The Perfect Present – Canopy Bed Curtains, A Makeup Vanity, and You’re Set!

Whenever one of those special days approaches, men start to get nervous. You know what I’m talking about– anniversaries, birthdays… those times that you get landed with the formidable task of trying to pick the perfect present for your sweetheart.

Jewelry is always the first thought that comes to mind. But there are two major problems there. One is picking something that she’ll like. It’s always a downer to have your special woman open up that little jewelry box and say “Oh! It’s… uh, beautiful. Thanks honey,” and then never see her wear it.

The second problem with jewelry is that it’s expensive. At least if you really want to get her something impressive. And that’s exactly what you’re trying to do with an anniversary or birthday gift.

Here’s a simple two step gift that will sweep her off her feet: A romantic bedroom makeover.

1. Turn your bed into a canopied one. You don’t have to go out and buy a four poster to do this one. There are special “canopy bed” curtains available that attach to the ceiling with hooks, creating the look of a romantic canopy bed at minimal cost.

2. Buy a mirrored make up table– also called a vanity. These can cost anywhere from $60 to several hundred dollars, depending on your budget, and they are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so you’re bound to find one that will be a perfect fit for both your budget and your bedroom.

Once the curtains and the vanity are in place, put a vase of red roses on the vanity, and place a single rose on the bedspread. Your sweetheart with be thrilled with this thoughtful, romantic present that she’ll be able to enjoy everyday.

Bringing Desires to Present Means

The best way to keep anything in framework, no matter who you are, is to pen whatever it is you plan to do on paper. In fact, let me put it this way! All that you wish to ever achieve, which you can consciously envisage at this present moment should be written down on paper, diary or goals’ book. The process should be dynamic and not static, as new wishes develop, add them to your ever soaring dream list. Experts call this list the 101 goals list.

Make frequent visit to your dream list and ensure you’re organising and reorganizing priorities in order to reflect the status quo. The 101 dream list is your desire; and the reason you need to organise and reorganise is to ensure that you do not remain a dreamer, as it’d leave you frustrated as a result of the unrealistic 101 dream list created.

This list as earlier mentioned puts you in a perspective, as it allows one to know just what they are about, and just what they wish and expect to obtain. By understanding this perspective, half of the battle is gained.

You must constantly take inventory of yourself. By understanding and analysing what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are (SWOT). Strengths and weaknesses are attributes of an individual; opportunities and threats are attributes of the environment. Hence, you must use your internal strengths to;

1. take advantage of external opportunities
2. to avoid or reduce impact of external threats.
3. turn your weaknesses into strengths
4. to improve your internal weaknesses by taking advantage of external opportunities.

Otherwise, lacking this knowledge, you’ll waste energy and effort, and do much that had better be left undone, while leaving undone much that should be done, thus, creating unrealistic and unachievable objectives.

As we leave in a dynamic world, your strength and opportunities will also be forever dynamic, as a result, priorities on the dream list will change. This allows you to follow through what Aristotle once said… “Bring your desires down to your present means; increase them when only your increased means permit.” In this instance, your increased means are your strengths & opportunities and your desires are your wishes or dreams.

Once the above is followed; this gives you an opportunity to knock on the door of success and not to enter!
Following on, on your prioritised wish list, add deadlines to them, by so doing, there is a transition from wishes to goals, as a result of the added deadlines. Success emanates from this act and nothing else. If you have no goals, then you’ll have no success, as Brian Tracy said, “Success equals goals… all else is commentary.”

i) Always begin with the end in mind on the goal you want to attain, as would have been pictured before they became goals through the wish list.

ii) Attack the process in two ways (1) Top Down and (2) Bottom up

Bottom up ensures you have your eyes set on the goal and working towards an envisaged ultimate goal. It also prevents you from becoming overwhelmed by allowing you to take those small steps… remember the saying ‘By the yard it’s hard, but inch by inch it’s a cinch!’ and also Peter Cohen advice that “There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.”

Please do not go all the way by being lop-sided using this method, as you’d lack clarity and trajectory towards your goal.

Top down ensures you are kept in focus when the tough gets going. You have to ensure that you know and understand the steps just before completion of the goal, and the steps before that, that will ultimately link with the bottom up approach.

Plans always change, so your goals will always be revised accordingly to preserve the link between top down and bottom up.

