Vacations…Underground

 

Vacations…Underground

by Amy Lignor

 

There are millions of spots to visit and sites to see around the world when it comes to vacation time; however, there are also those you can’t necessarily “see.” In this world of digital technology and highly imaginative architecture that creates buildings that are higher and more “glitzy” than ever before, it is important to remember that in ancient times, people were building “down.” Various civilizations created locations underground, while others actually got buried by Mother Nature and simply forgotten about. Let’s begin internationally…

 

Heading to France, you can admire an entire village made up of caves and stone called the Barry Troglodyte Village. Overlooking the Rhône Valley, not only do you receive some of the most scenic sites imaginable, but you also get to delve into history where the Neolithic actually lived until the early 20th century. And, while in France, if visiting the stunning cityscape of Paris, you can also be a part of wandering amidst over 200 miles of catacombs resting right below “The City of Lights.”

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In Scotland, you can be awed by a series of chambers that were formed in the 19 arches of South Bridge in Edinburgh. Built to link the “Old Town’s High Street” with University buildings on the city’s south side, the Edinburgh Vaults are something you and the family will never forget.

 

In Saskatchewan, at a place called Moose Jaw, you can visit an award winning attraction operating year-round that will give you a sneak peek at the bootlegging industry during the days of Capone.

 

If a wartime historian, the tunnels resting below the earth in Beijing, China, make up a network that is absolutely enormous. Called the “Underground Great Wall,” this was provided for the people in order for them to have the ability to run if the Russian Army invaded during the Cold War.

 

Spain offers one of the most special “underground” sites there is with Setenil de las Bodegas. Here, residents make their homes under a rock. Growing out of a network of caves, these bright white tiny houses look like they are actually emerging from the cliff face, with rock roofs as well as some with olive groves growing on their rooftops.

 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978, the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland is truly amazing, clocking in at more than 700 years old. Visitors are offered the tourist, miners’ or pilgrims’ route to take, as well as the “Mysteries Tour” which is one of the physically hardest – perfect for all those hikers out there. Being a location for TV shows, exhibitions and theatre performances, even the movie industry has utilized this incredible site.

 

And if looking for something in the United States… The Seattle Underground in Washington is extremely cool to witness. Lying under Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood there are bars, hotels, banks, and even shops that sit abandoned since 1889, when the Great Seattle Fire hit the city, razing most of the wood buildings in the business district at that time. With people capitalizing in on rebuilding efforts, they failed to do it correctly, and in 1965, a local citizen established a very popular Underground Tour (Bill Speidel) where you will learn all about what “really happened” and what “used to be.”

 

If a fan of “War Games,” the Cheyenne Mountain Complex set in Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs is the place for you. Inside lies the Combat Operations Center which became a self-contained and sufficient town hidden underneath the Rockies. It was meant to withstand a Soviet nuclear attack with NORAD – the North American Aerospace Command being the leaders of it all. Closed at one time, it was reopened to the public to tour in 2015.

 

Last, but not least, if you’re headed to “Sin City” for a little gambling fun, you just have to leave those gaming tables for a minute to check out Bunker Palace. At 15,000+ square feet, this complex is actually on the market, for sale at just $1.7 million. A two-story home is visible at street level, but underground you find an actual house with a lawn, hot tubs, and a 360-degree mural of the “Great Outdoors.” You add in a putting green, and this becomes the one place that would cause you to never want to “come up for air” again. A perfect setting for either a vampire or a person who is simply looking for a house that is one-of a-kind.

 

So when you plan your next vacation and want something out of the ordinary, just remember that there are “spots” on the map you can find and visit that will give you both thrills and chills. All you have to do is look…down.

 

A Child’s Best Pooch!

 

A Child’s Best Pooch!

by Amy Lignor

 

Parents will agree, when it comes to the other near, dear family member, they want to get the right dog for their children to grow with and play with. A dog that is safe, fun, and easy to please that the kids will absolutely love.

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Dogs bring many benefits to the kids – both mental and physical. There are a ton of studies that have been done showing that dogs make people happier, improve health, and a study of three-to-six year olds has shown that kids growing up with their favorite canine are more empathic to both animals and humans when they get older. They show far more compassion in the classroom to other students, and simply have a better life all around. So, parents, what are the best breeds when it comes to bringing love and warmth into a child’s life?

 

Well, one of the top picks comes in the form of the Beagle. Heck, Snoopy was one, which should make them the top choice. But in addition, the Beagle is a great dog that weighs in at 20-25 pounds, making it the perfect size for those outdoor adventures. The breed is always friendly, nice and at the ready for any game that wants to be played.

