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Very Cheap Web Hosting – Sure It’s Cheap, But Will it Have the 3 Things You Need?

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Very cheap web hosting is getting easier to find on the market. That’s because there is so much competition that we are in the midst of a web hosting plan price war! But, just because it is cheap doesn’t mean you are getting what you need. Make sure if the web hosting is very cheap, then it has the following 3 things, or else choose another plan.

  1. Good Customer Service? What are users saying about the company on the web? Having good, 24/7 customer service and the ability to talk to a real person is a must when getting a hosting plan. This seems like a “yeah, whatever” type of thing to worry about, but when your site is malfunctioning you want someone to fix it fast!
  2. Unlimited Features? You want to get a plan that is super cheap, but allows unlimited domains to be hosted, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited memory. This way you won’t have to worry about how many sites you will have, how many visitors will be coming, or how big the websites are. If a company doesn’t offer this, move on.
  3. User Friendly Control Panel? This is very important. The most popular control panel for hosting companies is called a cPanel. Also, within the control panel, are there step by step videos showing you exactly how to do things such as, set up FTP accounts, set up emails, set up stat tracking for websites, installing website building software, etc? This is a must for a good web hosting company. You shouldn’t have to pay a premium for these features.

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Inexpensive Skateboards Not Cheap

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If you are just getting started in skateboarding and don’t have a lot of money to spend on a new board, you may think that buying a cheap skateboard is the way to go. However, don’t be fooled. Cheap is not the same as inexpensive. While there are many cheap skateboards out there, many of them are of low-quality and will not withstand constant use or advanced tricks. There are inexpensive skateboards that are well-made and are quite a bargain. Let’s look at two definitions before we go further:

Cheap: costing very little; low in price; small cost; may be low in quality

Inexpensive: not costly; a good value

So, from our definitions, a cheap skateboard may be more costly than an inexpensive one.

Cheap Skateboards

A cheap skateboard is one that is constructed from poor-quality materials. These are typically sold at mass market retailers like some chain stores. They may be priced low or they may be priced higher than a better-quality board. These cheap boards will have a deck made of cheap plastic or wood, will not have the fit and finish of the deck, trucks, and wheels of a better board, and will use inferior trucks and wheels.

Inexpensive Skateboards

An inexpensive skateboard will be made of higher-quality materials than a cheap skateboard. It will have a deck that is made of high-quality plastic, wood, or composite materials. It will also feature good quality trucks and wheels.

Some Examples of Inexpensive Skateboards

Powell is one company that makes inexpensive skateboards. They have several complete boards (deck, trucks, and wheels) for under $50. These are an excellent value if you are just getting started in skateboarding. Another company that makes a good-quality inexpensive skateboard is Speed Demons. They have a few models under $60 and even more in the $60-$80 range. One type of board we don’t like is the Yocaher skateboard. These boards are around $35 and feature bland graphics and, in our opinion, a design that is not up to par with today’s standards.

If you are looking for exciting graphics and a good-quality board, we like World Industries boards. You can pick one up for under $60, they have decent decks and mediocre trucks and wheels, but they are a good example of an inexpensive skateboard that should serve you well in the beginning and until you are ready to invest in a better board.

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Do Magic Tricks Make You Smarter?

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From the simple coin sorcery to the modern day mentalism, magic has transformed nemerous times. WHile it is great for entertainment, there are some added benefits as well. Does magic in any way contribute to our IQ or in simple terms do magic tricks make us any smarter? Well, let us have a closer look that whether this argument holds a grain of truth or not.

There is an adage that “Practice makes perfect.” However, does the cliché fit every category? Magic or sorcery, whatever one calls it is hugely dependent on practice. A magician is nothing without practice. Be it the age-old technique of sleight hand or modern mentalism, nothing can be attained without practice. Let us see how this practice makes us smarter.

While doing magic tricks, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and the audiences are not able to view it. The magician takes away the attention of the audiences to a different thing or spectacle and in the meanwhile performs a secret trick.

However, this is not sudden improvisation. It takes hours of practice on the part of the magician to execute most magic tricks successfully. This practice creates a great hand eye coordination for the magician and the magician’s brain becomes more active. The magician as a human being becomes smarter as his/her brain works faster.

If our brain does not practice, it becomes lazy. So a magician’s mind through sheer practice and hard work becomes like that of a mathematician, a mind that is always thinking of new ways and is always devising and scheming new strategies to rattle the audiences.

