Advertising for Free

Advertising for free seems like an impossible thing when heard. But there are several ways by which the cost of advertisement can be conserved, with the help of some imagination and creativity.

A business wanting to advertise, can write articles related to their field of expertise that can be submitted to media and publications having interest in that particular field. The advertising article can have information about the company and dealership opportunity. Due to the rise in Internet users and websites, new websites have sprung up which offer free services. Articles can be written for these websites and they can be broadcasted for free, which will be viewed by hundreds of people everyday.

Once the business has gained some recognition, within no time it will gain popularity also among the crowds. This popularity can lead to them being invited on radio and television talk shows and even to interviews. Such kind of opportunities shouldn’t be missed as they provide a chance for free promotion. If it is taking a long time to get a break, the producer can be addressed with a letter that can be followed up by a telephone call or in-person visit. During the visit, the nature of expertise can be discussed about the business, which will be of interest to the viewers of the particular channel. Once a businessperson gains the status of being public-friendly, more offers start pouring in.

Free bulletin board located in the neighborhood, like in grocery stores, libraries, and salons, are another good idea. Advertising circulars can be posted on such boards for free. Circulars for mass distribution can be handed out at the mall, shopping center, bus stops, particularly on weekends when there is a big rush. Students can be hired on part time basis for this purpose.

Promotional advertisement can be printed on the envelopes used by the business firms. Both the sender and the receiver can view this advertisement. Promotional offers can be sent to customers by postcards, which should be utilized to its full, leaving only place left for writing the address.

Some of the new mail order publications offer free first time and seasonal deductions for advertisers. Other publications offer pay per inquiry space. Inquiries can be made about stand-by space, which means that the publication holds the submission of advertisement until the space is not sold and in that case, thirty three percent saving can be achieved. Usually local newspapers provide these kinds of offers.

If the business is involved in ad sheet or catalog publishing, other publishers can be contacted for the purpose of bartering an advertising exchange. They can place advertisement in their publication, in return for placing their advertisement in the business’s publication.

Free offers can be provided to the customer. This can be done by emailing or printing newsletter about information regarding the area of interest of the targeted customers and can be made popular by using tag lines. Attach a free coupon with it, which the customers can use it for shopping, if a criterion is met like minimum purchase of $ 50. By this the response will be huge and most of them will purchase something or the other to avail the free offer. The basic ingredient for advertising for free is imagination and research. Opportunities should be searched and a strong working force should be applied to increase the sales.

Email Marketing Strategies

Email marketing is becoming extremely popular but this does not mean all business owners know how to run an effective email marketing campaign. However, those who are well versed in the subject of email marketing and have experiencing using popular strategies effectively are likely to gain a huge advantage over their competitors who do not have these skills. This article will provide useful information for business owners who are hoping to improve their sales or website traffic through effective email marketing.

If you do not have a great deal of information about email marketing and do not fully understand the principles involved one of the best ways to orchestrate a truly effective email marketing campaign is to hire a consulting firm with a proven track record in promoting business through email marketing to assist you in your endeavor. Similarly to traditional marketing such as radio, television and print media, the popular strategies governing email marketing are changing constantly. As a business owner you likely already have enough to deal with trying to stay up to date on business practices that you do not have the time, energy or finances to also stay up to date on the latest changes in email marketing.

For this reason it is certainly worthwhile to hire a professional in the email marketing industry who can devote himself full time to keeping up to date with the most effective email marketing strategies and designing an email marketing campaign for our business to help you achieve your business related goals. However, selecting a consultant from the many options available can be downright overwhelming. In general you should look for a consultant who has a great deal of experience, a proven track record, listens to your questions carefully, explains concepts simply and makes your project a priority.

Another popular strategy for email marketing is to offer an email correspondence course on a subject closely related to your website or the products or services you offer. These correspondence courses should include a number of short segments, provide useful information, be of interest to your intended audience and should also help to promote your business in some way. The simplest way to promote your business without having your correspondence course deemed to be spam is to use a soft sell approach to subtly urge readers to make a purchase or visit your website for more information.

