Friday, July 17, 2020

Great Independent Press Books Indie Press Round-Up From Nov. 2019

Great Independent Press Books Indie Press Round-Up From Nov. 2019 Im excited about the great independent press books Ive read in the last month. In the list below, youll find six books Ive read and loved, plus six more Im adding to my TBR list. My recommendations include several great conventionally-structured novels and one novel thats basically someones thoughts (a favorite form of mine). Ive included one work of speculative fiction, and one thats partly historical fiction. Youll also find one memoir and one nonfiction work Im not sure how to classify. Two of the books are in translation. There are so many great independent press books out there its hard to choose which ones to pick up. I hope this list helps you find something youll enjoy! Independent Press Books Ive Read and Loved In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press, November 5) Carmen Maria Machados follow-up to her wonderful story collection  Her Body and Other Parties  is a memoir about an abusive relationship. While in her MFA, Machado met and fell in love with a charismatic woman who later turned out to be full of rage.  In the Dream House  is a groundbreaking book, in part because of its portrayal of abuse in a queer relationship, a subject not often written about in literary history. Its also a formally inventive book. Machado has divided her memoir into short chapters, each inspired by a narrative trope, many of which come from fairytales and fables. This structure gives the emotionally wrenching story both literary depth and tonal variety. The work Machado does to reveal and fill in gaps in the stories that get told is essential. The Revisioners  by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (Counterpoint, November 5) Margaret Wilkerson Sextons follow-up to her fabulous first novel  A Kind of Freedom  is a page-turning exploration of southern Black womens stories. The novel spans over 160 years. First, we meet Ava from 2017, struggling to establish independence for herself and her son. Then we meet Josephine, an elderly woman in 1924, who has found some measure of success and security on her farm. The story also jumps back to 1855 to follow Josephine as a young enslaved girl whose family dreams of freedom. Witnessing the way these stories intersect and speak to one another is one of the novels great pleasures. Sextons characters stick in your mind, and she makes you care deeply about their struggles and their triumphs. Its a powerful, sweeping novel of hardship, survival, and hope. The Crying Book  by Heather Christle (Catapult, November 5) Yes, this is a whole book on crying, and its sad and also beautiful. Its written in short sections that look at crying from many angles: personal, biological, historical, artistic, and psychological. The impetus for the book is the death of Heather Christles friend at the same time that she is struggling with depression and preparing to give birth to her first child. She writes about the fruits of her research into crying and describes her own moments of sadness and struggle. Its a gorgeous book. Everything from the cover to the ideas to the sentences is moving and sometimes, in spite of what you might expect given the subject matter, comforting. Readers who like the fragmentary style of Sarah Manguso and Maggie Nelson will want to get a copy. They Will Drown in Their Mothers Tears by Johannes Anyuru, Translated by Saska Vogel (Two Lines Press, November 5) This novel is a work of speculative fiction, looking at terrorism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant ideology. Its set in Sweden and opens with a violent attack on a bookstore hosting an author known for controversial drawings of the prophet Mohammed. One of the attackers turns out to be a visitor from an alternate future. Or at least she believes she is. Over the course of the novel she tells her story to a writer who tries to piece together what actually happened. This writer grapples with his status as a Muslim in a place that is less and less welcoming. The novels plot is complex and utterly absorbing, and the alternate future it depicts is a dystopian nightmare. They Will Drown in Their Mothers Tears  is a great story, full of memorable characters. It is also a powerful warning about what is possible when we give free rein to our worst impulses. Big Familia  by Tomas Moniz (Acre Books, November 15) This heartwarming novel tells the story of Juan Gutiérrez as he goes through a time of change. His daughter is about to move to college. His Berkeley neighborhood is gentrifying. Jared, his lover, wants a deeper commitment than he feels ready to make. Even his favorite dive bar is starting to become a popular destination for karaoke lovers. And his relationship with his parents is fraught, not least because they havent acknowledged his queerness. These are serious issues, and the novel gives them their due, but its also light in tone. Its focus is less on plot and more on character development. Watching Juan and his family and friends change and grow is enjoyable. Big Familia looks seriously at race, sexuality, class, and more, while never losing its warmth and charm. Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River  by Jung Young Moon, Translated by Yewon Jung (Deep Vellum, December 3) This short novel rambles and jumps from thought to thought, following the narrators mind wherever it wants to go. The premise is that the narratorâ€"who is sort of Jung Young Moon but sort of not, since this is a novelâ€"has traveled to Texas from his native Korea. He stays with friends and rambles around small towns and farms thinking about everything Texas signifies. His meditations range far and wide and include extended riffs on presidential assassinations, cowboy hats, churches, and much more. The narrator also considers what a novel is, what plot is, and what the point of writing is. He considers what the point of anything is. The book is a delightful adventure into the corners of one companionable, entertaining persons mind. More Independent Press Books For Your TBR And finally, here are some great independent press books out soon that Im adding to my TBR pile. The Living Days by Ananda Devi, translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman (The Feminist Press, November 5): a novel about post-9/11 London, xenophobia, nationalism. It tells the story of a relationship between a 75-year-old white woman and a 13-year-old Jamaican boy. Silence of the Chagos  by Shenaz Patel, translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman (Restless Press, November 5): a novel about activists from Diego Garcia, one of the islands of the Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean. They were forced to leave their homes and their island and told they could not return. Parade: A Folk Tale  by Hiromi Kawakami, translated by Allison Markin Powell (Soft Skull Press, November 5): a short novel set in a summer afternoon about a pair of tengu, creatures from Japanese folk tales. Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now  by Andre Perry (Two Dollar Radio, November 12): a collection of personal essays in a variety of formats about race, sexuality, culture, and more. Dead Heat  by Benedek Totth, translated by Ildikó Noémi Nagy (Biblioasis, November 19): a coming-of-age novel about misbehaving teenagers on a swim team in a Hungarian town. Fish Soup  by Margarita García Robayo, translated by Charlotte Coombe (Charco Press, December 3): a collection of slice-of-life stories and novellas set in Colombia about emotional turmoil and change. Want even more recommendations for great independent press books? Check out my round-ups from September and October.  

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Tips for Homeschooling Teens

Homeschooling teens is different than homeschooling younger students. They are becoming adults and crave more control and independence, yet they still need accountability.   I have graduated one student and Im currently schooling two high school students. Following are some tips for homeschooling teens that have worked well in my home. 1. Give them control of their environment. When my kids were younger, they  used to do the majority of their schoolwork at the dining room table. Now that they’re teens, I have only one who still chooses to work there. My son likes to do all of his written work and math at the table, but he prefers to read in his bedroom where he can sprawl across the bed or kick back in his comfy desk chair. My daughter, on the other hand, prefers to do all of her work in her bedroom. It doesn’t matter to me where they work, as long as the work gets done. My daughter also likes to listen to music while she works. Her brother, like me, needs quiet to concentrate. Let your teen have some control over their learning  environment. The couch, the dining room, their bedroom, or the porch swing – let them work wherever they’re comfortable as long as the work is completed and acceptable. (Sometimes a table is more conducive to neat written work.) If they like to listen to music while they work, let them as long as it isn’t a distraction. I do draw the line at watching TV while doing schoolwork. I contend that no one can really concentrate on school and watch TV at the same time. 2. Give them a voice in their curriculum. If you haven’t already been doing it, the teen years are an excellent time to begin handing the curriculum choices over to your students. Take them with you to the curriculum fairs. Let them ask questions of the vendors. Have them read the reviews. Allow them to choose their topics of study. Sure, you may need to have some guidelines in place, particularly if you don’t have an especially motivated student or one who has a certain college with specific requirements in mind, but there is usually some wiggle room even within those guidelines. For example, my youngest wanted to study astronomy for science this year instead of the typical biology. Colleges often like to see subject diversity and student passion as much as they like to see specific courses and stellar standardized test scores. And college may not even be in your student’s future. 3. Allow them to manage their time. Whether your teens will be entering college, the military, or the workforce after graduation, good time management is a skill they will need throughout life. High school is an excellent opportunity to learn those skills without such high stakes as might be encountered after graduation. Because they prefer it, I give my kids an assignment sheet each week. However, they know that, for the most part, the order in which the assignments arranged are just a suggestion. As long as all of their work is completed by the end of the week, I don’t particularly care how they choose to complete it. My daughter often transfers the assignments from the sheet I provide to her planner, shuffling them around based on her preferences. For example, sometimes she might choose to double up on assignments one day of the week to clear the following day for more free time or she may choose to work in blocks, doing a few days’ science lessons in one day and a few days in history another. 