Indian Miniature Painting – History and Techniques

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Miniature paintings are one of the many things that make an Indian proud of his country’s rich cultural heritage. Miniature paintings originated long back in the history of India. Indian Paintings can be broadly classified as the murals and miniatures. Murals are huge works executed on the walls of solid structures, as in the Ajanta Caves and the Kailashnath temple.

Miniature paintings are executed on a very small scale on perishable material such as paper and cloth. The Palas of Bengal were the pioneers of miniature painting in India. The art of miniature painting reached its glory during the Mughal period. The tradition of miniature paintings was carried forward by the painters of different Rajasthani schools of painting like the Bundi, Kishangarh, Jaipur, Marwar and Mewar. The Ragamala paintings also belong to this school.

Indian miniature paintings are renowned worldwide for their beauty, finesse and impeccable detailing. The history of Indian Miniature Paintings can be traced to the 6-7th century AD, the time, when Kashmiri Miniatures first marked their appearance. Miniature Paintings have evolved over centuries carrying the influence of other cultures. The miniature artists gave self-expression on paper, ivory panels, wooden tablets, leather, marble, cloth and walls.

Indian artists employed multiple perspectives unlike their European counterparts in their paintings. The idea was to convey reality that existed beyond specific vantage point. Some of the special Miniature paintings include illustrated manuscripts of Jains and Buddhists, the flowering of the Mughal, Rajput and Deccan miniatures. Themes used were from Indian epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagvata Purana, Rasikpriya, Rasamanjiri as well as ragas of Indian classical music, etc.

A miniature painting, as the name signifies, is an intricate, colorful illuminations or painting, small in size, executed meticulously with delicate brushwork. The colors used in miniatures are generally derived from natural sources and materials. Some of the paintings use pure gold and other precious gems and stones to extract the colors for beautifying these miniature paintings. India has a long and varied tradition of miniature paintings.

Themes of Miniature Art Paintings.

After the Mughal reign, which lasted 200 years, by the second part of the 18th century, the Rajput Maharajahs became independent. They employed these highly skilled artists to replace their own artisans, leading to a sort of painting renaissance in northern India. The whole of Rajasthan divided into numerous princely states, patronized miniature art painting. These states had evolved a characteristic style of their own.The paintings of this era have their own unique style, being influenced by the surroundings- the deserts, lakes, hills and valleys, as the case may.Colorful glimpses of history are provided by these paintings depicting hunting and court scenes, festivals, processions, animal and bird life, and scenes from the Raagmala and Raaslila — Lord Krishna´s life story. Also, courtly lavishness and prosperity have been displayed.

Mughal painting

Mughal painting is a particular style of Indian painting, generally confined to illustrations on the book and done in miniatures, and which emerged, developed and took shape during the period of the Mughal Empire 16th -19th centuries). Mughal paintings were a unique blend of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles. Because the Mughal kings wanted visual records of their deeds as hunters and conquerors, their artists accompanied them on military expeditions or missions of state, or recorded their prowess as animal slayers, or depicted them in the great dynastic ceremonies of marriages…The painters focused mostly on court scenes, royal portraits, natural scenes and landscapes.

Akbar (1556-1605) was the one who started encouraging of Mughal artist. After he had consolidated his political power, he built a new capital at Fatehpur Sikri where he collected artists from India and Persia. More than a hundred painters were employed, most of whom were Hindus from Gujarat, Gwalior and Kashmir. They worked under the two Persian master-artists Abdus Samad and Mir Sayyid Ali, but they were encouraged and inspired by Akbar.

After him, Jehangir encouraged artists to paint portraits and durbar scenes. His most talented portrait painters were Abul Hasan and Bishan Das. Shah Jahan (1627-1658) continued the patronage of painting. Some of the famous artists of the period were Mohammad Faqirullah Khan, Mir Hashim, Muhammad Nadir, Bichitr, Chitarman, Anupchhatar, Manohar and Honhar. Aurangzeb had no taste for fine arts. Due to lack of patronage artists migrated to Hyderabad in the Deccan and to the Hindu states of Rajasthan in search of new patrons.

Rajput painting

The Rajput School of Miniature Painting imbibed inspiration from the Krishna legends. The emphasis was more on the man and woman relationship and paintings were aesthetic portrayal of their emotion, love and passion. The lovemaking scenes of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha are some of the finest specimens of the paintings. Rajput painting, a style of Indian painting, evolved and flourished, during the 18th century, in the royal courts of Rajputana, India. Each Rajput kingdom evolved a distinct style, but with certain common features.

Rajput paintings depict a number of themes, events of epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Krishna’s life, beautiful landscapes, and humans. Miniatures were the preferred medium of Rajput painting, but several manuscripts also contain Rajput paintings, and paintings were even done on the walls of palaces, inner chambers of the forts, havelies, particularly, the havelis of Shekhawat.The colors extracted from certain minerals, plant sources, conch shells, and were even derived by processing precious stones, gold and silver were used. The preparation of desired colors was a lengthy process, sometimes taking weeks. Brushes used were very fine.

Jodhpur School: The centre of this hand made paintings are love scenes then the other art figures. The Jodhpur School of Miniature paintings depict love scenes of lovers Dhola and Maru on camel back. There are hunting scenes with elephants and horses. The major colors used in this style of painting are gold and stone color.

Jaipur School:

Gods and goddesses, kings and durbars are very attractively painted on hand made papers by the artists.

Kangra School:

Real gold, stone, and water colors are squirrel-hair brushes are used. Glittering effect is extended using silver and golden colors.

Mewar School of Painting:

These represent hunting scenes which are painted on cloth and handmade paper using stone colors

Technique of Miniature Paintings:

A high degree of expertise is required as it involves the use of a very fine brush. The strokes should be absolutely perfect as they should be intricate, colorful and rational impressions. The colors used are mainly derived from minerals, vegetables, and precious stones, indigo, conch shells, gold and silver which are obtained through a painstaking process. Paper painting in Miniature art are done on old or new hand made paper of very fine quality that depict Animals, Birds, Butterfly, Mughal themes and more. One can put these as wall hanging decorations. Miniature paintings made of pure marble slabs that feature Mythology, Birds, Turbans, Women and Mughal themes can be used as table tops or wall frames as well. Miniature Painting is painstaking efforts of skill and talent exhibited by Indian artisans. They have been well acclaimed and received by the world all over.

