Happiness has a scent to me, a weighty, thick odor of cumin and overripe citrus. This odor greets me as I enter the foyer of the sand – coloured apartment building, its weight supported by columns of substantial girth. The building has developed with the times, its rickety stairs of my younger years changing over to a whirring lift, sleek and highly polished steps. I step over the threshold, along with a onslaught of familiar sights, fragrances, and sounds greets me. The flat is stifling, and little, stuffy, comprising a combination living and dining room, an attached kitchen, one pale – hued toilet, and two tiny bedrooms.

Within the room of olive toned and dark haired relatives, my mom is an accidental minority, her blond head clashing with all the three brown ones across from hers as she perches in the coffee table. As my two young cousins tussle around his legs the TV blares and a football match is on, my uncle is seeing it. As is custom with these kinds of parties, my aunt is really in the kitchen with my safta’s Indonesian nurse, and judging just from the aromas exuding from the crowded kitchen, they’re in the middle of making piles of diet-disregarding food.

I sit comfortably, considering the three new adjectives that I’m able to describe myself with. In Israel, I’m a niece, but also all of these, a granddaughter, along with a cousin. My limited family tree exists in two farremoved locations, just in 1 of which I could feel it tangibly. But seldom do I receive an opportunity to do something that many of my own friends take for granted. But here, like I sit in the table, I feel happy. Instead of the offender being a fresh pair of shoes, or perhaps a soughtafter test mark, it’s togetherness. I’m reveling within the fundamental and primal enjoyment of being with my family, of being with individuals who share my surname as well as physical characteristics. I believe within the simplicity of well-being, of togetherness being all I have to feel whole.

The Velvet Revolution and Education

Peace education stands as one of the most undervalued and underfunded points of our educational system that is world-wide. If we look at the typical education curriculum at elementary school, or a high school , which is where youth are most impressionable, any site of compulsory non-violent schooling is almost entirely non existent. Regardless, we often find compulsory history classes, which describe every single war in detail, including its death toll, its generals and all the other players.

Yet given this educational dilemma that is lopsided, once in a while an enthusiastic humanitarian comes to champion a brand new form of instruction about peace, rather than violence.

The Revolution was named “Velvet” due to its soft and non-violent method of peace.

The power of this movie lies in the way it can capture the essence of the Velvet Revolution and how power shifts when individuals the youth, stand up against protest and repression in a non-violent way. The solidarity of the Czech people was so overwhelming that it forced them to bring in new leadership, namely Vaclav Havel, the leader of the revolution and basically crippled the government.

Broken educational systems could no doubt use this picture as a model to teach students at all levels of education about non-violence’s tremendous impact on world history and it. There’s a host of information online yet it doesn’t make it onto the curriculum of most of our schools, lots even on social media, but again you’ll often find facebook blocked in these situation.

Once peace and non violence become “required” curriculum in schools, especially for teens, we’ll begin to find a shift in our belief system regarding what alternatives are accessible to our issues. If a kid has just seen violence, at home, in history books and in the media, then that kid will act accordingly. If a child sees and is educated peaceful approaches to solve disputes and problems subsequently teens will naturally choose this path for resolution.

James Elsworth VPN

Pope’s Visit to Middle East Over

So it’s over, and apparently it’s been a great success, I truly hope so.  The Vatican is apparently very please with how the Pope managed to visit so many places without creating too much of a political storm.

After all it wasn’t politics he was concerned with, it was peace and that is never achieved by ignoring one side of the wat.

He’s not the first Pope to visit Israel, in fact there have been three Papal visits during the 21st century – all with different Popes. None have tried what Pope Francis did, and most people seem to recognize that he came with a genuine desire to try and improve the atmosphere in a tense situation.

It helps simply because there is an honest acknowledgement of the situation here, Pope Francis tried to treat both sides with honesty and respect, most believe he achieved that.

The visit has of course drawn huge publicity from all over the world, it is widely covered across the world. Some of the best coverage, in my opinion has come the National broadcaster of the UK, the BBC. One of my favorite reporters Jeremy Bowen has been covering the Papal visit and he has conducted several interviews including one with My Gottdenker, a holocaust survivor who met with Pope Francis. You can watch it on the BBC website or access it through the wonderful iPlayer application – this site shows you how to access BBC iPLayer in the USA

Who knows if the visit will have any lasting effect but the Vatican should be praised for at least trying. It must have been a nightmare visit to plan with all sorts of pitfalls and potential problems that could be caused.

James Johannsson

Tvinci Bought Out By US Firm

It often saddens me when yet another great Israeli technology firm get’s bought out by a foreign company.  It’s not uncommon, and over the years Israeli technology and innovation has formed the basis of some pretty successful Western technology firms.

Well here’s another example, the Israeli start up company Tvinci, which works in the on demand subscription TV services, has now been bought out by the open-source video platform company Kaltura.

Tvinci uses the latest technology to deliver through it’s own software a variety of TV services over the internet.  It works using on demand and standard linear programmes which are broadcast in the traditional way.  The content can be accessed through a wide variety of devices such as Smartphone, computers and Smart TVs to name but a few,

The company Kaltura is well respected in the video world and the New York firm hopes to integrate the technology from Tvinci with it’s own video platform.  There is good news for employment though, the company is to be based in Israel with the employees of both companies merging. Also the founders of Tvinci will be appointed to Kaltura’s management board.

Innovation in this sector is what usually controls a companies success or not.  Merging two mutually related companies like this can make a lot of economic sense.   The problem is making money out of the technology, especially when using the internet which is obviously rife with workarounds, piracy and copies of such media.  For example even a company like the BBC is unable to restrict their UK based content completely – many millions watch using proxies and UK VPNs from across the world.  This post shows how to watch the BBC from Ireland  for example, the same method works anywhere for any media site which attempt to block access based purely on location.

There’s no doubt it’s a big industry despite this however, many estimates suggest that services of Pay Per View on the internet will reach many billions of dollars within a couple of years.  Kaltura has raised a lot of cash to invest in the developments of this area, so buying small innovative companies like Tvinci makes a lot of sense.

Online Media, the Roku and Some Sneakiness

I’m really interested in all the developments that are happening in online entertainment and specifically Internet TV channels.  There’s no doubt that there are big changes afoot and how we watch TV shows and entertainment is going to be drastically different from anything our parents could imagine.

I recently started buying a few of these different devices to get a feel for how they work.   Up until last year my hopeless internet connection of less than 1 mbs was keeping me outside the real developments in this area – online media.   However now I have joined the 21st century, a little later than hoped for but at least I’ve made it – my new download hits 45mbs and even higher on a good day.  One of my first purchases, was the media streamer Roku, which is a fascinating little device.

It’s very small, little bigger than a packet of cigarettes but it’s size hides a huge range of possibilities.




It’s capable of streaming from a variety of sources directly to any sort of screen.   My first intention was to see if it could access my Netflix account which I previously only used on my laptop.  This works like a dream with the Netflix application being supported on the Roku, it’s not perfect the Roku version only supports one profile for instance.  But nevertheless it works perfectly if you want to access your account on a big screen without plugging in your laptop to your TV.  I’m not sure of how long it’s going to be an option when Smart TVs keep developing, but I suspect the days of many external media streamers will be numbered in the long run.

One of the main advantages of using online sources for channels and media is you can get access to virtually anything with the right tools.  For example a friend of mine demonstrated how they were able to access the BBC from Israel without any problems at all – this is the post if you’re interested.  What it demonstrates is that although over the internet most companies try to control what you can access based on your location, this can be easily manipulated.  If you watch the video you’ll see how you can control your location to access normally UK only TV channels.

It can also be done with a Roku, although it needs a little bit of configuration.  Using a technique called Smart DNS, available here, you can assign an intelligent DNS server to spoof your location too.

Think Hard About The Significant Qualities Of A Good Leader

Everyone has passions and goals. Sometimes we let them slip away from us at times, but it is part of us that we do that. Therefore, in different ways, we are all leaders and teachers, and there are so many significant roles to be filled. So in order to be the best leader you can be, you need to know the best qualities of a good leader. So just what would these be?

