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Are you interested in creating or adopting your very own virtual pet? You may have seen the new Webkinz plush toys that also come with a free virtual pet image of the plush animal. Many children are beginning to collect these pets as well as participating in the virtual world. Virtual desktop pets offer great advantages, especially if you have children who have an interest in getting a live indoor pet. They are completely maintenance free unlike real pets. If you do not want to have to worry about the hassle of cleaning after your indoor pets and ensuring that they are well taken care of, then a virtual pet may be the way to go.

In addition to the maintenance free aspect of having one, if you have a child interested in adopting a real pet, then by allowing them to experience caring for a virtual pet, they will learn how to better care for a pet overall. They will gain better responsibility and understand that pets require food, shelter, and love and cannot be neglected. Many of the virtual pet games will require that the owner feed the pet or take the pet for a walk so that they can do many of the same or similar tasks that would need to be done with a real pet. The owners can get additional points or rewards by doing these tasks or can see their pet’s health or abilities decline for failure to do their part.

If you worry about the expenses of caring for a real live pet like the vet bills, immunizations, or food, then this is something that is completely non-existent. Owning a pet can be very costly and if you do not have the money to invest in a pet, then you can consider a virtual pet. You can find many free pet sites to get you started.

If money is not a factor, but you do not want to deal with house training or cleaning after a pet, then this could also be considered to be an advantage as well. Maybe your kids have severe allergies and cannot live with the fleas and ticks that some animals may leave behind. Well, with virtual pets this is not a factor. As you begin to consider adoption, then you will see how convenient they are and how they can be great companions for all alike. Either way, you will not go wrong with your choice.

 

The advancement in technology has certainly had a major effect on the lives of many. This world is becoming a global village and distances no longer a problem. Communications and mass information is just a few clicks away; thanks to the computer related technology, more specifically the utility of internet, which is a part of the information technology.

Social networking websites and chat related applications are now presenting quite a number of advantages to the users. They reduce distances between the users and help them connect with relatives and friends from all over the world. The aim of any social networking site is to make the application and utility user friendly.

With the technological changes and new developments occurring every day, internet users no longer have to face the problems online that they had to face lately due to technical glitches, which resulted in frustration. Now the users no longer have to rummage through heaps of messages to access a particular conversation or read at hyperactive speeds just to keep in touch with the discussion on hand. The systems have become more streamlined and responsive and thus more convenient to the users.

This constant and rapid change in web technology has opened many windows of opportunity for both the users and the developers. The users now have more options to switch to and the developers have to work to develop newer, better, efficient and easy to use portals.

In its early days, E-commerce existed simply as a form of facilitation for commercial and financial transactions. It is one of the few things that have changed with the passage of time. This historic turning of e-commerce occurred about three decades ago.

Technologies such as electronic data exchange and electronic funds transfer have been introduced and they had a revolutionary effect because these allowed the businesses to communicate the commercial documents such as the basics of purchase orders and invoices via electronic network systems securely. The growth of telephonic banking services, credit card transactions and automated teller machines has added a new dimension to e-commerce. There are still innumerable aspects of business and other related issues that are growing as per the users need and the information technology is providing a highly efficient and secure platform to them.

Electronic payment systems have become the engine for almost all online transactions. The major electronic payment systems that govern current online transactions are credit card processing systems and electronic payment gateways. The electronic payment gateways are the companies that facilitate financial transactions online by authenticating credit cards and online bank accounts authorizing certain transactions. They basically form the virtual connectivity between merchant’s website and the credit card companies; this sure reduces the hassle of long bank queues and offer purchasing options when ever and where ever any one pleases to have these while utilizing the splendors of computer technology.

The information technology has come a long way and is ever evolving. It has truly made the world a global village.

No business exists and operates in a vacuum, but as a part and parcel of the environment in which it finds itself. Efficient and effective marketing strategy is a function of the marketing manager’s ability to understand the environment in which the business operates.

The marketing environment consists of a set of factors or forces that operate or influence a company’s performance in its chosen target market.

