Eye Contact in Different Cultures

Eye contact is a way of communicating with others. Depending on which cultural situation an individual is in, eye contact gives out different signals. Appropriate eye contact levels differ from culture to culture.

Diverse Eye Contact Cultures:

America: Visual contact is encouraged in the United States of America. If you look at someone in the eye, while speaking to him or her, you come across as confident, trustworthy and interested. Frequently glancing away from the person or refusing to make contact can signal low self-confidence, disinterest and a suspicious character. However, in Mexico, eye contact sustained too long is viewed negatively and suspiciously.

Europe: In most areas of Europe, looking into a person’s eyes while conversing is seen as a mark of respect. However, this is brief contact. In many areas, consistent contact may be negatively viewed. In England, some amount of contact is necessary, but too much makes people uncomfortable. In other areas such as France and Spain, visual contact customs are similar to those in America.

Middle East: Middle-Eastern societies, largely Muslim, require less contact than those in the European and American societies. Many cultures have laws dictating that women should not make visual contact with men. However, intense visual contact between two people of the same gender, usually men, signals sincerity and a plea to believe.

Asia, Africa and Latin America: Here, sustained contact can be perceived as a challenge or affront to authority. Students are not encouraged to hold visual contact with teachers, children with parents or inferiors with superiors. This is simply to show respect and not disinterest.

Eyes are the windows to the soul and thus, visual contact is a powerful means of communication. To avoid misunderstandings, one must know the culture he/she is interacting with and accordingly has to adapt the eye contact.

Source by Jim Johannasen

No Deposit Bonus Online Poker Sites

Poker is an exciting card game popular in most of the USA and Europe. History reveals that gambling was once very popular among Europeans, but later it became popular in America. Poker is a popular gambling variant that gained demand in recent years. In the beginning of 19th century, poker was restricted to few areas, but with change in technology and mindset of people, thousands of casinos were setup in various cities to encourage poker players. Today online poker has huge demand in the market.

Among all online poker sites, no deposit bonus online poker sites are popular. These no deposit bonus sites offer bonuses to players without accepting any money. When a user registers at a free bonus online poker site, no-deposit bonus will be instantly deposited to a users account. This free bonus can be used by a player to play against opponents. No deposit bonus is like virtual money, which can later turn into real money depending on a player’s performance in the game. Most of the players do doubt why these online casinos offer free bonuses? No deposit bonuses are marketing tactics of online casinos. They are offered in order to gain attention from the online community.

There are many online websites that offer no deposit poker bonuses. Some websites offer heavy bonuses while few of them offer meager bonuses. These bonuses are not consistent and keep varying in various levels of poker. In the beginning bonuses offered to players will be less, but when players win the game bonus levels will be raised. There are few websites online that allow players to play more poker with minimal risks.

Source by Robert Szury

Kleer Wireless Technology

Many people are familiar with and use Bluetooth wireless technology. This technology comes installed in many phones, mp3 players and other electronic devices. For people that want to get rid of the wires on their mp3 though there is a much better alternative. Kleer wireless technology has many advantages over Bluetooth for listening to music. So let us explore what these might be.

Kleer technology was developed specifically to come up with a better way of transmitting music wirelessly. The biggest issue with Bluetooth is its lack of fidelity. Kleer has succeeded quite well in this regard. The transmission and reception is CD quality digital sound. This is light years ahead of Bluetooth, which can only do as well as 320kbps/s. Most of the time, with most Bluetooth devices, this optimal is rarely even approached. Kleer does not suffer any loss of quality for most audio recordings.

There were other issues that were also nicely resolved by this new wireless protocol. The channel that Kleer uses (RF-based) is not subject to interference or drops that can happen with other wireless devices. Transmissions are clear and they stay that way.

One cool feature is that up to four users can listen to the same wireless transmission. This is not likely to matter much to most people but it does open us some interesting possibilities for using the technology.

A really big bonus that goes along with the clear channel reception is the systems power use. Kleer uses fewer channels than Bluetooth to transmit its signal. This saves power which means you can go longer between charges. Kleer can also pack in more in a smaller space since it can reduce the size of the batteries needed to power earbuds or the transmitter. The technology also adjusts power use according to its detection of how far the sound needs to be sent to the receiver.

