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Many Germans still love to bask naked on the beaches of Spain and France but at home, long the land of the all over tan, the nudist movement is in decline.Especially since the carefree 1970s, naturists, unencumbered by clothing and their parents’ prudish mores, have frolicked in the buff on beaches, lakes and in city parks.The trend was especially popular in the former communist East Germany, whose people celebrated it as a rare expression of personal liberty in an otherwise highly oppressive society.But times are changing for the movement known in German simply as “FKK”, short for Frei Koerper Kultur or “free body culture”.”Society is changing,” laments Kurt Fischer, president of the German Federation of Naturist Clubs (DFK), in an interview with AFP.The energetic septuagenarian has been counting membership forms and says total numbers for Germany’s 145 clubs have fallen two percent a year to about 40,000. Bowling in the buff Followers of the bronze cult are now ageing fast. The largest contingent is currently in the 50 to 60 year old bracket, and members under 25 have become rare.Fischer blames radical changes in people’s working lives, with irregular hours making it hard to commit to FKK clubs and associations.”Twenty years ago almost everyone had the weekends off,” he said. “Now in almost all jobs, we must be flexible and free time is dictated by the employer.”This is a problem for organisations that have their own structures and that want to bring people together for an event at a specific time.”From bowling to table tennis and even sailing holidays in Greece, the FKK clubs offer a wide range of outdoor activities and competitions.But rival leisure opportunities have also exploded in recent decades.”People no longer want to commit,” said the DFK president. “They say ‘one weekend I do this, another weekend I do that’.” ‘Naked skateboarding? No!’ This is especially true for younger people who are far less likely than their parents to strip off their trunks or bikinis in public, in part because they regard fashion as a crucial marker of group identity.”Skateboarding is trendy, but skateboarding stark naked, no!” laughed Fischer.Young people with immigrant backgrounds and from Muslim cultures, where the unclothed body remains taboo, have proven impervious to the lure of nudism.Paradoxically, “uncommitted” naturism, such as taking a dip in a lake in one’s birthday suit, is still going strong in Germany.”It has become natural, it’s part of a lifestyle where we want to reconnect with nature,” said Peter Zellmann of the Vienna based Research Centre for Leisure and Tourism.”We no longer need to be part of an association, of a structured organisation.”In Munich, the capital of the conservative and mainly Catholic southern state of Bavaria, the largest city park, the Englischer Garten, has a space reserved for naturists.Many a foreign tourist strolling through the green space has been stunned to come face to face with exposed female breasts, not to mention disrobed men playing Frisbee.The same goes for the wind swept beaches on the Baltic and North Sea, which are strictly divided between swimwear and “fabric free” areas.In his study, Jaurand concluded that Germany remains committed to “urban public nudity that is uninhibited and quiet” and “detached from any sexual connotation”.
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The victim was found crawling from woods by a cyclist near the city of Waukesha, a western suburb of Milwaukee. She had stab wounds to her arms, legs and torso.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren on Thursday sentenced Weier to the maximum punishment of 25 years in a psychiatric institution.

The sentencing is retroactive to the date of the crime in May 2014, which means she will be committed until the age of 37.

Weier and Geyser told investigators that they believed they had to kill their victim in “dedication” to Slender Man, a fictional horror website character.

Before her sentencing,
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Weier told the judge: “I do hold myself accountable for this and that I will do whatever I have to do to make sure I don’t get any sort of delusion or whatever again.

“I want everybody involved to know I deeply regret everything that happened that day. I know that nothing I say is going to make this right and nothing I say is going to fix what I broke.”

He is a skinny, shadowy figure, who has appeared in photos, drawings and articles across the internet.

Some claim he has tentacles emerging from his back and most say he wears dark clothes and has a pale face.

The schoolgirls involved in the attack in Waukesha say there were inspired after reading about him in a creepypasta, a short online story designed to shock or scare the reader.

Slender Man first appeared on the internet in 2009.

Eric Knudsen from Florida created the character in response to a call for submissions from the online forum SomethingAwful and posted the picture of the figure behind a crowd of people. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.
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While choosing a dress for you, it is most important to choose an appropriate fit for your body rather concentrating on other irrelevant points. For instance, small sized women wear clothes of small size and average sized women wear clothes of medium size, so on and so forth. But when it comes to plus sized women, they just can’t wear anything short of their size, which is plus size.

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As flood recovery efforts in Louisiana continue, so do the philanthropic efforts of Northeast Mississippians seeking to lend a hand and help out fellow Southerners bouncing back from a severe natural disaster.

