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HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BACKYARD FISH POND

Backyard Centerpiece

Homes with waterfront views and accents are admired by
many. This is because being around water offers a
feeling of beauty, allure, and serenity. Putting up
your own water accent in your backyard, such as a fish
pond, will also add that visual appeal. Make your yard
alive with the soothing sounds of water in motion.
Make your fish pond the focal point of your backyard.

However, there are some considerations before
constructing one:

Climate

Consider the climate of your area. If your weather
experiences winter times, then it is best if you make
you fish pond deeper since the fish tend to hibernate
at the bottom of the pond and naturally stop eating
when the water temperature goes below 45 degrees.

If you live in a location where the pond will
completely freeze over, it is imperative that a hole
be created in the ice to help the fish remain alive.
In this case, aquatic plants should be removed and
placed indoors since they may not survive the cold
temperature.

Filter

Consider the filtration system of your pond. There is
what you call natural filtration where it is provided
by the action of the moving water. If this is the
case, considering the design of your system and the
climate of your area, then you do not need a filter
for the pond.

However, to know what is best for your pond, consult a
pond professional concerning filtration. There are
cartridge filters and biological filters available
from shops that provide pond supplies.

Now, to get your backyard pond started:

First step. Make intelligent decisions by educating
yourself.

Do not push through water gardening or pond building
without knowing the essentials about it. Know what
equipment are needed to be used. Find out if your yard
is appropriate to hold such an accent. Is the climate
compatible with your pond? Are you up for the regular
maintenance it needs? Take into consideration the
availability of supplies such as electricity,
filtration, and water. Decide what type of pond are
you willing to make, is it a small one? Or a large
one?

Second step. Decide on the location of your pond.

Locate your pond in an area where the sun will be able
to shine on it. Do not place it under the trees since
it will cause a cleaning nightmare due to the falling
leaves. Do not place your pond where runoff water
tends to overflow. These will accumulate in your pond
making it dirty and murky.

Determine the depth of your pond. The average depth of
a back yard pond is between 18″ to 24″ usually. Make
the outline of your pond and start digging it. Make
steps in order to provide easy access to the pond
during cleaning. These steps will also be perfect for
holding potted plants just above the water. Make sure
that the bottom is leveled as you dig.

Third step. Get hold of an appropriate sized pond
liner.

In order to get the right pond liner size, take the
width of your pond and add twice the depth of the
pond, and then add 24 more inches. Measuring the
length will be done using the similar formula. Now,
drape the liner over the pond. Arrange it and place
stones around the edges. Fourth step. Fill it up with
water.

Start filling the pond with water. Fold large creases
neatly and remove wrinkles as you fill the pond with
water to make it les noticeable.

Fifth step. Install the needed equipment.

After filling it up with water, place filters, pumps,
and lightings to the pond. Connect it to the
electrical supply. Then add your fish and plants, and
you are ready to go!

Enjoy!

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Best and Sweet 16 Birthday Party Idea

The 16th Birthday for most young girls is a very special birthday. It is one that should be made memorable and there are many ways in which this can be accomplished. If you are like many moms and dads out there you might be a bit challenged is to exactly how to make that birthday stand out above and beyond the rest, especially in light of what seems to be competing and often escalating birthday celebrations. Keep reading for some excellent birthday party ideas to make your daughter’s day shine.

While there are many friends that your daughter will have and many Sweet 16 parties she will attend you want to make her birthday party a little bit unique. For this reason there are several party ideas that will be mentioned below. You can elaborate on one theme or mix and match a few themes that capture your attention. Regardless any of these themes should be a little something special to make the day, or evening, a special event full of fond memories for your teen.

Throw a masquerade ball. This allows everyone to dress in costumes, dance, drink punch, and have a ball, figuratively of course. This can be a lot of fun and you can even have those in attendence make their own masks for the grand event even if you choose not to use costumes and go a little less formal. Use plenty of balloons to set the stage and make the evening quite an event.

You can have a spa event for an all girls sweet 16. This event would include having facials, pedicures, makeovers, and a great chick flick for the evening, followed, of course by copious amounts of Haagen-Dazs(r). A great way to do this is by approaching your favorite home party plan representative from a company such as Mary Kay or Beauty Control for the spa portion of the party (be sure to invite parents and have friends bring money to buy their favorite products). It’s a great way to get a makeover inexpensively and learn about proper application of cosmetics and which colors suit your needs.

If these ideas aren’t appealing, how about a Surf’s Up Sweet 16? Even if you aren’t near a beach you may discover that you can bring the feeling of the beach to your own back yard. Be sure to have surfboards to set the theme and plenty of tikki types of decorations and some excellent surfing music. You could take the event one step further and make it a luau. Use your imagination and make it an event to remember.

Make your Sweet 16 a Red Carpet Event. This is a great idea for a birthday party. It allows all your friends to make a grand entrance, that you can record with a video or digital camera in their beautiful dresses (you can go semiformal if finances are a concern), and can make great scrapbooks that everyone can take home if you have a computer, scanner, and printer at home. Don’t forget to create Oscar worthy goodie bags with great little gifts from the local party supply store or Bath and Body works. It’s a lot of fun as far as parties go and may be a little something new and different among friends.

