How To Use Contemporary Art Paintings As Decor

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We live in an age where we create art for arts’ sake. The point of art is to appeal to our senses and bring beauty into our lives. Art is on canvas the picture what we see around us, it is also an expression of who we are. We need not create art to express ourselves, but the display of art in our houses and personal spaces is also very telling of who we truly are. These days it has become rather easy to buy art paintings as there are many sites online and in stores in our local neighborhood to check out as well. Of course, sitting at home and browsing through some of the best work out there in the world is very enticing.

Using art around the home

One of the best places to use contemporary abstract art is around the house – especially if you are the kind of person who loves minimalist, but chic décor. Taking pride in your home is a good thing, and you can showcase through the exemplary art that you have displayed as well. But you cannot simply put up random art pieces around your house. This will make the place look cluttered and claustrophobic and messy if it isn’t done right. So, here are a few decor pointers you need to know about art.

• When you buy paintings one of the main things you need to consider is the balance of color. This means that both within the painting itself and with the things in the room, there needs to be a good sober balance of color. Contrasts are always really good to work with, but it should not be jarring or hurt the eyes. Go for a minimalist, calming sort of look.

• You can combine multiple pieces of original art paintings. You can either have one large piece over the mantle place or three smaller pieces. Do not be afraid to experiment with whatever you have. See what combination works best for the room and the artifacts you have. You will be surprised at the amazing things that can be done when you step out of the lines and try new things.

Things to keep in mind

If you are looking for a simple and easy way to find original contemporary art that is catered to your wants then you don’t have to look very hard. Everything you that you need can be found online. There are many artists who will create very specific paintings according to the guidelines you give them. Here are a few things to keep in mind in the process.

• Ensure that you have the full credentials of the artist in question. You should definitely be getting your money’s worth.

• They should be sure to listen very carefully to the kind of original canvas art that you need.

• They should be recognized and have a portfolio or catalogue that you can go through. They should also take you through the process of their painting so that you can see if they can deliver what you need.

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Source by Yelena Dyumin

Pachinkos in America: Where Are They?

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Many people in America have pachinkos in their basements, garages and attics. But they were put there years ago by parents, or former residents, or maybe they were picked up at garage sales or flea markets. How did these crazy Japanese stand-up pinball machines all end up in America? The history of pachinkos in America is rather surprising.

As the owner of a website devoted to the repair and restoration of pachinkos, I have learned quite a bit about where they are today and how they got there. Utilizing tools such as Google Analytics, I have been able to compile some statistics that let we can use to tell where they are today. Thousands of people have visited my site, and all looking for information on these rather odd-looking games. Where these queries originate, combined with orders and sales data provide a fairly clear picture that I will share with you below. But first, a bit of history on how all of these pachinko machines got here in the first place.

Japanese pachinko parlors for decades only allowed machines to remain in service for about a year before they had to be removed and disposed. This led to huge numbers of used machines available in Japan, and most were simply destroyed. However, it was not unusual for American servicemen to send or bring them back to the states as souvenirs. The numbers that trickled in spread out from our major military installations, but in the 1950’s and 1960’s these numbers were small, somewhere in the thousands. Few of these pachinkos have survived today.

In the early 1970’s a few enterprising gentlemen got a good idea for a use for all of those piles of expired pachinkos. They formed a company called Target Abroad LTD, and started buying them up by the thousands and filling shipping crates with them. They then shipped these crates by the thousands to America, and sold them through major chain stores such as Woolworth, K-Mart, and even Sears. Several other smaller companies quickly formed and opened pachinko specialty stores across the country. Two of the most successful were Pachinko Palace and The Pachinko Factory, and many vintage pachinkos in America today still bear their stickers. Literally millions were sold between 1972 and 1976, but sales began to plummet when video games were invented and then mass- produced. By 1978 nearly all imports of pachinkos to America had ended, and the retailers sold off their inventory and closed their doors forever.

The largest concentration of these vintage pachinko machines in America is California with 16% of the total. While it is true that California is a very populous state, the ports of San Francisco and Los Angeles were the major deliver points for pachinkos shipped from Japan. It only makes sense that many would be sold there.

