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Holiday Party Entertainment – How to Use Entertainment to Make Your Party a Smashing Success!

If you’re planning a holiday party this year some kind of entertainment may be a great addition as a part of the festivities. Even more than the location, the décor, and other elements, the right entertainment can set the tone for your event and give your guests a unique, memorable, and truly enjoyable experience that they can carry with them for many a day to come. The right entertainment can add atmosphere and class, humor and fun, or inspiration and encouragement to the tone of your event.

What Kind Of Entertainment?

The most important question is, what needs do you want the entertainment to fill? Will it be the main event of the evening, one of several highlights, or will it simply be background to everything else?

If the entertainment will be the main event of the evening, you may want to have some sort of feature performer such as a variety act of some kind; a magician, a comedian, a juggler, a singer, a show band, etc., and you will probably want the entertainment to last somewhere between thirty minutes to an hour or so.

If the entertainment is simply one part of a longer program or of several featured activities, the same type of performer might still be appropriate, but you may want the length of the performance to be shorter, somewhere between twelve and twenty-five minutes.

And if the entertainment is to be simply background to the party, you may want some sort of ongoing, low key entertainment, such as dance music, strolling close up magic, strolling musicians, or a small orchestra, depending on your budget.

And of course depending on the schedule and time frame, you may decide to use a combination of more than one of the above choices.

Whatever the case, make sure you’re clear about the specific needs you hope to fill with the entertainment, and simply choose accordingly.

Finding the Right Entertainers…

Once you’ve determined the specific needs of your event, it will help you in choosing the right type of entertainment. You want to look for entertainers who can tell you specifically what benefits they can offer for your event, and how those benefits fill your unique needs. If an entertainer is unable to communicate clearly and directly how he or she can fill those needs, they may not have your needs in mind at all. Make sure you’re completely clear about the specifics of what the entertainer will be providing, and that it’s spelled out in a written agreement.

You can find a variety of entertainers in the yellow pages or on the Internet. Don’t assume that the one with the biggest ad will be the best. As with any other service professional, make sure they have experience and good references. Any quality entertainer should be able to provide you with background credits, testimonials, and reference letters from past clients.

And don’t make the mistake of letting price be the only deciding factor. It’s important that the entertainment not only provides a fun filled, lively experience, but also that none of your guests are put off or offended in any way. If your audience is conservative, or a family group, make sure that the entertainer’s material is appropriate. Comedians and other performers who are used to working in adult nightclubs can sometimes have a very different idea of what’s “clean” than what you may have. So make sure you’re clear and specific about your needs.

Some Important Tips

Whoever you end up hiring, you want to be certain you’re getting the best value for the money you spend on entertainment. Here are a few useful tips to help you determine whether an entertainer can come through for you in bringing the best experience to your guests.

Be sure to ask these important questions…

  • “Are you a FULL TIME professional entertainer?” While there are exceptions, in many cases if an entertainer isn’t full time, it may mean he’s either not experienced enough, doesn’t have a good enough show, or is simply not professional and dependable enough to support a full time career.
  • “Can you provide references from past clients?” As I mentioned, any performer worth his salt should be glad to furnish you with letters and testimonials from his happy, satisfied customers. If he can’t, you may want to proceed with caution!
  • “Do you offer a money back guarantee?” If an entertainer doesn’t guarantee his work, there may be a reason he’s not prepared to do so! Even paying a much lower price is still a waste of money if your guests aren’t thrilled, or worse, are somehow offended or put off by the performance. You need to be certain the entertainment can deliver for your event.
  • “Can you tell me CLEARLY AND SPECIFICALLY what benefits you provide for my event?” Many performers are more interested in looking good than in meeting your unique needs. As I mentioned previously, make sure the entertainer is clear about how they can help meet your specific needs.

Use Your Creativity

As with every other aspect of planning your event, don’t be afraid to be creative and to think “outside the box”. Don’t assume that certain types of entertainment are “just for kids”. (That’s one of the biggest misconceptions I encounter regarding magic, here in the Midwestern United States.) Or that they won’t work in certain situations. Quite often the least obvious types of entertainment can be just the unique twist that will bring a touch of freshness and appeal to your event.

The main thing is, don’t automatically rule something out because you think it “wouldn’t work”. Look into a variety of options and ask for input from other creative or knowledgeable individuals. Above all, have fun planning your holiday party entertainment, and you’re sure to make the party fun and memorable for you and all your guests.

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How to Keep Your Shoes From Stinking After a Run

You’re anticipating getting out for a pleasant brisk pursue a harder exercise a couple of days sooner. So you pull the duffel bag out of the secondary lounge of your vehicle and head off to get changed. In any case, when you open the pack, the odor from your shoes hits you like a block and you can’t resist pondering exactly what sort of science analyze you have going on in there.

