Dialogue Better With Paraphrasing


Paraphrasing is a crucial skill for dialoguing. How do you paraphrase?

One way to paraphrase is to simply reflect back the speaker’s own words. You pick out key words you have heard and repeat them. “You are saying that Obama will be a good President because….” This makes the speaker feel heard because you have picked up on their key ideas and words.

Another way to paraphrase is to summarize by putting their message into your own words. “In summary it seems your main point is that….” This lets the speaker know that you have understood their comments because you can summarize them.

Another way to paraphrase is to ask for a clarification. “I am not sure that I am getting this right. Are you saying X or Y?”

Paraphrasing should always be in the form of a question, not an assertion. The question may simply be in your voice inflection. Or you may clearly ask a question at the end of your paraphrase such as, “Did I get that right?” Or, “Is that right?” If you fail to use the form of a question, the speaker may possibly take offense because you seem to be mind reading. That means you seem to be telling them what they think, which can be intrusive, rather than just asking them if you got it right.

Similarly, paraphrase with a light touch, such as, “I wonder if you are saying….” Stay humble and your paraphrase will be welcomed.

Most of the time speakers do welcome paraphrasing because it makes them feel heard. So be bold to offer frequent paraphrases, but do it in a humble manner.

Paraphrasing leads to clarification. You will find out if you misunderstood anything because the speaker will correct you. “No, I did not mean to say X, but rather Y.” Don’t let this bother you that you got it wrong. Speakers are glad to correct you. Better to find out now that you got it wrong than to go off and do the wrong thing.

In summary, increase the frequency of your paraphrasing and enjoy better conversations with more rapport and fewer misunderstandings.


Are Movies Better Than Books?


We love movies. We love them so much we line up to pay high prices for movies that aren’t very good. Movies with above average entertainment make headlines for revenue generation. When seeking an answer to a question, one can often find the truth by following the money which in this case implies movies are better than books considering the great deal of money spent on them.

Of course popularity does not often equal quality. Yes, I know; a blasphemous statement in the eyes of the Hollywood elite. To be fair there have been a few high quality movies that were hugely popular. Perhaps you are recalling some of those titles right now. But what about great books? Not those “classics of literature” you were forced to report on in school. The great books today that fly off the shelves or strain bandwidth from downloads. If you are watching the movie and skipping the book, what are you missing?

It’s a favorite argument among book readers; was the movie better than the book? More often than not the most credit readers will give is; “was the movie equal to the book?”

If your idea of reading goes no further than a cereal box or tag line on a television sitcom, perhaps this is not a subject that interests you. If you are an avid reader like me then likely you are already formulating opinions about past books that became movies.

Movies can capture our imaginations, especially if they have great acting and even better directors. Can anything replace our own vast imagination? Certainly not. But books do a great job of letting our imagination wander as we interpret what the author is trying to impart to us. The really great books do something that no other form of entertainment can accomplish; allow us to lose ourselves for hours in a form of pure escape from reality. Perhaps a great movie provides the same for some, but surely not for the length and depth that a great novel can accomplish.

Hollywood has tried, and will continue to do their very best to capture the emotions of a great story. But their task in my opinion is as near to impossible as attaining life on Mars in the next decade. It is often said that imitation is the best form of flattery. Hollywood puts forth immense resources to imitate the entertainment which a book brings. That is perhaps evidence enough how much better a great book is compared to even the best movie.


Top 7 Tips For Immediate Gout Pain Relief


When you have guidelines and pointers as to how to make something happen, virtually any task becomes easier. And when you have help like this, you are much more likely to succeed with that task.

Many people consider the number 7 to be a lucky number — a number that brings good fortune. Now with the lucky number 7 foremost in mind, I give you my top 7 tips for immediate gout pain relief…

1. Drink Plenty of Water – At Least 3 Litres per Day.

This is very important because water can help your kidneys flush excess uric acid out of your system. Plus, water helps to prevent the formation of urate crystals which cause your gout pain.

Not doing this could mean that you are continually dehydrated, and a dehydrated body is more prone to gout. So drink lots of water for fast pain relief.

2. Eat Lots of Cherries.

This too is important because cherries have natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are known to be able to reduce inflammation, and, lower uric acid levels in your body.

Eat between 30 and 40 every 4 hours or so during a gout attack.

3. Change to a Low-Purine Diet.

This is a critical element because purines are chemical compounds in your body and food that, when they break down, produce uric acid which produces the urate crystals that cause your gout.

