Better Digital Photography – Taking Pictures Or Creating Pictures

When you have got a digital camera it is very cheap to take pictures. In fact it costs you nearly nothing. That’s good because you can take hundreds of pictures without worrying for the costs, and just keep a few of them.

When we take pictures we try to make the best out of the situation. We see friends in a nice or interesting situation and we snap some pictures. We visit different places and we take pictures of what we find interesting or fun, and we take pictures to have something we can show our family and friends when we come back from the visit. Nowadays more and more take pictures to put them online to make them visible to the whole world or at least to their selected friends and their family.

On vacation the pictures will be a sum of our memories to keep for decades to make the vacation even more valuable for us. You meet new people and conserve the memories on the digital files.

Some people develop a keen eye in seeing the opportunity for a picture and become good photographers by catching that special moment that will be a true pearl of their collection of photography. This is a very good talent and some of the most celebrated photographers in the world have had that ability to catch the special moment, in some cases to catch an action in a split-second of time.

On the other hand some of the best pictures aren’t just been snapped, they have been created by the photographer. Here are some ideas for creating your own super-shots.

Put things together to create a picture

Let’s say that you are having a wonderful meal and want to take a picture of the meal. The food is delicious, the decoration at the table looks terrific and you are together with a nice person. In such a situation you will often get the most interesting picture by taking the picture vertical. Organise some food in the foreground, make sure that a limited part of the table decoration is in sight and place your nice company in the picture. To make all this happen you just need a few minutes to take a look of the possibilities at the table and to make sure everything is in your frame of your picture. If you have to use the flash of the camera you might get the trouble that the foreground becomes very light and your nice person behind becomes too dark. With a white tablecloth this problem might even be exaggerated. To avoid the problem reduce the distance between the foreground and the person behind.

Include a colourful foreground when taking a picture of a place

Just one single colour added the right place in a picture might make it much more outstanding. Are you taking pictures in a garden there might be many colourful flowers. But without having one of the flowers in the foreground the picture might look very banal. You might have the option to move a pot or jar with a colourful flower in front to include it in the picture. Don’t place this flower in the centre of the picture frame but arrange it to the left in such a way that it is around 1/3 in the picture from the left. That will often add substantial appeal to the final picture. Many artefacts can be used with a similar effect in other situations.

Let people do something

When you take pictures of friends and family let them do something. When people are active the picture will be more interesting to see. Many pictures of friends show the friends shouting hallo or drinking or showing faces. That isn’t what I mean with letting people do something. No, let people do something more unique to each person. Let them do something related to their work or hobby or other special interest. A trick could be to let them dress themselves in a special way, With a little practise you might be able to create really outstanding and interesting pictures, you will be happy with yourself and improve your esteem as a photographer among your friends.

These small tricks are useful whatever kind of apparatus you are taking picture with. Are you taking your pictures with a mobile phone you will still be able to improve your pictures by making use of the above photo tips. As you start giving your picture taking more attention you will see the potential of starting creating pictures and not just taking pictures.

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Golf Short Game Tips, Know How to Judge Distance Around the Green

A few years back I got one of the greatest short game tips from Dave Pelz. His book the "Short Game Bible" is the classic for golf short game instruction. Dave and almost every "professional" in the world recommends that we know our distance to the flag. This is important so that we can know which club to select and how long to make our back swing to get to the pin. As you watch the professional golfers you will notice that ideally they want to put themselves in a position where they can come into the green with a full swing of the club. The reality is that as weekend warriors we seldom achieve that ideal.

Often we are faced with situations where that full swing will get us in big trouble even with a super high lofted club. This is where short game practice is critically important if we want to improve our short game. On most driving ranges there is a short game practice area, that is marked with some of the distances to the pin. Those distances are usually from the practice tee to the practice green, but what about when you practice from 40 yards out or 25 or you name it. Typically these distances are not marked. The reason you need to know these distances is so that you can develop repeatable short swings with different clubs to give yourself an arsenal of strokes for your memory banks to repeat.

Learn To Visually Judge

When I first heard this idea, I literally took a 100 foot tape measure out to the course on a very slow day so that I could measure the distance to the pin and see what it looked like. After a few holes I was able to tell when I was 50 yards out or what ever yardage in round terms. You can do the same at a practice facility so that you will begin to know what 100, 75, 50, 25,15 yards look like. Very quickly you will get correct the feel for your short distances.

