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September 2020

Roses and rose culture have been around in Europe for 100s of years, after the introduction of roses from China. The rose symbolises love and beauty, they were sacred to certain goddesses – including Isis and Aphrodite and of course, the rose is the national flower of England and the symbol of English rugby. Here are some other interesting facts about Roses.

  1. There are over 100 species of Rose and they come in a variety of colours. The species comprise of erect shrubs and climbing or trailing plants. These vary in size from miniatures to climbers that can reach 7 metres.
  2. The Rose belongs to the genus Rosa, which is part of the Rosaceae family.
  3. Most roses are native to Asia, although a small number of them come from Europe, North America and North West Africa.
  4. The fruit from a rose is called a ‘rose hip’ and these are edible. They are also high in vitamin C and used to make jam, jelly, marmalade and, of course, tea. Rose hips are also used to make rose hip syrup and rose hip seed oil – which is used for skin and make up products.
  5. The majority of roses are deciduous however a few of the varieties from South East Asia are almost or totally evergreen.
  6. Most rose flowers have five petals, with each petal having two distinct lobes. Beneath the petals they usually have five sepals; this is what forms the green cup like part under the petals.
  7. The sharp objects along the stem, that are usually called thorns, are actually prickles. A thorn is actually part of a modified stem and originates from a node – a prickle is an outgrowth of the epidermis (outer layer of tissue of the stem).
  8. There is no single classification system for garden roses, although they are generally classified into one of three groups – Wild, Old Garden and Modern Garden roses. Old Garden roses are considered as any rose belonging to a class which existed before the introduction of the first Modern Rose in 1867. Modern Garden is quite confusing as many have Old Garden roses in their ancestry, so the classifications tend to be by growth and flowering characteristics.
  9. Roses require 5 hours of direct sunlight a day during the growing season.
  10. Deadheading encourages new growth – whether that growth is flowers or new green growth depends on which variety of rose you have. Roses that produce good hips should not be deadheaded.

Source by Sarah PJ White

A POINTED DISCUSSION ABOUT THE AMAZING GRACE OF GOD

The 5 points of Arminianism and of Calvinism. Reviewed, questioned, affirmed.

Preface

I must say at the outset that the following paper was meant to be as fair and balanced as possible, giving as much Scriptural weight to one side as the other, and perhaps even leaving it to the reader to deal with the solution. While that element is still there in some measure, I must confess that, even though I was unknowingly an Arminian most of my Christian life, I have – similarly unknowingly – leaned in these last couple of years towards the findings of John Calvin, though, as you will become aware later, I never read John Calvin.

So be aware that I write much of what you will read and hear, through the lens of the verse with which I have placed on the cover of that book, a word taken not from some great theologian, but out of the mouth of a pagan emperor who had stumbled across truth in his dynamic dealings with the God of Daniel. “He does what he wills.” Whatever He wants to do, he does. He never asks me if I agree with His reasoning or logic in the matter. Not once has He consulted my feelings or opinions, my great studies and conclusions. He just does what He wants to do.

Neither was Calvin or Arminius or Augustine or Paul offered a chance to weigh in on the subject before He acted. These men are, seeing through a glass darkly, mere reporters of what they think they see. I too. He did what He wanted to do, and I’m going to try to tell you what He did, though I can never tell you why, for He has not revealed that to me. Or to you. That’s what makes His grace so amazing. There is no reason on earth why Bob should have experienced the grace of God. But there is one in Heaven. And only God knows it.

Introduction

Recently, a listener to my regular podcast asked me to address the five points of Calvinism. By studying the Scriptures on this subject two years ago, I had already done that, but it seemed it might be helpful to some listeners, to address the subject with Calvinists and Arminians in mind. Although I hasten to repeat, I have never read either of these giants of the faith.

Now, by calling both men giants, I will offend all of my readers and listeners for sure. Both sides seem to be fixed in their position, and truly believe the other side to be consigned to eternal damnation, unless of course God is merciful to them at the last minute.

In fact, all of us have been consigned to eternal damnation and are dependent on His mercy and grace for our salvation. And all of that, salvation grace, has to do with trusting in the shed blood of Jesus, not which doctrinal position I cling to, on most any subject.

I do not mean to say there are two sides to this issue. When God’s Word is involved, only one side is allowable on any given topic. I do mean to say that the truth of the matter is not as easy to comprehend as either side might allow. No matter which way a person goes, he is going to run into those “difficult” passages. He is going to experience the “tension” of which John Macarthur speaks. He will perhaps agree with Spurgeon who once commented to the effect that when we get to Heaven, the sign on the gate will say “whosoever will”, but after entry and looking back at that same gate, we will see the words “saved from the foundation of the world.”

There are elect – chosen ones -on both sides of the strife, and non-elect on both sides. The family portrait seen by the Father is not influenced by these doctrinal wars. But Light is in His Word, and we must walk in it. Then we must ask others to see what we see, joyfully, not with hammer in hand. Only slowly, very slowly, do some come to the truth. And the truth is broader than the wars allow. What if both “truths” are true after all? That is, what if there are not two sides, but one huge side that comprehends both concepts, free will and determination by God?

One thing is certain. We must all look at both sides. One never knows what truth might be lurking “over there.” I’m certainly glad I took a chance.