Take the dampness of sweat and maybe some water from puddles along your course, couple that with the glow your feet create and toss in certain microorganisms and you have all the elements for a ready instance of stinky shoe. Not just that, occasionally that scent is a rancid antecedent to something more genuine: competitor’s foot or some sort of foot parasite.

Indeed running shoes can smell, however there are various things you can do to forestall it and maybe something you can never really freed of the smell on the off chance that it grabs hold. Here are a couple of proposals:

Tip #1 – Let Your Shoes Dry Out Between Runs

Try not to keep your running shoes in a duffel bag. Indeed, even duffel bags with extraordinary ventilated pockets will hinder vanishing of the dampness from your perspective. The more drawn out your shoes take to dry, the more probable microorganisms that make smell will get a foothold (or for this situation, a shoe-hold?). All things being equal, let your shoes dry out at room temperature after each run. On the off chance that you remove the dampness, you remove the climate that microscopic organisms need to endure.

Tip #2 – Take Out The Insoles Between Runs

Arrive at a finger down adjacent to the insole in your sprinters. You should find that it comes out without any problem. In the event that you pull out the insoles between runs, your shoes and the insoles will dry out substantially more rapidly. Once more, remove the dampness, remove the bug food.

Tip #3 – Buy a Second Pair of Shoes

Truly? Indeed, and afterward switch back and forth between the two sets of shoes. That will give each combine more opportunity to dry out between runs, decreasing the probability of establishing a climate for stinky microscopic organisms.

Tune in, I trust you know at this point that running shoes don’t keep going forever. You’ll just get such countless miles out them in any case. Furthermore, you’re not kidding about running, so you realize you will destroy them inside the following 6 a year. On the off chance that you have a second pair of the shoes you love, you’ll even out the wear. Studies have shown that this procedure can make shoes last more than they would in case you’re just working one sets. So purchase a subsequent pair. You’ll have shoes you love for twice as long and possibly they will not smell to such an extent.

Tip #4 – Use Moisture Control Running Socks

You presumably definitely know not to wear cotton socks when running. Cotton will destroy your shoes and rankle your feet. Just use socks made of a dampness the executives material. It will help to wick dampness out of your shoes during your run, leaving less dampness in there that you’ll need to dry out.

Tip #5 – Don’t Use Fabric Softener on Your Running Socks

Dampness the executives materials are designed with small channels that pull dampness away from the skin and permit is to dissipate. At the point when you’re wearing running shoes, it will pull the dampness away from your feet and channel it to the inward coating of your shoes, where it tends to be insidious away and vanished by your shoes.

Cleansing agents leave a film of material on the material they are relaxing and that film impedes the little channels that wick dampness. When obstructed, they become the ideal asylum for dampness, dead skin and the microscopic organisms that make stinky feet. Adhere to the washing directions from your running sock producer and don’t utilize cleansers.

Tip #6 – Treat them

I’m not a major fanatic of utilizing ground-breaking synthetic compounds to deal with moderately generous issues. Yet, maybe you need to take out the bugs from your point of view that are attacking your nose. There are various business items accessible that guarantee to get the smell out of your shoes. On the off chance that you choose to attempt one, adhere to the guidelines. Frequently they are powdered or shower items that are applied following a run with the expectation of obliterating microscopic organisms before they can get a traction from your perspective (pardon the quip). You may likewise attempt basic, good old heating pop. It will not eliminate microscopic organisms, yet it may very well ingest smells enough to make your shoes decent. Make sure to shake out the soft drink before you slip your shoes on once more.

One final word. In the event that your shoes do get stinky, don’t be enticed to throw them into the clothes washer and give them a go through the ‘santizer’ cycle. Most running shoe materials don’t respond well to being washed. You could harm the cushiony padded sole and leave yourself inclined to affect injury. In the event that your shoes are getting too stinky to even consider bearing, maybe they’ve arrived at the finish of their life at any rate. Send them off to retirement and get yourself another pair.

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Comfortable Shoes Are Essential to Overall Health

With regards to footwear, solace ought to be the primary goal. A well-fitted, agreeable shoe is fundamental for generally speaking wellbeing. This may sound odd in light of the fact that we tend not to connect shoes with wellbeing, but rather numerous clinical issues can emerge from inadequately fitting shoes. The absolute most basic afflictions brought about by sick fitting shoes incorporate strain cerebral pains (which are caused when a lot of pressing factor is set in the spine), bunions (deformation of the bones in the feet), hammertoe, paw foot, and swollen lower legs. Consequently, it is fundamental to pick agreeable shoes.

In any case, it isn’t in every case simple to know whether a couple of shoes will be agreeable eventually. Frequently, just giving shoes a shot in the shop, reveals to us nothing of how the shoes will act in the more drawn out term. Most shoes are awkward when they are first put on, yet shape to the feet extra time. Thusly, it is essential to see how to see whether shoes will be agreeable in the long haul, and this is the thing that we will talk about over the span of this article.

