Visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario on School Tours

As the largest city in Canada, Toronto is a must-visit location on any school tours that head to Quebec or even to New York. Situated on the north-western shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is a vibrant and bustling modern city. It can trace its history back to the late 18th century when the land was purchased by the British Monarchy. Currently, Toronto is the fifth most populous city in North America and is well known for its art, education, music, business, economics, media, sports, medicine and general quality of life. The city is intersected by three rivers and sits on the Toronto Harbour. Toronto is often broken into several districts for ease of navigation and on school tours to the city most groups tend to stay within the centre to explore the many museums and collections. While in this wonderful city, be sure to visit the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Art Gallery of Ontario

The museum was founded in 1900 by a group of private citizens as the Art Gallery of Toronto and was renamed the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1966. Today, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the biggest museums in all of North America. With almost 600,000 square feet of space, the museum boasts a collection of over 80,000 works and is a must see on any art or history based school tours to the city.

The museum's first exhibitions were opened in 1913; the new gallery building was begun in the Beaux-Arts style in 1916, opening two years later. Over the years the museum has grown, with the latest design expanding it even more. School tours to focus on the arts of Toronto will certainly not miss taking students to this visually impressive museum, whose exterior complements its extensive and important collections within.

Be sure to plan to spend plenty of time in the museum as there are several collections that are each, in themselves, expansive. The Canadian collection guides visitors through the history and development of Canadian art and showcases works by artists such as Emily Carr, Paul-Emile Borduas and Joyce Wieland. School tours will introduce students to the Canadian Collection and the Masterpieces of European Art Collection, which boast works from some of the most famous names in the world of art such as Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne.

From the European Collection, students can move to the Thomas Collection that houses a variety of works from Canada and Europe, including antiquities and even ship models. Be sure to save some time to explore the Contemporary Art Collection with its span of works from 1960s to the present day. Don't skip out on the impressive 40,000 strong photography collection either. Finally, be sure to wander through the galleries and observe the many sculptures; take particular note of the ones by Henry Moore, since the Art Gallery of Ontario houses the largest public collection of his sculptures.

Philosophical Zombies: The Quest to Decipher Consciousness

The movie "Night of the Living Dead" now ranks among the classics in the horror film genre. Zombies, humans without apparent consciousness, loomed large in its plot, and in the terror the movie instilled.

But the concept of a zombie raises serious questions. Consciousness is decidedly a first person experience. If I know anything, it is my own conscious palette of sights, sounds, feelings, thoughts and desires. But though I can see others physically, and observe their outward behavior, I can not experience their inner life. So as sure as I know my own consciousness, I can not access that of others.

Are Other Humans Conscious?

We thus have a question of whether other humans are conscious. Are others just zombies?

On this question, I will cut right to answer. Others are almost certainly conscious. Though we can conceive worlds where "things" exist that look, act, talk, reason, eat, function, etc. just like humans, but don't have consciousness, we don't at all think that is the case on real Earth.

Why? Our fellow humans resemble us, and each other, too closely. All humans develop in the same way, we look and act the same, we share the same evolutionary ascendancy, we communicate with similar concepts, we grieve, we anger, we have brains organized in the same intricate manner, and on and on. Thus, even absent my ability to access your consciousness, our similarities are so great I would bet money that you are conscious.

Are Other Things Conscious?

Though I have no doubt you are conscious, the situation with a robot is not so clear. I can conceive, and in my lifetime could likely encounter, a robot-like computer that mimics human behavior so well its computer nature would be almost undetectable. It would converse with me, expresses emotion, declares preferences in music, and even, conceivably, has sufficient programming to paint (though maybe digitally, let's not get hung up on its mechanical capabilities).

Is the robot conscious?

We would think, in this version available in my lifetime - we will call it the first version - that the robot is not conscious.

Why do we judge that this first version robot lacks consciousness? We do so based on its internal architecture. For all their advances, the Intel chips (or any other mainstream chips) most likely at the core of our version one robot would not operate like humans. The chips would operate serially, mechanically, input-to-output, using speed rather than functional or architectural resemblance to mimic humans.

That is why we didn't for a second believe Deep Blue played chess the way Kasparov did. And that is why we don't believe computers of today's architecture have consciousness. Though they might mimic us externally, internally the architecture and configurations of current computers differ from humans like night and day.

What About in the Farther Future?

But let us consider a robot version two. We will dispense with traditional processing components. Gone will be registers, instruction stacks, memory caches, serial and parallel buses, data buffers, arithmetic logic units, and so on.

The second version robotic processing architecture will mimic the brain. We will have a neural network type architecture. Individual, simple units will connect in a brain-like mesh with thousands of other simple units, with long and short range connections, sub-communities of highly connected units, and dynamic weighting of connections as this second version learns. The entire collection will number billions of these units. In short, we will construct a brain in silicon.

Can we do this? Not now. Today, we have not reached a sufficient understanding of the brain and its networks, nor have we advanced non-traditional computer architectures enough, to accomplish this. But if we look a century from now, or maybe a millennium from now, we can conceive a world with a robot with a silicon brain.

Would it be conscious? I would not be surprised. As I see it, consciousness arises from attributes of the human brain and body. The mechanisms by which it arises may be complex and daunting. The properties of which it consists may be unique and unlike any other property of items in our universe. But whatever consciousness is, it is not random, it is not magic. We thus can conceive that humans can recreate the properties necessarily for consciousness.

Note I am not claiming the physical brain causes consciousness. The claim is that the brain has the conditions for consciousness. A concert hall does not cause a concert, nor does a flower cause a bee to fly to it. But build a concert hall, or place a flower, and the conditions are such a concert will likely take place in the hall, and a bee will likely fly to the flower.

Similarly, the human brain creates the conditions for consciousness. We, or at least I, thus have a reasonable expectation that we can figure our how to reproduce those conditions, and create a non-human entity that becomes conscious. This may require a century, or a millennium, or five millenniums, but mankind can conceivably achieve this.

Will We Know?

But will we know it is conscious? We will not, not for sure. The consciousness of our version two robot will be as first person as ours. While we think may have mimicked the conditions for consciousness, we might have just missed. Consciousness may depend on a dozen interwoven characteristics, and we may get only eleven correct in our robot. The robot may appear conscious, but be a zombie, and we couldn't tell either way.

To know, for sure, we somehow must connect consciousness to consciousness, to crack into its first person veil.

The movie "Avatar" might provide a clue. The movie features the transfer of the consciousness of our reluctant hero, Jake Sully, to his Na'vi counterpart body. It is interesting, and the movie puts enough techno-flashy ornaments on the transfer to make it believable, in a movie sense. But that is not a useful image here. Consciousness appears to be too highly dependent on a physical structure, putting aside religious beliefs, to be transported like helium gas or a winged spirit or an electrical burst from one physical entity to another.

Spock on the epic Star Trek series could connect mind-to-mind, thought-to-thought. That is a more useful image. In the Spock mind meld, consciousness doesn't float free of its substrate. Rather, it is through close physical contact that Spock breaks the veil and connects the consciousness of one sentient being to that of another sentient being.

But, alas, we have no idea what mechanism inside Spock's mind and fingers enables the connection.

Let's then go to version three of our robot, not a millennium from now, not five millennium from now, but a hundred millennium. Assuming, and this could be a false assumption, but assuming continued human development we enter a world where mankind has re-engineered itself. Humans are not born; they are nurtured to life as a hybrid biochemical, electrical, mechanical cellular beings.

And we now have multiple brains, each a center of consciousness. Even further, since the centers of consciousness exist inside a single "person", we have developed connections between these centers, connections that allow each center to observe and experience the consciousness of the other.

Is this conceivable? Without being ghoulish, we know now from Siamese twins that two centers of consciousness can exist in a single person. Siamese twins operate with two separate brains - and two separate centers of awareness, beliefs, emotions, intellects and so on - in the same body, and remain stable and alive for years.

Can we nurture an entity with multiple centers of consciousness, so they are linked? I will point to our rapid expansion of technological and scientific skills. Those skills leapt forward orders of magnitude in complexity in the last two centuries. A not unreasonable extrapolation would have mankind able to build sentient beings with multiple centers of linked consciousness within a hundred millennium.

Do we have hints of this? Yes. While dreaming, we can step outside of the dream, and be conscious of dreaming, while the dream continues, aka lucid dreaming. Blind sight, the phenomena where the brain perceives something without a top-of-the-mind awareness, also hints at multiple centers of consciousness.

Theses are faint hints, surely. I present them not to prove the case, but to provide some images. The case is that from these snippets our technological development can conceivably take us to a world where one consciousness can sense another; where we can pull back the first person veil of consciousness in a real life mind meld.

The first person veil of consciousness seems impervious now, but if I am correct that is not because consciousness is inherently first person. Rather, the veil exists due to our practical inability to sufficiently link to centers of consciousness. But our thought experiment of a far future world, where multiple brains exist inside one being, gives us insight. As we conceive two brains in one being, we can conceive of connecting them with the likely millions of neural links we might imagine required for one brain to experience what another brain is experiencing.

I have talked about millennium and hundreds of millennium before mankind can create the conditions for consciousness. Some circles of thought don't think it will take that long. Some predict conscious computers in decades. Hopefully we will have better resolved the enigma of consciousness before then, so we know the standing of such non-human consciousness. And hopefully this article, and the images it presents, adds a rung or two to the ladder of thinking needed for that resolution.