The final kicker is the distance and robustness of the signal being sent. The technology has the capability of being sent over much greater distances than Bluetooth, which breaks up over extremely short ranges. With Kleer you can easily walk around a large room with a stationary device in one central location having no trouble delivering quality sound to your wireless device.

So why isn’t Kleer everywhere yet? One problem is that the technology is relatively new. The manufacturer (Kleer) guards its protocol tightly and with its tight control over a great new sound delivery system, they are able to charge a lot for its use. So the price point for its use is currently over 100 dollars. As time goes on and more devices offer Kleer it is possible the price will come down.

Source by Paul Chaney

5 Texas Festivals That You Won’t Want To Miss This Spring

Texas is one of the more diverse areas of the United States. There is no greater proof of this than a quick look at the various events taking place throughout the year. Texas festivals, in a nutshell, are something to behold. If you’re a big proponent of taking in the cultural richness of an area, then you need to check out these five great festivals:

1. South By Southwest (SXSW) – Perhaps one of the largest music gatherings in the world, Austin, Texas is transformed into the center of the music world every March. Interestingly enough, the festival began as a way for local Austin residents looking for a way to celebrate the artistic tilt of the city’s population. The first run of SXSW was in March 1987, and the response was tremendous. It has grown exponentially since then, and for the music lover, it is a definite ‘bucket-list’ item.

2. La Grange Uncorked in La Grange, TX – If you’re a foodie & wine lover, this is the place to be. Nearly 20 wineries hold court in La Grange’s premier wine and food festival. There are plenty of tasty treats and live music.

3. Texas Music & Crawfish Festival with Billy Mata in Boerne, TX – Nothing makes for good eating than a fine crawfish “bowl” (the Texas pronunciation). Combining fresh crawfish all day, family-friendly fun & games, vendors providing other great foods, and the music of Texas swing music legend Billy Mata, this festival aims to celebrate the state’s most iconic roots.

4. Bluebonnet Festival of Texas in Chappell Hill – This festival has celebrated the state flower of Texas for over 50 years. The Bluebonnet Festival was declared the “Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas” by the Texas Legislature and is high on the list of Texas getaway ideas & itineraries. Hosted by the Chappell Hill Historical Society, the goal is to celebrate Texas & Chappell Hill’s designated National Historic District, not to mention that Chappell Hill is in Washington County, arguably one of the most historically important areas in Texas history.

5. Annual Cotton Gin Festival in Burton, TX – Celebrating nearly three decades of good, old-fashioned fun, the Cotton Gin Festival is built around Burton’s claim-to-fame as being home to the oldest operating cotton gin in America. Not only is cotton king in these parts, the festival (and the city’s central museum) is dedicated to keeping the history of the cotton industry alive and well.

With more daylight, cool temperatures, and a need to break out of the winter doldrums, enjoying any one of a number of Texas festivals this year is a “win-win” for everyone. So, whether it’s you & your family, a bunch of buds aching for a road-trip, or the girls getting together for a weekend getaway, there are more than enough options to please the crowd.

Source by Morris Raymond

Chucking Wood

Woodchucks belong to the marmot (large ground squirrel) family and goes by a variety of names- groundhog, thickwood Badger, monax, wood-shock, whistler, whistlepig (due to a warning sound made through their big front teeth), moonack, weenusk, red monk and in our family – PEST! Found throughout North America, woodchucks are primarily in the eastern United States and much of southern Canada. This morning it was spotted in south central Massachusetts, in our lakeside gardens. In New England, they inhabit both urban and suburban yards, fields, meadows, woodland clearings and are often found along grassy edged highways.

How do you identify a woodchuck? Look for a brown, thickly coated critter with small ears and beady little brown eyes, about 16 – 20 inches in length with a six-inch tail, weighing anywhere between six and 12 pounds. They have short, strong legs designed for digging and large front incisors. Despite their stocky appearance, woodchucks are accomplished swimmers and occasionally climb trees to survey their surroundings or escape when being chased. Luckily for them, they don’t have many predators to worry about because of their size, although foxes, hawks, raccoons, coyotes, and dogs will go after their young.

