The Crisp Way to Crack Even the Cryptic Lot

Since time immemorial, mankind has always evolved towards easing our way to make a living. We evolved from the apes that were quadrupeds to walking on two legs. Our brains evolved to discover fire, we learnt to build houses, rear cattle and we learnt to ‘express’. Well, the prime thing that makes us stand out as a superior specie is – Communication. And as we know, the first form of expressive language is Pictography – a form of writing which uses representational and pictorial drawings. And this tiny bit of info back from your History textbooks is going to impact your business.

Wondering how? Okay, now a tinge of Science before you get it all. Our brain is so bleeped up that it keeps bluffing us almost every time. It always tries to seek the easiest way out and it is so lazy that it wants to process only as little input as possible. Did you know? The brain can process even the most complex and cryptic information if projected as graphics than the same data presented as text. It does the least work while processing visual information and half of our brain is involved in visual processing. Which pretty much clearly explains why we are deceived to look at posters and ads that have more graphics than text. Getting the lead?

Now is the time for our protagonist to take the main stage – Infographics. It is quite obvious that people respond much better to visual marketing, the one reason that infographics have become the game changers of online marketing. They allow you to present information in a way that your prospects will actually absorb your message, instead of just skimming through chunks of text and only retaining a very small percentage of the information. Remember how lazy is our brain? And, definitely for marketers, visual illustration steers more traffic and rendezvous than plain text does. Simply because, 40% of people respond better to visual info than plain text.

It has been found that an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a text article. The success of infographics marketing against all other strategies can be firstly credited to our crazy brain. Next, to its structured and organized visual style that conveys a lot of information in a lot less space than writing loaves of text that runs to pages.

If all that you read now has not sparked you into considering infographics marketing for your business, then here’s why you should:

  • Infographics marketing generates maximum leads than conventional marketing strategies.
  • Marketing cost is 62% less than other approaches.
  • 60% of buyers consider a product after reading its content.
  • They are extremely engaging and are the future of marketing.

So here’s to all of you looking for a crisp and catchy way to skyrocket your business. Go arty. Go infographics.

Source by Iain Blenkhorn

Is Badminton Even a Real Sport – You Bet it Is – I’ll Explain

When people think of sports they very rarely consider Badminton one of them, but it is a real sport and it can be a really tough sport at the higher levels. It is very popular around the world, and fun to play. In fact, anyone can play the game without too much training, but for the world badminton players, it’s fierce competition, and they mean business!

The reality is that the average person doesn’t even know how to spell Badminton without a spell checker. They try things like;

  • Badmiton
  • Bad Miten
  • Badmitton
  • Badmitten

All of which is really bad spelling errors, so you need to know that first. Next, before you go out and trash a sport you don’t know much about, I suggest you go to YouTube and search “Crazy Badminton” and watch a few of the 1-2 minute videos of extreme rallies, Olympic style competition, and world class tournament play. Then come back to this article so, you can participate without your incorrect pre-conceived notions of one of the greatest games ever created.

You see, badminton requires extremely sharp hand-eye coordination, super agility, and when two-man teams play, there is a lot of strategy to be worked out, well, if you want to win that is. Yes, it is true you can go to Walmart and buy a badminton set complete with net for about $29.00 but that is not what the world class players or serious players use.

Luckily, you can get a backyard set up very inexpensively, and you start there, it’s great for kids, BBQs, and fun. Then as you progress you can work yourself up to an amateur category. But I warn you these superstars of humanity that play at the world class level are nothing short of incredible athletes all the way around, and they are young too, in their early 20s. Please consider all this.

Source by Lance Winslow

Corn Allergy Symptoms – You May Be Allergic to Corn and Not Even Know It

A corn allergy can often go undetected in the United States due to its high prevalence in processed foods. Corn, in some form or another, can also be found in almost every fast food item. In addition to that, corn allergy symptoms vary widely from person to person. While some need only smell popcorn to have a severe reaction, others are somewhat more tolerant and have less severe reaction which is difficult to connect to corn.

The best way to know if you are allergic to corn is to get an allergy test done by a qualified allergist. Barring that, keeping a food diary can be very helpful in checking and cross checking which foods were found to be offensive. But what symptoms are associated with a corn allergy?

Those who suffer with a corn allergy, in its severe form, might go into anaphylactic shock. Most people with this severe allergy to corn know what they are allergic to. However, many suffer their entire lives with symptoms that range from obesity to inflammation to sinus congestion.

Inflammation is one of the most common symptoms. A corn allergy sufferer may not even realize they are swollen because they have gotten used to it. If you wake up tired, have difficulty getting on your knees, think you may have arthritis, notice ankle swelling or overall achy body, you may actually be allergic to corn. If not corn, you may be suffering from some other allergy and it would be prudent to visit an allergist to know for sure.

Most corn allergy sufferers are exhausted and as they age, it usually gets worse. They feel better before they ate than after. Usually, they have trouble making it through the day and around late afternoon, have nearly had it. Many who have corn allergies have been diagnosed with other illnesses. The exhaustion is so terrible sometimes, that after having been exposed to corn, the only thing a corn allergy sufferer can do is sleep it off.

Abdominal troubles are extremely common among those with corn allergies. Some have been misdiagnosed with IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or other bowel related sicknesses. Your doctor may have told you that you need more fiber. After you eat, your stomach becomes severely bloated. You may experience excessive burping or gas. In extreme times, you may have been to the ER with vomiting or you have experienced what some doctors refer to as “blow outs” where you struggle with alternating constipation then the sudden diarrhea.

Chronic sinus problems are a telltale sign that you may be suffering from a food allergy. My own son suffered for years with shiners, tired eyes, stuffy and runny nose as well as post nasal drip. All of those symptoms were related to corn. He had trouble breathing and even bouts with sleep apnea as a small child.

Pre-diabetic and insulin resistance symptoms can actually be corn allergies. A few times, after nearly passing out after eating, I had wondered if I were becoming diabetic. I had all the symptoms of a pre-diabetic, of someone who was insulin resistant. I even took medication for hypothyroidism. These, of all the symptoms, were by far the scariest. I felt dizzy, in a fog, and cold most of the time. I couldn’t garden or exercise as I was afraid I would start to get the shakes. Something was clearly wrong.

