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Friday, October 28, 2005

Five Secrets of High Blood Pressure Treatment. Planning Stress Management.

Thirty percent of human population has a high blood pressure and everyone has a 90% risk to acquire it during the rest of the life. As a result, half of all human deaths are due to the major complications of high blood pressure, mainly stroke and heart attack.

Medical scientists are fighting this life-threatening disease and they have gained some success. That is the development of several classes of antihypertensive drugs and definition of "normal" levels of blood pressure that should be maintained to reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications and death.

Is it a great success? Unfortunately not.

Pharmaceutical treatment can not reverse the disease. The patient with developed arterial hypertension can only hope to reduce the risk of high blood pressure complications. How big is this risk reduction? Relative risk reduction is less than 25% during 2-5 years for all major cardiovascular complications. It is higher for stroke (36-45%) and less for heart attacks (10-15%). When all risks are combined, the relative risk reduction is close to 25%.

Be careful and distinguish absolute and relative risk reductions. Papers and pharmaceutical ads always present relative risk reduction which is more impressive. They even do not mention that it is "relative". That is because the absolute risk reduction could be as much as 0.2-2.0%. Does not impress you, right? Let's take a clinical trial where 0.6% and 0.96% of patients had had fatal stroke in the treatment group and placebo group accordingly. Absolute risk reduction will be 0.96% - 0.60% = 0.36%, however relative risk reduction will be as much as (0.96% - 0.6%)/0.96% = 37.5%! Looks much better! Absolute risk reduction 0.36% means that from one thousand patients taking medication during 3-5 years, three or four could be saved from fatal stroke. Clinical trials don't say what will happen with those saved patients after 5 years. Presumably, the risk is postponed towards after 5 years period. Clinical trials also do not say which particular patients will be saved. It is like lottery, it could happen that 4 saved patients is just a difference between 44 saved and 40 preliminary died due to pharmaceutical side effects. Vioxx, Celebrex, Baycol are the known examples.

As you see everyone has to pay for this risk reduction not only by inconvenience and cost of pharmaceuticals, but also by the risk of unpleasant or life-threatening side effects. For the patients with high estimated risk (more than 10% during 5 years or more than 20% during 10 years) this price is considered to be a worth-while to pay.

Estimated risk is calculated by doctor. Taking the patient's age and blood pressure level, plus the presence of risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, atherosclerosis and renal dysfunction, doctor can say that the risk for the cardiovascular complications of high blood pressure during 5, 10 or 20 years will be certain amount of chances For example, smoking woman, aged below 65, with abdominal obesity (waist more than 102cm) and blood pressure 140-179/90-109 mm Hg will have 15-20% absolute risk of all cardiovascular events at 10 years. Just add one more risk factor (diabetes or high cholesterol) and the risk goes up to 30%. This is high risk and the treatment is definitely required.

For the patients with initial stages of hypertension and low risk the balance between benefits and drawbacks of antihypertensive drugs is not established. There are three reasons for being reluctant to start taking antihypertensive drugs without having 10% estimated risk of cardiovascular complications.

Reason one: absolute risk reduction from, let's say, 7 % to 5 % does not look sufficient to justify long-term expensive, unsafe and inconvenient treatment.

Reason two: even if we decide to operate the relative instead of absolute risk reduction, we CAN NOT do this, because available clinical trials have demonstrated risk reduction for the high risk patients and can not be extrapolated to the low risk patients. Clinical trials on low risk patients were not performed and we do not know if the harm of the treatment overbalances the benefit.

Reason three: negative side effects of antihypertensives are well known and includes lipid, hormonal disturbances including development of diabetes. We know that for the high risk patients (read - low life expectancy) the danger from the drug treatment is less than the benefit, but we do not know and we can not know without 20-30 years studies if it is the case for the low risk patients.

That is why official guidelines do not recommend starting drug treatment at the early stage of hypertension. Modern pharmaceutical treatment can not prevent or reverse the disease; it needs to be taken for life-long to maintain blood pressure at the recommended level.

What about non-pharmaceutical treatment?

The treatment guidelines include the following non-pharmaceutical recommendations.

1. Stop smoking

2. Reduce body weight

3. Aerobic physical exercise of 30-40 min, at least 3-4 days per week

4. More fruits, vegetables and potassium, and less sodium

5. Alcohol intake not more than 20-30 g of "pure alcohol" per day (it corresponds to 150-200 ml of wine or a pint of beer)

6. Reduce stress

These non-pharmaceutical approaches have a proven efficacy in the reduction and prevention of high blood pressure. But they require substantial perseverance and will-power to comply with.

You should know how much effort is required to follow dietary restrictions or to stop smoking recommendations. Low compliance with these recommendations is usually accompanied by low compliance with drug therapy.

For people who want to be healthy and prevent or at least control this dangerous disease, there is a good news. Non-pharmaceutical recommendations really work; you will definitely reduce your risk by following them.

But people want more. People want the treatment that can effectively reverse the disease. The way to success here is in the proper coping with stresses. Stress causes activation of sympathetic system. Chronic activation of sympathetic system causes hypertension and obesity. Four out of six classes of antihypertensive drugs are designed to act upon sympathetic system.

Can we manage stress and accompanied sympathetic activation without drugs? The task is not easy. You may say that effective stress reduction is only possible after radical change of working or family environment. I may add that even after that, the man will be caught by the new stress. The problem is in people's attitude and the ability to cope with stress and to avoid chronic anger. Those who are able, live more than hundred years. The researches on centenarians have demonstrated their unique ability to avoid damaging reactions on the stressful situations.

To select most effective stress-management technique for yourself, I recommend you to try first those having proven blood pressure reducing effect, like yoga, meditation and computerized devices reducing respiration rate. Coping with stress is the obvious way to escape from Number One Killer and to live the full life span we are designed for.


Five secrets you should know about pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatment of the high blood pressure:

1. Pharmaceutical treatment should be initiated if estimated risk of cardiovascular complications is greater that 10% during 5 years or greater than 20% during 10 years.

