Archive for ◊ July, 2010 ◊

31 Jul 2010 Memoirs: Your earliest memory
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My earliest memory was when I had an major accident. It was so severe I had to be flowed to the Auckland hospital,for major head surgery. Doctors at the hospital were speaking to my families, explaining how serious my injuries were. I had a fracture skull untold seizes and I may not pull through. They were also told I have only two weeks to live, my family refuse to listen. The doctor’s gave them time to discuss what option they will take, turn the machine off or leave it on until the two weeks is up. My daughter said to leave the machine on.

In between the two weeks I started to show signs my eye’s were blinking, movement with my hands and I can hear people talking, my daughter started to cry, and said mum going to pull through. During the last few days I woke up, I was like a vegetable not my normal self, I was to be transfer to Bennett, again my daughter said no, she said only zombies go there, my mother is not mad we are taking her home. She dress me up wheel me down to the truck and drove us home.

Within the second week I was home something amazing happen to me I was walking, eating, talking to my family as if nothing happen to me. Everyone were amaze at my sudden recovery. Then my daughter said to me, mum someone (up there) is looking after you I started to cry and said it’s not my time or I have a mission to do from God and Jesus.

My mission was to help my family to get out off those evil thought from their minds also to help my parents who were being treated badly from my nephew.I couldn’t help them because no one would listen to me.They said to me, look after your self you are not well, I was furious at them for saying that,then I storm out of the house and stay away for while. After a few weeks went by mum came to see me and said she wasn’t feeling well. I told mum she has to stop looking after her daughters and grandchildren or you will get sick and may not pull through. Mum told my sisters what I said, they got angry, and said “don’t believe a word she says” she thinks she no everything, well a few weeks after that discussion my mum die. From that moment even today we still can’t communicate like ordinary family.

As for myself I still have bad headache tired eyes sore legs other then that I’m coping well, doing little things like washing dishes, making beds, vacuum the floor and help with the laundry.

I’m getting tired it’s time for me to rest.

This story is about myself. It’s the truth.

I Believe in the Ten Commandment our created and Jesus.

31 Jul 2010 The city of sails

Auckland Harbour also known as Waitemata Harbour is a 70 square mile harbour and is the main access by sea to Auckland, New Zealand. It connects the city and port to the Hauraki Gulf, and thus to the Pacific Ocean.For this reason it is often referred to as Auckland Harbour, despite the fact that it is only one of two harbours surrounding the city. The Waitemata forms the north and west coasts of the Auckland isthmus. It is matched on the south by the shallower waters of Manukau Harbour.

The name is from the Māori language, with Wai te Mataa referring to obsidian glass. The ‘sparkling waters’ (a later translation of the meaning) of the harbour were said to glint like the volcanic glass prized by these early arrivals to the harbour. Auckland is often known as the “City of Sails” for the large number of yachts that grace the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.

Some of the attractions of the harbour for travelers include the breath taking view across the sea with the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the background. Auckland’s vibrant waterfront is also home to the New Zealand National Maritime Museum. A visit promises a broad overview of New Zealand rich maritime heritage.As its Maori name, Te Huiteanaui-A-Tangaroa (holder of the treasures of Tangaroa – of the Sea God) suggests, this museum stores many of New Zealand’s treasures. Visitors may also get the opportunity to cruise across the harbour on a heritage vessel.

For travelers that wish to experience a little bit more adventure and excitement on their holiday a good excursion would be climbing Auckland Harbour Bridge. An Auckland hotel that offers easy access to the waterfront is the Copthorne Hotel which is situated near the Auckland Harbour the all of the rooms at this hotel offer beautiful views of the Harbour and also gives easy access to other areas of interest in the city.

30 Jul 2010 Important Historical Landmarks of New Zealand

New Zealand is considered to be one of the youngest countries in the world, as it was the last major land mass to be discovered by Europeans. For a young country, New Zealand boasts many fascinating and important historical sites, a legacy of its original inhabitants, the Maori and also its years as a British colony.

The most important historical site in the country is at Waitangi on North Island, where a treaty was signed in 1840 between the Maori and the British, the site is considered to be the birthplace of New Zealand as a nation. The grounds cover 1000 acres and were a gift to the people of New Zealand by the governor at the time, Lord Bledisloe.

There are several highlights of any visit to Waitangi. Not to be missed are the Treaty House, the country’s oldest home, and built for New Zealand’s first resident. Te Whare Runanga is an elaborately carved Maori meeting house; and you can also marvel at one of the world’s largest ceremonial war canoes. Many visitors simply enjoy strolling around the beautiful grounds. If that inspires you, you can even get married at Waitangi.

