Home Sweet Retirement Home – Making Decisions

Where you live is important. This seems to be a burning question for many of us at retirement age. I hear it from my clients and my friends and I’ve been thinking about it myself. Urban or suburban? Mountains and forest or ocean and sand? Near my family or as far away as possible? House? Gated community? Sprawling apartment complex? Old or new? So many issues, so little time!

Here are three lists to get you started thinking about your surroundings.

List 1:  What do I want in my surroundings?

  • physical layout (think about stairs, for instance),
  • amount of space,
  • own or rent,
  • view or no view,
  • city, suburbs or country,
  • access to transportation,
  • price range (including extra charges like maintenance, heat, water and electricity),
  • access to activities (try to be realistic about the things you actually DO not the ones you’ve always thought you might do),
  • access to friends,
  • access to medical providers, climate, 
  • keep adding your own items.

List 2 – What do I absolutely need?

This list includes your bare minimum requirements winnowed down from list #1. It should also include cost factors – I can’t spend more than $XXXX.

List 3 – What do I absolutely NOT want?

You may be surprised by what shows up here. Maybe you don’t want to ever shovel snow or have upstairs neighbors or be within spittin’ distance of your relatives.

Use these three lists to research every possible location. Take good notes on how each meets your criteria. Try your top three on for size before you make a big decision, if you can. Use the suggestions below during your trial visit:

 Look for a socioeconomic match – feel comfortable that you can live well within your means.

 Identify local groups that share your passion – hiking, cooking, theater – there’s a group for almost anything.

 Observe the social networks to see if they meet your needs – think about how much interaction you want or need. How much time do the neighbors spend chatting? Must you join in? Is there pressure to become part of the local church or temple? The neighborhood association? Does everyone maintain a strict isolationist policy?

 Read the local papers to see if the area activities appeal to you. This is a great way to pick up information about the tone and values of the area as well.

 Visit your new neighbors to begin to develop a network. This also may uncover nasty surprises – like howling dogs or chain smokers directly below you.

 Invite people in for a meal or to join you at a local eatery – dinner, a weekend brunch – make it casual and easy and allow for lots of interaction.

 Get involved early – be a guest at clubs, civic or religious organizations, a book club or special interest group. Join a local friend in a volunteer activity. Check out the gym or club.

I’ve been visiting retired friends over the past several months and can attest to the power of location. Those who chose well are involved in all kinds of new activities as well as being able to continue those they’ve always loved. A few have become much nicer human beings away from the stressors in their old environment. Some chose poorly and are miserable, fighting with stairs or financial constraints or noise or undesirable neighbors.

Who will you be?

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Find the Free Auto Repair Manual You Need Online

You can easily get a free auto repair manual for whichever repair need you might have. You need an internet access and have to follow a certain procedure searching for auto repair manuals, but when you have done this procedure a few times it will be very easy to find the right instructions for do it yourself auto repair and it won’t cost you a dime.

There are four types of automotive description documents that you will need to choose from when you want to do a repair;

  • General manuals
  • Diagnosis descriptions
  • Repair manuals
  • Maintenance manuals

General Manuals

In addition to some general manuals, most of these are related to the make. Here you can get step by step guidance on how to repair most of the makes in the vehicle market. Let’s say you have a Honda Acura 2002 model and you want to find a manual for that make and model. What you do is perform the following search in a search engine: “free car manuals+Honda Acura+2002”. Then you will have a long list of sites that provide you with all kinds of descriptions for your Honda Acure 2002 model, and you can choose what you want.

Diagnosis descriptions

Automotive diagnosis manuals can also be sub-divided by make and model. But it can also be divided by the area of the vehicle that is affected, for example engine intake problems, brake problems, cooling problems, exhaust problems, start or stall problems, transmission problems etc. Let’s say you have a start problem. Your search would be “car diagnosis manual+ start problem”, then you should get more than enough repair information to choose from. You can even get diagnostic trees where all options are covered for nothing.

