2 August 2020

The Incredible Dinosaur Wall of Bolivia

Some things appear where you least expect them.  Although dinosaur tracks have been discovered the world over, climbing up a near vertical wall in a Bolivian quarry? Bolivia – yes, fine. Zooming up hundreds of feet towards the skies? Hardly.  Yet here they are.  Spread across a limestone slab a mile long and almost 300 feet high, this great wall at Cal Orcko near the city of Suvre reveals more than 5,000 footsteps, with 462 discrete trails.

27 July 2020

Quarantine Favorites: The Best Things To Spend Your Money On


Although quarantine has made us spend more time inside with our families, it’s also allowed us to spend more time online. Particularly, shopping online. It’s so much quicker to add things to your online basket than to buy them in store. Also, shopping online means you can easily compare prices for similar items with just a click of your button. However, how many times have you bought something online and forgot to send it back? Or even, were too lazy to make a refund so you just ended up keeping the item? Don’t worry, this is more common than you think.

While you can save lots of money by online shopping, it’s also easy to lose money by being lazy with your returns. It’s important to consider just what you are putting in your basket online, and how much you will realistically use it at home. Remember, you’re not doing as many things as you usually would at home, so it’s unlikely that you need to buy as much! Here is a list of the best things to spend your money on in quarantine which will get used the most during your time at home:

1. Hair Dye


With most salons shut right now, dark roots are growing quicker than ever before. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until they open again! Even if your salon is still open for business, why wait to get an appointment when you can just touch up your roots yourself? Head to your nearest drugstore to pick up some dye. There are some good drugstore hair color brands that will only leave you $10 to $15 out of pocket, rather than your usual $40 to $45 plus tip at a salon. Don’t forget to rub petroleum jelly around your ears and on your forehead so you don’t stain your skin! If you’re really nervous about doing it yourself, ask one of your friends or family (who live in the same home as you) to give you a hand. They’ll make sure to do a good job!

2. A Food Processor


Social distancing has meant that we’re spending more time with our families at home. One of the rooms that we’re spending our time in is the kitchen! Family meals are a great time for parents to be role models for healthy eating, while also encouraging meal time family bonding. This time at home has also given us a chance to learn to cook and try out new recipes. One cooking tool used a lot in these recipes is a food processor.

Unlike a blender that should be used for liquid based foods, a food processor is used to make dry ingredients like hummus and pesto. A food processor also slices veggies like tomatoes, shreds cheese, finely chops/grinds ingredients, and of course mixes! Many large processors can also make delicious butters like nutbutter or sunflower seed butter. Here are some other tasty ideas:


3. Arts and Crafts Materials


Creating arts and crafts is a great way to spend time with your kids and is one of the most popular pastimes during quarantine. Therefore, arts and crafts materials are a good thing to spend your money on. Try some handmade fourth of July crafts ahead of this year’s celebrations. From a DIY fourth of July wreath to painted lawn stars, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to celebrate Independence Day!

Another popular arts and crafts pastime is knitting. Of course! Who wouldn’t want to come out of quarantine with a homemade blanket, scarf, or even a sweater? There are plenty of free knitting patterns online, you just need to buy the wool!


4. A Study Course


An online study course is a great investment if you want to stay productive during lockdown and learn a new skill that you can take with you forever! As well as various college online programs, you can emerge from quarantine as a nurse with an online nursing degree for non nurses. The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Baylor University combines online courses, clinical and lab experiences, and hybrid interactive learning courses in an intensive full-time program. As well as access to teaching from a nationally recognized faculty, the program’s main coursework is online which means you can study from home! The program is currently designed for students residing in Texas, but outside the DFW metro area. The next start date is January 11, 2021 and Baylor are now accepting applications!

5. A Sewing Machine


There’s no doubt that a sewing machine is a big investment, especially if you’ve never sewn before, but it’s also an exciting one. With all this free time at hand, sewing is a great way to express your creativity and who knows, you could be a natural at it! From making your own clothes, to creating handmade gifts for birthdays and Christmas, there really is nothing you can’t do with a sewing machine. Why not start with learning how to make a cloth face mask to wear to slow down the spread of coronavirus? Once you’ve got the hang of it, you could make different ones with different fabric patterns for the whole family!

6. Exercise Equipment


Since many gyms have closed their doors, people have been trying to make the most of household items that double up as exercise equipment. However, if you want something a bit more professional, proper exercise equipment is a good thing to spend your money on. This means you can also eat your tinned cans as well! Basic equipment like yoga mats can mean that working out from home can be much more comfortable and enjoyable – you don’t just have to use them for yoga! Weighted resistance bands are also useful for stretching and add an extra level of weighted resistance to your workout. You can also increase the weight as you switch up the heaviness for different exercises. The best thing? Bands are not just affordable, but super easy to store in your garage and don’t take up much space!

