How to Ruin a Nice Walk!

How to Ruin a Nice Walk!If there’s one thing I am passionate about, it’s golf. Why is that? Because I am unable to master the game. When I was younger, I was a very, very good footballer. As a junior I represented my province in table tennis. I played A grade squash. I played basketball and coached women’s, men’s and junior teams. I play a mean game of tennis. I can hold my own at volleyball. I was a champion lawn bowler and I played cricket for many years, well into my 40’s. Whatever sport I have taken up I have excelled at. But golf? A most frustrating game and one in which I learnt a lot of swear words.

The playing of golf has some natural elements. You’ve heard the expression about a person being a natural sportsman. This holds true for golf as well and if you have good eye and hand coordination, then hitting the ball sweetly comes easy. But hitting the ball into the exact spot to take advantage of the layout of a particular fairway and then reading the green to putt the ball into a small hole is another level of the game.

When I started out playing the game, I bought a cheap set of clubs from a friend, bought a few balls, tees, gloves and joined a local social golf club. I started disastrously, to the extent that not many players wanted to be put into my group because of the number of strokes I took. The first round of 18 holes cost me 184 shots. Par was 73! I could see that this game was going to involve a lot more study and attention if I wanted to enjoy playing. And I did enjoy golf, even with such a dud round. The beautiful courses maintained to perfection, the flora and fauna in the roughs and around the putting green all made for a glorious day. It was just that the golf was ruining a good walk!

The more I played, the more I realised that the technology available in the equipment was rather mind boggling. You could buy titanium drivers, unique tees, and golf balls with scientifically developed cores that can make them spin, grip and go further. There was new material for gloves, putters that almost had sights to aim, buggies that were remote controlled, and electronic scorecards. Now a recent innovation allowed on golf courses are handheld and watch style GPS devices.

Arming myself with every possible aid that I thought would help my game, I did improve…sometimes. Golf is such a game that one day you can hit an 80 for the 18 holes then the next time, playing the same course, you come home with an 111! I only took advice from players that had a lower handicap than me. I made the big mistake of not taking some basic lessons and practising simple strokes like putting and chipping. There’s a saying that ‘You drive for show and putt for dough”. Very true. Sadly, due to travel commitments, I have been away from golf for over 5 years. That means a virtual restart of everything learnt so far. Fore!

The Best Way to Save Our Books From The Apocalypse

book-1063328_960_720Recent events and some earlier posts here may have reminded you of the Apocalypse, whether you believe in the religious connotations of end-of-world scenarios or not. It does not matter what you believe at this stage. One thing that is a reality is that it is quite possible (to quote a line from a movie from this doomsday genre) that the world, as we know it, could end soon. Or as the Hebrew scholars (ancient or present day) insist, not for at least another thousand years. The opinions propagated by fundamentalists, no matter which religion they are affiliated to, don’t count because if you are well-read, you will know that much of what they say (or do) is not informed in a scholarly or literary way.

Books preserve history

There are two poignant moments from two post-Apocalypse movies from the same production crew which have books as its subject matter. In The Day After Tomorrow, sensible survivors are gathering together hundreds of books to add as fuel to a hot fire that is going to keep them alive during the big freeze. They are riding out the storm in New York City’s public library. After being questioned why he has set aside this particularly large, well-bound and ancient book, a confirmed atheist states that with the Bible, all human history can start life over again.

The second scene takes place in a small cockpit within the bowels of a modern-day Noah’s ark after the world has been destroyed as predicted through ancient Mayan prophesies. A brilliant, young scientist remarks that while this particularly modest but no less optimistic adventure story received no acclaim or interest from the literary and general public, this small tome would live on in history as the first printed book of the new age into which his fellow scientist and love interest and thousands of other saved souls were heading.

 

The world’s first book

church-1024315_960_720Although these are only stories, it is the salt from which legends are born. And the most famous medium through which so many tales of adventure, survival and heroism have been told throughout the centuries since the printing press printed the first Bible remains the good old fashioned book. What if there was an apocalyptic event then? How would we be able to preserve and save all our treasure troves of stories, history and just plain old good advice? Here’s a novel idea; purchase a thick, heavy-duty water and fire-proof metal gun-safe, a large one, mind you, so that you can squeeze at least a thousand books into it.

Novel or not, much like the books themselves, this is all food for thought. Perhaps we could talk to our federal government or local municipality about creating a Fort Knox just for books and manuscripts.

 

This idea may seem amusing to some, but book lovers will attest to this necessity. What they will also tell their non-reading peers is this; no matter what may happen in the future, the stories and accounts they have read over the years, will, in any case, still be preserved with them.

