15 August 1945: USS Concord Fires Last Shot of WWII – 15 August 2015 Marks the 70th Anniversary

Other war ships claimed to have fired the last shot of World War II, but that distinction goes to the USS Concord CL-10, a four-stack light cruiser named for the Massachusetts town where the first ordered shot of the American Revolution-“the shot heard ’round the world”-was fired.

“I had no idea I was present for this historic event,” Thaddeus Buczko of Salem, Massachusetts, told me in a recent interiew, “until I read about it many years later in a veterans’ magazine.” At the time, 19-year-old Buczko was serving in the U. S. Navy aboard the USS Bearss (pronounced “barce”). The Bearss was one of the destroyers that comprised Task Force 92 serving in the Northern Pacific Ocean, along with the light cruisers Concord, Richmond, and Trenton.

By 15 August 1945, Nazi Germany had surrendered to the Allied Forces in Europe (8 May), and atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki, Japan (9 August). Did Buczko and his shipmates have a sense that the war was ending? “No,” Buczko says. “We heard that the Germans had surrendered, but we were all the way over in the Pacific. We were still at war. We heard about the bombs being dropped in August, but we were unaware of the consequences and had no idea what was going to happen next. We were still under orders.”

On 15 August 1945, Task Force 92 bombarded shipping and shore installations in the Japanese Kuril Islands. The Concord was tasked with opening fire on Shasukotan Island, firing “salvo after salvo” with her six-inch “twin guns” and the five-inch guns of the Task Force’s destroyers, including the Bearss, according to the account by Fred A. Lumb that Thaddeus Buczko read years later.

Lumb continues: “At last Capt. C. A. Rumble, commanding the Concord and the little task group, gave the ceasefire order. The destroyers’ guns became silent. About a minute later, Lt. Comdr. Daniel Brand, the gunnery officer, high aloft in forward fire control, saw to it that one more round was fired by the Concord.” Because the last shot had mis-fired just before the ceasefire went into effect, the ship had to receive special permission from the Task Force Commander to fire one last time rather than retrieve the ammunition manually. That was the last shot of the war.

Ensign Robert P. Crossley of the Concord described what happened next: “News of Japan’s acceptance of the Potsdam Surrender terms… was received aboard the Concord by radio as she steamed toward the Aleutians following the Navy’s final offensive strike against Japanese territory… the shot heard ’round the world from the Musket of the Minutemen of Concord and Lexington on April 19, 1775 had re-echoed with even greater fury and meaning as this proud bearer of the minuteman tradition fired the final naval gun salvo of World War II, a few seconds after 8:06 p. m. (Japan time).”

Fred Lumb concludes: “Within the hour, Ens. Robert Crossley was in the coding room, just off the radio shack, typing Concord’s claim to having fired the last American shot of the war.” The Navy soon verified their claim.

The crew aboard the Bearss received the news of Japan’s surrender by loud speaker, with very few details. Buczko recalls, “Even when we were informed that the Japanese had surrendered, we wondered if the Japanese ships and pilots out there knew it. We were still ever-vigilant. We could still be attacked.”

As for hearing the war was over? “We were all just matter-of-fact,” Buczko says. We were very tired. There was no elation, no jubilation, like you hear about everyone in the States.” In the Aleutian Islands, the Bearss and the Concord repaired damage to the ships, re-supplied, re-armed, and prepared for orders. They prepared for boarding parties. “We knew we were going in,” Buczko explains, “but we didn’t know when or how.”

On 2 September 1945, the Japanese and Americans signed the official surrender document aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

In the Aleutian Islands, orders came for the Bearss and the Hood, another destroyer in the Task Force, to rendezvous with a Japanese ship carrying the emissaries who would sign U. S. Naval Emergency Occupation Order No. 1. The Order would turn over the Ominato Guard District Area to the United States, specifically: “That portion of the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido between Latitudes Forty Degrees and Thirty minutes and Forty-two Degrees North and between Longitudes 139 degrees and 142 degrees East is hereby declared the Ominato Guard District Emergency Occupation Zone.”

The Bearss and Hood rendezvoused with the Japanese delegation’s ship in the Tsugaru Straits, “a fifteen-mile-wide body of water separating the northern coast of Honshu and the Island of Hokaido,” Quartermaster Edwin E. Douglass wrote in his account of the day.

QM Douglass continues: “The Japanese crew had painted a white cross on their ship’s funnel, the emblem of surrender. As the ships approached each other, it was indeed a tense moment for every man aboard until the Japanese raised the international code of flags giving us assurance her intentions were strictly peace loving.” Even so, while one of the Hood’s small boats went out to transport the emissaries to the Bearss, the Bearss and the Hood circled the Japanese ship, guns trained on their potential target. The Bearss also took on U. S. Marines and media personnel. While everyone boarded the Bearss, Buczko was top-side manning two 36″ search lights, observing it all, but having “no idea of what was going on,” he remembers.

The Japanese ship guided the Bearss and the Hood through the heavily mined Tsugaru Straights into Matsu Bay for occupation duty. “When we pulled in,” Buczko recalls, “I remember observing Japanese people abandoning the city in haste for the mountains, carry their belongings or using anything with wheels. I think were in fear of the occupation forces.”