Described as the worst disaster since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, a storm that started Aug. 12 dumped as much as 2 feet of rain over two days in areas of Louisiana and was blamed for 13 deaths.

Having lived in southwest Mississippi and near central Louisiana for several years, my Facebook feed is still populated by many who live in areas that received heavy rain, as well those who have family in the Baton Rouge area.

The devastating images of damage and destruction one day were quickly replaced the next with heartwarming images of volunteers helping in the clean up process.

It’s one of those great Southern things that doesn’t often get a lot of attention.

In times of great crisis or destruction, help doesn’t need to be requested it just arrives.

It arrives from people who are all too familiar with the feeling and want to give back the way that someone else gave back to them in their time of need.

From boots on the ground to sending supplies, the outpouring of support a community receives from across the country following a natural disaster is truly something to stop and appreciate.

And in Northeast Mississippi, those efforts started immediately following the heavy rains and are continuing as the recovery process kicks into high gear.

Immediate assistance from our region that came in the form of volunteers and hands on assistance can be attributed to Hope Reigns.

Hope Reigns, which is the emergency response division of Tupelo based Christian mission Eight Days of Hope ministry, sent 450 volunteers from nearly 20 states to help restore flood ravaged areas of Louisiana.

And as those volunteers from our region traveled to begin work, the residents who stayed began giving back through generous donations.

Some of the early gathering of relief supplies in our region came from businesses, schools and municipalities in various communities across Northeast Mississippi.

Markel Whittington, Tupelo City councilman and businessman, was one of many that spearheaded the collection and transportation of relief supplies.

One truck loaded with donated goods left for Louisiana flood victims last week, but another truck is on the dock and ready to be filled up.

Those interested in donating items (cleaning supplies, non perishable food, bottled water and clothing) can drop them off at 277 Community Drive in Tupelo.

St. James Catholic Church Knights of Columbus and StorageMax are teaming up to help and need your assistance.

Through Sept. Saturdays.

The group is collecting non perishable food items,
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cleaning supplies, toiletries, batteries, fans, diapers, paper products, gloves and everyday household goods.

Monetary donations can be sent to KC Council 8848 c/o St. James Catholic Church, 845 Lakeshire Drive, Tupelo, MS 38804.

Booneville Middle School is collecting school supplies for students and teachers at a Louisiana elementary school who were forced out of their building by recent flooding.

BMS has partnered with Lake Elementary School, a kindergarten through eighth grade school with around 950 students in Gonzales, Louisiana.

BMS is collecting colored pencils, crayons, pencils, zippered pouches for holding supplies, binders and pocket dividers, among other supplies. Donations will be accepted for the next two weeks at the school.
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Unfortunately on my visit the cold weather seems to be preventing anyone but Roger and I from experiencing that liberation, which he claims goes all the way back to biblical times.

My only other real sight of naked naturist flesh came when John Latchford strolled towards me wearing nothing but a jumper, his manhood swaying in the autumnal air.

Hundreds of other people come to Brocken Hurst regularly each year to bare all and take part in events like the annual jazz festival,
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cabaret and even religious services.

Chaplain Trevor said: “We’re fairly strict on behaviour but you can be unclothed whenever you like basically, even when we’re having food in the bar.

Personally, few things could have been less comfortable for me than sitting in front of Trevor with no clothes on. But few things could have been less sexy either and I’m sure the feeling was mutual.
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TROY >> A lot of area children will have new winter clothing thanks to the generosity of the students, faculty and staff at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

This week, RPI made a $3,087.84 donation to this year Clothe A Child fund drive, sponsored by The Record.

after year, RPI comes through with generous donations to our Clothe A Child campaign, said Susan B. Chasney, Clothe A Child coordinator and newsroom administrative assistant at The Record. to them and other loyal individuals and organizations, we have been able to take approximately 600 children shopping this year for new winter clothes. Paulus; Winifred J. Millington; Patricia Germain; Todd Shauna Waldin; Richard Mary Marriner; Mary Roy McGreevy; Alma T. Clement In memory of my husband, Leo B. Clement and My Son, Col. James L. Clement.
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JANELLE PATTERSON The Marietta Times

Hollis Sturgill, 12, of Warren Township, sells baked goods to brothers Ethan,11, (center) and Jacob Berg, 12, (right) to raise the final dollars in her $2,000 fundraising goal for the Brooks family while at her baseball game in Marietta Monday.

been rough to say the least, said Rhonda Brooks, 42, of Warren Township. whole year has been rough, my husband is facing surgery and health problems, our oldest is taking it hard and doesn want to see his home like that. I just hope my youngest forgets it in time. fire, at 2150 Wynncrest Drive, is believed to been caused by batteries in a race car in the home basement.