A Little History

The dominant system of the day when all of this current conflict began, in 16th century Europe, was an unyielding Calvinism. To be outside what Calvin taught was simply to be a heretic. Anathemas were placed on the rising Arminian thought, curses that could easily compare with those afforded to Rome. As I have indicated, some of that cursing mentality persists to our own day, and is lamentable.

It might be enlightening to see how many believers in our own day have never even heard the name Jacob Arminius. I suppose some may not even know who Calvin was. Perhaps it does not matter, in one sense. I personally have never read a full book by either man, but based my growing understanding of the issue, on Scripture alone. Men are men. They regularly fail. The best of them are not 100% accurate.

Take Pelagius, for example. Pelagius? Who was that, and why bring up yet another man to cloud the issue of the doctrines of grace? Well, we must begin with Pelagius, as many who are involved in the controversy see him as the forerunner of Arminian thought, while his nemesis in that day, Augustine, they say, foreshadowed Calvinism. Many of course, including Spurgeon, want to trace Calvin’s thinking to Paul, not any of the church fathers. It may be a little early in the discussion to cede that point.

Pelagius and Augustine lived in the fourth century. The former was a “British-born ascetic moralist,” as Wikipedia describes him. Very scholarly. Learned in theology. Persuasive speaker. An ascetic. His studies and the conclusions thereof quite simply could not allow the concept of predestination, that God had ordained all things ahead of time, and so he presented a rationale for man’s free will.

Early in his career he had been praised by Augustine as a saintly man, but when these doctrinal differences began to show, He was accused by that same contemporary, and others, of denying the need for Divine aid in performing good actions. Works theology, they said, won’t work.

It seems he also denied original (Adamic) sin. He claimed, some said, that a man could keep the law without God’s help. Through rigorous self-effort, a man could eventually obtain perfection. Perhaps he was misunderstood, that he did not mean to leave God out of the picture, but his emphasis on man’s part in it all got him eventually declared a heretic by a church Council. His doctrine of free will, and human effort was later known as Pelagianism, and was guarded against through the centuries. It was a heresy. It was laid to rest. But not really.

Pelagius lived in a time, as do we, when moral laxity was on the rise. He blamed Augustine and other modern theologians for this situation. By believing in “grace” so strongly, Augustine, said Pelagius, was encouraging immorality to rise. Men felt they were not accountable for their actions. Of course, Augustine and the others only taught that man needs the grace of God and the implanted desire of God to do the will of God. But to Pelagius it sounded as though man was not involved at all.

Pelagius taught that the human will – created by God, of course, and hence the grace of which Scripture spoke – was sufficient to live a sinless life. God would have to “assist” man as he went along, but it was basically up to man as to whether he would walk with God.

There is a fine line to be drawn here, for sure. Human effort, “assisted by God” vs God placing His assistance inside of the man at the beginning of his salvation experience, that is, saving him by grace, and directing his paths in this manner. It could be very tricky trying to tell the difference in those doctrines. But one is salvation by works, and the other is salvation by grace.

So we come to the time, one thousand years later, when the division between these two systems of thought, seemed to rise again. Does man have totally free will? Can he chart his own course? Can he say no to God, even if God really wants to save him? Is man capable of living a holy life with only an “assist” by God, or does he need an infusion of grace initially and constantly?

Jacob Arminius (1559-1609) was also a very brilliant and very spiritual man, hailed by his peers as a true man of God. But slowly he began to come against some of what Calvin was teaching. Conflicts ensued.

Not with Calvin himself, for that great Reformer had passed away when Arminius was only five years old. But Calvin’s heirs were everywhere, and ready to defend everything Calvin had taught.

Arminius himself died in 1609, leaving behind him a respectable trail of followers, also. The year after his death, “five points” were presented to the church of Holland. They are as follows:

The five points of Arminianism

• Human Free Will–This states that though man is fallen, he is not incapacitated by the sinful nature and can freely choose God. His will is not restricted and enslaved by his sinful nature.

• Conditional Election–God chose people for salvation, but only based on His foreknowledge, where God looks into the future to see who will respond to the Gospel message. Knowing who says “yes”, He chooses them.

• Universal Atonement–The position that Jesus bore the sin of everyone who ever lived.

• Resistable Grace–The teaching that the grace of God can be resisted and finally beaten so as to reject salvation in Christ.

• Fall from Grace–The teaching that a person can fall from grace and lose his salvation.

This system of thought, known today as Arminianism, was popularized by the Wesleys and their movement of Methodists. And many others. The great majority of Christians in the West, think as Arminian. Though they do not know Jacob, the founder of their thought! In fairness, they too wish to trace their beginnings to the Bible.

Don’t we all?

The Five Points of Calvinism

As we said, Calvin died in 1564.But his teachings did not. The Reformation adopted much of what he said, formed it into a system, a system which was “reaffirmed by the Synod of Dordt in 1619 as the doctrine of salvation contained in the Holy Scriptures.”

And at the same time, 1619, the system was put into a more manageable order by creating five points of its own, as an answer to the Arminians.

According to Calvinism: (Per reformed.org)

“Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the Gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.”

