Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Latest Challenge

Xerox technology chief is up to her latest challenge

Sophie Vandebroek overcomes obstacles in career, personal life

David Tyler - Staff Writer

(February 25, 2006) — On the back of the door of Sophie Vandebroek's office, in plain sight from her desk, is a sheet of paper with a Chinese proverb on it. The proverb notes that change and crisis can lead to danger — and opportunity. In the written Chinese characters, the two ideas are intertwined.

It's Vandebroek's favorite proverb and, in many ways, a good outlook for her latest challenge. In January the native of Belgium became Xerox Corp.'s chief technology officer and president of its Innovation Group. "If you really look hard enough, no matter what the crisis is, you'll find an opportunity," she said in a recent interview.

Taking over the reins of a 5,000-person organization charged with continuing Xerox's rich heritage of innovation may be a large challenge, but the 44-year-old Vandebroek's life so far has been full of them:
  • She was one of 15 female students in a class of 500 at engineering school in Belgium.
  • She left the familiarity of home to come to the United States and earn a doctorate at Cornell.
  • For the last 10 years, Vandebroek has raised three children on her own after losing her husband, Bart, to complications from an asthma attack during a camping trip in the Adirondacks.
Instead of lamenting the challenges she faces, Vandebroek has treated each as an opportunity. Colleagues say that's not surprising; when Vandebroek puts her mind to something, she's rarely deterred. "She's a driven, type A personality," said Jacob Schanker, a past president of the Rochester chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Vandebroek is a member and a fellow. "Clearly she's ambitious, but beyond the ambition she puts talent."

Monday, February 27, 2006

FamilyMart Challenge

Japan’s Family Mart Takes the Convenience Store Upscale
- (LA Times Business – February 20, 2006)

Tokyo-based FamilyMart Co. (Japan’s No. 3 convenience store chain) is betting that the US convenience store customer will respond to a new offering in convenience stores by carving out a profitable niche by going more upscale. It hopes to have as many as 30 of its upscale Asian-inspired Famina shops in the Los Angeles area by the end of this year and open another 250 stores in the US by 2009.

“They’re offering something no one else does in a convenience store format,” said an analyst.

FamilyMart stresses hospitality, with its one-on-one “smile training” for its employees in Japan. the company will have to muster that kind of enthusiasm as it moves into an increasingly competitive market in which maintaining consumer loyalty is one of the biggest challenges.

FamilyMart faces other challenges. Some customers wrinkled their noses at the prices and analysts say the company must overcome obstacles that typically accompany entering a new market, such as a lack of name recognition.

“7-Eleven is convenient but, you know, this sort of combines convenience with gourmet food,” said a 22-year student customer.

Another twist on the traditional convenience store model: Modern Design. Experts say differentiation makes sense in today’s market.

According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, the industry – with 2004 sales of #395 billion, about two-thirds of that from motor fuel – is increasingly looking to build loyalty beyond the traditional factors.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Smart Money Challenge

The New Harvard Man
- (Smart Money – February 2006)

With a $28 billion portfolio of emerging-markets debt, Pimco’s (the world’s largest bond shop) Mohamed El-Erian was one of the most powerful bond managers in the world. Now he’s taking on a bigger challenge: managing Harvard’s 26 billion endowment.

El-Erian shared his thoughts on interest rates, home prices, the Chinese economy and the challenges of running the world’s largest university endowment.

This new role presents many challenges.

It’s a challenge because I need to learn new things; its an attraction because you couldn’t choose a better place to learn them.

What other challenges are you expecting?

So there’s a rebuilding challenge, but none of the timber or real estate people have left.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Challenge Statements In The News

The Real Challenge

1,065 days to go. Bush had to lean on Cheney to talk publicly about the gun accident, but the real challenge for the two is how to get the Administration back on track.

Bush’s challenge, and Cheney’s, is not that their enemies hate them, since it has been forever thus; it is that they are increasingly at odds with their friends.

Through the first term, Cheney’s dominion over foreign policy was unchallenged.

The Year Ahead Poses Challenges

Sure, the year ahead poses challenges. But it also holds great opportunity – if you know where to look.

Challenging a practice

Challenging a practice of withholding records to guard trade secrets.

Extremely Challenging Position

“They seem to be good people. They have don good things in their lives. But they certainly don’t bring any special expertise to what I consider to be an extremely challenging position.”

Friday, February 24, 2006

Yahoo's Challenge

By Thomas Claburn
February 2006, Issue 22

The world's in love with Google and search-based advertising. That leaves Yahoo, the Google of the '90s and still the most popular destination on the Web in terms of visitors, to prove there's a better way to deliver advertising. But to do that, Yahoo needs to translate the 10 terabytes of data a day its visitors create and turn that raw information into marketable insights.

Yahoo's chief data officer, Usama Fayyad, sells the story.

"Search advertising is great. I can match ads to intent," Fayyad says. "Well, guess what? When you're on the Yahoo network--whether it's travel, whether it's autos or researching universities--you're telling a lot more about yourself and your intent. And I can use that. I can turn that into a very powerful ad-matching machine, just like search is. In fact, in many cases, much more powerful than search. It's just that the market hasn't discovered it yet."

That's a pretty big "just." Yahoo's challenge is convincing advertisers and marketing companies that it has a data-driven model that creates a more effective means of reaching consumers than first-generation search-based advertising. It's a challenge the 12-year-old Web portal needs to overcome if it hopes to regain its position at the top of the Internet mountain after being shoved aside by Google, the darling of Wall Street and the favorite Web site of information searchers throughout the world.

Not that Yahoo is hurting. Its $5.26 billion in revenue last year was 47% more than 2004. Not bad. But not Google, which had $6.1 billion in 2005 revenue, a 92% increase from 2004. Meanwhile, Google has been gaining search market share at the expense of MSN and Yahoo. Between November 2004 and November 2005, Yahoo went from handling 32% of Internet searches to 29.5%, according to comScore Media Metrix. No wonder Google's market capitalization stood at around $106 billion earlier this month, more than double Yahoo's market cap of roughly $46 billion.

More Than Search

But Yahoo is much more than search. It has popular E-mail and instant messaging applications; social-networking, personals, and photo sites; extensive E-commerce operations; and news and other forms of content. Yahoo Music was the No. 1 music site on the Web, with more than 23 million unique visitors a month, according to comScore Media Metrix.

Yahoo also is more diversified than Google, with 12% of its revenue coming from user fees. As for advertising revenue, Marianne Wolk, a financial analyst for the Susquehanna Financial Group, estimates that 58% of Yahoo's ad revenue in 2005 came from search advertising, while 42% came from contextual ads designed to promote a brand. For Google, only 3% to 4% of its ad revenue came from advertising unrelated to search.

That's not all bad. Search advertising is growing faster than contextual advertising online. "I find it illogical to make a case that it's better to be diversified when search is growing so much faster online," Wolk says.

That's why Yahoo is laboring to find new ways to take advantage of its vast stores of content, computing horsepower, and employee brainpower. It's worth remembering that the Web site founded in January 1994 as Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web by two Stanford University graduate students grew into one of the most valuable companies on the planet, with a market cap of more than $140 billion at its peak in January 2000.

It may be that the Google-Yahoo rivalry tends to be overstated. The online ad market is still young and both companies continue to grow. "It's not a zero-sum game," says Chris Sherman, executive editor at Search Engine Watch, an online search news site. Advertisers think they need to market through both Google and Yahoo, he notes. But it's Google that gets most of the attention now as it glides into new markets--news, shopping, images, maps--seemingly on a daily basis.

Other numbers highlight Yahoo's challenges: It generated revenue of $535,000 per employee last year, while MSN generated $648,000 and Google generated $1,484,000, according to market research firm Outsell. "Google's low head count and high productivity reflect its heavy reliance on technology to do the heavy lifting," says an Outsell report.

Beyond the metrics, Yahoo also has a perception problem. Research shows that advertisers rate Google higher than Yahoo on the effectiveness of its online advertising, says Chuck Richard, an analyst with Outsell. Google's advantage in search is often cited, Richard says, while it's rarely mentioned that Yahoo has more unique users and that they spend 10 times as much time on Yahoo.

