mardi 31 mars 2015

How to Make an Origami Bat

A bat is a traditional decoration during the Halloween season. By using these instructions you can make your own Halloween bat decorations. Origami, the art of Japanese paper folding, can be used to make many different animals and objects. Some items are harder than others to construct. This bat is a rather easy design to follow.


  1. Get a piece of paper. Any kind of paper is fine, as long as it is a perfect square. Normal size is approximately 6" by 6", but you can get a larger piece if you want. I will be using an 8" by 8" square.

  2. Fold in half diagonally, top right corner to bottom left corner.

  3. With the triangle tip pointing towards you, fold down the top side, leaving a little paper showing at the bottom tip.

  4. Fold the flap formed in step 3 back up, aligning to the top edge.

  5. Pleat the left and right ends to form the body at the center.

  6. Flip over and fold both wings down.

  7. Fold down the 2 top corners of the pleated body to form the ears.

  8. Crease a little to shape a body.

  9. Finished.



  • Make sure if your paper is colored on one side and not on the other, that you start with the color side facing the table.

  • Don't make your first crease hard until you are sure that you won't have to fix it.

Related wikiHows

source How to of the Day

How to Water Orchids

Orchids are becoming popular as houseplants, and many wonderful varieties can be found in nurseries and garden centers. In the wild, orchids often grow on trees, and their roots are exposed to sun and air as well as water. Potted orchids require a special watering technique that mimics their natural environment. Water orchids only sparingly, when their potting mix is almost dry.


Deciding When to Water

  1. Water sparingly. No orchid variety needs to be watered every day. In fact, overwatering can cause an orchid's roots to rot and eventually die.[1] Unlike many houseplants, orchids should only be watered when they begin to dry out. Watering only when they're almost dry mimics an orchid's natural environment.

    • Some orchids have water-storing organs, and some do not. If you have a type of orchid that has the ability to store water, such as cattleyas or oncidiums, you should allow the orchid to completely dry out before watering. If you have a type of orchid that does not have water-storing organs, such as phalaenopsis or paphiopedilums, you should water the orchid before it is entirely dry.

    • If you're not sure what type of orchid you have, plan to water the orchid when it is almost dry, but still has just a bit of moisture left.

  2. Consider your climate. The frequency with which you water orchids is affected by the level of humidity in your climate, as well as the amount of sun the orchid gets and the temperature of the air. Since these factors vary according to region and household, there's no rule for how often to water an orchid. You'll have to develop a routine catered to your specific environment.

    • If the temperature is cool in your home, your orchid will need to be watered less frequently than when the temperature is warm.

    • If the orchid is in a sunny window, it will need to be watered more frequently than if you place it in a shadier spot.

  3. See if the potting mix looks dry. This is the first indication that it might be time to water the orchid. Orchid potting mix is usually composed of bark or moss, and if it looks dry and dusty, it might be time to water. However, just looking at the potting mix won't give you an accurate enough indication as to whether it's time to water.

  4. Lift the pot to check its weight. The pot will feel lighter when it's time to water the orchid. If it's heavy, that means there's still water in the pot. Over time, you'll get a sense of how heavy the pot feels when the orchid needs water versus how heavy it feels when it still has moisture inside.

    • A pot that still contains moisture might look different, too. If your orchid is in a clay pot, it will look darker when it's still wet. If it's light in color, it might be time for a watering.

  5. Do a finger test. This is the best way to determine whether an orchid needs more water. Stick your pinky finger into the potting mix, taking care not to disturb the orchid's roots. If you don't feel any moisture, or you feel just a little, it's time to water the orchid. If you feel moist potting mix right away, give it more time. When in doubt, you should wait an extra day.[2]

Watering Correctly

  1. Make sure the pot has drainage holes. You can't properly water an orchid unless it has holes through which the water can drain. Water sitting in the pot will cause the roots to rot, so it needs to be able to drain through the bottom. If you bought an orchid that came in an ornamental pot without holes, repot the orchid in one with adequate holes in the bottom. Use an orchid potting mix instead of regular potting soil.

    • Use ice cube method if you don't care to repot. If you just want a quick way to water your orchid without having to deal with repotting, you can use the popular ice cube method. Put the equivalent of 1/4 cup of frozen water (usually about three medium ice cubes) on top of the potting mix. Let the ice cubes melt into the pot. Wait about a week before you do it again. This method is not optimal for the long-term health of the orchid, but it works if you don't want to repot.[3]

  2. Run the orchid under water. The easiest way to water an orchid is to hold it under a faucet and run it under room temperature water. If you have an attachment that allows you to diffuse the water, rather than just running it in one strong stream, that's better for the orchid. Water the orchid this way for a full minute, allowing the water to seep through the pot and come out the holes in the bottom.[4]

    • Do not use water that has been softened or treated with harsh chemicals. If you have a special orchid species, see if you can use distilled water or rainwater.

    • The water should pour rapidly through the pot. If it seems to be getting stuck in the pot, the potting mix you're using might be too dense.

    • After watering the orchid, check the weight of the pot so you'll be able to tell the difference when the pot gets lighter and the orchid is ready to be watered again.

  3. Water in the morning or afternoon. That way the excess water will have plenty of time to evaporate before it gets dark. If water sits on the plant overnight, it can cause rotting to occur or leave the plant prone to diseases.

    • If you see excess water sitting on the leaves, wipe it off with a paper towel.

    • A few minutes after watering, check the saucer and empty it out so no water sits near the orchid.


