Five Worst College Majors For Employment After Graduation

With the high cost of college today, making the most of your college education is vital to your career success. The proper selection of a major is one of the most important decisions that a student will have to make during college. While finding something you love is great, being aware of the job market and employment prospects for your degree must be considered as part of the big picture.

If you are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your education, you owe it to yourself and your family to get an education that will earn a living commensurate with the cost that was paid. Now there are no guarantees that you will get a job and start a career in any field that you select, but selecting a poor college major is one way to build a large roadblock at the start of any career.

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Parents and college advisers should be helping these students with an "employment reality check". Before a student finally decides on a major, they need to engage in a serious discussion about their future job prospects with this degree. If there are no jobs available with this degree, maybe we should be looking harder at our alternatives.

So here are five college majors that provide VERY LITTLE opportunity for employment upon graduation.

1. Religion: Having a degree will be useful if you plan to become a priest, pastor or minister. But most of these positions of God come with free training and offer heavenly rewards, not monetary. It can be hard to pay off your high student loans on a pastor's salary.

2. Latin: If you have chosen to get a Latin degree, you already have a high tolerance for pain. Expect more of it as you enter the job world. Other than teaching Latin, which would require more schooling to get a teaching degree, plus a masters degree later, there aren't too many jobs for a Latin expert.

3. English Literature: It is wonderful to be well versed in English literature, but what positions do you apply for upon graduation. Maybe a book editor or a writer, but they require different skills, so that ma not pan out without additional degrees or training. Unless you have plans for a masters before you even start college, avoid this degree or you may be well versed and working as a book store clerk. And underpaid for sure!

4. Music Therapy: This sounds so refreshing and relaxing. The truth is... it is. But you don't need a degree to listen to music that relaxes you. You just need an I-pod, a radio or a CD. None of these items will cost any more than one semesters books, so why would anyone pay you a living wage to be a music therapist. Please avoid these types of majors, but they are out there.

5. Art History: If you are already the curator of an art museum, then maybe you will want to get a degree as an art history major. But there aren't too many curators out there and they usually have business degrees to help them run the business side of the museum. An art history minor may be great if you think you are destined for the museum. Other wise you might be a clerk or tour guide at the art museum with a very expensive piece of paper that says you are good at it.

Other problematic majors: Dance, Communications, American Studies, Philosophy, and Film. Each of these degrees has such a narrow focus with so few jobs available that you might have a better chance of winning the lottery than landing a good job. Now you can always go to graduate school, spend more money and get a masters degree in something else that would be more marketable, but these degrees by themselves offer very little potential.

Summary: These are five of the worst prospects for jobs upon graduation. So be mindful of your desire to earn a living as well as pursue a passion. Unless you are a trust fund baby that never needs to work a day in your life, the cost of an education needs to help build an enjoyable and prosperous career. One that will provide an income that can help support your needs and allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. So make the most of it. Your future will look brighter and your income will help you do the things that you always wanted.

If you would like to discover more about these college choices along with strategies to help increase financial aid and reduce college expenses, you can download our FREE College Cost Savings Kit by clicking here.

Please feel free to print this article and share it with your friends, especially if they are in the early stages of deciding on a career path. You may help them save some headaches and possibly a bundle of cash.

Five Worst College Majors For Employment After Graduation

Keith Maderer is the father of five college age students, with three currently in college, and has been a financial, investment and tax adviser in Buffalo, New York since 1981. He is the author of "How To Get Your College Education For Less". Available on - ISBN No: 978-1-4538-2053-7

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Argentine Cowboys - The Gauchos

Just as the cowboy was and is an integral part of the North American West, so the Gaucho remains an inextricable part of Argentine Patagonia. This vast area of flat land in the southern cone of South America lends itself perfectly to the raising and herding of enormous herds of cattle and sheep. Hundreds of thousands of heads of cattle, sources of beef and leather must be watched over and moved from place to place as the seasons dictate.

There are various theories about the origins of the word "gaucho" but the fact remains that it has denoted the Argentine version of a cowboy for at least a couple of hundred years. The gauchos, like their North American Cowboy counterpart, are a tough breed, used to long days in the saddle and living, at least in part, off the land. Indeed, it is from their habit of roasting beef and lamb over an open fire that the Argentine tradition of asado has come from, a barbecue on a rather larger scale. Due to their mixed ancestry, the gaucho tends to mix features of both native Americans and black slaves, as well as the poorer immigrants who flocked to the New World from Spain after the conquest.

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The simple way of life of the Argentine gaucho has given rise to various highly regarded culinary traditions, such as the asado, for which people actually construct special pits so as to be able to roast entire sheep over a huge bonfire without having to worry about their houses catching fire. Chimichurri also comes from the gauchos, a hot sauce very popular as an accompaniment to your asado.

Guachos haven't always had the best of reputations. There was a time when they were actually despised for their unfortunate habit of hunting indiscriminately on the plains and of slicing the tendons in animals' hind legs to keep them from running away. Since they had to travel light, just themselves and their horse, they also developed a reputation for thievery and consequently became very unpopular.

