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Comments Off on Be Amazed by Guided Tours of Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park

Be Amazed by Guided Tours of Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park

| Articles | January 31, 2008

If you’re a fan of national parks, consider a real adventure and take one of the guided tours available at Hawaii’s

Volcanoes National Park. It will provide you with one of the rare looks inside the inner workings of an actively erupting

volcano.

Clearly, Hawaii’s most active volcano is Kilauea. This small volcano has been actively erupting for several years now and

few guided tours of the Big Island of Hawaii will fail to take you to this fascinating place. In some cases, you can even

stay overnight there at the small hotel called the Volcano House.

Most guided tours will begin in the visitor’s center where you can see and hear about what’s currently going on with Kilauea,

including up to the minute information on what is happening now. Across the street is the Volcano House, which offers both

rooms to stay in and a restaurant overlooking Kilauea’s caldera.

It is often foggy or rainy in the area and most guided tours of the park will take that into account and provide you with

umbrellas. There are places near the visitor center where you can walk but, for the most part, you’ll need to drive. Near

the visitor center are several warm steam vents coming up from the earth and a vast plain, which is a sulfur field that you

can walk to.

The sulfur fields are smelly but quite beautiful. The sulfur is a bright yellow color and, in some situations, you will be

able to see the steam rising from the ground. Take home a piece of sulfur as a souvenir. Guided tours of the area will

explain for you exactly how these sulfur fields came to be.

Next, it’s time to get into a vehicle and travel around the caldera, a deep depression that marks the top of a major

eruption. Many guided tours will allow you to get out and take some pictures and most will take you to the observatory

about halfway around the circular caldera so you can get the broadest view of the area.

Toward the end of your tour around the caldera, most guided tours will let you get out and walk the amazing lava fields,

representing areas of recent eruptions that are as desolate as the moon and covered in black lava. Some of the lava is

ropy and smooth and is called pahoehoe lava. The pricklier lava is called a’a lava and you’ll see that type, too.

Comprehensive guided tours of the Volcanoes National Park will take you to the Thurston Lava Tube-a tube created by flowing

and cooling lava that has been cleaned out for visitors to actually walk through. Located among the rain forest area of

the island, the lava tube is both interesting and beautiful.

The highlight of most guided tours of the park is a trip to where the volcano is currently erupting. At the end of a

winding road, visitors will be surprised that the road simply quits due to recent lava flows. You can walk along areas

of land that didn’t exist even five years ago. If you go toward evening, you’ll begin to see areas of glowing where lava

is bubbling out of the ridge next to the lava field and rangers have a telescope so you can see it up close. They don’t

recommend that visitors get close to the unpredictable lava, nor can one go too close to the ocean shelf as it has been

known to break off unexpectedly.

In the end, many guided tours of Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park will offer you an experience you will never forget.

You’ll learn a lot about volcanoes and see some amazing scenery.

Comments Off on A Healthy World: International Trends in Organic Farming

A Healthy World: International Trends in Organic Farming

| Articles | January 30, 2008

There has been much talk in recent years about the global environment and what issues have developed since the bulk of

farming is conventional farming instead of the more traditional organic farming. Conventional farming allows for the use

of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides-some of which has been found to harm the environment, even

when used correctly.

Countries throughout the world are, to varying degrees, exploring organic farming techniques as environmentally-friendly

ways to grow produce for the world’s population while keeping the environment as healthy as possible. Organic farming, as

we know it today, began in Central Europe and in India. Today, there are many countries dedicated to growing produce using

organic techniques without reducing the world’s food supply.

In the US, organic food can be formally certified “organic” by passing strict guidelines assuring the food is truly organic.

The certifying organization is known as the “National Organic Program”.

There are other organic food movements in the US, however, that are trying to bypass the formality of certification by

proposing other, less expensive standards, like the “Authentic Food Standard”. This standard allows for the passage of

various criteria, including that all foods be sold by the organic producer, that fresh produce, milk, eggs and meat be sold

within 50 miles of their production and that cheese, wine, bread and other fermented products be produced using traditional

methods.

Another US-based organic food approach is based on producing and selling organic food products locally. Consumers partner

with local farmers and pre-purchase a certain percentage of the year’s harvest. Supporters believe that locally-produced

and sold organic foods taste better than those foods transported over long distances in refrigerated trucks.

