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The History of Writing Tools (history of writing tools) Writing tools are essential to written communication. A person is not able to write without the proper writing tools. However, many people don’t realize that writing tools did not just pop into existence; writing tools have a long history. Writing tools have helped societies write their history and bring civilizations to life. The history of writing tools begins with the cave man that invented the sharpened-stone, which was later developed into the first writing tool. Cave men used these instruments to scratch pictures onto the walls of cave dwellings. The drawings were said to represent events in the daily life of the cave men, such as the planting of crops and hunting victories. Clay was later discovered, which made portable records possible, and many merchants of the time used clay token with pictographs to record the quantities of materials being traded and shipped. The Greeks developed the earliest form of pen and paper. They used the writing stylus, which could be made of metal, bone, or ivory, to make marks on wax-coated tablets. The tablets used by the Greeks were made in hinged pairs that were closed to protect the scribe’s notes. Cadmus was a Greek scholar who seemingly invented the written letter, which is a text message on paper sent from one individual to another. The written letter proved to be a major event in the history of writing tools, and was the starting point for the development of ink. “Indian Ink” was developed by the ancient Chinese society, and perfected for writing. The ink was originally designed for blacking the surfaces of raised stone-carved hieroglyphics, but was later used for writing. This early ink was made of a mixture of soot from pine smoke and lamp oil mixed with the gelatin of donkey skin and musk. By the year 1200 B.C. the ink had become common as a writing tool. Inks were also developed by other cultures, who used natural dyes and colors derived from berries, plants, and minerals to create them. The different colors of inks had ritual meanings attached to each color in early writings. In the history of writing tools the development of ink paralleled the introduction of paper. Early cultures such as the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Hebrews used papyrus and parchment paper to write on. Romans invented a reed-pen for parchment and ink, from the hollow tubular-stems of marsh grass and the jointed bamboo plant. The bamboo stems were converted into writing tools that resemble the fountain pen. The plant was cut at one end into the form of a pen point, and ink filled the stem, by squeezing the reed, writers could force the ink from the point and write on parchment paper. The early forms of ink and paper were great developments in the history writing tools, but were often unstable. A stable form of ink was developed in 400 A.D., which was a composite of iron-salts, nutgalls, and gum. The ink was seen as having a bluish-black hue when applied to paper, but quickly becoming a darker black color, and fading after years and appearing as a dull brown color. The Chinese created a wood-fiber paper in 105 A.D., but it was not known to other cultures until 700 A.D. when the Japanese learned the secret. Eventually, the wood-fiber paper was brought to Spain in 711 A.D., but was not widely used in Europe, as most European societies did not use paper until the 14th century. The quill pen is also a major invention in the history of writing tools. The quill pen was introduced to the world in 700 A.D. The pen was made of bird feathers, and the strongest quills were typically taken from live birds from the outer left wing feathers. After the development of the quill pen, plant fiber paper became the popular medium for writing. Then another invention changed the history of writing tools; Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. This invention has led to various other developments in printing and writing tools. Writing tools are essential to writing, and without the development we would not be able to show others our ideas and thoughts.

Continuing Education Key to Being a Better Employee Employers now recognize the importance of continuing education for employees. Over the past few years, more and more employers have begun to offer tuition reimbursement and continuing education classes to their employees. While this was once thought of as an excessive expensive, it is now understood that continuing education benefits the company as much or more as it does the employee. The job market is becoming more and more competitive everyday. Only the best employees are getting jobs in certain sectors. That means that your skills need to be sharp in order for you to remain valuable to your company. This is where continuing education comes into play. No matter what type of job you have, just about all companies are investing in continuing education. The reasons why are simple. Even though the company may spend a good deal of money on continuing education for their employees, they see an even larger return. By having employees that are on the top of their game, the company will be more productive as a whole. Thus the company will make more money. With that in mind, it is very important that employees always take advantage of continuing education classes when they can. You will be able to stay on top of whatever new trends are coming up and possibly acquire skills that will allow you to move up in the company. By taking continuing education classes, you will become more productive. Studies have found that employees that continue to have their skills refreshed and renewed are more productive on the job. This is a perk for both employees and their employers. You will be able to finish more work in less time and with more understanding. Thus making your time at work easier. If you are not sold on the idea of continuing education, think of it this way. Your employer is paying for it. It is a perk of your job that you should take full advantage of. If you are working towards acquiring skills that will lead you to a promotion or an entirely new job, you are doing something to better yourself. And, it is costing you less, or nothing at all. The best companies to work for in the country have great training programs. This is no coincidence. These companies, which also make a ton of money spend thousands of dollars training their employees so that they can go out and make the company the most money possible. Less successful companies have begun to follow suit. No matter what type of job you have, there are continuing education programs that can help enhance your job experience. Continuing education is a great way to break out of a rut. If you are eager to change jobs or get a promotion, you will fair much better in the job market if you do some continuing education. Use whatever means your company offers to better yourself and become more marketable. The type of continuing education you choose depends on your career goals. It is always helpful to have an advanced degree in a certain field. If tuition reimbursement for graduate school is an option, take it. Having a Master’s or PHD will help you become an expert in your field of study. If your job has company continuing education, take them up on it., Even if a promotion is not exactly what you are looking for, being cross trained is always a good idea. Gain as much in the way of knowledge and skills as you can. When you move on to your next job those skills will look great on your resume.