Jain (1981:69) defined the marketing environment to include all those factors that may affect the organization directly or indirectly in any perceptible way. Marketing environment factors affects the organization by the way of input and the organizations also affect the environment by output. The relationship between the organization and the marketing environment is often referred to as “inseparable” the organization and it environment are constantly in a state of: give and take” or homeostasis.

The marketing environment consist of those forces or element that impacts on the company’s capability to operate effectively in its chosen target market.

The marketing environment is divided into two major components. The elements are,

Internal environment: the internal environment is concerned with the controllable variables. Controllable variables are categorized into two groups, they are; the strategy variables and unmarketable variables. External environment: the external environment is concerned with the uncontrollable variables. These variables are called uncontrollable because the marketing manager cannot directly control any of the elements. The marketing manager is left with the option of adapting to the environment by prompt observation, analysis and forecasting of these environmental factors. The external environment can further be divided into two components, the micro environment and the macro environment.

Micro environment:

The elements that fall under the micro environment consist of forces or factors in the firm’s immediate environment that affect the firm’s capability to perform effectively in the market place. These forces are suppliers, distributors, customers and competitors. Let us discuss each of the variables in details.

Suppliers:

Suppliers are business customers who provide goods and services to other business organizations for resale or for productions of other goods. The behavior of certain forces in the suppliers can affect the performance of the buying organization positively or negatively. The critical factors here are the number of suppliers and the volume of suppliers to the industry. An audit of the suppliers will enable us to appreciate their strength and bargaining power, which the suppliers hold over the industry as a whole. The answers to the issues concerned have the potentials to affect the capability of firms in the industry to effectively deliver need-satisfying goods and/ or services. The trend today is that buyers attempt to persuade the supplier to provide exactly what the firms want. This process is known as “reverse marketing”.

Customers:

Customers are those who buy goods and/ or services produced by the company. In a purchase chain, different people play significant roles before a purchase decision is made. The various influences must be understood. The customer may be the consumer of the products where he/she is the user. The critical factor here is that needs and wants of consumers are not static. They are fast changing. The changes in the preferences of the consumer create opportunities and threats in the market. The changes called for the marshaling of separate strategy to either fit into windows of opportunities or survive the threats in the market. A good knowledge of consumers’ behavior will facilitate the design and production of goods and services that the customers need and want, and not what they are able to produce.

Competitor:

A competitor is a firm operating in the same industry or market with another firm. The consideration here is that, Firm A produces a substitute to that of firm B (industrial approach) or firm A and firm B seeks to satisfy the same customer need (market approach.

 

A Public Improvement District (“PID”) is a financing tool created by the Public Improvement District Assessment Act as found in Chapter 372 of the Texas Local Government Code. The PID enables any city to levy and collect special assessments on property that is within the city or within the city’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (“ETJ”). A county may also form a PID,but must obtain approval from a city if the proposed PID is within the city’s ETJ. The PID establishes a mechanism to finance improvement projects through the issuance of bonds secured by special assessments levied on all benefited properties. Because PID bonds can be used to reimburse the developer for eligible infrastructure early in the development process, often before the closing of the first home.

Public Improvements Eligible for PID Financing are; Acquisition of Right of Ways, Art, Creation of pedestrian malls, Erection of foundations, Landscaping and other aesthetics, Library, Mass transit, Parks & Recreational or Cultural Facilities, Parking, Street and sidewalk. Supplemental safety services for the improvement of the district, including public safety and security services. Supplemental business-related services for the improvement of the district. Water, wastewater, health and sanitation or drainage.

Benefits of a PID

A PID may be established early in the development process allowing the developer to be a reimbursed upon completion of the public infrastructure. Furthermore, unlike a Municipal Utility District (“MUD”), Water Control and Improvement District (“WCID”), or Fresh Water District (“FWSD”), PIDs do not require TCEQ approval, and are governed by the governing body of the city or county, thereby alleviating concerns regarding board turnover and the integrity of the board. If the city chooses to annex property that is within the boundaries of a PID, the city is not forced to pay off the assessments, and the assessments do not affect the city’s debt capacity or rating.

