2008年3月15日星期六

The New Cultural Center Of The World

The high speeds of modern life don't leave us much time for other things, and we can often find ourselves rushing forward without ever having a chance even to catch our breath. Even the occasional break from work, the so-called vacation, just allows enough time to begin relaxing before its back to the grind again.

If you've been working your entire adult life, then I'm sure you can imagine retirement coming as something of a shock. Suddenly, you don't have deadlines, or schedules, or appointments... just lots and lots of free time. Of course, in the beginning you'll probably spend a few months just relaxing, but that can get very boring, surprisingly quickly. Then you'll probably start taking up hobbies, doing everything you always meant to do, you know. Play the lute. Write a book. Whatever you've never had the time for before now.

Nevertheless, you'll soon find that everything that seemed so important before gradually begins to lose its meaning. You've already spent so long working, why would you want to continue? You get used the casual pace, and the chance to do something different. Take advantage of this opportunity. Leave your home town, your home country even, and go explore. Find somewhere nice to relax in.

The place for this, is Costa del Sol. The south coast of Spain has, in recent years, rather usurped Paris' former position as the leader of culture and art in Europe. The root of this rise to fame, is the great city of Malaga. Backed by more than 3000 years of history, Malaga is filled with icons of cultural significance, such as the ancient Moorish fort of Alcazabar.

More modern entertainment is also available, for example the renowned Picasso museum, which is well worth a visit even if you are not a particular fan, if only to learn a little more about one of the key figures in modern painting. Classy restaurants abound, as well as an excellent selection of theatres, and the stunning scenery itself is always a big draw.

Mountain peaks brush the sky, wreathed in clouds, while a broad stretch of shining white sands marks the coast. Across a short stretch of water lies the mysterious continent of Africa, a presence that can just be seen in the distance, while between you lies beautifully clear water. Perfect for swimming, or just boating on. If you're not interested in these natural wonders, then you can take a look at some of the more man made displays, such as the bright sugar-cube villages that are scattered here and there, shimmering in the sun.

If you tire of the towns and cities, and want to do something a little more active, Costa del Sol is also host to 50 different golf courses, guaranteed to have perfect golfing weather throughout the year. The gentle climate assures you, that once a member of one of the exclusive golfing ranges you will always be able to play. Assuming, of course, you have not decided to spend the day somewhere else!

In the end, if you want somewhere to retire, or even just a beautiful place to spend your next vacation, I can highly recommend the Costa del Sol. So head on down, and check out the worlds next great cultural center.

Quick Access Database : Creating a Customer Contact Database in 8 Simple Steps

Creating relational databases was once a major pain, but Microsoft Access makes creating simple databases a breeze. More complicated database builds will most likely require an Access course, but a simple customer contact log database can be setup in minutes. Microsoft has several pre-made databases for common tasks such as customer contact data, inventory control, time and billing, expenses, etc. that you can build without ever taking an Access course.

In this Quick Access Course, we're going to review how to build a database so that you can create and maintain a record of your customer contacts that will keep track of who called when, who they spoke with, what they ordered, and any other type of information that can help you to improve your sales and customer relationships.

Once you've learned how to create this simple database in this Quick Access Course, you'll be able to easily set up any of the template databases that Microsoft offers in its template wizard showcase.

1. Open Access and click the "new file" icon

2. Choose the "templates on my computer" and click the "databases" tab and click the "contact management" database template.

3. After clicking the "contact management" template, a File New Database dialogue box will appear, allowing you to name and file your new database. Choose your folder, name your file, and click "create."

4. Click "next" on the first frame of the wizard that appears. The second screen shows the three tables that will be included in your contacts database: contact information, call information, and contact types. Take a few moments to click each the table title on the right, and scroll through the list of fields on the left to familiarize yourself with the available data fields.

5. For this exercise, we will be including all of these three tables in our contact database. Click "next" to move along to move along to the third step.

6. The third frame of the wizard displays a list of predefined styles that determine what the elements of the database will look like. Click through each one to familiarize yourself with the various styles. Choose your favourite, and click "next."

7. The fourth frame of the wizard allows you to customize the look of your reports. Choose your favourite and click "next."

8. On the fifth and final frame, you will give your database a name such as "Contacts." For this exercise, leave the "Yes, I'd like to include a picture" box cleared. And click "finish."

You've just created a Microsoft Access database! In a few moments, a switchboard will open allowing you to input your contact information for simple management and information retrieval of your valuable customer information.

2008年3月5日星期三

Ten Things To Make Your Travel Easy

One of the most important things of course you will do before contemplating planning an itinerary is to make sure you have a valid visa for the duration of your visit. Once that is done you can then plan your stops and buy your ticket, change your money. You will have to carry certain basic things that you will need away from home.

One of the most important things that you will have to purchase or make sure that you have is a good travel bag that can hold most of your clothes and essentials. It should be of high quality to withstand all the poor handling from baggage handlers and being thrown around; otherwise a cheap bag will just burst open. Buy a size that is big enough to hold your stuff or two bags. An over packed bag will easily get damaged. They should be wheeled and lockable or buy locks for them.

