Another Way to Classify Music

The Ultimate Rule ought to be: ‘If it sounds GOOD to you, it’s bitchin’; if it sounds BAD to YOU, it’s shitty. The more your musical experience, the easier it is to define for yourself what you like and what you don’t like.” ~ Frank Zappa

It is normal that we music lovers make honest attempts to classify music. Some classify by music genre and sub-genre. Others divide it between commercial, academic, folkloric or popular. And maybe you’ve heard that there are those who separate it into two basic groups: good and bad. The good and bad way may come a little close, but it’s still not my way of classifying music. The thing is, I dislike the idea that me or anybody else may claim to be the reigning judge with absolute authority to decide which music is good and which is bad.

I prefer that the determining factor be: my own taste. To each his or her own taste. Let each person decide for themselves the music they like or dislike.

And what is the music I like, like? I don’t know what your’s is like, but mine is honest, expressive, passionate, original, innovative, risky, profound and intense. It is the one that makes me move my body. I say it this way because the movements I make I wouldn’t necessarily call dancing (hahaha). it is the one that gives me goosebumps and makes me laugh, cry or sigh.

I like hypnotic music, the one that has what Spanish people refer to as duende. It’s the one that traps me, forces me to quit whatever I’m doing and give it all my attention. I like the one that transports me to another place, time or feeling. I like the one that makes me want to participate, even if it’s just by hitting my glass with a fork. I love the one that surprises me and activates my imagination. I’m seduced by the one that’s hard to classify and challenges all stereotypes. I’m conquered by the one that’s humble and positive, inspires me to be a better person and is part of the solution (not the problem).

The one I don’t like is cold, empty, predictable, superficial, generic and full of clichés. I don’t appreciate it when someone tries to impress me and wants to demonstrate how much they know and how fast they play. I’m not a big fan of mazacotes, mano a mano, pirouettes or contests. I truly don’t like music that sounds like math, blah, blah, blah or filling. I don’t like it when I have to analyse it to understand it or when it is so hollow that it give me a brain short-circuit.

The exciting thing about classifying music according to our taste is that it is practically impossible to find two that are exactly the same. Our taste is part of our identity, like some kind of musical fingerprint of DNA. It is another way of expressing who we are, where we are and where we are going. It shows where we are because our taste continually expands and contracts. It shows where we are going because it is the compass that directs our steps and traces our path.

Tastes change because we change. We have new experiences and discover new musics. Meanwhile, we stop liking some of the musics we used to like. It’s sort of like when you run into and ex and think to yourself: how could I have been attracted to this person?

Not everyone that ever wanted to be a rock star still rocks. Some keep their inner rocker hidden in the closet (hehehe). But there are also have the die-hard beboppers, hip-hopers and rockers. It’s great that we have them around. As far as me goes, I know the music I listened to during my childhood will always have a special place in my heart.

There are music tastes that turn into a kind of religion or exclusive club whose members reject anyone that doesn’t idolize the same musics and artists as they do. They usually go around in groups judging, criticising and making fun of the people who are no like them. Yes! Music elitists exist. They are the ones that think that their own music and the music they enjoy is the good one and the others are the bad ones. They also think that if someone doesn’t like their music it’s because they’re inferior beings with bad taste who know nothing about nothing about nothing.

Maybe you have also had a close encounter with a music elitist somewhere. It’s been a long time since I belonged to any religion or club. Something tells me that I never again will. I don’t fall in love with genres anymore. I fall in love with artists. Sometimes the honeymoon will last very little and other times it ends up becoming one of those rare ’til death do us part types of marriage.

I fall in love with artists that make their way through life evident and express themselves with a   unique  and original accent. I fall in love with the authentic ones. I fall head over heals for the ones that are capable of surprising me by moving music forward into worlds that are still unknown to me. I’m captivated by the ones that are true brave leaders and pioneers, the ones that take risks, remain faithful to their identity no matter what and carry inside them that burning desire for freedom.

