Sunday, July 31, 2011

What If Managers are Like Mr Bean?

What if we all have crazy managers who ask questions all the time even at the risk of sounding dumb? Nice, right? These are people, who like to challenge assumptions, may be the key to finding innovative and creative workplace solutions.

In fact, the United States celebrates “Ask A Stupid Question Day” on the last day of school in September. The tradition, which started in the 1980s, aims to encourage children to ask questions without fear of sounding stupid.

So why should managers be like Mr Bean? Perhaps by being as lovable and approachable as this British comic character, managers could create a fun work culture where employees are happy and thus more productive. Or, if staff can “reinvent” themselves, there will be no lack of exciting ideas from them.

Management gurus advocate the need for management and employees to question the usual ways of doing things, even if they sound foolish.

The onus is on management to build a corporate culture where employees dare to ask silly questions, argues award-winning author and consultant Alan Gregerman, known as the “Robin Williams of business consulting.”

“It might not be a bad idea to give awards for the stupidest questions of the year–the ones with answers that ended up making us a more effective and valued company or organization,” advises Mr Gregerman on his website.

To boost workplace creativity, ‘foolishness’ is needed, says business creativity expert Fredrik Härén, author of The Idea Book, which has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide. “If people feel it is okay to make a fool of [themselves], they tend to become braver [at being creative]…
‘Why are we doing this?’
That is a question that a lot of people should ask much more often.”

What are the consequences of not asking enough stupid questions? Just look at history, he adds. “The Titanic sank and killed almost all onboard and no one had asked why there were no life-vests. Actually, the one who is stupid is the one who doesn't ask stupid questions.”

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Can Mixed Martial Arts Be For Girls?

Our dear friends in Wikipedia describe Mixed Martial Arts or MMA as a full contact combat sports that allow both striking and grappling techniques while standing or while on the ground. Sounds brutal? Hesitant to try? Don’t be. Follow-up questions:

Why should I? Why do people do it?
and ultimately...
Can mixed martial arts also be for girls?
Many people want to learn mixed martial arts for defensive purposes and this is a very good reason. Just like learning anything else, persistence and commitment are required. The nice thing about each of them is that you can start learning this regardless of your age—and gender!

Mixed martial arts consist of various techniques. Examples of these include tae kwon do, karate, judo, aikido, jujitsu and a lot more. Nothing can stop you from learning more than one martial art. In fact, the more you know the better because each technique has strengths and weaknesses. If you know what and how these are done, you can exploit the styles and use them to your advantage.

Acquiring the skills and adaptability needed for a successful mixed martial arts endeavor is to learn one technique and then moving on to another. When you know the system and key, the trick is to know when you switch from one style to the next, especially when the need calls for it. And if you are practicing this “art of switching” regularly, what you do is already automatic.

Aside from self-defense and exercise, what else will you get from learning mixed martial arts? Well, you'll have:
  • Confidence
  • Good work out
  • Fitness
  • Endurance
  • A good sense of balance and coordination

    and the list goes on.
Of course, there are other sports that allow you to do and benefit from the same thing. But if you are interested in surviving great challenges and experiencing something out of the ordinaire or have something to boast about (ahem), then there is no harm in giving it a try!

When you become a Mixed Martial Arts practitioner, you will be in for just two things: either be the plain jack or jill of all trades in martial arts (which is okay) or the expert of all.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bye Bye, Blackheads!

Those awful blackheads seem so difficult to get rid of! What is worse, if you don’t remove the blackheads, they can spread out.

Usually, blackheads appear on the nose and on the cheeks but did you know that aside from your face, these unsightly blackheads can appear on your arms, chest and back too?

You are not the only one that has this problem. Millions of people all over the world have blackheads. Many are not aware of the fact that they are really non-inflammatory acne. Blackheads have to be removed as they not only look unsightly but is a skin problem that need immediate treatment and cure.

When pores get blocked by dirt, dust or dead skin cells, an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands gets irritated from the foreign matter. Since there is an overproduction of this, the skin erupts. When this happens, the skin pigments will turn black upon oxidation. You will notice that when you touch the blackhead infested part of your skin, that there are slight bumps on it.

If the treatments or the use of the blackhead removal products is wrong, there can be adverse results. Instead of eliminating the blackheads, the small patch can get larger, the pores will get bigger, the skin will suffer from tissue damage and the problem will keep on coming back.

The first thing that you have to do to prevent and get rid of blackheads is to make an extra effort in having a good cleansing routine. Since blackheads are caused by clogged pores, making sure that your skin is clean will lessen the risk of getting blackheads and stop the existing ones from getting worse. Aside from dirt and dust, neglecting to remove make-up is one of the major causes of blackhead growth.

Steps for good Face Washing Practices

  1. Pull your hair away from your face with a hair tie or headband.
  2. Wash your face with a mild cleanser, and rinse well.
  3. Put 5 cups of distilled water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Transfer the hot water to a large glass bowl, making sure that the bowl is set securely on a table
  4. Sit so that you can comfortably place your face over the bowl of steaming hot water. Drape a towel over your head so that you make a tent over you and the bowl of water.
  5. Stay over the steam for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the steam cools.

