Archives for October 23, 2017

China’s Renminbi – Our Currency, Your Problem

Introduction of Case Study:

This case introduces the basics of monetary economics and demonstrating practical applications of monetary policies and exchange rates that pertain to business decisions. Supporting this case study will be a discussion on the exchange rate policy that China has adopted preceding and following 1978, a year in which significant economic liberation took place. Events within the past couple of years that took place in China concerning their exchange rate regime were deemed highly controversial by members of China’s trade partners. The first objective of this essay is to trace the history of this discord surrounding China’s currency, the Renminbi (RMB), which translates literally into English as “the people’s currency”. Next, questions from the case will be discussed. Lastly, the case will be made up-to-date with a brief excerpt concerning the current state of affairs surrounding this issue.

Background on Case:

In 2006, many countries that conducted trade with China made strong allegations against China’s exchange rate policy. The major complaint was that China’s currency was undervalued due to China’s manipulation of exchange rates to suppress the prices of its exports. Among other damages, these countries have claimed that this action has cost them thousands of jobs. The U.S., which had a $233 billion trade deficit with China in that year, threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese imports if China did not revalue its currency. Japan and newly industrialized economies, such as Taiwan and Singapore, were less vocal, as they have been trying to strengthen their economic ties with China. Developing Asian countries, however, supported a revaluation in order for them to be better equipped to compete with China. One collective group that stayed relatively mute on the lively debates that ensued in the media between 2005 and 2007 were multinational companies. These companies benefited from low operating costs in China, which, for them, meant cheaper land and more competitively priced China-made exports.

China’s exchange rate was deemed to be out of synch with market forces, with several reasons to support this conclusion. First, China’s economy experienced 9% annual growth over the past decade. According to the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis, rapid economic growth is accompanied by real exchange rate appreciation because of differential productivity growth between tradable and non-tradable sectors. Secondly, China has become the world’s third-largest exporter with at least $970 billion in 2006. China’s exports have experienced approximately 30% growth in recent years. Lastly, there has been a compilation of $1.2 trillion in foreign currency reserves. These build-ups are claimed to be the result of manipulation of the RMB against natural forces of the market.

Chinese officials strongly oppose the idea of a revaluation of their currency on several grounds, the strongest of which is probably that they are a country that is highly reliant on trade and growth of their exports is vital. Secondly, over two hundred million rural dwellers have left their farms to find work in urban centers. Higher economic growth is necessary to absorbing these workers into a functional economy. Apart from the economic reasons against changing the exchange rate policy, officials in China turn to several counterarguments. First, the RMB, according to them, is not really undervalued and China’s economic growth has nothing to do with manipulation of the currency. Secondly, the U.S. is running a large trade and budget deficit, which is partially attributable to capital inflows from China, and should look to the weakness in their economy before pointing fingers elsewhere. Also, China is a sovereign country with a right to choose its own exchange rate policy. Lastly, Chinese officials brought up the little known fact that despite its large trade surplus with the U.S. and Europe, it also has large deficits with others, especially Asian countries.

As mentioned in the introduction, China began liberalizing its country in 1978. Prior to then, it followed central planning and was reliant on economic self-sufficiency. China’s foreign trade was negligible and there were hardly any foreign companies doing business in China. The RMB, at that time, was pegged to a basket of currencies and an exchange rate was set at an unrealistically high level. The currency was virtually non-convertible. After 1978, China followed an “open door policy” and special economic zones were opened to foreign investments. A tiny private sector emerged. The RMB was devalued in 1981, 1985 and 1993 to the U.S. dollar in order to promote Chinese exports. The RMB was revalued by 5% in 1995, which held until July 2005.

The squabbles started in July 2005 when China reformed its exchange rate regime. The RMB was revalued by 2.1% to the dollar. The peg to the dollar was replaced by a peg to a basket of currencies with an allowed fluctuation of a 0.3% band against the dollar each day. This basket was dominated by the U.S. dollar, euro and yen. The currencies of baskets and weights were selected on the basis of trade volume conducted with China’s partners, the sources of foreign direct investment (“FDI”) and the composition of China’s debt. In May 2007, the Chinese central bank announced a widening of the RMB’s daily fluctuation against the dollar to 0.5%. This followed an appreciation of their currency by 7.2% against the dollar.

Chinese officials site several alternatives that could be taken in place of a revaluation of their currency. The first suggestion is to reform the banking sector, where up to 40% of loans are underperforming and nine out of ten banks are state-owned. Secondly, they have proposed a “go abroad” policy, encouraging Chinese companies to invest abroad and thus stimulating outward FDI. Lastly, Chinese officials have suggested imposing a voluntary export tax. Unlike with a revaluation, a tax would not affect the value of foreign currencies. Furthermore, the Chinese government would receive much needed tax revenues.

