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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Benchmark Lending?

Benchmark is a term by which we mean a set of standards used for evaluating the level of quality or performance. It cab be drawn from companies own experience or from the other companies experience. While by benchmark lending we refer to the interest rate that banks have to pay when they borrow money. Now you will be thinking that does a bank also borrow money from other in the form of loan? The answer would definitely be yes, banks also borrow money. The bank has to keep some amount of money as a reserve. But sometimes it happens that they don’t borrow money over a short period of time, say one night, and then they don’t have reserves left, for this they have to borrow money on a certain interest rate. Due to this reason, banks and mortgage companies tries to find people who are in need of a loan and then provide them loan, so banks can earn money from that loan given to customer by taking interest. It can be valuable business to the bankers and mortgage companies who are providing loan, when there are lots of customers in the market.



The bank is when borrowing money, it also has to pay some interest, that interest rate is called benchmark rate. It is the lowest interest rate which the investor accepts for a non treasury investment. It is also known as base interest rate. But the interest rate fluctuates, when there are a wide variety of pressures from surrounding. This rate is usually set by the Federal Reserve in the United States. But most people use the interest rate which is set by the Central banks. The rate is set by government officials when it is set by the Central Banks because the government wants the rate to be low so can promote lending and financial growth. With this, government also makes sure that the rate does not become so low that there is no room for earning profits.
The benchmark rates are usually used by banks and other lenders, so could determine the interest rates for their financial products, like credit cards, car loan, and home loans. The bank also uses the benchmark rate to determine the prime rate. Prime rate is the lowest interest rate which the banks offer to their customers. This prime rate is popular in Canada for benchmark lending. It is made to help people to recover from predatory lending. Banks related to the public sector, usually cut their benchmark prime lending rate to 200 basis points while private banks cut up to 50 basis points. Now-a-days, there is a difference in prime rate and benchmark rate.
Benchmark lending provides loans and banking solutions for benchmark lending group. It also provides financial assistance. You can get new home or can refinance your existing home for over ten years. The banking sector is heading towards a cheaper rate rule. Due to this, the banks and other lenders are cutting down the benchmark lending rates in two channels. In first channel, banks cut the benchmark rates to 50 bases while in second channel; they cut the rates with a 15 day lag.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Laser Hair Removal?

  1. What is Laser Hair Removal?

    Laser hair removal is a procedure which removes hair from the body utilizing a long pulse laser. Laser hair removal lasers have been in use since 1997. The treatment is performed by a specially-trained laser specialist or a doctor (depending on the clinic and state regulations) by pointing the laser device at shaved skin. Laser heat disables follicles from producing hair.

    Hair grows in cycles. Since various hairs will enter their growth cycle at different times, about 6-8 treatments at intervals of 8-12 weeks are necessary to disable most of the follicles in a given area. 
  2. Am I a Candidate for Laser Hair Removal? 

    Both men and women seek laser hair removal to remove unwanted hair. Hair removal is commonly done on underarm, pubic area, legs, abdomen, lip, chin, back, buttocks, thighs, face, neck, chest, arms, and toes.

    Laser technology works by targeting dark pigment. Therefore, it works best on pale skin and dark coarse hair. The lighter the skin and the darker and more coarse the hair, the better are the results.

    The best candidates are patients treating areas with dark coarse dense hair growth
  3. Which Type of Hair Removal Laser will Work for Me?
    Currently, there are three popular types of hair removal lasers made by various manufacturers: Alexandrite, Diode, and Nd:YAG. Intense Pulse Light systems (IPLs) are also used for hair removal.
    Some of the more popular brands of devices currently on the market are:
    1. Alexandrite: GentleLASE, Apogee

