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We are living in a world surrounded by numerous things that are either related to the technology, the latest gadgets or the latest fashion. And Fashion today has made its significance felt in almost all sectors of life. Fashion can be termed into two groups: One group which follows fashion trends and adopts them and the other group who create fashion and style statements for the others to follow them. It can also be extended to another set of people who rarely have anything to do with fashion trends but yet follow their own style to create their own unique personality; adding one more style to the fashion world.

Fashion is not just about cosmetics and make up or the hair-do. It is a sense of creating the charisma of looking good in anything you wear and this magic is created with the right kind of accessories going along with the foot wear and the clothes, making up a pleasant picture to view. Many a times, people who do not afford to buy expensive clothes look their best in their casual wear, just by presenting themselves in that manner of sophistication and creating an aura around them with the confidence of looking good.

There are myriad forms of fashion, and trends keep on changing with the seasons. From the early 60s and 70s to the present millennium, there has been an immense change in the forms, looks and thoughts about fashion trends.

In India, much of fashion has been influenced by the Hindi Film Industry, popularly called Bollywood. The trends that have changed through time can be fairly seen in the movies made during the 60s and 70s and how they have evolved in various forms bringing about a style that can be followed by the general public. People have aped the west from very early times and this was no exception. The clothes made in the 60s and 70s were very much influenced by the western countries and given a traditional touch. The Bell Bottoms, scarves and the hair style was very much prevalent in those days as an icon of style. Later in the 80s and 90s, Fashion world sizzled like never before. There was a craving by the people to look different, stylish and modern and this could be seen in their outlook towards their outfit, new styles of hair, makeup, accessories like purses, earrings, necklaces, matching footwear etc.

People were conscious about each and every new thing that was marketed and they copied the styles from their Bollywood idols. Bollywood started as a platform for theatre artistes and went on to become a commercial entry to the youths and aspirants for a career in the film and fashion industry. This gave the youth of today to emphasize on the fashion world. Art and music have become an inseparable thing of the past and so it is deeply rooted in the present as well with more features and facilities.

Today fashion, art, music, designers, dance etc all have a place in the industry and people can choose to take up anything related to this industry as their profession too. Art and music have long been implemented in the school co-curricular activities and the Higher colleges are now offering various courses for better professionalism in these areas. There are also various acting schools and the small screen i.e., the television has opened up avenues in bringing out the talent in the young minds through numerous platforms of music and dance. This is the innovation of the millennium in creating jobs and work in the fashion industry. The trends that we see are brought about by the fashion houses that have regular seasons to showcase their invention, many of which are popularized in FTV, Zee Trendz and TLC channels. We can also get a glimpse of the stylish outfits through these shows that the models present. Today, Modelling is also one of the platforms for an entry into the world of fashion.

In the yester years, fashion was constrained only to the actors in the film or those that were bold enough to carry themselves in the public that they were considered fashionable. Others just wooed them behind close doors. Slowly when times began changing, we could see the women showing off their styles in the traditional saree with an embroidered blouse and a different neck style. Then we saw the saree being draped in various styles like the Bengali style or the Gujarati style etc. The women were liberating their choice of freedom and it could be seen in their appearances with a high heeled slipper or the handbag she carried or the way she held her saree or the hair and the makeup she wore. All these changes brought about the invention of churidhars and then the salwar kameez and finally the fashion of dresses was out in the open. Women accepted to the fact that there was nothing wrong in looking good and the men of course, loved to see the attractive side of women and fantasized the idea over their spouses.

This change in attitude of the public was very well taken by the fashionistas and a huge market was created to meet the demands of the public. Today fashion creates a new look with distinct style for a particular person and keeps oneself updated with the latest trends seen in the market. This industry is popular for its glamour as well as the mixture of Indian tradition and culture put into the designer wear that the models showcase.