To conclude, my way of classifying music is this:

  • The music I dislike (the one that makes want to change the station, listen to the commercials o choose silence rather than keep listening to it)
  • The music I don’t like
  • The music I respect, but don’t like
  • The music I like
  • The music I respect and like
  • The music I absolutely love (the one that traps me and forces me to quit whatever I’m doing and give it all my attention)

And yet, I could never classify my music using this system. If my music is liked or not is not up to me. Other people have to decide that for themselves. If I had to classify my music I would simply call it a musical self-portrait or autobiography.

How do you classify music? What’s the music you like, like? And the one you don’t like?

© Copyright Brenda Hopkins Miranda 2016. All rights reserved.

Perfume – A Money Making Business

Perfume has been around for ages; for longer than we can even fathom. It has become so ingrained in a woman’s essence that most women won’t leave home without it. Among many perfumes to choose from, Bvlgari perfume has made great strides in the world of scents; a world that everyone wants a piece of.

The perfume industry is at its peak for women’s cosmetics. Almost every department store in the world sells it, as well as many stores and private owned businesses. That is because of their money making capabilities and the attraction that it brings to women.

Every business that is anything wants a piece of some sort of perfume stock. That is because the liquid magic that casts spells on the world has a way with women and men everywhere; and the money is not so bad either. Perhaps perfume is so ingenious because of the way it makes people feel. It has the ability to make a woman feel like she is dressed up and fancy with just a quick spray from a bottle.

Not only does every store in the world want to sell this much in demand product; but every brand name out there wants to start there own. Just like Bvlgari started out in jewelry and other fine products; so too it was not long in coming before Bvlgari perfume was in the making. Everybody who is somebody, and even those who are not, want to make their own perfume because of being such a wanted and needed product.

There are never enough smells and never enough names. Movie stars, as well as any Joe on the street will make their own line. The way it sells is by appearing as unique and exotic, and having that perfect scent. There is never enough perfumes on the market, which is why every day you will hear of a new line.

When starting out, all it takes is one person to wear it and question what it is for it to take off. A lot of times this is how small companies make it big. Perfume has a way of attracting the person wearing it and the person surrounding them.

Perhaps it is a good business to start; making your own perfume. It can really make it with the right tools. If you have the right name, a catchy slogan, and good products; that is a starting point. No matter that you are not a popular brand name; everyone starts out small.

You may not become the next Bvlgari perfume, but if it is such a money making business due to its very high demand, you may at as well give it a shot. Nobody said it is a sure win, but it certainly does not hurt to try. If you attract the right crowd, you may just have your in. After all, it may only take one person (or one nose) to set the trend and bring in the hordes once they smell something they like; so make it worth their while, and make it good.

Crystal Meth and the Gay Community

In recent years, crystal meth has become the drug of choice in the gay men’s party scene. Like the mainstream use of crystal meth, this trend spread from west to east – San Francisco to New York and Vancouver to Toronto. At “PNP” parties (shorthand for “party and play” – meaning sex and drugs), crystal meth, known as “tina,” increases energy and reduces sexual inhibition. The superhuman feeling that often comes with a crystal meth high means the sex is often unprotected.

The dangerous mix of crystal meth and unprotected sex got the world’s attention in February 2005 when it was revealed that a New York City man who is a frequent crystal meth user and had unprotected sex with numerous other men contracted a highly virulent strain of HIV. The virus with which he is infected is resistant to three out of the four classes of commonly used HIV drug treatments, and is so fast-acting that it progressed from initial infection to full-blown AIDS within three months.

If you are gay and looking for a drug rehab with an addiction treatment component specifically for the gay population, you might want to look at www.lakeviewfreedomrings.com [http://www.lakeviewfreedomrings.com/]. This particular center seems to have a medical component capable of managing the medical problems associated with crystal meth addiction and a staff sensitive to the needs of the gay population.

