How to Select A Bladeless Trocar With High Quality Control Test

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The trocar is a device used in minimal invasive surgery to access and drain collections of fluid and tissue from patient's abdominal. While this device has historically had many uses it is currently most often used to perform laparoscopic surgery. Traditionally this device had a three points or pyramid design which bore the potential for additional patient damage during the procedure. Today, it is more common for surgeons to use a bladeless trocar to limit the potential for medical complications and enhancer overall patient safety while minimizing recovery time. At a glance, every trocar may look the same however there are a few key differences and design which can make one bladeless trocar significantly safer than another.

The first feature to consider is the ability to mount a scope on the trocar. This allows operators to observe any potential damage to abdominal walls during insertion. Along with the ability to mount a scope, it is important the scope angle allows for accurate depth perception to minimize any potential for damage.

The use of a transparency sleeve has become a key feature of a bladeless trocar. The transparent sleeve structure should offer stability and convenience during operation while minimizing strain in the abdominal wall. Additionally, the sleeve should be available in a variety of length and shapes depending on the purpose of use.

Another key safety feature is a one touch release button. This allows the surgeon to separate or combine the bladeless trocar with one hand. Not only does this make it easier to take out tissue also allows the surgeon greater freedom of movement during surgery.

The final important feature of a bladeless trocar is the tip itself. A bladeless tip must have a precise design to ensure it does not need a large opening during the insertion process. If it requires a large opening that offers no significant advantage over a bladed trocar. The best bladeless tips are much more precise and safer than their steel made bladed counterparts. Not only do the flat incisions make it easier for the wound to close but can also decrease the pain a patient experiences during the recovery process.

Along with specific features and capabilities of a bladeless trocar it is important the device undergoes specific tests during the design and manufacturing phase. One important test is the resistance and durability test. This specifically focuses on the sealing part. For resistance test to provide the best results it is critical the part is tested in both the forward and reverse direction. Durability test could show how the sealing part is durable specifically circle silicone part. The other important test is an air leak test. It is essential and the feature of this test both a low-pressure and high-pressure test to ensure effectiveness of sealing part's design. To be considered safe, a bladeless trocar must include all the key design features and both tests have been conducted.

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Source by Rosario Berry

Biff! Bam! Kapow! Five Tips On Writing Explosive Action Scenes

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Readers love action adventure novels. They do not take a whole lot of brainpower to read and are a great way to fill in time while you're sitting on a long, otherwise boring flight somewhere. Writers like Clive Cussler has a very lucrative business writing action-adventure novels: there's nearly 100 million copies of Cussler's books in print.

Here's five tips to give you something to think about when you're writing your own action scenes.

Action Sequences Should Be Fast Paced

Good action sequences are never slow. They grab the reader by the throat and force them to hang on white-knuckled until you decide to let up. The best way to achieve this is to use short sentences, and often short paragraphs, utilizing as many action words as you can think of. Words like "zipped", "snapped", "whizzed" and "punched" are all great choices. In a fight scene, your hero should not have time to think and any dialogue should be short, sharp and punchy, usually only a few words that could be yelled out across the room.

The only exception to this would be if you're trying to do a John Woo style slow motion sequence for a brief part of the scene. Here you can take much longer to describe the action in minute detail, like the way the bullet casing arcs up, twisting end over end as it passes through the smoke cloud. But do not overdo this and jump back to the rapid-fire action as quickly as you can.

Push the characters to their limits

Characters need to be tested in your action scenes. There's no point writing something that's easy for them to overcome, because it wont create the right level of tension in your story. Instead, your heroes need to pushed into situations where there's a real chance they might not come out intact. In fact, it's better if they often do not because it means that the stakes that they're playing for real, and not just joke ones.

Do not be afraid to beat up or shoot your characters. Matthew Reilly, the Australian action author, believes that if a character slows down the action too much, they have to die. While that might be a little extreme for your story, killing off a character or two could well prove to your reader that you're serious about the stakes.

Make maximum use of the environment

Which is more exciting: a kung-fu fight in an empty apartment, or one in a crowded china shop? If you're anything like me, you'd rather see the action smashing the scenery up as the fists and feet go flying. When you're creating your action scenes, try to set things up so that they take place in an environment where it can add to the exclusion of the scene, where one false move could make things a lot harder for your heroes.

So, it's better to have a fight on the roof of a skyscraper, or in the heat of a iron foundry, instead of in an empty warehouse, or out in the desert. The more you can stock your scene with usable props for your heroes to use, the more interesting your scenes are going to be.

Make the actions scenes relevant to the story

Action sequences should not stop your plot from developing. Instead, they should be an integral to driving your storyline along. If you find that you're adding in an action sequence just to liven things up again, then you'll need to reexamine the stakes of the scene and find another way to help it link the scene to the ones that precede and follow it. The reason for having an action sequence in your story should make sense in terms of the flow of the story; if it's not, then you should rewrite it or take it out completely.

Write your action sequences as suspense scenes

Suspense in a scene is vital if you want your reader to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. Your action sequence should pose lots of questions for the hero, rather than just being a description of what happens. John Rogers – in his Kung-Fu Monkey blog – said, "Do not write action scenes. Write suspense scenes that require action to resolve." When working on the main question for your scene, do not ask "Will the hero beat the bad guy?" Instead, find a question that brings into play an issue your hero has that it's important for him to learn. If he learns it, then he can win the scene, otherwise, he should lose. In this way, the reader can see how the action sequence causes the character to grow and change, rather it is just being another gratuitous fight.

If you keep these points in mind when you're writing your action scenes, then your hero is going to be in for one heck of an exciting ride and your readers will be turning the pages as fast as they can to see what happens next.

And that's precisely what you want to have happen.

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Source by Geoff Skellams

The Working Principles Behind a Barcode Scanner

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There are many types of barcode scanners available on the market as of now, and some of them are really impressive. For example, the laser scanner is a very interesting piece of equipment once you understand the principle behind it. One of the most famous alternative to laser scanners is CCD based scanners.

CCD scanners are a different kind of scanners as they do not have any moving parts because they're more reliable and less prone to failure. Another type of scanner is the 2d barcode scanner which is the most popular type of scanner. You'll see it in almost any shop, may it be a clothing shop, a hypermarket or just your regular corner shop shop.

Laser scanners use moving mirrors and light diodes and are more likely to fail in a shorter amount of time, whereas CCD barcode scanners use LEDs that are known to last 10 times more than light diodes. 2d barcode scanners also make use of the CCD technology to function.

The principle behind the CCD technology is not in any way mind blowing – a CCD scanner uses an array of small light sensors that are pointed at the barcode section on a product. The way these scanners work is that they form a sort of grid of tiny laser like lights on the surface of the barcode part of the product. Because barcodes are usually printed on white backgrounds a part of that light emitted from the scanner is reflected to a receiver inside the head of the scanner. That light is translated into a voltage using a photovoltaic cell, and that amount of voltage corresponds to a single type of product in the store.

After the information is sent from the scanner to the computer it's then cross referenced to a database – which is also stored on the computer – to which the scanner is connected to. All this stuff happens in a matter of nanoseconds – the reader emits a grid of laser like lights on the barcode part of the product. A part of the light is reflected back from the white surface to a receiver placed inside the head of the barcode scanner (also known as a photovoltaic cell) which translates the light into a voltage and after wards cross references it to a database to find out what product it scanned.

