Short Guide to Taking the Best Selfies

Taking selfies with your phone is a very easy and convenient way to express your various moods. Selfies enable you to express yourself in any manner you find preferable.

It is fun taking selfies where you can illustrate your confidence, personality and sense of fashion. These days it is quite a norm to take selfies. Though the process is simple, it doesn't imply that you just aim your camera to your face and click. It takes practice to take striking selfies that will be admired by your friends when they see them on the social networking sites. Here are a few tips to help you improve your skills of taking selfies:

Get the correct angle

You can try different angles to highlight some of your personal features, or cover up those that you don't want to be noticed. That is one of the important advantages of taking your own snaps. When you like your face to look thinner or the eyes to appear larger, you can shoot from a slightly raised level. When you don't want to highlight a small bulge beneath the chin, slightly pull your neck out. In case the upper part of your body is coming in the frame, try turning your shoulder a bit in the direction of the camera. That should make you look slimmer.

Change the position of the camera, take a shot, have a look and take another shot. You may need to spend some time for finding the most appropriate angle. Once you are able to locate it, you would have improved not only your photos, but also your skills.

Be considerate of lighting

Having the right amount of light is a vital part of photography, and thus selfies. Make use of natural light. When taking indoor photos, position yourself close to a window. If light is not adequate, the photo will reflect the imperfections of the skin.

Keep the source of light opposite to the object to be photographed. It is light that can soften or brighten your features. As far as possible, the use of flash should be avoided while taking selfies. Selfies taken using cameras which include flash are rarely good. Use flash only with more professional cameras having the feature of color correction.

Do not ignore the background

Selfie obviously means that you should be dominating in that photo, but don't overlook the background altogether. Just make a mental note of your surroundings, and arrange the setting of your camera accordingly. If you are not positioned properly, a tree in the background could appear to be jetting out of your head. Avoid looking at something that could hinder a cheerful smile.

If you take care of these simple aspects of photography, you can surely take unique, loving selfies and post them on Facebook or Twitter.

Looking to buy a selfie stick pink at the best price? Come and check our selfie stick sale before we run out of items! By Karina Popa

Tongue Rings and Some of Their Best Advantages

Fashion of tongue piercing and wearing some kind of adornment in the pierce part could be sourced back to the Aztec and Mayan cultures; however, their purpose behind getting their taste gland pierced was mainly to please their respective Gods. At the turn of the twentieth century, it was adopted as a fashion trend by the west, and they started adorning their pierced tongue with a specifically designed piece of jewelry, namely tongue rings or barbells. There are accessible broad varieties of tongue rings in the market, which the fashionistas pick as per their unique preferences. They state diverse motives and advantages of piercing and wearing oral jewelry. Some of the best benefits of going with this trend are -

Increased appeal - Sporting this fashion brings an added appeal to your persona. Most people claim that with a pierced tongue they look more attractive than those without it. The look of a simple piercing could be transformed radically by using a stylish tongue ring. With so many options available, the fashion buffs can get a new makeover every occasion they pay a visit to.

Look different - One of the best parts of wearing these body jewelries is you start looking completely different from how you looked earlier. And you know, being different is being more attractive. So, if you have been willing to catch attention of your crush or the group of dudes, you always wanted to hang out with, tongue rings could be your ideal choice. After this, you will notice that people have started taking an interest in you, because of your different looks. With a shiny ring, you will be reflecting your very new shiny image.

Less painful than other piercing practices - Some people do not go for piercing declaring it to be very painful. However, people with a pierced tongue assert that it is not as painful as they had thought it would be. With employment of anesthetic drugs and injections, whichever amount of pain resides there could be eliminated.

Improved sex drive and pleasure - Another top reason why the youth of today is more interested going with tongue piercing is plenty of oral pleasures in the bedroom. Most of them emphasize that they get an increased stimulation during their impassioned act.

Come whatever may be the advantages, there are certain points that the people with pierced tongues should take care of. You should wear the ring when the wound has been healed completely. Moreover, after taking this, you need to be extra careful while eating, especially when the piercing is fresh. Further, the size of the barbells should be chosen considering the size of your tongue and piercing. Furthermore, you should never compromise on the material quality over design.

Tongue rings are a kind of body jewelry that promises to transform your look and appeal.