Everyone is affected by fashion to some extent. In the era of early supermodel age, fashion could be categorized by glamour or commons. Today, fashion is fast, trendless, comfortable, and personal. Street fashion, as one of the most popular form, is more of a reflection of personality and lifestyle than of trends in general. Because social media have offered abundant avenues for people to get to know trends happening now, fashion has becoming really shapeless. Hollywood stars have their Facebook and Twitter accounts updating almost every second of their day including what they are wearing. Thus, Stars set fashion trends. However, Stars are not the only people only can openly express their fashion styles. Bloggers of fashion, not just professionals, but ordinary peoples, can send out their fashion style to the world. In an instant, fashion has truly become everyday, everywhere, and everyone.

In the information age and a much globalized world community, fashion has transformed in its outlook, and concept as it starts embodying many varieties of elements of different cultures. For example, in the 1980s, jeans had monopolized youth culture not only in the U.S. but also other countries, particularly East Asian countries like Japan and Korea. Now, American styles are no longer the standard as designers of different ethnic background incorporate their own outlook into their design. In addition, in this much globalized world, ethnicity is no longer the only factor that affect the trend in fashion as it was decades ago. Now, people are guided by taste, lifestyle, and experiences. For instance, Alexander Wang’s simple power women’s look has won many fans of minimalism. Thus, it is possible the fashion’s trajectory will more closely appeal to people’s lifestyle and social trends.

Furthermore, today fashion has much evolved to embody personal brand. Everyone’s unique style can be called his or her fashion. For example, punk style was originally styles of socially discontented youth’s, now it has been taken up even by couture designers. Decades ago, fashion had it standard rules such as how women and men should wear. Today, fashion is not strictly dictated by gender. There have emerged a new class of fashion called unisex in which clothing lines can be worn by both sexes.

This type of fashion has been tremendously popular given greater equalities between men and women. Women have more choices than before.

Not only adults, children have their own fashion. Although they mimicked what the adults wear, children’s fashion also been commercialized extensively. Children’s fashion is greatly affected by adult fashion. Many adult designer brands also have children’s line that follow closely of the adult trends.

Fashion styles have been changed that allowed more freedom of choices. The price of fashion has also been changed. Before, fashionable clothing meant high prices. Now, a fashionable piece of clothing doesn’t need to be expensive. Brands such as Forever 21, J. Crew, Target clothing and etc. offer couture style clothing with very affordable prices. Simply put, price doesn’t equate good style or good fashion any more.

Fashion has fundamentally evolved-not only the concept of fashion, but also the price and accessibility.

A wedding photographer is not just any photographer who comes along to take some photographs; they should be able to connect in a friendly and confident manner, with the bride, groom, parents, grandparents and any children at the wedding and sometimes, the pet dog as well. The photographer should feel all the emotions and become a part of their day, by that I mean that they should understand the emotions of the people attending the wedding, after all, how else can the wedding photographer capture these emotions on camera, if they don’t feel and understand them.

The romance, excitement and the final realisation of months, maybe even years, of planning for this one day and it’s the wedding photographer’s job to capture these emotions in a realistic yet, beautiful way. The bride and groom will be nervous, the parents hoping everything runs as smoothly as they have planned for and the kids, trying not to look too bored with all the fuss around them. I often capture some great photographs of the kids at weddings. The photographs should reflect the events of the day in such a way that, looking back, when you’re an old married couple, it will seem like the wedding was only yesterday.

All the details need to be photographed, including the church or venue for the ceremony and of course, the reception. As a wedding photographer, I consider it a vital part of my work, to arrive early, get to know the layout of wedding venue, select the best positions and angles for the shots that I want to capture, during the ceremony and strive to produce incredible photos.