What is crystal methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a chemical stimulant that is similar to amphetamine, but creates a much stronger effect on the central nervous system. In low doses, it can be used to treat ADD, narcolepsy and, for short periods of time, obesity. It became a common street drug known as “speed” in the 1960s, usually taken in pill form, but lost popularity after a number of incidents that spread the warning that “speed kills.”

“Meth” was not a drug of choice through much of the 1970s and 1980s. In the late 1980s, a smokable, crystal form was created, perhaps in Asia, and then surfaced in California in the 1990s. It has increased in popularity among drug users in the past decade-and-a-half.

How does crystal methamphetamine work?

Methamphetamine releases high levels of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasurable or rewarding experiences.

After it is taken in oral form, the user experiences increased wakefulness and physical activity, and decreased appetite. For some people, even low doses can be addictive.

With higher doses of crystal meth, especially if it is smoked or injected, the user immediately experiences an intense “rush” (also called a “flash”) that causes intense pleasure but only lasts a few minutes. Users can become addicted and dependent quickly, needing more and higher doses as the addiction progresses. One of the other reasons people continually return to crystal meth use is found in the “crash”. When the effects of the crystal meth high wear off, it leaves the person feeling so low, they want to return to the previous state of elation.

In high doses, crystal methamphetamine causes irritability, insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia and increased aggression. In even higher doses, hypothermia and convulsions can cause death.

When the body is stimulated by crystal methamphetamine, the drug can cause irreversible damage. The increased heart rate and blood pressure damage blood vessels in the brain, which can cause strokes, or irregular heart beat, which can cause cardiovascular collapse and death. By vastly increasing the release of dopamine, methamphetamine appears to damage brain cells, eventually reducing the amount of dopamine available to the brain, causing symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease and severe depression, or both.

Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

In almost every case, treatment for crystal meth addiction should occur in an inpatient drug rehab or addiction treatment program. The intense cravings that are associated with discontinuing the use of crystal meth are best managed in a medical detox unit on the drug rehab. In conjunction with these cravings, there are ussually a number of medical problems associated with crystal meth addiction that are best dealt in drug rehab. Most drug rehab’s have their own detox unit’s and physicians which are capable of managing the medical and psycholobgical issues associated with detox from crystal meth.

Reasons Why Skull Rings Are The Evergreen Trends For Biker Enthusiasts

Who does not like to be a biker and ride his or her perfect machine to fly with the wind? It is everyone’s dream to be as tough as a pro biker with a high-end muscle bike and adore the leather apparels. The ensemble of the apparels will make you look like the messenger of the devil. The studded outfit and the tough appearance cannot be matched by any other fashion.

Skull Rings for a Complete Look

The current evolution of the fashion for the bikers demand a particular set of jewelry. Normally the rings are made of stainless steel or silver. The silvery look is favored the most by the biker enthusiasts. You do not have to own a bike for wearing this jewelry. If you are an enthusiast then you can show your passion by adoring the rings on your fingers.

The designer Skull Rings are selling like hot cakes as it is a popular trend among adults. The majority of the people, who like the facts of the bikers, would appreciate the current designs and innovative patterns of the rings that represent toughness and power.

Reasons to Wear a Skull Ring

Probably, a skull is the oldest symbol that is carried on from ages that represent power and bravery. The presence of the symbol in the jewelry is not an absurd thing as it reminds the use of the skull in the past. The reasons why bike enthusiasts like to adore these rings are mentioned below.

Celebrating Life

The fact that a skull represents death is wrong. The symbol purely represents life after death. In fact, the oldest civilizations that were very advance like the Aztecs and Egyptians used these symbols with other ones to represent the cycle of life and death. Since then, the symbol is with the contemporary world. The jewelry means different things to different people but most of them celebrate the beginning after an end.

Toughness

Long back, the warriors indulged in wearing the skulls of their enemies or the dead to show their valor and toughness. In some signs, skulls are used to show danger. The same thought can be reflected by the use of the Skull Rings to display inner strength and toughness. The motorcycle enthusiasts like to adore these skulls to display bravery and honor to be a part of the big group.

