Modern American Animation

This article describes the history of animation in the United States of America since the late 80’s until the early twenty-first century. This period is often called the renaissance of American animation, during which many large American entertainment companies reform and reinvigorate its animation department after the decline suffered in the 60, 70 and 80.

From 1988 to the present

Disney’s return

In the mid 80’s, the American animation industry fell into disgrace. Toy commercials masquerading as entertainment programs cartoons dominated the evening and the morning of Saturday, and the only experiment was carried out by independent developers. Even animated films were projected in theaters at times, but the glory of the old days was gone. Even the animation giant Disney, which had fought a corporate acquisition in the 80’s, was considering abandoning the production of animated feature films.

Both the enthusiastic audience, critics, and the animators were taken by surprise when the long-awaited renaissance of animation began in the oldest and most conservative corporation, Disney.

Disney had a drastic change in the 80, its new chief Michael Eisner the company relocated to his feet, returning to its roots and revitalizing their studies. With great fanfare, in 1988 the study worked with Steven Spielberg to produce the animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film was a success, and gave to the animation industry awaited push for that time. Roger Rabbit not only earned him a pile of money for Disney, but also sparked the popularity of the classic animation that continues to this day. The history of animation suddenly became an object of study (and their fans). Several directors, business legend, such as Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng were suddenly in the spotlight, being acclaimed after decades of being virtually ignored by audiences and industry professionals.

Disney continued the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with “The Little Mermaid”, the first of a series of animated films that seemed to recapture the magic of the golden age of Walt Disney himself. The studio invested heavily in new technology of computer animation for such purposes, but could do super-productions like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin,” which attracted audiences that were not seen in decades, and Once provided a visual feast that has not been exceeded since the 40. The peak of the hit Disney was in 1994 when his film “The Lion King” exceeded all expectations of the study to become one of the most successful of all time. Even later Disney films as “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Hercules,” “Mulan” and “Tarzan” was blockbusters.

Disney has also made inroads into the neglected area of the animated TV series. With the success of shows like “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”, “The Adventures of the Gummi Bears Disney” and “Duck adventures”, the “new” Disney made his mark in TV pictures. Through association and repetition, Disney can provide high quality animation for TV. A series of large diffusion was conducted in mid-nineties, with some critics designating “Gargoyles” as the Disney animation project for TV’s most ambitious and best done artistically. The soundtracks of each of these animated films were an important part of its success, because Disney was including in each of these projects a loud voice from the world of music, such as Elton John (The Lion King), Luis Miguel (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Ricky Martin (Hercules), Christina Aguilera (Mulan), Celine Dion (Beauty and the Beast), Ricardo Montaner (Aladin), Jon Secada (Pocahontas), among others.

Spielberg and animation

Spielberg and Bluth

While Disney gave new life to animation, Steven Spielberg was making his own way. Animation amateur life, Spielberg was also interested in making high quality animation, and worked with his rival, Don Bluth animation producer to produce “Fievel and the New World.” The box office success of this and Bluth’s next film, “In The Land”, Hollywood made him realize that Disney did not hold a monopoly on animated features. The other Hollywood studios resumed production of its own animated features, but still falling into the trap of trying to imitate Disney’s 1997 film Don Bluth, “Anastasia”, produced by Fox, is mentioned as the one launched the Fox Animation Studios and Disney’s rival, however, these studies failed to succeed after “Anastasia” and closed in 1999. Like most successful productions of Disney, “Anastasia” was attended by Thalia, who played the central theme of the soundtrack in its versions in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Spielberg and Warner Bros.

Spielberg, meanwhile, switched to TV and worked with animation studio Warner Bros. to produce “The Tiny Toon Adventures,” a high quality animated series that paid homage to the great cartoons of Termite Terrace. “The Tiny Toon Adventures” had a good rating thanks to its young viewers, which inspired the Warner Bros to resurrect his dying animation studio and once again a contender in the field of animation. The Tiny Toon Steven Spielberg were continued by presenting “Animaniacs” and “Pinky and the Brain”. The latter not only attracted new viewers to Warner Bros., but also captured the attention of viewers adolescents and adults.

Bakshi’s return

Ralph Bakshi, director of innovative animated films like “Fritz the Cat” and original “Lord of the Rings”, returned to animation after making a brief stop in the mid 80’s. In 1985, he teamed up with the young Canadian animator John Kricfalusi and the legendary British band “The Rolling Stones” to make an animated music video for “The Harlem Shuffle”, which was completed in early 1986. Although the music video did not talk much, he built a production team “Bakshi Animation” project continued with the short-lived but well received, “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse.” Bakshi & Co, worked on numerous projects at the end of the 80, but the biggest project was “Cool World: a blonde between two worlds”, which premiered in 1992. The production got out of hand and ended up being severely criticized and forgotten by almost everyone.

Outsourcing animation

The main reason for increasing the quality of American animation is the ability to outsource the heavy lifting to cheaper animation houses in the South and Southeast Asia gaining a large number of frames at low cost. The script, character design and storyboarding is done in American offices. The storyboard, models and color books are mailed abroad. Sometimes causes problems because no final product can be completed until the frames are mailed to the U.S.. Although budgets have been reduced, foreign productions houses are chosen per episode, or even per scene, depending on the amount of money available at that time. As a result there is a big difference in quality from one episode to another. This is particularly evident in shows like “Gargoyles” and “Batman”: The Animated Series where, sometimes, the characters seem completely different from one episode to the dismay of its directors.

Adult Animation

The Simpsons

In the 90’s came a new wave of animated series whose primary aim was the adults, after an absence in the genre over a decade. In 1989, “The Simpsons,” an animated short based on the “The Tracey Ullman Show,” became the first animated series in prime time since “The Flintstones” and captivated a large part of the audience. It was the first hit series for the fledgling Fox, caused little sensitivity, entering popular culture and gaining wide acceptance. In 2008, “The Simpsons” seem to show no signs of stopping, and could surpass “Gunsmoke” as the fiction program on the air longer the history of American television. In 2007 have released their first film, titled “The Simpsons: The Movie”, dubbed in Spanish and Chinese.

Ren and Stimpy

In 1991, Nickelodeon premiered “The Ren and Stimpy Show,” “Ren and Stimpy” was a quirky series run riot violated all the traditional restrictions of correct drawings of Saturday morning and instead favored the quirky style of the short the golden era. Moreover, the series creator, John Kricfalusi, who had worked as an animator during the downturn of Saturday morning, was much influenced by the classic works of Bob Clampett.

