How to Select a Bengal

1.Find a responsible breeder who will guarantee that your Bengal is in good health and does not have Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLv) or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).
2.Expect to pay between $500 and $600 for your Bengal - although top quality breeders and show cats can cost over $1,000.
3.Pick up and hold the cat or kitten to see if she has good muscle tone.
4.Make sure she's not sneezing or sniffling, that her eyes have no discharge and her ears are clean and pink inside.
5.Examine the cat's fur, which should be lush and silky. Bengals are known for their fur, which often has what's called "glitter," or gold flecks.
6.Watch out for bald patches or signs of dry or flaky skin, which could indicate an illness.
7.Check for fleas behind her ears and at the base of the tail. Flea dirt, which looks like black sand, is a sure sign.
8.Get a written sales agreement from the breeder that provides the breeder's health guarantee.
9.Take your Bengal to your own veterinarian as soon as possible to confirm that it's healthy.
1..Take a kitten home no younger than 12 weeks of age.  
Some breeders might let their kittens go at 10 weeks, which can be an ugly-duckling period for Bengals. Their markings at this age might appear fuzzy and unclear, which is normal. Ask to see a photograph of the kittens between two to six weeks old - at that age their markings will be about the same as when they become adults.
Regardless of the Bengal's wild origin, it's best to keep any cat indoors. Vets say it's the best way to keep any cat happy and disease free. 
The first generation Asian Leopard and Shorthair hybrid is called F1, and some states require special permits to own them. To be sure that no wild traits are left in your Bengal, find one that is at least four generations removed from its wild ancestors.
If you want to show your Bengal, avoid ticked or long fur, two characteristics considered to be faults by show judges.   

How to Find a Good Chat Room for Romance

Sensible Approach
1.Find a reliable Internet service provider or online service such as America Online, EarthLink, Microsoft Network or Prodigy Internet.
2.Check out the service's chat areas. Find out how the chat rooms are labeled.
3.Sample various rooms and get input about them from regulars.
4.Avoid rooms where overt sexual comments or "flaming" (insults) are commonplace.
5.Read the personal profiles of the participants.
6.Settle into a room where you feel comfortable, and visit it regularly.
7.Be patient, but always be on the lookout for potential love interests.
8.Use e-mail and private chat sessions to get to know possible candidates for romance.
9.Plan your first date, but only when trust and friendship have been established. 
Spend plenty of time investigating sites with chat areas. Some may be too superficial or sexually oriented for your tastes, but you will eventually find good spots to gab and make new friends.
A few links to excellent sites with lots of chat rooms are included on this page. 
Warnings: Many chat rooms attract vicious individuals who enjoy "flaming" or purposely shocking newcomers. Be prepared for their outrageous antics, but don't let them drive you completely away from online communication. 
Casting a Wider Net

1..Use your Internet service provider to access a major search engine such as AltaVista, Lycos or Yahoo.
1..Search for chat areas associated with your interests. For example, type "cooking chat" in the search box and hit Enter.
1..Visit Web sites that sound appealing. Try their chat rooms.
1..Become a regular in a busy chat room.
1..Read profiles of people you find appealing, or start a dialogue by sending someone an instant message or just talking during the open chat session.
1..Exchange e-mail addresses.   

How to Deal With Boat Traffic Safely When Scuba Diving

1.Research the dive site thoroughly. Boat traffic is a major hazard and should figure prominently in your selection of a dive site. Avoid high-traffic areas such as channels, harbor entrances and crowded beachfronts.
2.Plan your entry method. Shore or beach entry locations usually have more traffic.
3.Attach a highly visible dive flag to a buoy or gear raft. This is essential. Be sure your flag is securely anchored so that it doesn't drift away from your diving area.
4.Take extreme care when diving at night. You are effectively invisible to all boat operators.
5.Avoid areas with any boat traffic at all whenever possible. 
Tips: Contact local dive shops for tips on site selection and hazards. Commercially available dive guides are also a good source of information. When possible, talk to someone who has dived at the site previously. 
Any shore entry that involves a long traverse of shallow water exposes you to the most danger. Extended surface swim times can also exhaust you and make you careless.
Rough seas can be exhausting to swim in and can obscure boat traffic, both before and after surfacing. 
Signaling Methods

6.Display a sport divers flag (bright red with a white diagonal stripe) whenever - and only when - divers are in the water.
7.Carry a whistle when diving. The sound can be heard at a great distance, and you won't wear yourself out yelling.
8.Attach a waterproof strobe light to your dive buoy if you're out at night. Carry a chemical glow light as well as a flashlight in case of flashlight failure. 
Tips: Signaling is done not only to alert boat operators to the presence of divers in the water, but also to keep divers from becoming lost or separated. 
Warnings: Don't stray too far from your dive buoy. It won't do you any good if you surface a half-mile away from it. 