So you need to avoid high-purine food like meats, seafood, poultry, legumes and some vegetables like cauliflower, mushrooms and asparagus. And avoid alcohol, especially beer.

4. Use Herbal Remedies.

Another significant point is to utilise the natural healing powers of herbs like, alfalfa, bilberry, black cohosh, burdoch, buchu, etc. These can reduce inflammation, lower uric acid and help to dissolve urate crystals.

Talk to your local herbalist for information more appropriate to your case.

5. Drink Baking Soda in Water.

Pay particular attention to this step: because it can be a very fast way to relieve gout pain and symptoms. Baking soda can dissolve crystals, and, help your body excrete uric acid better.

Mix a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a large glass of water (8 oz) and drink 1 glass before bed, 1 in the morning, then 1 every 2 to 4 hours during the day. Repeat until your symptoms have abated.

Note: Baking soda is very high in sodium, so if you suffer from high blood pressure talk to your doctor before using this tip. In any case, all users need to change to a salt-free diet while taking it.

6. Take Supplements.

Another important element is this one of not having enough of the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are missing from many present day diets, especially when on a low-purine diet.

Think about vitamin B complex, bromelain, fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin E, etc. Check with your doctor of course.

7. Drink Celery Seed Tea / Infusion.

The reason why this is important is that celery seeds contain many different types of anti-inflammatory properties.

To make the tea just boil 1 tablespoon of the seeds in 2 cups of water until soft. Strain, then drink a 1/2 cup, 4 times a day until your symptoms have gone.

Note: Because celery seeds are a diuretic, don’t use this remedy if you’re pregnant or have any kidney dysfunction.

Follow these tips for immediate gout pain relief and you can expect success, with all its benefits. In the event you omit or ignore any one of these, you risk getting poorer results than you may otherwise expect. Others have succeeded with these 7 tips for immediate gout pain relief and so can you!

Now whilst these are 7 great tips for fast pain relief, you also have to consider what happens between attacks; what you need to do to prevent future attacks…

And this is very important because frequently recurring gout attacks can leave you with permanently damaged joints and kidney problems such as excruciating kidney stones, down the line. Plus, once having had a gout attack, you’re now far more likely to have more.


The 5 Best Trip Hop Songs Ever (In My Arrogant Opinion)


The best trip hop songs change from day to day and person to person, but there are a few standouts that seem to be withstanding the test of time. Any list of great trip hop has to have big names like Massive Attack, Portishead, and Boards of Canada, but what about Radiohead?

Wait, Radiohead? Well, okay, they aren’t really known for their trip hop music, but Zero 7 certainly pushed the 1997 track “Climbing Up the Walls” into the hit category by remixing it (and put themselves on the world’s radar in the process).

So what are the best songs in the trip hop category then? It’s always debatable, but here are five to consider.

  • “Unfinished Sympathy” (Massive Attack) – It’s a bit of a toss-up between this one and “Teardrop.” Really, anything put out by Massive Attack can give any other track of theirs a run for its money, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. Still, this remains one of their most popular tracks to this day.
  • “Sour Times” (Portishead) – Just three years later, Portishead came out with this track, which is a bit mindblowing and absolutely satisfying to listen to. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear Gibbons repeating the sad words, “Nobody loves me, it’s true”? It’s enough to make anyone cry.
  • “The State Of The Union” (Thievery Corporation) – Another one of my favorites, Thievery Corporation has rarely failed to please fans. This particular track brought a spirit of protest to the album (along with one more song). Downtempo protest music is both welcome and heartwarming in an age where punk rock and folk have something like a monopoly on the genre.
  • “Rue The Whirl” (Boards of Canada) – This title is a fun play on words – or rather, on sounds, and electronic music is all about sounds when you think about it. Fun fact: it was used by Mercedes Benz for a commercial in 2007. No wonder. It’s great music to listen to in the car on a long road trip… or between errands.
  • “Climbing Up The Walls (Zero 7 Remix)” (Radiohead) – Here’s the oddball in the bunch, but I do think this track deserves some credit. Zero 7 is a pretty awesome band anyway, but mixing Radiohead bumped them up even higher, in my opinion. By the way, they also remixed Lenny Kravitz and Lambchop before they ever released an EP or album with original music under their own group name.


Ballroom Dancing – The International Standards


Ballroom Dancing describes partner dances, performed socially or competitively, with prescribed specific movements. It evokes a sense of mystique and elegance if performed socially and of energy and passion when performed competitively.

