Save Energy Costs With Any Office Space!

Business owners and managers alike are looking for ways to save energy costs in their office space. In fact, both large and small companies are creating programs that focus on cost-cutting without decreasing employee efficiency. It is true that a worker’s actions and daily activities have a great impact on minimizing environmental footprints as well as increasing a company’s profitability. The following are some helpful tips on saving energy costs in any office space.

  • Lighting – Turning off lights every time a person leaves the premises is one of the easiest ways to save power and can be done by everyone. This also includes turning off lights in other office facilities, such as the bathrooms and break rooms. Small signs can be posted near the door or light switch to remind everyone to turn off the lights when not in use. In addition, replacing incandescent bulbs in desk lamps with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) can significantly decrease the monthly electric bill. Of course, it is not necessary to replace any bulbs if they are still working; replacement can be done as the bulbs burn out. Another power saving step is to turn off desk lamps when all paper-based tasks are complete and only use the overhead lights while performing computer related tasks.
  • Power Strips – There are machines that are not used very often yet stay plugged in the whole time. Using a power strip with a switch can be very helpful in these cases. By plugging machines such as the computer, monitor, phone charger, and desk lamps into a power strip, it would be easier to turn off those machines with a single switch whenever the desk is vacated for lunch, errands, or at the end of the day.
  • Computers – When a desk will be without personnel for a long period of time, be sure to turn off both the computer and monitor. If a company is able to provide laptops to employees, significant amount of energy can be saved. If the budget does not allow for laptops, be sure to purchase Energy Star qualified computers and peripherals.
  • All-In-One-Printers – Instead of having a printer, fax machine, scanner, and photocopier, a switch can be made to an all-in-one printer that can easily accomplish every printing need. The printer can then be assigned to a central, accessible location where employees can do photocopying and other office printing tasks. All-in-one printers are easy to maintain, a great space saver, and users have the option to set it to an economy mode to consume less toner when printing.
  • Teamwork – Be creative in a campaign to implement energy-saving methods, especially for those who are having a hard time keeping up with the changes. Organizing fun competition between departments or making a graph of the team’s progress are some ways of encouraging employees. Another way to encourage workers is to have them attend a seminar related to energy savings.

Finally, putting these energy-saving tips into actual use will have a great impact on a company, as well as the environment. Always reinforce the positive behavior of workers by pointing out successes in this joint effort. Share the overall energy-saving success with the entire group and give appreciation to each member in working together to conserve energy and save money in the office space!

A Short Intro to the Grand Indian Wedding

With more and more foreign tourists, among them celebrities too, opting to tie the knot the Indian way, there is a lot of curiosity about the grand Indian wedding, its customs and rituals. Here is an attempt to demystify it.

Indian weddings comprise within it a cornucopia of wedding styles and traditions. There is the Hindu wedding, the Sikh wedding, the Jain wedding, the Indian Muslim wedding, the Indian Christian wedding and so on – all very much Indian yet suffused with unique religious and regional traditions and norms. So, the first thing that hits you about the grand Indian wedding is this: no two weddings are alike! Even among Hindu weddings, regional differences ensure that a wedding in Rajasthan is different from a wedding in Kerala. That said, there are similarities in wedding customs and traditions as these reflect the uniqueness of India and the peculiarities of the religion and caste of the families involved in the wedding.

The Indian wedding is a grand affair. Celebrations begin well before the wedding. Since it is a time of great happiness, families believe in splurging on decorations, invitations, food, costume and so on. For instance, most Indian weddings kick off with the designing and printing of elaborate wedding invitations. Wedding invites are themselves traditional to the ‘T’. Invites are sent out far and wide, and it is common for families to receive more than a few hundred invitees – and feel really happy about the turnout!

The wedding itself is generally held indoors or within a ‘Pandal’ (a temporarily enclosed area). The venue is decorated elaborately. Loads of flowers grace the area. In fact, the venue is a riot of colors reflecting the joy of marriage, which is not just the coming together of two individuals but the union of two families.

The Indian wedding ceremony, whether it is a Hindu, Christian, Muslim or Sikh marriage, is deeply traditional with religious overtones. Age old traditions are a part of the wedding. Therefore, an outsider may find it difficult to comprehend the meaning of the various rites performed. However, for people in the know, these ceremonies are the crux of the wedding.

The Indian wedding is generally a noisy affair. In most weddings, music plays an important role. For instance, weddings in the Northern and Southern parts of India have musicians playing on various instruments at the time of the wedding. This may be accompanied by dancing too. Indian wedding music is full of cultural significance. Therefore, one can expect traditional, folk music at the wedding. Of course, receptions are a different cup of tea altogether. So, don’t be surprised if you happen to catch the latest UK and US chart busters at the reception!

