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What it is and How to Avoid it

Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 14:42

Has this ever happened to you?

    You come out of a deep sleep. Something’s wrong. You can see and hear, but you can’t move! No matter how hard you try, you can’t budge. It’s like you’re paralyzed.

    And it gets worse.

    You get the impression that there is someone in the room with you. You can’t see or hear him, but somehow you know he (it?) is there. He’s not nice. He means you harm. You instinctively try to draw a deep breath, but you can’t. It feels like there’s some sort of weight on your chest, like you can’t breathe. You start to panic. Will this ever stop?

    As suddenly as it began, it’s over. You can move. You turn on a light and survey your bedroom. You see nothing out of the ordinary, nothing out of place. You take a few minutes to calm down and then try to get some sleep…

If something like this has happened to you, you probably experienced Sleep Paralysis.

A lot of people experience sleep paralysis. If you experience it, it does not automatically mean that there is anything ‘wrong’ with you.

What Happened?

Your body couldn’t move because your body often can’t move when you’re asleep. In REM sleep, for example, many of your voluntary muscles are atonal (the muscles have no tone). Sleep researchers think that REM atonia happens so that people don’t act out their dreams. In essence, sleep paralysis occurs when your mind and your body don’t wake up at the same time.


Sleep paralysis is “normally harmless,” but that GHD Hair Straighteners  cheap ghds doesn’t mean it’s the greatest experience in the world. In fact, many people who experience sleep paralysis report being terrified. My research on sleep paralysis, conducted with Al Cheyne and Steve Rueffer, repeatedly found that many sleep paralysis experiencers were deeply disturbed and scared by what they felt and saw.

The Sensed Presence

The sensed presence certainly doesn’t make the ugg boots  new uggs experience any more enjoyable. A lot of people who experience sleep paralysis feel as if some evil person or entity is in the room. When I researched sleep paralysis with Al Cheyne and Steve Rueffer, we concluded that people sensed a presence because of a sort of short circuit in the brain. It looks like the part of your brain that ‘lights up’ when a threat is detected becomes active even though no threat is detected. So, you have the feeling that someone/something means you harm when, in fact, nothing is there at all.


Difficulty Breathing



Being unable to breathe is probably tied to the paralysis. You have anti-gravity muscles that help you breathe. When you’re in REM, your anti-gravity muscles are sluggish. You really can breathe, of course. It just feels like you can’t. Believing that  ed hardy clothing you can’t breathe only adds to the terror.

Seeing Things

Some people hallucinate during sleep paralysis. They see all sorts of strange things. The hallucinations are happening because part of your brain is still in a dream state. Instead of seeing those weird and wacky images in your dreams, you’re seeing them in the room with you.

If you’ve experienced sleep paralysis, you might be worried. Please don’t worry. Remember that it is common and, as far as anyone knows, a sleep paralysis experience does not mean that there is anything medically or psychologically wrong with you.

How to Stop/Avoid Sleep Paralysis

That’s all well and good, of course, but how can you avoid and/or stop sleep paralysis experiences? There are a few things you can do:

   1. Avoid irregular sleep patterns and get plenty of sleep. People who are sleep deprived or who have unusual sleep patterns (like shift-workers) can have disturbed REM sleep. Because sleep paralysis is a ‘malfunction’ of REM, disturbed REM sleep probably makes people vulnerable to sleep paralysis.

   2. Don’t sleep on your back. Data that Al Cheyne, Steve Rueffer, and I collected indicate that people who sleep on their back experience sleep paralysis more often. Of course, maybe people who sleep on their back are the kind of people who experience sleep paralysis. But, might as well give it a shot.

   3. I’ve also seen it suggested that you should try to move your facial muscles.

   4. Someone else touching you might bring you out of it, but this has yet to be confirmed.

The number one thing to remember is that there is nothing truly wrong. If you find yourself experiencing sleep paralysis, you might try relaxing and taking in the experience. Remind yourself that sleep paralysis is nothing more than a ‘waking dream.’ You’ll be truly awake soon enough.

Rodyk draugams

How to Choose the Perfect Gift

Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 14:41

It is almost Christmas and many of us are still scrambling around trying to choose the perfect gift for a friend or relative. What do they want? What do they need? What can we buy? We can spend hours in shops asking ourselves these questions. There is another way to select the perfect gift but it involves changing our perception of what gift giving is all about.

