Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top 10 Best Christmas Gifts 2010 for Him

Top 10 Best Christmas Gifts 2010 for Him

It is that time again to start looking for holiday gifts for your friends and family that you have included on your Christmas list if you have prepared one. Holiday gifts for the men in your life can be difficult to determine but there are several lists that you can review to help you come up with the best Christmas gifts for 2010 for the men in your life self based on their interests and hobbies. For additional help with Christmas gifts, review the top 10 best Christmas gifts 2010 for him listed below.

1. Kindle

One of the best Christmas gifts for 2010 are e-book readers that are growing in popularity and are an excellent option for any readers of books, magazines, etc. This is the top bestselling item on Amazon and the latest version is faster, smaller and with more contrast making it one of the best holiday gifts for 2010 for men.

2. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe Silver Charcoal Grill

For the men in your life that enjoy grilling, this smaller and highly portable grill is perfect for tailgating, camping, fishing trips, etc, is one of the best holiday gifts 2010 for men. This is also one of the cheaper holiday gifts for 2010 for men that will be appreciated and used frequently because of its portability. This reasonably priced but effective Christmas gift is one of the top 10 best Christmas gifts 2010 for men.

3. iPod Touch 4th Generation

The latest generation of this iPod is perfect for any man especially the outdoorsy man in your life and makes one of the best Christmas gifts 2010. It is a multi-tasker that is a great iPod, game player, as well as being a computer at the tips of your fingers.

4. iPad

The iPad continues to be one of the most sought after gifts and much appreciated gifts which makes it one of the top 10 best Christmas gifts 2010. It allows users to surf the web, send email, photos, video, etc using the latest technology as well as a large touch screen making this one of the best holiday gifts for 2010.

5. Golf Club Drink Dispenser from the Sharper Image

For the avid golfers in your comes this innovative product. It allows golfers to dispense both hot and cold beverages on the golf course and is in the shape of a golf club. One of the best Christmas gifts 2010 for men that will also be a great a conversational piece. Very easy to store and clean making it one of the best holiday gifts 2010 for men.

6. LG 32-inch LCD HDTV

Men love their TVs which makes this one of the best Christmas gifts 2010 for the man in your life that he will appreciate. This is a very reasonably priced HDTV when compared to others that are similar on the market. Being an HDTV ensures that the viewing pleasure in second to none making this one of the top holiday gifts 2010.

7. Sporting Event or Concert Tickets

If the man or men in your life are sports enthusiasts, sporting event tickets are the perfect holiday gifts for 2010. If they enjoy a particular singer or band and would like to see them in concert, getting them concert tickets will be much appreciated and will make one of the best holiday gifts 2010 for him.

8. Men's Air Force A-2 Flight Leather Bomber Jacket

A good leather jacket is a must have for anyone and makes one of the top 10 best Christmas gifts 2010. This bomber jacket is made of the softest lamb nappa leather making this one of the best holiday gifts 2010 for him. The manufacture of this leather jacket adheres to the same standards as the authentic A-2 military version making this one of the best Christmas presents for men.

9. Beats By Dr. Dre Headphones

These are some of the best and truly exceptional headphones that allow you to hear music the way it was intended by the music artists and producers making this one of the best Christmas presents for 2010 for men. The exceptional noise canceling makes them one of the top holiday gifts for 2010 for him.

10. Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium 11 with Digital Recorder

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Do it Yourself Seal Coating in 7 Easy Steps

Do it Yourself Seal Coating in 7 Easy Steps

After 25 years in this business, I've pretty much got it all figured out... First of all, for those who've never sealed their own driveway before, all I have to say is RUN! Run to the nearest phone, and call your local seal coating professional and let them do the dirty work. Some of my best customers were people that had tried to do this themselves at home. Unsuccessfully.

However, after studying this do-it-yourself guide to fun and profits in the seal coating business, you too will be able to seal coat with the best of 'em! But seriously, it's not rocket science, and with a few basic tools, common sense, and a little manual labor, you too can learn to do this neatly and efficiently, and before you know it, your neighbors will be asking you to do their driveway. I kid you not! There could be worse things than making a few hundred dollars for a few hours labor in your spare time! So, if you want to have a little fun, save a lot of money, while preserving your asphalt investment for years to come, let's get to it!
The basic tools for making this job quick and easy, include:

1. A weed trimmer, and preferably, a cheap, full face, plastic shield protector, or at least, safety glasses.
This is not an option! Safety is always rule number one. Besides, it hurts like hell to get hit by flying rocks,
and it would really suck (pardon my language) to lose an eye at the same time.
2. A good stiff "push broom", preferably a "wire street broom" type. Either that, or a good stiff drink, and reach for that phone!
3. A good leaf blower, preferably the higher powered push type, but the smaller hand held type will do the trick.
4. A roll of 2 inch wide masking tape.
5. One of those metal paint stirring paddles that fit into a power drill. Often times, the fine silica sand
that is added into the seal coating material for traction, settles to the bottom of the bucket, and you can end up spending more time stirring up the stuff, than you do applying it. The best thing would be to just mix it up in the bucket it came in. You could even use a small shovel to mix it with.
6. Ideally, a professional grade 24 " seal coating brush and handle. This is the one item that will make things so much easier and more efficient for you. You may want to include a paint brush, for hard to reach places.
Depending on the size of your driveway, you could theoretically use the smaller brushes sold at Home
Depot, but my advise here will be saving you hours of time, and hundreds of dollars, so why not buy a decent brush that will give you a better finish, and you can use year, after year? The time saving factor alone makes it a great investment.
7. You should wear old clothes and sneakers, because, contrary to popular belief, you will be walking through this stuff as you spread it out.
You should be using a Latex product, and it washes off with soap, water, and a gentle scrub pad.
One important thing to remember after you've stepped in this stuff is, don't walk off of the asphalt onto something you don't want sealed, like a brick walkway, or nice lawn.

If you must leave the area, shuffle your feet on the driveway, or step off into some mulch, sand, or a piece of old carpeting, cardboard, anything.
Even after you clean your sneakers, never walk onto your house carpeting! There's always some material up in the treads or sides that will soil the carpet. Guess how I know this?

O.K., Let The Fun Begin!

STEP #1. Proper Edging.
Before you begin application of the seal coating material, proper cleaning and preparation is critical. After removing everything from the driveway, you should use a "weed trimmer" as needed, to ensure that all growth along the entire perimeter is removed, and there is no overhanging grass above the surface edge of the driveway, and I also use the trimmer to clean up against stone walls, and garage doors, Depending how close growth is to the driveway, you may get a sharper looking trim by holding the trimmer upside down, with the cutting string vertical, to get a precise edge. Of course, NEVER, EVER, use this type of tool without proper eye protection! I use a full face shield, the clear plastic type from Home Depot. They're cheap, and every time I hear a loud "clunk" as a rock zings off of the shield, I just gotta smile. Plus, the rocks fly up at you more often when you hold the trimmer in this upside down position. Once you've trimmed the edges, now comes the really fun part. The cleaning! I hate the cleaning. Well, actually, unless your driveway has heavy dirt deposits, it's really not too bad.

STEP #2. Proper Cleaning.
It is so much easier to have two people during this part of the procedure. One person on the broom, and one person on the leaf blower. If you're using a small hand blower, that's fine, it'll just take a little longer. If your driveway is relatively clean, this won't take much time at all. Start at one end, and slowly make your way forward in a back and forth pattern, while sweeping, and loosening up any sand or soil deposits, ahead of the blower. Keep marching forward, and make sure you blow off every square inch as you keep your pattern uniform so as not to miss any debris. If your driveway is exceptionally dirty, you may want to pressure wash it first.

STEP #3. Crack Sealing.
This is something that's a little more tricky. Some areas of the country don't do any crack sealing, as freezing and thawing cycles are uncommon. However, water still enters, and gradually washes out the underlying base material, so if feasible, sealing them is best, as this is where most of the premature deterioration occurs. In some areas of the country, the crack sealing is the most important part of the job. Here in New England, it is critical. I use a "hot melted rubber" material, but unless you have the proper equipment, it's difficult for the average homeowner to utilize this process. However, they do make a rubber tape, or rope, that can be applied, and then melted with a torch, and troweled out. You may want to sprinke a little fine sand on the hot rubber, so you won't track it, or have leaves or debris stick to it before it sets up. There are also liquid acrylic fillers available, and depending on the size and quantity, this may work best for you. Any crack sealing should be done prior to seal coating, and if it's the liquid type, follow the instructions, and perhaps give it some curing time prior to seal coating. If you use this method, I would get a cheap paint brush, and after applying the liquid crack sealant, sort of "touch it up" by dabbing the brush to help make the texture blend into the surrounding surfaces a little better. This brush should rinse out with water, and you may need it later on in this project. This would also be the time to address any oil stains that you may have. If it is a long standing stain that has soaked into the asphalt over time, nothing can solve it, but there are oil stain "primers" you can purchase to help the sealant adhere to the surface of the oil stain. It may be available where you purchase your sealant. If not, I could send you some with your wisely purchased professional seal coating brush and handle. All you need to do is pour some out, and brush it out over the stain. It should dry fairly quickly.

