Africa – The Cradle of Humankind

World-renowned archaeologist Professor Phillip Tobias once said that “Humanity was a gift from Africa to the World”. Many scholars believe Africa to be the birthplace of mankind and with the substantial archaeological findings in their favour the world tends to agree.

South Africa – Tour the Origins
South Africa is home to some three million years of prehistory and history, inherited from the ancient cultures which made the mountains and plains their home. This rich inheritance places the country among the few regions in the world where these footsteps towards the development of culture can be followed. If you are interested in the origins of mankind a trip to South Africa is highly recommended. There are a multitude of sites where remarkable discoveries have been made throughout the years and they are now open to members of the public. The tours of these sites allow enthusiasts a glimpse into their own origins.

Until 1924 the world had focussed its attention on Asia in their quest for the origins of mankind. Professor Raymond Dart revolutionised this way of thinking when he discovered the skull of a six year old child in a block of rock sent to him from the town of Taung in South Africa’s North West province. The skull displayed both ape-like and human-like anatomical features and was named Australopithecus africanus. The skull is regarded amongst the 20 most significant scientific discoveries of the 20th century. Once the skull had been discovered scientists turned their attention to South Africa and a huge number of archaeological sites were found. The Taung Heritage Site is now one of South Africa’s top tourist destinations, a monument has been built to commemorate the discovery and an old mine tunnel has been reopened for visitors to explore. The Blue Pools are another feature that attract visitors to the Heritage Site. Discovered after a dynamite explosion in a mountain in which lime was being mined the pools are surrounded by caves and streams and are a popular site for hiking, abseiling, picnicking and barbequing.

Another remarkable find was made in 1947 by Dr Robert Broom, who discovered a perfectly preserved adult Australopithecus africanus cranium, belonging to the 2, 5-million-year-old “Mrs Ples”, at Sterkfontein. Several hundred discoveries followed, some dating back 3, 5 million years and the Sterkfontein site earned its name – The Cradle of Humankind. Some of the cradles findings include 500 skull, jaw, teeth and skeletal fossils of early hominids, thousands of other animal fossils, over 300 fragments of fossils wood, and over 9,000 stone tools. The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site and certain areas are open to the public. There are also various exhibitions, guided tours and lectures from reputed archaeologists. The Cradle restaurant is the perfect day of exploration and enlightenment. This beautiful restaurant built from stone, steel and glass opens up on three sides with a magnificent view of the African landscape.

South Africa’s Limpopo province is a land of myths and legends – the area has a rich cultural history and there are many archaeological sites. The Makapans Cave and nearby archaeological and fossil sites are situated on the farm Makapansgat, 19 km north of Mokopane. It was here in 1948 that the fossil remains of Australopithecus africanus, a 3, 5 million-year-old ape-man, were found by Raymond Dart. The Makapans Valley, a National Heritage site and currently in line for World Heritage Status, contains an extensive and complete record of hominid occupation. The Makapan caves are full of fossils and archaeological remains and you can take a tour of the caves and area.

Long before Bartholomew Dias rounded the Cape in 1488 the art of working gold was being mastered by Bantu-speaking people living near the Limpopo River. Recently gold objects and other exciting finds have been made here. Also near the Limpopo River, Thulamela in the Kruger National Park was home to a large stone-walled settlement. A large section of the ancient stone walling has been restored to its former glory and the National Parks Board is working on plans to make this bewitching site a tourism destination in the northern part of the Kruger National Park. Not only can you marvel at the sites archaeological finds but you can also enjoy spending time in one of the worlds most acclaimed game reserves.

In more recent years South Africa has once again captured the world’s attention with the discoveries of human remains at the Klasies River Caves along the Eastern Cape coast. Human remains with anatomically modern features have been found, dating well over 100 000 years old. If these dates are correct, then it is in Southern Africa that the world’s oldest remains of our own species, Homo sapiens, have been found – some 60 000 years before their arrival in Europe and Asia.