 

If we are talking about children, we are talking about high levels of energy, and that is where the Bull Terrier also becomes a great pick to be the family pet. They love big families, by the way, because they are the most active dogs that literally run and play so much that they wear the children out. They are also very protective of their little kiddies and will make sure they stay safe.

 

The beauty that came in runner-up to the German Shepherd this year, the Irish Setter is a great family dog. Not only are they a stunning breed, but they are also easily trainable, love the outdoors and are extremely active. And when the kids grow, as the Irish Setter grows with them, they become ideal walking, biking or hiking companions to explore the Great Outdoors.

 

If you’re looking to “Go Big or Go Home,” head straight to the Newfoundland. You will never find a more devoted breed to your child. Patient, sweet, loving, these “gentle giants” are exactly that. Yes, there will be slobber, but the Newf is worth it. They are intelligent, wonderful family dogs and they absolutely love the company of children.

 

The “All American” breed, the Golden Retriever, is still at the top of the list for kids. Always happy, always willing to play, the Golden is all about games and having a ball with the family on a daily basis. If things get too relaxed, they will even initiate the game and the kids will leave all that digital technology behind in order to play and run outside with the dog. THAT is a real gift!

 

Along those same lines, the Labrador Retriever is another dependable, playful, highly affectionate dog that you and your kids will love. They get along with other pets inside the household, they love running around outside or taking a dip in the pool, and they are truly protective, which is why they are often used as service dogs.

 

Remember, beauty is only skin deep… Like the Boxer, the Bulldog is a fantastic dog for your children. Not the most active out there, but they are the best when it comes to protection. Many believe they have a “sixth sense” when it comes to taking care of a child and even though many may not see this, Bulldogs are extremely even-tempered, calm and friendly.

 

One of the most docile and affectionate dogs for the kids is the Cocker Spaniel. Not small enough to be harmed by kids and not big enough to harm them, which means they are “just right.” And when it comes to being easily trained, this breed has that gift hands-down.

 

Last, but not least, don’t forget to bring Lassie home, as well. The Collie is an extremely fun, active, loving dog. Loves to play outside and, yes, they make sure that protection is given to their little best friend (as well as their big ones) at all times.

 

And always remember, there are so many dogs out there who need a home. Never forget to take a look at all those loving “mutts” at your local Humane Society. There are some true beauties out there who are dying to give their love to you and the family!

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Source:  GIG News

“Sin City” Becomes Acceptable?

 

“Sin City” Becomes Acceptable?

by Amy Lignor

 

So…what changes will occur if an NFL team hits Las Vegas? Not many, actually. Perhaps more of the ‘contract money’ will be lost considering the blackjack tables ARE right in the vicinity; however, NFL owners seem just fine with the fact that the Roger Goodell, Sin City, Raider Nation, NFL Football, Mark Davis, unhappy fans, Las Vegas, Rams, Chargers, Los AngelesRaiders will once again wave good-bye to their “Nation” and relocate to Sin City.

But when you look at the news headlines, the NFL has and retains a long-standing opposition to sports gambling,
Everyone’s favorite, Commissioner Roger Goodell has fought and opposed any effort in the past to legalize sports betting. But when you cannot secure a stadium in your own hometown for your team to play in, it becomes acceptable. A town that took in over $132 million bets on Super Bowl 50 will sit aside the other “All-American” towns and cities that the NFL plays in.

The population was a huge concern for NFL owners at first, seeing as that the Las Vegas market is only half the combined size of Oakland and San Francisco. But when you have nowhere to play, all bets are off. After working extremely hard to find the Raiders a place to play in the Bay Area, everyone finally had to accept the fact that there just wasn’t one to be had.

 

This will become the third franchise to relocate in little over a year. In January 2016, the Rams moved from St. Louis back to Los Angeles. Of course, the Rams will not be the only one in L.A., come September 2017, the Chargers are exercising their option to move from San Diego to L.A., as well. Talk about the amount of money L.A. is about to receive from all the visitors to their stadiums.

 

When it comes to the Raiders, the ones most unhappy are the fans, although they will have their team for one and perhaps two seasons more. (*This actual move is still contingent on the Raiders getting a lease agreement and a stadium developer in Las Vegas). Then they will remain in Oakland while a $1.9 billion stadium for the Raiders (that they will also share with UNLV’s football team) is under construction. But, no matter how hurtful it is, the Raiders will head to Vegas come the 2019 or 2020 season.