    2. Diode: LightSheer, F1 Diode, MeDioStar, Palomar SLP 1000, Comet (w/RF technology)

    3. Nd:YAG: CoolGlide, GentleYAG, Lyra-i, Sciton

    4. Alexandrite/ND:Yag Combination Devices: GentleMAX, Apogee Elite, Apogee MPX

    5. IPL: Palomar Starlux and EsteLux, Harmony, EpiLight, Aculight, Vasculigh, Aurora (w/RF technology)
    In order to determine the best device to use, patients need to figure out their skin type using the Fitzpatrick Skin Chart*. In 1975, Thomas B Fitzpatrick, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, developed a classification system for skin typing. This system was based on a person's response to sun exposure in terms of the degree of burning and tanning the individual experienced.
    *This tool is approximate
    TYPE I: Highly sensitive, always burns, never tans. Example: Red hair with freckles or Albino
    TYPE II: Very sun sensitive, burns easily, tans minimally.
    Example: Fair-skinned, fair-haired Caucasians
    TYPE III: Sun sensitive skin, sometimes burns, slowly tans to light brown.
    Example: Darker Caucasians, European mix
    TYPE IV: Minimally sun sensitive, burns minimally, always tans to moderate brown.
    Example: Mediterranean, European, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian
    TYPE V: Sun-insensitive skin, rarely burns, tans well.
    Example: Hispanics, Afro-American, Middle Eastern
    TYPE VI: Sun-insensitive, never burns, deeply pigmented.
    Example: Afro-American, African, Middle Eastern
    • Alexandrite lasers are best for skin types I-III
    • Diode lasers are best for skin types I-IV
    • Nd:YAG* lasers are best for skin types IV and darker
    *ND:YAG lasers were specifically created to cater to dark-skinned patients. This is the only type of laser that should be used on skin types V and darker. Using any other types of lasers on this type of skin can result in burns if they are used at settings that disable the hair permanently.
  4. How Does Laser Hair Removal Work? 
    Lasers designed for permanent hair reduction emit wavelengths of light that are absorbed by the pigment in the hair (melanin). If the surrounding skin is lighter than the color of the hair, the energy of the laser is concentrated in the hair shaft, effectively destroying it without affecting the skin or the follicle.
    Since lasers target pigment, treatments are most effective on coarse hair because it has a lot of pigment and can absorb a lot of heat. Fine hair cannot absorb much heat.
    The ability of the laser device to produce a very narrow bandwidth on a consistent basis is the key to a safe efficient treatment. While the laser emits a beam that only heats the hair shaft, heat is transmitted from the hair shaft to the surrounding tissue for several milliseconds after the laser pulse. Several lasers possess cooling attachments which cool the surrounding skin to fully absorb any heat transmitted from the destroyed hair shafts.
    Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machines are not lasers. These machines use a highly concentrated beam of traditional incoherent light, often in conjunction with a cream or gel, to burn the hair shaft. A serious flaw with these systems is that they lack the laser's ability to produce a selective bandwidth of light that will only affect the hair shaft (selective photothermolysis). IPLs produce a wide bandwidth of light that can heat up all of the surrounding tissue, making it less effective in disabling hair and putting the patient at a higher risk for burns, especially on darker skin.
    IPL devices are generally cheaper than laser devices, which is why many clinics choose to use them. Generally, true hair removal lasers (i.e. alexandrite, diode, and ND:Yag types) tend to achieve better and faster results than IPLs.
  5. How Many Laser Treatments will I Need and How Far Apart are They Scheduled?
    Most patients need at least 6-8 effective treatments spaced 8-12 weeks apart. Because hair grows in cycles, several sessions are necessary in order to affect all hair on any given area. Due to length of hair growth cycles, treatments are usually needed once every 8-12 weeks. Hair cycle length varies depending on body part. Face usually requires more frequent treatments (about 8 weeks apart) whereas legs and back need less frequent treatments (closer to 12 weeks apart).
    Shedding of all treated hair should be expected within 3 weeks of each treatment. The hair that doesn’t shed and is growing as usual after 3 weeks has likely been either missed or not affected due to inappropriate settings. If this is the case, a touchup treatment is necessary at that time. All 6-8 treatments should be good effective treatments in order to achieve good results.
    Once the hair sheds, patients should experience a hair-free period for several weeks. Once new hair comes in again, patients should come in for their next session.
  6. Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent? Are There Permanent Hair Removal Methods? 
    Laser hair removal lasers have been in use since 1997 and the Food and Drug Administration approved them for “permanent reduction.” They disable hair permanently as long as the right type of hair is treated with an appropriate type of laser at effective settings.
    However, it is called a “reduction” because, no matter what some clinics may claim, hair removal lasers cannot and do not remove 100% of the hair in an area. With proper treatments, laser can remove the majority of the coarse hair on a body area, but they cannot remove finer hair. Be cautious of clinics making claims that seem too good to be true.
    In order to achieve 100% clearance of hair in any one area, most people need to follow up laser treatments with electrolysis treatments to remove any remaining finer hairs. Laser can only remove coarse hair.
    Generally, a patient can tell how much reduction was achieved from a course of treatments after waiting 6-12 months from their last treatment. Any hair that grows in after the 12-month period is new hair that the body can develop due to numerous factors such as age, diet, hormonal changes, and medical conditions such as PCOS. Patients who experience new growth later in life can get touchup treatments.
    Some experts believe a small percentage of people are non-responders to laser hair removal treatments. This has not been confirmed or proven, and reasons are not known. At the same time, it's difficult to judge whether a patient’s lack of results is, in fact, due to being a non-responder. Lack of results could be due to an undetected underlying medical condition or improperly performed treatments.
    In essence, it’s difficult to predict results. Results depend on many variables, including type of laser used, how settings are set, underlying causes of the hair growth, the technician’s experience, etc. That is why it’s a good idea to start treatments on one small area before committing to an expensive course of treatments on many areas at once.
    Electrolysis is the only other proven permanent hair removal method, which has been in use for over 125 years. It involves treating one hair at a time and is a good option for smaller areas where precision is necessary (like eyebrows or upper lip). At this time, it is as the only permanent option for any fine and light-colored hair.
  7. How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost? 
    Prices vary widely from clinic to clinic. It’s a good idea to get quotes from several clinics in the area to compare prices and other factors.
    Some clinics offer discounts if paying for a package of multiple treatments upfront. However, buying a package also prevents an unhappy patient from switching providers. Since laser operator skill is very important in achieving results, it is recommended to start with one small area and investing in treatment packages only once satisfied. It’s a good idea to compare types of lasers used, treatment prices, technicians’ experiences, and other factors among at least 3-5 clinics in the area.
    Below is very general average pricing information for most commonly treated areas at clinics across the US:
    Price per session:
    Underarms (both) - $50-150
    Regular bikini - $100-200 (definition varies by clinic)
    Brazilian bikini - $200-300 (definition varies by clinic)
    Half legs (both) - $200-400
    Half arms (both) - $200-400
    Butt - $150-300
    Back - $200-500
    Chest - $100-300 (definition varies by clinic)
    Abdomen - $100-300 (definition varies by clinic)
    Full face - $150-300
    Upper lip - $50-150
    Chin - $50 – 150
  8. Is Laser Hair Removal Painful? 
