Tourism in Cuba blessings and challenges

More and more tourists visit the socialist Caribbean island. Many Cubans benefit from this. After the resumption of diplomatic Havana. Victor Leonardo looks out of the window of the tourist bus that winds its way through the palm-lined streets of the Cuban tourist town of Varadero. “Cuba has changed rapidly over the past decade,” he says. Continue reading Tourism in Cuba blessings and challenges

Stunning Stained Glass Windows of the World

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If you’re a big fan of stained glass windows then you will love a visit to any one or all of these stunning examples. Here are some of the most beautiful and impressive stained glass windows in the world:

In an age when only the richest could read, stained glass windows acted as a poor man’s Bible. Believers, who could not read Latin could learn the stories of the gospels. Built in the late 11th century, the Christ of Wissembourg window is now in a museum in Strasbourg, France. It is thought to have come from a Benedictine Abbey in Alsace and it’s serious expression and sheer size would have had sinners quaking in awe.

Nowadays stained glass windows can be viewed as purely decorative but during the Middle Ages they not only depicted Bible tales but also showed local history and political authority. The Saint-Chapelle in Paris features 15 tall windows and on this site, are relics brought to Paris by Louis IX. The windows really are a sight to behold and feature tales from both the Old and New Testament.

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Staining glass dates back to Roman times and some of the oldest still in existence can be found in Augsburg, Germany. The stained glass windows here depict portraits of Moses, Daniel and other biblical figures. The prophets stand tall in bright coloured robes surrounded by marbled borders and date back to the 11th century. If all this talk of windows make you want to replace your home windows then for Double Glazing Northampton, visit http://www.absolutewindowsolutions.co.uk/.

Early 13th century examples include Chartres Cathedral, again in France. This was a time in history when demand for stained glass reached its peak. The sturdy buttresses of the cathedral allow for huge windows including the rose window depicting the birth of Christ. The colours are intense and bathe the whole cathedral in a glow.

Back to Britain now for the Gothic masterpiece of York Minster. Here you’ll find a huge east facing window that is the largest expanse of stained glass anywhere before modern times. It was created by the first ever named artist in British history, John Thornton. At its centre is a stunning depiction of the apocalypse.

King Arthur and Sir Lancelot are depicted in a much later work of stained glass in 1862. During the Renaissance, the popularity of the art declined and it wasn’t until the 19th century that artists began to look at the medium afresh. The famous name, William Morris, who was a designer and writer, commissioned both religious and secular works for Gothic revival buildings. He was the artist behind the above window about the Knights of the Round Table.

For a totally modern example you’ll need to travel to Grossmunster in Zurich. Some of the windows were designed between 2006 and 2009 by German artists for the Zurich Cathedral which was stripped bare of all decoration during the Reformation. Years have been spent designing new stained glass windows for the city’s thousand year old Cathedral. Five windows depict biblical scenes and there are also some impressive abstract pieces which break up the solid walls.

How to Achieve Professional Photo Printing Quality at Home

Although you may love taking photos, you may not love the process of uploading your digital prints to a store website, waiting for them to be processed, and then being required to go pick them up.

From start to finish, this process can feel like more of a hassle than it’s worth. Unfortunately, many people struggle with printing quality photo images from their homes, and thus, feel as though they don’t have any other options. The good news is that this isn’t true. It’s very possible for your to print beautiful images without ever leaving the comfort of your own home, and it’s actually a lot simpler than you might imagine. Here are a few tips and tricks for ensuring that your photo prints will look great every time.

Choose the Best Paper and Ink

Quality images begin with selecting proper photo paper and ink.

Most retailers will carry both glossy and matte finish photo paper that are ideal for printing pictures. Keep in mind that black-and-white prints tend to look better on matte paper, while color pictures look best on glossy paper. You’ll also need to take size into consideration. If you’re printing photo images onto business cards, greeting cards, etc. , you can either print multiple photos on one 8.5×11 inch photo sheet, or you can look for wallet-sized paper (2.4×2.5 inches). You may also be able to find photo paper that’s album/scrapbook ready (4×6 or 5×7).

