Wednesday, March 31, 2010

BBC Banned Music: Top Singles Banned By the BBC

The British Broadcasting Corporation also known as the BBC is a public broadcasting corporation. Therefore, it allows itself to ban materials that deviate from certain standards of civility. During the years, many singles that were seen as too explicit, distasteful or bear the potential for offending the British public were banned from BBC airplay. Here you can read about some of them.

In 1977, when England was celebrating the Queens Jubilee, the Sex Pistols had released their second single titled God Save the Queen. The single includes controversial lyrics that rhyme the national anthem title with fascist regime. Moreover, the record cover displayed a picture of the Queen with a safety pin stuck in her nose.

The single was found to offensive to be air played by the BBC, but it did not stop it from reaching number two on the BBC official singles chart. According to the myth, God Save the Queen was the top selling single in the UK at the time, but it was held back of number one to avoid controversies.

Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin scandalous duet Je TAime ... Moi Non Plus, translated: I love you... me neither, was the first ever number one hit to be banned by the BBC. Although at the time of its release, in 1969, the sexual revolution was celebrated, the British radio still was not able to cope with such explicit lyrics, not to mention Birkins moans and groans.

The BBC ban and The Vatican denounce, did not stop Je TAime ... Moi Non Plus from being a top selling single in the UK and worldwide. In October 7, 1969, the single reached number one in the BBC official singles chart. At the same time, it had reached number 69 at the US singles chart.

Je TAime ... Moi Non Plus was a major influence on another BBC banned single, Donna Summers disco pioneer from 1976 titled Love to Love You Baby. After counting 23 faked orgasms performed by Summer in Love to Love You Baby, the British Broadcasting Corporation banned the song. However, it did not stop it from becoming a massive hit. Love to Love You Baby reached number four on the UK single charts but peaked to number two on the Billboard pop chart.

Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood is one of the most controversial singles as well as commercially successful singles in history. The BBC did not only ban the song it also did not stop BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Read to publicly express his feelings of disgust from the single's explicit lyrics. In 1984, Relax stayed in the UK singles charts for 42 weeks. In five of them, it stayed in number one. By the end of 1984, embarrassed Auntie Beeb removed the ban. Relax is still very popular worldwide and it is one of the most recognized symbols of the era. The arguments on whether it gained such a huge success despite the BBC ban or the BBC ban helped promoting it have not been settled yet.

Paul McCartney and the Wings response to the 1972 Bloody Sunday events titled Give Ireland Back to the Irish, was banned by every media resource in the UK. It was forbidden from being broadcast by the BBC, Radio Luxembourg and the Independent Television Authority. In addition, the song title was not allowed to be pronounced on the air, so when it arrived to the BBC Radio 1 chart show it was presented as a record by the group Wings. However, Give Ireland Back to the Irish hit the top of the Irish singles charts.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bass Guitar Essentials

Picking out my very first bass guitar was an exciting event. It is the first instrument I have ever purchased that I plan on learning how to play. Why not learn guitar first? Well, I have a love for the bass and not only that, I have been told on many occasions that is is easier to learn than the guitar.With all of the excitement of my purchase, I decided to make sure I have all of the essentials needed for my new bass. Below covers several accessories that you may want to include if you are looking to purchase a new bass guitar as well.

Bass Guitar Cases

The first thing you will want to do is protect your new investment. This requires a sturdy bass guitar case. Cases come in various styles and materials. The lower-end cases are very thin and don't offer much protection if you plan on toting your bass around town. There are sturdier cases which are molded and padded on the inside. These cases have a hard shell and the padding keeps the bass secure. I'd highly recommend a molded case if you will be doing a lot of traveling.

Extra Bass Strings

Bass guitar strings are relatively sturdy but it doesn't hurt to keep some spare strings handy. There are several types of bass strings available to include flatwound, roundwound, and groundwound.

Bass Guitar Straps

Depending on the bass you purchase, it may already come with a strap included.Of course there are various types of straps to choose from as well. The most popular guitar straps are usually made of leather or suede. Many are often woven and come in a variety of colors to suit your tastes. If you're not into the fancy straps, you can always choose between vinyl and polyester.

Extra Guitar Picks

Out of all of the accessories you can have for your bass, the pick comes in more styles than anything else. You can choose from hundreds of colors as well as the thickness of the pick. Having multiple guitar picks always comes in handy.

Guitar Tuner

Keeping your bass in tune is a must and there are various types of guitar tuners available on the market. They all range in price from lower end tuners at $10 up to high-end versions that go for $100 or more. If you're a beginner, it's probably safe to stick to a low-end model until you become better at playing the bass.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Baseball Betting: How to Bet Basics

If you know nothing about sports and you still feel the urge to wager, baseball is the easiest sports to wager on. As opposed to football and basketball, where you are mixed up with the point spreads and other confusing calculations, in baseball betting you simply put your money on the outcome of the game. In addition, the baseball season lasts longer, which means more matches and bigger chances to go home with the winning money. Here is a step to step guide to baseball betting.

The main difference between baseball betting and other team sports betting such as football and basketball is that while the latter ones use point spreads, the former uses the money line.

What is a Point Spread?
Point spread is the most common betting type offered in football and basketball betting. The sportsbook spreads the odd of a certain match by subtracting points from the favorite team, which is the team most likely to win and adding points to the underdog, which is the team that will raise a lot of eyebrows if wins.

What is a Money Line?
In baseball betting, the sportsbook sets the odds strictly on the outcome of the match. In order to even the action, bettors would have to risk more money on the favorite and risk less on the underdog. This is called the money line.

For example, if the money line is minus 170 on the favorite and plus 150 on the underdog, then you would have to bet 170 dollars on the favorite in order to earn 100 dollars. On the other hand, if you bet 100 dollars on the underdog, you would win 150 dollars if they would eventually win the match.

The difference between the minus 170 on the favorite and the plus 150 on the underdog is known as the twenty cent line. If the money line was minus on the favorite and plus 150 on the underdog, it is called the ten cent line or dime line. The fifteen cent line is also common in baseball betting.

Sportsbooks also offer total bets and run lines in baseball betting.

1) Total Bets:
These wagers are based on the sum of the runs scored by both of the teams. For example, if the sportsbook sets the over under total of a match as 7, the over wins if the sum of the runs scored by both teams exceeds 7 and the under wins if it sums up to less than 7.

2) The Run Line:
This wager is the baseball variation of point spread. When you are betting on the run line, you are betting on whether one of the teams wins by more than one run, which is marked as minus 1.5 or stays within one run, marked as plus 1.5.

Although the money line makes baseball betting simpler than football and basketball betting, it causes the payoffs calculation to be more complicated:

1) In order to calculate the payoff when wagering on the favorite you should add 1 to the favorite price and divide it with the favorite price.

2) In order to calculate the payoff when wagering on the underdog you should add 1 to the underdog price.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bargain shopping on the net

When it comes to shopping on the internet there a range of factors you have to consider before purchasing the product. Keep in mind that you’re buying the product without actually physically visiting a store. When you physically visit the store to make your purchase you evaluate the product according to criteria. This criterion may involve product quality, utility and of course the price you pay in relation to these very important factors. After all you buy a product to perform a certain task (which is the basic utility of the product) and you pay its price more or less in relation to the quality of the product. In other words, how efficiently that product can perform the task on hand. When doing your shopping online it’s important that you follow these same guidelines.

Remember through the internet you can virtually do your shopping the world over. You can just about order anything from anywhere irrespective of your location. You also have the great advantage of doing your shopping anytime you want and at the comfort of your own home. No hassle of travelling to various stores or rushing through your list and thinking about what you have to cook for your next meal or that all-important presentation at office the next day. However, as when doing your shopping in the traditional physical store it’s important that you follow the basic guidelines of shopping. Perhaps more so since you don’t actually physically visit the store and have to rely on your own good judgement. As such we are here to help you with safe shopping on the internet.

Terms :- Always make sure about the terms of the transaction. Legal terms and any disclaimers governing the transaction. You may think these maybe lengthy and want to get over and done with your transaction. But it is important that you know the terms of the transaction you’re about to perform.

Use a Secure Web Browser :- Online vendors “encrypt” purchase information which means only the vendor and yourself can read it. Always order from online stores that offer secured transactions. These are the “trustworthy” sites. They keep your information secure and doesn’t re- distribute your information to any external parties. Always avoid other site which doesn’t take you to a page which will perform” a secured transaction”. If you have doubts about a site, right-click anywhere on the page and select "Properties." This will let you see the real URL (Web site address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site is "not encrypted."

Records :- A confirmation email will be sent to you that confirm your order. Print these out and keep them safely for your own records and convenience.

Check your credit card and bank statements :- make sure to check these for your own safety. If there are any unauthorised payments contact your Credit Card Company or relevant bank and inform them immediately.

Check the online store's policies :- this will provide disclosures about the store’s refund and return policies, and about the web site’s security itself and how it uses your personal information. Make sure to take a few minutes to read them. Read the site's privacy policy to understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If there isn't one posted, consider that a warning that your personal information may be sold to others without your permission.