Unfortunately, there are still some people who will not allow the religious ceremony to be photographed which is another reason I like to arrive early, to give myself the opportunity to chat with the minister, priest or official who will be conducting the ceremony and if possible, gain a little compromise, in such cases. A good wedding photographer will be aware of all the areas to consider for every occasion. Your wedding will be unique and your wedding photographs should also be unique.

I chose to specialise in wedding photography, initially because I didn’t have a photography studio however, while I run a photography business, I also get so much personal enjoyment from photographing weddings, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My approach to wedding photography is very relaxed; I prefer the wedding photojournalism approach, as most top wedding photographers do. My wedding portfolio is full of photographs of relaxed couples enjoying their wedding day and spending time with friends and family not, the photographer. These photographs are far more enjoyable to look at and also help to capture the wedding’s events as they unfold, naturally.

In short, wedding photography is very much a specialised area and wedding photography should always be left to the professional. Weddings can’t be re-photographed in a photography studio. The photographer who chooses to photograph weddings, had better know exactly what he or she is doing and be able to get it right, every time. It’s a huge responsibility and requires a responsible wedding photographer.

Accounting is usually seen as having two distinct strands, Management and Financial accounting. Management accounting, which seeks to meet the needs of managers and Financial accounting, which seeks to meet the accounting needs of all of the other users. The differences between the two types of accounting reflect the different user groups that they address. Briefly, the major differences are as follows:

    • Nature of the reports produced. Financial accounting reports tend to be general purpose. That is, they contain financial information that will be useful for a broad range of users and decisions rather than being specifically designed for the needs of a particular group or set of decisions. Management accounting reports, on the other hand, are often for a specific purpose. They are designed either with a particular decision in mind or for a particular manager.

 

    • Level of detail. Financial reports provide users with a broad overview of the performance and position of the business for a period. As a result, information is aggregated and detail is often lost. Management accounting reports, however, often provide managers with considerable detail to help them with a particular operational decision.

 

    • Regulations. Financial reports, for many businesses, are subject to accounting regulations that try to ensure they are produced with standard content and in a standard format. Law and accounting rule setters impose these regulations. Since management accounting reports are for internal use only, there are no regulations from external sources concerning the form and content of the reports. They can be designed to meet the needs of particular managers.

 

    • Reporting interval. For most businesses, financial accounting reports are produced on an annual basis, though many large businesses produce half-yearly reports and a few produce quarterly ones. Management accounting reports may be produced as frequently as required by managers. In many businesses, managers are provided with certain reports on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis, which allows them to check progress frequently. In addition, special-purpose reports will be prepared when required (for example, to evaluate a proposal to purchase a piece of machinery).

 

    • Time horizon. Financial reports reflect the performance and position of the business for the past period. In essence, they are backward looking. Management accounting reports, on the other hand, often provide information concerning future performance as well as past performance. It is an oversimplification, however, to suggest that financial accounting reports never incorporate expectations concerning the future. Occasionally, businesses will release projected information to other users in an attempt to raise capital or to fight off unwanted takeover bids.

 

  • Range and quality of information. Financial accounting reports concentrate on information that can be quantified in monetary terms. Management accounting also produces such reports, but is also more likely to produce reports that contain information of a non-financial nature such as measures of physical quantities of inventories (stocks) and output. Financial accounting places greater emphasis on the use of objective, verifiable evidence when preparing reports. Management accounting reports may use information that is less objective and verifiable, but they provide managers with the information they need.

We can see from this that management accounting is less constrained than financial accounting. It may draw on a variety of sources and use information that has varying degrees of reliability. The only real test to be applied when assessing the value of the information produced for managers is whether or not it improves the quality of the decisions made.

The distinction between the two areas reflects, to some extent, the differences in access to financial information. Managers have much more control over the form and content of information they receive. Other users have to rely on what managers are prepared to provide or what the financial reporting regulations state must be provided. Though the scope of financial accounting reports has increased over time, fears concerning loss of competitive advantage and user ignorance concerning the reliability of forecast data have led businesses to resist providing other users with the detailed and wide-ranging information that is available to managers.

