What You Really Need to Know About a MPLS Network

MPLS… or Multi-Protocol Label Switching…. seems to be the buzzword for connecting company data networks these days. But MPLS is really nothing new. It’s been around awhile actually. Maybe now it’s just gaining more popularity and thus noticeable public acceptance and notoriety. Rightfully so too. MPLS offers lots of advantages over traditional T1 point-to-point WAN architectures.

But….. to decide if MPLS is really a good fit for your network requirements….. there’s some things you need to understand first.

There’s no one “MPLS Service”. A lot of what you get will depend how the service provider has Engineered and built their core network. Bear in mind that many carriers don’t own the whole network, but will piece together a service from other carriers networks, or will interconnect with other carriers to extend their reach.

Cell-mode MPLS was mentioned: basically this is ATM which has been retro-fitted with MPLS. Be careful with this for VoIP applications because it can use bandwidth very inefficiently.

MPLS can support QoS, but many services aren’t engineered with this, or only with very basic prioritization. Also the services are very often structured to reduce the potential complexity and to ensure the network can cope. Bear in mind a typical MPLS router can only carry a percentage of “high-priority, real time” traffic. If everyone sends all their data as high priority then the benefit is lost, and the network may suffer. Usually QoS is provided as a small number of service classes, typically 3 or 4.

The biggest bottleneck in any such service is normally the tail circuit to each of your premises. If you move from a T1 mesh to a MPLS service then you will likely find that some sites need more bandwidth than others. Tracking the requirement for this bandwidth is usually your problem, although the service provides may give you some reporting tools to assist with this. I would avoid service providers who cannot offer this as it will make it very difficult for you to manage your bandwidths.

If you factor in multiple service classes then your management of these tail circuits gets more complex as you no only have to work out how much bandwidth is required for each tail circuit, but how much of it should be reserved for each service class.

Regarding resilience, within the service providers core, the service is normally highly resilient to failures. However, when failures do occur, very often (depending on how the service is engineered) the rerouting can take a second or two. During this network re-convergence you will lose packets. Depending on the protocol your traffic uses this can be unimportant or devastating. For instance, some VPN and VoIP services don’t survive this well.

Normally resilience is not automatically provided all the way to the customer. Typically you will have one tail circuit and one router at each site. If either fails (or if the Service provider’s PE router has problems) you will lose service to the site, totally.

If this is an issue, you need to factor in dual connections. There’s multiple ways of doing this, and different service providers will offer different options. Make sure you get your Network Engineer involved as the devil is in the detail here, and some options which sound like they provide a fantastic level of resilience may not be as good as they sound, depending on how your internal network is configured.

And, of course, the key to all of this is SLAs: what do they offer? What happens if they break them? How do they report them to you?

Generally speaking, MPLS services are a great way to run a multi-site data network including VoIP services. I have seen many carriers and their customers doing this successfully for years.

Strictly speaking MPLS does not provide QoS. QoS is done by prioritizing traffic, and most IP routers, even those on the backbone of the Internet, can do this. The difference is whether they are configured to do this or not. In an MPLS network MPLS is provided by standard router features. MPLS technology (specifically Traffic Engineering) gives the carrier better control over how this traffic is prioritized and routed (and restored in case of network fault). All this does is give them the confidence to support SLAs.

As I mentioned, “QoS” is provided as a set of “service classes”. Typically these are things like “real-time”, “high-priority” and “everything else”. Mapping actual traffic into these classes can be done in a few different ways, but this is largely up to you to control. For instance, you could quite easily put web-browsing traffic into “real time” although this would normally be a dumb thing to do.

I would suggest the case for MPLS in terms of performance, cost and continuity against ‘traditional’ or ‘legacy’ data networks is now pretty robust, i.e. MPLS provides significant advantages in all 3 areas.

The key considerations when migrating include provider selection, access media (e.g. using Ethernet rather than SDH/SONET), the decision on procuring a managed or unmanaged service (often called wires-only) and the providers ability to map their CoS/QoS to the applications you need to support. This is especially important if you are operating any proprietary applications.

There is also an increasing trend to use WAN Optimization/application management solutions either as a value added service from the provider or from an alternative integrator or indeed doing it in house. This is important say for voice or applications such as CITRIX.

MPLS providers also now offer a whole suite of value added services such as integrated internet, managed network based firewalls and remote user support. If these are important to you make sure the providers demonstrate how this is achieved.

In selecting your provider ensure they have good geographic coverage in your areas and experience within your market segment. I always recommend requesting up to 3 references. Equally I think it is wise to understand how important a client you will be to the provider. It’s all well and good using the market leader (say according to Gartner)….. but you’ll often get a better service from a provider who values and really wants your business.

Need help designing the right MPLS configuration for your network? There’s a ton of resources….. free and fee….. listed and discussed at Broadband Nation.

