Monthly Archives: January 2020

How To Stop a Dachshund Puppy From Biting

Dachshunds are tenacious, independent and smart, originally bred to hunt and kill badgers.  These characteristics have been passed down the generations which can cause problems with barking, biting and aggression if Dachshunds are not well trained from a young age

As soon as you see your Dachshund puppy biting it is time to address the problem.  Dachshund puppies look cute and you wouldn’t think that the small nips they give would be a problem, but not stopping the behavior can result in significant aggression problems later in life.

Start Young

If you were to watch a puppy grow up in a litter you would see that biting is regulated by the puppies themselves.  When one puppy bites another, the outcome is typically that the puppy they bite turns round and bites them back.  This is a very effective deterrent resulting in most puppies knowing not to bite by the time they are ready to go to their new home.

If you have problems with your Dachshund puppy biting, take immediate action!  At this young age your puppy is play biting.  You should never hit your Dachshund, especially not at this age when they will not understand what they have done wrong.  Doing so will frighten them and can lead to problems with anxiety and aggression as they grow up.

To stop your Dachshund puppy biting you need to take a consistent, fair approach, not just to the biting, but to their behavior in general.  Reward good behaviors and discourage bad behaviors, making certain that you are not giving mixed messages.  For example, if you want to stop your Dachshund puppy biting then you shouldn’t play games that involve chasing.  Remember, Dachshunds were bred to chase and catch prey and will likely grab hold of you if you run from them.

Ways to Stop Puppy Biting

When your Dachshund puppy bites your instinct may be to punish them, but this is the wrong thing to do.  Instead tell them “no”, or make a high pitched squeal when they bite, then giving them something acceptable to chew on such as a dog toy as soon as they let go.  Making a yelping noise can be very effective in stopping biting as it is similar to the noise that your puppies litter mates made when they were bitten.  Your Dachshund puppy will soon learn that biting you is not OK, but biting their toys is.

If you get an older Dachshund puppy who has not been taught not to bite your task may be more difficult.  If the technique described above doesn’t work then you should consider taking them to puppy training classes.  In addition to having expert help with the biting problem, your Dachshund puppy will have the opportunity to be well socialized with both people and other dogs their age.

Using Power Tools 101

The power tools of today are not the same as the ones that were carefully placed on the pegboard near your grandfather’s workbench- they are actually quite far from it. Modern technology has made amazing advances in the simplest of features, including automatic shut-off, enhanced guarding and more resilient materials just to name a few. But one trait has come to be worth its weight in gold within the power tool industry, and that’s the owner’s manual.

Today’s manuals not only have better graphics showing its users what each part of the device should look like (and what to do when it doesn’t), many individual manufacturers will have explicit directions and instructions for the safety and maintenance of each individual power tool. Of course, no instructions are completely fool proof, especially if the content of such manuals isn’t completely understood by the user. This is why many manufacturers have implemented training seminars and classes for both companies and individuals on the proper procedures for optimum performance and safety. Local home improvement stores often hold such classes and seminars on a regular basis.

However, a bit of common sense and know-how never hurt anyone, so there are a few safety guidelines which should be followed by all users of power tools. For example, wearing the proper clothing is essential, and you should never wear loose clothing that could easily get caught in a power tool. Safety gear is crucial- hard hat, safety goggles and gloves, along with the proper footwear. Using the right tool, whether it be size or something else, for the job at hand, including the right type of extension cord (indoor, outdoor, proper length) if applicable. The work area should be clean, uncluttered and well lit. Keep all electric tools away from water and flammables. Do not use power tools with frayed or damaged cords. Damaged parts anywhere in a power tool, including saw blades and drill bits, can cause damage to the tool itself or the individual performing the task. Unplug all electric power tools when finished with or before changing to another tool.

As far as the maintenance aspect of such power tools, common sense is again of the highest importance. For example, making sure that the proper guards are placed on saw blades when not in use is both a safety and maintenance issue. Saw blades need to be sharp to deliver the best performance possible, but can also be incredibly dangerous, so taking the proper preventive measures will yield the best results in all aspects, not just project outcome.