Normally you won’t find a woodchuck active during the day, as they are diurnal. They live in extensive burrows two-to six-feet deep and up to 40 feet long. Burrows contain many chambers for various functions, such as love nest, sleeping, nursery, bad weather hideout or waste. There can be as many as five openings in the den for the woodchuck to come and go. The main entrance will usually have a big dirt mound to the side for the woodchuck to observe or rest.

In summertime, you will spot a woodchuck feeding in early morning and late afternoon, spending the remainder of the day snoozing or sun bathing. Such a life! In late summer, they begin to bulk up with weight in preparation for moving to their winter dens – one of the true hibernators found in Massachusetts. Interestingly while hibernating from October to April, their body temperature drops from 99 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while the heartbeat slows from 100 to four beats per minute!

Mating doesn’t occur until the spring of their second year. In the wild their average lifespan is between five to six years. Females raise their young on their own after a 32-day gestation period. One litter will contain four to six kits or chuckling. After weaning around six weeks old, they are ready to leave the burrow with their mother. Once late summer arrives the kits venture off to discover the world on their own.

The diet of a woodchuck is primarily vegetarian (herbivorous) and this is where our garden trouble begins. They feed on a variety of grasses, clover, alfalfa, dandelion, and many varieties of wild and cultivated flowers. They also enjoy blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and other fruits (our blueberries), along with hickory and maple tree bark. It is understood, a fresh vegetable garden is a favorite feeding table for the seemingly always hungry woodchuck. Common veggies preferences include broccoli, peas, beans, carrot tops, lettuce, and squash. Basically, everything we planted this spring! On the flower side, they target asters, daisies, lilies, marigolds, pansies, phlox, snapdragons, and sunflowers. I would add lupines to the list, as we saw our annoying woodchuck strip young lupine stalks like he was eating corn on the cob! It should be noted that they also will munch on grasshoppers, June bugs, grubs, snails, and other large insects when the green leafy delicacies become sparse.

Woodchucks are notorious for being a serious nuisance around farms and gardens. Fencing is the only viable humane solution to protect vegetation from these hungry rodents. Chicken wire fences that not only go up with a bend outwards at the top, but are buried down at least a foot underground can often work as a deterrent. Another method is to lay the chicken wire around the garden perimeter and secure a four to six-foot-tall fence. These critters climb and dig, so you must build up, down and around if possible. Other options include repellents – planting gopher plant or crown imperial fritillary around the garden or sprinkling the areas with fox or coyote urine, diluted Tabasco sauce, red pepper flakes, or human hair. If you have a dog, allow your pet to periodically visit the garden area to “mark” his or her territory.

Finally, woodchucks like all mammals, carry rabies and are known to be aggressive. Avoid close contact. Don’t even consider relocating a woodchuck in Massachusetts, as it is illegal. Darn. What’s a gardener to do? Ever see the movie Caddy Shack with Bill Murray?

Source by Gregory James

Top Factors for Attaining High Search Engine Ranking

Pay attention to the information I would provide here; They are based on my multiple years of experience in providing search engine ranking services. There are lots of wrong pieces of information regarding SEO. Do you know that all it takes to rank higher is not far from your reach?

I have offered SEO and ranking services and advice to both big and small businesses. During these years, I've come to discover something essential; The sites that rank high usually share some common practices.

The anchor texts of the inbound links to your site

Using the anchor text from sites that link to your site, Google as well as other search engines are able to ascertain the theme of your site and determine what is best for your website in terms of ranking. Therefore, check that other sites are linking to you with both the keywords in your anchor text and URL – email them to this effect and ask them to update your link. Place your high priority keywords in the link.

Keywords featured in your title and meta tags

Meta tags have not stopped being part of the influencing factors to your rankings. Although they are no longer very weighty, meta tags work very well when it comes to placing your page in the right category. Meta tags also help to identify what search engines are likely to look out for in the course of spidering the pages. Ensure that your keywords are featured on your tags, and that the tags are well constructed.

What about the diversity of domains linking to your site?

A lot of search engines are not just concerned about how many sites link to your site, but on their diversities as well. This is the way to judge how popular your site is; This technique is quite helpful when it comes to enhancing your ranking.

