Thursday, February 9, 2012

HIV and AIDS – the Essential Facts

If you think you may have been exposed to HIV or AIDS, through unprotected sex with a stranger or accidental exposure to an infected person’s blood, then there’s no time to delay – an HIV test is essential, both for your peace of mind and for the sake of your health. Here are the essential facts that you need to know about HIV and AIDS…

How can HIV/AIDS be caught?

HIV and AIDS are transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids. There are several common ways that people are infected:

• Sexual contact through vaginal or anal sex

• Sharing needles with an infected individual. Rarely, this can include tattoos and piercings

• Blood transfusions or accidental exposure to infected blood

• Mother to child transmission during pregnancy or during birth. Breast feeding, in some cases, can also lead to HIV infection

How can it be prevented?

The most important precautions to take are to make sure that you always use a new, sterile needle for any injection that you take, and to always use a condom during sex unless both you and your partner have had an HIV test. The contraceptive pill, diaphragms and spermicidal jelly cannot prevent infection during sex – only condoms are an effective preventative.

What are the symptoms?

Unfortunately, HIV and AIDS do not present any clear symptoms. Approximately 4 weeks after infection, most people will suffer a fever, glandular swelling, rashes, a sore throat and muscle aches. Since these symptoms are so general, they are frequently mistaken or misdiagnosed. The only way to be certain is to take an HIV or AIDS test.

What are the treatments?

There is currently no cure or vaccine for HIV or AIDS. However, there are various courses of retroviral drugs that can help to manage the symptoms and greatly increase the quality and length of life. Early diagnosis is critical, which is why HIV tests are so important for anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to the virus.

How do I get an HIV test?

There are numerous sexual health clinics around the US that offer confidential HIV tests. Most people choose to purchase them privately rather than through their insurance for the sake of privacy.

The first HIV test that is usually administered is the HIV-1 test. This is a blood test that checks for the antibodies that the body produces to fight the HIV infection. However, it can only be taken six weeks or more after exposure, as it takes time for the body to generate these antibodies. Another HIV test, the HIV PCR, can detect the virus 4-11 days after exposure. If either of these initial tests gives a positive result, follow tests are required to confirm it (the HIV-1 test can occasionally give false positive results, as it is very sensitive.)

How often should I have an HIV test?

Comprehensive STD screening, including an HIV test, is recommended once a year for all sexually active adults who have three or more sexual partners in that year. An HIV test is also recommended if you intend to start having unprotected sex with a partner, and, due to the risk of transmission to a child, is usually part of a standard health check up at the start of a pregnancy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Music Headphone Buying Guide – The Different Headphone Styles

Are you considering getting a pair of stereo, or music headphones to listen to your music with? Finding the proper pair of headphones to fit your needs can be challenging.

Today with so many choices in the consumer marketplace there are a large number of headphone manufacturers, and models you can choose from. Music headphones have become increasingly popular because music is everywhere we are; we have music on our phones, MP3 players, laptop computers, etc. The newest generations of slimmed down, and compact music headphones bring high quality music, or home like stereo sounds directly to our ears no matter where we may be.

There are probably several styles that will fit your day to day needs. Whether you prefer snugly fitting earbuds, or full size “cans” (stereo headphones) is a matter of personal preference, and there is reason you can't own several pairs. How you plan to use your stereo/music headphones will also be a big factor in deciding which models will work for you & fit your needs.

With this being said, the first step to choosing a pair of headphones is deciding what style or styles will work for you.

Below is a breakdown of the different styles of music headphones:


You are most likely familiar with earbuds as the headphones that typically come free when you purchase an MP3 player, ipod, iphone, itouch, smart phone, etc. These tiny headphones seat inside the ear canal. Earbuds are very small, making them great to travel with, they provide moderate to good isolation from external noise, and are fairly low cost. However, they do not typically provide the highest quality audio reproduction, can be uncomfortable over long periods of use or for those who don’t like things in their ear canal, and they also have tendency to fall out during running or other physical activities.

Sport Headphones or Clip On Headphones

You may remember this category of headphones as the yellow headphones that used to come with the yellow colored Sony Walkman. Nowadays some of these models have a plastic like hoop that goes over the top of the head, around the back of the neck, or clip onto the ear. These are the type I personally like to use when running, or lifting weights at the gym. They stay on your ears a little better than earbuds during activity, don’t need to be put in your ear canal, don’t overheat your ears, are portable & easy to travel with, and are fairly low cost.

