Tag: actor

History of the Computer – Cache Memory Part 1 of 2

Qoʻqon UZ - Dakhmai-Shokhon 03

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).

List of Filipino Folk Songs

The Riddler 2010 Phoenix Comicon

Folk songs are, quite literally, songs of the people. And in determining the identity of a country, one can look no further than this form of music for clues to a particular culture. This list of Filipino folk songs offers a few examples of the many simple yet timeless tunes long since ingrained into the Philippine people’s consciousness.

BAHAY KUBO

This song is as familiar to Filipino schoolchildren as the “ABC’s” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” are to kids everywhere. Credited to have been written by composer and 1997 National Artist for Music Felipe de Leon (1912-1992), it tells of the traditional Filipino rural house, the humble “bahay kubo” or nipa hut, and goes on to enumerate the various vegetables planted in its vicinity.

PAKITONG-KITONG

Also called “Tong Tong Tong Tong Pakitong-kitong,” this Filipino folk song has both a Tagalog and Cebuano version. It describes a crab that is delicious to eat, but hard to catch because of its snapping pincers.

MAGTANIM AY ‘DI BIRO

Credited to Felipe de Leon, “Magtanim Ay ‘Di Biro” (“Planting Rice is Never Fun”) describes the tedious chore of planting rice. It has been covered by Filipino rock band The Dawn, and former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada even rewrote it into a much more “inspirational” version entitled “Kung Tayo’y Magtatanim” (“If We All Plant Rice”).

O ILAW

A popular example of the traditional Filipino love song genre “kundiman”, this song was made famous by Filipino singer and actor Ruben Tagalog (1920-83). The real title of the song is actually “Aking Bituin” (“My Star”), its current title having been derived from its first two words “o ilaw” (“o light”).

ANG PIPIT

“Ang Pipit” (“The Sparrow”) relates the story a sparrow who falls off the branch its perched on after being stoned by a cruel man. It was co-written by Lucio D. San Pedro (1913-2002) and Levi Celerio (1910-2002). Named National Artist for Music and Literature in 1997, Celerio had composed over 4,000 songs and has even been included in the Guinness Book of World Records for his unusual talent of playing music from a leaf.

SA UGOY NG DUYAN

Another collaboration from Lucio San Pedro and Levi Celerio. “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan” (“The Swing of the Cradle”) is a haunting and nostalgic lullaby expressing the feelings of a child finding tranquil security in the arms of a loving mother.

SA LIBIS NG NAYON

This song describes the beauty and serenity of life in the countryside. It was written by Santiago S. Suarez and popularized by Filipina singer and “Queen of Kundiman” Sylvia la Torre.

BAYAN KO

Written in 1929 by Filipino poet Jose Corazon de Jesus (“Huseng Batute” 1896-1932) and later set to music by Constancio de Guzman (1903-83), “Bayan Ko” (“My Country”) was meant as a patriotic song protesting the American occupation of the Philippines. Since then, it has practically been a second national anthem for freedom-loving Filipinos, a theme song for some of the most momentous events in Philippine history. Its most famous rendition is the one by Filipino folk singer Freddie Aguilar.

It can be said that a country is defined by its folk songs. From this list of Filipino folk songs, we can gather that the people of the Philippines are a humble folk, full not only of mirth but also of deep aspiration. They are also an industrious people, with a love for the simple things in life, as well as a great yearning for peace and national freedom. And of course, the Filipino people are a talented lot, capable of crafting songs that reflect the nature of their beloved country.

16 Most Inspiring Famous Failures

Belem Tower

To succeed in business or life, I came to realize that we must continually take remedial actions. Putting myself on the line day after day can be extremely draining, especially when things do not work out as I desired. Hence, each time I face a disappointing event or undesirable outcome, I NEVER FORGET these famous failures:

1. Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft, has literally changed the work culture of the world in the 21st century, by simplifying the way computer is being used. He happens to be the world’s richest man for the last one decade. However, in the 70’s before starting out, he was a Harvard University dropout. The most ironic part is that, he started a software company (that was soon to become Microsoft) by purchasing the software technology from “someone” for only $US50 back then.

2. Abraham Lincoln, received no more than 5 years of formal education throughout his lifetime. When he grew up, he joined politics and had 12 major failures before he was elected the 16th President of the United States of America.