 

This is the second time Raiders will leave those diehard Oakland fans behind. The franchise moved much closer but still moved to L.A. following the 1981 season and ended up playing there through 1994 until returning to Oakland – which made the fans go crazy with happiness.

 

Owner Mark Davis is covering his team’s tracks as fast as possible, thinking about the future, letting all Oakland Raiders fans know now that even though he knows there will be disappointment and even perhaps anger that they are leaving, it is important to remember that they understand “…it wasn’t the players. It wasn’t the coaches that made this decision. But it was me that made it. If they have anybody to talk to about it, it should be me. And I’m going to, in the coming days, try to explain to them what went into making this difficult decision.”

 

Davis also went on to tell fans that he will honor any refund requests made by those who placed season ticket deposits. But he also said he believes that his father, late Raiders owner Al Davis, would have been proud of this decision.

 

Right now, as far as that “Raider Nation” is concerned, Mark Davis is absolutely incorrect. We shall see what happens.

 

Source:  GIG News

 

Buying & Selling: Learning the Art of the Tag Sale

 

Buying & Selling: Learning the Art of the Tag Sale

by Amy Lignor

 

When people speak about making a few extra bucks, there is more than one way to skin a cat these days. Perhaps you’re trying to save up for a vacation for the family to take this summer. Perhaps you are looking for collectibles to invest in. Oddly enough, many people do not realize what, exactly, was in Great Grandma’s house when she passed on to a happier collectible books, Art of the Tag Sale, knickknacks, true investment, timing, things to consider, important tipsplace. There are even those who will put her things on a table, mark them twenty-five cents, and declare them to be old knickknacks (AKA: things you need to dust every five seconds.) Trouble is, a lot of those knickknacks can actually be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Heck, there have even been things found at tag sales that have been resold in the millions. No. Not kidding. Are the chances immense that you’ll find such a buy? No. But, there have been those that have proven this particular once-in-a-lifetime-event can happen.

 

It’s not all old clothes and junk jewelry. There are collectible books that show everything from old signage to objects that you can invest your money in that are constantly found in the nooks and crannies of garages all across the land. Baseball cards, figurines, porcelain vases that just happen to be expensive (all you need to do is look at the markings to find out if it’s a true addition to your own personal income.) Keep an eye out for emblems, as well. Everything from the Disney to Harley Davidson products can be found in your neighbor’s front yard on a sunny Saturday morning if you just pay attention.

 

So what is something worth? Whatever someone else is willing to pay for it. The greatest finds come in all shapes and sizes. A British man visits a garage sale in Las Vegas and picks up 5 old paintings for five dollars. Turns out, when he took the time to reframe them, he actually found a sketch inside one that was created by THE Andy Warhol when the master was only ten years old. The man’s five dollars turned into a whopping $2 million. Good margins, if you ask me.

 

But what do you need to know if you’re on the other side of the Tag Sale fence? If selling instead of buying there are very important tips you need to know that will bring buyers in by the droves.

 

The first and most important is location. There are many roads out there that aren’t exactly well-traveled streets. Which means, ask a family member or a friend living in a high-traffic area if you can hold your tag sale there. And if you can combine your tag sale with them or even the entire neighborhood, it is important to remember that many people will head straight to a “multi-family” yard sale, as well as an “estate sale,” no matter where it’s being held.

 

Picking the right dates to hold the tag sale is also important. Now, yes, the weekend is still the best considering that is the normal available time for most people to be able to travel the roads because they’re not having to go to work. Best way of doing it? Add Friday in there. Retirees, collectors – Friday is a great day for them and you will make more money. All you need is the stamina to turn a two-day sale into a three-day.

 

Another thing to watch is the weather report so that Mother Nature doesn’t hinder your sale. And when it comes to timing, even though 8 a.m. seems “really early” to some, 7 a.m. is the best time to begin. Even when you state “no early birds” those birds will most definitely swoop in early. They want to begin by 7 a.m. so they can complete their tag sale day by 2 p.m., especially in a hot state, such as New Mexico. They want to be out in the cooler air, so if you start at 7 a.m., you will sell a whole lot more.

 

Above all, please remember that the newspaper ad doesn’t work nearly as well without the signs on the roads. In fact, many people don’t read the newspaper at all; they head down the road and look for those signs that are large, listing the date, time, location and address. To get even more customers, remember to use a bright sign (electric blue, pink, green) that stands out along the roadside so the driver can’t miss it. And use a black magic marker so that everything can be read clearly.

