The “Worthy” Poor VS The “Unworthy” Poor

In American Society, we have divided the poor into two classes, the “worthy” poor and the “unworthy” poor. The “worthy” poor are those we feel are worth being on state/federal aid and do not complain about assisting. The “unworthy” poor are those are receive aid as well but for some reason society feels they could take care of themselves and not depend on the aid.

Society feels that those in the “unworthy” class are capable of providing for themselves financially. The reason being that most of the people who fall into this class are younger then the people who fall into the “worthy” class. Many who fall into the “worthy class” are the elderly who are beyond working age, and find it hard to support their selves without some form of a fixed income.

Although the majority of the “worthy” class is made up of the elderly, there are certain situations where the “worthy” class also includes some of a younger generation. Many of those come from the deeply impoverished corners of the United States Society. Many don’t have a chance of surviving and living a better life then they are being given unless the someone, whether it be the government or a small organization, step up and find some way to show them the way to improve themselves.

There are a few such organizations and federal programs in place already, but there are not nearly enough to tackle the large need that we have for the issue. Many people feel that even though they fall into the “worthy” category, they are still not worth wasting time, resources, and money on to educate towards a better life. Many look down on those who need aid regardless of the situation and feel the same about them. They think that they are children, and as they grow they will learn and they will make something better of themselves. Unfortunately, this is not true. As they grow up in a poverished lifestyle they will learn from what they are surrounded with. They will grow up and realize it isn’t so bad to be where they are, because they have not had anyone show them that there is a different way in life.

As American’s, we are a large extended family. Everyone is supposed to look out for their family and protect them. I do not know why no one is protecting the children of these “unworthy” groups and showing them the way to better themselves and enrich their lives. It is going to take more then giving their family a few hundred dollars a month in food stamps and other aid to teach these children how to succeed in life. It is going to take educating them. Not only do these children need to be shown the way, but their parents/parent as well need to be educated on how to enrich not only their lives but their children’s lives as well. It is a two step process, and it is time as a society we step up and start making it a reality instead of a vision. With a little hard work I honestly believe that poverty in the US could be helped dramatically by just a few nice neighbors holding out their hands and showing that they are willing to assist.

Gas Moped Scooter – Not Just For Fun

Buying a gas moped scooter is a great way to have fun on the road without emptying your bank account. In the past scooters have mainly been used by teenagers for getting to and from friends houses, school or college. You can often see them admiring each others scooters outside coffee shops etc. The most popular models being the Vespa, Lambretta, piaggio and the smaller Honda models.

This trend is now starting to show signs of change, the main reason is the recent rise in gas prices and heavy city traffic, consequently more and more commuters are looking at the gas moped scooter as a reliable way of getting around town.

The scooter companies are beginning to recognize this and are producing higher spec models to entice the more mature dollar their way. One of the biggest producers is Honda who have a stunning range of higher powered scooters, such as the Silver Wing; this a stunning gas moped scooter which is sleek and stylish it has a smooth liquid cooled twin engine and the acclaimed Honda v-matic transmission. The Silver Wing has a seating capacity for two and tons of storage for that hard to stow brief case and spare motorcycle helmet.

If you want the comfort of the Silver Wing but with a smaller engine the Honda Reflex is a great choice. From city streets to country roads to long stretches of highway, the Reflex gas moped scooter is built for any number of rides. Its smooth 249cc engine, automatic transmission and comfortable seating for two deliver the goods to get you going, wherever the day takes you.

The Piaggio X9 Evolution 500 is an excellent gas moped scooter and satisfies all needs. Agile, easy to handle and the most compact of all maxi scooters. Once out of town, it is able to shift character and open up to wide open spaces with remarkable ease. The X9 has a top speed of 98mph comes with disc brakes and and on board computer.

It is well worth considering using a scooter or small motorcycle for getting around the city or those short trips to the store or football game where you can just park and forget it. You will be amazed how much you will save on insurance premiums and most of all gas. One fill up will probably satisfy the average commuting needs for a month so why not make your next vehicle purchase a gas moped scooter.

Gamble Or Abstain!

ABSTINENCE [The sure way]

There has been great awareness campaign about HIV/AIDS for the past decades and It is believed that there is nothing really new about this particular ailment, the general Public is not aware of. Part of this awareness campaign is the preventive aspect of acquiring the Virus. Though this article is centered on abstinence, it is in no way in disagreement with the other ways of protection against   transmission  of the virus.

“Abstinence, being faithful, correct and consistent condom use are the only ways to successfully reach everyone when discussing HIV prevention. I believe that the abstinence message alone does not solve the AIDS epidemic”- a quote from the American actress, Ashley Judd. This true statement of fact is in total agreement to the former first lady to the United states and as well the 2008 Democratic party presidential aspirant, Hilary Clinton who said “there is a great deal of political pressure to only talk about abstinence and to deny support for condoms and education for using them. This policy will lead to the unnecessary deaths of many people”. This is also correct. You cannot live the lives of others or monitor their activities and actions. Preaching abstinence alone and preventing the other means of protection is far from the solution. But in as much as the use of condoms and other safe practices are not condemned, total abstinence is worth the greatest attention because it is a 100% sure way of prevention, therefore preaching it is aimed at encouraging those who are doing their best possible to abstain, and as well put more light on reasons to abstain for those who believe in it, but do not practice it.. Before we hit the nail on the head, let’s go through the ways of  transmission  of the virus from an infected person to one that is not infected.

