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    History of Skincare Part 12: The Late Middle Ages and Italian Renaissance, 1400-1499

    Smile Like the Mona Lisa

    While medieval feudalism continued throughout most of Europe, the thirteenth century saw a cultural rebirth take place in Italy. Aptly named the Renaissance, French for “rebirth,” this period saw culture blossom in a way it had not since the time of the Roman Empire. In fact, the Renaissance started as a revitalization of Classical culture, inspired by the unearthing of great Roman monuments that had been buried for centuries. During this period, the citizens of Italian cities such as Florence and Rome, attempted to recreate what they believed to be authentic Classical society. They encouraged philosophy, invention and the arts and this movement gave birth to many multi-talented Renaissance Men such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

    You need look no further than the art of the Renaissance to see the era’s ideals of feminine beauty. Portraits show women in loose, flowing robes. Their skin is pale, their cheeks are shiny and their lips are often a deep red. The ideal Renaissance woman was somewhat voluptuous and although her dress was loose, the material was thin and clingy and revealed far more of her body than was permitted during the Middle Ages. In spite of the more revealing clothing, the face, and especially the forehead, continued to be the focal point of the body. It was also the part of the body that received the most attention in the form of skin care products and cosmetics.

    An Effervescent Glow

    Many materials used in the make up of this period would be considered toxic today. At the time, however, women believed that they were using natural powders and minerals to lighten their faces and give their skin an effervescent glow. As had been the case for centuries, a pale complexion was still considered a sign of wealth and beauty. While Renaissance women did not have any way to permanently bleach their skin, their skin care regimens included dusting the face with a number of white powders. White lead and chalk were still two of the most common ingredients in face powders, and some women even attempted to lighten their skin with arsenic powder.

    Once the perfect pale complexion had been achieved, Italian women would apply a number of other powders to highlight their cheeks, lips and bust line. Silver mercury was often mixed with lead or chalk and brushed onto the apples of the cheeks and across the top of the chest. Vermillion, a red substance that was made from cinnabar, was used to paint the lips. While deep red lips were considered fashionable, it was also acceptable to have natural, or lightly tinted lips. Women continued to tweeze their hair lines and eyebrows in order to give themselves a smooth, expansive forehead. To combat any signs of redness or irritation, they would also rub pumice stones along the hairline. (You can read more about Renaissance cosmetics here: http://www.thebeautybiz.com/78/article/history/beauty-through-ages-renaissance)

    Cleanliness: An Artistic Concern

    Throughout the Renaissance, cleanliness and hygiene began to be increasingly common themes in paintings and literature. A clean body was often used as a metaphor for a clean spirit. Alternately, the latrine became a sign of filth and was often used as a metaphor for moral baseness. It is unsurprising that the citizens of Renaissance Italy were obsessed with hygiene, given that they modeled their society on the Romans, who had been legendary for their bathing rituals. Cleanliness was not only an artistic metaphor, however, but a practical concern. Italy had survived a number of plague outbreaks and staying free from germs was a matter of life and death. Additionally, many people strove to live out the philosophies that were explored in the art of the time. Frequent bathing was a sign of dignity and social distinction. These were subjects of great concern to many Renaissance artists and philosophers. (You can read more about attitudes toward cleanliness here: http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100824360)

    Skin care treatments during the Italian Renaissance were, in practice, very similar to what they had been throughout the Middle Ages. Bathing rituals were similar, skin care products were similar and cosmetics were similar. What had changed, however, was the attitude toward these practices. While medieval women had seen cosmetics simply as a way to appear more attractive, the women of the Renaissance strove to achieve a transcendent ideal that combined Classical philosophy and art with physical beauty and human distinction.

    Source by Jill Knowles

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    The Pros and Cons of Using Oil Pastels

    When it comes to painting with pastels, you have a choice of different types that you can use. If you are used to or have been using soft pastels, using oil pastels will open a whole new world for your creative energy. Below I’ve listed some of the pros and cons of how to paint using oil pastels:

    The Cons

    Because of their oily texture, oil pastels are not as easy to remove from the surface of your paper. Fine detail and extreme precision is something that you will find difficult to accomplish with these pastels. Oil pastels are more difficult to blend because their oil causes them to quickly adhere to the paper, which additionally leave less room for error. They take a longer time and require more pastels to fill in large areas of your scene, portrait, or whatever the artwork is that you’re creating. Their oily texture makes the darker colors prone to smearing, which makes it difficult to add the lighter colors.

    Simple Remedies to the Cons

    Choose the area that you want to color first and then outline sketch it. It will leave less room for error when it comes time to add your oil pastel colors. Choose a painting style, object, and scenic choice that doesn’t need fine or intricate details or use another instrument (such as an eraser’s edge or blending tool) to scrape in the fine details.

    For the areas that need lighter color, outline them with a white pastel to ensure that no smearing occurs. If smearing does occur when adding the darker colors, simply scrape back to the white area for an easy fix. Choose smaller painting sizes to eliminate the need for filling in large areas of space, or choose colored paper to begin with instead of white paper, which creates the illusion of fuller color.

    The Pros

    Because of their soft texture, oil pastels make bold, vibrantly color works of art. They don’t have a dry, dusty texture, so the vibrant color won’t diminish if bumped. Unlike the flaking that occurs with soft pastels, fixative sprays will create a glossy sheen on oil pastel paintings and keep them safe from smearing. There is a wide variety of surfaces (such as cardboard, wood, or canvas) on which they can be used. Oil pastels don’t require the use of lots of supplies, such as brushes, palettes, easels, and turpentine (or other cleanup supplies), and so on that other mediums have the need for.

