Why Team Building Is Vital to Your Success

Great teamwork is one of the most important keys to your company’s success. The more harmoniously people work together, the better it is for your company. Teamwork is the way that things get done these days – and if you don’t have a cohesive team, you’re seriously handicapping your company out in the marketplace. According to Wikipedia, team building is necessary for success because it’s unnatural for people to come together in a new group and immediately begin to get along. One of the best team building activities is going to escape rooms. Throughout history, building a team has been the function of shared experiences and history. When that experience and history is lacking, it’s difficult for a group to share a common vision and goal, or to function together in a way that promotes the best qualities of each team participant. In other words – to function as a team.

Getting your employees to stop thinking of each other as competitors and start working as a team isn’t quite as easy as it sounds, but it is vital if you want to be a powerful force in your business. Among the advantages of team building are the following:

1. Teams are more successful in implementing complex plans and strategies. Because you can split the work into responsibility areas, a team can tackle more complex projects more efficiently than a group of individuals.

2. Teams come up with more creative solutions because they can network and brainstorm. When team members bounce ideas off of each other, they arrive at solutions that none would have evolved alone. As teams continue to work together, many of them find that their individual work benefits from their new ability to see things from other perspectives.

3. Teams build commitment to ideas and plans because they have ownership of the idea. When a team is involved in a project from the start, they are more likely to be committed to the ideals it represents.

4. Teams are more enduring than reliance on individuals. If you have one person who is responsible for a project, the loss of that person can cripple the project. When you rely on a team, the loss of one individual may be difficult, but the work of the team will continue.

5. Team building activities motivate your employees to deliver their very best effort on behalf of the team.


All-seeing Eye: The History Of Video Surveillance

There are eyes everywhere, and they do not belong to humans. In today’s fast-paced modern world, video surveillance has become as essential to society as security guards and gateways. Mention video surveillance and the average Joe will instantly associate the term with video cameras mounted in banks and department stores or videotapes of an erring spouse marked as Exhibit A in a messy divorce proceeding. Especially with facial recognition available today.

The history of video surveillance is as complex as the system behind it. In fact, it goes back much farther in time than most of us realize. Press reports indicate that as early as 1965, United States police have been using video surveillance in public places. By 1969, police cameras had been mounted in strategic areas of the New York City Municipal Building. This set a strong precedent, and it was not long before the practice spread to other cities and police officers kept close watch on key areas, with the use of CCTV, or closed circuit television, systems.

Analog Beginnings
Video cassette tapes are largely responsible for popularizing video surveillance. The analog technology used in video cassette recording gave decision-makers a ground-breaking insight: it is possible to preserve evidence on tape.

In 1975, England installed video surveillance systems in four of its major underground train stations. At the same time, they also started monitoring traffic flow on major highways. The United States followed suit during the 1980s, and though it had not been as quick as England in utilizing video surveillance, it made up for lost time by widely instituting video surveillance systems in public areas.

Digital Multiplexing and Subsequent Developments
One drawback to analog technology was that users had to change the tapes daily. This was remedied in the 1990s, with the introduction of digital multiplexing. Digital multiplexer units had features like time-lapse and motion-only recording, which saved a great deal of tape space. Additionally, it enabled simultaneous recordings on several cameras.

The next advancement, digitalization, featured compression capability and low cost, thereby allowing users to record a month’s worth of surveillance videos on hard drive. Additionally, digitally recorded images are clearer and allowed manipulation of images to improve clarity.

9/11 and the Internet
The events of September 11, 2001 changed the public’s perception of video surveillance. Software developers created programs that enhance video surveillance. Facial recognition programs is one of these programs. Using key facial feature points, recorded faces are compared to photographs of terrorists and criminals.

In May 2002, facial recognition software was installed on the computer video surveillance cameras at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. That same year, SmartGate was installed at the Sydney International Airport in Australia. SmartGate is an automated border crossing system for airline crew members. The system scans crew members’ faces, compares these to passport photos, and confirms identity in less than ten seconds.

In December 2003, the Royal Palm Middle School in Phoenix, Arizona installed face recognition video surveillance. This is a pilot program for registering sex offenders and tracking missing children.

