Cheap Mechanical Gaming Keyboards

Comparison – Pros and Cons

Back when the first PCs rolled out from Apple and IBM most computers had mechanical keyboards. IBM's Model M keyboard, which feels like it was built to survive a nuclear blast, has even become popular once again. By touch, you can feel that a key has triggered long before you press the key all the way down. With a simple adapter, you can attach one of these behemoth's to a modern PC without much trouble. If you prefer a new keyboard, there are many on the market from cheap to expensive and everywhere in-between.

What can you expect from a mechanical keyboard, as opposed to a membrane type? If you're like your gaming gear to have a quick response, and what gamer doesn't? Then you might want to add a mechanical keyboard to your arsenal of computer gear. A mechanical keyboard has a very precise and short keypress. The tactile feedback on whether or not your key has indeed been pressed can be useful in gaming where milliseconds count. It also rewards you with a satisfying mechanical "click" not only tactile but audible. Now, to some, that click can be annoying, esp. While you're frantically pressing macro keys during an intense moment in your game. However, most people find it quite satisfying, even helpful to their game.

Many gamers never return to membrane type keyboards with their somewhat muddy and silent keys. The quality of membrane keyboards can sometimes be lower since that is why they are made … to save money. One advantage of membrane type keyboards is that they are often more water resistant than mechanical keys. Overall, there is something about even the cheaper mechanical keyboards that make them feel better for gaming in most cases.

What makes a mechanical keyboard different?

On a conventional membrane keyboard, beneath the keys are plastic membranes which connect the circuits linking your key and your keyboard electronics before transmitting out the keypress to your PC. These are very economical to produce and therefore the membrane keyboard has become standard for modern PC gear.

On a mechanical keyboard, each key is directly attached to an electronic switch which instantly transmits the signal as soon as it's pushed to your machine. This differs from the membrane keyboard, in that it usually requires pushing the key all the way down before it making a complete circuit, then transmits the signal. The mechanical switch requires less distance before the switch is engaged and the signal sent resulting in tangible feedback upon keypress.

Compra online la Camisetas de fútbol! En JD encontrarás las del FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, la selección de España y equipos internacionales. by Wes Gray

What’s the Most Popular Sport in the World?

A lot has been written on this subject and the question has never been definitely determined.

The problem is how to define popular. Analysts have based their assessments on various criteria such as most watched, most played, most talked about, most revenue-generating, largest television audience, number of stadia and facilities worldwide, tournaments held and merchandise sold. Because so many criteria have been used numerous lists of the most popular sports have been published. However the problem is made easier by the fact that soccer is often on top no matter what the criteria used.

A survey in 2001 by the International Football Federation (FIFA) shows that more than 240 million people play the sport in over 200 countries across the globe.

Soccer is older than most other games. Its origin goes back 3000 years to ancient China where a game was played with a ball of animal skins stuffed with hair or feathers which was kicked between poles 10 meters high and used for military training. Evidence from other ancient societies Greek, Mayan, and Egyptian show that kicking games like soccer were played in those cultures. The modern game as we know it began in 19th century England and the London Football Association was started in 1863 which established the first set of rules.

Soccer spread very easily. It began in a country known for its culture and systems and for ownership of an empire and it was easily exportable.

Today, soccer is the highest paying professional team sport. The prize money for winning the 2010 World Cup was $30 million (World’s Most Popular Sport- Most Popular Sports.net). The World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event; 715.1 million people watched the final of the 2006 World Cup in Germany (The Real Truth: World Cup: Why Soccer Is So Popular Around The World by Cliff Potter, July 10, 2010).

The game is played in a team format and each team has 11 players. The idea is that a team tries to score goals by kicking the ball between the goalposts of the opponent through a combination of passing and dribbling. Pushing, shoving or defending by causing opponents to fall is a foul. In the end the team who scores more goals wins.

Soccer is very popular because it has certain attractions that appeal to both men and women, young and old:

First, it’s simplicity is appealing. All you need to play is a ball. There are no money barriers and it can be played on any surface, on the neighbourhood street, the beach or in the park. It offers hope to kids particularly in developing countries to use as a stepping stone to a better life. They can play in a sport their heroes play which increases the game’s popularity.

Second, soccer is a team sport. As much as 22 people can play in one game. It helps to promote team spirit and unite people around a common purpose.

Soccer also creates team rivalries and passion. Soccer has some of the most intense international rivalries such as between Argentina and Brazil, England and Germany and the US and Mexico, and intense Derbies such as between Boca Juniors and River Plate in Argentina, Manchester City and Manchester United in England, and Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain.

Third, soccer stimulates national pride. It’s a dream to play for your country and people take more pride in their country when the national team succeeds. For example in Colombia when the national team plays both sides in the civil war lay down arms for 90 minutes and cheer on their team. On the other hand this pride can be taken to the other extreme so in 1969 El Salvador and Honduras went to war over a soccer game (called the soccer war).

Fourth, few countries have another viable sport to rival soccer.

Lastly, soccer is a good investment if you can get a team that goes far. That’s why $5 billion are spent by European clubs to buy the best talent available (Why Is Soccer Not Popular In The US? By Steve McCarthy, March 23, 2009). The purpose is to win trophies which in turn brings in big prize money.

There are different types of soccer i.e. futsal or indoor soccer and beach soccer which help to broaden its appeal. And there is women’s soccer which has expanded since the 1990’s and also has World Cup competitions.