The United States and Japan signed Emergency Occupation Order No. 1 on 9 September 1945 aboard the USS Panamint, the flagship of Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, Commander, North Pacific Force and Area. Among the Order’s instructions, the Japanese would provide:

  • Lists of all Japanese “land, air, and anti-craft units, showing locations and strength in officers and men”
  • Lists of all aircraft (military, naval, and civilian), naval vessels, and merchant ships, their type, condition, and locations
  • Detailed information, including maps, of “all mines, minefields and other obstacles to movement by land, sea or air”
  • “Locations and descriptions of all military installations and establishments… together with plans and drawings of all such fortifications, installations and establishments”
  • “Locations of all camps and other places of detention of all United Nations prisoners of war”

Further stipulations regarded minesweeping, and the provision of transportation, labor, materials, and facilities as directed by Admiral Fletcher.

In his introductory remarks to the Occupation Order, Admiral Fletcher expressed his hope that the occupation would proceed without “any incident that would only increase the sufferings of the Japanese people.”

Concluding his personal account of the signing, QM Douglass wrote: “Another drastic and useless war had ended, another lesson had been learned testifying that man wraps himself in a blanket of ideals and luxuries, then with a match sets the world on fire, finding he was destroying himself as well with the seeking of leadership and fame.”

The officers and crew of the Bearss held a flag raising ceremony at the Ominato Base. QM Douglass observed, “The ancient empire today stands beneath the flags of the United Nations. A destroyer and her crew received a ‘well done’ as the stars and stripes were raised over Ominato, proving that nations combined shall oppress all who intend to destroy the human race.”

Heading Home and Conclusions

After a period of occupation duty, the USS Concord sailed for Boston to participate in Navy Day on 27 October 1945. According to the Navy, she was the first Navy cruiser named for a Massachusetts city or town to visit the Commonwealth since the surrender of Japan. Some 18,000 people lined up in Boston to board the ship and view the turret of the “twin six” that fired the last shot of the war. (The gun and mount are now on view at the Naval Museum in Washington, D. C.) Visitors also saw a bronze replica of the famous Concord Minuteman Statue, a memento of the first “shot heard ’round the world” of the Revolutionary War and the ship’s “mascot.”

The Concord received one Battle Star for her service in the Kuril Islands Operation. After visiting Boston, she returned to her home port of Philadelphia where she was decommissioned on 12 December 1945 and sold 21 January 1947.

Following her occupation duty, the USS Bearss sailed for Hakodate, Hokkaido, to Yokosuka in Tokyo Bay, and then returned to the States via the destroyer base in Hawaii to San Diego, California. From there, the Bearss passed through the Panama Canal and arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, on 23 December 1945. She had participated in eight sea strikes with no casualties. The Bearss was brought back into service in 1951, decommissioned in 1963, and eventually sold for scrap.

After a 30-day leave, allowing him to return home to Salem for Christmas of 1945, Thaddeus Buczko (today, age 89) was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Midway until he retired from active duty.

He went on to receive a B. A. from Norwich University (with honors) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U. S. Army. While pursuing his law degree at Boston University, in June 1949 Buczko was commissioned by the U. S. Army to serve as a Reserve Officer with the 304th Armored Calvary Regiment. He was recalled to active duty in 1952, during the Korean War, where he served as a Unit Tank Commander with the 3rd Armored Division and as Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the Division. After the war, Buczko served with Civil Affairs units (military government). He commanded the 357th Civil Affairs Area B Headquarters. He also served as Chief of Staff of the 94th Army Reserve Command, which was comprised of more than 12,000 citizen-soldier reservists in over 100 reserve units in New England. In 1979, Buczko retired at the rank of Colonel after 30 years of service in the Army. For his service, he received the Legion of Merit medal.

Thaddeus Buczko has served as a Salem City Councilor, Massachusetts State Representative, Post Master of Salem (appointed by President John F. Kennedy), Massachusetts State Auditor, and First Justice of the Essex County Probate and Family Court. He is credited with bringing Pope John Paul II to Boston in 1979. He continues to reside in Salem.

Source by Bonnie Hurd Smith

The Best Personal Trainer Certification (Part 3)

Specialized Certifications for Personal Trainers & Strength Coaches: PICP

I just took the Poliquin International Certification Program (PICP) level 1 Strength Coach Certification in New York City ($650, 3 days). It was really good information.

I learned about the certification through a mentor, Joe Dowdell. I trust his opinion because he is very committed to continuing education and has taken pretty much every respectable certification.

Charles Poliquin is a famous strength coach who has trained more Olympians than any other strength coach I can think of (except maybe Mike Boyle).

If you read Part. 1 of this series, you know that there are a lot of good certifications out there, and there is no one best certification for everyone. It all depends on who you want to work with and your career path.

But, if you want to work with athletes to increase performance, this certification is up there with the NSCA’s C.S.C.S. and the Athlete’s Performance mini-internship (both of which I have taken, and honestly, even though NSCA is the most respected, I feel like I got more practical knowledge from Poliquin and Athlete’s Performance.)

There are several things that I loved about this certification, and a couple of things that I think could be improved.