You will need a backpack or tote bag that will not be checked in for all your documents and anything else you need in-flight if you are flying. These may include medication, passports, valuables, business documents and personal care items. If you have lots of documents or items that you do not wish to check in get a back pack that can also be wheeled around. You do not want to have to lug it around the airport waiting for your connection or looking for your boarding gate. It is not very interesting.

Travel map and books are good for getting you there and pointing out interesting places to see especially if you are travelling solo than in a guided your group.

If you do not speak the language of the country invest in a small book with simple phrases in the language of your destination it may help you get out of difficult situations. If you are the type to keep a diary then get one preferable

An inflatable neck pillow is a good idea whether you are flying, car riding or using the train for head support.

A travel first aid kit is a good idea as accidents can happen anywhere and that can be very far away from a hospital or any help at all.

A water purification kit is an essential especially when travelling to developing countries; where drinkable water may be rare, and it is cheaper anyway than buying bottled water.

You will need converters and adapters for your any of your electrical appliance that you may need with you. You may also need a travel size hairdryer and curling iron depending on your style. A spot remover is a good idea to have since hotel laundry can be expensive; it will cut costs. Look for a good quality one that does not leave a ring on clothes nor damage them.

Ugly Betty Star Gets Support From Fellow Emmy Winner

Things are indeed really picking up for America Ferrera as the Ugly Betty star bagged the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series on Sunday Night, with fellow Emmy winner Sally Field of Brothers & Sisters cheering her on.

"Aw, that is so sweet," Ferrera gushed hearing Access Hollywood's news that Sally Field was supportive of the young actress. "Sally is amazing... Sally Field is one of the people I grew up studying and admiring and loving and so that in itself is a dream come true."

Having won an Emmy is a big thing for the 23-year-old Ferrera, who has indeed has come a long way from starring in HBO's Real Women Have Curves and the feature film, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But before all the success took place, she had gone through her fair share of failed auditions, including one wherein she dyed her dark hair blonde and covered her face with white powder.

"It was a role that was written for a very standard, white skin, blond hair, blue-eyed American," Ferrera explained. "And it was a role that I wanted the opportunity to at least fail... so I just did something that was a little silly and would have never worked."

"[The casting directors] laughed, then said We get it, we get what you're saying, but you still don't have the part.' I was like, OK.'" America recounted.

Today, she has established herself as one of the most recognized faces in the industry, and is the first Latina in Emmy history to be named best comedic lead actress.

"That's pretty amazing, I mean, that's great. It's a lot to take in," she said in a conversation with Access Hollywood. "I think the show has done really, really wonderful things for the Latino community and Latinos in Hollywood and I hope that it just continues to do the same and I hope we have so many, many years ahead of us."

2008年1月5日星期六

Compare Credit Cards

The use of liquid cash has long ceased, since the advent of plastic. Today, credit cards are the preferred mode of transaction the world over. Businessmen and even shoppers prefer the exchange of cash via credit card, rather than carry around liquid cash and the risk involved. Credit cards are basically a cash transfer mode that is operated by the various financial institutions and banks. They make credit available in return for repayment at a later date and with a set and pre determined rate of interest, which varies from one institution to another. The convenience of using a credit card lies in the reduced need to carry or handle liquid cash and the availability of purchasing power, without the presence of cash.

There are different types of credit cards and they differ on the interest charged, the denomination and the institution. The different kinds of credit cards are:

Platinum visa credit cards: These cards are offered for an introductory period of a year, at no annual fee charged at all. The card offers free travels services and Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance.

Express credit cards: These cards are available for an introductory offer that lasts for 15 months. With the regular APRs that are really low, the card is a success in the business world and that of the layman.

Free cash rewards credit cards: These cards are popular for the collection of points per purchase and no annual fee charged to the card holder.

Open road credit cards: These cards offer cashback bonuses on every gas and auto maintenance. The no annual fee charged and balance transfers are attractive and have stream lined a dedicated segment.

Discover More credit cards: The Discover More cards offer a special percentage to every online purchase with the cards. There is no annual fee or introductory APR applicable with the Discover More cards and this makes them even more attractive to the businessman and the regular shopper.

Shy Miles credit cards: These cards are designed for the frequent flyer and the businessman. They offer bonus miles on every purchase and the points are doubled when the card is used at a supermarket, pharmacy or gas station.

The amount of availability of credit cards makes the choice of any one very difficult. Gone are the days when clientele became frustrated at the lack of accurate and easily accessible information about the different credit card companies. Today, the various credit card companies actually pursue the clients, via an extensive data base. The online accessibility enables you to obtain all the information you need on the rates of interest the special offers and the credibility offered. All you need to do is type in the preferred card, review your options, identify with the option that works best for you and complete a credit card application online. The card is mailed to you in little or no time at all. The credit card eliminates the disappointment that accompanies the non availability of funds, especially when you see something you really want to indulge in. The bulging wallet is now a thing of the past and the sleek and easy to handle credit cards are here to stay.

