Cornel’s "Normative Gaze" Theory

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Cornel defines the idea of the “Normative Gaze” by using relation between historic background providing the ideals of beauty and the facts of white supremacy.  The ideals of beauty are those which seem to be deeply rooted in plainness, symmetry and what eventually came to be considered “normal.”  This production of normality through art and literature Cornel endeavors to show goes beyond just the proportion of body and structure of face but it in fact supersedes also into race.

From the literature of Wincklemann-opinionating that Greece houses the ultimate of beauty, to the 1520 Paracelsus claiming that black or primitive people were of separate origin of those of the European nature, to Buffon and Linnaeus who both held position that all races were a variation of one with differences explained by either climate or other chance.  Each analysis provides a comparison between differences, variations and measurements to find some type of normality or position to classify from.

Cornel concurs with Foucalt in his saying that, “Natural history…constitutes a whole domain empiricity as at the same time describable and orderable.” Meaning that it is natural history and therefore natural tendency to classify and organize (in this case human beings).  That classification can certainly come from many different directions but poignantly for our discussion it is simply coming from skin color and ethnicity.

From this Cornel determines is where white supremacy has sprouted-the need and tendency to classify and categorize.  White supremacy then becomes the first actual modern discourse of the modern West producing what can be referred to as the “Normative Gaze.” 

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Private Yacht Charter

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Private yacht charter vacations are not your normal ‘run of the mill’ trips, here we look at some amazing places that your luxury yacht can take you to. This time we are looking Alaska, New England and Greece as destinations for your yacht charter vacation.

Alaska is an unspoilt paradise. The terrain and sea is remote, wild and unforgettable. Glaciers and wildlife can all be seen from the comfort of your yacht. Just imagine the blue glacial water set against the snow capped mountains and an enormous range of wildlife. Humpback whales, sea lions and seals and bald eagles are all there to be seen. The presence of man has caused a strange cultural melange of Indian totem poles and the domed roofs of the Orthodox churches. There was once gold in those mountains too

There was gold in these mountains, on the edge of the Tongass National Forest the Klondike legacy can be found in Wrangell. The North end of the ‘Inside Passage’ is where you will find the Glacier Bay National Park. Here sixteen active tidewater glaciers the awesome force of Mother Nature.

New England and Maine explorations can be done from the deck of your own charter yacht. There is plenty to see if you are chartering a yacht for a week or more. The glacier carved harbors, historical towns and the sea itself are there for you to lap up. From the glorious beaches of The Hamptons to the rugged coastline of Maine this is one trip you will never forget. You can explore the uniqueness of Martha’s Vineyard with your own your own yacht charter. History enthusiasts will love a yacht charter based around Boston and Cape Cod or if you want to ‘people watch’, your charter yacht can stop at Sag Harbour or Shelter Island. And yes, if you want to sail under the Brooklyn Bridge and pass by the Statue of Liberty on your own charter yacht you can.

Greece is steeped in natural beauty and ancient Greek history. If you charter a Greek yacht for a week or more you will not run out of things to see and places to go. The Ionian Islands or the Cyclades, the Dodencanese and the Sporades in the Aegean Sea are popular yacht charter playgrounds. Discovering the Aegean Islands is best done in the early summer to avoid the strong wind called the Meltemi, which can seem relentless. Immersing yourself in the culture and ‘day to day’ life in the small port villages on the Greek Islands is a traditional pastime for visitors to these sun baked islands.

Although yacht charter is really still only available to the rich and wealthy business people of the World, almost anyone can now get a taste of it. Package holiday companies now include yachting holidays as part of their brochure. The companies take out their own yacht charter and the effectively ‘sub let’ a cabin to their clients. By chartering this way they can achieve discounts for bulk buying multiple weeks from the yacht owner.