 

Learn the Art of the Tag Sale – both buying and selling – and you will most definitely be able to save up for that vacation, find that knickknack that turns out to be a true investment, and even get rid of those things in the home that you no longer want to dust!

Source:  GIG News

All Hail the Easter Bunny!

 

All Hail the Easter Bunny!

by Amy Lignor

From Country Living to Home and Garden to your very own traditions that began when your Grandmother was just a baby, there are things you can do for Easter that your friends, family and especially the children will never forget. You can even start new traditions that your own beautiful grandchild can carry on with their own kids one day.

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Let’s start with the Easter party. Perhaps you’re feeling on the ‘elegant’ side this year and want to throw a Sunday garden party or even a laid-back get-together to celebrate. If wanting to ‘go fancy’, make sure to send out that formal invitation to one and all, and include the words “Sunday dress” on the invite so that all will attend dressed in their Easter best! If looking to hold a more laid-back event, like a ‘hunt’ for the kids to enjoy, put together a special invitation that will have them all super-excited to discover those eggs and treats the Easter bunny left behind.

 

A little added touch can come from the Bunny Crown. These are for the little ones to wear as they search. You can fashion bunny ears out of flower-wrapped wire and then fasten to a faux-branch hoop. They are absolutely adorable and you can make them with any flowers you wish – from paper to real.

 

How about holding a Bike & Bonnet Hunt? If you have a lot of space, being the host of an Easter egg bike hunt is really cool. And you can provide colorful, fun bonnets so that all the families can have the perfect photo opportunity, a memento of the special day.

 

Now, we all know the Easter Basket is the mainstay of the holiday. But instead of heading to the big name box stores and sinking money into a $20.00 basket that lights up or sings, it is a far greater thing to make the baskets yourself. Kids love to make their own. It is something fun to do with your kids and the basket will mean a whole lot more. You can even think about using egg crates to decorate and make a game out of it. The first to fill every one of their egg slots wins a special prize. When it comes to Easter baskets, just search the Internet and you will discover hundreds of ideas that are literally one-of-a-kind!

 

This idea is the absolute cutest when it comes to Easter for the littlest ones. For toddlers, using Floating Eggs is super cool. Tie colorful balloons to each egg and place them all around the yard. You can even add some chocolate treats for the toddlers, or even little stuffed animals and gifts tied to the balloons. They are easy to find, of course, and they make the backyard look stunning for the Easter party.

 

Remember Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket? That was super cool. So…how about a Golden Egg? If you’re having a ‘hunt’, place one golden egg out there that holds inside it a special gift for the one who discovers it. But…make sure not to let the other kids down. Only one can receive the Golden Egg, but the rest of the kids can certainly have a ‘special’ gift all their own. Use your imagination!

 

Last, but not least, if you want something colorful that will add to the backyard or garden beauty, how about using pretty pastel plastic Easter eggs as planters? These little ‘pots’ are perfect to usher in springtime fun. All you need to get started are, plastic Easter eggs, a gold leaf marker, a hot glue gun, colorful tiles, potting soil, and your choice of succulents.

 

Simply remove the top half of a plastic Easter egg and paint the rim of the bottom half using a gold leaf marker. Using a hot gun to fill the holes on the inside of the egg bottom, glue the egg bottom to a hexagon tile, then fill with potting soil and a succulent. These really add brightness and color to both the Easter party and the back yard.

 

Make some wonderful new traditions this year and, above all, have a happy, peaceful Easter!

Source:  GIG News

It’s Time to Play Ball!

 

It’s Time to Play Ball!

by Amy Lignor

 

As far back as you can remember, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day comes with pomp, pageantry, good food, excitement, and a whole lot of fun for the family.

Major League Baseball, Opening Day, play ball, “Caps On” campaign, Jason Kipnis, Chris Tillman, David Price, Didi GregoriusCincinnati, home to the very first professional baseball team, will once again hold the annual Findlay Market Parade, making it official to the whole world that baseball has returned. In Cincinnati it is a holiday for one and all, where citizens stop everything to go out and cheer loud and proud for the hometown Reds.

Opening Day also makes it official – even to those who are still looking out their windows to see a blanket of snow every morning – that winter is out and spring is taking over. Better yet…those warm summer months will soon be on the way; those lazy, hazy days where you can sit at the ballpark and hope to catch that winning home run before heading home.

 

This one day every year is Major League Baseball’s most profitable day of the season. After this day, up until the “war” comes where two teams must battle to claim the World Series title, the stadiums are less than half full. But, with only a few extremely rare exceptions, Opening Day allows all the clubs in the league to perform in front of a sellout crowd for their first home game of the season.