    In one pulse, laser removes all the hair on a patch of skin the size of a nickel or a quarter. Generally, laser hair removal is not much more painful than waxing, though the sensation is different. With each pulse, the feeling resembles a rubber band snapping against the skin for a quick second. Pain is only felt while laser is hitting the skin and doesn’t last. Most people do not require an anesthetic cream, though one can be prescribed to more sensitive patients. EMLA is one popular option.
    Using anesthetic creams is safest on small areas. It’s also important to obtain a cream that is properly compounded. Using an inappropriately compounded numbing cream on large areas can result in adverse side effects or even death. Patients should consult with their doctor.
    *It should be noted not feeling any pain during treatments may be an indication that the laser is set too low to produce permanent results.
  9. Are They any Laser Hair Removal Risks or Side Effects?
    Some people may experience the following potential temporary side effects:
    • Itching
    • Redness for up to 3 days
    • Swelling around mouth of follicle for up to 3 days
    • Tingling or feeling of numbness
    The following rare side effects are indicative of inappropriate laser type and/or settings:
    • Crusting/scab formation
    • Bruising
    • Purpura (purple coloring of the skin)
    • Temporary pigment change (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation)
  10. What if I Merely Want to Reduce Hair Density in a Certain Area?
    Yes. This can be achieved with 3-4 treatments instead of the full course of 6-8 treatments. To achieve an even reduction without patchiness, it is imperative to find an experienced laser operator who overlaps properly while covering the area and doesn’t miss spots. It’s also a good idea to wait at least 12 weeks between sessions in order to correctly assess the amount of reduction achieved at any point during the course of treatments.
  11. How Do I Choose the Right Laser Clinic for My Needs?
    THE LASER: Choose a clinic with the best laser for your skin type*. Do not fall for marketing hype. Every laser can technically be applied to any skin type without adverse side effects by manipulating the settings, but only the right laser at appropriate settings will result in permanent hair reduction.
    *Patients who are in between skin types on the Fitzpatrick skin chart should get test spots done with various laser types to determine whether their skin can handle aggressive settings on the more powerful devices.
    THE CLINIC: Choose a clinic whose main priority is your results. Schedule consultations with at least 3-5 clinics with the best laser type for your skin type before making a commitment. Be an informed consumer and ask questions to assess the clinic’s knowledge of laser hair removal. Avoid clinics with high-pressure tactics. Prices can vary by as much as 100-300%, and are often negotiable.
    THE LASER OPERATOR: The person operating the laser device should have extensive experience specifically in laser hair removal. The best technicians are those who have the most hands-on experience, not those with the most education on paper. It’s a good idea to find out whether the same person will be performing each session.
  12. What Should I Expect Before and After a Laser Treatment?
    Patients should not wax, epilate, or remove hair with the root using any other hair removal method for at least 6 weeks prior to their first session and throughout their course of treatments. The hair needs to be in place in order to be targeted by laser as laser devices targets the pigment in the hair.
    The area to be treated should be shaved 1-2 days prior to treatments so that the energy is targeted towards the hair follicle and not wasted it on the hair above the skin’s surface. Treating unshaved skin can result in burning of the skin by singed hairs.
    Treatments are relatively quick. Both underarms take about 5 minutes. Full legs can take 1-1.5 hours. After the treatment, applying ice packs and cooled pure aloe vera gel help soothe the skin.
    All hair should shed within 3 weeks* following the treatment. Sometimes, shedding doesn’t start until about 10 days after the session. During the shedding phase, hair may look like it’s growing, but it is actually coming out to shed. Exfoliating and/or scrubbing gently in the shower with a loofa can help speed up the shedding process.
    After 3 weeks, some patients may see small black dots remain in the hair follicles on some areas. These are commonly referred to as “pepperspots”, which eventually shed on their own. Exfoliating may help speed up the process. Regardless, they will be singed off in the following session.
    Once the hair sheds, patients should experience a hair-free period for several weeks. Once new hair grows in, patients should come in for their next session. For most people and on most body areas, this happens about 8-12 weeks after the previous treatment.
    Patients should continue treatments until remaining hairs are too fine for laser to target, or until they’ve reached their desired reduction.
    *Shedding of all treated hair should be expected within 3 weeks of each treatment. The hair which doesn’t shed and is growing as usual after 3 weeks has been either missed or not affected due to inappropriate settings. If this is the case, a touchup treatment is necessary at that time. All 6-8 treatments should be good effective treatments at aggressive settings in order to achieve permanent results.
  13. What Are the Hair Growth Cycles?
    Hair growth in each hair follicle occurs in a cycle. There are three main phases of the hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen and telogen.
    Anagen (active) is the growing phase or when the hair fiber is produced.
    Catagen (club hair) is the period of controlled regression of the hair follicle. This phase is when the lower part of the hair stops growing, but does not shed, and the follicle is reabsorbed.
    Telogen (tired) is the last of the hair growth cycle. In this resting phase, the old hair falls out in preparation for the development of a new anagen hair.
    Normally this cycle of hair production will continue for the duration of the individual's life. However, various factors can influence, promote and inhibit hair production.
    Laser affects hairs when it’s in its anagen phase of growth. Thus, patients need multiple treatments in order to disable each batch of hair as it enters the anagen phase of growth. Hair cycle length varies depending on body part. Face usually requires more frequent treatments (about 8 weeks apart) whereas legs and back need less frequent treatments (closer to 12 weeks apart). Spacing treatments 8-12 weeks apart allows adequate time to target hair on most body areas.
  14. What are the Causes of Excessive Hair Growth and How Can They Affect My Treatments?
    The causes of excessive hair growth are many and varied, including:
    • Heredity
    • Pregnancy
    • Glandular and/or hormonal imbalances, including diseases causing these effects (i.e. PCOS condition in women)
    • Insulin resistance issues
    • Thyroid problems
    • Reactions to certain medications
    • Normal aging processes
    • Excessive temporary hair removal methods that impact the root (like waxing and tweezing)
    Before starting laser treatments, patients with excessive hair growth on uncommon areas should explore possible underlying medical reasons for it. Hair removal methods can only impact hair that’s currently growing. They cannot prevent the body from developing new hair after treatments are completed.
    Women with facial male-pattern growth are advised to see an endocrinologist to explore the possibility of PCOS or elevated testosterone levels. Men experiencing excessive growth can get tested for insulin resistance.
  15. Is it True that Laser Hair Removal Can Actually Stimulate Hair Growth in Some Areas?
    Some patients report that finer hairs treated with laser become more prominent and more numerous. Related discussions have begun at industry conferences. It is a rare occurrence which happens only when treating fine hair, especially on women’s faces and men’s upper arms, shoulders and upper backs. It is also a concern when treating sparse hairs of any kind on any body area. Darker skin types (type IV and darker) are more susceptible to experiencing laser-induced growth.
    It is advised to only choose laser hair removal for body areas with dark coarse dense growth. Laser devices are only effective on coarse growth. Fine and vellus hair should be removed with electrolysis.
  16. How Do I Find a Recommended Laser Clinic in My Area?
    The easiest thing is to use Hair Removal Forum's convenient "Doctor Finder" to locate rated laser clinics across the United States. You can discuss clinic options with other customers at online forums like the Cosmetic Enhancements Forum.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Odd Couple

