Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Good Sweetener Verse

The Sweet Side Of Science

Everybody's heard of aspartame. The list of products using it for sweetness is long, including breakfast cereals, soft drinks, desserts and yogurt. But what exactly is aspartame?

Aspartame is a tabletop sweetener that gives foods a sweet taste, but contains a negligible amount of calories and carbohydrate. Aspartame is not the only sugar substitute to have these properties. Sucralose is another sweetener like aspartame that is used in numerous food products. Based on its name, you might think it's sugar, but it's not! What is the difference between these two tabletop sweeteners? Basically, the difference is in their sweetening power. Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than white sugar, while aspartame is 180 times sweeter.

Where does aspartame come from? It was actually discovered by coincidence in 1965 as a US scientist was researching a drug to treat ulcers. He was quite surprised to discover that the substance he was using in his work had an extremely sweet taste! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wasted no time in commissioning a number of studies, which eventually led to them approving the use of aspartame for commercial purposes. The food industry quickly began using aspartame in manufacturing as a low-calorie sugar substitute to sweeten some food products. Canadians first began seeing aspartame used in foods after Health Canada authorized it over 20 years ago, in 1981, as a tabletop sweetener and food additive.

"Aspartame has probably been studied more than any other food additive," states Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of the McGill University Office for Chemistry and Society, and author of the book That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles, which devotes a full chapter to aspartame. "Over 70 million North Americans regularly consume products containing aspartame."

So don't be surprised by the number of food product ingredient panels that list this popular tabletop sweetener on grocery store shelves!

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

Labels: , , ,

Sweet Aspartame Opus

Debunking The Aspartame Myth

Whether or not you've ever consumed products containing aspartame, you've surely heard all kinds of things about it - many of them contradictory. So who's telling the truth? Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of the McGill University Office for Chemistry and Society, devotes an entire chapter to aspartame in his new book That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles. He maintains that aspartame is safe: "Aspartame has probably been studied more than any other food additive. The vast body of research conducted over the past 20 years has shown it to be harmless to health."

Aspartame has given rise to many popular myths. But if you want to get to the bottom of things, you can't rely solely on rumours and hearsay: it's important to separate myth from reality.

Myth: Daily consumption of aspartame-sweetened products is harmful to your health.

Reality: Aspartame has undergone close to 200 studies over the past 20 years and is approved by Health Canada since 1981. Aspartame is used in thousands of products. The Acceptable Daily Intake recommended by Health Canada is approximately 3,000 mg/per person/per day. So, you would have to eat or drink the equivalent of 100 low-cal yogurt cups (113g) sweetened with aspartame, 20 cans of soft drink sweetened with aspartame, or 97 packets of the tabletop sweetener. The average Canadian consumes about 500 mg of aspartame per day, which is well below the acceptable limit.

Myth: Aspartame causes headaches.

Reality: Headaches can be caused by many factors, including stress and lack of sleep, as well as a variety of physiological and psychological disorders. It has not been proven that aspartame is more likely to cause headaches than other products. If you have headaches, it is important to consult your doctor to have a proper diagnosis made.

Myth: Aspartame is harmful to people who are affected by diabetes because it increases blood sugar levels.

Reality: According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, all sweeteners available in Canada go through rigorous testing. Once they have been approved it means that they are suitable for use by all Canadians, including those with diabetes. Since aspartame is a non-caloric sugar substitute that gives food a sweet taste without raising the level of glucose in the blood, people with diabetes can turn to aspartame-sweetened products to increase their variety of foods, while maintaining a diet appropriate for their condition.

Myth: Aspartame is harmful to pregnant women and children.

Reality: Aspartame is deemed safe by Health Canada. It is safe for pregnant women and children. Given that both groups have high energy requirements, however, it is important that their diets contain all the calories required for health, growth and development. People with phenylketonuria are one exception. This is a rare, hereditary disease that prevents the proper metabolism of phenylalanine, a substance found in protein foods such as chicken, milk and vegetables, and also in aspartame.

So before jumping to conclusions, be sure to get the scientific facts straight!

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

Labels: , , ,

Sweety Ode

All The Sweetness, Without Sugar!

Imagine eating sweets without having to think about all the calories you're taking in . . . Believe it or not, it's a reality! Tabletop sweeteners are powerful sugar substitutes used in food products as an alternative to white sugar. Since they contain very few calories, these agents provide a sweet taste without the added energy - much to the delight of people watching their caloric intake.

In addition, tabletop sweeteners are also suitable for people who are affected by diabetes and who need to limit their sugar consumption in order to control their blood glucose level. So when they feel like indulging in a sweet treat, they can reach, for products sweetened with aspartame!

There are two main sugar substitutes on the market: aspartame and sucralose. A number of foods claiming to be "light" or "diet" - such as juices, cereals, yogurt, chewing gum, desserts, breads, pastries and soft drinks - contain aspartame (sold under the brand names NutraSweet and Equal) or sucralose (marketed as Splenda). Both products have a pronounced sugary taste: aspartame is 180 times sweeter than white sugar, while sucralose is 600 times sweeter.

Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of the McGill University Office for Chemistry and Society, devotes an entire chapter to aspartame in his new book That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles. He stresses that aspartame has undergone numerous studies, and it is currently found in thousands of products. Health Canada approved its use over 20 years ago, in 1981. Over 70 million North Americans regularly eat or drink products sweetened with aspartame and that consumption is growing steadily.

So, what will you choose to sweeten your coffee in the morning, sugar, sucralose or aspartame?

