Wednesday, March 31, 2010

N-Viro's Amazing Technologies

N-Viro International Corporation unravels the secret of waste disposal through its suite of green technologies. Spanning a decade of research and environmental concerns, N-Viro’s patented technologies have successfully processed wastewater sludge and bio-organic wastes using lime and/or mineral-rich, combustion by-products to treat, pasteurize, immobilize and convert them into into biomineral, agricultural, alternative energy, and soil-enrichment products with real market value. With millions of tons of biosolid wastes generated by people and industries, we face severe environmental threats which N-Viro’s exciting new technologies can easily convert into opportunity fuels assuring environmental and financial gains

These technologies are now ready for full-scale commercial introduction to municipalities and private businesses. During the past 10 years, N-Viro International’s secret of turning waste to renewable energy has generated revenues in excess of $40 million providing treatment services to local municipalities, which are in essence helping them turn municipal sludge into an environmentally safe product such as N-Viro Soil and N-Viro Fuel, the so called “clean coal”.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Travel To Philippines: The Prized Archipelago

By: Frank Johnson

Somewhere in Southeast Asia between the Philippine Sea and the East China Sea, east of Vietnam, south of Taiwan and just north of Indonesia, lies a much neglected but historically and ecologically prized archipelago known as the Philippines. This understated cluster of 7,107 islands is the perfect tropical getaway balanced with just enough colonial cultural intrigue and undulating urban energy to keep you going. Despite the country's somewhat turbulent recent history, the Philippines has

it's a nice day out in the Philippines

reached a level of stability making no better time than now to travel the wonders of the island-nation.

Colonial Legacy, Indigenous Heritage
The first western encounter with the Philippines occurred when Spain's Ferdinand Magellan arrived in 1521, initiating over 300 years of Spanish colonization. A tremendous amount of today's Filipino population is a fraction Spanish, although a negligible number of residents are completely Spanish. The United States took over colonization in 1899 until the Japanese invasion of the strategic islands during World War II. Following Japanese defeat, the Philippines received its independence in 1946. American cultural and military influence still permeates through island culture, although the last U.S. military base has finally been closed. Original human settlement in the region began about thirty thousand years ago when people crossed then-existing land bridges from Asia. Malaysian and Indonesian settlers joined the fray a few thousand years later to constitute a most interesting blend of semi-indigenous cultures still present in the Philippines today. Direct descendents of the first arrivals currently live in the northern province of Zambales.

A Pocketful of Paradise
The nation is divided into three main regions, each with its own metropolitan hub and particular points of interest. Luzon to the north is the most populated region, with the expansive capital city Manila as its main destination. Travel farther north to Banaue where a spectacle of rice terraces had been etched up along the hillside by the Ifugao tribespeople over 2000 years ago. Also, don't miss the truly isolating beauty of Hundred Islands National Park where you may just find a beach all to yourself, as there are literally hundreds to choose from. The central region of Visayas is mostly smaller island clusters and famous for Boracay Island's White Beach and surrounding resort and aquatic activity areas. Make sure to explore the island's less crowded, but just as white-and-turquoise beaches. The southernmost region of Mindanao is home to Davao, the largest city in the world by land area, and the stately Mount Apo, the Philippine's tallest mountain. Enjoy a thrilling river rafting trip in Cagayan de Oro or get back to basic Filipino life in the Tiruray Highlands where the remote shores of Lake Sebu are peacefully inhabited by the T'boli tribe.

While the Getting's Good
With nearly 40,000 kilometers of coastline, a fantasy-like landscape of tropical greenery, and world-class cities offering world-class cuisine and lifestyle, it's hard to imagine that this puddle-jump in Southeast Asia will remain a secret for long. See for yourself why the Philippines is one of the last remaining gems of biodiversity and indigenous culture in this ever-growing region of the world!

For discount airfare to Philippines, visit, your source for cheap airfare on the web.

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Siargao: The Philippines' Ultimate Surfing Destination