Cleaning Out File Cabinets

I am not a lawyer or a financial advisor, I am a Judgment and Collection Agency Broker. If you ever need legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.

Remember when the media once told us the internet would make everything paperless? It seems that while most entities now generate less paperwork, there are more entities now to generate paperwork.

As time passes, most filing cabinets tend to become overfilled. However, we refer to the documents stored there much less often.

Cleaning up file folders is usually a low priority chore. In many cases, file folders become overstuffed. This adds hassle to moves, and after we die, those we leave behind must sort though hundreds of papers to find that one needed document.

It is a good idea to prune file folders annually, or every few years. I think it is best to thin one section of a file cabinet at a time, while listening to music or watching TV. That makes the sorting job painless and quick.

With periodic documents (e.g., bills), generally you should keep the first and the last few. Instead of keeping ten years of utility bills, keep the first one and the last three.

A good scanner reduces the filing cabinet load. One example of a good scanner with PDF creation software, is the Fujitsu SnapScan. You can keep the PDFs in organized folders on your computer.

Mac or PC, make sure you back up the PDFs on at least two other disks (e.g., a cloud backup, and a backup to an external drive/disk).

As good as cloud storage is, you need a local backup too. While the motto seems to be "trust the cloud", computers and networks do go down. Hurricanes, power loss, floods, earthquakes, etc., could make even the best go down or become unavailable.

After you scan what you need into PDFs, and your computer is properly backed up, you can start throwing out or shredding most of your paper records. When something bad happens where you are, a cloud backup of PDFs could end up being much safer than a single set of paper-based records.

Obviously, taxes, legal, medical, and financial records are all a much higher priority than are utility records. There is no need to save trivial or temporary records. Keep some bank statements, throw away all your ATM receipts.

Of course, you must have a shredder for any personal information papers you are discarding. Make sure you have a quality shredder, that cross-cuts the papers, and that can accept several pieces of paper at once (or shred a credit card or disk).

Here is my opinion on how long to keep records:

Some records, should be kept for decades, or for life:

Birth certificates, corporate documents, CPA audit reports, death certificates, diplomas, tax returns, licenses, retirement and pension records, important summary legal documents, patents, and trademarks.

Some records, should be kept for six years:

Accident reports and claims, annual financial statements, builder contracts, important correspondence, important legal documents, property records, purchase records, registration applications, and sales records. Mortgages, deeds, and leases - keep for six years past ownership or rental.

Some records, should be kept for three years:

Improvement receipts, insurance policies, medical bills, payroll records, property records, stock records, and vendor invoices.

Other kinds of records depend on how long you own or keep assets:

Bills and credit card receipts (keep until they show up on the next statement), pay stubs (keep until you get your W2), sales receipts (keep as long as you own something), vehicle records (keep them for two years after the vehicle is sold), warranties and instructions (keep as long as you own something).

Because I am a judgment broker, here is my opinion about records retention in a judgment enforcement or debt collection business, or if you recover your own judgments. As with personal records, you do not need to save everything.

I think that in all cases, you can shred everything in a judgment case file five years after the judgment is satisfied, is worthless because of bankruptcy, or is returned to the original judgment creditor.

Virtually all judgment enforcers use either a calculator with a ledger book, a database, a spreadsheet, or a judgment or finance program; to keep track of payments, costs, and interest accruals.

If you use a system to track everything, you do not need to keep every document for five years. If you prepared four court-stamped memorandum of costs over time, you only need to keep one copy of the latest one, that summarizes the previous costs and credits.

Once a writ has expired, you only need to keep one copy of it. You only need to keep one original court-endorsed copy of abstracts of judgment, assignments of judgment, and satisfactions of judgment.

Destiny In Your Life, The Universe And Everything

Author's note: for the sake of brevity, I intend to use the acronym for self-awareness or consciousness as SAC; for the overlapping concepts of destiny, fate, function, meaning, purpose or reason as DFMPR. That should save a bit of space!

A Few Ultimate Questions:

Is there a DFMPR to life, the universe and everything?

What is the DFMPR to life, the universe and everything?

What is my DFMPR within life, the universe and everything?

Does the universe have a SAC?

A SAC universe, well that's the only way it could assign you a, or influence your, DFMPR. But, looking up at the night sky, do you really think the universe gives a damn about your alleged DFMPR in life? That would indeed imply that the universe has some sort of SAC. But, IMHO, the universe did not assign you a DFMP at birth and does not acknowledge any DFMPR to your existence. You can contemplate the universe; the universe can not contemplate you. Alas, that's because the universe is not alive, it doesn't have a mind; it does not have any SAC. To argue otherwise is to invite trouble.

Some readers might recall the controversy of James Lovelock's Gaia theory which seemed to imply that Earth (Gaia) had a SAC and the planet could somehow intellectually manipulate the various geo-chemical cycles (feedback mechanisms) to optimise the environmental balance between extremes that could otherwise result without those mechanisms. Gaia's DFMPR was to produce and ensure an optimum Earth; a Goldilocks Earth, an Earth that's just right for life. Of course those feedback mechanisms were just the result of natural unconscious physical laws, and too many New Agers read too much into Lovelock's ideas. Planet Earth exhibits no SAC and neither does the universe.

By extension, there is no nebulous supernatural other within the universe that serves as a substitute for a SAC universe. As a jumping off premise, there is no such thing as either a SAC universe, or a supernatural realm that contains any deity or family of deities within that universe.

I guess I should mention astrology here if for no other reason than readers would expect to find it mentioned. OK, I've mentioned it, now it's time to move forward. Astrology is a 100% human invention and has no cosmic or personal significance in any shape, manner or form. Of course you are perfectly free to adopt astrology as your answer to your DFMPR, but that suggests you are happy to negate any free will others might think you have.

Let's start at the most elementary basics and work the way upwards, starting with the four forces and associated particles plus the elementary particles (electron and quarks).

There are four fundamental forces in the universe, with associated particles that form the entire bedrock for all of life, the universe and everything. They are gravity, the weak nuclear and strong nuclear forces, and electromagnetism. You know all about gravity; electromagnetism is also a pretty familiar concept from the light that you read by, to the compass that guides you from Point A to Point B. Now do you associate any intelligence or SAC with these four forces? - Probably not.

There are also a few fundamental particles that you have probably heard about, namely electrons and quarks. Quark combinations make up protons and neutrons, and they in turn, in association with electrons make up atoms. Are electrons and quarks SAC? Do they have intellect? Do they have free will? - Probably not.

Atoms combine to form molecules, and molecules can combine to form really complex molecules, and combinations of really complex molecules can form life within all those other non-life bits that comprise the rest of the universe and everything. But if the fundamental building blocks have no SAC, how can combinations of them have SAC? It's like building a house of red bricks only to have the finished house appear blue!

Still, somewhere along the line, un-SAC bricks can form a SAC house - you, for example. Therefore, the eternal question - the bits and pieces what makes me up has no SAC, yet I have, a SAC that is. Therefore, I'm more than the sum of my parts and I am somehow special (relative to the universe) and no doubt endowed therefore with some special DFMPR, if I can only figure out what.

Conversely, one could take the point of view and argue that gravity has a DFMPR to its existence, ditto a quark and therefore they have a SAC in order to carry out their DFMPR (like keeping Earth in its orbit, or making those neutrons) and therefore a rock has SAC (being made up of bits and pieces of SAC bits and pieces) and therefore you aren't unique in your SAC vis-à-vis the inanimate world. But you still have to figure it out - either way you have to figure it out what your special DFMPR is. However, I have a hard time thinking that most living things would accept that all non-living things have a SAC, so let's scratch that option.

Okay, the universe isn't SAC and has no DFMPR, it just is; you on the other hand are SAC and therefore assume you have a unique DFMPR, whatever. But is that by your choice and alterable (free will) or by the design of the universe and unalterable?

From the moment of the Big Bang, all the laws, principles and relationships of physics became hardwired into the fabric of the universe, fixed and forever unalterable. That implies total causality and that outcomes are fixed. Plug in the numbers into the equation, crunch the numbers, and out will come the answer, fixed and immovable. Everything that happens in the universe is predetermined even unto billions of years into the future, including you and your DFMPR. Your life may have DFMPR except you have no choice, no free will, in what that DFMPR is. Absolute cause-and-effect rules out free will. Let's move on from there.

Let's forge ahead instead with the standard model and see where that leads us. The standard model, scientific model, being that the universe has no SAC or DFMPR, causality is iffy (due to quantum physics); you have SAC so there's a transition between no SAC and SAC as complexity increases. There is no nebulous other (something supernatural) pulling your strings; you have free will.

You exist. You have not always existed and you will not always exist.

You did not create yourself. Is there a reason you exist apart from the sex act that created you and perhaps the wishes of your parents to have a child (you) - though that may be a good enough reason in itself.

A more interesting question though is, is there really a DFMPR to your existence, and by extension to all that came before you, leading up to you, since if you have a DFMPR your parents had at least one DFMPR - creating you - and so on back on down the line.

Working backwards, if there was a reason for you, therefore there was a reason for your parent's existence, your parent's parents, back to the rise of Homo sapiens, the primates, the mammals, life itself, stuff (planets, stars, and galaxies), the creation of matter/energy and the time and space to ultimately produce you. If you exist for a reason, then everything that went before had a reason to exist as well.