Welcome to the world of insurance weird, a strange place that reveals the surreal side of an $80-billion annual theft spree called insurance fraud.
The Insurance Fraud Odditorium home to the strange side of an $80-billion theft spree that’s no stranger to concerned Americans.
The Odditorium reveals the bizarre plots, screwball twists, extreme schemes and worst-laid plans of insurance thieves whose low road makes your premiums higher.
Fraud is no joke...but the joke’s on these insurance cheaters.
Some of the thieves bumble and fumble — they can’t keep their lies straight or plots thick. Others are clever but doomed; their thievery is too outlandish to get away with.
You just have to roll your eyes and say, “They did what?”
Well, here’s what...
Body of evidence unburied. The plot seems right out of a ghoul novel...but Molly and Clayton Daniels dug up the grave of an elderly woman, dressed her in Clayton’s clothing, stuffed her body in their car and pushed the vehicle off a cliff. The Leander, Tex. couple wanted to collect $110,000 in life-insurance money, hoping the insurer would believe the charred body in the burned-out car was Clayton. Soon after the seemingly fatal crash, the dearly departed Clayton mysteriously reappeared as Molly’s new live-in boyfriend, one “Jake Gregg.” Clayton had died his hair and wore a new mustache. The couple even forged fake a birth certificate, high school transcript and driver license. But DNA testing of the elderly woman’s body helped prove “Jake” was Clayton. Molly received 20 years in prison, and Clayton at least 10 years.
Cripple con wheeled out. Samuel Aaron Brabson tried to take his auto insurer for a ride — a wheelchair ride. The Richmond-area man said a car crash aggravated old neck and back injuries from an earlier accident. Brabson lied that he was a virtual cripple, largely confined to a wheelchair. It was a sad story. But far from crippled, Brabson secretly competed in grueling triathlons and took girlfriends on long mountain hikes. When a friend spotted him standing with no problem in a grocery store, Brabson quickly lied that he was his “twin.” The Virginia State Police helped land his conviction. Brabson received 20 years, with all but one year suspended.
Wrestling with crime. Claiming he slipped on a puddle of coffee on a 7-Eleven floor, professional wrestler Michael Taris tried to extort an insurance shakedown for his supposed injuries. The Leavittown, Pa. man said the fall so badly injured him that he couldn’t work, roughhouse with his son, or even mow the lawn. But get this...video surveillance caught the cripple in full wrestling glory. He was seen being thrown against the ropes, getting tossed from the ring, and leaping off ropes and slamming into big, beefy opponents. His ring antics were pure theater, just like his injury. The Pennsylvania AG landed a conviction, earning Taris three years of probation and a fine.
Teacher flunks fraud test. High school chemistry teacher Tramesha Lashon Fox fell behind on payments for her Chevy Malibu, and decided to unload the car for insurance money. So the Houston-area woman gave two failing chemistry students passing grades to “steal” the car and burn it. Fox left the car unlocked at a local mall while she and her daughter were inside watching a movie. The students found the keys in the glove compartment. They drove her Chevy to a nearby wooded area and set it afire with lighter fluid. They also broke the steering column to make the plot seem like a real theft. Fox passed the kids in chemistry, but she flunked in court: Fox received 90 days in county jail.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Life and Adventures of Glenn Shaw

