30. January 2012 · Comments Off on Hollywood North – BC’s Favourite Feature Film Locations · Categories: Travel And Leisure · Tags: , ,

There’s good reason why Vancouver is honoured with such a glamourous pseudonym. After all, it has been a filmmaking centre for almost a century.

In 1910, the Edison Manufacturing Company shot two films – the Cowpuncher’s Glove and The Ship’s Husband. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, the province of British Columbia hosts more than half of Canada’s total foreign production slate and is North America’s third largest film production centre behind Los Angeles and New York. But what makes this such an attractive place to shoot? There’s the short 3-hour plane ride from LA and of course the tax breaks… but it’s the myriad of amazing location options that keep Hollywood coming back for more. And it’s this continual support from the heavy-hitters south of the border that has helped nurture Vancouver’s own industry. Bridge Studios in the metropolitan Vancouver township of Burnaby not only has one of the biggest special effects stages on the continent but has also been responsible for such TV shows and feature films as Black Christmas and the award-winning hit, Juno. Vancouver is also home to the world-acclaimed Vancouver International Film Festival and the Vancouver Film and Television Forum. But we digress. The key is still location, location, location. And you might be surprised just how many productions call this their home. Your next trip to Vancouver you might find yourself walking through some of your favourite movies…

Most people are familiar with Vancouver’s flagship shows such as 21-Jump Street, The X-Files, Smallville and Supernatural, but not many people realize that they’re taking a behind-the-scenes tour as soon as they step off the plane. Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has served as the set for movies such as Final Destination, The Cleaner, Firewall, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer as well as the hit TV show, The L Word.

BC Place is the 60 thousand-seater stadium on the downtown shores of False Creek. This unmistakable white domed structure has played host to regional and international sport events as well as trade shows and super-concerts. But unknown to most, it has also factored in favourite films such as Paycheck, Butterfly on a Wheel, Two for the Money and The Fantastic Four. Mere blocks away is Vancouver’s Chinatown – the second largest of its kind in North America behind San Francisco. And with the colourful shops, open-air markets and attractions such as the Han Dynasty Bell in Shanghai Alley and the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, it’s easy to see why this would be a favourite with location scouts. You might recognize this unique corner of the city in films such as Killer Instinct, X-Men: The Last Stand, Rumble in the Bronx and Unforgettable.

Vancouver’s Anglo Olde Towne has seen its fair share of action, too. The character buildings and cobbled streets of Gastown have attracted more than just tourists cameras over the years. See if you recognize anything familiar in Catwoman, I, Robot, Legends of the Fall, Romeo Must Die and the immortal kids’ classic, The NeverEnding Story. Vancouver’s new neighbourhoods have seen their fair share of the spotlight, too. The uber-trendy condo and brewpub neighbourhood of Yaletown has featured in such films as 88 Minutes, Good Luck Chuck, Rumble in the Bronx and the TV series Stargate SG-1. Spending a cultured day at the Vancouver Art Gallery? So did the cast and crew of The Core, The Deal, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed and Night at the Museum.

Most summer trips to Vancouver include a visit to the Pacific National Exhibition – a city institution that started in 1910 as a provincial industrial showcase and has grown into one of the biggest entertainment venues on the continent. Internationally-acclaimed, award winning live shows have originated here such as Cirque Pop, City Rhythm and Bring on the Night but so have many motion pictures – Rocky IV, Cats & Dogs, Final Destination 3, Riding the Bullet, Fear and Best in Show…

Even the local seat of learning has made room for the occasional director’s chair. The vast and beautiful campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC) has provided settings for feature films such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Antitrust and The Exorcism of Emily Rose as well as the TV shows The 4400, Bionic Woman, Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica and Deadzone.