What are some of the best things you have bought during quarantine?

23 July 2020

Wish 143


A teenage boy is suffering with terminal cancer – not to mention adolescent growing pains – when he is approached by a wish-giving charity (if you don’t know you’re dying already you do when that happens to you…).  As a horny teenager who hasn’t yet lost you know what, then you can guess what his wish is. Wish 143 is an Oscar nominated short film directed and co-produced by Ian Barnes. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, look out for a familiar face.

Mythopolis


If legendary characters from Greek mythology had to live their lives and solve their problems in today´s world, how would they go about it?  That is the interesting starting point of Czech director and animator Alexandra Hetmerova’s graduation film (for her masters), Mythopolis.

Here, Medusa has some problems with her young son Mino (I think she must have stolen the child from Pasiphaë but wouldn’t you if you knew a child was to be consigned to life in a labyrinth?) not to mention her love life (or lack thereof).  Hugely entertaining, especially if you love Greek mythology.

Astrolabe – Magnificent Computer of the Ancients

It is an ancient tool, created over two thousand years ago when people thought that the Earth was the center of the universe. They are often referred to as the first computer and however debatable that statement might be there is one thing for sure without a doubt.  Astrolabes are objects of immense mystery and beauty.

So what does an astrolabe do and how were they useful in the ancient world? Firstly they are problem solving instruments – they compute things such as the time of day according the position of the sun and the stars in the sky. Like a computer, you input information and then you receive output.  They were typically made of brass and had a 6 inch diameter, although as we will see much larger ones were made.

7 July 2020

Speedway - The Curious Motorsport with No Brakes


Four riders line up at the start line where a set of white tapes stretch across the track to block them from moving forwards. Each of them wears a different coloured helmet, one red, one blue, one yellow and one green/white. As they await the order to start, they rev their engines and turn their heads to watch the mechanism that lifts the white tapes up.

As it triggers, they drop their clutches and rocket forwards, accelerating to breakneck speeds in just a couple of seconds before sliding their bike around the shale-covered hairpin bend, showering the spectators with dust and dirt in the process.

This sport, known as speedway, was once one of the most popular in the United Kingdom. In fact, online bookmaker and casino brand, Coral, first built its business off the back of it. Today, though, Coral makes much more of its money from sports like football and horse racing, as well as its online casino that’s been rated 4.5/5 by oddschecker.

Unlike Coral, which has gone from strength to strength, speedway has almost died out in the UK. It’s grown in popularity throughout eastern, central and northern Europe though. With large numbers of supporters in Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Russia.

In Poland, speedway is one of the most popular sports with the Polish Extraleague boasting the highest average event attendances of any sport in the country.

No Brakes
One of the biggest factors that distinguishes speedway from other forms of motorcycle racing is the fact that riders have no brakes to stop their bike. To go around a corner, the rider will lean in and accelerate, forcing the back wheel to step out and allow the rider to slide the bike around the curve.

This creates some exciting racing as riders will navigate each bend with different arcs, either taking the shortest route around the inside or sacrificing this to get a faster exit speed to attack their opponent at the next corner.

Races are a sprint, lasting just four laps. A single event will see more than a dozen races take place, with riders scoring points depending on how they finish in each heat. 

Methanol
Another curiosity of the sport is that bikes must be fuelled with methanol, a form of alcohol used in industrial settings. This creates a unique smell at speedway races that many fans say adds to the atmosphere.

Using methanol instead of more traditional fuels allows riders to reach speeds as high as 80 mph as they navigate the bends, something that wouldn’t normally be possible on such short tracks.

Speedway may not be appreciated by many, but it’s a unique sport that’s the product of its strange rules, odd fuel choice, and very brave riders.

How Early Man Discovered Art


At some point in early human history, man discovered art and the wonderful drawings discovered in caves are testament to this early inclination to culture.  This video shows us one way in which, perhaps, the art of the chase gave way to the art of the cave. However, as you will discover in this wonderful animated short by LISAA students, while one step is made in the general direction of civilization, others are yet to be determined.

The Legend of Dōgo Onsen 道後温泉


If you have seen Spirited Away you may not be aware that the inspiration for the bath house in the movie was Dōgo Onsen, the oldest in Japan and situated in the city of Matsuyama.  To celebrate its 120th birthday, Brad Kremer (who has been there many times) was asked to make this short film combining animation, stop-motion and real-time footage.  The result is entrancing.

