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Author: Savannah Porter

Product testing is important

Product testing is important

When a company creates a new product, before it is released for mass consumption or sale, they want to be sure it is something most people will purchase and enjoy. The method of product testing allows companies to get feedback from customers and point out things that might need to be changed before the product is sold. What most companies do is outsource their testing to other companies who recruit people to voluntarily try new products. These product-testing companies then usually offer their members incentives such as prizes or the ability to keep the product in order to have them give honest and thorough feedback.

The benefits of product testing for companies are immense. The process will give them results to help them improve quality, packaging, design, and general public appeal. This feedback can give a company a large competitive edge and allow them to change the product to make it something more people will use. Additionally, product testing gives companies foresight when upgrading existing products. It also shows the products’ stance in the marketplace, which is essential in competing with other companies.

The products that are tested can range from new food items to household cleaning supplies to office furniture. The key to getting good feedback when product testing is to ensure the people testing your items are using them in the environment for which they are intended. In other words, if you are testing office chairs, be sure to have the product testers use them in an office environment so that they can respond honestly and appropriately. There are several other factors when it comes to product testing that will affect the outcome of a consumer good or service. This procedure helps to make better quality and more durable, useful products for all of us.

The Best Career Choice In Counseling

The Best Career Choice In Counseling

If you have always wanted to help people with problems, you should consider a career in counseling. It is an extremely fulfilling career, however, if it is big money you are after, you will not make it in this career. The unemployment level for this career path is quite high as there are so many people that choose this corner of the psychology world.

You can opt to specialize in certain counseling areas. If you would like to aid people in overcoming their substance and alcohol abuse, you can opt for rehab counseling. Other specialist areas include working with individuals who have been victims of crime or been injured during a traumatic incident. You will help them overcome their fears and learn how to cope with returning their life to normal.

The difference between the different counseling options is minimal. To qualify for these positions, you need to obtain a degree, preferably in psychology. You need to be sure that you have the right temperament to deal with other people’s problems without becoming impatient.

In some countries, it may not be necessary to complete a psychology degree to become a counselor. You have the option to do a certificate and diploma course to qualify. It will however be necessary for you to gain experience in the field you wish to enter.

Many counselors opt for a distinct educational route that they know will allow them to gain the necessary qualification to get their dream job. They will complete a degree, both at bachelor’s and master’s level, in psychology before moving on to an internship in their chosen specialty. This may be a longer route to follow, but you will ensure that you have the basic knowledge to effectively help those people you care about.

Many people shy away from becoming a counselor because of the pay rate, but if you really care about others, this will not be of importance to you.

Speed Is Worst Drug Menace

Speed Is Worst Drug Menace

Methamphetamine, also known as speed, is the worst drug menace facing the United States and a growing threat in Asia, the U.S. drug control chief said Friday.  Criminal organizations that produce heroin have found that methamphetamine is easy to make and offers bigger profits, said Barry McCaffrey, the White House national drug policy director.

Stimulants also pose a huge threat in Thailand, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Japan, he said in Bangkok, on the last leg of a three-nation Asian tour. His eight-day tour seeks to promote international cooperation against the complex criminal networks that dominate the trade in illegal drugs.
McCaffrey, in Thailand after stops in China and Vietnam -the first made to those countries by a U.S. drug policy chief, met with Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, narcotics chiefs, army and police officials.

Thailand regards methamphetamine, mostly produced by ethnic armies in neighboring Myanmar, as its biggest social menace and national security threat. Myanmar is also known as Burma.
McCaffrey said law enforcement worldwide needs to respond to the threat posed by synthetic drugs that can be made by small producers, not just the major criminal organizations.

They pose a new challenge to Thailand – which with Laos and Myanmar make up Southeast Asia’s opium-producing Golden Triangle -after its “enormous success” in the past 20 years in reducing cultivation of opium, the raw material of heroin, and combatting addiction to that drug.  McCaffrey said methamphetamine has become the dominant drug problem in the United States, “in South Carolina, Hawaii, Georgia and the central part of our agricultural states.”

