Saturday, July 31, 2010

10 Tips In Better Photography

Taking a good photo isn’t as hard as you may think. You don’t need the most expensive camera or years of experience, just 10 simple tips.


Tip 1 - Use All Your Available Space

Don't be afraid to use all the space in your photo. If you want to take a picture of something, it's ok for it to take up the whole shot with no or very little background showing. Keep distractions out of your shot

Tip 2 - Study Forms

This is a vital aspect to photography. Understanding forms in your photos. Don't see an object, she its shape and its form and find the best angle to photograph it from. Form is all around us and I highly suggest you read as many books on it as possible.

Tip 3 - Motion In Your Photos

Never have motion in your photos if you are photographing a still object. If there is something moving while you are trying to photograph a stationery object, your photo won't turn out anywhere near as well. Also never put a horizon line in the center of your frame.

Tip 4 - Learn To Use Contrasts Between Colors.

Some of the best photos have shades of white, gray and black. You can take great shots with just one color on your subject, but the contrasts between colors in a shot is what makes you a great photographer.

Tip 5 - Get Closer To Your Subject

This is one of the biggest mistakes most photographers make, not getting close enough to their subject. Get up and personal and close the distance gap. You can always reshape and resize a good shot but you can't continue to blowup a distant object.

Tip 6 - Shutter Lag

Shooting action shots with digital camera's can be tricky due to shutter lags. What this means is, when you press the button to take the photo, it can take up to a second for the shutter to take a photo, by that time what you were photographing would have moved or changed somehow. This means you have to compensate for shutter lag by predicting what your subject is going to do and taking the photo just before it takes the action you want. More expensive digital cameras don't have this problem.

Tip 7 - Pan

If you are taking an action shot and your shutter speed is slow, pan with the object. Follow through with the subject, from start to finish and one of those shots will be a winner. You have more chance of getting a good shot if you take more then one photo.

Tip 8 - Continuous Shots

To pan like I suggested above you will need a camera that does continuous shots and doesn’t need to stop and process after every shot.

Tip 9 - How To Take Fantastic Night Time Shots

Night time shots can be spectacular, almost magical.... if done right! If not they can look horrible. Really horrible. Without adequate lighting, even good camera's can turn out crappy photos if the photographer doesn't know what he or she is doing.

Tip 10 - Study Your Manual

If your digital camera has a special night time mode, read the manual and follow their instructions on how to use it properly.

Friday, July 30, 2010

8 Tips For Better Digital Photos

Whether you consider yourself an amateur photographer, or you just want to create better family photos, there are many things you can do to get better photos. Here are some easy tips to use the next time you head out with your digital camera.

Even a beginner can take professional-looking photos - suitable for framing.

Be Prepared

Keep all your photography equipment ready for use. Collect everything you’ll need into one place. A camera bag is ideal, because it keeps all your stuff together and lets you carry it all with you. Everything in its place. A good camera bag will let you organize a miniature tripod, extra battereis, memory cards, etc. - even a plastic bag or waterproof housing to protect your camera in wet weather.

Hold your Camera Steady

Blurry photos are almost always the result of camera movement. Just your own unsteadiness, causes your camera to shake enough to blur your pictures.

So steady yourself and your camera before you take the shot.

Plant your feet firmly on the ground and tuck your elbows in close to your sides. Instead of using the LCD viewer, steady your camera against your forehead and frame the shot using your camera’s viewfinder. You can also steady your upper body by leaning against a wall or a tree. Or totally eliminate any camera movement by using a tripod.

Once you’re all set, gently press the shutter release in one motion. Pressing the shutter release too hard could jerk the camera downward.

Get Closer

One difference in “snapshots” and really great photos is the composition of the shot. Unless you’re shooting an outdoor landscape, you can improve most photos just by getting closer to your subject. Depending on the situation, you can physically move closer to your subject, or use the zoom feature on your camera for the same effect. Try to get within a few feet of your subject so you eliminate most of the background. You’ll like the results.

Take more Pictures

Even professionals take loads of shots of the same subject - to get just a few that they will use. With a digital camera, you can delete the images you don’t like, and only print the winners - so don’t hesitate to take several shots of the same subject. Change the angle of the shot. Get a little closer. Adjust the lighting.

Why not fill the entire memory card with pictures of your kid at the pool, or your daughter in her cap and gown? The more pictures you take, the better the odds that you’ll get a few shots that will really thrill you.

Vary the Lighting

Using natural light will give better skin tones when photographing people, so try not to use the flash if you don’t have to. Outdoor daylight shots are easy, but you’ll have to be a little more creative when shooting indoors. Try using the light coming in from a window for warmer tones than you would get using the flash.

Experiment with natural lighting. You can get stronger shadows by moving your subject closer to a window, and turning your subject can create more dramatic shadows.

Eliminate Red-Eye

Red-eye is the result of light passing through your subject’s eye and reflecting back. You’ll get it more often when using your flash, just because the light from the flash isn’t as diffused as natural light. So the first tip for eliminating red-eye is simply to avoid using your flash when you don’t absolutely have to.

Another way to reduce red-eye is to have your subject look anywhere but at the camera. This reduces red-eye because any reflection isn’t directed back at your camera lens.

If you have to use the flash, some digital cameras have a built-in feature to automatically remove red-eye. Use it.

Go for Candid

Instead of posing two (or more) people looking directly at the camera, get a shot of them interacting with one another. Even two people having a conversation is more interesting than having them stand next to each other facing the camera. Some of the best professional portraits have the subject captured deep in thought, with their attention focused inward, rather than on the camera lens.

It makes a more interesting shot. Your portrait will look more natural - less posed.

Create a Scene

Putting your subject in the center of a photo is just boring. You’ll get a much more pleasing result if you place your subject off center when you frame the shot.

This is a truly professional technique. Place your subject so that they occupy 1/3 to 1/2 of the total composition, but NOT at the exact center of the frame. Capture an interesting background object in the rest of the frame.

Anybody can practice these techniques. They’re easy and you’ll get better, more professional photos.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

7 Attributes of a Successful Fashion Model

Have you ever looked at a successful model and said, "I am just as beautiful as this girl so I think I'll become a supermodel."

I would like to clarify one thing and please listen carefully ...


Yes, some people have a natural beauty and some learn more quickly than others. I'll agree that these attributes are important. But, I'll say it again - There is no such thing as a natural-born model.

If you believe this, let me ask you a question. Do you believe there is such a thing as a natural-born surgeon? Do you think that the most famous surgeon in the medical profession was born to be a doctor? I guess when he was delivered the doctor who brought him into this world said, "Look!!! It's a surgeon!!" I don't think so.

For this man to become this famous surgeon, it took many years of education, internship, and watching other doctors before he was even considered to do actual surgery. I'm really glad he did, aren't you?

And, even after all these grueling years this doctor still was not guaranteed to become well-known in the medical industry.

The point I'm trying to make is that, modeling can be a rewarding profession but it does require some effort on your part.

The following are some of the attributes of successful models ..

Learning ability and intelligence
Self confidence
Willingness to travel and leave friends and family behind
Good organization skills
A healthy body and lots of get-up-and-go!
A model who is comfortable in setting goals and not afraid to go after them with a dogged determination
Resistance to peer pressure - Stay drug and alcohol free
Don't just read these attributes. Study them, learn them, and make them a part of your own personality traits. If you don't have them at first, pretend that you do.

Remember, you will become what you think and the way that you act. You're not lying when you say, "I am in the process of writing down my goals for modeling and on my way to becoming successful." You're just telling the truth in advance!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

5 Ways To Earn Money With Digital Cameras & Photo Printers

When it comes to the internet and the advancements of modern technology, the revenue generating options are truly unlimited. One way that many people are finding great success as entrepreneurs is through the use of their digital cameras and photo printers. Whether you use your digital knowledge to enter photo contests using images taken with your digital camera or choose to start an online auction business, the use of a both camera and photo printer are essential.

With entrepreneurship in mind, the following five tips may help to get you started on the road to success using nothing more than your digital camera and photo printer.

$Start an eBay business and use your digital camera to take pictures for inclusion in your auctions. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much money will it be worth for your auction? After all, would you buy something without seeing it?

$Become an amateur photographer using your digital camera and print out the images using a realistic photo printer, which can use either black or color ink.

$Create personalized calendars by taking a photo with your digital camera, incorporating it into a calendar creation program and print them out using a photo printer. These are extremely popular at craft shows and flea markets.

$Take photos using your digital camera and incorporate them into a program that manipulates photos. You can even take two photos and merge them together. For instance, take a photo of two sunflowers and another of your two best friends. Download the images from your digital camera onto the computer and manipulate them so that the faces of your two best friends are inside of the sunflowers. Print this photo using your photo printer and use it as an example of your new digital imagery business. These, too, are extremely popular at craft shows.

$Using nothing more than a digital camera and quality photo printer, you can work in the publishing industry. Several years ago, a national magazine cover featuring a well-known celebrity was created with nothing more than a personal photo printer. The magazine office was unable to make an e-mailed image work, so they enlisted the help of a writer who enlarged the photo and printed it out using a color photo printer. The print was then mailed to the magazine’s office, who then used the image as their full-color cover picture.

When purchasing any type of electronics, including digital cameras and photo printers, always pay close attention to the warranty and make sure that you are buying a quality name in technology. Depending on your intended use, you may want to select a digital camera with a high pixel count and a photo printer capable of producing high DPI (dots per inch) images. Both will allow for better quality and more realistic photo creations.

