Tag: funny

Top 10 Best, Popular and Famous Highly Paying Affiliate Programs

Autumn in Grasmere

Affiliation is an automated and robotized marketing program where an online website advertiser, merchant or entrepreneur engage webmasters (the person who keeps a specific website) to place their banners ads or buttons on their blog or websites. Webmasters will receive a referral fee or commission from sales when the customer has clicked the affiliate link to get to the merchant’s website to perform the desired action.

Generally, make a purchase or fill out a contact form, desired action varies from merchant to merchant and according to their offers or promotions. In other words, we can say that, it’s an online business center for thousands of affiliate programs on the web. Now a days, affiliate marketing has become a multi-billion dollar industry and it’s the best way to monetize your blog or website. All the affiliate networks system have their own tracking, reporting, and payment system.

Affiliate programs or associate programs is an agreement between an advertiser and a webmasters, if a company or organization has generated, produced or designed a product and they are promoting and trading it via your website then you can also generate extra income by inviting your website visitors to promote it in exchange for a commission.

Moreover, if you are monetizing your website or blog with the absolute affiliate program then it can make a lot of money with a slight effort. For this, you need a healthy, bountiful and rich content website with a handsome amount of targeted traffic.Advertisers finance in affiliate programs for initiation of consumer interest or inquiry into their products or services of a business, it is also called lead generation. Different advertisers provide different kinds of affiliate programs. All affiliate plans do not work in the same way or pay the same rates. If you join a search engine affiliate program you most likely will be placing text links or banners to their advertisers and you’ll work on a pay-per-click fee. Similarly, some of others allow you to set up a shopping or store page that offers products related to the content of your website.

Basically, in association of any affiliate merchant means you are paid a commission per sale on the advertiser’s website and pay-per-click affiliate programs reward the minimum amount, as affiliates are usually paid per thousand clicks (CPC).

There are lots of other affiliate marketing programs than the ones that have been mentioned below, but these are the ones that are extremely successful and has been short listed on the behalf of advertiser’s worth and valuation, Alexa traffic rank, user experience and off course visitor’s strength.

1- CJ Affiliate by Conversant (Commission Junction) – Since 1998

  1. Alexa Rank: 5,645
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: $50, $100 (Direct Deposit, Check)
  3. Payment Method: Check, Direct Deposit
  4. Programs Offered: CPA, CPL, CPS, CPC
  5. Referral Program: No

CJ Affiliate by Conversant is an extensive, largest and highly paying affiliate marketing network in North America, it operates globally. CJ Affiliate is one of the oldest advertising company that is why it is preferred affiliate network of more than 500 companies and major online stores on the internet. I will recommend it personally because it has unmatched hub of advertisers, beautiful and easy to understand user interface, unworried payment system and the customer support that we cannot find anywhere.

CJ Affiliate has a very large variety of products to promote and merchants (advertisers) frequently pay high amount of commission rates for CJ publishers when we compare to other marketing affiliate companies or even their personal in-house affiliate program.

CJ Affiliate Network is free to join and you can simply sign in to CJ Account Manager once your application is approved and apply to different affiliate programs. Some of the advertisers approve publishers immediately while others approve manually after reviewing your account/website. But you need to link a quality website with healthy and rich content to get approval for individual affiliate programs.

2- ShareASale – Since 2000

  1. Alexa Rank: 1,008
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: $50
  3. Payment Method: Check, Direct Deposit
  4. Programs Offered: CPA, CPL, CPS, CPC
  5. Referral Program: Yes

ShareASale is another popular and most accepted affiliate network with a large amount of product choices. It has collected an excellent ratings, with the company’s outstanding persona, safety, morality, customer service, and ease of commission payment receiving glowing reviews. In fact, it is the well-known affiliate marketing company with over 3,900 merchant programs and more than 40 different categories. There are lots of other affiliate programs on the internet that are very distinctive to ShareASale.

ShareASale also provides you an extra feature that you can add products to your “basket”. It means, you can keep all information about specific merchants or products that you’d like to apply for, review, or export later on.

If someone is unfitted or failed to find an appropriate advertiser on CJ then most apparently it will be here at ShareASale. Moreover, to get start joint affiliate program with ShareASale is not complicated. There are couple of important and easy steps to get started. Essentially, you have to verify that you own your website before you can join any of them, which involves placing a key code in your website’s header tag.

