How to Help Your Child Ace School Exams

Thursday, March 1, 2012

How to Help Your Child Ace School Exams

When it seems that it is becoming a habit for your child to put off school work, it’s time for you to step in and help your child develop good study habits to get better grades. It is important for you to emphasize to your child the importance of setting priorities early in life. Don’t wait for them to flunk their tests, or worse, fail in their subjects before you talk to them about it.

You can help your children hurdle their tests with these 7 tips:

1. Help them set targets

Ask your child what they want to achieve for that particular school year. Tell them to set a specific goal or target. If they say, “I want to get better grades,” tell them to be more specific. It will be better if they say they want to get a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Having a definite target will make it easier for them to undertake a series of actions to achieve their goals, instead of just “shooting for the moon.”

2. Preparation is key

At the start of the school year, teachers provide an outline of a subject’s scope along with a reading list and other course requirements. Make sure that your child has all the materials they need for these course requirements. Having these materials on hand will make sure that your child will have no reason to procrastinate and give them the opportunity to study in advance.

3. Teach them to mark important dates

You may opt to give them a small notebook where they can jot down important dates or a planner that has dates where they can list their schedule. Ask them to show this to you so you can give them “gentle reminders” to block off the whole week before the dates of an exam. During this week, advise your child to not schedule any social activity so they can concentrate on studying.

4. Schedule regular study time

Encourage your child to set aside at least two hours every day to go through their lessons. This will help them remember the lectures for the day and understand the concepts they were taught. They should be encouraged to spend more time on subjects or concepts that they do not understand.

Beetlemania: Invasive insect could become our billion-dollar problem | Grist

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beetlemania: Invasive insect could become our billion-dollar problem | Grist

When the Khapra discovers a new food source, it does not pause to think about how it might live harmoniously and sustainably in this new ecosystem. Instead it lays its eggs in everything. A single female can lay 500 eggs, according to Andrew R. Cline, senior insect biosystematist at the Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch of the California Department of Food & Agriculture. The insect is so small that it can hide behind a fleck of paint on the inside of a grain silo, but eyewitness accounts of infestations describe looking down into grain stores that seemed to be alive, they were so thickly coated with wiggling larvae. The Khapra beetle doesn’t leave much behind. Other insects will maybe take 30 percent of a crop, Cline says. The Khapra will take 70 percent. Or all of it.

Statin Drug Safety Warnings -

Statin Drug Safety Warnings -

Now the Food and Drug Administration has agreed the concerns are valid enough to add new safety alerts to the prescribing information for statins, which are the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. As Gardiner Harris reports in today’s Times:

Online Vocabulary Building

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Logo_medium WordStash


howjsay . com 

VocabSushi Logo 

My Stars

Friday, January 27, 2012

I just can't keep up with my reader. I was out of touch with computer for so long.  My solution, post it!
So here is my long stared reader items that I want to clear out but keep stored in an easier manner.  Hope you don't mind the flux of posting to come.

Pack a Bag via Art of Manliness

Packing to Avoid Wrinkling
The bane of any traveler’s existence is the wrinkles and creases that end up in your clothes after you pull them out of your suitcase. Try these techniques to keep your clothes neat and crisp while they’re en route to your destination.
Alternate Folding
One way to avoid creases in clothing is by placing one garment between the folds of another garment. By placing another garment between the folds, you can prevent a crease from forming.
In this example we’re packing a dress shirt, a pair of dress slacks, a tie, and few t-shirts.
1. Start off by buttoning the bottom, middle, and top button of the dress shirt.
2. Lay the shirt facedown on a flat surface. Put your finger about an inch from the collar of the shirt and fold the sleeve into the shirt, forming a straight line down the edge. Bring the sleeve in line with edge you just created. Repeat on the other side. You should end up with something that looks like this.

3. Lay your tie completely unfolded along the length of the shirt. Place a folded t-shirt at the point where you want to fold the dress shirt.
4. Fold over your dress shirt. Fold any part of your tie over that’s hanging out of your shirt over your dress shirt. You’ll end up with something like this.