It is also interesting to mention that in most lists of the most popular sports cricket often ranks second. This is surprising since it is only played in the British Commonwealth countries mainly, Australia, England, New Zealand, West Indies, India and Pakistan.

A lot has been written on the reasons why soccer has not become more popular in the US. In my opinion American sports fans are already preoccupied with their own sports like baseball, basketball and American football so there is no more room for another competing sport.

Despite the success of soccer as a world sport it has not been without its problems:

In recent years FIFA has been hit by allegations of bribery, corruption scandals and resignations. The most notable are allegations against some top officials for wrongdoing during World Cup 2018 and 2022 bidding campaigns.

Secondly, soccer has been taken over by commercialization. Recently there has been an inflow of money from rich businessmen in East Europe, America and the Middle East buying up top clubs and top players. The desire to win and make money has become the main objective with the attendant problems associated with the use of performance enhancement drugs.

Third, Europol (a European law enforcement agency) recently found evidence of match-fixing in more than 380 matches including the Champions League and World Cup qualifiers between 2008 and 2011. Over 300 more matches are under investigation, most from outside Europe.

Lastly, the good name of soccer is increasingly being damaged by racism and racial abuse between players or from fans directed at players.

Added to this is the long standing problem of soccer violence not only between rival fans but last week festivities by Paris St.Germain fans in Paris celebrating their team’s triumph in the league was marred by outbursts of violence.

In conclusion, soccer has come a long way since it was first invented and found to provide much entertainment for the millions of fans around the world. But the essence of the game is different from those days. Today the game has become big business. It’s losing its authenticity and eventually may lose its popularity. Then soccer will no longer be «King».

Victor A. Dixon

May 20, 2013

Puedes comprar todas las camisetas oficiales de fútbol en futbolmania, la tienda de las mejores Camisetas de fútbol – Devolución gratis. by Victor A Dixon

Living in The Gambia

SUMMARY

I enjoy traveling around West Africa, especially around culturally rich regions blending nature with modern infrastructural developments. Both my air and road travels around this ECOWAS subregion in the last 15 years has been both instructive and enriching for me. I have been culturally immersed with diversity in languages, religion, culture, food, architecture, climate, economic life, flora and fauna.

The knowledge acquired, cannot be quantified in monetary terms, and i will recommend this educational tours to our youths to enable them appreciate and tolerate other cultures, thus reducing conflicts and disputes among neighboring countries. Somewhere else, i have written and held several seminars on working and living in Ghana about 11 years ago.

Today, the success story of Ghana is evident to all and this country Ghana, has emerged as one of the best economies in the subregion. Again, i am introducing another emerging great economy to you, The Gambia.

Before the whole world flood here, and you’ll be left out, why not take my advise seriously and invest, work, live or holiday in this beautiful country to experience what I’m talking about? I love this peaceful country blessed with hospitable people. Gambians welcome you with natural inspiring smiles. The Gambia is bounded round by an historical river, rich in natural resources of sea foods, animals and healing powers. Welcome to The Gambia, the smiling coast of West Africa.

From the natural beauty of Makasutu Village, historical sites of Kunta Kinteh village, James Island, Kachikally Crocodile pool, Kanilai Farm, and so many other sites to the beaches and people, you will hardly want to leave. Little wonder, there are so many repeat tourists coming to The Gambia for the past 10-15 years that I’ve met. They come from all over Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa. At the beach, the beauty of the Sea, the sand and sun will remind you of Mother Africa.

How about the investment climate, very favorable and investor friendly.With a stable economy with a single digit inflation rate and currency exchange of US$1.0= GMD26 (As at 9th April, 2010). The Gambia is a multicultural country with a lot of immigrants from West Africa, Europe, America, Middle East and Asia permanently living as investors, working with several NGOs, some retired investors while many others are engaged in importation businesses and owned several shopping malls.The Gambia is home to investors, volunteers, professionals pursuing their career, and holiday makers who has made this peaceful country their destination. Welcome to The Gambia, where there is no discrimination based on religion, creed, color, race, gender, social status, disability and with zero tolerance to corruption. Read on! Alsamadeh!

MARKET

The major markets are in Banjul, Serrekunda and Brikama. Here, you can shop for staple foods like fish, meat, vegetables, clothings, jeweleries and fashion accessories. The locals welcome people with natural smiles after exchanging the religious greetings: «Asalamalekun», meaning, peace be unto you. Traditionally, Gambian women go to market daily to buy what to cook.They can be seen with the plastic baskets with holders thronging to the busy markets to shop for fresh fish, meat, vegetables and take time to greet each other asking after each others’ families, relations and get updated about current social events and other women gossips. Some of the elites, however, prefer to shop in shopping malls around Kairaba Avenue, and buy foods in large quantities to store at home.

Mini-markets, or what some call supermarkets are all over the Greater Banjul area competing with the traditional markets. There are also the neighborhood shops, called «Fulah Shops», owned mostly by Mauritanian citizens and in some cases by Guineans. This is the place to get the locally made bread called, «Tapalapa». This is usually a long banana shaped clay oven baked bread that is usually transported on bicycles by the suppliers early in the morning, mid-day and sunset time. I prefer buying this, when fresh, it’s soft and more appealing than the stale hardened and uninviting ones. A full one goes for D5 and the half is D2.50. The bread is usually sold with a nice spread of butter, mayonnaises, egg, potato and spiced with jumbo or Maggi sauce depending on the buyer’s preferences.

