Friday, December 30, 2011

The Modern Workplace

I think the modern workplace is so varied that the whole objective of productivity is misconstrued.

Basically, I am used to, and still excel in an environment that has a lot of camaraderie, good communication and great teamwork. So, I should technically opt for this as the “ideal working environment”.

But no !


At one point in time, I used to work well under pressure and used to prefer a fast-paced environment. But now as those bones “creak”, I would opt for a much calmer setting in order to do some of my best work. Now I used to give high priority for dress code and formal environments, but after working in a place that has no “hang-ups” for the business attire – you generally get pulled into the casual environment. This is because, casual environments are more flexible about attire, work hours, and other factors. So personally, I feel that working in an environment where the atmosphere is quite relaxed, friendly and flexible and with a casual dress code to match, brings out the best in you.

Now wait a minute – by casual environment, I don’t mean 6 hour days, with office chair basketball, sushi once a week, shorts and t-shirts, etc., or always having internet access to some great music with a cool speaker system, or an open air refreshment where there is great food always available, or a place with sunlight streaming in from the windows and having state-of-the-art temperature control and designer paintings on the walls !!!

There is no harm in dreaming huh?

So would I be right in saying that my ideal job consists of a workplace where I can grow not only professionally but intellectually. A place where my own ideas are well received and there is room and space for innovative thinking. In other words I would like to have a job where I can "wear many hats" and where my abilities are maximized. And ofcourse, a place where my know-how and work is appreciated vis-à-vis financial gains and economic stability

Although deadlines are fun, it can stress us all out, so it is important to have fun and this can only be achieved in a place that has great camaraderie.

I would also like the option of working from home once a while.

So the bottom-line is that I would like an office with a relaxed atmosphere and a few of the above qualities. In other words, an organization that has some of these qualities and appreciates balance and flexibility.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What Is Narcolepsy

Narcoleptics have trouble with their sleeping habits. People with narcolepsy sleep disorder condition suddenly fall asleep while they are watching television or reading and in some cases even while eating or talking.

The main signs of the narcolepsy syndrome are extreme daytime sleepiness, cataplexy while awake, and hallucinations during sleep. Narcolepsy often is the cause of cataplexy, which causes a sudden loss in your muscles especially when you are wide awake. It resembles fainting or a seizure as it causes you to drop whatever you are holding. This may last for a few seconds or minutes followed by strong emotions.

Narcolepsy symptoms are difficult to identify and it can affect both women and men. Narcolepsy sleep disorder signs generally show up during the teenage years. The disorder is rare in children who are five years and below. People who have narcolepsy sleep disorder usually find it difficult to function at school, work or home mainly due to their extreme tiredness and sleepiness.

Narcolepsy is usually mistaken to be a fainting or a seizure disorder, or sometimes classified as lethargy or learning problems for school going children. It is even harder to diagnose the condition when the narcolepsy cataplexy symptoms are mild. There is no cure that has been found for narcolepsy as of date, but therapy along with lifestyle changes can reduce the condition.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Japan Travel Safety Tips

As a peaceful and neutral nation, Japan enjoys a reputation for being one of the safest countries in Europe and in the world. Travelers can take comfort knowing that Japan has one of the lowest unemployment rates as well as a very high standard of living. However, contemporary Japan although complete with skyscrapers, traffic jams and air pollution, has the usual problems like any modern state. Hence, travelers are advised to observe basic travel safety tips during the stay in this wonderful country.

Japan is the third largest economy in the world and it has a GDP of around $35K by purchasing power, so traveling to Japan is relatively safe. However, people traveling to Japan should still take precautions when going around the different cities. Despite Japan having a low crime rate, there are gangs, prostitutes and pickpockets who are ready to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists, especially in heavy tourist spots such as public transportation sites and parks. Hence, it’s better to take a taxi than to take a stroll at night, especially if you are alone. Also be careful of motorcycle gangs as you are walking since they have been known to snatch purses and handbags from unknowing and innocent pedestrians.

Japanese youth generally show positive attitudes towards you, although from others there is a certain type of indifference. Many people coming to Japan wonder if the Japanese are racist and cold to westerners. The answer is that Japanese racism is in almost all cases is NEVER HOSTILE towards anyone. It is very unlikely that you may find any skinhead thugs or people in white sheets in Japan.

Whatever said and done, travelers must try and remember these things:

Always plan your travel in advance. Research and read about the place you’re heading to. Search about it on the Internet or read the travel magazines. You can even join forums to discuss your views.

The most important thing that you must keep in mind is your own safety. Things such as a first aid kit would go a long way if you are faced with any injuries while traveling. Also keep few medicines handy for precaution because you cannot rely on anyone for help during an emergency. You also don’t need any inoculations to enter Japan from anywhere in the world. If you are taking prescription medication, you should take it with you along with a copy of the prescription. Bring only what you need for the duration of your trip. While it is possible to buy prescription drugs in other countries, it is better that you come prepared so you don’t have to worry about your health maintenance during your vacation or trip. Japan also imposes very strict penalties for drug users and drug carriers and distributors.