4. Don’t expect them to start school at 8 a.m. Studies have shown that a teenager’s circadian rhythm is different than a younger kid’s. Their bodies shift from needing to go to sleep around 8 or 9 p.m. to needing to go to sleep around 10 or 11 p.m. instead. This also means that their wake times need to shift. One of the best benefits of homeschooling is being able to adjust our schedules to meet our families’ needs. That’s why we don’t start school at 8 a.m. As a matter of fact, starting at 11 a.m. is a really good day for us. My teens typically don’t begin the bulk of their schoolwork until after lunch. Its not unusual for them to work on school at 11 or 12 at night, after the house is quiet and distractions are few. 5. Don’t expect them to go it alone all of the time. From the time theyre young, we’re working toward developing our students ability to work independently. That doesn’t mean, however, that we should expect them to go it alone all the time as soon as they reach middle or high school. Most teens  need the accountability of daily or weekly meetings to ensure that their work is being completed  and that they’re understanding it. Teens can also benefit from having you read ahead in their books  so that you’re prepared to help if they run into difficulty. It’s frustrating for you and your teen when you have to spend half the day trying to catch up on an unfamiliar topic in order to help them with a difficult concept. You may need to fill the role of tutor or editor. I plan time each afternoon for helping my teens with their arch nemesis, math. I have also served as editor for writing assignments, marking misspelled words or grammar errors for corrections or making suggestions on how to improve their papers. It’s all part of the learning process. 6. Embrace their passions. I am a huge fan of using the high school years to allow teens to explore their passions and give them elective credit for doing so. As much as time and finances will allow, provide your teen with opportunities to explore their interests. Look for opportunities in the form of local  sports and  classes, homeschool groups and co-ops, online courses, dual enrollment, and non-credit continuing education classes. Your kids may try an activity for a while and decide it’s not for them. In other cases, it could turn into a lifelong hobby or career. Either way, each experience  allows for growth opportunity and a better self-awareness for your teen. 7. Help them find opportunities to serve in their community. Help your teen discover volunteer opportunities that mesh with their interests and abilities. The teen years are a prime time for young people to begin becoming activity involved in their local community in meaningful ways. Consider: Volunteering at a nursing home, kids’ program, homeless shelter, or animal shelterInterning or volunteering opportunities at local businessBecoming involved in local or state politicsUsing their talents to serve others (such as painting sets for a community theater, playing an instrument at your place of worship, or taking back-to-school photos for your homeschool group) Teens may grumble about service opportunities at first, but most of the kids I know find that they enjoy helping others more than they thought they would. They enjoy giving back to their community. These tips can help you prepare your teens for life after high school and help them discover who they are as individuals.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

History of HAMAS - 717 Words

HAMAS: In this article regarding HAMAS, I will be writing about their origin, beliefs, failures, successes and how the group transformed from a religious organization to a political one. The group has been fighting for their beliefs for over two decades to an extent that they have become a political organization. Based on the research on the history of HAMAS, the organization took a political dimension from a religious one when it became victorious in the 2006 democratic elections. Consequently, rather than just being a religious organization, HAMAS is considered a political power since it won 76 seats of the 132 member parliament. HAMAS, which is also known as Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya, has a history that can be traced to the 1950s though its origin goes back to 1987 when it was founded as a Muslim brotherhood in Gaza by Sheikh Ahmad. The name of the group is derived from an Arabic acronym for Islamic resistance movement that means zeal, fire, and enthusiasm (HAMAS: History an d Present, 2006). In the 1950s, HAMAS was active in the Gaza Strip where it was largely recognized and gained influence is mosques and every social organization. This continued until the 1980s when it became a powerful political factor and was later founded in 1987. HAMAS basically believes that the land they have been fighting for over the last two decades is theirs. Since its derived from a Muslim brotherhood and unwilling to recognize the right of Israel to exist, the organizationShow MoreRelatedThe History of the Terrorist Group Hamas Essay1185 Words   |  5 PagesEast has brought the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the attention of the world. These terrorist groups use murder, bombs, threats, and other violent acts to get their way politically. 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The First Contact in Apocalypse Now Free Essays