Appealing

Imagine the rough and tough look that comes with the leather jackets and the skull ring! The skull ring can be made of gems and varieties of metals to make them match with other apparels. In fact, some designs are made in such a way that they can become a part of any type of tough apparels. The rings can have different symbols with the skull like snakes, bones, wings, animals, etc.

Conclusion

The versatile designs are the best to reflect the absolute power and a rich taste of fashion. The rings are way different than normal jewelry. This jewelry is the evergreen fashion trends followed by the adults these days.

Online Music – The Best and Worst of the Web

Viral widgets allow members to place music players on websites to expand the fan base – Lots of tools to promote your music, build a buzz and track promo efforts – Customized email newsletters for fans – Seamless integration with Facebook, Bebo – Free streaming music

CONS: None

RECOMMENDATION: For musicians, this is an amazing tool. For fans, it’s a great, interactive way to find new music and support independent artists.

iLIKE — ilike.com — 5

Major artists from Tori Amos to Missy Elliott, as well as independent musicians, post their music, videos, photos, shows, etc.

PROS: Free – Seamless integration with Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, MySpace, Orkut, iTunes – iCast feature lets the artist post text, audio or video directly from a cell phone – Sidebar feature lets you play music and videos by your favorite artists free

CONS: None

RECOMMENDATION: Definitely yes — an excellent, inexpensive way to keep in touch with your favorite artists

FACEBOOK — 4

Users who are musicians can create a page to profile their bands. That’s nice, but even better, Facebook integrates seamlessly with iLike (see review above). My only criticism is that Facebook can be confusing to navigate.

GARAGE BAND — 3

Operated by iLike, but focuses on independent artists seeking greater exposure.

PROS: Free – Write your own music reviews – Partnerships with podcast and webcast radio stations

CONS: Less professional than similar sites

RECOMMENDATION: The review feature is fun, but you’ll get more out of ReverbNation and iLike.

MYSPACE — 0

Musicians can post music, videos and the usual, but this pioneering social network site has been gradually sliding downhill. Now that it’s been eclipsed by Facebook, why would you bother?

PROS: Free

CONS: Interminable time waiting for pages to load – Terrible customer service

RECOMMENDATION: Skip it.

MUSIC DOWNLOADS

iTUNES — apple.com/itunes/ — 5

Who doesn’t know about iTunes? Apple dominates the market with this well-designed program, but you’re out of luck if you have an mp3 player other than an iPod.

PROS: Largest selection of titles (8 million) – Video, movies, podcasts and more

CONS: Songs only play on the iTunes software (PC or Mac) or an iPod

RECOMMENDATION: The gold standard (ranked #1 by Top Ten Reviews).

NAPSTER — 4

Napster recently shifted its business model from a subscription-based service to selling mp3s. Earlier problems with certain browsers and platforms have apparently been resolved.

PROS: Compatible with all mp3 players – Vast selection of 6 million titles (but not as many as iTunes)

CONS: Annoying woman pops up saying “Click on me to get started” – Monthly $12.95 subscription fee if you select that option

RECOMMENDATION: Highly recommended by reviewers (ranked #2 by Top Ten Reviews).

RHAPSODY — 3

One of the most popular music download sites, Rhapsody offers subscription and pay-per song options, but it’s not cool that they thumb their noses at Mac users.

PROS: Unlimited streaming of songs – Play and share your own music mixes – Easy drag-and-drop interface

CONS: Monthly $12.99 subscription fee if you select that option – Windows only – Not all of their 4.5 million titles are available for purchase – Non-purchased songs are encrypted and will no longer work if the subscription is canceled

RECOMMENDATION: Rhapsody gets good ratings from many reviewers, but there are better options for streaming music without a fee.

AMAZON MP3 — 2

Amazon is in the process of converting its music catalog to digital downloads. With their ubiquity, they may well surpass iTunes and Napster. They are not very artist-friendly, though, charging musicians high distributor fees and an annual fee.