The second largest concentration is in Illinois at 8%. For decades Chicago was the place where most pinball and arcade machines were manufactured, and the port and transportation infrastructure there was an obvious distribution point for the populations of the Midwest. Even today, vintage pachinkos seem to be abundant in the suburbs there.

The third highest population is Texas at just over 6%. Texas has population going for it, and several good ports as well. Several of the distributors had major outlets in Texas, and the dry climate appears to have preserved the pachinkos in a superior manner.

Next up at number four is New York with 6%. As usual, a state with major ports with access to major population centers. Pinball machines were outlawed for decades in New York, so it seems only natural people would turn to pachinkos as an alternate for of entertainment on boardwalks and arcades. Eventually they found their way into private hands as video games replaced them.

The absolute worst states in the continental United States for pachinkos should be no surprise. North and South Dakota score dead last. No ports, low population, and little general interest in some silly looking pinball games from Japan.

So, now you know where the vintage pachinkos are, and how they got there. If you are inclined to find one, try San Francisco or Chicago, and you may get the best deals and best selection. But if you are in North Dakota, you might be better off ordering pachinkos online, because it may be quite some time before you find one at the local flea market.

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Source by James Duane King

How to Take Good Reference Photos for Line Art Illustrations

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The old saying "garbage in, garbage out" applies to reference photos for line art illustrations. If the quality of the reference photo isn't very good, the artist is going to have trouble discerning the detail they need to make a high quality image. One of the earmarks of line illustration is sharp detail.

A good reference photo helps an artist see the detail they need to include, and enhance, in a line art illustration, but taking a good reference photo is not a simple matter of pointing and clicking. Here are some tips that will help you take good reference photos for line art illustration so you can streamline the process, save money, and produce better quality results.

Take plenty of photos.It's better to have extra, than it is to have to go back and "do it again". For larger subjects, such as a forklifts, zoom in and out on the various features while standing from the same spot. For smaller subjects, like a microwave oven, you won't need to zoom in and out.

Get a variety of angles too, but keep in mind which angle you will ultimately want the illustration to represent. Get most of your shots from that angle. If, for example, you are shooting a power hand tool that will end up being illustrated in someone's hand being used, try to get the angle right, and provide variations. Shoot a little high, a little low, a little left and a little right. Twist the angle, and shoot more. With digital photography, you don't have to worry about film costs, so take a lot of shots.

Make sure you get the entire subject within the frame of the shot. Seems simple, but a lot of people don't realize that they've cut off someone's shoe, or hand, or something that extends from a piece of machinery.

Take close ups of key parts of larger products. For example, if you are taking a shot of a car and you want to make sure we get the hood ornament right, take a close up of it, so the artist has the detail they need. When taking close ups, make sure to take them from the same angle as the main photo. Either zoom in from where you are standing for the main shot, or simply step straight forward to get closer. Taking close up photos from alternative angles can help us understand the mechanical structure of a product – same-angled close-ups help streamline the illustration process and can save you money.

Lighting is the single most important factor that affects the quality of a photo. Studio lighting is the best. Sunlight is good, but creates harsh shadows that usually hide details. It is better to shoot in shade. Warehouse or office lighting tends to come from the ceiling, so if there are important details on the lower / under side of your product, think of ways to bring light in from the sides. Using portable floodlights, commonly used on construction sites and job shops, is a good way to bring light in from the sides.

Take shots with, and without, your flash turned on. The flash will add detail, but also create harsh shadows and highlights. If the subject has shiny parts, the flash can create hotspots that totally burn out detail.

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Source by David A Thompson

Japanese Woodblock Prints Artists – Hokusai and Hiroshige Compared

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One famous art genre is the Japanese woodblock prints, known as ukiyo-e, which literally means “pictures of the floating world.” It is an art genre that originated in the 1600s and became popular among the ordinary citizens of Japan because the relative ease of reproduction meant that these prints were affordable to the general populace. The subject matter of these Japanese woodblock prints was mainly scenes and people of the entertainment and pleasure quarters in Edo (now Tokyo), namely the theaters and brothels. Indeed, ukiyo-e was used as posters advertising the geisha women, courtesans and kabuki actors who work in those establishments.