For more information on power tool basics, the U.S. government has many publications that can be of high value to consumers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers product recall information, and OSHA has a few such publishings regarding both general industry and personal use of power tools.

The Search for the Best Treatment for Common Cold Symptoms

Opinions vary about the best treatment for common cold symptoms. Zinc common cold remedies are much in the news, but some controversy surrounds their use.

Over the counter products, vitamin supplements and herbal remedies are really the only options a person has for treating a cold. Because colds are caused by viruses, there are no effective prescription medications and a visit to the doctor is usually unnecessary, unless a secondary bacterial infection, such as a sinus or ear infection occurs. Antibiotics are not effective for either preventing or treating a cold. Over-use of antibiotics has led to the development of more resistant strains of bacteria.

According to many experts, the best treatment for common cold symptoms is to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Probably, because so many people have a busy lifestyle, pharmaceutical companies keep coming up with products like zinc common cold remedies and other multi-symptom cold relievers. Advertising for these products typically suggests that these can help you “get on with your life”. But many of these products have unwanted side effects. Some can be relatively serious, considering that cold symptoms are typically gone in a week or so.

Some people who have used a zinc common cold nasal spray or gel have lost their sense of smell. One company was sued and settled out of court without admitting fault. At least two different clinical studies have confirmed that these zinc common cold remedies effectively reduce the duration of symptoms, but other studies confirm that these preparations can cause a permanent loss of the sense of smell. In fact, one study performed by the George Eby Research Group in Austin, Texas concludes that “it is unethical to introduce any potentially permanent anosmia-inducing agent such as zinc or other heavy metals into the interior of the nose in a manner that could result in contact with the olfactory region to treat a temporary discomfort such as a common cold or allergy.” The term anosmia means loss of sense of smell.

Several other studies confirm that when zinc common cold remedies come into contact with the lining of the nose, permanent loss of the sense of smell can occur. Manufactures of these products claim that they may be the best treatment for common cold available and can reduce the duration of cold symptoms to as little as two days. But, in fact, many people recover from a common cold in a couple of days, anyway. Some viral infections last longer in some people and symptoms may last as long as two weeks, but the study in Texas showed that the zinc common cold remedies did not significantly reduce the duration of common cold symptoms. The majority of volunteers had recovered within a week, whether they were given the zinc common cold remedies or a placebo.

Because some people recover from symptoms so quickly, without treatment, it has been difficult for researchers to determine the best treatment for common cold symptoms. Some people are more susceptible to infection with cold viruses than others. A recent study indicates that asthma sufferers, who typically have more than their fair share of colds, produce less anti-viral proteins than normal. Supporting the belief that efforts to improve immune system function can be the best treatment for common cold symptoms, as well as the best prevention.

Vitamin C supplementation is considered, by some, to be the best treatment for common cold symptoms, but opinions vary. Some studies have shown that it is an effective preventative; others have shown it to be less effective. Again the difference in the results of these studies is probably related to the difference in people. Injecting the rhinovirus directly into the nose causes an infection in 95% of people, but only 75% of them develop any symptoms at all. If you decide to increase your vitamin C intake and you develop diarrhea, then you are getting too much vitamin C and should reduce the daily dosage.

Many herbalists still recommend Echinacea as the best treatment for common cold symptoms. Some still recommend it as a preventative, but clinical studies have shown that taking the herb for extended periods of time can be toxic to the liver. It was used traditionally by Native Americans as a treatment, not a preventative. For occasional use Echinacea appears to be safe, but there are safer herbs.

Andrographis paniculata, an herb used in traditional Asian medicine, may be the best treatment for common cold symptoms and an effective preventative. In one study, a group of volunteers were given the herb or a placebo and results showed that those who were given the herb were less likely to become infected with influenza viruses; these are some of the viruses that can cause common cold symptoms. In those people who took the herb and did develop the flu, symptoms were less severe and complications, such as pneumonia, did not develop. Andrographis paniculata has been shown to have no toxic effects on animals, even when used in large amounts.

