Category Archives: Travelling

Fun Harry Potter Guided Tours of the UK

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In response to the fabulous interest folks all over the world have to the Harry Potter book series and movies, guided tours involving all things Harry Potter have popped up everywhere.  A perfect tour for families and fans alike, many visitors will come to have a greater appreciation for the filming of this famous series of movies.
Many Harry Potter guided tours begin in London where you’ll visit the London Zoo, called the Little Whinging Zoo in the book.
The scene where Harry speaks to the snake took place in the reptile house at this otherwise wonderful family attraction.
Then, it’s on to the Kings Cross Station, where Harry’s Platform 9 ¾ took Harry on the Hogwarts Express.
Many Harry Potter guided tours go straight over from the train station to the Australia House on the Strand, the building that was transformed into Gringotts Wizarding Bank in the movie.   A short ways away is the Charing Cross Road, also known in the movie as Diagon Alley, where Harry bought his school supplies and his wand.
While in London, Harry Potter guided tours often let you see some of the other more ordinary sites in the city. Don’t forget to stop at the Westminster Tube Station where Harry and Mr. Weasley stop on their trip to the Ministry of Magic hearing.
Just down the road from the station is the red telephone booth near Scotland Yard that Harry used to get into the Ministry.
A most exciting stop on Harry Potter guided tours is a trip to Oxford where you’ll visit Christ Church College, the site of many of the interior scenes of Hogwarts Academy, including the great hall, where the students of Hogwarts ate.  The Duke Humphrey’s Library was featured as the library inside Hogwarts.  Truly, there are places all over Oxford where Harry Potter
movie scenes were filmed, including the Divinity School, which was turned into the hospital wing at Hogwarts.
On the next stop on many Harry Potter guided tours, you’ll visit Warwick Castle to see what real castle life is like and you’ll travel to the Cathedral of Gloucester, one of the places where many interior scenes were shot, including those of Gryffindor’s dormitory.  All of the ghost scenes and talking picture scenes were done at the cathedral as well.
Finally, you can visit the medieval village of Lacock—a favorite spot for Harry Potter guided tours.  The village inspired the village of Gordric’s Hollow, where Harry lived with his parents.  Several scenes from Hogwarts School for Wizardry and Magic, including Professor Snape’s classroom in the dungeon, were shot in the village.  Visitors may discover that the village of Lacock was the location of other movies, including Pride and Prejudice.
Many Harry Potter guided tours will offer evening sessions for tour guests to view the movies all over again and discuss the places they’d visited that day.  As there are numerous other attractions along the way, some guided tours will fill in the time with visits to castle ruins, quaint villages or other historic sites to give guests the full picture of what living like Harry Potter would be like.

Alternative energy in ireland

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The Irish are currently pursuing energy independence and the further development of their robust economy through the implementation of research and development into alternative energy sources. At the time of this writing, nearly 90% of Ireland’s energy needs are met through importation—the highest level of foreign product dependence in the nation’s entire history. This is a very precarious situation to be in, and the need for developing alternative energy sources in Ireland is sharply perceived. Ireland also seeks to conserve and rejuvenate its naturally beautiful environment and to clean up its atmosphere through the implementation of alternative energy supplies. The European Union has mandated a reduction in sulphuric and nitric oxide emissions for all member nations. Green energy is needed to meet these objectives. Hydroelectric power has been utilized in Ireland in some areas since the 1930s and has been very effective; however, more of it needs to be installed. Ireland also needs to harness the wave power of the Atlantic Ocean, which on its west coast is a potential energy supply that the nation has in great store.

Ireland actually has the potential to become an energy exporter, rather than a nation so heavily dependent on energy importation. This energy potential resides in Ireland’s substantial wind, ocean wave, and biomass-producing alternative energy potentials. Ireland could become a supplier of ocean wave-produced electricity and biomass-fueled energy to continental Europe and, as they say, “make a killing”. At the present time, Ireland is most closely focused on reaching the point where it can produce 15% of the nation’s electricity through wind farms, which the government has set as a national objective to be reached by 2010. But universities, research institutes, and government personnel in Ireland have been saying that the development of ocean wave energy technology would be a true driving force for the nation’s economy and one which would greatly help to make Ireland energy independent. A test site for developing wave ocean energy has been established in Ireland, less than two miles off the coast of An Spideal in County Galway Bay. This experimental ocean wave harnessing site is known as “Wavebob”. The most energetic waves in the world are located off the West coast of Ireland, says Ireland’s Marine Institute CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan. The technology to harness the power of the ocean is only just emerging and Ireland has the chance to become a market leader in this sector. David Taylor, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Initiative,or SEI, tells us that SEI is committed to innovation in the renewable energy sector. Wave energy is a promising new renewable energy resource which could one day make a significant contribution to Ireland’s electricity generation mix thereby further reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Padraig Walshe, the president of the Irish Farmers Association, tells us that with the closure of the sugar beet industry, an increasing amount of Irish land resources will become available for alternative uses, including bioenergy production. Today, renewable energy sources meet only 2% of Ireland’s total energy consumption. From a farming perspective, growing energy crops will only have a viable future if they provide an economic return on investment and labour, and if the prospect of this return is secure into the future. Currently the return from energy crops is marginal and is hampering the development of the industry. Biomass energies need to be further researched by Ireland.