 Transmission  occurs when secretions of affected persons come in contact with tissues such as those lining the vagina, anal area, mouth or eyes ( the mucus membranes) or with a break in the skin as such for a cut or puncture by a needles. These ways are possible via sexual contact, sharing of needles, and  transmission  from infected mothers to their new born during pregnancy, labor or breastfeeding. It could also be transmitted via blood transfusion. These following ways could be classified into two major classes. The controllable or avoidable ways of  transmission  and the Uncontrollable means of  transmission . The controllable or avoidable means are these methods of contacting the virus which can be controlled or totally avoided by the person involved. Note that this definition is specific to the person who is at risk. The uncontrollable means are the ones which cannot be controlled by the affected persons. Infected new born fall into the uncontrollable means as they cannot do anything about the situation. They fall out to be unfortunate victims and to a large extent, blood transfusion can be in this category. For this category or class of  transmission , abstinence cannot be preached since it was not the fault or carelessness of the affected persons.

In the controllable category, using of new needles each time you want to take drugs and dumping the old ones after using them; is a direct formula to preventing HIV infection via injection of needles. This reduces the risk to about 99.99%. If a person not only shares needles but uses them just once, he stands a great chance to be risk free, giving the control method a good efficacy. Nevertheless, 0.0001% is still a probability and we will see how probability counts in reality. Therefore, in order to really understand what abstinence is, focus would be placed on the two major controllable means (injection and sex), especially on sex.

In sexual means of  transmission , the break in condom cannot be totally avoided in a given formula. No matter the quality of condom, there are still chances it could break during sex. Some arguments stress out that the virus is smaller than the fiber of the condom and it can still get through, especially when the male genital is very huge, stretching the condom extremely well. Therefore, it gives the probability of 85%- 95% of HIV prevention for the males and 95%- 99% for the females if used correctly.

On the contrary, Abstinence is a straight 100% preventive measure; absolutely efficient and no slight chance no matter how negligible it may be. It is safer and easier to adopt. Remember that abstinence does not mean been a virgin forever but avoidance of more than one partner, and more concretely avoidance of pre- marital and extra- marital sex. Probability is the chance of an event to occur and no matter how insignificant the value is; it does not prevent the situation involved from existing. It is believed that the cru de chat syndrome (sterile females with immature sex organs resulting from the loss or deletion of a significant portion of the genetic material) occurs once in 5000 births. This does not mean cru de chat syndrome does not exist and you can understand that, a parent who has a sick child with such a syndrome would not be ready to listen to statistics from any doctor, because the reality still remains; his/her child is suffering from it irrespective of the slim chance of occurrence.

On a general note, abstinence is the sure way to avoid the controllable means of acquiring the virus. And from the following illustration below, we can justify this simple fact. The table below shows the estimated number of cases of AIDS amongst people by  transmission  category in the 50 states of the United States of America as of 2007.

Male- to- male sexual contact — 487,695

Injection drug use — 255,859

Male- to male sexual contact with injection – 71,242

High risk heterosexual contact – 176,157

Others (Hemophilia, blood transfusion, prenatal exposure and risk not reported or Identified) – 18,266.

[taken from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm ].

The first four ways are controllable means in which aside drug use, the rest are by sexual contact. These four means account for 990,953 cases out of 1,009,219, which is about 98.2% of all cases. Meanwhile 735,094 out of 1,009,219 cases are due to sexual  transmission  alone; accounting for 72.8% of all cases. Only about 1.8% of the total incidences are due to uncontrollable  transmission .

On normal grounds, occurrence of a situation caused by uncontrollable factors should be more, when compared to the same situation caused by the controllable ones. Another insight we can get from this statistic which is an extension of the first statement is; despite the control measures and protective means available, the controlled means are still far greater in occurrence than the uncontrolled ones. This justifies the fact that the only way this can be drastically reduced is through abstinence.

A teenage girl once said, “I have created an appetite for sex and I do not think I can stop it now”. The Human nature is such that, if you allow it take part in a pleasurable event more than once and continuously, it begins to yearn after that event due to its increased appetite. Charles DIkkens, a popular English Novelist of the Victoria era quotes “subdue your appetite, my dears and you’ve conquered human nature”. Human natured is meant to be conquered and in this way we can control ourselves- hence show great abstaining ability. If we do not conquer our human nature and allow our various tastes or appetite to explode, I think mutualism would not be a reality and a ‘jungle Life” scenario would be the possible resultant situation. If we can control our appetite or taste to any or all of the following; fashion, food, clothes, fame, drinks, sports est. why not sex? Is it normal to randomly have sex with different partners? As long as the Human nature could be stretched, it could also be tamed and the only way to do this is by abstinence.

