Choosing the Right Painter and Decorator

Choosing a good tradesman can be a daunting task, especially when the tradesman you are choosing is what is classed as a finishing trade. It's not difficult to become anxious when you hear all the horror stories shown on the television or printed in the newspapers, and we all know there are many many scare stories out there. In this article I will attempt to offer an insight into good practices when choosing a painter and decorator.

A good painter and decorator will be happy to advise you on all the latest products and finishes, as well as all the latest trends and fashions regarding painting and decorating. He or she should also be happy to offer you references from people they have done work for previously. These references can come in many different forms. For example most companies, however small, will tend to have some sort of website, this is always a good place to look at a painter and decorators past work and there is also a strong likelihood that you will be able to view some of your chosen decorators work, be it in photo form or maybe even video form. If you're chosen painter and decorator does not have a website, they may have other places you can check for testimonials, such as online directories and review sites. Another good method of choosing a quality painting and decorating contractor is word of mouth. If you ask around, maybe your family and friends, or maybe even work colleagues, you can, more often than not, find somebody who has used a painter and decorator in the past.

A professional painter and decorator, as with any tradesman, should be fully insured to work at your house or place of business. Don't be afraid to ask for proof of insurance, this can save a lot of hassle in the future should things not go according to plan and there is a good chance that you will not be the first customer to have asked for this type of proof. If the painting and decorating contractor cannot, or will not show you proof if insurance then it maybe an early indication that they may not be fully insured to work at your house or place of work and they should be treated with caution.

Please remember that the vast majority of tradesmen out there are honest, hardworking people and if you follow the advice presented to you in this article, you should find a quality tradesman in no time at all.

Top 5 Reasons to Consider "Closed-Loop" for Digital Presses

The traditional method of color calibration of a digital press is a manual operation, which falls into two logical categories. The first is a one-time task during the make-ready operation and the second is on going during the press run. With an automated process, color make-ready and run time press calibration fold into one continuous operation from press start-up to print run completion. A high-speed color measurement instrument (in-line spectrophotometer) mounted on the press will continuously monitor actual color printed values and compute and command corrective density adjustments electronically. This is accomplished by intermediate color correction computations and system feedback fast enough to keep up with press speeds. The automated system avoids manual keyboard entry and provides a correction data path directly from the on-board computer in a hardwired fashion to the print engine via look-up-tables in the printer's raster image processor.

Color control for digital presses is an excellent candidate for automation because it can provide improved quality along with operational cost reduction and increased throughput. An additional benefit is a short-term return on investment for the print service provider. The following is a summary of the 5 most important reasons to consider automated closed loop color monitoring and control.

Reason 1: Excellent color reproduction quality throughout an entire print run while increasing throughput and minimizing material waste - At the beginning of a print production run, the closed loop system will measure color bar values and command modified values to meet prescribed densities. This will provide for a shortened make-ready period for color calibration with minimum paper and ink waste. All of this will take place on press without interruption of the press to pull a single sheet. The result is replication of offset color quality with a digital press.

Reason 2: Consistent color reproduction for multiple independent runs of the same printed product - Automated color monitoring control will ensure consistent color results from week to week, month to month, and year to year. It will also ensure consistency from job to job, operator to operator, and press to press.

Reason 3: On press generation of ICC color profiles - If there are significant changes to color reproduction due to colorant or media changes, a spectrophotometer which has horizontal motion control across the width of the press and an on board processor will be able to measure a rectangular array of color patches (profile target); generate a full ICC compatible device color profile on press; and electronically load the profile into a look-up-table for automated correction.

Reason 4: Spot color and process color monitoring in the work - An additional benefit of horizontal motion control for the in-line spectrophotometer is that the operator can periodically measure, monitor, and, if necessary, correct spot colors and special process colors (logos, etc.) in the work. It would be compatible with on-press inspection system cameras to allow a press operator to place a cursor on critical color locations to be monitored in the work within the camera field of view. This would identify the exact locations where the spectrophotometer would make measurements and report and enable required corrections.

Reason 5: Generation of a print run color quality verification report from the print service provider - A critical component of an automated system is the quality control software application that monitors, displays, and records production run color data for the operator, quality control personnel, the pressroom manager, and the print buyer. A report can be provided to show customers the quality history of their jobs including:

  • periodic reporting of print job performance includes delta E, density and dot gain derivation from the tolerance values
  • detailed statistical performance reports for a single press run, or multiple press runs of the same job
  • analytic tools which allow users to run in-depth trend analysis of specific colors in print jobs that are printed on multiple presses, across different facilities, and that are printed on a recurring basis

Finding a Job in Retail

Work in retail can be an extremely rewarding, varied and interesting job. There are many different types of retail work available, and many different roles. You could choose to work as a sales advisor, or a customer service advisor, or even in a back room role such as stock assistant or warehousing assistant. There are many different kinds of retail environment to work in too, from fashion stores, to electronics, cosmetics to groceries! Retail really isn't 'One size fits all' so if you decide retail is for you, here are some pieces of advice that can help.

Register with a Retail agency.

There are many employment agencies in the UK that deal exclusively with the retail sector and can help you find your ideal retail position. You should use a search engine such as Google to find one locally to you and end them your CV and a cover letter explaining what kind of retail work you are interested in. They can then put you forward for positions as they come available. Remember, with retail agencies, their job is to find you work, so they will work very hard to get you the dream position in a retail environment.

Visit the Job Centre.

The job centre usually has listings of all the available vacancies in the area within the retail sector. You can also ask an employee of the job centre to register you for alerts to such jobs. Look on the job point computers and use the "retail" filter and this will show you all retail jobs.

Look online.

There are several job sites that are good to use online. You can search using the term 'retail' and this will show you a list of available vacancies. You can also usually sign up for alerts, as well as registering CV online, so potential employers can look for you directly.