* The level 1 strength coach certification focuses on manipulating acute training variable (sets, reps, tempo, and rest) for highly effective program design. These may seem like basics, but no other certification covers it like Poliquin. It’s amazing how few people really understand how to manipulate time under tension, tempo, and rest for specific goals and sports. They also emphasize creating precise descriptions of every exercise, to ensure the most amount of variation and adaptation (Squat vs Barbell Back Squat Shoulder Width Stance).

* I loved how much research they provided as evidence, although they could have done a better job summarizing it. I have found that the best certifications specialize in one area. (Too many certifications try to be a jack of all trades, and end up being a master of none.)

* The information easily transfers to practical application, and is applicable to your general population clients. If you want to learn program design, in particular for power, strength, or fat loss, this certification is great.

* They provide a good methodology and protocol for testing maximal strength, although somewhat incomplete (see below). Based on this test, they provide a nice formula, based on studies, for assessing the balance of strength throughout the upper body. (Ex. If you lift xxx on the bench press, you should be able to do 8rm of external rotation with 8.6% of that bench press weight, and if you can’t there is an imbalance etc).

* The course instructors were friendly, knowledgeable, and generous with their attention.

* You have to take a test before being admitted to the class, in addition to a test at the end. I like this! Only committed trainers show up, and they show up with a good understanding of the basic material, so nobody asks stupid questions.


* One of the instructors didn’t understand BASIC biomechanics. Either that, or we had a major miss communication.

* Some of the pictures in the manual were misleading and/or confusing.

* The little demo on stretching was a waste of time at best, and misleading at worst. Stick to what you are good at, leave the stretching to certifications that focus on that!

* We were quizzed on Cluster Training and German Body training, which is very cool stuff, but we only glossed over it during the lecture. I would like to have spent more time on these specific programs, but there is a lot of good info about them online too.

* Some of the topics in the manual could be worded better. Initially, they do an ok job of defining the different strength qualities (limit strength, maximal strength, absolute strength, speed strength, strength endurance), but aren’t as clear when they refer to these qualities later on in the manual.

* They were clearly negligent and not following their own methodology when they chose a trainer to demonstrate the 1rm testing protocol for the bench press. The specifically chose someone who appeared to be out of structural alignment, and then tested him to his limit, without ever asking him if he has been working out consistently for the last 12 weeks (which is their own protocol).

* Furthermore, they should change their protocol and ask what kind of workout has been done over the last 12 weeks, because a person could be working out for 12 weeks and still not be ready for a 1rm bench press. RULE # 1 in personal training is do no harm. The trainer came in the next day and couldn’t participate in certain lifts, and my understanding was that he had joint pain, not just muscular soreness. Not cool and not necessary. I later talked to another trainer who said he was injured in a PICP certification.

You may read this last part and say “Whoa, no way am I doing this certification” but I think you should reconsider, it is a very valuable certification, just know your own limits and don’t do anything you think is risky (and keep the ego in check! I know it is hard when there are other trainers around).

We all had to do a 1rm test to get experience; I chose the pull up because I am a rock climber. I was able to do 1 pull-up with 90lbs loaded on me, chin over bar. There are several exercises to choose from, so you should be able to find one you are comfortable with, and if not, you can and should pass.


Regarding the biomechanics issue, one of the instructors mentioned he does 1 and ¼ reps on bench press with girls with the ¼ rep at the top of the motion, because this part of the motion overloads the triceps and girls care about the back of their arms looking good.

Totally cool with me. This instructor had mentioned that he is very precise in tracking his programs and exercises, so I asked was if he ever manipulated their intention on the bar to overload their triceps also?

In other words, you can push out against the friction of the barbell with your triceps, your hands aren’t going to move, but the line of force caused by the friction, when combined with the line of force of the barbell (gravity) creates a resultant with a different line of force that changes the force angle’s at the axes of rotation of the shoulder joint and elbow joint. (Not a typo, axes is the plural of axis. Who knew?)

With intention, you can make the lowest part of bench press harder for the triceps, and the top part harder for the chest. Can you do this and still lift maximal weight? No! Can you just lift a barbell with only your triceps? No! But that was not my question.

His response was “I would love for you to come do chest with me sometime” as if who could bench the most would settle who knew the most (It doesn’t, duh).

Whoa there cowboy, first off, I was just asking a question, second off, I would be honored to workout with you because you know a lot, even if you don’t understand basic biomechanics, and thirdly, you are welcome to do one of my empire state building stair workouts with me. I can get up 86 flights in UNDER 15minutes, I would love to watch your face as you try and keep up, although to do that I would have to slow down, and slow ain’t my style buddy. Either way, neither of these workouts would settle anything, I was just trying to learn from his perspective without losing my perspective.

His final response was “Yeah, you could probably do that, but why not just do a triceps exercise instead of modifying a bench press?” Really, didn’t we start this conversation because you said you liked modifying a bench press with 1 and ¼ reps to hit the triceps more? Sheesh! I wasn’t going to push, because it wasn’t a seminar about biomechanics and I didn’t want to be one of those trainers who take over a lecture to prove their point. Anyway, this instructor has a lot of potential, but he is young and testy! I liked him to say the least:)

I hope you enjoyed this post, and will consider this certification. Also, if you want to be able to rip apart knowledgeable instructors, text books, and pretty much everyone else in the gym about biomechanics or exercise mechanics, you should strongly consider the Resistance Training Specialist certification.

