Differences Between Engineer Grade, High Intensity Prismatic, and Diamond Grade Reflective Sheeting

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Question: What is the difference between Standard Reflective (Engineer Grade or Type I), and High Intensity (Type III) and Diamond Grade (Type XI) reflective sign material?

Answer: Engineer Grade Reflective Sheeting typically meets ASTM D4956 Type 1 standards and is an enclosed film or lens using glass beads or prismatic optical technology.

This material is specified for use on non-critical street and road signs such as parking signs or way-finding signs. It has less reflectivity than the other types mentioned in the original question. Standard colors are white, yellow, red, blue, green, and brown.

Engineer grade reflective sheeting is also used often for reflective stickers and decals, as it is printable both with digital and screen printing methods. It is also cut-table using a die cutter or a vinyl plotter, which makes it useful for creating reflective decals that are cut to a specified shape.

Engineer grade reflective vinyl utilizes and aggressive acrylic adhesive which makes it difficult to remove. Use of heat from a heat gun or hair dryer will aid in the removal of EG reflective sheeting, but often the vinyl will separated from the adhesive, and it becomes necessary to use a glue remover to soften and remove the adhesive.

Most EG reflective films have a 5-7 year outdoor durability warranty, and are not considered a "long-term use" material.

High Intensity Prismatic (HIP) Sheeting meets ASTM requirement standards for D4956-09 Type III and Type IV, as well as ASTM 4956-07 Type X. It is a non-metallized micro prismatic lens reflective sheeting that is used mainly for reflective traffic and road signs, barricades or other road construction zone devices, and traffic delineators such as cones or barrels.

HIP sheeting is highly reflective, and it's durable topcoat protects signs and other traffic control devices against scratches and abrasion. Not only is it highly reflective at night, it also commands attention during the day as well.

HIP Reflective Sheeting is used for more permanent traffic signs, work zone devices, etc., and comes in white, yellow, red, orange, blue, green, and brown.

The manufacturing process for HIP sheeting is also considered to be more "green" as it produces 97% fewer VOC emissions than engineer grade reflective sheeting, and 72% less energy to manufacture. However, the reflectivity value stands alone as a better reason to use HIP.

Finally, HIP reflective sign materials will last longer than its EG reflective film counterpart. This material is considered to be mid to long-range durability, and typically will last about 10 years.

Finally, Diamond Grade Reflective Sheeting (DG3 ) is a full cube prismatic reflective sheeting that returns almost 60% of the available light to vehicle drivers which is about double what HIP reflective sheeting reflects. DG3 reflective sheeting meets the specifications of ASTM Type XI standard.

It is likely with pending legislation in the US, that this material will be required to replace many existing signs. Currently all new "critical" traffic control signs (such as Stop signs, speed limit signs, etc.) are required to utilize this sheeting.

Similar to the other two sheetings aforementioned, diamond grade reflective sheeting has a pressure sensitive adhesive and is applied to (typically) alodized or anodized aluminum sheeting either with a hand roller or a mechanical squeeze roll laminator / applicator.

This material can be decorated either using screen printing or by using transparent film that comes in various highway sign colors.

DG3 sheeting was engineered to reflect the newer headlights in late-model automobiles, as well as to help older drivers (like me) with greater luminescence, as well as truck drivers whose lights are able to pick up signs that utilize DG3 better and at greater distances.

Available stock colors include white, yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and brown. Another color, fluorescent yellow-green, is also available and is used primarily in school zones, and has superior luminescence both during the daytime and night

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Source by Barry K. Brown

American Mobsters – The Whyos Street Gang

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The Whyos were a vicious Irish street gang that ruled Lower Manhattan, starting right after the Civil War and running through the 1890's. The gang started out as the offshoot of a pre-Civil War gang called the Chichesters. Their headquarters was in the 6th Ward on Baxter Street, formerly Orange Street, and named after Mexican War hero Lt. Col. Charles Baxter.

The Whyos got their name from the bird calls they made to each other, to identify themselves as members of the gang. When they first appeared on the streets of Lower Manhattan, the Whyos cruised the area called Mulberry Bend, robbing, beating and killing with ungodly gusto. Soon they extended their domain to the Lower West Side, into Greenwich Village, then further north. The Whyos favorite hangout was a dive on the corner of Mulberry and Worth called "The Morgue." An apt name, since it was estimated that over a hundred murders took place on the premises. The bar owner boasted his booze was powerful and quite tasty, but could also be used an an excellent embalming fluid.

