How to Taste Wine – 4 Steps You Need to Know

Do you know that some wine tasters are able to tell what kind of grape was used to make a wine? What about the regions that it comes from? Yes, professional wine tasters would be able to tell you these things and more just by tasting the wine.

Even if such extreme knowledge about wine seems to be far fetch for you, you can learn how to taste wine and impress your guests.

Tasting wine is learning and discovering about this particular wine. The first element that will help you to know more about it is the label. Knowing how to read the label is essential to start with.

The label

Labels will usually tell you a great deal about the content of the bottle. The label should feature the year of the harvest, the grape kind used, the region where it comes from, it’s classification, the name and address of the producer, its alcohol level and if it’s a dry or sweet wine.

The label is the best information you can get about a wine before tasting it.

Tasting with your eyes

Wine is best drunk from a tulip shape glass which helps concentrate the aromas. Pour a small half of a glass and tilt it gently to have a good look at the liquid. You should see a clear wine free of any kind of deposits or dust. Whatever its color, white or red, a good wine should always be clear.

Testing with your sense of smell

Once you’ve poured your wine in a glass, give it a swirl to release the aroma and then stick your nose into the glass, but away from the liquid. Smell steadily and gently as if you were smelling a flower. The more you smell wine for testing the better you will develop a smell memory bank. Soon you will be able to recognize a wine from its smell.

Tasting with your taste buds

Now it’s time to taste the wine in your mouth. It might be news to you, but the tongue is not the best testing instrument in your mouth. The real testing happens at the very back of the mouth. This is why you might have seen wine tasters gargle the wine for a few seconds before spitting it out. Professional tasters do have to spit the wine they are testing in order to remain sober all through the day. As for you, if you are testing just a single bottle, you might want to just swallow.

You can also literally chew on the wine as if it was a piece of food and letting it coat your tongue. This will give you all the aroma of the wine; its acidity, its body, its sweetness and so on.

Testing wine may start as a fun game, but as you get better at it, you might become expert at it.

Keep Animals and Insects Away From Patio Furniture

Once you have acquired the perfect set for you, the last things you want are animals and insects ruining your outdoor furniture. There are a couple solutions to keeping these annoying animals and bugs off your patio furniture.

Bugs Be Gone

Flies buzzing around your head can distractingly interrupt spending some relaxing time on your patio and mosquitoes biting your skin. An effective way to keep these annoying bugs away is to buy a zip up screen to place around your patio set. You can buy these at almost all stores that sells patio furniture and items for the backyard. These nets come in different colors, shapes and sizes to suit your taste and your needs.

Some nets fasten with ties while others zip shut. These nets allow you and your company to delight in your outdoor furniture and beautiful weather without the hassle of stray animals and annoying insects. If you would rather a net that covers your entire yard instead of only a little section, these are also available. If a net is a little to costly for you then you could simply spray yourself and the furniture down with bug spray but remember that bug sprays may be cause harm to animals.

Keep Cats Away

These annoying animals are especially bad for making themselves a nice comfortable bed on your furniture cushions. The cat hair left behind can be smelly and dirty. This does not help with keeping your patio furniture clean and looking its best. Pet stores will usually carry humane stay away sprays that will keep the cats away safely so they do not get hurt in any way. Cats cannot stand the smell of these sprays and will be sure to turn away once they get close enough to smell it.

If you do not want to use sprays then you might want to try a helpful home remedy. Cats hate tin foil so simply place a little on your cushions to keep them away. On windier days, you may want to weigh the foil down with a heavy item that will not blow away.

Another way to keep these annoying animals away is to buy a dog. Everyone knows that most cats and dogs are natural born enemies and cats prefer to stay away from dogs completely. Although by having a dog, you risk having dog hair on your furniture instead of cat hair.

If a dog is not an option, then taking your furniture in at night is a definite way to make sure cats stay off the furniture. While this is an effective way to keeping annoying animals away, it is a lot of work and kind of a pain so a patio cover may be a better option.

How to Make a Go Kart Stable – Factors of Go Kart Stability

The other day I was watching a You-Tube video with two kids riding a go kart with a roll cage. It was plunking along solidly when they took a hard corner and rolled the go cart.

That is one of the most frightening aspects of vehicle dynamics, rolling and flipping.

What causes it?

Good question, because there are a couple of factors that go into go kart stability.

To understand vehicle dynamics first the consideration of what the vehicle is expected to do must be considered.

The go kart that flipped had a 4 wheel independent suspension, which can give a false security of stability. If anything, it increases instability.

The factors of stability are:

– Wheel Base

– Center of Gravity

– Power

– Tires

– Speed.

In the case of the rolling go kart, it had two things working against it from the outset:

– Too many riders

– Too high of a center of gravity.

Additionally, when a corner is taken with a suspension go kart, the suspension gives on the side of the corner, causing the center of gravity to have an easier time to roll the go kart.

I call this the book case diagram. What?! Yes the book case diagram.

We have all seen the extremely funny movies where some yahoo pushes on a book case in a library and causes a domino effect on all of the bookcases in the library.

We can sense that the book case is highly unstable. In fact we know that if the bookcase were put back down full of books, that there is no way that you could tip it in any direction, you would have to take all the books out to even lift it.

The same goes for center of gravity locations on go karts or vehicles: the lower the center of gravity the better. In fact, if you could get the center of gravity below the pavement you would be really onto something!

The width of the go kart also comes into play. The wider the more stable the go kart is in cornering.

The actual calculation for stability comes into play using the width of the go kart, the height of the center of gravity, and speed of the go kart.

The force in cornering increases by the square of the speed of the go kart. So you increase your chances for flipping exponentially as you increase speed.

In order to keep a go kart stable, the speed, the height of the Center of gravity and the width of the go kart must be considered and designed into the go kart properly.

Libyan Desert Glass Tektite – Ancient Gemstone of the Pharaohs and Cosmic Bridge Builder of Love

The paraphrased words on Moldavite from “Love is in the Earth” author, Melody: “A pathway of inter-dimensional access to the highest Galactic energies, bringing higher thought forms and patterns through to the Earth plane. A multi-dimensional passage into other realms” equally apply to Libyan Desert Glass. The difference between the two being that Libyan Desert Glass is said to operate with direct focus on the Vishudda (throat) and Anahata (heart) centers, rather than operating in the higher Chakra realms. This quality of its essence creates a source and contact for universal love and harmony, as it acts as a channel for bringing Cosmic energies directly into the center of being. It is for this reason that Libyan Desert Glass was the jewel of Tutankhamen, designed to be worn over the heart in his breastplate, making it a highly sought out gemstone of the pharaohs and royalty.

As a tektite, it is very unusual in being nearly clear and a beautiful pale yellow to green and sometimes with touches of amber to greenish brown color. The vast majority of tektites (natural glass rocks up to a few centimeters in size, which scientists say are formed by the impact of large meteorites on Earth’s surface) are black, with the exception of the beautiful cosmic green Moldavite. This shining impact Libyan Desert Glass ranges from opaque to translucent. Sometimes golden in hue and even with white opaque areas, Libyan Desert Glass also varies in surface texture from having an extremely smooth quality to being covered with small to medium sized, circular indentations, reminiscent of the lunar surface.