The freedom and freshness of the open waters is something that cannot be easily described. It must be experienced to get its full effects. The one way to do this is on a yachting holiday. The cost is not as high as you might think but will depend on where you are going and the level of luxury you are expecting. Many people’s expectations of yacht may be no more than a little wooden boat with some sails, but with yacht charter we are talking about something that can be very luxurious indeed. In fact if you are looking for a yacht with sails, some of the most beautiful examples are the gorgeous twin hull catamarans, which have stability beyond belief. Most yacht charters however involve the super extravagant diesel powered yachts, which are more like ships, but quicker.

We call the whole yachting deal an experience because it is so much more than just a means to get from A to B. The experience can scarcely be compared to anything else. The combination of majestic waters and your seclusion, makes this experience very unique to some and sought after by many. If you do find yourself on a luxury yacht, you are a privileged human being and don’t forget it.

To start the process of a luxury yacht charter holiday you will need to make a decision when and where you want to go and make arrangements to get time off work – unless of course it is work. You should decide that this is what you want to do and then follow through with the plan. There are plenty of avenues to consider after this first step. A good idea is look for places that you would like to see and get more information on them, even just choosing which ocean you want to be in is a good first step.

Some of the places that you can consider getting information from are travel agencies, the Internet and brochures. These will all yield excellent information that can guide you in your decision. Compare all the advantages and costs involved and decide on the one that would be the best fit for you and your pocket. For most people the ‘package holiday’ model is going to work best and if your destination is somewhere like the West Indies, there will be bargains to be had for sure.

A private yacht charter could be for you, if you are reading this, then you are obviously half way there. If you still have any reservations, just call one of the companies you can find on Google. Honestly, it really is not beyond your reach, and it could most definitely stand out as one of your best memories for years to come. Remember the first step is a decision and then the next step is to gather information. All that is left to say is “have a good trip”.

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Window Tinting Review – The Truth

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The whole truth is Window Tinting Films do not know the difference between the summer sun and winter sun. The window tinting you use on your windows will help to reflect the infrared rays that are given off inside the building as well as outside. People as well as objects can reflect infrared rays. When considering the warmth inside on a cold winter day, this helps much more than you realize.

The house that has dual pane glass on the windows should be treated with extreme caution before adding window film. This should not be attempted by an amateur. The best way to go about this is to have an installer with a professional background to come and give you an idea of whether there is a coating on your windows that could cause the window tint to heat the glass.

This could cause the window to break and this is why many window manufacturers will not honor a warranty on glass that has been covered with a window film. However, most window film manufacturers will warranty their product against windows breaking due to the film as well as seal damage. This is covered as long as you have allowed a professional to help you select the film that is needed.

When it comes to the safety and durability of Window Tinting the use of the window films of today are made much better than the ones even ten or fifteen years ago. There are some concerns when it comes to scratching but that is not a problem. The use of acrylic today is beneficial in keeping the windows from being scratched. The only thing you should not use on the windows is ammonia because this will damage the acrylic.

Nothing is more pleasant than entering a room in the middle of summer when the temperature is soaring outside and finding a cool oasis. This can be made possible in part by the window tinting you have on your windows. This one minor change can help keep the temperature much lower in your home. By reflecting the heat or absorbing it the window tinting helps your air conditioner to keep your home cool even in the hottest conditions.

The other benefit is helping to keep your home furnishings from becoming faded and having to be replaced. The sun can damage many items in the home including your furniture, floors, carpet and drapes. They will end up with faded areas that ruin your interior furnishings. If it is carpet, there is no need to replace it for the same thing to happen. So what are you left to do but put something over that spot to hide it from view?

The drapes would have to be replaced as well but until you do something about it new ones will end up faded as well. This really only leaves one option. And that is to choose the right Window Tinting to protect your home furnishings. This will save money in more ways than one. You will not have to replace and repair your home due to sun damage and the interior of your home will be cooler or warmer depending on the season.

The bottom line is that window film is vital today to save energy, reduce the damage caused by the sun and save you money by reducing the heat entering your home or business, reducing wear and tear on your cooling system and prolonging the life out of your structures interior.

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Why Do Spots Reappear on Clean Carpets and How Do You Keep That From Happening?