  • When an orchid is blooming or putting out lots of new leaves and roots, it will use more water.

  • When an orchid is resting between bloom periods, it will use less water. This is generally late fall and early to mid-winter, depending on the species.

  • Orchid medium is coarse and porous allowing for good airflow to the orchid roots but still allowing them to retain some moisture. The easiest way to get a good orchid medium is to buy it pre-mixed from a good nursery.

  • A larger plant will require more water than a smaller plant in the same sized pot.

  • Cool temperatures and low light will cause an orchid to need less water.

  • In very humid conditions orchids need less water. In very dry conditions they will need more. Humidity levels of 50 to 60% are ideal.


  • An orchid will die quickly in a pot saturated in water.

  • If you use water-soluble fertilizers, salts may build up on the medium or the pot and eventually harm the orchid. Do not use fertilizer with every watering.

  • An orchid whose leafs look wilted or limp can be suffering from either too much water, which rots the roots and makes water unavailable to the leaves, or it can be too dry. Check by touching the medium before watering.

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Sources and Citations

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source How to of the Day

How to Be a Role Model

Role models are meant to inspire, instruct, and to set a good example. Whether you're trying to teach your children core values or showing your students the proper way to conduct themselves in a learning environment, the most important thing you can do is to be honest, thoughtful, and consistent. Role models don't have to be perfect, but they do have to show that everyone makes mistakes and that it's important to be accountable for them. You can be an inspiring and instructive role model as long as you are about the people who look up to you.


Being a Role Model for Your Children

  1. Practice what you preach. If you want to be a good role model for your children, then the most important thing is for you to do as you say. Of course, some rules that apply to your kids may not apply to you — you may not have homework to finish or a 9 pm curfew — but it’s important to show them a good example of how to conduct yourself. Your children will be modelling your behavior and it’s important to show them whatever you want to see from them.

    • If you tell them to be kind, them don’t let them see you bad-mouthing a waitress.

    • If you tell them to have good manners, then don’t talk with your mouth full.

    • If you tell them to keep their room clean, then keep your room clean as well.

    • If you’re always asking your children to eat healthier foods, let them see you choosing a salad over fries once in a while.

  2. Apologize when you make a mistake. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be a flawless parent who never makes a single mistake. That’s impossible. Things go wrong, and sometimes, your temper will flare up or you’ll say or do something that you regret. That’s perfectly natural. The most important thing is that you acknowledge the behavior and apologize for it instead of pretending that nothing ever happened. If you misbehave and try to brush it under the rug, then your children will get the message that they’ll be able to do the same.

    • If you’ve done something wrong, sit your child down, look him in the eyes, and show that you’re really sorry. Make sure your child knows that you mean it, so that he understands how to apologize when he’s done something wrong, too.

  3. Think out loud. Your children don’t have to see you as the person who has all the answers. In fact, you can help them out more by showing them that you do have to struggle to find the right answer in certain situations by thinking aloud and inviting them into the process with you. When a tough situation arises, you can weigh the pros and cons with your children, and show them what goes into a decision-making process. This will show them that you’re human and that when you say “no,” you’re not just saying it categorically, but because you’ve put a lot of thought into it. However, you have to be careful not to take this idea too far; you don't want to end up having to explain your reasoning to your child every single time, or that may get exhausting and will lose its power.

    • For example, you can say something like, “I wish I could let you play with your friends right now, but I want you to finish your science project first. Remember the last time you stayed up late finishing a project and how upsetting that was? I want you to get in the habit of doing your work first before having fun.”

    • Whenever you do explain your reasoning to your kids, make sure they're actually listening because they're interested and not just because they keep asking why, why, why to get on your case.

  4. Follow through. Another must for any parent who wants to be a good role model is to back up what you say. If you tell your child she won’t be able to go to the mall with her friends if she doesn’t finish her homework, then you’ve got to stick to your guns, or you’ll be seen as a pushover. Though it can be difficult, you can’t let your children’s apologies, emotional pleas, or cries of, “But everyone else’s mom is letting him go!” sway you from your rules and ideas. Of course, you should always listen to your children and never make rules without thinking about them first, but once you make a mandate or a rule, then you’ve got to stick to it if you earn your child’s respect.

    • If your children see that you don’t stick to your word, then they’ll think it’s okay for them to not stick to their words when it comes to saying they’ll do their chores or come home at a certain hour.

    • If you say you’ll pick your kids up at a certain hour, make sure to be there. If you’re late, apologize profusely. You don’t want them feeling like they can’t depend on you.

  5. Treat everyone, including your children, with respect. If you want to be a good role model for your children, then you have to treat everyone around you with respect, from handymen to your neighbors. You can’t tell your children to be kind to everyone and then let them see you mad-mouthing your friend, yelling at a telemarketer, or just being snippy with a cashier. You also have to be kind to your children instead of being mean or inconsiderate to them, because they will definitely take that behavior to heart.[1]

    • If they see you being rude to a waitress, for example, they will model this behavior and will think it’s acceptable.

    • Even if you have a conflict with one of your peers or co-workers, don’t let your siblings hear too much about it, especially if you’re getting angry. You don’t want them to think that it’s okay to gossip about people.