The First Contact in Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness In Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola obviously modifies and embellishes the characters, scenes and dialogue of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. However, with only minor modification Coppola powerfully represents Charlie Marlow’s first contact with Kurtz’ camp. Marlow is greeted by a completely unexpected young Russian adventurer who had become a part of Kurtz’s family. We will write a custom essay sample on The First Contact in Apocalypse Now or any similar topic only for you Order Now Although Coppola has changed the Russian adventurer into an American photojournalist he has kept the characterizations and dialogue very close to Conrad’s original. In doing so, the impact, theme and message of the cinematic and textual versions of the same scene are virtually parallel. Nonetheless several elements missing from the screen version causes it to be less than helpful in understanding the text version. The young Russian was Charlie Marlow’s first sight when he reached Kurtz’ camp and he looked at him â€Å"in astonishment. There he was before me, in motley, as though he had absconded from a troupe of mimes, enthusiastic, fabulous. His very existence was improbable, inexplicable, and altogether bewildering† (p. 119). Although not English like Marlow, he made immediate note of his commonality as a â€Å"brother sailor† (p. 116). Rather impetuously he requests some of Marlow’s â€Å"excellent English tobacco† while pointing out â€Å"your pilot-house wants a clean up!† (p. 115). Aware of Marlow’s potential peril at the hands of the natives, he advises him to keep the boat’s whistle ready; â€Å"one good screech will do more for you than all your rifles† (p. 115). The Russian took it upon himself, and appeared literally compelled to tell Marlow as much as possible of Kurtz and his relationship with him. He was clearly in awe of Kurtz and yet casually mentioned Kurtz had threatened to kill him. He described the great intellectual and emotional conversations they shared. He made no apologies for the obvious atrocities carried out under Kurtz’ command—human heads mounted on stakes. As an explanation he pleaded to Marlow â€Å"you don’t know how such a life tries a man like Kurtz† (p. 124). He denied Kurtz was mad; he protested â€Å"you can’t judge Mr. Kurtz as you would an ordinary man† (p. 121). In spite of it all—or perhaps because of it all—the Russian had nursed Kurtz through illnesses and tried to convince Kurtz to leave the jungle. But Kurtz remained: according to the Russian â€Å"this man suffered too much. He hated all this, and somehow he couldn’t get away† (p. 121). The Russian knew it was time to leave and perhaps time for Kurtz to leave as well, and Marlow gave him cartridges, tobacco and even shoes as he was leaving the camp. Upon leaving he exclaimed â€Å"you ought to have heard him recite poetry—his own, too†¦oh, he enlarged my mind!† (131). Coppola is very faithful to the original in his characterization of the American photojournalist who greets Willard on his arrival. The American, nameless as Conrad’s Russian, quickly establishes his commonality with Willard and the crew, crying out â€Å"American! I’m an American civilian!† Similarly he quickly boards the boat, stating happily â€Å"you got the cigarettes!† and exclaiming â€Å"This boat is a mess, man!† Willard is flabbergasted at his appearance, but just as grateful as Marlow when the American advises â€Å"just zap ‘em with your siren!† in reference to the hostile natives surrounding the boat. The American, like the Russian, is a â€Å"disciple† of Kurtz and takes it upon himself to tell Willard all he can about Kurtz and his relationship with him. He’s concerned Willard has â€Å"come to take him away† this â€Å"great man† who is â€Å"a poet warrior in the classic sense.† Like the Russian, the American has also been threatened with death by Kurtz but is loyal nonetheless. Willard, like Marlow, sees the grotesque heads on pikes and the American responds â€Å"you’re looking at the heads—sometimes he goes too far† and fears â€Å"you’re gonna call him crazy.† The two scenes are virtually parallel in theme and message. The appearance of both characters is completely unexpected and adds the suspense of â€Å"what else can be expected in this other-worldly place?† The unexpectedness is combined with the theme of being caught off-guard by the appearance of someone â€Å"familiar† in an unfamiliar environment. Is it safe or dangerous to trust this person? Additionally the characters provide Marlow/Willard with â€Å"interpretations† and defense of Kurtz, which is equally frightening when the profound effect of Kurtz upon the characters is revealed. It is a very effective way of giving substance to a man who has yet to be seen. The characters are very appropriate gatekeepers to the â€Å"Heart of Darkness† Marlow/Willard are about to enter. The message is the power Kurtz can exert on a fellow European/American and both reader and viewer are left to wonder what effect Kurtz will have on Marlow/Willard. Unfortunately Coppola’s scene does little to assist in understanding the scene as written by Conrad for a very simple reason: despite the dramatic jolt the American gives, he is an â€Å"incomplete† if not â€Å"throwaway† character. Conrad’s Russian is a man of his own adventure who had nursed Kurtz and urged him to leave; he clearly recognizes the time to move on, which helps put Kurtz and his influence on the Russian in perspective. Coppola’s American, by contrast, has not been of any assistance to Kurtz nor urged him to leave, and is not heard from after bringing Willard into the camp. The Russian has survived and thrown off the influence of Kurtz; whether the American survives is left to the imagination. Despite this, Coppola has provided the viewer a powerful visual representation of the entry into the Heart of Darkness. References Conrad, Joseph. (2003). Heart of Darkness. New York: Barnes Noble. Coppola, Francis F. Apocalypse Now. 1979. Zoetrope Studios. How to cite The First Contact in Apocalypse Now, Essay examples