Analysis and Discussion of Case Issues:

Now this essay will discuss responses to questions from the case itself. The first two questions from the case are concerned with how much further China should let its currency appreciate and to determine whether or it is not undervalued as of the time of writing this piece. First, China should never have let the currency fall this far. It has an abundant source of cheap and skilled labor, with a generally high educational attainment level, and does not need to manipulate their currency in order to benefit from strong exports. Yet, this is precisely the action Chinese officials took. This should be immediately corrected before more trading partners are forced to suffer. Regarding the second question, it is clear from the evidence that the currency was undervalued. Given the high level of FDI entering China and its significant trade surplus, the RMB should have appreciated relative to this basket of goods, especially given that the U.S. dollar and Euro have both weakened lately.

The next questions are concerned with the consequence of a revaluation on China and its trade partners and whether any profound reform should be gradual or not. Also, the case study asks about how a floating RMB would impact the exchange rate. In simple terms, a revaluation would benefit most trade partners and come at a significant cost to China. Trading partners, including the U.S. and the Euro Zone will benefit by not losing thousands of workers to the Chinese markets, as had been the case when domestic companies relocated to China under favorable economic considerations. Developing Asian countries will be better able to compete with Chinese exports if a revaluation takes place. Multinational corporations will not favor such a move, as maintaining the status quo allows them to continue benefiting from the low operating costs in China. China would lose in the sense that its economy would likely slow. One could argue, however, that this will happen anyways, given the current state of affairs in the global economy. Current business and political journals and magazines have pointed to the fact that Europe is now in a recession and that the U.S. is not far behind. The credit crunch has not left China unaffected-its economic growth is expected to reduce to only approximately 8% in 2009 according to analysts at the Economists and the Financial Times.

As mentioned before, China is heavily reliant on trade and growth of its exports is vital. A revaluation will eat into its competitive position. This will also likely have a negative impact on their labor market, as fewer jobs may be available in the cities for those leaving the rural communities and entering the urban areas.

To answer the second question, the revaluation should be gradual in order to give the market forces a chance to react intelligently to the change properly and for affected constituents to adjust their business practices accordingly. In response to the final question, a floating of the RMB would cause it to strengthen relative to the other basket of exchange rates because it is currently undervalued due to market manipulation on behalf of Chinese officials.

The last two questions refer to different exchange rates and ask which one is most appropriate for China. There are six major exchange rate regimes. The first is an exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender regime. In this regime, the currency of another country circulates as the sole legal tender, or the member belongs to a monetary or currency union in which the same legal tender is shared by the members of the union. Adopting this regime implies the complete surrender of the monetary authorities’ independent control over domestic monetary policy. The second regime is called the currency board arrangements. This is a monetary regime based on an explicit, legislative commitment to exchange domestic currency for a specified foreign currency at a fixed exchange rate, combined with restrictions on the issuing authority to ensure the fulfillment of its legal obligation. Some flexibility may be allowed, depending on how strict the banking rules of the currency board arrangements are. The third regime is the other conventional fixed peg arrangement.

Countries that adopt this regime peg its currency at a fixed rate to another currency or a basket of currencies. The basket is formed from the currencies of major trading or financial partners, and weights reflect the geographical distribution of trade, services or capital flows. There is a limited degree of monetary policy discretion, depending on the bandwidth.

China has adopted the fourth exchange rate regime into its monetary policy, which is known as the crawling peg. The currency is maintained within a bandwidth around a central rate, which is adjusted periodically at a fixed pace or in response to changes in selective quantitative indicators. Maintaining the exchange rate within the band imposes constraints on monetary policy with the degree of policy independence being a function of the bandwidth.

The fifth regime is the managed floating with no predetermined path for the exchange rate. The monetary authority attempts to influence the exchange rate without having a specific exchange rate path or target. Lastly, there is the independently floating regime, which has been adopted by the U.S. The exchange rate is market-determined, with any official foreign exchange market intervention aimed at moderating the rate of change and preventing under fluctuations in the exchange rate, rather than at establishing a level for it. This is the regime that the Chinese government should follow because it is market-determined and not open to manipulation, while maintaining flexibility regarding monetary policy.

Third Party Opinions on Case Issues:

This last section will discuss the current situation regarding this debate. According to the latest news articles from such sources as Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, the Chinese economy has experienced weakening exports because of the U.S. housing slump and the international credit squeeze. China’s GDP growth is expected to slump, too. The Chinese government has options to stimulate the economy and protect exporters. Reports claim that officials at China’s central bank plan on slowing the appreciation of the RMB. Indeed, this is a decision that should have been made a long time ago and would be a major breakthrough in the ongoing debate, which may actually reach a conclusion given the state of affairs in the global economy.