In the late 1700s, ukiyo-e woodblock prints branched out to include landscape prints. Two contemporaries who were prominent in this period are Katsushika Hokusai and Ando Hiroshige, though the latter was 37 years the former’s junior. Both of them were famous for their landscape prints, although both of them also painted more “traditional” themes of women and actors. At first glance, the works of these two masters may look very similar in style and subject matter, which includes scenes from Edo and Mt. Fuji. Unless one is familiar with their work, it can be hard to tell them apart and see the differences that become more apparent upon close inspection. Furthermore, works by both of these masters influenced a few big name European artists: Hokusai’s works influenced Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Hermann Obrist while Hiroshige clearly had an influence on Vincent Van Gogh and Ivan Bilibin. Both men also inspired and influenced a whole new art movement — Jugendstil in Germany and Mir Iskusstva in Russia, respectively.

The differences between these two artistic geniuses lie in their backgrounds, which probably had an effect on their styles and approaches to their art. Hokusai was from an obscure parentage while Hiroshige was born to a low-ranking samurai, a servant to the shogun and whose job was to protect Edo castle from a fire. Hokusai would then take on nearly 100 different names throughout his career and move from one place to another, thus causing people to perceive him as crazy or unstable. Hiroshige, on the other hand, inherited his father’s job as a bureaucrat at the age of 13, but turned to art a year later. Perhaps owing to this difference in their backgrounds, Hokusai appeared to be more dramatic in his prints, painting with sharp, forceful lines and a range of colors, which is a complex technique in woodblock printing, as they require a series of woodblocks. Hiroshige, however, emphasized more on the mood, atmosphere and ambience, which can make his paintings appear more subtle and passive. One other difference may be in their choice of subject matter. Hokusai is a Buddhist of the Nichiren sect with Mt. Fuji considered a sacred site and his beliefs and spirituality are reflected in one of his most famous work, titled “One hundred views of Mt. Fuji” with Mt. Fuji being the central theme. Hiroshige painted Mt. Fuji as well, but it is only as a part of a scene captured along the way during his travel from Edo to Kyoto along the Tokaido road, which led to the paintings of one of his most famous work, “Fifty-three stations of Tokaido”. In this sense, one can say that Hokusai’s approach to his work is spiritual while Hiroshige’s is realistic.

With this understanding of the different styles of these two Japanese woodblock artists, hopefully their work can be enjoyed and appreciated even more.

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Source by Jane J Simmons

Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa – The "Industry Standard" of Portrait Painting

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"Portrait of Lisa Geraldine, wife of Francesco Del Giaconda …." That might not get a layman real excited, even if some Renaissance man executed it. Neither would that layman get worked up about it, knowing further that the painter of this non-creatively titled painting was in reality a scientist & a mathematician, and was more famous for his architectural drawings than his portraits. Bias against the painting would build up further if he knew that this was one of the artist's "minor" works, which he did for earning a living. Who would want to look at some rich man's wife sitting in the front of an imaginary landscape? Who would want to buy such a boring work? Who would indeed? Unless that painting was known as "The Mona Lisa" and its painter was none other than Leonardo da Vinci, the teacher of the very famous Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo.

Considering that Leonardo was not quite an oil paint maestro and his expertise lied actually in science and mathematics, one tends to forget that often great artists are shadowed by their own talents. So famous was da Vinci in his times for his scientific inventions, that painting was not really his forte. The surprising part was the apparent disdain with which Leonardo treated painting. He painted, repainted, mutilated, and rebuilt most of his paintings, despite them being excellent classics that ranged from the likes of "Last Supper" to the "Virgin of the Rocks." Leonardo's obstinate urge to experiment with different techniques led to total disasters and many of his creations crumbled in his lifetime only. Owing to the usually messed up treatment of Leonardo, only few of his paintings survived to the level that no more than fifteen could be traced today.

