Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Slow Motion Game

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Recently, a friend invited me to stop and slow down. Just for a few minutes.

I slipped off my shoes and felt the cool stepping stones in her garden under my feet. In a few short minutes, with all systems slowed to the moment in front of me, I felt like Alice in Wonderland-one moment staring up at the giant, waving leaf of a tropical banana tree and the next moment bent down, in awe at the mini, star-shaped moss tuft peeking out between a crack in the stones.

Ten minutes later, as I finished up this walking meditation in her garden, refreshed and ready to go about with my busy day, I knew it was something I wanted to remember to continue as a regular practice for myself and share with my favorite seven year old.

“Hey,” I said to the curly haired boy, “Wanna play The Slow Motion Game with me?”

“What’s that?” he responded, with the keen skepticism of a seven year old who has been around the block and played a zillion games or two in his lifetime so far.

“Well, it’s a kind of discovery game. We slow dooooown.” I started talking in slow motion speak. “And when we look aroooound we see things that we’ve neeeeeverrr seeeeeen beforrrrrrre.”

I could see the spark of interest lit in his eyes now.

“And whoever finds the most cool stuff is the winner?” he yelled excitedly.

“Sure, something like that.”

Five… Close your eyes

Four… Slowing down

Three… Your mind is going to sleep

Two… Your body is getting very relaxed

One… You are in slow motion mode. Open your eyes… And GO… s l o w w w w w w w w…

Our bare feet made their way slowly through the back yard. The dirt felt good sinking between my toes. I watched out of the corner of my eye as the boy did his best slow mummy walk and then presently crouched down.

Between the two of us, we discovered treasures galore in our familiar backyard space.

An army of ants coming out of tiny hole in the flower bed, a bright green arrowhead-shaped sprout shooting out ninety degrees from a tree branch, a baby fly sunning its translucent wings, a baby bee buzzing. We discovered the glossy, tightly curled leaf of a waxy flower pushing its way upward, and crystalline water drops sitting in the very center of a regal succulent. A family of pincher bugs scurried away as we studied the natural, hieroglyphic markings on an old tree stump.

Long after we finished playing, the curly haired boy was still bent over, looking at potato bugs curled up in tree hollows or looking up through tree branches, discovering many more unseen treasures in the garden.

I didn’t mention to the wild-haired one the part that we would feel ourselves coming back to ourselves during this game.

I didn’t mention that by slowing down our spinning minds, we would enliven all our other senses, as we became part of the world in front of us.

I didn’t mention that by slowing down, we recharge and reconnect with that vital source within us.

I didn’t mention that part to him. I didn’t have to.

Yes, this was a good game.

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High Heels – Your Best Friend

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Have you ever saw an American movie called “In Her Shoes”?

Rose and Maggie (performed by Cameron Diaz) are sisters who claim to have nothing in common but DNA, a tragic childhood, and a shared shoe size. Rose owns an attorney position, a conservative personality, and a secret passion for romance. She is sophisticated with work but timid to her plain figure and appearance. Therefore, Rose stores a full wardrobe of high heels without enough courage to wear them out and show them off. Maggie, the little one who is absolutely reverse version of her sister, features drop-dead gorgeous, loafer, flirtation, and troublemaker. She left home without farewell after being caught at the scene when she was carrying on a clandestine love affair with Rose’s boyfriend. In terms of women, the climax comes as Rose gives up her admirable job to then bravely wears the high heels she likes to hide into wardrobe. She successfully goes through a change of outlook on her relationship with Maggie-her   unique  sister, the man she has wrongly loved and the man she should love and treasure at present. Everything can start from “head”, as well as “foot”, not just curing the sequela of losing love.

“When I feel bad, I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good. Foods just make me fatter. Shoes always fit.” The lines, from Rose, reveal her secret: she is not the prude that she looks like in appearance, but a lovely girl who is keenly obsessed with various high heels as well. Numberless pairs of housed high heels are her bosom friend, listening to her success, happiness sharing her upset and cheering her up when she is in low spirit. Even though Rose just buy them then hide them without debut with them, she still be companied and placated by their sweetness and attention.

Men may leave and love may be pulled away, but high heels will always stay.

