"Puente De Mayo" in Spain

Long weekend of May is approaching really quickly. Have you already thought, where are you going to spend it? If not, you better make up your mind soon, because the best offers can be already booked!

If you have no idea for your destination, maybe you can think of going to Spain. This southern country is a popular direction during whole year, but it is specially worth seeing in May, because the weather is already good, but it is not too hot still. There is not the time for laying on the beach, but just perfect period for seeing the cities and having long walks. Of course, if you have never been before in Spain highly recommended for the beginning of you Iberian adventure is to get know the two most important and maybe also most beautiful cities: Barcelona and Madrid.

You should look for Barcelona apartments or Madrid apartments as soon as possible, because during first weekend of May really a lot of tourists are coming to those cities.

In Spain 1st of May is also a free day. It is a labour day, as in the most of European countries. Apart from that, in the community of Madrid also 2nd of May is a free day. During those days many shops and offices can be closed, because a lot of Spanish is going to spend this period away from home, so you better think about buying some necessary things in advanced. On 2nd of May you can count on very big party on the streets of Madrid. A lot of tourists are going to visit this city to take a part in this event. So why don´t you look for a Madrid apartments right now?

In Spain long weekend in May is called Puente de Mayo, which means the May bridge. The meaning of this expression is that if the first of May is on Thursday or Tuesday, normally most of people take a free day of work also on Friday or Monday to enjoy their really long weekend. This year we do not have this situation, but still the Spaniards are used to call it Puente de Mayo.

Beginning of May is amazing period in Spain, time when you can already sit in open-air cafeterias, eat strawberries and take part in whole-night parties on the streets. If you want to experience that, check out available Madrid apartments and Barcelona apartments and choose something suitable for you.

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How to Learn Spanish: The Pros and Cons of All of the Options

There is no doubt about it: now is as good a time as any to learn Spanish. The question on the minds of many prospective students is which learning method to choose! This article will outline the pros and cons of the different ways of learning Spanish so that you can decide which option is best for you.

Attend Spanish Classes

Advantages

  • The students have a set time for class which sets a routine.
  • There is a «real» teacher available to reply to questions and clarify any doubts; the empathy with the students encourages the learning and communication.
  • The opportunity to make friends with other students – learning languages should be fun!

Disadvantages

  • You have to make your way to where the class takes place and stick to the timetable.
  • Face to face classes are more expensive.
  • You cannot usually make up for classes that you miss.

Learn Spanish Online

Advantages:

  • Online courses are available 24 hours a day, from your own home.
  • They are cheaper than face to face courses.
  • Some online courses offer video tutorials.

Disadvantages

  • They are easier to abandon as there is less commitment to online courses.
  • There is no set timetable and therefore no routine.
  • You can not learn from other students as there is no interaction.
  • Learning is not as fast as in a course in a Spanish speaking country.

Learn Spanish in Spain

Advantages:

  • There is no better place to learn a language than in a country where it is spoken.
  • As well as learning Spanish you gain an insight into the culture of the country.
  • You can meet new people, and not just natives – some may be from all over the world.
  • It is an amazing life experience.
  • You can access more learning material such as the local radio, newspapers, TV and even the natives with whom you can interact and ask questions.

Disadvantages

  • It can be more expensive.
  • There is a tendency for students to spend time with only people who speak their first language, and therefore learn less than they hoped.

In summary, most people would agree that the best way to learn Spanish is in Spain. Combining all three methods will maximise your results; start a course in a Spanish language school in Spain but use the internet as a means to practice after class. Try downloading free podcasts and using online vocabulary lists to expand your knowledge to supplement what you learn on your course!

¡Mucha suerte y hasta pronto!

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Possibilities Of The Blogosphere For The PR Industry In Spanish-Speaking Countries

