Friday, June 05, 2009
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David Carradine: the Legend is Gone

by the stickman

Actor David Carradine has been found dead in a hotel room in Bangkok, Thailand. Although at this writing it is unconfirmed, reports have stated that the actor committed suicide by hanging himself.

Eldest son of veteran actor John Carradine, David Carradine is probably best know for his role in the 1970s TV series “Kung Fu.” One of five sons, four of which including himself had became actors. The four sons that pursued acting were David, Robert, Keith and Bruce Carradine...

[Read more...]

Saturday, May 30, 2009
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Fear Of Dancing And The Dance Floor

I have many a crazy friend. Some would say that I was the craziest of them all. It does not matter. Some of them I know through dancing, some of them I don't. You want to know something crazy? Whether they're my friends that dance for a living or my friends who can't dance at all, they both have a fear of dancing. It seems that this crazy fear is something a lot of people have in common.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
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Another Tie for Father's Day?: My Top 5 Favorite, Unusual Choices

So, your dad says he's tired of ties. He doesn't even wear a tie, ever. I have been looking around on the net for some rather unique gifts today and I came across a few that I might even get for my dad. I decided to put a few of my favorites together tonight for you:

image source

Sunday, May 24, 2009
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Wacky Blogging Weekend - Page Rank and Authority

Well, I am feeling a bit like the court jester today.

Yes! Spectrum has moved to its own domain(please update your links!). This weekend, the plan was work in the house: wash and patch walls in two rooms and get the materials to build a wall in another that we are converting into a bedroom. I was also going to begin packing my bedroom as I am moving into the master in a couple of weeks. Of course that isn't how it went...
I had planned to purchase the domains this weekend and sometime after the changes in the house, have the new blog finished and ready to move to its domain as well as Spectrum. Oops...

Friday, May 22, 2009
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Writing Contest and Reorganization

The Spectrum Writing Contest is now underway with entries beginning to trickle in here and there from all over the globe. This is Spectrum's first contest and I am hoping that it will go well, because if it does, I plan on continuing them, while gradually incorporating bigger and better prizes into the contest. I can't wait for the chance to start digging into some of these entries and see what you all have to offer.


Spectrum really is a blog for writers and my mission is and has been to bring some great writers and their work into the limelight. It has been a great run and I hope that it will continue to grow and be enjoyed by the masses.

I must apologize to all of my readers for my lack of attention lately. As some of you know, I have had my share(and then some) of housemate issues over the past few months and have been working very hard to overcome some incredible challenges.

You see, after three different changes in financial arrangements, my current housemate has not been able to carry his share of the financial burden and it has been getting passed on to me. I have also had to rearrange my entire house twice and am in the process again. Thinking "out of the box" has become an obsession for me in recent months(pun definitely intended).

My housemate has finally come to the realization that he cannot afford to remain and has given notice to quit at the end of June. I am relieved but also dread the interview process and learning to live with new people.

The past couple and next few weeks have/will be bringing on new challenges as once again we make some major shifts in our physical living situation and take on new housemates. Although I am excited, optimistic and looking forward to the changes, I am weary and overextended and fearing that it will be awhile before things calm down. With my disabilities and being in the state of perpetual moving for about nine months, all this reorganization has my body aching and tired and I will be looking forward to having a little time to relax and write.

Once I have completed this transformation over the next few months, I think that I will be making some changes here in the blogosphere, with the possibility of a new facelift for Spectrum and Digital Artisan and some new and interesting sponsors as well.

Thanks so much to those of you have stood by and kept this blog and my others afloat when I have been somewhat absent. I want you to know that I plan on continuing the Spectrum and have many more changes planned in the coming months.

I hope that you will continue to visit and enjoy reading the works of so many wonderful writers!


PS... Spectrum has moved to its own domain and needs you to update your links so we can regain our page rank. Our new address is!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009
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Writing Contest Update

Due to my recent schedule changes I am moving the deadline for entries in our writing contest to May 31st 2009 and the winner announcement to June 30th.

If you haven't heard about the contest, please see the original post here. Hurry, the deadline is approaching!