There really is no one way that is right or wrong for celebrating your daughter’s Sweet 16. The important thing is that you create a budget and plan your party theme to fit within the scope of your budget. Even with limited funds you can have an excellent birthday bash for your teen on her sixteenth. The ideas above are a great place to start. Hopefully you will take one of these ideas and make it your own or at the very least have jump-started a few new and different ideas to add to your growing list of hits, near hits, and misses. You may just have the one hit that will make your daughter’s eyes light up.

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Risen and Shall Rise Again

How many rappers have accomplished what Tupac Shakur has accomplished? There are some continuing to try and accomplish as much as Tupac has. After what occurred in 1996 Tupac suffered a great fall. Yes there was an “announcement” of his death but Tupac Shakur is alive and his living was confirmed. The rapper continues to release music and has revealed himself. Shakur accomplished so much at the age of 25. There are so many who’ve admired Tupac and then there are so many envious. Yes, Tupac rose to fame, and now he must try to rise up again.

he’s accomplishments include poetry which is presently in educational institutions. Students are learning more about Tupac and his poetic gifts. Yes, he’s more than a rapper, he’s lived the dream and wants to rise up again. His fans didn’t forget about his accomplishments his music was played after the announcement of his death. It appears as though he had to die in order to live again. “What is Tupac up to now and when will he make an official appearance?” By: Tanikka Paulk. Perhaps his fans are curious as to when. He’s reply was timing.

In order to make a grand entrance there has to be the right timing. I’m very honored to have and continue to communicate with Tupac Shakur. He’s continuing to utilize his talents by working in the studio and yes he’s secretive about his designated location there is no “statement” about the exact residency in California. In order to protect the rapper his whereabouts shouldn’t be revealed. If his fans remember Tupac had a lot of competition and there was numerous threats directed at Tupac Shakur.

There are many locations where his music can be heard. “Tupac isn’t just an accomplished rapper but he’s considered to be a truest friend meaning when he calls himself a friend he tries to live up to what he’s proclaimed.” by: Tanikka Paulk. Where will Tupac and his music be headed to next? There’s always an album out seems as though every year there’s an album. Tupac certainly had and has enough music because he was always working in the studio.

He’s work ethic demonstrates how dedicated he is to his craft. So many rappers try to live up to what Tupac has accomplished. He’s the most accomplished rapper “of time.” There are many similarities between Tupac and myself however there are the differences. I’ve learned a lot about the rapper Tupac Shakur. I’ve learned that he looks exactly like his father. Gosh almost as if they were twins. Tupac should be proud his mother Afeni Shakur was an activist and apart of “The Black Panther Party.” Tupac Shakur could be difficult to figure out but he’s a bright soul.

So many may have though they could mimic what Tupac has accomplished but there will never be another like Tupac Shakur. In his music Tupac will “vocalize” how he wants love and he may think he isn’t loved but Tupac would be mistaken if that’s his thoughts because Tupac Shakur is loved. He’s accomplished high record sales and after the announcement of his death his record sales increased tremendously. Although there was a fall Tupac should think about how much he’s accomplished and how fortunate he is to have survived.

 

Can Listen to Tupac’s Music Right Here After Reading the Article Regarding Tupac Shakur

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Tupac Shakur Image Credited to Free Advanced Google Images

Featured Image Credit: Free Advanced Google Images

 

 

 

 

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Historical Films: From Shakespeare to the French Revolution

Shakespeare in the Movies

Henry IV (1945),  Hamlet (1945), and Richard III (1945): these films were directed by Laurence Olivier,  Starring Laurence Olivier.

These three interpretations of Lawrence Olivier are universally considered both by audiences and critics the greatest cinematographic expressions of Shakespeare’s works, thanks to the exceptional skill of Lawrence Olivier, one of the strongest leading figures in British cinema who, incidentally, was accompanied by the best British actors in Shakespeare’s Plays. The text of Shakespeare was respected with philological rigor, and the same scene was deemed virtually perfect by any international criticism. For those who love Shakespeare’s Plays, these movies are a must see.

Macbeth  and  Othello

Macbeth (1948) and  Othello (1952), directed and interpreted by Orson Welles, are two Shakespearian films strongly desired by the same Welles. He agreed to work in prohibitive conditions, with limited funds, improvised and always different troupes, and with little time available. The obstacles were overcome by the lively mind of Welles, who managed to achieve two significant works by the visual point of view, thanks to a clever work both on photography and on direction. Despite these difficulties, Macbeth and Othello unfolded two fascinating and very intense films in acting. It is interesting to note that Welles later told all his difficulties to realize these films in a documentary film, Filming Othello, produced by the same Orson Welles in 1978.

 

Romeo + Juliet and Richard III

 

Romeo + Juliet by Baz Luhmann (1996), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is a movie where the text is that of Shakespeare’s tragedy, while the story is set in the United States, in a very colorful and fictional Verona Beach.  It has been stressed that its post-modern scenography seems like a frivolous fashion show, while the film seems a long video clips in some respects, characterized by a frantic rhythm and a strong visual impact. Richard III, by Richard Loncraine (1996), was interpreted very loosely by the same Director.  The tragedy of Shakespeare was heavily reworked both in text and in the environment. The plot revolves around the 30s of the 20th century, with the detection of alienation effects.

