God’s Tenth Avatar: Latest Incarnation of God on Earth to Weed Out Evil and Protect Virtuous

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Lord Krishna, assured that in every Mega Age (Yug) He would take the avatar Incarnation) on Earth to annihilate the evil, punish the guilty, to protect the righteous and establish Dharma. In other words, in every age, He would set right the disorder and establish order. This age is known as ‘Kalyug’ (dark age). In 21st Century, the disorder is at its peak. It is high time the Lord take Kalki avatar as assured by Him and restore order. (‘Kalki’ avatar is the tenth and the last avatar when God would visit on a horse with a sword on hand). Accordingly God comes to the Earth for doing His duty. But what is the result? This story depicts in a humorous way the problems God Himself will face should he come to Earth. This story is fully a political satire and not to hurt the religious sentiments of people belonging to any religion whatsoever.

The Story:

The greatest scandal of the twentieth century! A sum of whopping billions of rupees was swindled in a poor country on Earth. Hence, one may guess the toil of millions of poor labourers and tax payers behind that wealth. The loot extended from mining beneath the Earth, to scandals in purchase of aircraft and weapons used on the surface of Earth. There are several stories depicting life in Three Worlds, one on the surface, one beneath the Earth and the other on the sky. It seems our corrupt people realised all the three worlds by extending their corrupt practices in all the three.

The author of this mega scandal was Ramsingh, one of the most powerful politician of the country. Though he was never in election game nor held any post, each elected Government would have his influence on it because the candidates depended on the billions he spent for their winning the elections. The same may be told about industries, trade and commerce and of course film production. Only the actors and actresses who have his recognition could be the successful performers in filmdom.

Normally, before retiring to bed he used to offer prayers to the Almighty. That day also, he was offering his prayers. “Oh God! I have to thank you for enabling me to earn this much wealth. Nobody on Earth can surpass my wealth’.

He could have stopped with this observation. But his next statement was very much provocative. “Oh God! Now I am richer than you. Even you cannot surpass me”.

That moment God decided to interfere. “Why can’t I?” He asked.

Ramsingh was taken aback. He took the revolver kept under the pillow and asked “Who is speaking? Come to the front, otherwise I will shoot you”.

“No, No don’t shoot me” God pretended as if he was afraid.

“Then come before me. I want to see you”

Next moment God, whom he was praying daily, appeared before him.

“Pooh! Are you God? Our film heroes are better looking than you” Ramsingh remarked.

“Is it, Are your film heroes more handsome than me?” God asked.

“Yes, yesterday I saw a film in which Lord Krishna was so handsome that people worshipped him in the hall itself. They won’t recognise you as God.”

For a moment, God had some calculations mentally, then he told, “But he is mortal and will die at any time, whereas I am immortal.”

“So what? Let him live for only thirty years. He has enjoyed everything on Earth. Do you know that he has dozen wives, all so beautiful? Your Heavenly ladies are no comparison to those ladies,” Ramsingh replied.

“Okay, if you think that having beautiful girls is the Bliss, I won’t argue.”

“It is alright, tell me the purpose of your visit”

“I have come here to annihilate you,” God said seriously.

“What? Are you kidding me?” Ramsingh took it as a joke and laughed.

“Yes, so far I took nine avatars and established order. This is my tenth and last. This time, I wish to annihilate one by one and I have chosen you as the first to be eliminated”.

“Why me? There are so many giants worse than me.” He quipped.

“Financially speaking, there are several giants worse than you. But you have committed other offense like murders, rape in abundance. The worst of them was you poisoned your friend to usurp power and after his death you placed your own henchmen in various posts and you have you have deceived billions of people. Be ready to die”. The avatar raised hands to get his weapon (the revolving wheel on his hand.)

For a moment Ramsingh was taken aback. But he was able to recover within seconds and asked, “Oh God, please be patient. Please allow me to ask some questions”

“Okay, you proceed”

“My most respectful God Narayana, had you wanted to punish me you could have done it without showing your presence. But you are giving your Darshan to me which is available only for one in a billion. That shows that I have done some good deeds also. Isn’t it?”

“It is not because of the good deeds done by you, but by your forefathers including your parents. They were feeding thousands of poor, they opened several schools for free learning and constructed several free mansions. They dug hundreds of wells for obtaining pure water. The proceeds of their good deeds ended today. From now onwards only effects of your sins will reach your descendants”

“Oh, God! Every day I used to pray you without fail. One more thing, I used to give a share to you at twenty percent of what all I earned in black”

God was astonished. “What?”

“Yes, I am not bluffing. You yourself verify my accounts. If I get rupees ten, I will give you rupees two. Likewise, if I get one hundred million, I shall deposit scrupulously twenty millions into your temple hundi”(collection box)

“Is it..?”

“Don’t you know that the sanctum in the new temple constructed for you was financed totally by me. I spent nearly a billion rupee for that temple out of the profit I earned through the above transaction which people prefer to call as mega scandal.

God was speechless for a moment.

Ramsingh realised that he was going in the right direction. By this time, he had gathered enough courage to bargain.

“Okay God, let us talk business. Don’t kill me. Allow me to give you a share of half of what all I earn. That is fifty-fifty. I will sincerely put 50% of what all I earn into your temple collection box. Are you happy?”

Before his completing the statement God vanished.

“Oh God, Maha Vishnu, Narayana” he shouted.

.

“Oh dear, why are you shouting?” his wife who rushed to his bed room shook him to raise from the sleep.

‘Dear, do you know that I was talking with God?”

“Oh it is good, what were you talking with him?” she asked sarcastically.

“Ha, Ha, he wanted to kill me” he was laughing.

“Then what did you do?”

“I offered him fifty percent of my earning, He ran away fearing that he also would become corrupt”

He was having a hearty laugh over the dream he had.

Suddenly there was a great noise.

“Oh what is that?”

The Earth started shaking and the ground below him was divided into two.

Ramsingh, his family, all wealth fell into thousands of fathoms deep.

Next day a telecast from far away country stated:

“Due to a massive earth quake in the poor country, an entire city was plunged into the deep Earth. Thousands of men, women and children were buried. Buildings including huge structures like Temples were buried. Please wait for the complete report”

God has his own way for punishing the sinners.

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Psychosocial Factors That Promote Successful Aging

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There are several psychological and social factors that have been linked to increased individual life expectancy and quality of life in older adults. While the majority of attention in the life extension and successful aging field has focused on physical factors such as exercise, diet, sleep, genetics and so on, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that psychological and sociological factors also have a significant influence on how well individuals age (Warnick, 1995).

