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    Alternative Housing


    : Why alternative housing? To save money, to travel, to live creatively there are many reasons why people choose to live in tents, RVs, cabins, underground homes, rental rooms and anything else that's less common than the houses, condos and apartments that most people call home. Below are some of these housing options, and their advantages. Alternative Housing That Moves Camping at a hot springs area, we sat around the campfire one night with several young men living in the desert in their old converted school bus. It cost them nothing to park it in the desert (on BLM land you have to move every two weeks, though), bathed for free in hot spring tubs that were as nice as those in nearby expensive resorts, and played guitar around the fire each night. Not such a bad life. In Arizona there are whole communities that spring up each winter, full of people living in their RVs. Advantages of RV housing are obvious, and include moving with the seasons, trying out different places, and not paying property taxes. I've talked to people living in Rvs that cost $200,000 and ones that cost $600, so the selection of accommodations is varied, to say the least. My wife and I lived for almost a month in our conversion van as we traveled from Arizona to Florida and then to Michigan. Advantages of a van include better mileage than an RV, and being inconspicuous. We found that could park and sleep almost anywhere. Other Alternative Housing In most areas where rents are high, renting rooms has become common. This makes sense for single people. Just pay a set amount each month or week, and (if it includes utilities) you have a predictable and lower cost of living. I rented out rooms in my own home for years, and even put carpet and lighting in a shed so I could get $50 per week for it in summer. A friend of mine lived in a shack he built for $3,000 on a small piece of land he bought for $7,000. Eventually he ran into problems with the county because he had no occupancy permit. Apparently you can't live on your own land in the woods if your home is too small. However, you can camp on it, so a $2,000 used RV parked on your land makes for a cheap and legal housing alternative. Some people live on houseboats and avoid paying property taxes. Some live in the jungle near the beaches in Hawaii, so they can afford to be in paradise. I know people who lived in a basement while slowly building the house above for cash. People live in cabins built in the national forest wilderness, moving every few years as they are discovered. Truly, your imagination is the only limit to your alternative housing options.


    Thought For The Day A Micro Break In Our Fast Paced Culture


    You have the best of intentions. You know you've been too intense at work. And you're really disliking your job more and more each day. You promise yourself to keep a better focus on what's really important in life. But so far you haven't kept your promise to yourself. Or maybe it's the upkeep of the house. You try to keep a clean living environment. But after working and spending time with friends, there's no energy left to pick up the clutter and get rid of the dirt. After all, the clutter and dirt will just come back. So you're left with a feeling of discouragement and frustration. Or it's the work you do for the kids. Boy, do they take a lot of work. Keeping the baby fed, clean, and happy takes all your time. And then there are the older kids. Soccer practice. Piano lessons. Church youth group. There's just no time to do it all. You're racing through life like little more than a robot. How can you reclaim your humanity? Life gets to all of us from time to time. It seems to be the price we pay for an increasingly complex world, a world where the Internet has opened up so many choices to us, that we can feel overwhelmed with making decisions. Fortunately, despite any complexity the Internet has added to our lives, it also has made it easier to insert some little pauses into the day to make life a little more bearable. I call these little pauses micro breaks. And they can be a great way to step off the fast track for just a moment to relax a bit and refocus on the things that are important. Micro breaks come in all shapes and sizes. One type of micro break that many people find helpful is a thought for the day a profound, noteworthy, or entertaining saying. The Internet has all kinds of sources for a thought for the day. Just do a search on any of the major search engines, and you'll find how many possibilities there are to choose from. What kind of thought for the day works best? That depends on your personality. If you tend to get caught up in the details of life, then you might do best with sayings that focus on more profound statements of life and existence. If you are inspired by quotes that have stood the test of time, sites that focus on the sayings of famous people might provide the most benefit to you. If you find yourself taking life too seriously too often, sayings that can make you smile or chuckle would suit your style well. The most important thing is to find a source of micro breaks that you find inspiring or relaxing. These will give you the most energizing pauses in your day. Of course, there is no reason you can't make use of more than one type micro break. So, fire up your browser, visit your favorite search engine, and find yourself some places where you can get your thought for the day. Then, either sign up to receive your daily thought in your email, or make a habit of visiting the places you like best for a quick micro break. Soon you'll be headed in the right direction to maintain a balanced life.