You have probably more than one time heard some annoying noise from somewhere in your vehicle, without finding the source of it. This is one of the most kinky situations to run into because you don’t know if it is a serious signal or just a small thing. Some websites gives you the opportunity to diagnose vehicle problems by the noise, sound and vibrating signals – and that is great. The sooner you find it the sooner you can fix it and then you can relax. When you search, you can describe the sound, for example “whine noise” or “shifter knocks” or “driveline vibration” plus car diagnosis manual plus eventually the make.

Repair Manuals

In addition to regular manuals you can also get very instructive and detailed descriptions in other internet document or websites like articles, etc. The natural way to sub-divide such repairs before searching, is by the area of the vehicle that is going to be repaired, for instance body repair, exhaust repair, suspension fix, interior repair and even general car repair.

You do the search the same way as above; “car repair manual (or description) + the area of repair and go through the list of resources you get.

Maintenance manuals

Though vehicle maintenance is closely related to your vehicle make and model, there are some maintenance issues that are pretty much common whether you have a Cadillac, VW or a Mercedes, for example changing oil, changing air filters, engine wash, fluid maintenance, tier maintenance etc. You can get access to maintenance descriptions by searching for the kind of maintenance plus “car maintenance manual (or description)” plus eventually your make and model.

I think you’ll be amazed of the amount of automotive repair free stuff online.

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New Forms of Music

This is a rundown of a portion of the world’s music kind and their definitions.

African Folk – Music held to be run of the mill of a country or ethnic gathering, known to all sections of its general public, and saved as a rule by oral custom.

Afro jazz – Refers to jazz music which has been vigorously affected by African music. The music took components of marabi, swing and American jazz and blended this into an interesting combination. The main band to truly accomplish this combination was the South African band Jazz Maniacs.

Afro-beat – Is a blend of Yoruba music, jazz, Highlife, and funk rhythms, intertwined with African percussion and vocal styles, promoted in Africa in the 1970s.

Afro-Pop – Afropop or Afro Pop is a term now and then used to allude to contemporary African popular music. The term does not allude to a particular style or sound, but rather is utilized as a general term to depict African well known music.

Apala – Originally got from the Yoruba individuals of Nigeria. It is a percussion-based style that created in the late 1930s, when it was utilized to wake admirers subsequent to fasting amid the Islamic blessed month of Ramadan.

Assiko – is a well known move from the South of Cameroon. The band is typically in light of an artist went with a guitar, and a percussionist playing the throbbing cadence of Assiko with metal blades and forks on a vacant jug.

Batuque – is a music and move sort from Cape Verde.

Twist Skin – is a sort of urban Cameroonian prevalent music. Kouchoum Mbada is the most surely understood gathering related with the class.

Benga – Is a melodic sort of Kenyan prevalent music. It developed between the late 1940s and late 1960s, in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi.

Biguine – is a style of music that began in Martinique in the nineteenth century. By joining the customary bele music with the polka, the dark performers of Martinique made the biguine, which involves three unmistakable styles, the biguine de salon, the biguine de bal and the biguines de regret.

Bikutsi – is a melodic class from Cameroon. It created from the customary styles of the Beti, or Ewondo, individuals, who live around the city of Yaounde.

Bongo Flava – it has a blend of rap, hip bounce, and R&B first off yet these names don’t do it equity. It’s rap, hip bounce and R&B Tanzanian style: a major blend of tastes, history, culture and character.

Rhythm – is a specific arrangement of interims or harmonies that finishes an expression, segment, or bit of music.

Calypso – is a style of Afro-Caribbean music which began in Trinidad at about the begin of the twentieth century. The underlying foundations of the class lay in the entry of African slaves, who, not being permitted to talk with each other, conveyed through tune.

Chaabi – is a mainstream music of Morocco, fundamentally the same as the Algerian Rai.

Chimurenga – is a Zimbabwean mainstream music type instituted by and advanced by Thomas Mapfumo. Chimurenga is a Shona dialect word for battle.