Myth had it, that in order to become a member of the Whyos, a aspiring member had to kill, or at least made an attempt to kill someone. One of their early leaders was Mike McCoin, who was hanged in the Tombs on March, 8, 1883, for the slingshot murder of a saloon owner on West Twenty-Sixth Street, named Louis Hanier. The day after he killed Hanier, McCoin announced to his gang, "A guy is not tough until he's knocked his man out (killed)." Some hard men took McCoin's remark to heart, and a string of murders followed, precipitating new members being inducted into the gang.

The Whyos reached the height of their power in the 1880's, when such miscreants such as Big Jim Hines terrorized the city. Hines was the first person to hold up struss games, which were the run by the Italian and Jewish gangs, and a great source of revenue to boot. The struss games were played nightly in numerous locations, from east of the Bowery, up to Fourteenth Street, then west to Broadway. And almost every night, Hines bounced from one game to another, a huge gun in each hand. Using impending force, Hines extracted a percentage of each game, gracefully, always leaving a nice cut for the house.

Once, after he was arrested, he told a detective, "Them guys must be nuts. Do not I always leave 'em somethin'? All I want is me share."

In 1884, Whyos member Piker Ryan was arrested for one of his many crimes. The police found a book on him, with prices for a laundry list of crimes the Whyos performed for monetary profit. The list read:

Punching – $ 2,
Both eyes blacked – $ 4
Nose and jaw broke – $ 10
Jacked out – $ 15
Ear chewed off – $ 15
Leg or arm broke – $ 19
Shot in the leg – $ 25
Stab – $ 25
Doing the big job (murder) – $ 100 and up

Another prominent Whyos member was Dandy Johnny Dolan, who was fastidious in dress, with oiled and plastered hair, and a penchant for wearing only the finest shoe apparel available. Dolan was also the inventor of two gruesome weapons. The first was sections of ax blade embedded in the sole of his "Fighting Shoes," which he used to stomp and stab a fallen foe. The other was an "eye gouger" made of brass and worn on his thumb.

On August 22, 1875, Dolan decided to rob a brush manufacturer at 275 Greenwich Street. On the premises, he confronted James H. Noe and bashed him over the head with an iron crowbar. Then he proceeded to rob him of money, a gold watch and chain, and Mr. Noe's walking stick, which had a metal handle formed in the shape of a monkey. But before Dolan left, he gouged out both of Mr Noe's eyes with his "eye gouger," then proudly showed the eyeballs to his pals. Mr. Noe died a few days later, and when Dolan was soon arrested, he was walking with Mr. Noe's distinctive cane and carrying Mr. Noe's eyeballs in his pocket. As a result, Dolan was tried and convicted of murder, and hung in the courtyard of the Tombs Prison on April 21, 1876.

The most famous of the Whyos leaders were a couple of Dannys; Messers Driscoll and Lyons, who co-ran the Whyos in the 1880's. In 1888, Driscoll became involved in a gunfight with Five Points gang member John McCarthy, over the affections of a prostitute named Beezy Garrity. Not being the greatest gunslinger, Driscoll accidentally shot and killed, Ms. Garrity instead, and he was hanged for his mistake on January 22, 1888.

Lyons was considered the most vicious gangster of the 1880's. And his downfall was an argument over a young lady too. It seemed Lyons snatched Pretty Kitty McGown from her paramour Joseph Quinn. Quinn vowed revenge and on July 4th, 1887, the two men squared off with guns at Paradise Square in the Five Points area. Lyons was a better with a gun than his pal Driscoll had been, and he shot Quinn right through the heart, killing him on the spot. Lyons took it on the lam for a few months, but was finally captured and hung at the Tombs Prison on August, 21, 1888, just seven months after Driscoll had met the same fate.

After the deaths of Lyons and Driscoll, the Whyos fell into disarray. In the late 1890's, Monk Eastman defeated what was left of the Whyos, and with Paul Kelly, leader of the Five Points Gang, they fought for control of all the rackets in Lower Manhattan for years to come.

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Source by Joseph Bruno

The Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade Tips

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The 500 Festival Parade

Held on the Saturday immediately prior to the 500 Mile Race, electrifies the streets of downtown Indianapolis as the stars of Indy join with other celebrities from around the country and around the world to celebrate the worlds greatest spectacle in racing. This parade has been an annual event in Indianapolis since 1957.

The 500 Festival Parade features balloons of famous cartoon characters, marching bands, dance troupes, themed floats, 33 Indy 500 festival princesses, popular celebrities, and the fearless young racers, of course. Watch for your favorite movie star or music artist. See and be seen. On the Saturday before the worlds most famous auto race, this is the place to be. The event will also be televised on Indianapolis WISH TV-8.

