Home Theater Surround Sound – A True Home Theater Can’t Be Without It

Home theater surround sound is noticeably different and much, much better than the sound from a normal television. For true surround sound, you need 2 or 3 speakers both in front and behind you. You should also have a subwoofer situated somewhere in the room to produce those ultra-low booming and rumbling sounds that are sure to vibrate your bones.

In this modern day and age, most home theater surround sound systems are digital. Digital means that the audio from specific video content, a DVD for example, has been separated into multiple channels so you’re able to differentiate sounds coming from the left, right, rear-left and rear-right speakers. Let’s say two actors are talking, one’s on the left side of the screen, the other is on the right and in the background and a loud truck drives by. If you have digital surround sound, you’ll be able to hear the leftmost actor’s voice come more from the left speakers and the opposite for the rightmost actor. From the rear speakers, you’ll hear that loud truck start at the left speaker then pan to the right, finally fading out.

Indeed, home theater surround sound is essential if you want to fully immerse yourself in a movie. At the core of home theater surround sound is a digital receiver. This receiver is the piece of hardware that is connected to your DVD player and outputs sound to the speakers. It has the most important role of sorting out the various sounds and sending them to the right speakers at the right volume.

For the average buyer, a home theater surround sound system will come in a single package. It may be referred to as a “home theater in a box” and prices for these will start at around $250 but can go higher than $2500 for a true top of the line set. Note that, despite what the name home theater in a box implies, a television screen is never included in the box, unfortunately.

Home theater surround sound, while varying in quality and price, is truly essential to having a real home theater. Remember, before buying any piece of home theater surround sound equipment, test it in-store to make sure the quality matches what the salesperson is telling you. Different home theater surround sound systems appeal to different individuals’ unique way of interpreting sound, so just because it’s the top of the line model doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily like it better than one that’s priced $200 cheaper.

Why Buy Lingerie Online

Buying your lingerie online can be easier and more convenient than having to go to a lingerie store. For those who are shy it also holds a certain level of privacy. You can buy anything online and no one else need ever know about it. You can also save some money buying online from the actual manufacturer versus buying from a third party. The selection is also larger at some online stores making it easier to find those hard to find items.

Men find online lingerie shopping easier. It saves them the embarrassment of having to go to a lingerie shop and actually shop for lingerie for their loved one. Men can often be self conscious going into lingerie stores to buy lingerie for there loved ones and the privacy of the shopping online has made it much easier for them. They do not have to worry about running into anyone they know and they do not have to deal with shop clerks.

Females still buy the majority of the lingerie. For most guys you could wear a trench coat with nothing underneath and they would be happy. Women are more romantic and therefore buy the lingerie to make themselves look and feel sexier. Buying lingerie is also a great way to spice up a relationship.

Women buy more lingerie online also because of the cost. You can save money by buying lingerie online. There are even some online sites that will allow you to compare rates and let you get the best deal for the lingerie your looking for.

Shopping for lingerie online can also be a great way to find the latest trends and designs. With online shopping the latest trends and designs are available to you a lot sooner than they are at a lingerie store. It may take a lingerie store a little while to catch on to a new design or trend but when shopping online you can get it immediately.

Variety is another reason to shop online for your lingerie. For some large breasted women it may be very hard to find bras in there size without having to drive a long way. By shopping online for their lingerie they can find exactly what they need without all the hassle. Most lingerie stores may not have a specific type of lingerie so if you're looking for something specific you may have to go to several stores before you find what your looking for, not with online shopping. With online shopping whatever it is you're looking for can be a click away.

There are a lot of reasons to shop online for your lingerie rather than shop at a lingerie store. If you're looking to save some money or looking for something that you just can not find at a typical lingerie store, then check some online lingerie stores.

Xbox vs. PS2 Game Consoles

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the two most popular gaming consoles currently on the market: PlayStation 2 (PS2) and Xbox. PS2 is a Sony product, while Xbox is owned by the software giant Microsoft. Many different people have worked with these gaming systems inside and out, attempting to determine which system provides the best performance for your hard-earned gaming dollar. Here we take a look at each gaming system and compare the specs and performance of each. We will attempt to answer that age-old question: which is the better gaming system, Xbox or PS2?

You can take a look at a table comparing hardware specs here.

There are many specs in addition to the ones listed above, but these should give you some idea of just how close these two game consoles really are. If you are looking for pure processing power and graphics capabilities, the Xbox appears to have a slight advantage. In addition, its computer-like features, such as a built-in hard drive are nice to have. With the PS2 you must purchase a memory card if you run out of storage room. When comparing raw power and extra features, the Xbox wins – but you have to keep in mind that the PS2 was released first, and there are additional things to consider besides system specs.

What about Multi-player Capabilities?

Both the Xbox and PS2 have multi-player capability. You can hook up a series of both consoles so that you and your friends can play games together at the same time. The Xbox may be connected using a home LAN system, much like your home computers (here’s another example of how the Xbox is more like a specialized gaming computer). The PS2 may be connected using a link cable, not a LAN. This system may be cost prohibitive for some gamers, since you have to own multiple consoles, separate TVs for each, and several copies of the same game (yep, that’s expensive).

Of course, you can always ditch the local network and play through the internet. Bboth PS2 and Xbox allow you to play online against a random assortment of opponents. Xbox uses Xbox live, a fairly well supported online gaming network. PS2’s network is not as popular as Xbox Llive, but it works fairly well all the same. If you are really into multi-player, it seems that Xbox is probably the best console for you.

Xbox Games vs. PS2 Games

When deciding which of these two game consoles is best for you, you should certainly take into consideration what types of games each offers, and which games you are most interested in playing. PS2, having been around a little while longer, tends to have the larger game library, but Xbox is not terribly far behind. In addition, Xbox tends to produce games geared more towards adults than children. The graphics seen on the new Xbox games are also clearly a step ahead of PS2 graphics. There is, however, nearly a PS2 game for everyone, and there are lot of PS2 games geared towards teenagers. If you are looking for games for kids, the Nintendo Gamecube may actually be a better choice than either of these two – and it’s cheaper.