Now that you have the feel for it, you need to develop a swing to match your judging distance. Most of the "professionals" will teach some variation of this method. Basically it is this. For each of the wedges you carry and even your 7,8,9 do you know how far they will travel with a quarter or a half or three quarter swing? This is something you might have to take a while to find out but when you know it, the information is very valuable to you.

Armed with the knowledge of how far a ball will travel you can begin making some good decisions when you are close to the green. More in a moment, but first a couple of caveats.

Learn to Execute the Swing

You will find all kinds of opinion on alignment. Arnold Palmer said to stand open, others will say straight. The open alignment is probably better to keep your body from blocking the shot. Next, most of the "professionals" agree that for short shots the hands should lead the club-face. This means that you set up with the ball closer to the back of your stance and you hands will be in front of your target-side leg. (left leg for the right-handed) With your weight favoring your target side you will then hit through the ball and finish high for the typical pitch shot. This setup will also tend to de-loft the club meaning that the angle of the face (being more upright) will now act like the next lower club number which means more distance.

Now. Imagine you are a clock!

Your head is 12:00, Your feet are 6:00 your target side is 1-5 and your back swing side is 7-11. What you want to know is; how far does a 7: 30-8: 00 swing travel for each of your wedges. (I carry 4) Next, the same information for a 9:00 swing. Finally, the same information for an 11:00 swing. You will discover that some of the different wedges will travel the same distance for different swings but once you are finished you have 12 to 16 shots in your bag that you are confident to make and you know the distances each will go. For those shots that go the same distance there will be a big difference in loft.

Fill Your Arsenal

For instance a 60 degree lob wedge may travel 25 yards with an 11:00 swing, while a 48 degree pitching wedge may travel the same distance with an 8:00 swing. However, the difference of course is loft which gets the lob over the bunker to a close pin and stops versus the pitching wedge which will roll 10 feet after it lands on the green.

When you are armed with all these shots in your golf bag your short game gets to a new level in a hurry. The great thing is that you only really have to learn 3 repeatable swings to have 16 in your arsenal. Hit them straight and seldom!

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A Passage to London

A passage to London this Fall

Like many other big cities in the first world countries, London can be described as a global village with enormous influx of immigrants and attractions to blend of cultures. Perhaps the paramount description it may imply as one of the world’s leading financial centers, great railway systems and its global position to various disciplines is the flaming experience that makes the city of London a magnet to all peoples. It is, however, one of the defining reasons that provides a surge of pride and delight to anyone who finds a path around the regimen of British relationship with cultures they represent.

I came to London this mid of October 2009 with excitement and a sustained challenge from my continuing interest to see and experience life’s movements in the city. This was actually my second time to visit this place since I first came here in July 2001. It was as much a conclusion as a beginning, a significant holiday at fall and a tale of adventures suffused with color and learning experience.

The nursery rhyme song ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’ was an enduring reminder for me as I always thought of England’s richness in history, culture, art, music, literature, and other disciplines. The local Briton accent with that fusion of Cockney Rhyming was something that really fascinated me as if they spoke with reverence in each word. Shakespearean plays portrayed in theaters catapulted be back on stage to reminisce how the performers articulated their lines. I also had the opportunity to visit anew some historical landmarks considered as major sights in the city. These are the following: Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Changing the Guard, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral. There are also other attractions such as Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, Queen’s House, St James’s Palace, London Dungeon, London Planetarium, London Zoo, Madame Tussaud’s and other Museums and Art Galleries.

An English friend of mine who lives in London accompanied me to see other places like the Canary Wharf which is the tallest building in England, the Covent Garden Piazza, the Piccadilly Circus and of course, the Trafalgar Square where we took a score of pictures. Along with that, we also came to see the Bank of England, London Stock Exchange, and Lloyds of London insurance market. One thing that impressed me while traveling the city is the London Underground. I found it as the best public transport with extensive networks to other places nationwide. I also found that there was a high-speed Eurostar trains that link St Pancras International Station with Lille, Paris, and Brussels which only takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. It was really amazing to know how London Transport could draw tourists from across the world, along with those red double-decker buses, black cabs and the modern tram network known as Tramlink, based around Croydon in South London.