People love to experiment different textures of materials used in the outfits and so the designers give them a wide collection of dresses using all kinds of clothes. There is the traditional Khadi and silk combination that is presently creating waves seen in both men’s and women’s wear. Then we have the embroidery work in zardosi, swarovski studded tops and lehangas and multi stoned work in bridal collection sarees etc. Then the most sought materials like cotton, polyster, chiffon, crush materials used in varied iconoclastic designs and styles.

Always there is a hope for the designers that the youth want a change in the fashion and are glad to keep up the trend with a fusion of Indian and western mix of fashionable wear. Also the youth of today are very practical in their sense of styling for a particular occasion. Be it a party or for a marriage or the casual look, they want the best and they believe in looking the best. And to achieve this, people go one step ahead in ensuring that they have everything in their wardrobe for any kind of occasion.

Apart from the stylish clothes and fashion that is currently popular people want to try something that goes along with their outlook. So the market started towards the very own friend of a woman- The Hand Bag or the Purse. The Fresh look of a purse with magnificent colours and its stylish features like the chain handle or the jazzy zips with numerous pockets in different shapes attracted the public like never before. And with the increasing demand of the prices of branded purses, it became a must for every woman to complete her shopping. So did the other accessories line up by creating a place for themselves in the market. Just a few to quote, the earring and necklaces, the various Belts, hand bracelets and brooch, the stiletto and its wonderful embroidered, party wear slippers along with its brotherly high rugged shoes giving a perfect cowboy look etc.

Fashion has always been a very interesting topic for all women and now the trend has even challenged the men to compete for a more appealing look for a remarkable future in the world of Fashion to make it a full fledged acceptable thing for all genre of people.

Kiriti C Chavadi

Bangalore

 

While some of the most popular dishes associated with the Italian culture include a tempting slice of pizza and a heaping plate of pasta, there is much more to the world of Italian cooking. Throughout the many regions in Italy, the distinctive cuisine of the Italians shines through in a wide-range of eating habits, styles of cooking, and selection of local ingredients. The changing of the times has also influenced Italian food, as the meals served in the pre-Roman era possess both similarities and differences in the cuisine of today.

The culinary history of Italy established a reputation more than 2,000 years ago, which includes an illustrious movement during the Roman Empire. Culturally, food preparation was quite important in the past where flashes of significance have been captured in the only surviving cookbook (Apicius), which dates back to the first century BC.

The spread of Italian food diversity began after the fall of the Roman Empire when individual city states began to uphold separate identities and traditions. Each region began to display its own unique way of cooking, right down to the formation of a meatball to the characteristic cheeses and wine produced in a locale. The north developed Tuscan beef, while black truffles were very popular in Marches. Provolone and mozzarella cheeses developed in the south, as well as a host of interesting citrus fruits.

Diverse types of bread, variations in pasta, and varying food preparation techniques also differed according to region. The southern regions of Italy embrace hard-boiled spaghetti, while the north often prefers a soft egg noodle. Milan is known for their risotto, while Bologna has a deep history regarding tortellini, and Naples is famous for their pizzas.

Over the years, Italian cuisine has greatly evolved in part because of a wealth of outside influences that have added to its characteristic flavor and appeal. In the beginning, ancient Greek cookery became an integrated part of Italian cuisine. Eventually, a wealth of imports found their way into the kitchens of early Italians, who sent Roman ships to collect a variety of important foods, including wheat, wine, exotic ingredients, and fine spices from around the world. Some ships even traveled to faraway locations, such as China, to bring back edible resources that catapulted the depth and variety of Italian cooking styles.

Coastal regions are known for their developments in delicious fish and seafood dishes. For example, the island of Sardinia supplies a more traditional and simple style of cuisine, which often incorporated delicacies, associated with the sea. Swordfish, lobster, anchovies, sardines, and other Mediterranean treats represent Italian cooking of the area. In Sicily (another island region), a great deal of the cooking drew heavily from North African influences. An Arab influence also affected cuisine on the island and within the rest of the south, especially with the introduction of various spices and sweets, such as the Sicilian ice cream cake called cassata.