Ear Pad Heaphones

The pads from these headphones sit on your ears as opposed to in your ears (like earbuds) or fully encase your ears like (full size circumaural headphones). They tend to be fairly comfortable, can provide high quality audio reproduction, don’t overheat ears as much as fully sealed headphones, are typically moderately priced. However, they can become uncomfortable over long periods of use because they push down on the ears since they sit on them.

Fully Sealed Headphones

These headphones are also known as “cans”, stereo headphones, ear cup headphones and even a few other names. Basically, they seal around the ear, so that it is fully enclosed, which helps to eliminate outside noise while producing a very high quality audio listening experience. These headphones provide the highest quality audio listening experience delivering full broad range of sounds, and eliminate outside noises. These headphones can overheat ears & be uncomfortable over long periods of time, they are typically not as portable as the first two styles above, and they can be quite expensive depending on the model.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

These headphones help eliminate noise by creating anti-noise. You may have seen people on the airplane using this type of headphone to help eliminate the whining noise of the jet engines, while also listening to music or perhaps not. These headphones help to reduce ambient noise, allow you to listen to your music at lower volumes, and can produce very high audio quality. Some users may be bothered by the pressure created to eliminate ambient noise (those with really sensitive ears), they can be bulky & heavy, use traditionally batteries for power, and can overheat ears.

Wireless Headphones

With advancements in technology these types of headphones are becoming increasingly popular in today’s marketplace. They have no cords to keep you tethered or to get you tangled. These headphones usually cannot provide the audio quality of a wired headphone, they can be expensive, and also can be bulky & heavy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

iPhone 4 Made Simple

Wi-Fi and 3G Connectivity

We live in a connected world. Wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) access has become the rule, not
the exception—chances are you’re already using Wi-Fi at your home or office. Now you
can use it to connect your iPhone. And, since your iPhone also has a 3G cellular radio,
you can also connect to the Internet anywhere you have cellular data coverage—a much
wider area than Wi-Fi networks.

In this chapter we’ll talk about the differences between the two types of connections for
your iPhone: Wi-Fi (wireless local area network) and 3G (cellular service—the wide area
data network used by your mobile phone). We’ll show you all the ways to get connected
or disconnected from these two types of networks. There will be times you want to
disable or turn off your 3G connection and only use Wi-Fi to save money in data
connection charges.

We will also show you how to get ready for traveling internationally with your iPhone—
what you need to do before, during, and after your trip so you don’t get surprised with a
very large phone bill when you return home.

We also show you how to use Internet Tethering, the ability that your iPhone has to
become a connection to the Internet for your laptop—PC or Mac. This is a great feature
to use when you don’t have any other way to connect your laptop to the Internet.

Finally, if you work at an organization with a VPN (Virtual Private Network), we show you
how to get connected to that network.

What Can I Do When I’m Connected to a Wi-Fi or 3G

Here are some of the things you can do when connected:

􀀁 Access and download apps (programs) from the App Store
􀀁 Access and download music, videos, podcasts, and more from iTunes on your iPhone
􀀁 Browse the web using Safari
􀀁 Send and receive email messages
􀀁 Use social networking sites that require an Internet connection, like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
􀀁 Play games that use a live Internet connection
􀀁 Anything else that requires an Internet connection

Wi-Fi Connections

Every iPhone comes with Wi-Fi capability built in, so let’s take a look at getting
connected to the Wi-Fi network. Things to consider about Wi-Fi connections are the

􀀁 No additional cost for network access and data downloads (if you are using your iPhone in your home, office, or a free Wi-Fi hotspot)
􀀁 Wi-Fi tends to be faster than a cellular data 3G connection.
􀀁 More and more places, including some airplanes, provide Wi-Fi access, but you may have to pay a one-time or monthly service fee.

NOTE: iPhone 4 now adds support for the faster, longer range 802.11n standard. However, it only supports 802.11n on the more crowded 2.4Mhz band, not the less crowded 5Mhz band. If you want to use iPhone 4 with your 802.11n Wi-Fi router, make sure to set the router to 2.4Mhz.

Connecting to a Wi-Fi Network

To set up your Wi-Fi connection, follow
these steps:

1. Tap the Settings icon.
2. Tap Wi-Fi near the top.
3. Make sure the Wi-Fi switch is set to On. If it is currently Off, then tap it to turn it On.
4. Once Wi-Fi is On, the iPhone will automatically start looking for wireless networks.
5. The list of accessible networks is shown below the Choose a Network... option. You can see in this screenshot that we have one network available.
6. To connect to any network listed, just touch the network name. If the network is unsecure (does not have a lock icon), you will be connected automatically.

