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Do I Need a Model Release?

Friday, April 30, 2010 10:38 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By Rohn Engh

Photo columnists, unaware of their First Amendment Rights, have been fanning the fires of this hotly debated question for decades. A wall of mythology has built up around the subject, and I'll make the first move to break it down for you. To give you a simplistic answer: No, you do not need a model release.

You may now get up off the floor and sit back down. I'll ask you to be open to a re-programming process. First, a few questions: Have you ever seen a newspaper photographer ask for a model release? Did the video photographer in the Rodney King case ask the policemen or Mr. King for a model release?

If your photo is informing or educating the public, you do not need a model release.

And this is where the confusion comes in. Here at PhotoSource International we encourage you to follow the trail of the new generation of new media. Its emphasis is the publication trade: magazines, books, and electronic media. About a million dollars a day are spent in this category of stock photography, whose essential use is to INFORM and to EDUCATE. Photobuyers in this arena rarely require a model release, unless the photo is so sensitive that it might compromise a person in some way. Short of highly sensitive areas such as drug abuse, sex education, mental retardation, you won't find your buyers asking you for a model release.

"How and why was I under the impression that model releases are always required?" you ask.

Most of the teaching and training in the USA for working photographers, is slanted to COMMERCIAL photography, where you always need a model release.

As stock photography grew and became more prevalent, commercial photographers expanded into media photography, and brought along with them the rules for commercial photography: i.e. you need a model release. Since most classic stock photography is used for commercial purposes, these photographers are right, you do need a model release if you are photographing in the commercial sector, where usage centers on promotion, advertising, and endorsement.

But you, as an editorial stock photographer informing, educating, and entertaining the public, operating a business in a free enterprise society - you have a powerful law on your side, namely the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment in effect says you can freely photograph in public as long as you are not breaking any local laws, such as trespassing.

Enter the publishing world. Large publishing houses, which spend $50,000 to $150,000 per month for photography, are vigilant about protecting their First Amendment Rights, and in so doing, they protect your First Amendment Rights. If Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt Brace, etc. were to require model releases for the pictures they use, they would soon go out of business, because editorial photographers would not put up with the chore of getting model releases for slews of editorial, "non-posed" pictures.

Most of the horror stories concerning model releases that you read about have had to do with commercial photography (for ads and concerning sales and products for purchase), where YES, you do need a model release. Not so in the book and magazine illustration field.

The million-dollar-a-day book and magazine publishing houses fill swivel chairs at long oak tables with legal advisors, who remain steadfast in protecting their clients' side of the First Amendment, which is that when you are informing and educating, a model release is not necessary. The only exceptions would be those rare cases involving highly sensitive subjects such as sex education, drug abuse, certain medical issues, and religion.

So then, this opens the window and lets some fresh air in on this issue. If you've been relinquishing your First Amendment rights up to this point, I hope this article helps you regain them. Go out and photograph freely in public, in the style of Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothea Lange, and Arthur Rothstein.

It would be a bureaucrat's dream for officials to be able to say, "You can't photograph in my school, my police precinct, my park." In reality, these people (school principals, policemen, etc) are your civil servants. Your taxes pay for their buildings, equipment, and salaries. As long as you are not interrupting their normal course of duties you can photograph them.

There have been lawsuits, yes. But if you examine each case, the plaintiff always goes after the publisher with deep pockets, not the photographer. We're back to the long oak table with swivel chairs filled with experts. And the plaintiff rarely wins.

The bottom line is that you should break through the wall of mythology that for years has surrounded this model release question, and go out and photograph freely in public. The world will be a better place as a result of your efforts.

Lot's of Business Models to Choose From

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 10:35 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By Dale Robert

BUSINESS MODELS

There are so many business and work models that one could become very overwhelmed very quickly! I think that there is a self-employment model out there for just about anyone, whether it be starting your own business from scratch, buying an existing business or franchise, or distributing a product that you believe in, there really is something for everyone.

TRADITIONAL JOB

This is what most of us learned about in school. Go to school, get good grades, go to college, get a job working 'for the man', and retire in 30 or 40 years. This is the model that I personally dislike the most. Let's examine this closer; if you work for a company, even one that, at one point in time, offered job security, it is still extremely risky. You have one boss and if you and that boss don't see eye-to-eye, he or she can fire you like that. There is one extremely large, 'secure' company that I am aware of that you can only work for the same manager for a period of 2 years. Once the 2 years are up, you have to move to a different department and report to a different manager. Let's say that you have a good run for the first 10 years you are there. Now it's time for you to move to another department and report to another manager. You can't seem to get along with this manager no matter how hard you try, and 1 month into it, you get issued your walking papers. How's that for job security?