STEP #4. Preparing the Material.
This is where it could get messy. The best method, as mentioned, would be the long shafted paint mixer on a drill. Or have an extra empty bucket, and pour them back and forth while intermittently using something to stir it up in the buckets. Depending on the brand of sealant, sand content, and how long it's been sitting on the shelf, this process may vary in difficulty. You may want to mix the majority of your buckets in advance, to eliminate stopping mid application to mix the next bucket. This is where it may help to have an assistant, but if the material seems pretty well mixed when you first open it, it won't be an issue anyways. Be sure to do this mixing on the driveway, where if anything spills, it won't matter. If you buy your material days in advance, you could always place them upside down for a few days to let the sand dissipate, and hopefully, the lid is tightly sealed, and won't leak!

STEP #5. Applying the material.
Once mixed, start pouring it out! Try to keep it evenly spread out across the edge of the driveway in an even row from one side to the other. Don't worry about the amount you pour out at this initial stage, and you can even dump the whole bucket at one passing, holding it out low in front of you to minimize splatter, as you move from one side to the other. It's best to stay back 3 feet or so from the edge, just to play it safe. Once it's on the surface, take your brush, and work from one side to the other, gently pushing a steady row of material closer and closer to the edges of the surface. At this point, you should be walking in the material, stepping gently so you're not plopping into the material and causing splatter.

The general idea is to gradually work the material right up to the very edge, without too much excess material at the edge. You may want to practice in a non critical area first, instead of right up against a concrete apron, stone wall, or brick walkway. Hold the brush at an angle, pushing the material closer and closer, while at the same time, trying to regulate the amount of material you are pushing forward. Better too little, than too much. It's just a little awkward to pull back the excess material when you get too much of it close to an edge. If you need to, and can't get the brush in front of the leading edge to pull back excess material, you can always use some cardboard, your credit card (It's the best use for them these days anyways), fingers, whatever. Another thing you want to keep handy in case of a mishap, or splatter, is a water hose. If you splatter a door in a major way, you can lightly hose it off, and I would recommend you always keep a small spray bottle of water very close by, perhaps hooked on your belt to quickly spray off any smaller mistakes.

Keep in mind, on a hot summer day, this material can dry within seconds on a hot surface, and then its too late to wash off. But don't worry. Once dry, you can usually manage to get it off with a wire scrub brush, sandpaper, or some such thing. There are some solvents, even gasoline (be careful), that will get the material off, but some of these solvents make an even bigger mess, if on a porous surface.

Sometimes it's better to leave a small spot than create a bigger one. I would also recommend you place masking tape over the edge surface of anything you want to keep clean, such as walkways, garage aprons, etc., at least until you become proficient at "cutting-in". Once you've got your first pass completed at the beginning edge, just keep walking back and forth, pushing the material in front of you as you go along. Just relax, and let the brush do the work, but you must keep a firm grip on the brush with a gentle downward pressure, to keep the bristles bent slightly backwards. If they pop forward, or face straight down, it could "chatter" and flick material where it doesn't belong. Just keep the brush handle at a fairly steep angle up near your chest area, and you'll be fine. Make sure you never push the brush with the handle in front of your throat. If it catches on something, or you trip, it's really hard to pull a broomstick out of your throat while you're flopping all over the ground. Oh, sure, it might be great fun to watch this happen from a safe distance as you're calling 9-1-1, but it makes such a mess! Once you get the first row started, just keep on going, overlapping the row you just finished, to help insure maximum penetration of the material.

This may all sound complicated, but rest assured, after a few passes, you'll get a feel for it, and you'll be off and running like a pro. As you reach the end of one row, try to regulate the amount of material as you get near the end edge, and sort of swoop the brush "around the corner", if you know what I mean. Not a real corner, but brushing the material as close to the edge as possible, without spilling excess material off the side, and continuing forward up the side a little ways. Sometimes, I will continue up the side for 4 or 5 feet if I've got a good "run" going. You will find that you switch the brush handle from one side to the other in your hands, as you change direction from left to right. Are you thoroughly confused now? Great, I've done my job!

After you brush out 2 or 3 rows of material, you must now go back to the beginning and brush out all those foot prints you just left behind. Same thing, different technique. Now you need to step out of the path a little as you brush out the footprints in the same pattern as you spread it out. I will sometimes spread out 4 or 5 rows of material before going back to hit the footprints. This gives you a little more room to brush out a few rows of prints, while giving you space to spread out a few more rows of material without having to step in the material you just "finish brushed" the footprints out of. Make sense?

If you brush over any low spots, leaving a puddle of material in a place that the brush missed, just pick the brush up off the surface a bit, and angle it so you just brush out the low spot with the end of the brush. You can also use this technique to "flick off" any pebbles that may mysteriously appear in your material from time to time. Try to keep the rows uniformly straight, as it will improve the final appearance. Many driveways curve, or have odd shapes. Just take a look around as you're brushing, and try to imagine the uniform patterns that make the most sense of trying to keep an even progression towards the finish line. For example, as your coming into a turn, the rows will be wider at the outside edge of the turn, and narrower at the inside of the turn, as you gradually angle the rows to try and stay parallel with the general width of the driveway. Just aim your brush straight while disregarding the previous row you brushed, as you no longer will be keeping the rows evenly spaced. It's sort of like the luggage conveyor belts at the airport. As it hits the corners, the inside edge becomes narrower as the outside edge fans out. It's like magic I tell ya, magic!

Often times, a driveway will have a "turning apron" where you can back into and "turn around". When you come to one of these, there are a couple of ways to address them. The best one is to stop your rows, while making sure you leave an excess amount of material at the leading edge, to minimize the potential of the edge drying before you finish cutting-in the turn-out. If you do this, also make sure you brush out the footprints right up to the leading edge, to make sure they don't "dry-in" while you're busy cutting-in.

Now turn and face the turn-out, and you're sort of looking at a mini driveway in front of you. Just use the same technique as you did from the very beginning, and after you've finished brushing in this turn-out, stop at "it's entrance line" leaving a little excess at the leading edge, like before, and go back to where you left off on the "main field" of the driveway. You then begin spreading the next row, and if it's begun to dry out while you were busy doing the turn-out, try to avoid stepping in the semi dry material, and brush out a row or two while standing on the unsealed side of the driveway, until you can step back onto freshly wet sealant, and off you go.

As you begin to meet the leading edge of the turn-out, just blend the two together in as straight a seam as possible. That's probably the simplest way of doing this. In the event of a driveway that leads straight in, with the garage off to the right, you may want to start at the far end, and work your way out, while cutting in the garage to you left, row by row, as you work your way out. There's no right or wrong ways, just better ways. You need to think about the easiest brushing pattern for you, without boxing yourself in.

There are so many other options and possibilities too numerous to get into during this brief "homeowners" training session. Now, it's semi important to try to keep enough material laid down ahead of you, so you don't run dry. It really helps to have an assistant pour it out while you brush. Especially if your in the hot sun, when it may dry quickly. If the material begins to thicken up, you can always "spritz" a little water into it, and sort of brush it around and mix it up on the surface of the driveway. Like I said, it isn't rocket science. Just use some common sense, and you can't go wrong. Well, you shouldn't go wrong... The material should have the consistency of maple syrup, only a little thinner. Sometimes what you buy may be a little too thick to smoothly spread out. Just add a little water & stir it up! When it is poured out, try to overlap the material already on the surface, to minimize having to "back brush" the material.

The number of buckets you will need may vary by manufacturer, viscosity of the material, and surface texture of the asphalt. You need to figure out the total square footage, length X width, and sometimes it's easier to break up the driveway and measure it section by section because of odd shapes and such. It's far better to have too much material than too little, as long as you don't open the last buckets if your getting close to the end. If you don't have a measuring wheel, or tape, you can pace off the distance. The average long stride is approximately 3 feet in distance, unless you're really short. Therefore, 10 long paces equals about 30 feet. 5 long paces equals 15 feet. 30 X 15 = 450 square feet. The buckets should have their specific calculations printed on the side. You should probably figure in an extra 10% safety margin to keep from running out on the job site. As you're pouring out the material, try to judge how far one bucket goes, and make an educated guess on whether you will need to open the last couple of buckets. If not, you can return them, but it sucks to run out, and if you stop and start again after a section has dried, it may be visibly obvious.

