Cyprus Ghost Town – Frozen in Time

Varosha was the Greek quarter of Famagusta. It used to be a bustling town where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots worked side by side happily. There were hotels being built to handle the tourist traffic. In all, there were 36 hotels that accounted for half of the bed spaces in Cyprus. Famagusta also had nurseries, museums, and art galleries. There were primary, secondary, and private schools.

It was an ideal location geographically for traders from Europe to the Middle East. It housed a busy port that imported and exported goods for the town. Banks, insurance and shipping agencies thrived in this vibrant place. Contemporary shops, boutiques, cinemas and nightclubs all sprouted up.

Famagusta was the place to be, until the Turkish army invaded in August of 1974. They were responding to a Greek Cypriot coup where the people of Varosha fled. They did not even stop to take their clothes and belongings. It is said there is still a car dealership there that has brand new 1974 cars in it.

Now Varosha is known as Cyprus ghost town that only reptiles and rats live in. The buildings are crumbling and metal is rusting. Empty buildings have been looted and roads are cracking under the hot sun. Plant life is reclaiming this little town.

Although Turkish and UN troops patrol what used to be Famagusta, one may visit. Keep in mind that there is no entrance of what used to be Varosha. One can have access to the perimeter and some of the beach front. No photos are allowed and cameras will be confiscated if one tries to use one. One may even be arrested for trying.

These two sites have become the symbol of the Cyprus conflict. Famagusta is listed on the World Monuments Fund’s watch list of 100 Most Endangered Sites. If one wants to visit Cyprus ghost town, they should do so soon.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by S. Malcolm

Tips to Become a Jewelry Buyer

It is sometimes quite difficult to buy quality jewelry. There are several things that you need to know for being a jewelry buyer, especially if you want to start a jewelry business. You have to be able to evaluate the quality of stones and every material included on the jewelry so that you can get high profit when you are going to resell them. At this time, this article is going to give you some important tips to become a jewelry buyer. Just take a look at the following tips so that you will be trained and experienced in this field of business.

Firstly, you need to make some research about the business of jewelry buying in order to determine your niche. Before you are going to be a jewelry buyer, you also have to make yourself familiar with the basic terms of jewelry like color, cut, weight, and clarity. You can try to search for the information from the top jewelry buyers for gaining the knowledge to create commercial profitability selling and buying jewelry.

Secondly, you need to get training from the experienced jewelry buyer. You can apply for the buying program from certain department store in a way for learning the skills that are required to become a successful buyer. It is very important for you to choose a reputable buying program because this will help you to be a successful jewelry buyer.

Thirdly, you have to understand on how to identify the real jewelry from fakes. You need to learn about distinguishing the authentic stones from artificial gems. Whether you are going to use a jewelry tester or a loupe, you should be able to determine between antique and period jewelry from the costume reproductions that sold as novelty pieces.

Fourthly, if you want to become a successful jewelry buyer, you have to learn about managing the budget of buying jewelry. You need to select the best items for your customers so that they will be satisfied to buy jewelry from you. In the selection process of buying jewelry, you have to be very careful in examining the color, size, quantity, and profit margin of the jewelry before you buy it.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Alexander O Mcgee

The 5 Most Expensive Paintings – EVER!

1. No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock ($140,000,000?)

Unconfirmed rumors that continue to astound the art world now place this piece at the top of the list… at least for now. If true, the $140 million price tag would be the highest amount of money ever paid for a painting, topping the $135 million that was put up for the Gustav Klimt painting Portrait of Adele Block Bauer in June 2006.

Created by expressionist Jackson Pollock in his trademark “drip” style, this 4′ x 8′ painting is said to have been purchased by entertainment mogul David Geffen in November 2006

2. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt ($135,000,000)

The record-breaking sale – which followed a court order by the Austrian government to return the painting to Bloch-Bauer’s heir – was the conclusion of a years-long dispute over the painting being looted by Nazis during World War II.

Painted by Gustav Klimt in 1907, the portrait was purchased in 2006 by cosmetics heir Ronald S. Lauder.

3. Garcon a la Pipe by Pablo Picasso ($104,100,000)

Garcon a la Pipe was created during the artist’s famous Rose Period, during which Picasso painted with a cheerful orange and pink palette. The oil on canvas painting, measuring 100 × 81.3 cm (slightly over 39 × 32 inches), displays a Parisian boy holding a pipe in his left hand.

The record price auction at Sotheby’s New York on May 4, 2004 was a bit of a surprise to art buyers, since it was painted in the style not usually associated with this famous artist.

4. Dora Maar with Cat by Pablo Picasso ($95,200,000)

A big surprise followed in 2006, when this painting nearly doubled its presale estimate and netted a record $95,200,000 at auction at Sotheby’s in May 2006.

Painted in 1941, Picasso’s controversial portrait (one of his last) is mostly described as an unflattering depiction of his mistress, Dora Maar, who was an artist/photographer and mistress of Picasso whose relationship lasted ten long years during the 1930s and 40s. I take it that this view of her didn’t really help their relationship.

5. Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh ($82,500,000)

This painting by Vincent van Gogh suddenly became world-famous when a Japanese businessman by the name of Ryoei Saito paid $82.5 million for it at auction in Christie’s, New York. Saito was so attached to the painting that he wanted it to be cremated with him when he died. Saito died in 1996 … but the painting remains. I really would be a shame to see such a masterpiece destroyed because of this strange obsession.