Film production in British Columbia is not relegated to Metropolitan Vancouver. The capital city of Victoria on Vancouver Island has seen its share of production time as well. Craigdarroch Castle, once home to the Turn of the Century coal tycoon family, the Dunsmuirs, has undergone many metamorphoses including war hospital, music conservatory, museum and more recently home to the March sisters in the motion picture, Little Women. Maybe you’re not into the period-pieces. Sucker for those mid-eighties action films? You’ll probably recognize the one-block stretch of downtown Victoria’s Fan Tan Alley that was shot and then looped to create the deceptively long motorbike chase with Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn in Bird on a Wire. More into the horror genre? Any visitor to Victoria who has walked through the popular Bastion Square might feel a prickle of familiar uneasiness. This could be because Bastion Square briefly became the Parisian corner on which the main character in Final Destination meets his inevitable end.

Other areas in the province have become immortalized through the silver screen. The barren, windswept hills of Williams Lake in the Cariboo Chilcotin became a fourteenth century Asian battleground for Antonio Bandera and cast in The Thirteenth Warrior. Just north of Vancouver in the picturesque town of Lions Bay, Jennifer Garner earned her superhero stripes as Elektra. Historic Barkerville became seedy, small town Mexico for Robert Rodriguez hit, Desperado. Kamloops doubled as an American military prison camp in Germany in the acclaimed film, Cadence. And Steve Martin immortalized Nelson in the unforgettable hit, Roxanne.

But the best part about Hollywood North isn’t the movies that have been shot here in the past – it’s the one that are being shot here right now. At any given point in Vancouver, Victoria or anywhere in the province, you might stumble upon a line of huge white trailers, a closed street, a flurry of activity, a famous face and a fast growing crowd of curious spectators. Nothing compares to the excitement of a behind-the-scenes perspective as the magic of Hollywood unfolds right here, up north.

Welcome to BC. Lights, camera…

28. January 2012 · Comments Off on Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Power – Revealed · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

With a new emphasis on alternative energy, it is no wonder people all over are starting to use the benefits of solar power. It is certainly an everlasting energy source, as long as there is the sun, there will be available solar power.

One advantage of this alternative power is that it is a very available energy source for electricity. However, there are also some disadvantages to solar energy that you should be aware of.

It’s best to research all of the advantages and disadvantages of solar power before you actually have a system installed on your home. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, then you’ll know that setting up your home for solar enerfgy is the right decision for you.

The Short-term Cost of Solar Energy: A Disadvantage

The sun’s rays are free, they beat down naturally on earth, however, it costs a lot of money to actually set up solar cells and other solar equipment on your home. Just the equipment to power a pool can cost thousands of dollars. It is very important that you diligently research all costs associated with powering any part of your home before you do it.

Ask questions about warrantee’s, how much repairs cost if necessary etc. One great long-term cost advantage to going solar is that you will never have to pay another bill from your power company.

Talk To Neighbors Who Use Solar Power

The best way to learn firsthand the advantages and disadvantages of alternative power is to talk to people who actually have solar cells set up on their homes. These people have nothing to gain by lying so you should get a very honest account of what it means to live off of solar power.

If you live in the suburbs you should easily be able to find someone in your neighborhood that already has solar power. Another great way to learn more about this enrgy source is to go to a store that sells the solar equipment and ask them if they have any testimonials or a customer list. Get a hold of these poeple and ask questions about solar energy.

Make sure that you contact more than one person. That will not only help you understand the advantages and disadvantages to solar power, but it will also give you a chance to get feedback on that store’s level of service.

You may hear responses like, “It’s very expensive to set it up initially but otherwise it’s great,” or, “I’ve saved so much money from going solar over the years it’s not even funny.” However, you may also hear things like, “If there’s no sun, you don’t get that much power. The reserves do not last that long and I’m sick and tired of all this solar nonsense.”

If you get mixed reviews from several people, make two columns and add the two up. Then, you should get a good idea how people feel about their alternative power.

Read Solar Power Forums

Forums are another great tool to hear, or read, firsthand how people feel about their solar setups. When people post things on a forum, they know it’s anonymous so you should also get a very honest representation of the advantages and disadvantages of solar power. Compare the list you get from the forums with the list you got from talking to people and then make your decision.

As you can see the most important aspect to buying solar power for your home is talking to other people, doing your own cost research, and then determining if it is right for you. Correctly weighing the advantages and disadvantages will help you make the choice that is right for you.