Step 1: Choose a design

Step 2: First draw the required pattern on the trace paper and copy the design into the cloth/paper using carbon sheet

Step3 Now first paint the human figures. Then animals and other components of the picture. The background is painted last. This is to set each area’s base color

Step4 This step need fine brushes to beautify the Floors, carpets, human figure with intricate detailing. This also includes techniques like shading, highlighting, washing,

Step 5 Outlines the figures with a darker color and highlight the jewelery and other parts using metallic paints to give an appearance of richness.

Step 6 Burnishing is the last stage. The miniature art painting is laid face down on a hard surface, and an agate stone is used to stroke it firmly. This gives the painting a uniform texture.

To this date, Indian and Mughal Miniature paintings provide an interesting insight into the lifestyles of earlier centuries and continue to fascinate people.

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The Stages of Anorexia

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Anorexia nervosa is one of the most prevalent and dangerous eating disorders known to man. It is known to many in that it is characterized by the sufferer refusing to eat and losing extreme amounts of weight until they often resemble nothing more than a skin covered skeleton which can often lead to death in the most severe cases.

The stages of anorexia can be different for different people but they all follow a similar pattern in that the symptoms and effects worsened as time progresses. Anorexia nervosa is a treatable disorder, but there is no known specific cure. It is important to note the different stages listed below and their characteristics so that you can begin to identify if you or someone you know is suffering from this condition. In either case, seek treatment immediately so that the condition does not worsen.

Stage One of anorexia may simply resemble someone deciding to take part in a rigorous exercise program. They may exercise every day but simply appear as a fitness conscious individual.

Stage Two occurs when the individual begins obsessing not only about exercise, but food as well. This can be constantly talking about what they had to eat or how long it’s been since they had their last meal.

Stage Three is often characterized by the sufferer obsessing about trying to eat the fewest calories possible in order to still have energy to exercise and lose additional weight. This may be weeks or months and actually having the disorder and physical characteristics such as looking gaunt or pale or having circles below the eyes may exist.

Stage Four may be recognized as the person begins obsessing about their appearance in the mirror in a very public way. This may be pulling up their shirt to see how many of the ribs they can visibly count, or looking at their back to see if their spine or other bones are showing. Many people work to keep this condition private so friends and family may never witnessed this personally.

Stage Five shows just how much of a downward spiral can occur because of this harmful disorder. As anorexia progresses, one of the symptoms is that the sufferer will begin to gauge how many days they can go without eating before they faint. At this stage, fainting is common. Friends and family should certainly take notice and begin to seek treatment for this individual immediately. At this stage, the disorder has truly taken hold and the ones suffering may be completely helpless to do anything about it.

Stage Six and beyond simply sees the downward spiral continue, often at a rapid pace. Fainting spells, bloody noses, incredibly thin physiques, and extreme lack of energy are common characteristics of later stage anorexia.

Please keep in mind that the above stages are guidelines and indicative of many, but not all sufferers of anorexia. The most important thing to look for is long-term weight loss coupled with obsessive behaviors about exercise and food. It is extremely important that if you think you or someone you love may be suffering, seek treatment immediately. Anorexia kills, don’t let this happen to you or anyone you know.

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Source by Emile Jarreau

Life Drawing – 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Drawing a Nude Model

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Do

1 – Do Arrive Early

Due to the popularity of life drawing classes (I can’t imagine what for?) even large-sized classrooms can easily become packed out. No one cares for the slacker turning up late, clambering over everyone’s easels, elbowing people in the face. Being a latecomer won’t make you popular. Also it is embarrassing for everyone concerned when you start asking to borrow a knife to sharpen your pencils or masking tape to stick the paper to your board. Yes – make sure you get all that chit chat and material pilfering over with before the model even disrobes.

2 – Do Draw The Whole Model

Although this isn’t a problem for the serious artist, when I attended art college it was surprising the number of people who chose to either eliminate areas of the model’s naked body, or concentrate too hard on one specific ‘region’. Unless it is your raison d’être and master plan for world domination, it probably doesn’t serve your masterpiece well to do a tiny doodle or a huge close up of the model’s breasts (or whatever your favorite part is). You will appear amateurish and slightly foolish. Another good tip for impressing the tutor is to begin drawing your drawing from the inside-out rather than just focussing on the outline of the body. Although Picasso got away with it in his awesome nudes the Van Gogh ‘crazy marks everywhere’ approach is more artistically engaging.

4 – Do Draw Negative Spaces

A good way of convincing everyone that you aren’t simply there to act like a deviant and behave badly – and, more importantly, learn something about drawing – is to focus on drawing the spaces between the figure. Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? However it is often the case that by filling in the background as much as the figure itself, a stunning drawing can be achieved, especially if you draw a silhouette of the figure — perhaps basking in the shadows as the daylight fades from the room. Another reason to draw in this style is because a nude is far more alluring and atmospheric when details of the body are suggested as opposed to rendered in full, resplendent detail. This sometimes also has the dual benefit of making your drawing easier to do. Why make it hard on yourself? Knock everyone’s socks off with this clever trick.

3 – Do Remember Sketching A Nude Figure Is The Same As Any Other Drawing

It sounds obvious but some people get carried away with the fact that they are drawing a naked human being. Keep it real. Artists have been focussed on using the nude as a subject for centuries and not all of them slept with their models. It is unlikely to go down well if you form an unhealthy stalker-like fixation on the model. Also, if you join a class which runs for a full semester, it is likely the actual model will be switched around and you never know who will turn up. It will become very suspicious if you suddenly vanish when the seventy year old, bearded man makes and appearance but start hanging around for ages before the class when there are rumors of the twenty-five year old naked Swedish girl being ‘on’ this week.