Vincent van Gogh actually painted two versions of Dr Gachet’s portrait. You can view the other version, with a slightly different color scheme, at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Now, THAT is pretty insane! Who are these people?!? -paying hundreds of millions of dollars for home decor. WOW!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by James Leighton

Gain Problem Solving Skills and Become Change Agent With Green Belt Certification

Problems will always be a part of the organization. They won’t go away unless handled with care. For that reason, top talents are hired, paid handsomely to work as change agent and ensure growth for the company. You too can be that professional with six sigma green belt certification as add a new dimension to your stagnated career. Green belts are demanded a lot for their cutting-edge problem solving skills and also for their ability to manage by facts and data. They ensure that opinions won’t ever have a say in the daily running of the business and rather look to rely on hard data to drive the growth.

More so, green belts know the art of boosting profit and reducing cost on the back of supporting creative endeavors within the organization. With six sigma green belt certification, you’re imparted a deep knowledge of the tools and techniques required to ensure growth to the business. Green belts are the professionals with a better understanding of both people and processes within the organization. They not only understand business and its valuable connections but also have a grip over Lean Six Sigma’s DMAIC methodology. This helps them solve problems of any complexity to add value to the organization. This is why green belts are demanded so much in the industry.

More so, green belts know how to bring change by collaborating with the right people without looking to bypass responsibility. With six sigma green belt certification, the participants are taught to focus on fixing the process rather than evading responsibility. What’s more, green belts are among those rare breed of professionals with the freedom to take up job anywhere in the world, which is deservedly a great flexibility. Even if they are not a hard-core statistician but this does not take away their comfort level with data. In fact, they are trained in data analysis and can make process improvement as simple as needed.

Similarly, organizations can also look to fix processes and achieve growth targets by several other means to have an edge in the industry. They can benefit from the power of RPA consulting or Robotics Process Automation consulting to automate and achieve the desired growth results easily. This consulting is about letting software robots contribute to process automation across enterprises. They look to ease the burden on employees and get bots or configurable software to do process instead. And when business processes are automated in this way, the organization can be sure of superior speed and efficiency. This is how a business can become cutting edge without investing a lot.

Some companies also look to benefit from RPA consulting to bring flexibility & resilience to processes after automation. And when RPA is implemented by an expert consultant, it becomes easy to realize reduced cost and improved productivity. This is how businesses can become more accurate on the back of automation and create difference to their prospects in the industry. With an experienced consulting partner, it becomes possible to boost ROI and reduce cost and go on the right path of growth. The good thing, you can go automated irrespective of the industry or sector you’re part of.This is how your business grows and adds value.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Abhishek Upadhayay

Best Explanation of PW 100 Engine & Its Parts

PW 100 series of engines are the forefront in modern, state of the art regional and commuter turboprop engines. With its three spool design, easy to maintain modular construction, and high power rating, the engine is a logical choice for medium to large turboprops including the Bombardier Q400, DeHavilland Dash 8 and Embraer EMB 120. Some consider the PW 100 to be the replacement to the venerable PT6, but in reality the PW 100 picks up where the PT6 Large version left off in terms of power, fuel economy, and reliability. The PW 100 series consists of a number of variations. There is no actual PW 100 engine; the engines start with the PW118 engine and end at the PW127J.

The engines are essentially the same, with, for the most part, a steady increase in power output, as well as slight variations in engine output speed and in the proportion of mechanical shaft horsepower vs. thrust produced. In other words, each turboprop is rated in equivalent shaft horsepower, (eshp) which is a combination of the actual mechanical horsepower provided at the output shaft combined with the amount of horsepower available as a conversion of the thrust that is produced at the tailpipe. The proportion varies, but is typically in the range of 80% power produced by the propeller, 20% produced by the tailpipe.

The Powerful Model PW 100 Engine is completely modular in its construction; that is, it is made up of a number of interchangeable modules that can easily be removed and replaced in the event that there is a problem with the engine. The modules consist of the turbo-machine, the power turbine assembly, the inlet housing, and the output reduction gearbox. The compact turbo-machine consists of the twin spool gas generator and the accessory gearbox. The power turbine connects to the rear of the turbo-machine and features a two stage power turbine which drives a shaft that runs forward up the center of the turbo-machine shafts. The inlet housing mounts to the front of the turbo-machine and provides the space for air to be drawn into the compressor and the support for the output reduction gearbox. The output reduction gearbox mounts to the front of the inlet housing and takes the high speed input from the power turbine shaft and converts it to a high torque, low rpm output taken off the propeller flange at the front of the gearbox.

Atmospheric air is drawn in through the engine nacelle behind the propeller into a passive particle separator, which is part of the nacelle. Clean intake air is drawn upward into the downward facing scroll type engine inlet. Air is drawn into the turbo-machine by the single stage, centrifugal compressor. The air is accelerated outward by the compressor and fed into numerous curved diffuser ducts which smoothly deposit the airflow to the face of the single stage, centrigugal, high pressure compressor. The high pressure compressor raises the pressure to a design pressure ratio of nearly 15:1 on some of the later models. The high pressure compressor feeds the airflow to a diffuser which converts the dynamic pressure into static pressure, as it enters the annular, reverse flow combustor. The compressed air enters the inner combustion liner where it is mixed with jet fuel and ignited. The resultant gas is expanded through the high pressure nozzle to impinge upon the single stage axial high pressure turbine, which drives the high pressure compressor and the accessory gearbox. The gas is then further expanded through the low pressure nozzle to drive the low pressure turbine, which drives the low pressure compressor. Finally, the gas is expanded through the two stage power turbine to drive a concentric shaft up to the front of the engine, which drives the output reduction gearbox. The exhaust is then directed out of the short, axial flow, fixed area exhaust outlet to provide close to 2,000 lbs. of thrust on some Popular Models of PW-100 Engine. The output reduction gearbox reduces power turbine speed down to a usable 1,200 or 1,300 rpm, to drive a four bladed, constant speed propeller. Accessories include a generator, oil pumps, fuel pumps, hydraulic pumps, and a FADEC fuel control.

