Category: Famous

The Top Ten Psychics in the World

Autumn in Grasmere

There are quite a few very famous contemporary psychics in a world, but here are the top ten and in no particular order as each as their own particular set of strengths and gifts.

Sylvia Browne

Sylvia Browne is an internationally recognized psychic who communicates with the dead. She claims to have inherited her psychic gift. She has been running the Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research since 1973. She is one of those psychics who helps the police find killers and solve crimes. She has authored numerous books on psychic subjects, including Contacting Your Spirit Guide and Past Lives, Future Healing: A Psychic Reveals the Secrets to Good Health, and Great Relationships.

Allison Dubois

Allison Dubois is a psychic who channels the souls of dead pet and people. She has written many books, including Secrets of the Monarch, which is about understanding the caterpillar to butterfly nature of soul freedom. The television series Medium starring Patricia Marquette is supposedly based on the talents of Allison Dubois.

Lisa Williams

This celebrity medium and clairvoyant stars in a show on Lifetime called Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. The show follows Williams on a typical day, as she communicates with the dead, investigates haunted houses, and does readings. Williams channels many dead famous people including Bob Hope, Princess Diana, Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, and Ray Charles.

John Edwards

Edwards, not to be mistaken for the U.S. Senator with the same name, is an author and television personality. He is best known for his television shows, Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country. On both shows, Edwards attempts to communicate with the spirits of the audience members’ deceased relatives.

Colin Fry

Colin Fry is one of the best-known psychics and spiritualist mediums in Britain. He has hosted many television programs about the Supernatural, including Most Haunted, Psychic Private Eyes, and 6ixth Sense with Colin Fry, produced by Living TV.

Derek Acorah

Derek Acorah is a controversial psychic medium and television personality in the United Kingdom, who is possessed by the dead spirits he channels through his spirit guide s Sam. He is very well known for his appearances on. Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns and Yvette Fielding’s show Most Haunted.

James Van Praagh

James Van Praagh is a best-selling psychic and medium. He has written several books dealing with spirituality and spirit communication and 2002 to 2003, he hosted a syndicated daytime talk show entitled “Beyond With James Van Praagh.” He is currently the co-Executive Producer of the television series Ghost Whisperer on CBS.

Rosemary Altea

Rosemary Altea is a psychic and author. She has appeared on various programs, including Larry King Live and The Oprah Winfrey Show (with Michael Shermer in 1995).

Doreen Virtue

Dr. Doreen Virtue has appeared on many television shows such as Oprah, Good Morning America, The View, and CNN, revealing how psychic angels can help you heal your life. One of her most famous book, Give the Gift of Healing: A Concise Guide to Spiritual Healing, which was published in 2005.

Gillian Kemp

If you are into Tarot, then you are going to like Gillian Kemp. She is author of The Good Spell Book and recently designed a very interesting pack of Tarot Cards called Tree Magick in which there are no negative cards. She talks to ghosts using techniques learned from her ancient Romanie past and her grandmother, grandfather, and aunt who were also clairvoyant. She uses the more old-fashioned divination techniques, such as teacup readings and crystal balls and is one of the most famous psychics in the United Kingdom.

An Amazing Story of Forgiveness

13 bedroom Cross Creek

It has been determined over the years that the key to freedom is letting go and there is no better way to let go than to forgive. There is no better example of this axiom than is present in the story of Teal Scott. Teal Scott is, a woman who wasn’t supposed to be. Yet she is here to show others the way. She is here to show others the way out of powerlessness and the way out of pain. She made that journey herself, it was a journey where revenge and anger were road signs but not answers. Now, after years of torture inflicted upon her by a mad man and the cults he belonged to, she has no desire to see her abusers prosecuted or to have the iron hammer of justice brought down upon their heads. To her, they are just victims of loveless situations, broken families, and a cycle of separation that exists far beyond the bounds of this story you are reading now. That day, when I saw her for the first time as she rounded the corner, I was instantly struck by the fact that this woman was beautiful enough to be a super model. She moved gracefully with a looming, ethereal heir of confidence across the room. She exchanged a smile and an unusually firm handshake with me and then proceeded with unwavering eye contact to wait for me to start asking questions.

Teal was born in 1984 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the first years of her life, it became immediately apparent that Teal had been born with unusual talents that set her apart from other children. These talents were not ones that Teal’s parents understood. But in the years to come, they would discover that Teal was demonstrating abilities such as clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience, the ability to manipulate electromagnetic fields and the ability to communicate with thought forms. As she grew, unlike many children born with extrasensory talents, her gifts did not go away.

When Teal was still a toddler, her parents (who were both wilderness forest rangers), accepted a job in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest of Utah, not knowing at the time about the intensely religious climate of the location. It was a sparsely populated area that at the time was over 95% Mormon. Because of this, word of her unusual abilities got out very quickly and were not only frowned upon but also feared by many in the community. Like many children growing up as a religious minority Teal was ostracized as a child and the extent of difficulty in her life might have stopped at that, except that it was because of Teal’s misunderstood, extrasensory talents that she caught the undivided attention of a loose acquaintance of the family. This man, whom for anonymity sake Teal calls “Mr. X” was a sociopath who also had dissociative identity disorder. Mr. X had many personalities, one of which belonged to a local Christian cult and one of which attended satanic rituals.

Mr. X managed to infiltrate Teal’s family and position himself between Teal and her parents as her mentor. He managed to convince Teal that among other things, he was in fact her real father. He became her mentor to such a degree that her family trusted him with her on weekend trips, with after school activities and to mentor her in horsemanship. He was who they turned to about what to do about her abilities, and later… in her teen years, they trusted him to take her in when she got so mentally unstable (due to the abuse) that the family didn’t know what to do with her anymore. All the time they were unaware that he was creating the very condition he claimed to be helping. He was taking her out of her bed at night until he eventually trained her to come of her own accord and also managed on many occasions to take her out of school. It was because of this man that Teal was inducted as a child (unbeknownst to her parents) into these local cults by Mr. X. For thirteen years, Teal was routinely ritualistically tortured and programmed by this man and the members of the cults he belonged to.