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

Labels: , , ,

Clutter Effect Poem

CLUTTER'S SIDE EFFECTS: How the State of Your Home Affects Your Life

Each area of your home has a symbolic meaning with which you resonate on a subconscious level. Clutter and untidiness within each of these areas causes constriction and inertia in the corresponding aspects of your life.


The kitchen has been called the "heart of the home," and with good reason. Here we are nourished and provided for, even if we are dining on a frozen entree zapped in the microwave rather than a homemade meal lovingly presented by Mom. An untidy and disorganized kitchen makes it hard to nourish yourself and others, on both physical and metaphysical levels. How you care for your kitchen is a clue about whether you are giving proper attention to your own nourishment and sources of abundance. Cleaning up and de-cluttering your kitchen opens up space for you to receive the support and comfort that you need in life.


These are spaces where you mingle with and honor your relationships with family and friends. Here you engage with the world while being at home through watching television, reading the paper, or arguing politics with old friends over dinner. Clutter can turn these social spaces into dens of isolation, especially if the mess is so bad that it has been years since you've invited people over. Look around your living and dining rooms to see what they say about your relationship with the rest of the world. Are you hiding your true self from others, burying it in clutter, or putting it on display here?


Hallways are the arteries and highways of your home. Think of clutter in your hallways as a traffic jam that prevents important connections between different areas of your home and your life. Look at your hallways to see how you feel about your life's path: are they well lit and easily navigable, or do they trip you up? If you feel a disconnect between work and family, self and others, what you need and your obligations, it may be time to give your hallways a good clearing out.


Bathing and anointing the body is a preparatory ritual for many religious rites both ancient and contemporary. On a daily basis we use this space to prepare ourselves to meet the world. Clutter in the bathroom can indicate a devaluation of self-worth, a lack of attention to self that goes beyond the physical. A clean, well-decorated bathroom can become a tranquil sanctuary for rejuvenation and self-care. Scented soaps, attractive accessories, and fragrant candles have a place here. Beautifying your bathroom by eliminating clutter and disorder and transforming it into a place of refuge will bring a sense of the sacred into your morning and evening personal-care rituals.


Adults' bedrooms are for sleeping and intimacy, and they should function as places of renewal for self and relationships. Clutter in the bedroom is enervating without being restful. If you feel "wired and tired," creating order out of chaos in this most personal space can help you relax and let go of the stress of the day. Then you can get a good night's sleep or enjoy some special time with your partner.


Closets represent things that are hidden, unknown, or unrecognized. When we fill our closets with clutter, we stifle our ability to be intuitive and insightful. Cluttered closets can indicate problems that you may not be consciously aware of but which impede your progress through life, work, and relationships nonetheless. Keeping the closet door closed is not an effective solution.


A cluttered attic creates a feeling of being under pressure. It's hard to feel optimistic about the future when there's so much stuff "hanging over your head." Ancestor issues reside up there, along with all those boxes and chests holding the detritus of generations. And the basement and other below-ground storage areas are considered abodes of the subconscious, so watch your step and get that clutter cleaned up!


Think of your car as a symbol of your mobility, independence, and ability to be self-directed in life. If there's so much stuff piled up in your garage that you can barely fit the car in there, you may be hampered or overly cautious moving forward in life as well.

Stop thinking of clutter-clearing as a tremendous chore, and start thinking of it as one of the most effective self-improvement tactics available to you. Every magazine and piece of paper you recycle, every book you give to the library, every knick-knack and item of clothing you release to a new owner creates space in your life for new insight, energy, joy, and experiences to come in!

Author, Stephanie Roberts. GOT CLUTTER?!? Clearing out clutter is the most important and powerful way to dramatically improve the feng shui of your home. Stephanie Roberts' "CLUTTER-FR*EE FOREVER!" Home Coaching Program provides all the insight, motivation, and step-by-step guidance you need in an in-depth ebook and 6 weekly lessons. Plus, you can join our Affiliate Program and earn a commission on every referral sale. Find out more at

Labels: , , ,

College Loan Serenade

Student Loan: Do Not Postpone Your Education

It is not easy to become a professional in America. Unless you are independently wealthy or qualify for a scholarship, financing your higher education may seem almost impossible. That is the impression most people get when they find out how expensive tuition and boarding fees are. Still there exist a variety of low interest student loans that are offered for those interested in qualifying for them. They represent a practical way for students at college to postpone payment until they are graduated by borrowing money at a low interest rate.

The first thing you have to do when you are interested in applying for one of these loans is to fill out the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid, which is a financial support application form. If you are selected to a college or university after doing this, you will be given complete information of the type of financial support you are about to receive. The aid agency will be asking you about your own and your parents financial situation in order to evaluate your necessity and your capacity to pay the loan back. Besides these type of loans offered by private agencies, there are several government-based scholarships such as the Pell Grant. By obtaining one of these grants, low-income students will be given money with no necessity of paying it back in the future. Unfortunately these grants will not cover the totality of all your educational expenses, and you will probably require student loans to finance the rest.

So even if the financial aid you obtain does not provide for the total expenses, you will always have the chance of getting student loans that will allow you to graduate. The types of student loans vary and they are accessible to traditional and non-conventional students. The educational institution, the bank or the U.S Department of Education can finance Federal education loans such as Perkins and Stafford Loans. Since the Government does not support private education loans.