Only two media in Spanish speaking countries offer RSS: the Spanish newspaper El Mundoand the Argentine Clarín. Although the blogs are becoming more visible in the media and are becoming a research topic, still they are something of small “evangelist groups”, who promote its use… but this can change in little time. To face this great challenge, Spanish-speaking PR professionals have to identify the enormous opportunities that other colleagues, fundamentally those whose native language is English, use for their clients, their businesses and, even for themselves.
Perhaps it would be easier for Anglo-saxons, with a different culture, to accept that in order to enter the blogosphere they must take themselves off the pedestal on which they think leaders should be placed, and be closer to thousands of people in a direct way, without any obstacles. It is hard for me to believe that a politician, a high-ranking official or an executive in Mexico, Spain, Peru or Argentina, would agree to write a blog. Furthermore, except for some industries (i.e. IT), the use of blogs to maintain direct communication with their audiences continues to be limited to political parties, governments and even successful businesses. In recent years, there has been a great advance, in which leaders have taken into account the advantages of having a web page and have included it in their communication campaign. Nevertheless, for some industries of the Spanish-speaking countries, the Internet still is a foreign, difficult and expensive tool, and because of this they disregard its use to communicate with their audiences. The blogosphere offers the exact opposite of this: it is a communication tool close to the people, easy-to-use and with such a reduced price that, with so many resources available on the Internet, it can be practically free of charge. It is easy to say that blogs could become a “democratizing” element with real possibilities to change the traditional relationship between sources and the media with the public. Blogs will make possible the “participative journalism”, through which it will be possible to connect the problems of real people to other individuals with the same difficulties and worries. The possibilities are endless in societies that are used to the lack of transparency in government activities and large businesses, and even with media that lack credibility. In fact, what is already happening in a lot of Spanish-speaking countries, as in the Anglo-saxon world, is an explosion of blogs that offer alternative information to the traditional media. Thousands of blogs are appearing to reflect, qualify and denounce, not only the governmental actions or those of political parties, but products, services or even plans that many businesses are carrying out. Also, it is possible that the blogs can be seen as the real possibility for the small and medium-size businesses to access the Internet, without needing to provide a large quantity of resources or having to depend on IT people that don’t necessarily understand the business or communication strategies. Perhaps here is the heart of the matter. These reasons make me think that there are many possibilities for the public relations industry in the Spanish-speaking countries to explore blogs. It is possible that very soon the blogs in Spanish may reach the same importance that other blogs are gradually but firmly gaining, in countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Australia. Right now, I don’t believe that really independent blogs -that is to say, those that are not part of important communication groups or that are not written by professional journalists that update their blogs paralleled to their main activity- may be accredited like mainstream media in important events such as political campaigns, as is already happening in the US, and soon in the United Kingdom. The public relations industry in Spanish-speaking countries should be prepared to obtain the maximum profit of this phenomenon. How? I will tackle this through some proposed plans of action. * Identify those blogs that have a good level of hits and organize them in categories: technology, political, media, etc. There are some directories that do this like Bitácoras.net [http://bitacoras.net/], Blogdir.com [http://www.blogdir.com], Blogsmexico.com, Blogalia.com, to mention a few. We should be open to see all kinds of blogs, keeping in mind that there will be occasions in which we won’t share the authors’ points of view, but that is important that we take them into consideration. Let’s take the the case of the video games web pages. There are occasions in which children with barely 12 years become true opinion leaders, who are capable of destroying the launch of a new game in which thousands or even millions of euros were invested. * Enter into the blogosphere with the objective of understanding the new medium, its tools, its possibilities and limitations, as well as the best-known authors, although they not be Spanish-speaking. It may seem obvious, but there are many people that have never heard about RSS, feeds, posts, blogs, syndicated content, links or anything along these lines.
A public relations consultant can’t suggest that his or her clients launch a blog without having previously informed the client about what it takes to be successful and, above all, he or she can’t afford not to know an answer to an issue that may be presented in the blogosphere. * Before launching a corporate or institutional blog, one should have a clear strategy of what he or she hopes to be communicate and should understand that the blogosphere has its own “net-etiquette”, that is to say, its own codes, that have implications regarding updating, information sources, the form, the tone of the communication… and, of course, the feedback of the public. We can find that a good idea may produce mediocre results if inadequate tactics are chosen. In this sense, a blog is one more tool among the many available for public relations. And, yes, it offers some unique possibilities that other don’t have. * Make the blog relevant, but take into account that it is a blog. There are people that keep thinking that the blogs are newspapers for teen-agers, in part because it is true. However this is not something bad at all since this shows how flexible blogs are. Therefore, at the moment of launching a blog, one must find an equilibrium among the characteristics of the blogosphere with the objectives of the organization. One cannot do is to create irrelevant posts or wait too long to update the blog. If a business does not have the capacity to maintain a continuous communication with its audience, whether for strategic reasons or legal limitations of another type, perhaps a web page is better for its objectives. * Note that results can’t be immediate. It is one of the main challenges to all public relations professionals that should be faced, not only with the blogs, but when using any other tool. Perhaps in the case of the blogs the challenge is greater because of the novelty of the medium and, in the case of some Latin American countries, by the low penetration of Internet. * Be “blog evangelists”. One must know not only the blogosphere, one must be part of it. This is the only way in which a consultant will be able to offer his or her clients an adequate consultancy. It is not a matter of being a guru with thousands of visits a day, but it is necessary to be comfortable with the blogosphere and knowing who-is-who. The only way to persuade someone is being convinced of that which is preached. The best business card of a consultant that uses the advantages of a blog for an organization should include, apart from its email, his or her blog address. There will be many of things to do, but this could be a good beginning for the Spanish-speaking PR industry, that has yet to see blogs as a tool with a huge potential. We must wait to see if the “blog phenomenon”, that is taking place in a number of countries, will spread to the rest of the world. The low internet penetration in Latin American countries, an incipient culture of the use of IT and a different way of understanding the social relations, will be the main obstacles that will determine if this phenomenon spreads as it has in the Anglo-Saxon countries, or maybe it will be possible that a different movement arises with local particularities that haven’t been exploited yet. We will wait and see… and we better be prepared.