Spike & Mike

Alongside mainstream animation nineties there was a strange and experimental movement. In a short animation festival in 1989, organized by Craig Decker and Mike Gribble Spike (known as “Spike & Mike”) and originally located in San Diego. It all started with the representation of a collection of thematic short, known as the Classic Festival of Animation, in places of business meetings and trade throughout the country.

The collections were made mostly by Oscar-nominated short, works of students of the Institute of the Arts in California and experimental work of the National Film Board of Canada. The first festival included works by John Lasseter, Nick Park and Mike Judge. Judge’s work, “Frog Baseball” marked the first appearance of their franchise characters Beavis and Butthead.

However, the festival gradually became a film program called Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation and turned into an underground movement of adult humor and subject matter.

Adult Swim

In 1994, Cartoon Network gave consent to a new series called “Space Ghost” coast to coast with a particular postmodern turn, showed live interviews with celebrities, mixed with cartoon animations original “Space Ghost.” The series made the leap with the production of Hanna-Barbera, now owned by Cartoon Network. It was the beginning of a common practice used old Hanna-Barbera characters for new productions, as the surreal “Underwater Laboratory 2021”, based on the cartoon short early 70’s “Sealab 2020.” Also, Harvey Birdman, attorney, on a mediocre superhero, Birdman which was originally the star of Birdman and Galaxy trio had become a lawyer. Its customers, like many of the characters in the series, came completely from old Hanna-Barbera characters.

In addition to large animation files old and cheap, independent animators also began to benefit from new digital technologies. An artist with sufficient technical skills could explore new styles and forms with much more freedom. The traditional animation skills of drawing and painting had given way to digital manipulation and aggressive use new techniques of animation.

Along with these new programs, the American audience, particularly in geographic areas influenced by fusion with the cultures of the Pacific coast, began to adopt Japanese cartoon, or anime, 80. This growing market for anime videos satisfy the public child and adolescent, with a large number of Japanese series translated into English. Initially access was limited to videos, but the anime as it became a mainstream found its way into the film department stores throughout the U.S.. As the animation occupies a different place in Japanese culture, including a range of issues not addressed by the American animation.

“Adult Swim” is a block of animation for adults that is issued at the start of primetime on Cartoon Network, leads the adult industry and has the latest technology in animation. Adult Swim, which originally aired on Sunday night in 2006 was in the air until 5:00 AM, and was broadcast every night except Friday. The series, which is produced exclusively for Adult Swim, as “The Brak Show,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Tom Goes to the Mayor”, tend to be surreal and bizarre, but also considered fresh and original. Adult Swim reissued series “Futurama” and played an important role to avoid the cancellation of “Family Guy”. In addition, it also issues numerous popular Anime series such as “FLCL”, “Lupin III” and “Inuyasha.”

Other drawings for adults

Other TV stations also experimented with animation for adults. MTV has produced several animated series especially for young and adult audiences, “Liquid Television” and “Beavis and Butthead”. Even USA Network program found a cult following with his “Duckman show”. But the adult animated series of the 90 most successful was “South Park” which premiered in 1996 as a cartoon pirate on the Internet.

The more fast-paced animation and disturbingly clandestine saw the light, the more dominant force in television animation was, led to an increasingly frenetic territory and perhaps eschatological, for example in “The Tick and Duckman.”

In 2005, adult animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi said he would work on another film, “The Last Days of Coney Island” which he would finance and produce independently.

The decline of the Saturday Morning

After spending nearly a coma for over two decades, the American animation industry experienced a sudden growth in the 90. Several new studies appeared keen to take risks, and found a large number of markets to sell their talent. Along with the animated TV series, the animation used in television commercials, video games and music videos. The small animation studios challenged “Hanna-Barbera Productions” in the market for TV animation.

In fact, Hanna-Barbera could not compete with the new varieties of animation on the market. During the time that dominated the entire spectrum of pictures of the Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera had virtually no competition, causing a deterioration in the quality of its series. In the 90’s, the study could only offer fried as “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo” and “Tom and Jerry Kids Show” to compete with “Fox Kids” and the new “WB Television Network” from Warner Bros. Hanna-Barbera stayed behind and found himself completely bought by Turner Broadcasting.

Hanna-Barbera not only had problems adapting to the changes that are spread all over the TV. The “Big Three” networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) found its loyal audience being eroded by competition from new channels, including new strains of “Cable TV” as Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Video games and movies available on video also helped change the market, to the point that for a time gave NBC cartoons altogether. The ABC was bought by Disney, and Disney turned the grill on Saturday in a series of Disney animated productions.

While the series animated in large networks seemed mediocre, the cable television cartoon achieved several successes. Nickelodeon did see light cult hits like “Doug,” “Rugrats,” “Ren and Stimpy,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “SpongeBob,” “Invader Zim” and “The Fairly OddParents.” Meanwhile, a new owner of Hanna-Barbera, Time Warner, the study focused on the creation of new drawings for the Cartoon Network. Hanna-Barbera was an influx of fresh blood and a new generation of drawings of Hanna-Barbera cartoon was born as “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Johnny Bravo”, “Cow and Chicken”, “Powerpuff Girls” and ” Courage the Cowardly Dog. “

Still, each new piece of animation was not a gold mine. The Disney animated films began to suffer in quality to late 1990, after the producer Jeff Katzenberg left the studio and team up with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen to form DreamWorks. Also, several animated films were released in the 90 trying to imitate the success of Disney, but as in the Years 1930 and 1940, the animations of 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros could not catch a considerable market segment Disney movies that had been dominant. In particular, Warner Bros, had a string of failures “Cats Do not Dance”, “The Magic Sword” and “The Iron Giant” (the latter being praised by critics and audiences, but virtually being ignored by most the public) died at the box office. Warner Bros. also tried to recreate the success of “Roger Rabbit” to “Space Jam”, an attempt to combine the popularity of Bugs Bunny with basketball superstar Michael Jordan.

In addition, the market trend of children continued during the 90’s, almost as ubiquitous as a decade earlier. Two major events dominated toy many children’s programs in the afternoons of the weekend: “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” in the mid-90 and “Pokemon” from the latter half of the 90’s to mid Years 2000. Until the animation suffered another revival in the 2000s, a great deal (and many dollars spent) continued to spend on merchandising.

The growth of computer animation

Yet another wild card is added to this crowded and competitive atmosphere with the emergence of a new wave of “Computer Animation”. The decade of the 90 experienced an exponential improvement in the use of computers to enhance animated sequences and special effects. This new form of entertainment soon dominated the world of special effects in Hollywood (the film “Terminator 2”: “The Judgement” and “Jurassic Park” included impressive computer-animated sequences), and was only a matter of time to find a film produced entirely with computers.