Two of the oldest towns in New Zealand are situated in the area of the country known as the Bay of Islands, Russell and Kerikeri. Russell boasts an excellent small museum offering an overview of contact between the Maori and Europeans; as well as Christ Church, the oldest wooden church in New Zealand. Russell is also the site of one of the most infamous incidents in the country’s history, the chopping down of the ceremonial British flagpole by the Maori chief Hone Heke.

Kerikeri has the distinction of being the oldest European settlement in New Zealand. A stroll through the quaint streets of the town will show you both the oldest wooden building and the oldest stone building in the country. A couple of nearby historical sites give an insight into New Zealand’s history. Kororipo Pa is a well-preserved Maori fort; Rewa Village is a full scale reconstruction of a Maori fishing village.

Throughout New Zealand, there are many other reminders of the Maori, such as burial grounds, sacred sites and tribal meeting places. The area around Taranaki on the North Island is a particularly good place to visit if you want to learn about the Maori culture, the small settlement at Parihaka was the largest Maori village in the region during the 19th century. There is also a monument to the Maori leader Maui Pomare, as well as the remains of several Maori forts, known as pa.

Wellington has been New Zealand’s capital since 1865 and boasts several historic buildings and sites, many dating from its days as an early European settlement. You can take one of several walking tours of Wellington which take in such historic sites as the birthplace of Katherine Mansfield, the country’s most famous author; and the Dominion Observatory, which once kept the time for the entire country.

Much of the country’s more recent history has been shaped at the Parliament buildings complex. Not to be missed if you are in Wellington are the Old Government building, the second largest wooden building in the world, and the National Library of New Zealand, with its books, maps and other documents. Also, not too far away, you can see one of the country’s most important and famous documents, the actual Treaty of Waitangi, on display at the National Archives building.

Nearly all visitors traveling to New Zealand by air arrive in Auckland, the country’s largest city. Although Auckland is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, it is worth taking the time to seek out some of the area’s historic sites. One of Auckland’s most beautiful buildings is Alberton, an ornate Victorian mansion dating from 1863, which offers a glimpse into how the wealthy lived 150 years ago.

Another historic home in the Auckland area is Highwic; a wooden house built in the Gothic style and filled with antiques. In order to gain some insight into the important role the sea has played in the lives of New Zealanders, visit the National Maritime Museum. Not only can you look at exhibits spanning 1,000 years, you can sail on them. The historic ship Ted Ashby offers rides several times a week.

Admittedly, many people visit New Zealand for the spectacular and dramatic scenery, and the chance to experience the great outdoors at its very best. However, if you are lucky enough to visit New Zealand, do not overlook the country’s proud and fascinating history.

26 Jul 2010 Festive New Zealand

New Zealand is a land in the far south where immigrant cultures were grafted onto a Polynesian landscape. This makes for a colourful culture replete with festivals of all kinds. There are festivals marking special days in the country’s colonial history, events that celebrate the indigenous Polynesian culture and still others that commemorate New Zealand’s rich agricultural traditions.

New Zealand celebrates its history on the last Monday in January with the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta. This colourful, nautical event commemorates the arrival of Captain Hobson in New Zealand when he founded the city of Auckland.

The Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta dates back to 1840 which makes it the country’s oldest sporting event. Predating the Americas Cup by 11 years, the Auckland Anniversary Regatta draws around 400 competing boats each year.

New Zealand’s Polynesian roots are celebrated at the Pasifika Festival held at Auckland’s Western Springs Stadium in March. The event celebrates the art, culture and lifestyle of the South Pacific through music and other performances.

First produced by Auckland City Council in 1993, Pasifika has grown over the years and now attracts more than 225000 visitors who come to enjoy the work of hundreds of performers from the Auckland region as well as the Pacific area.

The event kicks off on a Friday night with an opening concert from Air New Zealand. The main event starts of the Saturday and comprises around 300 food and craft stalls.

A popular addition to Pasifika was made in 1999 in the form of cultural villages. These showcase unique aspects of various Pacific Island communities. Each village presents a traditional and contemporary programme including music, dancing, workshops, and food.

In 2008, Wellington introduced its own Pasifika featuring exhibitors from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue displaying traditional handicrafts such as embroidery, weaving, shell jewellery and wood carving.

Agriculture is at the heart of the New Zealand economy so it’s no wonder that one of the country’s most important festivals covers farming and rural life. It’s the Royal New Zealand Show held over three days each November. With the theme of ‘Bringing the country to town’, the Show is held at Canterbury Agricultural Park, Wigram Road, Christchurch.