3- Rakuten Affiliate Network (LinkShare) – Since 1996

  1. Alexa Rank: 2,138
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: $50
  3. Payment Method: Check, Direct Deposit, PayPal
  4. Programs Offered: CPA, CPL, CPS, CPC
  5. Referral Program: No

According to writers and online surveys, Rakuten Affiliate Network Company has been declared and listed in one of the largest affiliate network, with over 10 million affiliate partnerships. Rakuten Affiliate (LinkShare) took the number one spot in the 2012 Affiliate Networks because of platform stability, support quality and ability to spread all around the world with more than 4,000 affiliate programs which allows you to manage your own program using the company’s various service and support options.

Rakuten is not the quickest to sign-up or the simplest to navigate, but there’s a lot of helpful guidance as you go. You have to sign-up with each separate advertiser before you can boost their products. This reveals that quality is important here.

Rakuten Affiliate has a lot of physical products to promote, including some big-brands. They provide access to thousands of publishers recruited daily worldwide. Search by product category, traffic, consumer geography and other criteria significant and relevant to your online affiliate campaign. They provide patented tracking technology, easy tools to upload ad links, coupon links or product feeds and reliable online payment options.

4- AWIN.com (Affiliate Window) – Since 2000

  1. Alexa Rank: 17,848
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: $20/£20
  3. Payment Method: Check, Direct Deposit, Wire Transfer
  4. Programs Offered: CPA, CPL, CPS, CPC
  5. Referral Program: Yes

AWIN.com, Affiliate Window is one of the best affiliate network in Europe and prominently increasing around the globe with over 2,100 advertiser and 75,000 publisher respectively. It provides instance access to nearly 77 sectors in 11 territories. This affiliate program is at the top because of its unique traffic light system which is providing visibility on payments, low threshold payments available in multiple currencies twice a month, simple user-friendly platform, interface with real-time reporting.

In 2013, UK buyers made 150M purchases via affiliate websites. Monetize your website and join the thousands of bloggers by adopting affiliate marketing as a way of monetizing your website in an intelligent and excellent way.

Affiliate Window is incredible to work with because this affiliate program understand that independent publishers have different demands and will work with the advertiser and publisher to ensure the program works for both. It has dedicated publisher services team with sector specialists, access to more than half of the UK’s biggest brands* (as listed by IMRG 2013 survey), live chat support and multiple range of tools to create links.

5- Click Bank – Since 1998

  1. Alexa Rank: 3,414
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: $10
  3. Payment Method: Check, Direct Deposit, Wire Transfer
  4. Sell Products: Globally
  5. Referral Program: Yes

Click bank a well-known affiliate network and has a huge statistics with 200 million customers, it features over 6 million digital products, such as e-books, software and membership sites. With their network of 500,000 digital marketing experts in over 190 countries, digital product will reach customers around the world. They help you to set commissions that maximize the network of digital marketers promoting your offers and together watch your sales grow. Click Bank has delivered lifestyle products to customers around the globe.

After joining Click Bank affiliate program, you can get up to 75% commission on all sales. Find particular informational lifestyle products with just one click, obtain advice on any topic, immediately access products and there is no need to wait.

ClickBank sells lifestyle products that are produced by fervent entrepreneurs. Their products give innovation and instruction on topics ranging from training the family dog and Paleo cooking recipes to workouts to become a better surfer. With each click and every sale, their products improve the lives of customers around the world. They stand behind the products and strive to deliver unparalleled customer satisfaction.

6- Zanox – Since 2000

  1. Alexa Rank: 9,099
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: €25
  3. Payment Method: Check, Direct Deposit, Wire Transfer
  4. Programs Offered: CPA, CPL, CPS, CPC
  5. Referral Program: No

Perhaps the largest European network and a partner of Affiliate Window and eprofessional, zanox supports more than 4,300 international advertisers in the successful marketing of products and services on the internet. However, it is not very much familiar with USA but has a growing terrific reputation gradually. Globally, more than 700 people work for zanox and its partner companies. Moreover, zanox champions the establishment of international quality standards with its own Code of Conduct for all participants in the network.