Over the course of those thirteen years, she was tortured physically and sexually in religious rituals, forced to participate in sacrifices, repeatedly raped and starved. She was forced to undergo 3 abortions (all fathered by Mr. X himself who was in his sixties at the time) he performed them himself because his job allowed not only the meager instruments to do so, but also the know how. She was photographed for sadomasochistic pornography, sold for money to men for sex out of motels and outdoor gas station bathrooms, kept hogtied in basements and kept in a hole in the ground in Mr. X’s back yard. She was exposed repeatedly to electro-shock programming, forced to undergo isolation torture and left overnight tied up in lava caves in southern Idaho. Teal was also forced to participate in bestiality and necrophilia and was drugged by Mr. X with Ketamine, Dormator, Xylazine, opiates and speed (all of which he had unlimited access to due to his career). She was repeatedly chased through wilderness by Mr. X “playing” tracking games in which he would hunt her and put her through any of a list of horrific punishments if she was caught and she was also used as a lure to other children that ended up also being hurt.

Teal was able to escape from Mr. X as well as the cults he belonged to when she was 19 years old. But the real heart of this story is found in the fact that Teal has become healthy and found joy to such an extent that she has completely forgiven her abusers.

Since her escape, she has assumed the title of “The Spiritual Catalyst” and has embarked on a mission as a contemporary spiritual guide in order to remind people of the united, energetic nature of this universe and to teach people how to find bliss in the midst of even the most extreme circumstances.

During my interview with Teal, we spoke briefly about the fact that happiness seems to be a very elusive quality and that those who do achieve it are seen as either unintelligent or conversely enlightened. I asked her if she feels like she has reached a place where she has achieved unshakable happiness and therefore a state of enlightenment. She gave a slight smile to this and bowed her head and said “No. One thing that makes it so people can not find happiness is that they think it is some permanent state you have to achieve or some place you have to get to when the truth is that happiness, like enlightenment either is or isn’t in the moment. It is a constant process in each moment to focus your thoughts and subsequent actions into happiness, just like it is a process in each moment to focus your thoughts and subsequent actions to be in line with enlightenment. I have my days where I am not very good at this, and my days that I am.” In her lengthy way of speaking she continued to say “No one is meant to come here to this life and stand in perfection, or live up to something that stands in judgment of us. We are meant to come here to life in order to find happiness. Evolution is an inevitable byproduct of following the path to happiness. Not one person here, as much as you may expect it from them, stands in perfection. Perfection is an illusion. To expect perfection from yourself or others is to be resistant to where you or where someone else is and as long as you are resisting what is, you can not move forward from what is.

For most people, the first reaction that comes upon hearing this story is one of total shock and then the sudden need for justice. The question of how we can reduce the ever increasing levels of crime and violence is one that plagues our society today. The usual answer to this question which is given by politicians and the media is that we have to be even tougher on crime. It is an answer that comes from a deeply held belief that fighting against crime even harder will eventually straighten this country out. But Teal adamantly disagrees. She has maintained the stance that no one needs be brought to justice after what was done to her.

Teal’s abuse did become a matter of the state however. Due to a confidentiality clause which was nullified by certain details of Teal’s abuse, her psychologist at the time presented her the option that she willingly tell the authorities what went on or she would have to contact them with or without Teal’s consent with the details of the abuse. So, in 2005 she told the local authorities the horrendous story of her past. It turned into an investigation, which went cold after quite some time when the district attorney decided the state could not provide enough substantial physical evidence to win a case. When I asked Teal about her views on this she said “Most women who escape from situations like I did do not ever tell about it. I did tell, but even the physical evidence I had was not enough given the years that had passed since the last incident that occurred. And I am glad for that in retrospect.” I, like most people would be, was shocked by this reply and asked her why she was glad that a man such as Mr. X could still be out in the public and not in jail. She proceeded slowly and said “There is a negative vehicle of want and there is a positive vehicle of want. It is our choice which vehicle to get in and drive our own lives from. You could say…I don’t want torture and abusers in this world… so we must punish all of those that torture, and torture the torturer so to speak. Contrastingly, instead of saying…I don’t want torture…one could say…I want compassion… and show those same actors of violence compassion that they perhaps have never been given before. Happy people who feel loved do not hurt other people.”

It is Teal’s belief that the de-humanizing environment of jails and prisons does not rehabilitate criminals, it create even worse criminals. She says it is impossible to punish someone into wellness, that punishment for crime is like fighting fire with fire, and so it is time for the justice system and the environment of jails to change. She believes that the way to eliminate abuse and criminal behavior is to change society at its root and change the way we treat those who commit acts of violence. Teal went on to say “We, as a society believe very strongly in victim-hood and so, we try to control others by creating laws. And we enforce those laws with harsh punishment for all those who disobey them. Laws are not control; they are merely the physical illusion of control. They do not work in the way that they are intended to work, and they run counter to the universal truth of freedom. They will fail and they do fail. Your crime rates will keep going up if crime is approached in the way it is approached today”.

As our meeting came to an end, I found myself awestruck at this woman who stands today in a light of forgiveness and mercy after having lived a life of torture and pain. She demonstrates an attitude which many who have fallen victim to abuse have been incapable of achieving. She comes from a past that gives her the credibility to be able to say that a person can achieve happiness, health and success no matter what they have done in their life and no matter what was done to them. This revolutionary space is where we find Teal Scott. And if you take her message to heart, this revolutionary space is where any of us can find ourselves.