Monday, July 26, 2010

5 Tips To Help You Master Digital Photography

Have you already mastered the art of taking photos without ‘red-eye’ syndrome? Are there some pictures that you know you should have turned out a lot better than they did? It happens to all of us – even the expert photographers.

Here are five tips to help you move from beginner to master of digital photography, whether you’re using your cell phone or a point-and-shoot camera to snap shots.

Compose Carefully

One of the most basic digital photography tips is to pay attention to what’s in the frame of the viewfinder. Fill the frame. Nothing but blue sky, for instance, behind a single subject throws off the proportions of the photo and decreases interest. You can also turn the camera sideways to see if a vertical photo might have more impact than a horizontal shot of the same subject.

You can also try positioning your subject off to the side, rather than in the center of the photograph.

Take Great Close up Photos

Your digital camera has a “macro mode” – think of it as a super magnifying glass. An extreme close up of something like flower petals can bring out textures that you never knew existed, and will add excitement to your photos. Play with this feature, you will find dozens of ways to use it to enhance your pictures.

Buy a Tripod

Digital cameras are prone to blurry photographs if your hands shake even a little bit. Several companies manufacture light, portable, inexpensive versions. Digital photography tips like this can save you hours of frustration and preserve otherwise perfect shots.

Get Active

Take your shot from the top of a teeter-totter, off the side of the boat, or standing on your head. Thinking outside the box can really pay off in unexpected ways. You will truly get once in a lifetime shots by adding a bit of creativity to your thinking.

Take a Class

Are you still hungry for digital photography tips? There’s nothing like practice to improve your photography – except practice plus experience gained by learning from a pro. You can find photography classes online, at your local recreation centers, and community colleges.

Becoming an expert at digital photography takes time; you won’t become a professional photographer in your first week. Just keep trying new methods each time you use your camera, and before long, your friends and family will be admiring your newfound skills.

Rumsfeld Appoints Self Retired General; Rushes To Own Defense

Donald Rumsfeld, under fire from a platoon of retired generals who have called for his resignation, went on the offensive by appointing himself a retired general. Accompanied by a currently employed general, who, as the head of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, is his usual sidekick, he stated, “As The Secretary of Defense, I think I should at least be on an equal footing with a retired general, and, after careful consideration, I decided to become one.” A reporter then asked, “As a retired general, what is your opinion on Donald Rumsfeld?” “I think he’s doing an outstanding job,” Rumsfeld replied. “In fact, I think, while I’ve said no one is indispensable, there’s always an exception to the rule.” “How about his handling of the war in Iraq?” another reporter queried. “What war in Iraq?” Rumsfeld countered. “The war in Iraq was over the day we pulled down Saddam Hussein’s statue. What’s going on now is the post-war recovery.” “There are some who say you underestimated the resources that would be required in the post-war period. Can you comment on that?” “As a retired general, the post-war scenario is not my specialty. On the other hand, as The Secretary of Defense, I can say that, while I used all of my absolutely first-rate foresight, I am not clairvoyant. Therefore, I could not know beforehand how many Sunnis, who had it better under Saddam’s tyranny, would rather destroy their own country than live in peace with the Shiite majority. Since I couldn’t know that the two warring Muslim factions would destabilize their own country, I could not possibly anticipate how much stabilization we’d have to try to establish. Nor could I anticipate how many members of al-Qaeda would come rushing in and try to turn the self-destabilized country into the next frontier of their suicidal goal of establishing a pan-Arab medievalist Islamic tyranny.” “Would you change anything in hindsight?” another reporter asked. “Of course, I would. Like everybody else, I do have clairvoyant hindsight. First, I would have made myself a retired general a long time ago, so I could have been the first one to stand up for myself, instead of taking all the potshots I’ve had to before I realized how to deflect them. Second, during the invasion, I would have dropped a ton of leaflets on Iraq that predisposed the population to peace.” “What kind of leaflets?” a reporter asked. “Ones we would have, at that early date, been able to translate into their language with an Iraqi-English dictionary: Shiite + Sunni = Nice Peaceful Country. Shiite – Sunni = Lots of Dead People.” “Do you think those leaflets would have made a difference?” a reporter asked. “Of course. While no leaflet is indispensable, it would have helped these warring factions realize if you can’t live in peace with each other, you can’t do anything together except kill each other.” The final question came from a reporter, who asked, “Do you plan to retire?” “You missed the point,” Secretary Rumsfeld replied. “I already retired. How do you think I became I retired general.” “I mean, do you intend to retire as Secretary of State?” “I think one retirement every decade or so is plenty, don’t you?”

Sunday, July 25, 2010

5 Tips For Shooting Winter Landscapes.

Winter brings out the toughest elements in our climate, with many people putting away their camera bags ‘till early spring. But, if you do put away your camera you are missing out on the raw beauty that this magical season brings.

Here are a few tips to make the trip more enjoyable.

1. Wear the right clothes: It’s very important to wrap up warm when out shooting winter images. The winter season brings the toughest elements, so if you are planning to spend a few days out and about always be well prepared.

2. Watch the weather: It’s very important to know what the weather is going to be like. You don’t want to travel for a couple of hours and then hear a weather report that tells you that: the weather is wet for the next few days. During the winter months the weather can dramatically change in a matter of hours.

It’s always advisable to let someone know where you are going and which route you’re planning to take. If you do get injured or ever caught in a storm someone may be able to help.

3. Carry only what you need: Carry only the essentials. You don’t need to upload your camera bag with every piece of equipment you own. If you are going to be out taking pictures all day you are much better off going as light as possible. Carrying a light load will also help preserve energy. You could be climbing icy rocks or crossing snow filled hills; a warm flask would serve you a lot better than a third camera.

4. Look for detail: Snow, ice and frost bring out texture and atmosphere in most subjects. The early frosty morning is an ideal time for close-up photography. The frosty morning also brings out patterns in our landscapes.

Take care where you place your camera: if you are taking pictures early in the morning try placing it at oblique angles to the sun - this will give your images strong shadows. This will also add mood to your landscape images. Once you have found the perfect spot pay extra attention to foreground interest as this will add depth to your image.

5. Expose carefully: Snow and ice are extremely difficult to expose properly. Snow usually confuses your cameras metering system or your hand held light meter. When you take a light reading from snow you will automatically get an underexposed image. The meter will record the snow as grey.

Now is the time to start bracketing your shots. If you bracket your shots add 1 - 2 stops of light to compensate for your light meter reading. Using an 18% grey card, which I described in a previous article, should also give you a perfect light reading.

Russia Defends Iranian Nuke Program; Considers Position Good Customer Service

While the civilized world has reacted with horror at Iran’s plan to harness the energy of the atom, as in bombs away, Russia has steadfastly defended the menacing mullahdom’s nuclear ambitions. At first, any person distinguished for responsible behavior is taken back by such apparently reckless advocacy, not only because it seems wildly risky, if not outright self-destructive, but also because one does not expect it from people who have decided to present themselves as such reformed friends of humanity and trustworthy politicos that they dress in spiffy garb, instead of in their former universal drab. We, however, turn to the hard-learned observation that, if anybody’s behavior doesn’t’ seem to make sense, you probably just don’t understand what his or her goals are. Seen this way, the gremlin in the Kremlin is as obvious as the red power tie we often see dangling from Vladimir Putin's neck. Iran buys weapons from Russia and will now buy enriched uranium, too, and Russia is just servicing the customer. As V. P., who brought order to Russia by ordering his Russian cohorts around, said, “Once when I was in the KGB and didn’t have a lot to do, I read about the American department store tycoon, John Wanamaker, who once told a clerk, ‘When a customer comes in, forget about me.’ So when Iran comes up, I forget about everything but putting the customer first. It seems like the capitalist thing to do, and in the modern Russian economy, I think there’s at least room for that much free enterprise.” One would think that there would be some awareness of the geographical limits of his enthusiasm. After all, Russia is a lot closer to Iran than we are. There are also other inescapable aspects of the client relationship that ought to be considered, among them that Vladimir and his gangsta-rich associates look as much like infidels to the Iranians currently steering their ship of state toward the reefs of war as we do. What Lenin once said about capitalists apparently also applies to reformed communists: they would sell you the rope to hang them with.

Mr. Handyman

First thing Saturday morning I decided to fix the washing machine. This decision had not been reached lightly. The cold water pressure was weak so I had checked with two experts at work (i.e., they had both owned washing machines at one time or another) and determined that it was a sticky solenoid. I grabbed my toolbox and told my wife what I was planning. “It’ll be fixed in ten minutes,” I explain as I head down to the basement. Meanwhile, she is looking up the number of a ‘24 hour emergency plumbing service’ and entering it into the speed-dialing function of the telephone. “Shouldn’t I call the plumber?” she asks, making it obvious that she doesn’t understand men. Of course, she has her reasons - I’ve had some bad experiences. In fact, I’ve yet to tackle a home improvement project that has actually improved the home. But today I was feeling confident. I carefully removed every screw from the back of the washing machine only to discover that it still wouldn’t come off. So, using the largest screwdriver I could find as leverage, I applied gentle pressure until suddenly there was a god-awful screech followed by two loud snaps and the back of the washing machine flies off like a cork out of a champagne bottle and smashes against the concrete wall with a thud that shakes the house. I hear the basement door open above me. “Should I call the plumber?” “We don’t need a plumber, everything is going according to plan,” I assure her. Of course, I’m not exactly sure what the plan is. The back of the washing machine is filled with enough wires and hoses to launch the space shuttle and I have absolutely no idea where to begin. So I slowly begin removing parts, looking for anything which might remotely resemble a solenoid, which is a cylindrical object which can be magnetized (I looked it up in the dictionary). Every hour or so the basement door opens. “Should I call the plumber?” Finally, with head held low, I humbly tell her, “It’s time to call a plumber.” Personally, I believe I was on the verge of figuring the whole thing out, but I could tell that she was starting to get nervous. A short time later Mr. Smarty-pants Plumber arrives and views the carnage. “What the hell happened here?” he asks in disbelief. I tell him the only thing that pops into my head. “Vandals. We’ve been having some problems in the neighborhood.” “Must have been a whole gang of them to have caused this much damage,” he suggests and I can only nod my head in agreement. He continues to review the scene of destruction, occasionally muttering “Hmmm” under his breath. Somehow, I intuitively know that every “hmmm” is costing me an additional fifty dollars. Finally, Mr. Overpriced Plumber starts putting everything back together again until, like magic, the washing machine is back in one piece and pushed against the wall. “Exactly what were you trying to do?” Mr. Couldn’t-make-it-as-an-electrician asks as he’s calculating a bill larger than a small country’s gross national product. I seize the opportunity to show him he’s not dealing with just any goober who walked in off the street. “The cold water pressure was weak,” I explain. “Sticky solenoid.” “Uh huh,” he responds and reaches behind the machine and twists off a hose. He taps the nozzle against the palm of his hand until a black, gooey glob of sludge oozes out. Then, with a final twist, he reattaches the hose. “Your filter was clogged.”