Many people find the idea of having wildlife as pet as exotic and exciting. However, if you want a wild animal as a pet, you should have thorough understanding of the animal and its behavior and needs. The people who have these animals as pets are invariably trained to handle them, but even they will tell how unpredictable these animals can be. You may have read stories in the newspaper of zoo keepers being mauled by their wards.

So, having wild animals as pets has become quite a sensitive and controversial issue. Some people like to highlight the pros, while others just point out the cons. However, both should be weighed equally and only then a decision should be taken to keep a wild animal as a pet.

Here are some pros and cons of wildlife as pets.

Sometimes, conventional pets like dogs and cats cannot be kept due to lack of space. In such circumstances, one can keep a wildlife like a hedgehog or gecko as a pet as they do not require that much space. Some wild animals have their own benefits. Like a hedgehog can be used to keep insects and others pests at bay in a house.

Often it has been seen purchasing a wild animal can be cheaper than purchasing a pet that is popular and has a pedigree.

Also, many proponents of wild animals feel that some species have a better chance of survival if they are adopted. It has been seen that the dart frog is facing a problem in the wild as its natural habitat is diminishing. Hence, if this animal is adopted, it will have a better chance of survival.

However, there are sufficient cons and disadvantages of owning wild animals as pets. First of all, one has to take into consideration the welfare of the animal. Having a wildlife means giving due consideration to its diet, exercise and social interactions. Often, the animal will not have any interaction with other animals of its own species and will be left to leading a lonely and solitary life. Also, the owners will not be equipped to provide proper care to the animals as they may not be well-versed in these things. Many wild animals look cute and cuddly when they are small. However, as they reach adulthood or sexual maturity, their wild side takes over and the animal becomes aggressive. This is the time many owners abandon their pets or give them away to zoos.

Wild animals are carriers of many diseases that are lethal to humans. For instance, reptiles and amphibians are carriers of salmonella infection and each year thousand of people in the US contract this disease due to their pets. Also, rats imported from Africa are known to carriers of monkey pox. An outbreak of this disease occurred in the US in 2003 when Gambian rats brought in the monkey pox into the country.

Above all, the demand for wildlife as pet is increasing. So, many illegal traders are taking advantage of this demand. Most of the wild animals are captured and then transported in cruel and inhuman manner to reach their owners. In addition, majority of the owners do not know to take care of the animals and this causes them to fall sick or even die.

So, weigh the pros and cons of having wild animals as pets before jumping to adopt one. Make sure that you are properly equipped to handle the care of the animal. Do not adopt one if you have any doubts.

The 5 components of physical fitness are often used in our school systems, health clubs and fitness centers to gauge how good a shape we are truly in. The 5 components that make up total fitness are:

  • Cardiovascular Endurance

 

  • Muscular Strength

 

  • Muscular endurance

 

  • Flexibility

 

  • Body Composition

Total fitness can be defined by how well the body performs in each one of the components of physical fitness as a whole. It is not enough to be able to bench press your body weight. You also need to determine how well you can handle running a mile etc.

A closer look at the individual components:

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart and lungs to work together to provide the needed oxygen and fuel to the body during sustained workloads. Examples would be jogging, cycling and swimming. The Cooper Run is used most often to test cardiovascular endurance.

Muscular strength is the amount of force a muscle can produce. Examples would be the bench press, leg press or bicep curl. The push up test is most often used to test muscular strength.

Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to perform continuous without fatiguing. Examples would be cycling, step machines and elliptical machines. The sit up test is most often used to test muscular endurance.

Flexibility is the ability of each joint to move through the available range of motion for a specific joint. Examples would be stretching individual muscles or the ability to perform certain functional movements such as the lunge. The sit and reach test is most often used to test flexibility.

Body composition is the amount of fat mass compared to lean muscle mass, bone and organs. This can be measured using underwater weighing, Skinfold readings, and bioelectrical impedance. Underwater weighing is considered the “gold standard” for body fat measurement, however because of the size and expense of the equipment needed very few places are set up to do this kind of measurement.