Other Considerations

Some other things you may want to consider when comparing PS2 and Xbox is the controller provided by each. These may not seem like a big factor at first glance, but people usually prefer one type of controller over the other. The Xbox controllers tend to be slightly larger than PS2, mainly because Xbox is designed with older gamers in mind. You can always buy a converter in order to get one game console controller to work with another.

As far as price goes, PS2 has typically been cheaper than Xbox. As of the time of this writing (Dec. 2004), PS2 retails for about $150 and Xbox $100. Game prices are very similar for both game systems, with most new games costing about $30 – $50.

The bottom line is, PS2 is a little older than the Xbox, and is geared for a younger gaming crowd. If you are buying this console for a teenager, the PS2 may actually be your best bet – they have more games, the console is cheaper, and the games are more appropriate for that age group. The Xbox is a little more expensive, has fewer games, but it out-performs PS2 and has more adult-oriented games.

How to Get the Best Employment Contract

People move from job to job all the time these days. In fact, job hopping seems to be more popular now than ever. This has become a huge problem for many companies because they are finding it harder and harder to keep key employees. Because of this, employment contracts are becoming more and more complex in an attempt by the companies to keep a hold of their employees.

But there is a golden lining. Because companies are so keen on holding on to their employees, you can negotiate a better employment contract in many cases. There are benefits and disadvantages for you and the company when it comes to signing an employment contract and I'm not going to go into these in any sort of detail in this article, just keep in mind that there are pluses and minuses involved from your point of view and also from the company's point of view. It's not a bad idea to try and look at it through the eyes of the company, but that's a subject for another article …

So what should you expect to find in your employment contract? In other words, what should you expect to find in a normal employment contract?

The first thing you'll find is the "term". The term indicates when the contract should begin and when the contract should end. Many if not most employment contracts tend to run from 3 to 5 years.

The next thing you'll find are your specific duties. Some people call this a job description. This is a very important part of any employment contract because it is the basis for any employers claim to fire you "for cause". Many times this section will be generic or general in nature, but for your sake you want it to be as specific as possible.

The next thing you'll find is a section on compensation. How much will you earn? This usually discusses the minimum salary as well as lays out any bonuses or stock options and things of this nature that you can expect.

The next thing you'll find is a section on vacation time. How often each year and for how long can you expect to have a vacation? Can your vacation days be accrued? Will you be paid in lieu of a vacation? These are all things that you can expect to find in this section of your employment contract.

Benefits, including life and health insurance, and any sort of pension plans you can expect your company to provide will be found in this section. You can also find information on relocation expenses especially if you will be moving to your new job from another area of ​​the country or world.

Next you can expect to find a section on termination. We do not like to think about this but it's good to be spelled out before hand in your contract exactly what circumstances will lead to your termination. It will probably also discuss how you yourself can terminate your employment contract; making it a very important section.

Expect another section on severance pay. Will you receive a golden parachute if you get fired? Under what circumstances will these things occur?

You should also find a disability provision that discusses exactly what happens should you be unable to continue your employment due to disability; as well as what does and what does not constitute a breach of contract when it comes to disability.

Finally expect a clause that discusses perks. Will you be receiving an expense account? What about a limousine or club membership? Will you have to sign a noncompete provision or arbitration clause? Will the company buy your old house from you in order to relocate you? These are all things that fall under the category of perks.

Well there you have it … these are the main things you can expect to find in any employment contract. They are all negotiable, so keep that in mind before signing anything. Depending on the level of the job and the amount of compensation, you may wish to speak to an employment attorney who specializes in employment contracts.

Shipping Frozen Food

The world consumption of food particularly frozen foods has continued to grow on a daily basis. Different types of animal products are frozen mostly fish. Icing the fish during shipment guarantees that the goods will get to it destination iced and frozen.

Frozen foods are usually transported and shipped using quality insulated containers. These containers are readily available and not expensive. Inexpensive cooler can easily be gotten from grocery stores though the quality might not be good enough. There are containers that have been designed for the purpose of shipping frozen food and are capable of withstanding pressure without breaking easily. These boxes are filled with dry ice depending on the time line required for the frozen foods to be shipped.

The temperature required for shipping frozen food is as important as the foods that are to be shipped. The goods are expected to remain frozen throughout the period it is going to be on transit even till it gets to the final destination. This is what ensures that the quality of the product is retained and that the goods are preserved from spoilage. The goods have to retain its original value during this period and this is very important to both the owner of the goods and those shipping the goods. Dry Ice is often used to ship frozen goods and a combination of gel packs and dry ice will improve the quality of the shipment. 5 to 10 kgs of Dry Ice might be enough for a 24hour trip depending on the type and size of the insulated shipping container. Using large containers will obviously require larger quantity of Ice.

Urethane insulated box is known to perform optimally, holding more than half of the ice in it for more than 24hours during the process of shipping frozen food. The more the Dry Ice stored in the container, the longer it will last. Dry Ice keeps frozen everything in the container. Be sure not to touch the dry ice with bare hands and ensure that the product is kept refrigerated. You are advised to wrap the foods very well so that it has no way of coming in contact with the ice in the container. Use shipping containers that are insulated and the most effective is a urethane insulated container at least 2 inches thick.

The container used for shipping frozen food should be thick otherwise you will require more ice to keep your product frozen. It is better to use thick containers that will guarantee that even if your product is transported during the day, the product will still remain intact and the quality unchanged. Nevertheless, it is best to transport your frozen foods during the night, when the temperature will be friendly and there is a higher guarantee that your product will remain frozen. Transporting at night increases the chances that the frozen food being shipped will not lose it frost and the possibilities improved performance by the ice used in freezing the product.

Air Conditioners – A Necessity in Every Home

An air conditioner has become a necessity in every home today. Searching for an AC that surpasses in quality and durability is not as easy as you think today. The market is filled with umpteen brands of air coolers for you to choose from that you really become very confused in making your selection. Air conditioners are real life savers during the unbearable hot summer season and it has reached such a stage that majority of the people can not do without one.

Air conditioners come in a variety of sizes, models and kinds. You can either opt for a central air-conditioner which will cool your entire home uniformly, a AC, a split ac or a window ac according to your needs and budget.