It was very convenient for us to go from one place to another as London Transport was like a split second and you are already there. Trains run every 15 minutes. I remember when I landed in Heathrow Airport, I took the Piccadilly Line tube, got off Hammersmith (District Line) and took Victoria Line that passed through Stockwell and got off Oval which was just a walking distance to Brixton Road where I stayed. Travel cards were necessary to get about in different parts of London. Ticket offices or self-service machines were available in most stations. Trains ran starting as early as 5:30 a.m. till 1:00 a.m. on week nights. The only choice beyond all-night transport was night bus or cab. Usually most buses passed through Trafalgar Square which was like the point of reference when one was not sure which bus to get. The traditional London black cabs reminded me of cars driven for funerals with a sign For Hire and a white license plate on the back.

Perhaps the climate for concerts and musical events in the Royal Albert Hall or Cadogan Hall was one of my regrets for not being able to see one of them, along with entertainment around Leicester Square or to the first and original Hard Rock Cafe and Abbey Road Studios where The Beatles recorded many of their songs. I did not have time though to watch and visit these places. However, I was able to walk through Chinatown district (in Soho) with my English friend and dined in one of the Chinese Buffet restaurants.

Lovely windows for shopping spree especially on Oxford Street where I found so many shops and department stores that somehow reminded me of signature products for fashion accessories and other stuffs that came from across the world.

The high-rise buildings like the 1980s skyscraper Tower 42, the Lloyd’s building, the «Gherkin», One Canada Square and the BT Tower in Fitzrovia were characterized with certain architectural styles and for me they evoked another meaning to symbolize the height of anyone’s aspiration to reach his vertical mobility in life. As a visionary and drawn to stand up against injustice, I had that inner return to the power beyond – God. I was humbled with these buildings towering over me. I thought it was another world, another bustling city suffused with material wealth and luxury. I had a good time seeing these attractions but with a deep sense of sanctuary within, I came to recall the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers in New York were attacked by terrorists. Yet it was still vivid for many Americans especially those families and friends of the victims.

While sightseeing was the driving rhythm in my mobility around the city, this statement somehow led me to further reflection: ‘if necessity is the mother of invention, then it would seem that a recession, when needs abound, might push people to embrace innovation.’ And it’s true as economy crawled into another episode to embrace the challenges ahead. At least the main thing that could be done was to envision the country’s great strength in certain areas as a source of power and inspiration to others. Like a book which is on the must-read list for anyone who appreciates history, culture, geography, or social development at any level in society, a rewarding account of public transport in London allowed me to go to places where I wanted to go. That was a positive response to my immediate need to explore the city. In this case though, I was able to take a giant step back and assess how I am reacting to places I had visited.

From the earliest days of my insertion to another culture since I left my home country in the late 80s to the events of today, my real goal has been to build bridges of opportunities for a continuing growth as a human person, to be open to the historical movements of various peoples across continents and nationalities, to give reason to hope and understand our sense of interconnectedness. And these generally require the ups and downs of life, human claims to acceptance and sacrifice. As Frederick Douglas once said, ‘if there is no struggle there can be no progress.’ And I think it could be better known for saying that life and traveling can be equated with this expression, » you never know.»

Having gone through the ebbs and flows, the wefts and warps, and the prism of human needs, in my own little way, my mantra still remains the same. And that’s basically to think beyond mere platitudes for meaningful answers to what the future holds. My interactions with various cultures and the role that I have to play especially in times of difficulties draws me to find that constant need for discovery. Countless situations have given me the possibilities to discern and integrate my faith principles to that continuing pursuit of my life.

As a mental compass focused on my visit in London, I thought of a similar spark of human vulnerability and the great deal of having a vision and priorities at hand. It was clear, though, that the new wave of modern technology and the entry of moral values into the labor market are slowly changing our understanding of what is essential in this world and who we are as individuals in conversation with the world today. I came to brace for further failures in my life but still I continued to hope with a new eye for progress. And that was like a cyclical nature of being human trying to avoid chronology but allowing God’s time to lead me.

London’s many facets evoked some images of truth and beauty which enabled me to reflect on life’s legendary wisdom of pains and joys, successes and failures. Each of them was like a memorial marker with some spectacular past and poignant memories. My own life had that moral comparison, too. With history and story to tell, with values and traditions, with a sense of identity, purpose, and meaning, indeed, they were like my memorial markers defined in the mystery of being human. The depth it symbolized was a measure of a flaming heart. It was like a source of strengthening, an impetus to witness to others as life goes on. Samuel Johnson once said, ‘if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life.’ And I think he makes sense as he gave us his memory a jog.