The twin spool compressor offers many advantages over a similar single spool compressor. By allowing the two compressors to run at different speeds, the compressors can be optimized a wide range of airflows. This allows for a higher design pressure ratio, much better part power efficiency, and very rapid engine response. High pressure ratios and high turbine inlet temperatures allow for very low specific fuel consumption, and advanced cooling techniques and state of the art materials allow for long time between overhaul periods.

There are a couple of other variants of the PW 100 that are worth mentioning. The PW150 engine is a high power development of the PW 100; it is very similar in overall design and dimensions to the PW 100, except that the low pressure compressor is a single stage axial followed by a single stage centrifugal. Pressure ratio is a higher 18:1, and the engine produces power in the 5000 es-hp class, which makes it a suitable replacement for the Allison T56 or an alternative to the Rolls Royce AE1107C. There are also turbo-shaft versions of the PW 100, where the output reduction gearbox and inlet are removed and replaced with a screened bell-mouth inlet and a carrier bearing. The engine output is at power turbine speed. The engine could be an alternative to the CT7 (T700) turbo-shaft in medium helicopters, although so far it hasn’t been used in this application. There is a marine variant of this turbo-shaft available for modern military surface effect ships, however. These models are referred to as the ST18M. Power output is approximately 3,200 shaft horsepower.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jhon Miller

Platinum and Other Alternative Processes – Equipment and Materials Required to Make the Fine Print

This article discusses quite in detail what is needed, from a beginner point of view, to make contact prints in platinum-palladium with a particular emphasis on digital negatives. We will also see what is needed to present the fine print, i.e. spotting and mounting. Finally, how you can prepare your own chemicals and, since some equipment can be home built, DIY instructions are also included.

Equipment and parts required and where to get them.

Making the negatives:

Computer w/Photoshop………………………………………………you probably already have it

Ink-jet printer………………………………………………………….you probably already have it


UV unit……………………………………………………………………DIY / electrical materials suppliers

Contact printing frame………………………………………………..DIY

1,5″ Wash brush (best quality not cheap)…………………………art shop or online

Short glass, 2ml syringes…………………………………………….hardware shop / chemist

Amber bottles with dropper………………………………………….Bostick&Sullivan

Dryer……………………………………………………………………..hardware shop + DIY

Blotting paper…………………………………………………………..local art shop

Electronic Timer………………………………………………………..shops /online

Mechanical timer……………………………………………………….darkroom equip. supplier / online

5 Trays, 2 tongs………………………………………………………..darkroom equip. supplier

Drying rack………………………………………………………………DIY

Scales…………………………………………………………………….eBay / shops

Hot air heater……………………………………………………………bathroom furniture supplier

Press………………………………………………………………………DIY / hardware store


Scalpel (good quality)………………………………………………….framing equip. supplier

Loupe (large size)………………………………………………………photo equip. supplier

0000 brush (good quality)…………………………………………….art shop


Mount cutter………………………………………………………………framing equip. supplier

As you can see nothing too difficult to find. If you do not have Photoshop (you do not need the latest version of course, any version will be sufficient) there are several other graphic programs which cost less or are even free. To print, I would say that any modern ink-jet will be up to the job. Since Epson printers are very diffused we will discuss a curve that should work on any Epson model with ultrachrome inks (starting with the economic Epson R 800/1800).

Supposing then that you already have a computer with Photoshop and a printer, the next most expensive item is the UV unit. This is easy to make and it took me less than one weekend to build it. I made a simple wooden frame, and then I used 10 x 450mm Philips UV lamps connected each with ballast and a starter, which is the minimum to make 8×10″ prints. When ordering these materials also get some electrical leads for the wiring, a switch, a few fans big and small (like those inside a PC, from the power supply and from the CPU) and the plastic fitting for the bulbs. The fans are recommended but not mandatory.

There is very little if nothing to solder and the schematics are very simple. Here is the detailed list of the parts:

10 Lamp 15W 450mm length (or more) 1″ diameter 365nm wavelength G13 cap

10 Ballast 15W (also called switch start/choke)

10 Starter for fluorescent lamp

10 Starter holders

20 Lamp holders

1 Switch

1 Computer power supply fan 110/220V

2 CPU fans 12V

1 Power supply 12V

1 Electrical leads for fluorescent wiring

These lamps are often called insects lamps, or black light lamps. Just make sure the wavelength is around 350/365nm. I am not sure whether tanning lamps are good for us since they are around 300nm.

The wiring is very easy. Connect the starter to two of the pins at the extremity of the tube. Of the remaining two free pins, one goes directly to the power (N), the other goes to the ballast and then to the power (H). So, just an easy wiring to be repeated for ten times. Please note that double-ballasts that feed two lamps exist, so you would need only five of them. However, I tried and they did not work for me, so I would stick to one ballast per lamp.

The cabinet is made from two separate pieces, made with MDF. The bottom part, with a sliding tray and just three vertical frames, and a hinged front to allow access. The upper part, which contains on one side the lamps and on the other the “electronics”, snugs into the bottom part from above. I can put spacers, to move the lamps higher, or I can remove some wood to lower them. As it is, the distance between the lamps (15W x 10 = 150W) is 4 inches which gives me the exposure time I want (~4 minutes).

In the upper part there is a small power supply which feeds a couple of 12V CPU fans in the top to take the heat off the ballasts. In the lower part there is a larger 110/220V fan because there is heat there too. The entire unit is indeed quite heavy. One thing that I did not do is to paint the inside white, but as said I was happy with my exposure time as it was. The lamps are quite close (5mm gap). In many years of use I have never replaced a lamp or any other component and, despite the “homemade” look, a basic unit like this one will serve you well.

Next thing to build ourselves is the contact printing frame, which is simply a wooden plate covered with a rubber sheet and a glass on top. To avoid uneven pressure, use a heavy glass (the heaviest you can find) secured with eight strong giant paper clips all around. There is no need to purchase one of those expensive “alternative process” center hinged contact frames, those are to inspect the print under the sun. Avoid side hinges and anything fancy or you will discover maybe at you 25th print that in the center (or in other parts) your prints are not sharp. Remember one of the beauties of contact printing is sharpness, even though pt-pd print can not exhibit the same sharpness as contact prints in silver, because of the paper. Before printing in platinum I was used to contact prints in silver, and Newton rings have always been an issue. Since I switched to platinum, the problem has disappeared, probably because of the rough paper I guess. Anyway, I believe there is no need to buy expensive anti-Newton glass.

The rest of the equipment needed in the darkroom is pretty much straightforward; an important item is the brush. I like the Grumbacher Golden Edge (size 1,5 inch) which is perfect for coating from 4×5 to 11×14 and larger. This brush has metal parts which will corrode. In my case I have been using mine for almost three years. I would not recommend either a cheap wash brush (too thin), and those Japanese brushes that seem appealing because not expensive and without metal parts, but in fact, they do not work and also leave tons of bristles. Finally, my advice about glass coating rods is: do not buy them, just use a brush.

At this point before starting buying and building you need to make your mind on what size you are going to print. Many books recommend 4×5″ to beginners, this is to me not a good advice, for you can not assess small prints easily. Personally I find small prints even more difficult to make than large prints. From a marketing point of view, and generally speaking, not only 4×5″ prints are more often ignored, but many collectors find 8×10″ the minimum size to make a purchase. So, I would go straight to 8×10″ and stay there even when you will be printing “professionally”, or at least until you are a real master. It is a convenient size, it does not require much coating, and it is perfect to be mounted either to 13×15″ or 16×20″ and hence sold mail order. It is also a good compromise between size and cost of the print and mounting board. With a standard sheet of mounting board you will be able to make either three 13×15″ mounts or two 16×20″ mounts (with over mount) with little waste. If you go for 8×10″ you will need slightly larger trays, but not too much: I print my 8×10″ images on 10×12″ paper or less, there is no need to leave a large border around the image which will be matted anyway. No doubt that big 10×20″ or 11×14″ platinum prints are something to behold, so for this reason, one thing that I would build oversized is the UV unit. Longer lamps do not cost much more and if in the future you really would like to try larger prints you will have just to buy new trays and make a new contact printing frame.

The five trays in the shopping list are for developer, clearing baths (3 trays) and the fifth is for a washing tray. This will be larger than the others (however, you will always wash one print at time). It is easy to make: at the end, make one hole on each vertical side, one in front of the other, just below the upper edge. Slide through the holes a rigid plastic pipe (I used one from a toy) which you will have previously provided with equally spaced (1/2″) holes. Connect a tube from the tap to one side of the pipe. Close the other side with a cork. You have got your cheap washer.

You will need to make a drying unit for the coated sheets (not for the final prints, which will be left to air dry overnight). I simply purchased one of those hot air heaters for bathrooms, which I mounted on top of a simple home made wooden box. The box has one side hinged and the bottom will be meshed to allow air and moisture to escape. I just lay the freshly coated paper at the bottom and the hot air will dry it up in a couple of minutes or less. Do not use hair dryers, for their heat is too concentrated and also they tend to spit particles (from the motor) on the paper. Drying the final prints is not a problem. With some more plastic mesh (purchased from a garden center, they also have sheets of rubber to pad the contact printing frame) I made four or five very basic drying frames, stacked one on top of the other and spaced about 8 inch.

Last thing in the list is a cold press to flatten the prints. Leaving the prints to flat under a bunch of books is not very professional! I used a large sheet of thick MDF for the base, then I made a sort of large flat box the same size of the base with two handles at the top, inside the box I fitted several sheets of lead (purchased from builders or roofing suppliers) which will make for a heavy top indeed. Between top and base, 5 or 6 sheets of acid free mount board same size of the base/lid will allow to flatten up to 15-20 prints at a time. One night is sufficient to make the prints sufficiently flat, two days is even better (which is important because we are going to mount them with corner tabs, i.e. not glued of course).

There are two timers in the list. I normally use a digital one (with alarm) for exposing the print (so I can do something else when exposing) and a traditional one (analogue) in the wet part of the darkroom to check developing and clearing/washing times.

In the darkroom you do not need the normal red or amber silver gelatin darkroom lights. I use two 40 Watt tungsten bulbs, one normal, and the other one blue. I use two separate switches so I can check the color of the print in daylight-like conditions (blue bulb) or any combination/strength of the two. Finally assessment of the print can not be made, however, when is wet.

You do not need a densitometer or a step wedge (unless you want to print traditional negatives).

Purchase some dark brown bottles from B&S, I would buy six 100ml with normal cap and 12 small 25ml bottles with dropper caps. You will be using seven small “working” bottles (pd, pt, sensitizer, Na2 x 4) when printing, and the others will serve to store the mixed solutions used to replenish the working bottles.

The scale should be quite accurate; I use a 50 grams digital scale to prepare the metals, and one larger and not so precise for mixing the developer chemicals.

Spotting is done with a good scalpel (such as Swann-Morton with flat handle ‘3’ and C10 blades) and a good quality small brush. The loupe should be large enough to allow you to work with both eyes open.

You will need a mount cutter. I use a Logan, nothing fancy but it does the job flawlessly. I bought the ‘intermediate’ model many years ago and then I made several modifications to enhance it (such as stops etc.). Store it vertically or flat otherwise it will warp. I use a new blade for almost each mounting session. Before being discarded, the used blades are recycled for a while into the Logan utility knife (inexpensive to buy) which is used to cut the full size boards. To do this, you will either need a straight edge (expensive) or you can use the same mount cutter, which I recommend. In this case purchase a mount cutter wide enough to cut full sheets.

Many beginners usually consider leaving the mounting job to a local framer: please do not do this. They are very expensive and what is worse, they often do not do a good job, let alone the annoyance to get them the prints, collect the work later etc. Also the work has to be very accurate because if you sell mounted prints (i.e. not framed), people will hold them in their hands and will see every flaw. I also recommend purchasing an inexpensive ‘burnishing bone’ used to flatten down the raised edges all around the mount, so your customers will not feel them with their fingers when holding the mounted print. Last reason to mount yourself is that if you follow my advice elsewhere in the articles about covering the black brush strokes with the over mount, you can use the bevel window to make some late minute adjustment to the cropping of the image. See Part 6 for detail about mounting.

One last thing you will need: relax! Especially if you come from printing in silver, you will enjoy the switch. Printing in platinum is much more natural and sort of laid back. After many years of traditional printing in silver (enlarging and then contact) I have found that a printing session in platinum is generally more enjoyable. Another great advantage when printing from digital negatives is that you can be almost sure, even before you step into the darkroom, that the print will be OK and only minor tweaks will be required.

Materials required.

Digital negatives:

Pictorico OHP film……………………………………………………….Bostick&Sullivan / others


Developer………………………………………………………………..Chemicals supplier + DIY

Palladium and platinum metals………………………………………Artcraft Chems. / B&S + DIY

Ferric Oxalate……………………………………………………………Artcraft Chems. /B&S + DIY


Citric Acid………………………………………………………………..Chemicals supplier + DIY

Blotting paper……………………………………………………………art shop


Watercolors (in tubes not those little cubes) shop


Acid free tape……………………………………………………………framing equip. supplier

Acid free watercolor paper……………………………………………art shop

Museum cotton mount board…………………………………………framing equip. supplier

Now things start to become interesting because we are going to prepare our own chemicals. Of course you could buy all the chemicals premixed but it would be a big waste of money, and if you are going to print in platinum for a profit that is not the way to go. For example the developer I use and recommend is potassium oxalate, in powder it costs $35 for 1Kg from B&S, which makes approximately four liters of solution. Since the developer is never discarded you may think that four liters may go a long way, which is not true. Every printing session I have to replenish 100 to 200 ml of developer. My advice is making potassium oxalate yourselves mixing oxalic acid and potassium carbonate which you can buy in bulk. If you call a chemical company (we have plenty even here in a small country such as Ireland) you will find out that a 20Kg bag of oxalic acid costs very little, same for potassium carbonate. Unfortunately I forgot the cost because I bought my last supply of chemicals (20Kg bags) six years ago and still have plenty for years to come. As said it was cheap, like $100/$150 for the entire supply which by the way included two bags of the clearing agent that I recommend, citric acid. Of this you will need plenty, and since from B&S it costs $12 for 1Kg, once again I recommend a chemical company which will supply you with a 20Kg bag for probably about the same price. Since all these chemicals come in powder form, if properly stored they will never go bad. I believe, however, that even photo suppliers like B&S can provide you with chemicals in bulk, but I would check with some chemical companies anyway. Please note that suppliers like B&S and Photographers Formulary have helped many to get started in alternative processes, they also sponsor forums etc. so, if you can, buy from them rather than from non-photographic businesses. I personally can not afford to import from the US and pay a premium for what is, in fact, a terrific service and support, of which B&S and others are well known. Alternatively you could also join a user group such as Apug where you can maybe participate in a group purchase to save some money, especially when purchasing the metals. Luckily, ferric oxalate and Na2 are not expensive (Na2 is actually expensive, but one 20% solution bottle will last you ages). One thing I would not do, though, is buying those kits with a little of everything, including the paper, just to get yourself started – I believe that is a waste of money.

Before starting with the procedure a word of warning: the chemicals used in platinum are very toxic (more toxic than silver printing) so be careful and if you go the way I recommend i.e. stock purchase of oxalic acid etc. please keep them in a dry, sheltered place and away from kids and pets.

Procedure to make potassium oxalate:

Use a large (10 liters) plastic bucket. Sign with a marker the 5 liters level. Pour in 3 liters of tap water. Dissolve 900gr of potassium carbonate completely. Dissolve (slowly!) 800gr of oxalic acid. This is potentially dangerous, it will make lots of bubbles and it will become hot. Wear a mask, gloves and goggles and stay in a well ventilated area. When finished, top up to 5 liters. Finally add another 150gr of oxalic acid. First times you use the solution do not expect great results, what I mean is that it is a brand new developer, and in time it will become old, darker and better like a good wine. You can squirt in it a syringe of palladium if you want, to make it richer. I always prepare a 10 liters bottle of solution which I use to replenish my normal two liters working bottle, which is now several years old. Note: if you leave the solution in the tray for a long time i.e. 24+ hours it will start to oxidize and become greenish, so please avoid that. Also, after some time you will probably find at the bottom of the working solution bottle some green crystals, these are easy to remove just pouring in the empty bottle one tray of used citric acid solution and shaking.

The clearing agent is mixed when needed, just three teaspoons in 1.5 liters of water. I use three trays with 1.5 liters each in sequence and every 3-4 prints I discard the first and make a new one. The last batch should always be clear.

To make the solutions for coating proceed as follows:

Palladium: Use a 100ml bottle. Prepare 110ml of hot water (preferably distilled, although I use tap water). Fill about 3/4 of the bottle with hot water, dissolve in it first 7gr of kitchen salt, then 10gr of palladium chloride. Pour the rest of the water in. B&S 100ml bottles will accept 110ml. Shake until dissolved.

Platinum: I would prepare 50ml only. Just dissolve 10gr of potassium chloroplatinite in 50ml water. Platinum and palladium never go bad and obviously are not light sensitive so there is no worry if you prepare a lot of them.

Ferric Oxalate: I would prepare 50 or max 100ml of this, since it does not last long (store it in the dark). For 50ml, first dissolve 0.7gr of oxalic acid, then 15gr of ferric oxalate. Oxalic acid would not be needed, but it keeps the solution for longer and avoids fogging. Be careful with these small quantities, because if you overdo this, the resulting prints will show more contrast, and you will not have a clue why. One of the things I like printing in platinum is that if you make a print now, and then after three years you have to make the same print again, it will come out just the same, provided that you are consistent with chemicals preparation and procedures. I have never managed to obtain this level of consistency with silver. Back to our sensitizer. Unfortunately this solution needs a really good shake (that is why I recommend preparing 50ml in a 100ml bottle). I shake for a while then I prepare a kettle of boiling water, bring the bottle’s temperature up immersing it in hot water for a while, than shake again etc. Leave overnight and if the morning after you see stuff at the bottom of the bottle, you will have to shake it again all over. Ferric oxalate in powder is a very nasty ‘powdery’ stuff sort of baby talc, and very toxic (and light sensitive) so be careful. Use a mask even when mixing small quantities and clean thoroughly the area afterwards. Also, in my experience, FO is very often the culprit when it comes to printing problems: low contrast, or blotchy, or fogged prints, first thing to do is to mix a new bottle of FO from a fresh batch.

Na2 (Sodium Chloroplatinate). This is the contrast agent. It comes from B&S as 20% solution. Buy the 10ml bottle, it will last a long time since we will almost not be using it. I am against contrast agents in general because they ruin the print. Our negatives will be spot on so we will be using only 1 or 2 drops of Na2 at 2.5% to avoid fogging. You will need three more 25ml bottles, labeled as follows: 10%, 5%, and 2.5%. To make the 10% solution mix one full dropper of 20% and (obviously) one of water. To make the 5% solution mix one full dropper of 20% and three droppers of water. To make the 2.5% solution mix one full dropper of 20% and seven droppers of water. With the exception of special situations, badly developed or non-digital negatives etc. you will be using mostly the 2.5% so mix accordingly.

Final note.

Preparing a work space for fine art printmaking from scratch, may sound like a daunting and expensive task. This article is quite long and the list of parts required is extensive. Keep in mind though that the financial exposure is lower than you may think. Especially when compared to other printing processes, either traditional such as silver, or even digital, it is actually lower. The cost of my first serious darkroom, for silver printing, was much higher than my platinum darkroom. And my latest endeavour, digital printmaking, cost me more than platinum for sure. And we should not forget that setting up an alternatives processes darkroom involves building some equipment ourselves (if you want to), which is both rewarding and cost saving.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Tom James Mahoney

Fede Galizia – An Italian Renaissance Artist of Still Life, Portraiture and Miniature Merit

Italian Renaissance painter Fede Gallizi, also known as Fede Galizia (1578-1630), is often considered the pioneer of the Still-Life style. Her father Nunzio Galizia (1573-95), a Miniaturist, named her Fede (Italian, meaning faith) and trained her. At the age of twelve, she bagged praises from the noted painter Gian Paolo Lomazzo (1538-92) for the imitations she had created. By an early age, Fede proved her creative caliber, especially in portraiture, and started working on commissions.