Glenn Shaw is, in most respects, an ordinary man, with a compulsion to do extraordinary things that most people would love to do or wish they had the opportunity to do.
At the age of 18, Glenn embarked upon a career within the world of Banking and Financial Services, which has led him to his current role of Compliance Auditor, for an international life assurance and investment house.
For Glenn this career path was never enough and so it was at the age of 26 he decided to try his hand at adventurer travel and expeditions, which he is still very much involved with, now at the age of 32 Glenn balances the world of financial services and the world of expeditions. To date Glenn has either taken part in or led successively less conventional trips & expeditions. These have included: Sea Kayaking in Antarctica, Canada and the Middle East along with various other locations here in the UK. He has also been seen trekking in the shadow of Mt Everest. Glenn also enjoys driving Dog Sled Teams in the wilds of the Colorado Mountains in temperatures of well below freezing. You may find Glenn skiing at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, Colorado.
However, the detail that makes Glenn rather extra-ordinary is that he has been confined to a wheelchair all of his life. He suffers with a bone condition that is commonly known as 'Brittle Bones' and knows that even a simple fall could cripple him for life or kill him out right. Yet the moment someone tells him, "With your condition, you can't do that" he takes it as a personal challenge to prove to himself - not to anyone else - that he can. Then he does it.
A key part of Glenn's expedition equipment is his specially built wheelchair, which has had numinous rebuilds over the years. This lightweight wheelchair or (Snowmobile) Glenn built from the ground up using parts from Quicki Wheelchairs of America and assistance from his long term supporter Kent Mobility, who are based in Tonbridge, Kent in his native England.
All that Glenn undertakes has to be accomplished in the 'Snowmobile'. Powered by the strength of his arms and his adventurous, cheerfully pragmatic spirit and with his trusted Land Rover by his side.
To the best of Glenn's knowledge he is the only person with 'Brittle Bones' to have taken his wheelchair 'Snowmobile' to the cold of Antarctica and to the Himalayas, along with kayaking in Canada, and the Middle East and skiing and driving sled dog teams in Colorado.
Glenn is always planning to undertake journeys that many of us would never undertake even though we may have always dreamed of it. His book, "Just Another Mountain" is as much about that mountain which makes every day for Glenn a challenge to be relished and enjoyed as about his expeditions including his last Everest near miss. Yes, near miss, he fell off the mountain!!!
In the meantime, Glenn devotes his time to two other organizations both of which call upon his ever-increasing schedule; these are as a team member, Brunel Universities Research & Development - Design for Life Adventure Designs who are based in Surrey, their aims and objectives are to develop, design & test new kayaking & canoeing equipment, clothing and safety equipment for fellow disabled adventurers to enable them to enjoy the wonders of our planet.
Glenn's other focus for attention is the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) where he can be found attending social events. He is a resident guest panelist, speaker and adviser speaking about disabled expeditions and integrated expeditions for the RGS. Glenn also attends many other RGS events including the Annual Expedition Explorers Forum and the like to raise the profile of inclusive and disabled expeditions. In April 1999 at the RGS, Glenn received with a great deal of honour his fellowship to the Royal Geographical Society which formerly recognizes his expedition and mountaineering career and acknowledge the expertise that he now holds.