The atmosphere is family friendly by design. The organizers of the parade are always sure to provide entertainment the whole family can enjoy, especially the younger fans. The parade starts at noon, but be sure to get there early as this event is expected to draw more than 300,000 fans and if you have not purchased a reserved seat, the free curbside viewing venues are finders keepers.

Former Grand Marshals include Jimmy Stewart, President, Walter Cronkite, Gerald Ford, Vice President Dan Quayle, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The Grand Marshal for the 2010 parade is expected to be announced on or about May 1, 2010.

The parade route begins at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North streets, runs south to Washington Street, turns right (West) on Washington Street for one block to Meridian Street, turns right (North) and continues to 11th street where the parade route ends. Streets will be closed the morning of the parade from Illinois on the West to Delaware on the East, and from 16th Street on the North to Washington Street on the South. The streets begin closing at 6:00 AM, so plan your route carefully to avoid these areas. Bleachers and reserved seating are available and secured by the purchase of a ticket. Tickets for adults can be purchased for $ 18.00 for reserved chairs or $ 14.50 for reserved bleacher seats. Special accommodations for wheel chairs can be provided, if arranged at the time you order your tickets.

Tips that you may fine helpful:

1. Purchase tickets for the parade in advance. Unlike most parades, the Indy 500 Festival Parade requires tickets. These are easily available through many online ticket outlets and this event regularly sells out.

2. Make travel plans to get to Indianapolis. If you are lucky enough to live within driving distance of the city, it will be easier for you. If you have to fly, make your reservations as early as possible, as this is the busiest weekend for Indy and most flights sell out. If you can not get a flight, check flights to nearby airports like Louisville and Chicago.

3. Secure a hotel room early. Just like the flights, hotels in the Indianapolis area will be just as scarce. The closer to the track you try to find a room, the harder it will be. Be prepared to drive a little bit to get to the festival.

4. Be sure to arrive early on parade day. Round up your family early and scout out a front row seat to watch the festivities. It is recommended that you arrive several hours before the start of the parade. Which brings us to …

5. Bring lawn chairs and some snacks. Do not forget water. Indianapolis usually has great weather this time of year and the time before the parade offers fantastic people watching. Once you have a spot, make yourself comfortable and wait for the action.

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Source by Mike K. Moser

Street Preaching 101

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Do's and Don'ts of Street Preaching

"Let all things be done decently and in order" I Cor. 14:40

First of all as Corinthians says we are to be in order and with a decent message when preaching in the streets. Keeping yourself and team in order is a key in being successful in the streets. We need to remember the ears we are preaching to do not want to hear some loud mouthed idiot telling them how quickly they are going to Hell. There is a need for us to take the Gospel to the streets but in a loving way. We do not want to offend and push the lost even further away.

DON'TS

A graveled and harsh voice that does not sound sincere. Do not be harsh or obnoxious with what you have to say.

Do not be trying to tell them off showing your superior knowledge of the Gospel. The streets are no place for you to vent on the hearers of your message.

Name calling may well be a good way to get arrested, it may lead to the police taking you away instead of people taking the Gospel. Derogatory remarks or anything considered ethnic bias can land you in deep trouble. If you are not preaching with love and compassion on the streets then find another place to get it all out other than on the streets.

Facial expressions can win or lose an audience as they gather and see your mannerisms. Looking stone cold or like you are ready to pounce on them will turn them off immediately. Try to relate your facial look to what you are saying. When speaking of the love of God or heaven try to look as though you know just what it is you are trying to convey. So them the surety of your lesson, keep it fresh in words and looks.

Preach the Gospel, leave your personal convictions to share one on one when asked.

I have heard it said any idiot can get arrested preaching. Know why you are there, getting arrested does not help to win the lost. Nor should you go and preach just to get arrested. If however you do get arrested make sure it is for street preaching. There is a long line of other offenses that can come along with preaching on the streets. The usual offenses fro street preaching are:

A) Loitering

B) disorderly conduct

C) failure to maintain locomotion

D) disturbing the peace

To avoid some of if not all of these situations here are a few more areas to look at:

1) Stay away from private property

2) Do not use a PA system, some towns have laws about the use and how loud they are.

3) Avoid preaching at night, though there may be a few times that are exceptions try at all cost to avoid night street preaching

4) ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, have a helper with you. Never go at it alone, no matter what kind of he-man you think you may be, never go to the streets by yourself.

