend, fleece, silk, wool, cotton, organic cotton, etc. You can’t really go wrong here; yes, when you pick the right body type, colour and material fabric of the leggings.

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Boost Your Brainpower – Easy Ways to Improve Mental Performance

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Struggling in school? Need a boost to your brain? Despair no more; we’ve put together some great ways to support your mental performance that you can start doing today! Each method is super simple, so you can try them out with very little preparation.

Take a Catnap

A short rest during the day can really help your memory and productivity. This is true even for naps that are less than 10 minutes long, and if you aren’t tired! It’s very common for entire offices in East Asia to take a 20 minute power-nap during lunch, then come back raring to go. Bear in mind that you should keep naps below 30 minutes, as anything more might cause sleep inertia that could be counterproductive to your cognitive performance.

Almost anybody’s mental performance can benefit from a short sleep, regardless of any other techniques or methods you might be using to help cognition. And it’s dead easy to try: Just find a comfortable position, lay down your head and close your eyes (use a sleeping mask and earplugs for extra tranquility). You’ll hopefully nod off quite quickly – but if you don’t, fear not! The sensory deprivation will still work to rejuvenate your brain.

And, if you struggle to get to sleep at night, try some mindfulness techniques. Focus on your breathing, and on taking long, unhurried breaths. More on mindfulness later in the article!

Eat Right

Overdosing on sugary foods can impair cognition. This is because higher levels of fat and sugar in your blood have been found to be cognitively impairing. Additionally, an Australian study[2] on the impact of fat and sugar on cognition came to the conclusion that unhealthy foods also hurt your mental performance. So, if you want a brain boost, stay away from sugary foods! However, this can be a little tricky. It’s very easy to grab a chocolate bar rather than taking out the time to prepare a healthy meal. The key is to find similarly convenient foods that are lower in sugar, that you still enjoy eating. Fruit such as apples and bananas are great options. If you like eating any veggies raw (such as celery) then those are even better. Get chomping!

Get a little exercise

Frequent exercise is another healthy, easy way of supporting cognition according to a metastudy from UCLA[2]. A brief workout will help your mood, cognition and your overall physical health, as well as stimulating your brain and helping it produce new brain cells. Something as simple as a few sit-ups, push-ups or jogging on the spot can help. In fact, any exercise that boosts your heart rate for 8-10 minutes, undertaken daily, will work towards helping both body and mind.

Meditation and Mindfulness

There are some super quick and easy mindfulness techniques you can try out, which will help to relax and energise your mind. Our favourite one goes as follows: Close your eyes, breathe nice and slowly and count towards the number 10. Inhale, and as you inhale, count ‘1’. Then exhale. Inhale, count to 2, then exhale. Repeat this, and focus on your breathing. Make sure it’s slow and measured for the best effect. As you reach breaths 5 or 6 your breaths should be nice and slow, giving you something really concrete to focus on. This will help to clear your mind. Concentrating on your breathing while counting (and not thinking about other things!) goes a long way towards banishing disquiet thoughts and helping to refresh your brain. There’s plenty more techniques out there – but it’s suggested that even short periods of meditation can help cognition markedly.

Apps or Games to Train Your Brain

In recent years, there’s been an explosion in the number of brain training apps, games and programmes that you can carry with you. As smartphones have become ubiquitous, it’s easy to spend an hour a day playing around with your phone to procrastinate. Why not replace your usual game with a brain training app, which might help to strengthen your mind while playing? In addition to that, if you’re a fan of puzzles, why not try sudoku or a crossword? You could time yourself to see how much you improve week by week!

Conclusion

We really hope that this article helped! There’s plenty of ways out there to improve your mental performance, these are just some of the quickest and easiest we could find. If you keep at these techniques consistently, you’ll definitely see an improvement in your cognition and performance.