The complications that are associated with zinc common cold nasal sprays or gels are not associated with dietary supplements of zinc. And, zinc is important to proper immune system function and overall good health. For more information about natural products that are believed to be the best protection from and the best treatment for common cold symptoms, visit www.immune-system-booster-guide.com.

Legal Protection for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in Nigeria

For healthy and continuous in flow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Nigeria, the country has over the years put in place friendly legal framework for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) protection.

In this Foreign Investors’ Guidelines for Doing Business in Nigeria Series, we shall be examining the legal mechanisms put in place for the purpose of encouraging an increasing FDIs inflow and ensuring foreign investors’ confidence in the country.

We shall be discussing foreign investors’ protections ranging from certainty of arbitral proceedings and other dispute resolution mechanisms in the country.

The fact with modern economic systems is that no country can be an island economically; Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) protection is very essential to the successful attainment of foreign investors’ business objective(s) and economic development of any economy.

There are steps that host countries can lawfully take in the exercise of their sovereignty and power can lead to depriving foreign investors of reaping the fruits of their investments.

Host government actions that can affect foreign investment adversely includes nationalization; the act of a government taking control of a private enterprise and converting it to state or public ownership.

Expropriation; the act of a government taking possession of or otherwise meddling with privately held assets or property for the use and benefit of the public, or in the public interest.

The legislative and administrative acts of the government as government action can also have adverse effects on foreign investors’ businesses in Nigeria.

This is the indirect or creeping form of expropriation. The only difference is that, it mode of operation shifted attention from the physical and actual taking-over of an investor’s assets to the legislative and administrative acts of the government.

While not depriving a foreign investor of the ownership of an asset in this type of government control, it is capable of significantly reducing the value of properties and investments of the foreign owner.

Foreign investors don’t like investing in country’s with risk such as arbitrary revocation of a license; permit or a concession after the investor has made the requisite investments.

The advancement and expansion of international business relationships and the importance of foreign direct investment to the economic development of Nigeria has made the country to put in place some foreign business protection laws for the purpose of encouraging foreign investors.

Nigeria has performed greatly in providing protections to potential foreign investors.

Investment Treaties

In spite of the provisions of Section 12 of the Nigerian Constitution, investment treaties entered by the country are binding on, and enforceable against Nigeria upon ratification under the principle of ‘pacta sunt servanda’.

Also, by a literal application of Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which provides that a treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in agreement with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty.

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs): Nigeria entered into its first Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with Germany in 1979 which came into force in 1986.

According to finding from my investigation Nigeria has entered into 28 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) between 1986 and November, 2015.

Of the total number, 13 are currently in force, 14 are signed and 1 repealed. The Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) currently in force are the ones entered into with Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.

The 14 BITs which have been signed by Nigeria but are yet to enter into operation were signed as far as back as 1996.

In addition to the usual investment protection standards, these BITs provide that a contracting state shall not damage by irrational or unfair means the maintenance, management, disposal of investment in its territory of nationals or companies of the other Contracting Party.

And the same recompense for losses suffered due to a safety event made to a domestic investor shall be allowed to the investor from the other contracting state.

These BITs also provide for the right of subrogation allowing foreign investors to obtain suitable investment insurance and for these investment insurance providers to seek remedy on their behalf from Nigeria.

The BITs that are presently in force have also made satisfactory requirements for the standard investment protection. These include fair and equitable treatment, umbrella clauses, most favoured nation status, national treatment, obligations against arbitrary and discriminatory measures and security.

Multi-lateral Investment Treaties (MITs): Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) treaty is one of the famous MITs Nigeria have entered. The ECOWAS treaty was signed on 28th May 1975; it came in into force on the 20th June, 1975.

The treaty currently has 15 signatories who are member states of ECOWAS.