The ultimate goal is also achieved by the choices we decide to take. Remember the saying “many roads lead to Rome.” So do not hesitate or dither by waiting for conditions to be perfect before you can act. Choices are like branches on trees, one branch splits into another and so on and so forth until the final leaf. So do not fear, begin and bear in mind that you’ll arrive at your desired leaf. Goethe advised that “what you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” Do not fear to begin, fear is removed by action, Napoleon Hill said ‘Fear is the great destroyer. Banish fear from your life. It does not serve you in any way. Go forward in faith; faith that you have destiny to fulfil. Fear not. There is, after all, nothing to fear but fear itself. And it is a mere phantom…a ghost that disappears in the light of awareness.’

Norman Vincent Pearl categorically explained to us how fear could be subjugated and it is up to us to take up his advice. He says ‘Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.’

So go on; Become the Best You Can Be… start acting now and take inventory of yourself, pen down your 101 wish list and put deadlines on them. Follow through your goals!

Nyangu Simpungwe is a professional accountant, a fully qualified chartered certified accountant and holds a Masters Degree from The University of Glamorgan in Wales. He currently is Director of a company called Falcon (GB) Limited based in England United Kingdom, a newly formed company composed wholly of chartered certified accountants. He has tremendous experience in Business Process Improvements and has expertise in life coach and leadership coach.

Birthstone Jewelry – That Special One of a Kind Present

Diamonds are such an easy choice when deciding on jewelry. It’s classic, it always looks good, and it’s almost always the stone being advertised. But aren’t we forgetting some of the most beautiful stones available? What happened to those beautiful rubies, glowing amethysts and dazzling sapphires… just to name a few. These colourful palettes of striking gemstones are often overlooked but should be reconsidered because they make perfect presents!

Giving a personalized gift with a unique stone that is completely attuned to a special someone is so meaningful. Birthdays are one-of-a-kind. It’s about time we celebrate the intimitability of those we love most by cherishing them with something special! But these stones are great gifts for any special day! New mothers love to treasure the birth of their child with birthstone jewelry. Grandmothers can keep their family close to her heart at all times with a necklace that showcases the birthstones of all her children and grandchildren. Couples can embrace and cherish the love they share with a matching birthstone couples ring. We love birthstone jewelry for every occasion!

Birthstone jewelry is amazing because of the large range of styles and prices. Online stores tend to have a wide selection to help you pick the perfect piece, which is perfectly personalized for you. We’ve found that online jewelry stores have a huge assortment of rings, necklaces, and bracelets that can be customized to express individuality and unique birth months. Their personalized pieces make the perfect presents for mothers, daughters, sons, grandchildren, grandparents or husbands and wives.

Are you looking for pieces of jewelry to add some sparkle to your November? For this month, we think you should try out some jewelry with gorgeous November Topaz! Topaz ranges in so many different shades and hues of yellow, from a very light citrus colour to deeper browns. These stones go beautifully with the natural colours of November, and will brighten up your everyday outfits!

Artificial Intelligence – The Past, the Present and the Future

The term AI cannot be explained in a few words or sentences. It is an amalgamation of logic, philosophy and computer technology. Even though man has been included under the category mammals, his status is an elevated one. This is primarily due to the fact that human beings are blessed with intelligence. It can be seen that only few animals like the ape have been endowed with a small percentage of intelligence. A human being on the other hand has a personality, habits, traits, memory etc, which could be horned to a higher degree. This is where humans differ from other creatures. For example, we may be able to recognize a person even after twenty years. This is because an image of the person, his mannerisms, voice etc may have been recorded in our brain and lay dormant for years. The memory can be triggered which produces brain waves to bring forth the image or thoughts that may have been stored for over a long period of time. This is an extremely complex process which happens in the brain. All the events that follow have not been completely understood. This explains why advances in the area of artificial intelligence are yet to produce a machine which can simulate the human brain.

It may be an easy task for a three year old to move among toys strewn across a room without touching it. A robot may not be able to do this with the same ease and effectiveness. A human being has sense organs, which recognize sights, sounds, smells etc that are transmitted through neurons to the brain at the speed of light. This is the reason why we react to sensations. The muscles of the leg may be activated which result in more blood being pumped so that the person can escape from a dangerous situation such a fire or from the scene of a bomb blast. These actions take place due to stimulus sent from the brain which activates the leg muscles. Simulation of such an action requires a lot of sophisticated hardware and software. This is the area where robotics and artificial intelligence play their role. We can recognize a person by sight, sound etc. This is done by images sent by the optic and olfactory nerves to the brain. A robot on the other hand uses a pair of cameras in place of the eyes and software coupled with moving parts like an artificial limb.

