Whistleblowing – What’s Gender Got to Do With It?

Actually, there is evidence that suggests gender does play a role. Coleen Rowley had worked for the FBI for 21 years when she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify that the agency had ignored pre-911 warnings about terrorist activity in the U.S.

Sherron Watkins, Enron’s vice president for corporate development, testified before a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee that her company had become “the poster child of corporate abuse.”

And Cynthia Cooper, WorldCom’s vice president of finance, alerted the company’s board to an internal phony accounting scheme that ultimately led to the largest bankruptcy filing in the nation’s history.

These brave women were named Time Persons of the Year two years ago.

One prominent theory of women as whistleblowers is that of the insider-outsider. “Women aren’t part of the ‘good ol’ boy’ system, so they don’t risk being pushed out of the network,” says Kris Kolesnik, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center in Washington.

“What’s important to them is doing their job, not protecting their buddies.”

Adds Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., author of The First Sex: The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World, “Women aren’t as sensitive as men to status in the workplace. And when you’re not as committed to the hierarchy, you can see the ramifications a little better.”

In fact, Fisher believes that, thanks to social conditioning, women may be natural whistleblowers — because of the way they think and how they learned to play as children.

“As young boys, men jockey for position in the playground and learn early on to give and take orders,” she explains. “If boys don’t like the rule, they leave the game. Girls, on the other hand, play in leaderless groups, not hierarchies, and choose games with far fewer rules, which change if someone gets upset. Subsequently, as adult, women aren’t likely to play by the rules if they don’t think the rules are right.”

According to Fred Alford, author of Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power, another factor that makes women statistically more likely to speak out and fight for what they believe in is that they typically have one foot firmly planted in another world: the family. This, he says, connects them to a different way of thinking. “In fact, when they bring that model of ethics into an organization, it must put a lot of women through hell.”

University of California professor Judith Rosener believes that “women tend to see things in a much bigger context than men do.” In her e-book Ways Women Lead, Rosener notes that women also tend to see the implications of the decisions — such as who will be hurt — in contrast to men, who tend to think about whether they will make money or get caught.

“Not that men are more crooked,” she adds. “They just don’t think about implica-tions in the same way.”

Nancy Evans, co-founder and editor-in-chief of iVillage, agrees. Speaking at the Women’s Trailblazer Conference sponsored by the Business womens Network, she remarked, “Women tend to be straight talkers and sensible problem-solvers, and they raise the flag if something doesn’t add up.”

Methods of Easing Moving Strain for Children

If you have decided to move, you most likely have good reasons and are excited about it. But just don’t forget that your little ones have not been component of the adult choice making operation. All moves have their own distinct complications, but you are able to be pretty sure that you can get some generalities every person can agree upon. And 1 of these is that relocating is tough on families, specifically on the kids. They are young and not excellent with the modifications which are happening. At the exact same time, there are actually some points you can do to create the operation less difficult for the little ones that can be involved. Here are just a couple tips to get your move on the path to success from the very start.

Moving with your kids doesn’t have to be difficult. It will take some patience and organization, however. Keeping these tips in mind will only help keep you level headed so that you don’t have to worry about what things might go wrong. Realize that moving companies are the best bet, and you should look into hiring them soon after you find out you are moving.

Little ones will require something to look forward to. 1 method to do this is to give them some idea of the positive aspects that can await them in their brand new house. Perhaps there’s a room for each and every youngster or a bigger room than they have now. Perhaps there are some capabilities such as outdoor play areas or a school that offers a program, such as a music program, that your youngster has been hoping to get into. In case you are going to Florida, needless to say, then you’re already ahead of the game since it is identified for its recreational possibilities.

Relocating is problematic without having little ones, so you’re going to need help. One good step is to look into one of the most professional Florida movers. When you’re moving to south The sunshine state, there may be wonderful Miami movers to decide on from. They are able to assist you to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of what it takes to do a cross country move without having you having to get so crazy about it all which you neglect your family’s feelings. It may seem a bit overwhelming, but should you strategy things right, you need to not have significantly difficulty using the relocating process overall.

