Tweaks to Speed ​​Up Internet Streaming Video

The birth of "Guerilla Video" sites, such as Peekvid.com, Alluc.org and Youtube.com have given users instant access to a plethora of free media files. Although streaming video technology offers instant access to video files, zero loading time is not always possible. There are many factors that attribute to your computer's ability to start videos immediately. Other factors such as choppy PC video playback and slow video streaming also hinder your viewing experience. There are easy fixes to these problems. Sometimes choosing another site for the source of the video streaming or a lower quality version of the video can award you with instant play. These alternatives are not always available. However, there are a number of tweaks that help speed up your streaming video startup times, eliminate choppy PC video play and stop slow streaming video.

Before we start with the tweaks to speed up slow streaming video, lets get a basic understanding of streaming video technology in order to stop choppy video. Streaming video is a prerecorded video files that can be distributed as part of a live broadcast "feed." The video signal is converted into a compressed digital signal and transmitted from a Web server. This server is able to be multicast the same file to multiple users at the same time. When you click on the on video it is partially loaded before you can access it. This is known as "buffering". This helps you to load and play the video instantaneously. Now lets take a look on how to cut down on buffering time, stop slow streaming video and eliminate choppy PC video playback.

Common Streaming Video Problems

Problem # 1: Choppy PC Video Playback – Choppy video is typically a PC performance related issue. Here are a few things you can try to stop choppy playback and improve computer performance.

Solution A. Turn Off Hardware Acceleration-All media applications require different aspects of your computer's hardware. Depending on the task, the requirements may change. Turning off hardware acceleration allows the application to set the requirements itself and not be forced to use one universal setting. Hardware acceleration has been known to cause choppy PC playback, application crashes and slow streaming video problems.

You can eliminate the problem below:
1.Click on "Start"
2.Click "Control Panel"
3.Select the "Settings" tab and click on the "Advanced".
4.Click on the "Troubleshoot" tab.
5.Disable the hardware acceleration completely by dragging the slider to the extreme left.

Solution B. Turn off Video Acceleration-The reason for this tweak is the similar to hardware acceleration. This act frees up resources in your media player and not your hardware. However you will need to decrease video acceleration in your chosen player. Some sites like Youtube.com do not offer this option. However, Windows Media Player gives the ability to easily alter this problem, following the steps below. Other players' instructions will vary.

1. In Windows Media Player
2. Click the "Tools" menu tab
3. Click on "Options"
4. Select the "Performance" tab.
5. Move the Video Acceleration Slider to "None"

Solution C. Adjust your Windows Desktop Visual Effects-You computer will get a significance boost in
speed. This tweak will also free up more resources for your media player and PC performance.

1.Click "Start", and then click "Control Panel".
2.Click "System" and choose "Display".
3.Find the "Advanced" tab and Click
4.Under "Performance", Click "Settings"
5.Under "Visuals Effects", you may choose from a list of options such as "Adjust for best performance" or custom. If you choose Adjust for best performance all the features will be unchecked.

For more performance tips check the "Speed ​​Up PC" to free up more resources to stop PC choppy playback.

Problem # 2: Slow and Constant Buffering-This problem can be attributed to two factors internet speed and your media player. You can tweak your PC setting in both areas to cut down on slow streaming video. Remember that each player has its own buffer settings. Below is an how to change buffer setting in Media Player.

Solution A. Adjust Buffer Settings – To change the default buffer settings in Windows Media Player, use the following steps:
1.Start Windows Media Player
2.Click the "View" men
3.Click "Options"
4.On the "Advanced" tab, click "Streaming Media" (Windows Media)
5.Click "Change" to alter the buffer settings.

Remember that the higher you set the buffer the more of the clip will be loaded. The waiting time before you can see or hear the file will be longer, but there should be fewer interruptions once the clip begins to play.

Solution B. Use a Video Specific Proxy-A proxy allows for popular files to be loaded onto its servers. This eliminates the need for your computer to load the files. For example if you use the proxy, YouTubeProxy.org, you will not have to wait for your computer to download popular YouTube.com content because it may already have been loaded in the server. This is a great way to stop slow streaming video.

These are just a few tips to eliminate choppy PC video playback and slow streaming video. However, there are more advanced ways to stop this problem. Depending on the site, there may be independent software developed specifically to speed up slow streaming video. Also, remember the general maintenance is a good way to avoid choppy PC video playback.

Hummingbird Houses – A Shelter For The Birds And A Delight For You

Through the centuries, bird enthusias and other people have been putting up bird houses all over the country and all over the world. These bird houses are designed to attract different kinds of birds, and they are very helpful in enhancing your bird-watching experience.

One of the most intriguing and captivating birds to watch is the hummingbird. Hummingbirds are generally found in South America, and they are the smallest birds in the world. They are the only birds in the world that are able to fly backwards. Because of these characteristics, hummingbirds are among the most watched-after creatures of bird watchers everywhere.

In order to spend hours watching this delightful little bird, you would have to be able to make it stay in the same place for a long time. You can do this by creating a hummingbird house in your own backyard. This is a bird house specifically designed for the unusual hummingbird species.

You do not need to spend a lot to put up hummingbird houses. You can even make them yourself. Hummingbird houses are small, so you can use small boxes or even tin cans for this. When building hummingbird houses, just remember that if your open hand can fit in the box, then it is big enough for the hummingbird.

In order to prevent other birds from crashing your hummingbird house, make sure that the opening is only big enough for a hummingbird.

Hummingbird houses are quite tiny, and it is rather hard to see them once they are in position. Typically, hummingbird houses are placed on the trees themselves, very near the tree trunk. However, they can also be put up practically anywhere else in your backyard, such as under the roof of your house, or on other tall plants in the garden. Just make sure that the hummingbird houses are out of reach of cats and other house pets on the ground.

The best way to attract hummingbirds, though, is to place your hummingbird houses near flowering plants. Hummingbirds like hovering near flowers because they feed on the nectar of the flower. These birds are most attracted to colorful flowers like the trumpet vine and honeysuckle.

Your hummingbird house will also be more attractive to the tiny critters if you put hummingbird nectar inside. Make sure you do not offer them sugar water because this may cause fungus on their beaks, and could even be potentially lethal to the little birds.

