The Saint Louis Innovation Camp is now accepting sponsors, speakers, and attendees!

In the face of widespread economic turmoil, there is no greater source of hope than in the efforts of local entrepreneurs.

February 2010, members of the entrepreneur, information technology, and marketing communities will join forces with local businesses to provide a one of a kind startup and innovation camp. The Saint Louis Innovation Camp will spark technical innovation, support economic recovery for unemployed or underemployed technicians, and most importantly will usher in an entrepreneurial renaissance in the Saint Louis area.
Attendees: This three day camp will offer a full education series, interactive workshops, a number of networking events, and the coveted Innovator’s Cup. Each component of the camp will aid entrepreneurs in the development and support of innovative new products and services. The winners of the Innovator’s Cup will receive a support package from local businesses to encourage the development of their business plan. Cost of attendance is $50 per attendee.
Sponsors: Today’s entrepreneurs are the customers and suppliers of tomorrow. Support for the Innovator’s Cup will provide unique opportunities to expand your market reach, access key decision markers & early adopters, research the products & services that will impact tomorrow’s competitive landscape. Further, your support will accelerate the economic recovery of the Saint Louis market. Saint Louis Innovation Camp offers a variety of competitive sponsorship opportunities sure to fit any budget. Sponsorship ranges from $100 – $2,500.
Speakers: Share the experience that can only be learned through entrepreneurial success (& failure). In these trying economic times, entrepreneurs are even more dependent on the wisdom of their predecessors. Partner with us to teach the next generation about the journey they may face and the tips and tricks needed to thrive. At the same time, promote your company to a large audience of potential customers and suppliers. If you have time, join us on Sunday for small group workshops to implement the lessons taught in a number of speaker series. Speakers will be granted admission to the entire three day camp at no cost!

Master Mind: The minds that work

When a person hears the words master mind what comes into our mind? A villain who thought of a grand plan to take down the hero? How about a genius who discovered the cure to cancer? If anything we think of just one person. This is not the case with the growing popularity of a master mind group, if 2 heads are better than one, let’s try more.

A master mind group is basically a group that does brain storming; educating one another, provide accountability and support to sharpen and push each other to achieving success. In this group, each member will actually challenge each other with setting goals, and setting them high with the full intent of doing them. This group requires a good sense of commitment, confidentiality, willingness to give and receive well meaning advice and insights, and to support each other with honesty, respect and compassion.

The main aim of these mastermind groups is to encourage growth, support their members and play devil’s advocate in discussion sessions. It is very important to understand that this is not a formal class room situation although guest speakers and guests are frequently invited to brainstorm some hypothesis or theory. There is therefore no coaching or teaching involved in these sessions. It is a group of like minded individuals discussing an idea. The advantage is that each member receives and gets constructive feedback, advice and great support from the group.

Ben-Franklin-300x300The group is not formed to create a networking group although they freely share resources with each other. The concept of mastermind groups has been around for many centuries. It is said that Benjamin Franklinwas part of a mastermind group called Junto.

The advantages gained from membership to a mastermind group are numerous. It allows two or more people to share their knowledge and work together for a specific or definite purpose. When two minds come together in thought, a third mind is created, the mastermind.

Discussing some hypothesis with your mastermind group allow them to explore theories and brainstorm ideas that to the average person may sound unreachable. This sharing gives feedback and in some cases totally new concepts can be discovered. The members have extraordinary commitment and dedication towards their group and they participate actively in the discussions. They always help each other to focus on the problem and keep on track at all times.

Why join a mastermind group?

  • It makes you part of a select and exclusive group by invitation only. The criteria are experience and knowledge.
  • Being part of the group removes the feelings of being isolated in conducting your business interests. The fellow members become to some extend expert advisors.
  • Allow collaboration between the members to achieve better results.
  • Allow the person to widen their network exponentially and very fast.
  • Create the opportunity to gain new knowledge from other members that is experts in their respective fields.
  • Create the right environment to promote each other’s businesses through networking.
  • Give you the opportunity to think bigger and cross boundaries previously thought to be impossible.