Chouval Bwa – highlights percussion, bamboo woodwind, accordion, and wax-paper/brush sort kazoo. The music started among rustic Martinicans.

Christian Rap – is a type of rap which utilizes Christian subjects to express the lyricist’s confidence.

Coladeira – is a type of music in Cape Verde. Its component rises to funacola which is a blend of funanáa and coladera. Well known coladera performers incorporates Antoninho Travadinha.

Contemporary Christian – is a type of well known music which is expressively centered around issues worried about the Christian confidence.

Nation – is a mix of well known melodic structures initially found in the Southern United States and the Appalachian Mountains. It has establishes in conventional society music, Celtic music, blues, gospel music, hokum, and outdated music and advanced quickly in the 1920s.

Move Hall – is a sort of Jamaican well known music which created in the late 1970s, with examples, for example, Yellowman and Shabba Ranks. It is otherwise called bashment. The style is described by a DJ singing and toasting (or rapping) over crude and danceable music riddims.

Disco – is a sort of move arranged popular music that was promoted in move clubs in the mid-1970s.

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History of Alternative Medicine

History has it that alternative medicine goes back 5000 years to Chinese traditional medicine, Indian (Ayuryedic medicine) and similar healing traditions in many cultures. The common belief was that the energy of the body had to be in harmony with the mind, body and spirit. A doctor merely facilitated the healing by identifying and taking away obstacles that would inevitably lead to a cure. Therapy included lifestyle changes, self-care and preventative measures.

Today, what we know of as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has roots going back 5,000 years to Chinese (traditional Chinese medicine), Indian (Ayurvedic medicine) and similar healing traditions. For thousands of years, these diverse medical traditions held a belief in the energy of the body and the need for harmony between mind, body and spirit. Doctor’s simply facilitated the healing process by identifying and removing obstacles.

Throughout most of the 19th century, doctors used the same skills as today’s herbalists, osteopaths and dieticians; they were generous with time and empathy, and relied on a good bedside manner. Prayer was important, as was “a change of air,” laxatives, bleeding and leeches. Right up until the early 20th century, sick people relied on much the same kind of therapies as their ancestors.

The decades following the Second World War brought significant changes. As GP and journalist, James Lefanu noted in his book, The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine, written in the 50s, a series of medical breakthroughs proved beyond a doubt that previous attempts at healing were nothing more than mere quackery. New medical breakthroughs included the discovery of penicillin, cortisone (a powerful anti-inflammatory medicine), streptomycin (a powerful antibiotic that is effective in treating tuberculosis), insulin (to treat diabetes) and chlorpromazine (an anti-psychotic that controls schizophrenia). Open-heart surgery, hip replacements, kidney transplants, intensive care and successful vaccination programs saved and improved the quality of countless of millions of lives.

It’s no surprise that so much power to alter human destiny would lead, as Lefanu suggests, “to the resultant abandonment of homely remedies such as massage, manipulation and dietary advice, only for them to be taken up by alternative practitioners.” This is exactly what happened – with a dramatic explosion in the growth of ‘alternative’ therapies throughout the second half of the 20th century. Alongside modern medicine, CAM began to develop as an entirely separate discipline – contemptuous of the achievements of mainstream medicine, while at the same time dismissed by mainstream practitioners as ineffective and fraudulent. For most people, getting the best from mainstream and alternative medicine was a delicate operation. Those who opted for both mainstream and alternative medical care found that the best strategy was to remain quite to avoid criticism. Those who did try to use both services learnt that in order to avoid criticism.

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Rich and Varied Heritage

India is always remembered as a land of diverse cultures. The geographic position, climate and the extent of exposure to foreign cultures have totally influenced the traditions and culture of the different regions at different periods. The greatness of Indian culture has been in adopting the best from all the invaders and intermingling their customs and styles with the existing and this is visible in all aspects of culture.

Indian culture have always been attached to the great river systems, the watersheds of the Indus and Ganges, the Deccan plateau and South India.