3. Isaac Newton was the greatest English mathematician of his generation. His work on optics and gravitation made him one of the greatest scientists the world has even known. Many thought that Isaac was born a genius, but he wasn’t! When he was young, he did very poorly in grade school, so poor that his teachers became clueless in improving his grades.

4. Ludwig van Beethoven, a German composer of classical music, is widely regarded as one of history’s supreme composers. His reputation has inspired – and in many cases intimidated – composers, musicians, and audiences who were to come after him. Before the start of his career, Beethoven’s music teacher once said of him “as a composer, he is hopeless”. And during his career, he lost his hearing yet he managed to produce great music – a deaf man composing music, ironic isn’t!

5. Thomas Edison who developed many devices which greatly influenced life in the 20th century. Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, holding 1,093 U.S patents to his name. When he was a boy his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. When he set out on his own, he tried more than 9,000 experiments before he created the first successful light bulb.

6. The Woolworth Company was a retail company that was one of the original five-and-ten-cent stores. The first Woolworth’s store was founded in 1878 by Frank Winfield Woolworth and soon grew to become one of the largest retail chains in the world in the 20th century. Before starting his own business, Woolworth got a job in a dry goods store when he was 21. But his employer would not let him serve any customer because he concluded that Frank “didn’t have enough common sense to serve the customers”.

7. By acclamation, Michael Jordon is the greatest basketball player of all time. A phenomenal athlete with a unique combination of grace, speed, power, artistry, improvisational ability and an unquenchable competitive desire. Jordan single-handedly redefined the NBA superstar. Before joining NBA, Jordan was just an ordinary person, so ordinary that was cut from high school basketball team because of his “lack of skill”.

8. Walter Disney was American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, and animator. One of the most well-known motion picture producers in the world, Disney founded a production company. The corporation, now known as The Walt Disney company, makes average revenue of US $30 billion annually. Disney started his own business from his home garage and his very first cartoon production went bankrupt. During his first press conference, a newspaper editor ridiculed Walt Disney because he had no good ideas in film production.

9. Winston Churchill failed the 6th grade. However, that never stopped him to work harder! He strived and eventually became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Churchill is generally regarded as one of the most important leaders in Britain and world history. In a poll conducted by the BBC in 2002 to identify the “100 Greatest Britons”, participants voted Churchill as the most important of all.

10. Steven Spielberg is an American film director. He has won 3 Academy Awards an ranks among the most successful filmmakers in history. Most of all, Steven was recognized as the financially most successful motion picture director of all time. During his childhood, Spielberg dropped out of junior high school. He was persuaded to come back and was placed in a learning-disabled class. He only lasted a month and then dropped out of school forever.

11. Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist widely regarded as the most important scientist of the 20th century. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1905 and “for his services to Theoretical Physics”. However, when Einstein was young, his parents thought he was mentally retarded. His grades in school were so poor that a teacher asked him to quit, saying, “Einstein, you will never amount to anything!”

12. In 1947, one year into her contract, Marilyn Monroe was dropped by 20th Century-Fox because her producer thought she was unattractive and cannot act. That didn’t deter her at all! She kept on going and eventually she was recognized by the public as the 20th century’s most famous movie star, sex symbol and pop icon.

13. John Grisham‘s first novel was rejected by sixteen agents and twelve publishing houses. He went on writing and writing until he became best known as a novelist and author for his works of modern legal drama. The media has coined him as one of the best novel authors even alive in the 21st century.

14. Henry Ford‘s first two automobile companies failed. That did not stop him from incorporating Ford Motor Company and being the first to apply assembly line manufacturing to the production of affordable automobiles in the world. He not only revolutionized industrial production in the United States and Europe, but also had such influence over the 20th century economy and society. His combination of mass production, high wages and low prices to consumers has initiated a management school known as “Fordism”. He became one of the three most famous and richest men in the world during his time.

15. Soichiro Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation during a job interview as “engineer” after World War Two. He continued to be jobless until his neighbors starting buying his “home-made scooters”. Subsequently, he set out on his own to start his own company. Honda. Today, the Company has grown to become the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer and one of the most profitable automakers – beating giant automaker such as GM and Chrysler. With a global network of 437 subsidiaries, Honda develops, manufactures, and markets a wide variety of products ranging from small general-purpose engines and scooters to specialty sports cars.