Tap water is safe to drink, just about anywhere in Japan. However, it is prudent to have a back-up containing bottled water or mineral water.

Japan has among the best medical facilities in the world so you don’t have to worry if something unforeseen does happen to you, during your trip. However, it is recommended that you ensure that your travel insurance is updated. Travel insurance policy can provide a great help when you don't have enough money to spend on the medical treatment and expenses on hospital bills.

As there are plenty of airline companies that provide air-tickets to Japan, a traveler has the choice to select the best option. Alternately, go online and compare prices to get the best rate.

Arrange for the passport and visa in advance to avoid any kind of delay in the journey. You can also contact the travel agents to make your trip comfortable. You can book your tickets online by visiting the websites of airlines.

Make sure that you pack your baggage carefully to avoid any kind of problems during the journey. List of all requirements should be made so that you don't miss anything. Over weight luggage can become a hurdle while traveling. Hide your valuables. Don’t invite muggers to come and get you. Don’t wear too much jewelry outside the streets. Use inexpensive accessories.

There is no need to carry cash. It is always safer to use electronic cards for transactions. Credit cards and debit cards can be used for shopping purpose. Never buy heavy things which you can't carry. Basically, take just enough cash. Keep in mind to use a money belt when traveling. This cuts down the chances of having your purse, money and other valuables stolen. Limit the amount of cash you carry for the day and opt to pay with traveler’s checks, which can easily be replaced. Although traveler’s checks and credit cards are good, you might want to keep a few extra dollars in your pocket with local currency.

Try and make online reservations with the nearest hotels and restaurants. Lodging in hotels and resorts can sometimes cost a lot.

Always, take a road map of the city and try and learn to read them. These maps can assist you greatly, if you haven’t been to a place before. It is advised no to rely too much on a taxi driver, but instead it is better to take the public transportation. The buses and trains are reliable so you shouldn’t have a problem getting around.

Try learning the basics of the Japanese language. Also study the most common words that you would likely ask a local. The Japanese are very hospitable and will go to any extent to help you despite their little knowledge of the English language. However, don’t be under the misapprehension that if you talk slower or louder in English, the Japanese will finally understand you!

Never be shy in asking directions, particularly in Japan. But be careful in whom you ask. In other words, don’t ask a complete stranger, but instead ask your receptionist or waiter and get the complete info. Try and dress suitably. In other words, don’t wear something that singles you out from the rest of the crowd as a tourist. Basically, the less attention you get the better.

Books are the best companion of loneliness. If you don't like reading novels then magazines are other choice. You can carry the reading material and can keep yourself busy during the journey. It's better to avoid relying on strangers from the safety point of view and reading habit can make your boring journey interesting. Listening music can also be a good option.

If you are out sightseeing, it is highly recommended that you carry some personal identification with you at all times. If questioned by the local authorities, you may need to be able to present some ID, either a driver’s license or your passport. Keep your ID and your cash and credit cards secure with you at all times. Also remember that in many establishments, the credit card receipt will print your entire credit card number. Keep your duplicate copies with you securely.

To make your traveling interesting you can indulge in exciting things like trekking, mountaineering etc. Activities which give you pleasure should never be missed.

Another important point to remember is that be prepared to head into a restroom stall and find the urinal on the floor, without a toilet paper in most cases. Get used to the fact that slippers are lined up for at the entrance to a tatami room and that you won’t get a California roll at a sushi restaurant.

Lastly, enjoy your travel and try making friends with the locals. Meet up with locals, talk with them over a meal in a restaurant or bar. Get their addresses and keep in touch with them by sending them a greeting or thank-you card. You could perhaps be their host when they visit your country. Always keep your confidence up and boost your morale before starting your journey alone.

These are some of the safety tips to keep in mind while traveling in Japan. Following these tips will help ensure that your stay in Japan will be safe and hassle free.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cosmetic Surgery Thailand

Cosmetic surgery in Thailand is now popular than ever as they are around fifty to sixty percent cheaper than similar surgeries conducted in the USA or Europe. Cosmetic surgery which at a point was only available to wealthy people is now fast becoming available to the general public. Thailand plastic surgery packages are one of the primary reasons for this. With their affordable priced procedures cosmetic surgery holidays Thailand is fast becoming one of the most popular plastic surgery and holiday destinations around the globe.

What is Cosmetic Surgery ?