  6. Be consistent. Another thing you have to do to be a good role model for your kids is to be consistent in the way you keep order in the household. If you have a rule that your children can’t play with their friends until they’ve done their homework, then you have to enforce it every time, instead of making exceptions based on how badly your children want to play with their friends. If you say that your kids have to finish their vegetables before getting to dessert, then don’t give up on that rule because your kid has started crying. If you make a lot of exceptions, then your children will be confused and will think it’s okay to not be consistent in their own behavior, too.[2]

    • That said, there will be occasional times when you have to bend the rules and make exceptions, if the situation really calls for it. This is okay, too, and will teach your children not to have a black-and-white view on things. For example, if your daughter is going to her junior prom, it may be okay to let her stay out an extra hour or two past curfew, but only because it’s a special occasion.

    • If you have a partner, it’s important to be a united front. You don’t want to play bad cop, good cop with your partner and have your kids think that you and your partner won’t give the same answers to their questions.

  7. Treat your partner with respect. Your relationship with your partner, if you have one, may be one of the most important relationships for your child to see. Though no relationship is perfect, you should show your children that two people can work together to love each other, compromise, and grow as individuals and as a couple. You may not think your behavior affects your children, especially when they’re small, but they’ll model the relationship behavior they see when they are old enough to have relationships of their own.

    • Sometimes, you may get mad and raise your voice. If that happens, you don’t have to pretend like everything is fine. If you know your children heard it, you can explain that things got a little out of control but that you’re not proud of the behavior.

Being a Role Model for Your Students

  1. Don’t play favorites. Of course, it can be nearly impossible not to play favorites when you’re teaching a class with a student who is always falling asleep or texting sitting next to another student who is hanging on to your every word. When it comes time to give grades, students will be properly evaluated, but when you’re interacting with your students in the classroom, you’ll have to do the best you can to hide your biases so that you can foster a positive classroom environment.

    • Try to call on all students equally, and not to make a point of praising the high-achieving students too much, or the other students will feel left out.

    • If you are short with a student who hasn’t been impressing you, then he won’t be motivated to change.

  2. Follow your own rules. This one is pretty straight forward. If you tell your students not to be late to class, don’t be late to class. If you have a no-cell phone policy, keep your phone off during class. If you tell your kids they can’t eat in the classroom, don’t chow down half a sandwich in the middle of a presentation. If you fall into this kind of behavior, your students will think of you as a hypocrite and will lose respect for you. What’s more, you’ll be modeling behavior that suggests it’s okay for your students to break the rules.

    • If you’ve broken one of your own rules, make a point of apologizing for it.

  3. Show an interest in the material. Whether you’re teaching organic chemistry or basic grammar, if you don’t care about the course material, then nobody else will. You have to show that you’re excited about The War of 1812, The Canterbury Tales, factoring equations, or whatever it is you’re teaching that day. Your enthusiasm will be infectious and will show students the importance of caring about what they’re learning. If you act bored or sick of the same old material, then the students will follow suit.

    • One of your goals, as a teacher, should be to show your students what it’s like to have a passion for a certain subject. Your enthusiasm can lead them to develop a passion for your favorite subject, too, and this will be a great achievement.

  4. Admit your mistakes. This one is a bit tricky. You want your students to see you as the person with all the answer and the guy who administers the tests. However, sometimes things do go wrong — maybe you forgot an important point in the lesson, maybe one of your test questions didn’t add up, or maybe you promised you’d have your students’ essays back on time and didn’t get to them. If these situations arise, you should tell your students that you’ve made a mistake and move forward from there. Swallowing your pride for thirty seconds will be worth it in the long run, because they’ll see that they’re fallible, too.

    • Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should allow students to question your every move, or for grade-grubbing students to go over every little part of every little exam with you. Find a balance between being open to admitting errors and not letting students question everything you do.

  5. Ask for feedback from older students. Though asking a class of third graders what they think of your lesson plans may not yield the best results, you can become a better teacher and a great role model if you ask older students for feedback about your teaching and lesson planning. If you're a college teacher, for example, asking for feedback at the end of your class can help you do your job better the next time around and will show your students that your ideas aren't set in stone and that you're flexible.

    • Of course, it's a fine balance. You have to be aware of what's good for your students, even if it's not the most fascinating material, and which lessons are useless because your students don't actually learn anything.

  6. Be encouraging. If you want to be a good role model, then you should encourage your students to do well and to work harder in school. If they’re struggling, then help them after school, give them additional resources, or give them extensive feedback on their essays to help them improve. When they show improvement, make sure you give them the praise they deserve. This models the idea of improvement and shows students that they can be better than they are; if you make a habit of being encouraging to good students and dismissive of weaker students, then you’ll make students think that there’s no room for improvement.

    • To be a good role model, you shouldn’t make students feel bad for performing poorly, or to praise high-achieving students too much. Instead, you should talk about how the subject matter can be quite difficult and leave room for questions so students can clear up anything they don’t understand.

    • Being encouraging about your student’s progress will make you a good role model because giving them a drive to succeed in your class can also help them apply this determination to other realms of their life.

    • Also, keep in mind that unfortunately, not all students get help or encouragement at home. Giving them a positive role model who offers encouragement can give them hope for the rest of their lives.

Being a Role Model for Your Younger Siblings

  1. Apologize when you’ve hurt your brother or sister’s feelings. It can be really hard to swallow your pride, especially when you’re used to being in charge of your little brother and sister. However, if you’ve made a mistake, genuinely hurt your sibling’s feelings, or just did something you regret, it’s really important that you suck it up and say you’re sorry. Not only will this show your sibling that you really do care, but it will send the message that they should apologize to you when they make a mistake.