Well, the first thing you should consider is that a good leader never asks someone under him to do something that he wouldn’t do himself. This comes across in your character, as all the leadership characteristics work together. You want your team to believe that you’re in there with them, no matter the objective. Remember, there are all different types of leaders, and you must be a participating one. Your team members will respect you for that.

Another great quality of leaders is to be caring. While you have to be assertive at times and must put your foot down and set rules and goals, you also want to show the people that you care. They are going to look to you for support in whatever cause is the topic. For instance, maybe you’re a supervisor at work, and your employees look to you not only for direction but also for a caring relationship. Some co-workers often confide in each other. Of course, a leader must only let things approach certain boundaries because you still have to hold your position of authority. 

Honesty is another great quality of a leader. As a matter of fact, without this, or if it is compromised even once, you’re going to have a hard time getting people to trust you again. It’s always important that you’re honest, no matter what your leadership endeavor is. That is one of people’s biggest complaints about politicians is that they are often not honest. This does not serve well for their integrity and people trusting them.

That lead to the next quality, which is integrity. Now obviously after reading the last paragraph, integrity has to do with being honest. However, it is way much more than that. Integrity is stature and gained trust. Integrity is always doing the right thing no matter what, and that is why it is also tied to honesty. With all eyes on you as a leader, are you going to show integrity in every situation. It can be difficult because people make mistakes. Some leaders make little mistakes, and other leaders end up making huge mistakes.

The next quality of a leader is the ability to protect your team, and this is very important for certain types of leadership, which surely you can think of examples. Safety is always key, and as a leader, you want to be able to show that you’re going to protect your team. Sometimes this is in ways that don’t mirror physical protection. That is why there are all different types of leadership, and this can be different things for different professions. Sometimes you provide advice for certain positions, nurturing, discipline, etc. 

A leader must be innovative in all matters. A person might be a good leader at the time, but if he or she isn’t willing to change, the leadership is going to grow stale. A person must be innovative with all the essence of the meaning of the word implied. Come up with new ways to get things done. With some opportunities for leadership, you might be responsible for coming up with new products, new advertising slogans, new safety measures and much much more. What if you find yourself coming up with the right strategies to beat the other professional baseball team in the dugout? It could be anything!

The qualities of a good leader all intertwine, and you have to know how they connect to each other so that you understand that it is a cohesive effort that coalesces more or less for you to be the best leader possible. While good leaders must dream in order to be imaginative and innovative, good leaders must also be realistic and be able to implement strategies effectively and on time. Leaders must find a balance in their lives.  They should strive to improve themselves and to keep in touch with their employees concerns about daily life away from their job (check blogs about life like

So what does it take to be a good leader? Well all of the things that are mentioned are important. You definitely must also be level-headed in all situations and be able to remain as calm as possible. Certain situations might require a little intensity, but the idea is to remain calm if you can. The qualities of a good leader also lead someone to as a whole show humility. You don’t want to act arrogant or that you always make known your power. Instead, be a humble servant, as that is what makes a great leader in the first place.

What is Audit Recovery?

Within the financial World you might come across one of the newest buzzword, audit recovery. Therefore we wanted to take the time to give you a brief background about this new financial trend and what it could mean for your business. In most businesses you will use vendors (or you may be a vendor) to complete a portion of your work. Whether it is construction, services, healthcare or something else these providers will bill your business for there work. In some cases they will over charge you for work they have not completed or quoted you. The goal of Audit recovery is to audit these service providers to make sure  they are billing you correctly. Working with the vendor an auditor will look at all billables to determine if something was don fraudulently. The auditor would then work with you to ensure you recover the funds that were over paid. 

By performing regular audits you will be ensured your company is not ripped off. However, if you are on the vendor side it can be just as important to audit your own billings to make sure you aren’t over charging your customers. This can be very important because they may one day higher an auditor that could find your mistakes and hurt your business relationship. 

In the end it is most important to be honest in your business dealings. If you are you wont have to worry about being audited or aduting your vendors.

Investing In The US Stock Market From Other Countries

The Internet has done more to bring the world together than any other invention. Even investing is now something that can be learned and practiced from any country. But you might not be able to buy stocks in the US market if you aren’t a United States citizen and that is surprising. 

One of the most frequent questions I get on my website is how to start investing in US equities when you don’t have a Social Security Number and don’t live in the USA. People from all over the world email me to find out how they can participate in the biggest stock markets in existence (NASDAQ and NYSE).

I preach that it is smart to begin buying stocks as soon as you can in life because the earlier you start, the more years you have to grow your money and wait out the bad years. But I live in the United States and have access to those markets while many people who live overseas don’t. 

I always recommend that whatever country you live in, your first step should be to try to identify online brokers from your country that allow you to trade stocks on the US markets. The reason for this is that most US stock brokers require a SSN to let you trade. This rules out most international would-be clients and makes buying stocks impossible for them. 

The world is connected by the Internet and the things you can do right from your home are amazing. Unfortunately, investing isn’t one of the easier things to get done but perhaps some time in the future the US brokers will be more open to International clients. 

Payday Loan Customers come together and seek advice

I wanted to post this as I noticed an article on the guardian website the other day. A staggering amount of people, over 65 thousand had approached the financial charity StepChange seeking advice on payday loans in 2013. This is almost double from the year before. It appears so many people are getting more into debt and financial difficult each year. The government really has to do something about this.

On a positive note the charity StepChange are helping these people, they have done campaigns to help consumers come together rather than getting themselves more into debt problems. UK consumers are borrowing a huge amount of money each year. This April the FCA are tightening down on what lenders can and cannot do and 1 payday lender Payday Loans Quickly UK has made it clear they want to help. By being a responsible lender and making all the information clear about the rates, what the loans are to be used for and what not to borrow money for. Some Customers may keep re borrowing which is not helping advised Mr Jones, owner of

Mr Jones goes on to say. “I believe that if more people come together to highlight these issues, we can collectively go to the government and/or the financial bodies and get them to put a cap of what a person can borrow, how many times they can apply etc. As a company trading in this industry, its a competitive market and needs rates and rules to be set to make it a level playing field.” Lets hope we see some change in the coming year!

ISIS Syrians Sentence Girl to Death

There’s a story in the press released today that is truly horrible and in some senses defies belief. In Syria, a young girl has been stoned to death for a crime which in the civilised world is an everyday part of life.

The girl reportedly called Fatoum Al-Jassem was found guilty of opening a Facebook account, which was deemed immoral behaviour. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria were responsible for this atrocity, ruling that joining the social networking site should be classed as the same as adultery – which carries the death penalty.

The social networking site is actually banned from most of the areas like Syria and Iran anyway by the ruling governments. Their objections to the site are not so much moral but because they are used to communicate, organise and protest. Many young people still do use the site though by using proxies or other similar methods as a facebook unblocker , just like this video demonstrates.

The ISIS is a pro-Al Qaida jihadist group that lots of people are worried is taking an iron grasp over parts of Syria.
The group was formed in April 2013 and grew out of Al Qaeda’s affiliate organisation in Iraq. It has since grown into among the principal jihadist groups fighting government forces in Syria.
It took over AlReqqa after rebels overran the city in March 2013. It was the very first provincial capital to fall under rebel control.

You can read more about this story here.

TV Sets are the Preferred Viewing Medium

There has been a drive over the last few years, to get people to use their phones, tablets and other devices to watch TV and films.     So it’s an interesting that a survey conducted in the UK recently has found that the traditional TV is still by far the most popular medium for viewing today.

In fact less than 2% of total viewing in 2013 was conducted using mobile devices and platforms.  Hardly anyone in the survey regularly watched much TV using their phone which perhaps may come as a big surprise to many phone manufacturers.  It’s no surprise to me though, perhaps it’s my aging eyes but the idea of spending any time watching something on a phone or even a tablet does not appeal at all.