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7 Cities to Visit When in Spain

Beautiful sun kissed beaches, splendid scenic beauty, delicious cuisines, and amazing night life. Spain has it all. Here are seven holiday destinations which are a must visit in Spain.

1. Costa Brava- Costa Brava has always been a prominent place for holiday throughout the year. The coastline extends from Port Bou to Blanes. The place has soaring cliffs, abundant vegetation, beautiful villages, sun kissed beaches and hidden bays, which are only accessible through boat. The top places include Chichi Begur, Cadaques and Port Lligat. Port Lligat is famous for Salvador Dali and his wife Gala, as they once lived and worked. If culture and archaeology interests you, then Ampurias or Empúries is a must visit.

2. Santiago de Compostela- This is the capital city of the Galicia region in the north western part of Spain. Also known for its traditional pilgrimage, the place is also known as Camino de Santiago. The pilgrimage is important to many Christians as St James was buried. The city captivates the attention of people across the globe. From its illustrious history or rich culture, the city has so much to offer. Praza do Obradoiro is the arriving point for pilgrims. Santiago Cathedral is also an important landmark, as it situated in the heart of the city.

3. Barcelona – The capital city of Catalonia, this cosmopolitan city situated on the Mediterranean coast has both a historical background seamed effortlessly with modern city life. The Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished cathedral La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell is a must visit. The city is well-fed, both historically and culturally. Barcelona has a number of bars, great shops, also amazing clubs. One should also check friendly seaside resort of Sitges, a car ride to the National Park of Montserrat, which offers, hiking, climbing and a monastery with beautiful panoramic view.

4. Madrid-Situated in the middle of Spain, the city is more than two million years old, since the stone age. While most of the tourists visit Madrid because of its laid back beaches, it has so much more. The city offers some of the world’s best museums, restaurants, vibrant night life, mouth watering delicacies, and also a large number of pedestrian shops to offer the true essence of Spain. The historic old town, Madrid los Austrians, is a must visit. Today Madrid stands for its art and culture, with over seventy museums including the famous Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia National Art Centre also the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

5. Valencia- Valencia is one of the largest cities in Spain. The city is located in the eastern part of the country in the region of Valencia. The city is well constructed with substantial cultural as well as entertainment complex, known as the «City Of Art and Science». There are several science museum, aquarium, planetarium. Valencia hosts the Fallas Festival every March. It should be on every tourist’s bucket list.

6. Seville- Buzzing night life, refreshing atmosphere, and beautiful tourist attraction, Seville tops the list of cities in Spain you must visit. The city is both the cultural and financial capital of Andalusia. A beautiful place with relevant historic landmarks, important most being the grand Cathedral of Seville. The Cathedral of Seville is a major tourist attraction, as it is believed to be the burial place of Christopher Columbus. The Real Alcazar, is yet another exorbitant place with luxurious garden.

7. Granada- The capital of Granada Province, the city is placed to the south of Seirra Nevada. Granada is the perfect mixture of culture, tradition with an extravagant night life and beautiful scenic beauty. Granada has great architectural sight, with visitors coming across the globe mostly to experience Alhambra. The preceding Moorish grip in Europe, the Alhambra offers its visitor marvellous ornamental architecture, splendid scenic beauty along with spectacular lush garden and breath taking views of the city below.