    • Make sure you really mean it and that you’re not just doing it because it’s what your mother or father told you to do, either. Say, “I’m so sorry for what I did,” instead of, “I’m sorry you got so mad at me,” to show that you’re accountable for your actions.

  2. Be the more mature sibling. If you want to be a good role model, then you can’t be the one throwing the temper tantrums, kicking the wall, or yelling at your parents. Your little sibling will want to be just like you, and it’s up to you to act mature and take the high road instead of acting like a baby. Though you can’t always be mature and reasonable, you can try to set a good precedent, so your sibling knows how to act. If you’re in a fight with your sibling, don’t stoop to his level and name call or start crying, and act more mature instead.

    • This can be tricky, especially if there’s not a huge age difference. Still, try to be more mature even when you’re upset, and your sibling will try to do the same.

  3. Show that you’re not perfect. If you’re an older sibling, then you may have this idea of yourself as being a shining, flawless example for your sibling at all times. Though this can be true in some cases, you should take the pressure off yourself and recognize that you’re only human. When you’ve done something wrong, you can talk to your sibling about the behavior and explain what you would do differently, next time. Whether you’ve yelled at your mother or showed unsportsmanlike behavior at your soccer game, you can tell your sibling what happened and show that you regret the behavior.

    • You don’t want to cover up anything you’ve done wrong and act like you’re always on top of your game, or your sibling will think that he or she should do the same when he or she makes a mistake. Life is all about learning from your mistakes, and it’s important to talk to your sibling about them.

  4. Include your sibling in your activities when it’s appropriate. Of course, there will be times when you’ll just want to hang out with your buddies and leave your kid sister out of it, and that’s fine. However, if you’re running errands for your mom, watching TV, or doing something that your kid sister or brother would be happy to do without bothering you too much, then it’s important to let your sibling have that time with you when you can. You want to be a good role model of inclusion and family togetherness, so that your sibling doesn’t feel compelled to leave you out of anything in the future.

    • It’s okay to get some alone time too, though. Not only is alone time healthy for everyone, but getting some time alone will also show your sibling that he or she should get some alone time for personal growth and reflection, too.

  5. If you want to do something on your own, explain why. If you want to be left alone for a while or want to just hang out with your friends, don’t just tell your little brother to scram; instead, say something like, “I want to spend some time alone with my friend Jenny. You wouldn’t want me to be around when you’re just hanging out with your best friend, would you? It’s nothing personal and we can hang out later.” This will not only strengthen your relationship, but it will show your sibling that he or she is also capable of offering reasonable explanations to people instead of being mean.

    • Of course, you’ll feel cooler if you just tell your sibling to leave you alone and slam the door, especially if your friends are around, but this sets a terrible example.

  6. Don’t compete. It’s likely that your younger sibling will want to talk like you, dress like you, and be like you. This can be flattering and sweet, and it may just be something you have to deal with. However, you should avoid creating a competition between you and your sibling, whether it’s over your looks, your grades, or your soccer skills. You want to be there to encourage your sibling to work hard, not to discourage your sibling from trying. If you set up a competitive relationship with your sibling, it’s likely to carry on for the rest of your life, and can lead to some unpleasantness down the line.

    • Remember that, since you’re older than your sibling, it’s naturally easier for you to do things faster and to be stronger or more skilled. Instead of pointing this out, help your sibling improve, and offer encouragement whenever you can.

  7. Do well in school. You don’t have to be a straight-A student in order to be a good role model for your sibling, but you should try to show a general respect toward your teachers and your school. If you act like school is pointless, all the teachers are stupid, and that you don’t care about studying for your tests or skipping school, then your sibling will surely follow suit. You don’t want to set a precedent where your sibling thinks it’s okay to not care about showing up to class or succeeding in school; this line of thinking can affect the rest of your sibling’s life in a bad way.

    • On the other side of the coin, if you’re a stellar student while your sibling is struggling in school, you shouldn’t flaunt your test grades and super achievements, either. Don’t make your sibling feel bad about not catching up to you. Instead, take on the role of a mentor and help your sibling with his studying and homework as much as you can.

  8. Don’t pressure your siblings to do something more adult than they’re ready for. If your sibling is a few years younger than you, it can be tempting to get your sibling to join you when you smoke cigarettes, drink beer, or do something more adult with your friends. Your sibling may be desperate to please you, and you may think it’s cute to get your little brother or sister to help you play a dirty prank on someone or even to break the law, but in fact, you’ll be sending your sibling down a dangerous path. If you want to drink with your friends or do something else your sibling isn’t ready for, keep the pressure off.

    • Make it clear that your sibling is his own person and that he should never make decisions based on what you want. If your sibling feels like he should cater to your needs, he may be vulnerable to other people who want to boss him around.


  • If you just aren't the role model type, then don't stress yourself! You just aren't that kind of person, but you can still follow some of the steps.


  • Sometimes people are insecure and will try to drag you down to their level of insecurity. Ignore them and realize their actions for what they really are.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

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source How to of the Day

lundi 30 mars 2015

How to Swim Butterfly Stroke

The butterfly stroke is one of the most difficult swimming strokes, as it requires a very exact technique, in addition to strength and a good sense of rhythm. The butterfly stroke is often simply referred to by swimmers as the fly. It does requires a lot of practice to perfect it, but when you have it down it is one of the most rewarding, respected and aesthetically pleasing swimming styles currently used in competition.