The survey didn’t just cover standard TV either, it also included catch up TV services like BBC Iplayer, ITV player, Sky GO and other stations.   So it becomes clearer that although manufacturers are driving us towards watching services on other devices nothing else really comes close to the traditional TV screen

One are that may skew the findings is if the survey was extended internationally.  One of the reasons is that much of this content is accessible online but there is a problem.  All the UK stations for instance are not accessible outside the UK even using the internet.    They all check your IP address when you connect and block viewing from other countries, the same happens everywhere else – all the major US media channels are not accessible outside the USA.  But thousands of people circumvent these restrictions by using proxies and VPNs to watch whatever they want  - this video demonstrates.

This method is not difficult to set up using a computer, laptop or other media device but even on Smart TVs it can be difficult. The problem is that many manufacturers don’t allow much access to the network configuration settings on their devices presumably because it makes support easier or perhaps under pressure from the broadcasters.

Familiarity Brings Relief

I’ve been travelling for just over 8 months now, some two thirds of the way through my year of travelling. I promised myself this trip, I wanted to see something of the world before the responsibilities of growing up finally caught up with me. I had seen siblings and older friends postpone such trips and then the sadness that it might after all not be possible when jobs, kids and mortgages started to create their barriers.

It’s not that I didn’t want those things too, but I have always been pragmatic and realised that I was no different – I wouldn’t be able to run away from my responsibilities – the trick was to run away before I got too many. There have been many times in my trip that I thought to cut short my trips, stories of misfortune, worries about money, frustration and tiredness have all tempted me to go home. But of course, the main danger has been homesickness, normally when faced with some extreme alien scence and experience.  This was probably my lowest point, my nadir.


The scene is from the main train station in Cairo, where I arrived fed up, hot and utterly bewildered.  The day had started badly when I got on the wrong bus and found myself in the middle of nowhere, my fellow passengers seemingly gloating at my misfortune and inability to decipher the arabic numerals on the buses.  Then at the station it got worse, normally there was a friendly face around who could speak English but the station was devoid of such help.

Nearly half an hour was wasted standing in completely the wrong queue for obtaining a ticket down to Luxor.  It was then I stood there confused thinking why was I bothering, why didn’t I just get a cab to the airport and grab myself a flight home.  I’m not sure how far I was from it, but I suspect pretty close when a friendly English speaking voice brought me back from my day dream.  Mohammed was a star, he wasted an hour of his day assisting me, just a really good guy, even refusing an offer of ‘baksheesh’ after it was all over.  He came into my life, saved my trip and then dashed off to his lectures at the local university – hopefully he wasn’t late !!

From that point things started to get better, reclining in the lounge of the Winter Palace in Cairo with my laptop and there wifi connection I got more help.   I found this video on Youtube which showed me this IP address changing software

It sounds fairly trivial but after purchasing a trial account, I was able to access my online banking (previously blocked due to my location), watch an episode of the Simpsons using my Hulu account and watch my local news from back in Colorado. In truth between Mohammed’s kindness and a piece of geeky computer software my resolve was fortified and my trip was back on. From that evening strolling through the stunning temple of Karnak I never really felt lonely again.

Sharing Beauty Product with New friends


The first thing you should do when move to the new environment is making a new friend. New friends are something that you need when you want to build new community. With their presence, you won’t feel so lonely.

Sharing the information about beauty product can be one way to take the first step in making new friends. Girls specially love talking about boys, cosmetic, and clothes. Try to start the conversation that makes them interested. You can try to talk about Glutera. For more information click on Glutera reviews here.

After getting their attention then you can openly introduce yourself properly. Making new friends in the new environment is easy as long as you know exactly what to do and what to say.


Togetherness with Ideaology

Bring people together can be very difficult. However, when you believe in the same ideal it can be much more simple. This idea is the reason I want to tell you about gold ctr rings. The CTR ring stands for choose the right. This is the idea that you should always choose what is right or good in the World. If everyone where to follow this idea we would have a World that was much kinder and honest to each other. 

But if this is not a great idea you want to believe in you could always follow the golden rule. This is the ideaology that you should do unto others what you would want done to you. This means that if you want people to be kind to you, you should be kind to them. Now this can be a difficult idea seeing as not everyone will be nice in return. However, if you continue to try your best you will find that there are more nice people then mean.

In the end if you are able to choose the right and follow the golden rule you will find that your own life will be much happier. 

What an American Might Miss Travelling

Recently I went travelling in the Phillipines and had a truly wonderful time.  Met loads of great people and made many new friends who I’ll hopefully keep in touch with.  However whenever you travel there’s always something you’ll miss about your home.  They’re not important and really didn’t spoil my trip but here they are anyway -

  • Dairy – the food is great in  the Philippines, but it is primarily based on rice.  Most staple dishes are based on rice and you’ll rarely come across many dairy products like milk or cheese.  So however good the food I’m craving for a strawberry milkshake – a giant one please.
  • Internet access – of course it’s easy to get decent internet access here. But because of my location I have a Philippine IP address. This means I struggle to get access to stuff back home being blocked from sites like NBC. Fortunately I figured out that a US Proxy and VPN would solves these problems and it did!
  • General culture shock – everything is just different.  A visit to the store is an experience in itself, all the packages are unfamiliar – not bad just different.
  • Communication – oh I wish someone would invent a real babel fish like the one from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  If you’ve never seen it, you put it into your ear and it translated every language you ever hear.  The barrier of language is something I always find frustrating.
  • Creepy Crawlies – There are some seriously scarey looking insects and spiders in the Philippines.  I never checked ceilings for spiders until I came  here – I do now.
  • The obvious my friends and family.

I can recommend a visit to the Philipines without reservation though.  So if you’re prepared, it’s a fantastic place to see, and you don’t need to feel isolated when you’re travelling – treat yourself to a nice fast proxy like the one in this video -

You can then see these new places whilst still keeping in touch with home, manage your finances through online banking and even watch the news on ABC.

When the Web Puts Up Barriers

Of course everyone knows that the internet is based on communication and cooperation.  In fact the infrastructure itself is built up on a huge network of shared routers, switches and hardware – your web requests can take a huge variety of routes to reach their destination.  As for bringing people together, probably nothing in human history has had such a profound effect particularly on geographic boundaries.  It sounds a cliche to say that the ’world is a much smaller place’ but it is also a very true saying!

We all probably know people who speak regularly using the internet, my own mother speaks using Skype and video chat to my sister who now lives on the other side of the planet.  They chat like people meeting in a coffee shop not in the sense of mother and daughter who haven’t seen each other for many months.  Distances are not really as important, you can chat with a friend in minutes using a variety of inexpensive and instant methods.  Decades ago a phone call to Australia would have to be planned and booked in advance, it would also have been very expenise.

However with all the positive news, it is unfortunate that there’s another side that’s growing on the internet primarily due to commercialism.  The problem is that although the internet fits neatly into a nice open global model of no restrictions, no boundaries – commerce doesn’t quite work like that.  Multinational companies rarely have a single price for a global market, instead varying their prices in order to maximise profits. Charging a high price in country’s who are able to support those levels and lowering in less affluent countries.  This works fine where physical boundaries are in place, I might know that goods are much cheaper in China but I can’t go and buy them there very easily.  The internet removes many of these boundaries particularly when combined with a reliable and inexpensive international delivery service.  

Many people buy from a web site based in one country and get the goods delivered by courier to their home country.  I bought several Nintendo Wiis from the French Amazon many years ago when you couldn’t buy them in the UK.   But the companies don’t like this, especially when they’re supplying a service or digital product.  Why would I care if I download an electronic book from New York or London?  It wouldn’t matter to me, I’d go for price – which is why the company is likely to restrict access in another way in order to protect it’s margins.

So what is happening is that if I need access to a product like Pandora which is based in the United States or the BBC Iplayer from the United Kingdom.  It will only be accessible if I’m actually based in the same country otherwise I’ll get blocked. So I need to change my iPad’s IP address to a UK one to watch the BBC and then back again to listen to Pandora.  Slowly but surely electronic walls are being built to keep us back in our place.

Fortunately the internet’s fundamental structure makes this difficult, ideas are shared and walls are there to be torn down or avoided.  If anyone find’s a route around these blocks the information soon finds itself into the public domain.  Currently there are numerous methods available for bypassing these restrictions – most simply by using a proxy server.  Therefore if I was based in the United States and I wanted to watch the Hurling on Ireland’s national broadcasting company – all I need to do is connect via an Irish proxy to watch RTE.




