Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Listening to Books Is Exciting

Ever since I was a little child, I have been reading. I read books at as young an age as the age of three. My dad bought me a composition book and I learned how to write. After I learned how to write, I started reading what I wrote and eventually, I read what others wrote in books. My dad bought me a lot of books with pictures in them. Even though I enjoyed looking at the pictures more, I still loved reading the words. I took reading for granted back then, however, I now realize how invaluable it is. Currently, when I read, I cannot help but pronounce the words aloud, because I want to feel each word on the page enter my brain.
Reading out loud, whether with my voice, or through sub-vocalization is something that reminds me of the days when my dad would read to me. It also reminds me of the tapes my dad bought me where a lady or gentleman read nursery rhymes to me. I miss having the words read to me and that's why I read them to myself. Whenever I read a classic book, like The Great Gatsby or The Catcher in the Rye, I read aloud to myself. It takes me longer to finish the book, because I get exhausted vocalizing each word.
Luckily, there's new technology available where I can listen to a book instead of reading it aloud. Books are a very entertaining form of media because the words speak straight to one's heart. One is not distracted by the looks of actors or actresses. He or she is not distracted by the sounds of the score or by the cinematography. He or she can just focus on the actual words themselves and the action of the plot. It is why audio books are a great form of entertainment in today's world.
I have read many classic books and I understood them deeply. However, my understanding will certainly grow when I purchase them in the audio format and listen to them. The details that I missed while reading aloud to myself will be revealed when I listen to the audio versions of the classical tales. It will be like watching a movie without all the cinematographic hoopla. Listening is very powerful, certainly a highly dominant way of receiving information. From now on, I am listening to an audio version of a book, shortly after reading it.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The Hermaphrodite