Fraud Seminars

Fraud Seminars




February 17
Medical Identify Theft Webinar Etico, LLC

February 18
Nucleus Demo Webinar HealthCare Insight

March 9
2011 Ohio Joint Insurance Fraud Seminar Colimbus, OH National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators

March 20 - March 23
New Directions in SIU Management Strategies Amelia Island, FL ISO

April 20 - April 22
22nd Annual Anti-Fraud Training Conference Monterey, CA NCFIA; CDAA; CDI; NICB

May 2 - May 5
Mega Special Investigations Academy St. Louis, MO NICB

May 2 - May 4
IA-NE IASIU Training Seminar & Annual Meeting Harrah's Casino & Hotel, Council Bluffs Iowa Iowa-Nebraska IASIU

May 6 - May 6
Rocky Mountain Chapter of IASIU Annual Seminar LoneTree Colorado RMASIU

June 7 - June 10
Medical Investigations Academy Des Plaines, IL NICB

June 7
Coalition Summer Board Meeting Baltimore, MD Coalition Against Insurance Fraud

June 8 - June 10
FIFEC Conference Caribbe Royale, Orlando, Fl. FIFEC

September 9 - September 12
IASIU Seminar & Expo on Insurance Fraud Palm Desert, CA IASIU

September 11 - September 14
IASIU Seminar & Expo on Insurance Fraud San Antonio, TX IASIU

November 15 - November 18
22nd Annual Educational Training Conference Jacksonville, FL National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators

Nothing

Nothing.

Nothing is a concept that describes the absence of anything: no thing. Colloquially, the concept is often used to indicate the lack of anything relevant or significant, or to describe a particularly unimportant thing, event, or object. It is contrasted with something and everything. Nothingness is the state of being nothing, the state of nonexistence of anything, or the property of having nothing.

"Nothing" in western philosophy

Some would consider the study of "nothing" to be foolish. However, "nothingness" has been treated as a serious subject worthy of research for a very long time. In philosophy, to avoid linguistic traps over the meaning of "nothing", a phrase such as not-being is often employed to unambiguously make clear what is being discussed.