Featuring both indoor and outdoor displays and exhibitions, the Royal New Zealand Show attracts well over 100,000 visitors each year. Displays include marquees and pavilions showcasing the very best of New Zealand farming and rural life, top entertainment, and numerous other attractions. The event draws 5000 livestock entries and more than 400 exhibitors.

The Royal New Zealand Show was first held in 1924. Formerly held in rotation with Palmerston North, Hawke’s Bay, Hamilton, Invercargill and Christchurch, the show has been held at the Canterbury Agricultural Park in Christchurch since 2006.

New Zealand is a fascinating country but attending a festival can give you special insights into this antipodean nation.

25 Jul 2010 John Warwicker – Co-Founder of Tomato Design Company

Design company Tomato
( http://www.tomato.co.uk ) was founded in 1991 in London by John Warwicker, Steve Baker, Dirk Van Dooren, Karl Hyde, Richard Smith, Simon Taylor and Graham Wood. In 1994, Michael Horsham and Jason Kedgely joined.

tomato specializes in: Architectural Design, Consultancy, Drawing, Education, Electronic Interactive Media, Film & Commercial Direction, Graphic Design, Fashion, Motion Graphics, Music & Sound, Strategy, Branding & Identity, Photography, Publishing, Title Sequences, Typography, Writing.

In 1997, tomato interactive was formed with Tom Roope, Anthony Rogers and Joel Baumann. Tota Hasagawa joined in 2001 when tomato and tomato interactive became one and the same.

Baumann has since become Professor of Interactive Media and Communication at Kassel University in Germany and is still a member of tomato. Roope is a lecturer of Interactive Media Studies at the Royal College of Art in London.

Currently, tomato has studios in London, New York, Tokyo and Melbourne.

Laura Schwamb interviewed one of tomato’s founders, John Warwicker. Aside from his involvement with tomato, John Warwicker’s book “The Floating World,” is expected to be published by the end of 2006. He also works with the band “Underworld,” with tomato co-founders Karl Hyde and Richard Smith. Since 1989 Hyde and Smith have been “Underworld” and have released 7 albums to world-wide critical acclaim and had their music featured in several movies, the most notable being the film“Trainspotting,” for which tomato created the title sequence. tomato creates all the band’s sleeves and videos. Released in 2000 ‘Everything, Everything’, Underworld Live was released on CD, Vinyl and DVD. The DVD was at the time one of the most technologically sophisticated DVD’s released and went on to achieve Gold in its own right on the Japanese Music Charts. Apart from the accolades and awards Underworld in 2004 was voted the most influential Dance/Techno band in Japan in the last 20 years.

Some of tomato’s clients include:
ABC (Australia), Adidas, AOL, Bacardi, BBC, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Scotland, BMW, Casio, Chanel, Clinique, CNN, Coca-Cola, Daidaiya, Dell, Downsview Park (City of New York), DoCoMo, MTV, Nescafé, Nike, Nikon, Nokia, , Playstation, Porsche, Quest, Rado Rado, Reebok, Renault, Royal Mail, Sapporo City University, ScottFree, Seiko, Time Warner and many more.

Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and your current situation.

John: I was born in London in 1955. I could have gone to either Oxford or Cambridge University to study math or philosophy but I chose art school at Camberwell in South London because I wanted to find out how I could describe through experiences and thoughts—art gave me a greater possibility to play with language. (The real reason was that the girls were prettier at art school!)

I finished my B.A. and then got my Masters Degree in “Electronic Interactive Media,” at Birmingham Polytechnic. Being the end of the 70’s, I had to write my own course. I spent the 1980’s mainly working for the record industry, but by the early 90’s, I had a portfolio of jobs that others (clients) liked, but I did not.

At this time other friends of mine were going through a similar crisis or needed to be re-energized or re-focused, so I got them together in the same room—not all of them knew each other…and the conversation has continued under the guise of ‘tomato.’

I’m still part of tomato, in contact with the studio in London each day via phone and e-mail.

Over the years, I’ve traveled a lot (About 40 counties), sometimes for work, sometimes to give lectures or hold workshops; received a few prizes (The most cherished of which is that I became the first foreign member of the Tokyo type directors club); joined a band (in the early 80’s as a video DJ) and left but still kept in contact with the members.

In the early 90’s that band became ‘underworld’ and the members are founding members of tomato, too. And since then I’ve been a ‘member’ of the band again. I’ve written some articles, I’ve done a countless amount of press, written a book (out this year?) and contributed to the 5 books that tomato has had published and I’ve been a consultant to the British government on the ‘creative industries.’
I’ve basically drifted for 25 years—mainly in the company of people who I really like, love, and respect.