Saturday, July 24, 2010

4 Great Camera Tips for Enhanced Digital Photos!!

Just bought a new camera ?? And very excited to start taking photos with your new gadget??

But Alas, why does the picture not look as good as you wanted to !! Fret no more, stay tuned below for 4 new tricks to taking more interesting and memorable photos.

Trick #1 - Try out different camera exposure settings
By exploring the exposure settings of your camera, you could have pictures looking more brilliant with 0.5 to 2 stops underexposed in bright surroundings, and scenes appearing more clear with some overexposure. Just by simple tuning of the exposure level, you can create

pictures which can bring out different moods from people viewing it. Thats why the quote "A Picture Says A Thousand Words" is very true indeed ! For newbies, try out bracketing (i.e: Take the same photos with different exposure levels) and take your favorite pick from them.

Trick #2 - Bring out some creative blur in photos
By introducing some well-planned blur in photos, you can bring across certain important features, while using the rest as good complement, providing an overall nice touch. This can be done in 2 basic types.

First type is depth-of-field blur. Varying the lens aperture between 0.4 to 1.4 can create a lovely, soft background blur which bring sharp focus to the subject in the foreground.

Second type is movement blur. Done by setting the camera exposure on shutter priority, and keep it slow so as to capture interesting streaks as the subject moves in front of the camera.

Trick #3 - Create something out of nothing !!
What does it means? This exercise encourages you to take a step back and rethink how you can take wonderful pictures with things you already encountered on a daily basis.

One approach is to create your shot around the common elements around you such as lines, space and patterns. This can mean anything from the roads to the bridges, the trees, the railings, etc.. You start to see more possibilities and room for creativity.

Trick #4 - Take Unique Photos !!
Try to avoid taking photos from already popular places where everyone else has taken before, it will not be fresh, and the excitement is also much diminished. Try out new extreme photography (for example: underwater photography), or it could be as easy as shooting through thick glasses for that extra 3D feel, or shooting reflections of objects in water or other reflective objects.

Hope you enjoy this article

Our police takes care of us

… It happened at one of the railway stations within Moscow precincts. On the watch of public order there was captain Viktor Nikolayevich Stepantsov. Rough and lusty fellow, he was a drinker and had a vehement hatred for all the migrants. Once his strong claws caught a couple of Tajiks (citizens of Tajikistan), who were trying to get on the train for free. Guest workers were brought to the police station where they underwent a thorough check-out, though the policeman didn’t find any documents, money or any other tangible property. Having been distressed by this kind of insidiousness, Captain Ivantsov lectured his captives about the inadmissibility of walking without money (what the hell then he had spent his time on them?!) and laid down his terms: - Well then. One of you two stays here, while the other brings cabbage (1000 roubles (like 40 bucks) per each). After that you can get out of here. The trick used to work but this time Tajiks jibbed. Claiming than they hadn’t a bean and moreover owed money all around, they refused to separate point-black, what finally enraged Ivantsov. - The hell with you, stay here till morning if you like! Then there’ll come the car and I’ll send you to the reception center like tramps! Having locked Tajiks in the “monkey house” (the cell), Captain returned to his business. In several hours Ivantsov reaped his rewards, crooked the elbow and only then remembered his rebellious prisoners. - Hey, basmatches, made up your mind? A thou per mug and buzz off. Or to the reception center! Tajiks shook their heads. Looked like it wasn’t the first time they were caught like that and knew that there wouldn’t be any car and, having frightened a little, cops would release them anyway. However they didn’t know Ivantsov at all! In an hour or so, staggering after two more vodkas, captain came back to the station and ordered his mate to take prisoners outside. Sergeant, at a loss, dragged Tajiks out of the cell and obeying the order placed them both by the concrete fence. With an imperial gesture Ivantsov unfastened the holster: - I’m asking you the last time, counters, are you gonna pay?! Tajiks kept silence. Ivantsov pulled “Makarov” revolver out of the holster, switched the preventer, twisted the lock and having aimed at one of “basmatches’” heads pronounced threateningly: - For not paying the fine, defiance to police and on suspicion of illegal migration, in the name of law – you’ll be executed by shooting, bastards! There was a sound of shot and one of the Tajiks collapsed on the ground (luckily because he fainted). Then the colleagues realized they’d better go on the captain, as he was aiming at the other prisoner’s head. Colleagues had trouble pinioning “the indomitable fighter against illegal migration”, and then there began sudden fits. The frightened orderly officer called an ambulance. Diagnosis (as everybody could guess) was mental disorder and Captain was taken to the psychosomatic unit. Tajik was brought to senses and both of them were allowed to go with an order to forget everything. P.S. You may think that Viktor Nikolayevich was fired? Not a bloody thing. As I’ve heard recently, he got “major” rank and is waiting for promotion again.

New Reality Show Debuts, Called New Orleans, Sink Or Swim

As if Katrina wasn’t a bad enough blow for New Orleans, geologists now inform us that, due to more exact measurements via satellite, they have been able to determine that the down but not out metropolis is sinking faster than previously thought – instead of about a fifth of an inch a year, about an inch, which is, of course, about a foot every dozen years. Always keen to ride the crest of a new wave onto megabuck beach, a television production company, having alighted on an enormous pot of gold with a previous, highly imaginative reality show, has honed in on the sinking city and created a new show, called “New Orleans, Sink Or Swim.” The concept immediately sparked interest in the equally imaginative creative minds at the networks, and ABC raced to option it. The show, scheduled to debut in the fall, will feature twelve people stranded in New Orleans, or one actor per inch for the twelve years during which they hope the show will run. Complications will develop as the innovative members of the cast compete to stay above the waterline, while involving themselves in the usual crowd-pleasing boy-outdoes-girl shenanigans. Rumor has it that the show will include guest appearances by longtime New Orleans residents, among them Fats Domino, who will demonstrate, as the city gives way to the sea, how well his rotund body floats. Also, newly reelected Mayor Ray Nagin is expected to appear and endorse rebuilding even in the area that sinks deepest. He will, however, limit his endorsement to the construction of a seaquarium.

Friday, July 23, 2010

3D Fake Model naramani - Flower 10

3D Fake Models as like
flowers, bushed, tress etc...
to make faster and smaller in
real time 3D Games to use
.x file and .png textures.

Jimmy Hoffa Continues To Evade FBI

As the FBI, operating on a tip from a prisoner who reported witnessing suspicious activity on the night of Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance, continued to search for the former teamster leader, he was somehow still able to evade capture. Although Mr. Hoffa disappeared over fifty years ago, no sign of him or his remains have been detected, despite numerous tips of either’s possible whereabouts. Given the run-ins the teamster boss had with the FBI during the period when he was definitely alive, some observes say it is no wonder he refuses to be located. This week, the cement floor of the oldest barn on the property where the teamster boss of yore may be hiding out was dug up and, while at a certain depth a color change was noted in the soil, there was, at the end of the dig, still no sign of Jimmy. The small town near the farm where the search is ongoing has begun to deal with the excavation by treating it lightly. A local bakery has created a new hit, which it calls Jimmy Hoffa cupcakes. They consist of an earth-chocolate cupcake with a green hand reaching out of it and, according to the owners of the bakery, the new creation has become their hottest-selling item. Despite his obvious skill at evasion, Mr. Hoffa has not yet dared appear at the bakery to purchase one. Meanwhile, back at the farm, despite the efforts of diggers with heavy equipment, forensic experts, and search dogs, there was, at week’s end, still no sign of Mr. Hoffa. A forensic expert on the scene noted, "You'd think we'd find him. He was born in February of 1913, so by now he should have slowed down quite a lot." He added, "But, since he disappeared way back in 1975, you'd think the authorities would decide it's finally time to put the lid on the search.” However, as you know, the FBI always gets its man – a policy that should serve as a warning to Osama Bin Laden and his associates of evil. They may have evaded capture till now, but, with the feds on their trail, they should know that no cave is too deep, no mountain too high. The FBI never gives up, even after you’re out of circulation, one way or another.