The challenge is to translate what Yahoo has--more visitors spending more time on its sites--into something advertisers want. And that's where IT will help determine whether Yahoo is a contender or an also-ran. It involves leveraging its low-cost, high-performing IT infrastructure and its top experts in search and data mining to provide advertisers with more effective and relevant methods for reaching consumers.

The Difference Maker

One approach is to do more data mining to maximize the effectiveness of ads and show the world that Google's way of delivering advertising isn't the only one that works.

Yahoo is certainly within striking distance. In an Outsell survey of 1,200 advertisers released in January, some 70.9% of respondents rated Google "extremely/somewhat effective" for keyword search ads, compared with 61.9% for Yahoo and 46.1% for MSN. For contextual placement, those numbers were 46.8% for Google and 40.1% for Yahoo. MSN doesn't offer such ads.

That's why Fayyad is gunning for Google. Tall, with a shaved head and slight, hard-to-place accent (he's from Tunisia), he might be mistaken for a distant relative of the late actor Yul Brynner. He's a formidable presence, and with his increasingly impressive team of researchers, he aims to use Yahoo's massive knowledge of its users to improve the relevance of ads for users and the effectiveness of those ads for marketers.

Fayyad cites Yahoo's ability to define groups like "automobile purchase intenders." "Based on how you use Yahoo, you give me a lot of hints to the fact that you're in the market for a car," he says. "In fact, I can guess with very high reliability that you're interested in buying a car in the next 90 days." Armed with that knowledge, Yahoo can offer companies the ability to buy ads that will appear in front of the people they most want to reach.

It's an IT-intensive challenge. The 425 million users who visit Yahoo each month generate a data trail that amounts to 10 terabytes a day. And that's just usage data. It doesn't include E-mail or images. "We need to be able to take 10 terabytes of data every day, collecting it from hundreds of thousands of servers around the world, process it, reduce it, decide what to keep, what to get rid of, make sure we update all information we have about users, and age it correctly," he says. "And then drive a whole bunch of applications. That alone is a tremendous challenge."

Yahoo now argues that using a search keyword's bid price as the sole metric to determine the position of ads on a search result page isn't the best way to advertise. "That's not the optimal way to do it and, in fact, that's something we're changing," Fayyad says, signaling a shift toward Google's more lucrative approach of positioning ads using additional criteria like ad popularity.

Fayyad says his mission at Yahoo is to listen to what customers are saying through their actions and use that information to improve Yahoo's products, which will keep visitors on the site longer. "If I get 10% more usage from the average consumer, I have suddenly created 10% more inventory for my ads," he says.

Yahoo accomplished something like that last year when it made an effort to improve user retention with Yahoo Mail. As Fayyad tells it, while combing through data, Yahoo engineers noticed that users of the company's free E-mail service also read a lot of news. From conversations with the Yahoo Mail business unit, the engineers realized it wasn't as easy as it could be to switch between E-mail and news on the site. So they added a news preview module that let users read news from the Yahoo Mail screen. After two months, they found that it dramatically improved retention. "That went from noticing a data pattern to a real product in two months," Fayyad says. Company officials declined to discuss the size of Yahoo's IT staff or its budget.

Battle For Talent

Speedy enhancements like that can only happen with a lot of superior brain power. So Yahoo is competing just as fiercely for people as it is for ad dollars. Google has been wooing top scientists in its quest to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible. In early February, for instance, it poached Udi Manber, CEO of Amazon.com's search subsidiary, A9.com.

With its acquisition of Inktomi in March 2003, Yahoo not only got back into the search-engine race, but it also stepped up the pace of R&D. In 2004, it opened Yahoo Research Labs to work on Web search and information retrieval and last year partnered with UC Berkeley; this year it turned to university researchers in Spain and Chile. Last summer, it hired Prabhakar Raghavan, a former senior researcher at IBM and chief scientist at Verity, to run Yahoo Research. He joined noted researchers Andrei Broder and Jan Pedersen. In January, Yahoo hired data-mining scientist Ricardo Baeza-Yates to run its labs in Chile and Spain.

They're mining data collected in Yahoo's data centers, which are costly and, for the most part, hidden from view. There are 27 of them, more or less, around the world, filled with between 100,000 and 200,000 servers. InformationWeek was invited to one in Santa Clara, Calif. When you make your way past very tight security and step inside, you can feel the cost of cooling the company's machines as conditioned air beneath the raised floor blows up through perforated tiles. If data had a sound, it would be the drone of fans.

"All of our E-commerce activity takes place in here," Operations VP Kevin Timmons says. The majority--88%--of the company's $5.2 billion in revenue comes from ads, but the company has an active E-commerce business that it's trying to grow.

Keeping infrastructure costs as low as possible is a top priority. While that's a common theme at any well-run business, Yahoo's commitment to cost control is part of its DNA. And it's reflected in the company's choice of hardware: commodity servers running BSD Unix, along with a smattering of just about every other operating system that Yahoo gained through acquisitions.

But parsimony doesn't mean that Yahoo is willing to accept slow response times and a poor user experience. Yahoo must be available 24-by-7, and it must be fast, says Phu Hoang, senior VP of engineering, who oversees the company's apps. Yet, Yahoo still looks closely at every request for new equipment.

Cost consciousness is a necessary obsession. In a company so dependent on the ability to efficiently scale its computing and network infrastructure, even minor changes to the cost equation multiply into major problems. "We squeeze just about every penny out of every piece of hardware we can," Timmons explains.

Of course, as any business-technology manager who runs a data center knows, sometimes the hardware pushes back. Power consumption and the cost of electricity are a big challenge, says CIO Lars Rabbe, an amiable, unassuming blue-eyed Dane. Instead of going for the fastest processors, the cost of electricity and cooling in data centers is forcing companies like Yahoo to look at lower-power systems, like servers that use new dual-core chips from Intel and AMD, which consume less power and generate less heat. "That changes the whole dynamics of how you manage your data centers," he says.

A conservative estimate for the average annual utility cost for a 100,000-square-foot data center is around $5.9 million, says Edward Koplin, a principal at engineering firm Jack Dale Associates. Based on the square footage of its Santa Clara data center, Yahoo is probably paying close to that for that data center alone. And it has 26 others of various sizes.

Keeping costs in line as it battles the highly automated Google is a priority. It will take new services, features, and marketing to make Yahoo more competitive, enhance its image, change perceptions, and bring in more revenue. But the road back up the mountain contains many potholes and blind curves, things that can quickly change perceptions in the wrong way.

CIO Rabbe, whose first job was at a university data center back in the days of punch cards, knows that how Yahoo handles customer data can be the biggest pitfall of all. "Being responsible for the security of the world's largest Internet company can be pretty daunting," he says, explaining later that "we care deeply about personal information. This is something we really make a big deal out of."

Unfortunately, the governments of both the United States and China, and probably many more, also care deeply about personal information and have considerable interest in Yahoo's data. It's a situation also faced by AOL, MSN, and Google. And when interests of governments and citizens collide, governments usually win--to the detriment of personal privacy and, sometimes, personal liberty.

Yahoo is accused of supplying information to Chinese authorities that led to the 2003 imprisonment of an Internet writer who was charged with subverting state power and sentenced to eight years in prison. While surrendering data to government officials may be a legal requirement, it doesn't dovetail with public assertions that customer privacy is important. And in Yahoo's case, its compliance with Chinese authorities has resulted in the detention of journalists. That pretty much guarantees bad press. It's a no-win situation for Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, which is why all three have asked the U.S. government to make free speech a free-trade issue. For Yahoo and other major Web sites, free speech has hidden costs.

The situation illustrates the risks Yahoo faces as more users worldwide rely on it for news, information, commerce, communities, and connections to like souls. But it also shows the important role the Web portal plays in the lives of many people--and the importance of the information it gathers on each of those people.

The challenge is for Yahoo to figure out a way to parley that information into more revenue, while maintaining the trust that keeps 425 million visitors returning to the site each month for more than just search.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Take The Greenhouse Challenge!

Do you see Risk or Opportunity?

Every day, we can be challenged. We can choose whether to take on the challenge or not.

Why Take this Emission Challenge?