I guess it has been a struggle. One struggle is getting paid enough money to keep myself and my family going. I was married for 15 years before this marriage, and have two lovely children, Poppy and Angus, from that marriage, on one hand and on the other hand is my “art.”

So, do I think I’ve succeeded or accomplished anything? Besides the personal things like my children and my marriage with Naomi—all of whom I adore and tomato itself, I think the answer is ‘no.’ Actually, I know the answer is no.

Q: What message do you try and teach your students?

John: I often ask students “Who are you?, Who do you want to be? And how do you want to get there?” and like them, I would still have problems answering that. And every now and again one has to take a minute to seriously ask those questions. It’s important because one can get so easily diverted and submerged by the ‘commercial’ world. Now, if someone is happy about that, then great. This is not a qualitative judgment, just a recognition that I can sweep you away from who you are.

Also, I think education has a lot to answer for. A lot of art education around the world fails in its basic requirement to help and support everyone. The ironic thing (and the most difficult one to be objective about) is that neither tomato nor I would have worked on the projects that we have for the ‘a’ list of global clients if we believed that there was such a thing as the ‘industry.’

We are asked to work on projects because we are not part of the ‘industry’ (although the industry might think we are). Life is too interesting to be constrained by method. It’s too reductive. Both tomato and I take as much care over a humble black and white a flyer as we do designing a building or directing a television commercial for Nike or Chanel.

This is not trying to disown the commercial projects that I—or tomato—have done. As long as one learns something (which is often the case) than it’s valuable. But this learning has to be focused towards an aim. And in this multiple-media, post-modernist world of distractions we all live in, the focus and the aim is not only very hard to define, but also very hard to keep hold of.

All through my commercial ‘life’ I’ve pushed on with my own personal work, which has in part acted as R&D for the commercial.

And I hope my book, which was started, in some ways, when I was studying for my M.A. –has benefited from taking such a long, enforced time.

Also, I hoped that moving to Australia would provide the break in the commercial habit and need, but so far that hasn’t been the case. In fact, quite the opposite. On one hand, I’ve been very lucky because I’ve had lots of work, all of which have been interesting and challenging, and this has been needed because moving one’s family is always far more expensive than one can imagine. But on the other hand, I’ve had less time to myself, or more accurately for myself. So, this question has caught me at a time of irresolution, but that’s nothing new!

Q: When creating, what do you feel is the most important aspect? Planning, designing or implementing?

John: When it comes to creating, the most important thing is to keep the spirit of what you are trying to achieve fresh throughout this process. I often think of this ‘spirit’ in musical terms, of a note or a series of notes…and that the process is akin to hearing something, writing it down, getting it played and recorded.

Q: Tell us about your favorite project. What was it?

John: Despite what I said earlier, I’m proud of many of the commercial jobs that tomato and I have undertaken. In some ways tomato itself is my favorite project. I guess the answer to your question is my book “The Floating World” because even though it isn’t everything I would want, it has gone some way to laying down a foundation that I can now build upon. “The Floating World” is 400 pages of thoughts, drawings and photographs. It’s a journey recorded and journeys reflected upon.

Q: Where do you go for inspiration? Any must-have magazines?

John: Everyone and everywhere is the truthful answer. There’s no method to it. Sometimes, one can look at a book or magazine containing the most wonderful work with ‘dead eyes’ and then, for no apparent reason, something might ‘catch’ my eye while I’m walking down the street and ideas just explode. There was a wonderful African band called Osibisa that had some popularity in England in the early 70’s. One of their first tracks had the wonderful lyric of ‘…criss-cross rhythms exploding with happiness.’ That’s what I experience when something ‘clicks’ inside of me. But as to its trigger, it’s wonderfully unpredictable.

Out of the hundreds that I come across, these magazines are my “must have” ones are: Idea (Japan), Eye (UK), and Creative Review (UK)

Q: You handle many projects on a daily basis. Can you give us a sense of how many, what kind, and how you keep track of so many?

John: The best way to answer this is for me to list exactly what I’ve been doing this week:

1. Creative direction and rebranding for the rejuvenation of the Hotel Windsor, including the design of 150 different items. Writing the interior design brief and supervising the choice of architects and interior designers.

2. Submission of a proposal for an interactive film for Chanel in Paris (with tomato).

3. Submission for a proposal for a Hewlett-Packard television commercial for Asia.

4. Designing an identity for a large property development company here in Melbourne.

5. Designing a website for an English-speaking culture guide to Paris.

6. Working with Rick and Karl of ‘Underworld’ on a multitude of projects. New Book, Online Publications, 12″ ‘House’ Bag, 12″ Sleeves for Remixes…

7. My own work/experiments.

8. Research.

9. Preparing for a workshop and my keynote talk at the big design conference, AGIdeas, here in Melbourne next week.

How do I keep track of them? Mainly in my head rather than noting them down!

