Virtual Reality in Medicine – Many Evolving Uses and Advantages

Virtual reality techniques, involving three-dimensional imaging and surround sound, are increasingly being used in diagnosis, treatment, and medical education. Initial applications of virtual reality in medicine involved visualization of the complex data sets generated by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. A recent application of these techniques for diagnostic purposes has been the “virtual colonoscopy,” in which data from a contrast-enhanced abdominal CT scan is used to make a ”  fly-through ” of the colon. Radiologists then use this  fly-through  for colon cancer screening. Recent improvements in methodology have brought the sensitivity and specificity of this technique closer to the levels of optical colonoscopy, and patients prefer the technique to the traditional method.

Virtual reality has also been used extensively to treat phobias (such as a fear of heights,  flying  and spiders) and post-traumatic stress disorder. This type of therapy has been shown to be effective in the academic setting, and several commercial entities now offer it to patients. In one of my projects using the multi-user virtual reality environment offered by Second Life, one of several easily available online virtual reality environments, we have used a virtual psychosis environment to teach medical students about the auditory and visual hallucinations suffered by patients with schizophrenia.

Virtual reality has been used to provide medical education about healthcare responses to emergencies such as earthquakes, plane crashes and fires. While the primary advantage in phobia treatment is a “safe environment” which patients can explore, the primary advantage in emergency preparedness is simulation of events that are either too rare or too dangerous for effective real-world training. The immersive nature of the virtual reality experience helps to recreate the sense of urgency or panic associated with these events.

Virtual reality programs have also been used for a variety of medical emergency, mass casualty, and disaster response training sessions for medical and public health professionals. One study developed a protocol for training physicians to treat victims of chemical-origin mass casualties as well as victims of biological agents using simulated patients.

Although it was found that using standardized patients for such training was more realistic, the computer-based simulations afforded a number of advantages over the live training. These included increased cost effectiveness, the opportunity to conduct the same training sessions over and over to improve skills, and the ability to use “just-in-time” learning techniques and experience the training session at any time and location, while adjusting the type and level of expertise required to use the training for various emergency response professionals. Others have explored the potential for training emergency responders for major health emergencies using virtual reality. Their objective was to increase exposure to life-like emergency situations to improve decision-making and performance and reduce psychological distress in a real health emergency.

Experience with recent natural disasters and terrorist acts has shown that good communication and coordination between responders is vital to an effective response. In my work using Second Life to develop a virtual mass disaster emergency clinic to hand out antibiotics to the population following a massive anthrax bioterrorism attack, we have found a number of important advantages of the virtual world, over the real world, for training first responders.

Responders to such events come from many different organizations, including fire, police, military, and hospital personnel. There are three major difficulties in training and evaluating these first responders in the real world:

1. They have little or no chance to train together before the event occurs and hence lack teamwork skills.

2. What training they may have had comes at great cost, in large part due to the effort and need to transport so many people to a specific training site at a specific time.

3. The training sites frequently cannot be the most common targets – for example, one cannot shut down the Golden Gate Bridge during rush hour to train for an earthquake or terror scenario.

Virtual reality offers some intriguing advantages over the real world for these aspects of first responder training, as all of the above difficulties can be overcome. Virtual reality systems can support multiple simultaneous users, each connecting to the system using standard office personal computers and broadband Internet access. Lifelike models of buildings, roads, bridges, and other natural and man-made structures where the users can interact can be constructed.

Finally, the whole scenario can be digitally preserved and a full workflow analysis can be performed retrospectively. Public health officials and first-responders can work through the scenarios as many times as they like to familiarize themselves with the workflow and emergency protocols, without encumbering the time and expense of organizing a mock emergency in real life.

Virtual Reality treatments are rapidly becoming more available. They are currently being used to treat post-traumatic stress disorders caused by wartime experiences, and US servicemen are now increasingly being offered such programs. Rather than the traditional method of confronting old nightmares, online technology is able to deliver treatment in a far more therapeutic and humane way. Patients are “transported” to the battlefront and fears and traumas are resolved in virtual place and real time. Virtual Reality is here to stay, and will increasingly be used widely in a number of areas of healthcare.

Source by Peter Yellowlees

Scalp Infections – Symptoms, Causes & Natural Options For Fast Relief & Treatment

There are many definitions and symptoms commonly described as “scalp infections”. There are in fact quite a few quite different reasons why your scalp may be sore, itchy, inflamed burning red or infected. If you are like many people with chronic scalp issues – it may be driving you completely up the wall and not knowing what it is or how to treat the problem effectively after many unsuccessful attempts to eliminate it can make it seem far worse – like you are never going to get to the bottom of the problem. Well that need no longer be so! It can be simple to diagnose and treat it now and for good.