Any talk of the Indian wedding is incomplete without mention of two all-important factors – the dress and the food. Rich, heavy and traditional is the dress code. Women wear their finest jewels and men are at their traditional best. The bride is generally decked in red or other deep colors. Virginal white is often only seen at Christian weddings. Food is lavishly served as the Indian culture places great significance on indulging guests. Traditional wedding spread could easily include more than two dozen food items, including sweets, snacks and the main course.

Why Diversity Is So Important in the Workplace

The world is a colorfully diverse place full of unique individuals shaped by culture and life experiences. This colorful mosaic can be a source of great strength for businesses and individuals who choose to embrace it. Diversity is one of the most important business assets available today. Organizations who choose respect over stereotyping and biases will find themselves in a strong position both ethically and economically.

Virtually every business has a dynamic and diverse customer base. It stands to reason that every business should also employ a diverse group of employees. There is no better way to understand and service a diverse group of customers, than to employee a diverse group of employees. Because we are all limited as individuals by our own limited life experience, we need diverse co-workers to understand the needs and wants of all of our customers. This type of diversity gives companies an invaluable asset.

Diversity also strengthens innovation and creativity. The more minds that are put to work in creating, the more creative we will be. The world is changing at such a rapid pace that quick innovation is imperative. If we don’t want our businesses to become the next dinosaurs we need to create new ideas every day. What better way to do this than to have the meeting of as many diverse minds as possible.

Diversity keeps companies safe legally. Biases and stereotypes lead to harassment and discrimination. It is illegal in both employment hiring and in the operation of the workplace to discriminate against people of different cultures, religions, ages, disabilities and the many other classes of people who have been designated protected groups.

Lastly, respecting differences and avoiding stereotypes is the ethical thing to do. Follow the golden rule and treat others as you wish to be treated. Respecting the skills, abilities and differences of our co-workers not only makes business and legal sense, but makes moral sense as well.

Organizations who choose respect will find themselves in a strong ethical, legal and economic position. The world is a diverse, colorful mosaic and companies should utilize this diversity to strengthen their position in the marketplace.

Easy Ways to Preserve Your Wedding Gown

Wedding dresses are very expensive clothing but they are the main piece of clothing that makes your wedding. You adorn it during the event to exude glamour and flamboyance. They can cost thousands of Dollars aside the accessories you will need to adorn them up. After the wedding, you still need to keep the gown for memory sake. You will want to take it into your hands in the future and be able to reflect on well it looked on you some year back. A badly kept gown will discolor in no time. Again, it may have spots that will mar its beauty. How do you keep your gown such that its beauty, brilliance and glamor are preserved as the times go by?

The first step is to protect the dress from dust. You can wrap it in other pieces of non-staining material. Again, you must fold the dress with the arms placed over the back like you have with new dresses. After that you will fold the skirt side over the blouse section. This way, you will not have lines drawn on the dress which can make it look old. Protect the dress from sources of oil. The best way to tuck it away is to hang in a closet vertically or place in a drawer, with a protective piece of material below. If the room has constant air-conditioning, avoid damping by first ensuring the dress is completely dry and then placing into a waterproof material such as a plastic sheet.

A well kept gown is a joy. Each day, you are able to pick it up and then enjoy its beauty. You will be happier and joyful if the dress looks just like when you bought it. You want to see it shine and sparkle like before. Again, the absence of any spot or discoloration renders it anew – an effect that helps it retain its look over time. You will have to look after the gown with utmost care if you want to have it look nice at all times. Avoid dumpy areas and sharp object at locations where the dress is kept., By following these preservation steps, you will be able to offer your dress a great looking shine.

An Entrepreneurial Development Framework for Institutions of Higher Education

Introduction

With increased globalization people have seen the need to increase wealth creation especially within the underdeveloped Third World. It has also become evident that neither the government nor the formal sector can supply the necessary job creation without a sustained effort and partnerships between all sectors of the economy. One means of creating work opportunities will be the development of entrepreneurial and innovative skills within the country. The creation of such job opportunities by encouraging entrepreneurial innovation has been well illustrated by Dana, Korot and Tovstiga (2005:12) in Silicon Valley, Israel, Singapore and the Netherlands. These authors report that in the narrow 35 mile by 10 mile corridor within Silicon Valley 6,500 technology enterprises are located. Singapore is home to almost 100,000 entrepreneurs and had a per capita GDP of US$42,948.00 during 2004 and an annual growth rate of 8.8% (Singapore Statistics, 2006).