Leonardo lived in Italy in the mid of fifteenth century and created a majority of his works on commission from religious trusts. Mona Lisa was a personal commission, Leonardo though gave it a religious touch by posing her as the Virgin Mary, according to the then prevailing fashion. The painting's subject, "Mona Lisa" is as ordinary as it sounds; it is the portrait and the painter's mystery motives that intrigue. The real mastery of da Vinci lies in creating a classical yet somewhat surreal atmosphere around this woman that has tickled many art lovers. Many questions have been raised from time to time such as, "Is she real?" "Why is the background imaginary?" "Why are her eyebrows plucked?" "Is" she "a man?" "Are there any hidden codes in the painting?" "Why the positioning is in a particular way?" In addition, the views of millions of conspiracy theorists have made the painting all the more enigmatic. As mentioned earlier also, all this guesswork is natural considering the fact that da Vinci was a man who created puzzles beyond the intelligence of his times.

"Mona Lisa" is a classic textbook framework of portrait painting. The proportion and the positioning of each element used in this portrait were aesthetically so strong that they became a sort of "industry standards." If not for anything but this, da Vinci deserves all that he has been revered for, including the very wonderful Mona Lisa.

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Source by Annette Labedzki

Joris-Karl Huysmans: Against Nature – A Review of the Literature

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Huysmans', Against Nature, is novel written in Decadent aesthetics and is inspired by many other Decadent authors, like Baudelaire. Huysmans develops a character called Des Esseintes whom has characteristics of a solitary nervous person that reflect on living alone in his house of artifacts. Against Nature is written with a beautifully descriptive setting. The beginning of the book expresses his surroundings from top to bottom; for example Huysmans takes the reader through a sensory pleasing journey through Des Esseintes home. The setting involves all of his decorating schemes and begins to inform the reader about his large library of his most treasured literature; Baudelaire, Edgar Allen Poe, Dickens, Petronius, and many more. Huysmans eventually explains Des Esseintes wide knowledge of literature, art, and trade interests, like perfume manufacturing. His thoughts are always conflicting; for example, he contemplates the importance of Christianity versus Paganism. Throughout the book, he is torn between his knowledge of many conflicting ideas, which mainly leads to his schooling with the Jesuit Priests. Although he is suffering from a nervous disease, he escapes from his illness by reading literature and conversing with his imagination rather than real people.

Des Esseintes is a very melancholy type of man, but little mental desires keep his soul alive during his sickness. One example of a short-lived desire, is his yearning for a tortoise; because of his eccentric imagination, he has the tortoise's shell covered in his favorable gemstones and he loves the contrast of the animal against his gold flooring. Of course the tortoise dies from a weighed shell and lack of nutrition, but he doesn't show any emotion towards the death because the tortoise has already grown old to his taste. Like most Decadent writers, the character Des Esseintes is very narcissistic.

His house is covered with expensive literature, fake flowers and art. Des Esseintes especially favors religious paintings by Gustave Moreau and he imagines Salome goddess as being in movement with the other figures in the painting. Salome seems to intimidate him, and he always reflect more towards the art and literature that are threatening. Huysmans also mentions Des Esseintes artwork entitled Religious Persecutions, "These pictures, replete with abominable imaginings, stinking of scorched flesh, oozing with blood, filled with shrieks of horror and curses, made his skin crawl, keeping him riveted to the spot, unable to breathe, when he entered that red room. " (Huysman, JK, 1884)

As mentioned before Des Esseintes has many short-lived desires that he quickly fulfills; then he begins his boredom conquest for something new. During his boring lifestyle, he conjures up old memories from Paris; one being about a young boy that he tries to mold into a murder. While he was living among society in Paris he meets a young boy, Auguste, which he calls, "the Little Judas." He introduces Auguste to a night of drinks and sex at a bordello, and he hopes to build the boys sexual frustration to the point of murder. Des Esseintes examines the newspaper for months, waiting to see the boy murder some un-necessary people on the streets, and he is disappointed that his devious plan didn't work.

Another memory is that of his former mistress; Urania, a ventriloquist that fills his sexual desires of committing adultery, in which she uses her many voices as an illusionary husband ready to knock down the door. As he experiments with aromatics and making perfume, he imagines a mistress that, "… would go into raptures over particular aromatics … a nervous woman who liked to have her nipples soaked in perfume." (Huysmans, JK, 1884) during Des Esseintes experiment with aromatics, he faints, which begins the reality and intensity of his nervous illness.