However, when the colonies began to rebel against Spanish rule, the guacho came into his own. Used to spending long periods of time in the saddle, having developed excellent horsemanship and used to fending for himself, often alone with a hundred thousand cows, the guachos were strong and fearless in battle and proved themselves again and again against the Spanish.

The original gaucho was easily recognized by his baggy trousers, an import from Europe, specifically Turkey, his long curved knife or facon, his horse and his boleadoras, three hard balls of leather connected by long leather straps which he used to bring down runaway animals or during hunting. Often these were his only possessions and with them he carved out a hard life on the vast flatlands of the Patagonian pampas. As was often the case with the North American cowboys, the gaucho developed a reputation for hardness, a sense of justice and great courage, all highly important qualities when the majority of your life is spent miles from any kind of civilization and you must protect yourself and what you value at all times, with only the most basic tools and your own strength of character.

After the Spanish were evicted from the New World and just as they were becoming popular once more among the general populace for their behavior in battle, the gaucho declined and almost disappeared from view altogether. However, since the vast herds of cattle remained and by far the easiest and quickest way to get around the land is on horseback, the gaucho made a comeback and still exists today. You are unlikely to see him in the cities, but if you head out to the pampas, particularly any working estancia or ranch, you will see him in all his glory, usually astride a horse. Whether he is on horseback or not, he will move with a straight back and his head held high, completely aware of his importance to the ranch and proud of his ability to do his job better than anyone else.

Author - Gary Sargent

Argentine Cowboys - The Gauchos

Gary Sargent is the Managing Director of the tour companies Escaped to Peru and Escaped to Latin America and has lived in South America for over 10 years. Gary is passionate about life here, the people, customs and places. To learn more feel free to click on the links below:

Toll Free USA / Canada 1-800-305-6543
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Catholic Celebrations Throughout the Year

Everyone is familiar with Easter and Christmas, but not everyone is familiar with the other important celebrations of the Catholic Church throughout the year. In this article, I will detail all of the important celebrations of the Catholic Calendar, as well as its unique features.

The holiest days in the Catholic calendar are called "solemnities". While there are many other feast days, these are considered to be the most important.

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Note that the Catholic year begins at the beginning of December, not in January.

The Immaculate Conception (December 8th): Like Eve, Mary, the second Eve, was conceived without original sin, according to Catholics. This feast celebrates her conception without sin.

The Nativity (December 25th): The Nativity or "Christmas" as it is usually called, celebrates the birth of Christ.

Mary, Mother of God (January 1st): This solemnity celebrates Mary's motherhood of God an early dogma reminding us of Jesus' humanity. It also celebrates Mary herself and her role as Queen Mother relative to Jesus' kingship.

The Epiphany (January 6th): This celebrates the arrival of the three magi in Bethlehem following Jesus' birth.

Saint Joseph (March 19th): Celebrating the husband of Mary.

The Annunciation (March 25th): This celebrates the announcement to Mary by Gabriel that she will give birth to Jesus. It also celebrates the incarnation in her womb, which Catholics believe occurred at this moment.

Easter (March-April): This celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. In fact, Easter is eight solemnities, starting with Easter Sunday and ending the next Sunday, inclusive.

The Ascension (40 days after Easter): This celebrates the ascension of Jesus to heaven after his resurrection.

Pentecost (50 days after Easter): Pentecost is Greek for "fifty", and is a celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles ten days after his ascension.

Trinity Sunday (Sunday after Pentecost): This day celebrates the entire Holy Trinity and comes immediately after the Easter season.

Corpus Christi (Thursday after Trinity Sunday): This celebrates the body of Christ in the Eucharist, and is celebrated at the beginning of "Ordinary Time", once the Easter season is over.

Sacred Heart of Jesus (Eight Days after Corpus Christi): This celebrates Jesus' love for humanity, which is perfectly manifested in his sacred heart.

Birth of Saint John the Baptist (June 24th): The birth of Saint John the Baptist is celebrated with its own solemnity. Curiously, there is no solemnity of John the Baptist, just his birth. This comes from the tradition that, not only did John the Baptist's preaching prefigure Christ, his birth did too, which is why he recognized Christ from the womb.

Saints Peter and Paul (June 29th): It is sometimes joked that it is odd that neither Peter nor Paul get their own feast day. However, the purpose of putting them together is to recognize their irreplaceable roles in the founding of the Catholic Church.

Assumption of Mary (August 15th): The Assumption of Mary celebrates the taking of Mary by God body and soul into heaven.

All Saint's (November 1st): This is the day before which is "All Hallow's Eve". What it celebrates is all the saints in heaven who have not been declared as such by the Church.

Feast of Christ the King (Last Sunday Before Advent): This is the last Sunday of the year for Catholics, as Advent, the four weeks leading up the the Nativity, is the start of the Catholic Year. It celebrates Jesus' rule over all of creation.

Catholic Celebrations Throughout the Year

Francis Schwab has been writing online about matters of religion and philosophy for over a decade. He is currently working on a site detailing the art history of Wall Crosses, which can be found at

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Visual Communication: What Does It Mean?