Bookworms Also Need to Stretch a Little

fitness-956645_1280We must confess that most of us here are bookworms. We read at every opportunity we can get, even sneaking in a few pages here and there at our office desk or at the dinner table.

Because we are so engrossed in what we are reading, we can’t help ourselves and everything else goes to pot.

We’ve let the pot or kettle boil over on the stove on more than one occasion because the page we were busy with caused us to forget. Many of us have also forgotten how quickly time flies after spending two or more absorbing hours with our beloved book and our feet curled up on our favorite settee.

A noble pursuit

While we are so busy getting our three or four-time daily fix, something else also goes to the dogs. Our bodies. Those few hours spent reading, having already cut into our work schedule and housework routine, has left us with no time to get out and exercise. It’s a bit of a conundrum, because if you are an avid reader, you’ll be able to relate. People who love reading say that it helps them to relax. It de-stresses the mind.

But because it barely gets to move about, the body becomes quite stiff. As a regular reader, you know that feeling when you finally clap the book shut and stretch those limbs as far as possible. You are, oh so, stiff, but thankfully not sore. Before continuing any further about why bookworms need to shut the covers every once in a while and give their bodies some time out, we’d just like to remind you that there is absolutely no shame in being a bookworm. In fact, it’s a noble and commendable quality to have.

Carrying the tome

At this point we don’t need to explain why this is so. You already know. Now, where exercise is concerned, you don’t need to pack it all out on a heavy-handed punching bag. Where reading is concerned, your intellect knows no limits. But be reminded that no matter what age you are or what size waist you wear, your body has limits. So, go gently into the night (or morning or afternoon, whichever time works best for you).

Let’s just say that you register with the local gym. You’ll soon see that there are kindred spirits among the sweaty throng, pedaling furiously on their stationary bicycles with a book folded open in front of them. If you really must read while taking a gentle or brisk walk through your favorite park, by all means, pack your book under your arm. But be warned, you may just meet the love of your life. Whoever passes you by along the pathway may just be carrying a heavy tome too.

It was also written somewhere that opposites attract. But don’t mind that. What better way can there be to meet someone who has the same interests in life that you do by joining a book club or attending a book launch. When you do that, leave the car behind.

Books to Travel With

Most of us are lucky enough to be able to take a vacation once a year. Others may only be able to take a weekend break away from home every once in a while. But we believe that most people do not make enough time to sit down and read solidly for just one hour every day. Over time, we have expounded on the reasons why people should read and in the main, the benefits of reading, no matter what genre is being covered. Today we are going to take the road less travelled in the hope that at some stage you’ll have an opportunity to get away from it all.

Pack some books for the road trip

Many Americans love road trips. Because the budget does not yet allow for it yet, there are no overseas trips are on the horizon. Those who have trucks or SUV’s usually love their vehicles and would grab any opportunity to test them on the open road. Before leaving, there is much planning and packing to be done. Firstly; where to go. Secondly; what to take with.

We’d like to suggest that no matter where you’re heading, pack a few books. And when planning your itinerary, try to schedule at least one hour of reading time each day. Seek inspiration in everything you do.  For inspiration during the journey, read a little to build a mental library for while you are driving. And should you be driving at night, make sure that your truck is equipped with a battery-powered LED light bar. Ideally, like the battery in your car, the light battery should be long-lasting. There are other accessories you’ll need for your road trip but if you visit websites such as this one, you’ll soon get a clear picture of what’s necessary and what can be left behind.

Pack in stories that will inspire you

Now that you’ve got all your travelling gear and car accessories sorted out, what sort of books should you be taking with you? Space being at a premium, there should be enough room for at least four books. Make sure that they are pliable, soft-covered publications. They are easier to pack. Your trip is all about seeking inspiration and stimulating your thoughts while driving or hiking. Books that are likely to bring out the best in you can be selected from a variety of genres.

Pick out a biography on one famous person you admire at the moment. Depending on your religious beliefs, take with you a book that could motivate you in the spiritual sense. Instead of taking out a popular fiction novel, take with you one of the great all-American classics in which the moral of the story’s tale leads you to be inspired.

Go with your gut

We could suggest dozens of titles for you, but we are going to leave that choice to you. Go with your gut, or visit your library or search well-publicized bookseller lists to gather some ideas if you don’t have a clear idea in mind yet. And then take the road less travelled, not forgetting to read in between.

Books Worth Saving

Books Worth SavingThough the Internet has seriously changed the way information is distributed throughout the world, there was a time not too long ago when books were the main go to for people who wanted to learn something. Sure, there were and still are magazines and newspapers for people looking to learn the latest trends or what’s happening in their country or around the world, but these aren’t the same as books loaded with useful information. Because books are so useful as stores of knowledge which allows that information to be retrieved at any time, there are some books which are just worth saving.