Connecting at a Public Wi-Fi Hotspot with Web Login

In some locations where they offer free Wi-Fi networks, such as coffee shops, hotels, or
restaurants, you will see a pop-up window appear as soon as your iPhone comes into
contact with the network. In these cases, simply tap the network name. You may be
brought to a Safari browser screen to complete your login to the network.

1. If you see a pop-up window similar to the one shown, tap the network
name you wish to join. In this case, we tap the Panera network.

2. In some cases, you may see a Safari window pop up, which can
be quite confusing because it is so small on your iPhone screen. You
need to use the double-tap or pinch-open gesture (see the Quick
Start Guide for help) to zoom in on the web page. You are looking for a
button that says Login or Agree or something similar. Tap that button
to complete the connection.

NOTE: Some places, like coffee shops, use a web-based login instead of a username/password
screen. In those cases, when you click on the network (or try to use Safari), iPhone will open a
browser screen and you’ll see the web page along with login options.

Secure Wi-Fi Networks—Entering a Password

Some Wi-Fi networks require a password to connect. This is set when the networkadministrator creates the wireless network. You will have to know the exact password, including
whether it is case-sensitive.

If the network does require a password, you will be taken to the password-entry screen. Type the
password exactly as given to you and press the enter key on the on-screen keyboard (which is now labeled as Join).

On the network screen, you’ll see a checkmark showing that you are connected to the network.

TIP: You can paste into the password dialog, so for longer, random passwords, you can transfer
them to your iPhone (in an email message) and just copy and paste them. Just remember to
delete the email immediately afterwards to keep things secure. Tap and hold the password in the
mail message, select it, and then tap Copy. In the Wi-Fi network Password field, tap and then
select Paste.

Switching to a Different Wi-Fi Network

At times you may want to change your active Wi-Fi network. This might occur if you are
in a hotel, apartment, or other place where the network selected by the iPhone is not the
strongest network, or you want to use a secure network instead of an unsecure one.

To switch from the currently selected Wi-Fi network, tap the Settings icon, touch Wi-Fi,
and then touch the name of the Wi-Fi network you want to join. If that network requires a
password, you’ll need to enter it to join.

Once you type the correct password (or if you touched an open network), your iPhone
will join that network.

Verifying Your Wi-Fi Connection

It is easy to see if you are connected to a network
(and which one) by looking next to Wi-Fi in your main
Settings screen.
1. Tap your Settings icon.
2. Look next to Wi-Fi at the top.

􀀁 If you see Not Connected, you do not have an active Wi-Fi connection.
􀀁 If you see some other name, such as Panera, then you are connected
to that Wi-Fi network.
􀀁 Advanced Wi-Fi Options (Hidden or Undiscoverable Networks)

Sometimes you may not be able to see the network you want to join because the name
has been hidden (not broadcasted) by the network administrator. Next, you will learn
how to join such networks on your iPhone. Once you have joined such a network, the
next time you come in contact with that network it will join automatically without asking.

You can also tell your iPhone to ask every time it joins a network; we show you how to
do that as well. Sometimes you may want to erase or forget a network. Say you were at
a one-time convention and want to get rid of the associated network—you’ll learn that
here, too.

Why Can’t I See the Wi-Fi Network I Want to Join?

Sometimes, for security reasons, people don’t make their networks discoverable and
you have to manually enter the name and security options to connect.

Touch the Other button, and you can manually enter the name of a network you would like to join.

Type in the Wi-Fi network Name, touch the Security tab, and choose which type of
security is being used on that network. If you are unsure, you’ll need to find out from the
network administrator.

When you have the information you need, enter it along with the proper password and
this new network will be saved to your network list for future access.

Reconnecting to Previously Joined Wi-Fi Networks

The nice thing about the iPhone is that when you return to an area with a Wi-Fi network
you previously joined (whether it was an open or a secure, password-protected,
network) your iPhone will automatically join the network without asking you again.
However, you can turn off this automatic-joining feature, as described next.

Ask to Join Networks Main Switch

There is a main Ask to Join Networks switch, which is set to On by default. Known
networks are joined automatically, this only takes effect if no known networks are
available. With this switch set to On, you will be asked to join visible Wi-Fi networks. If
networks are available that are not known to you, you will be asked before being

If the switch is set to Off, you will have to manually join unknown networks.
Why might you want to turn off automatically joining a network?

