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Stephen Hawking, God, The Grand Design and a Simple Layman

Stephen Hawking is a genius. You may have heard that before; it’s not a groundbreaking observation. However, does any level of genius allow a person the ability to more fully understand or explain a notion or concept that is based on faith?

The Grand DesignI wanted to try and get a clearer view of this question by reading Hawking’s new book, The Grand Design, which has many religious folks quite up in arms. It is important to point out that I am a very simple layperson when it comes to anything scientific, but I plodded through the reading as best I could, an online dictionary always at the ready.

Excerpt from Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design

There is a telling portion of chapter one of The Grand Design that is both interesting and requisite of a few reads to absorb. The book was co-written by Hawking, along with Len Mlodinow. Hawking and Mlodinow explain that the “M-Theory” is a combination of several theories about existence and the beginning of everything we humans know as our reality.

I don’t have permission to excerpt the book directly, so I will instead quote the paragraphs from an ABC news article online, which does have those permissions:

We will describe how M-theory may offer answers to the question of creation. According to M-theory, ours is not the only universe. Instead, M-theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing.

Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god. Rather, these multiple universes arise naturally from physical law. They are a prediction of science.

Is Stephen Hawking Saying that God Doesn’t Exist?

Actually, no. What Stephen Hawking is detailing is that his studies in physics have led him to the conclusion that something can be made from nothing. In other words, a Divine Deity would not be necessary to have created our galaxy, as the process that did create it has worked its magic many times, creating a rather impressive number of universes.

While it may be the splitting of some pretty fine hairs to reason that saying God isn’t necessary for creation doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist, it bears pointing out that at no point do Hawking and Mlodinow assert that a Divine Being does not – or could not – exist.

Is Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design Definitive Proof of how the Universe was Created?

In a couple of words:

Not hardly.

There seems to be very little about this M-Theory that significantly strengthens science’s long-held beliefs in how the universe was created. It should be noted that it is entirely possible that I am only not sharp enough of mental aptitude to understand the complex differences between the M-Theory and its predecessors, but my abilities are the only standard I have available to conclude. To say that the proper mix of existing theories into one encompassing theory legitimizes all of them is quite a leap.

The concept of creating something out of nothing doesn’t hold water, as it is still not a case of absolute nothingness becoming something. Whether it is a matter or a concept of time and space, everything is something and didn’t –as far as we can prove – originate from absolute nothing.

Stephen HawkingSo, is it Confirmed that God Created the Universe and Stephen Hawking is Wrong?

This could be answered with a simple pair of rather familiar words:

Not hardly.

Belief in a Divine Being creating the universe is a question of faith. Scientific rationale is not necessary or even desired. If a person believes in God, then no further explanation of who he is or from where he came is necessary. If a person doesn’t believe in God, no attempted explanation of who he is or from where he came will suffice.

Science is in the unenviable position of having to put up hard facts to substantiate their findings. Religion, on the other hand, needs only to say “You must have faith”.

Could there be an Ulterior Motive for Stephen Hawking in The Grand Design?

Let me interject with a personal disclaimer before answering this: I am a huge fan of Mr. Hawking, and believe him to be a brilliant, fascinating man who has contributed unimaginable knowledge and goodwill to our planet.

That said, as mentioned earlier, Stephen Hawking is a genius. Would a genius level aptitude even be required to understand that bringing in the lack of a need for God would create controversy and certainly sell books?

The Grand Design is a fascinating book even if, like me, it is hard for you to comprehend every detail, as the two brilliant minds that wrote it exists on a different level of pure brain power than the very vast majority of the world. The M-Theory is a fascinating scientific breakthrough in physics. However, the fact that this theory illustrates the lack of necessity of a Great Being to create the universe is indeed a selling point. Taking advantage of that fact makes no one disreputable at all. It just makes that person a smart marketer.

Skin Care: Why Hydrate and Moisturize?

Have you pictured yourself in the gorgeous, smooth, hydrated skin that was always a dream? If it seems like a dream too far and you are stuck with troublesome dry skin – or, like so many more around you, you are not clear about the difference between moisturizing and hydrating – this is just the place for you to be in!