In Northern Mindanao lies a small island with a big reputation. It has been dubbed as the ultimate surfing destination in the Philippines. Foreigners and out-of-town locals alike have traveled to Siargao to experience for themselves the waves that have lured many surfers to stay in this island for good. For many, what was once a weekend of surfing has become a lifelong pursuit. Many dedicated American and Australian surfers now call this island home. It is not hard to see why. Siargao has a beauty unique from all others. Its land is unspoiled by commercialism; it has no pollution, and offers a laid-back and relaxed way of life. Many visitors find it very hard to pack up and leave the island. Surfing Since the late 1990s, committed local and foreign surfing enthusiasts have sought out Siargao. The Cloud Nine Surf Break has literally placed Siargao on the map as one of the premiere surfing destinations. The much-anticipated event of the year is the Siargao Cup Surfing Competition. It is held in late September or early October. Siargao does not guarantee surfing waves year-round. However, excellent surfing can be done from April to October. The best time to surf in Siargao is during the northeast monsoon, where spectacular waves appear on the ocean. For the Non-surfers Non-surfers can still go to Siargao and have a great time. They can simply enjoy watching surfers take on the waves. They can also learn how to surf. There are many surfing camps to choose from. Majority of these surfing camps are run by Australian surfers, who could not bear to leave Siargao and had made the island their home. Some foreign surfers as well as local ones offer surfing lessons at reasonable rates. Those who want to enjoy the natural beauty that Siargao has to offer can go on guided day tours to the many beaches and rock pools, as well as the vast mangrove swamps, and waterfalls. Siargao also has lush inland forests where uncommon wildlife such as tarsiers, flying lemurs, and monitor lizards can be found. Trips to the islands surrounding Siargao can also be arranged from most, if not all, of the resorts. The more popular islands are: Guyam, which consists entirely of white sand and palm trees; Dako, which has a stunning beach and is great for snorkeling and diving; Bucas Grande, which has the Sohoton Cave, with an inland lake with unique marine animals such as the non-stinging jellyfish; and Kangbangyo, where you can look for crocodiles in the mangrove swamps of Caob. The nightlife in Siargao is not as wild as in other popular destinations in the Philippines. The resorts are good enough to enjoy quiet drinks at sunset. There are many good restaurants to choose from. Most offer Filipino cuisine. Most resorts have their own in-house restaurants. These places serve delicious meals and give visitors enough reason to dine in instead of going out to eat. For surfers and non-surfers alike, Siargao is an ideal place to go on vacation.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Best Family Vacation Ideas

Tourists and locals enjoy :en:whale watching o...Image via Wikipedia

It’s time for that tried-and-true tradition - the best family vacation! While time away is an opportunity for fun, relaxation, and togetherness, careful planning and necessary preparations should be done months ahead.

Yes, the family vacation. It's the source of some of our most potent and pleasing memories, both as kids and as parents. If fostering family fun is tops on your to-do list, there’s the assortment of family vacation destinations for children, students, parents and everyone.

1) Disneyland anywhere in the world is first and foremost. The thrill of this theme park is so endless and overwhelming. Your kids could spend weeks here and never experience a single moment of boredom.

2) Families with adventurous streak would love to mountain-climb, or hike and so will those who just like to play in the sand. Whale-watching, snorkeling, and beach frolicking are the most common get-aways but your adrenaline junkies may also enjoy scuba diving, surfing, or biking down a volcano's slope.

3) Thrill seekers may find riding down the mountain slope in an alpine coaster and alpine slide everything they need to drive away the stress of daily responsibilities at home and at work. Race down the elevated track with more than a mile of loops and hair-pin curves at speeds up to 30 mph against your family and friends. Just like your favorite roller coaster - but with refreshing green mountain scenery. Kids can participate in the fun, too!

4) You and your family can also soar above the tree tops with exciting cable rides. You can also take a scenic lift rides for a picturesque mountain view. Once you reach the top, you can hike along the groomed access roads, exploring the beautiful surroundings before enjoying the scenic ride back down.

5) Those who are animal lovers would enjoy the wildlife at the zoo.

6) Even in tough economic times most families are still counting on a summer getaway. But they may take trips closer to home, or even try a "staycation", enjoying and exploring their own town or region the way a tourist would.

Ah, the choices are so endlessly amusing. It just depends on the family’s passions, interests or hobbies. It's a big world anyway, explore where you want to play, relax, and tour. No matter where you take your family for a vacation - a fun and exciting mountain vacation, a Caribbean cruise to lie around in the summer sun, or even a simple trip to the back yard for "staycations" – it can be a very unforgettable experience that you and your kids will treasure forever.

Author: Arlene Cuares is a web content writer and has written a number of articles on different topics. She herself loves to take her family to a best family vacation once in a while to escape the humdrums of a busy life and to spend quality time with her family.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Beijing Connection

The City of Beijing is actually governed as a municipality. For all you know, the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality will be hosting the China Open 2009 from October 2 to 11 at National Tennis Center. Since its start in 2004, China Open has been held for 5 consecutive years. As a major sporting event, one would ask what connection does the environment in Beijing offer to visitors from all over the world. To get a scenario of what to expect, let us recount a first-hand experience of a friend's visit to Beijing during the 2008 Olympics


The daily weather in Beijing is referred to as being “overcast” with a one to two kilometer thick by several hundred kilometer wide pall of smog. You hardly see the tops of buildings, or clearly across the wide boulevards. You can feel the smog on your skin, in your nostrils and taste it in your mouth. A haze usually hangs over the city for the early part of the day. Anyone with breathing or respiratory problems must have a hard time with it. Or you better not come.