Apart from all of the human remains discovered in South Africa throughout the years the treasure trove of art. South Africa has the greatest collection of Stone Age paintings and engravings in the world. The San have left us a priceless and unique artistic legacy.

Robert Ardry wrote that, “Humanity evolved beneath the canopy of African skies on the immense card table of the African Savannah”. Exploring this evolution is a magnificent way to gain insight into the origin of mankind. Not only will you be enlightened on your tour of South Africa’s archaeological treasures you will also get to experience this beautiful countries modern day treasures.

Budget Travel and Having Fun While Doing It

Traveling can be expensive. Sometimes there is just no other choice but to travel and it may not be something that you want to spend a lot of money on. There are some ways that you can save money while traveling and still have a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

How to save money by flying
If you have to travel remember that holidays are the best days to fly. Thanksgiving is a great day because hardly anyone will be flying that day. The day before and the day after a holiday are the worst days to travel. These are the busiest days of the year to be on a plane. Pack light when you are traveling. Extra baggage could cost you time and money and you can save by packing a little less and you will save a lot more.

Take a train instead of flying
Trains are a great way to travel because they are usually less expensive than a plane. They are also less crowded. When you decide to take a train you will save money that can be used for other things on your vacation.

Traveling with your children can sometimes be a little stressful and maybe even a downright nightmare. However, this does not have to be the case. There are ways for you to keep your children occupied while you are on the road or in the air. You can keep them happy and at the same time keep your sanity.

Bring along some snacks
The one thing you can always depend on is your child getting hungry. They are always asking for a snack or something to nibble on at the worst possible times. These times are when you are busy or when you have nothing for them to snack on. One good way to prepare for this situation is to bring along a variety of their favorite things. Another good idea is to have some drink boxes on hand for them also. You know if they are hungry then the next thing they are going to say is they are thirsty. Think ahead and get a list of the things they like and pack them along with you.

When you are traveling either alone or with your family, bring your own snacks. This will save you time and money when you get hungry. Sometimes with the hustle of traveling we forget to get ourselves something to eat. This may cause an all of sudden sick feeling for you. By having some snacks on hand you will save yourself the trouble of feeling sick. This will also save you money. Snacks on coach flights and sections are not free and can be expensive in some cases.

Driving in a car
When you are driving to your destination, there are some things that you can do to save yourself money. Remember to not drive too fast. Driving fast can cause your car to use more fuel. It may also get you a speeding ticket, which will cost you a lot of extra money in the end. It is better to stay at a steady and safe speed while you are driving. Also bring your own food. Make up some sandwiches and bring along some sodas and water. This will save you money and time by not having to stop for food.

Another good piece of advice when traveling by car is to take turns driving with someone. Make sure that you have another safe driver for times when you need a break. You can sleep while someone else drives for a while and then switch back and forth when a rest is needed. This will save you the expense of paying for a room and get you to your destination sooner.

If you are traveling with children on a plane, remember to arrive at the airport early. Make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to get you and your children checked in and not to mention leave yourself some time for bathroom breaks. You know how kids can sometimes slow you down and you want to make sure that you have enough time for the unexpected things that can come up at any given time.

Traveling with your children can be memorable experience in your life and with a little planning and thought; you can make that memory a great one.

Planning a Vacation? How about Disneyland!

After working hard all year long, everyone deserves a vacation to relieve all the stress and to enjoy time with friends and family. This is why it’s important to choose a destination that will fulfill all expectations…Disneyland!

As many go on holiday with family, it is essential that there is something to enjoy for all members of the family, and this is certainly the case at Disneyland. Surprises are always welcomed, but if you have children and you decide to spend your vacation in a city that has nothing fun to offer them, then the surprise turns into a nightmare. Going away from friends, even if for a week, seems to children something that requires an effort, so try and make then want that vacation by offering them exciting with plenty of things to do, things that can combine education and pleasure.