Just since you might be enthusiastic about this move, don’t feel your kids have to be. But they are going to be in the event you take care to make certain that their feelings are dealt with and that their worries are addressed. See if they can preserve ties with their pals and even promise that the buddies will be able to visit them. Right after all, Florida is Florida and everyone wants to be there. With some preparation, your kids will find out for themselves that Florida will be the happening place!

Golf Fitness Exercises For the Junior Golfer

Golf fitness exercises for the junior golfer can be beneficial to the development of the golf swing in many ways. Learn what the best golf exercises are for the junior golfer. Learn how as a junior golfer can increase the accuracy, consistently, and power in their golf swing.

I receive many questions about the junior golfer and golf fitness programs. The questions are on a number of different topics, but they generally fall into three or four different categories. Typically the questions are; at what should a junior golfer begin utilizing golf fitness exercises, how often should a junior golfer implement golf fitness exercises, and finally what are the best golf fitness exercises for the junior golfer? Typically this last question is the most commonly asked question. This article is intended to provide some answers to the question; what are the best golf fitness exercises for the junior golfer?

First and foremost golf fitness exercises can be of great benefit to the junior golfer provided a few principles are adhered to in the development of such a golf fitness program. We are obviously aware certain exercises are beneficial to the golfer and others are not. Keep in mind regardless if you are a junior, professional, or senior the exercises within your golf fitness program should center upon developing the body around the golf swing.

This single principle indicates certain exercises are of greater benefit to the golfer than others. Generally speaking, the exercises should focus on developing your body to the positions, movements, and physical requirements of the golf swing. This equates to exercises developing the required flexibility, balance, endurance, strength, and power required of the golf swing. For example, we are fully aware the golf swing requires you to make a full shoulder turn. A portion of the ability to make a full shoulder turn is contingent upon the golfer’s flexibility (regardless of if you are a junior golfer or not). If you are lacking flexibility the ability to make a full shoulder turn, the golf swing will be compromised, and compensations may set into your golf swing. That being said, a portion of your golf fitness exercises, specifically your golf flexibility exercises will focus on developing a full and effortless shoulder turn.

The junior golfer is really no different than golfers of a different age when it comes to the basic principles of a golf fitness program. The goal of the golf fitness program is the same, and the physical components of the body to be developed are the same. The goal of the golf fitness program is to develop your body around the golf swing in order to create a more powerful, consistent, and accurate golf swing.

The difference for the junior golfer comes down to what are the best exercises within each of these categories. Typically the junior golfer is not as physically developed as an adult thus changing the exercise prescriptions that are best for them. Meaning, the categories to develop within the body for the golf swing are the same as the adult golfer, but modifications in certain exercises are required to counteract the physical development of the junior golfer.

Typically flexibility exercises for the junior golfer can be the exact same as for any other age golfer. Generally speaking, flexibility training is often much easier for the junior golfer to perform because muscles and connective tissues tend to be more flexible when we are young.

Progressing to balance exercises. Often the junior golfer is not as kinesthetically developed as an adult. Their bodies, control of the limbs, and knowing where the body is in space tends to be less developed at younger ages. For this reason we must modify some of the balance exercises to a lower level of difficulty. For example, a junior golfer may have difficulty performing an advanced airplane rotation found in my golf fitness book. As a result a modification may be required in the exercise. The adjustment could consist of keeping the junior golfer using the basic airplane rotation and adding more repetitions to increase the difficulty.

Another adjustment is usually required for the endurance, strength, and power exercises for the junior golfer. Golf fitness exercises found within these categories of training are geared towards increasing muscular strength, endurance, and power. In order to improve these components of the muscles in anyone (junior golfer included) we must overload the body with a higher workload than it is accustomed too. For example, if you were a bodybuilder and wanted get bigger biceps. You may choose to perform bicep dumbbells curls with a 50 lb. dumbbell. In the beginning this exercise may be very difficult to perform. The reason is the 50 lb. dumbbell is overloading your bicep. Over time the bicep gets stronger and the 50 lb. dumbbell gets easier to lift. This is an example of how to overload the muscles of your body to get stronger.