Go direct.

Visit stores with copies of your CV to see if they have any vacancies. Larger shopping centres or malls often have job boards available to view. Leave CVs with any stores you particularly want to work within and ask them to contact you if they have any vacancies available.

So now you know where to find vacancies, you can prepare yourself for work in the retail sector. The usual traits to have to work in retail are a nice friendly manner, a calm patient demeanour and to be helpful and willing to engage with the public. You may be expected to move stock around, so a degree of physical fitness may be expected. You might also have to have cash handling skills. Many retail environments expect you to work in uniform; others may only require you to dress smartly. Always ensure to gather as much information about the company that you are going to have an interview with so that you can show as much willing as possible. Ensure to listen as well as possible.

Be bright, confident and happy and good luck in your new career!

An Overview of Investing in Loose Diamonds

Loose diamonds are well-known for their tendency to retain their value as time passes and this is why they are regarded as a splendid investment. The exchange of diamond engagement rings has become more of a tradition during engagement ceremonies, which has resulted in a consistent increase in the demand of these gem stones.

Even though a slowdown in business is being experienced by many industries due to the recession, but this is not the case with diamonds. They are still regarded as a recession-proof investment. The value of this gem stone always increases. It was recently shown in a report that diamond jewelry sales are continuously increasing while the sales of other jewelry items have slightly decreased.

Even when other investments are going down, the prices of these gems continuously increases, which make them a good investment. The increasing demand for these gem stones is one of the reasons behind this. As mentioned, diamond engagement rings continue to remain trendy. So the their appeal as precious stones remains the same, regardless of their cut and size.

For the rich, the diamond acts as a status symbol. The trend of these precious stones remains fresh since celebrities continue flaunting them. They are often purchased by the wealthy. Probably, this is the reason they are less affected by recession. They are among the different investments these people choose. Apart from their increasing value, they also act as an elegant fashion accessory.

Diamonds, even loose ones are an ideal investment, regardless of their shape and size. Apart from their size, their appearance also increases their value. In comparison to diamonds with a few minor flaws, flawless ones are rarer and more valuable. The value of diamonds is also influenced by the way they are cut. They have more brilliance and sparkle if they have many facets created as a result of being well-cut.

Those who own diamonds do not have to worry about maintenance or paying taxes regularly, like with real estate investments, which is another reason they are excellent investments. Thus, as an investment vehicle, they are actually inflation-proof too. They can be purchased by anyone and there is no need of alerting others about the purchasing or registering them. Best of all, they do not wear out; in fact, they last longer than a lifetime.

Just like other extensive items and investments, it is important to insure diamonds as well. Those who own them should get a certificate for them. A gemologist makes this document, which is a certificate or diamond grading report. A high-powered jewelers loop or microscope is used by a gemologist to evaluate them. The color, dimensions, shape, weight and other characteristics of diamonds are determined by a gemologist after analyzing the stones.

Diamonds are valued on their grade has been determined by the gemologist. A value or a value range is placed on them in the form of a statement known as an appraisal. A certificate should always be accompanying a diamond that is being purchased. To ensure its validity, the certificate should be reviewed. Thus, it is apparent that all kinds of diamonds, even loose ones, are quite valuable investments.

Take Glamping to a Whole New Level With a Limo Ride

What the heck is glamping? We're glad you asked! For the many ladies who find that camping may not be your cup of tea, you have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors while living it up in the lap of luxury.

That's right - glamorous camping, a.k.a. glamping, is the latest camping trend. More and more luxury destinations are catering to ladies on weekend glamping trips, who are looking for the opportunity to relax, unwind, and take in the scenery - with a little bit of pampering while they're at it.

Glamping: What's It All About?

Just like it sounds, glamping differs from traditional camping in that it doesn't require a tent or a sleeping bag. Sure, you'll get the opportunity to bond with Mother Nature, but you won't be sleeping underneath the stars.

Many new glamping sites provide stylish, rustic cabins with glamorous amenities, like a screened in porch, private bathroom, gas fireplace, and luxurious bed. A cabin for a couple can cost as much as $950 a night per person; family cabins start at $1200 a night per person.

While glamping, you have your choice of a wide range of activities that may include hiking, archery, or mountain biking. Additionally, you can relax in comfort while enjoying a scenic view with modern cabin amenities that include air conditioning, heat, and Wi-Fi.

Glamping Products: Don't Leave Home Without Them!

A weekend glamping trip wouldn't be complete without a wide range of luxury products to make any interaction with the great outdoors that much more bearable. Glampers may choose to bring their own stylish waterproof raincoat to brave the elements or even a lightweight silver cooler to hold bottled water and champagne.

To take a step further, many ladies who take glamping seriously also choose to bring their own high-heeled hiking boots. Whether or not high-heeled hiking boots serve an actual purpose or function as a frivolous camping fashion accessory is still up for debate.

Finally, ladies who want to plan the ultimate glamping getaway should bring their own spa accessories if there isn't a spa on-site. A fun evening glamping activity amongst the girls can include DIY facials; make sure to bring cleansers, toners, face masks, and moisturizers to beautify and soothe tired skin while grilling s'mores around the campfire.

Glamping Transportation: Book a Limo

Since glamping presents a whole new spin on traditional camping, it would only make sense that a limo rental would be in order. Instead of hightailing it up to the mountains in a rugged, muddy Jeep, pitch in with a few girlfriends to book a luxury limo or town car to take you to your destination.

Booking a limo for a camping excursion has two specific benefits: first, you'll get to relax and unwind while you sip on champagne on the ride to your campsite. Second, a limo will provide more than enough space to carry all of your glamping goodies, like luggage, a portable champagne cooler, and comfy chairs to place around the fire!