What is your favorite certification? Why? What information helped you pick a certification? Is there any topic you want to learn about in particular? Would you take the PICP certification?

Leave me some questions in the comments and I will get right back to you. SHOW ME YOU ARE ALIVE!

Until next time, keep your business fit.

Johnny Fitness

Source by Jonathan Angelilli

A Review of the Best Quality Dance Pads for Serious DDR Players

Dance Dance Revolution has evolved to be one of the trendiest games. There is a huge following and people always await the next release. For the people that have lived under a rock or in Amish areas DDR is a game where players dance to a song by stepping to the beat and pressing arrows on the dance pad in conjunction to the arrows that appear on the screen. The Dance Pad that you play on is very important. If you are a serious player or you foresee a large amount of usage you need to consider a top end pad. I would like to provide you with the latest info on the Best pads available.

The following review will cover the following Dance Pads…

  • ION Master
  • ION Pro
  • Energy Arcade

First up is the DDR ION Master Pad

After numerous designing, engineering, prototyping and testing sessions, the newly designed commercial grade iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad has finally arrived. Our goal is to develop the industry’s greatest DDR arcade metal dance pad for both exercising and gaming purposes. The iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is excellent for both beginners and aggressive advanced players; most importantly, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is designed for fitness exercise players. The iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad utilizes Soft Bounce Advanced Technology; it is designed to extend DDR game play. Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) games require heavy stomping and players can become fatigue easily. The soft bounce effect absorbs your energy from your ankle, resulting in less stomping on the rigid arrow panel. You can now extend DDR game play, have a longer exercises and burn more calories at the same time.

Most importantly, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is well designed in material and structure. Utilizing heavy duty stretched metal, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is significantly stronger and thicker, with weights distributed to the perimeter, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad has increased stability and longer life span than any other metal dance pads in the market. Many metal pads in the market cannot absorb the heavy stomping, which results in bent or cracked arrows. With all these great improvements, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad will be your best bang for the buck.

The iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad also has enhanced thick metal panels, which are now raised so that you can sense your position on the metal dance pad. The raised buttons help those who tend to lose their positions on the dance pad, and make their game play even more precise. More over, the handle bar of the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad has been greatly improved, and it provides extra stability and durability. This is perfect for advanced, aggressive players. The iON Master Arcade is suitable for both commercial, school, recreational facilities and home use.

The iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is a master piece to master the Dance Dance Revolution game.

Next up is the ION Pro

This commercial graded iON Pro metal pad manufactures with the brake through new Tapeswitch sensor technology. The design of Tapeswitch is extremely sensitive product for electronic signaling and sensing applications. This is a similar sensor technology utilized in the DDR Arcade Machine. The new iON pro metal pad is incredibly heavy duty. Such a super quality metal pad is definitely the ideal solution for commercial or home use.

Next up is the Energy Arcade

This incredible dance pad features the super sensitive-definitely no more delay technology with our brand new look design and offers 3 in One multi-platform plug works flawlessly with the PS&PS2, Xbox, and PC via USB. From complete novices to experienced experts, you can now experience skill level that can match your abilities. Whether you are competing against the challenge of the game or you are seeking particular opponents to match your wits and dexterity, this Energy Series will provide you with a completely new and rich experience.

Source by Donald Martin

Benefits of Recycled Paper Bags

Paper bags have come a long way, from flimsy and frail materials, to durable containers. There are different kinds varying in size, shape, design, bag handle and colour. The process in which they are produced and the type of paper from which these bags are made also differ. Recycled paper bags are a popular variety, that boast of resilience and water resistance.

These eco-friendly bags have been the better option for retail bagging for some time now. More and more people – manufacturers, suppliers, entrepreneurs and consumers – are gearing towards the use of paper bags. Shopping bags and carrier bags made of plastic have been popularly replaced by paper bags in many establishments. Now, the those bags have been further delimited to recycled ones.

Recycled paper bags, in addition to being ideal carriers and shopping bags, also make great gift bags, loot bags, souvenir packs, and giveaways themselves. Purchasing a bulk order is more cost effective than utilising these bags. They can be used for special occasions like Christmas, birthdays and company anniversary for gift-giving to clients and employees, and for company events in packaging giveaways, freebies and other essential items. For hundreds of pieces, you spend less than you would if you opt for plastic bags. More so, a great bargain for choosing the recycled kind.

More good news is that these bags allow for longer and multiple usage. With sizes and thicknesses that can accommodate heavy and big items, there’s no reason to worry of torn bags or unlatched handles in the middle of a shopping spree or damaged loot bags when handing out company goods to clients. Recycled paper bags are long-lasting and sturdy materials.

This kind of bags is safe and light to use. They can also be easily discarded if you do not wish to reuse them. True, those bags when used too many times will eventually wear out. Unlike plastic bags however, that cause health and environmental repercussions because of the toxins from the plastic when disposed of and recycled improperly, those bags including recycled paper bags pose no threat to us and the environment.