 

Now is also the time to brush off that trusty baseball cap. Especially seeing as that the “Caps On” campaign that began last season is back with a vengeance. The specific campaign run by the league encourages everyone, everywhere to don the caps of their favorite teams at work, at school, at the grocery store – and anywhere else you can think of. Now is the time baseball wants you to forget Tom Brady’s jersey and turn your eyes on (what’s supposed to still be) America’s pastime. And, above all, enjoy the heck out of it.

 

To keep you up-to-date, there are a few key players who are out for Opening Day, and their teams and fans are crossing their fingers that they will return as fast as they can.

 

Jason Kipnis of the Indians has been suffering with a strained rotator cuff since first reporting to training camp. Not only is he expected to miss Opening Day, but Kipnis is supposedly going to miss all of April and perhaps even May. He is a key player for the defending American League Champions and without him Cleveland’s lineup is going to be in trouble.

 

When it comes to Orioles territory, Chris Tillman’s pitching shoulder is causing issues. Missing three weeks late last season, he only resumed throwing just recently. He will start on the disabled list for the Orioles, but given the fact that this is a chronic injury, it’s anyone’s guess what the future has in store for Tillman.

 

Although the Yankees finished five games out of a Wild Card spot last year, their dugout is filled with young talent that could make the Yankees into the “it” team this time around. However, trouble comes to them in the form of Didi Gregorius. Suffering a hematoma in his right shoulder, Gregorius will most likely miss all of April. His talent at the shortstop position, plus the fact that he was swinging extremely well, gave the team what they needed. Now, in his absence, the Yankees will have a bigger hill to climb.

 

The Red Sox are facing a different dilemma. David Price’s left elbow has had fans sitting on the edge of a precipice with concern for both Price and their beloved Sox for a while now. Although Manager John Farrell said that Price would only be ‘off’ for a week, it’s now been three weeks since that statement and Price is nowhere near playing status. Yes, the Sox have talent, but the injury could lead to Price opting out of his contract after the 2018 season. If this occurs, the Sox will owe $127 million, which will limit them when it comes to gaining advantageous players in the 2018-19 free agent market

 

But even without these particular names on the field, this is one MLB season that looks like it’s going to be a real thrill ride. Hope, right now, is in every baseball fan’s mind – no matter what team they cheer for. Even if their particular choice seems to not have a chance, history has continued to bring forth ‘Cinderella’ teams that, out of the blue, end up taking the whole kit and caboodle. In other words, if you already think you know who the final two will be…it’s a good bet to think again.

 

Now…Play Ball!

 

Source:  GIG News

Architecture in America That Would Make Frank Lloyd Wright Proud

 

Architecture in America That Would Make Frank Lloyd Wright Proud

by Amy Lignor

There is a brand new headline when it comes to an innovative new building; a building that the creator hopes to construct in America. It is a design that looks stunning on paper, however, it is also a design that is ‘far right’ of, well…even Wright’s own ideas.

A conceptual design by Oiio Studio proposes “the Big Bend” as Manhattan’s longest (not tallest) residential building. Photo: Oiio Studio.

Manhattan, as everyone knows by now, is the King of the skyscraper business. They are also always striving, along with Seattle, Chicago and others, to own the tallest building in America, let alone the world. Greek architect Ioannis Oikonomou and his firm, Oiio Studio, may just be the ones to give Manhattan this glory.

Not only could he break the “tallest” record with his idea, but he would also create one of the most interesting, beautiful, yet slightly supernatural looking building in all the land. This would be a U-shaped tower that’s along the lines of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis or the first big drop on a roller coaster as far as construction is concerned. It will also be the “longest” structure and has already been assigned the name, “Big Bend.” A skinny skyscraper bent in half, if you measured from end to end it would be approximately 4,000 feet. The stretch running from the sidewalk to the building’s peak directly in its center would make it 200 feet taller than One World Trade Center was; thus, creating the longest/tallest skyscraper.

It already has a place, of course. If everything were to go perfectly and investors signed on to the project, “Big Bend” would be built on the south corner of Central Park. You know the area as Billionaire’s Row.

It is not a stretch to say that this is a design that very well could come to fruition. And although it would come in as the longest skyscraper, it would not be the “strangest” architectural site that America has to offer. You see, almost every state can claim one site that is so beautiful, unique, or just simply odd that tourists go to see them every year.

Just take a look at a few…

In Alaska, the “Dr. Seuss House” can be found in a place called Willow. Although this is an unofficial name, the beloved author would be proud to see it. The 12 stories, that sat untouched for ten years and was only recently completed, resembles the illustrated homes that Seuss was famous for.

