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Christian Gifts from The Jerusalem Gift Shop | Holy Land Gifts Shop for Christian gifts direct from our Jerusalem bookstore that cannot be found anywhere else. Providing unique Christian gifts and jewelry to thousands of loyal Christian supporters of Israel from our shop located where Jesus walked in the heart of the Holy Land. Your connection to Israel.
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Instagram-color Professional UI/UX Designer & Lettering Artist based in Richmond, VA. I create stunning visual experiences for clients all over the US.
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Embracing Chaos Blog God has put a soft spot in my heart for mommas trying to get through these early (and tough) stages of parenting. Diapers, breast feeding, postpartum depression, discipline, potty training, toddler night terrors, kids not eating, sleep schedules…etc. These are just some of the things I’ve walked through (and am still dealing with) and needed help from my mom or one of you. In a culture where comparison runs rampant, it’s nice to know there are other moms out there having a rough day. Just know I’m over here with bags under my eyes, drinking my 3rd cup of coffee and in the same clothes that I wore to bed the day before. Thankfully, there is always one truth we can stand on when it comes to being a mom, and that is that God made YOU the mom of your sweet babe. You. He has equipped you with everything you need to raise, love, encourage, teach, and discipline them… and best of all, to cultivate in them a heart for Jesus.
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Entropy There are many who couldn't understand, and sometimes he walked among them. But even in his darkest hours, he knew in his heart that someday it would return to him, and his world would be whole...
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Christian Gifts from The Jerusalem Gift Shop | Holy Land Gifts Shop for Christian gifts direct from our Jerusalem bookstore that cannot be found anywhere else. Providing unique Christian gifts and jewelry to thousands of loyal Christian supporters of Israel from our shop located where Jesus walked in the heart of the Holy Land. Your connection to Israel.
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Children''s Books Online: the Rosetta Project, Inc. Children''s Books Online: the Rosetta Project is the largest collection of illustrated antique children''s books on-line.
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TxtMania | The Philippines, a group of over 7,000 islands with combined land area encompassing 300,000 square kilometres, grew into a nation under more than three centuries of Spanish conquest and 42 years of American rule. It is the first country outside the New World that closely witnessed the United States' rise to power following the 1898 Spanish-American War. Situated 800 kilometres southeast of mainland Asia, the archipelago, named after King Philip II of Spain, was discovered in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, the same explorer who had discovered the Pacific Ocean in search of the so-called "Spice Islands" and is now widely considered the first navigator to have cruised around the planet. Ironically, the Filipinos, after having been subdued for centuries by foreign colonizers as a result of Magellan's voyage, would emerge as the best seafarers in the world, manning a third of all international vessels today. Some 7.8 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and Filipino migrants would help rebuild cities in many countries and bring back over US$10 billion in annual remittances to their families in the Philippines. The country's geographical location and long exposure to foreign influences has placed the Philippines on a unique cultural base in Asia. It is now the only predominantly Catholic country in the region, with 70 million out of its total population of 85 million (as of 2005) confessing to be Catholic. There are also large numbers of Protestants and Born-Again Christians in the country while the Muslim population is concentrated in southern Mindanao. Early Trade The first inhabitants of the Philippines were the Negritos who traveled from mainland Asia over a land bridge that is now underwater. Migrants from other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia later followed and established a Malayan culture that flourished before the Spaniards came. Chinese and Arab merchants helped establish markets at the community level. A sultanate system, first established in the southern island of Sulu in the 14th century, is believed to have reached the islands of Luzon and Visayas, giving way to the rise of the Islamic faith. The Spaniards would later drive the Muslims to the south and establish Catholicism as the main religion in the north and central parts of the country. Local villages, known as barangay, traded agricultural and fishery products with each other. The Igorot tribe in Northern Luzon carved the marvellous Banaue Rice Terraces from the mountains, a proof of their advanced agriculture technology. Communities near the shore exchanged goods with Chinese and Arab merchants, who came aboard large ships. These communities traded slaves, gold, beeswax, betel nuts, pearls, and shells for porcelain, silk, iron, tin and semi-precious stones. The Philippine islands were a part of an extensive trade route used by Chinese merchants as early as the 10th century. By the time Magellan arrived in the islands, regular trade and cultural contact between Chinese traders and local chieftains were firmly instituted. Many Chinese merchants settled in the country and shared their crafts with the natives. Some historians claim that an Italian Franciscan priest, named Father Odorico, was actually the first European to have reached the Philippines in 1324 when his ship bound for China took refuge from a storm in Bolinao Island in northern part of Luzon. Aside from the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Cordillera Mountains, early settlers did not leave any giant monument, and this is what makes conservative historians doubt the existence of the rich kingdoms in the country hundreds of years ago. However, it cannot be denied that early Filipinos were learned individuals who expressed their beliefs and sentiments in rich languages. According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), there are actually 78 language groupings and over 500 dialects in the Philippines. Feudal Society Magellan, who claimed the archipelago for Spain in 1521, died in a battle with a group of local warriors led by Lapu Lapu at Mactan Island. It was Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, in the fourth Spanish expedition, who named the territory as Filipinas after the heir to the Spanish throne in 1543. In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi led an expedition to colonize the islands and by 1571, most parts of the archipelago came under Spanish rule. The Spaniards established the colonial government first in Cebu in 1565 and then in Manila in 1571. Historians claim that University of San Carlos in Cebu and University of Sto. Tomas in Manila are the oldest universities teaching European type of education in Asia. Jesuit and Dominican priests established the two institutions. Under Spanish rule, Catholicism became the dominant religion. Catholic friars not only lorded over the congregations; they enjoyed vast political and economic influence, which they eventually used to repress Filipino peasants' uprisings in the largely feudal Philippine society at that time. The Spaniards also quelled a number of rebellions instigated by the Chinese migrants. The friars distributed lands to Spanish families, who later comprised the landowning class. To perpetuate their economic interests, this class would also rise to become the political elite that would remain in power to this day. This gave way to the hacienda system in the Philippines, where cacique or landowners managed large tracts of lands tilled by peasant workers. Under the system, farmers were supposed to receive half of the harvest, but they usually ended up with much less because they had to pay for large interests on debt incurred from the cacique. This would be later corrected with a system of land reform, which, however, remains to be fully implemented to this day. Galleon Trade The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade became the major trading system between Asia and the Americas for nearly two centuries. Manila became a transhipment point of American silver to China. It was through this trade that the first Chinese silk and porcelain reached the shores of the New World. There were unverified claims that Filipinos helped build the city of Los Angeles in America. The Chinese and Filipinos would later become the two largest Asian migrant groups in the United States. Coconut became the country's top agricultural product, because of Spain's huge need for charcoaled coconut shells used for the caulking of the galleons. In 1642, the colonial government issued an edict requiring each Filipino to plant 200 coconut trees all over the country. By 1910, coconut exports would account for a fifth of total Philippine exports and to this day, coconut oil remains the country's top agricultural shipment. The Galleon Trade lasted for about 200 years until 1815. It is during this period that rice and tropical fruits from the Philippines such as mango and banana made their way to Latin America. Beginning 1750, Spanish priests encouraged the development of plantations to grow abaca (hemp), tobacco, coffee and sugar. Sugar barons from the Visayas would later emerge as among the richest clans in the country. From 1762 to 1764, the British briefly captured Manila during the Seven Years War. The treaty of Paris ended the British occupation and returned the colony to the hands of their original colonial masters. Plantation Crops In 1781, the Spanish governor established the tobacco monopoly in the Philippines, which would become a major source of revenue for the colonial government. From 1820 to 1870, the Philippines would be transformed to an agricultural export economy. Located on the oceanic trading routes connecting Asia to other parts of the world, the Philippines became a transhipment point of merchandise goods from all over Southeast Asia on their way to Europe. The Philippines exported plantation crops such as sugar, abaca, other fibres, tobacco, coffee, and coconut products to China, Spain, United States, United Kingdom and British East Indies. In return, it imported textiles and rice. Historians claim that Spain administered the Philippine affairs through Mexico. Spanish administrators in the country were actually reporting to the Viceroyalty of Mexico. After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, Madrid directly governed its only Asian colony and even allowed rich Filipinos to study in Europe. The Spanish rule gave way to the rise of a small but highly powerful elite class, which to this day, controls most of the Philippine economy. The elite families, which own large plantations, were able to send their children to Europe for education. Foreign Investors Investors from Spain, Germany, Britain and other European countries laid the groundwork for utility companies in steam navigation, cable, telegraphy, railroads and electricity in the country. They also invested heavily in rice and sugar milling, textile and banking. The local elite developed the brewing industry, which would become one of the most profitable sectors in the economy. Although the educated Filipinos who studied in Europe shunned the use of force to topple the colonial government, their writings provoked nationalist sentiments among young men, who eventually formed a revolutionary movement against Spain. In 1896, the war between Spanish and Filipino soldiers escalated following the death of novelist Jose Rizal and rebel leader Andres Bonifacio. Emilio Aguinaldo, the new leader of the revolutionary forces, forged a pact with US Commodore George Dewey in Hong Kong to defeat the Spanish army. American Colony The Americans entered the scene because of its conflict with Spain over Cuba. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American war in the Pacific, the Philippines had to be taken by the US, lest other European countries such as Britain, France and Germany would fight for their next Southeast Asian colony. On June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo, first backed by American forces, declared the independence of Kawit, Cavite, the seat of the revolutionary Filipino government at that time, from Spanish rule. The Americans took possession of Manila on August 13, 1898. While armed clashes with Spanish forces continued in other parts of the country, the Americans and the Spaniards were negotiating for the purchase of the Philippines for US$20 million. In the Treaty of Paris in 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the US. Filipinos felt insulted at the fact that their country has been passed from one colonial master to another for only US$20 million. When the US, which had not conquered any country before, made known its intention to succeed Spain as the next colonizer of the Philippines, Aguinaldo and his men waged a revolutionary resistance that ended with his capture in March 1901. The American soldiers easily subdued the remaining factions of rebellion with the help of their powerful weapons and their divide-and-conquer tactic. As an archipelago of 7,000 islands, the Philippines is home to different ethnic groups which do not speak the same language. The national government's attempt to declare Tagalog (spoken in Central and Southern Luzon including Metro Manila) as the national language would not easily win the support of other regions. The Philippine-American war took the lives of 4,234 American and 16,000 Filipino soldiers. The death toll was much higher on the civilian population, with as high as 200,000 casualties. Although local resistance persisted until 1903, the US ended its military rule on July 4, 1901. American Way Under American civilian rule, the Philippines was introduced to US-type of education, Protestant religion, and later to the concept of democracy. Placed under US control were most parts of the country, except in the southern portion of Mindanao where Muslim rebels held strong resistance. William Howard Taft, the 27th US president, was the first American Civil Governor in the Philippines. Taft was praised for establishing a civil service system, creating a national legislature, suppressing prices, upgrading health standards, and sponsoring land reform and road building in the country. In 1907, the First Philippine Assembly composed of educated and rich Filipinos with vast landholdings. Manuel L. Quezon, who represented the Philippines in the US Congress, lobbied for the passage of the Jones Law, which in 1916 abolished the Philippine Assembly to give way for a bicameral legislature made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. With the passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Act in 1934, Filipinos had their first taste of self-rule through the Philippine Commonwealth, a transitional government designed to prepare the Filipinos over a ten-year period for independence. By 1935, the Commonwealth was in place with Quezon as its first president. The Philippines also approved a new constitution in the same year. The United States is credited for helping establish the Republic of the Philippines, the first democratic government in Asia. Economically, the Philippines was ahead of its Asian neighbours, who were still subjects of European colonial powers before the war. Japanese Invasion In December 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the Philippines and drove the Commonwealth Government from Manila. While Quezon continued to head the government-in-exile until his death in New York in August 1944, the Japanese forces handpicked Jose P. Laurel, a graduate of Yale University and Tokyo International University, to head a new government under their control. The Philippines was dragged into the war because of Japan's military ambition to become the dominant force in Asia and the Pacific. Japan wanted to be the leader of an economic zone in East Asia, which would be the source of its raw materials. The US presence in the Philippines, known for its strategic location in Southeast Asia, was the largest threat to the Japanese forces, following the destruction of the American Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. While the American forces were regrouping in the United States, Filipino soldiers formed a guerrilla organization called Hukbalahap (People's Anti-Japanese Army). Some 30,000 guerrillas at that time engaged the Japanese army in intermittent clashes. The Hukbalahap would later adopt the communist ideology and rule in the countryside. Meanwhile, Sergio Osmeña replaced Quezon as the head of the government-in-exile and joined General Douglas MacArthur in the liberation of Manila. General MacArthur returned to the Philippines via the island province of Leyte, along with 174,000 army and navy servicemen on October 20, 1944. The liberation of Manila took almost 20 days from February 3 to 23, 1945 and the fierce battle destroyed much of the city, with its ruins now often compared to the ruins of Warsaw, Poland in Europe. The Japanese army, however, continued to fight in the provinces, until September 2, 1945 when General Yamashita, the Tiger of Malaya who was believed to have hidden vast amount of treasures during the war, surrendered in Baguio City. It is estimated that the battle of Manila cost the lives of 1 million Filipinos, 300,000 Japanese and 60,000 Americans. The intensity of the US-Japan war would force the former to drop an atomic bomb in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and in Nagasaki three days later. US Bases By February 1945, Osmeña restored the Commonwealth in the Philippines but it was only on July 4, 1946 that the US granted the Philippines its independence, coinciding with the celebration of the Independence Day in America. However, US military bases would remain in the country for the next 45 years. On March 14, 1947, Manila and Washington signed the Treaty of General Relation, which provided the US to construct military bases for a lease period of 99 years. In 1959, the agreement was amended to shorten the lease period until 1991, after which both sides were to renegotiate the contract. When the US sought a ten-year extension of the lease period in 1991, the Philippine Senate, led by Senate President Jovito Salonga, rejected the proposal in a historic casting of vote on September 16, ending US military bases in the country. With newfound freedom in 1946, Filipinos elected Manuel A. Roxas, leader of the Liberal Party and one of the seven members of the Constitutional Convention who drafted the 1935 Constitution, as the first president of the independent republic in April 1946. His presidency was focused on rebuilding the cities and municipalities torn by the war, redistributing lands as wealthy landowners returned to reclaim their estates, and confronting the Hukbalahap, which by this time was tagged as a socialist-communist organization. The economy grew at a rapid pace, immediately after the war. Special Treatment Close economic ties between Manila and Washington continued after the war on the back of agreements providing for preferential tariffs for American exports and special treatment for US investors in the Philippines. In the 1946 Philippine Trade Act, the Americans were granted duty-free access to the Philippine market and special rights to exploit the country's natural resources. Because of the Trade Act, the Philippines suffered a huge trade deficit with the influx of American imports. In 1949, the Philippine government was forced to impose import controls, after getting the consent of Washington. Roxas' two-year presidency ended with his death, following a heart attack while delivering a speech at Clark Air Force Base in Pampanga province in April 1948. Vice president Elpidio Quirino succeeded Roxas as president and defeated Jose P. Laurel to keep his post in the 1949 presidential race. It was during Quirino's term that the Minimum Wage Law was enacted and the Central Bank was established to stabilize the peso and consumer prices. The country's gross national product grew by an average of 7.7 percent annually in the early 1960s, on the back of the double-digit increase in the manufacturing sector. In the 1953 presidential election, Ramon Magsaysay, who had served as defense secretary under the Quirino administration, won by a landslide. The charismatic Magsaysay initiated peace talks with the Hukbalahap, which would later evolve into a communist organization. He became popular for opening the gates of Malacanang Palace to ordinary people. He died in a plane crash on Mount Manunggal in Cebu in March 1957, which to this day remains a mystery to many Filipinos. While the standard of living in the Philippines was below that of the Western World, the country was often cited as the second richest economy in Asia, after Japan in the 1960s. However, ill-advised economic policies, poor governance and rapid population growth in the country would allow other Asian economies such as Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and China not only to catch up with but to leave the Philippines behind in the race towards industrialization. Filipino First Vice President Carlos P. Garcia assumed the country's top government post following the death of Magsaysay. Garcia was known for his First Filipino Policy and Austerity Program, which put the interests of Filipinos ahead those of foreigners. Under his austerity measures, he encouraged temperate spending, which resulted in less imports and more exports. His nationalist policies, however, perpetuated the business interests of the ruling elite in the country and did not encourage local businesses to be competitive. Garcia lost to his vice-president in the 1961 presidential poll. Protectionist policies allowed local manufacturers to control the economy from 1949 to 1962, discouraging them from becoming competitive. Diosdado Macapagal, father of incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was the president from 1961 to 1965. Before he became president, he authored the land reform program as a legislator and was vice-president to Garcia. As president, Macapagal began a five-year socio-economic program by removing imports control and liberalizing foreign exchange. It was Macapagal who declared June 12 as the national Independence Day. In 1962, the Macapagal administration began devaluing the peso by half to around 3.90 to the US dollar. Macapagal initiated a shift in investments from the light industries to chemicals, steel and industrial equipment. He was also one of the proponents of the MAPHILINDO, a trade bloc of three South East Asian countries – the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia. This bloc later expanded to what is now the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). By 1965, foreign capital was present in nearly a third of the country's capital stock. Martial Law Ferdinand Marcos, the Senate president, defeated Macapagal in the presidential election to become the country's tenth president in November 1965. A close ally of the United States, Marcos launched military campaigns against the insurgents including the communist Hukbalahap and Moro rebels in Mindanao. In August 1967, Manila hosted a summit that led to the creation of the ASEAN. With his reelection in 1969, Marcos had to contend with worsening civil strife. An ideologist named Jose Ma. Sison founded the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1968. It was during the same year that University of the Philippines Nur Misuari founded the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the armed wing of Islamic resistance movement. In June 1971, the government convened the Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution. Ironically, Marcos declared Martial Law on September 21, 1972, following a series of bombings in Metro Manila, He abolished Congress, curtailed freedom of the press, imposed curfews, ordered the arrest of his political enemies, prohibited labour unions, and controlled the economy with the help of his cronies. Although his wife Imelda was credited for building some of the country's finest monuments, she was criticized for personal extravagance, a form of which was maintaining a collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes. Green Revolution The so-called green revolution in the early 1970s, which introduced new farming technologies, enabled the Philippines to export rice to its neighbours. The International Rice Research Institute was established in Los Banos town, Laguna province where Thai, Vietnamese and other Asian researchers trained to develop their own rice production. Thailand would later become the world's largest rice exporter and the Philippines one of the largest rice importers. With the introduction of new farming technologies, the Philippines became heavily dependent on importer fertilizers, which are mostly fuel-based. The increase in world crude oil prices also pushed prices of fertilizers, to the detriment of Filipino farmers trying to adopt the modern technologies. Chinese Tycoons On June 9, 1975, the Marcos administration signed a joint communiqué with Communist China to restore official diplomatic relations. The Communiqué recognized that "there is but one China, of which Taiwan is an integral part. In return, China vowed not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Philippines and refrained from providing any substantial support to the Communist Party of the Philippines, the largest insurgent group in the country. The largest success story in the Philippines actually involved Chinese merchants who left China in pursuit of business opportunities abroad. Unlike rich American investors, Chinese migrants came to the Philippines with little money but large determination that the country's democratic society would help them become rich. True enough, they found goldmine in the Philippines. Today, the richest individuals in the Philippines have Chinese names, including billionaires such as Lucio Tan, Henry Sy, John Gokongwei, and George Ty. Together, they are the largest group of investors in the Philippines and control most of the largest companies in the country. Overseas Workers Under Martial Law, one man other than Marcos would singularly define labour relations in the Philippines and the role of the Filipino workers in the world. Labour Minister Blas Ople, a former journalist, authored the Labor Code on November 1, 1974 and launched the overseas employment program in 1976, which would send young and talented Filipinos who could not find work at home to other countries for dollar-earning jobs. Ople obtained the permission of Marcos to deploy thousands of Filipino workers overseas to meet the growing need of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates for skilled workers and the rising demand for Filipino seamen in flag-of-convenience vessels. Hesitant at first, Marcos later conceded to the proposal, if only to tame the growing militancy building among the hearts of the young and intelligent Filipinos who could not find job opportunities in their own land. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) were established to intensify recruitment of Filipino workers. This would make the Philippines the third largest destination of dollar remittances in the world, next to the more populous countries of India and Mexico. The Marcos administration also tried to court foreign investors, by committing guarantees against nationalization and imposing restrictions on trade-union activity. However, the blatant record of human rights abuses by the military under his administration was a big turnoff among foreigners. Under Martial law, the military and the police killed, abused, or arrested at least 10,000 Filipinos, including some of the brightest students and intellectuals. Many had disappeared without a trace. While Marcos lifted martial law on January 17, 1981 in time for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Manila in February, he maintained most of his powers as a dictator. Benigno Aquino, an opposition senator living in asylum in the US, decided to return to Manila in 1983. His death, from assassins' bullets at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport, sparked adverse sentiments against the Marcos administration. Bankruptcy As the economy stagnated under the Marcos administration because of a mix of bad economic policies, corruption and uncontrolled population growth, the government had to resort to foreign borrowing to finance the fiscal deficit. In October 1983, the Central Bank notified its creditors about its plan to default payment on debt amounting to US$24.6 billion. With the growing loss of confidence by the business community, the peso depreciated by as much as 21 percent in 1983. The gross domestic product shrank by 6.8 percent in 1984 and by 3.8 percent in 1985. Emboldened by Marcos' dipping popularity, the opposition gathered around Aquino's widow, Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, who would later challenge Marcos in the 1986 snap presidential election. When Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly) declared Marcos the winner amid allegations of widespread electoral fraud, protesters, buoyed by Manila archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, trooped to the streets. Following the defection of Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces vice chief Fidel Ramos from Marcos, protesters began converging along EDSA near Ortigas Avenue, which would culminate in the ouster of Marcos from Malacanang Palace on February 25, 1986. The media called the bloodless uprising as the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution - something that political groups would later thought could be replicated time and again. Democratic Rule After Marcos, his family and his cronies fled from the Philippines, Aquino became president, organized a new government, freed the political prisoners and tried to restore democratic rule in the country. In February 1987, her government approved a new Constitution, which would later be subjected to heated debates over its restrictive provisions on foreign participation in the economy. The 1987 Constitution restored the presidential system of government with a bicameral legislature composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives and an independent judiciary headed by the Supreme Court chief justice. To avoid a replication of Marcos' excesses, the Constitution limited the president's stay in office to one six-year term. It also created the autonomous regions of Muslim Mindanao and Cordillera and put agrarian reform as the cornerstone of the government's plan for social transformation. A renegade faction in the Philippine military launched a series of coup attempts against the Aquino presidency. Perception of political instability dampened economic activities and refrained the economy from matching the large strides taken by its Asian neighbors in the 1980s and 1990s. By this time, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have overtaken the Philippines in the race towards industrialization. The Arroyo administration, while taking pride of having restored democracy, failed to bring the economy on track towards industrialization, and one of the factors singled out was the president's political inexperience and lack of consistency in pushing for economic reforms. In the 1992 presidential election, Aquino endorsed the candidacy of her chosen successor – Defense Secretary Fidel Ramos. In June 1991, Mount Pinatubo's powerful eruption sent tons of ashes around the planet's atmosphere. Subsequent lava/lahar flow buried several towns in Central Luzon and jolted the economy. The natural tragedy also forced American soldiers at Clark Field and Subic Bay to withdraw from their bases earlier than stipulated. The US turned over to the Philippine government the two bases with total assets amounting to US$1.3 billion. The Philippine government later transformed the two bases into special economic zones. Liberalisation In 1992, Fidel Ramos was elected President. He began his term amid an energy crisis, which plunged the country literally into darkness. This he was able to resolve by inviting foreign investors to take part in the so-called build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme, where they would serve as independent power producers (IPPs) enjoying a lot of incentives and guaranteed market. While it brought light to Filipino households, the scheme would later translate to high electricity rates. In 1995, the Ramos administration also had to contend with a rice shortage, as a result of low agricultural production and poorly managed importation program. Since then, the government has authorised the National Food Authority (NFA) to import rice at will in order to prepare for any shortage in domestic stock. The Ramos presidency was also responsible for economic reforms such as privatisation of government assets, trade and banking liberalisation and deregulation, which would push annual trade growth at double-digit levels and draw in large-ticket foreign investments. By 1996, the Philippines was described as a newly industrialising economy along with the likes of Thailand and Malaysia. It was also under the Ramos presidency that communism was legalised, and some leftist organisations would later join Congress as partylist groups. The government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed by Nur Misuari would sign a peace agreement that would establish a peace zone in southern Philippines. However, other militant rebel groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Abu Sayyaf would continue waging a war against the government for a Islamic state in the south. What Ramos failed to accomplish is the amendment to the 1987 Constitution to remove the restriction on foreign ownership of land and public utilities, which limits maximum ownership to 40 percent. The opposition party accused him of trying to tinker with the charter to remove the six-year term limit of the president and in the process perpetuate his stay in power. In the end, he had to give up such attempt under the weight of public opinion. Financial Crisis With the outbreak of the Asian financial crisis, the Philippine economy contracted by 0.6 percent in 1998, the same year Joseph Estrada, a popular politician with links to the movie industry, became president. The economy actually grew although at a slower pace at 3.4 percent in 1999 and at 4 percent in 2000 even as the inflation and interest rates began to decline. In comparison, growth reached 5.2 percent under the Ramos presidency in 1997. While Estrada got the backing of Filipino-Chinese businessmen by reducing the problem of kidnapping, he did not get the same support from other "elite" businessmen. Despite appointing top economists, Estrada, a former college dropout, could not convince the "high society" that he could resolve the country's economic woes. Ironically, what brought down the Estrada administration was not his economic policies, seen by many as not substantially different from those of Ramos, but the perception of wide corruption in his administration. In October 2000, a former ally implicated Estrada in illegal gambling payoffs and kickbacks. Reports that he has many wives housed in different mansions also got Estrada indifferent treatment from the Church, which was a force behind the 1986 People's Power Revolution. EDSA 2 In December 2000, the House of Representatives impeached Estrada. The subsequent impeachment trial at the Senate was aborted when senators from the opposition party walked out of the courtroom, triggering street demonstrations reminiscent of the 1986 revolt. Within hours after the walkout, the crowd at EDSA grew into millions of anti-Estrada protesters. When political and military leaders withdrew their support from Estrada, Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide swore Vice President Gloria Mapacagal Arroyo as the next president on January 20, 2001. Arroyo, a daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal, came to Malacanang with a promise to clean the government of corrupt officials and bring down the number of poor Filipinos, which represents a third of the total population. In her first year in office, she faced numerous challenges starting with the May 1 rebellion, instigated by the Estrada camp to regain the presidency. The rebellion proved futile, as the highly politicised military and the police remained loyal to Arroyo. She also had to contend with Muslim extremists, who began to target cities in their attacks. Following the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, the Philippines was one of the first countries to express support for a US-led international campaign against terrorism. On the economic front, Congress passed the liberalisation of the retail trade sector and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, which aims to privatise the state-owned National Power Corporation. The Arroyo administration also promoted business process outsourcing (BPO), information technology, tourism, and mining as key investment areas for foreign companies. Trade with other Asian countries was also given importance in view of the declining trade volume with the United States. Telecommunications One particular industry, which has led economic growth since 2000 is telecommunications, although this proved to be a bane for other industries as Filipinos cut their expenditures on other items to buy mobile phones and pay for monthly network services. By 2005, it is estimated that half of the 85 million Filipinos would have mobile phones, a high penetration rate for a developing market. Because of the global economic slump following the September 11 attacks, the GDP grew by merely 1.8 percent in 2001. Growth reached 4.3 percent in 2002 and 4.7 percent in 2003 even as the Arroyo administration confronted communist and Islamic insurgency problems and a shocking military coup in July 2003. After surviving the coup, Arroyo won the May 2004 presidential election over Estrada's close friend and popular actor Fernando Poe Jr. Economic growth reached 6.1 percent in 2004, the highest in 15 years, although this was negated by high inflation and uncontrolled unemployment rates which were more felt by the poor. Fiscal Deficit Pressed by economists to narrow the burgeoning fiscal deficit, President Arroyo urged Congress to pass a package of tax reform measures aimed at achieving a balanced budget by the end of her term in 2010. Because of a long history of budget deficits, the public debt hit more than 130 percent of the GDP in 2003 and has been rising since then. Different sectors, however, criticised the administration for passing a heavier burden of taxation on the people at a time crude oil prices were hovering at historic high levels and pushing prices of goods and services beyond the capacity of ordinary consumers. By the second half of 2005, there were signs that the fiscal deficit was narrowing, even with the delay in the implementation of the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) law, which raised by 2 percentage points the tax rate on consumer products and services to 12 percent and by 3 percentage points the corporate income tax to 35 percent. The new EVAT law, which was expanded to cover fuel and electricity, took effect on November 1, 2005. New Constitution As the popularity of President Arroyo dipped to the lowest level amid allegations that she bought her way to the presidency in the 2004 presidential elections, she was given an option to correct the loopholes in the political system by amending the 1987 Constitution. She formed a Consultative Commission to recommend charter amendments focusing on lifting all restrictions to foreign investments and paving the way for a shift in the form of government from a presidential, central system into a parliamentary, federal system. Posted by Text Mates at 4:16 PM 0 comments Labels: Economy, History, National, Social Filipino Inventions Solar powered Balut maker The College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology at the University of the Philippines-Los Banos has invented a solar "balut" maker. Engineer Fernando Paras Jr. said the machine, which covers an area of five square meters, is actually an incubator that can process duck eggs into embryonated eggs or balut for 15 to 17 days. Traditionally, balut makers in Pateros have been using electricity for incubation. The new invention is a two-way solar-powered system, with the solar water heater serving as the primary heat source while the photovoltaic cells serve as the auxiliary heat source regulating the temperature inside the incubator. The machine can process up to 4,000 eggs at the same time. This can double the income of farmers. SMS reader for the Blind A group of four engineering students from the De La Salle University invented the SMS reader, a device that allows the blind to read and send text messages. The prototype is composed of a black box with a Braille display that mimics the interface of a mobile phone. A data cable is connected to a slot in the black box. Superkalan Narciso Mosuela of La Union province invented the "superkalan", a novelty stove that can be fired with anything that burns—wood, paper, dried dung and leaves, corn cobs, and coco shells. The body of this stove is made of aluminum alloy, with a cast iron heat intensifier. For his invention, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) bestowed on Mosuela the "best design award" for Third World country category in 1987. Aside from the superkalan, Mr. Mosuela invented a functional rice thresher and other kitchen gadgets. Anti-cancer cream In November 2005, Filipino inventor Rolando dela Cruz won the gold medal for his "DeBCC" anti-cancer cream at the prestigious International Inventor's Forum in Nuremberg, Germany. The "DeBCC" cream, developed from cashew nuts and other local herbs, was chosen over 1,500 entries as the "most significant invention" of the year. According to Mr. dela Cruz, the cream was a simple answer to basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common type of skin cancer worldwide. BCC affects around 800,000 Americans every year, according to the Skin Care Foundation. BCC also affects 500,000 Europeans and 190,000 Australians every year. Mole Remover In 2000, Rolando dela Cruz developed an ingenuous formula that could easily remove deeply grown moles or warts from the skin without leaving marks or hurting the patient. His formula was extracted from cashew nut (Annacardium occidentale), which is common in the Philippines. The formula won for dela Cruz a gold medal in International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design and Technology Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in September 2000. In March 1997, dela Cruz established RCC Amazing Touch International Inc., which runs clinics engaged "in a non-surgical removal of warts, moles and other skin growths, giving the skin renewed energy and vitality without painful and costly surgery." Modular Housing System Edgardo Vazquez won a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gold medal in 1995 for developing a modular housing system. Such a system called Vazbuilt is reportedly capable of building within weeks a house with prefabricated materials that can withstand typhoons and earthquakes. Ironically, Vasquez is not getting enough support from the Philippine government to propagate his technology, which could help provide shelter to some five million Filipino families without their own homes. Vazquez is the national president of the Filipino Inventors Society. Super Bunker Formula-L In 1996, Rudy Lantano Sr., a scientist from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST), won the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gold medal for developing Super Bunker Formula-L, a revolutionary fuel half-composed of water. The mix burns faster and emits pollutants, 95 percent less than those released to the air by traditional fuel products. The inventor said his invention is a result of blending new ingredients and additives with ordinary oil products through agitation and mixing, which is a very safe process. The initial plan was to commercially produce two million liters of Alco-Diesel, two million liters of Lan-Gas and an unlimited quantity of Super Bunker Formula-L each day for customers in Luzon. Natural Gas Vehicle The Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a vehicle that runs on natural gas, whose rich deposits remain untapped under the Philippine seabed. The project's main objective is to look into the potential of natural gas as an alternative fuel to conventional petrol and diesel for the transport sector. The natural gas vehicle (NVG) has been road-tested in Isabela where an existing natural gas supply from the PNOC Gas Plant is located. Test runs have also been made in Cagayan, Ifugao and Mountain Province. The test vehicle used was the Isuzu Hi-Lander 4JA-1, direct injected diesel engine. The use of natural gas as a fuel is cheaper. On a gallon-equivalent basis, natural gas costs an average of 15 to 40 percent less than gasoline and diesel. There are over one million NVGs in the world today, according to the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles. Lamp Fixing Invention A Filipino inventor has developed a technology, which could revive a busted lamp (pundido) and give it more years of functional life than those of new ones. Acclaimed by the Filipino Inventors Society as timely and revolutionary, the Nutec system can prolong the life of fluorescent lamps up to seven years. Nutec was developed by New World Technology, headed by president Eric Ngo and chosen as the "Product of the Year" at the Worldbex 2000 Building and Construction Exposition held at the Manila Hotel. Engineer Benjamin S. Santos, national president of the Inventors Society, called Nutec a timely invention. "Tubig Talino" The Department of Science and Technology claimed that it has developed "Tubig Talino", an iodine-rich drinking water that treats micronutrient deficiencies responsible for goiter, mental and physical retardation, and birth defects. "Tubig Talino" is actually a mixture of 20 liters of water and 15 ml of "Water Plus + I2". Consumption of five glasses a day of this iodine fortification in drinking water is expected to provide 120 micrograms of iodine, which meets 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of a male adult. Feminine Hygiene Product Inventor Dr. Virgilio Malang won a gold medal for his invention "Psidium Guajava Effervescing Gynecological Insert", a silver medal for his "Patient Side-Turning Hospital Bed", and three bonze medals for his inventions "external vaginal cleanser", "light refracting earpick", and "broom's way of hanging" at the Seoul International Fair in held South Korea in December 2002. There were 385 inventions from 30 countries that joined the competitions. Patis Contrary to popular belief, there was no fish sauce or Patis yet during the Spanish occupation. Patis began to become a part of most Filipinos' diet only after the Japanese occupation. Here is an account of how an enterprising lady discovered the fermentation of Patis. Immediately after the war, the family of Ruperta David or Aling Tentay started a dried fish business. One day, Aling Tentay stored in jars some salted fish that turned into fragments even before they dried. While in jars, the fish fragments turned into a liquid substance that tasted like our Patis today. Thus the beginning of the thriving Patis business of Aling Tentay, which was officially registered in 1949 and is known today as Tentay Food and Sauces Inc. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer) A Showcase of Ingenuity Nothing perhaps has been associated with Filipino technology as much as the country's pride - jeepney. The word "jeep" evolved from the military designation, general-purpose or G.P., of a light vehicle first used by the Americans in World War II. Developed by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, this vehicle was powered by a four-cylinder engine and was classified as a quarter-ton truck in carrying capacity. It had served as a command vehicle, reconnaissance car, and ammunition carrier. The American soldiers brought these vehicles to the Philippines in the 1940s. After the war, these vehicles were left by the Americans and converted by the Filipinos into public utility vehicles. Employing artistic and indigenous designs, the Filipinos came up with a longer, well-decorated, techni-colored and sleeker vehicle, which they later called jeepney. From the standard military jeep, the body was extended to accommodate between 20 to 30 passengers. Modern jeepneys now sport very colorful and intricate paintings, fancy adornments, and metallic decors reflective of Filipino sentiments, values, and culture. The town of Las Pinas has been recognized as the jeepney-producing center in the country. Today, public utility jeepneys or PUJs serve as the primary means of transportation in most provinces. For this, the Philippines came to be known as the "land of the jeepneys".
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Arizona Jewish Life | Photo: Eurovision 2018 winner Netta Barzilai arrives at the opening event of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on May 12, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 For everyone out there wondering what the fuss about the Eurovision Song Contest is all about, Sunday evening's opening ceremony certainly provided a glamorous response. Hopeful contestants from the 41 participating countries walked down the orange carpet at Tel Aviv's Habima Square in full battle dress, ready for the big win, and the show was spectacular. John Lundvik and his delegation of Sweden walk on the Orange Carpet during opening event of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on May 12, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 The main attraction for Israelis was of course last year's champion, Netta Barzilai, whose win brought the 64th edition of the international singing competition to Israel this spring. Clad in an all-white outfit and carried by three assistants, she made an unforgettable entrance. This year's contestants also upped the style game, as seen in the memorable outfits of Hatari of Iceland, John Lundvik from Sweden and Bilal Hassani of France. The show's Israeli presenters Bar Refaeli, Erez Tal, Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub also graced the orange carpet. Bilal Hassani of France walks on the Orange Carpet during opening event of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on May 12, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 Two rounds of semi-finals – on Tuesday and Thursday evening – will see the contestants trying to reach the grand finale on Saturday night, during which the representatives of 26 countries will try to win the coveted title by popular vote. While Israel this year is represented by singer Kobi Marimi with the song "Home," Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands is the current Eurovision favorite. The contestants will be supported by performances from a host of former Israeli competition winners such as Barzilai and Dana International, as well as favorite international singers from previous years and other Israeli artists. Article courtesy ISRAEL21c
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Cleveland Seniors | Seniors & Baby Boomers in Cleveland ClevelandSeniors.Com, The online place for senior citizens and baby boomers in Cleveland, Ohio and beyond. Senior news, information, advice, coupons, recipes and schedule of events. For seniors and baby boomers 50 and over.
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07/27/1978 When I was 18... 18 years old, I saw for the first time in my life... I saw an image of clarity. I saw a comic strip... a three panel comic strip that, though simple as it seemed, changed me... changed my being, changed who I am... Made me who I am... Enlightened me... The strip, Garfield, the comic strip was new... no more than maybe a month and a half since inception, since... since coming into existence... and there it was before me in print, I saw it... a comic strip... What was it called? Garfield. The story here is of a man, a plain man. He is Jon, but he is more than that... I will get to this later, but first let us say that he''s Jon, a plain man. And then there is a cat... Garfield. This is the nature of the world, here. When I see the world, the politics, the future, the... the satellites in space, and... the people who put them there... You can look at everything as a man and a cat... two beings, in harmony and at war... So, this strip I saw; this man, Jon, and the cat, Garfield, you see... Yes... hmm... It is about everything. This... little comic is, oh, lo and behold... not so little anymore. So yes, when I was 18, I saw this comic... and it hit me all at once, its power. I clipped it, and every day, I looked at it, and I said "Okay... let me look at this here. What is this doing to me? Why is this so powerful?" Jon Arbuckle, he sits here, legs crossed... comfortable in his home, and he reads his newspaper... The news of the world, perhaps... and then he extends his fingers lightly, delicately... he taps his fingers on an end table, and he feels for something... What is it? It is something he needs, but it is not there. And then he looks up, slightly cockeyed, and he thinks... His newspaper''s in his lap now, and he thinks this... Now where could my pipe be? This... I always come to this, because I was a young man... I''m older now, and I still don''t have the secrets, the answers, so this question still rings true, Jon looks up and he thinks... Now where could my pipe be? And then it happens... You see it, you see... it''s almost like divine intervention, suddenly it is there, and it overpowers you... A cat is smoking a pipe. It is the man''s pipe, it''s Jon''s pipe, but the cat... this cat, Garfield, is smoking the pipe... and from afar, and someplace near, but not clear... near but not clear... The man calls out... Jon calls out, he is shocked. "Garfield!" he shouts. Garfield. The cat''s name. But, let''s take a step back... let us examine this from all sides, all perspectives... and when I first came across this comic strip, I was at my father''s house... a newspaper had arrived, and I picked it up for him, and brought it inside. I organized its sections for him and then, yes, the comic strip section fell out from somewhere in the middle, and landed on the kitchen floor... I picked up the paper pages and saw, up somewhere near the top of this strip... just like Jon, I was wearing an aquamarine shirt. So I thought, "Ah, interesting. I''ll have to see this later." I snipped out the little comic, and held on to it... and five days later, I reexamined it... and it gripped me, I needed to find out more about this. The information I had was minimal, but enough... An orange cat named Garfield... Okay, that seemed to be the lynchpin of this whole operation, yes. Another clue... a signature in the bottom right corner, a man''s name... Jim Davis. Yes, I''m on to it for sure. So... one: Garfield, orange cat, and two: Jim Davis, the creator of this cat... And that curiously plain man. I did not know, at the time, that his name was Jon. This strip, you see, had no mention of this man''s name, and I''d never seen it before. But I had these clues; Jim Davis, Garfield. And then I saw more, I spotted the tiny copyright mark in the upper left corner. Copyright 1978 to... what is this? Copyright belongs to a... PAWS Incorporated... I use the local library and mail services to track down the information I was looking for... Jim Davis, a cartoonist, had created a comic strip about a cat, Garfield... and a man, Jon Arbuckle. Well, from that point on, I made sure I read the Garfield comic strips, though as I read each one, as each day passed... the strips seemed to resonate with me less and less... I sent letters to PAWS Incorporated, long letters, pages upon pages... asking if Mister Jim Davis could somehow publish just the one comic, over and over again... "It would be meditative," I wrote, "the strength of that." Could you imagine? But... no response... The strips lost their power, and eventually I stopped reading, but... I did not want my perceptions diluted, so I vowed to read the pipe strip over and over again... That is what I call it, "The Pipe Strip." The Pipe Strip. Everything about it is perfect. I can only describe it as a miracle creation, something came together... the elements aligned... It is like the comets, the cosmic orchestra that is up there over your head... The immense, enormous void is working all for one thing, to tell you one thing... Gas and rock, and purity, and nothing. I will say this... When I see the pipe strip... and I mean every single time I look at the lines, the colors, the shapes that make up the three panel comic... I see perfection. Do I find perfection in many things? Some things, I would say... Some things are perfect... and this is one of them. I can look at the little tuft of hair on Jon Arbuckle''s head... it is the perfect shade... The purple pipe in Garfield''s mouth... How could a mere mortal even MAKE this? I have a theory, about Jim Davis... After copious research and, yes, of course, now we have the internet, and this information is all readily available, but... Jim Davis, he used his life experiences to influence his comic... Like I mentioned before, none of them seem to have the weight of the pipe strip... But you have to wonder about the man who is able to even, just once, create the perfect form, a literally flawless execution of art, brilliance! Just as in a ward... I think there is a spiritual element at work... I''ve seen my share of bad times and... when you have something... Well, it''s just... emotions, and neurons in your brain, but... something tells you that it''s the truth... Truth''s radiant light. Garfield, the cat? Neurons in my brain, it''s... it''s harmony, you see? It... Jon and Garfield, it''s truly harmony, like a... continuous, looping, everlasting harmony... The lavender chair, the brown end table, the salmon-colored wall, the fore''s green carpeting, Garfield is hunched, perched... perhaps with the pipe stuck firmly between his jowls... His tail curls around. It''s more than shapes too, because... I... Okay, stay with me... I''ve done this experiment several times. You take the strip. You trace only the basic elements. You can do anything, you can simplify the shapes down to just... blobs, just outlines, but it still makes sense... You can replace the blobs with magazine cutouts of other things, replace Jon Arbuckle with a... car parked in a driveway sideways, cut that out of a magazine, stick it in... Replace him there in the second panel with a... a food processor... Okay, and then we put a picture of the planet in the third panel over Garfield... It still works. These are universal proportions. I don''t know... how best to explain why it works, I''ve studied the pipe strip, and analyzed Jon and Garfield''s proportions against several universal mathematical constants. E, Pi, the Golden Ratio, the Feigenbaum Constants, and so on... and it''s surprising... scary even, how things align. You can take just... tiny pieces of the pipe strip, for instance, take Jon''s elbow from the second panel... and take that, and project it back over Jon''s entire shape in the second panel, and you''ll see a near perfect Fibonacci sequence emerge... It''s eerie to me... and it makes you wonder if you''re in the presence of a deity, if there is some larger hand at work... There''s no doubt in my mind that Jim Davis is a smart man... Jim Davis is capable of anything to me... He is remarkable, but this is so far beyond that, I think we might see that... this work of art is revered and respected in years to come. Jim Davis is possibly a new master of the craft, a... a genius of the eye; they very well may say the same things about Jim Davis in five hundred years that we say about the great philosophical and artistic masters from centuries ago... Jim Davis is a modern day Socrates, or... Da Vinci... mixing both striking visual beauty with classical, daring, unheard-of intellect... Look, he combines these things to make profoundly simple expressions... This strip is his masterpiece... The Pipe Strip is his masterpiece... and it is a masterpiece and a marvel... I often look at Garfield''s... particular pose, in this strip. He is poised, and statuesque... and his cat stare is reminiscent of the fiery gazes often found in religious iconography... But still, his eyes are playful, lying somewhere between the solemn father''s expression in... Rembrandt''s "Return of the Prodigal Son," and the coy smirk of Da Vinci''s "Saint John The Baptist". His ears stick up, signifying a peaked readiness... It''s as if he could, at any moment, pounce; he is, after all, a close relative and descendant of the mighty jungle cats of Africa that could leap... after prey. You could see the power drawn into Garfield''s hind quarters, powerful haunches indeed. The third panel. And I''m just saying this now, this is just coming to me now... The third panel of the pipe strip is essentially a microcosm for the entire strip itself... All the power dynamics, the struggle for superiority, right? WHO has the pipe? WHERE is the pipe? All of that is drawn, built, layered into Garfield''s iconic pose here. You can see it in the curl of his tail... Garfield''s ear whiskers stick up, on end, the smoke billows, upward... drawing the eye upward... increasing the scope... I''m just... amazed... really, that after 33 years of reading, and analyzing the same comic strip, I''m able to find new dimensions. It''s a testament to the work... For six years, I delved into tobacco research, because... can a cat smoke? This is a metaphysical question... Yes, can any cat smoke? Do we know? Can just Garfield smoke? The research says no. Nicotine poisoning can kill animals, especially household pets. All it takes is the nicotine found in as little as a single cigarette. [ *Okamoto M, Kita T, Okuda H, Tanaka T, Nakashima T (Jul 1994). "Effects of aging on acute toxicity of nicotine in rats". Pharmacol Toxicol. 