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33 Tips For Becoming a Great Piano Player!

The Stunning Queen Sabine

Are there really secrets to becoming a really good piano player? Or is it just a matter of practice, practice, practice?

Practice is necessary, of course, but you could practice until the cows come home without understanding what you're doing at the piano, and all you would end up with is fingers that have obediently to whatever the sheet music or score tells them to do .

Understanding how music works in terms of form and content is the key to productive practice. Then you are not just playing mechanically by rote like a machine, but you can get "inside" the music and now let it flow out of your brain and heart as well as your hands.

"There are at least 33 elements that contribute to becoming a good pianist," says Duane Shinn, pianist and owner of Keyboard Workshop in Medford, Oregon. "There are probably more, but without these 33 principals a pianist can not hope to rise to the level of his ability."

So yes – there really are secrets to becoming the piano player of your dreams. It's not that anyone is purposefully trying to keep a secret from you, but it's a rare teacher who has the ability to not only play well but to be able to explain music theory – chords, melody, rhythm, dynamics, and all the other elements that contribute to playing the piano well and with feeling.

In our piano teaching studio at Piano University we have identified 33 distinct skill that must be developed if a person wants to play up to the limit of her or his potential. Here they are:

1 – Hand & Body Position – Should you look down at your hands? How to use "eye flips"

2 – The key to productive practice – Spaced repetition

3 – Attitude – how it affects your learning

4 – How & when to pedal. Using explosive dynamics

5. Exposure: why it's critically important

6 – Ear Training – Intervals from 2nds to 13ths

7 – Fingering – which finger do you use when?

8. Chord substitutions that create fantastic sounds

9 – Chord recognition – how to recognize what chord is being used

10 – Musical vocabulary: tempo words, form words

11- Arranging: how is your "bag of tricks" coming along? "Head arrangements"

12 – Melodic sense: how does the melody relate to the chords?

13. Sight-reading: 7 fundamentals you just can not ignore

14 – Key orientation: Can you think in the key you're playing in?

15 – Scanning the score before you start playing

16 – Mental practice – how to learn music in bed

17 – Repertoire: Why you need one to be prepared for any opportunity

18 – Goal setting: How good can you get? Is there a limit?

19 – Rhythm awareness – samba, bossa nova, bolero, etc.

20 – Why knowing music history is important to you

21. Idea stealing – how and where & from who

22 – 12-bar blues; creating a motif; "blue notes"

23 – Extended chords: 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, suspensions

24. Technique acquisition: rubber balls, fingering drills

25. Harmonization: Using I, IV & V to harmonize

26 – Key identification: Recognizing key signatures

27 – Voicing: Open, closed, registers, color tones

28 – Improvisation: Making music right out of your head

29 – Harmony & theory: How much should you know?

30 – Stylistic devices: Western, boogie, jazz, etc.

31 – Analysis: How to understand what you're hearing

32 – Riffs & runs & fills: How to develop them

33. Cross-Pollination: The best of all worlds!

While reading music is important, the individual who develops these 33 basic skills will be light years ahead of the person who simply plays sheet music the way it is written. There is no longer any reason to be "tied to the written music" when you can master these techniques that allow you to play from the heart.

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Eulogy Sample Appropriate For a Departed Co-Worker

Breathing...

It’s a cliché to say that death is part of life. However, even if that exhortation has been said countless of times, it remains that all funeral services and wakes are still events that can be awkward. To play it safe, most people would just utter a few words of condolences to the family and keep quiet the whole time.

However, one cannot turn down a family member if they request a eulogy from a representative of the deceased person’s workplace. What should you do if you have been chosen to speak a few words to remember your co-worker by? Having a eulogy sample as a guide can help in writing one.

First, one should consider the relationship with the recently departed. The tone of the eulogy will depend if the deceased is one’s superior, someone with the same rank in the office, or one’s subordinate. The eulogy sample will help one in writing this. Next, one should consider the audience. Keep in mind that the eulogy is for them and the deceased. Avoid bringing up one’s personal agenda or issues. It is important then to have an outline when writing the eulogy. When the time comes to deliver this speech, stick to what one has written.