Publishing and distributing period e-newsletters is another example of an email marketing strategy which can be highly effective. An e-newsletter is very similar to a newsletter which is printed and distributed by conventional methods such as mail delivery. The bulk of an e-newsletter should be quality content in the form of featured articles, short articles containing useful tips or product reviews. The e-newsletter may also contain graphical elements. These elements may simply be graphic designs or they may be graphics which also serve as links. The links may direct traffic to your website or to other websites. Finally, your e-newsletters should contain some type of soft sell sales approach. It is important to not make the sales pitch blatant as this may result in the e-newsletter being considered spam. Finally, the e-newsletter should contain a call to action urging the readers to either make a purchase or visit your website for more information.

Regardless of the method of email marketing you opt to utilize, one of the most important strategies is to evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing on a regular basis. This is critical because elements of your email marketing campaign which are not working should be weeded out. Likewise elements of your marketing campaign which are enjoying a high degree of success should be utilized more often. For example if you notice there is a spike in sales or website traffic each time you issue an e-newsletter, it might be worthwhile to begin issuing e-newsletters more often. This type of evaluation and feedback can turn a moderate success into a huge success.

Combining Email Marketing with Other Types of Marketing

Whether you choose to do your marketing online or offline, one thing does not change. This is the concept that no single marketing strategy will be as effective as a combination of two or more marketing strategies. This does not mean it is necessary for you to implement every known marketing strategy to promote your business but rather it implies that it is worthwhile to market from a few different perspectives to help you achieve your business related goals. This article will examine the importance of combining email marketing with other types of marketing to create a successful; multi tiered marketing strategy and will also offer some advice on managing more than one marketing strategy at once.

As the old saying goes, “Two heads are better than one,” and this is certainly true when it comes to marketing. You may enjoy a great deal of success with email marketing but this does not mean you should not try other types of online marketing such as website creation, participation in industry related message boards, placing banner ads, orchestrating an affiliate marketing campaign and generating inbound links to your website. While it is possible that not all of these strategies will be effective for your business, you are likely to find at least one other option which complements your email marketing and helps you to achieve your business related goals.

Alternately you may even wish to combine your email marketing campaign with more traditional marketing strategies such as radio ads, television ads and the print media. Just because these types of advertising do not take place online, does not mean they will not be able to help you generate more business. In fact advertising both online and offline can allow you to reach a larger target audience. This is because you will likely reach Internet users around the world but can also reach potential customers who do not utilize the Internet for purchasing or researching products or services similar to the ones you offer.

Popular marketing strategies to combine with email marketing include banner ads and message board participation. These are all online activities and each one individually is fairly simple. However, in combination these simple activities can create a powerful statement. You may send out emails offering useful information about your products or services, purchase banner ad space on websites which may be of interest to your potential customers and participate in industry related message boards where you can earn the respect and pique the interest of potential customers. Even if your potential customers are not currently in need of the products and services you offer, seeing your business name so often can have a branding effect. Branding is essentially a process in which consumers see a company name so often that they are more likely to select a product from this company when they are in need of an item the company offers.

If you are planning to combine multiple forms of advertising, you should be aware that this can make it difficult for you to evaluate the effectiveness of each marketing strategy. This is especially true of the marketing strategies are implemented concurrently. When you are only using one type of marketing strategy, you can generally attribute increases in sales or website traffic to changes in the marketing strategy. However, when more than one type of marketing strategy is in effect, determining which strategy is producing the desired effect can be quite difficult. This situation can be handled by not making changes to more than one marketing strategy at a time. This will help to pinpoint which changes produce an increase in sales or website traffic. It can also help you to determine when changes to your marketing strategy have a detrimental effect on your sales and website traffic. However, if you are having difficulty determining which marketing strategy is most effective you can consider asking customers to answer survey questions and provide information such as how they learned about the products or services your business offers.

An Alternative Energy Education Method

The best method of educating young people about alternative energy production that this writer has ever witnessed is the use of the PicoTurbine Company’s kits, books, and projects. The PicoTurbine Company produces these things for the purpose of advancing the cause of renewable (alternative) energy and getting young people to look into the future and see that the environment that’s being seeded now is the one they will inherit then. As the late, great Gerry Ford said, “Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before.” If we are to change the future world for the better, then it starts right here and now with the advent of “green” energy systems.