9.Alert your dive buddy so that you can ascend together.
1..Follow your dive table for decompression stops and times.
1..Inflate your buoyancy compensator for a slight positive buoyancy. Never ascend at a rate of more than 60 feet per minute. This is the same rate at which small bubbles will ascend.
1..Hold one hand above you and look toward the surface. Use your other hand to release air from your buoyancy compensator and maintain a constant rate of ascent.
1..Breathe normally from your regulator during the ascent. Never hold your breath while ascending.
1..Inflate your buoyancy compensator completely when you reach the surface.
1..Turn completely around slowly and examine the horizon for boat traffic. Do this every 50 yards or so if you have to swim any distance on the surface. 
Always check the time before an ascent so that you can correctly calculate your bottom time for repetitive dives.
Sound is the best way to detect motorized boat traffic underwater, but it can be deceiving. Since sound travels four times faster in water than in air, both of your ears will hear a noise at essentially the same moment. This means it is almost impossible to judge the direction a sound is coming from. Water also distorts your ability to judge the distance of a noise source. 
Boat traffic is only one of the hazards of surfacing. At the end of a dive you will be tired and will have the least amount of air remaining in your tank. Too rapid an ascent can result in air embolism, an extremely dangerous medical situation.
Inexperienced divers should always dive with an experienced buddy. 
Overall Warnings: Scuba diving is a great sport, but it can be very hazardous to an inexperienced or careless diver. Never dive alone. Beginning divers should always get training from a licensed instructor. 

How to Become a Screenwriter

1.Consider applying to film school for both the experience and the contacts. (See "How to Apply to Film School" under Related Hows).
2.Seek an apprenticeship under an experienced and successful screenwriter, if possible. Do this through networking and letter writing.
3.Go to a film or theater bookstore and buy a book on screenwriting, such as "Screenplay" by Syd Field.
4.Complete one to three scripts and submit them to agents as "specs" (see glossary). Literary agents are listed in directories in New York City and Los Angeles.
5.Make the screenplays fit different genres - comedy, action, drama or romantic comedy - depending on your strengths.
6.Apply for a job working as a coveragist or story editor at a film studio. You'll read scripts that are sent to the studio, report on the plot and tone, and help determine if they're worth producing.
7.Send any industry contact (producer, actor, cameraperson, etc.) a copy of your latest screenplay. You never know who knows who in the film industry, and to improve your chances of getting your script produced, you want to expose your work to as many people as possible. 
Register your screenplays with the Library of Congress and the Writers Guild of America to protect your ideas as your own property.
Network! Meet as many people in the film industry as possible.
A position as a coveragist gives you the opportunity to read lots of different scripts; it's an excellent way to research your craft.   

How to Tune a Drum Set

Tuning the Snare Drum
1.Turn the snares off. The snare drum cannot be tuned correctly with interference from the snare sounds.
2.Tune the top head first. Turn each lug clockwise to increase the tension of the head and make the drum's pitch higher.
3.Tune one lug, and then tune the lug on its opposite side (180 degrees away). The drum tunes better when you don't tune these lugs in a circular sequence.
4.Continue this pattern so that you never tune two lugs in a row that are less than a few inches from each other.
5.Repeat this sequence with the bottom head. Be careful not to tune it too high, because these heads tend to break easily.
6.Test the pitch of each lug when finished by lightly playing about 1 inch away from the lug with a drumstick.
7.Make sure all the lugs have equal pitch. At this point, your drum should be tuned. 
Tuning the Toms

8.Tune the bottom head of each tom-tom first.
9.Use the same tuning sequence as the snare technique, tuning each lug and then its opposite.
1..Tune the top head when the bottom head is finished. This head is where the pitch is generated, so it's very important to have an idea of what pitch you want to tune to.
1..Check each lug's pitch so that it matches the others by lightly playing 1 inch away from the lug with a drumstick. 
Tuning the Bass Drum

1..Tune the front head first. You shouldn't spend too much time doing this, because this head doesn't have much impact on the sound of the drum.
1..Tune each lug of the back head (the head that your pedal plays against) in the sequence explained in the two sections above.
1..Make sure your drum is tuned neither too high nor too low. Bass drum sounds really depend on the style of music you're playing and how much impact the drum has with the group you play with. 
Overall Tips: Using a tension key can help you tune each of these drums precisely, but it's good to train your ear to do so naturally.  Overall Warnings: Allow yourself plenty of time to tune a drum set. This is not an activity you can pull off 20 minutes before a gig or session. 