To get more information aside from the outline provided by a eulogy sample, there is a detailed eulogy writing kit one can consult. Eulogies Made Easy will not just help in guiding one on how to write a eulogy. Other information like famous eulogies, funeral poems, handling grief, dealing with family members, and do’s and don’ts are also included.

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All About Freelance Ghostwriting Jobs

Famous Hotel Danieli

The term "ghostwriting" refers to writing for someone that you do not receive credit for. Famous people, for example, seldom write their own autobiographies. Instead, they hire a ghostwriter to tell their story for them.

Why would a freelance ghostwriter agree to forfeit credit for his or her work? Simple: money. Clients typically pay ghostwriters far more than a "normal" writer's fee of $ 20- $ 50 an hour. Small books (150 pages or less) usually cost a client at least $ 25,000. Fees go up from there depending on the length and type of book, as well as the amount of research required by the ghostwriter.

The fees are high because you can not slap your byline on the work and you forfeit all rights to royalties that your book generates. The exceptions are if the client agreements to put your name in print on the cover, name you as a co-author, or offer you part of the royalties. In those cases, you would often give a hefty discount depending on the return you expected.

What types of books can I ghostwrite?

Many industries seek the skills of freelance ghostwriters. Fiction and children's writing are common – people often have (or think they have) an amazing storyline, but lack the writing ability to sell it.

Freelance ghostwriters often pen non-fiction books, such as autobiographies and instructional, business, and self-help books. Sometimes these ghostwriters are experts in the subject matter, sometimes they are not. You may have to do a lot of research, or none at all.

You can also ghostwrite for smaller projects, like articles and web content. These do not usually pay more than normal writing but they're good resume builders.

Where can I find freelance ghostwriting gigs?

Set up a website to promote your freelance ghostwriting services. Because ghostwriting is expensive, it's important to buyers that you are really a ghostwriting professional. Presenting yourself with a polished website is a great way to emphasize your credibility.

It is more than possible to find ghostwriting jobs on freelancing websites, but buyers there are usually less knowledgeable and therefore less willing to pay good money. It is common to see ads for a 250-page book that needs writing with a budget of $ 500 or less. It does not hurt to keep your eye out for a gem though – it does happen occasionally.

What skills do I need to be a freelance ghostwriter?

If you have experience, you're off to a great start. If you lack experience, thumb through your files to see if you can use some of that as writing examples, or write some from scratch. You do not have to ghostwrite it to prove your writing skills. If you have a particular client in mind, do your best to match your writing style and samples to the type of writing you think your client is looking for.

Remember that any samples you send can not be ghostwritten work. Without otherwise specified in the agreement, you can not ever dislose that you're the author behind ghostwritten work. In these cases, feel free to describe the book you ghostwrote and how well it's doing.

How should I respond to a ghostwriting ad?

If you find a promising ad (or if someone contacts you), respond professionally using perfect grammar and polite language. For practice, try responding to this sample ad:

I'm looking for someone to write a book about choosing the right family pet. I have an outline and some research but a little more will be required. The book should only be about 100 pages. I will own all rights afterwards. Serious writers only.

What should you say to this person? Well, it's good to start off expressing an interest in their subject matter. Ghostwriting projects are usually dear to buyers' hearts, so if you start by saying you're passionate about pets, you'll catch his eye right away.

Next, you'll want to insure him that you can handle the task. If you do not have enough experience to convince him, suggest having him send one chapter outline and writing a sample for him for free. Yes, it's a bit of unpaid work for you, but it will mean thousands of dollars if you get the job.

Finally, quote a fee. The book is short and research appears to be minimal. If you're experienced, quote $ 25,000. If you're not, quote around $ 15,000. It's far less than an experienced ghostwriter would make, but you have to start somewhere. Good luck!

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Famous Beards: Do People Become Known Because of Their Famous Beards?