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Why spots keep reappearing on your carpets and what you can do about it.

I know it’s very frustrating when you have cleaned up a spill or a stain and then like an annoying relative it comes back. This is particularly maddening when you have paid a professional carpet cleaner a good bit of money and then the stain comes back.

My name is Michael Carlson and I have been a professional carpet cleaner for over 30 years. Maybe I can help you to understand what is happening when that stain comes back and what you can do about it.

There are two reasons why stains come back.

Residue- residue is what is left over after an incomplete cleaning attempt. This is usually a sticky alkaline cleaning agent that has been left in the carpet and soil is sticking to it. It would be like washing your hair and only rinsing half of the shampoo. Your hair will get dirty twice as fast. Usually what happens on carpets is the homeowner sprays too much alkaline cleaner on a spot and rubs it out. The spot disappears. The homeowner is happy, mission complete, except that a few days later that dirty spot reappears. Sometimes it could be that an alkaline cleaner has spilled on the carpets. Four year old Susie is helping with the laundry and opens the cap and spills two cups of laundry soap on the carpets. There is going to be so much soap in the carpet that you are going to need some expert advice. Or, it has been known to happen that an inexperienced carpet cleaner has left residue in the carpets.

Whatever caused the problems, here are the solutions.

The small residue spot

When you are cleaning up a stain, rule number one is to use the proper cleaning solution. Using the wrong solution can at best be ineffective and at worst damage your carpet. On our website is a page with the best cleaning solutions for different kinds of stains.

When you use an alkaline stain remover, you need to either rinse extremely well or rinse and neutralize the area with an acidic solution to remove any residue. White vinegar in ½ cup to a quart of warm water mixture is a good acidic cleaning solution that will remove the residue. Pour some of the vinegar solution on the spot and blot dry.Use the vinegar after you have rinsed out the spot thoroughly.

The large volume soap spill

If you have spilled a large volume of an alkaline cleaning solution then you are going to need to get a little more aggressive.

Rent a portable steam cleaner. Make sure it has a hose attachment for cleaning upholstery. Using two cups of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water fill up the tank of the carpet cleaning machine. Spray down the “soapy” area and then extract with the machine. Do this over and over and over until there is no more “soap” coming out of the carpet. Be aware that because the soap foams up your machine will fill with foam quickly. If you suck up a little bit of straight vinegar every few times you extract, this will help to keep the foam down.

The carpet cleaner left residue

If a carpet cleaner leaves residue in your carpets then call them up and ask them to come and fix the problem. If not hen you will either need to call a better professional or if you clean yourself then you can follow the same procedure shown above except you will be cleaning a bigger area. Use the vinegar or better yet purchase an acidic neutralizing solution from your local carpet cleaning supply store. Clean the carpets just as you would as if you had put an alkaline solution in the machine. You may have to go slow and be very thorough.

Wicking

The other and much more common cause of spots reappearing is called wicking. If a spill or stain goes down deep into the fibers and particularly if it goes through the backing to the padding under the carpet it is going to be really hard to clean that spot out. What you see as the stain on the top of the carpet is kind of like the tip of the iceberg. You can clean up that part visible on the surface but a part of the remaining hidden stain wicks up to take its place. This does not happen immediately, it takes hours or even days. The stain needs to be moist to do this, which why certain types of stains like oil stains will come back easily. One of the biggest headaches for professional carpet cleaners is when after deep cleaning a carpet, a stain that was in the backing and we did not even know was present wicks up to the surface after we leave. Any stain that is bigger than about the size of a hand is one that could sink down to the backing and wick back up later.

The answers to wicking

If you are cleaning a larger spill after you have gone through the cleaning process and while the spot is still damp, take a white cotton rag folded several times and place over the stain. Place a piece of plastic of the cloth and then stack several heavy hardcover books on this. The stain will wick up through the carpet fibers and into the white cloth. Then re-clean the remaining spot on the carpet surface. With large spots you may have to do this several times.