Mr Anton Zakovich, a Russian economic lecturer said “Pre- marital sex is just like tasting soup while still cooking it. You taste the soup to know how spicy it is before it is finally cooked”. What if peradventure it burnt your tongue or distorts your taste buds? Would you be able to enjoy the soup later. Sex before marriage should not be compared to tasting soup, you taste the soup to know the quality for improvements by adding more ingredients if need be. But what sort of improvement do you need in pre- marital sex that you would not still accomplish when married. Marriage is a Life time commitment and the more the improvement in all factors at stake, the better the intimacy and possibility of becoming one. As for extra marital relationships, they are not only medically wrong, but as well morally and socially bad. If you think this Idea is too conservative, then think and take a look at the exposed extra-marital affairs of some celebrities such as Tiger Woods and John Terry, in relation to the general public and their fans. Then statistics will make you understand the ‘social- contempt’, extramarital affairs can stimulate.

Abstinence is not practiced, it is perfected. As we all have the ability to abstain. Dennis Wolfberg, the late American stand up comedian and actor, once quoted to confirm this statement. “I didn’t practice abstinence, I perfected it”. The major reason why abstinence becomes a difficulty is the fact that we kill this potential ability in us. And in some cases, it goes so bad to the extreme- addiction. The only way to sexual addiction is sexual exposure from an early age leading to continuous sexual activities as the child grows to his or her late teens and even older. This is also applicable to drug addiction.

According to SADD’s MISSION statistics of the year 2005, taken from around the entire states of the United States of America, 46.8% of all high school students report that they have sexual intercourse and 6.2% of high school students have had sexual intercourse for the first time before the age 13. Not only that, 14.3% of high school students nationwide have had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their lives.

Talking about drugs, 9.9% of youth ages 12- 17 were illicit drug users; 6.8% use marijuana, 3.3% used prescription drugs for non medical uses, 1.2% used inhalants, 0.8% used hallucinogens and 0.6% used cocaine. Also, half of teens (50%) have tried an illicit drug by the time they finished high school. Though these statistics may have been taken years back, but surely it is appalling information and most probably parents and all stake holders involved (especially the school guidance and other parties) should put more careful attention to their children.

The best part of this statistics is the fact that youths ages 12- 17 who believed their parents would strongly disapprove of their using a particular substance were less likely to use that substance than were youths who believed their parents would somewhat disapprove of neither approve nor disapprove. SO, this have to do with home/ parental training which would not be discussed as it is outside the scope of the subject matter.

The point is, children of this present generation are sexually very active even from a very early age. And for this reason, they need adequate sex education with the sermon preached, not from a formal approach but rather done in adequate love, care and full attention. Taking advantage of the relationship to a great deal of understanding between the parent and the child would serve as the tool to achieving it. If this system is practiced there would definitely be an increase in the percentage of children who would adopt abstinence.

Now in general, consider this scenario. You want to go to the shopping mall by foot which is 5km from your home but there are 3 short routes about 2.5km each in which there is the probability of coming across wild dogs in one, been attacked by hoodlums in the other and as for the last- been hit by a car due to its busy nature (though, these incidences occur once in 2 months, but they continuously happen in that rate of occurrence). Would you still take the risk to follow one of the short routes? Some of us, knowing fully well the nature of events still follow one of these short routes and if unfortunate, get bitten by a dog (or some dogs) or been attacked or hit by a car. That is what majority of us do. The shorter time of going to the mall and back home should not be more of a priority to your Life and health. This is exactly the circumstance we face in Abstinence. It is a 100% route of safety but we prefer short- lived pleasure, which we would still enjoy later in Life or are enjoying with a legal partner.

All said and done, other preventive measures are never absolute and still give room or chances for the spread of the Virus to occur. If we can abstain why not give ourselves the 100% chance to be risk free from contracting the virus? There is great gain and full advantage when you abstain be it moral, mental, religious, and of course social. It also adds fun and spice to your marriage Life in the nearest future if you are single. Usually, you enjoy to the fullest, what you have been anticipating for a long time. Some people taste the soup two, three, four times and end up decreasing or even losing their appetite, therefore not enjoying the soup later when it is done. But when the soup is tabled for you to eat- fresh and new, you take it as though you could finish a drum of it and still ask for more.

On a final note, in as much as awareness on all the protective systems of avoiding the virus  transmission  is important; it is very necessary to stress the fact that Abstinence is the best and sure way and hence treat the best as the best. Do not gamble; abstain to sustain your Life.

Degree Training Available Online

With the continual advancement of technology everything has become easier from reading the news to communicating with friends. One of the more recent advancements is the ability to earn an education online. Interested individuals can enter degree training online to make their desire of earning an education possible. Numerous accredited online colleges and universities offer degree distinctions in almost every job and career across the country.

Let’s talk first about the beneficial factors of earning a degree online. Prospective students will be able to earn their degree solely online. This removes the hassle of commuting to a campus, finding parking, etc. The ability to train online is a benefit to individuals who can’t stop working to earn a degree at a traditional college. With people having numerous avenues of responsibilities gaining an education will make it possible for them to raise their knowledge and career options from home. Most online degree programs let students choose their schedule and study pace, meaning if one course is particularly hard for an individual they are allotted more time to complete the course before moving on to another course.

Training methods will differ depending on the subject and course. Typically students complete work online and communicate with their professor and other classmates via e-mail and classroom databases. Students may have phone meeting times or video   transmission  courses. In a phone meeting students will check in with their professor and other classmates to go over course material and findings. A video  transmission  course will have the professor teaching while students watch him through a video  transmission . These type of courses are not usually integrated into a normal degree program. Most students will not have to communicate with people in this manner.