Autumn in Grasmere

This is a crazy world we live in today. People become famous for many reasons. Some are huge and deserve recognition. Fame garnered from an act of bravery or some esteemed position or benevolence seems like an honor well-earned. On the other hand, some reasons that people become famous seem quite silly or even petty. Could famous beards be one of them?

On the seemingly well-deserved side we have reasons like: war heroes, presidents, Nobel Peace Prize winners, etc. Then we have the more mundane but worthy people like singers, actors, authors, athletes and a whole bunch more famous for something. Then we come to things like serial killers, just plain outlaws, some guy in a YouTube video and people who invent useless things like the “Pet Rock” that make the national and even the global news.

It’s clear that we people bestow fame on many people for many different reasons. The real question at hand is: Do people become known because of their famous beards. It may seem silly. But just hearing the words famous beards probably conjured up images of certain people in your mind. Well let’s discuss some people who are known because of their beards.

Before we get too far we should define what a beard is. It is a collection of facial hair found on the chin, cheeks, neck and the jaw area. It generally does not include hair in the area of the upper lip. However, in a broad sense facial hair on the upper lip is considered part of a beard or beard style. Generally only adult males have or desire to have beards. Some women have been known to have excessive facial hair growth, such as the bearded lady in the circus.

So when you first hear the words “famous beards” what images come to mind? Here are some of the most common men named:

Jesus Christ has been respected and acknowledged all these years as our Savior and Redeemer. While we don’t have any photographs of him, the pictures that we generally see of Him show Him with a beard. If you saw a painting of Jesus without a beard would you recognize who the artist was depicting in the painting?

Leonardo Da Vinci is another famous bearded man. He is known as a painter of some of the most famous works like the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. He was also a sculptor, inventor and architect. What would this famous Renaissance man look like without his beard?

Abraham Lincoln often donned a curtain beard with no mustache. He was one of America’s great presidents. But would you recognize him without his beard? Even the statue of Honest Abe at the Lincoln Memorial shows him with his beard and stovepipe hat.

Santa Claus is also known by many other names. The legend says that this fictional character is fashioned after a real man known as St. Nicolas. In any case everyone knows that Santa Claus has a full white beard. He is probably the next well-known character next to Jesus. His beard is famous and he is famous. The two are inseparable. Mrs. Claus wouldn’t even know Santa without his beard.

If these examples don’t convince you, then consider Brian Wilson. He is a modern major league baseball pitcher who grew a full black beard that has really created his image. His fan’s mantra is “Fear the Beard”. Again we can ask what would he look like without his beard? Who would recognize him? I submit to you that he would not be Brian Wilson without his famous beard.

Many people from way back to today are known because of their beards. Some may argue that their real claim to fame is their achievements and contribution to mankind and society, and that their famous beards just make it easy for others to remember and describe them. I guess everyone needs to answer for themselves: Does the beard make the man?

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Famous French Quotes and Their American Counterparts

Ystad

The relationship between France and the United States has often been strained, with one side often criticizing the other over some perceived cultural deficiency. In recent history, certain popular elements in the United States have taken to labelling France as a nation of wimps as a result of France not backing the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. France, in turn, has accused the United States of being aggressive and arrogant. However, a quick read of some of the most well-known French quotes will show that France and the U.S. actually have many similarities in thought and view things the same way. Here is a sampling: you be the judge.

Renard (French) has been quoted:
“La vérité vaut bien qu’on passe quelques années sans la trouver.”
This is translated into English as “Truth is more valuable if it takes you a few years to find it.” Although we do not have the exact equivalent in English, we do have the idea that if something comes too easy, it’s easy to take for granted.

As a mirror of what is considered the “Protestant work ethic”, consider this quote from the great French writer and philosopher Voltaire: “Le travail éloigne de nous trois grands maux: l’ennui, le vice et le besoin.”
In English: “Work delivers us from three great evils: boredom, vice and want.” Don’t we in the United States hold similar values regarding work?