This is in spite of the fact so much text is digitized and read from the opposite side of a computer monitor these days. Books can be read even without electricity, which is probably the only reason they haven’t completely disappeared from the world yet. Getting back to books worth saving, perhaps it’s more accurate to say information worth saving. Consider medical texts that tell us about human anatomy and physiology, or the various diseases and sicknesses which can malign a person and how to treat those illnesses effectively. Such information is really invaluable when you stop to think about it.

If that is understood, then it makes sense that medical books would be books worth saving. There are other books like this too. What about books which describe the manufacture of various tools, as well as the ways to use those tools to create other things, maybe even other tools which could be used for further projects? Just have a look at http://beltsanderworld.com/ for an example. If there weren’t shop and technical education classes that taught kids how to use devices like these growing up, would they even know how to use them? Would they even know what they were for?

book savingInstructional manuals and technical guides are some of the most informative texts possessed by the human race. They contain information learned through years, decades, perhaps even centuries of experimentation, application and learning. These bits of information are also the things people tend to take for granted today, in a world where information of all kinds is so easy to get with a quick Internet search. What if there was no Internet? There are people alive today who can tell you about what life was like without it. Your parents might even know, if you’re not a younger person.

Repair manuals are another treasure people take for granted. If we really end up in Mad Max times like the old (and new) movie depicts, knowing how to fix up an old engine, drain a carburetor or reset a timing chain can only help, and you won’t just be able to look that knowledge up with a fast search. This is probably a better example than the Belt Sander World one, because more people drive around than use belt sanders on a day to day basis. But whatever knowledge you’re trying to find, the odds are good it can be found in books, and that’s the main point here.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: A Book on People and Quality

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values is a non-fiction book that every person who is interested in philosophy and wants to understand people a little better needs to read. In this work, the author, Robert M. Pirsig, presents his outlook on the Metaphysics of Quality and explains that people can be divided in two groups depending on their personalities:

  • “Romantics”.
    These are people who are focused on the moment and disregard rational analysis. The examples of such personality offered in the book are the Sutherlands who own a top-notch bike but know nothing about its maintenance. They choose to ignore this issue altogether until a problem appears. When this happens, John Sutherland must resort to employing the services of a professional mechanic as he has no skills to fix the bike on his own.
  • “Classics”.
    The classical viewpoint is focused on rational analysis. “Classics” seek to understand the inner workings of the mechanism, and use this understanding to repair or upgrade the machine. At the beginning of the book, the Narrator is presented as a “classic” who can understand the problem from listening to the sound of the engine, apply logic and analysis to determine its cause, and solve it using his skills.

Despite its name, the book isn’t really about motorcycle maintenance. Although, you can learn some motorbike caring tips from it. Of course, if you are looking for a detailed guide for motorcycling beginners, you should visit websites like MotorcyclistLife.com that offer helpful information, like a guide to choosing the best helmet in a form that is easy even for non-professionals to understand.

Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a work of philosophy that likens the characters’ journey to life and understanding one’s place in it. It’s a story of a transformation of the protagonist who seeks to find inner peace in the world where “romantic” and “classical” outlooks clash on a daily basis. While reading the book, we come to learn that the Narrator understands both these viewpoints and is trying to establish some kind of “middle ground” where he can find a place for himself. The author uses motorcycle maintenance as an example and shows that it can be seen as either a tedious chore, or a pleasant pastime. The difference is only in the attitude.

Pirsig encourages the readers to embrace both the rational and romantic approaches as true happiness can be found only when one utilizes them both depending on the circumstances. He claims that no matter how efficient, the rational viewpoint isn’t applicable in 100% of cases. In his arguments, he cites ancient Greek philosophers who established the concept of “pure truth” to the concept of “the good”. According to Pirsig, rational, or classical, approach can find the “truth”, but in some cases of individual experiences it will be insufficient or incapable of providing satisfaction.

The author views a high degree of frustration and general dissatisfaction with life we see in the vast majority of people today is born from the inability to distinguish between “quality” (the Good) and “truth”. The solution to this problem is to embrace both science and rational thought as well as bursts of irrational wisdom, like intuition and creativity.

Top Cook Books On Meat

Top Cook Books On MeatWith the importance given to organic produce and the harmful effects of genetically modified foods being highlighted well, people have started preferring organic fruits, vegetables, and meat.  In fact, a lot of research is being done on sustainable agriculture matters, organics, the way animals are grown, fed, and slaughtered and on the way to cook them properly. Having some good cookbooks dedicated to meat is a handy thing to have, as meat is a staple food for many. Knowing the right way to buy, clean, cook and eat meat would help in making you healthier and avoid many of the toxic effects that wrong meat choice can bring on you. So here are some great cook books to read.

