Monthly Archives

October 2017

Travel

Does the Blue Hole of Belize Hold the Answer to What Happened to The Mayans?

October 31, 2017

It is not very often that a new scientific discovery provides possible answers to a mystery that has been puzzling historians for centuries. However, a recent analysis of the Blue Hole of Belize may well have done just that.

The Disappearance of The Mayans

The ancient civilization known as the Mayans are thought to have been one of the most advanced of their age. They had an impressive knowledge of things like astronomy, architecture, and agriculture. The Mayans returned to fame a few years ago, as some believed the end of the Mayan calendar prophesized the end of the world in 2012. Fortunately for us, either the Mayans were wrong, or their Doomsday Prophesy was misinterpreted, as life went on!

The Mayan civilization began around 2,000 BC, but then almost 3,000 years later, somewhere between 800 and 900 AD, the Mayans died out.

Clues to The Mayan Mystery Found by Researchers in Belize

There is no historical evidence of a war or conquest destroying the Mayans; they simply vanished. This is something that has been a mystery ever since. Now, over 1,000 years after their demise, researchers believe they may have an answer, according to a fascinating story published by Wall Street OTC.

While still just a theory, it comes from a careful analysis of the 400 feet deep, 1,000 feet wide Blue Hole of Belize.

Were the Mayans Forced Away by Drought?

By studying minerals taken from the bed of the Blue Hole and nearby lagoons, the research team, which included people from several universities working together on the project, discovered that there was a significant difference in the ration of aluminum and titanium around the time the Mayans disappeared.

What they believe this indicates is that there was a significant period of drought, which may have forced the Mayans to adopt a more Nomadic lifestyle and move further north.

Essentially, the drought could have been the result of an unusual weather phenomenon that caused normal monsoons to bypass the Yucatan region during that period.

As advanced as the Mayans were, like any early civilization they depended on rainfall and access to fresh water in order to grow their crops. A sustained period of intense drought could well have been enough of a disaster to cause their population to abandon their homes in search of a better climate.

According to one of the study’s members, Andre Droxler, the information gleaned from analysis of the Blue Hole of Belize also indicated that the drought did eventually end, with seasonal rains returning to the region. However, by this time the Mayans had gone.

While this is just one theory as to why the Mayans disappeared, it has drawn some interest in the scientific community. It also carries some weight, as a drought would have been impossible for a civilization of their type to endure for very long. We may never know exactly what happened to them, but this is a fascinating hypothesis!

Lifestyle

Personalized gifts for the man in your life

October 30, 2017

The daylight hours are decreasing, Halloween is upon us and the shops are gearing up for Christmas. Without wishing to stereotype, there is no denying that the toughest part of Christmas shopping can be finding the perfect gift for the menfolk in your life – be it your partner, son, father, brother or just a friend from work.

There is truth in the saying that it is the thought that counts, and while there is nothing wrong with simply buying the latest book or one of those handy gift sets that you will see filling the shelves in every store, it can feel like the easy way to simply “tick someone off the list.” A personalized gift, however, is truly unique and provides something that will be treasured for years to come.

Here we look at some personalised ideas to show the man in your life that you care and have put some genuine thought into his gift. Of course, they could also provide just the inspiration you need for birthdays, or just for that special surprise.

Whisky and glasses

One of the staples when it comes to gifting is to buy a bottle of his favourite tipple. This seems particularly to be the case with dads and grandads – how many of us have ended up thinking we will get him a bottle of whisky or rum, because at least we know that’s something he likes?

There’s nothing wrong with that logic, but it can seem a little impersonal, particularly if it is just something you have bought him in the supermarket while doing your grocery shopping. Why not add the personal touch with some personalized whisky glasses? He’ll remember your gift with a smile every time he pours himself a nightcap!

Wallet

Many women love shopping for purses and handbags, but when it comes to the guys, they will keep using that old wallet till it literally disintegrates. A personalized leather wallet is the perfect gift for any man, and you can find something for any budget, from less than £20 on sites like Amazon to more than £100 for a designer brand.

PJs

Of course, whisky glasses and wallets are fine for the older male, but what about the youngsters? There is a growing trend towards personalized pyjamas, which can be a great way to make bedtime fun. Many online retailers list them, and you can even get matching sets in child and adult sizes – novel stocking fillers for father and son!