Article 2 of the Treaty gives ‘Community Enterprise’ status to businesses whose equity capital is owned by two or more member states, and citizens or institutions of the Community.

Article 16 of the Treaty provides that Community Enterprise shall be accorded favourable treatment with regards to incentives and advantages, and shall not be nationalised or expropriated by the government of any member state except for valid reasons of public interest, and subject to the payment of prompt and adequate compensation.

Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) investment treaty is another MIT Nigeria has entered into in relation with providing favourable conditions for foreign investments in the country.

OIC is a treaty with an Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments among Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which came into force in September, 1986.

Chapter 2 of the Treaty mandates all member states of the Organization of Islamic Countries to provide adequate security and protection to the invested capital of an investor who is a national of another contracting member state.

The terms of protection specifically include the enjoyment of equal treatment, undertaking not to adopt measures that may directly or indirectly affect the ownership of the investor’s capital or investment and not to expropriate any investment except it is in the public interest and on prompt payment of adequate compensation.

Host states are further obligated to guarantee free repatriation of any capital and returns due to an investor.

Conventions to which Nigeria is a Signatory:

The country is signatory to a number of Conventions which have been entered into for the purposes of protecting foreign direct investment.

The most significant convention in this regard is the Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention).

International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) as an arbitral institution under the World Bank Group is a fully integrated, self-contained arbitration institution that provides standard arbitration clauses, arbitration proceedings rules, arrangements for venues, financial arrangements and administrative supporting including the appointment of arbitrators to parties.

Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID) primarily provides for the settlement of investment disputes between investors and sovereign host states.

It has also taken the necessary legislative measures to make the Convention’s resolution effective in Nigeria by enacting it as a domestic legislature in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Enforcement of Awards) Decree No. 49 of 1967.

Another significant investment protection convention Nigeria has entered into is the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

New York Convention was adopted by the United Nations in June, 1958 and it mandates domestic courts in signatory countries to give effect to arbitration agreements, and to also recognise and enforce valid arbitral awards given in other signatory states.

The New York Convention in other words is particularly significant for the enforcement of arbitral awards resulting from non-ICSID investment arbitration proceedings.

In an attempt to bring into conscious awareness the legal guidelines to undertaking business in Nigeria to intended foreign investors, we shall specifically be reviewing domestic legislations and investment treaties which collectively make up the legal framework for foreign investment protection in the country.

The Domestic Legal Framework:

The notable investment legislation in Nigeria is the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act, CAP N117 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (“NIPC Act”).

The NIPC Act provides the fundamental and suitable legal framework for the protection of foreign investors in the country. Part 5 of the NIPC Act provides that foreigners may invest and participate in any enterprise in Nigeria.

They are assured unrestricted transfer of funds attributable to the investment such as profits, dividends, payments in respect of loan servicing, and the remittance of proceeds obtained from the sale or liquidation of assets or any interest in the venture through an approved dealer in freely convertible currency.

Section 25 of the NIPC Act clearly provides that no enterprise shall be expropriated or nationalised without prompt payment of compensation; the same section also provides a protection clause to an investor to claim “creeping” expropriation by establishing that the acts complained of indirectly results to expropriation or have expropriatory tendency.

Lastly, the NIPC Act provides that disputes between a foreign investor and any government in Nigeria arising from an investment shall be submitted to arbitration within the framework of any investment treaty entered into between the government of Nigeria and any state of which the foreign investor is a national.

It further provides that where there is a disagreement between the Nigerian government and the foreign investor on the mode of dispute settlement, the dispute shall be submitted to ICSID for arbitration.

Foreign investor is thus at liberty in Nigeria to institute arbitration proceedings against a government even after bringing a claim or counterclaim against the government in a court or domestic arbitration.

Another domestic legislation that provides protection to foreign investors is the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions Act) CAP F34.

Section 15 of this Act provides that any person may invest in any business venture with foreign currency or capital imported into Nigeria through an authorized dealer who will issue a Certificate of Capital Importation to the foreign investor.

