History of the Abacus

The abacus has a very long history. It spans over thousands of years. The earliest abacus was invented about 5000 years ago. Some expert historians believe that the abacus was invented by the ancient Chinese. Still others are of the opinion that the abacus was invented by the Babylonians or by the Egyptians. However, all these claims are backed by historical evidence like archaeological excavations and ancient texts. It may be possible that many civilizations may have invented the abacus independently and roughly at the same time.

The first counting device was the human hand and the fingers. The reason why we use the decimal system is that there are 10 fingers (both hands combined) and so it is very easy to count if 10 is the base. Later on man started using natural objects and markings to count and calculate. Larger quantities [exceeding 10] could not be easily count on the fingers. So various natural objects like pebbles and twigs were used.

Merchants needed not only needed a way to count the goods that they bought and sold, they also needed a method to perform calculations. This was achieved with the help of counting boards. Until the advent of a proper number system, counting boards were very popular. The abacus has its origin in one such counting board.

Time line of the history of the abacus:

  • 3000 BC: An early form of abacus originates in the Orient
  • 1000 BC: Chinese start using counting boards
  • 500 BC: Romans and Greeks use counting boards
  • 300 BC: Abacus is widely used as a counting device in China
  • 500 AD: The abacus is used in Europe

The Similarities and Differences in Graduate and Undergrading Financial Aid

In less than forty years the cost of a college education has dramatically dramatically and today a college education will cost about ten times as much as it did when I myself attended college. Fortunately though there are now a variety of programs available to help you to fund your education and the path that you follow will depend upon whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student.

As an undergraduate you will rely on an often compounded mixture of scholarships, grants and loans and, in the case of loans, these will either be taken out alone, by your parents, or as a combination loan in which for example you take out the loan in your own name with your parents as co-borrowers or co-signers to the loan.

By far the most popular student loan program today, which accounts for more than ninety percent of government backed funding, is subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans. The most desirable are of course subsidized loans on which the government picks up the bill for interest payments while you are in college and for a grace period of up to six months after you graduate. These loans are however needs based and so there are a couple of hoops which you have to jump through to qualify. Unsubsidized loans in contrast are not needs based and so are available to almost all students.

For a graduate student however the picture is somewhat different and, while there are graduate scholarships and grants available, these tend to be few and far apart. It is however often possible to get a teaching or research assistantship, which is essentially a low paying, long hours job which many graduates avail themselves of to help them through their course or while carrying out research.

Another recently introduced option for graduations is a PLUS loan. PLUS stands for Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students and, as the name suggests, was originally designed to allow parents to take out a preferential loan in order to help a son or daughter through college. Now though this program has been extended to also allow graduate students to take a PLUS loan in their own right.

PLUS loans are available available and are credit, rather than need, based. For some graduates this may cause a problem but the majority of graduations have not had time to get them into the credit problems which are suffering by so many adults today. Consequently, although you may have a sparse credit history, you probably will not have enough bad marks on your credit report to rule you ineligible for a PLUS loan.

The downside of PLUS loans is that, in historical terms at least, current interest rates which are generally either 7.9% or 8.5% are not low. This means that interest charges on even a reliably small loan can be high and repayment will need to start within 60 days of the grant of the loan, with no grace period.

As with all student loans, whether for undergraduates or graduations, there are a variety of different loans available from both government and private sources and, government loans in particular, have different caps for both single loans and lifetime loans from individual programs. As a result this is one area which you will need to research carefully, rather than simply rushing in and applying for the first loan which springs to mind.

What Rushing Your Design Project Really Means

If you do not plan to allow enough time for your project to be designed, printed and delivered, then you may still be able to have your project completed in time, but the design will have to be rushed.

This means that your designer will put away other client's work and work late nights, even weekends, to get your project out – but at a price. And the price takes several forms other than just financial.

The cost of rushing your project includes:

– Skipping important parts of the design process: With less time there's often not enough time allowed for a designer to spend much time at all on a creative approach or concept for your project. There also may not be enough time for your designer to present a lot of concepts to you or to go through a lot of revisions. You'll also be rushed through the approval cycle – which means it's more likely that you might miss your deadline.