Warnick (1995) believes that adjusting to the changes that accompany late adulthood and old age requires that an individual is able to be flexible and develop new coping skills to adapt to the changes that are common to this time in their lives. Aging research has demonstrated a positive correlation between someone’s religious beliefs, social relationships, perceived health, self-efficacy, socioeconomic status, and coping skills among others to their ability to age more successfully. The term successful aging has been defined by three main components: “low probability of disease and disease related disability, high cognitive and physical functional capacity, and active engagement with life” (Rowe & Kahn, 1997).

Baltes and Baltes (1990) suggested that the term successful aging appears paradoxical, as aging traditionally brings to mind images of loss, decline, and ultimate death, whereas success is represented by achievement. However, the application of the term, successful aging, they argue forces a reexamination of the nature of old age as it presently exists. “An inclusive definition of successful aging requires a value based, systemic, and ecological perspective, considering both subjective and objective indicators within a cultural context” (Baltes & Baltes, 1990).

With medical advancements and improvements in living conditions people can now expect to live longer lives than ever before. But, the prospect of merely living longer presents many problems. This fact has led researchers to investigate the psychological aspects of aging, with a goal of making the additional years more worth living. There is a great deal of information that leads us to be hopeful about the prospective quality of life in late adulthood and old age.

Religious beliefs, spirituality, and church participation have been the focus of numerous studies involving older adults. Various studies have associated religiousness with well-being, life satisfaction or happiness (VanNess & Larson, 2002). Although it will be necessary for future research to more clearly specify which dimensions of religious participation are beneficial to which outcomes (Levin & Chatters, 1998), it appears that certain aspects of religious participation enables elderly people to cope with and overcome emotional and physical problems more effectively, leading to a heightened sense of well being in late adulthood.

It is commonly known that suicide rates are higher among elderly people, and there is evidence that persons who engage in religious activity are more than four times less likely to commit suicide (Nisbet, Duberstein, Conwell, et al: 2000). The inverse association between religiousness and suicide rate in elderly individuals may be due to the fact that religious beliefs help elderly people cope with or prevent depression and hopelessness, which are established risk factors for suicide (Abramson, Alloy, Hogan, et al: 2000). The relationship between religiousness and successful aging is an extremely complex one. This makes it difficult to pinpoint which factors of participation in a religious organization lead to the increased sense of well-being, satisfaction, and happiness. It is possible that religiousness exerts its beneficial effects by creating positive emotions that stimulate the immune system. Or, it may provide access to social and psychological resources that buffer the impact of stress and aid ones ability to effectively cope (Ellison, 1995).

Membership in religious organizations also provides older individuals with a social network from which to draw emotional support and encouragement, while enhancing one`s ability to adapt to change and buffer stress (Levin, Markides, Ray, 1996). Research has shown that social networks, such as those commonly found in religious organizations are associated with positive health outcomes in older adults, including lower risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and functional decline (Seeman, 1996). The relationships that are fostered within the church or religious group serve for many as a replacement for the social groups that they engaged in at work before retirement. In addition, the attitudes that are learned from religiously committed peers may benefit ones health through encouragement of healthy behaviors and lifestyle lowering the risk of disease (Levin & Chatters, 1998).

One of the common threads that has been found to correlate with successful aging is the individual’s socioeconomic status, particularly education and income levels (Meeks & Murrell, 2001). The relationship between education level and subjective well-being has been demonstrated consistently. Meeks and Murrell (2001) found that education did have direct effects on negative affect, trait health and life satisfaction. Their research concluded that higher educational attainment is associated with lower levels of negative affect, which is related to better health and increased life satisfaction (Meeks & Murrell, 2001). This may be due to the fact that “individuals with higher education levels benefit from the opportunities and resources related to educational attainment that produce accumulated success experiences and contribute to superior functioning in later life” (Meeks & Murrell, 2001). It is also possible that more educated people develop superior methods for problem solving and coping with change. Higher education levels have been shown to provide individuals with better occupational opportunities and social status through adulthood and greater financial stability during the transition to retirement. This establishes education level as ones foundation for successful aging (Meeks & Murrell, 2001).

Material wealth and income have been shown to have a direct relationship to subjective well-being (Andrews, 1986). For many, the sense of well-being is especially effected by their feelings of income adequacy as they move into retirement. Many individuals face retirement with great anxiety due to the lack of sufficient savings to replace their income. The reality of living on a small fixed income limits the lifestyle and ability to adapt to the changes of late adult medical needs for many elderly people. People with greater resources at retirement have access to greater variety of opportunities and activities (Jurgmeen, & Moen, 2002). In addition, the access to surplus income allows for more recreation and less stress from financial concerns. This notion that wealth and well-being are related is also supported by a microeconomics theory that states that an increase in the income level of a society would lead, other things being constant, to greater well being (Easterlin & Christine, 1999).

However, it is important to keep in mind that increases in individual income levels are relative to the changes in one’s reference group (Lian & Fairchild, 1979). Increases in income are considered to be relative. In other words, if an individual’s gains in economic status outpace the gains of the reference group then the individual will likely experience a greater sense of satisfaction. On the other hand, if their gains are equal to the average in their reference group, there will likely be no change. If the increases are less than the reference group than the result will be less satisfaction. Therefore, it may be important for many older adults transitioning to retirement to have adequate savings or other income in order to maintain or exceed their previous financial status.

The relationship between education and income to successful aging is a complex one that involves numerous external variables. But it seems that there is conclusive evidence that both education and income levels help to prepare an individual for the changes that they will face in old age and “influence on their ability to view aging as an opportunity for continued growth as opposed to an experience of social loss” (Steveink, Westerhof, Bode, et al, 2001).

One of the most important aspects of how well individuals age is related to their ability to develop and maintain strong relationships and social support systems (Rowe & Kahn, 1998). It is also important to mention that solitude, or a lack of social interaction, is considered a major health risk factor (Unger, McAvay, Bruce, et al, 1999). Recent studies suggest that the effects of social ties on the risk of physical decline in elderly are greater in men than women. These studies also report that there is a strong relationship between social support or social networks to the probability to cardiovascular and all cause mortality for men (Berkman, Seeman, Albert, et al,1993).

This gender difference could be explained by the fact that women devote a greater portion of their lives caretaking and developing friendships, so they are more accustomed to building and utilizing social networks. While men, in contrast, have devoted a greater portion of their lives to their careers, therefore, they have not developed the social networks or skills to utilize these networks that most women have (Unger, McAvay, Bruce, et al, 1999). In addition, social ties appear to be most important among elderly individuals with less physical ability (Unger, McAvay, Bruce, et al, 1999). It seems that people with physical disabilities have a greater need to develop friendships and support networks to assist them in coping with the limitations caused by their conditions. Friends and family provide them with a means to continue participating in social activities and complete the tasks of everyday living that they may be unable to accomplish on their own. This provides support for the belief that establishing strong social networks may increase not only quality of life, but quantity as well.