Barry Lindon, 1975

Barry Lindon, by Stanley Kubrick (1975), starred by Ryan O’Neal,  is set in England during the 18th century, and tells the story of an adventurer (both a spy and a compulsive  gambler). The film is based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray (born 1811) entitled The Memoirs of Barry LindonBarry Lindon provides a realistic portrait of 18th-century England.   Kubrick used only natural light, while the actors’ costumes perfectly reflect the dress in England in the Eighteenth Century. The soundtrack is evocative and consists of a mix both of classical and 1700 English folk songs of various types, with exceptional realistic effects, whereby the viewer is immersed into the daily Life in Eighteenth-Century England. Barry London is a true Classic Film that can be appreciated by everyone.

Rob Roy

The Eighteenth-Century England and popular environments are the absolute protagonists of a great movie by M. Caton-Jones, Rob Roy (1995), set in 18th-century England. The film has its setting in the Scottish Highlands, and the daring hero is Rob Roy (played by Liam Neeson). Rob Roy is considered by some a real bandit, while by others as a genuine hero of freedom, who fights against the injustices of a feudal power. Rob Roy is a film very spectacular with remarkable sequences, very fun and suitable for both children and adults.  The scene is extremely accurate, and offers one the most popular images in understanding both the eighteenth-century English folk culture, and the living standards of the people, far from the lavish English court entertainments.

Danton

Danton,  by Andrzej Wajda (1988) was played in a truly superlative way by Gerard Depardieu.  The film tells the dramatic conflict between two protagonists, Danton and Robespierre, in the period of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution (1).  Andrzej Wajda’s film had a great success with audiences and critics, because, metaphorically, it was referring to the difficult situation of Polish politics of the time, where the local Trade Union and the Catholic Church had conflictual relationships with the Communist regime of that time.

 

Note

1)      The film is adapted from a play of the Polish writer Stanislawa Przybyszewska (died in 1995), The Danton Affair.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Improve Spoken English Secretly & Confidently

Nowadays, practically everyone needs to be fluent in spoken English to succeed in career, business and life. Rightly so, for English is the fourth most widely spoken language of the world.

Your fluency in spoken English will determine your future prospects. Large companies hire staffs that are fluent in spoken English only.

Additionally, you need to speak English, or at least write well, while communicating for your business.

Furthermore, you require excellent knowledge of reading English and comprehending words.

Why do we need to improve spoken English?

Admittedly English is the world’s fourth most popular language since it trails behind Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua), Hindi and Spanish.

However, a majority of important text books and study material available around the world are written in English.

However, English is the lingua franca of the cyber world. Meaning, over 70 percent of all websites on the Internet are in English.

Nearly 55 percent of Internet users searched for websites in English, according to a report compiled by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Actually, these figures could be much higher, researchers claim.

English is the medium of instruction of choice at every reputed university, whose degrees are honored worldwide. English is the main language for banking and financial transactions.

Further, English is also the language most widely used in the world of medicine, engineering, law, IT and lots more.

Importance of spoken English

As we have seen, English is indeed very important for our daily lives. However, the most vital linguistic skill we all require is spoken English. Meaning, we need excellent skills to speaking verbally in English.

The better we communicate, the higher our chances of success at studies, work or business.

Generally, most of us learn spoken English during schooldays. In India, for example, English can be selected as the medium of instruction at school.

However, in schools where English is not used a medium of instruction, it can be taken as second or sometimes, third language.

The primary reason we accord such high importance to English is:

  • The Constitution of India is authored in English.
  • All Indian laws including the Indian Penal Code and Indian Civil Code are penned in English. However, this was inevitable since they were written by erstwhile British rulers.
  • English remains the official language at banks, stock exchanges, financial institutions of India. Though other languages are used, English reigns supreme.
  • National language Hindi is not widespread across India despite being accorded the status since August 15, 1947, due to various reasons. However, English is spoken widely in all regions of this country.
  • Scriptures of every major religion in India are available in English because of high demand.
  • India’s currency, the Indian Rupee, prominently displays features such as value ad issuer in English.
  • Additionally, Indian passports feature English on its cover and other pages.
  • A majority of job applications and interviews are conducted in English.
  • Major initiatives of the Indian government including Skill India, Digital India and Make In India use English as the primary language. Hence, to benefit from these, you require great English language skills.
  • Higher study courses including medicine, engineering, management, law, architecture and design, IT is mostly available in English.

Problems in learning English

Mainly, our own inhibitions and reluctance prevent us from learning English. Generally, students of English-medium school have better spoken English skills.

Sadly, they are reluctant to speak English outside schools. Consequently, they lose practice vital to develop excellent spoken English skills and develop vocabulary.

Understandably, parents of some students are unable to converse fluently in English.

Hence, thousands of students shun English speaking  at home and with friends. Inadvertently, they miss fail to develop spoken English skills acquired at schools.