In addition higher education has become a prime export commodity of total world services trade, amounting to a staggering 3% (Grundling & Steynberg, 2006:5). With the increased interest in entrepreneurial innovation as an economic driver there is a need to develop expertise within this area. Thus there is a need to develop entrepreneurial innovation knowledge within higher education institutions to ensure the maintenance of a competitive edge in an under developed market. Dana, et al. (2005:10) define knowledge as “the integration of information, ideas, experience, intuition, skills and lessons learned that creates added value for a firm”. In addition Dana et el. (2005) define innovation as “the process by which knowledge is transformed into new or significantly modified products and/or services that establish the firm’s competitive edge”. It can thus be seen that it is imperative that higher education in South Africa actively pursue a policy to encourage entrepreneurial innovation to ensure the creation of expertise, the development of new industries and the empowering of students to establish themselves within an entrepreneurial innovative culture. Higher education will be required to become a key player in domesticating knowledge and diffusing it into the economy in order to serve as engines for community development and social renewal (Grundling & Steynberg, 2006:6).

Problem statement

The research question under discussion is formulated as What minimum requirements should be set in an entrepreneurial and innovation framework in order to support entrepreneurial and innovation knowledge creation at institutions of higher education?

Purpose

This article attempts to develop a framework to encourage entrepreneurial thinking within a higher education environment, taking into account consideration policy and infrastructural requirements, knowledge creation fundamentals and institutional arrangements.

Policy intervention

Policy initiatives within higher education institutions are essential to establish guidance for entrepreneurs, funding agencies, industry, labour in general and for students and institutions of higher education in particular. From a higher education perspective government as well as institutional policy requirements will be discussed in brief.

·Government policies

If this is to be accomplished it will require government intervention to construct policies which should include the reduction of taxation in the form of capital gains tax rate, providing incentives for increased spending on research and development, encouraging active venture capital markets, an alteration of the ‘hiring and firing’ labour regulations, and encouraging the spending on new technology shares (Da Rin, Nicodano & Sembenelli, 2005:8).

·The higher education institution policies

The higher education institution must provide a working atmosphere in which entrepreneurship can thrive. Venkataraman (2003:154) proposes that it is not merely the injection of capital that enhances the development of entrepreneurship. Rather, it is the tangible infrastructural essentials such as capital markets, advanced telecommunications, sound legal and transportation systems. In addition, intangible components must be in place. These intangibles are access to novel ideas, informal forums, role models, region specific opportunities, access to large markets, safety nets and executive leadership. As policy within the institution is developed it must consider and include a planning process to accommodate these essentials.

Policy must also augment the entrepreneurial culture within the higher education institution as a new mindset of students must be established from one of expecting to be employed, to one of providing work opportunities for others. Technology licensing offices (TLOs) must be established at the higher education institutions. Stanford University sponsored research expenditures of US$391 million generated 25 TLO start ups in 1997 (Gregorio & Shane, 2003:209). An investment in patent rights by the higher education institutions will ensure future capital investments into the institution. Intellectual property (IP) policies should be framed so as to capture the wealth generated and to distribute it equitably between investors, partners, the university and the entrepreneur. Such rewards will generate future interest for both the investors and the entrepreneurs. Policies, procedures and network contacts to capture venture capital must be established.

Research and Development policies in entrepreneurship must be refined and focused. Currently, the focus of entrepreneurial research at Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa falls within the three niche areas of business clustering, business development and management of innovation. In each of these niche areas it will be necessary to develop Masters and Doctorate programmes in entrepreneurship and innovation. This in turn will mean a need for the improvement of the staff qualification profile within these areas. Along with the Masters and Doctorate programmes, accredited research outputs must be produced in entrepreneurship and innovation (Grundling & Steynberg, 2006:6). In addition to the Masters degrees in Entrepreneurship and the Masters degree in Comparative Local Development, a Masters degree in Cognitive Reasoning should be considered for the future. Such a course should include a thorough foundation in finance reasoning along with creative thinking and business planning.

Institutional structures to be established

The higher education institution will have to establish itself as a seamless knowledge node into which a variety of parties can contribute. Parties contributing to such a knowledge node might include industrial partners, specialists from industry, relevant government agencies, foreign investors, community forums, labour unions, academic specialists, research foundations, funding agencies, students and potential entrepreneurs. Such a node would provide the necessary contact between entrepreneurs, funding agencies, industry and labour. This will ensure exposure of research and innovative ideas to the relevant parties. It would also provide a relevant export/import platform for entrepreneurship within the country. In addition to this, regular colloquia should be held to allow potential entrepreneurs to expose their innovative ideas to the funding agencies. An information network connecting entrepreneurs to venture capitalists should be established within this knowledge node.

Such forums would allow industrial partners to present commercially-oriented research proposals to the higher education institution which funding agencies in turn would be willing to fund. Gregorio and Shane (2003:212) also emphasize the need for the higher education institution to demonstrate intellectual eminence. It is suggested that better quality researchers are more likely to exploit inventions than lesser qualified researchers. The intellectual eminence also makes it easier for researchers involved to start enterprises and to exploit their inventions (Gregorio & Shane, 2003:212). In addition, more eminent researchers provide a better knowledge base and this in turn will attract better qualified researchers and students. To ensure an intellectual eminence of their outputs, higher education institutions should select students carefully.