Spray on Insulation – The Energy Efficient and "Green" Alternative Insulating Material

If you are someone who cares a lot about the environment and really wants to live a more "green" lifestyle, then the first place you must start is in your own home. It can get kind of expensive trying to start out your environment friendly lifestyle, however some changes can save you tons of money in the long run. One of these is by using something called spray on insulation.

By using this type of insulation, you will not only save yourself money over the long haul, but you will also be helping to save the planet. This insulation is made from recyclable materials.

The majority of homes were built using fiberglass insulation which is the commonly seen pink puffy insulation that you are probably familiar with. Unfortunately, this type of insulation has known health concerns. For instance, the small sharp particles that float in the air around this insulation can scrape and damage your esophagus and lungs if inhaled.

Because this spray on insulation comes as a liquid and expands to make times its normal size, it fills in every crack and crevice. This means that no air is getting in or out through those holes. It also means more protection from moisture and insects. You will save money just from pest control alone!

Learning how to be more energy efficient does not have to be difficult. You just need to take it a step at a time. By beginning with your own home, you will be making a small contribution to society overall. If everyone takes the same step to making their home more energy efficient, it will reduce our need for fossil fuels.

10 Tips for Hosting an Elegant Denim and Diamonds Party With Pizzazz

Staying at home in lieu of going on an exciting vacation doesn’t need to be boring. Gather your friends and family and get creative for various ways to entertain in your home. The latest hot party idea is an elegant Denim and Diamonds party. What exactly is a Denim and Diamonds Party? Use your imagination to get as elegant or country as you’d like, but a Denim and Diamonds party is an upscale event with great food, drink and entertainment. Guests are asked to wear casual attire such as denim jeans, but are encouraged to ‘dress it up’ by accessorizing with diamond-like sparkle (aka rhinestones!). Venues can include your home, backyard or rented elegant country estates for grand affairs or fundraisers.

Tip 1: Use What You Already Have on Hand

When you host an at-home Denim and Diamonds party, you need to get creative. There’s no sense in going out and buying a lot of items that you will never use again. Look around your home, basement and garage to see what you can reinvent or repurpose for your party needs. Outdoor tables can become indoor furniture with an inexpensive floor length fabric covering to meet your theme. Spend wisely on a few key items you need to pack a lot of punch for your dollar. Check out discount stores and clearance sections at more upscale stores to secure particular finds. Vases for table settings can be mix and match as can table and drink ware.

Tip 2: Choose Your Theme Colors

With a Denim and Diamonds Party – blue, white and anything that sparkles is a must-have! Integrate your colors into your table coverings and decorations. Check out craft super-stores to add sparkle to your table or buffet. Choose inexpensive glass stones, rhinestones or crystals and toss amongst your table settings to catch and reflect light from your table top candles. Colors for a denim and diamonds party can extend to your decorations, invitations, centerpieces and party favors as well.

Tip 3: Plan Ahead

Manage you time carefully and don’t put off shopping or decorating until the day before your party. Decide on your décor and estimate food and seating requirements at least a week or more ahead of time. If you need to engage a party rental service for tables, chairs or other food service items, plan this at least 2 weeks ahead and make your reservations with the rental company. Prepare as many food items as possible in advance – this will reduce your stress level and help you enjoy your own Denim and Diamonds party! Planning on grilling outdoors? Grill items ahead of time and keep in your oven on ‘warm’ so items can be ready when your hungry guests arrive.

Tip 4: No Time for Sit Down Dinner? Think Buffet!

Let’s face it, sit down dinners are nice when you are inviting only 3-4 close friends over for an intimate gathering. Hosting a party for 20+ requires fast, easy service of a buffet style setup. Presentation can be fun for a buffet. Create elevated levels by placing pots upside down beneath your table covering to create a staggered look for your culinary offerings. This is practical too and allows your guests to more easily reach for items around a crowded buffet table. Use baskets lined with denim-like towels for your biscuits/breads. Disperse country-themed sparkling items such as inexpensive crystals among your serving platters for extra pizzazz!

Tip 5: Candlelight and Fresh Flowers Are a Must

Whether you are hosting your party indoors or outdoors, candles add a special flair and ambiance. If outdoors, add floating candles to your pool. Cluster candles of varying height, colors and widths on your tables and walkways to create ambient lighting for your guests to enjoy. Citronella candles are available in a host of colors and styles to provide functional and beautiful purpose for keeping bugs at bay and guest comfortable.

Fresh flowers are a treat no matter what the occasion. But there is no need to splurge as fresh arrangements can get costly. Roll up your sleeves and check out your garden… Black Eyed Susans, Daylillies, Sweet Peas, and Butterfly Bushes and evergreen branches, offer inexpensive but fragrant bouquets. Place a glass in a cowboy boot and arrange your cut flowers for a true Denim and Diamonds centerpiece! Supplement smaller arrangements in smaller conversation areas with a few store-bought white roses.

Tip 6: Bring the Indoors – Outside or the Outdoors – Inside

You’ll want to pamper your guests even while outdoors. Add comfortable throw pillows to your patio chairs and pair you indoor dining room chairs with your outdoor country furniture. Crystal pitchers, silver platters and other metal (pewter) bowls make for an elegant presentation for beverages and appetizers. Need a little outdoors… inside? Add various evergreen branches to your arrangements or consider using outdoor decorative lighting such as string lights indoors to complement your Denim and Diamonds Party theme.

Tip 7: Make It Personal

It’s your party so add your own personal flair! Email is a convenient communication tool but a Denim and Diamonds Party calls for a more elegant strategy. Handwritten, themed invitations fit the bill for what to send to your guests. Your guests will be excited when they receive your Denim and Diamonds inspired invitation (invites shaped like denim Levi’s pocket complete with red tag and all?). Add some ‘bling’ to get the ‘diamonds’ theme going by using crystals and add-ons available in scrapbooking supply stores and craft super stores.

Tip 8: Keep It Cool

Backyard Denim and Diamond parties can get hot in the summer and cold in the spring or fall. Secure small fans with misters and camoflauge behind shrubbery and plants in your backyard. Use portable propane powered table top heaters and provide piles of blankets (western printed please!) to keep your guests comfortable for hours.