One of the core concepts of PicoTurbine can be stated: Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I might remember some of it. Involve me, and I will master it. Based on this old tried and true adage, the kits that the company produces come with activity suggestions to get the young people into hands-on learning situations. One suggestion of the company is to demonstrate how heat can be produced by wind energy (the company’s specialty) through using a “picture wire” for the heating element. PicoTurbine has found that people typically think of wind energy as being “cold” energy, and are pleasantly surprised to see how wind can be used for generating heat in the home. Another project suggestion that the company offers is to have different groups split off in the classroom and then compare their respective wind turbines that they have built. They can see which ones produce the most or least electricity; which ones start up with need of the least amount of wind power; and for very young children, which ones have the most aesthetic appeal.

There is a core curriculum that PicoTurbine has in mind for teachers to instill in their pupils. Renewable, alternative sources of energy include solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass in addition to wind-produced energy. When we use more alternative sources of energy, we decrease our nation’s dependence on foreign oil supplies, which often come from nations who cannot really be called our “allies”. Alternative energy is already becoming cost effective when set against the fossil fuels that we are so reliant on currently.

PicoTurbine points out that wind farms and solar arrays are already letting their makers enjoy commercial success. In the last two decades, the cost of photovoltaic cells expressed in terms of per-watt has gone from nearly $1000 to just $4! It has been predicted by analysts that by the year 2015, the cost per watt should only be about $1 (in today’s dollars). Students also need to be taught about the hidden cost of fossil fuels: pollution and environmental degradation. Air pollution from burning fossil fuels has been shown through studies to increase incidences of asthma attacks, heighten the effects of allergies, and even cause cancer. Switching over to clean, green energy found in the alternative forms would prevent air pollution and help bolster the environment.

Advertising: Self Promotion

Self-promotion is similar to spreading the word by any other means but with an artistic approach. If the artistic part were taken out of the equation advertising would look more like barging rather than self-promotion. There are many steps involved in this process. The first step is to collect and create useful content relating to the topic, which is a not an easy job.

In today’s fast paced world owning a website for your business is a must which is not a big deal anymore with so many people available who excel in web designing and also offer a competitive rate. There are many types of technologies involved in the creation of a website, a one page flash website wouldn’t take you places. Intense graphics should be incorporated to catch the eye of the customer. After the creation of website, the website content should be emphasized upon. Writers who expertise in search engine optimization should be raked in so that the page ranks amongst the top pages on Google, Yahoo and Msn. Search engines have become popular universally and your website doing good on them plays a more vital role than getting other kind of references. Hence, efforts should be made on making remarkable progress to bring your website in the hit list. Also, material on the website should be updated frequently to meet the changing needs of the people. Get someone to design a logo for the company and website which is catchy and delivers the right message to the customers.

Other than website content, articles should also be published in newspapers, magazines and online publications especially business oriented emphasizing on ten strong points which describes the best about the business or the product. Online publication will facilitate in providing successful searches to the targeted audience.

The next target method of advertising should be television. Putting a commercial during the prime time will spread the message to a larger crowd. The content of the advertising should be akin to the value of the product. Famous personalities can be roped in to endorse the product, which will not only attract common people but also their fans in buying the product.

From time to time it is essential to review the past work and improving on the mistakes previously committed. Once the previous mistakes are tackled, it wouldn’t hurt to analyze previous milestones, awards, and acquisitions. This increases the chances of running into something that really deserves to be highlighted to the public. The more accomplishments you display to the public the more fan-following your product will get.

Reviewing competitor’s work on a regular basis would prove fruitful. This would also help identify loopholes in your product that have been overlooked before and would provide the key reasons to improve on.

Although this is an old approach, snail mails are also one of the best advertising methods. As it’s a more energy consuming approach, it’s important that you have the addresses of the customers who are really in need of the product. Regular mails containing details about the new development will keep people informed about your company’s products. A more modern approach to this method is collecting e-mail ids of the targeted customers and posting them ads and latest deals. This is a cheaper and less time consuming approach compared to snail mails as you can mass email as many people as you want at any time.

Before releasing any product in the market, product testing should be done by giving out samples among the targeted customers. The feedbacks makes it more clear whether the product is ready to be released in the market or whether changes should be made to make it more appealing to the public. It is recommended to approach sincere friends, acquaintances, partners and clients at first to test your product and then go to the public, as expert advice is more useful.