2. The real benefit of the treatment is described by the absolute risk reduction which very often is not disclosed.

3. Side effects of the antihypertensive drugs during long-term consumption are common and serious.

4. Non-pharmaceutical treatments of hypertension really work. Although they require much more effort and will-power to implement in compare with daily chemical drugs consumption, they will protect you not only against hypertension, but also against the high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, obesity and other diseases. Plus you will get better and healthier life, with much more energy and satisfaction.

5. We must learn from centenarians how to escape diseases. Centenarians have innate ability to cope with stress; they are natural stress-shedders. They are not preoccupied with worry, hostility and anxiety. They avoid unhealthy thinking, like anger, sadness, guilt and fear. It is possible to develop such personality with modern stress-management and personal development techniques.

Dr. Alexander Alfimov M.D, Ph.D. has graduated from St. Petersburg Medical Academy in 1987. He has been working for eleven years as a head of clinical research department of the big pharmaceutical company, producing and marketing six antihypertensive drugs.

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Deadlines at work, demanding bosses, bills to be paid at home, kids demanding for time and attention, changes in the environment, etc. AAARRRRGH. These are the realities of everyday living that people in an industrialized world have to constantly contend with, if these factors are not handled properly this will lead to stress.

Stress is the wear and tear the body experiences as people adjust to the ever-changing environment. It is relative to every individual. What may be considered as stressful to one person may not be true to another. Since stress factors are part of daily life, the goal is not to eliminate stress but to find the optimal level where the stress factors motivate the individual in continuing his/her life and not be overwhelmed. This is called stress management.

Life without these stress factors may lead to boredom, dejection and depression. On the other hand, excess of which may make one feel tied up in knots. So, how do we know that we are attaining the optimal stress level?

A clear indication that stress management has not been practiced or the optimal stress level has not been attained is the presence of related illness. Most sickness is due to unrelieved stress such as hypertension, dizziness, hyperacidity, etc. This indicates that stress must be reduced in daily living.

So, how does one really manage stress? Two things may be done. It may be done by either changing the source of stress or changing one's reactions to it. As the clich�½ goes, it's either we shape out or we shape up. In doing the former, it's like totally quitting the status quo. It's like giving up totally so that the stress factor that is present in life is totally eliminated. Some see this as chickening out or being yellow. However, this is also relative for the individual because if the stress factor already affects every aspect of the life of the individual, getting out of the situation completely may be the best option. This may also be considered a brave move. The second option takes a lot of courage and maturity. Being able to identify and practice appropriate reactions to stressful situations takes a lot of courage and wisdom. However, with determination and persistence, this can be achieved.

The best way to manage stress is to first become aware of the stressors and to observe individual's emotion and physical reactions to them. Most often, people ignore the stress factors and just wish that they would go away. The stressor may be a person, a situation or an event. The individual must recognize that a stress factor is affecting his/her life and emotionally and physically he/she is reacting to it.

After which the next thing to do is to recognize what can be changed. The change may occur by avoiding or eliminating the stress factor completely as stated earlier or by reducing its intensity. This is done by managing the stress over a period of time instead of on a daily or weekly basis. If possible, it is best to try also to shorten exposure to stress. This may be done by taking a break, a sabbatical or a leave whatever possible so long as the individual avoids the physical premise where the stress is present. Another way is to devote time and energy to effect change by practicing goal setting and time management techniques.

The next stress management technique is by reducing the intensity of emotional reaction to stress. Simply said, to avoid worrying too much. The worriers most likely chicken out. Sometimes perception of the stress factor is exaggerated. It's like making a mountain out of a mole. It is best to work at adopting moderate views. Positive thinkers achieve more than the negative thinkers.

By not worrying too much, the individual saves his body from possible physical illnesses. He is protecting his health to deteriorate due to lack of sleep and inappropriate food intake.

It is best to build physical reserves to be able to manage stress. The usual exercise is needed for cardiovascular fitness at least done three to four times a week. Live a healthy lifestyle because this will be the best armor in fighting the daily struggle of life.

Lastly, maintain your emotional reserves. The support from family and friends are still basic necessities in life.

Do not work out for a stress free life, work out to achieve and live a well stress managed life.

Jeff Dedrick

Are you a Mom who want's to lose weight, have less stress, and look and feel better than you have in years?

Go to for free tips and bonuses.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Piano Music - How to Begin and End a Piece. Correct Your Acid / Akaline Balance by the Water You Drink: What the Experts Say.


do you begin a piece of music? That's a question I'm often asked. The answer I usually give is that you begin as soon as you start playing - that is, if you're trying to "compose" something, the piece begins the moment it has energy and is something you want to capture. If it's an improvisation, the piece begins the moment you set your fingers on the keys and hit the first note. It's like free flow writing and writing a chapter to a novel.

The writer can both improvise and enjoy the process or can structure the ideas more - or, as I like to do, combine both procedures into one. I start out by improvising - always. Then, if I want to memorialize a musical idea, I write down the first two bars of melody along with the chord(s) I'm playing. I throw this on a chart and voila - the idea remains fresh until I want to either expand on it, or ignore it completely.

If the idea is a rhythm pattern I write down (Left hand = whatever the pattern is) so I can remember it later. I never stop improvising though because that would stop the flow and who knows what could come out of it. Don't forget that an improvisation is a piece of music in and of itself. There is really no need to impose structure on something as beautiful and organic as spontaneous expression. In fact, these spur of the moment fantasies are often more inspiring than any contrived composition. There is something more alive to them because there IS more life to them.

Endings pose another problem, namely the problem of when to stop playing. For improvisation, the answer is when energy (inspiration) starts to wane down. That's a good time to bring your music to an end. You'll know when this is happening when you become bored. That's the sign it's time to stop.

Composition is a different story. The form of the piece already dictates when you should stop. For example, an ABA form tells you to play the A section once or twice, go to B, back to A then bring the piece to an end. Of course the amount of repetition and contrast is a personal decision but the form establishes both beginning and ending. It's a nice safe way to say that yes, I have a piece of music here. Now, improvisations can have form as well. The big difference is that you don't consciously think about putting the music into a predefined shape.

But for some unknown reason, most improvisations do have symmetry - that is they take on a form of their own. I don't know if this is because of human beings innate rhythm (heartbeat) or what.