Tip 9: Always Have a Plan B

Always have a contingency plan because Mother Nature can be unpredictable despite your best plans for your Denim and Diamonds event. Keep your supplies well stocked for you last minute needs and plan ahead for what you will do if you need to move the party indoors due to inclement weather. Outdoor seating may be moved indoors and accented with throw pillows. Remember – these are your friends and they’ll have fun despite the weather!

Tip 10: Ask for Help if You Need It

Don’t be afraid to hire a party planner to consult with you on your plans prior to your party. If you can’t afford the planning – hire them to advise you on ideas, tips and decorating to help you organize and make it happen on your own. Keep it Simple! Hearty appetizers, classy cocktails and knock out decorations will make for a fun, stress free time for your elegant Denim and Diamonds party event!

The Monastic Life – The Path To Spirituality?

INTRODUCTION

Elijah and John, like other hermits (a monastic way of life) lived in the deserts. Jesus did not. What then is the pathway to spiritual maturity? Is it the life of the monk or otherwise? What we achieve, it must be noted, the monastic life or otherwise, is by the grace of God. God looks at the heart. What was Jesus' first miracle? In which ceremony did he perform it? If Jesus performed a miracle in a wedding fever, so promoting joyful celebration (though, with limitations), is this not a hint that, the monastic, celibate or ascetic life is not godlier than the wedded, celebratory life? Is monasticism the path to spirituality? Although there are good principles in the monastic life, it must be emphasized, echoed and re-echoed that only God can bring us to spirituality. From the foregoing, spirituality is not by works of righteousness but but by His grace alone.

1. DEFINITION OF TERMS

a. Spirituality

The term spirituality is defined as living the Christian life with a consciousness or sensitivity to religious values. Striving or aiming for perfection and making particular use of prayer are therefore very important considerations in many different Christian circles. However, it must be emphasized that spirituality asserts various forms in several Christian traditions, for instance, from the solitude of the Orthodox monks to the activism of the Pentecostals.

b. The monastic life

The monastic life refers to a way of religious life that is usually pursued within the confines of a monastery where the residents take several vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, living by the rule of the order to which they belong. Generally celibate and universally ascetic, the monastic individual separates himself or herself from general society either by living as a hermit or anchorite (religious recluse) or by joining a society of others who profess similar intentions. It is believed that despite St. Anthony is viewed as the founder of monasticism, the founder of the rule of life is St. Louis. Benedict. The goal of the monastic way of life was the achievement of personal salvation with God through a continuous spiritual battle with temptation. It is therefore reasonable to note that "the chief aim of the monk, therefore, is personal sanctification …" (Cross, 1975, 914).

c. Monastic spirituality

Monastic spirituality implies a single-heart solitary seeking of God, an approach to Him in response to His invitation found in Scripture, for instance, "seek ye first the kingdom of God" (Mt. 6:33). It is meant to be transported out in a lifetime and perfected or finalized in eternal life after one's death. It is a "way of life … that requires a certain discipline to dispose oneself to meet the living God" (Monastic Spirituality 2004). It therefore flows from a belief in a God who comes to those who are disposed to listening, who will persevere in seeking God even when it seems pointless boring. The forty-eighth verse of The Rule of St. Benedict states, "Do not be daunted immediately by fear and man away from the road that leads to salvation." It is bound to be narrow at the outside "(The Spirit of Benedictine Life, 2004).

2. TYPES OF THE MONASTIC LIFE

The Encyclopaedia Britannica generally divides monasticism into two, organizational or institutional, and hierarchical and status types. The organizational or institutional type could be further divided into eremitic, quasi-eremitic, cenobitic, quasi-monastic, and mendicant monks. The two subdivisions in the latter group include sacerdotal, and secondary and religious orders.

A common feature of true eremitic institutions is the emphasis on living alone on a strict contemplative life. Quasi-eeremitic institutions had loose organizational structures with no external hierarchies. In cenobitic monasticism, ascetism was to be pursued in community life and in obedience. The quasi-monastic groups are Christian military orders. Strictly defined, mendicant monks are those who live by begging.

3. CAUSES OF THE MONASTIC LIFE

Several reasons could have been attributed to the rise of monasticism. An important influence was the philosophical. The dualistic view of flesh and spirit, with its tendency to consider flesh and evil and spirit good- so characteristic of the Orient- influenced Christianity though the Gnostic and Neoplatonic movements. It was thought that retirement from the world could "help the individual crucify the flesh and to develop the spiritual life by meditation and ascetic acts" (Cairns, 1967, 163).

Secondly, it would appear as if some Scriptures seem to justify the monastic life. I Corinthians 7 is a case in point. Some early Church Pathhers like Origen, Cyprian, Tertullian and Jerome, urged celibacy to support correct interpretation of the Scriptures. Furthermore, it is observed, Antony, probably the first monk, "in response to those words (Matt. 19:21), disposed of his property and wave the procedures to the poor, reserving only a portion for the care of his sister" (Gonzalez 1984, 141). He even disposed of the small reserve fund that he had kept for his sister, placed her under the care of the virgins of the church, and left for the desert when a later verse "Do not be anxious for tomorrow" (Matt 6: 34) moved him. Although we do not really know when the flight to the desert really began, "Antony first embarked on the life of a hermit shortly before the year 270; but it sees that he had predecessors" (Lawrence 1984, 5).

The total spiritual poverty that is demanded of Christians and to which monks respond without hesitation appears to be lovingly gifted through in the Beatitudes. This is the core of the Benedictine Spirit – adhering to His teachings, extremely following Him who has introduced the same path from His baptism in the Jordan through the trials, misunderstandings and humiliations of rejection, to His glowing obedience to His Father and the final unblinking act of sacrifice. Furthermore, thirdly, certain psychological tendencies strengthened the desire for a monastic life. In period of crisis there is always a tendency to retreat from the harsh realities. The late second and third centuries saw the beginning of civil disorder which was to become so prevalent in the later history of the Empire. It is evident there that "many left society for the monarchy as a means of escape from harsh reality and the moral contamination of the times" (Cairns 1967, 164). Historically, there was increasing moral deterioration, especially of the upper classes in Roman society and monasticism became a haven for those in revolted against this growing decadence of the times. Geographically, the warm dry climate and the multitude of caves in the hills along the banks of the Nile were conductive to separation of the individual from society.