Throughout the world, food that is grown using strictly organic techniques accounts for approximately 1-2 percent of gross

food sales. Organic food sales, however, are growing dramatically worldwide. In fact, the world organic food market has

been growing consistently since 1990 at a rate of 20 percent per year.

In the European Union, the EU-Eco-regulation organization regulates all of the organic food in Europe. In Austria, organic

farmers have been given incentives and experts expect that up to 10% of all foods grown locally. In Germany, almost all

baby food is completely organic and, in some places, up to a third of all bread is baked using organic ingredients.

Italy has gone even further to assure that its children eat organic food. Its government has legislated that, as of 2005,

all food prepared in school lunch programs must be organic food.

In the UK, it was reported that more than 600,000 hectares of land was allotted and managed under organic care standards

and sales of organic foods increased from approximately 100 million pounds to over 1.2 billion pounds in only ten years.

Perhaps the biggest change has happened in Cuba, where, in 1990, the government banned many chemicals used in conventional

farming and converted the land in the entire country to organic farm land. This means that it would be rare to even find a

piece of conventionally grown produce within the country.

Clearly the globe is going organic and several countries are light years ahead of the US in promoting organic eating and

providing incentives to organic farmers. The trend, however, is definitely headed in the right direction.

Comments Off on 12 Nursery setup

12 Nursery setup

| Articles | January 29, 2008

The most important part of any nursery is the crib. You want to make it safe and cozy. No matter what type of crib you get, make sure it conforms to all safety guidelines and standards. Make sure the crib mattress fits snugly against the rails, so the baby can’t get wedged between them. You also want to be sure the crib sheet fits snug and tight, nothing loose or bunched up.

Until the baby is at least a year old, you don’t want to use sheets or blankets. A comforter or quilt should be for decoration only in that first year. Make sure the baby’s sleepwear is clean and soft and appropriate for her age and for the weather. You don’t want them too warm or too light, as babies can’t regulate their own body temperatures at first.

The only crib accessory that you want inside the crib when the baby’s sleeping is perhaps a small, foam wedge that you can use to keep the baby from rolling on her stomach. Sleeping on her back or on her side is the position many experts recommend at first.

The sheets should always be fresh and clean; use unscented detergent in case your baby’s sensitive to fragrances.

Keep the room dust-free and the space underneath the crib clutter-free, so it won’t accumulate dust. If your baby’s sensitive to dust, you don’t want to trigger a bout of sneezing and a runny nose at bedtime or naptime.

Make the room and bed sheeting colors soft and restful. Too much color and contrast will stimulate the baby’s vision and keep her alert, just when you want her to wind down for bedtime or a nap. The baby’s room and crib should be soft and inviting places to be. She has busy days – there’s so much to learn and do! The crib needs to be a place that’s calm and restful for her.

Comments Off on 12 COMMANDMENTS FOR PARENTS

12 COMMANDMENTS FOR PARENTS

| Articles | January 27, 2008

In a child’s education an important factor is the parents’ expertise for this “job”. No one is born holding all the knowledge, but we can learn and understand some things from books or advice from qualified persons.

Amongst the commandments a parent should strictly follow are the following:

1. Do not underestimate your child – he can understand more than you think he does and if you make him believe you think poorly of him this might affect his development.

2. Don’t use threat – a child loves a challenge and once threatened he might probably go on and do what he wasn’t suppose to just to see if he can escape the punishment.

3. Do not bribe your child – if you are trying to get him to learn for money for example, he will fail to understand the importance of learning, all he will get from this is the importance of money.

4. Do not make a small child promise something – small children can’t hold promises so don’t force them to lie and then punish them because they did that.

5. Do not keep them under a short leash – to grow up normally children need some space, some freedom.

6. Do not use big words or too many words when you are talking to your child – keep your ideas simple and concise so he can understand every thing you have to say.

7. Do not expect an immediate and blind obedience – it is not recommended, the child has to be learned to think for his own not to follow orders.

8. Do not indulge him too mush – he can develop compartmental disorders.

9. Do not compromise when it comes to the rules of a game – the trick for a game to become educative is too have its initial rules respected.

10. Don’t impose rules that don’t go with the age of your child.

11. Do not try to inflict quilt – quilt is not an appropriate feeling for children, especially if they are little.

12. Don’t give your child orders that you don’t take seriously – your child will try to please you and giving him an order is drastic, and it becomes cruel if that order is a joke.