And that's just how barcode scanners work.

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Source by Matthew Brockly

The Mystery of New Jersey’s Hookerman

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Fantastic stories of ghostly lights which frequently appear near railroad tracks and, according to popular imagination, are carried by the spirits of long-deceased conductors have become a permanent and tantalizing feature of American folklore. Commonly referred to as “spook lights,” the phenomenon has captured the imagination of Fortean investigators around the world.

According to recent estimates, there exist more than 60 separate locations throughout the United States alone where this strange phenomenon occurs. The “Maco lights,” of North Carolina, have, by far, received the greatest attention of all, and are said to have been first sighted during the 18th Century.

Others, though less familiar, are equally well-documented, with many of the contemporary sightings having their roots in local Indian legends, such as the Hornet Spook Light, found in the southern midwest region of the country. Here, as in countless other cases, the belief persists that the lights are concrete proof of psychic survival after death, and that the discarnate personalities of dead railroad conductors and ancient tribal leaders are with us today.

Over the last five years, however, many researchers have sought to strip away the thick layers of myth and superstition which surround the spook light mystery, and have begun to employ sophisticated scientific equipment and methods in their research efforts. One such research group, Vestigia, has been concentrating its attention on strange lights observed in northwestern New Jersey, in an area known as Long Valley. Their investigation and findings, along with material gathered from other researchers in the field, have yielded some provocative answers to the spook light mystery.

The spook lights of Long Valley have been actively reported since the turn of the century. One particular section of the High Bridge Railroad is the focus of the activity, a stretch of railroad which is now owned by Con Rail. The spur was originally built in the mid-18th Century, and was, for a time, a bustling link between the iron-rich Long Valley area and the main line of the New Jersey Central Railroad as Chester, N.J. The High Bridge Railroad was built by mine owners for the transfer of ore; the line later carried both passengers and freight until the 1930s. Today the line is an infrequently used freight spur.

The legend of this local spook light is, indeed, colorful, and conforms faithfully to the mythic storyline found in many similar cases. A brakeman of the High Bridge Railroad is supposed to have lost his hand in an accident caused by a mechanical malfunction. Mentally unbalanced by the trauma of the accident, he walked the tracks near the site of the mishap with a lantern swinging from a hook which replaced his lost hand. One night, legend has it, that hapless figure, while searching for his lost limb on the tracks, was struck by an oncoming train, and instantly killed.

It was believed that the lights appearing over the High Bridge Railroad were a psychic re-creation of that tragic night. The “Hookerman’s” lantern sways over the tracks, then, suddenly vanishes as he is once again felled by the approaching locomotive.

The High Bridge legend is almost identical to others across the country, both in reported phenomena and folklore. In almost all cases, the lights appear suddenly and at random, but seldom during heavy rain. The light itself, often a dull yellow, flickers much like a lantern, swinging from side to side like a pendulum. Generally it appears several inches to a few feet above the ground, and seems to move toward the observer in uncanny silence.

In one isolated incident, a young high school student was said to have been severely burned by the bizarre light, though this report ha yet to be confirmed. What is confirmable, however, is that the phenomenon is genuine, and has been reported by hundreds of people since the turn of the century.

At Long Valley, the researchers of Vestigia undertook a preliminary study of the spook lights in 1976, studying the history of the area, the High Bridge Railroad, and any accidents that could be linked to the Hookerman legend. It was learned that Long Valley was rural farmland until 1850, when iron ore began to be mined in the area. The High Bridge Railroad was, at first, a short spur that was used to transport ore from the mines to the foundry, and was actively used until 1885, when the mines began to cut back on operations. Eventually the railroad added several spurs, to the original Chester branch that ran to Long Valley. It was this spur that became the center of Vestigia’s study. By 1899, the railroad was renamed the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad, and ran passenger operations until 1934. The line was still in use for freight until 1960. Today, there is little activity on the spur, which is now part of the Jersey Central Railroad owned by Conrail.

The area is incredibly rich in folklore, including several tragedies associated with both mining and railroad operations. Many of these casualties are on record, but nothing in the records parallels the legend of the Hookerman, or gives any hint as to his identity, if he did, in the fact, exist.

Representatives from Vestigia collected background information from local residents about the legend, including several accounts that suggested the Hookerman was hospitalized at a local institution for the insane after his accident. Local hospital records and old railroad documents were carefully examined. The researchers even visited the local mental hospitals in search of the true identity of the Hookerman, but nothing could be found to link the legend of Long valley to reality.

Even if the Hookerman was the product of overactive local imaginations, the spook lights of Long Valley certainly were not. Researchers visited the area several times and each time they were able to see the Hookerman’s infamous “lantern.” Although the size, shape, speed of movement, and color varied from sighting to sighting, one thing was certain – the phenomenon was authentic and repeatedly observable. The directors of Vestigia then began the arduous task of amassing the technical materials, test equipment, and personnel necessary to study the phenomenon properly.

The first studies of the lights were scheduled for the fall of 1976 and the list of necessary equipment was extensive. Included were cameras, Geiger counters, methane gas sniffers devices, oscilloscopes, a Vascar radar unit, recording apparatus, thermometers, walkie-talkies, and assorted auxiliary equipment.

The team, led by Bill Wagner, was working on the theory that, if the lights could be seen, they should be recordable, photogenic and measurable. To that end, the team, 16 in all, amassed their equipment, much of it at their own expense. Next, the researchers selected the location for the study – a one mile stretch of railroad track, a virtual straightaway, intersected at its midpoint by a dirt road and bordered by two major roads.

While team members worked on collecting their gear, other Vestigia investigators secured the necessary releases, and received the cooperation of all authorities involved. Conrail was contacted, and permission was granted to use its right of way for the tests. A local resident whose house was in close proximity to the railroad tracks was contacted, and agreed to make power available from his home to the central post during the experiments.

On the night of November 20, 1976, the first of the field experiments were initiated, with three outposts set up. For the first time in Long Valley, the Hookerman’s light was going to be photographed, measured, and permanently recorded. The team assembled on the night of the initial test was composed of individuals from all disciplines and backgrounds. Within the group were experts in electronics, meteorology, physics, optics, photography, chemistry, and mathematics. What distinguished Vestigia’s study from any other was the quality and amount of technical expertise and equipment amassed from its study. A total of 10,000 man-hours were spent in the search, and the value of the equipment totally over $30,000.

What follows is a brief description of the first night of study into the Long valley spook lights. The investigation continues in the area, and Vestigia is presently collaborating with other research groups and universities in its probe.

On the night of the investigation, 4,000 feet of ground antenna wire was laid between the rails, and attached to an amplifier and oscilloscope which would detect variations in electrical frequency and amplitude. Other cables were attached directly to the rails to act as a capacitance test; anything metallic between or over the rails would register on a readout device in the equipment van. The Geiger counter was positioned at the presumed “hot spot,” and it, too, was wired into a readout in the command post. Other devices included a methane gas detector, and a parabolic listening device.