    Travel Tips to European Countries: Ireland About The Country The summers are warm and the winters are moderate with some snow. May and June are the sunniest months. Weather changes quite frequently from cloudy to sunny and vice versa. If planning the visit during the summer, lightweight woolen or cotton clothes are recommended and jacket for spring and autumn. Always carry raincoat for that untimely showers. Incase of emergency call 999 or 112. Culture Most of the locals prefer speaking English here. Handshaking is customary. Irish are social people and are good at having a lively chat even with strangers. People live in great harmony and make great friends. Foreigners are welcomed with warmth and are made to feel at home. Guests are never sent back empty stomach as food is always served at any time of the day, to the guest. Most of the locals come from an agricultural background. Dinner is considered to be a meal of importance as it is the time when the whole family gets together and eat. One can dress casually when out on the streets except women are expected to dress formally at social gatherings and at fine restaurants. Smoking is banned in public places. Shopping Many towns organize flee markets at least once a week, which is worth checking out for cheap goods. Belfast is the shopping capital of Ireland; most of the stores open up early and close early too. On Thursdays, shops remain open till 8 in the night. Value Added Tax of almost 17% is charged, which can be reclaimed later. So if the visitors buy anything from the stores remember to check if the store operates the Retail Export Scheme, which would require the passport and filling of the Tax Free Shopping Form by the sales person. If the restaurant bill doesn’t includes any tax, leave behind a 10% tip to appreciate their service. Giving a tip to the porters and hair dressers is customary here. Electricity The voltage in Northern Ireland is 240V, 50AC. Getting There The national airline that operates here is Aer Lingus, which provides service from most of the major cities of the world. Airlines like Delta Air Lines and many other have been introduced and to promote them, promotional air fares are being offered. Checking out such offers will prove to be money savers. There are many flights from UK to Ireland. The Dublin airport is located at 10 km away from the city. Services like taxis, air coach, buses transport passengers to their destination. Airport has duty free shops, bank, currency exchange, car hire, tourism information, and restaurants for a comfortable journey. Shannon Airport is situated to the north of Limerick City and is 24 km and 25 minutes away from it. Buses, coaches and taxis are available for transportation. Other services that are provided are duty free shops, currency exchange, bank, tourism information and restaurants. While planning to travel, check out other airports like Cork Airport and Knock Information Airport for more options. A departure tax of Ђ10 is to be paid by people over 12 years of age at the Knock International Airport. To take ferries check out the Baltimore, Galway, Dublin, Wexford and Kinsale ports. Most of the ferries offer high speed services. Time to time special offers are being announced which can be availed to save money. Check out the websites as some of them offer online booking facility. Duty Free Items 1. 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco 2. 1l of spirits and distilled beverages (more than 22 per cent) or 2l of other alcoholic beverages with an alcoholic strength not exceeding 22 per cent, including sparkling or fortified wine, plus 2l of table wine 3. 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette The carrier should be above 17 years of age. Sharp objects, explosives, firearms, food or agricultural items and hay or straw should be brought along as they are strictly prohibited. PPPPP Word count 663


    How To Lower Your Health Insurance Premiums


    Human beings are mortal. Though every single life has to terminate one day yet it is the very nature of rational agents to plan for the expected as well as the unexpected happenings in their future. The most prudent plan to secure your and the lives of your loved ones is to get your life insured. By doing this an individual enters into a contract with the company (from where hw takes the life insurance policy) according to which the latter will recompense for his death by paying a predetermined some of money to his family till the insured premiums are current. Life insurance policy acts as an individual’s best friend in the hours of grave need. This is because if unfortunately something happens to the primary wage earner, his family is assisted with life insurance amount to make up for the loss and move ahead in life. so in today’s life it is immensely essential for an individual to take a life insurance policy a soon as possible. Quite often many government officials and employees in a company are offered group life insurance which is totally free of cost. With the help of their company employees can also take an additional life insurance at reduced rates. There are different companies that offer a life insurance policy. Though the terms and conditions do not vary largely yet it is at the discretion of the individual which policy to adopt and from where. By and large people prefer to take those policies that facilitates with maximum compensation and demands less premium. In case a person takes a Term life insurance policy, he will initially be paying less premium which gradually increases in the later years of his life. if one adopts either a whole life insurance or a variable life insurance the premium is settled once and for all at the time of taking the policy. The premium amount does not depend on factors such as the age of the individual etc. However the amount of premium even varies with the age and the kind of life of the policy taker. For instance the policy will be quite expensive for a 50 year old man than that for a 25 year old guy. In the same way a chain smoker or an alcoholic will have to pay more premium than a non smoker healthy individual of the same age. Also a person who earns by way of a precarious job (a stuntman in films) will be charged with a high premium than a teacher or a doctor. Thus one of the best ways to lower your life insurance premiums is to take a life insurance policy early in life and to try and quit such harmful habits. On the same hand prior to taking a policy you ought to make sure that you do a complete survey of the market i. e. you should be clear about almost all the life insurance policy offers that are available and specially what you desire of your policy. This will help you in selecting the best suited policy for yourself. A smart way to know the life insurance quotes for oneself is via Internet. What previously was to be done with the assistance of agents by paying them, can now be done absolutely free. Taking online life insurance quotes not just saves your money but also time and energy.