According to Professor Pan Yingli of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the RMB was undervalued since the 1997 Asian crisis and such a foreign exchange policy has been used to finance exports and imports sectors at the cost of non-trading industries. Basically, the crawling peg regime adopted by China allows it to manipulate exchange rates in its own favor in order for it to sell more products abroad, as exports are the lifeblood of China’s economy.

The Asian financial crisis involves four basic problems or issues: (1) a shortage of foreign exchange that has caused the value of currencies and equities in Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and other Asian countries to fall dramatically, (2) inadequately developed financial sectors and mechanisms for allocating capital in the troubled Asian economies, (3) effects of the crisis on both the United States and the world, and (4) the role, operations, and replenishment of funds of the International Monetary Fund.

Concluding Remarks:

In conclusion, this case showed how trading partners could be both positively and negatively influenced by the economic decisions by one or more of the players. It is important for countries to realize that we live in an interconnected, increasingly global environment in which important decisions are not made in isolation. In fact, China’s decision to pursue exchange rate reform has, for better or worse, greatly impacted billions of people throughout both the developed and developing world.



Source by David J Stone

American Film Market on a Shoestring Budget

In early November, the American Film Market comes alive with sellers, buyers, and promoters bartering for placement in distributor’s catalogs. With attendance around 8,000 AFM is the World’s largest motion picture trade event. It’s a marketplace where producers and sales companies license films to distributors and this year they project to have 2,000+ New Films and Projects, 1,000+ Distributors and 400+ Production Companies. The market is based at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and it uses conference rooms and movie theatres in the area.

For struggling filmmakers and screenwriters, AFM offers opportunities for networking, project financing, and distribution. However, on a shoestring budget it takes a lot of planning to achieve ones goals. Attendance fees are steep and exhibition costs are higher. Yet there are ways to obtain meaningful accomplishments and do so without breaking the bank.

The immense size of AFM may seem overwhelming to first timers, but it’s more a community with established relationships that date back years. Rapport and trust have been built up over time and while the products may evolve, the people stay pretty much the same. It’s also a market of niches where buyers must evaluate which products will have value in their home markets. Buyers face another challenge, in addition to assessing potential value and the whims of film goers six month to a year hence; they must also judge how present economic conditions will affect the entertainment marketplace. In previous downturns, movies have played the escapist role but that was before entertainment became so fragmented. Now there are considerably more choices and younger audiences find that the Internet, I-pods, and video games better fit their needs and budgets.

Yet, whatever the state of the economy there will always be a need for product. Theatres, television, cable, satellite, and now the Internet all look for viable programming. Multiplex screens and television schedules eat up a vast number of titles. With the major studios cutting back and concentrating on blockbuster entries, there are product voids and independent filmmakers stand ready to fill them. What’s more, as the ongoing credit crisis limits the number of movies released those that do obtain financing will find foreign distribution easier to acquire.

For the low-budget independent filmmakers, especially on a shoestring, working this market requires considerable preparation. The AFM Pitching seminar stressed the importance of having a succinct coherent presentation whether it’s a project in development, a proposed script or a completed film. One must remember that buyers, sales agents, and distributors receive countless pitches and to avoid getting lost in the shuffle, you and your project must be memorable. Your pitch should have water-cooler talk-ability. By that, I mean it should be highly transferable and be able to travel through the community without losing energy. Long before the market opens this process should begin by contacting your prospects and giving them a preview of what you will be presenting. You can do this via mail, email or by phone. Give them a taste to wet their appetite. See the Market’s tips on How to work the AFM, especially the guidelines on Pitching Essentials.

Jonathan Wolf, AFM Managing Director, reiterates the importance of obtaining assistance in areas where you are weak. Being able to pull together the expertise and good judgment of others is an essential part of being a successful producer. This may require attaching a producer to your project who is more familiar with the creative aspects or one who is capable at securing financing, or a line producer who is able to manage the details of the production itself. If the film is near completion, a producer’s rep may be of help in obtaining festival exposure as well as securing a distribution deal. A publicist may also be required to create the desired pre-market buzz. Adding a sales agent to secure licensing rights within various foreign territories is another asset that ups the value of your package.

One obstacle for first timers is identifying likely prospects and obtaining their contact information. For a listing of exhibitors and their contact information, go to American Film Market website and navigate to Attend/Buyer/Exhibitor List. Since some of these companies also serve as sales agents, this list will be useful in locating these people. One can use other directories to cross-reference and identify the sale agents attending. Google or Bing “Sales Agents for Films” for various directories and look specifically for the one put out by the Screen Australia. This pdf directory contains 22 pages of detailed contact information, including person to contact, acquisition policies, and recent acquisitions.