2008年1月4日星期五

The Most Recalled Car of 2007: Volkswagen Beetle

Vehicle sales figure for 2007 is predicted to be 16.1 million units and almost equaling this figure is the number of recalls each automaker made for several of their models together.

Last August, Ford announced that they will be recalling their 3.6 million vehicles, mostly in the truck segment from the 1990s model years. The massive recalls were due to defects in the speed control deactivation switch. Similarly, brake light problems have resulted in Volkswagen recalling 1,000,000 units of the Volkswagen Beetle from 2001 to 2007 model years making it the most recalled vehicle model for the year. For Toyota, the 2004-2006 Tundra and the 2004-2007 Sequoia were recalled due to problems in the lower ball joint on the vehicles front suspension.

These past few years, almost all automaker have issued vehicle recalls. "Now almost any time you pick up a newspaper, there is a recall," said Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis at J.D. Power & Associates in Troy, Michigan.

Even a Ferrari worth $168,000 is not an exception to defective vehicles. In the early months of 2007, the Italian luxury sports car maker recalled 216 of its 2005 and 2006 models of the F430 coupe and spider models. The vehicles were detected to have faulty clutch pumps. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the defect could result in a reduction in a drivers ability to shift gears while driving and result in a crash.

We may wonder that if every year, vehicle quality is upgraded, then why are recalls also rising? According to auto experts, the incidents are due to automakers sharing platforms and parts, therefore increasing the chances that a defective part be used in various models causing problems to all of it. On the other side, Libby said that recalls could be taken as a sign that the automakers are exerting extra efforts to solve vehicle problems, thereby protecting its consumers.

Recalls can be a stain to a vehicles brand and model. It may give the consumers the idea that they bought a lemon and it is known to all that recalls can be ammunition to product liability attorneys for lawsuits.

"This stuff gets amplified a great deal because there are certain lawyers waiting to use this information, and they are out there actively looking for new business on a class action basis," VW spokesman Keith Price said.

This year the most recalled vehicles are: Volkswagen New Beetle (with Volkswagen Beetle distributor rotor), Toyota Tundra and Sequoia, Jeep Liberty, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro, Suzuki Forenza and Reno, Volkswagen Passat and Passat Wagon, Lexus ES 350 and Chrysler Sebring.

Metal Bellows for Industrial Applications

When you think of the word "bellows" you probably have a picture in your mind of the leather bellow historically used to blow air into their fireplace. However, there is another kind of bellow, a metal bellows, which is a high-technology product used in machinery, medical and industrial applications. Metal bellows are manufactured and sold by companies specializing in metal expansion joints and other piping systems. Some bellows are microscopically small while others are very large.

Simply stated, metal bellows are thin-walled flexible elements which allow for expansion in a system of pipes, while at the same time containing gasses and liquids in a pressure-filled environment. A metal bellow is also commonly referred to by the names: flexible metal element, element, corrugations, and compensator.

Each metal bellow is made by taking into account its pitch, convolution height, thickness, number of plies, convoluted length, skirt length, and inside diameter. Every metal bellows has a unique working pressure, life cycle, and spring rate which are entirely dependent on their shape and the material in which they are made of. These considerations, and some specific mathematical formulas, insure that a metal bellow meets the standards set by the Expansion Joint Manufacturers Association. The EJMA specifications exist to make sure that a metal bellow is able to perform under the specifications it claims to. This is for both productivity and safety.

There are generally two different types of metal bellow available on the market today. These two types of bellows are formed and welded. Let's look a bit at each of them:

Formed Bellows - A formed metal bellows is manufactured by one of two processes.
These processes are mechanical forming, and hydroforming. Formed bellows are generally more expensive for a custom bellows than if it were welded. The higher cost is due to the tooling required to produce the original form. However, once the original form has been created then the subsequent bellow can be produced at a lower cost than individually welded bellow.

Formed bellow must be made of metals which have high elongation characteristics. For this reason, most formed bellow are made of brass. Formed bellows generally are used in applications where a lower performance is acceptable. Formed metal bellows are also generally larger than those which are individually welded.

Welded Bellows - A welded metal bellows is manufactured by welding individual formed diaphragms to each other. A welded bellows can be fabricated in many shapes and sizes and is generally a higher performance option than a formed bellows.

Welded bellow can be made of any metal or alloy which can be welded. Generally, materials such as stainless steel, titanium, and other non-corrosive materials are used to fabricate welded bellows.

Formed metal bellow generally are used in larger applications such as HVAC, and large piping systems. Welded bellows are generally very small and have to be manufactured in laboratories using high levels of magnification. Welded bellows are generally used in medical and aerospace applications.

As you can see there are many metal bellows available to fit many needs. Bellows are available from companies who fabricate metal expansion joints.