As for one of the most popular Italian dishes, while the history books often state that pasta was a product of the Chinese brought back by Venetian merchant, Marco Polo, it was actually a rediscovery of a food item eaten during Etruscan and Roman times. It is believed that the first pasta in Italy was made similar to the noodles of today – from the same durum wheat – which was cooked in ovens instead of boiled in water.

Today, the differences in Italian cooking still show through in the distinctions between the north and the south. Each region still carries their own traditions in cooking that reflects deep history and culture with a never ending supply of main courses, appetizers, and desserts that continuously tempts the taste buds.

Source by C. Steendahl

It will typically describe our attitudes, interests and is a big part of our personal identities. In the media the term lifestyle is used a huge number of ways. From health to financial it has a varied meaning throughout many areas of our lives.

In the media the term was actually introduced in the 1950’s and at the time it was used to describe a certain style or art. Since its introduction we now all use the word to determine where we are in society and the lifestyle we choose to follow will ultimately lead us on our own separate and varied paths.

We are all looking for ways to improve our lives and we are constantly given tips and advice on how we may get healthier or how we can improve our fashion or style. With all of the different places offering advice, it can be confusing and conflicting. Some people may turn to magazines or friends and others will look for online information via blogs.

Looking to improve your lifestyle in any form can be a big decision and for a lot of people it will come down to wanting to change they way they look or eat. Choosing a healthier way of life has become a top priority for most people as we all seek out the best place for advice and to teach ourselves the skills we need to achieve our health goals.

Looking online at blogs for fashion advice and tips is often a great starting place, we have the chance to find out about a range of different subjects, often covered by extremely passionate people. For example if you decide you want to get fitter, you will be able to go online and find out about the best exercise plan for you, all of which will eventually help you improve your health and fitness levels.

Fashion is another place we often look to when we want to enhance our lifestyle. Clothes have the innate ability to make us feel special, confident and unique or individual. Many of us do not take the time to think about buying clothes that suit our personalities and finding inspiration and advice from an expert can be a liberating experience.

When you are able to walk down the street and feel confident and happy in what you are wearing, it can have a hugely positive effect and essentially has the power to enhance your lifestyle. Confidence will allow you to make other decisions in your life that may have seemed unachievable before. Even something as simple as treating yourself to that new jumper can make you feel better and happier within yourself.

The expression ‘fashion is passion’ is very true for so many people and we are all spoilt for choice in finding clothes and shoes we want to wear. Fashion has the power to connect friends, join communities together and make us all feel happier and comfortable about who we are and how we express ourselves.

Fashion really does have the power to improve your lifestyle and finding someone or a place you can look to for advice and tips is now easier than ever. Searching online for that one person you can relate to and want to learn from is an exciting part of learning about your identity.

In its most general meaning, physical fitness is a general state of good physical health. Obtaining and maintaining physical fitness is a result of physical activity, proper diet and nutrition and of course proper rest for physical recovery. In its simplest terms, physical fitness is to the human body what fine-tuning is to an engine. It enables people to perform up to their potential. Regardless of age, fitness can be described as a condition that helps individuals look, feel and do their best. Thus, physical fitness trainers, describe it as the ability to perform daily tasks vigorously and alertly, with left over energy to enjoy leisure-time activities and meet emergency demands. Specifically true for senior citizens, physical fitness is the ability to endure, bear up, withstand stress and carry on in circumstances where an unfit person could not continue.

In order for one to be considered physically fit, the heart, lungs, and muscles have to perform at a certain level for the individual to continue feeling capable of performing an activity. At the same time, since what humans do with their bodies directly affects the state of mind, fitness influences to some degree qualities such as mental alertness and emotional expression.

Physical fitness is often divided into the following categories in order for people to be able examine its components or parts. Particularly, physical fitness is judged by:

1. Cardiovascular endurance: This is the ability of the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and to remove wastes over sustained periods of time.

2. Muscular strength & endurance: Strength deals with the ability of the muscle to exert force for a brief time period, while endurance is the ability of a muscle, or group of muscles, to sustain repeated contractions or to continue to apply force against an inert object.