Spain is synonymous with modern experience inter-weaved perfectly with its grand history and culture. Every city in Spain is an experience in itself. Happy Holidays!

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Don Quixote De La Mancha (Part One): From Pen to Print

On the morning in August of 1604, a little-known writer named Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra walked through the streets of Valladolid, Spain, toting a heavy manuscript to publisher-bookseller Francisco de Robles. Cervantes carried a hopeful attitude that this odd book would become a success, but Robles held little hope the manuscript would sell five copies. A month later, Cervantes sold the rights to publish «El Ingenioso Don Quixote de la Mancha». The printing was finished in December, and the book came out in January 1605. Cervantes’ hard work made its way from manuscript to the published book that readers and scholars alike agree, even to this day, that Don Quixote became the greatest literary masterpiece in Spain and the world.

If Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra had never written this magnum opus, about a Spanish gentleman who read so many books of chivalry that he decided to become a knight in a world where they no longer existed, literature from 400 years ago to the present might have been completely different. His self-proclaimed mission called himself to right the world of wrongs in an out of date chivalrous manner. He called himself «Don Quixote de la Mancha» and Cervantes wrote hundreds of pages over a period of years to complete Part One of Don Quixote. Before he could get the novel published, his scribbled-worn copy had to be read and corrected by an editor who took the time to compile and rewrite the work as a «clean copy» adding spacing and punctuation so that it could be easily read by the printers. However, before going to print and publication, all books printed in Spain had to be given the «blessing of the state» by a royal «censor» who scrupulously read the work before being granted «license and privilege» for publication. Of course, Cervantes’ manuscript passed the government’s strict approval. Robles sent Cervantes’ text to Juan de la Cuesta – a book printer in Madrid.

The first copy was printed in Madrid, Spain which would soon become the primary source for conversation and laughter among many Spaniards. Sales of the book shot up immediately and by the end of 1605 one thousand eight hundred copies were printed and had flown off bookstore shelves. From Europe to the Spanish-American colonies, copies were sent by boats for hungry readers. Translators in England, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal were rushing furiously to put the book out in their native languages.

Cervantes probably thought about his future book while jailed in 1597 for stealing money from a bank that had crashed. Cervantes drew upon the adventures of his interesting and exciting life as a soldier, prisoner, escape artist and tax collector to create a whole gamut of characters and situations. His book would be new and original in every facet of telling stories. Later it would be called the first «bestseller.» Cervantes’ literary masterpiece became the first fictional novel that set the standard for writing future bestselling novels.

The general plot of Don Quixote is clearly funny. A fifty-year-old man named «Alonso Quixano» sells his land to buy novels about outdated chivalric knights. He reads night and day until he goes mad and leaves home to become a knight, naming himself «Don Quixote de la Mancha.» Quixote perceives reality as a knight from the antiquated stories he reads and believes he is truly a famous knight of old in a society where no knights existed but prevailed in 16th-Century Spanish literature. Quixote sees everything in terms of those boring books which abounded in bookstores. The plot in Don Quixote includes a knight-errant where whores become princesses, men become other knights, magicians, or chain gang prisoners, large windmills become dragons, and inns turn into enchanted castles.

Together with his «squire» – Sancho Panza («Potbelly»), his old nag – «Rocinante» and his ladylove «Dulcinea del Toboso» for whom he goes on chivalric quests, his misfit adventures caused all readers to at least chuckle, but in Spain, there exists a saying: «If you come across a solitary person laughing they are either mad, or reading Don Quixote.» («Don Quixote: The Unlikely Conquistador», The Independent, Jan. 29, 2005).

The Ingenious Gentleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha was an immediate and roaring success. Demand for copies was so high that within a few months its author, Miguel de Cervantes, was having the book distributed throughout Iberia while Robles and Cuesta began work on a second edition. Two pirated versions appeared in London, along with two others in Valencia and Zaragoza; hundreds of copies were loaded on to the galleons embarking for the New World. By June Don Quixote and Sancho Panza had become iconic figures, their effigies carried in parades and others popping up in celebrations for the rich and poor. («Don Quixote: Now and Then», Financial Times, 2018).

It’s interesting to note that although Cervantes’ name ultimately became known throughout the world, he never made any money from the monumental sales of Don Quixote. As a matter of fact, Cervantes’ life had mostly been marked by poverty and tough fortune. Nevertheless, he did not lead a boring life whose events Cervantes borrowed to make Don Quixote an exciting read.