Online Dating Should Be an Olympic Sport

The Olympic Games program consists of 26 sports, 30 disciplines and nearly 300 events. It is a global event with monumental interest and cultural significance in our world. As such, I would like to formally submit Online Dating/Dating to the International Olympic Committee for consideration of inclusion as an Olympic sport for the 2012 or 2016 games.

Think this is just another boneheaded idea from your friends in the online dating world? Consider this:

Olympic sports are governed by International Sports Federations (IFs) who are in turn recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the global supervisors of their respective sports. In layman terms, that means the big dog IOC lets the little dog IFs manage everything on a local level. Well, such a little dog already exists in the online dating world in the form of reputable online dating websites. That is right, there are some reputable dating websites that are good enough to be called established “Federations.” These websites can be the global governing body of online dating! That was the first step. Now to convince the IOC that online dating is a sport.

In terms of Olympic competition, think about it we could classify the online dating world into men, and women, then break it down further into specific weight classes, or even personality types within those weight classes. These men and women would then compete with one another physically (through flirting), intellectually (through questioning) and visually (physical appearance). It is the perfect blend of a sport. The winning Gold medalist will have to spend years in the gym training to be physically sound, spend years in school or the library “learning” to become smart, and behind all the muscles and misogynistic intellect, still be graceful in delivery and presence. The winner of the online dating would be perfect athlete, the Opus Olympian.

Not convinced it would work? Maybe your mind will change after reading this:

In October 2004, the IOC established an Olympic Programme Commission who’s job was to review all existing sports, and other non-recognised Olympic sports. In this review the goal was to apply a systematic and category approach to each sport and evaluate whether or not it met the criteria for inclusion in the Olympic games as a recognised Olympic sport. This Commission came up with seven criteria to judge whether a sport should be included or not.

1) History and tradition of the Sport

2) Universality

3) Popularity of the sport

4) Image

5) Athletes’ health

6) Development of the International Federation that governs the sport

7) Costs associated of hosting/playing the sport

The above seven criteria my friends is what a sport or discipline has to meet in order to be considered for inclusion at the Olympic Games. Period.

Does Online dating meet these 7 criteria? Lets find out:

1) History and Tradition – Check! Dating is the oldest tradition on the planet that was around before any of today’s current Olympic sports.

2) Universality – Check! I’m pretty sure dating and the sport of interpersonal communication and sparing has universal appeal. I mean, we do it every day!

3) Popularity of the sport – Check! I’d say Dating was pretty popular. Wouldn’t you? Everybody does it. Even animals. I don’t see penguins playing Soccer or Baseball, but I do see them date.

4) Image – Check! Dating is all about attraction and reflecting a positive and beautiful self image. Those who partake in the sport of dating exude the highest standard of image compared to any sport image or sport athlete! Who likes to date an unbathed, rude, and dirty human being? Puhleeze.

5) Athletes Health – Check! Dating athletes date, and date often. As such, they take their own personal health very seriously. Education about Sexually Transmitted Disease start at a young age, and practicing safe sex to maintain good sexual health is part of the every day routine for those who date.

6) Development for International Federation that governs the sport: Check! The International Federation for Online Dating, a reputable dating website, would very much benefit from online dating being included in the Olympic games.

7) Low cost of holding the sport: Check! How much does it cost to look at the person next to you and start a conversation?

In conclusion, Online Dating meets all the criteria for inclusion as an Olympic sport, in many ways better than existing Olympic sports. Consider Curling – Who is that helping? How about Fencing? Serious people… how on earth is swatting somebody with a piece of wire going to benefit people or project a good self image? Give me a break.

So without further adieu, I would like to formally submit online dating to the International Olympic Committee for consideration and recognition as a recognised Olympic Sport in the year 2012 or 2016…or even 2020. I’m not picky.

Thank you very much.

Easy Piano Music – How to Start Playing Easy Piano

Learning any musical instrument is an easy task, if the learner has a lot of determination and commitment. Piano learning is no exception and learning it is easy, if one is passionate about learning. Learning to play piano is an asset and creating your own music with chords and structures is an achievement. Today more and more people prefer to learn easy piano music that allows them to experience the pleasure of playing piano, without any glitches.

Getting started

Easy piano lessons and music make the entire process of learning piano, very simple. Easy piano music lessons offer one the luxury of beginning to learn piano, using three or four chords. For beginners, repetitive songs make them accustomed to the keys, chords and the pleasant melody involved in the tunes. ‘Chop sticks’, an easy piano classic is ideal for beginners and this acts as a template, on which complicated compositions can be built.

Easy piano songs

To learn easy piano music, a person has to select songs that are easy to play on a piano. The easiest song that is preferred by young and old alike, is the song, ‘Mary had a little Lamb’. The song’s tune is a three-note tune and this allows the learners to be familiar with the keys and use their hands dexterously. Songs like these are building blocks, in the process of learning. Songs like ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Row Row, Row your boat’ and ‘Ode to Joy’ are ideal for beginners. Choosing songs like these help one to master easy piano music, without any complication.