4. BENEFITS OF THE MONASTIC LIFE

It is a truism that there is so much evil in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us that we have to critically evaluate and learn to accommodate each other in the Christian faith. No denomination has it all right. There are strengths in the different denominations and the Christian needs to have a receptive spirit to learn from each. The monastic life is not an exception. There are several good points in this way of life worth mentioning. It is observed that monasteries "are necessary because the world is not Christian. Let it be converted, and the need for a monastic life will disappear" (Chrysostom, 1972, 52-53). History has not vined his hope. Monasticism has a unique testonomy to the world. It is firmly believed that "monasteries were the conservators of learning and the centers of missionary and philanthropic work." The monks were the authors, preachers, philosophers and theologians of the age …. "(Vos, 1994, 122). This is why Cross believes that "the monks were the chief teachers of Europe and an important civilizing power" (Cross 1957, 104).

The life of the Church between Constantine and the Reformation reveals that "almost everything in the church that approached the highest, noblest and truest ideals of the Gospel was done either by those who had chosen the monastic way or those who had been inspired in their Christian life by the monks "(Noll, 2000, 85). Douglas, Cairns and Ruark argument that "the monks were prominent in the Origenist controversies, intervened tempestuously in the fifth-century christological disputes, and became Byzantine Church's 'democratic front'" (Douglas, 1978, 671). Leaders of the Reformation such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Cranner and Menno Simmons used the writings of the monks to draw support for their theology. Luther and Calvin, for instance, reiterated the works of Augustine. In fact, "it should be remembered that Luther, Erasmus, and many other critics of the papacy had monastic backgrounds" (Vos, 1994, 122).
The monastic life was not only limited to manual labor but also extended to copying MSS., Teaching, art, all kinds of scholarly research and translation the Bible. A realistic summary of the influence of monastic life to Christianity could have been summarized thus:

If we read the Scripture in our native languages, we benefit from a tradition of biblical translation inspired by the monk Jerome (ca. 342-420). If we sing the praises of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we follow where the hymn-writing monks Gregory (ca.540-604) and Bernard of Clairvaux … If we pursue theology, we (are) interested to the monks Augustine and Thomas Aquinas (ca.1225-74). If we pray for the success of Christian missions, we ask for blessing upon enterprises pioneered by monks Patrick (ca.390-ca.460), Boniface (680-754), Cyril (826-69) and his brother Methodius (ca. 815-85) and Raymond Lull (ca.1233-ca.1315). If we glow in the goodness that God imparted to the created world, we follow where the friar Francis of Assisi blazed the trail … (Noll, 2000, 85).

5. SPIRITUALITY OF THE MONASTIC LIFE

From the foregoing, a question that readily comes to mind is whether the monastic way of life is really a path to spirituality? Clebsch realistically observes that Antony's retirement from the world is, at the very least, an ambiguous retreat, for though he separates himself from the distractions and nagging presses of ordinary human community, the wilderness to which Antony flees holds more significant challenges and dangers. When Antony finds no relief from an enthusiastic crowd during a rare visit to the city, "he assures those around him that he must contend with equal numbers – of demons – at his cell in the wilderness" (Clebsch 1980, 8).

Monasticism preaches separation from society, which lives according to the elements of this world, and from its economic, political and social problems. This generally led to the flight to the desert and the later autonomous existence of communities that care for the needs of their members. The monastic republic is Mount Athos, for instance, is a striking example of a social, self-governing life, separated from the world and even opposed to it. The thorney issue is that since everyone can not realistically share this vote, the monastic solution remains limited. It is not the solution for the world in its totality.

Even though the researcher is coming from a war torn land (Sierra Leone), he has come to realize that forgiveness and love are ways to demonstrate true spirituality. It must be noted that monks "headed the Inquisition and persuaded multitudes to participate in the crusades" (Noll, 2000, 140). The question is why was this so If the monastic life aimed at personal sanitation? As Christians, we must be honest to admit that "as they unfolded, the Crusades never accomplished as much good as supporters hoped, while evil consequences, unintended and unforeseen by proponents like Urban, proliferated" (Noll, 2000, 140). Even in Christianity, it is not farfetched to say that the Crusades sealed the Schism. It is unimaginable to note that people living the monastic life took part in political warfare.

The conviction of Protestants (including the researcher of this paper) about the centrality of justification by faith is bound to raise questions about whether the monastic life encouraged harmful notions concerning the possibility of salvation by works. A legitimate question worth asking is whether what the monks owed to do did not obscure the fundamental or foundational reality of God's grace. Paul got it right when he observed that "… it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourself, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph 2: 8-9). Obtaining salvation by works is nothing but a legal approach which is consistently condemned by Scripture. The tense of the verb in Ephesians 2: 8 establishes the necessity of faith in Christ as the only means of being made right with God. How central is the teaching of grace? This is a question the person living the monastic life would have to struggle with.

Does the ascetic pration of the body by the monk affect the true seat of sinfulness? In response, it is vehemently argued that "the bent of the heart, rather than the disposal of the body, is the key matter in godliness" (Noll, 2000, 103). In fact, an issue in our recently concluded module was sex and spirituality. Although Catholics believe that sex is only for procreation, the Protestant views sex between husband and wife for pleasure also as true spirituality. Even Bro. Lawrence was honest enough to admit some of the problems of a type of monastic life. It is interesting to note that Brother Lawrence began to doubt the wisdom of his decision to live in the desert, wishing instead to live within a Christian brotherhood … Members of the group could have adjusted and exhort one another, protecting them against the changeableness of their individual whims (Lawrence, 1982, 78).