Writers Block: What Causes it and How to Overcome it (writers block) If you are a writer then you know what I am talking about. You have everything ready, a drink, a snack, the topic, and even reference material. You sit down ready to start typing or writing, which ever you prefer, and it happens. You are stuck, your mind is blank and you have no idea how to fill that blank canvas in front of you. It is a writer’s worse nightmare come true. You have writers block. First you need to figure out what is causing it. There are a multitude of things that can be causing it. Stress is one of the biggest factors that cause writers block. Whether it is stress caused by personal matters, deadline dates, or fearing your article won’t be good enough it can block the words from flowing as easily as the should. Sleep deprivation doesn’t let your mind function to its full potential. Getting a good night’s sleep is imperative to having a clear mind and being able to focus. The project itself could be causing the writers block. A topic you are not interested in can easily turn your normally resourceful mind into jelly. The research on that topic turns into a grueling task. Then trying to put the words on paper that make sense and will peak someone’s interest seem impossible. If a topic has personal meaning to you it can be hard to write objectively about it. A simple informative topic can easily become a personal rant session. Writing because you have to, not because you want to makes it hard to concentrate and focus. Now that the basic causes have been covered, you need to know how to fix it. Writers block is not permanent. Identifying the reason is the hard part. Relax. The world is not going to end if the article isn’t as perfect as you feel it should be. Just because you don’t think it is perfect doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Go and read some of your previous writings. Even if what you read has nothing to do with your current topic, it can be inspirational to you. Don’t burn yourself out on a topic. Try to split up the writing process. Research and brainstorm one day and write the next. This will give you time to think about your topic and figure out the angle you want to write. Talk your way through it. Call a friend or colleague and chat. Tell them the topic you are working on and get their opinions or ideas. They may be able to offer fresh insight and ideas. Work on multiple projects at one time if you can. Bouncing back and forth between a few topics can keep your mind hopping and will keep boredom at bay. Take a break from you current project and write about something that motivates you. Chances are once you get those creative juices flowing they will continue into your next project. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. If your schedule says 500 words by noon, write your 500 words and stop. Even if you don’t have a project going, by writing daily you will stick to your schedule and keeps your imagination going. If you write from home, which most of freelance writers do, make a quiet time and treat it like a real job. If you have young children at home, write while they nap. Let your answering machine be your secretary. If it is important they will leave a message. Most importantly remember why you started writing in the first place. Even the best of the best have gotten writers block at one time or another.

Web Hosting - Look Before You Leap Companies that offer Internet-connected servers that provide space and bandwidth for a domain, for one or more web sites, are called Web Hosts. Large companies have private networks that allow them to host domains on their own equipment and IP address range. But for the majority of those who want an Internet presence, a 'rented' web host is a necessity. There are a wide variety of hosting plans available. Some are free, others charge up to a $100 or more per month. Some provide nothing but a tiny amount of disk space and minimal network bandwidth. The web site owner is on his or her own for any thing else. Others offer a range of services, including server and email administration, backups, web site design assistance, troubleshooting and many others. In the world of web hosting, you may often find yourself sharing a server with anywhere from one to a thousand or more other web sites. That allows the web hosting company to keep equipment and staff expenses lower. Many web sites are simple and low-volume enough that the arrangement works fine. When you or one or more of the others grow, it may be helpful to consider a dedicated server. A dedicated server, as the name suggests, hosts only your domain. You can put one web site on it, or as many as you wish. You control the access. You may also, as an option, take over much of the server administration yourself. That may save you money on support costs, but cost you considerable time. If you don't have the expertise, you can end up costing yourself much more than you save. In order to carry out those administrative functions yourself, even if you hire help, it's desirable to have some technical knowledge under your belt. Some of that knowledge will be useful, even for day-to-day tasks apart from dealing with emergencies. FTP, email administration, backup methods and other technical areas are among the more common areas you'll need to be at least somewhat familiar with. When your web site grows to a certain size and level of complexity, you'll begin to find it worthwhile to look at implementing a database. But that brings with it a still higher level of ability, both technical and logistical or creative. Implementing a database can be relatively simple. Designing one that provides what you want, with decent performance and maintenance that doesn't become a nightmare, will take some careful thought. Not everyone has the temperament for that type of work, especially those who prefer graphical design, content creation or development, and the many other web site tasks that are part of every implementation. There are other, more low level administrative matters. Managing disk space, maintaining domain names, dealing with registration and changes, and a number of other 'utilitarian' tasks are also not everyone's cup of tea. Some understanding of how DNS works, as well as the design of the Internet itself, are helpful. That provides a good context for understanding the role of some of those tasks. When you begin to seek out a web host to implement a web site, consider all these factors and look in the mirror. What kind of web hosting you should pursue is determined by a combination of who you are and what's being offered. Look before you leap.