16. Akio Morita, founder of giant electric household products, Sony Corporation, first product was an electric rice cooker, only sold 100 cookers (because it burned rice rather than cooking). Today, Sony is generating US$66 billion in revenue and ranked as the world’s 6th largest electronic and electrical company.

Writing Without Rules

Akko old city harbour

How does that work when you have writer's block? Even famous authors can suffer from writer's block. It can be very frustrating when you have a deadline and have to get that essay or report in on time.

What causes writer's block? Think back to your time in English class in school. Your teacher wants you to write an essay about Shakespeare or your thoughts on a particular poem for your homework. This you find boring. As you sit at home with your copy book open on a blank page the clock ticks loudly in the background. It is not happening. There is no enjoyment in the task. Teacher has set certain criteria about what has to be included in the essay, how long the essay should be, specific very important points that need to be expanded on and of course your own opinion. The list is endless and monotonous. The deadline is tomorrow morning first thing.

The stress levels are fairly high now. Where has the fun gone? Many adults have memories from school similar to this one. Now when you sit down to prepare a report or article this memory from your school years is playing in the back of your mind. You may not be aware of it but if you are sitting in front of a blank screen or piece of paper then there is a traumatic memory in there somewhere from your school days.

So what can you do about writer's block? Give this exercise a go before you start. Hold a pen in your non-dominant hand. Hold the palm of your other hand in front of you and draw what you see without looking at the page. Keep your eyes focused on all the creases and undulations of the palm of your hand. This is not about the finished piece of artwork. This is about the process.

You activate the right side of your brain when you draw with your non-dominant hand. This part of your brain is responsible for your creativity. The left side of your brain is you logical and analytical side. This is the side where you can get thought up in all the detail – such as all the points the teacher wanted included in the essay, the length of the essay and all the other 'teachers' rules from you school days.

When you activate the right side of your brain you will release your creativity and the ideas will start to flow. It will be a lot easier to write. Forget all the rules which the English teacher set. The only rule here is there are no rules. Give it a go and have fun writing without rules.

The 4 Stages of the Counseling Process: What Every Youth Counselor Should Know

Trieste from Conconello before sunset. Italy [EXPLORE 28/08/2014]

There is a natural progression that takes place within the context of the helping relationship. This process enables you and the person you are working with to build a relationship, assess the situation, set goals and come up with a plan to bring about your desired results. This progression is known as the counseling process. There are four stages of the counseling process. They are: developing a relationship, making an informed assessment, establishing mutually agreed upon goals and objectives and developing an implementation plan.

Phase 1. Developing A Relationship

In order to develop positive helping relationships with youth, you’ve got to be able to connect with them. This can only happen when youth are made to feel like you genuinely care about their well-being and that you understand where they are coming from. It’s about behaving in a way that demonstrates the core conditions of genuineness, respect and empathy.

To develop solid relationships with youth, you need to create a safe environment where young people will feel comfortable enough to open up to you and talk to you about anything that is on their minds. You also need to help youth see that despite their circumstances they have strengths. In short, you should start things off from a strengths-based perspective.

Questions to Consider When Trying to

Develop A Relationship

· In what ways can you build better relationships with the youth in your program?

· If there are youth who are not actively engaged, what can you do differently to engage them?

· If a youth is resistant, what steps can you take to reduce resistance?

· What worked in the past with resistant youth?

· How do you know when you’ve built a solid relationship with a youth? Could you use these indicators to strengthen your relationships with other youth?

Phase 2. Making An Informed Assessment

An informed assessment happens when both you and the youth gather information in order to figure out what’s “really” going on so that you can assess what needs to happen next in order to change the situation for the better or build up the youth’s coping skills to better deal with a problematic situation. The first step in making an assessment is to find out if change is necessary, and if it is what needs to happen for change to take place. If you have determined that change is necessary, then the next step is to figure out what needs to change. Is it a behavior? An attitude? A situation?

A good assessment can provide an opportunity for a young person to see how his/her behavior or attitude might be contributing to an undesirable or unhealthy situation. Assessment is an ongoing process. You need to regularly check in with your youth to see how things are going. Reassessments enable you to ensure that you and the youth are on the right track.

How do you gather information in order to make an informed assessment? You can gather information in a number of ways: talking with youth, observing the youth’s behavior and interactions, discussions with other people who are involved in the young person’s life, and reading any documented information on the young person. Keep in mind that when utilizing someone else’s verbal or written report as a source of background information, you run the risk of subjecting yourself to their biases and assumptions.