Author, Estito Eravol, is the proprietor of Loans Made Easy that is an expert resource for information about loans. For more information, go to

Labels: , , , , , ,

Flexy Distance Learning Verse

How Distance Learning Offers Flexible Opportunities

The opportunities for continuing education are incredibly diverse, thanks to the technology of distance learning and elearning. Because of the sheer number of people who are looking to improve themselves, it was inevitable that a large number of colleges, universities and businesses set out to fill that need.

The result is that people are learning new skills, honing talents and reaching goals, all while going on with their lives. For many people, furthering education and attending classes are limited because they are already involved in their adult lives. Jobs, family obligations and other responsibilities limit the amount of time many people have available to devote to their own education.

Distance learning allows thousands of people to achieve degrees from programs hundreds of miles away. In this day of convenient travel options, it might be tempting to say that anyone can attend college or classes anywhere. Despite our mobile economy, many people simply don't want to move and don't have the time to travel great distances to attend classes. That means that their opportunities are limited to the programs that are offered nearby. Until distance learning and elearning became so widely available.

Briefly, the difference between distance learning and elearning is a matter of how the course is structured. Distance learning requires that the student attend classes at a prearranged time on a regular basis. An instructor who is actually teaching in another facility (across the state or across the nation) lectures makes assignments and teaches just as normal.

The students in the satellite facility have the opportunity to interact with the teacher through two-way communications. The major advantage is that students are attending class right in their own neighborhoods, at community colleges, universities, schools and even public facilities instead of traveling to the site where the teacher is actually conducting class.

Compared to distance learning, elearning is even less structured. Typically, students work at their own pace through online courses. There may be pre-recorded lectures, worksheets, assignments and tests, all viewed and completed online.

The major advantage here is that students have an even more flexible attendance policy and can choose to work through the material as quickly or as slowly as they want, though some courses do have time limits for completion.

When you add it all up, both distance learning and elearning offer opportunities that simply wouldn't be available any other way. People who would otherwise be "stuck" with no way to further their educations now have an option.

Author, John Tipton, dropped out of school early, and worked boring jobs for 20 years. Then he discovered 'distance learning' and finally got the education he missed. After lots of different courses at lots of different schools, he shares his experience in this series of useful articles. Find out why distance learning lets anyone go back to school. Discover what you need to look for in a distance learning program, and what you should avoid. Click

Labels: , ,

Funny Distance Learning Opus

Do You Know These Reasons Why Distance Learning Is Fun ?

Distance learning and elearning are usually linked with furthering an education. The technology of distance learning, along with the opportunities provided by elearning and online courses, are making it easier for thousands of people to learn something new.

Busy adults can advance their careers by finishing a degree or gaining some special skills, and young students can earn college credit well before they graduate high school, often through distance learning or elearning opportunities.

But do you realize that distance learning and elearning can be just for fun? Maybe it's always been a dream - to learn to paint with watercolors. But there's no class offered nearby. Or maybe you've had a desire to learn to master a foreign language, not because of any requirements to do so, but simply because you want to know how.

Perhaps it's even more basic than that - your lawnmower continually breaks down and you just want to be able to impress your friends by fixing it yourself.

Technology often advances in response to specific needs. People needed a way to finish a degree online so businesses, universities and colleges stepped in to create that opportunity.

But as is often the case, the technology exists in a basic format and users have some control over what happens next. That's probably the reason that some very basic skills, trades and lessons can be learned online - "elearned."

The idea of lifelong learning is not new, though some of the terms generally associated with lifelong learning are constantly being updated. Distance learning, elearning and other such words signify the ability for a person to gain knowledge without sitting in a classroom.

Most adults continue to long for knowledge long after their days in a classroom are over. Different people set about gaining that knowledge in different ways. Some choose topics and just start reading, gathering whatever books and materials they can find.

Others seek out the professionals and sign up for lessons or classes. Many people are putting technology to work for them, seeking out online courses for elearning about a myriad of topics.

It's easy to find colleges, universities and businesses that offer degrees or specific classes as either distance learning or online courses. Finding those "fun" things might be a little more difficult, but you can start by talking to family and friends.

You might find that some of them have even taken some online courses. Check with local schools, colleges, universities, community centers and libraries. While these aren't clearing houses of information about online classes, there may be listings of specific classes available.

Author, John Tipton, dropped out of school early, and worked boring jobs for 20 years. Then he discovered 'distance learning' and finally got the education he missed. After lots of different courses at lots of different schools, he shares his experience in this series of useful articles. Find out why distance learning lets anyone go back to school. Discover what you need to look for in a distance learning program, and what you should avoid. Click

Labels: , ,

Teacher Education Ode

When the Teacher Becomes the Student

A relationship expert once said that during an argument, there’s usually three sides to every story: his side, her side, and of course, the truth.

This is something we must definitely keep in mind as teachers. As educators (especially professors), we have been accused of having the biggest egos on this side of Mount Rushmore. One of the quickest ways to burn out in education is to refuse to embrace change. Whether we want to admit it or not, life moves and changes constantly.

Students are constantly exposed to material we once never dreamed existed. Ironically, although students are exposed to more, they typically know less and are less mature than the generations before. However, that does not discredit the fact that students still bring a unique perspective to our classroom; it’s through their eyes that we can become better teachers.

One of my best strategies for maintaining a high level of motivation in the classroom came as a result of a technique I learned as a stockbroker and sales trainer. Rule #1 in sales is that in order to bring the customer to where you are (your level of understanding), you must first go to where they are (they’re current level of understanding). In simple terms, you must know your customer (in this case, your student). This simple principle recharges and rejuvenates my batteries every semester; because the more I know, the more I grow.

