EDGE: A Stepping-stone Toward 3G Technologies in Pakistan

ABSTRACT

The business of wireless data is expected to grow in the region of 100-200 % per annum and the mobile communication industry agrees that wireless data services will form the foundation for future business. The enormous success of short messaging in many countries proves that people accept the benefits of non-voice services.

Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution (EDGE) is a technology that gives Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) the capacity to handle services for the third generation of mobile telephony. It provides three times the data capacity of General packet Radio Service (GPRS). Using EDGE, operators can handle three times more subscribers than GPRS; triple their data rate per subscriber, or add extra capacity to their voice communications.

This article provides an overview of EDGE technology. In particular, starting from the introduction of this 2.5G technology I describe the core technical aspects and distinct features. I will provide a comparison with GPRS for data services and then a survey of the current state of this technology in Pakistan. I have also covered some benefits for operators and customers.

1. Introduction

The importance of wireless data and multimedia services both for business and end customers are increasing on an unparalleled scale. Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) is a new radio interface solution and is based on an enhanced modulation. EDGE offers GSM network operators an evolution path to mobile data and multimedia services with a three fold increase of data throughput in the existing GSM spectrum. EDGE therefore provides an alternative for operators who do not have a Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) license. Moreover it also represents a complement to UMTS for operators intending to first deploy UMTS only in densely populated areas, but who can also use EDGE to provide wide area coverage of future oriented 3G services. In the US market operators have chosen EDGE as the 3G solutions. [8].

We are presently experiencing the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) as well as the higher   transmission  speeds of High Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD), joined by the convenience of “always on-line” direct Internet connections with GPRS. [1]

EDGE, new radios interface technology with enhanced modulation, increases the HSCSD and GPRS data rates by up to three fold. EDGE modulation is going to increase the data throughput provided by the packet switched service even over 400 kbps per carrier. Similarly, the data rates of circuit switched data can be increased, or existing data rates can be achieved using fewer timeslots, saving capacity. Accordingly, these higher speed data services are referred to as EGPRS (Enhanced GPRS) and ECSD (Enhanced Circuit Switched Data).

EDGE, is a major improvement in GSM phase 2+. As a modification to existing GSM networks, EDGE does not require new network elements. [1]

In the US, for instance, EDGE is part of the IS-136 High Speed concept, which is one of the third generation Radio  Transmission  Technology (RTT) proposals from TR.45. EDGE is eventually going to be standardized which makes possible to achieve a global mobile radio system with many services characteristic to third generation systems.

2. Overview

The increased bit rates of EDGE put requirements on the GSM/GPRS network architecture. Figure. 1 illustrates the GSM/GPRS architecture, the shaded parts of which are discussed in this section. Other nodes and interfaces are not affected at all by EDGE introduction. An apparent bottleneck is the A-bis interface, which today supports up to 16 kb/s per traffic channel. With EDGE, the bit rate per traffic channel will approach 64 kb/s, which makes allocation of multiple A-bis slots to one traffic channel necessary. Alternative asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) or IP-based solutions to this problem can also be discusses.

One important fact is, however, that the 16 kb/s limit will be exceeded already by the introduction of two coding schemes (CS3 and CS4) in GPRS, which have a maximal bit rate per traffic channel of 22.8 kb/s. Consequently, the A-bis limitation problem is being solved outside the EDGE standardization, and it is therefore a GPRS related, not EDGE-related, modification. For GPRS-based packet data services, other nodes and interfaces are already capable of handling higher bit rates, and are thus not affected. For circuit-switched services, the A interface can handle 64 kb/s per user, which is not exceeded by EDGE circuit-switched bearers. [9]

2.1. Impact on GSM Network Planning

An important prerequisite, which to a large extent will determine the success of EDGE in GSM, is that a network operator be able to introduce EDGE gradually. For initial deployment, EDGE-capable transceivers will supplement standard GSM/GPRS transceivers in a subset of the existing cells where EDGE coverage is desired. Hence, an integrated mix of GSM, GPRS, and EDGE users will coexist in the same frequency band. To minimize effort and cost for the network operator, radio network planning (including cell planning, frequency setting of power and other cell parameters) must not require extensive modification.

2.1.1. Coverage Planning

One characteristic of non-transparent radio link protocols that include automatic repeat request (ARQ), is that low radio link quality only results in a lower bit rate for the user. Hence, low SIR for a user does not result in a dropped call, as for speech, but in a temporary decrease of user bit rate. For transparent bearers, which typically offer a constant bit rate, link quality control must be extended to incorporate resource allocation, in the sense that the number of dynamically allocated time slots fits the bit rate and bit error rate (BER) retirements. Transparent bearers, will thus be available in the entire GSM cell, but require fewer time slots in the center of the cell (where 8-PSK coding schemes can be used).

2.1.2. Frequency Planning

Most mature GSM networks of today have an average frequency reuse factor of around 9 (meaning that available frequencies are divided into nine frequency groups). However, there is also a trend toward tighter reuse factors. With the use of frequency hopping, multiple reuse patterns (MRP), and discontinuous  transmission  (DTX), reuse factors as low as 3 become feasible. EDGE supports a variety of reuse patterns. In fact, by its use of link quality control, EDGE can be introduced in an arbitrary frequency plan, and benefit from high SIR closer to the base stations. EDGE can be introduced in an existing GSM frequency plan, and that it also supports future high-capacity solutions based on tighter frequency reuse.

2.1.3. Radio Network Planning

An important prerequisite (and to a large extent, one that will determine the success of Edge) is that network operators should be able to introduce Edge gradually. The initial deployment of Edge-capable transceivers will supplement standard GSM transceivers in a subset of cells where Edge coverage is desired. An integrated mixture of circuit-switched, GPRS and Edge users will thus coexist in the same frequency band. To minimize operator efforts and costs, Edge-related implementation must not require extensive modification of the radio network plan (including cell planning, frequency planning, the setting of power levels and other cell parameters).

2.1.4. Channel Management

After Edge has been introduced, a cell will typically include two types of transceiver: standard GSM transceivers and Edge transceivers. Each physical channel (time slot) in the cell can be viewed as being one of at least four channel types:

1. GSM speech and GSM circuit-switched data (CSD);

2. GPRS packet data;

3. Circuit-switched data, enhanced circuits witched data (ECSD), and GSM speech;

4. Edge packet data (EGPRS), which allows a mix of GPRS and EGPRS users simultaneously.

While standard GSM transceivers only support channel types 1 and 2, Edge transceivers support all four channel types. Physical channels are dynamically defined according to terminal capabilities and needs in the cell. For example, if several speech users are active, the number of type-1 channels is increased, at the expense of GPRS and Edge channels. Obviously, channel management must be automated, to avoid the splitting of channels into static groups. Otherwise, trunking efficiency would diminish.

3. Interleaving

To increase the performance of the higher coding schemes in EGPRS (MCS7 to MCS9) even at low C/I, the interleaving procedure has been changed within the EGPRS standard. When frequency hopping is used, the radio environment is changing on a per-burst level. Because a radio block is interleaved and transmitted over four bursts for GPRS, each burst may experience a completely different interference environment. [7]

If just one of the four bursts is not properly received, the entire radio block will not be properly decoded and will have to be retransmitted. In the case of CS4 for GPRS, hardly any error protection is used at all. With EGPRS, the standard handles the higher coding scheme differently than GPRS to combat this problem. MCS7, MCS8 and MCS9 actually transmit two radio blocks over the four bursts, and the interleaving occurs over two bursts instead of four. This reduces the number of bursts that must be retransmitted should errors occur. The likelihood of receiving two consecutive error free bursts is higher than receiving four consecutive error free bursts. This means that the higher coding schemes

for EDGE have a better robustness with regard to frequency hopping.