Thursday, May 07, 2009
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Mother's Day Traditions

As I'm sure most of you know, Sunday May 10th is Mother's Day this year. Although the group consists of mainly women much older than myself, my daughter and I go to a traditional ladies' luncheon at church every year where they also run several contests as part of the festivities.

Saturday, May 02, 2009
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Spectrum - Writing Contest

Perhaps you have an amazing article that has gone unnoticed or you just haven't bothered to publish yet? Itching to write something, but it doesn't fit in with your blog or site? Maybe you don't have a blog or site to publish on... or you'd just like to publish something here on Spectrum?

I have decided that Spectrum will host a writing contest for those interested in publishing here. Prizes will include advertising, being published on Spectrum and Entrecard credits! The basic guidelines will be as follows:

  • First come, first serve: Up to the first 200 entries will be accepted.
  • You do not have to be an entrecard member to enter.
  • You may write about any topic you see at the top of our pages(and it's a broad Spectrum!).
  • The composition may be in any style or form(including poetry) be 250-600 words and be in English.
  • The work may be previously published, if it was on or before 3/15/2009.
  • The entry must be your own original work and you must own the copyright.
  • This is a family safe site. Out of respect for our readers, we try to keep profanity and porn outside of the Spectrum. Please do the same.
  • All entries/entry links will be emailed to by midnight PDT on May 15th, 2009. Winners will be announced on June 1st, 2009.
  • All entries may be published on Spectrum at any time.
  • All owners retain their original copyright.
  • One entry will be accepted per individual.
  • Judging will be based on site guidelines and compatibility, content, writing ability and style.


1st Prize:
  • exclusive one week front page publishing of your excerpt or full article on Spectrum(wk 2)
  • a link to your site of choice on the winner's page
  • a link back to your original work when published
  • a 125x125 prime real estate ad on Spectrum for the months of June and July
  • 5,000 EC(for entrecard members)

2nd Prize:

  • exclusive 3 days front page publishing of your excerpt or full article on Spectrum(wk 3)
  • a link to your site of choice on the winner's page
  • a link back to your original work when published
  • a 125x125 prime real estate ad on Spectrum for the month of June
  • 2,000 EC(for entrecard members)

3rd Prize:

  • exclusive 3 days of front page publishing of your excerpt or full article on Spectrum(wk 3)
  • a link to your site of choice on the winner's page
  • a link back to your original work when published
  • a 125x125 prime real estate ad on Spectrum for the month of July
  • 500 EC(for entrecard members)

Up to 25 entries total will have links to their site of choice posted in the winners post. All entries published on Spectrum randomly throughout June and July will include a link to the original work(if applicable).

All non-entrecard members are encouraged to submit their work as well.

Good luck!


Saturday, April 11, 2009
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World's Most Impressive Buildings

by nobert soloria bermosa

See 18 of the most amazing buildings in the world.

This article is focused on the largest and tallest buildings ever built based on different category, type and/or function. Amazing features of each building are also included.

1. World's Largest Civilian Administrative Building, World's Most Expensive Administrative Building and World's Heaviest Building


According to the Guinness World Records, the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania, a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament, is the world's largest civilian administrative building, most expensive administrative building, and heaviest building.
  • The Palace measures 270 m by 240 m, 86 m high, and 92 m under ground.
  • It has 1,100 rooms, 2 underground parking garages
  • It is 12 stories tall, with four additional underground levels
  • The building is constructed entirely of materials of Romanian origin.
  • Estimates of the materials used include one million cubic meters of marble;
  • 3,500 tons of crystal - 480 chandeliers, 1,409 ceiling lights and mirrors were manufactured;
  • 700,000 tons of steel and bronze for monumental doors and windows, chandeliers and capitals; 900,000 m³ of wood (over 95% domestic) for parquet and wainscoting, including walnut, oak, sweet cherry, elm, sycamore maple;
  • 200,000 m² of woolen carpets of various dimensions (machines had to be moved inside the building to weave some of the larger carpets);
  • velvet and brocade curtains adorned with embroideries and passementeries in silver and gold.
[Read more...]