HOBBY BUSINESS

This is typically a part time business that you run because it's something you enjoy-whether it is a product or a service. At the time of this writing, I am having a family friend build me a new entertainment center. Woodworking is his hobby business. I don't know how much he makes ($) with this particular hobby, but it's something he would be doing either way. For a year I taught kickboxing at a karate school in Minneapolis. This isn't exactly a business, but it's something I enjoyed doing and at that point I was actually getting paid to work out! My guess is that you have a hobby RIGHT NOW that someone out there would pay you to do for them. I am aware of a young lady who enjoys scrapbooking, she offered to help a few people build a scrapbook (for free? I am not sure), and the next thing she knows, she is getting paid (a lot, I might add) to put together scrapbooks for people! By the way, at this point I believe she does this little hobby business fulltime!

FRANCHISES

There are many different types of franchises out there, and in many different industries. Most people seem to believe that there are only fast food and cleaning franchises, but franchises actually run the full spectrum. I have come close to buying several different franchises myself, but I found in each case that my personality seemed to clash with the franchise system. What I mean by that is I tend to challenge systems rather than go along with them. Something a franchisor has found to work in a particular facet (let's say Marketing) may not interest me and I want to try something else that the franchisor may not agree with. I am not a 'by the book' type of person, I like to change things up frequently, take on new projects regularly, and I don't mind having a few failures along the way!
Two things I learned from reviewing these franchises: 1) Franchisors are convinced that you simply won't make it in business without buying a franchise from them. 2) You may not NEED to buy a franchise in order to have a business in the same service line or industry.
There is NOTHING wrong with reviewing franchisors material and duplicating the model (that is, the material that they send you for free-and not the material that is part of the franchising system and/or after you signed a confidentiality agreement! Just so we are clear on that. I don't want angry letters from franchisors!)

Quick story about one of my franchise experiences: I looked at buying a men's circuit training/kickboxing gym a few years ago. The parent company revealed a lot of their info to me just for the asking. After I had a chance to review it I realized that I already had everything they were looking to sell me (marketing info, equipment, martial arts instructions/videos, and weight training equipment). I priced everything out myself and came up with about $25k total expenses. They were charging $50k for the franchise and $700 a month for operating expenses. It turns out that they needed me (remember I worked for a kickboxing gym for a year) more than I needed them! I parted ways with the franchise company and about a year later I learned that they were going out of business.

BUSINESS IN A BOX

This is like Franchising Light, or Diet Franchising. You are buying a proven business system with a clear business plan, but once you pay your initial fee there are no operating costs or monthly fees. You buy the system and do what you want with it. You can work part time with it, full time, or add the service or product to your existing business model. I owned a auto detailing/product supply company for a few years and I would get so many 'business in a box' opportunity info in the mail it wasn't funny! Several struck me as a great idea, but two that I remember were very unique approaches that I likely won't forget. One was a 'Auto Detailing Business in a Trailer'; it was a ready-to-go trailer that you would pull behind your truck, that was chock full of detailing equipment so you could go to the customers location and detail their vehicle. They had a pressure washer, water tank, vacuum system, and tons of other stuff, as well as custom graphics on the outside that advertised what you were doing. Additionally, it came with marketing materials, instructional videos, business cards and some training (I forget the specifics). All this was available to you for right around $10k!
The other business in a box was actually an 'institute' that you would buy your detailing equipment from (pressure washer, buffers, etc) and they would have you come to one of their locations and they would teach you how to use everything and how to market your business, once you were done there, they would give you a certificate and consider you a 'graduate' of their training program. Then you would go back home, start the business, and never have to pay them another penny!

DISTRIBUTORSHIPS

Distributorships are a great way to start a part time business. There are many different distributorships available out there other than Amway. Generally speaking, distributorships are Multi-Level Marketing opportunities, although some act more like 'businesses in a box'. Personally I like this model; you pay a small fee to get started (typically in the couple-hundred dollar range), and they will provide you with training including marketing and sales, many will do order fulfillment so you don't need to stock products, and many will also have conventions or get-togethers with other distributors so you can learn new marketing techniques, see new products, and meet other distributors in your area. Distributorships run the full spectrum as well including gourmet foods, home furnishings, auto-detailing products, legal services, personal care items, and a host of others.