Most of the methamphetamine available in the United States is produced in Mexico and California, he said.
McCaffrey noted that ecstasy, a euphoria-inducing hallucinogen chemically similar to methamphetamine and widely available in the United States and Europe, is spreading to countries like Thailand and China.

In a sign of its spread in Southeast Asia, Malaysian authorities this week seized ecstasy pills and synthetic drugs worth $68 million in the country’s biggest narcotics haul, according to Malaysian news reports Friday. Eleven people were arrested.

Get out of the 9-5 and find your outlet.

Get out of the 9-5 and find your outlet.

Having been in the field of Engineering for five years now, things can get quite monotonous. But don’t get me wrong. I do not equate monotony with a menial job. Every day, we face loads of stress. One after another, the problems that need immediate attention come and go.

But the constant level of stress has made me feel like everything is just a cycle – an unchanging pattern of sleep – work – eat – sleep. Yes, I do get to take vacation leaves. But the ease and relaxation it brings are very momentary. They end the moment I realize that “I have to get to work.”.

I used to paint in college. It has been a great outlet for me, especially when I had overwhelming academic requirements. It did not only let out the creative side of me – but writing also helped me calm myself and regain focus. But now that work is consuming me, painting has become a “those were the days” memory.

This coming year I’d like to break the cycle I have created in the last five years. No, I am not going to shift to another field. I am simply going to put an effort in painting again.

Here are some tips I have rounded up on how to get back at it again.

  1. Find the time to start again.

This must be the very first step that we all should take – finding the time to commit ourselves to starting. Squeeze in a couple of hours in your busy weekend schedule for painting. It can start with cleaning those old brushes, preparing a canvas, or buying new materials. These are all mundane errands – they are not even the actual painting yet. But! These are all good starting points.

With the stress we’re all getting from work, every hour that we can spend just lazing around is such a luxury. We tend to push back the other things that we want to do – like painting – because we don’t like missing the chance to bum. How do we get away with that? Simple! Recall how great it felt for you when you painted. Try to see your favorite artworks and remember how fun it was to have successfully poured out your heart and effort into something that beautiful. Don’t be hesitant to miss the change of lazing around in exchange for such a productive activity.

  1. Relax yourself and your mind.

I have grown accustomed to having multiple things running in my head at the same time – whether I am in the shower, office, or at the breakfast table. This has made me become an uptight person. Relaxation has been equated to blankly watching TV shows or Netflix while thinking of how to resolve issues in the office or projects. I just realized how un-relaxing this activity was until an old friend from college came over and brought weed. Marijuana for recreational use was just legalized then. I have almost forgotten how it was to relax. This prompted me to get a marijuana vaporizer online (I got mine from magicvaporizers.co.uk, tried the FlowerMate Swift Pro).

Being unable to relax is one culprit as to why I cannot start again with painting. I am always, always distracted. Every time I begin entertaining the thought, it is always overshadowed by other concerns. It is pushed back on my list of priorities. That is why it is important to relax. It helps you get your head in the game and start wholly.

Find an activity that helps you unwind yourself. No, I don’t mean burying your face in your phone, computers or iPads. Find something else – something that does not require connecting to the internet world. Listen to music, read a book, have a drink by the fireplace. Do something that will allow you to exhale all of your stresses out and let you clear your mind.

  1. Don’t push yourself to finish a piece.

Just as what I always tell my colleagues, “Don’t be too hard on yourself.”. Painting is easy once you have gained your momentum. It comes to the point that as if it is already your brush that is taking the lead. But, starting it – we have all been there! – it can be very challenging.

Our creative juices do not run like an open faucet. Just let it drip at its pace, and go along with it. After all, this is something that you loved doing. It is not a work deliverable – there is no set deadline! Finishing one might take a while. But just enjoy the whole process of it.

Conclusion

Once you have finished one, also remember that our skills can become rubbish. Painting is not like riding a bike, which once you’ve mastered your balance, you can hop back anytime even with long periods of no practice. Painting is like most other hobbies. The skill can degrade with time if not used. Our outputs may not be as beautiful as with those we’ve done before. But regardless, you have put both love and effort in all outputs. It is for the love of painting after all.

Tripping the Light Fantastic!

Tripping the Light Fantastic!