Wednesday, April 01, 2009
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Great New Droplist Idea... Join Us

EC Droppers: Copy this list and add yours to the mix, then post it to your blog and we'll create big a list of reciprocating droppers! This will raise our backlinks, page rank and technorati authority as well as making an easy drop list to follow daily.

This great idea was from Big Daddy Richard over at Trader's Hub... he says that when the list gets to be around 400, he'll create a widget for it.

Nice work, Richard!

My Entrecard Drop List:

Sunday, March 01, 2009
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Thank You... Top Ten EC Droppers for February!

Congrats to Lidian and thanks to all of Spectrum's top droppers!

The Virtual Dime Museum
Wave Weaver
Reach Beyond Limits
Wandering Thoughts
Poetic Expression
how much love
Stuperhero Extraordinaire
Kitchen Retro
The Callalily Space
Copyright ©2009 Michele Cameron Drew. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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The City of Lights

by Jimmy Smith

A closer look at Paris.

The earliest known occupation of what is now Paris was around 4200 B.C. by the Celtic Simons. The Celtics flourished until they were conquered by roman forces in 52 B.C. When the Romans took over they named the city Lutetina. While under roman rule the city began to grow rapidly and in the year 212 the city was renamed Paris. In the early fourth century the city was attacked by barbarians forcing the Romans to build a wall to protect the city. In 1789 the city was Paris was part of the French Revolution where the monarch was overthrown by the Russians.

Copyright ©2009 Michele Cameron Drew. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 20, 2009
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The Laundromat

I'm sorry that I have been so absent as of late. I was back to work full time for awhile and things were a bit hectic.

Recently I got an email from a friend with a subject line of "Ok, You Talked Me Into It". It was from good old RJ Grant. You see RJ hasn't written any articles online lately as he has been concentrating on larger projects. I asked him to post an article because I have missed his amusing anecdotes.

Inside the email was a link to the very witty and wonderful The Laundromat by RJ Grant

You may think that the Laundromat is not a particularly exciting topic? Then maybe you haven’t looked at the Laundromat in the right light. My earliest memories of the Laundromat are those of an affordable amusement park for children growing up in Brooklyn.

[Read More...]

Sunday, February 15, 2009
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Hearst Castle: The Incredibly Extravagant Estate of Newspaper Magnate William Randolph Hearst

by Michele Cameron Drew

Once an amazing ocean retreat for the upper echelon of wealthy celebrities throughout history, particularly in the 1920s and 30s, Hearst Castle is now one of the most visited attractions in California and the United States.



Ninety miles south of Carmel at the southernmost part of the Big Sur coast near San Simeon and Cambria, in San Luis Obispo County, lies Hearst Castle, the fascinating and magnificent estate of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.


Built from 1919-1947 by well known architect Julia Morgan of San Francisco, on a 40,000-acre ranch, purchased by William Randolph Hearst's father, wealthy miner George Hearst in 1865. It was designed around the eccentric style of William Randolph Hearst. His love of antiques with functionality is something not to be missed.


Once an amazing ocean retreat for the upper echelon of wealthy celebrities throughout history, particularly in the 1920's and 30's, an invitation to visit the castle was a highly coveted item. Hearst Castle is now one of the most visited attractions in California and the United States.


Read more from:

Copyright ©2011 Michele Cameron Drew. All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 14, 2009
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Five Positive Ways to Spend Valentine's Day If You're Single or Recently Broken Up


Is this your situation? You can also have your celebration.