Strange Fruit


A father and son’s day is interrupted when they encounter a boy of a different color.  What happens next is an extended visual metaphor around the phenomena of racism.  Is it an acquired cultural trait or do we each have responsibility for our conscience? This powerful animation is the Graduation short film by Shimi Asresay and Hili Noy from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem.

The Dead Leaf Butterfly - Camouflage King of the Asian Tropics


Although the title of this article at our sibling site the Ark in Space has already given the game away, take a close look at the ‘leaf’ above.  Dead and withered, its dark veins still stretch across the parchment thin remains of its once emerald resplendence. Yet a closer look reveals a head, eyes and legs.  This isn’t at all what it appears to be – and that is exactly how nature intended.  Pop over to Ark in Space and see what is to be found on the inside of the wings!

First Image Credit - Wikimedia

10 Amazing Places to Visit in China that Aren’t the Great Wall or The Terracotta Army

If you are visiting China as a tourist then the likelihood is that at some point during your stay you will find yourself at the Great Wall.  This remains one of the country’s sites that simply should not be missed, especially when you travel to places along its length that are less visited by tourists (take our tour).  Yet in this vast country there are hundreds of other places that could crown a visit for one reason or another.  As with college paper writing service reviews, you need to find out a little about your destination before you venture there. They may be less well known than the Great Wall or indeed the Terracotta Army but they linger in the minds and hearts of all who visit them. Here are just ten of those amazing places you could visit while in China.

1 Huanglong – Land of the Yellow Dragon
The Minshan Mountain Range is situated in the north of China’s Sichuan Province.  An area of outstanding natural beauty it is home to a four kilometer stretch of travertine landforms and pools.  Even in its home country the place is relatively little-known. Yet Huanglong, literally Yellow Dragon, is a place of wonders. You cannot get a better recommendation than that - and when it comes to it, essay writing reviews will also let you know who you can trust, what will be wonderful or not.

4 July 2020

Why Bingo is a Social Game for Women


Gambling is supposed to be a fun activity enjoyed by everyone who can afford to spend a small amount for the thrills of the game. This is what bingo is all about and punters who have discovered this type of entertainment are not tempted to trade it for anything else. Unlike other forms of gambling, it remained the same fun and social game that encourages interactions and generates good vibes. This explains why it has retained its appeal after all these years and why women are so fond of it. Compared to men who are inclined to choose seriously competitive games, women are more balanced and relaxed when playing.

A match made in heaven
Land-based bingo parlors have lost much of their shine over the years, as Internet gambling became the dominant form of gaming. Having said this, there are still plenty of people who enjoy these charming places and women represent the vast majority of the audience. Many have transitioned to online bingo rooms that offer similar thrills in a more convenient fashion, as well as bonuses and special offers. The two communities might look different, but they are brought together by their love for the beautiful game.

Bingo is the perfect choice for anyone who seeks casual gaming and it is just as exciting at low and high stakes. Speaking of which, compared to other types of gambling, bingo is almost never played at nosebleed limits. This means that everyone can take part in the excitement and the risk of developing a gambling addiction is extremely low. It is also nearly impossible to find cases of people who lost a fortune playing bingo, which is extremely important when you take the games casually.

The Top online bingo sites took things to the next level and many provide their members with the opportunity of enjoying their favorite games for free. They supply them with virtual currency, which is automatically replenished whenever players run out. This can be used to buy tickets for free bingo tournaments and learn the game mechanics while having fun. Add to this the fact that occasional bingo freerolls are offered and you’ve got an accurate picture of why so many people have switched to Internet games.

Mobile bingo is the future
An important catalyst for the growth of online bingo was the arrival of smartphones and tablets capable of running the games smoothly. Modern devices are more than enough to enjoy bingo on the go without having to worry about technical glitches. Internet bingo rooms are optimized for handheld gadgets and all the important ones have games that can be played on mobile. There are even special bonuses and offers for those who make the transition from computers to smartphones.

Virtual reality games are just around the corner and bingo looks like the perfect candidate for this evolutionary step. Online bingo rooms are likely to embrace the new technology and provide their female audience with an even more exciting playground.


21 June 2020

Dignity: The Statue America Needs Right Now

Ask anyone to name a famous American statue and the chances are they will reply with the Statue of Liberty.  A symbol of global enlightenment representing the freedom to live a life unhampered by oppression there was and still is irony there for those peoples who did not fall in to the innate and historical Euro-centricity of Lady Liberty’s promise.  So perhaps this monument in South Dakota will do something to redress this balance, at least in terms of statuary.

Image Credit
Dignity – for that is her name – stands on a bluff near the Missouri River, arms outstretched and holding a star-quilted blanket, offering shelter to one and all who might seek her protection.  She is 50-feet high and is made from stainless steel – supported by a huge steel rod in her interior to protect her from the high winds which often whistle across the plains.