As we whittled away at high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, monosodium glutamate, dextrose and eventually switched to sea salt, our corn allergy symptoms began to disappear. My son and I both experienced a rebirth of sorts. My son’s nose is clear and his shiners are gone. I planted two trees without passing out. My ankle swelling is nearly gone and we both lost a significant amount of weight without dieting. It’s simply a miracle that we figured out the connection between corn and our symptoms. Now, we are on the road to recovery and the quality of our lives is absolutely one thousand percent better.

Source by Kimberly Arslan

How To Prevent Knock Down, Drag Out Arguments and Even Minor Squabbles

“They Say Marriages Are Made In Heaven. But So Is Thunder and Lightning.” ~ Clint Eastwood

1) Harness The Power Of Your Chemistry. Passionate couples who have great chemistry have to learn how to manage their passion. Having an intense chemistry comes with a price. These couples usually have no problems with their love life but boy if they were to get into an argument it could get ugly. These couples can have a fiery redneck side to them with lots of name calling and raised voices. The good news is these couples can learn to control their emotions and still enjoy the power of their relationship.

2) Challenge The Common Belief. It is an accepted truth that all couples argue. No one seems to even question this. I agree all couples have had arguments but I do not believe that all couples have to argue. I believe we become what we believe, so if you believe all couples argue then you set yourself up to have arguments. I suggest you challenge that particular commonly held belief and start saying that you and your partner never argue. Start thinking about the way you would prefer your relationship to be. This can set you on a better path, one without tension and hurt feelings.

3) Minimize Contributing Factors. Chances of having an argument increase significantly if you are tired. They double if you are hungry and have not eaten all day. The odds rise if you had a bad day at work or a tough day with the children. And the sky is the limit if your husband is stressing about money or your wife is having three headed PMS. On days like these, I’d drop back and punt. Don’t try to tackle any major issues.

4) Don’t Keep Poking The Bear. If your partner is upset do not continue to ask them “what’s wrong?” Sometimes people just need a little time and space. You are probably just asking out of genuine concern but if your partner would rather not talk at your prompting; leave them alone.

5) Better Wait Til Tomorrow. I agree you should not go to bed angry but you cannot always resolve your differences by bedtime. In times like this; call a truce; remind your partner that you love them and go to sleep. You know from experience that things usually look better in the morning.

6) Allow Your Partner Room For Mistakes. At the apex of an argument, you might not feel the love, but deep down you know you love your partner. Your partner has probably supported you through many mistakes, so allow them a mistake every now and then.

7) Don’t Be Easily Offended. It’s amazing how couples can become such sensitive little cry babies. Everything can hurt their feelings if they’re not careful. The scripture from I Corinthians in the Holy Bible says love is patient, love is kind and love is not easily angered. You will struggle in your relationship if you’re too thin skinned (but don’t be too thick either).

8) Don’t Underestimate The Power Of An Apology. Saying “I’m sorry” can quickly diffuse most tense situations but it must be sincere and heartfelt. Don’t abuse apologies to such a point that your partner counters with a statement of how you always apologize but nothing changes. Don’t be so stubborn that you never apologize either. Many proud people view saying “I’m sorry” as some form of weakness. Be careful if you think this way, because it can really cost you. Or perhaps you can learn to say “I’m sorry” in your next marriage.

9) Consider Getting Some Therapy. If your relationship has become too argumentative and you can’t seem to break the cycle; then look into the option of counseling. A good therapist can teach you the tools to stop the destructive patterns.

10) Take A Look In The Mirror. If you focus on how your partner is at fault; you will never fix the problems in your relationship. The secret to a true breakthrough is to take time to consider how YOU contribute to the conflicts. This may be another good reason to pursue therapy. Most of us never clearly see how we shoot ourselves and our relationship in the foot without the insight from an outsider.

11) Don’t Leave and Don’t Threaten Divorce. Walking out of the house when angry stirs up feelings of abandonment and can quickly escalate the situation. It is better to go to another room, on the back porch or just take a walk. You want to give your partner a message that “I’m here for better or worse and through thick and thin.”

12) Don’t Follow Them Into The Next Room. If your partner is trying to cool down; let them. Give up your right to get in the last word and your need to make up on your time table.

13) It’s Good To Keep Your Mouth Shut If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, But The Silent Treatment Can Be Considered Abuse. Do not allow a day to go by without at least acknowledging your partner. This may simply to say “good morning”, “goodbye and have a nice day” or “goodnight”. It is cruel to emotionally withdraw yourself from the relationship. You must be bigger than your feelings and at least demonstrate common courtesy.

14) Kiss And Make Up. I’ve seen couples enter my office mad as hell and the entire matter is resolved by them simply looking each other in the eye and saying “I Love You.”

Source by Mark Webb

How to Get Guaranteed Approval Loans Even With Poor Credit

Financial crises are often unforeseen. It can’t be predicted what comes the next moment. With insufficient funds, if you are trying to have a financially satisfied life, then you are going toward a phase, where it is slightly tough to resolve the basic expenses. This clearly means that neglecting the crisis is never going to benefit you; instead it makes the situation even worse.

Above this, your imperfect credit score can flip the game where you start realising that you are completely trapped. In that case, you are left with no way to escape the troubles, other than looking for the viable loan alternative to handle the situation. This is where it gets necessary to explore the options through which the funds can be availed to control the prevailing circumstances, from getting pathetic.

To accomplish the aim of having a healthy financial life, seeking the assistance of loans for poor credit people appears to be a safe bet. It is in this regard, you certainly find the way raise the funds for coping with the crisis.

How Practically This Loan Works upon Temporary Troubles

For those with poor credit record, the loan has proved that the doors of borrowing funds are not completely closed. Most of the people find themselves in a struggle to win over the temporary crisis that often increases the financial burden. For the purpose of tackling the short term troubles, loans are designed with the smart idea of easing the stress of people with low credit score. Actually, when temporary financial troubles are bothering you, these loans can come in handy.