Come to think of it, what is the precise difference between moisturizing and hydrating? Before you set about trying to understand the difference, you need to become more familiar with your skin and the workings of the dermal layer.

Dry skin can make it look wrinkledHave you ever realized that your skin is working hard round the clock? Not many people seem to realize that this is the largest organ in the human system that is responsible for covering the entire length of the body. Skin is the proverbial first line of defense for the body and helps in keeping us cool by sweating. Skin also grows the sufficient number of cells every month to get renewed and avoid any instances of depletion.

There is no end to this song of praise about the skin – it always has a lot going on for itself in staying hydrated and helping you look gorgeous.

Hydrate Your Skin – What Does It Mean?

Before going any further, it is important that a clear definition of dehydrated skin be established. Like anything else, dehydrated skin refers to the condition when the skin does not have enough water. It’s not always about dry and flaky skin. In the case of dehydrated skin, the water content within the tiny skin cells drops. This is important for your skin to ensure it functions properly and allows you to look at your best.

Hydrated skin is when your skin cells feel plump and rich in the water content that will keep it in perfect shape. It does not require any magic trick! Simply remember to drink enough water or use a topical product for hydration such as a face mist to get the results. However, a clear understanding of hydration is not possible if you are left ignorant about moisturizing.

Moisturize Your Skin – What Does It Mean?

While hydrating the skin helps keep it healthy, it will be of little good to you if all of that luscious hydration simply evaporates away from the skin. Good thing the skin has an oil barrier of its own to control the amount of water being lost – this is known as the lipid barrier.

Studies done on the importance of water for the skin has established that it cannot function normally without the right amount of water, especially the outer layers. It is important to regulate water being a loss from the epidermal surface to allow the complex nature of skin to function unhindered.

Your skin has microscopic barriers on its outer layer which helps in keeping the water content from the skin is lost. This is what is referred to as moisturized skin.

The bottom line is that if you have not done enough to properly moisturize your skin, all the good work you do towards hydrating it will be of waste. Non-moisturized and dehydrated skin put together amounts to dry and flaky skin.

While your skin has its lipid barrier, a little helping hand from your end will not go waste. This is where moisturizers come into the picture. Only when your skin is hydrated on the inside and moisturized on the outside will it be able to perform healthily.

Tips for Keeping Your Skin Moisturized and Hydrated

Take in plenty of water:

Your beauty is what lies on the inside (surely, you knew that!) and there is more than one way in which this can be true. You need water to keep the skin cells hydrated, and it has to be provided for from someplace. So, ensure you take in sufficient amount of water daily to stay hydrated.

Sleep with a humidifier:

Dry air makes your skin lose moisture in double quick time, and this is no secret. Infuse moisture into your skin with the help of a humidifier to keep the troubles of dry air at bay. Turn the humidifier on in your bedroom before you go to sleep to prevent loss of moisture during your sleep time.

Be liberal with the use of moisturizers:

Always keep a moisturizer handy around you. Don’t try to cheat on your skin with this hydration-trapping barrier else you will find it getting dehydrated all too soon. After you clean your face every day, put on a high-quality moisturizer. Even for those with naturally oily skin, the use of a moisturizing product is advisable. Just because your skin is oily, it does not mean that it will be moisturized as well.

Avoid frequent cleansing of the skin:

If you want glowing skin, it is a given that you should cleanse your face. However, try not to cleanse yourself too frequently else you may end up washing away the protective layer of oil that is so important for keeping the skin moisturized.

It is advisable that you do a cleanse twice a day and avoid doing any more than that. Also, use cool water rather than hot water for the cleansing. Hot water tends to produce more of a drying effect and could potentially make your daily face-wash routine a face-dry session.

Make use of suitable hydrating products:

There are many products in the market that have been specifically designed for keeping the face hydrated and infusing moisture deep into the cellular levels of the skin. Beauty patches are a good option for keeping the skin hydrated as well as reducing visible wrinkles and lines on your face. Get products for the Korean beauty look and follow Korean skincare routine for keeping your skin well hydrated and moisturized.