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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).

comprar camisetas futbol spain y selecciones nacionales y todos los clubs para hombre,mujer y niños,Camisetas de fútbol en camisetafutboles.com. by Adetunji B Aderonmu

The Most Watched Races in North America

The pressure of many environmental groups and regular consumers around the continent has created trouble for many industries. Hybrid cars are slowly becoming a major product in the automotive industry, clean energies are trying to push away petrol and gas … there is one industry, though, that is still alive and loved by many: racing. Many championships still take place every year in North America and the cars are far from being hybrid vehicles! It's sometimes a bit hard for a newcomer to understand which are the "real" races to watch. Here are a few tips.

NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing was founded in the '40s by Sir William France. After a driver named Bill France organized a championship in 1947 (the NCSCC, National Championship Stock Car Circuit), a bunch of men regrouped together and decided of the rules that would govern the championships. At the time, 3 different series were launched: Modified Cars, Roadsters and Strickly Stock. Eventually, things evolved and NASCAR now boasts seven sanctioned series.

The most competitive one is by far the Sprint Cup, which regroups 36 races over a period of 10 months. The best racers of the circuit are known to win millions of dollars because of their sponsorships, and they are adored by racing fans all around United States (NASCAR being less popular in Canada). Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards are amongst the big names of the series.

As for the biggest single race in NASCAR, it is definitely the Daytona 500, sometimes called the "Super Bowl of NASCAR".

Formula 1

Being outmatched in popularity by NASCAR in the United States, Formula 1 is probably Canada's preferred championship because of the Montreal Grand Prix. This event was, in 2005, the world's 3rd most watched sporting event after the Superbowl and the UEFA championship; it draws a lot of international attention. F1 is also a very old championship and its races are spread all over the continents, with Grand Prix recently added in Bahrein and China.

The Grand Prix is ​​said to have attracted close to 300 000 tourists in its best years. Lots of international celebrities are known to attend the event and enjoy the crazy Montreal nightlife during the three days race weekend. The Montreal Grand Prix is ​​also an unforgiving race because of its sharp turns and its "Wall of Champions", which is known to have caused many crashes over the years within the best drivers of the circuit. The race is held on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve: the circuit also hosted a NASCAR event in 2007.

IndyCar racing

It is hard to determine the 3rd position in this top 3 since NASCAR and Formula 1 thrive in their respective countries. IndyCar, though, is a respectable racing championship that also draws a lot of attention. It merged with CART (Champ Car World Series) in 2007 and it is broadcasted on NBC and ABC, two major networks in the US, as well as by Sportsnet in Canada. Even United Kingdom inhabitants have the opportunity to watch these competitions, though, through the Sky Sports networks.

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FC Barcelona – The Rivalry With Real Madrid

As long as there have been sport teams, there have been rivalries. Whether it’s the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox or the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, the two rival teams inevitably end up meeting again and again, forming an ongoing heated rivalry that delights fans of the sport. One such rivalry is between Spanish football teams FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona (also known as Barça by its fans) and Real Madrid are two of the earliest Spanish football teams, both forming in the 1890s. From the start, the two teams were seen as representatives of two rival regions of Spain, the ancient kingdoms of Castile and Catalonia. Both teams were part of La Liga, a Spanish football league and a rivalry that went far beyond football quickly took root.

It was during and after the Spanish Civil War that the rivalry took on more political overtones. Dictator Francisco Franco banned all peripheral languages, such as Catalan, the language of Barcelona. Catalonia had long been associated with more progressive fashions and political ideas, such as democracy-which was the diametric opposite of Franco’s dictatorial regime. FC Barcelona suffered as a result of being a part of the Catalonian culture. Real Madrid, on the other hand, was seen by many Spaniards (and Catalonians in particular) as the «establishment» club. Though Franco seemed to favor Real Madrid, members of both teams suffered under his regime.

