Saturday, August 06, 2011
Friday, August 05, 2011
This is from MarketingProfs.com:
How Email Actually Gets From You to Your Subscriber
"Before I started my career in email delivery," writes Art Quanstrom at the Emma blog, "I imagined sending emails looked like some sort of Rube Goldberg Machine: a bowling ball rolling down a track, opening a door that pushes a knife into a string, releasing a mouse that takes the cheese off of a scale, which then unweights and causes a small explosion … to propel said email to the other side of the Internet."
We might chuckle at the low-tech visual, but Quanstrom says it's not a bad way to envision the actual complicated process of sending your offer or newsletter to a subscriber. He maps out the typical route:
- First, your email service provider (ESP) formats your message and sends it to a mailer (MTA). The MTA adds header information about the sender (RSVP address), the ESP (IP address) and the recipient (email address).
- Next, the MTA connects with the MX record for the DNS of the domain (e.g., gmail, or companyname) to which you're sending. "A domain's DNS is a one-stop location that other machines use to communicate with the domain's various servers, and the MX record is there to process any incoming mail," he notes.
- If no connection can be made, it might indicate a permanent issue (e.g., the domain doesn't exist) or a temporary issue (e.g., a bad connection).
- A successful connection triggers the four-step Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) process: 1) Identifying the sending and receiving servers; 2) Identifying your RSVP address; 3) Identifying the recipient's email address; and 4) Transferring the data.
Now, that's a strong argument for keeping your email lists clean.
The Po!nt: Consider the long and winding road. Sending a marketing message from Point A to Point B might take only a few seconds—but its journey is anything but simple.
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
We all eat it.
We should enjoy it.
Posted: 29 Jul 2011 09:17 AM PDT
If your mom was anything like mine, there were always lots of rules when it came to meal times. One of the biggest no-nos in our house was ‘playing with your food’.
While I get where my mom was coming from in terms of waste, mess and that we should be respecting our food, now that I’m all grown up, I’ve realized there are times when playing with your food may actually be beneficial.
Food can be one of life’s great pleasure. But there can also be a lot of anxiety around healthy eating, not to mention the guilt that comes from over-indulging in crap. And given that we must eat every day, if we aren’t careful, it can become a chore. Another task that must be checked off.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. Maybe your mom was wrong? Here are 7 good reasons you should play with your food.
- Play encourages mindful eating.
If we play with our food, our attention will be in the moment giving us a chance to appreciate what we’re eating rather than mindlessly munching away. This mean we will be more likely to really enjoy and find pleasure in our food. How many times are do you find yourself with a bag of chips and in front of the TV? Handful after handful you devour these things simply because your attention is elsewhere.
- Play makes mealtime fun.
Taking a more light-hearted approach to food can make a real difference to how much fun you have at dinner. And it doesn’t mean you need to toy with your food on the plate.
For example, try coming up with more creative names for dishes to bring a little sunshine and fun into meal times. In our house we have ‘mermaid pie’, rather than boring old fish pie. And this brings out the story of my friend’s grandma.
When she was a child, she told her dad that the fishermen in her village had been filling her head with tales of mermaids. Her dad’s response was ‘Yes, they would see plenty of mermaids through the bottom of a whiskey glass’. This prompted her to head down to the sea shore with a glass in hand in search of illusive creatures. Too cute.
- Play helps us connect with our loved ones.
It can be difficult to reach out and nurture our closest relationships if we are stressed and uptight around the dinner table. Some shared laughter and a bit of silliness with broccoli or broad beans can really bring the family together.
- Play encourages creativity and exploration.
By making the decision to introduce some fun into meal times, we are opening ourselves up to more creativity and an exploration of the wonderful world of food.
It can be easy to fall into a rut with our food. There’s nothing like eating the same old thing every week to give us food boredom. A little playfulness will encourage us to eat a wider variety of foods, which can only be a good thing both nutritionally and psychologically.
- Play helps us relax.
After a long day at the office, we can all benefit from a bit of play both preparing and enjoying our evening meal. No only does it give us a chance to unwind from the day, it prepares us for a well earned, rejuvenating sleep.
- Play reduces over-eating.
By playing with our food we become completely engaged with what we’re eating. This makes it much easier to recognize when we are full and stop eating when we should, rather than mindlessly gorging and ending up overstuffed again.
- Playing with your food gives you an excuse to bake!
Slurping on noodles can bring hours, OK minutes of joy. Letting the juice from a perfectly ripe watermelon run down your arms is fun even without the wonderful sweet taste. But baking in general, and making cookies in particular, is where playing with your food really comes into its own.
Creaming butter and sugar, folding in flour, bashing chocolate into submission so you have the perfect chunks, forming your dough into cute cookie shapes. And all that before we even think of getting to the eating part.