According to, cosmetic surgery is defined as a type of surgery that is used to enhance a person’s physical form or appearance. The term plastic surgery however, is used to define a type of surgery that is dedicated to enhance beauty. It is also used to define reshaping normal structures so as to improve the patient’s self esteem and appearance. Cosmetic surgery can also be used to reconstruct any physical abnormalities caused during birth or due to tumors or age. In contrast to the above, reconstructive plastic surgery is used to do any reconstructive procedures such as neck and head reconstruction, hand or breast reconstruction

Thailand plastic surgery packages

Thailand is one of the amazing places in the world for a holiday – the shopping malls, the culture, food, climate combined with the marvelous beaches all makes it a great holiday spot. Combining this with cosmetic surgery makes t Thailand plastic surgery packages a fabulous deal.

It is also well known that Thailand is an affordable holiday vacation spot, affordable even to the common man. Hence most tourists tend to recoup after their plastic surgery at a beautiful tropical holiday destination in Thailand. There are also many reputed medical tourism firms who would only be pleased to offer guidance to any interested client.

There are many travelers who come under the category of medical tourism visiting Thailand for cosmetic surgery holidays in Thailand. Thailand plastic surgery packages are far cheaper compared to what it would cost in countries like the Europe and USA and besides, Thailand is the perfect place to recover after a surgery. A tropical Thailand plastic surgery package offers a prospective client the best locales with the finest hospitals who have enough well-trained staff to look after a patient during their exotic Thailand cosmetic surgery holiday.

Medical Tourism

Thailand is now expanding its tourism sector into a totally new niche called medical tourism. Cosmetic medical tourism is not a new phenomenon in Thailand. It is nothing but traveling to an overseas or foreign location to acquire medical treatment. This is combined with a holiday package thereby coining the word medical tourism. Actually, medical tourism is not something recent as it is believed that the ancient Greeks and European traveled abroad for health and relaxation.

One of the main reasons that people leave their home country and seek affordable medical treatment or cosmetic surgery elsewhere is because of the cost. And Thailand is top of the list because of the quality, variety of service available and the comparatively low prices. Another reason is that in the last few years, people who visited Thailand on holiday did a quick plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery and returned looking younger and refreshed. Soon the word spread about how cheap and good source were the Thailand plastic surgery packages and subsequently it established itself as one of the primary medical tourism spots.

Furthermore, many of Thailand’s leading hospitals have received certification from the International Organization for Standardization. Nevertheless, it is better to ask the agent who is arranging the medical tour to identify a suitable and reputed hospital thereby easing any reservations that the patient might have. Gradually the number of people traveling to Thailand for a cosmetic surgery has increased and cosmetic surgery in Thailand is now popular than ever.

Cosmetic Surgery Thailand - Pro and Cons

Traveling to unfamiliar, non-English speaking countries like Thailand for cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery can seem daunting at first. It can also be very risky without sufficient knowledge and expertise. It is important to ensure that the process is stress free and that there is maximum safety and assurance that the cosmetic surgery holidays and plastic surgeons meet the superior standards and western expectations.

Detractors of treatment abroad will say that the quality of care and safety standards in other countries, particularly third world countries like Thailand, are simply not as good as what you will find in the Western world. This is not particularly true. There are international agencies that regulate medical tourism, as well as companies that put together medical tourism packages only with approved and accredited doctors and hospitals. Many of Thailand’s physicians have received their degrees and post-degree training in North America and Europe. Thus, they are familiar with the quality of care expected by Western patients, and this helps assure patients that their treatment abroad will be of the same quality that they would receive in their home countries.

The standards of health care do vary from country to country, and each country has an accreditation and standardization system to ensure a basic level of care and quality. As medical tourism has increased, there are new international accreditation standards that maintain cross-border standards. The function of such agencies are that of a watch-dog; to ensure that you get the same quality of care when you travel for treatment abroad that you would get in your home country.

Ofcourse Thailand has many cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery practitioners due to the burst in cosmetic surgery in Thailand, but not all of them are reputable, genuine or qualified to suitable standards. Many surgeons offering cosmetic surgery in Thailand have poor English communication skills and may not be worth the risk if you are not familar with the medical industry or can speak the language. There are also dangers and serious risks involved if medical tourists do not carefully select high quality medical facilities and genuinely skilled cosmetic surgeons. Just as the quality of hospitals varies in your home country, it does in Thailand as well. Not all hospitals in any country are created equal, but it is possible to get Western quality health care in Thailand and this may be a more beneficial avenue to pursue than to get treatment in your home country.

However, Thailand has some outstanding medical facilities. Some of the very best hospitals and medical clinics in Asia are located in Bangkok. The Doctors are mostly trained in Western countries and continuously update their international training to include the latest procedures. As johncimble mentions in his many articles on HubPages regarding Cosmetic Surgery in Thailand that even scholarly institutions in the West are starting to pour cold water on theories that plastic surgery in Thailand is unsafe. The prestigious and world famous Harvard Business School stated that Thailand's infrastructure is more than sufficient for a number of thriving and safe cosmetic surgery facilities to operate successfully. And if you think that Thailand's improved medical facilities are a recent phenomenon, think again. The World Health Organization's last extensive rankings system in 2000 placed Thailand just 10 places behind the United States in terms of quality of healthcare system.