Known to scientists since the 1930’s, it is believed, according to scientific knowledge, that this tektite emerged from a collision of a meteorite with Earth nearly 29 million years ago (about 28.5 to be more precise) and is found only in a remote area of the Great Sand Sea of Egypt near the Libyan border. Relatively abundant, they are found in massive deposits with some estimates saying there may be as much as 40,000 tons of it lying on the surface of the desert amongst a small area measuring approximately 130 x 52 km. To others, the origin of Libyan Desert Glass still remains a mystery, with some attributing their existence to an ancient nuclear explosion, others to involvement with extraterrestrial activities, some believing they are pieces of our moon, but modern science explains their creation as result of a meteor impact, although no crater of suitable size or other evidence in support of this has ever been found nearby. Regardless of their mysterious creation, it is for sure they are of extraterrestrial origin.

Libyan Desert Glass is an exceptionally pure form of primarily silica glass formed at extremely high temperatures, too high for normal volcanic activity. According to the impact theory of a meteor striking the Earth’s sand, which is also composed of primarily silica (silicon dioxide), it caused a fusion of sand with intense heat and pressure. Yet, there is research that supports this theory to be incorrect based on homogeneity studies, which in summary show that thin segments of thousands of studied tektites were found to be virtually free of structural inclusions, except for small bubbles. Impact glasses, such as obsidian, will always contain terrestrial inclusions due to the impact of Earth by heated material. Noted homogeneity also was found in individual tektites discovered side by side or fused together exhibiting significant differences.

This, along with typical meteoric material and the high iridium content (an indicator for extraterrestrial origin) being present indicate their classing as tektite, but it may also be that these tektites were formed by a glancing blow from some large extraterrestrial object. The truth may never be known, but there is much speculation and disagreement, you can imagine. Regardless, this ancient stone has been around for quite some time.

The Stone-Age people knew this tektite very well, discovering the glass in the Paleolithic period and lived in the area hundreds of thousands of years ago before it became desert. They had pragmatic ways of using the stone in tools, where it was used as substitute for flint stone in the form of sharp blades and graters. Yet, its the ancient Egyptians that found less practical uses for this “special” stone, as they considered it to be very precious and to hold powerful energy. By the time of the great Egyptian Pharaohs, the area was only accessible by hardy nomads who must have traded regularly with those living in the Nile valley. Therefore, due to its rarity and esoteric value, it became part of religious objects such as the scarab-carved amulet of Tutankhamen, as the centerpiece of his pectoral breastplate. For it to have been carved in the form of a scarab, which is the symbol of the Sun-god Ra, would seem to indicate that the ancient Egyptians were aware of its powerful cosmic connections that this stone draws in.

Today, Libyan Desert Glass is not only a valued and pricey gem beauty for collectors, but its esoteric energies attributed to this “rock of the god” are vastly potent. Its high costs are attributed to the cost of retrieving it on remote expedition from the uninhabitable desert. Yet, its amazing qualities, priced similarly to Moldavite, are well worth the cost to at least own one in your collection. Only recently have those working with stones and crystals started to realize and understand the huge potential that these unique tektites offer.

Some of the metaphysical properties include a long and prosperous life, balancing of male and female polarities, stimulating growth and karmic completion, strengthening the auric field, facilitating communication between the third dimension and the origin of the gem, tool for meditating and connecting with other realms and advanced consciousness, stimulating increased cosmic flow, which can result in acceleration of heart rate, spacey feeling and out-of-body experiences, strengthening and energizing the heart and chest areas and said to bring the holder great luck by ancient cultural belief. It is also a stone of teaching and resonates strongly with the energy of the Hermit card of the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck; the wise teacher who looks within for answers of the universe and receives in silence.

The way that they create inter-dimensional connections between many realms, lends energy to seeing them as “bridge builders” helping to integrate and harmonize all of existence through heart-blending at a universal, collective consciousness level. This energy, amongst others, will become increasingly important and essential as we shift our consciousness and vibrations into that of the new Golden Age of being.

Sea Eagle Foldcat 375fc Review

If you’re playing with the thought of upgrading your boat then take a glance at the Sea Eagle Foldcat 375fc. Too many boats out there promise you comfort and promise you reliability, but rarely does one actually come through with these promises. Therefore, it’s crucial to research and learn which qualities are most relevant for you when it comes to a boat.

The Sea Eagle Foldcat 375fc is the boat that’s advertised as being able to go from car to fishing in only five minutes. It’s a two person boat weighing in at only 75 pounds making it easy to transport, and also doesn’t get waterlogged. Overall, the lightweight of it makes maneuvering the boat quite easy and it’s never awkward like most boats are. The set up doesn’t require much so it literally will be from car to fishing in only a few minutes. You just have to unfold the system, inflate both suns, and saltwater resistant, 1000 denier reinforced pontoons and your assembly is complete.

As convenient as can be this boat can fit inside of a full sized car trunk when folded. The folding frame essentially removes almost all of the assembly time as well as allowing the transportation of your boat to be a painless accomplishment. The fold up feature might seem unnecessary to some, until you actually consider how much of a struggle it is getting your boat to the fishing waters. The fold up feature is inventive and accessible for everyone, even if you have a small vehicle.

This boat has two built in 360 degree swivel, cushioned, snap/on or off seat. The seats are incredibly comfortable allowing you to fish all day without feeling cramped or uncomfortable. The motor mounts offers electric trolling motor or gas motor all the way up to 3 HP. There’s a catamaran hull design and aluminum frame that supplies a sturdy fishing platform. The platform is significant in the way it can please fishermen that like to stand or sit, so nobody has to compromise. Even with the Sea Eagle Foldcat 375fc being a fairly light boat it’s can still hold its own. It’s stable enough for you to stand on and fish off of without any concern of falling in the water.

Now the price might seem slightly scary if you’ve never invested in a boat before. The price comes in it at 1300 dollars; however this is actually quite a buy. Most boat will come in several hundred dollars more and not be as easy to use and transport. With the light weight and sturdy floor and the fold up abilities, this boat truly provides you with everything.

For those that don’t want quality to be a put on the backburner then look into the Sea Eagle Foldcat 375fc. This boat will cater to you and insure your fishing trip is everything you want it to be. With the price, the features, and the name brand, you’re fishing adventures will never have to be less than perfect again.

What Is Summit Fever?

If you have ever thought about climbing Mount Everest then it is very likely that you will know all about the term Summit Fever. Many people have described it as an anticipation to reach the top of the mounting disregarding safety, and ethics, among other things. However, is Summit Fever a real thing? Or is it just a myth that was created to explain the actions of some climbers over the past couple of decades? Well, there are several theories that explain the so called Summit Fever.

There have been many examples of where Summit Fever has been mentioned in the media over the past couple of years that definitely do not paint the climbers in a positive light. For example, if you have read up about Mount Everest then you will probably have heard about Green Boots Cave. The reason this area of the Death Zone on Mount Everest is called this is because there is a body of a climber in this area who has been nicknamed Green Boots, because of his luminous green climbing boots.

Several years ago there was a story running about come climbers who had come across Green Boots, which of course, they were already expecting to do. However, when they reached Green Boots they discovered what they thought was another corpse. However, it was actually a climber who was still alive, called Sharp. The climbers and the Sherpa decided that there was nothing that they could do for Sharp as he was past saving, and they continued on their way up to the top of Mount Everest. Several more climbers also came across Sharp, but still continued up the mountain in the aim of getting to the top. However, this raises several questions.