If something is created, and that something has a DFMPR for being created in the first place, that implies an act of intelligence, though that level of intelligence doesn't have to be very high. Ants create an anthill out of dirt or sand for a purpose (shelter); some birds will gather up pretty baubles and lay them out to be admired by a prospective mate, an artistic work that has a purpose (sex and reproduction); some primates fashion sticks out of leafy twigs to probe for termites, again for a purpose (food).

Back to you: were you created for a DFMPR - are you a tool as it were, designed with an ultimate DFMPR in mind, and if so who or what created that DFMPR? There are two possibilities, not mutually exclusive.

* You are your own tool. You create your own DFMPR.

* You are someone else's tool. Parents, teachers, other authority figures help give your life DFMPR, like do the dishes; mow the lawn; do your homework; voting is compulsory (this being written in the rather undemocratic country of Australia); pay your taxes; don't drink and drive; don't be late for work; spend, spend, spend; be fruitful and multiply; thou shall have no other gods before me, etc. Of course it doesn't have to be an authority figure. Maybe a close friend suggests your DFMPR lies in being a musician. Decades later, you're a rock & roll superstar!

Your mind is perfectly free to accept or reject the demands or your externally imposed DFMPR, like wash the dishes or practice, practice, practice your music, as long as you are willing to accept the consequences if you exert your free will in the negative. Ultimately, you, or your mind is in control and that's where the buck stops.

In the case of the anthill, the artistic pattern of the baubles, the termite gathering stick, these are someone else's tools (ants, birds, primates), obviously, since they didn't create themselves. They are creations from within the mind of their ant, bird, primate creators, but via a hardwired form of intelligence - instinct.

What humans tend to create is more a soft-wired flexible sort of intelligence; true intelligence as it was - creating outside of the instinct box. You don't fashion atomic bombs, or financial markets, or shoes, or a theory of evolution by hardwired instinct.

But the line between animal hardwired and human soft-wired 'intelligence/instinct' isn't all that neat and tidy. Apart from housing/shelter, many an animal 'society' has by definition a social structure, a political system (leaders), a division of labour, and has 'invented' agriculture and harvesting and animal husbandry, even slavery, warfare and genocide. I'm thinking primarily, but not exclusively, of the ant or bee/wasp kingdoms.

However, there is a bottom line here. Things with DFMPR, by instinct or by pure intelligent design, stem ultimately from the brain, mind, or wetware, whatever you wish to call it. There is no nebulous other factor behind an anthill or wasps nest; creating a new dance step or meal recipe.

The human mind does differ I suspect in at least one highly significant way - humans, via their minds, envelop themselves in a wider worldview, both in time and in space, vis-à-vis the animals, and ponder the meaning of 'why'.

Animals, my cats for example, have a sense of who (friend or foe; prey or predator); what (I know what that is, it's my chair); where (I know where my food dish or litter box or the door is); even when (their biological clocks are damn accurate, but their sense of when doesn't extend much past 'right now'), but lack the intellectual ability to ponder why or how. Animals live day-to-day, even moment-to-moment, without a sense of mystery (they have no concept of whodunits), which isn't to say they don't have a concept of the unknown - they do have curiosity and like to explore (is there food just over that hill), but DFMPR are foreign ideas to them. Things just are and don't need to be explained. There is no need to frame questions, far less seek answers.

Humans however have evolved the concepts of how or why. And the human mind can come to terms with concepts like DFMPR; good and evil; mystery and awe; yin and yang; a sense of yesterday and tomorrow; of death and immortality which are all foreign in the animal kingdoms.

Unfortunately, though how and why questions come easily to the human mind, answers do not and being an rather impatient sort of life form, well, what do we want, answers; when do we want them, now!

Any gaps in our minds ability to figure things out, the natural order of things (like life, the universe and everything), could be instantaneously filled in by one very simple invention - storytelling. If you have trouble explaining the natural via the natural, then invent explanatory stories of the supernatural, or mythology, or its synonym religion, since every mythology has both supernatural elements and deities. Easy! Every culture has done it. As author Karen Armstrong says "We created religions because we are meaning-seeking creatures". A local pastor of a friend of mine wrote that "religion is for making a disparate and confusing world coherent". Substitute the word 'science' for 'religion' and I'd agree. That's what science tries to do - make sense of life, the universe and everything. Later on down the track, people decided the best way to explain the natural was to investigate, experiment and get their hands dirty, and slowly but surely, supernatural or religious philosophies morphed into natural philosophy, or what we call today science, and science has indeed filled in many gaps where previously only deities feared to tread.

Not all mythology need be 100% tall tales invented from scratch out of whole cloth to explain life, the universe and everything. There could be, and probably are, natural events influencing the authors of these tall tales. One can easily substitute a natural, albeit extraterrestrial Captain Yahweh of the Starship Heaven for the supernatural Almighty for example.

Religion may have once covered that role but since the Age of Enlightenment religion has become irrelevant in that role. We created science to ultimately explain that who, what, where, when, why and how. Science answers the question 'what is my DFMPR in life' by pointing out there isn't any DFMPR (given to us by a nebulous other or religious deity), any more than what is the DFMPR of a rock's existence. It just is. There is nothing ultimately different between you and a rock, just the arrangement of the fundamental bits and pieces that make up both you and the rock.

But science hasn't yet come to terms with everything life, the universe and everything has thrown up. An obvious example is explaining that eternal question of what is my DFMPR in existing and being present and accounted for in the first place, apart from my asking "how high" when someone says "jump"! "How high" might be your DFMPR for being present and accounted for in the here and now.

But then you too could jump all on your own accord because you have decided that your DFMPR in life is to jump, or at least one of your DFMPR (there's probably no such thing as just a singular DFMPR to your life). Now that's not all that frivolous since there are athletes whose profession is the high jump or the broad jump or race track hurdles, or who ride and jump horses over obstacles - the steeplechase I think that's called.

So again we see that your DFMPR can be both influenced by others (say your drill sergeant) and by yourself - you volunteered to enlist in the army and serve your country thus giving you DFMPR to your otherwise miserable existence.

The Concept of the Nebulous Other:

Now a question arises, does any DFMPR stem also from a third party, from a sort of nebulous supernatural sort of other drill sergeant type? Only if you believe in the existence of such a deity or the various mythological texts that supposedly endorse such a being. However, I've already pointed out that these religious mythologies were the products of the human mind to give instant satisfaction to un-answered and unanswerable (at the time) questions. Therefore there is no competing nebulous supernatural other directing your life, even if you believe otherwise. Any nebulous supernatural other stems from your own mind.

There is one other last option. People who feel that they are being directed or otherwise have a sense of higher calling or DFMPR in their life might be virtual beings in a simulated universe. Software is the string; you (in fact all simulated life, the simulated universe and the simulated everything) is the puppet of some unknown nebulous, but not a supernatural nebulous other, is the puppeteer. In such a simulated universe you'd have a DFMPR, but no free will. In this case the puppeteer wouldn't be just a mental creation.

Conclusion: All DFMPR; good and evil; mystery and awe; yin and yang; a sense of yesterday and tomorrow; of death and immortality stems 100% from within your own mind, albeit influenced at times by others - like your drill sergeant - natural others, not nebulous supernatural others. If you feel you have an ultimate DFMPR to your existence then that ultimately stems from or is consolidated from within your own mind (brain chemistry rules the roost) even if influenced by the input of others. I have various self-assigned DFMPR, but they all stem from within my own mind - an example of free will? When my mind eventually goes, so too will go the DFMPR. Once you're brain dead any DFMPR you had can't be continued or added too, though that doesn't mean you can't still serve a DFMPR, like being an inspiration after-the-fact. Still, the bottom line is that all DFMPR ultimately comes from within, probably after much internal mulling things over, and ever evolving as you get older (and wiser). Apart from the simulated universe scenario, your mind is your own. You have, apparently, free will to pick and choose your own DFMPR.

Finding The Right Affiliate Marketing Programs

Affiliate programs are hugely popular these days. If you want to make money on the internet but don't have any products or services to sell then you should join such a program as soon as possible. With a little effort you can build multiple streams of residual income. This business requires no investments on your part. All you need is simple website that can be built at the cost of a few dollars. Once you have established yourself in the industry and earned the trust of your readers making money becomes extremely easy. In the following paragraphs you will learn a few important tips and strategies.

The concept behind affiliate marketing is simple and it is as old as business itself. Even in ancient times resourceful entrepreneurs bought items and sold them to earn profits. Of course the modern version is much more refined than that but the inherent concept is quite similar. The online version of affiliate marketing was founded by William Tobin, the owner of PC Flowers & Gifts, on the Prodigy network in 1989. Initially the system had certain flaws and shortcomings but all of them were eliminated with the passage of time.

There are various types of affiliate programs on the internet including pay per sale, pay per action (PPA) and pay per lead (PPL). Each variety has unique characteristics but one thing is common: all programs pay the affiliates for promoting products and services. If you want to be successful in the field then you should choose a program wisely because it can make a lot of difference. Some products are easier to promote than others.

Every affiliate program is based on these four elements:

• Merchant - The company that sells the products and pays the affiliates for their efforts
• Marketer - The person who promotes the products
• Promotional Media - In this case the internet
• Customer - The end consumer

Understanding the role of each element will help you come up with an effective business plan and increase your chances of success. You should also know which product categories are popular among customers these days. Here is a rough list that will help you get started:

• Health and fitness products
• Computer software and hardware
• Entertainment (music and movies)
• Cellular phones
• Published items (documents, books, e-books, etc.)
• Education (schools, colleges, distance education, etc.)
• Arts and Crafts
• Travel destinations

The popularity of affiliate programs has increased tremendously in the past decade or so. Previously the cost of running such a program was too high but nowadays it is quite affordable. That is the reason why almost every reputable company is using this promotional strategy. As the field of internet business and e-commerce keeps expanding, more and more people are turning towards affiliate marketing.