Parmenides

One of the earliest western philosophers to consider nothing as a concept was Parmenides (5th century BC) who was a Greek philosopher of the monist school. He argued that "nothing" cannot exist by the following line of reasoning. To speak of a thing, one has to speak of a thing that exists. Since we can speak of a thing in the past, it must still exist (in some sense) now and from this concludes that there is no such thing as change. As a corollary, there can be no such things as coming-into-beingpassing-out-of-being or not-being.
Despite the fact of existence stubbornly refuting Parmenides' conclusion, he was taken seriously by other philosophers, influencing, for instance, Socrates and Plato. Aristotle too, gives Parmenides serious consideration but concludes; "Although these opinions seem to follow logically in a dialectical discussion, yet to believe them seems next door to madness when one considers the facts."

Leucippus

Leucippus (early 5th century BC), one of the atomists, along with other philosophers of his time, made attempts to reconcile this with the everyday observation of motion and change. He accepted the monist position that there could be no motion without a void. The void is the opposite of being, it is not-being. On the other hand, a thing that exists is an absolute plenum and there can be no motion in a plenum because it is completely full. But there is not one monolithic plenum, existence consists of a multiplicity of plenums. These are the invisibly small atoms of the atomists theory, later expanded more fully by Democritus (circa 460 BC - 370 BC). They are a necessary part of the theory in order to allow the void to exist between them. In this scenario macroscopic objects can come-into-being move through space and pass into not-being by means of the coming together and moving apart of their constituent atoms. The void must exist in order to allow this to happen or else the frozen world of Parmenides must be accepted.
Bertrand Russell points out that this does not exactly defeat the argument of Parmenides, but rather ignores it by taking the rather modern scientific position of starting with the observed data (motion etc) and constructing a theory based on the data as opposed to Parmenides attempts to work from pure logic. Russell also observes that both sides were mistaken in believing that there can be no motion in a plenum, but arguably motion cannotstart in a plenum. Cyril Bailey notes that Leucippus is the first to say that a thing (the void) might be real without being a body and points out the irony that this comes from a materialistic atomist. Leucippus is therefore the first to say that "nothing" has a reality attached to it.

Aristotle

Aristotle (384–322 BC) provided the classic escape from the logical problem posed by Parmenides by distinguishing things that are matter and things that are space. In this scenario, space is not "nothing", but a receptacle in which objects of matter can be placed. The void (as "nothing") is different from space and is removed from consideration.
This characterisation of space reached its pinnacle with Isaac Newton who asserted the existence of absolute space. Interestingly, modern quantum theory agrees that space is not the void, there is the concept of quantum foam which still exists in the absence of all else, although Albert Einstein's general relativity no longer agrees with Newton's concept of an absolute space. René Descartes, on the other hand, returned to a Parmenides-like argument of denying the existence of space. For Descartes, there was matter, and there was extension of matter leaving no room for the existence of "nothing".
The idea that space can actually be empty was generally still not accepted by philosophers who invoked arguments similar to the plenum reasoning. Although Descartes views on this were challenged by Blaise Pascal, he declined to overturn the traditional belief, commonly stated in the form "Nature abhors a vacuum". This remained so until Evangelista Torricelli invented the barometer in 1643 and showed that an empty space appeared if the mercury tube was turned upside down. This phenomenon being known as the Torricelli vacuum and the unit of vacuum pressure, the torr, being named after him. Even Torricelli's teacher, the famous Galileo Galilei had previously been unable to adequately explain the sucking action of a pump.

John the Scot

John the Scot, or Johannes Scotus Eriugena (c. 815–877) held many surprisingly heretical beliefs for the time he lived in for which no action appears ever to have been taken against him. His ideas mostly stem from, or are based on his work of translating pseudo-Dionysius. His beliefs are essentially pantheist and he classifies evil, amongst many other things, intonot-being. This is done on the grounds that evil is the opposite of good, a quality of God, but God can have no opposite, since God is everything in the pantheist view of the world. Similarly, the idea that God created the world out of "nothing" is to be interpreted as the "nothing" here is synonymous with God.

G. W. F. Hegel

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) is the philosopher who brought the dialectical method to its pinnacle of development. According to Hegel in Science of Logic the dialectical methods consists of three steps. First, a thesis is given, which can be any postulate in logic. Second, the antithesis of the thesis is formed and finally a synthesis incorporating both thesis and antithesis. Hegel believed that no postulate taken by itself can be completely true. Only the whole can be true and the dialectical synthesis was the means by which the whole could be examined in relation to a specific postulate. Truth consists of the whole process, separating out thesis, antithesis or synthesis as a stand-alone statement results in something that is in some way or other untrue. The concept of "nothing" arises in Hegel right at the beginning of his Logic. The whole is called by Hegel the "Absolute" and is to be viewed as something spiritual. Hegel then has;
  • Thesis: The Absolute is Pure Being
  • Antithesis: The Absolute is Nothing
  • Synthesis: The Absolute is Becoming