Comparing Prices

You can compare prices too when shopping online as when you do “conventional shopping”. You can do this by visiting web sites like:

Price Runner

Do you trust the merchant? You can check the merchant’s reputation from whom you’re hoping to make your purchase by looking at their feedback by conducting web searches. You can check with the Better Business Bureau ( for a report about the merchant’s marketplace record.

And finally trust you instincts or your “gut” feelings about the web site or transaction you’re about to perform. If you feel it’s too good to be true it probably is. Better be safe than sorry afterwards.

Happy shopping!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Barcelona Tour!

When you click on the website link, a simple yet classy homepage of the website unfurls right before your eyes. Designed tastefully, the homepage ensnares your interest by presenting a vivid picturesque image of one of the most beautiful must-visit places in the world, Barcelona, located in Spain.

This website is laden with everything you might want to know about Barcelona, which is the capital of Catalunya, a delightful and welcoming place of historical defeats and recent victories, situated at the Catalan region of Spain.
Ease and accessibility has got to be the website’s greatest asset, as the content is presented in a user-friendly format, and well-written and informative.

The website is edifying and informative, and you will find yourself plunging into the minutiae and niceties of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Barcelona.
Apart from the historical beauties, the website provides information on the night life of the city. The website states that Barcelona has a very good nightlife because of the plethora of tourists who pay a visit practically every week!
For something exciting yet different, Barcelona Tourrecommends the Las Ramblas and Barri Gotic part of the city, which will offer a medieval feel to the area. The website also recommends the Plaza Sant Agusti, a funky bar with an attached restaurant. If you’re craving for some clean and healthy adult fun, the popular bars and pubs are the Aurora, which is located in Centre Cuidad Vella. They have some of the best drinks such as Capirinhas, Mojitos and Pina Colodas, and a wide screen TV for entertainment. For the simpletons who’re looking to have a relaxing dinner at a posh place, the website recommends Abac, which serves Catalan food with international and cosmopolitan influences.

They have seal slugs with ravioli stuffed with fennel. The Barceloneta is another swanky seafood restaurant, and they offer you the most delectable rice and fish dishes in the world. They have scrumptious salads and also pork and Catalan specialty dishes—a dream come true for the foodies who love experimenting with fancy cuisines.
Delving back into the historic intricacies of the city, the website provides you ample information about the most famous architect in Spain, Antoni Gaudi, and his masterpieces. One of his great architecture masterpieces was the Casa Vicens. The home, constructed for an industrialist, was so beautifully designed that it is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The website mentions some of the late architect’s excellent masterpieces, and a brief about each. For those who have a penchant for architecture, this place is just for you to visit.

The website also gives you teensy tips as to how to get yourself an economical flight to Barcelona. The website offers informative news snippets about the most city in the world. And last, but not the least, when you click on ‘Barcelona Videos’, you’re sure to find yourself catapulting into a page filled with several exiting videos of the city.
The website possesses a blend of information and oodles of fun thrown in for good measure. Concise, instructive, and yet informative, the website doesn’t reveal all of the secrets of Barcelona. For that, well, you just have to visit the most beautiful city in the world.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ballroom Dancing Has Never Been Hotter

Ballroom Dancing has never been hotter than it is now since Dancing with the Stars hit the air. Who knew that this show would be such a hit and that it would revive ballroom dancing the way that it has. Ballroom dancing is an enormously fun thing that you and your partner or a friend can do together. Ballroom dancing is a great way to spend some time together away from all of the normal everyday stress of life, that is what makes ballroom dancing such a fabulous thing to learn.

Ballroom dancing is something that everyone can enjoy whether they are young or old, man or woman. Not only is ballroom dancing fun it is great exercise and after a short while you will find that you will be in much better shape than before you started ballroom dancing.

Ballroom dancing is sexy and relaxed and one of the most popular forms of dance worldwide. Everyone loves to watch ballroom dancing and most people would jump at the chance to actually take some ballroom dancing classes. If you would like to take ballroom dancing all you need to do is look in your local Yellow Pages. There you will find plenty of dance studios that offer classes on ballroom dancing. There are other ways to find ballroom dancing classes and schools in your area. You will find ballroom dancing classes online as well. You will be able to do a quick search online and find many different studios in your area that will be able to teach you all about ballroom dancing. And even if you are single you will still be able to take ballroom dancing classes, as there are many ballroom dancing classes for single people. Who knows you might meet the man or woman of your dreams.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ballroom Dancing Enjoys Resurgence With Kids

Step one: Put on your dancing shoes. Step two: Grab a partner. Step three: Tango!

Ballroom dancing, from the fox trot to the charleston, has long been a popular part of American culture. Adults love it, but lately, younger generations have been tapping into the music and rhythm of the waltz and the cha-cha - dances that once excited their parents and grandparents.

This is due in part to ballroom dancing's resurgence in television and film.

In the recent documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom," now available on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment, pupils from three New York City schools discover the world of ballroom dancing through 10 weeks of required classes taught by the American Ballroom Theater.

The film showcases the children's candid, innocent and hilarious perspectives as they are transformed from typical urban kids to "ladies and gentlemen."

With each scene, the audience watches as they strive to meet their ultimate goal - the final city competition known as the Rainbow Team Matches.

Kids are not the only ones with a renewed interest in the dance form. Parents, too, are recognizing the potential of ballroom dancing in keeping their children occupied, out of trouble and in shape.

Studies on the benefits of ballroom dancing conducted by California State University at Long Beach show that even beginning students can get their heart rates up to near-maximum training rates with a five-minute warm-up and a 20-minute cha-cha, polka or swing. Moderate ballroom dancing burns between 250 and 300 calories per hour. Vigorous dancing can burn as many as 400 calories per hour.

Along with its benefits to the body, ballroom dancing develops coordination and teaches children important lessons in social interaction and good manners.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Be it birthday, Christmas, New Year or Valentine's Day - balloons add color and joy to all fun occasions. And there is no better way to send greetings to your friends and family by sending them a bunch of balloons right at their doorstep.

Balloon delivery has gained popularity over the years and, if legend is to be believed, had its humble beginnings not very many years ago. In the year 1976, Joe DelVechhio thought of the idea of delivering balloons in bunches and opened B...

balloon delivery,balloon bouquet

Article Body:
Be it birthday, Christmas, New Year or Valentine's Day - balloons add color and joy to all fun occasions. And there is no better way to send greetings to your friends and family by sending them a bunch of balloons right at their doorstep.

Balloon delivery has gained popularity over the years and, if legend is to be believed, had its humble beginnings not very many years ago. In the year 1976, Joe DelVechhio thought of the idea of delivering balloons in bunches and opened Balloon Bouquets® of Washington, DC. And this is how the delivery of helium-filled balloons started.

Balloon delivery is a great way to surprise your girlfriend on the morning of her birthday or to let your boss know how much you care so that he remembers that your raise is due. Balloons have been a favorite with the kids since the time balloons were invented. Buy ordering a bunch of balloons you can add joy to their lives on birthdays and Christmas. Balloons come in different shapes, sizes and colors. Life size bear balloons are popular amongst the kids. There are also heart-shaped balloons of different sizes to woe your girlfriend.

Balloons with personal messages written on them are also a good idea. Many people send balloons with the same message written on each of them. Be creative with your messages so that the receiver finds extra joy reading all of them. Also include many bright colors in a bunch to add life. You can go that extra mile and order decorative balloons for different occasions. Many balloon delivery services have expertise in making flower bouquets or Christmas trees out of balloons. It is also a good idea to turn your house into a balloon zoo with animals made out of balloons.

You can also make arrangements for balloon magicians along with your bouquet of balloons. They turn balloons into animals and toys right in front of your eyes in no time. Cars, tigers, giraffes or poodles - you name it and you get it.

Often balloon deliveries can be a good alternative for sending flowers. Flowers sent during the morning will wear out by evening. But your balloons will remain as fresh and colorful even the next day. Balloon delivery is also a low-cost option compared to flowers and has a larger than life visual effect. While ordering your bouquet make sure that they reach the right place at the right time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bad Credit Card- Offered By Many Companies

Check-books and paying with cash is becoming less frequent as more people are using plastic to pay for purchases. Checkbooks are being replaced by debit cards and the use of credit cards is rising. Online shopping has helped fuel the need for a credit card. Unfortunately people with bad credit are normally not approved for a credit card. It is not hopeless, there are avenues for those with bad credit histories to enter or return to the world of plastic.

Bad credit - credit cards are offered by many companies. This became a necessity since individuals with low incomes or credit problems would be declined for a low interest, no fee credit card. Many of these companies use what is called Risk Based Pricing. What this does is they have several types of offerings with different interest rates. The rate they offer is based on your credit score. So if you apply for one card you may get declined but offered a card with a higher rate. This is an excellent way for someone with a bit of a negative credit history to be approved for a bad credit, credit card.