The choice of Disneyland vacation destinations is entirely yours. Depending upon a number of factors you may choose to visit Disneyland in Paris, Florida, California, or Tokyo. This will depend on how far you are willing to travel, your vacation budget, and if there are any other attractions that you may wish to visit whilst there. All offer great features for kids and adults to enjoy, and there is always plenty going on at all times of the day to ensure that no-one gets bored.

Maybe Disneyland isn’t for you, but of course there are wonderful places to visit all around the world. If budget allows it, you can make a trip around the world to visit the seven world’s wonders, which will be something that you will never forget. The Pyramids for instance are mysterious buildings, dated since the ancient Egyptians, enclosing a technology and architecture that can hardly be matched even in today’s world. Go and walk through these world wonders to try and understand the mystery, to see for yourself the simplicity of the people and the splendor of the country.

Vacation can simply be spent at home also. We can just relax and catch up on lost sleep if we feel too exhausted to travel. Meeting friends, having barbecues, sitting by the pool and playing with children will make us forget the hard year that passed. However, make sure one of your vacations is spent at Disneyland; it really is a “must-do” vacation that shouldn’t be missed.

Enjoying Your Travels To Spain

Thinking about traveling to Spain? Spain – located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula – continues to be one of the most popular tourist attractions and vacation spots just as much today as it has always been in the past. Maybe you’re wondering about where to visit in Spain… Maybe you want to learn more about its history and experience its tremendous influence in European art… Whatever your reasons for wanting to visit are, you’re certainly bound to enjoy the rich culture, customs, and history of this country once you’ve arrived there.

As you can imagine, the architecture of Barcelona, the Holy Monstreat, and the Toledo cathedral make this a popular coordinate. And because this is such a hot travel spot, you’re advised to make your airline reservations, hotel reservations, and car rental preparations early – three to four months in advance as a matter of fact – especially when tourism is likely to be high (summer months, holidays, etc.). If you prefer to travel “off-season,” – that is, during a time when tourism is low, you may not need to make such early reservations. In the latter case, one month-advanced preparation may suffice.

After you’ve made your reservations, you can fulfill the rest of your time preparing for everything that Spain has to offer. One of the ways that you can do that is by taking a local trip to your favorite library and perusing the immense number of books about Spain. By doing this, you can prepare yourself with the language – perhaps even check out a few books or audio tapes of the language (if available) and additionally learn about Spain’s monetary system.

You should always learn about entry requirements, inoculations and other safety information you might need before you go not only to Spain – but also just about anywhere out of the country. But you can also familiarize yourself with the dress of the land and maybe try a few local restaurants that serve Spanish cuisine and play a little of its native music. Of course you can always visit your museum and inquire about the art of the land so that you’ll know what to look for once you get there – in particular, the works of El Greco. The idea here is to educate yourself amid all the excitement of visiting a place so rich in culture!

Now some people like spontaneity – a little adventure – the unknown – whatever you want to call it, but some of us like to create an itinerary of things to do and places to go. If you’re the “planning type,” then you might appreciate taking the time to map out your excursion. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that – seeing that you’re visiting a new area, your chances of being bored or going against spontaneity are very slim because Spain has so much to offer to each one of your physical senses!

When and if you create such an itinerary, some of the things that you will want to include of course are things like times to eat, take tours, attend shows, and (our favorite) shop! You might think that this information is hard to find but thanks to the Internet, it really isn’t’ hard to find at all. If you’re working with a travel agent, then your efforts to fill an itinerary should be pretty minimal. But if you’re working alone, you can certainly visit the tourist websites of Spain and create your own chart of things to discover and enjoy.

If you’re handy with the native language of Spain (which you might have correctly guessed is Spanish), you can certainly read a few online Spanish newspapers to find events and locals that might be of interest to you. Chances are that you’ll find a lot more entertainment information by reading a Spanish newspaper than you would if you solely relied on an English interpretation.