Link popularity

Link popularity can be likened to Page Rank; The topic had been a subject of discussion in search engine forums for a while. There are several factors at work to assess the quality of webpages from external sources. The more popular and recognized the pages are, the more value their links add to your website.

Also, the root domain is one of the ranking factors. No doubts, you can employ dedicated pages or sub-domain to generate keywords in your URL; However, the best bait is still to have them in your root domain.

Finally, you have to continuously be on the lookout for better ways of carrying out SEO campaigns to get the best result.

Source by Jeff R Matthews

10 Ways to Hurt a Woman’s Feelings – Or – What NOT to Do If You Want a Woman to Like You

Lie to her. This can include direct lies as well as omissions or promoting the idea that “what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her”.

Give her “constructive criticism” about her appearance. Even if you have a degree in fashion design or are a personal trainer, your ideas may not be welcomed.

Tell her that you think she might be emotional or “irrational” and suggest that she may be “hormonal”.

Be critical about her family or close friends or just let her know that you do not want to spend your time with them.

Ignore her when she is trying to talk with you. Continue with television, reading the paper, the computer or playing your game.

“Forget” important dates like her birthday, anniversary or even special memories of your time together. The way that you choose to mark it is less important than the fact that you remember and acknowledge in loving ways.

Interrupt her when she is talking, point out that she is talking too much or “correct” her.

Flirt with other women, especially right in front of her.

Spend more time with your friends than with her. Let her know, even if you do not say it directly, that your sports/buddies/work/time alone are more important ways to spend your time than with her. Check your calendar to make sure that you do not have “more important” things going on.

Roll your eyes, smirk; turn away or directly let her know that you do not value her ideas or comments.

Source by Sally R Connolly

Income Tax in the USA: Bad Debt Deductions

In computing income tax in the USA, taxpayers may claim a deduction for business debts that become worthless during the year. {26 USC 166} The amount of deduction is the taxpayer’s basis in the debt. A taxpayer must demonstrate that a particular debt became worthless during the year in order to claim the deduction. The debt owed to the taxpayer must have become worth nothing, not just declined in value. Taxpayers may not claim deductions for reserves related to bad debts, only for specific bad debts. The portion of a specific debt that is charged off (abandoned) during a year may be deducted, subject to IRS approval as to validity of the charge off and the amount.

For the taxpayer to get a deduction, two conditions must exist:

  • The taxpayer must have basis in a debt, and
  • The debt must have become worthless during the year.

What Is a Debt?

A business debt is any amount owed to a taxpayer that arose in connection with a trade or business. This includes an account or note receivable from sale of goods, performance of services, rental or provision of property, or any other business activity. The form of the debt is usually irrelevant. Thus an informal promise to pay a fee for professional services is a debt owed to the professional under the terms of the informal promise.

Amount of Bad Debt Deduction

A deduction for bad debts or worthlessness is allowed only for the taxpayer’s basis in the property. Debts are property in the hands of the holder of the debt (the creditor), but are not property in the hands of the borrower or issuer of the debt. {Cleveland, Painesville, and Ashtabula Railroad Company v. Pennsylvania, 82 US 179 (1873)} A holder of debt has basis by virtue of either buying the debt (or otherwise acquiring it in a transaction that gives rise to basis) or by having recognized income in transactions giving rise to the debt. An accrual basis business has basis in amounts receivable from customers to the extent the business recognized income. Thus, sale of inventory for a promise to pay gives a business basis in the resulting account receivable.

Example: Punchy Papers sells $1,000 of paper inventory to Small’s Office Supply in January on open account. In February, Punchy issues a credit memo to Small’s for $80, for a net balance due of $920. Punchy recognized $1,000 of sales in January and $80 of returns and allowances in February. Punchy’s basis is the receivable from Small’s is $920. See Income Tax in the USA, Chapter 32, Accounting Periods and Methods, regarding Punchy’s requirement to use the accrual method with respect to sales of inventory.