Some of the important points to keep in mind while choosing an AC for your home include the size of your room, energy ratings, air conditioner reviews and consumer report guides and warranty of these devices.

Please remember that air -conditioners consume a lot of electricity and so using them can hike up your electricity bill to high levels. So always settle for a unit that is energy efficient is extremely important. Even though energy saving AC's is more expensive, they will be worth the money that you invest in the long run.

Reverse air conditioners is another popular kind today. These can heat your room and make it warm and cozy during the biting cold season and also transform your home into a cool haven during the scorching summer. They are quite reasonable priced and are available in a variety of sizes and models.

Some of the best brands of AC's include Carrier, Byrant, Lennox and Sears. You just need to purchase one which will be ideal for your home and needs.

Is Temptu the Best Overall Airbrush Makeup Machine?

I work for a magazine, and are sometimes asked to do some pretty random things for the boss – for instance, with some of the sweater samples we received she wanted me to wear them on my skin and tell her which ones were the most itchy.

A similar situation arose when we were given a whole bunch of airbrush makeup machines as samples. She wanted to surprise her daughter with a gift of one, but wanted the absolute best, so she made me do the testing. It was actually really fun, and I got a few of the girls over for a weekend of makeup trials. Here’s what happened.

We tried the prettiest one first. That was the Temptu brand, and it is very cute indeed. I thought the bosses daughter would love the design of this one the best, but we had a few problems with getting the actually makeup to look good, and found we had to cleanse and reapply the foundations, so maybe not the right one for Miss Snooty. The Temptu compressor was pretty powerful though, but didn’t seem to flow right with the makeup.

The Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) compressor was also pretty powerful, but one of my friends spilled foundation all over my white carpet because there was nowhere to sit the stylus on the compressor and it fell over. When it wasn’t spilling out the OCC was OK and had some great colors for doing body art, but I don’t think that is what the boss’s daughter would need it for. The OCC is one of my favorite brands of makeup, so I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t come through with in this case.

The Kett Cosmetics kit was pretty good actually, with a very good compressor and the always lovely Kett Cosmetics foundations coming through pretty well in the airbrush incarnation. The girls found that it wasn’t all that long lasting though, and the amount of partying the boss’s daughter does… well we’d need something a lot more durable.

The pick of the lot was Dinair. It was very long lasting unlike the Kett Cosmetics, and was the easiest to apply – it wasn’t as pretty as the Temptu compressor, but we found out online that there was a tiger print design special, so thought that might go down well. The coverage of the foundation was also really great, and like the OCC there were also some interesting colors. What really sold us on it though was the potential add-ons from Dinair, like a tanning kit which would be a big hit!

Actually I liked the Dinair so much started to think about getting one for myself, though I do wish it looked like the Temptu — but it certainly runs the best, so it would be my choice too.

The boss was really happy with my report on the OCC, Kett Cosmetics, Temptu and Dinair kits, and apparently her daughter loved her present. I heard through the grapevine that she now has a personal makeup artist on hand all the time, so probably has packed away her kit, but I decided to purchase a Dinair, and I use it every day and I love it!

CS Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis wrote seven connecting stories for children titled the “Chronicles of Narnia.” These stories are extremely similar to those found in the bible. Lewis used his religious background and beliefs to create Narnia and its characters, along with the conflicts and experiences that they go through. The stories teach children biblical tales in a fun and exciting new way and they do not even realize it is happening.

The first story written in “The Chronicles of Narnia” is “The Lion, The Witch, and Wardrobe.” This story introduces us to the world of Narnia. During World War II four siblings: Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy are sent to live with the interestingly odd Professor Kirke. The youngest child Lucy, when exploring the house, comes across a wardrobe in one of the rooms. She steps into the wardrobe and arrives in a snowy wooded area. This is Narnia. Narnia becomes a parallel universe for all that enter it. The world is filled with characters and situations that parallel the bible stories. This first story connects to the gospel stories in the bible from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

None of the children believe Lucy when she tells them about Narnia until one day when Edmond follows her into the wardrobe and encounters the White Witch. She feeds Edmond an enchanted Turkish Delight, which makes him crave chocolate. The Witch uses Edmonds greed to trick him into bringing his other siblings into Narnia. The witch can be compared to the devil throughout the series. She tempts Edmond to manipulate him into doing things that are wrong.

Edmond still says that Lucy is silly for believing in Narnia and one day the children hide in the wardrobe from a housekeeper and end up in Narnia. Lucy takes them to Tumnus’ house where they find that he has been arrested for treason. Tumnus was the first character Lucy met when she went to Narnia. The children set out on a mission to rescue Tumnus from the Witch and meet a doubtful Mr. Beaver who leads them to Aslan the lion. Edmond runs away to warn the Witch of his siblings plan and she is nervous because of an ancient prophecy that says four humans will overthrow the Witch and reign over Narnia.

Edmond betrays his siblings much in the same way that Judas betrayed Jesus. “Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.” (Matthew 26:14) Judas was driven by his greed for money when he betrayed Jesus, and Edmond is driven by his greed for Turkish Delite when he betrays his family, and more importantly Aslan, who’s character as we will see parallels Jesus.

The children race to beat the Witch to Stone Table and meet Aslan to end the spell. The Witch is desperate to reach the Stone Table and treats Edmond poorly on the way. Aslan promises to help get Edmond back and Peter saves Susan from a wolf. Aslan sees another wolf and they follow it hoping it will lead them to Edmond and the Witch.

Peter can be compared to the disciple Peter because both seemed to take on the leadership role of their groups. Peter, alongside Aslan, helped his sisters out of trouble and led them to the Stone Table much as Peter, alongside Jesus, helped the other disciples and led them.

The group saves Edmond just before the Witch kills him, and she vanishes into the landscape. The witch and Aslan make a deal that makes him very sad and depressed. The girls walk with him to the Stone Table where he tells them they must turn around and go back. The girls do not leave, but instead watch as the Witch tortures and kills Aslan, who has sacrificed his life for Edmond. The girls stay with Aslan all night and awake to the Stone Table being broken open and find that Aslan has risen from the dead. Aslan takes the girls to the castle where the prisoners in stone are freed. Aslan proceeds to kill the Witch and Peter’s troops finish off her followers.