Apart from the aforementioned, it is important to know that a magician or a mentalist is incomplete without a repertoire of acting skills. A magician needs to act well in order to convince his/her audiences to believe in him/her. A magician also needs to adjust his acting skills according to the facial expression of the audiences. If he/she feels that the audiences are not looking convinced, then at the spur of the moment he/she needs to be able to changes the strategy and act more clandestinely in order to make things work. A magician hence becomes smarter by second-guessing the thoughts of the audiences. He/she as a human being starts to understand the nonverbal cues of other human beings in a better way.

Apart from these aspects, there are some regular aspects too like improvement in mathematical skills while practicing magic with cards. Magicians will always become smarter as they have a better hand eye coordination and an uncanny ability of reading other people’s mind.

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A Useful Google Map Help Guide

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If you want simple, no-nonsense directions, then MapQuest might be the best site for you. The website is very user-friendly and easy to use. On the other hand, the maps Google create can be easy as well, but there are many options for tinkering and having fun as well. You can create your own one, browse other people’s maps, change your driving direction route and take a virtual sightseeing tour in a faraway place, even Mars or the Moon! This is a map help guide for Google, showcasing a few of the hints, tips and tricks to making your mapping experience more enjoyable.

Many people are looking for map help to print or save their directions. The default print option is the step-by-step directions with a tiny one that is barely legible. For you map-mongers, you can get a larger full-size one by canceling out of the print dialog box (in Firefox), at which point a new window will pop up, allowing you to check a box that says “Show original map view.”

The preview then changes to a full overview of street maps and driving directions, where you can modify the zoom level on your print window. When it comes to saving your directions, it may be surprising but you can’t actually just save your driving directions map on the Google map site; you can save place-marks and maps but not the full shebang. Instead, you have to click on and copy the link to the map (on the top right corner of the map that says “Link to this page”). If you save that link as a bookmark or in a Word document, then you will be able to access the exact same set of directions for next time.

Perhaps you need map help customizing your own map on Google. Did you know that you can change the place-mark icon? This can be very helpful if you are creating a map of your city or a road trip one that features several different kinds of places. For instance, you can use a comedy/tragedy mask icon for theaters, a martini glass icon for bars, a bed icon for hotels or a burger and shake icon for eateries.

Once you drag and drop the basic icon and place it on the map, you can click on it and select “Edit” to change your place-mark. Here you can also change the title that appears on it, the description and the icon (by clicking on the upper right-hand picture of the icon). The My Maps feature is pretty straightforward, but you can share yours with others by selecting “copy link location,” emailing your map or embedding the map to your website or blog (by clicking on the “link text” button, copying and pasting the embedded link.)

Travelers often need map help finding notable landmarks. You may not necessarily know the address of the Eiffel Tower, but you can zero in on the location by typing in “Eiffel Tower.” Now say you are in the car driving but you have no idea where you are. You can turn your cell phone into a GPS device using Google Maps for Mobile right on your cell phone. (Check out the video for this on the Google Maps site). You may also want to explore the country of Japan to decide where you would like to visit, just by typing in “Japan.” You can also search for zip codes, airport codes, latitudes and longitudes.

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Astrojax Tips and Basic Tricks

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What do you get when you cross a yo-yo with juggling balls?

The answer is Astrojax! This is a much more recent toy compared to the diabolo and juggling balls which have been around for many hundreds of years. New tricks are being invented all the time! Astrojax consists of 3 weighted balls attached by a piece of string with the middle ball freely moving. The construction of an actual Astrojax is however fairly complex as each ball has a precision machined metal weight in order to provide maximum performance and smooth action whilst playing. Never play with astrojax near people or objects as these balls can really hurt if they hit you!

The 2 Types of Orbit

  • Vertical Orbit:Hold an end ball in each hand. Drop one ball and smoothly tug the ball in your hand rhythmically up and down to continue the motion and keep going!
  • Horizontal Orbit:Use soft circular horizontal movements of the hand which contains the ball.

3 types of Astrojax trick

There are 3 types of Astrojax trick that you may want to specialise in.

  1. Juggling: Tug a bit harder on the balls so the far one comes up to hand height. Every time a ball comes up to this height, let go of the ball in your hand and grab that one! The Guinness World Record (last time I checked) was 3,208 consecutive catches by Maximilion Leidolf of Germany. This took him 24mins and 52secs on 12 February 2000!
  2. Rebound Tricks: Try bouncing a ball off the floor, or kicking a ball lightly. Keep the pattern looking smooth.
  3. String Tricks: Wrapping the astrojax around various body parts. You may be able to let go of the string temporarily and catch it again once it has swung round the finger, leg etc.