The fierce rivalry continued into the 1950s when both clubs sought to sign Alfredo Di Stefano to play for them. Real Madrid eventually won out and Alfredo Di Stefano went on to lead them to many wins. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid went head-to-head twice at the European Cup in the 1960s, with Real Madrid winning one and FC Barcelona winning the other. The two teams clashed once again over a player in 2000 when Luis Figo left FC Barcelona and signed with Real Madrid. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid competed against each other again in the UEFA Champions League semi-final in 2002, with Real Madrid getting the win. The Spanish media dubbed the match «The Match of the Century».

In the mid-2000s, the rivalry ascended to further heights when it acquired its own name, El Clasico. The term El Clasico was traditionally assigned to any South American football rivalry, but the growth of football in the Americas coupled with these two great teams’ rivalry led to the coining of the term as applied to FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. This was mostly a marketing scheme communicated via GolTV, an all-football satellite channel, but the term has been embraced by fans worldwide.

El Clasico shows no signs of slowing. To this very day, the two teams inevitably seek each other out on the field to find out who is the best team in Spain. Sometimes FC Barcelona wins and sometimes Real Madrid wins, but ultimately football fans worldwide are the ones who win whenever these two giants meet on the field.

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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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While Pizza Deliveries Increase, How Are the Other Restaurants Coping in This Time of Recession?

With the Pizza chain’s claiming record takings last year it seems that when the British public get stressed about the financial situation of the country they turn to food. The large chain that is making these claims also predicts that its profits will continue to increase over the coming year. It seems that the downturn in the market has made people think about how they are spending their money and many are choosing to stay home and have their food delivered at home rather than going out and enjoying the quality of a restaurant.

Many restaurants across the country have experienced a reduction in their profits and while some have chosen to get their heads down and weather the storm many enterprising restaurants have decided that in hardship comes opportunity and have decided to increase the marketing of their business. Coming from the Manchester/Liverpool area the businesses are using the internet to make theirs businesses more accesible to the public allowing them to rate their restaurants as they visit them and leave helpful comments about each restaurant.

Restaurants that offer a takeaway service or takeaway meal are seeing an upturn in their enquiries with the British Public whipped into their homes like naughty curs by the poor choices of an impotent government, and only venturing to their phones and computers to get in their normal supply from the Indian restaurant, Chinese restaurant, Italian restaurant and any other restaurant you can think to shake an empty carton at. Good restaurants are seeing that you sometimes have to speculate to accumulate, and the only way many are going to survive is to invest in decent websites and good online marketing, which includes decent search engine optimisation and choice referral websites.

The Manchester and Liverpool restaurants that I have spoken to, see this form of marketing as the way to go with more and more of society heading online. A quick ring round of Staffordshire restaurants, Lancashire restaurants, Derbyshire restaurants and North Wales restaurants has left me with the distinct feeling that the internet will be playing a larger part in everybodies lives in the future.

En la tienda online de Camisetas de fútbol tenemos todas las camisetas de tus equipos y selecciones favoritas en tallas para adulto y niño. by David A. Harland

The Beatles Legacy

How do you explain the continuing popularity of the Beatles, a pop group that broke up officially in 1970? The Beatles break up was marked with rancor and resentment between McCartney and Lennon. Lawsuits were filed and legal matters dragged out for years, during which time the principles hardly communicated. Harrison recorded all those songs unappreciated by the Lennon / McCartney juggernaut on the double album "All Things Must Pass." And even though McCartney and even Ringo Starr have had viable post Beatle careers, the parts are less than the whole, especially those who remember the Beatlemania of the 1960s.

This sour end to the most popular music group of all time has not cooled the ardor of their fans. Each CD re-incarnation of the vinyl album sells in the millions. The Beatles Anthology, a complete and pricey retrospective set of their entire career, became a run-away best seller in the mid 1990s and again in its 2003 DVD release. The Cirque du Soleil's "Love" Las Vegas show is the ticket of the year and is garnering rave reviews. And Beatle fanatics continue to make pilgrimages to iconic Liverpool and London locations to experience the landmarks in the Beatles history.

So what is going on here? Besides Elvis Presley, it's hard to think of any other non-current artist or group that still commands attention and record sales like the Beatles. It's no stretch to say that, as a group, the Beatles penned more quality tunes than any other pop / rock musical group or artist. The sweep of their material, from the charming "From Me To You" to the personal pleas of "Help," to rave ups like "Helter Skelter" is unrivaled in modern popdom. It was the Beatles who established the long playing album as an artistic medium that showcased interesting songs and compelling performances with no discernible duplication or flagging of inspiration through almost 10 years.