75 (1): 1-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0773.1994.tb00316.x. PMID 7971729 ] Surely, Jon''s pipe hold a substantial amount of tobacco, and it is true that pets living in the homes of smokers are nearly 25% more likely to develop some form of cancer... most likely due to secondhand smoke... but these are facts of smoking, its tolls on our world. But after visiting two tobacco processing plants in Virginia... and the Phillip Morris cigarette manufacturing facility, I came no closer to cracking the meaning. I was looking for any insight. A detective of a homicide case has to look at every angle, so I''m always taking apart the pipe strip. I focused on every minutiae, every detail of this strip. Jon Arbuckle''s clothing... I have replicas. I''m an expert in textiles... so, you see, this smoking thing was a hang-up for me... but it was the statement here... until... This is key, this is the breakthrough. The pipe is not a pipe, really. Obviously there is symbolism at work here... I saw that from the beginning, and I looked at the literal aspects of the strip to gain insight into the metaphors at play... I worked at a newspaper printing press for eighteen months, in the late 1980''s... I was learning the literal to inform the gestural... the subliteral, the in-between... Jon reading this newspaper means so much more than just... Jon reading the newspaper... but how could you ever hope to decipher the puzzle without knowing everything there is to know about newspapers?! Okay... for example... Jon holds his newspaper up with his left hand, thumb gripping the interior. I learned that this particular grip here was the newspaper grip of nineteenth century aristocrats... and this aristocrat grip was a point of contention that influenced the decision to move forward with prohibition... in the United States, in the early twentieth century! So Jon''s hand position is much more than that, it... it is a comment on class war... and the resulting reactionary culture... but I didn''t know about the aristocratic newspaper grip until I came across some microfiche archives at the printing press. It''s about information. You have to take it apart. ...and the breakthrough on the smoking cat came late... just eight years ago, actually. "Smoking cat" is an industry term. It''s what the smoking industry calls a tattletale teenager who tells on his friends after they''ve all tried smoking for the first time... and it is actually a foreign translation, bastardization of the term "smoking rat"... But the phrase was confused when secret documents went back and forth between China and America... These documents are still secret, and the only reason I know about the term is because I know a man, my friend. Let''s call him "Timothy," yeah... yes, it''s a fake name, for his protection. Timothy worked for Phillip Morris for sixteen years, and he had seen the documents... and when he told me, it was an Aha moment... and he said, "But how? How could this cartoonist, Jim Davis, know about this... obscure term from the mid-70''s, used exclusively by a few cigarette companies!?" This is still a mystery to me... but I connect the dots by noting Jim Davis'' childhood experiences on a farm. He must have seen something... What could it be? Timothy went on to tell me there was one particular smoking cat, a boy, from... yes, Indiana, a boy named Ernie Barguckle, who became a thorn in the side of the tobacco companies for a couple of years... He did more than tattle to his parents; he and his family took legal action, and they eventually received a huge settlement payout... But that name is too similar... Ernie Barguckle... Jon Arbuckle. Jim Davis must have used this. There''s more here. Ernie Barguckle spent nearly half of that settlement money on experimental medical procedures to cure his... impotence. He was impotent. So... he was a smoking cat with a... a metaphorical pipe, that did not work... Are you starting to see the layers here? This is exciting stuff, you start to get a whole picture here, and it informs the work! It''s... it''s just remarkable. Jim Davis took these raw ideas, these... pieces, and he transformed them into smart social commentary that is... all so ravishingly beautiful. I have cried. I''ve cried, I''ve cried... I''ve cried, cried over this piece. It just... gets in my soul. I try to explain this to people, I have... the newspaper articles about Ernie Barguckle... People have fought me on this, they don''t see it, or they''re close-minded, "How could a comic strip about a cat smoking a pipe mean any more than that?" But it is more... and when I feel spiritual, or start to think existentially, I still see this comic. Here''s something from 1981 that I wrote in thinking about the implications of this strip; this is just an excerpt here... there''s more before and after, but this part is the essence to me... If a comic about a cat smoking a pipe can be the only thing in the universe... then maybe this is the strongest evidence for that. *fumbles with tattered sheet from 1981* "Many of you say, ''Oh, but I am not blind. I have never been blind,''... But when you truly see, you will understand just how truly blind you once were to even think it right to say you were not blind. What does a blind man see? Blackness. Darkness. Blankness. Blank darkness. Dark blankness. The absence of things, quite literally NO thing. No things. Nothings. So, you see nothing, and I bring you into the light. A cat has your pipe! You''ve been blind, do you understand this!? The cat has your pipe. You can''t fully immerse yourself, you don''t have the light. You don''t have the radiance, the radical light, the radically radiant light of truth and truth''s belonging love, and nature of light, and loving truthful radiance. So don''t be bold, and make bold statements. I know of you. The cat has your pipe. The. Cat. Has. Your. Pipe. Remember that." *puts paper back in pocket* That writing, well... It''s kind of rough... Kind of an... early eighties feel... and I see that, but I''m still... I''m still proud of it. Sometimes I imagine that it is the editorial column in the newspaper Jon Arbuckle is reading. It''s an exercise in recursion, it''s like a vortex opens up... It''s like you hold two mirrors up to each other, one is reality and the other is a cartoon strip. Let''s see here... Oh yes, I must bring this up, because I think, surely, Jim Davis is again speaking on multiple levels by including the details set before us in the comic. Notice the glimpse of Jon Arbuckle''s foot in the first panel. The size of the shoe would indicate that maybe the man just has small feet... but a deeper investigation takes us to the footbinding rituals of certain Asian cultures. Inflicted usually on women for the desire of men, this practice was incredibly painful and crippling... Aha! Mister Davis is, here, presenting us with a man, or rather... "man", who engages in footbinding, a body modification for women, on top of "being without his pipe"... or impotent. This is a man facing extreme inner turmoil, the panels tell that story... subconsciously. Notice the background wall shading of the first panel points inward toward Jon in the second panel... and the sharp tapered end of the purple pipe in the third frame also points at John in the second panel, inward; the eye is drawn to the center panel. You can connect these points and draw a triangle across the panels, and this triangle will align with the reoriented points of Jon''s collar! This, this is majestic artwork! ...and to uncover this hidden order is... bliss like I''ve never known. Comforting, in an empty world. I can''t help but read the thought bubble, over and over again. Now where could my pipe be? Now where could my pipe be? It is a profound question. Why am I here? What is my purpose? It is reflection and self-examination here. It is facing the dust, the misery of a cold, careless universe. You can feel the weight of it. But where could my pipe be? One imagines the author, Jim Davis, teetering on the edge of insanity... his rationality, his lucidity, hovering over the void... and he seeks the truth. You can see it in the line quality of the drawings; the thoughtful, controlled outlines mixed with the... occasional, chaotic scribbles at work in the shadows and Garfield''s dark stripes. It''s almost as if Garfield is chaos himself. Yes, he is the embodiment of chaos, disorder, hatred, fear... Thievery, death, destruction, desolation! These are the things Garfield represents; HE stole the pipe, HE sits with his back to Jon, Garfield... Garfield, this chaos cat, Garfield has turned his back on everything, everyone! One recalls the great existential forces in literature... Camus'' Meursalt, Kafka''s Gregor Samsa, or Sartre''s Antoine Roquentin... Garfield the Cat sees the hopelessness of life, which...ah, yes... This is why Jim Davis has chosen smoking. It represents a recklessness, a... a disregard for what some would define as the beauty of life. Garfield may die from the nicotine, he may not... He defies life; he sits defiant, saying nothing, but looking as if he could say... "Then let me die... it does not matter." It does not matter. ...and we are faced with this; Could Jon behave the same? Is Jon the glimmer of hope? He seems to be unsure. Again, his question... "Now where could my pipe be?" indicates that he is wrestling with his own existence. The center panel centers the issue, and again, this hearkens to many of the great religious works of art. I''m talking about the Pipe Strip in relation to religion. It''s... it''s interesting to assign the roles of God... and anti-God, or, as many know him to be, the devil... or on a much larger scale, simply the forces of... good and evil. Garfield, the thief-cat, evil and malicious... He is the devil, placed to the right... and note, the two forms of Jon; the Jon on the left, still innocent, still draped in the... delight, of the lack of knowledge. He is... the humans in the Garden of Eden. He feels for his pipe... but he has yet to eat from the tree... and Garfield, the sinister serpent... and notice, notice how Jim Davis has framed this... The center Jon is locked in a struggle, between his innocence, and his knowledge of the truth... knowledge of the existence of evil. It is stunning. The great struggle, the struggle that transcends time... and Jim Davis floats over all this, as creator... the God, of sorts, in his own right. ... and he presents this cautionary message to us all; it is as if he is speaking from high and... he is saying, unto our awaiting ears... Where will you be, when the cat reveals himself? [-Jim 7:27:78] I can tell you where you''ll be. You will have a choice; you can face endless suffering, and eternal misery... You can be forced and beaten down with barbarians, who claw at each other just for a view of salvation. They''ll tear your eyeballs out, and rip your gizzards from end to end. They worship this cat, this... this false idol! This evil, horrible cat, do not be seduced by the cat and the pipe! Garfield... thy name is a mark of the demons of hell. Something like this, and to those listening, it is a stark reminder to follow the path of the first panel Jon; be humble, be grateful, honor the law, and honor thyself. Be true, and be good, and no harm will come to you... Pray for salvation, and it will be granted unto you. Be like Jon Arbuckle, as he lowers his head. Be like Jon Arbuckle as he lowers his paper, as he turns his head. Bow with Jon Arbuckle, and praise unto the creator, Jim Davis... and banish demon Garfield from your life. So, what is all this? What am I saying? Aha... hmm... What does all this mean? Why is this one comic strip so important to me... and why do I feel the need to share this? Obligation. I have an obligation to you all. This is a redemption, this is a belief in redemption, a sacrifice of all the obvious trappings of this false modern life. Look at the simplicity in this strip, in the pipe strip. Look at the simple clothes Jon wears, look at his simple, basic furniture... No adornments on the wall, even the very pipe his cat Garfield stole; it is a plain, modest pipe... and I have adapted this way of life, it speaks to me. In our times... well... you don''t need me to point out the hyperbole of our times; you have children being born eight or nine at a time, you have more money being spent on a single Hollywood movie than some nations can spend... feeding their starving people. Torture, distrust... Look around you, it''s overwhelming. What can you contribute? ...and every day, I look in the mirror, and I hold this comic up to the mirror, and I look into the mirror, and at this little comic strip. Be humble. Be thankful. It is a reminder, be respectful. You are a statue. You are fragile... and when you break, when you shatter... Where will those pieces go? Ask... ask, ask, ask this question. Will you ask? Humankind is only as great as you, YOU, the individual, it begins and ends with you! You must treat this expedition, this search, this... life, with a reverence and intensity found only in the smallest sticks. The littlest leaf, the tiniest stone! The most miniscule grain of sand... on a beach of billions! This is the secret. Do you want the pipe? Do you want to know where the pipe has gone? You ask yourself, you ask... you ask... you ask... Now where could my pipe be? When I was a young man... remember, now, I first saw this comic when I was eighteen years old... Ages ago... but I was youthful, vibrant. For weeks, I didn''t hide that a comic strip was having such a profound effect on me. I was much like Jon Arbuckle. In this middle panel, he says, "Now where could my pipe be?"... you could look into his eyes, his half-lowered eyes, and think to yourself... "Now, surely, Jon... Surely, you cannot be this naive... This is nothing new for you..." And if you''ve read more of the Garfield comic strips by Jim Davis, you understand what I am saying now; Garfield the cat does things like this all the time. He will take things from Jon; food, items, anything... This is his very nature. So you see this, and you want to say, "Jon Arbuckle, come now. You are lying to yourself. You are lying to yourself, and to all of us, if you pretend to have not... any idea of where your pipe has gone. Perhaps you think you''ve left it somewhere else, but... hmph, you''re not so forgetful. You are lying to yourself, ah... yes... You are lying to yourself, Jon Arbuckle. You know that Garfield has the pipe... somewhere, deep down, you know this. You don''t even need to think the question." And that was me when I saw this strip. One week passed, and each morning I''d open my drawer and slam it shut again. I would go to look at the comic... but I''d pause, and think... "Oh no, I don''t need this comic, I don''t n... I don''t NEED to look at it..." But there I was, lying to myself. I DID need to see it, and so I did, it''s... cathartic. You give in, and that is the transition, from the second panel of life, to the third panel of life! It is a simple story structure, the passage from the second act to the third, the twilight of things. Jon gives into his suspicions; he knows the truth, he''s ALWAYS known the truth, he yells out, "GARFIELD! GARFIELD! GARFIELD!" It is like... pressure from a steam valve, being released; the buildup is unbearable, and then... PSSHHWW, it''s gone. So it is like this... when I speak about the truth... the truth, the light, the radiance, this... this is the kind of thing I''m talking about. This is the essence of this brilliant work of art, the practical mixing, meeting, agreeing with the spiritual, it is all HERE. ...but spirituality is not an easy thing to confront. You might find yourself able to wrap your mind around a simple math problem, or a basic newspaper article, or... but intellect... is much less subjective. What is spirituality... and how have I found spiritual peace and serenity in Garfield? A long time ago, after I encountered the Pipe Strip... I spent some time, as I mentioned before, soul-searching. When something impacts you, or alters your very perception so greatly, there is a long period of confusion, recovery time... It''s as if you don''t know who you are, and that can be a... a very scary prospect, especially if you thought you had a good grasp on that sort of thing. Imagine if Jim Davis did not know who he was. Would he be capable of shaping the cultural landscape as he''s done? No. No, of course he wouldn''t. ...and how about his characters? Jon... what if Jim Davis suddenly woke up, and didn''t know who Jon was? What if he couldn''t make the informed decisions to accurately depict Garfield''s personality, because of... he could no longer specify, or demarcate the boundaries of Garfield''s behavior? What kind of comic would THAT be? You see? So draw the parallel. I saw this comic and, yes, I was disoriented... and if I didn''t reconcile this issue with myself, what kind of person would I be? Undoubtedly dire circumstances, but remember; this was not a math problem, this was not an article, this was not something I could just... figure out... and as skeptical as I was, I realized that faith and spirituality were avenues that... required exploring. At first I tried... long nights, reading Garfield by candlelight, or... aromatic meditation settings, while thinking of Garfield, but... nothing snapped. Nothing clicked, I still felt lost... but I kept it up, I hired a shaman, and a young... personal Yogi Sikh Guru; Avram Dahb Singh Sahib. I pushed and pushed, determined to find myself. And then, a miracle happened. Upon retrieving my morning paper, to clip the Garfield comic... I noticed a young girl, selling lemonade two houses down. She sat, occupied at her stand. She had no customers in sight. So, I approached, and saw that she was coloring. I looked at her drawing... Three rectangular boxes. A man, in a blue shirt. An orange cat. I knew what this was. Even in her crude scribbles, I knew EXACTLY what this was. She was drawing a Garfield comic. I looked at her words, and I saw that, in her strip, Jon asked Garfield to retrieve a newspaper. Heh, funny... since I''d done just that with myself... Garfield is sarcastic, but agrees to. He returns and calls Jon... "Sahib". Jon exclaims that the paper''s all chewed up, but then Garfield says, and I quote, "Sahib asks fish, paper is wet. Sahib asks cat, paper is holey." I remember the words, and ran back to my house, and thought, "How odd that Sahib shows up in the strip, and my spiritual advisor''s name is Avram Dahb Singh Sahib!" Coincidence surely, but, nonetheless, I spent the next sixteen hours poring through my clipped Garfield comics, looking for the strip this young girl had been coloring... I couldn''t find it... and I eventually fell asleep, right on my kitchen table. Next morning, I retrieved my paper again, and I clipped the Garfield comic. The date was July 12th, 1983. There it was. The Sahib Strip, in all its glory. The girl had been drawing the next day''s strip! So, I ran right out of my house, I ran back to where she was... but she was gone, and in place of the lemonade stand was a "For Sale" sign. They''d moved out. I rushed back to my house to call Avram, but... I was informed that he''d moved away as well. I reeled, for several hours, and then it all connected for me. It was meant to be. It w... it was meant to be this way! Jim Davis... Jon, Garfield... It was always meant to be this way for me.... They move to the forefront, and everything else fades away, EVERYTHING else; the girl, the lemonade stand, Avram Dahb Singh Sahib, it all existed to show me the way, and when I''d found the way... Everything else melted away. It was a beautiful miracle... and if July 27th, 1978, the day I first saw the pipe strip... was the first day of my life, then that day, July 12th, 1983, was the second day of my life. I''ve never looked back. Garfield has transformed me... and I am a man, born anew, because of Garfield. When I was in my mid-thirties, I was interviewed for a documentary... It was a documentary on the subject of cat behavior. Now, I''ve had cats my whole life; I have three cats now, and at the time of this documentary interview, I had four cats. I sat down for the interview and was joined by a veterinarian who specialized in felines: Doctor Caroline Wellmitz was her name, I believe... and the doctor discussed colorblindness in animals, and how it affects their behavior. She specifically brought up the fact that cats are red-green colorblind; they can see colors, but they can''t tell the difference between red and green ...and look at the color choice in this strip here. Garfield sits on a green floor, behind a pinkish red wall. I heard this, and I immediately pulled a copy of the comic from my wallet to show to the doctor... I moved so fast, I''m sure I nearly scared her, I... pointed at the paper and said, "Like this! Like this! Look, at this here! This cat, Garfield, he''s colorblind, he must be! That must be the answer here... like this." As over-excited as I was, I managed to take in her response; she said "Yes, a cat in this room would have a hard time differentiating the wall from the floor. Add to that a cat''s known spatial confusion, and you have the makings of a Cat Rage room." Now, she informed me that this isn''t exactly common knowledge among cat owners... but a seasoned cat owner, or someone particularly perceptive will have picked up on it. So what''s incredible here is not only is Garfield''s behavior symbolic of the devil, and all the evil constructs in the world, but... but, but... but also, it is rooted in science and scientific fact. Look at that. You cannot spell fact without "cat". Hah, just a little joke there... just some wordplay, but getting back on track... ...and you can''t spell track without "cat." Okay... I digress. I gotcha, I gotcha, enough... kidding around. It is established here that Garfield is in a rage; an ultimate rage of fury and hatred, caused by colorblindness. We know the "what", we know the "why"... but let us examine the "how", the how of his rage is particularly interesting here. We''ve looked at his posture and called it "powerful", "in control", "statuesque", "etc., etc." Composed rage... It''s peculiar, and I''ve talked to a number of psychologists and psychiatrists, and even a couple of anger management therapists about this concept... Could we see the same kind of behavior in a human? Is Garfield representative of something more specific than just chaos and rage? Deciphering this is going to take some perseverance. for sure. The psychologists pointed to a phenomenon in humans, and, yes, I believe one of the anger management counselors brought it up as well. The idea that people, oftentimes, will bottle their rage... Garfield the cat, here... well, he could be bottling his anger, inside, shoving it deep into his cat gut, to ignore and deal with at a later time. Eh, well... No, that''s not exactly right. Garfield has already acted out, he''s already stolen the pipe... he''s SMOKING the pipe, he''s already dealt with his anger. He''s already lashed out, so, psychologically, what is going on here? What is this cat doing, and how does it impact his owner, Jon Arbuckle... psychologically? Well, Garfield is angry. He is acting on his anger... but is this passive anger, or aggressive anger? Passive. It is passive because if Garfield has a problem with Jon specifically... he''s choosing a passive way of dealing with that problem. He has not confronted Jon, and said, "Jon, I have a problem with the way you''ve decorated this room; as a cat, I am colorblind, and this room sends me into a rage... You''ve created a rage room for me here, and I don''t like it; I want you to change it." Instead of that confrontational approach, though, Garfield has chosen to steal Jon''s pipe... and that, in turn, angers Jon... but Jon decides to be aggressively angry, and yell at Garfield, so... now, instead of a calm conversation between two respectful parties, you have two... heated, angry individuals, each with a problem and no direct line to solving it. The layered emotions here tell a story with tight, focused brevity that would make Hemingway weep. This is an entire drama, in just three panels, people. ...but let''s not be remiss, and miss the humor of the situation, the... absurdity of it all... for certainly, there is a reason that the visual shorthand for drama includes both the crying mask AND a laughing mask. Comedy and tragedy complement each other, and meld together to create drama, tension, the height of humanity, the peak of art, that reflects back to us our own condition... ...and here... in its basest form, we can laugh at this comic... yes, COMIC, in which a cat smokes a pipe... Hah... when was the last time you''ve SEEN such a thing in your life? Never, I presume... I certainly never have... The Greek muse, Thalia''s presence is strong in this work of art, here. Comedy, it is COMEDY... and if you look at the structure again, you''ll see this perfect form of thirds works magically for the transmission of, yes, YES, a JOKE. The joke.... is as old as time... even cavemen told jokes, and the joke here is that Jon has lost his pipe... or he thinks he has... but lo and behold, it is the cat, Garfield, who has the pipe. Surprise, surprise, the cat is smoking! Again, the transition, from set-up to punchline takes place between the second and third panels... but make no mistake, the comic is more than just a comic... Yes, it IS funny, of course it is... it is operating at the height of sophisticated humor, on par with any of Shakespeare''s piercing wit. On the one hand, Garfield the comic, with Jon the man, humor as art... the other hand, Garfield comic, with Jon the man, stirring... no, RIVETING drama... as with everything, it is tension, and release. TENSION... and RELEASE... A cycle. I keep returning to this idea, because it is so omnipresent. Yes, you could... and yes, I have done this, on more than one occasion... you could print this comic strip on a giant piece of paper. The dimensions would be something like... thirty-four inches by eleven inches. Now, tape the ends together, with the comic facing inward. Stick your head in the middle of this Garfield comic loop and READ, start at the first panel; Jon is reading the newspaper... he feels for something on the end table. Second panel; he sets the newspaper down, something is not right... "Where could my pipe be?" he thinks. ...and then, the payoff; the third panel, Garfield has Jon''s pipe, and is smoking it. But, aha! The paper is in a loop, around your head... so that you can see that, once again, Jon is in his seat, reading the paper... and so on, and so on, you can literally read the comic strip for an eternity! I spent many a relaxing Sunday afternoon reading this strip, over and over... reminded of the Portuguese death carvings, which always begin and end with the same scrawled image. [fig. 6b - Portuguese Death Carving c. 1330] So, this idea of repetition, of the beginning being the end, and the end being the beginning... It''s not new, it is an ageless tradition among the best storytellers humanity has ever offered... and I''m not wrong to include cartoonist Jim Davis in that exalted set for this particular strip alone I''m not foolish enough to deny that great art is subjective... divisive, even, and that some people see this Garfield comic and shrug with no real reaction... but I will say that I believe everyone in the world should see it; at the very least, see it! You should all see it. Read it. Spend some time with it. Spend an hour reading it... what''s an hour? Yes, you could watch some television program, you could play some fast-paced video games or computer games, yes, you could do all those things... But it''s just an hour... and if you give this strip a chance, if you look into Jon Arbuckle''s eyes... if you look into Jon Arbuckle''s SOUL... You might find that you''ll really be looking into your own soul. It is self discovery, that is what I''m talking about here... YOU have the opportunity, the possibility... it could change you. Don''t be afraid. You know, just last week, I was eating lunch near the Municipal Court... like I do every Thursday, and... there was a plumbing banner... a plumbing van, parked out in front, uh... and a man, a plumber, would step out from the court, and retrieve something from this every so often. A few times, this happened... I thought nothing of it; just a plumber, doing some work at the Municipal Court... but then he came out, and looked through his van, and it was clear... He couldn''t find something. I noticed, and thought, "Well, that''s