Some very creative brother or sister came up with a way of remembering Calvinism’s five points: An acrostic using the word “tulip.”

T is for Total Depravity (or better, Total Inability)

At the outset, a problem in vocabulary. Depravity in modern vernacular is corruption, even perversion. One thinks even of insanity, or craven corruption. Well, it can be all of that. All that was originally meant though, is that sin has extended to every part of the personality. Thoughts. Emotions. Will. Sin is a pervasive disease, and some have the sickness worse than others, but all are affected. All. From birth. Nay, from conception.

Again, from reformed.org, “The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins (Romans 5:12). Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel (Mark 4:11f). This is why Total Depravity has also been called “Total Inability.” The man without a knowledge of God will never come to this knowledge without God’s making him alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5).”

U: Unconditional Election

God chose the ones whom He would later call to Himself, based on His own will, not anything man decided. This means He has also chosen others for damnation (Romans 9:-15-21). He did all this before there was a world (Ephesians 1:4-8)

Still, man has the responsibility of believing the Gospel. To deny this leads to what is called “hyper-Calvinism”. To deny God’s sovereign choices, however, is to affirm Arminianism, that it is man who chooses to “accept” Christ.

In this system, good works are the fruit, not the root, of salvation (Ephesians 2:10).

Reformed.org: “This is what Peter means when he admonishes the Christian reader to make his “calling” and “election” sure (2 Peter 1:10). Bearing the fruit of good works is an indication that God has sown seeds of grace in fertile soil.”

L: Limited Atonement (Particular Redemption)

For whom did Jesus die? Whose sins were forgiven at the cross? All men? Or all that God gave to Jesus (John 17:9)? (Matthew 26:28). Though some fear this doctrine kills motivation behind evangelism, but the command of Jesus to go and preach is not affected by us not knowing who will come and who will not. The fact is, the preaching of the Gospel will call the elect, and we must keep preaching for their sakes.

We all agree that all men will not be saved, so in fact Jesus’ death did not affect all men, but only the saved. The Arminian wants to have a potential salvation for all, a phenomenon the Calvinist sees unnecessary.

I: Irresistible Grace

When the Holy Spirit calls a man by the Word of God, he will respond. There may be a struggle, but God will win that struggle in His elect. John 6:37 makes this clear. See also John 6:44, and Romans 8:14. The most unlikely of surprises have demonstrated this awesome fact through the years!

P: Perseverance of the Saints

We trivialize this concept into “once saved, always saved,” then write it off as ridiculous in the light of all the people we know who were “saved” then fell away. But Romans 8:28-39, coupled with John 6:39 speak of a God who is able to keep us to the end, if we truly were His to begin with.

This description of the Five Points of Calvinism was written originally by Jonathan Barlow but totally revised and edited by the author. It could be denied in some parts by various adherents of the Calvin-dom Empire. Yes, Calvinism has splintered much, even as has Arminianism. People have division in their belly, and seem to love a good fight. Others are truly searching but have only found a certain measure of the truth.

Now let’s take a closer look at the five huge issues, with their sub-issues, before us, and see whether any preliminary conclusions can be made.

Before we go on, though, we must address again the importance of this study. “Does it really matter?” one might ask. Do I need this information to get to Heaven? Will being on the right side assure my place in Heaven?

Well, yes, it really matters, but no, your salvation does not depend on your knowledge of this portion of theology. Probably. I say “probably” for this reason:

If one is still drinking at the Pelagian well, and thinking that he is indeed the one responsible for his salvation, that he must work to save himself, that the blood of Jesus makes no real difference, and likewise the Spirit of Jesus, this study is extremely important! The salvation-by-works dogma is damning, and read a certain way in Arminian teaching, can destroy a man’s soul.

But if one is drinking only Christ, and His revealed Word, being filled with the one Spirit of God, growing in the grace of God, fruit will begin to be produced regardless of the presence of some imperfect teachings.

So why? A right understanding can bring confidence in one’s position in Christ. A right understanding can bring huge appreciation of Christ’s sacrifice and a resultant praise life that is enhanced. A right understanding can bring a humility of soul and an awareness of self that is the true mark of a child of God. Pursue this study. It is not going away any time soon. The church has nearly always had to struggle with this teaching. Rest not in intellectual acumen but in the simple words of Scripture. You may be surprised at what emerges.

Very importantly, it may be necessary to put aside the shouting that has come from both sides. It is hard to concentrate, reflect, listen to the still small Voice, when someone is shouting. Hear Jesus, not above, but far below all the shouts. Your soul will be refreshed.

Source by Bob Faulkner

The world has become a global village with the advent of the internet. Communication is now possible between people located in two different corners of the globe. With various advancements in technology, it is now easy to do business online and make money. You can advertise on the internet, create blogs, forums and what not. Marketing is blooming online and video marketing is the hot trend today.

People in almost all professional fields have taken the help of something called video marketing. Attorneys, doctors and other such professionals are creating videos of them talking into a camera and demonstrating their work and what they can bring their customers in terms of service. This is an effective way to market oneself. When a person sees you in action he will be able to decide whether or not you are the one he has been looking for. A dentist video is one such video that has a dentist talking about his services or displaying a demonstration of his work.