4 June 2020

Made in Britain: Superb Time-lapse


The chances are if you have seen a time-lapse recently on UK TV that it could well have been made by Chad Gordon Higgins.  This is a collection of some of the work he has done in and around Great Britain and it is quite stunning.  I have to say the Stonehenge section stands out but the shot of the artist completing her painting is probably my favorite part of this collection of sights that were all Made in Britain.

The Dandelion - Whimsical World-Wide Weed

The humble dandelion. From your garden to almost the ends of the earth this small but conspicuous plant flourishes. Gardeners do not appreciate its presence, considering it a weed, even though its flowering usually indicates the beginning of the honey bee season and could be seen as a welcome sign. Its simplistic looking structure hides a few surprising secrets and its cultural resonance, especially in Europe is strong. Here is a short but sincere homage to one of the small wonders of our botanical world.

Let’s start with the names, both common and scientific. In English, dandelion is a corruption of the French. Originally it was called ‘dent de lion’ and the name came over in 1066 with a certain William and his Conquerors. It means ‘lion’s tooth’ and many people mistakenly believe it refers to the orange colored flower head, confusing the words beard and tooth.

3 June 2020

The King of the Island

Get your hankies out now, because this will quite probably bring a tear to your eye. I know it brought several to my own.

This beautifully made animated short tells the story of Gioannin, a small boy living in the Italian port of Genoa at the beginning of the twentieth century.

His father was lost at sea several years before and Gioannin is pitied by the men of the port and somewhat bullied by the children because he has no father.

The boy, having no concept of death, imagines his father washed up on some exotic island where, because of his size, strength and cunning he soon becomes king.

One day his mother receives news that her husband is returning and Gioannin’s expectations of his father reach a peak. Yet when they are finally reintroduced, his father is nothing like he expected or imagined. He is something even better.

The King of the Island was made by Italian animation company artFive. They produce everything from computer graphics and animations for commercials, visual effects, videogames, web, to events, TV series, books and magazines. Take a look at their excellent demoreel here.

The Nictitating Membrane: The Third Eyelid

From the picture above you could easily imagine that the animal kingdom had suddenly been enveloped in its own zombie apocalypse.  Yet this is not a still from a forthcoming episode of The Squawking Dead. Thanks to high speed photography, these photographs capture the nictitating membrane in action. It is also known as the third eyelid, haw and the inner eyelid. It is drawn across the eye to protect and moisturize it while retaining visibility. The Ark in Space today has a feature on this extraordinary structure of the eye.

Image Credit Flickr User Simon

Jan Chodkiewicz – The World’s Greatest Swordsman


Jan Chodkiewicz is often referred to as the world’s greatest swordsman – and perhaps it is in his blood.  The Gdansk based swordsman and sword maker is descended from the great knights, including Poland's most famous commander Jan Karol Chodkiewicz (1560-1621).  Yet even though the years of Communism in Poland saw the interruption of the family’s historic strings, Chodkiewicz continues in the traditions of his kinsfolk.

He also cuts quite a dash - the Polish film industry should take note - they have a ready-made action hero here: movie star looks and a world expert in sword fighting skills.

This short documentary was created by Michał Rytel-Przełomiec.

Space Shuttle Concept Art of the 1960s and 1970s

The idea of a spacecraft returning from space to a horizontal landing had been around for decades before the first operational space shuttle flight in 1982. A proposal had been submitted to NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, NASA’s predecessor) in 1954, just eight years after the Second World War. That proposal would ultimately become the X-15 aircraft but classified studies in to the next generation of space transportation systems continued.

An important part of these studies was the production of concept art which could help senior military and political figures (as well as, later, the general public) to visualize the potential shape of things to come. Some of the concept art is remarkably prescient while others are more than a little off the mark. Now historical documents, the drawings for the space shuttle, created before the age of computer aided design, offer a fascinating insight in to how things may have been – as well as how they actually turned out.

17 May 2020

The History of the Tulip


The Himalayan mountain range was the original home of the tulip even though most of us associate the flower with the Netherlands.  How it got there makes for a fascinating story, from the courts of the Turkish dynasties to its Dutch arrival, this animation gives us the whole history.  That shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise as it was created especially for the Tulip Museum in Amsterdam by Stepahne Kaas, an independent Dutch maker of film, documentaries, short fiction, music videos, commercials and this.

When the tulip got there it was considered such a rare and interesting flower that it sparked something of a social frenzy which would eventually lead to the down fall of an entire economy (known as the tulip bubble).  It’s amazing to think that a single flower could be responsible for all of that, but watch the video and discover the truth for yourself!