Why didn’t they put a halt to their expedition and try to get help for the stricken climber? He had no sleeping bag, and no radio to call for help himself. This is one of the cases in which Summit Fever has been mentioned. Another is the case of a young woman who although she knew that she was in trouble, carried on up the mountain anyway. Other climbers have said that Summit Fever was the cause of her death. There are several things that have been mentioned as to why these climbers did what they did, even though it cost them their life, or someone else’s life.

Some people have suggested that it is in part due to the fact that the cost of climbing Mount Everest is thousands of pounds, which makes the climber want to achieve what they came there to achieve. Others have said that climbers do not want to return as a failure. Whatever the reason, Summit Fever certainly raises questions about the ethics of mankind, and also the common sense. Surely if these climbers knew that they were in danger, or that someone else was in danger then they would have done something about it to prevent anything bad from happening? Apparently not.

DEWALT Introduces New Line of Compact 20V Lithium-Ion Power Tools

Not long after their release of the immensely popular 12V MAX line, this September DEWALT is dropping another bomb on the power tool community. In the form of a remastered 20V line of compact and innovative power tools, DEWALT intends to make your work-load lighter and your time on the job more comfortable and more efficient.

The new 20V MAX line includes seven power tools (and a worklight) redesigned, essentially, from the ground up: the DCD740C1 compact right angle drill kit, the DCD780C2 compact drill-driver kit (1.5-Ah), the DCD785C2 compact hammer-drill-driver kit, the DCD980L2 premium drill-driver kit (3.0-Ah), the DCD985L2 premium hammer-drill-driver kit, the DCF885C2 compact 1/4″ impact driver kit (1.5-Ah), DCF885L2 1/4″ impact driver kit (3.0-Ah), the DCS380L1 reciprocating saw kit (3.0-Ah), the DCS391L1 circular saw kit (3.0-Ah), the DCH213L2 3-mode SDS rotary hammer kit (3.0-Ah), and the DCL040 LCD worklight.

Of course, with this release there are more than a handful of things that require mentioning, I, however, feel obligated to begin with the actual voltage of the tools themselves. Many of you may be questioning that 20V badge that introduces these power tools and the truth of it is, despite that label, the 20V line still produces the same 18V of power. The initial battery voltage may very well be 20V, but the nominal voltage, or the actual voltage output, is still the standard 18V, no different from DEWALT’s former 18V platform (that debuted in 1996) and no different from the 18V lines of competing manufacturers.

I should also note that unlike the previous 18V platform’s focus on backwards compatibility, the 20V MAX battery is not compatible with DEWALT’s other 18V volt stem-style battery system. Coming in a 1.5-Ah and a 3.0-Ah version, though, the 20V batteries are compatible with each other (so to speak); they can be charged from the same charger and can be used interchangeably between 20V MAX tools. In other words, whether your drill-driver came with a 3.0-Ah or a 1.5-Ah battery, you can use either battery with that tool and you can charge both batteries in the same place.

These 20V batteries also come with a 3-year warranty and boast up to 35% longer run-time and up to 57% faster charging cycles. The batteries, with their slide-on rather than stem-up design, are also considerably lighter-weight and contribute significantly to the tools’ overall ergonomics. In part, these batteries are so much more compact because their module (or the electronics that control them) has been moved out of the actual battery and into the tool. This renders the battery more efficient and less expensive to the end-user.

So, despite that bit of tricksy name-gaming (which, according to DEWALT, is strictly to avoid compatibility confusion), the power tools of the new MAX release offer notable innovations that nonetheless separate the 20V MAX line from the former (but certainly not gone or forgotten) 18V platform.

For starters, and also like the 12V MAX line, these 20V tools are compact and streamlined for a thinner, more ergonomic grip and for altogether better comfort on the job. Sure, the speed and power improvements of these 20 volters are modest to say the least, but the tools’ ergonomics and cosmetic enhancements are not to shake a stick at. Each tool is ideally balanced and boasts a lightweight and compact design comfortable for extended, awkward, or close-quarter applications. DEWALT has also incorporated 3-LED lights to improve visibility and accuracy in virtually any working condition.

DEWALT’s 20V line is high-performance and, without a doubt, takes that high-performance standard seriously. These tools are aggressive yet smooth, powerful yet controllable, and they offer a sleek professional power tool to those looking to upgrade their existing 18V equipment or for those who simply have a bug for fancy power tools. For those who have no interest in this new line, however, DEWALT claims they will maintain the former 18V platform and continue improving upon it (within the limits of its stem-style battery design) until the demand for this platform disappears.

Cultural Diversity in Nigeria: A Blessing or a Curse?

Cultural diversity is a phrase generally used in describing a society with people of different ethnic roots which manifest in their languages, mode of dressing, arts, as well as other traditional practices which are either similar or distinctively different from each group. Such traditional practices are highly valued and held with great admiration among people of an ethnic group. In Nigeria for instance, when it comes to dressing a core northerner is identified with a starchy ironed fez as a cap. In the western part of Nigeria which is dominated by Yoruba ethnic group, people generally sew their cap in a long style which is neatly folded when worn on the head. On the other hand, in the eastern side of the country the Ibo are know for their red cap which is traditional worn (but mostly) by title holders. Other minority ethnic groups within the middle belt region like the Tiv, Ngas, Idoma, Nupe, etc, also have unique cultural attributes which help in recognizing their cultural roots when appeared in the public. For example, the Tiv people in Nigeria are widely known for their a’nger, a unique traditional costume (fabric), lineally sewn in black and white features, which is generally worn by Tiv people to identify with their cultural origin.

The picture created above is that of a cultural mosaic or congress of cultures consensually residing in one community called Nigeria. However, to express how culturally diversified Nigeria is, there is need to have mental cross-section of Kaduna state which has, over the years, remained a unifying point for varying cultures.

Kaduna state is an epitome of a highly diversified sub-political entity in Nigeria with over fifteen tribes/ethnic groups. Apart from the Hausas, which dominate the northern part of the state, there are a lot of minority tribes/cultural groups settling in different parts of Kaduna state. For example, the southern part of the state has Kagoro, Moro’a, Jaba, Fantsuan, Kataf, Baju, Gbagi, Kagoma, Mada, Ninzam, Attakar, Fulani, Attukur, Koro etc. All these tribes/ethnic groups mentioned above have cultural attributes which are similar in practice or remarkable different from each other. Kagoro ethnic group, for instance, set aside January 1 of every year to celebrate her people and culture. In every Kagoro Day (1st January), there are a lot of cultural display: Dance, costumes, arts, etc. The event draws people from various parts of the country especially sons and daughters of Kagoro as well as highly dignifying chiefs within Nigeria.

On the other hand, the disparities within the ethnic groups have existed for a long time. Even in the history of Nigeria, one may agree with the writer that it was the cultural or ethnic differences which propelled polarize ideologies that made indirect rule during the colonial era to be successful in the north and failed in the south. Also, it was the manifestation of such differences that made the people of the southern part of Nigeria to demand for independence in 1958 when the northern representatives said they are not ready. After independence was finally achieved in 1960, many ethnic groups have shown secession tendencies. Some of these secession moves by some ethnic groups lead to a full blown civil war while others were overtaken by dialogue for the achievement of peace and development in the areas concerned.