sort of similar to the Garfield comic, in a way. Someone looks for something, can''t find it,"... but, yes, that probably happens billions of times a day around the world... ...but then, this plumber... put his hands on his hips... then, he scratched his head, and he said aloud... "Now, where could my pipe wrench be?" Well, at this, I leaped off the bench, sandwich still in hand, and I rushed over, I shouted, "What was that you said!?" He looked at me and said, "What? I can''t find my pipe wrench, " and I said, "No! No, no, say it... like how you just said it..." He scratched his head, and repeated, "Now where could my pipe wrench be?" I slapped him on the back and said, "Garfield!" He looked so confused, so I said it again... then, I said "Your orange cat took it!" Heh... ah, then I laughed and laughed... and he smiled, and went back into the courtroom. I walked away, knowing that the plumber and I, two complete strangers, bonded over this Garfield comic... You see, life imitates art, becomes a common ground. I have a feeling that if I see this plumber again, we''ll be sharing stories like two old friends... because we''ve been united by art. We have a common love for Jim Davis and his characters, his writings... The humor, the drama, the... that rascal Garfield, the cat... Oh, and by the way, if you''re wondering what I was having for lunch that day, it was a ham sandwich with an apple and potato chips... in a bag, I had a soda as well. I think it''s important to view the Pipe Strip in philosophical terms... We''ve touched briefly on the notion of existentialism; that theme is very prevalent in this strip. Garfield is, in fact, a modern existential anti-hero... but if Garfield embodies the bewilderment in a meaningless life, what is Jon? What are the telltale signs that inform Jon''s philosophical standpoint? His approach, what style of thinking he represents? Jon is depicted as being grounded in the material world... a world of things; he is surrounded by objects, and he touches these objects, he interacts with them. The newspaper, the end table, the chair... his clothes, all these physical things make up Jon''s world. In some sense, even his cat Garfield is an object to him, a thing... The first ideology that comes to mind when thinking of objects in the tangible world... is pragmatism... Is Jon Arbuckle a pragmatist? His beliefs stem from a useful, coherent view of his environment... a sort of cause-and-effect understanding of his world helps him. A: Deduce that his pipe is missing... and B: Catches his cat, Garfield, using the pipe. This kind of empirical and logical thinking lends credence to the idea that Jon is, indeed, a pragmatist... Although, it is hard to entirely ignore the rest of the Garfield comic canon. While Garfield is consistently anarchic, and embraces the chaos and absurdity of life... Jon Arbuckle exhibits an erratic, unpredictable mix of philosophical behaviors. At times, he is borderline; delusional, an idealist, an almost slap-happy version of Don Quixote. Other moments, he is rigid, nearly to the point of being obsessive... somewhat like a structuralist, and certainly has streaks of sarcasm and negativity that might classify him as a skeptic. ...But isn''t there some universal truth in this approach? How can any one man, how can Jon Arbuckle be just one thing? How can any of us be just one thing? We''re... an amalgamation of ideas, of emotions... conducts and functions, thoughts and feelings... Jon Arbuckle may very well inhabit tenets of nearly every major philosophical tract known to man. We all might. Characters are reduced, to make them recognizable, definable; a story needs a good guy, a story needs a bad guy... but rarely is one person defined in such black and white terms. Even Garfield, with all his bad behavior, Machiavellian motivation and general ne''er-do-well attitude, can be kind and thoughtful. You just have to find that rare strip. Speaking philosophically about the entire Garfield franchise, it''s an incredibly accurate depiction of life. Its bold lines and bright colors are merely a facade, a... a red herring, a lie. This cartoon is not a cartoon at all, it is not a... caricature. It is not caricature despite adopting caricature as its visual style and tone. ...but I don''t really like to speak in broad sweeping generalizations about Garfield. The comic has been running for over thirty years, and to try and boil that all down is just, well... it''s impossible. I think the only way that any historian worth his salt will agree with me is to look at individual moments... isolated instances, single comic strips. Can I discuss this one strip in the context of the entire run of Garfield? Yes, I do that just as a film historian might analyze one movie in relation to the history of all movies, or a war enthusiast might look at a single battle''s impact on an entire war. The Pipe Strip is just an instance in the lives of Jon and Garfield. Perhaps Jon is not a pragmatist at all... let''s look at this again. Maybe Jon is exhibiting the traits of a rationalist thinker; his question, "Now where could my pipe be?" is a clue that his thought process stems from the early rationalist questions posed by René Descartes. The well-known quote, "I think, therefore I am," attributed to Descartes, is applicable. Another close look at the strip, and we see that Jim Davis chose to draw Jon thinking his question. "Now where could my pipe be?" Jon does not speak this question aloud, so Jim Davis is also exploring the mind/body duality... Jon''s question operates on the level of a literal question... but it also examines the nature of reality. Jim Davis'' epistemological approach tells us something about the human condition; Jon''s thoughts remain the focal point of this strip. The comic is, quite literally, centered around his thought. "Now where could my pipe be?" This is his reality, this is where cognition, and the power and function of the mind take over. As Plato believed, the body is just a shell for Jon Arbuckle; yes, he can use his physical body to read his paper or cross his legs, but these inputs of touch, sight, hearing, et cetera, these senses are the triggers of the mind, as we see here, the mind... is something greater. It is the originator of ideas, and ideas are forever. Immortal. Immortality through thought, a... a major theme in literature and philosophy... ...and isn''t that what Mister Jim Davis himself has achieved? Will he live forever? The universe will continue to spread, and spread outward, and... entropy will turn a chaotic infinity into a homogenous, controlled system. This will take billions of years, and in that time, humans will push technology to heights we can''t imagine. We''ll explore and inhabit space, and occupy more and more of the universe, just as time allowed our ancestors to... multiply in numbers, and populate more and more of the Earth. ...and as the specific people come and go, their physical bodies will be born, and grow, and die... but their thoughts will remain... and Jim Davis'' comics, his glorious Garfield comics... are recorded ideas of his, that will still be here. Even when the Earth is no longer inhabitable, and humanity has long since moved away to bigger planets, they''ll carry with them a record, a record we all keep; mark my words... and look at what we''ve started, what is... What is the internet? What is the online world, if not a record? Never-ending feed of ideas, immortal ideas... forever placed in the ether of dualism. What is an idea? Where does it live? How does it manifest itself? Can it live forever? Will it live forever, outside of these physical husks of ours, our bodies? ...and Jon Arbuckle, and Garfield, started merely as thoughts... but they''ve become so much more. That old cliché rings true, they''ve taken on a life of their own... and life may not be what we think. Life brings to mind a beating heart, breathing lungs, blinking eyes... ...but the real life is in our imaginations... and who better embodies the definition of imagination if not a simple man... a cartoonist, who puts his ideas to paper so that they may live on, so that our children, and our children''s children, and their children''s children''s children can access the wealth of ideas that have accumulated thus far... They will plug themselves into an information grid, and they will have access... They will read every Garfield comic, 80,000 years from now, a child will see a simple Jon Arbuckle, reading a newspaper. He will feel around for something, but that something is not there... He will lift his head and think... "Now where could my pipe be?" ...and Garfield will be smoking the pipe, and Jon will yell "GARFIELD!" ...and what then? 80,000 years from now? The child reading this comic will smile... and that smile will transcend space and time and the physical limitations of this existence, whatever they may be, however many dimensions exist... There will always be Garfield... and there will always be its creator... Jim Davis. "It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection." -Oscar Wilde
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How I Generated 250 Hot New Leads Using Google | Coaches Internet Secrets by Karl Bryan, Internet Marketing, Internet Marketing for Coaches Karl Bryan reveals how he generated 250 hot new coaching leads in 90 days using Google. The Former Coach Turned Mega- Successful Internet Marketer Shows You How To Solve All Your Coaching Businesses Lead Generation, Prospecting, Marketing, And Sales Problems By Finally Learning the Real Secrets to Building and Profiting From Lead Generation Online and Tapping into the Power of Google Using a Powerful, Yet Easy and Proven Step-By-Step System... For Coaches
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ReneeRoams | song of the traveling daughter In 2017 my brother bought me a NOLS Wilderness First Aid course for my birthday. (The email announcing this had a line about how I could now save his life if he got attacked by a wild kangaroo.) I had a fantastic experience and felt well-prepared for future adventures, which included solo day hikes in Taroko Gorge, a gig as a summer camp counselor, and several camping trips. (I also did a stint as third mate on board a tall ship -- imagine my shock when I discovered that, due to the WFA, I was officially in charge of medical emergencies!) When it came time to recertify I decided to go with a Wilderness Medical Associates course, solely because it was the only one anywhere near me. I also figured, hey, maybe I'll learn something different! I'll be using this post to compare my experiences with NOLS and WMA's Wilderness First Aid courses. Please note that there are so many more variables floating around than just WMA vs NOLS -- the teachers were different, the class make-ups were different, and the WMA course was two years after the NOLS course. I'll spoil my conclusion for you here -- neither course is "better", although you may choose one over the other based on your needs. I'll also slap a big 'ol disclaimer here: this post is based on my memories of personal experiences! If you have questions, call the respective course provider!! The NOLS course started hands-on from the very start -- after brief personal introductions, the instructors ran through a scenario with a student as the patient. They then taught us NOLS's patient assessment system (PAS) and had us practice on each other. There was a strong emphasis on running through the entire head-to-toe exam and SAMPLE questions for every scenario, and we were told that "every patient gets the full exam", meaning that we were to do a full head-to-toe for all incidents. Single-rescuer scenarios were the exception -- we usually practiced with two or more rescuers. Protecting the spine was strongly emphasized. The WMA course, on the other hand, started off with a run-down of systems (heart, lungs, brain). There was a pretty heavy emphasis on recognizing shock and dealing with respiratory distress. While WMA still emphasizes protecting the spine, we all walked away with the understanding that sometimes other things (like getting down a mountain before a snowstorm hits) take priority. WMA doesn't emphasize the full exam for every patient, either. WMA also uses a different PAS system -- you move through three triangles, completing the triangles (scene safety, primary assessment, secondary assessment) in order but without prioritizing subcategories. NOLS emphasizes doing things in a certain order so you don't forget anything critical, whereas WMA emphasizes using your judgment within an established framework. There are some other minor differences at this level -- WMA uses AVPU to assess consciousness, for instance, whereas NOLS doesn't. A major difference between the two courses is that WMA teaches CPR and covers choking, whereas NOLS doesn't. In the NOLS course, the time saved by skipping CPR is filled with far more information on moving patients, an ankle-taping lesson, and more talk about environmental threats, like lightning and snake bites. Another difference between the courses is that NOLS teaches reducing dislocations, while WMA saves this for more advanced classes. The WMA course also includes more philosophy, more discussion of legalities, and a caveat that you should probably seek counseling if you actually have to use these skills to deal with life-threatening situations. The format of both courses is essentially the same -- they're both 16 hour, two-day courses, and there's a strong focus on scenarios. If you've never taken a class like this, the scenarios can take some getting used to. If you're lucky, you'll be told you're unconscious and you can just lie there while the rescuers practice their thing. (Or, if a rescuer, you'll get partnered with a patient who's committed to their bit. Good acting makes things less awkward, I promise.) If you're unlucky? Well, in my last WMA scenario, I had to stuff coffee grounds into my mouth and fake vomit them up at three-minute intervals. While I was widely commended for my acting (yay!), I also managed to hyperventilate and aspirate a bit of coffee. I feel like I got more out of the WMA scenarios because I had already gotten used to the format during the NOLS course. For either course, come prepared to be prodded/carried/rolled/dragged by strangers. I plan on making another post about why WFA worthwhile. For now, I'll just say that if you have outdoor hobbies, an outdoor job, or if you travel internationally you should go ahead and invest in the WFA course. It's not just "Wilderness First Responder lite", it's a respected course and a solid addition to your resume. So: which should you take? Honestly, I'd take whatever is more convenient for you, since both are worthwhile. If you need a CPR certification, I'd take the WMA course. (Both classes certify you to use epinephrine auto-injectors.) The WMA certification is also valid for three years, whereas the NOLS course is only valid for two. If you're completely new to anything medical related, the WMA's emphasis on systems, legalities, and basic life support will probably be good for you. (The WMA course also comes with Outward Bound Wilderness First-Aid Handbook, which is great for studying and reviewing, along with WMA-specific SOAP notes and a substantial pocket guide.) If you're looking to cram as much wilderness-related medical knowledge into your head as possible in two days, maybe go with the NOLS course and do some reading on the side. Pin it for later!
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Mind Your Dirt | The weirder side of urban organic gardening with a smidgen of backyard chickens and danger Since we humans have pulled our lumbering and flipper-legged mass out of the primordial ooze we have been hard-wired to fear the darkness. The setting sun would have us scurrying under rock, climbing into canopy or slithering into backs of caves. Huddled and shaking we clung to each other waiting for the warmth and relative safety of the morning light. For in the darkness lies danger. Danger known and danger barely perceived. For it was a night such as this that brings me to your internet doorsteps today. In the darkness outside of my (slightly more modern) cave a great terror arose from over the Pacific Ocean. The great storm. Dark and terrible it rained down it's icy droplets and howled through my village (of San Diego) with apparently powerful winds. All of which I slept through without stirring a titch. I didn't even wake up when my beloved coastal coral tree was split in three and came crashing down on my roof, my fence, and the street respectively. All my regular readers will know that this tree was my absolute favorite tree of all. I have written about it so often. The way I propagated it from a measly branch cutting, how it magically grew faster and bigger than any other plant I've ever planted, and how I prune it so thoughtfully and thoroughly. The last link there being one I should have revisited last winter. The winter I decided to not do my annual pruning because I was "too busy" to tend to it. Too busy to remove the great mass of branches and leaves that is likely the very reason why she couldn't withstand the night terror of a storm that did her in. Mostly. Friday morning found me doing the normal routine. Butt scratching, a shower, bask my glorious facial hair in the sun of a hundred gods, and then walk the dog. I left the house and began the walk when I realized there was a giant mass blocking our path. In my morning haze, it took a few ticks before I realized what had occurred. This was what I walked right into... My precious and beloved tree!! Split into thirds and strewn about my house, my fence, and the spilling into the sidewalk/street! My heart sank as deep as those ancient ancestors of ours were slinking into darkened caves. Now what you don't know is that I recently hurt my back. A real nasty pull that put me in the hospital and turned me into a useless blob for the last week and a half. With this twisted back, and a rather impatient dog, I gazed upon the logistical nightmare that unfolded before my weary eyes. What to do!? Just at that moment, like a lawyer magically appearing at the scene of an accident, a local landscaper appeared. Seriously, not more that forty five seconds after noticing this. He made me an offer that my back couldn't refuse. I despise paying someone else for work that I can do. Really a big issue for me. But I was left with little other options. So I said yes. *grumblegrumblegrumble* A pleasant Cuban fella, this landscaper of ours. He said he'd be back by 10am with a chainsaw, a truck to haul the leavings, and another guy to help with the work. $200 was the number for thine plan. 10am was more like noonish...but what could I do? He returned with no truck and a Saws-All in lieu of a chainsaw. $200 for the work was the deal. But sans truck to haul to the dump, I made them earn that money by cutting up all the wood into nice little fire pit sized chunks. As well as bring it all to the exact opposite far corner of my lot. Separated by size and religious preferences of course. What I was left with once they had finished around 3pm was a sad looking version of my glorious tree. I lost about 75% of it's shade-providing mass easily. And sweet jumping Jebus! What a wound!! After all my boasting and warm pride I am left with little more than a smattering of cool shade and tree majesty. My house looks naked and afraid and my heart is filled with worry about the surviving section of tree. And how the hell was I going to heal this massive wound that almost goes all the way to the ground!? This tree is nearly totally undone. It is an ex-tree. The removal of the giant branches (as thick as my fat thighs and as heavy as my heart) had caused the split to close up a little bit once the weight was gone. I thought to myself, "maybe I can fix this! Like the worlds largest graft, she might be saved!" Likely a fools errand, but I began to formulate a plan. With a bad back coupled with my slightly (slightly!) less than herculean strength on a good day, I decided to get some materials. The biggest ratchet set I could invest in financially. For something that likely will not work anyways. Straps to bend it to my less than iron will and stretch wrap to help seal in the moisture. I began my attempt at forcing my girl back together. One-handed idiot That's as far as I could do with one hand. I put the phone down and gave it my all. It took everything I had in me, but I got it damn near closed. I began wrapping the base with a healthy layer of shrink wrap. My plan is to remove the ratchet straps in a week or two and hold it together with only the shrink wrap. I'm worried that such a fast growing tree after a very rainy wet season will make these straps girdle the tree in no time at all! Which would only serve to strangle the shit out of my poor little lady when she is most vulnerable. So it's going to be the shrink wrap or bust I'm afraid. Such a massive wound and exposed cuts is just begging for disease and rot. But I may just have a chance to save her. Maybe. Until then, I shall have some somber fires as I use her limbs to warm the cockles of my weary soul. My sweet sweet giving tree. My precious.
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we have embarked getting out of a taxi the other day, my heart fell out of my backpack and into a puddle. so my chest was empty but it felt okay, i just fished out the pieces and walked away
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Киноколлекция - Мировая киноклассика и редкое зрелищное кино на DVD Спектакли на DVD Театр на DVD Коллекция сюрреализм, арт хаус, авангард и других редких фильмов. Запись кино, фильмов на DVD. Советские телевизионные фильмы Советское и российское кино Блокбастеры Самые кассовые фильмы в истории кино Лауреаты премии «ОСКАР» Фильмы с авторскими переводами Французские и итальянские комедии DVD Обмен фильмами DVD
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MY ENDURING BONES | Stories and More With Touch of The Macabre By A.M. Moscoso Stories and More With Touch of The Macabre By A.M. Moscoso
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The blog of Mary Ann Peden-Coviello Skewed Notions is pleased to host HorrorAddicts.net today and a new audio book for your horror enjoyment. Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction. HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles. Please enjoy an excerpt below from Crescendo of Darkness. "Six String Bullets" by Cara Fox The pull of a busker's song becomes too much for a young woman to resist. Ashley Dunn had walked the same way to work for the last two years, but she never noticed the busker before. He was already as much a part of the bustling commuter street as the cars speeding past or the tattered street lamps shining brightly to pierce the early morning gloom, their beams throwing sharp relief on the rain. The busker blended in seamlessly, seated cross-legged, his back to the stone wall of the Victorian bank building, and his beaten-up guitar across his lap as he played. No one else spared him a glance, but she saw him. Their eyes met through the crowd and Ashley's heart missed a beat. Something about him seemed familiar. She stepped out of the steady flow of people walking with their heads down and their minds lost to the working day ahead, breaking free of the crowd as the busker's song grew louder and clearer with every step she took. It wasn't his song that caught her attention, but the man himself. His crooked glasses and expensive looking suit weren't a part of the usual busker uniform seen all over town. The sounds of the crowd faded away as Ashley came to a hesitant halt in front of him, and the enigmatic busker's song swelled in an instant to fill the void. It had no words, but he didn't need words to express himself. The music alone was more than capable of that. She could swear she hadn't heard the song before, but something about it was as familiar and natural as breathing. It spoke to her heart, stripping away everything until the busker and his song were all she knew. Her eyes closed as the music sped through her veins, dazing and rooting her in place. It was such a simple melody. It shouldn't be able to do that to me. However many times she told herself, it made no difference. Her heart raced and her legs shook so wildly, she thought they might give way. No. Ashley drew a deep breath, but the moment her eyes opened, the busker's own eyes locked onto hers and a fierce shudder rippled down her spine. Her breath caught in her throat. As she fought to steady herself against the unexpected burst of emotion, the music soared and intensified, each note a six string bullet cutting straight to her soul. Tears filled her eyes. All she could see was the busker, and all she could hear was his song. She didn't know how so many other people casually passed by without even glancing at him, but she found it impossible to look away. The busker paid no heed to his captive audience. It was as if all he knew was the music, too. His guitar case was empty, but even when she impulsively emptied her pockets into it, he didn't miss a beat. The gentle clinking of the coins against each other jolted Ashley back to her senses, realising she was soaked to the bone. Strange. The rain wasn't heavy. No one was even carrying an umbrella. It would've taken hours for her to be so drenched. Hours... She glanced down at her wristwatch. Shit. The spell broken, she turned on her heel and sped down the street, flinging apologies in all directions as she pushed past the morning commuters and dashed toward her office. ********************************* To read the rest of this story and thirteen other horror music shorts, check out: Crescendo of Darkness Direct link: Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson Cover by Carmen Masloski HorrorAddicts.net Press Let music unlock your fear within.
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ClubSounds.de | the ultimate club dance collection Club Sounds 89 - Denn Du bist der DJ! Mehr als 60 Tracks - vollgepackt mit dem Besten aus was die elektronische Musik zu bieten hat! Dabei sind u. a. Megahits von Dynoro, Alan Walker, Alle Farben, Martin Garrix, Calvin Harris, Don Diablo, Tiesto, u. v.m. Jetzt bestellen bei ►iTunes ►Amazon ►AmazonMp3 ►GooglePlay CLUB SOUNDS VOL 88 - DENN DU BIST DER DJ! Tracklist: CD1 1. Dynoro & Ina Wroldsen - Obsessed 2. Calvin Harris, Rag'n'Bone Man - Giant 3. Robin Schulz feat. Erika Sirola - Speechless (Lucas & Steve Remix) 4. Alan Walker, Sabrina Carpenter, Farruko - On My Way 5. Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (Don Diablo Remix) 6. The Chainsmokers & 5 Seconds of Summer - Who Do You Love (R3HAB Remix) 7. Hugel feat. Amber Van Day - WTF 8. Marshmello feat. Bastille - Happier (Breathe Carolina Remix) 9. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Era Istrefi - Selfish (Syn Cole Remix) 10. Martin Garrix feat. Bonn - No Sleep 11. Triplo Max - Shadow 12. Drenchill feat. Jano - Allumé Allumé (DAZZ Remix) 13. LIZOT & Charming Horses - Hungover You 14. Sean Finn & Corona - The Rhythm of the Night 15. ItaloBrothers - Games 16. Freischwimmer feat. HYM & Jona Selle - Dance 17. Vion Konger - Never Really Liked You 18. Charming Horses & Twan Ray - Make Me Go Crazy 19. Semitoo - Heaven 20. Klaas - Don't Wanna Grow Up 21. Mark F. Angelo - Sing (Charming Horses Remix) 22. Jovani feat. Jazzu - Keep It to Myself (Crystal Rock & Marc Kiss Remix) 23. Marc Kiss & Crystal Rock - The Moon (VIP Edit) CD2 1. Kygo & Valerie Broussard - Think About You 2. Alle Farben & James Blunt - Walk Away 3. Gestört aber GeiL feat. Adel Tawil - Vielleicht 4. NOTD, Felix Jaehn, Captain Cuts feat. Georgia Ku - So Close 5. Bakermat feat. Alex Clare - Learn To Lose 6. Stereoact feat. Vincent Gross - Nicht allein sein 7. Schiller & Nena - Morgenstund (Charming Horses Remix) 8. Deepend feat. Hanne Mjøen - One Thing Left to Do 9. Paolo Pellegrino feat. Susan Tyler - 74 - '75 10. Nora En Pure feat. Ashibah - We Found Love 11. Purple Disco Machine - Body Funk 12. Morris Jones - It Couldn't Be Better 13. Amfree - When We Fall 14. The Magician - Ready To Love 15. Kasima - It Started with a Kiss 16. We R Saints feat. Fya Tune & Indiiana - Shelter Me 17. Joe Stone - Bug A Boo 18. le Shuuk - Gold Baby 19. Abel Romez & Jason Anousheh & Andrew Spencer - Let's Talk 20. Stereo Palma & Sabotage - You Need Me 21. Hagen Feetly - Not the One 22. Dom Dolla - Take It CD3 1. Martin Garrix, Matisse & Sadko feat. Alex Aris - Mistaken 2. Hardwell & Mike Williams - I'm Not Sorry 3. Tujamo - Candy on the Dancefloor 4. Niels van Gogh - Pulverturm (Tiësto's Big Room Remix) 5. Don Diablo & CID - Fever 6. Lucas & Steve - Say Something (Club Mix) 7. Armin van Buuren - Lifting You Higher (ASOT 900 Anthem) (Blasterjaxx Remix) 8. Tiësto feat. Lena Leon - Halfway There 9. ATB & Markus Schulz - Heartbeat 10. Kaaze feat. Nino Lucarelli - I Should Have Walked Away 11. Marnik - Up & Down 12. LIZOT - 99 (Sean Finn Remix Edit) 13. Hardwell feat. Conor Maynard & Snoop Dogg - How You Love Me (Suyano Remix) 14. STBN & TeCay - Somewhere (Dan Kers Remix Edit) 15. Ben Nicky & Mark Sixma - The Bass 16. We Do Voodoo - Loops & Tings (Smile on Your Face Dub Edit) 17. Sopran x Lexu - Waving Crazy 18. Sequenza x Empyre One x Enerdizer - Tricky Tricky 2k19 19. Henry Hood - What 20. KYANU - Random People 21. Stupid Goldfish - 99 Problems 22. NØ SIGNE - Let's Get Widde </p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <div style="display:inline;"><br /><br /><br /><br /> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/968933935/?label=6WJ_CI74rWYQr4SDzgM&guid=ON&script=0"/></div><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>​
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i carry your heart with me weird/special, call it whatever you want
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One of most Canada's prestigious model and talent agency Headquartered in Toronto (Canada) Orange Model Management has offices in Montreal (Quebec) and London (Ontario). We are an international agency working with clients from varied industries in countries all around the world.
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Jocelyn and Ryan Photography Raleigh''s top husband and wife wedding photographers. with a creative approach to documenting your wedding through an artistic blend of wedding photojournalism & fine art photography.