In Arkansas, A stunning architectural work of art comes in the form of Thorncrown Chapel. Wood and stone were used to create the structure, yet a wandering eye that wandered too quickly would see it as just a chapel sitting in the middle of the forest completely abandoned. But don’t let the eyes deceive, because this is one chapel that is not “buried in overgrowth and weeds.” Up close, it is actually enclosed by huge glass panels on all four sides and is truly a sight to behold.

A favorite of many can be found in the state of Connecticut. Gillette Castle is an awe-inspiring site, whether seeing it on land or from a boat staring up at the hill it sits upon. This is a very odd stone monstrosity that was commissioned by William Gillette, who was an American actor best known for playing the role of Sherlock Holmes. He was also a man with a sense of humor and a whole lot of bad luck. In his Will, he stated that the castle was never supposed to be owned by (and I quote): “a blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” Seeing as that the state now owns it, seems that Gillette did not get his wish after all.

For those who love their canines, in the state of Idaho you can find The Dog Bark Park Inn. Locals call this structure “Sweet Willy” and the building is two stories built and painted to look like a beagle. Best dog-themed B&B out there in America. A real “treat” for both you and your special friend.

In Michigan you are granted a look at the Earl Young Mushroom Houses; in Oklahoma, the “Arts & Crafts” House (AKA: The Bavinger House) is also something you’ll never forget. Oddly enough, when it comes to alien beings, it is not Roswell, NM but actually Signal Mountain, Tennessee where you must go to see “The Spaceship House.” Built in 1972 for his son, the owner created this UFO-shaped home with interior décor that is totally round (even the furniture) and a drop-down staircase that allows you to “climb up” and enter the alien transport from the ground below.

But you really can’t speak about “odd” architecture without at least throwing in the name everyone knows. In Dodgeville, Wisconsin, “The House on the Rock” may have a bland name, but the oddities of the building came from the minds of builder Alex Jordan Jr., and designer Frank Lloyd Wright. This is a rural home, but inside you will find everything from the world’s largest indoor carousel to something called ‘The Infinity Room’, which is cantilevered and projected out over 200 feet beyond the actual rock the house sits on. Talk about a view, aye?

It will be interesting to see if investors jump at the chance to construct “Big Bend” in Manhattan and give the already beautiful spot even more cred. But even without it, take some time to research the stunning architecture that has been a part of the U.S.A. for a long time – some are even in your neck of the woods. Because even with the mastermind Wright gone, at least we can be proud that “over-the-top” designs continue to be a part of our architectural universe.

 

Source:  GIG News

Made in the U.S.A. Should be the #1 Path for Businesses

 

Made in the U.S.A. Should be the #1 Path for Businesses

by Amy Lignor

 

The popular show called “Shark Tank” offers investors that back up small businesses – businesses that then turn around and make millions and are able to hire more and more American workers each year, still mentions something that breaks the heart in almost every episode. The fact that overseas manufacturers could save the entrepreneur who’s speaking a The popular show called “Shark Tank” offers investors that back up small businesses – businesses that then turn around and make millions and are able to hire more and more American workers each year, still mentions something that breaks the heart in almost every episode. The fact that overseas manufacturers could save the entrepreneur who’s speaking a great deal of money and lower their costs. Is that particular fact true? Well…unfortunately it is. However, as business has been changing, and America has been attempting to get back on the horse, many big names have proven that you can succeed and manufacture your product line in America, all at the same time. They are not about to go out of business anytime soon, and they take a whole heck of a lot of pride in the fact that their products are “Made in the U.S.A.” Don’t believe? Keep reading.great deal of money and lower their costs. Is that particular fact true? Well…unfortunately it is. However, as business has been changing, and America has been attempting to get back on the horse, many big names have proven that you can succeed and manufacture your product line in America, all at the same time. They are not about to go out of business anytime soon, and they take a whole heck of a lot of pride in the fact that their products are “Made in the U.S.A.” Don’t believe? Keep reading.

Grado is a name that all audiophile’s relate to in a big way. You might too, although you just needed the product, perhaps, and had no idea what an actual audiophile was. Grado Labs creates headphones that are used by an army of professionals in the music industry. For 60+ years now, they have making this high-class product line in good, old…Brooklyn, New York.

Along the same lines, another big name in the technology world makes its home and produces its amazing products in…New Jersey. The high-performance computers that are used in gaming and media production comes from the minds, hearts and manufacturing facilities of MAINGEAR.