Anyone who has ever read the bible or heard the story of Jesus can easily pick up on the parallel between Aslan sacrificing his life to save Edmond and Jesus sacrificing his life to save mankind. Aslan died and expunged Edmunds sin, allowing him to live. Christ died on the cross for the sins of humanity, allowing mankind to live. “The hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.” (Matthew 26:45) Aslan handed himself to the Witch as Jesus handed himself to the sinners.

The Stone Table played an important part in the story and references another important person in biblical history. “Moses … wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” (Exodus 35:29) Moses brought the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments the people to live by. When Aslan rises from the dead, in front of Susan and Lucy, and breaks the Stone Table it is a symbol of the old, cruel ways of our past being shattered and birth of the new, lighter times that lie ahead.

Susan and Lucy stay with Aslan all night after he dies and are there when he resurrects the next morning. For this they can be compared to Mary Magdeline and “the other Mary.” (Matthew 28:1) In both cases the two women were the first to find out about the resurrection and see the spirit of the saviors. “There was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.” (Matthew 28:2) Though it is not exactly alike, the similarities are strikingly close. “At that moment they heard from behind them a loud noise – a great cracking, deafening noise as if a giant had broken a giant’s plate.” (The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, pg158)

The story ends as the children grow up and reign over Narnia, until one day they return to the lamp post and fall back into the real world where they find that they have not aged at all. They tell Professor Kirke and he assures them that they will visit Narnia again.

The second of Lewis’ works that was analyzed was “The Magicians Nephew.” This story tells the tale of Polly and Digory, two neighbors who become friends. They follow secret caves and lead themselves to a house that they believe to be empty, but find that it is fully furnished and a man called Uncle Andrew lives there. Curiosity and temptation drive this story along and create an alliance between today’s world and the biblical times.

Uncle Andrew tells them of an experiment he is running, and gives Polly a yellow ring before he sends her home for dinner. She disappears to another world. Digory is determined to find her and takes the two green rings, that will get them out of the alternate world, and a yellow ring to get him into it. He found himself in a wooded area, similar to what the children in the first Narnia book entered into. Digory sees a girl under a tree, who says she has always been in this world, he also claims to be from the world. They see a guinea pig with a yellow ring and remember Uncle Andrew and the experiment.

This is the set up for the religious symbolism that is to show up for the remainder of the story. This book is compared to the book of Genesis from the bible. Uncle Andrew put a male and a female into a wooded area and had them thinking that they had always been there and that they were created to live there. They are mystified by the new worlds they have been put into and choose to venture around and figure out where everything goes before they go home. Adam and Eve also ventured around and figured out their surroundings when their adventure led them to the Garden of Eden.

As the children look around they find themselves in a hall with wax statues of people. They turn from kind and gentle to cruel and evil. The final figure is the most ferocious of all, beautiful but cruel. I believe Lewis is showing how at first Eden was perfect for Adam and Eve, but slowly and surely as Satan continued to pursue them it turned. The final figure is the forbidden fruit that eventually led them to perform the first sin and change life on earth forever.

Digory suggests that the pair check out a pillar in the center of the room. The pillar contains a small golden bell with a hammer to strike it. There is writing on the pillar suggesting that if they strike the bell there could be danger, and if they do not then they would go mad wondering what happens if they do ring the bell. Digory wants to do it, and though Polly objects, he does it anyway. Immediately there is an unbearably loud sound echoing throughout the hall and parts of the ceiling collapsed until the awful sound ended. Adam and Eve had a similar experience. “The serpent asked the woman, ‘Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent: ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit in the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'” (Genesis 3:1) The serpent proceeded to tell them that, “No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.” (Genesis 3:5) Eve ate the apple as Digory did and though the ceiling did not collapse, the world as they knew it certainly did.

When the pair thinks the incident is over, the fiercely beautiful creature rises from her chair and questions the children of her awakening. God found Adam and Eve after their incident and questions them of their awakening as well. “The Lord God said to the woman, why did you do such a thing?” (Genesis 3:13) The beautiful creature informs Digory that he is not of royal blood and wonders how he arrived there. Polly says it was by magic, and when Digory agrees she figures that he is not a magician, but has traveled on another’s magic. Uncle Andrew.

The Lion character of Aslan returns in this story, again as the Jesus or God figure. He sings a beautiful song that makes vegetation and animals begin to fill the wooded area and color the land. Everything that comes out of the ground hails the Lion, Aslan, knowing that he is in command. This is an obvious reference to God creating the world. “God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.” (Genesis 1:24) “God also said: ‘See, I give you every seed bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.” (Genesis 1:29) God created the earth and its vegetation, and Aslan brought vegetation to the land of Narnia.

Digory approaches Aslan in an attempt to learn a secret, perhaps a miracle that could save his sick mother. Aslan says that Digory must undo what he has done (letting the Witch out) and Digory again says he needs help for his mother, but sees that Aslan has tears in his eyes and shares his pain. This is a typical scene in the bible describing Jesus when asked for help. He always showed that he could feel the pain and that as those around him hurt, he also hurt.

For Digory to fix his mistake he is told to travel to west of Narnia and pick an apple from a tree that grows in a garden there and return it to Aslan. Polly goes along with Digory on this mission and when they arrive at the garden there is a message saying that they should only take fruit for others, and not for themselves. Digory picks a silver apple from the tree and encounters the witch who tries to manipulate him into picking another apple for his dying mother. She claims that Aslan does not care about his mother and wants the apple for Himself. This is a clear depiction of when Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

The interesting twist, however, is that Digory did not pick the extra apple but instead retreated and returned to Aslan to show that their task has been completed. Because Digory followed his directions he was able to take an apple for his dying mother. When he returned home, he fed her the apple, and buried some of it in the back yard where another beautiful apple tree grew. I believe Lewis did this because he wanted to update the story a little bit. It is possible to learn from the mistakes of the past and do the right thing in the future. Digory was tempted, but did not bite.