My question is to all those who have tripped before, whether it be on acid or shrooms. I would like to know what were some of the most important revelations you have had while on these substances? Sound interesting? Let’s shoot.

Here’s mine…

The most important revelation I have had thus far occurred the night of Arrakis last June, where PVD so brilliantly performed. My friends and I took some mean gel tabs (whatever happened to those anymore?). Anyways, at that point in my life, I was questioning my belief in an afterlife and the destinations of heaven and hell.

In my past trips, I would always envision myself in a fiery and demonic surrounding, the likes of which parallel the description of the hell we all know and love.

After a few trips of that sort, I began to believe that I was destined for hell consciously.

My trips, as you can probably imagine, have always been pretty scary. That night was not any different. As I sat there in one of the seats, seeing flames and demons circling me, not to mention, DJ Dan’s “Needle Damage” racing 500bpm in my head and driving me insane, I began to think about my purpose in life. I started to question all my actions thus far, and wondered what the point was when I was destined to go to hell?

Then it suddenly came to me. Why are most people in the world scared of going to hell? The hell that we think we know is the hell that was taught to us by society passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition or literature. What if we’ve had it all wrong and the hell that we know is heaven?…And the heaven that we know and millions of people aspire to reach, is hell?

The second I came to that realization, the most beautiful, bright blue and yellow light enveloped me, casting away the flames and demons. I felt as if I was flying powerfully into the sky, passing through clouds in pure exhilaration. I then was surrounding by millions of bright yellow stars exploding all around me. Simply put, I was in spiritual Stacy.

Then BOOM, Paul Van Dyk puts on, “For an Angel!”

That my dear friends was one of the most beautiful moments in my life and one of the most comforting revelations I have ever had.

Chemical Dependency Progression in Teens

Chemical Dependency Progression in Teens

The tumultuous group of adolescents consists of twenty percent of the population. These adolescents come from family backgrounds that are not stable. There is often a history of mental illness in the family; the parents have marital conflicts, and the families have more economic difficulties. The moods of these adolescents are not stable, and they are more prone to depression. They have significantly more psychiatric disturbances, and they only do well with the aid of intense psychotherapy. They do not grow out of it. It is in the tumultuous growth group that chemical dependency often develops.

Adolescents almost always use alcohol or drugs the first time under peer pressure. They want to be accepted and be a part of the group. Children are likely to model after the chemical use of their parents. Children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk of becoming chemically dependent. Practitioners seeking to develop effective treatment strategies for chemically dependent adolescents confront literature which is overwhelming in volume and confusing and contradictory in content.

Chemically dependent adolescents gradually change their peer group to include drinking and drug using friends. Chemical dependency halts emotional development. To develop normally, a person must learn to use their feelings to give them energy and direction for problem solving.

Ironically, chemically dependent people commonly see themselves only as regular users. Then, when they misuse and experience some consequences, they attempt to control their intake for a time. Then they misuse again. This back and forth pattern is a common symptom of the last stage. All the while, each symptom found in misuses becomes more serious.
It is tough, if not impossible, to arrest chemical dependency without such a crisis. But knowing the warning signs can make it possible for users and the people who care about them to take action — before addiction destroys their lives.

The Center for Behavioral Medicine’s Adolescent Recovery Services reflects a unique understanding of the varied and complicated problems facing chemically dependent and dually diagnosed teenagers and their families.

What happens to teens when their drug use becomes progressively more frequent and addictive? This list of behaviors, which are typically seen in a teen who is becoming addicted to drugs, can help parents discover if their teen has a true addiction to one or more substances.

They help adolescents (ages 13-18) recognize their addiction to alcohol and drugs as a disease that requires lifestyle changes for recovery. Dual-diagnosed teens, who struggle with the accompanying mental health problems, receive specialized, integrated care to overcome both challenges.

A free assessment can be scheduled to determine the service best suited to the patients’ needs. Available programs for chemical dependency include:
INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT THERAPY, which allows students to continue in their home school and attends therapeutic activities, individual, group and family therapy during the evening.

