Saturday, May 19, 2012

It's Not Enough to Wear Pants

Not long ago, a colleague turned me onto a book called Women Don't Ask, by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003). It suggests that, for historical, cultural, social, and psychological reasons, women have great difficulty telling other people what they want. According to the authors, society pays a heavy price for this problem. How can we fix it?

Historically speaking, Western women were a long time getting the right to own property, to attend college, to vote, and to control their reproductive capacity. For millennia, women's lives were controlled by external forces. The tradition of subservience permeates social customs to this day, because the old-time gender roles, being familiar, seem correct and appropriate to everyone.

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For eons, women were supposed to let men handle invitations on a date and the proposal of marriage. Men, not women, were widely seen as heads of household. Even now, when children are born, they usually take the surname of the father, not the mother, suggesting that he rather than she principally shapes the family's collective identity.

It's Not Enough to Wear Pants

The chores assigned to girls usually emphasize dependence, are performed daily or routinely, and tend to go uncompensated; examples are cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes. In contrast, those given to boys encourage independence, are less frequently performed, and are more likely to command pay; examples are leaf raking, snow shoveling, and washing the car.

And just think of all the things American children may see fathers but not mothers doing-carpentry, plumbing repair, financial planning, woodcutting, and automotive work. (If your family includes kids, do they see their parents as equally willing and able to do all or most of the same kinds of work?)

Despite significant gains by women, domestic tasks are still generally theirs; employee jobs are more often men's territory. Disproportionate numbers of women teach school, nurse the sick, do word processing, and provide child care. Men fill the ranks of corporate officers, construction workers, financial managers, and engineers. Workplace etiquette and protocols continue to echo time-honored gender stereotypes.

Men are regarded as stronger, more rational, and more independent; women, as weaker, more emotional, and more interdependent. Independent types focus on individual achievement and are less concerned with how their actions affect the people around them. Interdependent people are keenly aware of others at all times; for them, a primary goal is to develop and protect strong relationships.

In negotiations, men think the issue at hand is "just business," gone and forgotten once agreement is reached. Women, in contrast, tend to worry about possible damage to the parties' future relationship. As a result, women-but not men-may feel uncomfortable negotiating because of fears about promoting conflict. Women generally accept employers' initial salary offers without negotiating, whereas men more often up the ante right away. (The gap in pay widens later.) Like other cultural and ethnic groups, women see themselves closed out of most positions of power and governed by forces outside their control.

The problem? It's women's sense of entitlement and self-esteem. So why don't women get together and demand their rights? Wasn't that what the twentieth-century feminist movement was all about?

The answer isn't so easy. Assertive women may be treated as bitchy or aggressive. They may be excluded socially or on the job, or they may be criticized until anxiety undermines their ability to make requests or deters them altogether from doing so. Women who resist the stereotype pay a big price. But rigid gender-based standards aren't just imposed on women. They are also perpetuated by women. And we all tend to ignore or forget evidence that is inconsistent with our beliefs.

For one thing, women often don't realize that change is possible. They don't know that they can ask for more. Worse, they have been taught, and have come to believe, that women

o are not entitled to receive more than they have been getting,

o should be content to receive less than men do, and

o should give away more than men would in their shoes.

Even in the bedroom, according to the supermarket magazines, women's needs are likely not to be met much of the time!

Overall, Babcock and Laschever tell us, the gender role divide carries huge costs for everyone. The undervaluing of women, by themselves and by society, is bad for women's psychological and physical health-and in the United States today, health care costs are skyrocketing. Second, when women are unequally rewarded for their work, they receive inadequate benefits-social security, disability insurance, pensions, unemployment insurance, and the like. At retirement age, women in the United States are twice as likely to be poor as men. The economic burden on society of caring for indigent elderly women is substantial.

Then too, when employers routinely assume that applicants with better salary histories are more capable, and when women are systematically denied better pay and better jobs at all levels of all businesses, the losers are not just women but society as a whole. Business growth and related gains in productivity are hampered when more than 50 percent of the citizenry is underemployed.

