Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Latest Harry Potter's Cover UnCovered


J.K. Rowling's seventh and final Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," is all decked up with a neat cover and ready to go for its scheduled July 21 launch.

Curious fans lapped up the cover, which depicts Harry in a background sky of oranges and golds. Harry is reaching out to the sky amid obvious scenes of destruction around him. Fans are desperate to know the boy wizard's fate in this final book. Author Rowling has indicated that two characters would meet their end, but has not revealed their identity.

The fear is that Harry Potter is about to meet his end.

Check out the covers for UK and US editions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Friday, March 23, 2007

The Powers of a Positive Attitude

I am going to ask you to something very weird right now. First of all, I want you to listen to your thoughts. Now tell me, what thoughts fill your head? Would you label them as positive, or negative?

Now let's say you are walking down the street with these thoughts.
Do you think anyone who would meet you would be able to tell you what’s on your mind?

The answer to number one is up to you. But, the answer number two can be pretty generic. Although people will not be able to tell you exactly what you think, they will more or less have an idea of how you are feeling.

Here's another question. When you enter a party filled with friends, do they all fall silent as if something terrible had happened? Or does everybody there perk up as if waiting for something exciting to happen?

You know what? The answer to all these depends on your frame of mind.

Thoughts are very powerful. They affect your general attitude. The attitude you carry reflects on your appearance, too – unless, of course, you are a great actor.

And it doesn't end there. Your attitude can also affect people around you.

The type of attitude you carry depends on you. It can be either positive or negative.

Positive thoughts have a filling effect. They are admittedly invigorating. Plus, the people around the person carrying positive thoughts are usually energized by this type of attitude.

Negative thoughts on the other hand have a sapping effect on other people. Aside from making you look gloomy and sad, negative thoughts can turn a festive gathering into a funeral wake.

A positive attitude attracts people, while a negative attitude repels them. People tend to shy away from those who carry a negative attitude.

We can also define attitude as the way of looking at the world. If you choose to focus on the negative things in the world, more or less you have a negative attitude brewing up. However, if you choose to focus on the positive things, you are more likely carry a positive attitude.

You have much to gain from a very positive attitude. For one, studies have shown that a positive attitude promotes better health. Those with this kind of attitude also have more friends. projecting a positive attitude also helps one to handle stress and problems better than those who have a negative attitude.

A positive attitude begins with a healthy self-image. If you will love the way you are and are satisfied, confident, and self-assured, you also make others are around feel the same way.

A negative attitude, on the other hand, has, of course, an opposite effect. So, carrying a negative attitude has a twofold drawback. You feel bad about yourself, and you make others feel the same way.

If you want to have a positive attitude, you have to feature healthy thoughts. This is probably very hard to do nowadays since, all around us, the media feeds us nothing but negative thoughts. A study shows that for every 14 things a parent says to his or her child, only one is positive. This is truly a saddening thought.

If you want a healthier outlook in life, you need to think happy thoughts, and you have to hear positive things as well. So, what can you do? Well, for starters, you could see a funny movie, you could play with children, spend some time telling jokes with friends. All these activities fill you with positive stimuli, which in turn promotes positive attitude.

Although it is impossible to keep ourselves from the negative things around us, you can still carry a positive attitude by focusing on the good things, the positive things in life.

And this positive attitude you now carry can be of benefit to other people. Sometimes when other people feel down, the thing people mostly do is try to give them advice. But sometimes, all they need is somebody to sit by them, and listen to them. If you have a positive attitude you may be able to cheer them up without even having to say anything.

If positive attitude is really great, why do people choose to adopt a negative attitude instead? One who carries a negative attitude may be actually sending a signal for attention. Before you get me wrong, feeling sad, angry, or gloomy is not wrong itself. But dwelling on these thoughts for far too long is not healthy either. There is a time to mourn.

As always, if you are beset by troubles, even in your darkest hour, focus on the good things in life, you will always have hope. Problems become something you can overcome.

You do not have much to lose by adopting a healthy, positive attitude. Studies show that such an attitude actually retards aging, makes you healthier, helps you develop a better stress coping mechanism, and has a very positive effect on all the people you meet every day. So, what's not to like about a positive attitude? Adopt one today.

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Genuine Happiness Comes from Within

Life isn’t the sweetest candy. Sometimes, when I feel like the world is just too heavy, I look around and find people who continued to live fascinating and wonderful lives. And then thoughts come popping into my mind like bubbles from nowhere – “How did their life become so adorably sweet? How come they still can manage to laugh and play around despite a busy stressful life?” Then I pause and observed for awhile… I figured out that maybe, they start to work on a place called ‘self’.

So, how does one become genuinely happy?
Step 1 is to love yourself.