The story ends with a surprising connection to “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.” The tree that Digory planted in his yard was knocked down by a storm, and he could not bear to see it cut up and burned as fire wood. He decided to have it turned into a wardrobe to be placed in his old house in the country. Though he never knew that the tree truly did hold some magical properties a young girl in another story was sure to find it and travel between London and Narnia and have adventures of her own.

The final work from C.S. Lewis to be discussed is “The Last Battle.” This is the final story in the series and brings the progression to a full circle. “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” was based on gospel stories, “The Magician’s Nephew” was inspired by Genesis, and “The Last Battle” follows suit as it parallels the book of Revelation. This final chapter in the “Chronicles” is darker than the other stories, but because of the biblical references it only makes sense that this is how the series would end.

The story begins with Puzzle the donkey and Shift the ape sitting around a pool. A lion skin flies into the pool and Shift tells Puzzle to wear it and pretend that he is Aslan so Narnian’s would listen to his every command. Shift manipulates Puzzle into wearing the suit and pretending to be Aslan. Puzzle is a prime example of the type of idol that the bible warns us against. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath” (Exodus 20:4)

The story continues, but the really interesting connections do not come until the end. Characters from the previous books begin returning to Narnia. The final chapters of this book are almost identical to the final chapters in Revelations in the bible. In the story, Peter is told to lock the door to the old Narnia behind the group as they venture forward with a key that he was given. The bible has a similar idea. “Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss … he seized the dragon, the ancient serphant, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss, which he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray,” (Revelation 20:1) Peter plays the part of the angel and they both lock up the evils of the past as they move forward to a better future.

Narnia collapsed and was destroyed as it became nothing more than deserted land. Water crashed over the land and covered the area that was once the beloved Narnia in front of Aslan, just as “the earth and sky fled from his presence” in the bible. (Revelation 20:11) Aslan sat at the edge of this deserted area and all of the characters and creatures from Narnia, living and dead, ran to him to be judged and see if they would be sent to his left to disappear in his shadow forever or separated to his right to continue further up and further in. The bible reads, “I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.” (Revelation 20:12) The book of life is how their fate was decided just as looking into Aslan’s face was how Narnian’s fates were decided.

The characters followed through until they found themselves in a new Narnia. All realized that everything was more beautiful there. They saw England within England and could see Professor Kirke’s old house and even their parents. Again, the similarity is astounding. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” (Revelation 21:1)

They felt young again, as if they were children and could run around and do anything. They attempted to run to their parents, when Aslan appeared in front of them. Lucy voices concern about returning to their real worlds, and Aslan tells them that they are dead and can stay forever. He then turns from a Lion into a greater and more beautiful form. The children move westward and come to a new Narnia where they climb a high mountain and find a golden bridge. They continue through and many familiar faces from Narnia watch them as they travel further up and further in.

In a section titled, The New Jerusalem, another comparison is formed. “He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.” (Revelation 21:9) In both cases they are traveling to the gates of heaven where they will enter and spend eternity.

The religious symbolism throughout the chronicles is astounding. Lewis found a way to teach children tales from the Bible through fantasy and epic storytelling. The books have held through time and were found to be classics in children’s literature. The idea that the children passed from today’s world into a world when these issues were happening is both creative and impressive. Lewis created a way for children today to relate to the biblical stories and learn them without even realizing that they are doing it.

Works Cited

Lewis, C.S. The Last Battle. Macmillan Publishing. New York. 1956.

Lewis, C.S. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Macmillan Publishing. New York. 1950.

Lewis, C.S. The Magician’s Nephew. Macmillan Publishing. New York. 1955.

The New American Bible Saint Joseph, ed. Catholic Book Publishing, New York, 1970.

15 Time Management Tips for Writers

Many writers find time management at least a minor issue, while for others it may be a major issue, especially those who can never seem to find the time to write. The following tips may not completely get rid of all writing time management issues, but hopefully they will reduce the time management problems to a minimum.