Every time you drive a car, turn on a light bulb, or do anything else that uses energy from fossil fuels you add to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) that add to climate change.
  • For the average Canadian, that's more than 5 tonnes of GHGs a year.
  • For a family of four, 20 tonnes of GHGs enter the atmosphere.
Together, individual Canadians contribute more than one-quarter of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions. The Challenge asks each individual Canadian to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by one tonne, because together your contributions will add up and make a difference.

Why Worry About Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

In Canada, we may already be seeing signs of climate change. Melting permafrost in the North. Declining water levels in our lakes and rivers. Bad air quality days that are hazardous to the very young and the very old. And more extreme weather events, such as droughts, ice storms and floods.

The impacts are numerous, and the challenges for adapting to them are enormous. Taking action now allows us to lessen the impact of GHGs that threaten our air quality, ecosystems and quality of life.

What's In It For You?

Saying you want to be counted as one of the growing number of Canadians taking the Challenge is also saying that you want to:
  • Save money
  • Help fight climate change
  • Improve our air quality
  • Protect the environment
Getting Started

If you drive a car, about half of your total GHGs likely come from driving. Driving less or using other forms of transportation, such as car pooling, car sharing, public transit or walking, will significantly reduce your fuel consumption and emissions. And it'll save you money, too.

Home energy is another big source of your GHGs. Making smart decisions about heating, cooling and appliances will add to your energy savings.

If you are a renter, a student or youth with fewer GHGs, making a difference also means your choices in transportation as well as making consumer purchases that use less packaging and adjustments in how you use electricity.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The ‘Step-Dad’ Birthday Challenge

Happy Birthday KEN !!!

Ken is my Co-Dad. “Our son” is very lucky to have not one but two Dads, each of which brings unique attributes to the family relationship. Ken and I have never competed to see who is the better Dad, but rather worked together (with my wife, his ex) in the best interest of raising our son and providing him with the tools he will need to enjoy his life.

Thanks, Ken for being there and making it all work out.

Birthday Trends & Statistics

• Birthday shopping is a $10 billion business.

• Birthday cards are 62 percent of the everyday occasion card industry.

• Approximately 1.2 billion birthday cards are given each year, according to Hallmark research.

• Hallmark alone makes more than a half a billion birthday cards each year.

• Hallmark offers a total of more than 4,500 birthday card designs in its three brands, as well as e-cards and software card designs.

• About 5 million people celebrate birthdays in the U.S. each week; an average of 700,000 birthdays occur each day.

• 11,000 baby boomers turn 50 each day, and will for the next 10 years. America tends to focus on boomers because there are 76 million of them.

• The average American receives eight birthday cards and four gifts a year.

• More people are born in August than any other month (9.07 percent). About 21 million Americans have birthdays in August.

• In recent years, July ranks number two in birthdays (8.80 percent of births) and February is last (7.55 percent)

• Consumers write additional messages inside a birthday card 70 percent of the time.

• For Americans, birthdays are the #1 reason to party.

Children's birthday parties are increasingly important, especially party themes. Party ware featuring licensed character designs are hot sellers.

• 50 percent of all party ware is for birthdays, and 65 of that 50 percent is kids party ware.

• Birthdays have been celebrated only since invention of the calendar in 4000 B.C. Only kings celebrated their birthdays in ancient times because no records were kept on common people.

• The first birthday card originated in England in 1850.

• Belated birthday cards are better than no recognition at all, but the actual date of birth is the one that carries the most impact.

• Birthday cards reflect the times: the workplace, blended families, spirituality, multicultural influences, hot licensed properties, positive outlook on aging, etc.

• More than a fourth of all birthday cards are given to friends.

• About two-thirds of birthday cards are mailed, according to Hallmark.

• After the 25th birthday, the milestone birthdays – 30th, 40th, 50th, etc. – begin to take on different meanings according to one's lifestyle, mental state, values, work status, etc. For example, the 30th or 40th birthday may have a different meaning for a single person than for someone married with children.

• Middle age changes according to life expectancy: As life expectancy and longevity increase, middle age tends to be older. With more people living beyond 100 (108,000 and that number is projected to double by 2010), 50 seems "young." (Only about 10,400 people were 100 years old in 1960.)

• Today, the nation's median age is about 35.9. Hallmark card writers find that joking about turning 40 is not a sensitive issue because people today look and feel "young."

- Hallmark

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cows Enjoy a Mental Challenge

Cows Enjoy a Mental Challenge

Interesting and silly, from a Times article on cows.

Turns out that cows enjoy problem solving:

Donald Broom, professor of animal welfare at Cambridge University, who is presenting other research at the conference, will describe how cows can also become excited by solving intellectual challenges.

In one study, researchers challenged the animals with a task where they had to find how to open a door to get some food. An electroencephalograph was used to measure their brainwaves.

“Their brainwaves showed their excitement; their heartbeat went up and some even jumped into the air. We called it their Eureka moment,” said Broom.

Just like the rest of us it seems.

Monday, February 20, 2006

President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
50th Anniversary: 1956 – 2006
Partner Invitation to Get America Moving!

Invitation: The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) celebrates its 50-year anniversary in 2006 and invites you to join the celebration!

We welcome individuals, organizations, and public and private entities that promote physical activity, fitness and/or sports participation to become 50th Anniversary Partners to Get America Moving!

Background: PCPFS was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 as the President's Council on Youth Fitness and was later expanded to include Americans of all ages and abilities. President George W. Bush reinvigorated the Council in 2002 with a focus on inspiring Americans to be physically active through the President's Challenge Awards Program. The President maintains an active lifestyle himself and encourages all Americans to live a healthy lifestyle.

Purpose: With the celebration of the Council's fifty years, the tenth anniversary of the Surgeon General's landmark report on physical activity (1996), the support of a President who maintains an active lifestyle and promotes healthy living, and the staggering rates of overweight and obesity that continue to plague this country, 2006 presents an opportune time to bring more visibility to the importance of physical activity, fitness, and sports for improving and maintaining health.

Throughout 2006, we want to recognize the valuable contributions and efforts of our friends and colleagues who have dedicated themselves over the last fifty years to improving the health and fitness of Americans. We also want to look forward and invite partners to respond to a Call to Action to fortify efforts to get more Americans active, as we move into the future. Therefore, by engaging in this partnership, you will join us in celebrating where we've been and where we're going as a nation. We commend all who are working hard to be part of the solution to the challenges our nation is facing - challenges caused by sedentary living.

Collaboration is the key to making the changes we all want to see. By becoming a 50th Anniversary Partner to Get America Moving, we will pledge to work together to move the meter!

Criteria: Partners shall include individuals, professional societies, private corporations, not-for-profit organizations, coalitions, corporate leaders, schools, health care providers and others that: (1) support physical activity, fitness and/or sports participation as a primary mission; (2) have potential for significant impact; (3) are inclusive, or aimed at under-represented groups; (4) promote positive, healthy behaviors; (5) disseminate materials free of charge; and (6) do not imply approval or endorsement of unhealthy behaviors or products.

As a partner, organizations will receive the official PCPFS 50th Anniversary logo; a link and notable mention on the PCPFS web site (www.fitness.gov) and President's Challenge web site (www.presidentschallenge.org); invitations to participate in celebratory activities at the national, state, and local levels; tools and messages to incorporate into your own programs; and the opportunity to work with collaborative partners ready to direct national attention to the importance of adopting and maintaining an active lifestyle in order to improve the quality of life for Americans of all ages and abilities.

When: The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports seeks to launch this landmark partnership opportunity in January, 2006 and track participation throughout the calendar year.

Contact: For further information, please contact either Melissa Johnson, Executive Director at 202-690-5187 or mjohnson@osophs.dhhs.gov or Christine Spain, Director, Research, Planning, and Special Projects at 202-690-5148 or cspain@osophs.dhhs.gov.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Banking Challenge

The other day while waiting for an appointment, I bought a copy of the Orange County Business Journal – February 13, 2006 – and noted the following challenges within an article in the Outlook section.

The Question:

What are the challenges amid rising interest rates for your bank and the industry? Are you seeing a slowdown in any kinds of lending?

The Responses:

(Union Bank) – The banking industry in California faces several challenges. They are: increased competition from banks and non-banks; the possibility of a slower economy, which can impact business conditions and add challenges for our customers; and increased compliance issues, particularly related to the nation’s anti-terrorism programs.

(Wells Fargo) Challenges facing the industry include: Identity theft, Home Ownership and Compliance.