And in this quote from Banville, we see what we think is the very American idea that it’s good to take risks, because “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
In French, “Et ceux qui ne font rien ne se trompent jamais.” The English translation is “Those who never do anything can never do anything wrong.”
This quote is a good indication that the French probably place similar values on getting out of one’s comfort zone and just going for it, whether or not you are sure of the outcome and even if you are scared to do so. Doesn’t sound so wimpy to me!

And finally, in a takeoff of our glorified American who “…marches to the beat of a different drummer,” Roland has been quoted as saying “Le monde appelle fous ceux qui ne sont pas fous de la folie commune.” This is translated as “Mad are labelled those who do not take part in the common madness.” If that’s not a call for individuals to follow their hearts and do what’s right, something Americans place a very high value on, I don’t know what is.

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Famous Psychic Mediums – Supernatural Household Names

Puerta en Macharaviaya (Málaga)

There have been many famous psychic mediums over the last hundred years, all were of course very popular and thought after for readings, but all were also very controversial as well as being talented intuitive in their relevant fields.

One of the least known, yet most impressive mediums was named Leonora Piper, and lived and practiced at the end of the 19th century. She remains to this day one of the most scientifically studied, analyzed, poked and prodded medium in the history of parapsychology research. While the passage of time has relegated her name to the great pile of unknowns in our present, modern day society, she had a greater impact in the study of survival research (the study of life continuing after bodily death) than just about any other individual psychic reader on record.

One of the most salient and convincing aspects of her skills and talents were not just the startling revelations she would share while in a trance state, but also – her own refusal to monetize or brag about her skills. Ms. Piper remained as curious about her talents as those who traveled vast distances to study her, never herself even sure as to what was happening (or what she was revealing to a shocked audience) while in her trance.

Leonora Piper and the readings she led to one of the scientists dedicated to exposing her as a fraud (Frederick Meyers) to do a complete about face in his skeptical beliefs, and write the seminal work on life after death – "Humanity and it's Survival of Bodily Death ", in which he outlined his new theories on the soul and it's evolution beyond this world.

Today, we see mediums like Sylvia Brown, John Edwards, George Anderson and many others fill the airways with their prognostics about the lives (and deaths) of people who travel from near and far to see them. Many look to these types of readings as a lifeline to loved ones who are no longer with us.

Others look at the very same mediums and their readings as opportunistic and exploitative in that they can be very expensive, and often seemingly take advantage of people who will give anything for another opportunity to "talk" to a lost loved one.

Everyone needs to make their own decision on this – my feeling is, I DO believe in the continuation of consciousness, have HAD my own experiences of the same, but WOULD NOT be comfortable charging five hundred dollars an hour to someone who needs to REINFORCE their belief that they will indeed see their loved ones again. I would simply recommend that ANYONE who wants to learn the very same skills, do so – as they exist within us all.

Famous Men, Who Were Aries

In the shadow of the ancient ginkgo tree

Here is a list of top 10 famous men, who were Aries, but before that we would like to brief you about how an Aries man is in general. This will make it easier for you relate to the lives of the men as discussed below. An Aries man usually is an energetic and at the same time an impulsive man. They have an organized thought process, yet are passionate. The most interesting aspect of an Aries man is that he wants to conquer his own fears as he is scared in one way or the other. This lends them a unique strength of character which in turn helps them achieve success.

Adolf Hitler ­- This German dictator who changed history is an Aries man who had indoctrinated a whole nation at one point of time. His staunch beliefs, charisma, and the power of oration made him a distinct man in its own ways. He is still regarded as the greatest leaders of the world.

Al Gore – Albert Arnold “Al” Gore, Jr. was the 45th Vice President of the U.S.A. This Democrat is an environmentalist along with being a politician. This Harvard graduate has played multiple roles in his life which includes a stint in the military, journalist, and later he joined active politics.

David Blaine – David Blaine White is an illusionist and is definitely the most well known endurance artists of the U.S. He compared to Harry Houdini and in fact he is quite an admired magician.

Eric Clapton -Eric Patrick Clapton is a man of several talents that include song writing, singing, and playing the guitar. His journey from The Yardbirds to being Eric Clapton was definitely that not easy. However with sheer hard work and the immeasurable talent certainly paved way to get through many difficulties.