How to Support Bilingual Literacy at School?

Families and communities should advocate for bilingual education as a source of personal and social empowerment.

For those families living within communities where a different language than the one being spoken at home is prevalent, the power to enrich the lives of our children with the mother tongue provides a valuable addition to the diversity of the schools and community as a whole.

A new bilingual mindset opens the following opportunities:

Parents as Teacher Aids:

• An opportunity for mom and dad to participate in the education of their child and support the family's cultural heritage and diversity.
• An opportunity for that parent to learn and strengthen her or his own language and communication skills.
• An opportunity for that parent to add value to the community.

Schools as Community Enhancers:

• An opportunity to host a variety of cultural activities.
• An opportunity to connect to other members of the community and gain from the value they bring.
• An opportunity to strengthen the diversity of the school staff and cultural awareness of its faculty.
• An opportunity to provide communities with a variety of programs that support the transition to a new environment and a new language.

What's needed?

Schools must approach parents and develop mutually beneficial connections with them. To accomplish this task, schools should rely on its own bilingual staff, and look online and offline for services that provide advisory support and free resources to these experienced teachers on how to handle situations particular to immigrant families from South and Central America.

What are some of the major hurdles?

• Parents lacking the language skills and their own cultural and social insecurities.
• Resistance to change from parents and teachers alike. Based on the mistaken belief that what's currently been done is actually working.
• School budgeting and prioritizing which doesn't necessarily include the right investments in favor of greater resources to Hispanic students' academic success.

What are the main goals to target?

• Language skills development. Becoming fully bilingual.
• Living cultures. Developing cultural awareness and conscious participation in the acculturation process; a new physical and social environment.
• Mentors and advisers that speak your language and share your experience. Understanding there's a path to follow; listening and sharing success stories.

The type of social engagement and open conversation between school, teachers and parents is essential for the present and future success of our Hispanic children and their families, and that should be enough to consider possible proactive solutions.

How are you addressing the issue of bilingual education in your classroom?

I highly recommend educators to find free resources and guidance to engage Hispanic children and their families. I encourage all educators and professionals working in an educational setting to be proactive and engage children in both English and Spanish. Bilingualism is an asset and a great way to offer scaffolding support to students, as well as a wider range of reading and writing materials and opportunities to express their identity and their heritage, while informing and expanding the knowledge of their fellow students. By Gabriela Gotay

International Phone Cards Makes Calling Easier

If your local telephone operator charges you the moon for making international calls, don't sweat! Help is at hand and international calling cards are the way to go. Not only can you make calls to various countries across the world, you also have to pay less for talking more!

International calling cards, as the name suggests, are telephone cards that allow you to call over long distances as well as dial your friends and family residing abroad from the comfort of your home or office. No longer do you have to pay huge bills for speaking to your loved ones abroad, or your client in some other country. With international calling cards you can enjoy complete freedom and low rates.

Types of International Calling Cards

Typically, calling cards are available as disposable or refillable cards. Some of these calling cards also come with a PIN printed on them. Whenever you make an international call, the charge is applied to your land line telephone billing account. Payment can be made using a prepaid credit system or by credit card. While different calling cards have different payment methods, you can use these cards in many different ways to make the necessary calls, but this would depend on the company that's offering you the calling cards.

Currently, the market has two types of international calling cards. One is the stored value calling card, while other is the remote memory calling card. Now, stored value cards already have a pre-fed amount of money that can be used for making international calls. For ex: if you buy an international stored value calling card worth $10, you'll be able to make calls until that amount runs out. The pay-phones read the balance available on your card every time you make a new call and inform you of the available balance once you have completed your call.

On the other hand, remote memory calling cards work on a toll-free number access. Every time you need to dial the toll-free number, follow the instructions to call the number of your choice. The toll-free number also informs you on the available balance and duration of the call.

Why Use International Calling Cards

If you are traveling aboard for studies, business, or just fun chances are you will get homesick. Calling back home can be an expensive deal especially if you want to talk for more than just a quick hello. Using international calling cards, you can call home or call from home to anyone, any where in the world. Opt for pre-paid calling cards or post-paid calling card plans, but either way you'll be able to fulfill your desire to talk to your loved ones whenever you want without having to worry about the clock ticking away!