Everything You Need To Know About Lazy Town

Lazy town is an Icelandic/USA children's program that promotes healthy living, exercise and good nutrition. It was created by Magnus Scheving, an Icelandic gymnast who was the Icelandic Men Individual aerobic gymnastic champion in 1992, the Scandinavian champion in 1992 and the European champion in 1994 and 1995.

The show Lazy town first aired in 2004 and features a mixture of CGI animation, puppetry and live action. It centers on the adventures of the Lazy town residents as they try to be more active and health conscious and their dealings with the villain Robbie Rotten's schemes with the help of super-fit superhero Sportacus.

The Characters

Stephanie - Stephanie moves to Lazy town in the first episode to stay with her uncle, Mayor Meanswell. She is a young girl who is very active and loves the colour pink - her clothes, hair and everything else that she owns is pink. Her time is spent trying to encourage the other children to be active and eat healthily, whilst spoiling Robbie Rotten's lazy plans.

Sportacus - Sportacus is played by the show's creator Magnus Sheving and is the town's resident superhero that comes from an island somewhere in the North Sea. This is evidently a reference to Iceland, where both the show and Magnus originate from. He wears a number 10. His main job is encouraging the children of Lazy town to stay active and eat healthy "sports candy" Sports candy refers to any vegetables and fruit and is the main source of Sportacus' super strength and agility.

Robbie Rotten - Robbie Rotten is the villain of the show. He doesn't like anyone, especially the children being too active and eating healthily and always comes up with plans to ensure that Lazy town stays that way. There is a touch of irony in the fact that Robbie uses a lot of energy and activity to put his plans into place meaning that he might be the most active rather than the laziest of the town. In every episode he wears terrible disguises.

Ziggy - Ziggy is a great lover of all types of candy, in particular taffy. He is the first to meet Stephanie and quickly learns from her and Sportacus that there is more to life than just eating junk food and sitting around doing nothing. He aspires to be a superhero like Sportacus.

Stingy - Stingy by name stingy by nature. He is a very selfish boy who does play with the other children in the gang, but cares more about his possessions than his friends. He is particularly fond of his piggy bank and his car - a 1978 Mini Cooper. His catchphrase is "It's mine!" and he even sings a song which is about everything that is his, which is everything in Lazy town. This includes the other characters "feelings"

Trixie - She is the most mischievous of the children and likes drawing moustaches on posters of Lazy town Mayor Meanswell. She does like to play with the rest of the gang and will call Stephanie "Pinky" when she is trying to speak to her.

Pixel - Pixel is the computer whiz kid of the group and spends too long on the computer. He spends his time playing on the computer and building gadgets that mean he doesn't have to do things for himself, like tie his shoelaces. From the very first episode it is evident that he has a rather big crush on Stephanie.

Mayor Milford Meanswell - Mayor Meanswell is Stephanie's uncle and has a crush on Ms Busybody. He cares deeply about his niece and relies on Sportacus' help if she is feeling down. He is not very clever when it comes to new technologies and once tried to send what he called "b-mail" on a computer. Whenever anything goes wrong he is famous for saying "Oh my!"

Bessie Busybody - Ms Busybody is a friend of the mayor who can at times be patronizing, both with the Mayor and the children. She has at times displayed a motherly attitude towards the children. She can be seen talking on her cell phone a lot and likes to keep up with the latest fashions and trends.

The Generation of Exodus


The Merneptah Stele is one the most precious pieces of Israel's early history; however, taken at a face value, this artifact cannot provide a breakthrough to the enigma of the emergence of the Israelite nation. The available written evidence should be confronted with the battle reliefs from the Great Hypostyle Hall in Amon temple at Karnak to shed light on the pharaoh's campaign to Canaan and the role of Israel in the rebellion against the Egyptian rule. In addition, the results of the archaeological survey of the central hill country have to be reassessed to put the story into the right perspective.

Our narrative stays away from the Hebrew Bible, which never mentions the following episode, since this religious and philosophical epic was composed late enough to be trusted as a contemporary source, and its approach to the early history is biased by ideological binoculars. The lenses of these binoculars blur the historical image and distort the picture to such extent that it should be restored somewhere else, in a different milieu.

1. Merneptah Stele: many questions, few answers

'The princes are prostrate saying: "Shalom!"
Not one of the Nine Bows lifts his head:
Tjehenu is vanquished, Khatti at peace,
Canaan is captive with all woe.
Ashkelon is conquered, Gezer seized,
Yanoam made nonexistent;
Israel is wasted, bare of seed,
Khor is become a widow for Egypt.
All who roamed have been subdued'.

This citation is taken from the final verse of the Egyptian poem recorded on the Victory Stele in Pharaoh Merneptah's mortuary temple in Thebes. It is also copied on a stele in the Karnak temple in Thebes where it comes along a series of reliefs illustrating an Egyptian campaign to Canaan. These reliefs flank the peace treaty between Ramesses II of Egypt and King Mutawallis of Hatti and were conventionally attributed to the end of the hostilities between the two overlords, approximately in the year 1275 BCE. However, a modern research readdresses them to Ramesses' royal successor King Merneptah.

These battle scenes were usurped by Mernepta's sons who wanted to glorify themselves on behalf of their father by engraving their initials to cover the truth. However, behind their cartouches (ceremonial names) scientists discovered the original signature of their royal predecessor. Though these scenes accompany the peace treaty, they have nothing in common with the military exploits of their grandfather, Ramesses II. Four battle scenes correspond to four Canaanite enemies mentioned in the last stanza of Mernepta Stela: Ashkelon, Gezer, Yenoam and Israel.

The stele is a 2 m high slab of black granite inscribed in the fifth year of Merneptah's reign. The main body of the inscription praises the pharaoh for removing the Libyan threat from Egypt. In the last verse the royal scribe lists measures undertaken to restore the Egyptian order in Asia like the retention of peace with Hatti and an earlier campaign to Canaan. This campaign was his sole military interference into Asiatic matters.