Sub-section (4) of the same section in addition guarantees unconditional transferability of funds in freely convertible currency of any such monies arising from an investment made in Nigeria with foreign currency, including dividends and profits, payments in respect of loan servicing, and remittances of the proceeds of sale or liquidation of assets.

A similar provision on repatriation is also found in Section 18 of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Act, CAPN107 (“NEPZA Act”).

Section 18 of the NEPZA Act provides that foreign investors who invest in outlined businesses within an export zone shall be eligible to remit profits and dividends earned in the zone and repatriate foreign capital investment at any time with capital appreciation of the investments.

Other foreign investors’ protection laws are the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The act gives foreign investors the opportunity to determine the mode of settling disputes that may arise out of their investments without resort to litigation in domestic (Nigeria) courts.

With the anticipation that such settlement will unfailingly and efficiently protect and enforce the rights of foreign investors and their investments provides a framework for domestic arbitration it also makes provisions for international commercial arbitration which is more preferable by foreign investors.

Section 56(2) (d) defines ‘international arbitration’ to include any arbitration that the parties have expressly agreed in the arbitration agreement to treat as international arbitration. The Act provides that every arbitration award is capable of enforcement under the New York Convention.

Nigeria’s entries into these investment treaties and its enactment of the Conventions into domestic legislation have made the protection mechanism part of Nigeria’s legal framework for protection of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) friendly and convenient to actual and potential foreign investors.

Hands-Only CPR: When and How to Do It

I’m frequently asked if giving breaths has been eliminated from CPR now that the CPR guidelines have been updated. The simple answer is no, the breaths are still instructed in traditional CPR classes. However, there has been a big push, especially by the American Heart Association, to teach a version of CPR without breaths. This approach is often called “hands-only CPR”.

In short, hands-only CPR is fast, deep compressions on a victim’s chest. If someone doesn’t respond to your efforts to wake them, and their breathing is irregular or they aren’t breathing, you push straight down on an adult’s chest at least 2 inches at a rate of at least 100 compressions a minute. This is a skill you need to practice with an instructor on a manikin, so I’m not going to go into further detail on how to perform this skill.

Hands-only CPR has many advantages over traditional CPR: it’s simple to do, it reduces the risk of disease   transmission  while doing CPR, and research shows it’s as effective or more effective when used appropriately.

Hands-only CPR is an acceptable approach when you witness someone suddenly collapse. If this is an adult, it’s probably because of cardiac arrest (a heart attack). The victim still has several minutes of oxygen in their blood because they were breathing moments before they collapsed. The goal of hands-only CPR is to circulate that oxygenated blood throughout their body. By continually compressing their chest, you are literally squeezing blood through their heart so it reaches the brain and organs. Those compressions will buy the victim valuable minutes until emergency medical personnel arrive.

However, hands-only CPR isn’t always the best approach. If the victim has become unconscious and isn’t breathing normally because of an airway emergency, they need CPR with breaths. Asthma, severe allergies, choking, drowning and suffocation are all examples of airway emergencies that can lead to a victim who is unconscious and not breathing normally. Because these victims are lacking oxygen, they need rescue breaths, along with chest compressions.

Children and infants usually have healthy, strong hearts so if they become unconscious, the cause is usually not cardiac related. Most likely they are suffering from an airway emergency. This is why every parent who takes a CPR class should learn to do CPR with breaths. Unless a CPR class says it’s a hand-only class, all American Red Cross and American Heart Association CPR classes will teach you how to give rescue breaths along with compressions.

The First Steps Towards Becoming A Working Actor

So your bags are packed and your next destination is Hollywood to pursue your life long dream of becoming a movie star. No one will say its an easy road to take, so hats off to you for going through with this journey. This article will save you a lot of time in preparation when you make it there. The first thing you need to do is land an agent. Listed below are the four main things you need to have/do in order to get that agent.

ACTING CLASSES

Before an actor becomes an actor, they are put in training. The same way a boxer conditions his or her body to become a better fighter, an actor trains through acting classes, to hone his or her craft.