At Post Two (level with the command post), a group of observers on the track manned the Vascar radar unit as well as cameras which were loaded with infra-red sensitive film, and a motion picture camera containing ultra-fast film. Post One and Post Three observers, located a half-mile to the right and left, respectively, were armed with cameras, binoculars, and radio communicators.

At approximately 10 p.m., researchers at the control van reported drastic fluctuations on their instruments. Researchers at Post Three simultaneously observed a small, distinct light that startled them with its sudden and unanticipated appearance. They described it as yellowish, of low magnitude, and from five to six inches in diameter. It hovered over the tracks, about a foot above the ground, and was positioned between Post One and the control vans. Cameras clicked, and recording devices were quickly activated. One puzzling thing occurred, however. Although Post Three was in visual contact with the object, and Post Two was clearly recording it electronically and had activated its cameras to photograph the phenomenon, observers at Post One had no visual contact with the light.

The oscilloscope, and other electronic measuring devices, recorded changes in the electromagnetic field of the area in which the light appeared, as well as discharges of electrical activity.

During the appearance of the light, the oscilloscope recorded a dramatic reaction for a period of one minute and 50 seconds. Amplitude varied from.5 volts to 2.5 volts, while a normal background signal is only.4 volts at 60 cycles. During this time the normal 60 cycles range swelled to well over 40,000 cycles.

These readings obviously indicated that whatever the observers were seeing, whatever the cameras were recording, were capable of producing a dramatic change in the electrical activity of the area.

Other equipment did not immediately respond to the sighting; no radiation was evident at the time of the incident. Although there were noticeable reactions in the rail capacitance tests, both the test and the radiation indicators became active after the sighting. One thing was certain: for approximately one minute and 50 seconds, the legend of the Hookerman became objective reality, and staged a performance for the most sophisticated audience in its history.

As quickly as the phenomenon occurred, it disappeared, and the team began to run through the tests to find any possible explanation for the incident. The observers at Post One never obtained visual contact with the object between them and the command post, but all tests, with the exception of the rail capacitance test, verified that the phenomenon had, indeed, physically occurred.

Team leaders checked the apparatus responsible for the rail capacitance test and discovered why it had not responded at the time of the sighting. It seems that one of the connections to the track had been knocked loose perhaps by some of the onlookers earlier in the evening.

At approximately 10:45PM, a full ten minutes after the visual sightings of the light had ceased, test equipment used to record radiation began to show active readings from the track area. The Geiger counter recorded these readings for about five seconds before returning to its normal level. This occurred again nearly four minutes later, and persisted for seven seconds. There was a third and final recurrence 15 minutes following the visual sighting, this time lasting over 10 seconds.

The team worked on past midnight, hoping for a possible replay of the phenomenon, but all was quiet. Finally, at one a.m., the team leaders called it a night, yet the most dramatic proof of the evening would not be apparent until the photographs of the light were developed.

Two independent cameras at Post Two, near the control van, photographed an image, using two different types of film. A total of six frames of regular black and white, and seven frames of infrared were taken. Each frame reveals a definite image – a glowing ball of light. The black and white film shows a pinpoint of light, while the infrared shows a more detailed image. The black and white film (Tri-X) which was shot at 1/1250th of a second, shows only a light source, similar to that discerned by the observers’ naked eyes. The infrared film was exposed at 10 seconds per frame, and provides far more detail. This furnished us with important insight into the light range of the object, the film images showing density not discernible in normal black and white photographs.

What, however, does all of this prove? In what way do Vestigia’s findings contribute to an overall understanding of the spook light mystery. Just how have they succeeded in deflating the widespread claims of bodily survival.

To answer these questions, it is necessary to enter the realm of geophysical science.

It is fairly common knowledge that when certain types of quartz-bearing rocks are subjected to stress from within the Earth, an electrical potential results. This principle, referred to as the piezoelectric effect, is applied to telephone receivers as well as microphone transmitters, in which pressure from sound waves produce electrical responses in crystals. Physicists David Finkelstein and J.R Powell, of New York, vigorously explored the phenomenon in 1970, and concluded that stress accumulated in rocks over a period of years may change in intensity very slowly just prior to major earthquake activity. They further hypothesized that such stress may be capable of establishing an electrical field whereby discharges of electricity would ionize the air in the area into visible light.

Intrigued by this curious theory, Vestigia investigators carefully examined geodesic maps of New Jersey, and discovered that a major fault, the Ramapo Border Fault, runs through Peapack in northern New Jersey and passes within a mile of Indian Point, N.Y. It was also learned that since 1962 no fewer than 33 earthquakes have occurred along that fault, with a sizable portion in close proximity to the Long Valley area. After exhaustive study and field investigation, Bill Wagner and his associates within Vestigia became convinced that a definite correlation existed between the appearance of the light and local seismic activity. Through careful observation and documentation, they have succeeded in establishing, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the Long valley lights

persistently and predictably precede reports of local earthquake activity, and are entirely dependent upon natural, physical principles. Many, if not all, of the mysteries associated with the Hookerman have been unraveled.

For instance, the railroad bed at Long Valley is composed of granite, an extremely good conductor of electricity. Wagner has noted that the phenomenon is most prevalent in Long Valley either before or after changes in weather, and he cites barometric pressure as a logical correlative factor. As for the tendency of the light to recede as a human agent approaches, Vestigia believes it is foolish to automatically ascribe intelligent behavior to the light when a more sound and reasonable explanation exists. It is likely, they claim, that either the delicate field within the area is disrupted by the body’s own electrical charge, or merely that the static charge of the light itself seeks the natural ground of the approaching human and harmlessly discharges to the earth. But what about the radioactivity? Wagner and his co-workers suspect that the abnormal radiation recorded during their investigations of the light is associated with the presence of radon, an inert, natural gas, which is apparently bled off during earthquake activity.

The movement of the light across the tracks, though a bit more difficult to explain, has been linked by scientists to subsurface stress forces within a dynamic state of displacement. The spook light, according to informed speculation, is simply following the local fault lines, rift zones, and other rock strata that locally dissipate the stress. Dr. Michael Persinger, in his work, Space-Time Transients and Unusual Events, argues that “since the locus of the subsurface sources exists in a three-dimensional space, any movement of this source would be deflected, like a ‘transformation of axes,’ on the surface by the luminosity.” Persinger maintains that the light’s apparent movement, whether pendulum-like or vertical, is dependent upon the source’s subsurface position.

Wagner and his team members are in full agreement with the findings of Persinger, and are currently refining their research techniques at Long Valley. They are confident that with additional research and investigation, earthquake prediction, based on the observation and the scrutiny of these spook lights, may evolve into a more precise and accurate science.

Due to Vestigia’s pioneering research on the spook light mystery, major universities and governmental agencies have begun to collaborate with the group in its probe of this highly elusive, but natural phenomenon. As for the legend of the “Hookerman,” local residents appear to be accepting the conventional explanations advanced by Vestigia. It would seem as though the colorful story centered around this mythic figure has begun to lose much of its luster, and that superstition, at least for the community of Long Valley, has been firmly replaced by truth.

