What Clients Want From An Article

Writing has emerged as one of the most preferred freelance career options for people who have good language skills. By writing online, a person can now make good money. However, it needs to be understood that not everyone can write articles that will be accepted by the online clients. What the online media needs is a writer who can follow some basic writing rules so that the articles that are written by him or her meet the purpose.

In most cases, writers are needed to write online articles that comply with certain rules and standards that will make the client’s webpage rank higher. This is perhaps the most important and basic purpose of article writing. The clients therefore look for writers who understand SEO and other such techniques that make the article more visible thereby making the online business of the client more prominent over the World Wide Web.

Here are the basics that a writer should know about what a client looks for in the articles:

1. Uniqueness – The first aspect about writing articles for clients online is to maintain uniqueness. The fact that you have been paid for the articles you write is a reason enough to understand that you are being paid for your efforts to research on the provided topic and write and not to copy from the information already or readily available on the internet. There are various tools that help you to check the originality or uniqueness of the article you have written. The most popular being Copyscape. It is unique and original content that will be ranked higher and help your client increase the visibility of his online business.

2. High quality – The next important thing about the articles that you write is the quality. It is important to keep in mind that the language you choose to write the article in should be very familiar to you. If you are writing articles in English, you need to be sure that you write flawless articles which are perfect in English grammar and thought flow. This applies to writing articles for clients in any other language as well. No matter how unique or SEP streamlined your article is, the client will always want to pay for articles that have good content so that the readers get attracted to it.

3. Keyword-rich content – When writing for online submission or online publishing, it is important to understand that the articles that help the webpage or blog rank higher are always that are preferred. This means, that you need to have a proper understanding of what keywords you need to use in your article and the keyword density you need to follow. In most cases, the clients will state the keywords and keyword density. It may help you even further if you are able to o some keyword research using tools like Google AdWords to further enhance the visibility of your articles by the search engines.

Writing articles for online clients to get paid is definitely an easy way to earn some passive income. However, it is important to get some basic training on content development to enhance your exposure and understand the above parameters better.

How to Plan a Family Day at a Baseball Game

Summer brings thoughts of fun family outings at sunny beaches, garden picnics, and professional baseball games.

Professional baseball may not be first on your list of family outings, but it is worth consideration. Whether it’s one of the major league teams, one of the approximately 250 minor league teams, or a college team, baseball is an affordable entertainment venue available to families. With minimal planning, the whole family can enjoy a day at the ball park. Ballparks host promotional events that can range from fireworks after the game to fan participation events complete with prizes.

An entire nine inning baseball game will take at least two and a half hours so plan ahead if children will be in attendance. Things to think about when planning for a baseball outing with children are:

Food: Professional ballparks will not allow the fan to bring any food or drinks (unless for a baby) into the stadium. There will be food offerings available for purchase at the ballpark. Limiting sugary food intake for children is always a good idea. A parent might want to consider selecting peanuts or popcorn to start and saving the Crackerjacks for the last couple of innings. (Wait until the closer comes to the mound.)

Sunscreen: Baseball is a summertime sport. Sunburns happen quickly so bring a good sunscreen. Apply it often. If a baby or toddler is in attendance, bringing an umbrella to provide shade may be a good choice or select seats in a shady area.

Hats: The team will be offering a variety of baseball hats and buying one at the park could be a practical souvenir of the outing.

Water: Again most professional ballparks do not allow liquids into the stadium. Remember to budget for plenty of drinking water and keep it handy for children.

Money: It is easy to spend more than intended when going to a ballpark. Decide on a budget for food and souvenirs. Remember to budget your money so you don’t end up spending too much on food and water. A quick check of the team’s website usually will provide a good idea of the various items for sale and the cost.

Hopefully these tips will help you and your family enjoy a great day at the baseball game. With a little bit of planning, a few hours spent at a baseball game can provide a lifetime of fond memories for the entire family.

Don’t forget to take the baseball gloves to get those foul balls.

The Flavorful Delights of Israeli Cuisine

It figures I’m about to start a culinary journey on Israeli cuisine while being exceptionally hungry. In my mind’s eye (and a grumbling stomach) I can see the comfort foods of my youth; foods that might make some people in the world ask, what on earth is that?