There is also «Senfu», which has a crumb nature and much cheaper, being sold for D3 for a full roll. However, i noticed the «Senfu» is not as filling as the «Tapalapa» that can keep me going for the whole day, like a bowl of «Fufu», which is the energiser for most Nigerians, Ghanaians and Sierra- Leoneans in The Gambia. The local «Fufu» unlike the ones found in Ghana and Nigeria are made from «Saddam Rice», as it is called locally, by milling it into powder and cooked into a solid paste in a pot. The most popular lunch meal, among Gambians, is the jollof rice, locally referred to as » Benechin». Different types of stew are prepared to eat the rice meal like»Plasas», «Super ganja», «Damoda»,etc. I enjoy the Gambia breakfast meal of «Thura Girthe», which is very rich in protein. This is a mixture of well pounded rice cooked with milled groundnut and eaten with a spread of yogurt «Sour Milk».

Gambians eat together. Small groups of between 5-8 people are usually seen eating from the same bowl, and yet, when a visitor appears, he or she is beakoned to still join them and share out of it. This is the true love, i’m yet to see anywhere. If you think there is no free meal anywhere, you’re wrong; come to The Gambia! This explain the reason for very low or non-existent crime rate. At least, a lunch meal is guaranteed for anyone living in The Gambia. Food is shared, no one goes home hungry. The women also waste a lot of food by always preparing a lot expecting visitors to join them when serving their meals. They package the rice meals in large wide bowls with a cover and wrap it in a traditional manner with cloth, that will secure the food from spilling and carry to their husbands at their respective working places for them to eat with colleagues. Sometimes, they go travel long distances, to deliver the foods, like a family living in Lamin and the husband working in Serrekunda.

WORK HOURS

The official working hours is 8am- 4pm from Monday to Thursday. Friday is half day. Most of Gambians are Muslims, and they go for the Friday Special prayers in the afternoon. Although, the «African time» concept is still prevalent among the people, this is common with the government workers, the private sector is better. Most serious business appointments start from 9am, even though, they are scheduled for 8am.

The major reason sometimes for arriving at work late, can be as a result of unavailability of commercial vehicles to transport workers to their respective places of work. Even, at places of work, Gambians do not forget to take their Chinese herbal tea called » Atire».

GAME OF FOOTBALL

A first time visitor, to The Gambia will think the game of football has it’s origin from here, because of the love and passion attached to this game. There are quite a number of playgrounds that are never kept idle because of the teeming youths that religiously train and play daily matches, especially in the evenings after work or school. Similarly, on weekends, first thing in the morning, you will notice everyone exercising or playing the game they love most; football.

The discussions of most of these youths that constitute half of the country’s population is centered on the European matches. Teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan and other big teams have passionate fans in The Gambia.

There are many Football Viewing centers that are making a fortune showing the live matches to most Gambian. Although, some of these youths might not know the capital of Nigeria, they often tell me it’s Lagos, but they certainly know all the European Club Managers, first line ups and transfers of these key players, not to talk about the latest scores in the premiership or championship.

The Gambia’s national team, called the «Scorpion» is adored and you dare not say anything bad against this team in order not to incur the wrath of my football lovers. A loss in game when «Scorpions» play, will turn the entire country into a grave yard, «a mourning period». But with a win; the Brazilian samba dancers will envy the dance steps of both the young boys and girls singing: «ho, ho ho ho, ha,ha,ha,ha..haleyomii». Therefore, to make friends with Gambians is so easy, just pick up a football topic!

BEACHES

The climatic conditions of The Gambia is slightly different from other ECOWAS countries. There is only one cycle of rainfall which starts around June and ends around October. It is usually hot during the raining periods, unlike other countries that experience cold periods.

The Hamattan period starts from November to February. However, the weather experiences erratic changes sometimes. The beaches are clean and provide succor to visiting tourists that want to experience the beauty of the sun, the sea and the sand of The Gambia.

There are several beaches to visit. From Banjul beach to Palma Rima, Senegambia and up to Sanyang. There are so many private beaches along this line. Most white tourists called «Toubabs» are usually welcome at these beaches that have attractive traditional bars with natural juice, canned drinks, barbecue and special packages for visitors.

The menace of «bumsters» have been curtailed and there are tourist police patrolling most of the busy beaches to deter the «unsolicited friends». The beaches are besieged by almost all Gambians during festive periods or during major musical concerts or shows.

FESTIVE PERIODS

A visitor arriving The Gambia around Easter or Christmas will think all Gambians are Christians, with the celebration and partying. Similarly, around the Muslim festivals of «Koriteh or Tobaski» will give one the impression that there is no single Christian in town.

This is the beauty and diversity of the Gambian hospitality and tolerance of other religions in The Gambia. The people enjoy good music. The local artists are adored, some of whom are Jalibah Kuyateh, Titi Kololi, Freakie Joe, Asan Njie, Olugander and Sambou to mention a few.

The women, both young and old, enjoy dancing. The very physical dances of jumping and kicking the air is common and i often wonder where the women get the extra energy and strength from. Some young men that are not used to these dances, dare not challenge these women in a dancing competition, if they do not want to be hospitalized.

The entertainment industry is therefore very vibrant. Most people relax by watching Nigerian, Senegalese and Ghanaian home videos. There are several video rental shops to pick the latest Nigerian films from. Most of the banks and hotels show foreign channels like DSTV, CNN, AlJAZEERA, EUROSPORT etc.