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Summer Infant Best View Color Video Baby Monitor Review

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The Summer Infant Best View color video baby monitor is one of the highest rated video monitors you can buy to help you keep an eye on your child. It is loaded with features that put it a cut above the rest. The camera pans and zooms, the 2.5″ screen size is easy to see, and it provides reliable performance.

The digital technology used in this monitor ensures that the image of your baby won’t be transmitted beyond your home. With night vision technology, you can see your baby even in the dark and the one-touch on/off button lets you take a quick look for reassurance at any time.

Summer Infant Best View Product Description

The 100% digital system allows complete privacy without having to search for a clear channel. The camera can be wall mounted and remotely controlled to zoom in, pan, or scan the room. The digital menu is controlled by a toggle switch found on the 2.4Ghz parents unit. The clear picture is transmitted either in full color when the lights are on, or in black & white night vision with the use of LED lights to provide a look at your baby in the dark.

The digital picture on the 2.5″ LCD screen of the parents unit has a range of 350′ from the nursery unit and transmits privately and securely.

Summer Infant Best View Features

  • One 2.5ghz parents unit
  • 2.5″ LCD color screen
  • Belt clip
  • One touch on/off button for reduced battery drain
  • Toggle switch to navigate menus for changing camera angle, camera settings and volume control
  • Rechargeable battery and A/C adapter
  • Battery and signal strength
  • Automatic shut off of the video screen preventing unnecessary drain on the batteries
  • Parent unit stand
  • Light and sound indicators
  • Full color camera with black and white night vision
  • Camera pan, scan and zoom
  • Microphone

Summer Infant Best View Review

This monitor offers the security of a 100% digital transmission, meaning the image of your baby won’t be visible to others who might use the same channel. The 2.5″ LCD screen is a great size for viewing your baby in the handheld parent unit. Night vision makes it easy to check in on your child and the on/off button means you can look and then let the screen turn back off to avoid disturbing your own sleep in the middle of the night with constant light from the screen.

The panning, scanning and zooming features of the camera make it easy to keep track of baby, even with a lot of movement. Extra cameras can also be added to the unit and set up in different rooms or at different angles.

Wireless home networks might interfere with the performance of this monitor. While additional cameras can be added, additional parent units are not available. The addition of a complete set can provide an extra parent unit attached to a different camera for dual parent coverage.

The Best View monitor is rated as having a very clear picture with little to no static, and the 2.5″ LCD is large enough to see well. Most users have been very pleased with the performance of the unit.

The Summer Infant Best View Handheld Color Video Monitor has all of the features a parent could ask for in a unit of this type. It gives a great view of the baby from all angles with the remote controlled panning and zooming features and the night vision lets you see your baby at night. If you are looking for a clear, color view of your baby, this monitor fits the bill.

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Bluetooth Headphones Tips – Prolonging Li-Ion Battery Life

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Many Bluetooth headphones use the lithium-ion type of rechargeable battery. It is actually the most popular type of rechargeable battery not just among Bluetooth headsets but also for other electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones.

One main reason that Li-ion (lithium-ion) batteries are the favorite battery type of a lot of Bluetooth headphones is that these kinds of batteries have a bigger energy storage capacity. What this means is that Li-ion batteries have a greater energy-to-material ratio than the other kinds, such as nickel metal hydride (NiMH) or nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries. For the same amount of nickel or nickel-cadmium, the lithium-ion battery can hold more power.

The second main reason is that Li-on batteries do not degrade in performance even if you repower them while they are not completely depleted of stored power. Unlike other batteries, the Li-ion battery does not show the so-called memory effect. It also has stronger resistance to severe temperatures and does not self-discharge as fast as the other types when it is in storage.

Much as everyone would like Li-ion batteries to be eternal, the fact is that they have a limited life. When used appropriately and cared for, they can actually provide your Bluetooth headsets with power up to about three years. The key here is in knowing how to make your Bluetooth earphones’ Li-ion battery packs reach their optimal life span. Here are a few tips.