Online colleges offer training programs from certificates to PhD’s to qualified students. Let’s look briefly at what each level of education is offered to students, to gain a better understanding of what a degree program online looks like. Certificate programs are offered online in a variety of fields. Length will vary depending on the subject. In general certificate programs will take around three to six months to complete. Students who enroll in these programs are usually industry professionals brushing up on new techniques or technology.

As associate’s degree program will have students working through a one to two year program, depending on the field. An associate’s degree program provides students with coursework that establishes a foundation in their field. This foundation can be used to enter a profession as an assistant or use it as a base to gain higher education later after a few years of work experience. Gaining a bachelor’s degree is the most popular form of degree because almost every profession lists this degree level as a requirement prior to being hired. A bachelor’s degree program typically takes a student four years to complete. Knowledge gained at this level of schooling provides numerous career options and a foundation to enter graduate programs. Online programs allow students to continue education and earn a master’s degree and/or a PhD in their chosen field. These programs can last from two to four years and typically are pursued by individuals who want to enter managerial or supervisory positions within their respected field.

Don’t let the opportunity to earn a degree pass you by. Use the available technology to gain an accredited online education in a field of your choice. Enter a fulfilling career by enrolling in an online degree program today.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Building a Career Through Online Education Courses

Education is a systematic process of acquiring knowledge and skill necessary for personal growth and development. The practical application of education in a specific field of study can jumpstart a professional career or establish a foundation for possible business ventures. Making an investment in education can be one of your most significant and wisest decisions in life because of its immediate impact to your future. Distance education plays a vital role in connecting educators and learners worldwide, breaking the barriers imposed by time constraints, distance, disabilities and socio-economic status. Distance education courses are being offered by Open Institutions to answer the call for internationally recognised quality education and training. Whether you are a student who just started on the path of learning, a professional in your field of study and want to further your education through advanced and specialized programs, or a person who is restricted by travel or health concerns, online courses definitely have the answers for you.

Many individuals are asking on how effective distance education when delivering the methodologies of teaching. Online education classes are as effective as traditional face-to-face instruction done in colleges and universities. The keys to establishing a successful online study depend on the dedication and focus of the learner, and timely peer-support by the open institution. The people behind the curriculum and online support offered through distance education are professionals and experts in their field, so you can be sure of having the quality education and training that you are looking for. Online instruction is divided into four major classifications, namely: voice, video, data and print. Voice or use of audio as medium of communication includes the telephone, tapes, radio and audio-conferencing.

On the other hand, videos may come in the form of instructional tapes or CDs, or combined with voice and data as file attachments. Print media can be in the form of instructional books, guides, course outlines or assessments which are delivered through courier or mailing system. Data is the widely used form of instruction due to the advances in technology in computers and the internet. Information is transmitted electronically and may be in the form of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI), Computer Managed Instruction (CMI), Computer Mediated Education (CME), or a combination of any of these. The delivery of education and training became better, faster and economical since all the instructional materials and methods of teaching are coursed through e-mail (electronic email) or e-fax (electronic facsimile), online conferencing and other World-Wide Web applications. This would include advances in communication by utilizing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). By making use of all the available communication media, online learning study is delivered fast and efficient.

Distance learning has many advantages that individuals on different levels of learning can take advantage. It provides the flexibility of choice when you want to finish a course or where you want the training to take place. Assessments and projects are given at the end of a specified topic, submitted to education professionals and experts of their field for evaluation, and then feedback is given to determine if a learner is to advance to the next level or if further reading is required prior to advancement. You can never be too old or too young in order to start a life changing career, or build the basic foundation to start a new business. All you would need is the proper self-motivation and focus so you can look forward and fulfill your dreams in life.

In With the Nu

AS YOU sit in one of the small and scruffy departure lounges at Kunming Airport, waiting for the connecting flight to Xishuangbanna in the southwest, you turn your attention to two large billboards situated prominently near the windows facing the cluttered airstrip. The posters, with glossy defiance, celebrate the ongoing construction of two large hydropower stations on the Jinsha River, the western branch of the Yangtze. The plants, built also to reduce the siltation pressures on the Three Gorges Dam further downstream, are airbrushed in clean and shiny whites and greys, and the water around them remains a perfect and implausible blue.

They are among many such construction projects currently being considered in Yunnan, where economic development has been given the priority above almost everything else, and where power corporations from the east have been rushing to take advantage. A project that will eventually submerge the celebrated Tiger Leaping Gorge – on the section of the Jinsha north of Dali – is also underway, arousing significant international opposition. The International Rivers Network says that the damage caused by the flooding of the valley to the local ‘cultural heritage sites’ will be ‘irreplaceable’. They are also concerned by the irreversible changes to a unique ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the provincial capital of Kunming continues to grow. The train station, renowned as the most unbearable in the whole of China, is still surrounded by rubble and temporary wooden partitions marking some new road or building. The entire city, cowed by roadblocks and scaffolds, picked at by cranes, seems – like many others in China – to be on the verge of an explosion. As the government slogan announces, peremptory and beyond refute, ‘Development is inevitable’.