Primal Cuts: Cooking With America’s Best Butchers

Marissa Guggiana has written this book with the focus on the organic, local, and ethically grown meat. With people, looking at alternative forms to processed meat, this book is certainly a good one to read. With anecdotes and photos from butchers on the subject and some great recipes right from nicely ground beef to venison, the recipes are taken from across the world including France, China, and Texas.  All kinds of meat recipes from duck confit to barbecue brisket can be found here.

The River Cottage Meat Book

Compiled by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, this is a classic modern cookbook. The author’s take on the ethics on meat eating is actually great whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore. Your perception on meat would completely change after reading this book. The recipes from kidney pie and roast pork to steak and curry goat are ordered based on cooking method and have a potent British dominance.

Meat: A Kitchen Education

This book by James Patterson gives a comprehensive guide on sauces, baking and cooking. For beginners, experts, and those in between the book offers plenty of information. The book is a cooking encyclopedia equaling a culinary school course.

Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat

Written by Deborah Krasner, this book is brimming with information on how to buy, prepare, and even find the best meat. Preparation of pastured and grass fed meat is given in detail. The methods help demystify the entire cooking process and the confusing labels you see attached to the store bought meat. It gives you instructions right from how to grind the meat efficiently using a proper meat grinder to the exact way to cook it tender and delicious.

Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing

While it sounds delicious, when you order a sausage from a hotel menu, the prospect of cooking one on your own can be overwhelming. This book helps you make delicious sausage recipes both the traditional sausage as well as the modern recipes.

Charcuterie: The Craft Of Salting, Smoking, And Curing

This cookbook on meat by Brain Polcyn and Michael Ruhlman gives a meticulous overview of meat preservation including poultry, beef, as well as good old seafood recipes. But pork is the main meat variety discussed in the book.

Is Your Aquarium Filter Enough?

Is Your Aquarium Filter Enough?If you don’t own fish then you can probably just ignore this article and move on with the rest of your day. Unless you’re really keen on reading about water filtering systems, that is. For those of you who do own fish though, is your aquarium filter enough? Is it doing enough to keep the water clean and free of impurities, toxins, waste and microbial matter? Well, the answer probably depends on a few things, like the size of your aquarium, the total volume of water to be filtered and the number of fish living in the water. Essentially though, if the water always looks dirty, it’s not getting cleaned thoroughly enough.

If that’s the case, replacing your current water filter is probably a good idea. But what should you use to replace it? You could go with another filter of the same type if you’ve found a brand and size that steadily does the job for you. If you know your current choice just isn’t doing enough to keep your aquarium clean though, you might want to upgrade to something bigger, or maybe something that’s simply better made. Not all filters are created equal, though if you’re using a small-scale aquarium that might just seem to be the case.

I’m talking about canister filters. They’re pretty sizeable on average and usually meant for larger water tanks and aquariums, but they’re pretty popular because of how well they work, and smaller versions are available for home use if you’re willing to go looking for them. You can read more about them if you like, but they are at their heart the same as any other liquid filter; water with grit passes through, the grit stays and clean water keeps moving. The fact these filters use ceramics instead of lesser quality or organic materials means they don’t harbor infections or bacterial growth like other filters.

Because they’re made from porcelain but at more of an industrial grade, canister filters are unfortunately very fragile. They’ve been known to break if jarred too hard, and they won’t just get a little rip in one spot and keep working like other filters would; they shatter pretty nicely, actually. You can read more about the pros and cons at that Canister Filter Guide website, but I’ve already outlined the major differences, perks and bad points about them here. Getting back to the question I first asked then, is your aquarium filter enough?

If it is, then you’re in good shape. Even if it isn’t though, you don’t necessarily need to buy some big, bulky filter, or a bigger tank to accommodate it. You could always split your single aquarium up into two smaller ones and divvy up the contents – fish, water, furniture, rocks – evenly between the two separate tanks. This would significantly reduce the burden on each of the two individual water filters, perhaps to the point where both could operate normally and the water quality would improve. Considering the costs of more filters, tanks and supplies though, the best option isn’t immediately clear here.

Interesting uses of LED Lighting

Interesting uses of LED LightingThe amazing changes technology brings to our lives are beyond compare. Take for instance the evolution of lighting systems. The LEDs, which were earlier used only in laser pointers, have now become a commonly used lighting feature in various aspects of our life. From LED TVs and headlights to wallpaper and even clothing, the LEDs have pervaded our space albeit in a positive light.