The temperature is rather warm. At street level with the crowds, the temperature must be about 95 F. Everyone is sweaty, and when greetings are exchanged, the hugs and handshakes are slick.


The people of Beijing are wonderful. They are promptly hospitable, friendly and helpful. They love to have pictures with foreigners for posterity perhaps.. Everyone you’d have any interaction with would bring you joy from to waiters to taxi drivers. Just get prepared to be swarmed and run over on the sidewalks. There are literally hundreds of thousands of others, men, women and children, sharing the sidewalks and boulevards with you, but they move deftly around you. There is no rudeness or pushiness. Yes, they are among the friendliest people in the world.

It will really surprise you and impress you mainly with the people and the energy you’d feel from the people. They're just pretty happy people and a great sense of humor and they really are welcoming the world there and that's what you’d feel like. They're really fun people. They're really serious and really intense and you have to be also to get ahead and to be competitive in anything with 1.3 billion people. But they also have a really funny side and you’d see just how proud these people are.


At a Chinese restaurant you’d be served very large dishes of fresh, hot steaming food, plus a couple of large beers and sodas worth a whopping 137 yuan ($23) – that’s for eight people. And no tips for such gracious and prompt service.

Speaking of sense of humor, there was some pretty good Chinglish on the menu when you’d go to a restaurant to enjoy a traditional Chinese hot pot. Among the items was "obese beef," "aftertaste sausage," and "cube roll of moo cow." Doesn't matter what they call it; it was awesome.

There would always be a 24-hour lounge somewhere where those working on the 24-hour clock could stay and relax with a cold beverage whenever the day is done. Here’s an account from a pal:

As I’m picking up a tray or two for the crowd, I need to ask the comely young barkeep how late the joint may be open, trying to figure out how early I’d have to get there. She goes, confers with some supervisor ‘cause I don’t think she quite understands my English and comes back to report: "Sir, we are open all the hours.” A local with some knowledge of the place looks at me like I’ve got three heads and says, “Don’t worry, you can smoke in restaurants here. I think you can smoke in hospitals if you want.”

Streets & Travel

Hutongs are the narrow streets or alleys that are formed by the traditional courtyard residences all over Beijing. The neighborhoods where these alley ways exist are usually referred to as hutongs.
You’d have a lot of offers from the bicycle rickshaw drivers to take you around, but you can stay on foot and maybe much more exciting.

Taxi cab service, so far, needs a serious upgrade. The drivers seem to be from anywhere except this city, for some reason, and don’t know their way around town, or how to find anything. Sometimes a cab driver misses the mark, but still does you a favor.

Even when they’re lost and clueless, though, the drivers are polite and friendly and provide stories for the telling. If you miss the mark a mile away, a local would insist on escorting you for a walk of the entire distance and he wouldn’t even accept beer money in return. What a walk, though. But you could have beautiful grounds, with lakes, giant trees, gardens, temples, fine old buildings, groups of people doing the Tai Chi thing on flawless green lawns. Well, if you get on the right place…

You see a lot of things in the first class lounges of various train stations and airports – not that I go there very often in these budget-conscious times. Things like famous people sometimes. Free food. The odd drink. Comfortable chairs. And, apparently, bugs. Big, stinking scorpion-like bugs.

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The Fine Line Between Education and Tourism

I have one Filipino blogger friend who contacted me and requested me to comment on his decision to fly to London and take his masteral studies in tourism there. He's an English instructor at a state university in his province and he is working on her student-visa application at the British Embassy in Manila. He just wanted a review or maybe an edit of his responses to three questionnaire items in his visa application. His responses are posted below. Please read through them because I am reserving some questions that I myself haven't yet settled.


My work experiences (as an English Instructor, Coordinator for Cultural/External Affairs, Co-Adviser of the School Publication, Coordinator of Sports/recreational Program, Adviser of Student Council, Service Staff for Marketing Services in a fast-food chain, Head Waiter with managerial and supervisory functions in a resort hotel, photographer/camera man for a foto-video shop, and my recent involvement in internet marketing) all add up to my emergent desire to broaden my knowledge and enhance my readiness to handle higher level tasks on business promotion, entrepreneurial management and tourism.

As coordinator/adviser of various committees, I have somehow engaged myself on problem-solving and analysis. As an English instructor and school publication adviser, I have developed self-confidence and effective communication. As a former student leader covering all the four(?) campuses of Pangasinan State University, I have had a foretaste of exercising managerial leadership and responsibility. As a webmaster and blogger, I have considerably immersed myself into the IT/Internet realm which exposed me to the exciting and rewarding world of promotion, marketing and travel.