Social relationships and social support systems serve as protective factors in many ways (Bovbjerg & McCann, et al, 1995), (Krause & Borawski-Clarke, 1994). They benefit individuals by enhancing self esteem, providing encouragement, and promoting healthy behaviors. It is also possible that social networks may provide more tangible assistance such as food, clothing, and transportation. This type of assistance enables an elderly person to remain socially active even though they may not have the means to do so on their own. It is also important to distinguish the difference between receiving support and assistance from friends or relatives as opposed to agency assistance.

Possibly the most important source of social support comes from the family, which provides self-system mechanisms which increase an individual’s subjective impression of life satisfaction. In addition families provide a system of support and interaction that may not be available from outside sources for some elderly people. All of these types of networks may prevent the degree of social isolation in old age, that is associated with depression and other psychological problems (Krause, 1991).

With all of the physical and psychological changes that people face in late adulthood i.e., decreases in vision, hearing, memory, etc., the ability to adapt to life circumstances that force aging individuals to move from one living style to another is an integral part of successful aging (Warnick, 1995). Simply maintaining the ability to perform the everyday tasks of living is not necessarily considered successful aging. Successful aging requires the maintenance of competence involving cognitive, personality, material, and social resources (Baltes & Lang, 1993). Adapting to these changes requires the use of flexible strategies to optimize personal functioning (Baltes & Baltes, 1990).

The strategies that one may employ to cope with the changes that accompany the aging process may be limited not only by the individuals ability to utilize a new strategy, such as learning sign language or walking with a cane, but also by their perception of their ability to do so. Many elderly people will avoid using new tools to adapt to change if they believe that they are unprepared to make such an adjustment (Slagen-DeKort, 2001).

Perceived self efficacy is defined as “peoples judgment of their capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to attain designated types of performance” ( Bandura, 1986). People who believe in their ability will set higher goals for themselves and expect that they will be able to achieve these goals. Self efficacy has been found to influence the adaptive strategies used by older adults (Slangen-DeKort, 1999).

There are two dispositions besides perception of self efficacy that influence individuals ability to cope, these are flexibility and tenacity (Slangen-DeKort, 1999). Tenacity is defined by an individuals persistence with which they are able to remain focused upon their goals in the face of obstacles. Flexibility refers to ones ability to readjust goals based on new information. The research of Slangen-DeKort et al (1999) concludes that self referent beliefs regarding personal competence influence adaptive behavior and the choice of adaptive strategies. “The direct effect, which is strongest, implies that even if a person appraises a certain adaptation as the most optimal one, this adaptation may not be adopted when this person perceives that the required efforts exceed his or her personal competence. In this case, a less optimal alternative strategy will be embraced.” (Maddox & Douglas, 1973).

Given the enormous number of variables that are involved in determining how well an individual will age, it is impossible to point to one factor as being the most important. But, it is safe to say that ones ability to successfully age is determined to a great extent by their attitudes toward aging and growing old. These positive and negative attitudes will be the result of how effectively an individual is able to adapt to the physical, psychological, and social changes that will take place throughout adulthood. If someone is able to accept the changes of life and look forward to the challenges that they present with hope and desire to change, then they will be better prepared to face old age. In addition, the relationships and beliefs that are developed across the life span will be relied upon in old age as a resource for support and assistance in coping. Upon examining research on successful aging, it seems that many of the concepts that are applied to earlier developmental stages are equally important in old age.

For example, change, adaptation, personal growth, and cognitive function are aspects of development that may be as important in old age as they are in childhood development. In conclusion, it seems that the present and future of aging research may be used to develop medical and psychological interventions that will provide a more positive aging experience and well-being in old age.

References and Resources:

Abramson, L.Y, Alloy, L.B., Hogan, M.E., et al: (2000). The Hopelessness Theory of suicidality, in Suicide Science: Expanding the Boundaries. Norwen, MA., Kluwer Academic Publishers

Baltes, P.R., Baltes, M.M., (1990). Successful Aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences. New York: Cambridge University Press

Binstoek, RH. & George, L.B. (Ed.) (1996) Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. San Diego: Academic Press

Bovbierg, V.E., McCann, B.S., Brief, D.J., Follette, W.e., Retzlaff, B.M., Dowdy, A.A., Walden, C.E., Knopp, RH., (1995). Spouse support and long-term adherence to lipid-lowering diets. American Journal of Epidemiology, 141,451 – 460

Bosworth, H.B., Siegler, LC., Brummett, B.H., Barefoot, J.C., et al; (1999). The relationship between

self-rated health and health status among coronary artery patients. Journal of Aging and Health, 11(4),565-584

Easterlin, RA., (1995). Will raising incomes of all increase the happiness of all? Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizations. 27, 35-48

Ellison, C.G., (1995). Race, religious involvement and depressive symptomology in a Sontheastem U.S. community. Social Science and Medicine, 40, 1561 – 1572

Ford, A.B., Hang, M.R, Stange, KC., Gaines, A.D., et al; (2002). Sustained personal autonomy: A measure of successful aging. Journal of Aging and Health, 12(4),470-489

Glover, RJ., (1998). Perspectives on aging: Issues affecting the latter part of the life cycle. Educational Gerontology, 24(4), 325-330

Jungmeen, KE., Moen, P., (2002). Retirement transitions, gender, and psychological wen-being: A life course, ecological model. The Journals of Gerontology, 57B(3),212-222

Krause, N., (1995). Religiousity and self-esteem among older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 50B, 236 246

Krause, N., Boraski-Clarke, E., (1994). Clarifying the functions of social support in later life. Research on Aging, 16,251 – 279

Le Bourg, E., (2002). Are stress and longevity reaIIy linked in normal living conditions? Gerontology, 48(2), 108-111

Levin, J., Markides, KS., Ray, L.A., (1996). Religious attendance and psychological well-being in Mexican Americans. The Gerontologist, 36,454 – 463

Levin, J.S., Chatters, L.M., (1998). Religion, health, and psychological well-being in older adults: Findings from three national surveys. Journal of Aging and Health, W( 4), 504-53 I

Meeks, S., Murrell, S.A., (2001). Contribution of education to health and life satisfaction in older adults mediated by negative affect Journal of Aging and Health, 13 (1j, 92-119

Mitchell, B.A., (2002). Successful aging: Integrating contemporary ideas, research findings, and intervention strategies. Family Relations, 51(3),283-284

Nisbet, P.A., Duberstein, P.R, Conwell, Y, et aJ:, (2000). The effect of participation in religious activities on suicide versus natural death in adults 50 and older. Journal of Nerve Disorders, 188: 543-546

Parker, M.W., (2001). Soldier and family wellness across the life course: A developmental model of successful aging, spirituality, and health promotion. Military Medicine, 166(7),561-574