You will also soon come to find out that Thailand is a leader when it comes to cosmetic surgery, and even better is that the procedures are affordable, and in addition, the quality of care is excellent. For this reason, this is why Thailand is the most popular places to come for plastic/cosmetic surgery. Every year there are thousands of people that flock to Thailand to have some type of procedure done, which include surgery such as nose reductions to ear surgery. All in which are offered at inexpensive cost compared to the having the procedures preformed in the U.S or Europe.

Bangkok Plastic Surgery

Bangkok plastic surgery is highly advanced and the numerous hospitals and clinics in Thailand offer all conceivable procedures. The leading hospitals in Bangkok are modern and attended by professional, English-speaking staff who are trained in the latest techniques. Now the dream of quality safe and affordable Bangkok plastic surgery is a reality

The services that are offered in Thailand hospitals may vary in type but not in quality. Plastic surgery, Bangkok is offered by hospitals have services like face lifts, cheek and chin lifts and augmentation, Botox, forehead lift, breast implants, reduction and lifts, buttocks implantation, and you may even get sex change, Thailand in Bangkok hospitals. Similar is the case with cosmetic surgery, Phuket hospitals; their services include all types of face surgeries, body surgeries that includes breast implants, Phuket at lowest price ever, and also Liposuction for tummy tuck-in and hair implants. In short, the cosmetic surgery, Bangkok and Phuket are one of the best services that Thailand hospitals provide.

The services are also a part of the advantages the hospitals offers. There are many hospitals that offer plastic surgeries in the world but sex change, Thailand and breast implants, Phuket are top features that have made many eyes roll. Their policy to keep everything private and confidential is the biggest advantage for you. The Thailand hospitals offer many services, but the decision will be yours, that is plastic surgery, Phuket or cosmetic surgery, Bangkok. There is no difference in the services as all the plastic surgery hospitals will offer you the best.

Phuket and cosmetic surgery in Bangkok is available to people at low prices and they also give all the comfort to patients while their treatment. Considering them will be a boon to you, as their well-trained staff and professional nurses help you during your treatment. They have top cosmetic surgery, Phuket surgeon teams that consult you and give you the treatment that suits you. The customer will surely get what they want without regretting. The Plastic surgery, Bangkok and plastic surgery, Phuket hospitals offer low priced surgical and non-surgical treatments, best team of surgeons, best services and customer satisfaction

Visualize a cosmetic surgery in Phuket Thailand that restores the mind beauty & soul in a safe location and where patients can revitalize and refine their body in privacy and luxury. A Thailand cosmetic surgery recovery process combined with a Thailand plastic surgery package that includes white golden beaches, amazing cuisine, year round sunshine and traditional Thailand massage or spa to enhance the cosmetic surgery healing process. It would be truly relaxing. And wouldn’t it be even greater if the cosmetic surgery Thailand prices and a holiday of your dreams would cost only about one third the cost of the cosmetic surgery back home.

Plastic Surgery Holidays Thailand

While it is true that Thailand is among one of the top destinations to go to if you want to have cosmetic surgery, it is even a greater place to visit should you want to take a holiday and recoup after a plastic surgery. Thailand is also a beautiful place to visit and has many things to offer as you are recovering from after your surgery. Before the surgery and after, you will get the opportunity to enjoy a new culture that you might not otherwise have. So not only will your cosmetic surgery in Thailand change the way you and others see you, you can make your experience more enjoyable. A plastic surgery in Thailand holiday will make your hospital stay similar to staying in a five star hotel.

Plastic surgery in Thailand is a natural choice as patients can recuperate at one of the many tropical resorts.

In Thai cosmetic surgery clinics there are several procedures that are very popular: nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, hair transplantation, and breast reduction. Another cosmetic surgery that Thailand has gained recognition for the world over is sex change surgery - Thailand is the first choice for people who cannot get treatment at home for complex medical procedures.

Cosmetic surgery packages in Thailand typically include operative costs and post-operative care and accommodation. Plastic surgery in Thailand is affordable, excellent, and easy. Combine your cosmetic surgery with a holiday in Thailand and save money at the same time. Cosmetic surgery and aftercare in Thailand is affordable, with many doctors having studied medicine abroad in Europe or North America. Cosmetic surgeons in Thailand are well qualified with hospital staff and doctors well versed in English. They also provide you information and guidance in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgical procedures.

Thailand is a world leader in cosmetic surgery, and its affordable procedures and high quality care make it one of the most popular plastic surgery destinations around the globe. Here we are providing information to the prospective patients and/or their families about cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery procedures available to them. We provide you information and guidance in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgical procedures.