My theology professor once said that “loving means accepting.” To love oneself means to accept that you are not a perfect being, but behind the imperfections must lie a great ounce of courage to be able to discover ways on how to improve your repertoire to recover from our mistakes.

Genuine happiness also pertains to contentment. When you are contented with the job you have, the way you look, with your family, your friends, the place you live in, your car, and all the things you now have – truly, you know the answer to the question “how to be genuinely happy.”

When we discover a small start somewhere from within, that small start will eventually lead to something else, and to something else. But if you keep questioning life lit it has never done you any good, you will never be able to find genuine happiness.

I believe that life is about finding out about right and wrong, trying and failing, wining and losing. These are things that happen as often as you inhale and exhale. Failure, in a person’s life has become as abundant and necessary as air. But this should not hinder us from becoming happy.

How to be genuinely happy in spite all these? I tell you… every time you exert effort to improve the quality of life and your being, whether it is cleaning up your room, helping a friend, taking care of your sick dog, fail on board exams and trying again, life gives you equivalent points for that.

Imagine life as a big score board like those which are used in the NFLs. Every time you take a step forward, you make scoring points. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at that board at the end of each game and think to yourself “Whew! I got a point today. I’m glad I gave it a shot.”, instead of looking at it all blank and murmur “Geez, I didn’t even hit a score today. I wish I had the guts to try out. We could have won!” and then walk away.

Genuine happiness isn’t about driving the hottest Formula 1 car, nor getting the employee of the year award, earning the highest 13th month pay, or beating the sales quota. Sometimes, the most sought after prizes in life doesn’t always go to the fastest, the strongest, the bravest or not even the best. So, how do you become genuinely happy? Every one has his own definition of ‘happiness’. Happiness for a writer may mean launching as much best selling books as possible. Happiness for a basketball rookie may mean getting the rookie of the year award. Happiness for a beggar may mean a lot of money. Happiness for a business man may mean success. So, really now, how do we become genuinely happy? Simple. You don’t have to have the best things in this world. Its about doing and making the best out of every single thing. When you find yourself smiling at your own mistake and telling your self “Oh, I’ll do better next time”, you carry with you a flame of strong will power to persevere that may spread out like a brush fire. You possess a willingness to stand up again and try – that will make you a genuinely happy person.

When you learn to accept yourself and your own faults. You pass step 1 in the project “how to become genuinely happy”.For as long as you know how to accept others, you will also be accepted. For as long as you love and know how to love, you will receive love ten folds back.

Again, throw me that same question “how to become genuinely happy?”. I’ll refer you to a friend of mine who strongly quoted- “Most of us know that laughter is the best medicine to life’s aches and pain. But most of us don’t know that the best kind of laughter is laughter over self. Coz then you don’t just become happy… you become free.”

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Invest in Gold

These are difficult times for the world economy. The US dollar, once the undisputed king of currencies, has fallen down hard in value against most of the world's currencies, and especially against the Pound and the Euro. Do you remember when gas was only 25 cents a gallon? You could take a Dollar down to the gas station and buy four gallons for it! At that time our dollar was backed by REAL money, real silver. You'd be surprised - that same amount of silver still buys four gallons of gas! That just shows that real money like gold and silver holds its value and it is the green paper money that is now worth a lot less. As a matter of fact, when you think about it, you realize that gas, food, and almost everything else has NOT become more expensive. It only seems that way because the value of the green paper money is worth less and less and so it takes more and more of it to buy the same goods and services. Most people think prices have gone up, but in reality: it is the value of the US dollar that has actually gone down.

Investment experts have long-recommend portfolio diversification and that 10% to 20% (and sometimes more) of an investor’s assets be devoted to tangible assets such as gold, silver and platinum bullion and coins, and in today’s uncertain political and economic environment, there are many reasons to consider investing in these precious metals now. In my opinion, just buy gold, and buy it now before its too late - before it gets too expensive you cant afford it.

As one of the America’s oldest, largest and most experienced firms specializing in precious metals for the individual investor, Monex is uniquely qualified to serve your precious metals needs.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Energy Healing 101: Pranic, Tantric, and Reiki

You have probably come across exotic-sounding terms such as “chakra”, “prana”, “aura”, and “tantra” in your course of reading books on spirituality, sex, and healing in the New Age literature section of the bookstore. But what’s the real scoop behind these exotic vocabularies?

Are All Energy Healings the Same?


Chakra or energy center is a term used in Pranic healing, an ancient Hindu system of energy healing. “Prana” means life energy. “Aura” is another terminology traced to Pranic healing. Aura is a non-physical body that consists of energy, which exists along with our physical body. The aura that covers our body is said to have seven layers pertaining to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of an individual as manifested by energy. Studying the color and thickness of auras give ideas on the state of health of individuals. Six colors are associated with aura and interpreted into six personalities. These colors are all present in an individual but one or two are more pronounced.