So if you are dealing with any of these symptoms lets first identify the problem and then some of the underlying causes.

Firstly, if you want to get to the root of your problems, so to speak, you need to be able to identify what your problem actually is. Of course, many scalp infections & conditions look alike, so here is a brief description of some of the most common scalp conditions:

  • Red Burning Itchy Scalp
  • Dandruff
  • Ringworm
  • Dry Scalp
  • Scalp Dermatitis
  • Eczema of the Scalp
  • Scalp Psoriasis
  • Folliculitis
  • Stress Related Itching
  • Red burning itchy scalp can be characterized as any tingling,burning, prickly, and sensitive to the touch or a fiery hot sensation. Often associated with an allergy, sunburn, chemical burn (sensitization of the scalp),or fungal infection.

    Dandruff as most of us know is the process of continual shedding of skin cells on our scalps. Often the cause of dandruff is simply the result of toxins, pollutants and products that have built up on the scalp particularly products like silicone- a cheap commonly used artificial shine enhancer in conditioners sold in supermarkets.

    When the natural balance of our scalps is disturbed, this creates the perfect environment for the yeast fungus Melassezia Globbosa to move in and thrive. This is when the natural process of shedding our cells gets a little out of hand resulting in an unsightly condition known as “Seborrhoeic Dermatitis” (fancy name for dandruff) and we see the highly visible tell-tale signs of flaking and crusting.

    The accompanying itch and urge to scratch are often made worse by the multiplication of the fungal yeast pityrosporum-ovale (having one big party on your scalp). Another follow on effect of this is that the relentless scratching by the sufferer can cause small lesions which weep and ooze or become infected resulting in scalp infections.

    Lumps bumps and sores are also common when the scalp is highly irritated or sensitivity has been aggravated. Candida can be an underlying cause of yeast infections of the scalp.

    Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitols) is a superficial fungal infection of the scalp. Scalp ringworm is caused by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. Ringworm infection occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies anywhere on your skin, scalp, or nails. It is far more common in children and symptoms include red, itchy patches on the scalp, leaving bald areas. The skin might itch and be red and peel or be scaly, have swollen blisters or a rash (that can spread) and looks like black dots. The rash is highly contagious. It is normally treated with over the counter products containing miconazole, clotrimazole, or similar. Sometimes prescription anti fungal skin medications, such as ketoconazole are needed to clear it up. There are also products direct from nature’s factories that can aid the healing process and act as natural antibiotics, although it must be said that ringworm is an aggressive fungus which needs to be monitored closely and treated accordingly.

    Dry scalp can feel “tight”, a sensation that is sometimes accompanied by flakiness. It is often the result of natural oils being stripped from our scalps by the frequent use of shampoos, hair dyes and or other hair products.

    Dermatitis of the scalp (Seborrheic dermatitis) is an inflammatory disorder affecting areas of the head and body where sebaceous glands are most prominent. It can vary from mild dandruff to dense flakey and greasy scale. Once again it is often an accumulation of toxins and products built up on our scalps that our body is trying to rid itself of.

    Eczema of the scalp similar in appearance to Seborrheic dermatitis but instead has the name Atopic dermatitis.

    Scalp Psoriasis commonly occurs on the back of the head however multiple areas of the scalp or the whole scalp may be affected. Scalp psoriasis is characterized by thick silvery white scales on patches of very red skin and can extend slightly beyond the hairline. Scalp psoriasis, despite being partially hidden by the hair is often a source of social embarrassment due to flaking of the scale and severe ‘dandruff’. Scalp psoriasis may be extremely itchy or on occasion have no itch symptoms. It can also cause temporary baldness on the affected areas. It is a common, chronic, inflammatory skin disease and is associated with increased risk of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.

    Folliculitis of the scalp is a superficial bacterial infection of the hair follicles. It is characterized by pustules around the hair follicles and symptoms include painful brushing of hair and tenderness when rubbing your scalp around the hair follicle sites. Treating with antibiotics for the particular bacteria is the usual course of action but can eventually cause resistance to the antibiotic used. Options include applying Evoclin Foam which is topical. Folliculitis is commonly caused by staph bacteria which also reside inside the nose and sinus cavity. Natural oils such as tea tree and lavender have good antibacterial properties and can also be used to treat this condition.

    If you have a bump or lump under the skin (commonly a lump behind the ears with no broken skin or rash developing, then this could be a cyst. Cysts are liquid filled pustules which can be painful when they become infected. If you have such symptoms I recommend seeing a doctor to be safe. Doctors can also treat cysts with antibiotics if they have become infected or incise them as a further but uncommon procedure if the antibiotics are not sufficient.

