Linha Do Douro: The Best Railway Journey in Portugal

Road trips can be fun and are a good way to quickly see a large portion of a country. But if you are considering a holiday to Portugal then you should definitely consider leaving the car behind. Portugal has one of the best train journey’s in Europe – a leisurely and meandering route that runs from Porto to Pocinho along 120km of riverside track. If you have taken advantage of cheap flight options to Porto and want to see some of the country then this train ride up towards the Spanish border along the Douro river is definitely one to consider.

This is a fascinating historic railway route, which once crossed the border into Spain from where it was possible to get a through service to Salamanca or Madrid in the heyday of railway travel. Now many branch lines have been closed but this is still an amazing route with more than 20 tunnels, 30 bridges and 34 stations. Trains run from Porto three times a day. It is possible to do the return trip, which costs around 13 Euros each way, in a day, though to get the most out of the journey, why not take your time and stop off at some of the fascinating stops along the way?

A ride on the Linha do Douro is perfect for combining with a hiking holiday. You could start off with a day or two rambling around historic Porto before hopping on the train. There are many useful stations that give access to some areas that are perfect for a walking holiday, enjoying the great outdoors. To get onto the best section of the line, along the Douro gorge, you change trains at Régua when you have come from Porto. Some stations are simply shelters on platforms that are used by local wine producers (this is Port wine territory), though you may be interested in disembarking at one of them none the less. You could hike in the gorgeous vineyards along the Douro river, well off the well-beaten tourist track.

Interesting stops on the route include the pretty port producing town on Pinhao, which is a good base if you feel like taking a river tour or hiking through surrounding vineyards and hills. Be sure to hike from Pinhao up to the miradouro at the small village of Casal de Loivos – the views from here are amongst the very best along the Douro. You can also hike to Sabrosa to see the home of Magellan.

Tua, another station, is a stop for river cruise boats and has good food. Then Pocinho, a pleasant port-producing town with plenty of amenities. If you want to truly experience what this region is all about though, you should be sure to spend at least some of your stay in a traditional quinta – wine-producing estates often diversify into tourist accommodation and some of them can be rustic and delightful.

Come to the Douro river and explore the possibilities on foot and by rail.

The How-To Guide on Using a Washing Machine

Believe it or not, there are many people that are not sure how to use a washing machine. This includes the types of washing powder and fabric softener to use and how much of it to put into the washing machine. The best part about living in the modern era is that most washing machines include the instructions to make your life easier.

In this instance, we are going to use a front loader as an example.

  1. First thing’s first – the sorting of your laundry. White or very light clothes need to be washed separately from clothing such as jeans, scarves and velvet. The reason why this is done is because certain fabrics lose colour after washing it multiple times.
  2. Next, you need to add the washing powder into the correct compartment. The washing machine will usually indicate which compartment it is using a small image. No more than a scoop or a small cup would be needed depending on the capacity and model.
  3. Fabric softener is a definite must if you prefer your clothes smelling fresh and feeling soft. Some clothes also look better when the fabric softener has been added.
  4. Now we need to turn the washing machine on so that we can pick the correct option for the type of clothing that has been loaded into the washing machine.
  5. The option you choose prior to starting the cycle would depend on the clothing that is inside the machine. The “Delicates” option should be chosen for small and fragile items such as underwear, thin t-shirts, and lacy jerseys that could be worn over evening gowns. “Duvets” could be bedding such as duvets, comforters and quilted blankets. Items such as jeans may also have an option that you can select that won’t damage the fibre.
  6. Some washing machines have the intelligence to determine the amount of time it will take to run the chosen wash so that you can plan your daily chores around that. This allows you to manage your time better at home especially if you are a parent or working professional.

If you are a working parent or busy professional, then you don’t have the time to run around for washing powder and fabric softener every month. So save time, buy wholesale and get the washing powder and fabric softener in bulk. This could also end up being a cost saving and time saving exercise for your household.

Ticket to Success and Sales – Online Marketing

“Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone.” – Anonymous

Nothing sums up the brilliance of online marketing in today’s scenario quite like this quote. Online marketing is all about being at the right place at the right time. With the virtual space invading every nook and corner of our lives, this is where you’ll find your audience.