India’s state-run primary education system relies heavily on indigenous or native languages of the place.

Hence, whatever English is taught at such schools, does not impart sufficient skills for students to pursue English practice further.

Generally, schools with English as medium of instruction are expensive compared to those where regional or native languages are used.

Unfortunately, a misplaced sense of nationalism and baseless fears in learning foreign languages deters thousands of people from English learning .

They falsely believe that English learning or  English speaking violates their cultural values.

Worse, they feel English learning would render themselves and their families prone to promiscuity or expose them to licentious cultural influences.

The Indian government consistently pursues a policy of promoting Hindi and other Indian languages at its offices, banks, industries, schools and universities while English gets relegated.

Lamentably, this causes a false belief that English learning is insignificant or useless.

Further, these factors have led to significant deterioration in the quality of written and spoken English.

Consequently, educators themselves are not fluent in English causing an overall drop in the quality of training in the language.

Myths that English grammar is complex and requires strenuous efforts to learn, also deters most prospective learners.

However, with sufficient tenacity and verve, you can learn great written and spoken English for success in career and business.

How to Improve English?

Firstly, English learning is easy, so is acquiring great spoken English skills and developing vocabulary.

Remember, age, academic qualifications, gender and location pose no barriers for learning English. The only limitation exists in your mind.

Here are some simple ways how you can learn English:

1. Download Spoken English app on your mobile:

Free courses to learn English are available from special Android-based apps. Popular apps are Babbel, Massive Open Online English Course (MOOEC) and Duolingo.

You can also use Google Translate for translating words and sentences in your native language to English. All these apps include a listening feature.

Meaning, you can listen how a particular word or phrase is pronounced in English.

2. Enroll for online English courses:

British Council India, ELS Language Training Institute offer the best online English study courses. However, they charge a reasonable fee.

These assisted English learning courses are ideal for both beginners and those who want to acquire better spoken and written English skills.

British Council also has libraries featuring superb literature for students. Fees for these courses vary based on your knowledge of English, location and duration.

Customized courses for English teachers and other professions are also available.

3. Classroom study courses for Spoken English:

Hundreds of indigenous coaching classes across India offer courses for spoken English & written English.

Durations of these courses vary from 1 week to six months. Advanced courses can last up to a year.

However, crash courses or those claiming to teach great spoken English skills in a week can be a disappointment.

Generally, such courses offer only very basic training on answering telephone calls, greeting people in English and elementary correspondence.

4. Self study books and guides:

At best, these are useless. At worst, you can consign them to your nearest dustbin. A plethora of self-study books and guides are available in the market, with prices ranging between Rs.20 and Rs. 1,500.

Moreover, these books also promise that you can learn English on basis of your native tongue.

They contain common sentences in your language and translation in English. Motley tips on pronunciation also feature on these books.

Remember, it is impossible to learn English, or, for that matter, any language on basis of such books.

Unless of course you are willing to exert superhuman efforts that stretch beyond any known physical boundaries of our frail human body and brains.

The only book I can recommend you is Word Power Made Easy because it increases your word power that helps for spoken English in future.

5. Private coaching and tutor for English Speaking:

By far, this is proven as the most efficient way to learn English or any other language. However, costs involved are the greatest inhibitor.

A private coach/ tutor can cost anything from Rs.10,000 per month to Rs.25,000 per month.

The greatest advantage of such tutors/ coaches is personal attention.

You can also practice your English skills with these coaches and seek professional guidance on how to improve spoken English & written English.

6. Audio and video study material:

They fare better than self-study books and guides. However, they have inherent issues as well.

Firstly, audio and video study material comes with instructions on how to speak and write English well.

Yet, they lack proper instructions on grammar, formation of correct, comprehensible sentences and use of vocabulary.

You can try this audio and video study courses if you plan on taking a full English language course.

They can serve as starters.

Take help from English dictionary and thesaurus

Considering you have working fluency in English or studying an English course, there are several options available to improve your skills.

To do so, you will have to invest in a good dictionary and a thesaurus.

Some dictionaries you can consider include:

  • Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
  • Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
  • Chambers English Dictionary
  • Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary
  • Oxford Dictionary of Current English

Here, we recommend you opt for advanced versions of any dictionary for two reasons. Firstly, they contain all English words that are currently in use.

Secondly, they also contain instructions on pronunciations in the international phonetic.

You can buy a dictionary and download one on computer and mobile. Having a dictionary app is a great way to check out on English words while traveling or during spare time.

The best thesaurus we recommend is

  •  Roget’s Thesaurus
  • Webster Thesaurus

A dictionary and thesaurus are two different types of books.

A dictionary will tell you what a particular word means and its usage, grammar and etymology.

A thesaurus will give other words of the same meaning and their use in sentences. It helps you to expand your English vocabulary.

Other steps to improve your English

Shed your inhibitions, shyness and start speaking in English. There is no alternative or substitute for speaking English.

Of course, you will make mistakes when you begin. Worse, you can become a laughing stock or butt of jokes.

However, persistence and ardor will see you acquire great spoken English skills.