How to Read Aloud to Your Child

1.Designate a special time and place every day to read aloud to your child. However, don't restrict story time to just that time and place - you can read to your child anywhere, anytime.
2.Try to choose books that introduce new words, ideas, people and places.
3.Take a trip to the bookstore to let your child select a book that interests him or her.
4.Choose a location that's comfortable and well-lit for your child's initial book reading experiences.
5.Allow your child to turn the pages and to comment on letters, words and pictures. Use this opportunity to go over letters and sounds.
6.Pause in the story often to ask and answer questions and to comment on the pictures.
7.Have your child "read aloud" to you by retelling a story or by constructing his or her own story based on pictures. 
Tips: You can make books come alive - try a re-enactment, puppet shows or drawings to illustrate the story.   

How to Choose Water Skis

1.Try out as many types of water skis in as many different situations as you can. Your final decision should be based on what feels best.
2.Note that the power of your boat may be a factor in choosing skis. If your boat is not very fast, buy wider skis, which are easier to pull up.
3.Consider the types of people who will be using the skis; different size people require different size skis.
4.Understand that wider skis are easier to get up on and easier to tow, while narrow skis turn better and ski faster.
5.Check out prices in magazines, online and in stores. Specialty stores usually have the best prices as well as knowledgeable salespeople. Ask questions.
6.Save money by buying standard skis that also have an extra binding for slaloming. Also check out used sports equipment stores. Used skis work almost as well as new ones and can help fill out your "loaner" supply. 
Tips: Here are a few general size and weight guidelines: people 30-80 lbs. need skis 52 inches long and 5-6 inches wide; people 70-170 lbs. need skis 66 inches long and 6-7 inches wide; people 170 lbs. and heavier need skis 68-72 inches long and 6-8 inches wide. Again, these guidelines are only general. Use whatever feels best. 
Always wear a life vest when skiing.
Do not use damaged skis or damaged bindings. 
Overall Warnings: Water skiing is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or death. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity. 

How to Identify and Treat Recluse (Fiddleback) Spider Bites

1.Learn to recognize fiddleback spiders, which get their name from a violin-shaped mark on the back of their heads. Their bodies are a little more than 1cm in length, and their legs reach to about 5cm.
2.Exercise caution when stepping or reaching into places where fiddleback spiders are likely to be: in hot, dry, unoccupied environments like dried logs, wood piles, or abandoned buildings.
3.Look for the signs and symptoms of a fiddleback spider bite: pain at the site of the bite within a few hours, a blister at the site of the bite which will often grow in size and rupture and occasional nausea, vomiting, fever or chills.
4.Clean the bite with an antiseptic cleanser (See "How to Clean a Wound").
5.Apply an ice pack to the site of the bite.
6.Monitor the bite area, if a blister forms and then pops, carefully clean and dress the wound to prevent infection (See "How to Clean a Wound" and "How to Bandage a Wound").
7.Administer pain killers to provide some relief of the symptoms.
8.Evacuate immediately so the injured person may be treated in a hospital to minimize tissue damage. 
Overall Tips:
The fiddleback, or recluse spider, is also known as the "brown spider".
People often don't see the spider or feel the bite. You might not be able to diagnose it until a blister develops.  
Overall Warnings:
These bites can leave crater-like scars if not treated in a hospital with drug therapy within 24 hours. Evacuate immediately.
Do not attempt to lance the bite or extract the venom.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