Feet have a vital job in the human body (as we are certain you can appreciate). They retain stun away from the spine, subsequently securing the skeletal casing; the toes go about as an adjusting system; and they go about as influence from which to make impetus and really empower us to push ahead. It is significant, in this way, that you pick a brand of footwear that producers ergonomically stable (shoes that help the body work in as normal route as could be expected). A few makers, for example, Gabor shoes, make shoes to do definitely this, and it is on a very basic level essential to adhere to such confided in brands as this.

It is fundamental that the brand of footwear that you pick comprehends the human feet and how they work. There are numerous zones inside the feet that need expert treatment, each unique in relation to the next. For instance, the lower legs and the curve of the feet need extra help, to assist with engrossing a portion of the stun characteristic in strolling on the present solid floors. Fortified lower legs and curves are subsequently fundamental, and once more, are a component of Gabor shoes. Then again, the zone where the toes meet the remainder of the foot should be kept as adaptable as could really be expected, to emulate the characteristic development of the foot. A decent producer of shoes will guarantee that this zone is elasticised, to take into account additional adaptability. The wad of the foot needs additional stun receptiveness, as this is the region of the foot that encounters the most elevated effect, accordingly, internal bottoms and impact points need to have extra (mellowed) cushioning to safeguard that stun is scattered through the shoe, instead of the foot.

It is significant that you go through some additional cash to guarantee that your shoes are of high caliber. Gabor, for example, are very costly comparative with more unfortunate quality shoes. Notwithstanding, in light of the fact that they are worked with support on the whole the right places, they in reality last more than typical shoes as the shoes are not constrained by the feet (it is a two-way thing, the shoes work with the foot and this secures feet, and the feet work with the shoes, which ensures the shoes). In the end at that point, shoes cost less in light of the fact that they needn’t bother with supplanting as regularly.

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Cool Yet Affordable Gadgets for Men

It is very hard to find a man who does not love to possess different kinds of funky gadgets. He may not even use them half the time, but he still likes to flaunt them! If you are looking for a gift to give to any man in your life, be it your father, brother or husband, then you can never go wrong with gadgets. It is a common misconception that all gadgets are extremely expensive and it is true that there are some which can burn a rather big hole in your pocket. But that does not mean that there are no affordable gadgets that you can gift your man with. You can choose from a wide range of gadgets that are available in the market today, and they are easy to use as well. Here are some ideas that you can use.

Electrical Cork Openers: This is for the man who, like everyone else, loves to entertain his guests with the finest wine, but just like everyone else has had some embarrassing moments trying to get the cork off in style. This rechargeable, electrical opener will do just that. Put it on the cork and just press the switch. No pulling and tugging and no spilling. And it comes for less than forty dollars. When he gets it, he will always keep you by his side in the next party!

Funky Car Accessories: Everyone loves his car and the more he can do for it, the better. And this is one place where you can keep on getting new gadgets to change the look or feel. And there are a wide range of choices as well. If you are low on budget, you can get a car key ring with doubles up as a key ring, a corkscrew and a pen knife. If you can go higher, you can choose interesting car lights to light up the interiors, which come on and off automatically with opening or shutting the door or have in built motion sensors. If you can go still higher, you can buy car stereos with woofers and Wi Fi. Each one will only add to the glamour of the car.

Sports Gadgets: Bike Computers, GPS Tracker, Calorie- Counter- Pedometer, Aerobic Activity Pedometer etc are some gadgets that any man into sports and fitness will love. They can be used daily and will help them to keep a track of their timing and help them with their regimen or with their outdoor sports. And most of them do not cost even a hundred dollars.

While buying any gadget, the most important thing to keep in mind is the quality of the work it does. No use buying a flashy gadget that fails to do its work. It may not do much, but whatever it does should be done in style.

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By And Large, Business Travel Is Not A Pleasurable Experience

Business travel has become so common that a considerable proportion of the corporate world of America is spending more time in airplanes and hotels than on their couches or in their automobiles.

According to a recent estimate, about 40 million adults in the US travel on business at least once a year to a location about 50 miles from home. More than 20 percent of the trips made by African Americans, for instance, are related to their work.

Those who do not need to travel frequently on business consider business travel glamorous and exciting. However, in reality, business travel is often arduous.

It is tough physically, tough on the family, and especially tough on the pockets of businesspersons who do not have the luxury of generous expense accounts to take care of their travel expenses.

In addition, those who travel on business regularly, quickly wise up to the fact that a stress-free and safe journey requires the smooth functioning of a number of interconnected factors, which includes the vagaries of the weather.

According to a study conducted recently, monitoring business travel trends:

– 58 percent of business travel is undertaken for association meetings and conferences,

– 43 percent comprising of business travel made by individuals,

– and 29 percent for corporate meetings.