At the end of this knowledge session, you are sure to be better placed in terms of understanding the working of your skin while also realizing that hydrating and moisturizing are not quite two sides of the same coin. It’s time for you to take the necessary steps towards giving yourself a healthy and nourished skin.

A Computer That’s Right For You

Ever since the introduction of the personal computer, the battle between Macintosh computers and PCs has been raging with both sides digging in and claiming one computer is better than the other.

Back in the 1980s, I recall both Macintosh computers and PCs. In our home, we had a PC. It was a Kaypro computer, 10-megabyte hard drive, 64K RAM, and a single 5-1/4-inch floppy disk drive.

At my friend’s house, we often played games on an old Apple II computer with 48KB RAM and two 5-1/4-inch floppy disk drives. But then we switched to playing Pong and Pac Man on the Atari game system better music, impressive graphics, and you just couldn’t beat it.

So just what are the differences between PC and Macintosh computers? Let’s take a look.

Information Security: Is Your Computer Secure?

Today, we have many more issues to grapple with when it comes to computers. One pressing one is information security. With all the computer hackers, identity thieves, computer viruses, worms, and other uninvited guests, computer users need an operating system that blocks the possibility of anybody breaking into your private personal data.

While PCs have come a long way in firewall protection, Macintosh computers are far less vulnerable to attacks since the computer worm and virus software is written mainly to the newer PC platforms. Since the PC is used so widely in offices, hackers focus more on them than they do Macintosh computers.

Mac vs PCGraphic Design and Animation

It is widely thought throughout the industry that Macintosh computers are preferred over PCs for their ability to process memory-intensive jobs including graphic design and animation. PCs, on the other hand, are known to be very office-friendly with Microsoft’s suite of office software.


Regarding gaming, PCs beat Macintosh computers hands-down. That’s why more computer games are manufactured for PCs than Macintosh computers. If you’re on a Macintosh computer and you suddenly want to play video games, you’ll find yourself limited unless you’re gaming over the Internet.

Music, Video, Movies, Chat, Web Creation, and Images

While the masses debate whether music and video are better on one platform over the other, some prefer Macintosh for its collaborative suite of media tools. Like iMovie for video editing, iPhoto for digital photograph organization, iChat for an interactive web-based chat, iWeb for basic web page design and web development, and iTunes for MP3s and streaming Web radio. Others find PCs just as media-friendly. So on this note, it’s merely a matter of preference.

Operating System Stability

Macintosh computer users swear by Mac’s UNIX-based operating system as compared to Microsoft Windows software. Stability means fewer system crashes and lost data; and the most dreaded of all, the blue screen of death.


Macintosh computers are higher priced than PCs, particularly when it comes to laptop computers. This is why many flock to lower-priced PCs; and others who swear by Macintosh’s legendary stability and ease of use don’t mind paying a little more for what they feel is a better product.

These are just a few differences between PC and Macintosh computers. The computer you choose depends on what you want to use it for: basic web surfing, documentation, music and video, gaming, graphic design, animation, and so on. Meanwhile, the battle between PCs and Macintosh computers rages on.

Choosing Between a Laptop vs. a Desktop

As you already know a desktop is bulky, cheap and useful. A laptop is sleek, expensive, and useful.

Did you get that? They both do the same things, but the way to figure out which one to get comes down to two things:

1) Money
2) Use

If you have money to burn, get both and stop reading this. If you’re on a budget, desktops are much cheaper for the same hardware in comparable laptops. Laptops are expensive not only for convenience but for miniaturization of the computer hardware, not to mention designing new cooling methods for prolonged favorable operations.

Obviously, a computer becomes obsolete quickly, so if you do need to upgrade every 2-5 years as most people should, a desktop is a way to go. Since for the price of one laptop you can get a REALLY nice PC, or an average PC with ‘free’ (the extra $ you would have spent on a laptop of equal hardware) upgrades for the next decade as opposed to an average laptop with no upgrades.