1 He had an iron peg for a nose; his future wife, named Kciroy, she was a toothless dwarf and thus, they would soon marry, and that in itself is a long story, that I shall try to make short in a jiffy. 2 She was the morbid princess of Oxas, a puzzled little kingdom in the high mountains of Bulgaria, during the early Dark Ages. 3 The king upon his daughter's wedding day, gave his son-in-law Ailepho, double golden nose-plugs, to plug those hug nostrils of his, likened to a hogs snout, without a snout-just deep rooted holes. 4 They smelt worse than rotten game, skunk-holes you could call them, even worse than, devils-breath. 5 To be honest, there are no words in those far-off vocabularies that would have described such a stink. 6 Ailepho was in his middle years, whereas his wife, half his age, and the father, twice the age of Ailepho. 7 Soon after they had married, Kciroy gave birth to a hermaphrodite; the Princess Dwarf went absolute into rage over the sight of the child, and Ailepho, likewise. 8 As for the king, he took it no different than he had when his wife-now deceased, gave birth to Kciroy, that is to say: his daughter and when he allowed his daughter to marry Ailepho, now his son-in-law: -like to like, same to same, simply taking it as a human tragedy in sum. 9 But to go back to why the king allowed Kciroy to marry Ailepho: to be put in a nutshell, it was as this: he got rid of all the rats, with that cursed smell of his throughout the kingdom. 10 No more said on the subject that was the deal, lock-stock-and barrel: "Get rid of the rates, the rats the rates!" 11 Well, now seven years had passed, and the old king was still alive-eighty-seven to be exact, and the child was no more a child, he was a youngster of formal reasoning. 12 Thus, out of bitterness, he was called 'it' not by the grandfather of course, but rather the mother and father: out of repugnance.
13 Now before I go on with this story it must be explained, if only for the sake of psychology, or insight, what started as a good omen, or out of good will, as often it does, ends up in a state of ill-will. 14 A child knows at the age of six months, the nature of his mother and father, hence the child has to adjust, for the purpose of survival, smile when the child doesn't want to. 15 Cry the child will, when the child knows s/he can get out of that cry whatever he or she wants. 16 On another note before we go on, evil knows evil, as well as a fool knows the mind of a fool, as much as a thief knows the heart of another thief. 17 And let it be said, a king knows how much his people will take before they rebel, he knows what they mostly need, that will settle them down. 18 With this in mind I continue with the story.
19 Back to the poor child: was 'it' more male than female? 20 Or vice versa? 21 This of course was gossip among the inhabitants of the kingdom. 22 Who is to say? 23 I mean, does it really matter, and on the other hand, some things may never be known, and for the better, and less gossip. 24 The prince and princess never loved this child, and that was the thorn, and the child and Grandfather knew this-in particularly the child. 25 It was obvious; such things cannot be kept in secret forever. 26 And the child remembered when it was just three years old, one evening, his mother had left the bedroom window open, hoping the crows and the hawks and the ravens, and even perhaps the great owls would pick out the eyes, and pluck out the guts and eat the child alive, little by little unto its death, and low and behold, profess it was an accident. 27 But the child was smart, he unplugged his father's golden nose plugs that night, and slept under his bed, thus, he had saved himself, and in the morning, put the plugs back into his nostrils, and rushed back into his bed, with the windows open, this seemed to its parents to be an omen of some sort, that is to say, leave well enough alone. 28 Well, the child may have been a hermaphrodite, but it had a memory like an elephant. 29 At seven years old, the age of formal reason, this event came to haunt him (I shall now call him, him, because I really don't like the name 'it', respectfully). 30 And to say the least, the child was getting tired of watching so carefully, his mother and father, lest he stop and they poison him, or push him off the tower wall, who's to say what goes on in a morbid mind.
31 It happened on the boy's seventh birthday; he snuck into his father and mother's bedroom, pulled the golden pegs out of the father's noise, and it stunk up the whole kingdom, to kingdom-come, you might say, and no one could find the golden pegs, especially made with two shutoff valves to be put deep into those big hole like nostrils. 32 In addition, he pulled off (softly) the iron nose, his grandfather had made for Ailepho, causing even a more deadly sticky and suffocating uproar. 33 Oh it was terrible; everyone in the kingdom wore masks. 34 Day after day, they could not find those pegs, nor was the goldsmith around to make him new ones-where he was, only the child knew, and played dumb, he had paid him well, to take along trip to China or somewhere, that same distance: again, who's to say. 35 In any case, the persistence in these pestilential gusts from his nostrils was so disgusting, that they curled man and beast's eyelashes. 36 Well what could the king do? 37 What started as a good omen, turned out to be an evil one, rebellion was emanating throughout the kingdom; consequently, he had them both beheaded, in lack of a crime, he called it, causing rebellion. 38 And yes, 'it' took its rightful place as King and Queen of Oxas in due time.
39 And perhaps it is better said, in this case anyhow: if one dares to beat out resistance or existence of another they breed in hatred, and mayhem, if not dark dreams and revenge. 40 Such as it is, in this case, where like to like, was not liked: the hunted becomes the hunter.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Barleycorn Fight (1971, Vietnam)

There are no rules in fighting, although all the guys bigger than I, whom I fought felt I violated some made up rule of theirs.
In Vietnam, I had a fight with a sergeant in our company quarters one evening, we all called him Crusher, after the infamous, wrestler, and madman, "The Crusher," he was per near six foot tall, blond short hair, and muscular, looked like a gorilla, as did the sergeant, they could have been twin brothers, except for the age difference; perhaps of Polish or Irish stock. We both had enough malt produced barleycorn in us, this one evening, both half drunk, thereabouts. He told his friend I used a trick when we fought one another in tearing off my opponents face with my long fingernails, his face.
I had blocked his big burley muscular fists, and forearms, and at each thrust, I had moved quick enough to out maneuver him: I tried blow after blow to his face, and torso, but they bounced off him, like rubber, as if he was a danseur, nor did my elbows into his ribs move him one bit, and a good solid kick to the groin did little to nothing, he had a cast iron, whatever. And so I came to the conclusion, I couldn't beat him any other way, and thus, I was limited to my selection of attacks, I had used them all up, so I warped my body likened to wringing a wet rag dry, to gain momentum, jumped up about five inches into the air, and on my way down like a cat with his talon sticking out of his paws, my thorn like fingernails multitudinously swept across his face, like hard nails scratching through sandpaper, and he yelled bloody murder, and fell back a foot! His face was damaged. And the fight was over, and the fight was a draw.
It was no trick, not really, that was the purpose for the long nails and the jump, and two years of karate practice; and if it was a trick, it was a learned one for just that occasion, because I never had to reuse this so called 'trick'; a strategy I prefer to call it. And I consider that trick as legal as any kick in the groin, or punch to the face or ribs, although sober I might not have used that so called 'trick' I might not have thought of it. And here he was sixty-pounds heavier than me, and three inches to four inches taller than me, which was to his advantage-what did he expect-that was his trick, he thought he could bully?