The study also identified some of the most popular destinations within the US for business travel. They are:

– Washington, D.C.,

– New York,

– Los Angeles/Long Beach,

– Chicago,

– Atlanta,

– Boston,

– Houston,

– Minneapolis-St. Paul,

– Detroit,

– and Dallas.

Irrespective of what the destination is, business travel is seldom an enjoyable experience. Some companies will allow their business travelers the opportunity to enjoy their travel surroundings but this is usually short lived depending on the demands of the trip.

Business travelers, who have to make frequent trips, need special facilities to ease the hassles of traveling. Airlines and hotels are increasing the levels of services they provide in order to meet the growing demands of business travelers:

Usually, business travelers research fares on their own and make their reservations online. According to a survey, it was found that only 32 percent of corporate travelers used the services of travel agents for their reservation needs, while the rest, 68 percent, preferred using the internet or online services to plan at least some part of their business traveling arrangements.

Business travelers are usually technologically conversant; hence, choose to handle all their traveling arrangements through the Internet, limiting the necessity of having to interact with travel agents and professionals dealing with customer service.

Most tourism related sites offer one-stop travel facilities for reservations of flights, booking rooms in hotels, and providing transportation on the ground.

Major airlines like Delta and American have included travel-friendly features like locating cheap fares, finding economical hotel accommodation, and hiring cars on a rental basis inexpensively on their websites.

Travelers, thus, can make arrangements for an entire business trip, which includes seating preferences, confirming special food requests, and a text message or e-mail verifying their flight status and information about the departure timings with a few clicks of the mouse button.
Most of these sites provide boarding passes that can be printed out and online check-ins within 24 hours of the departure of the flight.

At the airport, those travelers in a hurry can take advantage of check-in kiosks in order not to have to wait in long lines, and get their boarding passes and their seating information.

Frequent Flyer Miles, Automatic Upgrades, and Comfortable Seating:

One of the biggest perks of traveling frequently on business is the facility of accumulating points, which can be exchanged for vacations. Travelers, therefore, are always on the look out for hotels offering generous points facilities.

Frequent air travelers also favor automatic upgrades and comfort inside the airplane, such as generous legroom and additional storage facilities overhead. Business traveler programs like EliteAccess provided by Continental Airlines offer comforts like guarantees of no-middle-seat and upgrades to the first class if possible.

Getting Value for Money:

Companies are constantly curtailing overhead expenses by cutting down on the travel allowances they give their executives, while business travelers look for ways in which they can maximize their allowances to the fullest.

For example, several hotels offer free breakfasts, while others provide complimentary facilities such as a welcoming snack or allowing their guests to make free long distance and local calls. Many hotels also offer free newspapers, tea and coffee.

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Time Travel: It’s Been Done Before!

Could we really travel through time? The short answer is yes! That’s right. We all have the ability to leap forward through time, even if we don’t realize it. If you wanted to jump to the future, you can simply go to sleep and wake up a few hours later right? Of course that’s cheating the question. We want to be able to go back and redo those silly mistakes we made many years ago. who doesn’t wish they could go back and talk to their 15-year-old self? Tell them not to make the mistakes you did (or they will). Or perhaps you’d rather travel 500 years into the future and see those flying cars we were promised by the year 2000. Fortunately, time travel is theoretically possible.

In fact there is no law in physics that prevents time travel. That’s right, according to all the laws of physics we know, it’s perfectly plausible to travel through time at will. But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. Time travel is an extremely dangerous endeavor with devastating consequences, and is also riddled with paradoxes.

For example, what if I travelled back in time and prevented World War II? Sounds like a brilliant idea right? Countless lives would be saved, I’d be hailed as a hero! Not necessarily. Although I’d be saving lives, I’d also be destroying others. What about all the technology that we rely on today that was developed during the war, such as jet engines and nuclear power. In fact the world map could be completely different. We could actually be worse off than simply leaving history as it was.

Another famous time travel paradox is the grandfather paradox, which basically states that if we were to say for instance, I travel back to a time before my parents were born and prevent my grandfather from meeting my grandmother. My parents couldn’t have met and thus, I would never have been born. So how could I have gone back in time to prevent my grandparents from meeting in the first place.

So we can see that time travel could be a bad idea, but let’s say we really want to go back in time, how would we do it? Well first we need to understand how time works.

Time is something we are all very familiar with, we all know what it is, but yet we can’t see it, touch it, we can’t seem to interact with it in any way, we can only observe it. Isaac Newton thought that time was constant and never deviated, which would of course make time travel impossible. Even Einstein believed it was impossible, yet it is his equations that make it possible. Einstein theorized that space and time are inexplicably linked in what he refers to as “space-time”. So in theory, if I was to warp space with something extremely powerful like a black hole, I would also be warping time. While this appears to be true and scientists continue to explore its possibilities, the real possibility for time travel, seems to be in his other theory; Relativity. In fact time travel using relativity isn’t just a theory, it’s actually been done, several times! Now you probably think I’m crazy but the secret seems to be in going extremely fast.