Perfecting the Stroke

  1. Use the correct arm movement. The arm movement in butterfly stroke can be broken down into three parts: the pull, the push and the recovery.

    • Starting with your arms extended above your head (shoulder width apart), pull your hands towards your body in a semicircular motion, palms facing outwards. Remember to keep your elbows higher than your hands. This is the pull.

    • At the end of the pull, begin pushing your palms backwards through the water, along your sides and past your hips. This is the fastest part of the arm movement and provides the momentum necessary to complete the release.

    • A good way to remember the pull and push sequence is to imagine making the shape of a large keyhole with your hands underwater. The pull is the wide part of the keyhole at the top, while the push is the narrow part of the keyhole at the bottom.

    • The last part of the butterfly arm movement is the recovery which is where your hands must be positioned as they are in motion while finishing your pull and are getting ready to begin the subsequent stroke. Essentially your hands must reach your thighs. A good way to ensure that you have done this part of the stroke successfully is to drag your thumbs on your thighs as you are finishing the stroke. Next, sweep both arms out of the water simultaneously and throw them forwards into the starting position. Your palms should be facing outwards so your thumbs enter the water first, not your pinkies. Also make sure the distance between your arms as you enter the water is no greater than shoulder width apart as this will greatly decrease entry drag allowing you to cut through the water more efficiently.[1]

  2. Master the dolphin kick. The dolphin kick is the name given to the dolphin-like kick of the legs used in butterfly stroke. Imagine kicking your legs like a dolphin (or a mermaid!) would kick its tail underwater.

    • With the dolphin kick, both legs move simultaneously, and should be pressed together to avoid a loss of water pressure.

    • You should kick twice for each stroke of the arms in butterfly stroke. However, both kicks are not exactly the same - there is one small kick and one big kick.

    • The small kick is performed while you are making the keyhole shape with your arms. This is because your arms are providing forward momentum in addition to your legs, so the kick doesn't need to be as strong.

    • The big kick is performed during the recovery, when your arms come out of the water. During the recovery you tend to lose momentum, so you need a big kick to keep your body moving forwards.

    • The most common mistake beginners make when performing the butterfly stroke is to kick in a uniform fashion, without alternating between small and big kicks.[2]

  3. Move your body in a wave-like fashion. It's not just your arms and legs that are required during the butterfly stroke, your whole body needs to get involved!

    • Practice moving your whole body in a wave-like fashion. Think about the way that a dolphin or mermaid moves in the water -- your body should form an undulating S shape as you swim.

    • More specifically, when your chest rises your hips should be at their lowest position, and when your chest falls your hips should be at their highest position, with your behind breaking the surface of the water.

    • If you can get your timing right and manage to synchronize your body movement with your arms and leg strokes, you will find the butterfly much easier to master. You will be able to swim faster and find yourself getting tired less easily.[1]

  4. Know when to breathe. Breathing during butterfly stoke can be a little tricky, as it has to be perfectly timed and completed pretty quickly.

    • The correct point to take a breath during butterfly stroke is when your arms are just coming out of the water at the beginning of the recovery phase.

    • As your arms are about to come out of the water, raise your head until your chin is just above the water and take a breath. Do not turn your head to the left or right - it should be kept straight.[3]

    • As your arms recover drop your face back into the water and tuck your chin in so it touches above your chest. This will help you to lift your arms a lot higher.

    • Don't breathe on every stroke as this will slow you down and make swimming difficult. Try to limit your breathing to every other stroke, or even less if possible.

  5. Put it all together. By combining all of the steps outlined above - the arm stroke, the dolphin kick, the body movement and the correct breathing technique - you will find yourself doing the butterfly stroke!

    • However, bear in mind that this is a tough stroke to perfect and it will take time and practice before you are able to synchronize all of these movements and swim the butterfly stroke correctly.[4]

    • It's important to keep working on it though, as a bad butterfly technique can lead to problems in certain muscles and joints, such as the rotatory cuffs in the shoulders. And aside from potentially causing injury, bad technique will also make the butterfly stroke harder to swim.

    • If you are really struggling with your technique, consider enlisting the help of a swim coach who can walk you through the stroke in more detail. A coach will also be able to observe you while you swim and pick out any flaws in your technique -- in this way, a knowledgeable outside perspective could be invaluable in helping you to improve your butterfly.

Using Practice Drills

  1. Do a one-armed butterfly. The first drill you can use to practice your butterfly technique is the one armed butterfly.

    • Start with your arms at the 11 o' clock position, or shoulder-width apart. Begin swimming, using the dolphin kick.

    • On every fourth kick, complete a single stroke with one arm, keeping the other arm pointing straight ahead.

    • While practicing this drill, you may breathe to the side, rather than lifting your head straight out of the water as you do in full butterfly stroke.

    • Once you have completed a full length of the pool using a single arm, switch to the other arm to build strength and technique evenly.[5]

  2. Use repetitive arm strokes. This drill is great for improving balance and giving you more control over your stroke.

    • Begin swimming using the dolphin kick, with your arms straight out in front, one shoulder-width apart.

    • Instead of the regular arm stroke, practice doing two strokes with the right arm, followed by two strokes with the left arm, followed by two strokes using both arms simultaneously.[5]

  3. Practice your dolphin kick. This drill is great for understanding the rhythm of the dolphin kick, while also helping you to time your breathing better.

    • Keeping your arms locked at your sides and your head underwater, propel yourself down the length of the pool using only the dolphin kick.