To all these developments, the Internet is the cherry on top. It revolutionized video surveillance by removing all impediments for viewing and monitoring anywhere in the world.

Clearly, humankind has created better and more refined means for video surveillance. Smaller, sleeker, and more powerful video surveillance systems come out in the market nearly every month. Satellites bounce signals around the world. There are, indeed, eyes everywhere, and several of them are in the sky.

Someone is always watching.

CCTV Video Equipment Surveillance

When you find yourself in need of a reliable, compact, affordable and dependable surveillance system, a DVR surveillance security system should be at the top of your list of products to check out. This type of surveillance equipment is easy to operate, simple to install, and can be utilized for a variety of purposes. Most of these systems are also economically priced.

IntelliVision’s Face Recognizer™ product is a highly accurate, deep learning-based facial recognition solution that uses a stored database of faces to detect, recognize and record people’s faces that appear in a camera’s field of view.

Many of the DVR surveillance security systems on the market today offer many of the same universal features. Some of these systems offer units that can be placed on the dashboard of a vehicle for monitoring outdoor events, placed in your pocket for easy portability, and units that can also be used in homes as well as offices.

If you have hired help who are in your home when you are not, and suspect that something is just not right, or just need piece of mind, you will want to find a DVR surveillance security system that features wide angle views, covert pinhole lenses for the camera unit, a motion detection sensitivity mode, a time and date stamp as well as a searchable play-back mode.

Some DVR surveillance security systems available today even feature television playback so there is no need for software or transferring the information recorded to a VCR tape in order to be viewed. Most units operate on batteries, but it is important to remember that an A/C adapter will come in handy. Make sure that this common accessory is included with the system that you decide to purchase. A DVR surveillance security system that is to be used in the home or office with the aforementioned features will cost approximately a few hundred dollars.

There are also professional DVR surveillance security systems that are used by corporations, large companies, and places where large masses of people gather such as shopping malls, hospitals, and government buildings. Systems such as these feature advanced software, central station managers, numerous channel sensor inputs, as well as multiple video capabilities.

Smaller DVR surveillance security systems, like those used for the home, can be purchased at any major electronics retailer, and at finer camera shops specializing in security recording equipment. The larger systems utilized by corporations can be purchased through professional security companies dealing in recording equipment, and cost thousands of dollars.

The World Wide Web offers those looking for either type of DVR surveillance security system many options. There are a variety of online vendors, many of whom offer special pricing, from which a security system can be purchased.

No matter what your surveillance security needs are, you can rest assured that there is a DVR surveillance security system that will be just what you are looking for.

Getting the Best Price for Your Home Includes Landscaping for Curb Appeal

If you own a home, then sooner or later you are going to be ready to sell that home. Maybe you’ve already sold a home or two. People tend to move more often than our parents did.

There are a lot of things that go into getting the best possible price for your home, but the very first thing your home needs is curb appeal. When a prospective buyer, or a realtor for that matter, pulls up in front of your home, they immediately form an opinion about your house. Fair or not, that’s what people do. You can have the most beautiful home in the city, but if prospective buyers don’t get a super positive feeling about your house the minute they lay eyes on it, they are going to enter and view the rest of your house with a negative impression.

Fixing that problem is easy enough to do.

When people pull up in front of your house there are two things they see. A house, and the landscaping in front of that house. If the landscaping in Charlotte, NC is unattractive, the house will appear to be unattractive. Landscaping for curb appeal does not cost a lot of money, it’s simply a matter of making sure the landscaping is neat, with well defined edges, and colorful. But when landscaping for curb appeal, the most important thing you need to do is to raise the beds with topsoil. Of course you have to do this before you plant.

Plants do much better in raised beds, and the plants in the beds really stand out. In order to raise the beds around your house you do not have to buy expensive stones and build retaining walls. Just establish the outline of the planting beds, cut an edge into the soil with a spade, and fill the planting beds with approximately ten inches of good rich topsoil. You’d be amazed at how much you can raise a planting bed without any type of retention.

Here are two more things you don’t need:

Plastic edging. It’s expensive, a lot of work to install, and it never stays in place. You can cut an edge with a spade and your landscape will actually look better. Then you can make the bed a little larger any time you need to.