4. EDGE & GPRS

EDGE, or the Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution, is the new mantra in the Global Internet Connectivity scene. EDGE is the new name for GSM 384. The technology was named GSM 384 because of the fact that it provided Data  Transmission  at a rate of 384 Kbps. It consists of the 8 pattern time slot, and the speed could be achieved when all the 8 time slots were used. The idea behind EDGE is to obtain even higher data rates on the current 200 KHz GSM carrier, by changing the type of the modulation used.

Now, this is the most striking feature. EDGE, as being once a GSM technology, works on the existing GSM or the TDMA carriers, and enables them to many of the 3G services. Although EDGE will have a little technical impact, since its fully based on GSM or the TDMA carriers, but it might just get an EDGE over the up coming technologies, and of course, the GPRS. With EDGE, the operators and service providers can offer more wireless data application, including wireless multimedia, e-mail (Web Based), Web Infotainment, and above all, the technology of Video Conferencing.

Now all these technologies that were named earlier, were the clauses of the IMT-UMTS 3G Package. But, with EDGE, we can get all these 3G services on our existing GSM phones, which might just prove to be a boon to the user.

The current scenario clearly states that EDGE will definitely score higher than GPRS. The former allows its users to increase the data speed and throughput capacity, to around 3-4 times higher than GPRS.

Secondly, it allows the existing GSM or the TDMA carriers to give the sophisticated 3G services. And with 1600 Million subscribers of GSM in over 170 countries, offer the full Global Roaming, anywhere between India to Japan and to San Francisco. Based on an 8 PSK modulation, it allows higher bit rate across the air Interface. There is one symbol for every 3 bits. Thus, EDGE Rate is equal to 3x GPRS Rate.

5. Future Evolution Towards WCDMA

The next evolutionary step for the GSM/EDGE cellular system includes enhancements of service provisioning for the packet-switched domain with the service provisioning in UMTS/UTRAN (UMTS terrestrial radio access network). GERAN will provide improved support for all quality of service (QoS) classes defined for UMTS: interactive, background, streaming and conversational. By doing so, a new range of applications, including IP multimedia applications, will be adequately supported. This part of the GSM/EDGE evolution focuses on support for the conversational and streaming service classes, because adequate support for interactive and background services already exists. Additionally, parallel simultaneous bearers will support multimedia applications with different QoS characteristics towards the same MS, such as multiple media streams handled through IMS domain. A driver for such evolution on the packet-switched side is the paradigm shift within the telecommunications world from circuit to packet-switched communications.

Both the core network defined for GPRS and the current GSM/EDGE radio access network require modifications to support enhanced packet services. The GPRS/EGPRS networks can quickly and cost effectively evolve with market needs, and align with services provided by WCDMA networks. The current evolution of GSM/EDGE, which covers all of the above aspects, is being standardized in 3GPP TSG GERAN. [4]

6. EDGE in Pakistan

Pakistan has the sixth largest population in the world – approximately 150 million. There are currently four mobile operators in the country. Mobile penetration at the end of 2003 was just 2.3% with a subscriber base of 3.4 million, while fixed line penetration was approximately 2.4%. Many geographic areas in Pakistan are without telephone coverage. To accompany recent positive economic development in Pakistan and the inherently low mobile penetration, high growth within the mobile segment is expected. At the moment the people in Pakistan are more concern with the text-enabled facility like SMS. Although the introduction of GPRS gave a new concept and new boost in Cellular network but still, people are not that much concern using Internet by their terminal. Few think that it still more costly and few believe that GPRS didn’t develop the interest for using Internet if we compared it by computer.

In April 2004 Norwegian mobile telecom operator, Telenor, bid for and ultimately won a license to operate a cellular network in Pakistan. The license covers the operation of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE) technology for the network. [14]

Telenor Pakistan has signed two deals with mobile infrastructure contractors for different areas of the network:

Nokia have signed a three-year deal to build and operate a GSM / GPRS / EDGE network to cover the central and Northern Punjab region (phase one), centered around Lahore.

Siemens have signed a deal to build a GSM / GPRS / EDGE network to cover the southern areas of Pakistan, centered around Islamabad.

Further enhancements in data capability over the core GPRS / GSM network will be provided in both networks with the installation of Enhanced Data for Global (GSM) Evolution technology. This component of the two systems will be installed after the initial roll-outs and will allow the subscribers to have the use of advanced mobile services such as downloading video and music clips, full multimedia messaging, high-speed color Internet access and email on the move.

Nortel Networks will upgrade Ufone’s existing wireless systems and supply new GSM/GPRS core network and radio access equipment, including Mobile Switching Center, Home Location Register (HLR) and advanced Base Transceiver Stations (BTS).

A key component of the Ufone expansion will be Nortel Networks BTS 12000, designed to deliver additional capacity within a GSM/GPRS network while positioning operators to drive lower costs and to offer advanced wireless services based on third generation (3G) EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) technology. The expansion will also include Nortel Networks Passport Packet Voice Gateway (PVG) for migration of TDM voice trunking to a packet-based infrastructure.

7. Benefits

As highlighted previously the need to reduce business risk and make the best use of existing resources is of paramount importance within today’s business environment.

7.1. Financial

GSM based networks have become the standard within the cellular landscape. As EDGE is a GSM based technology and provides an enhancement for GPRS at a little additional cost it is considered the best way in which to capitalize on existing resources. [1]

7.1.1. Radio Access Network

In most cases GPRS enabled base stations and BSC’s can be simply upgraded to EDGE by way of relatively low-cost software and hardware upgrades, which will pro-long the life cycle of the deployed RAN elements.

7.1.2. Core Network

For GPRS enhancement, there is very little modification to be completed within a GPRS enabled core network, thus enhancing the sunk core network investment.

7.1.3. Antenna Sites

There is no requirement for additional antenna sites when deploying EDGE. Assuming high quality linear amplifiers with high RF output power are used within the BTS, the coverage pattern will be the same as the existing GPRS deployment, so protecting existing site investment.

7.1.4. Spectrum Utilization

EDGE triples the GPRS data capacity whilst using the existing GSM spectrum and offers up to three times the GPRS data rate to the end user. EDGE is spectrally the most efficient radio technology for data applications requiring up to 100Kb/s throughput (compared to CDMA and WCDMA), and only WCDMA is spectrally better for higher throughputs.

7.1.5. Applications

GPRS enabled applications and services will generally not require any additional investment to become EDGE compatible. This is also valid for known WCDMA applications.

Although the financial benefits of EDGE can be apportioned to individual network elements as outlined above, one of the main business drivers is that EDGE forms an essential part of the overall GSM evolution towards a seamless multi-radio GSM/ GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA network. As mentioned previously GSM is the main standard for cellular communications worldwide and the business benefits of deploying an industry standard technology can be seen in nearly every aspect of a network deployment, from end-user devices, to applications to hardware.

7.2. For Operator

Operators can also experiences the advantages of EDGE in following ways.

7.2.1. Migration to wireless multimedia services

The operator can increase data revenues by offering attractive new types applications to end-users.

7.2.2. Improved customer satisfaction

Increased data capacity and higher data throughput will decrease response times for all data services, thus keeping end users satisfied and connected.

7.2.3. Early deployment of 3G type applications

EDGE networks are expected to emerge in year 2001, when mature markets are likely to start demanding multimedia applications.

7.2.4. Quick network implementation

EDGE will not require new network elements and EDGE capability can be introduced gradually to the network.

7.3. For User

7.3.1. Improved quality of service

Increased data capacity and higher data throughput will eventually satisfy the customers’ need for QoS.