Types of Innovation

Blu Cruise Fish

Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.

There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as consisting of a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas.

There are distinct processes that enhance problem identification and idea generation and, similarly, distinct processes that enhance idea selection, development and commercialisation. Whilst there is no sure fire route to commercial success, these processes improve the probability that good ideas will be generated and selected and that investment in developing and commercialising those ideas will not be wasted.

Types of Innovation

Tidd et al (2005) argue that there are four types of innovation; consequently the innovator has four pathways to investigate when searching for good ideas:

a) Product Innovation – new products or improvements on products. The new Mini or the updated VX Beetle, new models of mobile phones and so on.

b) Process Innovation – where some part of the process is improved to bring benefit. Just in Time is a good example.

c) Positioning Innovation – Lucozade used to be a medicinal drink but the was repositioned as a sports drink.

d) Paradigm Innovation – where major shifts in thinking cause change. During the time of the expensive mainframe, Bill Gates and others aimed to provide a home computer for everyone.

These and other topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with an Innovation Bible, Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from http://www.managing-creativity.com/

You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.

Kal Bishop, MBA

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You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author’s name and site URL are retained.

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Literary Analysis – A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

Batemans Castle

In “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” author Gabriel Garcia Marquez weaves the natural with the supernatural in an unexpected yet stimulating way. It leaves the reader with the question, “What would I do if I was confronted with something supernatural right outside my door?” By blending the most mundane and ugly parts of life – from rainy days to selfish crowds – with the miraculous, Marquez effectively uses a creative tone and a unique style to create a story that carries elements of everyday life yet supersedes it. His story invites the reader to look closer at daily events and determine one’s response to the normal and not-quite-normal events that have the power to change a life.

The tone of the story is set in the beginning, with the most natural and unwelcome of occurrences: a sick child in the midst of poor weather. In the first few sentences, Marquez’ writing style immediately grabs the imagination as he writes, “The world had been sad since Tuesday,” describing the drab and inclement weather in detail. In the first paragraph, he brings in magical elements by introducing the surreal character of an old man with enormous wings. Marquez immediately shatters any mindsets the reader has of powerful and holy angels by placing him face down in the mud and unable to extricate himself, “impeded by his enormous wings.”

With a hint of irony, the very objects that should have empowered this man to fly above earth’s elements – his wings – hindered him and brought him unwanted attention. Irony is part of the tone weaved throughout the story. It is seen in the “wise old woman” who determined that the old man with wings was an angel… and then suggested clubbing him to death. It is noticed in the wording that Marquez chose when he stated that the husband and wife “felt magnanimous” when they opted to set the angel afloat on a raft with enough food to last him a few days “and leave him to his fate on the high seas.”

In parts of the story, the author’s tone seems to convey a sense of regret that humanity, as a whole, often fails to appreciate the “magic” that is part of life. Instead of appreciating an experience and living fully in the moment, so many ask, “What’s in it for me?” When the husband and wife, Pelayo and Elisenda, decide to exploit the angel by having the onlookers pay to see him, this sense of selfishness and greed is apparent. Here, again, the reader has the opportunity to imagine what their choice would be if faced with a similar situation. Of course, no angel is going to fall from the skies on a sad and stormy day, but in the daily run of things, how does one use the opportunities presented? Gabriel Garcia Marquez invites the reader to ask questions such as these not through a sermon but in the form of a story.

Using magical realism, Marquez also takes those natural tendencies of humanity and weaves it with supernatural elements, creating scenes that let the reader wonder if perhaps the magic can spread into the world beyond the pages. For instance, the angel is so real that the local priest, Father Gonzaga, notices he’s “much too human.” He smells. Everything about him is opposite of everything one might think of as angelic and holy. But when looking closer, portions of the angel’s character can be glimpsed in the pages. His unending patience is made apparent when he endures mistreatment – being locked up with chickens, pushed around, poked and prodded. He doesn’t fight back. He waits… almost as if he knows it’s only for a time. This, if nothing else, is a sign of the angel’s supernatural origin – his bearing in the midst of trauma. Perhaps in spite of human and unsavory circumstances, the reader, too, can manifest those same attributes of patience and endurance. The tone of the story invites one to think that, yes, it is possible.

Finally, towards the end of the story, the angel’s patience is rewarded. With the dawning of spring, he begins to sprout new feathers in his wings. The setting of the story match the action. The long and dreary winter is over and new life is beginning all around, and within. Like the rest of the angel, those new feathers are unimpressive, “the feathers of a scarecrow, which look more like another misfortune of decrepitude” But they are enough. He looks to the sky, feels the breeze, and begins to fly, slowly at first but rising higher and eventually disappearing over the ocean, beyond the blue.

Elisenda watches from the kitchen and “she kept on watching until it was no longer possible for her to see him, because then he was no longer an annoyance in her life but an imaginary dot on the horizon of the sea.” The strange juxtaposition of her emotions against the clearly supernatural circumstances creates a unique effect. Elisenda is watching an angel take flight – the same angel that provided her and her husband with enough money to build a two-story mansion – and she feels nothing but relief that he is gone. At the end, just as in the beginning, a normal person is confronted with a supernatural event and fails to see it for the amazing happening that it is. Elisenda likely returns to her work, never appreciating the miracle that entered her life unexpectedly and left just as abruptly.

With the tone that the author sets in the ending, the reader is invited to ask, “How many times do I glance up for a moment, see a glimpse of something beyond the ordinary, and look away? How often am I confronted with something truly amazing and fail to see it for what it is because I pause at the question, ‘What’s in it for me?'”