If you’re mad because you’re single and lonely, or because you recently broke up or divorced or if you just hate the marketing around this holiday, you have many anti-Valentine’s day options around to pick. But, what if you love Saint Valentine’s day but just don’t have that special soul mate to share with? Here are some alternatives to celebrate and keep positive.
1. Hang out with your best friends.
Love manifests in many ways and one of them is friendship. Share some time with your closest friends and show them how much you appreciate them, they sure will give you their feedback. If you have the chance, go out, don’t stay at home. Although you can organize a party in some house, it’s better to change the air and visit a new place that you may enjoy and where you can have fun without mourning about the past.
2. Share some quality time with your family
Another form of love you may have is your family: parents, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, grandparents… If you have a good relationship with them, try to be thankful for that and remember that’s a big value in your life.
3. Do something that you really like
When you’re busy with something you really enjoy to do, you don’t have time to complain or think about the bad side of your situation. While you’re watching that funny movie you love, cooking, doing gym, listening to your favorite music, traveling or whatever makes you happy, you’re generating positive feelings for you and those who surround you.

[Read more...]

Sunday, February 08, 2009
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Political Sex Scandals in History

by eddiego65

People often look up to politicians who are supposed to lead by example. So it is definitely disappointing to see them commit indiscretions that jeopardize their careers and create embarrassment not only for themselves but also for their country and families as well. Here are some notable political sex scandals in history.

Bill Clinton (1946 - )

President of the United States (1993 - 2001)

Image source

News of Clinton's extramarital affair with 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke out in January 1998, what became known as the Lewinsky Scandal. After issuing numerous strong denials, Clinton eventually admitted having "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky during his testimony in Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit in August 2008, when key evidences surfaced, particularly blue dress stained with his semen. Clinton was consequently impeached for charges of obstruction of justice and perjury by the House of Representatives in December 1998; however, he would be acquitted by the Senate the following year.

John Profumo (1915 - 2006)

British Politician

Image source

Profumo, the Secretary of State for War under Harold Macmillan's administration, was unfortunately best known for his involvement in the Profumo Affair in 1963. At the very height of the Cold War, he was accused of putting national security at risk by his short-lived affair with Christine Keeler, a showgirl who was also having a relationship with Soviet naval attaché Eugene Ivanov. The scandal led to his resignation and withdrawal from politics following his admission of having misled the Commons when questioned about his friendship with Keeler.

[Read more...]

Tuesday, February 03, 2009
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Book Review: A Game of Thrones, by George RR Martin

by Michele Cameron Drew

A Game of Thrones, the first novel of a projected series of seven(A Song of Ice and Fire) by George RR Martin was first published in 1996. There are many "spin-off" items that have taken their names from this novel, including several games and HBO has contracted for a pilot episode based on the novels.

In resemblance to England during the "War of the Roses" is the seven kingdoms of Westeros. The story begins in the year 298 AL (After Landing). As its inhabitants await and prepare for the coming four decade winter that will shortly encompass their world, a civil war arises for power between several families. Leaders include Eddard Stark & Tyrion Lannister as well as many others. Unbeknownst to them the young Daenerys Targearyen(exiled daughter of the murdered and rightful king) is headed their way. Daenerys' plan is to travel to Westeros and then(as rightful heir) claim the throne.

Martin's style here is masterful. His prose flows beautifully and rings with clarity to the intelligent reader. With each chapter written in the third person limited point of view, there is no sense of "good" or "evil", but a sense of what "is". His characters are realistic and believable and their thought process can be analyzed "through their own eyes".

[

Saturday, January 31, 2009
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Spectrums Top Ten EC Droppers for January

Spectrum's top ten Entrecard droppers for the month of January include:

Wave Weaver
Juliana's Lair
Enjoy Work As Leisure
Reach Beyond Limits
60 Were Enough
Foreclosure How To Buy
The Many Ramblings of Courtney
Chicago History
If The Walls Could

Each month I will take the top dropper and provide them with an above the fold ad on the Spectrum for one month. Check out their blogs and drop them!

Thanks to all of you for your continued support!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009
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Three Astounding Pregnant Males Species

by BC Doan

These three species: seahorses, pipe fish, and sea dragons are the only males that get pregnant.

Besides the amazing fact that males are the actual beautiful , graceful, and wonderful creatures!