Brooks family includes her husband Bryan, 43, and sons Jaden, 14, and Jensen, 4. They been living with her mother in law since the fire, figuring out how they going to rebuild without the aid of insurance.

literally starting from scratch, she said. have been so good to us though. They given clothes, shoe vouchers, the (Washington County) Sheriff Office gave us a gift card, Jaden school had a hat day to raise money and the (Washington County) Career Center where I been taking night classes covered my books. what will most impact the family and get them back on track is funding, and one Warren Middle School classmate of Jaden wanted to do her part.

just heard what happened over the loud speaker at school and that they lost their dog and everything they owned and knew I wanted to help, said Hollis Sturgill,
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12, of Warren Township.

Sturgill mother, Jennifer, said the pair were sitting in church the following Sunday and her daughter handed her a scribbled on program notes of how Hollis would raise money for the family.

hands me her ideas and says is what I want to do,’ Jennifer recalled.

said OK and we started baking, added Hollis.

That conversation was two weeks ago, and since then Hollis has sold cookies in her mother Marietta shop, Green Acres, she made appeals on social media and has had donations from as far away as family and friends in California.

was thinking at first that $1,000 would be a reasonable goal but then realized if I could raise $500 as quickly as I did in those first couple of days that $2,000 would be better, explained Hollis. don think you find kinder people than those in the Marietta area. People started donating left and right, many paying for five cookies but only taking one. said donors have even stopped by the store to add their aid while Hollis has been in school.

wanted to help as immediately as she could proud of her, said Jennifer.

When Brooks found out Hollis goal, she choked back tears.

would get us started on the lumber to rebuild our home, she said. girl, all I can say is thank you, she a little blessing and an angel. said blessings like Hollis are what have restored the family faith that things will work out.

before Jaden birthday on the eighth I went to Walmart to get a few groceries and toiletries and to get a replacement phone for him and of course I also had Jensen with me, she began. all Jensen has talked about since the fire is how he had lost his bike, so I had him pick out a little $40 bike as well. said when she and Jensen got to the register she reminded him that the bike to go beep first before he could take it home, a conversation that was overheard by the gentleman in front of them in line.

looked back, curious, and told Jensen it was a good looking bike, Brooks explained. of course Jensen says straight in the face back to him, mine burned up in a fire.’ said the man confirmed the story with her before turning to the cashier to pick up the tab.

says ring up the bicycle and then turns around and says hope it helps and hands me $100, she described. don even know his name, he a perfect stranger. But him, people like (Hollis) they what getting us through. Their kindness is what gives us hope. you go
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“We need to go beyond the three ‘r’s of reduce, reuse and recycle and start promoting a culture of repair Wai Chu Cheng

Wai Chu Cheng, Sheridan’s Sustainability Coordinator, plays the role of host and organizer of the Repair Caf. She comes highly qualified as she is also the co founder of Repair Caf Toronto. Sustainability initiatives are embedded in Sheridan’s day to day operations through Sheridan Mission Zero,
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which includes becoming a Zero Waste campus by 2020, and the Caf works to complement those efforts by curbing the throw away and replace mindset that’s common in today’s society. “We need to go beyond the three ‘r’s of reduce, reuse and recycle and start promoting a culture of repair,” Cheng explains. Trades, craft and design, and engineering programs at Sheridan offer up people with a range of repair skills that can be leveraged in a purposeful way.

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This number doesn’t even include car loans, student loads, home mortgages, second mortgages or any other debt.

Let’s look at that $8,000 in debt up close and personal. If you make a payment of $150 per month on an $8,000 balance with 11% interest, it will take you just over 6 years to pay it off. The total cost that you will have paid in those 6.16 years is $11,100. This means that you paid an extra $3,100 to carry that debt. By the time you paid it off, 6 years later, you probably wouldn’t even remember half the stuff you spent that $8,000 to buy. I am sure you would have preferred to have that extra $3,100 vs. paying it in interest fees.

Thankfully, there are steps that you can take starting right now that will get you closer to debt free living every day. I am not going to tell you that it is easy to dig out of debt.

If you are in debt, you will need to make some sacrifices to get out of that hole, but you will be so glad you did. The peace that comes from living within your means is tremendous and well worth the effort.