So what about those individuals with no credit or extremely negative credit? They may need to look at another type of bad credit, credit card. There are several companies that target these types of people. They offer what is called a starter card. This type of card has a very high interest rate and very low credit limit. There are also a substantial amount of fees normally connected with these cards.

These cards pale in comparison to the more normal type of credit card offers but the acceptance rate is high. By using, one of these bad credit, credit cards and keeping with the terms of the agreement, making payments on time in a period of time your credit rating will be more positive. This will allow you the opportunity to apply with a better chance of acceptance for a lower rate and more favorable term credit card.

There are some individuals with such critical credit problems, a recent bankruptcy for instance, that a starter card would not be an option. If this is the case the only solution that would be left is a prepaid credit card which is sometimes called a secured card. The fact they look like a credit card it the only similarity. They need to have funds deposited to use them. You are virtually guaranteed to be accepted for this type of bad credit, credit card.

They work the same as any Mastercard or Visa but you can only spend the amount of money you have deposited. This leaves very little risk to the card issuer since you can not incur any debt with them. Because the issuer of the card will not be making any money on monthly interest rates for the balance they make their money in other ways. The can charge a fee for applying, a annual fee, an administration fee even a small percentage for every time you purchase something with the card. You will want to research several companies before applying for this type of bad credit, credit card since these fees can vary greatly.

Basically what all this means if even with a bad credit rating, nearly everyone can find a bad credit, credit card. It may take some research but it can be accomplished.

Monday, March 22, 2010

As you can see from HomeLand Art

As you can see from HomeLand Art’s gallery there are three paintings of Howth. Two of these paintings depict the harbour and the third painting is of the Bailey Lighthouse, looking over Dublin Bay.

Howth is a wonderful place to visit and is a nice little escape for anyone spending time in Dublin City. Situated just 9 miles from the city centre, it takes about 25 minutes to get to by Dart (Dublin’s electric rail system). You can also get a bus to Howth Summit where the views across Dublin bay are breathtaking. On a clear day you can see as far south as Wexford and looking east you can make out the mountains of Wales. From here you can see the Bailey Lighthouse and it’s view across Dublin Bay to the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains. Our painting of the Bailey Lighthouse was painted not far from the summit where the cliff walk begins.

I would highly recommend, for anyone visiting Howth for the first time, to make their way to the summit on the 31C bus. From Howth Summit you can take the cliff walk and make your way down to Howth Harbour. The last time I took this route it took me around 45mins to an hour. It’s an ideal way to lead up to lunchtime because by the time you get down to the villiage you will have built up a hearty appetite and probably a fierce thirst!

There are no shortage of restaurants and bars. Here are my favourites, with a brief description:

The Bloody Stream. Situated just beneath Howth Dart Station. My favourite day to visit here is a sunday afternoon when they normally have a roaring fire (in the winter time usually!). My favourite is the chowder.

Findlaters. A good spot at night. The bar on the top floor has a nice patio with views over Howth Harbour and beyond to the Island of Ireland’s Eye.

The Waterside Pub. A good pint of Guinness and very nice bar food. If you want to eat something more substantial the Wheelhouse restaurant upstairs is a good choice.

Abbey Tavern. This is a favourite for a lot of tourists passing through. There is normally a traditional music session taking place.

The Cock Tavern. A real local and a favourite for the fishermen off the boats. The Guinness and the craic is great.

For anyone looking for non-pub related activities there is plenty to do in Howth. If you like golf, Deerpark Hotel has 2 18-hole public golf courses on it’s grounds, as well as a par 3 course. As far as public golf courses go, you can’t get better than this on a fine day. The views are incredible.

On the driveway up to the golf courses, you can stop off at the old castle and visit the Transport Museum. It’s small but very interesting.

A favourite for a lot of people on a sunny afternoon is to take an hour or two, get a 99 (ice cream) just wander around the harbour. There is plenty of activity to observe and the seals normally make an appearance. There are plenty of boats to admire. Our 2 paintings of the harbour and the lighthouse in the background are favourites of locals and visitors alike.

We hope you visit Howth and we hope you like our artwork.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

ARTURO EL REY - Book Review

This large (378 pages), fantasy-adventure novel should give best selling authors like Stephen King heavy competition. Fantastically interwoven with elements of King Arthur’s realm, including a little Arthurian romance, Arturo el Rey will keep the reader captivated.

The main character, Art Reyes, escapes gang life and joins the Marines – but when terrorists release the devastating plague, there was no government left to for him to serve. Survival of mankind is tentative at best, due to the drugged-up gangs of angry, distraught people attacking defenseless plague survivors. Brutality and recklessness have reduced the number of women, preserved food is dwindling, fuel is sparse while life-saving and pain-killing drugs are being consumed by stressed out survivors at an alarming rate.

One safe haven is created by a ruthless man who rules with an iron fist. In the meantime, Art struggles to find meaning in the haunting dreams that leave him with a feeling he has a purpose to fulfill. As he strives to find some balance between surviving the elements and violence and retaining freedom, Art accidentally discovers himself. Thrown into the position of leader and possibly the savior of civilization, Art battles rivalries and evil men.

I can quite safely say this is one of the better books that I have ever read. Joan Hall kept me captivated from page one and on. I felt torn when I had to set the book down and deal with life! An excellent read that I heartily recommend to anyone who enjoys the adventure and fantasy genre.

ISBN#: 1554102587
Author: Joan Upton Hall
Publisher: Zumaya Otherworlds

~ Lillian Brummet - Book Reviewer - Co-author of the book Trash Talk, a guide for anyone concerned about his or her impact on the environment – Author of Towards Understanding, a collection of poetry. (

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Artists Biographies on Film: Top Movies about Visual Artists

Visual artists biographies is a popular theme in the movie world. Moviemakers have always been fascinated by visual artists biographies, especially if it includes struggle with insanity, drug addiction or social conventions. In addition, it gives them an opportunity to depict original or resurrected artworks on the big screen.
Here you can read about some of the most interesting movies about visual artists biographies.
Lust for Life directed by Vincente Minnelli in 1952

Vincent Van Gogh biography had gained several cinematic adaptations. Lust for Life with Kirk Douglas as the struggling artist is one of the most notable. The movie is based on a best selling book by Irving Stone, who also authored The Agony and the Ecstasy about Michelangelo, which also had appeared on the silver screen.

If you are a fan of Van Gogh artwork, you would enjoy watching Last for Life, which features almost 200 of Van Goghs original paintings. However, if you are familiar with Kirk Douglas previous filmographic, seeing him as a tortured Dutch painter might take a little adjustment. Another recommended film about Van Gogh is Robert Altmans Vincent and Theo from 1990.

Surviving Picasso directed by James Ivory in 1996

Like Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso image made him an iconic figure outside the artistic circles. While Van Gogh symbolizes the self destructive, manic depressive artist who achieves success only after his death, Picasso represents the misanthropic and womanizer artist. Picasso infamous relationship with women is the focus of this Merchant and Ivory film. The story is told from the eyes of Picasso mistress Francoise Gilot and features only reproductions of Picasso works. With Anthony Hopkins talent and his physical resemblance to Picasso, Surviving Picasso manages to create an unflattering portrait of an artist as a cruel, self centered genius.

Girl with Pearl Earring directed by Peter Webber in 2003

Comparing to Van Gogh and Picasso, Vermeers biography is less known and less controversial. Therefore Girl with Pearl Earring is much more restrained and delicate. The movie focuses on a short period in Vermeers life in which he was painting the portrait of his young low class maid. Although Girl with Pearl Earring does not avoid filmic conventions by over dramatizing Vermeers painting process, the movie is worth watching if only for its artistic design, which success in evoking Vermeers perception of light and color.

Basquiat directed by Julian Schnabel in 1996

The most common critique against movies that deals with visual arts is the way they depict the creation process. Therefore, there were big expectations from Basquiat, which was directed by the celebrated painter Julian Schnabel. Schnabel did well in depicting Jean Michelle Basquiat rise and fall story in less the predictable manner we have seen millions time before. However, the only reason to watch Basquiat is David Bowie plays the role of Andy Warhol.

Frida directed by Julie Taymor in 2002

Like most of the visual artists who had their life story appear on the silver screen, Frida Kahlo carried an unusual biography, which includes bus accident, problematic marriage, and an affair with Leon Trotsky. Like Van Gogh, Picasso and Jackson Pollock, who was the subject of a biopic from 2000, Frida Kahlo was an icon long before Frida was released, but the 123 minutes film did help to strength her position as a feminist idol and probably the most famous woman painter of the 20 century. Frida tries its best to integrate Frida Kahlo life story with her painting and the result is very colorful and pleasant, but still does not stay far enough from the conventions of depicting artists on film.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Artist art restoration services

Photo restoration is the practice of restoring a photograph which has been spoiled or exaggerated by age.

Photo restoration may be effective in removing or masking the following defects:

1.Staining (such as yellowing) of the photographic document due to age and chemical reactions
2.Dust and hair observable on the photograph
3.Spots caused by bacteria or mold
4.Scratches or tears on the print
5.Discoloration of the publish due to fading

Playing around with the brightness and contrast controls will give a better restoration of photos. A lot of old photos are too contrast(y). Others are badly faded and can help from being darkened a little, or adding a bit of distinction. Really damaged photos that have a bad wrinkle or tear across the face can be moderately tricky, but if you are a bit creative, you can typically recover the image quite a bit.