Many of these exercises to develop increased strength, endurance, and power can require the use of external resistance: In the form of dumbbells, elastic tubing, medicine balls, etc. The mistake with junior golfers is externally loading these exercises too much. For example, using to heavy of dumbbells for a certain exercises. The result is a compromise in form and loss of benefit from the exercise. For this reason, I have found it best for the junior golfer to use their body weight as resistance first. Then slowly progress to adding external resistance in the form of tubing, medicine balls, etc…

This format allows the junior golfer to progress in the development of their bodies for the golf swing properly. It allows them to focus on exercise technique and execution rather than the amount of weight lifted.

To recap, modifications for the junior golfer in terms of their golf fitness program is required. It is a simple process if they are not overloaded with resistance or difficulty of exercise. The goal for the junior golfer is the same as any other golfer; develop the body around the golf swing. The physical components to be developed by a golf fitness program are again the same; flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power. The difference for the junior golfer lies within the implementation of the golf exercises within these categories in the golf fitness program.

London 2012 Olympics: Rwanda, An Unforgettable Olympic Country

Rwanda —Welcome to London 2012

Sport is not a name associated with Rwanda, but by July 1996, the then war-torn nation (through the 70s, known as the “Switzerland of Africa” due to its extraordinary landscapes with lakes, rivers, and high mountains) made international headlines when it was represented by four athletes at the Atlanta Centennial Games. It was a memorable moment when Rwanda’s national contingent entered the Stadium, while behind them had a tiny country devastated by genocidal wars, killing fields, corruption, rapes, poverty, and killing of gorillas (the country’s national symbol). During the 1990-1996 civil conflict, over one million people were slaughtered.

Unlike its twin Burundi (which astonishingly won a gold medal in athletics at Atlanta’96), the Rwandan team did not win medals in Georgia, but they captured the hearts of people all around the globe through sport, becoming international heroes as occurred when the delegation of Bosnia Herzegovina came to Barcelona four years earlier. In fact, the country’s sportsmen gave a lesson of courage, determination, and Olympic spirit, after overcoming obstacles and setbacks to go to America. Without a doubt, runner Mathias Ntawulikura was one of them. With his eighth place in the men’s 10,000m (track & field), distance runner Ntawulikura had become the country’s most successful athlete on the Olympic stage (no other Rwandan athlete had ever reached the finals), followed by Marcianne Mukamurenzi, who placed 38th in the women’s marathon in Seoul in 1988.

In the Kingdom of Gorillas!

Traditionally, the country participates with distance runners and freestyle swimmers in the multi-sport event. In the meantime, it has not yet competed in team sports, such as football or basketball, in the Olympic Championships.

The Francophone nation of Rwanda, bordered by Burundi, RD of the Congo, Tanzania and Uganda, made its international debut in the event exactly in 1984 when the national delegation competed in the Games of the 23rd Olympiad in Los Angeles (CA). In the States, the landlocked nation of Rwanda -geographically it is the size of Maryland/Wales— was represented by one of the smallest athletic contingents of the Third World. It was a time when the African republic, independent since the early 1960s after being an absolutist monarchy for centuries, was ruled by Juvenal Habyarimana, a military warlord who came to power during a coup d’etat in the early 1970s.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, in many ways, the mountainous country —which has one of the world’s most delicious coffees– was a peaceful place and friendly land —unlike Uganda, Mozambique and Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) at the time- despite being one of East Africa’s poorest republics.

In other aspects, this land began to be well-known worldwide for the mountain gorillas thanks to Dian Fossey’s works and articles, which were published in the prestigious National Geographic magazine. However, who could have imagined that Rwanda would be a war-torn country in the following decades.

