Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thank You Card Etiquette After The Holidays

Thank You Card Etiquette After The Holidays

Once the holidays are over and all of the sparkling decorations are put away, there may still be one task left to do. Sending out thank you cards to those you were thoughtful enough to give you and your family gift’s is surely something that should be done. It is a major part of the holidays that should not be neglected.

When is the last time you sent a thank you card for a gift you received? Do you even know under what conditions you should send a thank you card? Should you send a thank-you card if you received the gift in person and thanked the gift-giver on the spot? What about sending thank you cards via e-cards? Is that ever appropriate?

There are many questions when it comes to thank you card etiquette after the holidays. Fortunately, the answers are not too complicated. Here are some of the answers to those questions and a few others.

What should a thank you card be written on?

A simple note card that reflects your personality is fine for your holiday thank you cards. They do not particularly need to have a holiday theme. Chances are by the time you send this card the holidays will be over. The cards can be personalized with your name or maybe an initial; or they can be general cards bought from any stationery store. Do not simply tear a page out of a notebook to write the thank you. A note card, either casual or formal, is completely appropriate.

When should holiday thank you cards by sent by?

Thank you cards should be sent out no later than two weeks after the first of the year. Most people consider New Year’s the end of the holiday season, and with the end of the season comes the beginning of the thank you card writing.

Do I need to send a thank you card when I’ve already thanked the giver in person?

It is not necessary to send a thank you card if you received the gift in person and gave your thanks at that time. However, it is certainly not in poor taste to send a thank you card.

What should I say in the thank you card?

Always start with a simple “Thank you for the (gift name).” It is always important to mention the gift specifically. You can add how much you like the gift, when you think you will use it, or mention that you already have used it. If you didn’t like the gift, do not say so. This is very poor etiquette. A simple, “Thank you for the (gift name), It was very thoughtful of you to remember me (us) during the holidays” will suffice.

Should children write their own thank you cards?

Yes, children should write their own thank you cards. If all a child can do is write his or her own name, then the parent should write the card and let the child sign it. It does not matter how poor the handwriting is, children’s handwriting is cute. The gift giver will be delighted that the child signed it, even if it’s illegible. Children who are capable of writing their own, however, should write simple thank you cards for the gifts they receive.

How should I say thank you for a monetary gift?

There are special etiquette rules for monetary gifts, but they are not too complicated. It is customary to thank the giver for his “generous gift” but to not mention the amount specifically. It is also appropriate to mention what you are planning on putting the gift towards. For example, if a relative gave a monetary gift to the whole family, you could say, “Thank you for your generous Christmas gift. We will be using it to purchase a family membership to the local zoo this year. We’ll think of you every time we head to the zoo.”

Are sending thank you e-cards appropriate?

E-cards are still not considered proper etiquette when sending thank you notes. When someone has taken the time to select, wrap, and give you a personal gift, it is appropriate to thank them with a personal note. Many people send e-cards instead of paper cards for environmental reasons. That is understandable, but when it comes to thank you cards, it may be better to buy stationery on recycled paper. That way, the environment is still taken into consideration, but your thank you is personal.

To whom should I address the thank you card?

The card should be written to whoever signed the card that accompanied your gift. If the card said the “Smith family” the envelope should be addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and the inside card can name each member of the family by name. Be sure to include any children’s names if the gift came from the children, too.

There is one last personal touch to include, use a stamp that you placed on the envelope. A post office stamp is very impersonal.

By: Suzanne_Bradley

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day

Earth Day

Earth Day is a name used for two different observances, both held annually during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. These are intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment. The United Nations celebrates Earth Day, which was founded by John McConnell in 1969, each year on the March equinox, while a global observance originated by Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, and since January 1970 also called Earth Day, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22, including the U.S.

History of the April 22 Earth Day

In September 1969, at a conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on the environment. Senator Nelson first proposed the nationwide environmental protest to thrust the environment onto the national agenda.” "It was a gamble," he recalls, "but it worked." Five months before the first April 22 Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the rising tide of environmental events::

"Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...." Senator Nelson also hired Denis Hayes as the coordinator.

Each year, the April 22 Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Among other things, 1970 in the United States brought with it the Kent State shootings, the advent of fiber optics, "Bridge over Troubled Water," Apollo 13, the Beatles' last album, the death of Jimi Hendrix, and the meltdown of fuel rods in the Savannah River nuclear plant near Aiken, South Carolina -- an incident not acknowledged for 18 years. At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Environment was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news. But Earth Day 1970 turned that all around.

On April 22, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Denis Hayes, the national coordinator, and his youthful staff organized massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting the status of environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day on April 22 in 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. The April 22 Earth Day in 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. For 2000, Earth Day had the Internet to help link activists around the world. By the time April 22 rolled around, 5,000 environmental groups around the world were on board, reaching out to hundreds of millions of people in a record 184 countries. Events varied: A talking drum chain traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa, for example, while hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., USA.