The authors ask, "Why should we tolerate a society in which half our citizens are arbitrarily undervalued and underpaid? Fairness . . . must be safeguarded and promoted even when its beneficiaries don't realize what they are missing" (pp. 54-55). When women's talents are underutilized, those talents are wasted and women are prevented from reaching their full potential. Last and particularly disturbing, some researchers have found that people who are not appropriately rewarded for their efforts cease to aim high (p. 57).

There are even more powerful reasons why women should assert themselves and why society should accept more assertive women. As we rub shoulders more often with virtual neighbors who live farther and farther away, it makes sense to heed new research showing that the best way to negotiate or to resolve conflict is to collaborate. We need to focus not on win-lose but on win-win. The parties' respective positions are less important than their needs, for there may be a way to accommodate everyone.

In this area-reconciliation and compromise-women's relationship skills have particular value for society. Women

o try to understand the other side's problem as the other side experiences it.

o report on the problem as it appears to them.

o analyze the issues to see whether a compromise might suit everyone.

o brainstorm solutions instead of insisting on one particular course of action.

Before women can realize these and other talents to the full, however, they must understand the historical, cultural, and psychological obstacles confronting them.

The authors offer a few helpful tips designed to facilitate change.

o Acknowledge that a negotiation almost always has both issue-related and relationship goals.

o Trust other negotiators to take care of their own needs (just worry about your own).

o Recognize that emotions needn't be completely absent from negotiations; while yelling and tears aren't recommended, a smiling and calm demeanor can be an asset.

In this area, as in so many others, society needs to ensure that everyone's voice is heard.

It's Not Enough to Wear Pants

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

How to Terror-Proof Your Money

"To drift is to be in hell, to be in heaven is to steer." --George
Bernard Shaw

Former Homeland Security Director,
Tom Ridge, has said it's not a matter of "if"
we'll have another terrorist attack, but when.
Like the attack of 9/11, the financial effects of
another terror attack will be felt by almost
everyone who lives in the United States. If you
have been lulled into a false sense of complacency
because we haven't been attacked yet, think for a
moment about what you could lose if a major attack
occurred in the not too distant future.
After September 11th, 2001, major economic shifts
occurred, and that was a relatively minor event.
If a nuclear or dirty bomb went off in New York
City, the economic "fall out" would be much, much
greater. Fortunately, there are simple, effective
ways to "terrorproof" your savings if you know
what to do.

Health Today

After the events of 9/11, I felt a
need to re-think how I allocated my own
investments. As a Certified Financial Planner and
investment educator, I also had many students that
were concerned about protecting their portfolio. I
looked for books that could be of help, but
couldn't find one that was useful and reasonably
priced. Therefore, I decided to write my own. With
the help of my co-author Jonathan Robinson, we
wrote "Terror-Proof Your Mind and Money: Create
Physical, Financial and Mental Security in
Dangerous Times."

How to Terror-Proof Your Money

In the book, we discuss many
practical ways to easily take the "terror" out of
terrorism by relieving one's anxiety, securing
one's home, and protecting one's financial assets.
Although I can't discuss all the suggestions
outlined in our book in a brief article such as this, I can
offer you many helpful guidelines for protecting
your assets in the event of another tragedy. When
the time of another attack occurs, if your
investments are in the right places, you'll
weather the ensuing storm just fine. Yet, if your
assets are badly positioned, you could face the
prospect of financial (as well as emotional)


If you honestly look
at our current economic climate, you can see there
are many vulnerabilities. In the event of a major
terrorist attack in the U.S., our economy could
fall like a "House of Cards." Consider the

1. The stock market, especially tech
stocks like Google, Yahoo and EBay are trading at
higher valuations than tech stock prices during
the bubble in the late 1990's. Many
commentators are even calling the early 2005
market an "echo bubble."

2. The benchmark 10 year
Treasury bond is yielding less than 5% in a world
that has been promised higher interest rates by
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. (Higher
interest rates will cause the value of your long
term bonds to automatically drop in value.)