So when I’m finding myself in need of a little more play, I know its time to bake. These salted chocolate chip cookies are my current go-to treat. In fact, here is the recipe so you can get started! Be warned, they’re dangerously good fun.
At the risk of being kicked out of the dark chocolate lovers club, these cookies are actually better with a lower cocoa content chocolate. I used a bittersweet or 58% cocoa chocolate and they were just right.
The mixture will keep in the fridge or freezer, so no need to bake them all in one go.
- 150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 250g (9oz) light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 225g (8oz) plain (all-purpose flour)
- 225-285g (8-10oz) dark chocolate
- Whizz butter and sugar in a food processor or stand mixer until light and creamy. Add egg and mix until well combined.
- Add 3/4 teaspoon baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon bicarb soda to the flour and mix to combine.
- Fold butter mixture into the flour until only just combined.
- Chop chocolate into chunks and add to the dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes but no longer than 72 hours.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line 2 baking sheets or trays with baking paper.
- Scoop ⅓ cup balls of dough and place on the prepared trays. Allowing room for them to spread. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt flakes.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until cookies are golden. The bottom tray may need a little longer. Cool on the tray.
|Written on 7/29/2011 by Jules Clancy. Jules Clancy is a qualified Food Scientist and the creator of The Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School. She blogs about simple 5 ingredients recipes that can mostly be prepared in 10 minutes over at Stonesoup.||Photo Credit: valentin.d|
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Posted: 18 Jul 2011 08:20 AM PDT
The concept of losing weight is easy: just eat less.
You know what's also easy:
- Not touching the statue in the museum even though there's a "Do not touch sign."
- Not procrastinating until till the very last day to study for a final exam.
- Not checking out that hot girl when you're with your girlfriend.
Just like going to the museum, most people see the "Do not touch sign", but the little dark rebel inside them forces them to touch it anyways. And the same goes for your girlfriend; most, if not all guys are going to stare at the hot girl who walks by them. Men can't help it, yet their girlfriends will still get angry.
Here's the truth: a 5 year old can understand how weight loss works, but most college graduates won't be able SUCCESSFULLY lose weight. Even if you're trying to lose weight and you're reading DLM, you're still more likely to fail than succeed. I'm sorry, but that's the truth.
Until you realize how hard weight loss is, only then will it be easy.
Am I too harsh? Too blunt? Yes. But it's for your own good. I'm sick and tired of all these fitness "pros" saying weight loss is easy if you follow workout program A or B or diet X or Y. Sure, there are some programs out there that help simplify the process, but most of the info out there is still absolute rubbish. Why do you think the fitness/health industry is multi-billion dollar industry? Because the fitness industry profits off the constant failures of its consumers, putting out a new product every 6 months saying that it will fix all the same problems that their last product was supposed to originally fix.
Are there things you can do to simplify your weight loss journey? Yes, but this still doesn’t mean it will be easy.
Below are 5 ways to make sure your weight loss journey doesn't suck that bad:
- Stop Exercising so much
Too often, when people start dieting, they increase their workout frequency beyond what they normally do. Or, if the person has never exercised before in their entire life, then they just jump into a workout program that has them exercising 5x per week. So if you're currently working out 3x per, don't change it to 5x per week. You'll most likely end up burning out and over training.
However, if you've never exercised before, you may want to start out at 2x per week, then 3x per week, and 4x per week max.
- Stop exercising the wrong way (doing too much cardio and not lifting weights)
Being on a weight loss program doesn't mean you have to run 10 miles a day. It doesn't even mean you have to run one mile a day. Heck, if you want, you don't even have to run for all I care.
The most important thing to do when exercising on diet is to make sure you are lifting with heavy weights. By lifting heavy weights, you are sending a signal to your body that you want to preserve your muscle mass, and that you only want to lose fat, not muscle.
- Stop restricting your food choices
I say that 99% of diet program out there tell you that when dieting, you should restrict all your favorite foods or to only enjoy them once or twice a week. That means no pizza, doughnuts, or Vodka Martinis at all or at least until the weekends.
This is EXACTLY why most people fail at dieting. They have too many restrictions.
If you want to eat pizza and drink beer for dinner, then so be it. I guarantee that it will not make you any fatter than the boiled chicken breast and green tea you were planning to eat instead. Just keep your calories in check. Remember guys, it's calories in calories out; don't complicate such an easy to understand concept.
- Stop caring so much about the types of food you eat
Just because you're dieting, that doesn't mean you can eat unlimited amounts of "healthy food" without consequence. Consuming 500 calories of plain boiled oatmeal isn’t going to affect you any differently than consuming 500 calories of Fruit Loops.
That's just not how the human body works. Your body doesn't say "Oh man why did this guy just eat fruit loops, now I'm going to have to store it as fat," as opposed to "Oh yippy!! plain oatmeal, now I can use this as a long sustainable energy source to fuel my body."