To make more brownie points, address the customers and clients and appreciate them for their contribution in making the product popular. Send a token of thanks on special occasions like festivals or on accomplishing an important task. Customers can also be thanked by offering special discounts and free gifts. After gaining popularity focus should be on retaining the reputation rather than taking things for granted.

Alternative Energy Development in Japan

Japan is a densely populated country, and that makes the Japanese market more difficult compared with other markets. If we utilize the possibilities of near-shore installations or even offshore installations in the future, that will give us the possibility of continued use of wind energy. If we go offshore, it’s more expensive because the construction of foundations is expensive. But often the wind is stronger offshore, and that can offset the higher costs. We’re getting more and more competitive with our equipment. The price—if you measure it per kilowatt-hour produced—is going lower, due to the fact that turbines are getting more efficient. So we’re creating increased interest in wind energy. If you compare it to other renewable energy sources, wind is by far the most competitive today. If we’re able to utilize sites close to the sea or at sea with good wind machines, then the price per kilowatt-hour is competitive against other sources of energy, go the words of Svend Sigaard, who happens to be president and CEO of the world’s largest wind turbine maker, Vestas wind systems out of Denmark. Vestas is heavily involved in investments of capital into helping Japan expand its wind turbine power generating capacity. It is seeking to get offshore installations put into place in a nation that it says is ready for the fruits of investment into alternative energy research and development.

The Japanese know that they cannot become subservient to the energy supply dictates of foreign nations—World War II taught them that, as the US decimated their oil supply lines and crippled their military machine. They need to produce energy of their own, and they being an isolated island nation with few natural resources that are conducive to energy production as it is defined now are very open to foreign investment and foreign development as well as the prospect of technological innovation that can make them independent. Allowing corporations such as Vestas to get the nation running on more wind-produced energy is a step in the right direction for the Japanese people.

The production of energy through what is known as microhydoelectric power plants has also been catching on in Japan. Japan has a myriad rivers and mountain streams, and these are ideally suited places for the putting up of microhydroelectric power plants, which are defined by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization as power plants run by water which have a maximum output of 100 kilowatts or less. By comparison, “minihydroelectric” power plants can put out up to 1000 kilowatts of electrical energy.

In Japan, the small-scaled mini- and micro-hydroelectric power plants have been regarded for a considerable time as being suitable for creating electricity in mountainous regions, but they have through refinement come to be regarded as excellent for Japanese cities as well. Kawasaki City Waterworks, Japan Natural Energy Company, and Tokyo Electric Power Company have all been involved in the development of small-scale hydroelectric power plants within Japanese cities.

Alternative Energy from the Ocean

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) was conceived of by the French engineer Jacques D’Arsonval in 1881. However, at the time of this writing the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii is home to the only operating experimental OTEC plant on the face of the earth. OTEC is a potential alternative energy source that needs to be funded and explored much more than it presently is. The great hurdle to get over with OTEC implementation on a wide and practically useful level is cost. It is difficult to get the costs down to a reasonable level because of the processes presently utilized to drive OTEC. Ocean thermal energy would be very clean burning and not add pollutants into the air. However, as it presently would need to be set up with our current technologies, OTEC plants would have the capacity for disrupting and perhaps damaging the local environment.

There are three kinds of OTEC.

“Closed Cycle OTEC” uses a low-boiling point liquid such as, for example, propane to act as an intermediate fluid. The OTEC plant pumps the warm sea water into the reaction chamber and boils the intermediate fluid. This results in the intermediate fluid’s vapor pushing the turbine of the engine, which thus generates electricity. The vapor is then cooled down by putting in cold sea water.

“Open Cycle OTEC” is not that different from closed cycling, except in the Open Cycle there is no intermediate fluid. The sea water itself is the driver of the turbine engine in this OTEC format. Warm sea water found on the surface of the ocean is turned into a low-pressure vapor under the constraint of a vacuum. The low-pressure vapor is released in a focused area and it has the power to drive the turbine. To cool down the vapor and create desalinated water for human consumption, the deeper ocean’s cold waters are added to the vapor after it has generated sufficient electricity.