3. Flexibility: This denotes the ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion.

4. Body composition: Considered as one of the components of fitness, composition refers to the body in terms of lean mass (muscle, bone, vital tissue, and organs) and fat mass. Actually, the optimal ratio of fat to lean mass is an indication of fitness. Performing the right set of exercises can help people get rid off body fat and increase or maintain muscle mass.

Who doesn’t like to splurge when they are on vacation? Why would anybody prefer to fit their enjoyment within a budget? Everybody wants to make the most of their vacations, and watching your budget while vacationing does not make for much fun. Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a little luxury in your life. For many vacationers, the uncertainty of how much a vacation will end up costing leaves them apprehensive about traveling. There are over four hundred all inclusive hotels and resorts spread around the Caribbean which are expressly designed for people who want to be pampered and to enjoy world-class food, drinks, and activities without having to worry about busting their budgets. All inclusive vacations give vacationers the option of making the most of the money they have available – and their popularity, with guests returning year after year, attest to the fact that all inclusive is an ideal choice for most vacationers. You pay one upfront price at the beginning of your vacation; and after that you can forget about money and just enjoy yourself.

There are different types of all inclusive vacation resorts which cater to different types of vacationers. Some are designed for families; others for couples, singles, and even gay people; and each resort has special activities, programs, entertainment, and events which cater to its particular clientele. There are even hedonistic all inclusive beach resorts which offer nude beaches, swimming pools and hot tubs; and even nude marriage ceremonies! Just as there are many different types of all inclusive resorts, the services and activities offered differ from one resort to another. Some all inclusive packages include only the airfare and lodging, whereas others include meals, drinks, entertainment, tours, and transfers. There are other packages which include all meals, drinks, and activities, but not airfare. It is usually cheaper to pick an all inclusive vacation package which includes the airfare instead of spending for airfare separately (unless you have frequent flier miles to use up).

The chief criticism of all inclusive vacations is that most guests never leave the resort since everything is provided right there, for free; so people don’t really interact much with the local people and culture. Of course, all inclusive vacations are not for everyone. If you are the type who likes to get away and poke around on your own – and you are not overly worried about how much money you are spending – then all inclusive isn’t for you. However, most all inclusive resorts offer tours to cultural and scenic attractions in the area, and many devotees of all inclusive take advantage of these opportunities to use their hotels as a base from which to explore the surrounding area, and then return at night to relax in the lap of luxury once more. Since so many people’s travel budgets have been slashed in the past few years, all inclusive vacations are more popular than ever before; all inclusive vacations are the perfect solution for people who want to enjoy themselves to the max within a strict budget.

 

In the age which we live there is an unprecedented focus on getting and staying healthy. As more and more research points to the effect of fitness and nutrition on our overall health, the findings become more difficult to ignore. There is no doubt that the food that we eat and the physical activity that we perform significantly impact our weight and our body’s overall health and longevity.

When you look at fitness and nutrition and the consequences of ignoring their importance, it is not difficult to see how large a role they play in our health. First and foremost, it is important to understand how powerfully diet can affect us. Natural, whole foods – such as fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins – give our bodies the vitamins that it needs to function effectively. We have energy when we eat right. And when we have energy we burn fat. Eating properly allows us to maintain a healthy weight and keep undue stress off of our hearts; it also allows us to keep our blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the healthy range. Most importantly, good nutrition keeps our bodies stocked with antioxidants that fight off a range of illnesses including cancer.

But nutrition does go it alone; fitness and nutrition go hand in hand for achieving good health. When we keep our bodies active through a consistent exercise program, we are adding to our body’s ability to metabolize food and keep weight down. Further, good fitness means strong and limber muscles and a strong cardiovascular system. Exercise also lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels.

Learning how to pair fitness and nutrition for optimum health means a commitment to a particular lifestyle. It is essential that you revamp your diet to eliminate fatty, high-sodium, and processed food and replace it with fresh, natural – and even organic – choices. But remember, fitness and nutrition work best as a team. Implement a consistent regime of physical activity into your daily schedule including cardiovascular work, stretching, weight training, and even yoga or Pilates.