(Bank of Orange County) – The challenge in our business continues to be attracting and retaining outstanding bankers to service our customers. Maintaining a healthy net interest margin is an additional challenge in a rising interest rate environment.

(Banco Popular) – One of our challenges is to generate additional fee income to offset the shrinking net interest margin. Our challenge is the aggressive rates being paid on deposits by non-banks (credit unions and online banks).

(Washington Mutual) – We are facing the same challenges as everyone else, in terms of interest rates being raised. Our multi-family, small-business and residential lending have seen steady growth in 2005 and we believe it will continue in 2006. I believe the industry is seeing a couple of challenges. In OC, as with many California communities, home affordability is posing a problem, creating challenges and opportunites for the industry.

(National Bank) – So we see the current environment as more of an opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs than a challenge. Attracting and retaining people is a challenge for any organization that has grown as fast as we have.

(Pacific Premier Bank) – Our challenges are similar to those of many institutions. We anticipate a very challenging interest rate environment.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Challenge Statements

Following are Challenge Statements that I heard or read and my personal reflection on what it means to me.

Go On ... Bring on the Next Challenge

There have been times in my past when I challenged anyone to challenge me by placing an order. The more they said, “It can’t be done”, the more challenged I became to find a marketing solution.

The Real Challenge is ...

Getting the job done, when those that are challenged are unable to. Spending time defining the realities of a challenge will lead to viable solutions and prosperity; that is, getting paid.

My competitive mind-set keeps me challenged.

Me, competitive? My goal is to get to a place where I am no longer challenged by the challenge but focused on providing solutions to the challenge.

Ready to tackle the challenge.

Now that I am experienced and aware, I try to face the challenges that need to be tackled. Tackling a challenge takes time, energy and dollars. In order to tackle a challenge, I need to be inspired by both the topic and the opportunity to make a return on my investment.

How do you navigate a Sea of Challenges?

Head for calm waters. It is always a challenge to swim against a current. If you are faced with a Sea of Challenges, maybe you are sailing in the wrong direction. Head for a Blue Ocean, and make the challenges irrelevant.

Experts tackle the challenge of a new municipal product.

This was the subhead of an article in the New York Times (February 15, 2006) titled ‘To Market a City Condom’. It is probably safe to say that the marketing challenges posed by what may be the world’s first municipal condom are a bit daunting. But they are challenges that may soon have to be met, as the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced plans to release an official city condom “with unique packaging” in the coming months.

Meeting future energy needs will be a challenge.

ExxonMobil (Ad) – Taking on the world’s toughest energy challenges.

Planting Profits ... Today’s energy industry earnings are important for meeting tomorrow’s energy needs.

Continuing challenges for Employers and Employees.

This Human Resource Guide addresses hot employer/employee issues in many categories – human resource management, law, staffing, healthcare, insurance, education and training.

CEO let statements to analysts go unchallenged.

About that boat: Skilling’s attorney challenged Rice’s description of a boat Skilling talked about buying after he stepped down at Enron. Rice testified that Skilling wanted to buy a boat big enough to carry cars and a helicopter ... an industrial-strength boat.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Challenge For Brand Leadership

GM Backs Claim of No. 1 Brand Despite Ford Challenge For Title

General Motors Corp. stood by its claim that Chevrolet was the top selling brand in the U.S. in 2005, despite Ford Motor Co.’s challenge to that assertion.

Ford composed a letter asking GM to cease claiming that Chevrolet is the No. 1 brand, relying on data released by R.L. Polk & Co. that showed Ford’s blue oval brand had more 2005 vehicle registrations than GM’s Chevrolet brand. GM responded that it doesn’t rely on vehicle registrations for sales figures because there is often a time lag between when a vehicle is purchased and when it is registered.

Chevrolet sold 2,651,125 vehicles for all of 2005, compared with 2,634,041 sold in 2005 by the Ford brand.

About 28% of total 2005 sales for GM and Ford came from fleet transactions. Toyota said only 6% to 7% of its overall sales went to fleet deals for 2005, with retail sales of 1.83 million, compared to Ford’s 1.874 million and Chevy’s 1.869 million.

“This whole thing should be rethought by GM,” said Ford spokesman Jim Cain, “We can’t let an unsubstantiated claim go unchallenged.

This isn’t the first time Ford and GM have argued over sales figures. In 1998, GM’s Cadillac brand said it had surpassed Ford’s Lincoln brand in sales. Later after disputes over that claim, GM launched an investigation and ended up apologizing to Ford, saying its figures were incorrect.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Challenges of Internet Auctions Versus Live Auctions

There are a lot of differences between live auctions and Internet auctions.
There are a lot of challenges to running successful Internet auctions.

The main positive is that you can easily expand your audience beyond the local area and people from around the world can bid on the lots you have for sale; however, at the same time you lose your ability to command their attention during the auction itself. This leads to a relative arithmetic for online auctions: You need more bidders to have a successful event.

To get more people actively bidding on Internet auctions, you need to employ marketing, advertising and other public outreach activities ahead of each sale. This includes: Direct Mail, Email Blasts, Classified Advertising and News Coverage. This helps to expand the base of potential buyers from within traveling distance to buyers from around the globe with Internet access.

Online auctions have their own kind of excitement, which is much different than a conventional auction environment. One obvious challenge is to simulate the excitement of a live auction event and inspire the buyer to keep bidding; whereas, in a live auction event, the buyer can see other bidders and get caught up in the excitement and thrill in the moment.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Challenge

A college professor, an avowed Atheist, was teaching his class. He shocked several of his students when he flatly stated he was going to prove there is no God. Addressing the ceiling he shouted: "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"

The lecture room fell silent. You could have heard a pin fall. Ten minutes went by. Again he taunted God, saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting."

His count down got down to the last couple of minutes when a Marine just released from active duty and newly registered in the class walked up to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and sent him from his lofty platform. The professor was out cold!

At first the students were shocked and babbled in confusion. The young Marine took a seat in the front row and sat silent. The class fell silent...waiting.

Eventually, the professor came to, shaken. He looked at the young Marine in the front row. When the professor regained his senses and
could speak he asked: "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

"God was busy. He sent me."

One Nation Under God

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day Challenge...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ready for a Challenge?

Recruiters in high schools 'looking for potential leaders'

By Pat Newcomb - Times Staff Writer

Recruiters will be out in local high schools this month to encourage freshmen and sophomores to apply for Challenge Youth Leadership, a program of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County.

"We're looking for potential leaders," said Mary Stewart, who coordinates the Challenge class. "We're targeting rising sophomore and juniors who have done well in their classes and have shown those characteristics for a potential leader."

The target number for this year's class is 120 from private and public schools as well as home-schooled students, Stewart said. Applicants for the program must have at least a 3.0 grade point average. Those selected for the program will participate in a four-day session June 19-22 in which they will study leadership principles, visit local leaders and participate in team-building exercises. The class will then break into groups to perform a one-day community project later in the summer.

The class will hold a graduation ceremony in August.

Stewart said the Challenge program gives students "the skills they need to become leaders for the future and give back to their community. It will influence their skills now and for the future."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Challenges In The News I Found Yesterday On My Trip to Las Vegas

I Love My Enterprise Software
- (Infor Ad)

We focus exclusively on delivering solutions to the manufacturing and distribution industries. Whether it is ERP or supply chain solutions, we are experts in solving the essential challenges our customers face everyday – we know their business, speak their language and make promises we can keep.

Is Scrushy Playing The Race Card Again?
- (BusinessWeek – February 20, 2006)

Less than three months before jury selection is to begin in his second federal criminal trial, former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy is asserting his right to an impartial jury. In his eyes, that includes challenging the racial composition of the grand jury that indicted him, as well as the panel from which jurors will be selected.

Their Own Version of a Big Bang
- (LA Times – February 11, 2006)

Those who believe in creationism – children and adults – are being taught to challenge evolution’s tenets in an in-your-face way.

Anaheim Officials Not Likely to Appeal Decision
- (LA Times – February 11, 2006)

Challenging jury’s verdict in Angels’ name case would be a waste of money, councilman says. Maybe the challenge to the city is to think more entrepreneurial.