Hugh Hefner – Hugh Marston “Hef” Hefner is one of the most famous publishers of all time. His magazine line called “Playboy” was one of its kind back in the early 1950’s. The year was 1953 that he distinctly remembers was the year when he raised money with furniture mortgage and a few investors to start up this adult magazine which was going to stun the world!

Henry James – Henry Jamesis a notable American writer of the 19th century who is popular for his imagery. Since he had been shuttling between Europe and the United States, he had experienced many exceptional things. He had given those experiences the flights of fantasy and spun words around them creating a make belief that his novels constantly expressed.

Kofi Annan – Kofi Atta Annan is an eminent personality who needs no introduction at all. This politician from Ghana had been the 7th Secretary General of the United Nations. This is not all about him as he has received the most prestigious award that anyone can think of which is the Nobel Prize in the year 2001 for peace. His contribution to the community is immense which is why he is respected by people all across world.

Larry Page – Lawrence”Larry” Page is an American entrepreneur and a computer genius. He is the co-founder of the famous search engine called Google win joint collaboration with Sergey Brin. He has shown how no idea is small and there is nothing called impossible. He was the youngest entrepreneur at a time and his labor that went into Google has transformed it into one of the trendiest search engines.

Pope Benedict XVI – Born as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger in Germany, is the religious head of the Catholic Church. His papacy started in 2005 and he is quite an influential man in the Vatican. His fundamentals rest in teaching salvation and God’s unrestraint love for us. His charitable works have always been the topic of discussion and inspiration.

Tommy Hilfiger – Thomas Jacob “Tommy” Hilfiger is the final name that we can come up with among so many names. He is a renowned fashion designer who has become a brand that has been accepted as one the best brands worldwide. The brand has everything right from watches, bags, clothes, shoes to spectacles. This name has become a major brand name these days and there no doubts about it.

The reason why we have incorporated all these names has special relevance that you will notice once you recall their life stories. These men have lived up to the expectations of many and proven to be true Aries in a positive manner.

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5 Famous Quotes About Life

J. M. Barrie, 1892.

Most people have heard them, and you’ve even probably used a couple of them yourself. People use them as their statuses on social web pages as well as wear t-shirts and drink out of coffee mugs that display them. Quotes about life are some of the most popular and well-liked pieces of literature known to man. People can relate to quotes about life because they have real meaning.

1. “The real reason for not committing suicide is because you always know how swell life gets after the hell is over” – Ernest Hemingway

There are a lot of individuals who can relate to this quote. Oftentimes, life tends to become overwhelming and we are blinded by the bad things that are happening, but through our experience, we have learned that circumstances are always changing and that things always get better – eventually. Sometimes you just have to wait until the storm has passed and undergo certain trials and tribulations in life in order to learn your lesson. Once the storm has passed, everything is as it was, and sometimes calmer and better than before. It’s just a matter of time and waiting.

2. “It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts” – Adlai Stevenson

This quote coincides with the term, “quantity versus quality”. It’s a great quote because of the truth it holds about life. A person can live 100 years, but if those 100 years have no meaning or quality, they’re simply useless. Living without happiness or feeling is just about as wonderful as being dead because there is nothing happening and you’re not making it happen. If an individual were to only live 18 years, but those 18 years were better than another person’s 100 years, then he’s had a good life.

3. “Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by so quickly you hardly catch it going” – Tennessee Williams

This quote is a good example of how short life is. You live, but during the process of living, you can barely take hold of the things that are happening in front of you because the present moment goes by so quickly. When it’s over, it’s just another memory, but for those who truly enjoy life, it’s another memory they hold dear to their hearts. Sometimes, life is full of unpleasant and bad memories. No matter what form the memories present themselves, they are undoubtedly a learning experience.