Strangely enough, also in the computer world, is a product by the one and only Apple that is only produced in the United States. Now, yes, Apple does outsource a large percent of its manufacturing to China, but when it comes to the Mac Pro desktop console, Apple keeps that creation close to home – with production only coming from their facility in…Texas.

 

When we go to the world of transportation, two names sit atop the “Made in the U.S.A.” list and should get a big round of applause for keeping their products in American hands. URB-E is the name behind the only foldable electric scooter produced in the States. A very popular creation, these scooters allow you to travel up to fifteen miles per hour, and then fold up so that you can carry them on subways or in elevators or any other cramped space you can think of. And all this ingenuity is found each and every day in…California.

 

Also in California, in the town of Fremont, is a factory that is all about electric-car production – the Tesla. Tesla cars are becoming an empire, just the way General Motors did long ago. If all other manufacturers of cars set up in the U.S., just think of how many American jobs could be had.

This next one is definitely not a tough one. Everybody in the world knows the name Zippo, especially American soldiers which is the customer base that made Zippo a household name in the first place. What many may not know, however, is that since 1932 these iconic lighters have been produced out of their headquarters located in…Pennsylvania. Yet another big name in that state has its own “must-see” production company, that’s a lot like a giant carnival, in a city named after their actual brand: Hershey U.S.A.

 

One more name that is well-known in American households is MAGLITE. With this company you are talking about flashlights, lamps, and all different types of lighting products that are the “one and only choice” for people out there. Whether it be businesses, estates, empires, or individuals, MAGLITE has made sure to provide the best products to light up the world since 1979. And they do this all out of an 11-building facility based in Ontario…California.

 

There are many, many others out there who have brought their products back to the good, old U.S.A. in order to provide jobs and increase the wealth for this country. So when it comes to finding the “best manufacturer for your product” just make sure you consider America first. After all, it’s been good to some pretty popular names out there that have lasted a long time, and will continue to for decades to come.

 

Source:  GIG News

Gonzaga Celebrates the Final Four

 
Gonzaga Celebrates the Final Four

by Amy Lignor

 

“Beauty & the Beast” may be raking in the dough at movie theatres everywhere, but it is the Princess Cinderella that appears at the core of the NCAA headlines.

 NCAA headlines, Cinderella Teams, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Mark Few, Zags, Duke, Final Four 2017We all have our “Cinderella Teams.” Heck, they even made a movie after the Hoosiers who once set the world on fire. But as this weekend winds down, it is the Gonzaga Bulldogs that find themselves ready to put on the glass slipper, or watch their ‘coach’ turn back into a pumpkin, depending on what their near future fate turns out to be.

Those who can remember 1998-99, remember that the Gonzaga Bulldogs were also a Cinderella team back then. Being the 10th seed in the Sweet Sixteen match-ups, they went on to lose (like so many others have over time) to the Connecticut Huskies (67-62). Connecticut (most especially the women) became used to being the No. 1 seed, but this season may just be Gonzaga’s chance.

 

As of Saturday, the “Gonzaga Phenomenon” took over the airwaves. Coach Mark Few, who was actually serving as assistant during the first Cinderella moment for this team, told everyone this time around that Gonzaga did not want to be “a one-hit wonder.”

 

It’s not like the Zags were hideous since 1998/99, by the way. It was in 2006 that they scored like there was no tomorrow…unfortunately, for them, there actually turned out not to be. It was in 2013 that they were officially the No.1 seed going into the Sweet 16, yet they banged their heads up against Wichita State and had to say goodbye. In 2015, the Zags once again arrived but lost to what eventually turned out to be the national champions, Duke, during the Elite Eight.

 

This time, Few has built the team into one that has the numbers and the players to win it all. On Saturday night at the SAP Center, they finally got over the “proverbial hump” and celebrated their first entrance into the Final Four. Not only that, the game they played was not even close. We are talking a game between the Zags and 11th seeded Xavier that ended 83-59 – a lot like the Connecticut female games usually end up being.

 

The net was finally cut down by Gonzaga hands, with Few taking the rest and then turning on the top step of the ladder, where he screamed down to his team: “Might as well win it!”

 

The team screamed back, letting the world know the Gonzaga Bulldogs are more than ready to snag that national title. Unlike, however, normal Cinderella teams in the past that really did look too naïve to understand the point of it all, the Zags look very put together and most definitely have the right amount of talent needed to make Spokane, Washington more than proud.