Affiliate networks becomes important when they have an exclusive relationship with a brand. The most famous handmade marketplace Etsy.com’s affiliate program is powered by Zanox. So you will need a Zanox publisher account to become an affiliate of Etsy.

Simply, display ads on your website and earn money for generating sales and leads. You gain maximum reach via Zanox global publisher network with a wide variety of publisher models. You will be given maximum benefit from their global network of high-quality brands and attractive promotions and their statistics enable you to track and improve your performance. They also provide great importance to trust, network quality and transparency.

7- Affiliate.com – Since 2008

  1. Alexa Rank: 465,669
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: $100
  3. Payment Method: Check, Wire, ACH, PayPal
  4. Programs Offered: CPA, CPL, CPS
  5. Referral Program: Yes

Affiliate.com only works with top and high quality affiliates and provide some of the most sought after campaigns across various verticals, including campaigns for more than 100 different countries. They provide world class affiliate support, whether you are looking for a particular offer or are in need of a fresh new creative, their affiliate managers are your number one resource for helping you to generate the highest level of revenue. Lots of other affiliate networks suffer from disconnection, not so from this network.

Affiliate.com oblige anyone from beginner level to advanced affiliates. They have a very helpful staff that take each case on an individual basis. So, if you do not have much experience yet you should probably be best to try one of the other networks first.

Affiliate.com network declares more than 2,000 live campaigns in different categories, so there is definitely a large selection to choose from. To become a part of Affiliate.com you have to fill out an affiliate application form, your application will be reviewed within 2 business days. You’ll get a call to confirm all of your information and be assigned to an affiliate manager. They also offer domain parking and redirect monetization services.

8- Vig Link – Since 2009

  1. Alexa Rank: 9,959
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: $10
  3. Payment Method: PayPal
  4. Programs Offered: CPA, CPL, CPS, CPC
  5. Referral Program: Yes

It is very much similar to Skimlinks, complete the sign up process and then simply add one line of code to your website or blog and VigLink will automatically turns existing links on your pages into revenue generating links. VigLink can also insert new links on relevant terms and phrases to capture purchase purpose. You can also earn from purchase intent created in your app, the content created and shared over mobile apps drives purchase. VigLink’s Rest API opens up a new revenue stream for publishers by allowing them to earn from this created purchase intent.

VigLink manages a publisher network of over 2 million sites and apps, as well as an advertiser network of over 50,000 brands and merchants. It is also backed by top investors including Google Ventures, Emergence Capital, and RRE.

VigLink believes that it links out every feasibility so what seems to be a simple and normal link to you can be turned into a monetizing affiliated link with them. It takes a 25% cut of the affiliate commissions generated from your website or blog. You get 35% of what they earn for a year from your referral. Moreover, VigLink identifies commercial products mentioned within content and links them to destinations determined in real-time, advertiser-bid auctions.

9- Valuleads – Since 2009

  1. Alexa Rank: 996,763
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: $50
  3. Payment Method: PayPal, Pay Check, ACH (Direct)
  4. Programs Offered: CPA, CPL, CPS
  5. Referral Program: Yes

ValuLeads is an energetic and widely growing, achievement based advertising agency founded in 2009. Their basic goal as a team is to provide the best value possible to every organization they work with. ValuLeads understand that each client, whether advertiser or publisher, has different needs and wishes. Therefore, they work with their customers on a one-on-one basis to create a completely customized system or campaign designed to maximize value and results. ValuLeads is committed to getting the top payout for each and every campaign.

At ValuLeads, every publisher in the network is distributes as though it were their most important customer. No matter, what the size of your campaign, they will always provide you the best possible support and guide you through all the ups and downs.

They also offer on-time payments, as well as flexible payment options and provide weekly payments (for qualified publishers). At ValuLeads dedicated experts and quality service continues from 8 A.M until 12 A.M, seven days a week. Fill out an application to set up a free consultation an affiliate manager will call you to discuss what offers to run, and how to work together to make you some money. They also offer referral program.