With his use of magical realism, Gabriel Garcia Marquez opens the door to interesting dialogue and invites the reader to not only enter a place of imagination and mystery, but also to look into one’s own thoughts and actions and see how they measure up against the elements – normal and supernatural – of everyday life.

What Font Should You Use For Your Book?

Famous Writer

One of the most common questions asked by would-be self-publishers who are intent on designing and typesetting their book themselves is, “What font should I use?”

I’m always relieved when somebody asks the question. At least, it means they’re not just blindly going to use the ubiquitous default fonts found in most word processing programs.

However, there is almost no way to answer the question. It’s like asking, “What’s the best car model for commuting to work everyday?”

You’ll get a different answer from almost everyone you ask. And they might all be correct.

I am willing to offer one hard-and-fast rule, however: don’t use Times New Roman or Times Roman. That will brand your book as the work of an amateur at first glance. And there are other, very practical, reasons for not using it. Times Roman and Times New Roman were designed for the narrow columns of newspapers, originally for the London Times back in the 1930s. Today, almost no newspapers still use it. How, or why, it became a word processing standard, I have no idea. The font tends to set very tight, making the text block on the page dense and dark.

Here are two caveats before proceeding to few recommendations:

  1. The typeface you choose may depend on how your book will be printed. If you look closely at most serif fonts (like Times), you will notice that there are thick and thin portions of each letter. If your book will be printed digitally, you should steer away from fonts with segments that are very thin. They tend to become too faint and affect readability.
  2. Don’t get carried away with the thousands of font choices available. Most are specialty fonts suitable for titles, headlines, advertising, emotional impact, etc. And never use more than a very few fonts in a single book — we usually choose one serif font for the main text body, a sans serif for chapter titles and headings within the chapters. Depending on the book, we may select a third font for captions on photos, graphics, tables, etc. (or maybe just a different size, weight, or style of one of the other two). We may select a specialty font for use on the front cover for the title and subtitle.

For 90% of books, any of the following fonts are excellent choices:

  • Palatino Linotype
  • Book Antiqua (tends to set tight, so you may have to loosen it up a bit)
  • Georgia
  • Goudy Old Style
  • Adobe Garamond Pro (tends to have a short x-height, so it might seem too small in typical sizes)
  • Bookman (the name sort of gives it away, doesn’t it?)
  • Century Schoolbook (tends to be a bit wide, creating extra pages)

You need to look at several paragraphs of each font to see what, if any, adjustments you may find necessary in things like character spacing and kerning. You want to avoid little confusions, like:

  • “vv” (double v) that looks like the letter “w”
  • “cl” (c l) that looks like the letter “d”

Such things can make the reading experience annoying.

If you ask other designers, you will likely get other suggestions, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least some of the above included in their recommendations.

You may run across some books with more unusual font choices, but there are often good reasons for it. Maybe the book is a humor book for which the designer chose a lighthearted font, for example. Such decisions should be made with care and thoughtful consideration for the effects on readability.

Never decide on your font or font size based only on viewing how it looks on your monitor. Most trade paperback books are printed in 10 or 11 point size, but some fonts require larger – or even smaller – sizes. If 12 points looks too big and 11 too small, you can try 11.5 – no need to stick with integer sizes. You might be surprised how much difference a half-point (or even a quarter-point) can make on the overall “feel” of the page.

You also have to decide on appropriate leading (pronounced like the metal), which is the distance from the baseline of one line of text to the baseline for the next line, measured in points. The result is usually expressed as a ratio of the font size in points to the selected leading in points. So, you might say you have set the body text in Georgia 11/14 or Bookman 10/12.5 (11-point size with 14 points leading and 10-point size with 12.5 points leading, respectively).

Word processing programs tend to work in decimal inches, forcing you to convert leading from points into inches. A standard point is equal to 0.0138 inches. Professional typesetting/layout programs (like Adobe InDesign) allow you to use points and picas to define all type measurements and settings. although you can also specify those settings in various other units (including inches).

Typically, book designers will develop more than one design for each book’s interior, using different fonts, sizes, and leadings. They should typeset a few pages of the actual manuscript and print them out with the same page settings they plan to use in the final book (e.g., 6″ x 9″ pages). This allows the client to compare them side-by-side and evaluate them for readability and overall look.

And don’t forget your target audience. Very young readers and very old readers do better with larger type. Books that are very textually dense with long paragraphs frequently need more leading and a wider font.

Ultimately, you have to choose based on what your gut reaction is to the typeset samples. It never hurts to ask other people to read it and tell you if one option is easier to read than another.

If you want to gain an appreciation for typography and how to make appropriate design decisions, I recommend the following excellent books:

The Complete Manual of Typography by James Felici

The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

Book Design and Production by Pete Masterson

For those who insist on using Microsoft Word to typeset books, you really should buy and study Perfect Pages by Aaron Shepard. He is the reigning guru of how to do it.

It is far better to buy professional layout software and then learn all you can about typography and how to apply those principles to book design…or to hire a professional to do for you. The latter course will leave you more time to develop a dynamic marketing plan for your latest book and start writing your next one!

Make Money Writing Recipes

Akko old city harbour

Could you make some money by writing recipes?

You do not need me to tell you that top TV chefs like Jamie Oliver and Delia Smith have made MILLIONS from selling their recipes. Delia is in fact the UK's best selling cookery author having sold 21 million books … imagine if you had a pound or two from each of those!

What you might not know is that Delia Smith started out as a humble recipe writer. Her first piece featured kipper pâté, beef in beer and cheesecake – an exotic dish back in the 60s! So how could you follow in the footsteps of the famous cookery writers and make some money from selling your recipes?