Points to Keep In Mind When Making An Assessment

· Be aware of your biases and how they impact on the assessments you make.

· Involve youth in the assessment process.

· Don’t rely on one single source to make an assessment, gather as much information as you can from a variety of sources.

· Don’t automatically label a behavior as dysfunctional because you don’t understand it, or it is not germane to your culture.

· Make sure to point out a young person’s strengths even when addressing problematic behavior.

Phase 3. Establishing Mutually Agreed Upon Goals and Objectives

Why is it important to establish “mutually agreed” upon goals and objectives? Because if a young person is in agreement with the goals then he/she is more likely to follow through on them. When a youth is actively involved in the goal setting process and is in agreement with the goals, then he/she is more inclined to take ownership of the goals. What are goals? Goals are broad statements that identify what you want to accomplish. Think of goals as the end result that you are trying to achieve. While goals are broad statements that identify what you want to accomplish overall, objectives are the measurable steps that you take to achieve your goals. For example if you have a goal that states, “youth will be better able to manage her anger.” One of your objectives might be, “youth will recognize emotional triggers that lead to angry outbursts and use positive, self-talk to calm herself down.” Your objectives should always be concrete and measurable. They should also be derived from the overall goal.

Questions to Consider When Developing

Goals and Objectives

· What do you and the young person want to achieve?

· How are you going to achieve it?

· When do you want to achieve your stated goal?

· What obstacles do you anticipate?

· How will you address these obstacles?

· How will you use to measure and monitor progress?

· Are your goals realistic?

Phase 4. Implementation Plan

The implementation plan is a plan that you and the youth work on together. It is designed to prevent, intervene, or address unhealthy behaviors and practices. The implementation plan identifies who will perform the activities, where the activities will occur, how frequently they will occur, how they will be carried out and when they will be carried out. Implementation activities are designed to help individuals re-think risky behavior, work through problematic issues, address unhealthy lifestyles practices, learn new skills and build strengths. Implementation activities can include: counseling, crisis intervention, training and education, supportive services, concrete services and constructive use of free time.

As you can see, each stage of the counseling process builds upon the former. As you move through each stage, you will come to realize that it takes patience and practice to counsel youth effectively, but if you are committed to the goal you’ll do just fine. You may not feel completely confident in your ability as a counselor, but as you expand your knowledge base, gain more experience and strengthen your helping skills, you will become a more effective counselor.

Copyright © 2006 by Cassandra Mack

Excerpted from Cassandra Mack’s book, “Smart Moves That Successful Youth Workers Make”

Asian Gambling Basics

Lone Tree, Snowdonia

Gambling became popular in China in the last phase of the imperial dynasty i.e. from 1644 to 1912. Canton, Macao, Shanghai and Hong Kong became the famous for their liquor and gambling. These areas inhabited foreigners, usually Americans, who were known to be rough. Moreover, majority of these inhabitants were males. Chinese natives indulged in gambling along with the foreigners.

Famous gambling games in China include Mah Jongg and Pai Gow.

Pia Gow consists of a bank having one woodpile. The banking duties are entrusted to one of the players. Other players are given four tiles of the woodpile, which they have to group in pairs of two such that the player’s pair should have a greater value than the bank. If the player succeeds then he wins the bet. A lot of money can exchange hands over this game.

Mah Jongg, meaning ‘sparrow’ is an ancient game which was developed primarily for the rich class of China. The game is said to have been invented by a fisherman to prevent sea sickness. It is said that the fisherman invented this game to distract the other fishermen from the surroundings, so that they do not feel sea sick in the middle of the sea. Later, a Chinese general heard of the game and engaged his soldiers in it at night to prevent them from falling asleep. The game underwent a lot of variations and every region called it with a different name. Finally, the game was standardized in early 1990s. the game consists of 136 to 144 tiles depending on the whether the players choose to play with flowers or seasons. The play resembles rummy except for the fact that the game is played with tiles. The game also uses a pair of dice and chips to keep the score. It requires four players, the aim of each being to obtain a set of tiles. The set types that are permitted are “kong”, “pung” and “chow”. A complete hand contains four sets and a pair of similar tiles. The fist one to have this combination of fourteen tiles wins.