Another major mistake that many people who have blackheads do is to use too much exfoliating products. Open pores are more prone to the elements. There is a need to exfoliate the skin but doing it more often that one or twice a week will strip it off too much and will not give your skin a chance to regenerate itself.

There are many blackhead treatment products like topical retinoids and chemical peels. Follow the directions carefully and in time, you can get rid of blackheads. These products cannot be used at the same time so stick to one kind of treatment until the problem is gone.

There are blackhead removal items created to take the offending build-up in the pores to get rid of blackheads. Blackhead removal strips are easy to use and you will be amazed on how much was taken out after you peel it off. When the strip is pulled off, you might feel the adhesive tugging at your skin but that is only momentary. Lightly squeezing it out with the use of your fingers or a metallic extractor is another option. Make sure to be gentle as you squeeze them out to avoid scarring or skin tissue damage.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Prevent Skin Sagging After Losing Fats

Don't drape like curtains!

Extreme weight loss may not provide ideal results. Trading body fat for hanging, loose skin is not the dieter's dream. Here are some ideas on how to prevent skin with sagging after losing fats.

Every dieter has the thought that weight loss shouldn't be so hard. Even if an overweight person knows deep down that faithful exercise and natural eating is the way to permanently lose weight, they wish that there was an easier, faster way to reach their weight loss goals. While there may be other ways to lose weight quickly, they are not healthy options.
Slow Weight Loss is Best
Quick weight loss may be possible by having weight loss surgery, making extreme lifestyle changes or taking weight loss drugs, but experts recommend losing only 1-2 pounds per week for good reason. Looking weight too quickly takes an unhealthy toll on your body. Most people are also unlikely to maintain weight loss that has been achieved too quickly, causing them to regain the weight and begin yoyo dieting.
Problems with Extreme Weight Loss
Quick weight loss presents its own problems. A common complaint from people who lose a lot of weight quickly from extreme dieting is that their skin doesn't tighten up. Dieters are left with unsightly loose and hanging skin. It doesn't seem fair to overweight people who have worked so hard to drop the weight.
Few things could be more frustrating than struggling to lose weight for many years, finally reaching your weight loss goals and then having to deal with an imperfect body because of the loose skin caused by the extreme weight loss. It affects self-esteem, body image and size.
Surgery to Remove Hanging Skin
Though continued exercise and fat loss will help reduce hanging skin around the abs, inner thighs and underarms, a surgical procedure is likely necessary to remove the loose skin. While weight loss surgery is often covered under medical insurance plans, skin removal is considered cosmetic surgery and is not covered by insurance. Prevention is the ideal way to deal with loose, hanging skin due to weight loss.
Prevent Loose Skin After Weight Loss
  • Exercise regularly to tighten and tone problem areas
  • Follow a healthy diet plan
  • Do resistance training 3 times a week to build new muscle for the skin to adhere to
  • Count calories
  • Don't follow an extremely restrictive diet
  • Drink lots of water
  • Lose weight slowly
  • Talk to your doctor about healthy weight loss options
Ways to Tighten Loose Skin After Extreme Weight Loss
  • Continue to exercise regularly
  • Concentrate on strength training exercises
  • Eat lean poultry and other proteins with each meal
  • Try over-the-counter creams to tighten the loose skin
  • Consider surgical options to remove hanging skin
  • Change your BMI to tighten loose skin

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Games and Apps Cloaked as Work-related

Raise your hand if your answer is yes to the following questions:
  1. Are your bosses monitoring your screens at work?
  2. Are you conscious that they might catch you doing tasks or opening applications and programs which are unrelated and irrelevant to your designated role?
  3. Do you feel that sometimes you need a break (e.g. play games, check social media status or just surf online) from stress brought by work?
  4. Do you want to engage in these "outlets" of stress and at the same time make yourself still seem like working?
Sure enough, I sense a lot of virtual hands raised right now. Let me take you to a tour of introduction to five recommended applications which can be disguised as work-related. Disclaimer: This is not to strongly influence and push you to use these; rather, this is just to make you aware that such are now present somewhere out there in the cyberspace. :D

Play games that look like Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, Word documents and bar graphs. Hit the spacebar to pause a game, making all game elements disappear!

Update your Twitter status and receive your friends' updates with this add-in for Microsoft Outlook.

Using this app, sign in to your Facebook account and voila! Your news feed transforms into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet!

Tweet from your iGoogle homepage or within Gmail.

A fun and action-filled puzzle game, this flash-based app is played on what looks like a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Users use arrow keys to lead the cursor to a green "exit" button.

So there, enjoy! You might want to share these to your office mates? Right. Go on. ;)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to Close E-mails and Letters Creatively

Looking for creative suggestions on how to end a letter? Read on for a list of letter closings and proper goodbyes.