    Coming out of your soft pastels comfort zone may not be what you wanted to try right now, but this type of pastel may just what you need to help with artist’s block and free up your creative imagination. The pros and cons speak for themselves. After reading this article, you may still not be convinced that using oil pastels is right for you. Don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. A picture is worth a thousand words!

    Source by Emma Ralph

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    Daedalean Exile

    Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo…(P1).

    Stephen Dedalus, the young modern intellectual of Dublin, leaves his hometown at the end of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and chooses a life of self-imposed exile to cherish his artistic desires. Stephen reappears at the beginning of Ulysses; however, in spite of his return to home he feels a deeper sense of loneliness and exile. In this article, Stephen Dedalus’ state of exile and alienation which basically starts with his alienation and exile from his family, his religion, Catholic Church, and his motherland, Ireland. This sense of exile and alienation initiates from Portrait then continues and deepens into Ulysses. Afterward considering Edward Said’s view that the notion of exile is closely associated with the intellectual, Stephen’s intellectual exile and its artistic representations would be studied. “Tuckoo” in some biological encyclopedias is known as a kind of bird, which always lives alone and when it is time to lay eggs, a Tuckoo goes to lay eggs in other birds’ nests. Simon Dedalus is retelling the Tuckoo’s story for the very young Stephen. This is what could be called Joyce’s dexterity, because from the very beginning he provides his discerning reader what could be Stephen’s life like? His life that Joyce introduces from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and continues to Ulysses.

    The story of Portrait concerns Stephen’s growing up alienation from the inflexible social environment. Exile is what Stephen chooses in order to save his artistic desires and ambitions. Joyce made Stephen conscious of his name and the mythical role associated with it. In Ulysses, some Dubliner also refers to Stephen Dedalus’s name: “you make good use of the name . . . fabulous artificer, the hawk like man. You flew. Whereto? New heaven . . .” (210). Stephen struggles to be a Daedalus, a skillful one who by the aid of artful wings tries to fly away from the self-made maze of his life. His wings he makes in Portrait are to save him in exile, too. He leaves behind his motherland, his religion, and his family to live in exile, while his mother believes at the closing lines of Portrait that Stephen must learn away from home and friends what the heart is and what he feels. Stephen Dedalus reappears at the beginning of Ulysses. His mother is dead for about one year now; his artistic attempts seemingly failed at Paris. He has left his home and is living at Martello tower, where he pays the rent, but Mulligan, his Irish, vicious friend keeps the keys. There is a third friend living with them for some days in spite of Stephen’s dissatisfaction, an English tourist. Mulligan, as Stephen calls him, has the role of a “usurper” in Stephen’s life, one of the many in his life, though. At the end, Stephen decides that he will not return to Martello tower, or to his father’s house. Therefore, even returning from the physical exile from Paris, he is still an outcast, an exile at home. Cawelti believes that the two male protagonists of Ulysses are both physical and spiritual exiles in Dublin. He states that Stephen Dedalus’s exile goes back to earlier times:


    Stephen Dedalus deeply alienated from the dominant powers

    ruling Ireland-the British empire and the Roman Catholic

    Church- has gone to France some time before the novel

    opens on June 16, 1904. But, he has failed in his attempt

    at exile. Driven by guilt about his mother’s death and his

    ambiguous feelings about her, he has returned to Ireland,

    only to feel himself no longer at home in any way. His

    ultimate fate is uncertain, but if he follows the pattern

    of his creator after the end of the novel he will go into

    permanent exile. (Cawelti 42)

    Edward Said in his book Representations of the Intellectual about the modern, young intellectuals like Buzarov, Protagonist of Fathers and Sons, sates that:


    The first thing we notice about him is that he has severed

    his ties with his own parents, and seems less a son than

    a sort of self- produced character, challenging routine,

    assailing mediocrity and clichés, asserting new scientific

    and unsentimental values that appears to be rational and

    progressive. (Said 14-15)

    Edward Said’s idea is also applicable to Joyce’s modern young intellectual, Stephen Dedalus, as well. Being unsatisfied with his family relations, his obedient, passive, and pious mother; his heedless, incapable, and indolent Father, Stephen tries to break away with them as soon as possible and replace the lost family and father with a self-produced identity as an artist. Stephen’s sufferings …

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    10 Most Common Uses of the Internet

    Since the internet has become popular, its being used for many purposes. Through the help of the World Wide Web and websites, the internet has become very useful in many ways for the common man. Today internet has brought a globe in a single room. Right from news across the corner of the world, wealth of knowledge to shopping, purchasing the tickets of your favorite movie-everything is at your finger tips.

    Here is the list of some common uses of internet

    1) Email: By using internet now we can communicate in a fraction of seconds with a person who is sitting in the other part of the world. Today for better communication, we can avail the facilities of Email. We can chat for hours with our loved ones. There are plenty messenger services and email services offering this service for free. With help of such services, it has become very easy to establish a kind of global friendship where you can share your thoughts, can explore other cultures of different ethnicity.

    2) Information: The biggest advantage that internet offering is information. The internet and the World Wide Web has made it easy for anyone to access information and it can be of any type, as the internet is flooded with information. The internet and the World Wide Web has made it easy for anyone to access information and it can be of any type. Any kind of information on any topic is available on the Internet.