3. The
housing market is certainly overpriced on both
coasts, and is probably unsustainable in the
middle of the country too. Home sales have begun
to slow down in light of higher mortgage rates,
outlandish prices, too much speculation, and buyer
exhaustion. If current homeowners can't borrow
more money out of their ever increasingly valuable
residence, will they keep spending at the mall? It
has largely been money borrowed out of housing
that has helped consumer buying the last three years...and
without it, the U.S. could easily fall into a
recession--causing even more problems.

4. The
value of the dollar--looked at by the rest of the
world as a share of stock in the USA Inc.--has been
falling for almost three years. Do you think the
world will continue to put 0-600 billion
dollars worth of their savings into our economy
each year? If foreigners decide not to send their
money to us, our interest rates will rise even
faster than the promised "gradualism" promised by
Mr. Greenspan. Most Americans don't really care
about the value of the dollar in world markets,
but I assure you if the dollar becomes some sort
of "American Peso," we will all quickly learn how
a weak dollar can hurt. For example, we have to
buy oil in dollars, and if dollars aren't worth
anything, how will we afford to fill the tank of
our nice new SUV?

5. And finally, the rate of
inflation (classically defined as too much of an
increase in the amount of money in circulation),
is rising. And if that kind of inflation
(monetary) is rising, then price inflation won't
be far behind. A rerun of price inflation would
essentially be a rerun of the entirely troublesome

Yes, there is undoubtedly some good news
on the investment front, but overpriced markets
are inherently risky in any kind of era, and they
perform very badly in panicky, terror stricken
financial markets. An act of terrorism would
exaggerate problems in all of these markets.


I have been teaching investment workshops since 1979. In 1999 and early
2000 I couldn't get my adult students to be worried about ridiculous stock
prices. My allegedly savvy adult students all thought, "This time it's different."
Well, live and learn. Warren Buffett, the best investor of our era has said,
"Investment knowledge is cumulative."
Mr. Buffet
has seemingly learned that the U.S. stock market
is not a good bet now. He has recently publicly
stated that he's not buying anything in the U.S.
stock market, but instead is focusing on buying
foreign currencies.

In studying what happened to
financial markets after the attack of 9/11, I
learned that investors who had money diversified
into various asset allocations did pretty well. So
if history is any lesson, you'll probably do fine
in the event of a future attack if you invest
"relatively" equal percentages of your investment
money in the categories of stocks, short term
bonds, cash, commercial real estate and
commodities (including gold and silver). Once
you've moved your money into these different asset
classes, the next thing to focus on is to start
picking specific mutual funds or individual
equities that you believe will perform well in
turbulent kinds of markets. For example, in an
increasingly dangerous world, certain "security"
stocks would likely be good investments (if other
value considerations are present.) Such classic
defense stocks as Boeing and Lockeed have done
well since 9/11. Of course, I'm not your financial
advisor and this is not the forum to be touting
any particular companies, so I'm not recommending
anything without knowing more about you. Rather,
my goal here is to get you to look at allocation
of assets - the big areas your assets are invested

Besides detailing how certain industries
did after 9/11, I devote significant attention in
our book to encouraging investors to include
precious metals in their portfolios. Gold and
silver have protected investors for centuries from
financial mismanagement, bad governments,
inflation, and of course, war. It's not an
accident that the Golden Rule is frequently
misquoted as "Those with the gold rule." It is
also worth remembering that all "fiat" currencies
(paper declared to be money by some authority
without it being exchangeable into anything else)
have eventually become "collectibles." Confederate
money, French assignats, Iraqui dinars, etc. have
all become confetti. Compare that track record to
the fact that every single gold or silver coin
ever made still has value. You should think about
placing some percentage of your money in gold and
silver if you are looking to make your portfolio

Your preparation doesn't have to be
perfect. As George Patton said, "A good plan today
is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." Nobody is
born knowing how to invest. Smart investors
develop their expertise by reading about what
others did with their money, and coming up with a
suitable plan based on all the information they
can collect. Remember, traditional Wall Street
brokers and TV financial analysts rarely (if ever)
bring up the subject of terror-proofing your
savings. Therefore, other than the book I
co-authored on this subject, you're pretty much on
your own when considering the likely implications
of a terror attack on your financial health. Make
your decisions carefully.