Check with local authorities before going out, especially if you are from out of town and do not know the ordinances of that town. Knowledge will keep you on the streets, out of jail, and safe. When possible talk to the local police and let them know what you are to do and where. It is a good thing to let them know how long you will be there and what you are going to say. Ask for the Badge number rank and name of who you talk to saying it is OK. Make a note of these 3 things and keep it with you. That way if police do show up then the one watching out for the one preaching can give it to the officers and let them know it is OK for you to be there.

It is inevitable in a street ministry to think you will never have the police called. Remember the Gospel is an offense to those that are lost.

Limit your time. You do not need to be there for hours on end. Somewhere along the line people will get agitated you are there so long. A good rule of thumb is 25-35 minutes of preaching is more than enough time to get a good message out. It may take a few minutes once you start for people to gather to listen but then go and preach the message and do it with compassion. When you have music with you then give yourself about 45-50 minutes. A good song or two to stir up interest and then the message.

YOUR MESSAGE

Keep it simple! Preach on salvation! Never preach in the streets on the doom and gloom of things to come. Never preach Hell Fire and Damnation. You are there as an ambassador of Jesus Christ to win the lost not push them away.

The best street messages are ones you know the subject matter inside and out. Sure it is a good thing to have your Bible with you but it is more effective if you do not have to read from it but rather quote the verses. Have your message memorized or know what you want to say. Notes are not a productive tool in the streets. I know you have seen and heard preachers in churches always using notes if not actually reading them directly, but in the streets that will not work. People expect you to be the expert, or you would not be there. If you only know one sermon by heart, then preach it every time you go out, just go to different areas with that message.

PRAYER

Always be in prayer for your street preaching, or public preaching ministry. Pray for God to lead you and protect you in all things. Pray for power of the Holy Spirit to carry your message. Pray for the Blood of Jesus to cleanse the area you area about to preach in. Pray that God will give you the words to say and to not be easily distracted. Distractions not only may come but WILL come. Pray God to give you the ability to preach around the distractions or to them with the right words. You must be "instant in season and out". Do not let it bother you that you preach the greatest evangelistic message ever and no one gets saved. Remember the words of Paul, "I have planted, Apollos watered ,; but God gave the increase", I Cor. 3: 7.

Compassion and concern for the lost soul will be your greatest weapon when preaching in the streets.

These are a few lessons for starting street preaching, if you are to start this ministry I have a couple others to pass along. Be open to the word of God, listen as He leads. Do it of God not of yourself. "I must decrease and He must increase", keep in mind it is not you to be promoted but the Word of God. Lastly make sure that God has called you to this ministry. Make sure it is in God's will and plan for your life to preach His Holy Word in the Streets. AND, May God Bless you as you go.

Coming Soon

Street preaching 201, a more comprehensive look at open air street preaching. I hope all will read the second one as much as the first.

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Source by Michael I Adams

Top 5 Luxury Wedding Venues in New York City

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When a couple makes the decision to wed, life changes; planning a wedding is one of the most fun, most stressful and most complicated thing a couple will experience. From the start, couples must decide where they want to get married, what type of wedding they want to have, how many guests they want to invite and what type of budget they have to work with. Many couples can do this easily, while others have a little more difficulty. Fortunately for all engaged couples looking to wed in New York City, there are five luxurious, fabulous wedding venues that offer not only a perfect wedding location, but professional assistance that helps to make the planning process simple and much more enjoyable.

The Plaza Hotel

Luxury weddings in New York City are not complete without a breathtaking view of Central Park. The Plaza Hotel is one of the most legendary and luxurious venues in New York City; it is so fabulous that many a celebrity has married in this gorgeous, luxury location. Some famous couples to wed at the Plaza Hotel include Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The hotel provides a location for both a couple's ceremony and reception and the venue includes dinner, drinks and a wedding cake in the $ 375 per person price. Additionally, the chance to hold the ceremony in the legendary Terrace Room will run an additional $ 12,000. Couples will also receive a complementary night in the honeymoon suite and suites for the bridal party to prepare for the big moment, the day of. Both the Grand Ballroom and the Terrace Room are decorated with intricate works of art, columns, and deep, rich colors that embody the luxury and sophistication that is the Plaza Hotel.