Using those bags is a good introduction to employees and clients that your business supports environmentally friendly products and contributes to environmental conservation. This establishes a positive image for your brand.

Your company doesn’t have to stage rallies or join conventions. Simple recycled paper bags speak volumes. They make a statement in both style and good cause. Utilise them for your business and you will be earning good points while doing something worthy. When coupled with strong advertising, bigger profits will follow for your business.

What are you waiting for? Start giving your gifts, packaging your products, and distributing your freebies in recycled paper bags that also have your company name. You’ll get a thumbs-up from consumers, the UN and Mother Earth. It’s the gift that just keeps giving.

Source by Paul Sung

What To Do If You Have Perioral Dermatitis


I suffered from a skin problem for a couple of years before finding out that it had a name. I’d get these ugly bumps around my mouth, under my nose and at the outer corners of my eyes. I’d put hydrocortisone on the irritation and it would go away briefly, then reappear a day or two later. Eventually it got to the point where I was using hydrocortisone cream almost daily.

It wasn’t until I began reading a book by a dermatologist named Dr. Jessica Wu called FEED YOUR FACE that I realized this condition had the name perioral dermatitis. In the book, she describes this condition and it matched my symptoms exactly.

To my horror, one of the causes of perioral dermatitis is the one thing that seemed to combat it: hydrocortisone cream! Ugh. I did some research and found that using hydrocortisone cream on the face is not recommended for a couple of reasons. One– it thins the skin. Another reason, is that it can cause perioral dermatitis, which is a chronic condition.â�¨Unfortunately, if you keep using hydrocortisone cream, it will become a terrible cycle and the rash will reappear, again and again, becoming worse over time.

This was particularly distressing to learn, because the hydrocortisone cream seemed to be the only thing I could find that would help calm my skin so I could look normal.

Even MORE horrifying in my opinion is that according to Dr. Wu another cause of perioral dermatitis is the DEMODEX MITE. Apparently, this mite lives on our skin-even healthy skin, but with perioral dermatitis it’s worse. According to PubMed one study found that the mites occurred in greater numbers in skin that had been exposed to topical steroids (hydrocortisone). Eek! If thinning skin and a rash wasn’t enough to get me off the stuff, the idea of skin mites certainly was. I have not put hydrocortisone cream on my face since, and I don’t plan to. Ever.

Years ago, a well-intentioned doctor, an internist, recommended that I use hydrocortisone on my acne. This doctor was not a dermatologist, however, so she apparently wasn’t aware that hydrocortisone thins the skin, and can cause the proliferation of skin mites. In that doctor’s defense, though, even my dermatologist has recommended hydrocortisone, in rare occasions, on the face. There’s a laser procedure that removes red spots on the skin and when I’ve had this procedure, my dermatologist has given me a small sample of hydrocortisone to soothe the redness. She did not tell me to use it on pimples, and she never recommended using it for extended periods of time, nor did she warn me of the potential risks of extended use, though.

I did use it for long periods of time, because the internist had recommended it and I erroneously assumed it was safe.

When I stopped using the hydrocortisone, the condition became overwhelming and unbearable. I looked so bad I didn’t want anyone to see me.

I went to my dermatologist and told her what I’d learned in Dr Wu’s book. She looked at my face and said that I did, indeed, have perioral dermatitis and that it was a chronic condition. She told me that the medicines she’d prescribe would probably work, but that they wouldn’t “cure” the condition; it would likely flare up periodically. Great.

She prescribed Minocyline, an oral antibiotic, and Protopic a topical antibiotic. Protopic is very expensive. My insurance didn’t cover it and it cost over $100 per tube.

I filled both prescriptions, but worried about the side effects and decided not to use them right away. Instead, I kept them as a last resort and did some internet scouring to find a few “natural” alternatives. I prefer not to take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, because they kill the good bacteria that keep candida (yeast) in check. If you’ve ever had a yeast infection you certainly never want one again.

So, I tried just about everything suggested in the articles and on the forums dedicated to perioral dermatitis. Some of the recommendations were: stop using toothpaste with Floride, stop using anything with Sodium Laurel Sulphate, stop eating sugar and other high glycemic foods, and take omega 3s.

So, I brushed my teeth with baking soda. I washed my hair with vinegar and baking soda, because most shampoos have SLS and I used “natural” soap. I was already eating a low-glycemic diet, but I stopped allowing myself the occasional bit of raw honey or coconut sugar.

I also tried some non-toxic topical remedies I read about, including aloe vera gel directly from the plant, and apple cider vinegar applied to the rash. I also drank a bit of the vinegar in water a few times a day, which was also suggested.

The results were only so-so. The ACV applied directly onto the rash did help, but not reliably. Sometimes the rash would respond well and disappear after using it, and sometimes it wouldn’t’.

After three weeks of resisting the medications from the dermatologist, I finally did go ahead and try the Minocycline and Protopic. I ate lots of plain yogurt to avert a yeast infection. The Minocycline knocked the rash out within a few days and my skin looked amazing.

The Protopic also seemed to be effective, but did not like it at all. It’s oily and I found it messy. Also, it created a burning sensation on my skin. There was no actual burn. It was just an uncomfortable sensation that occurred after using the product. This burning would persist after the mediation had been removed, and was exacerbated by sunlight.