Rwanda At the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games

Its second participation occurred in the 1988 Korea Olympiad, a year after attending the 1987 African Games. The Rwandan Olympic Committee sent a six-person team at Seoul, competing in athletics. On South Korean soil, Miss Mukamurenzi became one of the most successful national athletes at the Summer Olympics upon finishing 38th in the Second Women’s Olympian Marathon in October 1988. Historically, she was one of the two most respected runners in Africa’s Great Lakes region in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Aside from winning the 10,000 in the Regional Championships, she set two Rwandan records at that year. A year ago, she was runner-up to Leah Malot of Kenya in the women’s 10,000m in the 1987 Continental Games with a time of 33:58.55 and finished as one of the 27th best marathon runners in the World Tournament in Italy. In the early 1990s, she had her best performance when she was top ten in the Global Cup. Distance runner Mukamurenzi, on the other hand, trained in the altitude of Rwanda, a region ideal for runners and marathoners.

By 1992, four years later, in the Spaniard city of Barcelona, there were representatives in two sports: cycling and track and field, both traditional sports on Rwandan soil. With a total of 10 sportsmen and women, the 1992 national team is the largest delegation in country’s Olympic history.

In the quadrennial Olympic   Games  in Sydney (Australia) in 2000, there were national participants in athletics and  swimming . There, the country’s sporting idol Ntawulikura made his fourth consecutive participation, leaving an important legacy for Rwanda’s Olympic system. In the next Summer Games, the nation’s sports officials sent runners and swimmers to Athens (Greece). By 2008, once again Rwanda’s athletic team competed in aquatics and track and field and was one of the smallest delegations on Earth in the multi-sport event in China mainland.

By July 2012, the Rwandan Olympic Committee plans to send a small delegation, integrated by four/five athletes, to the United Kingdom. Up to now, Jean Pierre Mvuyekure, a marathoner runner, and Adrien Niyonshuti, a cyclist, have qualified for the 2012 London Games. Rwanda’s cycling did not compete in the Games since 1992. Meanwhile, the landlocked nation could also compete in sports such as boxing, judo, and  swimming . Currently, Mr. Fred Yannick Sekamana is by far the most outstanding athlete in the Francophone republic. Like most African athletes, this judoka lives and trains in France.

What You Need to Know About Windsurfing

Windsurfing is an exciting and challenging water sport, described as being something between surfing and sailing. This article addresses everything you need to know about windsurfing if you’re new to the windsurfing world. Did you know, some of the best windsurfing in the world is in Oregon along the Hood River?

What You Need to Know About Windsurfing

1. What is windsurfing?

According to http://www.wikipedia.org, WINDSURFING, also known as boardsailing, is a sport involving travel over water on a small 2-4.7 meter board powered by wind acting on a single sail that is connected to the board via a flexible joint. The sport is a hybrid between sailing and surfing. The sail board might be considered the most minimalist version of the modern sailboat, with the major exception that steering is accomplished by tilting the mast and sail rather than with a rudder.

2. Who can do windsurfing?

Almost anyone can windsurf! Man, woman, boy, girl. As long as you know how to   swim , you aren’t afraid of the ocean, and you don’t mind some falls and climbing back on the board over and over – then you’re a candidate for windsurfing!

3. What gear do I need to windsurf?

You don’t need too much gear to start windsurfing. Of course, you’ll need a board. The board looks like a big surfboard with an attached “rig”. The rig can be considered the windsurfing board’s “engine”. It consists of a sail, mast, boom, and extension and universal. The boom is the part you will hold on to when you are on the board.

When you are shopping around for your board and sail you’ll want to remember a couple of things. Choose a smaller board and sail if: you don’t weight very much, you have windsurfed before and don’t consider yourself a beginner, or if you will be windsurfing in an area with strong winds. Choose a larger board and sail if: you have a heavier body weight, you are a beginner, or if you are windsurfing in an area with light winds.

If you are windsurfing off the coast of Oregon, another item you may want to invest in is a wet suit. The waters can get mighty cold out there!