5. Now it’s time to fold your slacks. Lay your slacks on a flat surface and place a t-shirt at the point where you plan on folding the pants. Fold.

6. If you want, place another t-shirt on top of your folded pants. Fold the bottom half of your pants over your t-shirt.
7. Flip over your pants, so the waist band is face up. Place another t-shirt where you want to fold the waist band over the rest of the pants. Fold. You should end up with three folds in your pants with t-shirts in between each fold.
Fold and Roll
If the alternate folding method isn’t your thing, you can always go with the traditional fold and roll method.
1. Roll up garments that don’t wrinkle as easily. These include t-shirts, underwear, jeans, and cotton slacks.
2. Fold garments like dress slacks, dress shirts, and dress coats.
3. Place the rolled up garments on the bottom of the bag. Then place the folded garments on top.
4. Place shoes, socks, and your Dopp kit along the sides of the bag.

Find it all at:

Shortcut world via

Thursday, January 26, 2012

keyboard shortcut list
Currently, it provides keyboard shortcut lists for the following apps.

  • Firefox
  • Winamp
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Powerpoint
  • Google Chrome
  • Photoshop
  • Windows XP
  • Fireworks
  • Outlook 2007
Certainly, a site worth bookmarking. You might also want to check KeyXL which is another similar tool profiled earlier. Or better go and download some MakeUseOf Cheat sheets.
Check out Shortcutworld @ (By Abhijeet from Appscrazy)
New on MakeUseOf ...

HBR email editing

1. Delete redundancies. Say it once. That's enough. If you're repetitive, the reader will stop reading and start skimming. (Like you probably just did.)

2. Use numbers and specifics instead of adverbs and adjectives. "The project is currently way behind schedule on major tasks," is not as clear as "The project is 3 weeks late delivering hamburger buns to Des Moines." (If you don't have numbers, still get rid of the adverbs and adjectives.)

3. Add missing context. Does your reader know that hamburger buns in Iowa are required for the company to collect $37 million? If you're not sure, remind them.

4. Focus on the strongest argument. Should those hamburger buns get shipped because the delay is embarrassing for the company, because it's costing children their lunch, or because it's costing the company tens of millions of dollars? Maybe all three, but one of those reasons (and it depends on your reader) will be enough to get buns on the road.

5. Delete off-topic material. The best emails say one thing and say it clearly. One-subject emails also make it easier for the recipient to file the message once they've taken action, something anyone who uses Outlook to manage tasks appreciates.

6. Seek out equivocation and remove it. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" works for Dickens, not status reports.

7. Kill your favorites. Is something in your text particularly pithy, amusing, or clever? Chances are, it's not. If it sticks out, it's probably a tap-dancing gorilla in boxer shorts — hilarious when you thought of it, embarrassing when it gets in your manager's inbox.

8. Delete anything written in the heat of emotion. Will this sentence show them who's been right about the hamburger buns since the beginning? Yes? Cut it.

9. Shorten. Remember the reader struggling to digest your message on the run — a BlackBerry or an iPhone gets about 40 words per screen. What looks short on your desktop monitor is an epic epistle on their mobile device.

10. Give it a day. With time, what seemed so urgent may no longer need to be said. And one less email is something everyone will thank you for.


Letter Writing via Art of Manliness

The Art of Letter Writing

What follows is a brief overview of letter writing, taken  from Hills Manual of Social and Business Forms. This 1821 publication, has, as we have previously discussed, advice that is as fresh today as it was a hundred years ago. We turn now to Professor Thomas Hill for a primer on the basic ins and outs of letter writing:
You have thoughts that you wish to communicate to another through the medium of a letter. Possibly you have a favor to bestow. Quite as likely you have a favor to ask. In either case you wish to write that letter in a manner such as to secure the respect and consideration of the person with whom you correspond.
The rules for the mechanical execution of a letter are few ; understanding and observing the rules already considered for composition, the writer has only to study perfect naturalness of expression, to write a letter well.