Another source is the directory on the Internet Movie Data Base, pro version – IMDbPro.. Navigate to Company Directory and from Type Company scroll down to Sales Representatives. This addition to IMDb offers greater industry information and is available on monthly subscription bases. Also, check out the KFTV online directory for their list of sales agents. This free online service caters to the international entertainment industries. Enter Sales Agents in search window.

Short phone calls can help establish a rapport with targeted personnel. However, most filmmakers are reluctant to do this because international calls can be expensive. I would suggest using a low prepaid international calling card. LDPOST has a list of available services along with rates by countries. For instance, calls to France, London, and Germany can be as low as 2.0 to 2.4 cents a minute, which is cheaper than stateside long distance rates. Simply place your call-in number, then your PIN number on your speed dial to streamline this connection process. There is also a Direct Dial option available where you dial a single number.

Because your prospect will not likely have the final say, your pitch and accompanying materials should provide strong sales arguments that can move up the corporate ladder. Up front, it should state your objectives, i.e., seeking international sales agent, seeking co-production financing, or seeking acquisition of completed script, etc. While your presentation may be convincing, it’s competing with numerous others and having statements and figures to back up your arguments is essential.

There is a long list of evidentiary materials and here are some of the more prominent ones. Include the ones that best represent your project. Comparisons to similar budgeted films–their critical and box office success, log line, elevator synopsis, full synopsis, script coverage, named actors, named director, named DP, projected budget, festival awards, reviews, test screening results, audience ratings, trailer, DVD screener, poster art work, press book materials, production stills, production stories, music tie-ins, merchandising opportunities, unique locations, EPK, film’s web site, and project’s blogs. Label these items with project name and contact information, then package them in a clear plastic bag so they are not mixed up with materials submitted by others. State the availability of the master and release copies as well as their screening format. Condense your pitch into succinct leave-behind summaries that contain pertinent arguments and include goals along with all vital contact information.

While one quest in presenting a film at the market is to obtain a sale, another is to generate a buzz for your movie. Post cards, DVD handouts, one-sheets and walking billboard characters are some of the methods used. A film’s talk-ability inertia is a key factor in gaining distribution or representation by an international sales agent. In fact a small number of this year’s foreign language Oscar contenders are using AFM to maximize award season exposure. Additional buzz can be obtained from reviews or news briefs posted in trade publications such as Variety, Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, Deadline Hollywood, and indieWire.

During the later half of the market, Industry Half-Market Badges are available. During this period, exhibitors have more time to meet with you and are more receptive to hearing your pitch. To best utilize your time, map out your prospects and their locations in the hotels. Be aware that exhibitors are on numerous floors and that some share space. Scheduling appointments will help lend more credibility to your project. While the Half-Market Badge is good for four days the final day is a get away day and most exhibitors are packed and closed up by noon.

It may take some time for buyers to get back to you so it’s a good idea to follow-up reinforcing your pitch and document the arguments supporting your project. It also helps to add new developments that make the project more appealing. Follow up first with an email and later with a phone call. Because these are busy people, focus on the feedback you really need. While you may be looking for a deal memo, you should also be looking for ways to strengthen the relationship. An appreciative thank you card can be helpful in this regard especially when it notes useful advice or feedback you’ve received.

AFM conferences and seminars are also good places to network and promote your project. In past years, topics have included seminars on pitching, financing, co-production deals, and incentives and tax rebates. These conferences are normally an added cost to your market pass and prices are listed on the American Film Market website.

One of the perks to being a pass holder is being able to pick up various print publications covering the market. These publications include Screen, Cineuropa, Beyond Cinema, Filmmaker Magazine, American Cinematographer plus industry trade editions such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. These are available on the mezzanine level and free to pass holders.

I would also suggest taking in a number of screenings to see how other filmmakers promote their product. There are over 500 screenings to pick from and while big budget, big star films draw respectable audiences, most films play to small crowds. Yet these gatherings afford opportunities to meet industry people, particularly filmmakers and producers. Use this time effectively and choose films that are closely related to your project. Screening times and theatre locations are listed in the catalog. Shuttle buses to various theatres are provided outside the Loews Hotel.

There are numerous opportunities at the Market to pitch ideas, network, and gain knowledge about the industry. The hotel lobbies where participants mingle are prime spots. It’s a relaxed atmosphere where spiels and business cards fly about at will. In addition, it’s a good idea to have as much information as possible on your card. Some attendees apply a sticker to the back with pertinent information about their project and/or company. Where applicable, write on back a desired call to action. Things such as “View my trailer at… ” When you exchange hundreds of cards one can be easily forget, so make notes on the back of those you receive.