Online is the place to be

From social media to e-commerce portals, our present generations wake up to their handset screens, emote only through in beeps and blocks. No one physically meets or greets anymore, instead we only ‘like’ and ‘comment’. So, like any good marketing strategy that starts with going where the customer goes, the time now is to go digital. Online marketing has become the latest fad, a definite marketing must-do all the multi- national companies. Online marketing companies and services are the most sought after by major corporations. The benefits of online marketing when compared to its counterparts – the traditional/offline marketing, is so shiny and bright, that it has become impossible to turn a blind eye. Let’s review the prime benefits:

  • ‘The World is your Stage’: With online marketing services, your reach is truly magnanimous. It expands in terms of demographic as well as relevance. Deep pockets and hefty bank account are no longer the requisites to get noticed and sell products. For example, A local farmer from one side of the world, can now take his produce and showcase it online to reach a potential customer living on the other side. All he’ll need to do is to use the internet to market this product, alongside some smart SEO strategies to place it amidst the right crowd.
  • ‘Laugh all the way to the bank’- It’s no surprise rappers worldwide dish out such catch-phrases, ever so often. After all, how can anyone run from the fact that every business and corporation is the world works towards – ‘profit’ aka revenue, return, moolah? So, when the outcomes are so luring, who wouldn’t jump? With the chance to reach the target audience directly and personally, the sales are bound to go up, by default.
  • ‘Straight from the horse’s mouth’ – With digital marketing you can document every move of your consumer. In the virtual space, everything becomes transparent – the good, bad and the ugly is out in the open for every to judge. No beating around the bush, you will get immediate feedback and instant report of your product’s performance. You can directly reach out to your customer and build a personal bond. Services can be customized. Also, since everyone is online all the time, being in this place will make you more visible.
  • ‘Marking your territory’ – Digital marketing promises to cut marketing costs drastically. Over and above all other benefits, the Passover from traditional or offline marketing to online is bound to be tremendously economical. Your online marketing agency will help you pick your audience and invest in reaching out only to them. It will also reduce your cost per unique user. For example: while a 5000 AED investment on a hoarding or event sponsorship reach about 5000 prospective customers, an online campaign through a viral video on social media will keep 10 times fold more.
  • ‘Something for everyone’ – Online marketing space isn’t reserved for the who’s who of the business world. Even a small business or a start- up can reap benefits in all the entirety. That’s the beauty of this medium. Such opportunity presents a fair chance to businesses to prove their mettle purely based on the quality of services/product. For the first time, a small enterprise can give the market’s big fish a run for its money. Making it an all-inclusive environment to run business in.
  • ‘Survival of the fittest’ – The business world is booming, everyone wants a piece of it. So, in order to survive this mad rush, you have to a step ahead, always. Being in the digital gives you direct insights in your markets and demography. It gives you the opportunity to gauge your competitors move and plan a rebuttal. Online marketing companies help in giving your brand the edge and new-age glow. Hence, assuring the consumer’s that the product/services that you offer are state-of-the-art and cutting edge in all its entirety.

Golf Course Strategy – Improve Your Approach Shots and Fairway Game

When you tee off on a par-four or par-five hole, you are aiming to put your ball in the safety of the fairway. On the fairway, the grass is shorter and more consistent, so you're almost guaranteed to benefit from a good lie from which to play your next shot.

If you've found the fairway, try to approach your ball by walking in line with your ball and the target. This will give you longer to survey your next shot and weigh up all your options. The secret to successful fairway or "approach" play is maintaining control. Never try to swing the club at full speed; not even professional players do that. Instead, shorten your back-swing a little, and concentrate on accuracy.

Aim for the fairway, because landing a ball there eliminates the chance of a bad lie and gives you the best angle in to the putting green. If you find the fairway, take full advantage. Do not be afraid of divots. After all, a good divot after impact is often the sign of a well stuck ball.

When you reach your ball, take time to weigh up your next shot. What distance do you have left to the green? And how far is it to the lag itself? Check to see where the nearest distance marker is. A stroke saver distance guide is an invaluable reference for checking course yardages-most clubhouses have them for sale.

When you arrive at your ball and you've decided on the shot you want to play, go through your prescriptions routine. It's a good idea to start from behind the ball and choose your ideal target line (see above). Doing this will also help you visualize precisely the kind of shot-and-out-you desire.

Make sure that you have the right club for the shot ahead and try to picture the light of the ball as it leaves the clubface and heads toward the putting green. Visualizing the shot not only helps to eradicate any doubts you may have, but also makes it feel great when you actually execute the shot just as you had imagined.

If you're on the fairway and about to shoot for the green, first look out for players ahead of you. If there are people on the putting green ahead, you should always wait until they have completed the hole and left the putting surface before you play your shot.

If you do not think that you can reach the green with your next shot, it's often a safer play to "lay up." This means playing a controlled shot that's definitely aimed short of the putting green, rather than hitting the ball as hard as you can and hoping for the best.

A key component of effective approach play is what's called the "lie" of your ball, or how it sets on the ground after it has come to rest. If you've found the fairway, then it's likely you'll have a good lie from which to plan your next shot. A good lie is important because it gives you options and allows you to consider a range of shots that a bad lie will not (such as a "tight lie," when the ball is sitting on dirt with very little grass beneath it).