Once you’ve arrived and have found transportation to your hotel, you can inquire further to find even more interests. By this time, you should be speaking a little Spanish so that you can effectively communicate and exchange money with your hotel manager:

Hola! (Hello)
Gracias! (Thank You)
Como te llamas? (What’s your name?)
Como estas? (How are you?)
Me llamo… (My name is…)
Soy de United States of America (I’m from the United States of America)
No comprendo (I don’t understand)
Por favor (please)
Me numero de telefono es el… (My phone number is [and then the numbers in Spanish [uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, etc.)

You’ll of course want to learn how to ask for other important things like help and/or directions. These are some of the things that will make your trip to Spain more enjoyable – especially as you converse with the natives and experiment with new foods or amusements that you hadn’t even planned for! Just remember to pack your camera or your small video cam so that you can record your experience and enjoy them with loved ones back home.

Packing For A trip Through Ibiza

When you hear of Ibiza, what images pop up in your mind? Ancient trading? Beaches? Parties? Rain? Ibiza, like Menorca, is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and it sits to the left of the Mallorca Island. Also known as “Eivissa,” this island is rich in Phoenician history. Remember the Phoenicians who dominated trade in the first millennium BC?

Well it’s on this island that these same Phoenicians ran their lead, wine, and marble trade in 654 BCE. At that time, the island was known as ‘Ibossim’, and then later called ‘Ebusus’ by the early Romans. Later, the island was known for producing salt, wool, die, and fish sauce. By forming a treating with Romans, Ibiza was spared destruction and later became one of Roman’s official cities.

As you can guess, this historical tidbit makes Ibiza a fascinating place to visit and it’s current night-life seemingly attracts tourists from all over the world. International tourists visit this island to check out its most lively clubs: The Privilege, the Es Paradis, Te Amnesia, the Space, and the Pacha. All of these clubs are known for their active parties – some opening as early as eight in the morning! (Note that most shops and banks here are closed between the hours of two and four p.m. – known as the ‘siesta’.)

But that’s not all – Ibiza is the mother of ‘trance music’ – a style of music that is euphoric and melodic and that fuses the sounds of string instruments, mandolins, and soft vocals. You may have even heard some of this hypnotizing sound by artists like Solar Stone, Paul Oakenfold, Chicane, or DJ Tiesto. Lisa Lashes is a widely recognized artist within this genre too.

Traveling to this island, you’ll want to remember that you’ll be surrounded by some of the most beautiful beach spots in the world. And that’ll demand very light clothing – especially in the summer. At the most, you’ll want to bring along a light sweater for trips up into the mountain areas or at night along the island’s coasts. Either way, you’ll definitely want to dress to impress if you want to blend within the cultural trend that exists here.

Not only is this corner of the world known for it’s rich history and its high entertainment, it’s also known for its high fashion. Bright colors and prints are in!

Since you’ll spend the majority of your time here walking and enjoying the sights, pack the most comfortable pair of walking shoes that you own. Fancy dance shoes might be fine for evening fun, but most of the locals and other tourists you’ll see will stride in sandal-type footwear. Some of the streets on this island are still cobbled so if you tour the sights in anything that isn’t a flat-sole support, you might have a little trouble getting around – especially in shoes with a high heel.

But if you’re ready to hit the beaches, soaking up the sun on one of Ibiza’s many beaches unquestionably demands ultraviolet ray protection. So don’t forget the sunscreen, sunshades, or hat! If you travel during the winter months (November through February), bring your rain gear. We’re not talking about a full raincoat and boots set up – something simple like an umbrella will suffice!

Other things that you might find handy aren’t items that you’ll wear, but instead, items that you’ll use. For example, you might want to bring a camera along so that you can photograph the marvelous sights you’ll see including those party events that no one will believe happened unless you’ve captured them on film! When packing your camera, you’ll of course want to make sure that you bring along plenty of film, batteries, and repair parts in case these items are not available on the island.

Be careful though that when you do take photographs, you don’t violate any local laws or politically sensitive areas. Ask first – especially when you tour the religious sites of this land. Some belief systems don’t allow photographs and although the reasoning may not make sense to you, they make sense to the locals and you should respect the wishes of whatever rules are set in place.