7.3.2. Personal multimedia services

Attractive new types of applications and terminals will become available.

7.3.3. Potentially lower price per bit

Lower cost of data capacity for high-speed data applications gives the operator flexibility in pricing.

8. Conclusion

While the tug of war between access technologies – CDMA vs. UMTS vs. GSM — continues to be debated globally, EDGE provides an ideal solution for GSM carriers to add data capacity using limited spectrum. Keeping in view the fact that GSM supports more subscribers today than any other access technology (roughly 65 to 70% of the global subscriber market), and that GSM/GPRS operators are scrambling to add capacity to support user growth and launch next generation data services, the increased capacity and throughput offered by EDGE becomes very compelling. And, in a market where wireless carriers must squeeze the most out of capital outlays–past and future, it is no real surprise that we are going to see a renewed wave of interest in EDGE from our GSM customers.

Today the position of EDGE as a technology evolution of GSM is clear. Initially promoted as an alternative to WCDMA and generally a niche technology, EDGE is now regarded as a key enabler for GSM/EDGE and WCDMA operators alike. Being able to drive business value from existing GSM infrastructure and spectrum is one of the main advantages, and along-with the ability of EDGE to reduce CAPEX, time-to-market and time-to-revenue, with regards the delivery of global high-speed data services, EDGE is a must technology.

The cellular companies working in Pakistan did not have the license for the EDGE. Now as the introduction of some new companies like Telenor and WARID, it is possible that in near future Pakistan will also be able to use this facility. Then GPRS can become a real important factor in cellular network, as the people in Pakistan will use the Internet not only for downloading ring tones but also can enjoy the streaming videos by their cell phone and so many other facilities.

The Transformative Power of Sacred Art-Making

When I began teaching Western women the sacred art of Tibetan appliqué in 2008, I thought I was just teaching stitching technique. My students quickly set me straight. It turns out I had seriously underestimated the power of tradition and   transmission . Through teaching, I discovered the transformative effect of the sacred textile art I’d been making for 20 years.

I had lived in northern India for nine years and learned to make silk thangkas in apprenticeship to Tibetan master craftsmen.

A thangka is rollable wall hanging, a scroll, depicting a sacred image or spiritual teacher. Most thangkas are painted on canvas and framed in brocade, but I studied a rarer type of thangka in which the images are built from hundreds of pieces of silk, outlined in hand-wrapped horsehair, assembled in an intricate patchwork.

Six days a week for four years, I sat alongside young Tibetans in a sewing workshop just outside the Dalai Lama’s temple. The environment was infused with dharma. Sounds of teaching and practice echoed from every window and courtyard. I attended Buddhist philosophy classes in the morning with learned Tibetan scholars (geshe) and then trudged up the steep hill to the workshop where I stitched thangkas all afternoon.

I had absorbed the dharma this community breathed, and it came out through my fingers into the thangkas I stitched. But I was no dharma teacher, and only an inconsistent meditator. I told prospective students that I would teach them stitching techniques, made sacred only by association. They should not expect spiritual illumination from me. They must seek that elsewhere, I thought.

Little did I know, each line and stitch of this artwork carries the light of the buddhas and of generations of artists and practitioners. You can’t escape the deeper lessons woven into the fabric of this lineage.

I was living in Italy, married and making thangkas on commission, when an American woman in France contacted me and sparked the creation of the Stitching Buddhas Virtual Apprentice Program. Louise had returned to France after many years of following her husband’s job from country to country while raising young children. Now, she was seeking an occupation, something meaningful to do with her energies.

Louise had been trained as a costume designer and was a practicing Buddhist. When she saw her first silk thangka on the internet, it struck her as a natural coupling of her creative background with her spiritual practice. I had the same feeling sixteen years earlier when I walked into a Tibetan appliqué studio in India. Could I now offer this gift to others?

Working with needle and thread re-awakens our tactile intelligence. Eyes and ears are not our only receptors for learning. The rational mind is not our only mode of understanding. And the voice is surely not our only instrument for communicating. We perceive, learn, and communicate through our fingers as well. But in the 21st century, our range of manual engagement has been reduced to tapping smooth keys and swiping touch-screens.

People who knit or quilt or work on a potter’s wheel have experienced the mindful quality that can arise in slow, deliberate movement and tactile sensation. Doing something by hand slows down the busyness of life – if only momentarily.

Not only that, but the thread becomes a metaphor for your life. You see how things get tangled when you don’t pay attention. You see where perfectionism trips you up, where you are afraid to move forward and how, sometimes, the more effort you exert the worse things get. Sometimes gentleness and a relaxed approach are needed. These patterns become evident in the stitching, and awareness filters into other activities.

The Tibetan appliqué tradition flows from an ancient spiritual lineage of artists, teachers and practitioners who have created and used its images in their practice. When we stitch, we receive their  transmission  through our fingers.

People often ask if I meditate while I stitch. I say this stitching IS meditation.

Literally, the Tibetan word for meditation (gom) means to familiarize. Through meditation, we familiarize ourselves with desirable mind states – expansive, loving, generous, imperturbable mind states – in an effort to make them habitual.

When we stitch a thangka or even a lotus flower, we are in the presence of enlightenment. We familiarize ourselves with enlightened beings, and therefore with the highest qualities of our own nature. The images in our hands symbolize the clearest, highest, best parts of ourselves and of humanity. Stitch by stitch, we allow these qualities to fill us.

Most of my students, the Stitching Buddhas, are women in the 50s and 60s. They are well educated. Many have worked in healing professions such as nursing, medicine, social work, and psychotherapy. Many are mothers of grown children. They come to the practice with an awareness of limited time. Some face diminishing eyesight or challenges to their manual dexterity. Some have no sewing experience at all. They’re not preparing for a career in thangka-making. They are seeking to live their life meaningfully and happily, and to leave something beautiful in their wake.

Buddhism encourages us to recognize our good fortune and to use this precious human life well. Human rebirth is rare and hard to come by. With gratitude in her heart, each woman-buddha stitches her response to Mary Oliver’s sumptuous question: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Promoting Literacy in School Libraries in Sierra Leone

INTRODUCTION

The heart of information literacy is contained within definitions used to describe it. Traditionally librarians have given ‘library induction’ or ‘library skills training’ in a limited role. Library users need to know where the catalogue is, what the services are, and most importantly where the enquiry desk is. This is not to reduce the value of traditional library induction, but libraries and information are also changing. The provision of information through a library in a traditional form has gone through radical alterations. Already in most library and information organisations staffs are adjusting their services with the provision of new media and access to information provision within these organisations. Thus librarians are talking about social inclusion, opportunity, life-long learning, information society and self development.

A plethora of definitions for information literacy abound in books, journal papers and the web. Some of these definitions centre on the activities of information literacy i.e. identifying the skills needed for successful literate functioning. Other definitions are based on the perspective of an information literate person i.e. trying to outline the concept of information literacy. Deriving therefore a single definition is a complex process of collecting together a set of ideas as to what might be, should be, or may be considered a part of information literacy. For example Weber and Johnson (2002) defined information literacy as the adoption of appropriate information behaviour to obtain, through whatever channel or medium, information well fitted to information needs, together with critical awareness of the importance of wise and ethical use of information in society. The American Library Association (2003) defined information literacy as a set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information. While CLIP (2004) defined information literacy as knowing when and why one needs information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner. Succinctly these definitions imply that information literacy requires not only knowledge but also skills in:

• recognising when information is needed;

• resources available

• locating information;

• evaluating information;

• using information;

• ethics and responsibility of use of information;

• how to communicate or share information;

• how to manage information

Given therefore the variety of definitions and implied explanation information literacy is a cluster of abilities that an individual can employ to cope with, and to take advantage of the unprecedented amount of information which surrounds us in our daily life and work.