This could be a good security measure if, for example, you don’t want your kids to be able to join
a wireless network on the iPhone without your knowledge.
􀀁Ask to Join and Ask to Login Switch on Each Network

Sometimes, you may find that a particular Wi-Fi network has additional switches that
override the main Ask to Join Networks switch. Tap the little blue arrow next
to the network name to see details about this Wi-Fi network. Auto-Join and Auto-
Login are set to On by default. To disable Auto-Join or Auto-Login, tap
each switch to set it to Off.

Forget (or Erase) a Network

If you find that you no longer want to connect to
a network on your list, you can Forget it—i.e.,take it off your list of networks.

1. Tap the Settings icon.
2. Tap Wi-Fi to see your list of networks.
3. Tap the small blue arrow next to the network you want to
forget in order to see the screen shown here.
4. Tap Forget this Network at the top of the screen.
5. You will be prompted with a warning. Just touch
Forget and the network will no longer show up on
your list.

Friday, August 27, 2010


The kind, fair and effective way

Training can be started at any age, the sooner the better. You can start simple training with your puppy as soon as he or she has settled into his/her new home. Older dogs are also receptive to training, although some may be less keen or quick to learn than a younger dog. Done properly, training should be fun, both for you and your dog, as well as exercising his brain and reinforcing the good relationship between you.

Positive rewards

In order to be effective and to gain the best results, all training should be based around positive rewards. Positive reward training works because if you reward your dog with something he wants as soon as he does what you ask, he is far more likely to do it again. Rewards can be anything that your dog or puppy really wants and could include; food treats, a favourite toy, playing a certain game or petting. If you are using food treats, you will need to reduce the size of your dog's normal meals or use his whole meal divided up into smaller portions, to prevent your dog putting on weight. Always combine the giving of a reward with verbal praise such as "Good dog".

When teaching a new command, you will need to reward your dog every time that he does what you ask correctly. Once he has the hang of the command, however, it is a good idea to change the way you reward by only giving the reward every now and then, because this will make your dog try harder for his reward. Always verbally praise your dog each time, even if he is not being rewarded with a treat.

Why punishment doesn't work
Punishment should never be used in training. If you punish your dog, it will only teach him to be scared of you and may eventually teach him to be aggressive. He will mistrust you and your relationship may break down.

If your dog is being what you consider to be disobedient or naughty the best thing to do is to have a 'time out'. You must completely ignore him (and that includes looking at him) or shut him out of the room for 5-10 minutes. This works because dogs crave attention and being part of the pack and so removing this is something that your dog understands far better than being shouted at or hit.

The basic commands

The five basic commands you will need to teach your dog in order to obtain a good degree of control are;
Sit, down, stay, come and heel (for walking nicely on the lead)
This is our guide to training in a kind and effective way.

• Have your dog standing in front of you. Show him that you have a food treat in your hand.
• Slowly move your hand and treat above and over his head towards his tail, as you give the command "sit". His head should go up as he tries to reach the treat...................
• ................and his bottom should go down into the 'sit' position. Give him the treat and praise him.

Do not push his bottom down to make him sit, as he is likely to push up against your hand as a result and may hurt his back.
When training your dog to sit, use the command "sit". Do not use "sit down" as this may confuse your dog when you try to teach the 'down' command.

• Ask your dog to sit and show him the treat in your hand.
• Slowly move your hand down towards the ground in front of him (just in front of his feet), as you use the command "down".
• He should follow your hand with his nose and lay down. Give him the treat and praise.
If you have trouble getting him to lie down in this way, put an object such as a coffee table or a chair between you and your dog and try again. He will have to lie down to get under the barrier to get the treat. Remove the barrier when he gets the hang of it.
Do not push or force his back down as he will push against you and may hurt his back.

• Practice this command in your home first. You'll need to divide your dog's dinner into smaller portions and use these for training. Ask someone in your house to hold your dog by the collar or lead while you show him a portion of his food in his bowl and walk away from him for a few steps. As he is released, call his name and command him to "come".

• He should come to you for his food. Praise him and put his food down as he reaches you so that he can eat it.

• After a couple of days if your dog is coming to you on command, start to make him sit before you give him his food portion. This will give you extra control for when you are outside. Do not actually command him to sit, but instead lift his bowl above and over his head (as before when teaching him to sit), so that he will learn to automatically sit whenever he comes to you.

• Repeat this, gradually getting further away and then out of sight of your dog, in different rooms of your house and then in your garden, until he is coming to you reliably every time he is called.

Now you can try the recall in a safe enclosed outdoor space.

• Keep your dog on a long or retractable lead, and let him move away from you to investigate the surrounding area. Call him as before.

• When he comes, praise and treat him and then release him (though still on the lead). This will teach him that coming to you will not always mean that it is the end of his walk, but will in fact mean something nice.