The higher education institution should also encourage the development of incubators, either close to the institution or close to the involved industry. This will certainly influence the start up capital expenditure. Gregorio and Shane (2003:213) suggest that such incubators would allow entrepreneurs to “ripen” technologies in close proximity to inventors and specialists.

The establishment of technology parks could be instituted at the institution. Dana, et al. (2005:12) report that the first technology parks were established in the Netherlands. It is hardly surprising that the Netherlands is one of the leading nations in promoting entrepreneurship, comparing favourably with Israel, Singapore and Silicone Valley. Perhaps such parks could be established in conjunction with the government and serve to expose students to the entrepreneurial culture.

Information networks connecting entrepreneurs to venture capitalists should be established within the higher education institution. Dushnitsky and Lenox (2004:618) reinforce this view. Gregorio and Shane (2003:214) also recommend that in exchange for taking an equity stake in TLO start-ups the institution should pay patenting, marketing or other up-front costs. These measures would encourage the formation of start-up enterprises. Furthermore, locating a higher education institutional foundation presence in physical proximity to the enterprises donating the capital might be an advantage (Gregorio & Shane, 2003:211).

Strategy to develop an entrepreneurial innovative culture

·Re-curriculation of syllabi within Entrepreneurship programmes

When training entrepreneurs two realms of knowledge should be recognized, “tacit” and “explicit”. “Explicit knowledge is easily identifiable, easy to articulate, capture and share. By contrast, tacit knowledge consists predominately of intuition, feelings, perceptions and beliefs, often difficult to express and therefore difficult to capture and transfer. Of the two, tacit knowledge carries the greater value in that it is the essence of innovation” (Dana et al., 2005:10). Perhaps an illustration given by Ali (2001:339) serves to illustrate the difference between the skills involved in producing an artifact. The engineer is a man of action developing mental skills but seldom having the opportunity to develop manual skills. The craftsman uses his hands more than his head, tools more than instruments and rarely uses science or mathematics. Both are geared towards inventing. The engineer is concerned with ideas and artifacts, while the craftsman is concerned with the making of artefacts. The craftsman has no ready made methods and the technique is devised during the process. The engineer draws mainly on explicit scientific skills while the craftsman draws on intuitive, tacit knowledge. This person is involved in the creation of something new, an innovative skill. The engineer’s plans and blueprints might well involve tactic knowledge.

In curriculum design one must recognize the difference between infrastructure supporting recursive skills which are typically routine in nature and infrastructure supporting the nurturing of innovation and making skills. These involve designing, innovating, communicating in groups, problem solving, face-to-face communication, idea generation and group-work (Ali, 2001:41). Brown and Duguid (1991) quoted by Ali (2001:342) make use of the expression “communities of practice” to describe the social context for developing work, learning and innovation. Lin, Li and Chen (2004:4) and Markman and Baron (2003:291) make use of the term “social capital” to describe the ability to establish networks of supporting relationships. This ability is seen as a means of mobilizing environmental resources to overcome obstacles and threats within the entrepreneurial process. Others have noted how important social capital is in the creation of new business ventures. Lin, et al. (2004:4) recognize the need for formal and informal funding relationships within the business environment. Such entrepreneurs are termed “business angels” for they gain access to required resources, such as capital investors, suitable distributors and talented employees from the external environment. Lin, et al. (2004:6) thus regard social capital as “entrepreneurial social infrastructure”. Harris, Forbes and Fletcher (2000:125-126) suggest that planning “dampens” the entrepreneurial spirit and that emergent problems tended to be better training triggers than planned approaches. It is proposed that the learning style for entrepreneurs should be one using facilitators, learning by doing, interactive classroom approaches, peer group work, problem solving, grasping opportunities and holistic approaches. It is recommended that inputs should be made by outside speakers and entrepreneurs (Harris, et al., 2000:126). Johnson (1987:31, in Harris et al., 2000) states that an entrepreneur’s planned approach to any problem should be problem awareness, problem diagnosis, the development of solutions and the selection of a solution. Once again the need for “an emergent” approach rather than a “planned approach” is emphasized. In addition, Harris, et al. (2000:133) emphasize the need for long standing close relationships in the development of the entrepreneur. Such partners can share vision, and serve as sounding boards for ideas and concerns. These relationships are vital for the development of innovative thinking. The findings suggest that entrepreneurs must be trained in a less structured way, which involve group work, class discussions, specialist input, a concentration of social skills, communicating and conflict management. The methodology must involve face to face contact and the developing of lasting relationships.