History of the Astrojax

Astrojax was invented by the American physicist Larry Shaw who discovered the basic principles while still at Graduate School. He was very interested and excited at all the complex patterns that this simple arrangement created and so he took time to work on the idea. It took nearly 2 years and hundreds of prototypes before Larry Shaw had his idea patented.

Science Behind why Astrojax Works

Astrojax is a fascinating new toy illustrating a wide variety of basic science principles.

  • Rotational Dynamics: A metal weight concentrates the mass at the centre of the middle ball. This allows the middle ball to spin rapidly. An ice skater uses this principle when he brings in his arms during a twirl to spin faster.
  • Planetary/Orbital Motion: During vertical orbits the outer ball orbits around the middle ball. During horizontal orbits, both balls orbit in perfect circles. Our earth orbits around the sun and our moon orbits around the earth in ellipses which are not quite circular, but pretty close!
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7 Staffing Tips to Remember As COVID-19 Cases Rise

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It’s hard to believe a second wave of COVID-19 cases is on the rise. Just this week, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 rose by 5% in 36 states. Additionally, this week the U.S. reported an average of almost 70,000 new cases every day (October 20th-October 27th). This has been the highest seven-day average yet, according to a CNBC analysis. And in Chicago, where I live, indoor dining at restaurants is once again being suspended.

All of this feels as if we are right back where we started back in March. In fact, it feels kind of like the movie Groundhog’s day where Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, keeps waking up and reliving the same day! While a second wave isn’t good news, the one piece of good news is that we experienced this before and have learned from it. Below are 7 tips for staffing companies to remember in order to stay on top and be successful as we head into the winter months.

  1. Switch to a Cloud-Based Staffing Software Solution

If you aren’t on a cloud-based staffing software solution yet, now is the time to make the switch. One of the main reasons being is so your staffing company can safely and productively operate from home. Even if your company is going into the office now, it’s critical to be prepared incase it’s no longer safe to have the whole team in the office. As we know from last time, the situation quickly turned like the switch of a button. One minute our team was in the office and the next minute we were gone and wouldn’t return for months.

A cloud-based staffing software gives your team the ability to work from anywhere. While this is important during the current times, in normal times this is also a major benefit as recruiters are on the go visiting clients. They can easily enter in their notes as they hop between clients.

Another major benefit is the security aspect. There has been an increase in compromised data during the pandemic. As if we don’t have enough to worry about, hackers are on the prowl. They have been targeting remote workers, as they know companies were left to scramble and put in patchy security protocols. A good cloud-based staffing software solution will invest in high tier data security. It’s extremely important to note though that not all staffing software providers invest in the same amount of security. It’s essential to ask how secure your data will be when switching to a cloud solution. Never assume your data is safe. Characteristics of a secure cloud solution include:

  • The data is stored in a high-tier Data Center. Tier 3 and 4 Data Centers provide the most security with an uptime of approximately 99.982% and 99.995% respectively.
  • The cloud data is stored in multiple data centers so in the event “the cloud goes down”, your data is still backed up and secure in another one.
  • Multiple security protocols are in place at the Data Center itself including a large quantity of backup power sources, fingerprint access between rooms, locked cages, 24-hour monitoring and armed guards. Only a few key IT people at the software company should have access to the physical data.
  • Backups are run daily. Ideally, incremental backups are made throughout the day with one full backup done at the end of each day.
  • Several layers of firewall protection are in place.
  1. Invest in the Right Technology for Interviewing

If your staff is working at home, candidates also won’t be able to come in for an interview. Find the right interviewing platform for your company. Whether that is simply through a webinar platform or a professional video interviewing software. It’s imperative to find the right solution for your company so recruiters can continue to conduct interviews without missing a beat. Investing in the right technology for interviewing is important not only so your company can continue to operate smoothly, but also so the company looks professional from the candidate’s perspective during an interview.

  1. Partner with Industries in High Demand

This may mean needing to venture out into new lines of business you never staffed in before. If you haven’t already taken advantage of the industries in high demand during the pandemic, now is the time to branch out into these lines of business. Some of the industries in high demand include: food/alcohol/grocery, medical staff/device, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, delivery services, trucking/railroad, paper products, antibacterial/cleaning products, and more. These are all industries worth targeting in order to keep your business going strong. Having a diversified portfolio in challenging times is more important than ever.