I mean, look at Mark Haub, the nutrition professor at Kansas State University who lost 27 pounds in 2 months and lowered his cholesterol levels by eating copious amounts of junk food. He is living proof that the types of food you eat don't matter for weight loss.
Bottom line: as long as you are in a caloric deficit, it doesn't matter what foods you eat.
- Stop reading so much
I completely understand that people want to research health and fitness information as much as possible before starting their weight loss journey. I get it, it's cool.
However, the problem is that people want to read every single fitness website on the web, pick the minds of every breathing personal trainer, and watch every diet video available on YouTube. This is all fine and dandy, but once you start your diet, you have to stop reading and watching so much. Just bookmark a handful of websites that you will continuously read and stick with their teachings and beliefs. Stop jumping around. Constantly researching fitness information while losing weight can lead to disaster. This is called information overload.
There is just so much contradicting fitness information out there, it’s crazy. High reps vs. low reps, low carb vs. low fat, interval training vs. steady state cardio, 6 meals per day vs. 3 meals a day. I could go on forever. So just stick with a program and a set of beliefs that works for you and don't look back.
If you don't, you're going to end up having a little mind war in your head arguing about who's right and who's wrong. Pick a few sources of information and stick with them.
|Written on 7/18/2011 by Keith Lai. Keith is currently a college student and author of the fitness blog FitMole.com where he talks about all things fitness. He also has a big mole in the middle of face. You can follow him on twitter here and Facebook here. "||Photo Credit: 05com|
Monday, August 01, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
A great piece from Harvey:
Don't let boredom cramp your style
By Harvey Mackay
A preacher died and went to heaven where he noticed that a New York cab driver had been awarded a higher place than he.
"I don't understand," he complained to St. Peter. "I devoted my entire life to my congregation."
St. Peter explained: "Our policy here in heaven is to reward results. Now, was your congregation well attuned to you whenever you gave a sermon?"
"Well," the minister had to admit, "some in the congregation fell asleep from time to time."
"Exactly," said St. Peter. "And when people rode in this man's taxi, they not only stayed awake -- they even prayed!"
Now I'm not saying you should drive like a maniac, but there is something to living life to the fullest and not being boring. As a public speaker I can give this preacher some good advice: If you haven't struck oil in the first five minutes, stop boring.
Cecil Beaton, British interior and set designer, said: "Perhaps the world's second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore."
And if you allow yourself to be bored too long, you actually become a bore. What a vicious cycle!
Boredom affects everyone. Sadly, it's quite prominent in the workplace, especially for those who perform the same routine job day in and day out. It's the same for people who sit in silence for long periods of time. Boredom makes it tough for people to focus. Boredom weighs you down.
Believe me, this problem affects managers in high level jobs, as well as line workers.
For example, a special events manager who has a reputation for being the best in the business recently told me she was bored. "Every party looks the same to me," she said. True, I told her -- they look absolutely fabulous. I advised her to take time to share the joy she brings her clients. "I guess I forgot about that part," she told me.
A customer relations vice president encourages his staff to think in terms of how many people they helped that day, rather than how many complaints they dealt with. He knows that employees can get discouraged and bored in that line of work, and he wants them to have every reason to love their jobs.
Folks who are chronically bored are missing out on a lot of opportunities. Can you improve your job or job performance? Is it time to consider a different job? Or do you need to concentrate more on how your job affects others and less on the paycheck?
When you can't change your job to eliminate the boredom, you have to change your state of mind. You need a shot of stimulation. Give your brain some new challenges, even if they aren't work-related. Changing up the way you spend some of the time can cause a domino effect on the rest of your time.
Try these tricks:
- Do something that you want to do. Go to a movie, a museum or sports event. Listen to your favorite music. Go out with friends. Go to the mall. Buy yourself a little gift or a surprise for someone else.
- Read something new. Pick a book by an author you've never read, or an article that will stimulate your imagination.
- Get some exercise. Physical activity will get your blood pumping and stimulate endorphin production, making you feel energetic and happier.
- Take a break, or even a little nap. This might be hard for a lot of people, but I find if I close my eyes and sleep for just five to ten minutes, I wake up feeling refreshed.
- Explore your surroundings. Stop ignoring the sights on your way to work, or at work. Pay attention to all you see -- look for something different and original.
- Rearrange your space. Sometimes shifting things around at home or at work can force you to look at your surroundings, and your life, in a new light.
- Develop a hobby. Hopefully you already have one or two, but if not find something you enjoy.
- Volunteer. Helping others is a terrific antidote to the boredom blahs. And look at all the good you are doing.
- Change your routine. Take a different route to work. Start the day with something new instead of just sitting down with your to-do list. Shake up your day, and interesting things may reveal themselves.