The problem is that we think about giving gifts as the exchange of physical objects. A useful alternative is to think of a gift as communication. When you give a gift to someone, what you are actually doing is speaking to them. You buy, make or discover a gift that says something to the receiver. They receive the gift, and if they are perceptive, they understand your message. Of course this is obvious, but somehow we forget it when we go to choose gifts. We focus first on the object or the need, then check what message it conveys.

You may have realised gifts are communication when someone gives you a gift and you are instantly aware of what it says. Some gifts communicate distance, others intimacy. Some say ” I love your creativity”, others “You should look after yourself”. Some are downright insulting. What gifts communicate is seldom attached to their price tag or their prestige. Some of the gifts that I have appreciated the most have been practically free GHD Hair Straighteners  cheap ghds for the giver to arrange for me, but have said so much that they have been immensely valuable.

If you harness this thinking, when you choose gifts, then you can quickly move towards the perfect gift. Ask yourself first, “What do I want to say to this person?” Then move on to “What can I give them that will communicate this?”. This is opposite to the more common “What can I buy them?” and then “What will they think of it?”.

This method could help you come up with some ed hardy clothing slightly off beat gifts, but at least they will be meaningful. One gift that I received recently was given as a result of this sort of thinking. My wife gave me a 1 day ticket of freedom. She took on all of my responsibilities for a day and sent me off to Tokyo to play. She wanted to say that she appreciated everything that I did, and that she understood that my responsibilities were sometimes a burden to me. That helped her to design the perfect gift which was simply a break from it all. I loved it.

The gifts that we come up with when we think of gifts as communication may be the same that we would think of in other ways. The difference may simply be that we arrive at a decision faster and with more certainty that our gift is right for that person.

Of course, there is a caveat. If you have ugg boots  new uggs  positive to say to the person, but feel that you must give a gift, then go back to your old ways of thinking. Communicating negative things with a gift, may not be the best way to enjoy your Christmas. Try it only if you are feeling brave.

Rodyk draugams

30 handy Christmas tips

Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 14:39

Advance planning is the key to a smooth-running Christmas. Find out how iVillage members and experts get ready for the big day

1. Cash in your rewards
My tip is to save your supermarket savings stamps! Now that most supermarkets do more than just food; it really is worth filling up some cards with stamps through the year and saving loyalty points so that in November and December you can go on a spree with "free" money, and obviously get more of what you want/need!

2. Get cracking!
I buy my crackers just after Christmas when they are all reduced, and usually get a couple of really nice boxes of luxury ones dirt-cheap. I then put them away with my Christmas decorations for use the following year. The same also works with tableware (papercloths, napkins etc).

3. Remember what you’ve bought!
If you buy presents through the year like I do, make sure you keep a list of what you’ve bought and who it is for. This saves buying a present for someone you’ve already bought for.

4. Get sprout and about!
Last Christmas we did our food shopping in the early hours of Christmas Eve morning (we’d been to the cinema and everyone was wide awake!). The place was empty, the staff were chasing each other with silly string, and it was a dream of a shopping trip. Of course this only works if you’ve got older children and a 24-hour supermarket near by! Certainly beats fighting for the last bag of sprouts on Christmas Eve morning!

5. Cut costs the easy way
I save all my Christmas cards from the previous year, get a pair of pinking shears and cut up the cards to make instant gift tags!


Health Top Tips Nutrition Lifestyle


6. Make a list
Avoid a stressful supermarket scrum by planning ahead. Make a list and try to buy non-perishable items on a normal shopping trip in advance. Things in tins or packets will happily keep in the cupboard. Making a list is the best shopping tip.
Cooking Coach, Terry Farris

7. Sneaky shopper
We cook the Christmas cake in November and buy most of the non-perishable food, chocolates, tape, cards and paper throughout the year. We don’t see most of the family until after Christmas so we can shop in the Boxing Day sales and nobody knows!

8. Military operation
I hate Christmas shopping and treat it like a military operation. Last year I compiled a gift list noting which shops to get them in, and even planned my route to ensure that the heaviest items were bought towards the end of the ’spree’, to avoid carrying stuff around unnecessarily! I might sound completely obsessed but I did get all my Christmas shopping done (including wrapping paper, bows etc) in under three hours. I then took myself off for a celebratory glass of champagne.
iVillager Dorothy

9. Festive brainstorm
Brainstorm all the Yuletide jobs you need to do, then put them on your noticeboard. Mark them off as you do them, or add if required. Have a countdown with final dates too, and always give yourself an extra day to get everything done.