Another game is Sci Bo, meaning ‘two dice’. This game is a betting game with players betting on the total of their dice. It is played with three dice. The bets include small bets that is the total may fall; between the range of four to ten, or big bets i.e. the total may fall between eleven to seventeen. The players shake the dice in a cup and keep the cup upside down with the dice hidden in the cup. Wagers are then made on the outcome. The player guessing the total can earn hugs sums. It is rumored that skilful players can predict the total by hearing the clanking of dice in the cup. In casinos the entire game is mechanized. Bets are placed on the number marked on the table. The dice are then shaken using a vibrating platform. The results are displayed on a screen. Other famous gambling games include Keno and Pachinko.

Despite the popularity of these gambling games, not all Chinese states are ready to legalize it. While Macao has legalized gambling, Shanghai carries it on illegally. In Hong Kong, only horse raising is legalized and The Hong Kong Jockey Club earns huge revenue.

Good Guitar Chords For A Love Song – How to Write a Love Song On Guitar

Crypt of San Minato al Monte - Florence

If you are looking for good guitar chords for a love song then I would certainly suggest using minor chords somewhere in the progression because minor chords tend to set the correct tone, however it isn’t completely necessary.

Let’s take look at 2 very popular love songs and see why. Bryan Adams has written 2 hit songs, ‘Heaven’ and ‘Everything I do’. Now if you were to ask me, I would say that both these songs would have strong minor chords, but surprisingly only one of them does, and the thing is that the song I would have put money on being mainly minor chords, ‘Everything I do’ actually only has 1 minor chord.

‘Everything I Do’ has only 4 chords – A, D, G and Em so it’s the melody of the vocals and lyric that provides the strong love song element to the piece. It’s a great song to play just on acoustic guitar because of the simplicity of the song but you can also play it on electric guitar and it will still sound quite good.

‘Heaven’ again has very a very strong vocal arrangement with emotional lyrics and is more of a rock ballad than ‘Everything I do.’ The guitar chord sequence has 2 minor chords and are as follows – Am, Dm, C, F, G. Again it’s a nice song to play just on acoustic guitar but the chorus does lend itself to power chords so if you want to play it you may need to change the arrangement slightly.

If you are trying to write your own love song then I suggest firstly using chords that have already been laid down for you and then adapting the chord sequence to fit your song. So think about a classic love song that you like or why not try using the chords the chords from either of the two songs we have looked at in this article? Try not to use too many cliches in your lyrics as you’ll find that your song is less appealing, so do your best to come up with some original lines.

Online Writing Contest – Competition Tips – How to Win Every Contest You Enter

Arcobaleno / Rainbow

So you’ve stumbled across an online writing competition / contest, or perhaps your favourite brand of cereal is offering you a chance to win a holiday around the world. All you have to do is tell them in 25 words or less why you want it. And you want to win, right?

Well believe it or not there are a small number of easy steps you can take to dramatically increase the odds in your favor. And here they are, free of charge just because I’m such a nice guy…

No Sob Stories!

This tip goes first on the list, because it is the most important. For some reason the first thing that seems to come to people’s minds with these contests and competitions is “how can I get them to pity me?” It sounds like a great plan as an entrant, but speaking from personal experience as a judge in these contests, I can tell you that it’s a complete turnoff.

Nonetheless people will try ever trick in the book…

We can’t pay the rent… our house burnt down… everybody in my family has cancer… I need 16 operations so that my dog stops being depressed and I can have my leg re-attached then pay the rent and burn the house down… well you get the point.

Let me make it very clear – this tactic does not work, even if you are telling the truth, because:

1. Judges can’t verify your claims, so anyone can make up any story they like.

2. After a while these entries become so numerous and laborious that they don’t stand out.

All that you will do is send the judge into a depression spiral. More to the point, you will end up highlighting your competitors’ entries because theirs are more enjoyable to read.

Be Creative and Make it Fun to Read

Depending on the number of entrants, judges can often have a lot of text to read. As their head slumps closer and closer to the desk and the coffee starts to wear off, your entry is going to need to have something special about it to get noticed. The best thing you can do is get creative. And I mean really thinking outside of the box (if you are thinking poetry right now, you are not thinking hard enough).

My advice to you here is simple. If you come up with something different and make it really stand out, and MAKE IT FUNNY, you will win. When I hear a fellow judge burst out into laughter at his or her desk, 9 times out of 10 he or she is reading the winner. I can usually even tell which entry they are reading because I had the same reaction when I first read it.