Cufflinks

Class, style and the personal touch. No wonder that despite buttons being far less hassle, double cuff shirts are still popular. You can buy personalized cufflinks from a wide range of outlets, and the great thing is that a man can never have too many. Why not go the whole hog and get him a matching tie bar to go with them?

Personalize to perfection

Personalization is the perfect way to show you have put real thought into your gift, and to present the man in your life with something that won’t be gone and forgotten with the Christmas decorations but will be treasured for years to come.

Lifestyle

The Most Popular Massage Types: Which One’s Right for You?

October 30, 2017

Whether you are a working professional or a student, stress will inevitably find its way into your life as you work tirelessly through the week. If we do not manage that stress in time, it can destroy our health beyond repair. This is why massage sessions are more than just a luxury; they are an effective and necessary tool for relaxation and stress release. If you are new to massage therapy or if you have never tried too many variations, check out the list below to see what you can try on your next session.

Swedish Massage

This is the default massage that you generally get at a massage centre and it’s based on actual scientific knowledge of the human anatomy. After applying the oil or lotion of choice, the massage therapist starts with broad strokes and then locates and addresses specific points of stress or previous injury. The full body massage involves multiple broad and fine strokes, but they can be categorized in five primary strokes as mentioned below.

  • Effleurage
  • Friction
  • Vibration
  • Tapotement
  • Petrissage

Swedish massage is perfect for general stress busting, relaxation, and injury recovery.

Aromatherapy or Essential Massage

When a Swedish massage is performed on a client after applying essential oils along with the massage oil, it’s called aromatherapy or an essential oil massage. Essential oils generally used in aromatherapy include geranium, lavender, jasmine, rose, citronella, lemongrass, petitgrain, sweet orange, tangerine, bergamot, lemon, and cinnamon to name a few. In addition to being good for recovery and the treatment of chronic back pain, the scents from healing oils are also excellent for stress busting, mood lifting, and energizing. When done properly, an essential oil massage therapy can even have a positive impact on sleep, digestion, migraines, and premenstrual symptoms.

Deep Tissue Massage

If you are suffering from a sports injury (tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome, for example), postural issues or symptoms of osteoarthritis, this is what you should go for. Expert therapists use their knowledge and experience to address adhesions (knots in the muscle) with slow, careful strokes. The strokes reach deep into the very grain of the muscle and release the knots. Do note that while performing a deep tissue massage, the therapist will have to apply a good deal of pressure on your body, so it won’t exactly feel like a Swedish massage, but the result can be very satisfying when done right.

Thai Massage

You have probably heard about this one multiple times already and for good reason. Thai massage is one of the most common types of massages out there and it combines a few principles together to provide relief against muscle tightness, stress, and back pain. Aside from pressing movements for the actual massage, there are elements of yoga and passive stretching involved as well.

While these are only a few of the popular ones, there are, of course, other variations. At the Heaven and Earth Massage Centre, you will find experts that are not only adept at the most popular forms of massage but also certain rarer disciplines of massage therapy, such as the crystal healing massage, which relaxes the body and invigorates the spirit.

It is widely believed that some types of massage are quite a spiritual experience as well as a physical one, but that aside, just the relaxation and the pain relief alone is worth going for a weekly session.

Lifestyle

Three Ways to Better Your Chances of Getting an Athletic Scholarship

October 22, 2017

Are you hoping to get an athletic scholarship in the near future?  If so, there are some things that you can do to better your chances.  Athletic scholarship can be hard to come by and even harder to secure, so you will need all the help you can get.  Today, we are going to learn some tips that will get you started in the right direction.

Don’t Forget About Your Grades

While you may be a star on the court, if your grades don’t match your performance, you may get overlooked or turned down for an athletic scholarship.  So always make sure that you do your work and hand it in on time.  But some students need more help with their subjects.  If you find a subject hard to understand, you may need to find a tutor to help you.  Tutors can give you the one-on-one help that you need to get back on track.  

Get Your Name Out There

A great way to grab the attention of college coaches and scouts is to get on YouTube.  Many of these people search the internet and YouTube for potential talent.  So if you have some highlights of your games, then why not put them on the internet?  This is a great way to get noticed and you just might be receiving an email from one of the colleges on your list.  Social media is another way to get noticed, so make sure that you share some of your highlights on there as well.  The internet is a powerful tool that you can use to your advantage.  