To do so, you can enlist the help of your English teacher or friend who is fluent in spoken English.

1.Read English language newspapers and magazines.

Usually, you will come across new words and phrases. You can look up their meaning in a dictionary.

Make it a habit to read at least two or three large news reports daily. Generally, news reports on Page-1 that are turned inside or extended to other pages are large enough.

Newspapers will teach you how to convey something in the minimum number of words while writing of speaking English.

2. Write your own essays

You can do this by selecting a simple topic and describing your experience in about 300 words. Writing helps you improve grammar and vocabulary.

Writing in English also helps you develop great spoken English skills. To check where you go wrong, ask your English teacher or friend fluent in written English to mark correction.

Watch News channels & English Movies with sub-titles

Watch news channels offering bulletins and news features in English. Generally, English news channels use very simple English since they cater to a very wide audience.

Try to comprehend how a sentence was made and how words are effectively woven.

Watching English movies with English sub-titles is also the great way to improve English.

Develop a habit of reading English books.

Wide assortments of English books that cover almost every sphere of life are available. Reading helps you assimilate difficult words easily.

In addition, you expand your knowledge through reading good books, regardless whether they are fiction and fairy tale or esoteric subjects.

Learning advanced English

Frankly, there is nothing called Advanced English. The term stems from verbal and written skills.

Beginners are those with basic English language skills while ‘Advanced’ means those possessing much higher level of written and spoken fluency.

You can also acquire so called Advanced English fluency through some rather simple techniques. Interestingly, you can do so during your leisure and enjoy immensely.

These techniques include:

  • Solve Crosswords
  • Play Scrabble
  • Participate in word games
  • Identify missing words
  • Look up words at random in your dictionary and thesaurus
  • Read interesting websites that offer unique content on topics of your interest

English English or American English

For the uninitiated, this is just a play of words. People in UK and some 17 countries worldwide who speak the language are called Native English Speakers.

India, for example, is a non-native English speaking country.

English is spoken differently in the US, though the country features in the list of Native English Speaking Countries. Hundreds of words are spelt and pronounced differently.

Over decades, new words have crept into the English language spoken in the US. Hence, the language spoken in USA is sometimes called American.

To avoid confusion over the way words are pronounced or spelled, it is ideal to choose either UK English or US English.

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Conversation starters for couples, make GF and enjoye the steps

Every relationship is different but there is one thing that every relationship needs. Communication. These conversation starters for couples will get the both of you talking and hopefully you’ll learn some new things about your partner.

Some of you that are reading this have been in your relationship for a very short time and some of you have been in your relationship for quite a long time. But either way, you are probably tired of asking the same old questions or you are at loss for new questions. With that in mind, I tried to choose questions that are a little out of the ordinary for this list of conversation starters for couples.

I hope that some of the questions from this list will shed new light on who you partner is and facilitate some deep meaningful conversations. And hopefully you’ll find the questions fun and entertaining to answer. So without further delay here is my list of conversation starters for couples. Enjoy!

Conversation starters for couples list

What is something that you are dreading?

Tell me about a time you almost died.

What’s the biggest betrayal you have ever experienced?

What’s most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while having sex?

What are you battling that you don’t tell anyone about?

What are you into, but haven’t told me about?

What’s better than great sex?

What small seemingly insignificant thing did your parents or someone else say when you were a child that has stuck with you all this time?

What is the best or worst thing you inherited from your parents?

What was the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?

What’s the most disheartening and heartening realization you have come to?

What is something you wish you could say to people but can’t?

What have you struggled with your entire life?

What would be the coolest hobby to have?

If you received a salary to follow whatever passion you wanted to, what would you do?

What was the most productive time in your life? How about the least productive?

What made you realize that your parents were just human like everyone else?

What questions should partners ask each other before getting married?

What toy played the biggest part in your childhood?

What were the three most important turning points in your life?

What’s the worst thing that people are proud of?

What job do you think you were born to do?

What are you most sentimental about?

What has taken up too much of your life?

What do I do that makes you the happiest?

How important is it for individuals in a relationship to maintain their own separate identity?

What makes our relationship better than other relationships?

What question do you most want an answer to?

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List of Interesting Conversation Topics that every one need to know

As time goes by we’ll probably add more topics and conversation questions but this is what we’ve got so far. Take a look and see if there is a topic you are interested in. If you can’t find anything you might try our that also has some questions listed by topic.

Beauty Conversation Starters

Beauty is all around us, and strangely we probably couldn’t live without it. But can beauty be defined? Maybe or maybe not, but at least you can explore the idea of beauty by having a discussion with these conversation questions about beauty.

How have standards of beauty changed over the years?

What makes a person beautiful to you?

Can products be beautiful? What makes a product beautiful? What is the most beautiful product you own?

Where is the most beautiful place you have been?

Why do humans find things other than humans beautiful? How does it help us?

What is the most beautiful song you have heard?

What features make a natural area beautiful?

What makes a piece of art beautiful to you?

Are there any striking examples of beauty in art?

How does the absence of beauty affect people?

What is the most beautiful thing in your life?

Is beauty only in the eye of the beholder, or can we say some things are universally beautiful?