Rowe, J.W., Kahn, RL., (1997). ,Successful Aging. New York: Pantheon

Ryff, C.D., Marshall, V.W. (Ed.) (1999). The Self and Society in Aging Processes. New York: Springer Publishing

Seeman, T.E., (1996). Social ties and health. Annals of Epidemiology, 6, 442 – 451

Slangen-Dekort, Y.A. W., Midden, J.B.C., Aarts, B., Wagenberg, F.V., (2001). Determinants of adaptive behavior among older persons: Self-efficacy, importance, and personal disposition as directive mechauisms. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 53(4),253-274

Simonsick, E.M., (2001). Measuring higher level physical function in well-functioning older adults: Expanding familiar approaches in health ABC study. The Journals of Gerontology, 56A(lO), 644-670

Steverink, N., Westerhof, G.J., Bode, C., Dittman-Kohli, F., (2001). The personal experience of agjng, individual resourses, and subjective well being. The Journals of Gerontology, 56B(6),264-373

Tanaka, E., Sakamoto, S., Ono, Y., Fujihara, S., Kitamura, T., (1998). Hopelessness in a community populiltion: Factorial structure and psychosocial correlates. The Journal of Social Psychology, 138(5), 581-590

Unger, J.B., McAvay, G., Bruce, M.L., Berkman, L., Seeman, L., (1999). Variation in the impact of social network characteristics on the physical functioning in elderly persons. The Journals of Gerontology, 54(B), 245-251

Van Ness, P.R., Larson, D.B., (2002). Religion, senescence, and mental health: The end of life is not the end of hope. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 10(4),386-399

Warnick, J., (1995). Listening with different ears: Counseling people over sixty. Ft. Bragg CA, QED Press.

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Washing Machine Motors – Common Problems Related to Washing Machine Motors

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Washing Machine Motor is a device used for driving the clothes in the washing machine and induces the machine to run at a predetermined speed.

It runs with the help of the AC induction motor and this is powered with the help of DC to AC inverter. It is situated on the lower body of the machine and the motor forces the belt to tumble the wash tub. The motor is responsible for the tumbling, rotating and washing of the clothes. It is a double speed capacitor that helps in running of the washing machine in an open induction system.

The motor is empowered with running at a low, medium and high level based on the requirement of washing. It is also assigned with the operation of spinning and drying the clothes. The machine is installed in the washing machine in a horizontal way and it is built up with high starting torque. It offera reliable operation and easy maintenance. It can be used in a fully automatic machine and also in the semi-automatic washing machine.

Types of Washing Machine Motors

Some of the types are heavy duty, single phase, three phase and explosion proof motors. Those with overload protection offer long tenure to the washing machines. Heavy duty version is used for washing machine to work on high loaded power.

The machines runs tough and stubborn and makes the spin tub to rotate faster. Heavy duty versions are mainly used for high voltage consumption washing machines. Single phase one consumes low power. Single phase type can be used for washing machines having separate units of washing.

For example single phase version is used in spinning machine and dryer machine. Three phase type has strong power voltage and works easier on tough current connections. The electricity power is used in an enhanced manner in the three phase versions.

Common related problems

Washing machine motors face the problem of out of order due to the high voltage electricity and overloading of clothes in the washing machine. Overloaded washing machines force the equipment to move swifter with a harder action and this leads to motor repair. It often faces the problem of a squealing noise and this is caused due to the lack of lubricate oil. Sometimes the belt of the washing machines does not rest upon the motor promptly and this causes improper tumbling of the washer tub.

Defective lid switch also results in the non-movement of the motor. The breakage results in the slow working of the motors. The couplers are made out of rubber and plastic and there are many chances for breakage. Defective running is also a common problem associated with the washing machines.

Some helpful tips

The motors of the washing machine should be rehauled and services should be conducted regularly with the guidance of the professional service person. In the process of removal, the electrical connections relating to the washing machine should be disconnected to ensure safety.

It is always prone to burning out. This is caused mainly due to the frequent and continuous usage of the washing machine. Overloading of clothes leads to repairs and these can be rectified by adopting some small steps in this regard, basically by using minimal quantity of clothes for washing and another tip is the washing machine should not be allowed to run continuously for a long time. Intervals are needed and this makes the motor to cool down. It should be replaced in case of continuous problem. It should not be overheated and minimal usage per day should be adopted.

Best quality should be purchased and for this the best brand of washing machine should be selected. Motors should be used in a manner to provide a long life to the washing machine. Leaking of water in the spin tub should be immediately attended to and repaired, otherwise it may lead to spoilage.

Continuous spilling of water over the motor results in the burning of the same. All the functions relating to the washing machine is mainly connected to the motor. It is considered as an essential part of the washing machine especially in the process of washing and rotating of the spin tub.

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A Psychological Profile of Tony Soprano

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Tony Soprano is one of the most intriguing and enigmatic characters in the history of television. Understanding him psychologically is a difficult proposition, although many of the shows other character’s have proffered some ideas. In one early episode, Dr. Melfi’s husband Richard refers to Tony as Alexithymic, the short definition being “the inability to talk about feelings due to a lack of emotional awareness.” This definition is definitely somewhat accurate, as Tony often reacts with rage during periods of confusion and frustration.

One classic example of this comes when Tony enters his office and sees that someone has purchased a “Big Mouth Billy Bass” and placed it on his desk. Seeing the singing fish reminds Tony of his dream about Big Pussy, and this memory floods Tony with multiple emotions that he is unable to process or understand. Tony reacts to this emotional flooding by beating Georgie, (A favorite pastime) who he learns placed the fish in his office, as this choice allows him to temporarily exorcise his uncomfortable feelings through this physically violent reaction.

At one point Dr. Melfi suggests Tony has an Anti-Social Personality Disorder. People with this disorder often show a persistent pattern of conduct disorder in their teen years which involves breaking the law, poor academic performance, disrespect for authority as well as several other more severe criteria including torturing animals and starting fires. Throughout the series we learn several things about Tony’s younger years. In Season 1, we learn from Uncle Junior and Livia that Tony and his friends stole a car, and also that Tony used to sell stolen lobsters in an effort to earn some extras cash. In another episode we see him skipping school, breaking into his father’s car, and generally being very willing to bend the rules.

Skip to Tony’s teen years and we learn that Tony has become good enough at sports to become a “varsity athlete” despite Junior’s claim that he wasn’t. He graduates from High School and attends Seton Hall for a semester and a half, before he “got into some trouble” (revealed to Meadow during the episode “College”) and goes to prison for a short while. While Tony is insisting to Dr. Melfi that he never engaged in Homosexual activities, we learn his time in prison was relatively short, and we can therefore assume his crime was relatively minor. Around this same time Tony robbed Feech Lamana’s card game, which was a major turning point in his life where he became officially respected as a gangster.