10. Shop online
Buy your children’s Christmas presents online. I find it hard to shop with my little boy in tow. By shopping online there’s no way he can see his presents! Plus I can’t drive so it saves time having things delievered.


11. Homemade advent calendar treats
I get my children involved with the Christmas experience by digging out all the child-friendly utensils such as small wooden spoons and Christmas biscuit-cutters. We spend an afternoon making little edible goodies to go into the advent calendar.
iVillage Nutritionist, Wynnie Chan

12. Collect boxes
All year I save interesting, useful-shaped and plain but beautiful boxes to use for present wrapping. I refuse to buy expensive Christmas boxes.
iVillage, Dr Howard Lee

13. Early bird
I shop for the small stocking fillers ahead of time - even as early as the January sales. I stick them away in dark cupboard so the kids can’t find them!

14. Stock up
Always buy plenty of indigestion tablets and cold remedy - and a few small extra presents for the people you forget! And for the perfect Christmas, always have a smile at the ready!

15. Luxury tip
I always buy luxury Christmas cards just after Christmas and every year friends remark how expensive they look. I just grin and say nothing. This year I don’t mind sharing my tip!
iVillager Lydie

16. Stitch-in-time
I make cross-stitch decorations throughout the year. I always plan my gift list and budget well in advance. I try to shop as early as possible - last minute shopping for me is in November - and always wrap all the presents as soon as I get home, so I’m not temped to give them away before Christmas.

17. Avoid the big shop
From late September onwards I start stocking up for Christmas. I buy extra loo paper, bread rolls, cling film - anything that can be bought in advance. This way I avoid that really big Christmas grocery-shopping nightmare.

18. Puddings with a punch
Start making your puddings and cakes now so you’ve plenty of time to keep topping them up with alcohol.

19. Save the date!
I make a date in the diary at the end of November for writing Christmas cards. On the day, my husband and I sit down with the cards and a motivational first glass of the season’s sherry.
Couples Counsellor, Susan Quilliam

20. Freezing - a cook’s best-friend
I like to prepare and freeze lots of comfort food like stews and soups that can just be defrosted and heated up in the microwave in the run-up to Christmas. These are especially good to eat after a late night shopping trip when you don’t want to come home and cook. I also like to make and freeze individual treats like souffles and sticky toffee puddings in one-portion sized ramekins - for Christmas Eve, or when friends come over in the
GHD Hair Straighteners  cheap ghds weeks before. Freezing is the think-ahead-cook’s best friend.
Cooking Coach, Terry Farris


21. Perfect gifts
I go blank for present ideas at this time of year, so every time someone mentions something they like throughout the year I write it down. This way I avoid the panic of trying to think of things at the last minute.

22. Overseas posting
Send all your overseas parcels by mid-November. There’s nothing worse than standing in the post office queue on the last day of overseas posting. Alternatively buy your prezzies online - that way you avoid all the hassle of postage.
iVillager June

23. Book a day-off
Save a day’s holiday for December and use it to finish off Christmas shopping and treat yourself to a lie-in or haircut. The streets are much emptier in the week than on the weekend. Take off Christmas Eve to get in the mood.
iVillager Cat

24. Stock up with power
Buy a stack of batteries - especially if you have children. There’s nothing worse than not being able to get a new toy going because you forgot the batteries!
iVillager Leigh



25. Use cook’s cheats
Cook as much as possible in advance - and
ed hardy clothing don’t be afraid to use convenience foods.
Susan Quilliam, Couples Counsellor

26. Buy wine
Buy plenty of wine! The only reliable way of being prepared for Christmas is to have large quantities of wine to hand!

27. Recycled Christmas cards
I buy so many Christmas cards that I generally get by with what I have from previous years. I keep the cards I send my friends abroad separately from the one’s to friends at home - so I can switch them around the next year… Boy am I cheap!
Emily Ross Brown

28. Advance ordering
I order a Christmas dinner hamper in advance from the milkman, which I pay for over the year. I also save up the discounts from my regular mail order catalogues and use them to order big presents for kids. This year I’ve managed to save up £80 on each catalogue.