Easy piano classics

It is not true that when a person learns easy piano music, he learns songs that are simple and mundane. He/she can also experience playing classics, which are easy to play. The simple and classic compositions of the renowned musicians like Bach, Chopin and Beethoven offer the joy of playing classics on a piano, in a simple and lucid manner!

Easy piano classics are available online and one can download it from a particular site. They are also found in the form of CDs and even as musical scores. One can choose any form, depending upon his/her convenience. Learning the uncomplicated classical composition of the great masters is the first step towards learning more complicated songs.

Contemporary songs

Learning Easy piano music is inclusive of learning to play easy songs, easy piano classics and also contemporary songs, that are easy. Beginners consider learning contemporary songs, a pleasure. A gamut of songs are available that are timeless and simple, in the music galleries, across the globe. Songs like ‘My heart will go on’, ‘somewhere out there’, ‘Unchained melody’, etc are great songs that are also uncomplicated compositions.

Easy piano music can now be learnt online or using tutorials. A wide variety of websites offer classes on piano music and also teaches the learners easy ways to learn piano music. A person learning piano online or preferring self study must put in a lot of effort, unlike somebody, who learns piano, under the tutelage of a reputed teacher. He/she must work hard and concentrate their complete energy towards mastering their piano playing skill.

Only a person with total devotion, extreme passion and the urge to learn every nuance of playing piano becomes a great musician. Mastering the chords is the first step and the rest follows. Learning a few easy songs and classics can make a person restrict his talents. One has to learn, explore and experiment with music. A true musician masters basics practices consistently and finally focuses all his/her efforts in creating charming tunes that entertain and elevate!

Japan’s Big Three’s Models Named Best Deals

Car buyers are always in the lookout for the car offering the best value for their money. Different firms have been guiding prospective car buyers on how to choose the vehicle the suits their needs best. From performance to fuel economy to safety, all bases should be covered in choosing a vehicle.

IntelliChoice, one of the leading sources of pertinent information to car buyers, recently announced their “Best Deals” list. The list contains what the online outfit thinks is the best vehicle in different classes. For the month of April, IntelliChoice announced their “Best Deals” and this has been done coinciding with the ongoing New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) in the Big Apple.

This month’s list includes several models from Japan’s three biggest car manufacturers. These vehicles are seen as the measuring stick for future production vehicles unveiled and showcased at the New York Auto Show. James Bell, the publisher of IntelliChoice.com, has this to say with regards to the list and the vehicles showcased at the event: “Even more than recent auto shows, the New York show offered a look at some very compelling future competition to many of the mainstays on our monthly ‘Best Deals’ list.”

The Honda Civic hybrid is rated as the best deal for the Compact Car over $16,000 class by IntelliChoice.com. For the Compact Car under $16,000 class, the best deal is touted to be the Honda Civic DX with an automatic transmission.

Aside from these two models, another Honda produced vehicle was named as a best deal in its class – the Honda Civic Si. The said model is named as the best deal in the Base Sport Car class. The Honda Odyssey is once again named as the best deal for the Minivan class. The Honda Odyssey has been dominating that class in recent history but will face strong competition in the form of the Ford Flex recently unveiled at the New York International Auto Show.

A Nissan model is also named as one of the best deals for the month of April. The Nissan Frontier King Cab XE 2WD with a manual transmission is named as the best deal for the Compact Pickup Truck 2WD class. The King Cab is the first crew cab body style compact pickup truck in North America and since its inception in the U.S. auto market has been popular among car buyers. With its trademark dependability, the Nissan Frontier is not a surprise choice as the best deal for its class. Its high performance construction and components such as the Nissan spark plug wires are one of the reasons why the Frontier sits at the top of its class.

Toyota, the surging Japanese car manufacturer, also landed several of its models at the “Best Deals” list. The popular Toyota Prius is named as the best deal for the Midsize Car under $21,000 while the Prius Touring is named as the best deal for the Midsize Car over $21,000 class.

For the Large Car class, IntelliChoice picked the Toyota Avalon Touring as the best deal for consumers. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid with a third row seating and 2WD configuration is named as the best deal for the Midsize Crossover class. The Toyota Matrix Standard with manual transmission is also named as the best deal for the Small Wagon class.

For the Compact Pickup Truck 4WD class, IntelliChoice picked the Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab 4WD as the best deal. The Toyota Tundra Regular Cab V6 2WD Short Bed is named as the best deal for the Full-Size Pickup Truck 2WD 1/2 Ton class.

Legal Protection for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in Nigeria

For healthy and continuous in flow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Nigeria, the country has over the years put in place friendly legal framework for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) protection.