Once again it was Disney who led this area. Disney animators had introduced computer-generated sequences gently in his movies, as in early 1991 in “Beauty and the Beast.” A computer-generated magic carpet played a significant role in “Aladdin.” In 1995, Disney produced with Pixar “Toy Story”, the first completely computer generated film. The film was a huge success and created a new movement, other studies investigated produce their own computer-animated films (CGI).

Perhaps because it first developed as a new method of creating special effects, computer animation was not seen as a form of “children’s entertainment.” After decades as related but separate industries, the line between animation and special effects are eliminated by the popularization of computer special effects, to the extent that the use of computers in Hollywood movies has become a natural. The best special effects are often so subtle they go completely unnoticed. The winner of the Oscar for best special effects with “Forrest Gump” (1994) relied heavily on computer special effects to create the illusion of realism, to the extent that the actor Tom Hanks was seen shaking hands with U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The movie “Titanic” used computer graphics to bring each scene in three hours, which produced a level of realism that helped the film itself to become the biggest movie box office tax collection so far.

The computer animation has also made forays into television. The series of Saturday morning “ReBoot” gained much popularity among adults, this was the first of many CGI series like “Beast Wars,” “War Planets” and “Roughnecks”. The quality of computer animation has improved considerably with each new series. Many non-animated TV series (especially science fiction “Babylon 5”) invested heavily in CGI production, producing special effects of a higher quality of its predecessors could dream at a relatively low cost.

Other studies with Disney tried their luck with computer-animated films and discovered their weaknesses to the monopoly that was putting animated Disney box office successes. While DreamWorks with “Antz” and “Small Soldiers” paled in comparison with the productions of Disney-Pixar’s “Bug” and “Toy Story 2”, finally got a big hit numbers with “Shrek” in 2001. “Shrek” was a huge box office success, attracting the public on the production and mastering summer of that year, “Atlantis”. Even 20th Century Fox pulled the oil when it conducted a CGI animated film in early 2002 entitled “Ice Age”. Not all studies were successful at the box office with computer animation, Paramount with “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” released in 2001 they did so well at the box office, but received a nomination from the Academy and later found success with the television series based on the film which was awarded the following year.

But the real star of the CGI revolution seemed to be Pixar. Even before “Toy Story” The study made a name producing amazing animation shorts (his short “Tin Toy” won an Oscar) and when Disney tried to create a CGI film on its own without Pixar (“Dinosaur”) the result was notably disastrous.

Despite this success, the computer animation continues to rely on characters drawn and stylized. In 2001, living first attempt to create a world completely animated using “human actors” digital “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within,” which found a moderate critical acclaim but did good box office.

The CGI special effects increased to such an extent that in 2002 science fiction film “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” was considered by its director, George Lucas, as the first animated film that used real actors. In fact, the CGI effects have become so common that it is difficult to distinguish computer-animated real life. A growing number of films begin using completely computer created characters interact on screen with real parts, as Jar Binks in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” Gollum in “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and the main character in “Hulk.” While computer-generated characters have become acceptable actors, fully animated movies with virtual actors seem to lack a few years.

Disney seemed ready to lead the decline in hand-drawn animation, despite the box office success of “Lilo & Stitch”, the failure of its hyped summer “Treasure Planet” seemed to assure that there would be further reductions in the study of Disney animation. The loss was most damaging to Disney in 2002 when the Oscar for Best Animated Film went to the artist (by hand) by Hayao Miyazaki, “Spirited Away” Disney inflicting a second defeat followed the Academy Awards.

Disney settled all their desks and Dreamworks Animation also announced it would abandon the traditional drawn animation and focus exclusively on computer-generated productions from 2003 onwards. While frame traditional animation is likely to remain supported by the TV cartoon and TV ads in the near future. The schools of animation history believe that “the era of classic American design,” which began with the Walt Disney film “Snow White” is about to end. Others disagree, pointing a moderate success of traditionally animated film “Brother Bear” and the fact that Pixar has announced it will produce traditional animation films in their own attempt to revive this art form.

In 2004, he premiered the movie “Sky Captain” and “The world of tomorrow.” Note that the entire film was shot against a blue screen with the background completely computer generated and all were real actors. Robert Zemeckis film “Polar Express” starring Tom Hanks with five characters is done entirely with CGI animation, but uses motion capture technology to animate the characters.

In July 2005, Disney announced it would close their studies in Australia in 2006. That study, responsible for video sequels like “The Lion King III” was the last bastion of hand-Disney artists. However in 2006, Pixar creative chief John Lasseter, told Time magazine that could restore traditional animation unit of Disney, saying that “of all studies should be doing 2-D animation, it should be Disney.”

In December 2009, the last great animated film that has gathered huge profits at the box office is “Avatar” from 20th Century Fox, directed by James Cameron, has received high praise for the quality of special effects are really impressive.

Animation Awards

The animation has become so widely accepted that at the beginning of the XXI Century (2001), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduced the Oscar for best animated film. The two main rivals for the first year of this award were two CGI films: “Shrek” from DreamWorks and “Monsters Inc.” Disney-Pixar. The award was for “Shrek.” However, there were complaints that the award seemed to be geared more toward family movies to animated films, “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” was the third nominee, not the innovative and critically acclaimed adult film “Waking Life” or visually innovative “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.” Hayao Miyazaki’s critically acclaimed “Spirited Away” won in 2002 and the Disney-Pixar film “Finding Nemo” received the award in 2003.

The Annie Awards were presented at the Los Angeles branch of the International Animation Society (Association international du film d’animation or ASIFA), known as ASIFA-Hollywood, the month of February competing animation for film and TV.



Source by Ronald Newman

Looking For Dr House: Finding A Diagnostician, Part I

DIAGNOSTIC MEDICINE

So, I wanted to find House, MD (the king of diagnostic physicians on TV) in my local area. I research online to find out there is no Diagnostic Specialty. Although this seems ludicrous, I continue. My search leads me to find that most doctors believe they are diagnosticians. And they are, to some extent. Most doctors will take a history, declare that you have a cold or a bruise or a pain or worse and send you to a local specialist in the region/system of your body that is affected.

This redirection to specialists doesn’t speak to finding a doctor with diagnostic ability. Only that you are being directed to someone else whose credentials you don’t have. Shouldn’t each doctor have a diagnostic rating, if the medical system doesn’t include this as a specialty? How about a rating on a scale of 1 to 10 for level of diagnostic skill set? A peer-rated system would work well, alongside a customer rated system. Delving, deducing, concluding and having the ability to integrate and pull from vast knowledge in infection, degeneration, heredity, mental and environmental health require a special skill. So, why not have a separate specialization and definitive certification in Diagnostic Medicine? If we wait a few years, for political correctness, Internal Medicine will probably be called Diagnostic Medicine with no change in requirements.