When you truly understand the importance of fitness and nutrition in your life, you will understand how crucial these lifestyle changes are in order to live a long and healthy life.

 

There are some instances where travel agents can travel for free, but for the most part they do come out of their pocket. Below are three instances where travel agents can rack up extra savings and put money back into their pockets.

I will share my savings experience as a home-based agent, which has caused me to save hundreds of dollars!

Get Paid on Retail or Sale Pricing

When I travel as an insider, I get paid when I book travel for myself (and of course I get paid when I do it for others). The price I pay could be the same as any one that is not part of the industry, the difference would be I get a check and you don’t! Commissions are already built-into the price of what you see online or what your travel agent quote you already has the commissions built-in. (they are never in addition to price quoted, if you are told extra fees need to be added to cover commission… run)

Travel at Net or Wholesale Pricing

Now, if I decide that I want to travel at a lower cost and forgo my commission, I still have to pay the net cost, I just would not get paid for the trip. You can get travel at great bargains if you travel this way!

But, I must add that various agencies may have ‘special’ discounted trips that agents can take for themselves or sell to their clients and STILL get a commission! I love these because your getting paid AND the rates can be even better than net rate PLUS you have a great deal you can offer to your clients. Only downside is that there may be a limit on how many can travel and restricted to specific dates.

Travel on the Industries Dime

What about those really dirt cheap trips? Yes, dirt cheap destinations do exist and are exclusive for travel agents and are typically known as FAM trips or Familiarization trips. These trips are more educational for travel agents and teach agents about the property or destination experience they are visiting.

Vendors invite agents on these ‘FAM’ trips so they can get more in-depth knowledge to share with their clientele. The goal is to promote to get more bookings for those properties or destinations. Prices for these trips are such a steal that they might as well be free!

Just to recap, travel agents pay for their trips in four ways:

1. Travel at retail pricing & get paid the already built-in commission

2. Travel at retail minus already built-in pricing (therefore no commissions are paid)

3. Travel at wholesale plus get a commission (vary per agency and limits dates & quantity)

4. Travel on a FAM trip – steeply discounted trips (exclusive to travel agents

Nearly everyone enjoys the different types of entertainment, and some people enjoy even more being entertainers. They want to become actors, comedians, dancers, singers. We used to go inside theatres after a hard day’s work to relax and see our favorite plays. But only in the last hundred years have we been able to record sound and pictures and to broadcast them through air. These improvements have brought fun and entertainment to every corner of the world and into most of our homes.

Technology has indeed made it possible for us to see entertainment in a new light. For one, technology has made it also possible for us to store our memories. Actors and singers long dead seem to come to life again every time their films or records are played. We can store a seemingly countless number of these records and films in CDs, hard drives and other storing devices like our computer. This makes it possible for us to entertain ourselves almost anywhere- at home, at the office, at the park, the bus; as long as we bring our devices with us. One can actually live without TV these days as long as one has a computer device and internet connection.

The world of entertainment has grown tremendously, and it can teach us as well as entertain us. Today, broadcasting is the most important form of popular entertainment. But now it is challenged by still newer inventions. Video playback and recording equipments make it possible for home viewers to buy or record their favorite shows. Many classic movies are already available for home viewing. This new equipment may encourage many viewers to spend fewer hours watching network offerings of situation comedies and action dramas. And now, we can record, transfer, and produce our own videos using cellular phones.

At the same time, the internet has revolutionized viewing habits in another way. The internet provides information on a lot of sources for movies, music, and other forms of entertainment. With internet connection, people can bring programs directly into their computer by doing downloads and many of these downloads are offered for free. Not only does it provide entertainment but we can even do some transactions like when you want to buy stun guns online.

The internet offer entertainment on almost all particular interests- music, news, and special information such as stock markets, weather, and social networking. These sources are made available to us faster than ever, as fast as the stun gun effects.  We can update on news even before they get broadcasted on TV through the different websites on the internet.