Even Zen flute music, which may be the most freely inspired improvisation style around has some structure. You can hear it in the phrases. Beginnings and endings. Don't worry too much about them. What's important is where you are emotionally while you play. Become aware of that and all your problems are solved.

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at for a FREE piano lesson!

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In health circles there has been much recent talk about acid / alkaline imbalance. Let's see if we can clarify how experts recommend we correct this imbalance.

The problem

Your body functions best when neither too acid nor too alkaline. Unfortunately almost all of us have become acidic due to diet, drinks and stress -- both psychological and from pollution. Acids can build up in the body's system causing the body's pH to be out of balance.

The effects

According to Dr. Stefan Kuprowsky, "Acid wastes build up in the body in the form of cholesterol, gallstones, kidney stones, arterial plaque, urates, phosphates and sulfates. These acidic waste products are the direct cause of premature aging and the onset of chronic disease."

When this occurs, the body will restore its optimal pH by depleting certain minerals, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, from organs and bones. In addition, your immune system may become fatigued from dealing with an excess of acid. Your body then stores acidic wastes in 'hiding places' such as muscles etc. rather than releasing the acids into the bloodstream. As Dr. Robert Atkins, the noted author, health and diet expert, notes: "Just about every condition I can think of, from arthritis to diabetes to cancer, is associated with acidity."

"The countless names of illnesses do not really matter. What does matter is that they all come from the same root cause...too much tissue acid waste in the body!" Theodore A. Baroody, ND, Ph.D.

What can be done?

A vast body of research reveals you can help the body neutralize acids in the blood and maintain a balanced pH, by taking some simple steps, such as:


Avoiding highly acid-forming food and drink.

Drinking the right water

What is the "right" water?

"International studies show that populations with little or no history of illness, such as cancer, drink higher pH (alkaline) waters. After all potential risk factors were considered and factored out, it became evident that they had been drinking waters with a pH of 9.0 to 10.0." Dr. Leonard Horowitz in "Aids and Ebola"

Alkaline ionized water "first came to notice in Japan, where researchers noted that people drinking water that came from certain fast-moving rocky mountain streams enjoyed extraordinarily good health. It turned out that this naturally occurring water was alkaline and had a different structure and electrical properties." Larry Clapp, PhD. in "Prostate Health in 90 days"

Alkaline water is produced at home with a small kitchen appliance called a water ionizer (long in use in Japan and Korea). As water ionizers have become more popular in North America, more health professionals have had the opportunity to evaluate their effects on their clients:

Sue Pollock, N.D. writes, we can "assist the body in being more alkaline with ...drinking alkaline water."

"I believe that the best water is water that is alkaline (reduced) and purified using a small device known as a water ionizer." (Dr. Stefan Kuprowsky)

"It is my opinion that ionized water will change the way in which all health practitioners and the public approach their health in the coming years." Dr. T. Baroody in "Alkalize or Die."

Why not just rely on a change of diet?

According to Sang Whang, researcher and author of "Reverse Aging", the danger is that we might omit important foods:

"Since the waste products that we are trying to discharge are acidic, the right kind of water is alkaline water...My personal recommendation is to enjoy the foods that we like, but do not over-eat or exclude any food. Eat in moderation following the professional dieticians' "balanced diet" concept, and let alkaline water do the job of cleansing acidic wastes."

Stan Howard is a researcher with Best Water, which specializes in water ionizers and in water purification research. For a Free comprehensive report comparing all water purification methods, and for additional articles and research about acid/alkaline balance, visit

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Attract More Clients by Raising Your Profile. Journaling Your Work.

One of the most common issues I'm asked about is how to raise the profile of a business to attract more clients.

This is an important issue no matter how small or large your business may be.

For example I'm working with a client in Brisbane who is well established in their industry. They've been operating for many years and have a very good client satisfaction rate. However, their flow of new clients is very unpredictable. And there's still a heck of a lot of potential clients who don't even know this firm exists.

So I've worked with them to create a program that will lift their industry presence, but in a way that emphasises their highly professional approach and expertise.

This means they'll be:

> Exhibiting at key trade shows where they'll get to meet prospects in person.

> Speaking at industry events.

> Pro-actively arranging personal meetings with major corporate prospects.

> Promoting the business to previous clients and industry contacts.

> Creating a follow up plan for all contacts.

> Updating marketing material to address important client concerns (identified through in-house research), including the creation of fact sheets to help clients make the best decision for their circumstances.


Advertising in niche trade publications.

You might notice that the first five points all revolve around personal contact. Because many service businesses gain clients through recommendations and networking, it's vital that personal contact is the centre of a service business marketing strategy.

Key Point: You must "Structure-in" points of contact.

Researchers have shown that prospects buy after having had from 7 to 12 contacts with a business. A contact may be a personal visit or receiving information in the mail. So it's important to try and structure-in as many points of contact as possible with prospects and referrers.

I use the term "structure-in" as it makes us focus on the planned nature of the sales process. We need to carefully assess how we can create meaningful points of contact, and how to advance the level of interest clients have in our services as we progress.

Another example is a small web design firm based in Sydney. The partners in this recently established business approached me because although they have great web design credentials, they lacked the industry contacts and 'visibility' to attract new clients. As you might guess, their top priority is to get in touch with suitable prospects and start making points of contact.

Initially this means:

> Quite a deal of networking.

> Telephone calls to prospects.

> Creating simple yet functional marketing material.

> Developing a structure for their sales process.

> Conducting informative presentations to small groups of prospects.

> Writing topical articles for inclusion in industry specific publications.

This type of marketing program concentrates efforts on the key service marketing concepts of:

* Networking

* Generating referrals

* Speaking

* Writing

* Direct approaches

When working on ways to raise the profile of your business, remember prospects are trying to identify a service provider they can rely on to give them the result they are looking for.

Key Point: Focus on your knowledge.

So don't just focus on your 'technical' skills. Many service providers provide similar services at a technical (or functional) level. Give prospects a good reason for choosing your service over others. Build your profile on your knowledge and insights - show how you can help your clients achieve their objectives.

And don't be put off by the nature of the task. Building the profile of your business means getting in front of people. You'll need to do this at networking events, at speaking events, publishing your thoughts, or by directly contacting prospects. If you really dread any form of "self promotion" then you might have to change your thinking.