Bizarre World Foods

Despite the mass globalisation of food brands such as McDonalds and KFC, it is amazing that most countries seem to still have a really strong cultural food identity. This is more important than ever now, what with the pandemic of obesity looming threateningly on the horizon. Nearly 1.7billion humans are now obese, and this figure looks set to rise.

However, eating locally and trying the dishes that are traditional to the country is not only a treat for the palate, but a great way of sort of understanding the country a bit better. It can also prove a test of courage for some strange dishes!

When asked what foods are associated with a country, some are easy. Sweden? Meatballs. Japan? Sushi of course. India? Curry. There are some really bizarre dishes out there though.

Forget your stomach churning (for me anyway!) French snails, and Scottish haggis (let’s not go into what it’s made from), there are some truly inexplicable foods out there.

Take for example Korea where you can chow down on a live octopus. Sannakiji is an octopus that has been cut into small pieces, excepting the arms which are left to squirm around on the plate. If that’s not enough to put you off, perhaps death by octopus is, as people have choked to death by the tentacles as they attempt to climb back up the throat.

Another one from South-East Asia is balut, which is a duck foetus egg. The eggs are boiled with the live foetus inside, and then eaten warm. They are considered a delicacy, although maybe you have to be brought up with it to enjoy it!

From Africa comes mopane, which are basically caterpillars which have been de-spined and then dried. Apparently they taste just like crisps, but I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to try!

Italian cuisine is known for being just delicious, and this is testified by the worldwide love of its food. So you wouldn’t think that Italy could be included in this list of bizarre foods. However, Casu Marz is way more daring than other Italian dishes. It is a cheese with has been aged, (obviously), although maybe decomposed is a more accurate description of it. The cazu marzu’s crust is cut open in order to allow flies to lay their eggs in it. Once the eggs hatch and become larvae, the cheese is ready to eat.

So, next time you are visiting somewhere new, avoid fast food chains and try something with a little local colur. 


Best Automatic Dog Feeder for My Best Friend


I think friendship is not only for human. Even an animal can be the human best friend. My beautiful dog Mrs. Molly is one of them. She has been my best pal for years. I love her so much. I think she understands me better than my human friends. When I am sad or have a problem, she always knows. She will cuddle next to me all day, as if she wants to make me feel better. Then she lets me talk to her for hours. Even though she doesn’t replay but listening to my problem is enough for me. It is nice to have a silent and patent listener when you have a problem. And I buy her an automatic dog feeder as my regard because she becomes a good friend for me.

Nice to See You Again Felix


For almost four years now I have lived separated with my family. I had to continued my study London while the whole of my family in Miami. Rarely do I come to see them so did them after having lived in London, where I got my part-time job during my study. As long as my life I’ve been living with Felix, a male cat who always accompanies me to get through the day. When I moved to the London, I felt sorry having to leave my lovely one, Felix behind in Miami. Getting my Bachelor with an excellent predicate is important for me. I sent an automatic cat feeder to home to atone for my guilt because I was away from Felix.

Living in London was so exciting for me, but one thing was not so nice: every time I returned from my busy day to my cold and empty flat, I missed my cat. When I returned to Miami for a couple of weeks a year, I could see him again. He was starting to age; it’s all about body language. When a cat enters a room all the cat lovers start staring at it, they often move towards it, extend their hands and make noises. Like when I am going home and entering the house all the member of the family will welcome me happily and yeah that’s the following days come to spend together with Felix also.

One Night Camping Bring People Together

Last month I went to the Mountain Bromo with my other 16 friends. We headed there by car and take almost eleven hours to get there. It was tiring but we were so excited about that so we were okay. We rented a villa at the bottom of the mountain. It was so beautiful. We arrived there around 6 pm in the afternoon, took a shower and had shopping for our dinner. One thing that I did not expect was the weather. It was so freaking cold. I needed to wear two layers jacket and double gloves on my hands. All of my friends also had to buy extra glove, knit hat and shocks. Well in spite of the weather’s problem, we still had a good time. We had the furnace to keep us warm. We cooked barbeque together and drink a lot of water. Even though the water also felt like ice cube. But we were fine. Then the next morning we hiked to the mountain. It was so beautiful scenery all around us. It took almost an hour to get to the peak. We were tired but satisfied too. Even thought it was a wonderful experience, I missed my cat at home. I was worried that nobody took care of her. But then my mother called me and told me that she had bought automatic pet feeder for her so that I would not have to worry again. Well I think the next time I go hiking I will leave my cat in the good care.

Alas the Web is Not Equal

For those of us of a certain age, the web represented something pretty exciting. Sure the technology was incredible, I can still remember the moment I used IRC (Internet Realy Chat) for the first time. I spoke for about 10 minutes with a welder from Detroit, mostly rubbish and stuff about the weather but it did blow my mind.  Of course now only a few decades later, that really does sound kind of pathetic – people speak to each other all over the world without a second thought. Perhaps some of the magic has gone, but communication has to be a good thing – we will hopefully learn that there’s not much difference between us all.

In those early days, the web was controlled by geeks – it wasn’t easy to use.  You could search for stuff sure, but you needed Archie to search for files, in fact it’s often cited as the Internet’s first search engine.  Or if we wanted document we’d fire up Gophur, which kinda worked pretty well when there were only a few thousand sites to search. It was quirky, exciting, controlled and developed by Geeks – and to be honest a wonderful place to be.

The internet now, is much more accessible, in a way that our young people probably can’t comprehend. You don’t have to fire up a Telnet session with the right parameters to do anything anymore.  Video and multimedia streams content to any devices you require – it’s all interconnected like this.  Switch on your mobile phone, click or press a few buttons and you’re sorted. It’s called progress and it’s of course no bad thing.  What is worrying is the way the internet is being segmented on your location, your ability to pay or even your politics or religion.

Now big business is moving in, and they are starting to implement various economic profit maximation techniques. One of the most annoying is price discrimination where a company will try and maximizes profits by segmenting it’s markets. So a company will not offer a single product but a specific one to each individual market.  Which is why you’ll find people asking – how to get netflix outside US – here by the way – simply because the version of Netflix they get is vastly inferior!

Problem Solver

Problem Solver Everyone has his/her own problem. Some maybe have problem in their workplace; some maybe are having quarreled with their couple. Some maybe have stress from the environment where they life. Do you also have problem right now? If you have financial problem right now or if you are unemployed one, do not be sad. Because there is still a lot of job out there for you to find. If there is not a single company that wants to hire you, you can build your own.

Internet shopping is promising job to do. You can search in the internet what product that people wants right now. People, especially women, are a great target if you want to open a shopping online. Clothes, bags, shoes are product that women crave to have even though they do not need it. Just grab that opportunity to make your own money. If you cannot product those by your own, being reseller is a great option too.

You can buy many products or become wholesaler. By being reseller you can get more profit because if you buy a lot of products you can get a lot of discounts also. One of the online stores that provides wholesaler is You can buy women bags there with the cheapest prize then you can sell those with normal price. Being reseller is not bad, you just need to spend more time in front of your computer and money is coming for you. So, now one of your problems is solved.

Equality on the Internet

When the internet was in it’s infancy, then we were all pretty much equal online.  Of course initially it was only  the lucky ones who could  get connected mainly through schools, Universities and colleges.   Then the technology started to appear to allow some basic home access and we all started saving up for 14.4k modems to connect our home pcs.  In the mid-90s things started to snowball and more and more people became connected.  The average user was still likely to be an academic or computer geek but even that profile was changing quickly.

Nowadays of course, it’s unusual to find someone who hasn’t been online at some point.  Many of us arrange our lives and research crucial decisions by using the internet.  Those of us living abroad, use it to stay connected with family and friends.  There is no doubt that it’s the most incredible advance in communication since we learnt to speak and write.  The world has become so much smaller due to the internet, and it’s common today to have virtual friends from all across the planet.