    Stress Related Itching Stress can contribute to or worsen scalp itching as it plays havoc with our immune system and hormones which have an effect on production of sebum from your sebaceous glands. Although it can contribute to the problem it is still somewhat of a myth. It may appear that you have a”stress rash”, but it is more likely that the problem was already there in a less noticeable way, then aggravated by increased stress levels making it harder for your body to deal with the problem on its own and eliminate the problem. Many of the treatments below include stress relieving properties – like Lavender oil for example which calms the mind and soothes the body.

    Solutions – what YOU can do about it

    Going to your doctor may be the best way to get an accurate answer to diagnosing your problem, but I understand that many of you may have already done this, been prescribed some form of medication of cream (even “heavy duty” cortisone based ones where the cortisone potency may need to be increased after time).

    Often the problem either doesn’t go away from the start – or seems to subside but comes back with full a vengeance later leaving you wondering with more unanswered questions and a VERY unhappy scalp! Well the good news is if you don’t like using these expensive and often impotent products- or even want to help them along you can use natural remedies and essential oils known to be super effective anti-bacterial busters such as tea tree oil for instance to inhibit or stop the growth of the infection and assist healing/re balancing of the scalp.

    Something that is also important to understand in curing scalp conditions and scalp infections – a factor that is missed by so many doctors, and something not disclosed by companies who sell hair products and treatments is the number of people who are allergic or sensitive to commonly used ingredients in shampoos, dandruff treatments and other hair products. In fact MOST hair products (as many as 90%) contain at least one ingredient that is used in engine degreasers, another is a common ingredient in antifreeze.

    These ingredients are cheap to produce foaming agents that make shampoo foam up, and do a fantastic job of stripping dirt and oily build up from hair. Problem is that they sometimes do SUCH a good job that they remove all of the natural oils and sebum from the scalp thus removing the scalps natural against bacteria etc. Another little known fact is that the most common ingredient (Sodium laureth sulphate) is used to induce skin irritation in test patients by drug companies to test the effectiveness of their itch relief skin creams. When first produced and for year’s afterwards manufacturers did not know that skin was not a barrier but an absorber of ingredients & that they caused skin irritation in so many people.

    So sometimes the beginning of a scalp condition can have originated from something as simple as an imbalance to the skins (scalps) sebum or an allergy to an ingredient that can easily be rectified.

    Like your immune system, if your skin has an opportunity to rebalance itself and not be subjected to “incoming foreign matter” and the daily stripping of its natural oils that further aggravates the problem you can allow your body to re balance and heal itself. Obviously buying products that do not strip your hair and scalp is an obvious step in the right direction.

    Fortunately there are a lot of manufacturers such as Aveda and Akin (Purist Company) who know what consumers are suffering from these issues so have addressed this problem. They have applied this knowledge to produce some amazing products with all of the benefits of natural ingredients, with none of the side effects at a price we can afford (Akin especially). It need not be difficult, nor expensive to make these choices and a move to healthy hair and scalp long term.

    So yes you can eliminate harsh shampoos containing sodium sulphates and go for natural Sulphate and paraben free shampoos that contain ingredients such as macadamia, wheat germ or jojoba oils. These oils mimic our natural sebum to some extent to help to re moisturize and nourish our scalp.

    Then there are lavender, rosemary and tea tree oils which contain antibacterial, healing properties. Neem oil great for its antiquing and stops itching. You can apply these topically to your skin for fast relief, to assist healing as well as looking out for shampoos with these natural ingredients in them.

    Lavender calms the skin (as does chamomile tea cooled and used as hair rinse).

    As well as buying quality shampoos containing these ingredients, you can

    create your own combinations of remedy or remedies to soothe your scalp.

    You can also help it along by using natural remedies to treat your scalp such as this scalp treatment containing natural oils to assist healing, detoxify and stimulate hair growth: (Add to

    water (4 parts water 1part oil) and spray onto scalp and you can add to your shampoo and conditioners also).

    Oils To Relieve Itching: Lavender, German Chamomile and Eucalyptus Oils

    (Mixed together and dabbed locally on effected areas has a soothing effect).

    Neem oil is also a very good dandruff preventative which can be added to any of the formulas detailed below and is excellent for psoriasis and eczema & scalp infections.

    Scalp massage with lavender oil (not scented – the real oil) is another

    wonderful way to relieve the tension from a sore scalp as well as treat the

    issue. It also helps to re grow hair and repair the damage done to your

    follicles by chemicals in shampoos causing thinning hair. (Lavender is known to stimulate hair growth too).

    There are many more powerful scalp remedies you can use to treat your scalp as well as many shampoos that are excellent value, contain no nasties to aggravate your scalp and hair follicles. It can be really simple to treat scalp problems by treating yourself to your own pampering session using natural oils to help heal your scalp infection. And then be kind to your hair and scalp by using only products that nourish your hair and scalp such as Aveda or Akin brand shampoos. You can assist the healing process and help restore balance back to your scalp and you hair will appreciate and reward you for it too by becoming less brittle, stronger and shinier.