Recently, I have learned that these preparations could be strengthened or enhanced for effective managerial leadership in the tourism and hospitality industry. But much more than this conceptual premise is the realization that further training, studies and research along this line are better attained on internationally-established tourist destinations and highly-urbanized marketing and fashion hub such as in Europe or specifically in London. Then I heard about Harrow International Business School from a friend who is presently studying there. I browsed across the school’s website and was even more convinced to pursue my studies there. My persistence brought me before Harrow’s Dean of Hospitality Studies (?) who affirmed my passion and advised me to really chase my dream with the course MBA in International Hospitality and Tourism Management.


The Philippines has been building up its image as a major tourist destination for people around the world, and the prospect in this sector is promising. Tourism-related courses in most local schools and universities popularly draw a big slice of students’ population in the country. I believe that my MBA course from a London-based university like Harrow will give me a wide competitive edge in terms of high quality training, relevant knowledge and unparalleled exposure to the international tourism industry, Europe-based at that. This edge would come in terms of my future employment (locally or abroad) in higher-level or managerial/supervisory positions, my consequent entrepreneurial effectiveness in successfully managing my own business, and that quenching fulfillment for my passion for greater wisdom in life as an educator, as an online advertiser, and hopefully as a businessman. The offshoot of improving my language proficiency in an English-speaking country and that unique educational experience on service, promotion and marketing – related course such as in Hospitality and Tourism management, also bring greater benefits.


In my Bachelor of Secondary Education degree, major in English, I learned how to efficiently manage and convince people, how to communicate or market effectively my message, how to lead and take responsibility, how to develop and condition minds, etc. which are all necessary player qualifications in the hospitality and tourism business. I believe that my Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education attaches indubitable relevance to my choice of MBA in International Hospitality and Business Management. Both courses somehow tackle human services and management. My transcript of records and Diploma shall demonstrate the connection.

Every idea or concept belongs to a traversable network of entwined philosophies, experiences, analogies and intentions. Every motive and model is relevant to a certain degree. But do you see a direct connection between teaching profession and a career in the tourism business. You bet you do. It's not difficult to trace a connection, I did too. But are you convinced? Honestly? Please guide me through...

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Friday, August 15, 2008

With GPS Insight, There are Countless Ways to Monitor Your Business to Success…

You may have effected different ways to ensure success and efficiency in your business operations. Yet, sometimes you run out of options and useful information to sustain your efforts. Where can you obtain the most accurate, objective, and unbelievably informative insights for successfully managing your business? If you are into service and trucking business, you can now make money-spinning and sound management decisions based on precise and dependable measurement tools such as GPS (Global Positioning System). With GPS, innumerable ways of achieving efficiency, waste identification, and cost-reduction run at your fingertips. How do you achieve these goals? What is GPS and what business options can it provide?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a radio-navigation system that uses a constellation of between 24 and 32 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals to GPS receivers and thus provides reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services to civilian users continuously. The availability and accuracy of the Global Positioning System (GPS) offers increased efficiencies and safety for vehicles using highways, streets, and mass transit systems. Many of the problems associated with the routing and dispatch of commercial vehicles is significantly reduced or eliminated with the help of GPS. This is also true for the management of mass transit systems, road maintenance crews, and emergency vehicles. For anyone with a GPS receiver, the system will provide accurate location, speed, direction and time in all weather, day and night, anywhere in the world.
On the other hand, a GPS tracking unit is a device that uses the Global Positioning System to determine the precise location of a vehicle, person, or other asset to which it is attached and to record the position of the asset at regular intervals. The recorded location data can be stored within the tracking unit, or it may be transmitted to a central location data base, or internet-connected computer, using a cellular (GPRS), radio, or satellite modem embedded in the unit. This allows the asset's location to be displayed against a map backdrop either in real-time or when analyzing the track later, using customized software. Each GPS receiver then provides three-dimensional location (latitude, longitude, and altitude) plus the time.

Let's get down to your vehicle-based venture. An enhanced GPS service is now available for monitoring your business to success. GPS Insight, a hardware and web-software vehicle-tracking product, combined GPS, wireless networks (AT&T/T-Mobile), internet access and Google Earth to generate detailed reports of vehicle locations, driver activities and driving habits that were not previously practical to track. These reports concisely display trip times, stop times, as well as their averages and variances, which identify specific areas to drill down. Consequently with GPS Insight vehicle tracking system, exact locations, times, and activity can be verified, such as the 3-hour stop at a particular area or establishment. Other types of reports quantify who is speeding, how long various vehicles are used throughout the day, vs. payroll hours, when vehicles are used outside of normal business hours, whether or not the prescribed route is taken, and how many miles/hours are spent driving in each state, for simplified fuel tax reporting purposes.

Now, for business owners and managers like you, GPS Insight ensures your peace of mind and sound sleep at night. You’d feel as if you didn't just buy this remarkable product, you've also forged a win-win partnership with GPS Insight. If you're working in the field you need the best equipment and tools. If you are working with the vehicles to make business happen, the best and the most precise tool is the right one. Precise time is crucial to a variety of economic activities around the world. They all rely on precision timing for synchronization and operational efficiency. GPS Insight reduces uncertainty on many quantities in an economical manner, it qualifies as a very effective measurement instrument, making it absolutely necessary.