The other thing you definitely do not need is weed control fabric. The stuff just doesn’t work. The weeds grow right on top of the fabric, then root through the fabric making it even harder to keep your beds weed free. You’ll find a really good article on weed control on my website.

When landscaping for curb appeal, plant placement and selection is very important. In a corner bed you need a centerpiece. I like Canadian Hemlock because they are evergreen and provide an excellent background for more colorful plants. In front of the Hemlock you can use a bright colored evergreen like Gold Thread Cypress, but don’t use too many. Usually three is all you want. Around the backside of the same bed you can use a darker evergreen like Taxus or even a flowering shrub that you keep trimmed down low like Weigela. Lots of colors are fine, but don’t stagger the colored plants in your landscape, use them in groupings, and be careful not to use too many in any one grouping. When you use more than three of any colored plant they lose their effectiveness. You are adding them for contrast, and when used sparingly they look much better.

There are lots of landscaping photos on my website that will give you a lot of good ideas.

In front of a house I like to use an arc of medium height plants like Blue Girl Holly, then put a couple of taller plants behind the arc. When landscaping for curb appeal you want the landscape to stair step toward the house. In other words, the lawn is the bottom step, the raised bed is step two, low growing plants step three and so on.

If you are re-landscaping an older home you probably should start with a sledge hammer before you do anything else and bust out the sidewalk to the front door. Builders put in the ugliest sidewalks in the world, and they usually are hard to maneuver as you walk toward the front door. Once you have the old sidewalk removed, let your imagination run wild. Remember, you are landscaping for curb appeal, and there is no better way to establish ultimate curb appeal than with a beautiful curved walk that gently winds its way to the front door. Once again, there are photos of such sidewalks on my website, and you’ll see what wonderful landscaping opportunities they present.

The last step in landscaping for curb appeal is to create an interesting shaped raised bed in the front yard. Fill this bed with spring flowering bulbs, and annual flowers for the summer. If your house is going to be on the market in the fall, add some chrysanthemums for a burst of fall color.

So what’s the best benefit of landscaping for curb appeal? You’ll gain great experience so you can make sure your new home is landscaped just the way you want it!

How hemp seed oil can help your arthritis

There is a huge problem that exists today with the enormous number of people suffering from arthritis in its many forms. It is said that well over half the population of this country who are over 60 suffer from either osteo or rheumatoid arthritis.

What both forms of the disease actually are I will not go into here, as it is a long and complex subject. But, arthritis is a form of inflammation which mainstream medicine appears unable to address.

Both are caused by what I call “bone and cartilage gravel”, the bits of bone and cartilage which are left in the joints after the body has started to degenerate, rubbing in the joints each time it moves. This “gravel” rubs on the nerve ends, causing pain, whilst at the same time creating more damage as the “gravel” continues to rub away more of the bone and cartilage. In other words, a vicious circle that modern medicine cannot resolve.

But there are ways in the alternative remedy field that may, and I know of many cases that have, been able to break this circle.

I recommend that you buy CBD oil, or the liquid neat, which is quite tasty, and can be taken off a spoon, should be considered long term. Hemp Oil comes from hemp seed: THE MOST NUTRITIONALLY COMPLETE FOOD SOURCE IN THE WORLD.

Taking a quality Hemp Oil is just the same for your body as putting oil in your car’s engine. It lubricates the system. Hemp is unique with an almost perfectly balanced profile of Omega 3, 6 & 9 to match the body’s requirements.

Uniquely among common seed oil, it also contains GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid) and even more uniquely, raises circulating GLA.

GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid) research around the world has shown that hemp oil (as can all essential fatty acids) boosts the body’s natural ability to heal and also boosts our immune systems. The Essential Fatty Acids in hemp are renowned for their ability to improve cell growth and organ function, vitality and mental state.

Extensive studies have shown that many common illnesses (such as Eczema, Arthritis and many other problems) are related to deficiencies or imbalances of specific fatty acids, and in particular, Omega 3, 6 & 9. Seeds of the plant cannabis sativa, hemp seed (not the drug plant!) contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. No other single plant source has the essential amino acids in such an easily digestible form, nor has the essential fatty acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human nutritional needs.

Its distinctive nutty flavour makes it ideal for use in salad dressings, dips etc., as an accompaniment to all vegetables, or taken straight, as a nutritional supplement.