For most people, the
worst scars from a future terrorist attack won't
be physical. They will be emotional and financial.
If you are caught flat-footed, your future
financial plans (and those of your loved ones)
could be delayed for a significant period of time, or destroyed
altogether. That would be adding one tragedy on
top of another. It's time to pay attention to your
where your money is and take appropriate
action...before it's too late.

How to Terror-Proof Your Money

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Carrot Juice for Skin Health

Your skin is a reflection of your underlying health. Good nutrition including fresh vegetable juice such as carrots can play a role in creating better-looking skin. Carrot Juice is used for skin health to provide curative and preventative properties for healthy glowing skin. The largest organ in the body, our skin is the first defense against germs and the environment. One of the best ways to slow the aging of skin is to ensure the skin is well hydrated by consuming fresh juice and plenty of water each day.

Carrots are regarded as the 'herbal healer' of skin diseases as they promote the repair of skin tissue. Carrot juice is a valuable source of Vitamin A, which is a major vitamin for skin health. Carrots are rich in antioxidants, including phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, which protect, nourish and moisturize the skin. Nutrition received from carrots helps to reduce photosensitivity to promote skin renewal and protect the skin from sun damage.

Health Today

Carrot juice acts as an anti-inflammatory and revitalizes and tones the skin. Cosmetically, carrots are used to treat dermatitis, eczema, rashes and wrinkles caused by free radicals. Carrot juice is also used to assist in the healing of cuts and abrasions. Complexion problems due mainly to toxic overload in the body and an acidic condition in the blood can be stabilized through consumption of carrot juice. Potassium in the carrots helps to neutralize the excess acid and the vitamin A assists the liver in flushing toxins from the body.

Carrot Juice for Skin Health

A recent study in the Netherlands found a significant link between skin condition and the level of vitamin A in the blood. Natural vitamin A in the form of Beta Carotene is abundant in fresh carrot juice thereby negating the need for vitamin A supplements.

Vitamin A deficiencies in the body include: premature wrinkling, skin impurities, acne, dry, scaly and rough skin, especially on the arms and legs. Carrot juice applied daily is great for uneven skin tones due to blemishes and pigmentation. Extract juice from carrots and pineapple using a juicer: mix pineapple juice and carrot juice together, apply it on the face and wash off after 15 minutes. Use this daily to achieve clear and even toned skin.

Drink carrot juice in small doses, as the body is unable to assimilate more than 8oz of carrot juice at a time. Large consumptions of carrot juice daily over a period of weeks may result in a yellow tinge to the skin. At best it will give a healthy glow to your tan. The skin discoloration is completely harmless and occurs primarily on the hands and feet. Either your body is unable to process carotene properly or your liver is toxic. Either way for healthy nutrition it is important not to concentrate on only one juice source.

A healthy skin is achieved internally through a nutritious diet incorporating fresh vegetable juice. Carrot juice is effective in maintaining and enhancing a soft, smooth disease free skin. An invigorating and refreshing juice, start drinking carrot juice today and tell me if you see a difference in your skin

Carrot Juice for Skin Health

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Relationship Improvement Tips

Here are some tips for improving your relationships with others.

Rate your "people skills" on a scale of 1-10. Do others enjoy being with you? Do you give off good vibes and energy? Do you smile, make eye contact and really listen? Do you ask questions to keep 'em talking? Optimistic? Do you use manners and offer to help others? Take a step back and analyze how you interact with others. Every day, I talk with and see those who exude confidence, enthusiasm and warmth. These are the people I want to chat with over coffee. These are the people who know how to use their people skills to get things done.

Health Today

Be Fun & Interesting
Have a story and be prepared to share it. Tell of your travels, your early years, interesting facts you've read, unique life experiences that shaped you into the "you" of today. Purchase a family keepsake journal and fill in your info to pass along to future generations. Your great-grandchildren will want to know what you did for fun and work. Pass on words of wisdom and life lessons learned.