There are a LOT of recipes out there. So you need to be quite smart if you want to sell them. Here are a few tips:

* Your recipe ideas need to be original. Never try and sell recipes that you've read in another book. Traditional old family recipes are great for selling – as long as they are original. Or recipes you've found when on holiday abroad.
Recipes that are tasty-but-cheap are also in big demand right now.

* A clever idea is to take an existing recipe and give a unique twist and so make it your own. For example, take a classic recipe and convert it into a healthier, low fat one that is just as good. Or make it suitable for those with a food intolerance.

* Before you try selling anything, try and have a range of related recipes so that if one sells you have others ready and waiting to offer. Recipes for entire meals (or dinner parties) are also a good idea.

* Research your recipe clear. We've all tried recipes from magazines and so on that the writer has obviously never made. They usually turn out to be a disaster. So make sure you ACTUALLY try your recipes for family meals and so on to make sure they work.

* Make your recipe sound interesting. Create a story behind it that will help with selling. For example, my children would not touch fruit … until I created this recipe for them … now they love it!

So then, how could you make money from recipes:

* Women's magazines. Need lots and lots of recipes. For example, Good To Know pays £ 25 for any recipes they use. Details here: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/471694/Share-your-recipes-with-Cake-corner
* Book publishers. Sometimes buy recipes for collections.
* Sell on eBay. Create a collection of recipes and try selling them using eBay classified ads. It's easy and cheap. (To do this you'll need to pop your recipes on a CD to sell them.)
* Classified ads. in magazines. If you try this be sure to create recipes which will appeal to the type of people who read the magazine.
* Publish your own eBook.
* Sell it to food product manufacturers. Many manufacturers print recipe ideas on their product packaging and are often short of new ideas as all the old favorites have been used up. (Make sure that their brand is actually used in the recipe though!)

One last thing, you can also send recipes in to COMPETITIONS to win prizes instead of a fixed fee. Hormel
Foods who produce the famous Spam have an annual Cook of the Year competition.

What the BLOG?

Arcobaleno / Rainbow

Blogs Are the NEW Secret Weapon for Reaching Your Tarket. Just like you, I hate being marketed to. Every day we're bombarded with over 3,500 marketing messages. And frankly I'm sick of it! But blogs are different. Blogs are a two-way conversation between blogger and bloggee (plus all the readers in between). Through commenting and cross-linking, you can share feedback. You can build your network. You can become, dare I say it, an Internet celebrity!

See blogs add humanity and instantaneous expression to the web. Like ezines, blogs are a way for your customer to get to know you.

However, unlike ezines, blogs help you with search engine rankings. Did you hear me? I said, unlike ezines, blogs help you with search engine rankings. That's a big one.

Entrepreneur Magazine, Business Week , even the FCC (Federal Trade Commission) all believe blogs are here to stay. Recently Michael Powell, chairman of the FCC, started one. His initial post drew over 30,000 readers. A Microsoft spokesperson says Bill Gates is considering starting a blog. And filmmaker Michael Moore built a blog to promote his controversial new film, Fahrenheit 9/11 .

But who has time to read a blog anyway? Exactly! The job of a blog is to cut through the information overload and deliver searchable, relevant and current content. BlogAds website recently conducted a survey of over 17,000 blog readers.

Here's what they report:

  • Blog readers are older and more affluent . 61% of blog readers are over 30, and 75% make more than $ 45,000 a year.
  • Blog readers are more cyber-active . 54% of their news consumption is online. 21% are themselves bloggers and 46% describe themselves as opinion makers.
  • Blog readers are media-mavens . 21% subscribe to the New Yorker magazine, 15% to the Economist, 15% to Newsweek and 14% to the Atlantic Monthly .
  • Whether on the left or right, blog readers have gains in common that often are absent in today's public spaces: passion and initiative.
  • Blog readers have apathy towards traditional news sources . 82% say that television is worthless. 55% percent say the same about print newspapers. 54% say the same about print magazines.
  • Meanwhile, 86% say that blogs are either useful or extremely useful as sources of news or opinion . 80% say they read blogs for news they can not find elsewhere. 78% read because the perspective is better. 66% value the faster news. 61% say that blogs are more honest.
  • Blog readers appear united in their dissatisfaction with conventional media and their rabid love of blogs.

Do not you want to be a blogger too? How about looking at some samples of the good, the bad and the bizarre?

Model citizen blogs : John Reese's blog. Hey, the guy just made $ 1,080,496.37 online in a single day. Here's a good rule of thumb. If Reese is doing it, you should be too.

Copywriter Paul Myers keeps us up-to-date on SPAM and other Internet marketing nightsmares.

Michael Port's weekly calls to inspire those who aspire now have an online connecting point. Designed by Andy Wibbels.

My Blog: http://www.red-hot-copy.com/blog.htm – my blog today.

Bizarro Blog: Jeff Bridges' site is considered a "blog." It's hand-written! (Yes, really). http://www.jeffbridges.com

I've been dipping my toe into the blogging pool since earlier this year. Now I've decided it's time to really learn how to do this stuff with an expert who will take me by the hand through the scary forest of the blog-world. I'm going back to school! Through another client, I met blogging guru, Andy Wibbels. Sure, he has a funny name, but he is adorable! And his writing style has me rolling on the floor. Well Andy is a self-professed geek. And Andy knows blogs. He says it's easy and I trust him.

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How Critical It Is to Learn and Communicate in English – Communications in English

Full Moon over the Hartshill Wharf

English is the official language of the globalized world we are living. Behold the main reason why it is important; As discussed below, this has several implications especially in the workplace, business and computing. The English was born in northern Europe. This language has Germanic roots; it is a language that is established and developed in Britain. This nation since its inception is responsible for dispersing the English to the world, through their colonies.