    As with all natural remedies please patch test first. It is not intended for this information to replace a doctors medical advice, so please see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The responsibility of obtaining doctors diagnosis and using remedies is yours.

    Source by Mia Wadsworth

    Weather or Knot – Will You Achieve Profit Growth?

    Everyone has had a bad travel experience due to unfavorable weather. In yours, were you able to turn the apparent problems into an advantage? For example, you might have had extra work to do and a laptop computer with you, and been able to complete an assignment better or faster than would otherwise have occurred. Or did you simply get frustrated? Or oversample the free drinks the airline provided you?

    I had quite an unusual travel experience that I want you to share with you as a personal challenge to you, to help you empathize with how irresistible forces can create emotional reactions that delay or harm your enterprise’s growth.

    Imagine yourself in this situation: Your firm has planned and prepared carefully for the most important presentation your organization has ever made, a presentation that may provide you an important relationship that will lift your organization to future success (you hope) beyond everyone’s wildest dreams. You are justifiably excited and are looking forward to the meeting.

    Although the meeting is not scheduled until 11 A.M. on Wednesday, you take no chances and plan to fly to the far-away city early the preceding Tuesday afternoon. You have carefully watched the weather reports and see no reason to expect any difficulties.

    The whole team leaves an hour early on Tuesday for the airport, in a city only 12 miles away. You arrive to discover a blinding fog that begins just near the airport, something that occasionally happens in your area during spring when warm air passes over the cold ocean water located next to the airport. Feeling a little concerned, you check the airline’s monitors and see that all flights for the rest of the day have already been canceled. With wide eyes, you rush toward the ticket counter to find hundreds of people already in line.

    Seeing no hope there, you quickly call your travel agent to find out what your alternatives are. Bad news! The fog is getting worse and is expected to last through Wednesday. What to do?

    No problem, you think. You can drive to another airport and fly from there. More bad news! All airports but one within three hundred miles are also fogged in (they are all located on the water in similar weather conditions). Every flight for days has now been booked from that one open airport. What do you do?

    Well, you can handle that. You’ll just drive to an airport 500 miles away and get a plane there. It’ll take a good part of the night, but that is all right. Then you receive still more bad news: There are no flights from that airport that will get you to the meeting before 6 P.M. on Wednesday. What next?

    You decide to charter a plane to get to the meeting. You grab the Yellow Pages and start calling every charter company listed. Too late!

    Many people have called before you, and the closest plane that is available is 1,600 miles away. Plus, it has to find someplace to land in order to pick you up and then to take you where you want to go. What now?

    You decide to just call the people you’re meeting with, explain what happened, and offer to reschedule. They’re reasonable people. They’ll understand. Worse news! They can’t meet again for several weeks, and that is too late for them to work with you. Even more disturbing to you is knowing that they may be meeting with some of your key competitors in the next few days. There must be something you can do. What?

    How about a video conference or a teleconference instead? No good. Their video conference facilities are tied up and they don’t want to go to a public facility. They think running a teleconference is a bad idea.

    They implore you to get there on Wednesday, and they will stay as late on Wednesday as needed in order to meet with you.

    Wow! You have to do something! What do you do now?

    You call back that air charter outfit that had one plane left to see if they’ll fly to the one open airport 100 miles away. If they will, you can then fly down on Wednesday morning early and still be in town before the day is over.

    Awful news!! The plane needs a crew first, which will take several hours, before the flight can start out toward the airport. And there is a severe rainstorm in their area that may delay takeoff for additional hours. There is a curfew on the airport where you want the plane to pick you up, so they may not be able to arrive before tomorrow morning. By then, the flight crew might be over its allotted flight time that the government allows and not be able to leave on Wednesday.

    What the heck, it’s only money! You tell them to fly the plane to the airport, bring an extra flight crew if necessary, and you take your team to the car rental counter to get a car to take you to the other airport. No luck. You call ahead and find that there are also no hotels near that airport that have rooms available. You all decide to go home and drive to the other airport early the next morning in your own cars. More problems arise overnight, but you overcome them. You’re doing great!

    The next day, you turn on the television and find out that the fog is gone at the airport. What good luck! You can fly down on a regular flight this morning. You head with your team to the airport.

    Oh, no! You can’t believe your eyes; all the flights are canceled this morning, as well. But the weather is perfect. You finally learn why. There are no planes! Before the fog bank closed in, the airlines took off with every plane they had (planes can take off in fog conditions that don’t permit landing).

    The first flights will arrive around 11:00 A.M. and thousands of people are standing by for these flights. You have no reasonable hope of getting on a commercial flight until Thursday. That will be too late! You quickly call the charter firm’s dispatcher, who agrees to divert your plane to this airport so you do not have to drive an extra 100 miles.