Green – ambitious achiever
Blue – spiritual peacemaker
White – unconventional chameleon
Red – activist
Orange – creative communicator
Violet - psychic

Although Tantra is popularly associated with the peculiar practice of sex and spirituality, it is another method of energy healing. It comes from the word “tan” which means to spread or expand. The concept of connectedness is a recurring theme in Tantric writings on sex and spirituality. As a method of healing, spirituality and sex figure prominently. It is presupposed that the union of man and woman can reach spiritual levels during orgasm, which removes the body and mind off collected impurities. These impurities being negative energies can in turn manifest as physical illnesses.

Unlike Pranic and Tantric healings, which have Hindu origins, Reiki originated from Japan. It is relatively younger than Pranic and Tantric healings having been rediscovered in the early 1900’s. Reiki stands for universal energy, an energy brought forth by higher intelligence. Students of Reiki are taught how to tap this energy to heal physical, emotional, and mental illnesses.

Although Pranic, Tantra, and Reiki are all systems of energy healing, they differ in the type of energy tapped for healing: life energy, sexual energy, and universal energy respectively.

The concepts of the connectedness of mind, body, and spirit; the connection of individuals to all living and nonliving things around them and to the universe; and how energy impacts physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being are some of the salient similarities of these three healing methods.

Why Do People Turn to Energy Healing?

Pranic, Tantric, and Reiki are considered alternative methods of healing. In spite of the availability and relative accessibility of modern medicine, how come more and more people are being drawned to them? Here are some possible reasons:

· Energy healing worked where modern medicine failed.

For several reasons both explainable and unexplainable, modern medical treatment failed to heal ailments and conditions in several if not many persons. Research or data may not be able to support this statement. But for the families of the dying as well as for the dying patient, they would take the risk of using alternative methods ranging from herbals and organics, faith healers, witch doctors, and New Age healing techniques just to be get well.

· People perceive modern medicine to be isolating.

Medical treatments are oftentimes focused on the disease and its causative agent, which can make a patient feel isolated and treated like a mere host of the disease. Although recent developments in hospital practice are gradually promoting the holistic treatment of a patient, the perception still persists. Unlike in energy healing, since energy and spirituality are intimately linked, the patient feels that all aspects of his health are being attended to.


· Energy healing is non-obtrusive and natural thus it is safer.

Repeated surgical procedures are physically and emotionally traumatic for most patients. It is but a logical and attractive option to both patient and families to look for less stressful health interventions. Moreover, with the rising popularity of New Age religions, going natural is the way to go.


· Energy healing is a good way of relieving stress.

Meditation is part and parcel of energy healing methods and this is an added come-on for highly stressed people. Moreover, sophisticated equipment is not required thus it becomes all the more convenient for students and future students of energy healing.

The battle between alternative healing and mainstream medicine continues as both present the benefits of their approach. But in the final analysis, what matters is the restoration of good health.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

5000 Year-Old Medical Secret Unearthed

When you get sick, you go to the doctor. And the doctor will, of course, prescribe medicines. You will go and buy medicines. You take them, and hopefully, you get well.

This is how the health profession goes on nowadays – a cycle of diagnosis and prescription.

If anyone were to give you herbs for medicine, you would probably say that that person was a quack.

But nowadays, studies are being conducted to see if there are really is any merit to what is called natural medicine.

Natural medicine is the use of natural methods, herbal medicines, and traditional practices to heal ailments. Every culture has a form of natural medicine. In ancient cultures, village medicine men served as the doctors of the community, passing on medical knowledge to the apprentices that followed them.

Many categories of the healing methods fall under natural medicine. Among these are traditional medicine, complementary medicine, and alternative medicine.

Usually, natural medicine refers to medical practices that were in place before the advent of modern medicine.

This includes herbal medicine, or phytotherapy, which is prevalent in Chinese, Ayurvedic(or Indian), and Greek medicine.

Upon the advent of modern medicine, many professionals discarded the use of herbs in favor of man-made medicine. The fact that these treatments are based on the healing properties of some herbs was forgotten.

For example, opium, digitalis, quinine, and aspirin all have their roots in traditional medicine.

Natural medicine can be considered as a lost art. This does not mean that it has lost efficacy over time. In some cases, natural therapy is actually better than modern medicine. This leads some doctors to seriously consider and study the possible uses of natural medicine

Before we continue, it is important to stress that not all the natural remedies are legitimate. It would help to only try those remedies which have been thoroughly studied and are relatively risk free.

Take herbal medicine for example. There are many well-documented and studied herbal remedies available. However, only those that deal with minor ailments such as cough, colds, fever, skin rashes, and its ilk are likely to be recommended by health professionals. These remedies are sometimes superior to synthetic medicine. This is because herbal medicines are less likely to cause negative side effects.