If your ball has landed in a good lie, you can be more aggressive with your shot, safe in the knowledge that nothing unexpected will happen as the ball leaves the clubface. Approach shots and fairway play are a key component of any good golf game so make sure you master them with enough practice.

Home Theater – Your Personal Silver Screen

Home Theater Projector Screens and Surfaces

The recent increased popularity of home video projectors and the large, clear images they can produce has led many new arrivals to the Home Theater real to choose a video projector as their display device of choice. Video projector images look best when directed onto a properly matched screen surface. Although some anxiously new owners may premierely start by aiming their new projector on a white wall – they soon will want to get a projection screen for best results. Video projection screens come in many varieties – from the simple Do-It-Yourself (DIY) homemade screen to the most elaborate, manufactured remote control electric models and those various models in between. Video projector screens also come in a variety of surface finishes and reflectivity ratios. All of these factors should be considered when selecting a screen for your Home Theater.

Screen Surface Types

Home Theater projector screens come in a multitude of surface finishes. The variety of surface finish you will need depends upon your projector model. Screen surfaces vary from matte white, slightly silver or gray-ish, to reflective glass beaded models. Glass beaded models increase the effective brightness of your projector's image similar to the way a highway sign reflects car headlights. Lower lumen-level (lumens = light output) projectors such as CRT models benefit most from higher reflectivity (or gain) of a screen's surface. Higher gain surfaces increase the perceived brightness of the projected image. Conversely – a brighter projector looks best with a matte white or even a silver / gray surface. That is because the glass beads on higher gain screens have a tendency to "splatter" the brighter light waves produced by a high lumen output projector. A silver / gray surface will also enhance the perceived contrast level of LCD projectors which do not have the best contrast / black levels. So first you must decide the type and lumen output of the projector you are purchasing and that will help help determine the surface type of the video projector screen you will need.

Model Types

Projection screens come in three basic styles – manual pull-down, electric and fixed variacies. Manual pull-down models are operated much like a window shade. Electric models have a motorized mechanism that does the work for you and fixed screens are motionless and stay right where you place them. Fixed screens also provide the flattest of all screen surfaces. Pull-down and electric screens can be suspect to a slight waves on their surface. Although not obtrusive if properly cared for, some may prefer the absolute flat surface of a fixed screen model. The drawback to fixed screens is that you must live with them in place whereas retractable models can be deployed for viewing and afterwards be hidden from sight until next use.

Aspect Ratio

There is another very important factor to consider when shopping for a screen – that of the screen's aspect ratio. The aspect ratio of a projection screen refers to the shape of the available screen surface. Screens come in two basic aspect ratios — 4×3 which is your normal television aspect ratio and 16×9 which is the normal widescreen or HDTV aspect ratio. The aspect ratio of your screen is an important decision to make prior to its purchase. That's because of the fact that once you buy it there's no way to change the aspect ratio – other than masking portions of the screen. You can mask the surface with material or curtains if you want to get creative and that can temporarily change the aspect ratio of your fixed screen.

You will save a lot of time and trouble by thoroughly researching your screen choice prior to its purchase. Whatever your application and needs — rest assured there is a projection screen surface and model available to fit your particular situation. For further and more detailed information on video projector screen applications for home theaters please refer to the section on projector screens which can also be accessed from the navigation bar at .

Special Lighting Required for Art Photography

It would seem that art photography should be one of the easiest forms to accomplish since the subject usually does not move, but without the photographer uses appropriate lighting the full beauty of the object could have been lost in the shadows. For many, art photography has a variety of meanings and for most it is the vision that is visible to the photographer as they attempt to present their view to others.

Whether the image is of a person, place or thing, the photograph is considered art by the photographer and many times everyday objects are pictured under certain lighting conditions in order to highlight the shadows, or obscure them, in the final rendition. With today's use of digital technology, photographers do not have to wait until natural lighting is at just the right stage to illuminate their subjects, as was the case a few years ago with landscapes staged as art.

Digital enhancements on the computer as opposed to improvements in the darkroom have opened the windows much wider for art photography to become more easily manipulated than in the past. However, for others taking pictures of art works requires better lighting techniques, regardless of the type of photography used. In some instances of art photography filling in the shadows with well-placed lighting improves the quality while adjusting shadows by the use of lighting can offer a different perspective to the same piece.

The ability of the photographer to visualize the income before the picture is taken is the sign of a true artist, even with today's digital opportunities. Previously, several exposures may have to have been taken in order to replicate the mood of the picture taken through art photography. Today's digital photography allows the photographer to see the work almost immediately and either accept the output or retake the image.