Merneptah responded to a Canaanite uprising which spread over three vassal states: Ashkelon, Gezer, Yenoam (their names are preceded by a special sign for foreign entities) and a population group of Israel (its name is accompanied with a sign for people free from the bonds of the state). The rebels were subdued having suffered a great loss in casualties and property; those who had survived were transferred to Egypt as slaves.

The final extract has launched a sensation by mentioning Israel-for the first and only time in ancient Egyptian literature. The text implies that by the end of the 13th century BCE some part of the Land of Canaan was settled by people who called themselves Israel. Though not ripe for a territorial state, this community challenged the Egyptian interests and was punished by wiping out its human and economic base.

The 'Victory Stele' poses too many questions. Its meager content keeps us in the dark. Nevertheless, it remains the prime historical source setting the lowest deadline for Israel's sojourn in Canaan.

2. The Land of Canaan in the Late Bronze Age

The place-name Canaan is probably derived from a Hurrian word kinahhu ('red purple'), a fancy Tyrian dye extracted from sea snails gathered along the coast of the eastern Mediterranean. This hue was used to dye high-quality textiles that were widespread around the Near East and stood high on the scale of elite consumption.

During the New Kingdom, this land was internationally recognized as an Egyptian province which comprised all or most of its imperial holdings in Asia. This is confirmed by the following extracts from the Amarna letters (an archive of diplomatic correspondence between the rulers of Egypt, their Canaan vassals, and the leaders of foreign powers). The king of Alasiya (probably on Cyprus) refers to Pharaonic possessions in Asia as the 'province of Canaan'. The Babylonian emperor complains to the Pharaoh about the crimes of his Canaanite subjects: 'Canaan is your country and its kings are your servants'. The overlord of Mitanni appeals to 'the kings of the land of Canaan, the servants of my [Egyptian] brother'.

Local kings had a number of obligations before the pharaoh. They were responsible for the maintenance of Egyptian interests: supplying imperial troops and officials, ensuring a safe passage of foreign caravans through their territory, paying the tribute.

Canaanite rulers were involved in international trade which led to the prosperity of the elite. Their palaces and temples as well as their graves are the silent witnesses of this affluence. In internal matters, they were given a free hand, and internecine strife and mutual snitching are among the most common features breathing from the Amarna Letters. In most cases the pharaoh seemed indifferent to the outcome of the feud unless he would come to the conclusion that these petty intrigues had an unwelcome impact on the strategic balance.

The Egyptian authorities couldn't rely anymore on local elites and had to establish the direct control over vital parts of Canaan namely the coastal plain and the central valleys. They erected additional strongholds that housed governor's residence, state offices, and troops. They expropriated plots of land to create estates. They made their local vassals send laborers to engage in construction sites, enterprises (granaries, winepresses) and working their lands. However, the empire could not use all its power being busy tackling other geopolitical troubles. The state's impotence left some territories unattended and plunged certain areas of the country into a political void.

Egyptian intellectuals acquired a hostile and contemptuous attitude towards the population of Canaan notwithstanding their ethnic and social status. No matter whether Canaanites belonged to settled or movable people, were newcomers or old-timers, commoners or representatives of the elite, law-abiding citizens or outlaws. All of them were rudely nick-named 'wretched Asiatics'.

3. The proud Pharaoh

Merneptah was the lucky son of his redoubtable, long-lived father. The 13th male offspring of Ramesses II, he was not destined to be declared a living god. During his youth days, he was leading a serene joyful life of an Egyptian prince while his elder brothers were passing away one at a time. Stars were unfavorable to the descendants of the renowned Egyptian monarch.

As Merneptah was growing up, he would step into his deceased brothers' shoes occupying some of their vacant offices. He also pursued a military career having become an army general. In the last years of his father's reign, he was appointed the crown prince and assisted the elderly king in carrying the reins of government.

In the middle of his ten-year-old reign, the pharaoh made up his mind to account for his deeds before the divine authorities. He ordered to erect a victory stele destined to decorate his mortuary temple and to fashion the facade of one of the walls at the Karnak temple with reliefs associated with his military campaigns.

A model of Mernepta's magnificent palace (constructed by Mary L. Baker) is presented in the University of Pennsylvania Museum at Philadelphia. The throne room is divided by two rows of columns with a ramp near the interior wall leading to the place where the pharaoh was seated. The slits in the wall above the door look like blinds; while restricting the amount of sunlight, they allow the room to be fanned.

4. The Campaign to Canaan

The change of power in Egypt triggered several Canaanite vassals to put up a rash rebellion. Even some of Egyptian strongholds were violently destroyed. The Pharaoh's response was swift and fierce. He probably moved his army along the Way of Horus and after an intensive march reached the city of Gaza. Soon he conquered Ashkelon, the nearest of the insurgent cities and a large seaport which owed its location to a gap in dunes covering a large part of the southern Levant shoreline.

The Karnak friezes assign the Pharaoh an active role in the campaign both in battles and in the aftermath. He is leading his troops towards a bloody collision giving commands from the height of his chariot; he is executing a rebel leader keeping a firm grip on his hair and inflicting a lightning blow with his sword; he is driving bound POWs into captivity and presenting them to triumphant Egyptian gods.

The king is accompanied by his two sons who are proudly riding in chariots on their way back home.

One of the rebel cities is identified as Ashkelon: The relief is accompanied by an inscription: ''The wretched town which his majesty seized when it was rebellious'. The two other unnamed cities should be Gezer and Yenoam.

5. Israel Who?

The last military scene portrays a pitch battle in a hilly countryside against enemies wearing Canaanite ankle-length clothes. By the analogy with the Victory Stele, these foes have to be recognized as Israelites.