  1. Track Your Time. If you find you simply have no idea where the time went on a consistent basis, then it's time to start tracking your time. Take a week or two to record how you spend your time from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed. Use a spiral notebook, split into columns: left hand column for the start and end time, middle column for a brief description of each activity, and the right hand column for the amount of time to complete that activity. Record the day and date at the top of each page. Then go through the journal to determine where you can shave time off activities (or remove them from your routine) in order to create more time for writing.
  2. Set Goals. Goals give writers something to aim for. It could be a minimum word or paragraph count per day, a minimum word or page count per week, or a minimum article count per month. Meeting your goals will keep your writing progress moving forward.
  3. Set Aside Time Just for Research. Having to keep stopping to research facts that you do not know disrupts any writing schedule, cuts down on the available writing time, and distracts writers from their writing goals. Set aside a regular time to research the information you need to do your writing for the week. Then your writing time will be available for writing only.
  4. Double Duty Research. When researching for an article or any other piece of writing, research with multiple stories in mind – both fiction and nonfiction. Ask yourself this question: "How many stories, articles, or novels can this information be used for?" This means you'll be getting the maximum amount of writing time off a minimum amount of research time.
  5. Use Research Time to Brainstorm Other Ideas. Use older research to brainstorm as many new ideas as possible. Once you've created a list of titles for the week, go through all your previous research on similar topics, and use it to fill in some of the details under each topic. This will reduce some of the research you will need to perform.
  6. Re-Slant or Update an Old Article . Dig up some of your old articles and brainstorm some ways to rewrite them from a different angle or to update the information, both of which will require only a minimum of additional research. Since most of the writing has already been done, your writing time for these "new" articles will be reduced somewhat because you will only need to rework what's already been written.
  7. Making Use of Waiting Rooms – and Other Time Wasters. There are plenty of times when we have to wait in a doctor's waiting room, wait in the school pickup line for our kids to get out of school, wait for our kids at gymnastics practice. Rather than just sitting there boredly looking though old magazines or eavesdropping on other peoples' even more boring cell phone calls, take your writing with you, either on laptop or handwriting with pen and paper. Make use of that otherwise wasted time by turning it into writing time. One of the great things about writing is that it is portable.
  8. Keep Pen and Paper with You at All Times. This allows you to make notes on all the new ideas that pop into your brain at the weirdest times. Other times, you may find that your mind is wandering, thinking about something other than writing, when suddenly, the solution appears for that problem you've been having with a particular piece. Write it down right now, while you're thinking about it. Then get to work fixing the problem on your next writing session.
  9. Send Yourself E-Mails. This is the e-version of having a pen and paper available. While taking care of the other business of life while on the computer – you know, paying the bills, making appointments, setting up the carpooling schedule – or making calls on your smart phone, an idea strikes you about the pieces you are working on. Send yourself an email while you're thinking about it, and then go onto complete your daily life essential chores.
  10. Take Breaks. Many of us have been trained to believe that we need to stay at our desks, writing, even though our minds and bodies are screaming for a break. At such times, we are not work at our most efficient levels, and consequently the words we're putting down on the page are not our best. We need to take occasional breaks to recharge our batteries. It may just be to take a bathroom break so we are not operating from a place of discomfort. Or we may need to take a lunch or an exercise break to feed and rejuvenate our brains and bodies, so we're awake and alert when we come back to the writing desk.
  11. Eat Right. Eating a healthy diet keeps our writers' brains in good working order. Do not skip meals, above all breakfast, and eat healthy snacks if your brain and body need them. Cut down on the caffeine. Too much will make you jittery, not alert. Cut down or cut out the alcohol. It does not make you a better writer, it only makes you an alcoholic who wastes too much valuable writing time being drunk, or at least buzzed.
  12. Keep Your Writing To-Do Flexible. At times, writers find that the pieces they've decided to work on during their writing periods, just is not working for them that day. But another piece is calling to them. There's no law that says you have to stick with a writing schedule exactly as you've planned it out. Sometimes it's more efficient to write the piece that's coming easily too you, and save the more difficult piece for a day when it will be easier to write.
  13. Balance Your Work Load. "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." I heard that one on the "Willie Wonka" movie, the Gene Wilder version. This is a much longer version of the "Take Breaks" rule above. This one calls for you to take a day off, or even a week or two, to take yourself away from the writing desk for a while. It begs you to take your mind completely off writing and spend time with your family, doing fun stuff like going on picnics, going swimming at the beach, or taking in a movie and playing board games. The only rule is that you're not allowed to write or even think about writing. You're only allowed to have fun, to balance out the working.
  14. Learn When to Say "No". Some writing jobs are not worth our time because (a) they do not pay enough, (b) they will take so much of your writing time that you will not have time for other paying jobs , or (c) they will require too much time away from your family. Learn to say "no" to these projects, unless there's a very good reason to say "yes." Also, writers need to learn to say "no" to friends and family who insist on calling "just to chat" during their regular writing periods. There are many good books and articles with excellent suggestions for how to handle these writing time intrusions, politely. They are worth the time to research.
  15. Time Wasters. Among the many time management problems writers run into are those personal demons known as time waters. The top time wasters include: procrastination, spending too much time on unproductive "stuff" that does not help us with our writing or anything else, spending too much time organizing and re-organizing our writing spaces and our writing schedules to-do lists , watching TV, answering e-mails, reading the newspaper, answering phone calls, reading (books, newspapers, magazines) instead writing, allowing interruptions, and the ever popular surfing the web. By cutting out these time wasters, or cutting them down to an absolute, strict minimum, we'll make more time for writing.

Driving Range Mats

If you want to improve your golf game practice on real grass. Driving range mats seem to be the norm today at golf courses. But are they good for your swing? It may be a cost effective move for golf courses but in my opinion they do not help the average golfer.

Unlike grass, driving range mats are firm causing different ball flights. Also, your feet seem to have a tendency to slip out from under you. When hitting irons, you can not take a divot. Instead you are picking the ball which creates a shallow swing. You are creating a bad habit. A divot is created on regular grass when you go down into the ball, striking the ball first. You can not get the same result off of artificial turf. So, you are not getting the proper feedback that you need to correct any mistakes.

The whole purpose of practice is to get feedback and correct mistakes. You are not going to be able to accomplish this by hitting balls off of artificial turf. You want to fine tune your game instead of creating bad habits. Another problem I seem to have is that after a session on these mats my wrists ache and my club heads are green and scuffed up.

The only positive I see might be hitting your driver off of the rubber tee. If you can control your balance then I see nothing wrong with practicing with your driver. My recommendation is to find a grassy area to practice or play a 9 hole course. This way you will not be picking up bad habits from hitting golf balls off of driving range mats.

Adding Bamboo Blinds Can Enhance Your Room Design

There are many different aspects when it comes to decorating and home decorations. When thinking about interior designing there are many different aspects that need to be considered. Some of those basic things will include the current furniture in the home and even the carpeting. One aspect that should be considered in interior designing is the blinds. Bamboo blinds will work with an Oriental design as well as have their place in modern and even traditional interior designs as well.

When you decide that you would like to spice up your living space or even make your home look different there are many different sources of information that can be used to find the best solution that will fit with your home. You can find ideas in decorating magazines as well as doing a simple internet search which will bring up thousands of ideas. If you do not already have a general idea of ​​what you would like, these sources can spark your creativity.

One item that you can bring into almost any interior design is bamboo blinds. Blinds are good for blocking light or even only letting in a certain amount of light. They can also be used to give a person some privacy in their home while still looking fashionable. Bamboo blinds are the perfect addition to many homes and they can be adapted to fit many different designs as well. Most people take pride in their homes and they want them to look as beautiful as possible. These blinds will allow a person to add that extra "oomph" to their home and to their windows.

There are many different ways that you can purchase these blinds. One way is to have the blinds already precut. You will want to measure your windows before you make your purchase to ensure they are the correct size. You may even want to ask about professional installation. You can also purchase custom blinds as well. If you have an oddly shaped window or are unable to find the right size, you may need to spend a little bit more to purchase custom blinds.

You can purchase these blinds at a local home store, a department store, or even online. Purchasing blinds online can be tricky because you can not see the product in person. One benefit of purchasing blinds online is the fact that you can shop around for the best price for the blinds that you like. You will also be able to read other customer's reviews on that product.