CONCLUSION

In all fairness to monasticism, the institution "owes its origin to the desire of leading a life of perfection in greater security than is normally possible in the world" (Cross 1975, 914). Monks for more than a thousand years sustained a lot of noble qualities in the Church. It is reasonable to note that the monastic life, "though never perfect, always in need of reform, and occasionally sunk in corruption- remains today, more than seventeen hundred years after Antony went into the desert, a guide and inspiration to large sections of the Church "(Noll, 2000, 104). However, it would be farfetched to state that monasticism is a path to spirituality. It is incontrovertible that there are good principles in the monastic life. This notwithstanding, one must hasten to note that only God can bring us to spirituality. It is not by works of righteousness but but by His grace alone. The environment is really not the issue. I believe that the inside of the man is the real issue. The philosophers believe that if a man is sick, he will still be at the same place if you were to remove him from the gutters to the palace. Why? The answer is that he carries his disease with him. Did Jesus avoid non-Christians? No. What does He mean when he observes that though the Christian is in the world, he is not of it? The researcher observes that these words suggest or recommend a very unique ministry. This ministry looks to show itself above the desert and the city, since it is called to surpass every form in order to express itself everywhere and in all circumstances. How can monks be given birth to or monasteries be populated without the life on the other side of the monastery? It is suggested that there is only one spirituality for all without distinction in its demands, whether of the bishop, monk or layperson. St. Seraphim left the extreme practices of the hermits and returned to the world. He was no longer a monk retired from the world nor a man living among people. He was both, and surpassing both, he was essentially a witness to Biblical spirituality.

WORKS CITED

Beaufort, Lawrence. The Practice of the Presence of God. New Kensington: Whitaker House, 1982.
Cairns, EE Christianity Through the Centuries. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing

House, 1967.
Chrysostom, John. Her Nature and Task, in Bible, Church Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View,

Collected Works, Vol. 1. Maryland: Norland, 1972.
Clebsch, WA The Life of Antony and the letter of Marcellinus. New York: Paulist Press, 1980.
Cross, FL, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.
Douglas, JDEE Cairns and James E. Ruark, The New International Dictionary of the Christian

Church. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1989 ed. sv Sacred Offices and Orders.
Gonzalez, JL The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation, Vol. 1

Cambridge: Harper and Row Publishers, 1984.
Lawrence, CH Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages.

London: Longman, 1984.
Monastic Spirituality. Available [online]: http://www.christdesert.org/noframes/

scholar / monastic_spirituality.html. Accessed 20th September 2004.
Noll, Mark A. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids,

Michigan: Baker Academic, 2000.
The Spirit of Benedictine Life. Available [online]: http://www.christdesert.org/noframes/

scholar / benedict / benedict_spirituality.html. Accessed 20th March 2004.
Vos, HF Introduction to Church History. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994.

How To Make A Form For Making Concrete Bricks

It's very easy to make your own concrete bricks, pavers or stepping stones. One item you will need is a form in which to cast your project. You may need more than one and you may need them in different sizes.

Let's use a patio paver for an example. Let's say your patio design requires cement stones that are 8 x 8 and 8 x 16. Here's how you would go about making these forms very easily.

Buy some cheap furring strips at your home center. These are eight feet long and 2.5 inches wide. Also buy some 2 x 2. It's also eight feet long. Get some coarse-threaded screws 1.5 inches long.

From this stock you'll cut two pieces eight inches long and two pieces 20 inches long for each form you want to make. You will also cut four pieces of 2 x 2 that are 2 inches long. The only measurement that has to be fairly accurate is when you cut the eight inch pieces. The rest can be approximate.

Put two of the eight inch pieces together back to back. Put two 2 x 2's at each end so it looks like a capital I. Now you know where the 2 x 2's go, take one eight inch piece and put it on its end. Hold the 2×2 in the place you just had it while you pre-drill two holes and attach the screws. You want the edge of the 2 x 2 and the end of the eight inch piece to be flush. Assemble the other three ends the same way.

Put the assembled pieces back to back again in a capital I. Spread them apart until you have a measure of 16 inches between them. Now screw the 20 inch long pieces on with one screw in the middle of the 2 x 2 so you miss the screws you have already put into it.

That's all you need to make your 8 x 16 forms. When you want to use the 8 x 8 forms, just unscrew the 20 inch side pieces and measure your 8 inch pieces to be 8 inches apart. Pre-drill a hole and screw them to the 2 x 2's as before.

If you decide you want an 8 x 4, you just slide the eight inch pieces to that measure. You could use this form for any 8 by "X" size brick from one inch to 16 inches.

What about the thickness? What if you do not want cement bricks that are 2.5 inches thick? There are two ways to handle this.

One way is to only fill the forms to the depth that you want your brick to be thick. You could make a sight line on the wood to know when you've hit the right depth. If your bricks turn out to be of varying thickness, do not worry. You can compensate when you lay them.

The second way is to trim the wood to the proper width on a table saw. If you have a table saw, you can use any wood you can find, even boards from old pallets will be fine, and save the expense of buying the furring strips.

Have fun with your project!

Choosing the Right Laminate Flooring Underlay

The choice of your laminate flooring underlay will depend entirely on the conditions of the floor. The more you are aware of the conditions that the floor will be affected with the better you can prepare for its life. The floors get pressure from both the top and the bottom. Therefore, you need to provide good protection and conditions on both sides.

By following the right maintenance techniques, you can manage the top very easily. However, the bottom is another story. Once the flooring has been installed, you can not really work with the bottom side very easily. For this reason, it is essential to choose the best laminate flooring underlay.

Steps to choose the right laminate flooring underlay

When you decide on laying the floor, check the sub floors. You need to know if the material utilized is timber or concrete slabs. When you know about the material underneath, you will have to study it for damage or effects from moisture. When you're aware of the moisture level underneath and on top of the floor, the right laminate flooring underlay will protect the flooring.

Another important consideration is that the right laminate flooring will work effectively if you have a smooth sub floor. If it's very clean and has a smooth level then the laminate floor underlay will adhere better and not be prone to cracks. Therefore, for a concrete floor you must fill in any gaps and smooth out the surface completely. On a timber sub floor, you will simply have to nail down all the boards very nicely. To create the smoothest surface you might have to top it off with plywood sheets. The trickiest situation comes when you have a high level of moisture in the region and the sub floor is solid. These are made out of stone, concrete or bricks.

In this case, you will have to use the filler compound which is damp proof. Any of the gaps should be filled in and you should let it dry out completely before you start using the laminate floor underlay.

Now you need to work out the budget to choose the laminate floor underlay. You can have a combination or solid form between different materials. These generally include plywood, cork or foam. You can also build in more layers of sound proofing materials. However, these are slowly expensive so you can work out the additional elements based on your budget.

Do You Understand How a GMIB Works?