All these “commandments” are addressed first to the parent. But they are to be referred to by teachers and educators as well. Along with the parents, they will settle upon an attitude and strategy for the education and growth of the child, so that they can give him all the things he needs to properly develop emotional and physically.

Comments Off on 12 – Raw nourishment

12 – Raw nourishment

| Articles | January 26, 2008

You might agree on an intellectual level that eating raw foods is a good idea. But does the thought of abandoning a lifetime of eating habits for the sake of what seems like a good idea seem like more than you can do?

So don’t! That’s silly and the surest way to guarantee you won’t even give a raw foods diet a fighting chance. “Everything in moderation” and we think that applies to even the healthiest notions. It’s not healthy if you won’t do it!

Don’t think of trying a raw foods diet as taking anything AWAY. Try adding them in. We think if you add in things like raw vegetables, sprouts, fruits and juices, you won’t be as hungry and when you’re not hungry, you won’t give into impulsive eating. If you want that steak, or even a McDonald’s hamburger, plan for it and enjoy it. Once you start eating raw foods though, and notice how good you feel on them and how much more energy you have, that hamburger just won’t look as good to you.

You do want to be sure though, that you’re getting enough of the right kinds of nutrition. Eating raw foods doesn’t mean eating only the raw foods you like. Watermelon is good for you, but it’s not enough. The same with most foods. You’ll need to do a little research into which raw foods have the essential proteins, or what combinations of food you need to eat to get enough protein. Raw food eating is intended to nourish your body in a completely different way, but just being raw isn’t enough. You want to do this to be in balance, and you need to balance the raw foods you’re eating for proper nutrition.

One way to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients is to incorporate a new vegetable every week. Buy something you have never heard of, like a “leek”, or “swiss chard.” You will find a whole new world of tastes and textures open up to you. You will feel more and more deterred by fast food. I guarantee it.

Comments Off on Is That for Real? Fake Artifacts and the Truth

Is That for Real? Fake Artifacts and the Truth

| Articles | January 25, 2008

People love to collect things: especially artifacts and other collectibles that they deem to either have personal or monetary

value. Unfortunately, with the growth of this popular pastime comes the people who are out to take advantage of these people

who wish to purchase artifacts for their collections.

These crooks only want to defraud the innocent people of their money while preying on their desire to have something unique

and original. Until these people are all caught, it will continue. However, the sad fact is that there will continue to be

sideways crooks that will prey on unsuspecting people until the end of time.

So, if you are a collector, take note. If you are looking to purchase any sort of collectable from someone who claims to

have something original, make sure you take the time to research the claim before you shell out your hard earned cash.

How can you be prepared to avoid crooks? Well, it surely is not easy, but here are a few steps you can follow to try to

protect yourself, your interests and most of all, your cash:

* Only buy from a reputable antiques or collectables dealer. These people will have references and contacts in the industry

that will prove that they have the goods

* Never buy from someone who approaches you about buying something unique or rare. Most times these people are trying to

take advantage of your interest. Instead, only buy things you have had the time to research in advance.

* Go with your gut, if you look at something and it seems too good to be true, it of course probably is just that.

* Do not let your excitement get in the way of your good judgment. You may be excited at the prospect of purchasing a

unique artifact, but do not let that cloud your good judgment and make sure you research your purchase before buying,

by confirming on historical records, etc.

* Develop relationships with your dealers and buyers. That way you will build trust and you can be assured that you will

be able to trust these people and know that what they are saying is the truth.

There may come a time when you do get bilked out of your cash and end up losing some of it due to a bad business deal. Do

not dwell on that, it can happen to even the savviest of collectors. Instead, brush it off to a hard lesson learned and

then get up and try again. You will no doubt have the opportunity to purchase many find artifacts and collectables in

your life. Some will be amazing, some not so much. In the end you will have a great collection of artifacts that will make

you proud to show off to your friends and family. It will take some time to assemble this amazing collection, but once you

do, you will be amazed at the satisfaction you get from it.

Comments Off on Help Your Child Build Skills During the Summer Months with Continuing Education

Help Your Child Build Skills During the Summer Months with Continuing Education

| Articles | January 23, 2008

Summer is fully underway and your school-aged child is busy with his daily regimen of playing video games and eating chips

all day while you go to work. Hard life huh? Well, you do not have to let your child simply sit around the house all summer

and forget all of the important facts he learned during the previous school year.

You can enroll your child in on of the countless continuing education programs out there today for young children and help

him mold his brain while school is out of session. He may be upset with you for making him go to school while his friends

are out playing, but he will thank you later on for how ahead it put him in the education game.