Way More Than a Music Channel
- (BusinessWeek – February 20, 2006)

Launched in 1981 as a music video channel, MTV Networks today comprise a slew of channels, Web sites and wireless services to keep everyone from toddlers to boomers tuning in. All together, the $7 billion company reaches 440 million households in 169 countries. Following are some of the channels and their challenges:

* Noggin – (Preschoolers, 2-5 years old) – Challenge: Competing with PBS Kids Sprout channel, a partnership with Comcast.

* Nickelodeon – (Grade School Kids, 2-11 years old) – Challenge: Making a go of new acquisitions, Neopets and GoCityKids.com, and building an audience for new broadband channel TurboNick.

* MTV – (Teenagers, Young Adults, 12-34 years old) – Challenge: Building franchise shows beyond reality TV and winning back team loyalty; selling music on its new download service, URGE.

* VH1 – (All Ages, including Boomers) – Challenge: How much celebrity is too much in the celebrity-saturated universe?

* Spike TV – (Guys, 18-49 years old) – Challenge: Getting ratings for new show about regular guys competing with pro jocks.

* Comedy Central – (Laugh Junkies, 18-49 years old) – Challenge: Filling the void left by Dave Chappelle, who quit his show unexpectedly last year.

* Logo – (Gays, Lesbians and the Curious, 18-49 years old) – Challenge: Persuading more cable and satellite operators to carry the channel, which is not in 22 million homes.

* TV Land/Nick At Nite – (The Nostalgic, 18-49 years old) – Challenge: Developing more shows like last year’s Chasing Farrah.

* CMT – (Country Fans, 25-54 years old) – Challenge: How about some scripted programming?

B-School Turf Wars
- (BusinessWeek – February 20, 2006)

Lesser-known locals have to get creative to challenge the invaders.

Can MTV Stay Cool
- (Business Week – February 20, 2006)

But with business models being reinvented at an ever-quickening pace – especially in the media – staying ahead of trends can challenge even the nimblest networker.

The ‘I Can’t Deal With All This Data’ Era is Over.
- (Microsoft Ad)

After all, the way we work has changed. Today, managing that ever-rising tide of information is a growing challenge.

Open Source Is On The March
- (BusinessWeek – February 20, 2006)

Since the Linux operating system started making big inroads with the servers that run Web sites and corporate networks, big companies have seen firsthand the benefits of open-source software, which include lower costs and more control over the code. This Online Special Report looks at the new database war being sparked by upstarts out to challenge the big guys in this crucial market.

It means staying focused and determined in the face of challenges.
- ( American Century Investments Ad)

Now we must apply that method to the greatest and most crucial challenge of all – teaching the American public.
- (SEED Magazine – Learning to Speak Science by Chris Mooney – February/March 2006)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Insightful Challenges from ...

Astrological Forecasts

(LA Times, February 9, 2006) Cancer (June 22 – July 22) –
Here comes a challenge ... but this is only a test to show how much you have grown up. You’re a good problem solver and can understand the benefit of taking the high road.

(Yogi Times, February 2006) Taurus (April 21 – May 21) –
If anyone could use a day at the spa, it’s you. Figuring out to juggle home vs. work demands is still a challenge. Because there is so much that is up in the air in your environment right now, being unclear about where you fit in might actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Try re-inventing yourself.

Television Shows

“He’s not going to like having his opinions challenged.”
(Law & Order)

“The State doesn’t challenge your right to jump out of an airplane, except while sharing this act with your 2-year old child.”
(Judging Amy)


Alain Bouchard is gobbling up U.S. convenience stores and challenging market leader 7-Eleven. One new twist: Stay a bit. The convenience store trade is getting a makeover. Industry leader 7-Eleven is now under full Japanese ownership. The sector is consolidating with the top 10 players owning 20% of the 138,000 U.S. store total. The new concept is to make the store a destination and entice customers to ‘Stay A While’.
- (Forbes – February 13, 2006)

The challenges facing Studio City with regard to development represents a very serious dilemma facing the entire city, and that is: How to balance and plan for our city’s inevitable growth while we protect the character of our communities and single family neighborhoods.
- (Studio City Lifestyle Magazine – February 2006)

Of course there are a lot of big challenges, but therein lies an even greater change for us to use our emotional response to this disaster in the most constructive way.
- (Oprah – November 2005)

THE CHALLENGER: Python! vs. Gator!
For centuries, gators have reigned as the supreme reptilian carnivore in the Florida Everglades. Pythons released into the Everglades by disenchanted pet owners are thriving. Some grow in excess of 12 feet long and are strong enough to crush a wild hog and swallow it whole. Scientists have documented four battles between large pythons and native alligators in the last 3 years, the latest one coming this past fall, when a 13-foot Burmese python was found blown open after it swallowed a 6-foot gator whole. Both animals died.
- (Newsweek – February 2006)

It became a challenge for all of us. We all want the prison to win.”
- Priscila Maria Pereira Ferreira, one of four inmates ata penitentiary near Sao Paulo who competed in Brazil’s government-sanctioned, 10-prison Miss Penitenciaria Beauty Pageant

Courage is that rare moment of unity between conscience, fear and action, when something deep within us strikes the flint of love, of honor, of duty, to make the spark that fires our resolve. Courage is the highest quality of life attainable by human beings. It’s the moment when we are our complete, best self, when we know with an almost metaphysical certainty we are right ... and actually rise to the challenge.
-(FAST COMPANY – December 2005)

It’s hard to overstate the challenge this poses to the status quo.
- (FAST COMPANY – December 2005)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Challenge in Advertising

Our Kind of Challenge.
- (ExxonMobil Ad)

Mental. Physical. Technological. Global. ExxonMobil is proud to be a broadcast advertiser of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games on NBC.

ExxonMobil – Taking on the world’s toughest energy challenges.

Join the constant challenge of seeking greatness.
- (Joinbode.com Ad)

Join the bold, the brazen, the unintimidated. Join not having excuses. Join the idea that fun is the source of all joy. Join the unwillingness to give in. Join doing things your way. Join not joining. Join that purpose is stronger than outcome. Join your gut. Join the constant challenge of seeking greatness. Join play. Join the hunger to find what makes you happy. Join karma and nature and the effect you have on your world. Join your philosophy. Join something bigger than you. Join what you believe. Join Bode.

It means staying focused and determined in the face of challenges.
- (American Century Investments Ad)

What does it mean to put your Lance face on? It means taking responsibility for your future. It means developing a plan for the most important goals in your life. It means staying focused and determined in the face of challenges. When it comes to investing, it means the same thing. Lance makes every decision count. You can too.

Biggest Challenge
- (American Express Ad)

Ken Watanabe: Life

Facing up to the Power Investment Challenge
- (Wall Street Journal – Focus on Energy – CeraWeek 2006)

The U.S. electric power industry faces many billion dollar-type investment decisions – What to build? and when? Power demand has been growing an average of 2% per year since 2000. This past summer was hotter than normal and power demand surged 7%. The power business is one of the most capital-intensive sectors in the U.S. economy and requires long lead times to expand infrastructure. By 2020, the U.S. power infrastructure – currently 964 gigawatts – needs to expand by at least one fifth. That is the equivalent of roughly 400 new power plants and over 100,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines. These estimates already assume continued gains in conservation and efficiency. Meeting this need will require over $35 billion of capital expenditures, on average, each year.

It is easy not to face up to the power investment challenge. Refining power markets and reforming regulation are a complicated business. People want to believe that if we focus on conservation, wind and solar power, then we really will never need to build another traditional power plant in the U.S. Certainly, these are part of the overall solution, but these options are not enough.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Clustered Water Challenge

From the article "About Clustered Water"


by Gerry Wolke

"The cell is immortal. It is merely the fluid in which it floats that degenerates. Renew this fluid at regular intervals, give the cells what they require for nutrition, and as far as we know, the pulsation of life can go on forever." -- Dr. Alexis Carrell, Nobel prize winner

"Since the molecular structure of water is the essence of all life, the man who can control that structure in cellular systems will change the world." -- Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgy, Nobel prize winner

What is Clustered Water?

Patented clustered water, H2O6, is an invention of biochemist Lee H. Lorenzen, PhD

What does Clustered Water do?

All water is not created equal, not in your household, not in nature, and not in your body.