In the far west of Yunnan, the untouched Nu River seemed to have been given something of a reprieve a few months ago. China’s single remaining virgin waterway, which winds north through some of the province’s most beautiful landscape, was about to be given a big seeing-to by the nation’s energy-mad authorities. Earlier this year, Premier Wen Jiabao was said to have intervened personally, asking developers to reconsider their plans. Still, one imagines that the ‘rape’ of the Nu is just a question of time.

The philosopher, Martin Heidegger, chose to illustrate the two different approaches to nature by comparing the construction of a bridge with the construction of a hydroelectric dam. Modern technology, he wrote, was ‘a manner of unprotecting’ nature. A bridge, connecting up the two banks, shows ‘respect’ for the river, but a hydropower station actually turns nature into part of its own ‘inventory’. The power plant is not built into the river, but the river is built into the power plant.

To illustrate the difference in perspectives, Heidegger compared the Rhine as part of the inventory of modern technology with the Rhine described in a poem by Holderlin. After it has been devastated by technology, the river remains as ‘a provided object of inspection by a party of tourists sent there by a vacation industry’. Such a description seems appropriate in modern Yunnan. While the power companies work their way through the region’s rivers, foreign and domestic tourists have transformed old cities such as Dali and Lijiang, and plans to improve the transportation infrastructure to the west and to the south will see the character of prefectures such as Xishuangbanna and the Nu River changed beyond recognition.

There are a number of small bridges connecting the banks of the Nu, but the favoured means of crossing by the local farmers seems even purer than that. Hooking themselves into a harness consisting of a rope and a piece of flat canvas, they sweep back and forth at massive speeds on a cable attached to a couple of trees, and carry bags of cement, grain and sometimes even livestock between their knees as they do so. One farmer agreed to carry me. Slung across the grey autumn waters and into a patch of worn grass on the Nu River’s left bank, the bowel-shaking fear quickly gave way to a sense of exhilaration.

I was taking a long ride from Dali with an incompetent local tour guide to the town of Liuku in western Yunnan, right on the bank of the Nu River. The area is a picture of health, ruddy and rugged and robustly green. Farmers spin past on motorbikes, trading chunks of meat with local guest houses and restaurants. At one stop along the way, situated on a bend on a country road, a three-legged horse skipped past – cheerfully enough, considering the circumstances. The half-whistle, half-bleat of the local birds could be heard everywhere. Tiny communities lived in wooden shacks on the hills, emerging on Tuesdays to trade at the local markets.

It was tempting to call the place quaint, and worthy of any preservation order that might be made to stick. It was, however, dirt-poor, and though much better and much more lively than a decade or so ago (according to our guide), most of the people living here would love to replace their stilted huts, their latrines, their drafty outhouses, with new buildings and indoor plumbing.

Usually, it is only outsiders who get sentimental. We, after all, can go home somewhere else. One isn’t entirely sure that the life of the poor throughout China would be improved by any degree were their barns, their slums, their shanty towns to become ‘heritage sites’. On the other hand, it is clear that the mass destruction caused by economic growth is not of much benefit to the communities affected. It is also clear that the ecology of Yunnan – one of the most varied and vibrant in China – is being put under threat.

Still, crossing the upper reaches of the Mekong, watching the silt-filled, chocolate-coloured waves and negotiating the old van past the piles of rocks cast down during a recent landslide, one cannot fail to be impressed somehow. I have been bruised, stupefied and generally thrown about by hundreds of poor-quality roads throughout China. Here, the biggest challenge was the occasional ford cutting across a narrow but mostly impeccable mountain pass. In harsh conditions, the road builders had performed well.

Roads are the big thing in Yunnan. Plans are underway to complete a regional high-speed road network that will connect Kunming with Singapore. Coming back from the wild elephant park in Xishuangbanna, we were halted by a fleet of trucks and steamrollers inching along to assist a team of miscellaneously-dressed labourers spreading grit across the tracks. Above us was the skeleton of an overpass, its bare stanchions planted in the fields nearby. The old road will eventually become superfluous for the majority of freight traffic surging through the region and into southeast Asia. Things will change, we thought, and Jinghong, the region’s major city but run at a painfully slow pace, will no doubt be brought up to speed by an opportunistic migrant population from Sichuan or the northeast.

LIUKU is a small urban centre and trading spot for the hundreds of small counties and villages scattered throughout the area, several hundred kilometres west of Dali. Whatever purists might think, the locals would love it if streams of tourists were suddenly to pour in from the more fashionable areas further east, but apart from the way it nestles comfortably – if a little chaotically – in the mountains running along the banks of the Nu, there is little to distinguish the place. Its greatest advantage is its location, and visitors note the great potential of the riverfront, where a couple of cafes now provide much of the town’s nightlife.

As one enters the town, an old Ming Dynasty temple lies on the mountain above the intersection of the Yagoujia River and the Nu River itself. As is customary, the temple appears as if it was built out of papier mache and painted yesterday morning by industrious local schoolkids. A huge laughing Buddha decked out in gold paint seems to dominate the gaff from his little stage. Dogs patrol the high steps, and spiders, each two inches long, nest in the frames of doors and in the overhead lights.