From here, you must select a photo-friendly ink. Companies such as Ink Technologies provide high quality ink at reasonable prices. Just be sure to consider factors like resistance to water, smudging, aging, and fading. For best results, choose an ink that is recommended by your printer’s manufacturer.

Prep Your Printer 

To ensure that your prints will look great, you’ll need to take a few moments to get your printer photo-ready. First, take a look your printer’s current dots per inch (dpi) settings. The higher the dpi, the better your prints will look. You can avoid frayed or jagged edges on your prints by using a printer with at least 600×600 dpi.

Next, check out the print quality settings to choose the right print options and preferences for high quality. Your printer’s manual will provide instructions. Finally, you’ll need to ‘”tell” your printer what type of paper you’re using (card stock, photo paper, etc.) and adjust the printer tray for size.

Maximize Image Quality 

After everything else has been taken care of you’re ready to focus on photo formatting and print resolution. You should understand that the higher the resolution is, the better your photos will look when printed. Here’s a quick guide to finding the right resolution for the photo size(s) that you plan to print:

  • For wallet size photos: 1-2 megapixels
  • For projects like calendars, greeting cards, or 5×7 reproductions: 3 megapixels
  • For 11×14 inch photos for hanging at home : 5-6 megapixels
  • For 16×20 photos: 8 megapixels
  • For prints larger than 20×30 inches (ie: posters) : 10 megapixels

All this assumes you use the full frame you took, without much cropping.

You’ll also need to choose the correct file format for your photo prints. Although JPEG file formatting (which compresses image data) is okay for e-mailing pictures or posting them on social networking sights, stick with larger TIFF files when actually printing photos of larger size. Keep in mind that while this will consume more space, these TIFF images are smoother, sharper, and far superior to JPEG images.

The final step before printing will involve any photo edits or enhancements that you would like to make to your pictures. You can use Photoshop programs to soften edges, play with lighting and color, remove blemishes or red eyes, and make any other changes that will improve your photo’s quality.

There’s no need to waste time and money on printing photos at your local drug store or retailer. Once you master these simple steps, you’ll be able to easily produce beautiful photo prints right from home for a fraction of the cost.

Choosing A Web Designer – Important Things You Need To Consider

Choosing a web designer need careful planning and research so that it best represent your corporation’s name and online presence. Your business web site represent for you when you cannot. Here are the following tips for finding the right web designer:

Portfolio Samples

Reliable web designer or design companies do have portfolio and links to some of their current and previous web site designs. You must take time perusing the designer’s web site and some of their client’s sites to get a feel for their expertise and also to be sure all links and navigational features are properly functioning. Often unskilled web designer’s sites will have flaws like dead links and misspelled words.

References

You must remember that trusted web designers and companies will definitely post and boasts client testimonials and feedbacks on their web site in order to verify that they expert and most of their clients are satisfied of their work. Also, they will link their client’s testimonials to their sites so you can assure that they are in fact a happy customer.

If a web designer’s testimonials aren’t readily available ask, and verify them. You can contact or email the references and ask how their experience was with the designer and if they were contented with the output. This may seem a heavy task but having a web site professionally designed is a financial investment and an imperative one to your business. It’s smart enough to do your homework before leaping and making any decision.

Contact Information

Good web designers do have clear contact information like physical address and telephone number. Some designers that only displays their email address and website address as their contact information are not trusted and as a client you must request and confirm the designers contact information prior to paying for or putting a deposit down on your web design services.

Look for Their Affiliations

You can distinguish a reliable web designer if display popular and reliable logos such as Visa and MasterCard, PayPal verified logos and other affiliation logos because it presents authenticity to the web site and the company

Who Is

Using WHOIS database, you can search and find out information about an existing domain name like the owner, how long it’s been registered and other useful information. The WHOIS database will give you with the contact information of the person or organization that registered the domain name you’re asking about.

Why you should have a marquee wedding

Marquee weddings have been a popular choice in England for years, and for good reason. Able to accommodate just about any size guest list and fit in any venue, a marquee can be erected everywhere from your back garden to an empty field and a marquee can be transformed into a veritable paradise with minimal effort.