"The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something. . . To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, all in one." ~ John Ruskin, Painter

Visual communication involves our eyes, heart, and mind. By the time we reach adulthood, we have millions of visual images stored in the dark recesses of our minds. Our memories serve us and ground us. Our minds reminiscence and recall visual messages during our waking and sleeping hours; which in turn, visual imagery form our thinking, attitudes, and personalities. Since visual messages are penetrating our hearts and souls, take a moment to learn what visual literacy and visual communication actually mean.

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According to Google's online dictionary, *visual literacy* means:

"Visual literacy is the set of skills involved in the interpretation and criticism of images. It is a field of study in academia, drawing on art history and criticism, information design and graphic design, and computer interface usability. It is also a goal of education paralleling linguistic literacy. The basic skills of visual literacy include the vocabulary of concepts necessary for understanding and discussing images."

Then again, according to Google's online dictionary, *visual communication* means:

"Visual communication is the communication of ideas through the visual display of information. Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: alphanumerics, art, signs, and electronic resources. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability."

Since the invention of television and the Internet, visual communication has bombarded the world. The average person is showing preference to learning and being entertained through visual media as opposed to printed material. No doubt about it, we are living in a visual world! (revised 2/15/2006)

Visual Communication: What Does It Mean?

Debbie Jensen, Graphic Designer and Photographer []

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Online Doctorate in Music Education

As a professional music educator you strive to provide all your students with the best practical and theoretical program you can. Continuing your own education in music history and musicology will ensure you can do just that. You can continue to meet your professional obligations by receiving a doctorate online from any one of the many accredited universities that offer a doctorate of musical arts in music education.

As an online student you have the ability to decide where and when your best study times are. You can work towards your doctorate online confident that you will have at your disposal a faculty of professionals who are there to guide you every step of the way. Gain valuable knowledge and share your personal experiences with fellow online students in virtual classroom settings. Take advantage of a diverse faculty of experienced educators from around the world who are dedicated to the art and history of music.

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If you are ready to take your professional and academic career to the next level then a doctorate online program of study is your first step in achieving those goals. You can use your doctorate as a portal to collaborating with other research specialists who share the same love and interest in the art of music education as you do. Rather than continuing to teach your students according to guidelines and methods established by others be part of an elite group of professionals who set the standards of how music education is delivered. Be recognized as an educator who is committed to their field of study that only a doctorate can provide.

Open the doors to new and exciting job opportunities in education and research by enrolling in a doctorate online course of study. The investment you make now in choosing one of the many accredited online universities that offers a doctorate of musical arts in music education will be one that will continue to pay personal and professional dividends throughout your life. It will certainly be one of the best investments you will ever make.

There is no higher academic achievement than a doctorate. Gain the respect and acknowledgment of music educators globally by being asked to speak at world symposiums or by contributing articles to leading music magazines. Use the knowledge and skills you acquire to share your love of music with future generations. Through furthering your research skills you will make a difference in how music education is delivered. Your online doctorate is a symbol that shows the world your commitment and passion within the field of music education. Join the global community of recognized scholar-practitioners and take your career to the next level.

Take a few minutes right now to investigate top accredited universities that offer doctorate online degrees and secure your future in a field that you have already proven your commitment to. Continue meeting your professional and personal obligations while you work towards achieving your academic goals. Online universities understand the challenges and pressures faced by the adult working student and have a faculty that is committed to helping you achieve your goals.

Online Doctorate in Music Education

Matthew Bowes - MBA Programs

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Top 10 Most Popular Magazines

We all see those magazines at the checkout counter, from entertainment to news to food and celebrity gossip. Have you ever wondered which magazines are the most popular? Well, here are the top 10 from bottom to top:

10. TV Guide - The first TV Guide was published in 1953 and featured Desi Arnaz from I Love Lucy, the most popular current show of that time. Though many newspapers publish their own TV listings, TV Guide is still going strong.

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9. Sports Illustrated - The most popular sports magazine, Sports Illustrated enjoys a big boost in readership every year for their annual swimsuit issue. The current incarnation of Sports Illustrated published its first issue in 1954 and covers all the major sports. The #1 cover athlete is Michael Jordan with an astonishing 49 covers. The magazine has a weekly circulation of over 3 million.

8. Time - Time is one of the oldest entries on this list, with the first issue being published in 1923. Time is known for picking a "Person of the Year" each year. Time covers a variety of topics but is mainly a news magazine.

7. Woman's Day - As the title states, Woman's Day covers topics of interest to women including food, recipes, beauty, fashion and fitness. The first issue was published in 1928.

6. Game Informer - Game Informer is a monthly magazine dedicated to video games and consoles. The magazine features reviews and articles on PC games, as well as Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation and PSP games. Game Informer started publishing in the summer of 1991.

5. Ladies Home Journal - This magazine is the oldest on the list, with its first issue being published in 1883. Ladies Home Journal was one of the most popular magazines of the 20th century and it is still being published today. The magazine showcases content aimed at women and housewives.

4. Good Housekeeping - This magazine was started in 1885. Another magazine aimed at women and housewives, Good Housekeeping is famous for its "Seal of Approval" that it gives to different products that have passed their testing. Many famous female writers have contributed articles to the magazine, including Virginia Woolf and Somerset Maugham.

3. National Geographic - The magazine of the National Geographic Society, this magazine helps to broaden knowledge of world history, science, culture, nature and geography in order to document and conserve them. The monthly magazine was first published in 1888. The magazine is published in many different languages.