All these have shown that Nigeria as a nation was created out of sheer colonial enforcement, to achieve control of peoples as well as to maximized resources within the carved boundary of the colonial sub-entity in Africa. This, however, made her peoples (tribes/ethnic groups) to be bounded together in ‘fate’. Fate in the sense that, the differences inherent in the groups have given rise to so many crisis: culturally, politically, as well as on socio-religious ground. Many Nigerians recognized this fact including Amodu (2008) who states that: “We (the peoples of Nigeria) survived as a nation and as a people united by fate and in faith of God’s glory of a brighter, prosperous future for our beloved and blessed country Nigeria”. This means that, even though fate has brought the peoples of Nigeria together, their faith in God will make them to survive against the odds bring about as a result of the differences within the groups. But as Davis (2008) puts it: “Fate as we know it sometimes lies beyond our means of understanding and surfaces at just the right moment in our lives” Hence, fate has befall us (Nigerians) with the reality of staying/living, and working together as one big family for the greater achievement of the dreams of our a nation.

However, staying, living as well as working together does not make Nigeria one, for there are so many differences which are still keeping her peoples apart. For example, religion has remained one major factor which has contributed to the disunity of the Nigerian peoples. Another divisive factor in Nigeria against the ethnic groups is politics. The trend of politics is always divided along ethnic lines. It is common for an ethnic group to feel marginalized by policies of a leader who is not from its side. In this way, the north do not feel safe with the leadership of the south. Likewise southerners often question the polices of a northern leader. When it comes to politics, the uninformed masses are easily coined or cajoled into accepting political views of the bias politicians by believing that, it must be someone from their ethnic group that will bring a positive change in their community.

Notwithstanding, there are also common areas of similarity in most of the cultures which explains that the people of Nigeria have a common origin and hence, they are capable of understanding each other. But two things are paramount in multi-cultural or highly diversified society: Similarities and Differences. While the similarities in the cultural practices of the groups bring harmony in the society and encourage peace among the people, the existing differences among these tribes/ethnic groups sometimes are negatively used by selfish minds against the unity and peace of the society. Nigerians as well as people in any culturally diversified or ethnically mixed society must be able to maximize the opportunities by fostering “unity in diversity” instead of manipulating the diversity against the unity of their various societies, for selfish purposes.

Products For the Elderly – Entertainment Products For Seniors

As people get older, there are fewer and fewer activities they can do. Many people are not able to go for a drive or go to the gym like younger people. So many family members take entertainment and the access to it for granted. In order to make your loved one as comfortable and entertained as possible, there are products for the elderly that are designed to keep them entertained. One of the activities that people love to do is read. Whether it is the newspaper, a magazine or a favorite novel, this simple task becomes more difficult as people get older. To ensure they still can read their favorite book, there are magnifiers they can use.

Part of staying entertained for the elderly relies on contacting people. In order to do this, one of the products for the elderly they will need is an address book with large print. This way they can keep in contact with old friends and family members. For many women, a favorite past time is crochet. This can get difficult as you age because your hands do not work the way they did years ago. There are aids that strap around your wrist to make this fun pastime easier.

Another pastime that many seniors enjoy is gardening. There are even products for the elderly to use in order to make this task easier. Because many seniors suffer from arthritis, holding trowels can be difficult, which is necessary for gardening. There are gardening tools that are designed for seniors so they can hold and grasp them easier. Another entertaining game for many seniors is playing cards. A must for any card lover are low vision cards. These are larger cards with larger numbers and color codes. They should not have to give up their love for cards just because they cannot see as well as they could when they were younger.

Other products for the elderly that you might find necessary for your loved one are for watching television. This is entertaining for many seniors but sometimes their low vision or hearing gets in the way. To prevent this, there are listening devices they can use, along with large button remotes. In addition to having large numbers, some of the remotes even are large themselves, that way they will not get lost or misplaced. Let today’s technology help keep the senior in your life entertained.

Wildlife Art – Its History and Development

Summary

Some of the earliest of all known art (pre-historic cave and rock art) features wildlife. However, it might be more properly regarded as art about food, rather than art about wildlife as such.

Then for a lot of the rest of the history of art in the western world, art depicting wildlife was mostly absent, due to the fact that art during this period was mostly dominated by narrow perspectives on reality, such as religions. It is only more recently, as society, and the art it produces, frees itself from such narrow world-views, that wildlife art flourishes.

Wildlife is also a difficult subject for the artist, as it is difficult to find and even more difficult to find keeping still in a pose, long enough to even sketch, let alone paint. Recent advances such as photography have made this far easier, as well as being artforms in their own right. Wildlife art is thus now far easier to accomplish both accurately and aesthetically.

In art from outside the western world, wild animals and birds have been portrayed much more frequently throughout history.

Art about wild animals began as a depiction of vital food-sources, in pre-history. At the beginnings of history the western world seems to have shut itself off from the natural world for long periods, and this is reflected in the lack of wildlife art throughout most of art history. More recently, societies, and the art it produces, have become much more broad-minded. Wildlife has become something to marvel at as new areas of the world were explored for the first time, something to hunt for pleasure, to admire aesthetically, and to conserve. These interests are reflected in the wildlife art produced.

The History and development of Wildlife Art…

Wildlife art in Pre-history.

Animal and bird art appears in some of the earliest known examples of artistic creation, such as cave paintings and rock art

The earliest known cave paintings were made around 40,000 years ago, the Upper Paleolithic period. These art works might be more than decoration of living areas as they are often in caves which are difficult to access and don’t show any signs of human habitation. Wildlife was a significant part of the daily life of humans at this time, particularly in terms of hunting for food, and this is reflected in their art. Religious interpretation of the natural world is also assumed to be a significant factor in the depiction of animals and birds at this time.

Probably the most famous of all cave painting, in Lascaux (France), includes the image of a wild horse, which is one of the earliest known examples of wildlife art. Another example of wildlife cave painting is that of reindeer in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas, probably painted at around the time of the last ice-age. The oldest known cave paintings (maybe around 32,000 years old) are also found in France, at the Grotte Chauvet, and depict horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, mammoth and humans, often hunting.

Wildlife painting is one of the commonest forms of cave art. Subjects are often of large wild animals, including bison, horses, aurochs, lions, bears and deer. The people of this time were probably relating to the natural world mostly in terms of their own survival, rather than separating themselves from it.

Cave paintings found in Africa often include animals. Cave paintings from America include animal species such as rabbit, puma, lynx, deer, wild goat and sheep, whale, turtle, tuna, sardine, octopus, eagle, and pelican, and is noted for its high quality and remarkable color. Rock paintings made by Australian Aborigines include so-called “X-ray” paintings which show the bones and organs of the animals they depict. Paintings on caves/rocks in Australia include local species of animals, fish and turtles.

Animal carvings were also made during the Upper Paleolithic period… which constitute the earliest examples of wildlife sculpture.

In Africa, bushman rock paintings, at around 8000 BC, clearly depict antelope and other animals.

The advent of the Bronze age in Europe, from the 3rd Millennium BC, led to a dedicated artisan class, due to the beginnings of specialization resulting from the surpluses available in these advancing societies. During the Iron age, mythical and natural animals were a common subject of artworks, often involving decoration of objects such as plates, knives and cups. Celtic influences affected the art and architecture of local Roman colonies, and outlasted them, surviving into the historic period.

Wildlife Art in the Ancient world (Classical art).

History is considered to begin at the time writing is invented. The earliest examples of ancient art originate from Egypt and Mesopotamia.

The great art traditions have their origins in the art of one of the six great ancient “classical” civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, India, or China. Each of these great civilizations developed their own unique style of art.