Step 1: Determine Your Debt to Income Ratio

The debt to income ratio is an effective way to compare your debt burden to your total income. It is also one of the leading indicators of financial health used by lenders to determine creditworthiness. To calculate your debt to income ratio, add all your minimum monthly debt payments and divide the total by your net (after tax) monthly income. The monthly minimum debt payments include mortgage, rent, credit card bills, car payments, student loans, child support payments and any other loans you may have. Do not include food, entertainment and utility bills when calculating your debt to income ratio.

A debt to income ratio of .36 (36%) or less generally indicates stronger fiscal health. A ratio of over .36 is cause for concern and must be lowered through debt reduction. When your debt to income ratio is high, an unexpected debt, such as a medical bill or job loss, could mean financial disaster for your family.

Step 2: Complete the Debt Payment Worksheet

In order to track your debt and clearly see which balances need to be paid first,
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second, third, etc, you need to complete the debt payment worksheet found at the link above. Click the link and print out the worksheet. Gather your credit card bills and any other statements you have for other debt so know how much you are paying each month, what the interest rates are on the debt and the total balance for each debt. Fill out the form completely. You will need to enter the credit card balance, the interest rate and the payment amount per month. It’s a real eye opener to see how long it takes to pay off debt when you only pay the monthly minimum.

Step 3: Pay Them Off One at a Time

Once you know how many debts you have and what the interest is on each debt, it’s time to start paying them off aggressively. There are different schools of thought on how to do this. Most finance people agree that paying the mortgage off last is a good idea since those rates are usually so much lower than credit card interest rates. But, when it comes to paying off credit cards and other debts, financial gurus differ in their recommended methods.

Most will tell you to start with the debt that has the highest interest rate and put everything you can toward paying it off as soon as possible. Once it’s paid off, put the amount you were paying on that debt and add it to the minimum you are paying on the debt with the next highest rate until that debt is gone. Then take the money that went to paying the first 2 debts and apply it to the next one and so on until all the debts are paid. That happens to be my recommendation as well. He then has you do the same “snowball effect” using the total dollar amount of each debt to dictate order vs. the interest rates. I have to disagree on this one because you end up spending more money in the long run if you are paying more interest on your debts. But, with that said, his program has helped many people get out of debt rather quickly using serious discipline and determination (which I do agree with). His get out of debt workshops (Financial Peace University) are taught at churches around the country and if you are struggling with debt and willing to follow his steps, his program can probably help you. Save the class fee and check out his books for free at most public libraries.

Paying off debt does not happen overnight. Depending on your debt load, it can be a long process taking years. Celebrate every time you pay off a debt. Have a picnic in your favorite park or rent that movie (at the Redbox kiosk) you have been wanting to see. If it helps to see your progress as you pay off debt, post your Debt Payment Worksheet on the fridge or on the bathroom mirror whatever works to keep you focused and motivated.

Additional tips to consider when paying off debt:

DO NOT continue to incur more debt. Cut up your credit cards or freeze them in a block of ice and do whatever it takes to keep you from using them.

Make sure you have an updated household budget in addition to your debt reduction plan. This will help you stay on track with all your household expenses. Click the link above for “Creating a budget” to print a budget worksheet and see steps for setting up your budget.

Keep in mind that you still need an emergency fund of at least $1000 so you don’t incur more debt when the car breaks down, for example.

Take a cold, hard look at how you are spending your hard earned money. If you are struggling with debt, it is time to seriously reduce unnecessary expenses like restaurant meals, new clothes, expensive grocery items like premium cuts of steak, cable TV, smart phones and vacations until you make a huge dent in that debt. You don’t have to give up everything you enjoy, but you do need to make some significant changes. Switching out a cable bill of $80 per month for an $8 per month Netflix subscription saves you $72 per month. That’s $864 per year you can save with just one change!

Sell items in your home that you no longer use and apply the money towards your debt. Not only are you helping to get rid of your debt, you are also getting rid of clutter.

Ask for help if you need it. You can contact your creditors, explain your situation and that you want to pay off all your debt in a timely manner. Ask for a lower interest rate and hopefully they will oblige.

Call a non profit credit counseling agency that does not have a vested interest in making money off of your debt. The NFCC is a well known non profit agency that helps individuals with budgeting and debt reduction plans. Many of the services are free or cost only a minimal fee.

The key to getting debt free is to start today. The steps you take now will help secure your future and give you a level of financial freedom you never thought was possible.

I would love to hear about the steps you have taken to pay off debt and stay out of debt. Please share them in the Comments section.
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