5 – Do Pay Attention to Foreshortening

If you look at any object from different angles it has a different eclipse. The nude human figure is no different. You are trying to create the illusion of depth which is no easy feat. Foreshortening is quite like perspective and can either be used as an excuse to show off – for the well practiced and talented – or a very easy way to display your shortcomings (and perhaps give you away as a voyeuristic intruder). Just keep the faith and move around the room, taking advantage of the versatility you can obtain by drawing multiple poses. Before long you will be as good as some pompous renaissance artist.

Don’t

1 – Don’t Dictate The Flow Of The Class

Some novice life drawers are surprised when the tutor suddenly goes all hyper-active and starts ordering the class to carry out quick ‘familiarization exercises’ such as doing lightening-quick charcoal sketches and frustrating fifteen minute poses in which the model is told to change pose when you are just getting started. It is outrageous to vent your frustration in such a situation and you may even risk being banned from the class for being a troublemaker.

2 – Don’t Forget To Use The ‘Thumb and Pencil Method’ When Drawing The Face

Although you may feel somewhat self-conscious standing there with your arm outstretched, the thumb-and-pencil-method is a sure way to make certain that everything balances up. Become aware of seemingly irrelevant facts such as how many human heads fit into the nude human body and how you can line your pencil up with the top of the model’s head and slide your finger down until you get to the chin. This is a basic unit of measurement which you can use to figure out the rest of the proportions in the body.

3 – Don’t Be Afraid Of Drawing Yourself

When not in class the enthusiastic can use whatever spare time they have to keep up the good work. All you need is a mirror to draw yourself. The bold can take their work into the class next week or you can stuff your sketches in an old drawer. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that you are developing as a figurative artist. Many famous artist’s such as Van Gogh and Rembrant have used their own bodies – or at least their faces – in their paintings. One good exercise is to look out some old photos and choose a few where you are in a situation that brings back positive memories. Start blocking the background from the photo into your drawing or painting and simultaneously use a mirror to draw yourself in the present moment. The cheerful associations from the photo will affirm everything that is sanguine about yourself and art in general.

4. Don’t Look Down On Online Virtual Figure Drawing Galleries

There are many portals on the internet where models – such as onemodelplace.com – pose using full frontal nudity in the name of art. Some sites are composed of glamour models as well as artist’s models but you can usually find a good array of figures, shapes and forms. Choose someone who arouses your interest and draw them repeatedly for several weeks then move onto another model. Some 3D computer artists post their animated models online which allow you to turn the model’s body around in three dimensions. This can be particularly helpful when learning foreshortening and how to draw accurate proportions.

5. Don’t Go Out With The Model

Although it may be fine to date the tutor if they are a part time lecturer it is a no-no to hit on the model. Some classes meet in coffee shops and bars after the class but it isn’t usual for the model to attend. Conflicting signals can be sent by entirely liberated models who skirt around the class during rest breaks without putting their robe back on. If confronted by the large breasted naked Swedish exchange student complimenting your drawing whilst smiling at you in the afternoon sunlight try to see that as enough without also asking her to accompany you on a dinner date.

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Source by Russell Steedman

A Forgotten LDS Art – Film Strips

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LDS people love media because it allows them to be able to share the message of the gospel and tell stories. Before the VCR, DVDs and other other types of media were available, members and missionaries of the Mormon church used a simple type of technology to tell stories; this media is called filmstrips. Filmstrips are 35mm rolls of film that are projected through a simple projector. The projector sends light through the film and the images is projected on the wall or white screen. When the slide needs to be changed you turn a dial on the projector. Audio is provided by an audio cassette tape or a vinyl record. When the slide needs to be changed you hear a small beep.

Filmstrips were used by the Mormon church from the 1960s until the 1990s. However, filmstrips began to lose popularity when LDS meeting houses began purchasing VCRs and televisions in the late 1980s. Many regular films were converted to filmstrips because it was significantly cheaper than a moving picture system. Some of the most notable films that were converted to filmstrips were movies such as, the Mormon classics “Johnny Lingo” and “Windows of Heaven”. Gordon Jump, the actor who starred in the television sitcom “WKRP”, was featured in a filmstrip called “It All Started with Thad”.

Filmstrips are a forgotten LDS Art. The technology is so old that modern youth find it fascinating. In the 1970s or 1980s this technology would have been common place in a Mormon Sunday school class. In the Mormon stage play film “Saturday’s Warrior”, the Missionaries use a filmstrip projector to share a missionary discussion. Elder Kestler projects the filmstrip onto the portly stomach of Elder Green.

Filmstrips were used to tell the Mormon message; they told Book of Mormon Stories, Church History Stories, and also taught lessons to youth, teachers and leaders. This technology was popular among members of the Mormon faith, and many public schools used this technology as well.

This form of art and media has been lost due to the availability and convenience of modern video equipment, however, you can still purchase or find filmstrips that have been converted to modern recording devices, such as DVDs, at the Mormon Church Distribution centers in very limited availability.

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Source by Trent Bowen

Lighting a Fine Craft Trade Show Booth – Options for the Budget-Conscious Artist

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Good lighting is a main ingredient of a successful trade-show booth. Just the right lighting system can help an artist create the atmosphere of a fine-craft gallery. This will lure gallery owners off the isles and into your booth – the first step toward making a sale.

Lighting is a relatively expensive investment. So how does the budget-conscious artist find the right solution?

When it comes to choosing a lighting system, artists new to the trade show circuit often become overwhelmed. Prices vary wildly, and each convention center may have its own lighting rules. Lighting technology is changing rapidly, making the choices harder still.

This article details what I learned while tackling the challenge of lighting my 10’X10’ booth at the American Craft Retailers Expo (ACRE), a large wholesale show for American and Canadian craft artists. As I am new to trade shows, this information is meant only as a pointer for artists in the process of choosing lighting, and perhaps also for more seasoned artists looking to update their systems.

In examining many different lighting options, my objective was to illuminate my glass jewelry beautifully but inexpensively. I wanted the lights to be lightweight and modular, to fit in boxes for shipping to the show. I was looking for contemporary styling, in silver or black. And I wanted to have at least one special lighting effect – not too flashy – to give my booth a unique element.

In his CD on booth design, art business consultant Bruce Baker suggests 1,000 watts will light up a 10’X10’ booth very effectively. I decided to stay at or under 500 watts, however, because the ACRE show includes 500 watts with the booth price, and the halogen lighting I ultimately decided upon illuminates my displays very well. Since I bought the lights at a “big-box” store with sites in virtually every city in the U.S., I can add more lights once I’m at the trade show if necessary.