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Source by Peter A Jordan

Poetry At Its Roots

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I love good poetry. I can spend hours at a time reading excellent poetry, particularly reading it aloud to taste its musicality and experience the words in three dimensions. Few among us are capable of writing good poetry, though. I know because I’ve also seen my share of bad poetry. As an editor, I occasionally am called upon to edit a series of poems. I approach such an opportunity cautiously, for I have come across few contemporary writers who can actually write good poetry.

Well, maybe I should modify that last sentence: I have found few contemporary writers (except for those already published and/or famous) who have written good poetry. Maybe they could write good poetry if they had a better understanding of how to go about it. Anyone who can communicate through poetry has achieved the ultimate writing craft, so creating a fine poem is a worthy goal.

I’m not a poet. I am a connoisseur of fine poetry. I can help readers fully enjoy a good poem, and I can help aspiring poets dramatically improve their craft, but I don’t claim to be a poet myself. Still, I’ve had enough success with inexperienced poets that I think I have some insight to offer, and that’s the point of this article. If you feel, deep inside, that you could write a really fine poem, you probably can. If you sense an inner need to write effective poetry, then you probably should try. If you have not yet mastered that art, perhaps you simply need some guidance.

Verse is not Necessarily Poetry

Let me first distinguish between poetry and verse, because I believe that is where most people go wrong. Verse, you see, is the musical arrangement of words for a melodious or metrical effect. We all like to play with rhyme and economy of words and imagery. If you take a well-known tune and write new lyrics to celebrate your best friend’s birthday, you’ve written verse, not a poem. If you hit upon a rhythm and a clever theme and then arrange funny or mushy phrases around that rhythm and theme so that they rhyme (or nearly do), you’ve written verse, not poetry. What you read in greeting cards, 99.9% of the time, is verse, not poetry.

That, of course, begs the question: What is poetry? In my opinion, poetry often (but not always) includes all the characteristics of verse, but it has so much more, insight and emotion being the two most critical factors. So, can you take a little piece of verse, inject a bit of insight and a dash of emotion, and end up with a poem? I don’t think so. Maybe that’s why the world is immersed in verse but poetry-poor. Many of us can write verse; I have done it often. Few successfully write a poem, however. The reason for that phenomenon, I believe, is the sacred and mysterious process of birthing a really good poem. While verse can spawn from a scrap of music or a second-rate jingle, poetry is born of things precious and rare.

Insight Born of Experience

A true poem begins with an experience. We all have a thousand experiences a day so, I suppose, each of us comes across the raw material of a thousand poems everyday. Why don’t those poems materialize? Why do a handful of such experiences evolve, a little later, as cute or clever verse, but most just disappear? What transforms an experience into a poem? Consider what the icons of poetry have done with a jar of cold plums, a red wheelbarrow, a stone fence, grass. Truly, it is not the experience itself that ignites the poem. I see stone fences everyday, yet I’ve never written anything to rival “Mending Wall.” Most wheelbarrows I come across are not red, but, even if they were, would I realize how much depends on a wheelbarrow? Have you or I ever seen Chicago as Carl Sandburg saw it, “husky… brawling… city of the big shoulders,” or a snake as Emily Dickinson saw it, “a narrow fellow in the grass”? I’ve heard a fly buzz – I’ve heard many flies buzz – yet I’ve never associated the sound with my own death. Hmmm…

What transforms an experience into the stuff of poetry, I am quite certain, is the insight the experience brings. And here I use that word very literally: to see into the experience. Thousands of people ride ferries everyday, but Edna St. Vincent Millay saw the ferry-riding experience as a metaphor for her crowd’s Roaring Twenties lifestyle: “We were very young, we were very merry/ We rode back and forth all night on the ferry.” And so her experience, offering insight, became the stuff of poetry. Thousands of us, at various points in our lives, look at spiders weaving their webs, but it was Walt Whitman who took insight from “a noiseless, patient spider” as he did from a starry night sky viewed right after a boring lecture on astronomy. A poem begins, very often, with the insight gained from experience, but it is insight so crystal clear that you know it to the depths of your heart and the soles of your feet. Often that insight comes as suddenly as a punch to the jaw; it can even take your breath away.

A Psychic or Emotional Response

Most all mature adults have gained insight from their experiences, yet few of us write poems about those insightful experiences. So what comes next? We generally learn from experience, grow from the insight therewith provided, and evolve as persons, but do we write poetry about it? No, and I’ll bet many of us could! For reasons I will not try to identify, the vast majority of us fail to respond to insightful experiences as poets respond: A poet is immersed in the insight, filled up with the experience, bowled over by the new understanding, consumed by the emotion, inspired by the possibilities. So that, I believe, is the next step: an emotional or psychic response to an insightful experience. Writers of verse probably skip that step.

The highly charged response of the poet does not have to be a lesson learned. It might be the awakening of a new, hitherto unfelt emotion, or a deeper level of pleasure from the same old experience, or a sense of wonder or humor or understanding. The point is that poets stop to fill themselves with the feelings and thoughts – fill themselves up until something has to give. And that takes us to the fourth step in the birth of a poem: the need to express the new insight, emotion, understanding or desire. Only when we are filled up do we have the urgent need to express.

Still, we haven’t yet reached the crux of the poetry issue. Many people are moved by an experience, do take the time to feel the emotions and insights, and do produce some sort of communication directed at the rest of humanity. What is produced is often prose: a letter to the editor (or, on a more personal basis, a letter to a relative or old friend); a screaming, raging email message; a carefully composed essay; a glowing testimonial. All prose. Others now make a stab at poetry, and they produce things made out of words, arranged in stanzas, desperate to communicate, not quite there. All prosaic. What does the successful poet do differently?

Connecting Insight to Image

The poet makes a connection that others fail to make, and that connection gives genesis to the seed of the new poem. In his or her need to communicate this overwhelming experience, the poet seeks and finds an image to which this new insight can be compared – something of the everyday world, an object or event or process the reader will recognize as familiar, understand, and readily grasp. Now we have the birth of figurative language, the metaphor or simile or personification that lies at the heart of the new message. In a sense, this comparison, never before made, is the message. This is the new connection, a deeper level of insight, a creative way of seeing; without this, a would-be poem is merely words. So, when we read that “the fog comes in on little cat feet” we share a unique connection made by a poet who saw fog in a whole new way. Now the poet (in this case Carl Sandburg) has found the vehicle of expression: a unique, creative comparison that instantly brings his experience to our doorstep. We all know something of little cat feet. Sandburg’s connection between the fog and the little cat feet is an act of creative genius.

Musicality Enhances Insight and Image

That creative accomplishment, however, is not yet the making of a poem. Now the other elements of poetry come into play. Economy of words is, of course, the hallmark of poetry, the feature that most differentiates it from prose. And when words are used economically, there is not a word, not a letter, not a sound to spare. Every carefully selected word has a sterling ability to convey the sound and sense of a particular facet of the idea. Next come the musical qualities: rhyme, rhythm and meter, repetition, alliteration. Now, all of these forces can be developed simultaneously, but this is the important thing to keep in mind: the insight comes first, then the image or vehicle, and only then the words and music. Those verbal tools must elucidate the insight and support the image.