Another thing to be aware of, is that on a hot sunny day, you need to get the footprints brushed out quickly, before they "dry in." If you don't feel comfortable with this technique, you can always brush it out while staying just out of the material, but it's so much more work. Also, #5. "Cutting in" Around the Edges. Often times, there will be a need to "cut-in" around certain areas. If there are a lot of little things to "cut-in" around, up the sides, or in tight areas, you can always do these areas first, and then when you get to that point with your rows, just slightly overlap with the areas you "pre-cut-in" and you won't get bogged down with the small detail work as you're spreading out the rows.

STEP #6. Making the final cut.
As you are approaching the end of the project, the most important finishing touch that really makes the job stand out, is ending with a nice neat "street line". For this, it helps to have assistance. You want to lay down a strip of 2 inch masking tape across the end of your driveway. Depending on the shape, or condition of the street seam, you may want to extend the line a few inches out into the street. Have one person hold the leading end of the masking tape at one corner of the driveway, while you take the spool of tape and walk towards the other corner of the driveway. As you face your assistant, have them place their end of the tape on the ground visualizing where you want the "street line" to be. Then have them "tack down" the tape and begin slowly walking along, stepping on the tape as they go (not shuffling their feet, as this causes bunching up of the tape), while you slowly move the tape in the direction you want the line to be. This is very similar to the sobriety checks the police utilize, so save the stiff drinks until after you're finished, and celebrating a job very well done. You'll have earned it!

Heck, even if you buy the material, have second thoughts and never even do the job, celebrate and have a drink or two anyways. Did I mention I'm Irish? No offense. It's easy to make the line curved if needed, to conform to the geography, simply by moving the spool of tape you are holding, in whatever direction it needs to go, while your assistant continues to slowly walk forward on the tape. The further away you are from the person walking down the tape, the easier it is to control gentle curves, or straight lines. Once the tape is down, I always step back 20 feet or so up the road, in both directions to check that the line looks OK. It may look good while your standing right on top of it, but you would be amazed at how crooked something may appear from 20-30 feet away. It's always best to double check, as this is what people notice first and foremost.

I usually make a gentle "curve in" at each corner of the driveway, or depending, a sharp angle with a smaller piece of intersecting tape at the corner. Whatever looks best for your individual driveway. It varies. Once down, go back and make sure every inch of the tape has been stepped on. This prevents material seeping under the tape, even though it would be a minor seepage. I'm just very fussy, and demand nothing but the best from myself and my assistants, and expect nothing less from you, my dear friends. If a job is worth doing at all, it's worth doing to the very best of your ability. You can do this, and do it well. Have faith. If you feel nervous about your cutting in abilities, you can always add a second strip of tape next to the first, for a wider margin of error.

This is the sequence I would follow to do the job. However, you may want to lay down the tapeline first, so you don't have to stop, clean your feet, and interrupt the flow of your work progress. Now, as you are approaching the end, try to avoid putting out too much material, as you will have to scoop up the excess if you do. Just have a flat shovel or dustpan handy, in case this happens, and you can just brush it into the shovel, and pour it back into the bucket. As you are brushing out the final rows, and approaching the tape, be careful to stay "within the tape lines", and brush out the final prints up to the tape line as close as you comfortably can. This is where you have to step off the driveway to brush out the last of the footprints from the street side of the tapeline.

If you have mulch, sand or gravel at the end side of your driveway, you can shuffle your sneakers off in that, or step onto a mat or cardboard, or simply step out of your sneakers, and finish the final row in your socks. It wouldn't be the first time... DO NOT forget to "wipe" before walking out into the street. Oh, yes, don't forget to "look both ways". It would suck to be run over before you got to finish the job.

STEP #7. "Happy Endings".
Once you have brushed out the last of the prints, if there is a little excess material in the corners, or anything, you can just gently brush it out back onto the driveway. Now for the "getting your hands dirty" part, if you haven't already. When removing the tape, be sure to hold it over the driveway as you are pulling it up, so any excess material won't be falling onto the roadway. If it does, just hit it with a little water, and as long as the water flows away from the driveway, cool. Otherwise, some paper towels will do the trick in mopping up the water. It might be handy to have one of your empty buckets nearby to dump the handful of messy tape into for disposal. Before walking away from the end of the driveway, make sure you place a barricade to prevent anyone from driving on it. DO IT NOW!!! Even if you live on a dead end street that hasn't had another car on it for ten years, the minute you walk away, someone will turn into your driveway, looking for directions because they're lost on a dead end street. Guess how I know this...? Place a row of your empty buckets across the driveway, close enough together so that even a very small car can't fit between them, looking for those directions. If they can, they will.

Once again, how do I know this? One time, this woman pulled onto the newly sealed driveway just as I turned around to get the two wooden grading stakes and a roll of caution tape that I usually use as a barricade. I was literally 3 feet away and just turned my back for an instant. Actually, it's happened twice. I was not very happy about this. No, not happy at all. The second time was a UPS delivery truck right in front of my face. At least I got to scream at him to STOP RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE! DON"T MOVE! DON'T BACK UP! DON'T MOVE OR I'LL SHOOT! DAMN...I'll miss that UPS guy. At least he only got his front tires 6 or 8 feet into the driveway, and I had to wipe them off as he was backing off the wet surface onto the dry street. There was a faint tracking, but not bad. The bottom line is, people are just oblivious to their surroundings, and don't pay attention. Not that I've ever done something so stupid, of course. The more I meet some people, the more I love my dog. Anyways... Once the barricade is in place, simply rinse your brushes thoroughly before they dry out, and you're done. Time for that drink now! Once the material dries, it will turn a flat black color. After a few hours, you should be able to gently walk on the surface if you absolutely must, but you should wait at least 24 hours before driving on it, and preferably 48. The longer the better.

Once you begin to use the driveway, you may notice some tire scuffing, especially in tight turns of the wheel. This is normal, and simply the scuffing off of the top layer of fine silica sand that's been added for traction. It's similar to using a piece of sandpaper for the first time. It really stands out. Shortly, it will all blend together as you continue to use it. You should also try to prevent turning the steering wheel of your vehicle unless it is in motion. This will badly scuff the surface, and on a hot day, can actually dig into the asphalt. Well, I guess that's all there is to it.

I meant it when I said, once you've done such a great job, others will ask about it, and it wouldn't be such a bad idea, if you were so inclined, to start making a few hundred dollars an hour doing the same for neighbors and friends in your spare time. If you do decide to take the next step, I can help. This was just the tip of the iceberg.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

10 Must Have Features For Your Website

10 Must Have Features For Your Website

You can put any number of snazzy features on your website. If you ever meet with a web design firm, your sure to hear about all the cool scripts, animations and other interactive add-ons that can go on your pages. Some pizzazz isn't a bad thing, especially if you're just starting out and need to set yourself apart from the competition. Interactive features and a well designed website give you an air of competence and experience, even if your online business is brand new.

But the website features that count toward your bottom line are the ones that attract and retain customers and entice them back to you regularly. Along with the bells and whistles, your business home on the web needs to have some basic must-haves that shoppers expect. Make sure that your site meets the minimum daily requirements: it needs to be easy to find, loaded with content, include content and background information about you, and include features that make shopping (if that's what you do) easy and secure. This article describes ten specific features that help you achieve these objectives.

Secure East-to-Remember URLs.

Names are critical to the success of any business. A name becomes identified with a business, and people associate the name with its products and its level of customer service. When a small company developed a software product called Lindows, giant Microsoft sued initially, but eventually paid $20 million to stop the infringement on its well-known trademarked product Windows.

Write down five or six names that are short and easy to remember and that would represent your business if included in an URL. Do a domain name search and try to find the one you want. Try to keep your site's potential name as short and as free of elements like hyphens as possible. A single four-to ten-character name between the www. and the .com or sections of the URL is easy to remember.

Provide a Convenient Payment Method

Shoppers go online for many reasons, but those reasons don't include a desire for things to be complex and time consuming. No matter how technically complex it may be to get one's computer on the internet, shoppers still want things to be quick and seamless. At the top of the list of seamless processes is the ability to pay for merchandise purchased online.

You don't have to get a merchant account from a bank to process your own credit-card payments. You don't need to get point-of-sale hardware, either. The other day, Greg paid for a heater from a company that sent him to PayPal's website. PayPal began as an independent company, but it became so popular among members of the auction site eBay that eBay eventually purchased it. Chances are that many of your prospective customers already have accounts with PayPal if they use eBay. Greg did, so his purchase process was completed in less than a minute. Set yourself up as a seller with PayPal and accept money orders & personal cheques. If you can take the additional step of getting a eCommerce website and a credit-card payment system, so much the better.