Some will give you reasons such as college for laptops ONLY, but most colleges have laptops at libraries for checkout. Did I mention the high theft rate for laptops on college campuses too? Yeah, desktops are a bit hard to steal if they’re in your locked dorm/house/apartment.

If you’re a professional, then obviously get a laptop especially if you travel, but assuming you’re a student or family, laptops don’t have any added benefits even if you are in college other than convenience and a higher incidence of theft.

Why Would You Want to Charter a Private Aircraft?

A view of a private jet in an airport immediately makes you think that someone rich or a celebrity is flying out. However, in reality, it is not always so. Yes, celebrities do fly privately, but it isn’t necessary that this facility is enjoyed solely by the affluent population.

Certain myths surround private jets, and one common myth is that private jets are only owned by the rich and powerful. This may not always be true. Usually, it is owned by businesses, used only for business and chartered if not in use. Although some players in the field of private flying have made it accessible to many others.

Touring NYC in styleFly on a Private Jet for Less

There is a misconception that private jet flights are super expensive. In reality, you can find great seats in a private jet at amazing prices. There are two ways for this. One is that you share the flight with a group. The cost of taking a private jet is the same and doesn’t depend on the number of people onboard. Hence, the cost is divided among the passengers on that flight. If you go in a group, it will cost you lesser than taking the whole plane for yourself.

Another way is the empty leg flight. These are routes that are set to fly without any passengers onboard. This usually happens when a business owns a jet, and they need the jet to get to spot A from B. But there are no passengers from spot B that are going to A, although there are company executives that are flying out from spot A. So, on the route from B to A, the flight is empty.

In such cases, the company can sell the available seats at a discounted price. The cost can be as low as 75% off of the normal price. Travel companies often get a list of empty leg journeys so they can offer it to people who are looking to fly at convenience. Many charter companies also provide information on empty legs on their website too.

There is another way you can get a good deal on a private jet, and the example is JetSmarter. JetSmarter is a player in private aviation for shared flights. Customers have to pay $15,000 a year and book seats on flights. If they want to create their own flight, they can do so and post on the JetSmarter app. Other interested customers can buy seats on the plane and reduce the flight cost. If all seats are sold, then the customer who created the flight can fly for free.

Reasons to Charter a Private Jet

●     Challenges of Flying Commercially

When you fly on a plane that takes many passengers, airlines like Southwest or Delta, you fly commercially. That means the airline taking you is in the business of flying. Air travel by commercial flights has become increasingly difficult. Cancellation of flights due to bad weather or technical difficulties happen all the time. In case one flight is dependent on another’s landing on time, then there are delays in case the original flight lands late. For technical difficulties on a scheduled flight, the time to find a replacement is very high.

Cramped cabins, lack of leg space or bland food may not be very comfortable for long journeys, especially if you have to sit throughout the duration. The security lines are longer, add to that immigration and check-in time. More people can afford to fly now, than before, and the aviation system is not prepared for that. Crowded terminals and cabins add to the discomfort while flying commercially.

●     Unusual Destinations

Commercial planes usually fly those routes that have most demand and traffic. Routes that have less demand or traffic may be dropped by commercial airlines if they do not make any profit out of it. On such routes, private jets become very useful. You can charter one and go to any place that has an airport. Even small airports, where big commercial planes cannot land are good to serve a private jet that is smaller.

Charter jets make traveling more convenient●     Convenience and Flexibility

Chartering a private jet allows you the convenience to fly on your own time. You decide the time you want to take off and the destination. In case you want to travel with the elderly or infirm, someone who has had an accident or small babies, private jets offer you hassle free services as compared to commercial airlines.

Chartered planes also allow you flexibility. An example of flexibility is when if you need to go from one place to another, but flights have been canceled due to a storm in the route. A private jet allows you to change your route to get to your destination, which is not possible for commercial airlines.

●     Comfort and Amenities

Private jets provide comfort while you are traveling. It all starts when you arrive just on time and not 2 hours before your scheduled departure. There are no security queues, and all you have to do is walk into the terminal that is crowd free. Your luggage is directly taken by porters to be stowed away.