Key Point: Networking works. So use it!

However, as a starting point, if you need some

tips on the art (and manners) of networking Australian-style then I recommend a visit to Robyn Henderson's site and Robyn's e-book "Networking for Success" has some great tips on how to do it right.

Recent statistics show more and more people are leaving corporate jobs (by choice or force) and moving into self-employment. In the U.S. alone, a new business is formed every 11 seconds. A similar trend is occurring in Australia. So you're not alone in your quest for visibility.

Client ahoy!

All hands on deck. Hoist the mainsail. Put yer back into it now...

(c) 2005 Marketing Nous Pty Ltd

Stuart Ayling runs Marketing Nous, an Australasian marketing consultancy that specialises in marketing for service businesses. He helps clients to improve their marketing tactics, attract more clients, and increase revenue. Stuart also offers telephone consultations and runs regular marketing seminars. For additional marketing resources, including Stuart's popular monthly newsletter, visit his web site at

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Keeping a journal is a proven, powerful tool to enhance and benefit not only your personal life and well being. Journaling can also do the same for your work life. It is a way to record and track daily activities and thoughts, which can help with long term projects and goals.

You can record the what, when, where, and why of what is important for you, your career, and your company. You can journal in a blank book, in your daily planner, on your computer, on cassette, or even on video. Use the system that most fits and supports your routine.

Some Benefits of Keeping a Journal

�½ Set goals and resolutions
�½ Solve problems, revealing solutions
�½ See what you are thinking
�½ Understand habits and patterns
�½ Process and explore
�½ Reduces stress, helps focus, and organizes
�½ Can improve well-being, and makes time for you
�½ Creates a personal reminder

Setting goals and resolution One very effective way to start using your journaling in your work life is to write what your goals and resolutions are. These can be for yourself, for your co-workers/employees, or even for your company. The key to goals and resolutions is that they go hand in hand. A goal is what you want to accomplish. A resolution is how you are going to accomplish your goal. As you write be sure to include specific thoughts and ideas for both. You can create your goals and resolutions on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even on a yearly basis.

Goals A goal is what you want to accomplish. You can use your journal to set both long and short-term goals.

Be very specific - I want to be Vice-President of Sales by 2004. I want to make 25% more money by the end of this year.

Resolutions A resolution is your resolve of how you are going to reach your goal. Again be very specific - To become Vice President of Sales by 2004 I will do the following......Then list these items. To make more money by the end of this year I will.....Again make a specific list of tasks and to do's that are practical things you can do to accomplish your goal.

Solve problems, revealing solutions You can use your journaling as a problem solving tool. As you write about a problem, your concerns, and even your fears, solutions can become more evident, because you...

...See what you are thinking As you write down what you are thinking you are making solid on the paper your thoughts, and you can see what you are thinking. With that it can be easier to assess if what you are thinking is serving want you want to accomplish.

Understand habits and patterns We are creatures of habit. We create patterns and routines in ways of acting, and also in our thinking. Journaling our desires, thoughts, ideas, dreams, goals, and what is most important to us now, we can better see and track our habits and patterns. This process often reveals where we are stuck, and why.

Process and explore As you write, it is a process of exploration into who you are, and what you are thinking. It is an examination of what it is that you carry with you, in your mind, everyday.

Reduces stress, helps focus, and organizes Journaling is a proven method to reduce stress, because the expression and clarity through journaling your experiences removes tension from that experience. With less tension, you can be more focused, and it becomes easier to see and then focus on what is really important to you, for you, and your career.

Can improve well-being, and makes time for you Through keeping a journal, with all the benefits that you can receive, there are studies proving that journaling improves well-being. With journaling you stop and think about what you are experiencing or needing.

Creates a personal reminder You can use your journal to remind yourself and even the people you work with of not only deadlines and timeframes, but you can outline specific targets in your journaling. Your journal becomes a planning and organizing tool as you use it to set specific goals for yourself, individuals, and for your company.

More journaling benefits
Departments, and Co-workers Journaling

Another powerful force that you can create is to suggest everyone in a department journal on a specific solution or problem. Individuals can also journal about where they would like to see their department go in the next year, 2, or 3 years. You can create topics or have staff create journal topics that can benefit the department or company as a whole.

Blue Sky What if....

Blue Sky is a brainstorming technique where the sky is the limit, and since the sky appears to have no limit, you can GO FOR IT.

You can use your journal as a blank palette to create all the dreams and ideas, all those thoughts that can be recorded without fear that they can't or won't happen Journal your thoughts, ideas, dreams, and desires without any concern that this, that, or the other would have to be, or have to happen, before your idea can come true.

30 day journals...are an effective way to focus on specific problems or concerns. You would keep a separate journal and write about one situation for 30 days. (You can also use more, or less than the 30 days.) Journaling is a way to process. Concentrating on one topic for a set amount of time, narrows the focus and energy to a specific concern.

Copyright Doreene Clement All Rights Reserved

Doreene Clement, a cancer victor and author of The 5 Year Journal, is currently writing a new book, Blessed, about her life and her cancer experience. For more information 480.423.8095

Copyright 2005 OMDC, LLC All Rights Reserved

Feel free to pass this along to your friends. About Journaling,

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Softball Bats Versus Baseball Bats
Softball Bats Versus Baseball Bats

Although the differences between a softball bat and a baseball bat are not monumental, these do exist.

Take the size of the barrel. Softball bats have a maximum barrel diameter of 2 �", making it a bit difficult to make solid contact with the ball. On the other hand, baseball bats have a maximum diameter of 2 �" and have a longer range. .

Another characteristic is the shape of the softball bat from that of the baseball bat. Fast pitch softball bats have a shape of a bottle. The softball bat quickly tapers from the barrel area. This allows the barrel of the softball bat to be lengthened. The advantage it gives the softball bat is that it gives it more hitting area. Also, fast-pitch bats have a greater drop weight, which makes them lighter.

Another difference is softball bats have two markings that baseball bats do not have. One of these markings on the softball bat is the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) logo (which all softball bats must have), and a Bat Performance Factor (BPF) rating of 1.20. The Bat Performance Factor (BPF) is a method which determines one bat's performance over another. All softball bats are required to have a BPF of 1.20.