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Social Selling Her Way to $250,000

SOCIAL SELLING HER WAY TO $250,000 It’s often said, â€Å"If you’re not online, then you essentially don’t exist.† According to a recent survey by Enquiro, 85.3 percent of buyers use the Internet before making a purchasing decision, and 77.7 percent of buyers say their research starts with Google. With the ever-growing population of businesses online, more specifically on social media, it can be hard to stand out from your competition. So is it still possible for a small business owner to find success on social media? Absolutely! Jessica Gordon, the owner of Three Little Darlings Designs, turned her custom bow business into a company grossing over $250,000 in less than three years primarily using Facebook. Like many businesses, Gordon’s company was conceived out of necessity. â€Å"When I found out I was pregnant with a little girl I knew I wanted to dress her up as girly as possible, especially after having a rough and tumble little boy. After she was born, I started purchasing hair accessories for her that were terrible quality! Thats when I decided I could make them myself. After making a few and having her wear them out, I was astounded at how many compliments we were getting and how many people were asking where I purchased them. Thats when I decided to start making and selling them,† she shared. Despite her busy schedule running a growing business, Gordon took the time to provide us with some insights about her experience and the strategies that helped lead her to such success. Did you start with a few products or offer a large variety right away? I started off small, but then after the first month, I realized I needed to increase the inventory and started making/selling about 100 new pieces each week. I knew I wanted to make ONE-OF-A-KIND pieces, but after a while, more and more people wanted the same items, so I then began making similar pieces to keep up with supply and demand. I pride myself on creating unique, one-of-a-kind pieces while still offering custom orders where people can make them however theyd like. How did you decide what your marketing plan was going to be? Honestly, I didnt have a marketing plan at all. I knew I would have to promote the business, but relied HEAVILY on word of mouth at first. Despite not having a marketing plan, Gordon knew from the beginning that she wanted to sell her products online rather than at festivals and craft fairs. In fact, she reported that 95 percent of her business comes from online sales. I initially started with a Facebook business page, expanded to Etsy, closed the Etsy after I realized how costly it was to sell on there, then moved most of my sales and business exchanges to a private closed business group on Facebook. Gordon’s Facebook page has over 28,000 likes and her Facebook group has over 5,000 members. Sales are made primarily via Facebook. To order, customers browse through photos of design options and comment on a photo with their email address. They finalize what they want to purchase by conversing with Jessica directly on the post, and they receive their invoice via PayPal. Did/do you use online ads? If so, what range of a budget did you start with? How did you learn to do them correctly? I didnt do much in the form of online advertising other than paying to promote posts on the Facebook business page. In the beginning, it was hard figuring out exactly what Facebook wanted me to do in regards to advertisement. Facebook business pages are tricky. The more people who like or comment on a photo or post, the more Facebook allows that post/photo to reach your entire audience. Sometimes, I would only reach about 100 people out of my 28,000 fans, which is how Facebook gets you to pay to promote. For me, paying Facebook to promote my posts was a big waste. Once she discovered that promoting her posts wasn’t the answer, Gordon made two major moves that had an incredible impact on her business. She participated in large group giveaways, as well as started a closed Facebook group to accompany her Facebook page. What helped a ton was being a part of massive group giveaways on Facebook. Giveaways were my biggest tool for increasing my online presence. People would have to like my page to be entered in the giveaway. After they had liked the page, I strived to reel them in and make them want to buy items [with discounts, rewards for purchasing or entrance into another giveaway as a ‘thank you’ for purchasing]. Budget-wise, I started with $400 $500/month, and I now budget only about $150 a month for advertising. Gordon initially split her budget between the product costs for the giveaways and about $100 for advertising on Facebook. Giveaways are easy to implement into your own online ventures. You can find group giveaway opportunities such as the ones mentioned  here and here, or you can run your contest on your own social media profiles or website. Be cautious, though, because there are several new Facebook rules and federal laws involved in running giveaways. Take the time to make sure you understand them. Texas blogger Taylor Bradford of Pink Heels, Pink Truck offers additional tips and suggestions for