But things have also changed for the worse online in some aspects too.  As I mentioned when the internet first appeared, everyone who could get online would find pretty much the same thing. That however is rapidly changing and most of us experience a rather customised version of the internet.  Across the world many countries are implementing their own filters and restrictions on their internet access.  From the Chinese who filter anything pretty much anything they deem to be unsuitable, usually anything critical of the state, to rulers following a more religious than political agenda.  Many supposedly enlightened democracies are also following this route.  Australian have already tested an extensive content filter (which fortunately didn’t go that well) and the Icelandic Government are intending to block all internet pornography – read about it here.

Whether or not you agree with these various blocks and filters, everyone should be aware of the dangers that this presents.  The internet has developed because it is a vast open network accessible to all, the more people block, restrict and filter it’s content – we will be left with our own personal, edited version of the internet.  Slowly and surely across the world, more and more sites will become accessible and lines of communications will be closed.  We will no longer have access to everything but merely the sites that our particular country feel is suitable.  Of course you’ll always be able to access more of the web in the USA than Iran, but there the risk is more commercial than pure ideology.

It is sad to see now that many countries who’s citizens could benefit most from the internet are already trying to shackle it.  The internet could be one of the great economic miracles of Africa, but even now many countries are monitoring and filtering what you can do online.  Equality on the internet was what we expected for all, but slowly it seems to be slipping away from us.

There is hope of course, as mentioned there are many, many ways to bypass such restrictions like these.

Nature Of Obesity

I just saw something on Facebook the other day: it said something to the effect of it is no wonder that children these days are obese.  A cheeseburger costs 99 cents, but a salad costs $4.99.  It is true, if you look at it this way.  Obesity is truly a growing epidemic, particularly when people are too busy and too broke to prepare a decent meal.  It is cheaper and far easier to approach the drive thru window of a fast food restaurant. You can feed yourself and your kids dinner for less then $5.00, and you don’t have to waste time in the kitchen cooking or cleaning to get it done! Unfortunately, this line of thinking is contributing to the growing number of adults and children in this country who are obese.  Couple that with the long hours people spend working, and it is no wonder why people are becoming wider at the waistline.  

I have to admit, I have been guilty of the drive thru diet myself from time to time, but decided to change my lifestyle after reading and hearing an insanity workout review. The workout program is definitely not an easy one, but it is definitely worthwhile.  While it doesn’t suggest living on a diet of drive thru cheeseburgers, you can definitely allow more leeway in what you eat as a result of this workout.  While I have only been doing the program for a few weeks, the results speak for themselves, and it is definitely a way to help fight the battle of the bulge.  I know not all people have the time to squeeze in a workout every day, but this workout program makes the most out of the short amount of time people have.


Social Drinking

It is strange that on one hand drinking can have bad connotations yet on the other we often see a bottle being passed over as a gift or offering to someone of a different culture. With most things it is knowing how to respect it that is the key and people that do not respect alcohol can often find themselves in trouble whereas a good knowledge and respect can lead to it becoming a good thing.

On a global scale we can look at world leaders meeting and discussing issues and it is with a healthy respect and the right knowledge that amicable relations can be built, if this is not the case disputes can begin leading to troubles that cost people their lives. This can be said of alchol too. Knowing it’s effects and such can help you avoid a situation that you would not want to find yourself in. To find out more about Whisky in particular click here.

We often see leaders using bottles of valuable alcohol as gifts as well so it is clear that there is a healthy respect for the quality and history of certain alcohols so much so that it is seen as a token of their culture.


How the Web Promotes Cultural Unity

The need for cultural unity is more evident than ever before. While it is true that the world has taken many steps toward promoting goodwill and equal treatment for all, there are still many places around the world where racism and bigotry are still prevalent. But thanks to the Internet, cultural unification is inching towards reality.

A Meeting of Cultures and Ideas

The Internet isn’t just a place to find information, make money or read the news. It is also the primary means by which you can reach out and get in touch with people you may never get the chance to meet in person. It also provides you with the opportunity to experience cultures halfway around the world, and to be “virtually” in those sites.

Yes, this is also available on TV, newspapers and even magazines, but these media don’t offer the same level of interaction that the web affords you. With a click of a mouse you can find out lots of information about another country, the people that live there, their way of life, and so on.

Promoting Understanding and Tolerance

The term “culture shock” is used to describe the feeling a person gets when traveling or visiting another country or region. While this is normal, it can lead to misunderstanding unless they have access to information. That is where the web makes a huge difference as all the facts are literally at your fingertips.

More importantly you can get in touch with people from faraway places, establish friendships and promote understanding between two different cultures. With email, video chat, and social media, everyone is just a click away and you are always in touch with the rest of the world, enriching your understanding of other people’s culture. 

You can promote cultural unity in your own way. And whether it is for a personal fulfillment or a way to earn money, you can set up your website easily. Find the best web design pricing for your website by taking time to search for options online. With a competitive web design pricing, you should be able to achieve your goal even with a small investment.

Pet is great ice breaker


The silence sometimes froze the gathering. Especially for those who rarely meet, perhaps of the some reason they have to separate in distance.Do you ever think that actually pet is good ice breaker?  People often stuck in the moment when they can’t find a word in their conversation. By having a pet they can build a better conversation you will ask, “have you feed your pet?” ,” Does best automatic pet feeder quite help you?” and other question that may flow easilly talking about your pet.

When you get a difficulty to make your family gather, decided having a pet may be a good way to invite them get a pet together. If they agree it means you are successful to gain them together, you will find that your pet is a great ice breaker.

Loneliness, Old Age and the Internet

It’s a sad fact that some of the people who suffer most from loneliness are the elderly.  They are at risk because of a variety of factors ranging from loss of partners, moving into care and isolation from children and other relatives.  Some of this is because of purely logistics – moving into care or assisted nursing homes may isolate the elderly from people or areas they are familiar with.

However recent studies have suggested that the internet may have a part to play in solving some of these issues.  It was foudn that if used correctly the internet can provide the elderly with social connections they need to decrease both feelings of isolation and the depression that it often causes.

In some ways this is very obvious, after all the internet can enable people to keep in touch with their families.  Both email, messaging applications and even webcams can bridge the gaps that may exist geographically.  Friends and relatives can interact quickly and easily on applications like Facebook for example and see what’s happening in any social sphere they may have been involved in previously.

But there are more advantages, there are thousands of internet forums where people can interact with others daily.  Many are devoted to specific interests and many which are simply aimed at providing places for older people to interact.  Obviously teh technology can be a barrier but simple instruction is usually all that is required to get people using a website or social networking site.  With a little more help elderly can utilise other tools.  I know of one senior citizen who actually asked me how do I get a US IP address – see this and three weeks later he uses something called a US VPN in order to watch his favorite US TV shows over the internet.  The  gentleman I’m speaking of is 83 and is an American ex-pat living in Manchester, England.

There is no doubt that with some help the internet can help the elderly feel less isolated and enable them to engage with new virtual communities.  It is something we should all encourage as it’s a situation we will all face sooner rather than later.

Bring People Together with Better Health

I was having an honest conversation with my San Diego Chiropractor about why I end up drinking as much coffee as I do.  I was telling him that it is actually pretty simple, I drink a lot of coffee simply because coffee shops are a place where I can meet friends and have some adult conversation.

He was telling me that chiropractors have tried to create places in their offices for people to get together and enjoy company, but it hasn’t worked that well.  Instead they are trying to create that same community feeling at your gym and some other places where healthier choices abound.

So here’s the question for the readers of this blog-will it work?

Health Brings People Together

A blood pressure chart for women is intended to help you to establish whether or not you have high blood pressure or low blood pressure. The healthy level should range between 80 and 120. Some doctors will state that a blood pressure between 90 and 140 is average however it is up to your doctor to declare which one he or she finds to be a average blood pressure.

The use of pressure charts is to allow you to see what category you fall into. The pressure categories range from category 1 which will be typical, or normal blood pressure. Category 2 is the level of blood pressure where you could require medication in order to bring your blood pressure down.