STRUCTURE OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM

Sierra Leone’s current educational system is composed of six years of formal primary education, three years of Junior Secondary School (JSS), three years Senior Secondary School (SSS) and four years of tertiary education-6-3-3-4. (The Professor Gbamanja Commission’s Report of 2010 recommended an additional year for SSS to become 6-3-4-4). The official age for primary school pupils is between six and eleven years. All pupils at the end of class six are required to take and pass the National Primary School Examinations designed by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to enable them proceed to the secondary school divided into Junior Secondary School(JSS) and Senior Secondary School (SSS). Each part has a final examination: the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) for the JSS, and the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for SSS, both conducted by WAEC. Successful candidates of WASSCE are admitted to tertiary institutions based on a number of subjects passed (GoSL,1995)

The curriculum of primary schools emphasizes communication competence and the ability to understand and manipulate numbers. At the JSS level, the curriculum is general and comprehensive, encompassing the whole range of knowledge, attitudes and skills in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. The core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Social studies are compulsory for all pupils. At the SSS level, the curriculum is determined by its nature (general or specialist), or its particular objectives. Pupils are offered a set of core (compulsory) subjects with optional subjects based on their specialization. Teaching is guided by the teaching syllabuses and influenced by the external examinations that pupils are required to take at the 3/ 4-year course. English is the language of instruction (GoSL,1995).

The countries two universities, three polytechnics, and two teacher training colleges are responsible for the training of teachers in Sierra Leone. The Universities Act of 2004 provides for private universities so that these institutions too could help in the training of teachers. Programs range from the Teacher Certificate offered by the teacher training colleges to the Masters in Education offered by universities. Pre-service certification of teachers is the responsibility of the National Council for Technical, Vocational and Other Academic Awards (NCTVA). There is also an In-service Teacher Training program (Distance Education Program) conducted for teachers in part to reduce the number of untrained and unqualified teachers especially in the rural areas.

LITERACY IN SIERRA LEONE

In Sierra Leone as it is in most parts of the developing world literacy involves one’s ability to read, write and numeracy. It is the ability to function effectively in life contexts. A literate person is associated with the possession of skills and knowledge and how these could be applied within his local environment. For instance a literate person is believed to be able to apply chemical fertilizer to his crops, fill in a loans form, determine proper dosage of medicine, calculate cash cropping cost and profits, glean information from a newspaper, make out a bank deposit slip and understanding instructions and basic human rights.

Literacy is at the heart of the country’s development goals and human rights (World Bank, 2007). Wherever practised literacy activities are part of national and international strategies for improved education, human development and well-being. According to the 2013 United Nations Human Development Index Sierra Leone has a literacy rate of 34 %.Implicitly Sierra Leone is an oral society. And oral societies rely heavily on memory to transmit their values, laws, history, music, and culture whereas the written word allows infinite possibilities for transmission and therefore of active participation in communication. These possibilities are what make the goal of literacy crucial in society.

In academic parlance literacy hinges on the printed word. Most pupils are formally introduced to print when they encounter schoolbook. School teachers in Sierra Leone continue to use textbooks in their teaching activities to convey content area information to pupils. It is no gainsaying that pupils neither maximise their learning potential nor read at levels necessary for understanding the type of materials teachers would like them to use. Thus the performance of pupils at internal and public examinations is disappointing. Further pupils’ continued queries in the library demonstrate that they do not only lack basic awareness of resources available in their different school libraries but also do not understand basic rudiments of how to source information and materials from these institutions. What is more worrisome is that pupils do not use appropriate reading skills and study strategies in learning. There is a dearth of reading culture in schools and this situation cuts across the fabric of society. In view of the current support the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) to establish literacy standards in school this situation has proved frustrating as teachers do not know how to better help pupils to achieve this goal. Thus they look up to the school librarians to play a more proactive role.

LITERACY DEMANDS ON SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPILS

In everyday situations school pupils are expected to be able to identify and seek information they need. Providing a variety of reading and writing experiences using varied materials in the school library can help develop pupils’ literacy ability (Roe, Stoodt-Hill and Burns, 2004). The mode of assessment in schools in Sierra Leone includes class exercises, tests, written and practical assignments, as well as written examinations to see pupils through to their next levels. These pupils, for example, need to read content books and supplementary materials in school for homework. Pupils have even more literacy needs in their activities outside school. They need to read signs found in their communities, job applications, road maps and signs, labels on food and medicine, newspapers, public notices, bank statements, bills and many other functional materials. Failure to read and understand these materials can result in their committing traffic violations, having unpleasant reactions to food or medicine, becoming lost, losing employment opportunities and missing desirable programs. Equally so pupils need to write to their relatives and loved ones, instructions to people who are doing things for them, notes to themselves about tasks to be completed, phone messages for colleagues and many other items. Mistakes in these activities can have negative effects on them. Good literacy skills are especially important to pupils who plan to pursue higher education studies. The job market in the country calls for pupils to be literate. For instance most jobs advertised these days require people who have completed their JSS. The fact is that workers need to be able to understand graphic aids, categorized information and skim and scan to locate information. Also the nature of reading in the workplace generally involves locating information for immediate use and inferring information for problem solving. The reading and writing of a variety of documents like memos, manuals, letters, reports and instructions are necessary literacy skills in the workplace.

SCHOOL LIBRARIES IN SIERRA LEONE

School libraries in Sierra Leone are perceived as integral aspect of the county’s educational system. These institutions bring together four major components of the school community: the materials, pupils, teacher and library staff. The main purpose for the establishment of these institutions in schools is to complement the teaching/learning process, if not to support the curriculum. This purpose is achieved in two ways: by providing pupils with the means of finding whatever information they need; and by developing in pupils the habit of using books both for information and for pleasure. Pupils need information to help them with the subjects they learn in school. The textbooks they use and the notes they take in class can be an excellent foundation. They may also be sufficient for revision purposes. But these could not be enough to enable pupils to write good essays of their own or to carry out group projects. School libraries then are expected to complement this effort and therefore are perceived as learning centres.

Pupils need information on subjects not taught in school. School libraries are looked upon as places pupils find information to help them in their school studies and personal development. Through these institutions pupils’ habit of using libraries for life-long education is not only developed but also school libraries could be used to improve pupils’ reading skills. In the school community both pupils and teachers use school libraries for leisure and recreational purpose and for career advancement. The culture of society is also transmitted through use of school libraries. Because of the important role school libraries play in the country’s educational system they are organised in such way that pupils as well as teachers can rely upon them for support in the teaching/learning process. Most of these institutions are managed by either a full-time staff often supervised by a senior teacher. Staffs use varied methods to promote their use including user education.

JUSTIFYING THE LIBRARIAN’S INVOLVEMENT IN PROMOTING LITERACY IN SCHOOL

A pre-requisite for the development of autonomous pupils through flexible resource-based learning approaches is that pupils master a set of skills which gradually enable them to take control of their own learning. Current emphasis in teaching in schools in Sierra Leone has shifted from “teacher-centred” to “pupil-centred” approach thereby making pupils to “learn how to learn” for themselves so that the integration of process skills into the design of the school curriculum becomes crucial (GoSL,1995). It is in this area of “learning” or “information literacy” skills that one can most clearly see the inter-relationship between the school curriculum and the school library. For pupils to become independent users of information and for this to occur it is vital that they are given the skills to learn how to find information, how to select what is relevant, and how to use it in the best way possible for their own particular needs and take responsibility for their own learning. As information literate, pupils will be able to manage information skilfully and efficiently in a variety of contexts. They will be capable of weighing information carefully and wisely to determine its quality (Marcum2002). Pupils do recognise that having good information is central to meeting the opportunity and challenges of day-to-day living. They are also aware of the importance of how researching across a variety of sources and formats to locate the best information to meet particular needs.