THE DOCTOR IS IN THE PATIENT’S EMPLOY

On this search, we must start out by putting roles into perspective. WE, THE PATIENTS, are the employer, by hiring the doctor. Unfortunately, the demand for competence and diagnostic skill is higher than the supply. So, we forget our roles, for the most part, and consider ourselves lucky when the employee allows us to hire her/him. Bottom line: when we are in need of doctoring, our perspective changes and we lose focus.

Even though we usually forget, we, in the role of employer, can monitor, direct and impact the behavior of the doctor, in the role of employee, to some extent. True, each doctor delivers service in her/his own way and has the right to do so. But, we have the right to ask questions, extend our time of service if we need it, be satisfied that we have been well attended to and terminate employment of the doctor, if we are not satisfied. Hint: talk to the doctor, and don’t be shy. Doctors like to clarify.

In many cases, although doctors have taken an oath of service, they may feel the need to act pompous and ego-filled. This may be a result of their wanting to wear on their sleeve the blood, sweat, tears and coin they expended to complete medical school. It happens. It’s a natural occurrence when you learn a great deal that the pride and the skill can leak out arrogantly. It’s bad manners; it’s not always; it’s human and what’s a little insecurity among fellow humans who save lives? Bottom line, doctors, usually, do not think of themselves as YOUR employee or YOUR servant.

Because of caseloads, rising malpractice insurance costs, “allowable amount” cuts from insurance companies, increased sickness; doctors, typically, spend less time their patients because their roster has grown along with expense. Typical consumers do not pay for “exclusive” care. The concierge doctor set-up is a great option, resulting from an overstock of patients or from consumers’ dissatisfaction with five-minute-only appointments with doctors. Choosing to pay double or ten times the fee for the security of a 20-, 30- or 60-minute appointment is part of our free enterprise system. Long live it!

DOCTOR CREDENTIALS

We are told to research internists, that they are the closest thing to a diagnostician. But should we have to become customers before we do our research or in order to do our research? Should we have to pay to interview our employee? Should we have to purchase a service we know nothing about? Shouldn’t we have open online access to a central, non-fee based doctor information system where we can find all the credentials on one page, or a spec sheet, like the MSDS, (materials safety data sheet) for manufacturing?

Let’s go back to my term “doctor.” I have been using this term to mean anyone who does doctoring. I am not using the words “anyone who practices medicine” because I don’t subscribe to the word “practice,” in this usage. I want someone who already has the knowledge, not someone who needs to practice to get the knowledge.

Yes, we learn by experience, but doctors must be doing, not practicing, if I have the choice. I’m the first one to say that you can receive guru care from someone with less or different training from the doctor who got the best grades or went to the best medical school. The truth is that training dearly impacts the student, which means that someone with less formal education but passion and a brilliant teacher, can result in becoming a better-skilled doctor than the straight A-student with no passion who memorizes, so long as exams are passed and a skill test is administered.

So why are these credentials left to our research and not listed, as a general rule? Is it because, at any time, a patient can complain, and a doctor would rather have no credentials or reviews, than deal with negative reviews?

We should have full access to the primary medical school and board certification expiration date of all doctors who hang a physical or internet shingle. Strangely, these data are NOT commonly offered. Is it fear of judgment? Or is it to create a demand for this information so that service associations, often owned by doctors, can charge for the gathering of the most up-to-date information?

Should doctor information be mandatory, like nutritional labels? And, what about the diagnostic rating system? I believe in disclosing ingredients as I believe in disclosing who is a great diagnostician and what method of measurement was used to decide.

A free site I have used for researching hospitals and doctors is www.healthgrades.com. Whichever service you use, you want to make sure that the doctor you are checking is not able to pay for nice, positive comments to be placed in the comment section.

DIAGNOSTICIAN CONCLUSION

Finding a diagnostician is not easy. We have briefly touched upon the concepts of credentials, ratings, med schools, research. These issues are prerequisites to the search. It is not enough to place a suffix after your name without credentialing your suffix. If that, we could all emulate Frank AbagnaIe, Jr., who impersonated a doctor (whose life was played by Leo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can).

In the next article, we will look at common traits of a diagnostician and look at how they exist in a specialty that does not exist, Diagnostic Medicine.



Source by Diane Gold

Some Great Hospitals in Rome

Italy is an independent nation in southern Europe. Extending from the Alps to the blue waters of the Mediterranean, the nation is a boot shaped peninsula. Italy has been historically important since Roman times and millions of tourists are attracted each year to its art filled cities and ancient treasures. Healthcare in Italy is well-developed in its urban areas, though rural areas experience a shortage of medical facilities. Overall, Italy will soon become a name to be reckoned with in the field of medical services.

Rome is the capital of Italy and the seat of the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome is also the seat of a thriving film industry. The city has taken ample care to develop its medical framework to serve its residents as well as the tourists. The facilities are decent and tourists will not be left hanging in case of a medical emergency while on tour in Rome.

Most hospitals are private, but this does not necessarily mean that they offer better treatment than the public hospitals. The private are hugely comfortable, charge high rates and offer great quality beds and food compared to their public counterparts. In case you are an out-of-country visitor, it is advised that you approach the emergency wards of any hospital. You may also call the emergency services so that they can come for you in an ambulance at any hour of the day or night.

Some pharmacies stay open twenty-four hours while others have limited times of business. The pharmacies give out over the counter drugs or pills without much hassle, though it is advisable that you carry your medical history records or prescriptions with you, just as a precaution. Most hospitals have doctors and staff members who are fluent in English. The facilities are maintained according to high standards. The hospital food is of good quality and basically bread-based which appeals to American visitors.

Another appealing fact about the hospitals in Rome is that they charge very reasonable rates when compared to many facilities in US or Great Britain. The doctors and nurses are caring and will not release you till they can rest assured that you are one hundred percent all-right. Armed with the latest equipment and cutting edge medical technology, the best hospitals in Rome are Salvator Mundi International Hospital, the Rome American Hospital, Aurelia Hospital, Aventino Medical Group, Flaminio Health Center Grimaldi Medical Group, Studio Medico Internazionale, and International Medical Center. All of these hospitals also have English-speaking employees.

The Rome American Hospital: This is the most well-known hospital that Rome has to offer. The Rome American Hospital’s motto is the “Patient comes first”. Over 250 professional doctors, trained nurses manage this hospital that houses well-managed labs. It has 150 general beds and an extra 10 beds in the intensive care unit section. The Rome American hospital is most definitely the best in the business.

Aventino Medical Group: This group is a leading medical service provider. Its hospitals are all modern with quality equipment. The physicians and staff members are well-trained and dedicated to their trade. The hospital offers a number of specialties in the medical sector.