From this brief look at Tony’s adolescence we learn he probably did meet many of the characteristics for conduct disorder but possibly not enough to make a firm diagnoses. Which moves us to the diagnoses of Anti-Social personality disorder, which according to the DSM-IV, involves “a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

(1) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest

(2) deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure

(3) impulsivity or failure to plan ahead

(4) irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults

(5) reckless disregard for safety of self or others

(6) consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations

(7) lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another

B. The individual is at least age 18 years.

C. There is evidence of Conduct Disorder with onset before age 15 years.

D. The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia or a Manic Episode.

So, does Tony meet at least three of these criteria? The answer seems to be that yes of course he does. Although he does not seem to meet the criteria for number 6, there have been multiple examples of his actions meeting the criteria for the other 6 components. But does this diagnosis truly encapsulate Tony Soprano? It doesn’t appear to. The fact is that Tony is capable of unselfish and extremely generous acts, although often these actions have ulterior motives. Therefore to truly get a sense of the patterns of Tony Soprano’s life, it is extremely useful to use an Adlerian model to examine the patterns of his basic convictions. The Adlerian model looks at key components of a person’s life, and also at their early recollections in an attempt to examine several key determinants that Adler believed made up a person’s unique lifestyle.

Gender Role Preparation perceived through Gender Guiding Lines and Role Models

Through observing their parents and the gender patterns they adopt in their relations, a person learns to conceptualize a personal definition of what a man is and what a woman is. From watching his father, “Johnny Boy” Soprano, a respected and feared Mafioso, Tony formed several impression of what it is to be a man. First and foremost Tony learned that the man is the breadwinner in the family, and that he needs to do whatever it takes, regardless of the law, to provide for his family.

Tony also learned a great deal about conflict resolution from watching his father deal with people from around the neighborhood. One particularly important observation was watching his father handle a man named Satriale who had been avoiding him because he owed him a debt. When Tony watches his father chop off the man’s finger as a result of this dispute, Tony formed an early impression that a man goes to any lengths, despite the law, when that man owes him a debt. This impression was again confirmed when he watched his father brutally pummel a neighbor named Rocco, who also owed Johnny a debt.

Tony also learned a great deal from watching his father’s work habits throughout the years, and this affected his own adult attitude towards work. The beatings Tony witnessed in the previous situations were both over an attempt to collect a debt, and Tony saw that a great deal of Johnny’s income was simply taken by force or the threat of violence. Therefore he learned that men don’t need to work if they can take things from others, and this was a lesson that appeared to resonate.

In one notable event that occurred in Tony’s teen years, he covers for his father to his mother when she correctly assumes he’s been with another woman. In this situation, Tony, who has most likely learned through watching his father lie many times before, that it’s OK for a man to lie when confronted by an uncomfortable situation.

Through Tony’s interactions with his mother he learned that a woman, although she works in the home, holds a great deal of power and control in interpersonal relationships. One early impression came from watching his father and mother interact after his father brings home a large order of meat, and Tony observes that this was the only time his mother was ever really happy. Tony also makes the connection that when his father brought gifts it was “probably the only time he got laid” which also created the impression for Tony that a woman only provides sexual gratification to men when they are given gifts, and this was an idea that also seemed to translate to his adult life.

Interpersonal Style perceived through Experience of Family Atmosphere

The family atmosphere in the Soprano family was one of storm and strife. As Tony’s sister Janice correctly explains to her husband Bobby, “In my family it was dog eat dog.” This was an accurate description of the Soprano household, and much of this difficulty stemmed from the interactions between Livia and Johnny which were based on repetitive patterns of incessant nagging on Livia’s part and extreme deceit on Johnny’s. Livia’s tyranny over the house may have even eventually contributed to Johnny’s physical decline, as in Tony’s estimation she wore this very strong man into a “little nub.”

Livia Soprano’s love was conditional love. Livia was extremely critical of her children and she did not demonstrate encouragement and support of their endeavors which appeared to stimulate a lifelong pattern of self-doubt in both Tony as well as his sister Janice. Discouraged children often grow up to be angry and unfulfilled adults, as they begin to feel that everything they do will not live up to someone’s standards. In these situations a kind of “learned helplessness” (Seligman 1965) can take place, where kids simply give up rather than continuing to compete in a seemingly hopeless situation. This appeared to be the case with Janice Soprano, who spends a lifetime avoiding any kind of useful activity rather than have to be judged a failure as she has so many times before.

Tony on the other hand compensated for this lack of love like his father did by lashing out at others, finding temporary gratification though many sexual conquests, and finding solace in acquiring material possessions.

Livia also talked openly of killing her children when Tony was a young man, which he must have seen as a great devaluation of his importance and worth in his mother’s life. In one notable instance Livia tells Tony she could “smother him with a pillow” which terrifies Tony and makes him question how far his mother might really go in enforcing punishment in the Soprano household. Johnny Soprano on the other hand freely used corporal punishment in the house, and in Tony’s words, “the belt was his favorite child development tool.” Johnny clearly demonstrated though many of his actions in the house that violence was an appropriate response to frustration, and this was also a value that Tony seemed to inherit.

Johnny Soprano was also consistently deceitful in his dealings with his family, and his constant deceit was often the trigger that sent Livia flying into a rage. One early example of Johnny’s deceit came following his arrest at a kid’s carnival, where he tells his children the cops made a terrible mistake and arrested the wrong guys, which would be difficult for even a child to believe.

Another important event that confirms Johnny’s constant deceit occurred when Tony was a teenager and Livia was in the hospital having suffered a miscarriage where she was in dire physical danger. Johnny, who was staying overnight with his mistress, concocts an elaborate lie that hinged on Tony supporting the lie and confirming the story for his hospitalized mother. Tony does go along with the lie, and this event marked as major turning point where he embraces the deceitful lifestyle and begins to head down the path his father has paved for him.

Personal Code of Conduct perceived through Acceptance / Rejection of Family Values

When Tony embraced his father’s lying ways, he was essentially accepting the Soprano family values, all of which were also modeled by Tony’s Uncle Junior. Although Tony made a brief attempt at following a different path by going to college, his robbery of Feech Lamana’s card game demonstrated an early lesson learned from his father that if someone wants something that it is easier to simply take it from others than to actually work for it. This idea was strongly reinforced when Tony was caught for this act and he was not only not punished, but in effect promoted into the “family” following this brazen and irresponsible action.

For Tony the term “family values” obviously had more than one meaning, but upon close examination the values modeled in the Sopranos household were the same that were necessary to survive and even thrive in the mafia “family” Tony was also a part of. For instance Livia used the threat of killing someone weaker than her to retain order in the house and get people to comply with her wishes. The exact same thing is used by the mafia family, as the threat of pending violence is one of the key ways the family perpetuates its wealth.