Literacy activities in schools in Sierra Leone are the responsibility of content area teachers, reading consultants and school librarians. Of these the role of the school librarian is paramount. As specialist the school librarian is expected to provide assistance to pupils and teachers alike by locating materials in different subjects, and at different reading levels by making available materials that can be used for motivation and background reading. The school librarian is also expected to provide pupils with instructions in locating strategies related to the library such as doing online searches and skimming through printed reference materials. The librarian is expected to display printed materials within his purview, write specialised bibliographies and lists of addresses on specific subjects at the request of teachers. He should be able to provide pupils with direct assistance in finding and using appropriate materials; recreational reading can be fostered by the librarian’s book talks or attractive book displays on high-interest topics like HIV/AIDS, child abuse, child rights, human rights and poverty alleviation. In view of this the fundamental qualities expected of the good school librarian include knowledge of his collection and how to access it; ability to understand the needs of his users more so those of pupils; ability to communicate with pupils and adult users; and knowledge of information skills and how to use information.

ROLE OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN

Pupils’ success in school depends to a large extent upon their ability to access, evaluate and use information. Providing access to information and resources is a long-standing responsibility of the school librarian. The school librarian should provide the leadership and expertise necessary to ensure that the library becomes integral in the instructional program of the school. In school the librarian is the information specialist, teacher and instructional consultant. He is the interface responsible for guiding pupils and teachers through the complex information resources housed in his library (Lenox and Walker, 1993). He is looked up to assist and guide numerous users in seeking to use and understand the resources and services of the library. In this respect the school librarian should inculcate in these users such skills as manual and online searching of information; use of equipment; developing critical skills for the organization, evaluation and use of information and ideas as integral part of the curriculum (Lonsdale, 2003). The school librarian should be aware of the range of available information retrieval systems, identify that most suitable to the needs of pupils and provide expertise in helping them become knowledgeable, if not comfortable, in their use. Since no library is self-sufficient the school librarian can network with information agencies, lending/renting materials and/or using electronic devises to transmit information (Tilke, 1998; 2002).

As information specialist the school librarian should be able to share his expertise with those who may wish to know what information sources and/or learning materials are available to support a program of work. Such consultation should be offered to the whole school through the curriculum development committee or to individual subject teachers. The school librarian should take the lead in developing pupils’ information literacy skills by being involved with the school curriculum planning and providing a base of resources to meet its needs. He should be aware of key educational initiatives and their impact in teaching and learning; he should be familiar with teaching methods and learning styles in school; over all he should maintain an overview of information literacy programmes within the school (Herring, 1996; Kuhlthau, 2004).

Kuhlthau (2004) opined that information seeking is a primary activity of life and that pupils seek information to deepen and broaden their understanding of the world around them. When therefore, information in school libraries is placed in a larger context of learning, pupils’ perspective becomes an essential component in information provision. The school librarian should ensure that skills, knowledge and attitude concerning information access, use and communication, are integral part of the school curriculum. Information skills are crucial in the life-long learning process of pupils. As short term objective the school librarian should provide a means of achieving learning objectives within the curriculum; as long term information skills have a direct impact on individual pupils’ ability to deal effectively with a changing environment. Therefore the school librarian should work in concert with teachers and administrators to define the scope and sequence of the information relevant to the school curriculum and ensure its integration throughout the instructional programs (Tilke, 2002; Birks and Hunt, 2003). Pupils should be encouraged to realise their potential as informed citizens who critically think and solve problems. In view of the relationship between the curriculum and school library, the librarian should serve on the curriculum committee ensuring that information access skills are incorporated into subject areas. The school librarian’s involvement in the curriculum development will permit him to provide advice on the use of a variety of instructional strategies such as learning centres and problem-solving software, effective in communicating content to pupils (Herring, 1996; Birks and Hunt, 2003).

Literacy could be actively developed as pupils need access to specific resources, demonstrate understanding of their functionality and effective searching skills. In this regard pupils should be given basic instruction to the library, its facilities and services and subsequent use. Interactive teaching methods aimed at information literacy education should be conducted for the benefit of pupils. Teaching methods could include an outline of a variety of aides like quizzes and worksheets of differing complexity level to actively engage pupils in learning library skills and improving their information literacy. Classes should be divided into small groups so that pupils could have hands-on-experience using library resources. Where Internet services are available in the library online tutorials should be provided. Post session follow-up action will ensure that pupils receive hands-on-experience using library resources. Teaching methods should be constantly evaluated to identify flaws and improve on them.

Further the school librarian should demonstrate willingness to support and value pupils in their use of the library through: provision of readers’ guides; brochures; book marks; library handbooks/guides; computerization of collection; helpful guiding throughout the library; and regular holding of book exhibitions and book fairs. Since there are community radio stations in the country the school librarian could buy air time to report library activities, resources and services. He can also communicate to pupils through update newspapers. Pupils could be encouraged to contribute articles on library development, book reviews and information about opening times and services. The school librarian could help pupils to form book and reading clubs, organize book weeks and book talks using visiting speakers and renowned writers to address pupils. Classes could also be allowed to visit the library to facilitate use. More importantly the school librarian should provide assistance to pupils in the use of technology to access information outside the library. He should offer pupils opportunities related to new technology, use and production of varied media formats, and laws and polices regarding information. In order to build a relevant resource base for the school community the librarian should constantly carry out needs assessment, comparing changing demands to available resources.

The Internet is a vital source for promoting literacy in the school library. The school librarian should ensure that the library has a website that will serve as guide to relevant and authoritative sources and as a tool for learning whereby pupils and teachers are given opportunity to share ideas and solutions (Herring, 2003). Through the Internet pupils can browse the library website to learn how to search and develop information literacy skills. In order for pupils to tap up-to-date sources from the Net the school librarian should constantly update the home page, say on a daily basis, if necessary. Simultaneously the school librarian should avail to pupils and teachers sheets/guides to assist them in carrying out their own independent researches. He should give hands-on-experience training to users to share ideas with others through the formation of “lunch time” or “after school support groups”. Such activities could help pupils to develop ideas and searching information for a class topic and assignment.

Even the location of the library has an impact in promoting literacy in school. The library should be centrally located, close to the maximum number of teaching areas. It should be able to seat at least ten per cent of school pupils at any given time, having a wide range of resources vital for teaching and learning programs offered in school. The library should be characterised by good signage for the benefit of pupil and teacher users with up-to-date displays to enhance the literacy skills of pupils and stimulating their intellectual curiosity.

CONCLUSION

Indeed the promotion of literacy should be integral in the school curriculum and that the librarian should be able to play a leading role to ensure that the skills, knowledge and attitudes related to information access are inculcated in pupils and teachers alike as paramount users of the school library. But the attainment of this goal is dependent on a supportive school administration, always willing and ready to assist the library and its programs financially. To make the librarian more effective he should be given capacity building to meeting the challenges of changing times.

REFERENCES

American Library Association (2003). ‘Introduction to information literacy.’

Birks, J. & Hunt, F. (2003). Hands-on information literacy activities. London: Neal-Schumann.

CLIP (2004).’Information Literacy: definition.’

GoSL (2010). Report of the Professor Gbamanja Commission of Inquiry into the Poor Performance of Pupils in the 2008 BECE and WASSCE Examinations (Unpublished).

___________(1995). New Education policy for Sierra Leone. Freetown: Department of Education.

Herring, James E. (1996). Teaching information skills in schools. London: Library Association Publishing.