Q: Do you often have to go the extra mile? If so, how often? Give us your most extended example.

John: I suppose my book, ‘The Floating World’ is my most extreme example. Without knowing it, I’ve been ‘writing’ it all my life. It started when I was researching material for my Masters degree at the end of the 70’s and then took 25 years to slowly accumulate and get to a critical mass that seemed like it had formed into ‘one thing.’

In 2002 I started ‘designing’ the book, pulling all the disparate thoughts, writing and visual material together. I must have designed the whole book (400 pages) 4 or 5 times before I was satisfied with it.

And then the task of finding a publisher began. The first tomato book was published by Thames and Hudson so I took “The Floating World” to the editor that I knew. He really liked the book, but said it was too ‘difficult’ for them to publish. The sales team wouldn’t understand it and wouldn’t know how to market it.

Then through friends I approached another publisher who was very keen to publish it, but unfortunately, after a promising start, the company folded. Michael at tomato suggested that I see a mutual friend and writer, Liz Farrelly, who had several contacts in the publishing world. She was very enthusiastic about the book and sent me on my way to see a publisher called Michael Mack.

Michael immediately said ‘yes.’ However, this was not the end of the saga. At the start of last year I was visiting my parents-in-law in Melbourne with my family. The plan was X-Mas and January in Melbourne, then back to London then off to Germany to supervise the printing.

Well… my mother-in-law suffered a slight stroke 3 days before we were supposed to return to London, then the next day my wife pulled a ligament in her knee and had to have surgery. So, I had to stay on and look after them all and I missed my print ‘slot.’ A year later, I’m still waiting but it looks like the book will go to press this June.

Add to influences: Lawrence Weiner, James Burke, Sol Le Witt, Carl Andre.

Q: What has been your highest pressure situation to date?

John: It is, and always will be, the first mark on the paper or screen.

Q: When you’re designing a project, do you keep the personal out of it and make all your decisions based on solid research, trends, and related information?

John: I find it so important to not take things personally and keep design as a business, so I’m curious to hear how other designers feel about this and if it works either way.

I couldn’t care less about research, trends, and so on. when they are ‘quantified’ for the industry. partly because by the time the ‘industry’ has caught onto something, it’s long gone and mutated into something else.

And for those who are reading this who do believe in the ‘industry’… I have been a consultant to a global ad agency and I was offered the job of creative director of JWT in New York (Which I turned down because they wouldn’t embrace the flux of the 21st century). I know how misplaced this method of quantification can be.

Q: Considering the importance of keeping current, how do you keep up? What are the current trends in packaging, color, design, architecture …

John: I don’t worry about ‘keeping up.’ I just feed myself with things that I do not know about. There’s always a problem with ‘keeping up’ and current trends—by the time you know about them they’ve been done.

As you know, I have thousands of books and thousands of magazines and I’m always interested in what’s happening, but a titan painting is just as contemporary as a website. It always depends on one’s approach.

Q: Tell us how you start a typical day from when you first wake to when you finally get home.

John: Up at 8:30am (Unless our little boy Noah has jumped on me in his boundless enthusiasm earlier!)E-mails, phone calls, and work throughout the day and also meetings. I stop around 2-3am on average, 7 days a week. This is, in part, caused by the fact I’m here in Australia and London/Europe doesn’t start their day until 6pm my time.

Q: Do you travel much? How much? Where? Tell us all about your favorite work/travel experience.

John: Over the last 10 years, I’ve traveled internationally constantly- to give talks, to work etc. probably 5-10 times a year. Antwerp, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Stockholm, Tampere (Finland), Tokyo, Sapporo, Sao Paolo, Rio, New York, Sicily, Rhode Island School of Design, Los Angeles, Sydney, Auckland, Iceland, Montreal, Cape Town, Milan, Istanbul, Castellon (Spain) being some of the places I’ve visited. I never tire of New York, Tokyo, or Paris.

But the ‘best trip’ was probably the week or so Naomi and I spent on Stromboli, the volcanic island just off the coast of Sicily. Neither of us are passive travelers—we tend to do work (drawings, photographs, writing) whenever we’re on holiday anyway. But Stromboli is just an active volcano, black beaches, good food and the Mediterranean. Wonderful.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of your job? Photo shoots, travel, meetings, presentations…?

John: Learning. Finding something new no matter in what context.

Q: Who or what has been your biggest design influence—and why?