Currently there are numerous organizations that study the effects and advocacy of natural medicine – among which is herbal medicine. Some governments and health agencies openly advocate the use of natural methods since they are inexpensive and relatively risk-free.

As their studies compile, more herbs and treatments are added to the list of accepted medicines. However, many herbs and treatments have been proven to be bogus medicine. This represents a challenge for both the user and the agencies because they have to ascertain that the treatments they either use or advocate are legitimate.

There exist today many alternative medical treatments that fall under natural medicine. However, not all of them have been proven to be effective. You could mention homeopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, and other alternative medical treatments. It would pay to consult the experts as to the legitimacy of these treatments.

Natural medicine should also be thought of as an accompanying medicine. Right now, the current collective medical thought suggests that natural medicine be used only to supplement accepted modern medical practices. In that case of minor ailments your expert we actually advise you to take natural therapies instead.

The practice of modern medicine revolves around diagnosing an illness and prescribing treatments for such. Natural medicine is helpful because it suggests that treatment be not necessarily given only when sick. Natural medicine strives to make each patient practice good health habits. These habits include good diet, healthy living, and the regular natural treatment.

It is this same line of thought that leads our parents to tell us to eat our vegetables. Yes, a healthy lifestyle and will do no harm to our well-being. And this is the foundation of natural medicine – may it be massage, herbal medicine, aromatherapy or others.

It is funny but true that science, in its quest for excellence, is studying the knowledge of sages past. This, surprisingly, leads us back to the remedies nature offers. The possibilities of finding remedies to everyday illnesses in natural medicine are encouraging. So staying tuned to studying these remedies is worthwhile until we can verify that these therapies are truly helpful to our health and our society.

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Spiritual Growth: The Spiritual Challenge of Modern Times

To grow spiritually in a world defined by power, money, and influence is a Herculean task. Modern conveniences such as electronic equipments, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment through television, magazines, and the web have predisposed us to confine our attention mostly to physical needs and wants. As a result, our concepts of self-worth and self-meaning are muddled. How can we strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?

To grow spiritually is to look inward.

Introspection goes beyond recalling the things that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the relationships you have, and the things you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good traits you must sustain and the bad traits you have to discard. Moreover, it gives you clues on how to act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any situation. Like any skill, introspection can be learned; all it takes is the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within you. Here are some pointers when you introspect: be objective, be forgiving of yourself, and focus on your areas for improvement.

To grow spiritually is to develop your potentials.

Religion and science have differing views on matters of the human spirit. Religion views people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual. Mastery of the self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the body are recognized but placed under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good works provide the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. In Psychology, realizing one’s full potential is to self-actualize. Maslow identified several human needs: physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization, and self-transcendence. James earlier categorized these needs into three: material, emotional, and spiritual. When you have satisfied the basic physiological and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs come next. Achieving each need leads to the total development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is the end of self-development: Christianity and Islam see that self-development is a means toward serving God, while psychology view that self-development is an end by itself.

To grow spiritually is to search for meaning.

Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianism, Judaism, and Islam suppose that the purpose of the human life is to serve the Creator of all things. Several theories in psychology propose that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to realize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth; but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our interactions with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we are in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we reject and affirm. Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual potentials into use; sustains us during trying times; and gives us something to look forward to---a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. A person without purpose or meaning is like a drifting ship at sea.

To grow spiritually is to recognize interconnections.

Religions stress the concept of our relatedness to all creation, live and inanimate. Thus we call other people “brothers and sisters” even if there are no direct blood relations. Moreover, deity-centered religions such as Christianity and Islam speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being. On the other hand, science expounds on our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This relatedness is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. In psychology, connectedness is a characteristic of self-transcendence, the highest human need according to Maslow. Recognizing your connection to all things makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. It makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, and become stewards of all other things around you.

Growth is a process thus to grow in spirit is a day-to-day encounter. We win some, we lose some, but the important thing is that we learn, and from this knowledge, further spiritual growth is made possible.

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A Fun Trip to Disneyland

Which kid or adult in the world has not heard of Disneyland - the abode of Mickey Mouse, Miney Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Huey n Duey, Pluto the dog etc! Besides being the home of such legendary cartoon characters, Walt Disney World has so much to offer with four theme parks, two water parks and much more. Disney tickets are now available for many different days and options from one to ten days for what is called, “Disney Magic Your Way”. One of the cheapest resources to get these tickets is OrlandoFunTickets.com - which has discounted tickets to everything Disney has to offer including Disneyquest, Downtown Disney Pleasure Island, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water Parks, as well as every Disney theme park ticket as and when it is available. When traveling to Orlando, most people also visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Orlando is also very popular for its night life and dinner shows. So when you go visiting Disneyland, dont forget to check out the wonderful city of Orlando.