Israel is a West Semitic theophoric name praising the supreme Canaanite god El. These people became known to Egyptians either through direct contact with captured POWs or via Canaanite mediation. This population group chose to settle down in the highlands as a sign of voluntary isolation and was raising field crops as part of their subsistence strategy. So it possessed considerable amount of grain. Having identified their weak point, the pharaoh commissioned his troops to burn their grain stock. He was sure that he had managed to wipe off these village folks who dared to join the ranks of his enemies.

6. Rural settlers in the highlands

Throughout the major part of the Late Bronze Age, the highlands of Canaan between the Jezreel and Beersheba valleys were an inhospitable place nearly devoid of population. Egyptian authorities took little interest in this middle of nowhere, and it shared the fate of the frontier zone: to be plunged into a political vacuum.

The new settlers spoke a number of Canaanite dialects out of which Hebrew of the Bible sprang up in due time. Most of them were illiterate; however occasionally we encounter a rare bird who wished to incise a jar handle with his name or give his kids a potsherd to practice writing their ABCs. This alphabet used the Proto-Canaanite script to record only consonant letters which could follow in either direction (left-right or reverse) and lacked a strict legitimate order. The configuration of writing signs was taken from rural background ("aleph" reminds an ox's head) or body language ("kaf" represents a hand). Charcoal absorbed in animal fat served as ink.

An average village measured 0.5-1.5 ha and comprised up to 20 individual houses with a population spread between 50-150 residents. When kids grew up, some of them would abandon their families and move to new settlements nearby so that in less than two centuries, several hundred rural residences would spring up blanketing the environment from Upper Galilee to northern Negev.

These village folks expressed their religion both publicly and privately.
For public ceremonies they erected open-air shrines which were 'high places' approachable by ramps; these 'high places' were installed with an altar and encircled by a sacred wall. Large nearly square altars were made of hewn or undressed stones or a blend of stones and bricks. Some of them had four horns at their corners oriented to cardinal points. Used either for blood sacrifices or burnt offerings, they were located on uninhabited hilltops or halfway down the slopes within the walking distance of a cluster of settlements.


The Hebrew Bible is a complex composition; it is based on a variety of literary and oral sources (completely lost for us) being copied, rewritten and edited by a wide circle of anonymous scribes and intellectuals for many generations. This 'editorial staff' was inspired by a few cornerstone principles such as the monotheistic faith, the belief in the glorious national revival, the recognition of the Jerusalem Temple as the only place of the Divine Presence and Israel as the firstborn nation as well as the acknowledgement of a special mission retained with the kings from the House of David.

The "Merneptah Stele" sets the clock for the Israelite presence in Canaan. It assumes that by 1210 BCE the population group called Israel had been established long enough to be recognized as an ambiguous entity, more than a chiefdom but less than a state. It was an outcast social group of Canaanite farmers who fled to highlands in hope to survive turbulent times in frontier settlements.

They were in search of good arable land and suitable meadow land for feeding their flocks. Oak, pine and terebinth woodlands that covered the hilltops were ideal for herding. The climate favored the settlers: there was more rain and less political pressure than in the lowlands. Their economy was a successful blend of field crops, fruit orchards and farm animals.

The pharaoh was adamant in belief that these squatters had to be taught an unforgettable lesson.

Israel is an enigma. Its direct link with the biblical Bene Israel cannot be proved without a reasonable doubt but neither can be discarded as wishful thinking.

Automatic Backlink Software: Build Quality Links With Guest Posting

Guest posting has gained a lot of popularity in the last years. It is one of the most popular and successful methods of building quality links. Search engines reward contextual links from relevant sites. When you write a guest post, you are allowed to include one or two links to your site in the author box. If you provide compelling content, people will read your article and share it with their social media contacts. This means that you will send your message to a wider audience and get highly targeted traffic to your website.

Many website owners and Internet marketers use automatic backlink software and guest posting to get relevant links and boost their popularity online. Guest posting is a great way to build new and valuable relationships while promoting your site to the target audience. This strategy helps you to get your content in front of other publishers' readers and subscribers and build loyal readership.

Search for blogs and websites in your niche. The last thing you want to do is write about the latest makeup trends a financial blog with an anchor text link pointing to your fashion site in the resource box. If you want to use guest posting effectively, you need to seek out all niche related blogs and pitch a post. Find an eye catching title and optimize it for search engines. Focus on keyword research. Look at your competition for different keywords that you might use. Your title should communicate a benefit to the reader, ask a question, create controversy, or deliver a promise to your audience. It should also include relevant keywords and key phrases.

Write a captivating post that provides quality information. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but present an engaging topic from a different point of view. Don't be afraid to share your opinion and make your voice heard. When you contact the blog's administrator, introduce yourself and tell him about your idea for a guest post. Ask for a backlink in return. Almost all bloggers are interested in receiving quality content for free, so they will be more than happy to link back to your site.

If your request is approved, write a compelling post and send it to them in a timely manner. Write a short description of your site and include one or two links to the pages that you want to drive traffic to. Share your guest post on social media and social bookmarking sites, and track your website's activity. Writing content for a new audience can only be a good thing for the reputation, visibility, and connections on both sides of the equation.

Experiential Learning: Helping Management Overcome Barriers to Change

As the saying goes, "the only constant thing in this world is change." Change happens everywhere and in everything whether we like it or not. In the workplace, things can change without our participation or even without knowing. Change will happen, and if we don't adapt, we'll simply be left behind.

Businesses don't only have to adapt to change, they have to be faster and be able to predict change. If management only relies on reacting to change, by the time they are able to educate their organization about the changes, they will have already been left behind.