Words and music without insight and image produce only verse (or drivel, sometimes). The same is true for cute similes and metaphors embedded into the text for no other reason than poetry’s traditional use of similes and metaphors. Figurative language that is not part and parcel of the message – born of the insight or inherent in the fundamental image – is only window dressing, sure to fade as the seasons change. The same can be said of forced rhyme, lines manipulated all out of proportion to make the ending sounds alike: mere decoration, but not the stuff of poetry. Using onomatopoeia because you can, or personifying an inanimate object because you can – these are techniques of verse, not of poetry. All the verbal and musical components of a good poem serve the central insight and interlock naturally with the central image. That is poetry.

It would now only make sense, I believe, to present to you a poem that I think is outstanding in every one of these ways, and so I shall. I choose “Gold Glade” by Robert Penn Warren, not a popular poem (although a famous author), but one that stirs my heart and my intellect with every reading, so near to the perfect poem it is. I should warn you: it takes several focused readings to gather it all in.

Gold Glade

Wandering, in autumn, the woods of boyhood,

Where cedar, black, thick, rode the ridge,

Heart aimless as rifle, boy-blankness of mood,

I came where ridge broke, and the great ledge,

Limestone, set the toe high as treetop by dark edge

Of a gorge, and water hid, grudging and grumbling,

And I saw, in mind’s eye, foam white on

Wet stone, stone wet-black, white water tumbling,

And so went down, and with some fright on

Slick boulders, crossed over. The gorge-depth drew night on,

But high over high rock and leaf-lacing, sky

Showed yet bright, and declivity wooed

My foot by the quietening stream, and so I

Went on, in quiet, through the beech wood:

There, in gold light, where the glade gave, it stood.

The glade was geometric, circular, gold,

No brush or weed breaking that bright gold of leaf-fall.

In the center it stood, absolute and bold

Beyond any heart-hurt, or eye’s grief-fall.

Gold-massy in air, it stood in gold light-fall,

No breathing of air, no leaf now gold-falling,

No tooth-stitch of squirrel, or any far fox bark,

No woodpecker coding, or late jay calling.

Silence: gray-shagged, the great shagbark

Gave forth gold light. There could be no dark.

But of course dark came, and I can’t recall

What county it was, for the life of me.

Montgomery, Todd, Christian-I know them all.

Was it even Kentucky or Tennessee?

Perhaps just an image that keeps haunting me.

No, no! in no mansion under earth,

Nor imagination’s domain of bright air,

But solid in soil that gave it its birth,

It stands, wherever it is, but somewhere.

I shall set my foot, and go there.

Robert Penn Warren

A Life-changing Experience, not Mere Technique

I had read this beauty at least six times before I ever realized the absolutely perfect rhyme scheme: ababb. Attention is so focused on the discovery of the achingly beautiful tree that the rhyme is barely noticeable. The simile so perfectly complements the feeling and actions of the speaker that it hardly calls attention to itself: “heart aimless as rifle.” The “grudging and grumbling” water is so naturally personified that it does not shout “personification!” The same can be said of this subtle personification: “where cedar, black, thick, rode the ridge.” The metaphors are both brilliant and inherent: “leaf-lacing… bright gold of leaf-fall… heart-hurt… eye’s grief-fall.”

“Gold Glade” is a wonder of musicality, yet those techniques always serve the insight and image. The alliteration (“rode the ridge… boy-blankness… ledge/Limestone… foam white on/Wet stone, stone wet-black, white water tumbling… glade gave) and assonance (“woods of boyhood… grudging and grumbling… mind’s eye… glade gave… far fox bark… late jay”) serve to communicate the wonder of the unparalleled tree-beauty, not to call attention to their own cleverness or to intellectualize a barren line.

Reading this poem is to vicariously experience the speaker’s boyhood discovery of a tree so powerfully lovely that it has haunted him and drawn him back throughout his lifetime. As precisely and musically worded as Robert Penn Warren’s poem is, it is absolutely the recounting of a life-changing experience rather than a display of words or poetic techniques. There can be no doubt this poem was born of the discovery of a serene glade, filled with the golden rays of the setting sun, dominated by an oak tree of breathtaking magnificence. From that experience developed the birth of a superior poem.

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Arlyn DeCicco Turns Tragedy Into Triumph

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A Little About Arlyn

Arlyn DeCicco was born on May 2nd, 1954 to William D. and Toby B. Lampie. Despite the fact that she lost her dad from complications after surgery in 1984 and her mom to cancer in 1997, her parents left a strong imprint.

Arlyn learned her work ethic, determination and dedication from her parents and often reiterates to her mother's favorite quote, "you can do anything you want to do as well as any man if not better."
Horses entered Arlyn's life when she was nine years old. "Hennie Bordwin, one of my mother's friends, took me to Pepperell, MA where I got to ride a friend's pony.

"After I started riding, my brother Mark began to ride.

She grew up riding hunters and equitation in Massachusetts with Brian Flynn. She took clinics with Ronnie Mutch and George Morris. Later she trained with Dottie Morkis, Kathy Connelly, Ernst Bachinger and Belinda Nairn.

During the 1970s Arlyn added Eventing through the Preliminary level to her list of disciples.

Arlyn's teaching was transformed after she suffered two traumatic accidents. In 1972 Arlyn was thrown from a horse and suffered a back injury.

"One week after graduating high school I was bucked off in the morning while competing at a horse show. I continued to ride but later that day fell off again from the pain. I broke my back (L3 and L4). I spent the summer in bed staring at the ceiling, which is why I can not ever sit still today.

Through her strong determination she survived that ordeal and in 1979 she and her husband Alfred started their first business called Woodlock Farm based in Massachusetts.

In the early 90s dressage was added to her riding and in 1995 she had success on a horse name Sedona who she rode to third place in the NEDA High Score Award at Fourth Level. In 1996 she competed in Prix St. Georges.

The year 1997 was a turning point in Arlyn's life. She mysteriously fell off a horse when no one was around and was found lying on the ground with what was later diagnosed as a head trauma.

"She was unconscious and was medi-advised to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston," explained her husband. "The left side of her body was compromised as well as her vision – eyes not in sync as I looked at her – double vision. horse bucking and prints in the arena, which had just been dragged, suggested she must have passed out and fallen off. "

Being a strong and independent woman, Arlyn convinces the doctors to let her come home just three days later. "Unfortunately, I could not get her up the next morning and had to take her back in for two more days of observation," continued Alfred. "They still could not find anything and the doctors said there was nothing they could do.

"She would sleep a lot, but would then wake up in the morning. She lacked taste, except for Starbuck's Java Chip ice cream which was her staple. , which was about six weeks from the fall, she regained enough use of her left leg and arm to drive herself to cranial-sacral therapy and physical pool therapy. system where she tied reins to our treadmill and performed her own physical therapy. "

While Alfred worried "my attitude was that she would get better." She had her mother's determination. "
One Determined Lady Figures Out A Way to Go On

"My goal was to continue to ride," Arlyn commented emphatically. "Thus I began my quest to obtain knowledge about the body starting with my treating doctors."

Arlyn already had some knowledge because her mom was a registered nurse who was always asking questions of trainers, vets and farriers. As a curious child, Arlyn would always be sure to glean every word that was said. Arlyn continued asking questions and has added horse muscle therapists and horse chiropractors in her quest for knowledge.