These blinds can make a wonderful addition to your home. You will want to make sure that you do the proper research and ask any questions you may have. You will also want to make sure that you know how to properly install these blinds or get professional installation to ensure that they make the perfect addition to your home.

Redecorate My Bedroom With A New Theme

So are you tired of looking at the same dull room every day? You want something that is new and fresh and will keep you in a peaceful and tranquil state of mind. There are many themes if you have been saying or thinking “I want to redecorate my bedroom.” These themes are the basic themes for a bedroom but there are many more themes you can choose from. The theme you choose will solely depend on your own style, tastes, and subsequently your budget.

Traditional themed bedrooms are great for people who like the traditional style of things. These bedrooms consist of very dark woods and subtle colors. You may choose to have wallpaper on your walls or choose a very calming and neutral wall paint color. Traditional themed rooms look great with sleigh beds or canopy beds. These types of beds really bring out the traditionalism of the room and give it the look you are searching for. Also, if you do not care for carpeting in your bedroom, hardwood floors will make your traditional themed bedroom stand out even more.

Modern themed bedrooms are also a great choice for a new bedroom design. Modern bedrooms utilize very clean and sleek lines. They are very minimalistic and have a calming effect due to the organization and lack of clutter. Platform beds are very popular with modern bedrooms. These bedrooms make use of stainless steel and glass. You can also find a variety of shapes for furniture and accessories that will fit into anyone’s eclectic tastes.

Ethnic themed bedrooms are also a great trend that many people are using for their rooms. Ethnic bedrooms can differ from a variety of cultures. Some people love the look of Asian inspired bedrooms. These bedrooms are utilizing traditional Asian inspired furniture and accessories to make their bedroom look like something out of a top star Tokyo hotel. You may also like to use other ethnic themes such as African or Middle Eastern cultural pieces for the feel that you want.

Now that you have learned about the different themes you should have now problems picking a theme. You can now say I will redecorate my bedroom this year and give yourself a much needed gift. It will be the gift of piece and there is nothing like a gift to yourself, especially if that gift will involve where you will get the most rest and relaxation.

How to Set Up a Tent

When camping the tent pitching process is often a source of amusement, agitation and argument. Here is my guide to pitching a tent – and a big tent at that.

1.Appoint a leader to organise the pitching process. Someone needs to take control, the person who takes control will be knowledgeable, assured, bossy, increasingly stressed and eventually resented.

2.Take the tent out of the car, you will find it located at the back of your boot, underneath your clothes, sleeping bags, chairs, cool box and dog.

3.Get the kids to find a suitable place to pitch the tent. Ideally they will be looking for somewhere flat and free from sharp objects (which could put a hole in the tent and are uncomfortable to sleep on if you are unlucky enough to have to sleep on the ground.)

4.Unpack the tent from the bag. Check you have the outer, inner (s), frame and pegs. You also need a mallet so send the kids searching for a brick to act as your mallet. When they come back with a twig, resist shouting at them since it may upset them and their productivity will drop.

5.Whilst the kids are looking for a brick choose a new place to pitch the tent. If they ask why you decided to pitch the tent here rather than there, resist telling them the real reason (that you are a control freak) and amaze them with your technical knowledge of mole hills, tree hazards and flooding risks.

6.Without using a patronising voice, start instructing your assistant (wife) to put the frame together. When your assistant says she does not know what bits go where do not shout, it will not help. Use your spatial skills to recognise what shapes go where on the tent plan and do it yourself. Failing this a trial and error method, although slow, can work over time. Some nice tent companies have colour coded the poles so that you know what bit joins to what. Whatever method you decide to follow, only erect the roof of the frame and keep the legs of the frame bent at the knees.

7.Shout at the kids to stop messing around and try to be useful.

8.Inform your assistant that it is not your fault that the tent instructions are rubbish.

9.Get everyone to drag the outer over the assembled frame (with its legs bent at the knees) feel proud that your family have worked as a team and use this moment to apologise for losing your temper.

10.Lift the tent corner by corner, straightening the legs. Implore your assistant to stop being so weak.

11.With your tent up, align it so that it looks square. Whilst doing this notice that it has begun raining and your sleeping bags and clothing are getting soaked. Drop everything and throw it all in the car.

12.Leaving the kids in the car to play (or fight), continue by pegging the outer to the ground. Pull out the guy ropes and peg these out as well. Before starting hammering with a brick it might be a good idea to empty the car again and find your first aid kit.

13.Having pegged down the tent notice that you left the tent door open. Try to close the door, when it does not close re-peg the tent. Blame the wasted time on your assistant.

14.Take the sodden inner into the tent. Unroll and gradually clip the inner into position, starting from the least accessible corner and working toward the most accessible. You are almost there, so take this opportunity to kiss and make up.

15.With the tent up, all that needs doing is the ground sheet, cooker, table and chair and bed areas. The kids can really help now, so do not blow it by shouting at them for flattening the car battery whilst they have been messing around in the car, besides you'll need everyone to search for the dog.

Campers will tell you that putting up a tent can be quite memorable, but if you prefer a simpler camping holiday without the hassle consider a camping holiday with Go Camping UK.

Replacing Damaged Bricks

Cracked, broken or frost-damaged bricks are best replaced completely. But make sure that you know what has caused the damage before you attempt to repair it – it may be indicative of a serious problem.

Extensive cracking, for example, may be due to subsidence which requires major attention. It’s worth getting specialist advice on brick problems which extend over a significant area, rather than trying to patch the damage. And never attempt to remove more than about 10 bricks, since a large area of unsupported brickwork will need propping while you replace the damaged bricks.

Replacing a small area of damaged bricks is not a particularly difficult task, but there are certain things you will have to bear in mind when doing this.

If you are dealing with a cavity wall, you must be careful not to let any large pieces of brick or mortar fall into the cavity; it may create a moisture bridge and cause problems with penetrating damp.