Innovations in Refrigeration

Refrigeration is an important part of every day life. Whether it be keeping your groceries cool or yourself cool from the summer heat, most of us in the Western world are exposed to refrigeration every day. This shouldn’t be a surprise as our ancestors discovered the importance in refrigeration to keep meat, dairy and many other items from spoiling. Keeping food fresh longer kept them from spending more [money] on fresh food and more importantly kept them from becoming ill from to eating spoiled food. Most of us take these luxuries for granted, but the innovation in refrigeration has made our lives a lot more efficient.

Kooltron-220x300The early years of refrigeration stem from the ice box. This was the one of the first forms of refrigeration and was nothing more than the name implies; a box to store ice and goods. Insulation in the box (originally made from wood) would prevent a rise in temperature in an enclosed environment. Refrigeration has evolved greatly over the years but the principle remains; to keep items cool. Depending on what that item is has given way to different types of refrigeration devices such as the refrigerator, the air conditioning unit and the portable cooler.

It’s funny to even discuss the evolution of the refrigerator because most of us think nothing of running to the fridge to grab an ice cold coke or bottle of water. However, just about half a decade ago, the refrigerator of today didn’t exist. The modern day refrigerator works by using coils on the outside of the refrigerator too cool the air inside the fridge. Insulation plays a huge role in enabling the efficiency of the modern day refrigeration.

The air conditioning unit works slightly different from the refrigerator. The AC unit, as most of us now call it, is normally located outside the home and works through evaporative coils, similar to that of a refrigerator, but on a much larger scale. Because our homes have grown larger and larger over the years, these AC units have to pump cool air to all areas of the house. This is accomplished with the use of duct work. In some Asian countries they have mini-split systems which mean that a separate smaller AC unit is in every room which AC is needed. Again, insulation in a house will greatly impact the efficiency of an AC unit.

Its no surprise that the importance of insulation has led to vast improvements in the portable cooler. Most coolers are now roto-molded to provide maximum insulation, often times up to 3 inches thick. This is quite the change from your old steel belted Coleman cooler that many were first introduced to. The portable cooler works much like the original ice box, but with a heck of a lot more insulation. In the last 5 years or so there has been a surge in high end roto molded coolers. These coolers provide multiple days worth of ice retention. The only drawback of these fancy coolers is the price and deciding which brand is the best. Many struggle determining which cooler brand is the best between grizzly coolers vs yeti. Considering these coolers sell for hundreds of dollars it is understandable the hesitation of most when making the purchase. A lot of people are turning to the internet to look for yeti coolers for sale at a discount. These discounts are few and far between but they do come around every once in awhile.

The simple practice of keeping items cool has come a long way. The efficiency of refrigeration continues to improve as insulation technology gets better and better. Walk in freezers are now sprayed with insulating foam which works many times better than any fiberglass based foam ever could. There is no telling what the future hold for refrigeration innovation, but with the steps made thus far there are sure to be some dazzling new inventions just around the corner.


How I Travel The World

Traveling is something I’ve always wanted to do but never thought I would be able to. I used to see pictures of my friends in the Bahamas or backpacking through Europe and I always wondered how they could afford to do it. I figured their parents must be giving them money. But then I recently sat down and chatted with one of my friends that I hadn’t seen since high school that has been traveling all over the world for years and he shared his secret with me. He shared how it is possible for him to take an African Safari for 3 weeks followed by a cruise around the Mediterranean. I was shocked to find out that he had not received a dollar from his parents for his travels to date. Nope, they key to traveling the world is just a simple answer really. He prioritizes travel.


It made sense after he said it. He drives an old Toyota Corolla from the 90’s. It isn’t fancy but its paid for and it gets him from A to B. He’s had his iPhone 4 for over 3 years now and doesn’t feel the need to keep up with the latest and greatest technology. He hasn’t actually shopped for clothes in over a year, except for maybe some new underwear. But that’s only when he needs it. He really doesn’t have many materialistic items at all. He doesn’t collect anything or have a bunch of knick knacks lying around. And because of this, he has the money to be able to travel. He isn’t just some lucky, rich kid. He makes sacrifices, and because of these sacrifices, he is setting off on a round the world trip for one year in November, traveling to destinations that I’ve only seen in my dreams.