Is it a big surprise to me that the average investor does not understand how their variable annuity benefits work? No, I wish it was. It is for this reason I launched annuityiq.com. The fact that few people actually understand their variable annuity benefits is absolutely believable.

These benefits are sold as a, "do not worry if it does not work out you will at least get your 5 to 7% rate of return." The rate of return with a GMIB, guaranteed minimum income benefit, builds totally separate from your actual account value. Your investments will fluctuate and be completely dependent upon the sub-accounts performance. A sub-account is the insurance companies name for a mutual fund, but they can not call a sub-account a mutual fund.

The GMIB will grow in a separate phantom bucket called your "benefit base". Your initial benefit base is simply the amount of your initial investment, also known as your purchase premium. The base benefit is what the 5 to 7% will compound on. You have to understand that this is and has no relation to your cash value or market value of your contract.

A GMIB will have a holding period attached to it. The holding period is the minimum number of years that you have to hold the contract before you can exercise the benefit. This waiting period can vary from 7 years to 10 years depending on the insurance issuer's terms. When you exercise the benefit you are annuitizing it and will receive a lifetime of income.

The annuitization tables that are used are based on very conservative assumptions. The insurance company usually guarantees you a minimum interest rate, about 2%, and fall outside of traditional annuitization tables. The company may roll back your age to calculate your annuity payments. This age rollback is not good for you. The company will generally roll your age back anywhere from 8 to 10 years. This means that if you exercise this benefit when you are 75, the company will base your payments as if you were 65 years old.

The end result is you receive lower annuity payments. Also the only way to take these annuized payments is period certain with life. Lifetime payments are lower than period certain payments. Period certain payments range from 5 years to 20 years and are geared to pay you all of your interest and principal back over whatever time frame you had chosen. For example if you chose a 10 year period certain then at the end of 10 years you will not receive any payments. The life with period certain is basically a life time benefit and if you die prior to the period certain time then a beneficiary will receive some payments until that period certain is up.

With living benefits, specifically GMIB's, you have two flavors to choose from.

1. Dollar-for-dollar

2. Proportionate

The difference between the two is major. Dollar-for-dollar will allow you to withdrawal up to the GMIB interest rate amount without impacting your base benefit.

For example:

A $ 100,000 investment with a GMIB of 5%, which is dollar-for-dollar; you could withdraw that 5% without decreasing your benefit base of $ 100,000. You could, if your investments did not perform, annuitize the original $ 100,000 after 10 years, even if your account's cash value is almost depleted. This benefit is good during a declining market.

Proportionate withdrawals will reduce your base benefit by the same percentage as the withdrawal. So you could not take out that 5% compounding without reducing your base benefit. The only time you could take income out is the market, or your investments, did well. This is because you are taking the 5% out of your earnings and therefore you will not affect your base benefit. The only time this benefit is good is when the market, or your investments, go up in value.

I know it is terribly complex to understand exactly how these benefits work. The good news is most of the GMIB's are dollar-for-dollar now, there are only a few that are proportionate. You have to read either the prospectus or the contract to find out if the GMIB is dollar-for-dollar or proportionate. You also need to realize that even if your contract is dollar-for-dollar any withdrawal over the GMIB interest rate will be proportionate and will affect your base benefit.

The question is now why would anyone want a GMIB? I can easily answer that question. People want peace of mind and the comfort so even if everything went wrong I still have this to rely upon. I do think that people do not understand how these benefits work and have bought them under a misunderstanding of information. These benefits can be so difficult to explain that some people summarize it way too much and that leads to the misunderstanding.

I, personally, feel that these GMIB's are old news. I do not, nor have I ever, fully liked them. Like I said before they are difficult to understand and can lead to problems later in life. I also do not like the idea that you have to annuitize to realize the benefit. With the advent of For-life benefits why would anyone want a product that is so restrictive? I do not believe they are anymore.

I view the folks who sole sell GMIB benefits as the last horse and buggy salesmen. They either do not like the For-Life benefits or are hung up on being able to offer "6%" GMIB's. Most For-Life benefits are 5% and are there less less attractive compared to offering 6% or even 7% in some cases.

The bottom line is this; For-Life is the way to go. You have flexibility, the potential for higher income if your investments do well, no annuitization and your money is guaranteed for life. Compared to a GMIB which may be capped as it reaches certain compounding thresholds, you have to annuitize it to realize the benefit, you have to wait ten years to exercise the benefit and you have to be careful about how much money you take out of your investment.

There are too many caveats to GMIB's and not enough reward. A For-Life benefit gives you everything you could ask for out of a variable annuity. The question is how are you going to find the best For-Life benefit? I did the research for you, use it, get "The Annuity Report" at http://www.annuityiq.com .

Core Star Meditation

With due respect to reiki and pranic grand master. Virendra Thakkar, I am presenting a very powerful core self-empowerment technique known as Core Star mediation.

Hara alignment

  1. Be aware of the Tan-Tien 1 and inch inch below the belly button on the middle of the body. Feel the power and heat there.Feel the heat as in the molten core of the earth stay focused there until it is very hot. Take very slow and deep 10 breaths by counting 10 to 1, while constantly visualizing the Tan-Tien point.
  2. Be aware of the Soul- seat in the chest 2 and inch inch below the hollow in your throat. It is not the heart chakra. It is like diffused light around a candle. Soul's linging and the song of the Soul, resides here. When you connect with it, it feels like a bulb being blown up inside your chest. It has spherical appearance. Take another set of 10 breaths, counting 10 to 1, while visualizing the Soul -seat.
  3. Feel the laser line going from the Soul-seat down through the Tan-Tien in the pelvis and into the center of the Earth. Take 10 deep breaths, while focusing on the core of the earth.
  4. Focus on the Laser line going through the Soul seat — Tan Tien — pelvis — center of the Earth. Feel the strength and silence in the room.
  5. Be aware of the ID point, 2 and to to 3 feet above your head, inch inch in diameter. While visualizing the ball, keep your spell straight, you may hear a high-pitched sound, if your auditory perception is open this is like God-Head ID point. Take 10 deep breaths, while focusing on ID point. Feel that tiny laser beam [half the size of your little finger] going to the molten core of the earth through the Soul-seat and the Tan Tien.
  6. Feel the power. This is alignment. This is bridge between heaven and earth.