According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, no object with mass may travel faster than the speed of light, which is an astonishing 299,792,458 metres per second in a vacuum (that’s no air). That’s an incredible 1,080 million kilometres an hour! So according to General Relativity, we can only travel at 99.99% the speed of light. But lets say for instance that I’m sitting at the back of a plane travelling at the speed of light and I walk to the front of the plane from the back at a rate of 10 kilometres an hour. I’ll leave the equations out of this, but that would mean that my speed plus the speed of the plane would mean that I’m travelling at 1,080 million and ten kilometres an hour, which is 10km/h faster than light, right? Wrong. According the theory of relativity, time would actually slow down for me to prevent me from travelling faster than light. Sounds weird doesn’t it.

Of course this scenario would never happen in real life, as I have already said we can’t travel at or faster than the speed of light. In fact you would need more than an infinite supply of fuel to travel faster than light, which is obviously impossible.

So then what is relativity? Einsteins theory of relativity basically states that if I’m driving down the road at 50km/h and drive past someone standing on the side of the road, to them I would appear to be travelling at 50km/h, I’m sure you already know this. However to me in the car, they too would travel past me at 50km/h. But then if someone where to drive beside me in another car travelling at 50km/h, to them I would appear to be completely stationary. Hard to believe? It’s the same thing that makes it look the car driving beside you on the highway sometimes seems to be floating just outside your window. I’ll leave the complicated equations out of this for now, but you can use simple addition and subtraction to confirm this theory. If you’re travelling in the same direction as the object you’re observing, in this case the other car, you subtract your speed from theirs. So 50km/h minus 50km/h is equal to 0km/h. so they would appear to be stationary. If we’re traveling in the opposite direction we add our speed to theirs. So 50km/h plus another 50km/h is equal to 100km/h. So if we drove past the other car at the same speed in the opposite direction, they would appear to be travelling at 100km/h.

So how does all this work, and more importantly, how did they actually manage to travel through time? Well as it turns out, the faster we travel, the slower time will pass. This was proven when scientists placed an atomic clock, which is an extremely accurate clock down to one billionth of a second, on the space shuttle and observed it its behavior. Before launch the clock was perfectly synced with another atomic clock here on earth, and once the shuttle had returned to earth they put the two clocks together. They then discovered the clock from the shuttle was slightly behind the clock that remained on earth. meaning time had past slower for the clock on the shuttle than the clock that remained on Earth.

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Top Ten Classic Video Games

10. Pong

Origins: Pong was based on a game called ‘Tennis for Two’ which was a simulation of a game of tennis on an oscilloscope. Physicist William Higinbotham, the designer, goes down in history as creating one of the first electronic games to use a graphical display.

The Concept: The game is intended to represent a game of Tennis or Table Tennis (Ping Pong). Each player has a bat; the bat can be moved vertically. The screen has two horizontal lines on the top and bottom of the screen. A ball is ‘served’ and moves towards one player – that player must move the bat so that the ball hits it. The ball rebounds and moves back the other way. Depending on where the ball hits the bat, the ball will move in different directions – should it hit one of the top or bottom lines, then it will bounce off. The idea is simply to make the other player miss the ball – thus scoring a point.

Game play: while it sounds utterly boring, the game play is actually very addictive. It is easy to play but very difficult to master, especially with faster ball speeds, and more acute angles of ‘bounce’.

Nostalgia: for me this is the father of video games. Without Pong you probably wouldn’t have video games – it started the craze that would continue grow and become a multi-billion dollar industry. I will always remember this game!

9. Frogger

Origins: this game was developed by Konami in 1981, and was the first game to introduce me to Sega. At the time it was very novel and introduced a new style of game.

The Concept: Easy – you want to walk from one side of the road to the other. Wait a minute – there’s a lot of traffic; I better dodge the traffic. Phew Made it – hang on, who put that river there. Better jump on those turtles and logs and get to the other side – hang on that’s a crocodile! AHHH! It sounds easy – the cars and logs are in horizontal rows, and the direction they move, the number of logs and cars, and the speed can vary. You have to move you frog up, down left and right, avoiding the cars, jumping on logs and avoiding nasty creatures and get home – do this several times and you move to the next level.

Game Play: Yet another simple concept that is amazingly addictive. This game relies on timing; you find yourself dinking in and out of traffic, and sometimes going nowhere. The graphics are poor, the sound is terrible, but the adrenalin really pumps as you try to avoid that very fast car, or the snake that is hunting you down!

Nostalgia: I love this game for many reasons. I played it for a long time, but never really became an expert – however, it was the first ever game I managed to reproduce using Basic on my ZX81 – I even sold about 50 copies in Germany!

8. Space Invaders

Origins: Tomohiro Nishikada, the designer of Space Invaders was inspired by Star Wars and War of the Worlds. He produced on of the first shooting video games and drew heavily from the playability of Breakout.