10- JV Zoo – Since 2009

  1. Alexa Rank: 3,517
  2. Minimum Payment Amount: $50
  3. Payment Method: PayPal, Stripe or Authorize.net
  4. Programs Offered: CPA, CPL, CPS
  5. Referral Program: Yes

It is free to become an affiliate at JVZoo. It provides one affiliate link and instant access for all products in a sales funnel. JVZoo having little resemblance to ClickBank. Because, it’s a network for affiliates and sellers based around digital products. It’s easy to manage, just like with ClickBank, you can check out the marketplace to get an idea of the products you could promote before you have even signed up. After joining, you can have access to the JVZoo Affiliate Product Library, which contains products from a wide variety of categories.

Their affiliate product library gives you up to the minute conversion and EPC details for all products. Know what you can expect from a promotion by seeing network wide performance data. When you promote a vendor’s product, you are automatically cookied for all of that vendor’s products.

As an affiliate, see exactly how your campaigns are accomplish in real time. You can even generate multiple trackers for the matching product, using our Tracking ID System. You can keep an eye on your campaigns with an instant sales notifications. Notices are sent to your email’s inbox each time an affiliate sale is made. Vendors deal directly with buyers, so there is no need to provide customer support for people that purchase from your affiliate links.

Note: “Commission rates, payment method, offered programs and referral programs may change according to affiliate marketers new promotions and policies. Also, Alexa Ranking will not be consistent it keeps on changing with the variation of your traffic performance.”

Famous People With Asperger’s Syndrome

The pond

Recently, some researchers, in particular, Simon Baron-Kohen and John James, suggested that such well-known personalities from the past, as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton had Asperger’s syndrome. Scientists say that they showed some tendencies of the syndrome in their behavior, such as an intense interest in one topic, or social problems. One of the chapters of this Gillberg’s book is devoted to this theme, including a detailed case analysis of the situation with philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein with the conclusion that the person meets the criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome. Naturally, the absence of diagnosis during life does not mean that there was nothing to diagnose, especially if we bear in mind that while there was no widespread knowledge about the syndrome (as often happens with Asperger’s syndrome, which recently has been widely recognized in psychiatric circles). However, such post-mortem diagnosis remains controversial.

Arguments in favor of the alleged autism spectrum disorders in famous personalities vary from person to person. Some of them argue that in the case of Albert Einstein (one of the most frequently cited suspected autistic), he learned to talk late, was a lonely kid, organized violent tantrums, silently repeated the previously pronounced sentence, and needed his wives to play the role of parents when he was an adult – the stereotypical factors for autistic individuals. Isaac Newton stuttered and suffered from epilepsy. Many of these alleged historical cases of Asperger’s syndrome can be quite soft (not expressed), but some skeptics argue that in these cases only some features of autism can be seen, and they are not enough to diagnose autism spectrum. In the end, many critics of historical diagnosis claim that it is simply impossible to diagnose the dead, and therefore nothing can be said with certainty about historic individuals with (or withour) Asperger’s syndrome.

All of these assumptions may be just an attempt to create a pattern of behavior (role model, an object for imitation) for people with autism, and demonstrate that they can do constructive things, and make a contribution to society. Such a presumptive diagnosis is often used by activists for the rights of people with autism to show that the treatment of autism would be a loss to society. But others in the organizations for the rights of autistic people do not like these arguments because they feel that people with autism have to appreciate their uniqueness even if they do not want to be healed, regardless of whether people like Einstein were autistic.

Some features of appearance and facts of activity indicate that John Carmack is also a man with AS, or he has other unusual personality type of a similar nature.

Possible causes and origins of Asperger’s syndrome is hotly debated and controversial topic. The majority opinion today is that the causes of Asperger’s syndrome are the same as autism’s. Some researchers, however, disagree and argue that the Asperger syndrome and autism are lead by two different things. All this occurs during the ongoing wider debate about whether Asperger’s syndrome and other conditions (such as attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity disorder – ADHD) are the part of the so-called autism spectrum.

Among many competing theories about the causes of autism (and, therefore, as many believe – Asperger’s Syndrome) – theory of non-complete connection, developed by researchers of cognition at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, the theory of marginal male brain of Simon Baron-Kohena, the theory of pre-working, theory of social structure and genetics.

Some theorists give more arguments in favor of Asperger’s syndrome than autism. Sometimes they argument that some specific theories play a greater role in Asperger’s syndrome, for example, theory of social structure and genetics. However, this is the area of considerable controversy.