PROS: Large selection of 5 million titles (but less than iTunes and Napster) – Compatible with all mp3 players – no Digital Rights Management encoding like iTunes – Some tracks priced at only 89¢

CONS: Greedy

RECOMMENDATION: Convenient for customers, but if you want to support independent musicians, take your business to iTunes or Napster.

INTERNET RADIO

PANDORA — pandora.com — 4

Pandora describes itself as the “music genome project.” As you listen to each song, you tell Pandora if you like it or not. Pandora learns from your responses and finds songs that match the qualities of the songs you like.

PROS: Free – Available on iPhone and other cell phones – Create your own customized music stations and share them with friends – Vast selection of artists

CONS: As a work in progress, the “matching” can be a bit hit or miss – You’re only allowed a limited number of skip options within a given time frame, but hey, it’s free

RECOMMENDATION: Great for streaming free music by artists and genres you select.

LIVE365 — live365.com — 4

Search for genres or for stations playing an artist you like, check out the details, and click “play” to start listening. It’s that easy.

PROS: Informative listings about each station including listener ratings – Easy to use – No plug-in required – Extensive listings at your fingertips

CONS: Advertisements unless you pay a $5.95 monthly subscription fee

RECOMMENDATION: Sure you can invest more time and find listings in other ways (after stumbling through dead links, pay for play stations, etc.), but Live365 is quick and easy. Spring for the cost of two lattes if you really detest the ads.

MUSIC BLOGS

MOG — mog.com — 4

Designed for bloggers who like to write about music, but its appeal is much broader than that. Besides allowing you to listen to millions of songs for free, you can share opinions, keep current with music news you might otherwise miss, and discover recommendations by users who share your musical tastes.

PROS: Free – Lots of interesting tidbits of information – Find people whose opinions you trust

CONS: Weak search function – Anyone can claim to be an expert

RECOMMENDATION: Worthwhile even if you don’t intend to post your own articles.

OTHER

SIX SONGS OF SEPARATION — 3

Load up your own music library playlist (the site imports the list from your music player, e.g., iTunes or Real Player). Once you have your own account up and running you can see music from members with similar musical tastes. Or you can search for songs, artists or albums that you enjoy and find related music based on what other people are listening to.

PROS: Free – A creative way to be exposed to new music that you’re likely to enjoy

CONS: You must click on a link to iTunes or Amazon to listen to a song sample

RECOMMENDATION: I didn’t find the matches especially relevant to my interests, but it’s an intriguing concept that may improve with time.

Writing Blink – 7 Tips to Create Powerful Counter Melodies Like Blink 182

Blink 182 does a great job of writing the most intoxicating counter melodies that get stuck in your head so easily. Wouldn’t it be great if you could write counter melodies just as well as Blink 182?

Well, no one said you can’t similarly write Blink 182 counter melodies. Follow these 7 songwriting tips about composing killer counter melodies and you might rival Blink 182 some day.

1. Be mindful of frequencies if using two vocalists.

It’s easy to having conflicting melodies if using two vocalists because they may use the same frequency range. Blink 182’s vocalists, Mark Hoppus, and Tom Delonge, sing high and low however. Try to pick a range of notes for each vocalist that stays clear of the other.

2. Use similar or same chord progressions as your main melody.

If you listen to “Hold On” by Blink 182, you’ll notice they wrote their melodies in the same chord progression of the song. Don’t think you need to write completely new parts to have a counter melody. Fit two melodies into the same section to make that section more appealing.

3. Keep one melody longer and more flowing than the other.

Writing counter melodies that have diversity is the key. Keep one of your melodies long and flowing to lead the listeners’ ears along in the tune.

4. Keep another melody rigid and quicker.

Writing another one of your counter melodies to be rigid and fast will keep your song driving with the tempo. This will create a lot of interest like Blink 182’s songs.