In addition to a camera, you might appreciate bringing along a language translation book or an electronic language translator, as the native tongue spoken in Ibiza is Spanish. Speaking the same language as what your local hosts speak will help you in other activities available here like shopping, touring, or just speaking to a friendly passer-by. You could learn to say, “Que pasa?” for example, which means ‘what’s going on?’ or ‘what’s happening?’

You really want to bring along anything and everything that will enable you to enjoy your time here because as previously mentioned, Ibiza is a place to have fun, relax, and vacation as though you’ve never vacationed before.

Getting The Most From Your Trip To Menorca

Menorca (also known as Minorca) – situated east of Mallorca – is one of Spain’s own Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. With a population of about 82 thousand Spanish-speaking people, you’re sure to find a wide variety of interests to enjoy should you decide to travel here – especially on January 17. January 17 is a nationally celebrated day that marks when Alfonso III of Aragon conquered the island.

In fact, the history of this island is what makes it so interesting to outsiders, as it has changed ownership several times over the centuries, inevitably showing the architectural and art influences with each successive change of rulership. Of particular interest to traveling Americans is the fact that Menorca was completely under British control in 1763 thanks to the Treaty of Paris, fell capture to Spanish and French forces during the American Revolutionary War – only to change hands again to the British during the French Revolutionary Wars.

This is of course before Spain acquired the island in 1802 once and for all. This does not suggest however, that Menorca lived peacefully ever after. Political stresses have continued to pull the island back and forth between reigning parties and powers over the years. Aside from this rich history, Menorca is known for bringing us some fun facts and trivia.

For instance, this little section of the world is responsible for sobrassada – a sausage that’s made with paprika. The natives here also brought us gin and Mao cheese among other things like the world-known megalithic stone monuments: navetes, taulas, and talaiots for example. As you can see, Menorca has much to offer the new world traveler or adventurer and it really is to your advantage to experience some of the new and exciting things that the culture of this land has to offer.

In an effort to learn as much as you can during your stay in Menorca, take a crash course in Spanish, the native language of the island. It’s not necessary to become fluent – although that would certainly make things easier for you and the locals that you communicate with. But it’s helpful to learn at least a few phrases that will enable you to get help when needed or to develop a meaningful and educational relationship with the people that you interact with.

You should be comforted in knowing that Spanish is one of the most easiest languages to learn and chances are that you already know a little Spanish if you’re an American. Many words of the English language are derivatives of the Spanish language, so as you learn it, you’ll find that it’s something you can pick up rather quickly.

Of course you could also educate yourself about the island prior to your visit. Learn about Menorca by reading books, learning about its art, literature, and music, its geography, its political history, and more. Viewing photographs will help you associate what you’ve learned from books with the images of the land so that they’ll be easily recognizable once you get there.

At Menorca however, don’t let books dictate how you’ll receive the island. Another way to absorb Menorca’s culture is to just get out and about and interact with people and the events that you find. The two major towns of this island are Ciutadella and Mao. So bring along a camera and really get into the experience so that you can not only enjoy it, but also learn from what the cities of Alaior, Es Castell, Ciutadella, Ferreries, Mahon, Es Mercadal, Es Migjorn Gran, and Sant Lluis have to offer.

Just be sure that if you’ve arrived to the island with a schedule to follow, you can arrange your list of activities so that they grant you ample time to tour significant landmarks, taste the food, visit its religious buildings, and experience it’s landscape. If time allows, rent a car and adventure out on your own or sign up for a tour. Treat the island as if it were your own homeland and experience it to the fullest.

Being so close to Spain, you can take a short trip to the mainland and witness the las fiestas de San Fermin celebrated every July 7th. This unique festival is known as “the release of the bulls” and precedes the exciting bullfights that this country has become famous for. Or you could take in a quick but intense game of futbol (soccer).

The important thing is that you make an effort to learn a new style of living, that you observe how that style of living works for others as well as how it can work for yourself and others you care about, and that you bring what you’ve learned back home. If all goes well, you should return home with a wider perspective and bigger appreciation of how the world really works.