Alternative Energy from the Ocean

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Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) was conceived of by the French engineer Jacques D’Arsonval in 1881. However, at the time of this writing the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii is home to the only operating experimental OTEC plant on the face of the earth. OTEC is a potential alternative energy source that needs to be funded and explored much more than it presently is. The great hurdle to get over with OTEC implementation on a wide and practically useful level is cost. It is difficult to get the costs down to a reasonable level because of the processes presently utilized to drive OTEC. Ocean thermal energy would be very clean burning and not add pollutants into the air. However, as it presently would need to be set up with our current technologies, OTEC plants would have the capacity for disrupting and perhaps damaging the local environment.

There are three kinds of OTEC.

“Closed Cycle OTEC” uses a low-boiling point liquid such as, for example, propane to act as an intermediate fluid. The OTEC plant pumps the warm sea water into the reaction chamber and boils the intermediate fluid. This results in the intermediate fluid’s vapor pushing the turbine of the engine, which thus generates electricity. The vapor is then cooled down by putting in cold sea water.

“Open Cycle OTEC” is not that different from closed cycling, except in the Open Cycle there is no intermediate fluid. The sea water itself is the driver of the turbine engine in this OTEC format. Warm sea water found on the surface of the ocean is turned into a low-pressure vapor under the constraint of a vacuum. The low-pressure vapor is released in a focused area and it has the power to drive the turbine. To cool down the vapor and create desalinated water for human consumption, the deeper ocean’s cold waters are added to the vapor after it has generated sufficient electricity.

“Hybrid Cycle OTEC” is really just a theory for the time being. It seeks to describe the way that we could make maximum usage of the thermal energy of the ocean’s waters. There are actually two sub-theories to the theory of Hybrid Cycling. The first involves using a closed cycling to generate electricity. This electricity is in turn used to create the vacuum environment needed for open cycling. The second component is the integration of two open cyclings such that twice the amount of desalinated, potable water is created that with just one open cycle.

In addition to being used for producing electricity, a closed cycle OTEC plant can be utilized for treating chemicals. OTEC plants, both open cycling and close cycling kinds, are also able to be utilized for pumping up cold deep sea water which can then be used for refrigeration and air conditioning. Furthermore, during the moderation period when the sea water is surrounding the plant, the enclosed are can be used for mariculture and aquaculture projects such as fish farming. There is clearly quite an array of products and services that we could derive from this alternative energy source.

The Solution to Pollution – Sustainable Power

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The World Health Organization, The U.N., and governments from all over the world are now concerned with pollution. You hear celebrities calling a call to arms, to unite against pollution. A media frenzy on how polluted the whole planet is the event of the decade.

Pollution causes instability, discomfort, disorder and harm the environment and the people living in it. There are many kinds of pollutants it could be noise, energy, light, heat, and worst chemical.

Sources Of Pollution

There are two kinds of pollution source; the point source pollution or the non point source pollution. Point source pollution is aptly named because the source is readily identifiable and may be singled out. Usually a point source only affects only a single span of area or space while the non point source will affect a larger area. Non point pollution usually affects water bodies. It’s so severe that nothing will be able to reverse the damaging effects.

A History Of Pollution

If you believe that reverting to a “traditional” way of life will reduce or at least slow down the effects of pollution then you’re wrong. The moment fire was discovered, and metal grinding was used pollution ensued. Even human wastes probably some polluted areas since the Paleolithic times, its just that at that time nature dwarfs human actions giving it a period to recover.

Pollution gradually increases as humanity evolves and society develops. In fact glacier slices in Greenland show pollution in connection with the ancient Mesopotamian, Greek, roman and Chinese era. A closer study showed that pollution increases with the rise in the utilization of metals. With the decline of any human social progress the middle ages showed a slow pollution progress; although, pollution was generally concentrated in pocketed areas like cities.

The gradual increase of populations and the widespread use of industrial processes saw the materialization of a civilization that is slowly but surely creating a negative impact on nature. It was inevitable that pollution would get so severe that people would finally notice that the environment is slowly degenerating. The industrial revolution paved the way for total environmental pollution as we know it today

A Declaration

Unknown to a lot of people, the issue of pollution is not one that’s been discovered during the 19th century. During the 9th towards the 13th century Arabic writings regarding pollution were already prevalent.

The first medium of action in which the western society first notice was so basic and simple that it is literally all around us: air. Pollution as a cause became popular towards the end of world war II when the effects of atomic testing and the atomic bomb became undeniable destructive. In 1952 great smog descended upon London prompting the death of more than 8,000 people. This event precipitated legislations sanctioning the use of coals and other polluting energy resources prevalent in those days.

Over time, the growing pollution made people realize that the main cause of nature’s demise is our relentless use of energy. This gave rise to environmentalism and the quest for sustainable power. Energy is an integral part of the human world. We cannot live without energy; our very existence depends upon it. That is why it is imperative that we find alternate energy resources that will never be exhausted and will not harm the environment as time goes by.

How To Be Happy As A Divorced Dad

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The aftermath of divorce is not good, and surviving it is even tougher. Getting on with one’s life after a divorce is difficult but not impossible. Resilience and a sincere approach is all that’s needed to stop wallowing in loneliness and get a life!

What Moving On Means

Although dating and finding someone new is part of the moving on process, it should not be the a guy’s first priority. If the reason for the divorce is not third party on your side, then seeing someone new immediately right after the dissolution of your marriage not only reeks of desperation, but also creates another potentially problematic situation.

Moving on means being able to treat your ex in a civil manner, If she insists on being irrational and acting like a petty child then take the high road. Focus on the problem at hand like the kids. Avoid altercations about what could have been because there’s nothing you can do about it anymore. Make a clean break, start new with your ex try and be friend her.

Can You Become Friends With Your Ex?

Of course you can! Look at Demi Moore and Bruce Willis??? But Seriously … When the decision to separate is mutual or as long as there’s no cheating on either parties being friends with your ex wife again won’t be that hard. However if the reason for the break up was that you cheated on her, then she’d probably slam the door on you, and you know you deserve it. If that is the case, give her time to heal. Be nice, show or tell her that you know what you did was wrong, but don’t be too nice that she’ll think you want to get back together.

How To Show Her That You Want To Be Friends

People don’t expect you to be chummy with your ex. being in a harmonious relationship with her is important when you have kids, because no matter what other people say divorced parents can still give their children a somewhat normal way of life.

The difficult part of trying to effect a reconciliation is that it can be misconstrued as wanting to be married again. The key to dispelling this misunderstanding is communication. Show your ex that you work better together as friends than as a couple. An acknowledgement of mistakes made on both your parts will definitely make things a whole lot easier. When presented with an obstacle particularly on the issue of finances and custody learn to compromise and take a deep breath when your tempers rise.

A Few More Reminders

As you try to establish a sense of normality in your life as a family but separate individuals, you just might be able to find happiness. Focus on your children. Ask them what and how they feel, do this together with your ex.

If you and your ex are doing one of “your talks” make sure that you two are not in an intimate situation, keep the kids within earshot. Avoid romantic situations because you both might reminisce and get carried away. This will harm your progress.

Try and take to heart the reminders above. Drama is not healthy for the soul and for the heart. Think about it, did you like those lonely holidays alone in a hotel, your kids at your old house having fun?

Tips on Buying Pre-owned Sports Cars

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Sometimes the best buys are made with pre-owned products. This is particularly true in the case of sports cars. Many people would like to have a sports car mainly for the performance but some may want to simply experience the sheer enjoyment that only a sport’s cars can give. Buying a brand new sports car may be too much expense for many people, that’s why a pre-owned or second hand sports car should be considered.

Here some good advice in the purchasing of pre-owned sports cars.

1. Set expectations
Many people go out to buy a pre-owned sports car with a brand new car in mind. Buying pre-owned sports cars is about getting the best value for your money. Knowing your needs and preferences is also a must in buying pre-owned sports cars.

2. Set a budget
Buying a sports car, even pre-owned ones can be expensive Researching through internet browsing or buying “buy and sell” car magazines can give a buyer a general feeling about the current prices of different sports car models.

3. Examine carefully
A buyer must be careful in inspecting the pre-owned car and take his time doing so. There are four essential elements of the car that should be thoroughly inspected: the interior, the body, the engine, and the papers. A well-maintained sports car is worth buying.

Open the hood and examine the car’s engine. Many people may not know too much about car electronics but inspection will give a buyer a general feel of how the car has been maintained by the previous owner.

Check the inside of the tailpipe. If it is greasy, that means that there is a problem with the engine compression.

Check for scratches or dents on the cars body. Of course, do not forget to check the car’s title, etc. Missing papers will cost the buyer additional money or prevent the purchase.

4. Test Drive
Before a purchase, the buyer should take the car for a test drive. This is a “must” for all cars, not only for pre-owned ones. An assessment of the over-all handling and performance of the car should be made during the test drive.

Buying a pre-owned maybe the best choice in purchasing a sports car, especially when one is faced by budget constraints. Pre-owned sports cars have the potential to give the same excitement and fun that brand new ones can give. Choose and buy wisely and have fun while doing so.

Unschooling your child

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Unschooling is the most fluid style of homeschooling. There is no
curriculum and no set boundaries. Many parents feel a bit
apprehensive about such freedom. But, even unschooling has certain
guidelines that make it a great method of homeschooling

Firstly, allow your child to express interests. Let her select the
topic. If she wants to learn about flowers, tell her about the
various flowers, their functions, parts of the flower, rare flowers
etc. But don’t go overboard. Allow her the freedom to stop when
she has had enough. This process of learning may take a month or a
day. It is up to the child to decide how much she wants to learn.

Expand your child’s areas of interests using videos, books, magazines,
puzzles and games. Go to a museum or take her to a library.
Simultaneously, broaden your own interests. The more you know, the
more the child gets to learn.

Notice all opportunities for learning. When in the kitchen, point out
the vitamins in fruits and vegetables. What makes tomatoes red, and
why are leafy vegetables good? If you don’t know the answers, don’t
worry. Look it up. Lastly, don’t worry if the going seems slow. This
is just the way kids learn. Give them time and lots of encouragement.

Walk in Red or Walk in Black

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In the year 1820 sir John Walker had a vision. To create one of the finest single malt blends the world has ever known. Enter the 2006 trend and apparently his vision turned to gold, as it is the most consumed scotch in the world. At over 120 million bottle sold annually, it is estimated that four bottles per second are enjoyed in 200 countries around the world.

So what color do you walk with? That is a matter of personal taste. You can go with the vibrant blend of the red label, which tends to be the most common for everyday celebrations. Or choose the complex and deeply mellow black label, used throughout time as experience malt.

The choice is yours as both are a wonderful scotch whiskey and will prove to be enjoyable whatever the toast.  If the moment proves to be one that you will want to remember for a lifetime, try the rare and expensive blue label scotch.

No matter which Walker you walk with surely you will not be let down.

Okanagan Mountain Range Ski Vacations

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Okanagan is a mountain range that runs through
valleys close to three mountain ranges.During the
summer this is the perfect place to do some camping,
but when winter hits you will have great skiing
weather and conditions. There are small resorts that
are scattered throughout the area. The climate here
will make for great skiing down the slopes and through
the trails.

These scattered resorts are very quiet and peaceful.
Lifts are available, but they are limited to specific
times and dates. These resorts have great skiing
around them, even though they are small. This area
of mountains offers the most consistent
weather conditions, and the resort offers lodging for
everyone that cares to stay – at a reasonable price.

The mountain ranges offer different trails and skill
levels, but most of all they provide you with the
skiing vacation of your dreams. During the winter,
temperatures in the Okanogan range often drop to
zero degrees. The items you bring will need to keep
you warm at all times and safe no matter which trail
you may choose to ski.

Mixed Drinks Upsetting for Distillers

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Although some Scots are softening up in regards to their traditional dram, we cannot say all of them are. Some are indeed abusively screaming and kicking, with regard to how their fine brew is handled.

The idea of mixing a fine scotch in a fancy drink at the bar seems preposterous. This notion is dubbed an act of kindness, yet not too kind to the distillers that have toiled to bring us such a wonderful product.

Scotch is a wonderful brew that hit the mainstream of the U.S. in the early 1990’s.  Several have considered this type of drink as a personality definer, causing it to grow quickly in popularity.  Through Scotch as a drink was also a growing interest in it as a single malt treat.  However, there are many different variations that have hit the market in order to please every palette.

It has been said that scotch is a nasty old bugger who is drank alone or with one or two close friends and not in the spirit of socializing. However the distillers, and aficionados alike tend to disagree. They feel that the time spent with friends and family, should indeed include the sipping of a fine scotch, for pleasure and conversation alike.