John: The true answer is everyone I meet and everything I see or hear. Obviously, everyone in tomato, and my friends. But there are other people (often dead) that I look to. And by the way, I don’t think about ‘design’ in influences. It’s all about someone or something that influences ones approach, and thinking, as well as craft.
I suppose my first influence was my grandfather. He was the catalyst for my young imagination. He was a mathematician and was also interested in art and philosophy. Through his notebooks, I became entranced in mark-making and typography.

At 6 years old, there’s no way of understanding his equations but he tried to explain them anyway. The idea that a letter or symbol could mean something else was alchemic. This started my interest in typography and his notebooks in combination with a chance discovery of the work of Katsushita Hokusai in a book on Asian Art ignited my lifelong immersion in and interest about art and ideas.

My wonderment about Hokusai was initially juvenile; I was 6 after all! I read that he had made 30,000 woodcuts during his long life as well as a prodigious number of paintings, drawings and books. This sort of fact always fascinates small boys (Even though they might now be over 50!)

And what was (and still is) of equal importance was that his articulate, life-full images were of the world around him and not the posed artifice of all those brown European paintings of the 17th-early 19th century elsewhere in my grandfather’s books.

In addition, there were visits to the museums in London, such as the British museum and the more idiosyncratic ones such as the Horniman’s museum near to where my parents lived. London and Southern England are themselves rich ‘museums’ of art and ideas. Everywhere I traveled, everywhere where my parents or grandparents took me, was rich with artifacts and stories— evidence of the long journey. All of which acted as signposts for my imagination.

This is how I’ve assimilated this list of ‘influence’ not as a ‘copy book’ but as a personally assembled lexicon of ‘ways of doing, ways of being’.

Q: How is working at tomato working for you in Melbourne?

John: I don’t know! I really haven’t had time to say ‘Hello, here we are.” I’ve been too busy. This might change after I give the talk to 2,000 people at a conference next week.

Q: And last, what were you doing right before you decided to answer these questions? And if there was a CD or a radio on, what were you listening to?

John: I was trying to get to sleep but we foolishly have been allowing Noah into our bed at night and tonight he was on full rotation so rather than suffering more hours of being battered. I gave up and at 3.30am started this questionnaire! I was listening to Treatise by Cornelius Cardew.

25 Jul 2010 Is cruising the right choice of holiday for you

Cruising is an ideal vacation. There is a world of variety available. It is important to do a bit of research in order to choose the right ship, the right destination, the right mix of passengers for your needs.

If you’ve never cruised before, I would suggest you start out with one of the three or four day itineraries to the Bahamas or Baha Mexico to whet your whistle. The ships in those markets are not the mega-size but will give you a good taste of what

cruising is like. They are still very nice ships with all the excitement and

amenities cruising offers and you can see if you enjoy ship life, being waited on

by extremely attentive staff, having nonstop activities of every kind. Rarely, do

passengers not become cruising enthusiasts.

Next, explore the different cruise lines and ask questions of your family and friends who have cruised. There are also very good cruise websites such as www.cruisecritic.com where you can communicate with frequent cruisers and get feedback on particular ships, what to pack, even which staterooms are best. If you’re young singles, you would definitely not want to cruise on a ship that caters mainly to seniors! Itineraries are very important as well. Initially, I wanted to go to Caribbean destinations and I had to be in port every day or I was psychotic. As I grew older, I found I liked to have a day at sea in between a port – and I wanted to travel other places. I love Mediterranean cruising and the capitals of

Scandinavia and St. Petersburg, Russia was one of the most beautiful cruises I

ever did – as was one from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand. Now, I

even enjoy the transatlantic crossing with six days at sea – and they can be a

real bargain!

Ships range from small to mega vessels holding over 3500 passengers. Choose accordingly. Most are elegant, some with priceless art collections, beautiful atriums, lovely showrooms, spas to rival those on land, indoor swimming pools,

gorgeous dining rooms. Cabins, unless you can afford the large suites, are not

huge – but most of your time is usually spent out and about on the ship. Regular

cabins are intimate, to say the least and the bathrooms are tiny – again, if you

have money to burn ( I usually prefer to spend mine on another cruise! ), larger

cabins have larger bathrooms.

Most cruise lines don’t have classes ( other than on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and other

ships of that company ) so all passengers eat in the same dining rooms

24 Jul 2010 What to Look For in Culinary Arts Schools

When you are choosing a school to study food courses at, knowing what to look for in culinary schools means that you will make the right choice the first time. Asking around in the industry to see which schools employers favor is a good way to get an idea of the most respected and highly thought of schools. If location is a factor for you, then you will need to ask around within your city or at least state (unless you don’t mind traveling).