Animals were commonly depicted in Chinese art, including some examples from the 4th Century which depict stylized mythological creatures and thus are rather a departure from pure wildlife art. Ming dynasty Chinese art features pure wildlife art, including ducks, swans, sparrows, tigers, and other animals and birds, with increasing realism and detail.

In the 7th Century, Elephants, monkeys and other animals were depicted in stone carvings in Ellora, India. These carvings were religious in nature, yet depicted real animals rather than more mythological creatures.

Ancient Egyptian art includes many animals, used within the symbolic and highly religious nature of Egyptian art at the time, yet showing considerable anatomical knowledge and attention to detail. Animal symbols are used within the famous Egyptian hieroglyphic symbolic language.

Early South American art often depicts representations of a divine jaguar.

The Minoans, the greatest civilization of the Bronze Age, created naturalistic designs including fish, squid and birds in their middle period. By the late Minoan period, wildlife was still the most characteristic subject of their art, with increasing variety of species.

The art of the nomadic people of the Mongolian steppes is primarily animal art, such as gold stags, and is typically small in size as befits their traveling lifestyle.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) suggested the concept of photography, but this wasn’t put into practice until 1826.

The Medieval period, AD 200 to 1430

This period includes early Christian and Byzantine art, as well as Romanesque and Gothic art (1200 to 1430). Most of the art which survives from this period is religious, rather than realistic, in nature. Animals in art at this time were used as symbols rather than representations of anything in the real world. So very little wildlife art as such could be said to exist at all during this period.

Renaissance wildlife art, 1300 to 1602.

This arts movement began from ideas which initially emerged in Florence. After centuries of religious domination of the arts, Renaissance artists began to move more towards ancient mystical themes and depicting the world around them, away from purely Christian subject matter. New techniques, such as oil painting and portable paintings, as well as new ways of looking such as use of perspective and realistic depiction of textures and lighting, led to great changes in artistic expression.

The two major schools of Renaissance art were the Italian school who were heavily influenced by the art of ancient Greece and Rome, and the northern Europeans… Flemish, Dutch and Germans, who were generally more realistic and less idealized in their work. The art of the Renaissance reflects the revolutions in ideas and science which occurred in this Reformation period.

The early Renaissance features artists such as Botticelli, and Donatello. Animals are still being used symbolically and in mythological context at this time, for example “Pegasus” by Jacopo de’Barbari.

The best-known artist of the high Renaissance is Leonardo-Da-Vinci. Although most of his artworks depict people and technology, he occasionally incorporates wildlife into his images, such as the swan in “Leda and the swan”, and the animals portrayed in his “lady with an ermine”, and “studies of cat movements and positions”.

Durer is regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern European Renaissance. Albrecht Durer was particularly well-known for his wildlife art, including pictures of hare, rhinoceros, bullfinch, little owl, squirrels, the wing of a blue roller, monkey, and blue crow.

Baroque wildlife art, 1600 to 1730.

This important artistic age, encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church and the aristocracy of the time, features such well-known great artists as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez, Poussin, and Vermeer. Paintings of this period often use lighting effects to increase the dramatic effect.

Wildlife art of this period includes a lion, and “goldfinch” by Carel Fabrituis.

Melchior de Hondecoeter was a specialist animal and bird artist in the baroque period with paintings including “revolt in the poultry coup”, “cocks fighting” and “palace of Amsterdam with exotic birds”.

The Rococo art period was a later (1720 to 1780) decadent sub-genre of the Baroque period, and includes such famous painters as Canaletto, Gainsborough and Goya. Wildlife art of the time includes “Dromedary study” by Jean Antoine Watteau, and “folly of beasts” by Goya.

Jean-Baptiste Oudry was a Rococo wildlife specialist, who often painted commissions for royalty.

Some of the earliest scientific wildlife illustration was also created at around this time, for example from artist William Lewin who published a book illustrating British birds, painted entirely by hand.

Wildlife art in the 18th to 19th C.

In 1743, Mark Catesby published his documentation of the flora and fauna of the explored areas of the New World, which helped encourage both business investment and interest in the natural history of the continent.

In response to the decadence of the Rococo period, neo-classicism arose in the late 18th Century (1750-1830 ). This genre is more ascetic, and contains much sensuality, but none of the spontaneity which characterizes the later Romantic period. This movement focused on the supremacy of natural order over man’s will, a concept which culminated in the romantic art depiction of disasters and madness.

Francois Le Vaillant (1769-1832) was a bird illustrator (and ornithologist) around this time.

Georges Cuvier, (1769-1832), painted accurate images of more than 5000 fish, relating to his studies of comparative organismal biology.

Edward Hicks is an example of an American wildlife painter of this period, who’s art was dominated by his religious context.

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer was also painting wildlife at this time, in a style strongly influenced by dramatic emotional judgments of the animals involved.

This focus towards nature led the painters of the Romantic era (1790 – 1880) to transform landscape painting, which had previously been a minor art form, into an art-form of major importance. The romantics rejected the ascetic ideals of Neo-Classicalism.

The practical use of photography began in around 1826, although it was a while before wildlife became a common subject for its use. The first color photograph was taken in 1861, but easy-to-use color plates only became available in 1907.

In 1853 Bisson and Mante created some of the first known wildlife photography.

In France, Gaspar-Felix Tournacho, “Nadar” (1820-1910) applied the same aesthetic principles used in painting, to photography, thus beginning the artistic discipline of fine art photography. Fine Art photography Prints were also reproduced in Limited Editions, making them more valuable.

Jaques-Laurent Agasse was one of the foremost painters of animals in Europe around the end of the 18th C and the beginning of the 19th. His animal art was unusually realistic for the time, and he painted some wild animals including giraffe and leopards.

Romantic wildlife art includes “zebra”, “cheetah, stag and two Indians”, at least two monkey paintings, a leopard and “portrait of a royal tiger” by George Stubbs who also did many paintings of horses.

One of the great wildlife sculptors of the Romantic period was Antoine-Louis Barye. Barye was also a wildlife painter, who demonstrated the typical dramatic concepts and lighting of the romantic movement.

Delacroix painted a tiger attacking a horse, which as is common with Romantic paintings, paints subject matter on the border between human (a domesticated horse) and the natural world (a wild tiger).

In America, the landscape painting movement of the Romantic era was known as the Hudson River School (1850s – c. 1880). These landscapes occasionally include wildlife, such as the deer in “Dogwood” and “valley of the Yosemite” by Albert Bierstadt, and more obviously in his “buffalo trail”, but the focus is on the landscape rather than the wildlife in it.

Wildlife artist Ivan Ivanovitch Shishkin demonstrates beautiful use of light in his landscape-oriented wildlife art.

Although Romantic painting focused on nature, it rarely portrayed wild animals, tending much more towards the borders between man and nature, such as domesticated animals and people in landscapes rather than the landscapes themselves. Romantic art seems in a way to be about nature, but usually only shows nature from a human perspective.

Audubon was perhaps the most famous painter of wild birds at around this time, with a distinctive American style, yet painting the birds realistically and in context, although in somewhat over-dramatic poses. As well as birds, he also painted the mammals of America, although these works of his are somewhat less well known. At around the same time In Europe, Rosa Bonheur was finding fame as a wildlife artist.

Amongst Realist art, “the raven” by Manet and “stags at rest” by Rosa Bonheur are genuine wildlife art. However in this artistic movement animals are much more usually depicted obviously as part of a human context.