29. Treat yourself
Beauty stuff keeps me cool during the festive season and I’ve already scheduled a leg wax, pedicure and manicure along with a full body massage, for a few days before Christmas Day.
Couples Counsellor, Susan Quilliam

30. Closing Christmas tip
I pick sloes from the hedgerows while walking the
ugg boots  new uggs and make sloe gin that will hopefully be ready for Christmas. A tipsy cook is a happy cook!
Cooking Coach, Terry Farris

Rodyk draugams


Rewards And Alters Brain

Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 19:37


If you’ve ever wondered why it’s hard to stay on a diet, consider this observation from Ralph DiLeone, a brain scientist at Yale University: "The motivation to take cocaine in the case of a drug addict is probably engaging similar circuits that the motivation to eat is in a hungry person."

That’s what brain scientists have concluded after comparing studies of overeating with studies of drug addiction, DiLeone says.

They’ve also found that, at least in animals, sweet or fatty foods can act a lot like a drug in the brain, he says. And there’s growing evidence that eating too much of these foods can cause long-term changes in the brain circuits that control eating behavior.

The food-drug link comes from the fact that both animal and human brains include special pathways that make us feel good when we eat, and really good when we eat sweet or fatty foods with lots of calories, DiLeone says.

"Drug addiction is really hijacking some of these pathways that evolved to promote food intake for survival reasons," he says

That doesn’t necessarily mean food is addictive the way cocaine is, DiLeone says, but he says there is growing evidence that eating a lot of certain foods early in life can alter your brain the way drugs do.

Food That Changes The Brain

Teresa Reyes, a research assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that in an experiment with mice.

Drug addiction is really hijacking some of these pathways that evolved to promote food intake for survival reasons.
- Ralph DiLeone, associate professor of psychiatry and neurobiology, Yale University
Reyes was part of a team that gave mice a high-fat diet from the time they were weaned until they reached 20 weeks, so they gained significant amounts of weight and became obese. Then the researchers looked at the brain’s pleasure centers — areas known to change in drug addiction.

"What we found is that in animals that were obese, there were really dramatic changes in these areas of the brain that participate in telling us how rewarding food is," Reyes says. The changes made these areas less responsive to fatty foods, so an ghds obese mouse would have to eat more fat than a typical mouse to get the same amount of pleasure, she says.

And some of the changes didn’t go away, even when the mice returned to a normal diet.

"So it is similar to what happens in cases of chronic drug abuse," Reyes says. "The reward circuitry changes in a similar way, and that promotes the seeking of that drug, or in our case, in seeking palatable food."

That could help explain why obese children tend to remain that way as adults, she says.

Addictive Food?

More evidence of a link between food and drugs comes from a team that has been trying to understand how hunger can trigger an ed hardy clothing animal’s craving for drugs.

"Hungry animals will take a lot of drugs," says Uri Shalev, a researcher at Concordia University in Montreal.

Shalev and his colleagues studied rats that had learned to give themselves heroin by pressing a lever. When the scientists removed the heroin, the rats mostly stopped pressing the lever. But when the scientists also took away the rat’s food, the lever pressing came back with a vengeance.

The rats would press the lever hundreds of times, "even though they don’t get the drug anymore," Shalev says.

The team thought this behavior might involve a substance in the brain called neuropeptide Y, which makes animals feel hungry. And, sure enough, when hungry rats got a substance that blocks neuropeptide Y, they stopped pressing the lever.

Many other studies also have shown links between food and drugs.

A Swedish team found that a stomach hormone called ghrelin could make rats seek sugar the way addicts seek drugs. And a team at the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that male rats chose sugar over small amounts of cocaine, while female rats did just the opposite.

Even so, DiLeone, the Yale researcher, says it’s still not clear how far the food-drug comparison holds up, especially in people.

"There’s an ongoing argument in my field whether food is addictive or not," he says. "But whether it’s addictive or not, there’s probably components that are similar to addiction."

That ugg boots means it makes sense to focus on eating behavior early in life, when the brain is adapting to a particular environment. It also probably makes sense to take approaches used to treat addiction and adapt them to overeating," DiLeone says.

The new studies on overeating and addiction were presented at the 2010 Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.