Another factor that should be written into the curriculum is the ability to deal with problems that arise and then to reschedule goals so as to accommodate the new situation. This is clearly illustrated by Ireland, Kuratko and Morris (2006:12) showing the presence of internal and external triggers of corporate entrepreneurship. External triggers that encourage entrepreneurship arise from developments in the external environment. These include diminishing opportunities, rapid changes in technology, labour shortages, aggressive moves by competitors, change in the market structure or regulatory threats. Internal triggers include employee rewards, directives from managers, tension between staff, problems with cost control, etc. Ireland, et al. (2006:12). Triggers for entrepreneurship may be summed up in the statement “necessity is the mother of invention”. This once again emphasis the need for trainers to concentrate on the entrepreneurial process rather than the content, with particular emphasis on change, the unexpected and resolving problems that emerge within any particular process.

Markman and Baron (2003:288) regard self-efficacy as an important success factor in developing entrepreneurs. Self-efficacy is defined as “the extent to which persons believe that they can organize effectively, execute actions to produce given attainments” (Bandura, 1997 quoted by Markman and Baron 2003:288). Successful entrepreneurs will have high self-efficacy and tend to believe that their actions will lead to a successful venture. It is also suggested that entrepreneurs need to recognize opportunities from possible businesses. In addition it is suggested that entrepreneurs need perseverance and need to be able to overcome adversity and uncertainty. The curriculum should thus contain training on self esteem, reliability, perseverance, overcoming setbacks, having a vision, setting goals and rescheduling if things go wrong.

Boussouara and Deakins (1999:204) suggest that a gradual approach into a high technology business can be an advantage in that it allows time to develop contacts, strategy, and networks as well as gives time to acquire funding and income. The latter authors emphasize the need to acquire market-based knowledge for a successful business (Boussouara & Deakins, 1999:205). It is thus recommended that networks and external business agents present relevant market research to the trainees. These findings should be brainstormed and shared in the larger group.

Conclusion

In this article an attempt has been made to develop a framework for the development of entrepreneurial thinking within a higher education environment. This framework needs to be supported by government policy initiatives and include taxation incentives for entrepreneurs, encouraging investment in research and development, incentives for industry for active venture capital and alterations to the labour law to accommodate small entrepreneurial industries. In addition techno-parks should be developed in conjunction with government to expose students to the entrepreneurial culture.

Research should be done within the business development niche area to investigate these policies and communicate the needs to government. If government officials are participating in the knowledge node it might provide the necessary exposure to government.

Policy initiatives from within the higher education institution should establish the knowledge node which should include academic specialists, research foundations, relevant government officials, industrial partners, specialists from industry, foreign investors, community forums, labour unions, funding agencies, students and potential entrepreneurs. Information networks connecting entrepreneurs to venture capitalists should be established within this knowledge node. Intellectual Property policies should be developed by the business development niche area to ensure that possible TLO start-ups within the higher education institution are protected and that patenting, marketing or other up-front costs are paid by the higher education institution or associated enterprises. The higher education institution could liaise with the Innovation Hub established in conjunction with the CSIR. A cooperation agreement could benefit both parties. Research should be carried out by the business clustering niche area to select the most appropriate combinations and networking within the knowledge node.

To ensure intellectual eminence the correct researchers, academics and industrialists should be chosen within the entrepreneurship cluster. Incubators and TLOs should be founded to “ripen’ developing technologies and to form small innovative industries. Research within this area could be done by the niche areas business development and management of innovation.

A funding agency for the entrepreneurship innovation (previously termed the institutional foundation) could be located close to the industry partners for fundraising. All three niche areas should be actively networked with industries on an ongoing basis, communicating needs and proposals.

A teaching strategy should be developed to foster tacit knowledge development. Group work, problem solving, idea generation, innovating, designing and face to face communication should be extensively used. Smaller classrooms need to be utilized allowing for group work. Curricula should include topics like self efficacy, perseverance and the need to overcome adversity. In addition market-based knowledge should be presented by specialists from the industry on an ongoing basis. Networking should be a normal part of the curriculum and will allow venture capitalists to be connected to the innovations developed within the knowledge node.

If South Africa and institutions of higher education do not see the need to develop entrepreneurship within all communities, people may be delegated to a life of poverty, with no opportunity to work or to develop South Africa’s rich natural resources for future generations.

References

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When Is the Best Time to Travel to Ireland?

In Ireland the weather we shall always have with us. And we would not have it any other way! We like to talk about the weather. It makes a nice ice breaker over that first cup of tea or pint of stout. We like to opine on its fineness or finiteness.

Some people are under the impression that temperate climates don’t have defined seasons but that isn’t true. It may be more subtle but each month offers variations on the beautiful landscape of Ireland. Depending on your interests or aim for traveling to Ireland any month of the year could be considered the best time to visit Ireland.

