Concertscrimss

The 1990s witnessed one of the most rapid rates of technological innovation in the 20th Century. A movement which spurred an increase in the availability of mass media and helped usher in an era where music was shaped by emerging technologies, transforming not only the songs of the 90s, but changing the world of music for the decades ahead.

At the epicenter of the new wave of technological innovations in the 90s was the digital revolution. Bulky, single-purpose mobile phones were replaced with smaller devices loaded with lots of embedded functionality. The internet grew exponentially from anonymity to become a digital communication and information super highway adopted by 50% of Western Countries. Helping to increase the dominance of the internet was Intel’s creation of the Pentium chip. For their part, computer hardware manufacturers added staples to their personal computer offerings such as CD burners and CD Rom drives.

With the onslaught of new technology came a transformation of the songs of the 90s. The 1990s heralded the dawn of the boy band, teen pop sensations, commercial and sampled hip-hop music tracks. Even armchair musicians would be given a chance to make more significant musical contributions with the glut in musical technology as it became possible for a wider number of musicians to produce electronic music. What started out sounding like dance music was gradually less targeted towards the dance-floor audience and more towards home listeners. This genre later became known as “Electronica”, or in its slower manifestations, “Chill-out” or “Ambient music”.

In late spring 1998, the first Mp3 player was released, alongside the 32 and 64MB Mp3 players. By the mid 2000’s the Mp3 format would overtake the CD player in popularity. Early adopters of the technology – mostly younger music audiences would be given the opportunity to endorse their preferred music tastes — the pop songs of the 90s, catapulting pop stars into the spot-light. Not surprisingly, between 1997 and 1999, American teen pop stars and groups were all the rage, with some of the more popular acts being the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, 98 Degrees, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. This scene targeted the younger members of Generation Y.

Today, technology continues to play a vital role in deciding which music we allow into our personal space. The internet and new media have built on top of the foundations laid down in the 1990s bringing better access to talent that might have gone undiscovered in the past. Songs of the 90s evoke a sense of nostalgia of perhaps the decade in which the dominant music genres of today were still in their infancy.

Over the past ten years a majority of the top ten songs on the Billboard charts has been consistent trendsetters. Songs that have saturated radio airwaves by the masses are placed in constant rotation to enthrall us. These songs appeal to a certain audience that often allow those in the music industry to capitalize on the opportunity to gain new fans of the most popular genres of music today. But some of these genres of today music have lost the luster for true music lovers, that they often resort to the classic CD’s from their youth just to hear music they deem as good music.

But what is considered “good music”? According to industry executives, “good music” is “any music that can capture the attention of an audience.” However; for the demographic of listeners in their mid twenties to mid thirties, “good music” is music that’s worth listening to many years after, and whose lyrics has meaning and depth.

So if the music industry has released nothing but “good music” over the past ten years, then why is it that the demographic of listeners in their mid twenties, thirties and older doesn’t find it worth listening to?

After further discussion with Atlanta’s LS Muzik Group, a company representative says, “most of the music that is released today has a certain appeal that reflects the trend set during that time. If at that time, snap music or crunk music is the sound that’s in, then that’s what the trend will follow. It is rare that you’d find “good music” [from the likes of] a Neyo, R. Kelly, Usher, Mary J Blige, Anthony Hamilton, or Musiq Soulchild to name a few. Not including good folk, rap, country, gospel, blues, jazz, or alternative rock music from some great artists who are worth listening to also. But out of the few named, there’s really not that many artists today that has potential for longevity. These artists are force fed to the consumer just to make record sales. We truly doubt half of them will be around to play sold out arenas in the next ten years.”

Hoping to bridge the gap between the two demographics of listeners in their mid twenties to mid thirties, the company looks to bring back good music that is worth listening to by adapting the Motown approach by signing good talent and releasing heartfelt songs with meaning.

Although the idea to bring back good music is what LS Muzik Group intends to do, there’s still that certain group of listeners the company may struggle to gain. Mainly because the music industry have already captured the attention of this group over the past ten years with music that has a sound of its own, a sound that has captivated them with what LS Muzik Group deems as over synthesized sounds. It is unclear however, as to how the company plans to win over that demographic, when all they know is what the music industry have force-fed them.

And because of this, the dividing line between the two demographics has left a void in the music industry, simply because true music lovers aren’t as fascinated with listening to over synthesized sounds that has little to no substance. This has crippled record sales over the past ten years.

In spite of the clever marketing initiatives by the music industry to capture true music lovers, the effort hasn’t been significant enough to impact their decisions to enjoy listening to the music released today thereby causing most of the music released today to barely go gold or platinum. This is all due in part not only to the Internet, but because true music lovers in their mid twenties, thirties, and older who enjoy good music, are not buying what is most popular today. But if what’s popular is Trey Songz or Chris Brown, then how is it that either of the two artists survives in such an industry where their level of success or failure is dictated by their marketing, and not their music.

“Record companies have gotten somewhat smart on how they market and release artists. Their idea to market and release Chris Brown or Trey Songz on the same Tuesday as they would Robin Thicke or K Jon isn’t the same. Simply because record sales for Chris Brown or Trey Songz may be slim for the first week of release, that marketing and releasing Trey Songz against K Jon on the same date would immobilize their sales goal of going gold or platinum, against a more likely artist that can, who has a more mature fan base of true music lovers who enjoy listening to good music,” says one industry executive.

This scenario is all too common in the industry today, whereas album release dates are rescheduled all due in part to industry executives being aware of the competition. Often times that competition is welcomed in what appears to be a rivalry to see who can out sell the other, as with the Kanye West and 50 Cent release in 2007. Rivalries such as this makes for clever marketing that will often propel record sales through the roof the first week of release, causing artists to go platinum. However at what cost to record companies? “Record companies can pay millions of dollars to market an artist all at the expense of gaining a few true music lovers. The gamble is to win the few they think will be loyal followers. While hoping the artists does their part to deliver good music to keep them [the fans] loyal.”

But with dismal record sales on the rise, artists are struggling to deliver good music to keep true music lovers devoted. Long gone are the days of the Motown Sound, Disco, P-Funk, and New Jack Swing era that we’ve all grown so accustom to that has found its way in music today through the practice of “sampling”; that most artists have lost all sense of creativity to produce almost anything remotely appealing to true music lovers. In order to win them over without the over synthesized sounds, they must sample or take portions of music from great artists like Teddy Pendergrass or The O’Jays just to get their attention.

So how can music get a fresh revitalization to capture the attention of true music lovers? Well according to LS Muzik Group, “bring back live musicians and artists who feel passionate about love and family values.” This could well be true, being that everything in heavy rotation on the radio is all about sex. “Where are the family values in the songs we hear today, there aren’t any. Most parents today don’t want their children listening to the radio, mainly because all they’re hearing is about sex.” From Trey Songz “Invented Sex”, to R. Kelly’s “Number One”, songs like these have saturated commercial radio and have left somewhat a bad taste in the mouth of true music listeners.

However artists like R. Kelly who has a solid fan base of loyal true music listeners, releasing songs like “Number One” is often well taken, being that an artist of his caliber is able to release just about anything and go platinum.

The musician in R. Kelly has allowed for him to survive in an industry that lacks creativity. Yet, he manages to stay in touch with his fan base while adjusting his talents to accommodate both younger and older audiences with songs like, “Number One”. But can the same be said of an artist [like a] Trey Songz? “Trey Songz is a talented artist; however, his fan base of course is entirely different from that of an R. Kelly or Robin Thicke not only because of the way he’s marketed, but also how he appeals to an audience that doesn’t understand good music. But considers what he sings to be. Keep in mind we are talking about a group that may not have even grew up listening to “good music” from the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s.”

Because of this lack of understanding, Trey Songz is able to sustain a fan base based entirely on his talents as a singer, songwriter and producer and thereby, creating music that his record label deems worthy of marketing and releasing to his fans. It is this group of listeners who are twenty-five and under, the music industry caters to without a second thought of catering to the older audiences. Why is this? It appears that a majority of the top ten songs on the Billboard charts is created by artists who themselves are twenty-five years of age and under, and who are basically creating music just for their age group. This has allowed for teenagers and young adults with a great deal of disposable income to spend their earnings from part-time jobs, birthday and holiday money on music, thereby pumping a small breath of life into the industry to keep it a live. So what’s going to happen once this age group gets much older and mature? Are they likely to even consider listening to Trey Songz or Chris Brown ten years from now?

The combination of good marketing combined with good talent can make artists such as Trey Songz a huge success because of the trend set in the industry today. Allowing record companies to capitalize off their talents now, and possibly tomorrow, depending on the terms of the artist-recording contract. Whereas in the days of Motown-“good music” was all it took to propel the success of an artist. It was imperative that Berry Gordy developed and released artists he knew could create “good music” that’s worth listening to many years after. This process of artist development became a critical element in the music industry up until 2000, when record labels took the time to develop an artist for longevity.

But if the trend has been set in motion to follow music that’s been hot for over the past ten years, then going against what the industry is doing to bring back “good music” with great lyrical content, is what LS Muzik Group looks to do and pave a way of their own in the industry.

With a well driven team of professionals and a roster of talented musicians and singers like Mr. Tao Jones and Jackie Watson who seek to change the direction of music released in the industry today, it is likely that “good music” can make a major comeback in commercial radio.

But what would be the downside to all of this? One major downside would be discovering more artists like Mr. Tao Jones and Jackie Watson who have the passion to write and sing “good music”. The other is how to reach the demographics twenty-five and under who are captivated with what they’ve heard on the radio for the past ten years. To this group of listeners, growing up in an era where music is either sampled or synthetically created is all they know to be good music. However not understanding where the music they’re listening to originally derived from.

Music from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s is now considered old school to this younger audiences, which today has all become obsolete, leaving room for a younger hip sound that’s all synthetically created like fast food. So what was once old, is now new again.

Take Monica’s “Everything”, a melodic rendition of Denise Williams, “Silly”. This is a classic example of an artist who feels passionate about love and family values, has great talents, a solid fan base, and understands that the industry needs “good music”. However with the odds against her to accommodate her fans, record label, and a younger audience who thinks her music is old school, it is difficult for Monica or any artist of her stature from 70’s, 80’s and 90’s to make a comeback.

“In order to survive in the music industry today, an artist who once were in high demand during those days, would have to readjust their talents to accommodate the trend today in the industry. This doesn’t necessarily mean change the style of music that made them successful for years, but do what it is they do best while incorporating a younger hip sound that will appeal to both audiences.”

However not all artists can readjust and appeal to a younger audience. Artists like Monica are learning that the industry has changed dramatically over the years with an all-new sound that has made it somewhat complicated to adjust to, making it difficult to comeback. But often times an old school artist can return like they’ve never left and go platinum. Take Charlie Wilson, former member of the famed G.A.P Band or George Clinton architect of the band Parliament-Funkadelic, these artists have set a perfect example on how to readjust their talent in rap music to accommodate the trend of the industry to reach the younger audiences. It is this adjustment that Charlie Wilson and George Clinton were able to comeback with rap artists like Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube.

Although this strategy may have worked for Charlie Wilson and George Clinton-it is by far a long shot that other artists of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s can achieve. Because of the generation gap within the music industry, it is clear that fans are divided between what’s considered “good music” and what’s not. Therefore making it difficult to bridge the gap. And if record executives continue to overlook this issue, artist they consider as today stars will suffer immensely with record sales in the coming years, leaving them with a short term musical career. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Advertising is a form of mass communication with the public. It is usually one sided i.e. from the company to the buyer/potential user of the product. It is a form of communication that typically attempts to persuade the potential customers to purchase or consume more of a particular brand of product/services. As rightly defined by Bovee, “Advertising is the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.”

Advertising an important tool of communication is use to promote commercial goods and services, it can also be used to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues such as AIDS, Don’t drink and drive, Polio, Save water, electricity, animals and trees etc. “Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest – it is much too powerful tool to use solely for commercial purposes.” – Attributed to Howard Gossage by David Ogilvy.

Advertising is most effective with products that can be differentiated from similar products based on consumer accepted quality difference. Tom Egelhoff has classified advertising in 6 types, i.e. for company image, name brands, advertising service instead of a product, business-to-business advertising, co-op advertising and public service advertising. Television, Radio, Cinema, Magazine, Journal, Newspaper, Video Game, Internet, Billboard, Transit Cards, Sandwich Board, Skywriting are the different mediums used to deliver the message. The companies choose the method according to the cost, budget, target audiences and their response. However, word of mouth advertising/ personal recommendations is an unpaid form of advertising which can provide good exposure at minimum cost.

Various new forms of advertising are growing rapidly. One of them is Social Networking Advertising. It’s an online advertising with a focus on social networking sites and use of the internet/ World Wide Web in order to deliver marketing messages and attract customers. The other is E-Mail advertising; E-Mail Marketing is often known as “opt-in-email advertising” to distinguish it from spam. “I believe ‘credibility’ is one of the biggest issues yet to be addressed by Internet advertisers. Everyone has their eye on ‘privacy’ as a critical concern, but credibility will be far more enabling or disabling to website profitability. A company can have a web presence and, unless the brand name is familiar, consumers have no way of knowing whether it’s a big company, a small company, an honest company, or a single scoundrel. I may be worried about my personal data being disclosed in violation of my privacy, but I’m far more concerned about whether or not the person or company with whom I’m dealing is reputable. Can I believe their claims? Will I have a recourse if something is wrong with the merchandise? Credibility no longer is strictly a brick-and-morter issue. I can’t judge someone by their place of business, when I conduct that business on the Internet. I can’t grasp a hand and look into their eyes to judge their veracity. Credibility is a huge issue.” – Jef Richard.

For a message to be effective keep it short, simple, crisp and easy to absorb. It is essential to translate the products/services offer into meaningful customer benefit by advertising and to build awareness and generate response. REMEMBER: – THE AIDA MODEL -ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE AND ACTION.

In the modern scenario, most of the companies outsource their advertising activities to an advertising/ad agency which is a service business dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising and sometimes also performs other forms of promotion like public relations, publicity and sales promotion for its client. Departments of the advertising agency includes: – The Creative Department (who creates an actual advertisement), Account Service (who is responsible for co-ordinating the creative team, the client, media and the production staff), Creative Service Production (here the employees are the people who have contacts with the suppliers of various creative media), Other department and Personnel. (like public relations). As said by David Ogilvy once that the relationship between a manufacturer and his advertising agency is almost as intimate as the relationship between a patient and his doctor. Make sure that you can life happily with your prospective client before you accept his account.

Thus, I would conclude by the famous words of Bruce Barton (1955), “Advertising is of the very essence of democracy. An election goes on every minute of the business day across the counters of hundreds of thousands of stores and shops where the customers state their preferences and determine which manufacturer and which product shall be the leader today, and which shall lead tomorrow.”

 

Corporate Financial Reporting is part of corporate reporting that consists of financial statements and accompanying notes that are prepared in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The financial statements are summaries of business transactions during the financial year of the corporation. The business world has many forms of organizations ranging from the for profit sole proprietorship, partnership and incorporated businesses with limited liability to the not for profit organizations whose existence is not mainly driven by financial gain.

Regulations that govern the preparation of financial statements largely apply only to the incorporated entities. This has given rise to accounting standards setting bodies and legal provisions that form the frameworks used when preparing the financial statements. The process of preparing the reports in accordance with the GAAPs and legal requirements presents advantages and disadvantages to the organizations and to other interested groups. The International Financial Reporting Standards are increasingly being adopted by many national accounting standards setting bodies leading the way to a single set of accounting standards all over the world. It is therefore worthwhile to look at the advantages and disadvantages of financial reporting to create an awareness of the complexities that corporations and accounting professionals contend with.

THE ADVANTAGES

A number of advantages of corporate financial reporting can be enumerated and perhaps among the most important is that organizations are able to compare their individual performance with others in the same industry or line of business. This is because the established principles, standards and regulations ensure that there is a benchmark to be followed in the preparation of financial reports. Recognition of income, expense, assets and liabilities is standardized by the existing framework and any deviation can be countered with disciplinary or legal action. Organizations strive to prepare their financial statements to closely match the set frameworks as much as possible. In some countries for example Kenya, this has been translated into an annual competition (the fire award) where companies performance in this area is assessed by professional bodies including the national accounting professionals body with the aim of awarding the company with the best prepared financial statements. This in turn promotes staff and professional development which is a desirable aspect in the growth and wealth creation of the corporate organizations.

Investors and owners of companies in jurisdictions where corporate financial reporting follows strong established and clear frameworks can make the appropriate investment decisions. Corporate reporting in this case enhances the development of understanding of the activities of the companies and at the same time keeps the companies themselves on their toes as the wider society is well-informed of the expected reporting standards. This also acts as an incentive to managers to perform at their best and to institute control measures that aid the organization to comply with the frameworks.

Requirements of corporate financial reporting lead to timely preparation of financial reports. This is desirable to the stakeholders who may be more interested in the organizations immediate past rather than wait for a long time before the outcome of their input is known. When financial reports are prepared and published within the stipulated time, it is possible for necessary actions to be taken to correct any anomalies that may have led to undesirable outcomes. In a more serious case where a material error happens to be discovered, it can be corrected and the necessary measures taken to avoid a repeat of such occurrences.

IFRS give room for flexibility as they are based on principles rather than rules. As principles are based on value, corporations can adopt the standards that best suit their circumstances as long as fair value is adequately reported. This also encourages professional development as accounting standards setting requires qualified academics who can develop the required standards after lengthy and rigorous discussions and considerations to come to a consensus.

Overall, corporate financial reporting acts as a control measure as management, owners, employees, customers, creditors and the government are dependent on the reports in their decision-making. For instance the government in taxation of companies relies at the outset on the financial reports prepared and examined by qualified public or certified professionals. Trends on the growth of the companies can also be quickly determined by comparing sets of reports for different periods.

THE DISADVANTAGES

Corporate financial reporting does not bring desirable results only. There are some undesirable outcomes that should be mitigated against. The consideration of cost guides many companies in their operation. In preparing corporate financial reports in accordance with laid down standards and rules, expertise is required and the company has to engage highly qualified professionals for this task. The fee payments to qualified professionals can be prohibiting especially to small companies controlled closely by their owner managers. Compared to larger companies the small entities do not have adequate resources to implement adoption of the standards or even to train or employ qualified staff. In many instances such small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are tempted to forgo compliance with certain aspects of the standards or rules leading to problems with regulatory bodies including the government.

Freedom to adopt standards that suit the particular circumstances of the company leads to manipulation of reports. Disclosure of important information is in jeopardy as there is no legal enforcement for implementing the standards. Even where the government imposes legal obligations on what financial reports are to be prepared, there are still loopholes that can arise especially when the accounting standards and the legal stipulations are not in conformity in some areas.

For multinational companies, there are challenges in preparing their consolidated financial reports especially where operations are in countries with different accounting standards and legal regimes. There are also other challenges in dealing with for instance exchange rates, interest rates and transfer pricing where treatment of such aspects may be considered differently in different countries. Taxation and existence or non-existence of dual taxation treaties also poses another challenge.

CONCLUSION

It can be concluded that corporate financial reporting is essential and the gains from following accounting standards based on principles far outweigh the disadvantages as freedom to prepare reports in whatever way organizations deem appropriate may lead to financial chaos.

Being a Health and Fitness Professional, it is my job to understand terms and definitions which are commonplace to this industry, as well to keep abreast of evolving trends. Through my experience, I have found that a number of terms deserve a little more clarification than that which they are granted.

Aside from clarifying the definition of Health Related Fitness, this article intends to shed some light on a few of the associated terms, and to show their respective distinctions.

Is it simply all in a name?

The fitness world seems to use the concept Health Related Fitness like a generic fitness principle – interchangeable with others like “Physical Fitness”, “Health and Fitness” or simply “Fitness.”

While all of these terms can be included under the broad term Health and Physical Fitness, they individually refer to different aspects – both generic and specific. Unfortunately, references to these and other fitness-related terms are often vague, while consistency in their intended use is meager at best; there is a kind of “generally accepted” use for them, but individuals often rely on own interpretation, and this can lead to confusion.

With that said, does Health Related Fitness simply infer fitness by means of good health? Not quite. That is why we need to understand a little more behind these words before digesting the definition.

How did the term Health Related Physical Fitness come about?

That is a good question. One could probably ask what is this concept all about – can we not simply use the terms “Fitness” or “Physical Fitness” instead?” Why Health “Related”?

The main reason stems from the fact that most health and fitness terms are used inconsistently and often refer to different concepts or notions. Subsequent to the 1996 report from the US Surgeon General (Physical Activity and Health; a report of the Surgeon General), there was a move to try and address the alarming rise in obesity levels among the general American public. Studies and initiatives required standardization among clinicians, health practitioners and fitness trainers to grapple with the task at hand. Enter “Health Related Physical Fitness”, a working term to address the general state of health among the public.

The definition of Health Related Fitness

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the main authority in this field, ineffective definitions with unclear and subjective wordings, as well as definitions containing terms which themselves require defining, have contributed to confusing the term “Physical Fitness.”

There exists no reliable guide for Health and Fitness Professionals to measure “Physical Fitness”, because the term has been so loosely and inconsistently defined. It is therefore that one should consider the concept of Health Related Fitness. The definition therefore centers on the 5 Components of Physical Fitness which relate to “good health.” These Components are:

  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Body Composition
  • Flexibility
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance

On the other hand, Skill Related Fitness Components are:

  • Balance
  • Reaction Time
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Power

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the definition of Physical Fitness emphasizes the difference between Health Related Physical Fitness and Athletic Ability Physical Fitness. Its point-of-departure is the “health” of the US nation, which is often referred to as the “public health perspective.” In that respect, the 5 Health Related Fitness Components are more important than those related to Athletic Ability (or Skill Related Components).

Although the concept of Health Related Fitness has an integral association with “good health”, the 5 Components are addressed individually by health professionals to allow for their measurement.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of the term, what purpose does it serve?

Continuing from where the definition left off, the objective of measuring the 5 Components is to advise clients about their own particular Health Related Fitness, and to use data obtained from the tests to design appropriate exercise programs which can then be evaluated.

The 5 Components contribute evenly to make up a holistic Health Related Fitness, which is of direct interest to the health of the ordinary citizen, in that the concept is normative. In other words, it is a standard which allows for consistent application.

It is therefore important for those working in the health and fitness industry not to mistake “overall physical fitness” with “Health Related Physical fitness.”

To conclude, let us consider this distinction between Physical Fitness and Health Related Fitness

One needs to bear in mind that regular physical exercise can improve overall Physical Fitness, as well as Health Related Fitness. However, overall fitness is a generic term and is up to subjective interpretation, while Health Related Fitness can be assessed.

The distinction therefore, between these two terms, exists in that Health Related Physical Fitness can be measured according to a set of established comparative norms.

This is where the “rubber hits the road.” The guidelines set out by the ACSM enable health professionals to work with clients to assess and measure their response to exercise and prescribe appropriate exercise programs. A client’s progress can then be monitored and adjusted where necessary in order to obtain the desired fitness goals.

 

Travel is frequently listed as one of the “must do” things on peoples’ lists, and resort hotels that not only pamper but also include natural beauty, history, great food, and lots of recreational opportunities are very attractive. Here’s the lowdown, in no particular order, on five of these resort destinations I’ve visited recently; they are located in the eastern part of the country, and some are offering enticing incentives during these tougher economic times (golf, tennis, pools, and spas are part of each location unless indicated):

1. The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Of the five hotels, I’d say this one has the prettiest lobbies and other public areas – colors such as peach and pink combine in magical ways to produce drop-dead gorgeous palettes. The resort became popular in 1778 because it was thought that the mineral waters had healing properties, and people flocked to “take the waters.” Located in the Allegheny Mountains on 6,500 acres, there are more than 700 rooms and 50 different activities you can attempt, including falconry, kayaking, and geocaching. Eight restaurants, ranging from jacket and tie to casual attire will address your culinary needs. Don’t miss: The Bunker Tour ($30/person), a hidden government enclave under the Greenbrier built to shelter Congress in case of a nuclear war. Rates begin at $99/person. Pet friendly? Yes, for an extra fee. (The resort is undergoing some changes – West Virginia businessman Jim Justice of Justice Family Group LLP recently has acquired The Greenbrier from CSX Corp.)

2. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania. The ambience here is woodsier – after all, you are in 2,000 acres of the Laurel Highlands of Southwest Pennsylvania. The resort offers 335 rooms within its six different options – from lodge guest rooms to luxury homes. The property began as a private game preserve, was later used as a conference center, and took on its present character with its purchase in 1987 by the founder of 84 Lumber Company, Joseph Hardy III. The name of the resort honors Chief Nemacolin, a Lanai Lanape Indian. A few less-common activities include a shooting academy, dog sledding, and a bowling alley; you can also land your plane at the resort’s 3,900-foot airstrip. Dining ranges from elegant (jackets suggested) to casual with more than a half-dozen choices. Don’t miss: The Great Escapes E-Newsletter notifies you of upcoming activities, special promotions, and reduced rates. Rates begin at $319/person. Pet friendly? Yes, for an extra fee.

3. The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia. This National Historic Landmark was founded in 1766 (pre-Revolution), but according to the site’s timeline, archaeologists found evidence that the “hot springs” were used in 7000 BC! With 483 rooms on 3,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains, miles of hiking trails, a 270-seat movie theater inside the resort, carriage rides, ice-skating and skiing, there is something for everyone year-round. Only 40 miles from the Greenbrier, you could try out both places over a long weekend. A number of restaurants, from formal to casual, will tickle your taste buds. Don’t miss: We’re beginner golfers, and played 9 holes on the Old Course, so named because it was completed in 1892 (we did schedule the last tee time so we wouldn’t delay anyone’s game). The Number 1 tee is the oldest tee in continuous use in the United States. Rates begin at $99. Pet friendly? Yes, for an extra fee.

4. Wentworth by the Sea, New Castle, New Hampshire. My parents are from the North Shore area of Massachusetts, and I love going to New England any chance I can. So, our July visit to this Marriott Hotel & Spa was eagerly anticipated, and I wasn’t disappointed. An hour north of Boston, this is the most easily accessible resort hotel among the five, with 161 rooms and views of the Atlantic. Wentworth by the Sea is close to Portsmouth, an historic, pedestrian-friendly city. The hotel itself was built in 1874, was closed in 1982, and, after many changes in ownership and its almost-demolition (two different times), it ultimately re-opened in 2003. Historically, the Wentworth is noteworthy as the venue for hammering out the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the Japanese-Russo War. Although the grounds are small compared to the first three hotels, golf is available at the adjacent Wentworth by the Sea Country Club, and a 170 slip marina is available for boaters. Dining includes the seasonal Latitudes restaurant by the marina, and the Wentworth Dining Room with a local emphasis (i.e. lots of offerings from the sea). Don’t miss: Portsmouth Harbor Cruise departing at Ceres Street (I’d recommend making reservations in the summer – a few walk-ups were turned away). About an hour and a half long, the Harbor Cruise offers lovely scenery, historical sites, and is fully narrated ($16/person). Rates at Wentworth by the Sea begin at $229. Pet friendly? Yes, for an extra fee.

5. The Wauwinet, Nantucket, Massachusetts. The Greenbrier had the prettiest public places, but the Wauwinet had the most charming rooms (all 35 of them) – each one unique yet elegant – ours had blue and white flowered wallpaper, a high antique pine bed, and a small but modern bathroom. The little extras were nice – especially nice turn-down service with yummy chocolates, personalized stationery, full breakfast included with room, the services of an excellent concierge (she knew us by name), and 4 p.m. port, sherry and cheese. The location of the Wauwinet, on the secluded end of the island between the bay and the ocean, lets you escape from it all, but with jitney service provided to town nine miles away you enjoy the best of both worlds. No pool at the Wauwinet and no golf on the premises, but it’s nearby. Now a member of Relais & Chateaux, the inn was built by two sea captains in 1876, and is only open from May until October. TOPPERS restaurant provides fine dining, and has won many culinary awards. We ate there twice -once for the formal dining, and once on the deck enjoying a spectacular sunset. Don’t miss: Use the Wauwinet’s bikes and pedal (about five miles) to ‘Sconset, a quaint oceanside fishing village dotted with historic cottages covered in roses. Rates can vary – a lot. We were originally going to go over Labor Day Weekend, but found that the price of a room was hundred of dollars less per night on the Tuesday/Wed/Thursday preceding the holiday weekend, so ASK (we were able to book a room for $250/night. Pet friendly? No, and guests (human) need to be over the age of 12.

 

Some people think that automotive fasteners are only useful in automotive industries because of its name. However, such items are also depended upon by aerospace, petrochemical, waste processing, pharmaceutical and even machine industries. Typically, a fastener is derived from materials most specifically metals like iron, aluminum, brass, nickel and stainless steel.

Automotive fasteners are defined as mechanical components in order to hold two or more structures together. They are classified further as nuts, screw, rivets, studs, pins and tie rods. Each of these classifications has its own distinct characteristics. More facts on some of these types of fasteners are discussed in detail through the succeeding paragraphs.

Automotive nuts

Nuts are examples of fasteners used in order to secure a bolt or screw to a certain surface. Depending on the application where it is to be utilized, the nut is classified. Some examples of nuts are also classified depending on its shape and design. In this regard, subcategories include hex nuts, wing nuts, cap nuts and t-nuts. Lug nuts, plate nuts, jam nuts and self-locking nuts are also popular in a lot of automotive industries.

Automotive bolts

These are generally classified as threaded automotive fasteners with threaded pins or rods. Typically, it is easy to detect a bolt because it contains a head on one of its end. Bolts are offered in the market in different sizes and may only be placed depending on the hole’s size where it is to be used. The most common types of automotive bolts are wheel bolts, U-bolts, mounting plate bolts and hub bolts. Rod bolts, lug bolts and radiator bolts are also included in the list.

Automotive washers

Just by hearing the term washer, one may not be able to comprehend well about why it is classified under the list of auto fasteners. Well, automotive washers are those that have small and flat dishes containing holes on its center and are used to hold a load of automotive bolts. It is often found below the nut or the joint in order to prevent leakage as well as distribute pressure. Common examples of automotive washers are bolt lock, hardened, cylinder head, lug nut and radiator washers.

Other types of fasteners

Aside from the three types elaborated above, there are yet other forms of fasteners offered in the market. Studs, for instance are those that have double-ended features and are fastened at both ends. These fasteners are classified according to where they are used and the material utilized to make up such industrial products. Other automotive fasteners are rivets, screws and tie rods.

How do Filipinos celebrate weddings may sound strange to foreigners, but if they do get a chance to witness a traditional Filipino wedding, they will certainly love the experience. Weddings in the Philippines are never a one-day event. The wedding preparation takes months. And then comes the wedding day itself which in most cases begins from sun-up to sundown.

Filipino weddings are typically solemnized in the church, officiated by a Catholic priest or a pastor, depending on the religion of the couple. Garden weddings have become quite popular these days, too, but usually they are allowed only when it is not going to be a Catholic wedding.. If it is, the couple must have been married in civil rites first for them to obtain permission to get married in a garden or non-church setting.

Catholic wedding ceremonies, regardless of where thuey are celebrated, usually takes more than an hour to finish. The bride arrives in a bridal car, a carriage, or mode of transportation for that matter just minutes before the wedding. Then the church bells ring, signaling the start of the ceremony. The wedding ceremony begins with the processional of the wedding entourage composed of the groom, the parents of the groom, the principal sponsors (some have as many as 20 pairs of principal sponsors!) who will stand as witnesses, secondary sponsors who will light the candles, and put on the veil and cord, the maid or matron of honor, the best man, the bride’s maids and junior bride’s maids, the coin bearer, the ring bearer, the bible bearer, the flower girls, and finally the bride who may or may not be accompanied by her parents. Sometimes, the processional alone can take 20 minutes already!

The mass proper then begins; incorporated therein are the wedding rituals such as the exchange of vows, the exchange of rings, and the giving of the arrhae. A photo shoot after the mass is customary. This can take another 30 minutes to one hour. If you want this portion to be organized, better get the services of a professional photographer who has vast experience taking wedding photographs.

After the wedding, the guests proceed to the reception. It can be in a hotel or in the bride’s residence. Hotel wedding receptions can be very expensive, but they can be less stressful for the couple and their families as they no longer need to stress themselves out any more than they already have. Wedding receptions held in the house are more comfortable and fun, though. All the neighbors get to be invited which make the affair very memorable. They are also less expensive, but can be more tiring.

During the wedding reception, the usual rituals, such as the slicing of the cake, the throwing and catching of bouquet and garter, and the releasing of doves, are observed, with some variations. There is an abundance of food, lots of table-hopping, greeting friends and guests, picture-taking, dancing, singing, and tears of joy.

So how do Filipinos celebrate weddings? Well, Filipino weddings are joyously celebrated, that’s for sure!

 

Indian Weddings don’t symbolize mere marriage; the nuptial bond symbolizes loads of commitments, shared responsibilities and promises for life. The weddings in India are full of vivid events and rituals that continue for several days. Around 300-1000 people attend the weddings and the scale of wedding is thus so large that it seems that not just the two individuals get married but the two families. A majority of the wedding customs and traditions are similar in Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Jains.

The prospective groom’s parents approach the bride’s parents to ask them for the hand of their daughter to get her married to their son. If the bride’s parents agree to the proposal, the parents invite the Hindu priest to match the horoscopes and if the horoscopes agree, they ask the pundit to tell them a suitable date for the marriage.

The parents of the bride visit the groom’s house to formalize the wedding and perform the Tilak Ceremony. On the following day “Byaha Hatth” ceremony takes place and the unmarried girls apply a paste of turmeric, sandalwood and rose water to bride and groom at their homes. Till the wedding day, both the bride and the groom are not allowed to come out of their homes.

On the wedding day, the bride wears a red colored sari and the groom wears a sherwani companied with a pyjama or salwar and wraps angrakha around his neck. The groom and male members of the groom’s family wear pink turbans.

The groom rides on a horse and is accompanied by his baraat (procession) to the venue of the wedding. They receive a warm welcome from the bride’s side. The bride is escorted to the wedding hall by her close friends or sisters. Then both the bride and the groom perform garland ceremony and head on towards the wedding feast.

As per the timing suggested by the Hindu purohit, the Circumambulation of fire is done to finalize the marriage and then the bride’s parents do the kanyadan. The bride departs with the groom and is welcomed by her mother-in law holding a thali of Aarti. Several customary games are played during the evening hour. On the next day at night, a reception party is held by Groom’s side and a large number of guests are again invited to attend the feast.

The wedding is said to be officially over with the Reception party but after the wedding, the couple is invited for lunch/dinner at the relatives’ homes for the first time after their marriage. This is done to open their way for visiting the relative’s homes.

Since the beginning of time, music has been used as an expression of cultural identity. Ancient tribal societies used music as a foundation for gatherings and to express their history, ethnicity, and cultural beliefs. Music has changed throughout the ages, but the use of music as an essential part of cultural and individual expression has changed very little.

Music’s integral connection to identity is often difficult to recognize, especially in today’s society where music may not be viewed as being as message-oriented as it once was. There were times when entire generations or cultures of individuals each knew the same songs. During World War II, entire nations of people sang songs that expressed their national identity with their cause and their connection to their fighting forces. Again, with the protest songs of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the people of the nation explored their feelings about war, youth, and racial unrest. And, as music as a form of expression has grown, different individuals within the same society have come to identify with varying forms of music as their own individual expression of self.

Although music may not be as blatantly descriptive as the songs of decades past, music speaks to the individual in the same way that the individual speaks through music. A nation of parents sat perplexed as their children became entranced by the sounds of rock and roll, and now there are as many types of music to identify with as there are generational cliques to adapt the musical message. Parents are still perplexed by youth who dress like Britney Spears and Eminem and who use language expressed in song. The addition of music videos has also added a note to self-expression through music that wasn’t present until the last few years. Unlike past generations, today’s youth can see how the music is being expressed and can identify visually with their chosen genre. Television and the internet have also allowed international peoples to share their cultures through music.

Whether music is viewed as being an influence on youth or as being influenced by youth, is still secondary to the fact that it has always been present as a socializing factor. Whether that socialization takes place as a part of a group membership or as a way to express individuality, there is no way to ignore the fact that the influence and expression of music expands as the world community shares more of its musical styles. People may find that music speaks to them in a certain way, moves them in a certain way, or that they identify with its message. People may also find that they can use music to express themselves as individuals as well as to conform to a group. Doubtless, music and its connection to individual and group identity will take on new forms as people continue to be exposed to varying forms of music and culture.

Source by Rebecca Stigall