The Thailand plastic surgery center offers a full range of cosmetic plastic surgery services by prominent board certified plastic surgeons. Our partner for plastic surgery in Thailand is the most renowned center for cosmetic surgery in Thailand. Plastic surgery includes both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Thailand is the main hub for cosmetic surgery with JCI internationally accredited hospitals offering state-of-the-art technology and a high level of care. Not only a popular destination for cosmetic surgery, Thailand is also a favorite vacation spot offering sophisticated resorts that tend to guests every needs.

Plastic surgery is a treatment that can change your look and can give you new looks and features you always wanted. Look matters, and everyone knows that but if there is anything that you want to change in your look then cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery is the answer. Thailand hospitals that offer plastic surgery, Phuket and Bangkok are places where you can get all the treatments to improve your looks. Thailand is a place well known for its beauty but not many know that there are some hospitals that provide best services for treating every type of disease or problem. The cosmetic surgery, Bangkok and Phuket are one of the best services that Thailand hospitals provide.

Plastic surgery in Thailand is a natural choice. Patients can recuperate at one of the many tropical resorts. More and more people from all over the world have opted for a holiday in Thailand combined with plastic surgery at prices considerably cheaper than what they would have to pay for the plastic surgery alone in their countries.

Value For Money

This is one of the reasons why plastic surgery in Thailand is appealing to more American citizens than ever before. They realize that having nose surgery in Thailand will cost them anywhere from fifty to seventy percent less than it will in the United States. With the aforementioned disintegration of the American healthcare system, there is no guarantee that the care US citizens receive at home is any better than what they will get during plastic surgery in Thailand. When you consider the fact that the Thai government are actively improving facilities on an almost daily basis, it is likely that a large number of American hospitals are not as clean as their Thai counterparts. With more than 1.2 million patients arriving from 190 countries worldwide to undergo plastic surgery in Thailand. The myths surrounding Thailand and dangerous medical practices have been well and truly shattered. The Thai government have seen the profound effect medical tourism is having on their country and have pledged to continue their impressive patronage when it comes to medical facilities and the training of new surgeons and other medical staff.

With a warm friendly ambience cosmetic surgery holidays in Thailand is affordable, enjoyable, confidential, and safe alternative to cosmetic surgery done in the US, UK or Australia.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mad Men Review

Advertising revolves around happiness and happiness could be anything such as a billboard whose brand personifies and reassures your actions.

It would be an understatement to say that I am not a Maddict. In other words, an addict of Mad Men, a show about a popular Madison Avenue advertising agency set in the early sixties. It depicts the changing moods and social movements of the sixties America. I personally think it is a reservoir of quality TV that gets people to think. The thing that gets the viewer to think is the total lack of emotion or real human intimacy, be it sexual or otherwise that exists between the characters. That is to say everybody is obsessed with how things appear while avoiding the obvious, which seems ideal for a set of people whose lives revolve around the endless creation of image and facade.

But what is funny is that the series Mad Men comprises of combination of power, sexuality, power, repression with only a silent knowledge of changes on the horizon. It is even more funny that the children of some friends of mine who identify themselves with the series have taken up to secretly posting Mad Men oriented avatars of themselves on the popular social media network Facebook. This further exemplifies the fact that the show has a strong brand identity that makes today’s youth go to the extent of identifying personalities from their parents' generation.

According to Wikipedia, Mad Men is an American television drama created and produced by Matthew Weiner. It is produced by Lions Gate Television and was premiered on July 2007. According to a 2011 Miller Tabak and Company estimate published in Barrons, Lions Gate Entertainment receives an estimated $2.71 million from the American cable network AMC for each episode, a little less than the $2.84 million each episode costs to produce. Mad Men has received critical acclaim, particularly for its historical authenticity and visual style, and has won multiple awards, including thirteen Emmys and four Golden Globes. It is the first basic cable series to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, winning it in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Like many other Mad Maniacs, I try and watch most episodes a second time if time permits. This justifies my faith in the show and why it is currently the finest drama on television. It would be a lot better if people started producing similar dramas that have subtle humor blended with investigative and innovative journalism that gets people to think. For people who grew up in the sixties particularly in and around New York, this serial would be a trip down memory lane. Almost every character brings back primal memories as each of them have their flaws that helps the viewer to identify themselves with the character. All sorts of things we would rather avoid yet find tempting is a key theme of the show. Hence, it is no doubt that style and sexiness are a part of the show.

Summarizing, I like the serial for its almost perfect and suggestive recreation of the sixties and the philosophy that accompanies it. While the brand identity remains almost the same, it evolves with each series retaining its basics so as to not meddle with an award winning formula.

Why are you waiting…….. go watch the show today !