A few other things you need to bring along are a swimsuit and towel. If you have your own equipment, you will probably need some sort of toting device for the top of your car. These are available on-line or at a windsurfing/sports store.

4. How much can I expect to spend on windsurfing gear?

Depending on the type of board and sail you buy, you can start out at around $900, or less if you buy them used, and can go upward of $3000 if you purchase high end equipment.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Trampoline Exercise?

Many people might look at someone bouncing on a trampoline

and wonder what all the excitement is about. But the truth

is, trampolines are great for physical fitness of children

and adults, as well as for influencing other things such as

balance.

Trampolines are used regularly by athletes who skate,

dance, dive, or do gymnastics. That’s because bouncing on

a trampoline takes more than just the effort of jumping up

and down. It takes coordination to achieve consistent

height, balanced landings, and the ability to perform

complex maneuvers without injury.

These athletes learn to hone skills important to their own

sports, by using the mechanics of the trampoline. This can

include techniques like turns, flips, and splits.

Children who learn how to use a trampoline properly, gain a

new sense of freedom, and the thrill of soaring into the

air. A few lessons can go a long way towards giving them a

sense of achievement and self-confidence, especially if

they have tried other, more difficult sports and not been

successful.

Adults can benefit from either full size trampolines, or

the smaller ones known as “rebounders”, designed to be used

in the home. Not only does the gentle activity of bouncing

on a trampoline strengthen voluntary and involuntary

muscles, it helps bones to become stronger, and stay

denser.

The aerobic activity involved strengthens the heart, and

provides you with many of the same benefits as jogging,

with less stress on weight bearing joints.

The “G” force, or effects of gravity in jogging, can

actually increase the impact on your feet, to a value that

is equivalent to four times your body weight. Using a

trampoline can reduce that stress by 80%, providing a safe,

effective way to exercise for older adults, and those with

certain physical challenges.

The Birthday Party For Kids Check List

Planning a birthday party for kids is not always as easy as it sounds. Although you may assume that a party intended for adults would be much harder, there are many things that must be considered when planning an event for children. Make sure you have everything covered using this handy check list. The first thing to remember is to leave enough time to ensure all planning is done and everything is in order. Start early so you can enjoy stress free birthday party planning.

Item 1: Scheduling

Have you decided on a date and time for the party? This obviously must be determined before invitations can be mailed out. However, it is also important you are sure you have chosen a time that works with your schedule. If you will need time off work to prepare or enjoy the party, request it before setting the date in stone. That way, if there are any problems that do not permit time off, you still have an opportunity to choose a different date before invitations go out.

Item 2: The Invitation

Many stores sell invitations specifically intended for a birthday party for kids. Whether you buy premade invitations or make your own is up to you. If you plan to design your own invitation, make sure all the vital details are included. These are the location of the party, time and date, as well as RSVP information. If there are any details party goers must know, such as bring a   swim  suit or have parents come with a dish to share, then make sure these are noted as well.

Item 3: Party Supplies

A birthday party for kids does not have to follow a set schedule. You can plan a dinner or lunch gathering, or something in between that doesn’t include an actual meal. Which you choose will help determine what party supplies are needed. Make sure you have ample cups, plates and plastic silverware to go around and then some. Remember, children may accidentally spill or throw away some items so having extras is important.

Item 4: The Party Area

You most likely have a designated party area decided. This will be where most of the activity goes on and where the guests should remain for the duration of the party. Before the event, make sure these boundaries are understood by your child. If guests are not to go to the upstairs bedrooms, say so. This understanding is vital to ensuring a smoothly run event. Also try to block off any areas you do not want guests to go. For example, doors to off-limits rooms should be kept closed during the party.

Item 5: RSVPs

When planning a birthday party for kids, make sure you keep a written tally of the guests who have RSVPed. The closer to the big day it gets, the harder it will be come to keep track of who has contacted you and who has not. By keeping a record, you can easily monitor and know who you have yet to hear from. A headcount is important when purchasing refreshments, so keep the RSVP list easily accessible.