No matter what month of the year you visit Ireland just take me at my word. Pack sturdy, waterproof footwear, a rain slicker and your favorite sweater. They will be stout companions whether your interest is in viewing our beautiful and ever-changing natural landscape, visiting cultural heritage attractions or just pounding the pavements shopping for souvenirs.

When is the best time of the year to travel to Ireland? Having been a resident for the past decade I have to confess that I am partial to the months of April, May and September. But there is something in each of the months for visitors. It just depends on what is your main focus for traveling to Ireland.

If airfare budgets are a consideration then flying over in low season or the late spring and early fall can be the best time to travel to Ireland. But it is important to consider your interests and the principle focus for your trip to Ireland to decide when is the best time to travel for your dream vacation to Ireland.

Some people will be on the ancestral trail and will be anxious to find genealogy libraries open. Others will want to enjoy the beautiful Ireland countryside or surf on Atlantic breakers. Some people like ‘active relaxation’ – golf, horseback trekking, wind surfing, trail biking. Others will want to soak up the mystical atmosphere of the dolmens and megalithic sites in quiet contemplation. Some of these can be done year round while other activities are open from Easter to 31st October when some visitor activities close for the winter season.

If you want to concentrate on visiting a specific region in Ireland then local contacts will best guide you. As I said, the weather is constantly changing and even from year to year there are variations. Which is why we have so much to talk about! We compare and contrast and remember how it was in whatever year is most relevant to the current climate.

The beautiful Irish countryside is a major draw for many of our visitors. Each month can offer a unique gem that may the crown of your dream trip. Are you interested in birdwatching? Then you may want to be here in late April to hear the first cuckoo cry. Springtime is an explosion of flora -from the ethereal wisps of bog cotton out on the peat bogs in March, to the scores of wildflower species you can spot on the little boreens or country lanes. You can see cowslips and wild orchids as late as summer solstice in the pasture beside the Shannon Pot before the first hay is made. The bees, dragonflies and damselflies flit with the many colourful butterflies. In August multiple species of moths can be noted in my own locality in Cavan part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.

While many of our visitors are drawn to Ireland because of the awe-inspiring natural beauty they have other interests. A warm pub with a turf fire is a convenient place to shake off any showers with a hot Irish coffee. Many pubs have evening sessions of traditional Irish music where you can listen to local musicians play rebel songs, folk tune or even what is known as Country and Irish!

If you love Irish folk traditional music then you really need to pick a summer month because the many fleadhs and festivals as well as the music schools like the annual Joe Mooney Traditional Music Festival held in Leitrim each July.

The All Ireland Fleadh will be held in Cavan Town in 2012 in August. Depending on which region you want to visit you can usually find a traditional music festival in June, July or August. The large festivals will allow you to see many acts but the smaller festivals with intimate pub sessions can be just as spine tingling.

The beauty of traditional music is that, with the exception of the harp, most of the instruments are very light and highly portable! But if harp music is your passion then there is a festival celebrating the most famous of the harpers, Turlough O’Carolan in Keadue, Co. Roscommon in July.

But outside of the busy summer months you will always be able to locate a local pub having a session at least one night a week. Just ask and locals will let you into the know!

Here’s a brief run down of what I consider the best times to travel to Ireland for specific interests.

January- February

In the Celtic calendar winter is for reflection so this is a great time to take a vacation with workshops to learn a new skill or craft. 1st February is the Festival of St. Brigid so you can make your own St. Brigid’s Cross to take home as a souvenir. Visit the holy wells associated with this saint and explore sites of interest to the early Christian heritage of Ireland. The days are getting longer so short walking tours in the countryside are elating. Pack your wet weather gear and be prepared to be blown away by the beauty of snowdrops and the first signs of springtime.

January is the month when there is a chance of snowfall in Ireland so pack accordingly.

March – April

March means St. Patrick’s Day and that means parades all over Ireland from the large ones in cities like Dublin and Galway to the towns like Kilkenny right down to the tractor drawn floats in many a village.

Spring is here and nature lovers will want to get out and about noting the new flora. Migratory birds will be visiting Ireland en route to their nesting sites. Easter time finds many of the places to visit in Ireland opening to public after their winter holiday.

June – July-August

We are spoiled for choice. Summertime is hectic in Ireland. We have traditional folk music festivals or fleadhs, summer agricultural shows, plowing matches, and many other events of special interest. All the tourist attractions are open to the public.

September – October

The combination of showers and exquisite equinox light makes September one of the best times to chase rainbows in Ireland.

Halloween is another time that might be considered as the best time to visit Ireland. In the old Celtic tradition Halloween, or Samhain (say it sow – like the pig- in) was the New Year. It is particularly dark at this time of year and is considered to be the point when the veil between our world and the Other world – where spirits, fairies, pooka dwell- is at its most thin and porous. So this would be the best time to visit Ireland if you want to indulge in ghost busting or fairy hunting.