Secular India is home to Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and other innumerable religious traditions. Hinduism is the dominant religious faith followed by the majority of the population. Colorful traditional festivals are almost 400 that have been happening for centuries. Not a single day passes by without a festival in one region or the other. It is an occasion for men to put on a new traditional costumes and jewelery.

Traditional wears like the silk saris, cholis have fascinated many a traveler over the centuries. Men in villages are still more comfortable in traditional attire like kurtas, lungis, dhotis and pyjamas.

Indian literature, Indian poetry, Indian epic poetry Ramayana and Mahabharata, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture- everything is depicted and interpreted through religion and philosophy.

Well known classical styles of dancing on the Indian stage are Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Odissi, Kathak, and Manipuri. Folk dances also contribute to the plethora of Indian dances. The common root of all classical dance forms can be traced to Natyasastra, ascribed to Sage Bharata who is believed to have lived between the 1st and 2nd Century AD

18 Indian languages with 1600 regional dialects are spoken and the linguistic lines are drawn by State boundaries Besides Hindi and English, the other popular languages are Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Oriya, Telugu and Urdu

Indian Cuisine skill lies in the subtle blending of a variety of spices to make various delicious recipes. These spices are used as home medicines too.

A typical North-Indian meal would consist of wheat. Rice is the staple diet in South Indian food. Coconut and oil are essential ingredients in all the meal. A meal is rounded off with betel leaf which holds an assortment of digestive part.

Women are the mirrors of culture of a society. Indian women are becoming increasingly visible and successful in the professional and public sphere. Whether it is Barkha Dutt, Arundhati Roy, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, they have all heralded the arrival of Indian women professionals.

Latest outsourcing of technological agility, quality, flexibility, cost control, time-to-market and competitive advantage have made India well known in the business world.

India exports software to 95 countries around the world, outsource high quality brain-power 82% of the US companies ranked India as their first choice for software outsourcing.

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The 12 Most Pesticide-Ridden Fruits and Veggies

I will never forget the day my mom told me to wash strawberries. As a typical inquisitive 4 year old, I asked, ‘Why?’ Because fruit pickers pick their nose was her response. I then washed them – sometimes.

Now as a 31 year old, I buy organic produce which must mean it is free from boogers and by all means, it best be free from pesticides. But as a med student with a wife, two kids and a mortgage, the wallet feels stress when buying organic produce.

Demand has gone up for organic products, especially in Seattle, which has lowered the cost some; but not enough during the rough financial times.

So I find myself wondering which of the non-organic veggies and fruits are the safest to eat? A watermelon looks tough – it has a big thick skin. A juicy thin-skinned peach must be really tasty to bugs so the growers must spray the heck out of it.

This rationale obviously is not fool-proof and did not put me at ease when buying non-organic produce.

What to do? I enrolled in med school, got to the second year nutrition course and found out which are the twelve most pesticide ridden fruits and vegetables. Good plan, Ben. $50,000 later I now know which twelve they are.

Being strapped on cash again, I needed to refresh my memory. In doing so, I thought I may as well benefit the public as well. This information is not new but it definitely may be new to you.

So which are the most toxic? This information is gathered from FoodNews and they gathered the information from the Environmental Working Group

Most Popular Fruits and Vegetables with highest pesticides

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Red Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

So my rationale of thin-skinned produce was not all bad. I would have never guessed potatoes though.

So what to do? Not eat these sprayed fruits and veggies? Pretty much. Definitely do not feed them to your children. The body mass of a child is much less than a fully grown adult. Thus, it does not take many non-organic strawberries to inflict potential harm on a little one. The best method is to buy these twelve organically. If you cannot, then wash them with the pesticide-removing soaps they sell in good stores. There will still be poisons harbored in the produce but diminished at least. You can also peel apples and other produce with skins but then you lose nutrients along with some pesticides. So you may as well then go eat some plastic as it is toxic and has no nutrient value. Organic is the best bet.

Spend your tight dollars on buying these twelve fruits and vegetables organically – or keep them away from your kids.