As a medium, photography has gained much more acceptance as an art form than it had in the past. Even as recently as 50 or 60 years ago photography was not considered an art form as most believed a mechanical reproduction was not true art. More recently it has been accepted that the eye of the photographer and the images that they could see and capture were as much a form of art as a painter with a brush. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism, which provides a visual account for news events, and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services.

Move Beyond Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) is not just about providing a means to present business information; it is an enabler that improves the power of individuals to make knowledgeable decisions. In order to unleash this power, BI needs to move beyond data and reporting, and become more integrated into the processes that actually run the business. BI should be extended to focus on individual needs, providing simple and proactive tools that can be called upon at any time and used to enhance business collaboration throughout the company. A number of key trends will drive companies to move Beyond Business Intelligence over the coming years:

Driving Performance Management from inside the Business

Enterprise Performance Management is a set of processes that help organizations optimize their business performance. It is a framework for organizing, automating and analyzing business methodologies, metrics, processes and systems that drive business performance. Over the next 5 years, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) will begin to supersede traditional Business Intelligence. More emphasis will be placed on how organisations define, develop, communicate and deliver strategies and plans, and how these are managed, monitored and assessed as they are executed. Organisations will need to change attitudes of both executives and staff to create a culture willing to listen, learn and innovate. With this willingness to share ideas and adapt quickly to change, the organisation will be able to create an environment where freedom of information, collaboration of individuals and traceability of governance are core business values.

Linking Budgeting, Planning and Execution

With the current downturn in the global economy reducing budgets, the need to adequately forecast both the budget and overall outcome of strategies and plans is becoming critical. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study of US companies showed that 65 per cent of respondents indicated that their budgeting and forecasting needed to be more relevant, while 44 per cent saw the link between strategy and planning as requiring the most improvement. Utilising historical and external information, executives can predict the results of strategies and/or plans, allowing them to construct feasible business strategies with obtainable objectives, and support the development of achievable plans with realistic budgets.

Utilising Real-time Information

Decision making will begin to be disseminated throughout the organisation moving from back-office to front-office staff (i.e. sales, call centre). Management will begin to work to identify key attributes that affect decisions and feed these to the front-office staff, allowing for decisions to be made that realistically affect the overall business. Having the most up to date information is critical to making better decisions. As information moves closer to the front-office and impacts decisions made there, the latency of information must be reduced.

Creating simpler ways to get knowledge

As BI becomes more integrated into the operational processes of an organisation, the methods required to retrieve the information need to be simplified so that the natural process of decision making is not interrupted. Solutions need to provide simple and engaging mechanisms for users to retrieve the relevant information at the right point of the process. Technology that provides flexible reporting will need to be “fronted” with pre-built focused and personalised solutions that are applicable to the step of the process and the role of the individual interacting with it. Providing these types of solutions will enable organisations to reduce the skills necessary to access the information and speed up the process of decision making.

Utilising Unstructured data

BI has historically been based on structured data gathered from applications and databases utilising a small amount of the actual information within the organisation. Typically, 80 percent of business information is unstructured, held within documents, email communications and other formats. New techniques for harvesting this information will continue to be developed including enhancements in text mining and analysis, the ongoing development of the Semantic Web and the increased use of Natural Language Processing (NLP). These developments will allow organisations to include new data into their analysis (i.e. call centre communications, customer complaints, and email communications), improving knowledge of their customers and lead to more innovative sales, marketing and retention strategies.

Delivering Knowledge at decision points

Execution is a result of thousands of decisions being made by employees acting on information they have and their prior experiences. In order to execute more effectively, companies need to take advantage of the skills of their resources, and the in-built inclination of people to improve business performance. By defining who is accountable for each decision, the company can empower its employees and focus management on identifying decision making patterns that can represent best practice. This best practice can be disseminated throughout the organisation so that continuous improvements in decision making can be seen in the future. To support employees, management needs to ensure that the relevant information is available at the various decision points, enabling the employees to move forward with the confidence that the decision is correct.

Bridging the gap between business and technology

One of the key problems that affect every company is the struggle that they have when business and technical people are in the same room. The technologists are frustrated that the business does not understand why IT is critical to their success and how it can help the business move forward. The business is frustrated that IT never seems to understand what they want and complains when they want to make changes just before the project is delivered.

This gap is one of the most common problems facing companies trying to implement BI solutions (but this problem is not limited internally). Many management consultancies provide strategic business advice on how to improve business performance, build strategic initiatives and change the operations of the business, with little or no regard to how this will be implemented. Technology vendors build applications and data warehouses that do much more than the business desires, and sometimes require the business to change key processes.