Style and Manner

The expression of language should, as nearly as possible, be the same as the writer would speak. A letter is but a talk on paper. The style of writing will depend upon the terms of intimacy existing between the parties. If to a superior, it should be respectful ; to inferiors, courteous ; to friends, familiar ; to relatives, affectionate.


Do not be guilty of using that stereotyped phrase,
Dear Friend:
I now take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well, and hope you are enjoying the same great blessing.
Be original. You are not exactly like any one else. Your letter should be a representative of yourself, not of anybody else. The world is full of imitators in literature, who pass on, leaving no reputation behind them. Occasionally originals come up, and fame and fortune are ready to do them service. The distinguished writers of the past and present have gone aside from the beaten paths. Letter writing affords a fine opportunity for the display of originality. In your letter be yourself ; write as you would talk.

Purity of Expression

Bear in mind the importance, in your correspondence, of using always the most chaste and beautiful language it is possible to command, consistent with ease and naturalness of expression. Especially in the long letters of friendship and love – those missives that reveal the heart-the language should show that the heart is pure. Let your letter be the record of the fancies and mood of the hour; the reflex of your aspirations, your joys, your disappointments; the faithful daguerreotype of your intellectuality and your moral worth.
You little dream how much that letter may influence your future. How much it may give of hope and happiness to the one receiving it. How much it may be examined, thought of, laughed over and commented on; and when you suppose it has long since been destroyed, it may be brought forth, placed in type, and published broadcast to millions of readers.
When, in after years, the letter you now write is given to the world, will there be a word, an expression, in the same that you would blush to see in print?
Write in the spirit of cheerfulness. It is unkind to the correspondent to fill the sheet with petty complainings, though there are occasions when the heart filled with grief may confide all its troubles and sorrows to the near friend, and receive in return a letter of sympathy and condolence, containing all the consolation it is possible for the written missive to convey.
The length of letters will depend upon circumstances. As a rule, however, business letters should be short, containing just what is necessary to be said, and no more.


To be written correctly according to general usage, a letter will embrace the following parts:
1st, the date
2nd, complimentary address
3rd, body of the letter
4th, complimentary closing
5th signature
6th, superscription
Position of the Various Parts.

Etiquette of Letter Writing

As a rule, every letter, unless insulting in its character, requires an answer. To neglect to answer a letter, when written to, is as uncivil as to neglect to reply when spoken to. In the reply, acknowledge first the receipt of the letter, mentioning its date, and afterwards consider all the points requiring attention.
If the letter is to be very brief, commence sufficiently far from the top of the page to give a nearly equal amount of blank paper at the bottom of the sheet when the letter is ended.
In writing a letter, the answer to which is of more benefit to yourself than the person to whom you write, enclose a postage stamp for the reply.
Letters should be as free from erasures, interlineations, blots and postscripts as possible. It is decidedly better to copy the letter than to have these appear.

Online Manual Sites

Just a few sites for looking up lost or missing manuals online

Photoshop Brushes via

50 Free Photoshop Brush Sets You Should Bookmark

free photoshop brushes
If you’ve got an idea (or concept) but find it hard to present on your artwork because the drawings just don’t add up, try Photoshop Brushes. Brushes are designers best friend, particularly web designers who don’t illustrate graphics much.
Adobe Photoshop does comes with a basic package of brushes but it has not been updated by folks at Adobe for quite some time. Thanks to the great community of designers out there who constantly distributing and sharing their brushes, you can almost find brushes of any patterns these days. Whether you are working on a nature-related artwork looking for floral and wood graphics, or merely adding some torn, burned and cracked effects to your artwork - there’s a free brush pack out there and all you need to do is Google.
In today’s post, we attempt to present you some of the high quality and good ones, those we thought would be generally useful in many occasion and definitely worth checking out and bookmark. Here’s our hand-picked of 50 Free and High Quality Photoshop Brush Sets You Should Bookmark. Full list after jump.
Some useful Photoshop related entries we’ve previously written:

  1. Metal Brushes

    9 metal texture brush set.
  2. 2Bit-Twilight Brushes

    A set of 12 abstract pixel brushes for Photoshop. Compatible with Photoshop 8+ / Photoshop Elements 3+.
  3. 8 fantasy butterfly brushes

    8 really beautiful and fantasy butterfly brushes to spice up your painting.
  4. A3D Pieces of Tape Brushes

    Thirty-seven brushes from various torn, wrinkled, pieces of tape brushes made in Photoshop 7.0
  5. Abstract Brushset XIII

    13 awesome abstract brushes.
    abstract brushes
  6. Astral Flora

    Pack contains 8 brushes, including 2 different sized leaves, 1 astral rose, 1 astral flowerbud, 1 astral butterfly, an assortment of whispy, starspangled curves.

  7. Barbed wire brush

    Two barbed wire brushes.
  8. Brush Stroke Brushes

    Made with thick black poster colours. Just great for those pieces needing brush strokes with hard bristles.
  9. Butterflies with Flowers

  10. Zelink’s Cataclysm Brushset

    Can be used for grunge, stars abstract and smoke/forg effects. This set was based upon the stars of the heavens. This set, cataclysm, was designed to bring violent destruction upon the use of other sets. It has many uses and works very well for sigs.
  11. Cracks and cuts brushes

    This pack includes around 80 brushes, all cracks, chips and cuts.
  12. Demolished.Cracks

    Demolished.Cracks pack contains 12 brushes compatible with PS 7 and up!
  13. Fractal Brushes

    There are ten of fractal brushes in total.
  14. CS4 Brushes

    New style of CS4 brushes.
  15. Glow Part I

    There are 11 big brushes made with Photoshop 7.0
  16. Floral Frame Brushes

    Now with these wonderful brushes all you need is Photoshop and the brush tool selected, you’ll create floral frame brushes so awesome that you will love.
  17. Drop Brushes

    A set of brushes for photoshop (created in CS3) with sizes range from about 700px to 1600px.
  18. 5 Checkered PS Brushes

  19. Label Brushes

    The pack contains the the letters of the alphabet, numbers and some extras. Theres a piece of tape and some marks which could be used in white and added to the labels once they’re done to make them look authentic and cool.
  20. TI Graphic Pack 152 Ps Brushes

    152 Photoshop brushes made on Ps CS4.
  21. Metal Mesh Brush

    Metal Mesh Brush by =SocioBunneh.
  22. Hyper Brushes - PS7

  23. 10 Very Big Brushes No.30

  24. MOON BRUSHES for PS7 v.2

    45 moon brushes for ps7, ps8, ps9, ps10.
  25. 25 Tiny Text Brushes 02

    It includes 25 tiny text brushes for icons. The .zip contains an .abr file compatible with Photoshop 7.0 and up.
  26. 20 high-res-stamp brushes

    20 high-resolution stamp brushes.
  27. 122 Brushes

  28. Camera-Stuff

    8 brushes for lens, film and camera.
  29. Architectual ornaments

  30. Crack Brushes I

  31. Echolalie-stock 32

    The package contains 15 different brushes made of different wall pictures. You will find cracks, scratches and dirty brushes.
  32. Floral brushes

    8 large floral brushes, for use on headers and wallpapers.
    7 100×100 floral brushes, for use on icons.
  33. Holes, Holes, Holes

    These hole brushes are higher res so would be good for higher res projects as well.
  34. Girl Brushes

  35. Andantonius’ Pencil Brush

    With this pencil brush and sketch paper action, you can quickly and easily create natural-looking pencil sketches, without the pencil! The brush takes advantage of both pen pressure and tilt to create a very natural feel and look.
  36. Old brushes 8

    Oldies set (8 brushes) for photoshop cs-cs2
  37. Barcodes

  38. Line Brushes

    A pack of solid and dotted lines.
  39. My Sweet Diary Brushes

    The pack contains 70 cute brushes for lines, random scribbles and drawings, animals and a lot of hearts!

See the rest at