Large volume spills

Certain types of large volume spills or stains might require that you pull up the carpet and remove the padding. The padding is just a big sponge and without special professional carpet cleaning tools you will not be able to remove stains from the padding through the carpet. The easiest thing to do is to simply cut out the stained padding and replace it with new. If there is a stain also on the sub flooring you will need to clean that and then paint the floor with sealer paint like kilz.

The Water Claw

A professional carpet cleaner may have a tool called a Water Claw which is a tool that allows cleaners using van mount steam cleaning systems to extract many types of stains from the padding right through the carpets.

Encapsulation

A process that is helpful with wicking is called encapsulation. Encapsulation products create minute crystals that absorb the stain when it begins to wick up top the surface. These crystals dry to a fine invisible powder that you vacuum up during your next regular vacuuming.

You can ask your local carpet cleaning supply store about these products and how to use them.

I hope this article helps you if you find yourself having spots that reappear.

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Need A Rain Umbrella? What You Need To Know Before Your Next Purchase

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In the good old days, if you needed an umbrella, you would wind up with a long stick umbrella. And it would be black. But in recent years there have been several recent innovations and amazing feats of engineering applied to the age old rain umbrella.

Perhaps the most dramatic option for an umbrella is the method of opening. Manual umbrellas are opened and closed by sliding the ring up and down the shaft, at the whim of the user. There have been, for several years now, automatic umbrellas which would pop open at the push of a button, located on the handle. These spring-loaded umbrellas are really handy and can usually open faster than a traditional manual umbrella. Even more recently some ingenious engineers have discovered how to manufacture umbrellas which automatically open and close. These are the ultimate in convenience. A word of caution, being complex mechanical machines, automated umbrellas occasionally will break and become either stuck open or stuck closed. If you wish to take advantage of an automatic umbrella, I recommend getting a higher quality umbrella with a lifetime warranty.

The next amazing innovation for the modern umbrella is the double canopy. This design features overlapping slits in the canopy, the theory being that wind can flow through these slits rather than being captured by the canopy and forcing the umbrella to invert. (Inverting is usually the best sign that you need a new umbrella.) There are many different variations to the double canopy, but in essence they all work the same, and can mitigate damage to this valuable accessory. Most umbrellas with double canopies have been found to withstand winds up to 50 mph (80 kph.) Indeed, if your double canopy umbrella becomes inverted, it’s time to seek immediate shelter and get indoors!

Another option to consider is whether to get a traditional stick umbrella or a folding umbrella. Folding umbrellas are also marketed as compact or ultra compact. The shaft of these umbrellas telescopes out when opened and can provide adequate coverage for individuals, while collapsing down to less than a foot in length for convenient carrying. Traditional stick umbrellas, though certainly bulkier, are also going to be more durable.

The material used for the canopy for an umbrella is worth mentioning. Most umbrellas are manufactured from nylon because of its durability as well as being freely available and cost effective. Pongee (pronounced “Ponj”) is a type of silk cloth. It is rare to find umbrellas made exclusively from Pongee, but you are likely to find Poly-Pongee. This polyester and silk combination is more widely used, and due to the silk content is a little more costly. The advantage to poly-pongee is that it is a lighter weight fabric. You will also find some select umbrellas made from a polyester canopy. Each of these fabrics have been found to provide superior protection from both the sun and rain. Of note for custom imprinting, nylon tends to hold and reflect imprints better. If you are considering putting a logo on an umbrella, it would be best to do so using a nylon canopy.

Do you like to golf in the rain? Umbrella manufacturers often produce purpose built golf umbrellas which are characterized by a larger than average size canopy (typically with 62 or 68 inch arcs,) a longer that usual traditional stick shaft, and finally a straight handle. Golf umbrellas also come in a very large variety as far as colors and patterns. Golf umbrellas have become popular among not just golf clients as they also work well for families.