Acting in isolation business and technology can be driven down different directions; communication is the key to bridging the gap. By developing and utilising a common and consistent language that both the business and IT can understand, requirements defined, delivered and measured throughout the lifecycle of the solution.


As these trends show, in the future more emphasis will be put on the integration of information into everyday tasks and how business improvements can be made. Technology will still enable the solutions and continue to drive many of the opportunities available to the business, but the focus of solution definition and design will move to the business and be based on five core values

  • FOCUS – Providing personalised and tailored guidance and information to people within the organisation allowing them to make the right decisions
  • ACTION – Allowing the organisation to move away from a “question and answer” model to one which provides “actionable information” to all people, allowing them to integrate information into the natural flow of their business activities.
  • COLLABORATION – Using information to allow individuals to share ideas and inform them of their impact to the overall goals of the business
  • INTEGRATION – Combining multiple sources of structured and unstructured data allowing companies to extend their knowledge network and open up previously unexplored information repositories
  • TRACEABILITY – Using information during the process of strategy definition and planning. Information can be made available throughout the organisation, allowing both management and operational resources to understand the impact of their contribution to the business

Whilst focusing on these core values, companies will utilise more Advanced Analysis techniques (i.e. Predictive models for forecasting, complex attribute generation, What-if Models) to turn the information available into valuable knowledge. Distributing this knowledge throughout the organisation to people at all levels of the business in focused, personalised and easily usable solutions will be the key to moving Beyond Business Intelligence.

The journey will not be complete overnight, it is a commitment that needs to be made by the company, but the long-term benefits will positively affect all aspects of the companies business. The company will be more proactive in the way it manages itself, able to effectively utilise the skills of its resources, and continually improve business performance.

Many of the building blocks exist today; companies can leverage what they have already implemented and add value in improved reporting and information analysis, plugging the gap between the day-to-day operational and financial systems that run the business and the top-level strategic reviews that show whether it’s on course. By measuring themselves against the core business values, companies can identify areas of improvement where immediate benefits can be realised.

Las Vegas Job Openings Have Higher Pay

Anyone able to snag a Las Vegas job opening is likely to get paid more than workers in most other cities. A recent report from Forbes used data from PayScale to rank the income of workers in the 100 largest metro areas throughout the country. The Las Vegas area was ranked 15th, with the city’s median pay increasing 13.9 percent from $51,500 in 2005 to $58,700 in 2009.

El Paso, Texas, was ranked first, as the city’s median income increased by 19.4 percent to $49,100. On the other end of the scale, Harrisburg, Pa., was ranked last, with the city’s median pay decreasing by.74 percent to $50,600.

Other cities close to Las Vegas that have been having economic trouble also placed well on the list. Phoenix was ranked 10th, with the city’s median pay increasing by 15 percent to $61,100, while Bakersfield, Calif., was ranked second, as the city’s median income increased by 18.5 percent to $60,900.

The report noted that in some cities, high unemployment may actually correlate to an increase in median pay. Even though a company may lay off a large number of staff numbers, the people left behind are usually in higher-paid positions, which causes the overall average salary to increase.

Although it appears as though the Las Vegas economy is improving, many experts say a recent decrease in the city’s unemployment rate is only a result of a shrinking workforce. In keeping with that theory, the city has continued to see a monthly and yearly decrease in employment.

During November, the Las Vegas-Paradise area saw its unemployment rate decrease from 13 percent to 12.1 percent, following a decrease from 13.9 percent during October. Despite the decrease, the area’s current rate is still higher than the national unemployment rate of 10 percent.

The Las Vegas area had a total non-farm employment of 843,100 workers during November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 851,900 workers during October and a 6.7 percent decrease from last year.

Golf Secret That Everyone Needs to Improve

There are many keys to improvement in golf and most of us spend a great deal of time and a lot of money trying to find the magic tip that will fix it all. After years of searching, I think I've stumbled on something that I've needed from the beginning. It's been there all the time and I thought it was just a joke.

"Golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course … the space between your ears." – Bobby Jones

I know I'll never be a scratch golfer but I also know that I should score much better than the totals I see on my scorecards. I now understand what has been holding me back. ME!

I've never been one to launch clubs vast distances, although I do remember getting rid of a driver on the fourth tee one day. I had enough with a driver whose shaft was too flexible and could only hit it right – way right. A player on an adjunct hole saw the helicopter crash land, retrieved it and started walking toward me. Embarrassed, I met him half way, handed him the head cover and wished him luck with his new driver. Later in the round I saw him using it on a tee shot. It went Out of Bounds Right and I smiled, knowing I had done the right thing.

