Hydroponic Gardening – Managing Pests & Diseases

As with soil-based gardens, hydroponic plants require good pest and disease maintenance controls. Failure to do so creates the same results as with 'ordinary' gardens ie spindly or dead plants. Since the majority of hydroponic plants are fruits and vegetables, that means the plants are not worth eating.

However, managing the hydroponic garden is even trickier, since disease and pests have it much easier in this setting. Plants are continuously kept wet, either immersed in water ('true' hydroponics) or continuously sprayed (aeroponics) or in a permanently wet medium such as perlite or sand. Fortunately, as with soil-based gardens, there is an extensive array of available methods to manage the problem.

Using beneficial life forms is one popular way to control unwanted pests, including certain types of bacteria and fungi. These can help to control spider mites and other invaders by crowding them out, eating them or releasing compounds toxic to the pest. They're known as beneficial organizations because they do all that without damaging the plants themselves.

Different types of pesticides are available, too.

Pesticidal soaps have been in use for centuries and still provide effective and non-toxic ways to keep the pests down. One category called botanicals are compounds released by plants themselves that have been combined into an easy-to-use pest control method. Botanicals break down naturally from exposure to air and water and are brilliant because they leave no harmful chemicals behind.

Neem oil can control over 400 different types of pest that typically invade gardens, including hydroponic ones. A simple spray to the leaves can often eliminate common pests. The bugs absorb the oil, which limits their ability to reproduce, leading to a lower population.

For more serious infestations, many commercial pesticides continue to work well.

White flies, aphids, mites and other pests can be a problem in hydroponic settings, just as in soil-based gardens. Powdery mildew is common. In fact, because of the continuous moisture bugs and pests have a 'friendly' environment. Making it 'unfriendly' is straightforward enough, using fungi and organicides. Sulfur-based compounds can help control white flies, mealy bugs, thrips and more.

Pyrethrum continues to be a safe and effective means of control. Although it sounds man made it is actually derived from flowers. This class of natural compounds released by plants are extracted and used in many commercial insecticides. Dosage is low, so the compound is very safe when used correctly (always read the label). Azatrol is a broad spectrum insecticide that provides another easy control method over most common pests.

Hydroponic gardeners have to exercise additional care when using any disease or pest control method, though. Since no soil is present to hold on to the roots, it's easier to damage a plant when manipulating the leaves and stems. That means that if you pick off mites by hand – an effective method for low-number infestations – it's important to exercise extra care.

Since moisture is present, mildew and other fungi are more common in hydroponic gardens. Keeping leaves dry and just the roots wet will help. Any insecticide sprayed on to your plants or vegetable should be allowed to dry under the grow lights. For aeroponically grown plants, for example, that may require a temporary relocation of the indoor garden.

Teaching English in Japan – What to Expect

The economic boom that swept Japan in the 1980′s brought with it not only a period of wealth and prosperity, but also a sudden surge in a desire to study English. Fueled in part by Japan’s role as an emerging economic force, the need to learn English became a necessity for many companies hoping to compete in the global marketplace. As a result of the affluence during this time more Japanese were also able to travel abroad, thus creating a demand for studying English for those who hoped to hone their English skills before making the journey to a foreign country. Entrepreneurs sensing an opportunity to capitalize on this trend began to open English schools in unprecedented numbers, from large Corporate chains that catered to thousands of students, to small neighborhood schools often employing only a handful of staff. Although the glory days of finding a teaching job on the basis of being a native English speaker alone have faded, the good news is there are still many teaching jobs available in Japan for those willing to make a modest effort to pursue them. Renewed economic growth in the last few years in conjunction with a recent ruling by the Japanese Ministry of Education to include English as part of the elementary school curriculum will also create a need for English instructors in the future.

English teachers in Japan fall basically under two categories, those employed via structured programs such as JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching), and freelance instructors. Teachers who have come to Japan under one of the structured programs can expect benefits which include pre-departure training, visas, flights, living accommodations, and health insurance. Free lance teachers are individuals who arrive in Japan looking for work on their own or who have found a job prior to arriving. In regard to working conditions both can expect to teach approximately 20-35 classes per week, with lessons spanning 50 minutes to one hour in duration. Most teaching positions are at private language schools, with the majority of classes being conducted in the afternoons and evenings. Students range from elementary school, high school, and university students, to housewives and businessmen of all ages. Many of the afternoon classes are typically made up of children who study English after their regular school day has finished, and the majority of evening classes are attended by teens or adults. Size of classes vary, but on average consist of 3-5 students for many of the smaller schools, and up to 15 for larger establishments. Most schools also offer students private lessons.