There’s no easy way to pigeon hole Israeli cuisine, a blend of cultures from Eastern Europe to the shores of Northern Africa and the far reaches of Asia. Each distinct region has brought Israel to the forefront the very best of their tasty dishes, making the act of eating in Israel a vacation all its own.

Many of you might have already heard of some traditional Israeli dishes. Ashkenazi cuisine comes from the folks from Eastern Europe. These are the same folks that give us some wonderfully sweet pastries, yet gave us borsht and gefilte fish. Go figure.

Sephardic foods come from countries like Spain and Morocco, food like the savory pastry known as bourekas, made with puff pastry filled with cheese and spinach, just to name a few.

I’m getting ahead of myself–I should’ve talked about breakfast first. It is the most important meal of the day, right? Most hotels in Israel are quite proud of their Israeli breakfast, which many promote in order to get you to stay there.

Oh no, my American friends, this isn’t your bacon-laden, side of home-fries meal. Look around, you’ll find bowls of fresh fruit, salads made with finely chopped tomatoes, fish, eggs, bread, and yogurt.

Now that I think about it, almost all of Israel’s dishes center on fresh produce. This even includes the ever popular falafel; fried ground chickpeas stuffed in a pita served with Israeli salad (tomato, cucumber, onion) and tahina.

Oh tahina, a sesame sauce that makes everything taste better. Not that the world’s best street food like falafel can’t stand on its own, mind you.

I think the only thing more popular than falafel is hummus. Made with ground chickpeas, often served with pine nuts or a smatter of olive oil, it is generally eaten with just pita. Hummus is so popular in Israeli cuisine it seems to be a culinary staple, no matter what meal it is.

Food in Israel might be fresh and tasty, but it means nothing if not shared with family and loved ones. That is, unless, you’ve gotten a Moroccan and Tunisian fighting it out over who makes better couscous, a dish made from semolina flour with lamb or chicken simmered with veggies on top.

One of the best ways to enjoy Israeli food with the family is a hafla. This is a traditional Bedouin meal of salads and kebabs with Bedouin pita (known as fatir) served as you lounge on soft pillows drinking mint infused beverages (like tea or lemonade).

Food is so ingrained in Israeli culture so that if you’ve been invited into someone’s home, they will try to feed you. And it’s an insult to refuse–so eat up.

Food even has its superstitions. One lady friend who was going to have a baby mentioned in passing that she was “craving” falafel, only to be handed an entire container of them by her Israeli neighbor soon afterwards, simply because it was “wrong” to refuse a pregnant lady any food she wished for.

You could go on forever talking about food in Israel, and spend another lifetime talking about beverages in Israel. Great, now I’m even hungrier than when I started.–someone pass the falafel, please?

Europe – The Best Way to Explore Your Destinations

Our main modes of transportation consisted of the Eurorail, TGV, Metro and walking. But, as with every other aspect of trip planning, it is important to research because there are numerous options available.

There is the choice of whether to get first or second class train tickets; there really is a difference between the two although in the end, they both get you to where you want to go. With first class the seats are very comfortable, there is leg room and ample space for luggage, as well as drinks are offered by passing porters. We chose this option because of the length of time we would be spending on Eurorail while travelling through three different countries.

However, from Paris to Switzerland, we chose the TGV train system which travels at 320 km hour and often faster. This cut our train travel for this leg of our journey from over six hours to about three hours. We chose not to make reservations which would have been an additional cost, deciding to take our chances on not having to wait. Because we left early for the train station, and because the trains leave hourly, we were fortunate in not having a long wait time.

While in Switzerland we were able to use our Eurorail pass. If we had not had this pass, we would’ve had to purchase Swiss passes for transportation while in Switzerland. Our Eurorail pass also gave us passage on the ferries in both Lucerne and Interlacken as well as the cogwheel trains we took up Rigi Kulm Mountain and Jungfrauloch Mountain in Switzerland.

When we purchased our rail passes, based on the fact that we would be travelling to three countries, we got the three country, seven day pass which was ideal for our requirements although as it turned out, the two country pass would’ve been sufficient since the TGV had to be purchased separately. The cost of the pass is determined by the number of countries you visit and the number of days you are using your pass. Purchasing Eurorail passes outside of Europe is cheaper. The open tour bus in Rome was an additional cost. When we were travelling by train, we had to be aware of what the station before our stop was so we could get our luggage and be ready to leave the train when it came into the station.