    • Try to alternate between big kicks and small kicks, as described in the previous section, and to get a feel for the rhythm of the movement.

    • Breathe on every fourth or fifth kick, synchronizing your body movement with your breathing in the way that feels most logical and natural.

    • Once you have developed a greater understanding for the rhythm of the movement, you can add your arms back into the stroke.[6]



  • Your kick should come from the core, and try not to bend your knees too much. The primary power in a butterfly kick comes from the core and from the thighs, not from the calves.

  • If swimming makes you tired DO NOT try and carb load (eating pasta or a rice dish about two hours before swimming). This only hinders your performance. Have light snacks with carbohydrates in them. Things like bread and energy bars will do the trick. No butter allowed.

  • Do a lot of drills! Drills are the building blocks of swimming any stroke, especially butterfly. Practice drills that will strengthen and improve your kick, arms, breathing, etc.

  • When taking a stroke, keep your hands about shoulder width apart. Do not allow your hands to hit each other, it will only slow you down.

  • For drills, float upright and do butterfly kick without arms while trying to stay afloat

  • When breathing, make sure that your chin does not pass more than above the water. Then, you will be forcing yourself to go up, not forward.

  • Lifting your arms up as much as possible on the recovery does not make the stroke easier. While it may seem to lessen resistance on your arms, it changes your body position from horizontal in the water to a more vertical position, hence the saying "swimming uphill." if you have your hands about an inch above the water you should maximize your stroke efficiency.

  • It may be easiest to learn the butterfly stroke first wearing flippers, however a kickboard shouldn't be used as this gives the body the wrong shape, and doesn't represent how the body should be.

  • Be sure to press with your chest, it should help you with your undulation.

  • Know your other swimming strokes first; Generally butterfly is the last stroke to be introduced when training for competitive swimming. It requires strength of body and endurance skills, which you should have been building up before through other strokes before attempting butterfly.


  • In a competition, remember to touch with two hands once you hit the wall, and push off. Not doing a two hand touch will result in a disqualification. Also, do an open turn. Touch with both hands and lift one arm over your head and your other arm down through the water simultaneously and make your body follow it. Then, both your arms will meet and connect to push off the wall in a streamline position. This is the fastest way to get off a wall.

  • Butterfly is a very tiring stroke, so be sure not to eat too much before swimming, to avoid cramps.

  • Do not be discouraged; although this is a hard stroke for most, you are fully capable of achieving a swim in 35 seconds when fully competitive.

  • Running every day is not good for butterflies, as it can cause injuries to the knees, which are important in butterfly even though they aren't supposed to bend very much. Try to get your primary cardio from swimming.

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How to Be Honourable

To be honourable is to be kind, genuine and empathetic without expecting a reward for your behaviour. It’s a rare combination of virtues, but with practice anyone can be honourable. Do you want to be the type of person who stands up for your beliefs instead of cowering, who rescues your friends when they need you, and who’s known for being an upstanding citizen? Start by doing little things, like showing up when you say you will or asking someone if they need a hand. When you practice living honestly in everyday ways, and letting people know you have their backs, being honourable will start to feel like second nature.


Developing a Sense of Honor

  1. Be the person you say you are. It’s easy to be a pleasant person, walking around with a ready smile and a “hello” for everyone you see. But being honourable isn’t the same thing as being friendly. When it comes to honor, it’s more important to be authentic. Show the world who you really are, even if it come at the expense of your reputation for being “nice.” To be honourable, you’ve got to be trustworthy.

    • If you hide your real thoughts and feelings behind a masked expression, try taking off the mask and see what happens. Maybe people will be put off at first, but after awhile they’ll come to trust you more, since you’re revealing more of yourself to them.

    • This isn’t to say you should go around being surly, but try to be more expressive of how you really feel instead of sugarcoating everything to make social interactions easier or to try to get people to like you.

  2. Do what you say you’re going to do. If you’re constantly backing out of social plans, or not showing up when you said you’d help out, work on your follow through. Maybe you really mean it when you say you’ll hang out with that old friend who keeps calling, but your actions speak louder than your intentions. Central to being an honourable person is ditching your flaky tendencies.

    • Every seemingly harmless white lie makes you less trustworthy in others’ eyes, and before long people won’t consider you reliable at all. Doing what you say you’re going to do, no matter how small, builds character and develops your sense of honor.

    • Give it some practice. Eventually you’ll hate the feeling of not following through, and you’ll stop making commitments you can’t stick with.

  3. Strengthen your values. What do you believe in? In any given situation, how do you decide what’s right and what’s wrong? Having strong values is key to being honourable, since acting with honor means doing the right thing, even if others disagree with you. It can be really hard to figure out how to act with honor in any given situation. Your values are what you turn to for answers when there’s no one else you can ask. When you align yourself with them, you can be proud of yourself for having done your best, no matter what the outcome is.

    • Your values might be aligned with a certain religion or another belief system. Maybe your parents imparted strong values when they raised you. Try to examine your values to make sure you really believe them, since it’s hard to stand up for something when your gut tells you it isn’t really true.

    • If this concept is difficult and you’re searching for answers, try talking it through with people you see as wise, reading philosophical and religious texts, or attending spiritual services. Explore different value systems and compare their tenets with your life experiences to figure out what feels right.