__________________ (2003).The Internet and information skills: a guide for teachers and librarians. London: Facet Publishing.

Kahlthau, C. C. (2004). Seeking meaning: a process approach to library and information services. 2nd. ed. London: Libraries Unlimited.

Lenox, M. F. & Walker, M. L.(1993). ‘Information Literacy in the education process.’ The Educational Forum, 52 (2): 312-324.

Lonsdale, Michael (2003). Impact of school libraries on student achievement: a review of research. Camberwell: Australian Council of Educational Research.

Marcum, J. W. (2002). ‘ Rethinking Information Literacy,’ Library Quarterly, 72:1-26.

Roe, Betty D., Stoodt-Hill & Burns, Paul C. (2004).Secondary School Literacy instruction: the content areas. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Tilke, A. (1998). On-the-job sourcebook for school librarians. London: Library Association.

_________ (2002). Managing your school library and information service: a practical handbook. London: Facet Publishing.

Weber, S. & Johnston, B. ( 2002). ‘Assessment in the Information Literate University.’ Conference: Workshop 1st International Conference on IT and Information Literacy, 20th- 22nd. March 2002, Glasgow, Scotland. Parallel Session 3, Thursday 21st March,2002.

World Bank (2007). Education in Sierra Leone; present challenges, future opportunities. Washington,DC: World Bank.

Warts – Types and Treatment

There are many different types of warts, all of which have one thing in common… they are embarrassing, unpleasant, cosmetically unattractive, unwanted, annoying and sometimes painful protrusions that appear on the skin almost anywhere. They have always been considered ugly and in folklore over the years… witches have usually modelled a whole host of various ‘warty’ protrusions on various parts of their anatomy. In fact the larger the wart… the more evil the witch! The princess never had warts… the wicked stepmother had them though! The ‘goodies’ never sported a fashionable wart but the baddies were regularly seen displaying one or more particularly heinous ones.

What are warts and why do we get them?

They are completely benign epidermal tumors or growths on the skin and most of them are highly contagious. They originate from the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes the infection and more than 100 HPV subtypes are known.

Warts are particularly common in childhood and are spread by direct contact or by touching itching and spreading through touch. If a wart is scratched, the viral particles may be spread to another area of skin. It can take as long as twelve months for the wart to first appear and they can just as easily spontaneously disappear temporarily or even permanently. The majority of them have a hard surface and a tiny black dot in the middle or each warty mark can often be seen. This is a capillary blood vessel seen through the skin. Warts can develop individually or in clusters and can spontaneously disappear. Hygiene must be of the highest importance to avoid cross infection and if not treated they may spread.

In children, even without treatment, some warts disappear within 6 months and up to 90% are gone in 2 years. They are more persistent than this in adults but they can sometimes disappear of their own accord.

Warts are particularly numerous and troublesome in patients that are immuno-suppressed.

There are many types of warts:

1. Common warts arise most often on the backs of fingers or toes, palms of hands and on the knees.

2. Plantar warts (verrucas) are seen on the foot – mainly on the sole of the foot.

3. Mosaic warts are also seen on the sole of the foot and appear in clusters over an area often proliferating to several centimeters in diameter. Many little dots from capillaries underneath the surface of the skin can be seen throughout mosaic warts.

4. Plane, or flat, warts are often seen on the face or limbs and under the arms and can be very numerous.

5. Periungual warts grow at the sides or under the nails and can distort nail growth if left. Treatment can be difficult because of the sensitivity of the area and the risk of damaging the nail bed.

6. Filiform warts are on a long stalk and these can appear quite often on the face where they are a most upsetting and cosmetically unattractive addition. They often have a multi faceted top like finger like projections which are very dry and crusty.

7. Oral warts can affect the lips and even inside the cheeks. They include Squamous Cell Papillomas (not to be confused with Squamous Cell Carcinomas), are small benign (non-cancerous) growth that begin in squamous cells (thin, flat cells) that are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin (epidermis), the passages of the respiratory and digestive tract and in the lining of hollow organs of the body.

8. Genital warts are very common. There are at least 100 different types of HPV and at least 40 can infect the genital area they are often transmitted sexually and predispose to cervical, penile and vulval cancers.

Treatment Options:

Warts are not a serious health condition and many people will not bother to treat them as often the treatment is uncomfortable and requires considerable effort. To get rid of them, the body’s own immune system has to be stimulated to attack the wart virus. Persistence with the treatment and patience is essential!

There are several options of treatment, some more successful than others.

Electrolysis

Electrolysis has been around for over 130 years for hair removal but is fairly new to wart treatment but is proving high successful and illustrating excellent results. It is a very precise form of treatment not unlike Electrosurgery (curettage and cautery) but is gentler and less invasive. Treatment techniques depend upon the type of wart but with a common wart the tiny electrolysis needle (about the size of a eyelash) is used to cauterise the surface of the skin over the affected area. This is then inserted into the centre of the wart where a high frequency, radio frequency current is expelled. Following treatment the surface of the wart will scab over, which will, after a week or so, slough away leaving perfect skin behind. More than one treatment may be required with verrucas in particular being very resilient and definitely needing more than one treatment.

Other methods of treatment include:

Occlusion. By covering the wart 24 hours of the day may result in it clearing. Duct tape is often used.

Chemical treatment. Chemical treatment includes wart paints containing salicylic acid which remove the dead surface skin cells. Perseverance is essential as it can take 12 weeks to go or more likely to reduce in size.

Cryotherapy. The wart is repeatedly frozen with liquid nitrogen resulting in blistering, swelling and sometimes permanent white scarring following treatment.

Electrosurgery (curettage & cautery) is used for particularly large and annoying warts. Under local anaesthetic, the growth is pared away and the base burned by diathermy or cautery. The wound heals in about two weeks.

Other treatments. There are numerous treatments for warts and none offer a guarantee of cure. They include: Topical creams, oral medication, vaporisation, pulse dye laser destruction of feeding blood vessels and even duck tape and banana skin are home care options.

How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores Fast And Resume Your Daily Life

Suddenly you feel the tingling sensation at the edge of your lip. There is no doubt in your mind that a cold sore is coming. Although you can’t cure it at the moment or prevent it completely, but you can speed up the healing with the following remedies.

Peppermint Oil

Essential oils can help your cold sores to heal faster. One study shows that peppermint oil can eliminate herpes simplex virus outside the cells in 3 hours. In other words, essential oils are not effective if the virus is hiding in the nerve. To use peppermint oil, you need to dilute it with olive oil because at high concentration, it is toxic. Apply it when you notice the tingling sensation.

Lysine

Taking high dosages of lysine has been found to speed up healing of cold sores. It replaces arginine in the cells. Arginine is the fuel for herpes simplex virus. The lack of arginine in the cells forces the virus to retreat.

You can reduce the consumption of foods that contain arginine. These include grains, chocolate, nuts, and seeds.

If you don’t want to take lysine supplements, increase the intake of lysine rich foods such as meat and dairy products. Just make sure they provide between 3000 and 9000 milligrams of lysine daily.

Abreva

Abreva is FDA-approved over-the-counter cream. It contains docosanol or behenyl alcohol that can get rid of cold sores fast. For best results, you have to use it as soon as the first symptom appear. It requires up to 5 applications per day.

Compeed

One study compares the speed of healing between Compeed Cold Sore Patches and acyclovir 5% cream. The result is that Compeed has the similar quick healing abilities as acyclovir cream. According to consumers’ reviews, many find that their cold sores clear quickly after patching their sores with Compeed. Unlike topical creams, Compeed is not messy. It is transparent so you don’t even know the patch is there. It also prevents the virus from spreading. In addition, it is an ideal remedy for pregnant women who have concerns about prescriptions.