The Battle of the Bulb

Contractors Choice Lighting (www.ccl-light.com) says a light fixture is simply a “bulb holder.” The bulb, therefore, should drive one’s choice of a fixture. This is somewhat true for trade-show lighting, although the fixtures may dictate the types of bulbs, depending on the choices available at the store where one shops for the lights. The CCL website offers a “Bulb Photometrics” page ([http://ccl-light.com/photometrics.html]), whose graphical representation is a refreshing departure from the complex descriptions of lighting options that have proliferated on the web.

Halogen is the bulb of choice for many trade show exhibitors. It offers a crisp, white light. Although people commonly refer to halogen as non-incandescent, it is in fact a kind of incandescent lamp. It generates light by using a thin filament wire made of tungsten, heated to white by passing an electric current through it. According to General Electric, the first halogen lamp was developed in 1959 – not too long ago for many of us!

Halogen bulbs differ significantly from the traditional type of incandescents we grew up with. The halogen bulb’s filament is surrounded by halogen gases (iodine or bromine, specifically). These gases let the filaments operate at higher temperatures. The end result is a higher light output per watt.

The gases also do something rather miraculous: Tungsten tends to evaporate off the filament over time, and the gases actually help re-deposit the tungsten onto the filament. This extends the bulb’s life way beyond that of the traditional incandescent bulb, whose evaporated tungsten clings to the walls of the bulb like a smoky apparition and eventually the uncoated filament snaps. Who hasn’t rattled a burnt-out light bulb and enjoyed the jazzy cymbal sound of the broken filament inside?

In addition to giving off more light than traditional incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs emit a whiter light that provides better color rendition. “For highlighting and bringing out true colors, use halogen lamps,” suggests USA Light and Electric’s website (www.usalight.com). “Nothing looks better than the drama brought in with halogen lamps.”

Baker also suggests halogen lights – floodlights in particular – for a contemporary look, especially for jewelry and glass. It’s important to consider that other fine craft materials such as ceramics and wood might be better enhanced with halogen spotlights, or even with some of the more traditional incandescent lights that emit a warmer color.

Having decided upon halogen lighting, my next task would be to choose bulbs. The ACRE show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which has instituted a strict halogen lighting policy. Each light cannot exceed 75 watts, and all halogen bulbs must be factory sealed in glass (not in a removable lens or linear shape).

Thankfully, there is plenty of factory-sealed halogen lighting, in the form of PAR halogen bulbs. PAR is an acronym for “parabolic aluminized reflector.” PAR bulbs have a built-in reflecting surface made of pressed glass. The glass provides both an internal reflector and prisms in the lens for control of the light beam.

PAR bulbs are numbered, as in PAR 16, PAR 20, PAR 56. The PAR number refers to the bulb shape. Bulbs.com has a halogen section of the site where you can quickly compare the various PAR bulbs visually. Within a given category of PAR bulbs there are various wattages, wide and narrow spotlights and floodlights, different base sizes, and even different colors.

Fortunately I was able to skip the process of deciding on a PAR bulb by deciding first where to shop for my lights (more on that below).

Power Issues

When you go to shop for track lights, you’ll notice there’s a choice between 12-volt and 120-volt fixtures. 120 is the standard voltage that comes directly into most homes and offices – and convention centers.

For a lamp using 120 volts, no additional parts are necessary beyond a regular socket. 120-volt fixtures generally are lighter than 12-volt fixtures because they don’t need a transformer. They also cost less and can use halogen or regular incandescent bulbs.

I stopped short of investigating 12-volt fixtures, except to find out that they step down the amount of energy being used to a lower voltage, and thus are more energy efficient. They require a transformer to convert the 120-volt household current to 12 volts, and they may require hardwiring (although one artist I know found a 12-volt fixture with a built-in transformer which she was able to plug into a 120-volt outlet. A 12-volt fixture accommodates very efficient bulbs that offer a variety of wattages and beam spreads, including the 50-watt MR-16, which is popular in galleries.

I decided on 120-volt lighting for the trade show, because I wouldn’t have to worry about transformers and could just plug it in.

Choosing a Store and Track Lighting

I read the ACRE online forum for clues about where to buy lighting. What one artist said struck me as eminently sensible: He buys all his lighting at Home Depot, because if anything goes wrong at the show, he can find a store nearby for replacement parts.

This was something to consider: Tempting as the gorgeous designs might be, special-order lighting of any kind introduces the risk of having a malfunctioning light for the duration of a show.

Another artist on the ACRE online forum said he buys his lights from Lowes. It probably doesn’t matter which big-box store one chooses, as long as there’s one in every city.

Since I was new to trade shows and this was to be my first lighting kit, I resisted choosing from the many good suppliers on the web. I settled on the limited but attractive selection at Lowes. A side benefit of this was that my choices were comfortably narrowed.

Within the category of halogen lighting, you can get either track lights or stem-mounted lights (with arms extending outward). I went with track lights. This was partly because the stem lights I found on the web were relatively expensive and Lowe’s didn’t offer them, and partly because with track lights I could have one cord instead of several hanging down.

The Lowes lighting salesperson was helpful in putting together a full package from the track lighting on display and in stock. I decided on four, two-foot tracks to keep the size of my shipping boxes down. Here’s a rundown of what I bought:

· 4 two-foot track sections, Portfolio brand, black finish, Item #225678. Each section holds 2 lights, for a total of 8. Total: $23.12

· 8 Flared Gimbal Track Lights, Portfolio brand, Item #120673, with a satin chrome finish for a contemporary look. They are easy to attach to the track by following the directions. Total: $80.76

· 8 halogen bulbs, Par 20, 50-watt, for bright, crisp light. I bought several floodlights and a couple of spotlights. The bulbs are very packable, at a little over 3” long and 2.5” in diameter. Total: $60.00

· 2 Miniature Straight Connectors by Portfolio, Item #120716, for joining two of the track sections end to end. The idea is to have only one cord to plug in from a row of four lights. Total: $5.92.