What Is SEO? A Brief Introduction

The Stunning Queen Sabine

When you use Google (or any other search engine) to search for a term, have you ever wondered how the websites in the first search results page got there, when there are probably thousands of other competitive websites that match your search term? Well, the answer to that question is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Those first few websites had better SEO than their competitors. So, what is SEO? Simply, it is a marketing strategy used to increase the ranking of a website in search engines.

Some of those websites (such as Wikipedia, Facebook and Microsoft) got to the first search results page without much help from SEO because, their brand names are sufficient to get them listed in the first page. The other websites rely on SEO to get them to the first or second search results page. You may wonder why SEO is so important. Well, users rarely go beyond the first few search result pages when searching for a term. When was the last time you clicked on the fifteenth search results page?

SEO can be done in many ways. The main (and effective) SEO methods are the following:

1) SEO titles, headers and URL addresses

2) Back-linking

3) Writing SEO content

4) The use of multimedia

5) Regular updates

This article will briefly touch on each of these SEO techniques. Each of these techniques will be described in detail in subsequent articles.

SEO titles, headers and URL addresses

The title of a webpage is different from its heading. The title is displayed on the 'tab' of that webpage while the header is displayed in the webpage itself. When you enter a search term (known as the keyword), the search engine tries to find websites whose title, heading and URL address matches the given keyword. If the title, heading or the URL address of a website matches your keyword, then that website is given a higher ranking than others. For example, if the keyword you entered is "phoenix", a website having the URL address: "http://www.phoenix.com" is given a higher ranking than a website having the URL address: "http: // www .mystical_birds.com ".

Back-linking

When you visit a website, you will usually see several hyperlinks linking that website to other websites. These links are known as back-links. Wikipedia is a good example for back-links. All the reference websites are listed at the bottom of a Wikipedia article. These hyperlinks (at the bottom of an article) are back-links of the relevant reference websites. Back-links help to increase the ranking of a website. Generally, the more back-links a website has, the higher its ranking.

Writing SEO content

Search engines try to match the entered keyword with the content of websites. For example, if your keyword is "golf player", the search engine will search for articles having the term "golf player". However, there will be millions of articles having the term "golf player" in them. The search engine will rank these articles according to the "keyword density" of the articles. Keyword density is calculated by dividing the number of keywords in the article by the total number of words and then multiplying the result by 100.

For example, if a hundred-worded article has the keyword "golf player" repeated twice in it, the article has a keyword density of 2%. Articles having a keyword density of 0.5-2% are generally given the highest ranking.

The use of multimedia

Everyone prefers graphical websites, compared to plain-text websites. The major search engines know this and therefore; they give websites containing multimedia (graphics, videos and flash applications) a higher ranking than other websites.

Regular updates

People have an unquenchable threshold for new information and facts. The major search engines address this need by giving the websites which are regularly updated a higher ranking than other websites.

We hope that we answered your question "What is SEO?" satisfactorily through this article.

Writers Learning to Learn

The pond

Software like Photoshop, Excel, and Scrivener are great, but they can also be intimidating. Have you ever paid for a program and never use it? Learning something new can be scary. Many programs have help files, but often that’s not enough. Reading something and learning it are two different things. There are three types of learning. They are audio, visual, and hands-on. In this article, I will use Scrivener as my example.

When considering this software, I looked at the Scrivener website and studied the overviews and features section. Impressed enough to make the purchase and read the written tutorial, I was quickly overwhelmed. Note, at this point, I was only looking at buttons and icons.

Next, I went to Facebook and found a group called Scrivener Users. I prefer to hear from those who use the software, as opposed to those trying to sell me something. One advantage was now I could ask questions. Many people kept referring to the book Scrivener for… by Gwen Hernandez, so I purchased that. The book was excellent. Occasionally, I would click on an icon to verify the features listed underneath.

Being a photographer for 40+ years, I relate to all things visual. Therefore, the next logical step was YouTube. Although they had dozens of tutorials most felt like a synopsis, a summary if you will.

I liked being able to see and hear what I was learning. But, I wanted to watch without being dependent on the internet. What I found was a website called udemy.com, which had several outstanding video tutorials. What I had missed to this point, was the hands-on approach. With the program now open, I found the pause button was my new best friend.