Her early paintings focused on jewelry and clothes, capturing their intricate details that immensely leveraged the painter’s capacity in portraiture. Galizia was also often invited to paint religious and secular themes. She made her first ‘dated’ still life work, in 1602. Fede painted miniatures, portraits, and altarpieces, but her forte was Still Life. Oriented to Renaissance & flavored with Realism, her creations were detailed, full of vibrant colors, and wonderful light effects. They would almost force the viewer to reach out and attempt to hold the objects in the image. Her attention to light, shadow, and the rendition between the two, was unrivalled at times. Dipped in Lombard Mannerism of the 16th century, most of her Still-Life works were with fruits and flowers. The only variations in capturing existed as cut fruits.

Fede Galizia was an excellent painter of altarpieces and miniatures too. She received several related public commissions for the churches of Milan. Her best-known altarpiece is the ‘Noli me tangere’ (1616), which she made for the altar of the Saint Maria Maddalena Church, Florence. While her most famous work is ‘Still-life with Peaches and a Porcelain and a Bowl,’ ‘Peaches in a Pierced White Faience Basket’ also got her much praise. Her portraits, believed to be self-portraits, such as ‘Judith with the head of Holofernes’ (1596) and ‘Judith and her Handmaiden’ (1596) are also renowned for her creative versatility. Her portrait ‘Portrait of Paolo Morigia’ (1596) impressed the writer Morigia so much that he became a devout supporter of Fede. Through her life, the painter kept shuttling between the triangle of Italy, Greece, and Spain to gather some creative fodder.

Despite all the work she was doing, Galizia’s talent did not receive the amount of praise it deserved. While several of her most beautiful works were credited to her male counterpart Panfilo Nuvolone (1581-1651), many other went unnoticed. Living as a happy singleton, she passed away in 1630, due to the plague, which had struck Milan during 1629-31. In late 20th century, 1963-89 to be precise, her works were studied and commanded fame & respect they deserved.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Annette Labedzki

The Most Important Japanese Lesson Yet!

Public transportation is big in Japan. You’ll probably need to catch a bus at some point. So, you will want to ask questions such as, “is this bus bound for Tokyo?” You’ll probably also need to tell people things such as, “I need to get off the train at Nagano station.” Phrases and questions like these are the key to getting around in Japan.

This Beginner Japanese article is here to help you! You will learn how to ask and answer questions about where you are trying to go. Ask Kono basu wa Tokyo-iki desu? (“Is this bus bound for Tokyo?”) and similar questions in Japanese. This Japanese article is the key to getting where you are headed!

Vocabulary: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

waza waza – “taking so much trouble”

agaru – “to enter, to come up” (class 1 verb)

kaeru – “to go back” (class 1 verb)

yuuhan – “evening meal”

ekimae – “in front of the station”

umai – “delicious, tasty” (-i ending adjective)

uisukii – “whiskey”

koori – “ice”

hantai – “opposite”

kansha – “thanks, gratitude”

shoojiki – “honestly, honest”

betsu – “different, another”

Grammar: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

Useful Vocabulary and Phrases

yuuhan “supper, evening meal”

There are several words meaning “supper” in Japanese:





yumeshi (very informal and sounds masculine)

banmeshi (very informal and sounds masculine)

Please also review “breakfast” and “lunch:”




asa-meshi (very informal and sounds masculine)







hiru-meshi (very informal and sounds masculine)

hantai “opposition”

When we add -suru or o suru , it becomes a verb meaning “to oppose.” The opposite word is sansei, which means “approval.” The particle ni follows the object one opposes or agrees with.


Musume no kekkon ni hantai suru.

“I’m opposed to my daughter’s marriage.”

Today’s Target Phrase

Tokyo ni kaetta.

“She went back to Tokyo.

The verb conjugations that make the –ta form of a verb, or the plain past form of a verb, are today’s grammar point. The formation of the plain past form is quite simple: change the final sound of the –te form from –te to –ta.

-ta Form of Verbs

  1. Conjugate a verb to the –te form. SEE Beginner Series Season 4, Articles 19, 20, 21, and 22 for more details.
  2. Drop the -te and add –ta

“English” / Dictionary Form / Te Form / Ta Form

“to buy” / kau / katte / katta

“to write” / kaku / kaite / kaita

“to speak” / hanasu / hanashite / hanashita

“to wait” / matsu / matte / matta

“to die” / shinu / shinde / shinda

“to drink” / nomu / nonde / nonda

“to make” / tsukuru / tsukutte / tsukutta

“to swim” / oyogu / oyoide / oyoida

“to invite” / yobu / yonde / yonda

“to go” / iku / itte / itta

“to eat” / taberu / tabete / tabeta

“to return” / kaeru / kaette / kaetta

“to do” / suru / shite / shita

“to come” / kuru / kite / kita

Formal Speech and Informal Speech

Politeness Level / Formal Speech / Informal SpeechNon-Past Affirmative / Watashi wa Tokyo ni kaerimasu. / Watashi wa Tokyo ni kaeru.

Non-Past Negative / Watashi wa Tokyo ni kaerimasen. / Watashi wa Tokyo ni kaeranai.

Past Affirmative/ Miu wa Tokyo ni kaerimashita. / Miu wa Tokyo ni kaetta.

Past Negative / Miu wa Tokyo ni kaerimasen deshita. / Miu wa Tokyo ni kaeranakatta.


*Non-past dictionary form of a verb: See Nihongo Doojoo, “Style You and Beyond, Articles 19, 20, 21, and 22,” for more details.

*Non-polite past form of a verb: See Beginner Season 4 Article 23 for more details.