· 2 Cord and Plug Sets, Portfolio brand, Item #120827, to power track from a standard AC wall outlet. I connected these to the end of the two of the track sections by unscrewing the covering on one side of the track. Total: $17.06

· Various Multi-Purpose Ties (cable ties), by Catamount, for attaching tracks to booth pipes. Total: $5.00

· 2 heavy-duty extension cord/power strips – 14-gauge, 15-feet, with three outlets each, Woods brand, from Lowe’s, Item #170224, model 82965. Total: $22.00

Grand total: $213.86

The Gimbal lights I chose only accept a 50-watt, PAR 20 bulb, which made it easy to pick out the bulbs. So in this case, the fixture drove the choice of bulb, not the other way around.

According to the Bulb Photometrics page at Contractors Choice Lighting, a PAR 20, 50-watt halogen flood bulb will emit a beam of light with a 5’4” diameter when it reaches 10 feet away. It offers about 12 foot-candles worth of light at 10 feet away from the bulb (a foot-candle is the level of illumination on a surface one foot away from a standard candle.)

For the sake of comparison, a PAR 30 beam offers a diameter of more than 8’ at 10 feet away, and you still get about 14 foot-candles at that distance. What happens if you notch it up to a 75-watt bulb? You get a lot more foot-candles (38) at 10 feet away. This suggests that larger trade-show booths might want to take advantage of higher PAR and higher watt bulbs.

All together, the track lighting system I chose uses 400 watts of electricity. This left me another 100 watts to add specialty or accent lighting to my booth, while still remaining at the 500-watt limit.

Cords, Plugs and Hanging Lights

The Las Vegas Convention Center has very strict rules for cords, plugs, and hanging lights.

The two-pronged, 18-gauge cords that the manufacturer has attached to your lights are acceptable (leave the UL tags and labels intact). These lighting cords cannot be plugged into the convention center outlet, however. Instead, you must plug them into a three-pronged, heavy duty, 14-gauge extension cord – or a breaker strip with a 14-gauge cord. You can then plug that 14-gauge extension cord into the convention center outlet.

A 14-gauge extension cord is capable of handling 1,825 watts. It’s helpful to read the brief extension-cord sizing and safety information on the web pages of the Underwriters Laboratories (www.ul.com/consumers/cords.html) and the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service ([http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY800]) before purchasing a cord.

Bruce Baker suggests the cord be 20 feet with six outlets, and that it include a cord reel. I couldn’t find this type of cord at Lowe’s, so I decided on two 15-foot, heavy-duty, 14-gauge extension cord/power strips, each offering three outlets. If you have a larger booth, you can find a 25-foot cord with three outlets at Lowe’s.

There are so many different approaches to hanging lights, and so many variables to consider, that it could be a topic for another article. In general, you can hang or clip lights onto a cross bar or onto the “hard walls” of your display if you have them. Depending on the rules of a particular trade show and the size your lighting system, you may be permitted to attach the lights to the booth’s existing pipe and drape.

Since my booth design does not include my own walls, my lights will attach either to the existing pipe or to a cross bar. Cable ties (commonly called “zip ties”) appear to be tool of choice for attaching tracks to the pipes or bars, and even for attaching additional cross bars to existing pipe and drape. One artist I know uses Velcro strips, followed by cable ties to secure the attachments. There are a few entire websites for cable ties. One of them is http://www.cabletiesplus.com .

I purchased Multi-Purpose Ties from Home Depot. They can bundle 4 inches in diameter, withstand temperatures up to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, and hold up to 50 lbs.

Accent Lighting: LEDs

There are many ideas for accent lighting – although a fair treatment of the topic is beyond the scope of this article. Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is one technology that is experiencing breakthroughs and growing fast. It takes many LEDs to equal the light output of a 50-watt bulb, and LEDs are fairly expensive, so LEDs aren’t ready for prime time when it comes to lighting a whole booth.

There are several close-up applications for LEDs, however, that are worth looking into now. An example is the in-counter light bar sold by MK Digital Direct at http://www.mkdigitaldirect.com (at a whopping $175 per foot). The more affordable MK Sparkle Light Pocket ($30) is a portable device that has extra long-life of over 100,000 continuous hours and promises to give jewelry “maximum sparkle and scintillation.”

The Nexus mini LED light system (www.ccl-light.com), meanwhile, offers a lot of illumination for its size – a puck shape not much bigger than a quarter. The company says it is for direct display lighting of crystal and glass, and it can even be submerged in water. The light is attached to a 12’ cable that ends in a plug, and has “mode switch” with seven different color choices. Unfortunately, white is not one of the color choices, and at $25 it’s a bit expensive. Still, a few of these lights combined with room lighting could draw viewers into your booth and toward your most dramatic displays.

LEDS also include tube lights, flexible lights, linear lights, and bulbs. Superbright LEDs (www.superbrightleds.com/edison.html ) has a collection of 120-volt screw-in LED bulbs for accent and other low-lighting applications, as well as a host of other fascinating products such as “plant up-light fixtures.”

At this writing, the search was still on for accent lighting to give my booth an extra special glow. Stay tuned for a future article on the results.

Online Resources

The following list is not an endorsement, but rather a starting point for research on lighting systems, cable ties, and accent lighting.

http://www.ccl-light.com – inexpensive and many choices, has “Bulb Photometrics” page to help determine how much light and what kind you want from a bulb

http://www.direct-lighting.com – stem-mounted and track lights

http://www.usalight.com – large selection of lighting and bulbs

http://www.bulbs.com – quick visual comparison of PAR bulbs (in halogen section)

http://www.cabletiesplus.com – Cable (zip) ties for securing track lights to pipe

http://www.mkdigitaldirect.com – LED lights for jewelry cases

http://www.american-image.com/products/lights/lights.html – a nice selection and visual layout of stem-mounted and other lighting (but not cheap)

http://www.brightmandesign.com/products/wash-super.html – good technical information and images of lights set-ups for trade shows; several stem-mounted clip-on designs

http://www.superbrightleds.com – LED accent lighting, including screw-in bulbs and light bars

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Source by Alice Horrigan

Lion And Wolf Tattoos – The Most Popular Animal Tattoo Designs

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Animal tattoos have become very popular in the recent times. Different animals like butterflies, snakes, turtles, spiders and dolphins are being inked on the body parts of human beasts nowdays. Lion and wolf tattoos are also very popular. Although wolf tattoo designs are mainly popular among men, still women are also having it on their skin nowdays. Here in this article we will deal with these two popular animal tattoos for women.

