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Scuba Diving Anyone? Come Bring your Underwater Digital Cameras!

Feb. 4th, 2009 | 01:46 am
location: London
mood: ecstaticecstatic

I cannot fathom why some people would risk their lives in pursuit of a sport or hobby as dangerous as scuba diving. How experienced scuba divers have mastered the unpredictable waters of the seas and oceans with the perils that lurk everywhere- I’m just amazed.

Deep within the oceans live a number of potentially dangerous animals like the Portuguese Man-o’-War which can render a diver paralyzed, unable to move. When the water is cold and the diver makes very limited mobility, he can get hypothermia, a condition characterized by a drop in the body temperature which can be very fatal. But this can be prevented by donning scuba gears with the right thermal insulations before plunging underwater. In medium depth waters, decompression sickness or nitrogen narcosis (inert gas narcosis) can be avoided by using a gas mixture containing more oxygen and less nitrogen. In deeper waters, oxygen toxicity can possibly occur which in severe cases can lead to seizure. This also can be prevented by using gas tanks that contain different mixtures for each phase dive and the proper use of these is being thought in reputable diving schools. Sudden ascent and descent in the water may cause painful injuries like a ruptured eardrum as a result of pressure imbalance. Experienced dive instructors impart of important tips and pointers to avoid injuries like the exhaling periodically through the nose and inflating and deflating the dry suit when ascending and descending. Most physical injuries can be prevented by proper use of the diving suit.

Dangers underwater can be prevented by first undergoing adequate and proper training with experienced scuba divers. Actual trainings with exploring and mastering of each depth / phase should be done also to master the use of gas tanks and other apparatus and gears before plunging to the deepest. It is also important to always dive with companion, preferably an experienced one if you are a novice. Put it that way, scuba diving is not quite that dangerous; it merely takes adequate and proper training and experience to master the underwater. When you have done that, perhaps you can also take your underwater digital cameras with you to be able to capture the captivating sceneries underwater which scuba divers can never seem to get enough of and show them off for the whole world to enjoy.

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Intelligence Made... Holdem Poker?

Jan. 24th, 2009 | 08:32 am
mood: amusedamused

Taking into account the fact that intelligence is not entirely hereditary, researchers have been discovering and developing ways to improve human intelligence especially during the formative years in childhood. It has been found that intelligence of a child can be influenced starting from the mother’s womb by the overall physiological and emotional condition of the mother and her nutritional intake. Constant playing of mind regular beats or rhythms / vibrations close to the mother’s womb is supposed to increase focus in the child. Infants and children who are made to listen regularly to classical music are found to be more relaxed and not prone to tantrums, have longer attention span and better memory, in short, higher intelligence quotient or IQ.

Researchers have also proven that nutrition plays a big role in the development of human intelligence. Iron, zinc and other micro-nutrients are very important for proper brain development and functioning. Teaching a child to read, write, do the math and other aspects of learning should not be a cause for stress for the child. Parents and teachers should guide the learning process through play. In this way, the child learns while having fun. To hone children’s thinking skills, they are thought to play thinking games like ‘question-and-answer’, manipulating the Rubik’s cube, scrabble, puzzles, chess and other board games. Older children are encouraged to play the more complicated strategy games like Holdem Poker not only to develop flexibility and focus but also social intelligence. Teaching a child to play an instrument or to master a sport like golf, billiards, etc. are also effective ways of increasing IQ. The child can also benefit much by letting him/her memorize poems, passages, songs, quotations, etc. A child’s creativity can also be developed/improved by encouraging him/her to write stories or his thoughts, to paint and do artwork.

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How Important is a QMS ( ISO 9001 2008 )?

Jan. 17th, 2009 | 08:41 pm
mood: energeticenergetic

I have great respect for organizations or businesses who give much importance to the improvement in the quality of the products or services that they deliver. Good quality means customer satisfaction and for me, that is tantamount to having customer’s welfare as their priority. Having a set standard of quality means consistency which is equivalent to reliability and in effect, a stable market for the organization.

Alas for the organizations which do not have an effective quality management system (QMS) in place. More often than not, they experience a roller coaster change in the quality of their products / services and constantly resort to trial-and-error approach in solving problems. Because of this, the quality of the products suffer. With organizations having a standard quality management system or QMS in place, solving problems that crop up should also be easy. It is most convenient if the QMS is properly documented. This is also the requirement by the internationally recognized ISO 9000 series standards.

I am convinced that a QMS which is based on the processes, which is also the essence of the latest ISO 9001 guidelines version of 2008, is the best approach. By this method, every problem concerning each step of the process can be properly addressed. Other important aspects like the compliance to existing regulations, costing and efficiency can also be integrated. But organizations or businesses need not be stuck in the quality standards that they have previously set. They should also make room for continual improvements, integrate research and developments as necessary, exercise flexibility in approaching concerns particularly those that involve new trends or demands.

Or some organizations, in an attempt at attracting customers or improving quality encourage them to submit suggestions and complaints involving their products. While it’s cause is good, it has a negative impact on some customers who perceive it as weak and desperate attempt at improving quality suspecting that their process is at fault and quality management is non-existent. However, organizations with effective QMS in place, particularly those who are ISO certified, may also benefit from this especially if they are introducing new products or innovations.

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Who Should Be Responsible For Electronic Waste Disposal?

Jan. 17th, 2009 | 07:45 pm
mood: disappointeddisappointed

With the super fast rate of obsolescence of computer and other electronic products, there is a growing global crisis on the mounting electronic wastes being  constantly generated. Much as I am grateful to the manufacturers and brand owners for providing us with modern convenience through technological advancements and innovations, in one perspective they are also producing large amounts of waste containing hazardous and toxic materials at the same time. In this regard, they should be largely if not wholly responsible for the disposal of electronic wastes, i.e. discarded computer equipment, TV sets, etc. 

Some countries require environmental impact assessments of businesses and establishments from which they are to provide sufficient measures to offset or counterbalance any negative impacts, provide environmentally sound disposal method for the end-of-life materials and maintain sound health, safety and environmental standards in the workplace. But in the case of imported computer  and other electronic products, the government may not take manufacturers and brand owners responsible for the disposal of used equipments. In short, the consumers are the ones left with the problem of disposal. 

Disposal of electronic wastes by way of landfilling is not environmentally acceptable because these wastes contain loads of hazardous materials which are harmful to life and the environment. If left to leach in the soil, the heavy metals and potent carcinogens present might be absorbed by plant life and through the food chain, take its toll on animals and humans alike – or may contaminate underground water sources. Burning or incineration is neither acceptable since they emit highly toxic, persistent and carcinogenic gases such as dioxins and furans and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.  

The best solution so far is to recycle the discarded computer equipment. In poor places where recycling is not a common practice  because of the absence of sufficient means and technological know-how, manufacturers and distributors should provide service centers in strategic locations wherein computer owners can trade-in their old computers for new ones, get repairs or spare parts or have their units upgraded. They should also provide recycling facilities. Consumers should also do their part by applying the reduce, reuse and recycle method in dealing with their electronic wastes in coordination with the manufacturers/ recyclers. In this way, there is fair distribution of responsibilities between stakeholders.

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