There are so many dentist videos that are available on the internet today. There are many organizations whose job is just to construct an effective dentist video for you. An example is VeneerVideo. Such videos are made for the purpose of driving traffic to your website, viewing your credentials, and ultimately increasing the number of patients that end up at your clinic or practice! These videos don’t have to be spectacular technically, it helps if they are, but it is not a necessity. What is more important is the content. If your content is extremely good, the technical details are practically insignificant.

There are many techniques that are employed to enhance the video that the audience watches. One of these is the green screen technique. When the dentist talks into the camera, you may have noticed that the background is made up of his clinic or some other fantastic location. If the dentist is not able to get to the location for the shooting; there is absolutely no problem. The shooting is done in a studio with a large green screen as the background. After the shooting, editor removes the green screen and replaces it with another background then superimposes the dentist onto that background. Thus the dentist video appears very professional and well done. These kinds of techniques are also used while shooting big Hollywood blockbuster films.

However, as mentioned earlier, technology plays a small role only. All you have to do is ensure that the user sees the video without any noise, problems related to compression and transfer of files etc. Apart from that, techniques such as green screen are not compulsory. The subject matter of the video should be crystal clear and effective. The rest will follow! Thus a dentist video should be rich in content and that is pretty much enough to bring a dazzling smile to the viewer’s face and garner you plenty of clients.

Source by Phill Guye

If you own and operate a dental practice, then there is a strong chance you are missing out on using Big Bird in your marketing. Say what? Give this short article a read and you’ll see why.

Dentist Marketing using Big Bird:

Ever watch Sesame Street?

It’s the most popular TV show for kids.

And if I had to put my finger on one reason the show is so successful, it would be:

BIG BIRD!

He’s big.

He’s covered in yellow feathers.

And he struts up and down Sesame Street like Tony Soprano.

Matter of fact Big Bird is one of the best marketing tools Sesame Street has because he draws in kids like a moth to a flame.

How so?

Well, think about it:

Most times Big Bird is yacking about some interesting story which the kiddies love.

Not to mention his yellow feathers and size make Big Bird stand out like an olive floating in a glass of Cabernet.

And how about the way Big Bird laughs?

My man cackles (in a chipper sort of way) that nobody can forget.

What’s my point?

Big Bird is the driving force behind the success of Sesame Street. He’s the big reason so many tots are glued to the TV like flypaper. He’s something you remember.

This yellow behemoth singlehandedly sells the show.

And there are many marketing lessons to be learned from the big guy.

Ask yourself this:

What’s your driving force behind your business?

What kind of personality drives your marketing?

What makes you different?

I’m not saying you should dress as a yellow feathery creature… but hey… that sure beats banging the same old drum, hoping for different results, right?

And what would happen if you did use some outrageous “thing” as the driving force behind promoting your practice? Surely if you are a pediatric dentist this applies to you. But this goes for general dentists too.

Sure, maybe you are saying this is silly.

But who is the ultimate judge?

Your prospects. Those people who have the attention span of a gnat. Those people who are bored to death, and who are waiting for you to entertain them with a reason they should try you out.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are too good for doing something like this.

Or that this will tarnish your image.

Or that your prospects will think less of you for using outrageous marketing like this.

What matters is at the end of the day your practice is full.

And if a “driving” force in your marketing (similar to Big Bird) gets you there, then all the better.

Source by Wesley Murph

Inés of My Soul is a daring novel, grand on any scale. Daring, because the writer has courageously confronted one of the bloodiest periods in South American history, taking sides neither with the conquistadors nor with the indigenous people; grand, because it is a vastly researched historical fiction as well as being a love story.

The story is told from the imaginary point of view of Inés Suárez from what she may have written in her diary when seventy years old. The diary’s existence is also imaginary. Only a writer of Isabel Allende’s stature would dare to tell this very complicated story in flashback and succeed so brilliantly.

In her diary, Inés addresses Isabel, her stepdaughter from her last marriage. In the first chapter, Inés Suárez says: “I beg you to have a little patience, Isabel. You will soon see that this disorderly narrative will come to the moment when my path crosses that of Pedro de Valdivia and the epic I want to tell you about begins.”

Inés, a poor seamstress from Plasencia–a town in Spain, comes to the new world in a ship with her niece to search for her husband Juan de Málaga. In reality, she is determined to escape from poverty and the backward thinking of the society she was born into. When she learns her husband is dead, she tries to make it on her own with her nursing and housekeeping skills. When a man who was in the same ship with her tries to attack her, she kills him out of self-defense, but the ship’s captain takes the body of the man from her house and discards it, keeping her name clear. After this, Inés wants to move on to other towns in the new world, partly with fear of being found out. It is at this time that she meets Pedro de Valdivia, the conquistador of Chile, and becomes his mistress.

Inés gets Pisarro’s permission by saying that she knows dowsing and can find water in the desert; so, together with Valdivia she travels to Chile, crossing an impossible arid region and facing many hardships to establish the city of Santiago in the Mapocho Valley as a Spanish settlement. They call the new town, “Santiago de la Nueva Extremadura.” The date is February 12, 1541.

In this settlement, cut away from Peru because of distance and dreadful travel conditions, the group faces a terrible struggle against chief Michimalonko’s fierce Mapuche Indians. Inés’s story continues until 1580 when she is writing her memoirs at age seventy as a rich and successful widow but somewhat boastful and full of pride.