When compared to incandescent bulbs, LEDs are very compact and don’t radiate heat. More important is the fact that they consume less energy. Other advantages include a flexible and plastic design, which enables these lights to be used in various innovative methods, which is not possible with other lighting types. Here are some of the most exciting, bizarre and funny uses of LEDs.

Virtual Sky

LED lights save energy eight times more than the conventional incandescent bulbs we use. Moreover, research indicates that LED is also instrumental in making us productive and happier. This was tested by replacing the ceiling panels in working place with LED modules that mimic sky. Workers feel as if they are out in the open. The LEDs being less harsh than the fluorescent bulbs their positive effect is certainly believable.  As working in natural light has been found to increase productivity by over 15 percent, the LEDs help in better work atmosphere and more productivity.

LED in car sunroof

It is natural for your car to get steamy and hot, when you leave it out in direct sunlight. But the sunlight can be turned to your advantage. The new LED powered by solar rays fitted to the sunroof of your car will illuminate the car interior. You also find LED light bars such as at http://lightbarland.com/ which you can use to increase visibility, while driving at night. Even break lights and turn signals are made of LEDs.

Contact lens

A stunning new invention by Finland’s Aalto University uses bionic type of contact lens that aims at changing our view of reality. The bionic lens transmits visual information to a sapphire transparent chip fitted with LED. This helps the person wearing it to view their computer screen directly without any other additions needed. With just your contacts and eyes you can check you mail, browse etc.

Light strips

Interesting uses of LED LightingThe LEDs are available in strips, which can be taped inside your car. These LEDs are elegant and handy available in a wide range of colors. The lights are versatile and light in weight. The roll of LED lights can be cut for use in projects. So instead of hiring a lighting contractor or specialist you can do the job cheaper and easier. The LED light bars such as the EYOURLIFE LED BARS are used by motorists for better lighting while riding. The LED strips are also waterproof.

Wall panels

With the new luminous LED wall panels, you can easily do away with the annoying chore of painting your walls regularly. The LED panels from Philips can configure in different color combinations so you can change the color of your walls easily.

Top Archery Books For Archery Enthusiasts

Top Archery Books For Archery EnthusiastsArchery has increased in popularity thanks to games such as the Hunger games. When compared to other Olympic events in 2012, archery clocked the highest popularity rating. Archery is an ancient sport that has seen resurgence in the past few years, which may be attributed to the popular games and movies that feature archery. To toast to this new trend here are some of the best books on archery which keep you glued to the pages and increase your interest about the sport further.

Archery by USA Archery

Members of United States Archery have written this book and published it. It is a very interesting narration, which every archery enthusiast should read without fail. The book features archery information from some of the best coaches in the world. Those involved in archery or just starting out on the sport would get ample information on the stance, body alignment, accuracy, and tips on how to get better at the sport. The book also covers equipment, tuning, competing in archery tournaments, improving shots, recurve shooting, and compound shooting.

Archery Fundamentals

Douglas Engh is the book’s author and Human Kinetics has published it. This is another wonderful book on the basics of archery. You will have thorough information on the proper grip, bow stringing, maintenance of equipment, and a detailed breakdown of arrows and bows. The book also has details on accessories and the way to use them. To excel in archery, you need to have high quality recurve bows such as those available at this site.

Beginners Guide to Traditional Archery

Brian J. Sorrells has written this book, which focuses on target practice and actual hunting using traditional bows. The tips given help in enhancing your shooting skills. The topics seen include choosing proper equipment, bow tuning, shooting form and accuracy exercises. The way to practice instinctive form of bow hunting is also detailed in this book.

Archery Anatomy

Ray Axford has authored this book. This is an advanced level book. It focuses mainly on Archery anatomy, which includes, study of the tendons, muscles, and joints needed to use the bow and arrow properly. The ways in which a perfect harmony is brought about is explained in detail here. This book while being of great use to expert shooters is also a source of interest to beginners too, who get to learn important tips. The chapters touch upon joints, muscles, movements of the arm, shoulders and back muscles. The size, gender, and body type is also explained here. Other important information you find in the book include relationship of head turn to eye, inherent bow stability and much more.

Shooting with Proper Back Tension

This book by Larry Wise concentrates on the right back posture to achieve a perfect shot. The book teaches the fundamental use of bones instead of muscles that most books focus on to shoot the arrow. Although some parts may be too scientific, the book is easy to grasp even for a beginner. Proper skeletal aligning, shooting psychology, form, specific muscle functions, perfect release and aim are some important topics in this book