Online Education Best at WGU

Looking for an alternative to pricy, high-pressure, traditional forms of higher education? Take a look at Western Governors University, a nonprofit school whose top priority is to deliver excellent and affordable education. Students can work as fast or as slow as they want to or need to, making  WGU a favorite educational choice for those students with either jobs, families, or both.

WGU offers a new philosophy when it comes to online education. The chief executive of the country’s largest education foundation, Jamie Merisotis of the Lumina Foundation,  calls WGU a “disruptive innovator,” forcing the entire system of education in the United States to make changes for the better.

“They have a very promising model,” Merisotis said. “We are excited about it because of the way they have positioned themselves to serve an adult audience.”

President of WGU Robert Mandenhall recently received the McGraw Prize in Education, a prize awarded by the textbook publisher McGraw Hill  to creative, innovative educators. The judges praised WGU for its extraordinary “flexibility, accessibility and affordability.”

WGU’s special uniqueness lies in the fact that although the school is entirely online, every student has a mentor who acts as a college counselor. The mentor helps each student handle his course schedule and checks on him at regular intervals, assessing his/her progress. Each course instructor holds webinars as well as online study sessions in addition to being easily accessible to help students who might be having trouble with their studies.

“We’re here to demonstrate that higher education does not have to cost $25,000 a year and have double-digit tuition increases every year to be high-quality,” Mendenhall said. “We are really focused on whether we are serving our students.”

A Perfect Winter Breakfast

Nothing is better than hot, fluffy pancakes on a cold winter morning. Here is a great, easy recipe to make for yourself, your husband, your friends or your kids!

You’ll need:

2 cups of flour

2 tablespoons of sugar

4 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups of milk

1/2 cup of oil

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add milk, egg yolks, oil and lemon juice and mix well. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until fluffy, and fold into batter. Coat a hot frying pan in melted butter and start flipping! You may want to serve the pancakes with fresh fruits like strawberries, maple or chocolate syrup and whipped cream. If you’re feeling especially creative, try adding things like cinnamon, blueberries or chocolate chips to the batter. Enjoy!

Privacy Issues Brought Into Focus with New Roadside Cameras

A new technology is sweeping the country which privacy advocates are beginning to become more wary of: license plate readers. These readers are high-tech cameras mounted along roads and highways which can read the license plates of close to 2,000 cars every minute, giving police the ability to identify and track criminals faster than ever before.

This technology has long been used in Europe, but in the United States it is only recently infiltrating into the public sphere. It is now in all of the 50 states and it is especially useful at the U.S. – Mexican border, helping to stem the tide of drugs, illegal money, and weapons smuggling across the border. A contract was awarded in October by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency worth about $350 million to increase the use of these cameras along the border, where, at the moment, thousands of license plates are already being processed by this system each day.

Critics argue that innocent people can become easy targets for tracking. “It’s like being forced to walk around with a bar code that a scanner can pick up — except that it’s your car,” said Lee Tien, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, which advocates for consumer and privacy rights. “This is one of those privacy places where the rubber really meets the road.”

Koi Gardens

In ancient Asian cultures, Koi are considered to be good luck, or “ong.” Many people build Koi Gardens as a means to fill their life with “ong” and “feng shui.” Now, koi ponds are relatively common all over the world, and are built for beauty and entertainment as well as peace of mind. Koi ponds and gardens also attract all sorts of wildlife to the area, and unique insects and animals will undoubtedly be seen living in the new environment.

Koi, actually called Nishikigoi, are actually a type of carp, bred over the years to have bright colors and patterns. In Japanese, the word Nishikigoi means “brocaded carp.” The koi are especially hardy fish. They are also incredibly social and intelligent, and can be trained to be hand-fed. Koi have individual personalities, and can live longer than two hundred years.

How to Really Get Healthier Hair

If you think all the special nutritional ingredients added to shampoo actually penetrates into the structure of your hair making it healthier, you are wrong. All those specialized and active ingredients advertised to penetrate into your hair to produce healthier hair, simply do not. Rather, they are washed down the drain with the lather when you rinse. There is a simple reason for this; the molecules which compose those additives are too large to penetrate the cells which make up hair, and are also too large to enter the tiny hair follicles where hair grows. These ingredients just stay there until washed away.

Does this mean there is no way to bring invigorating nutrients to our hair, short of eating foods which contain the nutrients which our hair needs? Luckily there is another way because a company in California has developed a delivery system which brings nutrients directly to the hair follicles with the ability to penetrate and become incorporated into hair.

The company is called Kronos, and they have created a more-effective shampoo. Their specially designed shampoo uses what they call “T-Sfere Technology” which is tiny microscopic spheres small enough to get into the hair follicles. With this new technology Kronos then identified 5 of the most significant reasons hair needs extra nutrients, then developed the exact ingredients to improve each special hair situation.

These problem areas are:

1.    Thinning hair which needs help increasing its volume

2.    Hair that is dry, frizzy or just generally hard to manage.

3.    Limp hair with no body.

4.    Hair which is damaged, often containing split ends.

5.    Hair which does not retain color well.

Anaplasty Gives Teenage Girl New Found Beauty

When Elise Lutz was a toddler in China she suffered a severe burn which seriously disfigured her right ear with a molten lump which she tried tirelessly to hide from the view of friends and strangers alike. When Elise became a teenager she wanted what many of her friends had; pierced ears. And thus began her search for a new ear and the feeling of wholeness which she had missed throughout her childhood.

For Elise the perfect answer was not plastic surgery or a glue-on prosthesis which could easily be knocked off, especially since she is an ardent swimmer. The answer for Elise came from anaplasty, the field in which medical artists create ‘Hollywood-esque’ special effects that mimic the look of real-life, including shimmering in the sun like real skin.

“People who have implant-retained ears or noses or whatever usually think of them really as their own body,” says Jerry Schoendorf, who, with his colleague at The Anaplastology Clinic in Durham, N.C., — and surgeons at nearby Duke University Medical Center — created Elise’s ear.

“It’s the Rolls Royce of what we can offer,” adds fellow anaplastologist Jay McClennen.