Sea Dragons


Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is celebrating the pregnancy of a male weedy sea dragon. This lucky male carries the eggs on his tail, and this is only the third time ever that an endangered species is pregnant in a U.S. aquarium.
This sea dragon has around 70 fertilized eggs, and is giving birth in early to mid-July. It is rare for sea dragons to be pregnant since researchers do not know what will get them in the mood to mate. While mating, the female lays dozens of eggs, and then transfer them to the male's tail, which look like red grapes.
Image Source
The Aquarium has 18-inch sea dragons with snouts, colorful sea horses bodies, and multiple fins. There are about 50 aquariums around the world that have sea dragons.

[Read more...]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
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The King of Lighthouses: Cordouan

by Francois Hagnere

For this French lighthouse, close to the Médoc coast, keywords are durability and decor. Columns, frontons, arched doorways and carved stone are an ode to the ocean.

The Cordouan lighthouse is located 7 kilometers at sea, on a rocky tableland, at the mouth of the Gironde river and faces the Atlantic ocean and the French coasts of Médoc and Charente-Maritime. It was listed a Historical Monument in 1862 at the same time as the cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris.

The Cordouan lighthouse, Atlantic Coast of France.

Image source :

The name would come from Cordoba, when in the Middle-Ages, the Spaniards installed commercial activities in the region and wished to protect their ships.

In the XIVth century, Edward, the Black Prince, Governor of the then British province of Guyenne, ordered the construction of a tower. A hermit was in charge of maintaining the fire on top. The edifice was soon abandoned and fell into disrepair. Two hundred years later, the hazards to navigation threatened the Bordeaux wine trade and the Maréchal de Matignon, in presence of the famous Montaigne decides to build a lighthouse.

Louis de Foix will be the engineer-architect of this « royal work » devoting his wealth and efforts over a period of 18 years followed by his ruined son. François Beuscher will fulfill the contract 27 years after its signature.

[Read more...]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
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Entrecard: An Excellent Promotion Tool!

I recently became a member of Entrecard. I love this small yet powerful little widget! The very easy to use Entrecard program is one of the best website promtion and blog promotion tools that I have ever come across(and I have used quite a few). I am having a blast!

You open up your entrecard dashboard page, visit a few sites and click on their widget, which drops your card on their widget. Now the site owner can see on their EC dashboard that you have visited and they can reciprocate if they would like to do so.

You gain EC credits for each operation that you perform(dropping your card on people's widgets, visits to your site, etc). You can then exchange these credits for ads on other blogs. Although I've just started using EC, I can already see a sizeable increase in traffic on all three of my blogs.

Other blogs use their credits to advertise on your site as well and the ads remain for one day and then the next queued ad is shown.

These are my cards:

If you aren't using EC right now, you are missing out on some quality traffic and some amazing blogs!

Check it out!


Monday, January 26, 2009
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Remembering Heath: The Movies, The Memories, The Magic

by Michele Cameron Drew


In 1979, in Perth, Western Australia, Heathcliff Andrew Ledger was born. A drama student through high school, by the age of 20, Heath was roughing it in Sydney(where dreams are made), arriving there with(as the story goes) 69 cents in his pocket.

In 1996, he played a short part as a gay cyclist in the short-lived TV Show "Sweat". Then in '97 a low budget movie "Blackrock" and a small role in "Paws" for which he received little recognition.

With half of my heritage being Native American and the other half being Celtic and having a great interest in early American History, I am fascinated by all things spiritual and ancient. In 1997, enter Heath Ledger and Roar: a young and talented actor with the most amazing smile that I have ever seen and a great Celtic themed show, a feast of my favorite fantasy/celtic genre with an amazing actor at the helm. When Heath smiled, it lit up his entire face. One thing I haven't heard much about in recent news is my first encountering of Heath: In the 1997 TV Show "Roar" with Heath playing the role of Conor, the fearless leader.

Although Heath immediately gained scrutiny as just another "pretty boy" actor, he went on to prove his incredible skill and talent over the course of the next few years.

In 1999, Heath was unable to find any work in the US and accepted a role in the film "Two Hands" which helped him to gain his role in "10 Things I Hate About You" with Julia Stiles.

At this point it was clear to Heath that he was being typecast. Heath's last desire was to be typecast as a teen idol, so in 2000, he accepted his first serious role in "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson.