November – December

This is the quietest time tourist wise. For the independent traveler who relishes seeing the quotidian round this will be the best time to visit Ireland. Hoar frost sparkles. The beaches will only be inhabited by locals and their dogs. The die-hard surfers will still be chasing a wave on milder days. There can be days of heavy rain or brilliantly clear sunshine. But day light is short. The evenings will still offer theater and music events for entertainment in both the cities and the county towns. Many regional theaters specialize in up and coming acts so spot the next trend.

Why A Line Wedding Dresses Are Flattering

A line wedding dresses are an amazing style of dress, which are have retained their popularity for a long time. One of the reasons why a line clothes have developed timeless style and elegance is because they suit a lot of different body sizes and shapes. A line clothes all have a tight, fitted section, and gradually widen out as they go down. It is possible to find dresses, skirts, coats and many other items of clothing which are cut in this style. Many dress designers utilise the A line style for their clothes, because they know that these dresses are flattering and have wide appeal.

The reason why A line wedding dresses are able to flatter so many different body types is because they can be designed in very different ways, so that they are able to accentuate certain body part whilst hiding others. For example, if the flare of the dress starts at the waist, it can help your stomach to look smaller. If the flare starts around the upper hip, it can flatter the thighs and hips. This means that you can choose an A line design which suits your specific body shape. The detailing which is on the cinched section can also help to draw the eye to certain aspects of your figure which you want to highlight.

A line outfits are not figure hugging all the way down, therefore many people feel more comfortable wearing them than some other types of dress. For example, mermaid style outfits tend to hug the figure from the top down to below the knees, and some people may not feel confident enough about their body to wear one. Choosing a dress which allows you to feel beautiful and confident is one of the most important things you can do on your wedding day, since you will be standing up in front of a large number of people. If you feel confident, it will show in all of your pictures. Likewise, if you feel uncomfortable, this may be obvious too.

A line wedding dresses are also very easy to move about it and to sit down in. This means that you will be able to glide smoothly down the aisle, sit comfortably as you enjoy your meal, and then dance effortlessly with your new partner for your first dance. The sense of ease and comfort that you radiate is a very flattering look, and will help to make you look even better!

Boat Storage – Where You Store Your Boat Matters

No matter where you live at and how often you boat all boat owners must face the dilemma of finding boat storage sooner or later. Boat storage must be found before going on long trips, when bad storms approach, and when the winter starts to draw near. New boat owners often find this task intimidating and are not prepared to make a decision when the time comes. To avoid having to make a hasty, last minute, decision that could lead to your boat being seriously damaged or destroyed it is important that all boat owners begin planning for storage as soon as they purchase their new boat.

Many new and old boat owners choose to store their boats out of doors. Outdoors boat storage is popular with boat owners that have easy access to a lake where storing the boat on the lake or water is easiest and best. This will allow the boat owner and their family to have easy access to the water whenever they feel like taking a ride or going fishing. Having the boat stored outdoors on the water is extremely convenient and makes it easier to participate in last minute boat sports and water activities.

Boat owners who are not near the water or who are looking for long term storage solutions often store their boats on their own private property. In many areas this is usually the backyard. There are some areas in the southern United States where it is not uncommon to drive through an entire neighborhood and see dozens of boats sitting idle in backyards waiting to be used. Storing boats outdoors is usually done because of convenience and for financial reasons. Placing a boat outdoors on ones personal property is usually free and marinas and lakes usually do not charge much for boats to be docked permanently.

The downside to storing a boat outdoors is the elements. While many boat owners do not think the storage location of a boat is important at all there are others who have had their boats completely destroyed who will tell you differently. If an unexpected storm comes up and your boat is resting in the water it could easily be smashed to pieces right along side any other boat that is near it. When your boat is left sitting outdoors on your property overtime it will rust and deteriorate it as it is constantly exposed to inclement weather. This damage and deterioration will often lead to expensive repairs and in some cases it might be necessary to completely replace the boat.

An alternative to storing a boat outdoors is storing boats indoors at facilities that are specially designed for storing boats. These facilities are usually extremely close to local lakes and marinas making transportation back and forth easier to manage. In some cases the indoor storage facility will offer transportation assistance to their loyal customers. This is done to encourage boat owners to use their boats as often as possible without having to worry about the cost of transporting their boat back and forth between storage and lake front.

Indoor boat storage facilities are usually spacious offering boat owners the chance to properly maintain their boats. These storage facilities make it easy for boat owners to check their boats for damage and to even complete repairs. Some indoor facilities even boast their own mechanics making it easy for boat owners to hire someone onsite to complaint repairs to the boats. This space and feature becomes especially useful when a boat needs to be stored for long periods of time. Having an indoor storage space for your boat that can be used for repairs makes it easy to weather proof a boat before leaving it for a long period of time.