Market trends change very quickly. Today's popular items might be forgotten already by next week. But don't discount old classics yet as some of them tend to make a comeback several years later. Take a look at fashion; some designers have new takes on old favorites.

All organizations are under constant pressure to learn, adapt, innovate, and grow. This presents a few significant challenges to any organization:
• Understanding which changes are pertinent to the business
• Weeding out the changes unrelated to the business
• Appreciating the impact and the benefits of the changes related to the business
• Educating the organization and implementing related programs to adapt to the change

As constant as change is, so are the barriers to change. There are the expected barriers, limited budgets, time, unavailability of resources, and increased complexity among others. Then there are the people-related barriers such as resistance to change and the unwillingness to learn. It might not be readily apparent, but people-related elements are the most significant barriers to change in an organization. Sometimes, it's not just the people within the organization that are resistant to change, but people outside as well, like customers.

The challenge here then is how to overcome these people-related barriers to change. A number of organizations have tried to keep up by investing in technology-enhanced learning, like computer-based training and virtual classrooms. Unfortunately, much like traditional education in a real classroom, these methods have their drawbacks.

• There is lack of immersion
• Often expensive
• Time consuming
• Poor retention rates

However, there is a highly effective alternative known as experiential learning. Some define this method as 'the process of engaging participants in authentic experiences with benefits and consequences.' In other words, it's learning from experience. But what makes it effective?

• It's practical. Practice makes perfect. And by practicing theories, you learn better, especially when you are more aware of the consequences and benefits of your actions.
• It is interactive and immersive. Participants not only engage in their own roles, but in other people's roles (especially unfamiliar ones for realization purposes) helping them understand the importance of other people and their roles in the organization.
• It is relevant to the job. Experiential learning is based on realistic and practical scenarios.
• It is emotionally engaging making it more memorable. Not only do participants retain the experience, they retain the education and the skills learned.

Experiential learning helps members of the organization be more aware of their roles and the roles of others. This gives a common understanding of bigger picture and the need for change.

The Types Of Central Heating System

A Central Heating System has been in use in houses and business premises to protect the people living/working there from the extreme cold conditions since the ancient Greek times. However, the difference lies in the fact that the methods adopted at that time were old and historic whereas today's methodology includes latest technology and an ease of operation. This system provides the warmth to the whole interior of a building or a portion of building from one point to various other rooms. It can be combined with other systems to provide certain additional advantages like ventilation, heating and air conditioning. When it is combined with these other services, it can be termed as HVAC (Heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system.

The Central Heating System differs from Local Heating System in the sense that heat generation takes place at a centralized location in a house which may be a particular room. From that room, the temperature is transferred to the other rooms. However, in local heating, a local warming mechanism is provided in each and every room as in case of room heaters. The most common method of warmth generation is through the burning of fossil fuels like coal. The temperature can then be transferred to the other rooms by forced air with the help of a duct or pipe.

The various types of these systems that are used in household or in various business industries can be categorized under the following heads:-

Water Circulation: Water circulation is a kind of Central Heating System which is quite in fashion in the European Countries. In this, water is warmed in one room and this hot water is carried through pumps all through the building by using the dedicated wall panels. These panels ultimately transmit a small amount of the heat generated to the surrounding environment.

Electric Resistance Heating: An Electric resistance heating system requires a unit that is capable of producing heat while plugged in the electric supply of a household. When electricity is supplied to this warming unit, it produces warmth. This is then supplied to your home's ventilation system to provide warmth to the other rooms attached to it.

Steam Boilers: This Central Heating System requires the conventional method of producing heat, i.e., use oil or gas. This fuel is burnt to warm water in a tank till the time it boils and gives out steam. This steam is then transferred to the home radiators which transfer the heat originating from the vapor to the air.

Active Solar Heating: Active solar heating requires specialized glass panels that are used to capture the sunlight (solar energy). This energy is transferred to a system that is used to warm the air and this hot air is eventually distributed through the ventilation system using fans.

Gravity Fed Central Heating System: In this central heating system, a boiler is used to warm up the water stored in a tank and then, this hot water is supplied through the radiators for the purpose of central warming. There is one important thing that should be kept in mind while using this system. The water tanks should possess the capacity to ensure that there is space for the expansion of water. Otherwise, the system becomes uneconomical to use.

How Can a Computer Graphic Tablet Benefit You?

You're a designer and an artist. You're serious about your graphic design career and you need to get started. So where do you go from here? Artists start creating with pencil and paper. But it turns out that this is not all you need when it comes to your design profession, especially in this ever-evolving digital world. The computer graphic tablet is just what you need.

What can a computer graphic tablet do for you as artist? Professional graphic designers use these tablets because they can do things the trusty little computer mouse can't. Manipulating designs with a mouse for images doesn't always work for the image you're designing. Using the pen, or the stylus, makes painting and drawing feel natural; unlike the sharp, sudden movements of a mouse. The bottom line is that the mouse is not going to give you the exact line or curvature that you're going for. There is only so much you can accomplish with design when it comes to the point-and-click mechanism of a mouse.

Pressure sensitivity is the most important benefit of the computer graphic tablet. This pressure sensitivity allots you many more variations in the lines of your artwork. For instance, manipulating pressure sensitivity can make for a more realistic appearance. The tablet picks up on the pressure sensitivity of the pen while pressed against the tablet. This determines how thin or thick, dark or light, and how smooth or edgy your lines will be. Painting with the stylus can be much more realistic and flow more naturally. The more pressure sensitive levels a tablet has, the more kinds of brushes and drawing styles you will be able to work with. Some tablets come with up to 2,048 pressure sensitivity levels. That's a lot of different line styles. You apply the pressure you need, and you get the results you want.

