Birthday Card Ideas - Collages of Creativity!

Birthday card ideas are easy to brainstorm, especially if you know the birthday girl or boy well. Although there are lots of universal and crafty ways to make that creative one-of-a-kind handmade birthday card. Collages are a great way to create special and unique homemade birthday cards. Collages are a collection of images and words on different media arranged randomly or even in an organized fashion.

Here are some birthday card ideas that take the concept of a collage and add a birthday twist!


* Super Color Collage
Does your birthday girl or guy have a favorite color? Use their favorite hue to make a very special (and colorful) homemade birthday card! Start collecting pictures in different shades of that particular color.

For instance, if their favorite color is yellow - start cutting out images sun, flowers, bananas, and anything yellow from your old magazines, calendars, wrapping paper, and other media. Collect all of your yellow images and glue them onto the front of a white, black, or colored card that contrasts with the color used in the collage. Now use a circular or square piece of colored cardstock and write "Have a Very Yellow Birthday!" This is a fun way to celebrate the individual and a unique way to show your own thoughtfulness and creativity.

* "It's just a Number!" Collage
If you know how old your birthday gal or guy is turning, then take it to the next level! Start cutting out their birthday number from magazines, newspapers, bus schedules, junk mail flyers, and start collecting! If you can't find a lot of numbers, start spelling out the number, for instance, s-i-x-t-e-e-n, from letters found in different media. The spelling of the birthday age will help to fill out the card collage. The letters for spelling out the age do not have to be the same font or color -- think of those infamous ransom notes and create your collage with that effect in mind.

* "It's all about you!" Collage
If you know the birthday person well then this will be easy! Start collecting images of their favorite things: television shows, favorite band or singers, foods, sports, movies, games, etc... Then put together a collage that celebrates them as a person! If you have a picture of the two of you, then make that the centerpiece of the card so she or he will always remember who made the very special birthday card! This will really show how much time you spend thinking about them and cooking up this homemade birthday card.

If you don't know too much about the person, but you know their birth date then you can still make a collage all about them! Consider birthday card ideas using their zodiac sign, precious stone for the month of their birthday, and if you know the year they were born you could also include their Chinese zodiac sign. If you still need some filler space, then find out some interesting facts related to their zodiac sign and print or write them on the front of the card. Everybody loves to read what they're all about and it could be a fun conversation piece so you can get to know the person better!

Birthday Card Ideas - Collages of Creativity!

Crafting Tip: When brainstorming birthday card ideas using the collage technique with different media you may run into the problem of "filling out" the entire collage. To alleviate this issue, consider using patterned paper as the background of the collage to fill in any blank spaces ahead of time. Or use a repetitive signature piece of art of fill in the blanks, such as stars, colored buttons, hearts, happy faces, and other embellishments.

For additional ideas on creative homemade birthday card ideas, please visit, a website dedicated to making creative homemade card ideas on a budget!

Celtic Motherhood Symbol

In Celtic tradition matri-lineal or ancestry was surprisingly passed down through the mother's line and not through the father. In light of this the most important male in the family would be considered the oldest kin or relative of the mother, perhaps an uncle rather than a grandfather as there may not have existed a lineage to her through a grandfather. Any important bloodline in this culture would have come through the Celtic mother and this tie to the mother was so tight that her sister's children would have been considered siblings to her own children instead of cousins.

Celtic motherhood demanded the utmost reverence and admiration and in fact rape was considered a crime of the absolute highest severity. Rape was not pardonable and the punishment meted out was very serious and afforded absolutely no leniency.


Land was owned communally and wealth was dependent on the size of their cattle herds. Women were considered equal to men and were allowed to own their own property, choose their own husbands and go to war. In fact Celtic women were allowed to divorce and gain their husbands property if he was unable to perform his marital duties.

With this in mind the Celts had their own form of child rearing, they left it to someone else to do and many of their offspring were in fact raised by foster parents.

Celtic traditions and Mother Goddesses
Celtic traditions can be traced as far back as 3,000 years and today many people are becoming more and more attracted to them. Celtic traditions are steeped and grounded in harmony with nature and the environment, something many New Age advocates practice today and it is with thanks to these ecologically aware people who are in tune with nature that the ancient Celtic traditions are being shared and kept alive. In fact the only way traditions can die or be forgotten is if people cease to honor and practice them.

The Mother Goddess is a common feature in Celtic religion and many dedications remain on record that show Celtic mothers either as a single entity or in groups of three often holding a cornucopia of fruit. Women were also depicted as full breasted figures who were nursing infants.

Mother Goddesses were used as symbols of creativity, birth, fertility, and nurturing, sexual union or even sovereignty while at other times they can be seen depicting punishment. Their children can also be seen as either helpful to the community or dangerous and the circumstances of their birth may have lead to curses or hardship.

However, while many mother goddesses fulfill roles in the symbolism of the Celts, they aren't limited to motherhood only. Quite often tales about them mention their having had children in passing only, so motherhood cannot be seen as being a central facet to their identity. In Celtic symbolism, Mother Goddesses were also Goddesses of warfare, healing and crafts.

Celtic Motherhood Symbols
One of the well-known symbols is the Celtic knot motherhood which has the appearance of two hearts one of which is lower than the other and both hearts are intertwined into one unbroken knot. If children were added to the symbol they were represented by dots, one per child which were placed anywhere either inside or outside the motherhood symbol.

Another Celtic Motherhood symbol is the Triple Mother Goddess symbol also known in ancient Britain as "Matres Domesticae". This symbol does not depict one goddess but three feminine forces combined to make the mother goddess symbol. Three was a number that held mystical significance for the Celts as they believed that the trinity of these figures held powerful magic.

This Celtic Triple Mother Goddess shows the trinity holding symbols from the harvest or from the hunt, in a more tame state; this is a figure of a good harvest and health. The Triple Mother Goddess symbol also symbolizes the three stages of life, representing crone, mother and maiden and their coming together signified the power of unity.

The triple Mother Goddess symbol is considered to be a significant Celtic symbol of motherhood as the Celts believed that the mother goddess is the highest symbol of the child-mother relationship.

Celtic Motherhood Symbol

Tim Lazaro is a Celtic Symbols enthusiast. Visit All About Celtic Symbols for tips on Celtic Symbolism and other tips you can use right now to gain a deep understanding of Celtic Design and Symbols.

20 Ways to Keep Your Writing Inspiration and Creativity High

When stressed or blocked it is wise to make a change so that we don't stay in that place. Yet, many times we forget some of the simple things that we can do for ourselves, quickly and easily to bring our inspiration back and increase our creativity.

1. If you usually type your first drafts, hand write them. Nothing compares to the feeling the ink melting into the paper and the surge of that creative flow.


2. If you spend too much time at the computer, take a break every hour. Go for a walk or just sit outside in the sun. Even five minutes in a winter sun does wonders for a mood and creativity.

3. Flip through magazines or books. Their colors and ideas will give you sparks and switch your attitude. Blue and green can reduce your stress levels by 30% or more.

4. Add strong smells to the room. Light scented candles around you, visit the fruit isle at the grocery store, or go to a store that is heavily scented. Find an orange or strawberries and smell it. Both will change a mood or create inspiration. Smells awaken your creativity. Smells trigger memories and are a great method to rekindle stories from the past.

5. Go see or rent an inspirational movie. Relaxation time is important. You can even take your notebook and record inspirational phases. Afterwards free write that those phrases bring up from your subconscious.

6. Read a book that stirs you or sparks your creativity. If you prefer, read poetry.

7. Look at bold and bright colors for a few minutes. These change your mood.

8. Talk with a friend about your topic to flesh out ideas and creativity. Record the conversation, with their permission of course, and play it back to hear the little nuances that you might have missed.

9. Write an e-mail to a friend to tell him or her what you want to accomplish. If you are stuck, say so and ask for help.

10. Check in with your vibrational energy and do something to switch it into high gear. Take a shower. Go for a walk. Turn on some music and dance naked for a few minutes.

11. Hire a virtual assistant to do some typing so that you can stay focused on writing. You can fax your writing or dictate it into the computer and send her a voice file for transcription.

12. Go to church for the noon service or whisper a prayer or two. This reconnects your energy with the universe and replenishes what might be missing.

13. Complete an appreciation exercise. Pick something around you, like the telephone, lamp, or pen. Talk to it and tell it how much you appreciate having the electricity to turn it on, the opportunity to write with a tool that has the ink inside, not like a quill, or the softness of the paper you write on. Be grateful for that you have and not what you are missing. Or make a list of "count your blessing" items.

14. Write a personal note to friends or family and tell them how much you love them, appreciate their thoughtfulness, or kindness.

15. Authentic, flat-out, raw laughter frees the psyche and opens the creativity process.

16. Find a setting with lots of trees and flowers and feel nature. If the weather permits, take off your shoes and socks and feel the grass between your toes. Nature has a way of freeing our spirit and renewing our soul.

17. If guilt or a passed incident has captured your mind, write a "Dear Me" letter and ask yourself for forgiveness to loosen it's grip and expand your freedom.

18. Are you use to writing in a quiet place? Find a noisy place to write, like McDonald's or the mall. When your space is noisy you will have to focus harder in order to write with clarity.

19. Go for a quiet leisurely drive, listen to a favorite CD. You can sing out of tune and no one will notice (laughter aloud).

20. Do something nice for someone else that you wouldn't normally do and be a gracious receiver of a hug.

That was exciting, wasn't it? Post this list in a conspicuous place so that it is readily available when you need it, right next to your writing area is best. Do one or two of these daily and keep on writing. Your readers are waiting to read your words.

20 Ways to Keep Your Writing Inspiration and Creativity High

Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing &
Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet
writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and
articles available at:

Mythbusters: Invent Something Everyone Needs and You'll Make a Fortune

I've invented and patented several products that are clever, useful, and saleable. Wal-Mart even gave one of them their highest grade when I sent them the plans through their little-known, inventors program. So why aren't I rich? That's a reasonable question. Once I got over the elation I experienced upon receiving their acceptance letter, reality sunk in. They wanted 20,000 units in special packaging and designed to meet certain specifications. After consulting foreign manufacturers and getting prices for construction and exporting, I looked at my investment costs. They totaled over 0,000. I had no way of raising that much money, so I began exploring other avenues of funding. The banks looked at the Wal-Mart proposal and still turned me down. They recommended I look for an 'Angel,' or venture capitalist investor. These people fund likely candidates that have products they deem marketable. After contacting a few in my area, one agreed to meet with me.

I had my proposal ready, including a business plan, the Wal-Mart response, and an entire five-year projection complete with marketing materials. The three men were impressed and explained how they work. If they decided to front me the money needed, they would expect the following: (a) total control over the project, (b) the right to approve and change any idea I proposed, (c) their company name on every piece of literature, (d) 70% interest in the business, including any future stock offerings. Needless to say, I was somewhat speechless.


The thought that my invention would be under someone else's ownership and I would receive a 30% return on all my hard work, was disheartening, to say the least. But they explained the reasoning. They were taking all the financial risk in an un-proven product that might not sell at all, regardless of what Wal-Mart said. Therefore, they had to be assured of a good return on their investment, if it did succeed. They told me they did like the product and the idea and would make their decision within a week.

During that time period, I thought about my hopes, dreams and how they were souring. When I eventually got the call, I had mixed feelings. They said they were still interested and would probably go with the program, after consulting their investors. I decided that getting 30% of something was better than 100% of nothing.

It turned out that it didn't really matter. I never heard from them again. Over the following months, I was to discover how few of these projects get off the ground because of similar funding issues. I was also distraught after spending two years of my life designing the product and making a working prototype. I had gone to the trouble of test marketing using random people in my area and getting their feedback. All of them agreed it was a great idea and yet, where was I years later? I was no closer to getting it into the stores. Without the money I needed, I might have well not done anything at all.

I had everything necessary for an invention to succeed: the working product, a business plan, packaging, manufacturing, a marketing program, and a willing merchant. And not just any merchant: Wal-Mart. Yet, no one was willing to finance my product, or, if they were, they wanted 70% ownership and total control. This is a rude awakening to all you would-be Edisons out there. Even if you have a terrific invention, will you automatically make a fortune? The hard reality is that the odds are against it. Myth busted!

Mythbusters: Invent Something Everyone Needs and You'll Make a Fortune

Jeffrey Hauser’s latest book is, "Inside the Yellow Pages,” which can be viewed at

He was a sales consultant for the Bell System Yellow Pages for nearly 25 years. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Advertising and has a Master's Degree in teaching. He had his own advertising agency in Scottsdale, Arizona and ran a consulting and design firm, ABC Advertising. Currently, he is the Marketing Director for, a Health Information and Doctor Referral site.

Creativity Management: Do Creative People Have Common Characteristics?

What do creativity managers do?

Replace the word management with the word optimisation.


That's what creativity managers do: they optimise the quality of the idea pool (creativity) and the implementation process (innovation).

There are many methods of optimisation and the creativity leader must be aware of all of them, in other words, he or she must synthesise them for optimal effect.

Areas [within creativity] that need managing include motivation, organisational culture, organisational structure, incremental versus radical effects and processes, knowledge mix, group structures, goals, process and valuation.

Areas [within innovation] that need managing include idea selection, development / prototyping and the art of commercialisation.

It is worth noting that 4000 good ideas result in 4 development programs, which in turn results in 1 winner.

Do creative people have common characteristics?

Trait theory suggests they have: for example, tolerance to ambiguity and intolerance to conformity.

However, traits are not stable (you might feel creative today but not tomorrow), they are not transferable (you might be a good guitar player but a terrible painter) and they are very hard to identify.

Overall, traits are not good predictors as to who will turn out to be creative or not.

A quote from David Ogilvy: "For sixteen years I have been trying to find some common denominator which seems to apply to all creative people. There aren't any. If I could find five or six characteristics I might be more successful at hiring them. I could make a list of curiosity, vocabulary, good visual imagery etc and then I could interview hundreds of people and hire the best. But I don't know of any common characteristic. We've got fifty copywriters and I suppose the good ones are judged at the end of the year, when we compare how many successful campaigns they have created. "

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Kal Bishop, MBA


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Creativity Management: Do Creative People Have Common Characteristics?

Download the MBA research, learn about this topic at

How to Choose Creative Photography Business Names

When it comes to choosing a creative name for a photography business you need to expand on your own ideas by seeking inspiration from somewhere.

There are many ways to do this. Below we have outlined some of the ways that you can get photography business name ideas for your new or existing studio. We have also put forward some ideas on how you can come up with some great words to incorporate into a company name.


Photography Business Name Generators

It would be great if there were such a thing on the Internet but sadly there is not. A great business name has to come from the human mind and cannot be generated by a computer. These mythical online business name generators that you may have heard of simply don't work well in photography or any industry for that matter. They produce results that are far inferior to what you would come up with by yourself.

Seek Professional Advice

Most business owners take on a major role in the decision making process for choosing their business name. However, smart entrepreneurs are now starting to understand that they may not be the best people to make this crucial business decision. It is definitely not a decision that you want to make without seeking advice from a variety of people.

While most business name consultants are way overpriced and will be way out of budget for a small photography startup you may find an experienced local business person or marketing consultant who will offer you some advice for a reasonable price.

Get Inspiration from Other Businesses

To get ideas for naming a photography business you can look at your competitors as well as other creative businesses such as design firms or advertising agencies for inspiration. With the Internet these days you can even look at business names that are in use on the other side of the world.

Avoid Cliches

When you first start brainstorming ideas for photography business names you may come up with some ideas that seem creative, natural or clever. Be careful here though as there are probably dozens of other business owners who had the same idea. Many names like 'A Thousand Words Photography' or 'Picture This Photography' may seem great when you hear them for the first time but they have really been overused in the photography industry.

Getting Creative Ideas from Words

One creative way to come up with some great name ideas is to come up with some relevant words, write them down on pieces of paper and then practice putting them together in a variety of combinations. Here are some ideas for coming up with a great selection of words.

1) Photography Related Words - Start writing down words that you may like to incorporate into your business name. These may include 'photography' related words such as vision, shots, images, media, studio, focus or pictures. 'Photography' is an obvious choice for a word but it is not absolutely essential.

2) Service Related Words - You may also consider words that describe your products or services or the benefits that customers gain from choosing your photography studio over those of your competitors.

3) Emotional Words - Many niches in photography are all about capturing special memories and moments. If you need a good name for a wedding photography business for example then you might consider using some of these words. Words like 'Moment' or 'Memories' may stir up a prospects emotions and attract them to your business.

4) Location Words - If you are really stuck for name ideas then one option is to simply use the name of the area or city that you are working from. A local landmark can also work well. If you are targeting clients locally and feel that you would be unlikely to expand far beyond your immediate area than geographic words can be appropriate in a title. At the very least, your business name will be relevant and appealing to people in the area that you are targeting.

5) Unrelated Words - Sometimes businesses choose words for no particular reason at all and they work well. Strong words that attract attention or stimulate curiosity can be some of the best choices. Think of some random words that you come across in your reading or day to day activities. Take a random word like 'Butterfly' for example and think about what kind of image would come to mind if people saw an advertisement for 'Butterfly' Photography.

Inspiration can come from all around you if you keep your eyes open. Get the naming process off to a great start be getting lots of creative photography business name ideas to build upon.

How to Choose Creative Photography Business Names

For more information on choosing creative photography business names visit -

The Transit Of Pluto In The Chart Of U.S.A.

If we look at the U.S.A.'s national chart, cast on July 4, 1776 for Philadelphia, we find, since 2003, the transit of Pluto in her seventh house. This is a pivotal moment for all the world's affairs.

The chart of U.S. shows the sun in the sign of Cancer and her rising sign 20 degrees Gemini.
In 2004, Pluto, being 20 degrees Sagittarius, made an exact opposition with the conjunction Mars and Ascendant in the national chart. With Mars in this position, the chart shows a strong martial, aggressive attitude, both at home and in foreign affairs. It attracts wars, strikes, riots.


Pluto rules psychotic outbreaks in the collective unconscious. This can bring an obsession with wars, because the seventh house depicts, traditionally, the open enemy.
This area, in Mundane Astrology, rules relations with other countries, all foreign relations, treaties, alliances, wars and all related aspects of national affairs.

With the position of Pluto, in the chart of U.S., we can see the type of projected enemies. Enemies which are lived out as "scary shadows" for the whole nation.
Psychologically this configuration powerfully indicates anxieties and deep rooted fears of destabilization. Because projected enemies are a psychological projection, as when the nation perceives threats from other countries, it attracts, magnetically, what is feared. To identify with our own national fears, can be a very difficult task, because the nation must assume, in the end, their own fears.

Threatening issues from foreign countries are dealt with deep paranoia, whenever this astrological configuration appears in a "mundane chart".

But the Plutonian energy, when positive and harmoniously dealt with, brings purification and fresh starts in life. Pluto ends old schemes which stand on the way to evolution, and clears the way to reforms.

This aspect is still active right now, because the effect of Pluto is very deeply ingrained.
We can say that, realistically, Pluto is pushing the U.S. capacity to regenerate human relations. If we can turn this opposition into a more harmonious aspect such as the trine aspect, we might learn an "interpersonal" way to deal with world-conflicts.

Pluto in opposition to Mars suggests a tendency to use more power than necessary to accomplish goals. If we turn it into a trine aspect, we can find creative ways to use vital energies: transforming energies.
A trine can also transform the national drive to win at all costs, into a regenerative dialogue between the two countries: finding a healing synthesis.

Between 2009 and 2010, Pluto will cast again, another opposition: from the first to the seventh house.
This time Pluto will be opposite to the conjunction Venus and Jupiter in Cancer, in the first house.

Which could result in ending relations, philosophical and religious mass-persecutions. Again, if we are able to turn the opposition into a trine, the problem can be partially solved by using profound understandings among the opponents. The contributions of past lessons can bring light in this shadowy projection.

Instead of violent ends, a larger and intense sense of beauty, along with a sense of interaction, can release a "fusion-quality", which is Jupiter main task.
New avenues to find diplomatic intercourse.

A regenerative way of developing fraternal relations in the U.S.'s chart, is around the corner which not only will be a benefit for the rest of the world but also for their entire nation. Pluto is slow moving planet, but restless in reforming old conditions.

From separation to fusion: this is the planetary task!

The ladder of evolution is endless, as the minds and hearts of people, their potentials are infinite.

The Transit Of Pluto In The Chart Of U.S.A.

Leni provides a large variety of astrological services, workshops, readings and is an accomplished lecturer and writer, in both English and Italian. She has appear on television and radio, and is much in demand for the both traditional and soul centered astrology.

Leni Sibilio


Dialogue Vs Speech: From Paralysis by Presentation (and PPT) to Dialogue That Dazzles

One of the things I enjoy most about speaking engagements is the chance to connect with different groups of people and hear what's on their minds. Beyond the work we do with our clients, these presentations and the corresponding dialogue help me stay close to the challenges and opportunities faced today. I'm always learning, and excited to hear about new and different strategies to help leaders and their organizations improve communication, engagement, and subsequently, business results.

Whatever the venue or purpose, I enjoy involving the audience in a conversation on the given topic - leading a dialogue rather than delivering a speech. I find that engaging people in sharing their experiences and insights:
•creates a positive energy in the room
•engenders a sense of community and a feeling that in most cases, we all have similar challenges (we're not alone)
•provides fantastic learning and teaching moments


Make your next presentation a great dialogue with the following winning strategies:

Your mindset matters. Your goal is to create and facilitate dialogue, not to make a presentation.

Start with the goal in mind. Even if it's an update to a group you see regularly, consider how you can maximize the opportunity to further your goals and accelerate the progress of whatever you are working on. What do you need from this group? What type of information are you trying to gather or deliver? What feedback or insights would be beneficial to your project?

Understand the audience. Who will be in the room and what is their level of knowledge on your topic? Consider the demographic mix, the level of experience and the audience's mindset. Put yourself in their place and consider how to present your material in a way that will most resonate with them and where they're coming from. Adjust your content accordingly.

Create connections. For presentations away from your regular location, arrive early enough to have a few pre-meetings with leaders and attendees, learn a few things about the local area, and share some of this information as you introduce yourself and your topic to the audience. Highlighting conversations and relationships with people in the room will show your familiarity, put others at ease and gain you instant credibility.

Energize with participation. In a larger audience, engage the group by asking for a show of hands at various points and invite people to share their examples to illustrate key concepts being presented.

Consider involving audience members in an appropriate game or demonstration to highlight a key point in an energizing way. And don't forget those who may be participating by phone or Web conference!

Ask for input. Plan to ask open-ended questions at critical junctures to check for understanding and gather information. For internal meetings with colleagues or leaders who may have insight into a challenge you are facing, ask for perspective on crucial issues or to test key messages.

Simplify and summarize. In a world where everyone is juggling volumes of information every day, less is definitely more when it comes to presenting concepts and ideas. Chances are, your slides have way too much content - most of which is not necessary. Consider using simple, memorable ways to package key concepts (try a visual to make your point) and then amplify your point with real-life examples.

Handouts facilitate learning. We typically provide handouts of my PowerPoint slides to allow participants to take notes, which helps many leaders process and retain information. It also provides a way to share the information covered with others who weren't able to participate.

Be prepared for anything. Whether it's an internal or external audience, be ready to adapt your plan to accommodate shorter timeframes and still meet your objectives. Practice delivering the presentation in the allotted time, give the same presentation in half the time, and consider what you would say if you had only five minutes to capture the essence of your message. It will force you to be clear on the outcome you seek, the critical facts you need most and how you would create dialogue if you had less time.

How can you turn your next presentation into an interactive dialogue?

- David Grossman

Dialogue Vs Speech: From Paralysis by Presentation (and PPT) to Dialogue That Dazzles

From The I-Ching to 2012 - Terrance Mckenna's Astonishing Theory And The Singular Event For Mankind

Recently passed philosopher, scientist (and some may say, eccentric) Terrance McKenna was a complex man with a complex theory that ended in a simple statement: December of 2012 will be a time that we will never forget.

After intensely studying the I-Ching, the Ancient Chinese Oracle known as the "book of changes," (some say with the assistance of psychoactive plants in the Amazon) he began to see patterns. The I-Ching is composed of 64 hexagrams, which are made up of six levels each of alternating horizontal bars and dots. If you line them up and stack them so that they are within a perfect square, you start to see a movement within the shapes.


He decided to create a linear model beginning in time with the era that the I-Ching was created in China and continuing to the present to see what patterns develop. When he input this information into a computer program, it formulated a graph with a rising and falling line, like a stock market forecast. He then noticed something astonishing. The parts of the line that were highest or lowest corresponded with times in history when new forms were developing.

When the line reached a peak, a new form would trigger the psyche of people. When the line fell into a crevasse, it aligned with a time when reality seemed to be falling apart, or there was a great event, or group of events all at once, that galvanized people. (The graph tells when, not where or what happens.)

You can see by the graph that important things happen in peaks and in troughs, both. My personal theory is that the peaks are when the lights go on and someone embodies this by creating some new form (which may not be able to be assimilated, and therefore is feared or shunned). The low points are when the lights go out and everyone is scrambling to find the switch because nothing is recognizable. Each requires a new form to come in to existence, but for a different reason.

Following the line on the graph, we see it take its last rise around the time of Classical Greece (around 700 B.C.) and then take a steady plunge until it simply dives off the graph into infinity, ending the module. And when was this event that had not occurred ever in the history of mankind you may ask? It was 2012. December 21st of 2012 to be exact; the final moments of the Mayan Calendar, as well, a calendar which had begun 5000 years ago, ending with the same date that Terrance's module ended with.

Terrance saw this time period ending with time being compressed, over and over, from 1945 to 2012. What may we expect from this based on his calculations and the discoveries of correlations of the cycles of past events?

McKenna said in an interview with Sightings TV show that his best guess is that it is as if someone is likely to invent a time traveling machine of sorts, because it is as if it is the end of linear time. In other words, all time merges into one time. Everything becomes connected to everything else. Past, present and future become one. We could in effect be experiencing an infinite amount of evolution in a finite time.

Around 1968 there was the last peak. This coincided with a very tumultuous point in our cultural history in the USA. While the hippies frolicked and tried to create Nirvana on earth, the Vietnam War was escalated into its final death throws, and Martin Luther King's message came across amidst riots and violence until his voice was silenced. We can see that this peak provided great events that touched the psyche of a group of people and still resonates today.

As we progress in time, we experience more rapid evolutionary growth in shorter time periods. The last one we had was between that time of 1967-68 until the 1990s, which corresponded to The Dark Ages of the past. Then it cycles again from 2010 until 2012, only 64 times faster, then in 2012, 64 times faster still. In other words, we must adapt and evolve 64 times faster each cycle. (Remember what I said earlier about 64 being the number of hexagrams in the I-Ching.)

No one really knows what will happen. As the different views on this time period converge, this date of 2012 is beginning to be known in the mainstream culture. Whether taking it seriously or not, people are starting to notice. And when that happens, just like the compressed and sped up time, the attention draws energy to the date and speeds that energy toward us, creating a fait accompli.

As we are propelled closer and closer to 2012, I believe that it will be important to be able to be incredibly agile, releasing the old willingly and adapting to each quickly shifting circumstance with lightening fast decisions in the moment, decisions that come from the heart. This will ensure that we are where we need to be for our soul's best interest and that we will be there in peace.

We won't have to look at a graph, know how fast things are speeding up, or ask someone what we should be doing. We will just know. If what Terrance McKenna is saying is true, this will be a day out of time while we are still on earth, and could provide an opportunity for this life and all lifetimes for each soul on earth.

From The I-Ching to 2012 - Terrance Mckenna's Astonishing Theory And The Singular Event For Mankind

Craig Howell is a freelance writer and musician. You can hear his latest project, Mayan Days of Sound, resonant music for the soul, 20 songs for 20 Day Signs of the Mayan Calendar at Free download of an extended version of his "Chakra Tune Up".

Create Computer Games - Get Started on Creating Your Own Virtual Worlds

I’ve always loved video games, ever since I first played them on a friend’s computer in the afternoon after elementary school. There’s something almost magical about the fact that we can move images around and interact with virtual worlds, a living fantasy presented for us to interact with however we please. I’ve also always wanted to make games myself but, until recently, didn’t have the technical knowledge to do so. Now, I’m a second year software engineering student, so if I weren’t able to code a game without too many dramas there’d be something drastically wrong. But what about the common person: the person for whom the term ‘memory leak’ conjures up images of their grandfather, ‘pipeline’ is where the water flows, and ‘blitting’ is unheard of? Well, everyone can get in on the game creation process, and you don’t even need to learn ‘real’ programming to do so.

So where do games start? With an idea. Games, like all fiction, require an idea to be successful. Sure, in the same way you can just sit down and write a story without foresight, you can jump on in and slap a game together. However, unless you get ridiculously lucky, the best works are usually the ones that have been well thought out beforehand.


There are two methods of planning a project. You can start from a known technological standpoint and build your project on top of that or you can just go for the design, add as many features and ideas as you like, and then remove the ones that you can’t use when you’ve decided on the technology you’re going to implement the game with. In general, the second type is probably the best one to go with when designing games. When you’re first starting out however, the first option will save you many headaches.

So, for a first game you’re going to want a pretty simple idea. Don’t get me wrong, crazy-go-nuts game ideas are fantastic, and there should be more of them out there, but you’re not going to be able to create a real world simulator with fifty billion virtual people all interacting real time with your actions having a butterfly effect on the future of the virtual universe when it’s just your first game. Really. Many people try it; none that I know of have succeeded. Imitation is the best way to start out. Simple games such as ‘Space Invaders’, ‘Tetris’, ‘Pacman’ or even ‘Pong’ are great places to start. All are largely simple to create but have some inherent challenges. ‘Pacman’ for example, requires path finding for the ghosts. I recommend that you start even simpler than that for your very first attempt. ‘Space Invaders’ is a nice point to jump in. You can make a simple, complete game without much effort and it’s almost infinitely extensible.

If you’re stuck for an idea, pick a genre that you enjoy. Do you love adventure games such as ‘Monkey Island’, ‘Grim Fandango’, ‘Space Quest’, ‘King’s Quest’ etc.? Design one of those. Are you into fighting games like ‘Street Fighter’, ‘Tekken’, ‘Soul Calibur’, ‘Mortal Kombat’ and so on? Come up with an idea for that. Do you like first person shooters such as ‘Quake’, ‘Half Life’ or ‘Doom’? I don’t recommend it as a first project, but you can always give it a go. Feel free to be as generic as you like, this is a learning experience after all.

Now that you have your idea it’s time to flesh it out. Don’t worry about the technology or the fact that you may not know how to actually implement a game just yet, just grab yourself some paper and a pencil and go crazy with ideas. Describe the main characters, game play, goals, interactions, story, and key mappings, anything you can think of. Make sure you have enough detail so that someone can read through the notes and play through the game in their head with relative accuracy. Changing game design during the coding process is almost always a bad idea. Once it’s set, it should remain set until the tweaking phase (I’ll go into this more later) or you’re likely to enter ‘development hell’, where the project goes on and on; more and more work is done with less and less outcome.

At the end of this period of your game creation, you should have the following:

- A written outline of the game’s characters and possibly a sketch or two (be they space ships, yellow circles, cars or the prince of the dark kingdom of Falgour, you need to know who or what the player will be and who they will compete against)

- A written outline of the story (if there is one, this isn’t too vital for ‘Space Invaders’ or ‘Tetris’, but for ‘Uber Quest: An Adventure of Awesomeness’ it’s a really good idea)

- A description of game play, written or storyboarded. Storyboards are visual representations of ideas. Draw your characters in actions, with arrows showing the flow of action and short written descriptions detailing the events occurring in your image (because some of us aren’t fantastic artists and our images can be a little… open to interpretation…)

Now that you have a fleshed out idea, it’s time to work out how this will all get put together. If you’ve gotten to this point and are worried that you’re going to have to spend years learning complex programming languages in order to implement your idea, fear not! Others have already done the hard yards for you. There are many RAD (Rapid Application Development) Tools available for game creation, a number of which are available for free online. Some of them still require you to learn a ‘scripting language’ (a simplified programming language made for a specific task) but in general this isn’t too complicated or involved. I’ve compiled a brief list of some of these I have found at the end of the article. The free ones are listed first, organized by game genre.

Well, that should be enough to get you started in the creation of your game. The most important thing to remember once you’ve gotten this far is that you need to complete your game. Many people start a project and then lose interest and it fails, or they keep moving on to one new project after another without finishing anything. Start small, build a working (if simple) game that is, above all else, complete. When you get to this stage you will always have a huge number of things that you wish to change, fix etc. but you’ll get a great feeling from knowing that it is, in its way, finished.

From this point, you can start the tweaking phase. Play your game a few times and ask others to do the same. Take note of what isn’t fun or could be better and change things here. At this stage, it is more important than ever to keep backups of previous versions so that if a change doesn’t work you can go back and try something different without losing any of your work. It is at this point that you can add all new features, improve graphics and sounds, whatever you please, safe in the knowledge that you’re working on a solid foundation.

When you’re happy with your game, why not share it with the world? There are many cheap or free places out there for you to host your files on and then you can jump on link lists and forums and let everyone know about your creation. Well, I hope that this has been a helpful introduction into the art of creating games. It’s a great deal of fun, and can open whole new avenues of creative expression for you to explore. Jump in and have fun!


General Game Creation:
(Tools that allow easy creation of many different game types)
Game Maker:

Adventure Games:
(Games such as Monkey Island, King’s Quest, Space Quest etc.)
Adventure Game Studio: []
3D Adventure Studio:
ADRIFT (for text adventures):

Role Playing Games (RPGs):
(Games such as Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Diablo)
RPG Toolit:

Fighting Games:
(Games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Soul Calibur etc.)
MUGEN (unfortunately the site is largely in French):

Side-Scrolling Games:
(Games such as the 2D Mario Games, Sonic the Hedgehog, Double Dragon etc.)
The Scrolling Game Development Kit:

There are many others available as well. One particularly useful site for finding game creation tools is:

Also of note, although not freeware, are the excellent game creation tools available by Clickteam at: []
Klik and Play and The Games Factory in particular are the programs to have a look at and download the free demos of.

If you really want to do things right and program the game yourself, there are some excellent programming resources available at the following locations:

Java Game Programming:

Visual Basic Game Programming:

C++ Game Programming:

General Information:

Create Computer Games - Get Started on Creating Your Own Virtual Worlds

Daniel Punch M6.Net Daniel Punch is a university student learning how to make a living through having fun.


Hold on to your hat, you are about to take an incredible ride!! If used properly, imagination is one of the greatest tools that you can use. In your imagination, anything is possible and there is absolutely nothing that cannot be imagined. The fantasy book authors, who have spent hours in fantasy places, creating every detail and every aspect, have imagined some of the greatest and wildest places in fiction. All kinds of characters,
people, and creatures have been created to inhabit these fictional places.

Whole kingdoms and whole planets have been invented for you to explore. Movies, plays, books, television shows, media events, stage shows, theme parks, dvds,
audio cassettes, board games, electronic games, puzzles,
toys, and sometimes a combination of several of these have
all been vividly imagined and created in every detail.
When you enter into these kingdoms through the
author's guidance, you also explore them through your
imagination, so that no two experiences are exactly alike.


You can use your imagination for great adventures, great
encounters, fantastic stories, love stories, poetry,
building a special house or special property, designing or
inventing something that has never been done before, or
making something that already exists even better. From
the tiniest piece of intricate machinery, to the most
colossal awesome machine, it was first imagined in someone's
mind. She or he believed in that vision enough to figure out how to make it a reality and then she or he worked diligently
until her or his imagination was taking place in the earthly realm.
Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, and electricity.

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Charles Drew
found a way to preserve and store blood, and he created
the world's first blood bank.
Frederick McKinley Jones invented a way to add sound to
movies, which revolutionized the movie industry; he also
created cooling units for trucks and trains to keep food
cool in transportation. All through their own imagination
and work that went on before them. They imagined something in their minds first and they worked diligently to bring that imagination into the physical realm. They
were not deterred because it didn't work the first or second
or even third time; the whole process, or the end product,
was pictured very clearly in their minds.

Harry Potter was a
character invented and nurtured in one woman's mind, now she
has written several books about him and there have been
several movies created about that one character and all his adventures.
Imagination lets you fly above the trees and soar
out over the water. It allows you to go further than is possible or ever dreamed of before. You can talk with kings and queens, you can go into the past or the
future, you can speak in foreign languages, or you can
invent a language. You can create brand new colors,
you can go to another planet, or down under the water.

Your imagination can be bright, big, dark or
foreboding. Where there is light there is dark, where there is up there is down, male and female, good and evil.

Everything has a dimension and substance in your
imagination. Try it yourself and see
where it takes you. Allow yourself a rich and
active imagination. But don't get stuck in the
fearsome side of your imagination; if you created it in
your mind you can un-create it too, and you can create
good and positive protectors in your mind to take care
of you. You can create a new picture in your mind to
replace a piece of imagination that may have scared you.
You can change the focus and change the outcome all with
a thought. You don't have to settle for the same thing in
your mind all the time; you can change your thoughts
at any time. You can create the life that you imagine,
right now, with your thoughts and actions. Every new
thought can progress you towards your dreams.

The world is wide open for you, my dear. Just imagine
what you can do, where you can go, who you can meet, and
then enjoy the journey.


Yoga Kat--aka Katheryn Hoban is a yoga teacher and Reiki Master Teacher with twelve years experience. She teaches children's yoga ages 3-6, and Adults privately in NJ. She is the author of the book -Masters of Consciousness—A Guide Book for the Cosmic Traveler. She has created a children's affirmation CD (ages 3-6) and an affirmation CD for adults. Yoga Kat is available for speaking or writing and can be reached at or 201 970-9340 and sign up for our newsletter and See me reading from my book on youtube

Successful Organizations -- Five Keys to a Successful Organization

Many companies long to learn the secret to success. While business has many critical aspects - from vision to strategic planning to customer service - the one that is often given the least attention, yet can be the most costly, is people.

Your people have the ability to drive customers to you or away from you. To make work fun and simple, or miserable and riffled with issues. They can cause problems or save time and money with their creative solutions. What's a company to do?


Here are 5 keys to make your Organization Successful:

1. Hire the right people - when it comes to hiring, many organizations miss the mark by:

  • Failing to identify and agree upon the position requirements
  • Neglecting to plan
  • Asking illegal questions
  • Asking few follow-up or clarifying questions
  • Succumbing to the pressure to fill the position
  • Letting individual biases and stereotypes get in the way

2. Give them the tools to do a good job - Put yourself in your employees' shoes. Would you be able to do a better job if:

  • You had a faster computer?
  • There was a file cabinet for pertinent documents?
  • The printer/copier was closer to your desk?
  • You had a database program to track customers?
  • There were bins to organize inventory parts?
  • You had some help developing a report to track tasks?
  • The supplies weren't locked up and you didn't have to requisition every paperclip?

3. Provide them with positive, constructive feedback - many companies have a formal performance review process, but rarely use it. Constructive feedback is one of the best ways to grow a company! People want to know:

  • Know they are doing a good job.
  • Understand what and how they should improve.
  • Understand how they affect company success.
  • Know how they can affect their status and pay.
  • Know how they can get ahead in the company.
  • Be heard and appreciated for their efforts.
  • Have open dialogue with their managers.
  • Have input into their goals.

4. Develop them - Keep in mind, companies do not grow; companies are not entities that can grow by themselves. A company can improve productivity, gain new customers, capture new markets, acquire new technology, increase efficiencies, develop creative approaches, increase profitability, etc., but only through one prime ingredient - it's people. Invent in their continued learning and they will help the company grow.

5. Reward them - How do you reward your people for doing a good job? Most would say money, right? Yes, people want to make a good living and be well paid for the job they do. That's a given. But money is only part of the equation! Different things motivate different people, learn what is important to your people and reward them appropriately.

Keep in mind - the number one reason employees leave their jobs is due to a poor boss. They stay because of good leadership that recognizes the needs of the people, and provides praise and recognition.

Remember, companies don't change and grow. . . people do! So be sure to reward and recognize the behaviors you want to see. Catch people in the act of doing things right and reward them on the spot with a heartfelt "thank you"!

Successful Organizations -- Five Keys to a Successful Organization

Sue E. Thomas, president of Managing Asset Potential (M-A-P, LLC), has over 25 years of business experience, 17 years of equine experience and 15 years of Human Resource Management. She possesses an in-depth knowledge of human interaction and team dynamics. She has extensive skills in organizational development, leadership development, facilitation and executive coaching.

For more information visit us at

Creative Cleaning Business Names

The name of your cleaning business will make up a large part of the perceptions that customers have about your brand. It will eventually become one of the most valuable assets that your company has, representing the sum total of all the goodwill that you build up over the years. The process of naming a cleaning business is indeed something that you should take very seriously.

One approach to naming a business is to give people a clear idea about what a business does so that people immediately know what a company can do for them. Other experts believe that this approach is too limiting and that as you may want to change the direction of your company in the future you should go for something a little more creative. abstract and versatile. Including the word 'cleaning' in a name is a good idea but you wouldn't want to describe the services that you offer to precisely in the name as you might discontinue that particular service at some point in time.


Using the owners name or the area where the business operates in as part of the business name, while seemingly adding a nice touch can also be limiting and inappropriate as your business evolves.

Depending on your budget you could even approach an expert in naming businesses to come up with something creative and effective for you. The naming decision is worthy of some expert attention as so many entrepreneurs regret their selection further down the road. Maybe business owners shouldn't name their own business when someone a little more objective and with more business experience could do a much better job.

A name should be reasonably short, distinct and memorable, separating a business from the crowd. Use strong words that command attention. Stay away from overused words like 'Global' or 'Best'.

Try out a few of your favorites on friends and family. Ask them what they think of your top choices and see if they can remember them the next day. Make sure that they can pronounce them correctly too.

Make sure that your selection is not already in use by another cleaning business. Check online and also do a database search at your city or county clerks office. You might also want to check to see if there is a suitable domain name as you will undoubtedly set up a website for your cleaning business at some point. Most importantly, you, as the business owner have to like the name. It has to inspire you, instill confidence in you and allow you to envision your success.

A name forms an important part of a companies overall branding strategy and is one of the factors contributing to overall success. Changing a cleaning business name in the future would cause a loss of brand power and would result in a serious inconvenience and expense. You should do everything that you can to get the name right first time round.

Creative Cleaning Business Names

To compare some of the top cleaning business startup guides visit - Starting a Cleaning Business

Fantasy Play

A Child's work

Every parent wants to see their kid excel at what they do. As parents, we spend time reading to them, helping them learn the alphabet, teaching them math, and enrolling them in the very best schools possible. While all of these thing are important, Vivian Gussin Paley suggest that children's work is to play! Vivian, who has been teaching kindergarten and nursery for thirty seven years, has studied children develop as they play fantasy with other children. (Fantasy play is...) Vivian suggests that children who play fantasy learn skills that will stay with them through out their lives.



Have you ever taken the time to watch children pretend to battle with a dragon, dance like a ballerina, act like a character from their favorite book? Have you noticed how creative they become and how quickly they jump from story to story? Paley states that "children are intoxicated by the seemingly endless supply of plots available just for the thinking. Making up stories is the skill most admired by other children, who do not doubt the value of characters who jump higher than the moon during school time. ... The mind that has been freely associating with playful imagery is primed to tackle new ideas. Fantasy play, rather than being a distraction, helps children achieve the goal of having an open mind, whether in the service of further storytelling or in formal lessons." How can an open mind and a good imagination help with formal lessons? Take for example learning a physics concept. If you can visualize the concept, then the concept is easier to remember and understand. While those concepts that are to abstract to visualize, are difficult to understand and soon will be forgotten. A vivid imagination can help a child conquer many difficult subject such as chemistry, physics, and even math.


Growing up is an exciting and scary venture. Consider a child's first day of school. A soon-to-be kindergardener may ask himself, "Is the teacher going to be nice?" Or "Will I be able make friends that will play with me. These are just a few question that kindergardeners might ask themselves. Paley recounts a story of a boy named Elliot with these same fears. The day before Elliot goes to school, he tells his mother a story of a boy who sees his new teacher and runs away out of fear. Later that evening he retells his story and than acts it out with his sister. After telling and act out his story he seemed ok with the idea of going to school. As children tell and act out their story, they have an incredible ability to work through the problem on their own.


Another wonderful benefit of fantasy play is it's ability to teach children how to communicate with other children. Communication is a skill that will be important through out everyone life. Vivian asked mentors of a head start program what aspect of classroom practice concerns them the most. They responded " Conversation! We don't hear good conversations. There are mostly one-line questions and answers, but the teachers don't simply converse with the children. And they don't encourage children to talk to one another,either." Fantasy play starts with one person ideas and than it snowballs as other children had in their own little twists. As they change the story line they learn how to communicate with other and how to work with other ideas. Sound like a great way to teach children how to communicate with their friends. Vivian states that "the need to tell one another a story exerts a tremendous pull among children, powerful enough to overcome shyness and the fear of the unknown."

Fantasy play has many more benefits, and we as parents, need to help our children in their work of fantasy play

Fantasy Play

Cameron Scott is owner of Invent A Tent and a children's play tent enthusiast. Invent A Tent is a competitor of cranium super fort.

Outdoor Gas Grill For Backyard Cooking

Cooking at your lawn can really be fun, remember those days when your Dad will just pull the grill he invented from metal scraps and make barbeques or grilled some burgers for your dinner? It was surely awesome, spending the night with your whole family and friends, and cooking and having fun just outside you house at the same time. Now, people own sophisticated kitchen items and equipments, from elaborate ovens, gas grills, and gas range. Some people even invest big amount of money to beauty their patio, and installing some cooking equipments their.

Some kitchen equipments now are even well-designed with more sophisticated and stylish fave and features that you would think you are inside a model-house or kitchen from five star hotels. If you think your patio is perfectly capable of being transformed into a beautiful outdoor kitchen, then it is better for you to know some of the basic equipments you should have for your patio. Patio's can be a perfect place to put up an outdoor kitchen, for places like this are usually durable enough to support the weight of the kitchen and the equipments you want to install into without even doing any structural modifications.


If you are planning to use your deck, then make sure it is sturdy enough to hold heavy equipments like outdoor ovens and gas grills. If you think its not sturdy enough, then you might just consider doing some extra modifications for it.

In putting up an outdoor kitchen, the cooking place should be near from the house itself, so you won't need to make long steps just to prepare the food, cook and make the presentation. You have to consider the accessibility of the place and of the utility lines, as the more work you need to be done, the more hassle you would have.

In putting up your outdoor kitchen, it is important to arrange the place and cooking equipments for your cooking convenience, like gas grill. There are two types of grill available in the market right now, like gas grill or charcoal.

Outdoor Gas Grill For Backyard Cooking

The Author is an expert in article writing and has done a lot of research online and offline. Come visit his latest websites on Brinkman Gas Grill and Outdoor Pizza Oven

Free Energy Device Suppression

With all of the gadgets and inventions that have been created in the last 20 years, you would think our world would have already made the big "Turn Around" from consuming fossil fuels, to incorporating more renewable sources of energy. It's not "Rocket Science" anymore. The thought of safely sending a man to the moon and back over 35 years ago should tell us something. We have the technology to make the change, and we had it back then.

It does seem like changes are slowly being made though. The hybrid car has worked its way into our everyday world, and that helps a little. But you would think that we would be much farther along than that. The use of coal to fuel our power generating plants really hasn't changed much. Even though saving the planet from the effects of global warming and "Going Green" are huge movements these days, you still don't see some of the best alternative energy devices and inventions put into mainstream use.


You'll see the occasional company pop up that can install solar panels and wind generators, and can get your whole home to a point where you have no electric bill. But the cost is usually too high for most people to even think about. And the return on investment can be 25 or 30 years.

It's the "Big Money Interests" and the principals of the oil industry that are putting the brakes on the use of alternate energy devices. If these people cannot control the energy and meter it, then they cannot make money! And because of the way these people "Do Business" and the tactics that are employed to keep free energy from exposure to the masses, most of these devices will never get past "Experimental Stages". Think about it. Every time you see or hear about a device that could eliminate gasoline or electricity, it always becomes a "Do-It-Yourself" project. Anybody that tries to take something that creates "Free Energy" to market, it suddenly gets hushed.

Lately there has been some cost reduction in materials the "Do-It-Yourselfer" would need to build a system that could power a whole house. The complete plans, drawings and parts list can be downloaded from researched internet sources.

Free Energy Device Suppression

Find renewable energy solutions on the authors interesting Blog page "Free Energy Site" Promoting Free Energy and Exposing Suppression