    3) Business: World trade has seen a big boom with the help of the internet, as it has become easier for buyers and sellers to communicate and also to advertise their sites. Now a days most of the people are using online classified sites to buy or sell or advertising their products or services. Classified sites saves you lot of money and time so this is chosen as medium by most of people to advertise their products. We have many classified sites on the web like craigslist, Adsglobe.com, Kijiji etc.

    4) Social Networking: Today social networking sites have become an important part of the online community. Almost all users are members use it for personal and business purposes. Its an awesome place to network with many entrepreneurs who come here to begin building their own personal and business brand.

    5) Shopping: In today’s busy life most of us are interested to shop online. Now a days almost anything can be bought with the use of the internet. In countries like USA most of consumers prefer to shop from home. We have many shopping sites on internet like amazon.com, Dealsglobe.com etc. People also use the internet to auction goods. There are many auction sites online, where anything can be sold.

    6) Entertainment: On internet we can find all forms of entertainment from watching films to playing games online. Almost anyone from any age group can find the right kind of entertainment for themselves. When people surf the Web, there are numerous things that can be found. Music, hobbies, news and more can be found and shared on the Internet. There are numerous games that may be downloaded from the Internet for free.

    7) E-Commerce: E-commerce is the concept used for any type of commercial maneuvering, or business deals that involves the transfer of information across the globe via internet. It has become a phenomenon associated with any kind of shopping, almost anything. It has got a real amazing and range of products from household needs, technology to entertainment.

    8) Services: Many services are now provided on the internet such as online banking, job seeking, purchasing tickets for your favorite movies, and guidance services on array of topics in the every aspect of life, and hotel reservations and bills paying. Often these services are not available off-line and can cost you more.

    9) Job Search: Internet makes life easy for both employers and job seekers as there are plenty of job sites which connects employers and job seekers.

    10) Dating/Personals: People are connecting with others though internet and finding their life partners. Internet not only helps to find the right person but also to continue the relationship.

    Source by Kaiz Karen

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    Picture Lighting – The Most Common Question People Ask

    As the operator of a web site devoted to picture light for the last several years, I have encountered questions on just about every aspect of artwork lighting and the methods used to provide it. I have listed the most common questions and the responses that our team of professionals has given to them over that time. The good news about waiting until now to publish a document such as this one is that the answers have been time proven to be effective.

    Probably the most common question that we receive, almost daily, is that of addressing the visibility of the cord. The question is always the same and people ask it as a way of determining whether or not they will purchase a picture light. The question of eliminating the cord can be answered best by sharing the multiple ways we have discovered to eliminate the need or to hide the cord leading from the electric outlet up to the picture light.

    One of the first and best ways of addressing the cord involves hiding it from sight. By installing a recessed outlet, many times called a clock outlet, directly behind the actual picture the entire cord and circuit can be hidden from sight. Our customers typically take this one step further and then cut the cord to the proper, smaller length and then use a device called a snap on plug to allow for a convenient way to attach an electrical plug to the cord. We then will recommend that the customer install a simmer switch on the circuit.

    The use of cord covers can also be very effective. The cord covers can make the appearance of the cord practically disappear. The cord covers are also very easy to install. When people ask where they can get cord covers we recommend that they go to their local home improvement store. The items are usually located in the painting section or the electrical section of the store.

    A less expensive and convenient approach to lessening the visibility of the cord is to simply paint it. Just about every cord on lamps that our store sells is paintable. While I am not completely certain for the cords of other picture lights, ours are all paintable. Painting the cord the same color of the wall will allow it to blend in so well that the cord will barely be able to be seen.

    Another less expensive alternative that does not involve electricity is to place plants, furniture, display tables or other decor in a position to hide most of the cord. In my house we have taken this approach and it seems to work great in the longer hallway where the picture lights are installed. We have used a larger staple to directly attach the cord to the baseboard. This keeps the cord straight and dramatically improves its appearance.

    Finally, we recommend that our customers consider using a battery powered picture light. The lights will provide attractive minimum light and will last up to 45 hours. A few models are even rechargeable.

    Source by Chuck R Stewart

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    Unique 65th Birthday Gift Ideas

    Someone you know is turning 65 and you probably want to find the perfect 65th birthday gift. First, consider what type of person you are buying for, are they the sentimental type or are you bringing your gift to a birthday party? Some people feel a bit queasy about turning 65 while others feel that 65 is the new 45, so proceed with caution. Most turning 65 have already retired, so what is it that this person loves to do?

    These gifts can be difficult to buy since most people that are 65 have just about everything they could want. The last thing that you want to buy is another robe or sweater and how many monogramed coffee cups can a person use? So, now it is up to you to come up with the perfect gift. Fortunately, there is help available.

    At age 65, what people need the most is something really good to talk about because they have usually fallen into a routine and life is pretty simple. This means that a great gift would be something that they can talk about, like a hot air balloon experience. Keep in mind that every 65 year old is not going to take kindly to this idea but if you are buying for that rare breed, this is a gift that is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    Be very creative for a 65 year old person; something out-of-the ordinary and extremely creative would be a Deed to Land to land in all 50 States of the USA. Sure, the land is only a square inch in size but it comes with an attractive Deed printed, or on a plaque or in a frame…and you can get one immediately via email. Best yet it is legal, personalized and perfect for a person reaching 65 years of age. Most likely they have everything already…except this.

    Maybe your 65 year old is a bit more conservative. A membership to the dinner of the month club is ideal and surely one that will be appreciated and used. They will receive their monthly coupon via email and you only have to pay a portion of the value. You can choose how many months you will continue on with the service and they can use the coupon at a variety of restaurants and locations.