Never in recorded history have Entertainment and arts been so important in the lives of so many people. Modern inventions such as the internet have put nearly every person within reach of music and drama all day, every day, at home, and away from home. The internet has also made it possible for people not just become viewers but also the performers themselves as they are able to upload their own videos on different sites. The future of entertainment and arts is taking shape through technology and the people themselves.

 

Reminiscing about the good old days when we were growing up is a memory trip well worth taking, when trying to understand the issues facing the children of today. A mere 20 years ago, children used to play outside all day, riding bikes, playing sports and building forts. Masters of imaginary games, children of the past created their own form of play that didn’t require costly equipment or parental supervision. Children of the past moved… a lot, and their sensory world was nature based and simple. In the past, family time was often spent doing chores, and children had expectations to meet on a daily basis. The dining room table was a central place where families came together to eat and talk about their day, and after dinner became the center for baking, crafts and homework.

Today’s families are different. Technology’s impact on the 21st century family is fracturing its very foundation, and causing a disintegration of core values that long ago were what held families together. Juggling work, home and community lives, parents now rely heavily on communication, information and transportation technology to make their lives faster and more efficient. Entertainment technology (TV, internet, videogames, iPods) has advanced so rapidly, that families have scarcely noticed the significant impact and changes to their family structure and lifestyles. A 2010 Kaiser Foundation study showed that elementary aged children use on average 8 hours per day of entertainment technology, 75% of these children have TV’s in their bedrooms, and 50% of North American homes have the TV on all day. Add emails, cell phones, internet surfing, and chat lines, and we begin to see the pervasive aspects of technology on our home lives and family milieu. Gone is dining room table conversation, replaced by the “big screen” and take out. Children now rely on technology for the majority of their play, grossly limiting challenges to their creativity and imaginations, as well as limiting necessary challenges to their bodies to achieve optimal sensory and motor development. Sedentary bodies bombarded with chaotic sensory stimulation, are resulting in delays in attaining child developmental milestones, with subsequent impact on basic foundation skills for achieving literacy. Hard wired for high speed, today’s young are entering school struggling with self regulation and attention skills necessary for learning, eventually becoming significant behavior management problems for teachers in the classroom.

So what is the impact of technology on the developing child? Children’s developing sensory and motor systems have biologically not evolved to accommodate this sedentary, yet frenzied and chaotic nature of today’s technology. The impact of rapidly advancing technology on the developing child has seen an increase of physical, psychological and behavior disorders that the health and education systems are just beginning to detect, much less understand. Child obesity and diabetes are now national epidemics in both Canada and the US. Diagnoses of ADHD, autism, coordination disorder, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders can be causally linked to technology overuse, and are increasing at an alarming rate. An urgent closer look at the critical factors for meeting developmental milestones, and the subsequent impact of technology on those factors, would assist parents, teachers and health professionals to better understand the complexities of this issue, and help create effective strategies to reduce technology use. The three critical factors for healthy physical and psychological child development are movement, touch and connection to other humans. Movement, touch and connection are forms of essential sensory input that are integral for the eventual development of a child’s motor and attachment systems. When movement, touch and connection are deprived, devastating consequences occur.

Young children require 3-4 hours per day of active rough and tumble play to achieve adequate sensory stimulation to their vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems for normal development. The critical period for attachment development is 0-7 months, where the infant-parent bond is best facilitated by close contact with the primary parent, and lots of eye contact. These types of sensory inputs ensure normal development of posture, bilateral coordination, optimal arousal states and self regulation necessary for achieving foundation skills for eventual school entry. Infants with low tone, toddlers failing to reach motor milestones, and children who are unable to pay attention or achieve basic foundation skills for literacy, are frequent visitors to pediatric physiotherapy and occupational therapy clinics. The use of safety restraint devices such as infant bucket seats and toddler carrying packs and strollers, have further limited movement, touch and connection, as have TV and videogame overuse. Many of today’s parents perceive outdoor play is ‘unsafe’, further limiting essential developmental components usually attained in outdoor rough and tumble play. Dr. Ashley Montagu, who has extensively studied the developing tactile sensory system, reports that when infants are deprived of human connection and touch, they fail to thrive and many eventually die. Dr. Montagu states that touch deprived infants develop into toddlers who exhibit excessive agitation and anxiety, and may become depressed by early childhood.