A wolf tattoo generally comes in two definite designs-realistic or portrait looking style and cartoon like prints. Realistic style is more preferred by women. It has a defect meaning and significance. Energy, power and aggression are some of the most significant meanings associated with a wolf tattoo design.

Wolves are generally considered as evil and menacing and then you will find this kind of tattoo design only on those who are fascinated by fierceness of a wolf. This animal is also used as a mythical character and appears in many fables and folk tales. This adds charm and mystery as well as an element of danger. This creature is also related to cunningness and cruelty. These characters make the creature more bewitching and captivating.

However, many positive meanings are also associated with this animal. It has an important role to play in the lives of North American tribes. It even symbolizes guidance and intelligence. As wolves live in pack, they even symbolize loyalty and unity.

Various designs of wolf tattoos are available. Some of the most popular one's only the head of the animal, the entire body of it, a wolf near the moon, a pack of wolves, howling wolf, snarling wolf and a wolf looking through the paws. All these different designs are imprinted on the body using colors such as white, black, red, dark blue and many others.

There are many places of imprinting this animal design on the body. If you plan to imprint a pack of wolves, the most preferred place on the body includes the stomach, back and shoulders. If you wish to have the head of the wolf marked on your body, you can make it done on your leg, arm, back of neck and waist. Wolf tattoo designs are usually donned by adventure lovers, bikers and hippie culture followers.

Lion tattoos have always been preferred by women because this design represents female superiority in its highest form. Most of the women who choose to go for this design want to show their place in the stars, meaning it is just a symbol of astrology.

Different designs of lion tattoos are available. Most of the women prefer to go for pattern that depicts a realistic lion. The design of this approach focuses the lion either on a distant object or its captivating eyes and flowing lines of savanna from where it came and beckons you with its eyes. Some of the designs are done so beautifully that you will not feel like moving your eyes from it. You can literally spend hours gazing into the design. Some of the other designs of this tattoo art include tribal styles and cartoonish lions.

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Source by John Dr Leana

Tips For Attractive Book Covers

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As important as it is to write the best book possible (quality will lead to word-of-mouth sales), the book may never leave the bookstore shelf if the cover doesn’t grab the reader’s eye. Bottom line, what your book cover looks like is probably the most important aspect of the entire book design and marketing process.

In designing your book cover, remember, “Less is more.” A simple straightforward concept on the cover will do more than complicated designs and fancy artwork. If the cover doesn’t grab the readers’ eyes and make them curious about your book within a couple of seconds, the sale is lost.

Here are a few tips to make sure your book cover is as visually effective as possible.

Study Similar Book Covers:

Go to your local bookstore (you can look at books online as well but you do not get as immediate an effect nor see books next to each other). Look at books in the same category as yours, whether it’s romance novels, cookbooks, self-help, or fishing. When you go to the section of the store where someday your book will be, what’s the first cover that grabs your eye? Why that cover? Is it the color, the people or scenery on the cover, the boldness of the title? What makes the cover stand out compared to the other covers? Look at what you consider the best cover(s) and also the worst covers. What makes you judge a book by its cover the way you do?

Colors:

Think about the psychological effect of the colors you will use on your cover. If you’re writing a book on meditation, you probably don’t want a black or red cover because those colors traditionally suggest danger, fear, guilt, death, or anger. White or blue-colors that are more soothing and peaceful, are probably more appropriate. Again look at other books in the same category and consider the colors they use. How do you want people to feel about your book’s content? What color makes you feel that way?

As an interesting side note, in the 1980s when Helen Hooven Santmyer’s bestseller “…And Ladies of the Club” was published, the publisher printed four different covers. Each book had the same artwork, but the book came out in different colors-pink, yellow, green, and blue. I’m sure the multiple colors resulted in more sales because the blue cover appealed to people who might not have paid attention to the yellow one. I remember seeing all four versions beside each other in the department store on a center aisle table. It was hard not to pay attention.

Title and Author’s Name:

Unless you’re Stephen King, your name should appear at the bottom of the cover. Your name is unlikely to be what sells your book so it shouldn’t be the first words the customer reads. Instead, put your title at the top and make it as large and preferably larger than your name. Make sure it is easily readable, clear, and stands out. Simple fonts are better than fancy scripts that might make a letter difficult to read or your title misunderstood. Make sure you choose a neutral color like white or black, but one that will not blend in with the color behind it.

Artwork:

Make sure the artwork matches the content of your book and does not distort what the book is about. An excellent example of what not to do is the marketing that has been done for some of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery novels. Christie is not a bloody or gory writer, but various publishers since her death have created book covers that have mouths with blood streaming out of them and knitting needles in people’s heads. These covers may be sensational and grab attention, but they also do a disservice because readers who might otherwise enjoy the books will stay away under the impression the books are gruesome. Similarly, people who like a gruesome story will feel cheated when they pay for the book only to find no guts or gore in it.

I have seen books with pictures on their covers that have nothing to do with the book’s content, but the author simply liked the artwork. While the author should have a say in the cover, they should give some ideas or concepts to the artist and then let the artist, the expert, create the cover. Make sure the artist hired has designed book covers before and is willing to give multiple samples and will continue to tweak the cover until you are satisfied. Especially if you want to have people or animals on your cover, ask for samples of the artist’s work-nothing looks worse than a poorly drawn person.

Do not hire an amateur to do your book cover. It will look unprofessional and may even be laughable. Do not let hurting the feelings of your niece, the art major, stand in the way of your book sales. Do not try to save money by doing your own cover. Book covers are not a reason to become sentimental, nor should you spare expense on them. Paying a professional to design the cover is the best investment in your book that you will make.