If you can manufacture a reaction like this, chances are you are on a winner. I suggest using your friends and family as test dummies here. If they end up in a ball rolling around the floor you’ve done your job. If the best you get is “not bad”, “(chuckle) very good” or even “looks good to me”, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

Now that’s not to say every winner will be comical or humorous, but your entry needs to stand out as somehow being impressive or interesting.

Stick to the Rules and Stay on Topic

If I had a penny for every time a “words or less” entry broke the rules, I would currently be Bahamas and you would be on your own with this one. Take the time to read the rules, terms and conditions before entering. And if you are provided with a quick-start guide to entering a competition, read it over at least 3 times and make sure you take the advice onboard.

In general, you should always:

· Stay within the word limit

· Write in direct response to the competition’s question or topic (really important!)

· Avoid coarse language

· Submit your entry in the language requested

Short, Sharp, Shiny

Just because you are allowed to use 25 words doesn’t mean you should. If your entry says what you want it to say, don’t fill up the rest of your word limit by repeating yourself or adding useless details. All you end up doing is diluting your message.

Polish It!

So it took you 5 minutes (or maybe 2 days) to create your entry. Would another 5 minutes of proofreading kill you? No, of course not, but it will definitely help you win. Check your grammar, check your punctuation, check your capitalization and check your spelling. Presentation makes your entry easier to read, and will greatly improve your chances.

Submit It

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But how many times have you seen a competition you would like to enter, only to let the due date slip by? As the saying goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it. And if you use the advice I’ve just given you, your chances of coming out on top will greatly improve.

So what are you waiting for?

Famous Theme Parks in Florida

Sissinghurst Castle and Garden - The Famous White Garden

Florida is known world-wide as a fun vacationland. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting the Orlando / Kissimmee area, here's whats waiting for you.

Walt Disney World, which includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and the Disney-MGM Studios. The Magic Kingdom is the king of theme parks, divided into seven distinct areas, and is known as 'The Happiest Place on Earth' by every kid from three to 103. It draws more visitors than any other theme park in the world. Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is like taking a vacation to the best sights in 11 different countries, as well as being able to participate in interactive presentations and view the latest in cutting-edge technology. Epcot is divided into two parks – Future World, which focuses on science andventions, and technology from both the past and the future, and The World Showcase, which features a variety of countries celebrating their culture, history and cuisine. The Animal Kingdom is a vast assortment of more than 1,000 animals in a beautiful 500-acre park that transports visitors to exotic locales and leaves them with a renewed respect for our Earth and its habitants.

Disney-MGM Studios is a creative theme park devoted to bringing the magic of movies, television, radio and Broadway plays to life in an educational and fun environment.

Universal Studios Florida is creative, highly energetic, action park. This is a place where you can totally immerse yourself in the land of movies and television. You can go on exciting thrill rides or go behind the scenes or jump right into the action of some of your favorite films. The City Walk area is Universal's shopping and dining complex – with everything from rock concerts and jazz to gourmet dining or causal fare.

Islands of Adventure is a high-tech theme park that is especially popular with families with small children and teens. Do battle with comic book heroes defy gravity, ride the white water rapids, and experience the world's first inverted, dual roller coaster. Islands of Adventure is five adventure parks in one, from Marvel Superhero Island to Toon Lagoon, there is a different ride for young and old – something for just about everyone to enjoy.

SeaWorld Orlando is a marine-world adventure park with amazing animal encounters, world-class shows and thrilling rides. Guests can explore the mysteries of the sea and interact with marine life, or experience new state-of-the-art water rides with special effects. Nine restaurants are available at SeaWorld, ranging from full-service to cafeteria-style. Rides and Attractions include shows and animal attractions, thrill rides, and other special attractions like the kids' play area with a splashy water maze and slippery slides. The Shamu Adventure, hosted by Jack Hanna, is one of the most famous animal attractions ever presented. It has trains and killer whales performing astounding feats with dazzling theatrical effects to a rock 'n' roll beat. The Odyssea is a 30-minute show that transports guests to the depths of the ocean. Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island is SeaWorld's comical tale of pirate adventures, along with help from Clyde the sea lion. Blue Horizons is a show with acrobatic dolphins. Other wonderful animal encounters include Penguin Encounter, Tropical Rain Forest, Dolphin Cove, Turtle Point and Manatee Rescue. SeaWorld is also home to the fastest, longest, tallest and only floorless roller coaster in the region. Journey to Atlantis combines a roller coaster / water ride with dazzling special effects. Wild Arctic is a motion-based, jet helicopter flight to a remote research station on the Arctic where you come face to face with real beluga whales, walruses and two polar bears named Klondike and Snow.