There are several companies that offer international, travel, and other such calling cards. Each of these has different plans, different rates, and different denominations of calling cards for places across the world. Choose the one you like the best and that suits your requirements and pocket.

The Problem With College and Career Readiness Education

Preparing our children to be successful in college and once they step out into the workplace is certainly an educational goal worth striving for, but should college and career readiness by the ultimate goal of the traditional education system?

I am proof that focusing on college and career readiness can actually work. I graduated with high honors from both college and graduate school. I have a job and time to blog and come up with other fun ideas and projects. I have good communication skills, interpersonal skills, work with people and take on leadership roles.

However, when I think back and reflect about my years in primary and secondary school, I know there is so much information that is missing. For me, those first years of school seem to be a blur. I know I did receive some information, I know I was there at school, in a room with a teacher and other 20 or 30 students, I know I had the books and I also know, I was a very distracted girl, I know I did not like all they taught and felt no inspiration to learn. Nevertheless, I did the work, I got passing grades, and moved up from one grace to the next until I was "ready".

Yes, many students reach a level of "college and career readiness". But what does that really mean? Even more worrisome, could that be the only goal that is worth it?

New schools and new teaching and learning models have been sprung up for years in different countries around the world. In the US these "avant-garde" schools are implementing many different approaches to teaching and learning. These schools are mostly private schools or public charter schools. Unfortunately, many of the students that need these schools the most, as they provide greater literacy reinforcement and a new source of inspiration to learn beyond the expected bottom line, are missing out.

What happens when we forgo true mastery of skills, abilities and understanding for the quick and ready-made? When we don't allow the teaching and learning process enough flexibility and resources to provide individual attention to students and support to teachers? What happens when the aim of traditional schools continuous to be the mass production of "workers", giving just enough time, tools and strategies to grasp the very basic concepts and understanding to move on? The answer is simple and worrisome, where the original goal was to produce "useful and moral citizens" the reality is that we are producing nothing more than mediocre children.

Of course many students in traditional educational systems succeed. But shouldn't the aim be the success of ALL?

And what about this insistence on "college and career" as the next obvious steps, or rather THE steps to take after graduating from high school?

I did follow the very traditional path of college, marriage and career. As I look back and forward into the evolution of our human civilization, that traditional path is still very much ingrained in the way western culture has structured itself. Within society, many of us think we are doing what we want to do with our lives, but in reality, immersed in the traditional education systems, we have been programmed for years. Of course, at the time schools as we know them formally began, its main purpose was to develop rational and discipline citizens, men and women willing and able to follow society's rules and limitations that make everyday life possible. The school became a civilizing institution.

But, when the standards teachers work with emphasize "college and career readiness" we are telling young students that these are the only acceptable options on the table for their future. I believe, that in a never ending quest to produce children that get into college and find jobs, schools have created massive mediocrity.

College: before our modern times, going to a higher institution of learning was not designed for everyone. Nowadays we have more than enough physical evidence that people that don't go to college can still be greatly successful. This success doesn't happen by accident, but by action and self-disciple. If students grow up and get educated in creative and innovative environments, who can tell how many useful technologies they may be able to come up with or what new ideas they may develop that change the way we live our lives in the coming future. At one time in our human history colleges may have been great places to share ideas and learn about a variety of topics not available to everybody else. Now, that is not necessarily true anymore. People around the world connect and share ideas by the second. The internet is all about information, connectivity and learning that takes place instantly. Many free courses are available online, all the books you could imagine to download and the forums for discussion of new ideas.

Career: this word doesn't mean a Job, not anymore. Now a career may be thought of as the path one entrepreneur takes along a line of innovative ideas, products and services. Now a career is not a life spent working for a company, performing exactly the skill, it says in your resume, you acquired in your college degree. The workplace has changed, and the role of a professional within it has also change. Social skills are needed in the workplace, yes, ability to follow rules and procedures, to work in teams, to manage time... but more and more offices and companies are revamping their organizational structure and what they expect employees to do. It's no longer a follow the leader, static environment. It is an ever changing and challenging place, where cultural awareness and diversity is the new norm, where each individual is expected to take on a leadership role, where working standing up is ergonomic and we are even having "walking" meetings.