PAID WORK IN THE GAMBIA

Except for ECOWAS nationals, that are allowed to work freely in some key government sectors like Education and Judiciary, other nationals are only allowed to work as expatriate and have to go through a scrutiny and get approval from the immigration department, before they can be permitted to work with the government.

However, investors are allowed to bring in their work force, provided they abide by the immigration laws of obtaining a work/residential permit. Openings exist all year round for qualified teachers in Senior secondary schools all over the country.

Most of the vacancies are usually filled by Nigerians, Ghanaians, Senegalese, Sierra-Leoneans, Liberians and a handful of other ECOWAS nationals. Openings also exist for lecturers in University of The Gambia, several professional training institutes and other tertiary institutes like Management Development Institute (MDI), Gambia College and Gambia Technical Training Institute (G.T.T.I).

Although, the private institutes remuneration is higher than the government pay scale. Most of the secondary schools in the provinces are in need of teachers, most teachers rather prefer to transfer to the urban cities leaving the rural villages without qualified teaching force.

Government subsidized schools remuneration package for non-Gambian teachers are between D3,500-D4,000 per shift (Morning or afternoon) depending on the entry level experience and qualification. The private schools pay between D4,500-D10,000, depending on the school and experience of the teacher.

Most schools prefer teachers that have gathered «Gambian experience», meaning, they must have taught in The Gambia for some years to understand the system. Combining both shifts means more income. Most government schools prefer to pay full salary for the morning shift and half salary for the afternoon shift. There are other several opportunities of income earning, by organizing study classes for the students after close of school by some teachers. Most teachers often change school to those paying more, and every term witnesses a mass drift of teachers around.

The coveted schools are: Marina International, SBEC, Zenith, SOS, Scanaid and West African International. Linguistics and sciences are the preferred subjects often in high demand. English language, English Literature, Mathematics, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agric Science, Applied Electricity etc, are «hot cake» subjects for most schools.

ECOWAS qualified teachers (M.Sc, B.Sc & HND holders in the subjects listed above) are usually being employed in secondary schools in The Gambia.

Other professionals needed to work in the private sectors are:

1. Lawyers with LL.b degree that have successfully completed Law school and called to Bar to work as

Magistrates/Judges with the Ministry of Justice.

2. Professional Graphic & Website Designers.

3. Professional Advertisers.

4. Desktop & Laptop Repair Technicians.

5. Automobile Technicians.

6. Theater Arts & Dramatic artists.

7. Film Directors & Producers.

8. Professional Actors & Actresses.

9. Radio & T.V Programme Presenters.

10. Fish Breeding & Farming

11. Aquarium Making & Gold Fish Rearing.

12. Leadership Development Trainers.

13. Trainers in unique skills & vocations.

14. Cottage Industry set-up trainers ( Body creams, soaps, cartons, shoe polish etc.)

The financial industry has witnessed a phenomenal growth with addition of more banks joining the league recently, bringing the total number of banks to fourteen in The Gambia. Most of these Nigerian banks are opening up branches and will need more staff.

Although, it is far cheaper to hire the locals than expatriate by the banks, because of the special tax paid for not hiring Gambians. The same rule applies to the Hotel and Tourism industry. The Non Governmental Organizations, NGOs are allowed to bring in their personnel.

Volunteers are also welcome in The Gambia. Volunteers can have a cultural immersion and gain international experience in this peaceful country. For holiday makers, i will recommend visiting this small but unique country for those in search of a Peaceful, Affordable and Memorable African Retreat (PAMAR!)

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

1. ECOWAS CITIZENS

The government welcome investment in all sectors, special attention is, however, given to Agriculture because of the importance of food security to any nation. Other sectors like Real Estate & Properties, Mining Industry, Hotel & Tourism, Health, Education, Manufacturing and Agro- allied Sectors are key areas to go into and get government incentive, in tax relief and total support.

ECOWAS citizens enjoy free movement of persons and goods within the 16 countries block, the required capital needed to re-locate to the Gambia to work, live, invest or holiday is far less than what is required to settle down in other ECOWAS countries. With the electricity tariffs coming down (thanks to the government initiative), NAWEC, the electricity company is doing her best to guarantee stable supply of electricity and many businesses solely rely on this stable electricity supply.

Incidences of armed robbery attack are very rare. I have not noticed or witness or hear about armed robbery attacks in the last six years. I only read in one of the newspapers, one or two times, about such attacks in the provinces some few years ago. People move about without fear of molestation or attack. Petty mobile phone theft are usually common.

The residential houses are affordable, and rents of one to three months advance payments, are demanded. The people are warm and hospitable. For as little as D500 per month, a room can be rented around the busy areas like Brikama, Latrikunda, Lamin,Tabokoto, Wellingara and Coastal road areas.

The 2-bed room apartments with all the conveniences goes for between D1,500-D2,500 per month in these areas depending on the finished taste and proximity to the busy highways. ECOWAS citizens can enter and settle in the country with opportunities to start small businesses.

For these wise residents in the country, there are several businesses to choose from and do effortlessly in this investment friendly country. Anyone coming to The Gambia for the first time, must first of all plan and prepare, knowing what to do and where to stay and having adequate information about the culture and business climate.

2. WORLDWIDE INVESTORS ( MEDIUM/ LARGE SCALE BUSINESSES)

The specific areas, wise investors, can rush into to invest presently, from our detailed research findings are:

A) Setting up a private University with residential campus to attract all ECOWAS citizens.