Visit Colleges in Person

Instead of looking at a college online or sending for information, go there in person.  This will show that you are serious about attending the school and you will get to meet some of the staff including those in-charge of sports programs.  Once you are on their radar, your chances of being offered an athletic scholarship is much better!  Additionally, this will give you a chance to get a feel for the school to see if it fits you.  Many students fail to do so and find out the hard way that the college they are attending isn’t one they enjoy going to.  Visiting the school will also give your parents peace of mind knowing that the college their child is going to attend is a good place to be.  

These tips can give you a better chance of securing an athletic scholarship.  Remember that you should not wait to get noticed.  Getting some of your highlights on YouTube and social media will better your chances.  If you are having a difficult time in school, you may want to consider hiring a tutor to help you bring up your grades.  Finally, go visit each college you are interested in attending in person.  This will help you get a feel for the school and meet some of the staff which could include some of those in-charge of the sports program.  

Lifestyle

4 Wedding Favours Your Guest Will Actually Like

October 19, 2017

We’ve all been there. You attend a wedding and conveniently forget to take home a favour because, well, you were never that into them to begin with.  To make sure your wedding guests do not do exactly the same thing, and waste the money you have spent on them, be sure to invest in something that they will actually want.

Here are four favour ideas that we have found to be well-received by wedding guests.

  1.  Anything edible

Quality should be the priority here. You might want to go for traditional Italian wedding favours, such as sugared almonds, or you might opt for something different. Either way, you can’t go wrong providing your guests with something to snack on later that night or in the morning. If you are planning on buying cheap confectionary just for the sake of having a favour, it is best not to bother at all.

  1.  Alcohol

You can’t go wrong providing a mini champagne bottle or a miniature of your favourite booze to your wedding guests. You could even go a step further and provide his and her options so guests can choose their preferred tipple.

  1.  Mini plants

A potted succulent or hanging terrarium would make an ideal wedding favour. People are always looking for little things to add a little character to their homes, and mini plants fit the bill perfectly. This is one of the few wedding favours that will actually last.

  1. Something local to the area

If you are hosting a destination wedding, it can be a nice touch to give your guests something they would not be able to find elsewhere; a souvenir, a taste of the local culture. As an example, a wedding we attended last year provided jam jars in a flavour that was native to the local area.

Lifestyle

Reasons Why Going to A Concert Alone Can Be Amazing

October 19, 2017

So, say your favorite band comes into town. They’re playing a big show not far from you, and (lucky you), you haven’t got anything on that night. Great! You immediately start to ask around to see which of your friends would be interested in going with you- but disaster. Either they’re busy, they don’t like the band, or they just don’t feel like it that night for whatever reason. Whatever reason they give, it leaves you without a single buddy to share your experience with. So, what do you do? Stay at home, knowing that you’re missing out on hearing some of your favorite songs being played in your own town? Absolutely not. Going to a concert alone can prove to be an extremely fun and rewarding experience, and here are just a few of the reasons why.

Flexibility

Being freed up from your friends means being freed up from all the hassle that comes with them, too. Once you’ve checked the upcoming concerts in your area and one has caught your eye, all you must do is worry about yourself. You don’t have to keep hassling people to buy their tickets. You don’t have to plan around others’ schedules, which can be hectic and quite inconvenient, especially if there’s a large group of you all going. Plus, and this is particularly annoying once you get into the concert, what if you all get separated in the crowd? How will you know how to find each other? If you attend alone, all you’ve got to concern yourself with is getting as close to the stage as possible, and trying to meet the lead singer’s eye.

Character-building

Once you’re at a concert, you immediately know that everyone else there shares a common interest: the music. The fans’ interest is not just going to be a fleeting or minor one either; the dedication to the band means that they’ve paid to come and see them play live, just like you have. You already share a deep common connection with absolutely every single person in the venue, so if you want to strike up a conversation it shouldn’t be easier. Discuss your favorite songs, what you hope they’ll play, your favorite album cover, and other bands you like that are similar- there really shouldn’t be much opportunity for dead air.

It’s a Solitary Experience Anyway

Sure, you can chat to your friends for a bit before the show starts, and you can go and grab a beer or bite to eat afterwards, but for the duration of the time that the music is playing, you’re going to be totally focused on the band, and lost within the crowd. That experience is, essentially, a solitary one- you’re going to enjoy it just as much whether you came with a dozen people or you came on your own. So, really, you shouldn’t feel at all self-conscious about heading to a concert solo. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of a memorable live experience which, when it comes right down it, is going to be pretty much identical whether you have friends at your side or not.