Relating this concept to the education arena, you must simply and clearly define your objectives and what you would like to see happen over the course of a semester (or even a brief interaction) with a student, and then you help your students to do the same. In other words, know where YOU want to go, help them find out where THEY want to go, and then come up with a strategy for both of you to get there. In negotiating terms, they call this a win-win solution. Obviously, this strategy can only work if you value the student, and you believe he or she can make you a better teacher.

For instance, during my first three years in education, I quickly realized that what I wanted and what students believe they needed were diametrically opposed to each other. However, after many personal talks with former students, I soon discovered that students weren’t as concerned with the subject matter itself as they were with how the subject matter was being taught. They were more concerned with my attitude than the answers I would give them. This was a revelation.

I came to the conclusion that, like a parent, my experience and education dictated that I was qualified to teach them what they needed to know to succeed. However, when it came to how they received the information, I was totally at their mercy. Because, regardless of how good or important the subject matter is, if no one is listening, then no one is learning. It was at that point that I decided to “go to where they were” in order to bring them to where I was.

I met individually and collectively with students to get their perspectives on the class. I asked them about what worked in class and what didn’t? I asked them about what they would like to see more or less of? What would they like to see changed (about myself and/or the class)? I asked them if whether or not they would recommend this class to another student, why or why not? I asked them what would make the class more productive and more interesting? These questions can be asked in almost any work environment, for almost any department, not just in the classroom. I asked similar questions of my clients when I was in Corporate America.

All of the input I received, except for the individual meetings, were done anonymously. I can’t begin to tell you how important this information has been to my career. But in less than a year after implementing this idea, I was nominated twice for the distinguished teaching award at my school (the youngest ever nominated).

If you want to become a more productive educator in or outside of the classroom, the key is student input – you must seek it. They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, but expecting different results. If you listen to and solicit feedback from your students, you won’t have to repeat the mistakes of the past. So value your students and their input; trust me, they hold the keys to your success.

Author, Dr. Joe Martin, is an award-winning speaker, author, professor, and educational consultant and owner of New Teacher Success. Visit today!

Labels: ,

Search Engine Poem

The Meta Search Engines: A Web Searcher's Best Friends

I know what you're thinking: Google gives you such accurate results that you don't need any other search tool. Well, let's see about that.

You might - or might not - know that no major search engine indexes ALL the existing Web pages. OpenFind states that it indexes 3.5 billion Web pages, Google claims 2.4 billion, AlltheWeb - 2.1 billion, Inktomi - a little more than 2 billion, WiseNut - 1.5 billion and AltaVista - 1 billion Web pages.

The truth is, nobody knows how wide the Web is. Some say 5 billion pages, some 8 billion, some even more. Anyway, what's definite is that the major search engines (SEs) index only a fraction of the "publicly indexable Web". Moreover, every SE indexes different Web pages, which means if you use only one SE you will miss relevant results that can be found in other search engines.

One way to more effectively search the Web is to use a meta search engine.

What Is A Meta Search Engine?

A meta search engine (also know as multi-threaded engine) is a search tool that sends your query simultaneously to several search engines (SEs), Web directories (WDs) and sometimes to the so-called Invisible (Deep) Web, a collection of online information not indexed by traditional search engines.

After collecting the results, the meta search engine (MSE) will remove the duplicate links and, according to its algorithm, combine/rank the results into a single merged list.

An important note:

Unlike the individual search engines and directories, the meta search engines

1. Do not have their own databases and
2. o not accept URL submissions.

Pros and Cons of Meta Search Engines

Pros: MSEs save searchers a considerable amount of time by sparing them the trouble of running a query in each search engine. The results - most of the time - are extremely relevant. MSEs can be used by Webmasters to find their site's presence, rankings and link popularity in the major SEs.

Cons: Because some SEs or WDs do not support advanced searching techniques such as quotation marks to enclose phrases or Boolean operators, no (or irrelevant) results from those SEs will appear in the MSEs results list when those techniques are used.

MSEs Come In Four Flavors:

1. "Real" MSEs which aggregate/rank the results in one page
2. "Pseudo" MSEs type I which exclusively group the results by search engine
3. "Pseudo" MSEs type II which open a separate browser window for each search engine used and
4. Search Utilities, software search tools.

The following provides detailed information on each of the four MSE types, along with my ranking:

1. "Real" MSEs

These real MSEs simultaneously search the major search engines, aggregate the results, eliminate the duplicates and return the most relevant matches, according to the engine's algorithm.

Following is a list of a few meta search engines that you might find useful. It's by no means complete, but it might help you find what you need.

(The criteria I used to determine the best MSEs were:
the amount and the relevance of the results,
the capability to handle advanced searches,
the ability to enable users to customize searches,
the speed of their searches and others.)

ez2www [ ]
Searches the best SEs - AlltheWeb, Google, AltaVista, Teoma, Wisenut - and directories - Yahoo! and Open Directory. Through its "Advanced Search" function it also searches a small part of the Invisible (Deep) Web. It also searches news, newsgroups, MP3, images and many, many more. Provides excellent results in a very neat interface. Created in September 2000 by the French search engine developer Holomedia. THE best!

Vivisimo [ ]
Uses the clustering technology, meaning matches are organized in folders. Don't like the frames? Just modify the size of both the upper and the left frames. This MSE was created by researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University. Advanced searching options available: exact phrase, Boolean operators, fields searching (domain, host, title, URL, etc.) and more. A jewel for the serious searcher.