In this Foreign Investors’ Guidelines for Doing Business in Nigeria Series, we shall be examining the legal mechanisms put in place for the purpose of encouraging an increasing FDIs inflow and ensuring foreign investors’ confidence in the country.

We shall be discussing foreign investors’ protections ranging from certainty of arbitral proceedings and other dispute resolution mechanisms in the country.

The fact with modern economic systems is that no country can be an island economically; Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) protection is very essential to the successful attainment of foreign investors’ business objective(s) and economic development of any economy.

There are steps that host countries can lawfully take in the exercise of their sovereignty and power can lead to depriving foreign investors of reaping the fruits of their investments.

Host government actions that can affect foreign investment adversely includes nationalization; the act of a government taking control of a private enterprise and converting it to state or public ownership.

Expropriation; the act of a government taking possession of or otherwise meddling with privately held assets or property for the use and benefit of the public, or in the public interest.

The legislative and administrative acts of the government as government action can also have adverse effects on foreign investors’ businesses in Nigeria.

This is the indirect or creeping form of expropriation. The only difference is that, it mode of operation shifted attention from the physical and actual taking-over of an investor’s assets to the legislative and administrative acts of the government.

While not depriving a foreign investor of the ownership of an asset in this type of government control, it is capable of significantly reducing the value of properties and investments of the foreign owner.

Foreign investors don’t like investing in country’s with risk such as arbitrary revocation of a license; permit or a concession after the investor has made the requisite investments.

The advancement and expansion of international business relationships and the importance of foreign direct investment to the economic development of Nigeria has made the country to put in place some foreign business protection laws for the purpose of encouraging foreign investors.

Nigeria has performed greatly in providing protections to potential foreign investors.

Investment Treaties

In spite of the provisions of Section 12 of the Nigerian Constitution, investment treaties entered by the country are binding on, and enforceable against Nigeria upon ratification under the principle of ‘pacta sunt servanda’.

Also, by a literal application of Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which provides that a treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in agreement with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty.

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs): Nigeria entered into its first Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with Germany in 1979 which came into force in 1986.

According to finding from my investigation Nigeria has entered into 28 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) between 1986 and November, 2015.

Of the total number, 13 are currently in force, 14 are signed and 1 repealed. The Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) currently in force are the ones entered into with Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.

The 14 BITs which have been signed by Nigeria but are yet to enter into operation were signed as far as back as 1996.

In addition to the usual investment protection standards, these BITs provide that a contracting state shall not damage by irrational or unfair means the maintenance, management, disposal of investment in its territory of nationals or companies of the other Contracting Party.

And the same recompense for losses suffered due to a safety event made to a domestic investor shall be allowed to the investor from the other contracting state.

These BITs also provide for the right of subrogation allowing foreign investors to obtain suitable investment insurance and for these investment insurance providers to seek remedy on their behalf from Nigeria.

The BITs that are presently in force have also made satisfactory requirements for the standard investment protection. These include fair and equitable treatment, umbrella clauses, most favoured nation status, national treatment, obligations against arbitrary and discriminatory measures and security.

Multi-lateral Investment Treaties (MITs): Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) treaty is one of the famous MITs Nigeria have entered. The ECOWAS treaty was signed on 28th May 1975; it came in into force on the 20th June, 1975.

The treaty currently has 15 signatories who are member states of ECOWAS.

Article 2 of the Treaty gives ‘Community Enterprise’ status to businesses whose equity capital is owned by two or more member states, and citizens or institutions of the Community.

Article 16 of the Treaty provides that Community Enterprise shall be accorded favourable treatment with regards to incentives and advantages, and shall not be nationalised or expropriated by the government of any member state except for valid reasons of public interest, and subject to the payment of prompt and adequate compensation.

Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) investment treaty is another MIT Nigeria has entered into in relation with providing favourable conditions for foreign investments in the country.

OIC is a treaty with an Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments among Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which came into force in September, 1986.

Chapter 2 of the Treaty mandates all member states of the Organization of Islamic Countries to provide adequate security and protection to the invested capital of an investor who is a national of another contracting member state.

The terms of protection specifically include the enjoyment of equal treatment, undertaking not to adopt measures that may directly or indirectly affect the ownership of the investor’s capital or investment and not to expropriate any investment except it is in the public interest and on prompt payment of adequate compensation.

Host states are further obligated to guarantee free repatriation of any capital and returns due to an investor.

Conventions to which Nigeria is a Signatory:

The country is signatory to a number of Conventions which have been entered into for the purposes of protecting foreign direct investment.

The most significant convention in this regard is the Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention).

International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) as an arbitral institution under the World Bank Group is a fully integrated, self-contained arbitration institution that provides standard arbitration clauses, arbitration proceedings rules, arrangements for venues, financial arrangements and administrative supporting including the appointment of arbitrators to parties.

Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID) primarily provides for the settlement of investment disputes between investors and sovereign host states.