1. Protect what’s left
2. Get it restored
3. Get two copies to avoid repetition of restoration process.
4. Share/Store the photos online

Photo Restorations can be done at FIREIA. Coming soon- Art section with online auction and Indie music and Gig(g) section.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bacara el Preferido del Agente 007

El Agente 007 y su audacia con el juego continúan deslumbrando año tras año a sus sensuales compañeras en escena y derrotando a sus astutos enemigos.

El Bacara: El Juego preferido del clásico James Bond: Bacará y el Agente 007

El Bacará es el clásico juego de apuestas originado en Italia en el siglo 15 y es también característico del famoso espía 007. En cada escena lo identifican una elegancia y excelencia, que junto con su impecable Martini en mano y las apuestas en otra James Bond ha mantenido una leyenda desde su origen desde los años 50 hasta el presente. Es así como el espía ingles domina la versión francesa del juego Bacará llamada Chemin de Fer con gran talento y admiración.

Bacara siempre fue popular entre la alta sociedad, especialmente en el siglo 15, cuando surgió en Italia. Bacara significa cero en italiano y a lo largo de su expansión en diferentes países nuevas reglas y variaciones fueron inventadas y adaptadas como en Estados Unidos o en Francia el Chemin de Fer, o el denominado Juego de James Bond.

El juego consiste en el "Jugador" y la "Banca" el nombre que se la a las opciones de apuestas, estos son repartidos dos o tres cartas cada uno con el objetivo simple de llegar a 9 sin pasarse de el. Mientras tanto la banca decide según las reglas del juego cuando detener la jugada y los jugadores ya han debido apostar a cual de las dos Jugador o Banca ganara la mano. Los jugadores o el jugador apuesta y el que apuesta a la mano que gano el puntaje mas correcto, gana la mano. En la adaptación americana, el juego funciona en contra a la banca, mientras que en Chemin de Fer, los jugadores compiten el uno con el otro. Uno representa al jugador y el otro a la Banca.

En compañía del Chemin de Fer los libros de Ian Fleming junto a las adaptaciones en escena de James Bond, han deslumbrado por décadas las diferentes aventuras del espía, con ayuda de su impecable poder del juego y su atractivo estilo. Hasta su último estreno en el 2006 James Bond sigue disfrutando de la lujuria de las mesas verdes de los casinos junto a su cigarro y el su sensual compañera en acción. En el anio 1964, las novelas y capítulos de James Bond, fueron escritas por Kingsley Amis, John Pearson, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, y Charlie Higson. Tambien sus actores variaron comenzando con el conocido Sean Connery, siguiendo con Geroge Lazenby, Roger Moore, Tomothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan y Daniel Craig.

Si observas, es muy interesante ver la manera en que el Agente apuesta al juego y a su vez actúa y descubre los secretos que lo rodean con la misma rapidez, seguridad y astucia. Enlas películas de James Bond el juego Chemin de Fer transcurre en elegantes salas llenas de mujeres elegantes y hombres adinerados que detrás del juego tienen otros intereses por revelar. En la realidad el enlace entre el Bacará y El Agente 007 es de un acompañante fiel de aventuras secretas y emocionantes de mas de cinco décadas que hicieron de el una leyenda inolvidable que resurge de generación en generación.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Avnex Music Morpher Gold 3.0 – A Closer Look

Of all the features in Avnex Music Morpher Gold 3.0, the Editor contains a truly impressive collection of powerful and versatile audio tools. Let’s take an in-depth look at the various effects and filters built-in to this program. While most of them can be accessed on the fly in the Music Player and applied real time, these effects are only active during playback. To permanently alter your audio files you have to open them within the editor. You can work with one file or multiple files in multi-session mode.

What you can do. The selection is seemingly endless. There are 60 major filters and effects to work with. Plus support for Direct X and VST. That’s just the surface; let’s take a detailed look at the power contained within these modules. If you are familiar with basic audio terms, most of these modules will be familiar to you, but you may not have encountered such depth and precision available to you in one program. Here’s the detailed list of the AVnex Music Morpher Effects Library:

Voice Morphing
o Cher Modification - 10 presets 8 controls
o Frequency Morpher - 11 presets and a graphic interface
o Robot Voice - 9 presets 2 sliders
o Root Formant Mover - 8 presets 2 sliders
o Tempo Morpher - 11 presets one slider
o Voice LPC Pitch Changer - 6 presets one slider
o Voice Morpher - 16 presets 3 sliders
o Voice Extractor - 3 presets7 sliders
o Voice Remover - 3 presets 4 sliders
o Voice Extractor - 5 sliders
o Voice Remover - 5 sliders

o 2 order equalizer - 17 presets 10 sliders graphic control
o 4 order equalizer - 17 presets 10 sliders graphic control
o Graphic Equalizer - 13 presets 1 slider graphic control with 2 scales
o Linear Phase Equalizer - 17 presets 10 slides graphic control

o Low Bass Filter - 16 presets 3 slides graphic control
o High " " - 6 presets 3 slides graphic control
o Band " " - 8 presets 4 slides graphic control
o Band Reject Filter - 7 presets 3 sliders graphic control
o FIR Bass Filter - 16 presets 3 sliders graphic control

o Amplitude Morpher - 8 presets graphic control 2 scales 2 curves
o Auto Loudness - 12 presets 2 sliders
o Change Channel - 9 presets 2 sliders
o Constant - 2 settings
o Dynamics Morpher - 8 presets 2 sliders graphic control
o Fade In - 4 types 1 slider
o Fade Out - 4 types 1 slider
o Invert - 3 presets 2 settings
o Limiter - 16 presets 2 sliders
o Multiband Dynamics - 8 presets compression ratio/threshold graph
o Normalize - 6 presets 2 sliders
o Volume - 15 presets 2 sliders

Echo and Reverb
o Complex Delay - 14 presets 7 sliders
o Delay - 22 presets 5 sliders
o Mega Reverb - 15 presets 5 sliders
o PingPong - 12 presets 7 sliders
o Resonance - 6 presets 6 sliders
o Reverberation - 10 presets 7 sliders 3 line controls
o Stick Channels - 17 presets 9 sliders

o Pseudo Surround 12 presets 3 sliders
o Surround - 24 presets 2 sliders

o Beat Tracking - 50 presets 2 sliders import capable
o Chorus - 15 presets 4 sliders 5 options
o Chorus Plus - 11 presets 8 sliders
o Detonation - 14 presets 7 sliders
o Distortion - 5 presets 4 sliders
o Envelope Morpher - 10 presets 2 sliders graphic control
o Flanger - 8 presets 5 sliders sine/feedback control
o Hardcore Beat - 8 presets 7 sliders
o Karaoke - 4 presets 1 slider
o Music by Voice Morpher - 4 sliders file input option
o Noise Reduction - 9 presets 2 sliders
o Rhythm to Noise - 7 presets 24 sliders each with 4 waveform settings linear and log scales
o Spectral Peak Enhancer - 6 presets 3 sliders
o Squeak - 8 presets 5 sliders
o Tremolo - 7 presets 5 sliders
o Vibrato - 3 presets 3 sliders
o Vibrato Plus - 10 presets 2 sliders time/offset graph
o Wave - 16 presets 5 sliders 6 waveforms
o Wah Wah Filter - 10 presets 6 sliders 2 scales band filters

Have you ever seen a more comprehensive list of audio tools? This module alone sets Music Morpher Gold head and shoulders above the competition. Besides the ability to play almost any audio file and to morph them on the fly, beyond the amazing variety of audio tools, you can also burn CDs, organize your audio files, rip audio CDs, create covers and liner notes for your CDs, and capture/record from any input device. Truly this is a masterpiece of audio software that will provide you with the means of fulfilling any of your audio dreams. Logon to to download a trial version; you won’t be sorry.

Wayne Rice is a freelance journalist, copywriter, photographer and artist. He currently resides in the United States.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Authentic watches – fine timepieces just for the collector in you!

Genuine watches are easily distinguishable from ordinary timepieces, having several functionalities. An expensive collectible wristwatch attracts with complications such as the chronograph, moon phase and perpetual calendar. Best of all, they can be found online at attractive prices.

If you are interested in a genuine Rolex wristwatch, then you should definitely check out the Rolex Rare Panama Canal. This is a special edition from the famous producer, also known as the Submariner, presented online by specialized sellers. Authentic Rolex timepieces impress with the 18 karat yellow gold, steel case and automatic movement. You can either choose a new Rolex watch or go for second-hand, barely used genuine watches. No matter which you prefer, you can be certain that you are offered the best quality. Gold/steel buckle, fold clasp and sapphire glass are just few of the features commonly encountered in a Rolex. There is also the black dial, the steel/gold bracelet and the attractive complications: date, center seconds and rotating bezel. Wearing any type of Rolex is a sign of elegance and refinement.