However, there is one quality that softball bats and baseball bats share is that they are now composed of more durable composite materials. These materials are made up of carbon, glass and Kevlar� fibers embedded in a polymer matrix make:

  1. Softball bats lighter.
  2. Softball bats stiffer.
  3. Softball bats stronger.

This is because the newer composite softball bat materials are less prone to breakage, a safety and cost improvement. Then because innovative composite softball bat materials make the game safer; they can be customized for an individual or for league needs, making the game more enjoyable.

Softball bats anyone?

Ken Austin
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Monday, October 24, 2005

The Design Principle of Unity in Gardening and Landscaping. Health Problems? Stop Tossing and Turning All Night - You Can Get the Help You Need.

A principle of all art is unity. This means that each piece of art has one meaning. Creating landscaping or a flower garden should also incorporate this principle of unity. Your landscaping or flower garden is truly a work of art as much as any painting or sculpture.

Each work of art, large or small, should have one and only one meaning.

Every part of the work of art, or in our case flower garden or landscaping, should contribute to this central or unifying meaning. Stated in physical terms, all parts of the landscaping should make one body of work with each part being subordinate to the whole. Every part which does not support in this effort must be removed, no matter how beautiful or interesting it may be in itself or so the principle of unity declares.

Unity taken to the extreme is monotony. When only one color, only one tone, or only one figure is used, the result may be monotonous. A garden planted with nothing but hollyhocks or a park with only red cedars would certainly be monotonous however beautiful the hollyhocks or cedars. Even so some believe it is better to have monotony than to lose unity. Indeed, in particular cases, monotony may be considered the height of artistic achievement.

The elimination of diverse colors, and forms, would tend towards unity. At least it would tend towards simplicity, which can be desirable in itself. Nearly all landscaping or gardening, in the hands of amateurs, shows too many forms, too many colors, and too many different kinds of plants. There are so many different kinds of plants and colors, you want to try them all. Fact is, the instances in which unity goes too far towards monotony are so rare, that these instances can be doubly interesting as curiosities.

Unity is frequently found through the development of functionality. If every part of the landscaping or flower garden has a definite and obvious practical pupose, then that dominating purpose can unify all the parts and pieces. Thus you can achieve unity.

In actual practice, the most powerful way to create unity lies in having a clear-cut motive and sticking to it. Essentially we mean, find a theme or subject for your landscaping or flower garden. Stick to it however tempting it is to not do so. In this way you can incorporate the principle of unity.

© 2005, Sandra Dinkins-Wilson. To find more articles with Gardening Tips visit our informative website,

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You can wake up refreshed and ready to face every new day. Even if you suffer from fibromyalgia or arthritis you will greet the morning with your stiffness and pain lessened or gone altogether. If you have asthma or allergies you will breathe easier at night and wake up rejuvenated instead of exhausted.

When you don't sleep well, you lose more than just a few hours of rest.

Not sleeping well will:

  • Stress your immune system making you more susceptible to colds, flu, and diseases.
  • Cause you to have more accidents.
  • Suppress your ability to produce antibodies.
  • Reduce your ability to secret insulin contributing to diabetes.
  • Increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease by 30%.
  • And that's if you're in robust health! If you are living with fibromyalgia, allergies, arthritis, and asthma it is even more important to sleep well.


Mornings are the worst. You know the symptoms; the reactions to certain foods and chemicals, the loss of balance, easily irritated skin, fatigue, and the stiffness.

Your choice of bedding can either contribute to or lessen these symptoms!

Mattresses, pillows, and bedding are permeated with fire retardant chemicals which can make you feel worse and have been linked to many illnesses and even crib death. (See our two special reports on Fire Retardant Chemicals and SIDS). Synthetic fibers irritate your sensitive skin. Mattress pads and pillows made with synthetics such as polyurethane aggravate your tender points. The new "foams," down, and feathers provide a favorable habitat for dust mites which cause allergic symptoms and interfere with breathing.

If you have fibromyalgia, you need to sleep on pillows and bedding which provides support for your pressure points, which regulates your body temperature and has no chemicals to irritate your skin.

Natural, organic wool has all of these qualities.


Like those with fibromyalgia mentioned above, people suffering from arthritis need support for their joints. They need temperature control and softness. They need rejuvenating sleep.

Natural, organic wool, the pure solution to your sleep problems.

Wool fibers have a natural crimp in them, which gives them a springy support that cradles your body. It has been used in hospitals to relieve pressure points. In tests, wool recovered 95% of its original springiness when it was compressed; synthetics only recovered 67 to 79%. Synthetics also lose their resiliency with age, whereas each individual wool fiber keeps its loft forever.

If you are too cold, your body shivers to compensate and it interferes with your sleep. If you are too hot, you will sweat which will make any other fiber damp and uncomfortable. Wool naturally traps heat to insulate you. But it does more than that. Wool absorbs water, but releases it into the atmosphere to evaporate. This means you will stay completely dry and comfortable no matter what the temperature. Cool in summer, warm in winter.

The Hohenstein Research Institute, an international textile research center, found 1�½ times more moisture remaining in beds using acrylic blankets than wool blankets. Moisture not trapped in the fibers, but in the whole environment making you uncomfortable. The Australian Medical Journal found that people sleeping on wool turned 80% less than with other fibers. The less you turn, the deeper and more replenishing your sleep will be.

Many synthetic and some natural fibers are highly flammable. Polyurethane especially, burns like gasoline soaked rags when set on fire. To counter this, by law, all textiles used in bedding have to have fire retardant chemicals added. Wool is the exception. Because it absorbs moisture into its core, fires are naturally extinguished. Firefighters wear wool clothing for this reason.

Besides your sensitive skin having possible contact with these irritating fire retardant chemicals, these chemicals let off toxic gasses linked to many health problems. Many of these chemicals are showing up in the environment and even in breast milk. Some have been banned in the European Union. California is phasing out the use of some, but not all of these chemicals because of their health risks. (See our special report on fire retardant chemicals: Is Your Bed Making You Sick?)

Pure, natural, organic wool isn't grown with the use of pesticides like most cotton and doesn't need added chemicals. It creates the perfect sleeping environment in comfort, support, temperature control, and humidity.