It has also taken the necessary legislative measures to make the Convention’s resolution effective in Nigeria by enacting it as a domestic legislature in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Enforcement of Awards) Decree No. 49 of 1967.

Another significant investment protection convention Nigeria has entered into is the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

New York Convention was adopted by the United Nations in June, 1958 and it mandates domestic courts in signatory countries to give effect to arbitration agreements, and to also recognise and enforce valid arbitral awards given in other signatory states.

The New York Convention in other words is particularly significant for the enforcement of arbitral awards resulting from non-ICSID investment arbitration proceedings.

In an attempt to bring into conscious awareness the legal guidelines to undertaking business in Nigeria to intended foreign investors, we shall specifically be reviewing domestic legislations and investment treaties which collectively make up the legal framework for foreign investment protection in the country.

The Domestic Legal Framework:

The notable investment legislation in Nigeria is the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act, CAP N117 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (“NIPC Act”).

The NIPC Act provides the fundamental and suitable legal framework for the protection of foreign investors in the country. Part 5 of the NIPC Act provides that foreigners may invest and participate in any enterprise in Nigeria.

They are assured unrestricted transfer of funds attributable to the investment such as profits, dividends, payments in respect of loan servicing, and the remittance of proceeds obtained from the sale or liquidation of assets or any interest in the venture through an approved dealer in freely convertible currency.

Section 25 of the NIPC Act clearly provides that no enterprise shall be expropriated or nationalised without prompt payment of compensation; the same section also provides a protection clause to an investor to claim “creeping” expropriation by establishing that the acts complained of indirectly results to expropriation or have expropriatory tendency.

Lastly, the NIPC Act provides that disputes between a foreign investor and any government in Nigeria arising from an investment shall be submitted to arbitration within the framework of any investment treaty entered into between the government of Nigeria and any state of which the foreign investor is a national.

It further provides that where there is a disagreement between the Nigerian government and the foreign investor on the mode of dispute settlement, the dispute shall be submitted to ICSID for arbitration.

Foreign investor is thus at liberty in Nigeria to institute arbitration proceedings against a government even after bringing a claim or counterclaim against the government in a court or domestic arbitration.

Another domestic legislation that provides protection to foreign investors is the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions Act) CAP F34.

Section 15 of this Act provides that any person may invest in any business venture with foreign currency or capital imported into Nigeria through an authorized dealer who will issue a Certificate of Capital Importation to the foreign investor.

Sub-section (4) of the same section in addition guarantees unconditional transferability of funds in freely convertible currency of any such monies arising from an investment made in Nigeria with foreign currency, including dividends and profits, payments in respect of loan servicing, and remittances of the proceeds of sale or liquidation of assets.

A similar provision on repatriation is also found in Section 18 of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Act, CAPN107 (“NEPZA Act”).

Section 18 of the NEPZA Act provides that foreign investors who invest in outlined businesses within an export zone shall be eligible to remit profits and dividends earned in the zone and repatriate foreign capital investment at any time with capital appreciation of the investments.

Other foreign investors’ protection laws are the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The act gives foreign investors the opportunity to determine the mode of settling disputes that may arise out of their investments without resort to litigation in domestic (Nigeria) courts.

With the anticipation that such settlement will unfailingly and efficiently protect and enforce the rights of foreign investors and their investments provides a framework for domestic arbitration it also makes provisions for international commercial arbitration which is more preferable by foreign investors.

Section 56(2) (d) defines ‘international arbitration’ to include any arbitration that the parties have expressly agreed in the arbitration agreement to treat as international arbitration. The Act provides that every arbitration award is capable of enforcement under the New York Convention.

Nigeria’s entries into these investment treaties and its enactment of the Conventions into domestic legislation have made the protection mechanism part of Nigeria’s legal framework for protection of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) friendly and convenient to actual and potential foreign investors.

What Causes Yeast Infections in Women – 3 Things That Will Shock You

What causes yeast infections in women? The answer may surprise you. This is one of the most common health issues that women experience. Tens of thousands of women are treated by doctors for this uncomfortable and embarrassing condition every day.

Yeast infections know no bounds of race, age, or geographic location. Any woman is susceptible to them. While there are a lucky few who are never bothered by this problem, most women will experience at least one yeast infection on their lives.

Once you learn what causes them, you’ll have a better idea of how they can be prevented.

1. Yeast infections can happen anywhere on your body. While the vagina is the most common location for these infections in women, problems can also happen in the blood, on the skin, and in the mouth. Dark, wet, and damp conditions cause yeast infections, so places on or in your body that have these conditions are breeding grounds for yeast.

In the blood, these infections manifest themselves as such things as PMS, depression, arthritis, and ADHD. On the skin, yeast causes rashes, and in the mouth, it causes thrush. Babies who get diaper rash are suffering from yeast infections (after all, a wet diaper is the perfect place for yeast spores to grow).