Across on the other side of the river, the effects of the previous night’s rain storm were clear to see, with policemen knee-deep in mud and the road – the only route north – blocked by piles of displaced rock.

The foreigners, so prevalent in Dali, and less so in Jinghong further south, were nowhere to be seen. Hardcore travellers head north to see the enclaves of Tibetans, or the old ethnic ways of the Lisu, the Nu and the Drang nationalities. Some come to see the immense volume of indigenous butterflies, with a couple of Japanese collectors even managing to steal a few rare specimens under the noses of the local authorities a few years ago. There were also stories of a pair of American travellers crossbowed in the back by Lisu hunters after trying to abscond with some significant local religious icon – the man with the story wasn’t quite sure what the object was. The rest of the local legends about foreigners involve them being attacked by Tibetan dogs and carried out of the forests, bleeding. Still, foreigners here are once again the objects of fascination, rather than the sort of seen-it-all-before scorn one gets in Shanghai, or the dollar-sign gazes in Dali and Lijiang.

Guidebooks such as Lonely Planet abhor the current pace of Chinese development, of course, and as the years pass and the new editions enter print, the laments about the high-rises and highways seem to get longer and longer. China is losing its character.

We can understand this. And yet, after a week on the road along the Nu River, speaking no English and staying in the dingiest of guest houses, we still longed for the pizzas, banana pancakes and foreign influences in Dali. Many agreed, and many long-hatched tour plans are thwarted by the magnetism of the town’s bars and cafes. Some foreigners on year-long tours find themselves stuck, unable to leave, trapped in a perpetual marijuana haze and remaining lucid enough just to teach a few classes in the main city and pay for their lodgings.

Travelling further north from Liuku on the way to Fugong the following day, rain clouds lingered like smoke on the mountains, and dozens of blue, three-wheel buggies chugged down the slope on the only road out. We drove through building sites, where workers squatted on dunes of mud, and through villages in which cattle and old nags wandered wearily past, and where tiny, friendly little dogs lounged on almost every stoop. Streams of water, bloated by a heavy rain storm the previous evening, cascaded into the rough Nu waters.

We stopped off in a small market village called Gudeng, close to the Binuo Snow Mountain, and watched the local farmers manhandling a couple of disobedient black pigs. Another offered us a glass of warm corn liquor he had just produced at a makeshift stove attached to a dirty plastic pipe. The dominant presence in the town was the family planning centre, where government slogans about improving the quality of the population were pumped out from a pair of loud speakers, drowning out the Chinese disco beats emerging from the market itself. Apart from the family planning centres, there are other things that seem ubiquitous throughout China, from Xinjiang to Shanghai and from Guangdong to Yunnan. One of them is the pool table. Another is the bill poster advertising cures for sexually-transmitted diseases.

WE CAME to understand that in the pretty little town of Fugong, where we spent Mid-Autumn festival, the local residents – mainly of Lisu minority – would also have longed for the sort of opportunities afforded to Dali. Cafes, restaurants, and a place on the tourist trail would revitalize the place, and would ultimately be of far more value than a hydropower station. Can the two be disconnected? Some of the villages along the banks of the Nu River didn’t even have a watt of electricity until the last decade. It is a fact of life that further development – including the tourist industry – requires more power.

Purists are unlikely to consider the contradiction, and may indeed prefer to slum it – for a week in any case – in tents or in the dingy, second-rate guest houses available en route. Still, the woman at the reception of the guest house in Gongshan seemed apologetic. ‘Are you sure you want to stay here?’ she said.

Heading across the river, we came across a large wooden public house built on an old water mill. Wheels driven by the Nu River itself churned away beneath a section of rooms lined with soggy woven carpets and old Lisu paraphernalia – the traditional costumes and weaponry of the bulk of the local people. A dozen girls from a local hair salon were dancing in the middle of one of the stages on the upper tier of the building, moving two steps forward and two steps back, hand in hand. They greeted us favourably, encouraging us to join in their drinking games. We had a ‘one-heart drink’ (tongxinjiu) – where two people drink from the same glass, their cheeks and mouths touching – with every one of them, the sweet local liquor dripping onto our clothes.

Hours later, after crossing the bridge again and singing Lisu songs as we parted company with our new friends, we managed to stumble through a tunnel and into the grounds of the local Public Security Bureau, where the Fugong police were also celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival with a form of dance which, by the time we started to participate, seemed to involve running at top speed while kicking our legs as high as possible in the air. Local police chiefs, conforming to the stereotypes of drunkenness that seem more or less international, told us that national boundaries didn’t matter, and that friendship transcended all countries. We agreed.

The next morning, driving out of the town and past a long row of old wooden buildings with red sliding doors and a range of shoddy garages that serve as shops and diners, we headed for Gongshan along a spectacular stretch of scenery, part of a 300-km gorge lined with waterfalls, brooks and white cloud pierced by the mountains on both banks. Houses seemed to balance precariously on the plateau, only a storm away from complete collapse. Women carried large squares of corrugated iron along the slopes, their children following.