5 May 2020

We’ll Meet Again – Possibly the Best Lockdown Project Yet?


Filmed in the Garden Quarter district of the ancient city of Chester, this is a “socially distanced production” featuring some of the best World War II songs, snippets of each sung by one of the neighbors with “We’ll Meet Again” featuring strongly. It's a great concept, the wandering accordion player introducing each of the participants - the coronavirus may be causing us to keep our distance but there's always a way to keep calm and carry on when there is human creativity at play.

As a lockdown project, it’s something else. Plus, with the 75th anniversary of VE Day about to be celebrated this group effort, orchestrated by Matt Baker (who just happens to be a musical director, so, handy) is timely to say the least. It is very obvious, too, that a lot of fun was had in the making of this mini-masterpiece.

This is what Matt has to say about the project on his Facebook page.

"This is a tribute from our community to a past generation which came together in the face of adversity. The residents of this one small street in the Garden Quarter, Chester created, rehearsed, directed, choreographed, performed and filmed this little tribute. They were also incredibly careful to adhere to every social distancing restriction throughout each step of the process.

A very special thanks to the lovely neighbours of nearby streets who have had to endure listening to the rehearsals over the past couple of weeks. Thanks also to the people who stopped at a distance on their way to the shops to enable us to complete filming. Thanks to Paula Cain from Chester Costume House for the special delivery!"

It hasn’t been online long but has only garnered just over 20K hits at the time of writing – and this should have many times that number of views, really.

This video has an added resonance for me.  For the first 18 years of my life I called Chester home and my mother still lives just five minutes away from where this was filmed; in fact, she was born just around the corner in Garden Lane in 1940 – the very time that the songs featured here were so important to people all over the United Kingdom and beyond.  I used to walk past this little street every day on my way to school – and it’s lovely to see its residents coming together in this community project.  Someone pass me a handkerchief…

15 April 2020

Hitler’s Hospital: The Eerie Remains of Beelitz Sanatorium

In the last years of the nineteenth century the population of Berlin was expanding rapidly. The attendant issues of housing large numbers of people in cramped conditions were not far behind.  By 1898 the German National Insurance Institute had a sanatorium built for the victims of tuberculosis.  Beelitz-Heilstätten (or the Beelitz Sanitorium) steadily grew and functioned for many decades, playing host to a number of infamous patients, including Adolf Hitler. Yet most of it is now abandoned.

Although just a short distance from the German capital, the Beelitzer forest was considered suitable for a sanatorium as the area enjoyed fresh air and countryside.  However when the First World War broke out in 1914 it was not long before it was requisitioned and converted to care for the massive casualties inflicted at the front.  In the later months of 1916 a young soldier called Adolf Hitler was sent there to recuperate from a thigh injury acquired during the Battle of the Somme.

The Bizarre Nest of the Central American Paper Wasp

Take a look at the photograph above.  Is it some strange kind of blooming plant?  Is it a fungal growth attached to a tree?  It is something else entirely.  This is the bizarre nest of the Central American Paper Wasp.  It is notable for one thing – an apparent lack of nest altogether.  Those pale yellow cigar-shaped objects? They are the wasps, huddle together in neat order, waiting for the evening to come. Our sibling site, the Ark in Space, has the story with lots of fascinating photographs.

Casino Hawks: The Best Online Casinos for the Lockdown and Beyond

How is it going for you? Certainly, for me, the lockdown is giving but taking away at the same time. I miss personal contact with friends and family (those family members who do not live with me, that is). I also miss my work colleagues like crazy – something I didn’t think would happen. Yet they used to make me smile a lot more than I had previously considered – they gave me real ‘value for money’ in their own way – and metaphorically speaking of course. In terms of value, if you enjoy online casino games then you may want to consider becoming one of the casino hawks.

I will put this into context of my recent online purchasing experiences. I am a keen gardener and the lockdown has given me the opportunity to really put my patch in order. Local garden centres are closed but I have still been able to go online to purchase my seeds and bulbs. Now what I do is to figure out what I want – say allium bulbs for example – and then price them up on a website. Do I add them to my basket and proceed to the checkout? Hardly!

 I check a number of websites for the same bulbs and go with the one that provides me with the best value. It takes time but what I end up with is money in my pocket to spend elsewhere. What would be perfect, in this instance, is a website that provides me with that service – something that collates the best plant prices from across the web.

Why? That’s because although I am keen to get the best value for my money, this is all very time-consuming. I would much prefer it if someone did it for me!

This is exactly what happens with Casino Hawks. The guys there collate the best news, tips and reviews from the internet and put them all in the one place, so you don’t have to do the hard work – it’s all done for you. So, this increases the value of your “brass in pocket” as you can discover where the best bonuses are to be found (it’s all kept up to date on a daily basis) and save yourself money in the process.