If you plan to live in your home only for another year or so, it may not be worth the cost, but on the other hand you could end up saving yourself a lot of money in the long run by going solar if you stick around for five years or more.

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23. January 2012 · Comments Off on Holiday Speeches aren’t always what they should be · Categories: Writing · Tags: , ,

How many times have you squirmed in a chair at the firm’s annual do? The holiday speeches given by many C.E.O’s often take away from the party spirit because they are long and boring. That’s not how it should be. After all they are given on a social occasion and should reflect the party spirit. Instead they often drone on about the work done during the year and the work to be done in the future.

That is not to say such speeches should not be motivational. It is an ideal opportunity for the boss to whip up enthusiasm but he should do so in the context of the office party. So the speech should be light-hearted and short instead of long and dreary. It should speak of the good things about office life such as the friendships formed and the achievements made. It should explain why people are gathered together at the end of yet another year.

Most people are looking forward to the break in their working life. Holiday speeches should refer to the fact that such a break is well deserved because of the hard work done during the year. The speeches should talk about the need for a change from everyday life and how it restores people to have such a holiday.

The speeches should be welcoming to both staff and their guests. They should mention the fact that everyone has gone to great lengths to dress appropriately for the occasion. They might include a reference to the fact that it is only at the office party we see people in their true light. The manager for instance, might prove to be a wow at Salsa dancing. A personal assistant might prove to be a wonderful singer.

The speech should mention what a marvelous job each member of staff has done during the past year and the challenges that lie ahead. The Holiday speeches should emphasise the fact that working together is the key to success and that partying together sets the scene for that success. Above all holiday speeches should express the appreciation of the boss for the work done during the past year. He or she might also mention the stalwart work done by the social committee if that is applicable. They should lay emphasis on the fact that he or she expects the staff to let their hair done and party the night away. The speech should obviously end with a happy holiday wish.

Niamh Crowe

Copyright Speechwriters 1994-2009


Tel. +353 1 8333599

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22. January 2012 · Comments Off on Vintage Leather Jackets · Categories: Shopping And Product Reviews · Tags: , ,

Vintage, retro and antique are terms used to define items from past eras. A vintage leather jacket is not only a piece of clothing, but a piece of history. Most vintage leather jackets have considerable emotional and historic value attached to them. Also, the styles and designs of old always bring back memories of days gone by. Vintage leather jackets are no exception to this rule. Leather jackets from the 1950s are especially popular and in high demand. Prices on them are understandably high, since they are a rare collector’s item.

The vintage leather jackets are among the most popular vintage clothing. The vintage leather jackets can be anywhere from 10 to 50 years old.

Some of the designer labels available in vintage leather jackets include Lakeland, Lyon for Lepshire, Leathers of New England, Glamor Girl, Helene Junior’s New York, Turtle Bax, Honda Motor Company, Marbury Coats, Front Quarter STEER by Grais and Sears Hercules Outwear.

Many companies like Marks and Spencers offer vintage leather jackets. The most famous vintage leather jackets are the ones worn by celebrities. Therefore, some of the leather jackets available are styled after ones worn by celebrities – for example the famous leather jacket worn by Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart. There are also designs based on jackets worn by soldiers in World War Two.

Vintage leather jackets can also refer to leather jackets embossed with retro imaginary characters, for example Betty Boop, Popeye, Scooby Doo and others. Vintage leather jackets can be found in all the styles as their modern counterparts.

21. January 2012 · Comments Off on PG Rating Isn’t What It Used To Be · Categories: Home And Family · Tags: , ,

If there are any parents reading this who are thinking of taking their under-10 year olds to see the PG rated Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, please read the following from a ScreenIt.com review:

Rated PG, the film contains a handful of mild expletives; some non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue; one teen who sexually pursues her soccer coach nonstop until he finally can’t resist anymore and they apparently have sex (off-camera, after some making out, and she feels empty afterwards)…

I have not read the books this movie is based on, nor am I likely to see the film (I’m not the target audience), but I did read in an interview with the author of the book series (Ann Brashares) that she made an effort to allude to any sexual issues in the books in the most oblique way possible.