In order to determine if you have high blood pressure, a doctor will want to have a series of readings. This cannot be diagnosed off from one simple reading. You will most likely be advised to obtain your own pressure device which when used over a course of time, will tell the doctor what your average bp is. This number will tell them if you will require medication or not.

The doctor will typically try a baseline medication on someone who is experiencing high pressure readings and will then move onto medications that are intended for someone who might not respond to the standard medications. The one thing that you should know about blood pressure medications is that it will not work right away and will need to build up in your system before the medicines will begin to work. This course of time can take up to a month depending on your system and the medication used to treat the blood pressure.

Bringing People Together Over Home Projects

a window veggie gardenFinding home projects to bring your family together isn’t always easy-far, far from it.  I was talking to one of the plumbers who has been featured on the San Francisco Plumber Directory the other day and he told me something I thought was interesting, no not that plumbing can be fun, but instead that while we works with his hands on a daily basis he finds it fun to garden and grow some of his own food when he gets home.  Evidently his young kids love it as well!

So how can you do something like that, if you don’t have a ton of space?  Quite simply, even a planter box in a window will allow you and your family to grow some veggies, or at least a few spices.  

Sounds like a fun project right?

The Glorious Art Of Conversation

Being able to communicate to people is the best way of bringing people together whether it be family, strangers or even on a global scale. Having common ground allows people to engage and get to know each other properly.

It is always good to have good general knowledge in the art of conversation because if you are speaking to someone who has a passion for something being able to have an understanding and speak back will allow the conversation to flow and you will also gain their respect. 

There are ways to brush up on your general info and looking online and checking things like this, click here, can improve your knowledge on most things. Of course you can’t know everything but finding out before hand the kind of people that will be attending certain gatherings so you can research the right things that may be of interest.

Remember you will not be sitting exams about these topics you are merely attempting to get a better understanding of a general discussion topic so you don’t find yourself being left out of conversations. It can also mean that you find something that you are genuinely interested in and may lead to you further investigating the topic.

It is a good way to learn about things you might not have come across before and even though certain things may not come up in conversation there is no such thing as having wasted knowledge, it is always good to expand your mind.


Should You Replace Your Traditional Litter Box With Automatic Model?

Being pregnant is one of the dreams of many women. Having your own child can give so much joy. But when you are pregnant, you must be very cautious as you don’t want yourself and your baby to be harmed. So how about a pregnant woman who has a pet? She must stay away from her cat’s litter. This is because she may have an infection called Toxoplasmosis. This may affect you only a little but its effects to your unborn baby is very harmful. It can cause damage to the eyes, congenital defects and even miscarriage. But don’t about that much because there is automatic cat litter box special for cat. We can manage cat’s litter easily with this tool. So what is automatic cat litter box exactly? You can continue reading to know what it is.

It has a unique design. It has a roomy rotating bowl with a magic shaped hand that lifts solid waste into a receptacle that grinds the waste for disposal in your home’s sewer system. The hand also sifts and agitates the litter as the bowl rotates. It uses environmentally-friendly pellets, replaceable sani-solution cartridges and a programmable brain for setting the cat-sensing or timed modes.

Automatic cat litter box has three usage modes: 1) Cat-Start. Cat-Start is the fully automatic mode that runs 10 minutes after the cat leaves. It cannot start if the cat is in the box or comes back. 2) Auto-Start. Auto-Start runs some number of times per day, but since the solid waste might be sitting in the bowl drying out, more solution is needed to clean it. 3) Push-Start. The Push-Start mode is used when you need to get a stool sample for your veterinarian. It is also used

if you want to run the cycle while automatic cat litter box is sleeping.

Generally an automatic cat litter box needs no cleaning unless something breaks down. A maintenance cartridge is available that cleans the water sensor but if you don’t want to purchase it, you can do it yourself manually. It is also necessary to check the hopper once in a while; you may find gifts from your cat or extra fur if your cat sheds a lot and these must be cleaned out. The 30 minute cleaning cycle is very quiet. You may hear some flushing/draining sounds when it empties, but it’s not much different than your dishwasher or washing machine draining.

Think about your reason to purchase it (self-cleaning, help the environment, etc.). Also, consider that it is fully automatic cleaning, eliminating pet waste and litter from entering landfills and reducing clay litter strip mining demand, and excellent noise performance.

Using the BBC Iplayer Application Anywhere

Travelling abroad is of course one of the great joys in life and these adventures are not  just for the young.  In fact as long as you have your health travelling when your older is just as enjoyable perhaps even more than backpacking around as a youngster.  It’s actually much easier nowadays to take off for a month  or two mainly thanks to the internet.   Before such things like online banking, online billing and email, leaving home for any length of time could turn into a logistical nightmare.

If you didn’t plan things properly, you were likely to come back to your gas cut off or water supply disconnected.  Nowadays if you can get access to a computer you can pay bills, transfer money and basically remotely manage your life on the move.  It’s worth taking a small laptop or tablet when  you travel as it’s much more convenient and secure than using some virus riddled hotel PC or cyber cafe computer.

It’s also a great sense of entertainment, I don’t know what I would have done on  my recent trip around Europe without my laptop.  My main addiction is watching the BBC News which can be difficult in many places but now thanks to the BBC Iplayer application you can access it online.  Not only that you can watch all the other BBC programmes whenever you like, it certainly beats watching TV in a language you can’t understand.

The only difficulty is that for some reason you can’t use the BBC Iplayer application outside the United Kingdom.   It basically checks your IP address to see where you are based and then blocks all Non-UK addresses.  It’s really annoying especially as I pay for a valid TV license when travelling so I think I should be allowed to watch.  Anyway fortunately people have discovered work arounds – there’s a site showing you how to watch BBC Iplayer abroad – here.  It’s basically a method of hiding your real IP address and showing a UK one to the website instead.  It’s easy to use and there’s a video demonstrating on that website, here’s the BBC Iplayer website.

This video illustrates how to watch BBC Iplayer in Ireland, where surprisingly you cannot watch any of the UK’s main channels despite being so close.

Nothing’s Ever Easy

There is a saying that nothing in life is guarenteed apart from tax and death, well I think you can add car trouble to that list too.

Perhaps that is being a little dramatic but for so many of us our lives consist of getting up, going to work, paying the bills, trying to ensure that you stay healthy but so much of this actually hinges on the ability to travel in a quick and reliable way. Commuting to work for many can be difficult and expensive but then so is public transport which, over the years has proved to be unreliable. 

Even things like knowing you would have the ability to jump in a car and get to the doctors or hospital should anything happen to you or your family put your mind at ease so having a bit of knowledge about cars is a handy thing to have.

Looking online at things like will help you get a bit more knowledge about what is under the bonnet of the particular make and model of your car. This kind of knowledge can also help you if you do need to take your car to a garage by showing that you have a bit of knowledge about the car you might be able to avoid unscrupulous mechanics trying to take advantage of you.

A little knowledge goes a long way.


Looking Back On The Year So Far

Now we are well into 2012 it’s good to take a minute and look back at the year so far, I do this every now and then just to see if the goals I have set are any nearer to being reached. This year I had two goals to reach, the first and most important to me was to quit smoking, I am happy to say that I have not smoked a cigarette since January 6th! How did I do this? Well, I made the switch to electronic cigarettes by using an E-Lites discount code I found and although I am still taking in nicotine they don’t have all the nasty stuff cigarettes contain. I also reckon I will be off e-cigs as by September.

The next thing was to get more active, this one was actually a lot more difficult because I am not a fan of going to the gym. I did try going for runs but this didn’t last too long before I got a little bored! A friend of mine told me about a fitness boot camp she was going to and I could see the results she had managed so I thought I would try it. It’s early days yet but I can tell you this is what I have been looking for, a great way to train.

I just purchased my first template!

The majority of the effective web design businesses and other developers emphasizes that the very first thing in purchasing web design templates are that it need to offer you original content material towards the audience in a way that they help the search results. As a way to accomplish this, web design templates ought to be interesting, for the reason that I can easily entice visitors by having quality along with initial content material. Other ways are receiving the emblem appropriate, keeping the framework short, straightforward relating web pages, photographs to provide adequate stress; additionally, website needs to be large enough to match your web design layout. Even so, I’am not restricted to one design, it is advisable to investigate for the articles that I wish to use and ask my friends around in the easiest way to generate good web design templates.