Now that you’ve purchased expensive organic strawberries, what are the safest non-organic fruits and vegetables?

Most Popular Fruits and Vegetables with lowest pesticides:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn (sweet)
  • Kiwis
  • Onions
  • Mangoes
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples
  • Peas (sweet)

To save you writing all this down, I have provided the option for you to view the FoodNews Wallet Guide [http://www.healthegoods.com/content/walletguide.pdf]. Cut out the guide and stick it in your wallet. Go shopping without having to guess.For those of you who want to know the details of the Environmental Working Group’s report on Organophosphates Insecticides in Children’s Food, you may view it.

Enjoy worry-free shopping. If there is anything that is on your mind, let me know. Ill do my best to anwer your health questions.

In health,


(c) 2005 Benjamin Lynch of HealthE Goods

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2 Easy And Completely Natural Steps To Help Make Your Penis THICKER!

The thicker your erection, the more intense her orgasms will be. Having a robust penis size is most certainly a guaranteed way to stimulate the vagina like nothing else. With that said, most men lack girth with their erections… and as a result, most women these days either fake their orgasms or simply don’t reach one!

But don’t worry… if you currently don’t lack girth with your penis erection, in today’s article I’m going to share with you 2 easy and completely natural steps you can follow to make your penis thicker.

Step 1:

The first rule of penis enlargement is blood flow. If you have proper blood circulation in your body, then not only will you help with getting a bigger penis erection, you’ll also have harder erections as well (not to mention better overall health).

Now, to improve blood circulation naturally (this means avoiding enhancement pills), I recommend you take natural supplements and eat the right foods…

The best supplements to take are Gingko Biloba, Vitamin E, and Garlic. Before you start taking these supplements, I strongly recommend you consult your physician before doing so (especially if you are currently on any blood thinner medication).

The best foods to eat are foods high in Vitamin E (such as nuts), garlic, grass fed beef, dark green veggies, and berries. Most of these foods not only help with blood circulation, they also help remove toxins from your body as well.

Step 2:

The next step I recommend you follow if you want to get a thicker penis erection (and also an overall bigger penis size) is to do milking exercises (better known as jelqing).

These types of exercises stimulate the corpora cavernosa chambers of your penis. These chambers are what makes up your erection when you get hard. If these chambers are properly and naturally expanded, then they will be able to hold more blood when you get erected. Bigger chambers + more blood = BIGGER penis size!

Here is an example and introduction milking exercise you can do:

A: You’re going to need some type of good lubrication. If you don’t have specialized lube, then for now I recommend using vaseline. It’s important to remember that you are going to have to stay lubricated during the exercise.

B: Warm your penis up by placing a warm cloth on your penis for 2 minutes.

C: Get your penis to a 50% erection. This may seem difficult at first, but you shouldn’t have a hard time after a few minutes.

D: Now place a generous amount of lubrication all over your penis.

E: For this step, you want to make an O.K. sign with your left hand by placing your forefinger on your thumb. Now turn your O.K. sign in a manner where your palm is facing outwards.

F: Place the circle of your O.K. sign at the base of your penis with a firm grip (not too hard).

G: Slide your hand up towards the head of your penis and release.

H: Repeat E through G with your right hand.

I: Do 20 repetitions (10 each hand) with a smooth and steady pace.

J: Repeat this exercise for 3-5 sets.

K: After you’ve completed the exercise, place a warm cloth back on your penis for a couple of minutes to help it relax.

*NOTE* If you find yourself getting a full erection, stop the exercise until your erection goes back down to 50%.

Those steps above are the basic milking exercise to help thicken your penile chambers. There are more advanced exercises for thickening the penis (plus adding up to 4 extra inches with length, more muscularity, a fatter penis head, and even curing premature ejaculation) that will help completely change your entire manhood.

Now, if you take anything away from this article, please let it be that if you want to make some gains on your penis, stick with anything and everything natural. Only with a natural method can you actually MAKE FAST GAINS… and at the same time not end up with side-effects, an empty wallet, and your results will last for life.