Government Monitors Phone Bills; Agrees To Pay Half

The National Security Administration, admitting it has monitored the phone bills of millions of Americans, decided to palliate the perturbed populace by agreeing to pay half of every American's phone bill. While consumers lauded the action, reaction on Capitol Hill was mixed, with Republicans maintaining that such a gesture is fiscally irresponsible. To shore up their case, they pointed to their unimpeachable conduct in regard to the national debt. Democrats by and large praised the gesture, with a Democratic member of The House Ways And Means Committee stating, "Do you know what it's like to get a disconnect notice? I do. But I'm not sure my Republican counterparts on the Committee are even aware such unconscionable resources for collection exist." President Bush commented, "It doesn't seem to me that phone bills pose a problem that should channel money away from the programs on which I prefer to squander the national treasure." But, so as not to flagrantly debilitate his already bottom-scraping approval numbers, he requested that the Federal Communications Commission examine whether or not the government has the right to help the public pay its phone bills. Democrat Ted Kennedy was quick to respond, stating, "This is just another instance of how the current administration is out of touch with the true wishes of the American public. Why doesn't George Bush call up a few average Americans and ask if they'd like the federal government to pay half of their phone bills?"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chinese Hope To Make British Car That Works

Remember the MG? Worse yet, did you ever own one? Then cower in fear. The Chinese bought the MG brand name and are about to open a plant to build the malfunctioning suckers in Oklahoma. The Nanjing Automobile Group, which acquired bankrupt MG Rover Group last year, plans to be the first Chinese automaker to open a factory in the US. The product will be called the MG TF Coupe and will be out in 2008. Let’s hope they do a better job with the racy brand than the Brits did. I never did own an MG, but I owned another British car, a venerable Jaguar, that I had repaired at a place that specialized in servicing MGs. Here is my story, with one caveat. I understand now that Ford bought the Jag brand, it works better. My old Jaguar XJ 6 sedan was a beauty, prettiest car on the road. Only trouble is the mechanical aspects brought home the idea of a hornet's nest. There were always at least five things going wrong at the same time. To save money on the upkeep, I used to take it to place that worked on MGs instead of to the Jag dealer. I asked the guy who ran the shop, a wily Irishman, why the cars always had problems. “Well, you know the limeys," he replied with a ornery glint in his eyes. "A bunch of socialists. So they’re on the assembly line, and they see an engine with a loose screw. So Frank looks at Harry and says, “Harry, would you look at that? A loose screw.” And Harry says, “Why, yes, I believe you've got that right. It is a loose screw. ” But do either one of them bend over and tighten it. No. The engine just keeps moving along the assembly line. Then there was the day I was parked outside the shop, waiting for a space inside the busy place, so I could pull my car in for repairs, when suddenly I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Then there was a huge thump on the side of the car near the sidewalk. I turned and an otherwise normal-looking businessman in a suit had a furious look on his face and was actually kicking my car. I rolled down the window and, in keeping with the British spirit of the car, I asked calmly, “Excuse me, sir, but why are you kicking my car?” “I used to own one of these damn things,” he shouted, “and every time I see one I think how many problems I had with it and I get upset.” Then he quieted down, as if the confession let the hottest steam out. “I’m sorry,” he went on, “but I couldn’t help myelf.” “That’s OK,” I said, “I might decide to kick it myself.” Then there were the two worst problems I had with it. The drain in the dashboard for the air conditioner used to get plugged. Apparently, it was too small. Anyway, the condensation would build up, and pretty soon I could hear water sloshing in the dashboard. The real problem was, when I turned a corner, the water would rush to one side and pour out of the vent onto my lap or, worse yet, onto the lap of the person who was unfortunate enough to be on the passenger side. The other rather inconvenient problem was, when I’d be driving down the highway at night and a car would come my way, and I’d push on the button on the floor to dim the headlights, they’d go out completely. That’s right. I’d be hurtling down the highway in pitch darkness, except for the scant illumination provided by the distant oncoming lights. So I’d quickly start slamming at the button, and, after three or four desperate shots, back on would come the headlights. When I brought the problem to the attention of my world-weary mechanic, he referred to the name of the manufacturer of the electrical setup, as he informed me, “You now what they call the Lucas electrical system, don’t you? The prince of darkness.” To add insult to injury, I went to the automobile show at the old New York Collesum one year. When I saw the Jag on display, I went up to the dealer in attendance and asked, "Why can’t they make a Jaguar that works right?” He smiled slyly and gestured toward the sleek, gleaming grey sedan, and just said, “But look at it.” Yep, if you liked the design, you were expected to put up with the malfunctions. Last, when the time came that I could no longer stand the wreck, primarily because the radiator wouldn’t stop leaking, I looked in the yellow pages for the places that buy used cars. I saw an ad that said "2000 Cars Wanted." I called. The guy who answered was very receptive till he asked, “What kind of car do you have?” “A Jaguar,” I confessed. “Oh," he said, his voice growing recessive, “that’s the only car we don’t take.” So I loaded the radiator of the embarrassingly rejected beast up with fresh water and drove it to the nearest dealer in American cars, swearing I’d never buy another import. Fortunately, I arrived before the thing started to smoke and managed to make a halfway decent deal. I drove out in a new American car. While it didn't turn out to be a flawless mechancial achievement, either, it was at least a hundred times better than the Jag. Obviously, this article strayed from MGs, but the car was cut from the same carelesss cloth as the Jag. Both brands help account for why, in these sleekly robotic times of exact Japanese assembly, English cars now own even less of the road than Detroit’s.

Classic Television on DVD bring late night's Carson back to fans

Who could forget the smooth sound of Ed McMahon’s voice announcing with practiced timbre, “Heeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!” each night to millions of Americans as they sat up in their living rooms ready to watch another round of Johnny Carson giving his low-key monologue with the hard-to-resist deadpan delivery that we all came to know and love. Even today in the new millennium, thanks to classic TV DVDs, we are still able to see the comedic genius at work, albeit it doesn’t have to be in the wee hours of the morning. Johnny Carson’s primary claim to fame was as America's late night king of comedy. For thirty years he hosted NBC television's Tonight Show, and because of his up-to-the-minute monologues, flippant characters and lighthearted sketches he entered more homes via the television than any other performer had ever done before. His late night set provided the launching pad for many budding stars and starlets, gave widespread publicity for hundreds of books, movies and gadgets and never failed to offer a laugh (or two or three) to the millions of viewers tuned in. Carson was well known as getting his start in the world of magic at a very young age in his hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska. Performing feats of prestidigitation was his first love, but that was interrupted by World War II and a couple of years in the US Navy. After the war, Carson decided to attend college and chose the field of radio as his major. This proved to be a good choice for a young guy who had no idea of the impact that entertainment, particularly television, was about to have on the world at large as well has his home soil. After graduation he started a job as a radio deejay, but shortly thereafter the advent of TV began to take the country by storm. Starting out with television at its inception must have been an exciting time. Johnny Carson got in on the true ground floor and never left until his retirement some 40 years later. What a mark he left on the industry. His first stint on the visual air was hosting an afternoon program broadcast out of Omaha, Nebraska, called The Squirrel’s Nest. He pretty much had the run of that show doing local interviews, practicing his vast array of characters by performing skits and sketches and learning how to perfect his inimitable timing in the delivery of jokes and stories. Today some of his earliest works can be seen on classic TV DVD selections where a young Carson displays the same endearing grin he charmed audiences with decades later. Johnny Carson decided to try television in a big way when he made the decision to move to Hollywood in the 1950s. During his fledgling years in Hollywood, Carson hosted a gamut of television shows ranging from such titles as Carson’s Cellar, two different versions of the Johnny Carson Show, and two quiz shows called Earn Your Vacation and Who Do You Trust? During this time he also worked as a writer for the Red Skelton Show. All of this was merely practice for what many say is his greatest achievement - replacing the retiring Jack Paar and hosting the Tonight Show. It was in the Fall of 1962 that Carson took the seat behind the famous desk that was to be his for the next 30 years. Even though he had a completely opposite style from Paar, Carson did not need long to win over his audience. Before a half year had passed, the Tonight Show ratings were exceeding Paar’s by almost 500,000 viewers. It was an unprecedented event when within a decade and a half on the air, the Tonight Show doubled its audience numbers. Johnny Carson had left his mark on the world and became an icon of classic television. Film critic, David Edelstein, put it so well when he wrote Carson was the “naughty genius of late night”. Johnny Carson was an entertainer who drew viewers in night after night with his droll expressions, edgy comedic sketches and compelling, humorous interviews. His comedy was as timeless as his slim, dapper, boyish good looks. Through the emergence of classic television on DVD, Johnny Carson’s comedy is being relived by his fans and seen for the first time by a new generation. ~Ben Anton, 2007

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

3D Animation

3D animation deals with electronically produced computer-generated 3D imagery used in motion graphics and digital special effects. In this case, the animator creates a design style or concept that tries to visually interpret and convey the required information using both new and traditional animation techniques.

The 3D animator will have to be well-acquainted with 3D animation applications and software, film and video production techniques, production processes, digital special effects, art and design movements and methodology, typography, styles of performance and dramatization, film and broadcast genres, technical scripting, health and safety regulations for the film and broadcast industry, and an understanding of budgeting and scheduling processes.

The job of the 3D animator is to design and realize original concepts, character and content creation. The animator, therefore, is responsible for devising and communicating creative ideas and accurate technical information. They have to provide the client with detailed estimates of costs, and work within the budget and schedule.

Each assignment will have different demands. So it is imperative that the animator should have a good knowledge and experience of animation software and broadcast processes, as well as a broad knowledge of technical scripting and digital technology used in broadcasting. The designer must be able to respond with innovative concepts and practical solutions for each assignment. The assignments may be of any kind, from designing a spinning top to re-creating mythical weapons.