There are no lines for boarding pass checks, and you can directly board the flight. Many private jests have beds and flatbed seats if you want to nap and iPads if you want to watch something. These facilities are not available on domestic flights. The food can be as per your tastes and bar will have anything you want.

●     Privacy

If you charter a plane, then you don’t have to share it anyone, or you can choose to share with a few people. There aren’t crowds that you will have to brave to get to your plane and can travel in privacy.

Chartered flights are good for a lot of reasons, as already discussed above. You can book them according to their availability. The availability of chartered flights depends on various reasons.

There are many New York City-based charters as there is a lot of demand for NYC based routes. Being a business hub, executives often fly in and out of the city for business. The traffic is high and commercial flights are mostly packed. In such cases, businesspeople choose to charter planes and save time as well as money. Private jet charters are a good idea for multiple reasons, and they do not remain expensive due to various market players and schemes.

Review: Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, by Michael T. Klare

Michael T. Klare is an American writer and journalist who specializes in the political consequences of energy depletion. His last book, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum, examined the dangerous influence America’s huge oil needs is having on its foreign policy. This more recent book Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet (first published 2008), looks at the emerging energy scramble amongst the world’s great powers.

New GeopoliticsFuture Energy Wars

History shows nation-states involving themselves in wars over land. Michael T. Klare in this superbly researched book says that future conflicts will be over diminishing global energy supplies. Klare doesn’t predict full-blown war but shows where tense, future conflicts over resources could lie. Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet gives an impressive amount of detail on the strategies of emerging superpowers like China and India. These countries are aggressively wheeling and dealing to improve their access to oil, coal and gas, resources that are finite.

The book opens with the well-publicized case of China. Their state-owned oil company CNOOC Limited announced an $18.5 billion bid for the Unocal Corporation, a 115-year-old American energy firm with oil and natural gas reserves in North America and Asia. The bid caused such consternation in the US that Congress stepped in to scupper the deal. There are apparently limits to American enthusiasm for globalization and free markets, as Los Angeles’s top digital marketing agencies predicted. Jason Berkowitz SEO thinks that the digital marketing is part of the globalization landscape.

China’s Insatiable Appetite for Energy

Chinese hunger for energy is insatiable. Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet maps out the country’s future energy demands, which are eye-watering. By the year 2030, China is predicted to suck up 20 percent of the world’s total energy use, an increase from 15.6% in 2006. India is also in the market for energy, their percentage of worldwide use expected to jump from 3.9 percent in 2006 to 4.5 percent in 2030. With the rising middle classes of those two countries, many now aspire to the high-energy consumption lifestyle enjoyed in the West. A number of new cars these countries are putting on their roads ensures petrol prices can only rise.

Globalization and impact on digital marketingMichael T. Klare’s great skill is to marshal a lot of dense information and work it into a highly accessible narrative about likely future global power trends amongst countries like China, India, America, and Russia. The way he paints it, the US is looking vulnerable. China and India, with not enough natural resources in their possession, need to make aggressive business investments abroad. Russia once thought of as a loser in the new world of globalization, is on the comeback trail with its impressive oil and gas reserves. In this modern world, countries with natural energy resources get more of a chance to call the shots. Hence the new interest in the Caspian Sea area and African countries like Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, Chad, Gabon and the Sudan.

All of these resources that are being scrambled after are finite. Oil, gas, coal, uranium will all eventually be completely depleted. The decades ahead will only see a tightening squeeze on these resources. The enormous economic ambitions of counties like China and India may ultimately be out of reach unless some new energy miracle happens over the next couple of decades. If not, as Michael Klare paints it here, the future looks tense.

Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy, by Michael T. Klare. Published by Holt Paperbacks. ISBN: 978-0-8050-8921-9

Steps to Jumpstart Your Own Home-Based E-Commerce Business

While roughly 600,000 new businesses are starting each day, there are considerably more people who dream of becoming an entrepreneur. While there are infinite types of businesses that can be started, in countless industries – it can be difficult to narrow down the possible trade options to something that you could personally be successful in launching online.

you can start your ecommerce businessDetermining Which Products to Sell

ComScore reports that the top-performing online product categories are books & magazines, computers/peripherals/smartphones, computer software and consumer electronics. ComScore’s analysis shows that there is a strong willingness of consumers to spend money online for in-home entertainment and Break The Web can guide you in leveraging your e-commerce business. While this is good information to know, entrepreneurs must feel a personal connection to their new business and its products to be successful.

Complete the following steps to figure out which type of e-commerce business you would personally consider starting.

  • Review your resume. Take a formal look at your experience and consider doing business in the industry where you have the most experience, or dealing with products that you fully understand. It is easier to sell products or market within an industry in which you understand and know well.
  • List your personal qualities. Write down things that like to do, for instance, working with kids, reading business reports, researching, designing, photography, or advising others. If you are at a roadblock on what to write, think about the things you enjoyed most at work, or even at home. Write down at least five to seven different things.
  • Find need not fulfilled. The key to becoming successful is finding a need for a market, or niche market, in which is not being satisfied. For instance, Dell started in Michael Dell’s garage when he upgraded IBM compatible PCs to resell at a margin and found a need in the market for customers to order customized computers. Another success story is eBay when the founder Pierre Omidyar set up as a test and was surprised at the results and realized there was a need to match sellers of used products to potential customers in an auction environment. And better yet, Netflix began when Reed Hastings received a $40 late charge for returning a video and wondered by movie rental businesses were not run more like a health club, with a monthly fee for unlimited rentals.
  • Have personal interest or passion. You must have a personal interest in either the product or industry to sustain the momentum and drive needed to get the business going. Entrepreneurs that decide to sell a product because of the high-profit margins may never realize the potential if they do not feel the drive to promote it each day.
  • Research. Find out all that you can about the industry, competition, costs, and pricing. Look at the current demand for this product and market trends. If this is a unique idea or one where there is little current research available, then consider hiring a marketing research firm to gain insight on if it would be a profitable venture.
  • Evaluate. Discuss your top choices with family, friends, and those within your social network. If you know business professionals, ask for their opinions as well.

Purchasing a Pre-Packaged E-Commerce Business

ready to go prepackaged e-commerceEspecially if you are not sure anything about web design or coding, then it could become costly to set up a customized or unique e-commerce business. While there are companies which provide start-ups with a hosted e-commerce website for a monthly fee, they tend not to offer a selected number of templates that look a bit out-dated. While this is an affordable route for those on a budget, it may make it much harder for the business to gain popularity and grow in the beginning.

Pure eCommerce, the winner of the Startup Nation award, offers entrepreneurs a unique, themed website that already has vendors lined up and everything ready to start marketing to potential customers. This option may cost more upfront, but it does save much time and legwork – which can be overwhelming to new entrepreneurs. Also, they offer consulting services to ensure the new contractor is trained to handle the tasks of running the e-commerce business.

Beware of Offers that Seem Too Good to be True

Many websites on the internet aim to scam unsuspecting, new entrepreneurs. Stay away from offers that seem too good to be true, because most likely — they are scams. Becoming an entrepreneur requires much time and hard work, so if you see an offer where for a reasonable fee, you will become a millionaire quickly – leave the site immediately and do not give it a second thought.

Whether you decide to sell products wholesale from vendors, used from garage sales, or products that you make at home – decide on business in which you feel a personal connection. It is not just the product or service that will make a business profitable, but the drive and energy of the entrepreneur.

Deciding When to Repair or Buy a New Device

Most important factors to consider before repairing or purchasing a new electronic device:

1. How old is your device?

a. If your device is less than one year old and got some problem, then use the warranty and get it repair.

b. If your device is in good condition and damage was repairable then get it repair and re-use it.

c. If your device is very old (more than ten years) then replace it as soon as you get the problem with the device. Because old electronic devices uses more power.