Well, having a guarantor may be obligatory in case of many loans but this is really not the matter of compulsion in context of these loans, on the basis of which you can be rejected. In this regard, attaining the loans for poor credit people with no guarantor choice is never an issue. In fact, the funds are made available in quick time and this is just because the obligation of having a co-signor is eliminated. And since the loans are easy to avail without verifying the past credit report, those who are in stress due to bad credit history are in a position to attain the vital funds.

With the people finding it extremely hard to manage the financial mess due to insufficient cash, the demand of the loan has been on the rise. In the presence of such loan alternatives, a person is never going to feel that meeting the financial obligations is a big problem. Since the unsecured loans for people with bad credit score are available for a short period, there is no obligation to provide the collateral to give assurance of loan repayment in case of any default. Being unsecured in nature, the loan can be availed in a quick time and this makes your decision of considering the alternative wise.

This is What You Must Know before Start Applying

Since the funds that are availed in quick time have no restrictions on their usage, you can utilise the as per the prevailing circumstances. The loans are multidimensional and can be used to meet a wide range of purposes. For instance, to secure guaranteed approval on car finance with no credit check, it does not mean, you are supposed to undertake any stress. Instead you can prefer to expand your search online. This way, you will come across options that can help you secure the funds to buy a car of your choice.

Naturally, you might be interested in availing the loans if you have a poor record of managing debts in past. Moreover, the availability to the people whose credit is less than perfect increases the value of these loan alternatives and because of which interest rates are likely to be a bit high. One thing that you must bear in mind is that the loans may have lower limit and this is will surely makes the repayment plans affordable. In reality, you will not going to face any inconvenience while making the payments and this way, you stand a chance to transform your poor credit score in a good one.

If you are looking for suitable deals on the loans, you must prefer to apply online. The main reason why online platform is the best for sourcing ideal deals is that all the relevant details can be obtained here in a convenient manner. This means you can see a list of loan products with the genuine lenders and you have a high chance of locating the product that matches your needs.

Source by Olivia Cole

How Can Solar Electricity Become Even Cheaper?

As massive generation of electricity from sunlight began, discussions focusing on solar electricity prices have never stopped. The essential focus is the electricity generated from sunlight, which was usually more expensive than that supplied by the utility grid. Can the prices become lower? If they can, how can we achieve this target?

Cost dropping

Solar panels were once expensive and are inexpensive today. The dropping trend of solar panels is still going on as solar panel mass production, more shipments and high demands continue. More importantly, some regions of the world such as mainland China and Taiwan can supply even cheaper prices to customers in the areas where cheap solar panels are not available. If heavy taxes are concerned, their prices are high. If policies change, prices can continuously drop. Besides this, solar inverters, being souls in generating electricity, can have cheaper prices in the future. Wholesale is one way to lower their prices; and high demands can be another. You see, now people’s realization of using solar power has improved dramatically.

Higher efficiency and innovations of solar power generation devices

Mass production and wholesale can make the devices that generate solar electricity become cheaper, but this cannot guarantee the ultimate solar electricity prices down in the future. At this time improving the efficiency of these products is indispensable. Actually solar panels’ efficiency has improved a lot. Today’s panels have an efficiency of 20% on average, while in the past the figure was much lower than this one. In fact, now the highest efficiency research has already reached up to 40% although this has not been put into practice yet. In the future this percentage will consistently decline for sure. Although at present PV inverters’ highest efficiency has already reached up to 96.5% (micro inverters) and 98.5% (commercial inverters), more efficient inverters are also expected to be made in the years to come. With more efficiency products made, more electricity will come out. When electricity become more, it will become cheaper.

High sunlight demand

Solar electricity comes from sunlight. Thus, it is much better if more solar power plants are built in the areas where sunlight is excessively rich and more families across the globe can choose to go solar and build tiny solar power plants at home. Sunlight rich areas like deserts and the equator should be further explored, and indeed this trend has already begun as many people are asking the reason why we don’t build solar power plants in these areas. Obviously, apart from some human reasons, the topmost reason is technology. No doubt, the future technology will overcome such problems and support our idea of building power stations in these places. In addition, many countries have already started to promote residential solar power generation, which is a great contributor to cheaper prices. Nowadays home power still costs much, for you need to build a system with your own money. This is often thousands of dollars or even more. Subsidies can be one supplement for the high costs, but people willing to build it still have to take debts. The limitation is that only rich sunlight areas can get even cheaper power bills.

Fiercer Competition

No blood and no killings in the solar power battlefield, but there is fiercer competition. Germany had no competitors in the past but face many competitors from around the world today. If suppliers in the country were monopolizers in this industry, power generation prices would be very expensive. Happily, the truth is the opposite, and so solar prices are cheap. In the price competition field, many have fallen down and sacrifice for the better players. With demands of solar electricity growing, people from across the world will enjoy cheaper prices. In this process education, climate change and environmental issues can help people turn to solar power.

Small businesses’ benefits for customers

We always hope to work in a big company because it can provide us with good salaries, bonuses and dividends. When we buy a product, we hope it can be as cheap as we wish. This is a contradiction of humanity. However, we can relatively achieve this by choosing small businesses, for their human labor costs are low. Sometimes their products may not be that good, while can big businesses guarantee their products are 100% excellent? If small companies are chosen, the cost of generating electricity will be lowered somewhat.

These five elements do affect solar electricity prices although they cannot absolutely make sure the prices will dramatically go down. Yet, the truth is nothing is absolutely sure. Truth be told, climate change, worsening living environmental issues, falling solar devices’ prices, more advanced technology and people’s acceptance of solar energy have improved and this will drive massive generation of electricity by taking advantage of solar energy. Cheaper electricity prices at this point can be expected in the years to come.

Source by Ampra Xu

How to Get Your Girlfriend Back: Even If Your Situation Seems Hopeless, This Will Work!

Getting an ex girlfriend back is not an easy task. You will need to be patient first. Do your best to commit as much as you can and show your initiative if you really want her back. Dedicate all your efforts on it and remember that this could be the last chance for you. If you really want her to return to you, don’t think much that she left you because of your fault. Make the maximum of effort and follow the tips in this article. Doing so you will not fail – these simple techniques really work!

Before you begin, think of what she didn’t like in you that made her decide to leave you. This is the key trying to get your ex girlfriend back, and if you just can find the reason, it is essential for you to change it. If you don’t and do it again, you will never get your ex girlfriend back.