“Hybrid Cycle OTEC” is really just a theory for the time being. It seeks to describe the way that we could make maximum usage of the thermal energy of the ocean’s waters. There are actually two sub-theories to the theory of Hybrid Cycling. The first involves using a closed cycling to generate electricity. This electricity is in turn used to create the vacuum environment needed for open cycling. The second component is the integration of two open cyclings such that twice the amount of desalinated, potable water is created that with just one open cycle.

In addition to being used for producing electricity, a closed cycle OTEC plant can be utilized for treating chemicals. OTEC plants, both open cycling and close cycling kinds, are also able to be utilized for pumping up cold deep sea water which can then be used for refrigeration and air conditioning. Furthermore, during the moderation period when the sea water is surrounding the plant, the enclosed are can be used for mariculture and aquaculture projects such as fish farming. There is clearly quite an array of products and services that we could derive from this alternative energy source.

Alternative Energy for the Home

The trend toward homes that are powered by alternative energy sources, ranging from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and biomass gases, is one that needs to continue into the 21st century and beyond. We have great need of becoming more energy independent, and not having to rely on the supplying of fossil fuels from unstable nations who are often hostile to us and our interests. But even beyond this factor, we as individuals need to get “off the grid” and also stop having to be so reliant on government-lobbying giant oil corporations who, while they are not really involved in any covert conspiracy, nevertheless have a stranglehold on people when it comes to heating their homes (and if not through oil, then heat usually supplied by grid-driven electricity, another stranglehold).

As Remi Wilkinson, Senior Analyst with Carbon Free, puts it, inevitably, the growth of distributed generation will lead to the restructuring of the retail electricity market and the generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. The power providers may have to diversify their business to make up for revenues lost through household energy microgeneration. She is referring to the conclusions by a group of UK analysts, herself included among them, who call themselves Carbon Free. Carbon Free has been studying the ever-growing trend toward alternative energy-using homes in England and the West. This trend is being driven by ever-more government recommendation and sometimes backing of alternative energy research and development, the rising cost of oil and other fossil fuels, concern about environmental degradation, and desires to be energy independent. Carbon Free concludes that, assuming traditional energy prices remain at their current level or rise, microgeneration (meeting all of one’s home’s energy needs by installing alternative energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines) will become to home energy supply what the Internet became to home communications and data gathering, and eventually this will have deep effects on the businesses of the existing energy supply companies.

Carbon Free’s analyses also show that energy companies themselves have jumped in on the game and seek to leverage microgeneration to their own advantage for opening up new markets for themselves. Carbon Free cites the example of electricity companies (in the UK) reporting that they are seriously researching and developing ideas for new geothermal energy facilities, as these companies see geothermal energy production as a highly profitable wave of the future. Another conclusion of Carbon Free is that solar energy hot water heating technology is an efficient technology for reducing home water heating costs in the long run, although it is initially quite expensive to install. However, solar power is not yet cost-effective for corporations, as they require too much in the way of specialized plumbing to implement solar energy hot water heating. Lastly, Carbon Free tells us that installing wind turbines is an efficient way of reducing home electricity costs, while also being more independent. However, again this is initially a very expensive thing to have installed, and companies would do well to begin slashing their prices on these devices or they could find themselves losing market share.

Alternative Energy in Ireland

The Irish are currently pursuing energy independence and the further development of their robust economy through the implementation of research and development into alternative energy sources. At the time of this writing, nearly 90% of Ireland’s energy needs are met through importation—the highest level of foreign product dependence in the nation’s entire history. This is a very precarious situation to be in, and the need for developing alternative energy sources in Ireland is sharply perceived. Ireland also seeks to conserve and rejuvenate its naturally beautiful environment and to clean up its atmosphere through the implementation of alternative energy supplies. The European Union has mandated a reduction in sulphuric and nitric oxide emissions for all member nations. Green energy is needed to meet these objectives. Hydroelectric power has been utilized in Ireland in some areas since the 1930s and has been very effective; however, more of it needs to be installed. Ireland also needs to harness the wave power of the Atlantic Ocean, which on its west coast is a potential energy supply that the nation has in great store.