• If he does not come to you straight away, do not pull him to you but wait until he eventually decides to come to you. When he does come, praise him, no matter how long it takes. Punishing him, no matter how cross you are, will only make him scared of you and less likely to come.

When he comes on the lead every time - try without the lead. Always praise and/or treat, no matter how long it takes. He will soon learn that it is good to come to you when he is called.

• With his lead on for extra control, make him sit or lay down.
• Step away from him as you command him to "stay". Silently count to five...
• .....step back to him, treat and praise.
• If he gets up, ask him to sit again and repeat the procedure.

After a few successful sessions, drop the lead before stepping away. If he is doing this short 'stay' correctly, gradually increase the distance between you and your dog and/or the time that he is asked to stay. If he gets up when he is not supposed to, go back a stage to a shorter distance or time and then increase again slowly until he is doing as he is told every time.
When you are confident that your dog will reliably stay during training, you can progress to unclipping his lead before stepping away.

'Heel' and walking on a lead without pulling
Practice in your home and garden first as there are fewer distractions for your dog than in the street.

• Put your dog on his lead. When he moves to your side say "heel" and then praise and/or treat him, so that he learns to associate the 'heel' command with his position next to you. Once he understands what this means you can try outside.

• Once in the street, command your dog to "heel". If he pulls, stand still immediately so that he has to stop, but do not say anything to him.

• Patiently wait until he comes back to your side, say "heel", praise and then walk on.

• If he continues to walk at your side, reinforce this by using the command "heel" again and then praise and/or treat.

Every time that he pulls you must stop. Your dog will soon learn that it is pointless to pull, as it will not get him anywhere and so should soon start to walk at your heel.

It is a natural, enjoyable behaviour for a dog to want to find out what is happening in his local area by sniffing the ground, lampposts and fences for scents left by other dogs. On walks you should allow him to have a sniff around, but only when you say so and not when he feels like it. When you are ready to let him do this, use a command such as "off you go", so that he can learn when he is allowed to do this. You could use this loose lead 'freedom' as a reward for when he has been performing well on the lead.

'Important Training tips' - doggy 'do's and doggy 'don't's

• Practice in your home and garden first, before trying commands in public areas
• Start training with your new dog or puppy as soon as possible
• Keep sessions short (15 mins. max.) and fun
• Train him when he is hungry - before his dinner time he will try harder for his treats
• Reward or treat him on a random basis, once the new command has been learnt
• Try to use hand signals with verbal commands, as some dogs may find it easier to recognise these
• Keep commands clear and consistent
• Take your time and be patient
• Stick to one command per training session at first to avoid confusing your dog
• Consider going to a good local training class
• Try to finish on a high note - your dog is more likely to want to train again next time!

• Let your dog get bored - stop immediately if you see this happening
• Tell him off if he gets it wrong
• Shout or physically punish him - it will make him scared of you and may cause him to become aggressive
• Train him if he is tired
• Chase him when you want him to come - he'll think it is a great game and will run away even more
• Try to train him in an area with lots of distractions, such as other dogs, people, noises, smells.
• Expect too much too soon
• Expect him to understand a command until you have taught him what it means

Training classes

If things aren't going well and/or you feel that you need more support, you should consider going to an organised training club.
Having the resources of a trainer and classmates can be very useful, with the added benefit of being able to socialise your dog and teach him how to interact with other dogs under controlled, 'safe' conditions.

From puppy classes to competitive obedience or flyball, there is a class out there to suit both you and your dog's needs and interests.

A good club should;

• Be in a hall that is safe for both dog and owner
• Have adequate space for the size of class
• Have classes small enough so that the instructor can safely supervise all dogs at all times
• Be able to give all individuals adequate attention
• Put you in the appropriate class for your level
• Make sure that all dogs are under control at all times
• Should be run in a calm and friendly manner
• Not allow shouting at dogs or handlers - it is supposed to be fun!
• Make sure that all dogs wear flat collars for training (no choke or 'check' chains), unless there is a particular reason for using other equipment
• Never use or encourage the physical punishment of dogs for any reason

You can find a training club by;

• Word of mouth - ask other dog owners if they could recommend any clubs in your area

• Ask local vet clinics, rescue organisations or libraries if they have lists of local classes, although these will probably not be recommendations so check them out first! A good trainer will be happy for you to sit in on a class before deciding if you would like to join. If they do not want you to watch it is probably better to try somewhere else.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Carcar's Original Special Chicharon Goes Online

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or email me at