You should also search for companies that are hiring in mass quantities. Every day, under LinkedIn News, LinkedIn updates their list of “Here’s who’s hiring right now.” It’s a list that would be worth checking out every morning to see if there are any companies you could potentially partner with.

  1. Use the Capabilities of Your ATS/CRM

The data stored in your ATS/CRM is more valuable than you may think. Think of all of the clients and candidates you have stored in your database. You may have hundreds or even thousands of clients and candidates. New business and candidates can be found right in front of you! The key is knowing how to search.

Searching for Clients

Searching by Client Industry, Status, and Location is the most basic search, but a powerful one. If you are trying to target those industries in high demand, it would be useful to search by industry, location (start with companies near you), and an inactive status (meaning you aren’t currently doing business with them). A “full text search” is another powerful search feature that allows you to search for key terms in each client profile. If you want to search for “medical”, it will search all clients that have the word “medical” somewhere in their profile, whether that is in an email, a text message, a note, a comment, etc. Not all ATS/CRM solutions have a “full text search”, but if yours has that feature you want to be sure you are taking advantage of it.

Searching by Last Contacted, Job Orders, and Candidate Employment History are also unique searches that can be valuable to you. Last Contacted, would allow you to search for companies you haven’t worked with recently, eliminating companies you recently touched base with that weren’t in need of services. Searching by Job Order is beneficial because you can identify companies you worked with in the past. There may be clients on the list you haven’t touched base with in a while that could use your services. Searching by Candidate Employment History is a unique search that might not come to mind right away. This allows you to search a candidate’s profile for companies they have worked for in the past. It’s a way to find new clients that are not already in your system.

As you find clients you want to reach out to, be sure to add them to a pipeline. This is an efficient way to track the companies you found in your search so you can start connecting with them.

Searching for Candidates

Similarly, you can use the search capabilities in your staffing software to find candidates. Searching by Position, Skills, and Industry is a good basic search to start with. One thing you might consider, is searching for candidates working in industries that aren’t doing well. They may be looking for a job or are even out of a job. You might find overlapping in their skills or employment history that would qualify them to be placed in a different industry that is in higher demand. As with clients, searching by Date Last Contacted is also a valuable search to identify candidates you haven’t touched base with in sometime. As you find candidates you want to reach out to, be sure you are also creating a candidate pipeline, so you can easily go down the list when you are ready to contact them.

  1. Continue Communication with Clients

Remember to keep your communication frequent with clients, even if they don’t have staffing needs. Keep your client relationships strong by maintaining communication and being a resource to them, so when they are ready to hire again you will be at the top of their mind. Companies can simply send clients resources every couple of weeks such as blog articles, eBooks, information about industry webinars, webinars you are hosting, and more. These are all ways to continue to build your client relationships into a long-term partnership.

  1. Keep Marketing

Often times, the marketing budget is the first line item that is cut in challenging times. If we have learned anything from the pandemic and from previous recessions, cutting your marketing resources can be the worst thing to do. Marketing your company in challenging times is crucial for a couple of reasons:

  1. Clients and candidates know you are still in business.
  2. Your company looks strong.

If a candidate or client visits your website or social media pages, you want them to know right away that you are in business. If you go quiet and they see no activity, they may assume you are no longer in business. This applies to marketing emails as well. If clients, prospects, and candidates see no email communication during these times, they will quickly forget about you. Don’t be forgotten or get lost in the shuffle. Keep communicating and marketing your company!

By communicating through social media, in e-mails, and other marketing channels, your company also looks strong. Candidates and clients will see you are still an active company and will see you as a leader in the industry for them to turn to.

  1. Stay Positive

Perhaps the last and most important tip (perhaps the hardest tip) is to stay positive. The idea of moving backwards instead of forwards with the state of the COVID-19 pandemic can be hard, but you must keep your head held high and strive on. Keeping a positive attitude will help you be successful and will also help your team members stay motivated. Also be sure to find time to do the things that make you happy and decompress, whether that is cooking, yoga, going for a walk, binging shows on Netflix, etc. Taking time to do the things you love will help you stay positive!

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A Love Song

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Have you ever had a conversation with your friend, lover, or soul-mate and you did not know what to say? Seems like the words you wanted to use were just frozen solid on your lips. At awe, knowing what you want to say, but unable. Words captivates, love penetrates with the one you love. Good love songs no matter the tempo; it’s the message behind the music and lyrical content that gets the attention of the heart.