Aurelia Hospital: The Aurelia Hospital is another leading hospital in Rome that has been offering quality service for many years. It has an English-speaking staff and the doctors are trained to work according to international standards. With high quality facilities and a high-end campus, the Aurelia hospital is one center that tourists prefer.



Source by Jeffery Gulleson

John Lennon – The Misunderstood Beatle

While watching Monday night football, on an uneventful evening on December 8, 1980, I was nursing a hangover, when I heard Howard Cosell interrupt the game with a news flash. John Lennon was shot in New York City? Could that be true? It was true. Later, he was pronounced dead. I was in shock. Then my brother, Mark, telephoned me with the news. We both were John Lennon fans.

The Beatles, the fab four of the 60s, were each given character descriptions or nicknames adopted by their fans. John was the smart one, Paul was the cute one, George was the mysterious one and Ringo was the funny one.

I always felt John Lennon’s character description or nickname, should have been dubbed the “misunderstood Beatle,” because he seemed to always stir up controversy concerning his beliefs. He couldn’t quite make his comments clear, and the media didn’t help.

Take for instance, the comment he made on March 4, 1966, when he said, “the Beatles are more popular than Jesus.” What he meant was that more people would go see the Beatles, than go to church on Sunday. Which may have been true. He generalized a wee bit by laying the blame on America, when he meant England.

Lennon was interviewed for the London Evening Standard by Maureen Cleave, who was a friend, and made an off-the-cuff remark regarding religion. Lennon said, “Christianity, will go. It will vanish and shrink. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first– rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

On August 11, 1966, The Beatles held a press conference in Chicago, in order to address the growing furor.

Lennon: I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have got away with it, but I just happened to be talking to a journalist friend (Maureen Cleave), and I used the word “Beatles” as a remote thing, not as what I think–as Beatles, as those other Beatles, like other people see us. I just said they are having more influence on kids and things than anything else, including Jesus. But I said it in that way, which is the wrong way.”

Reporter: Some teenagers have repeated your statements–“I like The Beatles more than Jesus Christ.” What do you think about that?

Lennon: Well, originally I pointed out that fact in reference to England. that we meant more to kids than Jesus did, or religion at that time. I wasn’t knocking it or putting it down. I was just saying it as a fact, and it’s true more for England than here. I’m not saying that we’re better or greater, or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing, or whatever it is. I just said what I said and it was wrong. Or it was taken wrong. And now it’s all this.

Reporter: But are you prepared to apologize?

Lennon: I wasn’t saying whatever they’re saying I was saying. I’m sorry I said it really. I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. I apologize if that will make you happy. I still don’t know quite what I’ve done. I’ve tried to tell you what I did do, but if you want me to apologize, if that will make you happy, then OK, I’m sorry.

John Lennon returned to the subject later that year, when he told Look magazine that, “I believe Jesus was right, Buddha was right, and all of those people like that are right. They’re all saying the same thing–and I believe it. I believe what Jesus actually said–the basic things he laid down about love and goodness–and not what people say he said. If Jesus being more popular means more control, I don’t want that. I’d sooner they’d all follow us even if it’s just to dance and sing for the rest of their lives. If they took more interest in what Jesus–or any of them–said, if they did that, we’d all be there with them.

Although there was little reaction to his statement in England, Christians elsewhere embarked upon a massive campaign to destroy Beatle albums and other paraphernalia. The Archbishop of Boston admitted that he was probably right, but many still refused to forgive him.

I can relate to his controversial statement, because I have made similar statements, such as, when I drive by a gambling casino on a Sunday, I’ll say–“look at all those cars–try to pack them in a church parking lot.” Of course, my meaning was that gambling is more popular than Jesus. I hope that isn’t the truth–here in America. Am I in trouble for saying that?

All this didn’t bother Lennon, he continued using religious remarks in his songs, one was God, released in 1971. The lyrics are as follows:

God (words and music by John Lennon)

God is a concept

By which we measure

Our pain

I’ll say it again

God is a concept

By which we measure

Our Pain

I don’t believe in magic

I don’t believe in I-ching

I don’t believe in bible

I don’t believe in tarot

I don’t believe in Hitler

I don’t believe in Jesus

I don’t believe in Kennedy

I don’t believe in Buddha

I don’t believe in mantra

I don’t believe in Gita

I don’t believe in yoga

I don’t believe in kings

I don’t believe in Elvis

I don’t believe in Zimmerman

I don’t believe in Beatles

I just believe in me

Yoko and me

And that’s reality

The dream is over

What can I say?

The dream is over

Yesterday

I was a dream weaver

But now I’m reborn

I was the walrus

But now I’m John

And so dear friends

You just have to carry on

The dream is over

THE END

Once again, Lennon was misunderstood. He was put off by many Christians. I always understood the style of Lennon. I felt he was reaching out to question things we dared not ask. He was a buffer between reality and make believe. Some considered it threatening. I considered it harmless. Although he did say “I don’t believe in Jesus.” And he did say, “I don’t believe in bible.” Maybe he should have left them out of the song, at least to avoid controversy and save his career.. But, Lennon was Lennon, and he didn’t care. He was saying he has the freedom to say what he wants to say, or sing what he wants to sing. I’m sure it hurt his career. Paul McCartney’s career only blossomed. Not intending to leave out George and Ringo. Their careers remained stable.

I always thought a more fitting song for John Lennon would have been–Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, written and performed by a fellow musician and friend, Eric Burdon. He, also, authored a book under the same title.

In 1973, Lennon wrote and sang the song, Imagine, a very critical– but popular song. It questioned the existence of heaven and hell and no religion, too. This, too, was angered by Christians. His message was clear to me. He was simply stating, if there wasn’t any of these things he’s imagining, the world would live in peace–as one. What would there be to fight about? There would be no wars. Many wars are about religion. The song is all about imagination. He’s not a terrorist wanting to blow up the world. The lyrics are as follows:

Imagine

(words and music by John Lennon)

Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

THE END

Lennon was always the outspoken one. Some say he was a hypocrite when he preached about love and peace–not war. In 1969, he demonstrated his beliefs in his penned song, Give Peace A Chance, after his departure from The Beatles, during his solo career.

He defended many rights and causes. He was an anti-war activist. His beliefs were misconstrued and often he was taken as a socialist or communist. President Nixon wanted him deported. Lennon stood up and fought for his right to stay where he loved to be–in New York City, U.S.A. Sadly enough, it was also the place he was killed by a deranged fan.