making sure you’re staying on the right side of the law with regards to giveaways. Gordon addressed the recent Facebook policy change and how her move to a closed group allowed her a way of getting around the restrictions: Up until last year, Facebook would allow LARGE group giveaways through Rafflecopter. One business would promote the giveaway and get TONS of other online boutiques to give away items, store credits, etc Then, when the giveaway contest opened, if people wanted to be entered, they would have to like every page via the Rafflecopter giveaway form in order to have their name submitted into the drawing. When the giveaway was over, Rafflecopter would randomly choose a winner for each prize. The winner would contact us and then they would get their prize. Once this method was banned from Facebook, we had to get creative and do giveaways another way. We still do big giveaways, but we have people join our Facebook groups (via a link in Rafflecopter or manually) rather than having to like a Facebook page to enter. Below is  an example of one of the large group giveaways Gordon participated in through Gleam. She posted about it on her Facebook page and noted that readers must follow the link in the comments to enter. Once someone followed the link, they were instructed that the way to enter the contest was to join Gordon’s group as well as to participate with the requests from the other businesses that were part of the giveaway. (Entry options are visible below the contest photo only when a giveaway campaign is open.) In addition to group giveaways, Gordon also does her own individual giveaways. When I conduct personal giveaways, its much more laid back. I just mention it on my page, and promote it in my group. For example, I just ran a giveaway in my group to celebrate reaching 5,000 customers – I gave away a $50 store credit and all people had to do to enter was make a purchase that week. I placed everyones name into random.org, created a randomized list, and the top person was the winner. I also do giveaways where I will ask people to invite their friends to the group to win a certain prize. This helps generate more customers. How do you make sure that people actually see your product and giveaway posts? This is one of the beauties of a group. Once I moved my business to a closed Facebook group, it made it so that EVERYONE sees my posts if theyre members, and I dont have to worry about posts NOT being in people’s Facebook timelines like I would if I just had a page. Once someone joins a group, they automatically start receiving notifications of new posts to the group. So, they never miss a post. Members can choose to stop receiving notifications, but this opt-out option is something they must do manually. On a side note, Gordon mentioned that there are additional benefits of having a group rather than just a page. I can be very selective with who I allow in my group, which helps me avoid any people trying to phish for my customers, steal my ideas, etc. Facebook groups can be set up by anyone and for almost any reason. It’s easy to learn how to set up a group properly, but keep in mind some Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook groups. For example, a major pet peeve for many users is when someone adds them to a group without their permission. Doing so could cause you to lose a potential new customer. So, if you don’t just automatically add people to groups without their permission, how are you able to get people to join your group? One way Gordon incentivizes people to join her group is to post about a prize via her Facebook page, which requires joining the closed group in order to enter the contest. Because she made the Facebook group a closed group, this means that you must be a member in order to see things that are posted in the group. So, if you’re not a member, you miss out. You won’t see what the current giveaway or sale is. Here’s an example of one of her recent incentive posts: To further emphasize the sense of exclusivity offered by joining the group, Gordon uses almost every post on her Facebook page to remind her audience that joining the Facebook group will give them access to new items and exclusive sales that aren’t visible on the Facebook page. She admits that it takes a bit more time to do separate posts, but that it’s worth it to spend the extra time trying to get people to join the group since you know they’re more likely to see your posts once they join. Speaking of time, how much time do you spend per day on social media promoting your company, engaging with customers, and providing customer service? Now, I spend about 2 hours a day promoting, engaging customers, answering emails, and discussing design ideas. She posts at least once a day on the page and multiple times per day in the group. Posts include giveaways, new product photos, and fun posts that illicit engagement, such as the light-hearted post pictured below. Do you outsource any of your business? I do EVERYTHING myself – design, production, shipping, invoicing, advertising, etc. Its a lot of work, but I love it. I do have an administrator who has recently started advertising for me on Instagram and helping to promote my page on Facebook. What tool do you use to create your posts? I use PicMonkey for collages, images, and designs. It’s a great online photo-editing tool. For a small fee each year, I can create virtually all of the graphics I need for my business without the hassle of Photoshop. Its VERY user-friendly and allows me to edit photos quickly and easily. Have you dealt with competitors being nasty online? Oh, let