Eliminate these conditions, and you’ll be putting up a strong barrier against yeast.

2. Sugar feeds yeast. People who eat sugary diets are prime candidates for yeast infections. If you don’t consume a lot of sugar, it’s unlikely yeast will grow into much of a problem, even if you’re exposed to it. However, the more cookies and cake you eat, the worse your infection will become.

3. Yeast can be sexually transmitted. Men can be contaminated with yeast, but not have any symptoms. They can then pass it to their sexual partners without knowing it. The women get yeast, and pass it back to their partners in turn, creating a never-ending cycle of   transmission .

Attacking yeast at its roots is the best way to get rid of it for good. Even if you keep your body clean and dry, avoid sugar, and have protected sex, if you’ve already had an infection in your life, the yeast could still be there, lying dormant.

You’ve got to kill it all to ensure it won’t come back. There is a way to do this, and it’s safe and natural. Learning what causes yeast infections in women is easy, and getting rid of them for good can be easy as well, if you know what to do.

In-Dependence – Some Thoughts on Meta Relationships

You are not independent. You are “in-dependence.” Independence is an illusion; it does not exist, anywhere. As an individual, as a society, as a nation, we like to view ourselves are independent. Especially in the United States which was founded on the principle of independence. But, think about it, what are you not dependent upon? Who are you not dependent upon? Dependence is not a bad thing; it has earned a bad rap due to issues of “co-dependence” which refers to a dysfunctional relationship between two or more people. We like to think of independence as freedom. But, freedom is a mental concept that has become distorted to mean no responsibilities, which is a fallacy. Freedom has more to do with our capacity to make choices and decisions for which there are consequences to which we are bound. The natural world, of which we are a part, is a complex web of dependence. We use our freedom to make choices and decisions within the confines of our dependence upon the natural world, which does include Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which we are integrally dependent upon the natural world and other people.

If we consider some of our basic needs, such as food, shelter and clothing, we readily see that without the soil, the rain, the sun and a conducive atmosphere, we would have no food. And, you will certainly agree that we are dependent upon food! Shelter too is based on utilizing natural resources: wood mainly, which comes from trees, which grows in soil, which needs sunlight and rain…and a conducive atmosphere. Clothing comes from natural fibers such as cotton and silk. Or, it is made from synthetic materials which are petroleum based and again part of the natural world’s resources.

One of our more basic needs is physical safety, security and protection. These needs too are dependent upon the resources of our natural environment. Whether it is a fortress built of stone, a spear of wood, a sword of metal, a gun, a cannon, a bomb….they are all built from materials outside of our individual existence, meaning we cannot simply materialize these things from within ourselves. We can imagine tools such as these, and so many others, from within ourselves…but, we cannot materialize them without the aid of natural resources. It has been suggested that “home sapien”, the knowing animal, ought to be renamed “homo faber” the fabricating animal. All of the tools and technology which surrounds us today is a fabrication utilizing the materials available to us…and without which, we would have nothing. We are dependent!

Higher needs have to do with social interaction…belongingness and connection to others. The complex division of labor in society requires that we interact with others; systems of exchange are devised of which money is only one. We are not so much dependent upon money as we are dependent upon exchange. We could not exist in society alone as a solitary individual. We are dependent upon others, and they upon us. The complexity of our dependence can be mind boggling. Just having food to buy at the market, or gas to buy for the car, involves a vast array of people doing varying different jobs. As you sit at your computer reading this article, you are reaping the benefits of your dependence upon a system of manufacturing, production and distribution of goods that dwarfs individual efforts. We are dependent upon the collective activities of society. And, in today’s world of globalization, we are fast becoming aware of our dependence upon the global marketplace, of which we are all a part.

Beyond our needs for belonging and connection with others, we have needs for knowledge. And, here again, we are dependent upon others…specifically, the mind of others, the mind of humanity, if you will. In that regard, we are dependent upon our ancestors, our history…our collective history. Knowledge grows, expands and becomes increasingly complex. We become dependent upon systems of data as well as the storage and   transmission  of that data. No one person can do this alone. And, in fact, any one person, you for example, is really composed of millions of component parts all intricately connected and dependent upon each other. The cells and organs of the body, the nervous system and it’s subsidiary systems of circulation, respiration, digestion, elimination, immunity….Where is there any independence?

We need a Declaration of Dependence. We need an awareness of systems and how they interact for it is within systems that we exist and it is within systems where dependence is an absolutely necessary functionality. We need a recognition and acknowledgment of Complexity. Complexity Theory states that “Complex Systems is a new approach to science that studies how relationships between parts give rise to the collective behaviors of a system and how the system interacts and forms relationships with its environment.” (Wikipedia).