Even if the story is filled with battles, cruelty, and blood and gore, the central theme is the passionate love and companionship between two lovers. The relationship between Pedro and Inés is that of a fairy tale, passionate, loving, and full of communication. Even if Pedro changes from an idealistic man to a man of greed eventually, his love for Inés survives to his last breath.

Although Isabel Allende, through Inés, does not lionize or conceal the brutality of the conquistadors, she romanticizes the idea of establishing settlements in the new world and the exploits of those who went through so much to conquer the continent. Inés, a remarkable woman who comes up with solutions to most problems the people of the settlement face in the new world, is portrayed as the modern women’s rights advocates would like to see a heroine. How much of this idealizing might have come close to the truth is debatable.

Inés of My Soul is the fifteenth book for Isabel Allende. In this book, too, her narrative style takes over the story, but her delightful storytelling with the exciting twists and turns in her narration grip the reader fully and make him want not to leave a word unread.

Isabel Allende is a Chilean novelist who was born on August 2, 1942 in Lima, Peru. His books are: The House of the Spirits (1982), La gorda de porcelana (1984), Of Love and Shadows (1985), Eva Luna (1987), The Stories of Eva Luna (1989), The Infinite Plan (1991), Paula (1995, Afrodite (1997), Daughter of Fortune (1999), Portrait in Sepia (2000), City of the Beasts (2002), My Invented Country (2003), Kingdom of the golden dragon (2004), Forest of the Pygmies (2005), Zorro (2005), Ines of My Soul (2006), and Dos Palabras.

The book is in hardcover and 336 pages with ISBN-10: 0061161535 and ISBN-13: 978-0061161537.

As expected from Allende’s wonderful storytelling, “Inés of My Soul” is a brilliant historical epic, full of excitement and suspense.

Source by Joy Cagil

Switzerland ranks near the top among countries with highest quality of life in the world. The country’s most cosmopolitan city is Geneva, which is also one of Europe’s priciest. The city surrounds Lake Geneva with stunning views of the Alps and Jura mountain chains and is characterized by its strong French culture, evident in both the language and the cuisine.

Geneva is a major banking center and houses the top 200 international companies’ headquarters, including the likes of the United Nations, International Red Cross, and the World Health Organization. The city is also the capital of watch making, one of the world’s oldest technologies, with companies like Patek Philippe, Rolex and Piaget carrying forward a 450-year tradition.

Getting around Geneva:

From the airport

Geneva International Airport is located 5km (3 miles) from the city center. From the ticket machine in the baggage recovery area at the airport collect a free ‘Unireso’ ticket which will enable you to use public transport in Geneva city for 80 minutes. Transports Publics Genevois operates a bus route to the city center, which takes about 35 minutes. CFF trains leave regularly from Cointrin railway station at the airport and takes approx 6 minutes to reach the city. Taxis to the city center cost about SFr30-35 (approx. USD $30) taking 15-20 minutes. The paper includes case studies highlighting how multinational corporations have tackled consolidation, what they gained and what pitfalls the organization encountered along the way.

Around the city

Geneva is a compact city and is easily conquered on foot, but there are a number of transportation options when you need them. Driving is not recommended in the city due to the limited and expensive nature of parking.

Top tip: Pick up a Geneva Transport Card, available to all visitors staying at a hotel, youth hostel or camping sites in Geneva. The card allows you to use the public transport network for free during your entire stay. The local bus system covers virtually every square meter of the city and the intercity bus covers points outside the city.

The central train station, Gare Cornavin, has numerous rail links all over Switzerland and beyond. Be wary of pickpockets in and around the station, and if you’re on business travel, don’t let your laptop of briefcase leave your line of vision at any given time.

Ferry shuttles cross the lake, operating during daylight hours and departs every 10-30 minutes. Alternatively, pick up a free bicycle behind Gare Cornavin and at Quai du Mont-Blanc. The steep slopes of the Old Town and lack of bike paths in the city are a deterrent for most cyclists, but the paths along the lake are excellent.

Don’t miss…

Lake Geneva, Jet d’eau and gardens – Stroll along the promenades around the lake and discover the spectacular flower clock in the gardens of Lake Geneva. If you have time, take a boat cruise on Lake Geneva, with views of castles, monuments and of course the Jet d’eau, the tallest water fountain in the world.

The Old Town & St Pierre Cathedral – Wander along the cobbled streets of the Old Town and visit the boutiques tucked away in the charming alleyways. Stop by the Romanesque Saint Pierre Cathedral, designed in the mid-12th century and took an additional 150 years to complete. For the best panoramic views of Geneva head for the Cathedral tower.

The United Nations – Take a tour of the United Nations, the world’s single largest conference center for multilateral diplomacy and top-level international politics. Visit one of the surrounding museums, including the Red Cross Museum or the Ariana Museum devoted solely to seven centuries of glass and ceramics from Europe and the East.

The Saleve – For a quick and easy escape to the countryside, ride the cable car to the top of this mini-mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city below and the Alps in the distance. The more adventurous can also sign up for a tandem parasail or paraglide flight.