While in Paris and Rome, we used the Metro system of transportation or by walking to our destinations. Both Metro systems were quite easy to use and in Paris in particular, almost every station had people available to answer questions. Also in Paris, the route you needed to take to get to the train level you wanted, was very clearly marked on the walls at each fork. While in Rome we only used their Metro system one day and had clear instructions on which line we needed to take and the station we had to get off. In both Paris and Rome Metro systems, the next station is shown overhead on a flashing sign so you are given ample warning.

The only taxi we took while in Europe was to the airport to catch our flights home. We could have taken a shuttle or bus to the train station which, between connections, would have taken several hours. For an early morning flight, and with the difficulty of having luggage to worry about, the cost of a taxi was well worth the extra money spent.

Before travelling, make sure to research, plan and organize so that things will go as smoothly as possible and time isn’t wasted trying to get information when that time could be spent travelling and getting to your point of destination more quickly. This is especially true when your travel time is limited as ours was – three countries, eight cities and other specific areas in just two weeks.

How To Get More Jobs For Your Painting Business

One of the most effective ways to get more jobs is to simply show people that you are an expert and that you know what you are talking about. This part usually happens during an estimate. People sense whether you know what you are doing or not.

When I first started my painting business I wasn’t hindered much by my lack of experience. But then I didn’t charge much back then either. But if you want to make some serious cash this year as a professional painter you will need to get some specialized knowledge as quickly as possible in all areas of your business – painting application, estimating and most importantly, advertising.

Bidding on smaller $300 – $500 paint jobs or anything under $1,000 is something any painter can get because the customer knows you are small potatoes. But if you are doing a larger bid for say, $5,000, $8,000 or higher, you must be able to convince the prospective customer that you know what you are doing and that you can handle the work.

You must also be able to justify the price as well. All this takes experience and knowledge. And having the right knowledge can compensate for experience as long as you actually do good work.

Also, customers want to deal with someone who is knowledgeable about the product or service they want to buy. Everyone when they are buying something wants to deal with someone who knows what they are talking about. They want to deal with that salesman on the floor who knows his merchandise. Whether it is a new appliance, a big screen TV etc.

This is also true when it comes to someone wanting to get an expensive paint job in or on their home or place of business. One of the very best and most effective ways to gain customer trust and get more painting business is to be able to answer a prospect’s questions intelligently. To do that you need knowledge and experience. Now knowledge is a whole lot cheaper to get that experience. Experience takes way too long to achieve. So getting the right knowledge is a far better, faster and surer way to gain customer confidence.

Again, your knowledge and experience as a house painter automatically shows through when you know what you are doing and when you know what you are talking about during an estimate. This gives homeowners and companies confidence in doing business with you. The old saying “fake it until you make it” doesn’t always work as well as getting specialized knowledge and information from other professional painters. And getting it as much as possible when first starting your new business.

Experience is nice to have but it also carries a big price tag called “time” – something all of us don’t have enough of. This is why getting as much of the right specialized knowledge as possible can catapult your business forward quickly and profitably as well. Specialized knowledge in painting, estimating and advertising makes for a rock-solid business. And it will help your painting business to grow faster.

Opiate Addiction: Tips for Treatment

Methadone is a particularly addictive drug, but is often used in the treatment of heroin addiction. Also known as Symoron, Dolphine, Amidone and Methadose, Methadone belongs to the opioid family of drugs. This prescription drug is often prescribed to treat the pain and withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin addiction. For a person trying to get off heroin, their doctor may prescribe this drug to help them cope while their body experiences living without the drug in its system. This not only helps make it easier for an addict to cope while they are dealing with intense withdrawal symptoms from stopping, but also can prevent serious medical issues such as heart attack and stroke.

