I will show you the tips for China Travel, the Traditional Chinese Culture, Chinese Food and some other interesting things in China here.

December 23, 2008

Celebrating Christmas Day in China

Christmas Day is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that marks and honors the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. People often celebrate from December 24 - the Christmas Eve.

Modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, church celebrations, and the display of various decorations—including the Christmas tree, lights, mistletoe, nativity scenes and holly. Santa Claus (also referred to as Father Christmas, although the two figures have different origins) is a popular mythological figure often associated with bringing gifts at Christmas.

As the Christmas approaches, department stores, shopping malls, official buildings will be decorated with Christmas trees (Christmas trees are usually decorated with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns), colorful lights and even Chinese lanterns. Christmas carols can be heard over the noise of the crowds and the Chinese "Father Christmas" helps to make the scene complete.

It is different from the weaterners that the Chinese family often skips the large meal - Christmas tree, but everyone still exchanges gifts. Exchanging Christmas Cards and Gifts is a very important part of Chinese Christmas Day. It is a chance to strengthen the relationships between friends, families and loved ones by exchanging Christmas cards and gifts. For many young Chinese people, Christmas Day is more like another Valentine’s Day rather than the family-get-together of western counties. They invite their loved ones for celebratory dinner, exchange gifts and enjoy a romantic night.

Chinese Christmas Day is also an occasion to share goodwill and be generous to people in need like orphans, lonely old people, the sick and homeless people. Many Chinese people will bring gifts to orphanage, Old People’s Home and hospitals to encourage these people.

As in western culture, Christmas day was a time to spend with family. Judy recalls sitting down with relatives to a large meal on Christmas day, but it could be served at either lunch or dinner. Instead of turkey, her father would prepare foods such as roast barbecued pork, chicken, and soup with wood ears. Reminiscing, she says the meal had more in common with a Chinese New Year's banquet than a traditional Christmas dinner.

December 16, 2008

Do You Hear of "Air Condition Tent"?

As we are know, when we are camping, we should take some anti-cold clothes or quilts. Have you ever think of that your tent could be fit with an air conditioner as the above picture? It sits on three bricks in the rear door. But not every one could fit an air conditioner anywhere. There's three things you must consider before installing an air conditioner in your tent:

1. The air conditioner must pull no more than 6 or 7 amps.
2. The extension cord must be rated for 15 amps or more.
3. The extension cord must be rated for outdoor use.

And you should note that the plug is inside the tent to keep it out of rain and the 50 foot extension cord running from the air conditioner to the campsite's electrical outlet pole in the right background.

There is a reason for that. Plug-in electrical connections generate heat. You don't want the tent end of the extension cord to get hot to the touch. Slighty warm is ok; hot is dangerous. Buy a low-amperage air conditioner and a high-amperage extension cord. Tents make dandy bonfires.

The unit, shown in the photo, pulls 5.3 amps. It's a Daewoo Model WM-501, rated 5,150 BTU. I picked it from several different brands because it pulled the least amps. In fact, those units, all in the 5,000 BTU range, pulled from 5.3 to 8+ amps.

5,150 BTUs are more than enough. The tent is a huge 9-man tent, and even on the hottest Delta afternoon it's cool and comfortable inside. In fact, you never have to turn the control knob past "Low Cool." At night, you turn the thermostat just high enough to cycle the compressor every once in a while. To do otherwise is like sleeping inside a refrigerator.

The air conditioned tent could allow you to do things you couldn't do before.

- You can now sleep late in the mornings. The hum of the fan and compressor motors drowns out the sounds of morning birds and insects. Ever noticed that morning birds are happiest when you have a hangover?

- On hot afternoons, you can now use your computer in the tent. Before, you should had to find someone willing to loan me the use of their air conditioned room and their electrical outlets. Now you put a roll-up table in a corner of your tent and use the table like a desk, notebook computer and Zip drive on its top and powered via a regular extension cord.

If you camp somewhere without electrical outlets, a wildlife management area primitive campground, for example, you can't use my air conditioner. But you can use your computer and Zip drive. The Bluesmobile is equipped with a diode-isolated auxiliary battery. You could install it behind the driver's seat because of no room under the hood.

December 15, 2008

A Perfect Way To Brighten Your House Up

Whether you are new to decorating or are an old hat, I want to bring you the information you need to create a beautiful home. Many people find color to be intimidating and are afraid to experiment with it when decorating. But color is one of the most important tools a decorator has at their disposal.

Why not thinking about recovering your light switches and other electrical outlets! It's a fun and unexpected way to bring color, whimsy, and of course light into a space. Here I will show you some interesting ways.

You may not think of a light switch plate covers as an ideal starting point for the redesign of your space. However, professional designers have been known to choose a color palette from any interesting piece of art, even what you could use to cover your lights.

Light switch plate covers come in all different styles, textures, colors and patterns. Shopping online will return a plethora of options for your selection. A great way to begin is to perform a keyword search for them. You will instantly be given a list to many different interesting sites. You can then start to narrow down all those options by adding in search words that describe what you are really looking for such as 'modern', 'country', 'Victorian', etc.
If you are searching for a specific kind of light switch plate covers, you may also have luck searching for keywords like "wallplate" and "switchplate" as these are also commonly used terms.

This is also a great opportunity to get the entire family involved in a craft project together. If you are up for it, try making your own light switch plate covers using clear contact paper, glitter, glue, scissors, and various decorations. With the kids, it will be fun to make special light switch plate covers that are decorated as part of a holiday celebration or gift idea.

Light switch plate covers aren't just for the younger generation; there are many different styles available for a more sophisticated crowd. Try copper, brass or other metals to compliment a modern décor. Many of the metal options on the market have been created from molds of real antique plates that have been taking from historical homes. Also, try natural prints, floral, or paisley prints for a more relaxed but grown-up feel.

So, light switch plate covers no longer have to be those boring boxes on the wall. Remember to have fun and keep your eyes open for new and interesting selections for gift and décor ideas.

December 10, 2008

Colorful Yunnan Tour

Lijiang is a prefecture-level city in northwestern Yunnan Province, 527 km from the provincial capital Kunming. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, located ten miles from Lijiang, has one of the closest glaciers to the equator. The mountain peaks at 18,000 feet above sea level at the Shanzidou peak which looks like a snow-covered dragon. To the west of Lijiang the River of Golden Sand - the Jinshajiang (or Upper Yangtze) - makes a sharp turn north at Shigu and from here to the next major river valley - the Lancangjiang (Upper Mekong) - mountains predominate.

Lijiang has a population of 1,040,000 and is the main region inhabited by Naxi Group. The Bai, Yi, Miao, and other ethnic minorities accounted for 58%, Lijiang is therefore with very different and colorful ethnic customs. Naxi ancient music is known as the "Chinese classical music living fossil" . In its long history, the local residents have established their splendid Dongba Culture which has absorbed aspects of the culture of Tibet and the Central Plains along the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. The various souvenirs marked with these Dongba hieroglyphs are very popular with visitors from home and abroad.

Dali is located on a fertile plateau between the Cangshan mountains to the west and Erhai lake to the east. It has traditionally been settled by the Bai and Yi minorities. It is also the capital of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture.
The long history and splendid culture of Dali left us rich cultural relics. Cangshan Mountain, Erhai Lake, Butterfly Spring, and the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple are praised as Dali's leading scenic areas.

Ethnic minorities have inhabited Dali for generations, with the Bai Minority making up the majority of Dali's population (65%). The customs of the ethnic minorities bring charm to daily life in Dali. Each spring, celebrations and festivals bring the city to life. Celebrations such as the March Street Festival and Butterfly Fest provide excellent opportunities to learn about local folk customs. Dali city has attracted many tourists from abroad. There is a famous street called "Foreigner Street" around Huguo Road.

The Xishuangbanna sees Golden Peacock as its symbol. Dai town of Xishuangbanna is the hometown of Golden. Xishuangbanna looks like a elegant and beautiful picture: the dense forests, the leisurely walking elephants, flying peacock, magnificent countryside, whirling Feng Weizhu, areca arch , The Dai's bamboo bulding, Golden Temple pagoda, and Dai women's graceful figure...