Schtrumpfs building – Boris Chappuis, Branch Manager for BCD

Corporate Travel Geneva recommends a visit to one of Geneva’s more curious sites – the Schtrumpfs (the French word for “Smurfs”) building, which is located in the funky Les Grottes neighborhood. The area is a modern architectural landmark, designed by three architects determined to create the most unconventional building possible. The result is a Gaudi-style mix of colors and designs, which must be seen to be believed!

Geneva’s nightlife is unlikely to blow you away, but there are numerous bars and clubs around. The liveliest places are in Carouge – try Le Chat Noir one of the best jazz and blues club in Geneva. The city also has top-notch classical music and opera. Pick up a local guide to see what’s on.

Source by Mark Akemp

It is vitally important that we do not compromise the dental health of our family or ourselves in our quest to tighten our budgets during these rough economic times. Of course, that is easier said than done when insurance premiums are on a continual rise and it is already a challenge just to meet basic needs.So, with that said, is there really an affordable alternative to dental insurance that will give us access to low cost dental care? The answer is a resounding yes and is called a discount dental plan.

Joining a discount dental plan has many benefits with the greatest of these being the significant savings on all your dentist visits. With a plan there is no need to sacrifice dental health since membership fees start from just $79.95 per year. With dozens of different plans and more than 100,000 participating dentists you are able to customize your plan to suit your needs or the needs of your family. There are even select plans that give you discounts on vision, hearing, prescription and cosmetic dentistry.

As you know, dentists are expensive and if you need treatment the cost of dental work can easily exceed the $1000-$1500 annual maximum which dental policies provide. This is not the case with a discount dental plan as there are no yearly limitations-which means you can continually enjoy your dental plan benefits throughout the year regardless of the cost of dental work. If you do have dental insurance then you can always use the benefits from the dental plan to experience further savings or discount the balance that exceeds the annual maximum of your dental insurance.

As well, unlike dental insurance, pre-existing health conditions do not hinder your ability to start enjoying dental plan discounts. A dental plan is the embodiment of convenience as they involve instant online registration, immediate activation(within 3 business days) and are devoid of paperwork hassles. After registering, you are able to access your account and can immediately print out your membership card. Once completed, the only thing left to do is to book your dentist appointment and present them your dental membership card for on-the-spot discounts.

With discount dental plans there is no need to compromise the dental health of your family as they provide an affordable alternative to dental insurance. Why not check out their online database to see what is available in your area.Your solution to obtaining low cost dental care is one convenient click away.

Source by Dillain Berzowski

Summer time is a perfect period for you to try out new recipes, especially when you are at your vacations with hats, sunglasses, and straws- making it an ideal time for relaxation. For lots of people, summer is a time for vacation while for others its deadline, meetings, and laptops. Don’t stress yourself with the idea that you don’t have a plan for vacation this time. You can try these exotic and refreshing drinks which will give you a dream of your dream destination as well as will keep yourself. These drinks will keep you cool throughout the hot weather.

The next time when you feel like drinking some refreshing drink to keep yourself cool in the summer time and want to avoid those sugary drinks- try out these amazing healthy summer coolers recipes from around the world. Below is the list of recipes you should try. Some of the recipes include tea. Ensure that you only use luxury tea brands if possible to make these summer coolers tastier.

· Brazilian Lemonade

· Thai Iced Tea

· Jamaican- Hibiscus Ginger Punch

1. THE BRAZILIAN LEMONADE:

It is a classic summer combination of ice and citrus. When mixed together it gets a tropical spin, making a perfect unique drink to refresh your mood and experience the coasts of Brazil at your home. It is one of the conventional lemonade recipes which is made of condensed sweet milk. Brazil is known for lemons while limes are abundant. That is why it is no surprise that the Brazilian Lemonade is made of limes. If you are among one of those who is curious about the fact that the combination of condensed milk and lime is wrong. Then sip on this drink and you will get to know this recipe is perfect to refresh yourself this summer. It is a complete drink with a mix of tangy flavor, cream, and ice; balancing the mild sweetness of milk with an excellent complement drink for warm summer time.

Ingredients:

· 4 limes

· 1 cup powdered sugar

· 5 cups of cold water

· 5 teaspoons of condensed sweetened milk

Recipe:

Beat the sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and limes together into a jar. Now add water as much as you require until everything is well combined. Pour the mix into a glass through a strainer. Now add the remaining water. Stir and serve it with crushed ice.

2. THE THAI ICED TEA:

Are you dreaming of enjoying summer at the beach of Bangkok at stuck in the meeting at the boardroom? There is no reason to think before you sip on to the cherry Thai iced tea. There are few things in the world those are as good as ice tea. There are many luxury tea companies which offer high quality of Black tea. The Thai Iced tea is also known as ‘Cha yen’. It is one of the favorite drink in Thailand as it is made of black tea which gets it the orange color. Then tea brew is then infused with species like clove and star anise to give it a spiced warm aroma that helps in balancing the sweetness of the tea. Serve this tea in a tall glass along with a straw and enjoy your day.