Methadone is the first step of treatment for many addicts. It gives them the chance to get off the drugs without having withdrawal symptoms so extreme that they can barely function. For serious addicts, these withdrawal symptoms can last for months, even longer. For some people, they will feel urges for the rest of their life. It is definitely not easy to overcome a drug addiction, but this is a necessary process for someone hooked on drugs who wants to get clean. Methadone can help you get your life back, so if this is something you’re interested in, you should talk to your doctor to get more details. They will be able to provide you with the necessary information and get you a prescription if you are thought to be a good candidate for the drug.

The detox process is essential for anyone trying to get off heroin. Be prepared for serious withdrawal symptoms, including anything from muscle aches, anxiety and muscle tension to headaches, nausea and agitation. You may feel edgy, moody and miserable, you may notice that you’re sweating or even feel almost feverish. These are all normal, expected symptoms. Physical and emotional symptoms are expected, especially with a drug like heroin. These symptoms are occurring because you are stopping the drugs after heavy and prolonged use, forcing your body to become dependent without the use of the drugs.

Keep in mind that you may have to take additional medication along with the Methadone drug, especially if you notice that you are experiencing very intense symptoms. You may be placed on long-term maintenance, which means you could be taking Methadone for the long-term or even for the rest of your life, if your doctor feels it is helpful for your recovery. You need to stay in close contact with your doctor to properly monitor your progress. They can ensure there are no potential complications arising as a result of your treatment, such as aspiration or dehydration.

The most important thing is that after you go through treatment, once you have gotten yourself on the right track and aren’t using anymore, that you do whatever it takes to stay off the drugs. The last thing you want is to end up back in the same situation you started, having to start all over from square one. Go through a support group or have regular sessions with a therapist, to have someone there to talk to and support you during this difficult time in your life. It always helps to have someone there who you can feel safe venting to, expressing your feelings and getting support from when you’re not feeling at your strongest.

Millions of people suffer from heroin addiction, and if you are one of those people, at least you know you have options. Methadone is an effective treatment for heroin addicts, offering many advantages to users as a means of treatment.

Simple Woodworking Business Marketing Tips

First off, you are a small business. Unlike big businesses that can afford to advertise for name recognition and future product sales, you need an advertising plan that will create sales now. A good approach to this would be to offer something special in your advertisements.

People buy things every day. However, not all people make their decision to buy any particular product or service for the same reason. Some consumers care only about the price while others are more concerned about the quality. You can easily appeal to either of these groups.

Offer Different Priced Versions

Some customers just do not want to pay the full price for anything, while others are concerned about only getting something for the lowest price regardless of the quality. You can appeal to these types of customers with a discounted or scaled down model that sells for less.

On the other hand, there are those who are not opposed to paying a little more to get a quality product and/or service. You can increase your average sale by offering your premium wood products or a combination of products at a higher but fair price.

Use Alternative Marketing Methods

Find the marketing methods that your competition may be overlooking. There are many low-cost ways to get the word out about your woodworking business.

Create a website or blog. Promote your woodworking business with mailings. A small ad printed on a simple postcard and mailed to perspective customers can generate sales leads and website traffic.

Run smaller ads. This will allow you to have more advertisements for less money. Shorter, smaller ads have a surprisingly better response rate than you might think. Smaller ads often produce better results than their larger counterparts.

Consider Joint Venture Advertising

Contact some of the non-competing businesses in your area that serve the same customer base as your woodworking business. Suggest starting a cooperative advertising campaign with them. You could promote their business by referring customers to them and they would in turn do the same for you. You could even offer discounts to the referred customers. This type of cross promotion results in more sales for both businesses and literally costs nothing…

Reward Your Customers

Take advantage of your woodworking business’s most valuable asset: your current customers. These people know you and have come to trust and believe in your work. It is a lot easier to entice more business from a prior customer than someone who hasn’t bought from you yet.

Alert these customers to any new woodworking products or services before you release them to the general public, and offer them a special deal.

Your satisfied customers are your best advertisement, so use this to your advantage and reward them whenever you can. Give your customers a reason to refer you to their friends. Develop incentives that will encourage them to spread the word about you and your woodworking business. A discount on their next product is well worth a new customer.

These simple marketing tips provide affordable ways for your woodworking business to create a customer base and produce sales quickly.

Understanding Your Landing Page

Trends in the marketing and advertising industry are ever-changing. They evolve depending on the developments of target markets and consumers. Before, promotions are centered on traditional media. Businesses invest in print advertisements in magazines and newspapers. They also pay for television and radio advertisements when they want to reach a wider range of market.