The other type of distributorship is when one would buy products directly from a manufacturer at a discounted rate, and then market and resell the products at a markup. I have done this before for one business I had. There was nothing to it; no minimums, no quotas, just place an order on an as-needed basis. You couldn't believe the mark-up that retailers get to put on some of the products. There was one product in particular that I resold which, no matter what price I charged, I would sell out before I would receive more from the company. I started selling it at $8.99US and would add a dollar to it almost every month for about 6 months. People bought it no questions asked!
Find something you are genuinely interested in, whether it is a product or service, rather than looking at the popular ones or the ones that promise the best $ or highest commissions.

CONSULTING/CONTRACTING/PROFESSIONAL SERVICE PROVIDER

This is a model that is very near and dear to my heart! I have worked with Consultants extensively over the course of my professional career. Consultants (I am going to just refer to this category as 'Consultants') are those who have a particular expertise in an area and are hired by a client (either a company or an individual) to use their skills and abilities for a certain period of time. Consultants could be those who have worked for a company for many years and decided to go from an employee at one single company to a Consultant at many different companies-servicing each one on a part-time basis, maybe even as little as 1x a month. Other Consultants learned a valuable skill in college and started marketing themselves as Consultants at the age of 23. Here again we run the full spectrum, Consultants can be Project Manager, Six Sigma Experts, Engineers, IT Professionals, Personal Trainers, Dietitians, Accountants/Bookkeepers, Construction Managers, Business & Career Coaches, and the list goes on....

E-COMMERCE

Many people have jumped on the dot com bandwagon over the past 10 years and many millionaires have been made over night. With the popularity of auction websites, Yahoo! Stores?, and social networking websites, there is bound to be something to tickle your fancy. Personally, I think every small business (and big business) needs to have a presence online, whether offering products for sale or just for informational purposes. I am aware of an e-store that sells genuine 'Western Tumbleweeds', primarily to overseas customers. I have also seen a website that sells gas-powered blenders (yes, regular kitchen blender with a gas powered engine!). Another popular model is 'Membership' websites. That is where someone has a strong background or knowledge base in some area, and for $4.95 a month, you can have access to this valuable information that one has posted in a private area of a website. That could be stock tips, sports info, video game tips, etc. This avenue could be a nice add-on for a Consultant or Professional Service Provider to market to his or her customers.
One could also start doing e-commerce as a distributor for a product or a service that was made or designed by someone else (as we previously discussed).

FROM SCRATCH

I could easily start a snow-removal business or a grass-cutting business or a pressure washing business today for under $300 for EVERYTHING. Business cards, advertisements, and equipment. In fact, when I was in college, I thought that I could either go get a fast food job for $5/hr or I could capitalize on the record breaking snow fall that we had that year. I chose the latter. I recruited my roommate and a couple classmates to help on an hourly basis and we made a killing. I believe our total start-up cost was $50 (for 2 back-friendly plow-like shovels). We went door-to-door, posted a couple of flyers on community bulletin boards, and before we knew it, we had more work than we knew what to do with. It was a rewarding feeling to me knowing that I had to start turning work away. We never got really high-tech or overly fancy, just shovels, flyers, and the desire to succeed. Most of our classmates were eating mac and cheese everyday, but my business partner/roommate and I would have pipin' hot food delivered to the job site every night, from our choice of delivery restaurants-and the best part is we got to write it off!

SUMMARY

Get as much info as you can about an industry or service that you wish to get into and start reading through it. There is an avenue/model that is right for you! This writing barely begins to scratch the surface of all that is available out there. I buy a book put out by Entrepreneur Magazine called The Business Opportunity Handbook, and I go through it with a fine-tooth comb. This handbook has so many different businesses listed that it could easily take you a week to go through. There are franchises, distributorships, businesses in a box, you name it it's in there! It lists contact info, websites, # of locations, start-up money required, everything you need to know.

Free Advice From a School of Hard Knocks Grad

Saturday, April 24, 2010 10:33 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By Lyndol Hollingsworth

All my life I have been night blind. Unless there is some presence of light I cannot see my hand in front of my face in the dark. As fate would have it, late one night I was traveling home from a business trip on an isolated North Texas farm-to-market road when I had a tire blow out. I reached for my flashlight and was horrified to learn that the batteries were dead! Somehow, by feeling my way, I was able to change the tire and get home. That event in my life sparked the beginning of my career as an inventor and product developer. Like they always say "necessity is the Mother of invention". I wanted to purchase an impact wrench powerful enough to change a flat tire and be equipped with an on board light so I could use it in the dark. The tool had to operate off my car's battery so I wouldn't need to keep it charged up.