– Quality may suffer: With less time and more stress the finished product often will not be of as high quality as it could be. In design this could mean poorly prepared files, the details of the design are not always attended to, or that a website is coded poorly. None of this will greatly harm the effectiveness of a finished piece, but it's always nicer to have a beautiful, perfect finished piece that has one that's almost all the way there.

– Financial costs: Just like any other profession a designer will charge extra for the late nights and other sacrifices that a rush project requires. It's an industry standard to charge one and a half times the normal cost of a project to rush it.

– Not being able to ask your audience: I highly recommend that you run your desgns-in-progress past your best clients and your target audience. Doing this sort of mini focus-group will enable your clients to give you invaluable feedback on your designs, your text, and their impact on your potential clients. If your project is rushed, then there's often no time to run the design options by your clients to get their input – and you'll lose out on a valuable resource.

Lack of planning can cost you a lot extra. So I suggest allowing plenty of time to design well thought-out materials, at a leisurely pace. This will cost you less and will often produce a more effective design.

Everyday Tips for Weight Loss

Whether it is for wedding season, festive season or just to be healthy, everybody wants to lose weight and look fit. Unhealthy lifestyles often include a lot of junk and oily food along with very little or no exercise. Sitting in your work chair all day can cause all the fat’s to accumulate in the lower part of your body, thereby concentrating on your thighs and hips. Flab in the hips and thighs is basically known as cellulite. Cellulite is firm and can prove pretty difficult to get rid of. Here are some tips on how to reduce hip fat:

1. Drink Water

This solution looks like it won’t make a lot of difference, but it plays a significant role in controlling your weight. There is a reason why all health experts emphasize on its importance. Water purifies your system and releases unhealthy toxins off the body. It also boosts metabolism, thus increasing the pace of your weight loss journey. It’s recommended to consume at least 8-9 glasses every day for one to stay healthy. You can also squeeze some lemon juice in your water for added benefits.

2. Reduce Sugars

Limit your consumption of sugar in the form of chocolates & sweets. Sugar is a direct form of fat and the primary reason that causes flabby hips. Replace your sweet cravings with fruits instead. Soft drinks and aerated drinks are just as much loaded with huge amounts of unhealthy sugar. Chucking these out absolutely is an easy way to lose weight from your hip area.

3. Exercise

One of the most important tips to reduce weight is exercise. Regular workouts are necessary for trimming flab and controlling fat accumulation. Exercises that focus on maintaining the cellulite in your body are generally more intense and require more efforts. You should ideally workout for at least 30 minutes every day. Your daily workout must subsume exercises like squats, sit-ups, crunches, lunges and hip raises in variety of counts and orders. These exercises concentrate mainly on proper shaping of your hips and thighs. They are highly intensive and should be combined with cardio regularly. Also, you can fasten blood circulation and boost metabolism, effectively burning fats by brisk walking, jogging and running.

4. Control Calories

Stay away from junk and processed food like the plague! They have very little to no nutritional value and contribute absolutely nothing towards weight loss. They are the superfluous calories that slow down your path to healthy goals. Make sure that your meals always include green, leafy vegetables to improvise your nutritional intake. It must also contain proteins and vitamins in more quantities than carbohydrates and sugars. Prevent snacking as much as you can. Don’t eat all the time, instead, eat fulfilling meals so that you can keep frequent hunger at bay.

5. Yoga

Stress is usually known to be a cardinal factor in weight gain. Yoga & meditation help in calming your nerves & stabilizing heart rate. If you are running short of time to go through a yoga routine every day, the least you can do is ensure doing a breathing exercise for a few minutes in the morning. A relaxed body is definitely a healthy body.

Fitness is going to be a long journey full of a healthy diet and exercise routine. Constantly keeping a check on what you eat and maintain of a proper workout regime is the best way to maintain healthy and recommendable weight. Hips may be a tough area to trim, but with the correct mindset, dedication & determination, a slimmer waist is all yours. So plan your fitness journey accordingly and go ahead to that wedding function or vacation with a fitter version of you!