Promote Security, Privacy, and Trust

Even shoppers who have been making purchases online for years at a time still feel uncertainty when they type their credit-card number and click a button labelled Pay Now, Purchase or Submit to a commercial website. We're speaking from personal experience. What promotes trust? Information and communication. Shoppers online love getting information that goes beyond what they can find in a printed catalogue. Be sure to include one or more of the following details that can make shoppers feel good about pressing your Buy Now buttons:

* An endorsement from an organization that is supposed to promote good business practices, such as investors in people, business in the community, or by your own customers.

* A privacy statement that explains how you're going to handle customers' personal information.

* Detailed product descriptions that show you're knowledgeable about a product.

Another good thing that promotes trust is information about who you are and why you love what you do, as described in the 'Blow Your Own Trumpet' section, later in this chapter.

Choose Goods & Services That Buyers Want

Every merchant would love to be able to read the minds of his or her prospective customers. On the internet, you have as much chance of reading someone's mind as you have of meeting that person face to face. Nevertheless, the internet does give potential buyers several ways to tell you what they want:

* Come right out and ask them. On your website, invite requests for merchandise of one sort or another.

* After a purchase, ask customers for suggestions about other items they'd like to buy from you.

* Visit message boards, newsgroups, and websites related to the item you want to sell.

* Make a weekly (remember that Saturdays & Sundays are the best days for auctions to end) search of eBay's completed auctions to see what has sold, and which types of items have fetched the highest prices.

Have a Regular Influx of New Products

With a printed catalogue, changes to sales items can be major. The biggest problem is the need to physically reprint the catalogue with inventory changes. One of the biggest advantages associated with having an online sales catalogue is the ability to alter your product line in a matter of minutes, without sending artwork to a printer. You can easily post new sales items online each day, as soon as you get new sales figures.

One reason to keep changing your products on a regular basis is that your larger competitors are doing so. Lands' End, which has a well-designed and popular online sales catalogue, puts out new products on a regular basis and announces them in an email newsletter to which loyal customers can subscribe.

Be Current with Upkeep & Improvements

Do you have a favourite blog, comic strip, or newspaper columnist that you like to visit each day? We certainly do. If these content providers don't come up with new material on a regular basis, you get discouraged. Your loyal customers will hopefully feel the same way about your website, eBay shop or other sales venue.

We know what you're thinking: You've got so many things to do that you can't possibly be revisiting your website every day and changing headings or putting new sales online. You have to get the kids off to school, pack up merchandise, run to the post office, clean the house - the list goes on and on. You can't be in two places at once. But two people can. Hire a student or friend to run your site and suggest new content for you. In a five-minute phone conversation, you can tell your assistant what to do that day, and you can go on to the rest of your many responsibilities.

Personally Interact with Your Customers

The fact that personal touch counts for so much in internet communication is a paradox. With rare exceptions, you never meet face to face with the people with whom you exchange messages. Maybe it's the lack of body language and visual clues that make shoppers and other web surfers so hungry for attention. But the fact is that impersonal, mass email marketing messages are reviled while quick responses with courteous thank-you's are eagerly welcomed.

You can't send too many personal email messages to your customers, even when they're only making and enquiry and not a purchase. Not long ago, Greg asked some questions about a heater he was thinking of buying online. He filled out the form on the company's website and submitted his questions. The representative of the company got right back to him.

'First of all, let me thank you for your interest in our product,' the letter began. She proceeded to answer his questions and then finished with another thank-you and 'if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.' Greg didn't hesitate: 'He asked more questions, she answered and again said, 'Don't hesitate to ask' at the end. It's possible it was all 'form letter' material, added to the beginning and end of every enquiry, but it makes a difference. Greg eventually purchased the item.

Post Advertisements in the Right Places

When most people think about advertising on the internet, they automatically think about banner advertisements placed on someone else's web page. A banner advertisement is only one kind of online ad, and possibly the least effective. Make use of all the advertising options going online brings you, including the following:

* Use word of mouth: Bloggers use this method all the time: one person mentions something in another blog, that blogger mentions it to someone else, and so on.

* Exchange links: 'You link to my website, and ill link to yours', in other words. This option is especially effective if you're linking to a business whose products and services complement your own.

* Multiply Websites: if you have two websites, you immediately have two sites linking to each one of yours. Your ability to exchange links with other websites triples, too.

* Get listed in search engines: Make sure that your site is listed in the databases maintained by Google and the other search engines.

Blow Your Own Trumpet

Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart, and the Walton family still runs it, but 99 percent of the shoppers who flock to megastores every day don't know or care about that fact. Wal-Mart is a well-established brand with a physical Presence. Your fledgling online business has neither of those advantages. You need to use your website to provide essential background information about yourself, why you started your business, and what your goals are.

Your immediate aim is to answer the question that naturally arises when a consumer visits your online business: 'Who are these people?' or 'who is this guy?' The indirect goal is to answer a question that the shopper doesn't necessarily ask consciously, but that is present nonetheless: 'Why should I trust this place?' Be sure to list your experience, your background, your family, or your hobbies - anything to reassure online shoppers that you're a reputable person who is looking out for their interests.

Create a Well-Organized Website

A well-organised website isn't quite as essential as it used to be, because you can establish a regular income on eBay without having any website at all. But even if you become a well-established eBay seller, you're going to want a website at some point or another. How do you make your site well organised? Make sure that your site incorporates these essential features:

* Navigation buttons: consumers who are in a hurry expect to see a row of navigation buttons along the top or one of the sides of your homepage. Don't make them hunt; put them there.

* A Site Map: A page that leads visitors to all areas of your site can prevent them from going elsewhere if they got lost.

* Links that actually work: Nothing is more frustrating than clicking a link that's supposed to lead to a photo and/or a bit of information that you really want, and to come up with a generic page not found error message

* Links that indicate where you are on the site: such links are helpful because, like a trail of breadcrumbs, they show how the customer got to a particular page. Heres an example:

Clothing > Men's > Sportswear > Shoes > Running

When your site grows to contain dozens of pages and several main categories, links that look like this can help people move up to a main category and find more subcategories.

So there I have given you information on the 10 must-have features for your website, follow these simple rules and you will have a website which customers will love, and a website which over-time will grow and achieve the goals you set out to achieve. good luck with your web site's and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me or leave me a comment.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

8 Tips To Keep Hair Healthy And Avoiding Hair Loss

8 Tips To Keep Hair Healthy And Avoiding Hair Loss

Baldness or hair loss is very common problem in adult male, can be occurred at any age of life. This problem is also spreading fast in female also. More than 25% of male are started losing their hair at age of just 30. 

New life style, chemicals, artificial foods and overuse of cosmetic & hair colors promote it more and more early age. Majority of the cases of hair thinning and eventual loss are avoidable. 

It is therefore highly imperative that you get to have adequate tips on how you can prevent hair loss. The following tips will help:

1. Most people ignore the aspect of health eating. You will have to realize that a healthy diet prevents so many problems including the problem of hair. Eat a balanced diet. Nutritional deficiencies, eating disorders and excessive amounts of certain vitamins, such as A and E, can cause hair loss.

2. Never brush wet hair. Your hair is very vulnerable when it is wet. So never attempt to brush your hair in this case. Only when they are more or less dry, start a gentle brushing from the ends and proceed gradually to the roots.

3. Smoking, chewing and eating tobacco will induce many toxin in your body. Alcohol and some drugs can reduce the life of hair. These habits are harmful to body in many ways.

4. The hair style that you will use must actually avoid exaggerated pulling of the hair. If that is done continuously, it will actually lead to a very great damage to the hair shaft. This will later lead to the hair follicle damage, and when that occurs, there will be hair loss.

5. Stay away from harsh chemicals - permanent hair color and perms are the most damaging - and avoid coloring your hair more than once every six to eight weeks.

6. Do not use too much shampoo. Shampoo always seems to be a quick fix. But try to wash your hair less frequently to avoid its harmful effect. In order to smooth it use more conditioner. But remember not to apply it on the scalp, rather put it from the ears down to your hair ends. This is one of the best hair loss treatment.

7. Head massage and acupressure : Proper blood circulation is requires to maintain healthy hair. Massaging the scalp with good ayurvedic hair oil will improve blood circulation and acts as conditioner for your hair. There are several electronics devices for massage, but hands are the best.

8. Zinc is plays an indispensable part in many bodily processes including cell reproduction, protein synthesis and absorption of vitamins. This element prevents hair from thinning, dryness and loss. You will benefit from eating seafood, oatmeal, spinach, sunflower seeds, and champignon mushrooms, which are rich in zinc.