The Concept: aliens are invading the Earth in ‘blocks’ by moving down the screen gradually. As the intrepid savior of the Earth it’s your task to use your solitary laser cannon, by moving horizontally, and zapping those dastardly aliens out of the sky. Luckily, you have four bases to hide behind – these eventually disintegrate, but they provide some protection from the alien’s missiles.

Game Play: this is a very repetitive game, but highly addictive. Each wave starts a little closer to you, and moves a little fast – so every new wave is a harder challenge. The game involved a fair amount of strategy as well as good hand eye co-ordination.

Nostalgia: I wasted a lot of time playing this game. While originally simply green aliens attacked, some clever geek added color strips to the screen and the aliens magically changed color the lower they got – that was about as high tech as it got back in the days of monochrome video games!

7. Galaxians

Origins: Galaxians expanded on the Space Invaders theme by having aliens swoop down on the defender. It was one of the first games to have colored sprites.

Concept: Take Space Invaders, add some color, remove the bases and make some of the aliens swoop down at you and you have Galaxians. Essentially the concept is the same as Space Invaders, you’re defending the world against alien invaders, but rather than the whole screen full of aliens moving down at you in a nice orderly fashion, you get groups of aliens swooping down in haphazard ways.

Game play: if you liked Space Invaders then you’ll love this. The strategies are different, as you often have to avoid two or three different groups of alien ‘swoopers’ but if you can shoot them as they swoop, then you get some great bonus points. The game is difficult until you get used to some of the patterns

Nostalgia: this was one of the first games that I played on a desktop computer that was almost exactly like the arcade fame. I had an old Acorn Electron, and this game was almost perfect on this little machine. I miss my old Acorn Electron!

6. Defender

Origins: This game was created by Williams Electronics in 1980. The Game was designed by Eugen Jarvis, Sam Dicker, Paul Dussault and SLarry DeMar. It was one of the first games to feature complex controls, with five buttons and a joystick. While slow to catch on due to its difficulty, it still was a popular game.

Concept: Most of the shoot-em-up games of the era were horizontal shote-em-ups. This game changed the playing field by being a vertical shooter. Yet again aliens are intent of doing nasty things to earth – this time they are trying kidnap 10 humans. You are in charge of the sole defender and must kill the aliens before they kidnap the humans. You fly over a ‘landscape’ and can see your humans mulling around on the surface. The aliens appear and drop towards the humans – you can kill them at this point, but should they grab an alien, you must shoot the alien, and catch the human before the alien reaches the top of the screen.

Game play: This was a great game that was easy to play but tough to master. Shooting the aliens and catching the humans gave the best bonuses, and this formed a major part of the strategy. There were some different type of aliens that chased you making the game a lot more hectic than others; often it was just a relief to finish a level. While not as addictive as some, it did give a feeling of achievement when you reached a high score.

Nostalgia: I went on vacation with a friend for a week and we spent the entire week in the arcade playing this game and the number one game on my list (I won’t reveal the name now!). It was one of the best memories of my teen years!

5. Missile Command

Origins: In July 1980, Atari published a revolutionary game. It didn’t have a joystick, but had a ball that controlled an on screen cursor. It was programmed by Dave Theurer and licensed to Sega.

Concept: Those pesky aliens are getting smarter. Rather than sending space ships down to fight, they’re hiding in deep space and sending a bunch of missiles to blow up the Earth’s cities. This game was unique as it use a ’round’ joystick. You used this to move to a point on the screen and then fire a missile into this spot – the culminating explosion would destroy any missiles that hit the ‘cloud’. The missiles were essentially lines that moved down from the top of the screen at varying angles and speeds – some of them would split into multiple ‘missiles’ half way down.

Game play: this is a very strategic game. Placing your bombs in the right place and timing them right could essentially clear the alien missiles quickly and easily. As the game move on you found yourself spinning the wheel frantically trying to get the bombs in the right place. This game was adrenalin pumping fun – sometimes you seemed to be up against impossible odds and yet you’d breath a sigh of relief when one city survived.

Nostalgia: this was one of the first games I played on a table top machine. While these didn’t really catch on, it was still fun to be able to put a can of soda down while you played!

4. Breakout

Origin: This game was heavily inspired by Pong. It was created in 1976 by Atari, with Nolan Busnell and Stew Bristow being the key designers. It’s probably one of the most cloned games ever, even today there are new games based on the same theme coming out. Apparently the Apple II computer was inspired by this game – wow where would Steve Jobs be now without Breakout.

Concept: The idea is simple – you have a bat at the bottom of the screen that can move back and forth. Above you is a wall of bricks. A ball will move from your bat – every time it collides with a brick, the brick disappears and the ball bounce back at you. Your task is simple – stop the ball going off the bottom of the screen by placing your bat in the way and bouncing the ball back at the wall – you also have to remove all the bricks in the wall to progress to the next level!