    Most people like to know what was going on the day that they were born. You can get them an authentic newspaper from that very day that they were born 65 years ago. Not only will they find this a gift of interest but the rest of their family will likely find this to be the case too. Things change a lot over a period of 65 years so this gift is sure to be quite a conversation piece.

    Source by Scott Moger

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    How to Become a Guest Speaker at Schools, Conferences, and Events

    Quite often, schools, universities, organizations, and community groups hold events that need guest speakers. These guest speakers may provide keynote messages, motivational talks, or vital information on a particular subject.

    Such events are major opportunities for speakers to present their skills and topics while getting paid. Becoming guests at these affairs enhances the speaker’s reputation and expands buyer prospects. Getting into these events is quite challenging though. To become guests, in corporate conferences and universities requires a great deal of self-promotion and credentials.

    When you think about it, it is natural for planners or organizers of these events to invite speakers that are known and reputed for their achievements. Speakers that are perceived to be great at what they do are logically prioritized and some groups will favor celebrities in the field. Not only does it attract more people to the event; it will also ensure favorable results and productivity.

    So what exactly needs to be done? How does one become a guest speaker at schools, conferences, and events?

    The answer relies on the effectiveness of the speaker’s marketing approach. The key here is to establish a reputation of expertise and professionalism. Also, an understanding of the niche is essential so the speaker can be clear about the promotional tactics to be employed to attract the organizers.

    That is the basis for your marketing materials and created products. The products you release in the market should provide an impression of authority and extensive knowledge. The niche will not fail to notice this and the speaker will have an imprint in their minds. Thus, they are called upon when they are needed.

    Marketing materials should show a speaker’s specialization. If the speaker intends to break into the college market, a speaker should state and emphasize in brochures that his or her focus is on youth motivation and school leadership. Perception is reality. It is important that speakers should be perceived appropriately in the niche.

    Personal branding is one way to create better recall and establish a reputation. Once the market labels your professional services, you will begin to get clients easily in specific niches. This is why speakers should carefully plan their branding and labeling.

    It may take some time to get to the point where you become a primary commodity as a speaker. Big events require only the best speakers and through experience and strategical marketing approach, you will eventually reach that favorable position. Once you reach that point, you can become a guest speaker at any event.

    There are plenty of ways to become a guest speaker at schools, conferences, and events. However, persistence and smart work is imperative to get there. Nothing will happen to people who just wait for something to occur. To get ahead as a speaker, you must get out there and network. Recognize the needs of your market and expand your database of prospective clients.

    Source by James R. Malinchak

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    Download Full DVD Movies In Minutes

    It used to take hours to download full DVD movies. Technology has progressed so quickly that with the powerful computers and high speed internet connection we have, it is possible to download full DVD movies in a matter of minutes. This is one reason why downloading movies online is becoming a popular online activity. Other reasons for its newfound popularity are of course the convenience and cheaper costs over movie tickets and DVD rentals. People can now catch their favorite movie at home at any time they wish. To download full DVD movies online is something which you might want to consider.

    Downloading DVD movies was never this easy. Recently, the onset of legal movie download sites that promises high-quality DVD movies has made it possible for the man on the street to download full DVD movies for an affordable one-time download fee. Well if you do not wish to pay anything, you can always go to peer-to-peer sites and download free DVD movies off the internet, but know that that it is illegal to download movies with copyrights. One has to grapple with the poor picture and sound quality of these downloads and the risk of exposing your computer to malicious adware and spyware. The movie download sites would not cost you more than $50 and for that amount, you can download thousands of full DVD movies. For that kind of price, you really need not waste your time at free download sites.

    Many studios are discovering that if they offer online services that allow you to download full DVD movies right from their servers, they could reach a wider audience and do more sales that way. There are also no inventory or production costs to worry about. Some have even resorted to allowing you to download DVD movies on rental. This can be a good option for you if you do not mind the cost as it is often a monthly subscription service or pay as you download.

    Another advantage to download full DVD movies online at these paid membership sites is the increased convenience and lightning speed in downloading hard-to-find or old movies. It can be hard to find some of the old classics from the movie stores. But with the online search engines at movie download sites, you just need to key in the movie title and in a few seconds, you could be downloading the movie in DVD format already.

    Professional movie download sites offer the DVD copy software and other tools to allow you to download full DVD movies and copy them to a single DVD disc. The quality of the DVD in terms of subtitles, audio, languages, and picture would not be lost as such. These are several sites with quick servers that allow for fast and uninterrupted downloading of movies. My advice to you is to use these download sites to save you time and effort which you should be spending on watching the movies you download.

    There are many movie download sites in the market. There are factors you should consider when choosing a good one. I have mentioned a few in this article like the selection of DVD movies, the software bundle they provide and the downloading speeds and quality of DVD downloads. Read my movie blog to pick up more tips on how and where you can quickly download full DVD movies today.

    Source by Davion Wong

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    The Difference Between Photorealism and Hyperrealism

    “Hyperrealism is a genre of painting (and sculpture) that resembles a high resolution photograph and is a fully-fledged school of art that evolved naturally from Pop Art, which led naturally to Photorealism.

    Consequently, Hyperrealism is effectively an advancement of Photorealism. However, whereas Photorealists reproduced photographs so exactly that the human eye could not distinguish between the original photograph and the resultant painting, Hyperrealists took the techniques employed much further in that they developed ways of introducing narrative, charm and emotion into their paintings – which from a distance look like photographs but which when examined more closely are clearly nothing of the sort.