5. Try to avoid hitting the same notes simultaneously.

When Blink 182 writes a song, they try to keep Delonge’s and Hoppus’s parts separate, but still very appealing. You need to try to do the same by giving each melody its own unique identity. Don’t create your counter melodies as just copies of another.

6. Put as much time and effort into one melody as you do the other.

Neglecting one melody over another can only detriment your song. No one wants to listen to a song where a poor melody ruins a good one. Put as much effort into one as you do the other for the best response.

7. Use the same singing style if possible.

Blink 182’s vocalists may have high and low voices, but their style of singing is very similar. If you’re using two vocalists, try to stick together as a team. Utilize each other’s strengths to turn your melodies into something incredibly strong.

Blink 182 may never stop writing these great counter melodies for their songs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t compete. Put these 7 songwriting tips into action and create some of the most appealing counter melodies you’ve ever heard.

History of Ear Gauging in Tribal Civilizations

A study of the history of ear gauging indicates the practice to be as old as recorded human history. For males, this form of ear piercing has been a symbol of status, while for women, in addition to being used as means of bodily decoration, it has also been employed to signify the attainment of womanhood.

Ear gauging, which is also referred to as ear stretching, is the stretching of ear lobe piercings to larger diameters than that of the original piercing. It is a form of body enhancement or beautification that many young western people adopt to look ‘different’ from the usual crowd. However, this is not a modern form of body piercing, since it has been around for as long as archaeological records exist.

In many cases, ear gauging has been used historically to indicate the standing of members of a specific tribe, and in many respects this is still the situation today. Stretched piercings have been, and still are, a reflection on the individual’s sexual capability and also their superiority over other males in the tribe. The larger the stretching, the more important the individual.

Otzi the Iceman is a prime example of mummies known to have stretched ears. This is the earliest known example of ear gauging, Otzi having 7-11 mm ear piercings during 3300 BC. It has been suggested that the stretching of the ears noted in depictions of Siddhartha Gautama, better known as Buddha, may have been caused by the weight of the gold jewelry he wore, but this is mere supposition.

It is supported, however, by the fact that the Masai tribe of Kenya and the Lahu and Karen-Paduang people of Thailand use this ‘gravity’ technique to stretch their piercings. Let us have a look at the ear gauging practices used today by various cultures.

A. Mursi Tribal Women

The Mursi is an Ethiopian tribe where the women are obliged to wear plates in their gauged ears and on their bottom lip. About a year prior to her marriage, or at about 15 years of age, a Mursi girl’s lip will be pierced by her mother and a wooden peg pushed through the incision.

Once healed, the peg is changed for a larger diameter one. Eventually, the peg is replaced by a plate of clay or wood, and this plate is successively changed for larger diameter ones until the required diameter is attained – from around 8 – 22 cm in diameter (3 – 9 inches). Once these plates have been secured, she receives a higher degree of respect than those without them, and is known as a ‘Bhansanai’.

These lip and ear plates need not be worn permanently, but are an expected adornment during special occasions such as during weddings and other celebrations, and when they serve food to men. Today, young women can generally make their own decision as to whether or not they follow this tradition.

B. The Masai People of Kenya

The practice of ear gauging has been common among Masai men and women for thousands of years. In recent years, however, most young men have not been following this custom, although you will still find many Masai women wearing ear decorations made from stones, cross-cut elephant tusks, wood and animal bones.

The original piercing is carried out using a thorn, sharpened twig or a sharp knife point. Once healed, ear gauging is then carried out by wearing increasingly heavy jewellery that pulls the lobe down and stretches the piercing. This is the traditional way of gauging ears in the more primitive cultures, although many Masai today will use proper ear gauging techniques, such as their own versions of insertion tapers or taper spikes. Beads are a common form of ornamentation, although plugs made from bone, tusks and wood are also used.

C. The African Fulani Tribe

Fulani women from Nigeria and Central Africa tend to use smaller diameter ear gauges, and decorate them using large gold domes or hoops carrying earrings. A Fulani child will have her ears pierced at around 3 years old, although they may not be stretched until she is older. The gauges used by Fulani women are relatively small compared to the Masai and Mursi, although the jewellery can be larger.