Areas of application

1. Chess playing

Chess is a game which has been using artificial intelligence to produce better systems in game playing. Computer is basically an electronic device which accepts instructions from the user and works on data to produce outputs. In traditional computing databases are used to store chunks of data which ultimately give useful information. In AI, knowledge bases are used, which can store information through inferences and dialogues with the user and also update themselves. Chess is a game where moves and positions are of great importance. When a human chess player is in action, he will make the moves based on previous knowledge acquired or by intuition. Where as in computer simulated games, thousands of moves are calculated by the computer using brute force method where the most appropriate move is chosen. When a human plays chess, it is based on expertise and skills, where as in computer simulated chess environment, the computer plays based on calculations. For instance the most famous of man versus computer chess matches were played between Deep Blue, developed by IBM in 1997 and grandmaster Garry Kasparov. The computer won the series 2-1, with three matches being drawn. This spawned a great deal of interest in this area and other machines followed. Deep Blue, with its capability of evaluating 200 million positions per second, was the strongest computer that ever faced a world chess champion. Today, in computer chess research and matches of world class players against computers, the focus of play has often shifted to software controlled chess programs, rather than using dedicated chess hardware. Modern chess programs such as Rybka, Deep Fritz or Deep Junior are more efficient than the programs during Deep Blue’s era.

2. Speech Recognition

In the 1990s, computer speech recognition reached a practical level for limited purposes. United Airlines has replaced its keyboard tree for flight information by a system using speech recognition of flight numbers and city names during this time which proved very convenient. Speech Recognition is an area where intense research is going on. During earlier days of computing, speech recognition was considered a stiff challenge. Now with advent of new hardware and software this process has been simplified. Even the commonly used MS-OFFICE suite has built-in features that support speech recognition. The software which converts speech to text essentially relies on the repository which stores commonly used words and its pronunciation. This process is intricate in the sense that the accent may vary from person to person. Hence before the software can be used, it must be trained with the user’s way of talking. Once this is done, the user can talk on a microphone connected to the computer which translates his words into text. In fact this software can function as an assistant when the user wants to dictate some text. Dragon software has emerged as a complete solution in this area. Dragon ‘Naturally Speaking’ software from ‘Nuance’ is used by millions of people.It can be used in office, at home, at school, on road, or even in the operating room. It allows the user to get more done faster by voice. With Dragon, people can write documents and emails, search the Web, and even control their PC entirely by voice, saving time and boosting productivity. In their latest review, the editors of PC Magazine noted: “Dragon retains its lead in the speech recognition field, with surprising accuracy in dictation, even with little or no training.”

3. Understanding Natural Language

Natural language understanding is an area where lot of ambiguity still exists. This involves recognising the whole text and interpreting its meaning The computer has to be provided with an understanding of the domain the text is about, and this is presently possible only for very limited domains. Natural language processing (NLP) is an area of computational linguistics concerned with the processing of naturally occurring (human) language by computer. Natural-language-generation systems convert information from computer databases into normal-sounding human language. Natural-language-understanding systems convert samples of human language into more formal representations that are easier for computer programs to manipulate. Natural language processing by computers is still in its infancy and a lot of work remains to be done.

4. Computer Vision

The world is composed of three-dimensional objects, but the inputs to the human eye and computers’ TV cameras are two dimensional. Some useful programs can work solely in two dimensions. A full computer vision requires partial three-dimensional information that is not just a set of two-dimensional views. At present there are only limited ways of representing three-dimensional information directly, and they are not as good as what human eye employs. In case of robots, cameras convert images into digital format, which are then processed.

5. Expert Systems

One of the largest areas of applications of artificial intelligence is in expert systems, or knowledge based systems as they are often known. This area has been fairly well developed and has proved useful for real time applications. This type of system seeks to exploit the specialised skills or information held by of a group of people on specific areas. It can be thought of as a computerised consulting service. It can also be called an information guidance system. Such systems are used for medical diagnosis or as educational aids. The skills and knowledge of an expert is simulated in a computerised environment to provide the effective solutions to a problem. The areas where expert systems are used range from disaster warning systems to medical diagnostics. The earliest expert system was MYCIN which was used for treating blood related diseases as early as 1974. When creating an expert system, a ‘knowledge engineer’ interviews experts in a certain domain and tries to embody their knowledge in a computer program for carrying out some tasks.

6. Heuristics classification

This is an area where information and knowledge from various sources are classified and focused to provide results in a particular area. For example in the modern world economic crisis is rampant. One of the major reasons why several banks in U.S have collapsed is due to excessive credit payments. Expert systems have been used in a limited way to arrive at a consensus whether a particular person may be issued a credit card or not. His traits and habits are to be studied and recorded so that it may be concluded whether he is capable of repayment. Expert systems using such heuristics in banking areas could have provided a solution to this global crisis. Other areas include decision support systems, public information systems etc.