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Marquees are also ideal for all weather, and whether it’s a beautiful summer day or a typically grey and rainy afternoon, you and your guests will be safely ensconced inside and protected from the elements. If the weather is good the sides of a marquee can also be lifted to let in sun.

Stylish inside and out

The wedding industry has grown tremendously and there are décor options available to suit every bride’s preference. With a marquee you can choose not only how to decorate the interior, but also the exterior, giving you free range to create the exact look and feel you desire.

With a marquee, you have a blank canvas that you can personalise completely. It offers you the exciting opportunity to design the layout and to decorate and set up in the way you wish.

Flexibility and location

Marquees also provide bridal parties with an enormous amount of flexibility. Within reason, you can choose where you erect the marquee, and marquee hire in Kent such as http://www.2intents.co.uk/ should also be able to advise you of some ideal spots, should you be short of ideas.

You can choose the size of the marquee too, with few restrictions apart from the availability of space you have to work with.

Catering and entertainment

A marquee lets you have complete control over the food you serve too, and whether you prefer a buffet or a five-course sit-down meal, your needs can be easily accommodated. You are not restricted to a wedding venue’s menu and you can budget accordingly, opting for food that works for your special day.

When it comes to entertainment your options with a marquee are also unlimited. You can have a DJ, a string quartet or a full band, and you don’t have to stick to a cut off time as stipulated by so many wedding venues. There won’t be additional after hours charges either and you can even supply your own booze if you prefer!

Everlasting Art

Over the centuries, some incredible artists have given the world some stunning artwork. Artwork that inspires us and makes us see the beauty of humanity and the world we live in. There are many sculptors who have created long lasting, classic and iconic pieces and here we will take a look at some of the most wonderful sculptures ever created.

Bronze David

This is one of the most famous sculptures in the world and was crafted by Donatello in the 1440’s. It was the first unsupported standing work cast in bronze during the Renaissance period. It depicts a young David with his foot on Goliath’s head, after triumphantly defeating the giant. For modern day Bronze animal sculptures, visit http://www.gillparker.com/.

The Kiss

Another iconic sculpture, this was made in marble by Frenchman Auguste Rodin who lived between 1840 and 1917. It shows the 13th century Italian noblewoman from Dante’s Inferno who falls in love with her husband’s younger brother. The couple are discovered and killed by the husband. The sculpture shows the lovers with their lips not quite touching, suggesting that they were interrupted before they could share their love and met their demise.

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Lady Justice

Another one of the greatest known sculptures and is not attributed to one particular artist. It is a globally recognised symbol of law and justice and it adorns many courthouses across the world. It is also known as the Scales of Justice, Blind Justice and most commonly, Lady Justice. It has been in use since antiquity, dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times as the Goddess of justice.

The Thinker

Auguste Rodin is also responsible for another extremely well-known work in The Thinker. It was originally called The Poet and was commissioned by a museum in Paris to act as an impressive piece for the doors of the museum. Using Dante again as his inspiration, The Thinker is based on The Divine Comedy and called the doors the Gates of Hell. In the end piece, he sits atop the gates and ponders his fate in the fiery depths below. He is naked, in the classical tradition to represent intellect and poetry.

Venus de Milo

This sculpture is very old and was made between 100 and 130 B.C. She is believed to be the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. Incredibly, the sculpture was discovered by accident in a farmer’s field! It is marble and slightly larger than life with its original arms and plinth having been lost over the centuries. It is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch and is available for public viewing at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The Discus Thrower

The original of this sculpture has long since been lost and we only have copies to show us what the original looked like. Originally it was sculpted in bronze way back in 460-450 B.C. The copies have all been made in marble or smaller versions carved in bronze. The athlete is naked, as always in depictions of Greek athletics.

Marketing Strategy For Musicians

The potential audience for your talent lies mainly in social networks. Gain visibility, your project having the range, reaching your audience, interacting and the loyalty, answering your followers and turning them into fans, that the Content Marketing is based. We will seek and find your audience in Social Networks, both generalist and specialist, creating branding, positioning yourself in the best search engine results. Continue reading Marketing Strategy For Musicians

Ride ’em Cowboy!