The family value of deceit in the house was also a necessary value to succeed in the larger Mafia family. The code of “Omerta” implies silence and avoidance of even discussing the organization, and this is an interesting connection to make considering the fact that Livia was so against Tony going to therapy as she felt he was there to “talk about his mother.” Livia, who preferred the family secrets stay buried, was so consumed by feelings of anger from thinking that Tony would reveal her secrets to a therapist, that she in essence convinced Junior to have him killed. Returning to the moment of the idea Tony is Alexithymic, one can speculate that this condition might stem from his mother’s absolute inability to promote the sharing of feelings in the Soprano household.

Perspective on the World perceived through Experience of Psychological Birth Order

As the second born child of three, Tony’s assumed the position of the classic middle child. The second born child often takes their cues from the oldest child, who has been in the world longer and provides a roadmap for the second child to follow. Second born children are often the rebels in the family, as the first borns tend to be responsible and can often even be like a second parent. The second child therefore often finds belonging through acting distinctively different than the first, as the first is naturally better at things because of their advanced age and physical development. This was partially true in Tony’s case, as Janis appeared to enjoy flaunting her position as the eldest, and at least in her early childhood convinced her father she was a well-behaved and accomplished child. Tony on the other hand showed immediate rebellious behavior, and found belonging through being as Junior described a “little hellion” who learned to fit in and get attention through misbehavior.

Adler made a strong point of emphasizing that birth order also had a psychological component to it, where the literal birth order may differ from the physical birth order. This can happen when the first born son usurps the first born female child and becomes the de facto leader of the children, as he comes from a culture that values males over women. This dynamic appeared to manifest itself in the Soprano household. In Tony’s case Janis, who enjoyed the power of being the first born but not the responsibility, in effect passed the torch of responsibility as the first born to Tony, who became responsible for the family as he entered into adulthood.

Range of Social Interest perceived through Other Particularities

Adler believed that the extent and degree that a person takes an interest in his or her fellow human beings was an excellent predictor of their mental health. Tony never developed this interest in others, and instead came to value others based on their personal usefulness to him. There are many examples of this in Tony’s life, one example being his relationship with Paulie, who fell out of Tony’s favor following a financial downturn in Season 4. Even in his dealings with Artie Bucco Tony often sizes up how Artie can be useful to him, and despite their imbalance of power Tony finds little ways to exploit this friendship for his personal gain.

Tony’s odd obsession with animals also demonstrates his inability to share emotions with other human beings, and again this behavior might have some its roots in the lack of love and support he received from his mother. Tony often projects feelings onto animals that he is unable to feel for human beings, and this trait shows how confusing and upset Tony gets when confronted by negative emotions.

Conclusion

In conclusion Tony Sopano’s life is one lived with little insight or mindfulness. This lack of insight has lead to an external locus of control where he views the bad things that happen to him as bad luck His statements “I can’t catch a break” and “I’m like king Midas in reverse” are example of this behavior, and these claims don’t jibe with the many, many fortuitous events in Tony’s life.

Tony also likes to present the idea that he is a “sad clown” but again the evidence in his life does not seem to support this. When Tony is angry or hurt he nearly always responds with physical violence, and occasionally with em0tional violence such as when he calls Melfi a “cunt” following her rebuke of his advances. The sad clown motif indicates the sense of pity Tony often feels for himself, and his general pessimistic attitude towards life.

Adler felt that by gaining insight into your behavior you could begin to understand the patterns and faulty thinking and logic that these patterns then created. Melfi, after many years has uncovered some of these patterns, but doesn’t seem to offer much assistance as to how to process this information. The result has been that Tony continues to repeat many of the patterns directly inherited from watching his parents, and despite his often empty promises to change his life, this is really not possible without going back to the beginning.

Adler referred to this idea as “soft” determinism, meaning a person’s patterns of behavior were firmly and deeply entrenched, and very, very difficult to change without a tremendous amount of insight. Although nearly dying was a kind of apotheosis for Tony, it is likely he will return to much of his former behavior as he falls back into these familiar patterns.

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The 4 Main Types of Renewable Energy

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As the world reaches its energy crisis we need to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources, and start generating renewable energy on a massive scale.

To date there are four main types of renewable energy that we can produce: wind power, solar power, hydro power, and geothermic power.

Wind Power:

Wind turbines have been around for millennia, further back than the birth of Christ. Over the years they have been used to pump water, drag boats and grind flour. But at the turn of the industrial revolution, wind turbines were made to produce electricity.

Although many people envision windmills as those ornate ones in Holland or the small wind-pumps on farms, they have been developed tremendously in the past decade. Now wind turbines are able to generate thousands of megawatts of power, and when used on a small scale at home, wind power can substitute conventional energy sources, helping households to get off the grid.

Solar Power:

The sun is the most readily available form of energy there is, so we should be using it to a larger extent. And as technology advances, households are provided with a number of ways to harness the power of the sun. These ways include solar electricity, solar heaters, solar dryers and solar cookers.

With solar electric and heating systems, they are both cost-effective, good for the environment, they require little maintenance and help you save on your utility bills. Solar cookers are very healthy way of cooking food, since they cook the food at a lower temperature-helping to retain its vitamins and minerals. They are also very portable, making them ideal for travelers and campers.

Hydro Power:

Initially hydro or water power was used industrially to rivers and waterfalls to power waterwheels that would then be used to move water for irrigation or grind flour.

Today hydro power is used in dams to produce electricity for households and businesses. Hydro-electric power is generate on a large scale where dammed up water is channeled through turbines, which spins a dynamo as it gushes through. The best example of hydro-electric power would be the Hoover Dam, which was built to provide electricity to Las Vegas. In fact hydro-electric power is efficient is popular nowadays that it accounts for over 90% of the worlds renewable energy.

There have been some social and environmental concerns about building dams for hydroelectricity since entire village and communities are flooded by the dam, and the walls prevent certain species of fish from swimming upstream to spawn.

Geothermal Power:

Geothermal power is typically produced in areas with ongoing volcanic activity, where magma is relatively close to the surface. One such area is Iceland, where a large proportion of its power is produced from volcanic geysers.

Here, large power plants are built over the geysers, where hot fast-moving steam from the geysers drives large turbines to make electricity. To speed up the process, water is sometimes pumped back into the geysers to make more steam, which is then used to drive the turbines once again, thus making it an endless cycle.

Well, this concludes our brief overview of the 4 main types of renewable energy. You can find out more in-depth information on each type by reading our other articles or browsing our website in the link below.

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Is Immunotec Worth Joining?

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Company background for Immunotec

This company is dedicated to addressing the needs of the wellness-minded individual. With about thirty years of research under its belt, Immunotec has consistently set standards for mainstream products. They have made numerous groundbreaking innovations and patents in North America and around the world.