D. Asian Hill Tribes

Of the various hill tribes, the only two known to practice ear gauging are the Lahu from Thailand, and the Karen-Padaung (Longnecks) from Myanmar (Burma) and also the Phrae province in Thailand. That latter tribe are best known for their neck rings, offering the appearance of long necks, but both cultures believe the ear to be sacred and the more jewellery they can wear on the better. By gauging their ears, they are able to wear the maximum amount of jewellery they believe possible.

E. Mexican and Central American Civilizations

In Mayan and Aztec society, ear gauging was regarded as desirable for males. There are many Mayan representations of men with flares and ear plugs (ear spools) in gauged ears, and the material used was indicative of the social standing of the wearer. Jade ear plugs were worn by the higher classes, while the rest would use bone, stone, wood and other materials. In central Mexico, the craftsmanship of the Aztecs is evident in the ear gauging plugs and ornaments of gold and silver, though the lower classes would adorn their stretches earlobes with shells, copper and wood among many other imaginative materials.

Ear gauging has been carried out worldwide, and among other notable areas involved in this practice are Japan, where the Ainu used ear jewellery made from shells, bone and a ball and ring known as Ninkari. There are many other cultures worldwide where ear gauging was a part of their life, and even today many people regard ear stretching as a fashion statement and a way of expressing their own personality and individuality.

Top 10 Travel Advice

  1. Always ensure that you have checked the latest travel advice for the destination you wish to travel so subscribe to any free email notifications each time the travel advice is updated.
  2. If need be opt for travel insurance and make sure this is arranged before hand to cover any activities you wish to participate in as well as insurance for all your baggage.
  3. Check to see if you are in need for a visa for the countries you are going to visit, however be aware that you may need more than just a visa to enter the country so find this out by contacting the Embassy or High Commission before hand.
  4. Confirm you flight details and all reservations for cars, hotels and activities before you leave.
  5. Organise your money. Make certain you are sure of which credit/debit cards you will be taking and find out the best rates for converting currency and purchasing travelers cheques.
  6. Make a list of all emergency contact numbers, for example lost and stolen credit cards, and leave a copy of your travel itinerary with a friend of family member so they can contact you if need be.
  7. Check the weather at your travel destination so that you can pack the appropriate gear to suit the climate.
  8. If you are going to be flying then make sure you have an essential carry on bag just encase you bags get delayed.
  9. If you are going to be driving then make sure you have a road map, GPS handy so you can look up any directions when needed.
  10. Pack you camera and video equipment atleast 24 hours before you leave, so that you can check and charge any batteries beforehand.

Monsters Rise From the Grave in New Ways

In the 1910s to the 1950s, many classic movie monsters, such as Frankenstein (1910), Nosferatu (1922), Dracula (1931), The Wolfman (1941), and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1953), made their first mainstream appearances. These monsters leapt from the literary pages of their respective novels to the big screen. Few would consider these fiends appropriate for children, but the shift from print to film did popularize them. The horror genre in general has always been adult oriented. However, over time and in a society of relative safety, fear can become alluring.

With the rise of slasher films in the 1970s and 1980s, and the subsequent gore-horror films, it seemed the final coffin nail was hammered in for classic horror monsters. Yet, they would rise from the grave from a new angle–as the good guys and friends to children. In fact, in the 1990s there was a resurgence of horror in a fun way with Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, Tales from the Crypt, The Addams Family movies and cartoons, and with Goosebumps books. The horror themes that used to terrify generations before now brought mostly nostalgia and delight. Now, this generation of viewers is beginning to raise children of their own. Most of these new parents seek out books, movies, and various other forms of children’s entertainment–including the more recent form of media that is the website–which invoke a sense of delighted dread in children while avoiding the true horror aspect of it.