By: Charles Zoe

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Iroquois Information

Iroquois Information

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Iroquois (pronounced /ˈɪrəkwɔɪ/), also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse",[1] are an indigenous people of North America. In the 16th century or earlier, the Iroquois came together in an association known today as the Iroquois League, or the "League of Peace and Power". The original Iroquois League was often known as the Five Nations, and comprised the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations. After the Tuscarora nation joined the League in the 18th century, the Iroquois have often been known as the Six Nations. The League is embodied in the Grand Council, an assembly of fifty hereditary sachems.[2]

When Europeans first arrived in North America, the Iroquois were based in what is now the northeastern United States, primarily in what is referred to today as upstate New York.[3] Presently, Iroquois live primarily in the United States and Canada.

The Iroquois League has often also been known as the Iroquois Confederacy, but some modern scholars now make a distinction between the League and the Confederacy.[4][5][6] According to this interpretation, the Iroquois League refers to the ceremonial and cultural institution embodied in the Grand Council, while the Iroquois Confederacy was the decentralized political and diplomatic entity that emerged in response to European colonization. The League still exists, but the Confederacy was shattered by the defeat of the British and allied Iroquois nations in the American Revolutionary War.[4]


The Iroquois also refers to themselves as the Haudenosaunee, which means "People of the Longhouse," or more accurately, "They Are Building a Long House." The term is said to have been introduced by The Great Peacemaker at the time of the formation of the League. It implies that the nations of the League should live together as families in the same longhouse. Symbolically, the Seneca were the guardians of the western door of the "tribal longhouse" and the Mohawk were the guardians of the eastern door. The Onondagas, whose homeland was in the center of Haudenosaunee territory, were keepers of the League's (both literal and figurative) central flame.

The name "Iroquois" was bestowed upon the Haudenosaunee by the French[7] and has several potential origins.

* A possible origin of the name Iroquois is reputed to come from a French version of irinakhoiw, a Huron (Wyandot) name – considered an insult – meaning "Black Snakes" or "real adders". The Iroquois were enemies of the Huron and the Algonquin, who allied with the French, because of their rivalry in the fur trade.
* The Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) often end their oratory with the phrase hiro kone;[8] hiro translates as "I have spoken", and kone can be translated several ways, the most common being "in joy", "in sorrow", or "in truth". Hiro kone to the French encountering the Haudenosaunee would sound like "Iroquois", pronounced [iʁokwe] in the French language of the time.
* Another version is however supported by French linguists such as Henriette Walter and anthropologists such as Dean Snow[9]. According to this account, "Iroquois" would derive from a Basque expression, Hilokoa, meaning the "killer people". This expression would have been applied to the Iroquois because they were the enemy of the local Algonquins, with whom the Basque fishermen were trading. However, because there is no "L" sound in the Algonquian languages of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence region, the name became "Hirokoa", which is the name the French understood when Algonquians referred to the same pidgin language as the one they used with the Basque. The French then transliterated the word according to their own phonetic rules, thus providing "Iroquois".

Formation of the League

The language spoken by members of the League is different from that of the other speakers of the languages of the same Iroquoian family. This suggests that while they had a common historical and cultural origin, they diverged over a long enough time that the languages became different. Archaeological evidence shows that the Iroquois lived in the Finger Lakes region from at least 1000AD.[10]

The Iroquois moved to the south in long wars of invasion in present-day Kentucky. According to one pre-contact theory, it was Iroquois who, by about 1200[citation needed], had pushed tribes of the Ohio River valley, such as the Quapaw (Akansea) and Ofo (Mosopelea) out of the region in a migration west of the Mississippi River. However, La Salle definitely listed the Mosopelea among the Ohio Valley peoples overthrown by the Iroquois in the early 1670s, during the later Beaver Wars.[11] By 1673, these Siouan groups had settled in their historically known territories of the Midwest, with some displacing other tribes to the west in their turn.[12] Iroquois also live in longhouses.

The Iroquois League was established prior to major European contact. Most archaeologists and anthropologists believe that the League was formed sometime between about 1450 and 1600.[13][14] A few claims have been made for an earlier date; one recent study has argued that the League was formed in 1142, based on a solar eclipse in that year that seems to fit one oral tradition.[15][16] Anthropologist Dean Snow argues that the archaeological evidence does not support a date earlier than 1450, and that recent claims for a much earlier date "may be for contemporary political purposes".[17]

According to tradition, the League was formed through the efforts of two men, Deganawida, sometimes known as the Great Peacemaker, and Hiawatha. They brought a message, known as the Great Law of Peace, to the squabbling nations. The nations who joined the League were the Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Mohawk. Once they ceased most of their infighting, the Iroquois rapidly became one of the strongest forces in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century northeastern North America.

According to legend, an evil Onondaga chieftain named Tadodaho was the last to be converted to the ways of peace by The Great Peacemaker and Hiawatha. He became the spiritual leader of the Haudenosaunee.[18] This event is said to have occurred at Onondaga Lake near Syracuse, New York. The title Tadodaho is still used for the league's spiritual leader, the fiftieth chief, who sits with the Onondaga in council. He is the only one of the fifty to have been chosen by the entire Haudenosaunee people. The current Tadodaho is Sid Hill of the Onondaga Nation


In Reflections in Bullough's Pond, historian Diana Muir argues that the pre-contact Iroquois were an imperialist, expansionist culture whose use of the corn/beans/squash agricultural complex enabled them to support a large population that made war against Algonquian peoples. Muir uses archaeological data to argue that the Iroquois expansion onto Algonquian lands was checked by the Algonquian adoption of agriculture. This enabled them to support populations of their own that were large enough to include a body of warriors to defend against the threat of Iroquois conquest.[19]

The Iroquois may be the Kwedech described in the oral legends of the Mi'kmaq nation of Eastern Canada. These legends relate that the Mi'kmaq in the late pre-contact period had gradually driven their enemies – the Kwedech – westward across New Brunswick, and finally out of the Lower St. Lawrence River region. The Mi'kmaq named the last-conquered land "Gespedeg" or "lost land," leading to the French word "Gaspé." The "Kwedech" are generally considered to have been Iroquois, specifically the Mohawk; their expulsion from Gaspé by the Mi'kmaq has been estimated as occurring ca. 1535-1600.[20] Around 1535, Jacques Cartier reported Iroquoian groups on Gaspé and along the St. Lawrence River, and Samuel de Champlain found Algonquian groups in the same locations in 1608 – but the exact tribal identity of any of these groups has been debated.

Iroquoian tribes were also well-known in the south by this time. From the time of the first English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia (1607), numerous 17th century accounts describe a powerful people known to the Powhatan Confederacy as the Massawomeck, and to the French as the Antouhonoron, who came from the north, beyond the Susquehannocks. These "Massawomeck" / "Antouhonoron" have often been identified with the Iroquois proper, but other Iroquoian candidates include the Erie tribe who were finally destroyed by the Iroquois in 1654.[21] It is certain that the Five Nations acquired political control of most of Virginia west of the fall line over the years 1670-1710, a region which they continued to claim until they began selling this area to their British allies in 1722.

Beaver Wars

Beginning in 1609, the League engaged in the Beaver Wars with the French and their Iroquoian-speaking Huron allies. They also put great pressure on the Algonquian peoples of the Atlantic coast and what is now the boreal Canadian Shield region of Canada, and not infrequently fought the English colonies as well. During the seventeenth century, they were said to have exterminated the Neutral Nation.[24][25] and Erie Tribe to the west. The wars were a way to control the lucrative fur trade,[citation needed] although additional reasons are often given for these wars.

In 1628, the Mohawks defeated the Mahicans to gain a monopoly in the fur trade with the Dutch at Fort Orange, New Netherland. The Mohawks would not allow Canadian Indians to trade with the Dutch. In 1645, a tentative peace was forged between the Iroquois and the Hurons, Algonquins and French. In 1646, Jesuit missionaries at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons went as envoys to the Mohawk lands to protect the fragile peace of the time. However, Mohawk attitudes toward the peace soured during the Jesuits' journey. They were attacked by a Mohawk party en route. Taken to the village of Ossernenon (Auriesville, N.Y.), the moderate Turtle and Wolf clans decreed setting the priests free. Angered by this, the more hawkish Bear clan killed Jean de Lalande and Isaac Jogues on October 18, 1646. The two French priests were later commemorated as among the eight North American Martyrs. In 1649 during the Beaver Wars, the Iroquois used recently purchased Dutch guns to attack the Hurons. From 1651 to 1652, the Iroquois attacked the Susquehannocks without success.