The Plaza Hotel
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South
New York, New York 10019
CPS Events at the Plaza
866.770.8229

The Four Seasons Park Avenue

Couples who want to have a high-end wedding ceremony and reception that spares no expense, but offers an intimate, romantic appeal will love the luxurious accommodations of the Four Seasons Park Avenue. Reality television star Bethenny Frankel married husband Jason Hoppy in the Pool Room of the Four Seasons restaurant on her hit Bravo television show. More intimate than large locations, the Four Seasons Park Avenue is every bit the luxurious, glamorous location that brides and grooms want on their big day. The Four Seasons Park Avenue has two wedding packages in the Pool Room, which features a sparkling pool in the middle of the gorgeous room. The first is a black tie wedding package for 80-120 guests for $ 275 and 22 percent tax per person; the second is the package for less than 80 guests, which $ runs 235 per person.

Four Seasons Park Avenue
57 E. 57th Street near Park Ave.
New York, New York 10019
212.350.6501

Mandarin Oriental

High atop the Time Warner Center is the Mandarin Oriental, the luxury wedding venue with floor to ceiling windows and uninterrupted views of all of Central Park and the New York City skyline from the 36th floor. For $ 350 and 22 percent tax per person, couples will get to hold their ceremony and reception, a three course dinner with champagne and the bridal suite to get ready and for the couple to spend their first night as husband and wife.

Mandarin Oriental
80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street
New York, New York 10019
212.805.8815

Cipriani 42nd Street

Imagine holding a wedding in room that makes guests feel as if though they've gone back in time to classic Renaissance inspired Italy. Large columns, high ceilings and intricate detail that looks like it took years to create engulf the room at Cipriani's 42nd Street. This luxury wedding venue is not for those who want small and intimate; this is for those who want over the top luxury and a sense of fabulous that not just any couple can pull off. For $ 300 per person plus 23 percent tax per person, couples will have their ceremony and reception. Decoration fees are an additional $ 10,000 and there is no cake or bridal suite included. However, there is also no cake cutting fee at this luxury venue.

Cipriani's 42nd Street
110 E. 42nd Street between Lexington and Park Aves.
New York, NY 10019
646.723.0826

The American Museum of Natural History

The Rose Planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History offers the perfect backdrop for a luxury wedding ceremony. Weather permitting, cocktails are served on the Arthur Ross Terrace, with views of Manhattan that are breathtaking. The clean lines and modern feel of the museum provide an intimate feel for any wedding, even if the guest list includes hundreds. The fee for this location includes a $ 3,500 membership fee, $ 11,000 admission fee, $ 1,000 Terrace fee, $ 235 per person for dinner and $ 52 per person for an open bar, excluding tax.

The American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, New York 10019
212.769.5350

Luxury wedding venues in New York City are so swanky and fabulous that everyone wishes they could wed in such luxury and class. With so much to choose from, along with the assistance of in house event planners, each of these luxury venues cost a pretty penny, but they also allow couples to relax and leave the hard work to the professionals so all they have to do is show up and enjoy their wedding.

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Source by Simon Marsh

The Dead Rabbits Irish Street Gang

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The Dead Rabbits Irish Street gang, of the middle of the 19th Century, was as vicious as any gang in the history of New York City. They ruled the squalid area of ​​Lower Manhattan called the Five Points, and if a member of any other gang dare set foot in their territory, bad things happened to them very fast.

There is some dispute as to how the Dead Rabbits got their name. One version is that the word "Rabbit" sounds like Irish word raibead, meaning a "man to be feared." "Dead" was a 1800's slang word that meant "very." So a "Dead Rabbit" is a "man to be very feared."

Another version is that the Dead Rabbits were an offshoot of a older gang called the "Roach Guards." Two factions within the Roach Guards constantly quarreled, and during a fistfight at an especially violent gang meeting, someone threw a dead rabbit into the room. When the fighting subsided, one group took the name "Dead Rabbits," while the other kept the name "Roach Guards." Predating the present street gangs the Crips and the Bloods by more than a 125 years, to mark which group a man belonged to, a Dead Rabbit wore a blue stripe on his pants, while a Roach Guard wore a red stripe on his pants.

Besides the Roach Guards, the Rabbits' arch enemy was the Bowery Boys. On July 4th, 1857, the Rabbits and the Bowery Boys squared off at the corner of Bayard and the Bowery. The incident started, when a embattled policemen, being chased out of the Five Points by a group of Rabbits, ran into a Bowery Boy's saloon. The Rabbits followed the policeman into the dive, and were beaten back by an angry group of Bowery Boys.

The Bowery Boys took offense at their turf being invaded, so a large group of Bowery Boys marched into the Five Points area. They were cut off by a battalion of Rabbits and a two-day war started, with as many as a thousand combatants fighting with hatchets, knives, stones, and even guns. The police sent in reinforcements, but they were beaten back by both gangs and told in no uncertain terms to mind their own business. The war swayed back and forth into both territories, with Canal Street being the boundary line.