As an individual, we interact within systems; and the way we do that is through communication. Communication is a means of relationship and exchange, it is a means of understanding and knowledge. In a system of dependence, communication is critically important for without accurate and effective communication we would not be able to function. Our body is a striking example of complex communication in action. Just the mere act of walking requires sophisticated communication between cells, nerves, ligaments and muscles ranging from the tips of our toes to our eyes. Without that communication, we would easily and quickly fumble. Communication is THE critical ingredient in healthy dependence.

So, the next time you hear somebody expounding their independence, think about the complex systems upon which they are dependent to even vocalize their illusory perception and belief of their own independence. In fact, when you hear yourself falling into this trap…catch yourself and recall the truth: we are all in-dependence.

Activity Diagrams – Advantages, Disadvantages and Applications of Use

Activity diagrams describe the actual work flow behavior of a system in Information Technology. These diagrams are very similar to state Diagrams because activities are the actual state of doing something. These diagrams describe the actual state of activities of a system by showing all the sequence of activities performed. Also, these diagrams can show activities that are conditional or parallel.

When to Use: Activity Diagrams

Activity diagrams should be used in alignment with other modeling techniques like interaction diagrams and State diagrams. The main reason behind using these diagrams is to model the work flow behind the system being designed. these Diagrams are also useful for analyzing a use case by describing what actions need to take place and when they should occur, describing a complicated sequential algorithm and modeling applications with parallel processes.

Activity diagrams’ advantages:

  • UML modeling language included that these diagrams are normally easily comprehensible for both analysts and stakeholders.
  • In UML for the IT Business Analyst, “The activity diagram is the one most useful to the IT BA for depicting work flow [because] it is simple to understand-both for BAs and end-users.”
  • Since they are among the most user-friendly diagrams available, they are generally regarded as an essential tool in an analyst’s repertoire.
  • Additionally, as stated above, activity diagrams allow an analyst to display multiple conditions and actors within a work flow through the use of swimlanes. Swimlanes, however, are optional as a single condition or actor is normally displayed without them.

Activity diagrams’ disadvantages:

UML modeling language include that these diagrams have the potential to become overly complex because their user-friendly nature may lend itself to an all-inclusive description. In other words, since it is so simple to display the information related to the project, why not include all of it? When an analyst has a large project, creating a single, overly complex diagram can be a temptation.

However, as one author notes, “if you are using activity diagrams to define the structure of a work flow, you should not attempt to explore several levels of activity graphs down to their most ‘atomic’ level”. Instead, an analyst should try to present a new diagram for each work flow, or if more applicable, to use swimlanes to present different actors within the same work flow.

Another aspect of these diagrams is that they may not be used in lieu of a state diagram or sequence diagram because “activity diagrams do not give detail about how objects behave or how objects collaborate.” This is not a disadvantage per se, but it is important for an analyst to keep in mind when applying diagrams to their work.

In conclusion, activity diagrams are fairly easy to get the hang of, and will be useful for most projects because they plainly and moderately clearly demonstrate how things work.” Unlike many diagramming techniques, these diagrams also enable the depiction of multiple choices and actors within a work flow, and they are easy for even non-technical users to follow

Applications of activity diagram:

This diagram has been extended to specify flows among steps that transmit physical matter (e.g., gasoline) or energy (e.g., torque, pressure).

  • Additional changes allow the diagram to better support continuous behaviors and continuous data flows.
  • The UML 2 specification significantly prolonged the features and scale of activity diagrams beyond their earlier classification as a special case of state diagrams.
  • Today, activity diagrams can be thought of as flow charts for the 21st century, and UML modelers use activity diagrams to describe it.
  • Also, these diagrams are useful in following methods:
  • Business Rules
  • Functions that occur in parallel
  • Complex chain of multiple use cases
  • Software flows and logic control configurations
  • Procedures with judgment points and alternate flows
  • Single use cases

Is Out-Of-State Real Estate Investing Right for You?

Have you made up your mind to start investing in real estate, but you’re torn in deciding where to invest?

Are you thinking about making a local investment, but wondering if an out-of-state investment might be better?

This is one of the first of many choices you’ll have to make when you decide to invest in real estate: the simple question of where you should invest your hard-earned dollars. While there are definite benefits to investing in your area, there are also some potentially profit-limiting downsides.

That’s not to say investing in outside areas doesn’t have its own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at both and see why out-of-state real estate investing might be a profitable option you have not yet explored.

Investing Locally

This is the most obvious choice for many real estate investors, but is it really right for you?

If you choose to buy a property local to you, you’ll rest easier about your investment since you know the market. First, you know your competition. You might know the names of professionals you can trust and you’ll have an intimate understanding of what the cost of living is for that area and how to make things more affordable.

Second, if you like to be hands-on, it will be much easier for you since you’re right there. If you want to see the property, it’s just a short drive away. If you want to talk to the property manager face-to-face, you just put it on your calendar for the end of the day.