The Casino Hawks are a bit fussy too – only the best UK casino bonuses, rewards and payouts make it on to their list – so this is where to go if you want something specifically tailored to you. Whether it is the latest online slots you are looking for, table games or live casino action, then the reviews on this website will help you to select the ones that will give you the best value for your money.

So, if you are looking for greater value, head over to Casino Hawks. I just wish they did a site for gardeners too!

Image Credit

15 March 2020

The Strange Sarcophagi of the Chachapoya

By the time the Spanish arrived in Peru at the beginning of the 16th Century the Chachapoya people had already been subsumed in to the great Inca Empire.  Although they had resisted the Incas fiercely, the lands of these Warriors of the Clouds as they were known had been annexed and had been forced to adopt the customs and culture of their conquerors. Yet they left one thing behind – the strange sarcophagi in which they would bury their dead.

1 March 2020

The Cannonball Tree

It is the case with a number of plants that they are given popular names which reflect how they look or what they do.  So it is with the Cannonball Tree whose fruit is so large that they look like cannonballs.  Not only that, when they fall to the ground a large noise is created similar to... you guessed it.

The fruit will of course fall when it is good and ready.  So you will not find a Cannonball Tree near a public pathway or a road.  One of these fruit, weighing in at several pounds and often up to ten inches in diameter could kill you.   So, you really want to avoid standing directly under them when they are in fruit.

9 February 2020

Medicine - A Dance Film


Dancer and choreographer  Zack Benitez approached creative agency Carlos et Marcos with the idea of telling a story through dance. It is a love story tangled in addiction. It tells of a lover struggling with her partner’s disease and the person he once was, only to succumb to his demons and dive head first into his addiction. Tamara Marthe joined Benitez to tell this powerful story, shot in an abandoned warehouse in Paris.

1910s America in Color

In this color photograph you can see a group of children who have dressed up to back the war effort, one proudly bearing the US flag. Is this from the Vietnam War? The Second World War?  Neither – the picture was taken about 1918 and it is the troops sent to fight in what became known as the First World War that they are supporting. This extraordinary photograph is almost a hundred years old: it is highly unlikely that even the longest lived of these children is still alive.

We often perceive the past in black and white – after all, the vast majority of photographs from the 1910s through in to the 1930s and 40s are monochrome.  Yet a color photography process called the Autochrome Lumière was patented in 1903.  It remained the foremost color process until the second half of the 1930s. The pictures you are about to see are mostly dated about 1915-18 with some earlier and a few from the 1920s.

If You Have Never Wanted to Visit Lake Baikal, You Will After You Watch This


Stas Tolstnev is a Russian photographer who recently visited Lake Baikal in southern Siberia.  Baikal is the deepest and purest lake in the world and it is under ice for over four months each year.

Tolstnev captures both its immensity and incredible beauty in this painstakingly made film. You have to wonder how he managed to get some of the shots but not for long: you will find yourself adrift with the elements on the shores of Baikal for a few minutes without a care in the world.

1 February 2020

Las Lajas Sanctuary: The South American Church that Looks Like a European Castle

If you take the immediate exterior of the Las Lajas Sanctuary in Colombia it doesn’t look too much like an atypical South American Catholic church. Yet it retains many of their qualities: it is ornate, richly elaborate and, to many eyes, beautiful.  Just another minor basilica church in a country dotted with them, you might think.  Yet take a few steps back from the door of the church and look down. You are in for a surprise.

The Assassin Bug – Malaysia’s Macabre Miniscule Murderer

I do hope you have had your lunch, in which case you might be ready for a short afternoon horror story. This is a member of the assassin bug family found in Malaysia. It has a particularly cunning plan when it comes to avoid being eaten.  Once it’s had its own lunch (by sucking out the liquefied insides of its victims) it hoists their empty exoskeletons on its back – tens of them all held together by a sticky secretion. The Ark in Space tells the rest of this macabre tale!

Image Credit

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The principal criteria are as follows:

License: - Just ruled out gambling sites that do not comply with the legal requirements. Licensed casinos are the ones that you can trust to be sure about the money you invest is in the right location. Gaming authorities like the Curaçao Gaming Control, the Alderney Gambling Commission, and so on helps to determine which websites to choose from.
 
Options for gambling:  Whether you are a seasoned gambler, a casual tourist, or a newbie, the website's costly choice of games is, in any case, right. Blackjack, Keno, Online Slots and Video Poker, Roulette, Craps, and other sports-that is not the entire list. Newbies can even continue their online casino gambling experience with demo accounts & then move on to the actual money.
 