By the end of the second day, the two gangs were near exhaustion, and the Seventh Regiment of the National Guard was called in by New York Mayor Fernando Wood. The National Guard, joined by the New York City Police, busted into what was left of the skirmish and started cracking the heads of the weary warriors. When the dust settled, eight gang members were dead and hundreds more were injured.

This did not end the animosity between the Bowery Boys and Rabbits. In August, 1858, on the corner of Worth and Centre Street, a small group of Bowery Boys were pummeled by a larger group of Rabbits. As the Bowery Boys ran off licking their wounds, two unsuspecting men exited a house at 66 Centre Street. They walked right into the path of the angry Rabbits, and thinking these two men were Bowery Boys coming back for more, the Rabbits descended upon them with a vengeance. One man was able to escape, but Cornelius Rady was not so lucky. He was hit in the back of the head with a rock from a slingshot and died soon afterward. Rabbit Patrick Gilligan was arrested for Rady's murder, but it is not clear if indeed he was convicted.

The Civil War started two years later and many of the gang members were drafted, against their wills, into the war and sent to far away places, mostly in the South. When the war ended, the Rabbits were either dead themselves, or in no physical condition to continue tormenting the streets of Lower Manhattan. But in New York City, the creature that it was, and in some cases still is, other street gangs soon followed to take the place of the Rabbits.

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Source by Joseph Bruno

What Makes London Such A Great City To Visit?

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London is a massive city, it is at the forefront of modern culture. It leads the way in fashion, art and entertainment. The city also has charming traditional elements from double deck red buses to old, beautifully designed buildings. It is a city for everyone: children marvel at their favorite pop stars in Madam Tussauds. Young adults enjoy the bright lights and cutting edge nightlife of Picadilly Circus and the West End. More mature visitors love to take in the rich culture by visiting the likes of Buckingham Palace.

You can get around the city in one of the iconic black cabs which provide a very spacious and comfortable ride, or take a city tour on a double deck bus. The London Underground subway system is a very convenient mode of transport too, there are day passes which make long tours very inexpensive. The weather is milder than much of the UK, so it is often pleasant enough for a stroll around the streets too. The charming architecture of the old buildings combines with lively street performers in Covent Gardens for a perfect afternoon stroll.

Although a busy city, London has an excellent tourist infrastructure. A fantastic way to start the day is by riding on the London Eye. Located just south of the river Thames, it gives an amazing view of the whole city. It is centrally located and close to many more tourist attractions, in the summer why not continue by taking a walk over London Bridge towards the Houses Of Parliament. In winter you could take refuge in a traditional English pub.

A trip to London would not be complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guards. Nearby Hyde Park is an excellent place for a stroll and an escape from the crowds elsewhere. There are literally hundreds of attractions which make London one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

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Source by Guy Mendelson

Learn Street Magic Tricks

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Magic got its start in the street. Before magicians became popular with the upper classes during the 1800's, virtually all magic was performed on the street for any passerby who would stop to notice. Nowadays there has been a return to street magic, with many magicians filming themselves walking around and performing tricks for unsuspecting pedestrians.

Street magic is any magic that can be performed on the street with spectators in close proximity. Elaborate sets and large props can not really be used in street magic, so coins, cards, and other close up illusions make up the majority of street performances.

One trick that can be performed almost anywhere and absolutely stuns spectators is "The Jumping Toothpick". This trick is incredibly simple and requires only two toothpicks.

In "The Jumping Toothpick" you lay one toothpick across another on the edge of a table. You can then make the toothpick move, jump, and even flip over, seemingly with telekinetic powers.

Begin by pinching the edge of one toothpick between your thumb and index fingers like you are making an "OK" sign, with the toothpick extending towards your pinky. Then place the fingernail of your middle finger against the side your thumb is touching. You should now be able to put pressure against the toothpick with the nail of your middle finger.

Hold this first toothpick parallel to the edge of the table. Lay the second toothpick so that one end is resting on the table, and the other end is resting perpendicularly on the toothpick you are holding. Now for the secret: Use your index finger to push the toothpick you are holding against the nail of your middle finger. Squeeze hard and create some tension. Now slide your middle finger towards your index. If you are creating enough tension against your nail, it will "pop" as you slide back.

This pop will cause the second toothpick to jump into the air. A really good pop will make the toothpick flip over or even send it flying. The rougher the toothpick is, the better effect you can get. The trick can be performed with wooden matches as well.