PARTIAL HOSPITALIZATION allows patients to be at home during the evening to work on what they learn during the day in the therapeutic environment, which includes school, individual, group and family therapy and therapeutic activities.
Adolescent Recovery Services is our most intensive intervention for inpatients. If an assessment indicates that a patient needs to be in Adolescent Recovery Services, once admitted, our priority is to determine if detoxification is necessary. Also during this evaluation period, we gather information allowing us to pinpoint the progression of the addiction on the continuum of chemical dependency. The next step is to identify the teen’s patterns of alcohol and other drug use and determine contributing factors, such as emotional, behavioral and physical problems, as well as family concerns.

Alcohol/Ecstacy/Politics

Alcohol/Ecstacy/Politics

For the alcohol industry, the event provided multiple causes for celebration. Not only had the Chancellor gifted them with another prime piece of televisual product placement, but he had also boosted industry hopes of increased sales by cutting tax on alcoholic spirits.

In the same parliamentary year, the British government backed a private members bill giving local authorities the power to close dance clubs if the police report evidence of drug taking. During the passage of the Public Entertainments (Drug Misuse) Bill, particular and persistent reference was made to ecstasy as the prime target of the new law.

To the alcohol industry, any measures which clamp down on the recreational use of ecstasy are only likely to increase sales of their product. With the recreational effects of E diminished by alcohol consumption, people taking ecstasy tend to drink far less alcohol. This encroachment on the alcohol industry’s domination of the market became financially significant in the late eighties, when the exploding rave culture in the UK swung youth preference away from alcohol and pubs, towards ecstasy and communal dancing.

A report on Leisure Futures, published in 1993 by influential market analysts the Henley Centre for Forecasting, revealed that between 1987 and 1992, pub attendance in the UK fell by 11%, with a projected 20% decrease by 1997. Estimates used in the report suggested the percentage of 16-24s taking any illegal drug doubled to nearly 30 per cent between 1989 and 1992. Using a rather conservative estimate suggesting one million people attend licensed raves each week, the Henley Centre estimated UK ravers were spending 8 billion a year on entrance fees, cigarettes, and illegal drugs.

The report concludes: “This, of course, poses a significant threat to spending for such sectors as licensed drinks retailers and drink companies. Firstly some young people are turning away from alcohol to stimulants; secondly, raves are extremely time-to consume and displace much of the time and energy which might have been expended on other leisure activities like pubs or drinking at home.”

In presenting the Public Entertainments (Drug Misuse) Bill, MP Barry Legg noted that “there was a lot of money involved in the business” and that the new bill would “squeeze every penny of profit from the drug dealers”.2 Indeed, profit levels attainable from the sale of alcohol are the kind which commands considerable political lobbying power. Evidence suggests that this power has been regularly employed in a sophisticated marketing war waged between the alcohol industry and rave culture since the late eighties.

In 1989, a new public relations alliance was formed by the UK’s leading alcohol companies. Instrumental in setting the ball rolling was Lord Wakeham, a Tory peer and then chairman of the Ministerial Group on Alcohol Issues. According to Anthony Hurse, a civil servant at the Department of Health: “Lord Wakeham made it clear to the alcohol industry that he would like the industry’s collaboration. He spoke to Peter Mitchell [Director of Strategic Affairs] at Guinness who agreed he’d do what he could.”3 As a consequence of Wakeham’s suggestions, the UK’s seven leading alcohol companies including Whitbread, Bass, and Seagram, launched a new PR organization from the headquarters of Guinness plc in London’s Portman Square. The Portman Group’s publicly stated aim is “to promote sensible drinking” However, according to Professor Nick Heather, Director of the Newcastle Centre for Alcohol and Drug Studies, the Group’s real agenda is rather different: “The attempt to distance alcohol as a drug from other kinds of drug and to give it a good face is the main activity of groups like the Portman Group.”3

With over 1 billion being cut from government research funding over the last ten years, scientists have been forced to compete for private funding. The Portman Group is just one of the many corporate interests which have populated this funding vacuum. In late 1994, the Portman Group operated a scheme which offered medical scientists 1000 pending their agreement to criticize a damning new book on alcohol.