Mahjong Connect the Most Popular Game Type Appreciated by Veterans All Over

Game of Mahjong that traces its origin in China has been a popular game that has entertained people from all over thoroughly. Not just kids and young, but people of all age group till day love to spend hours together playing this game of thrill and excitement. With various versions and types, one that enjoys ace popularity amongst all is what Mahjong Connect does.

A powerful game that has won great appreciations from veterans belonging world over was created by making alterations in the rules of the original game. A puzzle game that helps you earn points after every win is popular among all who love to enjoy their leisure time with some fun activity.

With total 140 tiles, that is much greater in count than most game types, mahjong connect is designed with a rectangular framework with 14 tiles placed across and 10 one on top of the other. With similar meanings, one tile that stands distinct amongst all is the flower tile that has a picture of chrysanthemum on it. For someone playing it stands important to expose and match all the tiles being displayed on the board.

With some rules that are not very difficult to follow, one can easily learn, play and master this fun filled game called mahjong connect. Starting with matching some limited number of tiles, one can choose options like click, remove or connect to join two matching tiles on the rectangular game board.

With many new changes and newer tools getting added, the game Mahjong connect has evolved greatly with time. Giving players a better experience in terms of fun, excitement and enjoyment this depicts a never ending platform for all those who love to enjoy.

In mahjong connect the tiles move and transform the positions with every move the player makes. When the game ends all the set tiles get reshuffled, but in order to come out as a winner one needs to use and match all the exposed tiles with not even a single one left unused on board.

So, play this game that has been recommended by veterans who are masters in this game of fun, as Mahjong connect.

Home Theatre Buying Guide

Planning

Watching a movie in your own home theater is a great way to escape reality without leaving the house. But before forging ahead with a home theater construction project, you’ll need to put serious time into planning the system. The biggest decision will be what room to put your home theater in. Next comes the selection of video and audio components, as well as the accessories that bring everything together. And then there’s the issue of cost: Setting a realistic budget for the project and sticking to it will save you plenty of headaches in the long run.

Another decision to make when planning a home theater is whether to personally install the equipment or hire professionals to handle the project. If you’re a tech-savvy DIY type, there’s no reason why you can’t do things on your own. Along with saving loads of money, you’ll gain intimate knowledge of the gear — a big plus when troubleshooting any future problems. On the other hand, a custom installation company can design the system for you, steer you toward the latest and greatest toys, and then integrate everything in such a way that the equipment doesn’t clutter up the room.

Your home theater doesn’t have to be the only space in the house where you watch movies and listen to music; you may want to also consider a multiroom system that lets you access tunes or TV from any room you happen to be hanging out in. And if you’re really serious about sound and picture quality, there are several room treatment options to consider that can take your system’s performance to the next level. All of these topics and more will be covered in our guide to home theater planning. Hopefully, reading it will help you to avoid some common installation mistakes — ones that can cost both time and money.

Setup

Okay, you’ve decided to install a home theater by yourself. Now you’ll need a game plan for getting all that equipment set up and running smoothly. The following guide will walk you through the main points of home theater setup, from finding the right distance to sit from the TV’s screen to adjusting room lighting to get the best picture quality.

After deciding on a TV, the most basic setup step is to determine how far away you should sit from it. High-definition programs on cable, satellite, and disc are packed with picture detail, so you’ll want to sit close enough to see it — but not so close that you can detect the individual pixels that make up the image. Our guide will provide a few examples of recommended seating distances for common TV screen sizes.

The next step will be to unbox your components and run all the cables that connect them to the TV and speaker system. A wide variety of A/V furniture, wall-mounting hardware, and cable-concealing solutions are available to help streamline this process. We’ll cover those bases, and also offer some tips for achieving a clean, professional-looking installation.

The final part of your home theater setup will be tweaking the system for the best possible picture and sound. Although some of these adjustments can me made by using your own gear’s setup menus along with commercially available test DVDs, there are times when you need to call in a pro to take things to the next level. And then there are the esoteric areas of home theater setup — things like room correction and lighting automation. We’ll give you the lowdown on those subjects and more in the following section.