Another large umbrella to consider are the Doorman Umbrellas, which are purpose built for commercial use by hotels and apartments. Doorman umbrellas are similar to golf umbrellas with the two exceptions that they usually feature a traditional J shaped handle, and come in a limited number of color options. Doorman umbrellas are also well engineered for durability and make a perfect umbrella for families as well.

For the commuter or business worker there are several travel umbrellas. These are compact folding umbrellas which include a convenient carry case or other pouch. Some even incorporate loops and straps so that the umbrella can be carried on ones back like a backpack.

Under the moniker of fashion umbrellas there are several models of umbrellas which are meant to make a personal statement or even match for coordinated apparel. There are few fast rules for fashion umbrellas, and you will find a wide range as far as quality and durability is concerned. When selecting a fashion umbrella (as opposed to a “fad” umbrella) consider using a reputable umbrella company who will endorse their products with a warranty.

In recent years, your options have really expanded as far as purchasing an umbrella.

Before you put money down, it is important to consider your lifestyle and your individual use for an umbrella. Once you understand what features you require in an umbrella, it then becomes a simple exercise in finding the umbrella which best suits you. If you have some trouble finding that perfect umbrella, consulting with umbrella experts like those found at UmbrellasAndBeyond.com can save you time and money in your hunt for appropriate rain protection.

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Buying a Gazebo – How to Install a Gazebo on Grass

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Building a gazebo in your garden or backyard is a really great idea, but what if you are worried about installing that gazebo properly? Is it difficult to build a gazebo on a grass surface so that it is safe and secure? If this thought is worrying you, and perhaps stopping you from taking the plunge and getting a summer house, then read on.

Installing a gazebo on grass is easy, straightforward and really not difficult – anybody can do it. Although it helps to know how, to have a little patience and to plan ahead.

Planning Comes First

Before starting any installation of this kind it is wise to check that it will not need planning or building permits from your local Building Department. Gazebos are usually permitted without any formal permits but it is better to check first rather than be sorry afterwards. If you do need to apply for a permit then you will need to prepare a simple drawing of the proposed structure.

Now to the planning stage. Buying a gazebo, either fully assembled or in kit form, requires some preparation of the site. The delivery truck will need access, of course, and it might pay to let your neighbors know what you are going to do. Check that there are no electricity or water lines close to where you will install the gazebo, because you are going to dig down two or three feet for the support footings. And clear away bushes, stones and any other obstacles that might get in the way during the installation.

Building A Gazebo On Grass

The principle of installing a gazebo on grass is little different to any other surface. The structure will be supported on a number of solid footings, normally made from concrete, sunk into the ground to a suitable depth. You can accommodate a reasonably bumpy surface, if necessary, by making the supports high enough for the gazebo floor to clear the ground. In fact a gazebo is a great way of using a grass area that is not really suitable for making into a lawn.

Footings

The number of footings is determined by the number of sides of the summer house. One of the most popular gazebo designs is a hexagonal structure, for which you will need 6 main footings (one at each corner). If the gazebo is more than about 5 feet across you should also install a central footing. In any case your gazebo or kit should come with instructions about the number of supports needed.

Your gazebo will probably have posts at each corner which will need to rest on, and be attached to, these footings. Attachment systems vary but the normal way is to embed a post anchor into the top of each footing at the time you pour the concrete. The gazebo corner posts will be bolted to these anchors once the concrete has set. About 5 days is usually sufficient.

Each footing needs to be deep enough to start below the frost line in your garden, unless you are lucky enough to live in a permanently warm area! This could be as little as two feet or as much as four. If unsure about this just ask your Building Department – they will be happy to oblige with any information you might need. I have always found these people to be very helpful if you involve them early enough in any building project, by the way.

Marking Out

First stage in the installation is the marking out of the footing positions. Do this with wooden markers or pegs at each position, at the exact center of the eventual footing. Your gazebo plans that come with the kit should show you quite clearly where the footings should be positioned.

Making The Supports

These footings – or piers, as they are sometimes called – should be made of concrete, which you can buy in ready-mixed form from your local DIY store. You just have to add the water. And you might be surprised by the quantity (and weight!) of concrete required – but don’t forget that this is what is going to support quite a heavy structure.