Challenges Conversation Starters

Time to talk about some of the challenges you have faced and that others have faced. We all face challenges, some more than others. Find out more about the challenges that friends and family have faced with these conversation questions.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced?

Do you enjoy overcoming challenges or do you prefer things to be easy? Why?

What is a challenge you would never want to face?

Do you think living in the present is more or less challenging than living in the past? Why?

What is the most challenging job you can think of?

Do you think that challenges improve a person’s character?

What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now?

What was the most challenging thing about your childhood?

What are some big challenges that people have overcome that you have heard of?

What are the biggest challenges your country is facing right now?

Do you think that the challenges you have faced over your life have made you a better or worse person?

Dieting Conversation Starters

Dieting is a pain. But even though it’s a pain, it’s incredibly common and fuels a multi-billion dollar industry. If you haven’t tried dieting, most of your friends probably have. So here are some questions about dieting, enjoy!

What is the craziest diet you’ve heard of?

What diets have you tried?

Is dieting healthy or unhealthy?

What diets are popular now?

Is dieting an effective way to lose weight and keep it off?

Why do you think there are so many diet trends?

For most of history dieting to lose weight would have seemed insane. Is it a victory or a failure for our society that we have progressed to the point were we have so much food that dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry?

Do you know anyone who has lost a lot of weight on a diet? Have they keep the weight off?

Should businesses be allowed to make losing weight mandatory for employees who are costing the business money in missed days due to weight related health issues?

Will there ever be a miracle weight loss solution?

Conversation Starters about Family

You can pick your friends but for better or for worse you can’t pick your family. Take a look at some questions about your family and families in society. Just be sure to keep it civil, I don’t want to be blamed for any family arguments.

Who in your family are you most like?

Who is the most generous person in your family?

Do you like going to family gatherings? Why or why not?

How often do you see your parents? How about your extended family?

Have you ever been to any large family reunions? How did it go?

How important are strong family ties to you? Are strong family ties more or less important that close friendships?

How have family roles changed from the past?

Who is the most interesting person in your extended family?

What would growing up in an ideal family environment look like? Do you think that anyone grew up in an ideal family environment?

How has your family shaped your personality and who you turned out to be?

What is the best and worst thing about your family or extended family?

Friendship Conversation Starters

Friendship one of the most important things to have for a fulfilling life. It’s definitely hard to put a price on a good friend. Have a conversation about friendship using these questions about your friends and friendship in general.

What quality do you value most in your friends?

Are any of your friends completely opposite to you or are most of them similar to you?

Do you make friends easily or do you find it difficult to make new friends?

What are the most common reasons for friendships to fall apart?

Who is your strangest friend? What makes them strange?

Are you a good friend? Why or why not?

What is the best way to meet new friends?

What separates true friends from acquaintances?

Who is your oldest friend? How did you meet them?

What’s a big favor you have done for a friend? How about a big favor that a friend has done for you?

What is the most annoying type of friend?

Gift Conversation Starters

Everyone loves giving and receiving gifts. It’s one of those things that is common across all cultures. So here is my gift to you, I hope you enjoy these conversation questions about gifts!

Have you ever received a strange gift? What was it?

Who in your family gives good gifts? How about bad gifts?

What is a creative gift you have given or received?

Does it matter how a gift is wrapped or is it only the gift that matters?

Is gift giving common among all human cultures? Why?

Can you think of any examples of animals giving gifts?

Do you enjoy shopping for gifts? Why or why not?

Do you prefer to receive money or a gift? Why?

What do you think of homemade gifts?

Is it really only the thought that counts?

Journalism Conversation Starters

Journalism helps shape how people view the world and can make or break the careers of those in the public eye. Here are some great questions delving into journalism, journalists, and the future of journalism. Enjoy!

Is journalism dying or becoming more important?

How do journalists serve society? Are they doing a good job of serving society now?

Is being a journalist a respectable job?

What platform will the next generation of journalists use?

How much legal protection should journalists have?

What kinds of corruption are found in journalism?

Now anyone can be a journalist. Is this a good or bad thing? Why?

What characteristics are important for a journalist to have?

How can journalism be improved?

How accountable should journalists be to making sure the news they are reporting is accurate? Should they be jailed for falsifying the news or reporting misleading news?

Personality Conversation Starters

Our personalities are what the outside world uses to judge us and they greatly influence our interactions with others. So isn’t it worthwhile to have a conversation about something that holds so much sway over our lives?

How would you describe your personality? How would other people describe your personality, the same or different?

What is the best aspect of your personality? How about the worst aspect?

What personality traits in other people do you hate?

What personality traits make a good leader?

What personality trait do you wish you had?

Can a person change their personality?

Where do our personalities come from? How much of personality is genetic and how much is from the environment?

Which of your personality traits has been the most useful?

How about the personalities of some of your friends and family? What are the good, bad, and strange aspects of their personalities?

What is the most annoying personality trait someone can have?

Space Conversation Starters

Now here is a big topic to get into! Space, the final frontier. The sheer vastness of space boggles the mind but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an interesting conversation about it! Here are some questions to get you started…

Where would you most like to travel in space? Assuming you could go there instantly and survive the harsh conditions.

Do you think space tourism will be big in the near future? Why or why not?

What is the most interesting thing you know about space?

What is the most important thing for astronomers to be researching?

Would you ever join a mission to colonize another planet if it meant never returning to earth?

What are some fun things you could do in zero-g?

You can use these  to start a good conversation about space as well!

Success and Failure Conversation Starters

We all have our successes and failures. They make us who we are and are often the lens through which people view us. Use these conversation starters to have a great conversation about success and failure.

What is the best criteria to measure success by?

Are there any failures in your life you are proud of?

What is your biggest success? How about your biggest failure?

What are some successes you’ve had in your personal life?

What are some failures you’ve had in your professional life?

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a failure?

Have you ever turned a failure into a win?

Do you usually learn from your failures or do you keep repeating them?

Who is the most successful person you know of? How about the most successful person you know personally?

What is the most recent success you’ve had?

What is the next big success you are working towards?

Need even more questions?! Well I suppose I’ve got a few…

  • – Need some more topics to discuss? Well here they are!
  • – How about some more general questions? These are some of the best questions on our site. Feel free to pick and choose from either page, some are questions are gender specific but many aren’t.
  •  – Ready to get serious and have a deep conversation? These questions are for you. Definitely not for casual conversation!
  • – Or if you aren’t in the mood for serious questions, how about kicking it up a notch with a game of truth or dare?
  • – Lots of fun questions to ask anyone!
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benefits of Online Advertising similar to other adds agencies

he reach and depth of how the internet has impacted marketing in business are seen and felt everywhere. There are few business owners who don’t know that they should be looking at online advertising solutions. However, sometimes it’s easy to miss why exactly you should be doing it. Instead of leaving you to assume why we’re going to look at some of the real benefits on offer.

 

Adaptable
Words and designs on a screen are a lot easier to change than something that’s been printed out and put on a billboard or sent in the mail. We can adapt online advertising on the fly, whether it’s to change any details or to try a different tactic.

Advanced Tracking
When we want to try a different tactic, it’s not a shot in the dark, either. Online advertising methods come with a variety of analytic tools helping you measure the exact parameters of their success. You can easily see how many leads or sales you are getting directly from your online advertising. Other metrics can be tracked as well, such as – clicks, impressions, which website pages were visited, and more.

This helps us discover what works and what doesn’t work, leading to the revisions mentioned earlier. It also helps you see where your target market is and where you should prioritize more advertising efforts in future. If you can see where people stopped paying attention to an ad or left the site, then you know what needs to be fixed to result in more conversions, too.

Cost Flexibility
Online advertising can be effective from budgets as low as $1,000. If you don’t have the biggest budget, but you need to grow awareness of a launch or a product, you can use the insights provided by the analytics tools to find the methods with the most return-on-investment and focus your budget there. As your business grows, you can continue to scale the reach of your advertising, too.

A Diversity of Tactics
Not all online advertising follows the same formats, either. When you want to scale your advertising efforts, placing them in different places isn’t the only way to reach more of the market. Changing up the format can help your message to appeal to a much broader range of people, as well.

High Intent Search Engine Ads
For instance, Google, Bing, and Yahoo pay-per-click ads are effective because they respond specifically to those people who are using specific search terms highly relevant to your business. This increases the cost-effectiveness because you’re not spending money putting your brand before people who aren’t interested at that moment.

Banner Display Advertising
On the other hand, with the insights we gather, we can strategically place banners like online billboards on the sites your target market visits. This creates an ongoing brand awareness that turns web users into leads that are much more likely to convert and turn into more sales.

Video Advertisements
The internet is a multimedia tool, and video is one of the most powerful tools available. Visuals and sound together have been proven to be significantly more engaging than written content or just pictures alone. People are more likely to pay attention to a well-placed video.

Online advertising isn’t just about getting your brand online and getting website traffic alone. It’s about targeting specific audiences with precisely the kind of content that appeals to them the most, where they’re most likely to become customers. With the right targeting and optimization, online advertising can be highly effective in generating new business and growing profits.

 

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How To Submit Music To Blogs (And Start Making Money)
Enjoying music. Handsome young man in headphones working on laptop and smiling while acoustic guitar laying in the background

It’s a great time to be alive for music lovers everywhere. We have access to an infinite library of different artists and genres to choose from thanks to the internet.

However, for those independent artists who are trying to get their name and music out into the world, the competition can be fierce. So, how do developing artists stand out and keep themselves from being drowned in a sea of emails and mixtapes?

Well, it takes hard work and strategic planning, but it’s possible to get the attention you’re seeking through a simple and organized approach. If you are choosing to submit music to blogs with a high traffic rate, below are a few things to keep in mind when you decide to reach out.

Solidify Your Brand

Before you decide to put yourself out there, it’s important to have a full understanding of who you are as an artist. Branding is a crucial piece in making yourself memorable.

Branding yourself is a lot like putting together a puzzle that represents your artistic identity. Putting together certain pieces such as a certain font, color scheme, symbol, sound, style, or personality can cohesively create a theme in your music and artistry.