Device:- Top online casino websites are accessible from computers, phones, tablets, etc., which means you can experience gambling anytime, wherever, with your favourite online casino and.
 
Deposits and cashing out: - You can choose any payment option that fits you. Visa / MasterCard payments, Paysafecard and PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and even popular cryptocurrencies method gambling websites from our list.
 
Help or Support: -  New Zealand Casinos™ online casino NZ catalogue clarifies the process of selecting casinos for cash play. They provide 24/7 support from the gambling service providers for its consumers.
 
Scroll through and see the latest updates about New Zealand's popular Internet casinos with Online Casino Handbook by your side. What are the things to pay attention to when you evaluate these sites?
  • Check the user personal data protection
  • Check which methods of withdrawal & deposit is available
  • Check games & slots
  • Contrast payout amounts & rewards
  • Test software & game providers
Online Gambling in New Zealand

Internet Gaming in New is legally banned under the 2003 Gambling Act, except for some tightly regulated lotteries & sports betting games & activities. 

Online gambling is often called remote interactive gambling & classified as gambling through the use of a variety of communication devices, including computers, phones, radios, etc.

That is precisely why online gambling in the country isn't completely banned and is accessible to its players to a certain extent. The National Lottery went online half a decade once the Gambling Act in 2003 passed. Local players thus cannot access their beloved lottery games.

Some of the best casinos at New Zealand Casinos™ are:
  • BLACK SPINS which has more than 1000 games and great design specialized for All Blacks
  • WISHMAKER is also one of the famous casinos of the country
  • DREAMZ with 1300+ games and modern design
  • BETZEST with 1200 + games and sportsbook
  • ROYAL PANDA (great brand with a lot of awesome options like sportsbook)
Gambling at this site it is not illegal for Kiwis, but marketing and advertising these sites in NZ is prohibited.

Conclusion:

Thus all the above casinos are in the top list of NZ Casinos. Furthermore, the Totalizator Agency Board is selling lottery games and goods over the World wide web. The latter are only entities, along with a New Zealand Lotteries Commission, that is allowed to offer online gambling practices on the country's territory.


The Popularity of No-account Online Casinos in Sweden


The online casino technology in Sweden is currently at the top of its development. In Sweden, casino players can play at the casino without creating an account, and today we are going to show you more about what options are offered and see its cons and pros.

No more lengthy registration requirements and forms to fill out online. This is just one of the benefits of a no-account casino.

If you reside in Sweden then get ready to enjoy these new features.

What is a no-account online casino?

Just like the name implies, it simply means that registration at an online casino is not compulsory to enjoy games online. Open an account by logging into your bank account or an online payment method. The online casino will gather all your details and create an account for you instantly.
Sounds like a privacy invasion right?

Don’t worry; we are going to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of this shortly.

Start playing at a no-account casino online

In case you don’t know, online no-account casinos have been around since 2018. This trend is the latest innovation in the casino industry. It is not as difficult as you may think.

What you need is a bank account that has a verified identity to play at a no-account casino. In Sweden, personal details of customers are linked to their verified bank account. A player simply has to connect via the casino website to their verified BankID portal. An account will be created immediately without filling any forms.

To start playing at a no-account casino online, follow these easy steps;
  1. Tap the "Play Now" button at the casino's website
  2. Choose any payment method to make your first deposit
  3. Verify your identity via your bank id.
  4. Start playing
Is it safe to play a no-account casino online?

This method of playing an online casino appears unsafe, doesn’t it? However, the brain behind this method claims it is safer than the standard registration process. Trustly is the mastermind of this method. They claim that they invested so many years researching on the safety of a no-account casino method.

According to Trustly, players have a unique digital signature while carrying out transactions online. So through careful encryption from the casino site and the BankID, a third party cannot access your details. In other words, it is safe and free from any privacy risk.

How to know a legit no-account casino?

  • Scam sites are all over the place, so below are features that you should look out for before you sign up;
  • Ensure that the casino is validly registered by Swedish Spel Inspektionen. They are the Swedish Gambling Authority that regulates the activities of online casinos
  • The casino has a valid license
  • Ensure that the casino has a Trustly logo at the bottom of their website
  • The online casino needs to be verified by BankID

Pros
  • It is fast and saves a lot of time. In less than 20 seconds your registration is completed
  • It is a convenient way to register at a casino online without much stress
  • Deposits and withdrawals are instant
Cons
  • It is not available in other countries yet

From the content above, it is obvious that a no-account casino is relatively new even if it has been around since 2018. However, this method is quite safe and easy, especially for new players. Just ensure that the casino has all the features listed above.