    Using Herbs Simply Safely


    : To prevent problems when selling or using herbs: 1. Be certain you have the correct plant. 2. Use simples. 3. Understand that different preparations of the same herb can work differently. 4. Use nourishing, tonifying, stimulating, and potentially poisonous herbs wisely. BE CERTAIN YOU HAVE THE CORRECT PLANT One of the easiest ways to get into trouble with an herb is to use the “wrong” one. How could that happen? Common names for herbs overlap, causing confusion as to the proper identity. Herbs that are labeled correctly may contain extraneous material from another, more dangerous, herb. Herbs may be picked at the wrong stage of growth or handled incorrectly after harvesting, causing them to develop detrimental qualities. Protect yourself and your customers with these simple steps:

    • Buy herbs only from reputable suppliers.
    • Only buy herbs that are labeled with their botanical name. Botanical names are specific, but the same common names can refer to several different plants. “Marigold” can be Calendula officinalis, a medicinal herb, or Tagetes, an annual used as a bedding plant.
    • If you grow the herbs you sell, be meticulous about keeping different plants separate when you harvest and dry them, and obsessive about labeling.
    USE SIMPLES A simple is one herb. For optimum safety, I prepare, buy, sell, teach about and use herbal simples, that is: preparations containing only one herb. (Occasionally I will add some mint to flavor a remedy.) The more herbs there are in a formula, the more likelihood there is of unwanted side effects. Understandably, the public seeks combinations, hoping to get more for less. And many mistakenly believe that herbs must be used together to be effective (probably because potentially poisonous herbs are often combined with protective herbs to mitigate the damage they cause). But combining herbs with the same properties, such as goldenseal and echinacea, is counter productive and more likely to cause trouble than a simple. A simple tincture of echinacea is more effective than any combination and much safer. Different people have different reactions to substances, whether drugs, foods, or herbs. When herbs are mixed together in a formula and someone taking it has distressing side effects, there is no way to determine which herb is the cause. With simples, it's easy to tell which herb is doing what. If there's an adverse reaction, other herbs with similar properties can be tried. Limiting the number of herbs used in any one day (to no more than four) offers added protection. Side effects from herbs are less common than side effects from drugs and usually less severe. If an herb disturbs the digestion, it may be that the body is learning to process it. Give it a few more tries before giving up. Stop taking any herb that causes nausea, dizziness, sharp stomach pains, diarrhea, headache, or blurred vision. (These effects will generally occur quite quickly.) Slippery elm is an excellent antidote to any type of poison. If you are allergic to any foods or medicines, it is especially important to consult resources that list the side effects of herbs before you use them. UNDERSTAND THAT DIFFERENT PREPARATIONS OF THE SAME HERB CAN WORK DIFFERENTLY The safety of any herbal remedy is dependent on the way it is prepared and used.
    • Tinctures and extracts contain the alkaloids, or poisonous, parts of plants and need to be used with care and wisdom. Tinctures are as safe as the herb involved (see cautions below for tonifying, stimulating, sedating, or potentially poisonous herbs). Best used/sold as simples, not combinations, especially when strong herbs are being used.
    • Dried herbs made into teas or infusions contain the nourishing aspects of the plants and are usually quite safe, especially when nourishing or tonifying herbs are used.
    • Dried herbs in capsules are generally the least effective way to use herbs. They are poorly digested, poorly utilized, often stale or ineffective, and quite expensive.
    • Infused herbal oils are available as is, or thickened into ointments. They are much safer than essential oils, which are highly concentrated and can be lethal if taken internally.
    • Herbal vinegars are not only decorative but mineral rich as well. A good medium for nourishing and tonifying herbs; not as strong as tinctures for stimulants/sedatives.
    • Herbal glycerins are available for those who prefer to avoid alcohol but are usually weaker in action than tinctures.
    USE NOURISHING, TONIFYING, STIMULATING, & POTENTIALLY POISONOUS HERBS WISELY Herbs comprise a group of several thousand plants with widely varying actions. Some are nourishers, some tonifiers, some stimulants and sedatives, and some are potential poisons. To use them wisely and well, we need to understand each category, its uses, best manner of preparation, and usual dosage range. Nourishing herbs are the safest of all herbs; side effects are rare. Nourishing herbs are taken in any quantity for any length of time. They are used as foods, just like spinach and kale.