The British Medical Journal, Lancet, and the TI Australian Medical Journal have reported that babies sleep better, have reduced stress, are more contented, gain more weight, and grow faster when they sleep on lambs wool pads. Hospitals in England, Australia, and New Zealand line their incubators with lambs wool pads.

Allergies and asthma:

Besides the benefits listed above, if you have allergies and asthma you especially need to be careful about the bedding where you will be spending one third of your life. You need also to pay close attention to what is in your pillows.

The toxic chemicals used as fire retardants in synthetic and some natural textiles like cotton and down let off gasses which greatly aggravate your breathing problems. The synthetic fabrics and padding themselves are continually breaking down into their petroleum-based components as gasses you are breathing in.

And to make matters worse there are:

Creepy crawlies in your bed!

Dust mites! Dust mites are related to spiders and ticks but are smaller than the periods at the end of this sentence. Too small to be seen by the unaided eye, they live by the millions in your bed and feed off your skin flakes and dandruff. Your body provides the more than 50% humidity they need to survive and keeps their habitat toasty warm.

They are also the number one cause of allergies and asthma. But it isn't their tiny bodies causing the sneezing, wheezing, sniffling and coughing. The more than 40,000 of them counted by a scientist per one ounce of dust leave a lot of droppings. This fecal matter causes the reactions in sensitive people. It is estimated 15% of the population and 85% of asthmatics are sensitive to dust mite poo.

Polyurethane foam, feathers, and down all are wonderful dust mite hotels. The foam is made of billions of air pockets the dust mites love to call "home." When the foam is compressed they have no problem hanging on, and when it is released (as you roll over) it sucks in more food and moisture for them.

Wool wicks moisture away and allows it to evaporate. This not only makes it comfortable for the person sleeping, but it lowers the humidity creating an inhospitable environment for dust mites. Use pure organic wool as bedding.

Wool's fibers are long and aren't inhaled; it won't irritate your lungs. Wool extinguishes itself when set on fire and so needs no added chemicals. The less gasses and chemicals in your bed, the better you will breathe. The less dust mites, the better you will feel. The fewer irritants in your sleeping environment, the better quality sleep you will have.

Use the most natural and safe bedding in use for thousands of years.

Pure, organic wool was used for comfortable sleeping before history was written. It is the most natural and safe fiber available to mankind today.


EPA national emissions standards for air pollutants Chemicals used in making polyurethane and their health hazards:

Consumers Union on the flammability of polyurethane:

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on formaldehyde, used as a fire retardant:

Decabromodipheyl oxide, used as a fire retardant

Australian Government Dept of Environment and Heritage on antimony, used as a fire retardant:

Our Stolen Future report on PBDEs, used as a fire retardant but banned in the European Union.

Dust Mites

Wool, naturally fire retardant

Natural organic wool products:

Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved

This special report has been brought to you by WoolieBees Online.

See our selection of pure organic woolen bedding made from 100% New Zealand wool.

Suzy Sharpe, copywriter and author is always asking why. She has a need to know the reason behind something and isn't satisfied until she finds out. This report is the result of her research.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Are You Hung-Up on Page Rank and Back Links?. Dandelions! This Common Weed is a Wonderful Spring Tonic.


s unfortunate that many website owners are so hung-up on Page Rank, they'll rarely if ever, link to a site with a page rank lower than their own.

I'm frequently approached by other website owners who it's clear want to exchange links with one of my websites for no other reason than its Page Rank and so they can get more back links to their own website.

That's my experience with quite a few of my own websites. It's not until you get around a Page Rank 4 do back links come without you having to go and find them.

Back link requests tend to come more from sites with Low Page Rank wanting to improve search engine ranking by getting back links from higher ranking websites. They're also frequently from websites that offer no relevant content to your visitors and are from totally unrelated areas.

Many website owners have read a little about why and how to gain back links, then set about gaining as many as possible from any site that will give them one in return. They know it's important to gain back links, but what they forget or never knew, is it serves little purpose if they're of poor quality.

Poor Quality Back Links are from Unrelated Websites with Low Link Value.

I was reminded recently of the Google Page Rank obsession by one of my linking partners. I had advised them that because of some necessary changes to my website I had moved their back link to another page.

The website owner quickly emailed to tell me they had checked the page rank on the new page and finding it to be lower, advised me there was little point in them continuing to have a back link to my site.

Although we had been linking for over a year, it only served to prove they were not linking to my site because of its great content or because of its value to their visitors, but just for the Page Rank. When I advised them that their Page Rank check must have been in error because the page was the same PR as the previous one, they retained the back link to my site.

The obsession with Page Rank and how many back links a website has, led Google to put limits on this information.

For those of you obsessed with back linking by Page Rank you probably know that it only gets updated about every 3 months. Google also no longer reveals the true number of back links to a web site. Limiting information about back links is also something other search engines are starting to do.

An article of mine published on over 17,000 Websites Gained only 4 back links in any of the major search engines.

I recently proved the limits placed on information about back links and the discounting of back links, after one of my articles got taken up on over 17,000 websites. Since the article has a back link to my website, in theory that should mean 17,000 back links to my website.

A popular tool for checking back links among other things was a software tool called Optilink. Its popularity became such a problem for Google that they set about trying to detect its electronic signature and then blocking it when people used it.

It looks as if in the past months, that Google have been successful, because Optilink has been disabled by the developer from conducting queries on Google for back links. It's also no longer able to do queries on back links with MSN or Yahoo and the only one left now is the minor search engine Hotbot.

I'm only telling you all this, because it proves how obsessed many website owners have become about checking for back links to their websites and checking Google Page Rank of potential and existing link partners.

But are these web site owners right to be hung-up about Page Rank and Back Links and are you one of them?

What if I could prove to you that the value of back links from another website is not just about Page Rank. That in fact back links from Low PR sites could be of more value to you than back links from High PR sites. Would you believe me?

No, well if you want the proof you'll need to read another article called "How Low PR Web Sites Can Improve Search Engine Ranking" by Andy Theekson who advises on Search Engine Optimization.

The article shows how the value of back links from other websites is not just about Page Rank but also how many other outbound links there are from the same page.