Manage Your Stress

When you are under stress, your immune system weakens. This does not help your body to recover quickly for the herpes outbreak. If you want the cold sores to go away faster, you have to reduce your stress. Take a stroll, or join yoga classes. Modify your hectic schedule to give you time to relax.

The problem I find with today’s cold sore remedies is the timing. Most treatments will work the best if you act the moment you spot the tingling sensation. If you fail to do so, it will take longer time for you to resume your daily activities. Although the above remedies can get rid of cold sores quickly but what if you have to attend a major meeting or event tomorrow?

Why Online IT Training Is Possible

If you understand the value of a good online courses for IT, you’ll realize there should be some good reasons why it is so very cheap. In fact, there are several.

The Information Technology by its very nature, are a perfect type of courses to take online. Training courses affordable online IT and they are accessible to help you use the technical means that you must learn about topics related to computer science.

Training schools affordable IT online save money in their administration to transmit to students. They can avoid responsibility for expenses associated with transportation to school., they can not charge the fee because these services are provided through technology rather than through a group of paid employees.

Because that schools affordable IT training online usually required to update the software, they have the ability to manage online tests from their own server. No supervisor is needed to control students when they take the tests, in addition, students should not go to the location of the school to take a test. For example, you may test your accounting courses by correspondence from your home, without worry about transport, traffic jams and arrive on time.

Training courses affordable online IT tend to stay away from being useless. There will not be too many courses of basic education in most IT degrees. You learn what to do for work. You can always take classes after school in your free time.

Very little hard materials and learning are required for most courses affordable online IT. Rather than sending several textbooks, a school of IT will focus on the information obtained via the Internet and other media related to technology. If you choose to take a correspondence course, you will not need to buy a large quantity of books, since everything will be sent either by mail or by Internet.

Instructors of online courses should be trained in using technology to teach. While other correspondence schools use instructors who are reluctant with technology instructors Information Technology are a poison in the water in this area. Affordable IT training online is possible because it is easier to find instructors who are better trained to teach courses using the tools of technology. If you opt for distance learning should be better than choosing an instructor expert in online teaching.

Training schools affordable IT Online is not only a possibility, they are a reality. If you want to work in the comfort of your own home, you can save costs and Additional mentions tuition. The nature of the industry makes training affordable IT well suited to offer affordable options. Do not be surprised, then, when you see examples of schools affordable IT training online.

By IRFAN MAN SURI

Metal Fabricators – A Boon to Metallurgy

Every now and then, we keep hearing of the term ‘steel metal fabrication’. But have you ever wondered what metal fabricators are used for? This article will give you a glimpse into the world of fabrication and how it is fast becoming the next big thing in metallurgy.

As the term suggests, fabrication means constructing metal structures with the aid of cutting, bending and assembling. The processes of shearing, sawing and chiseling are utilized for the cutting part. The bending of the metal is done by hammering or by using press brakes which can be done both manually and by using power. Last but not the least, the assembling process is conducted by welding, and then attaching them with adhesive, riveting or threaded fasteners.

The metals which are essentially required for steel fabrication are structural steel and sheet metal. Besides these, one also requires welding wires, flux and fasteners to attach the metal cut pieces. For the process of metal fabrication both human labor and automation is required. The final products are sold in shops which also specialize in metal stamping forging and casting.

Steel metal fabrication is used in various segments and we will explore various areas where it is extensively used. It is generally used in fabrication and machine shops which basically deal with metal assembly and preparation. In these shops, metals are dismantled and cut and they also deal with machines and tools. Black smiths also use the process of metal fabrication and so do welders to create weldments. Boiler makers and mill wrights who set up saw and grain mills extensively also extensively make use of metal fabricators. The steel erectors or iron workers use prefabricated segments in order to initiate the structural work and then they are transported to the work site by means of truck and rail where they are installed by the erectors.

The technique of metal fabrication involves changing metals from one form to another. There are various classes of the fabrication process including structural, architectural, ornamental, recreational and artistic. If you are interested in fabricating a metal you have to determine whether it contains iron or is ferrous or whether it is non-ferrous. You have to choose the appropriate welding instrument which will correspond to the metal which you are going to fabricate. Before beginning the work you have to prepare a well-laid plan which includes the details relating to rolling, bending and bolting metal pieces together to create a highly specialized structural piece of work.

Online Dating Should Be an Olympic Sport

The Olympic Games program consists of 26 sports, 30 disciplines and nearly 300 events. It is a global event with monumental interest and cultural significance in our world. As such, I would like to formally submit Online Dating/Dating to the International Olympic Committee for consideration of inclusion as an Olympic sport for the 2012 or 2016 games.

Think this is just another boneheaded idea from your friends in the online dating world? Consider this:

Olympic sports are governed by International Sports Federations (IFs) who are in turn recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the global supervisors of their respective sports. In layman terms, that means the big dog IOC lets the little dog IFs manage everything on a local level. Well, such a little dog already exists in the online dating world in the form of reputable online dating websites. That is right, there are some reputable dating websites that are good enough to be called established “Federations.” These websites can be the global governing body of online dating! That was the first step. Now to convince the IOC that online dating is a sport.

In terms of Olympic competition, think about it we could classify the online dating world into men, and women, then break it down further into specific weight classes, or even personality types within those weight classes. These men and women would then compete with one another physically (through flirting), intellectually (through questioning) and visually (physical appearance). It is the perfect blend of a sport. The winning Gold medalist will have to spend years in the gym training to be physically sound, spend years in school or the library “learning” to become smart, and behind all the muscles and misogynistic intellect, still be graceful in delivery and presence. The winner of the online dating would be perfect athlete, the Opus Olympian.

Not convinced it would work? Maybe your mind will change after reading this:

In October 2004, the IOC established an Olympic Programme Commission who’s job was to review all existing sports, and other non-recognised Olympic sports. In this review the goal was to apply a systematic and category approach to each sport and evaluate whether or not it met the criteria for inclusion in the Olympic games as a recognised Olympic sport. This Commission came up with seven criteria to judge whether a sport should be included or not.

1) History and tradition of the Sport

2) Universality

3) Popularity of the sport

4) Image

5) Athletes’ health

6) Development of the International Federation that governs the sport

7) Costs associated of hosting/playing the sport

The above seven criteria my friends is what a sport or discipline has to meet in order to be considered for inclusion at the Olympic Games. Period.

Does Online dating meet these 7 criteria? Lets find out:

1) History and Tradition – Check! Dating is the oldest tradition on the planet that was around before any of today’s current Olympic sports.

2) Universality – Check! I’m pretty sure dating and the sport of interpersonal communication and sparing has universal appeal. I mean, we do it every day!

3) Popularity of the sport – Check! I’d say Dating was pretty popular. Wouldn’t you? Everybody does it. Even animals. I don’t see penguins playing Soccer or Baseball, but I do see them date.

4) Image – Check! Dating is all about attraction and reflecting a positive and beautiful self image. Those who partake in the sport of dating exude the highest standard of image compared to any sport image or sport athlete! Who likes to date an unbathed, rude, and dirty human being? Puhleeze.

5) Athletes Health – Check! Dating athletes date, and date often. As such, they take their own personal health very seriously. Education about Sexually Transmitted Disease start at a young age, and practicing safe sex to maintain good sexual health is part of the every day routine for those who date.

6) Development for International Federation that governs the sport: Check! The International Federation for Online Dating, a reputable dating website, would very much benefit from online dating being included in the Olympic games.

7) Low cost of holding the sport: Check! How much does it cost to look at the person next to you and start a conversation?