To succeed in 3D animation, one must have a thorough understanding of computer-generated processes and applications to be able to achieve creative responses to design briefs within the restrictions of budget and deadline. He/she will be required to possess a passion for design, good communication skills and a good understanding of broadcast, special effects and character animation. Last but not least, he or she must enjoy working as a team member under pressure.

In addition to being able to demonstrate high standards of computer-generated imagery and animation techniques you will need to have a good knowledge of art and design movements and imagery, creative problem solving and innovation, and the understanding of how to deliver design concepts and processes.

Bill Gates to Devote Life To Charity; Make Money And You Can, Too

Bill Gates announced that he will transition out of his day-to-day role at Microsoft by July 2008 in order to spend more time working on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on global health and education. His announcement reminded us of the plethora of graduation speeches that eager students imbibed across the land this spring. As we listened to the meritorious goals heaped on the recent graduates, so they might achieve goals the speaker’s generation has found impossible, we could not help but think, why doesn’t somebody come out and tell the youthful aspirants what the real challenge is? Like it or not, today’s world, as well as many another age, is conducted by two primary forces: wealth and power, and, other than resort to firearms, power springs from wealth. So if you want to influence the ways of this outrageously necessitous world, consider the stark truth that all power springs from the opening in a fat wallet. It's called the economic basis of society but, in its current incarnation, in debilitating excess. When we were recent graduates, we were not aware of such an uncompromising reality and passed up at least two opportunities to make megabucks because we wanted to preserve our mental energy to expend it toward the achievement of our ideals. Had we been wiser, we would have set aside a few years to stuff our pockets with power and then, like Mr. Gates, have spent the rest of our days placidly pursuing those still-inspiriting ideals. So we find ourselves, from our own experience, in the unlikely role of advising the most idealistic to enable their altruism by involving themselves, initially, in the activity they undoubtedly are convinced is not the most inviting. Then, should you be fortunate enough to enable your financial independence, you may, like Mr. Gates, head off into full-time devotion to your undoubtedly meritorious idealisms. Well, the speech probably would not have been one that would have inspired the administration to invite us back or that the students would have received with endorsement, but the sharp glass on the road through economic necessity is a fact not lightly to be dismissed. Ignore it and you may step on it with painful frequency.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

3 Steps to Picking out Your Dream Paint.

Moving into a new house can be quite an experience. You are totally in a new zone, surrounded by new ceilings and floors near stairs in an entire new layout. You want your home to look the best, so it's important to pick out the right kind of paint. Of course, in a single article, we can't show you absolutely everything that you need to know about moving into your new house, but we are going to try to give you some good tips on picking out a new house quality house paint.

1. Match it. By new house paint is arty difficult as it is in, and you definitely don't want to paint your house a second time. Make sure whatever kind of house paint that you buy matches up with your existing paint. Maybe take a picture or find out exactly what kind of paint you have in your house right now so that when you go to the hardware store, you can show them exactly what you need.

2. Buy high-quality paint. Take a look around at the different types of paint that are available for you to buy in the store. You will quickly notice that paint varies in quality drastically and you generally get way you pay for. Granted, you have to make sure that you're not getting ripped off and you really are getting a good deal, but if you are serious about making money on your house, try to buy the best type of paint that you can afford.

3. Ask a professional. It's okay if you don't know everything about home remodeling. Some people do it for a living. Builders, contractors, subcontractors and other home decorators might be able to give you some words of wisdom and help that you might not be able to get otherwise. Don't be afraid to ask. Just ask them for a little help and you might be able to save yourself some time and headaches.

Of course, there's a lot more to say about house paint. We can't have put everything in one article. Visit our site to learn all about house paint today.

Book Of Judas Finds Publisher; Record Wait Took 1700 Years

The Book of Judas, penned by the much maligned apostle himself, has finally found a publisher, at the end of a long search that ended at The National Geographic Society. No, it’s not Random House or Knopf. But, hey, after a 1700-year wait, any publisher is bound to come as good news. Now, Judas can at long last be assured that the world will know his side of the story, in which he portrays himself, as author’s are prone to do, in a much more favorable light than tradition has placed him. According to the author, while he was the apostle who betrayed Jesus, he was actually Christ’s favorite apostle and was chosen by Jesus to do the reprehensible deed, so Jesus could fulfill what he considered to be his destiny. So, as if we didn’t have enough reconsider, now we have to reevaluate our estimate of Judas. Was he really just being Christ’s obedient assistant? We must sympathize with the most devout adherents to the New Testament. What are they to make of Judas’s revised version of the betrayal? We assume there will be no shortage of debate. Nor can we, even if we wish, refuse to acknowledge that a certain reluctance to accept the new author’s version will be due to the unfortunate timing of the publication, since the hopes of the world are presently encumbered by the recent parade of people in the Middle East who seem to think that their destiny requires them to seek their own deaths. No doubt the author would have preferred a more auspicious time for his book to appear, ideally, of course, way back when it might still have at least have had some chance of getting into The Bible.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Expressing Yourself through Body Piercing Art

Body piercing is a fabulous way of expressing yourself and your personality in an outward fashion. Many individuals choose to pierce one or several parts of their body in order to either make a statement or add a unique aspect to their appearance. However, before you decide to pierce any part of your body, carefully consider the choice since this form of self expression is a bit more permanent than changing a hairstyle, experimenting with cosmetics, or creating your own fashion statement.

Body piercing has been used as an art form for thousands of years. Everyone from ancient cavemen to ancient cultures and civilizations has used body piercing to express a variety of thoughts. Some cultures, including the ancient Aztecs, use body piercing to commune with the gods, whereas other cultures, including those in several African tribes, use body piercings to express beauty, status, or wealth.

Men and women choose to pierce all parts of their bodies for a variety of reasons. The most popular reason given for body piercing is to add a unique feature to the individual. Many people to either want to pierce their body parts or have already pierced different parts of their body wish to break out of the norm that our society has set. Although body piercing is a more permanent way of expressing yourself, it can be done in a subtle and tasteful fashion for those individuals worried about how their personal expression will affect different aspects of their lives, including their public, private, and business lives.

By far, the most popular body piercing involves the ears. From simple holes on the lobes of the ears to piercings in the cartilage, earrings are available in all shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. For individuals looking for more envelope-pushing piercings, consider piercing noses, labrias, eyebrows, or even tongues. Just like the selection of earrings, most reputable jewelry stores or body piercing salons offer a wide variety of quality body piercing jewelry. Use different styles, colors, and jewels to further showcase your personality through your body piercings.

Before you make a rush decision to pierce a part of your body, carefully consider how this decision will affect all aspects of your life. Individuals with visible body piercings often complain of discrimination in their public or business lives. This is often a fact that you should take into consideration. Consult your business’s policy on piercings to prevent any problems later down the road.

April Fool’s trick

One of the best and funniest April Fool’s tricks was invented and played by me last year. I should say that my friend and me used to make fun of each other regularly on April Fool’s Day with varying success. That is my friend was on his guard and knew he should be ready for my dirty tricks, which made the task almost impossible to carry out. Last year not long before April Fool’s Day Andrey returned from Canada, where he’d been on a business trip (both of us work as translators of English for one company but on different floors). On April 1st I called Andrey, having arranged beforehand that the telephone girl should interrupt our conversation in a couple of minutes and say that Mr. Andrey Polyarov has a call from Canada. After that she put him through with another telephone in our room, and I quickly answered it. I should say that to change my voice and create the effect of “long-distance call” I wrapped the blower with a sweater and made use of loud speaker instead of receiver. A lot of people were standing still around me, excited that Andrey might recognize my voice. But their fears were groundless – he had no smallest piece of suspicion! I started speaking in English, my voice being loud and very formal: --Is this Mr. Andrey Polyarov? Andrey, a little anxious, replies: --Yes, this is me? Who am I talking to? --This is “Otrinto” company, where on March 11th you ordered two commercial vending machines of a total value of 3,141 Canadian dollars… -But I haven’t ordered any vending machines… -Excuse me, is this Mr. Polyarov? -Yes, this is me, but I haven’t ordered any vending machines, and I’m not going to pay anything. – Andrey was starting to lose his patience. I went on insisting… -I’m sorry but I have an order with your signature. By the way I remember you pretty well – you’re a Russian, stout, baldish, speaking with accent, right? -Right! But I repeat that I haven’t ordered these fucken vending machines… -Sir, I should warn you that in case on non-payment within a reasonable time we’ll have to bring a legal action! Andrey finally lost his temper, started yelling that he never knew any “Otrinto” company, never ordered anything and that I could stick my vending machines up my ass… The audience in our room couldn’t suppress a laugh, every word from underneath the sweater resulted in a burst of Homeric laughter. I was chuckling myself and couldn’t speak and play my role anymore. I tried to clear the air. -Andrey, this is me, Denis, April Fool! – but it was vain. Andrey was shouting that he knew no Denis. He wasn’t even realizing that I was speaking Russian to him… Of course I could go on further, providing Andrey with the details of his appearance, passport number, address… That’s what I had planned actually, but as I say it was absolutely impossible as my last words weren’t pronounced but were gurgling through the choking laughter.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Express Your-Self With A Greeting Card

Greeting cards are the best way to express yourself and your emotions. Cards for sending greetings are the ultimate way of telling someone special that you care. A greeting card says much more than a few words for you.

Sending and receiving a greeting card does not require any special occasion. You can send them anytime, anywhere.

These days, online greeting cards are proving a popular choice. People all over the world are exchanging greetings within a few clicks.