Many churches offer summer bible camps that allow students the opportunity for continuing education on their religion. Or,

there are also countless summer camps that you can enroll your child in to give them the opportunity to learn more about

building important life skills while meeting and reconnecting with kids his own age.

You are also sure to find continuing education programs put on by the local school districts, art centers, science centers

or language programs. For example, you could enroll your child in an intensive Spanish language course to help him learn

the language before taking the class this fall in school.

If your child is a budding artist, enroll him in a continuing education art class where he can hone his inner Van Gogh and

channel his energy into something other than video games and candy. Better yet, if your child thinks he is the next Einstein,

enroll him in a chemistry continuing education class where he can practice the latest experiments under the close supervision

of a real life scientist.

The opportunities to engage your child in education and positive activities during the summer is endless, as long as your

child is a willing participant. If he is adamant that he does not want to participate in anything that does not involve

sitting on the couch or lounging by the pool, let him know that his choices now will affect everything in his future life:

from his future allowance increases to the colleges he can choose from in the future.

He may not react to the college part now, depending on his age, but he will most likely recognize the importance of his

decisions when his allowance is involved! You can use this as a powerful bargaining chip when discussing summer continuing

education options.

This will pay off for you in the future. Your child will no doubt come to you one day and thank you for the extra push you

gave him on his educational path. He will understand how important it was when he realizes how far ahead of his peers he is

and how many more options he will have in his life resulting from the summer continuing education classes he had to take.

So pull him off the couch and into the world of education!

Comments Off on Paradise Found: Guided Tours of Hawaii’s Big Island

Paradise Found: Guided Tours of Hawaii’s Big Island

| Articles | January 23, 2008

The Big Island of Hawaii is one of the most picturesque and unique islands in the Hawaiian Island chain. Because it is so

big, however, many visitors take guided tours of the island in order to see as much of its fantastic sites as possible. It

could easily become a trip you’ll take over and over again.

Begin your trip in Kailua-Kona on the western side of the island. In fact, many guided tours will have you stay the whole

time there and use day excursions to allow you to see the rest of the island. Kona itself is a quaint little village in

which you can enjoy a luau, fine dining, a picnic on the grass by the ocean and many small shops located along Ali’i Drive

in downtown Kona.

Adventurous guided tours of the Big Island will take you on saddle road, preferably in a four-wheel drive vehicle. It’s a

desolate road with many twists and turns; the volcanoes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa will flank you on either side. Your

first stop, if you’re feeling brave, is Mauna Kea itself.

Most guided tours of the Big Island will discourage you from taking the trip up Mauna Kea alone as rental cars often can’t

handle it. Instead, let them use their own vehicle to take up, back and forth along switch back roads for nearly an hour,

until you arrive at a small museum at about 9,000 feet that will give you information about the observatories on the volcano.

Many guided tours of Mauna Kea won’t stop there, however. You’ll continue up until you reach approximately 13,000 feet.

In the winter, there may be snow on the ground and driving can be tricky. At the top, however, is a breathtaking view of

the entire island and you’ll find that the clouds are below you. The telescopes and observatories stand out like shining

globes on the otherwise desolate landscape.

After you descend the volcano, many guided tours will continue along Saddle Road and allow you to grab lunch at a restaurant

in the city of Hilo, on the eastern side of the island. There is shopping, and even a shopping mall, for those who want to

grab some souvenirs.

After lunch, guided tours of the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens are available. Set near the shoreline in a jungle-like

atmosphere, your guide will show you some of the rarest plants in the world. Walk among the creeks and waterfalls and

enjoy the lush beauty of the place.

By far and away, most guided tours of the Big Island will not go back the way you came and will take you along the Hamakua

coastline, a magnificent area where drivers drive on switch back roads through lush gorges and small villages. Waterfalls

and creeks are everywhere and you’re not far from the ocean.

Lucky travelers will stop along the way and take one of the guided tours of the Waipio Valley, also called the Valley of

the Kings. You’ll take a rugged vehicle down inside the valley and enjoy taro fields, a wild view of the ocean and will

see glimpses of the wild horses living in the valley. Bring your camera as the views are wonderful.

On your way back to Kailua-Kona, you’ll go through Waimea, the “cowboy area” of the Big Island. Some guided tours will let

you stop at one of several places where you can ride on horseback and you’ll see many ranches in the area. Enjoy the ride

and head back to your hotel in Kailua-Kona.