    You head over to the charter terminal. You keep getting updates that assure you that the plane will arrive at 11:15 A.M. But 11:30 comes and goes, then 11:45. Now it’s noon.

    You keep telephoning your potential partner. They say, “We’ll wait for you.” The plane finally lands at 1:15 P.M. You start to rush out. The pilot stops you. “We have to refuel, first.” Finally, the fuel truck arrives, you refuel, receive a long air traffic control delay, and eventually take off at 2:30 P.M.

    You call your potential partners and tell them that you are about to take off and will arrive in their city at 4:00 P.M. local time. They agree to hold the meeting as soon as you arrive at the offices, around 5:00 P.M.

    The charter pilot is very helpful and asks you if you want to have a taxi waiting when you land. There is a good catered lunch on board. It’s a gorgeous day for flying. Life is looking better.

    You arrive at the potential partners’ office at 4:45 P.M., and they are not quite ready for you. At 5:15 P.M., they troop in and thank you for getting there. They seem quite amazed by your story, and seem a little skeptical that this could have happened. However, the meeting goes well.

    On the following Tuesday, your contact calls to tell you that everything has gone through smoothly. Hooray!!!! He then tells you that they had decided to check into your travel story, and he was able to confirm that your firm had gone through all of this on behalf of their company. In fact, it was your response to the weather probloem that impressed them the most, and allowed you to be a bigger winner with them than you would otherwise have been.

    Although it seemed that the irresistible force of the weather was retarding your progress, it actually provided you with an opportunity to show what you can do as a resource. Many people would have simply given up because the situation seemed hopeless or overwhelming. You resisted stalled thinking and persisted in turning the irresistible force into your tailwind.

    As you read and considered how you would react to this experience, did you find yourself tempted to stop short of the goal? Don’t worry, everyone is tempted that way, except perhaps saints. But it’s the actions you take that count.

    What will you do about irresistible forces?

    Copyright 2008 Donald W. Mitchell

    Source by Donald Mitchell

    Cheap Flights to Brazil – An Extra Bonus For a Great Holiday

    It used to be that a flight to Brazil was expensive because you had to pay for the excitement, but these days, the days of the bargain hunter; it is wise for a tourist destination country to offer the best deals possible to the best tourist countries possible, like Canada, America, and Europe and now cheap flights to Brazilare possible. 

    It is now popular not just to go to Rio, but to also take in the other regions surrounding/in it like Recife, Natal, Salvador, Belo Horizonte and Manaus. The best way to get to these destinations is now more varied, making iteasier and more accessible. 

    From the U.S., there are now direct flights from such major airports as: LA, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Washington DC, and Chicago, but usually the beat way to go is from Miami, because it’s the cheapest. For Canadians they can only fly directly from Toronto, but direct flight isn’t always the best, because you can fly to a city in the U.S. and get your Brazil connection and still put it in the category of cheap flights to Brazil. 

    For Europeans, who have had a long history of flying to Brazil, and are known to be very “continental”, they can make a direct flight to Brazil from Madrid, Istanbul, London, Milan, Helsinki, Paris, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Munich, and Amsterdam. 

    However, this is not just about the cheap flights to Brazil it’s the reputation that it has, the appeal of the wild atmosphere that draws tourists from all over the world. Everything they do is up front passion, as opposed to the stodgy broth of the corporate world of material acquisition, and weighing everything by gain. Here, they allow you to experience a new kind of reality, and why would you want to experience that kind of excitement in a limited way? 

    That is why I advocate looking to other sources to get the best deal so that you don’t spend your money getting there; you spend your money when you get there, the whole reason for the trip in the first place.

    If you want to be really adventurous, don’t go to the main areas, try the out of the way places, but make sure you do that on good recommendation, because when you do cheap flights to Brazil, you must make sure that nothing is left to chance, and that way, you can enjoy without worry. 

    It is good to note that, instead of regular commercial flights, you should also consider charter flights. Depending on the season, charter flights offer a good alternative to commercial flights, and offer a more personal touch as they cater to a smaller group rather than a larger one.

    It’s up to you, but you should consider all the options open to you, from alternatives to commercial flight like going to the regions around Brazil, to considering the advantages of taking the indirect route from the best starting points possible. All things, when considered, you should have the best  cheap flight to Brazil you can imagine.

    Source by Jimbo Thomas

    Breeding With Your Mare

    Horse Breeding is not as simple as it used to be, leaving it up to nature. For centuries man has chosen to breed selectively and in order to do so, he has developed several techniques to improve and ensure the success.

    Breeding with your mare can be a simple endeavor or a technical one; it depends on your individual role. A horse breeder has countless duties and I will only condense a few in order to help explain the covering process to you.