While he is continuing in a dreamlike state, possibly caused from early stages of dying, he takes an imaginary trip to London. The trip is full of eating, conversing, drinking, and observing. Huysmans wrote this imaginary trip with more description than a real vacation might entail. Des Esseintes says, "I would be insane to risk losing, by an ill-advised journey, these unforgettable impressions", Huysmans explains that his imaginary trip was worth much more than actually taking the trip; He actually felt the exhaustion from the mental vacation as if he would from a real one.

Des Esseintes begins to become bored of his literature, art, and his home. He explains his book collection as if he is supporting his intelligence as he grows weaker. He mentions Baudelaire many times, and he says, "[Baudelaire's writings] …. eventually reaching those regions of the soul in which the nightmare growths of human thought flourish." Towards the end of the book, he realizes that he can longer take laudanum, opiates, or hashish to enhance his imaginary journeys because his body will reject anything he ingests. At this point of Des Esseintes illness, Huysmans explains Des Esseintes mirror image of himself, which is that of a malnourished man. He calls upon a doctor that prescribes him enemas of certain nutrients, which he is very excited to have, "… eliminated the tiresome, vulgar chore of eating." (Huysmans, JK, 1848) The doctor orders him back to Paris, and society, rather than being confined in the walls of his home in Fontenay. Des Esseintes comes to the conclusion that he should reconcile with Catholicism along with his move to Paris, and he explains that he should give up his art of comparing all of the religious skepticism so his mind will be at peace.

In general, he uses his imagination to fulfill his need of pleasure and adventure. It seems that he moved to Fontenay to bring upon self reflection, but during his solitary lifestyle he begins a nervous illness. The reflection on his memories cause him to get caught up in comparison of the knowledge he has acquired in life; from his beginning years with the Jesuit Priests, to his adulthood in a Modern Paris society. Des Esseintes is an artist of critiquing art, literature and societal class. He is a master of religious teachings in comparison of a realistic scientific view. Because of his struggle with collecting his knowledge into truth, he almost dies because of neglecting his basic needs for survival.

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Source by Gina M Miller

Ways To Find And Buy Modern Art

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Every art lover invests in artwork for a multitude of reasons. There are those who buy a painting for its aesthetic appeal while there many others who choose to pick one according to the artist and its value rather than mere attractiveness. Whatever the reasons you have in mind, there are different means by which you can lay your hands on beautiful, modern art pieces. Modern art is quite versatile and can include anything from contemporary subjects, collages, abstract, nature and even people among others. The selection is more of a personal decision based on taste and desire.

Modern Art Galleries

Modern Art Galleries have increased in number over the last few decades. They can be found primarily in urban centers and cities. The galleries showcase a variety of modern art pieces, some of which are reproductions of famed art pieces and collections. You will also find a variety of other services from such galleries to work with including framing and delivery of the items you settle for. In addition to paintings, you can find other artistic pieces such as carvings and weavings, depending on what the gallery deals with.

Online Galleries

They are by far the easiest way to find modern art pieces as it allows you to choose artwork from different parts of the world without going there in person. Unlike the physical stores that serve the needs of interested art buyers within their vicinities, online galleries reach out to both local and international markets. The online stores will have all pieces categorized in relation to their artist or subject. This has made it very easy for everyone coming across the galleries to find what they are most interested in without the need to go through every piece that is available. The searching process has been eased by the online option and so has the purchase of the pieces.

Modern Art Fairs

They are usually organized by renowned galleries, companies or artists to give interested buyers access to a good collection of art in one location. The fairs can be very advantageous for connoisseurs of art as they stand a chance of enjoying better prices thanks to the discounted art pieces that feature prominently in these fairs. The fairs provide the best platform to get a mix of everything that is considered artistic and hence the buyers can buy different pieces that mean the most to them without wasting too much time trying to locate what they need from one place to another.

To make the search for the best art pieces easy and the purchase of the same even easier, it is best to target the right platform depending on what comes in convenient for you. But perhaps the most important thing to do is to be clear about what modern art you are interested in or the artist whose works you desire the most. This way, you will be in a position to choose a platform that is bound to be rewarding to you in terms of getting what you deserve and desire.