During his solo career, Lennon wrote and sang songs of rebellion with his political views. He would socialize with antiwar leaders, such as, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, and others. Lennon and his friends organized a concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in December of 1971, dubbed the “Free John Sinclair” concert. Sinclair was a local antiwar activist who was serving ten years in the state prison for selling two joints of marijuana to an undercover cop. Lennon appeared onstage along with Phil Ochs, Stevie Wonder and other musicians, plus antiwar radical Jerry Rubin and Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers. There was 20,000 in attendance; two days after the concert, the state of Michigan released John Sinclair from prison. During this time, a song written and sung by Lennon was released, entitled John Sinclair.

In 1972, Lennon released an anti-sexism song, entitled, Woman Is The Nigger of the World, implying that as black people were discriminated against in some countries, so were women globally. The lyrics are as follows:

Woman Is The Nigger of the World

(words and music by John Lennon)

Woman is the nigger of the world

Yes she is…think about it

Woman is the nigger of the world

Think about it…do something about it

We make her paint her face and dance

If she won’t be a slave, we say that she don’t love us

If she’s real, we say she’s trying to be a man

While putting her down, we pretend that she’s above us

Woman is the nigger of the world…yes she is

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the one you’re with

Woman is the slave of the slaves

Ah, yeah…better scream about it

We make her bear and raise our children

And then we leave her flat for being a fat old mother hen

We tell her home is the only place she should be

Then we complain that she’s too unworldly to be our friend

Woman is the nigger of the world…yes she is

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the one you’re with

Woman is the slave to the slaves

Yeah…alright…hit it!

We insult her every day on TV

And wonder why she has no guts or confidence

When she’s young we kill her will to be free

While telling her not to be so smart we put her down for being so dumb

Woman is the nigger of the world

Yes she is…if you don’t believe me, take a look at the one you’re with

Woman is the slave to the slaves

Yes she is…if you don’t believe me, you better scream about it

We make her paint her face and dance

We make her paint her face and dance

We make her paint her face and dance

We make her paint her face and dance

We make her paint her face and dance

We make her paint her face and dance

THE END

On a happier note, in 1971, Lennon, also, wrote and sang the song, entitled, Happy Xmas. This became a holiday favorite. It’s questionable why he left out Christ in Christmas. But “X” is the Greek symbol of Christ.

This year marks the 26th anniversary of the death of John Lennon. His killer is still imprisoned, as he should be. The music world was robbed of this musical genius. I sure miss his works and imagination. If it weren’t for his outspoken beliefs, he may have still been with us today. It may have been what killed him. But just imagine (I wonder if you can)–then there never would have been a John Lennon.



Source by Earl Erickson

Advantages of Archery Research Bows

The bow is the most basic equipment you need to pursue archery. Choosing the best in the market may be hard and sometimes you have to rely on product reviews or expert opinions before you finally decide on a specific brand. Archery Research Bows are known for their modern designs, accuracy and durability. One of their most popular bows is the velocity. It claims to be the most revolutionary bow design in the archery market today. It was engineered for years and the developers really worked hard on every part, yes from top to bottom, to give archers the satisfaction they never had with ordinary bows. The velocity will change the way we think about compound bows. It’s compact but it offers enormous benefits to the archer. Expect blazing arrow speeds and ease of maneuverability. Mass weight is only 3.95 lbs and speed is 320-312 fps.

The AR-31 is also one of the best Archery Research Bows. It was redesigned and it’s back because customers asked for it. It was designed with the treestand hunter in mind, this bow simply proves that you don’t have to let go of performance or shootability using a short axle-to-axle bow. It’s only 31 inches and it makes use of revolutionary parallel limb geometry. It’s an all new riser design that aims to deliver fast, smooth, vibration free bow that is a breeze to shoot.

Another favorite among the Archery Research Bows is the AR-35, it is one of the lightest bows in the market if not the lightest. It is equipped with a lot of great features that every archer would surely appreciate. Features include the Hyperlite and Unibody limb pockets for exceptional support. It is light but it’s the strongest riser ever produced. You get nothing but supreme shooting performance every time. It’s fast, ultra smooth and virtually vibration fee. This bow definitely sets the standard by which other bows will be judged.



Source by Etan Calvert

Change Management – The Top Ten Blockers in Organisations

In order to effectively manage any major change in organisations, it is necessary to understand the culture of the company, and the way that culture may actively resist any changes.

There are ten major cultural components that will affect a company’s

ability to change

1. Rules and Policies

Some of the company’s rules and policies may, for example, tie staff

down to specific jobs at specific times, or mean that specific

functions have to be done on specific times, or tie staff down to

operating only within a narrow band of responsibilities. The way to

foster change here is to eliminate rules and policies that hinder the

change and create new ones that reinforce the desired way of

operating. i.e. develop and document new SOP’s.

2. Goals and Measurement

The stated company goals, and the way those goals are measured, may

mean that the company is focussed only on those goals, to the

hindrance of seeing new opportunities or developing new ways of

measuring company achievements.

To foster change the company should develop goals and measurements

that reinforce the desired changes.

3. Customs and Norms

The customs of the company may get in the way of change. “We do it

this way because we’ve always done it this way” is a standard cry in

many companies. Rigid methods may be hindering change, for example, an

over-emphasis on strict lines of reporting, or slavish reliance on

written reports and minute taking.

To foster change it may be necessary to replace old ways of doing

things that reinforce the old ways with new customs and norms. Eg

replace written reports with face-to-face meetings.

4. Training

Company training plans may only train staff in areas that reinforce

existing company ways of doing things. To foster change it may be that

the company should replace training that reinforces the old way of

doing things with new training and think about developing experiential

training that provides real time, hands on experiences with new

processes and procedures.

5. Ceremonies and Events

Areas like committee meetings, AGMs and staff meetings all have an

effect on company culture, as to any company organised events, whether

it be “team building” exercises, or just regular organised outings.

They all serve to give both staff and people outside the company a

view of “what the company is like”, a corporate image if you like. If

change is required, the company should try to put in place ceremonies

and events that reinforce the new ways, and recognise individual and

team contributions to making the changes work.

6. Management Behaviours

The company management might be tied into behavioural routines linked

with historical ways of working. To foster change a company should

publicly recognise and reward managers who change by linking promotion

and pay to the desired behaviours. ( And the opposite often applies. Companies fostering change often do not promote or pay increases to

managers who do not come on board. )

7. Rewards and Recognition

The current staff assessment schemes in a company may be leading to

rigid hierarchies, or may be fostering one area of competence over

another eg a performance management system that measures only

individual behaviour will undermine any attempts to inculcate a

culture of teamwork. A company determined to foster change should make

rewards specific to the change goals that have been set and ensure

that the performance management system recognises and rewards the

desired ways of operating and does not simply reinforce the old ways.