With the advances in technology, you will also find notebook presentations as a practical means of making a presentation. These devices are able to play trailers, interviews with stars, and offer samples of promotional materials. There are numerous advantages to this type presentation in that they are quick and to the point. Film is a visual medium and what better way to promote a project. Most prospects are amicable to watching a short trailer and if interested open to viewing more materials. However, you have to identify the buyers and open a dialogue. While the color-coded badges provide some helps, most buyers are so inundated with impromptu pitches they stuff their badges inside their shirt.

There are also special receptions, parties and red carpet events, and most require being on the invitation list. While most of these events are for established friends and associates, a kindly inquiry can sometimes result in an invite. While not openly publicized, invitations are handed out to promote a product or company. It some cases it is to firm up established relations or in appreciation of past business.

Lastly, mingle effectively. Introduce yourself by tagging your name with a profession, company affiliation, and info about your project. Listen, ask questions, and work the entire room with meaningful productive dialogue. For when it comes to mingling with the international side of the business, AFM is at the top of the class, a marketplace where chance encounters can easily evolve into lucrative deals.



Source by Erik Sean McGiven

Question Bank As a Reform in Higher Education

Question bank in Indian universities

Question bank is a collection of questions produced by universities and examining boards in different subjects over the years.

Examiners can select questions from these question banks for setting up question papers. They contain questions to examine students both in internal as well as external examinations. Types of questions available in question banks are of essay type and objective type. Questions to question banks are selected in such a way that they test students’ comprehensive ability.

Development of question bank:

Association of Indian universities has formed question bank containing 10000 questions in physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, mathematics, commerce, economics etc. Collecting questions from previous years’ question papers is one way. Senior professors and heads of departments may be asked to contribute questions to question banks. A seminar may be arranged, where faculties from different universities will participate, discuss and frame questions. An organized way of designing, publicizing and training will be necessary for successful implementation.

Functions

Question banking is considered as a part of the examination reform. This question bank helps universities to maintain standard of education at same level in all colleges. Less experienced teachers can collect questions from these banks where questions are framed by senior professors. Teachers and examiners are continuously involved in creating more and more questions for inclusion thus keeping them professionally involved. Question banks if carefully built up can influence curriculum development, guiding in interpreting syllabus, writing objectives, building valid questions are some of the possible gains. Teachers will be trained as item writers. They will develop scientific skills not only in item writing but also in prevalidating them. More and more effective methods of teaching and learning can be implemented. Difficulties in students’ learning can be diagnosed

Storing of questions

Questions are stored in trays called “cardex trays”. 8″x5″ cards are ideal for storing questions in cardex trays. The card contains questions and statistical data about questions. It would be difficult to imagine a question bank developing it full potential without making use of technical and administrative advantages of computes. The handling of large scale computations of questions to question banks is possible only with computer. For limited scale applications printed booklets or brochures is sufficient.

Advantages

A question offers a chance (i) to produce and evaluate questions on a relatively more effective basis. (ii) To carry out concurrent comparability. (iii) To match the examinations to the curriculum that is taught and not as tends to happen in the conventional setting the other way around. The question bank would act as a neutral educational and administrative service helping teachers and examiners to solve some of the problems with large scale examining.



Source by Asokan Thiyagarajan

10 New Careers After 50

Most of us over 50s have decided to ride our current jobs to the end. But what happens if you receive the unexpected pink slip?

  • Do you have an idea of what jobs are out there available to you after 50?
  • Do you want more flexibility and control?
  • Would it be just OK with you to skip the commute?

These are all valid questions that face the over 50-year-old crowd trying to re-enter the job market. One solution is to work from home online. There are many work-at-home and remote jobs to be had in today’s work market.

Many companies are opting for remote workers to do the jobs that in the past were only done at the business facility. If you have experience in one of these jobs from your prior experience, you could be in luck.

Businesses are seeing the lower costs of having contract and remote workers. Contract workers take care of their own taxes, while remote workers are still on the company payroll.

1. One of the best and most freedom-friendly positions is the affiliate marketer. You have the option to work anywhere, set your own hours, sell your own niche, and do it all on your own timetable.

You have the advantage of not having to dress a particular way. You utilize social networks to grow your business as well as standard avenues like email, ads, etc.

2. The next option is becoming a writer of one sort or another. There are literally so many kinds of writers that you might have a hard time deciding which niche to choose. Writing content for online businesses is a top 10 idea for the over 50 crowd.

3. This might be included in the one above but takes a certain expertise – grant writing. Many depend on grant writing to keep programs going and funded. It is a career that definitely is helping the client with very important funding requirements.

4. If you love to educate others, then becoming an online tutor might just be for you. There are many places in many countries looking for someone to help teach English as a second language.

They offer software to maintain the connection with the students and the students are usually grateful for your help.