Query Server [ ]
Searches an impressive list of 11 SEs - everything important except Google. But don't worry: Query Server searches Yahoo!, Netscape and AOL, all partially powered by Google. This is another example of the clustering technology. Highly customizable metasearch tool. You can modify the appearance of the results page, selecting the search engines, the amount of results, their timeout, etc. It supports quotation marks to enclose phrases, the Boolean syntax and parentheses. Very professional.

Infonetware [ ]
Searches the Web and provides relevant results, organized in topics, in a very clean interface. This MSE is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and is a very good tool.

Metaseek []
Excellent MSE from Ukraine. Searches major international and local search engines. Besides the Web you can search images, MP3, FTP files, news and more. You can use "Phrase" (""), "natural language" processing, Boolean logic and field searching (by URL, title, site/domain or link). Very nice.

IBoogie [ ]
Uses a minimalist design. This MSE "performs intelligent clustering of results". It searches the Web, the Invisible (Deep) Web, images, video and audio files.

Vinden.NL [ ]
Searches "the best," providing very good results in a clean interface. This MSE comes from the Netherlands.

Search Online [ ]
Uses an excellent selection of search engines and directories. This MSE provides relevant results in a relatively crowded interface. For each result you can see the search engine where the hit was found, and its ranking.

Meta Bear [ ]
Provides relevant results from both international and Russian sites. Be sure you type the query in the "Search The World" box.

Web Scout [ ]
Searches the Web, news, newsgroups, auctions, MP3 files and jobs. This Australian MSE utilizes the major SEs - except Google - and provides relevant matches in a clean results list.

argosa:de [ ]
Searches 17 international and local SEs. I suggest you avoid checking the boxes of Acoon, Abacho, GoClick and search engines, because they give many irrelevant hits. This is Germany's first MSE, and provides excellent results organized by relevance, source (quelle) or title.

Experts Avenue [ ]
Searches different search engines simultaneously for Web pages, auctions, jobs and forums and provides very relevant results in a neat interface. Enables online language translation of Web pages. Click on "Translate" and you will be brought to AltaVista's Babelfish translation service, powered by SYSTRAN.

InfoGrid [ ]
Provides excellent results in an easy to read layout, despite a very confusing Home Page crowded and with frames. This MSE searches the "big ones" including Google, AlltheWeb, Yahoo! and Open Directory. It also searches newswires, auctions, discussion forums, MP3, FTP files and more. To avoid the frames in the results list select the option "Open in the Current Window". []
Searches a whopping 100 (!) international SEs and WDs. Google, AlltheWeb, Open Directory, you name it. You can sort the results by relevance, source or - much better - grouped by domain name. This "Meta-Suchmachine" is based in Germany.

EmailPinoy [ ]
Sends your query to 15 search engines. Don't use Kanoodle, and GoClick pay-per-click search engines, because you'll get irrelevant results. For better results enclose phrases in quotation marks. This MSE is from the Philippines.

1 SECOND [ ]
Searches a good selection of 14 major SEs and WDs, throws out the duplicates and summarizes the results in a neat listings page. Use the Advanced Search if you want to customize the search, especially the timeout of the search engines.

My Prowler [ ]
Searches over a dozen search engines, news, images, audio/MP3, music videos, auctions and various other sites. Compiles the results, weeds out irrelevant matches and provides a summarized report. It accepts "natural language" query.

Gimenei [ ]
Use of the "Advanced Search" option is strongly recommended. You can customize the results page, including my favorite option, "All Results" in one page. This is a comprehensive and fast MSE based in Manhattan, New York.

Dug Dugi [ ]
Queries the major search engines, collates the results, eliminates information and aggregates the results in an ultra-clean layout. For each match you'll get the search engine and the ranking of the page.

Search 66 [ ]
Groups together pages from the same domain. Beautiful. To avoid SEs timeouts, select the "Speed": "Comprehensive". Obviously, you'll get more results from this excellent Australian MSE.

Besides the very good MSEs listed above, there are also some others that are worth a try:

Internav [ ],

NetXplorer [ ] (Germany),

Aaise [ ],

Metengine [ ] (Antigua),

One2Seek [ ],

Ithaki [ ],

Fossick [ ] (Australia),

Pandia [ ] (Norway),

meta EUREKA [ ] (Netherlands),

Widow [ ],

VROOSH! [ ] (Canada),

Meta 360 [ ],

7 Meta Search [ ],

Metor [ ] (Germany) and

Ixquick [ ].

The following is a list of some unimpressive meta search engines. These MSEs do not provide the breadth of coverage offered by the sites recommended above. Each of these has its own flawed characteristics, but generally they are old and have not kept up with the latest capabilities or they suffer from too many functional problems.

Metacrawler [ ],

Dogpile [ ],

C4 (formerly Cyber 411) [ ],

Mamma [ ] (Canada),

Pro Fusion [ ],

moonmist [ ] (UK),

Bytedog [ ] (Canada),

il motore [ ] (Italy),

METASEEK.NL [ ] (Netherlands) and

ApocalX [ ] (France).

2. "Pseudo" MSEs Type I

The type I "Pseudo" MSE sends the query to the search engines, and then presents the results grouped by search engine in one long, easy to read scrollable list. Be careful. Based on how many SEs you select, the waiting time can be very long. Some people might find these MSEs useful, however.