Hemp Oil is suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.

Protect Your Health With Motorcycle Rain Gear

Imagine for a moment, that you are flying along a road out on your yearly motorcycle road trip. You have 250 miles to go before you stop for the night, and you see a thunderstorm rolling in. As it looms closer you begin to wonder what to do. A contributing factor in all of this is that you forgot to pack your rain gear. Should you pull over and wait out the storm? Or ride on through to your next stop, and tough it out. You decide to for the latter, and end up spending the rest of your trip miserable, because you have gotten a cold mixed with a sinus infection. If only you had packed your motorcycle rain gear. Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorney

The miracles of modern textiles could have saved you the trouble and hassle of a cold. Quality motorcycle rain suits are made from an advanced waterproof technology, 600 Denier nylon. They will have several pockets with full enclosed flaps and Velcro, and even an inner pocket to keep your wallet nice and dry.

With numerous styles and colors to choose from, you can find one that matches your tastes, and still have a comfortable fit. You can purchase a rain suit in either a one piece style or two piece style. The legs should have Velcro and zippers to accommodate the wearing of boots, and the sleeves should have Velcro and zippers as well to help facilitate the wearing of a leather jacket. There should also be a durable heat resistant inner leg lining to protect the rain suit from becoming melted due to high engine and exhaust temperatures. Finding a motorcycle rain suit that has reflective material is also important. This helps to ensure that other drivers see you in bad weather.

When riding in the rain remember to take it slower than normal. Try to keep the turns to a minimum, as you only have two wheels touching the ground, and a condition called hydroplaning can occur very much easier than in a passenger vehicle. Hydroplaning occurs when the water underneath a tire causes the tire to actually float on the water, causing the tire to loose traction and stability. Be sure to observe the amount of rain on the road, as even a couple of inches of rain can cause hydroplaning.

Finally when you arrive at your destination, be sure to treat all of your leather products with a good polish and leather preserver like, Skidmore’s Biker Motorcycle Edition Leather Cream that helps preserve and restore a soft durable quality to the leather. The best time to do this actually is after every rainy ride, or at least once a month.

Whatever the weather that you are riding in, always be sure to stay safe, and have fun. The art of motorcycle riding can be dangerous, but you can help keep it safe if you follow the rules of the road. Be sure to help out your fellow bikers, and always wear head protection.

Bankruptcy-Chapter 13 Or Chapter 7?

The main purpose of bankruptcy laws is to give people hopelessly overburdened with debt a financial fresh start. Bankruptcy filings are public records. However, under normal circumstances, no one will know about the bankruptcy. Credit Bureaus will maintain a record of the bankruptcy and it will remain on the credit record for 10 years.

The most common reasons for bankruptcy filings are unemployment, large medical expenses; seriously overextended credit; marital problems, and other large unexpected expenses.

There are two ways a debtor can go bankrupt. The first and most common way is for an individual to file a voluntary petition asking the Court to allow bankruptcy. The second, and rarely used way, is for creditors to ask the Court to make an Order that a person is bankrupt. In this way, a creditor can gain payment, at least in part, for debts a debtor is refusing to pay. In both these cases a Bankruptcy Trustee is required to administer the bankruptcy.

There are two different types of legal bankruptcy proceedings.

Chapter 7, also called a straight bankruptcy, is a liquidation proceeding. The debtor gives all non-exempt property to a bankruptcy trustee who then converts it to cash for distribution to creditors. The debtor is freed from all dischargeable debts, usually within 4 months. Chapter 7 is filed in cases where the debtor has few assets to lose, so this option gives a relatively quick release from debts. A debtor can file Chapter 7 again if more than 8 years have passed since discharge of a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a reorganization bankruptcy. It is filed by individuals who wish to pay off their debts in 3 to 5 years. This type of proceeding is suited for individuals with non-exempt property they wish to keep. It is only an option for individuals who have predictable income and whose income is sufficient to pay their reasonable expenses with some amount left over to pay off their debts.