Scientists are only now beginning to realize that water can be structured and that it's structure determines what it does in your body. It isn't enough that you drink water. It also has to get into your cells from the blood stream. Once in the cells it has to perform many functions. Not all water is ideally suited for this and the rare water that is can almost perform miracles.

The water at Lourdes and other healing springs around the world have something in common: it is clustered and that is thought to be responsible for its healing properties. Healing waters such as Lourdes' resemble the purest water from beneath the polar ice cap, but they lose their structure within about 20 minutes if bottled. Clustered water has been designed not to lose its structure over time.

When we are born we are about 90% water and that water is largely clustered. Over time if enough clustered water is not consumed we slowly dehydrate and elderly people may be as little as 50% water. Many of the symptoms of age are thought to be due to dehydration alone. For example, a 2% loss of cellular water may decrease our energy levels by 20%. Worse, as we grow older our thirst sensation becomes progressively lost or gets confused with hunger and we lack the impulse to drink enough water. What we do drink such as soft drinks, coffee, tea and alcoholic beverages all have a diuretic effect and dehydrate us even more.

Dr. Lorenzen says that aging is a function of dehydration. Aging does not cause the lack of clusters. The lack of clusters causes aging. Without water clusters the internal environment of the cell cannot function properly and it dies prematurely. When enough cells die, disease sets in and eventually, death.

Initially, the majority of water is cellular in the body but if water cannot penetrate the cell well it becomes dehydrated and most water becomes extracellular. In Germany, researchers predict a person's potential lifespan by measuring the water content of their cells. A loss of cellular water means that nutrients are not carried into the cell and toxins are not flushed out. The cell starves and suffocates in its own garbage. Without enough water in the cell it becomes catabolic, i.e. it breaks itself down. A well hydrated cell is anabolic. It grows and multiplies properly.

Clustered Water performs several functions:

1. Cellular hydration. Water in the body is either clustered or bound to proteins or other substances. Bound water cannot get into cells. Most of the water or other liquids we drink do not enter cells very well. The six sided rings of clustered water fit into cellular and subcellular membranes easily allowing water to flow into and out of cells.

2. Transportation of nutrients. Research shows that clustered water potentiates the effect of nutrients by a factor of six times. Much of the supplements and nutrients we consume never make it into the cell because bound water does not enter the cell. Clustered water was designed by nature to allow nutrients to "hitch a ride" into the cell by attaching themselves to the water rings.

3. Removal of toxins and waste. Detoxification is one of the most important paths to good health and long life. Again, it doesn't matter what detoxification methods you employ if the toxins cannot get out of the cell. Clustered water flushes toxins out of cells allowing them to maintain their proper functions without toxic interference. Clustered water is itself broken down by pollutants and free radicals so it is lost over time, a good reason to replenish it.

4. Clustered water influences protein structure
. Clustered water surrounds proteins and keeps the proteins in the proper shape so they can function properly. Aging causes proteins to break down but clustered water returns proteins to their proper shape and function.

5. Clustered water converts proteins into "information wires."
A Bioelectronic Connectional System (BCS) is a system of proteins that connects cells together so they can share information. The clustered water that surrounds proteins acts like a radio and emits and receives high frequency signals that co-ordinate cells all over the body. It is what keeps the cells of the body orderly. Without clustered water, cells cannot co-ordinate their activity with others. The signal is lost.

6. Clustered water is critical to DNA expression. Like proteins, the spiral of DNA, our body's genetic blueprint, has a column of clustered water at its core. The vibration of the clustered water vibrates the DNA and allows it to communicate its plan to other cellular components. Without clustered water it cannot do so and the cell malfunctions.

7. Clustered water corrects bad cell resonance. Every cell vibrates to a particular pattern. When it is diseased, it emits an abnormal signal which can be detected by Magnetic Resonance Analysis. The resonant energy of clustered water can counter or invert abnormal cell signals.

8. Clustered water raises the energy of the cell. The resonant energy in clustered water charges up a cell much like a capacitor or battery. Cell capacitance is an indicator of cellular health.

The therapeutic effects of clustered water have been realized in Japan where there are some 210,000 case studies, nine books published on the subject, and over 60 government sponsored clinics using clustered water as a healing modality. Many kinds of degenerative diseases have responded to clustered water. Unfortunately, the company will not release the studies to anyone other than a health practitioner. One study in animals, though, is worth noting. Wounds which normally took 28 days to heal took only 10 days when clustered water was administered to them.

"Clustered Water, like the holy or healing waters uniquely found and studied in places like Lourdes, France, are composed of beautiful, six-sided (hexagonal), snowflake shaped, clusters containing hundreds of thousands of crystal water molecules

Atma Molecule

The Atma Molecule under 20,000 magnification displays the perfect six-sided (hexagonal) geometry necessary for the reception and transmission of energy. In the scientific community this type of molecule has been called a Star Seed Molecule. It is considered perfect, complete and self replicating. This is the first Star Seed molecule to be discovered.

These crystal clusters of water, form the inner core and structural support for double helix DNA, the genetic blueprint of life. In recent years, science has determined that more than 90 percent of DNA function involves electromagnetic reception and transmission.

This optimal function, underlying every aspect of health, delaying aging, and retarding virtually every disease process, almost entirely depends on the crystalline core of DNA -- Clustered Water.

Clustered water is also great for animals.

Summary of the Work of Dr. Lee Lorenzen

Professional Formula Clustered Water is the trade name given to a clustered water solution developed by Dr. Lee Lorenzen. To realize the value and potential of Clustered Water, it is useful to review some organic chemistry so that we understand the framework upon which this breakthrough research has been conducted.

The water molecule is formed by the covalent bonding of two hydrogen atoms to one oxygen atom. To complete its outer shell, oxygen needs two electrons, and it obtains these by sharing an electron with each of two hydrogen atoms. These bond to the oxygen atom to form a triangular structure, and this shape is important because it forms the basis for many of the solutions and compounds that support life.

Now, these covalent bonds are polar bonds, that is the shared electrons are attracted more strongly to (or "spend more time with") the oxygen nucleus than to the hydrogen nuclei. This creates a small negative charge near the two hydrogen nuclei.

Clusters form because the positive charge of the hydrogen atoms of one water molecule is attracted to the negative charge of the oxygen of another water molecule. It is well known that such hydrogen bonds play important roles in many biological compounds, and are essential for maintaining the shape of large molecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. As we will explain, scientists are now discovering something rather remarkable and revolutionary, and that is a molecule's shape is as important to its function as its composition.

Cluster technology has opened an entirely new arena of materials science. Iron, for example, absorbs hydrogen 1,000 times as fast in ten-atom clusters as it does in 17-atom clusters. Electronic bonding patterns, determined by cluster shape, alter the behavior and properties of solids, liquids and even gasses. When electrons are shared by the whole cluster in a de-localized pattern, negative charge is evenly distributed and the cluster may take on certain aspects of solid metal, such as conductivity. When the electrons are all tightly bound to atoms, the clusters resemble discrete molecules. The discovery that small changes in cluster size can produce large differences in behavior strengthens the notion that clusters represent a distinct phase of matter.

If this is all new to you, you're not alone. The emerging science of structural biology is shaking up what most of us understood were immutable laws. You can, for example, take a protein from the body that has a well-documented function. Replace many of the amino acids, but maintain the same exact structure and that protein will function in the same way. We learned how water transports protein through the body, but are now finding out that the movement of water is just as precise. In fact, cell membranes throughout the body utilize special proteins to transport water, and intercellular water turns out to be highly organized. Instead of the amorphous solute that we all saw in Bio 101, water appears to exist within the cell in a complex multilayered structure. Molecular biologists Gilbert Ling, using X-ray diffraction and Neutron scattering techniques, has shown that cytoplasmic water is remarkably different from a simple dilute aqueous solution. Rorschach at Rice University and Clegg at the University of California have both confirmed this quasi elastic neutron scattering (QENS). Srivastava and Bernhard have shattered the idea that biochemical reactions take place in the cell by free diffusion. Their investigation of the glycolytic pathway illustrates that metabolic intermediates are virtually all enzyme-bound and are "channeled" between enzymes through structured water.