The class was reasonably priced and had excellent quality. It was also downloadable. With my slow internet speed, it did take a while (over 5 hours), but each of the 46 videos was downloaded to a folder on my desktop. Now, I could watch, practice, and hear the lessons all at the same time.

If you want to be a writer, you don’t just write when it’s convenient, you write every day. If you want to learn something new you don’t just read a manual and expect to know it all. You use different senses when you want to learn effectively, and you can also use a variety of resources.

Millions of writers write blogs and how-to books with the expectation you will comprehend the subject better. There are thousands of users on Facebook and other social media outlets, waiting to share information they have learned from experience. The key word being experience. You must jump right in and get your hands dirty. YouTube has videos on almost any subject you can imagine. You can find inexpensive courses online. In many cases, you can also find Pod Casts and audio CDs on your favorite subject.

The information age does not limit you to one medium. You’ve heard the phrase show don’t tell. This applies to learning as well as writing. Part of my learning process includes repetition. If I can listen or watch something multiple times, it tends to stay with me better. Some people can read something once and retain everything. I’m not one of those people. The more types of learning methods you employ, the better the odds you will retain the information. When getting your hands dirty doesn’t help and reading is not enough, try using more resources.

What Is the Purpose of the Review of Related Literature?

La Bodeguita del Medio (Marzo 2011,La Habana,Cuba)

In writing a research paper, a section is devoted to the review of related literature. Why is there a need for such section to be there? Why should a researcher take time to write a review of related literature? Can this section be skipped in conducting an empirical investigation?

A discussion of the reasons behind the need to write a review of related literature will help clarify this vital component of the research paper. For the neophyte in the field of research, the connection of this section to the rest of the research paper must be well understood and established.

Overall, the purpose of the review of related literature is to provide an overview of the literature about the researcher’s chosen topic of inquiry. The overview will help the researcher determine the current state of research on the specific topic he wants to delve into; what has been done in the past by other researchers working along the same line of interest and what needs to be done. The researcher would want to fill in the “gaps in knowledge.”

Why is there a gap in knowledge in the first place? Are the discoveries made by many scientists in the past not enough to provide answers to questions which may have been asked before?

Although man has gone a long way in history and modern civilization has advanced greatly to meet the society’s need, science as a tool is not able to provide all the solutions to the many problems besetting man. Whenever there are discoveries or models to predict outcomes of interventions to problems, there are always errors or uncertainties involved.

A cure for cancer, for example, may work for some people but not for everyone. There are always deviants, or exceptions to the rule. This leaves questions that will warrant further study to help shed light on the issue. Questions may arise like “Why is the cancer cure for the majority of people not working for a specific group of people?” or “Are there other factors, inherent in the specific group of people, that influence the effects of the cancer cure?”

The answers to these questions are not easy to come by. A good researcher, therefore, has to make an exhaustive review of related literature that will help clarify the issue. It will also help the researcher determine if there is really a need for him to do further research or probably the problem he posed may already have been answered by someone.

The review of related literature will help the researcher avoid doing things which have already been done before. He can focus his research on those issues which, upon rigorous analysis of the literature at hand, are still left unanswered. This will mean savings in time, money and effort.

©2012 July 29 Patrick A. Regoniel

All These Worlds Are Yours – The Appeal of Science Fiction

THE OLD VILLAGE ON THE ROCK

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.

Why Computer Hardware Is Important

MY SMALL GARDEN UP IN THE SKY

In this day and age, it is hard to deny the influence of technology in our lives. We live in an era where pretty much is automated and computerized. And amidst all the technological advancement that humankind has achieved, one important device has been created that will only sure to become more relevant to our lives as technology progresses, the computer. No one can deny that computers are now an essential part of our lives, the same way a cell phone and television does. It is safe to say that in this day and age, having no computer would be an inconvenience. Which is why it is important that we know the how our computer works so that we would be aware of the things that we should do in case it stops working. The hardware of the computer is considered to be the most important because without it, it will simply not work.