With regard to the history of the English language, we can say that this is born in the British Isles, among the tribes of Germania, what is now northern Germany. This should, in the year 449 AD, the king of the British Isles, request the assistance of the Germanic tribes, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, to get rid of another nearby village. So, how are you tribes settled in the British Isles and brave way to the Anglo-Saxon language or as known today in day English. Later, with the arrival of the Normans in England at the beginning of the eleventh century, the English language was enriched. Since French emigrated several Anglo-Saxon words initially spoke.

The English language was born in the era when the British writer William Shakespeare became famous. We are talking of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Over 400 million people have English as mother tongue. The number increases, if taken to countries that maintain English as their second language.

But the importance of English is due to two major nations of the world who speak it and have it as their mother tongue. We are talking about England and the United States. These countries, several years ago, with his first England colonies and the United States after its intervention in the First World War, have imposed the use of English. The two countries in question are true world powers for decades. Not only economically, especially the country of North America (first economy in the world), but at the same, their cultures, have been penetrating in various nations. Similarly, in military, political and scientific fields, both nations are ahead compared to most countries.

Thus, little by little, the English, it has become important in the world order. But as mentioned in the beginning, the subject of economics or business, have led, since the early twentieth century, the English, take a leading role in the world. And in the present English is considered universal or international language. Whenever you want to make a business with a company in another country, where both languages ​​are different, well, English will be the language used, in order to be understood. Moreover, today, to gain access to certain employment positions, it is essential to speak English. There are even studies that show that people, who speak English, come to win 30% more salary than those who did not handle it.

In academia, international education standards have adopted English an s medium of communication. Students are assigned essay writing, assignment writing tasks in this medium and same is the case for presentation and communication through the modules. Students, studying abroad, are expected to learn English language as they have to complete essay writing tasks in this medium. A major research project, dissertation writing is also completed in the same manner. If they do not learn English language well, they need to get essay writing help, assignment writing help and dissertation writing help from professional academic writing services.

It's that powerful, the process of globalization that are living. Here, institutions no longer discuss whether it is important or not speaking English. Organizations and countries those have designed and carried out the process of globalization have English as a first language or working language.

All These Worlds Are Yours – The Appeal of Science Fiction

Golden lane - Prague

I've been fascinated with science fiction stories for as long as I can remember, though, I must confess, I never thought of science fiction as being mainstream literature. I, like many readers, pursed science fiction as a form of escapism, a way to keep up with speculation on recent scientific discoveries, or just a way to pass the time.

It was not until I met with my thesis adviser to celebrate the approval of my paper that I had to think about science fiction in a new light. My adviser works for a large, well-known literary foundation that is considered to be very "canonical" in its tastes. When he asked me if I liked science fiction, and if I would be willing to select about one hundred stories for possible inclusion in an anthology that they were thinking about producing, I was somewhat surprised. When he told me it might lead to a paying gig, I became even more astounded. I went home that afternoon feeling very content: my paper had been approved, and I might get a paying job to select science fiction, of all things.

Then it hit me: I'd actually have to seriously think about some sort of a method to select from the thousands of science fiction short stories that had been written in the past century. When I considered that the ideals of the foundation would have to be reflected in the stories which I selected, something near panic set in: science fiction was not part of the "cannon."

"While I pondered weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore," I reached a decision: I'd first try to figure out what science fiction "was," and then I'd develop a set of themes that related to the essence of science fiction. So, armed with this battle plan, I proceeded to read what several famous authors had to say about science fiction. This seemed simple enough, until I discovered that no two authors thought science fiction meant quite the same thing. Oh, great, thought I: "nevermore." (Sorry, Edgar, I could not resist).

Having failed to discover the essence of science fiction, I selected four authors which work I liked to try to determine what they contributed to the art of science fiction. The authors were: Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Orson Scott Card, and Arthur C Clarke. At the time, I did not realize that two of the authors, Asimov and Clarke were considered "hard" science fiction writers, and the other two, Silverberg and Card, were considered "soft" science fiction writers.

So, you might ask: what is the difference between "hard" and "soft" science fiction. I'm glad you asked, else I would have to stop writing right about now. "Hard" science fiction is concerned with an understanding of quantum sciences, such as astronomy, physics, chemistry, etc. "Soft" science fiction is often associated with the humanities or social sciences, such as sociology, psychology or economics. Of course, some writers blend "hard" and "soft" science fiction into their work, as Asimov did in the Foundation trilogy.

So, having selected the authors, I was ready to proceed to my next challenge, which you can read about in the next installation of the series. "All these worlds are yours:" the Appeal of Science Fiction, Part II

In the first part of the series, I mentioned that I was given an assignment to select approximately one hundred science fiction short stories for inclusion in an anthology that was being considered by a literary foundation. Originally, I'd intended to find the "essence" of science fiction, and then select stories that reflected this essence. Unfortunately, this turned out to be nearly impossible, since different authors had different ideas about what constituted science fiction.

So, I took the easy way out, I selected four authors which works appealed to me, and hoped that I could make selection based on my familiarity with their works. My selection process rejected in four authors who have been writing science fiction for thirty years or more: Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Orson Scott Card, and Arthur C Clarke. As it turned out, two authors were considered "hard" science fiction writers, and two were considered "soft" science fiction writers.

Well, I finally had a plan. And then the wheels fell off. I still needed some sort of selection criteria, or I had to develop one as I read. So, I did what anyone in my place would have done. I started reading. I read, and read some more, and then … I read some more. Over three thousand pages and three hundred short stories, in fact. I was almost ready to make a stab at a selection process; almost, but not quite.