Web design templates are equipped for expert and appeal. I can have a custom-made web design for any greater representation from the manufacturer and for individual or even professional employ. The particular purpose of my web templates is always to design any web site. My web design templates are used for separating the content material from presentating in the web design and bulk production of web files. These kinds of series regarding electric documents are living one or more web machines to give content for the user by means of webpages.

I have shown which web templates may seize attention in the very first time consumer in mere seconds.  I don’t assume all web models call for a business search but should just look professional to get credibility. There are lots of web template around this offer restricted download web design templates to get a bit more money. These are templates that when I purchased few years ago are already extracted from my template selection and no longer available.

3 Important Things You Must Remember If You Are Pregnant


Being pregnant is one of the dreams of many women. Having your own child can give so much joy. But when you are pregnant, you must be very cautious as you don’t want yourself and your baby to be harmed. To help you make sure that your baby will be okay, below are some of the things that you must remember while you are pregnant.

First and foremost that you must remember is that you are not allowed to take just any medicine especially over-the-counter drugs. If you are sick, you must first ask your doctor if it is safe to take a certain medicine. Also, if you are currently taking medicines, ask your doctor if you can still continue it or not. Medications especially those with FDA pregnancy category X can lead to fetal defects or even fetal death.

Next is that you must not smoke. The nicotine content in cigarettes contributes to fetal growth retardation. So if you smoke, there is a great possibility that the fetus inside you will be smaller than what it should be according to its age.

Lastly, if you have a pet cat, you must stay away from your cat’s litter. This is because you may have an infection called Toxoplasmosis. This may affect you only a little but its effects to your unborn baby is very harmful. It can cause damage to the eyes, congenital defects and even miscarriage. So you better buy a that will automatically clean your cat. Also, have someone clean the litter box.

You don’t want to end up losing your baby so follow the tips above to be sure that your baby will be okay.


Are You Sure I Need a Proxy?

I don’t quite know how we all end up getting dragged into this geeky world of technology.  I mean it’s fine if you work in IT and play with computers all day, but I don’t and frankly I resent having to use words like proxies.  The reason I’ve ventured into this realm of technology is purely because I’m living in Australia for a few months and hate their television.  They have lots of channels but just like in the US every two minutes you seem to get a commercial break. Now if you’re trying to drift off into the world of Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot – seeing adverts for a damn exhaust repair centre every few minutes spoils the mood.

So there I was retiring to the computer instead of helping Hercule solve a mystery on the Nile and I started wondering if I could access all this stuff over the computer.  Pretty soon I’d found that all the big TV channels in the Uk were online, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 and yes they broadcast a lot of their stuff over the internet.  My prayers were answered and I wouldn’t have to listen to that Ozzie car salesman any more – except there was a problem.

The difficulty is that for some reason all the best TV stations all across the world, restrict access to their country of origin.  So  for the BBC you need to be in the UK, for Hulu you need to be in the States and so on.  When you connect to these web sites they do a little check on your IP address to see where you are and then either welcome you in or block your access.

So this is where I find myself messing around with something called a proxy server.  You see I have discovered according to this site - that if I connect through a proxy server based in Britain then I can watch anything I like.  All the sites will think I am based in the UK and I’ll have no problem.  So although I was pretty sure I would make it through my life without using a proxy server I was wrong. Now I switch to use a USA proxy for US stuff and UK ones for the British sites. Having said that I can now access all my favorite shows with  minimal commercial interruptions and of course in the case of the BBC none whatsoever.  In that sense I am happy to be a partial geek just for a little while!!!

You can see the concept demonstrated here -

Wine and Your Life

There are very few, if any other foods which can help you catalogue your life in the way that wine does.  I guess you could say that a Twinkie can, since the shelf life is like 40 years (similar to the 1st growth Bordeaux) but really, do you want to share the Twinkie with friends and family after all that time?

Giving wine gifts is a way to help show someone that you not only care, but that you know that the two of you are meant to be friends over the long term.  If you aren’t going to be friends for a really, really long time then why give a bottle of wine which really doesn’t reach its best state for at least 25 years?

The Relationship between Agricultural Prices and Welfare

Food lovers and food enthusiasts alike definitely prefer and recommend restaurant dishes that are made only of the finest ingredients. Fresh produce used as ingredients in fact create quality dishes. Restaurant owners and managers on the other hand often hope that prices of agricultural products are maintained to be able to offer quality dishes at a competitive price.
Agricultural prices and regional welfare for agricultural endeavors and projects directly impact each other. When welfare and support becomes unavailable for agricultural ventures and endeavors, prices of agricultural products shift and productivity is immensely affected. This in turn affects supply chain of the food and restaurant industry whereas low levels of productivity will surely equate to increased prices on produce. Agricultural welfare often includes incentives so that production is maintained and that farmers be enticed to produce more. With this endeavor, equilibrium in the food and restaurant industry is restored on the general level.

To maintain the balance of continuous production of quality agricultural products and consumption via prepared restaurant dishes, restaurant owners and managers are advised to continue to support agricultural products offered within their region. This effort can be done by including regionally produced agricultural items in specialty dishes that have the potential to sell.

The best source on food in Amsterdam:

Choosing The Right Travel Trailer

I have recently been considering the purchase of an RV, and have discovered there is a lot to consider! An in-depth examination of each RV type is needed in order to give you an idea of what life will be like on board the various types of travel trailers for sale.

Still, you can summarize the RV life into this statement – it is a compact, condensed version of living life at home. All the usual everyday daily routines are still available in a typical RV set-up: watching TV, listening to music, lounging about in chairs or couches, even household tasks like cooking and preparing food or cleaning the bathroom. The difference is of course, a change of scenery, a major cutback on space and most of all, you are constantly moving if you are in the RV setting.

In the past, RV life was limited only for the toughest people as the venture was more associated with spontaneous road trip to the wilderness and untapped places. There is no thing as a ’luxury RV unit’ in the past, but now as more and more people are getting interested with RVing as an occasional hobby, many RV manufacturers have come up with a huge selection of RV units that are well spruced up in terms of features and functions. So now, anyone can get a recreational vehicle without having to fear about the possible inconveniences or dangers on the road ahead – personally, I find this most reassuring!

The thing is life in modern RV units is now so comfortable that it’s more or less at par with the life at home (on some points, even better!). As for safety measures, recently released RV units have many more security features. Besides, it’s not hard to ask for help these days with communication available via satellite or cell phones even in extremely remote places. Roadside assistance is then just around the corner when you need it.

Prospective buyers – like me – of RVs need to weigh a lot of considerations before they finally put down the cash for the vehicle. If you are a potential buyer, then take into account the market costs, specifications and the onboard features of your chosen RV unit type.

As for myself, I will be out looking for good travel trailers for sale down here in Texas at the earliest opportunity!


My Full Moon Experience

I have always loved a party. From as far back as I can remember I had a great time at birthday parties, Christmas parties and New Year Parties. I have always felt the positive vibes given off by people who feel they have something significant to celebrate. It has inspired me in my life to strive for educational achievements, employment goals and even marriage. If I get something I want then I feel entitled to celebrate.

I read about the huge full moon parties in Thailand, especially on the small tropical island of Phangan and it got me interested. 30,000 people gather every full moon to go wild all night long and then well into the next day. Some of these people no doubt feel a sense of achievement and occasion by having managed to get to the South of Thailand on their travels. Most just want to be where the action is at. In short I was curious so I went.

The Full Moon Party in Haad Rin starts days before the actual event. The clubs on the beach are pumping out loud trance, electro and techno music on the days leading up to the full moon. You wouldn’t expect that the actual party could be any bigger but it is. I could feel the excitement in the air on the night of the party. People took a lot of trouble to decorate themselves. There was a real carnival atmosphere around the town and on the beach.

When I first went down to the beach for the Full Moon Party I was overwhelmed with the crowds. There were so many people. And at that early hour there were already casualties spewing on the sand. There were also plenty of wild eyed people dancing with unlimited reserves of energy it seemed.