In the late 80s when all this came about, my Father had been a Snap-on Tools dealer for about 30 years. When I asked him if such a tool existed, he said "I have never seen one if it does". I investigated further and came up with zero. I thought to myself...if one doesn't exist...I'll just make one! Dad had a lot of scrapped out air impact tools and I had a close friend that owned a winch company. So, with scrap air tool parts, a used direct current motor from a winch, and the help of a local machinist, I created a crude model.

I remember connecting that homemade tool up to the battery of my pickup truck using a cheap set of jumper cables. By golly it worked! I proudly showed this tool off to all my buddies and one suggested that I file for a U.S. Patent. Its hard to imagine now but back in the late 80s, or the "dark ages" before the Internet, the best place for information was at the local library. I did find a lot of written information at the library but as you can imagine it was mostly in "text book" form. What I needed was first-hand knowledge from someone that had actually been through the patenting process. I asked around my area and could not find one person that had successfully obtained a U.S. Patent. I finally came to realize that for me to be a successful inventor meant being around other successful inventors. One of my high school buddies lived down in Austin, Texas so I phoned him to find out if he thought I could get some help down there. He told me that there were a number of Patent attorneys listed in the Austin phone book!

To make a long story short, I moved my family to Austin and by 1991 I received my first U.S. Patent for a "Direct Current, Direct Drive, Impact Wrench" complete with an on board work light! It still took me several more years to "perfect" and "field test" the tool before it was commercially available for sale. Little did I know back then that eventually this tool, that was once an idea in my head, would be purchased by our U.S. military and used in the Middle East to help make faster, safer tire changes under battlefield conditions! The success of this first product set the stage for several more commercially available products and others coming by way of a family-owned "product development" company established in 2006 here in Fort Worth.

Now that I have successfully taken several new product ideas from my head and turned them into commercially viable products, I believe I am well-qualified to give out a little free advice to anyone starting out on that rocky road I took over 20 years ago!

My first bit of advice is.....protect your new product idea by having everyone you discuss it with sign a "non-disclosure agreement" or what's commonly referred to as a NDA. After I got burned once I went to an attorney and had him draw one up for me. I have since used it about fifty times over the years.

Once you are 100 % certain you plan to file a "utility" Patent, file a "provisional" Patent application with the United States Patent Office. Do not make such a filing until you are 100 % certain you plan to file a "utility" Patent within one year or less. Why does that matter you ask? Well, if you don't file a "utility" Patent within one year you cannot ever file for the same technology with the USPTO.

Equally important is keeping your new product idea at "patent pending" status for as long as possible. If you wait until you are ready to get rolling with the development of the new product to file a "provisional" Patent you can legally label the product as "Patent Pending". Any would-be duplicator of your new product will think twice about doing anything as long as you have it marked as "Patent Pending". A Patent that is "pending" with the USPTO has not been issued so there is no way anyone can read the "claims" listed in it. This makes it impossible for anyone to "go around" your Patent. My impact wrench was such a hot item that several big tool companies tried to "go around" my issued Patent. Fortunately for me, the Patent attorney and I did a great job of creating very strong "claims" that were determined impregnable. Also, if your plan is to "license" your new product/invention and be paid a royalty, your "Patent Pending" status will be equally beneficial to your Licensee.

Beyonce Tickets - Tickets to See a Singer-Actress-Model "Triple Threat"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 10:31 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By Brent Warnken

Beyonce tickets are some of the most sought-after concert tickets nowadays, and there's little doubt why. Beyonce Knowles, one of the most recognizable recording artists of this decade, is as hot as ever and touring across the United States this summer. With stops in huge arenas and smaller concert venues from Seattle to Miami, any fan of Beyonce in America will get a chance to see her stunning live show first hand in a place nearby.

Many fans of Beyonce's music today were avid fans of the hit group Destiny's Child, who disbanded not long ago. Beyonce was childhood friends with Kelly Rowland when they were growing up in Houston, Texas. The two began a female singing group with two other members after high school, which grew to become a breakout hit in the music industry. Destiny's Child's last phase featured the trio of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Destiny's Child is currently the best selling female group of all time. Though their singing and dancing talents complimented each other nicely, they have all decided to go their separate ways to pursue solo careers. Beyonce has been the most successful of those to leave the group, having many hit singles top the charts in America and around the world. Her debut solo album, which featured many other prominent recording stars, included the hit singles "Crazy In Love," and "Baby Boy." Her second album was titled B'Day and was released in 2006. "Check on It," "Ring the Alarm" and "Irreplaceable," the three songs getting the most airplay from B'Day, all reached the zenith of the Billboard Top 100.