Take a Chance in the Caribbean

“Caribbean…,” pronounce it how you like, this word tends to roll off the tongue like a string of island pearls and conjures images of blue skies, bluer waters, and the most idyllic of vacations. Boundaries and geography lessons aren’t very relaxing, so just think of the Caribbean as that blessed region of gorgeous ocean where islands spring from beneath the gentle waves and good vibes dominate the atmosphere morning, noon, and night.

Choosing which island or islands to visit might cause you to head to the library or computer for some research and virtual exploration. A more creative and less demanding approach might be to let fate take its course. Flip a coin, or maybe throw a dart at a map of the Caribbean, and see where you’re destined to have the vacation you’ve been pining away for. You really can’t go wrong when it comes to visiting this region, so close your eyes and let the uninhibited spirit of the isles decide.

If the Virgin Islands take the spotlight, you’re in for a treat. St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix make up the U.S. Virgin Islands, and this trio will not disappoint when it comes to providing an ideal Caribbean vacation. St. Thomas specializes in history as well as beauty, and offers the chance to tour Bluebeard’s Castle, the Seven Arches Museum, and Fort Christian Museum, built in 1672. Turtle Beach in St. Croix has been voted one of the top ten beaches in the Caribbean and the nightlife in Christiansted is always amusing, yet this island preserves the appeal of being relatively un-crowded. St. John is the smallest yet arguably the most beautiful of the three, as its beaches are postcard-worthy and two-thirds of the island is a designated National Park.

If it looks like the Bahamas are in the cards, lady luck has shined on you again. Whether you feel like fishing, snorkeling, boating, or sunbathing, the turquoise waters surrounding this collection of islands will serve as a tranquil, sparkling reminder that you are far away from the land you call home. The town of Freeport offers casinos, shopping, and fine dining, and an array of smaller, outlying cays will allow you to experience a little privacy if that’s what you’re after. No matter where you stay within the Bahamas, you’ll find yourself enjoying life as it is best enjoyed, decelerated, without stress or strain, and within view of the most arresting sunsets imaginable.

Another fortunate roll of the dice would single out Barbados for your vacationing pleasure. The British flavor of this island makes it quite intriguing, as does the presence of several world-class restaurants. The Flower Forest, Harrison’s Caves, rugged cliffs, assorted water sports, and delightful duty-free shopping complete Barbados’ image as a privileged and desirable addition to the Caribbean islands. A few days spent soaking up the sun in an ocean side villa and you’ll forget what a traffic jam even looks like.

You’ve probably gotten the picture by now; the Caribbean is a haven for world-weary travelers looking to escape into a land of eternal summers and soothing tides. You would probably be happy staying on any of the islands within this magical, anxiety-free realm, but you might want to ensure that things go well by reserving a vacation rental with all the amenities you’ll need to accentuate your picturesque surroundings.

You can’t go wrong with a beachfront condo or a colorful cottage big enough to keep you and your traveling companions from trampling all over each other. Or, if you have romance in mind, seek out a secluded little hideaway to ensure all the uninterrupted cuddling time that you’ll need. Book a place with a kitchen if you hope to save money on meals while fostering the intimacy of home, or rent a small castle and live like a king. No matter what you envision for this vacation, there is certainly a place available that you’ll be happy to call home for a while.

Great Things About Photography

Are you thinking about taking up the hobby of photography? Many who have already discovered this exciting and fulfilling hobby can tell you the top ten reasons why photography is so great. Maybe you will be captivated by this compelling and diverse art as well.

1. The Challenge of Getting the Perfect Picture
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Sometimes a hundred shots have to be taken and you have to try for several days to get just the picture you want. An individual must have patience, but at the end of the day a great sense of accomplishment is felt from capturing the best part.

2. Tell A Story
From beginning to end of a snowball fight, with people throwing their first snowball and eventually rolling in the snow and then dusting off, you can see the event and it tells the story of friendship, fun and joy of life. Looking at pictures of an old family farm from its humble beginnings to the growth and increase over a hundred years it tells a story of family, hard work and sacrifice. Everyone has a story, photos can share that story and bring it to life.