Light Emerging From the Core Star

  1. Be aware of the Core-star 1and1 / 2 inch above the belly-button. There is the essence of your

– Who you are beyond time, space, longing and desires.

– At this place there is no need, no pain, no desire, you are simply a creator.

The creative force moves from the core-star through the ID point Soul-seat and Tan-Tien on the haric level.

Allow the light within your Core star to emerge within every cell of your body, bringing the members of your body together within the light of your body. That light is the light of your core star the God within.

Do this where there is

– Pain or illness.

– Anger or fear.

– Suspicion or greed.

-forgetting

Allow that essence to flow through each layer of the auric field.

GEETA JHA [SPIRITUAL HEALER]

INDIA

Important Tips For Laminating the Paper to Wood

Lamination is the process that the two materials will be united to be one. Laminating your paper to wood is the technique that is very useful for displaying the photographs or even other essential documents. Glue is one of the easiest ways in laminating the paper to wood. Paper is the tricky material to work with just like the laminate material, as it will be fragile, and the glue may eat away at it over the time. The non-acidic glue of the archives is the great type to work with when you are laminating paper, as it will keep the paper from yellowing or even aging quickly. Here is more information for you.

For the first step, you can sand a wood piece with the 220 grit sandpaper in order to remove all rough edges. After that, wipe the wood with the damp cloth when you have finished in getting rid of the dust. Then, wait for your wood to dry.

For the second step, you need to put the acrylic medium glue at the back of your paper and also position it on your wood board. The acrylic medium glue will hold the paper to the several of surfaces and can also be used in creating the texture. If you cannot find the type of this glue, your can use an acid-free liquid glue.

For the last step, you should paint the surface of your wood with the layer of your acrylic medium glue. You can use the smooth, downward strokes in applying the glue. You need to wait for it to get dry and then sand it with the 220 grit sandpaper in removing the bubbles. After that, paint the other layer over the surface and then wait for it to get dry. Remember to sand it in removing all bubbling in the surface.

Insulation Covers And Connectors – Important Electrical Accessories

Brief on Insulation Covers

Insulation covers or blankets help maintain process temperature, protect machine components from environmental stress and give highest level of insulation thus ensuring long product life. They not only protect the product but also the personnel working on the machines. Insulation covers reduce undue stress on the machinery and offer increased energy efficiency. These blankets also aid in effective process control by keeping checks on process temperatures, flow of the material, levels of ingredients in the process, etc. Overall they help in making the process cost effective.

An insulation cover is either tight fit or removable. Even the tight fit covers are removable and replaceable. They ensure a complete covering and are highly long lasting. Customized insulation blankets can be designed by studying the facility, evaluating the process parameters and ensuring they increase the efficiency.

Brief on Screened Separable Connectors

Functional Parameters

Connectors are an electro mechanical device for joining and making the electrical terminations touch proof. They consist of a male component viz. Plugs and the female component viz. Jacks. The screened separable connectors are made of silicone EPDM rubber. They connect cables to switch gears, transformers and other equipment. These connectors are protected by touch proof outer screen making them fully insulated, submersible. The fully screened connection makes mating with both A and C type bushings possible. Their design is compact, finish is smooth, current capacity is high to the tune of 250A, 630A to 1250A and performance is effective. Their voltage ratings are 11KV, 15KV, 24KV, etc. Using these connectors both ends of the cable are terminated sometimes using identical connectors or at times terminated differently.

Installation

The screened separable connectors are easy, safe and quick to install due to their optimized design and selection of material. They fit into smallest of installation spaces and even when the clearances for operation is insufficient.

Characteristics

Connectors are a physical interface and they should be of a proper size, offer good resistance, give proper insulation, show ruggedness, should be resistant to water, pressure and other factors. Their reliability, durability and ease of installation determine the area of usage.

Applications

These connectors find usage in a wide range of industries like electric substation, underground distribution, shipping, mining, oil and gas, railways, etc.

Summarizing

Screened separable connectors make the terminations touch proof and the insulation covers provide utmost electrical safety. The installation, operational and performance qualification of these accessories must be well documented to ensure compliance with regulations. Onsite training and documentation of the same is also a requirement for safety compliance.

Why to Design a Black and White Fashion Designer Logo

Fashion designing is a game of colors. Whether creating apparel or jewelery or handbags, blending appealing shades in contrasting way is the knot of creative designing. I've often seen people rejecting a fine-looking dress just because "red is not in," or "yellow does not suit my looks" and other similar comments on colors. So, color is one the definitive factors when one buys a style product. This has led designers to believe that their logosought to be multihued and vibrant. This is often a misconception because one can create an excellent fashion designer logo using just two colors – black and white.

The questions, however, is, "why fashion designers' logo should be black and white and not colored?" Here are some answers you can not easily ignore.

Easy and Cheap to Print

Colored cartridges are expensive and people often avoid printing in color when need multiple copies. They are also more flexible in use as you do not have to take much care in using them on your flyers, business cards, and letter heads because they can fit well on paper.

Have a Classy Ever-Green Look

Colors go in and out but black and white remain. Black and white is a combination that has been in use since the advent of creative designing and there is no chance of their getting out of fashion. Having this ever-green combination on your logo ensures that your logo will never become out-of-date. You can use this logo forever.

Grab Attention through Excellent Contrast

Black and white colors are popular for their excellent contrast. They go perfectly well together. What more, their contrast is very much attractive and eye-catching, so you can easily grab the attention of the onlookers using this appealing combination.

Stand Out In the Crowd of Images

As I pointed out earlier, when creating a fashion logo, focus usually is on the use of colors. So there is pretty good chance that in any fashion designing competition or event, all other logos will be full of color but yours will be unique. Beside, the designer has not relied on the colors for creating the appeal, so it will more artistic and creative. In the gallery of logos of all fashion designers, your logo will easily stand out.

Conveys clear message

Have you ever give it a thought that the all manuscripts and document requires black printing on white paper? This is simply because that it's easiest to read black text with white background. Changing the font color or background color can make the message unclear and difficult to read. Black & White fashion designer logo is, therefore, better in communicating its message than a colored one.

Combining them all, you come up with an attractive, more powerful and unique design with black and white colors which will give your fashion business an outstanding character.

Where Can We Find Art In Our Day-To-Day Lives?