me tell you: When youre at the top, you have some haters, sadly Ive had to deal with my fair share of competitors, copycats, and even customers-turned-business-owners, who not only tried to steal my customers by inviting them to their new business page, but also tried to sell my hair accessories as their own. You name it; Ive dealt with it. But I pride myself on running a topnotch business and strive to have an open line of communication with my customers so when things like this happen, they are normally the first to message me to let me know. They have my back. Watermarks also help a ton, so people dont steal my pictures and use them as their own! What is something you wish everyone knew? Developing a successful online business takes a lot of hard work and dedication. In just three years, I have seen countless other businesses begin and end because of the amount of time it actually takes. Often, people forget that theres a person behind the computer like a real person, mom, wife, etc. who doesnt spend every waking minute on the computer or checking their phone to answer messages or make a sale. Having a supportive family/partner is key and setting a schedule for when you are going to work is extremely important and beneficial to the success of your business. Im a work-at-home mom and have a six-year-old and three-year-old. My six-year-old just started kindergarten this year, and I enrolled my daughter in preschool three days a week (just for 2.5 hours) so I get some extra time during the day to do some work. I also work after my children go to sleep until all hours of the night. Its not ideal, but it allows me to be with them during the day/evening and still bring in a substantial income for our family’s needs. Gordon has certainly done a great job bringing in that substantial income for her family and has great advice to share. She is a prime example of the amount of success that can come along with determination, hard work, great customer service, and a willingness to learn and adapt along the way.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A Beginners Guide to Ruby Programming Language

A Beginners Guide to Ruby Programming Language Ruby is unique among object-oriented scripting languages. In a sense, its a purists language for those who love object-oriented languages. Everything, without exception, is automatically an object, whereas in other programming languages this isnt true. What is an object? Well, in a sense you can think of it in terms of building a car. If you have a blueprint for it, then an object is whats built from that blueprint. It contains all the attributes that the object holds (i.e. make, model, color) and the actions it can perform. But, even as a pure object-oriented language, Ruby doesnt sacrifice any usability or flexibility by leaving out features that arent expressly related to object-oriented programming. Designing Ruby Rubys architect Yukihiro Matsumoto (known simply as Matz on the web) designed the language to be simple enough for beginning programmers to use while also powerful enough for experienced programmers to have all the tools theyd need. It sounds contradictory, but this dichotomy is owed to Rubys pure object-oriented design and Matzs careful selection of features from other languages such as Perl, Smalltalk, and Lisp. There are libraries for building all types of applications with Ruby: XML parsers, GUI bindings, networking protocols, game libraries and more. Ruby programmers also have access to the powerful RubyGems program. Comparable to Perls CPAN, RubyGems makes it easy to import other programmers libraries into your own programs. What Is Ruby Not? Like any programming language, Ruby has its downsides. Its not a high-performance programming language. In that regard, Pythons virtual machine design has a huge advantage. Also, if youre not a fan of the object-oriented methodology then Ruby isnt for you. Though Ruby does have some features that fall outside the realm of object-oriented languages, its not possible to create a non-trivial Ruby program without using the object-oriented features. Ruby doesnt always perform as well as other similar scripting languages in raw computing tasks. That being said, future versions will address these problems and alternate implementations, such as JRuby, are available as a workaround for these issues. How Is Ruby Used? Ruby is used in typical scripting language applications such as text processing and glue or middleware programs. Its suitable for small, ad-hoc scripting tasks that, in the past, may have been solved with Perl. Writing small programs with Ruby is as easy as importing the modules you need and writing an almost BASIC-like sequence of events type of program. Like Perl, Ruby also has first-class regular expressions, which makes text processing scripts a snap to write. The flexible syntax also aides in small scripts. With some object-oriented languages, you can get bogged down with verbose and bulky code, but Ruby leaves you free to simply worry about your script. Ruby is also suitable for larger software systems. Its most successful application is in the Ruby on Rails web framework, software which has five major subsystems, numerous minor pieces and a plethora of support scripts, database backends, and libraries. To aid the creation of larger systems, Ruby offers several layers of compartmentalization, including the class and module. Its lack of superfluous features allows programmers to write and use large software systems without any surprises. What Skills Would Be Helpful for Learning Ruby? A solid understanding of