The word “ball” in Ballroom Dancing comes from not the child’s toy but from the Latin word “ballare” meaning to dance. It forms the bases for the words ballet (a dance,) ballerina (a dancer) and ballroom (a room for dancing). Ballroom Dancing was very popular among the English upper class during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, where it referred to almost any type of recreation dancing. By the early 20th century, as it caught the interest of the working class, the term become narrower in scope, with many of the dances dropping out of favour as being ‘historical’ or ‘folk’ dances.

By the early 1920’s a number of dance societies in both England and America began to offer regulated competitive Ballroom Dancing. They promoted a number of standard dances, with some basic movements that dancers could confidently perform with any partner they might meet. The highly influential Imperial Society of Dance Teachers (later, the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) formed a Ballroom Branch which was instrumental in developing standard dancing styles, which later formed the basis for the International dance standards.

Currently, the term Ballroom Dancing refers to the International Standard dances, which are currently regulated by the WDC (World Dance Council). The International standard comprises the following five dances: the Modern Waltz (also known as the ‘slow’ or the ‘English’ waltz); the Viennese Waltz; the Slow Foxtrot; the Tango; the Quickstep.

Sometimes, the term Ballroom Dancing also includes the International Latin style dances, which include: the Samba; the Rumba; the Paso Doble; the Cha-Cha; the Jive.

Both, Modern Ballroom and Latin American Ballroom, dancing styles are well standardized for teaching purposes with a set, internationally recognized vocabulary, technique, rhythm and tempo. The dancing postures for International Latin style varies from dance to dance: some dances require using closed hold, some require partners holding each other with only one hand, few dances require a line of dance and a number of dances have the routines performed on pretty much a single spot.

For the International standard Ballroom dances, the posture requirement is a closed hold (5 points of contact between dancers) during varied tempo (beats per minute) and rhythm (structure). With a set line of dance, this posture provides a very elegant look as the couple floats across the dance floor.


Motorcycle Safety – What You Need to Know – Book Review


Today, I have a steel rod in my femur bone from a motorcycle accident, and I am reminded of the famous saying that motorcyclists often cite “there are those who have been down, and those who will.” And what that means is there are those who have been in motorcycle accidents, and those that will in the future, and those are the only two types of motorcycle riders, and there is not a third type.

When you are young and restless, you think it can’t happen to you, and those who are very careful on motorcycles also sometimes feel that they are safe, or immune from accidents. Don’t kid yourself. Nevertheless, if you want to survive an accident, or prevent most of them from happening to you, then you need to be 100% into motorcycle riding safety – and you should probably read up on this topic, as well as practice the safety skills which you learn.

Indeed, to help you with this, there’s a very good booklet that I would like to recommend to you, and it is one that sits on my bookshelf at home, even though currently I do not own a motorcycle. The name of the booklet is;

“Motorcycle Rider Course – Reading and Street Skills” (student work book), by the MSF Motorcycle Safety Foundation, (2000) Eighteenth Printing.

As you can see since this booklet has been printed for 18 years straight, it is obviously a much needed book. Luckily, it is very easy to read, and it is broken into chapters which discuss the joy of motorcycle riding, preventive maintenance, and controlling a motorcycle. There are also chapters on attitude and being in the proper state of mind, along with the reasoning behind wearing helmets, leather jackets, and other safety gear.

There is also information on inspecting your motorcycle and I believe this is important just as if you were preflight an airplane. Many injuries happen when a motorcycle is barely moving, or is sitting still. There is a right way and wrong way to get onto a motorcycle and to dismount. It’s even more critical when taking passengers. In this booklet you learn about turning, stopping, shifting, visibility, street strategies, and more advanced maneuvering.

There are also warnings about alcohol and drug use and proper etiquette around other motorcycle riders. This section I think everyone should read is the one about special writing situations, such as carrying cargo, passengers, riding on black ice, or in windy or rainy conditions. Trust me, if you ride a motorcycle you need to pay attention to stay alive. Please consider all this.


Advantages of the New Jordan Shoes From Nike


Jordan shoes are a specific shoe line from the world leader in sports goods manufacturing and brand, Nike. These shoes were started as an ode to the legendary basketball player Michael Jordan.

The advantages of this over other popular shoe brands are as follows. If you are a basketball player then you need a shoe that will provide some comfort when you make quick cuts or dodges in the game. If your shoes are not comfortable, then you may lose control and slip eventually leading to a fractured ankle, wrist or leg. It will provide a comfort and assure you have the right grip throughout the game thus making you stable.