Individuals, partnerships of individuals, and smaller corporations may use the cash method of accounting for everything except inventories and sales of inventory in computing income tax in the USA. Such businesses do not have basis in amounts receivable from customers for other than sales of inventory, with one exception. Where income has been recognized on receipt of a check or other instrument or charge to a credit card, the cash basis business has a deductible bad debt if the check, instrument, or charge card is dishonored. For example, Glitz Diner takes a customer’s check on December 31 in payment for dinner, and treated it as income. Glitz deposits the check at the end of the following week, and the next week the check bounces. Glitz can deduct as a business bad debt the amount of the check that was included in December 31 income.

When To Take the Deduction

A bad debt deduction is claimed in the tax year during which the taxpayer determines the debt cannot be collected. {26 CFR 1.166-2} To get the deduction, the debt must have zero value, not just be worth less than basis. In the example above, if in December Mr. Small tells Punchy he will only pay $500 of the bill, absent other evidence of worthlessness Punchy cannot take a deduction. The deduction for the remaining $420 can be claimed only when Small fails to pay.

Worthlessness of a debt is a factual question. It is not necessary that the debtor be insolvent or have declared bankruptcy. Nor is it necessary that the creditor exhaust all legal recourses to collect the debt. Each of these, however, helps to establish that the debt is worthless. It is up to the taxpayer to prove the debt is worthless.


Accounting rules require that an enterprise reduce the carrying value of assets where they are impaired. Under these rules, a bad debt expense is often recognized and a reserve (contra-asset) established. This reserve is often determined based on the experience and judgment of management.

U.S. income tax rules prohibit deducting this expense computed as a reserve (but see the exceptions below). {Note: 26 CFR 1.166-4 was repealed by PL 99-514} To claim a deduction for a bad debt, specific items of debt must be identified as worthless.

Example: Big Wholesale has thousands of customers, and sells on open account. Big’s experience indicates that each year about 2% of customers will fail to pay. Big accrues bad debt expense of 2% of sales for its financial statements. For its tax returns, Big may deduct as bad debts only those accounts receivable which have become uncollectible. Its deduction for tax purposes will likely differ from the expense recognized for financial reporting.

Exceptions apply for banks and for businesses that provide services to customers or clients. Banks compute bad debt deductions under a reserve method, the amount of which is governed by banking regulators. Taxpayers providing services to others for a fee may adopt the “nonaccrual-experience method” of accounting under which a portion of revenues is not accrued. The method applies only to accrual method corporations providing health, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial, consulting, or performing arts services. Under the method, the taxpayer computes the portion of accounts receivable that are expected to be uncollectible based on the business’s experience. A safe harbor formula is generally used where the amount of reserve at year end equals year end receivables times a ratio. Several different safe harbor ratios are available, including bad debts less recoveries divided by revenues. Each term in the ratio is computed based on a moving average of three to six years. Taxpayers using the method must document re-testing of ratios every three years. {26 USC 448(d)(5); 26 CFR 1.448-2}

Prove It!

Maintaining a paper trail is critical to getting bad debt deductions if the IRS comes calling. Best practices include compiling the following information before filing a tax return:

– Name of each debtor owing a debt considered bad

– Amount owed to taxpayer

– Date the amount was included in income or acquired

– Date the amount was due

– Reason the debt is considered bad

– For each substantial debt, a narrative of the efforts taken to collect the debt

– Copy of invoice(s) or other evidence of the debt

It is not necessary that all amounts by a particular customer be uncollectible for a particular amount to be uncollectible. The bad debt may be limited to a particular invoice, or even a line item on an invoice or even a portion of an invoice. If a customer writes that he won’t pay for a particular item because it was no good, then the amount due from that customer for that item may be a deductible bad debt. If the customer returns the item and is issued a refund, the amount should be considered a refund (reduction of sales) rather than a bad debt.

Recovery of Bad Debts

Sometimes customers pay an amount even after a business has determined it won’t get paid. If the business had claimed a deduction for a bad debt in a prior year, the recovery of that debt is income. Bad debt recoveries are generally reported as other income on a tax return.

Source by Stephen C Fox

Why Do Women Develop the Urge of Getting Married?

Women around the world develop fondness towards getting married at a particular age. There are many reasons for a woman to get married and all of them are completely justified. If you are traveling the same boat, here are few reasons you can easily identify with for allowing the opposite gender in your life forever.