The whole Gongshan region, an old man in the guest house told me, has now been renamed the ‘Three Rivers Gongshan Region’. ‘They are creating a trademark,’ the man said, shrugging his thin shoulders. The Mekong, the Nu, and the Jinsha all pass through before reaching their source, and the local government are trying to draw in the trade.

The town itself, another sleepy cluster of apartments, restaurants and trading posts all piled up in layers along the slopes leading from the river to the mountain, was actually far from untouched. As was the case in Liuku, the missionaries had already been and gone, leaving a curious legacy of Roman Catholicism among the local minority communities. Mothers sat weaving on the steps of a church – a square, squat one-storey affair with a bright red cross built on the mountain – waiting for evening prayer. Prayer notices on the wrought-iron door of the church were transcribed in a romanized version of the local Lisu language. Some hours later, an implausible disco beat pounded out from a wooden house further up the hill, and the church was empty.

A Tibetan girl, working in a curious entertainment complex close to another Catholic church further down in the valley, asked us if we were fellow believers. She answered to her Catholic name of Mary, and was from Dimaluo, an ethnic mishmash of Tibetans, Lisu, Drong, and others some way further north along the river. There was a sadness to her as she told us her life story, about her stalled education, about the death of her father after a sudden and inexplicable ‘infection’, and about her preference for the countryside from which she hailed.

In the stores nearby, posters of Zhou Enlai, Sun Yatsen and the Panchen Lama swayed slightly in the wind, and beneath them lay the usual clutter of mooncakes, cigarettes and cheap, defective batteries.

What worried us about ‘untouched’ places like Fugong or Gongshan was not so much the prospect of development, and the ‘exploitation’ or ‘despoliation’ or ‘swamping’ of the local culture and character, but the thousands of local residents, educated to a degree, certainly aspirational, but cut off even from the possibility of ambition, marooned in a remote town that is linked to the nearest city only through a single mountain pass that requires two days to traverse. As we did at the Three Gorges, we started to wonder whether the sacrifice of the local scenery could somehow be made worthwhile, if it could allow these people a way out. After all, it might be more appropriate to judge the vitality of a culture by its porousness, and more pertinently, by the opportunities it gives its members to escape and try something new.

Heidegger hated the way the Rhine had become an object of the tourism industry as well as the hydropower industry, but on the Nu River, we had to allow for the fact that the proposed construction of an airport in remote Gongshan, the construction of highways, and the development of local industry might actually be good for the area, in the absence of any other options. Heidegger hated TV and spent most of his final, disgraced decades in a wooden shack in the Black Forest, but he had choice. The local residents in Fugong and Gongshan have TV, and they see the glitter of wealth and opportunity. But they have no wealth. And no opportunity.

And yet, the ‘current mode of development’ is all about exploitation, and the further enrichment of China’s east coast at the expense of the west. The scenery is ruined, the ecology is damaged, and old farming communities are moved to nearby urban slums, where they have little prospect of work or prosperity. Here, as in the Three Gorges and other regions, one imagines that the local people will reap little of the rewards of ‘opening up’.

Protect Yourself From Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Promote Safe Sex

Sexually active persons are often victims of sexually transmitted diseases. While most people consider sex as a need, it is also a must that you should know all that you could about certain consequences of engaging in sexual activities especially when you change partners often. That is why be careful when choosing your sexual partner and make sure to maintain a clean personal hygiene. Sexually transmitted diseases are often caused by bacterial infection. While most kinds of these diseases are curable, HIV in particular is deadly. So if you want to enjoy a longer life span while enjoying the good things life has to offer keep yourself in check at all times by doing STD tests.

Sexually transmitted disease tests are often conducted in clinics with the help of a medical expert. However, for most people who find it inconvenient by setting an appointment for a test, a STD test can be conducted at home with STD test kits. These test kits can be purchased online and delivered straight to your doorsteps. This is truly a convenient method of keeping yourself in check since these cases are highly sensitive.

Even if you choose to get tested at a clinic, your results are still kept confidential. STD test kits have easily understandable instructions with it that can be easily followed to determine the result. Once you see a positive result, do not panic. Bear in mind that it is better to have found it an earlier stage to determine the best and fast way to cure your infection.

There are different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases. There are those which can only be spread through pure sexual contact either by oral, anal, or vaginal sex. There are also kinds which can be transmitted without sexual contact. The best way to prevent yourself from getting infected is of course by abstinence, avoiding sex. While most people cannot do this method, the use of condom is the second best method.

Although this is not full proof, with proper use, you can still enjoy the benefits of sex and peace of mind that you are safe from getting infected at least. Knowing more about STDs and promoting safe sex can help reduce the case of sexually transmitted diseases especially on young people who are sexually active.

If you happen to change partners often, keep your body in check at all times. If you happen to experience slight changes be sensitive enough to care and conduct STD tests at the convenience of your own home. Most of these sexually transmitted diseases do not show symptoms at the early stage and when left untreated can cause complications which can never be cured even on a long term basis. As long as it is not HIV, there is a sure way to rid yourself of bacteria that cause such infections. Always maintain proper and good hygiene especially on sensitive body parts.

Investment and Its Importance

Investment is important from many points of view. Before doing investment, it is essential to understand what is investment and its importance?

“Investment is an act of investing money to earn the profit. It is the first step towards the future security of your money.”