To start your internet business you should choose an interesting niche, setup a website and finally start looking for suitable programs. You can also use a system like Commission Junction or ClickBank. These systems have thousands of products to choose from. Once you are a member you don't need to look for individual programs. Hopefully this article will help you make money on the internet.

Hearing Loss V Visual Loss - Time to Listen

It is common for both hearing and vision (properly referred to as "visual") loss to occur as we age. Normal, healthy people will lose hearing because the hair cells in the ear, which interpret sound vibrations, become damaged or die over time, and they will experience visual loss as the flexibility of the crystalline lens in the eye is gradually reduced. Visual loss caused by aging is defined as an otherwise perfectly shaped eye (in other words not an eye with a misshapen cornea as found in near or farsighted individuals) most often occurs in people over 40. However, hearing loss from aging can start as early as age eight.

On average, humans hear a range of sounds between 20 Hz (Hertz: cycle per second) to 20,000 Hz. Hearing high frequency sounds, those above 2,000 Hz (abbreviated 2 kHz), begin to fade as early as age eight. By the time a person reaches age 25, he or she generally cannot hear above 15 kHz. Speech is considered a high frequency sound, generally landing between 2 kHz to 8 kHz. As higher frequency hearing is lost, "s" or "th" sounds often become difficult to differentiate, and women's voices (registering higher) become harder to understand. Ultimately, speech will sound muffled. If a person is aging normally, 15 kHz is still extremely high, and does not adversely affect the ability to hear speech. However, humans are easily prone to speeding up the loss of their own high frequency hearing.

Loud noise is the greatest contributor to high frequency hearing loss. Prolonged exposure to sound above 85 decibels will damage the hair cells. Because these cells do not regenerate, hearing loss will occur. While occupational noise from industrial machines found in construction, factories, the military or farming has been the common cause of this type of hearing loss in the past, today, loud music pumped through headphones plays an equal risk. An iPod, for example, reaches 85 decibels at 60% of its potential volume. A Florida study discovered up to 24% of iPod users chronically listen to levels exceeding this safe decibel range. In general, the more ambient noise (say on a bus or at a coffee shop), the louder the listener is likely to turn up the volume, and the more likely they are to be causing damage to their hearing.

Traditionally, glasses are a socially acceptable aid for those with visual loss, while hearing aids still hold on to a negative stigma. In addition, more people are likely to get periodic eye check-ups than hearing exams. Since hearing loss is an inevitable part of aging, (and one we seem to be very good at accelerating) it is equally important to get regular hearing tests. And with advances in technology, hearing aids are virtually invisible, eliminating the embarrassment which might have come from the old fashioned devices. Hearing loss is part of aging, but it doesn't have to be part of your suffering.

Tips To Effectively Use Bannerstands and Tradeshow Displays For Pinnacle Results

Working a marketing convention can make a major promotional impact for virtually any business. This tried and true marketing resource has more than proven itself as an invaluable option for organizations looking to further their existing company presence and help bring their current product line more effectively to market. Best of all, participating in a marketing convention affords companies of every size the unparalleled opportunity to meet and interpersonally engage with their distinctive consuming demographic.

Success At Tradeshow Displays Requires Careful Strategy

Despite such an extensive list of benefits, simply matriculating for a specific function or event is not enough to guarantee a successful venture. It's no secret that these events can prove an expensive endeavor and optimizing results at each and every outing is a must. If your organization is ready to make the leap into this powerful promotional forum, understanding some critical tips on how to best use your company bannerstands and tradeshow displays can help you maximize function achievement and ensure your team stands out from the sea of competition you're sharing the showroom floor with.

Three Key Ways To Best Leverage Your Custom Booth Designs

One of the best things about participating in tradeshow displays is that this particular format instantly levels the playing field between rookie startups and industry giants. A company's overall presentation will often wield a far more powerful advertorial wallop than name and brand combined. Based on this, it's imperative to leverage custom booth designs and bannerstands as much as possible. Always use the following tactics at every event to ensure you're consistently reaping maximum results from your tradeshow displays:

Have a clearly defined goal: It's never okay to wing it when it comes to your custom booth designs and tradeshow displays. Always brainstorm with your team to determine exactly what type of message and information is most important to convey to the congregants milling about the showroom.

Do your research: Once you've outlined your strategy, it's time to find a qualified firm that has the experience and talent necessary to make your convention vision a reality. Always partner with a reputable design team that has a clear understanding of what your organization's goals and objectives are. A top firm will quickly be able to create exhibits and bannerstands that effectively convey your message to the masses and help your team make the best visually impression possible.

Use an assortment of appealing accessories: Beyond custom booth designs, peripheral accessories can further help drive home your company's marketing missive and help further your brand exposure. Set up bannerstands throughout the venue to carefully guide guests into your exhibits, coordinate a table presentation that showcases your most innovative products and services, play calming music to help create a welcoming oasis for pedestrians or even rent a large screen monitor from your chosen design team to stream videos and product demonstrations. Offering booth visitors a visual "something extra" can go far in helping grab their attention and ensure that they remember you and your organization long after the event closes!

Goals: Turn Resentment Into Resources With I Want Re-Frame TV

In this article you will learn to reach your goals by clearing away any obstacles from the past or that may arrive in your bright and successful future. With this powerful technique you can turn resentment and bitterness and old negative patterns into positive resources. Imagine a television screen where you control what is happening. Some of you may remember "I Want My MTV" jingle so I call this technique, I Want Re-Frame TV!

So imagine a TV set and you control all that happens on the screen. You can take an event from your day that did not go the way you wanted it and you can do it over again the way you would have liked it to go. Your imagination is very powerful and your mind does not really know the difference between what happens to you and what you vividly imagine in the right way. You will learn how to imagine vividly in the way that your mind accepts it as reality. This can then generate new and positive patterns in your life in a very dramatic and powerful way.

With that in mind, take a small not so pleasant event and imagine it on the TV screen. Now, freeze the interaction and notice the control you are already starting to feel. You can change the negative expression on your face or the face of someone you were speaking with and you can change the tones of voices, etc. Now take the frozen picture and allow it go grow into a fuzzy snowy picture (almost like channel 3 or whatever channel you use to watch DVDs where you live)

Now do the same with the sound and sensations and emotions until you feel more neutral of even positive about the event. You can fuzz out the sound or add circus music or something very silly. Notice how changing the picture to a more hazy vague image makes it feel more neutral. If you were angry or sad or scared during the original interaction, now you can feel less and less of this impact. It is as if the sensations are less and maybe you feel as if the memory happened MUCH longer ago, the way things feel when time has changed your viewpoint of things.

You can now take that blank fuzzy screen and project some lesson to yourself-basically replay the scene the way you would NOW live it, what you would say, do, how you would feel, etc. Another way to do this is to notice a lesson to your self and write it on the TV picture. Now we take this TV set with the NEW Behavior and/or NEW Lessons and notice how we take the TV set and put it behind you into your PAST where it will be a resource for you from now on, instead of an obstacle in front of you. I like to have the person actually hear the sound of it being hammered into the wall behind them.

You have taken powerful steps in reframing resentment and bitterness and repeated patterns and changed them into NEW Resources that can help you to resolve any remaining issues from the past and any that come up in your future. This powerful Resource is now for you to reach your Goals! Make this a habit as you drift off to sleep at night-go over the events of your day and creatively change them so that your unconscious mind now has clear instructions for what you want it to do to help you and how you want to think, feel, believe, act and live! Add your vivid and bright positive future in front of you and feel yourself getting closer to reaching your goals. Feel yourself already having reached your goals and now look back on the day you read this article and learned and applied this powerful technique that helped you get there.

The Strategic Importance of Supply Chain Management (SCM)

1 Introduction:

Logistics supply chain management is one of the most contemporary and challenging concept in today's business world. Due to increasing global demand of business; transportation, procurement, manufacturing, distribution activities increased tremendously. Now a day, major companies are focusing on SCM to reduce cost and constantly trying to develop new innovative strategy to meet consumer demand to achieve competitive advantage.

2 Definition of Supply Chain Management:

In short, supply chain management means, right product at the right place at the right time at the right measure and at the right quantity. For example, in a supermarket, if the consumer found in a product shelves, there is tag for the product but no product in shelves; what you think? Yes, that is because of poor management of SCM. More precisely, SCM is the management of inbound and outbound logistics process to integrate from procurement, suppliers, manufacturers, warehouse, distributors, transportation, and store in order to meet consumer demands.

3 Why Supply Chain Management is Important?

As global competitions are increasing customer have different choices & needs to satisfy demands. For example, if there are demand for umbrella in rainy season and if you asked supplier to deliver 20,000 umbrellas in summer and expected to receive at the beginning of rainy season; what do think would probably happened?

According to this scenario, say for example, supplier response lately after two weeks, slowly starting procurement and then starting production and supply the goods at the end of rainy season. As a result, in this case the buyer will face tremendous losses.

Let's just think how can, we change our scenario with an effective strategy: consider the order of umbrella was given at the end of spring to deliver at the end of summer. Supplier response precisely, starting from procurement to distribution utmost efficiently and transported through freight within one week before ending summer. The delivery was on time and arrive within 30th days in summer. The buyer is happy to receive items on time and that allows the buyer to distribute products through distribution channel and, with the right forecasted of demand, buyer captures the market at the right time and making money.

