Ham Radio – The Advantage of DStar and DMR Modes

Ham Radio is a fascinating hobby, but what is the advantage of D-star and DMR modes.

There are many different interests within the umbrella name of Ham Radio. People communicate with other like-minded people around the World using the Internal Short Wave bands. Ham Radio Operators equipment include H.F., (High Frequency), transceivers covering several of the Ham Band allocations, and many use Yagi aerials with three, four and sometimes six elements, to not only transmit their power out to the receiving station, but also to receive weak signals form lesser equipped ham radio Operators using simple aerial systems such as dipoles or vertical radiators. These aerial elements can be thirty three feet long when covering the twenty metre Ham Band, if the elements are widely spaced between each other at say point two of a wavelength, the distance between the elements is four point two metres, a very large aerial indeed.

Many Radio Hams who I have spoken to around the World have sixty feet high towers with multi element aerial as described above. You need a lot of space for such an aerial, and planning permission to go along with it.

D-Star and DMR are Ham Radio modes which are gaining in popularity, because the problems associated with having a large aerial do not exist, signals on D-star and DMR do not rely of the ionosphere to propagate signal around the World, they use laser light and data packets used to facilitate the International World wide web.

Many elderly radio Hams who have moved from their long term family homes, into small apartments, where outside aerials are not allowed, are finding that their interest in communication can still continue, using D-star or DMR modes of communication. The digital mode also has a great advantage over traditional propagation. You need propagation to be working in your favour when using High Frequency bands. If there is no propagation on a particular Ham Band, you simply do not hear any signals. D-star and DMR modes rely on the efficiency of the Internet, offering Radio Hams Worldwide communication without the need for natural reflection and refraction of the transmitted signal via the Earth’s Ionosphere.

Handheld transceivers capable of Digital transmission are now freely available from many of the Ham Radio retailers. Their transmissions are converted from standard analogue voice signals via voice encoders built into the hand set, these transmissions are picked up via local repeaters that are connected with each other to form a Worldwide network, if you do not live beside a D-star or DMR repeater you easily can turn your home based computer into a repeater with inexpensive add-on technology, they do the same job as a nearby repeater does.

Protect Yourself From Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Promote Safe Sex

Sexually active persons are often victims of sexually transmitted diseases. While most people consider sex as a need, it is also a must that you should know all that you could about certain consequences of engaging in sexual activities especially when you change partners often. That is why be careful when choosing your sexual partner and make sure to maintain a clean personal hygiene. Sexually transmitted diseases are often caused by bacterial infection. While most kinds of these diseases are curable, HIV in particular is deadly. So if you want to enjoy a longer life span while enjoying the good things life has to offer keep yourself in check at all times by doing STD tests.

Sexually transmitted disease tests are often conducted in clinics with the help of a medical expert. However, for most people who find it inconvenient by setting an appointment for a test, a STD test can be conducted at home with STD test kits. These test kits can be purchased online and delivered straight to your doorsteps. This is truly a convenient method of keeping yourself in check since these cases are highly sensitive.

Even if you choose to get tested at a clinic, your results are still kept confidential. STD test kits have easily understandable instructions with it that can be easily followed to determine the result. Once you see a positive result, do not panic. Bear in mind that it is better to have found it an earlier stage to determine the best and fast way to cure your infection.

There are different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases. There are those which can only be spread through pure sexual contact either by oral, anal, or vaginal sex. There are also kinds which can be transmitted without sexual contact. The best way to prevent yourself from getting infected is of course by abstinence, avoiding sex. While most people cannot do this method, the use of condom is the second best method.

Although this is not full proof, with proper use, you can still enjoy the benefits of sex and peace of mind that you are safe from getting infected at least. Knowing more about STDs and promoting safe sex can help reduce the case of sexually transmitted diseases especially on young people who are sexually active.