3. Express Individuality
A photographer subject matter will reflect their interests, likes and preferences. A photo can also reflect the individuality of a subject. The clothes they choose to wear and the location they want the pictures shot all show who they are and their personality.

4. Joy and Laughter Increase
Anyone who looks at their first grade picture can attest to this fact. What is more fun than looking back at your younger years or seeing the awkwardness of adolescence? In your later years of life, seeing a picture of your family working or playing together warms your heart and lets you remember good times and better health. A photo lets us travel over the decades and brings back moments that make us laugh and carries us through the hard times.

5. See Things Truly As They Are
Somethings are so perfect- the petals of a flower, the height of a Redwood, the still calm of the lake at dawn. They draw you in to the grace of nature and life in purity and simplicity. The sweet smile of a child reflects the goodness of life and all the hope for what we can become and achieve. This is what life is and who we are in it.

6. Solitude of the Dark Room
The magical atmosphere of the dark room leads you to discover the potential of the photograph. Lightness, darkness, shadows all are in the control of the photographer. It is a work done alone with your ideas and skills combined to bring out the story of the photo before you.

7. Understand the Emotions of Others
As you look over the events of history and witness the faces of those who endured the depression or see victims of the Holocaust you can see in their eyes what they have endured. Their faces portray their hearts and hurts and although you were not there, you understand what they carry with them a little more.

8. A Gift to Others of Their Most Precious Moments
After the couple returns from the honeymoon one of the first priorities is to get the wedding photos. One of the happiest days of their lives is recorded forever. When someone does something for you that you can’t do for yourself you feel indebted and forever grateful. It is a special gift to give someone their special memories and most cherished events.

9. Once You Capture a Moment You Can Display it
From the famous to the personal, photographs reveal lives of people. Some are placed in history books, some on the walls of a museum and some in the home. When they are displayed they are able to reach into the lives of others and stir emotion and thought. Photos are meant to be shared and seen.

10. The Only Way You Can Freeze Time
A photo is a moment frozen in time for a person to enjoy and remember whenever they want. The look, the expression, the emotion only happen for an instant. Although someone might carry it in their heart, with time the memory fades. If a photo is taken a child is able to see the happiness of their parents on their wedding day, a parent can see how small their child was the day they brought them home for the first time and all the years after as they grew to adulthood. All the birthdays, first days of school, vacations and friends can be captured and with you always. Time and space do not take a loved one from us when we can see them and the moments we share together, always.

Causes of Stress

In order to eliminate or at least control stress, it is vital to know and understand the causes of stress. Of course, there are many causes of stress and they are as varied as the people who suffer from stress, but there are a few places to look first. And by learning about these causes of stress, you can figure out where stress is entering your life.

One of the most common, and most complained about, causes of stress is work. However, it is not only the day-to-day tasks and routine pressures of work that can lead to stress. In fact, the mere concern about keeping a job can be a source of stress. Unfortunately, the combined stress of both work itself and the possibility of losing it creates a sort of double-stress in which people feel they have to work even harder in order to keep their jobs, making the stress that much worse.

As well, for those who have not entered the working world yet, school can be a great source of stress. The constant pressure of schoolwork, friends, teachers, tests, quizzes, papers, and everything else can be enough to make anyone feel like they are in trapped in a vice. In addition, the deadlines are all immoveable, so students are constantly under time pressure. And, to make matters worse, there are often several deadlines overlapping each other, intensifying the demands on time. Then, once final exams arrive, there is a lot to re-learn and students need to spend so much time studying that they can barely sleep. Needless to say, losing sleep does not help people who are under stress. Thus, students need to manage stress just as much as people who work.

Another cause of stress is simple family life. Unfortunately, though we hope that our home lives can be sources of relief from daily stress, they can often be sources of stress all their own. For childen as well as parents and spouses, the home can often be its own source of pressure.