The dynamic duo of Varges Thomas & PleasureMore takes this collaboration to another level with an experience that resonates to their fans who may be in serious relationships with their partners. This smooth, soft soulful sensitive sound is sure to touch the soul of their fans around the world. The orchestrated string ensemble has a medley that releases a swing in your mood relieving anxieties, while taking a pause for a minute or two; to think about what you want to say to your soul-mate. The song Lost For Words; is a heart to heart tune that takes people back to the very first time they met.

In general, most couples can definitely relate to one another when times are good, when there is laughter and bliss, and then when times are troubled; there are tested moments and growing pains. Yet, people who truly love one another goes through the ups and downs of life together. Women in particularity, get men to do certain things they normally would not do; like buying flowers, attending certain social gathering, or any other number of things. It is through the power of love where harmony is made between two people; with kindness being shown to one another when being lost for words not knowing what to say; action is the remedy with expressing your true feelings.

Can the one you love really take your breath away? Or does he or she know what to say? Women overall, can get a man to do what they want him to do. To be satisfied and made whole in any relationship there has to be a connection whether that’s an eye to eye, heart to heart or through words with a commitment. So, the next time there needs to be a conversation, then let the words from this love song speak to you and let your actions follow with what you mean. Action does speak louder than words; with love, harmony, and peace. Lost For Words will bring to your memory the present and past situations of your life; enjoy this new song from Varges Thomas & PleasureMore!

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Songs to Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back – Love Songs for Your Ex Boyfriend

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So you are searching for the songs to get your ex boyfriend back. Well, you know that music has surprising magical power for falling in love. Music has also astonishing healing power if your heart is broken.

Music can play a great role in getting your ex back. Men sometimes become tired of being engaged. Some small fights or quarrels motivate them to break-up.

But their loving ones may be still in their deep inside. So your ex-boyfriend can still desire you and want to fix the problems with you if you give a little extra effort to your relationship. You can contact with your ex through music.

Songs can help you in your soul healing and at the same time reunite you with your ex. Some songs that can help you in this case are –

1. When you are gone – AVRIL LAVIGNE

2. Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely- Backstreet Boys

3. The reason – Hoobastank

4. Nobody wants to be lonely – Ricky Martin

5. Runway – The Corrs

6. Annie’s Song John Denver

7. My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson

8. Truly Deeply Madly – Savage Garden

9. If I Let You Go – Westlife

These are some heart touching songs that can help you in making your ex boyfriend coming back to you.

You can record this heart touching songs in CD and send it to your boyfriend. Every song carry soothing words & after hearing, your boyfriend will rush to come to you. All of these songs have deep lovely meanings.

The song “When you are gone” by AVRIL LAVIGNE carry the meaning that it hurts so much when you are away from your loving ones. This song will make your ex realizing that you are now in so much pain without him.

By hearing the song “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” by Backstreet Boys your boyfriend may realize that you are feeling so lonely & time has stopped to you after his moving away.

The song “The reason” by Hoobastank carry the meaning that though you are not a perfect person and you couldn’t treat your ex well but you are trying to change yourself for him, because he is so special for you. This is a perfect song for getting your ex boyfriend back.

By hearing the song, “Nobody wants to be lonely” by Ricky Martin, your ex will understand that you are becoming crazy without him and you need to hold him right now.

The songRunway” by The Corrs will remind your boyfriend how romantic, funny and loving you both were together.

The songAnnie’s Song” by John Denver is a cute love song. This song can remind your boyfriend about the places you have been together.

By hearing the song “Truly Deeply Madly” by Savage Garden your boyfriend will understand that you will be always there for him whatever it takes and your love is unconditional.

The song “My Life Would Suck without You” by Kelly Clarkson is a beautiful song. This song carry the meaning that though you do quarrels, little naughty or annoying things but you love him from the bottom of your heart and life sucks without your loving ones.

The songIf I Let You Go” by Westlife will make your boyfriend realize that you will lose the meaning of your life if you lose him.

So send a CD of these songs by writing how you feel at the end. Beware that you should send him the CD only if you have an open communication with him. If you are going through ‘no contact’ phase, then avoid doing so.

Another great idea to let your ex listen these love songs is to upload them on your facebook profile. Upload only one song in a day. Moreover, do it only if he is still friend with you on Facebook and the communication line is still open between you and your ex boyfriend.