What, three thousand pages, and still can not figure out how to start? How could this be? Okay, so I'm exaggerating a little bit. I started to break the stories up into groupings around general themes-it helps when I organize things into groups, so I can apply some sort of selection criteria for seemingly unreferenced data points (who says that thirty years in business does not have its rewards )? Gradually, I began grouping the stories into several broad headings: scientific discoveries; life-forms (which included aliens, man-made life and artificial life); the search for meaning (which includes the search for God or the gods); the death of a group of men, a nation, race, or system; the meaning of morality.

Now I admit, these groupings may be arbitrary, and may in fact reflect my perspective on things, but I had to start somewhere. The strange thing was that these grouping tended to repeat, no matter who the author was. When I think about it, these same types of concerns are mirrored in the more "canonical" texts that are taught in school. So, what makes science fiction different from the mainstream texts in colleges and universities across the country?

Once again, I'm glad you asked that, because it is a perfect lead-in to the next part of the series. "All these worlds are yours:" the Appeal of Science Fiction, Part III

I guess that the main difference between science fiction and the more acceptable or "canonical" type of fiction must arise either from the themes employed, or the subject matter. In part two of this series, I mentioned that the themes employed by science fiction, namely: the search for life, identity, the gods, and morality are similar to those themes employed in "canonical" literature. By the process of subtraction, that leaves subject matter as the primary difference between the two genres.

So, by subject matter, we must mean science, since we've already covered fiction ("when you has eliminated the impossible, whatever is left, no matter how improbable, must be the truth," as Sherlock Holmes would say). So, we must infer that science is the factor which differentiates science fiction from traditional fiction. By this definition, several traditional pieces of fiction must be considered science fiction. As an example, The Tempest, by William Shakespeare has often been cited as a type of science fiction if we expand the category to include those works that incorporated current science into their works. But wait, you say, The Tempest does not incorporate science into its construction. Oh really, I reply, the English were just beginning to settle the New World in earnest when the play was written ("Oh, brave new world that has such people in't.") more fantasy than science fiction. Splitting hairs, I reply.

What then of John Milton, I ask? John Milton … why, he's so boring and well, unread these days, you reply. Of course he is, but that's beside the point. What about Paradise Lost, I rejoin? What about it, you reply (and then in a very low voice … I've never read it). The scene where Satan leaves hell and takes a cosmic tour before alighting on Earth and Paradise has been described by many critics as being the first instance of an author providing a cosmological view of the heavens. In fact, Milton schools point to the fact that Milton, in the Aereopagitica claims to have visited Galileo Galilei at his home in Italy. These same critics also refer to the fact that Milton taught his nephews astronomy, using several texts that were considered progressive in their day. Still, most critics would fall on their pens (swords being so messy and difficult to come by these days), rather than admit to Paradise Lost being … gasp, science fiction.

Still not convinced; what do you say about Frankenstein? You say it made for several interesting movies, but really, the creature was overdone; bad make-up and all that. I reply: the make-up is irrelevant; for that matter, so are many of the films, which do not do justice to Mary Shelley's novel. She did not even write the novel, you reply. Oh no, not another apologist for Percy Bysshe Shelley writing the novel. Let me state uniquivocally that I do not care whether Mary or Percy wrote the novel: it is often cited as the first instance of science fiction. But where is the science, you ask: it is only alluded-to. That's' why it's also fiction, I retort.

So, where are we? I think we've managed to muddle the waters somewhere. It appears that the element of science is needed for science fiction, but the precedents for science being contained in a fictional work, are somewhat troubling. Perhaps in the next section, we should examine "modern" science fiction and try to determine how science plays a part in works of the twenty and twenty-first centuries.

"All these worlds are yours:" the Appeal of Science Fiction, Part IV

Up till now, we've defined science fiction as part science, and part fiction. No real revolutionary concept there. I've tried to show how earlier works could have considered science fiction, with mixed results. I've also said that works of the twenty century would be easier to classify as science fiction, because they incorporated more elements of leading-edge science into their writing.

To use two brief examples, the Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov is often considered a "soft" science fiction work, relying more on the social sciences than the physical sciences in the plot line. In the story, Asimov posits the creation of a foundation that relationships on psychohistory, a kind of melding of group psychology and economics that is useful in predicting and extremely molding, human behavior. Anyone who has been following the stock and financial markets over the past year can attest to the element of herd mentality which permeates any large scale human interaction. The theme of shaping human dynamics through psychohistory, while somewhat far-fetched is not beyond the realm of possibility (and would, no doubt, be welcomed by market bulls right about now).

A second example from Asimov, that of the three laws of robotics, has taken on a life of its own. Asimov began developing the laws of robotics to explain how a robot might work. The three laws were postulated as a mechanism to protect humans and robots. He did not expect the laws to become so ingrained into the literature on robots; in fact, the laws have become something of a de facto standard in any story or novel written about artificial life, as Asimov has noted in several essays.

The case of Asimov's three laws of robotics influencing other writers is not unusual. In the case of Arthur C. Clarke, his influence is felt beyond writing and extends to science as well. Clarke is the person responsible for postulating the use of geo-synchronous orbit for satellites, and the makers of weather, communications, entertainment and spy satellites owe him a debt of gratitude for developing this theory. He anticipated the manned landing on the moon, and many discoveries made on Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and their many moons.

Consider also, Orson Scott Card, which novel speaker for the Dead, postulates a world-wide communication network that is uncannily similar to the world-wide-web and predated the commercial internet by some fifteen to twenty years.