F.P Journe is a world-renowned name in the watch industry. Online, you can find several genuine watches bearing this name, including the exquisite and authentic F.P Journe Octa Calendrier Platinum. This watch is a clear proof of taste, with automatic movements and platinum buckle. Enjoy and leave it as heritage to your son. The F.P Journe watch has silver dial, sapphire glass for extra resistance and Arabic numerals. The bracelet is made from crocodile skin and among the complications you can find panorama date, week day and month hand. Such watches are truly unique items for a collector. If you enjoy watches, then you will certainly adore your F.P Journe platinum wristwatch. It has a transparent case, off-center dial and subsidiary seconds. The dial is plated with 18 karat gold and many people choose this particular watch for the retrograde date indication.

Talking about such grand names it makes you feel little. The truth is that the watch industry is filled with important brands, all offering the highest quality for their products. We are talking about names like Rolex, Patek, F.P Journe and Vacheron Constantin. The Internet presents an equal number of attractive opportunities for all the brands mentioned, including Vacheron Constantin watches. Made from steel with center seconds, these genuine watches are popular items. They come with silver dial and roman numerals, having delicate finishing touches. The bracelet is made from crocodile skin and it has a black color. The winding mechanism is manual and both the strap and the buckle are original.

Cartier offers some of the most incredible genuine watches for the ladies. The case material is stainless steel and the quality offered beyond anyone’s expectations. With quartz movement, steel buckle and fold clasp, Cartier timepieces are ladies’ favorites. They have glass made from sapphire, white dial, roman numerals and steel bracelet. Each Cartier watch is a true jewel that tells times. And in order to confirm that, you have the Chanel White Ceramic watch. They have a diamond dial, ceramic case and they are waterproof for 30 m. The gemstones included, meaning diamonds, are perhaps the greatest quality offered for authentic Chanel watches. Complications include: date, center seconds and rotating bezel. Quality is something you will encounter with every genuine watch, no matter if you prefer Rolex, F.P Journe, Cartier or Vacheron Constantin! Choose a specialized resource and browse through the extensive offers they have for genuine timepieces.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Asista a las Clases de Cine en Tel Aviv Israel

En la ciudad de Tel Aviv Israel, en el mes de junio de 2008 se realizara la décima versión de Cinema Master Class.

Por lo general llegan las estrellas de cine, directores, agentes, y personas que están relacionadas en el ámbito del cinema y televisión. Estas personas llegan a Tel Aviv para dictar clases a diferentes personas que están interesadas en aprender acerca del mundo del cinema, ya sea actuación, dirección y muchos temas de la industria cinematográfica.

Durante las dos semanas que se realizan las clases, productores americanos, directores y actores le enseñaran a directores y actores israelíes y americanos diferentes lecciones acerca de sus experiencias propias y de lo que han aprendido de cinema y televisión hasta ahora. Vienen maestros y estudiantes de Los Ángeles hasta Tel Aviv.

En los pasados años Israel y su Master Class han traído diferentes personas de la industria cinematográfica de Hollywood que colaboraron con este evento estas son Alfred Molina, Richard L Lewis productor, director y escritor, Zvi Howard, Lynn Roth, Danny Sussman, David Weiss el escritor de Shrek 2 y Jimmy Neutron, Jon Avnet el director de la película 88 minuts, Randal Kleiser director de la película Blue Lagoon y Grease entre otros directores, productores y actores famosos.

Los talleres tienen diferentes énfasis y diferentes maestros cada año, este año se realizaran en actuación y cinema, trabajaran directores con actores, técnicas de actuación, audiciones y casting. También se discutirán temas acerca de financiamiento para películas y venta de formatos israelíes para hollywood. Los participantes tendrán la posibilidad de presentar sus proyectos cinematográficos que serán tomados en cuenta para futuras proyecciones en Hollywood.

La mayoría de clases son para personas relacionadas con el cinema como actores, directores, productores que están empezando en el camino del cinema, pero algunas clases también estarán abiertas para el público en la cinemateca de Tel Aviv. La información la van a poder encontrar en la página de Internet en la cual podrán ver mas información acerca de las clases, participantes, inscripción y demás.

Las personas que están interesadas en estudiar cinema y televisión o algo que tenga que ver con esta rama pueden asistir a las clases abiertas que dictaran estas figuras de Hollywood y allí se podrán dar cuenta si ese es el mundo en el cual aqueren trabajar. En estas clases se pueden orientas a los estudiantes y guiarlos para que puedan entrar en el mundo del cinema y conocer un poco de las experiencias de aquellos que han estado allí por años.

Quien no quiere que Steven Spielberg o Brad Pitt cuenten sus experiencias en el mundo de la cinematografía o que algunos de los profesores de las diferentes estrellas de la pantalla grande dicten una clase que les servirá para toda la vida y que además podrán utilizar los consejos que estas personas les da para poder seguir adelante con sus carreras.

Todos los que quieran estar allí están cordialmente invitados a participar de este evento que se realizará en Tel Aviv Israel en la cinemateca. Si este es el camino que eligieron y la carrera que quieren seguir pues mucha suerte para los participantes y para aquellos que participan en las Master Class.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Backgammon Rules: Learn How to Play Backgammon

The board game backgammon is one of the most ancient games known to man. It is believed that early variations of the game were played in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Ancient Rome. Since then, the game has evolved, changed several names and spread to different parts of the world. It is currently a popular pastime all over the US, East Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

In order to play backgammon all you need is a partner, two dice and a special backgammon board with checkers. The backgammon board is divided into two sides with each one is the mirror reflection of the other. Each side contains 12 triangles called points numbered from 1 to 24.
Points 1 to 6: Home Board or Inner Board
Points 7 to 12: Outer Board
7 point: Bar Point
13 point: Mid Point

At the starting position of the game, each player has 2 checkers on the 24 point, 3 checkers on the 8 point and 5 on the 13 and 6 point. Each player moves from his home board through the outer board towards the opponent home board.

The object of backgammon, then, is to move your checkers towards your opponent home board and remove them off the board before your opponent moves his checkers towards your home board. The speed of the progress of each move is determined by the outcome of the dice roll.

The backgammon play begins with both players tossing one die. The player whose outcome is the highest, makes the first move using both his and his opponents number. If the outcome of the dice toss is even, the players toss the dice again until an uneven outcome appears. From now on, each player tosses both dice on his turn.

After each toss of dice, you should move your checkers forward the number of steps appears on both dice. You can move either one checker the number of steps summed up by both die or move two checkers. To make it clearer: if the outcome of the dice roll is 5 and 4, you can either move one checker 9 steps forward or move one checker 5 steps forward and then move the other piece 4 steps forward

If the dice rolls a double, which means an even number on both dice, you can move double the number appears on the dice. For example, if you roll double 2, you can move 2 points four times. In that case, you can either move one checker 8 steps forward; move two checkers a total of 4 steps; move two checkers a total of 2 steps each plus a total of 4 steps; move one checker a total of 6 steps plus 2 steps; or move four checkers 2 steps.

You can move a checker to a point where there is another one of your checkers or no more than one checker of your opponent, called blot. When you hit a blot, it is moved to the middle of the board to the part divided between the home board and the outer boards, called the bar.

The checkers placed on the bar are kept out of play until the bar can be entered by a dice roll in the opponent’s home boards. For example, if you roll 2, you can enter a checker to the 23 point and enter the opponents home board and re enter the bar checkers into the game. You cannot move the other checkers unless your entire bar checkers are at your opponents home board.

By the time your checkers are in your home board, you must remove the checkers from the board, to bear off, using a roll of dice. For example, if you roll 1, you can bear off one checker from the 1 point; if you roll 2, you can move a checker form the 2 point, and so on.

If your opponent has not borne off any checkers while you have borne off 15 checkers, you win the gammon. If your opponent has not borne off any checkers and still some of his checkers are placed on the bar, while you have borne off 15 checkers, then you win the backgammon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Backgammon History

Backgammon has been around for many years, and many different people have been playing the game. Backgammon history is not known by many people, however it is an interesting piece of information to look into. If you are a big player of the game, backgammon history may be a story you want to hear about. Here we go.

Backgammon is the oldest game ever played. It is said to come from the Greek. It is said to be originated in what is known to us today as Kuwait and Iraq. This was between the times of 2900 and 1800 BC. So as I said, it is a very old game.

Back in this time a group of people called the Sumerians lived in this area and they were known for some cultural creations like the wheel and math system. They also were thought to be the inventors of the first written language.

They made their own version of the board used for the game and came up with their own pieces to play with. Scientists found proof of this many, many years later and figured out they were playing backgammon.

Backgammon was found to be played by nobles and the royal party. However now and maybe even then, all cultures and all classes of society play game.

The Egyptians and the Romans played the game, however, they had different names for it. One was the “Senet” or the Tabula. They were played with the same intentions, only different names and tables.

In the early societies, the game of backgammon was banned. In Japan, it was illegal. It is interesting to think about today, that a board game was once outlawed in a society.