It is believed that these schools have the most success when it comes to job placement after study, with many employers taking students as soon as they graduate.

Cooking is growing in popularity as a career choice due to TV shows and online sites which have shown people how fun it can be to be involved in a culinary career. It’s also reasonably paying and there is plenty of room for advancement as chefs can work their way up within a particular restaurant. In addition, there is also room for advancement in better restaurants and other cooking establishments. Usually the better restaurants pay their chefs higher salaries.

Some of the best culinary schools around the world include:

USA

The Culinary Institute of Canada (Charlottetown, PE)

California School of Culinary Arts Pasadena

Orlando Culinary Academy

Texas Culinary Academy’

Pennsylvania Culinary Institute

The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago

Lincoln College of Technology

The Culinary Institute of America

Le Cordon Bleu College Of Culinary Arts – Las Vegas, Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami and Dallas

The Restaurant School, Philadelphia

UK

School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, DIT, Dublin, Ireland

Oceania

North Shore International Academy, Auckland, New Zealand

Other locations

International Centre for Culinary Arts, Dubai

Culinary Academy Of India

The above schools are all highly regarded in the culinary industry and a qualification from any will result in an outstanding looking resume. But there are many others. And even beyond the school you go to, the cooking establishments you work in and receive further training from will help your resume as well.

At culinary school you will learn about cooking, baking, nutrition, food standards, food identification, food hygiene, recipes preparation, menus and much more. Most schools have outstanding and experienced culinary chefs as teachers.

Culinary schools such as those listed above are equipped with full scale kitchens that replicate those found in the industry. This gives students the chance to gain experience in a real environment as well as utilize all utensils and equipment that would be found in a job situation.

Some culinary schools specialize in particular aspects of the subject such as baking and pastry, fine dining, corporate and event dining and others. There are also more and more online culinary schools where students can study at their own pace and complete practical exercises at home.

Becoming a chef or other professional through completing a certificate or degree at culinary schools is an excellent way to form a solid and exciting career. There are countless opportunities for advancement and there is a lot of money to be made in an industry that is growing more every year.

24 Jul 2010 Factors to Consider When Obtaining A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

New Zealand, located across the continent of Australia, is a relatively small, rugged but very scenic and tranquil nation. It’s just about three hours by plane from Australia, and has a population of around 4 million people. The country’s European settlers began to settle here in 1642, and today compose the majority of residents. The Maoris, or New Zealand’s indigenous people, currently compose around 11% of the total population, and the rest are either Asian or Pacific islanders. It offers one of the highest living standards in the developed world, and has a thriving agro-industrial economy. Those who wish to travel and work in this lovely part of the South Pacific may now be able to do this, through applying for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

The country remains an integral part of the British Commonwealth, and has strong cultural and economic ties with the United Kingdom. In this part of the world, apple trees, sheep, kiwi fruit, olives and grapevines are common sights, and the landscape has a tranquil English countryside feel. New Zealand has three major cities. Auckland, located in the North Island, has a population of almost a million residents. Located in the North Island is the city of Wellington, which is the nation’s capital, and situated across the Cook Strait in South Island is Christchurch, which is the nation’s largest city. It has a population of 300,000 and is famous for resembling an ornate English town complete with elegant stone buildings, wide green gardens and a lovely river that cuts through the city’s central commercial district

Living costs in this country are relatively lower compared to the United States or Canada; however the wages are a bit lower than those two nations. The economy here thrives around agriculture, the services sector, and the farming/mining industry. For those wishing to travel and work at the same time, the most common visa issued to these types of travelers is the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa (WHV). This work and travel visa is however, only limited to persons who live in countries that have reciprocal arrangements with New Zealand. Among the nations that have this arrangement with New Zealand are Canada, Argentina, Chile, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, France, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, Uruguay and the United Kingdom.

In order to qualify for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, the residents of the following countries mentioned earlier need to be between 18 and 30 years old, are able to prove that they have access to sufficient funds to support themselves while in the country, do not have any dependent children with them while traveling, have not yet experienced working in New Zealand before, and can show evidence of adequate medical insurance for the duration of their visit. To legally work here, travelers also need to apply for an IRD number from the country’s Inland Revenue bureau, for taxation purposes. In order to get an IRD number, all you need to do is to download and fill up the application form from the IRD Website and send these to the New Zealand Inland Revenue office. You may also download an IRD form while overseas. In addition, some of the nation’s employers may require that you directly open a bank account, for the proper delivery of your salary and other temporary benefits. Although some banks here are quite wary of allowing foreigners to open a bank account, showing your working holiday visa and explaining that you are here for a year would help speed up the process.