In the early seventeenth century, the Iroquois were at the height of their power, with a population of about twelve thousand people.[26] In 1654, they invited the French to establish a trading and missionary settlement at Onondaga (in present-day New York state). The following year, the Mohawk attacked and expelled the French from this trading post, possibly because of the sudden death of 500 Indians from an epidemic of smallpox, a European infectious disease to which they had no immunity.

From 1658 to 1663, the Iroquois were at war with the Susquehannock and their Delaware and Province of Maryland allies. In 1663, a large Iroquois invasion force was defeated at the Susquehannock main fort. In 1663, the Iroquois were at war with the Sokoki tribe of the upper Connecticut River. Smallpox struck again; and through the effects of disease, famine, and war, the Iroquois were threatened by extermination. In 1664, an Oneida party struck at allies of the Susquehannock on Chesapeake Bay.

In 1665, three of the Five Nations made peace with the French. The following year, the Canadian Governor sent the Carignan regiment under Marquis de Tracy to confront the Mohawks and the Oneida. The Mohawks avoided battle, and the French burned their villages and crops. In 1667, the remaining two Nations signed a peace treaty with the French. This treaty lasted for 17 years.

Around 1670, the Iroquois drove the Siouan Mannahoac tribe out of the northern Virginia Piedmont region. They began to claim ownership of it by right of conquest. In 1672, the Iroquois were defeated by a war party of Susquehannock. The Iroquois appealed to the French for support and asked Governor Frontenac to assist them against the Susquehannock because

"it would be a shame for him to allow his children to be crushed, as they saw themselves to be... they not having the means of going to attack their fort, which was very strong, nor even of defending themselves if the others came to attack them in their villages."

[27] Some old histories state that the Iroquois defeated the Susquehannock during this time period. As no record of a defeat has been found, historians have concluded that no defeat occurred.[27] In 1677, the Iroquois adopted the majority of the Susquehannock into their nation.[28]

By 1677, the Iroquois formed an alliance with the English through an agreement known as the Covenant Chain. Together, they battled to a standstill the French who were allied with the Huron. These Iroquoian people had been a traditional and historic foe of the Confederacy. The Iroquois colonized the northern shore of Lake Ontario and sent raiding parties westward all the way to Illinois Country. The tribes of Illinois were eventually defeated, not by the Iroquois, but rather by the Potawatomis. In 1684, the Iroquois invaded Virginian and Illinois territory again, and unsuccessfully attacked the French fort at St. Louis. Later that year, the Virginia Colony agreed at Albany to recognize the Iroquois' right to use the North-South path running east of the Blue Ridge (later the Old Carolina Road), provided they did not intrude on the English settlements east of the fall line.

In 1679, the Susquehannock, with Iroquois help, attacked Maryland's Piscataway and Mattawoman allies. Peace was not reached until 1685.

With support from the French, the Algonquian nations drove the Iroquois out of the territories north of Lake Erie and west of present-day Cleveland, regions which had been conquered during the Beaver Wars.[29]

Jacques-René de Brisay de Denonville, Marquis de Denonville, Governor of New France from 1685 to 1689, set out for Fort Frontenac with a well-organized force. There they met with the 50 hereditary sachems of the Iroquois Confederation from the Onondaga council fire, who came under a flag of truce. Denonville recaptured the fort for New France and seized, chained, and shipped the 50 Iroquois Chiefs to Marseilles, France, to be used as galley slaves. He then ravaged the land of the Seneca. The destruction of the Seneca land infuriated the Iroquois Confederation.

On August 4, 1689, they burned to the ground Lachine, a small town adjacent to Montreal. Fifteen hundred Iroquois warriors had been harassing Montreal defenses for many months prior to that. They finally exhausted and defeated Denonville and his forces. His tenure was followed by the return of Frontenac, who succeeded Denonville as Governor for the next nine years (1689 –1698). Frontenac had been arranging a new plan of attack to lessen the effects of the Iroquois in North America and – realizing the danger of the imprisonment of the Sachems – he located the 13 surviving leaders and returned with them to New France that October 1698.

During King William's War (North American part of the War of the Grand Alliance), the Iroquois were allied with the English. In July 1701, they concluded the "Nanfan Treaty", deeding the English a large tract north of the Ohio River. The Iroquois claimed to have conquered this territory 80 years earlier. France did not recognize the validity of this treaty, as it had the strongest presence within the area in question. Meanwhile, the Iroquois were negotiating peace with the French; together they signed the Great Peace of Montreal that same year.

French and Indian Wars

After the 1701 peace treaty with the French, the Iroquois remained mostly neutral even though during Queen Anne's War (North American part of the War of the Spanish Succession) they were involved in some planned attacks against the French. Four delegates of the Iroquoian Confederacy, the "Indian kings", traveled to London in 1710 to meet Queen Anne in an effort to seal an alliance with the British. Queen Anne was so impressed by her visitors that she commissioned their portraits by court painter John Verelst. The portraits are believed to be some of the earliest surviving oil portraits of Aboriginal peoples taken from life.[30]

In the first quarter of the eighteenth century, the Tuscarora fled north from the British colonization of North Carolina and petitioned to become the sixth nation. This was a non-voting position but placed them under the protection of the Confederacy.

In 1721 and 1722, Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia concluded a new Treaty at Albany with the Iroquois, renewing the Covenant Chain and agreeing to recognize the Blue Ridge as the demarcation between Virginia Colony and the Iroquois. However, as white settlers began to move beyond the Blue Ridge and into the Shenandoah Valley in the 1730s, the Iroquois objected and were told that the agreed demarcation merely prevented them from trespassing east of the Blue Ridge, but it did not prevent English from expanding west of them. The Iroquois were on the verge of going to war with the Virginia Colony, when in 1743, Governor Gooch paid them the sum of 100 pounds sterling for any settled land in the Valley that was claimed by the Iroquois. The following year at the Treaty of Lancaster, the Iroquois sold Virginia all their remaining claims on the Shenandoah Valley for 200 pounds in gold.[31]

During the French and Indian War (North American part of the Seven Years' War), the Iroquois sided with the British against the French and their Algonquian allies, both traditional enemies of the Iroquois. The Iroquois hoped that aiding the British would also bring favors after the war. In actuality, few Iroquois joined the campaign, and in the Battle of Lake George, a group of Mohawk and French ambushed a Mohawk-led British column. The British government issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763 after the war, forbidding white settlements beyond the Appalachian Mountains, but this proclamation was largely ignored by the settlers, and the Iroquois agreed to adjust this line again at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1768), whereby they sold the British Crown all their remaining claim to the lands between the Ohio and Tennessee River

American Revolution

During the American Revolution, many Tuscarora and the Oneida sided with the colonists, while the Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga and Cayuga remained loyal to Great Britain, thereby marking the first major split among the Six Nations. Joseph Louis Cook offered his services to the United States and received a Congressional commission as a Lieutenant Colonel- the highest rank held by any Native American during the war.[32] However, after a series of successful operations against frontier settlements – led by the Mohawk war chief Joseph Brant, other war chiefs, and British allies – the future United States reacted with vengeance. In 1779, George Washington ordered the Sullivan Campaign led by Col. Daniel Brodhead and General John Sullivan against the Iroquois nations to "not merely overrun, but destroy," the British-Indian alliance.


After the war, the ancient central fireplace of the League was reestablished at Buffalo Creek. Captain Joseph Brant and a group of Iroquois left New York to settle in Canada. As a reward for their loyalty to the British Crown, they were given a large land grant on the Grand River. Brant's crossing of the river gave the original name to the area: Brant's ford. By 1847, European settlers began to settle nearby and named the village Brantford, Ontario. The original Mohawk settlement was on the south edge of the present-day city at a location still favorable for launching and landing canoes.


Melting pot

The Iroquois are a melting pot. League traditions allowed for the dead to be symbolically replaced through the "Mourning War" in raids intended to seize captives to replace lost compatriots and take vengeance on non-members. This tradition was common to native people of the northeast and was quite different from European settlers' notions of combat.

The Iroquois aimed to create an empire by incorporating conquered peoples and remolding them into Iroquois and thus naturalizing them as full citizens of the tribe. Cadwallader Colden wrote "It has been a constant maxim with the Five Nations, to save children and young men of the people they conquer, to adopt them into their own Nation, and to educate them as their own children, without distinction; These young people soon forget their own country and nation and by this policy the Five Nations make up the losses which their nation suffers by the people they lose in war." By 1668, two-thirds of the Oneida village were assimilated Algonquians and Hurons. At Onondaga there were Native Americans of seven different nations and among the Seneca eleven.[33]


The Iroquois were a mix of farmers, fishers, gatherers, and hunters, though their main diet came from farming. The main crops they farmed were corn, beans and squash, which were called the three sisters and were considered special gifts from the Creator. These crops are grown strategically. The cornstalks grow, the bean plants climb the stalks, and the squash grow beneath, inhibiting weeds and keeping the soil moist under the shade of their broad leaves. In this combination, the soil remained fertile for several decades. The food was stored during the winter, and it lasts for two to three years. When the soil eventually lost its fertility, the Iroquois migrated.