The wildlife art of the impressionist movement includes “angler’s prize” by Theodore Clement Steele, and the artist Joseph Crawhall was a specialist wildlife artist strongly influenced by impressionism.

At this time, accurate scientific wildlife illustration was also being created. One name known for this kind of work in Europe is John Gould although his wife Elizabeth was the one who actually did most of the illustrations for his books on birds.

Post-impressionism (1886 – 1905, France) includes a water-bird in Rousseau’s “snake charmer”, and Rousseau’s paintings, which include wildlife, are sometimes considered Post-impressionist (as well as Fauvist, see below).

Fauvism (1904 – 1909, France) often considered the first “modern” art movement, re-thought use of color in art. The most famous fauvist is Matisse, who depicts birds and fish in is “polynesie la Mer” and birds in his “Renaissance”. Other wildlife art in this movement includes a tiger in “Surprised! Storm in the Forest” by Rousseau, a lion in his “sleeping Gypsy” and a jungle animal in his “exotic landscape”. Georges Braque depicts a bird in many of his artworks, including “L’Oiseaux Bleu et Gris”, and his “Astre et l’Oiseau”.

Ukiyo-e-printmaking (Japanese wood-block prints, originating from 17th C) was becoming known in the West, during the 19th C, and had a great influence on Western painters, particularly in France.

Wildlife art in this genre includes several untitled prints (owl, bird, eagle) by Ando Hiroshige, and “crane”, “cat and butterfly”, “wagtail and wisteria” by Hokusai Katsushika.

Wildlife art in the 20th Century, Contemporary art, postmodern art, etc.

Changing from the relatively stable views of a mechanical universe held in the 19th-century, the 20th-century shatters these views with such advances as Einstein’s Relativity and Freuds sub-conscious psychological influence.

The greater degree of contact with the rest of the world had a significant influence on Western arts, such as the influence of African and Japanese art on Pablo Picasso, for example.

American Wildlife artist Carl Runguis spans the end of the 19th and the beginnings of the 20th Century. His style evolved from tightly rendered scientific-influenced style, through impressionist influence, to a more painterly approach.

The golden age of illustration includes mythical wildlife “The firebird” by Edmund Dulac, and “tile design of Heron and Fish” by Walter Crane.

George Braque’s birds can be defined as Analytical Cubist (this genre was jointly developed by Braque and Picasso from 1908 to 1912), (as well as Fauvist). Fernand Leger also depicts birds in his “Les Oiseaux”.

There was also accurate scientific wildlife illustration being done at around this time, such as those done by America illustrator Louis Agassiz Fuertes who painted birds in America as well as other countries.

Expressionism (1905 – 1930, Germany). “Fox”, “monkey Frieze, “red deer”, and “tiger”, etc by Franz Marc qualify as wildlife art, although to contemporary viewers seem more about the style than the wildlife.

Postmodernism as an art genre, which has developed since the 1960’s, looks to the whole range of art history for its inspiration, as contrasted with Modernism which focuses on its own limited context. A different yet related view of these genres is that Modernism attempts to search for an idealized truth, where as post-modernism accepts the impossibility of such an ideal. This is reflected, for example, in the rise of abstract art, which is an art of the indefinable, after about a thousand years of art mostly depicting definable objects.

Magic realism (1960’s Germany) often included animals and birds, but usually as a minor feature among human elements, for example, swans and occasionally other animals in many paintings by Michael Parkes.

In 1963, Ray Harm is a significant bird artist.

Robert Rauschenberg’s “American eagle”, a Pop Art (mid 1950’s onwards) piece, uses the image of an eagle as a symbol rather than as something in its own right, and thus is not really wildlife art. The same applies to Any Warhol’s “Butterflys”.

Salvador Dali, the best known of Surrealist (1920’s France, onwards) artists, uses wild animals in some of his paintings, for example “Landscape with Butterflys”, but within the context of surrealism, depictions of wildlife become conceptually something other than what they might appear to be visually, so they might not really be wildlife at all. Other examples of wildlife in Surrealist art are Rene Magritte’s “La Promesse” and “L’entre ed Scene”.

Op art (1964 onwards) such as M. C. Escher’s “Sky and Water” shows ducks and fish, and “mosaic II” shows many animals and birds, but they are used as image design elements rather than the art being about the animals.

Roger Tory Peterson created fine wildlife art, which although being clear illustrations for use in his book which was the first real field guide to birds, are also aesthetically worthy bird paintings.

Young British Artists (1988 onwards). Damien Hirst uses a shark in a tank as one of his artworks. It is debatable whether this piece could be considered as wildlife art, because even though the shark is the focus of the piece, the piece is not really about the shark itself, but probably more about the shark’s effect on the people viewing it. It could be said to be more a use of wildlife in/as art, than a work of wildlife art.

Wildlife art continues to be popular today, with such artists as Robert Bateman being very highly regarded, although in his case somewhat controversial for his release of Limited-Edition prints which certain fine-art critics deplore.

Big Heroes – Little People

Second grade was a very special year for me. It was in second grade that we really started developing close friendships and telling secrets. It was kind of thrilling to know something about yourself that your parents didn’t know.

Like falling into the swamp on the way to school. That was the day that my second grade teacher Mrs. Bjorklund became my hero. She never told anyone what happened. She could have hauled us to the principal and ratted us out to our parents, but she didn’t. I thought she was wonderful, she was one of us.

It was a warm Friday afternoon in May. Twenty second graders were all fidgeting at their desks, nervously watching the clock. Mrs. Bjorklund always had us singing after 3:00 on Fridays. She wasn’t fool enough to try and teach anything to little kids who are anxiously watching the long hand on the clock, sweep past the minutes. Only thirty minutes to go.

We were singing my favorite song from second grade “Carmelita”. It went “Oh sing your song Carmelita, please Carmelita, please sing your song for me. It won’t take long Carmelita, please Carmelita, please sing your song for me. And the donkey went merrily onward, he walks with a merry clip clop” That was a great song, I loved it especially the clip clop part.

Mrs. Bjorklund was leading us in the song when Mr. Katon stuck his head in the door. He was our principal. He was a very nice man. He stuck his head in to wish us a nice weekend every Friday. He was friendly, had a big smile and I think he was very tall. I think he was tall, I don’t know because I was seven years old, everyone seemed tall to me.

He gave us a smile as we were singing and he went to shut the door but it slammed shut. We had the windows open so the air pressure caught him off guard. It was OK though, we didn’t miss a beat singing.

As the minutes ticked by we all were nervous and excited. When you grow up on Lake Superior, warm spring days are a huge deal. You can actually run and play and not worry about getting cold. It was perfect weather for hopscotch games or Chinese jump rope. We absolutely loved playing those games as kids. Those were the video games of my youth. You couldn’t do it inside or alone.

So it was 3:25, Mrs. Bjorklund gave us the OK to put our books away and straighten out our desks so they would be nice and tidy for Monday . We were all excited. We couldn’t wait to be turned free. It was like opening the gate on a ranch when all the cattle run like crazy.

Another great thing about second grade, no homework. Our homework was helping out around the house. Cleaning the chandelier with my big sister, or sweeping. I was too little to vacuum.

Finally, the last ten seconds. I watch the stilted movement of the long hand on the clock as it ticked through the seconds. Then the bell rang. Thank goodness we all stood up and went to the door.

Why wasn’t the door opening? I heard someone say the door was stuck. We were all milling around and some of the kids started looking worried. Mrs. Bjorklund came to see what was wrong, she told us to move back so she could open the door.