    As an owner of a mare your responsibilities and duties do not have to be very involved and complicated. Stud farms are built and developed specifically for breeding purposes. Once you have chosen a stallion you arrange with the stud farm what the specifics are.

    You can either stable your mare at the farm where the stallion resides; you can transport your mare to the stallion on the day of cover and take her home the same day; or if artificial insemination is your choice your mare can stay where she is and the semen is shipped to you.

    Live cover is when the stallion mounts the mare and covers the mare. The staff will prepare the mare by washing her vulva (private parts), bandage her tail and possibly give her a tranquilizer. Once she is ready to be covered they may hobble her, a restraint used to prevent the stallion from being kicked.

    The stallion is lead by a skilled handler to the mare and covering takes place. The mare will be returned to a field or stable after covering, some studs may inject her with a hormone that will have her ovulate soon after covering. The stallion will cover the mare once.

    If the mare is staying at the stud she will be teased in the following days to observe that she is in dioestrus – no longer in season. Depending on the studs routine and way of doing things, the mare may be covered by the stallion again during her season.

    A veterinarian will palpate and scan the mare in about 15 days from her covering. If the mare is not staying at the stud farm it is important that you schedule this appointment with your veterinarian to see whether she took and is in foal. If she is not in foal she will need to be covered again in her next cycle.

    With artificial insemination the stallion will mount a mare or a phantom mare and ejaculate into a tube. The semen is then stored at the correct temperature and can be inserted into the mare at the most optimal time of her reproductive cycle. The mare can stay at the stud or never set foot on the stud and come into contact with a stallion.

    When you select to have a foal via artificial insemination it is very important to ask the breeder some questions as to the fertility of the stallion’s semen. Some sperm just simply do not travel well, you do not want to pay for the semen and receive a shipment that has no live sperm to inseminate.

    Once your mare is in foal, there is still a long road ahead; she carries the foal for 12 months. She will have veterinarian exams to check that the foal is growing up until 90 days; thereafter it is a waiting game.

    Source by Benjamin Wise

    How To Build An Ultralight Trike

    So many people postpone their dream to fly because of lack of time or money. If you knew that for few thousand dollars, few months and a lot of fun you could have your own ultralight airplane, would you still postpone?

    Building an ultralight trike yourself is one of the most exciting, yet pretty achievable things you can do to achieve your dream. If you think you need a master’s degree in engineering and construction genius, you are wrong. People like me and you build ultralight trikes every day. And yes, they fly on them!

    So how do you go?

    Purchase Construction Plans

    You can purchase plans online even in download able format. The prices rare exceed few hundreds (and often are under $100), but the plans contain everything you need.

    Preferably, get plans with full size drawings to you can avoid inaccuracies in resizing. Make sure that the plans contain a complete list of materials and sources so you an save time looking around.

    You can also use a partial kit

    Some companies offer partial trial kits. This is an excellent way to gain some experience and expertise and later decide if you want to purchase the kit or just continue building only by the plans. The trial kits of course are much cheaper than the complete ones and take less time to be built. Most companies also provide free phone support.

    What kind of airplane to build?

    This article is called “How To Build An Ultralight Trike” because I believe the ultralight trikes are the best beginning for starters. They are much simpler and faster to complete than the fixed wing airplanes. Finally, the kits and the materials for them are much cheaper.

    How much time is it going to take?

    For someone with skillful hands building an ultralight trike from scratch will take 1500 – 2000 hours. Count 2500 if you are not that good in working with tools.

    If you want to do things faster, just purchase a kit. With a good kit you’ll build your ultralight trike for 250 – 300 hours.

    Just don’t let bias to keep you away from your dream. Building an ultralight airplane yourself is not only possible, it is fun.

    Source by Bobby Handzhiev

    Landing Tours on Grand Canyon Helicopters Flying Out of Las Vegas

    Las Vegas is just a short 120 miles away from Grand Canyon West (a/k/a the West Rim). Its close proximity to the Park means multiple air tours on Grand Canyon helicopters fly out of Sin City every day.

    Grand Canyon helicopter tours depart from several metro-area airfields, including one in Boulder City and an airstrip that’s right on the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard). The latter option is more expensive because of the added convenience.

    Several landing tours are available, including one that lands at the top of the rim and includes VIP access to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The most popular option lands at the bottom of the canyon and comes with a champagne picnic. My favorite, though, is the deluxe package that lands on the bottom but also comes with Skywalk access and a smooth-water float trip down the Colorado. It’s a terrific value and lets you see the canyon from different perspectives: from the bottom up as well as from the top down.

    The only downside of this particular package is that it tends to sell out really fast. ‘Copters only hold six and these tours are incredibly popular.