Not only can Beyonce sing, but she can act as well. Her acting credits include films like the 2006 Dream Girls, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She was also in Austin Powers in Goldmember, which debuted at number one on the box office in 2002 and grossed almost $300 million. In addition to being a great singer and actress (and beautiful to boot), Beyonce also helps write her own songs. She is a record producer, a fashion designer, an unbelievable dancer, and is a model for House of Dereon. Beyonce tickets let fans of the artist see many of her talents on display first-hand.

Beyonce sometimes makes headlines for her life outside of show business. She's been more than rumored to be dating record producer and rapper Jay-Z, and is often seen in public with him at sporting events. They like to keep their relationship under the radar of the media, however. They believe that the paparazzi can only have a negative effect on a serious celebrity couple.

If seeing an energy-packed, star-studded live concert featuring the beautiful Beyonce interests you, then you ought to check her out when she begins her tour this summer. Getting Beyonce tickets means that you will be in store for an elaborately choreographed music party with one of America's most admired celebrities.

Dental Hygienist: Hot Career Path

Sunday, April 18, 2010 10:29 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By Elizabeth Whitesmith

The field of dentistry is growing by leaps and bounds. This is primarily due to the fact that dental care, like other medical care fields, is currently seeing a rise in the number of patients accessing treatment. The dental hygienist plays a key role in providing this treatment. A hygienist can now expect a good salary, has flexible working hours and is able to access numerous benefits. So what does a dental hygienist do and what kind of training do they need?

Anyone, regardless of race, gender or ethnic background can become a dental hygienist. The education required includes a high school diploma, followed by at least two years of college education that blends clinical instruction and classroom studies. A dental hygienist can work in a number of environments, including dental offices, orthodontic offices, county health departments, and school districts.

A dental hygienist provides true hands-on care for both adults and children as patients, and is one of the most important members of a dental office team. He or she can educate, while providing certain levels of dental care to patients. It is often the hygienist's role to show patients how to properly care for teeth and gums, and to explain approved methods of brushing and flossing along with other dental care procedures that are performed in the home.

A dental hygienist works closely with a dentist to provide oral care for patients. She or he is trained to take and develop x-rays and clean teeth, removing dental plaque buildup from teeth. A dental hygienist can also apply either sealants or fluoride treatments to patients' teeth as well as instruct patients on the proper diet and nutrition for optimum dental care. A dental hygienist is also trained to make cast models of patients' teeth for preparation for other procedures, including application of braces, fittings for dental bridges and dentures. Often, the hygienist is the first and last person a patient sees when visiting a dentist. He or she will take a medical or dental history if needed, answer questions and make sure the dentist is aware of why the patient is sitting the in dentist's chair.

A career as a dental hygienist offers variety amid the routine of each day. Each new patient offers an opportunity to provide service. Hygienists can gain personal satisfaction while working closely with people of all ages and walks of life, and can rest assured that their service is a necessary and valuable one.

Today, there is a great demand for dental hygienists, as can be seen in the employment opportunities section of any newspaper. The position offers great benefits, including job security, insurance and vacation time. If you like to work with people, want the security of a stable position, and enjoy a variety of experiences, perhaps a career as a dental hygienist would be a good choice for you.

Baseball Bat Trends - What's Hot in the Wood Bat World

Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:27 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By David Biddle

Although the debate about banning metal baseball bats in youth baseball is not settled, high school and college players find themselves playing in wood bat summer leagues more and more these days. "It's clearly a trend," a coach told me last summer on opening day of the John Marzano Wood Bat Scout League in Philadelphia. "Kids know they need to do this, their coaches do too, and the scouts love it. Hitting with wood is a lot less forgiving than metal."

All of this makes for a more diverse baseball bat collection in summer dugouts -- from Cape Cod to Surprise, Arizona. And as the wood bat trend spreads to younger players, parents and coaches may want to know what the elite amateur players are using in tournaments like the World Wood Bat Championships held in Marietta, Georgia at the East Cobb Baseball complex.

In some ways you just have to look at the bats the pros are swinging. The two classics offered by Louisville Slugger, Derek Jeter's C71 and Alex Rodriguez's P273 are both guaranteed by the world's top bat company to be made of pro-stock wood. But if you watch Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols, they may be swinging Marucci bats; and Barry Bonds usually hits with a Sam Bat. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins have been partial to MaxBats over the past several years. And during much of 2008 Manny Ramirez was doing his dirty work with an X-Bat. As you'd expect, then, Marucci, Sam Bats, X-Bats, and Max Bats can all be found in amateur dugouts.

