Thursday, February 10, 2005

 

Chance discovery, marketing, and focus groups: DISCUS is comming

The DISCUS project is approaching to a big milestone. During the last fall visit to Urbana-Champaign of our research colleagues from Hakuhodo, Tsukuba University, Osaka University, and the Chance Discovery Consortium, we agreed we needed to have common users involved in our research endeavor. They are the final users of the DISCUS tools, thus, the sooner we get their feedback the better.

We have been designing a big experiment to validate some of our theoretical assumptions and results on innovation and creativity support, and influence diffusion in web-centric social networks. From February 28 to March 4, several focus groups will be using the state-of-the-art DISCUS platform. The goal, to discus about media environments under the guidance of our Hakuhodo colleagues. Around forty, non-DISCUS related, potential customers will form several focus groups to discus about different media environments and how they use them. Besides the intrinsic marketing interest of such experiment, this first big stress test will help us to see, in real time and close to reality, the performance and feedback of the innovation and creativity support tools of DISCUS.

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The herbs, Thyme and Rosemary can be grown in pots and used when needed. To create essential oils from herbs, stew some large amounts in pure water, collect the steam and cool it. The oil will rise to the top of the drained water and can be collected with an eyedropper. Alternatively, a "flower still" can be purchased to make the job easier. Thyme and Rosemary are both antiseptics and can be used in skin care preparations. They are also delicious when used in cooking.

Lemon oil and fresh lemons will purify water and, when mixed with honey, are effective remedies for colds and flu. Lemon and white vinegar are highly efficient cleaning agents that can be used for domestic cleaning tasks without damaging the environment. Use white vinegar as a natural disinfectant or mix it with water to clean windows and wooden floors. It is also handy to keep a bottle of white vinegar in your car if you swim in the ocean. It will bring instant relief from jellyfish stings.

Citronella oil is perfect in summer to keep the insects at bay. Another natural repellent is Garlic. Fleas will not bite a dog that has been eating garlic, so a few garlic capsules in the dog food are a cheap solution to your pet's flea problem. A soft collar soaked in Citronella will also do the job.

Garlic also helps to promote a healthy immune system when the weather turns cold and viruses begin to circulate. In fact, most of the oils and herbs listed above are effective in helping to prevent many common winter illnesses.

Whether you are looking for remedies or nature friendly products to use around the house, the oils and herbs suggested above should help get you started. You will be ready to make some healthy changes in your way of life!

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