A solidified brand will show music blogs that you’re serious about making music your career. The confidence you have in knowing who you are and how to professionally represent yourself will help you stay clear of the dreaded email trash bin. And hopefully, you’ll get a positive response.

Research Before You Submit

After you’re confident in how you represent yourself to your audience, it is important to put in some extensive research before you submit music to blogs.

Reaching out to a website that promotes only rappers when you are a wedding band, such as David Rothstein Music, is completely irrational, right? Well, it happens all the time. That’s why it is important to make sure you’re not wasting your time and energy on a website or blog that doesn’t reach out to the same demographic as you.

Before committing to sending your art to someone, you should look for certain things they promote, the most important being genre. Once you’ve decided that the music blog you’re interested in is right for you, then you can move forward with trying to get their undivided attention.

Create a Sales Pitch

After you have decided to submit music to blogs that feel like a right fit for you, it is then time to work on a simple, yet professional email that will help you sell yourself to the reader/listener.

The first thing you will want to focus on is the music, of course. You will want to give a brief introduction to the song(s) with the title, an educated comparison on who/what it sounds like based on your musical inspirations, and the story behind the song(s).

Once the music has been presented, it is a good idea to give a story of yourself as an artist. For instance, you may want to include a little bit about where you came from, your musical background, any amazing opportunities you have had, who inspires you the most, and why you were drawn to music as a career path.

Giving insight into your creative background allows the blog to personify the artist behind the email address and put a personality to the music they’re listening to. The artistry of music is all about the heart, soul, and story. If you have a captivating sales pitch that includes all of those, then you’re sure to stand out from the crowd.

However, when you are writing your sales pitch, be careful to not write a novel. Yes, the reader/listener is interested in who you are as an artist, but they also have a lot of submissions to sift through. Telling them about how you wrote your first song when you were five because your dog died will be completely irrelevant to who you are as an artist today.

Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it unique. Keep it relevant to who you are today.

Sending the Right Format

When you submit music to blogs that may have an interest in promoting you, it’s extremely important to know what kind of format they will accept your music in. You will look pretty foolish and get a first class ticket to the trash bin if you send music in a format that they can’t play or don’t accept.

Depending on the type of website or blog you are reaching out to, there are many different formats that could be accepted. They may have it listed on their website, but if you’re unsure, it would probably be a smart decision to shoot them a quick email asking to clarify the types of formats they accept just to be on the safe side.

Here are some different formats different outlets will accept:

Radio

  • Hardcopy CDs
  • MP3s
  • EPKs with download links

Blogs

  • Embedded music player
  • Videos
  • CDs
  • Digital Press Kits

Festivals

  • Digital press kits
  • CDs
  • Hardcopy press kits

Record Labels/Producers

  • CDs
  • Press kits
  • Videos
  • Streaming links

Taking the Risk

Making the decision to submit music to blogs is a huge step for any aspiring artist. Once you have a solid confidence in your artistry and branding, then the only thing left to do is take the plunge in getting your name out there.

Even if you don’t receive any feedback from the first few times you make a submission, don’t give up! Take each refusal as a chance to improve your approach. Any famous musician you know of today had been turned down many times before the right person found them.

The music industry is all about hard work, making connections, and taking risks. The story you submit in your sales pitch could be the beginning of a much longer fairytale if you play your cards right.

Consider this article as an outline for your success. Take suggestions, take risks, and always stay true to your music. And if you have a music blog yourself, be sure to check out our tips on how to promote it to your fans.

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You Too Can Start an Independent Record Label

It’s no big secret, the trick of how to start a record label definitely involves some cash and most definitely involves some talent. If you want to know the secret to how to start and run your own label then here it is, talent. You have to have something to sell your business pitch with. It doesn’t matter what your particular genre is, you need to get out there and discover your first million. Yep, I am talking about dollars.

If you are just sitting around trying to figure out how to start you own independent record label then you are wasting your time. Get out there and try to find “the” band or “the” person that is worthy of a record deal. Go to clubs, rummage through MySpace, hang out at bars with live music, there is talent all around you so find it.

Do you have friends or a band already in mind? If you do then you are one step ahead of the “how to start a record label” game. Two or three bands would really be optimal when beginning your own record label. For those of you who don’t have someone in mind, then you have some work to do.

A good way to search for talent is to have an idea of what you are looking for. If you are going to learn how to start and run your own record label then you must be able to find the gap. There is a gap somewhere and you need to find it. Keep in mind, you are searching for someone who is marketable, a true money maker.

If you can’t quite pinpoint a gap, then identify a target market you think you can penetrate and go for it. Who would have thought that the Backstreet Boys or 98 Degrees would have made it big? Well, the guys from their record label were definitely on to something. Teenage girls were where it was at and boy did those guys stumble on to something big and man did they make a profit! Believe me, that is your first step in how to start a record label.

Just like with any other business, you are going to have to sell your product. And you can’t sell your product until you have your product. So, this is your first lesson in how to start your own independent record label. In this business, you are going to have to think outside the box and when you do that, you will be ready to start your own record label.

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