You will mold the concrete to the correct shape and depth in the hole by using a former. If you decide on footings with a square cross-section then simply line each hole with four planks (any scrap timber will do) to the correct depth and with widths equal to the width of the footing sides. Once the concrete has set just tap the planks lightly to separate them from the concrete and then lift them out. Then fill any gaps around the footing with earth and stamp it down thoroughly.

If you prefer to have footings with a round cross-section then you can buy tubular formers made from a degradable fiber. Home Depot sells these if you want to check them out. I have also known people to use cardboard tubes that they have obtained from their local carpet supply shop.

Dig the hole to the required depth, line it with the former then prepare the concrete mix – usually just by adding water and mixing thoroughly. Pour the concrete into the former, adding the post anchor at the top. When all the footings have been poured check that the post anchors are all level with each other and in the correct positions.

Final Adjustments

It is worth taking plenty of time and care to get this bit right, because the gazebo floor needs to be absolutely level and properly supported. Once the concrete has set it will be too late to make any adjustments…

And that’s all there is to it. The job is actually much simpler to do than to describe!

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Why Do Muscles Only Pull And Not Push

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Muscles are essential to the normal operation of your body because they help you control movement and posture. You use them every day, without fail, because without them, you would not be able to exert force on what you are doing. By adjusting the length of the muscle, also the tension, your muscles are able to contract.

You have three different types of muscles-the cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and skeletal muscle. These muscle types control the whole of your body. The cardiac muscle manages the blood flow, oxygen, and electric signals, because it is responsible for the beating of your heart. Your cardiac muscle functions involuntarily and so you have nothing to do about it. The smooth muscle pulls the hollow structures of your body, which is also an involuntary action. And of course, the skeletal muscle, which comprises the most muscles of your body, supports your entire body. You need these muscles because without them, you would not be able to move, you would just be immobile.

Many people are confused as to how muscles work. In fact, muscles can only pull or contract (and not push). Every day, muscles work in pairs in order for a person to bend, pick things up, and do a lot of things. In doing these things, a muscle inside the body lengthens, and the other shortens. The one that shortens is the one that contracts, also called as the agonist. While the muscle that lengthens is called as the antagonist. Well, the muscles are designed to only contract, and not to push. This is why muscles cannot push.

The muscles would not be able to pull if the two protein molecules are not present: the actin and myosin. These two are arranged from the end to end of muscle cells, and so they provide the muscles striated appearance. Muscles help the joints in order for you to move, and also perform other actions as well and transmit it to other parts of the body, so you can achieve what you want to do.

Muscles contract or pull when an electrical impulse from a part of your body, say the brain or other organs, stimulates the muscle at the neuronal synapse. The electrical impulse then becomes a chemical signal, which results at the neuron’s terminal, while it activates the chemical signal by releasing neurotransmitters.

There are just so many things to learn about muscles. You have to maintain them, do your best to protect yourself so that you would be strong in the long run. Of course, you need to understand why your muscles contract because you use them in your everyday life. To learn more about muscles, have a chat with your local manual therapist, such as your trusted osteopath or physiotherapist.

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How to Train Cats to Use a Cat Door Or Ring a Bell to Be Let Inside

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If you have an outdoor cat you may hope to learn how to train cats to use a cat door or how to ring a bell so that you realize they are ready to come in.

I realize that there are times when I let my cats outside that I may get busy and forget to check on them so I found a way for them to let me know that they are at the door all set to come inside. I live in an area that is too cold for a cat door (I have one going to the basement where the cat litter boxed are located) so I chose to find a way for them to signal me to open the door, something we wanted because of the extreme cold we at times go through here.

Here is a very simple way for training your cats to let you know when they want to be let inside.

Simply take a small bell, one that is loud enough for you to hear, and swing it from a string right outside the door. Make certain to show this to your cat numerous times and if you need to you can even add some catnip to the bell to appeal to your cats.