You must really apply a lot of tension to get the trick to work properly, and your hand may even shake. So when you perform the trick, talk about how you must focus your "powers". This gives you a good excuse to be tensing your hand so much.

With your free hand you can employ some misdirection by pointing your palm towards the toothpicks or making finger movements. This will take spectators' attention away from where the magic is really happening. It may even cause them to look for strings or ask you to perform the trick without your free hand floating.

What makes "The Jumping Toothpick" such a great trick is that it can be performed anywhere with a table and toothpicks or matches. Considering the amount of time people spend in eating establishments you'll have a lot of opportunity to impress your friends with this one. It also requires almost no skill.

Another trick that has been used heavily by street magicians in the past decade is Balducci levitation. This trick was popularized by Ed Balducci and allows the performer to seemingly levitate a few inches off the ground.

Achieving the effect is simple. However, the magician's position in relation to the audience is incredibly important. This trick will not work except with a small, tightly grouped crowd.

You stand with your back to the crowd and feet together at a 45 degree angle. If you think of where you are standing as a clock, then your feet would be pointing at about 2 o'clock, with the audience at 6 o'clock. Your front left toe should be completely out of view.

To levitate, simple lift yourself off the ground and support the weight with your front left toe. Hold it for a few seconds, and then return to the ground. You must try to make your feet appear parallel to the ground and each other.

As you return to the ground, bend your knees a little bit to exaggerate the effect. What really makes this trick believable is the performance. Act as if the levitation has taken a physical toll on your body. Do some Tai Chi as part of your "preparation", whatever you can come up with. If performed correctly the audience will be stunned.

These street magic illusions can be performed anywhere, anytime, for anyone. They are both simple effects that produce absurd results. The toothpick trick can be learned in a matter of minutes, with the Balducci levitation it takes a while to figure out the nuances. Both are relatively simple though, and with some dedication can be learned with no problem.

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Source by Jacob T Anderson

Guest Friendly Hotels in Pattaya

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Pattaya is a city with multiple personalities. For some it is a place to learn about Thai culture, for many it is a shopping paradise, for families it offers a host of activities that everyone can enjoy and for a millions of single men, it's a nightclub centre and a place to meet some of Thailand's most beautiful women.

You can meet Thai girls at bars, go-go bars, at the beach or just about anywhere in this friendly town. The question that guys often ask is where do I find a guest friendly hotel. If I want to invite my new friend back to my hotel, does the hotel welcome an extra guest, is it "girl friendly" or will I be charged a "joiner fee"?

5 Star Hotels

While many people think of Pattaya as Asia's most vibrant nightlife centre, this is just one part of the tourist activities in Pattaya. Judging by hotel bookings, the lion's share of hotel revenue is from older couples and families. Hotels target their business at one or more of these tourist groups, so you'll find that the 5 star hotels and family oriented hotels like the larger resort hotels are generally not guest friendly. There's one notable exception, Pattaya's top rated hotel, the Rabbit Resort on Dongtan beach offers hospitality to all visitors, including their friends.

Walking Street Hotels

If you're looking for a guest friendly hotel you'll find that virtually all of the hotels, guesthouses and apartments close to the night life areas are guest friendly. In the Walking Street area you'll find a good choice of popular and highly rated hotels.

On Soi Diamond, the street with more than a dozen go-go bars, there's Diamond Beach Hotel, Galaxy Suites and Green View Serviced Apartments. Just nearby on Soi 14, there's the Grand Hotel, with 80 rooms in a choice of styles, and Jasmine Hotel with 62 rooms, recently refurnished and a new indoor swimming pool, one of the highest rated Pattaya hotels on Trip Advisor. On Walking Street itself, there's the Walking Street Guesthouse just above Sweethearts Go-Go and P.72 Hotel, with the street level bar that opens onto Walking Street. A great place to sit and watch the activities on Walking Street before going out for the evening.

Soi Buakhao Area Hotels

The Soi Buakhao area is another popular nightclub area. Here you'll find an interesting mix of guest friendly hotels and guesthouses for visitors and apartments for Thais who work in the nightclubs and bars.

On Soi Buakhao itself, you'll find Katesiree House, Laguna Buakhao House with Thai style furniture, Target Regency Guesthouse, and Rabbi's Elephant Guesthouse which is also a meeting place for the Pattaya Golf Society.