In the late 60’s, the game of backgammon became very popular. Everyone seemed to take an interest in the game and they were playing in living rooms across the globe.

Now with all the technology of the world, you do not have to rely on a board game and getting out all the pieces. If you have access to the Internet, then you can play backgammon with the click of a mouse. There are many versions of the game offered online and you can play alone in the privacy of your own home or at the office while taking lunch.

With the availability of Internet backgammon, you can practice up without anyone knowing. You can have the advantage over the other players when it comes time to compete with friends or family and some day you may even be ready for a tournament. Tournament play sounds like great fun.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Backgammon For Beginners

Except in certain circles, the game of backgammon doesn’t get much attention these days unless the version being played is the online version. But that’s not the way it was 5,000 years ago when players in Mesopotamia first created this exciting and strategic board game. Few people realize that backgammon existed even before the game of chess was created, making it one of the oldest games still played in modern times.

Little about backgammon has changed since its earliest days. The game itself has survived countless civilizations including the Persians, Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. This is evidenced from the many games that have been discovered by means of archeological excavations. The layout of the board has changed as previously it consisted of 3 rows of 10 squares. For a time it was called Senat. Since then, however, the only other significant change has been the addition of the doubling cube, thought to have been added in the early 1900’s. The doubling cube made the game more interesting and added an element of intrigue.

As with most things in life the Internet breathed new life into the game of backgammon, with virtual game rooms springing to life almost as fast as virtual poker and other virtual games of chance. Today, finding others who share a passion for the game is easy. All players need to do is log on to any of the established backgammon web sites any time of day and they’ll find players around the world looking for partners. To draw attention to these sites, operators have started offering cash prizes and other alluring bonus offers and their tactics are working.

If you’ve never played a game of backgammon, you really don’t know what you’re missing. It’s not hard to learn and once you do, you’ll find that the game is somewhat addicting. With each new round, you’ll learn something you didn’t know before, and as you do, your ability to effectively strategize will increase. So next time you’re bored, find someone who knows how to play backgammon!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Baccarat History and American Baccarat Rules

If we put aside the black ties, the velvet curtains and the overall exclusive atmosphere, baccarat is one of the simplest casino games around. In addition, baccarat is a beatable game with a low house edge, which makes it one of the best bets you can make! Here you can read about baccarat history and learn how to play the game.

Both the American and European versions of baccarat and the French Chemin de Fer are late developments of the Italian game called baccara, which means zero in Italian. The origins of baccara go back to an old Etruscan myth. According to the myth, a blonde virgin had to toss a nine sided die to decide on her destiny. If the die landed on eight or nine, she would have to fulfill her destiny and become a priest. If the die landed on six or seven, she would be forbidden to participate in any religious activity. If the die landed on any other number, the virgin had to walk into the sea.

The Italian game baccara was popular among French aristocracy during the end of the 15th century. Baccara had evolved to the European version of baccarat, which is still played in European casinos today as well as the French variation of baccarat known as Chemin de Fer, which is mainly played in casinos in France. The American version of the game was introduced to Nevada casinos in the 1950s by Francis Tommy Renzoni, who imported the game from Havana.

Baccarat still carries an aroma of aristocracy and exclusivity. In American casinos, baccarat is played in a separated area of the casino, hidden behind velvet curtains. Baccarat players are usually dressed up and the betting limits are higher comparing to other table games. In order to attract the medium budget players, a lower limit version of baccarat, called mini baccarat, was invented. Mini baccarat is played on a smaller table, inside the casino gambling area with lower betting limits than baccarat.

How to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is played with 3 dealers and up to 12 or 14 players. Baccarat is usually played with 8 standard card decks. Aces valued as one, face cards and ten cards valued as zero, and the rest of the number cards worth their face value. The suit has no meaning. The object of the game is to get as close to 9 as possible.

The play begins by all players, including the dealer, placing their bets either on the player, the banker, or on a tie. Traditionally, the dealer bets on the banker. The dealer can be the house dealer or one of the players. After everyone has placed their bets, the dealer gives two cards to each player and to the banker.

The score of each hand is calculated as the sum of the two cards minus the left digit. For example, if the sum of the two cards is 15, the score would be 5. The decision whether to deal a third card is determined by a set or rules and it is not up to the player or the dealers decision.
If the score of the players hand is 9 or 8, he wins
If the score of the dealers hand is 9 or 8, it is a tie
If a players score is 7 or 6, he can be dealt a third card
If a players score is 5 or less, he has to receive a third card
If a player gets a third card and the score of the dealers hand is 2, 1 or 0, he must draw a third card
If the score of the dealers hand is 3 and the players third card is any value but 8, he must draw a third card
If the score of the dealers hand is 4 and the players third card value is between 2 and 7, he must draw a third card
If the score of the dealers hand is 5 and the players third card value is between 4 and seven, he must draw a third card
If the score of the dealers hand is 6 and the players third card is 6 or 7, he must draw a third card.
If the score of the dealers hand is 7, he cannot draw a third card.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Artificial Intelligence And Xbox 360

Let's leave the format war between Sony and Microsoft and explore a gaming phenomena that unquestionably improves current gaming trends -- Artificial Intelligence, or AI to many. Touted to make new breakthroughs and trends in the world of gaming, AI is the enabling of intricate decision-making capabilities in a software. Speaking of AI, the Xbox 360 boasts of an AI-capable system designed and developed by many brilliant and innovative engineers. Though the Xbox also has this feature, it is more pronounced and better in the new console combined with the HD DVD technology.

Of course, such high-quality consoles deserve top-notch games and the developers stepped up to the challenge. Game developers for Xbox and its new improved counterpart also added AI programs to their games, giving the in-game personas the ability to think like a real person. With the vast power of the new consoles, the whole universe of gaming comes alive. A summary of the improvements AI bring to online gaming: non-player characters or NPCs act in realistic manner, not to mention that allies are more helpful and enemies become more fiendish than ever.

Such simplistic notions cannot fully express the benefit of AI in a game sequence. The simplicity of the summation only contrives to hide the complexity of the AI behind the Xbox 360. But the concept of AI is not a modern one. In fact, AI is a subject of discussion, debates, and practical simulations within the academic setting for years. Chris Satchell, Microsoft's General Manager for Game Development, attests to this fact. From the development of Pac-Man, game designers and developers have been employing the use of AI, even if it is just in its simplest state. Take Pac-Man for example, wherein the main objective is to eat as many golden pellets as possible without being eaten by the "ghosts." This simplicity is matched by the elementary pre-scripted AI patterns used. The ghosts almost always follow a straight line but they deviate from their path when they sense your presence. It is noticeable especially when your Pac-Man does not change position at all -- the ghosts move according to the path, changing directions only when they get close to you.

Twenty years later since Pac-Man, family computers, and many computer hardware changes, game developers still use the same simplistic AI tricks. The hardwares evolve to accommodate the intensity of the modern graphics as well as the sound system for more biting audio. However, despite these changes, AI programs continue to be a sort of last-minute addition. In fact, the programs are deemed to be unimportant in gaming. As a result, the NPCs, largely remained as stupid bots who don't move even if caught in a crossfire. This is what the AI programs for the Xbox 360 take care of.

Satchell affirms that the new processing model composed of three powerful symmetric cores more than makes up for the lack of "reality" of the old console models. He asserts that this new Microsoft innovation is really a paradigmatic shift because the standard for game consoles and computer hardware is the use of a single core. He added that this shift to a three-core system will add considerable burden to the lives of game developers but add to greater delight of all Xbox 360 gamers. This is because a fully AI-capable three-core system provides greater flexibility and more cycles which make gaming more exciting and interesting.

The key to achieving that is to make sure that the AI programs of the new Xbox run smoothly on all three cores. Therefore, the developers need to take extensive sections from their codes and test it on all three cores. As a result of all these great efforts, the CPU's main processor does not take all the burden of handling multiple tasks; instead, the added cores take over the job. The results are more efficient gaming, sharper graphics, quality audio, and thinking characters which give Xbox 360 games advantage over others.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Article directories add value

Article Directories follow the metaphysical law of Reciprocation. What this means in Layman's Terms is: you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Both parties get something out of the arrangement, and all is good. If you contrast this particular method of marketing to the more odious method of "scraping content", and you'll quickly see why article directories are considered to be the wave of the future when it comes to interactive and co-operative marketing. Article directories allow for participation by:

1)webmasters who want to use the articles
2)The Webmaster who wrote the article and who receives promotional credit for publishing it
3)The end user who gets high quality content that may not have been available otherwise.

If you haven't already begun article creation, you better get started soon. Right now, the article directory industry is exploding. What better way to promote your website than to write expert articles that make you and your subject matter stand out from the crowd? If you're an excellent writer, you can greatly expand the audience of your website by expanding your reach on the internet. Once you're published on a multitude of websites, you can expect a great deal of direct traffic as well as search engine juice from your many installed articles. If you think about 10 articles that are on over 100 sites, you can quickly see that's 1,000 pages that now link to you with information about you and your website. Done consistently, for months on end, there is no better way of increasing your exposure than authoring and submitting articles on your favorite subjects. If you're not already an expert on a subject, then what better time to start than now?