For parents, stress can often come from simply worrying about their children. After all, seeing a child grow up, make mistakes, go through school, go to college, play sports, and often learn things to hard way is enough to make a parent tear their hair out. Thus, despite the joy that children can bring, they can also be causes of stress and worry.

Unfortunately, parents can be causes of stress also. Though they often have their childrens’ best interests in mind, they can also put a lot of pressure onto their children, causing them to worry not only about school or life, but also how their parents will react when they hear about some new event, success, or error. It is as though there is no place to turn when things go wrong, creating extra stress. No, it is not easy being a parent, but it isn’t always easy being a child or a teenager either, since parents can often be causes of stress as much as sources of comfort from it.

On top of that, spouses can also be causes on stress. Let’s face it, husbands and wives often have expectations of their significant others and it is not always easy to live up to those expectations. As well, spouses often spend a lot of time avoiding certain arguments simply because they are trying to avoid stress. However, leaving tension in the air while not resolving it can be a cause of stress.

Money is also a major cause of stress, simply for the fact that there never seems to be enough of it. Thus, as the money keeps going out but it never seems to come in enough, stress just keeps mounting. Unfortunately, spouses, children and sometimes parents can often remind us of our shortfalls and they will often increase the stress. Of course, that is to say nothing of the continual reminders from the mortgage or rent, car payments, credit cards and other bills. And, furthermore, it is rather difficult to be philosophical about money stress since attempting to put things into perspective only recalls thoughts about the money that always seems to be missing. Thus, money stress just keeps piling up higher and higher and there never seems to be a way out.

Though this is only a partial list of all the possible causes of stress, these are some of the most common sources. However, no matter where the problem is arising, stress will not make them better. Rather, stress will only make it harder for people to think about their problems and try to solve them. Thus, in order to solve the problems that lead to stress, the best place to start is by managing the stress, then working to solve the problems with a clear and uncluttered mind.

Why Do Stock Prices Go Up And Down?

I’ll give you the short answer first!

Stocks go up because more people want to buy than sell. When this happens they begin to bid higher prices than the stock has been currently trading. On the other side of the same coin, stocks go down because more people want to sell than buy. In order to quickly sell their shares, they are willing to accept a lower price.

Having said this, we’ll take a look at the various reasons that cause traders to want to buy or sell a stock.

It is possible to look at the financial statements of a company and determine what the company is worth. Investors who take this approach are said to examine the company’s “fundamentals”. They attempt to find an undervalued stock – one that is trading below it’s “book value”. They feel that sooner or later other traders will realize that the company is worth more than the current price and begin bidding it up.

Another investment psychology it called the “technical approach”. This is when traders closely examine charts of the stock’s past performance looking for trends that they feel will be repeated in the near future. These traders also look at what is happening in the market as a whole trying to anticipate the effect it will have on an individual stock.

Sometimes companies trade at half their “book value” while at other times they may trade at double, triple, or even higher. When this happens it can create some sudden and large price swings. This volatility is what makes it possible to make large profits in the market. It is also responsible for huge losses.

The stock market is essentially a giant auction where ownership of large companies is for sale. If some investors think that a particular company will be a good investment, they are willing to bid the price up. By the same token, when many investors want to sell a stock at the same time the supply will exceed the demand and the price will drop.

Watching the stock market can be likened to watching a ball bounce. It goes up and comes down and then goes right back up. This can be extremely frustrating for many investors who want it to go up in a steady pattern. It is this volatility in the market as a whole and in the individual stocks that the experienced trader profits from. In the absence of a lot of experience, the individual investor needs a proven source of information and direction. The daily stock market recommendations from http://www.stock4today.com can supply this need.

Many investors (as opposed to traders) have a “buy and hold” philosophy. This would work well in a constantly rising market. Unfortunately, the stock market does not go up in a straight line. There are ups and downs that frustrate this type of investor. Today many investors have become “traders” who buy and sell on the fluctuations of the market and the individual stocks. These traders make money in any market – up or down!