As children are connecting more and more to technology, society is seeing a disconnect from themselves, others and nature. As little children develop and form their identities, they often are incapable of discerning whether they are the “killing machine” seen on TV and in videogames, or just a shy and lonely little kid in need of a friend. TV and videogame addiction is causing an irreversible worldwide epidemic of mental and physical health disorders, yet we all find excuses to continue. Where 100 years ago we needed to move to survive, we are now under the assumption we need technology to survive. The catch is that technology is killing what we love the most…connection with other human beings. The critical period for attachment formation is 0 – 7 months of age. Attachment or connection is the formation of a primary bond between the developing infant and parent, and is integral to that developing child’s sense of security and safety. Healthy attachment formation results in a happy and calm child. Disruption or neglect of primary attachment results in an anxious and agitated child. Family over use of technology is gravely affecting not only early attachment formation, but also impacting negatively on child psychological and behavioral health.

Further analysis of the impact of technology on the developing child indicates that while the vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile and attachment systems are under stimulated, the visual and auditory sensory systems are in “overload”. This sensory imbalance creates huge problems in overall neurological development, as the brain’s anatomy, chemistry and pathways become permanently altered and impaired. Young children who are exposed to violence through TV and videogames are in a high state of adrenalin and stress, as the body does not know that what they are watching is not real. Children who overuse technology report persistent body sensations of overall “shaking”, increased breathing and heart rate, and a general state of “unease”. This can best be described as a persistent hypervigalent sensory system, still “on alert” for the oncoming assault from videogame characters. While the long term effects of this chronic state of stress in the developing child are unknown, we do know that chronic stress in adults results in a weakened immune system and a variety of serious diseases and disorders. Prolonged visual fixation on a fixed distance, two dimensional screen grossly limits ocular development necessary for eventual printing and reading. Consider the difference between visual location on a variety of different shaped and sized objects in the near and far distance (such as practiced in outdoor play), as opposed to looking at a fixed distance glowing screen. This rapid intensity, frequency and duration of visual and auditory stimulation results in a “hard wiring” of the child’s sensory system for high speed, with subsequent devastating effects on a child’s ability to imagine, attend and focus on academic tasks. Dr. Dimitri Christakis found that each hour of TV watched daily between the ages of 0 and 7 years equated to a 10% increase in attention problems by age seven years.

In 2001 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that children less than two years of age should not use any technology, yet toddlers 0 to 2 years of age average 2.2 hours of TV per day. The Academy further recommended that children older than two should restrict usage to one hour per day if they have any physical, psychological or behavioral problems, and two hours per day maximum if they don’t, yet parents of elementary children are allowing 8 hours per day. France has gone so far as to eliminate all “baby TV” due to the detrimental effects on child development. How can parents continue to live in a world where they know what is bad for their children, yet do nothing to help them? It appears that today’s families have been pulled into the “Virtual Reality Dream”, where everyone believes that life is something that requires an escape. The immediate gratification received from ongoing use of TV, videogame and internet technology, has replaced the desire for human connection.

It’s important to come together as parents, teachers and therapists to help society “wake up” and see the devastating effects technology is having not only on our child’s physical, psychological and behavioral health, but also on their ability to learn and sustain personal and family relationships. While technology is a train that will continually move forward, knowledge regarding its detrimental effects, and action taken toward balancing the use of technology with exercise and family time, will work toward sustaining our children, as well as saving our world. While no one can argue the benefits of advanced technology in today’s world, connection to these devices may have resulted in a disconnection from what society should value most, children. Rather than hugging, playing, rough housing, and conversing with children, parents are increasingly resorting to providing their children with more videogames, TV’s in the car, and the latest iPods and cell phone devices, creating a deep and widening chasm between parent and child.

Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist and child development expert has developed a concept termed ‘Balanced Technology Management’ (BTM) where parents manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use. Rowan’s company Zone’in Programs Inc. http://www.zonein.ca has developed a ‘System of Solutions’ for addressing technology overuse in children through the creation of Zone’in Products, Workshops, Training and Consultation services.

Market segmentation is widely defined as being a complex process consisting in two main phases:

– identification of broad, large markets

– segmentation of these markets in order to select the most appropriate target markets and develop Marketing mixes accordingly.

Everyone within the Marketing world knows and speaks of segmentation yet not many truly understand its underlying mechanics, thus failure is just around the corner. What causes this? It has been documented that most marketers fail the segmentation exam and start with a narrow mind and a bunch of misconceptions such as “all teenagers are rebels”, “all elderly women buy the same cosmetics brands” and so on. There are many dimensions to be considered, and uncovering them is certainly an exercise of creativity.

The most widely employed model of market segmentation comprises 7 steps, each of them designed to encourage the marketer to come with a creative approach.

STEP 1: Identify and name the broad market

You have to have figured out by this moment what broad market your business aims at. If your company is already on a market, this can be a starting point; more options are available for a new business but resources would normally be a little limited.

The biggest challenge is to find the right balance for your business: use your experience, knowledge and common sense to estimate if the market you have just identified earlier is not too narrow or too broad for you.

STEP 2: Identify and make an inventory of potential customers’ needs

This step pushes the creativity challenge even farther, since it can be compared to a brainstorming session.

What you have to figure out is what needs the consumers from the broad market identified earlier might have. The more possible needs you can come up with, the better.

Got yourself stuck in this stage of segmentation? Try to put yourself into the shoes of your potential customers: why would they buy your product, what could possibly trigger a buying decision? Answering these questions can help you list most needs of potential customers on a given product market.

STEP 3: Formulate narrower markets

McCarthy and Perreault suggest forming sub-markets around what you would call your “typical customer”, then aggregate similar people into this segment, on the condition to be able to satisfy their needs using the same Marketing mix.

Start building a column with dimensions of the major need you try to cover: this will make it easier for you to decide if a given person should be included in the first segment or you should form a new segment. Also create a list of people-related features, demographics included, for each narrow market you form – a further step will ask you to name them.

There is no exact formula on how to form narrow markets: use your best judgement and experience. Do not avoid asking opinions even from non-Marketing professionals, as different people can have different opinions and you can usually count on at least those items most people agree on.

STEP 4: Identify the determining dimensions

Carefully review the list resulted form the previous step. You should have by now a list of need dimensions for each market segment: try to identify those that carry a determining power.

Reviewing the needs and attitudes of those you included within each market segment can help you figure out the determining dimensions.

STEP 5: Name possible segment markets

You have identified the determining dimensions of your market segments, now review them one by one and give them an appropriate name.

A good way of naming these markets is to rely on the most important determining dimension.

STEP 6: Evaluate the behavior of market segments

Once you are done naming each market segment, allow time to consider what other aspects you know about them. It is important for a marketer to understand market behavior and what triggers it. You might notice that, while most segments have similar needs, they’re still different needs: understanding the difference and acting upon it is the key to achieve success using competitive offerings.

STEP 7: Estimate the size of each market segment

Each segment identified, named and studied during the previous stages should finally be given an estimate size, even if, for lack of data, it is only a rough estimate.

Estimates of market segments will come in handy later, by offering a support for sales forecasts and help plan the Marketing mix: the more data we can gather at this moment, the easier further planning and strategy will be.

These were the steps to segment a market, briefly presented. If performed correctly and thoroughly, you should now be able to have a glimpse of how to build Marketing mixes for each market segment.

This 7 steps approach to market segmentation is very simple and practical and works for most marketers. However, if you are curious about other methods and want to experiment, you should take a look at computer-aided techniques, such as clustering and positioning.