You are best off writing individual articles for the web directories that do not appear on your own website. Otherwise, you may run into the very real risk of the article directory outranking you for your very own content! Generally article directories are very popular website with a great deal of traffic and link popularity, so they often will rank for your article. If you use original content, you can expect additional traffic, that doesn't interfere with your websites traffic at all. Submitting content to article directories is not a miracle cure for all of your ranking blues, but it's a great start for a deserving website on the road to recognition. Only by getting the word out, can you expect others to be able to find the wonderful resource that is your website.

The Article Directory at is a human-edited, categorized search engine friendly web directory. Add your website today.
View their website at:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Are You Looking For Quality Comedy Entertainment?

Are you looking for quality comedy entertainment? Check out ComedySportz for a great show everyone in your family or group will love.

1. ComedySportz is funny improvisation played as a sport. It is excellent entertainment for people of all ages.

2. Two teams improvise while acting out scenes, games, and songs as they compete for points and laughes from the audience. There are referees who monitor play and the National Anthem is played before every game. The winning team is chosen by the audience who takes a vote.

3. ComedySportz is modeled after the comedy show, Theatersports by Keith Johnson. The comedy version was born in 1984 by Dick Chudnow.

4. You can find this comedy show in cities throughout the United States including: Spokane, Chicago, Indianapolis, Richmond, Dallas, and New York. They also do shows in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

5. Because this comedy show is clean, funny, interactive and positive it is a great show for the entire family.

6. ComedySportz performs well over 2000 shows on the road ever year. They do shows for colleges, corporate events, churches and fundraising groups.

7. Highly rated by everyone who sees one of their shows fans of ComedySportz rave about the quality of their shows.

8. Comedy is not the only service provided by ComedySportz. They also offer a variety of classes, workshops and seminars on teambuilding and communication skills. These workshops provide an opportunity to improve communication skills and teamwork in the workplace.

9. There are three levels of workshops. Level One seminars on improvisation include: trust, speed, status, accepting and conquering fears and basic scene making. These skills are learned through a games and various activities which require improvisation.

10. The next level workshop is level two. Once you have completed level one you can take a level two workshop. It is here you will learn ComedySportz games as well continued work on improvisational skills. There are even opportunities for level two students to perform. Level Three continues to build on these skills.

11. If you or your company is interested in having a seminar focused on learning communication and team work skills while also having a great time, ComedySportz can put one together for you.

ComedySportz offers comedy, fun, healthy competition and opportunities for self improvement.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Are Soy Candles Better Than Your Average Candle?

Everyone loves candles and they are a great way to add warmth and comfort to your home. You even have a few choices of candles such as regular wax candles and soy candles. Candles are affordable and they can last for a very long time. The best part about candles is that they look good both lit and unlit. Oddly enough most people, me included, own candles that they never intend to light for fear of ruining their beauty.

Candles are both practical and gorgeous and of all the candles on the market soy candles are the most sought after these days. Everyone is wanting to get themselves some fantastic soy candles. Only soy candles are healthier.

Did you know that candles can be dangerous to your health, the health of your children and even your pets? Some candles have been known to kill pet birds! Paraffin is not good for people to be inhaling and some candles are even made with lead wicks in them. Can you image how much harm could be done with a lead wick?

If you were to purchase soy candles you would not have these types of worries. These soy candles were created to combat the growing problem of inferior cheap candles. Now you can have all the glory of good candles and candle light without the dangerous components. You can even get wonderfully scented soy candles.

There are so many reasons for you to choose soy candles over regular run of the mill candles. For instance, did you know that soy candles can last twice as long as other candles? They are so affordable when you look at them this way. You will be able to get twice as much use out of your candles when they are soy candles. And since they burn slower and longer the smell will be even better.

Have you ever noticed that some scented candles get overpowering in their smells? That is because the candles burn so hot and fast. When you are using soy candles this is not a problem. Since the candle is burning at a lower temperature the scent will be dispersed at a much better rate, one that will keep your home smelling fresh and clean all day long.

The biggest complaint that most people have about regular candles is the soot factor. How many times have you had to try and scrub off soot after lighting a candle? Well, the good news is that you will never have to do this again when you switch over to soy candles. Soy candles have no soot production and they will never stain anything at all.

Soy is also a renewable resource. It grows in the USA with ease and there is a plentiful amount to it. You will never have to worry about hurting the environment when you are using soy candles. You will be giving people new and better jobs and helping the world at the same time. Soy candles are really the best way to go and if you have not checked them out yet, what are you waiting for?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Architectural Scale Model

I had a 1 48 scale model flying Fortress that was my pride and joy.

When I went to architecture school, I gave it all up. I figured that I could not make a career in models, and should do something else that I enjoyed. Little did I realize what awaited me. I actually got a job in architectural scale model making! If you enjoy working with miniatures and have working knowledge architecture, this is an amazing field to get into. When I make architectural scale models, I get to create complete miniature communities. Most of my architecture scale model clients don't want to just have a model of the building that they are proposing. They want a model that shows the whole surrounding area along with the building. This gives context to the vision, and makes it appear as if it has already come to life. This is where architectural scale model builders coming in.

One of the interesting things about architectural scale model making is how painstaking it is. Despite all the advances of modern technology, there is still only one way to make an architectural scale model: by hand. Sure, there are some advantages that we have that previous generations did not. The individual pieces of architectural scale models can be stamped out. This saves hundreds of hours of work, because you don't have to cut each piece by itself. However, adapting the architectural blueprint to an architectural scale model, designing the pieces, creating the molds, trimming the parts, and putting them together, all still have to be done by human hands. No one has figured out a way to automate the process.

I am grateful that they haven't figured out a way to take the individual craftsmen away from the architectural scale model. This job is a dream come true, and I'm glad it can't be done more efficiently by machines. I think it will be a long time before anyone figures out another way to do it. If it were a matter of mass manufacturing architectural scale models, it would be different. You could create one design and have it stamped out by a machine. But each architectural scale model is custom ordered, and so each must be custom made.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Antiques Concepts, Online And Off

Are you a part of the latest antiques craze? Compared to ten years ago, we are constantly bombarded with antique radio shows, antique television show that have become increasingly popular have pitched the idea of dealing with antiques to large international crowds, and the simple fact remains, the antique world is giving love to those who love the antiques… not to the bargain hunters.

Do you feel excited when you see an old toy, dating back 200 years ago and in mint condition, do you feel that owning something like that will give you something special, that the first person to ever hold this in his hands is long gone, but that there is a link between generations and across time because you are now enjoying the same thing?.

I know this feeling, and even though I did sell and still do sell some of my antiques, I hold on to many others, it is no secret that most antique lovers have to sell a few things here and there, but every once in a while something gets to you, sometimes even in a mystical way, its something you know you want to hold on to.

A very popular niche in antiques is old toys, the toys first produced when mass production just started, or even hand crafted toys that date way back. When shopping for antique toys, it can be extremely helpful to have a price guide in hand.

Many unscrupulous sellers are hoping to gain profit due to a buyer’s lack of knowledge. Watching some of the antique shows can help educate you as a buyer. For a few dollars, you can purchase an antique toy pricing guide and have a firm understanding of how to find a bargain. If you happen to have collected many of your childhood toys and are ready to sell them, there can be a great deal of money to be made. Do some research regarding antique toy and their prices and some items may make you a mint!

An extremely popular collection of antique toys includes a wooding rocking horse. Wooden rocking horses are widely available at online antique stores and often cost well over $1,000 if they are in good condition. Some wear is expected, but the rocking horse must work and contain the original pieces.

Surprisingly, antique-toys sought after by collectors typically include marbles. One onionskin marble on EBay is currently priced at $500 and steadily climbing. While marbles may be at the bottom of your antique toys list, they can sell for huge amounts of money.

If antiques is your passion and you want to learn more the internet is a great resource of information, in fact, the antiques market has been growing in a phenomenal rate since the internet started catching on, people can trade and present antiques on Ebay and other auction sites. There is always a place for more people and more items on this market, and you may find out that its not that difficult to start doing things in the antiques market soon enough.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Antiques - 7 Reasons Why We Collect Them.

People collect antiques for many different reasons and therefore have many different views.

1. Some people collect antiques because they hold sentimental value. For example, I own a ceramic parrot that had been given to me by my grandparents, a cupboard from my other grandparents and a very old doll that had been given to me by my great aunt.

2. My in-laws once owned an antique business which they set up for sales and auctions. Their basement was always filled with a treasure trove of fascinating and interesting items. They could tell you the worth of any item in the basement. They loved restoring old pieces, not so much so that they could sell it for more but simply because they gained satisfaction from doing so.

3. My son enjoys collecting antique games and old books and even collects them. One of his favorite antiques are the tiddly winks games which he has collected from all over the world.

4. Antique lovers enjoy the chase more than anything. They enjoy searching through stores and antique shops all over the country searching for that specific or unusual item they been looking for.