Dr. Gustavo Bounous is the creator of Immunocal, the product Immunotec was founded on. He firmly believed that nature had many benefits for optimal health as opposed to focusing solely on pharmaceutical drugs. To this day, the company continues to uphold this philosophy and regularly researches new and cutting-edge literature that will continue to keep them in a class of their own.

Products sold at Immunotec

There are quite a number of products offered in their manufacturing line:

  • Immunocal
  • Immunocal Platinum
  • E-Motion
  • F.I.T.T
  • Thermal Action
  • Naturally Sourced Calcium
  • Omega-3 + CoQ10 with Turmeric
  • Vitamin and Mineral
  • Probiotic
  • PNT 200
  • Concentrated Cherry Juice
  • Xtra Sharp
  • Magistral
  • Skin Perfecting Cream
  • Toothpaste

As you can see, there are quite a number of products offered at Immunotec and plenty of flavors to choose from. If you’re trying to get the daily does of vitamins and minerals needed for the day, energy to exercise, or keep a youthful appearance, these products will help you attain that.

How to make money with Immunotec

Joining the company and taking advantage of the money making opportunity is pretty exciting. Their compensation plans provides many ways to make money and for you to really take over your financial destiny. You can earn money through personal customers or recruit people on your team. It sounds simple, but there are some other incentives to consider for your network marketing success.

There is a business builder bonus that allows you to earn 20% of every purchase your personally sponsored consultant makes within their first month. When you sponsor someone, you make an automatic 5% bonus on top of your residual commission. If you sponsor a second consultant in the same month, you make a 10% bonus on both consultants in addition to your residual commission. If you sponsor a third consultant, change that 10% to 20% on all consultants plus your residual.

This is one example of the type of money you can make within this particular opportunity. It’s important to note, however, that you have to stay plugged into their training system. Once you understand the basics of Immunotec’s system, you can add on online mlm training and accelerate the growth of your business.

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SMARTER Goal Setting – A Key to Making It Great!

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In the past, I’ve written about SMART goal setting, but after much reading and thought, I realize now that goals need to be SMARTER in order to be most successful.

SMARTER goals, broken down:

S – Goals must be Specific and the more specific the better. State your goal in as exact of terms as possible.

M – Targets should be Measurable. That which you measure will be treasured, so think about what will be the measurement of your achievement of your goal.

A – Goals should have Accountability. Who or what are you accountable to for the goal?

R – Goals must be Realistic. Unrealistic goals will lead to discouragement.

T – Targets should be Time based. Decide your time-table for completion, and stick to it.

E – Goals should be Exciting. Exciting goals will be met far sooner than boring, bland goals.

R – Goals should be Recorded, in a place where you can look at it every day.

OK, so let’s break down one of my goals for 2006, and see how this works in action.

I will earn by Competent Toast Master (CTM) designation by December 1st, 2006.

Specific – Yes, this is very specific. It says exactly what I am going to do.

Measurable – Yes, this is measurable. CTM designation is something that takes 10 speeches to do in Toastmasters, so if I do these 10 speeches, this goal will be achieved.

Accountability – I’m sharing it with you, so I’m accountable to all of you. I’m also including this in my goals at work, as public speaking is part of what I do, and letting my Toastmasters Mentor know about my goal (I’m sending him this post), so I am accountable to many others.

Realistic – This is absolutely a realistic goal for me. I have given 2 speeches in 2005, so I have to increase my output 4 times. I can do this, but it will take effort.

Exciting – Definitely an exciting goal for me to achieve. As a new Toastmaster, I will be able to improve my speaking ability by doing this, and it will also help our club achieve more distinguished status.

Recorded – I wrote it down here, I’ll be putting it on a note card with my other goals, it will be in my HR system at work, and I’ll review it every day to remind myself of its importance.

So what goals are you setting in 2006? How can I help you set SMARTER goals? Let me know because I’d love to help you make it great!

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Elder Care Tips and Tools

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Should you find yourself in the position where you have to care for an elderly loved one, it can prove to be one of the most rewarding, yet most challenging times of your life. Of course, every individual case will vary massively regarding the person needing care’s needs, possible ailments, and other factors, but there are some common elder care tips and tools which can be applied to almost any scenario.

Ask away. Even if you’re extremely close to the person who is in need of care – be it a friend, a relative, or a partner – there is no way of you knowing their exact needs and wants. When it comes to the time when care is required, it’s important that you constantly communicate with the person receiving care about what they want and how they’re feeling.

For example; you may find yourself spending more time with them than needed, and they might feel slightly demeaned by it. Ask them what exactly it is they need help with – it could simply be a helping hand when they go to the shops – and then from there.

Take some time for yourself. It may sound like an odd thing to write in an article about caring for someone else, but it’s more than important to take care of yourself too. Dependant on the circumstances, providing. Care can be extremely stressful and may even prove to be detrimental to your own health. Always find some time in the day for yourself me even if it just means settling down with your favourite TV show at the end of the day.

As well, bear in mind that providing care isn’t going to be totally serious work – even making a few cups of tea and having a chat can prove to be beneficial to the person requiring care.

At some time, you may come to a point where you feel as though you’re having a difficult time providing an adequate amount of care. It may be that the person you’re caring for has an ailment at requires specialist care, or that you’re finding it hard to fit the amount or kind of care they need into your daily schedule. Whatever it may be, our final tip will come in handy…

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be it from another family member, a friend, or a care professional – there is always someone else who will be happy to help you care for an elderly relative. Doing it alone may cause an excessive amount of stress depending on the circumstances, but even the smoothest-running of cases will need a helping hand now and again.

If things are feeling particularly tough, don’t hesitate to contact a reputable care provider in your area. There is no set time to contact one, but if you start to feel as though you need to care for your elderly loved one on a more frequent basis, or if it begins to impact your own life, these may be indications that it’s time to seek help.

To find your local care provider, contact your healthcare professional who will be happy to assist.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Wills, Trusts, and Probate

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What is a will?

A will is a set of instructions that explains how you want your property distributed after your death. Your will must be in writing and must be signed by you and two witnesses. The witnesses must also have seen each other witness your will. Some people cannot serve as witnesses to your will. It is important to make sure that all of your state’s legal formalities are carefully observed.

What are the benefits of a will?

A will allows you to decide who will manage your money and other property after you die, and how it will be distributed. It lets your wishes be heard regarding the care of minor and disabled children. It often prevents disputes among your relatives. In a large estate, a will can also reduce the amount of taxes that may be due at your death.

Who should draft a will?

A will is an important legal document that can have a significant impact on your family. A lawyer can give you good advice on how the will should be prepared and executed. Having a lawyer draft your will gives you the assurance that your voice will be heard regarding how you want your children to be cared for and how you want your property to be distributed.