5. Become an SEO specialist. SEO means search engine optimization. There are literally thousands of businesses that need help with SEO for their sites. Becoming an expert in this field is not only a “today’s kind of job,” but the money is good as well.

6. You can become a technical writer. Ever wonder who wrote the manual on your DVR? Technical writers take the very complicated material and put it into plain English for the general public. This can be a very satisfying position if you have expertise in certain technical fields or can learn those fields.

7. Get a remote customer service job. There are many companies looking for in- and outbound customer service reps that can work from home utilizing their software and creating great relationships between the customer and business. If you have worked in any kind of customer service position, you have worked here.

8. Be an email manager. Some companies use outside talent to take care of their email management. This includes creating, sending, and forwarding to appropriate individuals, answering customer questions, managing their lists, and making sales if necessary.

9. Personal Assistant is another job that has gone remote. There are many individuals that need assistance with scheduling, meeting management, answering calls, and much more. There is always a need for this type of position.

10. Finally, one of the top choices for at-home work and online employment is becoming a shipping and logistics specialist. There are many companies out there needing to outsource their company’s shipping. There are some really good places out there for more information on this fairly new niche. They have programs that help you make it happen and pay is pretty good for this one.

As you can see, there are many ways to earn a living online and working from home to make money after 50.

According to Money Magazine, the job market has become suddenly “hot” for the over 50 workers.



Source by Peter Mangini

YouTube – Survival Videos by the Dozen

When you set out to learn all you can about survival, books,   magazines  and articles will help you only so much. Books cannot demonstrate how exactly you are to d something, for example build a shelter, create an improvised pair of snowshoes, and myriad other skills you need to learn. A video, therefore, is the ideal tool to use here. Videos can take you through a step by step demonstration of a concept or a technique, the way a real person does. It is highly recommended that you use videos to increase your survival knowledge, and what better place to find videos than YouTube? A simple search string “Survival skills” typed into the site’s search feature will return enough relevant results that you can spend days watching them. Most videos are very useful and generally, very good audio-visual quality is observed. You can find videos on almost every aspect of survival there is, including extreme heat or cold survival, military survival, survival at sea, battling natural disasters, and also on preparing beforehand for possible survival situations.

An example of survival videos is the highly useful series on winter survival tips on monkeysee’s channel. These are very brief, highly informative video clips that tell you how to deal with various problems brought by winters and how to deal with them. For instance, one of the videos explains in great detail how to build a simple leaf hut if trapped out in the cold, using only a framework of sticks and an insulating layer of grass or leaves, another video in the series show how to obtain and boil water. One talks about winter survival gear you should take along with you on a winter expedition, and yet another shows fire making skills for snowy areas. Apart from this series, there are myriad videos that show various types of winter shelters, improvised gear such as snow boots, and almost all winter survival tips that you could possibly need.

Further, there are a lot of videos about survival in deserts. The Ray Mears series “Extreme Survival” is uploaded here and you can find in these episodes several that are based on desert survival stories and skills. Some feature real survivor stories that demonstrate the qualities that make a true survivor, like will power, determination and creativity. Cody Lundin’s videos, too, are an interesting, fun way of learning about very primitive desert survival methods. Then there are videos about general methods of desert survival in which people talk about some key tips and techniques you need in order to make an escape from the desert. Once again, YouTube is a rich source of survival information in this aspect.

Also, there are countless videos about survival packs. Several show easily available items that can and should be carried as part of your survival gear on any expedition. Expert village is a channel that has a large collection of highly useful survival pack videos covering several aspects of survival packs: what they should contain, how they should be organized, and how to decide what you will need in a particular survival situation, like hiking expeditions gone wrong or emergency evacuation due to natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

In general, YouTube can be considered a rich source of knowledge for you if you find books and articles too boring, and videos such as those mentioned above can be retained far longer and far more easily than anything you read.



Source by Brandon Johanson

Nationally-Known Fat Loss Expert Discovers Russian Fitness Secret Weapon

I took extreme interest in being able to move heavy iron through space at the young age of 15 and quickly discovered my unique fascination with the human body. There is something about the iron that young boys are magnetized to. I think it’s the obsession to live up to their favorite superhero or at least to appeal a little more to the ladies. Whatever ‘it’ is, I caught the fever. Chest, Bis and Abs on Monday. Back, Shoulders, Tris on Tuesday. Legs on Wednesday. Repeat beach muscle lifts-what you see in the mirror-on Thursday and Friday. After all, that is what the ladies like, right?