Perhaps more damning, given the current sociopolitical preoccupation with law and order, is the British Medical Association‘s (BMA) report on alcohol and crime published once again in the late eighties. This report highlighted alcohol’s association with 60-70 per cent of homicides, 75 percent of stabbings and 50 percent of domestic assaults.7 According to an ex-rave music plugger at Virgin Records: “There are so many stories about ecstasy that lie below the surface. Big rave events that I was involved with in the past had a very low police presence compared to the big rock festivals I’ve been involved with where there’s alcohol. They knew people were going to be loved up and not violent.”8
Graham Bright certainly knew how to get things done as “private member’s business.” His 1990 anti-rave legislation was one of a minority of private member’s bills that becomes law. Ian Greer also recommended the use of “co-ordinated parliamentary pressure, using the beer club and other friends of Whitbread.”11 Indeed, the primary culprit in the ‘Cash for Questions’ scandal, Neil Hamilton, acted as the parliamentary consultant to the Brewers’ Society from 1987 to 1989,12 while Conservative MP James Couchman, the personal private secretary to the Leader of the House of Commons, is also an advisor to the Gin and Vodka Association. Despite this web of political manipulation, the alcohol industry’s involvement in the lobbying scandal received scant attention.

The sophisticated response to the market threat posed by ecstasy has been multimedia in its strategy. When Tory MP, Iain Mills died from ‘acute alcohol intoxication’ following an excess of dry gin at the beginning of 1997, the newspapers reported the story regarding his “lonely life.” An understated approach when viewed in contrast to the media reaction to one of the rather less frequent ecstasy-related deaths. Complicity in the distribution of relative misinformation about these two drugs is commonplace in both national and regional media when many such media sources have economic interests in maintaining good relations with the alcohol industry. Whitbread alone spends 1 million on marketing and advertising each year.

Advertising, described as “the science of influencing public opinion,” has borrowed heavily from images taken from rave culture, even though it has been harnessed to usurp that very culture. One recent television advertisement for Holsten Pils shown in the UK, illustrates the point: An actor, clutching a bottle of the lager above, strolls through a fantastically colored computer simulated landscape. In the closing shot, a smiley yellow tablet comes zooming out of the sky and, in idiotic voice tones, advises the actor to “get the wired man.” The actor, replies “Get a life sucker” before pulling on a string to deflate the tablet like a spent balloon. The connotations are obvious.

Meanwhile, alcohol companies like Seagram (Absolut Vodka), Holsten, Grolsch, and Fosters are blitzing youth culture magazines with specially targeted advertising campaigns designed to re-establish alcohol as a drug of youth preference.

The emerging implications of this investigation are not that alcohol is bad and ecstasy good; both drugs have their pros and cons.

But when the Secretary of State for Health increased the officially recommended alcohol limits in 1995, he defended his manoeuvre thus: “Alcohol consumption will always be a major public health issue, and it is important for the government to present a balanced view which recognises the risks but also offers soundly based and credible advice on which people can base their choices.”

Were this an approach applied to other recreational drugs, his statement might have been welcomed as a move to a more unfettered debate. Instead, its selective application to alcohol is indicative of that industry’s deep-seated influence on national politics and culture. One drug has been made socially acceptable while the other has not, with the criteria for this selective demonisation having more to do with the pollution of public information by corporate interests than it does with concerns for public safety.

Passing the common tests

Passing the common tests

Pass drug test : Large resource with prime information on drug testing and ways to pass any type of drug test including tips to pass a hair drug test, tips to pass a urine drug test and tips to pass saliva drug tests. The opening picture of the guy and gal standing at a urinal taking a drug test is kind of funny too.

Pass hair drug test : Check this site out for passing your hair drug tests. There is not a large amount of information to pass your drug test but what is there appears to be accurate from my knowledge of hair drug testing.

Pass hair, urine or saliva drug test : This site encompasses the three big drug tests ; hair, urine & saliva. Ton of resources on this site about drug testing and ways to pass drug tests. You have to root around the site some to find the info but there are some real gems on the subject of passing hair, urine & saliva drug tests.

Passing drug test : Passing-Drug-Test.biz is a great site for info on passing a drug test. You gotta’ see the California Raisin Bong on the front page!