8. Communications

The company communications strategy, both internal to the company, and

external to clients , media and the public, may be highly resistant to

change, and may again be tied to the companies corporate image. Change

in this area can be expensive, but companies that require to make

changes will have to deliver communications in new ways to show

commitment to change. And when change is being made, it is advisory to

use multiple channels to deliver consistent messages at all stages

during the transition, before, during and after.

9. Physical environment

This is a big area where change is resisted. Staff like their “nest”

areas, and like to feel secure in their workplace. If a company is

determined to make changes, they need to pay particular attention to

this and make sure the physical environment reflects the change in a

way that makes the staff comfortable. If knowledge and information

sharing is the goal, they should get people out of offices and into

open, shared areas. If they want them to talk to their customers, they

should create ‘virtual’ offices so that people are encouraged to work

outside the office with customers.

10. Organizational structure

Rigid hierarchies can work against change, and people at the top of

the tree don’t like having the branches rattled. Many companies in the

modern business world have found this to be a hard area to make

flexible, but if operational change is to happen in a company, there

will, of necessity, need to be organisational change. The way to make

it happen is to make sure that structure reinforces the operational

changes. Combine overlapping divisions; re-organize around customers

as opposed to functions.

In summary, all the above cultural areas have to be taken into account

if change is required in a company, and they all have an effect, in

different ways in different companies, in resisting attempts at such

change.

Make sure you understand them before implementing any big decisions, otherwise you might not be in business long enough to regret it.



Source by William Meikle

What Happened In The UK In 1994?

Here are the biggest news, sport and entertainment stories of 1994…

English and Welsh people welcomed a change in the law meant that meant they could go shopping on Sundays. Since 1950 they had not been able to do so due to a law prohibiting shops opening at all on the traditionally holy day. Church groups opposed the move but both the people and the Government agreed that it was an outdated concept.

Britain’s first ever national lottery was launched to mixed reactions; some feeling that it was wrong to promote gambling and others simply loving the chance to win some easy money. The fact that a sizeable amount of money each week would be going to charities was enough to sweeten enough of the doubters though and, having got the go-ahead, the first draw was a massive success; the jackpot reaching over £7m.

Someone who won a personal lottery was the man to be given a ‘bionic’ heart. The media taking a keen interest in the pioneering operation, led by UK doctors in Cambridgeshire, which saw the world’s first battery-operated heart being implanted.

In the political world, people finally dared to hope for peace in Northern Ireland following ceasefire announcements by both the IRA and the Loyalists; the Conservatives negotiating at last seeming to have paid off. Despite that, it wasn’t a great year for John Major and company, though maybe they didn’t realize it at the time, as the little known, fresh-faced Tony Blair was brought in as the new leader of the opposing Labour Party; bringing with him talk of ‘change’ and a modernising agenda.

Sports wise in 1994, Britain missed out on the World Cup fun in the USA; the first time since 1938 that no British representatives had been at the event. Brazil won that competition, eventually overcoming Italy in the final on penalties, but much attention was still focused on Argentina’s Diego Maradona who had been banned mid-tournament after being caught taking illegal, performance-enhancing drugs. With no home-countries football matches having any importance, it was an ideal opportunity for rugby union’s 5 nations to take centre stage. Wales dominated the tournament but were prevented from sealing a ‘grandslam’ by defeat to England in their final game.

Britain’s TV screens were lit up in ’94 by two familiar faces in new guises on BBC 2. Steve Coogan’s creation of the socially-inappropriate Alan Partridge being a big hit, viewers cringing as Partridge humiliated and vilified his guests on the fictional chat show program ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’. The second BBC triumph being ‘The Fast Show’; created by Harry Enfield regular Paul Whitehouse, the program revitalised the tired sketch show format and launched a variety of catchphrases.

On the big screen, this was the year that saw Hugh Grant become a household name as a result of his starring role in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’; the same film also responsible for promoting the much loved / hated ‘Wet Wet Wet’ song ‘Love Is All Around’. The hippest movie of 1994 was Quentin Tarrantino’s gangster flick ‘Pulp Fiction’. Telling the intertwining tales of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits, this was all about violence and redemption.



Source by Mark Thomas Walters

What Is the USPS EPacket Service

In January 2013, the USPS will be increasing their rates for First Class International Mail for packages dramatically. In many cases, the rates to ship a package internationally will double. Although this may seem like very bad news to many Amazon and eBay sellers, there is some good news. The USPS is officially launching a new International Service called Commercial ePacket in the United States.

Commercial ePacket is a USPS product offered via the services of a USPS approved Pre-Qualified Wholesaler (PQW). This service seems to be very beneficial to many shippers sending lightweight low value items overseas. Amazon & eBay sellers can now take comfort in the fact that they will no longer have to prepare the documentation and required labels for exporting from the USA. The USPS PQW that you select, will take care of all the necessary documentation. In addition, all eRetailers can now track these packages on USPS.com to the 14 participating countries.

Some key features of the Commercial ePacket Service are as follows:

  • Economical eCommerce postal product with tracking and delivery confirmation
  • Lightweight low value merchandise, < 2 Kilos & < $400 value
  • Dispatched as commercial Letter-Post Packets and utilizes overseas foreign prime post network.
  • Transit time is 4-7 days
  • Postal Customs Clearance (Duties & Taxes paid by recipient)
  • Free returns on undeliverable items
  • Tracking is performed right on USPS.com
  • 14 Participating countries: Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand, Sweden, Spain. Ireland, Finland, France, Portugal, and UK.
  • Delivery scan rates of 90% on average for all countries
  • Pricing provided by a USPS approved PQW
  • Induction sites are New York, Chicago, & Los Angeles
  • Acceptance scan by USPS and delivery scan by foreign post
  • Unique Label and Barcode ID – LX item prefix
  • Electronic manifesting, labeling done by Pre-Qualified Wholesaler, & dropped off in sacks ONLY

How does ePacket work?

Customers would contact a USPS PQW in their region and speak with someone regarding how they can get started. Ideally you would want to select a PQW who has mailing capabilities in all three acceptance cities. This becomes extremely important during inclement weather and natural disasters. Using a PQW with multiple facilities located in all 3 acceptance facilities ensures that your mail can be re-routed to another acceptance center if one becomes closed or has no flights departing as we saw during Hurricane Sandy.

The PQW will walk you throught the process of setting up your labels and data capture features. Once you have all of the data capture features running, you will either send your shipments or the PQW will dispatch a vehicle to your location. Each day you will need to provide the mail you are dispatching and send a manifest electronically outlining all the customs information for each package.