    Nourishing herbs provide high levels of proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carotenes, and essential fatty acids. Examples of nourishing herbs are: alfalfa, amaranth, astragalus, calendula flowers, chickweed, comfrey leaves, dandelion, fenugreek, flax seeds, honeysuckle flowers, lamb’s quarter, marshmallow, nettles, oatstraw, plantain (leaves/seeds), purslane, red clover blossoms, seaweed, Siberian ginseng, slippery elm, violet leaves, and wild mushrooms. Tonifying herbs act slowly in the body and have a cumulative, rather than immediate, effect.

    They build the functional ability of an organ (like the liver) or a system (like the immune system). Tonifying herbs are most beneficial when they are used in small quantities for extended periods of time. The more bitter the tonic tastes, the less you need to take.

    Bland tonics may be used in quantity, like nourishing herbs. Side effects occasionally occur with tonics, but are usually quite short term. Many older herbalists mistakenly equated stimulating herbs with tonifying herbs, leading to widespread misuse of many herbs, and severe side effects. Examples of tonifying herbs are: barberry bark, burdock root/seeds, chaste tree, crone(mug)wort, dandelion root, echinacea, elecampane, fennel, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, ground ivy, hawthorn berries, horsetail, lady’s mantle, lemon balm, milk thistle seeds, motherwort, mullein, pau d’arco, raspberry leaves, schisandra berries, St. Joan’s wort, turmeric root, usnea, wild yam, and yellow dock.

    Sedating and stimulating herbs cause a variety of rapid reactions, some of which may be unwanted. Some parts of the person may be stressed in order to help other parts. Strong sedatives and stimulants, whether herbs or drugs, push us outside our normal ranges of activity and may cause strong side effects.

    If we rely on them and then try to function without them, we wind up more agitated (or depressed) than before we began. Habitual use of strong sedatives and stimulants whether opium, rhubarb root, cayenne, or coffee leads to loss of tone, impairment of functioning, and even physical dependency. The stronger the herb, the more moderate the dose needs to be, and the shorter the duration of its use. Herbs that tonify and nourish while sedating/stimulating are some of my favorite herbs. I use them freely, as they do not cause dependency. Sedating/stimulating herbs that also tonify or nourish: boneset, catnip, citrus peel, cleavers, ginger, hops, lavender, marjoram, motherwort, oatstraw, passion flower, peppermint, rosemary, sage, skullcap. Strongly sedating/stimulating herbs include: angelica, black pepper, blessed thistle root, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, coffee, licorice, opium poppy, osha root, shepherd’s purse, sweet woodruff, turkey rhubarb root, uva ursu leaves, valerian root, wild lettuce sap, willow bark, and wintergreen leaves.

    Potentially poisonous herbs are intense, potent medicines that are taken in tiny amounts and only for as long as needed. Side effects are common.

    Examples of potentially poisonous herbs are: belladonna, blood root, celandine, chaparral, foxglove, goldenseal, henbane, iris root, Jimson weed, lobelia, May apple (American mandrake), mistletoe, poke root, poison hemlock, stillingia root, turkey corn root, wild cucumber root. In addition, consider these thoughts on using herbs safely:

    • Respect the power of plants to change the body and spirit in dramatic ways.
    • Increase trust in the healing effectiveness of plants by trying remedies for minor or external problems before, or while, working with major and internal problems.
    • Develop ongoing relationships with knowledgeable healers in person or in books who are interested in herbal medicine.
    • Honor the uniqueness of every plant, every person, every situation.
    • Remember that each person becomes whole and healed in their own unique way, at their own speed. People, plants, and animals can help in this process. But it is the body/spirit that does the healing. Don’t expect plants to be cure alls.
    Susun Weed PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498 Fax: 1 845 246 8081