At the GPS Insight website, the software/product offered online is very easy and friendly to use. GPS Insight support wiki for customers provides support information, helpful tips, and general information about the GPS Insight product. The helpfult customer service you get when you call with questions or concerns makes the whole package favorably friendlier. The units you order will reach you up-and-running in less than a day or as early as the next day! They ship same day when paying by credit card, and have plenty of inventory. Most other GPS providers will take up to 60 days to perform a credit check, program your units, set up your account, and so on. GPS Insight streamlined process gives customers the rapid response they often require to solve problems with their fleet using GPS tracking.

GPS Insight cost $1.50 - $2.00 per day per vehicle, and your company gains from fuel savings, routing efficiencies, and streamlined vehicle maintenance, elimination of possible accidents, no more labor paid when people aren't really working, and more. And Yes! For orders of $2,000 or more, (4 units, typically), GPS Insight offer a lease at competitive rates, and have the paperwork complete within 3-4 days. You can still lease their product and be up and running within the week!

It is better hardware – GPS Insight is the only company which includes engine diagnostics (engine light status/fault codes, real speeds, real odometer readings, real idling/RPM & actual fuel consumption/MPG) with its baseline product, no hidden fees, no commitment to a long contract, and the best mapping available. The Blog for GPS vehicle tracking provides detailed illustrations, feedback, reports and other relevant specifics to keep you tracked and well-informed.
GPS Insight provides intuitive and powerful reports and graphs:
· Speeding
· Engine Diagnostic Fault codes/alerts
· Begin/End of day report (compare to payroll)
· Off-Hours Reports/Alerts
· Landmark Reports (by landmark or by vehicle)
· Detailed and Summary activity reports
· Miles Per Gallon / Fuel Consumption report
· Stop reports with configurable idle stop times
· Idle time report using engine diagnostic data
· Service log with scheduled service alerts
· Accurate odometer, speed, diagnostic fault codes, emissions
· Compliance, and fuel usage/MPG from the engine's computer
· Scheduled email reports/graphs, and automated alerts
Beyond the powerful standard product, specialized enhancements for exact industry and fleet needs are offered, such as:
· Routing Optimization and Navigation Integration
· State Mileage Reporting
· Cell Phone Integration and Mapping
· Customized Alerts, Emailed Reports, and Integration Services

Your advantage is that GPS Insight provides a 30-day money back guarantee, and offers free trials for qualified companies. Live demonstrations can be happily given in their offices, at your location, or via WebEx presentations.

And what's more promising! GPS Insight product improves amazingly fast – taking input and feedback from customers and expanding capabilities, functions, and completely new areas on the website on a regular basis. All of these requests and enhancements, combined with the best in recent technology and mapping, are what makes GPS Insight rise above the others. Try GPS Insight and you will experience that distinct quality of product and support.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Affordable, Trendy, Quality Prescription Eyeglasses + Case

Remarkable eyeglasses are not merely worn for prescription accuracy and optical clarity; they also set your personal image in terms of fashion and style. At, such Incredible Stylish New Frames From Zenni can be conveniently purchased online. There, an immense selection of finest quality frames (with single vision lens, sun sensor potochromic lens, tinted sunglasses lens, bifocal lens and progressive lens) awaits you and your pursuit for that chic 20-20 vision. The upshot is – these classy Zenni prescription eyeglasses are reasonably priced starting at Zenni Optical $8 Rx Eyeglasses, case included!

The amazing add-on here is that their own manufactured brand of ZENNI prescription eyeglasses carries that distinction of great durability, safety and comfort. These are exactly the reason why Zenni Optical was on FOX news! So get rid of the blur fashionably, take your prescribed pick now at

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Live TV at

While I was browsing the internet, I happened to stumble across and I have learned that they offer live tv which you will surely enjoy. They have the best online live show where you can have the best pleasure while you are surfing the internet. Watch live broadcast at now and find out more about their services at

Monday, March 31, 2008

Increase your Performance in Bed

Male enlargement pills are every effective and most especially when you buy the product at Sinrex which they have been clinically proven that their products are safe and guaranteed with maximum energy performance.

You can visit their website and learn more about their other products like penis stretcher which will also increase your performance by increasing the size of your penis. Take my advice and have the best male enhancement products at Sinrex.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Arundo Donax - How to turn a bog plant into a serenade

I began playing the clarinet when I was 11 years old, back in 1984, after many months of pestering my parents. Although I wasn't particularly good when I started, I loved the look and feel of the instrument and I persevered, and I finally ended up as a music student at Leeds University with the clarinet as my first instrument. I didn't find the notes that hard when I was a kid; I could produce a tune without too many tears, but my tunes just didn't sound very nice until I'd got to about grade 6. A lot of young players experience the same problem, and the problem is really twofold- 1) producing a beautiful sound takes lots of practice, and 2) producing a really beautiful sound depends on your reed.