And then it happened. My sack-of-bones started to break down. My low-back throbbed. My shoulders ached all of the time. My ankles became my Achilles literally and figuratively. I ran cross-country and track and played basketball, yet I had difficulty moving fluidly on any court or field. I continued to lift weights like I was on my deathbed. The mantra bigger, faster, stronger was the only thing I thought about. My dogged-determination brewed in me to ‘suck it up’ and push through it like most athletes are taught. Pain was to be thought of as ‘slight discomfort’. Little did I know that treating my body as a collection of body-parts would lead to my self-inflicting pain and overuse injuries a short four years later while in college studying Exercise Science (the obsession ran so deep that I decided to pursue education beyond Ironman and Planet Muscle).

Fast forward seven years.

I decided on a serious career as a personal fitness trainer at a big-box gym. I quickly discovered this type of gym and the training I was supposed to be promoting was causing my clients to physically break down as much as it was in my own training. After 18-months of insanity, I made it a personal vendetta to search for something I could morph into my own and actually deliver results to myself and my loyal clients.

Perusing the magazine rack at the local bookstore, I picked up the latest injection of Muscle and Fiction. Flipping through the pages, I zeroed in on an black and white ad promoting some simple barbell program written by some Russian dude claiming outrageous gains in strength. He even went so far to title the program “Power to the People.” So audacious the claims-as a young thirsty curios lad-I had to purchase and test drive this stripped down program. It worked. It led me to an online forum where this Russian dude had assembled an underground army of followers. He had invaded the U.S. completely undercover and was building a militia unbeknownst to anyone in the Ken-and-Barbie-fitness community which was all according to his blueprint. They forum devotees were swarming like a bee hive about these “kettle-things.”

Cowbells, Kettle-balls, Kettle-What? That’s what I asked myself in the spring of 2003. Cast Iron Balls…with handles. Kettlebells. My hunger for the pursuit of the iron resurfaced. A small hunch and a serious life gut-check that summer led me down a small little-traveled trail leading to my current state of reality. The masochist in me was relentlessly magnetized to these over-sized bowling balls with handles. The sadist in me knew others disgusted with their herd workouts would salivate over this newly re-discovered Russian Secret weapon.

My peers thought I had checked myself into a virtual loony bin. I didn’t care. I went rogue and immersed myself into this underground culture of physical training. A common bond grew among these seekers of sinewy muscle that actually had form AND function. What a concept! I had discovered the holy grail and realized shortly that I was on the beginning of a revolution in the United States headed Pavel Tsatsouline known as ‘the Evil Russian’. Pavel’s kettlebell regime quickly spread its tentacles throughout this underground community of strength enthusiasts.

I was mesmerized seeing the future in the crystal ball…or at least an iron-ball covered in black epoxy paint! I was so mesmerized that I volunteered for 23 hours of contact through a specialized kettlebell course with my new-found mentor “The Evil Russian”. Contact didn’t even begin to explain what was endured that weekend. Upon arrival at this certification, Pavel defined contact-hours as ‘bonding’-so far as schlepping it to the bathroom. Three days back in September of 2003 changed my physique, my mental fortitude, and my life trajectory all in one shot.

Kettlebells were going to be the next major fitness trend. Not some hokey infomercial three-month fad. Kettlebells and kettlebell training hovered way below the radar of the popular majority-unlike traditional training in the hamster maze gyms–mainly because kettlebells require fortitude, attitude and WORK-itude I set out to stake my claim in the kettlebell underground.

Who does kettlebells? First serious guys that depend on fitness for their jobs like FBI, Secret Service, CIA and even a few cops. Then hard core trainers who cared about delivering maximum results in minimum time to their faithful clientele. The Russian Kettlebell Revolution picked up serious momentum towards year end 2007 gaining exposure in countless popular fitness magazines and big-city newspapers. Now Family-CEOs (moms)–the fastest growing kettlebell sect-are discovering that kettlebell conditioning is the most time-efficient cellulite vaporizer while balancing Junior soiling his diaper and Fido chewing shoes.

Why kettlebells vs machines, barbells or dumbbells? Machines are a waste of time and perpetuate laziness in our sub-fit over-fed majority. Sitting down to exercise? Who thought of that and when does life happen sitting down? Barbells. Good for one action: incrementally increasing resistance to increase muscle mass on athletes who need extra muscle mass. And last time I checked, you can’t swing a barbell between your legs. Dumbbells. Decent. They have a completely different feel to them than kettlebells. Anyone who says you can perform kettlebell movements with dumbbells and receive the same benefits hasn’t used kettlebells.

Kettlebells are a unique shape with displaced weight suspended from the handle promoting fluid momentum-based movements combining strength, cardio and flexibility all in the same training session with only ONE tool. This Russian secret weapon has been praised “the ultimate hand-held gym”.