Just off Soi Buakhao on Soi LK Metro mingled with the go-go bars, coyote bars and beer bars you find a bunch of guest-friendly hotels and guesthouses. If you like to hang out with aliens you'll love Armageddon Guesthouse and Bar, and there's Irish Rovers Guesthouse and Kilkenny Hotel with an Irish flavour. Close by you'll find the popular Stags Head Guesthouse, and in the corner of the street, there's Pasadena Lodge with a choice of 20 beautifully furnished rooms, in 4 different room styles.

Just across the road there's Soi Chaiyapoon, famous for Crazy Daves café that serves breakfast 24 hours / day and Neeroys late night restaurant that offers fish 'n chips and English style curries. Guest friendly guesthouses do not get much friendlier than Canterbury Tales Café that has a bookstore and restaurant on the ground floor. Just further down the street, near the popular Maggie May's bar there's Chaiyapoon Inn & Restaurant.

A more Comprehensive For guide to Guest Friendly hotels in the Pattaya area Hotels , and a guide to the city's nightlife, lands check out my website at Www.pattaya-discover.com .

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Source by Rick Gilmore

A Review of Boyz N the Hood: Signs Stereotypes and Critical Analysis

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Boyz N the Hood is a classic African American film that can be critically analyzed through the lens of race and gender issues in the media. The first thing that I noticed when watching the film through such lens was the usage of common signs throughout the film that were found on the street and around the neighborhood. These signs served as a visual reinforcement to the paths that these young kids were on in the neighborhoods in which they grew up.

For example, immediately after a title card displaying a dismal statistic directly correlating with the theme of Boyz N the Hood was followed by an opening shot of a red "Stop" sign on the street over which an airplane flew past as if to signify the rest of the world is going on not giving a care in a world to the issues that the children in this neighborhood are facing.

There was also a "One-Way" street sign in the background of two shots when the children were either walking to or from school. There was also a glaring red "Wrong Way" sign just before the dead body, which serves as a message that the crime committed is not the right way of doing things, and also a subtle visual hint that these kids are going down a one- way path that can lead them the wrong way in life. To top it off the writer and director made sure to add yellow police caution tape in order to signify to the audience that these types of scenarios in this film and in real life deserve our cautious attention; however, in the film the kids ignored the caution tape which leads to the next few scenes of Trae losing his temper and being sent to live with his dad who teaches him how to use caution and ultimately sets him on a path in which he is able to rise above all the warning signs displayed and reiterated throughout this film indicating that there was only one way, the wrong way, to live and survive in this neighborhood. Near the end of the film, there was one more sign that stood out by the dead bodies of the guys who killed Ricky that highlighted the word exit. However, I was glad to see a title card at the very end of the film with uplifting information stating that Trae went on to college at Morehouse University in Atlanta, GA. The use of the street signs, statistics and written information was always in this movie. Although I had never paid much attention to them before, it could be possible that they served to engrave this powerful message about these Boys who grew up in this neighborhood into my psyche when I since a younger girl watching this film at different stages in my life .

Now that I watched it this week, I was saddened to see the drawing of the elementary school aged students portraying a colored man in a white t-shirt with his hands up facing a what seems to be a black and white police car. This movie was produced back in 1991 and more nearly twenty-five years later in 2015, black men are still being profiled, brutally harassed, and killed by police officers even when they're hands are up in the air with no weapon on or near their bodies. That hurts.

Addressable stereotypes in this film includes the use of the term Indian as a slip of the tongue by a white female American teacher who quickly corrected her mishap by rephrasing her terminology to Native Americans during her reference regarding the early settlers of America.

Another stereotype perpetuated in this film is that of the Self Hating Black Man portrayed as the African American cop in this film who hates "niggas" like Trae in his own words.

Another issue brought to light in this film focuses on humans with physical disabilities like Little Chris who was stuck in a wheelchair throughout his adult life. Just a dialogue of one word, "Mannn …," with a sincere expression of disappointment highlights how people with physical limitations are often left out during a mission by those who are mobile and without limitation as in the scene in which Little Chris sees the rest of his friends drive off to go search for the guys who killed Ricky.

I think that Native Americans are still stereotypically referred to as Indians in the media. However, I think the self-hating black man stereotype is less perpetuated now than it was in the past. Nonetheless, the self-hating black man stereotype has been replaced by other stereotypes about stereotypical features of black men that could cause black men to hate or devalue themselves if left unaddressed.

Finally, I think that thugs in films are often still depicted as violent African Americans and, or minority men who assault people recklessly similar to the stereotypical roles found in Boyz N the Hood depicted by minor African American characters like the youthful teenagers in the gang who stole Ricky's football when he was a kid.

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Source by Danielle Ross