B) Eateries like MacDonald’s, Chicken George, Mr. Briggs, Sweet Sensation, Tantalizers, TFC, etc

C) Botanical Garden/ Love Garden around the Tourist areas.

D) Building low Cost Homes to be sold or rented out to people.

E) Ground nut processing factory.

F) Feed Mill for Poultry, Rabbitry and Turkey Production.

G) Cashew Processing Factory (CNS Oil, brake oil, glue, rubber,electrical wires etc).

H) Natural Juice canning factory ( Fruits like mangoes, orange, lime etc abound).

I) Fresh Flower production and export.

J) Fish Canning/ Food packaging for export.

There are other 90 businesses we have surveyed to be potential instant money earners for wise investors to take on. Kindly request for a detailed project profile on this. The Gambia Investment Promotion and Free Zones Agency, (GIPFZA) welcome investors with unique offers of tax relief, government support and non-bureaucratic processing of necessary documents to allow for quick set-up and investment in The Gambia.

To have a fair idea of the business climate, i recommend that all potential investors read the latest business directory (The Gambia Business Directory).

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT & BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

The Gambia, though small, but has a robust economy with fourteen commercial banks, four GSM companies, a good number of airlines plying the subregion and the outside world. There are more than five daily newspapers, around eight radio stations and many hotels of international standards including the 5-star Sheraton Hotel.

The major roads from the airport to most busy commercial centers like Kairaba, Brufut, West Field, Senegambia, Brikama, Latrikunda and Banjul are all tarred with well lighted street lights. Clean, fresh and treated pipe borne water is available to most homes 24hrs uninterrupted.

Communication and internet services are quite cheaper than most other countries. The cost of starting a business in The Gambia is far cheaper both in the short term and long term. The real estate business is enjoying a great boom with 30% return yearly on investments, and the Meltdown phenomenon is not easily noticeable in The Gambia.

The Gambia is a tourist destination and repeated visitors are common in this wonderful and peace loving smiling coast of The Gambia. Although, The Gambia is a tax based economy, the government makes substantial earnings from Tourism and exportation of agricultural commodities like Groundnut, Fishes, Cotton and solid minerals.

It is mandatory for every resident to have a TIN number(Tax Identification Number) before a bank account can be opened. New buildings are coming up daily and it is common sight,to see most of the property owners advertising their phone contacts for those interested in renting or leasing these properties from high rise buildings in Senegambia axis, Kairaba, Fajara, West Field, Tallinding, Tabokoto, Abuko, Lamin, Yundum etc.

Gambians in diaspora are rushing home to invest in this high yielding property sector. A visitor that last visited the country a year ago, will notice a remarkable difference in this infrastructural developments. The Gambia is a clean country, especially with the introduction of the monthly cleaning exercises, called «SETSETAL», which is a special cleaning day for everybody on the last Saturday of the month between the hours of 8-1pm and thereafter there is free movement.

Municipal officials go around to ensure the wastes are properly disposed and ensure compliance to the law, that all shops and businesses most be closed and no movement of commercial vehicles, until the end of the cleaning exercise.

Health wise, it is safe to live in The Gambia, because the health delivery system is very efficient and well equipped with the best medical personnel in The world. There are various health centers, well spread around the country with ambulances standing by to quickly evacuate emergencies to Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital, RVTH, Banjul where complicated cases are usually taken.

Visitors coming for the first time, therefore, are advised to take the appropriate vaccinations recommended. ECOWAS citizens must take vaccinations against yellow fever, meningitis, Polio etc and ensure these are stamped on their Yellow Card, this is even taken more seriously, when traveling by road through Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal to The Gambia. Not having a valid Yellow Card could cost you a fortune in fines you’ll be asked to Pay!

Medical services is free to Gambians, except the registration card which is D5 only. ECOWAS citizens are, however, required to pay for cost of treatment and hospitalization, depending on the treatment. Tourist visiting The Gambia are advised to have a Travel Insurance when visiting

Transportation within the country is affordable. Moving from one location to another is quite easy. There are three categories of commercial road transportation. One, is the commercial Bus, that only allow maximum of three passengers on a row which is convenient, unlike four on a row in several other countries. This type of buses go around the major destinations like Banjul to Serrekunda (D6), Banjul to Tabokoto (D10), Banjul to Brikama (D15), Serrekunda to Senegambia (D5) etc.

The second category is the yellow and green painted taxis that take people for D5 a drop or chartered services for most tourists and locals, called «Town Trip». The last category, are the green painted and branded «Tourist Taxis» for tourists from and to the airport, hotel areas, most beaches and historical sites for new visitors. They are more expensive than the yellow painted ones.

Except when it is very important, first time visitors are, however, encouraged to avoid going out around the rush hours, like 7-8am and 4-6pm, especially when commuters are going to or returning from work. From Tabokoto, Lamin, West field, Serrekunda and Brikama in the morning to Banjul and returning back home in the evening is always very hectic and expensive to take a taxi. The bus-stops are usually congested and the traffic chaotic around these periods.

There are many well organized tour operators with luxurious air conditioned buses to pick from and to the airport all visitors and tourist that arrange their visits through them. They also partner with most hotels on tours to historical sites and around the cities.