She also benefited from courses she took just a few months prior to her accident in August 1996. Arlyn became certified as a Personal Trainer by the American Council on Exercise (ACE). The ACE training manual includes human anatomy and bio-mechanics. Little did she know then how valuable that education would become later when she intuitively transferred that over to horses.

As Arlyn assessed her situation with an attitude of not letting anything stand in her way she also realized that she could no longer ride at her previous level. She further realized that she could not make a horse do what she wanted. "All of my organizational skills and talent were of no use to me. I needed a new approach and I had to figure out how to direct my horse's movement."

She looked for a way to naturally guide the horse's energy. The answer came in bits and pieces until it evolved into the philosophy that Arlyn has borrowed Balanced Equine Training Stretch Supple Strength (BET-SSS). This philosophy likens the rider to a man in a dancing partnership and the horse to a woman. The rider needs to learn how to lead the horse's movement, rather than force or demand it, creating a willing partnership. After having been stretched and suppled, the horse wants to dance.

The concept of BET is to ride the neck as the counter-balance for the body. The goal is to educate riders to have the tools that need to lead their horses without interfering with their movement. Arlyn's philosophy is "less is more" and her goal is to have the rider "guide" the horse's energy so that they are a dancing couple effortlessly maneuvering around the arena.

Alfred has always impressed with Arlyn's attitude and teaching. "For Arlyn it is always about the horse first. If the horse is properly developed then it will perform better because it is comfortable with itself.
Understanding the Anatomy

Understanding the horse's anatomy is critical in training. A horse's body is extremely complex, and a rider must understand the horse's musculature in order to know how to supplement, stretch, and strengthen each muscle group properly. By training a horse incorrectly, one muscle might unknowingly be developed to inhibit the use and movement of another muscle.

There are four phases of the musculature: anterior, posterior, medial, and lateral. In understanding these four different areas, a rider can understand how to develop a horse correctly and how the four phases interact with one another to create the whole horse.

The anterior and posterior phases of the musculature refer respectably to the muscles in front and back. These muscles include those along the top and bottom lines of the horse, muscles in the front and back of the legs, and any muscles that work in a swinging motion.

While many riders may have heard or used the expression "riding from back to front" or allowing the horse to move forward from the hind end, few understand how this relates to the horse's musculature. If a rider does not encourage a horse to work forward from the hind legs or refuses to stretch the anterior and posterior muscles correctly, the horse's movement and performance will be inhibited and its performance and ability to flex will be limited. This will result in lack of adjustment and possible injury.

The medial and lateral phases of the musculature refer respectably to the middle and outside muscles of the horse. These muscles are located on the sides of the horse and are used when the horse is asked to bend or move laterally.

In order to optimize the medial and lateral muscles, a rider must supple them. This can be done through lateral and bending exercises where the horse is asked to open up and breathe. Once the horse's muscles are supple and relaxed, the horse will be able to more easily complete the rider's requests. If a rider begins strengthening prematurely, the horse's range of motion will be strictly restricted. This will result in stiffness, resistance to the rider's aids, and ability to perform.

BET-SSS in Layman's Terms

Arlyn's Balanced Equine Training Stretch Supple Strengthens or BET-SSS revolves around creating well balanced horses and riders by combining aerobic range of motion exercises with a system that develops all four phases of the musculature.

Stretch is the beginning phase when the horse is asked to lengthen its stride in the walk and stretch its neck as long and low as possible making sure the head is not behind the vertical. Once the horse is comfortably swinging in the walk, they begin to breathe and function aerobically. This aerobic exercise puts less stress on the horse's muscles, joints, and heart and allows the horse to use itself more completely in a relaxed manner. By allowing the neck and head to stretch down, the horse can lift its back and propel itself forward more correctly from the hind end. Once the horse has experienced the rewards of this phase, they will be asked to repeat these movements in every gait and stage of work. The Stretch phase of SSS helps to relax the horse and prepare for the incoming phases of Supple and Strengthen.

In the Supple phase the horse is asked to move on a circle. The horse may then be asked to lengthen the outside muscles and shorten the inside muscles or alternately, to shorten the outside muscles and lengthen the inside muscles. Other, more complicated suppling exercises involve leg yields or asking the horse to move away from the inside leg and rein. By depicting the horse's neck and body through these movements, the horse opens up its rib cage. This will allow the horse to breathe more easily. After using the suppling exercises, the horse will be free to stretch and use itself more properly.

Strengthen is the final phase and should only be attempted after the other two phases have been completed. Here the object is to build muscle and strength in the horse. This phase can involve riding on varied terrain and work with cavalletti and trot poles. For more advanced exercises, horse and rider can work with gymnastic grids and jumps or the collected, medium, and extended gaits. Each horse's physical development and mental acuity must be taken into account when developing a Strengthen program.

On The Scene

Now that you are armed with the concept the question remains as to how Arlyn would proceed to use all of this knowledge.

When giving a clinic, she begins with a demonstration and follows that with individual sessions. She has found the best timing is to have a minimum of three days in a row.

Arlyn starts by assessing the situation. "She analyzes the horse and rider as a pair and bases each exercise on their physical and mental abilities," explains Brittany Bazeley. "Her understanding of anatomy and physical fitness is applied to both horse and rider to stretch, supplement and strengthen and no matter what happens throughout the day, it ends on a positive note for everyone.

"She looks at everything from the ground up. She looks at the horse in the stall and the placement of the saddle on the horse's back among other things," adds show jumper Holly Scapa.

While watching the horse in motion, Arlyn assesses the horse's range of motion and rideability. She also takes into consideration the rider's level. Armed with this information she then works with the rider to educate them on what they can do to help improve these aspects. The next step is to watch the combination. The rider's imbalances are also corrected so that they do not interfere with the horse's range of motion. Through various aerobic exercises and the philosophy of Stretch Supple Strengthens, the horse's musculature can be developed to create a more balanced and adjustable horse.

Her Students Speak Her Praises

Few words speak louder than those those who are on the outside looking in and on the inside looking out. The success of Arlyn's method is repeatedly echoed in the words of her students and clients.
"I observed how Arlyn's recovery from her injury enhanced her ability to teach and ride horses," commented Martha Weckel. "After the injury, her ability to 'feel' for what the horse needed was that much more amazing. '' She could no longer 'make' the horses do their jobs;

Dr. Heather Mack added, "I have learned to be a solid dance partner with my horses whereas before I was mostly just trying to stay out of their way."

"What I learned is that you have to ride both sides of the horse." What we tend to do is ride whatever direction we are going and you need to ride both sides going both directions, "explained Holly Scapa.

"Arlyn's extensive knowledge of the anatomy of the horse and rider along with her unique training methods has helped put many struggling horses and riders on the road to successful balanced riding. the time to teach you how to really ride, "commented Julie Weisz, winner of the 2003 Onondarka Medal Finals.

"Arlyn is deeply obligated to improving the physical and mental state of the horse." Her method works, "noted Sally Black, owner of Blackland Farm.

"When horse and rider are both balanced you have a willing partnership. The horse does not need to be forced or manipulated." You have a happy horse, "commented Diana Yeater, owner / trainer.