Rodyk draugams

Porn Stars Without Makeup On

Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 19:36

Trolling the twitter accounts of some of our favorite porno babes, we found twit pics that make us think twice about wanting to wake up next to them in the morning.

1. Phoenix Marie

2. Natasha Nice

3. Tara Lynn Foxx

4. Isis Taylor


Rodyk draugams



Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 11:38

  Thanksgiving is the traditional day to count your blessings, but for some it is also the day to set the house on fire。

  There are more home fires on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, with fire departments responding to triple the normal number of incidents, according to the National Fire Protection Association。

  Not surprisingly, most of these fires originate in the kitchen from clumsy or inattentive cooks。

  "The reality is the doorbell rings and your friends and relatives are at the door and you want to greet them and chat, and you just don’t think to go back to the kitchen," said John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories, which rates the safety of products such as appliances。

  Thanksgiving dinner is a big project, with the turkey in the oven and all the burners in use for side dishes. There are many people hanging around in the kitchen, drinking, chatting and distracting the cook。

  It is easy to let the water boil over or the potatoes burn. Trying to put out the fire yourself can lead to injury and make the fire worse, experts said。

  One way to remind yourself of the hazard is to carry around a hot pad or potholder. Each time you look down you will be reminded of the food and kitchen, Drengenberg told the reporters in a telephone interview。

  The popularity of deep fried turkey has added to the fire hazards in recent years. Deep fried turkeys are boiled at searing temperatures in up to five gallons of hot oil. The practice is so hazardous for the uninitiated that not one turkey fryer has been certified as safe by Underwriters Laboratories, Drengenberg said。

  While the fryers are made to operate at a temperature of around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, they can soar to as high as 670 degrees — when the oil literally bursts into flame — if not watched carefully。

  "If you are going to use a turkey fryer, do it outside as far away from the house as possible, don’t overfill the fryer with oil and never put a partially thawed turkey into the oil," Drengenberg said。

  A good rule of thumb for thawing a frozen turkey in the refrigerator is to allow a day for every five pounds of meat. This means the thawing process should start days ahead of the feast, experts said。

  A partially frozen turkey plunged into hot oil can send up a sudden cloud of smoke and oil that could cause a terrible burn, Drengenberg said。












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Rodyk draugams

I don’t think about Sarah Palin

Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 11:38


President Barack Obama has said he does not think about Republican former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a possible contender for his job in 2012.

In an interview, Mr Obama acknowledged her popularity among Republicans and said he "respected those skills".

But he told ABC television: "I spend most of my time right now on how I can be the best possible president."

Mrs Palin, in the midst of a national book tour, said recently she could beat Mr Obama in the 2012 election.

But a recent poll showed Mr Obama comfortably leading Mrs Palin in a hypothetical 2012 match-up.

"My attitude has always been, from the day I started this job, that if I do a good job and if I’m delivering for the American people the politics will take care of itself," he said.

"If I falter and the American people are dissatisfied, then I’ll have problems."

Diminished strength

Mr Obama’s remarks came three weeks after his acknowledged "shellacking" in the mid-term elections.

Mr Obama’s Democratic party lost control of the House of Representatives and saw its strength in the Senate diminished, threatening the president’s ability to enact his legislative agenda.

Asked to comment on Tuesday’s military clash between North and South Korea, Mr Obama told ABC: "South Korea is our ally, it has been since the Korean War, and we strongly affirm our commitment to defend South Korea as part of that alliance."

He said he would not speculate about a military response but said he would consult with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on the matter.

On Wednesday morning, the US deployed an aircraft carrier fleet to Korean waters to join South Korean forces in military exercises.
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Rodyk draugams

How to form the vegetable habit

Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 11:36


I took my daughter to Wegman’s this evening, and I only shopped in two aisles: the meat aisle and the produce aisle.

That’s all we needed. We had food in the house. My husband had stocked the fridge while I’d been out of the country.

But my husband, if left to his own devices, would probably not ever eat another vegetable again. It’s not that he hates them. It’s more that he just doesn’t bond with them. If I stick one in front of him, he’ll eat it. If I don’t, he won’t miss it.

It’s like that.

I, on the other hand, have a rare affinity for the things—an affinity that is strengthened by the fact that I am a health writer. I’ve written I-don’t-know-how-many-times that vegetables help reduce risk for cancer and other diseases. If there is a magic anti-aging product, vegetables are it.

