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Jumping Stilts – Is the Newest "Extreme" Sport Extremely Dangerous? – Here’s the Real Scoop

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Are jumping stilts – the newest extreme sports equipment – extremely dangerous? One look at these radical new kinds of stilts will give any parent a twinge of fear for their “baby,” that’s almost a given. “Not my kid!” can be a pretty typical parental reaction after seeing jumping stilts for the first time. Anything that has a person standing 18 inches taller on what look like very small “hooves” on the end of very long springs just can’t be safe, right? And any parent doing holiday present Google research to find out what Johnny meant by “jumping stilts!” on his yes-I-really-was-a-good-boy list will find those wacky YouTube videos of crazy young people flipping, flying, and bouncing through the urban landscape like crazed maniacs while wearing no helmets, pads, or even shirts!

So, seriously, who could believe that this wild new extreme sport is safe at all?

It turns out, oh nervous parent, that the extreme look of jumping stilts does not translate into extreme danger. Yes, you may breathe a sigh of relief now… whew…

Here’s why: The inventor, German aerospace engineer Alexander Boeck, thought long and hard about the design of these crazy-looking stilts, and he engineered them so that when you’re strapped into them and standing tall, the stilt hooves are directly below your natural center of gravity. That turns out to be much better than even those silly regular stilts we all tried out as kids which made you feel wobbly because your center of gravity was to the inside of the stilt, which made it awkward to walk on. Most people who try jumping stilts find that surprisingly quickly they feel very comfortable and balanced on their stilts.

But, says the worried parent, what about the fact that my child can now go bouncing off down the road anywhere and since he or she can now jump up to six feet high – well, that’s a long way to fall?

Fair point, dear parent, and this is why every expert in the sport says “wear your safety gear, no exceptions!” and “never try tricks on stilts that you haven’t tried in a gym!” In fact, most bockers (what jumping stilts users call themselves in honor of the inventor) will tell you is that their safety gear – a helmet, as well as wrist, elbow and knee guards – has saved them from scrapes and bruises more than once, and they wouldn’t go bocking without them. They also know to learn their tricks without stilts first – on a trampoline or on a gymnastics spring floor – and even then, to use mats when they first try those same new tricks on stilts.

Think back about 25 years, do you remember how insane snowboarding seemed? Do you notice how normal it appears to be now? Hmm… could it just be that new sports always seem more dangerous just because they are new?

Do injuries happen to bockers? Honestly, yes, and usually, it’s because they were pushing their limits (and knew it) or didn’t put on their safety gear. Gravity will always win if you try to cheat. The bottom line is that – just as in any extreme sport – the equipment itself is no more dangerous than a baby bunny rabbit. It’s how you use the equipment that determines the level of danger and potential injury, and with proper protective equipment and by following some common sense rules, Johnny will be safe as can be as he experiences the thrill of the world as a trampoline on his new bocks that he got as his holiday present this year.

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The 8 Best Mannheim Steamroller Songs From Their "Other" Albums

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The Mannheim Steamroller “other” albums are considered to be everything but their Christmas and Fresh Aire CDs. Mannheim Steamroller is a pioneer of the new age music genre, and has continuously been producing original and arranged music for the last several decades. I am a huge fan, and have picked out, in my opinion, the 8 best Mannheim Steamroller songs from their other albums besides the Christmas and Fresh Aire series.

Here are my top 8 picks, in chronological order…

1. Tigers & Lions- Saving the Wildlife, 1986

I’ve been listening to this song for almost my entire life, and it’s always been a favorite of mine. The ethnic sound makes you feel that you’re in India surrounded by Tigers. This song plus several others were written for the soundtrack of a PBS special about saving the wildlife. Wolves is another excellent song from the album, and if you’ve never seen the music video for Wolfgang Amadeus Penguin it’s hilarious.

2. Fugue- Impressions, 1993

When Chip Davis first met his very good friend Arnie Roth (Mannheim’s violinist) he thought he was a really classical guy. But later found out that when he was in college he played in a heavy metal bad. So, Chip wrote this song for Arnie, which is why it’s on the album Impressions (an album made up entirely of gifts that Chip Davis wrote for various friends and family members). He describes this song as a “Gothic Concerto Sounding Dooda Something or Other”, and it’s quite en excellent piece.

3. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious- Mannheim Meets the Mouse, 1999

I hope I spelled that right! I love most of the songs on this album, and was especially pleased with this arrangement of my favorite Mary Poppin’s tune, which recently had a successful run on Broadway. This album is an excellent collection of arranged Disney tunes and should be in your collection along with their Christmas albums.

4. You’ve Got a Friend In Me- Mannheim Meets the Mouse, 1999

I love the synthetic bass line of this song! Not only is this a classic Disney movie and a great Randy Newman song, but it’s a brilliant Mannheim Steamroller arrangement. When this album was released I drove down to the music store during my lunch break in order to get it. I first heard about it when they performed Under the Sea at their live show during the Christmas in the Aire tour.

5. Slo Dancin’ in the Living Room- Romantic Melodies, 2001

This song is quite different from all the others I have picked. For me, it just paints a very quaint little story about a loving married couple spending a few minutes of their busy day to be romantic and slow dance together in the living room. With, most likely, screaming children and burning food on the stove in the other room.

6. Mt. McKinley- Spirit, 2003

The feel of this piece is very American, which is why it blends so well into Mannheim’s patriotic album- Spirit. It’s an original composition by Chip Davis and channels Aaron Copland and other great American composers. It’s short, but sweet. The Star-Spangled Banner is another wonderful arrangement on this album which also appears on the albums Impressions and To Russia With Love.