    Join A Gym Or Purchase Exercise Equipment


    The age old question when it comes to working out is: should I join a gym or purchase exercise equipment? Depending on your needs and specific method of working out, different individuals experience different results with each of these methods. However, before you rush out and sell your gym membership to purchase thousands of dollars in exercise equipment or sell your exercise equipment in order to purchase a gym membership, consider your options carefully. Depending on your schedule, budget, workout schedule, and dedication, the decision you make must be personal and honest in order to experience the best results. Whether you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or just become healthier, a gym membership may be just what you need. In addition to access to top of the line equipment, professional gyms employ professional trainers, intuitionalists, and other individuals that will allow you to meet your goal. Furthermore, most gyms hold a series of classes in all types of exercises and activities. From popular activities like yoga and Pilates to more action packed classes like kick boxing and classic aerobics, exercise classes are a great way to meet people, stay motivated, and see results. You should join a gym if you are looking professional guidance in the correct methods and techniques to working out. Also, if you find yourself unmotivated to begin exercising, joining a gym will keep you motivated, since many individuals are resistant to let their hard earned money spent on a gym membership go to waste. Furthermore, join a gym to meet other individuals with your interests or goals, so that you can form a support system to ensure that everyone meets his or her goals. However, if your schedule finds little time that you can dedicate to visiting a gym, consider establishing a home gym. Typically, outfitting a home gym is much more expensive than paying a gym membership, but having the ability to work out any time of the day is well worth the cost. Additionally, you only have to purchase gym equipment once, where you have to renew a gym membership on an annual basis. Furthermore, if you are shy or feel intimidated while working out in gyms and find yourself often sacrificing your work out routine in order to avoid exercising in rooms with many people, consider starting your own home gym. Although you have a home gym, a professional trainer is not out of the question, as many trainers will gladly travel to your home in order to establish a work out regimen that best works toward your goal. Having a professional trainer on call may be more expensive than working with a trainer at a professional gym, but the cost is well worth the service.


    7 Great Tips On Using Your Free Affirmations


    Affirmations are a simple and effective way to influence your subconscious mind. It is quite easy for you to search the Internet to find tones of free affirmations in various categories. I have also written another article on how you can write your own affirmations. But this one is going to focus on ways to increase their power! Remember that it is always better to stick to a certain group of affirmations for a while, since we absorb them faster this way. Also, you should feel the desired result taking place already. Written below are 7 different way to make your free affirmations more powerful… 1. You should get into a relaxed state of mind. When this happens, our conscious minds are less intrusive, thus leaving our subconscious minds wide open. You should use this to your advantage. 2. Repeat them while looking at yourself in the mirror. 3. We all tend to remember rhymes and tunes more easily. So choose your affirmations and just get a bit creative. 4. The times just before sleeping and after waking up are great for influencing the subconscious. So make sure you use them at these times. 5. If you are in a place where it would not be appropriate for you to use them out loud. You can just repeat it to yourself mentally. It helps if you imagine it getting louder and louder. 6. Write them down. This has much more power than just verbally repeating it. I would suggest that you write each one at least 10 times daily or so. Of course, the more you do it the better. 7. Write them down on pieces of paper and stick then around your home or workplace. This way, you are always reminded of them. Just make sure it is a place you visit often. You are probably wondering how long it will take you to see changes in yourself, right? Well, it is scientifically proven that it takes 21 days for one person to change form one habit to another. So don’t lose heart, just keep doing it for a while. Remember, you have an infinite number of free affirmations from which you can choose from!