Acting classes are the basics, where you start before anything else if your desire is to become an actor. You develop your skills using various techniques to mentally train your mind to transform yourself as a person saying words written on paper, into a person living in a moment of truth. There is no single method or technique that is correct; it’s all about finding the approach that works for you. Again, just like every boxer has a unique style, every actor brings something different to the table. Whether you identify with Sanford Meisner, Constantin Stanislavski, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, or somebody entirely different, a great acting program will offer one or a combination of the techniques that work for you.

HEADSHOTS

The first thing an agent or casting director look at (whether finding new talent or filling a role) is a headshot.

A headshot is an accurate picture of you, representing your physical attributes. A headshot photo is often of one’s face, but just as fashion trends come and go, headshot framing can be trendy as well. Another great reason to have a current photo, is so that you don’t seem outdated in terms of style, color, and formatting. A person’s entire body can be used in a headshot when submitting to a modeling agency.

A “look” is an actor’s demeanor in a photo. If an actor wishes to audition primarily for comedic roles, the photographer will direct him into a playful mood, capturing images of the actor smiling, and perhaps looking a bit goofy. For action roles, the demeanor could be more intense and serious. This is not necessarily a rule, but rather a way of creating an advantage for those going after specific roles.

When just beginning a career, it is crucial to have a variety of photos to demonstrate versatility and to open up as many doors as possible. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself right away, but at the same time, be honest with yourself. Know what you can and can’t do as an actor and get pictures that correlate with your repertoire of skills.

At the very least, an actor just starting out needs a commercial shot (generally a smiley picture used for commercial auditions) and a theatrical shot (generally more serious, used for film and television auditions).

ACTING RESUME

An actor’s resume displays the work they have done. A rule of thumb in the industry is to have your resume stapled at the corners and behind your headshot, making a clean attachment for casting directors and agents who sift through hundreds of headshots, looking for that person with the right look for a particular role. Although almost all submissions are digital these days, having hard copies of your picture and resume is still expected.

Your resume should consist of only the most the basic info: your name and contact information (either personal phone number and/or email address, or that of your agent/manager). If you belong to SAG-AFTRA you should indicate that as well. Putting your height, weight, and hair/eye color used to be standard, but has begun to phase out.

List the most prominent productions you have been involved in, and the details should be broken down into different headings: Film & TV, Theater and New Media (web series). Once your credits begin to grow, the heading of Film and TV can be broken up into two categories. Next you should list your training. Acting classes, theatre, voice over training, etc.

Lastly, the most commonly overlooked section of a resume: Special Skills. Here is where you can brag about hidden talents you have, or cash in on ordinary talents. List the sports you play, the games you know, the accents you can do, the languages you speak, etc… You’d be surprised how many actors can book a role simply because they know how to hula hoop or, believe it or not, drive a manual transmission. You can also use this section to be creative and write something that will stand out and make you memorable. If you can freestyle rap, for example, that’s a great way to grab attention on a resume, just be prepared to show it off if and when you’re asked about it. DO NOT LIE on you Special Skills section. It will only hurt you in the long run.

Now here’s the catch 22. You need an agent to get work, but you can’t get work without an agent. So how do you get work without an agent to start? I’ve been in this predicament, and had an agent call me and tell me this exact bit of information.

“A good agent won’t represent somebody who doesn’t have an acting background, even if you found one that did, you don’t want that type of agent representing you. You need to focus on building your resume. Get enrolled in some acting classes, and for work, try looking into either Craigslist to get involved in any student films, or lacasting.com and do some extra work. All of this will help build your resume and show you are serious about acting.”

DEMO REEL

After you feel you’ve taken enough acting classes, had your headshots taken, it’s time to start looking for representation. It’s very difficult getting represented by an agent with just your headshots, resume and acting training. You need a video montage of you showing off your acting chops. This where a demo reel comes in handy.