    The term “Hyperrealism” was primarily applied to an independent art movement and art style in the United States and Europe that has developed since the early 2000s.

    It evolved from the word Hyperealisme, which was first used by Isy Brachot in 1973 as a French word meaning Photorealism. It was the title of a major catalog and exhibition at his gallery in Brussels Belgium in that year. European artists and dealers have since used the word Hyperealisme to describe painters influenced by the Photorealists”.

    The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines Hyperrealism as an “American art movement that began in the 1960s, taking photography as its inspiration. Photo-realist painters created highly illusionistic images that referred not to nature but to the reproduced image. Artists… attempted to reproduce what the camera could record. Several sculptors… were also associated with this movement. Like the painters, who relied on photographs, the sculptors cast from live models and thereby achieved a simulated reality”.

    While the Encyclopaedia Britannica is satisfied with placing Hyperrealism in a semi-historical context and leaving it at that, Wikipedia goes further into defining the difference between Photorealism and Hyperrealism: “Hyperrealism”, it says, “is contrasted with the literal approach found in traditional photorealist paintings of the late 20th century. Hyperrealist painters and sculptors use photographic images as a reference source from which to create a more definitive and detailed rendering, one that unlike Photorealism, often is narrative and emotive in its depictions… The photorealistic style of painting was uniquely tight, precise, and sharply mechanical with an emphasis on mundane everyday imagery, as it was an evolvement from Pop Art.

    Hyperrealism, on the other hand, although photographic in essence, can often entail a softer and much more complex focus on the subject depicted, presenting it as a living tangible object. These objects and scenes in Hyperrealism paintings and sculptures are meticulously detailed to create the illusion of a new reality not seen in the original photo. That is not to say that they are surreal, as the illusion is a convincing depiction of (simulated) reality.

    Textures, surfaces, lighting effects and shadows are painted to appear clearer and more distinct than the reference photo or even the actual subject itself”.

    Many artists, dealers, gallery and museum curators confuse the issue because there is no static definition of Hyperrealism. Consequently, photorealist artists are often described as hyperrealists – and vice versa. The true hyperrealist, however, is no mere copyist. The true hyperrealist recognizes that despite the extraordinary technical skills required in photorealism, (which are no less when creating hyperrealistic paintings, there is little point in merely reproducing a photograph as a painting; why not merely print the original photograph larger, he argues.

    Instead, the hyperrealist interprets the reference photograph – or in many cases multiple reference photographs – and with the use of artistic licence, and specific and highly individualistic techniques of colouring and detailing, is able to add charm, emotion and ‘soul’ to his paintings, thus giving to his works a mystical, even magical quality that simply does not exist in photorealistic paintings. It is for this reason that hyperrealism is considered an advancement on photorealism.

    Source by Will Bent

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    Unique Champagne Food Pairings

    Without further ado, let me introduce a few off-the-wall champagne pairings that will show how well it holds up against some of the world’s strongest foods. The caveat here is that the use of the word “champagne” is totally incorrect, I’m actually also referring to sparkling wines including cava and even prosecco, but Google thinks the word champagne is cooler. So there!

    Champagne and Chili

    Without a doubt one of those bizarre perfect pairings that will blow your mind… although I don’t recommend pulling your bottle of 1998 Dom Perignon! I tasted a great value cava, Paul Cheneau Cava Brut, with my favorite red and black bean soyrizo chili. The spiciness of the soyrizo is cooled by the acidity in the champagne. Also, a fruity cava brings out the sweetness of the red beans in the bowl of chili. This pairing will have you running and telling all your pals, in fact, I stole this idea from Rick Martinez at West Street Wine Bar in Reno, NV.

    Champagne and Bacon

    Bacon is meat candy (especially when fried up with a little maple syrup). A fruity rose champagne like Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rose or, if you are seriously celebrating, Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Rose would pair well with pork belly. I figure, if you are planning to put meat in your alcohol, why not select a $500 champagne. What does Ace of Spades taste like? The aforementioned rose wine has an extremely tiny and creamy bubble finesse paired with pomegranate and strawberry aromas with a long tingling acidity. Ace of Spades is very feminine and refined, but not dissimilar to a few other $90 champagnes I’ve tried. Bacon Factoid: As a vegetarian I will never admit to “giving it up,” I just avoid it.

    Champagne and Oysters

    Oysters often leave the taste of what seems like the entire ocean in your mouth. And the briny wet flavor of the ocean is horrible to pair with wine, this is where our pal, champagne, comes to the rescue. The yellow label Veuve Clicquot is my go to oyster pairing because the acidity and pureness of flavors wash away all the dirty ocean flavor. I would also happily swallow Egly-Ouriet, a grower champagne. The folks on the east coast have nothing for oysters. British Colombia has the best: Shigoku, Kuushi, and Royal Miyagi. Them’s fightin’ words.

    Champagne and Salad

    Salad is extremely difficult to pair with most wines because it has bitter flavors from the leafy greens and high acidity from the dressing. Bitterness is one of those traits that cannot be combined together (ie. bitter + bitter), it overwhelms the tongue’s bitter sensors and masks other flavors. High acid foods will make a low acid wine taste flabby. For a salad with vinaigrette, a prosecco, like Riondo Prosecco or a demi-sec/extra-dry champagne will deliver lively and fruity flavors. Extra Dry is an interesting quandary, it is actually sweeter than brut, but don’t complain to me about the mislabeling, go tell the French.