Talking with my friend not only influenced me to gain the utmost respect for this brilliant man, but it also inspired me. It made me reflect on my own life and my priorities, my values. What do these material items that the media makes you feel are so important really mean anyway? Do they make you “happy”? Maybe temporarily. Do they make you “cool”? Only until the next greatest thing comes out and you fall behind again. Do they take you far in life? I guess that depends on what success means to you. Success to me means being happy in life. Not just sometimes, but every day. Working to keep buying bigger and better things only to have to work harder does not sound like my version of happiness. Eating Thai food from the markets in Chiang Mai and climbing an active volcano in Indonesia to watch the sunrise sounds like happiness. That is what success is to me.

This life-changing chat with my friend inspired me to prioritize my goals. I won’t be buying the new iPhone 6 like I originally planned and was actually really exited about. For some reason, that excitement faded. I’m trading my 2 year old Ford 150 for an older, more fuel efficient car that not only will I be able to pay in full for from the money from my truck. But I will cut my insurance and gas money nearly in half. I decided to get rid of my DVD collection – its not like I ever watch them anyways. I made a pretty good chunk of money. I sold my old Yamaha outdoor speakers that were just lying around my garage and I hadn’t used in years. I made quite a bit of easy cash cleaning out the junk from under my bed and my closet. All stuff I hadn’t looked at in years. Not only was I able to save up a nice little piggy bank, but the feeling of ridding the clutter from my life was refreshing.

With this new change in lifestyle, I am now embarking on my first trip outside of the country later this year. I will be getting my first stamp on my passport when I land at the airport in Rome, Italy – a place that I’ve always dreamed of going. But I’m not going to stop there. I’m already making plans for Christmas next year to get my second stamp on my passport. I figure I will make it a tradition. I hope that by writing this peace, I will inspire someone else to do the same that one conversation with a friend did for me.

Summer Activities for Children

Summer vacation is underway in North America and parents across the land are enrolling their children in camps, day cares and many other activities. Summer vacation can provide an excellent opportunity for parents to spend more time with their children, but it can also cause a lot of stress when children sit at home “bored.” It’s hard to believe that children can be bored in the digital age that we live it, but it does happen. Furthermore, many parents despise children sitting around all day playing video games or on the internet. Time is much better spent outdoors playing with friends and of course getting a little exercise worked into their busy summer vacations. Below are just few options to entertain children on summer vacation and hopefully provide the benefit of physical activity

Join the neighborhood/community pool

Most neighborhoods (at least where we grew up on the east coast) have swimming pools. There is usually a fee to pay and join, but this provides a great summer sanctuary for vacationing teenagers. More importantly, most of these community pools have swim teams that compete with other neighborhood. Swim team practice is often early in the morning forcing those that are on the swim team to wake up and get the day started with some exercise rather than lounging around until the afternoon hours. Swim team will provide discipline and of course a sense of comradery with their teammates. Even if children do not join the swim team, the swimming pool seems to act like a magnet for all ages alike during the summer time. Because most swimming pools have life guards and some sort of management, it helps to lessen the likelihood of children misbehaving. It also goes without saying that if the children are at the swimming pool and swimming, they are likely to be getting excellent exercise without even knowing it.

Invest in a trampoline

The house in any neighborhood that has a trampoline is likely to be the house where children gather. If you’re looking for that one item that will draw the neighborhood children to your house it would be a trampoline. Trampolines can be an excellent source of exercise for children as well. However, trampolines do not come without safety concerns. There are many shapes, sizes, bounciness, and safety features. Before buying a trampoline it’s best to read through as many trampoline reviews as possible to pick the best trampoline that meets your requirements. It will also be a good idea to implement rules such as one jumper at a time to help reduce the chances of injuries.

Enroll the children in a summer reading program

Children are not likely to sit down and read during the summer on their own prerogative. Let’s face it, children have just finished school and it is likely that the last thing they want to focus on is reading. However, by enrolling them in a reading program where there is an incentive or competition or anything to get them reading will help to keep them sharp during the summer vacation months. This will also provide a few hours of down time per week for those children that are on the opposite end of the spectrum, those that are on the go nonstop.