If you happen to change partners often, keep your body in check at all times. If you happen to experience slight changes be sensitive enough to care and conduct STD tests at the convenience of your own home. Most of these sexually transmitted diseases do not show symptoms at the early stage and when left untreated can cause complications which can never be cured even on a long term basis. As long as it is not HIV, there is a sure way to rid yourself of bacteria that cause such infections. Always maintain proper and good hygiene especially on sensitive body parts.

Why School Identification Cards Are Important

Most schools around the nation have started using school identification cards. This is for schools all the way from elementary schools to Universities. There are several reasons why they started using these identification cards. In this article we will tell you why school identifications cards are so important.

The main reason is for safety reasons. We have heard many stories how someone has went into a school and started shooting. We have heard stories of how children were kidnapped from schools. They had to come up with a system that would work to keep people out of the schools that did not belong there. This is where school identification cards came in. This has helped in a couple ways. One, if each student has an identification card then they can prove right away that they belong in that school. A lot of schools have even incorporated someone at the doors to check ID’s as they enter.

Also if someone visits a school they have to check in at the desk and receive a temporary identification card. A lot of times they will even take a person’s picture. This allows the school to know who is in the school and make sure they are there for a legitimate reason.

School identification cards for students are also useful to them because if provides them with options. They can use the cards to check out library books. They can use the cards for the lunch room. When a student pays for their lunch for the week or for the month it will be added to their card and they just slide their card each day to eat. It saves from a student having to carry money on them each day or a lunch worker having to keep track of who they have money for and who they do not.

The school id cards also can be used for the reward or the revoking of privileges. All of this can be kept on the card. Back to the library, a lot of schools give rewards to children for having read so many books. This information can be kept on the ID cards. They can scan the library card and know exactly how many books and what kind a child checked out.

These identification cards differ from school to school. Some just use a single edge card. Some are double edge and have an encoder incorporated in them. These are becoming more and more popular because they can be used for a lot more reasons.

As you can see the school IDs are very important to our schools today. They not only go a long way in keeping our children safe they also make it a more efficient way to run the schools. These school identification cards have been around for a while. They have just become more sophisticated with the advent of technology. They have come up with more and more ways that identification cards can be used to the school and the student’s advantage.

The Avian Plight

In 1997, the world’s attention was caught by an alarming passage of Avian influenza from birds to humans in Hongkong. All chickens and ducks were killed upon the order of the Hongkong government to contain the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus.

Avian influenza or more commonly called as bird flu is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. All birds naturally have these influenza viruses in their bodies. Wild birds have these viruses in their intestines but their bodies do not get infected or damaged by them. When passed on domesticated birds, avian influenza can cause sickness and death. Chickens, ducks, and turkeys are mostly hit by the   transmission  of avian flu among birds. Infected domesticated birds can pass on the virus to humans when they are eaten or consumed. *Migratory birds* infected with avian flu also become agents of viruses’ transfer from one place to another.

H5N1 carrier birds pass on the virus to other birds through their saliva, nasal excretions, and feces. Birds get infected when they come in contact with these contaminated excretions even by just staying on a surface or ground where virus carriers have stayed. Cages, dirts, water, feeds, infected waterfowl or other poultries that have been exposed to the virus are the common sources of infection among domesticated birds.

Two forms of bird flu exist among domesticated poultries infected with avian influenza viruses. The low pathogenic form is almost invisible and undetected for it causes only very mild symptoms that can be mistaken as non-avian flu effects. Manifestations of low pathogenic avian flu infection include low egg production or ruffled feathers. The second form of avian flu is the high pathogenic avian flu disease. This form leads to multiple organ failures and damages among infected birds. About 90 to 100 percent of birds infected with this form die within two days upon contamination. The spread of this form of avian flu is more rapid among birds in flocks.

Albeit basically a matter among birds, humans are also susceptible to bird flu or avian flu infection. The first known cases of humans getting infected with bird flu happened in Hongkong in 1997. 18 people were recorded to have acquired respiratory illnesses after having contacted infected surfaces from poultry farms, the infection claimed six lives.