Ingredients:

· 4 1/2 cups of warm water

· 4 tea bags of black tea

· 4 teaspoons of sugar

· 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk

· 1/4 cup of evaporated milk

Recipe:

The recipe for the Thai Iced tea is very simple and easy to make. Start with bringing the water to boil in order to brew the black tea. As the water is heated, add tea bags, cloves, and star anise and let it steep in the kettle for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not let the mixture sit for more than 10 minutes as the flavor can get strong in taste. Strain the mixture into a jar. Add sugar and mix until it gets dissolves completely.

Cool the drink to room temperature. Add ice in the jar. Pour the tea into glasses. Add a teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk into the glass and serve chilled.

3. JAMAICAN – HIBISCUS GINGER PUNCH

With every sip of Hibiscus Ginger drink, the life will seem to be a lot closer to Island with this coconut, refreshing, rice milk summer drink. The drink is Mexican and Latin American inspired as it is based on icy creamy rice drink- popular of all time. It is very famous drink, sold on the streets in carts or on taco stalls.

Ingredients:

· half cup of uncooked white rice

· 2 cups of boiling water

· 2/3 cup of sugar

· half cup grated coconut

· 2 cups of rice water

· ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

· ¼ teaspoon of powdered cinnamon

· Recipe:

In a blender, combine rice and coconut. Add 2 cups of boiling water and let it cool down for 15 minutes. Blend the mixture until a smooth mix is formed. Take a cheesecloth and strain the mixture into a pitcher. With the help of a black spoon, press the mixture to get the required liquid. Throw away the remaining components. Pour the drink into a glass and serve chilled.

We are sure that by now you must be feeling inspired. So, get creative and start thinking about creating your own special drink. Include some luxury tea brand in your recipes that go well along the wide range of flavors.

Source by Tanay Sharma

As St. Thomas is one of the top shopping and culture destinations in the Caribbean, few travelers are surprised to find that the island is home to a vibrant art gallery scene devoted to the work of both local and international artists. However, few travelers are aware that one of the most influential painters of the last two centuries worked extensively in St. Thomas. Camille Pissarro, one of the driving forces of the Impressionism, was born in St. Thomas and spent much of his youth documenting the island’s colonial life and tropical scenery. Today, in addition to the famous views and colonial charm of Charlotte Amalie, travelers can experience Pissarro’s groundbreaking work at one of St. Thomas’ top galleries – Gallery Camille Pissarro.

During the mid-19th century, St. Thomas was the most vibrant island in the Danish West Indies. As a result, daily life on the island – like many others in the region – was subject to a wide variety of influences, from European architecture and commercial efforts to native Caribbean traditions and African customs. Born in 1830 to a father of Sephardic Jewish descent and a Dominican mother, Camille Pissarro exemplified the Caribbean’s unique melting pot culture during the colonial period. The Pissarro family operated a dry goods store in the heart of Charlotte Amalie and lived above the business in a traditional European-style apartment that was modified with large windows and high ceilings to fit the Caribbean climate. The Pissarro’s dry goods store and residence, located at 14 Main Street in Charlotte Amalie, is now the home of Gallery Camille Pissarro.  

Camille Pissarro showed an interest in art from a young age, but the culture of St. Thomas did not fully influence his work until a visit to a Parisian boarding school. From the ages of 12 to 17, Pissarro cultivated his talents in France and, upon his pending return to the Caribbean, was advised by his mentors to draw what he observed on the island. In 1847, Pissarro returned to St. Thomas and began feverishly documenting the unique culture around him. The young artist created numerous paintings and drawings that showed everything from St. Thomas’ tropical wildlife and scenic shorelines to the bustling colonial ports and daily chores of the island’s Caribbean natives. The austere, but vibrantly gestural style developed by Pissarro while in St. Thomas would go on to guide not only the artist’s famous later work, but also the style adopted by Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne. Today, many of these remarkable early works are on display at Gallery Camille Pissarro.

Gallery Camille Pissarro, conveniently located in central Charlotte Amalie, is one of St. Thomas’ premier galleries and a great place to shop for locally-produced items. In addition to examples of Pissarro’s early paintings and drawings, the gallery also features works by a number of contemporary local artists, many inspired by both Pissarro’s vision and the vibrant culture of St. Thomas. Amongst the artists represented by Gallery Camille Pissarro are several painters and sculptors that have earned strong reputations, both in the artistic circles of St. Thomas and galleries throughout the world. These artists include contemporary Impressionist painter, Janine Wesselmann; local gouache painter, Sylvia Kahn; and renowned St. Thomas oil painter, Jan Dunn. The gallery also sells a wide variety of prints – including the work of Pissarro and local artists – small sculptures and Caribbean-influenced batik work.   

Gallery Camille Pissarro is open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Though the Caribbean boasts a rich artistic history and contemporary visual culture, few artists of Pissarro’s stature have worked in the region. As a result, Gallery Camille Pissarro stands as not only one of the best places to enjoy art in St. Thomas, but also one of the premier gallery destinations in the Caribbean. Visitors will be able to see the space where the Pissarro family lived and worked, the early works of a master who found inspiration in St. Thomas, and the creations of a new generation of artists. Upon seeing the works of Pissarro and the contemporary artists he inspired, you and your family may also uncover a greater appreciation of everything that makes St. Thomas one of the Caribbean’s top destinations.