So, the bad news is that I did need the internal antibiotic. The good news is that in two years I have not had to repeat the antibiotic. The condition has flared up again, however, never as severely as was when I stopped using hydrocortisone to treat it.

I find that when I begin to get a few bumps from perioral dermatitis I can combat it if I drink ALOE VERA JUICE, which kills bad bacteria in the digestive system. I recommend pure aloe vera juice, the kind without added sugar. You don’t need that much, about 4 oz added to a glass of water (6 to 8 ounces) every other day seems to keep it in check for me. The juice does not taste very good, I’m sorry to say, but the results are good. If you have acne as well as perioral dermatitis you may find that the juice helps with pimples also. You can buy the aloe vera juice in a jug at Trader Joe’s. They also sell jugs of it at Wallmart, in the pharmacy section.

Another thing that seems to help keep the condition in check is a tiny amount of 5% benzoyl peroxide applied to the rash. In the past, I’ve avoided benzoyl peroxide and favored tea tree oil for acne, but I don’t find the tea tree oil as effective on perioral dermatitis. Dr. Wu cautions that acne medications exacerbate perioral dermatitis, but this has not been my experience with the benzoyl peroxide. It’s is a topical antibiotic and dermatologists are going to prescribe some kind of topical antibiotic for the condition, but it will likely be stronger and more expensive than benzoyl peroxide. If you’re reading this prior to visiting a doctor, you might try the aloe juice and a little benzoyl peroxide to see if that helps you first. For me, smallest amount, of benzoyl peroxide spread thinly on the rash works very well. And if I drink a bit of aloe juice every other day, I seem to avoid flare ups altogether.

I should also mention that I’m able to use toothpaste, shampoo and regular soap, without a problem. I’m not convinced that floride or SLS are causes of perioral dermatitis. They may, but it isn’t known for sure what actually causes the condition. It is, however, known that hydrocortisone makes it worse.

If you’ve got this condition I sincerely hope my recommendations are helpful. I know how miserable it is to have a rash on your face that doesn’t seem to get better. While I’m not an advocate of medicine, especially antibiotics, having gone through this, I do recommend that if your flare up is unmanageable, and your doctor prescribes it, take it and knock it out. Then maintain your clear skin as I’ve suggested. Hopefully, you won’t need to take the antibiotic again.

Source by Toni Ann Johnson

Mayoral Duties: Why Your City Mayor Has An Important Job

Although you might not really realize it if your city is actually run efficiently, the duties of your local mayor are quite vital to the well-being of you and your neighbors. Although local government usually doesn’t affect the lives of its residents much, the fact of the matter is that your elected mayor is the lead person in charge of making sure that your utilities, streets, and other government services are in tip-top shape.

That’s one of the reasons why it’s always so important to make sure that you choose the most professional, experienced candidate for the Mayor’s office whenever there is an election. In most cities and towns, the mayor has a four-year term, which means he or she will be up for re-election every four election cycles. Make sure that you do as much research as you can about the qualifications and temperament of the candidates who are running before you make a decision.

A lot of residents don’t fully understand the duties and relationships that exist between a mayor and the members of the city council. City council is a legislative body, and it makes decisions on passing new city ordinances, changing existing ordinances, approving new city hires, the handling of City accounts, etc. The mayor, on the other hand, is an administrator, and it is his or her duty to administer the current city ordinances and make sure that the city runs effectively day-to-day.

The mayor also often is in charge of appointing members of his administration (with the final approval of the city council). In some cities, the mayor can appoint a safety service director, a law director, an auditor and a treasurer. In still other cities, those positions are not appointed, but elected by a vote of the populace.

Source by Paul R Turner

Tips for Solving Cross Cultural Communication Breakdowns in Business

Online trainings are getting more and more popular as they have a whole hand of features which makes them economical and essential in getting groups of people together at short notices to attend meetings or trainings. Board meetings, impromptu meetings can be scheduled at a mouse click. Irrespective of where participants are located, all they need is a computer, internet access, webcam and microphone. They will be provided with Log-in details enabling them to enter the meeting room. Companies are cutting travelling and accommodation costs by introducing online trainings as means of communicating with their customers and employees. Organizers make critical mistakes with preparing to send invitations to participants both locally and internationally to attend the sessions. These trainings are important as they are one of the ways in which participants are able to acquire training skills. Being a member of many groups on Facebook, I receive plenty of invitations to attend sessions. Most of these invitations have omitted to include the time zones: international times (24 hour) which are relevant for the participants to decide whether they will be able to attend or not. For example, an event scheduled for Wednesday at 8pm in the USA (EST) will be Thursday 3 am in Europe (-1 GMT). Here are some important tips to consider when sending invitations to international audience:

  1. Time Zone: This has to be indicated clearly using international time format (24 hour system). Include a link to time zone converter and if you use Outlook, then you have the possibility of sending confirmation via Outlook which then automatically converts the participants local time zone. I prefer to link my event with Outlook as this will not only be saved using my local time and set the reminder so that participants get event alerts from the Outlook calendar.
  2. International Audience: If you have international participants, remember to speak clearly and slowly enough for all them to understand. It would be advisable either to leave the chat on or ask at regularly intervals if everybody is able to follow the training session.
  3. Humor: Apply humor with utmost care. In some cultures humor are seen as a sign of weakness, in other cultures as a sign or appreciate or pity.
  4. Using jargons and abbreviations: Using jargons and abbreviations is acceptable, but can also be tricky. No everybody will be familiar with your local jargons and abbreviations may not necessarily be familiar to everybody. I always try to avoid using them. If you have to use abbreviations it may be appropriate to first write out the words in full and continue with using the abbreviations.
  5. How to address participants: If you are going to have an interactive session, it may be appropriate let everybody know that you will be using the informal first name form and not surname. In some cultures it is not appropriate to address people with their first names.
  6. Record training sessions: It is recommended that you offer the participants’ links to the recorded training session, a way of getting feedback. To conclude, poor cross cultural awareness will have lots of consequences, some serious, others very funny! Nonetheless it is imperative that in the global economy cross cultural awareness is seen as a necessary investment to avoid blunders.

Source by Elizabeth Horlemann

Reiki Dos and Don’ts

If you practise Reiki long enough you are bound to bump into a bunch of big don’ts.

Don’t Reiki the people with jewellery on.

Don’t Reiki the crown of the head.

Don’t Reiki women who are pregnant.

Don’t Reiki the spine etc.

Sometimes they get even more silly, like ‘Don’t Reiki anyone if you are wearing red’.

As ridiculous as some of these don’ts sounds, they are usually backed up with just enough rational explanation to make you wonder.

Red, for instance, is the color of the root chakra and – according to some – giving it Reiki might inadvertently get the Kundalini energy (lying at the base of the spine) to rise up when a person isn’t ready for it.

Since this, genuinely, can cause people problems if their body isn’t energetically prepared, then you begin to wonder whether the theory – no matter how crazy it sounds – might not have some validity.

Fortunately, almost every don’t in Reiki is actually short-circuited by a very simple point: that it is the recipient who determines how much energy flows – and not the giver.

Think of the recipient like someone sucking on an ‘energetic straw’. If they suck hard, a lot of energy will flow. If they suck gently, not much will flow.

It is all up to them and the only thing a Reiki healer can do is provide the opportunity for energy to flow. And the better the healer, the greater the possibility of a higher energy flow.

What this means is that there is a safety valve built into the system, because an individual will only ever take in as much energy as is healthy for him or her. Taking in more would be like pushing a dagger into your flesh – not something you are likely to do.

If you are talking to someone who can’t accept this line of logic, you might like to get them to define ‘Reiki’. If they know anything about the origin of the word they will tell you that the most literal translation (that makes sense) is ‘spiritual’ (Rei) ‘energy’ (ki). Does it make much sense for this ‘spiritual energy’ to be a destructive force?

I think not.

So next time you are anxious about giving someone Reiki, remember that it can never hurt them.

It might not be the right time to give them energy. It might never be the right time to give them energy. But if an accidental Reiki drop fell their way, I wouldn’t lose any sleep.

If a drop fell, they summoned it.

(Note: While Reiki can’t harm anyone, it can certainly produce a ‘healing crisis’. This can bring on emotional upheaval, physical distress and other things; but ultimately it is good for the individual. Think of it as something like the cleansing process that takes place when someone undergoes a fast. They might get headaches, pimples, rashes and all sorts of other unpleasant things; but once the cleansing is done they feel better than ever before. Likewise with Reiki.)

Copyright 2011, Jeremy O’Carroll

Source by Jeremy O’Carroll

History of the Trikke – Who Invented the Trikke and Why?

Undoubtedly the newest rising star in the field of human powered vehicles, the Trikke scooter never fails to amaze anyone who watches its riders zoom gracefully along.

Pedestrians will even stop the Trikke riders in order to satisfy their curiosity. “What makes that thing run?” is the most frequent question.

And as soon as someone steps onto the Trikke and experiences its innovative three-point cambering vehicle (“3CV”) technology for him/herself, he is usually unable to stop commenting on the Trikke’s many benefits. “A revolutionary sports, fun and fitness machine…” “…absolutely addicting…” “…closest thing to skiing on pavement” and “…compact maintenance-free machine that fits into every aspect of one’s lifestyle” are among the common compliments bandied about as people applaud the innovation and fun of the Trikke scooters. But did you know that the Trikke was developed because of one man’s desire to experience the fun of ‘carving’ on a more stable and safer device? This is how the Trikke scooter painstakingly evolved into the fun and fitness machine it is now.

During the late 1980’s, Brazilian inventor Gildo Beleski tried to learn skateboarding or roller skating, but to his frustration, he kept falling and had a hard time keeping his balance.

As an engineering graduate from the Brazilian Institute of Technology, Beleski remained undaunted and instead used his technical background in designing and manufacturing suspension parts and power trains for compact vehicles to create a three-wheeled vehicle for riding downhill.

In 1988, he finished his first Trikke prototype that combines the stability of three wheels and brakes with a contemporary frame designed to enhance the Trikke rider’s ability to lean or camber. He called it Trikke (pronounced ‘trik), similar to a bike, only with three wheels. When he tested the Trikke, he discovered that it continued to move forward on flat ground beyond the bottom of the hill as long as he kept turning and leaning.