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Tip on Pencil Portrait Drawing – Six Elements of Portrait Drawing

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Drawing in general entails four distinct elements: line, value, texture, and form. In the special case of pencil portrait drawing we can refine the list of elements to six: form, proportion, anatomy, texture, value, and planes.

In this article we will give a detailed description of each of those pencil portrait drawing elements.

(1) Form or Shape – The illusion of three-dimensionality in drawing and art in general has been central to Western art for centuries. The carving out of form using line, structure, and value was a vital component of almost all Renaissance art.

On the other hand, oriental and lots of contemporary art emphasize flatness of form although this period in contemporary art is drawing to a close.

All form in drawing can initially be reduced to 4 basic 3-dimensional solids: bricks, cones, cylinders, and spheres. The proper use of these forms together with perspective and value leads to the illusion of 3-dimensionality even though the drawing is, in actuality, located on a 2-dimensional sheet of drawing paper.

In portrait drawing, the arabesque of the head, the square structure of the head, and all components within the head (nose, eyes, etc.) are all 2- and 3-dimensional forms that contribute to the overall illusion of 3-dimensionality

(2) Proportion – includes all sizing and placements of form. Proportion refers to the concept of relative length and angle size.

Proportion gives answers to these two questions:

1. Given a defined unit of length, how many units is a particular length?

2. How large is this particular angle? Answering these two questions consistently correctly will yield a drawing with the correct proportions and placements of all form.

(3) Anatomy – refers essentially to the underlying structures of bone and muscle of the head.

It is important to learn as much as you can about anatomy. There are many books available on anatomy for artists. For a portrait artist it is particularly important to understand the anatomy of the head, neck, and shoulders.

Anatomy studies unfortunately include a lot of Latin terms which makes it somewhat difficult to grasp. The idea is to study slowly and a little bit at a time because it can be quite frustrating.

(4) Texture – in portrait drawing expresses the range of roughness or smoothness of the forms. The rough texture of a concrete walk way, for example, is quite different from the smoothness of a window.

There exist several techniques and tricks to help you with the creation of the correct textures. Creating textures is an area in drawing that gives you the opportunity to be very creative and to use every possible type of mark you can make with a pencil. In portrait drawing textures occur in places such as hair, clothing, and skin.

(5) Value – refers to the variations in light or dark of the pencil marks and hatchings. Powerful portrait drawings employ the full palette of contrasting lights and darks. Beginning artists often fail to achieve this full “stretch” of value, resulting in timid, washed-out drawings.

(6) Planes – produce the sculptural sensibility of a portrait. The head has numerous planes each with a different direction and therefore with a different value.

The idea is to think of the surface of the head as a collection of discrete planes with a certain direction relative to the light source. You should try to identify each of the planes and draw its correct shape and value.

The correct handling of planes contributes very much to the likeness of your subject as well as the illusion of 3-dimensionality.

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Madd Gear Versus Slamm Scooters

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Madd Gear Pro Scooters.

Madd Gear make some awesome kids scooters at various price points. They are excellent scooters for people looking to perform stunts or tricks because they are lightweight and well made. Madd Gear Pro is an Australian company that have now made it big in the UK and worldwide. They have almost 10 years of experience in the scooter market and also have a Pro team so you know that their scooters have been tried and tested by some of the top stunt riders in the country.

Slamm Scooters.

If you want to support British made products then Slamm are the scooter brand for you. Based in London they make freestyle scooters which are designed to take the pace in any skate park throughout the country. Slamm scooters have 3 key models on the market right now but also design and make many scooter accessories, from wheels to grips and clamps – all at really affordable prices. This is a great way to funk up your scooter and make it more unique.

Which brand?

So which band of scooter should you choose, Madd Gear or Slamm? In general the Madd Gear scooters are the more pricey option, but in my opinion you generally get what you pay for and with scooters it’s no different. Madd Gear really do produce scooters built to last and this should provide you with the confidence you need to pull tricks and stunts in the knowledge that your scooter will take the pace. This is something that many hardcore riders would say – it is worth the extra cash. If you are just starting out, then Slamm scooters are a good entry point into the stunt scooter market and will still get you the street cred you deserve.

Madd Gear Scooter Range.

The lowest price Madd Gear scooter is the MGP Madd Mini scooter, priced at around £70. Suitable for 5 year olds, this is a well made model that will keep your little one happy and make their mates envious. It has good quality MGP wheels and ZXZ C bearings but bear in mind that this scooter has a maximum weight of 35 kgs. With all the other Madd Gear scooters you get the benefit of a 4 inch concave deck helping to give you a more comfortable ride and making the scooter easier to control when throwing some tricks. The scooters feature Krunk forged forks which are tough and reliable, and with the BAMF Slide in Flex Brake system you have the confidence to stop or slide at the touch of the brake.