But don't let the pros be your only guide. There are only about 35 bat companies with bats approved and registered with Major League Baseball. Over 100 other companies make wood bats for amateur players. These companies tend to be small, primarily serving regional baseball communities. Companies like NYStix, Carolina Clubs, Bayou Bat Company, Hoosier Bats, and the Barnstable Bat Company serve independent league players, adult leagues, and local wood bat teams extensively. NYStix got a real boost last year making bats for New York City high school teams in their first year of play under the city's new ban on non-wood bats. The company's owner told me last winter that he was having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

Amateur players also like Old Hickory (made out of maple!), D-bats, and M-Powered bats. In addition, the more standard stock that can be found with Rawlings, Easton, and DeMarini are common -- especially DeMarini's composite wood bat wrapped in a fiberglass sleeve designed to help kids make the transition from metal to wood.

Who knows what bats will be popular next season. Zinger Bats out of Montreal is ramping up their marketing plans. Miguel Cabrera, Bobby Abreu, and Dan Uggla all used custom Zingers during at least part of last season. The influx of players from Asia has also been a boon to Mizuno. And when players get hot like Josh Hamilton did in the 2008 All-Star Home Run Derby, there's no question that the bat he used will be on the top of every young hitter's wish list (he swung an ash Louisville Slugger, Model C353; 34.5 inches and 33 ounces in weight; flame tempered with the special Smith finish).

In the end, the move to wood should keep young and old players alike online all winter long searching for just the right bat to start the new season with -- maybe not as fun as playing, but certainly a useful past-time while we wait.

David Biddle has coached youth baseball for more than 15 years. Of the 33 teams he has skippered, eight have won league championships (from 9U to 14U). He also brought two teams to Philadelphia's city championships (sadly, never to win). Mr. Biddle has taught hitting to more than six hundred young players since 1992. He writes the blog "Hitting with Wood," and published an essay called "Pondering Baseball's Purity" in The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2007.

Memorize Using Your Learning Style

Monday, April 12, 2010 10:21 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By Helen Heron

Learning Styles, Memorizing, High School, College, Visual Learner, Auditory Learner, Kinesthetic Learner

As you prepare for college, you will be processing more and more information. Use the learning methods that work for you to help you score your best on your high school and college tests. You may use different learning styles with different subjects. Experiment with what works for you. Knowing how you learn best will be invaluable information for you to use during the rest of your life.

All Learners

o Memorize by making associations or connections.
o Make up rhymes or acronyms.
o Take ten minute breaks every hour when you are studying.
o Play calm, background music while you are studying.
o Exercise vigorously before studying. It will send blood to your brain.
o Eat real food, not junk food, before you study to stay alert.
o Set the temperature at 68 degrees

The Visual Learner

o Do you have to read to remember material?
o Do you use flash cards to memorize?
o Do you doodle, draw diagrams, or pictures?
o Does it help you to color code your notes?
o Can you visualize (see in your mind) how a room looks without furniture?
o Can you visualize how clothes will look on you without trying them on?

Answering "yes" to these questions indicates that you learn by seeing.

The Auditory Learner

o Do you have to hear a lecture or a discussion to remember your lessons? Do you have to say things out loud to memorize?
o Do audio tapes help you learn?
o Can you remember a song the first time you hear it?
o Does it help if you teach someone else?

Answering "yes" to these questions indicates that you learn by listening.

The Tactile Learner

o Do you have to "do" a process to learn it?
o Do you have to write down the spelling of words to remember them? Do you write lists?
o Do you draw objects or ideas in the air?
o Do you write on your leg?
o Do you have to experience something to comprehend it?

Answering "yes" to most of these questions indicates that you learn by touching.

Memorizing
Decide what learning style or styles is your preferred pattern. Use what works best for you. Then, experiment with the exercises below to develop your speed, accuracy and efficiency in learning. You'll be amazed how much more rapidly you master your school work.

General Tips for all:

Schedule Brief Sessions

o Memorize three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes.
o Focus on 2 to 7 bits of new information at one time.
o Use flash cards or concise lists to help you make associations.

Memory Methods

o Make up a joke, rhyme, or an acronym (a word made up of the first letters of each word in your "phrases to memorize" list.
o Associate facts with counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or rooms in a house.
o See it, say it, write it.