In past manufacturers were known as the drivers of the supply chain as they were scrambling to meet customer demands at rapid pace but now customer is called the driving shots in a long term competitive advantage. To meet the customer demand accordingly, companies are shifting to customer oriented strategy (a bright example would be 'Dell computer'). Hence, to achieve competitive advantage in the market, it's necessary to deliver the product at the peak time.

4 Key Drivers of Logistics Supply Chain Management:

From the analysis different journal article, textbook, web research we found the key drivers are differ in according to different perspective, such as Globalisation, Sustainability, Cost-awareness, Customers, Suppliers, Technology and Transportation.

4.1 Globalization:

The external forces (i.e. political, economical, socio-cultural, technological, legal and environmental), local competition, continuous policy and regulations changes, pressure from international brands and all affects to meet the consumer demand in market. Thus, companies are facing huge challenges to meet the requirements globally. Through the product barriers are eliminated, no products are now considering domestic products but due to globalization forces companies tend to change policy and strategy regularly. Besides, with the benefits from globalization now, foreign investor are encouraged to invest in several countries which forces local companies to improve quality of existing products which create huge challenges in procurement, manufacturing, transportation and distribution activities for the companies.

For instance, a company can develop a product in the US, manufacture in China and sell in worldwide, i.e. Apple. This makes a complex and challenging activities for company. Thus, in order to maintain global demand Apple makes strategic choice to build global manufacturing and engineering infrastructure in California, Ireland and Singapore to capture market in US, Europe and Asia. This global strategy from Apple allows the company to take advantages of capturing large market. This strategy, allows Apple to become number ONE innovative company in the world.

4.2 Sustainability:

Creating sustainable chain has a major concern for companies. Constant variable pressure from regulations, geographic in nature, social-economic impact, international policies and principles in general is complex for managing SCM.

For example, green environment (i.e. carbon emission); local government are always imposing regulations which affect on the manufacturer. For instance, production and manufacturing in developed countries like in Europe is huge challenge as because of strict rules and policies of environmental issues compare to underdevelop countries like in Asia. For example, in automobile industry producing vehicles is challenging because of environmental issues in different countries.

4.3 Cost-Awareness:

There are four major decision areas in cost awareness:

4.3.1 a) Location: Convenient feasible location with availability resources including all facilities is the primary step of towards of creating strategic network. However, due to geographical distance and cost, companies often couldn't able to cope up with customer expectation.

4.3.2 b) Production: Cost fluctuation from production levels are critical issue for strategic decision, such as what product to produce, which plant to allocate and what supplies to get for production.

4.3.3 c) Inventory: Inventory cost varies at different level starting from raw materials to finished goods. Cost is also associated in buffer stock, safety stock or even days of inventory in hands as well as price increases during the periods of inflation affects.

4.3.4 d) Transportation: 30 percent of logistics cost associate with transportation that makes the companies to think about distribution channels about air, ship and road. Air shipment is fast, reliable but expensive while sea shipment is chap but time consuming.

4.4 Customers:

Customers are the most unpredictable variables to determine demand. Frequent changes of demand, new expectation, changing approach of existing product, influential behaviour attitude towards products are all determine to develop a customer-product innovation strategy. For example, Apples starts it business on the bases of computers but after understanding demand of consumer, they launched iPhone, iPad, iPod as means of innovations strategy which satisfy customer but not merely makes the customer delight but introducing facilities like ITunes, music, software application gradually capture the market the whole market.

The example here provides a key learning tool 'how the company understand its customer to achieve competitive advantage' which makes us to think what strategy they are following. In Apple strategy most of the iPhone and iPad items (i.e. parts) are outsourcing. More precisely speaking, very few components are created by Apple, hardware is supplied by contract manufacturer and software is supplied by millions of software developer to build various applications for the devices which minimize the cost.

4.5 Suppliers:

Supplier's motivation is important for quality, cost and delivery expectations of producing product with value as they have greater influential aspect of supplying item. For example, Dell's direct strategy requires processing orders direct from customer. Dell's pull strategy to build computers o customer's specifications and deliver within time. To support this model, Dell asked suppliers to keep inventories within 15 minutes of the manufacturing locations. Virtually all products are made to order. Every two hours, the factory planning system sends out a computerized message to suppliers detailing what parts the plant needs. That means there is almost no inventory of parts or products in the factory and this happen only because of healthy relationship with suppliers.

4.6 Technology:

With the benefit of technology, customer are now becoming more technological oriented focusing on online trading, online shipping, online payment, online information, online virtual chatting, and so on. This technological process has a greater impact on customers and now a day customers are constantly willing to get more information, answers, about their choice, preferences. Dell's could be an ideal example, how technology impact on business and increase revenue. The success of Dell's direct sells strategy depends mostly on continuous development of technological aspect as the customer willing to become more connected, assist them to develop cost effective quality product strategy.

4.7 Transportation:

Transport system is the most important economic activity among the components of business logistics systems. Around one third to two thirds of the expenses of enterprises logistics costs are spent on transportation. Beside good transportation is challenging issue to deliver product at right time. Thus, to enable flow of goods from one destination to another and to ensure on time delivery; companies needs to understand the right strategy of supply chain. However, unorganized transportation system, labour force, policies, laws and regulations, uncategorized rooting system is a big hindrance for supply chain solution. If there is suitable transportation network, delivery of the product to the market not ensured supply chain activities will be at risk.

5. Companies Prospective of Strategic Importance of Logistics Supply Chain Management:

5.1 IBM

IBM faces challenges on future supply chain are on cost containment, supply chain visibility, supply chain risk management, customer requirements and globalization. Here cost containment relate to shifting cost of operation rapidly, supply chain visibility includes information and collaboration with external partners where supply chain risk management describe as forecasting customer demands and higher costs, customer requirements influence to identifying customer demands, approach, attitudes towards of product and globalization relates to global issue like geographical distance, cultural barriers, transportation system, feasibility of resources, rules and regulations and so on. Thus, to tackle those issues IBM developed strategy on future supply chain based on "instrumentation", "interconnectedness" and "intelligence".

5.1.1 Instrumentation:

Developing RFID (i.e. radio frequency identification) tag, meter, GPS system, tracking reduce the inventory cost and increased visibility. That allows to witness actual fact occurred in supply chain activities. Besides, forecasting of demand becomes much easier as tracking production level and sales level estimated through technology. Again, production, distribution and transportation are controlled and monitored with smart devices to eliminate waste and increasing efficiency. So, with the force of technology IBM creates a sustainable global supply solution by focusing more on customer.

5.1.2 Interconnectedness:

Interconnect with global network i.e. suppliers, manufacturer facilities collaboration with external partners and bodies reduce global issues. Besides, shared decision making with and determine regulatory constitutes from local, regional and international enable to share the risk.

5.1.3 Intelligence:

Effective sophisticated modelling and simulation capabilities allow designing sustainability model, network transportation system, and distribution strategy for IBM. Thus, smarter supply chains allow intelligent modelling to the key driven force.

5.2 Woolworths

Woolworths is an Australian's largest retailer faces multiple turbulences to find an effective solution of supply chain at the beginning. It faces challenges on sustainability (environmental issues), customer focus, suppliers, transportation system and technology. However, after removing those barriers, it builds strong supply chain strategy not only to meet customer requirements but also expanding business in Australia and New Zealand and to achieve competitive advantage over the market.

The success stories build up with collaborating and strong networking relationship with suppliers, adopting policies, rules and regulations, technology and new innovation (i.e. fresh foods).

The strategy for sustainability point they come up with 'fresh foods' and carbon emission. For example, "announcing 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions on project growth levels by 2015, managed 13 percent reduction. This is an estimate saving of about 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide again 25 percent minimum reduction in carbon emissions per square meter for new stores Woolworths has now on average reduces in 25.08 percent carbon emissions per square meter" (Our planet, n.d). Besides, introducing new products in the market like Woolworths Pet Insurance, android application applies sustainability in market.

From supplier driving force, Woolworth's key strategy is to build strong and committed relationship with suppliers that involves in communication, continuous feedback to ensure quality product for customer.

In customer point of view strategy, they are more customers oriented to provide most enjoyable, quality shopping experience to fulfil the demand at the right time at the right place. For this, they focus on centralized distribution model for all inbound and outbound logistics.

In technological point of view, company adopted new technology with keeping pace of technological advancement. For example: EFTPOS system.

5.3 Procter & Gamble

Proctor & Gamble faces challenges on global alliances, constructive network distribution channel, healthy transportation system, inbound and outbound logistics support. For this, they build a supply chain strategy, first to understand target customer according to their satisfaction and loyalty level and then optimizing supply chain (i.e. ensuring product availability at all time). Side by side, focusing on technology like RFID which increases product visibility for better supply chain management. Besides, maintain strong relationship with retailers like Wall-mart and implementing online web support allow the customer to be connected with customer its build premium foundation for sustainable environment.

6 Conclusion:

Thus, globalization, sustainability, cost-awareness, technology, customer, suppliers, transportation are all related to supply chain activities. Now, opportunities of barriers has been minimized which encourage foreign investors to invest, implement and operation. Side by side, in terms of sustainability; collaborating, adopting policies, rules & regulations, technology, transportation allow to build constructive communicative strong relationship with external partners which could be an ideal solution for sustain in global market. Most importantly, focus on customer is vital to enhance growth and for this choosing right strategy for supply chain is essential to ensure right product at the right time at the right order with right measurement.