Pass random drug test : Random drug tests are evil! Random drug tests are the most difficult type of drug test to pass because you have no prep time. This website on passing a random drug test can give you some valuable tips and ways to ease through the dangerous practice of random drug testing.

Pass saliva drug test : An excellent & well designed resource on saliva drug testing and methods for passing saliva drug tests. If you have an upcoming saliva drug test you need to pass visit this website for the scoop on how to pass your saliva drug test!

Pass urine drug test : Urine drug testing is one of the most common forms of drug tests but also the easiest drug test to pass. This website on passing urine drug tests covers the different methods and some of the pitfalls involved when trying to pass a urine drug test.

Tip on passing a drug test : Everybody is looking for tips on passing their drug tests. This particular site has tons of tips and general advice on some of the best ways for passing drug tests. If you need tips to pass a drug test then ‘Tips on Passing a drug Test’ is just the ticket!

 

California Collective

California Collective

California Collective was held January 23, 1999, at the Masterdome/San Bernadino Sports Arena in San Bernadino and was thrown by Go Ventures. This was Go Ventures’ thank you party for all of 1998, and a free CD was given as a part of this gesture.

Although the venue is called a sports arena, it’s more like a high school auditorium, with bleachers on both sides of the dance floor. The venue has two areas, one indoor and one outdoor, with a total capacity of about 2,200. House was being played in the main, indoor room and jungle in the outdoor area. Security was very friendly and non-intrusive. The venue was packed, but never got too hot.

As for lighting and visuals, Go Ventures always does a good job. Inside, there was a large video screen along with a large ballon with a video being projected on it. They had great lighting along with a few nice lasers. Outside, was pretty lit up by regular lights, but they had colored lights going as well.

The music at California Collective was pretty good I thought, even though I don’t like the progressive house all that much. I thought Charles Feelgood, Barry Weaver, and Green Velvet did the best performances of the night. It was cool when Feelgood and Green Velvet did a 2×4. In the jungle room, Mark Luv did a great hip-hop performance, and LA favorites R.A.W., Deacon, and Heretic all pleased the crowd. Around 4:30 AM, the jungle stopped, and Wilhelm K. came onto the decks surprisingly! He was at California Collective passing out tapes, but he wasn’t announced to be spinning. It was great to see some unexpected stuff happening at the party.

California Collective was a fun mid-sized rave put on by a promoter that usually does large events, but the results turned out great. More mid-sized events from them would be great, although their large-scale events are still fun too.

Dealing with a bad trip

Dealing with a bad trip

Sometimes, certain drugs can induce a ‘bad trip”. This can be either physical (eg: severe nausea or convulsions) and /or psychological. It can happen with any drug, but more commonly with LSD and Ecstasy.

NB: If at any stage you feel overwhelmed, or if you or a friend is experiencing severe physical or emotional reactions – do not hesitate to get help from a RaveSafe monitor or the paramedics.

The best way to prevent a bad trip is to follow the guidelines set out in the ‘If’ page on our website. There may however be times when a bad trip still happens.

People having bad trips can feel a number of things: confused, overwhelmed by crowds and attention, fear they are losing their minds, have hallucinations and can become paranoid. They can also become dangerously violent.

If you have to help someone, remember to stay calm, as anxiety and fear will worsen the situation.

Most people will respond to the A R R R T guidelines.

Acceptance: Try to gain the person’s trust and confidence by keeping calm. Try not to make them do anything they don’t want to do.

Reduce stimuli It is best to take the person to a quiet place, where they feel safe and comfortable, away from loud noise, crowds and bright lights. Sunglasses may help. Keep your movements slow and smooth, and don’t crowd the person – let them move freely.

Reassure the person that the drug is causing the effect, that it will go away with time and if they try to accept the feelings rather than fight them, things will look better, sooner. A positive attitude can often turn a trip around.

Rest. Make sure they are comfortable and use simple techniques for relaxation such as massage or even holding hands. If the person becomes violent or aggressive – call for help.

Talkdown. Talk constantly in a soothing tone. It may help to remind them who they are, and try discussing peaceful, pleasant topics. If they are having difficulty grounding themselves, get them to focus on your face. By getting them to think simple and happy thoughts, and creating a positive attitude, bad trips can often be turned around.