Existentialists

The most prominent figure among the existentialists is Jean-Paul Sartre whose ideas in his book Being and Nothingness are heavily influenced by Being and Time of Martin Heidegger, although Heidegger later stated that he was misunderstood by Sartre. Sartre defines two kinds of "being" (être). One kind is être-en-soi, the brute existence of things such as a tree. The other kind is être-pour-soi which is consciousness. Sartre claims that this second kind of being is "nothing" since consciousness cannot be an object of consciousness and can possess no essence. Sartre, and even more so, Jaques Lacan, use this conception of nothing as the foundation of their atheist philosophy. Equating nothingness with being leads to creation from nothing and hence God is no longer needed for there to be existence.

"Nothing" in eastern philosophy

The understanding of 'nothing' varies widely between cultures, especially between Western and Eastern cultures and philosophical traditions. For instance, Śūnyatā (emptiness), unlike "nothingness", is considered to be a state of mind in some forms of Buddhism (see Nirvana, mu, and Bodhi). Achieving 'nothing' as a state of mind in this tradition allows one to be totally focused on a thought or activity at a level of intensity that they would not be able to achieve if they were consciously thinking. A classic example of this is an archer attempting to erase his mind and clear his thoughts in order to better focus on his shot. Some authors have pointed to similarities between the Buddhist conception of nothingness and the ideas of Martin Heidegger and existentialists like Sartre, although this connection has not been explicitly made by the philosophers themselves.

In some Eastern philosophies, the concept of "nothingness" is characterized by an egolessstate of being in which one fully realizes one's own small part in the cosmos.
The Kyoto school handles the concept of nothingness as well.

What A Tease!



Foreclosures are rising in the USA, and repossessions in the UK. In fact, the amount of homes repossessed in the UK this year is likely to exceed 75,000 – more than double the amount in 2008. There are a number of reasons behind the rise, not least of which are the tracker mortgages which reset to higher rates after a grace period, meaning many are in houses they are unable to afford. These mortgages are similar to the Option ARM mortgages in the US, whereby a low introductory rate was offered and then the rate rose at a later date. Unfortunately the intention of many of these mortgages was to refinance the mortgage when the original reset. Oops.

House prices have fallen, the banks have all gone broke and we are seeing a return to rational lending practices. Which means anyone who had intended to refinance these mortgages, is, to use a technical term, shit out of luck. In the current market, poor credit refinancing is hardly an option. Realistically, the options for those with bad credit being able to refinance their loans are slim to none. Hence the prediction of one of the largest amounts of repossessions and foreclosure, both in the U.K. and the U.S.A. this year and next. 
Adverse Credit Remortgage
A great many companies offer adverse credit remortgage services. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there is no way in hell these people can live up to the promises they make. What they are looking to do is “consult,” with you – charge you a consultation fee and then inform you that there is nothing they can do. There are a good number of scams being operated in the US which basically persuade people to sign over their rights to a property, agree to rent said property and then buy it back from the “lender,” when they are back on their feet again. What happens is – the home is signed over by way of a “quit claim deed,” and the “owner,” starts paying rent to the “rescuer.”

The rescuer will then allow the foreclosure to proceed, the ex-owner will be evicted and any equity no longer belongs to the original owner because of the “quit claim.”. 

Adverse credit remortgaging
The only possible way to remortgage a property in this fashion is to talk to the lender. As things get worse, which they will, there is a slim possibility the lender may write off some of the debt. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. Buyer beware – If it seems to good to be true. Guess what? It is.
The ongoing issues with the banking system are going to continue to cause problems for people wishing to refinance with poor credit. A recent report by The London Times points out that UK homeowner loans were paid back at a record rate in June 2009, largely thanks to the ridiculously low interest rates and falling property values. According to the Bank Of England, over £8 billion was repaid on outstanding mortgages, as people stop treating their homes as ATMs, largely down to the fact that it is all but impossible to remortgage with adverse credit currently, and even if it was not, the 100% home equity loan is a thing of the past.
Outstanding UK homeowner loans are still at record highs, and couple with a falling property market, this still puts a large proportion of the population underwater with their mortgages. No doubt, this will continue for some years as foreclosures and repossessions are still rising.
For those of us unlucky enough to be needing to refinance with bad credit, the situation will not be improving any time soon. By far the best option is to attempt to renegotiate any outstanding loans. The recent government programs to prevent the foreclosure level from continuing to rise are - at best a waste of time, and at worst - will slow down the process of recovery and turn the recession into a long, drawn out depression. 

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