    10 Greatest Martial Arts Movies Of All Time


    After hundreds of movies, thousands of eye popping fight scenes and millions of punches thrown...which ones are the best? Which ones have I been missing out on my whole life? Which ones must I have in my collection in order to not bring shame upon my family name? We’ve scoured the internet. Reviews. Forums. Amazon. Postings. Bulletins. And this list is what we’ve come up with as the greatest Kung Fu movies of all time and why you should watch each one. Pay attention to movies involving Yuen Wo Ping as either director or action director, there's a reason why half this list is movies where he was involved! If you want to watch trailers of these movies, go to: experiencemartialarts. com/articles/movies. html (you can also get directly to these movies in Amazon. com from this website) #1 Way of the Dragon (1979) This is the only finished film to be written and directed by Bruce Lee. (Game of Death is the other one but is unfinished) We could write a lot about the plot, characters or fight scenes...but all you really care about is watching Bruce Lee fight Chuck Norris in the final battle. Martial Artists: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris Director: Bruce Lee #2 Shaolin Temple (1982) Depicts the amazing history of the Shaolin Temple, the focal point for Chinese Martial Arts. Think of the Shaolin Monks as Jedi Knights (an elite group of fighters) and the rest of China as the messed up universe that Star Wars takes place in (people who are afraid of the elite fighters and want to take them out of power). Much work to do, you have, young Jet Li. *picture Yoda’s accent on that one* Define Irony: A movie shot at the site of the Shaolin Temple, telling a story about the fall of the Shaolin Temple, sparks so much public interest that the temple was re opened shortly after the movie released. Martial Artist: Jet Li (His debut movie) Director: Chang Hsin Yen #3 Ong Bak (2003) Raw action without wires, Tony Jaa brings a new martial arts style to the big screen and does so in style. Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) is stronger and more direct than the Chinese styles you’re used to seeing with Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, giving a new look to how a martial arts movie can be done. You’ll be seeing more of him...guaranteed. Martial Artist: Tony Jaa Director: Prachya Pinkaew #4 Iron Monkey (1993) Doctor by day, thief by night...Iron Monkey is your classic Robin hood meets Kung Fu. It’s an action packed flick that can’t go 5 minutes without an excellent fight scene. It all comes down to a battle between Iron Monkey (ie Robin Hood) and an ex Shaolin Monk (remember, these guys are like the Jedi Knights of Chinese martial arts...they’re elite). Remember that guy Yuen Wo Ping I mentioned? Well he's the director in this one, so you know it's good! Martial Artists: Yu Rong Guang, Donnie Yen Director: Yuen Wo Ping Action Directors: Yuen Cheung yan, Yuen Shun yi #5 5 Deadly Venoms (1978) No room form "martial arts beauties" in this one, there's so much blood and action that they only cast male actors. Exit the traditional elaborate costumes and enter the muscular, skin bearing, bloody martial arts style that would become a trademark for director Chang Cheh. Each cast member is trained in an art resembling one of 5 venemous creatures (Scorpion, Snake, Centipede, Gecko, Toad) with the 6th cast member being trained in all 5. Six main martial arts actors = LOTS O’ ACTION Martial Artists: 6 Martial Artists (yes, 6 main characters) Director: Chang Cheh #6 The Seven Samurai (1954) One of the greatest classic kung fu movies of all time and arguable Kurosawa’s best work. Some Samurai of the time were down on their luck (homeless) and willing to do anything for a meal. A village under attack by bandits recruits a group of seven such Samurai warriors and asks them to help defend their village. The movie is about the Samurai teaching the village how to fight and culminates in a massive battle between a village and almost 50 attacking bandits. The acting is superb, the emotions run high and Kurosawa keeps you hooked from beginning to end. Martial Artists: 7 Martial Artists (all names you won't know since this movie is so old) Director: Akira Kurosawa #7 Legend of Drunken Master (1994) Some will say this is the greatest martial arts movie of all time because of it’s balance between plot line, comedy, drama and amazing kung fu sequences. Probably Jackie Chan’s best martial arts performance. You’re going to love the final scene where you learn what “Drunken Master” really means. We’re talking box splitting, fire spitting craziness! Martial Artist: Jackie Chan Director: Lau Kar leung #8 Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) Based on a Pentalogy (yes, that’s 5 books) written by Wang Dulu, this movie covers mostly the 4th book. Critically acclaimed to cross international borders with it’s amazing character development, intricate plot, martial arts ideals, stunning special effects and quicker than the eye fighting scenes, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon set a new standard for martial arts movies. Telling Zhang Ziyi (the lead female character and an amazing martial artist) to get back in the kitchen would likely cost you 50 punches to the “bags”. Be ready for subtitles, ‘cuz turning on the English track is like watching a kung fu movie in English. Main Martial Artist: Chow Yun fat Other Martial Artists: Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Chang Chen, Cheng Pei pei Director: Ang Lee Action Director: Yuen Wo Ping #9 Kill Bill vol. 1 (2003) You’re going to want your home theatre room for this one. It’s tough to beat beautiful women beating the crap out of each other in fast paced, action packed, make you cringe, bloody, gory, cut ’em up (more buzz words go here) movie jam packed with as much martial arts death as possible. Tarantino expertly uses every camera angle and a plethora of special effects to deliver a better than real visual experience that gives this blood and guts thriller an artistic feel you’ll appreciate at the end. Did I mention is has Uma Thurman in it? (“Kill bill vol. 2” brings closure to the set, but hey...we had to choose one movie. Say “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique” 5 times fast.) Actors: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox Director: Quentin Tarantino Action Director: Yuen Wo ping #10 Fist of Legend (1994) A classic story of Chinese vs. Japanese martial arts, Fist of Legend is actually a remake of the original Bruce Lee movie, Fist of Fury. If Bruce Lee is like the original James Bond, Jet Li is the Pierce Brosnan. He’ll never be the original, but the modern film making and larger budget bring the entertainment value just a hair above the original Fist of Fury. (The ghost of Bruce Lee is probably going to strike me down for writing that) The Yuen Brothers are known for amazing action choreography, and they totally deliver on this one. (Casting Jet Li may have helped them a little too.) Martial Artist: Jet Li Director: Gordon Chan Action Directors: “The Yuen Brothers” The fun doesn't stop there. We tried to stop at only 10...really, we did. But we just couldn't control ourselves. "Once it hits your lips, it's so good!" Will Ferrell in "Old School" To see the movies that deserve "Honorable Mention", go to experiencemartialarts. com/articles/movies. html Whether you enjoyed this list or think we snuffed your favorite movie, we'd love to hear what you think. Post your comments at: experiencemartialarts. com/blog/archives/16