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Corporate Social Responsibility in mobile phone companies

Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR has virtually become a keyword over the last few years. With the global business outlook deteriorating dramatically, the current question is how businesses would maintain their approach towards CSR while maintaining their bottom line. Clearly companies and organizations will need a better understanding of the terms of engagement with their customers and CSR.

Interestingly, more and more mobile phone companies are waking up to their responsibilities to the environment, the larger community and the global implications of their activities even though the question remains whether companies are embracing CSR for purely selfish reasons. There is also this general perception that the mobile phone companies are rather casual in their approach towards CSR and that they only worry about the company's bottom line. In challenging times it is easy to take this short-term view, but the convergence of the mobile, internet and PC have become a reality. Mobile phone companies have become aware that people are not searching for devices alone, but want complete solutions with invisible technology. Consumer relationships are the new unit of value in this converged industry.

The problem is that despite the increasing importance of Corporate Social Responsibility as an effective management practice, there has been only limited understanding about its presence in mobile communications, and mobile phone companies.

Mobile phones have the potential to bring enormous social and economic benefits, thereby boosting economic development and improving quality of life. Mobile phone organizations ensure that connecting people is connecting people to what matters - whatever that means for each person - giving them the power to make the most of every moment, everywhere, any time. Connecting the "we" is more powerful than just the individual. They have realized that in a world where connecting people to what matters, empowers them to make the most of every moment. The Finnish mobile giant, Nokia’s, Corporate Social Responsibility agenda is carried out in all aspects of their work to ensure customer satisfaction and respect. Nokia sets the standards for the industry through initiatives that not only make a positive impact, but also makes good business sense. By including all members of Nokia's community in this process, they demonstrate their overall commitment to the belief that “responsibility is everybody's business”.

This was clearly demonstrated in Haiti, where mobile phones had helped save hundreds of lives, and kept families connected when disaster struck. What really helped the people was that life saving information was available through a few mobile phones with internet access. Another little known fact was that the Motorola Foundation had also provided more than $0.5 million in cash and more than $1.5 million in products such as two-way radios, rugged laptops, mobile phones, network base stations and other equipment to assist customers and other relief agencies who were involved with the support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

It was the same situation during the Chilean earthquake where a single person, using his mobile phone and the internet, designed a Google map which was of great assistance to people inflicted by the quake. It helped people find gas stations, department stores and other important links. Besides, people could also contribute to this map as well. It was an example of innovation in communications and demonstrating how the world connects. This behavior of functioning independently for the sake for greater good could not serve as a better definition of an individual’s social responsibility using his mobile phone.

It is the same scenario in India, where many of the poor rural people carry mobile phones despite the fact that brand marketing is of little use to this poor community. Like any other developing country, many Indians from the poor rural areas do not have a landline and often consider mobile phones more as a precious resource to be shared by other family members, rather than treating it purely as a personal device. The average household in India that own a mobile phone averages over 5 persons, which is relatively higher than that of China, which averages over 3 persons. That is to say, the result of 1 person communicating online, aids over 5 people offline in India. In shorter terms we are watching awareness of market conditions among this cross section of people who have never had this privilege before. Hence, it is doubtful that CSR and lower costs will put a strain on any profits, but in contrast India's mobile phone segment can only grow further by targeting more such small users.

The concept of using technology for microfinance institutions through the use of SMS or Short Message Service technology is another interesting aspect where mobile technology is assisting poor people in their banking and communication services. The objective here is that such an exercise would eventually reduce costs for the MFIs or microfinance institutions, and they could further extend their social reach into below poverty level segments through the use of mobile communications.

An example where mobile phones indirectly contributes to CSR is the RUMA project in Indonesia, where the project’s objective is to pull poor rural people out of their poverty. This project is building entrepreneurs out of poor women who sell essential products and services to their fellow communities. They are being helped by the Grameen foundation who measures their poverty levels ensuring that the project is meeting its desired objective. RUMA provides the idea, the skill and training, the necessary capital so as to meet this objective and they also ensure that these women are connected by mobile devices with computing power.

Like Nokia and Motorola, there is Docomo, Vodafone, Kyocera and Samsung etc., who all have an active Corporate Social Responsibility program agenda.

Summarising, although solving problems of inequality and poverty may require a lot more deal of integrated action, the bottom line is that every step of CSR contributes a new attitude towards mobile phone companies. It is also obvious that mobile phone companies have enabled families to stay in touch, made businesses and government more efficient and helped them to do their jobs safely and effectively and have convinced the community with the belief that responsibility is everybody's business. However in the long run, it is the ethical and moral practices which they practice through their Corporate Social Responsibility policies that could help people in developing a more positive attitude towards mobile phone organizations.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Power Lifting Cushion Review

Many old and middle aged people find it difficult to lift their body once they have sat down. They require some sort of assistance to lift themselves from a sitting to a standing position. This could be because of anything such as weak arm strength, obesity or irregular weight in the upper and lower parts of the body. It is for such people that the Power Lifting Cushion comes as a big help as it helps these people to lift their whole body from a sitting to a standing position.