"Watching Arlyn ride is classical. She does not force; she flows with the horse." She is able to get a horse to soften and collect. Fretterd, Equine Body Worker.

"You can already walk, trot and canter. You do not need me to do that. I'm here to help you and your horse do it better," is how Sally Haddon explained what she heard when Arlyn helped her son, Gatlan .

Miniature Horse owner Susan Hopmans of LaVista Farm added, the fact that this program allows horses to be all they can be and never forces makes my heart soar. It has such a calming and centering effect on the horses. The end result is a relaxed horse that understands and fulfills what is being asked. "

Jumper rider Joie Gatlin's former stable manager Darren "Dagwood" Roberts is a fan as well. "She has an intuitive knowledge of how their minds and bodies work. She was a huge part of Sun Cal's King's many successes."

Show Jumper Mandy Porter who competed at the 2009 Las Vegas World Cup remarked, "Arlyn considers the wellbeing of the whole horse and the reward is a whole horse."

Amateur-Owner jumper rider Mia Beckham noted, "Arlyn was the first person that did not try to teach me how to win. She taught me how to win."

"She has given me the skills to tap into my horse's physical and emotional potential. Heather Mack.

And there you have it. Aryln has turned tragedy into triumph and our horses thank her.

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Writing Style – The Differences Between Academic and Casual Writing

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Everyone knows that you should write your term papers differently from your Facebook posts, and your journal submissions should be written differently than newspaper columns. What exactly are the differences between casual and academic writing? Between formal and informal writing?

The biggest difference

The single most important difference between casual writing and academic writing is style. That is, casual writing does not require you to adhere to any published style guide. Academic writing, or any formal writing for that matter, requires that you adhere to a style guide. Some schools and teachers will go so far as to specify which style guide to use.

What is a style guide?

A style guide is a manual, or document, that specifics a set of rules and standards, followed by writers to facilitate clear communication. The guide for is a web page that indicates how to write articles to be included in the EzineArticles directory, for instance. Each school and corporation can have its own, personalized style guide.

Main style guides do exist, however.

1 . The Chicago Manual of Style was one of the first style guides published in the United States. Currently (as of 2010) in its 16th edition, this style guide first came out in 1906. People often refer to "the Chicago style," but people also refer to it as CMS or CMOS.

2. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is in its sixth edition (as of 2010). This style guide was developed so professors and students could read papers more easily-and so comprehension was increased. APA Style calls for only two fonts in a paper, and the body of the paper must be written in Times New Roman 12 point. Underlining, bolding, and italics are permitted in some places.

3. The Elements of Style was written to help people write clearly. While the book has its critics, it is one of the shortest style guides.

4. The MLA Style Manual, 3rd edition , is the Modern Language Association's style guide. First published in 1985, this manual is used by many universities, colleges, and students.

5. Microsoft wrote The Manual of Style for Technical Publication , and this document is used for internal and external Microsoft documentation.

Common style guide conventions vs. informal writing


Generally, it is okay to use contractions (like it's) in informal writing. Academic writing requires writing out both words.

Technical terms

If you are writing informally to a group of people in your same field, you might use technical terms frequently and never explain them. If you are writing to a group of people that have no relationship with your industry at all, you try to take the technical words out together. If you are writing academically, you must explain the term the first time you use it.

Active / Passive

This is not different between informal and academic writing. Most often, active sentences are better. Both the APA and the Chicago style guides concur with this.

Grammatical person

The grammatical person is the point of view, or you might have heard it phrased as first person, second person, third person, and fourth person. The first person perspective contains a lot of "I" or "we" statements like "I fed the dog." First person is the writer's perspective. The second person is you, the person the writer is writing to. The third person is associated with pronouns such as he, she, it, and they. The third person is not me (the writer) or you (the reader). Sometimes academics use fourth-person sentences like, "One should always have when one is in public."

Informal and casual writing uses the first, second, and third person point of view, as appropriate. While academies often write in the fourth person, I have yet to find a basis for that style of writing in style guides. Style guides facilitate clear writing and fourth person, one-statements are anything but clear.

The grammatical person needed for a sentence often depends on if the sentence is active or passive.


Academic writing requires citations. If you are state "X is true," you need to cite either where you found that statement. If you created that statement, your words must clearly show that.

Sentence length

Casual writing tend to have short sentences. (Bad casual writing has run-on sentences.) Academic, formal writing uses longer sentences. Take heed though. The goal of any writing is to get a point across, and if your sentence is too long, you will defeat that purpose.

Colloquial expressions and cliches

While "awesome," "da bomb," "the bees knees," "kids," "nose to the grindstone," and "dude" permeate Facebook, these words and phrases are not used in academic writing.


All your friends may know what LOL (and in the case of the ferret community, DOL), but whenever you use an abbreviation in an academic paper, you first need to write it out and connect it to the abbreviation so people know what you are talking about.

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The Three Letter Approach to Proposals and Presentations

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Three letters .

That is all that I needed to hear. Three simple letters. FAB. Short for Fabulous? Not exactly. But the results earned from this simple formula for writing or presenting certainly do produce fabulous results. When I first heard the FAB formula, I was immediately hypnotized by the potential of following a simple formula for sales and writing success. And after nearly eleven years, I am still happy hypnotized!

So what does FAB stand for and how does it work?

Simple. Yet wonderfully powerful.

Feature-Advantage-Benefit .

Let me explain in under 900 words.

Whatever you sell or are selling now, your product or service solves a problem. Whether the problem is known and obvious or takes some digging to unforgettable, your product's intent is to solve something. The problem can be as simple as preventing pimples or as complex as the problems faced by a failing company which key indicators all point towards bankruptcy. No matter the problem, your product or service was created to solve it.

So, let's assume that you have identified the problem and your prospect is aware of the problem and accepts it as a problem. No what? How can you position your product / service in a way that the prospect sees your product as the solution? Simple, actually. Follow the formula of FAB.

Here's how.

Your product / service has to have at least one FEATURE . Most likely, it has numerous features, but you need only discuss the features that address the customer's unique position. Their unique problem. If, for example, the customer's problem (here referred to as a "challenge,") is poor results from their advertising campaign, your product / service's feature is better something that directly addresses their challenge. Think long and hard about the customer's challenge before mentioning anything your product / service features. If you start rambling on about all the features of your product / service, the customer will tune out long before you have a chance to mention the feature he / she is dying for.

If your product / service does not have a feature the customer needs, then you will not make a sale. Move on to either another prospect or another product / service. I can not stress this point enough, and certainly not in the space of only 1,000 words. The best sales professionals in the world are the ones who can best match their products directly to the prospects challenge. This skill can take years to acquire, or it can only take a moment of enlightenment. Whichever the case, without the right product / service that solves a customer's recognized problem, there will be no sales!

The next step in the formula is the ADVANTAGE the customer will gain by using your product / service. Whether the advantage will be an advantage over their competition or an advantage over their current way of doing business, you need to detail the direct advantage gained from partnering with you.

But this point is not where sales are made or lost. Most sales professionals are good at matching their product's features to a customer and are strong at showing the benefits, but then stop and leave the most important step up to the creative mind of their prospect. Do not stop here! There is only one more step.