Now, one of water's most important functions is to maintain and influence protein structure. Michael Rodbell won a Nobel Prize for his work with protein folding and G peptide specifically for elucidating the role that these proteins play in cell communication or signal transduction. In and through this protein, there is a matrix of clustered or organized water. In fact, Dr. Julia Goodfellow at the Department of Crystallography in Birbeck College, London, has shown that it is the interaction of structured water with biological macromolecules that causes the protein folding. And so begins our discussion of biophysics.

Water water everywhere

The water within your body, known as biowater, is intimately involved in cell physiology; not just in the movement of nutrients and the removal of toxins and waste. It is becoming clear that water plays and active role in cell communications and the literally thousands of metabolic functions.

Some of you may remember taking graduate courses in physiology when cell communication was limited to a discussion of receptor sites, hormones, and the intricate but fairly well understood workings of the brain and nervous system. What no one seemed to want to tackle was the enormous question of how the rest of the body communicated. Obviously, trillions of cells contribute to the miraculous organism called man, and these cells, contrary to the diagrams in the textbooks, were not isolated little bags of cytoplasm stacked together into human form. There was inherent in this study, an enormous missing puzzle piece having to do with the interactions of cells apart from the mechanical and neurologic communication systems.

The transmission of information from DNA to RNA is a good case in point. We had beautifully stained microscopic views of mitosis. It was easy to understand the breaking of nucleotide bonds and the replication of the double helix. But cells perform thousands of other functions, which are controlled by DNA. Maybe, you were perplexed by drawings of DNA fragments "breaking off" and attaching to RNA. You may have challenged your professor that this was impossible and he may have agreed saying "It's just the way they choose to represent a process that is not understood."

Well, we now know that the flow of information from DNA is constant and that the schematic textbook representations were utter nonsense. We now know that in the core of that double helix is a column of water clusters, and that information is transmitted at lighting speed via resonant frequencies. That's right, vibrations.

Right now you may be gnashing your teeth. You hate that right? It sounds too imprecise. But the scientific support for this scenario is undeniable; involving principles of physics as much as chemistry. It may sound weird to hear biochemists talking about semi-conduction, electrical amplification and transduction, but that is the new frontier, and the implications of this research for clinical medicine are astounding.

It has been demonstrated that cells possess individual and cooperative resonant patterns that change with age and metabolic efficiency. After fourteen years of painstaking work and more than 12,000 case histories, Dr. Lorenzen has been able to show that these resonant patterns can be enhanced, producing beneficial effects on tissue and organ homeostasis. Here is the story in brief.

Early Work with Clustered Water

Franks and coworkers performed statistical and mechanical analysis of water and referred to metabolically active water as a simultaneous organization of molecular states. Dr. Martin Armbruster of the Physics University in Freiburg showed that negatively charged water clusters were extremely common in human physiology, being composed of eight or more negatively charged water molecules. At the McLennon Physics Research Laboratory, University of Toronto, Dr. L.M. Banic found at least 49 unique molecular constructions of water molecules surrounding S02, CO2 and charged ions. Brodskaga, Curtiss, Egelstaff, Fowler and Lee have described similar complex structures.

Inquiry into the role of organized water in cell systems expanded rapidly. The action of trypsin was finally explained. Remember that trypsinogen is produced by the pancreas, acted upon by enterokinese and converted to active trypsin in the small intestine. The trypsin then activates other proteolytic enzymes (chymotrypsinogen to Chymotrypsin, and procarboxypeptidase to carboxypeptidase). Much of this activity could not be explained by the mechanics of simple enzymes. Instead, it appears to be signal transduction through clustered water. Structural biochemists have learned that the trypsin molecule contains 300 water sites, most of them clustered into hydrogen bonded networks and arranged in spheres like the layers of an onion. The authors of one recent study observed that:

When the effects on surface accessibility by neighboring molecules in the lattice are taken into consideration, only about 29% of the trypsin surface does not interface ordered water. About 25% of the ordered water are found in the second hydration sphere. In many instances these waters bridge larger clusters of primary Layer waters. It is apparent that in certain regions of the crystal, the organization of ordered water reflects the characteristics of the crystal environment more than those of trypsin's surface alone.

New data is shattering our notions of cell structure, illustrating a "microheterogeneity" of cytoplasmic space, including a structural organization of proteins and organized water that may extend through literally thousands of cells. One group of researchers developing a new model of cellular respiration observed:

All these numerous data show convincingly that cellular metabolism cannot be understood if cell interior is considered as a homogeneous solution and it is necessary to use the theories of organized metabolic systems and substrate-product channeling in multienzyme systems to understand metabolic regulation of respiration.

Biochemists, in fact, are finding that cluster formations abound in a variety of tissues and are using the term metabolon to refer to a metabolically active cluster composed of enzymes and organized water. Indeed, Beekmans and coworkers have stated that large amounts of water are believed to be organized in layers at the surface of intracellular structural proteins and membranes.

The Plot Thickens

In 1992 research was presented to elucidate the role that organized or clustered water plays in the aging process. Japanese investigators using magnetic resonance imaging found that aging results not only in dehydration, but that the water that remains in the tissues undergoes significant structural changes. The predominate morphological change is an increase in biowater bound to biological macromolecules and a concomitant decrease in "free" clusters. The dynamic activities of biowater, such as cell communication, molecular movements, nutrient delivery, detox and diffusion all decline with age.

Until recently, it was assumed that this decline in metabolic efficiency was simply an inevitable result of aging. But, Dr. Lee Lorenzen challenged that assumption by producing clustered water and stabilizing it so that it could be consumed. The discovery was an accident; the result of cold temperature sterilization research in which liquids were exposed to powerful magnetic pulses. Lorenzen found that this treatment produced ordered rings and ultimately clusters. Most important, he was able to alter the cluster formations to reproducible units and stabilized them with ceramic technology.

Through powerful experimentation, Lorenzen has produced clusters that closely resemble the ordered water that is metabolically active in human systems. These clusters can be seen under 20,000 X magnification, and they have been stabilized for up to two years. Thus we can now increase the amount of clustered water in our body. But the story does not end here.

It has been found that water clusters vibrate at specific resonant frequencies and these frequencies can help restore homeostasis to cell structures in the body through signal transduction. Transduction is the process by which one form of energy is converted to another. We all experience this daily in the operation of our senses. Our eyes transduce or convert light energy into electronic signals, which are sensed and recorded in the back of the brain. Our ears are low-frequency sound transducers. Smell receptors are chemical transducers.

When clustered water is consumed, high frequency information is transmitted to proteins in the mouth, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. These proteins amplify the signal and send it in a cascading wave to other connected cells. This wave of information is carried throughout the body like a "wake-up call" to restore normal function.

As a healthcare modality, this represents a remarkable opportunity to stimulate self-healing. Dr. Franco Bistolfi has described these dynamics in what he terms the Bioelectronic (or bioconductive) Connectional System or BCS. The components of this system include the cell's protein cytoskelton and extra cellular proteins such as collagen fibers and keratin filaments. Together with ordered water, Bistolfi proposes that these structures "are the morphological expressions of a large and unitary cooperative system for coherent communication among cells, by means of piezoelectric interactions and photon/phonon transduction of electromagnetic signals of both endogenous and exogenous origin.

Given the extremely important role played by inter and intracellular water, some have even suggested that the increased morbidity and mortality associated with obesity may in part stem from this factor. Total body water is related primarily to the fat content and age of the body. An obese man will have a water content of approximately 45% while a lean man weighing the same, will have a water content of 70% or more. The water content of an "average" 45-year-old man is 63%, but by age 70, this decreases to approximately 47%. Clearly, the ability to restore optimum levels of ordered water to this system would have profound effects on the entire body. But there is more.

The fundamentals of cellular resonance

Resonance is a phenomenon that occurs throughout nature. At the atomic level, we know that electrons whirl about the nucleus in precise energetically defined orbits. In order to move an electron from a lower to a higher orbit, a quantum of energy with very specific frequency characteristics is required. In fact, an electron will only accept energy of the appropriate frequency, and if the electron falls to a lower orbit, it will release energy of that very same frequency. This specific quantum of energy is known as the resonant frequency.