A demo reel is a collection of scenes edited together to showcase the ability of an actor. Demo reels are also made for directors, cinematographers and editors as well. For an actor, a demo reel can be used to show their genre range, mixing in various works they have done from dramatic to comedic. They can also be tailored to represent an actor in one complete genre, such as an all action genre reel. This usually comes only after the actor has enough credits to warrant separate reels.

A good demo reel is usually between three to five minutes in length and displays anywhere from six to eight scenes. Sizzle reels, are a trimmed down version of a demo reel, usually running no more than one minute in length with music overlaying the edited footage giving a “teaser” type effect. Sizzle reels are becoming quite popular, as they are quick and stylish. It is good to have both, as every agent has their own reservation for what they want submitted.

The biggest mistake people make in getting their demo reel made is that they over do it. Often times I’ve seen demo reels consisting of scenes of a person screaming at the top of their lungs or crying, or holding a gun and shooting someone. A great demo reel should be 2 things, subtle and entertaining. Keep that in mind. And always lead with your best stuff, either your most impressive credit, or the clip(s) that showcase you the best. Remember, the person watching the reel doesn’t love you as much as you might love yourself, and isn’t likely to watch the entire thing, no matter how short it is.

TIME TO GET AN AGENT

At the end of it all, you’ve got enough acting classes under your belt, you have a great new headshot, your resume is substantial and growing, and you have a reel that represents you well, it is now time for you to find an agent. You can check out our updated Agent list. We hope this article has been a good source of information to you. Check out our site for other articles related to the world of acting. Good luck on your journey, looking forward to seeing you on the silver screen!

How to Detect If Someone Put a GPS Tracking Device on My Car?

If you’re like many people, you may be wondering how to detect if someone has placed a GPS tracking device on your vehicle. GPS Tracking devices have gotten so small, they are commonly the size of a pack of cigarettes, and some are even as small as a quarter! With devices that small, they can be hard to detect, especially if you’ve got a large vehicle.

The first thing you need to know is that there are two different types GPS tracking devices:

GPS “Loggers”

A GPS Logger is a passive device, meaning that it doesn’t actively transmit your GPS location. This means whoever put a GPS logger on your car will have to place it on your car, and then retrieve it later in order to view the driving data, which is stored on the device. A popular example of this is the Sleuthgear iTrail GPS Logger, which is only 1.5″X1.5″ big.

GPS “Trackers”

A GPS Tracker is an active device, meaning that it actively transmits your location “live”, usually to a secure website, where the person who placed it there can view your location and driving information via a web browser or special program. Once they put it on there, they do not have to retrieve it, they can just view the information online. They will likely come back later though, because the battery life on active tracker is usually less than 30 days.

Here’s where knowing the difference between the two types of tracking devices is important. A GPS Logger (like the iTrail GPS) can only be detected manually – meaning you’ll have to physically search for it. The reason for this is because since they don’t actively transmit a signal (they just store data to the device), then a bug detector or bug sweeper won’t be able to pick up any kind of transmission or signal. If you suspect that you might have a GPS logger on your vehicle, the first place to look for it is UNDER THE VEHICLE. This is the most popular place to hide a GPS tracking device, and is accomplished by placing the device inside a magnetic case, which securely attaches to the metal on the underside of your vehicle. Other places to look are in the glove box, center console, and the truck (including under the spare tire).

If you suspect that you might have an active GPS Tracker on your car, a manual search is always the first step. Look under the vehicle, in the glove box, and in the trunk. These type of units are usually bigger than GPS Loggers because they need a bigger battery in order to actively transmit a signal. If you don’t have time to do a manual search, you’re in luck, because active GPS Trackers can be easily detected by a GPS Detector.

A GPS Detector is a handheld device that is usually battery powered that allows you to “sweep” your vehicle (or wherever else you want to locate a GPS Tracker) and will alert you when it detects a transmitting GPS signal that is sending out your location. There is an adjustable sensitivity knob that allows you to hone in on the exact location of the tracker, so you can remove it from your vehicle.