How to Help a Person Who Has Ingested Poison

1.Identify the source of the poison: Was it a petroleum or corrosive chemical product (camping stove fuel, bleach?)? Was it a plant, food or drug?
2.Induce vomiting immediately if the following conditions are true: The poisoned person is fully conscious and coherent; you determine that the poison was not from a petroleum or corrosive chemical product. Vomiting may be induced by having the person drink a mixture of 2 tbsp. of syrup of ipecac with a half liter of water.
3.Administer another dose of syrup of ipecac and water after 20 minutes if the person had not yet vomited.
4.Mix 5 tbsp. of activated charcoal with a small amount of water after the vomiting has ceased. This mixture will absorb what is left in the stomach.
5.Drink copious amounts of water after vomiting to dilute the poison.
6.Save a sample of the ingested substance for identification.
7.Evacuate to a hospital immediately. 
Tips: If syrup of ipecac is unavailable, vomiting can be induced using one of the following methods: drink 2 tbsp. of mild soap or 1 tbsp. of dried mustard mixed with a half liter of water; tickle the back of the throat. 
Do not induce vomiting if you suspect the person has ingested a petroleum or corrosive chemical product. Vomiting may further damage the esophagus and lungs as the poison comes back up.
Do not induce vomiting if the person is unconscious, disoriented, or having seizures. The vomit may obstruct the airway.
If an unconscious poison victim begins to vomit, turn her on one side to keep the airway open.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.   Steps:
1.Ease the person to the floor, if you see that she is about to have a seizure. She could get hurt if she falls.
2.Insert a handkerchief between her teeth if she knows she's going to have a seizure. It will help her avoid biting her tongue.
3.Loosen constrictive clothing (unless the seizure has come on and the person is jerking too much).
4.Protect the head with a pillow, or any soft object, if possible. During a grand mal seizure, the head has a tendency to strike the floor repeatedly.
5.Shoo away onlookers and close the door to provide privacy.
6.Move furniture out of the way.
7.Avoid trying to restrain the person having a seizure. You will never be strong enough to fight against the powerful seizing muscles, but you may get hurt.
8.Make sure not to jam anything between the seizing person's clenched teeth. If her jaw is clenched, you could break her teeth or injure her lips.
9.Turn her onto her side if you can, to prevent choking or aspiration of vomit that may occur during seizure.
1..Reorient the person after she begins to regain consciousness following her seizure. Sometimes awareness is regained soon after a seizure, sometimes it can take several minutes or more. 
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.   

How to Buy Sailing Ship Models

Wooden Sailing Ship Scale Models
1.Think about why you're buying the model - as decoration, as an investment, as a keepsake.
2.Think about the amount of money you want to invest. You can easily invest several hundred dollars in a historically accurate scale model.
3.Consider the nature of the collection. Someone collecting clipper ships might not be interested in a model of a ship from the Spanish Armada.
4.Check the brand name and quality of models displayed by the person for whom you're buying. Find something similar. Or, ask a close friend or relative of the person for tips.
5.Buy something within the skill range of the person receiving the model.
6.Remember some model kits come with pre-cut parts. Others require more extensive carpentry.
7.Consult a store clerk once you have sufficient information.
8.Read the package to make certain you know what you're buying.
9.Ask the store clerk if you might see the accompanying instructions to gauge the complexity of the project and the types of tools needed. 
Plastic Sailing Ship Models

1..Pay attention to the skill level of the person for whom the model is being purchased.
1..Remember plastic models are excellent for younger, less skilled model makers.
1..Note the nature of tools required. You'll want to buy a model that can be assembled without investing in a set of complicated, expensive tools.
1..Check the present collection to avoid duplication.
1..Consider the type of models the person assembles. Someone interested in historic warships might not like a model of an America's Cup competitor.
1..Note brand names and quality of the collection. Buy something similar.
1..Ask a relative or a close friend or a fellow hobbyist for advice.
1..Consult the hobby store clerk.
1..Read the packaging carefully to make sure you know what you're buying.
1..Ask to see a set of instructions to learn the number of parts, skill level required, and tools needed. 
Overall Tips:
Wooden and plastic scale ship models are available in price ranges from less than $10 to as much as $100 or $200 or more.
Some retailers offer a modeler's tool kit as a package including knives, glues, paints and other supplies.
A typical 1:100 scale model of a historic sailing ship may be around 3 feet long and about 3 feet tall.
Plastic models are manufactured by Airfix, Revell-Monogram, Heller, Nichimo, Tamiya, and Hasegawa, among others.
The Internet is a wonderful source for research when thinking about purchasing model kits.
Find another hobbyist or watch for news of modeling clubs. Both may provide valuable information.
A subscription to a modeler's magazine makes a thoughtful gift for a beginning modeler.   
Overall Warnings:
Some model enthusiasts are serious hobbyists and work to create exact replicas. Be aware there are no historical references to the blueprints of certain ships - John Paul Jones' "Bonhomme Richard," for example - and thus no accurate model can be created. True scale models can be purchased or created when exact plans of historic ships can be found.
Remember, a youngster or a person new to the hobby might need a mentor. Consider introducing a youngster to a member of a local modeler's club.