Under the new Bankruptcy Law which took effect on October 17, 2005, individuals who can afford to make some repayment of their debts must file Chapter 13. Only debtors who meet strict financial requirements are allowed to erase their debts completely through Chapter 7. Debtors must take an approved Financial Counseling Course within 6 months of filing. Then, their income is assessed according to the formula (monthly income-expenses) X 60. If the result is $6,000 or less, and unsecured debts are less than 25%, Chapter 7 is allowed. If income is greater than $10,000 or unsecured debts are greater than 25%, the debtor must file Chapter 13.

Once bankruptcy is filed, creditors are forbidden from harassing the debtor. By law, creditors cannot initiate or continue any lawsuits, wage garnishees, or even make telephone calls demanding payments. Secured creditors such as banks holding, for example, a lien on a car, will get the stay lifted if the debtor cannot make payments.

Spouses are legally unaffected by a debtor’s bankruptcy if they are not responsible (did not sign an agreement or contract) for any of the debt. If they have a supplemental credit card they are probably responsible for that debt. However, in community property states, either spouse can contract for a debt without the other spouse’s signature on anything, and the spouse will still be obligated to pay. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as the purchase or sale of real estate; those few exceptions do require the signature of both spouses on the contract for both to be liable. But mundane purchases, such as credit cards, do not require both spouses to have signed. Community property states are: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Declaring bankruptcy does not mean that an individual’s subsequent access to credit is cut off. Whether a debtor is allowed to keep credit cards after filing bankruptcy is up to the credit card company. If the bankruptcy involves discharging a credit card, the card company will cancel the card unless the debtor reaffirms the debt. Even if the card has a zero balance the credit card company might still cancel the card.

A number of banks now offer “secured”credit cards, for which the debtor puts up a certain amount of money (as little as $200) in an account at the bank to guarantee payment. Initially the credit limit is equal to the security given and is increased as the debtor demonstrates ability to pay the debt.

Two years after a bankruptcy discharge, debtors are eligible for mortgage loans on par with applicants of the same financial profile who have not filed bankruptcy. Income stability and the size of the down payment are seen as more relevant than a past bankruptcy filing. Though bankruptcy stays on a credit report for 10 years, it becomes less significant as time passes. People who have filed for bankruptcy are often better credit risks than people who have not, and are struggling to pay multiple accumulated debts.

Debtors filing for bankruptcy are allowed to keep certain assets. The exemption for a homestead is limited to $125,000 if the property was acquired within the previous 1215 days (3.3 years). The cap is not applicable to any interest transferred from a debtor’s previous principal residence which was acquired prior to the beginning of the 1215-day period. The value of the state homestead exemption is reduced by any addition to the value brought about on account of a sale of nonexempt property made by the debtor with the intent to evade or defraud creditors during the 10 years before the bankruptcy filing.

An absolute $125,000 homestead cap applies if either the court determines that the debtor has been convicted of a felony demonstrating that the filing of the case was an abuse of the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, or the debtor owes money due to criminal acts. This limitation is not applied if the homestead property is “reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor.”

Some laws relating to bankruptcy vary from state to state. Legal residency is determined by which state the debtor lived in the 730 days (2 years) before filing; or if the debtor did not live in a single state in the previous 2 years, the state of residence where the debtor spent the majority of the 180 period preceding the 2 years. If this leaves the debtor ineligible for any exemptions then the debtor is allowed use federal exemption laws.

In some cases of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, tax debts are also wiped out, but only if stringent conditions are met: the IRS does not have a tax lien against the debtor’s property; no fraudulent tax returns have been filed; tax liability is due for a tax return filed at least 2 years before the bankruptcy filing; the tax return was due at least 3 years ago, and the taxes were assessed at least 8 months before filing for bankruptcy.

Student loans from government and private organizations are usually not wiped out, unless repayment would cause undue hardship to the debtor.

All non-exempt property, such as real estate, cars and motorcycles will then be liquidated by the trustee.

There is no legal requirement to use a lawyer to file for bankruptcy, and debtors can do so themselves for about $300; however, it is strongly advised the use the services of a specialized bankruptcy lawyer as bankruptcy law is complex. A bankruptcy lawyer is well worth the cost, which is usually only $1,600 to $2,000. Debtors will recoup the legal fees many times over through peace of mind and avoidance of stress in addition to actual money saved by following the bankruptcy attorney’s advice.