A GPS detection device will also detect cell phone signals, because cell phones are commonly used as makeshift GPS tracking devices, since owners of cell phones can often use a “locate” feature of their phone to find out where it is at.

So if you want to find out if someone has placed a GPS tracking device on your car, first conduct a manual search, and for a quicker and easier search, use a GPS Detector.

Flu Virus Research

The critical part in the research is to understand how influenza virus spread and mutate and is the key to preventing pandemics by discovering preventive, diagnostic and treatment methods.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), influenza viruses that occur in animals can infect humans, and later develop to pandemic strains. Several research areas have been outlined by the WHO relating to the animal/human influenza interface that could have a profound impact on protecting human being.

The Working Group of WHO on Influenza Research at the Animal/Human Interface was setup in 2005 to encourage basic studies into animal influenza viruses, with the aim to find out the cause the viruses can infect people.

ON-GOING STUDIES

Studies are on-going on avian influenza viruses, particularly H5N1. Researchers aim to discover the prevalence of avian influenza viruses in domestic animals and birds, understand the molecular basis of   transmission  of viruses from animals to people, assess the role of migratory birds in the  transmission  of the viruses, and evaluate the human immune response to infection with avian influenza viruses.

Studies are also being done on H1N1, a novel strain which is the causative factor of the current influenza A pandemic and researchers succeeded developed a vaccine which approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

PUTTING VACCINES TO THE TEST

The scientists from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) play an important role and work in collaboration with medical research institutions worldwide to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat seasonal and pandemic influenzas, including influenza A (H1N1).

The trial is being conducted through the NIAID-funded national network of Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs). Safety data will be collected and assessed continuously throughout the trial by an independent safety monitoring committee and investigators.

STUDYING THE NATURE OF THE FLU VIRUS

Other than vaccine research, NIAID scientists are also investigating the basic biology of influenza. The data collected will assist in designing diagnostics that are more accurate and faster, cost-effective and portable. NIAID is also investigating host immune responses to the virus in animal models and people, and studying influenza epidemiology.

For treatment, NIAID supports research being conducted to develop new and effective drug combinations and examine the mechanisms behind emerging drug resistance. This effort is supported by innovative new technologies to design drugs that target specific cellular processes and viral proteins.

Using Serialization

A common problem in programming is moving the program data to another spot, such as a file on disk or another computer. For example, suppose a video game needs to store a saved file on the hard drive. Normally, the developer would have to write a method that takes all the game information and puts it into a format that can be placed on disk. Another method needs to be written to reverse this. The concept of serialization, used in some programming languages, bypasses this.

If a language has serialization libraries, this means that these functions are built in. You can input an object and have built-in language libraries convert the object to data. And of course, you can do the reverse. Instead of having to write code and create your own format for storing program information, you can just have the language do it. This has a wide variety of uses besides the video game save file mentioned in the intro. Suppose you want any program to store user-inputted data. You can simply put that data into a serializable object, that write it to disk. When the program starts up again, use the deserialization methods.

This can also be used for network communications. Consider the problem of writing client and server programs that can communicate with each other. Instead of having to process data, you can just serialize the object and transmit its data over the network. As long as the client and server know what class is being used, this works.

However, not all programming languages can be serialized. Generally, this is only a feature of higher-level languages. .NET has it with the Serializable attribute for a class. For Java, the java.io.Serializable interface is used. Classes that implement this interface can be serialized. Even low-level languages such as C++ have the ability, albeit not in the standard library. The popular Boost C++ library has functions that provide the serialization ability.

However, there are also problems caused by serialization. Many languages do not have backwards compatibility. So if you write a new version of the program and try to use it with existing serialized data, it can fail. Fortunately, some languages do have backwards compatibility features that avoid this drawback.

Serialization is a useful tool that all programmers should know about. It provides an easy way to store program data permanently and transmit it between multiple computers. For languages where serialization libraries are built-in, this is generally very easy.