Yet people just aren’t eating them. The CDC recently issued a report showing that that vegetable consumption has stagnated in recent years—with a startlingly small percentage of people consuming 5 or more servings a day. Pennsylvanians do somewhat better than the national average—but not great.

Roughly 26 percent of Pennsylvanians consume 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day. Yet another 33 percent only get 1 or 2 servings.

I just can’t imagine what it’s like to share a bathroom in the homes where 2 or fewer veggies are being consumed a day. Holy constipation. Just saying.

While at Wegman’s I loaded my cart with apples, pears, oranges, celery, carrots, bell peppers, bananas, cauliflower, baking potatoes, kiwi fruit, and cucumbers. I know that part of the quest to consume more veggies is solved with one simple trick: making sure you have them in your kitchen.

Here’s another trick: try to include a fruit or a vegetable (or both) at every meal and snack. This takes a little creativity. Here are some ways to do it at every meal.


* Veggies diced and added to an omelet

* Sliced tomatoes served with your eggs

* Sliced fruit or a piece of whole fruit (orange, apple, pear, peach) served with any breakfast option

* Nonfat Greek yogurt, nonfat ricotta or lowfat cottage cheese with sliced fruit

* Sliced fruit mixed into oatmeal


* Lettuce, tomato, cucumber slices, bell pepper slices and other crunchy veggies on your sandwich

* A side salad with any lunch option

* A big lunch salad. Note: I rarely use lettuce in my salads as I noticed that I tended to avoid salads because I didn’t want to go through the trouble of washing and drying the lettuce. Now I just make salads with sliced veggies (bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes) and omit the lettuce—and I enjoy eating these salads even more. You might find that the same is true for you.

* An express lunch plate: hard boiled eggs, cheese slices, sliced cucumbers, sliced bell peppers, and sliced avocado

* A soup that contains veggies

* A piece of fruit with any lunch option


* Hummus with carrots or celery

* Celery with cream cheese

* Sliced tomatoes with a little salt and pepper

* Raisins

* Any piece of whole fruit

* A fruit smoothie made with nonfat yogurt


* A side salad

* A steamed vegetable on the side

* A baked potato on the side

* A vegetable soup as the main course or as a starter

* Vegetables added to casseroles such as lasagna

* Vegetables added to meat dishes. For instance, make meatloaf Florentine or meatballs Florentine


* Fruit

* Fruit with whipped cream

* Fruit with a little honey
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Rodyk draugams

Which Companies Break the Rules

Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 11:34


In this age of foreclosure crises and the idea that some companies are just “too big to fail,” “corporate” and “greed” have become virtual synonyms. The focus on bad business has become so intense over the past few years that Corporate Responsibility magazine (CR), which publishes the “100 Best Corporate Citizens List” every year, has now begun to also print a “Black List” of the least responsible companies.

What Is Corporate Responsibility?
According to CR’s Dirk Olin and Mark Bateman, the thirty corporations that made the Black List scored especially low in terms of transparency vis-à-vis the public. The list is based on the principles not only that “what gets measured gets managed,” but also that “what gets reported gets measured,” and that Adam Smith’s metaphorical, invisible hand relied on perfect, comprehensive information.

Each company on the list is one for whom “zero points of relevant data can be found to compare its transparency to that of its colleagues on the Russell 1000 list of large-cap firms,” referring to the Russell 1000 Index, which ranks the largest U.S. securities based on market capital and current index membership. In other words, it’s not what the corporations do that earns them a place on the Black List; it’s what they tell us about what they do. To Olin and Bateman, it amounts to the same thing. “If the behavior of companies matters to the public,” they write, “then access to information about their behavior matters, too.

In some areas, company disclosures are mandated by law. For example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires that all corporations disclose whether stock options are available to the company’s CEO, and whether the CEO exercises those options. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration require disclosures about disposal policies, labor policies, and workplace safety, and house this information in government databases. But company reporting on these issues usually covers one facility or event-specific issues, and the databases involved are not well designed to support corporate-level summaries, according to Olin and Bateman. In addition, very little of this information ever gets out to the public.

Olin and Bateman also make the point that opacity works against a corporation’s bottom line. In the “age of transparency,” consumers just won’t accept not knowing key information about employment and environmental protection policies. The average three-year returns on shareholder value for twenty-eight of the thirty corporations on the Black List is -7.378 percent, compared with a +2.374 percent return for the 2010 100 Best companies and -5.4 percent for the entire Russell 1000.