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Source by Shalini Mittal

Contemporary Art – The Importance in Today’s World

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Contemporary art has gained a lot of importance in modern households. It has become one of the most sought after household items and it has been recognized in every aspect of human life. Modern art is nowadays a tool for interpersonal communication and has far reaching effects. The increased number of persons visiting exhibitions and art galleries clearly signifies the rise in contemporary art importance. It is an indicator about the awareness of art amongst the people.

Large appreciation of masses and easy understandability are the main reasons of success of modern art. The accessibility of these arts are easy as it is released in numerous copies and forms like disks, e-books etc. Original paintings, which were hard to get in the old days, are now easy accessible through art galleries, which eventually increased the number of admirers of modern art.

However, contemporary art critics raised an argument that some arts should be reserved for certain group of people. They argued that true appreciation of art can come from people who can understand modern art. In other words, only an artist can understand the value of an art. It is true in some cases, but an artist would like to get appreciation from as many people as possible. Contemporary art will continue to express publicly understood ideas so as to get the maximum appreciation from the public.

There are various ways of acquiring modern art today. Online auctions are one of the ways where by abstract arts, oil-based painting, and impression arts can be purchased. But before you make a purchase, it is important that you do some homework on what art you would like to collect. One way of collecting required information is to make extensive research work in the internet. Other sources include libraries, magazines etc. which can give you your desired information on art.

But you have to be careful when buying a contemporary art work as there are lots of fakes in the market. But you can appoint an appraiser for the art you want to purchase. Online art auctions generally keep a track record of the art seller’s sales history and can help you determine whether the seller is a reputable person.

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Source by Sam D’costa

Explore Singapore, the Fascinating Mosaic of Cultural Diffusion!

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Singapore History:

It would not be an exaggeration to say that millions of global tourists, flocking to Singapore in search of fashion, shopping, glitz and glamor hardly know the proper history of this island city-state located on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. It is a wonder, that being the smallest country in Southeast Asia, Singapore happens to be the site of several ancient port cities and a possession of several empires in its "not-so-well-known" history.

To start with, when Singapore was colonized by the United Kingdom in the 19th century, it was nothing but a small Malay fishing village, the first records of its existence being made in the Chinese texts as early as the 3rd century. The island which then bore the javanese name "Temasek" and which happened to be an outpost of the Sumatran Srivijaya (an ancient Malay kingdom on the island of Sumatra) empire, gradually rose to become a significant trading city. However, throughout history, it had to bear the brunt of several political conflicts, which altered its destiny in course of time.

For example, Singapore was a part of the Sultanate of Johore, until it was set ablaze by portuguese troops in the Malay-Portugal wars in 1617. Again, in 1819, British East India Company made a treaty with the Sultan of Johore and established Singapore as a trading post and settlement. Later, seeing instant growth and immigration from various ethnic groups to Singapore, it was declared a crown colony by Britain in 1867. Its status was soon raised to that of an entrepot town by the ruling British empire due to its strategic location along the busy shipping routes connecting Europe to China.

Destiny had written a few more dramatic twists and turns for Singapore, "The Lion City", as it also called. Further occupied by the Japanese Empire in World War II, it finally became part of the merger which formed the "Federation of Malaysia. Finally, after much tussels with the Federal government in Kuala Lumpur, the nation ultimately acquired independence in 1965.

However, what we see today as a tousists' paradise was for many years, a fledgling nation struggling for self-sufficiency. Overburdened with mass unemployment, housing shortages and lack of land and natural resources such as petroleum, it was a sociopolitically volatile and economically undeveloped nation, relying massively on foreign investment and government-led industrialization. The situation started changing after Lee Kuan Yew joined as prime minister in 1959. Within three decades, his administration curbed unemployment, raised the standard of living and developed Singapore's economic infrastructure, thus elevating Singapore into a developing nation and subsequently to developed status.

In the recent years, the country has tackled various disasters, the major ones being the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the SARS outbreak in 2003, and terrorist threats posed by the Jemaah Islamiah (JI).