Simply put if you know how to handle the hardware of a computer and know each of their function for the unit, then you can easily determine what the problem is in case the unit stops functioning. In order to be familiar with basic computer troubleshooting, then you also need to be familiar with computer hardware. A good example of this is the memory of the computer (RAM). All programs and applications that are ran in a computer needs memory. Without RAM it simply won’t function. Aside from that, even if you have a RAM but it does have the specifications to keep up with the programs that are being ran, then the operation would be slowed down to a crawl. So when it comes to computer hardware, you have to make sure that it is not obsolete, so you need to upgrade depending on what sort of program that you are usually using.

When handling computer hardware, you have to keep in mind some safety measures so you can manipulate the unit safely. Before opening any computer cases, you have to make sure that the unit is unplugged or you might risk electrocution or shocks. While checking your hardware components, always check for damaged parts because that is most likely the one that is causing problems. When inserting components and parts, you have to remember that if it doesn’t fit, then most likely you are inserting it on the wrong slot. If it does not fit, then do not force it or you will risk breaking the component. Before touching any parts inside the unit, make sure that you discharge yourself first by through a grounded metal object or you can use an anti-static wrist strap or mat which is sold in stores for cheap.

By knowing and analyzing every computer hardware part you will know about its importance and if it ever breaks down then you can perform the proper troubleshooting steps. Every hardware component is important for the computer’s operation. The performance of your computer largely depends on how good your hardware is, so be sure that they are always in good working condition.

15 Facts About Masada – Dead Sea, Israel

THE OLD VILLAGE ON THE ROCK

Masada, also referred as Metzada, is a mountain top fortress that is located on the western shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. The Fortress includes barracks, storehouses, an armory, palace, cisterns, etc. Masada is a name that is derived from unmetzade, a Hebrew word, that means “stronghold” or “mountain castle”. It is worth disclosing the fact that Masada is considered as one of the greatest symbols of Israel’s ancient kingdom, its brutal destruction and Jewish revolt in the first century A.D. against Rome. Let’s discover some of the vital facts about Masada:

  1. It is located on the top isolated rock on the edges of the Dead Sea valley and the Judean Desert, between Ein Gedi and Sdom.
  2. Masada remained ignored for many centuries and came again in limelight after a famous epic entitled Masada, written by popular Hebrew poet in 1920’s. The epic has invoked the hidden emotions and gave a rousing account of fight.
  3. Masada plateau was naturally fortified and surrounded by deep gorges.
  4. Cliff on the east and west edge of Masada are about 400 m (1300) and 90 m (300) high respectively. Plataea’s top is flat and of rhomboid-shape.
  5. Around the plateau’s top, there was a casemate wall which is 1.3 km long, 3.7 m thick and has many towers.
  6. A Jewish Roman Historian, Herod the Great has fortified Masada in between 37 and 31 BCE to hide himself from the massive revolt.
  7. Sicarii, a group of Jewish rebels, defeated roman troops and defended Masada by taking control over it.
  8. At the end of the first century, Judea’s Roman Governor had decided to take back Masada.
  9. Masada was rediscovered by modern world in mid 19th century BC. Israeli archeologists, Yigael Yadin, in the early 1960’s, began excavating the region. Cable cars were added to the region, in order to make it accessible for tourists. The place is considered as most popular tourist destination in Israel, outside of Jerusalem.
  10. Being considered as one of the most respected Jewish symbols, Israeli soldiers take an oath at this site “Masada shall not fall again”. Oath taken by soldiers of Israeli army is an expression of commitment towards protecting modern Israel state.
  11. Since 2001, Masada has been counted as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.
  12. On the western side of mountain, an audio-visual light show dramatizing Masada’s history is presented at the night time. Whereas, during winters there is no sound and light show.
  13. Two Mikvahs and Synagogue is considered as two most exciting sites that can be seen in Masada till today.
  14. Summers are usually hot, therefore visitors are not allowed to trek up the mountains during day time. However, it is advised that they can trek in the wee hours of the morning. Bottles of water and hat are two objects that are must to carry with themselves while trekking.
  15. Since 2007, a museum has been opened for the tourists showcasing detailed history of Masada along with some interesting artifacts.
  16. Masada is one of the most popular sites for dead sea tourists.

Masada is a site of fortifications and palaces located in Israel, near the Dead-Sea. It was considered as last stronghold, held by Jewish’s zealots. They refused to surrender to Roman Empire and preferred death to surrender. Now, Masada is well-recognized as tourists’ destinations visited by tourists from around the globe.