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What is Natural Living?

Natural living has a nice ring to it.  There are many organizations, businesses, web sites, articles and people that are into natural living or natural health in one way or another. There are also many ways of practicing  it.

  1. Nutrition:  Consuming it;  Producing it
  2. Health: Alternative medicine;  Herbs;  Antioxidants;  in natural form or supplements
  3. Environment: Eco- consciousness;  Active participation;  Recycling;  Reducing waste
  4. Energy sources: Solar;  Wind
  5. Lifestyle: Family; Consumer
  6. Sharing, writing, working, filming, talking.

There are many ways of looking at natural living depending on the degree of involvement, participation and even creativity.

The interesting thing is that it is a fact of life today because people are aware of it; there is a positive attitude towards nature and our relationship with it; it is an emotionally charged subject; there is fear of “nature’s revenge” if we continue the way we do.

At the same time we have to accept that synthetic development (to coin a phrase) has brought material quality of life and is an economic consideration in our society.

Having said all that, what do we mean by “natural” and by “living”?

  • Natural:  “free from artificiality;” “in accordance with nature;” “relating to or concerning nature;” “functioning or occurring in a normal way;” “existing in or produced by nature;” “not artificial or imitation”; “being unprocessed or manufactured using only simple or minimal processes;”
  • Living:     “pursue a positive and satisfying existence;” “the experience of being alive;” “the course of human events and activities;” “condition of living or staying alive;” “inhabit or live in;” “be an inhabitant of;” “lead a certain kind of life;” “live in a certain style;” “in its natural state and place (not mined or quarried);” “still in existence;”

Natural living would have to take into account these definitions, but above all it must come under the umbrella of “Harmony” and “Balance”.

So after all that, how does natural living sound with this definition?

“Pursuing a positive and satisfying existence, in a style that respects and seeks to achieve harmony and balance with nature, ourselves, and the future”.

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Alternative Career Paths For Professional Educators

There is a broad range of careers that you can pursue with a background in education, many of which you may never have thought of. You can use your teaching skills for career opportunities in higher education, childcare administration, publishing, information science, journalism, sales, marketing, human resources and much more. And this is by no means an exhaustive list; this is just the tip of the iceberg. And it stands to reason that if you can wrangle a gaggle of kindergartners, seventh-graders or first-year college students, you have many of the skills necessary to manage employees in various settings.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the career options mentioned above to get you thinking in some broadening directions:

Higher Education

Do you feel drawn to the world of academia and higher education? Educators and teachers are able to transition with relative ease into jobs in higher ed- college administration, student affairs, curriculum development, alumni relations and development, human resources, you name it. Having a master’s degree in education as your foundation, your teacher skills are quite transferable in the higher education workplace, both in faculty and administration. You can work toward becoming a professor, perhaps a dean of a department, a director of financial aid; the possibilities are endless. The Chronicle of Higher Education, the go-to publication for Higher Education professionals, can better help you get a grip on the ins and outs of academia.

Curriculum Specialist / Instructional Coordinator

As a teacher, you’ve probably been (or will soon be) intimately involved in planning, preparing coursework and developing syllabi for your classes. If you enjoy that aspect of teaching and want to shape the student learning process on a grander scale, think about becoming an instructional coordinator, or curriculum specialist. You’ll train other teachers, choose textbooks, coordinate the implementation of technology, evaluate existing programs for suitability and success or even develop a unique curriculum to be used by teachers. This is an exciting and creative field, and for many, as rewarding as teaching.

Information Science

As a direct result of the digital revolution, information science is one of the most exciting fields emerging today. Information scientists attend to how people present, access and use information of all kinds. The amount of data and information available is ever expanding, and is increasing across fields and contexts-from the natural and social sciences, to the humanities, to private and public sectors alike. Educators play an important role in how this information is presented and how we access it. Digital libraries, websites, blogs and all types of online user services are emerging that rely on knowing how a person learns and accesses information, and how others respond to it. Opportunities in new media, online publishing and distance education-just to name a few-abound for students trained in educational practice and theory.