The origin of Greeting cards

The tradition of sending greeting cards to friends and family can be traced back to the mid1800s. Initially greeting cards were sent by the elite to share their private messages. They were hand-made cards and were quite expensive. With the introduction of world’s first postage stamp in 1840, greeting cards gained immense popularity. By 1850 printers and manufacturers hired the talented artists and incepted the idea of designing affordable greeting cards for the public.

The world’s oldest greeting card was made in 1400s. It was a Valentine’s Card and is preserved in the British Museum. Until 1700’s Valentine’s greeting cards and New Year greeting cards were the most popular categories of sending these cards. During 1800s Valentine’s greeting cards began printing in factories. A series of different varieties of greeting cards shot up. Greeting cards for St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, and thanksgiving are to name but a few. Today almost every occasion has its own greeting card following.

By conventional standards, you can classify greeting cards into various categories:

The special occasion of family and friends such as their birthdays and anniversaries welcome a host of greeting cards. These special occasion cards are the popular greeting cards’ category and it can be further categorized into various sub-classes.

Birthday cards get categorized as son, father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunty, daughter, friend, lover and almost for every other human relationship. Birthday cards cover almost all the relationships that are possible on this earth. Birthday greeting cards come with exquisite illustrations. You can get the designer as well as custom made greeting cards in a very wide range for sending birthday wishes.

Birthday cards are also available with cute and funny messages. They come with humorous illustrations and variations. If you want to check out these cards, simply walk into a greetings shop and see for yourself. The other thing you can is have a look online and view a wide variety of greeting cards.

The same categories apply for anniversary greeting cards.

Festival cards are an important category of greeting cards. Christmas cards storm the markets during the Christmas season. People buy Christmas cards and send them to their relatives, friends and loved ones. Christmas is an important festival and is celebrated worldwide. So there are numerous varieties of Christmas greetings available in the market. Greeting cards manufacturers make handsome profits during the Christmas seasons as the sale of greeting cards soars tremendously.

Then there are special occasion cards like Halloween greeting cards, Valentine’s Day greeting cards and New Year greeting cards. These special occasion cards include special messages for the special occasions. These cards come with romantic messages for the loved ones. The illustration and content is specially designed so as to create a romantic mood and express the most inexplicable feelings of a person.

There are other types of greeting cards available in the market, like get well soon cards, miss you cards and much more. Friendship cards and love cards are also available in the market. Then there are greeting cards that even help you to say sorry.

These greeting cards in some or the other ways have become an essential part of your life. You send or receive greeting cards marking the special occasions often. Greeting cards are truly a great way of telling someone that you really care.

A Life Of Lorenzo Da Ponte: Talent Flies; Practical Reason Walks

Among the world’s favorite operas, we find three of them with a libretto penned by Lorenzo Da Ponte and music by none other than the astonishingly delightful Viennese ear-confectioner Mozart. The list is a delight in itself: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovann, and Così Fan Tutte. We learn in the new book, The Librettist of Venice, by Rodney Bolt, that Da Ponte grew so close with the unequalled Mozart – both of whom, we learn, were not only talented but vain, insecure and ambitious – that while writing Don Giovanni, they worked in adjoining lodges and shouted to each other through their windows. Da Ponte even dared to contend with Mozart, who believed the text should be subservient to the music, while Da Ponte was certain that the words should be primary, in fact, that without his poetry even Mighty Mo’s music would be nothing. Yet how Da Ponte tumbled from the heights. Hard as it may be to imagine, he wound up in New York, running, at one time, a grocery store on the Bowery. Brilliant as an artist, he was apparently, in his personal life, a managerial moron. Or, said another way, while talent flies, practical reason just plods along, like a relative moron. Da Ponte, born Jewish, was, as a result of his father’s having decided the family should become Catholic for the easement of a life of trade, ordained a priest. But his real vocation was married women. His exploits, we learn, rivaled Casanova, who became his pal and, if we believe such a thing is possible in the category at hand, his mentor. Da Ponte himself admitted a shortcoming in comparison with his rival for insincere relationships: he didn’t have Casanova’s purported talent for fleecing the women he falsely wooed. In fact, Da Ponte claims he actually loved the ones he made out with. He also considered himself adroit politically, but his moves were disastrous. He upset the successors of Joseph II so much he was exiled from Vienna. Now,still technically a priest he was married to a younger but more wisely practical woman named Nancy Grahl, but even she was unable to keep the man out of bankruptcy in London and again in America, where they moved in 1805, because her family had settled here. He attempted to establish Italian opera companies when English-speaking audiences had little interest in them. To add onions to opera, the grocery business failed. He finally became a teacher, bookseller and wannabe impresario. On the positive side, New York turned out to be the most agreeable spot for him. It was relatively liberal, and Da Ponte found himself a favorite of the cultural elite. He became the first professor of Italian at Columbia University. While the position was pretty much ceremonial, Da Ponte has the double distinction of having been the first Jew and first priest on the school’s faculty. He lived on into his 80’s, revered but regarded as eccentric. He was charming man who made a profession of being European when such a state was still considered novel. Yet when one compares his everyday doings with his winged collaboration with Mozart, one can only shake his head with the recognition of how quicksilver brilliant the remarkable syntheses of talent are, way up in mental processes we can only hope will drop answers into our expectant consciousness, compared to the "first we do this and then we do that" plodding of the practical but still invaluable mind.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Exploding Secrets to Breaking Dangerous Icons in Your Art

Copyright 2006 Todd Harris

You may be surprised by what I am about to tell you, at least partly. The two lines with the least variation are a perfectly straight line and a circle. A perfectly straight line has obviously no variety at all. But, the circle, you ask? Yes, the circle. A circle curves at exactly the same ratio all along, has no variation of its curvature, it is of all curves the one with the least possible variety. These two lines are, therefore, two of the dullest, and are rarely used in drawings except to enhance the beauty and variety of other lines.

So why is this important to artists? Especially to artists who are drawing the figure? Well, to answer that, let’s look back to elementary school. When in grade school, how did you draw a person? Using circles, I dare say! Well, let’s investigate this further.

The perfect curve of the circle should always be avoided in the drawing of natural objects (even a full moon or an outline of a head), and in drawings of any kind, some variation should always be used. Always, Always.

Although the curve of the perfect circle is dull from its lack of variety, it is not without beauty, and this is due to its perfect unity. It is of all curves, the most perfect example of static unity. Without the excitement of the slightest variation, it goes on and on forever. This is where the symbol of Eternity comes from and why today we wear circular wedding rings and so forth.

Perhaps the most beautiful symmetrically curved figure of all is the so-called egg. It is an example of perfect balance between variety and unity. The curvature is varied to an infinite degree, at no point is its curving at the same ratio as at any other point; perhaps the maximum amount of variety that can be got in a symmetrical figure, for it approaches the circle in the even flow of its curvature. This is, the line of the contour of a face, and you may note how much artists who have excelled have insisted on it in their portraits.

So, what am I getting at? The point is, sometimes as artists, it’s easy to fall into traps of the icons. Using a football shape for the eye a circle for the head, are classic examples of this. Variation in line needs to be observed more to provide the individuality of the person when drawing the figure.

To do this, will take some practice and more practice. You will need to turn your paper upside down, sideways, anyway possible to get you out of your head of association. Association meaning habits. It’s sometimes hard to break the patterns of icons but can be done.

If you have any questions on figure drawing or breaking out of iconic drawing, please feel free to email us at

Friday, July 16, 2010

Experiencing The Stage Play

You have most probably seen – till now – at least dozens of stageplays in different theatres. Did you ever think of the way and the process that the play goes through from a bunch of papers to the stage? How do the written words shape themselves and become a play?

Actually the process is like taking simple everyday dough, giving it a shape of bread or cake and putting it in the oven for a certain time. Although the text is written by a playwriter everything else is being shaped and brought to the stage by the director. He or she) is the key factor. He chooses the actors, he guides them starting with their lines to their acting, creates the scenes, movements on the stage, design - together with a professional designer – the whole set, selects the clothing for the actors, makeup, music, lighting.

I was exposed to this unique and outstanding experience some four months ago when I decided that playwriting without taking an integral part in the process of bringing the play to the stage is not complete. It is a must.

In order to fulfill my wish I had to locate a director who was prepared to grant me the privilege to sit through the rehearsals from the first reading of the play to the premier. I had to promise him that I will not miss a rehearsal so that the cast will regard me as one of them and not an audience. I was fortunate to find such a director who gave me the insight in the play creation.

The rehearsals went on for three months, five hours a day. We sat together for hours discussing the parts and the meanings behind each one of them, the background of the character and what he (or she) brings with him to the stage. The playwriter can write that the play takes place in "a sitting room in an apartment in a modern building in London" but how does such an apartment look like? What kind of furniture? Color and material of upholstery? What kind of objects should be placed in the room and Where? Lighting fixtures? Everything on stage should be coordinated with the type of play and the characters to form a complete and true to the play or the audience will not "live" the play...

In "our " play several of the actors had to sign as well as have a short fight. Vocal and boxing instructors were brought to the rehearsal. There was no way that the director would accept anything less than professional. One of the actors had to dye his hair because the director decided that the certain character must have red hair in order to create a certain image. A broom in one of the scenes looked too new so it was changed to a used one.

I was lucky enough to be given the right to express my points of points of views during rehearsals and I did comment, some of my comments were accepted. I was so much involved with the play that when – during a final dress rehearsal – one of the furniture could not be moved I lowered my head in embarrassment as if it was my own play.

It was a kind of experience that I believe everyone who wants to write a play should go through.