    Fairtrade Organic Or Locally Produced Food


    Should I buy food and products that support workers in Third World by buying Fairtrade labelled products even though these goods normally travel thousands of miles from Africa, South America or South East Asia? What if these foods were produced with the use of pesticides and additives? It makes sense then to look for and to buy Fairtrade, organic food to both help the producers in the Third World and fulfil my lifestyle choice to eat healthy and additive/pesticide free food. Thankfully, many producers are now wising up to this dilemma by increasingly producing organic and Fairtrade labelled products. I am currently using Fairtrade, organic t bags at home! Now comes another important question, should I buy Fairly Traded organic sugar from Kenya that has travelled thousands of miles, or should I buy apples grown in the UK (ideally from a farmers market) that have only travelled only a few hundred miles which means less carbon dioxide and other nasty emissions from the lorries that you see constantly on the motorways in the UK? Buying UK products not only ensures less food miles but also supports local farmers, communities and economies. Unfortunately, choice is often limited and can be more expensive then food produced in other countries……… Decisions, decisions, it’s probably best to abstain from eating and give your choice making brain a rest! But I can safely say that I make attempts to avoid food or products that have travelled from far away destinations such as Australia even if they are organic! Next time you are in the supermarket or wherever you buy your food from check the labels and you will be surprised by how far your food has travelled. Also look at the amount of unnecessary wrapping such as individually wrapped peppers, mushrooms and kiwi fruit in wrapped boxes. When I buy from the local market I tell them to throw it all into one bag, the customer next to me often has 10 individually wrapped portions of fruit and veg. That’s 11 (10 plus one big plastic bag) bags into the landfill site that day. For maximum eco efficiency we need to be using jute or other bags made from recycled materials and putting all the loose food into that. For recycled bags, Fairtrade and Organic companies, products and food see GuideMeGreen’s Green Directory.


    Surround Sound Speakers


    Surround Sound Speakers When you are building a home theater or surround sound system for your home there are many things that must be considered in order to create the best possible system and solution for the space you have in which to create it. We live in a world where floor space and real estate are premiums and we only give them up begrudgingly. It is very true that the best speakers on the market (even today) are generally stand speakers and they occupy a tremendous amount of prime real estate within your media room or home theater. For this reason we are seeing technological emphasis placed on improving speaker design and making them smaller more now than at any other time in the history of speakers. This is good news for you as a consumer since it means that there is both emerging technology in these smaller speakers and that you will see lower price in the race to create the best small speakers on the market. For many consumers this offers a win win situation that is too tempting to pass when shopping. It is important however that you remember to see, or in this case hear, for yourself the quality of these smaller speakers before you make the rather sizeable investment that a good set of surround sound speakers will require. The good news for those of you are experiencing a little bit of sticker shock over the price tag is that speakers should be the largest investment you make in your total surround sound system by far. They are the most vital components to the overall sound and your entire investment will be wasted in your other equipment if you do not have superior quality speakers in your system. While the number of speakers will increase the quality and depth of the sound and the overall surround experience, good quality is more important than greater numbers, you can always add more speakers to your collection later. I do urge you to purchase the entire set together if possible however, if you can only purchase 6 (remember there's a subwoofer involved as well) rather than 8 at first, then I recommend that you do that rather than going with inferior quality in order to get two more speakers. If you do not purchase your speakers as a complete set you need to make sure that the speakers you purchase later are compatible with the speakers in your surround sound system. In most cases this isn't a problem if you purchase the same brand and style however if there has been a significant passage of time or shift in technology it could prove problematic. A typical set of speakers for a 5.1 channel surround sound system will include two channel speakers (front left and right), one front center channel speaker, two rear channel speakers (rear left and right) and a subwoofer. A 6.1 channel surround sound system adds one more speaker in the center rear and moves the rear left and right speakers of a 5.1 system to the side left and right respectively. A 7.1 channel surround sound system will add an additional rear speaker and have one on each side rather than one in the center. The sound is the most important feature of any surround sound system and there are many things that go into creating the perfect sound. When it comes to home theaters and surround sound systems the only way to know for sure that you will be getting what you want for your space is to listen to the sound. You may find that what sounded like sound nirvana in the sound room doesn't ring so true in your living room. Make sure that the store or website from which you are purchasing has a liberal return policy on components and speakers especially speakers as they are the most costly components of your surround sound system and the most expensive to replace. PPPPP 660