The virus’ passage to humans that happened in Hongkong caused a global alarm. Health institutions worldwide raised concerns that the avian flu might be as damaging as the pandemic of flu that claimed about 20 million lives back in 1918. Reasonable enough, the fear and alarm are worth noting. What is essentially fearful is the idea that humans can be infected and actually die from a virus that is basically existing among birds only. The premise the Hongkong incident set is that the virus is mutating into something deadly for humans.

As of 2005, worldwide coordinated statistics recorded a number of 130 people having been infected of avian flu of which 67 have already died. In recent years, cases of human infection have been high in Asian countries. The World Health Organization believes that Asia is at higher risks since people live in close distance with domesticated birds like chicken and ducks. Animal domestication and poultry raising are common among many Asian countries who are agricultural by nature. What worries many is the common fact that humans have little or even a lack of immunity to the virus known to be infecting only (until the 1997 Hongkong incident) the birds.

An even higher cause of alarm has been found in recent studies on the H5N1 virus. Recent researches have shown that H5N1 strains have become more deadly among chickens and mice. This mutation is also found to be making cats or feline susceptible to the infection. H5N1 is also found to be resistant to some of the drugs used to treat flu (such as amantadine). New strains of the virus are also said to be possibly emerging especially in Asian countries.

What is now being focused on by scientists and health experts around the world is the prevention of human-to-human  transmission  which is believed to be the possible case that happened in Thailand in 2004. If it becomes widespread, human-to-human  transmission  is believed to be harder to contain that bird-to-human  transmission . Experts say that the virus’ continual change will make it hard for the human body to naturally develop immunity against the infection. The H5N1 virus is found to be changing over time through the changes happening in their structure called antigenic drift and antigenic shift. This continual change of the virus disables the immune system to respond accordingly whenever the flu virus enters the body. The only possible solution seen by experts is for infection-prone people to have a yearly immunization with up-to-date anti avian virus strains. But the big problem is, until now there is no medical treatment available to combat the H5N1 virus, making the yearly immunization update a far-fetched option.

Communication in Today’s Corrections (Part One)

Anyone that has ever worked as either a Police Officer or a Corrections Officer knows the following: It’s either brawn or brain that will get you through the day. They also know that you have to use both (on occasion) if you are going to be successful at your job.

Those of us in the Correctional Profession know that most of the time, and not all the time, the physical confrontations that we encounter are the result of our actions. Now, I understand that some people might disagree with this, but it’s a hard reality to face. Where do we go wrong that leads to this type of confrontation? Communication.

There are really just two ways in which we communicate with people: Verbal and Non-Verbal. Most of our communication (roughly 85-87%) is done through body language. We can all tell when someone is upset, happy, mad, angry, indifferent, you get the point. When our body language says one thing and our mouth says another we tend to run into problems. Inside of a correctional facility we do not have the luxury of firearms, Tasers, or any other type of intermediate weapons on a regular basis. If you do, trust me when I tell you that the rest of us are extremely jealous of you! What does that leave the rest of us? Our mouth/brain combination and our hands.

True, some people have lost that all important connection between their brains and their mouths (also known as verbal diarrhea) but for the most part, the rest of us still have it intact. As an instructor, I always ask my classes the same question: “What’s the difference between a Correctional Officer and an Offender?” As expected, the answers I get are varied: “We go home at the end of the day!” “We didn’t kill anyone!” “We didn’t rape anyone” and the list goes on. I then pause and ask question again.

By this point they are looking at me with confused looks on their faces. I reply back to them “Although you are correct that we didn’t rape or kill anyone, and we do go home at the end of the day, the only difference between them and us is that they got caught and we didn’t.” I then go on to ask “Who in this classroom has never, in their entire life, done anything that someone is not currently doing time in a local, county, state, or federal correctional facility?” No hands go up….

Now keep in mind that I said “never, in their entire life, done anything…” We all have. Whether it was steal something as a kid or adult (office supplies anyone?) it’s still larceny. Got home after going out with friends and saying “I shouldn’t have driven home!” (We’ve heard the slogan “Buzzed driving is drunk driving”) You get the point.