While men start planning for their job and career from an early age, women, apart from planning a successful professional life, also prioritize getting married to their dream men. It won’t be appropriate to say that men don’t want to get married, but women have more reasons to tie a wedding knot. The discussion below will definitely carry one or more reasons you can identify with for planning a married life.

Fairy Tales of Childhood

All those stories and fairy tales, where romance blossoms between a prince and a princess, paints the picture of marriage in a woman’s mind right from the childhood days. The immature dreams get nourished with growth in age, which ultimately encourage her towards marriage at very first step of adultness.

Age is the Natural Factor

How old do you have to be to get married? While there is no specific age to be answered for this question, as soon as a woman descend her teenage, a natural force develops curiosity for getting married. Your ambition to get settled in professional life might delay your age of marriage, still you don’t completely abandon the thought of enjoying the status of a married woman.

Thirst for Unconditioned Love

Tired of dating, which might fail to satisfy her love bone, a woman develops interest in marriage for winning unconditioned love from her man. Also, you might discover a man, who is madly in love with you. A constant appetite of loving and getting loved can answer the question of why get married.

Feeling of Security with Men

No matter how successful a woman might get in her life, the real sense of security is experienced by her after getting married to a man, who is physically as well as mentally strong. Women want to get married to feel secure in their men’s arms and it definitely doesn’t exhibit their inferiority. It is a natural phenomenon, which is experienced by every woman.

Ultimate Pleasure of Life

There is no need to hesitate while admitting that sexual satisfaction also motivates a woman to get married. Fulfillment of these desires is not among the things to do before you get married, at least not for majority of women. Sexual relationship in a legalized form is what most of the women desire for.

Love for Children

Playing the role of a mother is among most cherishing desires of every woman. Right from the age of playing with dolls, women develop motherhood in more or less quantity and this inspires them to have their own children. So, it is a justified reason for women to show desperation towards marriage.

Other Reasons to Mention

  • Leading a comfortable life can’t be counted among reasons not to get married. In fact, it is a justifiable reason to take the decision of getting married.
  • Sharing responsibility with a companion is another reason for women, who want to get married desperately.
  • Social recognition, loneliness and women around you getting married are other inspiring reasons for a woman to get married.

Marriage is more than a ceremony for every woman. The fascination of spending a wonderful life with a loving and responsible man can persuade you to step into the new phase of your life.

Source by Jaison Williams

Important Elements of a Website

It’s always important to remember that the idea of a website is to attract people. Many companies have so much information that they are unsure of how to insert the content without overcrowding the space.

White space is important when it comes to the internet world. The screen already hurts our eyes as it is and a multi-coloured website with no breaks could drive a person insane. Think of the pages as a magazine and how easy it is to read the pages.

You should have focal points on the page to draw the attention of a person immediately. These focal points don’t need to be colourful or a complicated image. Use an element that relates closely to your products and services. Perhaps a picture of a beautiful green leaf on a page that promotes saving the environment.

Keep the colour at a minimum. You should only use about three colours. In the modern era we use minimalistic designs to create a stronger and more attractive website.

Buttons, Buttons, Buttons! People love buttons and are more than willing to click every single button in the digital world. Make these buttons look as realistic as possible whilst keeping the same colour scheme throughout the page. The best place to put these coded functions is at the top of the page where a person can see it immediately.

Don’t fill the first page with many images. Content is extremely important for website design because your business needs to be found with the use of keywords and phrases. The downside of having many images on the first page is the fact that it will take longer to load. This is incredibly frustrating for the visitor so rather capture your audience with the magic of the tongue.

Use unique yet legible fonts for some of the text. This content could be a heading, logo or catchphrases. Outstanding text that highlight a service, or benefit of your product can effectively draw the eye.

Black space works similar to white space except it doesn’t “absorb light” in scientific terms. A black box works effectively with a contrasting colour and attracts the eye quicker. Using black on your webpage could also allow other elements to be highlighted. Darker grey works well but not many people take to that colour.

Professional web designers take caution when designing websites to make sure that the pages and digital media works well for the visitors and search engines. Don’t forget that it is your prospective customer who you are trying to impress.

Source by Ismail Sakoor