Visual Aids

o Imagine historic scenes happening in movie.
o Visualize with dramatic verbs or write in letters of colored light.
o Associate key words with sensory ideas including smell, taste, touch and sound and sight.
o Trace a flow chart for processes or anatomy and include texture, heat, pressure, sound and smell.
o Draw mathematics and science formulae in different colors.

Auditory Aids

o Recall your teacher's voice explaining main points.
o Play slow, calming music while you study. (No vocals).
o Walk or march as you recite key phrases out loud, sing or chant.
o Recite your material dramatically.

Tactile Aids

o Use a colored pen to highlight items in a list.
o Feel anatomy or structural models with your eyes closed.
o Write key words on stick-it notes and fasten to your fingers.
o Take lecture notes writing in cursive with a scented, flow pen.
o Associate main ideas with hot or cold temperatures or textures.

America is Getting Dumber

Friday, April 9, 2010 10:19 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By Ruth Septimo

It's the same discussion all over again. The growing illiteracy of Middle America.

It's a hot button topic between my fiance and I. This is always the topic of discussion on the way home from the gym. A good 30 minutes of it. To be continued the next day if we weren't able to state our cause within that time period.

Did you know?

More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage.

More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. About three in five of America's prison inmates are illiterate.

Over one million children drop out of school each year, costing the nation over $240 billion in lost earnings, forgone tax revenues, and expenditures for social services.

Nearly half of America's adults are poor readers, or "functionally illiterate." They can't carry out
simply tasks like balancing check books, reading drug labels or writing essays for a job.

44 million adults in the U.S. can't read well enough to read a simple story to a child.

21 million Americans can't read at all, 45 million are marginally illiterate and one-fifth of high school graduates can't read their diplomas.

Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 - 4 times more likely to drop out in later years.

60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.

Approximately 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs.

It is estimated that the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is $20 billion per year.

Dyslexia affects one ot of every five children - ten million in America alone.

U.S. adults ranked 12th among 20 high income countries in composite (document, prose, and quantitative) literacy.

To participate fully in society and the workplace in 2020, citizens will need powerful literacy abilities that until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the population.

So, where do you fit in?

Call me a snob. I finished all my high school math classes the summer before Grade 9. I started university credit classes at CalTech the same year I started high school. I was top 1% in high school. I made it to Who's Who in American High School Students two years in a row and the Deans List. I was accepted to 8 high profiled universities including an Ivy League School. I graduated from university with two degrees. And accepted for my Masters / Specialization.

Still, am I qualified to teach my children? And homeschool them? Am I qualified to teach them Shakespeare? I have no passion for him, or for the plots. Am I qualified to teach them Social History? God no. Am I qualified to assess that my child has a learning disability? I can list a million things I am not qualified for when it comes to professional instruction.

I want my child to have the best of everything. I want to open doors to them. I want them to be an individual shaped by their own choice of role models. I want them to be able to go to the university they have chosen and not be stuck in the line up. I want them to have choices.

Really? Why homeschooling? If your kid is smarter than his peers, sign up for advanced placement classes. It's a great way for high achievers to realize their potential in a controlled environment.

What Does a Think Tank Member Do on a School Night?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 10:13 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By Lance Winslow

Running a Think Tank can be fun stuff indeed. You just never know what might come up or what topics might pique your curiosity? Did you have a good evening last night? So did we at the Online Think Tank and the folks here came up with some interesting thoughts and rather hot topics too. Like what you ask? Well like these for instance:

* Directional Acoustic Fire Fighting computer modeling equipment and robotic autonomous systems
* Rocket Exhaust Cavity Morphing for Flame Geometry Modification to Increase Efficiency
* Acoustic Modification of Post Exhaust Airflows or Water Flows for Directional Thrust
* Hypersonic Speed Control Thru Exhaust Flow Acoustic Modification to Dodge Missile Threats
* Cavitation Bubble Sound Dampening and Decoy Diversions
* Acoustic Ionization of final phase sedimentation of lakes to prepare for farming regions
* Rudder Deflection - Propulsion - Steering Mechanism

And of course that was only a warm up as the list of thinking items grew as the Think Tank's minds warmed up and so here are some other concepts they considered:

* Gobi Desert Dinosaurs were aquatic, since Gobi Desert was a sedimentary dry lake situation caused originally from an indentation of collapsed crust.
* False Predictions of "US Dollar" collapse if OPEC starts trading in Euros.
* Merging Large Nations like merging companies to prevent economic issues with one or both
* Floating Interest from Central Banks on the inflows to a nation above a baseline, rather than money put into the system, which flows out but does not return immediately.
* Bunker Buster strategies (18 units + pulse weapon) for underground Nuclear Facilities in Iran
* Volcanic Activity in Chile and Equador and water quality issues in Bolivia due to seasonal air-flow changes coming
* Solar Business sub-sector to increased demand by 140% by year end
* Creation of sub-delta regions thru canals to increase soil nutrients for farming
* Social Political Disruptions (guerilla tactics 'unfit to lead' syndrome' similar to additional wave introductions with regards to amplitudes and pendulum shifts de-stabilizing National Direction.
* Use of "Blog Scanning" to trigger lists of future assets for National Interests.
* Psycho-Cybernetics by Maltz and his comments on "plastic surgery" and bio-feedback and self-esteem and relating to the notion of "believe to achieve"
* Use of mirroring in email conversations to ratchet up a debate and provoke a reaction; to help mind map an individual and do a threat assessment.
* Why a 'flying motorcycle' parasailing device would be less than adequate using off the shelf current technologies, but was able to prove concept based on other similar models, weights and worked thru the problems if a prototype were to be built and potential applications as well.
* Why Segway Scooters missed the mark in their marketing roll-out.
* The potentials of a floating continental shelf collapse from man made re-distribution of surface water (8.2 lbs per gallon times Quadrillions of gallons of water). And ramifications of the sea water rising or Tsunami makes Global Warming Horror flicks rather mild.
* Other miscellaneous thoughts and concepts.

Well to cap off the night I went home to think on all these things a bit and then I decided to watch three popular Hollywood movies on the Movie Channel and read an essay by Henry Kissinger and one volume of "Growing up With Science" how things are made 88 illustrated pages.

Also read 7 research papers ranging from volcanic activity in Chile, South America to William Morris Davis's theories and papers on erosion. Met a gentleman at Starbucks in the Embroidery Business and a Jewish couple with a son who played sports and discussed world topics, high holidays and the fact that "Red Bull" is kosher.

So, all in all it was a light informational intake evening for me. Do you have any thoughts on any of these subjects or do you wish to propose a new topic for today? My question to you is; Are you ready to join a Think Tank now? When might you be up to speed? Let us know on that?

Fitness Model Program Review - Don't Buy!

Saturday, April 3, 2010 10:10 PM Posted by Andy Subandono 0 comments

By Chris Stilez

Yes don't buy...
Because who cares about looking like a fitness model? All we want is to lose a few pounds, be slim enough to fit in those pants again, feel confident enough to show a little bit of skin on a hot summer day, right?!

Well the truth is the more ambitious you are, the easier it will be for you to achieve the smallest goals. I remember when I was still in school and wanted higher grades. Often when I aimed for an A+, I'd get an A or A-, when I aimed for a B, I'd get a C, and when I just aimed to pass a course, well... that's when I failed! Can you relate?

You may have heard this before: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

Well this same principle applies to any goals you have. And Jennifer Nicole Lee knows it first hand. She applied it to herself and she now lives among the stars! I won't go into the details of her story and how the fitness model program was born, but keep in mind that she was 200 pounds overweight, had just given birth to her second child and went on to win a fitness model contest in under a year!

"What's her secret?"
Well, there is no secret. After reading the fitness model program you will find that most of the things in it are not totally new. You probably have all the pieces to the puzzle you need to achieve your goal. But how long will it take you to put them all together? That's the real question...

Jennifer Nicole Lee attempted in her program to provide a step-by-step blueprint to not only weight-loss but beauty transformation and make it in a way that anyone who follows it will see results guaranteed in under 8 weeks!

Did she succeed?
The answer is YES... and NO!
NO - Because you'll still need to be highly motivated and be willing to follow the program religiously. If you don't have the will, the dedication, the motivation to shoot for the stars then this isn't for you.
YES - Because she really laid it all out. Nothing is left behind. She gives away everything she did, step-by-step, to be able to lose 80 pounds and ultimately win a fitness model competition.

Conclusion
Don't buy the fitness model program if you do not have ambitious goals and you are not ready to follow a step-by-step plan to reach them. Don't buy the fitness model program if you only want a few pounds gone and you are not ready for a life-style transformation.

If you feel like you've been trying to solve a complicated puzzle but you know deep in yourself that you can put it all together... then your purchase will not be useless. You will get there faster than if you had to do it all by yourself. If you're that kind of person, you might wanna know I purchased my own Fitness Model Program with a discount when I signed up on this website here and got a pleasant surprise bonus... can't tell what it is but it's been great! (This is not a pitch, really do not go into it unless you're ready to take the bull by the horns and make things happen!)

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