Gathering was the job of the women and children. Wild roots, greens, berries and nuts were gathered in the summer. During spring, maple syrup was tapped from the trees, and herbs were gathered for medicine.

The Iroquois hunted mostly deer but also other game such as wild turkey and migratory birds. Muskrat and beaver were hunted during the winter. Fishing was also a significant source of food because the Iroquois were located near a large river. They fished salmon, trout, bass, perch and whitefish. In the spring the Iroquois netted, and in the winter fishing holes were made in the ice.[34


Since they had no writing system, the Iroquois depended upon the spoken word to pass down their history, traditions, and rituals. As an aid to memory, the Iroquois used shells and shell beads. The Europeans called the beads wampum, from wampumpeag, a word used by Indians in the area who spoke Algonquin languages.

The type of wampum most commonly used in historic times was bead wampum, cut from various seashells, ground and polished, and then bored through the center with a small hand drill. The purple and white beads, made from the shell of the quahog clam, were arranged on belts in designs representing events of significance.

Certain elders were designated to memorize the various events and treaty articles represented on the belts. These men could "read" the belts and reproduce their contents with great accuracy. The belts were stored at Onondaga, the capital of the confederacy, in the care of a designated wampum keeper.

Famous wampum belts of the Iroquois include the Hiawatha Wampum, which represents the (original) Five Nations, the spatial arrangement of their individual territories, and the nature of their roles in the Confederacy. The modern Iroquois flag is a rendition of the pattern of the original Hiawatha Wampum belt. The Two Row Wampum, also known as Guswhenta, depicts the agreement made between the Iroquois league and representatives of the Dutch government in 1613, an agreement upon which all subsequent Iroquois treaties with Europeans and Americans have been based. Today, replicas of the Two Row Wampum are often displayed for ceremonial or educational purposes. Other historical wampum belts representing specific agreements or historical occurrences are known to exist, although many have been lost or stolen.

Women in society

When Americans and Canadians of European descent began to study Iroquois customs in the 18th and 19th centuries, they observed that women assumed a position in Iroquois society roughly equal in power to that of the men. Individual women could hold property including dwellings, horses and farmed land, and their property before marriage stayed in their possession without being mixed with that of their husband's. The work of a woman's hands was hers to do with as she saw fit. A husband lived in the longhouse of his wife's family. A woman choosing to divorce a shiftless or otherwise unsatisfactory husband was able to ask him to leave the dwelling, taking any of his possessions with him. Women had responsibility for the children of the marriage, and children were educated by members of the mother's family. The clans were matrilineal, that is, clan ties were traced through the mother's line. If a couple separated, the woman kept the children. Violence against women by men was virtually unknown.[35]

The chief of a clan could be removed at any time by a council of the mothers of that clan, and the chief's sister was responsible for nominating his successor.[35]

Spiritual beliefs

Spirits animated all of nature and controlled the changing of the seasons. Key festivals coincided with the major events of the agricultural calendar, including a harvest festival of thanksgiving. The Great Peacemaker (Deganawida) was their prophet. After the arrival of the Europeans, many Iroquois became Christians, among them Kateri Tekakwitha, a young woman of Mohawk-Algonkin parents. Traditional religion was revived to some extent in the second half of the 18th century by the teachings of the Iroquois prophet Handsome Lake.[36]


The first five nations listed below formed the original Five Nations (listed from west to north); the Tuscarora became the sixth nation in 1720.

English name Iroquoian Meaning 17th/18th century location
Seneca Onondowahgah "People of the Great Hill" Seneca Lake and Genesee River
Cayuga Guyohkohnyoh "People of the Great Swamp" Cayuga Lake
Onondaga Onöñda'gega' "People of the Hills" Onondaga Lake
Oneida Onayotekaono "People of Standing Stone" Oneida Lake
Mohawk Kanien'kehá:ka "People of the Great Flint" Mohawk River
Tuscarora1 Ska-Ruh-Reh ""Hemp Gatherers"[37] From North Carolina²
1 Not one of the original Five Nations; joined 1720.

2 Settled between Oneidas and Onondagas.

Iroquois Five Nations c. 1650 Iroquois Six Nations c. 1720

Within each of the six nations, people are divided into a number of matrilineal clans. The number of clans varies by nation, currently from three to eight, with a total of nine different clan names.

Current clans
Seneca Cayuga Onondaga Tuscarora Oneida Mohawk
Wolf (Hoñnat‘haiioñ'n‘) Wolf Wolf Wolf (Θkwarì•nę) Wolf (Thayú:ni) Wolf (Okwáho)
Bear (Hodidjioiñi’'g’) Bear Bear Bear (Uhčíhręˀ) Bear (Ohkwá:li) Bear (Ohkwá:ri)
Turtle (Hadiniǎ‘'děñ‘) Turtle Turtle Turtle (Ráˀkwihs) Turtle (A'no:wál) Turtle (A'nó:wara)
Sandpiper (Hodi'ne`si'iu') Sandpiper Sandpiper Sandpiper (Tawístawis)
Deer (Hadinioñ'gwaiiu') Deer Deer
Beaver (Hodigěn’'gegā’) Beaver Beaver (Rakinęhá•ha•ˀ)
Heron Heron
Hawk Hawk
Eel Eel (Akunęhukwatíha•ˀ)

Prominent individuals

* Frederick Alexcee, artist (also of Tsimshian ancestry)
* Henry Armstrong, boxer, #2 in Ring Magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years
* George Armstrong, hockey player, most successful captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs with five Stanley Cup victories.
* Joseph Brant or Thayendanegea, Mohawk leader
* Cornplanter or Kaintwakon, Seneca chief
* Deganawida or The Great Peacemaker, the traditional founder along with Hiawatha of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy
* Graham Greene, Canadian Oneida
* Handsome Lake or Ganioda'yo, Seneca religious leader
* Ki Longfellow, novelist
* Oren Lyons, Onondaga, a traditional Faithkeeper of the Turtle clan
* Ely S. Parker, Seneca, Union Army officer during American Civil War, Commissioner of Indian Affairs during Ulysses S. Grant's first term as President.
* Red Jacket, Seneca orator and chief of the Wolf clan
* Robbie Robertson, Mohawk, songwriter, guitarist and singer best known for his membership in The Band.
* Joanne Shenandoah, Oneida singer, songwriter, actress and educator
* Jay Silverheels, actor, of Canadian Mohawk origin
* Kateri Tekakwitha, first Catholic Native American saint, patron of ecology, of Mohawk and Algonquin ancestry
* Canassatego, Tadadaho of the Iroquois Confederacy


Grand Council

The Grand Council of the Iroquois League is an assembly of 50 Hoyenah (chiefs) or Sachems, a number that has never changed. The seats on the Council are distributed among the Six Nations as follows:

* 14 Onondaga
* 10 Cayuga
* 9 Oneida
* 9 Mohawk
* 8 Seneca
* 0 Tuscarora

When anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan studied the Grand Council in the 19th century, he interpreted it as a central government. This interpretation became influential, but some scholars have since argued that while the Grand Council served an important ceremonial role, it was not a government in the sense that Morgan thought.[4][5][6] According to this view, Iroquois political and diplomatic decisions were made on the local level, and were based on assessments of community consensus; a central government that dictates policy to the people at large is not the Iroquois model of government.