But I did not improve immediately after removing the offender. I knew that I had ruined my round and I had fourteen more holes to suffer through. You would not believe the names I called myself (maybe you would). Now I realize that if a caddy said the things to me that I said to myself, I would have punched him in the nose.

The PGA tour has started tracking "bounce back" and measuring what players score after a bogie. Looking at my game there's a 90% chance I'll do worse on the next hole because I'm still mad about that tee shot two holes ago. You've got to hate those guys that remind you it's one shot at a time because they are right.

How mad does a missed three footer make you? Ever cross your mind on a hole following?

I'd hate to know the number of rounds that I've sabotaged with stinkin 'thinkin'. I'm somewhere near perfect but I'm seeing some real improvement as I focus on the mental side of golf. It's not a quick fix but the improvement to date tells me that not only do my scores improve but I've also felt better about my game and my practice sessions.

"It is nothing new or original to say that golf is played one stroke at a time. Bobby Jones

At least I'm not alone in my quest.

Lawyerizing Imagineering

In 1967, The Walt Disney Corporation filed a copyright for a term that combined the word imagination with engineering. At some point after they received the copyright from the US Copyright Office, they used the word and its meaning in their animation business. Then, Disney filed and received a trademark on the term from the US Patent and Trademark office. The Disney Corporation owns the term, and when they use it, you will often see the registration symbol ® behind it.

The term, coined before the Walt Disney Corporation achieved, tracks back to the 1940's. Disney attorneys successfully "lawyerized the term." In this article, I use the terms "lawyerize" and "lawyerizing," which I found listed in the online Urban Dictionary as trending new terms. I did not conceive those terms, but they pair well with the point that I make about how an idea, a reality, and even a word can be protected even though someone else conceived those things. In other words, when your "magic happens," you may not own the concept, the reality, or even the terminology. By the way, by placing magic in The Magic Kingdom®, Disney created another lawyerized trademark.

Magic means that something mysterious happened. We do not know how it happened. We all benefit from the reality of Walt Disney's vision for producing and providing public entertainment. Visit their parks, view their films, experience Disney magic for fun, and especially do that for your young children. But, do not mess with Disney copymitted and trademarked stuff. The power of lawyerizing protects their entertainment, art, engineering, and intellectual property. The Disney Corporation has copymitted and trademarked many terms associated with their creations.

In the article, I wanted to talk about the intriguing concept of dreaming up an idea and then applying technical innovation to it, so that a fantasy might become reality. That is so cool! But, as I researched the concept, I felt ice water course through my veins. Appropriately, those who play with those subjects run a risk of meeting the attorneys who have learned to lawyerize magic. # TAG1writer

Closed Circuit Television – An Introduction

As the name suggests, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a system where in the circuit is closed and all the elements are directly connected. This is different from broadcast television where any receiver that is properly tuned can pick up the signal from the airwaves. Directly related in this context includes systems linked by microwave, infrared beams, etc. Read on and be familiar with the main components that can go to make up CCTV systems of varying complexity.

Different Applications for CCTV Systems

Probably the most widely known use of CCTV is in the world of security. Security systems and such applications in retail shops, banks, government establishments and the likes. The true scope for applications is almost never-ending. Some examples are:

o Monitoring traffic on a bridge.
o Recording what is inside of a baking oven to know the cause of problems.
o A temporary system to carry out a traffic survey in a town center.
o Time lapse recording for the animation of plastic puppets.
o Used by a stage manager of a show to see unnoticed parts of a set.
o The well-publicized use at football stadiums.
o Hidden in buses to manage vandalism.
o Recording the birth of a lion at a zoo.
o Making a wildlife program using a large model helicopter.
o Reproducing the infrared vision of a bubble fish!
o Aerial photography from a hot air balloon.
o Production control in a factory.

The Camera

The jump-off point for any CCTV system should be the camera. The camera creates the picture that will be transmitted to the control position. Aside from special designs, CCTV cameras are not fitted with a lens. The lens must be provided separately and screwed into the front of the camera. There is a standard screw thread for these specific cameras, but there are different types of lens mounts.

Not all lenses have focus and iris adjustments. Most have iris adjustments while some have very wide angle lenses without a focus ring. The BNC plug is used for connecting the coaxial video cable. Line powered cameras do not have the mains cable. Power is provided via the coaxial cable.

The Monitor

The image created by the camera needs to be reproduced at the control position. A CCTV monitor is essentially the same as a television receiver except that it does not have the tuning circuits.

First CCTV Systems

The simplest CCTV system is a camera connected directly to a monitor by a coaxial cable with the power for the camera provided from the monitor. This is called the line powered camera. Probably the earliest popular version of this was the Pye Observation System that initiated the concept of CCTV, mainly in retail establishments. It was an cost-friendly, do-it-yourself, self-contained system.