It doesn’t sound like it will be all that subtle in the movie version, which would be fine if it was rated PG-13 (The target audience for these books is 13-16 year old girls).

Gone are the days when you could just assume that a PG-rated movie is OK without doing any further research. I really believe that at some point parents will have to screen even G-rated movies before taking their kids to see them.

And whose fault is this? No, I don’t just lay the blame at the foot of the studios, but it rests with the film ratings board. From FilmRatings.com:

Who gives movies their ratings?

Parents give the movies their ratings-men and women just like you. They are part of a specially designed committee called the film rating board of the Classification and Rating Administration. As a group they view each film and, after a group discussion, vote on its rating, making an educated estimate as to which rating most American parents would consider the most appropriate.

Ok, fine. Sounds good so far… although I still don’t understand how the envelope continues to be pushed first on PG-13 films, and now apparently on PG films as well.

After further investigation:

The ratings are decided by a full-time Rating Board located in Los Angeles. There are 8-13 members of the Board who serve for periods of varying length.

Oh! Now it all makes sense! With apologies to parents in the state of California who are trying to raise their kids right, could the MPAA find a location from which to select a group of parents that could be less in touch with the rest of the country?

I suppose they could have assembled a group from the San Francisco Bay area…

Here’s a suggestion: How about a group assembled from parents across the country? Figure out a way to do it… just send out screeners and then do a conference call. IMO that would get you a more representative cross section of parents countrywide.

Something needs to be changed, because the ratings system is obviously not working any more.

19. January 2012 · Comments Off on Tropical Storm Fay Causes Flooding · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

This has been a tumultuous week for Florida residents as tropical storm has lingered for five consecutive days, dumping rain in the pan handle area steadily. The storm is only the fourth to make landfall on three separate occasions. Some areas have had two feet of rain to deal with along the low lying central Atlantic coast. Surely these water weary residents are ready for Fay to be on her way somewhere else.

Although tropical storm Fay has not been as severe as many in the past, there has been around twenty five lives lost, most recently two in Florida that were caused by heavy surf. Flood waters have caused snakes and alligators to show up in some unexpected places. The streets in some areas have seen a number of them and residents must beware.

Some counties have been declared disaster areas because of flooding. A lot of people are using their kayaks to get around where driving is not possible. There have been power outages and many schools and businesses are closed. It will be hard for surveyors to access the actual damage until the water has receded.

Whenever there are storms like Fay, even if the wind damage is not severe, the floods caused by the rain do enough damage to make up for it. Homes and businesses are uninhabitable even after the water has receded. Water damage crews will be very busy these next few months doing all of the necessary things to get people back in their homes and work places.

If you have never had your home flooded it can be hard to understand exactly how bad it really is. Anything that the water comes in contact with can be ruined. Even after only a few days of being submerged, mold will begin to grow where the water has been. This alone can totally destroy a home if it can not be killed and gotten rid of before it overtakes the entire home. Floods like these are dreaded by insurance companies because they may not be flooded with water themselves, but they will definitely be flooded with claims by those who are smart enough to have coverage.

It is likely to be at least a few more weeks before the total extent of damages done by tropical storm Fay can be tallied. It is still sure to be in the millions of dollars after all is said and done. Even when the water of Fay has gone away, the hurricane season is not nearly over yet and there could still be more damage to follow later.