You can obtain a bell at any craft store for practically nothing. Using several small bells might even do better for you or your cat. Tie the bell or bells to a cord that hangs down low enough for your cat to reach easily and then also attach a catnip toy or use catnip spray to attract your cat.

When ever the cat rings the bell to come in, you will want to give them a cat treat to let them know that they have done something worth rewarding. If your cat doesn’t take to the bell straight away, you may have to keep showing it to them to get them interested and sooner or later they will learn that you will come to the door to let them in when they ring the bell.

In the beginning, you might need to keep showing them the bell every time they go out or come in so that they begin to connect the bell with the door being opened for them. You might even want to begin with a bell inside the house for when they want to go outside and this will help them to learn more quickly that ringing the bell means that the door will be opened.

While I realize there will be times that you may not open the door just because you are not there or for any number of reasons, your cat will still start to connect the bell with the door being opened.

If you live someplace where you can put in a cat door, this is one more choice you can use to let your cat go in and out when ever they want to. This will also depend on what other animals you may have in the home. One more reason I choose not to have a cat door that leads outside, is I have a cat that can go outside but she is edgy and I have be there to baby sit when she goes out so that she doesn’t get scared and take off.

Although you can purchase a cat door at any pet store, you can also just make one yourself if you are good at creating stuff. We put the cat door to our basement in ourselves, simply by cutting a small hole at the bottom of the door and putting a piece of plastic across it that they could easily walk through.

If you wish to put in a cat door that goes outside, make sure you know what size you need to have for you cat to be able to fit comfortably through the opening. While a cat that is used to going outside all the time will most likely figure out quickly how to make use of the cat door, you may also need to know how to train cats to use this new door as well.

This ought to be a fairly straightforward process. One of the ways you can train your cat to use this door is to keep it open and use a toy to tempt your cat to go through from one side to the other. It should only take a couple of times of doing this before your cat is aware that they can go in and out as they please.

Once they have gone in and out a couple of times you will want to show them how to use the door by themselves when it is closed and you can use the same process to do this. You may perhaps choose to use food to attract your cat to walk through the door and help them to push through the first few times but a lot of cats will take to this process pretty quickly if they really want to be able to get outside.

With persistence and affection you can learn how to train cats to do just about everything.

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The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Paramedic

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Choosing to become a paramedic is a great decision. As a paramedic, you play a critical part in helping to save lives during an emergency situation. However, the job of an advanced emergency medical technician is not all sunshine and roses. As with any job, there are pros and cons to entering this emergency medical services field. Below, you will find some common pros and cons associated with becoming a paramedic.

To get things started, here are some of the pros to being a paramedic.

Helping Others: This by far can be considered the number one pro to becoming a paramedic. You are directly involved with helping someone else. Often times, you are helping to save the life of someone you don’t even know. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’re making a difference to a person who is potentially having the worst day of their life.

Good Pay and Job Outlook: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment as an EMT and paramedic is expected to grow by about 33 percent between now and the year 2020. This is much faster than other occupations. Paramedics earn more money than basic EMTs. Your salary is commensurate with the level of education and experience you have. As you gain more in both knowledge and training, you can expect your pay to also increase.

Easy of Entry: In order to become a paramedic, it is not required that you go to college. In most cases, you simply need to be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma. After that, you have a number of options as to how you obtain your formal training in order to become eligible to sit for and pass the state administered paramedic exam.

Now, let’s look at some of the cons of deciding to pursue a career as a paramedic.

Lack of Sleep: As a paramedic, you may be required to work long hours. As a result, you may end up working a shift where you are on the clock for 24 hours, and then off for 48 hours. Chances are, you’re going to end up needing to be awake for those full 24 hours too because you might not always get the opportunity to sleep through the night.

Not So Nice Patients: Let’s face it, as a paramedic you are more than likely going to come into contact with people who are not having the greatest day. Patients and their family members, as a result of being involved in an emergency situation, might speak to you in language that is offensive and/or rude. In extreme situations, you may even be the target of someone’s attempt to assault you, all because of the stress that an emergency situation can cause.