– Once you start talking to her about what went wrong in your relationship before, never blame her. Never say things happened because of her! If you do, you will lose everything! You should understand that if you broke up, it is all because of fault of two. Talk about it and discuss it together.

– If you beg her to come back, you will ruin everything at the first stage. Show her your respect and the reasons which would make her come back. It is definitely not easy, but give her space and let her think about what happened. She will really appreciate it as she needs time to think about the past. Do your best to keep some distance but show her that your life was much better with her – you will really have a chance to do so!

– Never lie to her! This is so unappreciated! She knows how you are, and if she feels you lying, you lose! Don’t let it happen as you are so close to your goal to get your ex girlfriend back. No matter what happens, always say true.


Your patience is extremely important! Do not call her first, and wait when she does it. Once received a call that you were waiting for so long, don’t get lost. Feel relaxed as if you were talking to your friend about daily stuff. What you could do is to tell her about how nice she is, and how much you are missing her. You could say that her eyes are things that you are missing most. Use this as a chance to get back to old times, when you both were in love, and happy about each single minute spent together. Remind this to her! Bring memories back by talking again about what you did together, what made you both laugh and enjoy your time. Don’t forget to show her how nice YOU are. She should see again a guy she felt in love with. Be polite, do your best to be a gentleman! Listen to her, show your interest in everything she says, and talk. Once you find the best moment, invite her for dinner. Well, it’s about another date that you can get!

Girls like being surprised. Your ex girlfriend is not an exception. If you buy her flowers, you will definitely make her smile! Do other nice things that will make her have best feelings about you! You could also show her how great you cook! Use your imagination, and remember, that surprises work very well when it’s about how to get your ex girlfriend back.

Pay more attention to your appearance. If you think there was something she didn’t like, improve it. Change dressing style, haircut or something you think she will adore! If you are sure she likes everything you do, just keep on being fresh and always prepared.

Waiting for your girlfriend to show up might take time. Don’t give up and give her as much time as she needs. Don’t sit home and wait for her call. Be strong enough to still go out with your friends, to party. If you sit home, you will really make her think she made a good choice breaking with a guy who is sitting home. It’s boring! Don’t let her think so and go party! Show her that you are still happy even though you are not with her anymore. But don’t forget your goal to get your ex girlfriend back, so do not exaggerate partying too much:) Just continue with your life!

You are living a difficult period and it is definitely not easy. Negative thoughts come easily and are making you hurt even more. Try to get rid of them by thinking something positive! Think of times spent with your ex girlfriend, enjoy them again. Don’t regret your mistakes as they are sometimes heading to the victories!

After you’ve made so much effort, you may think what she really wants. This is not an easy task for you, but will help you to get your ex girlfriend back. If she needs you to be close more often, try to make it. If she wants to have some time to go out with her friends, let her do so! Freedom is so important that if you think it is something that she was missing so much in your relationship, make it now! Do not change yourself; just do your best to improve things she did not appreciate during your relationship. Once she realizes you’ve changed, her way back to your arms is guaranteed!

Remind her how special she is for you and how much you are missing her. Let her feel the only in this world – it will really make her melt!

Again, going through this will take time and this process is not so easy. But since you were ready for it, you can do it! You may need to wait a week, a month or two, but don’t worry, waiting and making efforts is worth! You will finally get your ex girlfriend back just as you wanted.

Source by Wilbert Marks

Start Marketing Your Book Even Before It Is Done

Ideally, one should plan and implement a marketing campaign many months before the actual launch of your book. Lay the foundation for success early and then be consistent with ongoing marketing well after your book has been released.

Here are seven tips to do while you book is being edited or in process of production and you have a bit of extra time on your hands since the book is being worked on by others.

Tip #1: Review all your social media profiles and update them. Put information in the profile indicating that your book is soon to be published, and add a date if you know one, and a brief overview of what the book is about.

Tip #2: Begin to do searches on all social media platforms of your target audience and join groups, “like” pages, and subscribe. For example, you were writing a book about a dog, your target readership might be dog lovers. Spend time finding out where dog lovers hang out both physically and on the internet. Perhaps visit the actual locations in your community where dog lovers go and build relationships with owners of stores and leaders of organizations related to dogs.

On the internet, begin interacting with members of groups related to dogs and just enjoy the conversation. In forums and groups, it is best to spend several months in friendly interaction before ever suggesting a call to action such as buying your book. If the membership enjoys your comments in the groups, they will be much more willing to actually buy a book from you at a later date.

Tip #3: Build your lists. Accelerate your efforts at adding followers to your lists. Those lists might be friends and fans on Facebook, your email distribution list, and blog subscribers. Wherever you have lists, build them to greater numbers. Allot a certain amount of time each day to list building activities to increase your connections.

Tip #4: Begin to inquire about joint venturing with others who have large lists. Leverage the lists of synergistic people in your niche by suggesting a mutually beneficial partnership of cross promotion. Perhaps they will promote the launch of your book to their lists if you feature them on your blog or they have the opportunity to give a bonus to your list when someone buys your book.

Tip #5: Draft press releases and email and social media announcements so you are prepared for the big launch day when it arrives. You may edit these drafts as the day approaches, but you will have these important promotional pieces in a ready state.

Tip #6: Create interview questions that you would love to answer on radio shows or blog interviews. Those who might interview you appreciate you making their job easier, and you have a chance to practice your answers so they sound smooth and natural.

Tip #7: Place information about your book release in the signature line of your emails such as “Author of the soon to be published book entitled (your book’s title)”.

Remember that marketing needs to be a part of your routine every week consistently before and after your book comes out. Keep a constant stream of exposure to your target market for your book’s success. Whether you traditionally publish or self-publish, you will be in charge of marketing your book, so start early and be persistent!

Source by Lisa Shultz

Would You Dare Swallow a Hair Strand, Even in Your Favorite Soup?

Sometimes you may find a strand of hair in your soup and just decide to overlook it and swallow it together with the soup. A single hair strand is not really dangerous as it is very small and the highest possibility is that it will just pass through the digestive tract. However, the hair poses a danger when it forms a clump, which would eventually form a giant hairball in your stomach necessitating the need to see a doctor. So, what happens when you swallow hair?