19. January 2012 · Comments Off on Fascinating Facts About Vietnam · Categories: Travel And Leisure · Tags: , ,

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu was one of most elegant women of the 20th century.In the 1950s and 1960s,she was first lady of South Vietnam. She was born in 1924 in Hanoi,Vietnam.In fact, she was compared with ladies such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (former first lady of the United States), Dewi Sukarno (ex-first lady of Indonesia), Grace Kelly ( former princess of Monaco) and Eva Duarte de Peron (former first lady of Argentina).In the 1960s, Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu popularized the traditional Vietnamese “ao dai” (long dress). She currently resides in France, where she is writing her autobiography.She speaks fluent English, Vietnamese and French.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam is the home to Historic City of Hue-one of the ancient wonders of the world. During the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), Hue was the capital of Vietnam. More than 10 palaces in Hue provide some of the best remaining examples of Vietnamese architecture in Asia. It is the monument that best symbolizes Vietnam. Hue has been recognised as a World Cultural Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Hieu Ngan Tran is one of the Vietnam´s best known and well-loved athletes. She is a taekwondo athlete who competed in the women´s featherweight category at the 2000 Olympic Games and won the silver medal. The silver medal for Vietnam was the first ever won by that country in Olympic competition.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam is famous for its hospitality, and the average visitor will have no difficulty in adapting to local traditions.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The Vietnamese film industry has been honoured at film festival and award ceremonies around the world. The prizes attained include the Golden Lion for best film awarded by the Venice International Film to Anh Hung Tran´s Cyclo (1995) ; the Jury Prize awarded by the Sundance Film Festival to Tony Bui´s Three Seasons (1999); and the Grand Jury Prize awarded by the Pusan International Film Festival to Luu Hynh´s The White Silk Dress Press (1999).

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Madame Nguyen Thi Binh became the first female vice president of Vietnam in 1992. She became head of the Vietnamese women´s movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Like its Thai cousin, Vietnam is world-famous for its traditional cuisine. At Paris´s top restaurants, visitors can savor the true taste of Vietnamese cuisine.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam has long been famous for its magnificent temples and palaces.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Third World.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The development of traditional Vietnamese sports is vital to the preservation of Vietnamese culture. Takraw, or kick volleyball, is a traditional sport in Vietnam. In this sport, a ball is passed from player to player by hitting it with the head and feet. Takraw also is widely played in Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The bio-diversity of Vietnam is one of its greatest riches.The country has six world´s biosphere reserves: Can Gio Mangrove Forest, Cat Ba, Cat Tien, Kien Giang, Red River Delta, and Western Nghe An.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The United States of America recognizes Vietnam as an independent country since 1995. In 1996, president Bill Clinton appointed Douglas Peterson to serve as United States ambassador to Vietnam.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam is world-famous for its animal wildlife. This wildlife -which includes elephants, buffaloes, tigers, monkeys, rhinoceroses, snakes and turtles- attracts thousands of tourists to Vietnam each year.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam maintains diplomatic relations with 140 countries in the world, including France, China, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Canada, South Korea, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Russia and Malaysia.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Ha Long Bay is generally considered to be the most beautiful scenery in the whole of Vietnam. It consist of 1,969 islands and islets situated in the Gulf of Tonkin. This zone is known for its spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. It is one of the most popular spots in Asia. Ha Long Bay has been recognized as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam joined the United Nations in 1977.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam. It is the most important economic, industrial and cultural center in the country.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The best-known Vietnamese works of art the thousands of pagodas found throughout the country.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The education has received increased emphasis in Vietnam since the country became independent in 1976. Certainly, Vietnam has greatly increased the number of schools in response to demands for educational opportunities by the people.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…In 2000, Bill Clinton,who was president of the United States (1993-2001), was given a hero´s welcome in Vietnam as he became the first American president to visit the Asian country.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The “ao dai” is the most popular national costume in Vietnam.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam is one of the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Hanoi is well known for its famous restaurants. Some of the restaurants are built along the Red river to provide diners with a riverside view of Hanoi´s sunset.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam hosted delegates from 21 contries at the 2006 APEC Summit.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a World Heritage Site in Vietnam.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…AmeliaVega, Miss Universe 2003,went to Hanoi to attend the 2003 Miss Vietnam pageant.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam competed at the modern Olympic Games for the first time at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The 11th Taekwondo World Championship was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in June 2001.