Where does one learn the art of kettlebell swinging? From a QUALIFIED kettlebell instructor. Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) Instructors are required to withstand a mentally and physically vigorous 23-hour course before being cut loose to teach unsuspecting victims. I am one that instructor. Actually I am known as ‘THE kettlebell guy’ in Minnesota. And you are my next client. I invite you to be a contestant at my next beginner kettlebell class known as the Gauntlet and discover for yourself how to chisel away your spare tire and vaporize your muffin tops via the power of the kettlebell.



Source by Brad Nelson

Chihuahua Teacup Puppies – Getting Started Right

Chihuahua teacup puppies are the extra small Chihuahuas. There is no minimum size of breed standard Chihuahuas. So many people like the extra small little version of the Chihuahua. Do always remember that any Chihuahua dog is very small. Extra small dogs face more challenges in life and so do their owners. Here are 5 tips for raising Chihuahua teacup puppies.

1. Extra small dogs are fragile.

If you or someone else in your home sits on your puppy, that puppy can be badly injured or even killed. The same goes for stepping on the pup or even dropping him or her. A tiny dog is fragile and you must be very careful to protect your pup. Small children probably cannot be trusted around one of these little dogs. Because of their small size, the puppies are often frightened and may become extremely neurotic because of this fear. Keep the stress level low and help your pup stay safe and calm.

2. Health issues.

Consult your vet about vaccinations recommended in your area. Not all areas have the same diseases. You should protect your dog from the diseases and parasites that are likely in your location. Also consider how the weather affects your puppy. Chihuahuas are inside dogs. The hair is thin and the size is so small that your dog cannot deal with cold weather. Your pet must have protection from cold and especially wet weather.

3. Potty training a Chihuahua puppy.

Make sure your puppy is old enough to control elimination before you start potty training a Chihuahua puppy. Some people use paper training. Others use a crate in training. Several methods work well, but the key is to closely watch the dog and at the first sign that it’s time to go, it’s time to go!

4. Choosing Chihuahua food.

Feeding Chihuahua teacup puppies properly is critical. Small Chihuahuas usually do best on a meat based diet. But over feeding is a great danger. Too much feed can produce fat and lead to diabetes eventually. Carefully regulate the amount of food.

5. Training a Chihuahua puppy.

Training a Chihuahua puppy can build your dog’s confidence and relationship with you. Even the most basic training is helpful. Chihuahuas are not the easiest dogs to train. Gentle but persistent training can help your dog to learn and be a happier pet.

Miniature teacup Chihuahua dogs are so popular because they’re so cute. They face some serious challenges because of their small size. Learn how to care for your puppy and you can have a healthy and happy pet for many years.



Source by Al Bullington

Wireless Dog Fence

Wireless fencing is a great choice for pet owners today. An invisible dog fence is something that every pet owner needs to have. This is the perfect combination of features that can be enjoyed all over. A wireless fence is very quick to install and very easy too. There are collar settings that can be adjusted, it’s portable and the reliability can be trusted at all times. There is so much to look forward to when you have a wireless fence. Your dog can be able to enjoy freedom in the yard at all times.

A wireless fence doesn’t require any wires or tools. You can change boundaries as you wish. This means less fuss and less money when compared to the traditional fence. Regardless of where you are going whether camping or visiting friends, this is a fence that you can stay with you at all times, meaning you can train and play with your pet whenever and wherever you are. Some of the fences are ideal for larger areas and so you must make your selection based on the area you want covered.

How a wireless fence works?

The boundaries of the pet are set by simply turning a knob which is located at the transmitter. This creates a circular wireless boundary for the pet.

When you have set the boundary, the transmitter will send some radio signals directed to the collar receiver that is on the pet. The pet has to be trained so as to note the warning tone or even the vibration when he gets near to the yard boundary. If your pet doesn’t respond to the warning, he then gets a static correction that is surprising, but quite safe right from the collar. This is set so as to remind the dog to remain in the yard.

Multiple pets

It is possible to contain many pets within a single system. You don’t have to leave any pet out. All the pets within the family including cats and dogs can receive a signal from one transmitter. When you are buying a transmitter, you should select a wireless collar receiver for all the pets in the family so as to give them outdoor freedom. Usually, the wireless and in-ground systems aren’t compatible. It is important to make sure that all the products that you purchase are compatible so as to enjoy their effectiveness completely.

Leaving town

Wireless pet containment systems are a great choice even when you are leaving town. You will not require a kennel or a pet sitter. There are so many pet friendly places and cities in the world and this means you can still set boundaries and reinforce the training offered to the pet regarding safety. Your pet can still have fun even when you are away from your home.

You will be able to enjoy your vacation more since you won’t have to look out for the pets at all times. You can also safely go for camping and all sorts of outdoor place without having to worry about losing your pet.



Source by Shalini Madhav