2. Better Homes and Gardens - This is a monthly magazine that showcases homes, gardens, cooking, gardening and decorating related content. Founded in 1922, it has a readership of nearly 8 million.

1. Reader's Digest - With over 8 million subscribers, this is the #1 magazine in the United States. Founded in 1922, Reader's Digest offers content of interest to families. Many international editions are published and worldwide readership of Reader's Digest magazines is estimated to be over 100 million people.

Top 10 Most Popular Magazines

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Mucha Art

Mucha art represents everything produced from the career of Czech Art Nouveau artist and illustrator Alfons Mucha. This article covers Mucha art in full and examined the different types of art mediums that the artist used as well as detailing some of his finest prints and how best you can enjoy them yourself in your own home thanks to the great variety of reproduction options which are now available to art fans online all across the world.

Alfons Mucha was a consistent artist who developed a very unique and creative approach around the start of the 20th century and stuck very closely to this for the rest of the career. For this reason it is very easy to summarise his career into a clear style, with that being illustrative detailing decoratively surrounding the main focus of each work, which in most cases was a stylish portrait of a beautiful woman. Mucha's art style was clear and immediately accessible, though one diversion that some of his art would include was promotional typography to title the work and draw attention to a certain message or meaning.

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Alfons Mucha's artistic style is amongst the most important topic for study in art history of recent centuries and his approach helped to bring about the Art Nouveau movement which remains very popular today and includes several others key artists who followed in the footsteps of Mucha and produced a relatively similar style of art which allowed their careers to be categorised together. The fundamental point to Mucha art was great detail in illustration and an innovative style that was new at the time.

Mucha Art

Mucha art is displayed in an extensive paintings gallery at

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Venice Carnival

The origins of the Carnival in Venice are similar to many carnivals in the world. The Carnival starts on the last day before Lent. The origin of the festivities is the will to consume all the meat before Lent (Carne = meat Vale = farewell, hence, Carnival).

The Carnival has no obvious religious significance. It's about drinking, disorder, roll reversing, blurring social status, costumes and masks, dancing, plays, parades and festivals all over town.

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During Carnival people wear masks and costumes of different kinds: Costumes that symbolize characters from mythology, costumes related to nature, to legend, to styles and historic eras, to church characters, and to characters from the comedia del Arte. The most famous character in the Carnival of Venice is the doctor wearing black robe and white mask, born after the plague in Europe, when doctors were careful not to catch the disease from their patients.

In 1980 the Carnival tradition in Venice was renewed, after a long period. The Carnival is celebrated by costume parades, Gondola sailing, games and parties in the ancient palaces.
The Carnival in Venice takes place each year in February.
During this period the streets fill with artists, acrobats and musicians and the whole city is filled with people and very lively.

Apart from all the action in the streets there are also private events such as masked balls and gala dinners.

Every year the carnival has a different topic. Last year the topic of the Carnival was theater. The topic for 2006 carnival is the dragon and the lion, and the carnival is dedicated to China.

The carnival of 2006 starts on February 23, and continues through February 28.

The events of the carnival in Venice include special activities for kids, and dancing for the young.

The traditional Venetian carnival masks are made by artists in Venice. If you want to buy a Venetian mask, go to Unicorno Magico on 373 San Polo (At the end of the Rialto market). If you want to see how masks are made of papier mache you can go into the store and see the work in process.

Venice Carnival

Rachel Deutsch is the owner and writer of []. On this site, as in others, she shares her ecperience in travel, and the interest in Italy, its history and its pleasures.

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33 Top Teddy Bear Facts You Probably Never Knew!

The cute and cuddly teddy bear is more than a hundred years old. In fact, it predates even World War I and can trace its origins back to one of the greatest US presidents. While, in its hundred-plus year history, the humble teddy has conquered the World from Europe to America to Japan and back. And, even though our once simpler lives are now choking in so much technology, the plain old teddy seems more popular than ever -- just Google him! Here are some more amazing facts about this childhood classic and 20th century icon.

1. Bears first appeared on the literary scene in the fairy tale 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' written by Robert Southey in 1834.

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2. The first stuffed bear soft toy showed signs of appearing on the scene when Margarete Steiff registered patents for 23 of her soft toy designs, including a dancing bear and a bear handler with a brown bear in 1899.

3. History is made -- a Brooklyn shopkeeper, Morris Michtom sells the world's first 'Teddy's Bear' in his shop in November 1902.

4. In March 1903, as many as 3000 stuffed bear toys are shipped across to America by the Steiff Company in Germany.

5. Bear toys were called 'Bruins' in those days. The first advertisement for Bruins appeared in the American toy trade magazine Playthings in May 1906.

6. That same year in November, the words 'Teddy Bear' featured for the very first time in another advertisement in Playthings by American manufacturer E.J. Horsman.

7. "Teddy Bear" was one of the first illustrated books based on these popular soft toys, written by Alice Scott.

8. In 1907, music history was made when music of the famous song, The Teddy Bear's Picnic, was penned by American composer J.K. Bratton. The song was originally called The Teddy Bear Two Step and the lyrics we know and love today were not actually added until 1932 by prolific British songwriter Jimmy Kennedy.

9. In 1908, the J.K. Farnell company started manufacturing the first British teddies. The firm was originally founded in London's Notting Hill as a silk merchant and first produced tea cossies and pin cushions. But, it is believed that their Alpha bear of 1925 was the inspiration the creation of Winnie the Pooh.

10. In 1909, the first animated teddy cartoon "Little Johnny and the Teddy Bears" appeared in USA.

11. In 1912, as the world received news of the sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage with shocked disbelief, the German soft toy company run by Steiff created a black bear to give as mourning gifts for all those who lost loved ones on the Titanic.

12. In 1919, the adorable teddy bear was airborne on their first non-stop transatlantic flight! Aviation pioneers, Alcock and Brown, took teddy mascots with them on this record-breaking flight from St. John's, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland in a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber.

13. The teddy bear entered thousands of homes every morning for Britons when the first British comic-strip teddy character, Bobby Bear, was published in the London-based Daily Herald newspaper.

14. The following year, in 1920, the first Rupert Bear picture story, Little Lost Bear, written and illustrated by Mary Tourtel, found its way in the UK newspaper, The Daily Express.

15. In 1924, animation movie giant Walt Disney produced the first colour animation film with a teddy bear theme Alice and the Three Bears.

16. One of the most famous and loved bears of all times, Winnie-the-Pooh made its appearance when the first edition of Winnie-the-Pooh was published A.A. Milne in 1926.

17. In 1944, even as forest fires caused havoc across the USA, Smokey Bear was adopted as the mascot of the United States Forest Fire Prevention Campaign.

18. Sooty, the teddy bear glove puppet and magician, made its debut on British television in 1952. Sooty became hugely popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand. So much so that Sooty is now the longest running children's television show in the UK and turned 60 in 2008. Devised by Harry Corbett, father handed the job of puppeteer over to son Matthew in 1976. Matthew retired in the late nineties with Sooty's popularity undiminished.

19. 1953 was the Golden Jubilee of Steiff's first soft toy bear. It was celebrated with a new style bear, 'a comical young bear cub', called Jackie Baby.

20. A common dilemma was solved when Wendy Boston, Welsh toy maker, produced the first truly washable soft toy bear in 1954.

21. 1958 saw another immensely loved and popular bear, Paddington Bear, appear on the scene for the first time. The first Paddington story, A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael Bond was published this year.

22. In a significant development, Walt Disney acquired the rights to Winnie-the-Pooh in 1959.

23. Colonel Bob Henderson launches The Teddy Bear Club in 1962.

24. The first animated film on Winnie-the-Pooh is produced by Walt Disney in 1975. It instantly became a classic.

25. In 1979, the Marquis of Bath organised the Great Teddy Bear Rally at Longleat.

26. In a departure from its usual items, auction house Christie's of London held the first ever teddy bear-only auction in 1985.

27. In 1988, Gyles and Michele Brandreth set up The Teddy Bear Museum in William Shakespeare's home town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

28. The next year, in 1989, the first British Teddy Bear Festival was held in London.

29. That same year, in 1989, Happy Anniversary, a 1926 vintage mohair Steiff bear, was sold at an auction in London for a whopping £55,000 to American Paul Volpp as a 42nd wedding anniversary gift for his wife, Rosemary.

30. In 1990, Steiff crossed over to the UK with the first Steiff UK Limited Edition teddies.

31. The teddy bear had crossed continents and endeared himself to all. 1994 saw Teddy Girl, a 1904 cinnamon Steiff bear that was formerly in the possession of Colonel Bob Henderson, being sold at an auction in London for a staggering £110,000 to Yoshihiro Sekiguchi. Sekiguchi went on to establish the Teddy Bear Museum in Izu, Japan.

32. In 1996, Yoshihiro Sekiguchi of the Izu Teddy Bear Museum bought Teddy Edward, the world's most travelled bear, at an auction by for...£34,500.

33. You thought there were only average size teddy bears? Well, Guinness (8.5 mm tall), made by Lynn Lumb of Halifax, England, entered the hallowed portals of The Guinness Book of World Records as the world's smallest teddy bear.

Never thought the humble teddy packed such a long history, eh?

33 Top Teddy Bear Facts You Probably Never Knew!

Daya is new convert to the cult of the teddy. She recently began writing for this blog dedicated to the internet-driven phenomenon of the personalised teddy bear. While at she illuminates the teddy's fascinating history in more detail.

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Evolution of the Video Camera

It's incredible to think just how far camcorder technology has come and evolved from its humble beginnings. Video cameras, like all forms of technology and gizmos and gadgets, have improved and become more user-friendly and more innovative over the years. That's nothing new, and there's no reason to trump the advancement of the video camera onto a higher pedestal than anything else. But, when one looks at the history, timeline and growth of the video camera, it is remarkable to see where it has come from, where it has gone, and where it will venture to in the future.

When video camcorders first arrived on the scene, they were big, heavy and awkward contraptions that need tapes or reels. They sat on your shoulder or were mounted on legs. Their dependency on wires, cords or cables hampered their ability to move and go. Only specialized technicians and trained individuals could operate them. And, perhaps most stunning of all, video cameras could only record, broadcast and play back in black and white.

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Skip ahead a few decades where we now are upon the digital age, with digital video cameras. Some dwell in the higher price range, with all the requisite bells & whistles and features. While others are more simple and affordable. Most of today's modern digital camcorders do not use tapes at all. They are now capable of recording the movie directly onto a hard drive that is contained with the digital video camcorder itself. Which, in and of itself, also shows how far computer technology has evolved over the years.

Video cameras are now so powerful that they have embedded themselves into other devices. Camcorders are now found in a variety of devices, including cellular phones, portable digital assistants, hand-held video game consoles and a whole host of other portable devices. Whereas before, perhaps only an important event warranted to use of the video camera, today's generation uses the Digital camcorder in the same regard as they would a pair of scissors - they are a tool of convenience.

Digital camcorders appear to be everywhere these days, even if we are oblivious to their locations and whereabouts. Certainly, the hand-held video camera will always be in favor and in style. But, more and more people are choosing to own a digital video camera that is part of another item altogether, rather than just a stand-alone item. And, just as interesting as the technology itself, is how it is being used. Video cameras are being used regularly to document, record, create and share. Digital video cameras are playing a bigger role in today's society.

Evolution of the Video Camera

Jeffrey Saunders is a video enthusiast, journalist and historian.

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Ford Motor Company - Case Study

Background (General Facts)

Ford Motors is one of three leading automotive manufacturing companies in the United States. Based in Michigan in 1903 by Henry ford and grew to reach revenue of 0 billion and more than 370,000 employees by 1996 [1]. In the 1970's, the automobile market for the major auto makers - General Motors (GM), Ford, and Chrysler- was crunched by competition from foreign manufactures such as Toyota and Honda. In 1999, Ford acquired the Swedish Volvo model in an attempt to compete in the foreign market and expand to other regions. Furthermore, Ford launched a full organization re-engineering business process plan called "Ford 2000" aiming at reestablishing the company's infrastructure. The process meant reduction in their Vehicle Centers (VCs) to only five covering the operations that spanned 200 countries. It also meant cutting redundancies and requiring Information Technology (IT) to be the driving force and the link between Ford centers worldwide.

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In building Ford's IT infrastructure, the company focused on implementing a setup that supported the TCP/IP communication protocol based on the U.S. department of Defense requirements. At those days, Ford internal network was meant to serve files transfer unlike most companies that used the network mainly for email communications. Throughout the 1990's, Ford developed a cost effective Global Enterprise Network Integration (GENI) process to link all its locations compromising on the type of the connection and the cabling in favor of full coverage. During the same time, Ford started building its Web Farm, which was basically a set of hardware and software managed by a team for building Ford's public website. The work started by publishing documents for technical references and moved to more advanced images from a live auto show. As a result, the website received 1 million visits a day in less than 2 years after its official launch. Throughout the end of the 90's, Ford established its web services by increasing the amount of information published, building more intelligent and standard web application in 12 weeks period, purchasing more Netscape browsers for setup on its users' machines, and creating a B2B server to allow the suppliers secured access to Ford's Intranet.

In the path towards service cost reduction and bringing more business through the web, Ford worked closely with its competitors in the U.S. market GM and Chrysler to establish what came to be known as "Automotive Network Exchange" (ANX) certificate. The protocols aimed at providing a unified communications standard through the Internet to enable suppliers to provide common technology for all manufacturers. Moreover, Ford focused on making information on its web site more accessible and useful by deploying a team to manage the process of adding and updating information based on an analysis of how humans deal with information. One final aspect of Fords endeavor was to try to build a model through its infrastructure that benefited from the model implemented by Dell computers to improve their supply chain and delivery process. The direct model would not work well for automotives as it would with computers, as a result Ford worked on its retailing network remodeling and identifying what would eventually give it the extra edge in delivery time.

Enterprise Architecture Issues

  • Ford's regional expansion to address the competition for market shares demanded cost management for the infrastructure upgrades
  • IT infrastructure places limitations on the type of application development based on the platforms
  • Easy access to information and prompt delivery of vital data to key individuals requires proper knowledge managementOrganizations reengineering and process remodeling is necessary when adapting new technologies to maintain the cost and increase efficiency
  • Supply chain errors and delays can severely affect the progress of the business and the market value of the corporation


Infrastructure Upgrade

Since the inception of the Internet in the 1960's, much effort has been made in standardizing how computers connect to it. In 1982, the International Organization for Standards (ISO) realized that during that period many ad hoc networking systems were already using the TCP/IP protocol for communications and thus adapted it as a standard in its model for the Internet network [2]. The main driver for IP convergence, at that period, was the growth in data traffic through wide area networks (WANs) established by local companies. Furthermore, in 1991, the Internet was open for commercial use, and that demanded a reduction in the total cost of operating the network to cope with 1 million Internet hosts that materialized in only 1-year time. Telecommunications companies like AT&T understood the potential and worked on standardizing the network offering voice services over IP networks that managed the separation between voice and data transmission [3].

At the same time, Ford had launched its plan to update its infrastructure, and seized the opportunity brought by the global movement of integrating the voice, fax transmission network with data transmission and expanded its WAN to include its offices in Europe and elsewhere. The financial benefits also came from the fact that Ford adapted the TCP/IP protocol from the beginning and made sure that all its technical infrastructure upgrades adhere to the standards. This made the transition of its system to the Internet as cost effective as it could be.

Web Technologies

Intranets employ the hypertext and multimedia technology used on the Internet. Prior to 1989, when Tim burners-Lee invented the Web [4], most applications used standard development languages such as C and C++ to create desktop applications that were proprietary and dependent on the platform. For example, applications running on a command-based operating system such as UNIX would not run under Windows, and those working for PCs might not work on Apple computers and vice versa [5]. The invention of HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) introduced a new model for applications that conform to the standards provided by a single program, the "Web Browser". Unlike standard applications, the browser brought a unified interface that had a very fast learning curve. Users seem to require no additional training to work with web browsers. Furthermore, system administrators did not have to spend time installing upgrades on users' machines, since the Intranet client/server architecture facilitated all the updates through the connection with the web server [6].

Since Ford established its Intranet, it was aiming at building web applications through the initial analysis of "Mosaic", the early form of web browsers. The technical department at Ford used web languages to create the first web site in 1995. In 1996, the team started building applications making use of the unified "Netscape" browser that was deployed on all machines at the company, and working on a standard template to cut on the development life cycle. There was a substantial cut in training cost due to the user-friendly interface of web applications. Furthermore, the speed of development made vital applications available to different individuals across the company. For example, the B2B site allowed suppliers remote and secured access to various sections of Ford's Intranet. In addition, the development team created an application as a virtual teardown on Ford's website where Ford's engineers could examine parts of competitors' cars and evaluate any new technologies. The alternative would have been an actual trip to a physical location where Ford tears down cars to examine the parts.

Knowledge Management

While there are many definitions for knowledge, each company might adapt its own based on how it analysis data and information to acquire knowledge. The University of Kentucky, for example, defines knowledge as "a vital organization resource. It is the raw material, work-in process, and finished good of decision-making. Distinct types of knowledge used by decision makers include information, procedures, and heuristics, among others... " [7].

Organizations go through different activities to manage the amount of information they collect to form the knowledge base of the company. Activities include creating databases of best practices and market intelligence analysis, gathering filtering and classifying data, incorporating knowledge into business applications used by employees, and developing focal points for facilitating knowledge flow and building skills [8].

Ford was excited about the traffic it was receiving on the Web site and everyone was publishing all the material they have on desk on the Intranet. Nevertheless, there was a growing concern about the usability and usefulness of the material people were adding. As a result, Ford created a "Knowledge Domain Team" to build complete information in nine areas that were identified as vital to the business. The process Ford took was based on surveys and specialists input in how people perceive information, and what is considered vital and what is distracting in the structure of Ford's website. The aim behind the initiative was to reduce the time individuals spent in searching for information through proper indexing of the website content, and making sure that what was important could be accessed in due time, and what is trivial did not overwhelm the researcher with thousands of results.

Business Re-engineering

In the area of organization's re-engineering process innovation is the set of activities that achieve substantial business improvements. Companies seeking to benefit from process innovation go through the regime of identifying the processes, the factors for change, developing the vision, understanding the current process, and building a prototype for the new organization. History shows that organizations who define their processes properly will not have problems managing the issues and developing the change factors [9]. When introducing technology, business redesign is necessary. The industrial fields have been using Information Technology to remodel processes, control production, and manage material for generations. However, it is only recently that companies recognized that the fusion of IT and business would go beyond automation to fundamentally reshaping how business processes are undertaken [10].

When foreign companies were allowed to compete in the U.S. market, Ford understood that to succeed in business in a competitive arena it needed to implement strategies that competitors find difficult to imitate [11]. As a result, Ford bought Sweden Volvo to enter the European market, and partially owned Mazda to have a competitive edge with Japanese cars1 [12]. To achieve that it re-engineered its production development activities and global corporate organization and processes for dramatic cost reduction. Furthermore, it understood that expansion requires collaboration and alignment, and thus planned to establish the IT infrastructure through a WAN that connected all the offices. In the process of innovation and re-engineering, Ford has set policies to manage the cost of establishing the network, built models for continuous implementation, and organized global meetings to align all parties with the process. Adding to that, when it came to managing the website, Ford facilitated an awareness campaign for all the branches to understand that Ford is using the web to collaborate and research and adapting information technology as a way to maximize its business value. The goal for Ford was to maintain its leadership in the market and to do that in the most efficient and cost effective method that is there.

Supply chain management

Supply chain management (SCM) is about coordinating between suppliers, manufactures, distributors, retailers, and customers [13]. The basic idea that SCM applications revolve around is providing information to all those who are involved in making decisions about the product or goods to manage delivery from the supplier to the consumer [14]. Studies show that reducing errors in supply chain distribution, increases revenue, enhances productivity, and reduces the order-to-fulfillment period [15].