    A lot of folks think it’s smart to wait to book tours on Grand Canyon helicopters after they arrive in Sin City. That’s a common mistake that you’ll want to avoid – instead of helping you save money, waiting to book means you’ll either pay more, you won’t get the tour you want, or you won’t get to fly at all.

    Because they’re so popular, air tours should be booked at least a week ahead (two weeks ahead is even better). The closer you get to your desired date, the more your tour will cost – but it’s also less likely you’ll get the tour, date and time you really want. That’s just the way it is. It will probably always be that way.

    If you’re unable to book the landing tour you want, consider taking an aerial tour instead. These air-only tours fly over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Colorado River, and Grand Canyon West (just like the landing tours), but instead of landing somewhere at the rim, they circle it and then return to Las Vegas. They’re the least expensive helicopter tours, so they also sell out pretty quickly.

    Plane tours are another option. Although they fly at higher altitudes, they follow the same routes as Grand Canyon helicopters. Planes never land on the bottom, but they can and do land at the top of the rim. Once you deplane, you can catch a chopper flight to the bottom and/or a float trip down the river. You can even get a plane tour package that includes Skywalk access.

    Air tours on planes are usually easier to book than helicopter tours, mostly because the aircraft hold 19 adults instead of 6 like the helicopter tours. The planes are specially equipped for sightseeing: the windows are oversized and the wing design ensures that all passengers enjoy unobstructed views.

    Wrapping Up

    I wrote this little article on Las Vegas-Grand Canyon helicopter landing tours to explain why I’m so convinced that they deliver a ton of value – especially the tours that land on the canyon bottom. Because they so often sell out, try to book yours at least a week ahead. An airplane tour would be a good alternative if the chopper tour you want isn’t available. No matter which tour you decide on, I know you’ll have a great time!

    Source by Keith Kravitz

    Indoor Helicopter – Play Safe for Maximum Fun!

    Toy helicopters are excellent for children and adults alike, as they offer a lot of excitement and fun. Every toy shop is bound to have some sort of a remote controlled chopper that is a great gift during holidays and festivals.

    Most people, when they think of RC choppers, think of the sophisticated, outdoor flying helicopters. Large toy helicopters offer exhilarating experiences to those intermediate and expert pilots who can fly them with practiced skill through the skies, and maneuvering around trees and people. The technology in large RC choppers is advanced, making them very expensive. The cost of maintenance and repair is also high.

    Helicopters are bound to crash in the first few flights, and until you learn how to fly proper. Beginners should normally choose the less expensive helicopters to begin flying. Indoor Helicopters, which are cheaper than their outdoor counterparts, are perfect for new pilots to learn flying skills. Besides, small indoor choppers are more durable than the larger, advanced copters, and can withstand frequent knocks against walls.

    To begin flying one, you will need to first place them on a flat surface and gradually lift them off the ground by pushing the throttle. Control is tricky and not easy to fly around and your maiden flight is bound to crash. However, with regular practice, flying becomes a lot easier, especially if you have a toy chopper with two levers, one for lifting and one for thrusting. These helicopters are also simple to navigate through the air.

    There are many types of RC choppers available in the market. Some cheap versions do not have very long battery lives and re-charging is required every 7 to 8 flights. Others, of better quality, last longer. There are also helicopters that are designed for special aerobatics and they come in varied colors. Some older and cheaper versions are able to pick only one radio signal while the newer and expensive ones will pick a number of radio frequencies.

    While they alone can withstand damage after several crash landings, Indoor Helicopters can damage the walls and windows of the house. Because they are flown inside a room, collisions with walls and windows during flight can cause the paint to chip or glass panes to break, respectively. Some safety features, like the helicopter material, are vital before buying an indoor chopper.

    Outdoor versions are usually made of hard materials. If you are flying a mini outdoor chopper inside, take care not to fly the helicopter inside a room with expensive glassware or pottery showpieces. Fly away from the walls, as far as you can, and pull the drapes to cover glass windows. Do not fly near a power cable as fuel spilled from a copter crash can create a short circuit.

    Indoor Helicopters made of foam or soft rubbery material cause less damage to furniture, windows, and individual decoration items around the room. Note however, that damage is avoidable. Indoor choppers are still capable of knocking things over and damaging breakable things around the room. Using an outdoor helicopter and flying it outdoors is certainly safer and a lot more fun in this context.

    Source by Jacob Bainton

    Object Lesson – Paper Airplane Christians

    It is impossible to know where and in what form the first paper airplanes were folded and flown. There is evidence to suggest it was Ancient China, or Japan. Paper was certainly available and common. Da Vinci, the Wright brothers and many others are known to have used them to understand the mysteries of flight. In this youth Bible Study, Paper airplanes are used to remind us that we also do not have to be weighed down, but can fly to great heights in our relationship with God.