Source by Justin Burch

No one could resist the hard-boiled penguins, the egg fish with fins of carrot, and the fish eggs spooned out to resemble the ship’s pool. Standing between Styrofoam busts of Napoleon and Josephine, the head chef, a Swede, nodded in response to innumerable compliments. His staff had succeeded in creating sculpture from food and in transforming the cruise ship’s dining room into a floating museum.

It was the fifth night of our European cruise-a gift from a generous parent- and we were accompanied by more than one thousand merchants who had received the trip as a business incentive. A queue of these passengers, many of whom wore formal attire, began to form by quarter past eleven, though the French doors would not swing open until midnight. Ushers informed them that during the first half hour of the midnight buffet the food was to be seen but not eaten. Inside, a windmill and a cannon fashioned from bread would greet them; so too would a Styrofoam Eiffel Tower and casually leaning Tower of Pisa. There would be vases carved from watermelon rind that resembled pieces of Venetian glass, game fowl carved from apples, Gaudí-inspired pastries, and numerous questions about the tools that had been used to craft the radish mice. It would be a sensorium of edible art, camera flashes, and compulsive eating; a race to consume,both visually and gustatorily, the icons of Europe and la bonne vie.Yet, embedded within this display of European taste and decorum, other flavors were also present. At both ends of the buffet, we detected a bovine presence – namely, matching cow and bull heads carved from butter and garlanded

with fruit and vegetable flowers. The Scandinavian cruise ship employed 720 people from over fifty countries, but we had learned that many of the hundreds of members of the kitchen staff hailed from the Indian subcontinent, particularly from Goanese Christian communities on India’s west coast. Though the waiters,servers, sommeliers, and assistants had been hired from port cities throughout Asia, South America, and the poorer countries of Europe, ethnic difference was either put on the proverbial back burner or rendered palatable. During dinner one night, for example, our Romanian waiter and his Indian assistant joined the rest of the kitchen staff to entertain the guests, singing a few lusty verses of “O Sole Mio” in English, in what was described as “fifty-two different accents.” Australian and British staff members, nevertheless, stood closest to the microphones.

Despite the multicultural character of the crew, the cruise catered primarily to travelers from the United States. The food presented at most dinners was pseudo-continental fare, tailored to North American palates and waistlines, complete with low-sodium minestrone and nonfat crème brûlées. One ship employee bore the lofty title of “foreign ambassador” and sat at a small, walnut-paneled table ringed with a United Nations of miniature flags. When we inquired what her job entailed, she answered that she assisted passengers who couldn’t understand English.

Even the waitstaff used English as a lingua franca; notwithstanding the occasional Indian film song sung under a waiter’s breath as a table was being set, no other language was heard during meals or in public spaces.Many members of the waitstaff were young, with lofty aspirations, which ranged from completing medical school to sending money home to relatives who were finishing other professional degrees. No country could tax the crew’s wages;once on board, they became citizens of the vessel. In exchange for months of

grueling hours, last-minute calls for overtime, and few moments of privacy in their shared rooms, the ship’s employees would receive free room and board and a healthy salary, though little free time to spend it. Crew members had few opportunities to leave the ship and indulge themselves; one such occasion did occur,though, when the ship arrived early in Barcelona. We invited our Romanian waiter to go dancing, and upon departure he was made to deposit his ship’s identification card as collateral with the only crew members obligated to remain on board-a core of Filipinos, the lowest group on the ship’s totem pole. The staff had no need of passports. The ship was their floating nation.

In struggling to define the style of art represented by the midnight buffet, one may be attracted to the notion of kitsch, yet absolutely no irony was evident in the display or reception of its edible sculptures. In fact, the midnight buffet may have more in common with the Dutch still life, especially seventeenth-century pronk paintings (“pronk” meaning “to show off”), which offered lavish displays of food to the viewer in order to “lubricate man’s gaze amid his domain.”1 In any case, the cow and bull heads require a different interpretation. Made from butter-which along with milk, urine, dung, and curds constitute the ritually pure and purifying “five products of the cow” for many Indians-these divinely garlanded bovine heads physically bracket the midnight buffet. While this may suggest the midnight buffet as a sanctified arena, such a reading could hardly have been anticipated for the predominately American passengers on the ship. Since these bovine heads were the only edible objects at the buffet that were never even tasted, their role was more performance than discourse, produced by and for the staff-perhaps in play but surely not in jest. Still, questions linger: To what extent does a visit to the midnight buffet, replete with its symbols of the cities that the ship had visited (or those that could and should be visited by a sister ship on the cruise line), constitute a visit to every site/sight in Europe worth eating? What are the logistics of such consumption by proxy? As an Indian parallel, consider the twelve jyotir lingas, or fiery phallus emblems of the god Shiva. Although these lingas of light are conventionally located in twelve different Indian cities, they have their counterparts in the city of Banaras so that by visiting the one, many locals claim, one can visit the other. Or better yet, as is inscribed on a souvenir plaque that contains representations of all twelve sites, a devotee can have darshan or an embodied visual engagement of all the jyotir lingas through darshan of this plaque. As one scholar has written, “the important thing about the location of these… is not that by being in one place they be visited more conveniently, but rather, by being in this one place, they need not be visited at all.”

Source by Pranay Deepak Rupani

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