Roman Missal, Third Edition: Liturgical Renewal As Envisioned by Vatican II (Part 4)

Catechesis, Catechesis, Catechesis

Widespread failure to correctly understand and implement the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council has produced a decades-long liturgical crisis in the Catholic Church, leaving the true aims of the Council fathers largely unrealized to date. However, during this dark and turbulent period for the Church, scattered glimmers of light have reflected the Council's true vision for liturgical renewal. Two of these have been the Adoremus Society and Ignatius Press, both founded by Father Joseph Fessio, a Jesuit priest who studied for the priesthood under Cardinal Ratzinger in the 1970s. A close friend of our current pontiff, Father Fessio is deeply familiar with his traditional Catholic vision of the liturgy, and has conveyed that vision for many years in publications such as the Adoremus Bulletin, the Adoremus Hymnal and numerous books by Ratzinger, especially The Spirit of the Liturgy. These materials have helped familiarize American Catholics with the true spirit of Vatican II regarding the liturgy.

Another bright glimmer of light in the darkness of the post-Vatican II era has been the daily celebration of Mass in the tiny chapel of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery founded by Mother Angelica in Irondale, Alabama. Here, as in few other places in America, the celebration of the Novus Ordo liturgy has consistently followed the terms of Sacrosanctum concilium: certain parts of the Mass are always said or sung in Latin; Gregorian chant is a mainstay of the liturgical music; and missals are available to help people follow along with the Latin parts of the Ordinary. Different priests vary in their use of Latin and English in the liturgy, offering a good example of the flexibility that Cardinal Arinze referred to. Like the Benedictine monasteries of the European Dark Ages, Our Lady of the Angels has helped preserve the rich liturgical tradition of the Latin Rite and the true spirit of Vatican II through difficult times for the Church in the United States. Not only has it done that, but through daily broadcast of the Mass on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), it has communicated that tradition and that spirit to millions of Catholics across the United States, providing invaluable catechesis and promoting liturgical renewal in fidelity to the Second Vatican Council.

The implementation of the Missale Romanum, Third Edition, presents an excellent opportunity to correct the widespread misperceptions regarding the liturgical reforms of Vatican II. However, this educational opportunity must be seized and taken proper advantage of, not allowed to slide by. Pope Benedict underlined the importance of this in his April 2010 address to members of Vox Clara when he stated that "the opportunity for catechesis that it [the new Roman Missal] presents will need to be firmly grasped."

Education is the key to understanding. Without proper catechesis, English-speaking Catholics of the Latin Rite will not correctly understand the reasons for the changes or appreciate the new translation. This catechesis is currently going on in parishes across the United States to prepare parish staff, musicians and parishoners for the new Roman Missal. Catechetical efforts aimed at the laity are especially important and essential. Priests are serving catechesis about the new Mass text from the pulpit, through color inserts in the parish bulletin, and through a variety of helpful informational booklets that parish families can take home with them.

Additionally, there are many things that lay Catholics can and should do to educate themselves about the liturgical changes. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a special section of its website devoted to the new Roman Missal at that gives basic information and includes, under "Sample Texts," the full new text of the Order of Mass as well as side-by-side comparisons of the old and new Mass text for people and priests. Every Catholic with access to the Internet should take advantage of these resources and print them out for closer study and review in preparation for implementation. In addition, Catholics who lack knowledge of Latin should start getting familiar with it. Two excellent resources for this purpose are the Adoremus Hymnal, which includes the Order of Mass in Latin and English side by side, and Jubilate Deo, both available from Ignatius Press and through the EWTN Religious Catalogue. Every Catholic of the Latin Rite should at least know the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, the Pater Noster, and the Agnus Dei by heart in Latin. For a better understanding of what the Mass is, Pope Benedict XVI's little book The Spirit of the Liturgy offers a brilliant presentation of the theology of Catholic worship and the 2,000-year history of the Church's liturgy. And finally, Catholics who have not yet done so should pore over Sacrosanctum concilium to soak up the true spirit of Vatican II and clarify their understanding of the Council's liturgical reforms.

Yet even with proper catechesis, some Catholics will still object that changing the words of the liturgy now after forty years is a recipe for pastoral disaster, as it will cause people to leave the Church. This objection stems from all the misperceptions of the Second Vatican Council recounted in this article. Ironically, it is being made by those who are themselves predisposed to leave the Church because they disapprove of the changes. If some Catholics can't live with the changes, that is their problem. For its own good, the Church must remain faithful to the true spirit of Vatican II, even if that means alienating some people. When the Vatican approved the new Roman Missal translation in July 2010, Cardinal Francis George, then president of the USCCB, admitted that some people will not like it but that in the end, "it will be the text the Church uses for prayer." The implementation of the new Roman Missal will be a litmus test of fidelity to the Church. It will separate the wheat from the chaff-true, faithful members of Christ's Mystical Body from parasites who hitch onto it for their own comfort and convenience. This pruning process will render the Church slightly leaner but stronger and healthier, in line with Pope Benedict XVI's vision for the "new springtime" of the Church originally predicted by John Paul II.

The Dawn of Real Liturgical Renewal

A major priority of both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI has been correct implementation of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, especially the reform of the Sacred Liturgy. The Third Edition of the Missale Romanum and the Instruction for its translation, Liturgiam Authenticam, were both issued during John Paul's pontificate. Liturgiam Authenticam marked the close of a four-decade period of experimentation with liturgical translations authorized by the Second Vatican Council, while the Third Edition of the Roman Missal represents a consolidation and integration of the Council's liturgical reforms into the Church's Latin Rite tradition. This project of correct implementation of Vatican II has been carried on with vigor by Pope Benedict XVI, who sees the proper understanding and faithful celebration of Catholic worship and liturgy as the key to renewal of the Church and effective evangelization.

In 2007, Pope Benedict took the bold step of issuing a universal indult that allowed the occasional celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form in any diocese of the Latin Rite without the necessity of obtaining the local bishop's permission. This move may have been somewhat controversial at the time, but it was a stroke of genius. Pope Benedict recognized that lack of Catholic exposure to the traditional Latin Mass was impeding the authentic liturgical renewal envisioned by the Second Vatican Council. The pre-Vatican II Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo of Vatican II are not strangers to each other, nor was one ever intended to be radically different from the other. By giving modern Latin Rite Catholics the opportunity to experience the traditional Latin Mass, it allows them to reconnect with their liturgical (as well as religious and cultural) tradition and can help them better understand how the Novus Ordo Mass fits into that tradition.

Furthermore, a major theme running through the pontificates of John Paul and Benedict has been the prediction of a "new springtime" for the Church in the third millennium, particularly based on a revival of interest in Catholicism among young people. Both Popes have understood that there's an important connection between the implementation of Vatican II and this theme of a new springtime for the Church: Renewal of the liturgy will lead to renewal of the Church from within. But what will the new springtime look like?

In an interview with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN in 2003, then-Cardinal Ratzinger opined that the new springtime would not be characterized by mass conversions to Catholicism all over the world. Rather, he said, it would consist of small, "convinced communities" of believers, especially young people, who would celebrate the liturgy together and witness the joy of their Christian faith to the modern society around them. That joyful witness of faith would be the primary method of evangelization, attracting other people to the Church and leading to a renewal of society as well.

This hope-filled yet realistic vision of the new springtime for the Church resembles not so much a flood of sunlight as an ever-growing number of lighted candles in the darkness. It has a particularly Benedictine flavor, and is part of the reason why our current Holy Father took the name Benedict. He did this to honor Saint Benedict, whose little monasteries scattered throughout Europe preserved Catholic faith and culture during the Dark Ages. The Church today confronts a certain kind of "dark ages," as it is surrounded by the manifold evils of modern Western society and culture. In the Eucharistic liturgy, the heart of the Church's life, the burning light of Christ can set each small, faithful, "convinced community" of believers ablaze, empowering them to spread the light of Christ to others.

A tantalizing glimpse of Pope Benedict's vision for the new springtime can be seen in the hunger for liturgical tradition among Catholic young people. In dozens of places across the United States where Mass is now occasionally celebrated in Latin in the Extraordinary Form, the churches are packed with Catholics in their twenties and thirties. These small, "convinced communities" of young believers, with their devotion to truth, enthusiasm for Catholic tradition, respect for authority and commitment to fidelity to the Church, are already helping to make the Second Vatican Council's vision for liturgical renewal a reality.

As the inauguration of the English translation of the Missale Romanum, Third Edition approaches, we are standing on the threshold of an exciting and historic moment for the Roman Catholic Church. The dark and difficult period of the post-Vatican II era is vanishing, and the dawn of real liturgical renewal as envisioned by Vatican II is upon us. In April 2010, Pope Benedict XVI expressed to Vox Clara his hope that the new Roman Missal will serve "as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world." With the realization of this hope, the new Mass translation will play a vital role in the new springtime for the Church. Its theological riches will help priests and people alike enter more deeply into the mystery of the Eucharist, the source, center and summit of the Church's life. Its prayers will elevate Catholic worship and inspire and enrich our personal prayer lives. Along with a rediscovery of our rich liturgical and cultural heritage in the Latin Rite tradition, this renewal of the Sacred Liturgy will stimulate a new flowering of Catholic culture and enable the light of Christ to more brightly illuminate the world of the twenty-first century.