23 Jul 2010 Finding Hotels Across New Zealand

New Zealand is a very big country and consists of two main islands (the North Island and the South Island) as well as free associations (the residents of which are citizens of New Zealand) and various smaller islands. Finding hotel accommodation is therefore very much dependant on where you wish to stay and how much you are willing to part with for accommodation. Auckland is the country’s largest and most populated city located on the North Island. It is a popular tourist hot spot in addition to which houses the busiest air port in the country. Most flights landing in New Zealand do so at the Auckland International Airport. There are a great number of tourist attractions in the city from amphitheatres, stadiums, the Auckland Town Hall, The Auckland War Memorial Museum, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World and bridges as well as numerous natural volcanic cones. Auckland is the country’s commercial hub and is one of the most expensive places to stay at. Hotel rates are high and this is especially true during summer which is the peak season.

Summertime is the most pleasant time to visit the cool region of New Zealand. This is what most visitors to New Zealand do and this is when the hotel rates skyrocket. Advisable to visit the country during the off season as hotels will be reasonably cheaper.

Hotels are possibly the most expensive living arrangement that you could choose. But they also offer much more privacy, comfort, luxuries such as cable television, Internet access, telephone lines, gyms, pools etc and a variety of services from catering all meals (an especially good way to experience the local cuisine) to room service, laundry services etc. A very comfortable option for business people who are in the country on work and do not have to time to do all this on their own.

Many hotels across New Zealand offer you up to twelve months advance bookings. This is convenient for those people with a fixed purpose and agenda. It is also a good way to book your living arrangements before the rates begin to sky rocket.

In case you don’t trust your travel agent to make the right decisions for you are absolutely free to peruse the World Wide Web at your leisure to locate the best deal for yourself. Hotels are found aplenty all across the country even in the smallest towns so you will not be hard pressed to find something that suits your tastes and budget. Since there are so many hotels across the country they are always competing with each other which are beneficial to the customers. They normally offer several discount rates and schemes by which you can arrange for rooms at reduced prices. or example students can almost always get reductions on producing an I card for proof.

The rates also depend on the kind of room and number of rooms that you wish to rent. A modest room with minimum luxuries and a single bed will definitely cost less than a suite with kitchenette, en suite bathroom, television and the like.

Almost all hotels rooms can now be booked as well as paid for online. It is also possible to book a room online at the very last minute though at an extra fee.

21 Jul 2010 Whats The Future Of Air Travel?

Air travel is great when it works, when it doesn’t, it’s a nightmare. It is safe for infants, even newborns and no matter where you’re going, it seems air travel is an essential part of your trip. One reason why there is such fast growth is that air travel was under-priced until higher fuel prices came along but yet demand for air travel is at its highest levels since 9/11. It is governed by International, European and Domestic legislation and even private corporate air travel is now accessible. Traveling by air is the fastest way to travel but it is still very tiresome but is frequently the most practical method of covering the large distances between sights around the world. A century after the very first flight, air travel is no longer a miracle, it’s something we all now take for granted. Commercial air travel is a comfortable, speedy and a safe means of transport like buses in the sky.

This pattern is not seen for all airlines in all regions. Aloha Airlines received the fewest complaints for any airlines recently. Different airlines have different policies but they all make them as safe and profitable as possible. When it comes to prices now a days, the best deals are offered by Aeroflot, Quantas Airlines, Japan Airlines and Southwest Airlines. More and more airlines are cutting out a lot of their business class air travel and sticking with just coach and first class flights because business travel is way down. Some airlines are better than others at providing a quality air travel experience but there are so many flights to chose from. That’s why the member airlines of the Air Transport Association have set forth their commitment to improving air travel and making it as safe as can be.

With the geography of aviation and airports, air travel is a fascinating subject since it involves the immediate movement of people around the globe. Canada’s new government announces increased security measures for airports and air travel. European airports are handling the second largest air travel market in the world and are talking positively about their future. Whether on a domestic or a multinational trip, airports really can save you money. All airports in the United States are certainly focused on optimizing safety because millions of people are moving through our airports every day of the week.

Be smart while you travel: Make sure you follow travel safety tips while you are on your trip.The Airport Authority always offers tips for travelers and you should always follow them for smooth traveling.

Air travel is still growing and the key to successful air travel is planning, preparation and communication because it is such big business and can easily become a nightmare.

Happy Traveling

Auckland Semper Jr loves and studies Traveling since 1993. He loves doing research to contribute to ezines,newsletters and websites.You are more than welcome to use his articles as long as a link to his website is provided that search engines can follow.For more information about Air Travel visit http://www.infoairtravel.com