5. Some people look for antiques as simply a hobby but they very seldom buy anything. They simply enjoy looking at what different areas of the country have the offer. It can be a lot of fun searching through antique stores.

6. Sometimes people who want to furnish their home look for antiques. Antiques of different time periods will often work well together to create a beautiful home.

7. Their other people who deal in the buying and selling of antiques. They are hard-core, know the value of pretty much everything, and always want to buy low and sell high. These folks typically are only interested in the price itself.

Collecting antiques can be a wonderful experience and provide enjoyment for people of all ages.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Anthony Sheenard is the Best European Sci-Fi Author

This year the Eurocon was hold in Copenhagen, Denmark - the Eurocon is the official yearly sci-fi convention of the European Science-Fiction Society (ESFS).

The ESFS founded a few prize to the best European persons in the sci-fi field - best author, best promoter, best translator, best artist, best publisher, best magazine. The best author of 2007 is a Hungarian sci-fi writer, Sándor Szélesi, who has almost 25 novels and a lot of short stories - mostly published in Hungary.

The 38 years old sci-fi, fantasy and thriller writer has an author name - he is publishing his books as Anthony Sheenard. (Most Hungarian authors forced to use English names by the publishers.)

He was the editor of a Hungarian sci-fi magazine called Átjáró (~Gateway), and a lot of his short stories are published by the Galaktika, which is the most famous Hungarian SF magazine.

His first fantasy novel was published at the Cherubion Press in 1994. His first SF novel, The Settlers was published in 1997, and was later awarded the Zsoldos Péter Award as the year's best Hungarian SF novel.

Sándor Szélesi also wrote mystical historical novels and thrillers, and two volumes containing collections from his 70 short stories have also seen the light of day.

At the moment he is working as a script writer in a Hungarian television series.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Anno's Evangelion: A Study In Mental Disorders

Hideaki Anno's magnum opus of an anime, “Shin Seiki Evangelion” has long been the subject of debate for anime fans. There will always be conflicts on whether the show reinvigorated a stagnating industry or if it was all hype. There will be fans arguing one way or another about the validity of the countless revivals and reinterpretations of the original material, including the latest CG-heavy movie project entitled “The Rebuild of Evangelion.” The debate on whether one of the female leads is better and more attractive than the other is likely never going to end. However, the fact that all of the characters exhibit some extreme examples of severely stunted mental health is a point of great interest to the fans. The latest installment can be viewed as a protracted case study into just how warped a human mind can become.

For a good introduction into this facet of the show, there's always the lead character, Shinji Ikari. The boy exhibits signs of incredible social anxiety, being completely unwilling to engage in social activities at the onset of the show. In some ways, his politeness and tendency to apologize repeatedly for things that are not his fault, as well as apologizing for his earlier apologies, can also be seen as a link to his performance anxiety. Indeed, throughout the bulk of the show, he exhibits signs of performance anxiety when tasked with piloting the massive bio-mechanical constructs known as “evangelions.” The fact that his social anxiety prevents him from truly opening up to anyone makes it difficult for him to find ways to release his tension and fear, even to his trusted guardian. There are a few fans that have theorized that Shinji's myriad of psychological issues also contains Oedipus complex, though the show merely hints upon this.

An interesting mirror to Shinji is one of the female leads, Asuka Langley Soryu. She has suffered the same trauma as Shinji, mainly the death of the mother and rejection by the father. However, her social anxiety seems to have taken the opposite route as Shinji's, giving her a more extroverted and vocal personality but pushing away people when she subconsciously feels that they are getting too close. She also exhibits extreme status anxiety when piloting the “evangelion” units are concerned. She is highly concerned with maintaining her status as the most effective pilot, going to great lengths to stay that way. However, when the data reflects Shinji's performance as being superior to hers, she goes berserk and insists that such an event is impossible. The situation was worsened when Shinji invariably rescued her, as she was rendered incapacitated by a mental attack that forced her to deal with her myriad of issues, all of which she had pushed under the surface. Her mental health eventually collapses in the wake of those events, causing her to rapidly progress from self-doubt, to depression, and finally to a complete mental and emotional breakdown. In the original incarnation, she never actually recovered.

In some ways, Shinji's guardian, Misato Katsuragi, has also experienced stunted mental health. The death of her father traumatized her, such that she was unable to speak for several years after the incident. Her attraction to a co-worker, Kaji, is an overt sign of Electra complex. Characters within the show have pointed out that Misato's attraction to Kaji stems from his resemblance to her father, both in appearance and personality. She has also exhibited some signs of separation anxiety, as evidenced by her unwillingness to sacrifice Shinji in battle, even if it would cost potentially thousands of other lives to save him. Her constant worrying over this fact is taken as evidence of the problem. Her outgoing and happy personality is also hinted to be her way of coping with some form of social anxiety, which manifests by her refusal to allow herself to get emotionally close to her. It is also implied that she understands this, as she notes that any attempt to develop her parental relationship with Shinji would only result in both of them getting hurt. Even the parental nature of her relationship with Shinji is questionable, particularly due to her statements implying that she will sleep with him if he does as she says and saves the world in the “End of Evangelion” movie.

Rei Ayanami, another of the lead characters, is generally viewed as a “poster child” for a number of stunted mental health. She is often seen being incapable of feeling emotions, or at least incapable of expressing the emotions she feels. However, this lack of emotion from her has only added to the speculation on what her myriad of psychological issues are. She exhibited Thanatos, the so-called “death instinct,” on one occasion. Her lack of friends and social contacts has been interpreted by some as being a product of her own social anxiety, which is in turn aggravated by her apparent lack of emotions. Indeed, it is generally assumed that the other students tried to initiate social interaction with her, but that she herself prevented it from going further than that. However, unlike Shinji and Asuka, she does not seem to exhibit anxiety problems regarding her ability to pilot an “evangelion,” though whether this is because she does not feel it or she is incapable of expressing her frustrations is debatable.

All of the other major figures in the show exhibit signs of mental health problems in most incarnations. It has often been stated that the characters are motivated and controlled by their anxiety disorders and psychological issues, with most of them being where they are because of their problems. The anime was heralded as revolutionary because of its psychological and religious themes, as well as showing that the mecha sub-genre could have a deeper meaning than “giants robots fighting other giant robots.” The point is arguable but, even a decade after the show was first released, it is arguable that no anime has had characters as psychologically warped as “Evangelion.”

Monday, March 1, 2010

Anime 101

Simply put, anime is a form of cartoon animation created in Japan, which explains animes formerly-popular moniker, Japanimation. Anime’s history began at the start of the 20th century. This was when Japanese filmmakers began trying out new animation techniques that were being used in the Western world. Anime did not reach mainstream status until the 1980s, and since then it has blown up not only in Japan, but around the globe.

Part of the draw that anime possesses is the fact that they can target wide ranges of viewers. This is due to the fact that animes are not confined to one category, but run the entire gamut of genres, including action, sci-fi, drama, romance, horror, and yes, even erotica. Many animes do not limit themselves to one particular genre and mix genres together.

Animation itself allows anime creators to convey just about any storyline they desire. It is much easier to make a cartoon about large robots featuring huge action and destruction sequences than it is to produce a live-action film including the same things. With recent advances in CGI animators have even more power to transfer their wildest imaginations on to a screen. Storylines, characters, and settings are limited only to what creators can conjure up in their minds.

Though animes seem to be simple cartoons on the surface, many of them have deeper storylines and character development. This may be conveyed through the use of character-based flashbacks, which portray part of a character’s past to the viewer, allowing them to understand why they act a certain way or say the things they say. Juvenile humor may be thrown in sporadically in drama-based animes, but do not be surprised if you see poignant and profound character development in humor-based animes as well.

Needless to say, not all animes are just cartoons for kids. In fact, the majority of animes feature violence, sexual innuendos, and language that may not be suitable for children. This is likely a major reason why anime’s popularity has exploded in the past few years across the world. With animes, cartoons are no longer just for kids, and even adults can find themes of romance and drama that they might otherwise find only in real-life television shows. The unique blend of animated characters with more mature themes is undoubtedly an enticing combination for adult-viewers.

Most anime series find their foundations in manga, or Japanese comics. These mangas are usually a few episodes ahead of the actual television series and have become popular among international audiences as well.

When animes are released in theaters, on television, or on DVDs in countries outside of Japan, distributors must decide whether they want to use subtitles or dubbed voices. There are pros to both sides of the issue, and there are strong proponents of both. Some viewers enjoy watching their anime without having to read words on the bottom of the screen, which they say take away from the visual pleasures of the anime. Others prefer to hear the original voice acting and enjoy reading the more literal translations. DVDs offer both sides a satisfying medium, as they allow for either subtitles or English voice tracks.

Now that you know the basics of anime and its history, it is time to find the right animes for you. There are countless resources on the Internet that give recommendations and reviews of numerous anime series, many of which are readily available on DVD and even on television stations. Pick a genre, read up on reviews and summaries of shows that you are interested in, and enjoy.

Happy hunting.