Hotel Transylvania (2012), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009), and Monster High (2010Present) are prime mainstream examples of monsters evolving from the antagonists to the protagonists. These franchises borrow their themes from the horror genre, but keep the tone heartfelt and comedic. These features are echoed in children’s books, as well. On top of the book formats of the aforementioned movies, there are books such as Where the Wild Things Are, and Monster Trouble, I Need My Monster. Some of these new takes on monsters have grown beyond their original stories to accommodate the new connected world. For example, the Monster High and Teach Your Monster to Read websites utilize the World Wide Web to reach new audiences and utilize new tools to give a more interactive, educational, and engaging experience. With these fresh and inventive takes on werewolves, vampires, banshees, lagoon creatures, and other monsters, the new casts of creature characters are certainly unique and something that will tickle many-a-funny bone.

Overall, it seems the classic horror monster theme will not fully waste away. At worst it will remain undead for a few years, but given the new trend of monster-themed children’s books and media–a genre that expands by the day–the horror theme may soon creep more and more into mainstream children’s media and delight new generations. Perhaps, in time, even the popular idiom ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ will be changed to ‘Judge a monster by its manner.’ In any case, the kid-friendly horror theme is alive and well and nowhere close to an early grave.

Dealing With Racquetball Injuries

Playing any type of sports always entails risks of injuries. Racquetball is one sports activity that can be risky looking at the speed of play and the equipments used (racquets and balls).

Nevertheless, it is a presented with that sports injuries C severe, superficial or critical C can always be avoided, if you take safeguards. Apart from the protection gears you need to wear, the next are some reminders for you to deal with your racquetball-related injuries.

Eye protection

Racquetball is reckoned a lightweight sport when equated with others which can produce some terrible critical injuries. Alternatively, it is one of the most injury-prone sports because of the speed of the ball traveling within the small confines of the playing court.

Ninety- 5% of these injuries contains being hit in the eyes by the ball. Interior bleeding in the eye socket, lacerations, bleeding eyelids, abrasions, swollen eyes C these are the a lot off the most commonplace eye injuries.

Wearing correct eye gear prevents fundamental injuries to the eye. Be certain to check if your goggles are the right way recommended by the American Standard of Testing and Materials, and the Canadian Standards Association.

Feet protective cover

Racquetball is one game where you do a lot of running. It follows that you need to maintain your feet all during the game.

Ankle sprains can sideline you for in any case 7 days and disrupt your activities. Achilles tendon injuries are rare but they need correct medical care.

Blisters and calluses occur most often if you possess the wrong footwear or if they are a new pair and had not been broken in yet. Dont throw the old pair until you have the new ones fit your feet just right. Afterwards, you can play a hard game with them.

Elbow protective cover

They might call it tennis elbow, but this injury also happens to racquetball players. (Only 5% of all cases happen to tennis players.)

Manifestations incorporates pain around the elbow joint, with tenderness occurring on or underneath the bony bump. Natural expansive arm movements (even simple grip movements) can lead to pain and exacerbate the injury. Follow your physicians advice.

Next, talk over with your racquetball expert for incorrect technique in racquet handling. Is your grip wrong? What about the mass and type of your racquet?

Shoulder protection

Shoulder injury is caused by utilizing the shoulders C and not the right way using the side of the body C in swinging your racquet. These injuries generally develop from a past fall or a slam on the wall.

Remember: Use the entire side of the body in swinging the racquet, NOT the shoulders.

Knee protective cover

All the running and pivoting around on your feet is tough on your knees. In racquetball, all kinds of knee injuries are possible.

These injuries are sneaky, too. They commence with a dull ache somewhere around the sides or back of the knee right after playing. Later, the anguish arrives before, during, and after your play.

Get yourself a professional to teach you the proper stretching and conditioning program for your knees. (While you are at it, you may incorporate all the necessary conditioning moves for all the parts of the body that complement your racquetball playing.)

Racquetball is supposed to be fun. Avoid injuries before they can happen.