Do not completely empty your battery of power. Li-ion batteries actually do not need to be fully empty before you need to recharge them. As a matter of fact, you will decrease the life span of your batteries if you frequently let them go empty first before recharging them. However, it is also healthy to completely discharge your Li-ion battery from time to time, say, after every 25 or 30 partial recharge cycles.

Never subject your Li-on battery to high temperature when you recharge them. Not only will the heat be a safety risk but will also shorten your battery’s life and energy capacity.

If you are intending to leave your Bluetooth headsets unused for some time, you should make sure that the batteries are at least half-charged. Also, never leave the battery inside your Bluetooth earphones if you won’t be using the devices for a long period. If you do, the active material may leak out and corrode and damage your unit. Store the batteries in a cool place. Even the refrigerator will do, but never the freezer.

These practical tips are easy to remember. If you keep them in mind and follow them, you can be sure that your Li-ion battery for your Bluetooth headphones will last up to its maximum lifespan.

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Top Five Cellular Phone Models in USA

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With the advent of the mobile phone industry, mobile phone companies have long been contesting for the latest models that would captivate the market and make the buyers go “gaga” over it. So far, there are countless cellular phone models from BlackBerry, Apple, LG, and other companies.

The market differs in all parts of the world. A company may dominate in USA but not in Asia, same is true with the network service providers. Recently, there was a survey which showed a result of the Top five models in the US last year.

As you take a read, you will discover that according to Amazon.com and our reviews, sales show that the US mobile phone market is dominated by BlackBerry and no trace of Nokia could be felt.

First in the list is BlackBerry Bold 9000. What makes it a hit? It is a mobile professional and likely to be the best device on the market. This is a serious communication device catering to those who need the best of email and connectivity to their other office information in an instant. BlackBerry Bold is the best BlackBerry yet. It capitalizes on the industry-leading email and communication abilities and adds improved document handling features. While remaining enterprise centric it makes major multimedia and entertainment strides to broaden its market appeal.

Another great phone from Blackberry is their Blackberry Storm. What makes it the number 2 best seller for Americans? It is the first entry by smartphone leader BlackBerry into the world of touchscreens. BlackBerry’s claim to fame has always been its exceptional mobile email functionality and manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) has steadfastly insisted that a physical keyboard is best suited for typing. That said, even stalwart RIM couldn’t ignore the market pressures, led by Apple’s phenomenally successful iPhone 3G, which have placed priority on a touchscreen.

The third spot is the throne of Apple iPhone 3G. This iPhone 3G isn’t necessarily blazing new territory, it is paving that territory, refining the available technologies, while placing at utmost importance the overall design of its body and interface. The reduced price tag, expanded memory and incorporated 3G technology are truly new, and are likely to represent a new direction for the industry. On another note, the iPhone 3G, like its iPhone predecessor, is taking a big chunk out of many different markets, offering a solid mix of business, entertainment and everyday use.

G1 Google Phones takes number four. The T-Mobile G1 is the first of many expected smartphones to reach the market that are based on the Google Android operating system. Before being introduced by T-Mobile, it was known as the HTC Dream. The Google Android OS is seen as having the potential to expand the capabilities of smartphones generally because of its open source orientation to third party applications. It is reasoned that because developers have free rein to show off their best and most creative work that the possibilities are limitless.

Doing well at number five is the LG Lotus. It has a unique and exceptional design that is both beautiful and functional. It is a great messaging phone that can send all types of text messages and can communicate by IM and email. It is also a great music phone that can play and store up to 12 GB of music.

Feel the American mobile phone culture, go buy one. Yes, one of the five top selling mobile phones in the United States.

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The Cautionary Tale of Shakespeare’s Macbeth

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth contains a lot of life lessons. Number one: Don’t listen to stranger bearded women when wandering through a fog. Number two: Never let anyone bully you into doing something you don’t want to, even if it’s your wife. And Number 3? If you want to become king, the kill-everything-in-your-path strategy, while seemingly effective, is bound to backfire.

Macbeth is indeed a cautionary tale of greed, power and ambition. At the play’s core, it is about humanity’s tendency for evil and ruthlessness, particularly when fueled by the desire for ascension. Macbeth, a Scottish nobleman fresh from a ruthlessly victorious battle, stumbles upon a pack of prophesizing witches who imply that kinghood is in his future, effectively messing with his head and ego. Just a few little words set Macbeth in motion to achieve his fate of being king, instead of letting things unfold naturally.