    Champagne and Fries

    Champagne is the soda of alcohol so it’s great to pair with fried foods. Since fried food is championed in all manner of dining establishment, just select your champagne based on the quality of fried food you are about to eat. Ruinart Blanc de Blancs would make me very happy with those corn fritters at Gilt in NYC. Gruet Brut, a sparkling wine from New Mexico, would quench my thirst after eating a pile of In-N-Out french fries.

    Source by Madeline Puckette

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    4 Advantages of Canvas Prints

    If you don’t know about canvas prints, then you are in for a visual treat. These are beautiful images on canvas. You can exhibit these in your living room, drawing room or bedroom. With an intention to reproduce the original oil painting or acrylic painting these look breathtaking. Photographs can be easily transferred onto the canvas using a specialized press. While you can do this as a DIY project, it is better to hand over this project to a professional for the best outcome.

    Great option

    Canvas is great option for an enhanced interior d├ęcor appearance, especially if you are on a budget and want a great look. It is a superior option to traditional frames and modern photo mounting in large frames. The canvas prints cost almost 50% less and, if you are on the email list of any of these companies, you can be certain of getting one or another discount coupon thereby getting an additional deal. The fact that these are less prone to damage and are less labour intensive makes them all the more popular and price competitive.

    Advantages of canvas prints

    These look beautiful and resemble an artistic painting. These have many advantages compared to traditional printing. Some of these advantages are:

    1. Very durable: This is perhaps the most important advantage. Canvas is sturdy and lasts for generations without the print quality diminishing. Remember that the paintings in art galleries and museums have been around for hundreds of years and still look great.

    2. Three dimensional painting: Traditional photos look flat in a frame, but with new technology canvas prints impart a three dimensional look. This is interesting, as both an amateur photographer and a professional photographer can take advantage of this and get beautiful prints from their ordinary photos. If you want to further enhance their look, you can complement them with an appropriate frame.

    3. There is an artistic feel to the photo: This technique gives an artistic feeling to the photos. Many offices use this as a form of advertisement for their brands or services. An impressive print can make them look more marketable.

    4. They are easy to frame: Traditional photos need to be framed with a lot of care. In contrast, canvases offer an easy way of framing photos; only an additional border is required around the image and then it can be framed as desired.

    The list of advantages is endless. It is wonderful to see that millions of people have embraced this technique. This method of printing photos allows photographers to showcase their fine work. The fact that you get to see the same quality as you would get to see in any oil painting makes it an impressive option. Overall, these prints give a timeless feeling.

    Source by Manisha Kumar

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    10 Tips For Teaching Middle School Math

    As a teacher for 11 years and middle-school math teaching consultant, I’ve seen a wide array of different math programs and classes. I’m sharing here the 10 best teaching tips I’ve compiled over the years.

    1. Provide compelling content to study.

    Years ago, a colleague I was working with said, “Maybe class can be fun, but I can’t make class compelling. I have to teach math!” It’s an assumption worth exploring.

    Take Ron Berger’s middle-school math project to study levels radon in their own homes. Studying radon is boring. But Berger’s class project has got to be one of the most compelling projects in math class history. What if his students discovered dangerous levels of radon in the homes of one geographic area and published the results as they had intended? What would happen to real estate values in that area? What he found is that students were highly engaged in mapping, taking averages, looking at standard deviations- students that heretofore didn’t care one bit about radon or the other concepts.

    So what’s the trick? The trick is that there isn’t one. You can’t trick students into finding something compelling if it isn’t. Take a little bit of time to develop a few topics of study throughout the year that you find compelling- the Economy, the Presidential Campaigns, the Human Body, etc. Find an authentic way to present your result- the paper, the web, a magazine. Keep the project small, authentic and do-able.

    Students of teachers that do take this kind of time have better outcomes on state tests than students of teachers who only stick to the text. Almost any social studies context provides a backdrop for learning that adds depth.

    Even teachers who hold a math “topics” class only once a month see real benefits, so you don’t have to abandon your regular class. And, you’ll find that students are more engaged when regular class is held.

    If you want to go really deep and have solid administrator support, look into the school reform movement of Expeditionary Learning Schools who have an excellent approach to thematic teaching.

    2. Don’t use extraneous rewards such as candy, purchase points, stickers, etc.

    There is nothing more certain than seeing the culture of a math class decline over a period of years when a teacher bribes them. The intent of the teacher, of course, is good. A teacher cares about his or her students and wants the very best for them. “I don’t care how they learn math,” one teacher said to me. “I just want them to learn it so that they are prepared.” The teacher cared enough to purchase candy out of her own pocket, but the real message to students is this: the “positive reinforcement” of candy means “math isn’t worth doing on its own.” The research is clear on the matter too, and shows us that extrinsic, non-relevant rewards hurt learning.

    Even if the effects aren’t immediate, over time so called “positive reinforcements” like these mentioned above erode an otherwise high-quality math program. As a teacher, you are much better off trying to create inherently compelling curriculum than buying candy.

    3. Build a culture where students teach each other.

    For many teachers, one student helping another is called cheating. But I actually found that the better middle-school math programs all encouraged students to team together at certain times throughout the week. The activities were usually graded as complete or not-complete, and when tied to meaningful tasks, such as building a survey together and collecting original data, student comprehension was greater than on individual tasks.

    Building the kind of culture that works for student pairs or groups takes years and lots of practice. But before you give up and decide it doesn’t work, determine if you are following tips #1 and #2 first.

    4. Give less, but more meaningful work, including homework.

    The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study labels the curriculum in the United States as “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Their review of math texts in middle-school found that some were almost 700 pages long. With heavy pressure to teach to the standards, as a teacher you might be tempted to skip and jump to many topics throughout the text. Don’t. It achieves little learning.