Does a will avoid probate?

No, but a having a will can reduce the cost of probate and the burden to your friends and family. Whether your property needs to go through probate is determined by how that property is titled, not whether you have a will.

What happens if I do not have a will?

If you do not have a will, and if you have probate property, your property will be distributed according to instructions made by your state’s legislature.

What is a personal representative?

If your estate needs management, a personal representative (executor) will be appointed by the court. Having a will lets you decide who that person will be. You may choose someone familiar with your property and affairs or a professional who can serve as a personal representative. If you think there may be hard feelings in your family or your estate has complications such as children from a previous marriage, you may want to name a professional. Many banks and trust companies have experienced people to handle the difficult task of being a personal representative and – since the fee paid to a personal representative is determined by the size of the estate, not by who serves as personal representative – banks and trust companies are generally paid the same fee to serve as personal representative as an individual is paid.

What is a trust?

A trust is another tool used in estate planning that can be created as part of a will or as a separate document. A trust is a legal document that appoints someone (a “trustee”) to manage your property and gives detailed instructions on how the property will be managed and distributed. A trust is one way to take care of a minor child, an elderly person or someone who needs help handling money. A trust may be established during your lifetime, and you may act as your own trustee, or it may be established by your will after your death. Trusts are generally more complicated to create than a will, and you may want to consider having an estate planning lawyer assist you

What are the advantages of a trust?

There are several advantages of advantages of a trust, some of which are:
•You control, through the trust instrument, the way assets are managed and disposed of, either at death or during incapacity.
•A trust (and its assets) does not part of the probate estate.
•No need for a conservatorship due to incapacity.
•The avoidance or reduction of estate taxes
•The potential to avoid creditor claims

Can a revocable living trust substitute for a will?

A properly drafted revocable living trust can work well as a substitute for a will and sometimes may reduce the costs of handling your estate. However, even if you have a trust, most advisors would recommend you also have a will to cover the possibility that some of your assets may not be covered by the trust at the time of your death. Whether a trust is proper for your estate is a decision to be made after receiving competent legal advice.

Is a will expensive?

No, a simple will is not expensive. However, the cost of any will depends on how much work your lawyer does for you. As a will becomes more complicated, the cost rises. Ask your lawyer for an estimate of the cost. In general, the trouble and expense of not having a will far outweigh the cost of the will.

Do I need a will if I don’t have much money?

The amount of property you own does not determine whether you need a will. Your personal and financial circumstances determine when and how a will should be drafted. For example, it is important for new parents to have a will to provide for their children even if they own little personal or real property.

Is a will from another state valid?

Yes. Generally, if you made a will in another state according to the laws of that state, it is valid in your state also. This is also true if you created a trust in another state.

Can a will be changed?

You can change your will at any time as long as you are of sound mind. Major life events such as marriage, divorce, death of a family member, or a new baby are good reasons to consider changing your will. You may revoke your old will by destroying it or by writing a new will. If you only want to make minor changes, you may create a “codicil,” a document that is attached to your will. The same legal formalities are required for creating a codicil as a will, and therefore it is wise to consult an attorney about the changes you would like to make.

Should I consider having a Health Care Directive and a Financial Power of Attorney?

Yes. A will only takes effect after you die. A Health Care Directive and power of attorney are documents that may be used to manage your health care and finances while you are still living. A power of attorney may be created for any purpose, but most commonly an elderly person will nominate a close friend or family member to be their “agent” to help manage their money. Because this power can be abused, it is wise to seek the advice of a lawyer before signing a power of attorney. A Health Care Directive is a document in which a person appoints an “agent” to make medical decisions such as living arrangements and treatment options when they become incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions.

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Ukrainian Lifestyle

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Speaking about modern Ukrainian customs and traditions it is necessary to stress that the Ukrainians are proud of their colorful folk culture. They love good food and drink and have a zest for life.

Most Ukrainian middle-class and lower class urban families live in flat in multi-storied buildings; only rather rich people can afford to build cottages either inside or outside the city.

Ukrainians have a deep love of the land. Many families have small country houses, called “dacha”. They are able to grow just about anything in their neat gardens, orchards, and homesteads. Some people grow food only for their own personal consumption. They spend time canning vegetables and making compote from various fruits during the summer in order to make it through the long cold winters. They always have something in their houses to serve guests.

A modern average Ukrainian family has two parents and usually one or two children. At the same time there is a growing number of one-parent families usually headed by a woman rearing a child. Like in many other countries, there are quite a lot of young unmarried people living together and sharing a household. Bringing up a child in Ukraine is very costly now; that is why many couples decided to have only one child, or even no children. Children tend to live with there parents long after they finish school. Sometimes children have to rely on their parents in financial matters as the unemployment rate among the young is very high. A newly married couple often lives with either of their parents because they have no money to buy or to rent a house or a flat of their own. Often one or both grandparents live with their children and help take care of small children. Grandparents play a great role in raising children in Ukraine.

In the village families are usually larger, and the whole family works on the farm (or a patch of land they have) together. Most parents who live in the country want their children to get a higher education, so they send them to study to big cities. After 5 years of studies, the children get used to the city way of life and seldom go home.

In their struggle for survival people become less dependent on each other within families. But still parents think it is important to teach their children daily skills and basic values of life. The result of a resent nationwide survey showed that the most important values parents want to teach their children are honestly, common sense, purposefulness, responsibility, good manners and obedience to parents. Adults believe children should be brought up to expect that they will have to struggle to succeed.

Like most other people, Ukrainians like holidays and merrymaking. They usually try to cook many tasty dishes and invite a lot of friends and relatives to their places. Another thing Ukrainians love to do is talk (while strolling, in cafes and restaurants, or at home over a cup of tea or coffee or other drinks). Conversation tends to be light, relaxing, humorous, and sometimes philosophical. Many Ukrainians enjoy picnics in the wood or somewhere the water at almost any time of year. Picnics often involve shashlik or barbequed meat, homemade salads, and sometimes alcohol. Ukrainians love to sit around fires at night and snack, drink, and sing songs to a guitar.

Popular outdoor sports in Ukraine are soccer, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, and hiking (walking in the forest). Fitness clubs have appeared all over the place. Yoga and martial arts are quite popular as well. Mountain climbing and rock climbing clubs can be found. Scuba diving, yachting, and even golf have recently become available. Increasingly popular in Ukraine are all sorts of extreme sports (bungee jumping, river rafting, downhill mountain biking, spelunking, etc.), and, more generally, all forms of active recreation (hiking, biking, boating, horseback riding, skiing, etc.).

Not everyone will do the things we’ve described above. Some Ukrainians’ culture will strike you as incomprehensible and intolerable, while others’ behavior and attitudes will seem rational and compatible with your own.

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