It was possible to show how a back link from a PR 2 web page can be of equal or greater value than a back link from a web page with a PR 7, 8, 9 or even 10.

The article should be read by anyone who only looks for back links from High PR sites.

It's often said that people don't value what they get for free and only value what they have to pay for. This may also be true of back links since the website owners who value them the most will often buy links.

Many website owners who have the cash will buy links, or to be more correct with terminology, buy text links from websites with High PR pages. Some people would argue this is cheating and trying to buy links to improve search engine ranking.

The cost to buy text links varies widely from $5 to $30 per month for a PR 4 link up to $50/mnth for a PR 5 text link. They become progressively more expensive up to PR 8, when in some cases, you can expect to pay several $100's per month.

So why would people pay these prices to buy text links on high PR pages?

Is it for the traffic they expect to get by being on a high ranking and assumed high traffic page, or is it to gain from an improved search engine ranking for their own website?

If they want traffic there are cheaper ways, even if you include Pay Per Click where even at 50 cents per click your $1000 would give you 2,000 targeted visitors per month.

When you buy text links there are no guarantees you'll get traffic and you're paying for the text link not by the click but by the month, regardless of what traffic you get.

So I would suggest that someone who is going to buy text links obviously believes they're going to improve search engine ranking for their website.

But are people who buy text links getting value for money?

For the answer to that question you'll need to read the continuing part of this article "Can You Buy Text Links And Get Value for Money?"

Tony Simpson, advises on website design, promotion and optimization; in particular website automation for the one person operator. The continuing part of his article is at: Can You Buy Text Links And Get Value for Money?

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Those Glorious Dandelions! Taraxacum officinale (composite family)

Spring is coming! Starting about this time every year I find myself craving bitter flavors. My body is longing to cleanse itself of toxins accumulated over a long winter of holiday indulgence, rich foods and various colds & flus. I am aware of an overall stagnation of energy in the digestion, kidneys and liver.

I am always so amazed at how much better I feel when I start using dandelion in the spring! All that stagnated liver/kidney/stomach energy lifts and I feel renewed!

This craving for bitter flavors always has me out searching for those young green dandelion leaves popping up everywhere about now. I eat them fresh in salads or just munch on them throughout the day. I also strain and bottle the dandelion root tincture that I put up in the late fall.

This common "weed" of the composite family is a powerful restorative to the liver. It's also rich in minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium and zinc, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B3,and C. Ounce for ounce, dandelion contains more carotene than carrots.

Dandelion leaves act as a diuretic to help cleanse the bladder and urinary tract. They help relieve water retention associated with PMS.

Dandelion also cleanses the blood and liver, and increases bile production. It reduces serum cholesterol and uric acid levels and improves the functioning of the kidneys, pancreas, spleen, and stomach.

Toning the kidneys and liver is one of the best things we can do for our overall health. Especially women! A strong, healthy liver will allow us to process and excrete hormones. It's also vital for a healthy immune system.

All parts of the dandelion plants are usable, but they have different properties and should be harvested at the appropriate times.

Young Leaves have tonic properties and are picked in the spring and eaten raw in salads. If you find the taste too bitter try chopping them as fine as possible and mixing them with other raw greens.

Mature Leaves have powerful diuretiv properties. They are picked in early summer before the plant blooms. These are the leaves I harvest and dry for tea. They can also be made into tinctures. These gorgeous, dark green leaves are loaded with minerals and vitamins!

When picking dandelion leaves, look for dark green, smoothe leaves (dandelion leaves are not fuzzy.) Try to avoid picking under powerlines or close to roads.

Here's my favorite thing to do with the summer dandelion leaves:

Dandelion Juice!

Pick a colander full of dandelion leaves and rinse them really well under cool water. Run them through the juicer with 1/2 an apple. This will make a nice shot glass full of delicious, nutritious juice. You will feel a nice little zing with this lovely tonic!

Dandelion Roots Dandelion roots act as a blood purifier that helps the kidneys and liver to remove toxins and poisons from the blood. They act as a mild laxative and help improve digestion. The roots are also beneficial for skin conditions such as boils, abscesses and eczema. They have been used for centuries to improve jaundice. Ideally, you want to use the roots of 2 year old plants. In the late fall the roots will contain the highest concentration of inulin. Dig the whole plant up and hang upside down to dry in a cool, dark place. The roots grow quite long, so dig deep! The dried or fresh roots can be used to make tinctures. Dried roots can be powdered for capsules or used in infusions.

Dandelion Flowers

For a tasty, easy-to-make tonic wine try this:

Pick dandelion flowers on a warm, dry day.

Macerate 1 cup (60 g) flowers and steep in 4 cups (1 liter) white wine for 1 month in an airtight container. Strain out the flowers and sweeten to taste with a little bit of honey if desired.

This a nice tonic for the gallbladder.

©2005 Cori Young is a writer and herbalist. Visit her website

Publishing Guidelines: You are welcome to publish this article in its entirety, electronically, or in print free of charge, as long as you include my full signature file for ezines, and my Web site address( in hyperlink for other sites. Author bio at end of article must be included as is - with website hyperlinked. Please send a courtesy link or email when and where you publish article to

Thank you!

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Natural Acne Treatments - Helpful Remedies in Your Kitchen. DNA RNA are you ready for what is next?.

These days we are exposed to so many harsh chemicals, and many people are beginning to wonder if the products that contain these substances are in fact as good for us as the advertising claims. Various skin conditions, such as acne, are increasingly recognized as symptoms of an imbalance in the way we live, leading many people to begin their search for a natural acne treatment that includes healthy eating and regular exercise. But for those of us whose skin requires a little further help - are there any natural acne treatments available that can help us improve our skin?

A well balanced diet, accompanied by some regular light exercise, are the first tools to help us bring our body back into balance, and are thus two of the best natural acne remedies around.

While things like poor diet do not directly cause acne, taking care of our general health provides our bodies with the tools it needs to fight back against conditions like these, making general health optimization possibly the best acne cure of all.

It makes sense to take steps to free your body from having to deal with the pressures of modern living, such as stress and other toxic factors. Healthy eating and relaxation will lead to a definite improvement in your health, and as a result, in the appearance of your skin.