The importance of your weight depends on the type of game. And for your information, basketball is also considered a cardiovascular exercise. It is considered that the lighter the shoes, shoes, the more weight, the better the quality, more will it prevent any injuries. It will definitely provide all this. If your shoes have less accessibility to the soles of your feet and the ankle, then injuries like sprain, fracture and their probabilities are almost one hundred percent. It has tremendous traction, on both forefoot and heel. They are designed in such a way that it prevents ankle sprain or fracture. This is the best feature of Jordan shoes and one of the most important aspects of shoe making.

There are many brands of shoes, which are cheap in price or may be the expensive type, which enhance the brand image. But whether these shoes lend comfort and durability is a big question. Therefore, you need to select the brand properly to achieve all the desired standards and durability. It has everything a sports person looks for in a sporting shoe. Some Popular versions of the Jordan Shoes are: Air Jordan XX3, Air Jordan 2009, Air Jordan 2010, Air Jordan Dub Zeros, Air Jordan Fusions, Air Jordan IX Air Force One Fusion and Jordan Sixty Plus.


Teen Relationships


Before I start to talk about teen relationships I feel I have to make a clarification. Many people when they think of the word relationship, automatically equate it to love or sexual relationship. According to the general definition of relationship this is any connection between two or more elements and these elements can be anything from chemical substances to human beings. So from this definition it is simple to deduct the meaning of this word applied to human beings. A teen relationship can be any kind of relationship

  1. between teens of the same gender
  2. between teens of the opposite gender, like boyfriend girlfriend relationships
  3. between teens and other persons of the same or different gender and different age.

The quality of these relationships can also vary, but there are two kinds of teenager relationships I’m going to talk about here;

  • teen friendships and
  • teen love relationships

Teen Friendships

This kind of teenager relationship will fit into all three categories above. It can exist between a teenager and other persons of same or different gender and age. A good friend – no matter age or gender – is one of the best things you can have on this earth. A really good friend that is special to you and means much to you. A person that is always there for you.

Many successful love relationships has started with friendship and this is probably the reason for it’s success. The better you know the other person, the better you’ll go along with him or her and in a long lasting love relationship – as man and woman – your appreciation of your partner as a friend will mean much more than anything else. If we look at it from the other end, it seems much more difficult to build a friendship from a love or sexual relationship. In fact, I have not heard about it, maybe you have but the point is that a good friendship is always good to have both as a basis of a future love relationship and as a friendship by itself.

A teenage friendship can exist between anyone no matter what gender, age, race, background or whatever. A 13 year old girl and a 50 year old man can have a great and even lifelong friendship together as well as two teenagers of the same gender.

Teen love relationships

While you can talk quite frankly and straight forward in a friendship most of us are more aware of not hurting the partner in a love relationship. This can evolve to a degree of lies and even no communication at all just to protect your partner.

There are also more mutual expectations in a love relationship and more intimate emotions are involved than in a good friendship. A teen love relationship can be great and long lasting but if there is no basis of friendship in it the probability of sustaining it is significantly lower. There are some legally defined limitations with regards to who can go into a teen love or sexual relationship. It is illegal for people of 18 years and above to have a sexual relation to a minor but It is definitely not illegal to have older friends.

A good friendship is one of the best gifts God has provided our lives with and even if you marry the sweetest boy or girl in the world, neither of you will be happy if you aren’t good friends.


Living Frugally on Disability Income


Living frugally on disability income is a necessity that brings the reward of being able to live on your own. Being a wheelchair user or having another disability does not mean independent living is out of grasp. By carefully managing your money and taking advantage of the government programs available, life can be comfortable in your own apartment.

Living frugally does not mean going without the things you want. It would be boring and not much fun if we only had our needs. You can also obtain many of the things you desire. First, let’s go through some of the government programs and local programs available.

Social Security benefits may be the majority of your income, but they can be enough by living frugally. If you are able enough to work, there are jobs out there. Working has many benefits besides the money. Having a set schedule gives you the feeling of purpose in life. This is a great self esteem booster. Even if working is not possible, by living frugally you can live on your own.

Local Public Housing Agencies have a voucher system commonly called Section 8 to assist with the cost of renting a home or apartment. Although there is often a long waiting list, this benefit is substantial and necessary for living frugally. Section 8 allows you to choose the housing within certain guidelines. Once approved, your rental cost is generally 30% of your income, but is often as low as 10% of your income. What a savings!

Some states and communities offer discount utility rates for low-income families, disabled people or senior citizens. State Park and local entertainment facilities may offer discounts.