Once your packages arrive at the PQW, the PQW will confirm that they have received your electronic manifest for that particulars days shipment. If the PQW does not receive your manifest they can not process your mail through the Commercial ePacket service. After receipt of your manifest the electronic information will be uploaded into the USPS system and all the labels and necessary customs documentation will be generated. The packages will then have the proper labeling and will be sacked by country of destination and delivered to the USPS designated International Service Center (ISC).

Once accepted at the USPS ISC, the sacks will be opened and every package scanned as evidence of posting and placed on the next available outbound flight for that destination country. After flight arrival, the packages will clear through customs via the Postal Customs Clearance mechanism. This ensures that your packages move quickly through the clearance process and will not be impacted by typical delays incured by the normal airfreight clearance system.

After Clearance, packages will then be entered into the PRIME network and will receive priority processing within the destination country. Customers that are waiting to receive their packages, can have confidence that they will see the tracking information directly on the USPS website. This one feature should eliminate many customer service calls that many Amazon & eBay sellers receive daily from their customers.

Once the packages make it through the postal system of the destination country, the package will be scanned as delivered by the mail carrier once it is delivered.This scanning event will then be uploaded into the USPS site and available to all who wish to monitor the progress of each shipment.

Based on my initial findings, this service seems to be an excellent offering for companies shipping 100 or more packages daily. However, some customers that are shipping less than 100 packages per day, may also be able to benefit from this service if they decide to consolidate one or two days worth of orders before dispatching. Obviously, each customer has their own idiosyncracies that may factor into when a service like Commercial ePacket becomes beneficial. However, depending upon how far you are from JFK Airport, O’hare International Airport, or Los Angeles International Airport it may become feasible to use the service daily even if you have less than 100 packages daily. For specifics regarding the service, I would contact a USPS approved PQW today.



Source by Joseph Amalfitano

Karaoke 101 – Everything You Need to Know About Karaoke

Karaoke mania is sweeping the world! Have you taken your trip up to the stage yet to belt out your favorite song to those you know and love? If not, you might just find yourself on the singing end of your nearest karaoke system very soon! So what is this karaoke, anyway? What’s the buzz about the newest karaoke player? What do you need to know to be “in the know” about this latest craze? Here are some facts, figures, karaoke lingo, and trivia you may want to know.

Karaoke is a Japanese word, made up of abbreviations of two other Japanese words. “Kara” comes from the word “karappo”, meaning empty. “Oke” comes from the word “okesutura”, meaning orchestra. So “Karaoke” literally means empty orchestra. Karaoke players play the music of the songs, without the lead vocals. So empty orchestra means you get the music without the voices.

The first karaoke system was invented in the 1970’s in Kobe, Japan, by Daisuk Inoue, a musician. He leased his karaoke player for 100 yen, and Karaoke soon became the fun thing to do.

Unfortunately, he did not get a patent for his invention, and someone else went on to patent it under a different name, “Minus-One”. As you see, his Minus-One system didn’t catch on near as well as the catchy “Karaoke”, so Daisuk still got his claim to fame. Word of Daisuk’s new machine spread, and from Japan it has now become wildly popular all across Asia, Europe, and the USA.

Perhaps karaoke players are most popular of all in Finland. Finland holds several world Karaoke records. They have more karaoke bars per capita than any other place in the world. They hold the world record for the largest amount of people singing the same karaoke song at one time: 80,000 people! What song were they singing? Hard Rock Hallelujah! Finland also holds the world record for the longest round of non-stop Karaoke singing: 240 hours!

Imagine that! Now you can use your karaoke system to come up with new world records!

Karaoke Lingo:

What’s a new craze without it’s own specialized vocabulary to go with it? Here are some karaoke words to know:

Karaoke Player – this is the karaoke machine itself. It plays karaoke songs, or music without the words. The lyrics are shown on a monitor so people can still sing the song even if they don’t know the words.

Spinning Karaoke – this is cycling on stationary bicycles while singing karaoke. What a workout!

KJ – this is the Karaoke DJ. He runs the karaoke system, and gets everyone involved. He adjusts the karaoke player to alter the key or the pitch to better match the voice range of the singer, and adds some echo, so that everyone sounds more professional.

Kamikaze Karaoke – In Kamikaze Karaoke, the KJ will choose a pitch number for you, and you have to try to sing the song in that pitch.

Hitokara – means you must sing the song alone.

Karamovie – movie video clips where they leave out the voices

Health Benefits of Karaoke:

And here is great news – karaoke singing releases endorphins! Those are the “happy hormones” that make us feel good!

In addition, karaoke singing releases stress and tension, and helps exercise the lungs. So the next time you want to head off to your local karaoke bar, you can feel good about it!

Newest Types of Karaoke Player:

Now you can get Karaoke Ipods, Karaoke Cell Phones, and DVD Player/Karaoke System combos. China has a Karaoke car. Japan, and now spreading to other countries, has Karaoke Boxes – karaoke system/sound-insulated rooms.

Latest Karaoke News:

Jackie Chan will sing the opening song for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics – KARAOKE STYLE!

Go figure. Maybe there’s something to this karaoke after all. You should try it!



Source by Christine Durham

How to Get Into Radiology School

If you’re wondering how to get into radiology school, first you must decide what area of radiology you want to work in. You could become a radiologist, which requires a premedical bachelor’s degree and an extensive doctoral program with a specialization in radiology as well as a residency program. If this academic path sounds like too much for you, you could also become a radiologic nurse, radiologist assistant or radiologic technologist. The educational requirements for these three important professions will be discussed in this article.

A radiologic technologist assists the radiologist in the operation of radiographic equipment in order to produce images of the inside of patients’ bodies, explains the procedures to patients and helps the patients get into the correct position on the examination table. Radiologic technologists may specialize in CT, MRI, ultrasound or x-ray technology, although some also have skills in multiple areas. You will need to get a high school diploma and apply to a vocational school, community college or traditional university. Most radiologic technologist jobs only require an associate’s degree, but a bachelor’s will certainly increase your career options.

Radiologist assistants are higher-level radiologic technologists who are more involved in examinations, evaluations and management of patients. In this field you will have more responsibility in tasks such as judging the quality of images and making observations. You will need a bachelor’s degree for this job, so you will need to keep your GPA up in any high school or community college courses you take and focus on subjects such as math and science. For management positions, you may also consider a master’s degree. You will need to complete an internship and get certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists as well.

You will also need a bachelor’s degree to become a radiological nurse. This job centers more on the entire care of the patient, including the emotional, mental and physical needs of the patients who are being tested or treated using radiologic equipment. Many nurses begin in pre-nursing programs at community colleges before going into a BSN program, and others start out in a traditional four-year university where they complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and prepare for the required licensing exams. 



Source by Erik R Johnson