Now that we have established that they are just like us, let’s establish another all important fact: Not everyone that is incarcerated will spend the rest of their lives behind bars. They are going to get out and become our neighbors.

Correctional Departments throughout the country have moved their old way of doing business into the modern era: Rehabilitation and Re-Integration. If we look their Mission Statements, we will likely see a common theme: Public Safety, Pro-social behavior, Re-integration and rehabilitation.

In order to effectively re-integrate and rehabilitate, we must do one thing: Communicate. Communication in a correctional facility can be broken down into 4 main categories:

1. No communication

2. Operational Communication

3. Human-Respectful Communication

4. Cognitive Reflective Communication

No Communication

Easy enough: we don’t talk, they don’t talk, we point, they do as told and we go on our merry way. Officers are separated from the offenders and there is almost no interaction.

Operational Communication

We say the bare minimum in order to get the job done and maintain control (“Come here!” “Go there!” “Chow time” “Do this!” “Don’t do that!” etc, etc, etc). Although there is still a separation between Officers and Offenders, there is more interaction than there is with no communication.

Human-Respectful Communication

This involves talking to offenders like a person, just like you would to anybody else you meet in public. Pro-social communication is effectively done at this stage. Although the use of “please” and “thank you” towards an offender would insult many Correctional Officers, it is part of being respectful and communicating effectively within a correctional facility. (More on this in Communication in Today’s Corrections Part Two).

Cognitive Reflective Communication

This is THE hardest form of communication to achieve. It involves a person to be willing to think about, and change, their behavior, thought process, and accept the consequences of their actions. And what’s the thing most of us hate the most? Change! And that is the reason why it’s the hardest form of communication/thought process that we have.

Once we learn how to communicate effectively, we can reduce the amount of problems that we face on the job every day and increase our “safety factor” exponentially. The proof is in the pudding…

Knowing Reiki Massage

Reiki massage is a form of energy healing treatment that sends out energy and is directed into the chakra points. It is completely harmless and safe to use because it does not involve heavy skin to skin contact or massage.

Reiki massage is the treatment wherein spiritual energy is used and goes directly through the body’s chakra points. It incorporates healing in varying aspects of the recipient and may have little or no skin-to-skin contact. The word “reiki” is a Japanese kanji or Japanese words that are put together. Rei means “universal spirit” and ki means “life energy” and reiki means “universal life energy”. Massage is the process wherein the therapist rubs different parts of the body for an invigorating and refreshing feeling. Some therapists that are trained in massaging and also took Reiki attunement classes are called Reiki therapists and sometimes they use reiki and massage altogether to provide the maximum health benefits the recipient can get.

This massage is expected to have positive results such as providing pain relief and overall physical, mental, emotional or spiritual wellness. Commonly, this massage does not incorporate skin contact from the practitioner to the recipient, but the practitioner’s hand remains still and transmits reiki energy into the recipient’s body, which is spiritually guided and gives healing results. It is believed to treat muscle pain, any form of injury, tension, TMJ (also known as lock-jaw), stress and so much more.

The Reiki massage can be used in two different ways.

Healing from a distance

The recipient is advised to go to a relaxing place of their choice or set up a comfortable place inside their house where they will not be disturbed from any event in and outside their home. The practitioner will start the treatment and transmit Reiki energies from their body to the recipient. This all happens from a distance.

In-person healing

This form of healing is used when the practitioner is present and can interact physically with the recipient. The recipient is advised to lie on a mat or preferably a massage table and not advised to be naked. It is important to be completely comfortable and open to the healing energy one will receive during treatment. The treatment area should be relaxing; put aromatherapy scents around the room, play soothing music, etc. just to place the recipient in a relaxed state. The practitioner transmits reiki energies from their hands to the recipient’s body by gently touching different parts of the body.

The beauty of Reiki massage is that everybody can enjoy them but everybody can learn how to give them as well.