    What You Need

    Rubber bands, paper clips, paper, masking tape, a measuring tape

    Games using Paper Airplanes

    • Air Show – Award prizes for the following: longest flight, shortest flight, smoothest takeoff, roughest landing, highest altitude, bumpiest route, biggest loop-the-loop, widest zigzag, and most creative flight pattern, most creative design. Encourage a lot of “oohs” and “aahs” during the performances. You may wish to allow two throws or best of three, depending on time constraints.
    • Target Practice – Set up a series of rings hanging from a strong as targets. Have youth take turns trying to launch their planes so that they pass through the various size rings or hoops for points. The smaller the target the higher the points.
    • Air Race – Stretch several strings across the room, making sure that each of them is tight and will not come loose. Make several small, light airplanes, one for each string and hang each by its nose or tail by means of a hole threaded through the string. The hole should be the size of a paper punch, so that the airplane will move easily along the string (race course) Line up your contestants and at the signal “Go,” each proceeds to blow his airplane across the string and see who can reach the goal line first. Anyone who touches his airplane or the string is automatically disqualified.
    • Pass The Plane – Just like hot potato, you sit the youth in a cirle and give them a paper plane and start the music. When the music stops who ever is holding the plane is out and the game will continue til there is only one youth left.
    • Flight Plan – Create an obstacle course in the room. Obstacles can be a small table that the plane must land on, a door or window it must fly through, chairs and obstacles it must fly around, targets it must hit, things it must fly over, under, or through. Fastest time in the obstacle race wins.
    • Airplane Blitz – Bring a stack of paper and have the youth write their names, and something significant on the paper, like a favorite verse, prayer request, or something they learned at a recent youth event. They can write another one on another piece of paper (or several). Then let them make paper airplanes out of these. Then you need some way to clearly divide the room in half. (The taller the divider the better.) Put half the youth on each side of the divider. Put half the paper airplanes on each side of the divider. Explain that they can only throw ONE plane at a time and they must stop when the leader says “Stop”. On “Go”, they throw the airplanes over the divider as fast as they can. Planes are flying in both directions. When you say “stop”, count the airplanes on each side of the divider. The team with the least number of planes wins. THEN: Have each person pick up an airplane and read the fun fact on each plane while everyone else tries to guess the identity of the person.
    • Largest Paper Airplane contest – Provide butcher paper or newsprint, scissors and masking tape, and one Bible per student. Have the group design a gigantic paper airplane. sharing their paper airplane construction techniques. Have them test out some of their ideas with a normal sheet paper. When the group has decided how to design the giant airplane. have youth fold their huge piece of paper accordingly. Award prizes for the best in various categories.
    • Fewest Throws – Count how many throws it takes to get their paper airplanes across a room and land on a table. Reward the youth with the least amount of throws their airplanes took.
    • Paper Airplane Dodgeball – Play a game of dodgeball using paper airplanes. If a player is hit with a plane, he hands over his plane and is out of the game. Here are some more rules: Airplanes must be thrown. Simply touching your opponent with your airplane is considered a self-destruct and you are out of the game, forfeiting your planes to your opponent. Airplanes cannot be picked up until they stop moving. (They can’t be stopped with your foot, either.)


    • Were you focused on trying to achieve a specific award or did you just create a general purpose plane? Why?
    • What were the key characteristics of your design? Why?
    • What were the keys to success for each award category?


    • In what ways are the paper airplanes similar to people? Similar to Christians?


    • The Scriptures in Isaiah 40:31 promise us eagle wings as we wait on God. What does that mean?
    • What things keep us spiritually grounded / prevent us from soaring as high as we can as a Christian?
    • What things weigh us down spiritually?
    • How can we lighten our load?
    • What purpose do goals serve in helping us to reach a higher calling in the Christian life?
    • What goals did Paul have in life, what did he aspire to reach in life?
    • What were Christ’s goals?
    • What factors / keys to success make someone a winner in the Christian life?
    • What things can we people to be more successful?
    • When it comes to accuracy, the word “sin” means “to miss the mark” as we all have done. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Every one of us has sinned against God and missed the mark of God’s perfection. What are some things that cause us to miss our goal as Christians? How do we recover?


    • What are your goals in life? As a Christian?
    • Do you have just one goal or many goals? Why?
    • Which goal is most important to you? Why?
    • How are you similar / different in your goals as compared to Paul / Christ?
    • What do you need to change to be more successful as a Christian?


    • Exodus 19:4 – “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”
    • Isaiah 40:31 (NIV) – “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
    • 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV) – “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
    • Matthew 11:30 – “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
    • John 8:31-36 (NIV) – “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
    • Ephesians 4:11-14 (NIV) – “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”

    Source by Ken Sapp