5 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Day Job

Most of us would stop working if we could. We constantly dream about it, but that's about as far as we get-dreaming. Working a 9-5 just seems inevitable. I, Timothy Ward, however am a master at defying the inevitable. I stare 'The Inevitable' in the face and call him dirty names. I say, if you want to stop working, STOP WORKING; I'll even give you 5 reasons why you should. 1. If you stop working you'll have more time to devote to reading my articles, columns, and lists. This will enable me to become a household name down at the Unemployment and Welfare offices. My fame is a small price to pay for you living your dreams. Think about this when you see me on the 'Today Show'. 2. Quitting your job will make you feel wonderful. For about 10 minutes you'll be on cloud nine, you'll be on top of the world, you'll be living the good life, you'll be: -insert your own cliche here-. Then you'll start worrying about the car note, the mortgage, the kid's school clothes, groceries, and how you're going to pay that $850 you owe the Petermanns for running over their mailbox and a whole row of prize-winning azaleas. All this will probably depress you to the point of assisted suicide, but at least you had 10 minutes of freedom. 3. Daytime television is some of the most exciting and captivating television around. You'll wonder how you ever survived without all those quality soap operas, daytime talk shows, and judge shows where you get the sinking suspicion that the judge has been paid off. When you combine this with all the informative commercials that air during the daytime that will 'Show you how to make $1,000 a day stuffing envelopes, 'Teach you to drive a tractor trailer in 4 days', 'Allow you to get a degree from home in such exciting fields as GED preparation and septic tank scrubber' and you'll not only wonder why you didn't quit your job sooner, you'll also vow to never work again. 4. In your formerly employed state you missed all those important calls from collection agencies and other bill collectors. Now that you have quit your job you'll be able to sit at home in eager anticipation of these oh-so-important calls. Toss in a few telemarketers, calls from the Sheriff's Association asking for donations, and a few of those computers that call you and ask you to 'Hold for an important message' and you'll have a full day of just answering the phone. It will be like having a full-time job all over again, without all the hassle of getting a paycheck. 5. Dragging yourself out of bed every morning at 5:45 a.m. can't be good for your health. Your doctor will proud of you for caring enough about your body's well-being to go as far as quitting your job. He will not, however, see you as a patient anymore because you no longer have health insurance. But there's no need to worry, after all that's why we have free clinics. Sitting all day in a damp clinic waiting room next to two teenagers with stage 3 Chlamydia is yet another experience you would have missed out on if you had kept your day job. There you have it folks. 5 reasons why you should immediately go out and quit your job. Feel free to quote any of these reasons to your employer when you turn in your two weeks notice. If she wants to know where you came across such valuable information tell her that a unselfish friend of humanity supplied them to you free of charge, and all I asked in return was that you remember me next time you need your septic tank scrubbed...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Experience the thrill of a lifetime with free gay dating sites

All gay people are welcome to explore the free gay dating sites irrespective of sex. If you are gay and looking for your dream partner, a permanent relationship or even one night stands, an ideal place for you may be a free gay dating site.

Free gay dating sites bring many people to a virtual place where men and women get to know each other in a new and a unique way. The revolutionary technology of the web has paved the way for new relationships between individuals - be it love at first site, love at first chat, short-term dating or a brief sexual encounter. Some free gay dating sites have provisions for premium services, such as increased space for photos and multimedia, but you must pay for these. Decide how serious you are about finding someone, and then dive in.
Most free gay dating sites also consider the individual tastes and preferences that might vary from person to person, and their rich data bank of members is cast in a systematic and logical way to help individuals locate the right partner for the right purpose.
Love is something that makes us feel completely alive, heightens our senses, magnifies our emotions and leaves us with everlasting memories. Everyone possesses the penetrating desire to experience love. You know that somewhere in this world exists your perfect soulmate but finding that person can be extremely difficult.
Free gay dating sites may help facilitate your search for the ideal partner. Many international online dating services offer you an opportunity to spark a beautiful relationship with someone special, and various free gay dating sites are committed to offer you fast and efficient dating services.
Take the time to browse through the many different free gay dating sites and find the one that's right for you, then register yourself as a member….and do not be surprised if you soon find the perfect partner!


Those who pride themselves on their honesty should also concern themselves with this principle: The effectiveness of honesty depends on a person's willingness to face the truth, which may conflict with this person's desires and provoke denial. In such a case, how can one promote this willingness, despite this conflict? The answer to this question could prove useful to anyone who seeks to be effectively honest with people in denial. Ultimately, it could benefit these people, whose denial is contrary to their best interest. I go on the assumption that truth, or the conformity of thought to reality, is the sine qua non of vital efficacy. Health, pleasure, successful careers, and harmonious relationships require that we know the needs and capabilities of our nature, and the workings of the world. The absence of this knowledge leads to accidents, illness, suffering, failure, and death. Therefore, the first object of our desires should be truth, or the knowledge of ourselves and the world around us. Why then are people often unwilling to face it? I believe there are two reasons for this unwillingness. Firstly, the desire to know the truth, which originates in the desire to live happily, spontaneously degenerates into the desire to be right, to avoid the insecurity and shame associated with error and ignorance, and also to avoid the effort to learn. Thus fear, pride, and laziness are obstacles to the pursuit of truth and happiness. People are unlikely to admit they are wrong when they are, unless they possess courage and humility. Whoever takes their good to heart should help them develop these virtues. Secondly, the truth may be known from experience about a happy way of life. The desire to know the truth then turns into the desire to see the truth last. Mental inertia becomes the law, proportional to the force of attraction exerted on the mind by this happy way of life. Any upheaval that breaks the status quo is denied: "I cannot believe it; this cannot be happening." Reality is deemed unreal because it no longer tallies with the desired truth. Denial can therefore be regarded as a deviant process that conforms facts to ideas, instead of the opposite. Reason is overthrown and emotions reign, as one strives to prove reality wrong to spare oneself the loss of a happy way of life and the pursuit of another, this loss and this pursuit being associated with grief, strain, and doubt, or even despair. To help a person acknowledge an undesired truth about a radical change in reality, one has to couple honesty with wisdom to heighten this person's awareness of the human capacity for adaptation. This capacity is best illustrated by the example of people who have suffered a terrible misfortune and progressively discovered a new outlook and a new happiness, more enlightened and satisfying than the old ones. In addition, one has to stimulate the will of this person, who is left with a formidable challenge: to start her or his life over. Lastly, this heightened awareness and this stimulated will may weaken at times, calling for reinforcement. All in all, against the unwillingness to face the truth, the effectiveness of honesty is always difficult and uncertain.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Everything You Need to Know About Chinese Symbol Tattoos

Chinese symbol tattoos are very popular today because they are really beautiful. And because most of us in the Western people cannot read Chinese symbol, Chinese symbol tattoos become an exotic form of expression.

My Name is Yingying and I am a Chinese Tattoo Artist. I have been providing custom Chinese tattoo translation and design service during the past three years.
Western people sometimes ask me some questions when they are planning to get Chinese symbols tattoos.

I have listed some of the most FAQs as below. you may find the answers are very useful information if you are planning to get one soon.

Can anything be translated and written in Chinese symbols?
Yes, anything can be translated and written in Chinese symbols. Chinese has more than 4000 years history. The most ancient Chinese symbols called oracle were written on animal bones. Chinese is a fully developed writing system with over 70,000 symbols (characters), capable of recording all nuances of contemporary language.

What are the differences between kanji and Chinese symbols?
Kanji is the term for Chinese symbols that are used in the Japanese language. Kanji in Japanese are typically characters from the Chinese language that have been adapted to mean Japanese words. The meanings in Chinese and Japanese can be the same but pronounced differently, or they may have entirely different meanings.

Why do I need the custom designs for a Chinese tattoo?
Your tattooist needs the design as a clear reference while inking. If you get free translation from web or somewhere else, it is usually a small and blur image which can not be used for inking purpose. If the tattooist does use it for inking, then your Chinese tattoo is worse than do not have one at all. (You may find some vivid samples of both bad and good Chinese tattoos on my website). Comparing the free crap, the custom tattoo design is large clear image come with stencil outline which your tattooist will use it to ink a high quality Chinese symbol tattoo on your body.

Can one English word be translated into either one symbol or two symbols?
The answer is it depends on the English word to be translated. Some English words can be translated into either one symbol or two symbols. For example, beauty can be translated into either one or two symbols, and the meaning is the same. Whereas, some words must be translated into two symbols, hope is an example, there is no single Chinese symbol which can be express the meaning of hope.

Having your body inked can be a very rewarding experience which can last for the rest of your life. Many people who have Chinese symbol tattoos feel that they are very much symbolic representations of their inner feelings and personality. That is the power of choosing a Chinese symbol tattoo that represents your true self, so it is of the up most importance to select the Chinese Symbols perfect match the meanings you want to express through your tattoos.