    What Is A Carry Trade


    When trading on the Forex market, you are sure to hear the phrase carry trade. By understanding what a carry trade is, you are better prepared to trade on the Forex market. Every currency in the world has an interest rate attached to it, and the rate is decided by the country's central bank. A carry trade consists of selling a certain currency that has a low interest rate, and using the proceeds to buy a currency that has a much higher interest rate. The result is a gain in the difference of the interest rates for the two currencies. The difference between these two rates is called an interest rate differential. A Forex trader receives interest on the currency that they are long in, and the trader must pay the interest on the currency that they are short in. The difference in the interest rates is the cost of a carry trade. The rate of a return on the investment with a carry trade can be quite substantial, but this depends on the leverage the investor chooses to utilize. With leverage at ten times, a seven percent interest becomes seventy percent, which is quite a profit. In the Forex market currencies are traded in pairs. Carry trades on the Forex market pay the interest every day into your trading portfolio. Forex trading is margin based trading, which means that you only pony up a small amount of capital and your broker covers the rest. Finding a suitable pair to do a carry trade with is not a problem. Find a pair with a high interest differential, and make sure that the pair has been in an uptrend. There are three possibilities with a carry trade. The currency position can lose value, the currency pair can stay the same, or the currency pair can gain value. The great thing about a carry trade is that you collect the interest on the currency, and can still turn around and sell the currency for the same value. A carry trade is when one currency, with a low interest rat, e is sold to purchase a currency that has a high interest rate. The difference in the interest rates between the currencies is called the interest rate differential. Many Forex traders use carry trades to maximize the profits and returns in their trading account. When it is done right, a carry trade can offer spectacular profits for the Forex trader. Copyright © 2007 Joel Teo. All rights reserved.


    27 What Happened In Corporate Accounting Scandals


    What happened in corporate accounting scandals? When a corporation deliberately conceals or skews information to appear healthy and successful to its shareholders, it has committed corporate or shareholder fraud. Corporate fraud may involve a few individuals or many, depending on the extent to which employees are informed of their company's financial practices. Directors of corporations may fudge financial records or disguise inappropriate spending. Fraud committed by corporations can be devastating, not only for outside investors who have made share purchases based on false information, but for employees who, through 401ks, have invested their retirement savings in company stock.

    Some recent corporate accounting scandals have consumed the news media and ruined hundreds of thousands of lives of the employees who had their retirement invested in the companies that defrauded them and other investors. The nuts and bolts of some of these accounting scandals are as follows: WorldCom admitted to adjusting accounting records to cover its operation costs and present a successful front to shareholders. Nine billion dollars in discrepancies were discovered before the telecom corporation went bankrupt in July of 2002. One of the hidden expenses was $408 million given to Bernard Ebbers (WorldCom's CEO) in undisclosed personal loans. At Tyco, shareholders were not informed of the $170 million in loans that were taken by Tyco's CEO, CFO, and chief legal officer. The loans, many of which were taken interest free and later written off as benefits, were not approved by Tyco's compensation committee. Kozlowski (former CEO), Swartz (former CFO), and Belnick (former chief legal officer) face continuing investigations by the SEC and the Tyco Corporation, which is now operating under Edward Breen and a new board of directors. At Enron, investigations against uncovered multiple acts of fraudulent behavior. Enron used illegal loans and partnerships with other companies to cover its multi billion dollar debt. It presented erroneous accounting records to investors, and Arthur Anderson, its accounting firm, began shredding incriminating documentation weeks before the SEC could begin investigations. Money laundering, wire fraud, mail fraud, and securities fraud are just some of the indictments directors of Enron have faced and will continue to face as the investigation continues.


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