6 Things You Need to Know to Buy the Perfect Engagement Ring for Your Girl

So, you have made up your mind to pop out an engagement surprise for your future fiancée. You have got everything planned out, from the occasion to the venue for the surprise pronouncement. However, you are still at loggerheads with one thing though – the perfect engagement ring! You just don’t know how to go about it, as a wrong choice might end up spoiling the whole show for both of you. In addition, you don’t want to break your bank in the process as well.

Each time you visit a jewelry store to pick out a ring; you are confused and always come back without making any choice. Don’t you worry; this article will walk you through the things you need to know to be able to pick the perfect engagement ring for your girlfriend that she would keep asking you, “How do you know I would love it? It’s just so perfect!”

Her Style

If you want to wow your future fiancée with just the perfect engagement ring that she would really love, then you have to do some preliminary survey. And how do you do that? – Spy on her style! What’s her taste like when it comes to jewelries? Does she wear more platinum jewelries than the gold plated ones? Is she drawn to vintage jewelries as opposed to classic ones? Pay close attention to her jewelries for a few weeks, to be able to measure up her style. This helps you in picking the right engagement ring for her.

The Shape

Before you even start thinking of the 4Cs (clarity, color, cut and carat), you have to know the type of shape your girlfriend would love. ‘Shape’ is not the same thing with ‘cut’; shape shows the real geometry of the stone while ‘cut’ is used in relation to the angles of the facets within the stone itself.

The Settings

The setting of any engagement ring is actually the metal structure on which the stone is placed and this can set the tone for any ring. A typical round ring stone comes in a modern makeover with a captivating bezel setting as can be seen with engagement rings from reputable online jewelry store. The trick with picking the right engagement rings is getting the correct combination of setting as well as shape. Get that right and you are half way home.

The Metal

The metal that makes up the ring band is very important when choosing an engagement ring. The popular brand is platinum, because it lasts longer and it’s very pure, but is your girlfriend a platinum girl? Don’t just go platinum because everybody is going platinum, remember to study her style. Another choice is gold, which comes in different colors (rose, white, yellow etc.).

The Stones

No doubt, that engagement ring stones account for the huge part of a ring’s cost and of course you would want to get the most beautiful one thinkable for a great price. Online jewelry stores are your best bet for this one as they have a variety of the most gorgeous stones with their range of engagement rings at great prices. And talking about price, I hope you don’t believe in that old long myth of spending your three-months salary to get the perfect engagement ring. That’s a lot of crap. You should be able to get the perfect ring for your future fiancée without poking a hole in your bank account – the more reason to go the online route.

Engraved Rings

To really put an icing to the surprise pronouncement, how about you personalized the ring with your girl’s name or something you know she would love. This makes it so memorable and your future fiancée will never forget that special day.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? You just need to do your homework on your girl really well and you’d be surprised how fast you can get the perfect ring for her.

Good luck with the shopping!

Cooking Splatter Screens – Or How To Keep The Fat In The Pan and Not On You

If you have spent more than five uneducated minutes cooking around a frying pan you have probably been splashed with oil or watched your nice clean stove top turn into a greasy mess. Foods like bacon, sausages, fried eggs, fried potatoes and just about anything else which hits the frying pan are going to pop and sizzle as they cook, sending fats and oils flying out of the pan and onto things you’d rather keep oil free…like yourself!

There are things you can do however, to keep that hot oil where it belongs. You can go the more complicated route and buy specialized cooking items like a bacon press or microwave your bacon using a bacon rack, or you can turn down the heat and hope that helps but end up spending much longer in the kitchen as a result. Or, you can do the smart thing and invest in a splatter screen instead.

Splatter screens come in multiple sizes, shapes and designs to suit the varied uses to which they are put. The basis form is the same however, featuring a tight wire mesh bounded by a more robust metal outer ring and a handle for easy removal and replacement of the splatter screen. The mess sits snugly over the top of the pan in question, allowing hot air and steam to escape but keeping splattering oil safely and cleanly inside the pan.

Splatter screen are typically circular as they’re generally used with fry pans and saucepans rather than any other kind of cooking pan, although you can buy square ones to fit over grills and griddle pans too.

The size is important as you want it to fit over the top of the pan but not fall in and not be so large as to become unwieldy to where it might fall off without constant attention. Some splatter screens feature concentric rings underneath the mesh to allow the same screen to fit snugly over multiple pan sizes. Others are just a fixed size designed for one size of pot or pan.