 

Even Few stated that this current squad’s ability “to really, really protect the rim at a high level” is different than in the past, and having the defense hold the No. 1 ranking through the entire tournament in adjusted defensive efficiency backed up that remark.

 

So…what will happen now? Many of the so-called “experts” are coming together to say that even though Gonzaga has given the NCAA a “Cinderella” story this year, the Final Four is exactly how far they’re going to get. This is the first time since 1995 that the Final Four is being played west of Texas, so it makes complete sense to see an East vs. West battle for it all. But, in the end, the experts say that Kentucky has too many weapons for anyone to take them down, not even a “princess” waiting to be crowned.

 

Keep one thing in mind, however. These are also experts who said that the Atlanta Falcons would have no problem bringing down Tom Brady and the Patriots to nab the Super Bowl title this year. See how that worked out?

 

Source:  GIG News

Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

 

Where to Vacation?
Go Big or Stay Home!

by Amy Lignor

We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy these jaw-dropping wonders. However, whether you are a backpacker looking to “become a journeyman” and all you need is the price of the plane ticket; or one that is saving up for that “ultimate trip,” these are locations where either can go to create memories that will be among the greatest and grandest of their entire lives.

create memories, gateway to the world, Germany, backpacking, go BIG, the place to be, Ecuador, Morocco, India

Let us start with the island of Kauai in the United States. For those who are unaware, Kauai was the stunning backdrop for the Jurassic Park movies. Taking aerial tours will show you the sea cliffs of the Na Pali Coast that reach into the sky like monoliths towering over the water below. When it comes to exploring the island on the ground, just hiking along the marked paths is a photographer’s dream. Heading onto the floor of Waimea Canyon, or through the bogs of Alakai Swamp, visitors hike through the largest mahogany forest North America can boast. Whether journeyman or someone looking for luxury, Kauai is awe-inspiring beauty to the ‘nth’ degree.

When talking about remote, rustic and a place that actually offers up reindeer farms and snowshoeing, the Arctic Circle in Lapland, Finland is yet another “big” vacation that will never be forgotten. Staring up at the Northern Lights, Finland is filled with national parks, historical sites, and hiking sanctuaries for those seeking silence and tranquility that can be found nowhere else on Earth.

Another country that people are saving every nickel to visit is India. Here, the wild tiger population is growing by leaps and bounds (thankfully), and being able to see those regal Bengal tigers is a true vision that can only be viewed here in the U.S. inside an IMAX theater. Which is fine, of course, but definitely takes away from the magic of it all. In Central India, the Madhya Pradesh national parks are absolute havens for these wild tigers and visitors can even ride the Indian Railways’ new Tiger Express tourist train to go on the ultimate safari.

In Ecuador’s Chocó region, visitors can actually be a part of the primeval cloud forests – these are areas filled with the richest plant and animal life on the planet. North of Quito, these Andean slopes shrouded in fog play home to hundreds of species of birds, the rarest of orchids and air plants, as well as the olinguito – which just happens to be the newest mammal species discovered here in 2013. Can you just imagine exploring these sites by flying through the clouds on a zip-line Sky Bike? The immensity of this one-of-a-kind spot offers both thrills and chills.

For those looking to “go big” in the city and see beauty they’ve never before seen, Marrakech, Morocco is just the place to be wowed. With colors that set the imagination on fire, this former imperial city is now a major economic center that allows visitors a look at some of the most amazing palaces, gardens and mosques to be found anywhere. Mazelike alleyways allow people to come upon thriving, busy marketplaces packed with traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. Even the famous fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent used Marrakech’s kaleidoscope of colors as his own palette when creating his vibrant fashions.

Another city that deserves to be on the “big” list was enjoyed by Hemingway, himself, who was so intrigued by the place that he called it “The Capital of the World” in one of his short stories by the same name. This is Madrid, Spain, and is a cosmopolitan fantasy come to life. With everything from parks and gardens to street artists and more than sixty museums, Madrid is all about creativity and class.

Last but not least is Germany’s “gateway to the world.” Although many plan trips to Berlin, it is Hamburg that takes the breath away. This floating city located on the Elbe River near the North Sea is a maze of canals that rivals Venice, itself. You can cruise the canals and take in the spectacular views of one of the world’s largest historic port warehouse districts and even visit the brand new concert hall complex that was built atop a brick warehouse providing stunning views of the city.

So whether heading out as a nomad with a backpack and a dream of viewing some of the world’s biggest sites to be seen; or one with money in the bank looking for luxury in a new locale that just has to be part of that proverbial bucket list – these “big” locales are the ones to see!

Original Source:  St AUG News