What exactly is a rodeo? When you hear the word you probably conjure up images of cowboys and the Wild West and you wouldn’t be wrong but did you know that the tradition is actually Spanish in origin. The  word rodeo comes from the Spanish verb rodear which means ‘to surround’. Modern rodeo is based on the activities on early ranches from the 1700s which included roping, horse breaking, herding, branding and riding.

The influence of the United States occurred when the cattle business boomed. Huge cattle drives bringing cattle to stockyards would end in the cowboys staging informal competitions to decide which group had the best riders, ropers and drivers. That’s went the word rodeo was adopted for these contests.

When railroads opened and transportation became easier, there was no need for long cattle drives anymore and so the life of the cowboy dwindled as many found themselves taking jobs with a new venture called Wild West Shows. These shows were a mixture of theatre and contest and made money by glamourizing the frontier landscape and lifestyle. Rodeos continued as well and were a way for former cowboys to supplement their income in front of paying spectators. Towns would stage annual stock horse shows and cowboys would travel to these and hold their ‘rodeo’ competitions.

Wild West Shows didn’t last long due to their high production costs but rodeos survived. Spectators paid to watch and now cowboys paid to enter and compete, with contestant fees going into the prize money pool. Many towns hyped up these events and promoted them especially such frontier towns as Cheyenne, Wyoming and Prescott, Arizona. They quickly became the most exciting and anticipated event in these places. You can recreate all the fun of the Wild West by finding your own Rodeo Bull Manufacturer. For more information, visit http://www.gsrodeobulls.com/.

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As frontier life disappeared, its attraction and desire for heritage grew stronger. Cowboys who had once been in financial ruin, could now travel and earn a living from becoming a professional rodeo competitor. By 1929 many rodeo committees came together to decide on a uniform set of rules and regulations under the direction of the Rodeo Association of America. However, things weren’t always straightforward and the cowboys were often taken advantage of with prize money being short and dodgy judging decisions.

During 1936, some disgruntled cowboys staged a walk-out protest and thus was born the Cowboys Turtles Association which later became known as the Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1945. A further name change in 1975 saw them become the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and they remain the biggest body of rodeo in the U.S and Canada. After a full year of qualifying contests, the National Finals Rodeo is held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada.

So what started out as work eventually became a sport. The skills of the Spanish vaqueros were passed along to the American cowboy after the civil war when frontier territories were significantly expanding. The major difference between Spanish and American rodeo is that the Spanish focuses on style and the American version is all about the speed.

Tips for a first-time Caribbean cruiser

You’ve decided to book a trip to the Caribbean, but you have no idea where to start. Don’t worry; first-time cruisers are all in the same boat! Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Pick the right region

It can take more than one trip to the Caribbean to really discover the areas you love. If you do not have the budget to go more than once, how can you find out what Caribbean all inclusive resorts are the best? The key is to research your trip and work out which parts of the region best suit your desired holiday mood and style.

As with booking a hotel, cruise lines all vary in what they can offer you. It is wise to look at pictures of towns and cruise ships and read reviews from guests who have actually cruised around the islands. Invespcro.com highlights just how influential real customer reviews are in this article.

Find a deal

If you are travelling from the UK, you might find a handful of cruise packages that set off from Europe. These might be convenient, but be prepared to waste a good percentage of your holiday travelling to the Caribbean rather than around it. If price is a big game-changer, shop around for the best deal and one that suits your preferred travel options. Always look out for packages that are ATOL-protected for your own peace of mind.

Book excursions in advance

If you have a long list of excursions that interest you, make sure that you book them in advance to help keep the cost of your trip down. If you need some inspiration, check out Lost Waldo’s blog; they post about the best travel experiences and can inspire you to try a particular activity or visit a certain spot (http://lostwaldo.com/the-best-all-inclusive-caribbean-resorts/).

Enjoy yourself on deck

You’ve done all of the hard work, so now you can sit back and enjoy a well-deserved (and well-planned!) holiday. On the ship, you’ll have a huge choice of entertainment from comedy to Zumba classes. You’ll also be given the option to choose from an array of top-quality restaurants and bars, so the cruise ship experience really is as much a part of your holiday as the places you visit!