    Choose the most important pieces before the beginning of the year, and keep it simple. Teach the concepts you do teach with depth.

    The national advisory counsel formed from the study recommended “put first things first” and suggested that indeed, less is more. Take the time to cull the curriculum to a manageable size for your students, and present them with only that. If you have to “cover” standards, find out what standards and document when you indeed teach them in class. You’ll find that teaching with depth often …

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    What Does a Print Broker Do?

    One of the best ways to make sure your advertising campaign is a success is to pay for the services of a print broker. A brokerage expert or company is not the same as a printing company’s sales representative. In some instances though, a brokerage service may give you more value for your money.

    In simple terms, a brokerage service is the one in the middle position between a client and printing companies. What makes them different from typical sales people is that they are not formally employed by any printing press or company. They also do not earn through commissions in the same way that internal sales personnel do. They are wholly independent and make money from reasonable profit margins that they slap on projects.

    This basic definition of print brokers is enough to give you an idea about what they do. Part of defining their role however should also involve determining why you should choose to obtain their services instead of directly dealing with a printing company. You might think that you can easily save on costs if you went straight to a printer and made arrangements yourself.

    Getting brokerage services is essential for some clients for a number of reasons. One main reason is that clients may not know outright what it is that they are getting themselves into. Having materials printed involves more than just telling a printer that you want to pay for a certain number of flyers or brochures. It also involves looking into such concerns as work flow, design implementation, material choice and delivery. A good print broker will be able to determine the challenges in each of these areas and plan for solutions even before issues arise.

    Getting a third party expert also makes a lot of sense because he is more likely to know the key players in the printing industry. This knowledge is as important as knowing the various printing processes. This is because each company that claims to be an expert at generating printed materials may not always be a specialist in providing all kinds of materials. A middleman who is not employed and therefore has no vested interests is the best person to ask when you want to find out which printer is the best performer in relation to the material you want produced. If you have many projects on the pipeline, it’s possible that your print broker may suggest several different companies.

    In the long run, a good middleman can help you save more on project costs. Although you may have to pay extra for brokerage, a good service provider can actually help prevent waste or errors that can drive up production costs. They can also help ensure timely delivery of materials that are in excellent condition so you don’t actually have to spend more on a solution to temporarily cover for late materials or on replacements for damaged goods.

    In essence, there is so much less to worry about in printing when you have reliable and reputable print brokers to handle projects for you. What you actually have to pour tremendous effort on is the task of looking for a middleman with the best qualifications.

    Source by Dale Trent

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    Unabridged vs Abridged Audio Books, What’s the Difference?

    Never given thought to seek out unabridged selections in your audio book purchases? Unabridged audiobooks can offer more listening experience per minute for a lower cost. But what’s the difference?

    Unabridged audio books include basically any book recorded whole. Usually recorded as the author (and usually the editor) intended it published in its original print form, they receive little or no editing. In other words if the print version of the book contains 500 pages, every word, sentence and paragraph from those pages will transfer to an audio format.

    On the other hand an abridged audio book works just the opposite. Condensed from its original form, the author and or editor approve this version before production. Condensing may squeeze that 500 page book into 200 pages worth of recording. Often called the “reader’s digest” version in audio book form, you’ll certainly find it much shorter than the original. As an example of this you might think of a movie adaptation of a book as an abridged version of the original work.

    Many times the reasons to abridge are to save space. Where an unabridged audio book would take maybe twelve CD’s, the abridged version might take only four. The publisher can then charge a slightly less amount for the abridged version and earn more profit without losing much from the story?.Or do they?

    As an example for cost and size I looked up one of my favorite titles by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen, The One Minute Millionaire. The abridged version consists of three CDs that run 3 hours and 20 minutes and costs about $24. The unabridged version offers 10 CDs that run for 12 hours 21 minutes and retails around $58. Although I haven’t listened to the abridged version I have to wonder just how much information was left out and what possible important parts.

    Looking at the example I gave, for a little more than twice the price you get almost four times the listening experience and knowledge! The example prices I gave are retail. By using an audiobook club such as SimplyAudiobooks or Audible that offers titles for purchase or rental the savings could be much much more.

    To get the most enjoyment out of your audio book selections look to see if an unabridged versions is available. For the most cost savings join an audio book club and get unabridged titles whenever you can.

    Source by Stone Dupree

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    How to Protect Your Songs – Protect Your Music Copyright Tips

    If you want to know how to protect your rap song lyrics, then read this. You will discover how to protect your music copyright.

    This article will give 4 different ways that you can protect your rap song lyrics. You can protect your song by signing and dating, by enforcing your legal ownership, by notarizing your work and by using the Post Office. We will discuss each tip so that can decide how to protect your rap song lyrics.

    Tip 1 – Protect Your Song By Signing And Dating

    A copyright actually comes in two parts. As soon as you take a blank piece of paper and write down your songs, your notes or your lyrics, put your signature and the date on the paper, then you automatically have a legal copyright of your work. Your work is now protected.

    Tip 2 – Protect Your Song By Enforcing Your Legal Copyright

    However, even though it is protected, it is important for you to go one step further if you want to enforce your rights. To actually enforce your rights, then you must register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. When you actually go through the process of registering your song, you now have a witness to the fact that the song is really yours.

    Tip 3 – Protect Your Song By Notarizing Your Work

    There is another way to have your work legitimized or to show that the work belongs to you, and that is to have your songs notarized. When you have it notarized, a notary republic will place their seal, sign it and then date their work. This will give you two government authorizations that will act as a witness of your onwership claim.