Cheap Online Backup Services - Secure Online Backups At Affordable Prices

Do you remember the last time you started looking for an important document only to realize a few hours later that it had been accidentally deleted? Let's face it. The surplus amount of documents, videos, music files, and photos you produce and store every day takes up much of your computer's storage space.

Don't want to lose any of your data? Fret no more! There are many cheap online backup services that can save you the money and time wasted because of lost files.

Cheap Online Backup Services

Pricing for backup services commonly depends on the kind of storage you will need. Huge files often need unlimited storage or a bigger server space. The problem here is if you do not have the budget to pay for such service. Well, worry no more!

There are numerous online backup services that offer unlimited storage plans for about $50 a year or less. It is a small price to pay for its long-term benefit. You won't find yourself needing to buy an external hard drive, multiple USBs, and the likes. All you need is to find a backup service that suits your needs.

Good news for you if you do not want to spend much on online backup providers. Various online backup websites offer free storage. Such service providers include SkyDrive, Google Drive, DropBox, ZumoDrive, and SugarSync, among others. All you will have to do is choose which one you think supports your data plan needs.

These online backup services lets you download a small client on your desktop, automatically monitor and upload files from the folders, mark local folders for backup, and transfer them to cloud for backing up. You can then access your files once you are online. Other providers even allow you to access your files from other computers as well.

Choosing The Right Backup Provider

Majority of online backup providers are inexpensive. You will only have to pick the plan according to the features that you find similar to your purpose and goals. What's more, you don't need to purchase an expensive data plan when there are a lot of services that offer the same thing at a fraction of the expensive plan's cost.

If you are looking for inexpensive online backup services, there are many reputable companies that either offer free or affordable ways to use their data storage or online clouding. There's Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Zoho to name a few. Windows Live's SkyDrive allows 25 GB of free storage; while Gmail storage lets you use 7 GB of free storage. ADrive lets you have 50GB of free storage for personal use; while Esnips lets you store 5GB of data for free.

Why Affordability is the Key

In the end, you don't have to spend much on services that will back up your digital files. Three things to remember are reliability, storage space, and price. These three things to take note of will help you find the best backup provider in the future. You never have to worry about running out of disk space, or accidentally deleting your files when you have a reliable backup service you can depend on.

Why Are Stretch Tents Growing in Popularity?

The Stretch Tent market place has seen tremendous growth in the last few years as marquee hiring companies, event organisers, restaurants/bars, the movie industry, corporations and even home owners start to see the enormous benefits, ease of use, dynamic functionality and good looks of these stretch fabric structures.

These Free Form style of tents (these tents are also known as, Bedouin Tents, Shade Canopies, stretch marquees and Shade Sales depending on the region), first appeared in the late 1990's in South Africa and since then, are a common sights around South Africa and Australian events and social gatherings, where they add their own gravitas.

One of the main factors driving this growth is the ability of stretch tents/ marquees to transform and re-invent a space. This is a big departure from the traditional rigid marquees which tend to be block like and intrusive. Stretch tents have a natural organic look, even sexy compared with the old marquee styles. This in turn has opened up a wide range of new uses and benefits that where unheard of 10 years ago.

One of the key benefits that small businesses and companies have picked up on is capital expenditure (CAPEX), especially for the eventing and tent/marquee hiring companies, who are finding that their returns on initial investment are returned quicker than traditional marquees which run at higher entry costs. This is in turn leads to the tents turning a profit far earlier than traditional marquees.

Stretch tents are also producing revenue generating areas that were not previously available. The ease and ability to put up anywhere are providing hiring businesses with a quick return on capital investment, which is music to any businessman's ears.

Adaptability has been another strong selling point. The final use of the product is factored in early, in the design and manufacturing stage, allowing for erection of the tent in previously inaccessible areas. So not just exclusively for events, they can now be found on yachts/boats, to tricky balcony situations for restaurants and clubs, to providing shade solutions around home premises and playgrounds, there just are no other tenting solutions that come close.

No matter what their final usage is, the styling and organic looks of stretch tents make them enhance any environment, adding an extra dimension and sense of occasion.

The ease of use is another big plus of these tents; a tent of 270 m2 (18m by 15m) that can seat 135 seated guests, can easily be erected by a team of 4 in fewer than 2 hours. Smaller versions of under 60m2 can be erected in an hour or less by a team of two. This helps in keeping both labour costs, event costs and storage costs to a minimum.

Combined with ease of use, is the tremendous marketing and branding afforded by these tents. Often overlooked in the past, stretch marquees offer a massive branding surface that is visible from a distance. The actual fabric of the tent can also be colour coded to a company's brands identity and allows home owners to match the tent to the overall feel of their home.

Advice on Buying the Right Cell Phones That Suit Your Needs

Without argument, the most user-friendly and the most widely spread technology in human history is mobile communication. Over the centuries, a wide variety of cell phones have been developed. In present times, you can find various brands with unique functionality. However, your needs or preferences will determine what you should buy.

Functionality of Mobile Phones

Cell phones have gone far beyond the days of walkie-talkie with which you can only talk with someone. You can now perform all manner of activities with a modern cell phone - you can access the Internet to browse websites, and to read and send emails; you can play games, listen to music, get instant news updates from around the world, and watch videos; you can even chat with a friend. Looking at the several possibilities of a cell phone, you have to decide on a brand of phone that offers all the fun you have ever dreamed of.

Brands of Phones

Here are some of the phones you can find on the market:

1. Smartphone

It is a cell phone which can perfectly run document-type applications. It has QWERTY keypad, larger memory capacity, and a big screen that makes browsing of the Internet an aesthetically pleasant experience. With it, you watch videos and play your MP3s. It sometimes comes with 3G network capability.

2. TV Phone

It is simply a cell phone that is specially made to connect with TV stations in order to watch their programmes.

3. 3G Phone

This kind of phone is enabled for an extremely fast transmission of data wherein large files are to be sent over the Internet. The speed is up to 2 Megabytes per second which outperforms what it used to be, that is, 19 kilobytes per second. A 3G phone is useful for individuals like a manager who wants to send a large file such as videos, documents and multiple e-mails to customers.

4. GSM Phones

Although, US policy on Mobile Communication has to do with use of wireless connection, a GSM (or Quadband) phone becomes necessary if you want to travel outside US. This is the kind of network that is common in many other countries.

5. Tri-mode Phone

As for a rural area in US, where there is low network coverage, a tri-mode phone is needed since it works with an analogue channel coupled with 2 digital frequencies.

The Importance of a Network Carrier

Before you buy a cell phone, ensure that you know the capabilities of network carriers in your neighbourhood. If you get the best of phones, you won't enjoy it if the carrier has certain limitations on their network. Note the following when making a choice on phones and carriers:

- All phone accessories do not work with all phone models.

- Some phones only function on a single network carrier because the phones are locked and can't work within other kind of network coverage.

- It is not all mobile carriers that have fast 3G coverage in your area.

Generally, you need to buy a cell phone that has compatibility with a particular network carrier and that has all the wireless features that will make your phone pleasant to use.

Autumn - A Season of Colors, Fragrances and Flowers - With Flower Care Tips From Florists

A beauty that finds expression in poetry, music and more cozy corner of the mind is the beauty that is Autumn. A celebrated beauty of nature is at its most extravagant. The nature of the Autumn Season is like a perfect host who offers the warmth of someone who has more fun watching the guests arrive. The beauty of this season reflects in many forms, each more charming than the others - the sunsets soft blue sky, invitation of the soft breeze caressing body, mind and soul, and one more thing that gives the grace to the lady Autumn - flowers!

The flowers are a delight, forever and ever. Nothing like a beautiful, Fragrant Flower to improve your mood, to melt your heart. And nothing like the palette of Colorful Flowers that Autumn brings to our door. It is as if nature spoils the human heart in a warm gesture, before driving on the threshold of the wild, the hostile winter. The Flowers of colors, give warmth and life to everything in this season to satisfy our fantasies and give pleasures. The trees, the most prosaic of the street sides, the unremarkable boulevards jumps into life and a chaos of colors that dazzle in their richness. And sometimes, they make a hushed entry at our bedside, the far corner of the living room, or the lone mantelpiece at the study in the form of Bouquet of Flowers - to redefine the place!

Ushering Autumn is to usher Beautiful Bunch of Flowers to our world - the world that we share and the world that is ours. We do love the delicate touch that flowers gives to our homes. We do enjoy putting a Flower Bunch here and a cluster there to add gentleness and beauty to our Abode. It brightens up so! But we also often pout at the briefness of the beauty. Withering flowers is as much a painful sight as fresh blooms are a delight. Yes, the flowers, like beauty, have short life. But there are still a way or two to keep them fresh and alive for longer than usual out of its natural harbor, if we care for them a little more.

There are almost as many different arrangements of flowers as there are flowers themselves. The Fresh Flower Arrangement, the Bouquets, or a single Flower - the Floral Arrangement is not one to go by a rule book but by the heart. Pink and blue, red and white, lilac and yellow, crimson and orange - beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Any Floral Arrangement that suits your mood is the one that is best, at all times. But after that is the care that you give to nurture your guests and make their stay happy. While we are at it, let us share some tips on the care of the most delicate of Nature's pleasantries:

  1. A Flower loves a neat, clean and healthy atmosphere, just like you. Do remember to cleanse the vase or the container in which you plan to put your Flower Bunch. A mixture of water and vinegar with salt sprinkled generously in it while cleaning would help remove stains and unpleasant odor from vases. Put some ammonia or salt in the water in which the flowers are kept. It keeps away bacterial growth for a longer time, and helps the Flowers breathe.