Some species of bacteria may try acting on the hair, leading to stomach upsets and/or diarrhea. This scenario is, however, very unlikely.

Hair is densely packed with a protein called keratin which has a very fibrous structure. Keratin requires long exposure to extreme acidic or alkaline conditions and temperatures way above 100 degree Celsius in order to break down. The human digestive system, however, cannot contain such conditions, making it impossible for humans to break keratin down. Most hair just passes through the digestive tract alongside other materials that cannot be digested and they are eliminated in the feces. You can therefore take chances if it is only a single hair strand. However, keep in mind that too many hair strands may eventually clump up and get stuck in the stomach.

Swallowing hair is a scenario that is also very common in cats. Like humans, cats also cannot digest hair, which is fur in their case. The hair that does not make it out of their digestive system builds up in their stomach forming a firm dense hair ball, also known as a trichobezoar. Most cats eventually get to vomit the hair balls before situation gets too bad.

Humans also begin developing hair balls when they eat a lot of hair. This sometimes happens to people suffering from trichophagia, a unique disorder of eating hair. Unlike cats, humans do not vomit their hair balls. Instead, the hair just sits in the stomach, obstructing the normal functioning of the digestive system. Eating hair can greatly alter the functioning of the liver and pancreas.

Some symptoms of trichobezoars in humans include:



Appearance of hair and/or blood in the stool

Poor appetite

Foul breath


Bowel obstruction

Excessive gas

Bowel perforation

Excessive weight loss.

In extreme cases, a strand of hair ball can reach down the small intestines, a condition commonly known as Rapunzel Syndrome. The doctor can feel the hair ball by gently pushing the in the left upper and mid parts of the patients abdomen.

The hair balls can also be diagnosed using gastrointestinal X-rays, using ultrasound or looking into the patient’s stomach using an endoscope. Removal of this hair necessitates a major surgery where the doctor opens up the digestive track then pulls out the hair.

Considering all these things, you eventually realize it is not worth overlooking that single hair strand because as harmless as it may seem, it may cost you a lot. It is therefore important to avoid mistakes that can be very costly. As they say; ”to be safe is better than to be sorry.”

Source by Nguyen Kinh Luan

You Can Be a Cruise Ship Owner Even If You Are Not Rich

Unlike fractional ownership of aircraft and houseboats, fractional owners of a cruise ship can all use the ship simultaneously. There is plenty of room for you and the other owners to live on the ship any time you want, or all the time. You can use it as a full-time residence, and so can the other co-owners.

The first obvious benefit of shared ownership is acquisition cost. There are many cruise ships on the market in all price ranges, sizes, ages, and conditions. There are many smaller and older cruise ships available for less than one million dollars. At the lower end, some smaller cruise ships in fair condition can be acquired for about $250,000. At the highest end, the biggest new mega cruise ships now cost about $500 million to build.

Do the math. If one hundred buyers pool resources in exchange for a percentage of ship ownership, the acquisition cost will be divided by that same number. One percent ownership of a $250,000 cruise ship would cost a mere $2500 for ship acquisition. At the other end of the scale, one percent ownership of a brand new mega cruise ship would cost five million dollars.

There are some other figures that must be tabulated into the total cost of ownership. Acquisition cost is first and foremost. The next figure is the cost to put the ship in service. On an older ship this cost may be higher than the acquisition cost. On the other hand, the cost to put a ship into service can be much lower if you were to get a good deal on a ship that already meets the international standards for ship safety, especially SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). Maintaining compliance with Chapter II SOLAS 74 amendments is cost prohibitive for some older ships and they are typically scrapped instead of being refurbished at great expense. There is a very important SOLAS implementation date coming up on January 10, 2010. On that date all commercial international ships will be required to be in compliance with the new fire safety codes. The most important new codes deal with the use of combustible materials in the ship. It will be expensive to replace all combustible materials in ships with non-combustible or flame resistant SOLAS compliant materials that meet the new safety standards. This will result in many ships being sold for scrap metal.

The looming SOLAS 2010 implementation date offers both perils and opportunities. The biggest peril is the possibility that the expense to bring a ship into full compliance with international standards will be greater than the value of the ship. However, there is a silver lining in this cloud. This pending SOLAS implementation date has already started to show up as a primary factor in the asking and selling prices of ships on the market today.

SOLAS 2010 also offers a tremendous opportunity for those who may prefer to have a very large houseboat instead of a commercial ship. Ships that are not in compliance with SOLAS 2010 are now selling for a song (inexpensively). A cruise ship can easily be converted into a megayacht with the stroke of a pen. Privately owned yachts, not in commercial service, and not carrying passengers or cargo for hire are exempt from many of the SOLAS requirements. Operating costs are also lower for a private yacht. It cost less to register, flag, and insure a private yacht. Megayachts can be flagged and classified for unlimited service. That means that a megayacht can go practically anywhere you want it to go. There is one major drawback to registering a cruise ship as a private yacht. You cannot use the yacht commercially. This cuts off a potential revenue source.

There are many decent cruise ships for sale at prices of less than one million dollars that would make good private megayachts. For example, take the ‘VERGINA SKY’ is a ship that I have personally inspected and so I can talk first hand about it. The asking price was $750,000. Here are the specifics of the ship in a nutshell:

Current Name: Vergina Sky

Ship Details: Built: 1971 in Japan – totally rebuilt 1992 in Greece

Dimensions: LOA 97.8m x LBP 82m x beam 14.6m x draft 4.49m Dwt: 500 on 4,49 GT/NT: 4,668 / 1,717

Description: Pielstick 2 x 8400bhp, twin screw, bow thruster, 3 x 500kw generators, 16 knots, 2 saloons, restaurant, 3 bars, casino, duty free shop, disco, swimming pool, 120 cabins for 318 guests. Lying Greece

My Comments after inspecting the ship

This is a well built little ‘Pocket Cruiser.’ At just over 320′ in length overall, it is a small cruise ship. Many experienced cruise passengers prefer smaller more intimate cruise ships for a variety of reasons. This ship can go places where the big cruise ships cannot reach, such as shallow draft ports and even many rivers. It has an omni-directional bow thruster and can turn on a dime (relatively speaking of course). I have carefully examined this ship from the engine log to the ultrasound hull report. This is a sound and safe little cruise ship. It is also a very fuel efficient and economical ship. My first time on this ship was in the middle of the summer in Greece when it was very hot outside. The ship is fully air conditioned and it was cool and comfortable inside the ship. I checked the engine room to see how many generators were running. I am happy to report that all the electric and air-conditioning requirements can be met by running just one of the three Daihatsu generators. These generators are very economical to operate in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance.