Homeschool and Actors

Missing Spring

Everyone has seen the struggles associated with being a child actor or a child star. The nature of this lifestyle causes many of these youngsters to suffer from delays in everything from their academies to their social and emotional development, and as a result, many end up struggling as adults. Because of this, it is extremely important that these children be given every opportunity to develop their skills and talents beyond those associated with the small or silver screens.

One of the most effective and popular choices for actors to use in helping them develop proper academic skills and complete their education is to use homeschooling. Homeschooling is a popular choice because of the flexibility that it offers, both in terms of when and how lessons can be taught. Actors who are being homeschooled can complete lessons online, or they can actually have their "teachers" show up to their work and deliver a lesson personally. Either way, it is difficult to argue with the fact that homeschooling, especially for players, is very convenient.

The acting business being what it is means that student / actors have to teachers teachers work around their schedule. It is mostly for this reason that student / actors and their parents choose to turn to homeschooling or an accredited distance learning school. Some actors are on the road and way from home for months at a time, making it very difficult for them to attend traditional school. Homeschooling can allow academic curriculum to be individually tailor, and designed not to interfere with the requirements of an acting career.

Homeschooling is also an effective way of completing school sooner. Rather than try to complete a diploma or degree in the traditional length of time, meaning 4 to 6 years, a homeschooling curriculum can allow child actors to complete their education faster and more efficiently, as opposed to having it drag on over the course of several years.

Homeschooling actors and stars is certainly not something new. In fact, some of the most famous people in history, including sponsors, inventors, artists, actors, and athletes have all been homeschooled. President George Washington, inventor Thomas Edison, actor Charlie Chaplin, and scientist Albert Einstein are just a few of the famous people who have reaped the benefits of homeschooling.

Things can be difficult enough at work for the child actor without having to add additional stress from having to make time for school. By using homeschooling as an option, parents can provide their children with an effective learning curriculum without having to interfere with their acting career. In addition to the added convenience as well as the obvious flexibility associated with homeschooling, child actors can also benefit from the additional family support that they receive when they are being taught by their parents. There is nothing that can be more beneficial to a young actor than to have family members who are actually involved in an important aspect of their life, and homeschooling is certainly one effective way of accomplishing this, both for academic and emotional purposes.

Benefits of Short Stories

MY SMALL GARDEN UP IN THE SKY

A short story is a literary work that tells a series of event in a specific setting. These series of events are the product of the writer’s powerful mind and imagination. They are the result of contemplations, and realizations done by the writer either during his gloomy or happy days. Short stories are the outlet of the writer’s emotions. It is through short stories that a writer directly or indirectly expresses his ideals, beliefs and opinions regarding issues that continually confronting the society. Thus stories are written due to several purposes such as to inspire, to educate, to entertain and to provoke one’s emotions.

Whichever the purpose of a particular story, one thing that is very much sure is that stories have lots of benefits to everyone.

For children stories teach them moral lessons which will be planted in their young minds and that they can ponder upon as they grow older. Other than that, they help in the enhancement of children’s imaginative thinking which leads to creativity. According to some experts, children are being trained to think imaginatively while listening or reading stories in accordance to how the writer describes the setting, characters, and events that took place in the story. More than that, children are taught to focus their attention to a specific topic so that if they will be engaged to more complicated brainstorming or emersions they won’t have any difficulty. One thing more, their vocabularies will be developed. As a result,, this will help them develop their communication skills both in oral and written communication.

For older person, stories especially with those that contain humor entertain people. Short stories would also provoke questions in the minds of people regarding life and society. Short stories enables them see realities even though the events in the stories did not happen in actual scenes; but there are several situations in life that can be related to those events. The readers are made to see and think of the realities in life. Another thing is that stories teach people to appreciate the beauty of life. This is because through short stories that the adventures of people are told. These characters are used to symbolize things in the real society. It is through them that writers relate the message they wanted their readers to grasp. Despite the fact that these characters shown in these stories don’t exist in real life, their struggles can be compared to someone in real life.

Those benefits mentioned above are only among the many benefits of reading short stories. Seeing those benefits that stories can give, it is just correct to conclude that reading short stories is helpful to all.