If your body needs a little extra help in your natural acne treatment, there are various products sitting in your kitchen right now that can help. Some acne sufferers have found that the application of natural lemon juice to their skin has helped, while others have found that oatmeal makes a great natural facial cleanser. If you prefer to treat your skin with a pre-prepared product, look for one that contains natural oils, as these work in harmony with your skin.

Tea Tree oil, for example, is a wonderful astringent that can speed the healing process of a pimple, while vitamin E helps in the healing of scars. Some patients have found that ingesting certain of the food in their kitchen aggravates their skin, so it makes sense to make a list of these foods and avoid them when you can.

Work in harmony with the natural products around you and you will find that a natural acne treatment can be more gently effective than anything you might buy in a drug store.

Find out more about Acne as well as Home Treatment for Acne and adult acne, acne skin care products, the best acne treatments and more at Peter's website, Acne All Gone.

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As the human race maps out the genome and unlocks all the secrets of DNA, RNA, proteins and enzymes you will find unlimited possibilities and immortality. Transhumanism will mix the best organic and silicon futures. Unlimited brain power, unlimited communication and with all the new technologies mankind will solve every challenge he faces, you doubt this. While I am on this subject let me recommend a very good book to you:

"The Miracle Strain" By Michael Cordy.

This was a great book in trying to tie the biblical theory with Modern Strict materialist views in the DNA/RNA scientific fields. The Creationists, theologians and agnostics alike would find common ground in this book. It would have made an excellent movie actually. The story line has to do with Jesus Christ having an extra three genes in his DNA these genes had a virus which repaired DNA, which is almost possible without going

into more detail of how all this works, it explains how it is scientifically possible for a human Being with this special DNA difference to be able to have the power to heal. It was a great book. Even though I rarely read Fiction, this book was well done and in the caliber of Ben Bova, Michael Creighton or some of the books which were Co-written books by Arthur C Clarke. This book makes you think about some of the possible healing powers, which may be possible in the future for fixing or curing degenerative diseases. These are the future realms we may be able to get too scientifically. It was great for the author to tie it in for those Christians so they can enjoy a science fiction book without having their belief system violated.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Be a Jerk - And Watch Your Business Grow!. Let It Ring.

Who remembers the 1979 movie, The Jerk with Steve Martin? Do you remember

the scene where Steve's character finds the phone directory and runs around screaming, "The new phone books are here, the new phone books are here! I'm somebody!"

I was 17 years old when the movie came out and I fondly remember that scene. Why? Because in 1979, I didn't have a phone number of my own. I remember laughing at Martin's goofy character but privately thinking, "Imagine that, my name in print for thousands of people to see. How cool!"

What did I do when I got my first apartment? You guessed it.

Looked myself up immediately when the new phone books came out and ran around yelling, "I'm somebody!" I hoped someone would find it hilarious that I was quoting lines from The Jerk. No one got my joke. But that didn't stop me.

Secretly, I was addicted to seeing my name in print. I wanted more. Guess who is the happiest person in town when she sees the Verizon truck loaded with its stacks of books, glossy yellow on the outside, thin pages with fine print on the inside, each book with my unique personal gem (my name) deep inside, adorning one of those beautiful pages? I can't wait to get my hands on those fresh, clean, new, pristine pages.

Imagine my delight this morning when I Googled myself and found not just one entry, but at least 13 pages of entries associated with my name. Holy cow! Last time I checked there were only 9 pages! Why the new pages?

It's simple. Article marketing.

I'm more of the slow, steady article marketer rather than a prolific one, so if you're writing huge volumes of articles, imagine the exposure. Aside from the vanity aspect, what does this mean for me? Simple. My blog traffic has tripled. My articles have been picked up in a few newsletters. I have submitted the same articles to several article sources. I'm selling a ton of shortbread and just landed some freelance copywriting business.

This all translates into EXPOSURE. Exposure translates into REVENUE.

Don't be a jerk and sit there.

Or should I say, "BE The Jerk and feel the power of YOUR name in print."

Copyright 2005, Ann Zuccardy, All rights reserved.

Ann Zuccardy is a freelance technical and copy writer with 17 years of industry experience in marketing and technical communication.

She currently consults with IBM in Essex Junction, Vermont where she writes software user manuals, training guides, and release notes. Ann is also the owner of Vermont Shortbread Company. She can be reached at

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Telemarketing has its place in the marketing arsenal. But telespammers - like their digital counterparts in the email marketing world - really make it tough on the legitimate follow-up telephone call from a company with which you have a relationship.

Now, even some companies with a legitimate tie to me are starting to abuse the privilege.

For instance, last week, I got two different calls from my cell phone provider, Nextel. Both were callers for whom English was probably a fourth language and they immediately were trying to push new services on me.

No "hi, how are you," no handshake, no kiss.

Well, I'm mad and I'm not going to take it anymore. Here are some ways to combat telespammers.

First, put your phone number in the Do Not Call registry. Or, instead of visiting the website, you can call 888-382-1222.

Now, for some more fun ways to get them at their own game. They are using a script, so you can too. And, if they answer no to some of these questions, you can sue them. Sweet!

Here's your script:

If it sounds like a foreign call ask, "Are you calling from America?" I love this one.

"Are you calling to sell me something?" They hate that one.

"Could you tell me your full name? And, give me your telephone number with the area code first."

"Could you give me the name of the organization for which you are calling?" What we're trying to get to here is if the call is actually from let's say Nextel, or if it is a telemarketing company working for Nextel.

"Does your company keep a list of numbers it's been asked not to call?"

"I want my number on that list. Can you handle that for me now?"

"Does your firm handle telemarketing for other organizations?" If yes, "Make sure your company doesn't call me for any other organization."

An organization called Junkbusters has a comprehensive list of other questions you can ask.

Finally, my old friend Bill Loeffler had the best telemarketing response I've ever seen. One day, he received a cold call from a New York investment salesman. The guy went into his spiel without taking a breath. Bill laid the phone down and the guy wasted 20 minutes telling his story to no one.

Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR. He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning,

Focus Four, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, TeamHeidi, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX, Verbatim and Wicked Choppers.

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