Relationship Improvement Tips

Take An Interest
How do you show that you care? Do you say the words or take action? A combo is the winner. Tell him you enjoy his stories as a lad and then invite him over for lunch. Tell her you appreciate her willingness to volunteer on short notice. BE SPECIFIC! Did she call you and offer words of sympathy when your loved one passed away? Did he offer to mow your grass while you were out of town? Telling someone specifically what they did or said will increase the likelihood they will do it again (for you or someone else). Talk about spreading some cheer!

Support Group
Who makes up your support group? Who can you count on to brighten your mood or to listen when you need to vent? Weed out those darn pessimists and those who tell you what to do. Thank those who you designate to be your support group by making a quick phone call or sending a hand-written note that will make you both feel good. Remind them you are emotionally available for them, too.

Give Them A Purpose
People enjoy feeling needed. Let your parents help you out financially. Let your neighbor drive you to the airport. You both will get some satisfaction out of the deal. Just remember to say "thanks". Don't feel obligated to repay the favor. Do good deeds because it feels good, not because you owe them.

No Regrets
One of the worst feelings is not saying/doing something until it's too late. Illness and death make people say things like, "I wish I had told him...." or "I never got to show her..." Don't let this happen to you. Make lists- people who you wronged or wronged you or with whom you did not have "closure." Contact them and forgive, apologize or get your closure. If they don't accept your apology, no worries, you did your part. Don't ever regret it.

Take Risks
Don't be afraid to tell others what is on your mind. Stop keeping your thoughts and worries to yourself. People feel bonded together when intimate thoughts are shared. Tell your adult children that you are experiencing health problems. They will want to help. Let them. Tell your religious friend that you are unsure what to believe about the after-life and how it is causing you stress. She'll listen.

Practice, Practice, Practice!
Athletes, musicians and public speakers constantly analyze how they could perform better. Put yourself in situations where you can practice your new skills. Smile at the clerk, compliment the mechanic about how he specifically fixed your engine, make a positive statement about the weather. "Wow, I really enjoy feeling that crisp air on my face in the morning. It makes me feel alive."

Be Responsible
If something in your relationship isn't working, it is up to you to fix it. Schedule a heart-to-heart talk. Discuss what is working, what's not and make a plan to resolve it.

Relationship Improvement Tips

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

To Help Heartburn You Need to Do This - Acid Reflux Remedy Advice

To help heartburn you will often find experts saying 2 different things... strengthen your damaged lower esophageal sphincter and eat a proper diet to get more acid in your stomach. But how do you go about doing both of these things?

In this article about acid reflux remedy advice, you will learn how to cure your heartburn and acid reflux with a new diet and simple lifestyle tips.

Health Today

Why Natural Remedies Work?

To Help Heartburn You Need to Do This - Acid Reflux Remedy Advice

Acid reflux is usually caused by a damaged or weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is the muscle flap that sits on top of the stomach. After years of poor dieting, the sphincter will begin to become weaker and weaker. If not strengthened with a healthier diet, suffering from acid reflux is inevitable.

The second reason why heartburn is common is poor dieting. Poor dieting leaves the stomach without enough stomach acids to digest the food properly. However, proper dieting can give the stomach enough enzymes to leave the food and stomach acid inside the stomach.

Here are some simple tips you can start today to begin your home treatment.

Acid Reflux Remedy Advice

1. Eat softer foods for 2 days to help your LES repair. Hard and crunchy foods tend to scrape the sphincter.

2. Avoid spicy and acidic foods for 2 days like alcohol and coffee.

3. Stop smoking because the chemicals in cigarettes damage the LES further.

4. Drink water after every meal and snack.

5. Swallow 1-2 teaspoons of raw liquid honey when heartburn symptoms begin.

6. Chew your food longer to aid digestion process.

7. Supplementing aloe vera juice will speed up the repair of LES. You can find this at any health food store.

8. Eating a red apple will help whenever you feel an attack coming on.

To Help Heartburn You Need to Do This - Acid Reflux Remedy Advice

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Health Insurance Lifetime Maximum

The Health Insurance Lifetime Maximum of your plan is the total amount of money the insurance company will pay for the entire time you have coverage under that plan. Once you reach that amount, your plan will not pay for any more of your medical expenses.

What Are The Limits?