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Costa Del Sol Gay Scene

If you are homosexual, lesbian, transgender, bisexual or straight and want to go to a club or bar where you don’t have to worry about being harassed by the opposite sex, Spain has a very active gay scene. Gay clubs, bars, hotels and associations can be found throughout the country with more of a presence in the larger more cosmopolitan cities like Madrid or Barcelona.

It is currently estimated that there are around four million lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in Spain with around 62% of Spanish people supporting the move to legalize same-sex marriages. This law now gives Spanish resident same-sex couples the right to marry and the same rights of ownership, inheritance and adoption as married heterosexuals. Because of this growing support for homosexuality, Spain has become a popular tourist and vacation destination for the gay community.

Ever since the early 1960s the Costa del Sol, and Torremolinos in particular, have been a Mecca for gay and gay friendly people. With its laid back lifestyle and visiting or resident artists, singers and writers the Costa del Sol has become the most popular gay centre in Southern Europe.

If you head westwards from Malaga Airport you will discover the gay Costa del Sol starting at the gay beach at Guadalmar, trendy beach bars of Los Alamos to the gay night life of La Nogalera in Torremolinos. If you continue past the naturist beach at Benalmadena to the more restrained gay bars of Fuengirola you will find the famous gay beach at Cabopino before hitting the more subdued scene in the stylish resort of Marbella.

The Costa del Sol is less than a three hour flight from the UK and is an all year round resort area offering real value and something for all gays and lesbians.

Torremolinos has a great gay nightlife, only being surpassed by Madrid and Barcelona.While Sitges and Gran Canaria mainly attract visitors from UK, Holland and Germany, Torremolinos is still a very Spanish town with most of the gay bars filled with local Spanish guys. The age of gay crowd is younger than in Sitges and Gran Canaria with the large nightclubs attracting a very young gay crowd of 18-30 years olds.

There are more than 30 gay and lesbian places in Torremolinos concentrated in a small gay village called Nogalera. Most of the bars are not open before 11:00 pm so be prepared to party until dawn. The most popular gay venues at the moment are El Gate Bar which attracts handsome 30+ guys, the Parthenon Club and Home Disco. The biggest gay sauna of southern Europe will be opening here the end of this year.

There are no real gay hotels in Torremolinos but you will find plenty of gay beach front Bungalows which are in the centre of town just a five minute walk from all the gay bars. Gay bungalows offer a free parking space and total privacy.

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When the Mississippi Flowed Backward

Tectonic events such as a 5.8 earthquake in California and a volcano eruption in Washington – riveted our attention. But they failed to match the New Madrid Quakes of Dec. 1811-Feb. 1812 that caused the mighty Mississippi River briefly to flow backward.

Consider the eyewitness deposition of Firmin La Roche, a French fur trader of St. Louis.

The frontier west of the Mississippi had been sold by France to the United States just eight years before the quake. Missouri was a territory, not yet a state.

LaRoche’s account – preserved in the Missouri Historical Review archives — was written in New Orleans Feb. 20, 1812, when after-shocks were still frequent. He had just completed a disastrous journey that started with three flat-boats:

Sound Like Thunder

«I was present at the earthquake which lately occurred above and below the mouth of the River Ohio, along both shores of the River Mississippi.

«I was taking three boats to New Orleans with some furs bought in St. Louis. On the evening of Dec. 15, we tied up eight miles north of New Madrid near the house of my cousin, John LeClerq.

«There were with me the Fr. Joseph of the Mission to the Osages, returning home to France — also Jaques Menier, Dominic Berges, Leon Sarpy, Henry Lamel, five other men and the Negro slave, Ben, who was killed at New Madrid.

«After we had supper, we went to sleep. I was awakened by a crash like thunder. The boat turned upon its side so that Lamel, who slept beside, was thrown on me. We fell against the side. It was very dark.

«We got away from the bank in about a half hour, and I looked at my watch. It was 3 o’clock. I could see trees on the shore falling down. Great masses of earth tumbled into the river.

«Lamel cut the rope that tied us to a log. In a moment, so great a wave come up the river that I never seen one like it at sea. It carried us back north, up-stream, for more than a mile. The water spread out upon the banks — covering three or four miles inland.

«It was a current going backward. Then this wave stopped, and slowly the river went right again.

«Everywhere there was noise like thunder. The ground was shaking the trees down. The air was thick with something like smoke. There was much lightning.