  4. Care about other people. The honourable among us really care about the people in their life. They’re the parents who work second and third jobs to make sure their kids have enough, the friends who refuse to let their pals get behind the wheel after a night of drinking. honourable people show their deep love for others through their actions. If the people in your life don’t know you’ve got their backs, it’s time to start showing them.

    • Care about people outside of your inner circle, too. Acting honorably isn’t limited to only helping the people you know and love. What would you do if you were walking down the street and saw someone in need of help?

    • Question your boundaries. Sure, it’s hard to hand over change to every single person who asks. It’s not possible to help everyone you come across. But being honourable means seeing people as people, respecting their humanity, and giving the what little you have to offer.

  5. Get rid of ulterior motives. If you’re honourable, you help people because you care, and you don’t expect to get paid back. When you do something kind, there’s no self-serving motive behind it; you’re driven by love. Think about the decisions you make every day, and decide what powers them. Only you know whether your interactions are tainted by motives you don’t want others do see.

    • For example, have you ever given advice that serves you instead of really trying to help the person? If your sister asks you if you think she should move to New York, and you really wish she would stay in town, don’t let your feelings taint your advice. Advise her to do what you think is best for her, not for you.

    • Don’t build up resentment about helping out, or wonder what you’re getting out of a given situation. If you don’t want to be doing something, you should stop doing it. It’s more honourable to be up front about how you feel than it is to secretly despise something you’re doing.

Behaving Honorably

  1. Work for what you want. Do you want a new car? A boyfriend? Some new clothes? You deserve all of these things, but don’t use shortcuts to get them. It’s so much easier to take the easy way out, but this usually requires hurting someone else, and if you do it often enough it’ll backfire. If you want something, work for it. It’s the honourable thing to do.

    • Don’t steal or try to rip people off instead of paying what you owe.

    • Don’t shamelessly flirt with someone else’s tipsy girlfriend instead of forming an actual relationship with someone who’s available.

    • Don’t keep borrowing money from your friends and family instead of getting a job.

    • Don’t take credit for someone else’s idea instead of coming up with your own.

  2. Speak the truth. Honesty and honor go hand in hand. Work on always telling the truth, whether it’s about your own intentions or an outside situation. It will certainly make you uncomfortable at times, and you might be subject to other people’s anger or hurt feelings. But ultimately, people will appreciate that you’re someone who tells it like it is instead of sugarcoating.

    • If there’s a situation in which you don’t feel comfortable telling the truth, just don’t say anything. It’s better than lying.

    • When it comes to the tiny lies we tell to spare feelings, you make the call. Just know that if you lie often enough, even in this small way (“No, that dress looks great!” or “Yes, I really liked your speech!”) people will stop trusting your opinion and begin to assume you’re just being nice.

  3. Defend what you believe in. Developing your values is one thing, but standing up for them is quite another. It’s easy to argue with something in your head, but honourable people speak up and step in. Defending your values can mean any number of things, and it doesn’t always need to involve a big show. In little ways, you can behave honorably and set an example for other people.

    • For example, if everyone at work makes fun of a certain person when he’s not around, you could make it clear you don’t think it’s right. Sometimes just saying “I disagree” or even changing the subject every time it comes up is a way to make your opinion known.

    • Sometimes you’ll be faced with a bigger problem, and you’ll have to choose between standing up for what you think is right and keeping your job, or staying friends with someone, or upholding your reputation as a sweet and genial person. That’s when true honor kicks in, and hopefully all those times you were honourable in little ways will prepare you for the big decisions.

  4. Come to people’s aid. If you were to draw a cartoon of an honourable person, it might look like a guy giving up his seat on the bus for an elderly person while helping a child carry his luggage and offering to front fare for someone who forgot change. These cliches all demonstrate ways to be honourable, and they’re all situations that could happen in real life and provide easy opportunities to be a little honourable. However, true honor is demonstrated when you’re called upon to do something you really don’t want to do, and you do it anyway.

    • For example, maybe your brother and his two dogs need a place to crash for three weeks after losing their house. Things will be pretty cramped, but he’s your brother, so you do it.

    • Or maybe you’re in the car on the way to airport to catch a flight to Venice for your honeymoon, and you witness a car run off the road and hit the guardrail. Even though it means you’re going to miss your flight, you stop and offer your assistance.

  5. Never manipulate people. Part of being honourable is acknowledging the effect your words and actions have on other people. You have the ability to help, and you have the ability to hurt. Don’t mess with people’s emotions as a way to get what you want. It’s easy to do this without even realizing it, so try to be more mindful of the impact you’re having.[1]

    • Don’t take advantage of weakness, like using someone’s illness to gain an edge on them.

    • Don’t be controlling of those around you. Let them make their own decisions.

    • Don’t guilt trip people into doing what you want.

    • Don’t lead people on by making them think you’re more emotionally involved than you really feel.


  • Ask for forgiveness when you have done something wrong, and forgive mistakes in turn.

  • Fight against hypocrisy.


  • You may be attacked physically or emotionally.

  • Keep in mind that you may be wrong, and listen to others.

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How to Make Chili

It seems as though every region of the United States has its own spin on how to make chili. As is evidenced by the popularity of chili cook-offs around the states, home cooks have strong feelings about what kind of chili is best. This article provides recipes for three popular types of chili: chili con carne, Texas chili, and chili con queso.