Ford often compared its supply chain process to that of Dell's, in an attempt to close the gaps in its own process and reach the level of success Dell has reached. The difference in the distribution model between Dell and Ford lies in the middle link of using retail shops. Since Ford cannot skip retail as a focal distribution point, it worked on establishing a network of retail shops that it owned. Ford made sure shops are not affecting each other in terms of sales, and gave them all a standard look and feel to establish itself in the consumer's market as a prestigious cars sales retail company. Furthermore, extensive re-engineering initiatives were undertaken to enhance Ford external network by eliminating the correlation with smaller suppliers. In that way, Ford made sure that key suppliers have access to forecasting data from customers' purchasing trends and production information to enable a faster order-to-delivery cycle. Ford vision was to create a model that allowed flexibility, predicable processes and delivered the product at the right time to the right consumer.


Ford is an example of how traditional organizations can mature to adapt what is current and maximizes the business value. The process that Ford went through necessitated the continuous support from management. In addition, it depended on alignment between those involved as a key for success. The correlation was not restricted to internal staff; it extended to cover competitors to reach mutual benefits, to work with suppliers to maintain similar grounds and adequate infrastructure, and to create training programs to educate all on the vision and organization's objectives.

Ford technical progress came at a time where the Internet was yet to reach its full potential. The introduction of Fiber-optic cables in the late 90's and the substantial increase in bandwidth would have helped Ford and cut on the cost in endured connecting its own offices. Furthermore, the ISP services that provided hosting servers were limited to only few players, which explained why Ford preferred to manage its own web server and maintain the overhead of the 24 hours uptime and backup.

From this case study, I understood the level of commitment large firms have to maintaining their position in the market. These companies know the revolving nature of business in the sense of how easy it is to fall back if they did not keep up with the change. The Ford process also shows the need for quick and resourceful thinking when faced with situations that might seem to be unfavorable. The way Ford ventured into the foreign market by acquiring local manufacturers was a strategic decision that did not only enabled Ford to merge with different technologies, but it also saved it the additional cost of establishing production centers in Japan and Europe.


  • Maintaining leadership in the market requires innovative organizations willing to reengineer to succeed.
  • IT fusion with the business means restructuring and remodeling to understand the role IT would play to meet the business objectives
  • Planning and modeling is vital when coordinating work with large teams.
  • Constructing websites is not about content; it is about understanding what adds value and how humans interact with information.
  • Knowledge management is a plan that companies need to develop as part of their initial business process modeling
  • It is not wrong for large firms to try to adapt to successful processes implemented by other firms.


  1. Robert D. Austin and Mark Cotteleer,"Ford Motor Co.: Maximizing the Business Value of Web Technologies." Harvard Business Publishing. July 10, 1997.;jsessionid=WDARNHINBSYKSAKRGWCB5VQBKE0YOISW?id=198006 (accessed July 30, 2008).
  2. Computer History Museum, Internet History 80's. 2006. (accessed July 30, 2008).
  3. Darren Wilksch and Peter Shoubridge, "IP Convergence in Global Telecommunications." Defense Science & Technology Organization. March 2001. (accessed July 30, 2008).
  4. Computer History Museum, Internet History 80's.
  5. H. Joseph Wen, "From client/server to intranet." Information Management & Computer Security (MCB UP Ltd) 6, no. 1 (1998): 15-20.
  6. R. Boutaba, K. El Guemioui, and P. Dini, "An outlook on intranet management." Communications Magazine (IEEE), October 1997: 92-99.
  7. Joseph M. Firestone, Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management (OXFORD: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002), 169.
  8. David J. Skyrme, "Knowledge management solutions - the IT contribution." ACM SIGGROUP Bulletin (ACM) 19, no. 1 (April 1998): 34 - 39, 34.
  9. Thomas H. Davenport, Process Innovation: Reengineering Work Through Information Technology (Watertown,MA: Harvard Business Press, 1993), 28.
  10. Thomas H. Davenport "The New Industrial Engineering: Information Technology and Business Process Redesign." Sloan Management Review 31, no. 4 (Summer 1990): 11-28, 12
  11. Gary M. Erickson, Robert Jacobson, and Johny K. Johansson, "Competition for market share in the presence of strategic invisible assets: The US automobile market, 1971-1981." International Journal of Research in Marketing (Elsevier Science) 9, no. 1 (March 1992): 23-37, 23.
  12. Austin and Cotteleer, "Ford Motor " , 2.
  13. Henk A. Akkermans, et al. "The impact of ERP on supply chain management: Exploratory findings from a European Delphi study." European Journal of Operational Research 146 (2003): 284-301, 286
  14. Thomas H. Davenport and Jeffrey D. Brooks, "Enterprise systems and the supply chain." Journal of Enterprise Information Management 17, no. 1 (2004): 8-19, 9.
  15. Kevin B. Hendricks, Vinod R. Singhal, and Jeff K. Stratman. "The impact of enterprise systems on corporate performance:A study of ERP, SCM, and CRM system implementations." Journal of Operations Management 25, no. 1 (January 2007): 65-82.

Ford Motor Company - Case Study

Sally Ahmed is a webmaster , web technology analyst, and a developer for more than 7 years. Earned the Certified Web Professionals title from the International Webmaster Association in 2001. Worked as a technical Internet instructor at New Horizons computer learning center. Worked in several companies where she developed and planned over 20 websites . Holds a Masters degree in web technologies from the University College of Denver, CO. Currently working as a web technology consultant and an E-commerce manager for several local companies.

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