The Food Stamp program can help supplement you budget. Although the amount of assistance for which you qualify may be small, living frugally means finding every penny you can to improve your finances. Use your food budget carefully by shopping the sales and discount grocers. Less processed foods are cheaper, so do more cooking and save for that special food you want to splurge on. Follow the waste not, want not concept. Cook more than you need for one meal, then you have leftovers or freeze a portion or two for times you don’t feel like cooking. Eliminating the need to get fast food or order out not only is healthier but also helps in living frugally and being able to afford little luxuries. Save by eating just one meal at home and you may be able to buy that CD you wanted or save up that money and buy a new stereo.

Surround yourself with friends. What a lift to your day when a friend comes to visit! Consider entertaining a group of friends. Having a cookout or inviting friends to watch a game or a movie builds social relationships. Serving something simple, even just snacks and a drink, will be remembered. By making it your purpose to make someone else’s day special, your bond of friendship becomes greater. Who else will you call when you need some help? Living frugally sometimes means you need to rely on friends to help fix something or give you a ride, so be there for them. You might also be able to trade with them. They may have something they no longer need or something the bought in the wrong size. You may have a nice watch that you would not miss. Making a trade gives both of you new items with no out of pocket money adding to both living frugally and strengthening your relationship.

Being careful with your money means taking advantage of free and cheap outings. Going window shopping, to a park or buying items at a flea market are great activities. Save up for that special occasion or event and you will see that you can have a full life by living frugally.


Consumer Fireworks Reviews – The Good, Bad and Ugly


Fireworks for Sale, we’ve all seen the signs. Blaring out saying come on in, we have just what you’re looking for. As we drive around and it gets to be summertime or close to the holiday’s like July 4th, fireworks tents start popping up everywhere. The signage along the roadway says Black Cat Fireworks Sold Here, you cannot miss that one. Black Cat is a known brand that has been around for years. Another sign comes to mind “Excalibur” with a picture of the sword which is hard to miss. Now that is a good one to expound on. An individual that does not know what “Excalibur” really is, would probably not put the two together. “World’s Number One Selling Artillery Shells”, it’s an aerial canister shell that is loaded one at a time in what is known as a shoot tube. One of the biggest Eye catchers out there today is the, “Buy One, Get One Free” signs. Is it really a buy one, get one free program? Or did they double the price to make you believe that you are getting something extra when you buy from them. Well we shopped that program and will fill you in on the details a little later on in this article. Other firework stores advertise up to 65% off, but what they didn’t tell you is, a large amount must be purchased. How many thousand of dollars must you spend to get that 65% off. Yes, these are all tricks of the trade, preying on those who only come out and shop for fireworks once or twice a year. Are there really good buys on fireworks? The answer is “YES”.

For those of you who would like to shop from the comfort of your home or office, where to buy fireworks online really is the cat’s meow. The best fireworks to buy for the true pyro enthusiast are the aerial devices. Starting with the canister or artillery shells. These shells are a “must have” for those who are looking for the biggest fireworks you can buy. Each shell has a different effect when it explodes in the air. Most good canister shell will travel up to 200 + feet in the air. That is about as high as a twenty story building. There are several great canister shells on the market today. Of course “Excalibur” clearly advertises they are the best shell on the market. There are several firework stores online that carry high quality canister shells, you can always buy them anytime of the year.

On our list are multiple shot aerial repeater cakes. These item are made with a series of tubes loaded with pyrotechnics components with different effects or multiple shots of the same effects. It’s kinda like a fireworks show in one package. You light one fuse, and let the show begin. Fireworks cakes come in various sizes. Most popular for consumer fireworks is the small but mighty, 200 Gram cake. These are the small fries in the aerial category of fireworks. They work great for the beginning of your fireworks display or when added into a finale. There are many to choose from on the market today. Some with flying fish, whistles, peonies, crackles and more.

The big boys in consumer fireworks would have to be the 500 Gram cakes. These fireworks make the show happen. The must haves at the end of your show. The big ones, are the two and 3 inch cakes. Most of them only have eight or nine shots in the cake, and they rock. These fireworks cakes are loaded with the maximum load allowed for consumers by law. When shopping fireworks stores online you will find many to choose from in this category, and the lowest prices are available online. Still a bit pricey, but for a successful display, it’s required.

In the maybe category you may want to place what is called, “tracer candles” at the beginning of your fireworks display. These are an awesome addition to any small show and the crowd seems to love them. Roman candles are only a maybe for most displays.

Last, but not least, are items like smoke effects, punks, colored sparklers, really not intended for a fireworks display, but a great way for the kids to enjoy the start of what is about to come when the “show begins”.