What a Reed is All About

If you don't play a reed instrument you may well be wondering what I'm talking about, so I'll explain a little bit here. (For the already initiated, feel free to skip this bit!)

A clarinet is fundamentally a tube which is approximately 2 feet long; in fact it's the same length as a flute or an oboe. The flute has a small hole which you blow across. This makes the air inside the tube start vibrating, (like if you blow across the top of a bottle and hear a note). The oboe and the clarinet, however, use reeds. These are small bits of cane, (or sometimes plastic), which are attached to the top of the instrument. The cane goes in your mouth and you make it vibrate with your lips and jaw; this sets the column of air vibrating, and hey presto a note sounds. (It's very hard to describe how you actually do this because it all happens inside your closed mouth!) You can't play the clarinet (or the oboe or bassoon) unless you have a reed attached to the top, and these essential bits of kit have, unfortunately, quite a short life span. How long a reed lasts depends on lots of things, like how often you play, what brand you're using, and even what the weather's like. (It's a natural material so it's affected by the humidity of the atmosphere).

The Reed you really Need

So now you know you need a reed, off you pop down to your local music shop, or find one online. The first question they'll ask you is what kind of reed do you need? Narrowing it down to just "a clarinet reed" won't get you very far. You have to specify the strength of your reed. And choose a brand. And choose one of a range of reeds within that brand. And how many do you need to buy?

So how can a little bit of cane be so diverse and complicated? How can you possibly choose?! Let's take a look at the first dilemma: Strength.

Reeds are categorised by their thickness, and given a grading from 1 to 5, including half grades. Basically speaking, the thicker the reed, the more difficult it is to produce a note, but the nicer the note will sound. So, if you are a beginner, (and therefore in possession of relatively weak jaw muscles compared to a veteran), you should choose a low number, known as a "soft" reed. Around 1.5 would be good, but go for a 1 if the 1.5 is too difficult to blow on. As you get better, you'll gradually be able to progress to thicker reeds (known as "hard"). To get a decent sound, you need to be playing on a minimum 3.5, and most professionals will be playing on 4.5 to 5s. Personally, I play on a 3.5. OK, let's move on to brand and product:

In the UK there are mainly 2 companies battling it out in the clarinet reed field, and they are Vandoren and Rico. I'll try to make a comparison between them, since your basic purchasing decision will be between these two brands. Here's what Vandoren say about their standard B flat clarinet reeds:

"The most widely played reeds in the professional world."

And here's what Rico claim about their most similar product:

"The world's most popular reed." One thing you may be able to deduce from this is that Vandoren reeds are better and also more expensive. They produce a better tone for professionals, who are more picky about these things than amateurs. However, there are many more amateurs piping away in their bedrooms on a Sunday afternoon than there are professionals, and they tend to choose Rico, so they can't be all bad.

Here's how the prices compare from 2 reputable online firms, for a box of 10, (the normal number you get in a box).

>From Rico Reeds cost £8.50 and Vandoren cost £11.00

>From Rico cost £6.25 and Vandoren cost £10.25

Rico are well ahead in the tasty price league, so why is it that all these professionals are choosing Vandoren? It really boils down to the sound that comes out when you blow, which to the professional is the only major issue. For us mere mortals though, there are another couple of points to consider- how many of these 10 newly purchased reeds actually work properly, and how long will one last before I have to change it? I've played on both these brands of reeds over the 20 and a bit years I've been playing this instrument, and I believe that Rico are more consistent in the strength grades they put in the box, and they last for the same length of time as Vandoren's, but whereas a box of Vandoren sometimes produces a really stunning beautiful reed, a box of Rico never does.

When you buy a box of reeds, it is quite normal to find that some of them just won't work. This is rather annoying, (especially if you're paying more than a pound a piece), but it's a fact of life. The cane is rigorously tested by both companies, and left to mature for a considerable time, but nothing can stop the cane from becoming slightly modified once it's been packaged up in its box. My personal average from Vandoren is 50% usable reeds per box, while Rico usually gives me 7 or 8 that are playable. So, in effect, they work out even cheaper than you'd bargained for. I think that Rico's testing technology is perhaps superior to Vandoren's, to produce these results. They are more effective at eliminating inferior cane earlier in the process, before it actually gets in the box. In my mind there is no doubt that Vandoren Reeds sound better, but the large difference in price is not justified by the small difference in sound. Going back to my earlier point about the quality of!

my early attempts at the clarinet, I should point out that playing on the correct strength of reed, (and one that isn't too old), will ensure an acceptable sound from anyone. So how to find the correct strength? Read on!

How Strong is your Jaw?