In "The Patriot" Heath portrays Gabriel Martin the son of Benjamin Martin(Mel Gibson) a peaceful farmer who is drawn into leading the Colonial Militia when his son is murdered by an angry and vengeful British officer during the American Revolutionary War. Set to the music of Sarah McLachlan, here is a clip of Heath's scenes from the movie:

By this time I was already quite hooked on Heath and his amazing abilities as an actor and all around beautiful person. After "The Patriot" he came right back on the scene with another blockbuster film. "A Knight's Tale" is probably my favorite of his films and I have watched it more times than I care to count.

2001 also saw Heath through playing tough guy prison guard Sonny Grotowski in "Monster's Ball", and in 2002 Harry Feversham in "The Four Feathers" opposite Ethne Eustace(Kate Hudson).

In 2003, Heath brought us back to Australia in "Ned Kelly" a film I have yet to see and will be watching upon completion of this article. I do know that this film is based on a novel entitled "Our Sunshine" by Robert Drew portraying the life of a well known Australian bushranger.

2003 also brought us "The Order" another favorite of mine. Heath portrays Alex Bernier, a young priest who is sent to Rome by the Church to investigate the death of the head of his order. His leading lady in this role is Shannyn Sossamon who also plays opposite him in "A Knight's Tale".

2005 is packed with films, bringing us Heath as Skip in "Lords of Dogtown" where the Z-Boys of Dogtown in Santa Monica perfect their skating skills in the empty swimming pools of unknowing homeowners. This year also brings us Jacob Grimm of "The Brothers Grimm" with Matt Damon as his brother Wilhelm Grimm, the controversial "Brokeback Mountain" and the clever comedy "Casanova".

Heath starred in the 2006 film "Candy", where he and his love are heroine addicts and in 2007's "I'm Not There" he participated in a bio-drama about the life of Bob Dylan.

In 2008, during the filming of "Dark Knight" and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"(due for release this year), at the age of 28, we tragically lost a lifetime achiever, incredibly moving actor, an all around amazing man, and a beautiful smile.

Heath, will be sorely missed, but his gift and his smile will live on in the hearts of those who adore and love him. One year later, our hearts still go out to his lovely little girl Matilda and to all of Heath's loved ones.

And now I leave you with an excellent tribute to Heath and his films:

Copyright © Michele Cameron Drew. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 24, 2009
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Today's Reading List

As I opened up the Triond page,
I could not believe my eyes.
Today's friends reading list,
Caught me by suprise:

BC shows us Young Inventors,
Papaleng with What's in Song?
Bren with Writers on Writing,
Reilly with Forty Years On,
Arizona with gorgeous gems,
Louie on promoting your work,
Glynis takes us to Cyprus,
Adam Henry's got writer's block.
stickman has goofy gadgets,
Liane with angelic rhyme,
Aardaerimus: lovely flowers,
Wow, I had a really good time!

I hope you've enjoyed today's reading list,
I've gathered it with a smile.
Now off to find something to write today,
For I fear that I've fallen behind.

My Poetry

Older Poetry on Authspot

Poetic Expression - my poetry blog

Poetry on the Spectrum

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
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Glorious Garnet: Happiness, Clarity, Balance and Fertility


Birthstone for the month of January: this article by Michele Cameron Drew looks at the science, history, mythology and traditional healing properties of the glorious garnet.

Mined in Switzerland, Tanzania, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Myanmar(Burma), Arizona(US), South Africa, and Scotland, this glorious ancient symbol of friendship and January birthstone comes in many varieties. Six of these include spessartine, pyrope, grossular, andradite, almandine and uvarovite. Each of these varieties is a different mineral species. What makes this even more confusing is that many forms of garnet are combinations of the different minerals.