7. All Hallow’s Eve- Halloween, 2003

This Halloween piece, an original composition by Chip Davis, fits perfectly into the season. It’s always well received at Halloween parties. I wish they had thought to do Halloween albums back when they first started. I wouldn’t mind if they released a few more. I’ve always thought it was funny that they put “Deranged by Chip Davis” on the album credits.

8. Creatures of the Night- Halloween 2, 2006

This creation was designed for dance clubs, and was the first time that Mannheim Steamroller did something for the Dance/Techno genre. In the music video you get to see Chip Davis play the Theremin creating all sorts of eerie sounds. They even went so far as to create a line dance specifically for this song for people to dance to in clubs.

Whether you agree with my picks or not, there is no disputing that Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller is the best contemporary composer/arranger of our time.

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Helen Keller’s Happiness Quotes

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Helen Keller was deaf blind and mute. She became a well renowned author, well traveled speaker and stood up for various causes such as war opposition and women’s suffrage to name a few.

At those moments when I am on the self pity bus I try and remember Helen Keller and her courage and it makes me feel better about my life. The following five happiness quotes highlight her guide to happiness and a well lived life.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”

What Helen is saying is that there is nothing secure about life. Human beings love to feel secure financially, physically and emotionally to name a few things; however life is random and unexpected. It doesn’t matter how much we try to make ourselves safe life is a game of chance.

People spend their lives holding themselves back not taking chances to protect themselves and keep the delusion of being safe. They believe going all out will be dangerous or they will be hurt. Yet when it comes down to it the person who is highly adventurous and lives to the fullest and the person always afraid of trying anything are just as unsafe in this unpredictable world. Knowing this isn’t it much better to go all out and experience and live life to the fullest? Because when it comes down to it you are not in any more danger than living a life of mediocrity.

“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.”

We are all comparers we cannot help ourselves. Every day we are constantly comparing ourselves to others on looks, money, possessions, enjoyment what have you. Everyone has felt inferior to another person at one time or another. Helen suggests looking at the majority of the world and comparing yourself then and the biggest likelihood is that you are one of the privileged people in this world.

In fact if you are reading this article right now it means you are privileged enough to access a computer millions of other people around the world do not have that luxury. Count your blessings daily because when compared to a lot of people around the world you have many.

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”

Helen was deaf blind she had to deal with darkness and silence all the time. I would not have any idea what she went through I can only try and imagine how it was. She found a way to be content with her condition. Every person goes through different things in their lives and some are tougher than others. It’s important to find a way to be happy no matter what is happening. You can’t control everything in this world but you can choose how you react to different situations.

“I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.”

This quote is one of the reasons I am truly inspired and awed by this woman. She was deaf blind and mute and yet she rarely thought of her limitations. She had every reason to play the victim but she didn’t. How many times do you play the victim feeling sorry for yourself over the smallest thing? I know I do that every single day at some point. I dwell on my weaknesses and things I don’t have constantly giving into self pity. How productive is this? Not productive at all. Instead of focusing on their strengths people use up their time which is precious focusing on what they lack.

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

I am a big believer in making yourself happy. I find fulfillment in helping others not just myself. Just living for myself is not good enough I want to feel like I am making some positive impact in this world before I check out. This I believe is what Helen is talking about in the above quote. There is nothing wrong with making sure you are happy but also live for others and you find more happiness.

The above five quotations represent Helen Keller’s guide to a content and fulfilled life. Helen’s words offer a way of living life to the fullest from a woman who did just that. I hope you take them to heart in your daily lives.

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‘Winword Caused a General Protection Fault’ – Word Error and Recovery

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Normal.dot or global template is the basic template that Microsoft Word uses each time when you create a document. Even if you are using some other template, this global template always remains in use. Normal.dot file often gets corrupted leaving Word documents is suspect state. You should restore the documents damaged due to Normal.dot corruption from backup. But in some of the cases, backup is found as not updated, damaged or unavailable. Thus, in such situations, you should use word repair software to scan and repair your damaged Word document.

You might receive the similar error message when trying to open a Microsoft Word document:

“Winword caused a General Protection Fault in module USER.EXE”

You cannot access such document.

Cause

Probable causes for the above error to occur are:

o Normal.dot (Global Template) file is corrupted

o You have installed Word in Works Suite add-in program (included with MS Works Suite 2000) and the add-in program in corrupted.

o Installing MS Works Suite 2000 adds some additional functionality to Word. There are several new features added to File Menu, Mail Merge and Wizard.

Solution

To solve the above describes issues, you should follow these methods:

o Click Start->Search->All files and folders and type Normal.dot in All or part of the file name box. Select the Windows installed drive and click Search.

Rename the Normal.dot file to Oldnormal.dot. Upon restating Word, it will recreate a new global template.

o If the issue doesn’t resolve, insert MS the Microsoft Works Suite Disk 1 CD-ROM into the system and press and hold down SHIFT key while inserting it. Next, remove Word in Works Suite add-in program using Add or Remove Programs wizard of Control Panel.

o The existing issue should get resolved by following above steps. But if you find Word document(s) as damaged due to Normal.dot corruption, try restoring from backup. In case of backup concerns, you need to use word recovery applications.

Word repair tools scan a damaged document using powerful scanning algorithms and restore them. These are non-destructive applications with self-descriptive interface and complete documentation.

Stellar Phoenix Word Recovery is an advanced tool to repair and restore Microsoft Word documents. It is available with support to Word 2007, 2003, 2002 and 2000 and certain powerful Word Recovery features. It can restore all objects like hyperlinks, tables, images, drawings, macros and others. It is compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 2003, 2000 and NT.

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