«We believed we must surely die. Fr. Joseph gave absolution. We did not see either of the other two boats. One of them we never saw again – nor do I know whether the men in them were drowned. We were all in great terror, expecting death.

«Trees were thrown down. People said great cracks in the soil – some very deep – stretched 10 or 15 miles. «We were told there is a new lake in Tennessee (Reelfoot) and the water courses there have been changed. The River Yazoo has a new mouth.

«I was in great pain with a broken arm. Of those who were with me, there is not but Father Joseph. My personal loss I make to be $600 (about $12,000 by today’s currency.)»

A Priest’s Recollection

In an appendage to La Rouche’s account, Father Joseph stated:

«I think there were two great shocks about half an hour apart and many small ones between and after. The water rose so that a tree on the bank — whose top must have been 30 feet above the river level — was covered all over.

«We saw two houses on fire on the left bank. When we came to New Madrid, there were homes also burning there.

«We tied up to the shore about dawn, and a hickory tree fell upon the boat – killing the negro, Ben, and breaking the left arm of the patron LaRouche.

«We made no effort to find out how many people had been killed, although it was told us that many were. We saw dead bodies of several. Afterwards we saw drowned persons floating in the river.

«The fur loads were thrown into the river by the people who crowded into the vessel with us until we could take no more.»

Another Account

Another eyewitness account (edited here for brevity) was deposed by Eliza Bryan, a New Madrid resident, four years after the event.

«On December 16, 1811, about 2 a.m., we were visited by a violent shock of an earthquake. It was accompanied by a very awful noise resembling loud but distant thunder, but more hoarse and vibration.

«This was followed in a few minutes by the complete saturation of the atmosphere with sulphurous vapor, causing total darkness.

«Truly horrible was the screams of the affrighted inhabitants running to and fro, not knowing where to go, of what to do – the cries of the fowls and beasts of every species – the cracking of trees falling — and the roaring of the Mississippi which was retrograde for a few minutes.

«Inhabitants fled in every direction, supposing that there was less danger at a distance than near the river.

«There were several, lighter shocks daily until the 23rd of January 1812. Then, one occurred as violent as the severest of the former ones.

«From this time until the 4th of February, the earth was in continual agitation – visibly waving as a gentle sea.

«On Feb. 7, about 4 a.m., a concussion took place so much more violent than those that had proceeded it, that it was denominated ‘the hard shock.’

«The awful darkness of the atmosphere saturated with sulphurous vapor, and the violence of the tempestuous thundering noise, formed a scene beyond imagination.

«At first, the Mississippi seemed to recede from its banks – its waters gathering up like a mountain. For a moment, many boats which were on their way to New Orleans were left on bare sand. The poor sailors made their escape from them.

«The river then rose 15 to 20 feet perpendicularly, and expanded. The banks overflowed with the retrograde current. Boats that had been left on sand now were torn from their moorings.

«The river falling as rapidly as it had risen, took with it whole groves of cottonwood trees. A great many fish were left on the banks.

«In all the hard shocks, the earth was horribly torn to pieces. Hundreds of acres were covered over by sand that issued from the fissures. In some places, there was a substance resembling coal.

«Lately it has been discovered that a lake (Reelfoot) was formed on the opposite side of the Mississippi in Indian country ( west Tennessee). It is upward of 100 miles in length, one to six miles wide, and depths of 10 to 50 feet.

«For eighteen months, we were constrained by the fear that our houses would fall from the continuing shocks and so lived in little, light camps. Some people fled, never to return, but most drifted back.»

Giant Earth Fault

The U.S. Geological Survey rates the three main quakes in the central Mississippi valley in the winter of 1811-12 as «the most powerful in U.S. history.»

There were no seismographs back then. However, the extent of land changes indicate three, closely related, quakes — magnitudes of 8 or more on the Richter seismograph scale of ten-fold points.

Most powerful quake of record is the Richter 8.4 for the Alaska quake of 1964.

USGS says, «Earthquakes in the central United States affect much larger areas than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the western U.S.

«The San Francisco, Calif., earthquake of 1906 (magnitude 7.8) was felt 350 miles away. The first New Madrid earthquake rang church bells in Boston, Mass., a thousand miles away.»

New Madrid in 1811 consisted of 400 log cabins. St. Louis and Memphis were small towns. «Should a category-8 quake occur there today, those cities would be mostly destroyed and thousands of people killed,» says U.S.G.S.