Before the Beatles, albums were afterthoughts to the radio hit, with one or two hits filled out with lesser formula tunes. Even King Elvis suffered from this syndrome with his movie soundtrack albums. Blame manager Tom Parker who foisted on Elvis mostly forgettable tunes cranked out by composers willing to sell their songs cheap to the Colonel's in-house publishing company. But most albums of the day were of this ilk, a hit tune or movie title song surrounded by often forgettable dross.

The Beatles were lucky to hook up with George Martin, a creative and sympathetic producer and musician. Up until the Beatles, most artists had little control over their product, deferring that role to experienced producers and A&R men. Martin familiarized the Beatles with the techniques of studio work and frequently suggested song arrangements. But even he at an early date realized the rare and extraordinary song writing talent that Lennon / McCartney were developing song by song. And it continued and matured through each and every album.

People forget how rare it was in 1962 for a music combo to write, sing and play its own compositions. The pop music model had been Elvis-inspired singers named Bobby and Tommy who plied mostly forgettable songs to sighing teenagers. The Beatles changed all that in something resembling a revolution. Suddenly, four or five piece combos were "in" and record executives expected musical proficiency and hit song writing all wrapped into one package. Music stores began selling electric guitars and amplifiers by the boatload. Beatlemania was born.

The Beatles raised the bar for other to follow. The so-called "British Invasion" consisting of groups like Herman's Hermits, the Zombies and the Dave Clark Five who offered energetic songs filled with memorable melodic hooks.

Go to any Paul McCartney or Ringo concert and you'll see fans of all generations, not just aging baby boomers. Many of these fans continue to gather at annual Beatle fests in America and Liverpool to pay homage to their favorite band. This is the most powerful testament to the enduring legacy of the Beatles. As the magical melodies travel from generation to generation, as more CDs and DVDs are bought and enjoyed, you can be assured that the Beatles will remain as relevant today as they were in those halcyon days of 1963-1970.

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KopTalk and Its Many Critics – A Brief History

KopTalk is a Liverpool FC website that was launched by Duncan Oldham and Colin Seaman back in 1999. At the time there was only a handful of LFC forums in existence and the official club site had yet to launch.

Seaman left the site shortly afterwards to pursue a successful career as a web designer, but KopTalk initially proved to be a popular forum, although opinion has always been divided as to whether this was due primarily to the abilities of the people who created the site, or was instead down to the wit, intelligence and knowledge of the site’s early members.

From the outset, KopTalk was a heavily commercialised website that specialised in transfer gossip. This approach owed a huge debt to the infamous Brian Bentley of the Team Talk site, who had pioneered a similar style during the mid-1990s.

Duncan Oldham very quickly launched various paid-for «services» on KopTalk, all of which were based on the promise of having access to «insider» information about what was going on behind the scenes at Liverpool Football Club. Within a year of KopTalk’s launch these included premium-rate telephone information lines, a «deluxe» email service and a «VIP» forum.

As a result, KopTalk has always been the subject of criticism within the broader online LFC fan community. Within a few weeks of the forum’s launch, it was already being mockingly referred to by some people as «Kraptalk». His critics have claimed that Duncan Oldham is motivated by a desire to make money rather than a heartfelt love for the football club and have accused him of fabricating transfer gossip for this reason, although Oldham himself has always refuted such claims.

At the end of 2001, a satirical site called Kraptalk was launched by Liverpool fans with the aim of poking fun at the techniques Duncan Oldham employed to drum up interest in KopTalk.

Over the years, a number of other Liverpool forums have been created as a result of a mass exodus of former KopTalk members who decided to leave the site. These include YNWA, TalkLFC, Est1892 and SixCrazyMinutes.

Early in 2006, the KopTalk Exposed blog was launched by concerned Liverpool fans, who wanted to hold Duncan Oldham’s behaviour up to public scrutiny. It has since amassed more than 1.6 million hits and over 800 articles. The site has always extended an open invitation to Duncan Oldham for him to come onto the blog and defend himself from the various accusations levelled at him, but Oldham has thus far failed to do so.

En la tienda online de Camisetas de fútbol tenemos todas las camisetas de tus equipos y selecciones favoritas en tallas para adulto y niño. by Andrew Davids