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Stephen Bruno Photography MY PHOTOGRAPHY BACKGROUND Welcome to my virtual home of Stephen Bruno Photography. I am a wildlife, nature, landscape, action, macro, travel, documentary and humanitarian, architecture, street, event, and photojournalist photographer. To begin your virtual journey through the looking glass of my Fine Art Photographs and photo merchandise, please click on any of the drop down tabs in the menu at the top of any page. Visit often as I revise the pages frequently. Introduction In the near future (closer to December 2013), I will begin providing PDF files that you can download with all of the information on each of the website pages. When complete, the information will be more comprehensive and thorough than I now offer. The copyright PDF files are much easier to save and read at your convenience. Not unlike many people in our dynamic world, I have had several, mostly creative careers. I devoted this section solely to employment and experiences related specifically to my photography career. This website IS after all, dedicated just to my photography. I share in this section, just a few events out of my countless adventures that shaped my perspective of photography and especially of the subjects that I photograph. Throughout this website, I offer quotes at the beginning of each page from other professional photographers for insight and critical thinking. You may also notice some differences with my website (and photography) in contrast to other professional photographers. I do nature, landscape, action, macro, travel, documentary and humanitarian, architecture, street, event, and photojournalism equally rather than one area exclusively. One could make the argument that a photographer, who is dedicated to a single subject, will have greater expertise in their sole area of preference. I believe that each field of photography requires different and often demanding (even counter intuitive) skills and knowledge. When combined, I am a better photographer in any single field since I can access a wider range of practical skills and knowledge gained with this expansive approach. Take wildlife and human portraiture for example. There are certainly differences in tracking and photographing a Black-tailed Deer in the woods and an adult sitting for a casual photo journalistic portrait. However, consider photographing children for natural portraits outside as they play and well…behave like the children that they are. I can take effective action photographs of the children (and adults) at play that brings out the spirit and personality of each child (or adult) better than a more restrictive pose. One essential element is spontaneity. My years of experience photographing large and small mammals or fast and unpredictable birds are wonderful training for capturing the essence of a child running across a field at a local park. Positioned in an unobtrusive way and being ready at the right place and in the right moment for that spontaneous photograph of children and adults is the same as photographing wildlife. My Photography Philosophy I believe that artists, writers, and photographers are vigilant observers by inclination, background, and training. My life, which includes each of these professions, serves me well in developing and enhancing intuition, observational skills, focus, natural instinct, dedication, curiosity, compassion, and patience. People tell me that I photograph with an artist's eye. I believe that it comes from my naturalist's heart. Photography Services My photographic services include professional traditional, modern, documentary and eclectic style photography. I offer quality portrait photography for individuals, pregnancy, newborns, children, teenagers, family, couples, senior citizens, engagement, military, musicians, friends, pets, equine, and more. Additionally, I offer photography for corporate and special events, architecture realty, and more. A few of my Favorite Photographers A few of my favorite photographers include Garry Winogrand, Annie Leibovitz, Paul Strand, Margaret Bourke-White, Eve Arnold, Richard Misrach, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Robert Mapplethorpe, Alfred Stieglitz, Bruno Morandi, Irving Penn, Robert Frank, Steve McCurry, Elliott Erwitt, David Duchemin, Ami Vitale, Yousuf Karsh, Nan Goldin, and Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Yosemite Fire Falls I remember a special experience I had at Yosemite National Park in California when I was a child. It was around 9:00 P.M. during the summer and I heard a man at Camp Curry call to Glacier Point. "Hello, Glacier!" Then the man at Glacier Point called down with a faint echo, Hello, Camp Curry!" The man at Camp Curry then said, "Let the fire fall!" Then I barely heard, "The fire is falling!" I saw a glowing waterfall of sparks and fire start at the top of a distant mountain and watched as it fell for about 30 seconds. Later I learned that someone pushed a large bonfire of red fir bark evenly over the edge of the cliff, appearing as a waterfall of fire as it cascaded about 4,000 feet down the mountain. This was the tradition of the Yosemite Fire Fall. I was so into the fire fall that at first I did not notice a girl about my age also standing alone beside a large tree watching the burning bonfire lighting up the mountain in the darkness. I cannot really explain how it happened but I found that when she and I apparently gravitated toward each other we were side by side, as the fire fall was nearing its end. We looked at each other speechless after such a wonderful experience and lightly kissed each other on the lips. Then we turned and each ran away as fast as we could in the opposite direction. I never saw the girl again but the combination of the incredible fire fall and my first kiss endeared me forever to the glorious power of nature. Black Bear Family At age seven, I encountered my first bears in the wild, in Yosemite National Park. I hiked away from my family’s canvas tent cabin at the Curry Village campground and walked down toward one of the many cold rapid moving rivers in the beautiful valley. I became lost that morning in the splendor of the Giant Sequoia trees and the lush green meadows in the valley floor. I easily recall that when four adult Black Bears (actually more cinnamon) and three cubs strolled by me when I wandered off the path I was so captivated that I completely forgot about being lost. The bears were friendly, and remained comfortable in my presence. It never occurred to me to be concerned about my safety, or theirs. I talked quietly to each of the bears, watching their curious expressions as they responded with grunts, and followed them the entire day through the countless blooming flowers and tall green grass. I watched the frequent Gray Squirrels running about and the occasional Mule Deer roaming near the riverbed of the roaring Merced River. Sometimes I watched as the cubs were wrestling, falling, and nipping each other. They were very playful and seemed curious about me. When the family of bears ate huckleberries, blueberries, or other berries, I ate berries. When they rested, I rested. When they looked for other areas to forage at wet meadows along creeks and river, I walked along with them. While they ripped into rotting fallen logs with their claws grubbing ants and beetle larvae, I quenched my thirst at the creek or river. They also ate grasses and pine nuts. This was a time when the Yosemite rangers still encouraged contact with the bears, including feeding them. In fact, the National Park Service maintained several "bear pits" in the park where bears were fed garbage in an attempt to keep them out of park campgrounds and lodging areas, and to provide visitor entertainment. I was fortunate that their foray took us all back to a meadow near Curry Village where I could see the evening campfires and hear distant voices. With a sideway glance from the bears and cubs, my adopted bear family swiftly climbed the crest of the hill we had just descended and they disappeared over the horizon. This began my lifelong affinity with large wild animals, Black Bears in particular, and nature in general. First Camera - Minolta 35mm While a high school senior, my grandmother purchased my first camera—a Minolta 35mm as a pre graduation gift. When she did, I immediately took to black and white photography including creative dark room development. I also shot color photography. I answered an ad by the local large newspaper to take action photographs of area high school sporting events and write the captions. They hired me after looking at my portfolio. This was my first paying job and the first professional publication of my photography career. I then became Editor-In-Chief of my Southern California high school paper, spending a lot of time in the dark room and combining a love of photography and writing. In college, I became the Editor-In-Chief of the campus newspaper where I continued my love of photography and writing. Vietnam Military Service Drafted and eventually receiving orders to Vietnam, my Minolta traveled with me during my 14-month Army tour of duty where I photographed many powerful images that remain clear to me even today. Rather than drink alcohol or do drugs, I ran 10 miles daily whenever I could. While in Vietnam, I raised many large Mantises to keep the Mosquitoes away and photographed the process. I continue to enjoy macro photography. Return to the States On my return to the States, I took numerous portraits to support the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign. I worked in the Public Relations department of a college in California where I was responsible for many PR photographs and all of the darkroom activities. I also worked as a Marketing Manager for an international aerospace corporation utilizing my photography, writing and graphic skills. I produced and edited a monthly 64-page art, literature and photography magazine. Contributing my own writing and photography, I also provided many photographers, artists and writers with their first opportunity for publication. Some went on to prominent creative careers. Lake Powel's Cougars One summer during a houseboat trip at Lake Powel in Arizona, I anchored a 50-foot houseboat near the sandy beach deep into the lake at an isolated area. I observed one very large pair of Cougar paw prints and two sets of cub prints in the sand. In the late afternoon, I was jogging at the top of a cliff and as I rounded a curve, I saw a large 100lb female Cougar. Her torso was a cinnamon buff-colored contrasted by a white belly. She had two kittens with brownish-black irregular spots on the body and dark rings on the short tail. They were lying down on a hill about sixty feet above me. I slowed to a fast walk and decided to pass in front rather than turning around, she maintained eye contact. I had not yet read that this was not a wise plan. Then, one eager kitten began bounding down the hill toward me as the other kitten cautiously moved near the mom. Without losing eye contact with me, the momma lion crouched and gave a single loud, blood-curdling hair-raising cry that sounded like a woman screaming in pain. The kitten continued toward me with an over the shoulders look at mom after the cry. She then reluctantly turned around and ran back up the hill. Never losing eye contact with me the magnificent mother Cougar cried a soft whistle and gently lay down as I moved safely out of sight. During my long jogs, deep in the Arizona mountains, I occasionally observed Cougars watching from large boulders above me. I currently live in Prescott, Arizona with my fiancée, Shana, who is the love of my life. Copyright Statement The images presented here are © 2004-2018 Stephen Bruno and may not be reproduced, copied or altered in any way, by use of computer or other electronic means, without specific permission and payment of fee. All photographs are protected under United States and international copyright law. Any unauthorized use is a violation of copyright law. Warning: I vigorously protect my copyright interests. In the event that an infringement is discovered, you will be notified and invoiced the industry-standard TRIPLE-FEE for unauthorized usage and/or prosecuted for Copyright Infringement in U S Federal Court where you will be subject to a fine of US $150,000 statutory damages as well as my court costs and attorneys' fees.
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Happy Mothers Day Quotes 2019 - Mother''s day Quotes, Messages, wishes, and Images 2019 happy Mothers day Quotes, happy mothers day images quotes, mothers day 2019, Messages, wishes, and Images, Happy Mothers Day 2019 Quotes,Wishes,poems
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ENDRIAN The home of the Endrian original graphic novel, and DEPRIVED: A Dark Souls Story. Enjoy your stay!
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brianjenningsblog.com | There are 300,000 items in the average American house. The average size of the American home has nearly tripled over the past 50 years, yet 1 out of every 10 Americans rent off-site storage - the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry. So surely, with all of this wealth, our country's happiness, contentment, and emotional health are on the rise. Right? Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Jesus' words from the Sermon on the Mount help explain why. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also..."No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."Matthew 6 Jesus' words, aligned with the entire Bible, point us towards four truths about money. More stuff = More stressYou'll make a few purchases that can actually reduce stress, but usually our purchases (especially when we overspend) produce stress. When you buy that new think-a-ma-jig that works as a phone, onion slicer, and tear-reducer, you think your life will improve (cutting onions while talking to friends without crying sounds great, right?). But what happens when:-You have to set-up a payment plan?-You have to register it online?-The updates take longer than you think?-It breaks after 3 days and you spend the next 4 days talking to customer-support. -You have to mail it in for a new one?-Regret sets in? My example is ridiculous...except for all of the parts that reminded you of an eerily similar purchase you made last month. One of the many reasons God warns us about wealth is that he knew how much it would complicate our lives. Jesus invites you to rest, to contentment, and to peace. Stuff threatens all of that. Your heart follows your moneyIf you give your time, money, and energy to anything (sports, hobbies, jobs, friends, church, family), you'll love it/them. It's the way you were designed. Our hearts follow the things in which we invest. Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler to sell his possessions and give the money to the poor. Jesus did not make that same demand of everyone, but he knew the pursuit of this man's heart. His money was his god. The man proved this to be true when he walked away from Jesus, "surrounded by grief." If you want to avoid the depressing fate of the Rich Young Ruler, invest your resources in eternity. When you give to causes that advance God's Kingdom, your heart will follow the money. God, afterall, is not after your money, he's after your heart. God doesn't need something FROM you; he wants something FOR you. Money can't buy peace or contentment. Only God can give those things. He wants to protect you from chasing the lies of our culture. He wants to save you from the meaningless pursuit of more. "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless."Ecclesiastes 5:10 Instead of chasing the wind, God invites you to walk with him in true happiness. When we invest in things that can't perish, joy is found. Reducing God's favor to health and wealth is unbiblical and destructiveI live in a city that has perpetuated a dangerous, unbiblical deception: "If God approves of you, you'll always experience financial and physical comfort." A middle-age lady once shuffled into my office. She walked as if chains were attached to her hands and feet. She'd just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and her lifelong instruction from a nearby church had taught her one thing: "God's favor was no longer upon her." We were able to help this lady - a simple reading of Job unshackled her shame. I get angry when I think about those who taught her that God's favor is only measured by physical and financial blessings. They claim they preach the Bible, but they have to avoid huge chunks of it. Daniel was shown God's favor, but he spent his life in exile.Joseph was shown God's favor, but he had a terrible childhood, was trafficked as a human slave, ripped from family, falsely accused, and imprisoned in the midst of saving his people.Esther was shown God's favor, but she was married to a creepy king and was just about killed for doing what was right. Mary was "highly favored," but she had to endure the scandal and uncertainty of an unplanned pregnancy. This list could go on and on, but let me just add a few questions:Was Stephen favored by God, even as large, hurled rocks ended his life?Were the Apostles favored by God, even as they experienced poverty, persecution, and martyrdom? Was Jesus favored by God when he hung on the cross? God's blessings often include physical and financial help. We can read about God's provision in Scriptures and we can experience it still today. Praise God. But we dare not reduce God's favor to only being a temporal, finite reward. God's greatest blessings are eternal. I'm so thankful that God loves us enough to teach us how to have a healthy relationship with money. The Bible has a lot more to say about money, but I'm curious: Which of the four truths do you most need to believe today?
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Kym Wilson Kym Wilson is an Australian writer, counsellor and pilgrim who walked the Via Francigena pilgrimage trail from Canterbury to Rome. She supports others in their own seeking and discovery of their heart''s calling and inner wisdom.
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Dale Calvert - Motivation Speaker Kentucky | Motivation Speaker Kentucky THE 7 STEP BLUEPRINT That Guarantees You Have A Successful Event! Free Download [/fusion_text][separator style_type="shadow" top_margin="60" bottom_margin="" sep_color="" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="" class="" id=""][fusion_code]CjxkaXYgY2xhc3M9InRpdGx1Ij5DT1JQT1JBVEUgVEVTVElNT05JQUxTPC9kaXY+Cg==[/fusion_code][separator style_type="none" top_margin="5" bottom_margin="30" sep_color="" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="" class="" id=""][testimonials design="clean" backgroundcolor="" textcolor="" random="" class="" id=""][testimonial name=" Jack Fallon" avatar="image" image=" image_border_radius="" company="Total Life Changes" link="" target="_self"]I met Dale Calvert in 2008 when he spoke at an event in Las Vegas for the company I was working with. When I started my company in 2009 and needed a Key Note speaker for our first company convention I knew I wanted Dale to address our team. He delivered as he always does and I have had him speak at every conference since. He has the best interest of my company and our people at heart and he is not afraid to communicate to people what they need to hear. All I can say is if you can book Dale to speak for your organization, book him.[/testimonial][testimonial name="Hilton Johnson" avatar="image" image=" image_border_radius="" company="Sales University" link="" target="_self"]Your people will Love Dale Calvert! I have worked with many sales organizations over the past 20+ years, Dale Calvert's team was the best trained group of profesionals I have ever worked with" Dale is one of our featured tele-class trainers, his classes always fill up quickly, people love him, and he always delivers what they need to hear. If your organization needs inspiration or training get Dale in front of them. I have recommend Dale for elementary school groups, high level real estate brokers and everyone in between.[/testimonial][testimonial name="Dennis & Daniel Bloom" avatar="image" image=" image_border_radius="" company="Ameriplan Co-Founders" link="" target="_self"]When we decided to hire a National Training Director for our company we contacted all of our suppliers and Industry insiders and asked them to make us a list of 5 recommendations. Dale Calvert was the only person on every list. We were happy that he agreed to work with us and conduct a monthly training in Dallas for our up and coming leaders. Our people connected with Dale immediately and his insights and understanding into this business can only come from someone who spent over 20 years not just as a million dollar earning distributor but also company owner. We believe we found the number one teacher and trainer in the industry for our people. Dale is not traveling the world and working with organizations because he has to, he does it because he cares. [/testimonial][testimonial name="Les Brown" avatar="image" image=" image_border_radius="" company="LesBrown.com" link="" target="_self"]Dale Calvert is one of the most powerful speakers on the planet[/testimonial][testimonial name="Mark Jarvis" avatar="image" image=" image_border_radius="" company="CEO ZURVITA" link="" target="_self"]The lead generation training by Dale Calvert was the best I have heard in the industry. We made a decision to include Dale as the first outside speaker we have ever invited to our special Champions Weekend. We are 2 months removed from the event and still getting daily testimonies on how our people are applying what they have learned. We recommend Dale to anybody serious growing a business and motivating their team! [/testimonial][testimonial name="Scotty Paulson" avatar="image" image=" image_border_radius="" company="CEO Alive World Wide" link="" target="_self"]Dale is one of the premiere leaders in this industry and created the most amazing "secret system" that allowed him to build a sales organization of 85,000 people and a monthly income of $300,00![/testimonial][testimonial name="Alejandro Diaz de Leon" avatar="image" image=" image_border_radius="" company="Ardyss" link="" target="_self"]We hired Dale as our keynote speaker based upon the recommendation of our National Sales Director. We asked him to speak on the topic of overcoming procrastination. He delivered his now legendary "One More Night With the Frogs" keynote. Our people are still talking about it and he made a difference on how they view time management and daily production. If you hire Dale to speak for your organization they will not just be motivated, they will also be provided the tools they need to act upon their motivation and become more productive members of your team.[/testimonial][testimonial name="Gary Calhoun" avatar="image" image=" image_border_radius="" company="CEO MPB Today" link="" target="_self"]When Dale told me "I never wanted to be a Motivational Speaker, I just always had a desire to help people" everything started to make sense. You have a lot of choices for speakers that can talk the talk, but very few have walked the walk. His real world examples and stories can only come from someone who has personally experienced the emotional ups and downs of business and personal growth. Your people will connect with Dale like no other speaker and teacher, I guarantee it.[/testimonial][testimonial name="Robin Seymour" avatar="image" image=" image_border_radius="" company="Opportunity Productions" link="" target="_self"]Dale Calvert will relate with your people better than any MLM Trainer I know. If you want more for your people than temporary excitement, Dale will deliver. Your people will leave your event with practical, proven, techniques to immediately put into action and create results. HE GUARANTEES IT! Give Dale a call today. I promise you it will be the best move you can make for your company. 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The Voice of One Crying | By Roland Stirnemann "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." I Samuel 15:23 Perhaps it is a part of the age or stage of life at which I have finally arrived, but I find myself often reflecting upon and projecting the state of my local church. I'm sure a major part of my concern has to do with the fact that I still have two minor sons at home for which I am responsible. What we are handing off to the next generation has always been a concern to me, even before I had kids. The Scripture is clear that, "None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself" (Romans 14:7). We have a responsibility to the generations coming behind us. We have been handed a great truth, and it is essential that we don't taint what we have been given before handing it off to our kids and grandkids. I don't get to travel much, but from what I have personally seen and heard from others, there is a similar spirit infiltrating Apostolic churches across America. I'm am not throwing a broad blanket on all churches, but it is apparent that what is going on is not just pocketed in a few areas. I have visited Apostolic churches in the Bible-belt of Pentecost and seen the same thing with my own eyes. It varies in degree from place to place, but it is very troubling. Deception is creeping in among us. It's not an all-out attack on Apostolic doctrine. The enemy knows such a tactic would not work on us. Instead, he has used a steady drumbeat of worldly culture to chip away at our Apostolic identity. Why Do We Go To Church? A couple of weeks ago, we had an incredible move of the Holy Ghost in our Sunday service. Unfortunately, those kinds of moves have become aberrations. There was a time when they were the norm. Form and time constraints have changed our approach at our gatherings. During some of my reflections, I often scratch my head, wondering what the true purpose of our gatherings are anymore. It used to be for the purpose of seeking a visitation from the Spirit of God, hearing a Word from God via a message or sermon, and intermingling with the saints of God to encourage and be encouraged. That doesn't appear to be the main focus anymore. Whenever I have expressed some of my concerns in tight circles, I have been talked down as a "negative" person. "Focus on the positive, Roland". But what good does it do to talk about how wonderful your left arm is when your right arm is dangling by a thread? Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and some of the other Old Testament prophets faced the same criticism. I am not calling myself a prophet, but if you read their books, they simply spoke the things they "saw". Ezekiel specifically called what he saw "visions". The others "saw" things in the eyes of their minds. Only time and events bore out the accuracy of what they had to say, but they were willing to step out and declare what they "saw", even if it meant enduring ridicule by their peers and brethren. What I am writing about today are things that I "see" a short distance down the road. The Expansion Of Immorality We are living in tumultuous times. I remember teaching the 12th grade Sunday School class in our church back in the late 90's. I asked those kids at that time what they were going to do in the future when a legally married sodomite couple walked into their church with legally adopted children and wanted to become members of their church. They looked at me dumbfounded. "That will never happen, Bro. Stirnemann," was the look on their faces. Yet here we are, about 20 years later, facing that exact dilemma. Sodomite marriage is now "legal", and the people of our state, Michigan, recently voted to give people more access to "legal" marijuana for "recreational use", whatever that means. It is a sick world. My wife and I are trying our best to raise minor kids in this sick world. Every vile law that is passed by man becomes another obstacle to what we are trying to do with our sons. "Why is it wrong to smoke pot, Dad, if it's been legalized?" I have not been asked that question yet, but you get the picture. In the past, the local church has been a welcome haven from the sick things going on in our world, but much of that is eroding. Along with the absence of persistent Spirit-intense services is the lack of a clear distinction between the world and the church. It seems that there are very few activities in which the world revels which we consider to be anathema. We dress and act like the world, participating in activities with them, while declaring, "By the way, did I tell you I'm Apostolic?" Witchcraft Among Us Without going into detail, let me just state that my wife and I have been dealing with some rebellion in our home for the past 4-5 months. It has manifested itself in a few different forms which are not necessary to expound upon here. Rebellion is rebellion no matter how it manifests itself. Scripture is quite clear that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (I Samuel 15:23). When talking to my youngest son about that verse a while ago, he asked what that meant. I told him that witchcraft was all about denying the power of God. Witchcraft states that it is unnecessary to conform to the laws and boundaries established by our Creator. In essence, witchcraft is a complete challenge to God's authority or right to tell us how we should live. His young brain did not comprehend that, of course, because his brain is still developing at the age of 12. Trying to reason with a 12-year old is difficult for that very reason. You're not sure how much of what you're saying is actually being digested. I know that a degree of rebellion can be expected out of kids going through puberty, but it doesn't mean we should overlook it, either. As I was talking to God about how to further deal with some of these things we have encountered, God slapped me in the face and said, "Look around your local church. What do you see, son?" Immediately my eyes were opened as never before. Before going on, let me say that I am not "blaming" the local church for anything either of my sons are currently going through. Life is life and it doesn't always play fair. I am also aware that some of the Old Testament prophets actually "lived" the messages they were told by God to deliver to Israel and Judah. Hosea named his kids according to the current relationship God had with Israel. Jeremiah and Ezekiel experienced similar fates. Perhaps what is going on in my house is a similar reflection of what some of these men went through. But I also understand that what we define as a "spiritual environment" will become a gauge for the next generation. Like it or not, the local church is what our children will use as a thermometer of spirituality. Here is what God showed me. Local Church Letdown When I walk into our church on a Sunday morning, I am greeted at the door by a lady in slacks with hair chopped to her shoulders, her face laden with makeup and jewelry. This lady is not a new convert. She is a 4th-generation Apostolic. Her husband stands a few feet away handing out the weekly bulletins, oblivious to any inappropriate messages his wife's appearance might be transmitting to guests or new converts who might be wondering what this church is really all about. The silence of the elders, her husband and those in authority over her in her "ministry" tells everyone who sees her, "Hey, her appearance is okay". As I continue on into the auditorium, my ears are blasted with loud music as my eyes attempt to adjust to the dim, mood-setting lighting. Looking up into the sound booth quizzically, I see one of the main men responsible for setting this atmosphere. His hair is half-way down his back. I don't know him well, but I do know he was raised in this church. He is at least a 3rd-generation Apostolic and knows better. Yet somehow, no one in a position of responsibility has the heart, nerve, or chutzpah to tell him to get a haircut. Again, this is not a first-time guest. It is someone who is visible and has been given the power and position to "set the mood" for our services by way of lighting and sound. Somewhere along the way, we have allowed talent to trump obedience to the Word of God. Then, just this last week, I was praying at the altar after service when I happened to open my eyes which were met by a flash coming off the ears of one of our "praise" singers. Indeed, tiny earrings were reflecting the lights as she bobbed her head, singing praises to Jesus. She is not a first-time guest either. She is a 4th-generation Apostolic. We have "allowed" certain degrees of makeup on the platforms of our churches for years. We have even seen the pushing of the envelope with yoga pants under skirts which creep too high at times. But jewelry has always been a no-no for those wishing to participate in platform activities. Until now. The Erosion Of Apostolic Boundaries "You see, Roland", God chided me, "you're wondering why you're dealing with rebellion in your home. Why would you consider that to be a mystery when your sons see rebellion in their local church from the greeting at the front door to the platform?" I was instantly shamed as I bowed my head and wept. Yes, I have watched these "changes" creep into our church in recent years but had never seen them in that light before. These things are not just "the way the younger generation does things". These things are outright rebellion. Witchcraft! Each of these things are specifically called out in Scripture as things God hates. Women wearing men's apparel is an abomination (Deuteronomy 22:5), men with long hair are a shame and don't even comprehend what nature is declaring to them (I Corinthians 11:14), and women who adorn themselves with gold, pearls and such like are using a substitute covering to replace the missing glory of God in their lives (I Timothy 2:9-10). Yet the pulpit remains silent. I'm not talking about guests or new converts who are in the process of "becoming". I am talking about generational "Apostolics" who know better but are "challenging" what they consider to be "the old generation's way of doing things". About a year ago, I heard about a lady from our church who was having lunch with a lady she had grown up with who left the church years ago. The woman from our church was attempting to get this backslidden lady to come back to church. In her attempt to "woo" this lady back, she made the declaration, "Hey, it's okay to wear pants to our church now". When this sad story was relayed to me, I realized how accurate this statement was. Is this what we have become, a church where people can bring in all kinds of vile spirits with them and still feel comfortable among us? "Hey, if you just stick it out a while longer, our church will probably cave in the area you're having problems with." We proclaim that we don't want to judge people, that we should leave that to them and God. But how is that approach affecting our own kids who sit next to these people full of rebellion on the pews, week after week? Besides, Scripture is crystal clear in stating, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God" (I Peter 4:17). Generation Gap Or Spiritual Warfare? This is not a generational or cultural war. This is a spiritual war that we are losing simply because the Word is not being declared. I am not saying that the preacher needs to get up in the pulpit and start telling men to cut their hair and telling women to stop wearing slacks. But it is obvious that there is not enough "conviction" among us due to a lack of preaching and teaching which would convict people of sin. Messages must go beyond mere anointing. King Saul was "anointed" while chasing after David in an attempt to murder him and protect his own position. Where are the messages that bring "conviction"? The Old Testament prophets were given visions and direction directly from God. Where are our preachers and teachers (and the "vision committee"?) of our church getting direction? From Mark Batterson? Shame on us! In recent years, preachers have backed off from the so-called "clothesline" messages in order to give new converts an opportunity to grow at their own pace. But what has now happened is that generational Apostolics are digressing and no longer believe that the distinctions which set apart their parents and grandparents are necessary at all. When Paul began his missionary journeys and Gentiles were being converted to the faith, the board at Jerusalem made a list of "rules" to give these new converts. Seventy-five percent of their rules had to do with what these new believers put in their mouths. "Don't eat things strangled, don't eat blood, don't eat meat sacrificed to idols, oh, and by the way, don't commit fornication either" (Acts 15:28-29). Paul was respectful to the board, but in his later writings he told many of the churches and people he wrote to that the food part of the rules wasn't necessary to follow. In fact, the entire chapter of I Corinthians 8 was a slap in the face to what the board at Jerusalem had instituted. Paul basically said, there's nothing morally wrong with eating food offered to idols. He briefly mentioned this same thing in a couple of other epistles as well. Meat Offered To Idols Yet in reality, the board did have a point to what they were instructing. The whole "meat offered to idols" rule had to do with keeping people away from associating with certain activities that unbelievers considered to be okay. Paul's point was, meat is meat, and its purpose was to give a person strength, but some people in that day and time considered it to be much more involving than just a meal. Also, the board knew that, due to human nature, if people started associating with certain activities in the world, no matter how innocent those activities may be, they might then be drawn into more serious worldly activities which were actual sin. That's exactly what has happened among us today. It started with going to movie theaters and other questionable places. It escalated to social drinking and a beer now and then. We have now lost the line of separation in areas that really do matter. We have crossed the line of sin, and now we have people who are in "positions" among us who flaunt their sin, and no one says a thing. Long hair on men, women wearing that which "pertaineth" unto a man, and women "adorning" themselves in jewelry and makeup are not cultural issues. They are commands spelled out by God and nature to govern our identity as Apostolics and called-out children of God. Things designated by God as "abominations" or "defined by nature" do not change over time or from one testament to another. If it was abominable to God in Deuteronomy, it's still abominable today. If nature "said" it in Paul's day, nature's story remains consistent today. The Real Issue: Rebellion It's not even these actual "outer" signs which are the problem. These "visible" issues are only "symptoms" of the real problem which is "rebellion". I know a woman can "look" holy on the outside and still have a rotten spirit, but it is impossible for a woman who has been raised in this thing and knows better to openly flaunt a worldly appearance and not have rebellion at the root. Yet we stand by, shake these people's hands each week, allow them to continue on with their "ministry" in our church, and pretend that everything's okay and that it doesn't hinder the work of the Lord. There are some who would argue that "symptoms" should be ignored. After all, "symptoms" don't necessarily indicate serious sickness or bad health. However, certain "symptoms" are indicative of serious problems and, if not addressed, can lead to fatalities. As time has shown over the past dozen years or so, some of these sicknesses are contagious and have infected people who otherwise would never have considered adapting to the worldly appearance and lifestyles of the rebellious. It's Time For A Wake-Up Call We're in trouble. Call me negative. Call me an alarmist. But God is sick of it. Yes, He will still visit from time to time because there are still hungry people among us. But his visitations should not be considered his approval of all that is going on among us. Moses got water out of the rock in the wilderness after "striking" it the second time in direct disobedience to the Word of God, because the people were "thirsty". God took care of his people "in spite of" the disobedience of those in positions of leadership. This did not mean God changed his mind or simply overlooked what He had told Moses as if to say, "Don't worry, Mo, it doesn't really matter. After all, it's not a heaven or hell issue". Moses lost his ticket into the Promised Land as a result of his disobedience. God means what He says. We are becoming less Apostolic by the day. In fact, considering the state in which we find many of our churches, I really think it is a disservice to the community for us to continue to have the "Apostolic" name on some of our church signs. Perhaps a better name would be The Accepting Church. I read the 5th chapter of Amos the other day and wept. God finally shook his head and told Israel in verses 4 and 5 that they weren't going to find their answers at church anymore (Bethel and Gilgal), but rather they needed to seek God directly, because their entire system of worship had become so polluted. The end of the chapter talks about how they tried to incorporate ("blend") the worship of Moloch and Chiun into their worship of Jehovah. It doesn't work. They went into captivity as a result. They desired God to "show up" among them, not realizing that when God "showed up", He was bringing judgment with Him (verse 18). God actually said he "hated" their feast days and wouldn't accept their sacrifices because of their mixture with worldly idols (verses 21-22). In fact, He no longer even wanted to hear their songs of praise which He referred to as "noise" (verse 23). The Invasion Of Worldly Culture A short time ago, a brother in our church was teaching a Wednesday night class in which he talked about the origin of the Pharisees and Sadducees. He talked about the fight that went on between the Sadducees (who wanted to integrate the culture of their day with the church) and the Pharisees (who wanted to return to the structure of the Torah). He asked us to imagine what it would be like for that kind of tug-of-war to happen in our local church today. Well, we are there. There are those who are doing everything they can to eliminate the line of separation between the world and our local church. Oh, they do it with good intentions. They want people to come to our church and hear about Jesus. But what good does that do if we have nothing different to offer them when they get here? I know that there are also extremists on the other side. I am considered by some to be extremist in my views of certain things. But why is someone considered extremist for simply asking for the Word to be preached as it is written? Within ten years, should the Lord tarry and we remain on the same road we are currently on, the local church I attend will not be recognizable as an Apostolic church, no matter what the sign says. If we don't see a revival in our church soon, we will be considered just another charismatic mega-church. We are already inundated with such churches in our area. We don't need any more charismatic mega-churches. What people want and need is a demonstration of Apostolic power and Spirit! Jesus proved to us by how He ministered that this thing was never about numbers. It's time to wake up. The rebellion will be eradicated by anointed messages which convict the hearts of those who come to hear truth. Yes, we will lose some, perhaps many, by preaching such messages. But Jesus Christ is not coming back for a church which has adulterated herself with the filth of the world in order to obtain a large membership. He is returning for a chaste bride who has kept herself "unspotted" from the world (Ephesians 5:27). Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!
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Pitter Patter Travelers - places to go, books to read, literary travelers abound! places to go, books to read, literary travelers abound!
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Progressive Chat We're progressives chatting respectfully about issues. We've got the low-down on the 2016 election. Let's talk politics! We'll keep it 1600'
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نوشته هایی از دلی عاشق نوشته هایی از دلی عاشق برای تا ابد ماندن باید "رفت"... گاهی به قلب کسی ... گاهی از قلب کسی...
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Purpose, Perspective, and Perseverance for thriving in a challenging world  “Chase was able to get at the heart of change in his keynote speech. I don’t believe inspiring and motivating are strong enough words for the impact he truly had on everyone in attendance. All of the attendees were engaged and walked away ready to take on the challenges they face.” -Cindy Schumacher, executive director,…
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Children''s Books Online: the Rosetta Project, Inc. Children''s Books Online: the Rosetta Project is the largest collection of illustrated antique children''s books on-line.
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ClubSounds.de | the ultimate club dance collection Club Sounds 89 - Denn Du bist der DJ! Mehr als 60 Tracks - vollgepackt mit dem Besten aus was die elektronische Musik zu bieten hat! Dabei sind u. a. Megahits von Dynoro, Alan Walker, Alle Farben, Martin Garrix, Calvin Harris, Don Diablo, Tiesto, u. v.m. Jetzt bestellen bei ►iTunes ►Amazon ►AmazonMp3 ►GooglePlay CLUB SOUNDS VOL 88 - DENN DU BIST DER DJ! Tracklist: CD1 1. Dynoro & Ina Wroldsen - Obsessed 2. Calvin Harris, Rag'n'Bone Man - Giant 3. Robin Schulz feat. Erika Sirola - Speechless (Lucas & Steve Remix) 4. Alan Walker, Sabrina Carpenter, Farruko - On My Way 5. Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (Don Diablo Remix) 6. The Chainsmokers & 5 Seconds of Summer - Who Do You Love (R3HAB Remix) 7. Hugel feat. Amber Van Day - WTF 8. Marshmello feat. Bastille - Happier (Breathe Carolina Remix) 9. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Era Istrefi - Selfish (Syn Cole Remix) 10. Martin Garrix feat. Bonn - No Sleep 11. Triplo Max - Shadow 12. Drenchill feat. Jano - Allumé Allumé (DAZZ Remix) 13. LIZOT & Charming Horses - Hungover You 14. Sean Finn & Corona - The Rhythm of the Night 15. ItaloBrothers - Games 16. Freischwimmer feat. HYM & Jona Selle - Dance 17. Vion Konger - Never Really Liked You 18. Charming Horses & Twan Ray - Make Me Go Crazy 19. Semitoo - Heaven 20. Klaas - Don't Wanna Grow Up 21. Mark F. Angelo - Sing (Charming Horses Remix) 22. Jovani feat. Jazzu - Keep It to Myself (Crystal Rock & Marc Kiss Remix) 23. Marc Kiss & Crystal Rock - The Moon (VIP Edit) CD2 1. Kygo & Valerie Broussard - Think About You 2. Alle Farben & James Blunt - Walk Away 3. Gestört aber GeiL feat. Adel Tawil - Vielleicht 4. NOTD, Felix Jaehn, Captain Cuts feat. Georgia Ku - So Close 5. Bakermat feat. Alex Clare - Learn To Lose 6. Stereoact feat. Vincent Gross - Nicht allein sein 7. Schiller & Nena - Morgenstund (Charming Horses Remix) 8. Deepend feat. Hanne Mjøen - One Thing Left to Do 9. Paolo Pellegrino feat. Susan Tyler - 74 - '75 10. Nora En Pure feat. Ashibah - We Found Love 11. Purple Disco Machine - Body Funk 12. Morris Jones - It Couldn't Be Better 13. Amfree - When We Fall 14. The Magician - Ready To Love 15. Kasima - It Started with a Kiss 16. We R Saints feat. Fya Tune & Indiiana - Shelter Me 17. Joe Stone - Bug A Boo 18. le Shuuk - Gold Baby 19. Abel Romez & Jason Anousheh & Andrew Spencer - Let's Talk 20. Stereo Palma & Sabotage - You Need Me 21. Hagen Feetly - Not the One 22. Dom Dolla - Take It CD3 1. Martin Garrix, Matisse & Sadko feat. Alex Aris - Mistaken 2. Hardwell & Mike Williams - I'm Not Sorry 3. Tujamo - Candy on the Dancefloor 4. Niels van Gogh - Pulverturm (Tiësto's Big Room Remix) 5. Don Diablo & CID - Fever 6. Lucas & Steve - Say Something (Club Mix) 7. Armin van Buuren - Lifting You Higher (ASOT 900 Anthem) (Blasterjaxx Remix) 8. Tiësto feat. Lena Leon - Halfway There 9. ATB & Markus Schulz - Heartbeat 10. Kaaze feat. Nino Lucarelli - I Should Have Walked Away 11. Marnik - Up & Down 12. LIZOT - 99 (Sean Finn Remix Edit) 13. Hardwell feat. Conor Maynard & Snoop Dogg - How You Love Me (Suyano Remix) 14. STBN & TeCay - Somewhere (Dan Kers Remix Edit) 15. Ben Nicky & Mark Sixma - The Bass 16. We Do Voodoo - Loops & Tings (Smile on Your Face Dub Edit) 17. Sopran x Lexu - Waving Crazy 18. Sequenza x Empyre One x Enerdizer - Tricky Tricky 2k19 19. Henry Hood - What 20. KYANU - Random People 21. Stupid Goldfish - 99 Problems 22. NØ SIGNE - Let's Get Widde </p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <div style="display:inline;"><br /><br /><br /><br /> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/968933935/?label=6WJ_CI74rWYQr4SDzgM&guid=ON&script=0"/></div><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>​
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Instagram-color Professional UI/UX Designer & Lettering Artist based in Richmond, VA. I create stunning visual experiences for clients all over the US.
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Cleveland Seniors | Seniors & Baby Boomers in Cleveland ClevelandSeniors.Com, The online place for senior citizens and baby boomers in Cleveland, Ohio and beyond. Senior news, information, advice, coupons, recipes and schedule of events. For seniors and baby boomers 50 and over.
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The Path | Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Proverbs 4:26 Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Proverbs 4:26
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Mind Your Dirt | The weirder side of urban organic gardening with a smidgen of backyard chickens and danger Since we humans have pulled our lumbering and flipper-legged mass out of the primordial ooze we have been hard-wired to fear the darkness. The setting sun would have us scurrying under rock, climbing into canopy or slithering into backs of caves. Huddled and shaking we clung to each other waiting for the warmth and relative safety of the morning light. For in the darkness lies danger. Danger known and danger barely perceived. For it was a night such as this that brings me to your internet doorsteps today. In the darkness outside of my (slightly more modern) cave a great terror arose from over the Pacific Ocean. The great storm. Dark and terrible it rained down it's icy droplets and howled through my village (of San Diego) with apparently powerful winds. All of which I slept through without stirring a titch. I didn't even wake up when my beloved coastal coral tree was split in three and came crashing down on my roof, my fence, and the street respectively. All my regular readers will know that this tree was my absolute favorite tree of all. I have written about it so often. The way I propagated it from a measly branch cutting, how it magically grew faster and bigger than any other plant I've ever planted, and how I prune it so thoughtfully and thoroughly. The last link there being one I should have revisited last winter. The winter I decided to not do my annual pruning because I was "too busy" to tend to it. Too busy to remove the great mass of branches and leaves that is likely the very reason why she couldn't withstand the night terror of a storm that did her in. Mostly. Friday morning found me doing the normal routine. Butt scratching, a shower, bask my glorious facial hair in the sun of a hundred gods, and then walk the dog. I left the house and began the walk when I realized there was a giant mass blocking our path. In my morning haze, it took a few ticks before I realized what had occurred. This was what I walked right into... My precious and beloved tree!! Split into thirds and strewn about my house, my fence, and the spilling into the sidewalk/street! My heart sank as deep as those ancient ancestors of ours were slinking into darkened caves. Now what you don't know is that I recently hurt my back. A real nasty pull that put me in the hospital and turned me into a useless blob for the last week and a half. With this twisted back, and a rather impatient dog, I gazed upon the logistical nightmare that unfolded before my weary eyes. What to do!? Just at that moment, like a lawyer magically appearing at the scene of an accident, a local landscaper appeared. Seriously, not more that forty five seconds after noticing this. He made me an offer that my back couldn't refuse. I despise paying someone else for work that I can do. Really a big issue for me. But I was left with little other options. So I said yes. *grumblegrumblegrumble* A pleasant Cuban fella, this landscaper of ours. He said he'd be back by 10am with a chainsaw, a truck to haul the leavings, and another guy to help with the work. $200 was the number for thine plan. 10am was more like noonish...but what could I do? He returned with no truck and a Saws-All in lieu of a chainsaw. $200 for the work was the deal. But sans truck to haul to the dump, I made them earn that money by cutting up all the wood into nice little fire pit sized chunks. As well as bring it all to the exact opposite far corner of my lot. Separated by size and religious preferences of course. What I was left with once they had finished around 3pm was a sad looking version of my glorious tree. I lost about 75% of it's shade-providing mass easily. And sweet jumping Jebus! What a wound!! After all my boasting and warm pride I am left with little more than a smattering of cool shade and tree majesty. My house looks naked and afraid and my heart is filled with worry about the surviving section of tree. And how the hell was I going to heal this massive wound that almost goes all the way to the ground!? This tree is nearly totally undone. It is an ex-tree. The removal of the giant branches (as thick as my fat thighs and as heavy as my heart) had caused the split to close up a little bit once the weight was gone. I thought to myself, "maybe I can fix this! Like the worlds largest graft, she might be saved!" Likely a fools errand, but I began to formulate a plan. With a bad back coupled with my slightly (slightly!) less than herculean strength on a good day, I decided to get some materials. The biggest ratchet set I could invest in financially. For something that likely will not work anyways. Straps to bend it to my less than iron will and stretch wrap to help seal in the moisture. I began my attempt at forcing my girl back together. One-handed idiot That's as far as I could do with one hand. I put the phone down and gave it my all. It took everything I had in me, but I got it damn near closed. I began wrapping the base with a healthy layer of shrink wrap. My plan is to remove the ratchet straps in a week or two and hold it together with only the shrink wrap. I'm worried that such a fast growing tree after a very rainy wet season will make these straps girdle the tree in no time at all! Which would only serve to strangle the shit out of my poor little lady when she is most vulnerable. So it's going to be the shrink wrap or bust I'm afraid. Such a massive wound and exposed cuts is just begging for disease and rot. But I may just have a chance to save her. Maybe. Until then, I shall have some somber fires as I use her limbs to warm the cockles of my weary soul. My sweet sweet giving tree. My precious.
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De Ma Cuisine | The smell of garlic burning brought her out of her daydream. She swore and clicked off the flame. She dumped the scorched garlic into the compost, wiped out the cast iron skillet and set it back on the stove. She minced a few more cloves, setting aside their papery skins to use in veggie stock. The carrots were in the oven already. They'd soon be browned at the edges and sweetened by honey, with a touch of salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of cayenne. The bread had come out just before the carrots had gone in. When she leaned in close she could hear it crackling as it cooled. She inhaled and closed her eyes. Freshly baked bread took her back to childhood. Mom pulling out the fresh loaves of her signature bread, read to be slathered with butter (or margarine, it was the 90's). It took her to early memories, hazy enough that they could have been a dream. Oma's hands showing how to shape the Zwiebach buns, her little hands trying to mimic the motion. Praise from Oma, her gentle voice encouraging her young granddaughter as she learned a generations old recipe. Her eyes flitted over to the framed recipe on the wall. Written by Oma's hand. She would make them again soon aided only by memories this time. She turned the stove back on and added a bit more oil. She loved the way it rippled when it got hot. She added a big pat of butter and then another and watched as they sizzled and began to brown. She threw in the garlic and the smell wafted up to her nose. She breathed deeply. The garlic just needed thirty seconds. This time it wouldn't burn. She added some white wine and turned the heat down to low. It would reduce into a simple sauce, perfect to coat the homemade pasta she'd spent the afternoon rolling and cutting. She didn't mind. That kind of work was good for the soul. She opened the screen door and the dog shot past her. Hopping and barking at the tree where he'd seen a squirrel earlier. Then running over to her husband at the barbecue. She smiled. She bent over her garden box to see what was growing. The beans had popped up, some squash plants were flowering, and the tomatoes were getting tall. She snipped off some garlic chives and plucked a big handful of basil leaves. The smell was intoxicating. No wonder the bees wouldn't leave the basil flowers alone. She walked over to the barbecue. Her husband pulled her over and hugged her tight. He smelled like campfire. "Chicken's almost ready" he said. She smiled and called the dog to come back inside and keep her company. She washed and dried the herbs, chopping them with her sharpest knife. They'd be passed around the table for people to sprinkle on the pasta as they wished. The salted water was boiling. Huge rolling bubbles, sometimes jumping over the edge of the pot and making the flame sizzle. She added the pasta, stirring so it wouldn't stick. It would only need a minute. She tasted the browned butter sauce. It had reduced nicely, but still needed to be seasoned. Just salt and pepper this time. She added a bit of the starchy pasta water to the sauce before draining the pasta, then added the pasta to the skillet. She stirred it gently then tasted it. She sighed. It was good. She took the carrots out of the oven. They needed a pinch more salt. The best way to bring out the flavors of a dish. She pulled the parmesan cheese out of the fridge and scraped it along the grater, transparent curls falling and melting over the hot pasta. The dog ran over, eyes begging for a taste. She laughed and tossed a chunk of the rind that bounced off his nose and fell to the floor. Her smile widened as she shook her head. As she sliced the bread she heard children laughing outside. Not hers. Maybe someday. Her heart ached a little at the thought. For now, this was enough. She walked to the stove and took another taste of pasta. The cool breeze through the open window mingled with the smell of the sauce. They were like refreshment to her soul. She heard voices outside. These she recognized. Their family away from family. The doorbell rang. She took a breath and walked over to open the door.