Nowadays, though, a new line of advertising and marketing strategy has emerged together with the rise of the online industry. As the target market becomes considerably larger online, businesses become more focused on their promotional strategies. The audience online is so vast that businesses find difficulty in actually reaching out to their market, let alone encouraging them to become actual clients.

This is why a lot of businesses now focus on creating good sales copies and engaging websites for their online market. They have even opened work from home opportunities for content writers, web page designers, and other skilled individuals. One of the best strategies that these businesses employ is the use of landing pages.

A landing page appears when you click through a search engine result or an online ad posting. Usually, these are stand-alone pages that only contain a link to the official website if the reader gets more interested. A comprehensive sales copy is commonly featured in landing pages. Often, they are made for specific advertising purposes or when there is a particular product that a company would like to give emphasis on.

Landing pages may also appear as the result of a link from a social networking account or a specialized marketing campaign. These are the pages that you get redirected to when you click through a badge from the sidebar of your Facebook account or from a blog that you are visiting. You may also reach this through a promotional message sent to you via email.

There are two general types of a landing page. One is the reference type, wherein you only get to view information and content displayed for you. This is the kind that you put up for the purpose of direct promotion. In this type, visitors of the page are given outright the information that they need. The other type of landing page is referred to as transactional because it requires visitors to enter log-in details for them to be able to view the content of the page.

In creating landing pages, you must be able to consider a few essential factors to ensure that they reach the objective for which they are made for. One of these factors is the accessibility of your page. You have to ensure that when a potential client decides to peruse the landing page for your product all of its contents are easily accessible. The information must all be displayed in a well-organized manner to display transparency and encourage understanding of your brand and product.

You should also be able to consider the relevance of your content to the immediate market that you may reach. As the Internet is a wide market, this page will likely be visited by various people. However, only those who find your content relevant to their needs would be interested enough to read through and even click to be redirected to your actual website. This is why you have to ensure that your content would prove to relate to your audience, regardless of their needs and statuses. They have to be able to see some benefit, however remotely, out of the product that you are offering them.

Finally, in creating a landing page, you must also consider the level of interaction that it promotes. Online users are usually more enticed when they get to a page that tries to interact with them because they feel significant to the purpose. You must make your readers feel this way so that they would be encouraged to visit your website and, eventually, become actual clients. Interactive landing pages may include forum questions, online promo contests, and information exchange.

Landing pages are really beneficial for website owners especially to those who are managing work from home opportunities. They do need not to compile all information in just one website. Just always remember to put in your landing page all relevant information for your brand to gain the trust of your immediate market.

Shakespeare on Addiction: Sonnet 129

Something interesting happens every time I teach Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129. I’m reasonably certain the term “sex addiction” didn’t exist in his day – and neither did 12 step groups for it, with Elizabethans turning up in their flamboyant garb – but that doesn’t mean that the problem, and its attendant degradations, didn’t exist. Just ask Shakespeare about his Dark Lady.***

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Why am I thinking about sonnet 129? Shakespeare’s sonnets beg for interpretation, and it’s not just because they are formal masterpieces that we should, as intelligent folk, feel compelled to dissect for dissection’s sake. No, there’s more to them than that. His sonnets are relevant today and I’m going to show you why.

A few years ago, I came across an hour long documentary made about Vancouver’s notorious downtown eastside. The area has been ravaged by an influx of drugs and its victims, earning it a reputation for being something of an elephants’ graveyard: it’s where addicts go to die. The film was called Through a Blue Lens and was shot, mostly, by two beat cops who wanted to portray the lives of the addicts living there. It’s not a warm and fuzzy film about drug addiction, but it’s not condemnatory either. Here’s an excerpt:

The plight of those living in that part of Vancouver became a minor cause célèbre in 1999, in part because The Globe and Mail published a photo essay of its denizens that left a lot of Canadians gasping. It made us aware, in a none-too-gentle way, that we had inner city problems just as bad as some cities south of the border. Vancouver’s port is a gateway for the drug trade and it seems at least some of these drugs don’t travel far: they form the lifeblood of those immiserated souls living in the downtown area.