4. “Sometimes I wish life had a fast-forward button” – Dan Chopin

Why is this quote so good? Because it describes the exact thoughts and feelings of just about everyone at some point or another. Life is full of times which most of us do not want to have to endure. One of the greatest examples is during work or a tragedy. Work is something that most people cannot avoid, and although they have to go to make a living, most individuals would agree that it would be nice to have a fast forward button. The same goes for tragic situations. There are just some things in life that are too unpleasant to deal with. Unfortunately, people must go through a series of ups and downs and live through all of it.

5. “Our insignificance is often the cause of our safety” – Aesop

In life, it’s all about getting out and making something of ourselves. People can’t simply expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. It is up to us to get out and do something about our circumstances in order to ensure we live great lives and are looked at as admirable individuals when it’s all over. For some people, that’s hard to do. You can’t become someone of significance if you are scared of everything. To become truly satisfied with yourself and your life, you must step outside of your comfort zone and not be afraid to live.

The majority of these quotes you can probably relate to. Most people have a pretty good understanding of the meaning of these famous life quotes. Chances are, you’ll continue to see some of them repeatedly throughout life, and maybe even choose to use a few of them yourself as you go along. Nevertheless, they are meaningful and a great reminder of some of the real truths in life.

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Life Lessons From the Kite Runner

Full Moon over the Hartshill Wharf

The life lessons of the Kite Runner, the story about two boys, Amir and Hassan the Sultan’s of Kabul, is that life’s lessons will repeat until we that lesson.

The story starts with Amir and Hassan being inseparable. Amir the son of a rich merchant believes that his father blames him for the death of his mother who died in childbirth. Hassan along with his father, Ali, were servants to Amir and his father, Babba. Hassan demonstrated incredible character, loyal, honest, caring, and bravery. Hassan looks up to Amir and professed that he would eat dirt if Amir were to ask him. Amir overhears a conversation between his father, Babba and Rahim Khan, who is Babba’s business partner and best friend in Kabul. Babba secretly confines in Rahim Khan his concerns with his son’s lack of courage and strength.

During the annual Kite fighting contest in Kabul, Amir’s kite is the last kite flying. Hassan runs off to collect the last kite that Amir cut down. When Hassan does not come back after a spell, Amir goes looking for Hassan to find him corner by three local bullies that harassed Hassan and Amir earlier in the movie. The larger of the bullies offered to forgive Hassan at a price, the price was the kite that Hassan swore to run down and return to Amir. Hassan told the bullies that the kite was not his to give, and in return, the bullies beat him and raped him, as Amir watched, afraid to come to Hassan’s defense.

Amir’s shame for not standing up and fighting for Hassan inspired him to betray Hassan even further by Amir seeking to have Hassan and his father forced out of their home. Amir asked Babba if he would get new servants and Babba swore at Amir and told him that Ali has been part of the family for over forty years and his father raised him like a brother and never to speak of it again. Amir then framed Hassan, planting his watch and money under Hassan’s pillow. When Babba confronted Hassan and Ali, Hassan took responsibility and admitted to stealing the watch and money, further protecting Amir. Babba forgave Hassan, but Ali informed Babba that he and Hassan were leaving.

Rahim Khan calls Amir and request Amir to come back home to make things right again. Rahim Khan explained to Amir that Hassan died protecting his father’s home in Kabul, loyal to his death and that unknown to both Amir and Hassan that they were half-brothers. Amir had relations with Hassan’s mother who gave, birth to Hassan. Rahim Khan gave Amir a letter that Hassan wrote to him telling him about his son and about missing the good times that they had as children. Amir decides to make things right and go to Kabul and take Hassan’s son, Sohrab. When Amir finds Sohrab, he finds that the child had been taken by his childhood nemesis, Assef, who raped Hassan. Sohrab was traumatized and raped by Assef, his father’s rapist, and made to dress as a girl and dance for Amir. Amir stands up to Assef and tells him that he is here to take Sohrab back to United States. Assef fights with Amir and Sohrab defends Amir with his father’s slingshot that Amir gave to Hassan for his birthday earlier in the movie.

Amir returns to United States with Sohrab who is traumatized and withdrawn. When Amir’s father-in-law, General Taheri, questions Amir what he is to tell people why he has taken in a Hazara (consider to an inferior race) into his home. Amir stood up to General Taheri, and told him that his father slept with his servants wife and that he was the Sohrab’s uncle and that the General will not refer to Sohrab as that Hazara boy in his presence.