References:

1 = Gomez-Pinilla & Hillman, 2013. ‘The Influence of Exercise on Cognitive Abilities.’ Comprehensive Physiology, January 2013. 3(1), pp. 403-428. Accessed online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555146/

2 = Beilharz et al, 2015. ‘Diet-Induced Cognitive Deficits: The Role of Fat and Sugar, Potential Mechanisms and Nutritional Interventions.’ Nutrients, August 2015. 7(8), pp. 6719-6738. Accessed online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951958/

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Trampolines – A Simple Jumping Machine

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Have you ever been bouncing contentedly on a trampoline in a backyard or gymnasium, and wondered how it is that this simple platform can allow you to jump multiple feet into the air over and over again? Many people think that the elasticity they feel beneath their feet comes from the stretchy synthetic fabric of the trampoline mat that’s stretched between the rails of the frame, but this isn’t actually true at all. It’s important to understand a little bit about how the trampoline parts work, so that you can take care of the trampoline properly, and enjoy its mechanics for many years to come.

The jumping action of the trampoline is actually the result of a little bit of physics used cleverly to provide hours of endless fun. In case you’ve never seen a trampoline up close before, you should know that they are still made according to the original design, which was invented by a man named George Nissan way back in the 1930’s. Nissan noticed that trapeze artists who fell into the safety net below were able to use the tiny bit of elasticity in the ropes to rebound up onto their feet, and sometimes into the air for one last trick.

Nissan was determined to find a way to recreate this rebounding motion on a larger scale, so he created an iron frame and stretched a piece of canvas over it, attaching the fabric to the frame with metal springs. These large metal springs were actually energy storing devices. The coils of the spring represent potential energy, and when the weight of a person causes them to stretch, they release their energy as they return to their normal shape. When this energy is release, the depressed trampoline mat is thrust upward quickly, propelling the jumper high into the air. The harder you come down on the mat, the more force will be expelled to push you back into the air.

Although the trampoline is a simple machine, with only a few essential trampoline parts, it’s important to make sure that all of these features are in good working order. All you need is one spring to get bent, stretched, or rusted, and the whole elastic nature of the trampoline mat would be ruined. When trampolines are stored outside, the springs are in particular danger of becoming rusted, which diminishes their ability to store energy, and could cause the coils to snap instead of returning to their original position.

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The Best Way to Quit Smoking – Substitute Hot Peppers For Cigarettes

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Are you having problems trying to quit smoking? Have you been able to stop cold turkey only to start up the habit again within weeks? You have tried patches and they proved to be no help. Maybe your mouth is sore from chewing the gum. Even far out things like hypnotherapy have not done the trick. Well I have got the solution for you:

Replace Cigarettes with Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Here are some benefits to this method:

A New Source of Endorphins

Remember how you have felt after a great workout or the feel emotions after a hot session of lovemaking. That’s your body’s reaction to the release of endorphins. Smoking is so addicting because those same endorphins are released when the brain responds to nicotine found in cigarettes. Those same feelings of pleasure and euphoria can be created by eating hot peppers or a hot spicy dish. Capsicum, which is the active chemical in hot peppers, is responsible for starting that same endorphin rush.

Money Savings

Hot peppers come in all shapes and forms, from the habanero to the Thai chili or America’s favorite the jalapeno pepper. They can be easily found all over the world for fairly cheap.

For arguments sake:

  • Let’s say the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is five dollars.
  • We will also say that big bottle of hot sauce or a bagful of hot peppers could be purchased for that same amount.
  • We’ll also make an aggressive assumption an average person would take one week to finish a bottle of hot sauce.
  • And we will make a modest assumption that someone smokes half a pack a day. That’s a spending of $260/year (=$5 x 52) on hot sauce. That’s a spending $912.50/ year (=$2.50 x 365 days) on cigarettes. So by substituting cigarettes with hot peppers you would save: $652.5/year = ($912.50 – $260)

Just imagine the mountains of money you would save if you smoke more than half a pack a day.

Better Tasting Food

Think about taking a cigarette and putting it in some bland food. Does it taste better? Now imagine adding some chopped hot peppers to that same food. Now how does it taste? Overcoming addiction to cigarette smoking is easy. When that urge to have a cigarette comes up, just bite a pepper!

One dish I recommend is Somtum an extremely spicy and great tasting green papaya thai salad called Somtum.

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Heaven or Hades? Visit a Great Greek Destination

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Legend has it that the entrance to the Underworld lies in a remote corner of Greece. Well, I’ve been there and I can say it ain’t so.

Allegedly, Orpheus and Hercules entered a cave on the Peloponnese peninsula and descended into Hades.