So why look at Canada’s Skid Row when we’re talking about Shakespeare? It’s because his definition of addiction is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s relevant today and that’s because when addicts talk about their suffering, they report (albeit less eloquently) many of the same things. And when I say things, I mean they report having many of the same feelings and experiences described by Shakespeare. Those haunting sounds of agony — the addict’s anguish — are distilled, painfully and thoroughly, in this poem.

It begins:

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Shakespeare believes we forfeit our spirit – our soul – when we engage in addictive behaviour. The expense, or the price of the addiction, is paid with it. Waste here is used literally (implying that lives are wasted by addiction) and also symbolically to denote a place. This double meaning is made obvious by the use of the preposition in, as “in” a waste of shame. Waste as a place bookends neatly with that other inferno, hell, mentioned in the closing couplet.

Lust is Shakespeare’s drug of choice and the belief is that it was aimed at the infamous Dark Lady, that promiscuous creature that had Shakespeare, and others, utterly intoxicated.

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust

What are the signs of Shakespeare’s enslavement? The form of a sonnet is strictly prescribed: it is made up of three quatrains — three groups of four lines — and a closing couplet. The rhyme scheme tends to alternate lines, meaning the first line rhymes with the third, the second with the fourth, etc. The lines are usually made up of phrases that go towards forming sentences. However, in this quatrain, the last half is simply a list of adjectives or adjective phrases, enumerating Shakespeare’s agonies. And these agonies are stated strongly, with words like murderous, bloody, savage and extreme.

This is a man in the throes of an obsession, an obsession that won’t even allow him to form coherent thoughts; instead he spits out a list of adjectives to convey his feelings. Shakespeare the wordsmith created this list for a reason. It’s there to denote a burst of feeling that can’t be contained.

But does this fury of Shakespeare’s capture the state of those sad and emaciated souls wandering the downtown eastside? I would argue it does and the key word here is shame. Ask any active addict how they feel about their life and you are bound to discover, underneath the anger and street braggadocio, a deep and murky well of it. That shame is what keeps them using; it’s what keeps them from wanting to feel.

After Shakespeare establishes his narrative voice, he turns to the cyclical nature of his malady. In the second quatrain, he states:

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Here we see the structural and thematic rendering of the cycle of addiction. Let me translate: the addict no sooner enjoys (uses) her drug when she starts to despise its consequences straight (right away). However, beyond all reason she continues to hunt for it, and again, as soon as she consumes it, she hates it beyond all reason because she can’t stop. Then Shakespeare expands the subtle animal imagery and lays blame on suppliers and enablers. Her drug is like a trap laid on purpose and it makes her, the taker, mad. Mad here is being used in the British sense of the word, meaning insane.

It’s usually at this point in my class that I stop and ask students to think of an activity, any activity, they do to excess. Do they spend too much time online? Eat too much of the wrong kind of food? Text incessantly? And it’s also here that I tell them my own little story of addiction, the one that had me frequently rushing to the neighbourhood corner store, in Toronto, when I was a student.

I had an addiction and it was to Swedish Berries, those soft red candies that taste heavenly but are of no nutritional value whatever. These darlings came in handy at midnight when I had an essay to finish and needed a sugar boost. However, the problem was that I didn’t know when to stop. The store sold them in bulk and I didn’t have the discipline to buy only a few. My reasoning, as I stood in front of that bin and ladled in scoop after scoop, was that I would save some for later.

Right.

So I would eat them until I felt sick and this process, over the last two years of my undergrad degree, repeated itself more times than I care to remember. But it was the sequence of events in this process that was important. I would come to the realization it was late. I knew I had to keep working but didn’t want coffee. Then I would think: Hey! Swedish Berries! Great idea! And I would haul myself off to the store, come back and eat way too many of them. Only afterwards would I say to myself: “Did I really have to scarf down that whole bag?” Or: “Good idea? What was I thinking?”

So too goes the cycle of addiction: there is the chase, the consummation and the aftermath. In other words, the anticipation, the imbibing and the remorse. This cycle will be expanded upon in the next quatrain.