DID YOU KNOW THAT….Like Carlos Noriega (Peru), Abdul Ahad Mohmad (Afghanistan), Jugdermedidiyn Gurragcha (Mongolia) and Salman al-Saud (Saudi Arabia), Pham Tuan was one of the best astronauts in the Third World. He was the first Vietnamese astronaut and the first Asian in space. Pham Tuan flew aboard the shuttle Soyuz-37 in July 1980. He was in space for more than 7 days. Pham Tuan was given a hero´s welcome when he returned to country after completing its historic orbital space flight.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam is one of the best-watered areas in Southeast Asia. Five main rivers flow eastward across the country. They are Mekong, Red Can, Srepok and Black.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Hanoi hosted the Fifth Asia-Europe Summit Meeting (ASEM) in 2004.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam has rich mineral deposits (oil, coal, gas, manganese, bauxite and phosphates), large forests, and good farm.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The Scent of Green Papaya was the first great Vietnamese movie of the 20th century. This film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Category at the 1993 Academy Awards. The movie enjoyed the highest-grossing opening in Vietnam film history.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam has eight idols:Anh Hung Tran (film director), Pham Tuan (astronaut), Thuy Tran (modeling agent), Nguyen Thi Phoung (ecologist), Hieu Ngan Tan (sportswoman), Madame Ngo Dinh Nho (former first lady of Vietnam), Tony Bui (film maker) and Nguyen Thi Binh (vice president of Vietnam).

DID YOU KNOW THAT…More than 20 million people in Vietnam ride a bicycle.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam has an area about 1 per cent as large as that of the United States.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Le Duc Tho was a diplomat who always worked for a unified Vietnam. He was born on October 14, 1911, in Phan Dinh Khai,Vietnam. Certainly, Le Duc Tho worked with Henry Kissinger (secretary of state of the United States) to end Vietnam war, and in 1973 the two men were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The award citation said, “On January 23 of this year a ceasefire agreement was concluded between the United States and the Vietnamese Democratic Republic.At its meeting on October 16 the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Storting decided to award the Peace Prize for the 1973 to Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the two chief negotiators who succeeded in arranging the ceasefire after negotiating for nearly four years…”

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam has been chosen to host the 2008 Miss Universe. Vietnam won the right to host the 2008 Miss Universe by one vote over Japan.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…President George W.Bush became the first U.S. president to visit Vietnam in the 21st century.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam is about 8 times the size of Switzerland.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam competed at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha,Qatar. It finished 19th in the medal count, with 23 (3 gold), trailing China, South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Iran, Uzbekistan, India, Qatar, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein, Hong Kong, North Korea, Kuwait and Philippines.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…Vietnam is famous for its beautiful beaches along the Pacific Ocean: Bai Chay, Tran Phu, Nha Trang,China Beach,Mui Ne Beach,Hon Chong Beach and Bai Tam.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…The 7th Summit of the Francophonie was held in Hanoi,Vietnam

19. January 2012 · Comments Off on Leotards For Gymnastics · Categories: Recreation And Sports · Tags: , ,

Gymnastics is a sport in which a lot of movement is required. That is why gymnastics leotards are used. They allow the gymnast to move in an unrestricted manner. They fit like a glove to the body and they move with each motion the gymnast makes. As for where it gets its roots, Jules Leotard, a French acrobat felt that acrobats needed a garment that allowed them to move. He called it a maillot, but the name was soon changed to match that of its maker.

The details

Gymnastics leotards are very comfortable in order to allow the gymnasts to perform their tricks. It is made up of a thin and flexible fabric that is only one piece. The torso is completely covered, but the legs may be exposed. For men, they usually cover the legs. They can also be made in many different colors with different patterns that make them visually appealing. Men and women both wear them when practicing and performing their gymnastic routines. Without leotards, the sport would be considerably difference and the level of skill may not be as high as what it is today.

As for the designs, they can have different neck lines such as a scoop neck. There is usually elastic around the neckline to keep with the flexibility that the garment offers. There may also be turtle neck gymnastics leotards and leotards with crew necks. Some individuals may be able to slip them right on and then there are others that have zippers in the back or snaps to make sure they remain secure.

In performance

The different styles and the different designs that are available on gymnastics leotards allow an individual to use a different leotard for each routine. A gymnast may decide to wear one leotard for their floor routine and then another for their uneven bars routine.


Many sportswear companies carry gymnastics leotards. They carry the various different styles and designs that many people like. They also make sure that what they manufacture meets the demands of the various gymnasts around the world. If you are unable to find one that meet your specifications at a local store, there are online stores that offer them as well. The internet opens up a doorway to help you find the leotards that are right for you. There shouldn’t be any reason why you can’t find the leotard that will make you shine in your gymnastics routine. It should also make you feel very confident and secure about yourself when showing the world what you’ve got.