Why the need for physical fitness testing?

As stated earlier the 5 components of physical fitness represent how fit and healthy the body is as a whole. When you have the battery of tests performed you will receive information on the specific areas you made need to work in. A very specific goal oriented fitness program can be developed from the test battery.

If body composition is of (higher fat compared to muscle mass) there are many health related diseases and illnesses you have a higher chance of contracting. It is important to combine healthy eating habits with your exercise program.

If you scored low on the cardiovascular test you would have a higher chance of being at risk for heart related illnesses and would not do well with activities that require longer times to complete. You would participate in things such as long bike rides, swimming and jogging for extended periods of time to correct this component.

The next three tests can have results that are isolated to specific joints and muscles of the body or affect the body as a whole.

If you score low on the flexibility tests, you have a greater chance of decreased performance in daily living activities/sports and a higher risk of injury. You may also experience low back pain. It would be important to included flexibility training into your workout everyday.

If you scored low on the muscular endurance test you fatigue early into the exercise or activities of daily living. Many exercises that require high reps and low weight would be implemented into your training program.

If you scored low on the muscle strength test you do not have enough strength to perform well in sports, resistance training and activities of daily living. Your fitness program would have a progressive strength training component added that would allow you to become stronger with little chance of injury over time.

Fitness testing has its limitations – while it gives you a good idea of where your body is, it does not paint the entire picture. As stated earlier some of the above tests are only testing specific body parts. Other important factors such as balance and agility are not tested. It also requires the ability to perform the tests. It would be dangerous for someone who is in poor condition and does not exercise to participate in fitness testing.

Before deciding to undergo fitness testing, make sure you know why they are being done and determine that it is safe for you to participate.

 

Who doesn’t like to splurge when they are on vacation? Why would anybody prefer to fit their enjoyment within a budget? Everybody wants to make the most of their vacations, and watching your budget while vacationing does not make for much fun. Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a little luxury in your life. For many vacationers, the uncertainty of how much a vacation will end up costing leaves them apprehensive about traveling. There are over four hundred all inclusive hotels and resorts spread around the Caribbean which are expressly designed for people who want to be pampered and to enjoy world-class food, drinks, and activities without having to worry about busting their budgets. All inclusive vacations give vacationers the option of making the most of the money they have available – and their popularity, with guests returning year after year, attest to the fact that all inclusive is an ideal choice for most vacationers. You pay one upfront price at the beginning of your vacation; and after that you can forget about money and just enjoy yourself.

There are different types of all inclusive vacation resorts which cater to different types of vacationers. Some are designed for families; others for couples, singles, and even gay people; and each resort has special activities, programs, entertainment, and events which cater to its particular clientele. There are even hedonistic all inclusive beach resorts which offer nude beaches, swimming pools and hot tubs; and even nude marriage ceremonies! Just as there are many different types of all inclusive resorts, the services and activities offered differ from one resort to another. Some all inclusive packages include only the airfare and lodging, whereas others include meals, drinks, entertainment, tours, and transfers. There are other packages which include all meals, drinks, and activities, but not airfare. It is usually cheaper to pick an all inclusive vacation package which includes the airfare instead of spending for airfare separately (unless you have frequent flier miles to use up).

The chief criticism of all inclusive vacations is that most guests never leave the resort since everything is provided right there, for free; so people don’t really interact much with the local people and culture. Of course, all inclusive vacations are not for everyone. If you are the type who likes to get away and poke around on your own – and you are not overly worried about how much money you are spending – then all inclusive isn’t for you. However, most all inclusive resorts offer tours to cultural and scenic attractions in the area, and many devotees of all inclusive take advantage of these opportunities to use their hotels as a base from which to explore the surrounding area, and then return at night to relax in the lap of luxury once more. Since so many people’s travel budgets have been slashed in the past few years, all inclusive vacations are more popular than ever before; all inclusive vacations are the perfect solution for people who want to enjoy themselves to the max within a strict budget.