*Please note thatthe non-past plain negative form of a verb conjugates as -i ending adjectives to get the past form. Change the final -i to katta.

For Example:

  1. kaeranai becomes keranakatta
  2. minai becomes minakatta

This grammar point hasn’t been explained in the Nihongo Doojoo series yet.

Practice 1:

Fill in the blanks to complete the chart.

Class 1 Verbs

“English” / Dictionary Form / Plain Negative Form / -Te Form / -Ta Form

“to listen” / kiku / kikanai / kiite / kiita

“to lend” / —- / kasanai / kashite / —-

“to wait” / matsu / —- / —- / —-

“to read” / —- / yomanai / —- / —-

“to understand” / —- / —- / wakatte / —-

“to go” / iku / —- / itte / —-

“to say” / iku / iwanai / itte / —-

“to meet” / au / —- / —- / —-

Class 2 Verbs

“English” / Dictionary Form / Plain Negative Form / -Te Form / -Ta Form

“to sleep” / neru / nenai / nete / —-

“to look” / miru / —- / —- / —-

Class 3 Verbs

“English” / Dictionary Form / Plain Negative Form / -Te Form / -Ta Form

“to do” / —- / —- / shite / —-

“to come” / kuru / —- / kite / —-

Practice 2:

Change the formal speech to casual speech.

  1. Terebi o mimashita.
  2. Yhan o tabemashita.
  3. Nihon-go o benky shimashita.
  4. Kin Nihon ni kimashita.
  5. Wakarimashita.
  6. Mizu o nomimashita.
  7. Takush de ikimashita.  

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Peter Galante

Japanese Dragon Tattoo Designs and Meaning

The Japanese Dragon Tattoo is a very beautiful and colorful tattoo design and very symbolic, with its origins in myths and folklore. It is also very mystical, adding to the appeal of the Japanese dragon tattoo. Over the ages, from Egyptian times the dragon has represented good and also represented evil. However, the attraction of the Japanese dragon, apart from its stunning beauty is that it represents good luck and the source of wealth. The Japanese dragon also represents the meaning of freedom and being fearless, both very attractive qualities.

In the Greek language, dragon is sourced from draca, which means serpent.

Like the angel, the Japanese Dragon also has the meaning of guardianship, providing a protective force over those it was associated with. Other meanings associated with the Japanese dragon is strength and power. In Japanese culture the dragon is associated with supernatural powers, and amazing wisdom.

There are six forms of the Japanese Dragon. They are:

Sui-Riu is the king Dragon and is in control of the rain. Therefore in this day and age of drought he is all powerful!

Han-Riu has many stripes on his body and is up to forty feet in length. One of the biggest dragons.

Ri-Riu dragon is a rare breed that is not well understood. However, it is known that they have amazing eye sight.

Ka-Riu is a brilliant red color, and a petite dragon in comparison with the others.

Fuku-Riu is a favorite dragon of many people as it is the dragon of luck.

Hai-Riyo is known as the dragon bird, and the most advanced form of dragon. It evolved out of Chinese mythology.

The colors of the dragons have special significance, which are based on their parents. For example a dragon with a black color means their parents are very old and wise. Green dragons are smaller than average, but are representative of life and of the earth. Gold colored dragons are special because they have many special attributes such as wisdom, kindness and the ability to face challenges head on.

Yellow dragons represent the east. They are great companions when you need a hand, but can be self absorbed at times. Blue dragons are from the west. They are forgiving and compassionate, but on the negative side can be lazy and uncaring when it suits them.

Finding the right Japanese Tattoo Design for you can be quite daunting. Check out all the free sites on the net to get as many ideas as you can. Just remember that many other people have done the same thing to get ideas. For example, last month, over 41,000 people searched for dragon tattoo designs on Yahoo. Apparently, roughly 8 times that amount check out Google for the same search term. Then there is MSN and the other search engines. So a huge amount of people see the same free designs as you. If you want original Japanese Dragon tattoo designs, it is recommended that you check out books or other sources of tattoo designs that are not freely available. I have checked out three Japanese dragon tattoo galleries on the internet that have from 3,500 to 6000 different designs, so you will have no trouble finding what you want.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Graeme Wheeler

Bleach Anime Wallpaper

Anime has different characters and superheroes that are depicted in many cartoons. Some of these series have become very popular throughout the years. One of the most famous anime creations would be bleach, which is a cartoon series which has spun to more than one hundred and fifty episodes to date. Bleach anime wallpaper are a big hit with its fans now you get to put Ichigo, on your desktop and maybe in his Bankai form. Ichigo is the main character of the bleach series and the story shows how he go from being a lonely boy whose mum died when he was young to a samurai ghost killing warrior.

Basically Ichigo meets some girl god or soul slayer, I think that is what they are called who gives him some of her power and he too becomes one. So you get to travel through his many adventures watching him killing the bad guys and sometimes fighting with the good guys and becoming a full fledged warrior who I believe can kick most of those dude butts.

The bleach anime wallpaper features all the stars of the anime cartoon series as well as the bad guys. You get to put them up on your desktop and change them at will. You can find most of these wallpapers if Google the word bleach, where you will find several website willing to give you free wallpapers.

Join the fun and get yourself bleach anime wallpaper which you can put up on your desktop. Watch the anime cartoon series and get to choose who your favorite of the characters portrayed in the cartoon. Enjoy the wonderful bright and beautiful colors which are mixed together to showcase great bleach wallpapers.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Peter Gitundu

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