Amir’s courage and loyalty was tested several times during the movie, and he fails to live up to his father’s and his own expectations. He abandons and betrays his brother and best friend Hassan. However, true to real life, Amir was given an opportunity to redeem himself and become the man his father wanted him to be, and the friend that Hassan deserved. Amir saved Hassan’s son, Sohrab from the Taliban and brings him home to United States and raised him as his son. If ever there were a movie written to evoke emotions it is this movie. The book has been controversial as well as the movie. The Kite Runner shows us that in life no matter our shame, guilt, or mistakes we have made in the past we will be presented with new opportunities to make different choices and opportunities for personal growth. Amir was given an opportunity to face his fears, stand up to his nemesis and his father-in-law, and demonstrate his loyalty and courage.

As in real life, the movie The Kite Runner, we often find ourselves making choices that are based on our fears. For Amir, his fear was that his father blamed him for the death of his mother during his birth. This fear drove Amir to resent his friend Hassan who demonstrated loyalty and courage. The traits that Amir’s father wished for Amir to learn. Just like Amir we find ourselves making life choices based on our fears. Maybe we choose to remain quite when someone we know is being treated unfairly. It could be a choice that is more personal, maybe we stay stuck in a relationship that is abusive or a job that is a dead end, because our fears of change over shadows our desire for change. We might find our self-esteem lacking because of shame or guilt from our past. The lesson from The Kite Runner is that when life presents us with new opportunities we can make different choices, we can face our fears, and we can grow as a person. We can develop those characteristics and traits that we value and become the person we want to become.

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History of the Computer – Cache Memory Part 1 of 2

berwick street

We looked at the early digital computer memory, see History of the computer – Core Memory, and mentioned that the present standard RAM (Random Access Memory) is chip memory. This conforms with the commonly quoted application of Moore’s Law (Gordon Moore was one of the founders of Intel). It states that component density on integrated circuits, which can be paraphrased as performance per unit cost, doubles every 18 months. Early core memory had cycle times in microseconds, today we are talking in nanoseconds.

You may be familiar with the term cache, as applied to PCs. It is one of the performance features mentioned when talking about the latest CPU, or Hard Disk. You can have L1 or L2 cache on the processor, and disk cache of various sizes. Some programs have cache too, also known as buffer, for example, when writing data to a CD burner. Early CD burner programs had ‘overruns’. The end result of these was a good supply of coasters!

Mainframe systems have used cache for many years. The concept became popular in the 1970s as a way of speeding up memory access time. This was the time when core memory was being phased out and being replaced with integrated circuits, or chips. Although the chips were much more efficient in terms of physical space, they had other problems of reliability and heat generation. Chips of a certain design were faster, hotter and more expensive than chips of another design, which were cheaper, but slower. Speed has always been one of the most important factors in computer sales, and design engineers have always been on the lookout for ways to improve performance.

The concept of cache memory is based on the fact that a computer is inherently a sequential processing machine. Of course one of the big advantages of the computer program is that it can ‘branch’ or ‘jump’ out of sequence – subject of another article in this series. However, there are still enough times when one instruction follows another to make a buffer or cache a useful addition to the computer.

The basic idea of cache is to predict what data is required from memory to be processed in the CPU. Consider a program, which is made up of a series instructions, each one being stored in a location in memory, say from address 100 upwards. The instruction at location 100 is read out of memory and executed by the CPU, then the next instruction is read from location 101 and executed, then 102, 103 etc.

If the memory in question is core memory, it will take maybe 1 microsecond to read an instruction. If the processor takes, say 100 nanoseconds to execute the instruction, it then has to wait 900 nanoseconds for the next instruction (1 microsecond = 1000 nanoseconds). The effective repeat speed of the CPU is 1 microsecond.. (Times and speeds quoted are typical, but do not refer to any specific hardware, merely give an illustration of the principles involved).

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