Metal, and in particular, stainless steel is the most commonly used material to make a splatter screen which also makes them easy to clean and in many cases dishwasher friendly too. Silicone splatter screens are also available if that is your favorite kitchen material. Personally, give me metal any day.

Splatter screens are usually stored under the counter but some are attractive enough that you might actually want them hanging up there with your pots on your pot rack. Many come with folding handles to facilitate their storage.

Decorating Basics for Boys Rooms

When decorating a boys room, the usual starting point is choosing a boys bedding set. From there, you can begin to choose what color you would like to paint the walls and how you would like to accent the room, making it both a creative space for learning and also a calm space for sleep. There are many different ways to decorate a boys room but below are some important yet simple suggestions that you may find helpful.

Wall Color

Choose one or two colors for the walls that will compliment the boys bedding set that you have chosen. One color should be more neutral for the majority of the space. The second should be a defect accent color. An example would be if you have a surf theme boys bedding set, you could use a pale blue for the main areas and a deep navy for the accent wall.

Shelving and Storage

It's always nice to find shelves or storage units that match the theme of your boys room. An example would be buying silver metal look shelves for a very modern or electronic style room. Or classic white for a nautical space. For complimenting a boys bedding set that is either characters or something like dinosaurs, you could paint a wooden shelf or bookcase in a complimenting color and then look for booksends that are dinosaurs.

Baskets Baskets Baskets …….

There is always room for one more basket. Most popular for boys is metal mesh but you can also use cloth or wicker baskets. These are a great place to store odds and ends like collection cards, baseballs, action figures, etc.

Homework Space

Try to incorporate a desk in your boys bedroom where he can quietly do his school work. A nice way to keep the area a calm space is to use a room divider. The divider can be done in such a way to incorporate the room's theme by either adding painted color, or pinning posters to it. A great idea on the desk side of the divider is to attach some cork and use it like a bulletin board.

There are endless decorating ideas for boys room but it is most important that you involve your sone in the decision making process. At times this may seem impossible if you want to stylish exit but involve them by giving simple choices. Green or blue? White or wood? Surf bedding or dinosaur bedding? By helping make the final decisions about his room, your son will really feel like he owns the space and is then free to relax and learn in there.

Basic Wedding Speech Structure Guide

The structure of your speech is pretty simple if done right, and if done wrong your speech can become a complete mess.

A good best man speech starts at the beginning, has a middle and an end. In public speaking arenas we call this the "Opening" the "Body" and the "Conclusion". We'll be using these words to describe the different parts of the speech from here.

But if it was all that simple then we'd all be expert public speakers. As well as having the structure, you need the words, and you need to learn how to say it too … which you can learn from studying our other publications from the members download area of ​​our web site Classic Best Man Speeches.

Now, the organization of a speech is of critical importance to the overall impact of the speech. In the case of a best man speech, this formula is exactly the same. Good speech organization is essential if the audience is to follow your speech. You must take some time to put your ideas of your speech down on paper before you start, in an orderly manner if at all possible. Remember in a five to seven minute speech you only have enough time to cover two or three points MAXIMUM! So please do not try to write a whole life story but keep your points to just a few, and remember to include some points of relevance about the bride if at all possible too!

Your basic structure for your speech is as follows:

1. Your Opening remarks should capture the audiences attention

2. Your body of your speech should support your opening remarks

3. The conclusion should reinvigorate the opening and your body in a memorable heart felt way.

1. Like any good story, your speech needs to have a clear opening.

2. Create an interesting opening that captures the audience's attention.

3. Remember, that although you will have a relationship with the Groom, and the Grooms party at the wedding, the Bride is now an integral part of the occasion, a very important part that should be referenced elsewhere in the opening remarks of your speech . It is absolutely necessary to do this, as the bride will not thank you if all her wedding party does not get your jokes, or are not acknowledged during your opening words. In this respect, it is often better to say a quick witty joke, or one liner to grab the audience attention, making sure not to offend anyone … something like

"Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, I had asked for a microphone, but one was not offered, so if you can not hear me at the back, do not worry too much, as the silence from those in the front row will secure you're not missing out on anything. "

4. Try and memorize the beginning. The impact of standing up, lifting your head and speaking to the audience will help make them feel immediately part of the wedding speech. Remember that your audience actually wants to hear what you have to say. If you can make eye contact with them, then your message will be received a lot better.

The best way to lay out the body of your speech is by formatting a series of points that you would like to raise. The points should be organized so that related points follow one another so that each point builds upon the previous one. This will also give your speech a more logical progress.

You will only have time to cover two or three points maximum, so keep your stories small and straight to the point. Do not get caught up on the detail of your stories. Set up the scene of your story, then give a sentence or two to it before tying it into the next part of your speech.