I was able to negotiate with the owner, John Kosmas and get some concessions. I got the price down to $500,000. And at that price, he agreed to bring the ship into compliance with SOLAS 2005 and also to include new paint topside. The ship was fairly well furnished even including bed linen, but the ship had been laid up for years. Its most recent service was in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Cruise ships that trade exclusively in the Mediterranean and Black Seas tend to have smaller cabins and fewer amenities than the typical cruise ships that frequent the Caribbean. The bottom line is that this ship was an economy model, not a luxury model. When I was inspecting the engine room, I asked for the engine log. When I opened it I noticed all the entries were in Greek. I was able to discern some dates and other data that told me when the ship was last in service, but I could not read the Greek entries so I handed the engine log back to the ship owner, and told him “It’s all Greek to me.” Being Greek, Mr. Kosmas failed to find the humor in that.

Let’s look at the numbers on this ship. 100% of the acquisition cost would have been $500,000. 1% thus = $5000. One hundred buyers could own one percent each. There are 120 cabins so each co-owner could have a private cabin with 20 cabins left over. However, these cabins are a bit on the small side. Every cabin does have a bath and shower, but the size is just too small to be comfortable for most people, especially if the owners intend to live onboard full time. On a ship this size I would recommend that there be no more than 60 joint owners so each can have two cabins and will have the option of converting those two cabins into a two room suite. To keep the numbers simple lets say that this ship has 50 buyers who each buy 2% of the ship. Buy in cost per owner would then be $10,000. If there were only ten buyers, then the acquisition cost per buyer would be $50,000. $50,000 will not buy much of a house on land, but on this ship it would buy 10% of a ship like the Vergina Sky and twelve cabins that could be converted into a fairly large home.

At the economy end of the scale, a co owner could buy 1% of an economical cruise ship for about $5000. However it is not necessary for all co owners to have equal shares in the ship. Ownership can easily be divided up into 1% increments. If one buyer wanted 5%, then his cost of acquisition would be $25,000. He would be entitled to 5% of the ship’s cabins, and would have five votes on operations and management of the ship, such as itinerary planning.

Before becoming a joint owner, it would be imperative to find other people who have similar goals. I would suggest composing a preliminary DCCR (DECLARATION OF

COVENANTS, CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS). You can do this before you even shop for a ship. Write your version of how you envision the shared ownership of a cruise ship as it should be. Then see if you can find some people who agree with your goals and your DCCR, subject to some revisions and concessions to accommodate other joint owners.

Step One: Determine if you and your family have the desire and financial capability to become joint cruise ship (or megayacht) owners.

Step Two: Find others who agree with your concept for shared ownership of a ship.

Step Three: Shop for a ship. This is the fun part.

Step Four: Buy a ship.

Step Five: Put the ship into service.

Even if you are not rich, you can afford to jointly own a cruise ship. But then comes the next logical question: Why would you or anyone want to live on a cruise ship? Who would this be suitable for?

If you are retired or otherwise have a stable income from a dependable source you probably can afford to be a cruise ship co-owner and live full-time onboard a cruise ship. If you work in a field where you can work from home online, then you too can probably afford to become a co-owner of a cruise ship. Most modern ships have satellite Internet service available 24-7.

Operating a cruise ship is expensive. The expenses include the cost of fuel, labor, maintenance, repairs, spares, food, port charges, insurance, technical management, shore management, registration, and the other costs of operating the ship. At first glance these costs may seem expensive, but in reality the cost of living at sea is actually a bargain considering what you get based upon what you pay. The best value does not always translate to the cheapest price. If the ship is well managed, the management will seek the highest quality goods, services, and labor at the very best global value. If the owners are dissatisfied with either technical or shore management, they replace them.

If there are many other co-owners of the ship to split the operating expenses of the ship, it can be affordable for those with a moderate level of income, such as a retirement check. I do have specific operating cost figures but I won’t bore you with that data. The bottom line is that it would not be prohibitively expensive for a middle-class average person to be able to afford to own a fraction of a cruise ship and be able to afford to live on the cruise ship full-time if they elect to do so.

For comparison purposes it is noteworthy that you have expenses in land based housing too. Those expenses include property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance and repairs, yard care, and utilities. Additionally you have transportation costs and of course food costs. Most people also spend money on entertainment too. When these expenses are added up the maintenance fees for living aboard a ship are comparable.

There are actually some savings resulting from living aboard a ship. The ship’s executive chef buys food and kitchen supplies in bulk for the ship and can get better prices than the average shopper. Other savings result from the large freezers and the mobility of the ship giving the food service management the ability to stock up on supplies in countries where prices are low. Some crew and owners may choose to fish for leisure. This can supply some fresh food at even lower costs to the owners. Labor savings are realized when the crew is hired based upon the best global labor rates. The laws of supply and demand drive prices down in some places in the world. Proper ship management can capitalize on these disparities. All the savings would be passed on to the cabin owners resulting in an economical cost of living similar to what you could expect to spend with a conventional home. Ship management should have accounting transparency will all books (financial records) open and available for any owner to inspect. Also ship management should submit all financial records quarterly to an outside auditor for the peace of mind of the owners. Anybody in the chain who spends any of the ship’s operational funds should also be periodically audited. For example, a good way to audit the executive chef would be for one or more of the live-aboard co-owners of the ship to go to the food market district of each port of call and they should try to haggle and get a better price for the same food than the price the executive chef was able to acquire. If the executive chef cannot find better deals than the ship’s co-owners, then the executive chef should be given his walking papers. The executive chef position is a vital position on a cruise ship. This is a position of trust because he will bill the food he buys to the ship. He must never be tempted to accept bribes from vendors or suppliers. Therefore, he should know that he will be routinely audited and any substandard performance will result in termination of his employment.

The biggest value of all onboard cruise ship is in labor costs. The better cruise ships tend to be labor intensive, providing passengers with unrelenting attention and extravagant pampering. The hotel staff on all cruise ships provides the basic services including food preparation and serving, laundry, cabin stewarding, entertainment, casino operation, beauty shop operations, This is one area where I would prefer to not scrimp because of the very good value in these services due to the low cost of international labor. I would prefer to go beyond the level that most cruise ships go in the area of spas. Land based luxury and specialty resort spas are very expensive, but the exact same level of service, professionalism, skill, and treatments can be provided on a cruise ship at extremely low cost. Labor is the key and the primary reason for most of the expense of spas. Labor is a tremendous value on a cruise ship because the cruise ship managers can choose workers from the global marketplace where it is easy to get the best value for the money.


Spa treatment is customized for each client. Spas commonly offer services such as:

Soothing massage therapies, skin and body treatments drawing from European and Eastern principles, expert hair and nail services, and a full menu of therapeutic treatments utilizing a deep-cleansing facial at the start of the program, as well as a series of detoxification and contouring wraps, lypo-reduction wrap, as well as marine mud and herb wraps. Massage Therapies including: Swedish Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Deep Tissue Treatment, Maternity Massage, Therapeutic Foot Massage (Reflexology), French Hydrotherapy Massage.

The healing therapies include a variety of massages, reflexology, facials, firming and many other body treatments. Plus a wide variety of services and wellness programs specially designed to meet the individual’s needs and desires. A full service salon offers all manner of hair treatments (including a certified colorist), as well as a variety of manicures, pedicures, and ‘facelifts’ for your hands. Extensive skin care includes: Age Management Therapies including, Glycolic Facial, Anti-Aging Facial Peel, Microdermabrasion; Facials including: Aromaplasty Facial, Teen Facial, Gentleman’s Facial, Nutrisource Facial, Regulating Acne Facial, Vitamin “C” Skin Renewal Facial; Body Treatments including: Decleor Sauna Mask, French Hydrotherapy Massage, Andromeda Salt Glow, Mummy Mud Mask, Seaweed Body Wrap, Safe Sun Treatment, Herbal Wrap; as well as various hair and nail treatments.

Additionally, spas also can facilitate weight reduction programs, and even administer physical therapy. In short, you can be treated like a king, on the budget of a pauper.

Labor Costs – International competition provides the most value to the ship owners.

On paper it seems to make good sense to man the ship with a Philippine crew. I love the Philippines. I have been there several times. English is still widely spoken and usually spoken quite well. The people are usually friendly and happy to see foreign tourists. A large percentage of ships worldwide are manned by crews from the Philippines. The Philippine government has a pretty good structure and system to facilitate the export of Philippine labor. In spite of how attractive it seems on paper, I would recommend NOT hiring a crew from the Philippines. Philippine workers tend to be envious of others, and especially of everybody else’s wages. They tend to think they are getting the raw end of the deal. It is rare to find a Filipino who is happy with his employment. While I am sure there are many good employees from the Philippines, there are more who are dissatisfied than satisfied with their employment. There seems to be a cultural anomaly in the Philippines where people feel that employers are bad guys. I would hesitate to recommend a crew from the Philippines in spite of the apparent advantages on paper.

My recommendation (for what it is worth)

I do know something about what I am writing about here. I am the former President of Adventure Spa Cruise. My advice is not just uninformed ranting. Back to the point now, the second best manning nation for a ship is India. I highly recommend India for the medical staff and the entire hotel staff, including the spa, and every other position except the deck and engineering. The labor costs in India are very attractive. I would also recommend using an Indian based manning agency. It is best if the ship’s owners do not have to deal with every employee issue or concern. The manning agency takes the pressure off the ship’s management, and their service is very reasonable. Indian employees tend to make better employees than do Filipinos. Indians also speak English, albeit not quite as well as Filipinos. I know Americans tend to get all worked up when someone uses a broad brush to paint an entire ethnicity. I love the people from the Philippines, but as employees they tend to be more problematic than do Indian employees. I realize that this statement is politically incorrect, and these days that might get me thrown in jail. I usually do not worry so much about being politically correct. I call it the way I see I and I let the cards fall where they may, and hope I can stay out of jail for speaking my mind.

All deck and engineering positions should be filled with an all Ukrainian crew. The ship will realize the most value for the money with Ukrainian deck and engineering staff. The Ukraine has a long maritime history and tradition. Maritime training and standards in the Ukraine are among the best in the world. Ukrainian deck and engineering staff are as good as or better than any other, but the cost of their labor is a very good value. The labor for deck officer and engineering staff are governed by international agreements, including STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers).

Putting a cruise ship into service

After acquiring the ship, it will require some more investment to put it into service. At this point the joint owners will need to reach some agreements on many points. The cost of putting a cruise ship into service as a megayacht (very large private yacht) is much less than putting the ship into commercial service. However, if you can afford to buy a ship can easily meet SOLAS 2010 requirements, and can afford to flag and register it as a commercial ship then you can use the ship commercially to produce income and ROI (return on investment).

There are many marketing options for a commercial cruise ship. If the owners use no more than half the cabins, then that will leave sufficient means to produce enough revenue to at least pay for operating costs, and possibly produce a profit above operating costs. I will just briefly touch on some of the options available for marketing cruise ship capacity.

1. Conventional cruises. There is a trade-off here. You can produce revenue by providing conventional cruises. This will require that the ship have an itinerary that suits the commercial cruising market.

2. Freight and cargo. Some cruise ships have enough cargo capacity to produce some revenue by booking freight.

3. Assisted living. A cruise ship is well suited for assisted living, including crew and facilities. The going rate for assisted living in the average city in America is higher than the average cost of a cruise of the same duration.

4. Timeshares. This is an option not available to conventional cruise ship operators but could be facilitated if your co-owners agree to this type of marketing to fill cabins not used by co-owners. I will not go into the figures here, but timeshares tend to be high profit sales. There is a good chance that if the joint owners use no more than half the ship’s cabins for their own personal use, the remaining cabins could easily produce more than the total amount all the joint owners combined have invested.

Ships that would easily meet SOLAS 2010 tend to cost a bit more money to buy up front, and cost more to put into service. So I will give you couple of examples.

The Orient Venus is one of my favorite high-end ships. The specs:





GRT: 21,884 TONS

DWT: 4,863 TONS ON 6.50 M

LOA x B x D : 174.0×24.0x8.7 M




FUEL TANKS CAPA: IFO 1,500.4 M3 /MDO 87.30M3










My personal assessment of the Orient Venus

It is a late model and beautiful ship. It has many highly desirable attributes for a residential ship. It is a high end luxury cruise ship with an extraordinarily high tonnage to passenger ratio. This is very important for a residential ship. More living room and more space per passenger is far more essential for a residential ship than for a conventional cruise ship. When passengers are only on a ship for a short time, they can tolerate cramped living quarters, but when they live year-round on a ship, the extra space is quite valuable. The owners have been trying to sell this ship for $22,000,000. That may seem like a high price, but when you divide it by the number of cabins (195) the asking price per cabin is $102,564. This price is in line with what you would expect to pay for a condominium. The last word I got from the owners is that they will sell the ship for $18,000,000 now ($92,307 per cabin). The cabins are all “outside” cabins and are large. The ship can accommodate 606 passengers and a crew of 120, for a total of 726 people.

Several ship brokers have this ship listed. I usually do not talk to ship brokers. I prefer to talk directly with the ship owners. I am in contact with the owners of the Orient Venus. I could probably get this stunningly beautiful ship for less than $15,000,000 today, and get some concessions and extras thrown in to boot.

Another example of a high end ship that would make do well as a commercial cruise ship, plus accommodate a hundred or so full-time live aboard co-owners is the Dream Princess, originally named Song of Norway.

GRT: 22,945

Max Draft: 6.7 M in sea water

Length: 194 M.

Total No. of Cabins: 538

Total No. Of Beds + Berth: 1280

Outside Cabins: 346

Inside Cabins: 192

Cabins size range: SQ. M: 11 -18.

Main Engines: 4 Wartsila Sulzer – 18,000 HP.

Service Speed: 16 Knots.

Public Rooms:

Main Dinning room – “King & I”- about 500 pax.

South Pacific Lounge about 400 pax.

My Fair Lady Lounge about 500 pax.

Bars- 5

Self Service Restaurant on the swimming pool deck

Large Swimming pool



Duty Free Shops


8 passenger decks

extensive outdoor areas

Ship was redecorated / refurbished extensively during 2005.

The asking price on this ship is $31 million USD. Divide the asking price by the number of cabins and the average cost per cabin would be $57,620. Of course some cabins are better than others so co-owners would have to agree of the shared usage before agreeing to the purchase.

I have some bad news for the ship owners and some good news for you. This ship will not sell for the asking price.


Ship fuel is cheaper than automobile fuel for a few reasons. There are no road taxes on ship fuel of course and also it is different fuel. Ships main engines usually run on IFO180 or IFO380. Generator engines tend to be more finicky and commonly require diesel (MDO), which is still cheaper than automotive diesel. IFO 180 and 380 costs much less than MDO, usually about half the price. Ships consume a lot of fuel. So fuel cost is a major concern. I have some suggestions. If I were a co-owner of a ship I would be willing to invest a little more in the ship to increase fuel efficiency, and thus lower operating costs. There are many things that can be done to increase fuel efficiency. I would start with hull resistance. There is a new silicone-based paint from International Paints that when applied to the hull reduces amount of resistance in the water sufficiently to result in a 3 to 5% decrease in fuel consumption. A similar coating for the propellers also has been proven to increase fuel efficiency.

In addition to hull and prop coatings, there is an even more promising way to achieve dramatic fuel savings.

There is a company called Kiteship that has developed and produces kites for racing sailboats. These sailing kites do not require a mast. The kites fly high above the vessel, attached by cable and controlled from the vessel. Dave Culp of Kiteship has done a technical feasibility study on fitting a very large kite onto a conventional cruise ship. This would dramatically reduce fuel consumption. It would convert a fuel guzzler to a “green machine.” This is tantamount to converting a powerboat into a sail boat. The design of a cruise ship limits the amount of sail that a conventional ship can safely accommodate. A cruise ship lacks the ballast of a sail boat. If used in addition to the main engine(s) the kite will increase fuel efficiency. If the kite is used to pull the ship with the main engines shut down the ship’s speed will be reduced substantially. However, in this case, not only would the ship save IFO (main engine fuel) but also save MDO (generator engine fuel). If the kite were pulling the ship unassisted by the ship’s engines, then the propellers could be used to propel the ship’s generators without firing up the diesel generator engines. Even if the ship were traveling very slowly in the water, the propellers would turn in reverse if freed from the main engines. This is a very simple and easy task for the ship’s engineer to accomplish. In other words, the ship can be pulled by the kite, and that motion will push the ship’s propellers providing power to produce electricity and power the air-conditioning without using any fuel. The trade-off is a loss of speed and also some tacking is required, further reducing actual speed. What’s the rush? Why not go for maximum fuel savings? The salient point is that a high flying large kite can pull a cruise ship. If I were a co-owner of a cruise ship I would hope to find like minded co-owners who would be receptive to using such state-of-the-art technologies to save fuel.

There are hundreds of cruise ships on the market but I will just mention one more here. This cruise ship has RO/RO (Roll-On, Roll-Off) capability. This would be very convenient for live aboard owners who want to bring their “toys” with them. The garage deck will accommodate 6 to 8 trucks, or 60 to 80 cars. That converts to a lot of co-owner toys such as motorhomes, travel trailers, campers, cabin cruisers, ski boats, jet skis, sailboats, houseboats, bass boats, motorcycles, ATVs, cars, and trucks.




SOLAS 2005/2010 FITTED








GRT 12637


























Cost per cabin based on asking price, $71,739. This ship will sell for less than asking price. It is already SOLAS 2010 compliant. It would cost very little to put into commercial service.


Becoming a co-owner of a cruise ship is not a far fetched idea. It is practical and feasible if you are able to find like minded people who would be willing to share the expenses.

Source by Arthur Wyss