Unanimity in public acts was essential to the Council. In 1855, Minnie Myrtle observed that no Iroquois treaty was binding unless it was ratified by 75% of the male voters and 75% of the mothers of the nation.[38] In revising Council laws and customs, a consent of two-thirds of the mothers was required.[38]

The women held real power, particularly the power to veto treaties or declarations of war.[38] The members of the Grand Council of Sachems were chosen by the mothers of each clan, and if any leader failed to comply with the wishes of the women of his tribe and the Great Law of Peace, he could be demoted by the mother of his clan, a process called "knocking off the horns" which removed the deer antlers emblem of leadership from his headgear and returned him to private life.[38][39] Councils of the mothers of each tribe were held separately from the men's councils. Men were employed by the women as runners to send word of their decisions to concerned parties, or a woman could appear at the men's council as an orator, presenting the view of the women. Women often took the initiative in suggesting legislation.[38]

The Iroquois government has issued passports since around 1980. Before 2001 these were accepted by various nations for international travel, but this is no longer the case[40]. The Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team was allowed by the U.S. to travel to an international lacrosse tournament in England after the personal intervention of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 14, 2010. However, Her Majesty's government refused to recognize the Iroquois passports and denied the team members entry into the United Kingdom.[41]

Influence on the United States

The Iroquois Influence Thesis is one side of a currently debated argument about the influence on the development of the Articles of Confederation or United States Constitution.[42][43] The Influence Thesis became popular in the 1980s, particularly through publications by Donald Grinde and Bruce Johansen. According to these historians, the democratic ideals of the Great Law of Peace provided a significant inspiration to Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and other framers of the United States Constitution. [44] The popularity of the Influence Thesis culminated with the United States Congress passing a resolution in October 1988, specifically recognizing the influence of the Iroquois League upon the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.[45]

Opposition to the Influence Thesis comes from many scholars, including experts on the Iroquois and the US Constitution. According to historian Jack Rakove, "The voluminous records we have for the constitutional debates of the late 1780s contain no significant references to the Iroquois."[46] Scholars of the Iroquois Confederacy who have rejected the Influence Thesis include William N. Fenton and Francis Jennings, who called it "absurd".[47] Anthropologist Dean Snow writes:

There is, however, little or no evidence that the framers of the Constitution sitting in Philadelphia drew much inspiration from the League. [48]

In support of the Influence Thesis are quotes from certain founding fathers. John Adams was quoted as saying:

The form of governments of the ancient Germans and the modern Indians; in both, the existence of the three divisions of power is marked with a precision that excludes all controversy. The democratical branch, especially, is so determined, that the real sovereignty resided in the body of the people, and was exercised in the assembly of king, nobles, and commons together. [49]

Benjamin Franklin also stated:

It would be a very strange thing, if six Nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a Scheme for such a Union … and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a Dozen English Colonies. [50]

Modern communities

* Canada
o Kahnawake Mohawk in Quebec
o Kanesatake Mohawk in Quebec
o Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne in Ontario
o Thames Oneida in Ontario
o Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario
o Tyendinaga Mohawk in Ontario
o Wahta Mohawk in Ontario

* United States
o Cayuga Nation in New York
o Ganienkeh Mohawk — not federally recognized
o Kanatsiohareke Mohawk
o Onondaga Nation in New York
o Oneida Indian Nation in New York
o Oneida Tribe of Indians in Wisconsin
o St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians in New York
o Seneca Nation of New York
o Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma
o Tuscarora Nation of New York

See also

* Covenant Chain
* David Cusick
* Economy of the Iroquois
* Ely S. Parker
* False Face Society
* Ganondagan State Historic Site
* Gideon Hawley
* Handsome Lake
* Hiawatha
* History of New York
* Iroquoian languages
* Iroquois mythology
* Iroquois Nationals
* Mohawk Chapel
* Red Jacket
* Sir William Johnson
* Six Nations of the Grand River
* Smoke Johnson
* Sullivan Expedition
* Town Destroyer
* The Kahnawake Iroquois and the Rebellions of 1837-38
* The Flying Head


1. ^ Haudenosaunee is pronounced /hɔːdɛnəˈʃɔːni/ in English, Akunęhsyę̀niˀ in Tuscarora (Rudes, B., Tuscarora English Dictionary, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), and Rotinonsionni in Mohawk.
2. ^ Encyclopedia of the Haudenosaunee pg.135. Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
3. ^ "First Nations Culture Areas Index". the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
4. ^ a b c Richter, "Ordeals of the Longhouse", in Richter and Merrill, eds., Beyond the Covenant Chain, 11–12.
5. ^ a b Fenton, Great Law and the Longhouse, 4–5.
6. ^ a b Shannon, Iroquois Diplomacy, 72–73.
7. ^ Peck, William (1908). History of Rochester and Monroe county, New York. pp. 12. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
8. ^ "The Iroquois Confederacy". The Light Party. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
9. ^ The Iroquois. Google Books. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
10. ^ Jennings, p.43
11. ^ Hanna, The Wilderness Trail p. 97
12. ^ Louis F. Burns, "Osage" Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, retrieved 2 March 2009
13. ^ Fenton, Great Law and the Longhouse, 69.
14. ^ Shannon, Iroquois Diplomacy, 25.
15. ^ Johansen, Bruce (1995). "Dating the Iroquois Confederacy". Akwesasne Notes New Series 1 (3): 62–63. Retrieved Dec 12, 2008.
16. ^ Johansen, Bruce Elliott; Mann, Barbara Alice (2000). "Ganondagan". Encyclopedia of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 105. ISBN 9780313308802. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
17. ^ Snow, The Iroquois, 231.
18. ^ The History of Onondage'ga'
19. ^ Muir, Diana, Reflections in Bullough's Pond, University Press of New England
20. ^ Bernard G. Hoffman, 1955, Souriquois, Etechemin, and Kwedech - - A Lost Chapter in American Ethnography
21. ^ James F. Pendergast, 1991, The Massawomeck.
22. ^ "From beads to banner". Indian Country Today. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
23. ^ "Haudenosaunee Flag". First Americans. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
24. ^ Reville, F. Douglas. The History of the County of Brant, p. 20.
25. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, "The Hurons"
26. ^ Francis Parkman[citation needed]
27. ^ a b Jennings, p. 135
28. ^ Jennings, p.160
29. ^ Jennings, p. 111
30. ^ "The Four Indian Kings". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
31. ^ Joseph Solomon Walton, 1900, Conrad Weiser and the Indian Policy of Colonial Pennsylvania p. 76-121.
32. ^ Oneida Nation of New York Conveyance of Lands Into Trust pg 3-159, Department of Indian Affairs
33. ^ Jennings, p. 95
34. ^ Bial, Raymond (1999). Lifeways: The Iroquois. New York: Benchmark Books. ISBN 0761408029.
35. ^ a b Wagner, Sally Roesch (1999). "Iroquois Women Inspire 19th Century Feminists". National NOW Times. National Organization for Women. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
36. ^ Wallace, Anthony (April 12, 1972). Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. Vintage. ISBN 978-0394716992.
37. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Iroquois
38. ^ a b c d e Wagner, Sally Roesch (1993). "The Iroquois Influence on Women's Rights". in Sakolsky, Ron; Koehnline, James. Gone To Croatan: Origins of North American Dropout Culture. Brooklyn, New York: Autonomedia. pp. 240–247. ISBN 0936756926. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
39. ^
40. ^
41. ^
42. ^ "The Six Nations: Oldest Living Participatory Democracy on Earth". Retrieved 2007-10-27.
43. ^ Armstrong, Virginia Irving. I Have Spoken: American History Through the Voices of the Indians. Pocket Books. p. 14. SBN 671-78555-9.
44. ^ Fadden, John Kahionhes. The Tree of Peace.
45. ^ "H. Con. Res. 331, October 21, 1988". United States Senate. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
46. ^ "Did the Founding Fathers Really Get Many of Their Ideas of Liberty from the Iroquois?". George Mason University. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
47. ^ Francis Jennings, Empire of fortune: crowns, colonies, and tribes in the Seven Years War in America (New York: Norton, 1988), p. 259 note 15.
48. ^ Snow, The Iroquois, 154.
49. ^ Adams, Charles Francis ed. A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, in The Works of John Adams, vol.4, ed. Boston: 1851. (296)
50. ^ The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. vol. 4 (118-119)


* Fenton, William N. The Great Law and the Longhouse: a political history of the Iroquois Confederacy. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. ISBN 0806130032.
* Jennings, Francis. The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire: the Covenant Chain confederation of Indian tribes with English colonies from its beginnings to the Lancaster Treaty of 1744. New York: Norton, 1984. ISBN 0393017192.
* Jennings, Francis, ed. The History and culture of Iroquois diplomacy: an interdisciplinary guide to the treaties of the Six Nations and their league. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1985. ISBN 0815626509.
* Richter, Daniel K. The ordeal of the longhouse: the peoples of the Iroquois League in the era of European colonization. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992. ISBN 0807820601.
* Richter, Daniel K., and James H. Merrell, eds. Beyond the covenant chain: the Iroquois and their neighbors in Indian North America, 1600–1800. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003. ISBN 027102299X.
* Shannon, Timothy J. Iroquois Diplomacy on the Early American Frontier. New York: Viking, 2008. ISBN 9780670018970.
* Snow, Dean R. The Iroquois. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1994. ISBN 1557862257.
* Tooker, Elisabeth, ed. An Iroquois source book. 3 volumes. New York: Garland, 1985–1986. ISBN 0824058771.

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