By Dennis Siluk Dr.h.c. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Creating Your Sewing Sanctuary

Don't panic! Find a space of your very own. Nothing sparks your creativity as much as having a special place to sew with well organized sewing equipment stored within easy reach. Once you have found a place to sew, sewing will become more enjoyable.
Pick a space with several considerations in mind. Most importantly, your space must be accessible to electrical outlets and adequate lighting. In addition, think about the noise factor. Will the sound of your machine distract others? Will the sounds of others distract you?
To simplify the planning of your sewing area and to stimulate your own originality, here are some necessities for sewing conditions:
1. Both natural and artificial lighting is required. You should have an overhead light for basic lighting and a high intensity lamp for making small detailed work easier.
2. Convenient outlets for all your electrical equipment are obvious necessities. An extension cord must be available when needed.
3. You will require a cutting table. The ideal table should be accessible from all 4 sides, hard surfaced. Some may choose to use the floor or kitchen when cutting. Be sure that the surface is clean and flat.
4. Your sewing machine section must be wide enough to enable free movement of your fabric and room to place your utensils.
5. To provide proper back support during stitching, select a comfortable chair with a straight back.
6. To avoid wasting valuable time in searching for a needed item, organize a storage system of rollout drawers.
7. A box or tote bag to move equipment from one work area to another can be another time-saver.
8. A large storage area will be needed. This way, large pieces of fabric or incomplete projects can lie flat.
9. A pressing area near your machine and storage space is essential.
10. Supply closet space for hanging nearly finished projects and clothes that need repairing.
11. Have a full-length mirror near ample lighting for viewing your garments. The 3-way variety above the mirror is ideal, especially for fittings.
12. For a cheerful atmosphere, choose a soft color with bright accents.
13. To keep your lovely area neat, place a wastebasket under the machine area and near the cutting table.
Try to combine your wishes with the ideas mentioned above to create your very own sewing space. Whether it's just a corner of a room, your originality can make it a warm haven for producing several of fashionable masterpieces. Don't constraint your shopping to the sewing notions counters. Browse in every department to complete your dream of a sewing sanctuary. Anything to which you devote so much of your time deserves to have special considerations.

By Kashopae Evans

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Tips On How To Take Good Care Of Your Acrylic Painting

Acrylic is a transparent material that is used for many purposes. One of the major functions of the material is to display paintings. If you have an acrylic artwork you need to put a number of measures in place to ensure that it retains its elegant look for a long time. Some of the measures that you need to put in place include:
Avoid placing the paintings under direct sunlight. To ensure that the artworks don't fade you should place them under indirect sunlight, halogen lights or under recessed lighting. These lights don't affect the paintings thus the artworks retain their original look for a long time.
You should also avoid displaying the artworks in places of high or too low temperatures. For example, you should not display them in areas that are above 60 °C or below 40 °C.
For ideal results you should ensure that you place paintings in places with relative humidity. You should also ensure that the artworks are in places where the temperature is constant.
You should not allow rigid objects to press against the front or the back surface of the stretched canvas because this results to permanent indentation damage. If you are transporting or storing the painting you should ensure that you place it in a package that is moisture and water resistant.
The package should also be cushioned to absorb shock the may result from bumps. Experts recommend that the package should be wrapped and sealed to ensure that its dent, puncture, and humidity resistant.
If you want to clean the surface of the painting, you should avoid using solvents or other cleaning products. This is because the cleaning products usually embed the dirt into the artwork and cause permanent liquid lines over the surface which gives the painting a very displeasing look.
Instead of using cleaning liquids you should use compressed air in a can to blow away the surface dust. If you don't have access to compressed air you should use a dry, soft brush to lightly brush the surface. You should be careful when brushing and ensure that you don't bump or scratch the painting.
If you clean your artwork for a long time and you notice that the dirt is not coming off you should seek out for professional services. For ideal results you should hire the services of an experienced art conservator who will know the best way of cleaning the painting without causing any damage.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Current Korea Fashion Trend