The Holy Land Experience takes you back 3000 years to the land of the Bible. It is an educational, inspirational, theatrical and historical presentation. It authentically recreates the city of Jerusalem and its religious importance between the years 1450 BC and AD 66 with sights, sounds and tastes. There are several indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities recreating the time when Jesus lived. Attractions include the Scriptorium museum, built in fourth-century Byzantine architectural style, houses the finest private collection of authentic biblical artifacts and antiquities in the world. Inside are ancient cuneiform, scrolls, manuscripts and Bibles – many of which are extremely rare or the only known copies in existence. Each treasured piece is exhibited in the historical and geological environment out of which it came. Exhibits include an exact replica of the Garden Tomb where the body of Jesus Christ was buried. A massive archway is the grand entrance to the Plaza of Nations, which houses the imposing Temple of the Great King, a place held in the highest reverence among the Jewish people. There are also a lot of fun activities for children at the Oasis Outpost, including a 25-foot climbing wall or you can dig for artifacts in a sandy desert.

There are a lot of wonderful places to see in Florida, so make sure Orlando is part of your itinerary.

The Purpose of the Science Fiction Novel

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Where fantasy goes into uncharted territory, the kind of story that could not exist, science fiction, a term made famous by the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein, goes into charted territory. Let's make sense of that last statement: Science fiction is based on truths, questions of reality, and questions of survival. Its purpose is to go where other fiction can not. Unlike horror, it tells something far more dangerous because it could happen. Unlike mystery, there is not always someone at the other end of the gun, maybe "something" instead. Like mainstream work, it proposes fascinating philosophies on mankind in the past, present, and future.

When reporters talked of space stations maybe they were onto something. When Star Trek characters could talk to each other on small, hand-held phones, most thought it was too good to be true. Now we have cell phones, computers that can talk, computers that can think in some ways, and a variety of other ideas that were often suggested in science fiction.

But the science fiction novel has its own place outside of the realm of Star Trek and Star Wars. For one, the legend must be created in words, not film or TV images. Second, the writers behind it are often as much philosophers as authors. Lastly, science fiction is its own frontier, a place for free thinking.

The thesis for all this would be that the science fiction novel engages a reader in a "This is how it could happen." The purpose is, as in all writing, to say something different. Long before "War of the Worlds" and even longer before Star Trek and Star Wars, people looked to the skies with hope, emboldening their legends with all kinds of flying creatures-angels, demons, sometimes aliens-who could do things they could not . That is exactly the purpose of the modern science fiction novel-it says we, the human race, can do something that right now we can not.

The final purpose of the science fiction novel is always to make a mark on society. Star Trek could only go so far. When one looks at a science fiction novel, however, sometimes it seemsingly is a race to the finish instead of a treat on life in the future. Something is always happening; it happens fast. Take Philip K. Dick, for example, who once wrote 11 novels in 2 years (he used various drugs, much like Hunter Thompson, to improve writing speed). However, there is nothing superficial about the science fiction novel. This is because even films have a hard time capturing the legion of ideas presented in the classics, like "The Man In the High Castle," Philip K. Dick's best novel. If any film does capture the purpose of science fiction, it's "Blade Runner," considered to be one of the best films of all time, based on the Philip K. Dick story "Do Andods Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Where it can be hard to pin down the modern science fiction novel, it can easily be seen that writing one can be a lucid ride into the unexplored. One of the best in recent memory is "Hyperion," a science fiction novel that won the famous Hugo award. Here, Simmons explored what is real, much like Philip K. Dick, and did it as though he was poet, forming a tale of seven pilgrims to a far away world, much like "The Canterbury Tales."

Some of the finest novels of the 20th century were labeled "junk" because they explored taboo subjects or had sexually revealing covers. Without the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and the hundreds of other talents, maybe there would have been no Star Trek, Star Wars, or Battlestar Galactica. Without the junk science fiction novel bought for a nickel in the 1940s and 50s maybe mankind would never have dreamed of stepping on the moon in the 1960s.