Innovative educational models have come and go, the stronger ones have endured. But to get access to those, most parents still need to pay. While the public education systems of some states have taken positive steps forward, other are lingering behind, within the security of the states' educational standards and the CCS. Don't get me wrong, having a set of standards is useful in many ways. But the limiting expectation of college and career readiness may be doing more harm than good.

As valuable as is it to prepare children with the skills they will need to be useful and productive once they get out of school, it is also valuable to make the time they spend in school one of self-discovery, reflection, creativity and problem solving outside the box. Because, if children don't see themselves represented in other individual or self-made boxes outside the box of "college" and the box of "career", they will default to mediocrity. Supporting and building of the confidence of children is what opens up the path they will choose to travel no just toward college and career, but through life.

Let's prepare our children to be ready to face life's challenges and opportunities. Let's refrain from forcing "college" and "career" as the only two options and the only to reason that school is worth their time for. School, as a time and place, is so much more than that.

Let's continue the conversation! Leave me all your comments below or send me a tweet @southcentraledu
 Gabriela Gotay

The Shame of College Sports

College sports are a great American institution; celebrated in prose and song; where in legend hearty student athletes strode across the sporting fields bringing honor and joy to the ivied halls of higher learning. But the reality of college sports is not so romantic.

Consider the players. Once student athletes, many are now athletes who often cannot find the classrooms. There are quality programs such as the military academies and premier schools like Stanford, Duke, Notre Dame and Wake Forest with high graduation rates. There are exceptional individuals as well, for example Myron Rolle strong safety for the University of Florida and a Rhodes Scholar. And analysis shows that graduation rates for student athletes are now the same as for the general population.

But these statistics hide the snake in the grass. Included in the overall athletic statistics are the minor sports, where graduation rates are high. Also added to the mix are the Ivy League schools and other schools that do not offer athletic scholarships. When only major sports at major sports schools are considered, the picture is far less rosy.

Graduation rates for football and basketball players are generally lower and in some cases dismal. The Connecticut men's basketball team has a graduation rate of 25%. Some entire schools are little better. Alabama graduates 44% of its athletes, Minnesota 44%, Georgia 41%, Texas 40% and Arizona 39%.

The question is why school administrations tolerate this. The answer, of course, is money. In 2009 Penn State's football program generated profits of $50 million on revenues of $70 million or a profit of $568,235 per football scholarship after factoring in the cost of the athlete's room and board and 'education'. The PAC-10 has a 12 year TV contract worth $3 billion. This monsoon of money has created a casual relationship with ethics.

Recent well publized scandals have led to the firing of coaches and executives at some of college's preeminent sports programs. The shame is that no action was taken until either media exposure or criminal proceedings had exposed the sordid details.

Thankfully high profile scandals like these, while a bitter condemnation of the ethics of college sports, are rare. What is not so rare is the professionalism of amateur sports. Colleges recruit blue ribbon basketball players they cynically know have no interest in the classroom. They are only playing out their mandatory college year before entering the NBA.

Top rank football players cannot enter the NFL draft for three years after graduation from high-school; which is beneficially for both the NFL and major colleges. The NFL gets three years of minor league instruction for its players at no cost and colleges make money off the players without having to pay them. College athletics has provided free or subsidized education for many athletes who have used it to embark on successful careers.

But consider the 32 athletes selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft. Only 12 of them had at least four years at college (and that includes years at junior colleges). Athletes in minor sports live in the general population. In the majors they live in athletic dormitories. In the minor sports they take courses in career building disciplines, in the majors they take courses to maintain eligibility. In the minors the coaching staff holds little sway in academic decisions. In the majors it takes a strong willed academic to derail the gravy train.

At its top level college sports is played by mercenaries who pick the schools that will best launch a professional career not for any academic benefit. Coaches will pay lip service to graduation, but no coach in the history of the major programs has ever been fired for a substandard graduation rate. It is a cynical exercise.

The author, Pitt Griffin, is fascinated by why people make the choices they do, some as common as the food they buy, others as important as the religion (if any) they chose or the politicians they elect.
Arrayed against the individual are businesses, politicians and religious leaders eager to take his money, her vote or his fealty. The author explores their tactics and strategies.
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