She turned the knob, nothing happened. Then she pushed on the door., nothing happened. She shook the door, nothing happened.

Kids were getting more and more upset. One little boy, the principal’s son was crying. He said he was going to be late for a date with Kerri T. I know were were only seven, but we were very sophisticated. He was going to meet her at the slide and they were going to play on the merry-go-round. Very sophisticated.

Mrs. Bjorklund walked back to the front of the room and sat on her desk. She was thinking of a way to save us. We all sat back downs in our seats, looking up at her. We knew she could think of something, she was an adult. She could save us.

She had a thought. We would all write notes and shove them under the door. Someone would see the notes, pick them up and save us.

So we feverishly wrote notes, begging for help. We were trapped and needed help. We were a little dramatic. I mean, we were on the first floor, tons of windows, and we had running water. Wait, we didn’t have a bathroom. Now that is a problem. We were only seven years old, we didn’t have much time before someone would have to go.

So we shoved the notes under the door and out into the hall and waited. We waited and waited, but no one came. That started us thinking. Who were we waiting for? The bell had rung 10 minutes ago on a warm Friday afternoon. The busses were gone and it appeared everyone else was gone too.

A couple of more kids were starting to cry and the rest of us were just getting anxious. We had been waiting all week for Friday night and being allowed to stay out a little later because of the warm weather. We had to get home, there was hop scotch to hop and Barbies to play with, bikes to ride. We were all busy that night, we needed out of there. I’m sure no one else realized this, but we really were little adults with big plans. Friday night, playing hopscotch, it was our social calendar and it was time to go.

Mrs. Bjorklund was thinking again at her desk. Then she started looking at the windows. That was it!!! We would send someone out the window. We were on the first floor. The windows cranked out, so it had to be someone small to fit through the hole. Who would it be????

We had a volunteer, Timmy Fleck. Timmy came from a big family. All of the kids looked alike. Small frames, skinny, freckles and a shock of red hair. i had this feeling that Timmy might have actually gone out these kinds of windows before. He was that kind of kid, always living on the edge.

In art class one day, we were all wearing our art smocks (our Dad’s old shirt turned backwards), our art teacher gave us each a piece of charcoal. We were supposed to draw a picture of a house. So as we were all trying to do this, Timmy put his had up to go to the Boy’s room.

He went in there and drew a beard, mustache and eyebrows on himself with the charcoal. Then he came back to class. I don’t think I had ever laughed that hard at school before then, or since. It was the single funniest thing a seven year old kid did that I witnessed. He got in trouble.

So when he volunteered to go out the window, none of us were surprised.

He climbed up on the window sills and Mrs. Bjorklund had him start out the window, she grabbed him by the ankles and started pushing him. There was just one problem. He didn’t fit.

It seems that Timmy had some sort of growth spurt in second grade. I hadn’t really noticed before but he was getting bigger. Despite this, he was still the smallest kid in class.

Mrs. Bjorklund hauled him back in. Two or three more kids were in tears.

We were never going to get out. We would die there. Our parents would band together and search for us. When our poor limp bodies were finally discovered, it would be too late. The whole town would be sad. There would not be a church big enough to hold all of the grieving families.

They would all be so sad and they would sing our favorite song. Yes, they would learn “Carmelita”. Maybe they would even get a donkey to pull the wagon for the caskets. Maybe the donkey could even walk with a merry clip clop. It was so sad.

Years from now, children would look up to the example we set. We died at school, learning things and they would remember us for that.

Boy I was dramatic at seven.

Then I heard a knock!! On the door, someone was knocking!! We all cheered!!! It was Mr. Katon, he was there, he would save us. Mrs. Bjorklund ran to the door and told him it was stuck and she couldn’t get it open.

Mr. Katon told her to stand away from the door and have all the children go back by the windows. So we all huddled together at the windows. This was so exciting, like an episode from Lassie when the Dad finally follows Lassie to rescue the little kid.

Mr. Katon took off his jacket, and rolled up his sleaves. Shoulder down he ran to the door and hit it with all his might. It opened.

We all cheered and cheered. We were saved!! Mr. Katon saved us. We were all smiling and happy. This was the best day of my life. It was like a super hero had saved us. Saved us from death, saved us from getting in trouble for missing supper, saved to grow up and get married and have kids and tell them the mighty tale of how we looked death in the face and laughed.

OK I’m still dramatic.

Looking back on that day seems so funny now. It sure wasn’t funny when it happened. I still get scared. It’s funny, being scared now doesn’t feel any different than being scared back then. I’m just afraid of different things now. I’m afraid that AA feels a lot like being locked in a classroom on a Friday after noon. I have so many things to do, I’m in a hurry to get out, I want and need to go see my friends but just like second grade, the door is locked.

Mr.Katon isn’t going to come and knock down the door for me this time. I need to do that myself. If little Timmy Fleck can volunteer to go out that window and be held over the ground by his ankles, surely I can go outside and face whatever is there.

Heroes come in all sizes, from the big Mr. Katon to the little Timmy Fleck, they are all heroes in our lives. Our biggest hero is the one inside us all. The little voice that says “I’m still here, you can do anything if you try.”

So what are you waiting for? It’s Friday afternoon, it’s nice out there, go get um!!!

Top 5 Best and Most Effective Soccer (Football) Dribbling Moves

This is a how to guide for the Top 5 Best and Most Effective Soccer (Football) Dribbling Moves.

Dribbling is one of the most important skills to possess as a Soccer player. However, if you can’t get past defenders, dribbling will be relatively useless. If you want to become an effective dribbler, you will have to learn how to get past defenders using your creative dribbling abilities.

Here is a list of the top 5 best and most effective Soccer (Football) Dribbling Moves:

Please note, all these moves must be completed with a quick acceleration of pace after completed, otherwise the defender will have no problem catching up to you.

1) Roll Over

The roll over is a very basic Soccer dribbling move, however it is very effective. You dribble towards an opponent, once he makes a lunge at the ball you quickly “roll the ball over” with the bottom of your right or left foot, to the opposite side of your body, leaving your opponent lunging for thin air.

2) Step Over (Scissor)

The step over is probably one of the most common Soccer moves simply because it is so effective (when done properly). While dribbling towards an opponent, you “step over the ball” (make a circular motion around the ball) with your right or left foot, you then take a touch with your other foot in the opposite direction, and accelerate away from the defender.

3) Pirouette (Maradona)

Once an opponent makes a lunge at the ball, you will reach for the ball and pull it back with the bottom of your left or right boot, you will then proceed to turn your body 90 degrees and pull the back again a second time, with your opposite foot. You make want to look at videos of Zinedine Zidane or Maradona for a good demonstration of this Soccer move. During their Soccer careers they made this move their own.

4) In and Out

The In and Out is a simple Soccer move, but very effective when done with speed. As suggested you first take a small touch towards the inside of your body with the inside of your left or right boot. Once the opponent makes a lunch, you quickly take a touch away from your body with the outside of the same boot, and accelerate into open space.

5) Nut Meg (Panna)

The nutmeg although a riskier move, can be very effective in getting you out of trouble (you will also leave your opponent humiliated). When confronted by an opponent, the situation may arise where his/her legs are relatively wide. At this point you can proceed to pass the ball between the defenders legs and quickly accelerate to meet the ball on the other side.