  2. Flowers, just like you love space and need some. Don't crowd them all in one vase to make it look full. There are various other ways to bring the same effect.

  3. Snip off the leaves that will lie underwater in your vase. They will encourage bacterial growth otherwise. Put your Floral Arrangement away from direct sunlight, preferably in a place which is cool and shady. It keeps your Flowers fresh for a longer time.

  4. Flowers like some nourishment too. Ask your Florists for a packet of special mixture for cut flowers and according to instructions on the pack, mix it into the water to prolong freshness of Flowers.

  5. Don't let the water reek of stench. Change it daily and refurnish the floral food.

  6. In case the Flowers start wilting, cut off an inch of the stems under water. You must to do it with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors so that muscles are not torn away, preventing the intake of water and food.

  7. Be creative. Be innovative. Use containers other than regular vases to put your flowers in. It will add an individual touch to your arrangement.

  8. Love your Flowers. Don't keep them there just for the beauty. Keep them because you treasure them. Do take care of them.

This season is incomplete without Flowers; So is your home. We wish you a Beautiful Bunch of Autumn Flowers - complete with the Freshness and Fragrance this season can bring. Wishing you a vibrant, colorful, Floral Autumn!

We welcome Autumn - The Colorful Fall Season! Send Flowers today to your loved ones to from our Flower Shop. You will be happy and satisfied with the Flower Delivery Service.

Make Christmas Shopping Easy and Enjoyable!

With Christmas just around the corner it is time for your annual Christmas shopping adventure. Are you wishing you could just ignore it and it would go away or that Christmas would take a vacation this year? No worries! There is a way to simplify your shopping and to make your Christmas gift giving an enjoyable event!

First you will need a notebook. This will take some thought on your part. Put in a Christmas music CD or a Christmas movie. Write down each person you will need to purchase or make a gift for this year. Put each name on a separate page in your notebook. Make sure you put your names in alphabetical order. For an even easier way to access your names, put tabs with each beginning letter of each person on the list on the side pages of your notebook.

What does each person like? What are their hobbies? What do they like to do? If you aren't sure about some of the people on your list you can always text them or ask them a few of these questions.

Make a note on each person's page of several ideas of things they might like to get according to the answer to the question above. Try and be creative and think outside the box as they say. If you are trying to think of gifts for your children, perhaps consider buying something to help them get started in a new hobby such as sewing, crafting, or gardening.

If you have a child that loves going to the movies, you could give him or her pajamas, several movies, popcorn, and candy and throw in a comfy beanbag chair. You could also include tickets to a movie. If the price is right, you could give a small DVD player as part of their gift from Santa. You get the picture. Something fun and unique.

Start surfing the local store ads and online for unique gifts to give and start your shopping. If you have your list handy, it should be easier to come up with the gifts you need for Christmas giving. Take it slowly. You don' t have to do your shopping all at once. Take time to reward yourself with lunch, or a snack while you are out and about. Make it fun. When Christmas morning arrives, you will satisfied that you did your best to make Christmas full of cheer for those you love and had to buy gifts for.

Trendy Bathrooms and Steam Showers

For the last ten years there has been a growing trend towards renovating the bathroom much more than any other room in the house. You will be amazed to see the large variety of beautiful and modern fixtures offered at bathroom stores. However the most preferred makeover of the bathroom is the addition of a steam shower, a steam shower is becoming the must have desirable feature for every bathroom.

A residential steam shower can be fitted with many luxurious features like a television screen, music system and telephone connection upon the customers desire though the simplest shower enclosures can just include a shower, steam generator and the enclosure itself, then it is up to the personal preference of the user to get it modified with the particular features they require, to turn the shower into something unique and truly relaxing. This luxurious and aesthetically pleasing designed shower enclosure can add a lot of value to the home.

A short time ago it was considered only the rich that indulged in such benefiting activities because it was only they who could afford the membership of spa health clubs, but now steam showers are becoming a reality and a common feature of many homes up and down the country, it is a one-time investment that will have you enjoying its benefits for the rest of your life. A residential steam showers are furthermore enhanced by the addition of relaxing features to completely deliver a new home spa experience.

The readymade steam showers come packed in separate containers which are flat pack making them easy to transport it inside the home and into the bathroom. They come with complete instructions which are easy to follow and all that needs to be done is to join the water supply with the cold and hot water feed then simply plug it into the main power supply. That's it - you are ready to enjoy.

The many different features that could be added include:
• Radio
• Foot massager,
• Back massager,
• Overhead rain shower,
• Therapeutic lighting,
• CD or MP3 player,
• Handheld Shower,
• Hands free telephone connection,
• Storage shelf,
• Mirror,
• Surround sound speaker system,
• Ozone sterilizer and of course,
• A steam generator.

If you like to indulge in a bath rather than in a shower then there is the the steam shower bath, the bath version combines the luxury of steam bath with whirlpool bathing technology, of course the more luxurious you want, the more you will get. It all depends upon how much you can invest to enjoy a completely relaxing and soothing steam bath experience in your home.

Blu-ray Player Buying Guide 2012

Owning an HDTV without a Blu-ray player is somewhat useless. You will never know what it's capable of until you connect the HDMI cable, and with its price now less than $100, there's no excuse of not getting a one for an ultimate experience.

Things You Should Consider Before Buying

1. Internet Connectivity

2. Home Networking

3. 3D Capability

4. Up-scaling

5. Compatibility

6. Recording

Internet Connectivity

Most players now come with internet connectivity through the Ethernet ports, but those players with Wi-Fi are best for convenience. Big manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and Panasonic offer their own internet portals with their own features and content. Samsung's Internet-TV currently offers the best online experience, which gives access to a range of music, videos, news and social networking sites.

Home Networking

Most of these players now allow you to create a home network for sharing files from your computer. But first, check the file formats it supports before deciding to use this function. Some of the formats you'll be able to play are MP3, HD, DivX, DivX HD, MKV, JPEG, JPEG HD and AVCHD.

3D Capability

Most of the companies in the business have already introduced 3D capable Blu-ray players. Of course, you would need a 3D capable TV to acquire the extra dimensional experience. Sony's range of 3D capable players is worth considering; if you own a PS3, you can update it with their firmware for 3D capability.


These players can upscale your old DVD collection that was designed to be viewed at a lower quality 576i resolution on a CRT screen, to either 720p, 1080i or 1080p resolution on your HDTV. Manufacturers of these players enhanced the quality of images by adding details to the upscale source.


Blu-ray players today will surely play DVDs and CDs, but what about photos burned on a DVD or DivX rips on a flash disk or Netfix movies from the Internet? These features make a big difference for people who would like to use their player as a digital media hub and not just a Blu-ray player. It is worth to check the specifications sheet before zeroing down your choice.

TIP: Not all Blu-ray players are created the same, so make sure to run down the key features that help separate the stones from diamonds. Blu-ray Recorders are also worth noting, especially those with big storage capacities of 250GB and 500GB respectively.

Top Destinations in the Caribbean

Think of the Caribbean Islands and the immediate pictures to strike the mind are that of exotic palm-fringed sandy beaches, warm turquoise waters of the sea, splendid music, exotic food and a truly unique culture. There are more than 7000 Caribbean islands to choose from, with each promising a unique charm of its own - selecting one for a truly memorable holiday can be a daunting task. Here are three destinations in the Caribbean that you can consider for your next beach holiday under the warm tropical sun.


Jamaica is very popular with the tourists from the USA because it is about two hours flight from Miami. Distance aside, Jamaica has many interesting attractions to its credit and has repeatedly been voted as amongst the best beach destinations in the world by World Travel Awards, considered to be the Oscars of the travel industry. The Seven Miles Beach in Negril features amongst the world's best and offers a nice social vibe. The Montego Bay beach too is very popular with the visitors.

Most of the rivers on the island are navigable and there are endless opportunities for a host of water activities including river rafting, parasailing, kite boarding, scuba diving and more. The mystic Blue Mountains are a great draw and the Blue Mountain Coffee grown here is world-famous. Jamaica has had a tumultuous history which is well reflected in its plantation estates and historical monuments.

The US Virgin Islands

Located only about 1,000 miles away from Miami, these islands seem more like emeralds floating in a turquoise sea. Given they are part of the United States, they do have a distinctive American feel about them - however the experience they offer is quintessentially Caribbean. Not all of the fifty islands are habitable - from the tourist perspective, the three islands St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas are the major draw.

The US Virgin Islands are the busiest cruise port in the Caribbean and offer great shopping facilities, especially on St Croix and St. John islands. St. Thomas is a great duty-free shopping destination where you can shop your fill for liquor, jewellery, leather goods and native arts and crafts. Aside from the beaches, you can enjoy a host of outdoor activities including hiking, turtle watching, snorkelling, and scuba diving.

St Lucia

The island nation was formerly a colony of Britain and France. Stretching across 600 kilometres, and with a population of about 170,000 people, the island is one of the smallest independent countries in the world. The beautiful volcanic island is covered with lush green rainforest, which is home to an impressive collection of flora and fauna. St Lucia's most famous landmark, the Pitons, jutting out straight from the sea, have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marigot Bay is another major attraction and is considered to be the most beautiful bay in the entire Caribbean.

All these destinations offer a host of accommodation facilities including hotels and private Caribbean villas. Staying in Caribbean villas is a preferred choice for those who wish more space, privacy and informal surroundings for their holidays.