Earth Day 2000 sent the message loud and clear that citizens the world 'round wanted quick and decisive action on clean energy. Earth Day 2007 was one of the largest Earth Days to date, with an estimated billion people participating in the activities in thousands of places like Kiev, Ukraine; Caracas, Venezuela; Tuvalu; Manila, Philippines; Togo; Madrid, Spain; London; and New York.

Founded by the organizers of the first April 22 Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network promotes environmental citizenship and year round progressive action worldwide. Earth Day Network is a driving force steering environmental awareness around the world. Through Earth Day Network, activists connect change in local, national, and global policies.

Earth Day Network’s international network reaches over 17,000 organizations in 174 countries, while the domestic program engages 5,000 groups and over 25,000 educators coordinating millions of community development and environmental protection activities throughout the year. Earth Day is the only event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a half billion people participate in Earth Day Network campaigns every year.

History of the Equinox Earth Day

The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the March equinox (around 20 March) to mark the precise moment of astronomical mid-spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and of astronomical mid-autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. An equinox in astronomy is that moment in time (not a whole day) when the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the Earth's equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year. Although astronomically they occur at the mid-point of the seasons, in most cultures the equinoxes and solstices are considered to start or separate the seasons.

John McConnell first introduced the idea of a global holiday called "Earth Day" at a UNESCO Conference on the Environment in 1969. The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970. Celebrations were held in various cities including San Francisco, in Davis, California with a multi-day street party, and elsewhere. UN Secretary-General U Thant supported McConnell's global initiative to celebrate this annual event, and on February 26, 1971, he signed a proclamation to that effect, saying:

May there only be peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life. Secretary General Waldheim observed Earth Day with similar ceremonies on the March equinox in 1972, and the United Nations Earth Day ceremony has continued each year since on the day of the March equinox (the United Nations also works with organizers of the April 22nd global event). Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day, and in 1978 declared:

"EARTH DAY is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space.

EARTH DAY draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way – which is also the most ancient way – using the vernal Equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making night and day of equal length in all parts of the Earth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another. But the selection of the March Equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible, and a flag which shows the Earth as seen from space appropriate

At the moment of the equinox, it is traditional to observe Earth Day by ringing the Japanese Peace Bell, a bell donated by Japan to the United Nations. Over the years celebrations have occurred in various cities worldwide at the same time as the celebration at the UN. On March 20, 2008, in addition to the ceremony at the United Nations, ceremonies were held in New Zealand, and bells were sounded in California, Vienna, Paris, Lithuania, Tokyo and many other locations. The equinox Earth Day at the UN is organized by the Earth Society Foundation


Monday, April 13, 2009

Atkins Grapefruit Diet

Atkins Grapefruit Diet

There is a diet that really has nothing to do with the Atkins Diet, called the Atkins Grapefruit diet, that combines elements of it's famous namesake and an all grapefruit diet. A closer look into this diet shows that it may not be all it claims to be.

You'll be hard pressed to find information about the Atkins Grapefruit diet, such as any details of the company that produces it. One common element of cons is that clear information is generally hard to find. This is what the Atkins grapefruit diet seems to do in an attempt to get people to associate it with two supposedly effective diets.

Does the Atkins grapefruit diet have anything to do with the actual Atkins diet? No, in fact the Induction phase of the Atkins diet is bereft of fruit, and there's no mention of the grapefruit version on the Atkins web site.

These are the foods allowed in the Atkins diet Induction phase – sorry Atkins grapefruit diet, no fruit here:

Fish of all kinds
All fowl such as turkey and chicken
Any shellfish
Meat, such as beef and pork
Any style egg
Any variety of cheeses
All sorts of vegetables
Any herbs and spices to make food more exciting
Butter, lard, any oils
Water and other low carb drinks including diet soda

Notice one thing – fruit is not on that list. Grapefruit and other fruits such as fruit juices are specified in other phases of the Atkins diet. But there is far more grapefruit in the Atkins Grapefruit diet than Dr. Atkins would ever dream of allowing.

The Atkins Grapefruit diet is a diet plan, not endorsed by the estate of Dr. Atkins, that plays on the popularity of the grapefruit diet and the Atkins diet name. Don't look now, but it may not be what people hope. First of all it's pretty difficult to find information on the Atkins grapefruit diet plan. Smart people know that when someone is perpetrating a deception, or a con, they will often gloss over facts.

The Atkins Grapefruit Diet recommends a cup of grapefruit juice or a cup of grapefruit sections, with 8 and 18 carbs respectively. Even the phases of Atkins that allow grapefruit limit intake to below 8 grams of carbs of grapefruit per day. That's a severe disagreement.

Most reasonable people would look directly at the Atkins site the moment they heard of the Atkins Grapefruit Diet. It starts to sound fishy when there's no mention there.

By: AnuRadha
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