However, my search brought me closer to a piece of Heaven rather than the gates of Hell. For an hour or so I trekked over a hillside of wild flowers and buzzing insects. All I discovered was a cove lapped by azure water and the mosaics of a Roman settlement.

I decided to leave Hell for another day. It was good enough just to be in the Mani, where ancient myth, wild feuds and daydreaming escapism all come together.

The Mani? Check the map of Greece. On the southern coast of the Peloponnese peninsula you will see three fingers of land jutting into the Mediterranean. The middle finger is this wild, rocky region of fortress houses, phantom villages and secluded inlets.

When you’ve done the most famous historic sites of the Peloponnese – Epidaurus, Mycenae, and the rest – it’s worth journeying south to experience another world sufficiently off the track to avoid succumbing to mass tourism.

One, delightful, way to reach the area is via Yithio, once the port for the Sparta city-state. Paris of Troy after abducting Helen allegedly spent his first night with her on an island in the bay.

Driving west, you find the lofty, fortified houses of Areopolis, one of the region’s bigger settlements. These tall stone towers, often with only slits for windows, are reminders that until a hundred or so years ago blood feuds were commonplace here.

Fierce confrontations between rival clans led to the construction of hundreds of these amazing structures, fitted with special platforms for hurling down boiling oil or water.

Only aristocrats were allowed to build towers. Whenever there was a serious conflict, they retreated inside. The women were allowed out to work the fields. At times an amnesty might be declared, so the women could bring in the harvest.

An army of 400 regular soldiers was needed to suppress the last big vendetta. The good news is that today boiling oil is out. And the towers are being converted into tourist accommodation.

Entrenched amid gorges and olive groves, the poverty-stricken Maniots long had a reputation for rebelliousness and piracy. Have no fear, however, for these days the locals are renowned for their hospitality.

Many visitors get no further than the spectacular Pyrghos Dhirou caves, located by the sea. Flat-bottomed boats take you over a subterranean lake past bizarre rock formations.

Only ghosts seems to inhabit many villages but Yerolimenas, bounded by a high cliff, has a harbour, a post office and accommodation. Sip an ouzo at one of the waterside cafes and think about lunch.

Dramatic mountain and seascapes open up as you head further south. Running along a ridge is one of the most spectacular of the fortress settlements, Vathia’s skyline of towers resemble a mini-Manhattan.

But tread the labyrinthine alleyways and all you will find is one café, and maybe a stray cat.

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Your Thoughts Plus Emotion Create Thought Forms

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Think of a time you walked into a place and you felt peace surround you. Now think of a time when you felt discord surround you. Both times you experienced what is called thought forms. This is when the energy of your thoughts and feelings “take form.” An energy is created which is so strong it can be felt by others if they are paying attention.

Creating a Negative Thought Form

A passing thought, one without feeling, does not create a thought form. You need the power of your feelings to make such a creation. This is why it is crucial to manage your thoughts and emotions. What you hold in your mind surrounded by emotion stays with you. It can be supportive for you or it can hinder you.

Let’s say you are having a bad day. Things didn’t go well at work. Your lunch ended up in your lap and there was a traffic snarl which prevented you from getting home as scheduled. And, yes, when you walked in an hour late, the dog hadn’t been able to hold it and had pooped in an inconvenient place.

With each new thing that went wrong, your feelings of distress become stronger and more pronounced. You can almost feel a little black cloud of frustration or depression surround you. The longer this cloud of negative emotion surrounds you, the more difficult it is for you to pull yourself out of the emotional dumps.

Transforming the Negative to a Positive

To pull yourself out of the dark hole you find yourself, you need to get rid of the black cloud. How do you do that when one thing after another has gone wrong? It takes an act of will and determination on your part. Here are a few tricks.

1. Focus on your heart. You will find that your mood lightens when you do this.

2. Breathe in and out of your heart. This helps you to become even more centered.

3. See those heavy feelings as a cloud and see them being washed out of your body and into the ground.

4. Imagine a time of great joy, peace or relaxation. Really feel it and put a color to it.

5. Allow that color to expand outwards and totally surround you.

You’ve now changed the reality you created from one of darkness to one of joy.

If you do this on a regular basis you will find yourself being more disciplined about the thoughts and feelings you have. You will become aware that they are transitory and you can change them to something that will move you forward in life.

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