With a graphics tablet, you have more and better control over the designing process. Drawing, coloring, painting, shading, and many other techniques can be much faster and much more precise this way, rather than using the mouse. Selections of your image are made easier. Corrections to your artwork can be made instantly and more easily with the pen. If you'd like to draw your design on paper first, you can scan it in and still manipulate it with the pen in an art program. With this said, you know exactly how you want your piece to look, so having every bit of control is necessary.

You're serious about being a designer; be it a fashion designer, an architect, interior designer, a cartoonist, a photographer; any design profession. With a computer graphic tablet, you're not limited with what you can accomplish. Don't wait another day. Find the right graphic tablet for you, and bring your art to life.

Learn The Tools Of The Trade For Online Games

Online games that simulate firearm practice or other sporting challenges are among the most popular forms of entertainment available today. These types of games can even improve skills that are valuable when performing their real-world counterparts, which is why many athletes enjoy playing sports games. A brief summary of the most common in-game tools and weapons follows.


Almost every game is familiar with guns. You can find them in the simplest arcade style shooter games to graphics-rich first person adventures, and even in action and role playing games. People love shooter games, as evidenced by the fact that this is one of the oldest and most common types of all video games.


There are a few online games of the fighter variety that features swords. This pre-Industrial armament is more often found in fantasy settings and RPGs. Battles involving swords or other blade instruments are more up close and personal than those with guns, and often require additional dexterity and skill.


Fancy an old-fashioned challenge of fisticuffs? Boxing, wrestling and other online games feature hand-to-hand combat that pits you against an enemy without any weapon other than your own body. This can be a welcome change from the high-powered arsenals of many modern battlegrounds, and results in a much more intimate one-on-one fight.

Balls and Bats

These are most well known by those who prefer to play sports games. This genre aims to accurately simulate real-world activities such as football, basketball and hockey. It is not restricted to team sports, and gamers can find things like golfing, table tennis and even extreme sports.


Dropping a bomb is a common part of many flight simulators. Bombs can also be found in space flight adventures and other types of shooter games. Some RPG and strategy games include explosive as well.


These will most often be found in science fiction or futuristic settings, particularly in shooter games. Many fantasy adventures have a low-tech equivalent in which players shoot flames or fireballs. This sort of projectile is often more accurate and does more damage than traditional firearms.


Many role playing applications include animals that may be used as companions or even for transportation. Often these same beasts have their own attack capabilities, making them useful as a second line of defense. Some games, based on the shooter or action genres, allow the user to play the part of an animal in a combat situation.

Beyond Belief

The above are just a few of the most common tools of the trade for online games. Every application will have its own unique elements. Sometimes these include high-powered futuristic weapons that haven't been invented yet. On the other hand, games may make weapons out of everyday items, or feature obscure, historical or even magical instruments for attacking the enemy. Much of it comes down to personal preference and gameplay style. There are options available to suit nearly any taste.

Whether you want to play sports games, explore a fantasy realm or test your wits in a game of strategy, a solid grasp of the game items available to you will give you an edge when it comes to making the most of your play.

All About AC Power Cords

AC power cords make use of alternating electric current, the direction of which is reversed intermittently. Strict specifications are followed in the manufacturing of these cords, the regulation of their size and shape, and the balancing of voltage and current ratings. An AC power cord possesses two ends: a female end and a male end. The female end is supposed to be connected to the electrical appliance, whereas the male end meets the power socket. All cords are mostly alike except for the plug end, which determines how different each type of cord is. AC power cords come in a variety of different types that include polarized, non-polarized or grounded, to name a few.

Polarized cords have plugs with a characteristic shape in order to make sure that the electricity does not move along the wrong wires. This is basically to serve as a safety measure. The special design ensures that the plug enters the socket in a single way. This guarantees the proper orientation of the electrical poles. One of the plug prongs has a marginally bigger size compared to the others to aid this orientation. All appliances that come without internal safety features must be used with cords that are polarized for safety.

All of the plug prongs of a non-polarized cord have the same size, which means that they can be plugged into the socket both ways. This means that the live and neutral wires are both joined in a random fashion. In the absence of any precautionary safety design, these cords depend largely on the device that they are connected to. To ensure safety, the devices in question must have polarity shifting and shut-off features. Moreover, non-polarized cords are more heavily insulated as opposed to the average polarized cord.

An AC power cord with a plug end that is either non-polarized or polarized is commonly referred to as a grounded cord. These cords have plugs that come with three prongs in order to sidetrack the flow of stray voltage away from all users and electrical equipment. The unrequired voltage is redirected to the ground to preclude any hazards. Grounded AC power cords offer the greatest level of security and safety and must be used for the protection of devices that are expensive or highly valuable.

AC power cords, regardless of whether they are polarized, non-polarized or grounded, are made using a thin copper wire that is covered by layers of rubber and plastic to aid insulation. The prongs are usually constructed out of brass or steel with a coating of tin, zinc or nickel. These cords have a number of uses. They come in useful for the proper functioning of devices in every sector imaginable. Retail, commercial, electronic and industrial applications all make use of these power cords. The use of AC power cables in the household cannot be undermined either. All electrical appliances and devices, computers, power tools and lighting require AC power cords to function properly. Without these cords, the running of household appliances would involve a considerable degree of risk.

Where Can I Get Hearing Aid Help? Hearing Aid Providers

There are several available resources to find hearing aid help. With a little persistence you will find hearing aid providers that will meet your needs.

  • Get a referral from your family doctor.
  • Ask your health insurance company.
  • Complete a Google search for an Audiologist in your local area.
  • Use the yellow pages in your phone book or online.

In this article I'll walk through each of these options to help you decide which option is the best for you.

Get a Referral From Your Family Doctor.

Chances are if you have a need for audiological services you have been referred by your treating physician. If not, ask your doctor for a referral, if for no other reason than to just make you more comfortable in choosing a service provider. If you have medical insurance that covers hearing aids and/or hearing care services you may need to check with your medical insurance representative to decide if a referral from a physician is necessary to receive coverage. Do your homework.