In 1990, Gildo marketed his first version of the Trikke scooter. However, much to his disappointment, the Trikke failed to find favor among his countrymen and he was forced to give up on the initial Trikke’s design after garnering only moderate sales in 1992.

When he went to the U.S. in the late 1990’s on a business trip, he realized that the place was ripe for the introduction of a new cambering device while watching many people trail the Miami beach paths with their human powered vehicles (HPV). So he resumed work on his design and opened Trikke Tech in Buellton, California in 2000. That same year, he filed the patents for his Trikke cambering system, getting two of them accepted in 2001.

Year 2000 proved to be a fruitful year for Beleski with a chance meeting of entrepreneur trend-setter John Simpson. Simpson became interested in the Trikke scooters when he saw Beleski riding his earlier version of the Trikke scooter as he was exiting his favorite sushi bar in Santa Monica. Simpson admitted that at first, he thought the Trikke looked ungainly and ridiculous but when he saw it move easily without any propellers, he chased down Beleski and his Trikke scooter. He became a great supporter of the Trikke after experiencing for himself the fun and fitness aspects. As a true entrepreneur, Simpson saw the Trikke’s potential and became an investor in Trikke Tech that same year. Beleski later asked him to become Trikke Tech’s president in 2002. And they successfully launched the scooter to the American public soon after.

Since its unveiling, the Trikke has rapidly gained popularity, gaining attention from the international media after it bagged Time Magazine’s “Coolest New Inventions of 2002” title.

Hollywood celebrity’s acceptance and support further bolstered its popularity as Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Jim Belushi, Jim Carey, and Ben Affleck were seen riding their Trikke scooters as part of their exercise regimen, as an inter-studio vehicle, and on screen.

From less than $1 million in annual sales in 2002, Trikke’s popularity was reflected by its booming sales of $10 million in 2003, and about $50 million in 2004. With a plethora of extremely talented executives recruited by John Simpson, Trikke Tech aims to establish a brand with numerous innovations that will become a mainstay among the recreational transport devices for many years to come. They also aim to establish the Trikke scooter as a serious platform for competition.

Presently, the Trikke scooter’s market has already expanded to include Canada, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, as well as nearly every major country in Europe. Trikke Tech continues to refine its product’s performance to meet the requirements of all age groups from all walks of life as seen by the version 2 introduced in the fall of 2003 and the appearance of more products in the ensuing years. The Trikke is now rapidly gaining fame and acceptance, and you’d be well-advised to check it out for yourself as one of the more innovative and exciting human powered vehicles that maintains an advantage in safety, stability and ease of use over other HPVs like skateboards, rollerblades and the like.

Source by Jae Winters

Galileo Italian Digital Pianos Vs. Name Brands

I’m not only a pianist, but I had the wonderful opportunity to sell the KR division of Roland digital pianos, for a retail piano store. I still love this brand for many reasons! Perhaps it is the 9-foot Steinway concert grand recording, or the weighted keys with the same resistance as Steinway? The KR division is the most expensive for Roland, and often more expensive than their competitors. But there came a time I made a switch from this fantastic company to the Italian Manufacturer, Galileo Music!

Sure, Roland may have more “bells and whistles”, as well as Kawaii and Yamaha in comparison to Galileo; yet there are some subtle facts that are quite interesting to know, that may inspire you to choose the Italian brand over the Japanese. The 1st is the quality of the stands. I can testify that Roland uses particle board which breaks very easily. Galileo stands are solid, and it gives reassurance for moving your digital long distances or just a few feet. Also, the European Union has higher environmental standards than the rest of the world, so the small parts on the inside of your instrument, are high quality. Many similar features of the upper end models will entail USB, MIDI Ports, and even MP3 docking stations. So regarding the extra “bells and whistles” that Roland offers, I can assure you that you won’t use even half! They are loaded with tons of “cool” features for sure. But really, before you make a decision to buy based on these, asses what you are actually going to use. Most of my customers didn’t end up using those features that won them over in the sales pitch. They could have saved a few thousand in the process if they chose a different brand or model!

The quality of touch on the upper end Roland models and the upper end Galileo, should be the same! Why? Because they both use an action purchased from an Italian manufacturer called Fatar. These actions have the weight of a Hamburg Steinway concert grand, and the electronics are both programmed with Steinway sound as the default piano setting. Neither Roland nor Galileo make acoustic pianos. This is what sets them apart from Yamaha and Kawaii. Those two model their digital pianos after their very own acoustic ones. So essentially, when you ask yourself the question, “Which digital piano should I buy?” you should realize that you are comparing Yamaha and Kawaii to Steinway. I realize that there are strong opinions as to which acoustic piano is best. Asian pianos tend to have a much lighter touch than European. Therefore, if you know for certain you like more resistance on the touch and a deeper tone quality, then Roland and Galileo are your choices. But remember, if your main goal is for pure piano sound that you don’t have to tune over and over again, you will get the same quality sound and expression from Galileo upper end digital models! And not only will you save a ton of money, but you’ll even feel like your dollars went a lot further, due to the quality of parts. And like I mentioned before, the durable stands are standard for Galileo (no pun intended).

Source by Ryan D Dwyer