What is it?
The said cushion is a compact and portable electric power lifting cushion. It can be carried anywhere with the help of a fixed handle.

What does it do?

The Power Lifting Cushion is clearly the best solution for elderly people or people who experience difficulty in getting up from a chair/ couch or trying to sit on a chair/ couch. It slowly lifts the entire body safely when the power lever is pulled up thereby making getting up from a chair easy. The lever can be stopped in between positions according to the need. Similarly, a person sits on the cushion and the lever is pushed down from the highest point when the person wants to sit. As a result, the entire body is placed flat on the cushion. It is more advisable to use it on armchairs with handles.

Who are the users?

The Power Lifting Cushion is ideal for people who cannot rise from their seats on their own or who cannot sit on a chair without the help of someone. The reason for immobility may be due to various reasons like inadequate upper and lower body strength, weak arm strength, heavy obesity, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gerhig’s disease, degenerative joint disease or post operative conditions. Hence every time these people need to get up or sit down from their seats, they need not seek human help. By using this seat uplift assist, all it requires is just a pull of the lever and they can either stand or sit. It is best suited for any arm chair or couch.

Product Description
It weighs about 12 lb which is equivalent to just over 5 kg. The cushion is flat and steady and can lift a weight of about 136kg (300 lb). The seat depth is 480 mm and the seat width is 410 mm. The maximum height of the seat is 250 mm and minimum height of the seat is 60 mm. It has two detachable power levers which can be used either in the left or on the right side of the chair/ couch. These levers are either pulled up so as to rise from the seat, or pushed down to return to the sitting position.

It is a flat comfortable, cushion seat which is made up of high density polyurethane foam. It molds with the body contours and provides great comfort to the user. At every point of lift level, the seat remains flat ensuring stability and safety. The cushion is secure because of its non-slip texture. The power lifting cushion also has a removable cover which can be washed. The foam used in it is water resistant and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. The most notable feature is its built-in handle which makes it portable. A 12ft long detachable cord also comes with it and which is approved with UL and CSA power supply.

Price Range

The Power Lifting Cushion is priced at around $150 in the market and is easily available at Amazon. The affordable rate of the power lifting cushions is more attractive instead of investing high prices for the armchair incliner. It is worthwhile investment because of its advantages and the comfort level it provides. On a rating of 1 to 5, it is rated at around 3.5 stars in the market.

Where to buy it
The Power Lifting Cushion or Uplift Seat Assist is a product of Collins Care, mobility specialists. It is readily available product and can be purchased easily through online shopping sites such as Amazon.

My thoughts on the Power Lifting Cushion

I came to know about this product from a friend of mine who had purchased it for his father. Immediately, I got it for my mother who required assistance after her stroke. My mother was able to sit or stand without the assistance of a second person. It was a great relief and confidence to her as well as to all of us. However, I was initially a bit intrigued by the simplicity of the mechanism used in this product and its adaptability to any arm chair or couch. It has six weight settings, which can be adjusted according to the patient’s weight. The easy portability of this product is an added feature. In short, the Power Lifting Cushion is a fantastic product that is easily available in the market and which comes with maximum advantages. However, it is not advisable to use the Power Lifting Cushion on wheel chairs or couches with wheels and which does not have proper seating facilities.

I would recommend it as one of the best aids for those who need assistance with their sitting or standing. The Power Lifting Cushion not only helps them to be mobile, but also permits them to do most of their work by themselves.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Qwirkle Board Game Review

The Qwirkle Board Game from Mindware is a simple and equally fun game that is suitable for all ages. This board game can be enjoyed by both kids and adults and that is one of the many reasons why it is ideal for the whole family. One of its main advantages is that it provides adequate training for the kids when it comes to pattern building and recognition. As a result, the game develops the basic strategic and logical skill of the players.

Product Description

The whole game play is based on patterns and colors which many of the board games share in common. The game consists of 108 wooden tiles or blocks that come in six different shapes and in six colors. The wooden tiles are indeed beautiful and would make a nice necklace! The tiles are nice to touch and has a very soft feel.

How to play Qwirkle

Quirkle is a board game that requires well thought out strategy and planned maneuvers from the players. It can also be as simple as matching shapes and colors. Using the tiles, the players try and score the maximum points by building lines that contains similar colors or shapes.

Qwirkle is strategic because it mainly consists of forming shapes or patterns. Shapes or patterns can be produced by lining up the tiles in a line and which share a common single trait, i.e., a diamond. That is to say, if there are four similar diamonds in a straight line and you add a fifth diamond to it, and you will be granted 5 points.