Drawbacks to Local Investments

On the other hand, investing solely local can narrow your options. Not every market has the inventory of good investment opportunities that you can avail yourself of if you invest out-of-state. The local inventory of available properties may or may not be big enough or well-suited for investment opportunities.

You also run into the problem of whether your local market is the one you want. The recession made a huge impact on housing markets throughout the country and some areas have recovered at different paces than others. You might find yourself out-priced in your current market, but even if you aren’t, you might not be able to see a favorable future where you’re at.

Investing Out-of-State

If you decide to invest out-of-state, you can greatly increase your options. You can literally choose any location, any market and invest in properties there. Whether you want to invest in Florida vacation homes and coastal villas or homes in the suburbs of Detroit, the sky’s the limit. You can make your investment fit your price point and interests.

By investing out-of-state, you can put your money to work in markets with high ROI. You pick and choose which markets you’re interested in, and which ones are rising stars in the real estate investment scene, ignoring your own market’s changes.

Investing out-of-state also allows you to scale based on your needs. For many would-be investors, their local market is priced too extravagantly to make real estate investment prudent. The cost of living in a different state, just a few borders east or west, might be considerably lower. That means you can snatch up excellent properties at a much lower cost than you might in your own market.

Even better, you can snag those investment deals on excellent properties that would go for three to four times as much, if not more, in your own local market. Your purchasing power becomes much stronger in other markets, because everything’s relative.

Challenges of Out-of-State Investments

There are still some challenges to these remote investments. First of all, you have to learn who you can trust and maintain the peace of mind that comes from having easy local access to your investment. You also have to be able to trust that the property you’re investing in is what it’s advertised as.

The property is also more difficult to visit if you like to be hands on. You might have to fly out to visit the property, which some people enjoy but others are seriously bothered by. If you are the type of investor who prefers the more passive turn-key approach, this is an excellent opportunity.

Finally, the market won’t be what you’re used to. Nothing will be quite the same as being there and immersing yourself in the market, but you can learn and study. You just have to rely on someone else to have knowledge of the nuances of the market.

Doing Out-of-State Right

There is a solution to all of the challenges of real estate investing outside your state. When you find a reputable, proven company to handle your turn-key real estate transaction, you have someone you can count on to know the market you’re investing in. Here are the main reasons you should find a partner to work with you on your out-of-state investments.

  • They can keep a more educated eye on the market, since they know all of the nuances of that area.
  • They’ll serve as your presence near your investment, keeping everything on track, so you don’t have to make numerous trips to the property.
  • If the turn-key real estate investment firm is reputable, they want you to succeed. This means they’ll do anything they can to make sure you do succeed.

The question becomes, whom can you trust? You want to make sure you engage in a partnership with a firm who is reputable, knowledgeable and engaged in your market. Referrals from other investors are key, so be on the lookout for like-minded people who have been there and done that.

You should also investigate what the turn-key operation offers you, and what their fee or cut of your profit is. Ideally, you’ll want a partner who can help you throughout your investment lifecycle, from acquiring the property to managing it.

Getting Started

We’ve gone over the benefits and drawbacks of out-of-state investing, so now the decision is yours to make. Do you still want to invest locally or have you realized that the time is ripe to diversify your portfolio and invest in out-of-state properties? The benefits of out-of-state real estate investment are huge and the drawbacks can easily be mitigated by partnering with someone in the area in which you’re investing.

Pyramidal Work Out

Day 2

Shoulder press (machine)

Lateral raises (machine)

Posterior deltoid (machine)

Bicep flat head curl (machine)

Preacher bicep curl (machine)

Day 3

Leg extension (machine)

Seated leg curl (machine)

Incline leg press,

Calf extension (standing-body weight)

Seated calf raises (machine).

Serious exercise” starts with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down. The first step in helping students and clients to include warm-ups and cool-downs in their workouts is educating them about the benefits:

Warming up raises the temperature of the body. For each degree of temperature elevation, the metabolic rate of the cells increases by about 13 percent.

The blood supply to the muscles increases, permitting a greater release of oxygen to feed them.

The speed and force of muscle contractions improve, along with a faster nerve impulse transmission.

Warming up helps prevent injuries. Muscle elasticity and the flexibility of the tendons and ligaments are increased. Synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, is released during easy activity.

Heart function is improved and ready for the increased demand of intense exercise.

The starting point in achieving good physical fitness is nutrition because better eating habits can be conveniently established at any time. It is also important because, if you want to exercise, what you eat affects your energy level during your workout. Maintaining a healthy diet can be easy as long as you remember one key word: balance. It’s okay to drink your daily mug of coffee as long as you limit yourself to one or two cups a day and allow your body to rehydrate with plenty of water. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means substances in caffeine draw water out of your body. The same is true for alcohol. If you consume either alcohol or caffeine, moderation should be a consistent way of life.

Alfredo Zapata

Fitness Expert

www.cuttingedgefit.com

310-701-2957