Last year, 470 measurable quakes were recorded in the Central Mississippi valley.

Warning by USGS: «The probability of a magnitude 6 to 7 earthquake occurring in the New Madrid seismic zone within the next 50 years is higher than 90 percent.»

Question:

Which is worst – hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, mud slides, volcanoes or earth quakes?

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SitStayFetch – Kingdom of Pets – a Review of Daniel Steven’s Top Selling Guide

 Can you really put a price on having a well trained dog? If your answer is no then you may want to consider SitStayFetch by Daniel Stevens.   For a measly $37, you can get the ultimate guide to help you have an well-rounded obedient dog that is a joy to be around.

 

The main book itself (excluding all the free bonuses) is over 170 pages of top quality material by a real professional dog trainer. Aside from content quantity, this «automatic download» guide contains step-by-step instructions which are easy to follow, even if English is not your native language.

 

For all the visual learners out there, the book also contains numerous pictures to help you understand the training concepts. The photos illustrate various commands such as teaching your dog to sit, come etc.

 

Aside from the basic obedience training modules that Daniel offers, what’s really great about this book is that it goes into detail about various dog behavior problems (25 in total) such as dog biting, barking, aggression and much more.

Partial List of Training Commands

 

  • Come
  • Roll over
  • Okay
  • No
  • Hold
  • Leave
  • Seek and Find
  • Sit, Stay, Fetch 🙂
  • Paw
  • Wait

 

 

SitStayFetch also boasts 7 free bonuses which feature some guest articles from other professional dog trainers as well more in depth look at some of the more important dog training aspects such as dog housetraining. Also for a limited time offer, you get free e-mail consultation with Daniel. Many customers use this feature and find it extremely helpful.

 

With over 60,000 (yes… 60,000) copies sold, you should really consider SitStayFetch to train your dog.  You won’t need any other book after that.

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Timeshare Verses Travel Club – Which is the Real Deal?

Until recently, timeshares have been the way to go when someone wanted to get a good deal on yearly vacationing, but with the recent rise in discount travel clubs is it still a a smart move? I will compare the two vacation plans and show how discount travel clubs are the better choice for people who want to save on their vacations.

1) Initial costs- Purchase a timeshare at a resort or second hand from the original owner and you will pay anywhere from say $6,500 to $20,000 depending on where your unit is and how good you are at haggling when they try to close on you. Paid either in a lump sum or over time, you now own a week of time at a resort that you can exchange with others looking for something in your area. Let’s go midrange for a buying price of $13,250.

If you joined a discount travel club, you paid somewhere between $199 and $500 to get access to vacations around the world… Gotta give that win to the vacation club for a more affordable initial price.

2) Recurring costs- According to memorable-beach-vacations.com, ownership has its privileges because you now are responsible for ongoing maintenance fees, upkeep, furniture and appliances, roof and pool replacement, and of course insurance and property taxes. We’ll use their figures for time share resorts in Virginia Beach, which they found range from $390-$550 a year, and use a midrange figure of $475 a year. This annual fee would be adjusted for inflation and probably increase over time. Your total annual timeshare costs over 10 years, barring any roof or pool rework, is $4,750. If you trade for other units around the world, there are other costs involved that vary from group to group, so it would be hard to determine the exact costs other than to say they would be at least several hundred dollars more expensive a year.

Monthly fees vary between vacation clubs, so we will use World Ventures number for accuracy. Lets say you liked the presentation and went with the most expensive package that makes you a representative. You would pay $59.93 a month for an annual rate of $719.16, but there is a way to not have any monthly fee by bringing in four people who buy any package that is offered. So if you know four friends who like to travel and join the club, you’ve just erased your annual costs! That is something to consider, but let’s pay the monthly fee for the sake of the exercise.

Over 10 years, club costs are $7,191.60. There are no additional costs for staying at resorts or hotels around the world, but vacation packages are bought in bulk and offered to the members at cost. Other advantages with travel clubs include discounted rates for air travel, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, and travel insurance that can be used any time of year as many times as you need. There is even concierge service which you can use anywhere and anytime to get information on just about anything you need while home or abroad. I’ll give this one to the timeshare with an asterisk just using the base numbers, but there is more value built into the vacation club membership.

3) Variety of vacation experience- Timeshares give you the same vacation every year staying in the same unit or a similar one every time and swapping is only available at participating resorts in their network.