Pyrope-almandine, more commonly known as rhodolyte is a mix of pyrope and almandine and is but one of these combinations. Other commonly used names are Hydrogrossular, Ant-hill, Leuco, Cape Ruby, Demantoid, Melanite, Thai, and Topazolite. Because of the highly concentrated amounts of calcium chromium, aluminum, and iron, and silicate, the garnet is believed to have great healing powers. When light hits this stone, it brings out its depth of color, making it look even more beautiful. Some garnets also exhibit "stars" and color variation. On the Mohs scale, garnet has a hardness of 7.0 - 7.5. It is not generally enhanced.

Although well known for a deep red variety, garnet is available in many colors, also commonly found in wine red and orangy brown tones. Demantoids(a clear green, flawless and expensive variety) are softer than other garnets. Difficult to find, green garnets of over five carats are rarer than emeralds of similar size and more brilliant than a diamond, but the brilliance is thwarted by the color, so a white diamond will appear more fiery to the naked eye. The larger the gem, as with most gemstones, the more flawed and poorly colored it will be. Depending on the variety, quality and size of the gem, one can pay anywhere from $40 to $5000 per carat. Due to its variations in color, garnet can often be mistaken for many more expensive gems.


The word garnet comes from the Latin Garanatus meaning seedlike, and refers to the pomegranate. If you look at small pieces of garnet they do look like the pomegranate fruit covering the seeds. A hard and durable stone, the garnet has been found in graves dating as far back as 3000 BC. Small pieces of garnet were used in Ancient Greece as decoration to add a regal look.

[Read more...]

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
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The White House: A Highly Coveted Mansion


It was restored and expanded many times in its history and the Oval Office is redecorated each time a new President is elected. But why was this official residence called the White House?

It was only in 1901 that the Executive Mansion, as it was then called, received its final name: the “White House”, under Theodor Roosevelt. According to the legend, the name “White House” would come from “White Plantation House” where George Washington met his wife Martha in New Kent, Virginia. But in reality, it was painted white since the very beginning.

George Washington and his brother-in-arms, the French engineer Pierre Charles Lenfant (who gave the plan of Washington) made their decision about the location of the new

residence and James Hoban was chosen as an architect. Washington judged it too small however and Hoban expanded the house adding a reception hall, the present East Room, inspired by Mount Vernon. A portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart (1797) can be seen in this room used for press conferences, entertainment and ceremonies. The first President of the United States never occupied the house, he died one year earlier.

The work was performed between October 1792 and November 1800 by slaves, Scottish and Italian emmigrants in the neo-Palladian Style (currently known as Georgian Style in English-speaking countries). The first President to live in the White House was John Adams. It was very much damaged in 1812 as the British tried to recuperate their colonies.

[Read more...]

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
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Welcome to a 21st Century Flying Car


This is the latest news about a flying car which was reveled by the British media on Tuesday.

On Tuesday a flying car was revealed by the BBC that flies at the speed 70mph in the air. It is manufactured by 29 year old British engineer Gilo Cardozo. It is world’s first bio-fuelled flying car. It is called Parajet Skycar and it starts its first journey on Wednesday 14 of January for 42 days from London to Africa.

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Monday, January 19, 2009
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Truth Cuts the Deepest


Have you ever wished you could find an old house with an attic full of treasures?

It was the spring of the year and the spring of a new life. I had just married the woman of my dreams and moved into the house of her dreams an old country style house now displaced in the middle of a slowly developing suburb but a house with promise and style. Yes, it needed some work, but she loved it and I loved her and together we could conquer anything.
We explored our Victorian stronghold arm-in-arm and sought to discover all its secrets. From top to bottom we explored and laughed and loved. The spring and summer flew by in blissful love and oh, the things we found in the attic and the half cellar that went under the back half of the house. Old lanterns and trunks filled with vintage costumes, a jewelry box that had been stuffed behind the brick chimney with wedding rings…too many wedding rings and bobbles for the ears. The one thing that intrigued me the most was a dagger, with a long tapered blade, a bone handle, brass guard and pommel, the kind you see in those old American Civil War photos. The blade was coated with a thin layer of rust, so I decided to restore it to a workable condition. My beautiful bride smiled shaking her head saying,” Boys will be boys,” and laughed in her melodic manner. I labored on that blade with a piece of steel wool all the rest of that day and for the next two days when I blundered and cut the palm of my hand. The pain from that incising ran through my body like electricity all the way to my chest. I dropped the blade and it stuck between my feet into the hardwood floor. There was blood. Oh my there was blood, but I reminded myself that any cut to the hand would produce blood beyond the seriousness of the cut, so I washed my hand in cold water to stop the bleeding and wrapped it in gauze then placed the dirk on the mantel above the fireplace in a display stand I had made for it. I had finished my labor of love and brought new life to the blade. My wife was concerned with my injury, but I assured her that the grievance was superficial and to her frustration I ignored her imploring to take me to hospital. Shortly after is when the dreams started...