There area ferry services available to transport people across the River Gambia. From Barra to Banjul is D25 only. Visitors can come in to the country either by land through The Gambian border with Senegal at Hamdallah, or from Guinea and Cassamace, Senegal through Basse. By air is through the only airport at Yundum. The Banjul International Airport, one of the best in the subregion with the longest run-way and modern radial facilities installed.

The airport is not always busy and travelers should always inform someone to pick them at the airport, especially during the weekends when commercial activities are low. However, tourist taxis are available at any time for between D500-D800 depending on the distance, usually between 15-30km from the airport.

There is a Bureau de Change at the airport to change money from other currencies like Euro, dollars, pounds and CFA to Dalaisi. For Visa Card carriers, there is ECO Bank ATM at the airport. Bank PHB and Trust bank also have their ATMs at the airport.

On arrival in the country, when you hear «Nagadef?», meaning how are you, just answer «Jamarek», meaning i’m fine. After a hand shake, say «Jerejef», meaning thank you.

Jerejef, Jarama, Baraka (meaning thank you in 3 different local languages).

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English Football League Predictions

The big kick-off is upon us again and those experts in the know from the world of TV and press have been busy telling us how it all ends, even before it has begun! As usual fixed odds in focus have joined in via their e-zine service Tipped at the Post.

In the Premiership, although Liverpool have spent big, they are not quite there yet and consequently are likely to fall short of Man Utd and Chelsea again. The Blues will be keen to regain their crown, but United still appear to have the edge. Arsenal are perhaps, one season away from being genuine challengers again; however, in Van Persie they do have a player capable giving the likes of Rooney, Ronaldo, Gerrard and Drogba a run for their money, with regards to player of the season. Spurs are getting closer to the big 4, but they are still not close enough and are more likely to be battling for the UEFA spots with Portsmouth, Villa, West Ham and Newcastle.

The likes of Reading, Everton, Sunderland and maybe surprisingly Derby can all make mid-table finishes. Most people will have the Rams as certainties to make an instant return to the Championship, but in Billy Davies they have a talented manager capable of keeping their heads above water. At the bottom Blackburn and Man City can stay out of trouble – just; with the rest in a real battle. Wigan have signed a lot of players, but too many of them have a lot to prove and Middlesbrough – with some un-inspiring signings – could join them in the bottom two. Of the remaining 3 teams, Bolton might struggle to cope post Allardyce and slip out at the death, leaving Birmingham and Fulham breathing huge sighs of relief.

Charlton, with a good manager and plenty of cash, are more than capable of jumping straight back up from the Championship and taking Wolves along with them. Last season will have been a good experience for the black country outfit. Sheff U have an impressive forward line, but defence is a worry and the play-off’s look a more likely option together with Watford, Cardiff and one from Norwich, Coventry and Southampton. West Brom may well suffer a Wembley hang over and just miss out. Mid-table is probably the best Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich and Palace; with Leicester, Hull and QPR improving on last term, but not significantly. Colchester did remarkably well in their first year up, but are likely to find it a great deal tougher second time around and Preston are likely to suffer from the loss of David Nugent. Bristol City and Blackpool are more than capable of consolidating, but the others look vulnerable. Barnsley can just about survive, likewise Plymouth; leaving Stoke Burnley and Scunthorpe fighting the drop.

In League One, Forest are everybody’s tip for promotion, but they look destined to miss out again. They have brought in Neil Lennon, but it’s a very tough division and you have to wonder about his legs. Tipped at the Post’s two for automatic promotion are Doncaster and Millwall. The Yorkshire club are very ambitious and James Hayter is a cracking signing at that level. The Lions young side finished well and Willie Donachie will have them spot on. Huddersfield, Oldham and Luton are taken to fill the play-off places with Forest; just ahead of Carlisle, Swansea, Yeovil and Southend. Bristol Rovers can have a brighter season than many are suggesting, as can Hartlepool and Walsall, all 3 coming up together. Brighton, Tranmere, Crewe and Port Vale seem set for pretty uninspiring seasons; and Gillingham and Leyton Orient look certain to be bottom half material. Leeds need some luck with their appeal against the 15 point penalty, otherwise they could slip straight through. Swindon can stay up at their expense, but Bournemouth, Northampton and Cheltenham look to have it all on to avoid the drop.

In League Two Paul Ince can get one over Fergie – Darren that is! MKD can just pip Peterborough at the top, with Shrewsbury joining them. Notts County, Darlington and Rotherham are taken to make the play-off’s along with surprise packages Bury. Chesterfield, Bradford and Rochdale should all go close; with Hereford, Wycombe and Mansfield not too far behind. Lincoln have probably missed their chances over the past 5 years and Terry Butcher will not find life easy at Brentford. The two newcomers can hold their own, but the rest might struggle with Chester and Accrington Stanley making way for the return of Torquay and Oxford, who are taken to make their League comebacks.

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Losing More Weight Faster With Low Carb Diet Food

Just as the name suggests, a low carb diet includes foods that are low in carbohydrates and naturally high in proteins. There are plenty of options available when deciding to eat a low carb diet. Fish, poultry, many cheeses and salad greens are all low carb favorites that will satisfy your hunger and help you avoid carbohydrates.

The greatest advantage of eating these foods is that you will find yourself losing weight in a short amount of time. By reducing or eliminating the carbohydrates you consume you will begin to shed extra pounds without sacrificing taste and satisfaction in the foods you eat.