It appears then, that science fiction writers popularize science, provide their readers with a glimpse of the possibilities of newventions and theories, and sometimes, anticipate or even discover new uses for technology. But there's still an element missing in our definition of science fiction, that of the fiction side of the equation. We'll explore the fiction side of science fiction in the next installation. "All these worlds are yours:" the Appeal of Science Fiction, Part V

Good literature requires a successful plot, character development, and an emotional appeal in order to be successful. Science fiction is no different than traditional forms of fiction in this regard. We've talked about plot and content (science) in early installations. In this installation, I'd like to talk about the emotional reactions generated by science fiction.

Broadly speaking, I think science fiction appeals to the following emotional responses: terrorism, the joy of discovery, awe and wonder, a lassitude born of too many space flights or too many worlds, and a sense of accomplishment. The instances of terror in science fiction are well documented: for anyone who has seen Alien for the first time, terrorism is a very real emotion. Many science fiction and horror writers as well, make good use of the emotion of terror. An effective use of terror is important, however. Slasher movies use terror, but they sometimes degenerate into an almost parodic exercise of who can generate the most gore per minute. True terror is a case of timing and the unexpected. That's why Arthur C Clarke's story entitled "A Walk in the Dark" is so effective. The author sets-up the BEM (bug-eyed monster, from Orson Scott Card) as a pursuing agent; the protagonist has no idea that the monster will actually wind-up in front of him.

As to the joy of discovery, this emotion can work in reverse. In Orson Scott Card's brilliant short story and novel, Ender's Game, the child protagonist learns that the war games he was practicing for were actually the real thing. His surprise, remorse and confusion have sustained effects on his psyche, and set the stage for his attempts later in life to attain some sort of recompense for the race which he and his cohorts destroyed.

Robert Silverberg's works evoke a feeling of dj-vu, a sense of being on too many worlds or too many travels; a moral ennui not found in many writers. Yet somehow, he transcends this eternal boredom to reveal with startingling clarity that something lies beyond; if only aought after end.

Perhaps no other science fiction author offers a sense of wonder and discovery, a sense of joy de vivre, as does Arthur C Clarke. In story after story, Clarke expounds on new worlds, new discoveries, new possibilities ("all these worlds are yours …"). His love of the cosmos is rooted in his love of astronomy and physics, and is bundled together with a love of mannish that makes his work so inspiring and evergreen.

But what of our final category, that of a sense of accomplishment? Each of these writers talks in some way to the human experience. In bridging the worlds of science and fiction, in writing to our fears, hopes, joys and sorrows, each of these authors stakes a claim to be included among the list of canonical authors. In "Nightfall," Arthur C Clarke writes the effects of an atomic war, and thinks back to an earlier time. He is staking his claim to posterity when he writes:

Good freed for Iesvs sake forbeare,

To dig the dvst enclosed heare

Blest be ye man yt spares thes stones,

And cvrst be he yt moves my bones.

Undisturbed through all eternity the poet could sleep in safety now: in the silence and darkness above his head, the Avon was seeking its new outlet to the sea.

For Sir Arthur was paying his respects to the Bard, and claiming his place in the pantheon of the great English writers.

Pastor Anniversary Scriptures and Themes

Δελφοί Ναός του Απόλλωνος Delfi Temble of Apollo

Creating a pastor anniversary theme can be intimidating, overwhelming and sometimes over thought. Selecting a theme for your pastor is nothing more than creating a sentence based on the direction or progression of his ministry. The theme should also have some type of deep meaning in some cases, with a clever underlining thought.

First, let’s discuss where to get theme ideas from that will help you create the theme for your pastor’s anniversary. Firstly, I always look in the Holy Bible as there are countless examples of themes for a pastor. The idea is to pick a scripture that has a word of encouragement and direction from God. Not every scripture is the same and not every scripture communicates the message that is needed to convey the overall thought of the message.

Here is a list of scriptures that directly speak about honoring your pastor:

  • Jeremiah 3:15– And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
  • Ephesians 4:11– And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
  • I Thessalonians 5:12-13– And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
  • I Timothy 5:17– Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.
  • Hebrews 13:17– Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Using the wording within the scripture you can create topics or themes that will be more than appropriate for celebrating your pastor’s anniversary.

Here is a List of example pastor anniversary & pastor appreciation themes that was created using the wording in the scriptures.

  • Jeremiah 3:15– Honoring Our Pastor’s Spiritual Knowledge and Earthly Understanding.
  • Ephesians 4:11– Perfecting the Saints for the Work of the Ministry.
  • I Thessalonians 5:12-13 – Celebrating the Laborer that Dwells Among Us.
  • I Timothy 5:17-Giving Our Pastor Double Honor for His Labor in the Word.
  • Hebrews 13:17– Recognizing the Leadership that Watches Over Our Souls.

With just a little creative thinking you can create a theme for your pastor’s appreciation service, day or month. There are other ways to come up with a theme, you can use titles from: songs, books, movies, scriptures or even famous quotes by legendary people. There are many ways to create the perfect theme for your pastor you just have to be creative and put a little work into it.

Here is a list of example pastor anniversary & pastor appreciation themes that was created using songs, books, movies, scriptures and even quotes.

  • Spiritual Guidance That Propels Us Forward
  • The Audacity of Faithful Leadership
  • Sacred Teaching for Earthly Living
  • Divine Council for the Multitude of People
  • Celebrating God’s Man for His People
  • Celebrating God’s Woman for His People
  • Shaping Lives to be Good Stewards
  • God’s Chosen Vessel for His Purpose and Direction
  • A Spiritual Briefing for the People of God
  • The Gift of Giving For No Recompense
  • Appreciating the Giver of Spiritual Knowledge
  • Illustrating Holy Living Through Precept and Example
  • Celebrating Victory in God’s Holy Word
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness

As you prepare your celebration activities and appreciate your pastor takes some time to really seek out the right message for the overall theme. The members of your church will be delighted to help find a scriptures that corresponds to the message.