Following with "Mei Lanfang" to Chase for the Lost Beauty

Mei Lanfang(梅兰芳), Shang Xiaoyun (尚小云), Cheng Yanqiu (程砚秋) and Xun Huisheng (荀慧生) were known as Four Great Dan in the golden era of Peking Opera. Mei really a culture hero. The new moive "Mei Lanfang" gave us an opportunity to touch the classic tradition and the culture of Beijing Opera. It also gave us an opportunity to clean up our souls at these artistic Masters' hometown.
Mei's House in Taizhou, Jiangsu

With a history of over 2100 years, Taizhou enjoys the reputation of "Ancient County in Han and Tang Dynasties and Famous District alongside the coast of the Yellow Sea". Through ages, it has seen gatherings of great talents and famous merchants. Roaming about the streets in Taizhou, you could feel its thick culture history.

Cheng Yanqiu's House in Beijing

Beijing - the place where Peking Opera was born. On top have a visit of Hutong Tour by pedicabs,enjoying the real life of the Beijing residents and Peking Opera.

Xun and Shang both come from Hebei province. Xun is best known for his portrayal of huadan roles, women who tended to be more vivacious or even of questionable character. In addition to Shang's singing, he was known for his dance and acrobatic skills.

December 8, 2008

Fasion Christmas LED Light

It turns out some Christmas trees are more green than others. More and more people seeking to conserve energy are increasingly switching their high-voltage holiday displays to more efficient LED lighting systems.

Christmas Day is coming, we see that many holiday tree is decorated entirely with LED lights instead of the old-fashioned incandescent lights, and about half of the city's other light displays have been converted, too. More over, with less electricity needed, many people are seizing the opportunity to indulge their holiday spirit in bigger LED displays.

The technology of LED, or light emitting diodes, has grown in popularity because it uses about 10% of the energy consumed by incandescent bulbs. Rather than heating a filament inside each bulb, LED lights use a chemical compound that requires much less electricity.

The newer lights also are more durable, lasting as much as 100,000 hours, compared with traditional bulbs that often burn out after just 1,000 hours.

I think most people of the world watched the broadcast of the opening ceremonies from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, yeah? What a sight it was! Five thousand years of Chinese history flowed on a huge LED scroll that unrolled to chapters of China's 5,000-year civilization.

The old incandescent bulbs required so much power that the holiday display often blew out fuses. Along with such practical concerns, LED lights are helping the environment by conserving energy.

December 3, 2008

Only Love Traveling in Zhangjiajie in Winter

In different season, Zhangjiajie will show you a different landscape. All things are recovered in the spring; the summer with lush trees; blue sky and fresh air in autumn; in winter, Zhang jia jie will give you a unique feeling that all montains and tree are covered with white snow. What a spectacular sight!

In recent years, some of the newly developed area are becoming the favorite of winter visitors. Forwording from the Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan scenic spot about a few hundred meters, then look up and you could see an unparalleled majestic elevators (326 meters tall), which is called "Eiffel Tower of China", is built along the cliff. The modern architecture will give you a heartquake. As long as you go into the transparent elevator, it will move up with 3 meters per second. And it will only take 116 second to go to the top - Xian jie of Yuan jiajie.

In winter, you could enjoy the absolutely beatiful sight "Red maples match white snow" at the newly developed scenic spot of Zhang jiajie by Bailong Stairs. After the end of November each year, the mountain tops of Yuan jiajie will be covered by a thin layer of white snow, just like wearing white hats. Comparing with the few red maples at the forane mountainsides, the senic will absolutely impact your vision.
Tips: 3-day traveling in Zhangjiajie is a better choice. On the first day, you could visit the traditional scenic spot - Jin Bian Brook. On the second day, you could go to Yuan Jiajie. And if you have time, you could visit Tianzi Mountain to enjoy the spectacular snow sight. On the last day, you could visit Dragon King Cave and Tianmen Mountain.

The price of Traveling to Europe Goes to the Lowest

For the financial crisis and turmoil in Thailand, the travel agencies, airlines and hotels all decide to cut down their profits to give the lowest price of European traveling to sttract tourists. All European travelings are less than 8000 RMB, such as 5799 RMB to travel in Paris and 6399 RMB to travel in Switzerland.

For a long time, the quotes of European Tour are always more than 10,000 yuan. So that the European Tour is a luxury for many people. Not long ago, Beijing Caesar International Travel agency, which mainly offers European tours for many years, reduce the price for the first that 7999 RMB to traveling in Germany for 8 days.

When people are being amazed at 7999 yuan, the price of the European Tour again brush to "low." Huayuan International Travel Agency, another famous one in Beijing, offers traveling freely to 8 cities in Europe that "Traveling in Paris Free" is only 5799 yuan. The same with many other European cities such as London, Rome, Frankfurt, Munich, Athens, and so on, the price is not more than 6399 yuan.

Traveling market goes into a "winter".
According to a recent statistics of China National Tourism Administration Beura, the population of traveling to Hongkong, Macao and Taiwan is only 1,880,000, which has a 15.1% year-on-year decline. For travel agencies, this figure seems to prove that winter comes.

November 26, 2008

Five Must-have Tools for Gardeners

Gardeners know that you need sun, water, soil, seeds, and plants to make a garden grow. Plus, you also need a few garden tools.
There are many different types of tools available to use in the garden. A newbie gardener often has a hard time deciding what to get. While the type of gardening you’ll be doing will influence your decision, I think there are certain tools that are essential for large and small gardens, no matter what you are growing.

Here are my top five gardening tools that every gardener should have.

1. Long-handled, three-pronged cultivatorIf there was one tool I couldn’t do without, it’s a three-pronged cultivator. This tool combines the digging ability of a large-bladed hoe with the weeding ability of a small-bladed hoe. I can weed, dig trenches, plant transplants, hill potatoes, and even scratch my back with this implement (just kidding). I like the long-handled version because there’s less strain on my back, and it’s easier to smooth a raised bed or dig a long furrow using a longer handle.

2. Long-handled shovelFor digging holes and moving mulch, soil, and soil amendments, there’s nothing like a shovel. The best all-purpose type is the long-handled, round-headed, metal-blade shovel with a slightly pointed tip. The handles can be wooden or metal. The long handle makes it easier to dig holes for trees and shrubs and move soil. Short-handled versions are best for working in tight places, such as trenches. Look for shovels with a good-sized step, enabling you to push it into the soil more easily.

3. Hand trowelMost garden tasks in small gardens and containers can be managed with a hand trowel. Look for ergonomically designed models, which often have a soft comfort grip, are well balanced, and have a sturdy metal blade. They are perfect for planting, smoothing the tops of small beds, and digging up tough weeds, such as dandelions.

4. Hand prunersIf you have any shrubs, roses, and woody perennials in the yard, then hand pruners are a must. Choose bypass pruners over the anvil types. Bypass pruner blades cut by scissoring past each other. They make for a cleaner and more efficient cut. Good hand pruners can cut branches up to 1/2 inch in diameter. Purchase a type that fits your hand size and that’s comfortable to use, especially if you have many plants to prune.

5. Garden cartIf you have a 1/4-acre sized yard or larger, you’ll need some form of a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move plants and materials. I like garden carts because the two wheels give the cart more stability than the traditional wheelbarrow. You can load gardening tools, soil, fertilizer, plants, mulch, and weeds in the cart and, because of the balance, moving the load isn’t difficult. Plus, they’re great for sitting down in if you need a rest after a hard bit of digging.

November 17, 2008

Overlooked Fat Loss Factors

We're often told that losing weight is a simple mathematical equation of calories in, calories out. Burn more calories than you eat and you’ll lose fat. However, is it really that simple? The truth is that the actual “number” of calories you consume is not the only factor that affects your fat-loss efforts. Here, I will show you five other things that should be considered when determining the effect of your diet on your waistline, primarily overlooked fat loss factors. Incorporate this knowledge into your workout and nutrition routines and soon you'll be ripped like Ryan Reynolds -- and attracting the Angelina Jolies and Kim Kardashians of the gym for it.

1- The thermic effect of the food you eat

The thermic effect of food (TEF) measures the amount of energy that is required to support the processes of digesting, absorbing and assimilating food nutrients as well as the energy expended as a result of the central nervous system's stimulatory effect on metabolism when food is ingested. Of the three macronutrients, protein carries the highest thermic effect. Eat more protein; burn more calories.

2- The fiber content of the food you eat

Due to its chemical makeup, fiber is classified as a carbohydrate; however, it is unlike other carbohydrates in that it is an indigestible nutrient. Even though each gram of fiber contains four calories, these calories will remain undigested and will not be absorbed. Therefore, if you were to consume 300 calories of red beans (a food in which nearly 1/3 of the caloric content is from fiber), approximately 100 of these calories would pass through your intestinal tract undigested.

3- The glycemic and insulin indices of the food you eat

The glycemic and insulin indices are scaled numbers that refer to how quickly a particular carbohydrate source enters the bloodstream as sugar and how much insulin is needed to rid that sugar from the bloodstream, respectively. Generally speaking, there is a positive relationship between the two; the quicker sugar enters the bloodstream, the more insulin is needed to rid that sugar from the bloodstream. When high levels of insulin are present within the blood, fat burning is brought to a screeching halt, which is anything but desirable for those whose goal it is to obtain a lean, muscular physique. Don't let this be an overlooked fat loss factor.

4- The different macronutrients present in the food you eat

Although insulin's primary function is to shuttle glucose (sugar) into skeletal muscle, it also carries many other nutrients to their respective storage sites -- this includes lipids (fat). Since carbohydrate ingestion stimulates a large insulin response and fat ingestion gives rise to blood lipid levels, when the two are consumed together, they promote the greatest fat storage.

5- The size, frequency and time of the meals you eat

Large, infrequent meals tend to promote storage of the ingested nutrients, as the body is unsure as to when the next feeding will take place. Conversely, consuming smaller, more frequent meals will result in an increase in metabolism and utilization of the ingested nutrients. Also, ingesting a large amount of carbohydrates before bed spikes insulin, deters nocturnal thermogenesis and increases fat storage during sleep. On the contrary, consuming a great deal of calories early in the day does not bring about this problem; rather, these calories are likely to be used as energy to support daily activities.

November 16, 2008

Camping Tips

Below are some ideas to help with finding the best seasonal campground and campsite for your needs.

Will it be metered or included? If it is metered, who owns the meters? If you are dealing directly with the local Electric Company, as opposed to the campground, then you might have to pay a "set-up" fee, plus pay minimum balances during the winter months.

Pump Outs or Sewage:
Find out how much a pump-out will cost or will sewage be included. In NH, a new environmental law requires that all seasonal sites must have a sewage hookup.

Solar Energy Camping Products:
The solar lamp comes fitted with a miniature compass on its base and is great for any outdoor adventures, at home or away. With three PV cells down its spine and sides, and a flat sturdy base for placement, this robust torch can be left outside in the sunshine all day to feed off of the sun's energy. The energy converted by the solar panels is fed into a transmitter and stored behind 5 super bright LEDs.

Camping Tools:
Whether you're building a campfire or trying to start a fire in your own fireplace to get toasty next to on a winter night, a kindling tools will come in handy, such as axes, mauls, blades, bottle openers, screwdrivers, pliers and other useful gadgets. Wire saws are useful when backpacking because they weigh only a few ounces. They're good for cutting small pieces of wood.

If you travel in winter, try not to cook (or boil water) in the camper. Excess moisture can lead to condensation around windows and doors. We wrapped 3 of our large windows with plastic sheeting (two sided tape) and that helped with the moisture too. We didn’t have too bad of a condensation problem, but we were told to crack a window or vent every hour or so to release any excess moisture.

I hope some of these ideas will be helpful to you. Seasonal camping can be the perfect vacation solution for some families.

November 6, 2008

7 Good Reasons for Traveling Tibet in Winter

1. Enjoy the sunshine at the bank of Lhasa River
Choose a family inn at Xianzu island. Every morning when the first ray of sunshine permeates your window, what you need to do is just rely on the balcony and drink a cup of milk tea. With the music, you could overlook the far off mountains and enjoy the fresh air.

2. Taste the colorful life.
See the kowtowing believers at Jokhang Temple and how those pretenders deceiving.

3. See the sunset at the Potala Palace.
The best place to view is the hillside oppsite the lahsa river.

4. Have a Tibet new year.
At Tibetan New Year, the Shoton Festival, Sagadawa Festival, the Qugui Festival, Fairy Festival, and the Festival of Su Youhua Lights, you will not only be able to enjoy the exhibition ceremony of the Buddha, pilgrims, Chao Chuan-law, but also can watch the Tibetan opera performances, puppet shows, lanterns, Duige competition, traditional dancing and so on. You will have a deep impress with the lively and happy Lhasa.

5. Looking for the relation between human and architecture.
Indulge your camera traveling in these Tibetan architectures, it will help you to have a peaceful mind at some time.
6. Obsessed with small alley.
The soul of Lahsa is those alleys that hide around Jokhang Temple. Under the glittery light, hiking around the alleys, you will feel the mysterious of Lahsa.

7. Hitting in the sweet tea house.
If you never hiking around those old alleys, never tasting the sweet tea and Tibetan nuddle with Lhasa people, you will not recognise the real Lahsa.

November 2, 2008

12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Brain

Have you ever felt exasperated when you bumped into someone at the store but absolutely couldn't remember their name? Sure, it happens to all of us.

Despite being the strongest computer on the planet, our brains do lapse. It's hard to blame them really. As humans, we spend much of or existence stuffing our brains with stuff.

No matter how powerful our brains are, they need recuperation time to be kept in shape. Think of it as a tune up for your brain. Skipping brain maintenance is as silly as the person wandering the parking garage because they forgot where they parked. Is that you? Are you that person? If so, fear not; we are all that person at some point.
Now I am not a brain surgeon and I am not going to suggest you do anything surgical or dangerous. I am however an astute student of human behavior so I always look for simple ways to super charge my brain.

Here are some things you can begin doing as soon as today to begin the great brain tune up:

Eat Almonds
Almond is believed to improve memory. If a combination of almond oil and milk is taken together before going to bed or after getting up at morning, it strengthens our memory power. Almond milk is prepared by crushing the almonds without the outer cover and adding water and sugar to it.

Drink Apple Juice
Research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) indicates that apple juice increases the production of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, resulting in an increased memory power.

Sleep well
Research indicates that the long-term memory is consolidated during sleep by replaying the images of the experiences of the day. These repeated playbacks program the subconscious mind to store these images and other related information.

Enjoy simple Pleasures
Stress drains our brainpower. A stress-ridden mind consumes much of our memory resources to leave us with a feeble mind. Make a habit to engage yourself in few simple pleasures everyday to dissolve stress from your mind. Some of these simple pleasures are good for your mind, body and soul.
-Enjoy music you love
-Play with your children
-Appreciate others
-Run few miles a day, bike or swim
-Start a blog
-Take a yoga class or Total Wellness routine

Exercise your mind
Just as physical exercise is essential for a strong body, mental exercise is equally essential for a sharp and agile mind. Have you noticed that children have far superior brainpower than an adult does? Children have playful minds. A playful mind exhibits superior memory power. Engage in some of the activities that require your mind to remain active and playful.

-Play scrabble or crossword puzzle
-Interact with others
-Start a new hobby such as blogging, reading, painting, bird watching
-Learn new skill or a foreign language

Practice Yoga or Meditation
Yoga or Meditation relives stress. Stress is a known memory buster. With less stress, lower blood pressure, slower respiration, slower metabolism, and released muscle tension follows. All of these factors contribute significantly towards increases in our brainpower.

Reduce Sugar intakeSugar is a non-food. It’s a form of carbohydrate that offers illusionary energy, only to cause a downhill slump once the initial burst has been worn off. Excess intake of sugar results in neurotic symptoms. Excess sugar is known to cause claustrophobia, memory loss and other neurotic disorders. Eat food without adding sugar. Stay away from sweet drinks or excess consumption of caffeine with sugar.

Eat whole wheat
The whole wheat germs contain lecithin. Lecithin helps ease the problem of the hardening of the arteries, which often impairs brain functioning.

Eat a light meal at night
A heavy meal at night causes tossing and turning and a prolonged emotional stress while at sleep. It’s wise to eat heavy meal during the day when our body is in motion to consume the heavy in-take. Eating a light meal with some fruits allows us to sleep well. A good night sleep strengthens our brainpower.

Develop imagination
Greeks mastered the principle of imagination and association to memorize everything. This technique requires one to develop a vivid and colorful imagination that can be linked to a known object. If you involve all your senses - touching, feeling, smelling, hearing and seeing in the imagination process, you can remember greater details of the event.

Control your temper
Bleached food, excess of starch or excess of white bread can lead to nerve grating effect. This results in a violent and some time depressive behavior. Eat fresh vegetables. Drink lots of water and meditate or practice yoga to relieve these toxic emotions of temper and stressful mood swings.

Take Vitamin B-complex
Vitamin B-complex strengthens memory power. Eat food and vegetables high in Vitamin B-complex. Stay away from the starch food or white bread, which depletes the Vitamin B-complex necessary for a healthy mind.

Nanjing Hotel Rates Increase For World Urban Forum

According to data from Ctrip.com, the rates of Nanjing hotels have increased because of the World Urban Forum IV and the third World Historical & Cultural Cities Expo are to be held in Nanjing.

During these events, four- and five-star hotels in Nanjing increased their rates to different degrees. The rates of the four-star hotels increased by about 10% and averaged between CNY400 and CNY500; and the rates of three-star hotels and budget hotels remained the same level as ordinary days, while the rates for some of five-star hotels went up by a higher rate, due to tight supply.

The World Urban Forum is hosted by the United Nations Human Settlements Program every two years. The first three forums were held in Nairobi in Kenya, Barcelona in Spain, and Vancouver in Canada.

World Urban Forum

The World Urban Forum was established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, economies and policies. It is projected that in the next fifty years, two-thirds of humanity will be living in towns and cities. A major challenge is to minimize burgeoning poverty in cities, improve the urban poor's access to basic facilities such as shelter, clean water and sanitation and achieve environment-friendly, sustainable urban growth and development.

The World Urban Forum is a biennial gathering that is attended by a wide range of partners, from non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, urban professionals, academics, to governments, local authorities and national and international associations of local governments. It gives all these actors a common platform to discuss urban issues in formal and informal ways and come up with action-oriented proposals to create sustainable cities.

October 31st 2008—Cities are the drivers of economic expansion, but population growth, migration and other factors such as climate change are exacerbating the problems of city life.

Roughly 10,000 people are attending the World Urban Forum in Nanjing, China next week to determine ways of making city living more harmonious and productive. How can “heartbreaking” slums become cleaner, kinder, greener places even as more and more people move to cities?

That’s a key question for policy-makers, development practitioners and non-governmental organizations seeking sustainable solutions to urban dilemmas at the World Urban Forum in Nanjing, China, November 3 to 6.

October 23, 2008

Beijing Ready to Host ASEM7

The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 7) will be held in Beijing 24-25 October 2008. The summit will be the first gathering of leaders of 45 ASEM partners since its second round of enlargement in 2006.

Flags of countries participating the seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM7) flutter from lamp posts at the Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing, October 23, 2008.

The overarching theme of ASEM7 is 'Vision and Action: Towards a Win-Win Solution'. At the summit ASEM leaders will focus their discussions on political, economic and social and cultural issues, including issues related to sustainable development. The Summit will provide a good opportunity for expanding and deepening dialogue on an equal footing and mutually-beneficial cooperation between Asia and Europe to ensure win-win progress for the benefit of peoples of ASEM partners.

Tips for A Better Night's Sleep

Generally, it has been assumed that the need for sleep does not decrease with age, but rather that other factors gradually come to interfere with our ability to sleep through the night.

Older individuals, for instance, are at greater risk not only for developing medical and psychiatric disorders but also for taking medications that can disrupt sleep. In spite of these influences, however, it may be that an actual biological deterioration of the sleep drive might also be playing a role.

A new study published in the journal Current Biology has been able to shed some light on this puzzle of sleep and aging. The researchers, who wanted to determine the maximal sleep capacity of both young and older persons, arranged for groups of younger adults (ages 18 to 32 years) and older adults (ages 60 to 76 years) to lie in bed for 12 hours during the night and for another 4 hours in the afternoon.

The subjects tended to sleep significantly longer at the beginning of the experiment, presumably because they were making up for a sleep debt accrued during their usual daily sleep routines. When the sleep patterns stabilized, however, the younger adults were capable of sleeping for much longer times — an average of 8.9 hours daily — than were the elderly people, who got only 7.4 hours daily. This 1.5-hour difference in maximal sleep capacity is impressive.

If your biological drive for sleep seems to have decreased, make sure that you are following the kinds of routines and behaviors that will give you the best chance of getting as much refreshing sleep as possible. Here are some examples of good sleep hygiene:

- Make sure that you're going to bed early enough to allow yourself to get an adequate night's sleep.
- As your bedtime approaches, develop a relaxing routine in the evening — don't keep busy until the moment before you expect to fall asleep.
- Avoid watching TV in bed.
- Sleep in a cool, relatively dark room.
- Consider going to sleep to the sound of white noise, either from a bedside fan or a machine that generates calming sounds.
- Increase your exercising, but don't do it so near to bedtime that it gets your adrenaline flowing and keeps you awake.
- Limit your daily intake of caffeinated beverages and avoid them completely after lunchtime.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages.

October 21, 2008

China Sees Ecotourism on the Rise

After more than a decade's development, China's tourism, which has been dotted by negative comments from environmentalists and preservationists, now sees a new possibility: ecotourism.

Norbert Trehoux of Marseilles-based TEC, a consulting agency specializing in the tourism, transport and environmental sectors, is convinced this niche sector could attract well-heeled foreign visitors to less developed parts of China hoping to leverage their natural beauty to generate much-needed income.

Yet he admits the industry faces some pretty tough obstacles.

"In China there is a national policy -- they want to develop ecotourism. But today, the definition of ecotourism is not the one we have in Western countries," he told the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China.

Provinces such as those in the scenic southwest, including Yunnan and Sichuan, are at the forefront of this push.
Still, many supposed ecotourism resorts which have been developed are far from rural idylls, Trehoux said.
"It's more like Disneyland," he added. "You don't go there to be quiet and to relax or to trek. They are more like theme parks. Some have small zoos, and lots of restaurants. This is ecotourism today in China."

Tourism is already big business in China, generating more than 1 trillion yuan ($146.4 billion) in revenues last year, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Though there are no exact figures for the ecotourism segment, a government-sponsored push for rural tourism -- usually involving staying with farmers -- has become popular in China in recent years.

That gives Trehoux hope that in future more and more Chinese will opt for ecotourism, as opposed to the mass tourism in groups generally favored at present.

"The market is changing. There are Western influences everywhere, and China is going greener," he said. "I met some Chinese people in Shanghai, and they don't want to travel like their parents. They are fed up with the flag, and the microphone. They don't want this any more."

Ecotourism in China is also attracting some well-known international boutique chains. Singapore's Banyan Tree runs an award-winning hotel in a remote, Tibetan part of Yunnan which incorporates many aspects of the local culture.

While the government's aim is currently to attract wealthy Westerners to these types of places, Trehoux said that ultimately Chinese will comprise the majority of customers.

"They want to attract Western tourists, but in 20 years time they won't care about Western tourists. They will have high-end Chinese tourists. They will have people who are prepared to spend thousands to spend a night in a remote place," he said.

Get Hold of Best Kebab Sandwiches

Sandwiches, which have meat, vegetables and also bread, seem to contain all neccessary nutrients people need to fulfill a busy day. So here come three eateries where people can grab the best ever kebab sandwiches.

*Anadolu Turkish
A true Turkish delight, Andaolu's kebabs are rock solid, loaded with the hearty chunks of well-spiced meat that have made this dish an international sensation. The price (starting around 25-30 yuan) is astounding and the fact that Anadolu stays open until the crack of dawn elevates this kebab to the upper echelon of drunken munchies–A+.
Add: 4-7 Hengshan Lu 衡山路4-7号Tel: 021-5465-0977

*Haya's Mediterranean Cuisine Mediterranean
There are several reasons why you should be noshing on Haya's delectable kebab sandwiches, none of which is more noteworthy than the chicken schwarma (46 yuan sandwich, 60 yuan meal). This schwarma, true to the Israeli favorite, consists of shaved chunks of delicately seasoned roasted chicken. Add fries, veggies and, if you're smart, a glob of hummus and you've got magic in a pita.
Add: 415 Dagu Lu 大沽路415号 or 2/F, 3219 Hongmei Lu 虹梅路3219号2楼Tel: 021-6295-9511 (Dagu), 021-6465-1166 (Hongmei)

*Greek Taverna Mediterranean
If there is one reason to go to Thumb Plaza, it is Greek Taverna's chicken gyros (35 yuan sandwich, 50 yuan meal) stuffed with fries, veggies and garlic tsatsiki. Shanghai is conspicuously lacking in quality Greek offerings, so a good gyro, even one all the way in the nether regions of Pudong, is nothing to sneeze at. Why they only have chicken and pork but not lamb gyros is a mystery for the ages, but we'll settle on the chicken for now.
Add: Unit 41 Thumb Plaza, 199 Fangdian Lu 芳甸路199号大拇指广场41铺Tel: 021-5033-7500

October 20, 2008

The First Selling Tickets at Water Cube after Golden Weeks

Yesterday (19th Oct.) 9:00 a.m., Water Cube begins to sale tickets after golden weeks. One ticket remains for 30 yuan, but the daily selling limit is 20,000.
The tickets are only for Oct. 19 to 21, and visit time will be from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.. One person could only buy 2 tickets for the max, children below the height of 1.2 meters can visit for free. The West Gate of the water cube is the wicket, the South Gate is for entrance, and the North Gate is for Exit.

In order to prevent looting tickets, the ticket office of Water Cube did not disclose the news of selling tickets for individual before. Yesterday, around 8:30, they put up the ticket selling information around Water Cube, but they did not receive any notice whether they would sell tickets for tourists after 21th of this month.

It is appoved that the measure of putting up ticket information provisionally didn't prevent looting tickets. At 4:00 p.m. yesterday, when the tickets are sold out from the ticket office of Water Cube, there are many people huddled at the entrance selling tickets. The ticket of 30 yuan is sold for 80 yuan the highest, and 45 yuan for the lowest.

"The Water Cube is now transformed for business use." the staff of the entrance office of Water Cube said. The official Olympic swimming pools have been pumped out, and the fountain pipes are being installed at the bottom of the swimming pools in order to prepare a large-scale water, sound and light combined concert. There are only training pool and diving pool with water in Water Cube, so the audience can only be entered from the eastern side of the stands to visit.

October 15, 2008

Change Your Light Bulb, Flatter Your Face

Do you know the sacret that why the camarerman always can make you look "good" every time? Ok, I will tell you. The sacret is great lighting. Anybody who has seen television or film production up close knows that it takes longer to light a scene than to do almost anything else. And there’s a reason to take the time: Great light can make people look gorgeous. Bad light can make them disappear. A new kind of light that would make everybody look fantastic, even late at night: LED bricks.

LED bricks are just square arrangements of LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes. And you have probably seen LED lights in tons of places — on the tail lights of most modern cars (replacing bulbs that wear out quickly vs. the average 50,000-hour life of an LED), for example, or at stoplights, where the traditional bulb has been replaced by hundreds of little points of LED light. And if you watched the Olympics, you saw millions of LED lights shining wild, crazy colors on the outside walls of the Aquatic Center.

These LEDs could theoretically shine up to 16 million different colors… including a special color that is the "healthy glow" of this story’s title. More on the secret color, and how you can use it, in a moment.

First, though, the results: It worked. My bride, Carrie, said, “Yes.” My new in-laws, as far as I could tell, were happy. And in spite of my groomlike nerves and my citylike pallor, I looked pretty good. So did everybody else. And here’s the kicker — it saved money on our electric bill.

Yes, LEDs use much, much less electricity. Here are the numbers: An LED produces about 400 percent more light (the unit of measurement is called a “lumen”) than a regular light bulb. And it uses half the electricity to power it. Even better, when you dim an LED, it uses even less juice. Plus, unlike conventional light bulbs, LED lighting can be focused. What does that mean? It means LEDs can throw light exactly where you want it — this may sound trivial, but if you’re thinking about saving money, it’s actually a very, very big deal.

Here’s why: If you look at a regular, round, 60-watt light bulb, you see that the light flies outward from it in all directions — up, down, left, right, at all angles. That’s nice, I guess, but if you have a light bulb in a lamp on your desk, for example, you only want light on your desk. Not on the ceiling. Not in your eyes. So you put a lamp shade around the bulb. Great! Pretty! And, if it’s a Tiffany lamp shade, expensive! But there is a big irony: You’re now powering an entire light bulb and blocking about 50 percent of the light, on purpose!

It gets even more ridiculous when you look at recessed lights, which are often found in the ceiling of your kitchen or bedroom. A solid 40 to 50 percent of your light is now lighting … the insulation in the floor above you.
Then, add this maddening fact: Ninety percent of the energy used to power a normal light bulb is lost as heat. Yep, Edison was a genius, but only 10 percent of the electricity in the system he created (and which you paid Con Edison for) is actually turned into light. This is why you have to turn off a light bulb for a while before you can put your hand on it — all that heat is wasted energy.

All right, enough beating up on conventional lighting. Here’s the alternative, followed by the secret “beauty” color. First, the solution: LED lighting for the home is emerging as a viable, and cost-effective, alternative to conventional bulbs. And they can make a much, much warmer light than CFLs (compact fluorescents — those twisted light bulbs). CFLs throw light with all the warmth of a meat freezer.

LEDs take the 120 volts of alternating current (AC) that comes into your house and, using small transformers, drop the current down (often to 24 volts) of DC, or Direct Current. Those transformers lose only about 10 percent of the power in the conversion. Then, the rest of the electricity runs the LED, which lights your room, again, using only about half the electricity required for the old bulbs.

In other words, when the night goes, the more you should throw a little more pink into the mix. Just turn up the color. With LEDs you can do that. And everybody will look fantastic. Even me.

October 14, 2008

The Best Viewing Period of Xiangshan Maple Leaves

Yesterday, Maple Leaf Festival of the Xiangshan Park is openning. Maple Leaf Festival will continue to the 9th next month. During the period, in order to ease traffic pressure, the park consult with the traffic control department that opened a one-way down the mountain-lane --- Jie wangfu Road (from Jinyuan Holiday Hotel to Xiangshan South Road).

One staff of Xiangshan maple leaves phenological observations group said that due to the abundant rain of Beijing this year, maple leaves grow better than last year and the best viewing period will reach more than 20 days. It is expected that the best viewing period will last from the end of October to early November.

One staff of Xiangshan Park said that the travel population is expected to break 70,000 per day during the best viewing period of Maple leaces. So Xiangshan Park remind visitors to take buses here as much as possible at that time.

Reporters learned that the Xiangshan Red Leaf Festival will be held from October 15 to November 9. Admission fee: 10 RMB. During the eight days, the visitors who have the yearly, seasonly and monthly commutation tickets can only visit park at 6:00 to 9:00 and 16:00 to 18:30 a day.

The Best palce for viewing are Jingcui lake, Xiangshan Temple, Heshun Gate, Yuhua Hill and Xiangwu Grotto. The Jingcui Lake is the nearest place to watch the best.

Beijing Government Website Publishes Beijing Visitors Guidebook

"Essence of Beijing", a comprehensive 200 page visitor's guide to Beijing, is produced by the govenment of Beijing introducing the Beijing's culture heritage sites and popular destinations. The book is designed to help visitors feel more comfortable exploring the city. Every chapter of this book is put online that be helpful for visitors to look at what has been added.

The visitor's guide introduces Beijing for those who are arriving for the first time and is a free service of eBeijing.

The guide is divided into ten chapters, each of which represents a cultural area. Each area is described in a one day walking tour, with descriptions of cultural, historical, and other interesting sites along the route.

The guide is unique in Beijing for its use of several media formats together to serve visitors.The multiple publication channels include of a paperback guide convenient for walking tours, a mobile site which offers on-the-spot information about a location once a visitor has arrived, and a detailed online website guide which can be accessed from a web browser.

October 9, 2008

China Big Attraction for US - Poll

The Great Wall is the most recognized symbol of China among Americans, a survey released on Monday by US-based Perspective Resources Inc (PRI) has claimed.

Entitled "A Study of American Perceptions of China" the survey attracted 2 million US citizens, all aged 18 or above, with different social and education backgrounds. They were asked 10 questions about China.

When asked what they most associated with China, 49 percent said the Great Wall, followed by the Beijing Olympics (36 percent), rice and food (34 percent) and dragons (32 percent).

When asked to say which words they most associated with the country, the most popular answers were "highly populated", "government or Communism", "culture or history" and "red".

The most famous Chinese people are Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Mao Zedong, Confucius, Jet Li, Yao Ming, Buddha, Lucy Liu, Genghis Khan and Chow Yun-fat, the survey found.

When asked what are the most popular Chinese dishes, nearly 60 percent said it was rice or fried rice. Others mentioned egg rolls, noodles, wonton soup, fortune cookies, egg drop soup and stir-fried food.

When it comes to places to visit, Americans think of Beijing, the Great Wall, Hong Kong, Shanghai, the Bird's Nest, Forbidden City, Tibet and Tian'anmen Square, the revealing survey said.

Twenty-two percent of those surveyed also mentioned Singapore, which they thought was a Chinese city.
Chinese brand names are least familiar with Americans who named Samsung, Toyota, Nissan and Nike, which are not Chinese at all.

Forty-two percent of people surveyed said they could not name any Chinese brands, although 87 percent said they had used products made in China such as clothing, electronics and toys.

Asked about the most important issues in China, 39 percent said civil rights and freedom.

Others mentioned a wide range of topics such as population control, pollution, Communism and Capitalism, the economy, labor issues, sweatshops, low quality products, US debt to China and Tibet.

The survey also found that 49 percent of respondents were interested in Chinese history and culture, while 53 percent said they hoped to someday visit China.

The survey's margin of error was within 5 percent, according to PRI.

Set up in 1973, PRI has clients such as Cable News Network, General Electric, AT&T, VISA and American Airlines.

The survey was commissioned by the Blue Ocean Network International Communications Committee, a media organization that aims to promote better understanding of China among Westerners.

October 8, 2008

Arranging Your Home Lighting

Arranging your home lighting is always a high priority whether you are moving into a new house of simply looking for a way to improve your current home. There are plenty of decisions that need to be made. Where should you put the lights? How much light is needed to fit the decor and mood of the room? Even what style of lighting goes best with your furnishings? Chandelier is one of the accessories that can add beauty to the interior of the house. It will bring elegance and appeal to your house, it will also add sparks and to a room and more permanent than lamps that can move around. But of course for the chandelier can add beauty and will work well by properly positioning the chandelier.

There are a lot of things you need to consider before choosing a chandelier. First thing to consider is the size. Size of the chandelier and the size of the room should be proportion. If you put a small chandelier in a big room, it will just look isolated. And if you put a big one on a small room, the room will then look crowded. So before you choose chandelier you should select one that will fit you room.

You need to be creative in searching for crystal chandelier that will add beauty and spark on a room. You should be careful in choosing the right one because there is a lot of variety to choose from. Crystal chandeliers styles are complicated, large, modern, and authentic. It can also bring some sentimental scents and value to a home.

When you are trying to choose one for your dining room, proportionality of the room and the chandelier is very important. You should measure the length and width of a dining table and if your dining table is circular measure the diameter. Measurements are very important to know if a certain chandelier can fit your dining area. The diameter should be twelve inches shorter than the dining table's width.

Before installing it, you should check the electric box that will support the new light of your chandelier. We all know that it has a lot of lights and bulbs. Make sure that your electric box can support and supply enough wattage on each lamp or lights on the chandelier. If electric box can support the chandelier it will cause electrical overload and can cause fire.

If you are deciding to install yours over the dining table, make sure that the crystal chandelier is position at the center of the dining table. And it should be 30 to 33 inches apart from the top of the dining table and at the bottom of the chandelier. This will prevent head bumps on the chandelier and to avoid accident.

Consider also the bulb that you will use for your chandeliers. Since chandelier requires a numbers of bulbs, select bulbs that has a low wattage rating. And as soon as you put the right bulb, it will give you sufficient light and will balance the brightness of a certain room.

Given that crystal chandelier gives beauty and elegance to a room, you should have a proper maintenance to sustain the beauty that it brings on your house. You should clean your chandelier once in a year, but before cleaning it, you need to turn off the bulb for about 10 minutes before cleaning it. This will avoid burnt hand and will safety you to some injuries.

Construction Material of the Great Wall

As we all know, the Great Wall is the treasure of China - even the world. It really is a great masterpiece of mankind, with its beautiful scenes and grand construction. What many people may not know, however, is that in different periods of Chinese history the material of the Great Wall is different in different areas.

Before the use of bricks, the Great Wall was mainly built from earth, stones and wood. Due to the large quantity of materials required to construct the Great Wall, the builders always tried to use local sources. When building over the mountain ranges, the stones of the mountain were exploited and used; while in the plains, earth was rammed into solid blocks to be used in construction. In the desert, even the sanded reeds and juniper tamarisks were used to build the Great Wall.

Before and during the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), because the earth buildings could withstand the strength of weapons like swords and spears and there was low technology of productivity, the Great Wall was basically built by stamping earth between board frames. As such, only walls of plain earth or earth with gravel inside were built. No fortresses were constructed along the wall, nor bricks used in the construction of gates at the passes. Some of the walls were even made only from piles of crude stones. Around Dunhuang City in Gansu Province, Yulin City in Shaanxi Province and Baotou City in Inner Mongolia, sites can still be found from the Great Wall of Qin, the Great Wall of Han and the Wall of Zhao. The Wall of Zhao was built during the Warring States Period using board frames, and the layers of earth can still be clearly seen.

During the period following the Han Dynasty (202BC-220AD), earth or crude stones were still popular building tools. The construction material did not reach a new level until the middle of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644); however the principle of using local material was maintained. Three hundred million cubic meters (393 million yards) of earthwork were used in the construction of the Great Wall, and with the appearance of large brick and lime workshops, some parts were also built with these new materials.

Bricks were used in a lot of areas during the Ming Dynasty, as well as materials such as tiles and lime. Attempts were always made to produce the materials locally, so kiln workshops were established to burn the crude material. In a construction team there was Material Supply Department. For example, in Juyongguan Pass names of supply departments such as kiln workshops, stone ponds and material supply departments were recorded. Some materials, such as the timbers for the construction of the passes, did have to be transported from outside areas when there were none available locally. Bricks were more a convenient material than earth and stone as their small size and light weight made them convenient to carry and thus quickened the speed of construction. Bricks are also the ideal material to bear the weight. According to a sample experiment experiencing gravity and erosion over a hundred years, the compressive strength, resistance to freezing and absorbency of the bricks of the time are similar to today's common bricks. A huge brick from a hundred years ago showed a high level of technological skill for that time. For further ease of construction, different shapes of brick were also burned and made to stuff into different positions. Stone, however, still has its advantages.

Stones cut in rectangular shapes were mostly used to build the foundation, inner and outer brims, and gateways of the Great Wall. In the Badaling section, the Great Wall is made almost entirely of granite, some of green and white stones and some of white marble. The stone material was found to better resist efflorescence than bricks.

It is not only because of the high level of productivity of the time that hard material like bricks and stones were used in the construction of the Great Wall, but also because of the development of weapons. Before the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall was built from board frames and, although not very solid, could withhold simple weapons like swords, spears and bows. But during the Ming Dynasty, gunpowder became available. The musket, blunderbuss and cannon appeared. Due to the use of these weapons, more solid bricks and stones were required to build a stronger Great Wall.

The Great Wall of China embodies the great systems of defense created during the wars of the time; moreover it indicates a great achievement in architecture.

September 26, 2008

Launch of Shenzhou-7 Manned Spacecraft

Shenzhou 7 was the third Chinese human spaceflight. This mission commenced as the second phase of Project 921. Three crew members inside a Shenzhou spacecraft were launched on September 25, 2008 at 21:10 CST on a Long March 2F (CZ-2F) launch vehicle. The mission is scheduled to last three to five days. Shenzhou 7 began to unpack and assemble the indigenous Feitian extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suit at 10:20 a.m. yesterday in preparation for the first spacewalk.

As of 11:51 a.m. on Sep 26, the spaceship has made 11 orbits around the earth as scheduled. Physical conditions of the three astronauts who are in duty shift, all stay normal. Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming took on assembling in the orbital module while Jing Haipeng stayed in the re-entry module to keep an eye on the vessel operation.

September 17, 2008

5 Essential Weight Loss Foods

There are many fad diets that promise to help you lose weight in almost no time at all. After two or three weeks on the diet you find yourself losing enough to be able to brag to your family and friends about it, and you're so optimistic that this new lifestyle will be your ticket to a smaller waistline that you start to browse the stores for new clothes.
You continue to lose weight for another couple of weeks, and then something happens: you start to feel sluggish, you begin craving something that your diet absolutely forbids you to have, or the general sense of optimism begins to transform itself into a feeling of constriction, frustration, and even dietary imprisonment.
You decide to have just one snack, or spend just one day eating whatever you want with the intention of going back to the diet the following day. What happens then, is that you feel such satisfaction from that treat that the entire effort falls apart and you put the weight back on in practically no time at all.
Does this scenario sound at all familiar?
Diets are very hard, as is the feeling of being overweight. Many of these fad diets may promise instant and significant weight loss results, but most of them rely on depriving your body of certain nutrients and disrupting the natural function of your body's metabolism. Chinese medicine considers obesity to be partly the result of declining function of the metabolic fire of the kidney network and a diet that provides a well-balanced array of nutrients is the key to losing weight in a healthy way. What follows are five foods that will help you restore your body's ability to use energy and help you become your healthy weight.1. Millet: A well-balanced diet should consist of whole grains instead of refined grains like white rice and pasta, and millet is a beneficial and delicious staple of this category of food. This non-glutinous grain is over 10-percent protein, has high amounts of fiber and B-complex vitamins, and because it isn't an acid forming food, is easy to digest.
2. Asparagus: When losing weight, it's important to favor chlorophyll-rich foods, including asparagus. Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable packed with folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and fiber. Asparagus also contains a carbohydrate known as inulin (not to be confused with insulin) that promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine - which in turn promotes a healthier digestive function.
3. Pomegranates: Eating a balanced diet to lose weight should include eating fresh fruits, and pomegranates are a wonderful example of a healthy, nutritious fruit that has antioxidant properties and will help prevent cancer. While the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice have gained a lot of attention recently, you will be more likely to lose weight by eating the fruit fresh to increase your fiber intake and keep the calories down.
4. Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees and are considered an essential ingredient in the tasty Italian mixture pesto. Chinese medicine uses pine nuts to improve gastrointestinal tract and digestive functions, and pine nut oil is even used for appetite suppression. Pine nuts and other nuts are a tasty part of a well-balanced diet intended for weight loss.
5. Green Tea: It has been found that consuming large amounts of coffee and caffeine can lead to food cravings, increase one's appetite, and induce stress-related eating. Green tea is a wonderful alternative to coffee in that it does provide a little caffeine but also contains beneficial antioxidants. So drink up!A healthy diet also includes lean proteins like chicken breast, legumes such as lentils, and other whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. While fad diets may promise a large amount of weight loss in a short period of time, there's almost a guarantee that you will put that weight back on-and then some!
Eat five smaller meals a day, avoid processed foods, chew more slowly, and incorporate more healthy foods into your diet-starting with these five.
I hope this article helps you find foods that can aid in your weight loss goals! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me. May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

This article is quoted from Yahoo.

September 10, 2008

Legend of Mid Autumn Festival

There are many beautiful legends about the moon in China. the most popular one tells how a goddess named Chang'e flies to the moon.

A long, long time ago, a terrible drought plagued the earth. Ten suns burned fiercely in the sky like smoldering volcanoes. The trees and grass were scorched. The land was cracked and parched, and rivers ran dry. Many people died of hunger and thirst.

The King of Heaven sent Hou Yi down to the earth to help. When Hou Yi arrived, he took out his red bow and white arrows and shot down nine suns one after another. The weather immediately turned cooler. Heavy rains filled the rivers with fresh water and the grass and trees turned green. Life had been restored and humanity was saved.

One day, a charming young woman, Chang'e makes her way home from a stream, holding a bamboo contaiver, A young man comes forward, asking for a drink. When she sees the red bow and white arrows hanging from his belt, Chang'e tealizes that he is their savior, Hou Yi. Inviting him to drink, Chang'e plucks a beautiful flower and gives it to him as a token of respect. Hou Yi, in turn, selects a beautiful silver fox fur as his gift for her. This meeting kindles the spark of their love. And soon after that, they get married.
A mortal's life is limited, of course. So in order to enjoy his happy life with Chang'e forever, Hou Yi decides to look for an elixir of life.He goes to the Kunlun Mountains where the Western Queen Mother lives.

Out of respect for the good deeds the has done, the Western Queen Mother rewards Hou Yi with elixir, a fine powder made from kerndls of fruit which grows on the tree of eternity. At the same time, she tells him:If you and your wife share the elixir, you will both enjoy eternal life. But if only one of you takes it,that one will ascend to Heaven and become immortal.

Hou Yi returns home and tells his wife all that has happened and they decide to drink the elixir together on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month when the moon is full and bright.

A wicked and merciless man named Feng Meng secretly hears about their plan.He wishes Hou Yi an early death so that he can drink the elixir himeslf and become immortal.His opportunity finally arrives. One day,when the full moon is rising, Hou Yi is on his way home from hunting. Feng Meng kills him. The murderer then runs to Hou Yi's home and forces Chang'e to give him the elixir, Without hesitating, Chang'e picks up the elixir and drinks it all.
Overcome with grief, Chang'e rushes to her dead husband's sied, weeping bitterly.Soon the elixir begins to have its effect and Chang'e feels herself being lifted towards Heaven.

Chang'e decides to live on the moon because it is nearest to the earth. There she lives a simple and contented life. Even though she is in Heaven, her heart remains in the world of mortals. Never does she forget the deep love she has for Hou Yi and the love she feels for the people who have shared their sadness and happiness.

Another legend explained the role of the Old Man on the Moon, the Divine Match-maker. The Chinese believed that marriages were made in Heaven but prepared on the moon. The Old Man on the Moon tied the feet of young men and women with red cords for marriage. Thus a maiden made offerings and prayed to him during the Mid-Autumn Festival, hoping that some day she would ride in the red bridal sedan chair.

Moon Cakes: A Mid-Autumn Delicacy

Today, Chinese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival with dances, feasting and moon gazing. Not to mention mooncakes. While baked goods are a common feature at most Chinese celebrations, mooncakes are inextricably linked with the Moon festival. Traditional fillings include lotus seed paste, jujube paste or sweet bean paste. The cakes are usually sliced into thin wedges and served with tea as a holiday snack; they are very rich and dense, so a small wedge is enough to satisfy. Moon cakes date to at least the 14th century. They represent the moon and symbolize the gathering of friends and family.

More elaborate versions of mooncakes contain four egg yolks (representing the four phases of the moon). Besides lotus seed paste, other traditional fillings include red bean paste and black bean paste.

While in the past mooncakes took up to four weeks to make, automation has speeded up the process considerably. Today, mooncakes may be filled with everything from dates, nuts, and fruit to Chinese sausages. More exotic creations include green tea mooncakes, and ping pei or snowskin mooncakes, a Southeast Asian variation made with cooked glutinous rice flour. Haagen-Daz has even gotten into the act by introducing a line of ice cream mooncakes in Asian markets.

Given the difficulty of making them, most people prefer to purchase their mooncakes instead of making them.

Mid Autumn Festival

One of the most important traditional Chinese festivals, the Mid-Autumn Festival (this year celebrated on Sept. 14) falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, around the time of the autumn equinox (usually September 22). Many refer to it simply as the "Fifteenth of the Eighth Month." It is a time for families to be together, so people far from home will gaze longingly at the moon and think about their families.

This day is also considered a harvest festival since farmers have just finished gathering their crops and bringing in fruits from the orchards. Overwhelmed with joy when they have a bumper harvest and quite relaxed after a year of hard work, they feel it is a time for relaxation and celebration.

Food offerings -- including moon cakes, apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, watermelons, oranges, and so on -- are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard. of all these foods, moon cakes and watermelons (cut into the shape of a lotus) are indispensable for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Bathing in the silver moonlight, the families will sit together and take turns to worship the moon, chatting and sharing the moon offerings.

September 7, 2008

Have a Perfect Manicure at Home

Don't have time to run to a salon for a perfect manicure? Treat yourself to an at home manicure.

Pretty manicured nails can easily be attained at home without spending the time and money at a salon. Some key manicure products and a little bit of time is all that is needed for an at home manicure. Sit down and relax to your favorite movie or favorite television show and enjoy some much needed "me" time.

Manicure Tools needed: Nail polish remover, cotton balls, nail clipper and nail scissors, nail file, bowl, nail brush, cuticle clipper, orange stick, cuticle oil, hand cream, nail strengthener, clear nail polish, color nail polish.

At Home Manicure Tips:
1. Start by taking off any remainder nail polish. Use cotton balls and nail polish remover. Nail polish remover can be very damaging to your nails, try to use a nail polish remover that is acetone free. Another option would be to use a salon brand nail polish remover, they work a lot better and remove the polish very easily.
2. The next step is to shape your nails. If your nails are weak or damage it would be better to keep them short. Use a file for this step unless the nails are very short and you need to trim off a lot with scissors or clippers before. Remember to file your nails filing in one direction to prevent damage to your nails.
3. Clean your nails with a nail brush and soak for a couple of minutes to soften your cuticles.
4. Next take an orange stick with a tiny piece of cotton wrapped around it and push back cuticles. If you have hangnails or rugged cuticles, clip them with cuticle scissors. Massage cuticles with cuticle oil and apply hand cream.
5. Use the nail polish remover one more time and remove any oil or lotion that may remain on your nails from the previous step. This will help your nail polish to stay longer and better.
6. Apply a base coat or nail strengthener, depending on what you need. Never forget this step if you enjoy dark polishes, this will help prevent staining. For a simple look, you can stop now.
7. Pick out your favorite color of nail color and apply two light coats.
8. Last but not least, apply a clear nail polish or top coat to help make your at home manicure last longer.

French Manicure: Don’t rush off to the salon if you prefer a French Manicure. Available at any beauty store is a French Manicure kit. Inside the kit will be White and Natural nail colors plus strips that stick to the nails to paint the white on the tips of the nails.

September 4, 2008

Sanqing Mountain

If you want to find a good mountain, follow the Taoists. Eager to find a tranquil place to cultivate themselves and to meet the immortals, they are regular visitors of beautiful mountains.

Sanqing Mountain in Jiangxi Province, although not very well-known to many people today, was regarded as a sacred place for Taoists in the Tang Dynasty period (618-907), when Taoism was at its most popular. The mountain remained very popular among people seeking immortality until the 18th century, when Emperor Qianlong preferred Buddhism to Taoism.

Sanqing Mountain's fame as a Taoist resort has faded, but its natural beauty remains. Stay on the mountain for a day, and you will understand why ancient Taoist master Ge Hong (284-364) made pills of immortality here more than 1,700 years ago.

With beautiful clouds, mist and strange-shaped pine trees, Sanqing Mountain is a fairyland far from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The mountain is shrouded in mist for about 200 days each year. On misty days, dense fog envelops the mountain completely and makes you think you are wandering in the clouds. Once in a while, wind blows away the mist, and a stiff, imposing peak suddenly appears right in front of you. Sometimes you can even see the fog creep up on you, gently penetrating the pine trees on the cliff.

About 80 percent of Sanqing Mountain is covered by primeval forests. More than 2,500 kinds of plants exist here, most of which can be used to make traditional Chinese medicine.

Because it has plenty of clouds, the mountain is an excellent place to watch the sun rise and set. Huge clouds become splendidly red, as if half the sky were on fire.

Pine trees on Sanqing Mountain are as beautiful as those on Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province, where they are regarded as the most beautiful in China. Many pine trees on the mountain are more than 100 years old. Many years of exposure to wind, sunshine and rain have twisted their branches and wrinkled their trunks and bark, which has given them strength and charm like old men's wisdom.

A 500-year-old pine tree on the 1,500-meter-high Yutai platform is a good example of the mountain's pine trees. The tree is 1.1 meters in perimeter and three meters in height. Its branches twist like a snake, while its roots are anchored deep in the narrow gaps between rocks.

Like most mountains, the most beautiful view is from the summit of Sanqing Mountain, though the 1,800-meter-high mountain peak has remained inaccessible to ordinary tourists until recently because it is very rugged and steep.

In 1995, a cable car was built to take tourists up to about 1,600 meters high. From 1,600 meters to the peak, a concrete path was built along the sheer rock face. Walking on the path -- said to be the highest tourist trail in the world -- is an exciting experience. On one side the cliffs rise sheer above you, while on the other side a deep valley falls below you. But for the handrail, one would easily fall a thousand meters to the foot of the rock face.

Travel tips
To go to Sanqing Mountain, take a train to Shangrao or Yingtan station in Jiangxi Province and transfer to the mountain by bus. There is no direct train from Shenzhen and you have to take a train in Guangzhou Railway Station or East Guangzhou station.

Recommended trains: K48, which starts at 9:14 a.m. from Guangzhou Railway Station and arrives at Shangrao at 1:46 a.m. the next morning; K210, which leaves Guangzhou Railway Station at 2:58 p.m. and arrives at Shangrao at 7:43 a.m. the next day, and 2091, which leaves Guangzhou East Railway Station at 1:12 p.m. and arrives at Yingtan at 5:47 a.m. the next morning.

To watch sunrise, stay near Yuntai Platform. The best seasons for watching sunsets are autumn and winter, when there is less rainfall.

Take warm coats with you even in summertime, as it might be quite cold in early mornings and late evenings.

The area is famous for its local fish, chicken, tea and pears.

Yellow Mountain

Yellow Mountain is a blend of the majesty of Taishan Mountain, the ruggedness of Huashan Mountain, the cloud of Hengshan Mountain, the flying waterfall of Lushan Mountain, the bizarre rock of Yandangshan Mountain and the beauty of E'mei Mountain. Mt. Huangshan is famous for its four supreme sights: strange pines, grotesque rocks, the sea of clouds and hot springs in the world. It has the reputation of being "China's strangest mountain".

Legend has it that Huangdi, the famous Emperor from ancient times, lives at Huangshan as a supernatural being. There are hundreds of peaks and thousands of ravines in the Yellow Mountain area and 72 of which have been given names. The Heavenly Capital Peak, The Lotus Flower Peak and the Brightness Peak are the three major peaks and all rise more than 1,800 meters above sea level.

Yellow Mountain covers an area of 1200 square kilometers, with a well developed scenic area of 154 square kilometers. Yellow Mountain is a blend of the majesty of Taishan Mountain, the ruggedness of Hushan Mountain, the clouds of Hengshan Mountain, the flying waterfall of Lushan Mountain, the bizarre rock of Yandangshan Mountain and the beauty of E'mei Mountain. 2 lakes, 3 waterfalls, 16 springs and 24 brooks also show their beauty. Yellow Mountain is famous for its "four wonders"-odd-shaded pines, grotesque rocks, the sea of clouds and the hot springs in the world. Xu Xiake a noted Chinese geologist from the Ming Dynasty who has visited Yellow Mountain twice, said "Don't visit Yellow Mountain after you have been to the other for Mountains, and don't visit other four mountains after traveling Huangshan".

September 2, 2008

Choosing Outdoor lighting - 3

Providing good outdoor lighting can offer added security as well as extend your outside parties or other activities well into the night. Adding outdoor flood lighting will also enhance the beauty of your home and increase its value. There is a wide selection of decorative outdoor lighting from which to choose. Before beginning your project, consider these valuable tips.
Contact your local municipality on code requirements and adhere to these closely.
Call the electric company to arrange for them to mark any areas with underground wiring prior to your dig.
Purchase lighting fixtures that are comprised of approved properties and made for outdoor usage. Look for the Underwriter's Laboratory seal.
Obtain a ground fault interrupter to stop the current should the hot wire become compromised in any way.
Disconnect the power source to prevent electrical shock.
Ground the cable and lighting fixtures.
Dig your trench at least 2 feet deep to protect your cable. If there is above ground exposure use a conduit to prevent weather damage. Local codes may require the entire line be protected. Consider key placements for your fixtures and direct them away from the home. Prevent glare by using lower watt bulbs. Test your angles to make sure you are not flooding your neighbors yard or the street with your flood lights.

You can create many other different effects without much investment if you take the time to plan your lighting blueprint as carefully as you do your landscaping. Find interesting features in your landscape and use light to accent them at night. Do keep in mind that light pollution has become a serious consideration when lighting at night. Keep the lights low, and angle them so that they do not disturb neighbors or local wildlife.

September 1, 2008

Choosing Outdoor lighting - 2

Consider solar powered lights for walkways and paths. Solar powered stake lights are an extremely budget conscious option for path and safety lighting. You can buy them in sets of four or six at your local home and garden store for as little as $30. Installation is as simple as driving a stake into the ground. There are no wires, and no drain on your electric bill. Most are powered with a battery backup for those days when there's not enough sun to power the lights.

Consider safety first. Decoration is wonderful, but your first concern should be safety. Use motion sensor lighting to illuminate dark areas on your property without having lights glaring all night long. Do not skimp here – your safety is vital. Do, however, check with your insurance company. You may get a break on the premiums for making safety improvements.

The second safety issue is illuminating pathways and steps to avoid falls and injuries. Path and stair lighting can be very decorative and attractive. One inexpensive option for stairway lighting are strips that fit along the edges of the risers. The light is indirect and shines down on each step so you and your visitors can see where you're putting your feet.

Less is definitely more when it comes to outdoor lighting. Avoid garish, overbright lights. An additional benefit to using fewer lights is a savings of wattage, and, in turn, expenses; both up front and in long term maintenance.

Backlighting and low lights can add drama to a bland landscape. Choose a feature to highlight and use a single light behind it to cast it in silhouette. If you shine lights through a tree, the overall effect can be truly dramatic.

Don't be afraid to be tacky. Twinkling fairy lights may be overdone, but a single strand of tiny white Christmas lights twining a potted patio plant or edging the patio deck can be surprisingly effective.

Turn to unusual sources. For instance, instead of using overhead or spotlighting for your patio or deck, rely on battery or solar operated table lanterns on your patio tables. Light your outdoor space just as you would your indoor space, taking into account ambient light and task lighting. Do not light what doesn't need lighting.

Driveway lighting serves two purposes. It should illuminate paths and walkways so that your guests and family can make their way safely from vehicle to house, and it should outline your driveway enough that drivers can navigate it safely. Consider walkway lights along the edges of the driveway, especially if the driveway is edged with stones, bushes or raised flowerbeds.