Entry level salaries for teachers is approximately 250,000 yen per month, though this can fluctuate depending on the company. Some of the larger chain schools such as Nova and ECC offer visa sponsorship and other benefits, such as arranging an apartment for newly arrived teachers. Most schools also subsidize daily train transportation costs. Teachers with experience and a post graduate level qualification in the form of a Masters Degree can expect to make around 400,000 yen a month or more, with the majority of high paying jobs in this category to be found in the High Schools and Universities.

Birthday Gag Gifts

A gag gift for a birthday is way cooler than an ordinary, useable gift. Give the following gag gifts to your loved ones, and see how the person will love you more.

For the always late officemate, give him a backwards clock. Written in reverse, this clock will definitely drive your officemate nuts in no time.

For your conceited teenage sister, give her the laughing mirror. This is the mirror that will laugh every time someone grabs hold of it and looks into it. Your sister would definitely love you more when she gets laughed at by the laughing mirror!

Give fake cat poop to your obsessive-compulsive friend. Scatter it all over her bedroom floor, or, better yet, on her mattress to make her birthday complete.

For your love-sick aunt, give her the art of kissing book. So when she reads it, she gets to crave someone to do the kissing with. For additional fun, include the barf-scent breath freshener so she can enjoy her kissing moments even more!

Your long-haired rocker friend describes the bald head wig. This way, he can have the feeling of having a shaved head for a little while. Or maybe he can even pretend to be a hard-core punk!

The exploding lighter coupled with the exploding cigarette pack is perfect for your buddies who incessantly smoke every time you are together. Nothing will make their day better and your day more hilarious than playing this great prank on them!

If you want your loved ones to love you even more, make sure you give them meaningful gifts that will stick in their memories for the longest time. For that to happen, gag gifts are your best choice.

Six Types of Training and Development Techniques

1.On-the-job Training and Lectures

The two most frequently used kinds of training are on-the-job training and lectures, although little research exists as to the effectiveness of either. It is usually impossible to teach someone everything she needs to know at a location away from the workplace. Thus on-the-job training often supplements other kinds of training, e.g., classroom or off-site training; but on-the-job training is frequently the only form of training. It is usually informal, which means, unfortunately, that the trainer does not concentrate on the training as much as she should, and the trainer may not have a well-articulated picture of what the novice needs to learn.

On-the-job training is not successful when used to avoid developing a training program, though it can be an effective part of a well-coordinated training program.

Lectures are used because of their low cost and their capacity to reach many people. Lectures, which use one-way communication as opposed to interactive learning techniques, are much criticized as a training device.

2. Programmed Instruction (PI)

These devices systematically present information to the learner and elicit a response; they use reinforcement principles to promote appropriate responses. When PI was originally developed in the 1950s, it was thought to be useful only for basic subjects. Today the method is used for skills as diverse as air traffic control, blueprint reading, and the analysis of tax returns.

3. Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI)

With CAI, students can learn at their own pace, as with PI. Because the student interacts with the computer, it is believed by many to be a more dynamic learning device. Educational alternatives can be quickly selected to suit the student’s capabilities, and performance can be monitored continuously. As instruction proceeds, data are gathered for monitoring and improving performance.

4. Audiovisual Techniques

Both television and film extend the range of skills that can be taught and the way information may be presented. Many systems have electronic blackboards and slide projection equipment. The use of techniques that combine audiovisual systems such as closed circuit television and telephones has spawned a new term for this type of training, teletraining. The feature on ” Sesame Street ” illustrates the design and evaluation of one of television’s favorite children’s program as a training device.

5. Simulations

Training simulations replicate the essential characteristics of the real world that are necessary to produce both learning and the transfer of new knowledge and skills to application settings. Both machine and other forms of simulators exist. Machine simulators often have substantial degrees of. physical fidelity; that is, they represent the real world’s operational equipment. The main purpose of simulation, however, is to produce psychological fidelity, that is, to reproduce in the training those processes that will be required on the job. We simulate for a number of reasons, including to control the training environment, for safety, to introduce feedback and other learning principles, and to reduce cost.

6. Business games

They are the direct progeny of war games that have been used to train officers in combat techniques for hundreds of years. Almost all early business games were designed to teach basic business skills, but more recent games also include interpersonal skills. Monopoly might be considered the quintessential business game for young capitalists. It is probably the first place youngsters learned the words mortgage, taxes, and go to jail.