Prior to commencement of the game, ensure that you have a pad and pen at your side. This is to keep a tab on the scores of each player during their turn. Every player commences the game by drawing or taking six tiles from the pouch and begin to line it up in front of him or her. The player who has the most number of tiles that share the same pattern or color begins first. Whenever a player has less than six tiles in front of them, they will then have to draw another tile from the pouch to restock the number of tiles that they have used. It is also to be noted that if there is a line of similar colors, i.e., a blue square in the line, then you would not be allowed to put another blue square in the same line.

The Qwirkle Board Game can be played either anti-clockwise or clockwise, depending on the rules that you set. It’s fun to exchange seats with your partners occasionally so that you are exposed to their strategies. Any player who completes a row containing six tiles will get a bonus of six points in addition to the six points that they will get for the six tiles. It does make the game more fun as more strategy can come into play to ensure that your partners do not get that additional bonus.

Qwirkle has been compared to Set, Scrabble and many other board games. As you approach the end, the chances of drawing a particular tile increase. Hence, players need to start planning for which tiles that they will likely select. This adds an exciting dynamics to the game as it reaches its conclusion.

Consumer Reviews

Nearly all consumers agree that this is a fun, family-game. Everyone who has tried it seems to like it a lot as it isn't easy to play and very easy to learn. They feel that if you have already played Set and Scrabble, you will definitely find Qwirkle an easy game to play. The wooden tile pieces feel like they are quality made and they look very pretty all laid out while playing. It is nice to have a pouch to pass the tiles around in rather than having to spend a lot of time turning the pieces face down in the bone pile before each game. Children younger than six years are too young for this game, but 10 year olds love them. Although there is definitely a bit of good fortune needed when it comes to drawing the tiles, it also takes skill and strategy to decide where to place each tile to benefit you the most in the long fun. In a nutshell, this game is money well-spent. Most consumers believe that it will help their young ones to develop logical thinking skills and also enhance their strategic thinking. This board game can also be enjoyed by both teens and adults that's why it is perfect for the whole family.

Price Reviews

Qwirkle is priced at around $19 at Amazon. Price wise, it is a worthwhile investment as it is far less expensive and more portable than other similar board games.

Safety Reviews

This game contains small pieces and is not suitable for children under 3 years of age as the small parts are a choking hazard.

My thoughts on the Qwirkle Board Game

I was initially intrigued by the simplicity of the game and thought that I would be bored within minutes. Finally, I ended up playing Qwirkle for over 2 hours and did not find it boring at all. As a matter of fact, the patterns and colors appealed to me and it kept reminding me of Scrabble, except that you play using colors and patterns instead of alphabets.

One thing that bothered me is that the number of players at one time is limited to 4, unless of course, you purchase more than one box.

To summarize, Qwirkle isn't a fast paced action filled game as players will have to strategize to earn the most amount of points. Qwirkle is not a great game, but it is a good one. All in all, it is a fun and well-made game that both the average gamer and the aficionado can enjoy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ways To Save Money On Electric Bills

Everyone is frequently searching for ways and means to save on electric bills.

Compiled below are a list of tried and tested methods that can not only help you save on your electric bills but also start thinking green.

The first step would be to contact your electric company and request them to come over and do maintenance of your electric meter. In all likelihood, you would be amazed at what this step could achieve to save money on your electric bill. By ensuring that your power meter is working properly can save you over $100 every year.

The next step is to ascertain the areas which of the appliances consume the most power. Since the price of power is on the rise, it is time that you reviewed your energy usage and saved some money on your electric bill.

It would be a good idea hanging your clothes out to dry as clothes dryers use as much electricity as refrigerators do. They will smell better too and you can also get some exercise by doing so. Statistics say that by hanging out your laundry could save you as much as $50 per year. During the winter months, you could put a few clothes-lines in your basement and with the heater / wood furnace on, your clothes would be dry in a few hours.

While using your washing machine, try not to use hot water, but instead use cold water.

Also while using your dishwasher try and run the dishwasher on full load and avoid using the heated dry cycle as most dishes will dry from the latent heat that remains inside the dishwasher.

During summer season, it is advised to shower using slightly cooler water than using the heater. It will help you cool down and feel more fresh.

As refrigerators are always on, an old refrigerator could consume up to double the amount of energy when compared to the new energy saving models. This would mean savings up to over $100 every year. The new energy saving models considerably help you save money on your electric bills.

Another area that is a very important savings source is the new energy efficient light bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Although they may be a little more expensive (about $10), when you get to see the money saved on electric bills, it is worth the investment. CFLs use about 30% less electricity than conventional bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer.

The next area to look for is wastefulness. Switching the television and lights off while leaving a room is a start. Switching off your computer and internet when no one is using it is also another area.

Using products that have the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star rating will help you meet the strict energy saving standards. Using them will not only lower your energy consumption but also save on your electric bills.