Rico Reeds come in strengths 1-5 (not all brands do). If you're a complete beginner, buy a 1, a 1.5 and a 2. (You can buy reeds singly, both online and in shops. Some shops let you try the reed out before you buy it just in case it's a duffer (see above), but not all of them.) Try the 2 first. If you produce a sound quite easily and without pain, congratulations! You've found the right strength. If you find it takes lots of breath to get a note and you can hear air escaping from the side of your mouth as you blow, the reed is too hard. Try the 1.5, and repeat the process. Remember that with clarinet reeds, the only way is up! When you have been playing on your 1.5 for some time, try the 2 from time to time. Don't play for too long, as your jaw will tire easily and you may bite into your bottom lip. If this happens, your mouth will be too sore to play until it's healed, and you'll have to start with a softer reed again. Gradually increase your playing time, until you can play on the 2 with no problems. Then move on to the 2.5, and repeat the process.

If you stick with a softer reed once your jaw muscles have become stronger, your sound will deteriorate. Playing on a soft reed produces a buzzy kind of tone and can sound flat. Higher notes on the instrument are more difficult to reach with a softer reed, which is another reason why you need to climb that reed ladder! Sometimes reeds are a little bit too hard or a little bit too soft, without being impossible to play on. You don't have to chuck them away in cases like this, you can "doctor" them slightly to make them more playable: if the reed is too soft, trim a VERY narrow (hair's breadth) strip from the tip of the reed with a sharp knife. Or push another reed between it and the mouthpiece of the instrument, pushing it away from the rectangular hole in the mouthpiece slightly. If the reed is too hard, you can sand it a little. Use a piece of 220-grain sandpaper. Rub just a little, then test the reed- a tiny rub can produce a large difference (which is why they don't always get it right in the factory- it's a precision art!)

Breaking in Reeds

All new reeds need to be "broken in". They won't produce a consistent sound until they've been used a few times. Rico reeds are faster to break in than Vandoren. You need to wet the reed (in your mouth or with water- I prefer my mouth, but Rico advise water, as some people have very acidic saliva apparently, eeww), then play on it for just a few minutes each day, until the sound becomes consistent. It's good to have a few reeds "breaking" as you never know when you'll need a new one.

Replacing Reeds

It's easy to tell when your reed needs replacing- after serving you well for a week or 3 (depends how much you play), one day it'll just sound rubbish, completely different to the last time you used it. Every time it goes in your mouth the reed is getting attacked by various germs and other organisms, and your saliva begins the process of breaking down organic matter ready for your tummy, so it's no wonder that they don't last forever! Another obvious sign that you need a new reed is when you accidentally slice it in half while attaching it to the instrument, a tragically common event. (It's held onto your plastic mouthpiece by metal band called a ligature. This has quite sharp sides and if you're not careful it'll cut right through in one go. Don't worry though, I've never heard of anyone cutting their finger on one!)

Arundo Donax

This is the technical name for the reed plant which Rico and Vandoren use to make their reeds. It grows in India and the Mediterranean, and can get as high as 6 metres tall. If you live in the right climate you can grow it in your garden, but I wouldn't suggest trying to grow and make reeds yourself from scratch, although some fanatics do.....

Other Types of Reed

For the standard clarinet, you will be buying B♭ clarinet reeds. It's unlikely that you would buy the wrong reed size, as this is what 99% of people play on, but just for the record, there are also E♭ and bass clarinet reeds. E♭ reeds are for a smaller instrument, and bass clarinet reeds for a beast of an instrument, so neither will fit. The A clarinet takes the B♭ reed, as it is only very fractionally bigger than the B♭ instrument. (Orchestral players need two instruments, an "A" and a "B♭"; see for more on transposing instruments).

Final Verdict

The Rico clarinet reed is a great choice for the amateur player. They are reasonably priced, reasonably consistent within the box, and produce a nice sound. They are easy to get hold of and excellent value for money, especially if you frequently slice them in half! If you want to get serious on the instrument, you should probably move on to more expensive reeds from Vandoren.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Make Your Own Website