Travel clubs offer you many different experiences all over the world- you don’t have to repeat the same trip twice (unless you want to). Over 60,000 vacation and rental properties available in over 160 destinations. World Ventures even has a program called DreamTrips where all the reservations and planning are taken care of for you. You have your choice of event, cruise, sport, or theme packages at deeply discounted prices- examples from 2009 include a Cozumel cruise, 5 day/4 night for $179 per person including taxes and fees, trip to Madrid, Spain for $150 per person taxes included, and so on. Get lodging and tickets to the Masters, the final four, even the World Cup in South Africa for hundreds less than you can find online. The vacation club gets this vote easily.

So while the timeshare won the recurring cost section with a handicap, the best overall bargain is the travel club membership for its low initial cost, variety of vacation experiences offered, and the abilities to save on all travel expenses and make money by becoming a representative. The numbers aren’t exact, but do represent a fair comparison between the two vacation choices.

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Who Wrote Don Quixote?

What evidence is there that Miguel de Cervantes wrote ‘Don Quixote’? Little indeed. Not only do we know little of his life;the standard of his Work,apart from ‘Quixote’, is low. Most of his books remain unpublished abroad. What do we know about Thomas Shelton,whose translation into English has Won the praise of literary historians ever since it appeared in 1612? What do we know of Cid Hamet Benengeli,the Arab historian who,we Are told,is the real author?

Until now no proper attempt has been made to place Quixote in the wider Context of the great plays of this period. And no-one has paid attention To the Shelton version,which is seldom read today.

We start with an examination of the actual publication of Quixote in Madrid and London in 1605 and 1612. Then we move,in the story itself,from La Mancha to Sussex,from Madrid to London,to the court of Queen Elizabeth. Two characters in Quixote,who always appear together,are Queen Madasima and Master Elisabat. Other name s which invite scrutiny include Thomas Cecial(almost Cecil), Friston,an odd name for the Devil,and Pyramus and Thisbe,which make us think ofo Shakespeare.

‘Don Quixote’ is full of pithy statements,epigrams and mock proverbs which can be found in the Shakespeare plays. ‘I was born free. The naked truth. Comparisons are odious. Time out of mind.’ and many ,many more. 70 quotations are set out in table form in the book.

But why would anyone write a very long novel and use the name of a struggling Spanish author? Why the secrecy? The sixth rule of the Rosicrucians was that that members Should remain anonymous for a hundred years. The first rule was that they should heal the sick. The leading member of this secret society in England at this time was Francis Bacon.

No attention has been paid to the date of Quixote’s publication in Madrid in 1605,only six Years after the fourth Armada of 1599. An important element in this work,seldom mentioned, Is its surprising lack of animosity towards England. If it had appeared in Spain as an English book,everyone would have been understandably prejudiced against it. It took a long Time to win the lasting admiration of the Spaniards. Allowing a Spanish author to present This book as his own work,Bacon gave this subtly pro-English novel the best possible chance Of being accepted in Spain without prejudice.

‘Don Quixote’ should be regarded as an instrument of reconciliation between Spain and England,two great countries kept apart by war and the threat of war for five decades. Distrust and hatred of the foreigner had caused the death of innocent men in both countries. Now was the time for peace and good will,a policy that James I keenly pursued. In England Quixote acted as a healer of the wide gulf between the two countries.

When «Don Quixote» appeared in Madrid and London,the great Shakespeare plays were being Acted on the London stage. When the English plays and the Spanish novel are looked at Together,a clear picture emerges: the creation of a pan-European literary master-plan. The greatest play about Denmark is ‘Hamlet’. The greatest plays about Italy are ‘Romeo and Juliet’,’The Merchant of Venice’ and ‘Othello,the Moor of Venice’. The greatest play about Rome is ‘Julius Caesar’. The greatest play about Egypt is ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. The greatest Plays about England are the Shakespeare history dramas. All these plays are the work of one man, Written under a pen-name. There is no world-famous play about Spain which is on the same Level of genius as the plays just mentioned. But there is one great novel about Spain which is just as famous throughout the world – ‘Don Quixote’. Like all the Shakespeare plays,this appeared under an alias. Bacon,casting his eye over the whole of Europe,found that this area lacked an appropriate masterpiece,an epic story to match those of Greece and Rome and Great Britain.

In a letter to Lord Burleigh written in 1592,Bacon declared «I have taken all knowledge to be my Province.» A play would not have been the right format for a Spanish epic. Needing a larger Canvas,he chose to write a work of fiction.

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