The phenomenon of resonance is the principle behind MRI scanning. Atoms and molecules have individual resonant frequencies that will only be excited by energies of precise vibratory characteristics. Hamerman, in fact has shown that the absorption spectra for DNA is 42 octaves above the C tone (C=256 Hz). It is well accepted that the wavelengths maximally absorbed by cell systems are equivalent to those spectra emitted when the substance is excited. With the correct chemical and or electromagnetic stimulation, healthy tissue systems will respond with predictable resonant emission frequencies. Medical researchers, most notably in Germany and Japan, are now experimenting with therapeutic MRI devices. This represents a new paradigm in preventive health care; the normalization of subtle but now well defined resonant frequencies in cell systems. And while it may be difficult to accept, (the obvious description being "fine-tuning") this reality is nevertheless upon us.

MRI technology has revealed that aberrant enzymatic or metabolic activity will effect the primary tissue resonant frequency (evidenced by changes in T1 and T2 relaxation times) and create an emission phase shift phenomenon. Current models of disease management initiate treatment only after the development of symptoms. But those symptoms are the result of gross biochemical imbalance induced by many factors. In chronic degenerative disease, cellular imbalance is usually asymptomatic until the disease has reached an advanced stage of development. Preceding this stage, disruptions in cell water multilayers will have already produced aberrant coherent information transfer that can be measured. Using a device known as a Magnetic Resonance Spectral Analyzer (MRA) and in cooperation with pathologist Hoang Van Duc at the University of Southern California, prepathological conditions have been predicted, detected and later confirmed based upon aberrant shifts in tissue resonance. Even more exciting, of course, is the possibility of correcting those aberrant frequencies using noninvasive, safe and inexpensive means.

Lorenzen's work with clustered water solutions with precise dimensions and resonant frequencies is the crest of that wave. We now know that structured water within the cells acts as a transducer of chemical and bioelectric energy. The resonant frequency produced by this transduction organizes nucleic acids and proteins, providing a unified system for cell repair and replication. And while it is well understood that this system breaks down with age, Dr. Lorenzen was among the first to assert that the resulting decrease in metabolic efficiency is both an effect and a cause of the aging process. Recent works by Haussinger and coworkers show that minute changes in cell hydration produce dramatic alterations in cellular metabolism and gene expressions.

Lorenzen has shown that metabolic efficiency can be enhanced by restoring tissue levels of clustered water, and furthermore, that this water can impart beneficial effects throughout the body via signal transduction. His patented Nanocluster-Template Induction Process has resulted in the production of a number of solutions with clinically proven therapeutic value.

Many of these solutions have been used in Japan for nearly a decade, with more than 12,000 case histories recorded. They have been administered to in-patients at the Kyowa Hospital in Kobe, Japan with the following results reported by Dr. H. Hayashi:

Declines in blood sugar levels in diabetic patients
Improvements in peripheral circulation in diabetic gangrene
Declines in uric acid levels in patients with gout
Improvements in liver function in hepatic disorders
Improved healing of gastroduodenal ulcers and prevention of reoccurrence
Improvements in hypertension and hypotension
Improvements in asthma, urticaria, rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis
Improvement in post gastrectomy diarrhea
Improvements in postoperative bowel paralysis
Improvements in serum bilirubin levels in newborn infant


Clustered water is non-toxic and has no side-effects. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Some people have experienced a temporary detoxification reaction which may include increased urination and bowel movements, slight body aches, minor headaches and lower energy.

Do not take clustered water 30 minutes before or after any type of medication.

Since it liberates energy it is not recommended that you consume it after 4 PM since it might cause insomnia.


Clustered Water™ breaks down at 115° Fahrenheit. When the product has been exposed to warm climates under 115°F, you can freeze the bottle for about 45 minutes. It will regain its effectiveness.

Dilute one oz of Clustered Water into one gallon of Distilled Water.
You must use distilled water, use water that has been stripped of memory so it will accept the new cluster memory.
Shake Well.
Let beverage sit overnight in the refrigerator before consuming.
For best results keep beverage refrigerated.
Do not use a metal, use plastic for measuring
The recommended dosage of Clustered Water is 16 ozs. or more per day
The best times to take Clustered Water are first thing in the morning and around noontime on an empty stomach.

Guideline to help determine proper dosage:

Healthy Children take 1/2 cup per day.
People with Health Problems: start by taking 4-oz. per day, move to 8-oz. per day after 7 - 14 days. Move to two 8-oz. glasses per day (if necessary after 21 - 28 days.)

source: http://www.naturalhealthconsult.com/Monographs/puritywater.html

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Today is the 96th Birthday of the Boy Scouts of America

... Happy Birthday BSA !!!

Eagle Scout Challenge

The foremost responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor. To an Eagle Scout, honor is the foundation of all character. He knows that "A Scout is trustworthy" is the very first point of the Scout Law for a good reason. An Eagle Scout lives honorably, not only because honor is important to him but because of the vital significance of the example he sets for other Scouts. Living honorably reflects credit on his home, his church, his troop, and his community. May the white of the Eagle badge remind you to always live with honor.

The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is loyalty. A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation. His loyalty to his troop and brother Scouts makes him pitch in and carry his share of the load. All of these help to build the loyalty which means devotion to community, to country, to one's own ideals, and to God. Let the blue of the Eagle badge always inspire your loyalty.

The third obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be courageous. Courage has always been a quality by which men measure themselves and others. To a Scout, bravery means not only the courage to face physical danger, but the determination to stand up for the right. Trusting in God, with faith in his fellowman, he looks forward to each day, seeking his share of the world's work to do. Let the red of the Eagle badge remind you always of courage.

The fourth obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be cheerful. To remind the Eagle Scout to always wear a smile, the red, white, and blue ribbon is attached to the scroll of the Second Class Scout award, which has its ends turned up in a smile.

The final responsibility of an Eagle Scout is service. The Eagle Scout extends a helping hand to those who still toil up Scouting's trail, just as others helped him in his climb to the Eagle. The performance of the daily Good Turn takes on a new meaning when he enters a more adult life of continuing service to others. The Eagle stands as protector of the weak and helpless. He aids and comforts the unfortunate and the oppressed. He upholds the rights of others while defending his own. He will always "Be Prepared" to put forth his best.

You are deserving of much credit in having achieved Scouting's highest award. But wear your award with humility, ever mindful that the Eagle Scout is looked up to as an example.
May the Scout Oath and the Scout Law be your guide for tomorrow and onward.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Challenge in Advertisements

You’ll like the taste of this challenge!
- (Vita-Mix)

Take the Vita-Mix Challenge: Own it for 30 days- risk free!

“Protected Growth”
- (Merrill Lynch Wealth Management)

But now, with a challenging unpredictable market and children nearing college age, more clients are looking for ways to better balance risk and growth.

The Faeries Are Here!
- (Stone Age Sedona)

In these challenging times when our world is experiencing radical shifts, many of us are questioning why these situations occur. The answers are always available.

Challenge the ordinary.
- (E*Trade Financial)

- (U.S. Army)

He’ll experience the most challenging training, use the latest technology and get the strongest support. Before long, he’ll discover that he has become one of tomorrow’s leaders. Encourage him to consider becoming a Soldier – AN ARMY OF ONE.

Final Table Challenge
- (FinalTableChallenge.com)

Who wants to be a Professional Poker Player? 72 people will be selected at random from our database to play poker on TV. Each person selected will be flown to Las Vegas for 5 days 4 nights and will compete for over $400,000 in prizes. Final Table Challenge TV Show – Part Game Show, Part Realty TV and All Poker.

A Bigger Market is out there
- (UPS)

Why let a few things like language barriers, customs regulations and vendor challenges stand in the way of your company’s growth. Leave it to UPS.

Thinking New Perspectives
- (Credit Suisse)

Since 1856, we have focused on bringing new perspectives to our clients. Understanding the past, but shaped by the future. Always looking at opportunities and challenges from a different point of view.

Developing Technology to Fuel Tomorrow’s Growth with New Energy Solutions
- (Occidental Petroleum Corporation)

It takes innovation and tenacity to find the energy that lies beneath the earth’s surface. With a unique mix of modern science and pioneering spirit, we are meeting the challenge.

Altoids Sours “Altoidia” Campaign
- (Altoids)

Our challenge with Altoids is always in creating something literal out of the metaphorical promise of Curious Strength. so, rather than just developing an ad campaign, we first created a place. In this case, the lost Island of Altoidia.