Game play: this is a fairly difficult game to master. As the bricks get lower each level and the ball speed increases, it becomes more and more difficult to ‘break out’. Also, sometimes the angle that the ball comes off the bat is so acute that it is very difficult to judge where the ball will bounce! It’s one of those games where you just keep on saying ‘just one more game’ and before you know it five hours have passed.

Nostalgia: when I lived in Wales we had a little utility room that housed books and my little ZX Spectrum – I used to spend hours playing this game as my Father sat and studied. It was like a male bonding session!

3. Hang On

Origin: This game was released in 1985 and was developed by Sega. It was one of the first ‘3D’ racing games and one of the first to introduce a ‘realistic’ aid to playing the game – that it a larger replica motorcycle style cabinet, with speedo, brakes and a throttle. This game became the benchmark for future racing games and lead to the highly praised Out Run series. The game cleverly used ‘billboards’ and trees to give you the feel that you were moving at high speed.

Concept: You are a motorcycle racer – you sit on top of a bike and have to race around a 3d race track, overtaking other riders and reaching certain checkpoints within a time limit. The game featuring different places and conditions (such as night).

Game play: Yet another easy game to play but very difficult to master. Timing the turns was essential, especially if other bikers got in the way. Each slight touch of another bike, or crash into a barrier slowed you down and made it harder to reach the checkpoint in time. The awesome graphics (for the time) made this game pleasurable to play as you really felt you were in a race. It is another game that kept you coming back for more.

Nostalgia: As a kid I always wanted a real motorbike, so this gave me a feeling that I actually had one. I was very good at this game (an d Pole Position) and constantly had my name on the high score table – it’s perhaps the only game I could truly say I was a master.

2. Pacman

Origin: Developed by Toru Iwatani, and programmed by Hideyuki Moakajima San, this game came out in mid 1980. The name is derived from a phrase that relates to the sound when your mouth opens and closes (allegedly). Namco produced the game, but it really took off in America when Midway released it.

Concept: You are Pacman and you are very hungry. You find a maze full of ‘dots’ and zip around eating them. Unfortunately there’s some ghosts who aren’t too happy about this and they will chase you and eat you – but hey, there’s some really big dots that give you the power to banish the ghosts back to their central cage. The maze is complex, filling up the whole screen, but there are no dead ends – there’s also a passage way between each side of the screen. In the center, is the cage that holds the ghosts – occasionally bonus fruit appear next to the cage. You essentially have to eat all the dots in order to progress.

Game play: This is a simple concept, but with pretty decent graphics and an addictive tune it became a huge success. There is a lot of strategy to the game – each ghost follows a set pattern (although eventually they’ll forget this and follow you) – in fact there are books dedicated on the best route to avoiding the ghosts. The game gets harder as you go, with the ghosts speeding up and getting smarter.

Nostalgia: there’s something about the music in this game that is just so catching -even as I write it I can hear it in my mind. It’s one of the first games that I can remember using music as a major selling point. I wasted many hours playing this game, and although I was never great I always had fun trying to devise new routes. It is also probably my most successful programming achievement – I designed a version of this for the Acorn Atom and I actually sold a couple of hundred copies (again in Germany) – I am proud that as a twelve year old, I was able to use logic and programming skills and make some money doing it.

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Are the Privacy Advocates Who Are Against Public Records

There are several privacy advocates that question the availability of public records for public use. They feel that nobody has the right to look into others private information. There has been a lot of resistance from them even since public records were made available to the public.

However, government feels that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. The main advantage is the safety and security of the public. Through the use of public records, many people are saved from falling into the trap of criminals and many crimes are averted, many lives are also saved. This certainly is a wonderful thing that the public derive from gaining access to others records.

Through the use of public records, a lot of significant details about a person can be uncovered, such as the person’s real name, date of birth, address history, business information, current contact information, marital status, criminal records and a whole lot of other details.

With so much information available to the public, people do not have to be in the dark with who they are dealing with. They can go online and access billions of records.

When looking for the appropriate public records service, look for one that is user friendly. You must look for one that provides everything from the birth, marriage, death, divorce, phone, motor vehicle, bankruptcy, immigration, arrest, sex offender records and many others that would help you make an informed decision about a person.

Everyone has a right to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and government has recognized this need in the current scenario that showcases rampant crime.

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Potential Reasons – Why Do Project Fail and How Project Managers Can Prevent?

The principle aim of this article is to identify and explore multiple dimensions of project failures during the entire life of project execution. Many projects fail, especially IT projects. The only way that companies can get better at performing projects is by learning from projects they have carried out. There are small things which can decide fate of project. These all in project management practice and research, has been to see it as a threat and as something that should, if possible, be neutralized, reduced and followed.