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Sunday, January 18, 2009
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GM Bailout? Not After Giving Millionaire Athlete a Free Camaro

by Brian Daniel Stankich

Detroit carmakers are seeking a taxpayer bailout. In exchange, General Motors donates a new Camaro to a wealthy athlete. Welcome to America.

Lawmakers are discussing a multi-billion dollar bailout plan for the American auto industry. General Motors, one of America's largest corporations, would benefit directly from taxpayer funding.
Having failed in gaining your money in exchange for a car, they will now take it directly from your checkbook - with you receiving nothing in return.
The US Congress is getting good at giving out your money to companies whose pockets are already overflowing with excess cash, aka, the AIG debacle. These bailouts are prime examples of capitalistic excess.
College economics taught me twenty years ago that some companies will fail due to adverse market conditions. These failures are limited in scope because the market will adjust to difficult conditions, resources will reallocate, new jobs will replace old ones, and fresh markets will emerge. A free market system benefits a nation by giving corporations freedom to operate and workers an ultimate safety net. Pain is inevitable, but from trouble will be born new opportunity.
Today's economy is not going as the textbooks had planned. The US government is bailing out institutions to halt the panic in American households. Where is the government getting the cash? Don't ask, don't tell. Don't even worry about. Our kids will take care of everything.
Does GM really need bailout money? I'm skeptical. If they need extra cash, they can go to their friends. Enter Cole Hamels.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009
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An Amazing Exhibition: Made in Chambord


In the majestic Château of Chambord in the French Loire Valley, discover an exceptional collection of eponymous objects.

As you enter the Royal Domain of Chambord in the heart of the French Loire Valley, you suddenly discover the stately silhouette of the Château de Chambord. François the First's exceptional estate is a pure gem of the French Renaissance. It appears in a wonderful setting with its grey slate roofs, its bastion towers, finely carved pinnacle turrets, and fireplaces (as many as days in a year) reminding us of an « art de vivre » when beauty had connections with utility.

The Château de Chambord - Photo Copyright: Wikipedia

The construction of the château began in 1519, in the early years of the Renaissance and is supposed to have been inspired by Italy. The great architect Viollet-le-Duc, however said that there was nothing italianate about Chambord in thought or form. The King in his passion spent a fortune on the château, even when money got rare, he always found a solution (if you see what I mean) for Chambord and the works

never stopped. François the First likes to entertain courtiers and dignitaries and goes hunting in his immense and deep forests abounding in game. Later Molière wrote here his « Monsieur de Pourceaugnac » within a few days. The play that at first Louis XIV did not appreciate, was saved by Lulli who simply jumped onto his harpsichord, thus making the king burst out laughing.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009
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Chris' Spring Salad


A delicious mixture of veggies and pasta.


  • 2 boxes of ring macaroni
  • 2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped celery

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Friday, January 16, 2009
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Sisterhood, Lemonade and Best Friends: Triple Award

I was so happy to receive this award today from my soul sister, Lauren, from Friends' Revolution. I wasn't sure if I had that many girls to recognize, but I knew I would figure out something. Starting the Spectrum and growing it has been a huge undertaking and although I don't have it quite where I want it yet, I'm getting closer to reaping the rewards. This is definitely an excellent reward and I am quite honored. :)

Here are the rules for the recipients:
  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
  3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

So, without further adieu, let me pass this on to my favorite amazing and wonderful ladies and their blogs: