A Glimpse of Ancient Maldives – A Rich Cultural Heritage

Historical references show that the first settlers of Maldives were the Dravidian people from Kerala who. In the ancient times the main business activity of the locals were sale of cowry shells, dried tuna fish and coir ropes.

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The Maldives is a nation consisting of twenty six atolls settling in the pristine blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Due to the climate and exotic surroundings of the country, the Maldives has become a much sort out venue for holiday makers and honeymooners.

The history of Maldives holds many secrets, treasured attributes and many untold stories quite unlike any other. But what can be gathered from historical references is that the first settlers of Maldives were the Dravidian people from Kerala who probably would have been fishermen from the south of the Indian subcontinent and western shores of Sri Lanka. However, according to the references from the Mahavansa, Maldives is marked by the arrival of Sinhalese people who were descendants from King Vijaya.

At the time of King Ashoka’s expansion in the region, Buddhism was introduced to the country and a great number of marvellous writings, architecture, sculptures and artistic achievements are from this era. At the end of 12th century AD Islam was introduced to the country and to this day the main religion of the country continues to be Islam. In the ancient times the main business activity of the locals were sale of cowry shells, dried tuna fish and coir ropes. With time and changing economic policies, the country opened doors for foreign investments out of which most are directed towards promoting the tourism industry.

With the increase in foreign investments a lot of world renowned hotel brands have invested in building chains of Maldives luxury resorts and hotels. This gives visitors and locals the opportunity to choose from a wide range of hotels to suite their budgets. The competition is so high in the tourism industry that one hotel tries to be more creative and amazing than another that it is impossible to name one as the best resort in Maldives. Many hotels feature special honeymoon packages, spas, desert island picnics, sunset cruises, a spread of mouth-watering cuisines and comfortable and relaxing lodging. Baros Maldives is a property complete with scenic beauty, warm and friendly hospitality, intimate settings, water sport activities, fine dining experience and elegant infrastructure, providing a truly memorable stay full of fun in the sun, sand and surf.

Composite Manufacturing: Why the Industry Is Growing

Composite manufacturing is a growing industry, even in these tough economic times. Established companies, who have recognized product lines, are looking to expand their opportunities. New companies are springing up to take advantage of new demands. Wind energy is a new demand that has provided new opportunities for manufacturers, of every size. Composite materials have many uses, with new applications being developed at a rapid pace.

Composite materials are generally associated with boats, because its used to enhance the boats features. Composite material allows for sleek hulls and are used on innovations designed to make boats faster. Whether an individual is a boating enthusiast or a competitor, they are aware of the beauty and strength, that modern composite materials provide. Unknowingly, casual observers have even observed the beauty and technology that composite manufacturing has brought to the boating industry.

People may also be aware of these materials are used in airplanes. Large passenger planes to small hobby planes sold in a box, all require composite materials in the manufacturing process. Composite manufacturing is responsible for parts used in the production of aircraft also, from the fuselage to the wingtip. As in the boating industry, composite materials used in aviation combine light weight with high strength. The benefits of these materials are not just in their efficiency and strength, but in their beauty as well.

People may not be aware of the various uses of it, in areas outside of the boating and aeronautic industry. One of the newest growing uses of composite materials is in the growing field of alternate energy.

Alternate energy, be it marine, solar or wind generated, benefits from materials that are strong and reliable. Which is why they are being manufactured using composite materials as the composite manufacturing industry grows. The alternate energy industry, with grants available from both the public and private sectors, represents an opportunity for both growth and profit in the industry.

Composite manufacturing is also responsible for innovations in the area of furniture, both for individual consumers and businesses. Manufacturers, using carbon fabricated materials, can create beautiful and innovative designs that could not be easily made using other manufacturing processes. These materials give designers new options to create furniture that isn’t just beautiful, but multi- functional too.

For manufacturers, in every area, be it marine, aeronautic, energy, furniture or in new applications of composite materials, the process can be easily adaptable to changing lines with minimal expense. It encourages innovation and creativity, while minimizing costs. This process produces materials that are strong, reliable and visually pleasing too. This makes composite manufacturing a win win opportunity for the designer, the manufacturer and the consumer.

Purpose-designed, Vacmobiles are complete “ready-to-go” vacuum systems for a wide range of composite manufacturing applications. Now proven in more than 35 countries worldwide, Vacmobiles are reliable, versatile and affordable.

How to Use Cocoa Butter to Get Rid of Scars

From that scraped knee you got as a kid to that recent cut you received in the shower from shaving, you’ve experienced a scar or two at some point. Even bug bites can leave constant reminders of past camping trips. Your body naturally sheds layers of skin. Regardless, scars can still be visible. And although they are a natural part of life, you can remove scars. Cocoa butter is a great beauty treatment to hydrate and smooth skin, that doubles as a scar removal cream.

Instructions

Treatment for Scars

  1. Start with clean skin. This prepares the scar for treatment. For extra healing benefits, exfoliate the skin with a course wash cloth in the shower, then towel dry.
  2. Firmly massage pure cocoa butter directly into the skin in a firm, circular motion. Since scars are made up of thick, fibrous collagen, the rubbing motion aids in smoothing the appearance of the scar. In addition, moisture from cocoa butter helps stimulate the breakdown of the collagen protein.
  3. Make sure to continue massaging skin until cocoa butter disappears. Skin responds well to moisture and the biggest benefit of using the scar removal cream is the skin hydration it provides. Pure cocoa butter, because of its great moisturizing qualities, has great affects on old and new scars. Hydrating the skin with pure cocoa butter will not only lubricate skin, but help lighten scars
  4. Continue this application up to three times a day. Over time, you will begin to notice a change in the look and feel of your skin, plus a less visible scar. Also remember your skin will continue to heal itself with aggressive massaging.

How Holistic Healing Helps Cure Addiction

Disease consists of the prefix “dis” and the noun “ease”. “Dis” is defined as lack of and “ease” means freedom from pain, labor, or physical annoyance. According to Biology Online disease is, “an abnormal condition of an organism which interrupts the normal bodily functions that often leads to feeling of pain and weakness, and usually associated with symptoms and signs.” The right treatment program can cure the disease of addiction. That option is offered through holistic drug rehab programs.

The Difference of Whole Body Healing

The first fact to know is holistic drug rehabs do the job right. Seventy to eighty percent of people who complete them succeed in long-term recovery. Holistic healing’s philosophy looks at the entire system to determine the cause. The mind, body and spirit are treated.

Traditional 12-step ones often fail people because they only look at the emotional side. Furthermore, their philosophy inherently has a system of failure built into it. To achieve salvation from chemical dependency a person must look to a higher power. Religious rehabs do not believe that addiction is curable; instead that a person will remain an addict for the rest of their life. So, the numbers are low for success. Of those that complete the entire program, only 5 to 10 percent do not fall back to alcohol and/or drug use.

The Road to Success

Holistic drug rehabs offer biophysical rehabilitation. This is the main difference. The body takes action to protect itself when a person engages in substance abuse. The body perceives the large volumes of what is being ingested as toxins. Instead of eliminating all of these through normal channels trace amounts get stored in the body’s fatty tissue. Therefore, the central nervous system is protected.

An individual is at an increased risk of relapse unless these are completely removed from the system. A biophysical detoxification includes medical saunas, proper nutrition, light exercise, and nutritional supplements as some of the basic components. Things like acupuncture, organic food, and massage may also be available as there is a variety of options that are presented in each distinct program. No matter which elements are present, at the end of it all the person will have experienced a more comfortable withdrawal and they no longer experience cravings as all the toxins have been purged from the body.

The next step in holistic drug rehab programs is to deal with the emotional side of the addiction. When a person ultimately leaves the facility they will be healed and cured of their chemical dependency. Life can once again be enjoyed to the fullest since the person has everything they need to live a life liberated from substance abuse.

Modern Bathroom Renovation Ideas

If you are getting a bathroom renovation then this is one of the very best ways to transform your home and make it look like a show home or a home of tomorrow. The bathroom is one of the rooms that is the quickest to date and which often looks the most out of place. At the same time it is one of the rooms (like the kitchen) where you spend a lot of time and where there are a lot of features that can be updated to look more modern. By smartly choosing your bathroom renovation features you can make it a feature rich experience that looks and feels modern and that at the same time is even more of a joy to use.

The first idea for modern bathroom renovations that is an absolute must is to get a walk in shower. Walk in showers are basically shower cubicles that are not elevated off the ground and that are often inside a glass enclosure.

You can use these easily by walking in and you will be surrounded by light as it comes in through the glass. This means that the first and most impressive benefit of these kinds of showers is that you won’t feel at all claustrophobic – in fact you are likely to feel very spacious and this makes it easier to relax and makes it feel more natural. At the same time you will find that walk in shower enclosures are easier in many ways to keep clean etc. This is because there is no shower screen which can leak water and because you won’t need to step in and out of them and that makes it much easier.

There are other factors that can improve your shower too. For instance, why not get extra jets that can spray you from different angles. These are normally synonymous with spa retreats, but modern innovation has meant that they’re now cheap enough that we can afford them in our own home and enjoy the feeling of powerful blasts of water coming from every angle on our back. At the same time this will often be enough to help us to clean other areas that often get forgotten so it also improves hygiene.

What’s more common these days though is to have jets in the bath and this way you have created a spa tub in your bathroom. The bubbles create a highly relaxing sound, improve your bubble bath and massage your muscles into relaxation making them perfect for relaxing in after a long day and they are of course another feature that will make your bathroom seem very modern and all-singing and dancing.

Another option is to have a glass sink. This won’t change the effectiveness of the sink, but it will make it look very modern and it can almost be like an optical illusion at times when completely clean as it looks as though there is just a semi circle of water floating in the bathroom. If you also have a glass shower enclosure then you’ll find that the two match.

How to Prevent Allergy Burning of Eyes

Allergies affect 40 to 50 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Allergy and Asthma Immunology (AAAAI). Each person reacts differently to allergies. Some people experience skin reactions such as hives and rashes, while others react with burning and itchy eyes. Prevention is the best way to treat any allergy. There are both natural and medical ways to prevent allergy burning of eyes.

Instructions

Allergy-Free Eyes

  1. Avoid whatever causes your eyes to burn. If it is certain foods, avoid them, or if it’s dust, keep your house clean. Stay indoors where the air is filtered and recycled to avoid allergens found in outdoor air. Keep a close watch on what you eat, drink and expose yourself to.
  2. Take an oral antihistamine to prevent burning of the eyes. Take Benadryl if your allergy occurs in response to isolated events. Take an over-the-counter 24-hour antihistamine such as Claritin or Zyrtec if the allergy is ongoing and consistent. Use antihistamine eye drops before leaving the house to prevent outdoor allergies from affecting your eyes. Drink plenty of water while taking antihistamines, as they dry up mucus in the body.
  3. Use saline drops in each eye to prevent irritated, burning eyes. Place two drops in each eye, three to five times a day. to cleanse the eye and keep it moistened. Apply the drops in the morning, afternoon and evening for the best results.
  4. Use a saline rinse with an eye cup. Buy an eye cup and saline solution from the local pharmacy. Fill the eye cup half-full with the saline solution. Hold the cup over a sink and lower your head to fit your surrounding eye area over the eye cup. Cock your head all the way back so the liquid is on your eyelid. Open your eye and move your eyeball from side to side for 20 to 30 seconds. Tilt your head back down over the sink and remove the eye cup. Clean the eye cup thoroughly with soap and water and repeat on the other eye. Repeat this process two or three times daily.

What Do Flea & Tick Bites Look Like?

Under normal circumstances flea and tick bites are more bothersome than troublesome; the majority of victims (both human and pet) exhibit only minor discomfort with no lasting effects. But for those with allergies or who have come into contact with a tick that is carrying a disease, the consequences of even one bite can be far more complicated. Knowing what to look for will help you know when a bite is treatable at home and when it’s time to consult a physician.

Flea Bites

Flea bites first appear about a half hour after the actual bite and typically on, though not limited to, the feet and ankles. The bite will present as a small raised bump with a single bite mark in the center. Bites on people or animals with sensitivity to fleas might exhibit a red bump surrounded by a reddened halo. Because a single flea is capable of biting up to 400 times, the bites will usually occur as a few bites close together or in clusters.

Signs of Trouble from a Flea Bite

Some dogs develop flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), which will result in excessive itching and scratching that can lead to open sores and hair loss. Secondary infections from severe scratching can also occur. In people who are sensitive to insect bites, flea bites can swell into painful red mounds that can become infected or in the case of hives, a rash of raised red bumps. Consult a physician if the itching and swelling is not relieved by applying ice packs, by taking an antihistamine or if other symptoms including fever follow the bite.

Tick Bites

The bite of a tick is painless and because they are small enough to be hidden by fur, are often not noticed until the tick itself has swelled with blood. Once the tick has been removed, a red mark where the mouth parts pierced the skin may be the only indication of the bite.

Reasons to Call a Doctor after a Tick Bite

A doctor should be consulted if a rash consisting of raised red bumps appears at the site of the bite or if a severe headache or fever occurs two to 14 days following the bite. If the bite is infected, which might occur if the entire tick is not removed, it could show red streak marks originating from the bite area and possibly produce a yellowish drainage. A red ring that resembles a bull’s-eye surrounding the bite may indicate Lyme disease and could appear three to 30 days after the bite.

Prevention

Discovering even one flea bite on your ankle or a tick on your dog, could mean there are hundreds more fleas and ticks in the vicinity, a problem that can only be truly solved by treating your house and yard with a pesticide specifically designed to eliminate the pests. Staying vigilant against a re-infestation can greatly reduce the chance for any future health problems for you and your pets.

Commercial Mortgage Loans – Want a Commercial Construction Loan? Go Green!

Like it or not, environmentally conscious, or “green” principles have come to dominate the field of commercial real estate development and commercial mortgage lending. Green building and sustainable design are now the standard in new commercial construction and residential developments. And, with local and national governments getting greener all the time, look for energy and resource efficiency to become mandatory, with green mandates being placed directly into building codes. Funding sources such-as banks, Wall Street brokers, insurance companies and hedge funds, are following suite and these principles are rapidly becoming a part of the commercial mortgage industry.

The US Department of Energy’s Center for Sustainable Development recently reported that 40% of the entire world’s energy supply is used by buildings. That’s a huge number. And, in the United States, construction accounts for our largest manufacturing sector, representing a staggering 13% of US GDP and nearly 50% of total wealth creation. Even tiny percentage gains in efficiency can amount to massive over-all energy savings.

Both institutional and private lenders as well as the REIT, (Real Estate Investment Trust) hedge fund and private equity industries have all embraced the environmental building movement. Green is the color of money and green is the color of commercial mortgage construction lending now into the future.

Lenders love green construction because good for profits as-well-as being good for the planet. Energy costs money, resources cost money and cleaning up messes’ costs money. Saving energy, saving resources and sustaining a site all save money, during construction and throughout the operational life of the property. Lenders know that green means efficient and, when they evaluate a project for financing they want to be assured that the funds they invest will be used cost-effectively and that the building will be economically viable.

Environmentally sound buildings can cost substantially less to operate than comparable buildings that disregard such efficiencies and tenants and their clients report higher customer satisfaction rates when doing business in them. To a lender, whose capital is secured by the building, this translates into higher quality collateral and makes their investments more secure.

As a commercial real estate investment banking professional, I can attest to the fact that developers who choose designs that are not green will find it very difficult to raise capital or secure loan approvals for their projects. We are in the midst of a sever liquidity crisis; construction money is in short supply. Lenders are giving priority to green development leaving very little capital available for conventional construction.

The Federal Government’s LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) rating system awards silver, gold and platinum certification to buildings that reduce waste and save energy and lower costs. LEED certification is almost (although not officially) a mandatory requirement in-order-to get a big construction project funded today.

Being green is no longer just the passion of the activist anymore; it is the new emerging standard in commercial construction as-well-as commercial real estate finance. Investors and developers who need commercial mortgages will do well to pay attention to this trend.

How to Test for Allergens

Allergic reactions range from annoying to deadly. If you notice an adverse reaction to food or something in the environment, a simple test administered by a health care professional can indicate the exact allergens that irritate you. Depending on your sensitivity to allergens and your medication regimen, you may take a skin test or blood test.

Instructions

  1. Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to take an allergy test. Tell your doctor about any antihistamines you currently take — some prohibit skin testing. Also tell your doctor if you’ve ever had a life-threatening reaction to an allergen or a serious reaction to a previous test.
  2. Stop taking antihistamines one week before your test, or for a period of time specified by your doctor. Antihistamines include over-the-counter and prescription medications, nasal sprays or eye drops. If you are unsure whether you’re taking antihistamines, ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medications.
  3. Dress in a short-sleeved short or layers over a short-sleeved shirt on the day of your appointment. This will make it easier for your physician to administer the test.
  4. Go to your doctor’s office on the day of the appointment. You will be given a prick skin test on the forearm or back to detect allergens such as pollen, dust mites, molds and dander. You may alternatively be given an intradermal skin test (needle stick) or blood test, which is given to small children or people who can’t take a skin test due to medication. The test results take 15 to 20 minutes to develop, after which the doctor will discuss your results. The skin test site may flare up during this time, but effects usually fade after a few hours.
  5. Apply a cold compress or topical antihistamine to the irritated skin test site if necessary. Avoid scratching the site.

Government infiltrating websites to ‘deny, disrupt, degrade, deceive’

According to some of the newest Edward Snowden leaks as reported on by Glenn Greenwald on Monday, government spies are infiltrating websites in an effort to persuade public opinion and discredit opposition.

The documents from the GCHQ (the British equivalent of the NSA), titled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations,” were given to the NSA and leaked by Snowden. They reveal that the GCHQ is involved, through a unit known as JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group), in “the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse ‘hacktivists’ of using, the use of ‘honey traps’ (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses.”

Further, according to Greenwald, “these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.”

The goals of the JTRIG program are “(1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable.”

They do this through the use of several tactics, as listed by a slide from the documents: “Infiltration Operation,” “Ruse operation,” “Set Piece Operation,” “False Flag Operation,” “False Rescue Operation,” Disruption Operation” and “Sting Operation.”

Another slide lists ways to “discredit a target”: “Set up a honey-trap,” “Change their photos on social networking sites,” “Write a blog purporting to be one of their victims,” “Email/text their colleagues, neighbours, friends, etc.”

There’s also a slide on how to discredit a business: “Leak confidential information to companies/the press via blogs etc,” “Post negative information on appropriate forums,” “Stop deals/ruin business relationships.”

A further slide lists the definition of the effects of the agency’s activities: “Using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world.” This includes two categories: “Information Ops (influence or disruption)” and “Technical disruption,” along with the four D’s: “Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive.”

Greenwald also points out that these tactics are not just used for counter-terrorism, but “against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, ‘hacktivism’, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.”

“The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is ‘pushing the boundaries’ by using ‘cyber offensive’ techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes,” writes Greenwald.

While the idea that government has paid people, known as shills, to post in message boards and other websites in an effort to disrupt conversations has long been believed by conspiracy theorists, this would seem to confirm that it’s happening.

There have been similar reports in the past of the government attempting to influence public opinion through the Internet.

As Greenwald mentions in his article, Cass Sunstein, Obama’s former science czar, wrote in a paper that the government should employ people to “cognitively infiltrate” groups including “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” His main target was conspiracy theorists. He further proposed making it illegal to be a conspiracy theorist.