Ask Your Health Insurance Company

Contact your health insurance company. They typically will have a directory listing the medical professionals that are in their network. It may include a listing of Audiologists as well.

Complete a Search on the Internet for an Audiologist in Your Local Area

Complete a search on the internet for "find an Audiologist" and you will find several very good online directories available to help you in your search.

  • The American Academy of Audiology ( has a searchable database by state and city. Select the "Find an Audiologist" link in the Quick Links section on the right-hand sidebar of the page.
  • Another searchable database can be found at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association ( Select the "Find a Professional" link in the Quick Links section at the bottom of the page.
  • A third searchable database can be found at Select the "Find an Audiologist" link on the left-hand sidebar. This directory is searchable by state or zip code. The Audiology Awareness Campaign site's goal is to raise public awareness about hearing loss.

You can also complete an internet search by entering "Audiologist City State". Enter your city and state. You will get a listing of service providers in your area.

Use Your Phone Book Yellow Pages

A good old-fashioned resource in finding professionals in any industry is the yellow pages in your phone book. You can typically find listings under "Audiologists" or "Hearing Aids". There are also online versions of the yellow pages available:


Use the resource you are most comfortable with.

Do Psychics Use Tarot Cards?

Q: Why do psychics use tarot cards? What is the benefit to using a "prop" if you have natural psychic ability already? Do mediums use tarot as well... and if so, HOW so?

A: Tarot is just a tool, or a way to channel or focus energy and attention in a specific direction. Tarot is also a very symbolic, interpretive art as well... which gives a good psychic a whole new dimension for exploring and expressing their intuitive abilities.

Let me give you a few quick examples that I hope will make more sense.

George Anderson, the famous medium is well known to draw furiously, or sketch on a piece of paper while doing a reading. This is a very simple technique he uses to channel, or focus his mental mediumship on expressing the symbols, signs and messages he gets from beyond.

(and many other psychics and mediums, both famous and little known, use similar tools and techniques, with artistic expression during a reading being pretty common)

Tarot, is similar, although it has some additional advantages. It provides the symbols in a ready made fashion... and a good tarot reader is actually applying BOTH psychic gifts, interpretive psychology and even more exotic skills like the understanding of archetypes, astrology and universal personality traits as well.

A truly special tarot reader is PRIMARILY psychic of course, but uses the tarot to further advance and interpret where their clients are, have been in the past... and are going in the future.

Curious to experience a good tarot reading for yourself? Here are some super simple tips for making sure your next tarot reading is as accurate as possible... and having a good time to boot!

- Do a little bit of due diligence before the reading
Some tarot readers, for example... are NOT psychic at all, and just use the cards for psychological interpretation. Believe it or not, there are some completely NON "psychic" uses for tarot in conventional psychiatry, and while it's definitely not mainstream... I know folks who think psychic abilities are silly, but still use tarot in their therapy practice as a tool.

- Make sure you know what TYPE of reading you need as well.
For example? Mediums rarely use tarot cards as a tool. Most spiritual psychics tend to try to connect to spirit using other techniques... and more often than not, if you are looking for that sort of reading and pick a tarot psychic, you will be disappointed.

Readings that are predictive in nature are PERFECT for tarot. Love, romance and relationship readings in particular. Career, passion and overall life PURPOSE readings are as well!

Remember, have FUN, enjoy yourself and open up your mind, spirit and intuitive heart to the idea that your life DOES have a plan... and let tarot help show you the way!

Tapping The Student Market For Lanyards

Promotional lanyards are one of the cheapest and simplest products to increase your brand exposure. Their value as a marketing tool is unparalleled, as they offer a straightforward method of putting your brand out on the streets, at arenas, events and anywhere you decide to target. Designing and producing a lanyard with effective campaign marketing ensures that you can operate within specific demographics and timeframes.

Students are a very attractive group for those in the marketing and advertising industry. During the start of term in the later months of the year (September onwards) students began to rapidly flock to their new Universities. Cities can see a drastic increase in population with many large universities boasting towards the healthy end of 5,000 new students per year. In somewhere like London which has well over 50 centres for higher education, this influx represents both a market to be tapped and tools to be used.

Students themselves will be targeted by marketing companies undoubtedly, but they can in themselves become a marketing tool to be exploited. Fresher's Fairs are popular conventions that operate in the starting weeks of the University term, for which the societies and organisations hope to recruit new members but local businesses also maintain a presence here. There is a big "freebie" culture at these Fairs, in which the students try to collect as many free gifts from local businesses as possible. From vouchers and coupons to clothing and technology, businesses hope to snare their future business.

Lanyards are very popular gifts to give away as students are likely to continue using them in the early weeks of term. Added keys, cards and flash drives that need to be carried away make lanyards an attractive solution to this problem. Branding your lanyard and giving it away at these Fairs opens up a whole city of brand exposure, as the students explore their new homes wearing your company colours, slogan and logo around their necks.

The introduction of a new brand to students can also be the pendulum which swings their decision. If you are one of two bars on the high street, one of which the students have never heard of and one of which was giving them free lanyards at their Fresher's Fair; they're going to, consciously or not, choose the brand that they know. Unless there is a significant difference in price, quality or service then the same psychological rules will apply when it comes to retail, catering or any other monetised business.

Tapping into a fashionable design or appearance at the time can lead to students choosing to wear their lanyards beyond the time limit of the gimmick sensitivity at the start of term. Established brands with a good presence will enjoy more success here, but with the right design any brand can achieve this end. Lanyards represent a unique opportunity to establish this exposure within the price bracket. Giving away more functional accessories and clothing like t-shirts and bags might be more impacting, but the costs will be significantly higher and along with it, the risk.