In conclusion, Online Dating meets all the criteria for inclusion as an Olympic sport, in many ways better than existing Olympic sports. Consider Curling – Who is that helping? How about Fencing? Serious people… how on earth is swatting somebody with a piece of wire going to benefit people or project a good self image? Give me a break.

So without further adieu, I would like to formally submit online dating to the International Olympic Committee for consideration and recognition as a recognised Olympic Sport in the year 2012 or 2016…or even 2020. I’m not picky.

Thank you very much.

Pyramidal Work Out

Day 2

Shoulder press (machine)

Lateral raises (machine)

Posterior deltoid (machine)

Bicep flat head curl (machine)

Preacher bicep curl (machine)

Day 3

Leg extension (machine)

Seated leg curl (machine)

Incline leg press,

Calf extension (standing-body weight)

Seated calf raises (machine).

Serious exercise” starts with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down. The first step in helping students and clients to include warm-ups and cool-downs in their workouts is educating them about the benefits:

Warming up raises the temperature of the body. For each degree of temperature elevation, the metabolic rate of the cells increases by about 13 percent.

The blood supply to the muscles increases, permitting a greater release of oxygen to feed them.

The speed and force of muscle contractions improve, along with a faster nerve impulse transmission.

Warming up helps prevent injuries. Muscle elasticity and the flexibility of the tendons and ligaments are increased. Synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, is released during easy activity.

Heart function is improved and ready for the increased demand of intense exercise.

The starting point in achieving good physical fitness is nutrition because better eating habits can be conveniently established at any time. It is also important because, if you want to exercise, what you eat affects your energy level during your workout. Maintaining a healthy diet can be easy as long as you remember one key word: balance. It’s okay to drink your daily mug of coffee as long as you limit yourself to one or two cups a day and allow your body to rehydrate with plenty of water. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means substances in caffeine draw water out of your body. The same is true for alcohol. If you consume either alcohol or caffeine, moderation should be a consistent way of life.

Alfredo Zapata

Fitness Expert

www.cuttingedgefit.com

310-701-2957

Tips for Success During College

1. Taking a year off before starting college usually does not work; “find yourself” during the Summer after you graduate from high school. The best time to start and complete college is between the ages of 18 and 22. It is more difficult to start and complete college after these ages, because your responsibilities increase as you become older

2. Understand the number of classes and credits that you will need to graduate, and spread them over the number of semesters it will take for you to graduate; typically 8 semesters over 4 years. Note, some colleges refer to “units” and “semester hours”, instead of “classes” and “credits”. If you take classes during the Summer, you can lighten your load during the school year or graduate early. Note also, an increasing number of students are completing college over 5 years, instead of the customary 4 years.

3. Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your classes.

4. When choosing classes, take one tough class, two moderate classes, and one easy class; do not bury yourself by taking all difficult classes in a semester.

5. Spread your classes over at least 4 days per week. This will typically spread out your final exams. You want to avoid having to take multiple final exams on a given day.

6. Ask other students about their experiences with professors, and keep a list of the good and bad professors. Professors are also rated on the internet. Avoid the bad professors.

7. When scheduling classes, be cognizant of the location of such classes. You do not want to have to hurry between classes to avoid being late.

8. Get your books ahead of time whenever possible.

9. At the beginning of each semester, schedule all projects and exams; stay organized throughout each semester; utilize a written or electronic planner.

10. Turn your phone off while attending class, and while studying.

11. Spread your homework over seven days. Do not fall behind with your homework.

12. Review your class notes every evening, and add to them when necessary.

13. Before submitting papers, use the spell check on your computer and fully justify your papers.

14. Professors typically make themselves available during office hours, do not be scared to ask for help.

15. Do not skip classes; the professors usually emphasize the material that will be on the exams.

16. Some professors make available old exams at the library, or online; look at them when available.

17. When studying for an exam, study the material that you do not know, instead of the material that you do know. Do not always review the material from the oldest chapter to the newest chapter. Once in a while, start with the newest chapter and work backwards.

18. Two weeks prior to your final exams, your entire focus should be on completing your final papers and studying for such exams.

19. Prior to starting your first answer on any exam, quickly scan the entire exam so you can allocate your time between questions.

20. If you finish an exam early, take the time to check your answers before turning the exam in.

21. When it comes to choosing a major, pick something that you enjoy, something that interests you, and something that will allow you to make a living after college.

22. After you choose a major, be aware that higher level courses are not offered every semester. As a result, plan your schedule of classes accordingly, so that you do not have to attend an extra semester or two to complete your coursework.

23. Look for Summer internships to gain experience in your chosen field, and to prepare you for a career after graduation.

24. Treat college like a full-time job; you will need to commit a substantial portion of each day to attending classes and studying.

25. Keep a list of those professors who show an interest in your performance, and who you believe will be willing to provide you with a recommendation for graduate school or when applying for a job.

26. Begin your post-graduate work as soon as possible after graduating from college.

27. If you need to borrow money to go away to school, only borrow what you need. Alternatively, consider attending a community college for the first two years to reduce your outstanding student loans when you are finished.

28. Do not use your student loans to pay for Spring Break or other vacations; you will regret it later.

29. Alternatively, attending a four year college that you can commute to is also a viable option, which will also help you save for graduate school or life after college.

30. If you need to work part-time while attending college, accumulate your work hours over a couple of days if possible. This will reduce the downtime that is involved in preparing for, and traveling to and from, work.

31. If your parents are paying for your tuition, room and board, and meals, thank them repeatedly; they are making sacrifices for your benefit.

32. If you are leasing an apartment or house, read the lease closely before signing it. Immediately upon moving in, inspect the apartment or house thoroughly and submit a dated list of damages and repairs needed for the apartment or house. If possible, it would also be beneficial to take date-stamped photos or videos upon moving in, and after moving out, of the apartment or house. College town landlords are notorious for excessive repair costs and refusing to refund security deposits.

33. When moving out of your apartment or house, make sure to transfer the utility bills out of your name. Do not rely on roommates who may be staying in the apartment or house for an additional period of time. If these utility bills remain unpaid and end up in collection, they will damage your credit score for years.

34. If you live off campus, consider purchasing a meal plan so that you can eat at a nearby dorm between classes, so as to avoid the hassle of returning home for lunch.

35. Stay in touch with your parents and siblings. This will keep you grounded and you will feel more secure.

36. Ask your parents to keep your bedroom intact, so you have something to come home to, and feel comfortable in, when times get tough, when you become homesick, when you are home for the Summer and holidays, or when you just want to visit.

37. Get your rest. Treat college like a marathon, and not like a 100 yard dash.

38. Take a shower every day and wash your clothes regularly; it will cause you to be more desirable and efficient.

39. Learn to manage your time.

40. Limit the tattoos, body piercing, and gauging. If you do not limit the same, you will regret it when you get older.

41. Do not party like it is the last day of your life; everything in moderation, which includes Spring Break.

42. When you do party, do not get wasted; nothing good comes out of it.

43. Inevitably, the police will show up at a party that you are attending; show them respect and behave yourself in their presence.

44. Do not drink and drive. Note, being ticketed as a minor in possession can also be detrimental to your career.

45. Walk away from conflict. There is no need to get into a brawl over anything.

46. Avoid being involved in hazing. If you do get involved in hazing, use your common sense; make sure the person being hazed is not physically at risk.

47. If you become sexually active, practice safe sex and birth control. Remember, some sexually transmitted diseases last forever; and “no!” means “no!”.

48. Be a leader, not a follower.

49. There is no substitute for dedication and hard work; your effort should be 100% at all times.

50. To be successful, you need to grab the bull by the horns, stick your foot halfway up its rear, and try to control it.

51. Success during college, and obtaining a college degree, is your ticket to a better life. Do not waste the opportunity.