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

The first quatrain establishes, through the use of enumeration, Shakespeare’s lo
ss of control. The second establishes the cyclical nature of his addiction. This last is significant because it does not provide new information. However, it does repeat the three part cycle and repetition in Shakespeare is always significant: he uses it to let us know we need to pay attention. Here we are told, again and with more emphasis, that an addict is mad while chasing the drug and mad while consuming it. And of course it is that madness — that inability to reason — that starts the cycle all over again.

But take a look at the second line. Shakespeare reverses the order of the cycle: he starts with the aftermath: had, moves to the consummation: having, and then moves to the first stage of the cycle, the chase: in quest to have. He does this to create the impression of a back-and-forth motion: the addict moves forward and backward, forward and backward, ad infinitum. Why? Because that’s what happens when one becomes addicted: life stalls.

At the start of this article, I said something interesting happens every time I teach this sonnet. Here it is: after I read it out loud, I tell my students to look closely at the panhandlers, especially the young ones, when they pass through the Atwater metro, the metro that services Dawson. I almost always get the same reaction: the class goes silent, the flow of air in the room stops, and these young people, with their futures ahead of them, pay closer attention. This suffering, rendered so poetically by Shakespeare, is only steps away.

And it happens elsewhere. When I drive home, I stop at a busy intersection leading onto the highway. That’s where I often see a young woman, her blonde hair in dreadlocks, holding up a sign asking for spare change. I always give her some and now she knows to come to me. If the traffic light permits, we may even exchange a few words.

I’ve been criticized for doing this — “she’ll just spend the money on drugs” is what I hear — but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how we can stop people from “committing suicide on the installment plan,” as a good friend of mine puts it.

Shakespeare didn’t know either, but luckily for us, that didn’t stop him from looking deeply into that darkness and writing about it anyway.

***I will be, for the sake of brevity and compression, be referring to the narrator as Shakespeare.

How Nicotine Test Helps Employers to Establish Smoke-Free Workplace

Nicotine abuse is an issue affecting the profitability of businesses and the environment at workplaces. Employers are insisting on measures that will help them make the workplaces free from smoking of tobacco so as to make their businesses more productive.

Employers in US imposing ban on smokers:

Increasing numbers of employers in US are rejecting the applications of candidates who smoke. They are abiding by the laws framed by the government for the purpose and are not hiring who they find to be smokers. To know whether the prospective hired is smoker, they conduct tests. Those who are found positive for smoking are not offered employment.

Nicotine test helps them to detect smokers – instantly:

Employers apply different techniques to tackle the issue of smoking. These include testing for tobacco (nicotine) by different methods. These tests are helpful to identify if the applicant really smokes tobacco or not. Generally, a nicotine test can be conducted using urine, saliva or hair follicle samples. Employers use any or a combination of these techniques.

Benefits of establishing smoke-free environment:

A smoke-free environment improves productivity of the employees and reduces health insurance costs. Employers find smoke-free workplace beneficial on the following grounds.

Increased productive hours:

A no-smoking environment results in higher number of productive hours than in a smoking permitted one. Employees not used to smoking concentrate better on work and hence there is greater number of productive hours. They are healthy and take few sick leaves.

Whereas, smoking employees take unauthorized breaks to smoke, which is waste of productive time.

Healthy atmosphere:

As healthy employees are more focused on productivity, there is cordial relation between employees as well as employers. Such workplaces boost the employees’ morale and work potential and encourage talented workforce to work for more number of hours. Employers too reciprocate and get prompted to take positive action on any issue.

Shows professional approach of the business:

A smoke-free workplace, places the employer’s image in a positive view among the employees, peers, government, and social groups. The welfare measures taken serve as an example for professional approach taken by the employer. This will enhance mutual trust between the employer and employees.

Reduces healthcare costs:

Following a no-smoking policy at workplace would result in less healthcare costs. This is because, the employees are healthy and need lower health maintenance expenses – be it insurance premium or medical emergencies. These factors are known to cause increased medical expenses to employers in case of employees habituated to smoking. Studies show that, post non-smoking policy there is remarkable decline in the tobacco caused heart attacks, making current smokers to quit (Source: Forbes, 12 June, 2015).

Taking up nicotine tests to enforce a smoking-free environment at workplace is beneficial. The measures, of course, entail costs to the employers.