The Unbeatable Value Of The Old Stone Oven Pizza Stone

The Old Stone Oven Company offers some of the most durable, high quality pizza stones for the most affordable prices. With over thirty years of experience, the Old Stone Oven Company has perfected their stones, crafting a stellar reputation for themselves as an authority in the home for baking with stones. Since first introducing their original pizza stone in the 1980’s, the Old Stone Oven Company has expanded their selection to include many different shapes and sizes, each retaining a high standard of quality and created specifically for making the perfect pizza crust.

Old Stone Oven pizza stones are crafted from beautiful and sturdy fire brick, also known as refractory brick and made from refractory clay that can withstand extreme heat. Imitating the brick ovens restaurant style pizza is often made from, the fire brick of these stones has excellent heat retention, which is key for the perfect crust.

The fire brick also distributes heat equally throughout it, helping even the most inexperienced chef to avoid uneven, uncooked, or burnt pizza crust. The durable fire brick material does not crack under high heat or pressure, making its use flexible enough to bake other things such as breads as well. The fire brick construction also absorbs excess moisture that is necessary for keeping the pizza crust light and crispy.

This company’s stones come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit anyone’s needs. With rectangular and circular varieties, all of their stoneware are built with high quality construction and materials. Each size and shape offers different perks. For example, their smaller sized stones can be perfect for warming up and making leftover pizza crispy again. They can also fit into smaller heating sources like toaster ovens. This manufacturer’s larger size items allow for flexibility in their use, large enough to cook an assortment of breads and family sized pizzas. The Old Stone Oven pizza stone is also thin which assures they won’t be too heavy or cumbersome to handle, especially while hot.

Although Old Stone Oven boasts an unbeatable price for quality, theirs don’t crack like other cheaper stones nor do they give off noxious fumes or odors, which come with poor quality materials. The value of each product made by this company is amazing. Old Stone Oven puts time and care into each of their products with attention to detail like the lifted feet at the edge of each pizza stone, which helps ensure fantastic grip and maneuverability.

The Old Stone Oven stones also retains heat after a pizza has finished baking. This helps to keep the pie warm before being served. The stone must cool down before it is safe to wash, but the fire brick material that helps keep pizza from sticking also makes them easy to clean up.

This manufacturer’s baking devices are perfect for any pizza lover, whether they’re baking for an entire family or for one. With an incredibly affordable price, the Old Stone Oven pizza stone’s value can’t be beaten.

Kettlebell Snatches: 3 Huge Benefits Of This Lift!

As a strength and conditioning specialist I have to say that the kettlebell snatch is my personal favorite in all the kettlebell lifts that can be performed. If you want to know why this lift is so valuable then permit yourself a minute to tune in and continue reading this article. I have trained many athletes and many folks that are serious about fitness and this single lift proves to be beneficial for all of them!

Benefits Of The Kettlebell Snatch Lift!

1. Develops Explosive Power: I have trained many athletes ranging from football players to MMA fighters and I always say that if you are looking to run really fast or want to have the ability to punch someone really hard then the kettlebell snatch is the lift for you! Thats right, kettlebell snatches are terrific for the development of your core center which enables you to perform physical activities such as running, jumping, and yes even punching at a higher level. By performing this lift you must have sound technique in lifting the bell from either the ground or from a swinging action to a locked out position above your head. By performing this lift you are integrating the use of your shoulders, hips, glutes, abdominals, lats, hamstrings, and calves to soundly elevate the bell in a smooth efficient manner during the snatch lift.

This kettlebell exercise is terrific for the muscles of your posterior chain which us strength and conditioning professionals like to refer to as your “performance muscles!” The beauty of this lift is that you are forced to train a certain movement pattern to execute it rather than relying on trying to segment a specific body part. Your muscles must work together in a synergistic harmony in order to move the bell in a continuous manner. I like to think of this lift as being a hybrid type of an olympic lift. If you want to perform you have got to include snatches into your training routine.

2. Improves Shoulder Stability: I am a firm believer in overhead lifts. It baffles me when I hear some strength coaches and trainers say that they don’t believe in overhead lifting because of the danger of injuring the shoulder joint. This is a ridiculous mindset because the shoulders are placed under tremendous stress when an athlete engages in physical competition. The only way to strengthen the shoulder joint and all the stabilizing muscles that surround is by performing overhead lifts. Now it is true that most any lift performed incorrectly can potentially injure you, but so can any other exercise if it is performed incorrectly. Overhead snatches are hugely beneficial in allowing the shoulder to strengthen and even improve with mobility which is essential for athletic performance. Any restriction in mobility or strength in the shoulder while performing an athletic feat like a baseball pitcher throwing a fast ball can lead to injury. Strengthen your shoulders by developing them through the kettlebell snatch.

3. Unmatched Cardiovascular Conditioning: Once again, if you feel that your technique is sound in this lift then you can structure your workouts differently to achieve a different result. The beauty of this lift is that if you can perform sets of high repetitions or for a designated amount of time then you will see just why the cardiovascular benefit of it is so great! I don’t think that their is any other lift I can perform that revs my heart rate up faster than this lift. By performing 20 or 30 reps at a time of kettlebell snatches you are exerting your body from head to toe and your heart has to work like crazy to keep up with providing your body with the blood supply it needs to keep moving. The imposed demands that this lift places on your body is serious for the development of your cardiovascular output. If you want to achieve a high level of conditioning within the confines of your strength program then this lift is for you!

Feel free to access more of my material on this and many other effective strength and conditioning tactics if you want to improve your performance. Take the time to learn how to train correctly if you want to succeed. I’ll be glad to help any way that I can. Remember that most any athlete can train hard, but only the champions train smart my friend.

B2B Insurance Agent Sales and Marketing Best Practices – Overcoming Prospect Objections

B2B insurance sales can be a difficult endeavor even with a relatively eager agency prospect. There is a budget approval process including a CFO review, buy in from key team members, the coordination of schedules, legal review and finally getting pen to paper. These are just some of the many challenges inherent in any B2B sale. Add to those obstacles, a prospect that is a good candidate for your insurance solution, but has objections to your value proposition or a relationship on a high level with a competitor on the “C level” executive and we’ve just touched upon some of the key obstacles in a B2B insurance sales cycle. How can you overcome these objections and get an agreement? Here are a few tips that will help you get past the objections and create an easier path to the sale:

  • Anticipate the most common objections and have prepared responses ready.
  • Create a list of additional points to leverage – your elevator pitch may only be 30 seconds long, but there are many nuances to your value proposition that you should have in your back pocket.
  • Have examples of successes with clients which are similar to your prospect, and be ready to share these verbally and in writing (client case studies).
  • Name drop whenever relevant – but if you’re going to do this make sure you’re on solid ground.
  • Understand competing insurance agency solutions and pitches, and determine how and why your solution is superior. Your superior solution might just be the service you bring to the table.
  • Find a methodology to create a unique value proposition, differentiating yourself and your agency from your competitors. Often, the best way to do this is articulated in the next bullet.
  • Sell by telling stories. Stories are more interesting and the information conveyed is much stickier. You may not remember the details of the last meeting you attended – but I bet you remember all of the salient details about the “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, and that story dates back to Aesop.

Following these few tips, B2B insurance agents, or for that matter, almost any B2B sales professional can improve their conversion ratio and create an improved sales cycle. B2B selling is both an art and a science, it’s a numbers game and is thus quantitative, but it is also a definitively qualitative process requiring constant review and self assessment.