Need of Investment

The investment can help you in the future if invested wisely and properly. As per human nature, we plan for a few days or think to plan for investment, but do not put the plan into action. Every individual must plan for investment and keep aside some amount of money for the future. No doubt, the future is uncertain and it is required to invest smartly with some certain plan of actions that can avoid financial crisis at point of time. It can help you to bring a bright and secure future. It not only gives you secure future, but also controls your spending pattern.

Important Factors of Investments

Planning for Financial investment – Planning plays a pivotal role in all fields. For the financial investment, one must have a pertinent plan by taking all rise and fall situations of the market. You should have a good knowledge of investment before planning for financial investment. Keen observation and focused approach are the basic needs for successful financial investment.

Invest according to your Needs and Capability- The purpose behind the investment should be clear by which you can fulfil your needs from the investment. In investment, financial ability is also a component that can bring you satisfaction and whatever results you want. You can start investment from a small amount as per your capability. You should care about your income and stability to choose the best plan for you.

Explore the market for available investment options – The investment market is full of opportunities, you can explore the market by applying proper approach. You can take help from financial planners, managers who have thorough knowledge about investment in the market. Explore the possibility of investment markets and touch the sublime height of success by the sensible investment decisions.

By taking help from an experienced, proficient financial planner and traders can also give you confidence to do well in the field of investment. Now the question strikes the mind that what are the types of investments?

Types of Investments

Mutual Funds- Basically the mutual fund is a managed investment fund in which money is pulled from the investors to buy the securities.

Commodity Market- In India, it is a popular place of traders to invest their money. The commodity market comprises of MCX (Multi Commodity Exchange) and NCDEX (National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange) both. In Multi Commodity Exchange market, you can invest in crude oil, precious metals as gold, silver and base metals as copper, aluminium, nickel, zinc and many more. While in National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange market, you can invest in all agricultural commodities as guar, soya bean, cotton, sugar cane and many more.

Stock Market- It is the place where various people trade globally and earn the maximum return on investment. However, it is essential to know the bull and bear of the stock market for investing in it. The Stock market for investment also includes the equity market and nifty market. You can invest in equities and nifty market and get good amount profit by focused approach and keen analysis of market trend.

Bonds – It is the best ways to gain interest on your principal amount. The interest and period of time depends on the agreement. In this, a holder lends a particular amount to the issuer (borrower) for a fixed period of time. At this time, you will get the interest from the borrower and after completing that fixed period of time borrower will return back your money. A long term tool for financial investment.

Fixed Deposits – The Fixed Deposit (FD) service is provided by various banks that offers investors a higher rate of interest on their deposits as compared to a regular savings account. Fixed deposits have the maturity date to gain the return on investment.

Real Estate- One can also invest in the real estate and deal with the residential and commercial property. This is also a trending way to earn a good return on investment.

There are various financial planners, financial managers, trading tips provider who can give you numerous options for investment in the market. But it is essential to choose the options wisely.

The Basic Principles of Preventing Infection

Basic Infection Control refers to measures designed to prevent the spread of infections or potentially infectious microorganisms to health personnel, clients and visitor. Various infection control measures are used to decrease the risk of transmission of microorganisms in hospitals.

Principles of Basic Infection Control

1. Microorganism move through space on air currents. Avoid shaking or tossing linens as these motions create currents on which these microorganisms can be transported. All isolation room doors should be closed to stop air currents.

2. Microorganisms are transferred from one surface to another whenever objects touch. When a clean item touches a less clean item, it becomes “dirty” because microorganisms are transferred to it. Keep your hands away from your hair and face. Keep linens away from your uniform. Always keep clean items separated from dirty ones, any object dropped to the floor is considered dirty.

3. Microorganisms are released into the air on droplet nuclei, whenever a person breathes or speaks. Coughing and sneezing dramatically increases the number of microorganisms released from the mouth and nose. Cover mouth when coughing and sneezing. Wash hands thoroughly.

4. Microorganisms are transferred by gravity when one item is held above another. Avoid passing dirty items over clean items or areas because it is possible for the microorganisms to drop off into a clean item or area. When storing items in a bedside stand, place a clean items on upper shelves and potentially dirty items such as bedpans on lower shelves.

5. Microorganisms move slowly on dry surfaces but very quickly through moisture. Use dry paper towel when you turn off faucets. Dry both basin before placing on bed side for storage.

6. Proper hand washing removes many of the microorganisms that would be transferred by the hands from one item to another.

Universal Precaution

1. Wear clean examination gloves for listed body fluids: Blood, semen, vaginal secretions, CSF, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, etc.

2. Wash hands:

  • a. Immediately after contact with body substances containing blood
  • b. Between patient care
  • c. Immediately after gloves are removed.

3. Wear masks and protective eyewear when appropriate.

4. Wear moisture-proof apron when appropriate.

5. Wear utility (household rubber) gloves appropriately

6. Dispose of equipment and secretions properly

7. Wear sterile gloves appropriately

8. Handle specimens of blood and listed body fluids appropriately

9. Handle soiled linens correctly:

a. Hold linen away from uniform

b. Do not shake or toss linen

c. Transport linen contaminated with blood or bloody fluids in leakage resistant proof bags.