Human Resources

Do you enjoy forging professional relationships and team building? You may want to consider human resources development, perhaps as a personnel or labor relations specialist. Human resources, as a job field, is ever-evolving-pulling together elements of psychology, management, financial planning, economy and development to help steer and guide a company toward shared goals. While it’s true that human resources professionals are commonly thought of as bridges between the management and workforce, it can be so much more. So do some investigating yourself; check out this broad and informative overview of careers in human resources, training and labor relations management.

Museum Curator

Are museums your cup of tea? They often employ those with education degrees as archivists, curators and technicians. Museum jobs offer an educational and fascinating alternative to the classroom. An archivist will research, classify and catalog information of all types-photos, news articles, film, video and sound recordings, letters, books and all manner of electronic data. A curator, on the other hand, is more likely to deal with tangible items-art, collectibles, historic objects, bits of nature-and coordinate displays or programs for the public. Museums are the educational cornerstones to our past and future, and museums are always in need of emerging professionals, so check out the American Association of Museums career page to learn more.

You’ve just had a look at a very small slice of the career options available to those with master’s and professional degrees in education. With the ways in which we interact, learn and work changing so rapidly, entire industries are being built around emerging technologies and new economies. Perhaps the wheels have started turning for you and you’ve begun to realize that a master’s degree in education is in no way a limitation on your career options, but instead can prepare you for a whole world of exciting work opportunities. Do your own research, delve deep into your own interests-work will never feel like work as long as you’re doing what you love.

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Haitian Metal Drum Art – Old Metal Drums Become Beautiful Works of Art

What do you think of when you hear “Haitian art”?

Depending on your level of familiarity with Haitian art, you may think of folk art paintings on canvas. Or you may think of nothing at all.

If you haven’t heard of Haitian metal drum art, you’re in for a delight. Metal drums, the 55-gallon ones used for transporting oil or other products, are transformed into fanciful designs ranging from trees and flowers, birds and animals, to people, angels, and Biblical scenes.

Although some pieces are made from new oil drums, usually they are recycled ones purchased near the port in the capital city of Port-au-Prince and brought to the neighboring town of Croix-des-Bouquets by handcart or on top of a “tap-tap” (taxi). Croix-des-Bouquets is the center of the Haitian metalwork movement, and many metal drum artists have their workshops there.

Metal drum art in Haiti began in the early 1950s with blacksmith Georges Liautaud. In his humble shop, Liautaud had been making and repairing tools and creating simple metal crosses for the graves in the Croix-des-Bouquets cemetery.

American teacher DeWitt Peters, who opened Le Centre d’Art in Port-au-Prince in 1944, encouraged Liautaud to expand into the creation of decorative metal sculptures. A few talented men apprenticed under him, and the tradition has continued; a metal drum artist will apprentice others, who will branch out and go into business themselves. Peters provided exhibition as well as instruction space.

To create these works of art, the artist first removes the top and bottom of the drum and places them inside the cylinder along with dried banana or sugar cane leaves. He sets the leaves on fire to burn away any paint or other residue from the drum. After the metal has cooled, the artist cuts the cylindrical drum from top to bottom, then pounds it into a flattened rectangle of approximately three by six feet.

The artist draws the design onto the metal sheet with chalk, then cuts it out with a mallet and chisel. Using these and other simple tools, he pounds the various decorative patterns into the metal, including areas that are concave and convex; he creates intricate patterns by hammering in bumps of different heights. Some pieces have three-dimensional designs. Some are very colorful, while others remain metallic in appearance.

The detail on these works of art must be seen and touched to be appreciated.

The artist signs the finished design and coats it with a protective varnish. Many art lovers prefer the art to be aged with rust, then sealed afterward. In either case, the pieces can be displayed indoors or out.

Used oil drums made into beautiful works of art. Who’d have thought?

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