Accessories

A home theater system can be as basic as a bigscreen TV and speakers squeezed into your current living room. It can also be an elaborate, custom-designed movie palace with plush seating and a projector and screen that slide out of the ceiling. The end result depends on how you choose accessorize your system, and the following guide will give you an overview of what kinds of home theater accessories are available.

Basic accessories that we recommend for any home theater include a power conditioner and learning remote control. The first one gives you a place to plug in all your gear, and the second can take over the functions of your other remotes to eliminate coffee table clutter. And while headphones might seem like an odd addition for a home theater, they’ll come in handy for late-night listening when you don’t want to disturb others in the house.

To help simplify your home theater’s operation, you’ll want to check out more advanced types of remote controls. These usually have large liquid-crystal display screens and can be programmed to perform functions like turning on the whole system and starting a movie with a single button push. They can also control room automation systems that perform tricks like lowering a motorized projection screen and opening curtains.

Finally, there’s home theater furniture. Comfortable, theater-style seating can make the difference between an ordinary home theater and one that you’ll gravitate towards night after night. Read on and find out about the world of home theater accessories.

Components

TV has come a long way since the days when you simply plugged in an antenna and clicked through the four or five channels you could tune in. The range of video source components now includes high-definition disc players, home theater PCs, and game consoles that expand the activity of TV-viewing well beyond settling down to watch CSI. The following guide will highlight the various kinds of A/V sources that are available, and take a sneak peek at what’s around the corner as well.

The question of whether to subscribe to cable or satellite is one that many people find themselves asking these days. We’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of both, and also talk a bit about the new hard-disk digital video recorders that are used to record programs with either option. Next, we’ll get into some of the finer points of the various decks used for watching movie discs — a group that includes regular DVD players, high-definition disc players, and a special category of players that process regular video signals on DVD to help them look like high-definition TV.

Videogames, too, have come a long way since the days of Asteroids and Space Invaders. With their sophisticated graphics, soundtracks, and storylines, the best titles have something to offer both kids and adults alike. And then there are Home Theater PCs — computers designed to fit in an A/V rack and play both DVDs and digital music, record TV, and browse the Web. Tune in and we’ll bring you up to date on all of these devices and more.

Connections

Compared to just a few years ago, the average TV or receiver has an alarming number of audio and video connections populating its back panel input section. Analog audio and video, digital audio and video, computer connections — just name it and it’s there, waiting for you to plug in. Keeping track of all those jacks is hard work, which is why we’re going to spell them out in detail in the following connections guide.

The most common A/V connections carry basic analog audio and video signals. They’re the ones that you use to plug in those red, white, and yellow color-coded cables that come free with your new DVD player or TiVO recorder. After briefly discussing those jacks, we’ll next dive into the advanced connections that transmit high-definition video and multichannel digital audio signals in a high-performance home theater. Not all of the digital audio and video connections on TVs and other gear are compatible with one another, so it helps to know the features and capabilities of each when you’re putting together a system.

Most systems need to juggle a variety of audio and video source components. In a typical installation, the signals need to be routed to a single TV and amplifier, which is where A/V switchers come in. After describing the various types of switchers on the market, we’ll finish off by talking about signal extenders — a useful device in a large home theater where the projector is set up a sizable distance from the rest of the equipment.

Receivers

A receiver is arguably the most important component in a home theater system, switching audio and video signals, driving the speakers, and performing a number of other essential tasks. Each new generation of products comes packed with a menu of new features, processing modes, and A/V connections, so it’s important to keep up on the latest developments on the receiver front — something we’ll help you do in the following guide.

When shopping for a receiver, it will be a good idea to learn the names and capabilities of the various multichannel audio-processing modes that each one offers. We’ll cover all the latest modes — everything from DTS-ES Discrete to Dolby Headphone — and also explain the differences between 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1-surround sound. Next, we’ll get into the particulars of receiver setup, and then move on to the subject of amplifier power specifications — another key thing to look at when comparing models.