Assuming that you have the right product / service for a recognized challenge, and that they understand the advantages that your product / service affords them, the next key to the formula is the BENEFIT . Precisely, how will your prospect benefit from your product / service. The key here is to tie your benefits directly to the customer's challenge. Do not assume that the customer will make the connection by themselves. Draw it out, verbally or visibly, until you are certain the customer understands the direct benefit of using your product / service. If they understand their challenge, and that you have a solution to their problem, but do not see the benefit from using your product / service, you will not make a sale.

Here is an example.

A customer has a challenge of weak profits on her sales of widgets. You show them how your advertising service has a feature that directly addresses building greater profit in the sales that result from effective advertising. (You, again, need to be certain that your product / service's feature (s) directly addresses their recognized challenge.) You then show them how effective advertising with your services can increase their public awareness, eradicate any uncertainty about what their widgets do, as well as any other advantages that are associated with your service. And finally, and most importantly, you show her all the benefits associated with using your service. Increased profits from each sale; increased revenue from increased sales; strength of position over her competitors; the security that comes with a healthy bottom line; greater ability to diversify their product line; potential of selling her company to a larger company; etc, etc ….

There is a point when you are going over board with benefits but that point is often much more than most sales professional go to. Get creative with your benefits. (Making sure that they are all based on reality.) Remembering always that customers buy off emotion, then justify with logic. Get them emotionally involved with your service by showing them all the benefits that they can enjoy by using your product / service.

FAB. A simple to remember formula to drastically increase your sales and revenues. Although it is easy to remember and to use, it takes a lot of practice to truly master. My suggestion is that after you designed your letter, proposal, or presentation, you go through and identify the features, advantages, and benefits while making sure that each part directly addresses your customer's challenge.

Well, the word counter indicates that I am close to 900 words, so I will end with this final statement: Without features, you have no product / service to sell. Without advantages, there are no reasons why the customer should choose you over anything or anyone else in your market space. And without benefits, there is no emotional leverage. And without emotional leakage, your chances for success are greatly diminished.

Good selling!

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It Is Easy to Write a Literature Review – Here’s How

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A literature review is a survey of all existing literature in a specific field. It serves two purposes. First is to exhaustively describe research done in a specific area. The second is to evaluate this body of literature to identify established findings, conflicting evidence and gaps in research. A literature review includes research articles, dissertations, conference papers, scholarly articles and other sources.

This might seem daunting to a beginner. However it is easy to write a literature review. All you need is patience and good analytic skills. All literature reviews have a basic structure. There are slight variations in this format, depending on the discipline and the purpose of the literature review.

The first step is to identify a topic on which you want to write the review of literature. Finding a suitable topic is the hardest part of a literature review. You must begin searching for a topic early. This would involve extensive reading. Choosing a personally-relevant topic, which motivates and interests you, will make the entire process much more enjoyable.

Before finalizing a topic, you need to ensure that there is considerable research in that area. So several individuals should have conducted research and written about the topic. As a result you will have various viewpoints to compare and analyze.

Once you are well versed with the broad area of interest, narrow it down to a specific topic. The more specific your topic, the more comprehensive your review will be.

The second step is to begin collecting and reading the articles. While choosing a topic you would have done already condected some preliminary research. Now you would need to systematically build on this initial research. Libraries and online journal collections are good starting points. Interviews with subject matter experts, books, documentaries, and archival data can be used during this stage.

Remember reading academic articles can be challenging and you might be inclined to give up. Here are some tips to make your reading of the literature easier:

1. Begin with the easier articles and then proceed to the harder ones.

2. Read the abstract first. Then scan through the article and identify key themes and elements such as the research questions, the findings etc. Make a note of these elements.

3. Next do an in-depth reading of the literature you have collected. Read each article line by line to completely understand it. Look for hidden themes, contradictions and logical gaps in arguments. Try to link it to other literature in the area.

4. Reading requires time and patience. So plan accordingly and allocate maximum time for this phase.

After you have read through sufficient material, you would need to shortlist the articles to the ones most relevant to your topic. Try to look for connections between the articles, and loopholes in the existing research and consensus regarding the subject matter.

Keep an open mind, and look critically at all the information. Your literature review should not be a simple summary of a couple of articles and books. It should provide a unique perspective on the existing literature, and facilitate further debate. Once you have mapped your ideas, arguments and created a loose structure for the review, you will begin the actual writing process.

You would need at least 15 – 20 articles for a good literature review. However, a literature review can have up to 100 articles. Student literature reviews are typically 20 pages long or of 3000 words approximately.

Make sure that your literature review is well organized. A natural flow makes a literature review easier and more pleasant to read. Most literature reviews begin with the title page, the abstract followed by a brief introduction to the topic. The introduction should include the purpose and questions of the review.

The body usually contains a detailed description of each study, along with observations and comparisons of the studies. The findings are then put concisely in the conclusion, after which the implications of the literature review are mentioned. Implications are your personal addition to the topic based on your reading and analysis. It includes your impressions of what the studies show and the need for further research.

Some pointers while you write your review:

• Write only when you have read all your text and have understood it.

• Take breaks in between writing the review, so that you don’t burn out.

• Always use simple and concise language. Illustrate your points with concrete examples from the text you have read.

• Summarize and paraphrase the articles, instead of using long quotes.

• Edit and review the article, to avoid grammatical and formatting errors.

• Finally never indulge in plagiarism. Use in text citations and references.

In text citations are used when you quote someone else’s idea within your article. It includes the author’s last name and the year of the study. References must include the author’s name, the title of the book, the year of the publication, the publishing house and the location. There are detailed instructions for citations available at all major university websites such as Harvard etc. You could read through them for more clarity on how to write the references.

Now that you know the steps involved in writing a literature review, you will be well equipped to begin your review.

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Writing — How To Use "Use" Versus "Utilize" Correctly?

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“Use” and “utilize” are two verbs with distinct meanings. Don’t confuse them.

“Use” is to employ objects for the purposes they were designed for.

“Utilize,” on the other hand, is to employ objects for unintended purposes.

Authoritative proof:

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the verb use as “to make use of (some immaterial thing) as a means or instrument; to employ for a certain end or purpose.”

But utilize is defined as “to make or render useful; to convert to use, turn to account.”

MSN Encarta Dictionary defines to utilize as “to make use of something, or find a practical or effective use for something.”

And here is the logical proof of the crucial distinction between these two verbs: the logical extreme of “use” is “abuse,” referring to the act of using something in ways that is contradictory to its original “mission statement” or designed function.

But there is no corresponding logical extreme for “utilize” like, let’s say, “disutilize” or “abutilize” since by its very definition, to utilize something means to use it in ways that is different than the purpose for which it was originally designed or created. “Abuse,” so to speak, is a built-in semantic component of “utilize.”

WRONG: “The TV set utilizes coaxial cable to connect to the antenna.” (A TV unit and a coaxial cable were meant to be used together, by definition.)

CORRECT: “The TV set uses coaxial cable to connect to the antenna.

CORRECT: “The TV set utilizes paper clips to connect to the antenna.” (A TV set is not designed to use paper clips to connect to the antenna. That’s a highly unusual improvisation and — in the stretched sense of the word — an “abuse” of paper clips.)


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Source by Ugur Akinci

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