The best MSEs in this category are:

Mall Agent [ ], which provides results from 38 SEs and WDs,

qb Search [ ] (from 17),

Better Brain [ ] (12),

My Net Crawler [ ] (12),

NBCi [ ] (11),

Planet Search (Sherlock Hound) [ ] (10),

Rede Search [ ] (8),

1 BLINK [ ] (7),

Search Wiz [ ] (6) and

Search Fido [ ] from 4 SEs and WDs.

3. "Pseudo" MSEs Type II

There are two types of Type II "Pseudo" MSEs:

a) You type your query one time and then select the search engines. One browser window will open for each SE selected. The best are: [] which opens 36 windows,

GoGettem [ ] (30),

Search Bridge [ ] (24),

The Info [ ] (15) and

Net Depot [ ] (15).

b) You choose the SE, type the query in the SE' form and a new window will open. Every search engine has its own query form. Many users will find these window-opening MSEs annoying. The best of this type are:

Alpha Seek [ ],

Westlaser [ ],

Dan's No Overhead Search Thingy [ ],

Express Find [ ] and

Freeality [ ] .

4. Search Utilities (also called Desktop Search Applications)

These are downloadable meta search tools that search multiple search engines. Results are collated and ranked for relevancy with redundancies removed. They are not free but most of them have a free trial version available. The price? A few dozen dollars. The most popular are:

BullsEye [ ],

Copernic [ ],

LexiBot (formerly know as Mata Hari) [ ],

WebFerret [ ] and

WolfBot [ ].


Now, you might ask yourself: If MSEs are so good, do we still need the search engines?

Well, it depends. I use a search engine - yup, Google - when I search for general information. I use a meta search engine when I'm looking for a unique or obscure search term or if I want to make an in-depth analysis of what's out there on a specific subject.

My suggestion is to find some time and give a test drive to the MSEs; you might fall in love with these lesser-known search tools. And next time you use your search engine of choice, remember that there are search tools that can provide you many more relevant results.

Good luck with your searches!

Author, Daniel Bazac, is Search Engine Marketer for Web Design in New York, a site design, Search Engine Optimization and promotion company He's been online since 1995 and he's also a seasoned Internet Information Researcher.

Labels: , ,

Online Business Serenade

Focus! Focus! Focus!

The success of your online business relies on you making sales, actually selling your product or service to paying customers. The more the better. To get those sales you need to communicate well with your potential customers and make a good sales pitch. What you say and how you say it are therefore very important and can make the difference between your business succeeding or failing.

When you sell your products and services online, you communicate largely through text. What you say in that text directly influences the customer's decision to either buy or not buy your product, in the same way that a real-world sales conversation would. Your potential customer wants to hear interesting and important information that will help them make that decision. That decision begins from the moment they arrive at your website.

Lets imagine you are looking to buy a particular product. You learn that the product is available on two different websites. You visit each site and read their text.

This is what Site A says to you in effect:

* let us tell you about us,
* here's some very basic product details we feel we should give you,
* here's an inadequate photo of the product we had lying around,
* this is why we are in business and why we think we are great,
* yeah we know we've made it difficult for you to use our site. We didn't want to make the effort to find out what our customers want,
* this is where we are located (usually accompanied by a picture of their building).

Site B says:

* yes we sell the product you are looking for. here it is...,
* let us tell you all about it,
* here's some good reasons why you should buy it immediately,
* here's some good reasons why you should buy from us (and not our competitors),
* Its easy for you to buy from us. Just do this...,
* Let us know if we can serve you better or answer any questions you may have.

Which one is going to get the sale? Obviously Site B will get the sale. Why? Because they clearly show they understand their customers. They:

Focus on their customers!
Focus on their needs!
Focus on their priorities!

They provide information that is useful to you in making your buying decision. They are focused on you the customer, not themselves. Their text is all about "you". They work hard to ensure all this and demonstrate it on their website. They make it very easy to interact with them and that also gives you the impression they will be very easy to deal with too.

Site A, on the otherhand, may indeed have some useful information on their webpage but its not there in quantity and for your benefit. It can of course be useful to know where a company is located. But, if they are going on about it or its the first thing you see on arrival, its more likely there to prop-up their over inflated ego and demonstrate how successful they think they are. Their focus is directed entirely on themselves. You are not their number 1 priority, they are! Don't they realise that customers can read between the lines and spot this easily?

In addition to focusing on their customers, there's also something else that Site B does very well. Its not as easy to spot but has a dramatic effect on their sales. Its the way they deliver their information. They know its vital to keep your attention and interest. If they lose it for a second they may lose it forever.

They've noticed that other sites write paragraphs of text that grab your interest in one sentence and lose it in the next, because the information provided is not relevant or important to you at that point. It should either be removed or replaced. So they have made a conscious effort to hold your interest at all times throughout a paragraph or piece of text. Their paragraphs say exactly what you want to know and in the order you want to know it. They hold your interest throughout with useful and valuable information. They don't tolerate any irrelevant or unimportant information whatsoever.

This is the ideal situation for your company to be in. To have customers who are keen to listen to what you have to say and trust what you say. They know you are focused on them, their needs and their priorities. They are far more likely to listen to your recommendations and make purchases based on them. You will build stronger, equally beneficial and more rewarding relationships with them. Those relationships will be hard to break by your competitors, especially if you keep that focus and continuously improve your offers, products and service.

Questions to ask?