Singapore Economy:

It is really heartening to know that with 63 surrounding islets and with a total land area of ​​682 square km, the main island of Singapore, with its market-based economy, has grown into a thriving center of commerce and industry in just 150 years. Successfully increasing its manufacturing base after being a 'backward fishing village' for many years, Singapore today thrives on various industries including shipping (Singapore today is the busiest port in the world with over 600 shipping lines sending super tankers, container ships and passenger liners) , electronic components manufacturing and above all its booming travel / tourism industry. The island city state located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula that has suffered various political and economic onslaughts is now home to four million people, also boasting of one of the highest per capita gross domestic products in the world. The economic progress of Singapore as a nation can be an enriching example of how a mere "fishing village" and a British naval base for decades can be reborn as an important financial, commercial and educational center for South East Asia.

The credit for this resurrection goes to the PAP Government, who, assisted by a far-sighted Dutch economic adviser, realized the need of maintaining its colonial inheritance by attracting foreign capital from the developed world to establish export-oriented industries, while at the same time building up a modern service sector in Singapore based on banking and financial services. Needless to say, this economic strategy proved a phenomenal success, producing real growth that averaged 8.0% from 1960 to 1999. Thus, relying on foreign investment and expertise, while at the same time building up strong state enterprises, the provision of infrastructure, housing , transport and other basic services for the local population began increasing notably, and the old Singapore consisting of overcrowded and unsanitary slums was demolished strategically.

In recent years, the trade policies of the Singapore government which included commitment to free trade, active export promotion strategy, the 'open arms' policy towards multinationals and the support of trade liberalization have made Singapore an economically stable nation. In due course of time, Singapore has also developed an export trade that thrives on medium and high-technology electronics components. Such trade undoubtedly focuses on the key-strengths of Singapore, including "hi-tech" sectors as information technology and bio-technology.

Singapore Culture / Religion:

A cosmopolitan society with harmonious interaction among various different races, the inherent cultural diversity of the island is a source of one of the prime attractions of the nation. To be precise, this cultural diversity is the ultimate result of the diversity of the population, the intermingling of various ethnic groups and the amalagamation of Chinese, Malay and Indian immigrants. It is not unnatural for one to witness a Malay wedding taking place beside a Chinese wedding at a void deck, on the ground floor of a HDB apartment block in the Singapore city. Infrequent intermarriage between the Chinese and Indians are not unusual occurrences in Singapore. Besides indigenous Malay population, Singapore houses a majority of third generation Chinese as well as Indian and Arab immigrants. Thus, the diverse mix of races result in a significant degree of cultural diffusion with its unique combination of ethnic groups. Maybe that is one of the reasons why one would find very little culture that is specifically Singaporean. However, there exists a Eurasian community and a community of Peranakan or "Straits Chinese," (a community of mixed Chinese and Malay descent).

Such a significant degree of cultural diffusion has given Singapore a rich mixture of diversity for its young age. One of the prime examples is the Singapore's cuisine, a massive cultural attraction for tourists. Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian, Italian, Peranakan, Spanish, French, Thai and even Fusion tops the menu. To speak of art and culture, Singapore is identified globally an emerging cultural center for arts and culture, including theater and music. Often called the "gateway between the East and West", it has seen the emergence of several performing arts groups, especially in theatrical arts. A number of productions were staged successfully and several groups, including TheaterWorks, have performed overseas too.

As a cosmopolitian and multi-racial society, Singapore has also been the seat of major festivals from various ethnic groups associated with their respective religions. Those again, reflect the diversity of races residing there. While the Chinese are predominantly followers of Buddhism and Taoism, there are even Christians, Catholics and "free thinkers": ones who don't confirm to any religious faith. Thus, in today's Singapore, religions tend to cross racial boundaries and even merge in unusual ways, combining a little of the mysteries of the older generation with the realistic world of today.

Singapore Travel / Tourism:

Celebrated and renowned worldwide as a delightful haven for tourists, Singapore has been able to earn major revenues courtesy its booming tourism industry. With the rise of tourism in Singapore, there is a stiff competition among hotels to run for the best slot. There are cheap airline travels to Singapore today, including apex fare, discounted royalty to Singapore and the like. A seat for the world's most delectable seafood, awe-inspiring sea-beaches, impressive bird-parks and night safaris that account for wonderful wildlife adventure, Singapore today happens to be a little dynamo in Southeast Asia, embodying the finest of both East and West . Truly, the dynamic city rich in contrast and color captures the hearts of millions of global tourists with its harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture and above all, its unbridled energy.