I don’t do drugs. Instead I had a few drinks with friends and spent time both dancing and socializing. I also checked out all the bars along the beach. The Orchid played some cool drum and bass. Paradise Bungalows had a wild crowd. Mellow Mountain was weird but fascinating.

I met new friends, had an in depth chat with my husband and had a great time. I loved the full moon party. However, nobody seemed to care about the phase of the moon. This spoiled it a bit for me. The sense of occasion is somewhat artificially engendered. Indeed I hear they often have the party when it isn’t even the full moon.

More Living Abroad Tips

In a previous post I was talking about cultural intelligence and how I think living in different countries helps you develop as a person.  Well I know I was saying about how we should adapt and embrace whichever culture we live in – but I have a tip that’s slightly different from that.

However hardened a traveller you are, sometime, somewhere you are going to feel a little homesick.  I think it’s pretty much inevitable and just part of travelling and living abroad.  However when these little episodes strike there’s a cure and it’s one that’s readily available to most people in this technology age.  I’m of course talking about the internet and the way it can bring you just a little bit closer to your home wherever you happen to be.

What I do is basically find myself a decent internet connection perhaps in a hotel or cafe, buy myself a drink and settle down and watch the news online.  But I don’t watch the local news I connect back to my home news network which in my case is broadcast by the BBC.   It doesn’t matter if I’m in a grotty hotel lobby in an industrial town in South America, watching my local news with all it’s local gossip just cheers me up.

It’s not that I am desperate to be there, but watching these programmes makes me realise how much smaller the world has become.  My  home is still there just an air flight away if I wanted to go there.  It somehow makes me feel better and able to appreciate my adventure more.  There are a few technical problems of course and here’s my tip.  Invest in some sort of security/VPN service before you go away.  These will enable to bypass the restrictions that most media websites put on their content.  So I am able to use this technology - to connect up via a UK proxy server and watch the BBC wherever I am.

As this video demonstrates using a proxy switcher, the trick is to make sure that the service you subscribe to has a VPN/Proxy server in your home country.  If you do this then it doesn’t matter where you are, you’ll be able to fire up some hometown news whenever you like. It’s quite easy to find servers for UK, USA and European countries – but unfortunately some are harder to find – especially places like Australia where bandwidth is so expensive.  Anyway enjoy.

Keeping Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of important event in woman life. It becomes dream of every woman. If you have a kid, it will give so much joy. But you have a lot of cautions when you are pregnant in order your baby not to be harmed.

There are some aspect you should pay attention and remember while you are pregnant. Medicine is very dangerous for your pregnancy, so you are not allowed to take just any medicine. If you are ill, just ask your doctor first. Consult what kind of medicine is safe for your pregnancy. You have to be careful for all kind of medicine because it can have a fatal effect for your baby.

Smoking is also not good for your pregnancy. So, for smoker, you have to stop your smoking habit for your baby. The nicotine that contains in cigarette is very dangerous for your baby. It can make the fetus inside will be smaller than what it should to its age.

Pet, especially cat, has a negative effect for your pregnancy. You must stay away with your cat’s litter. This is because you may have an infection called Toxoplasmosis. It will affect your unborn baby seriously. If you have already litter box, you should search an article about automatic litter box reviews in internet to know how to use it.

Living in Wine Regions in South America

South America has long been a top choice if you wanted to send wine gift to someone who was both very into wine, as well as something of a wine snob don’t you think?

Argentina is one of my favorites countries to send as a wine gift, but it is also a truly great visit.  Much of the Argentine wine industry is based in the town of Mendoza, which was once something of a western back water….that is until the wine industry helped to make it into one of the richest areas in all of South America.  Outside of wine, you’ll find it a great place to visit in large part because close to 10% of the population was born internationally, adding a complexity and a number of interesting elements to the culture, while also making the region to be one of the most welcoming to outsiders in the entire world.

Also, Argentina is famous for its beef….for good reason and its another great reason to visit one of the top wine regions in the entire world!

Developing Cultural Intelligence By Living Abroad

I have been living as an expatriate in Latin America for 5 years.  It’s been a blast.  I’ve met an extraordinary group of like minded individuals with great stories to tell, managed to escape the daily grind and learn to live on far less than I would have back home.  But more important than any of that: I think I have developed “cultural intelligence” and a far better understanding of how context shapes our perspectives.

And that’s an important lesson.

Context is everything when you move to a country with a different culture.  People are different because of their context and past experiences.  Without living those same experiences it really is not fair to judge other people.   There is often no right way or wrong way; it depends on context and perspective.

In my first few months of living abroad some cultural habits and quirks that I would encounter day-to-day would grate with me.  I’d get annoyed and frustrated.  At times I’d disagree so strongly with something that I’d try and influence it.

But now after some hard lessons, and some deep immersion in the the local way of life, I find I disagree less.  In fact now my goal is not to influence but to extract as much learning as I can from  every situation that I experience – especially if I disagree with what is going on.

I suppose I’m looking for opportunities to learn.

I think I’m also a more rounded as a person.  I can now speak reasonably good, conversational Spanish.  I’ve got a few great ‘traditional’ recipes that I can rustle up.  I know most of the festivals and traditions (and more important what stories they retell in the living culture).  I am also getting more knowledgeable about the local history – this mainly via a dedicated effort to read books written by local authors.  I’ve run a business (probably the best way to learn about a new country) and bought real estate.

I may move home eventually, sell my international real estate, and leave some of my new found friends behind.    But I’ll be taking my new found cultural intelligence with me.  And that’s priceless wherever I travel in the future.

Living a Better Life

How come obesity in the U.S. has risen so much over the last 20 years? The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey reports that over 33% of the population over 20 years of age are now obese. Up from 22% in the early 90s. Even 20% is way to high. So what exactly is going on?

I would suggest that the idea of eating less simply does not work. People have been going on diets for decades but yet obesity is still on the rise. So perhaps it is less to do with how much we eat but rather what we eat. The problem for many of us though is knowing where we should go for information about health and fitness. Many of the so called “experts” have their own agenda, e.g. selling books, selling equipment, selling supplements, etc. So they are financially invested in their dietary beliefs.

We all have belief structures. These days though, we know that smoking is harmful to our health. This is because of the scientific weight of evidence. We are yet to reach the same place as far as diet is concerned. For the time being, many of us are still listening to pundits rather than scientists.

Read more on the debate here:

How sports in University brings young adults together

Sports are liked by one and all, whether they are ground sports, water sports, air sports, or any other sports. To make the sports more attractive and interesting, cheerleaders have been introduced. The cheerleaders are more famous because of the cheerleading uniforms which are both short and attractive. When sports take place in a university, different university students participate in it. As a result, these sports in universities help to bring young people from different colleges together. Just like cheerleaders accompany their team members on the ground to motivate them to perform better and rejoice, when they hit a goal, the same is the case with young adults too.

The young students along with their friends come to the ground to support their team by cheering them, motivating them, and encouraging them when the team is not performing well. The cheerleaders look more attractive because of their well toned bodies, perfect figure and beautiful faces. Moreover, they are asked to carry a prop which they wave when their team performs well. The cheerleaders are not just any beautiful young girls; instead they are specially trained to cheer their team. Young adults get a chance to see these beautiful cheerleaders as well as get to interact with other audiences.

The cheerleading uniforms made by VCU are the most attractive part. These uniforms are designed to match the team’s logo or colour which the cheerleaders are representing. All the cheerleaders perform in a set pattern and steps when their team performs well. The young adults enjoy the game and get to spend time with one another. University sports in one time where, these people are free from all other burdens like studies, exams, tests, and so on. This is the only time when they get to meet people, understand them, make friends with them, and communicate.

I Bought Myself a Gift Basket

I don’t always buy myself gifts. In fact I hardly ever get myself organized to buy myself something that I really, really want.

I do sometimes find great wine gift baskets though….in those cases I sometimes take the plunge and pick something up for myself.

What makes me buy? Simple, I love when a company does an outstanding job at delivering high quality wines at a reasonable price.

Why wouldn’t you?