Make sure the cover is not too busy. Do a distance test. Have the cover reduced to one inch in height, about the size it will be on the Internet. If at that size the artwork cannot be easily distinguished, the artwork is too complicated. Also take the cover art at book size and stand ten or twenty feet away from it to make sure it is distinguishable.

Occasionally, photographs are used on book covers. Photographs are fine if the photograph clearly represents the book. Nature scenes are preferable for self-help, spirituality type books. Historical books, fiction and non-fiction, might use a historical photograph. Authors should avoid putting photographs of themselves on their covers unless their faces are well-known (Dr. Phil, Bill Cosby, or Barack Obama well-known). Sadly, unless you’re drop-dead gorgeous, your face will probably hurt your sales.

Spine Design:

What to include on your back cover will be a separate article, but I’ll include what to do with the book cover spine here. Chances are that only your book’s spine will be visible in the bookstore, so make sure your name and book title are clear and easily readable on the spine. Do something simple to make the spine stand out, such as including a small version or detail from the front cover. I’m a big fan of book covers that carry the artwork from the front cover across the spine and to the back-this design makes books feel lush and exciting in my opinion. This larger picture will make the spine stand out, but make sure it does not make the spine too busy. You might have a ship on the front cover and a lighthouse on the back cover, but on the spine, just have some ocean waves toward the bottom so it does not take away from the book’s title.

Final Tips:

No book cover is perfect, and different covers will appeal to different readers. Do your best to create the cover that will appeal to the largest number of people. Don’t settle for the first option, but look at your book with various covers and various colors, and get as much feedback from people as possible. Don’t just ask friends, but take your samples to bookstores and ask the workers what they think will sell. Once the book is published, if you get positive comments on the covers, great. If sales are slow and you get no comments on the book cover, consider changing it for the next print run.

Remember, your cover is your first selling point so take the time and invest the money needed to make sure it’s done right.

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Source by Irene Watson

Cosplay Subculture

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Cosplay is a youth subculture originating in Japan. The moniker is derived from the words "costume" and "play", and is believed to have been first thought up in 1984 by a Japanese studio executive named Nov Takahashi. When he wrote for Japanese science fiction magazines about the impressive costumes worn by attendees at the Los Angeles World Science Fiction Convention, he typically adopted the portmanteau term cosplay, which is used to describe the trend today.

The main feature of cosplay is that participants enjoy dressing up as their favorite characters from anime, comic books, and video games. It has developed to include, particularly when adopted in the west, people dressing up as characters from popular non-Asian fantasy and science fiction movies and games, such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who and World of Warcraft.

As a fashion concept, cosplay has also been seen to extend towards a style of dressing up not only as established, famous characters, but as characters that the enthusiast has developed themselves. This is often a crossover into the Japanese Lolita style of dress, where girls wear a distinct, cute style. This allows girls who like the look but do not want to fully adopt the Lolita style as street dress to enjoy the less serious "Cosplay Lolita" style at cosplay events and events.

Additional trends and sub-genres in cosplay include "crossplay", which involves wearing the costume of a character of the opposite sex, and participants called "dollars", who wear full body suits and masks to play characters without their own faces on show, rather like sports mascots.

Cosplay is usually something that takes place at parties, concerts, conventions and venues where likeminded people meet to show off their (often hand crafted) costumes, socialize, and photograph other enthusiasts. The most popular area for these kind of activities is the fashionable Harajuku area of ​​Tokyo. In the district of Akihabara, a number of cosplay themed cafés have been opened during the last decade to cater to the cosplayers, and the staff all wear anime themed costumes themselves.

Twice a year, hundreds of thousands of cosplayers flock to Tokyo to visit the Comiket convention and market – the largest event in the world for cosplay enthusiasts.

The concept of dressing up and of taking part in role play based around popular characters also exists in the west, where cosplay style outfits are worn to attend science fiction and comic book conventions. The largest of these is held annually in San Diego.

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Source by Miroslav Versegi

Glass Painting – Mixing Paints To Make The Most Of Colors In A Reverse Glass Painting

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Having done reverse glass painting for eight years, I still find that there are some things to learn. The one very best thing that can be learned about is colors, and how they affect each other. One of the most important aspects of any painting, is how the colors play on each other. Sometimes, it can really be a process getting the right ones! If you just want to stick with the basics, that will make things so much easier until you have enough experience to feel your way through it. So, here are the basics.

Glass painting, and mixing colors are something you want to know about.

If you are going to do some glass painting, it helps a lot to know something about colors to make the most of it. Why spend hours painting every spot on a cheetah if you may not even be able to see it if the background ends up too dark? Make your colors work for you! There are only three primary colors. Red, Blue and Green are the only colors that can not be mixed from any other colors. Likewise, there are only three secondary colors. If two primary colors are mixed together in equal proportions, the end result will be a secondary color. Orange is made from red and yellow, two of the primaries. Green is made from blue and yellow, and violet is made from red and blue. There is a multitude of intermediate colors. These are also called tertiary colors, but I said we would keep it simple, so let us just call them intermediate. This would be a primary color mixed with a secondary color. A few examples of this would be blue green, peach, and mauve. Red, orange and yellow are called warm, or aggressive colors. The cool, or receding colors are blues, greens and violets. A tint is a color plus white. A tone is a color plus gray. A shade is a color plus black. The value is the lightness or darkness of a color. All right! If you can get that part down you are half way there! The second part of this journey is putting this in action!

For the main subject of the painting, try, as much as possible, to use primary and intermediate colors. Keep these colors as strong as you can! Even though blue is usually thought of as a receding color, it is also primary. You can use it for up close and personal type things! If later on in the painting, you want the blues to recede, you are going to need to mix the blue paint to make a tone, a plus gray color. The warm colors, the color that is pure, and demands to be seen, will be used only in minimal amounts as the back ground recedes. Only where it is really needed!

For the less important things in the painting, the background, let it do just that. Let it recede. Dull the colors down. Let it recede with the tones. My plan is to write more on the tones later, but for now we are going to keep it simple. As the back ground of the painting recedes, the colors will become lighter, since, only tints of the colors that you started with. If you will allow the background to be behind the main topic of the painting, the human eye will see it as being so much more natural! Now you will have a painting that you really want to look at!