Risk for Work Related Injuries and Illnesses: As a result of all of the bending, lifting, and kneeling that you’ll be frequently doing, you are at risk for suffering from a work-related injury and/or illness. You may be spit on or come into contact with a patient’s vomit. As an advanced EMT, you might come into contact with persons who are infected with diseases like hepatitis-B or AIDS.

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In Broad Daylight – Who Killed Ken McElroy?

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The killing of Ken Rex McElroy could well be the hottest cold case on record. On the morning of July 10, 1981, he was shot to death as he sat in his pickup on the main street of Skidmore, Missouri. Forty-five townspeople witnessed the killing. All denied seeing the shooters. After three grand juries and an eight-month FBI investigation, no one was indicted. Twenty-five years later, still no one has been charged with the murder.

In December 2006, St. Martins re-released In Broad Daylight, the story of McElroy’s incredible reign of terror in northwest Missouri, his killing, and the aftermath. The new epilogue contains startling information about the identity of McElroy’s killers and the killing itself.

In the spring of 2006, I obtained unprecedented access to the state police and FBI files on the killing. The files contain a hand-written statement from an eyewitness which corroborates in detail McElroy’s wife’s identification of Del Clement as the first shooter. The statement also identified, for the first time, Gary Dowling, a local farmer, as the second shooter. The statement is detailed and convincing. Interestingly, the eyewitness appeared at the sheriff’s office the following day in the company of Del Clement’s lawyer and recanted the statement. Despite this, the statement, combined with Trena’s identification, stands as convincing evidence of the identity of the shooters.

The files also dispel a great myth about the killing. The media seized on the notion that the entire town had killed Ken McElroy, characterizing it as a vigilante killing, or an example of vigilante justice. My interviews, and the numerous statements in the files, make it clear that, other than the two shooters, the men on the street that day were not part of a plan to kill Ken McElroy. They were involuntary witnesses to a murder.

I believe that the killing of Ken Rex McElroy will long remain the hottest cold case on record. No one–not law enforcement, not McElroy’s family or friends, and certainly not the residents of Skidmore–seems to care that his killers remain at large. The men on the street that day are bound in a silence that is immune to the passage of time or the glare of the spotlight. In their view, while murder might be a sin, what Ken McElroy did to the town and its residents, to young girls and old men, was unspeakably evil. It would be a far greater sin to turn the men who brought the nightmare to an end over to the very justice system that had failed the community for so many years.

I lived in the town for three years while researching the book. When I first arrived, I had doors slammed in my face, a shotgun pulled on me, and I was bitten by a dog. By the time I left, I was judging dance contests at the annual Punkin’ Show and selling tickets to the Mother’s Day bazaar at the local Methodist Church. I became quite attached to the town and the people, and I stayed in touch over the years.

Personally, my sympathy has always lain with the townspeople, although it bothers me as a member of civilized society that the two killers remain unpunished for their crime. I doubt, however, that any good would come of the prosecution of the men. A prosecutor would be hard pressed to find a jury of twelve Nodaway County citizens who would convict anyone of McElroy’s murder. Memories remain strong and hearts unforgiving, and even the youngsters in the area know well the story of Ken McElroy. When I was back in Skidmore for the one-year anniversary of the killing of Bobbi Joe Stinnett–the young pregnant housewife who was strangled and her baby ripped from her body–I asked two girls what they knew of Ken McElroy.

“He was a bad guy, who bullied lots of people,” the older of the two said.

“He was shot here in town,” the younger one joined in. “Right over there.” She pointed to the tavern.

“He had it coming,” the older one said.

Ken Rex was much more than a town bully. He had all of Northwest Missouri terrorized. Even the cops and judges were scared of him. Maybe, as the townspeople say, he needed killing; the main regret seems to be the way he was finished.

“The guys who did it deserve a medal,” one local told me. “But they should be strung up for the way they did it.” Meaning, I presume, In Broad Daylight.

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