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Funny Short Quotes | Blog Here you can easily read and share Funny Short Quotes from known authors. In this article, we can provide you with these funny quotes in pictures and text way. A lot of peoples make fun with these funny quotes and these quotes are very popular nowadays. These quotes make a smile in your face and inspire your spirit. I hope you really enjoyed these funny quotes. There are so many celebrities in the world. They are more important and famous peoples in the world. Mostly peoples share these funny quotes by celebrities. They can make their own status with their own talent. These funny short quotes are mostly said by famous celebrities such as Ronald Reagan 1.IF SOMEONE CALLS YOU 'UGLY' HAVE A GOOD COMEBACK AND SAY 'EXCUSE ME, I AM NOT A MIRROR. 2. MY GoAL This WEEKEND IS To MOVE ONLY Enough SO PEOPLE KNOW I am NOT DEAD. 3. I'M Trying To See Things from Your point Of View but i can't stick My Read That Up My Ass 4. Good morning Let the Stress Begin...... 5. STAY ALIVE AND AVOID ZOMBIES 6. I'M AS SINGLE AS A DOLLAR AND IM NOT LOOKING FOR CHANGE. 7. "Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes." 8. Some people are like clouds. When they disappear, its a beautiful day 9.I'M ACTUALLY A VERY NICE PERSON". ...UNTIL you PISS ME OFF. 10. I came, I saw, and I forgot what I was doing. What Are Funny Birthday Quotes A birthday is a very special day for a person. There are so many ideas to wish a birthday such as cards, giving a gift and so on. Many peoples send funny Short Quotes to wishes for their birthday. Nowadays wishes is trending and necessary. It is very difficult for peoples who they can wish someone. So, here I any tell you that who you can wish peoples with the help of these quotes. In birthday cards, you also write these funny quotes about love. No matter, who is your card look like but adding these quotes in your card and make them people laugh. These funny quotes are used to wish your sister, father, the mother even everybody. Send these funny birthday wishes, I hope you should like it. There is no age limit to share these quotes. Make the best birthday by sending these quotes. When you go to the adventure read these funny short quotes for fun. 1. Another adventure-filled year awaits you. Welcome it by celebrating your birthday with pomp and splendor. Wishing you a very happy and fun-filled birthday!" 2."Be safe, have fun, take pictures, and enjoy every minute of this exciting time in your life!" 3."So grateful that God put you on this earth and in my life." 4." Happy birthday! Your life is just about to pick up speed and blast off into the stratosphere. Wear a seat belt and be sure to enjoy the journey. Happy birthday!" 5."Warmest wishes and love on your birthday and always!" 6."This birthday, I wish you abundant happiness and love. May all your dreams turn into reality and may lady luck visit your home today. Happy birthday to one of the sweetest people I've ever known." 7."Thanks for being here, for being you." 8. "Happy birthday! Your life is just about to pick up speed and blast off into the stratosphere. Wear a seat belt and be sure to enjoy the journey. Happy birthday!" 9. "Wishing you a happy birthday and a year that's blessed." Funny Quotes Jokes To Their Friend Here we give the list of short funny quotes and anonymous quotes written by famous Authors. I think you will like this. Follow this article to read more inspirational quotes. These Funny Short Quotes are the most cheesy quotes ever and we can collect these quotes from different books, newspaper and well-known writer. 1. It doesn't matter where you're going, it's who you have beside you. 2. There is nothing better than a friend unless it is a friend with chocolate. 3. It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like 'What about lunch?' 4. Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. 5. Sometimes I think, 'What is a friend?' Then I say, 'Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.' 6. Don't threaten me with love, Baby. Let's just go walking in the rain. 7. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name. 8. I eat cake every day because somewhere out there its someone's birthday and i like to celebrate. 9. I am not lazy. I am just on my energy saving mode. 10. If at first, you don't succeed . . . so much for skydiving. 11. The body, she says, is subject to the forces of gravity. But the soul is ruled by levity, pure." 12. Love is like war: Easy to begin but hard to end. These are the trending popular short funny quotes and saying help you to boost your confidence level and give you extra energy. You can easily download funny quotes with pictures Funny Office Quotes That'll Have You Chuckling/ Mostly Peoples feel boring in the office, you should use these Funny Short Quotes in their office to make happiness. In this article, we can tell you the best office quotes, employes quotes, humor quotes and so on. Similarly, these short funny quotes impress your friends and family. Also, you should use these funny quotes for friends. An office is for not dying. It is a place to live life to the fullest, to the max, to... An office is a place where dreams come true. 1. "DO YOU THINK SMOKING DRUGS IS COOL? DO YOU THINK DOING ALCOHOL IS COOL?" 2. Do I need to be like? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. Enjoy being liked. I have to be liked, but it's not like this compulsive need to be liked, like my need to be praised. 3. "If I had a gun with two bullets and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice." 4. "IT'S NOT LIKE BOOZE EVER KILLED ANYONE." 5. Should have burned this place down when I had a chance." 6. Your pencils are creating a health hazard. I could fall and pierce an organ. 7. I guess the atmosphere that I've tried to create here is that I'm a friend first and a boss second, and probably an entertainer third. 8. I don't hate it. I just don't like it at all and it's terrible. 9. I say dance, they say 'How high?' Funny Best Friend Quotes: If you're searching for the best quotes about friendship, you will love our best friend quotes collection. In this article there are so many Friendship Quotes, you can also share with your friends. We are so happy to show our collection of best friends quotes. We can collect from different platforms. A friend is the most important part of life. There is no blood relationship with friends. But a friend is the best and unique relationship. so, we can give your friends quotes to share your friends. "Criticisms are like homing pigeons. They always return home." Sometimes, being with your best friend is all the therapy you need! We can totally relate to this one… "Every successful person loves the game. The chance to prove his worth, to excel, to win." If you think about it, it's pretty logical. Friends are like stars, They come and go, But the ones that stay are the ones that glow. Promise you won't forget me because if I thought you would, I'd never leave. you're one of those people who make my life better Click the link to read the full article for funny friends jokes, best friends quotes and so on. Funny Life Quotes: Today we reveal the life lesson in Funny Short Quotes. There are so many popular life quotes and pick up lines to make your life happiest. life is the most precious gift given to us by Allah. It is our duties to make this life happiest by doing our duties. See my best Funny Life Quotes here and also get their images. In sometimes when you fell sad and giving up or feel loneliness, you should just read the quotes about life it will give you energy and make you happy. Also, you should share these best life quotes with your friends, family, and relatives. Life is very short similarly try to be happy and make everyone to become happy so share these funny short quotes to everyone. "If you look for perfection, you'll never be content." Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. Ellen DeGeneres on Accepting Who You Are If you want something you never had, you have to do something you've never done. You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality." Funny Love Quotes: Read these Funny Love Quotes to your friends or relatives to make them happy, smirk or smile. In this article, we will give you many love quotes as well as love jokes. Romantic quotes give you strength while loving with somebody such as girlfriends, boyfriends, friends etc. In love, you can't express with your world but sharing these love quotes to express someone. I hope these short funny quotes help you to express your love. These Classy and awesome Funny Short Quotes are written by famous authors the article, here we give the full collection of funny love quotes. "There is a place you can touch a woman that will drive her crazy. Her heart. "As a man in a relationship, you have a choice: You can be right or you can be happy." Women still remember the first kiss after men have forgotten the last. "Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination." 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Love is a language spoken by everyone but understood only by the heart. A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. If you love someone, set them free. I don't care if it's not going anywhere; I really like wasting my time on you Funny Motivational Quotes: In this article, you can find the most popular motivational quotes. These funny motivational quotes give you charm in your life. When you are feeling tired or an early wake-up, these quotes motivate you. When someone cry and emotional share these Funny Short Quotes to make laugh. Check out these Motivational Quotes about life by clicking the link. These motivational quotes inspire you and become a successful man. Share these funny motivational quotes by famous authors which I personally collected from different platforms. I think you love these quotes and never forget to tell about these quotes. All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. You Can Never Cross The Ocean Unless You Have The Courage To Lose Sight Of The Shore. It Feels Good To Be Lost In The Right Direction. It's not who you are that holds you behind, it's who you think you are not. The Strongest People Are Not Those Who Show Strength In Front Of Us But Those Who Win Battles We Know Nothing About. I have the heart of a LION, the strength of 10, and the DESIRE of 1000 men! If You Don't Know Where You Want To Go, Then It Doesn't Matter Which Path You Take. The devil whispers "You cannot withstand the storm" The warrior replies "I AM THE STORM" Work while they sleep. Learn while they party. Save while they spend. Live like they dream Relationship Quotes That You Feel Laugh These 75 Relationship quotes make your relationship strong. Share this funny relationship with your friends. These cute relationship quotes taken from celebrities, movies and saying quotation. If you have a serious relationship then you read this collection. These Funny Short Quotes are express love when you travel with their no limit. In love, you can learn so many things such as emotion, awareness and motivational facts. Love will travel as far as you let it. It has no limits. You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love." Forgive, forget. Bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours. Be patient and understanding. Life is too short to be vengeful or malicious The richest love is that which submits to the arbitration of time. "Sometimes letting go is an act of far greater power than defending or holding on." I want someone who thinks I'm the best thing that. Relationships, marriages are ruined where one person continues to learn, develop and grow and the other person stands still. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy of a friend I want to be the person you're afraid to lose. Valentines Day Quotes: These quotes you like too much more. This day is more than 200 years celebrated on 14 Feb. That day you can tell someone that you love them. There are so many ways to tell them but share true love quotes is one of the best ways. I like Valentine"s day because on this day you can share your feeling with someone. This day is celebrated annually and some peoples giving a gift to which they love to someone. Share these best valentine quotes to express and affection and also see these funny short quotes. This day is popular in America, Britain, Australia and also celebrated in so on countries such as Mexico, Arab and so on. Send these valentines day quotes in the printed cards to impress someone. God has created you only for me Because he knows no one can love more than me slipped on a banana peel and I fell in love with the person who helped me up. "Lovers don't finally meet somewhere Love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it. I don't just love you, I love that I get to have you as my Valentine Loving is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction. You always gain by giving love. God has created you only for me Because he knows no one can love more than me This Valentine's Day is extra special because I get to celebrate it with the most caring, and handsome man that ever walked on Earth love doesn't have a price tag on it, but all its accessories have. Funny Inspirational Quotes: There always jobs to be done but there sometimes isn't enough motivation to go around to get them done. These Funny Short Quotes take smile in your face when who feel bored. I promise you that here you can find one of the best Inspirational quotes which I personally collected from different platforms. I hope you will like these quotes. Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity." Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." "I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens." "A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs-jolted by every pebble in the road."
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TxtMania | The Philippines, a group of over 7,000 islands with combined land area encompassing 300,000 square kilometres, grew into a nation under more than three centuries of Spanish conquest and 42 years of American rule. It is the first country outside the New World that closely witnessed the United States' rise to power following the 1898 Spanish-American War. Situated 800 kilometres southeast of mainland Asia, the archipelago, named after King Philip II of Spain, was discovered in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, the same explorer who had discovered the Pacific Ocean in search of the so-called "Spice Islands" and is now widely considered the first navigator to have cruised around the planet. Ironically, the Filipinos, after having been subdued for centuries by foreign colonizers as a result of Magellan's voyage, would emerge as the best seafarers in the world, manning a third of all international vessels today. Some 7.8 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and Filipino migrants would help rebuild cities in many countries and bring back over US$10 billion in annual remittances to their families in the Philippines. The country's geographical location and long exposure to foreign influences has placed the Philippines on a unique cultural base in Asia. It is now the only predominantly Catholic country in the region, with 70 million out of its total population of 85 million (as of 2005) confessing to be Catholic. There are also large numbers of Protestants and Born-Again Christians in the country while the Muslim population is concentrated in southern Mindanao. Early Trade The first inhabitants of the Philippines were the Negritos who traveled from mainland Asia over a land bridge that is now underwater. Migrants from other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia later followed and established a Malayan culture that flourished before the Spaniards came. Chinese and Arab merchants helped establish markets at the community level. A sultanate system, first established in the southern island of Sulu in the 14th century, is believed to have reached the islands of Luzon and Visayas, giving way to the rise of the Islamic faith. The Spaniards would later drive the Muslims to the south and establish Catholicism as the main religion in the north and central parts of the country. Local villages, known as barangay, traded agricultural and fishery products with each other. The Igorot tribe in Northern Luzon carved the marvellous Banaue Rice Terraces from the mountains, a proof of their advanced agriculture technology. Communities near the shore exchanged goods with Chinese and Arab merchants, who came aboard large ships. These communities traded slaves, gold, beeswax, betel nuts, pearls, and shells for porcelain, silk, iron, tin and semi-precious stones. The Philippine islands were a part of an extensive trade route used by Chinese merchants as early as the 10th century. By the time Magellan arrived in the islands, regular trade and cultural contact between Chinese traders and local chieftains were firmly instituted. Many Chinese merchants settled in the country and shared their crafts with the natives. Some historians claim that an Italian Franciscan priest, named Father Odorico, was actually the first European to have reached the Philippines in 1324 when his ship bound for China took refuge from a storm in Bolinao Island in northern part of Luzon. Aside from the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Cordillera Mountains, early settlers did not leave any giant monument, and this is what makes conservative historians doubt the existence of the rich kingdoms in the country hundreds of years ago. However, it cannot be denied that early Filipinos were learned individuals who expressed their beliefs and sentiments in rich languages. According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), there are actually 78 language groupings and over 500 dialects in the Philippines. Feudal Society Magellan, who claimed the archipelago for Spain in 1521, died in a battle with a group of local warriors led by Lapu Lapu at Mactan Island. It was Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, in the fourth Spanish expedition, who named the territory as Filipinas after the heir to the Spanish throne in 1543. In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi led an expedition to colonize the islands and by 1571, most parts of the archipelago came under Spanish rule. The Spaniards established the colonial government first in Cebu in 1565 and then in Manila in 1571. Historians claim that University of San Carlos in Cebu and University of Sto. Tomas in Manila are the oldest universities teaching European type of education in Asia. Jesuit and Dominican priests established the two institutions. Under Spanish rule, Catholicism became the dominant religion. Catholic friars not only lorded over the congregations; they enjoyed vast political and economic influence, which they eventually used to repress Filipino peasants' uprisings in the largely feudal Philippine society at that time. The Spaniards also quelled a number of rebellions instigated by the Chinese migrants. The friars distributed lands to Spanish families, who later comprised the landowning class. To perpetuate their economic interests, this class would also rise to become the political elite that would remain in power to this day. This gave way to the hacienda system in the Philippines, where cacique or landowners managed large tracts of lands tilled by peasant workers. Under the system, farmers were supposed to receive half of the harvest, but they usually ended up with much less because they had to pay for large interests on debt incurred from the cacique. This would be later corrected with a system of land reform, which, however, remains to be fully implemented to this day. Galleon Trade The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade became the major trading system between Asia and the Americas for nearly two centuries. Manila became a transhipment point of American silver to China. It was through this trade that the first Chinese silk and porcelain reached the shores of the New World. There were unverified claims that Filipinos helped build the city of Los Angeles in America. The Chinese and Filipinos would later become the two largest Asian migrant groups in the United States. Coconut became the country's top agricultural product, because of Spain's huge need for charcoaled coconut shells used for the caulking of the galleons. In 1642, the colonial government issued an edict requiring each Filipino to plant 200 coconut trees all over the country. By 1910, coconut exports would account for a fifth of total Philippine exports and to this day, coconut oil remains the country's top agricultural shipment. The Galleon Trade lasted for about 200 years until 1815. It is during this period that rice and tropical fruits from the Philippines such as mango and banana made their way to Latin America. Beginning 1750, Spanish priests encouraged the development of plantations to grow abaca (hemp), tobacco, coffee and sugar. Sugar barons from the Visayas would later emerge as among the richest clans in the country. From 1762 to 1764, the British briefly captured Manila during the Seven Years War. The treaty of Paris ended the British occupation and returned the colony to the hands of their original colonial masters. Plantation Crops In 1781, the Spanish governor established the tobacco monopoly in the Philippines, which would become a major source of revenue for the colonial government. From 1820 to 1870, the Philippines would be transformed to an agricultural export economy. Located on the oceanic trading routes connecting Asia to other parts of the world, the Philippines became a transhipment point of merchandise goods from all over Southeast Asia on their way to Europe. The Philippines exported plantation crops such as sugar, abaca, other fibres, tobacco, coffee, and coconut products to China, Spain, United States, United Kingdom and British East Indies. In return, it imported textiles and rice. Historians claim that Spain administered the Philippine affairs through Mexico. Spanish administrators in the country were actually reporting to the Viceroyalty of Mexico. After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, Madrid directly governed its only Asian colony and even allowed rich Filipinos to study in Europe. The Spanish rule gave way to the rise of a small but highly powerful elite class, which to this day, controls most of the Philippine economy. The elite families, which own large plantations, were able to send their children to Europe for education. Foreign Investors Investors from Spain, Germany, Britain and other European countries laid the groundwork for utility companies in steam navigation, cable, telegraphy, railroads and electricity in the country. They also invested heavily in rice and sugar milling, textile and banking. The local elite developed the brewing industry, which would become one of the most profitable sectors in the economy. Although the educated Filipinos who studied in Europe shunned the use of force to topple the colonial government, their writings provoked nationalist sentiments among young men, who eventually formed a revolutionary movement against Spain. In 1896, the war between Spanish and Filipino soldiers escalated following the death of novelist Jose Rizal and rebel leader Andres Bonifacio. Emilio Aguinaldo, the new leader of the revolutionary forces, forged a pact with US Commodore George Dewey in Hong Kong to defeat the Spanish army. American Colony The Americans entered the scene because of its conflict with Spain over Cuba. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American war in the Pacific, the Philippines had to be taken by the US, lest other European countries such as Britain, France and Germany would fight for their next Southeast Asian colony. On June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo, first backed by American forces, declared the independence of Kawit, Cavite, the seat of the revolutionary Filipino government at that time, from Spanish rule. The Americans took possession of Manila on August 13, 1898. While armed clashes with Spanish forces continued in other parts of the country, the Americans and the Spaniards were negotiating for the purchase of the Philippines for US$20 million. In the Treaty of Paris in 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the US. Filipinos felt insulted at the fact that their country has been passed from one colonial master to another for only US$20 million. When the US, which had not conquered any country before, made known its intention to succeed Spain as the next colonizer of the Philippines, Aguinaldo and his men waged a revolutionary resistance that ended with his capture in March 1901. The American soldiers easily subdued the remaining factions of rebellion with the help of their powerful weapons and their divide-and-conquer tactic. As an archipelago of 7,000 islands, the Philippines is home to different ethnic groups which do not speak the same language. The national government's attempt to declare Tagalog (spoken in Central and Southern Luzon including Metro Manila) as the national language would not easily win the support of other regions. The Philippine-American war took the lives of 4,234 American and 16,000 Filipino soldiers. The death toll was much higher on the civilian population, with as high as 200,000 casualties. Although local resistance persisted until 1903, the US ended its military rule on July 4, 1901. American Way Under American civilian rule, the Philippines was introduced to US-type of education, Protestant religion, and later to the concept of democracy. Placed under US control were most parts of the country, except in the southern portion of Mindanao where Muslim rebels held strong resistance. William Howard Taft, the 27th US president, was the first American Civil Governor in the Philippines. Taft was praised for establishing a civil service system, creating a national legislature, suppressing prices, upgrading health standards, and sponsoring land reform and road building in the country. In 1907, the First Philippine Assembly composed of educated and rich Filipinos with vast landholdings. Manuel L. Quezon, who represented the Philippines in the US Congress, lobbied for the passage of the Jones Law, which in 1916 abolished the Philippine Assembly to give way for a bicameral legislature made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. With the passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Act in 1934, Filipinos had their first taste of self-rule through the Philippine Commonwealth, a transitional government designed to prepare the Filipinos over a ten-year period for independence. By 1935, the Commonwealth was in place with Quezon as its first president. The Philippines also approved a new constitution in the same year. The United States is credited for helping establish the Republic of the Philippines, the first democratic government in Asia. Economically, the Philippines was ahead of its Asian neighbours, who were still subjects of European colonial powers before the war. Japanese Invasion In December 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the Philippines and drove the Commonwealth Government from Manila. While Quezon continued to head the government-in-exile until his death in New York in August 1944, the Japanese forces handpicked Jose P. Laurel, a graduate of Yale University and Tokyo International University, to head a new government under their control. The Philippines was dragged into the war because of Japan's military ambition to become the dominant force in Asia and the Pacific. Japan wanted to be the leader of an economic zone in East Asia, which would be the source of its raw materials. The US presence in the Philippines, known for its strategic location in Southeast Asia, was the largest threat to the Japanese forces, following the destruction of the American Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. While the American forces were regrouping in the United States, Filipino soldiers formed a guerrilla organization called Hukbalahap (People's Anti-Japanese Army). Some 30,000 guerrillas at that time engaged the Japanese army in intermittent clashes. The Hukbalahap would later adopt the communist ideology and rule in the countryside. Meanwhile, Sergio Osmeña replaced Quezon as the head of the government-in-exile and joined General Douglas MacArthur in the liberation of Manila. General MacArthur returned to the Philippines via the island province of Leyte, along with 174,000 army and navy servicemen on October 20, 1944. The liberation of Manila took almost 20 days from February 3 to 23, 1945 and the fierce battle destroyed much of the city, with its ruins now often compared to the ruins of Warsaw, Poland in Europe. The Japanese army, however, continued to fight in the provinces, until September 2, 1945 when General Yamashita, the Tiger of Malaya who was believed to have hidden vast amount of treasures during the war, surrendered in Baguio City. It is estimated that the battle of Manila cost the lives of 1 million Filipinos, 300,000 Japanese and 60,000 Americans. The intensity of the US-Japan war would force the former to drop an atomic bomb in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and in Nagasaki three days later. US Bases By February 1945, Osmeña restored the Commonwealth in the Philippines but it was only on July 4, 1946 that the US granted the Philippines its independence, coinciding with the celebration of the Independence Day in America. However, US military bases would remain in the country for the next 45 years. On March 14, 1947, Manila and Washington signed the Treaty of General Relation, which provided the US to construct military bases for a lease period of 99 years. In 1959, the agreement was amended to shorten the lease period until 1991, after which both sides were to renegotiate the contract. When the US sought a ten-year extension of the lease period in 1991, the Philippine Senate, led by Senate President Jovito Salonga, rejected the proposal in a historic casting of vote on September 16, ending US military bases in the country. With newfound freedom in 1946, Filipinos elected Manuel A. Roxas, leader of the Liberal Party and one of the seven members of the Constitutional Convention who drafted the 1935 Constitution, as the first president of the independent republic in April 1946. His presidency was focused on rebuilding the cities and municipalities torn by the war, redistributing lands as wealthy landowners returned to reclaim their estates, and confronting the Hukbalahap, which by this time was tagged as a socialist-communist organization. The economy grew at a rapid pace, immediately after the war. Special Treatment Close economic ties between Manila and Washington continued after the war on the back of agreements providing for preferential tariffs for American exports and special treatment for US investors in the Philippines. In the 1946 Philippine Trade Act, the Americans were granted duty-free access to the Philippine market and special rights to exploit the country's natural resources. Because of the Trade Act, the Philippines suffered a huge trade deficit with the influx of American imports. In 1949, the Philippine government was forced to impose import controls, after getting the consent of Washington. Roxas' two-year presidency ended with his death, following a heart attack while delivering a speech at Clark Air Force Base in Pampanga province in April 1948. Vice president Elpidio Quirino succeeded Roxas as president and defeated Jose P. Laurel to keep his post in the 1949 presidential race. It was during Quirino's term that the Minimum Wage Law was enacted and the Central Bank was established to stabilize the peso and consumer prices. The country's gross national product grew by an average of 7.7 percent annually in the early 1960s, on the back of the double-digit increase in the manufacturing sector. In the 1953 presidential election, Ramon Magsaysay, who had served as defense secretary under the Quirino administration, won by a landslide. The charismatic Magsaysay initiated peace talks with the Hukbalahap, which would later evolve into a communist organization. He became popular for opening the gates of Malacanang Palace to ordinary people. He died in a plane crash on Mount Manunggal in Cebu in March 1957, which to this day remains a mystery to many Filipinos. While the standard of living in the Philippines was below that of the Western World, the country was often cited as the second richest economy in Asia, after Japan in the 1960s. However, ill-advised economic policies, poor governance and rapid population growth in the country would allow other Asian economies such as Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and China not only to catch up with but to leave the Philippines behind in the race towards industrialization. Filipino First Vice President Carlos P. Garcia assumed the country's top government post following the death of Magsaysay. Garcia was known for his First Filipino Policy and Austerity Program, which put the interests of Filipinos ahead those of foreigners. Under his austerity measures, he encouraged temperate spending, which resulted in less imports and more exports. His nationalist policies, however, perpetuated the business interests of the ruling elite in the country and did not encourage local businesses to be competitive. Garcia lost to his vice-president in the 1961 presidential poll. Protectionist policies allowed local manufacturers to control the economy from 1949 to 1962, discouraging them from becoming competitive. Diosdado Macapagal, father of incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was the president from 1961 to 1965. Before he became president, he authored the land reform program as a legislator and was vice-president to Garcia. As president, Macapagal began a five-year socio-economic program by removing imports control and liberalizing foreign exchange. It was Macapagal who declared June 12 as the national Independence Day. In 1962, the Macapagal administration began devaluing the peso by half to around 3.90 to the US dollar. Macapagal initiated a shift in investments from the light industries to chemicals, steel and industrial equipment. He was also one of the proponents of the MAPHILINDO, a trade bloc of three South East Asian countries – the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia. This bloc later expanded to what is now the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). By 1965, foreign capital was present in nearly a third of the country's capital stock. Martial Law Ferdinand Marcos, the Senate president, defeated Macapagal in the presidential election to become the country's tenth president in November 1965. A close ally of the United States, Marcos launched military campaigns against the insurgents including the communist Hukbalahap and Moro rebels in Mindanao. In August 1967, Manila hosted a summit that led to the creation of the ASEAN. With his reelection in 1969, Marcos had to contend with worsening civil strife. An ideologist named Jose Ma. Sison founded the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1968. It was during the same year that University of the Philippines Nur Misuari founded the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the armed wing of Islamic resistance movement. In June 1971, the government convened the Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution. Ironically, Marcos declared Martial Law on September 21, 1972, following a series of bombings in Metro Manila, He abolished Congress, curtailed freedom of the press, imposed curfews, ordered the arrest of his political enemies, prohibited labour unions, and controlled the economy with the help of his cronies. Although his wife Imelda was credited for building some of the country's finest monuments, she was criticized for personal extravagance, a form of which was maintaining a collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes. Green Revolution The so-called green revolution in the early 1970s, which introduced new farming technologies, enabled the Philippines to export rice to its neighbours. The International Rice Research Institute was established in Los Banos town, Laguna province where Thai, Vietnamese and other Asian researchers trained to develop their own rice production. Thailand would later become the world's largest rice exporter and the Philippines one of the largest rice importers. With the introduction of new farming technologies, the Philippines became heavily dependent on importer fertilizers, which are mostly fuel-based. The increase in world crude oil prices also pushed prices of fertilizers, to the detriment of Filipino farmers trying to adopt the modern technologies. Chinese Tycoons On June 9, 1975, the Marcos administration signed a joint communiqué with Communist China to restore official diplomatic relations. The Communiqué recognized that "there is but one China, of which Taiwan is an integral part. In return, China vowed not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Philippines and refrained from providing any substantial support to the Communist Party of the Philippines, the largest insurgent group in the country. The largest success story in the Philippines actually involved Chinese merchants who left China in pursuit of business opportunities abroad. Unlike rich American investors, Chinese migrants came to the Philippines with little money but large determination that the country's democratic society would help them become rich. True enough, they found goldmine in the Philippines. Today, the richest individuals in the Philippines have Chinese names, including billionaires such as Lucio Tan, Henry Sy, John Gokongwei, and George Ty. Together, they are the largest group of investors in the Philippines and control most of the largest companies in the country. Overseas Workers Under Martial Law, one man other than Marcos would singularly define labour relations in the Philippines and the role of the Filipino workers in the world. Labour Minister Blas Ople, a former journalist, authored the Labor Code on November 1, 1974 and launched the overseas employment program in 1976, which would send young and talented Filipinos who could not find work at home to other countries for dollar-earning jobs. Ople obtained the permission of Marcos to deploy thousands of Filipino workers overseas to meet the growing need of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates for skilled workers and the rising demand for Filipino seamen in flag-of-convenience vessels. Hesitant at first, Marcos later conceded to the proposal, if only to tame the growing militancy building among the hearts of the young and intelligent Filipinos who could not find job opportunities in their own land. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) were established to intensify recruitment of Filipino workers. This would make the Philippines the third largest destination of dollar remittances in the world, next to the more populous countries of India and Mexico. The Marcos administration also tried to court foreign investors, by committing guarantees against nationalization and imposing restrictions on trade-union activity. However, the blatant record of human rights abuses by the military under his administration was a big turnoff among foreigners. Under Martial law, the military and the police killed, abused, or arrested at least 10,000 Filipinos, including some of the brightest students and intellectuals. Many had disappeared without a trace. While Marcos lifted martial law on January 17, 1981 in time for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Manila in February, he maintained most of his powers as a dictator. Benigno Aquino, an opposition senator living in asylum in the US, decided to return to Manila in 1983. His death, from assassins' bullets at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport, sparked adverse sentiments against the Marcos administration. Bankruptcy As the economy stagnated under the Marcos administration because of a mix of bad economic policies, corruption and uncontrolled population growth, the government had to resort to foreign borrowing to finance the fiscal deficit. In October 1983, the Central Bank notified its creditors about its plan to default payment on debt amounting to US$24.6 billion. With the growing loss of confidence by the business community, the peso depreciated by as much as 21 percent in 1983. The gross domestic product shrank by 6.8 percent in 1984 and by 3.8 percent in 1985. Emboldened by Marcos' dipping popularity, the opposition gathered around Aquino's widow, Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, who would later challenge Marcos in the 1986 snap presidential election. When Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly) declared Marcos the winner amid allegations of widespread electoral fraud, protesters, buoyed by Manila archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, trooped to the streets. Following the defection of Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces vice chief Fidel Ramos from Marcos, protesters began converging along EDSA near Ortigas Avenue, which would culminate in the ouster of Marcos from Malacanang Palace on February 25, 1986. The media called the bloodless uprising as the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution - something that political groups would later thought could be replicated time and again. Democratic Rule After Marcos, his family and his cronies fled from the Philippines, Aquino became president, organized a new government, freed the political prisoners and tried to restore democratic rule in the country. In February 1987, her government approved a new Constitution, which would later be subjected to heated debates over its restrictive provisions on foreign participation in the economy. The 1987 Constitution restored the presidential system of government with a bicameral legislature composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives and an independent judiciary headed by the Supreme Court chief justice. To avoid a replication of Marcos' excesses, the Constitution limited the president's stay in office to one six-year term. It also created the autonomous regions of Muslim Mindanao and Cordillera and put agrarian reform as the cornerstone of the government's plan for social transformation. A renegade faction in the Philippine military launched a series of coup attempts against the Aquino presidency. Perception of political instability dampened economic activities and refrained the economy from matching the large strides taken by its Asian neighbors in the 1980s and 1990s. By this time, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have overtaken the Philippines in the race towards industrialization. The Arroyo administration, while taking pride of having restored democracy, failed to bring the economy on track towards industrialization, and one of the factors singled out was the president's political inexperience and lack of consistency in pushing for economic reforms. In the 1992 presidential election, Aquino endorsed the candidacy of her chosen successor – Defense Secretary Fidel Ramos. In June 1991, Mount Pinatubo's powerful eruption sent tons of ashes around the planet's atmosphere. Subsequent lava/lahar flow buried several towns in Central Luzon and jolted the economy. The natural tragedy also forced American soldiers at Clark Field and Subic Bay to withdraw from their bases earlier than stipulated. The US turned over to the Philippine government the two bases with total assets amounting to US$1.3 billion. The Philippine government later transformed the two bases into special economic zones. Liberalisation In 1992, Fidel Ramos was elected President. He began his term amid an energy crisis, which plunged the country literally into darkness. This he was able to resolve by inviting foreign investors to take part in the so-called build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme, where they would serve as independent power producers (IPPs) enjoying a lot of incentives and guaranteed market. While it brought light to Filipino households, the scheme would later translate to high electricity rates. In 1995, the Ramos administration also had to contend with a rice shortage, as a result of low agricultural production and poorly managed importation program. Since then, the government has authorised the National Food Authority (NFA) to import rice at will in order to prepare for any shortage in domestic stock. The Ramos presidency was also responsible for economic reforms such as privatisation of government assets, trade and banking liberalisation and deregulation, which would push annual trade growth at double-digit levels and draw in large-ticket foreign investments. By 1996, the Philippines was described as a newly industrialising economy along with the likes of Thailand and Malaysia. It was also under the Ramos presidency that communism was legalised, and some leftist organisations would later join Congress as partylist groups. The government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed by Nur Misuari would sign a peace agreement that would establish a peace zone in southern Philippines. However, other militant rebel groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Abu Sayyaf would continue waging a war against the government for a Islamic state in the south. What Ramos failed to accomplish is the amendment to the 1987 Constitution to remove the restriction on foreign ownership of land and public utilities, which limits maximum ownership to 40 percent. The opposition party accused him of trying to tinker with the charter to remove the six-year term limit of the president and in the process perpetuate his stay in power. In the end, he had to give up such attempt under the weight of public opinion. Financial Crisis With the outbreak of the Asian financial crisis, the Philippine economy contracted by 0.6 percent in 1998, the same year Joseph Estrada, a popular politician with links to the movie industry, became president. The economy actually grew although at a slower pace at 3.4 percent in 1999 and at 4 percent in 2000 even as the inflation and interest rates began to decline. In comparison, growth reached 5.2 percent under the Ramos presidency in 1997. While Estrada got the backing of Filipino-Chinese businessmen by reducing the problem of kidnapping, he did not get the same support from other "elite" businessmen. Despite appointing top economists, Estrada, a former college dropout, could not convince the "high society" that he could resolve the country's economic woes. Ironically, what brought down the Estrada administration was not his economic policies, seen by many as not substantially different from those of Ramos, but the perception of wide corruption in his administration. In October 2000, a former ally implicated Estrada in illegal gambling payoffs and kickbacks. Reports that he has many wives housed in different mansions also got Estrada indifferent treatment from the Church, which was a force behind the 1986 People's Power Revolution. EDSA 2 In December 2000, the House of Representatives impeached Estrada. The subsequent impeachment trial at the Senate was aborted when senators from the opposition party walked out of the courtroom, triggering street demonstrations reminiscent of the 1986 revolt. Within hours after the walkout, the crowd at EDSA grew into millions of anti-Estrada protesters. When political and military leaders withdrew their support from Estrada, Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide swore Vice President Gloria Mapacagal Arroyo as the next president on January 20, 2001. Arroyo, a daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal, came to Malacanang with a promise to clean the government of corrupt officials and bring down the number of poor Filipinos, which represents a third of the total population. In her first year in office, she faced numerous challenges starting with the May 1 rebellion, instigated by the Estrada camp to regain the presidency. The rebellion proved futile, as the highly politicised military and the police remained loyal to Arroyo. She also had to contend with Muslim extremists, who began to target cities in their attacks. Following the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, the Philippines was one of the first countries to express support for a US-led international campaign against terrorism. On the economic front, Congress passed the liberalisation of the retail trade sector and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, which aims to privatise the state-owned National Power Corporation. The Arroyo administration also promoted business process outsourcing (BPO), information technology, tourism, and mining as key investment areas for foreign companies. Trade with other Asian countries was also given importance in view of the declining trade volume with the United States. Telecommunications One particular industry, which has led economic growth since 2000 is telecommunications, although this proved to be a bane for other industries as Filipinos cut their expenditures on other items to buy mobile phones and pay for monthly network services. By 2005, it is estimated that half of the 85 million Filipinos would have mobile phones, a high penetration rate for a developing market. Because of the global economic slump following the September 11 attacks, the GDP grew by merely 1.8 percent in 2001. Growth reached 4.3 percent in 2002 and 4.7 percent in 2003 even as the Arroyo administration confronted communist and Islamic insurgency problems and a shocking military coup in July 2003. After surviving the coup, Arroyo won the May 2004 presidential election over Estrada's close friend and popular actor Fernando Poe Jr. Economic growth reached 6.1 percent in 2004, the highest in 15 years, although this was negated by high inflation and uncontrolled unemployment rates which were more felt by the poor. Fiscal Deficit Pressed by economists to narrow the burgeoning fiscal deficit, President Arroyo urged Congress to pass a package of tax reform measures aimed at achieving a balanced budget by the end of her term in 2010. Because of a long history of budget deficits, the public debt hit more than 130 percent of the GDP in 2003 and has been rising since then. Different sectors, however, criticised the administration for passing a heavier burden of taxation on the people at a time crude oil prices were hovering at historic high levels and pushing prices of goods and services beyond the capacity of ordinary consumers. By the second half of 2005, there were signs that the fiscal deficit was narrowing, even with the delay in the implementation of the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) law, which raised by 2 percentage points the tax rate on consumer products and services to 12 percent and by 3 percentage points the corporate income tax to 35 percent. The new EVAT law, which was expanded to cover fuel and electricity, took effect on November 1, 2005. New Constitution As the popularity of President Arroyo dipped to the lowest level amid allegations that she bought her way to the presidency in the 2004 presidential elections, she was given an option to correct the loopholes in the political system by amending the 1987 Constitution. She formed a Consultative Commission to recommend charter amendments focusing on lifting all restrictions to foreign investments and paving the way for a shift in the form of government from a presidential, central system into a parliamentary, federal system. Posted by Text Mates at 4:16 PM 0 comments Labels: Economy, History, National, Social Filipino Inventions Solar powered Balut maker The College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology at the University of the Philippines-Los Banos has invented a solar "balut" maker. Engineer Fernando Paras Jr. said the machine, which covers an area of five square meters, is actually an incubator that can process duck eggs into embryonated eggs or balut for 15 to 17 days. Traditionally, balut makers in Pateros have been using electricity for incubation. The new invention is a two-way solar-powered system, with the solar water heater serving as the primary heat source while the photovoltaic cells serve as the auxiliary heat source regulating the temperature inside the incubator. The machine can process up to 4,000 eggs at the same time. This can double the income of farmers. SMS reader for the Blind A group of four engineering students from the De La Salle University invented the SMS reader, a device that allows the blind to read and send text messages. The prototype is composed of a black box with a Braille display that mimics the interface of a mobile phone. A data cable is connected to a slot in the black box. Superkalan Narciso Mosuela of La Union province invented the "superkalan", a novelty stove that can be fired with anything that burns—wood, paper, dried dung and leaves, corn cobs, and coco shells. The body of this stove is made of aluminum alloy, with a cast iron heat intensifier. For his invention, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) bestowed on Mosuela the "best design award" for Third World country category in 1987. Aside from the superkalan, Mr. Mosuela invented a functional rice thresher and other kitchen gadgets. Anti-cancer cream In November 2005, Filipino inventor Rolando dela Cruz won the gold medal for his "DeBCC" anti-cancer cream at the prestigious International Inventor's Forum in Nuremberg, Germany. The "DeBCC" cream, developed from cashew nuts and other local herbs, was chosen over 1,500 entries as the "most significant invention" of the year. According to Mr. dela Cruz, the cream was a simple answer to basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common type of skin cancer worldwide. BCC affects around 800,000 Americans every year, according to the Skin Care Foundation. BCC also affects 500,000 Europeans and 190,000 Australians every year. Mole Remover In 2000, Rolando dela Cruz developed an ingenuous formula that could easily remove deeply grown moles or warts from the skin without leaving marks or hurting the patient. His formula was extracted from cashew nut (Annacardium occidentale), which is common in the Philippines. The formula won for dela Cruz a gold medal in International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design and Technology Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in September 2000. In March 1997, dela Cruz established RCC Amazing Touch International Inc., which runs clinics engaged "in a non-surgical removal of warts, moles and other skin growths, giving the skin renewed energy and vitality without painful and costly surgery." Modular Housing System Edgardo Vazquez won a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gold medal in 1995 for developing a modular housing system. Such a system called Vazbuilt is reportedly capable of building within weeks a house with prefabricated materials that can withstand typhoons and earthquakes. Ironically, Vasquez is not getting enough support from the Philippine government to propagate his technology, which could help provide shelter to some five million Filipino families without their own homes. Vazquez is the national president of the Filipino Inventors Society. Super Bunker Formula-L In 1996, Rudy Lantano Sr., a scientist from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST), won the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gold medal for developing Super Bunker Formula-L, a revolutionary fuel half-composed of water. The mix burns faster and emits pollutants, 95 percent less than those released to the air by traditional fuel products. The inventor said his invention is a result of blending new ingredients and additives with ordinary oil products through agitation and mixing, which is a very safe process. The initial plan was to commercially produce two million liters of Alco-Diesel, two million liters of Lan-Gas and an unlimited quantity of Super Bunker Formula-L each day for customers in Luzon. Natural Gas Vehicle The Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a vehicle that runs on natural gas, whose rich deposits remain untapped under the Philippine seabed. The project's main objective is to look into the potential of natural gas as an alternative fuel to conventional petrol and diesel for the transport sector. The natural gas vehicle (NVG) has been road-tested in Isabela where an existing natural gas supply from the PNOC Gas Plant is located. Test runs have also been made in Cagayan, Ifugao and Mountain Province. The test vehicle used was the Isuzu Hi-Lander 4JA-1, direct injected diesel engine. The use of natural gas as a fuel is cheaper. On a gallon-equivalent basis, natural gas costs an average of 15 to 40 percent less than gasoline and diesel. There are over one million NVGs in the world today, according to the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles. Lamp Fixing Invention A Filipino inventor has developed a technology, which could revive a busted lamp (pundido) and give it more years of functional life than those of new ones. Acclaimed by the Filipino Inventors Society as timely and revolutionary, the Nutec system can prolong the life of fluorescent lamps up to seven years. Nutec was developed by New World Technology, headed by president Eric Ngo and chosen as the "Product of the Year" at the Worldbex 2000 Building and Construction Exposition held at the Manila Hotel. Engineer Benjamin S. Santos, national president of the Inventors Society, called Nutec a timely invention. "Tubig Talino" The Department of Science and Technology claimed that it has developed "Tubig Talino", an iodine-rich drinking water that treats micronutrient deficiencies responsible for goiter, mental and physical retardation, and birth defects. "Tubig Talino" is actually a mixture of 20 liters of water and 15 ml of "Water Plus + I2". Consumption of five glasses a day of this iodine fortification in drinking water is expected to provide 120 micrograms of iodine, which meets 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of a male adult. Feminine Hygiene Product Inventor Dr. Virgilio Malang won a gold medal for his invention "Psidium Guajava Effervescing Gynecological Insert", a silver medal for his "Patient Side-Turning Hospital Bed", and three bonze medals for his inventions "external vaginal cleanser", "light refracting earpick", and "broom's way of hanging" at the Seoul International Fair in held South Korea in December 2002. There were 385 inventions from 30 countries that joined the competitions. Patis Contrary to popular belief, there was no fish sauce or Patis yet during the Spanish occupation. Patis began to become a part of most Filipinos' diet only after the Japanese occupation. Here is an account of how an enterprising lady discovered the fermentation of Patis. Immediately after the war, the family of Ruperta David or Aling Tentay started a dried fish business. One day, Aling Tentay stored in jars some salted fish that turned into fragments even before they dried. While in jars, the fish fragments turned into a liquid substance that tasted like our Patis today. Thus the beginning of the thriving Patis business of Aling Tentay, which was officially registered in 1949 and is known today as Tentay Food and Sauces Inc. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer) A Showcase of Ingenuity Nothing perhaps has been associated with Filipino technology as much as the country's pride - jeepney. The word "jeep" evolved from the military designation, general-purpose or G.P., of a light vehicle first used by the Americans in World War II. Developed by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, this vehicle was powered by a four-cylinder engine and was classified as a quarter-ton truck in carrying capacity. It had served as a command vehicle, reconnaissance car, and ammunition carrier. The American soldiers brought these vehicles to the Philippines in the 1940s. After the war, these vehicles were left by the Americans and converted by the Filipinos into public utility vehicles. Employing artistic and indigenous designs, the Filipinos came up with a longer, well-decorated, techni-colored and sleeker vehicle, which they later called jeepney. From the standard military jeep, the body was extended to accommodate between 20 to 30 passengers. Modern jeepneys now sport very colorful and intricate paintings, fancy adornments, and metallic decors reflective of Filipino sentiments, values, and culture. The town of Las Pinas has been recognized as the jeepney-producing center in the country. Today, public utility jeepneys or PUJs serve as the primary means of transportation in most provinces. For this, the Philippines came to be known as the "land of the jeepneys".
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نوشته هایی از دلی عاشق نوشته هایی از دلی عاشق برای تا ابد ماندن باید "رفت"... گاهی به قلب کسی ... گاهی از قلب کسی...
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Entropy There are many who couldn't understand, and sometimes he walked among them. But even in his darkest hours, he knew in his heart that someday it would return to him, and his world would be whole...
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My Shoes Where I Choose | travel • photography • life Paris - Je ne t'aime pas. Paris - I don't love you. Each time I scroll through Instagram, I involuntarily stop at pictures from Paris - the Eiffel Tower steals my heart, the cute cafés make me crave croissants and coffee, and sunrises at the pyramid of Louvre leave me in awe. I find myself romanticizing my future visit to Paris, dreaming about how happy it must feel to be there, and wanting to experience all that it is touted for. After all, Paris is supposedly always a good idea, right? Plot twist - I've already been to Paris. That's right! Even though I've already been there, I continue to dream about visiting this ideal, beautiful, romantic place that everyone talks about - the utopia that doesn't exist. View of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Paris felt nothing like the version of it that I had built up in my head. I was so upset with the place that I just spent the entirety of my last day there in the hotel room; stepping out just didn't feel worth it. Paris - my dream destination ever since my grandmother told me about the Eiffel Tower when I was a 3 year old - was my biggest travel disappointment. Crime & Unhelpful Parisians I haven't felt unsafe anywhere else in the world the way I felt at Paris. I was there with my family, and despite being a group of 4 that fought back, our wallet was forcefully snatched at the Châtelet metro station. Before we even got a chance to set foot on the streets.I'd been learning a bit of French on Duolingo. Thanks to the app, I knew how to say, "the duck is eating a baguette" ("le canard mange une baguette", in case you were wondering), but not how to shout for help. My bad, too, that I didn't bother looking it up before I went. Luckily, however, a big crowd gathered as I was struggling to hold on to one of the guys who was trying to escape with the wallet. And they all rushed to help us did absolutely nothing but watch. I'm just glad nobody pulled their phones out to capture a video that went viral on social media, although even that would've meant that they did something. The police didn't speak a word of English, which is completely understandable. But they also rolled their eyes when they finally understood my miming of "wallet stolen", and refused to let me use their phone to call a local phone number to block my stolen credit cards. Merci beaucoup! The crowds that gathered were as useful to us as this picture is in this context! Cost It is no secret that the Euro is one of the most expensive currencies. Add to that an extremely popular tourist destination, and you have a money hole. We booked our accommodation ~40 minutes from the heart of the city so we didn't exhaust all our travel funds on a tiny room that would remain empty through the day when we were out exploring. None of the restaurants felt worth their prices either. We stopped at cafés for breakfast, but largely relied on bread, fruits, and on making our own pasta. At least their chairs matched my manicure ;) Public transportation Using the metro was no joke. It's not easy to find platforms in some stations. They literally have officials positioned to guide you to the right place, something most other places achieve with clear signs and boards. Most passengers have no courtesy to avoid pushing others. In addition, unfortunately, we visited when there was an employee strike which made it 4 hops to get from the airport to the center of the city! No surprise that we got mugged, eh? Our tryst with the muggers made the whole trip quite an anxious ordeal for us - especially on days when we stayed out to watch the sunset, being fully aware of the fact that it would be dark before we could make it back to safety. Seen: Pretty view of the sunset from Pont Alexander III. Not Seen: My anxiety about getting back to my room safely. Vegetarian Baguettes Before my trip, I was looking forward to eating Parisian baguette-sandwiches just as much as I was waiting to try the Parisian croissants. I looked up recommendations on Yelp, I walked into restaurants and cafés to ask, even traveled half way across the city to a place called "Baguettes Café", but none of them had a simple vegetarian baguette-sandwich! Searching for good vegetarian sandwiches like... This is completely understandable had this been an off-beat travel destination. But for a popular tourist city, in a world where people are increasingly moving towards healthier and eco-friendly food choices, this definitely came as a surprise to me. What did I finally settle for? A tomato-mozzarella panini from the exclusively Parisian café called...Starbucks! Crowd Even though we visited before the onset of tourist season, the place was stuffed; but this came as no surprise to us. It did, however, make Paris even less tolerable than it already was. The metros were packed, noisy, and dirty. To avoid paying for their tickets, people either pushed into the gates along with us or jumped over the gates. How often have you heard about this not-so-pretty side of Paris? Lines at tourist attractions were extremely long, with scammers lurking all around these places. We made the right decision to admire the Notre Dame and Louvre from outside, and didn't even consider going up the Eiffel Tower - no, thank you! When you need to crop your pretty legs out to hide all the cars and pedestrians behind On the rare occasions that we decided to eat outside, restaurants were always full and the waiters couldn't care less about being courteous, or giving us any information on the wait time or where to wait. Just not worth it The Eiffel Tower is pretty from a distance, but quite underwhelming as you get closer. The Mona Lisa is a tiny frame behind hundreds of heads and selfie sticks. There is nothing noticeably tranquil about sipping wine by the Siene, nothing that makes the croissants from Parisian cafés taste better than the ones back home, nothing romantic in the tobacco-polluted air, and absolutely nothing that justifies all the hype around this very average city. Paris - pretty, yes..but not extraordinary! Am I telling you not to go to Paris? Not at all. But there definitely are a lot of other places on Earth that are more worthy of your money and time. And if you do choose to go to Paris, go without the delusions that we're fed about the city day in and day out. Go without expecting it to be exactly what you see in the movies, ads, or on Instagram. Go without seeking paradise in just a plain old city. That, to me, sounds like a good idea. Have you been to Paris? What was your experience? Do you think Paris is worth the hype? Cheers,Nam :)