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Source by Sally Willson

Red Dwarfs May Be Unfit Parent Stars

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Red dwarf stars are the smallest true stars dancing around in our Galaxy, as well as the most abundant. Because of their small size – by star standards, that is – they can "live" for trillions of years on the hydrogen-burning main-sequence , and the Universe itself is "only" about 13.8 billion years old. For these reasons, many astronomers have claimed that most of the exoplanets in our Milky Way Galaxy circle "tiny" red dwarf stars – making these planetary systems prime targets in the hunt for life on other, distant worlds. However, a team of astronomers announced in June 2014 that life in the Universe may be rarer than previously believed, because their study found that harsh space weather might tear the atmosphere off any rocky world circling within a red dwarf's life-friendly habitable zone. The team of astronomers announced their discovery during a press conference at the 2014 summer meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) held in Boston, Massachusetts.

"A red dwarf planet faces an extreme space environment, in addition to other stresses like tidal locking," commented Dr. Ofer Cohen to the press on June 2, 2014. Dr. Cohen is of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Our own planet is protected from violent solar eruptions and space weather by its magnetic field, which essentially works like the shields of the Starship Enterprise of Star Trek . Earth's magnetic field serves to deflect approach – and potentially destructive – blasts of energy. Our planet is also protected by its distance from the Sun, since it circles it at a comfortable 93 million miles!

Because a red dwarf's habitable zone is much more in relation to its seething star than the Earth's distance from the Sun, any planet circling it would be subjected to more powerful and destructive space weather originating from its fiery stellar parent. The habitable zone of a star is that comfortable "Goldilocks" distance where the temperature is not too hot, not too cold, but just right for water to exist on its surface in a life-sustaining liquid state. Where liquid water exists, the potential for life as we know it, also exists.

Red Dwarfs

Relatively small red dwarf stars compose the vast majority of stellar inmates of our large, majestic, barred-spiral Galaxy, the Milky Way – which sparkles with the fires of at least 100 billion stars. There are approximately 100 red dwarf systems housing within 25 light-years of Earth. These tiny stars are very false, and because they emit such a comparatively puny amount of radiation, they can lurk in interstellar space quite secretly, well-hidden in our Galaxy, where they can not be easily detected by the prying eyes of curious astronomers.

Red dwarfs are, therefore, the coolest, tiniest, and most common type of star. Estimates of their abundance range from 70% of all the stellar denizens of a spiral galaxy to more than 90% of all stars housing in elliptical galaxies. Typically, the median figure quoted is that red dwarfs account for 73% of all stars dancing around in our Milky Way. Because of their reliably feeble energy output , these faint stars are never visible with the unaided human eye from Earth. The closest red dwarf to our Star, the Sun is Proxima Centauri , and it is a glittering member of a triple system of sister stars. Proxima Centauri (which is also the Sun's closest stellar neighbor), is much too dim to be viewed from Earth with the naked eye – as is the closest solitary red dwarf named Barnard's star.

In recent years, astrobiologists and astronomers have been considering the possibility of life dwelling on alien worlds circling these tiny and very dim stars. A r ed dwarf sports the relatively small mass of only about one-tenth to one-half that of our Sun, and determining how their various characteristics affect the potential habitat of the planets that circle them may reveal to scientists the frequency of extraterrestrial life and intelligence.

Because red dwarf planets orbit so close to their parent stars, they are projected to powerful tidal heating – which is certainly a major impediment to the evolution of live living things within these systems. Other tidal effects also make the development of life in such planetary systems difficult. For example, there are extreme temperature variations that result from the fact that one side of habitable zone red dwarf planets permanently face the star – while the other side is perpetually turned away. There are also non-tidal impediments to the evolution of tender living creatures on red dwarf worlds, such as small circumstellar habitable zones resulting from small light output. Other non-tidal impediments include extreme stellar variation, as well as spectral energy distributions that are shifted to the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum relative to our Sun.

However, many scientists have considered that several factors actually increase the chances for life to evolve on red dwarf worlds. For example, vivid cloud formation on the star-facing side of a tidally locked alien world may lessen overall thermal flux, thus reducing equilibrium temperature variations between the two sides of the exoplanet. Furthermore, the sheer abundance of these false little stars increases the number of potentially habitable alien worlds that may be circulating them. As of 2013, scientists calculated that approximately 60 billion red dwarf worlds inhabit our Galaxy.

On our own planet Earth, the discovery of a vast and diverse array of bizarre creatures, collectively termed extremophiles , has encouraged some exobologists to speculate that these cool and very abundant little stars may be the most likely alien worlds to finally discover extraterrestrial life. Extremophiles are organizations that can thrive under conditions that human animals find hostile – such as extremely hot environments, extremely cold environments, extremely acidic environments, and extremely dry environments.

Unfit To Be Parent Stars?

Earlier studies have focused on the impact of stellar flares that are violently hurled out by red dwarfs in the direction of a close-in, unfortunate exoplanet. However, the new study that was announced in June 2014 at the AAS summer meeting, instead examines the effect of persistent gains of fierce stellar wind. The team of astronomers used a supercomputer model created at the University of Michigan to represent a trio of known red dwarf worlds orbiting a simulated, middle-aged star.

The team found than even a magnetic field, like that of our own planet, would not need to be able to protect a habitable zone alien world from its seething red dwarf star's persistent bombardment. Although there were interviews when the unfortunate planet's magnetic shield functioned effectively, it spent far too much time with weak shields than strong shields.

"The space environment of close-in exoplanets is much more extreme than what the Earth faces," study co-author Dr. Jeremy Drake told the press on June 2, 2014. Dr. Drake, of CfA, is a study co-author. "The ultimate consequence is that any planet potentially would have its atmosphere stripped over time," he continued to explain.

The ferocious and extreme space weather could also create breathtaking Northern Lights, or aurorae. The aurora lighting a red dwarf world's sky could be a whopping 100,000 times more powerful than those seen on Earth – and they could extend from the poles halfway to the equator.

"If Earth were orbiting a red dwarf , then people in Boston would have to see the Northern Lights every night. the dayside-nightside temperature contrast. Cohen commented to the press on June 2, 2014.

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Source by Judith E Braffman-Miller

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