There are plenty of options to make your own website. I will cover a few no cost, easy to set up sites. I will also discuss registering a domain name and choosing a hosting service. A blog is essentially a website but with more functionality and there are quite a few sites that will allow you to set up a blog for free. Make your own website for free, it sounds to good to be true. The trade off with free sites is they will usually display ads on your site unless you upgrade to their paid account option. You can try out a blog host for a couple of weeks and if you like the service you can either live with the ads or pay to upgrade your account. Blogger is one exception they have done away with their ads and it is easy to use with a robust feature set for users of all levels. Another popular option is Wordpress it has a clear interface and powerful features and best of all it is free. Xanga which is also free is one of the most popular blog host providers for teenagers and young adults. Another interesting feature than you can use in conjunction with your Blogger or Wordpress account is Audio Blogger, you can find it at It allows you to create an audio blog by either recording with your web browser or by calling in on a telephone. You can call from your cell phone from anywhere in the world and even interview someone on a conference call. A few years ago who would have have thought you could make your own website and call in audio from your cell phone, to create a podcast that could be heard by millions of people. Audio Blog also allows you to to upload videos to your blog. You can record digital video on your cell phone or webcam and upload it. The only drawback is it is 4.95 a month. If you would like to have more control over your blog you can chose your own domain name and web hosting service. I personally use business hosting from Yahoo! Web Hosting. I chose Yahoo because it is reliable and comes with a free domain name, all you have to do is pay the low monthly hosting fee. It also has one click installation of Wordpress. Hostgator is another affordable service and it is also easy to install Wordpress on their server as well. It has never been easier to make your own website. The reason I think blogs are better than a traditional website is that they have an RSS feed which stands for Really Simple Syndication. It allows readers to subscribe to your blog and easily keep track of new and updated content. Well there you go, I have given you a few options to make your own website. You should have one up and running in no time at all. Drop me a line and let me know how it works out for you.

More informative links here:

Site Promotion | SEO | Technology | Gadgets | Articles | Reviews | Travel | Finance | Blogs | Opinions | Blogging | Entertainment | Movies| Websites | Contest | Sugar Free Blog | Video Blogging

A List of Reasons Why You Need to Start a Blog

Blogging is taking the world of journalism and marketing by storm and easily the most influential activity on the internet. A blog is allowing individuals and businesses to post the state of the world, upcoming business promotions and anything personal someone may feel is important.

Think of your blogs as an opinion piece on anything in particular that you may feel is important. Some people have blogs on specific topics or specific areas like a city or vacation spot. Some blogs are set up as a source for highly specialized topics in the news which are often ignored by the mainstream media. Blogs are also tools of internet marketers and business owners promoting a product or service.

It isn’t just computer savvy people either that are starting their own blogs. It’s people like you and me. If you're thinking of starting a blog for whatever reason you want, but aren't quite convinced, think about some of these following reasons why it is a great idea to start one.

  • Simple as can be – If there ever was a better time to start a blog, then this is it. There are a plethora of free blog templates available which are extremely user friendly. The only work you need to do is register then follow a few simple instructions. Even if you have with little or no technical skills, you can still start a blog.

  • Make some money with your blog - Pay-per-click advertising programs like Adsense, and affiliate programs available with and Commission Junction can produce a nice chunk of change in your pocket. The only requirement is you need to have a website or blog.

  • Say something– Blogs are great way to state your point of view and possibly change someone point of view if you’re the kind of person who likes to talk about issues. It’s only a matter of time before you build up steady traffic, and more in-depth discussions among like-minded bloggers and blog readers will take place.

  • Keep in touch – A great and cheap way to stay in touch is to start a family blog. Publish family related newsletters and have everyone can keep in touch via the comments.

  • Make a difference – You have the ability to touch and reach people through your blog. While your traffic might be low at first, given a little bit of time and the right theme, your blog has the potential to reach thousands, even millions of people just like yourself. Blogs are quickly becoming a powerful medium.

  • Express your creativity to the world – You’ll have an outlet for others to see your work if you are an up and coming poet, artist, comedian, or author. You’ll reach more people easier through a blog than normal channels and methods.

  • You're the best – What are you good at? If you think you are the best at something such as model trains, darts, or marketing, don’t be afraid to show everyone. Start a blog for other experts like yourself or offer tips and advice to your readers.

  • Promote your business - Blogging leads to new clients and business opportunities as well as keeps existing customers updated on company news. Promote your latest breakthrough; update existing products changes; and alert customers to future promotions. It will also allow you to receive important feedback on products and services through its comment section.

Links to visit:

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Angels Or Devils by DISHWALLA

this is the last time
that I'm ever gonna come here tonight
this is the last time - I will fall
into a place that fails us all - inside

I can see the pain in you
I can see the love in you
but fighting all the demons will take time
it will take time

the angels they burn inside for us
are we ever
are we ever gonna learn to fly
the devils they burn inside of us
are we ever gonna come back down
come around
I'm always gonna worry about the things that could make us cold

this is the last time
that I'm ever gonna give in tonight
are there angels or devils crawling here?
I just want to know what blurs and what is clear - to see

still I can see the pain in you
and I can see the love in you
and fighting all the demons will take time
it will take time

the angels they burn inside for us
are we ever
are we ever gonna learn to fly
the devils they burn inside of us
are we ever gonna come back down - come around
I'm always gonna worry about the things that could break us

if I was to give in - give it up
- and then
take a breath - make it deep
cause it might be the last one you get
be the last one
that could make us cold
you know that they could make us cold
I'm always gonna worry about the things that could make us cold

A big, big, big thanks to the following sponsors:

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