16. January 2012 · Comments Off on Going the Distance · Categories: Home And Family · Tags: , ,

Without a doubt, the last few weeks of school are amongst the busiest in the calendar year. Graduations, recitals, concerts, sporting competitions and final exams all exert undue influence over the time and energy of students and parents alike. Most days find me traveling across the county shuffling kids to one event or another; May and June find me barely able to navigate the logistical gymnastics required for all of the above.

This weekend was no different. Batting clinics, lacrosse games and a year-end orchestra concert in which three of our kids played, took up most of our time. Thankfully, a quick visit (and fun May ritual) from my oldest friend from out-of-town provided just the fresh spark I needed to keep my enthusiasm level high throughout. It was a happy, happy weekend, filled with family, friends and fun.

Anecdotes throughout the weekend presented a resounding theme: going the distance is worth it. It’s worth the time. It’s worth the energy. It’s worth the driving around. It’s worth the work.

A visit to an antiques shop in Connecticut—and a wonderfully long chat with the owner—convinced me of the need to counter our “fixed in a flash” modus operandi with a longer term perspective on life. The antiques dealer winced at the notion that young people today desire their homes to be instantly furnished and decorated, using a few clicks of the mouse on eBay to supply them with everything from linens to lamps to dining room tables. Few young people today are willing to take the time and energy to wisely shop for their homes anymore. To scour antiques shops in faraway towns. To put in the time for adventure. To find thrill in “the hunt.” The pursuit, which used to take center stage, has been replaced in these bustling days of ours with “the catch.” We become satisfied with second-rate, because hunting for “wonderful” is just too cumbersome.

Friendships, too, take years and years to develop. They blossom eventually, through years of coffees and lunches, movies and trips, phone calls and postcards. They start as budding relationships, and grow and grow and grow if well-watered. Surviving a few inevitable bumps in the middle, like acne on our teens’ faces, they eventually develop into beautiful models of faith and trust and love. Like our children, friendships require years of nurturing. Of time and energy and good old-fashioned hard work.

Some of the most talented kids in our town performed in the end-of-year concert for the youth orchestra this weekend. My husband and I got lumps in our throats watching our own children play a Beethoven symphony in its entirety. No “fixed in a flash” model there. Obtainable only through years of lessons. Of weekly practices. Of discipline. Persistence. Vision. Determination.
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02. January 2012 · Comments Off on Hawaiian Flower Tattoos – Orchid, Plumeria and Hibiscus Tattoo · Categories: Arts And Entertainment · Tags: , ,

Hawaiian flower tattoos are exotic and beautiful and not as cliché as rose or lilies. They can be an expression of one’s heritage if he or she is originally from the island. Or it can also be a representation of one’s unforgettable moments spent in Hawaii; the island being considered as a perfect getaway and vacation spot because of its beaches, fresh air and natural scenery. While some have significant meaning attached to the design, a lot of enthusiasts also choose this theme just for its sheer beauty and artistic appeal.

The most popular Hawaiian flowers are hibiscus, plumeria and orchid. Each flower has its own symbolism and individual characteristics. Hibiscus stands for delicate beauty as the bloom of the flowers are open for just a short period everyday. Hibiscus, in fact, has been called “Flower-on-an-hour”. Plumeria is a flower commonly used as tattoo designs along side hibiscus as if to complete the whole Hawaiian flower theme. In the island, it is the flower traditionally used as a lei, it will always say “Aloha”. Orchid is also prominent in Hawaiian and used as lei too, just like plumeria. It can stand for a lot of things like love, beauty, wisdom, and thoughtfulness.

Hawaiian flower tattoos can be seen incorporated with other imagery that the island is known for like sea turtles, mountains, surfboard and tiki. They are best executed on the body in full color to make them more visually appealing. They are also usually seen in a tribal style – with thick black lines and little accent of color or detail. They would look good as sleeve tattoos, or on the foot, shoulder blade, back, rib cage and lower back.