Madd Gear Base and Team Edition scooters are for the slightly bigger kids – from 8 years +. From £100 – £125, and with the triple stacked collar clamps and pro tech alloy headset & bearings you know you have a real stunt scooter. The MGP Base has 100mm 85a MGP Pro 12 Spoke wheels with similar ZXZ C Pro bearings to the Mini MGP whereas the Team Edition has 100mm Aero Alloy Core wheels and Krunk K-1 bearings, making it the slightly more expensive option.

The ultimate Madd Gear Pro scooters are the Nitro and Ninja at just under £200. The one piece Krunk Cromoly Bat wing handlebars and 100mm Blade core wheels with Krunk K-2 bearings put this model into a different league. The Ninja has a slightly lighter frame and matt black paint finish.

The Slamm Scooter range.

The entry point is the Slamm Rage II stunt scooter at around £70 and is for 8 year olds and upwards. It’s worth noting that this Rage scooter has slightly shorter T-Bars than the others Slamm models which is great for younger kids. With reinforced forks and a triple stacked collar clamp you also get 100mm nylon core wheels with Abec 7 bearings. The Slamm Outbreak at around £90 and Slamm Pro are for the more serious stunt riders with their one piece 18 inch T-Bar and Slamm grips, double collar stacked clamp and reinforced deck. You will certainly be needing the quick stop brake with the Alloy Core 100mm 85a wheels that are included on the Slamm Pro scooter making it the slightly more expensive of the 2 models at around £110.

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iPhone Marketing Strategy

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As with all Apple marketing, the iPhone marketing strategy is very clear, simple and clever. With the plain and simple apple icon, Apple focuses on the pure innovative style of their products without all the “fluff”. The iPhone was released by Apple in June, 2007. The ground-breaking style of the iPhone was touted for months before the initial release and has remained the best of the best when it comes to cell phones over the past several years. Before the iPhone’s official release, Apple ran four television commercials promoting the new cell phone.

The first of the commercials portrays the new iPhone as the next step up from the popular iPod. The iPod was all the rage up until this point, and the iPhone was supposed to be the next-generation iPod, oh, and it’s also a phone! The advertisement displays all of the enhanced features available in the iPod, and more, the point being “There’s never been an iPod that can do this.”

“So, say you’re watching Pirates of the Caribbean”

Finger clicks on video and displays wide screen movie.

“Mmm, did somebody say Calamari?”

Finger clicks back to menu, selects Maps application to search ‘Seafood’.

“The closest would be…”

Map displays all seafood locations and highlights location nearest to you.

“Ah!”

Finger clicks seafood location, and restaurant phone number displayed. iPhone dial’s.

The first four iPhone commercials flaunted the convenience, innovation, and usefulness of a single product with the functionality of not only a phone, or a music device, but a product that can, among other things, listen to music, watch videos, view photos, make conference calls, check e-mail, browse the web, and view maps.

Not only does Apple utilize television for their marketing strategy, but they make use of their website by posting videos, they also published a handful of press releases that could have been released in one single document. Apple often uses this tactic to build up hype and leave the consumer wanting more.

With Apple’s brief press releases, giving the audience little to go off, “Apple leveraged a law of social physics – news, like nature, abhors a vacuum. In the absence of real information, those who care about a product will grasp at any rumor that comes their way. Apple may publicly disavow the rumor Web sites that scramble for scraps about the companies plans, but secretly their marketing department must be delighted. It would cost a lot to buy that kind of Web advertising.” (Silverman, 2007)

The official iPhone website does more than just provide information about the product. The website provides top tips and tricks for the use of an iPhone, as well as a huge focus on apps. Almost the entire iPhone page displays images of apps, provides the “App of the Week,” the website also contains sections titled “Apps for Everything,” and the “Top Apps.” Apple’s website is a great marketing tool for current iPhone users and consumers that have an interest in purchasing the iPhone. The promotion of the apps will create a stronger source of revenue for Apple. As customers see top rated applications, they are more likely to download the app, rather than searching through 25,000+ apps to find one that may be of any value to the consumer.

Successful younger men were the target audience that Apple had originally focused on. Apple had hoped that with this target audience, and the fact that 48% of this audience did not already own an Apple iPod, would allow them to reach their forecast of 10 million sales by the end of 2008.