Finally, for more information about the best no-account casinos in Sweden, visit one of the Swedish top casino guides “CasinoPro”.
Source: 

17 January 2020

Steps to an Effective Content Strategy for Your Nonprofit

Many non-profit organizations underestimate the power and value of an effective content strategy. This is a document that outlines the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content aimed at creating and sharing awareness about the nonprofit organization. It is like when you need homework help for college - you need to make a strategy.

A well thought out content strategy for nonprofit improves the image of the organization and overall level of engagement with its audience. However, coming up with an effective content strategy takes a lot of time and financial resources, which are usually scarce for most nonprofit organizations.

Here are five simple steps you can take to develop an effective content strategy for Your Non-profit.


1. Content alignment

You should understand and be able to articulate what you are trying to achieve as an organization and then map it to your user-specific questions and problems. The end goal is to convince the consumers you understand them and their journey and that you want to meet their needs in every tailored way.  This is exactly the way that essay pro works too - you get the content that you need.

Luckily, nonprofit organizations have the unique advantage of strong missions that enable them to create a successful content marketing strategy.

To align your content with the consumer journey, needs, and problems, you need to have a deep understanding of how they navigate your site and social media. You also need to gauge their engagement level with the content marketing strategies previously used, such as email campaigns. 
Information can also be gathered through Google analytics, personal interviews, online consumer surveys or any other content marketing tools that are available online. Use the information to develop the topics, questions, and needs that will be addressed by your content. 

2. Content audit

A thorough assessment of all your content across all platforms is a great way to determine where you are and where you need to go. It is also great for showing you areas of improvement for your content such as where you need to optimize your content and where you need to engage with your audiences more. 

Once you audit your existing content, you should be able to determine whether it can be used as-is or it needs some editing. You will also find out whether you need to build new content from scratch. 


3. Production plan

Every effective content strategy must have a production plan, also known as an editorial calendar. This part of the process includes determining which type of content to produce and who the content owner will be. You will also determine the subject experts that will contribute to the content, how the content will be pushed out and the production dates.  Similarly, when you think "I need to pay someone to do my assignment" you need a plan to produce the content.

The various small steps at this stage include: defining your content pillars (this is usually to empower and inform for most nonprofits), determining the genre and the format of each content piece, then coming up with the topics and methods to deliver the content.

At this stage, you can ask “write my capstone paper” and professionals can come up with the content material that you will need. It ranges from website content to flyers and guide books to research proposals. The writers working with online services are highly trained, so they will write and edit according to your specifications and deliver in a quick time.

4. Performance measures

Once you have developed your content topics and overall production calendar, it is important to determine what each content piece should accomplish so you can track and measure success. 

For example, a blog's measure of success may be to attract 25% of donations. Defining the aim of each piece of content and how performance will be measured will help you determine whether you have a successful content marketing strategy. 

The performance metrics should be well laid-out and clearly communicated to all the teams involved in the process lifecycle so that they are well aware of their jobs.

5. Distribution plan

The last step of an effective content strategy for nonprofit is finding out which distribution channels to use that will optimize your time, resources, and engagement with your audience. Identify short-term and long-term strategies that incorporate over one channel. 

For example, your strategy can have online channels such as social media and offline channels such as direct mail. The channels used should be able to get your content to donors or members.
Conclusion

A content strategy helps you to figure out which content is doing poorly, which is doing well, how you can create better content, and how to coordinate better with other groups. An effective strategy enables the organization to have multiple ways to promote their content and tools to help them analyze their efforts. 

However, it is good to note that content strategy is a continuous process. Your strategy will require constant updating to make sure that the voice and needs of your audience are reflected. You always need to prepare yourself to plan, create, publish, analyze, and repeat the process.

4 January 2020

The Tree of Life – Mexico’s Evolving Art Form

Everything must change, so the saying goes.  Art is no exception and folk art has always been particularly in tune with cultural shifts being, by its nature, by the people for the people.  So it is with the Mexican sculptural tradition of the Tree of Life or Árbol de la vida.  It has gone from an instructional tool of religious imposition to, contemporarily, something quite different. Yet it wasn’t itself an art form which sprang spontaneously in to being with the arrival of people from the Old World: its roots are much older.

Image Credit
A Biblical story is now considered traditional, but Árbol de la vida originates with the Olmec culture, which arrived in central Mexico around 800 AD. This, together with the huge cultural influence of the pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (which at its height in the first centuries AD was at least the sixth most populated city in the world) brought about an age of intricate, sophisticated ceramics.  The Tree of Life embodied the four cardinal directions (north, east, south and west) for these ancient cultures as well as connecting the realms of the underworld and sky with the dominions of the Earth.
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