After the controversial appearance of Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” in 1917, the world began to understand that art is not only to be found in a painting or sculpture, but rather can be made from anything around us. Later the enormous success of Pop art developed this theme. In other words, artists showed us that art is everywhere and we just need to train our eyes to see it and discover the potential in our world.

It is some time since art was exclusively the province of galleries and museums. While these remain main centers for art-lovers, the growth of street art, performance art, land art and many other innovative kinds of art have meant that it really can be something we see as we walk down the street, a part of our ordinary lives.

The world continues to change, and we become more demanding in our desire to bring some form of art to normal life. Furniture is carved or molded in unusual and creative ways, light fixtures can become works of art, while we expect a print if not an original work on many of the free walls we see on a regular basis, from our own homes to our offices to the doctor’s surgery.

Art rules our minds, it surrounds us on all sides. Going to work you can listen to a favorite piece of music through your earpieces, you can be inspired by a billboard or a piece of public art, or even recent graffiti. At lunch you may visit a gallery with a friend, or watch an art house film in the evening. One single day can include exposure to – and, if you are aware of it, appreciation of – so many different kinds of art.

Leonardo da Vinci said that there are three types of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see. Contemporary art tries to attract the attention of all these kinds of people, even the last type. Modern art is sometimes bright and flashy, but at the same time it is unexpected, it appears in displays we would never have thought about before.

Art is a way of finding beauty in the world, and adding a sense of joy to our lives. However it can also act as a way of dealing with the problems of existence that have bothered humanity for millennia. In a more abstract sense, it can influence the way you live and make your life itself a recognized thing of value. Somerset Maugham believed that life is an art, that every person creates a work of art just by living.

This is a powerful thing – in letting art become a part of our life and allowing it to form our lives, we can live in a world where everything can be art, or the inspiration for art, and where everyone can in some sense be an artist.

Food Court Design – Tips to Start a Good Project

There are several factors to be taken into consideration before we start to design a food court, the first factor being what sort of building it will be located in.

A big suburban shopping center will require a design different from a smaller mall located in the CBD – where most of the foot-traffic comes between 12 and 2pm – which will also be different from an airport food court, where time can also be a constrain with several peaks occurring at different times. The "surroundings" of the food court will influence its size, shape and the location of the area within the building.

The size for a food court is usually delineated by two main measurable elements: a proportion of the leasable space in the building is and the catchment area of ​​the development – to be taken into consideration on the first design concept. There are other non-quantitative factors which will also influence the project, such as planned expansions and mix variations which will be taken into account from day one. With some historical activities in the retail industry facing drastic reductions in trading revenues and store area, young women's clothing is losing space quickly to online transactions and other activities are just disappearing Hospitality and entertainment are options lessors will look into fill up the gaps.

Location of a food court : Take an airport, where you have some time to kill either waiting for your flight or for an arrival. After walking a long stretch from the car-park and checking the arrivals and departures screens, customers typically wander around for a bit, walking by the traditional book shop, t-shirt store, or gift and souvenir before stopping by the gate and waiting. As food courts attract more customers than traditional retail shops and offer seating, it would be unwisely to locate it in front of the departure or arrivals gates as it would retain customers away from the other shops, decreasing revenue and in consequence, rentals. It would also certainly contribute to create a congestion in key areas of the airport. Spreading up people evenly through a transport hub helps with security, air conditioning balance and comfortable transit. Same basic rules apply to places and the big difference would be: customers typically do not have two main destinations as in an airport.

Shapes : Corridor, cul-de-sac, square, crescent, I'm sure you have come across food courts of all configurations and forms. The typical "corridor" type with services lined on both sides can be cost effective for the developer but it's boring and inconvenient for customers and operators. Concentration of services tend to reduce installation and maintenance costs but can also bite the developer back once that required to make an alteration to accommodate a new operator. Cul-de-sac can also be kind on installation costs but it does not leave room for expansion or changes; the mall is landlocked and the only way to expand is taking down other tenancies. Our big old square is roomy, versatile, bit harder to clean and costly to install, but alterations are less painful.

In recent years and on amalgamation and adaptation of existing buildings intoalls and food courts, we observed the tendency of clusters of smaller food courts. Sometimes dictated by technical restrictions or incapacity of the building on accommodating a large number of people in a single area, the clusters have a bit of a charm as they do not look as busy or as noisy as big areas do. The right mix of operators can put together similar customers creating a more friendly and "personalized" environment.

Another golden rule is to try as much as possible to keep the food court outline simple; just avoid "interesting" shapes, as it can make the interaction and crossing of services complicated, which will increase installation price and create difficult maintenance. Keep the backbone of the food court design plain and simple and the project will flow naturally.

The Meanings Behind Eagle Tattoo Designs

When you are looking at eagle tattoo designs, there are various meanings behind them. After all, everyone from the Americans to the Egyptians has been known to worship eagles. To some, eagles represent the sun. To some, they represent freedom and liberty.

As I said, it represents liberty to a lot of people, including people in the armed forces, who often sport them. They are also said to signify wealth, strength and power. In combination with other things, such as flags or banners, eagle tattoo designs can be the ultimate patriotic symbol.

Bald eagle tattoo designs might be a good choice if you want to show off your pride in or love for the United States. That is because bald eagles have been a symbol of freedom in the United States since the country was established, practically. Because of that symbolism, they are becoming increasingly popular in the United States.

It is also important that you realize that some cultures, such as the Native American, believe that they are religious in nature. To Native Americans, eagles are almost magical. They are considered to be the king of the birds.

It can also represent a soaring spirit. You might consider getting one if you have high goals in life. That way, you can show off your inner eagle.

Men choose eagle tattoo designs to declare their independence. Eagle tattoos represent strength and a bit of a loner quality. So, if you want to show your independent side, you may want to get one.

When it comes to choosing from designs out there, it is not that simple. There are many possible tattoos to choose from. So, you should not just simply choose any design without any consideration.

The good news is that there are many easy tattoo galleries and websites on the Internet to help you make your choice. As an online gallery member, you will have access to thousands of possibilities. Remember, too, that the designs can come in many sizes, colors, shapes and with many different fonts. So, eagle tattoo designs can be fully customized to suit you and give you the perfect tattoo that you can enjoy for years.