You must also make sure that the replacement bricks match the rest of the brickwork and that the pointing style is consistent with the rest of the wall. If your house is an old one and the brickwork is weathered, use second hand replacements so that the new area doesn’t look out of place. You can buy old bricks fairly easily from demolition sites or builders’ yards, though you may have to remove the old mortar and clean them before they can be used.

You need mortar for laying the bricks and pointing the joints. For a small amount of brickwork, it’s generally easiest to buy a bag of ready-mixed mortar. But make sure this is the type for bricklaying.

  1. To remove a damaged brick, start by drilling closely spaced holes into the mortar joints around the edge. You need a masonry bit about 10mm in diameter and a powerful electric drill – preferably one with a hammer action.
  2. Chip away any remaining mortar using a bolster or thin cold chisel and club hammer. Run the chisel along each side of the brick to work it free and clear of mortar.
  3. It may be possible to lever the brick out in one piece, but if not, use the bolster to break it up. This makes it much easier to remove, but again take care that pieces don’t drop down the cavity by mistake.

When you have removed the first brick, it is much simpler to prise out any others without too much chipping. But if you are dealing with a solid wall built from two thicknesses of bricks they will still be held by the inner layer and the job is less easy. In this case you will have to break up the bricks with a chisel and club hammer.

Once all the damaged bricks have been removed, clean up the surrounding mortar joints ready for laying the new bricks.

After brushing away the loose debris, remove any stubborn mortar with a wire brush. Finally, use a soft brush to get rid of all the dust and dirt. If the area is not cleaned out, you will find that the fresh mortar will not tie in properly.

  1. Dampen the surrounding bricks with water to stop them sucking the water out of your bricklaying mortar too quickly. Spread the dry mortar mix on a board and make a small depression in it so you can slowly add water from the centre. Add dry mix from the outside until all the water is absorbed. Repeat until you have a firm but workable mortar mix.
  2. Use a bricklaying trowel to pick up some of the fresh mortar and spread it along the base of the hole in the wall to a thickness of about 10mm.
  3. Then slap a layer of mortar on the top and sides of the first brick and spread it to a similar thickness as in the hole. Fit the first brick carefully into the wall, making sure that it is flush with the face. Press it firmly into place so that the mortar holds it to the adjacent bricks. Repeat the process until all bricks are in position.
  4. This can be quite tricky as you manoeuvre the last brick into place, so make sure there is plenty of mortar in the gap and use the trowel handle to tap the brick into position. Take care not to drop any mortar down the cavity as you do so. You can use any remaining mortar to fill in large gaps around the new bricks. Leave for a few hours to harden.
  5. Next, mix up some mortar for the pointing, and make good all the mortar joints, pressing it in with the blade of the trowel. Make sure the pointing is consis¬tent with the rest of the wall.

When the mortar has almost dried, clean off any traces of mortar on the bricks by brushing hard with a wire brush.

If this fails to remove all the debris, you can get special chemical brickwork cleaner. The solution is extremely corrosive to the skin, so take great care when using it. Brush the solution on and wait until the effervescent action stops. Then wash it off with clean water. Finally, clean up the entire area with a soft brush.

If the surrounding brickwork is fairly old, it may take some time for the new bricks to blend in, even if you have managed to buy replacement bricks from a demolition yard. If this is the case, disguise the area by erecting trelliswork over it and planting some climbing plants.

Never allow the plants to attach themselves directly to the wall, however, for although they look attractive, they can cause extensive damage if their roots are allowed to penetrate any loose spots in the pointing.

Apartment Rentals: The Dos and Don’ts of Looking for Cheap Apartment Rentals

Are you looking for an apartment to rent, but are you also on a tight budget? If so, most of your focus is going to be on finding cheap apartment rentals. As you know, these cheap rentals do have their pros and cons. When shopping around for living arrangements that you can afford, please keep these dos and don’ts in mind.

DO know that cheap rentals do exist. It is common for us to automatically assume that cheap apartment rentals are nothing but a dump. Yes, some of these units are less than appealing; however, you will come across a number of legitimate affordable units, rooms, and houses for rent. For example, lets say that a little old lady is renting a room out. She is more looking to have someone on the property with her for safety reasons than to say make a profit. For this reason, she is likely to charge a cheap rental rate.

DON’T forget that rental scams do exist. If you use a website like Craigslist to search for apartments for rent, you may come across a few scams. Many of these scams attempt to grab your attention with cheap rates. Many times scammers steal legitimate listings from another landlord or a real estate listing online. The number one rule of renting any apartment (regardless of the price) is to schedule a showing inside; make sure it exists that that you will be handing money to a legitimate person and not a scammer.

DO inquire about additional costs. Sometimes a rental unit looks cheap upfront, but when you look closer the actual cost of renting the place is high. For example, say you are used to renting apartments with utilities included. If you typically pay $1,500 with utilities included, an apartment listed at $1,200 sounds cheap; that is until you learn you must pay for your heat, hot water, electric, garbage, and parking. All costs, aside from your television, internet, and phone extras, should be figured in with your overall rental costs.

DON’T be afraid to do a head to toe inspection of the property. As previously stated, there are a lot of cases in which rent is low because the apartment for rent is a dump. It is okay to rent a less than par place if you know this going in; it is your decision. What you don’t want to do is find a crappy apartment that needs a lot of repairs; repairs that weren’t too visible at first. A landlord who attempts to hide these repairs or rent out the establishment as-is likely isn’t going to be one who comes around often to fix those issues. Consider a dump being advertised for rent as a possible slum apartment.

DO checkout the neighborhood and speak to the neighbors. Another common reason why cheap apartments are found is due to the neighborhood. Areas with high crime or bad neighbors often have dirt cheap prices because the landlords knows that without this steep price difference no one is going to give their rentals a second look. Before you sign the lease, meet with the neighbors. If renting a single family or multi-family home, consider driving by the rental at various hours throughout the day to catch different glimpses.

DON’T forget to closely review the lease. In fact, when doing so make sure that rental costs and increases are covered. You will occasional find that some legitimate landlords, but borderline scammers, raise the rental fees up a hundred dollars after a couple of months. Make sure your lease mentions that your rental fees are locked in for the length of your lease. This ensures your cheap rental stays cheap.