Plan Your Meals Ahead

Start by planning your food selections ahead of time in order to keep variety in your diet, and to avoid eating the same foods repeatedly. For most dieters, the main objective is weight loss, which is the reason for consuming diet food low in carbohydrates. Additionally, some people who have been diagnosed with hyperinsulinemia will do well on this diet. These foods help regulate blood pressure, stabilize high triglycerides and have been found to help people suffering from certain anxiety disorders.

Some people with digestive problems or others who are trapped in binge eating patterns will benefit from a low carb diet which can offer a solution to all of these maladies. They aim to reduce or eliminate white flour and sugar, both culprits in so many eating and digestive problems.

Some fruits, although not all, are excluded when doing these diets. Certain dieters need just 25 grams of carbs every day, while others require even less. Usually, low carb diets include seafood, eggs, meat, some cheeses, some fat, most fruits and low starch vegetables.

You can find a large selection of low carbohydrate diet recipes that are easy and enjoyable. Included in your personal diet food options are the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Zone Diet.

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4 Reasons to Make and Use the Versatile Oland Tool

Woodworking tool suppliers have risen to the challenge of the woodturner’s desire for more and better tools. Most woodturners are self taught with the result that beginners are not sure what tools to use and can become convinced that a new tool will greatly increase their woodturning ability. Quickly they realize that a great deal of money can be spent on tools and in fact many turners own tools with a value greater than that of their wood lathe itself. The Oland tool is a change from this position with its value and versatility.

There are 4 things to consider when thinking of adding this tool to your woodturning tool arsenal.

1. Typically the Oland tool is made in the home shop. This a member of the family of tools known an inserted tip tool. Quite simply, these are designed to be easy to make and maintain in the home shop. A shaft is drilled and tapped to hold a high speed steel cutting tip, the shaft is inserted into a handle turned by the woodturner, and the tip is placed in the shaft. Once sharpened it is ready to go for a fraction of the cost of most commercial tools.

2. Tools wear out with use and especially with sharpening. Every time a tool is used, a bit of steel is ground away. Woodturners tend to sharpen much more often than most other woodworkers and use grinders instead of honing stones. Grinders remove more steel than do stones and the tools wear away faster than regular chisels. The Oland tool uses a cutting tip that lasts well and is easily replaced for one or two dollars. Plus it is not necessary to get used to a tool that steadily becomes shorter and then learn to use a newly purchased tool of regular length. It is no great chore, but can be a bit off putting for some.

3. Woodturners use gouges for spindles and bowls. These gouges are of different shape, sharpening style, and generally length. In particular, beginners usually start off with spindles and spindle gouges almost always part of beginner woodturning sets of tools. Soon the beginner wants to try faceplate turning and usually bowls. The spindle gouges are not suited for bowls and bowl gouges often cost more than the whole beginner set. Oland tools may be used for either spindles or faceplate work and are ideally suited for bowl turning and at a cost of less than most single gouges let alone a set.

4. Tips for the Oland tool are easily replaced and may be ground in an infinite variety of shapes and angles. The most familiar is a side view of forty-five degrees and a top view of the tip slightly rounded. However it is simple to have tips with sharper angles for speciality cuts, the edges brought back for cuts similar to an Irish grind on a bowl gouge or less angle for scraping the inside of a hollow form. Individual, inexpensive cutting tips with various grinds are easily kept and quickly exchanged in a few seconds.

The Oland tool is a great addition to the woodturner’s tool arsenal. It is easy to make and simple to maintain as well as being a versatile cutting tool for both spindles and bowls. Woodturners can use it to make a great craft even more enjoyable.

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Devil May Cry 3 Review

Developed by Capcom, which is famous for such Titles as Resident Evil, Street Fighter and my personal favourite Megaman. The first Devil May Cry was released in 2001 and ever since has gained a huge reputation as the sword & gun kick ass bloodlust demon slaying death defying game.

Now that the third in the DMC series is out the game has had time to be fine tuned and ways have been found to take out the annoying bits for example the camera angle has been fixed, a wider selection of moves has been put in and your demon slaying arsenal has been upgraded. Unlike the second DMC this game was hugely successful as you only have one character and the awesome story line has been told from before the begging, that’s right this game is the prequel to them all, but is also the best of them all.

At the start you see the infamous Dante sitting in his chair eating pizza when he his visited by some bald guy who delivers a message from Dante’s brother Vergil, next thing you know Dante’s attack by demons and starts to kick some serious ass in a cut scene before letting you have a try at it. If you didn’t already know Dante is a half human half demon person, at first he looks like an ordinary guy but when you see him fight he aint so ordinary any more. About half way through the game you’ll get to see Dante turn into a demon for a short time and also use this ability in battle.

The battles in the game are virtually tireless as just as you think your getting bored another weapon is handed to you and you can unleash yet another devastating combo. The storyline is pretty unbelievable as well what could be better than Dante wanting to stop his Evil twin brother Vergil from opening the gate into the demon world and absorbing their fathers demon powers?

Boydies Overall Score – 10/10

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The History of Aintree Racecourse

Aintree Racecourse is one of the most famous racecourses in the world and is located on the A59 at Ormskirk Road, Aintree (Anglo-Saxon for 'one tree'), in the northern suburbs of Liverpool, just 6 miles from the city center.

The racecourse occupies more than 250 acres and has two left-handed chasing circuits. The rectangular Mildmay Course is the first and was opened in 1953. It is nearly one and a half miles in length, with sharp turns and steeplechase fences.