Beyond the overused "sincerely," there are many ways to sign off a letter or e-mail. When writers choose letter closings, the endings can offer insight into how readers should follow up. "Write soon" welcomes the reader to respond, while the more reserved "Wishing you the best" may be saved for a difficult sympathy card.

List of Proper Business Letter Closings

Be it for marketing letters, cover letters or professional e-mails, writers can use a great variety of business letter closings to sign off a work-related document. Denote a friendly-but-business-like tone with the letter closing "Kind regards," or keep things ultra sharp by ending an important letter with "Confidently yours."
  • Best regards/wishes
  • Confidently yours
  • Kind regards/wishes
  • Many thanks
  • Respectfully yours
  • Warm regards
  • With anticipation
  • Yours respectfully/sincerely/truly
List of Friendly Goodbyes

Whether it's for the family holiday card, a letter wishing better health, or a thank you note, choosing the right letter closings for friends is a fine and fun art. Here are some suggestions that denote the warmth of friendship, but still hold a respectful and well-wishing air:
  • Cheerful greetings to all
  • Hugs
  • Kind thoughts
  • Take care
  • Wishing you the best
  • Write soon
  • Your friend
  • Yours in friendship
List of Online Goodbyes Used to Sign off an E-mail

Writers have more flexibility in the endings they use for e-mails than in written letters. To add a little more life to personal e-mail closings, consider signing off with one of these e-mail salutations:
  • Be good/well
  • Cheers
  • I'm out
  • More to come
  • Smiles
  • Take care
  • Take it easy
  • Until next time
Quote Funny and Famous Closings

From Obi-Wan Kenobi's classic line from Star Wars "May the force be with you" and the hockey-themed "Keep your stick on the ice," television, music and movies have given us some of the most popular and creative letter closings.

Here are some letter closings and e-mail salutations that will be familiar to most:
  • All you need is love
  • Happy trails to you
  • Hasta la vista, baby
  • Keep your stick on the ice
  • Live long and prosper
  • May the force be with you
  • Over and out
  • Over to you
  • Peace, love, and unity
  • Start the engines
  • Stay tuned
  • To be continued...
  • Yabba dabba do
Loving Endings for Valentine's Day

Signing off a Valentine's Day card or a love letter remains a careful operation. A valentine likely won't appreciate the ending "Your friend" or a professional "Best regards." So to ensure a happy Valentine's Day, be sure to add a loving goodbye with lots of personal thought:
  • Lots of love
  • Love always/eternally/forever
  • Much love
  • Thinking sweet thoughts of you
  • Yours
Friendly Goodbyes in Other Languages

Adding a letter closing in another language can be a fun way to end a written note or e-mail. From French goodbyes to Spanish farewells, here are some international ways to sign off a written note:
  • Adieu
  • Adios amigo (use "amiga" for a female letter recipient or "amigos" for a family or group)
  • Aloha
  • Au revoir
  • Ciao
  • Namaste
Selecting the Right Letter Closings and E-mail Sign-offs

Whichever letter closings or e-mail endings writers use, be sure to think about the recipients and how they will interpret each goodbye. When in doubt, err on the side of more formal letter closings and e-mail endings rather than risk offending readers with casual or inappropriate sign offs.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Online Shopping, Anyone?

Shopping is often dubbed as every girl's best friend. What about shopping online? Here you'll learn more about shipping and general return/refunds on online shopping.

Shopping online is now becoming more and more a favorable economic trend that helps one save a lot of time. Sure, browing sites with mouse clicks is way convenient than walking hours in the malls. Also, with PayPal and other secured financial transfer transactions, we can be spared with the risk of carrying cash and the trouble of all the physical injuries we can get. However, the main constraint of online shopping is that wedon’t get the look and feel of the object we are buying. This can post as a major, especially when buying clothing and other things with significant measurements.

Although most sites offer return and exchange of goods, these services are selective and applicable only to a limited range of merchandize. Lingerie and shoes, for instance, are some of the goods that are not covered in the return policy of most websites: lingerie for the hygiene factor and shoes for reasons of wearability. Although not much can be done about lingerie exchange other than shopping at stores where you have physically purchased lingerie in the past, shoes can be bought from sites after reading their exchange, refund and return policies.

Some sites offer free shipping charges for deliveries within a certain perimeter. They also have flat rate courier charges based on weight for international customers and accept returns from customers located in any country by mail. Click here for a detailed review of the specifics of exchange and returns by the certain websites.

Golden Snippets of Tips

Before entering your dress size in the column allotted for size, look for the size chart of the website. If the site retails more than a brand, look for the size chart of each brand and locate the scale of measurement (centimeter or inch). Most women buy a size six and realize that the site is measuring in British/UK dress sizes (different from those of American). If the store doesn’t accept returns (e.g. some stores in eBay), then you might have to pay a bomb getting the dress altered!

Never assume. Be careful in reading the FAQ section of every website you shop at, along with customer reviews of the website in various online forums before making the purchase. You wouldn’t want to waste your hard-earned money buying something that doesn’t fit and can’t be returned.