object-oriented concepts. Ruby is an object-oriented language and the object-oriented features are used throughout. Without this critical skill, youll be struggling as a Ruby programmer.A bit of functional programming knowledge. This is a plus as Ruby uses the block or closure extensively. Not having this ability isnt insurmountable, though. Creating blocks is a feature that can be learned easily enough while learning Ruby.A bit of navigational know-how. The primary way of running a Ruby script is from the command-line. Knowing how to navigate directories, run scripts and redirect input and output are essential skills to Ruby programmers. Applications and Tools Needed for Ruby The Ruby interpreterA text editor such as Notepad, Scite, or Vim. Word processors such as Wordpad or Microsoft Word are not suitable.Command-line access. Though the details of this differ from platform to platform, Linux, Windows, and OSX all have this available without any extra downloads or software installation.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Mendelevium Facts - Element 101 or Md

Mendelevium Facts - Element 101 or Md Mendelevium is a radioactive synthetic element with atomic number 101 and element symbol Md. It is expected to be a solid metal at room temperature, but since it is the first element that cant be produced in large quantities by neutron bombardment, macroscopic samples of Md have not been produced and observed. Here is a collection of facts about mendelevium: Mendelevium is a synthetic element that has not been detected in nature. It was produced in 1955 by bombarding the element einsteinium (atomic number 99) with alpha particles to produce mendelevium-256. It was produced by Albert Ghiorso, Glenn T. Seaborg, Gregory Robert Choppin, Bernard G. Harvey, and Stanley G. Thompson at the University of California at Berkeley in 1955. Element 101 was the first element to be produced one atom at a time.According to Glenn Seaborg, the naming of the element was somewhat controversial. He said, We thought it fitting that there be an element named for the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, who had developed the periodic table. In nearly all our experiments discovering transuranium elements, wed depended on his method of predicting chemical properties based on the elements position in the table. But in the middle of the Cold War, naming an element for a Russian was a somewhat bold gesture that did not sit well with some American critics. Mendelevium wa s the first of the second hundred chemical elements. Seaborg requested and received permission to name the new element for a Russian from the U.S. government. The proposed element symbol was Mv, but the IUPAC changed the symbol to Md at their assembly in Paris in 1957. Mendelevium is produced by bombarding bismuth targets with argon ions, plutonium or americium targets with carbon or nitrogen ions, or einsteinium with alpha particles. Starting with einsteinium, femtogram samples of element 101 may be produced.Mendelevium properties are largely based on predictions and on the activity of homologous elements on the periodic table because bulk preparation of the element isnt possible. The element forms trivalent (3) and divalent (2) ions. These oxidation states have been shown experimentally in solution. The 1 state has been reported, as well. The density, state of matter, crystal structure, and melting point have been estimated based on the behavior of nearby elements on the table. In chemical reactions, mendelevium behaves much like other radioactive transition metals and sometimes like an alkaline earth metal.At least 16 isotopes of mendelevium are known, which have mass numbers ranging from 245 to 260. All of them are radioactive and unstable. The longest-lived isotope is Md-258, which has a half-life of 51.5 days. Five nuclear isotopes of the element are known. The most important isotope for research, Md-256, decays via electron capture about 90% of the time and alpha decay otherwise. Because only small amounts of mendelevium can be produced and its isotopes have short half-lives, the only uses for element 101 are scientific research into the elements properties and for the synthesis of other heavy atomic nuclei.Mendelevium serves no biological function in organisms. Its toxic because of its radioactivity. Mendelevium Properties Element Name: mendeleviumElement Symbol: MdAtomic Number: 101Atomic Weight: (258)Discovery: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - USA (1955)Element Group: actinide, f-blockElement Period: period 7Electron Configuration:  [Rn] 5f13  7s2  (2, 8, 18, 32, 31, 8, 2)Phase: predicted to be a solid at room temperatureDensity:  10.3  g/cm3  (predicted near room temperature)Melting Point:  1100  K  Ã¢â‚¬â€¹(827  Ã‚ °C, ​1521  Ã‚ °F)  (predicted)Oxidation States:  2,  3Electronegativity: 1.3 on the Pauling scaleIonization Energy:  1st:  635  kJ/mol (estimated)Crystal Structure: face-centered cubic (fcc) predicted Sources Ghiorso, A.; Harvey, B.; Choppin, G.; Thompson, S.; Seaborg, G. (1955). New Element Mendelevium, Atomic Number 101. Physical Review. 98 (5): 1518–1519.David R. Lide (ed),  CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 84th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida, 2003; Section 10, Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics; Ionization Potentials of Atoms and Atomic Ions.Hulet, E. K. (1980). Chapter 12. Chemistry of the Heaviest Actinides: Fermium, Mendelevium, Nobelium, and Lawrencium. In Edelstein, Norman M.  Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry and Spectroscopy.