One month prior to the release of the iPhone, Solutions Research Group profiled a cross-section of those aware of the phone. The forecast of potential buyers for the day of the release ranked a majority of T-Mobile customers, AT&T’s only GSM-based product competitor, at 15%. The second largest group expected to purchase the new iPhone was AT&T’s existing customer base, at 12%. The Solutions Research Group also found that 72% of males, versus 28% of women were most likely to investigate the phone at its minimum price of $499. (Malley, 2007)

The obvious current target audiences for the Apple iPhone include young people between the ages of 20 and 35, affluent teenagers, “jet-setters”, and “mobile” employees who work outside of the office.

Apple is known for their simplistic, but catchy commercials. In recent television commercials for the Apple iPhone, “There’s an App for that” is the new catch phrase that places a strong focus on the apps available from the App Store. Apps, or applications, are in “every category, from games to business, education to entertainment, finance to health and fitness, productivity to social networking. These applications have been designed to take advantage of iPhone features such as Multi-Touch, the accelerometer, wireless, and GPS” (Apple, 2009). Apple currently claims to have 25,000+ apps available, and counting.

The focus on the variation of apps offered opens up the target audience greatly. There is essentially an app for everyone. As a few of the iPhone commercials advertise, you can find the snow conditions on the mountain, track calories in your lunch, find exactly where you parked your car. You can find a cab in a strange city, find your share of the bill for a table of 5, or learn to fix a wobbly bookshelf. You can read a restaurant review, read an MRI, or just read a regular old book. These are just a few of the features that Apple has promoted through television commercials. iPhone apps provide every functionality that one can imagine.

When the iPhone was initially released, it was priced at a hefty $599. Still, hundreds of thousands of people rushed out to get the new phone, forking over a third as much as they would have had they waited an extra 3 months. 3 months after the initial release, Apple reduced the price of the iPhone to $399. This enraged Apple’s loyal customers and consumers who purchased the new phone just months earlier. One year later, Apple again reduced the price of the iPhone to $199, 66% less than the original price.

In July, 2007, the Apple iPhone was all the hype. I believe that Apple’s decision to release the phone at $599 was slightly based on greed. However, their product was the most innovative out in the market place, giving Apple the freedom to price the iPhone at whatever they wanted. Many believed that Apple had cut the price after discovering lower than expected iPhone sales. Apple, however, states that the price cut was made “to spur holiday sales and predicted that Apple would meet its stated goal of selling its 1 millionth iPhone by the end of September.” (Dalrymple, 2007)

As with the product life cycle of any cell phone or Apple product, including Apple’s iPod, prices are often reduced drastically months after the initially release. Tech products are always competing against “the latest and greatest” while maintaining a relevant price in the market place. Had Apple not reduced the price of the iPhone, the customer base would have dwindled quickly as many consumers are unwilling to spend $599 on a cell phone, no matter how many useful features the phone may carry.

As the iPhone remains to be the number one smart phone around, the product continues to grow, increasing size capabilities, increasing the number of applications available, and providing new features that are released through new iterations of the phone, continue to provide a greater value to the iPhone while the pricing remains relevant.

At this time in the product life cycle, Apple continues to release enhanced iterations of the iPhone. With most iPhone users un-willing to purchase a newer version of the iPhone because of price, the target audience for the newer generation phones is new iPhone customers. With Apple’s installed base continuing to grow, they have found a way bring in reoccurring revenue from their existing customers through the sales of their application downloads. As more and more people purchase the iPhone, Apple’s audience for new customers continues to dwindle. Fortunately for Apple, they have built in another source for revenue that continues throughout the life of the product.

References

(2009). Apple: iPhone. Retrieved April 26, 2009, from Apple

Dalrymple, J (2007, Sep, 11). Lessons learned from the iPhone price cuts. PCWorld, Retrieved Apr 26, 2009, from http://www.pcworld.com/article/137046/lessons_learned_from_the_iphone_price_cuts.html

Silverman, D (2007, Jul, 10). Apple’s silence helped the iPhone hype. Chron.com:Computing, Retrieved Apr 26, 2009, from http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4954824.html

Malley, A (2007, Jun, 6). Apple, AT&T neophytes to define iPhone audience – report. AppleInsider, Retrieved Apr 26, 2009, from AppleInsider Website

Mukherjee, A (2007, Feb, 28). iPhone under attack. Business Today, Retrieved Apr 26, 2009, from the business today website

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