Ireland actually has the potential to become an energy exporter, rather than a nation so heavily dependent on energy importation. This energy potential resides in Ireland’s substantial wind, ocean wave, and biomass-producing alternative energy potentials. Ireland could become a supplier of ocean wave-produced electricity and biomass-fueled energy to continental Europe and, as they say, “make a killing”. At the present time, Ireland is most closely focused on reaching the point where it can produce 15% of the nation’s electricity through wind farms, which the government has set as a national objective to be reached by 2010. But universities, research institutes, and government personnel in Ireland have been saying that the development of ocean wave energy technology would be a true driving force for the nation’s economy and one which would greatly help to make Ireland energy independent. A test site for developing wave ocean energy has been established in Ireland, less than two miles off the coast of An Spideal in County Galway Bay. This experimental ocean wave harnessing site is known as “Wavebob”. The most energetic waves in the world are located off the West coast of Ireland, says Ireland’s Marine Institute CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan. The technology to harness the power of the ocean is only just emerging and Ireland has the chance to become a market leader in this sector. David Taylor, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Initiative,or SEI, tells us that SEI is committed to innovation in the renewable energy sector. Wave energy is a promising new renewable energy resource which could one day make a significant contribution to Ireland’s electricity generation mix thereby further reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Padraig Walshe, the president of the Irish Farmers Association, tells us that with the closure of the sugar beet industry, an increasing amount of Irish land resources will become available for alternative uses, including bioenergy production. Today, renewable energy sources meet only 2% of Ireland’s total energy consumption. From a farming perspective, growing energy crops will only have a viable future if they provide an economic return on investment and labour, and if the prospect of this return is secure into the future. Currently the return from energy crops is marginal and is hampering the development of the industry. Biomass energies need to be further researched by Ireland.

An Energy Alternative: Free Energy

There has been much debate about what is often called “free” energy—energy that can supposedly, with the right technology, be drawn straight out of the atmosphere, and in very abundant supply. The debates are about whether the stuff actually exists or not, what it would actually cost were it to be harnessed, and if it does exist is it truly as abundant and efficient as it’s being made out to be by proponents of research and development into this potential alternative energy source.

When one hears the phrase “free energy device”, one might be hearing about one of several different concepts. This might mean a device for collecting and transmitting energy from some source that orthodox science does not recognize; a device which collects energy at absolutely no cost; or an example of the legendary perpetual motion machine. Needless to say, a perpetual motion machine—a machine which drives itself, forever, once turned on, therefore needing no energy input ever again and never running out of energy—is impossible. However, it is not so simple to say that a new technology for harnessing the energy “floating” in the atmosphere is impossible. New technologies replace old ones all the time with abilities that had just been “impossible”. Harnessing the power of the atom for providing huge amounts of energy was “impossible” until the 1940s. Flying human beings were an “impossible” thing until the turn of the 20th century and the Wright Brothers’ flight.

The biggest claim of the proponents of “free” energy is that enormous amounts of energy can be drawn from the Zero Point Field. This is a quantum mechanical state of matter for a defined system which is attained when the system is at the lowest possible energy state that it can be in. This is called the “ground state” of the system. Zero Point Energy (ZPE) is sometimes referred to as “residual” energy and it was first proposed to be usable as an alternative form of energy way back in 1913 by Otto Stern and Albert Einstein. It is also referred to as “vacuum energy” in studies of quantum mechanics, and it is supposed to represent the energy of totally empty space. This energy field within the vacuum has been likened to the froth at the base of a waterfall by one of the principal researchers into and proponents of Hal Puthof. Puthof also explains, the term ‘zero-point’ simply means that if the universe were cooled down to absolute zero where all thermal agitation effects would be frozen out, this energy would still remain. What is not as well known, however, even among practicing physicists, are all the implications that derive from this known aspect o quantum physics. However, there are a group of physicists—myself and colleagues at several research labs and universities—who are examining the details, we ask such questions as whether it might be possible to ‘mine’ this reservoir of energy for use as an alternative energy source, or whether this background energy field might be responsible for inertia and gravity. These questions are of interest because it is known that this energy can be manipulated, and therefore there is the possibility that the control of this energy, and possibly inertia and gravity, might yield to engineering solutions. Some progress has been made in a subcategory of this field (cavity quantum electrodynamics) with regard to controlling the emission rates of excited atoms and molecules, of interest in laser research and elsewhere.