The Grand National course isn't as sharp as the Mildmay course but is much more demanding which is why it is known as one of the toughest races in the world, one which all horse trainers aspire to gain entry to. The Grand National course is far longer than the Mildmay, at almost two and a quarter miles, and is completely flat, with fences that have a drop on the landing side lower than the take-off side.

William Lynn is the man responsible for bringing racing to the village of Aintree. Lynn was the landlord of the Waterloo Hotel and started racing on the land which he leased from the Earl of Sefton. He started to build the grand stand in 1829 and after five months the first meeting for flat races was held.

Hurdle racing didn't begin until 1836, when the first Liverpool Grand Steeplechase was held at Aintree on February 29th. This race is considered by some as being the first ever Grand National and was won by The Duke, ridden by Captain Martin Becher.

However, the more documented Liverpool Grand Steeplechase of 1839 is more commonly identified as the first Grand National, and was won by Lottery, ridden by Jem Mason. The race of 1839 was a four miler, across country, and the rule was that 'no rider to open a gate or ride through a gateway, or more than 100 yards along any road, footpath or driftway'.

The racecourse was handed over to the War Office in 1915, and after the 1940 National it was again requisitioned by the military. Racing resumed in 1946 and in 1949 the racecourse was bought by Messrs Topham Ltd; who had leased the land for almost a century; from the Earl of Sefton for £ 275,000. Mirabel Topham, an enterprising soul, went on to create the Mildmay course and a motor-racing circuit which held the European Grand Prix and five British Grand Prix.

Bill Davies bought the racecourse in 1973 for £ 3 million and in 1975 Ladbrokes saved the Grand National, which was in danger of dying out, by managing and administering it for seven years at a yearly rent of £ 250,000. In 1983 the racecourse was deemed secure when the Jockey Club bought it.

Aintree has come a long way from the days when it could only be accessed by rail or paddle boat. Now, improved rail and network links means that fans can travel by any means to reach the wonderful racecourse. There is even a six acre enclosure for landing by helicopter on site or the alternative option of John Lennon airport twenty minutes drive away, meaning that those both home and abroad can come share in the magnificent Aintree festivities.

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The Industrial Revolution and Rochdale

Rochdale is a market town that is located in the Pennines. It is just ten miles from Manchester and forms part of the metropolitan Borough of Rochdale. Rochdale was originally an ecclesiastical parish and did not receive a Royal charter until 1251. It quickly became prominent as a center for woolen trade in northern England and was known for its many wealthy merchants.

In the 19th century Rochdale was an important mill town. It was a boomtown from the Industrial Revolution. Much of Rochdales success can be linked to the Rochdale canal, which is one of the largest broad canals in the UK. This canal made it possible to easily transport wool, cotton and coal to and form the surrounding areas. Rochdale maintained its prominence in the textile industry until the 20th century.

Rochdale town hall originally had a beautiful and tall clock tower. That tower was burnt down just 12 years after construction finished and since has been replaced by a much shorter tower. The traditional emblems of Rochdale can be found on the front of town hall. The widest bridge in Europe in front of the town hall as this is the path of the Roch River.

Rochdale is easy to reach due to its proximity to Manchester as well as the many railways that provide transportation. The George Stephenson Summit Railway was just reopened in 2003. It is possible to reach Manchester and Leeds taking the Manchester to Rochdale via Oldham Lane line as well as the Manchester Metrolink tram. Many of the Manchester public transportation has been extended to the center of Rochdale with completion estimated for 2012.

If you are looking for a fun afternoon then Rochdale is home to two professional sports teams, the Rochdale hornets and the Rochdale AFC. These two rugby teams have been playing in Rochdale since the beginning of the 1900s. The Rochdale Hornets is actually one of twenty-two teams that were part of the first every Northern rugby Football Union formed in 1895, therefore the Hornets are one of the world’s first rugby teams.

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A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Player – Robert Pires

His complete name is Robert Emmanuel Pires. He was born on 29 October 1973 in Reims. Pires is of Portuguese and Spanish parentage. His playing position in the field is as a winger/attacking midfielder. Pires could play all across the midfield or in a place to support the striker(s) although he usually takes the role on the left wing. He is a soccer player of French who at present takes part for Villarreal of the Spanish club.

In club level, he experienced playing for senior clubs such as Metz in 1992-1998, Marseille in 1998-2000, Arsenal in 2000-2006, and Villarreal in 2006 -.

He was member of the 1998 World Cup of France and Euro 2000 winning team. He had to fail to spot the 2002 World Cup because of an injury he maintained playing on behalf of Arsenal club. Pires played in 1996 Olympic Games and Euro 2004 as well. Pires collected 79 caps for his national team and made 14 goals. At the 2001 Confederations Cup Pires also gained the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe awards in Korea/Japan.

During his career as a professional soccer player, Robert Pires collected many honors and achievements. Some of them are 1996 League Cup Winner (Metz), 1998 World Cup Winner (France), 1999 UEFA Cup Runner-up (Marseille), 2000 European Championships Winner (France), 2001 FA Cup Runner-up (Arsenal), 2001 Confederation Cup Winner (France), 2002 Premier League Winner (Arsenal), 2003 FA Cup Winner (Arsenal), 2003 Confederation Cup Winner (France), 2004 Premier League Winner (Arsenal), 2005 FA Cup Winner (Arsenal), 2006 Champions League Runner-up (Arsenal).

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