* Are you focused on your customers?
* Are you providing the right information at the right times?
* Do you keep their attention and interest at all times?
* Do you distract them at anytime?
* Are you getting maximum sales from your website?

Action to take on your website:

* Concentrate on selling more products.
* Concentrate on selling them well.
* Remove any distracting, confusing or irelevant text.
* Try to keep the readers interest continuously.

Remember: Focus on your customers! Focus on their needs! Focus on their priorities!

Good luck!

Author, Peter Simmons is editor of the DYNAMIQ EZINE. GET MAXIMUM RESULTS FROM YOUR WEBSITE! Increase your traffic, prospect conversions, sales, profits, referrals and more... START GETTING RESULTS RIGHT NOW at

Labels: , ,

Fresh Verse


Related Themes: Essay, Essay Writing, Writing Job, Writing Short Story, Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Job, Internet Job, Writing Job Description, Work At Home, Extra Income, Technical Writing Job, Poetry Contest, Short Story Contest, Songwriting, Songwriting Contest, Writing Lesson, Writing Software, Writing Skill, Writing Fiction, Writing Contest, Effective Writing

How to Come Up with Fresh Story Ideas

How to Come Up with Fresh Story Ideas When Your Well has Been Tapped Dry...

When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s works is all I can permit myself to contemplate.
—John Steinbeck

I know that it seems easier to make that extra pot of coffee, read that good book, that you have had in storage for the last ten years, and suddenly decide to make the kids that Halloween costume by hand, than it can be to make yourself sit down and write. Believe me, I have been there.

Here are some brainstorming techniques to get your brain pumping again and churning out ideas.

1) If you are having trouble coming up with characters or even a story line, try developing an action scene. One good scene to kick off your book can get the rest flowing. Develop the characters and story line around that scene.

2) Come up with a problem to solve. Is your main character the class clown or the brainiest kid in school. What type of problem would your character face in his or her normal life? Write your story around the problem and a unique way of solving it.

3)For character development use common sense. Use what is in front of you.

Look at your family and friends and see if they remind you of anything. My first Shakespearean teacher reminded me of a caveman or a husky walrus because of his whiskers. Does your Uncle Arthur have whiskers, wear glasses, and walk with a little bit of a waddle? Turn him into a know it all beaver or a store clerk, at a bookstore that sells books that you can actually climb into and live out an adventure.

Does your sister have a talent for jumping rope and blowing bubbles, with purple bubble gum? Maybe the heroine for your next book could do the same.Is their a kid in your neighborhood that is always getting into trouble? Hmm, do you think that the creator of Dennis the Mennis might have known one?

You can use your family and friend’s talents and their physical characteristics to come up with tons of characters. One hint though- if you choose to make Uncle Charlie a slug or Aunt Emma a rhinoceros, keep it to yourself. They may not be thrilled with their induction into literary history.

Inspiration is all around you, waiting for you to reach out and grab for your next storyline or character. Use stories from the news, jokes that your neighbors tell you, the quirky things that your dog Buster does in the morning.

One final word - stop criticizing what you have written down. In these first stages, no one cares if you have misspelled words or if your grammar isn’t perfect. Just write. The rest will follow, after your story is done.

Written by Caterina Christakos, author of How to Write a Children's Book in 30 Days or Less. To get more writing tips please go

Labels: ,

Email Opus

Just Write an Email

How did you sell your last product? Imagine that I am a newbie writing you an e-mail after reading your ebook. How would you answer the question? I bet you could send me a 300 word reply in no time. Words would flow from your keyboard as fast as you can type. You have just written your next article. Don't think so? Too easy? Read the next paragraph.

Robert Allen has written you an e-mail. He needs you to write a chapter in a new book that he is putting together and he needs it in a week. Are you up to the task? Can you have it done in time? The theme of the chapter: the unique way that you sold your last product. Okay, start writing. How long did it take you to write the first sentence? A hour, two. Remember, millions of readers will be viewing the results.

If you want to, do both exercises above and compare the results. Which piece reads better? Which one sounds like a high school textbook? Read them aloud and I bet the answer becomes clearer. You would be proud to let anyone read the e-mail addressed to the newbie but create a pen name for the book chapter. Why is there a difference here? Both of the subjects were the same. The same person wrote both pieces. Or was it the same person?

In example one, you were yourself. You were just answering a question. You were more than happy to explain your knowledge to someone who just casually wrote you an e-mail. In example two, you became "the author". Maybe you had to outline the chapter first, make notes, research it. In other words, do as many things as possible to put off what you really sat down to do. Just write. After all, with thousands of readers critiquing your work, everything has to be perfect. There is no room for mistakes. And yet the e-mail reads better.

So why not write an e-mail. The next time you have a great idea for an article, turn that idea into a question and e-mail it to yourself. Well, you don't actually have to go that far, but if it helps, do it. Then all you have to do is reply to it. Don't worry about grammar. Don't worry about going off on a tangent. That tangent may be exactly what you need to make your article, oops, "e-mail" stand out. Just explain everything you need to in order to get your point across. If you need to, click "Create" in Outlook and start writing. Try it. And don't follow the instructions in the next few paragraphs until you are done with your e-mail.

When you are done, read it out loud. Any time you slow down or stumble over the words, cut those word out. Any part that sounds like your sixth grade English teacher instead of you, chop it. Take no prisoners. You will know your own voice when you hear it. Just listen for it. Your readers want a new perspective just as much as they want information. You are not writing for the New York Times and you definitely don't want to become Joe Friday. Slip the facts in with your personality and your readers will be flocking to your web site in search of more info. Or for that matter, they will be flocking just about anywhere you want them to flock.