Chile Con Carne

  • 6 ancho chilis

  • 2 pounds beef chuck cut into 1/2" cubes

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons lard or corn oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

  • Salt, freshly ground pepper

  • 2 cups cooked red kidney beans

Texas chili

  • 2-3 pounds round or sirloin steak, cut into 1/2" cubes

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2-3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped

  • 1/4 cup dark chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 cup dark beer (use Texan beer if possible)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 cup masa (or cornmeal)

Chili Con Queso

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped

  • ½ medium onion, diced

  • 1 anaheim chili, diced

  • 1 pasilla chili, diced

  • 4 jalapeno chilies, diced

  • 8 chili powder, toasted

  • 4 cumin, toasted

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 pounds peeled tomatoes

  • 1 large ham hock, smoked

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 2 cups cannellini beans

  • 2 cups kidney beans

  • 1 cup black beans

  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 2 green onion, diced

  • 2 cilantro (fresh coriander), chopped


Chile Con Carne

  1. Prepare the ancho chilis. Toast the ancho chilis in a dry frying pan. Don't overdo this step, just a light toast is sufficient. When the chilis become fragrant, remove them from the pan. Wearing gloves, remove the stems, seeds, and tear the chilis into small pieces. Place them into a bowl and fill with hot water. Leave them to soak for 30 minutes.

  2. Prepare the beef. Place the beef into a large casserole dish or a saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Place the lid over the pan and simmer over a low heat for 1 hour.

    • If you'd prefer, you can sear the beef on both sides before cooking it. Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a large stockpot and brown the beef on both sides for three minutes, then cover with water and cook.

    • Every now and then use a ladle to skim off any fat that rises to the top of the cooking pan.

  3. Prepare the flavorings. Place the anchos, onion, and garlic into a food processor. Pulse them together until they are the consistency of a coarse paste. Then place the lard or oil into a frying pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the processed paste and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Pour the spice and chili-onion mixture in with the beef. Use a long spoon to stir the mixture well. Cook for another hour, covered, over a gentle simmer.

  5. After the hour is up, add the cooked beans. Leave the chili to cook for another 15 minutes.

  6. Serve the chili. Dish it into bowls and serve with chips, tortillas, or any side dishes you prefer.

Texas Chili

  1. Prepare the meat. Cut the steak into cubes.[1] Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the cubes and chopped onion into the skillet. Cook until the beef is browned.

  2. Season the chili. Drain off the excess fat. Add the chopped garlic and stir over medium heat for another minute, then pour the beef mixture from the skillet into the crockpot. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, beer, and water.

  3. Cook the chili. Place the lid on the crockpot. Cook the chili on low for 8–10 hours.

  4. Create the masa or cornmeal paste. Place the masa or cornmeal in a bowl, and stir in enough water to turn it into a paste. Add the paste to the chili.

  5. Finish cooking the chili. Put the lid on the crockpot and turn it to the highest setting. Let the chili cook for one more hour, to give it time to thicken and for the flavors to meld.

  6. Serve the chili. This chili is delicious with corn or flour tortillas, a dollop of sour cream, and a green salad.

Chili Con Queso

  1. Prepare the beef. In a large pot, cover the bottom with canola oil and add 2 pounds ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 5 minutes, or until brown. The meat does not have to be cooked all the way through, as it will cook further when all ingredients are combined. Pour the browned beef into a bowl when it is finished.

  2. Add the vegetables and chilis. In the same large pot, heat a little more canola oil. Add 2 chopped celery stalks, 2 chopped carrots, 1 diced Pasilla chili, 1 diced Anaheim chili and 4 diced Jalapeno chilis. Salt and pepper to taste and sauté until softened. Once soft, add 1/2 diced onion and 3 chopped garlic cloves. Continue to sauté all vegetables until soft.

  3. Prepare the spices. In a separate, ungreased pan, combine 8 tablespoons of chili powder and 4 tablespoons of cumin. Toast over a medium heat for just 2-3 minutes, or until the spices begin to smoke. Stir the spices constantly to toast all the way through. Once toasted, add the spices to the pot of sautéed vegetables and incorporate.

  4. Mix in the meat and tomatoes. Once the vegetables and toasted spices are mixed, add the browned beef back to the main pot and stir. Add 1 large can of peeled tomatoes to the pot and mix thoroughly. For added flavor, add 1 ham hock to the middle of the pot and cover with the ingredients. Finish by adding 4 cups chicken stock to cover the ingredients.

  5. Cook the chili. Bring the contents up to a boil, then down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 3 hours.

  6. Add the beans. After 1 hour of simmering, add 2 cups cannellini beans, 2 cups kidney beans and 1 cup black beans. Stir the beans into the chili, cover, and continue to simmer for another 2 hours. Stir occasionally during the next 2 hours to keep the flavors and ingredients incorporated.

  7. Serve the chili. Ladle the chili into a bowl and garnish with some shredded cheddar cheese, diced green onion, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon (if desired). Allow the cheese to melt through, and serve hot. Enjoy!



  • For a milder chili, season individual bowls with extra cayenne instead of the whole batch.

  • Be sure to allow chili to cool thoroughly before refrigeration.


  • Check the heat scale on the package of Naga Jolokia/Habanero pepper, don't try to be brave and add more than you think you can handle – it's hot!

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan/pot or frying pan/skillet or crockpot

  • Stirring spoon (wooden is best)

  • Timer if you're forgetful of the time

  • Can opener for beans, tomatoes, etc. if not cooking fresh

  • Serving bowls

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How to Make an Earbud Holder

Earbuds can easily get tangled if you leave the wires loose. If you want to keep your cords organized and easy to use, there are many diffe...