Introduction

In a perfect world every project would be “on time and within budget.” But reality (especially the proven statistics) tells a very different story. It’s not uncommon for projects to fail. Even if the budget and schedule are met, one must ask –

Question – “Did the project deliver the results and quality we expected?

Answer to this question could be different in different perspective. There is no single method or organizational structure that can be used to manage projects to success. Project failure can happen in any organization and to any project.

There are many reasons why projects (both simple and complex) fail; the number of reasons can be infinite and can fit into different phase of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle), initiation through go live. Sometimes it’s out of the control of a project manager and/or the team members. Sometimes failure is controllable. Failed projects and people involved with the failure have some things in common. I have tried to draft few critical and most basic reasons based on my experience for project failure and may differ project to project.

From outside view, it could be that all reason will roll up to project manager’s responsibility and accountability however from my perspective it should be collective responsibility.

Here are the some of the common reasons why project fails – based on my experience.

1. Incompetent Project Manager

First possible cause of project failure is the project manager. A project manager who helps steer the project in a timely fashion and provides sound, inspiring leadership can go a long way toward bringing about a successful project. Reasons like “an incompetent project manager” “project manager unwilling to make decisions,” “project problems ignored”, “poor management by the project leader,” “loss of control by the project manager,” and “the failure of the project manager to delegate”, “working as only as coordinator” are most important reason given for project failure.

2. Less Involvement of Project Managers

This is always a topic of debate for project managers: Should they just focus on pure project management activities such as reporting, cost and issue tracking, or should they also dive into ground-level review and design? There is no correct answer. Even the biggest project depends on the success of the smallest components. Every detail contains a seed that can mean the difference between success and failure. On relatively inexperienced teams, project managers must be involved in the details for key activities. This will help them have better control of the effort as well as provide true status of the project to stakeholders.

3. Unavailability to Skilled Resources

Every project has some resource estimations before starting of the project and even every vendor submits key personnel details and profile as part of bidding process to acquire project. However picture is always opposite once project is awarded. Initial resource estimations and loading sheet handed over to project managers as part of sales hand over process but I have seen that project managers always struggle for right skilled resources hence it is necessary that leadership team should understand criticality and provide planned/skilled resources on time to avoid project delay or failure.

4. Lack of Proper Planning

Project managers should have clear projects outcomes visibility and should involve himself./herself right from sales hand over as this phase is critical for project success. If you don’t have a clear focus at the earliest stage of the process/project, you are making things harder on yourself. This would lead to inappropriate estimations and half cooked planning.

5. Lack of Management Support/Leadership Alignment

It is important to ensure that the senior management remains fully engaged throughout the project life cycle. The involvement e.g. through project update sessions imply that they are willing to take appropriate actions to address issues raised by the project team, mitigate the project risks, provide leadership, thus contributing to the project success.

6. Missing Communication

Communication plan plays very substantial role in project success or failure. Plan should contain stakeholder details I.e name, role, contact no. and email, project team details, escalation matrix and other dependent groups. Information distribution details (stakeholder, information detail, distribution methods, format and frequency) should be clearly defined in plan. To save your project from failure, project manager need to establish a clear communication channel.

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Automobile Companies – The Significance of the Latest Automobile Technology in India

In Today’s competitive world, the latest automobile technology plays a major role in making your business successful and efficient. From 100 years, the technological advances in the automobile sector have given unbelievable growth and development to the automobile industry. Automobile companies in India are progressing with the speed of time, which are all active for providing all types of automobile products. Basically, Automobile technology refers to those technologies which are popularly incorporated in various kinds of automobiles. With the changing times and increasing competition, the emergence of advanced technologies is paving the way for more and more complicated vehicles.

Automobile company and industry have a special impact on the daily life of the modern day man, which requires fast mobility with reliability. The rapid growth in the automobile industry is the evidence of the latest automobile technology, which has made automobiles the fastest growing sector in the Indian economy. There are many automobile companies in India which are providing automobile services at competitive prices with a query resolution system and timely delivery. Cars, mopeds, vans, buses, tractors and vehicles are automobile products which are manufactured with new advanced technology at a large scale all over the world. The auto industry is evolving new strategies and signing up new contracts and joint ventures in an effort to stabilize itself and avoid further slump. Every year, a number of vans, cars, buses, and other automobiles products are imported and exported.

Nowadays, Automobiles in India are progressing with the speed of time. In fact, it has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the Indian economy and so this is the popularity of automobiles in India. The competitive nature of the Automobile companies in India has promoted the companies to take up new and original marketing strategies to beat the competition. All automobile industry in India as a part of their marketing strategy offer a wide range of vehicles in the entire segment to make sure that the customer is driving one of their vehicles only. Automobile companies India is the tenth largest in the world. Every year new and advanced model of cars and other vehicles are launched by various leading manufacturers suiting the consumer requirements and expectations. Automobile insurance is very essential for security of your products, which has become a fast and easy process in this day in age.