Korea is a giant when it comes to fashion. Just like anywhere else in the world, fashion in Korea keeps on changing depending on people's tastes and preferences. At this time of the year one great piece of clothing that is making a re-appearance is the pastel.
Experts believe the reason why this clothing is making a reappearance is because it's palette soothing and easy on the eyes. The piece of clothing is also very flattering regardless of the type of outfit that you are wearing it with.
In addition to Pastels, pullovers, long-sleeve shirts and dresses in pink, salmon, peach, orange and aqua are very common both in the office and on the streets.
Statement stripes are being donned by thousands of people who never get tired of this external trend. There are many types of stripes that are being worn by different people. The different stripes are: candy stripes, nautical lines, geometric prints, tribal streaks, and hairline stripes. The good side is that the clothes are being worn by both men and women.
These pieces of clothing are made from different fabrics such as organic cotton, jersey, and lace. Presence of different fabrics gives a wide range of options to choose from thus you are able to have an easy time when you want to look and feel cool.
As Korea is preparing for summer there has been great changes in the manner of dressing. One great style that is rearing this summer is the sailor look.
People are been seen wearing a number of sailor outfits inspired by the sea, marine life and sailors themselves. The outfits have white and blue color schemes, anchors, double breasted tops, sailor collars, and stripes. Each of these creates a different look which makes the wearer look unique.
Sailor print dress is one of the most common dresses at this time. This dress has a different front and back. The front is simple with a sailor collar print while the back has a flashier look with gold buttons. Since it's a loose fit, the dress gives the wearer a formal look.
There is also the sailor print blouse which is a sailor collar print with lettering embroidery. The shirt has an unbalanced length which gives an elegant look. When it's paired with a skirt, the shirt creates a girlish look; however, when it's paired with pants it creates a boyish look.
This is the current fashion trend in Korea. If you live in Korea and you would like to be part of the trend you need to ensure that you buy your products from reputable stores that stock high quality products.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Tips For Plein Air Painting In The Snow

Have you ever thought about plein air painting in the snow? It might sound challenging, but it's actually very rewarding and enjoyable. When snow falls, you just have to go out and capture the wonderful effects it has on the land. Winter landscapes are often characterised by long, dark shadow and a variety of brilliant colours. A blanket of snow can work wonders in completely transforming a scene into something completely new. So here are some tips to help you capture some winter magic.
Combat the cold
It's very important to keep warm while you work in the cold. This is because you're going to be much more motivated, focused and productive when you're warm. To combat the cold, wear several layers of clothing and have a hot drink in a thermos flask with you. Don't expose your painting hand to the elements - wear a woollen sock on your painting hand. Thread the tail through the sock and hold the brush in your covered bare hand. Keep your feet warm by standing on a bare bit of ground or bring a mat with you and stand on that instead.
Avoid windy days
As mentioned previously, you can work your way round the cold. The most problematic part of winter weather is definitely the wind. Even in summer, the wind can be a hindrance to plein air painting. When it's winter, it's going to hinder your painting and it's going to make it seem a lot colder than what it actually is. It's best to avoid wind altogether if you can. If you do find yourself fighting the wind, use an umbrella to try to block it from your painting.
Take your time
Unfortunately, snow melts. Many places are lucky to get any snow at all and when they do, it seems to melt away as quickly as it came. However, this doesn't mean you should rush to capture a winter landscape even if you're racing against time. Take some time to appreciate the details and beauty of the winter landscape before you. Take your time when capturing these in your painting. An incomplete painting that you can finish at home is better than a rushed and messy one.
Take breaks
If you find that you can't handle the weather, simply take a break whenever you need to. Paint for 10-15 minutes or so then head back to your car, turn the engine on and warm yourself up for a bit. Have a hot drink and enjoy the break. Then head back and work on your painting for another 10-15 minutes and keep the cycle going. It might take you longer than if you were doing your painting in a single sitting, but it's better than getting overcome by the cold.
These are just a few basic tips to get you started on plein air painting in the snow. If you have any more tips you'd like to share, please do feel free to share them.