When I was a nineteen-year-old high school student and budding poet – two years after my diving accident – many factors adversely affected my creativity. My trips in a special bus to school and back home, my courses, and my assignments, though I was spared a lot of writing and was mostly tested orally, all this was time-consuming. More often than not, my obligation to study took priority over my desire to compose poetry. To tell the truth, I had plenty of free time. That I spent much of it uncreatively showed evidence of frivolousness, laziness, and cowardliness. I usually preferred to take my mind off things, or to daydream, rather than to express myself through poems. The satisfaction I could derive from achieving this expression seldom induced me to try. The deterring elements were the difficulty of trying and the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of my efforts. A poem – assuming one is concerned about writing beautifully – is indeed no cinch. It requires a poet who is talented, skilled, and determined. My poetic ability was fickle; my grammar and style were faulty; my will was faint. I lacked the courage of my creative desire. This lack was not absolute. Now and then, when I felt compellingly inspired, I resisted my temptation to trifle – which amounted to taking the easy way out – and endeavored to compose a poem. I had to repeat this endeavor, over and over, to grow more capable and confident, less discouraged by the challenge at hand. I am afraid young individuals similar to the young man I was then are not a rarity. The prospect of success turns them on; effort and the risk of failure turn them off. The contradiction is apparent, and the result predictable: Since effort and the risk of failure are essential for success, the avoidance of them precludes this success. Of course everyone knows this. The trouble is that many refuse largely to accept it. This is proof that knowledge is powerless in itself; it needs a strong will to be effective. Young individuals, who know the rules of success, can be failures inasmuch as they fail to accept these rules. Wisdom includes this acceptance (the exclusion of which is thus foolish). It must be distinguished from knowledge. Wise people are also brave people who put their knowledge into practice and become successful for that reason. The obvious holds good in every way: Life without courage is like a bird without wings; it cannot take off. Why is it hard to want both the end and the means? Precisely because the means are hard, not to mention the fact that they are hazardous, you might answer. If you are right, then why do some actually thrive on this hardness and hazardousness? The key to this mystery is their attitude: They regard these opposing elements not only as obstacles but also as opportunities for merit and excitement. Just as they were young once, spoon-fed and sheltered from the evils of the world, they eventually outgrew their attachment to easiness and developed a taste for challenge. In conclusion, what characterizes them is their maturity, by contrast with the infantilism of others. Between these two extremes there is a mediocre compromise, partly mature, partly infantile. It consists in taking charge of one’s life while taking the easy way out. Small principles, small realizations, far below one’s potential for greatness, they are poor excuses for wisdom and success. Potential, that is the operative word. There can be greatness in apparent smallness and smallness in apparent greatness; the truth resides in the great or small actualization of one’s potential, whatever it is. How does one discover what it is? By making the effort to actualize it in the ever-renewed and multifaceted act of living. This entails that one push oneself hard, at the risk of going too far. Measure is an empty abstraction for anyone who has never exceeded it. Limits should be experienced, not invented. This experience demands a serious and courageous commitment to greatness. Steer clear of frivolousness, laziness, and cowardliness; do not fall prey to them as I did so many times. They are strong temptations that can assume the form of a cunning philosophy that is unique to losers. Beware of this snare. Life is a demanding character test; come death, you will have ample time to rest! Nostalgic for the old days at the rehabilitation facility when I wrote anyhow about anything, I once conveniently believed in spontaneous writing as a guarantee of genuineness. Fortunately I was foolish yet not a complete fool. After some denial, which involved some nonsense in justification of my foolishness, I admitted sullenly that my sacrosanct pursuit of genuineness was in fact a vile indulgence in idiocy. There is nothing spontaneous about the intelligent conception and intelligible expression of one’s true self, which is everything but simple. It is a tissue of desires, feelings, ideas, and memories, caught in a whirl of interactions between the mind and the world. Either one goes to great lengths to elucidate and formulate the truth about oneself, and one hits the bull’s-eye, or one talks bullshit – please forgive my language. Some people shine at off-the-cuff speeches, as though they were so brilliant they could avoid saying idiocies when forced to be spontaneous. Make no mistake; their brilliance is merely one side of the equation. They have spent years polishing their manner of thinking and speaking, while their knowledge waxed through learning. Their spontaneity is studied. It is a product of numerous rehearsals, like the performance of an actor. Nothing great ever comes easily to anyone, including those who are the most gifted among us. Superior luck is not human greatness, only a steppingstone toward it. The stone is given; the stepping is done by the sweat of one’s brow and is made of a million steps, uphill. To work one’s way up to greatness is comparable to conquering Mount Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas. It is an outstanding achievement with a sense of pride to match.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Every 1000-Watt Station Can Help: A Strategy for Today’s Talk Radio Scene

Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Report, was quoted in Talkers Magazine about how he cracked the bestseller list.

“In the beginning, we couldn’t get on Good Morning America, or the Today Show or any of that. Elite newspapers wouldn’t review the book. We had to rely on talk radio,” O’Reily said. “Talk radio has shown a much better return (than our advertising dollars).”

There’s no doubt that talk radio is a great vehicle for authors, because it allows them to give in-depth answers and puts them in direct communication with people who may want to buy their book.

But talk radio is not what it used to be.

The hosts of major-market radio talk shows with great audiences used to bring authors into the studio for long chats. An author could knock off a couple of those interviews and send sales on the way to the top. Those days are gone. Unless an author is a truly big name, the chances of hitting pay dirt with a couple of big radio interviews are history.

The reasons for this are two-fold. First, there are not as many big stations that accept talk show guests – many have gone to a music format or no longer accept guests that have a product or service to sell. Secondly, the amount of time an author will probably be on the air has dwindled. Radio talk shows have found that listeners are more likely to stay tuned if they have 3 10-minute guests on a show than one guest for 30 minutes.

So if you want your book to sell, you now have to pound the pavement and knock on every door.

Fortunately, in radio publicity, quantity works. There are hundreds of radio stations, and book authors shouldn’t thumb their noses at some of them just because they don’t have a hot host or 5,000 watts. Even with a 1000-watt station, you are still reaching an audience. Look at it this way. If a 1000-watt radio station has only 100 listeners, you might say it is not worth the trouble. But what if you could go to an auditorium and talk to 100 people about your book? Would you go? Of course you would. Not only that, but small stations allow you to practice for that big interview down the road.

A rookie baseball player doesn’t throw his first pitch against the New York Yankees. In print publicity, an author’s first interview is rarely with The New York Times. But an author who has had an interview with a hometown newspaper and a couple of magazines will be more prepared if The New York Times does call.

The Plus Side of Small-Station Bookings

It is the same thing with radio. It takes at least 10 radio interviews before most authors get comfortable behind the microphone. Small power radio stations allow you to practice how to be a great guest.

Some people seem born to be great communicators but an author’s expertise is in the written word, and it is rare to find a great author who is also a great verbal communicator. First time authors are especially prone to stage fright – yes, even on radio.

Typical errors for first time guests include not giving out the Web site address or 1-800 number, or not giving them out frequently enough. It’s also a mistake to mention these too often and upset the host, who will let you know that the show is not an infomercial. Technical authors have a tendency to slide into techno-babble, and even good guests inevitably walk out of their first few interviews knowing they could have been better. When first-time authors make these mistakes (and they will), it is best if huge audiences do not hear the error.

Booking small stations in quantity to get a high number of interviews helps you to get the explanation of your book down to a succinct few words. Talking with multiple interviewers, even though they don’t have huge audiences, will enable you to crystallize your thoughts on your book. It may even give you new ideas about your topic that you never realized before the interviews.

Booking small stations can be also an adventure. Be prepared to run into some hosts who are unprofessional, and make sure you confirm an interview at least twice before you will be on the air. Most of these hosts will not be as prepared as their big-time counterparts (meaning they probably have not read your book), so you’ll have to be ready to walk them through the major topics. Prepare for these interviews as though you have just met someone on the street for the first time and you are telling them about your book.

But if the hosts are not as prepared as they should be, you should still be on your toes. Very bright people listen to some very small radio stations; so don’t talk down to your audience.

Sorry; nothing will surely save you from the 1000-watt radio station in Peoria that is being hosted by a kid right out of broadcast school. But remember, even that small-time interview may prepare you for the big time.

To Think for Oneself

Let us examine the three purposes of writing: to inform, entertain, and enlighten. To me, the second one is bottom of the list, though it is instrumental in the achievement of the two others. Every great teacher knows this intimately and readily laces his teachings with relevant and interesting stories, and humor. The first purpose, to inform, comes second in my mind, whereas the last, to enlighten, comes first. To explain my attitude, I think it appropriate to draw your attention to my book A REASON FOR LIVING, where both of these purposes are pursued. Part of my book relays factual or theoretical information about things like human physiology, nutrition, and universal evolution. This information relates to the current perception of reality in scientific circles. I am just a vehicle for it. Now, for two reasons, my role as a writer who informs his readers about scientific facts and theories comes second in my mind to my role as a philosopher who strives to enlighten his readers. My main reason is that I regard wisdom as paramount, whereas the knowledge of the material world (i.e., the constituents, structure, and workings thereof) is not equally important, however useful it is on a practical level. Conscience comes before science, which in itself is incapable of providing humans with a sense of what is good, right, or sacred – in a word, with moral principles. An example of science without conscience is the destruction of nature and the violation of human rights by rogue companies who are efficient in their use, or rather abuse, of their environment and their workers to satisfy their greed. My other reason is that my role as a writer who informs his readers about scientific facts and theories is indeed that of a mere vehicle. It is very much secondary to the role of researcher, which drives the scientific enterprise thanks to advanced instrumentation plus skillful, scholarly, and clever observations and rationalizations. By contrast, my role as a philosopher who strives to enlighten his readers is in the driver's seat, so to speak. Not only is it concerned with everything that makes life worth living and gives humans a sense of purpose, but also it does more than mirror the light of wisdom; it generates it by force of thinking on the basis of experience and study. Truth to tell, my readers can likewise think for themselves. They themselves can be philosophers and create their own wisdom while discovering and evaluating mine. Therefore, the light shining through in my book is there to help my readers see a range of weighty matters on which they can meditate to form their own thoughtful opinions about them. And since they can do so, I venture to argue that they should.