The List
Twenty-three of the thirty companies on the Black List are U.S. corporations, some of them household names.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF), with a whopping -19.04 three-year total return percent. CR doesn’t include this information on its list, but Abercrombie has also lost points in the public eye following a class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination in the company’s hiring practices.
Fidelity National Financial Inc. (FNF) also has pretty low returns: -11.93 percent. Maybe that’s because Americans have a hard time trusting an insurance provider that’s not an information provider.
Lorillard Inc. (LO) has bigger fish to fry than telling customers about its environmental practices. The company manufactures several tobacco brands, including Newport and Kent. Interestingly, CR’s Black List doesn’t even provide the corporation’s returns.
Scientific Games Corporation (SGMS) has the lowest returns of any U.S. company on the Black List: -21.63 percent. The company, which makes and distributes lottery systems and tickets, proves that not everyone is a winner.
Weight Watchers International Inc. (WTW) is losing points with investors, too, with -15.89 percent returns. Perhaps the company should focus more on spreading information than on just how to cut calories.
Most of the other U.S. corporations on the Black List are financial and insurance firms and medical-equipment providers. The seven international companies are all based in either the UK or eastern Europe and are financial corporations or media-production companies.

What Have They Got to Hide?
Thanks to reality television and 24/7 tweets and Facebook status updates, even private citizens don’t have privacy. If we have to disclose everything from our 4 a.m. cravings for Chunky Monkey ice cream to the fact that we really, really like Dio, then why can’t major corporations publish key details about their executive packages, labor practices, and environmental policies? The public wants to know, so keeping mum in the information age will get your company blacklisted.
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Rodyk draugams


Six Tips for Long-term Investment Success

Filed under: Be temos — highuight @ 00:15


Bank savings accounts currently offer paltry rates of interest.  If you put leave all your money in banks it should be safe but will not grow much.  The stock market offers much more interesting returns but because of the element of risk many people avoid it.  Worse still they might enter the market at the top and then sell out later at the bottom.  Here are some simple rules to help you navigate the market and build a large stock portfolio over a long period.

1. Diversify. Spread your risks by investing in a number of stocks in different markets and in mutual funds, bonds and other instruments. A good rule is that no one stock or other investment should be more than 10% of your total portfolio. Invest in different geographic areas such as US, Europe, Asia and emerging markets. Diversify into property funds, commodity funds and hedge funds. This should give you protection against a collapse in any one particular sector.

2. Do your research. Take advice from various sources.  Invest in some companies whose products and strategies you like.  There are a multitude of comparison sites and other resources on the internet to help you to analyse and understand investments. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance but I would generally prefer to choose a mutual fund or unit trust that had been a strong performer over the last two years and which offers low management fees.

3. Run the stars and sell the dogs. Monitor your investments and compare their performances against the market index.  If some of your holdings do well then the temptation is to cash in and take a profit.  It seems natural but if you are in this game for the long term then you want investments that grow over the long term so when you find winners cherish and retain them.  On the other hand you should ditch the dogs that significantly under perform the market.  The temptation is to hold onto them in the hope of a rebound or worse still to increase your holding at the lower price.  This is generally a poor strategy and it is safer to take a small early loss rather than a large one later on.  Do not cling onto stocks for emotional reasons.  Sell the dogs and run with the stars.

4. Reinvest dividends.  A surprisingly large part of the overall growth in most portfolios comes from reinvested dividends rather than in appreciation of the stock prices. A yield of 3% may appear small but over a period it makes a big difference. Choose some investments with a solid history of dividends and use them as the ballast in your ship.

5. Be contrarian. This advice is much easier to give than to observe.  When the stock market is low buy stocks.  When the stock market is high sell your worst performing stocks and buy other investments such as property or bonds.

6. Take the long view. You are in this for the long term so do not make frequent trades – the commission will eat into your funds. Do not follow fads and fashions.  Diversify in a sensible way.  Do not panic when markets occasionally crash – these are buying opportunities for the brave.

Finally be prepared to sell when you eventually need the money.  You invested it to build financial security for you and your family so it is better to use it when needed rather than to scrimp along in order to become the richest man in the cemetery.
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Rodyk draugams

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