The major downside too many when it comes to indoor boat storage is the price. It can be extremely expensive to rent a large space for the storage of a boat. The price goes up if the storage facility offers climate control, extensive security features, and more benefits. Storage rates often increase along with the size of the boat making it extremely expensive to store large boats that are perfect for families. Even though the price of storing a boat indoors can be a deterrent for many it is often well worth the money. Indoor storage will help save you and your family money in the long run by helping to prevent deterioration that could lead to serious boat repairs being necessary in the future.

Even though it could be tempting to choose the cheapest boat storage option available this might not be the best choice for you or your boat. Where you store your boat can affect whether or not the boat you own remains in top condition for years to come.

What Is The Need Of A Document Shredding Company?

Most organizations and businesses require some sort of way to discard confidential files and documents. These files usually contain information that your business would not want others to see, including personal information about employees and clients. Also, law firms, hospitals and manufacturing companies store data in files for a regulated period of time, this called the retention period. The retention period is a law regulated by the government forcing organizations to get rid of files after a certain period of keeping them. Your employees and clients (customers) should trust that you as a business do an appropriate job in getting rid of the documents. A second source should not be able to get their hands on any of the data in the files. This is where shredding companies come in.Shredding reduces the chances of losing data elsewhere, and ensures legal obligations are met. This is an appropriate method to handle data, as it is a government practiced approach.

What is Document Shredding

There are several ways to shred your unwanted documents and many services provide different approaches.

Drop off shredding service – The drop off shredding service is used when the entity wanting the documents shredded bring them to the premises of the shredding company. This is usually done when a small quantity of papers/files needs to be discarded, with the highest level of privacy practices.

Mobile Document Shredding – This is a service which is convenient for most organizations. A shredding truck comes to your business’s location and shreds your documents right near you. This saves gas money and your transportation time. This is a simple and convenient method to protect the privacy of your most valuable documents.

What Document Shredding Services Offer

Most organizations have useless files and documents stored in their offices. Either these files are too confidential to discard or are simply just sitting there for no good reason. This is where shredding companies can help you. If you are in need of increasing your storage space, get rid of these boxes of stored files appropriately. When choosing a shredding service, make sure you know their way of practice. Your business’s important documents need to be discarded without anyone else having a chance to lay their hands on them. To ensure this, find a service which offers the most advanced tools and licensed and trained professionals.

Benefits of shredding services:

Container: Many shredding services provide steel locking containers for the office. These containers can be emptied on schedule

Certification: You receive a “Certificate of Destruction” if you shred your documents following government regulated rules

Easy to use: Witnessing the shredding of your documents ensures safety and privacy regulations have been met

Unrecoverable: After the shredding process, it is impossible to recover the document. No second hand party can get their hands on the shredded document

Affordable: Shredding services offer competitive pricing and affordable rates

Many organizations rely on shredding services to discard their confidential documents appropriately.

How to Get a Prom Limousine

When it comes to teenage high school events the most exciting one is the Prom. Almost every student wants to have fun. No one wants to miss the party. There are many students who reach the party very late; this is because they do not have the correct transportation mode. The solution to this problem is Charlotte Prom limo. You will never be late by booking a limo for your prom night. You do not have to worry about any kind of traffic or parking lots, no hassle at all.

It’s the prom night and your friend has asked you to be his date. It is time for you to go shopping to have a nice dress for the prom. You have to go sopping with your mom or little brother, and the perfect way to go on shopping on an occasion like this is a limousine. On the other hand the boys can have a limo booked for their date, book a Charlotte prom limo to make your prom night more delightful.

Now the night is here, you have the perfect dress on you, you have perfect hair and you are ready for a wonderful prom night. Now you need a ride? That is what is missing. Why not rent a limo? Make sure every thing goes fine, no hassle at all no disturbance.

There is nothing more perfect then getting out from a Charlotte prom limo for your prom night, everyone’s eyes are on you. Walk out with your date to the party, in style. A limousine will make your prom night more special and sophisticated. A limo is a safe ride at the night time; the drivers are well trained to keep the children of worried moms and dads not to worry. So going out ion the prom night on a limo is a great thing to do. It will make you feel more precious.

A limo is not just for a couple going out on a date, it is for a gang of friends also who want to enjoy the night and make an impression. You can rent a Charlotte prom limo for 14 passengers; you can have a party before going to a party. Make your prom night special; make sure every one of your best friend reaches on time and at the same time! There a re a lot of amenities in a prom limousine, there is sound system, flat screen TVs, and much more.

So book a Charlotte prom limo and make your night an unforgettable experience.