Lifestyle

Tops Tips on Saving Money as Your Family Grows

October 19, 2017

For many families, trying to manage a budget is one of the most difficult and time-consuming jobs. Not only do they have to make sure that there is enough food for everyone at all times, but they also need to ensure all the bills are paid and that there is enough left for traveling to work and other expenses. With all the financial pressures on families, any little tricks or tips that can be used to save a little money are a good idea. Here are some of the ways your family can save money while still paying the bills.

Make Saving Money a Game

When you start talking to children about saving money, sometimes they won’t understand, or they won’t want to listen. That is why it’s important to try and make saving money a game for them. Encourage them to try and save money by switching off lights or closing doors to keep the heat inside. You can offer a reward each week to the one who’s done the best. A little competition will also help them to respond better.

Intelligent Food Shopping

Just because you may have a big family, doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money on your shopping each month. There are many ways that you can save money by trying to do your shopping more thoughtfully. Try to choose foods that are on offer so that it reduces the cost. Think about cheaper alternatives to your regular food – you don’t have to have the budget option, but sometimes there is a middle of the road brand that is cheaper. If you see multi-buy options that can be stored, then consider buying them so that you can save money in the future.

Save Money on Loans

Although you have to pay your loans, there are ways that you can make things a little easier for your family. Consider swapping credit cards to a cheaper alternative so that the interest is lower on the repayments. You can also try to refinance auto loan on your car; this will also give you lower interest rates and lower your payments. By saving money on your loans, you can move it to other areas of the household or save it for an unexpected bill.

Grow Your Own Food

A good way to save money and be healthier is to start growing your own fruit and vegetables. Most are fairly easy to grow as long as you have enough room in your garden and you can keep the pests at bay. You’ll get more yield from your garden for the amount you spend then you will see in the stores, and you can grow it organically.

By doing a few of these ideas, you can quickly start to reduce your outgoings and help with other areas of the house. It might allow you the money to fix the roof on your home, or finish with any other jobs that you’ve been waiting to be able to afford to take care of.

Lifestyle

How to Talk About Death with Kids

October 19, 2017

Finding the right way to discuss death and loss with your kids can be a concern for most parents; therefore, many tend to avoid the subject. Death is a part of life, and as a parent, it remains our responsibility to ensure that our kids are aware of it and know that it’s okay to discuss it. Allowing children to talk about death means that we can provide them with the information and answers that they need prepare them in case of the loss of a family member and comfort them when they are upset. It’s important to make it easier for them to talk to us, if we remain open and comfortable with our own feelings.

A part of life

Death is a part of life on many different levels. In fact, you might even be surprised at how much your kids already know and understand about death. Your kids are sure to have seen dead insects, dead animals or birds on the road or maybe have even experienced the loss of a family pet. Don’t forget that kids will read about death in books, experience it in movies or cartoons, and even discuss or act out death during role-playing with friends or their own toys.

However, it’s important to remember that kids develop at different rates and have their own personal ways of dealing with emotions and feelings. It can be particularly difficult talking about death to your children in the case of an accident, suicide or sudden loss. Therefore, if you are dealing with a sudden family death, enlisting the help of an unattended death cleanup service means you can explain what has happened, without them having to experience too much of a change in environment. Children normally associate death with old age and illness, so make sure that you explain that most people live a long time – although some might not. Make sure that you reassure your child and encourage them to ask further questions if they don’t fully understand.

Keep it simple

When talking about death with younger kids, keep your explanations very simple.

An example of this could be that when someone dies, they don’t eat or feel hungry and you won’t be able to visit them again. Remember that as an adult it is your responsibility to provide sensitive and nonjudgmental answers to their questions. Be sure that you can listen and observe how your child acts. Each and every kid will respond differently so remain calm and patient. If you have younger children, talking about death can be particularly difficult – in particular if you have trouble fully understanding what your child is asking you. A question appears nonsensical or thoughtless to an adult, but it could be a sign that your child is seeking reassurance. An example of this could be “when will you die?” highlighting that your child only understands death to be a temporary state. For children, understanding that death is a permanent state can be a scary and bewildering concept. It is important to provide reassurance and make sure that your children understand that death is very much a part of life.