    Tip 4 – Protect Your Song By Using The Post Office

    If you want to use one more government authorization, you can use the U.S. Post Office. If you notarize your work, put it in an envelope and then mail it to yourself. Once you receive the envelope back, don’t open it, but put it the envelope in the safe deposit box. This will serve as a witness of when you wrote the song. The official U.S. Post Office postmark will indicate the date it was written.

    For more protect your music copyright tips, continue to read below.

    Source by Mike Min

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    Knight in Shining Armor Syndrome

    Unless you just came out of a coma, you know that the late Anna Nicole Smith’s ex-boyfriend is Larry Birkhead. He has been in the news since he announced he was the father of Dannielynn. One interviewer asked him why he continued to stay in the relationship despite Anna Nicole’s drug use. He said he thought he could “save her”. He had “knight in shining armor syndrome”.

    In her book, “Why We Love” author Helen Fisher states that: millions of years of protecting and providing for women has bred into the male brain this tendency to choose women they feel they need to save. What separates man from animal is his ability to think and reason. Just because it may be natural for men to be chivalrous, it doesn’t mean they can’t place a limit on just how far they will go.

    Should they open a door, pull out a chair, take a woman’s hand when crossing the street or give her their jacket if she’s cold? Absolutely. Should they try to save a woman whose life is a mess? They do so at their own peril.

    Men try to save damsels in distress because it makes them feel powerful, in control and manly. Sometimes they are afraid of women and think they won’t be rejected if they fix a woman’s problems. They hide their inadequacies behind what looks like strength. They know they don’t have their act together, so instead of working on themselves they’d rather work on someone else. Such relationships are doomed to fail.

    If these men really were strong, they would not be trying to save someone that appears to be a victim. They don’t realize that aside from a few circumstances beyond one’s control (acts of God, accidents, disease, etc.) one’s position in life is based on who they are on the inside, not someone or something “out there”. There is an axiom that says: There are no victims, only volunteers.

    Knights believe that if the woman gets better, she’ll become the perfect girlfriend. The only problem is that if she does become healthy, she will not want to be with someone who is so flawed that he tolerated being with a “broken-winged bird”. Healthy people do not want to be with unhealthy people.

    On the other hand, if she doesn’t get better, the man will never have the perfect girlfriend because he won’t get his needs met. In addition, his fears of an intimate relationship will not be repaired by staying with an inadequate woman. It’s a no-win situation.

    Why else do men choose damsels in distress? According to Dr. Laura in her book, “Ten Things Men Do To Mess Up Their Lives” other reasons for “stupid chivalry” are: guilt for past transgressions and lifestyles, feelings of real or imagined inadequacies, fear of the pain of abandonment, loneliness, ego aggrandizement, fears about women’s (aka Mom’s) approval and acceptance and a fragmented sense of masculinity. If you’re currently trying to be a knight in shining armor, what’s your reason?

    Just because a man doesn’t acknowledge that a woman is responsible for her circumstances, it doesn’t mean those same circumstances won’t come back to bite him in the butt at some future date. Larry Birkhead’s life is now chaotic as the result of trying to save a woman whose life was chaotic. Would you want to be in his shoes?

    Source by Lucia Demasi

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    Why Sealing and Painting Does Not Eliminate Odors

    The property you are considering buying has the potential to make you a lot of money. Only it has one major problem, and this problem is the reason you are able to buy this property at such a bargain. The problem is odor, odor left behind by a host of pets.

    Should you seal or paint the floors and walls to trap the odors? Will that solve the problem for you? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

    Sealers are intended to block stains on walls from bleeding through and staining new paint applied to a wall. They are not designed to seal or block gases (odors) from escaping or passing through. Some-but not most-paints do produce a continuous membrane finish that is not gas permeable. Consider, however, that only one of many sides of an object like a piece of drywall or flooring is being painted, this approach offers limited odor control and success.

    Both fire and tobacco smoke are exceptions. But even long-term contamination of walls and ceilings with tobacco smoke can be sealed in only after most of the tobacco tars have been washed away with Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP). The remaining tobacco smoke odor can be eliminated with chlorine dioxide gas. It is a small packet of powders that when exposed to water vapor, produces a gas called chlorine dioxide. This gas oxidizes the smoke residue and removes the odor completely in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

    Sealing urine odors into flooring can work on plywood flooring, but a careful analysis of the process reveals some serious flaws. Sealing sheet flooring actually reduces the amount of water and water vapor getting to the urea salt (produced by the urine residue) so that the salt does not produce the odor in the form of mercaptan gas.

    When the floor is put back in to service, however, small movements of the surface caused by occupant traffic and furniture will cause the sealers to crack and leak water vapor in and mercaptan gas out. The cracks are large enough to allow water vapor and mercaptan gas to escape, but too small to allow this and water liquid to get in to work on the urea salt. Also, floor boards have six sides. Sealing one side is not enough to fix the problem.

    Using sealers or paint to seal concrete floors is more effective, but most sealers and paint are gas permeable. Additionally, scratches and wear spots in the sealer or paint will cause mercaptan gas to leak past the seal again, creating the problem mentioned above.

    Heavily contaminated wood and concrete flooring present yet another problem. When the urea salt gets wet from water drawn from the wood or concrete, it expands and will actually lift sealers and paint off the floor. When these blisters burst, the odor returns.

    So if sealing and painting doesn’t work, what does?

    Source by Martin Meyer