Along with A/V switching, signal processing, and amplification, many receivers offer convenience features like recording loop outputs and multizone audio connections. We’ll be covering those, too, to help you learn how to get the most use out of your receiver. Next, we’ll get into the Auto-EQ processing found on some high-end models, a feature that can help improve sound quality by compensating for your listening environment’s overall acoustics. Finally, we’ll discuss the advantages of buying a separate home theater preamp/processor and amplifier combination over a standalone receiver.

Speaker

Buying speakers can be hard work. Not only are there a huge number of brands to sort through, but there are also several different technologies to consider, all of which have their own distinct sound. Speaker design is definitely changing with the times. You can still find plenty of boxy, traditional-looking systems, but most manufacturers are now pushing slim, wall-hugging models that fade into the background beside a large flat-panel TV. Confused about what kind of speakers to buy? Read our guide to speakers — it will hopefully steer you in the right direction.

After listing the various speaker technologies and discussing the relative merits of freestanding and on-wall designs, we’ll next go through the types of connections that you’ll find on the back of both affordable and more costly models. Then we’ll talk about newer speaker categories such as in-wall and in-ceiling models — products designed to literally blend in with their surroundings. And the final stop on our speaker tour will acquaint you with the various surround speaker options for home theater.

While familiarity with the various speaker types can simplify shopping, it will also be helpful to learn some of the technical terms that show up in speaker specifications. We’ll cover two of the most common ones: frequency response and impedance. Finally, we’ll talk about speaker placement — a discipline that’s an equal mix of both art and science.

Video Signal Formats

The arrival of digital and high-definition TV via over-the-air broadcasts, cable, and satellite has changed the television landscape for the better. At the same time, the diversity of formats contained in the new digital standard has made TV technology more complicated than it used to be. If you’re in the market for a new high-definition TV and are confused by the jargon you’re coming across — terms like 1080i, 720p, widescreen, and 4:3 — our guide to video signal formats will hopefully make the picture a little clearer.

Not all digital TV signals are created equal. High-definition programs get produced in a number of different formats, and there also some lower-resolution standard-definition ones that are in use as well. While chances are that any new set you buy can easily display all of the digital TV formats, it will be helpful to know some background on the technology before you make the jump from regular TV to high-definition. It’s our aim to give you the information you need to speak digital TV fluently.

Moving past signal formats and into heavier technical topics, we’ll discuss the color space differences between the old NTSC TV system and the new ATSC digital one. Assuming you’re still with us at that point, we’ll next get into the advanced digital video compression codecs used for satellite TV transmission as well as disc production in the high-definition HD DVD and Blu-ray disc formats. After that, you should qualify as a full-fledged digital TV expert.

Top Three Ways To Communicate With Your Child

Although many parents become frustrated as they try to maintain an open line of communication between themselves and their children, regardless of age, there are three quite simple ways to attempt to achieve this goal effectively.

1 Talk to your kids. Every day. More than once a day. Every morning before school. Every afternoon after school. Every evening (preferably as you sit down TOGETHER at the dinner table). Every night before they go to bed (preferably as you ARE THE PERSON who tucks them in, says goodnight, sees them get in bed in their pajamas etc…)

2 Make time for your children. Not just the above mentioned time to talk – but actual time WITH them. Go to their soccer games, school events, and other extracurricular activities. And DO NOT just show up at their games half-way through and leave before they end. Take them (and their friends) to their after-school activities. Talk to them (and their friends on the way there and on the way back). Stay for the whole game, talk to your children after the game is over about the game, their friends, their coaches, the involved people….

3 Be honest with your kids. Children can spot a liar a mile away. They relate and respond to HONESTY. They rely on you to tell them the truth. If you do not deliver this basic necessity, how can you expect them to reciprocate? If you HAVE to work late and will not be able to attend their game, be at dinner, help them with their homework etc… TELL THEM WHY you have to work late.