Don't forget to make sure you covered everything that you needed to cover. If you need add a word here and rearrange paragraphs there, do so. Once the idea is alive in your e-mail, it is hard to kill it. Don't worry about that. Just make your e-mail complete. You will know when it is. You will get that feeling that is hard to explain, but involves printing your article out, sticking it to your refrigerator, telling your neighbors, and rehearsing for your Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech. If you notice any of these symptoms, your can now safely begin to refer to your "e-mail" as an article without killing it or triggering writer's block.

Use this method as described and I promise you will become a much more productive writer. So how did you make your last online sale? Write me an e-mail.

P. S. I did write this in Outlook and addressed it directly to you.

Author, Stephan Miller, is a ebay seller, freelance programmer, writer, and webmaster at, Home of Hotbid Auction Market Analyzer.

Labels: , , ,

Writing Guru Ode


Related Themes: Essay, Essay Writing, Writing Job, Writing Short Story, Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Job, Internet Job, Writing Job Description, Work At Home, Extra Income, Technical Writing Job, Poetry Contest, Short Story Contest, Songwriting, Songwriting Contest, Writing Lesson, Writing Software, Writing Skill, Writing Fiction, Writing Contest, Effective Writing

Who Wants to Be An Internet Guru? I Do? Do YOU?

The Internet Gurus.
What do they do?
How do they get so rich?
What do they have in common?

Are these the questions going through your mind when you ask yourself,

"Heh, if they can do it, maybe I can too?"

These are the questions Rob Parnell answers in his new ebook, "Be an Internet Guru, Write Your Ebook Fast"

From the title of this book, you might think,

"Do I really want to be a guru?"

To many people, what comes to mind is an image similar to a con artist, a rip off scam, a bunch of hype, when you state the term "internet guru."

Is your opinion of the guru's that it's all a bunch of hype and BS?

You may already have the credit card debt to prove it. So why would anyone want to buy a book teaching them all the dirty tricks of the gurus?

There are a few things that really intrigued me about this ebook. To begin with, there are no affiliate links promoting any other program embedded in this ebook. It is a 164 page pdf. The author tells you in an entertaining way, stories you can identify with, and explains why these gurus are doing so well.

He also states,

"It is very possible to make money online, being sincere and honest."

The reason I like this, and totally agree, is because this is the approach I have chosen to take with my reviews.

Although most of my reviews you will read, will be in a positive nature, I don't hesitate to say what I don't like about the ebooks and products I review.

This is not Rob's first ebook. He launched the ebook, "How to Write Your Novel Fast!" back in October of 2002. When he shared with me through email recently, how many copies of his first ebook he has already sold, I was totally flabergasted.

I did some research at the search engines on this ebook, and found some very positive postings on it. For more information on these postings send an email to

You see, I do make money through affiliate links by promoting my reviews. I don't try to camoflauge or hide that fact. I also deliver, above and beyond to my subscribers and loyal customers with extra service and bonuses.

Rob shows how the curiosity of the internet, and the idea of having freedom to control your own life, income and future intrigues us all to wonder if we can do it too. He does this by relating it to a story you can identify with. He then breaks it down into manageable steps:

* he answers the questions that most people have
* the steps to what it will take in time, knowledge, and desire to accomplish your goal
* and skills you need to acquire and reach your writing amd marketing goals.

He also describes in detail, how to run your online business with integrity and honesty. Yet, in still aspiring to these goals, he tells you what you must absolutely do to be sure you to acheive success.

It is written in a wonderful and easily flowing style, that keeps you reading and wanting to grasp every word. His advice comes from the voice of experience, after careful testing and study.

It reads more like a novel, than a boring how to book. With that style, it is like the thriller book, the book you don't want to put down until you've read the whole thing.

Rob addresses issues like

* why people expect info for free, and the real reality of this concept.
* how your own perception of earning money online, can be standing in your way.
* exactly what you need to do, and how often, in an easy to use 10 step action plan.
* In exact step by step detail, he covers, not only the writing of the actual book, but also how to package, and promote it as well.

He even gives you examples of what you need to do in followup messages once a sale has been made.

Naturally, being a mom of little children, I could not read the whole book in one sitting. I found myself firing off emails, with my comments on the ebook during the reading process. By the time I finished the ebook, Rob and I had become good email friends, planning to do joint ventures in the future.

That in and of itself tells you something about what type of person Rob is. I see him as a mentor, the type of ebook author, I would like to emulate.

At the time of writing this review, there are only two other ebooks I have read that even come close to the quality of this one, on this particular subject. if you would like to know what these two are, send a blank email to:

So do you want to be an internet marketing guru! If so, you might want to check this out. At the time of this review writing, this ebook is still in the prelaunch phase. You can get it, read it, join his affiliate program and promote it before anyone else does.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 the highest, Rob's ebook is right up there at a 9, it doesn't get much better than that in my opinion. Read my other reviews, I don't score this high very often.

I can guarantee, that once you read this ebook, you WILL be proud to recommend it to your subscribers and customers. I am!

Oh yeah, BTW, Rob offers a 100% guarantee on his product that can't be beat. So you really don't have any excuse but to check this out. :o)

Author, Laurie Meade. Can you be an internet guru, go see at Get a Free Ebook of honest reviews on internet marketing products by sending a blank email to

Labels: , ,