Summer camps

There are countless different types of summer camps now available to children. These camps range from overnight camps to sporting camps to religious summer camp. There is a high likelihood that a summer camp exists for whatever your children’s interest may be. Summer camp is an excellent place for children to meet other children their age that may go to different schools or be for other areas of the town or even country. Summer camps are also an excellent alternative if parents just do not have time to watch after their children during the summer time. Overnight camps that last a few weeks at a time or even the duration of summer vacation offer an excellent solution for parents that are working or may be out of town. Even if children are dreading leaving for summer camp, they will likely return happy that they went and met great people.

Summer sports leagues

Summer leagues, as they have come to be known, are an excellent solution for children during their summer vacation. Sports in middle and high school have become incredibly competitive in the last 20 years, and are only becoming even more competitive. There are only so many spots available on a college line up or even in the professional leagues. The best way to increase ones chances of competing at the next level is to practice, practice, and practice some more. Through enrolling in summer leagues, children are able to compete with others whom are interested in furthering their ability in whichever sport they’ve chosen. Another way to look at this is those children that do want to compete at the best of their ability are joining these summer leagues and travel teams which your child may not, thus putting them at a disadvantage for the upcoming season. Lastly, this is an excellent way for children to improve their team building skills and working together with others their age.

These are just a few ideas to occupy children’s time during the summer vacation. Keeping children active and providing them with something to do will decrease their likelihood of having nothing better to do that get into trouble. Children will also want to be active during summer vacation because their friends are doing so; encouraging them to get outside and be active will hopefully be a natural process. By enrolling all children in a summer reading program will help to keep their mind fresh during the few months of their summer vacation. Hopefully all children can experience a healthy summer vacation by getting the needed exercise and of course staying out of trouble.

Music for the Heart and Brain

Therapeutic Effect of Music for Pain

Music therapy reduces symptoms of pain in various painful conditions like fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid issues. Therapists have incorporated music therapy sessions to reduce medication in patients suffering from post-operative pains.

A number of health facilities use music therapy to complement major management and has been clinically proven effective to reduce the pain perception. Listening to music stimulates the production of endorphins which counteracts symptoms of pain. As mentioned earlier, it opens the bronchial airway and enhances oxygenation. It soothes the person as music affects breathing patterns, heart rate and blood pressure.

Music and Work

Some surveys conducted showed that employees who listen to music feel more enthusiasm and energy at work. It helps get rid of stress-induces fatigue keeping the mind in focus. According to the published article in the Neuroscience of Behavior and Physiology Journal, playing classical music enhance visual ability to recognize letters and numbers faster.

Music and Sleep

Music induces sleep as much as it helps decrease symptoms of pain. Sleep doctors recommend listening to 30 to 40-minute music as the most practical means to beat insomnia. Music decreases anxiety, helps regulate the vital statistics by lowering the blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. The best wireless bluetooth speakers can help you sleep better at night.

Music to Fight Stress

Lively music helps you feel more positive and energetic. Researches showed significantly low levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. The best way to mend a broken heart is prescribing a good music therapy.

Music and Its Unnoticed Influence

A simple song is a delicate masterpiece carefully composed and blended with emotion and mind power. The composer, those who play the band instruments and the singer himself, were very much fulfilled on how they give that influence to those people who embraced their work. Music inspires people. It can make very simple task better. It is one of the best entertainment option to express our beliefs and innermost feelings without feeling biased.

Music and the Economy

It’s undeniable that the music industry makes billions in a year across the globe. People can earn a living by mastering their musical skills. More than just a mere hobby, anyone can embrace music as a profession. There are number of music-related jobs out there. You can study music and become a music teacher. Or if you are lucky enough, you can earn millions by becoming a singer. If not, you can also earn through gigs.

Breakthrough in technology opens vast opportunities to invest in online music promotional sites. This is a good avenue to earn handsome amount of cash even if you are not a popular artist. Have you heard of some YouTube stories? Singers have been discovered by simply uploading music videos. There are those who are willing to pay your songs even for few bucks. Not bad for a hobby. You may also earn on ads link to your pages according to the number of ads clicked. A bluetooth speaker system is a must have if you want to take your career seriously. Might as well try selling music through digital distribution, for instance mp3 audio downloads.