Health Today

The maximum amount that the insurance company will pay varies from policy to policy, with the typical amount being between 1 million and 5 million dollars. There are some polices though, that only contribute a total of less than 1 million dollars over the lifetime of the policy.

Health Insurance Lifetime Maximum

On a brighter note, although not as common, there are policies that have an unlimited lifetime maximum.

Why Are There Limits?

Insurance companies set these limits to keep their total possible liability for a health insurance plan as low as possible.

Keeping these limits lower also keeps the premium rates lower. All of the guidelines of the plan, including the lifetime cap come into play when insurance companies set the cost of the insurance plan. A plan richer in benefits is going to cost more.

For instance, a health insurance plan with a high deductible and a low lifetime cap will cost less than a plan with a low deductible and unlimited lifetime benefits.

Similarly, when the annual deductibles of two plans are the same, the plan with a higher lifetime maximum will cost you more.

Should You Be Concerned?

You and your family members may be in perfect health and can never foresee that any one of you could possibly incur medical bills as high as one to five million dollars. And quite frankly, I hope you never do!

But, with the rising costs of medical treatment for conditions such as open heart surgery, cancer, organ transplants and chronic illnesses, it isn't that difficult to reach those amounts in a short amount of time.

If you want to be sure to be covered for all medical expenses for the duration of your coverage under that policy, look for one with a higher lifetime limit or one with no limit. To lessen the cost of these plans, consider accepting a higher annual deductible.

P.S. Consider this ~ A coverage cap of million in the 1970s would have had to grow to more than million today to keep pace with inflations and costs.

Health Insurance Lifetime Maximum

Capital One Online

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Common Health and Safety Hazards in Factories

Just like elsewhere in the western world, In the UK as well the government has prescribed some safety regulations that have to be adhered to by any workplace. Protection against health and safety hazards may even extend to the families of people employed in hazardous occupations. In the European Union, member countries have enforced authorities to ensure that the legal basics related to occupational health and safety hazards is followed in any case.

Hazard is something that can cause harm if not controlled. A risk is the probability of the outcome which will occur if harm occurs. The outcome can be defined as the result of an uncontrolled hazard. Risk analysis is conducted to identify hazards, evaluate the risk, and identify and prioritize the required actions.

Health Today

Workplace safety hazards are normally grouped into environmental hazards, environmental agents, physical agents, physical hazards, chemical agents, and biological hazards. Environmental hazards normally include asphyxiation and dehydration. Environmental agents include heat and cold stress. Physical hazards include collision, tripping, falling, and electricity. Physical agents include noise, vibration, and lighting.

Common Health and Safety Hazards in Factories

Other hazards are mechanical hazards, biological hazards, and chemical agents. Depending on the type of work that is done in a factory, safety precautions have to be employed. Office workers can be affected by a flu spread by a co-worker, and a factory worker can receive serious injury because of an accident. Common health and safety hazards can be avoided by taking necessary precautions. But, even with all necessary precautions accidents do occur.

To minimize safety hazards, workers are issued safety goggles, helmets, gloves, safety shoes, and coveralls. For avoiding health hazards, a virus free and well ventilated environment is provided. Clean drinking water, clean and safe kitchen and eating areas are maintained. Some factories require medical checkups of the employees on regular basis.

There are some basic health and safety rules that all factory owners are bound to follow. There are special rules for factories that use hazardous material. These include installation of safety showers and eye wash stands. Special safety clothes may also be required by law to be provided to the employees.

The common safety and health laws that factories in the UK have to follow can be found in the local factory laws. They may differ slightly depending on the local county laws. Health laws cover providing a well ventilated, clean, and dust free environment. Safety laws require wearing of proper safety equipment as required by the type of job being performed. If it is a factory where there is a probability of falling objects striking someone, then safety helmets must be worn. If the floors are wet or slippery, proper safety shoes must be worn.

The basic rules are very general in nature as they encompass the entire business spectrum. But there are further classifications that are factory dependent. If the factory handles harmful chemicals, then the safety laws are going to be different from a factory that does packaging. One single rule cannot cover all factories' safety and health regulations. In most cases, the rules regarding safety and health can also be quite vague.

Common Health and Safety Hazards in Factories

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