Comments Off on Decades of Change: The History of Organic Farming

Decades of Change: The History of Organic Farming

| Articles | January 22, 2008

Fifteen years ago, you may have had a hard time finding an organic tomato in your local supermarket. Due to recent farming

advances and public awareness, however, consumers can find a host of organic products in supermarket shelves and in the

produce section of grocery stores across America. How did we come to the point we’re at today and when did buying produce

become so complicated.

In truth, it’s the type of farming in which farmers use artificial pesticides, herbicides and other conventional farming

techniques that is really historically new to us. Before 1940, much of the produce grown and eaten in American homes was

totally organic and was often picked no further than one’s own backyard.

The use of chemical additives and even farm implements we see today gradually found its way into farming in the first half

of the Twentieth Century. In 1950, there were three million tractors in the US, up from 600 tractors in 1910. At about

the same time, proponents of organic farming techniques began to practice their trade, beginning in Central Europe and India

around 1920.

Organic farming methods began to reach consumer awareness, beginning in the 1950s and, in the following two decades, there

was an increasing concern about the environmental effects of farming techniques using chemical pesticides and herbicides.

This was when food-purchasing cooperatives and specialized organic food producers came to the forefront among some consumers.

In the 1970s and 1980s, regulators recognized a growing need for some way to provide organic certification to those farmers

who followed specific growing rules and who used approved growing techniques. It wasn’t, however, until the 1990s that the

formal or governmental certification of organic foods became available in the US and in several countries throughout the

world.

In the last two decades, the availability of organic foods on the market grew dramatically and, at one point, the surge of

growth of the organic food market exceeded twenty percent per year. In fact, the sales of organic baby food increased by

almost twenty-two percent in 2006 alone.

In the last five to seven years, multinational food companies have jumped on the organic food bandwagon and have increased

their research and development of foods that could be certified organic. This has led to an increase in the availability

of processed organic foods and in the lowering of the cost of these types of products.

In today’s time, organic foods continue to be more expensive than their conventional counterparts, in part due to the fact

that organic farmers must meet stricter quality guidelines. This is a labor intensive process that drives up the costs of

the product.

To meet consumer demand, supermarkets strictly devoted to providing organic foods, such as the Whole Foods Market and

Waitrose (in the UK), have gone into business and are providing quality organic foods to consumers. In order to provide

organic foods to a larger population, Wal-Mart announced its plans to increase the availability of organic foods to its

customers and at a lower cost than the supermarkets.

It appears that, almost as soon as the big farmers began putting synthetic pesticides and herbicides on their crops, a

backlash developed and a group of dedicated farmers and consumers worked-and continue to work-toward improving the

availability and quality of organic foods for those food consumers who can’t grow an organic produce garden in their

own backyard.

Comments Off on 11 Nursery decor

11 Nursery decor

| Articles | January 21, 2008

There’s nothing more wonderful than planning the nursery for your new baby. If you’ve decided to find out the gender of your baby, you can have the room all ready for him or her when you come home from the hospital.

What kinds of things do you need to create a safe haven and optimal sleep environment?

The trend for awhile was to have bright, stimulating colors in the nursery or mobiles in black and white to help the baby’s eyes develop. This faded from popularity pretty quickly as parents found out all that trendy stuff wasn’t conducive to sleep!

Make sure your crib conforms to all the guidelines for safety and that you have a good, firm mattress. Keep to softer pastel colors – blues, greens, pinks and yellows. Any color you like is good, although some, like blues and greens, are more restful.

Make sure the bedding and the entire room is clean and fresh. Until your baby is at least a year old, a quilt or comforter should be for decoration only. You can buy specially made quilt clips to hang it on a wall. Your baby’s bed needs to be unobstructed by blankets, pillows or sheets, so that her face is clear at all times and there’s no danger of obstructing her breathing. You might want to have a small foam wedge that’s positioned to keep the baby from rolling on her stomach. You should also keep stuffed animals or other toys out of the crib until the baby’s older. In addition, you may want to purchase a baby monitor to hear your baby throughout the night. These days, some monitors actually show your baby on a screen or video, amazing!

Make the room a pleasant one. If you use a scent, like lavender, keep it light. Nothing overpowering. Keep it as dust-free as possible to avoid sneezing and stuffy noses. The nursery should feel like a safe and cozy place that your baby associates with restfulness and security.

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