Looking at Macbeth summary, Macbeth stands somewhat as a tragic hero and a villain in the play, as he is a man whose ambitious ego and thirst for power sets him on a path of destruction that inevitably arrives at a grisly destination with his head on a spike. Violent is as violent does for Macbeth.

What we learn from Macbeth, aside from the whole downside in embarking on a murderous rampage, is that our desires and our emotions control us much more than we think. It also highlights how easily swayed humanity can be at times, when all it takes is some eerie women to plant a seed of power in our impressionable egos. At its basic level, Macbeth is about the power and drive of man, and how that power and drive can effortlessly steer us off course. Take, for example, a selection from Macbeth quotes featuring the hallucinations of Macbeth that finally convinces him to kill the king. A floating mirage of a dagger, “a dagger of the mind” he calls it, seals the deal for Macbeth, reading it as something to “marshal’st” him on his way to power. Note the level of agency he ascribes to this image, which could either be a manifestation of the witches or of his “heat-oppressed” brain. The image is both a sign and a usher of sorts for Macbeth, suggesting his own lack of agency and self-determination that allows him to be easily swayed. A helpful comparison in understanding Macbeth’s craziness can found in another famous Shakespearean play where a tragic hero is conflicted with inaction, uncertainty and of course, impressionability when it comes to the supernatural. In the Hamlet summary, Hamlet is directed on a path to avenging his late father by his father’s ghost. He wavers and flip-flops on what to do-much like Macbeth-until finally committing the first murder (Poor Polonius!) that gets the ball rolling. For him, as for Macbeth, the first murder is always the hardest, but it gets easier with next few. For Macbeth, it gets excessively easier.

The tendency to be impressionable-either by one’s own mind tricks or the biting word from Lady Macbeth or the witches-makes Macbeth vulnerable to his own impulses of greed and power and the subsequent implication for evil. It’s also what makes him appear partly as a tragic hero, someone whose flaws of initial weak sense of self allows him to be a plaything of fates and witches. Those reading Macbeth as a tale of power and greed must also take into consideration how such ambitions are essentially weaknesses for Macbeth, as he fails prey to his own flaws. A cautionary tale indeed.

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6 Facts About Oil Paint

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1. The earliest known paintings that were done in oils date back to the 7th century BC. These paintings were Buddhist murals that were discovered in caves in Western Afghanistan. Oil paint didn’t become widespread for use in art works until the 15th century, when it became popular throughout Europe. Jan van Eyck, a 15th century Flemish painter, is widely believed to have invented it, though in reality he did not invent it, instead he developed it.

2. Oil paint is credited with revolutionising art. One of its key properties is that it’s very slow to dry. It gave artists a lot more time to work on their paintings and it allowed them to correct any mistakes they might have made. Oil paints allowed for artists’ creativity to flourish more because artists could devote more time to each painting. Many of the most widely praised paintings were done in oils.

3. For a few centuries artists had to store their oil paints in animal bladders. This was because the paint tube wasn’t invented until 1841. It was invented by John Goffe Rand, an American painter. Before the tube was invented, artists would have to mix their paints themselves before painting. They would have to grind the pigment up themselves, then carefully mix in the binder and thinner.

4. The most basic type of oil paint is made up of ground-up pigment, a binder and a thinner, which is usually turpentine. For the binder there are lots of different substances that can be used, including linseed oil, walnut oil and poppy seed oil; each of these gives the paint different effects and has different drying times.

5. There are modern versions of oil paint that can dry a lot more quickly than the standard version. The way that it dries is not by evaporation, but by oxidation, the process where substances gain oxygen. It is generally accepted that the typical painting done in oils will be dry to touch after about two weeks, though it can take six months to a year before the painting’s actually dry enough to be varnished.

6. Oil paint is very durable and tough, so it’s used as a finish and protector. It can be used on wood and metal and in both cases, it can be used internally as well as externally. It’s often applied to wood during building construction and can be found on metallic surfaces on things like planes, bridges and ships.

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