While on entering this cosmopolitan, multi-cultural city, one experiences the mélange of flavors from around the globe, the multicultural heritage of the nation is bound to sweep one off his feet as he discovers an ever-changing mosaic of fascinating contrasts. Thus, the amalgamation of ancient beliefs and contemporary culture, of rich legacies and sleek modern living makes Singapore an ever-youthful, ever-enchanting nation for tourists.

Tourist interests in Singapore: While tourism is continually infesting ChinaTown, a cultural section of Singapore, with shops and street vendors offering a glimpse into the days of old, the Asian Civilizations Museum (a diverse cultural museum) is there to exhibit antiques like a ninth -century Buddha and a Chinese snuff box. For lovers of art and architecture, the Thian Hock Keng Temple (Historic Taoist temple near Singapore's waterfront) happens to be a "must watch" religious site. Another wonder is the unforgettable Singapore Art Museum, which, since its opening in 1996, offers an immense rotating collection of Singaporean and Malay sculpture and art. If you are a connoisseur of shopping and fine dining, there is Orchard Road, the ritzy shopping and dining area, often referred to as the "Park Avenue" of Singapore. For the lovers of spectacular underwater beauty, there is the Underwater World of Sentosa, showcasing the awe-inspiring beauty of a whole different world beneath the seas.

All said and done, the strategic location of Singapore, its cultural contrasts and diverse tourist attractions contribute to its success as a leading destination for both business and pleasure.

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Source by Lopa Bhattacharya

Take Control: Master The Art Of Self-Discipline And Change Your Life Forever by Michael A Janke

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I happened to find a used copy of “Take Control: Master The Art Of Self-Discipline And Change Your Life Forever” by former SEAL Michael A. Janke, and I’m very glad I did. Obviously, I enjoy books that relate military, martial art, and warrior themes into business and everyday life, because that is the same kind of teaching and writing I do. The skills Janke teaches in “Take Control” are key elements to succeeding in any endeavor, and if you act upon the lessons and suggestions in this book, you will undoubtedly improve your life and experience better health, and more success, all based on being more self-disciplined. It really is a positive and motivating book, and I enjoyed reading it and used it as I made some of my 2011 goals, and will look back at it during some of my planning sessions.

The first chapter focuses on the power of control, and how each of us can use the techniques in this book to develop the discipline and control to improve the various areas of our lives. I really like how Janke motivates and describes how you can improve self-discipline and be responsible for the success in our lives. Chapter two deals with goal management, and for those that already set goals, it will be familiar, but for others it may be the spark that starts the fire of goal setting.

The next chapter, three, is on personal management. Things like time discipline, self-control, and character construction. If you implement what is taught in this chapter, you will for sure improve your life. Chapter four deals with the brain and concepts like mental discipline and focus. Again, these are important areas for those who want to succeed.

Chapter five focuses on physical discipline and staying in shape. Chapter six continues with some basics on nutrition. Yes, there are books on these topics, but these chapters have some good basics and I also believe fitness is extremely important, and having the discipline to stay in shape is important for all areas of life, so I liked the inclusion of these chapters.

Chapter seven is on professional discipline. It provides some good tips for succeeding in the business world, regardless of your profession. Chapter eight is a bit different. It contains 100 secrets of power living. There are 100 ideas with a paragraph each on why they are important and why you should do them. Things like “Develop Yourself One Hour A Day,” Breath in Life,” and “Control Desire.” These 100 ideas are great to stimulate thinking of how to make your life better. The more you incorporate into your life, the better your life will be.

The book concludes with an Appendix of quotes organized by subjects such as Achievement, Determination, Perseverance, and many more. If you like quotes, this is a nice little bonus. I enjoyed reading through them. Appendix B also includes some recommended reading and other resources. It’s a pretty good list of resources over seventeen pages.

Janke’s “Take Control” is a motivating book on self-discipline. You can find the same information in other sources, but Janke’s take on the topic is direct and enjoyable. Read it and take control of your life and pursue greatness.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
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Source by Alain Burrese

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