A broken smartphone may just need the screen replaced2. How much is the original price of your device?

a. If the repair charges are more than or nearly same as that of the original cost of your device, then better change the device. Because you can get a brand new device with that repairing charge.

b. If the repair charge is less, then get it repair and use it.

3. What are the available features?

a. If your current electronic device is not having the features that are needed by present trends then change it and get a new piece with the features you are looking for. Since the cost of an electronic device is not stable and falling day by day, you can get a new device with multi features at low cost. The best example is a computer (Processor wise, memory-wise, and other features wise).

b. If it is possible to add the features you want to the current device at a reasonable cost, then get it modified and use it. You need to know about the additional parts and their prices regarding this case.

4. Is there any exchange offers available?

Check if there are any exchange offers available in the market. If you think that you get better device by exchanging your old one, then use this facility. This saves some money.

5. Are you sentimental?

If you have any sentiments with that device that you have been using for a long period, then it depends on you to take the decision.

6. Are you crazy about the latest electronic devices?

If you love latest trends and want to fill your living area with damn new devices, then you can sell the old one and get a new one.( Before changing the device that working in good condition, keep in mind that today’s new fashion is tomorrow’s old version).

Computer Geeks: The New Breed of Beauty

Once upon a time, people were asked whether they wanted beauty or brains for a partner. The question points to an expectation that you only had to choose one because a person having both is hard to find.

Women who can code are considered geeksIn this day, though, there is a new breed of beauties that’s been captivating the world over. Ever heard of Lyndsey Scott, the brains behind the app iPort? She is a computer programmer, a computer engineering and theater major—and oh, by the way, she is also a Victoria’s Secret angel!

Even beauty competitions like Ms. USA and Ms. Universe now celebrate not only beautiful faces, sexy bodies, and confident struts; but also, the candidate’s stand on issues and ability to communicate with diplomacy and tact. It is a great move that people now praise the holistic idea of beauty because more women are now becoming good models for young girls.

Why is there a sudden shift in this beauty-brains mentality? And does this mean people are now fed up by vain women who don’t do anything else other than post different fashion trends? Or, does this just mean more options for women to look up to?

The change may be due to shifting values in what is deemed necessary in this day. And as has been proven in the past decades, emotional and mental intelligence can go a long way when it comes to being successful in life. Another reason may be the rise of feminism across cultures, where more women now have a stronger voice in society.

Although the term “beautiful computer geek women” can draw in thousands of viewers, it is foreseen that there will come a time when people will see others not through their physicality only, but as individuals endowed with talents uniquely their own.

This leaning towards computer geeks who are pretty, slim, and stunning proves that double standards still exist. They get on magazine covers and are featured in print and online publications. But what about computer geeks who are not as beautiful, slim, and stunning? Why don’t they get featured on magazine covers as well, no matter how talented they are?

Geeks look fashion-forward with glasses and makeupBut the shift in attitude is apparent and continues to gain ground across cultures. It is great that in this day, there are so many options for women to choose from, from beauty products to shoes and clothing. This diversity in products means everyone is now being included in the picture. Today, women can now purchase Korean cosmetic beauty shop products no matter what their skin tone is. And women can now choose from a wide range of clothes whatever their body shape and size is. It may take a few more years for this inclusivity to take hold, but the market demand just keeps on growing so we can expect something better in the future.

Computer geeks may be the new breed of beauty, but so does being confident, talented, and well-rounded. As much as we must praise computer geeks turned supermodels, we must not forget to also turn our attention to those who are as talented and smart but do not fit into society’s standards of beauty.

Live vs. Recorded Music for Your Wedding

Weddings have come a long way from being a small event that involved the couple’s parents and a few direct family members, to now an extravagant affair that would entail one year of preparation. An average guest list includes 150 people, and there is increased focus on serving the best food, overflowing drinks, and keeping up with unique decorations.

Live music enhances the mood at a receptionAlong with the ceremony and reception, wedding music has come a long way, too. Before, wedding music usually equates with classical or folk music. The atmosphere should be solemn, with no room for hard partying and loud music. These days, finding classical and folk music in weddings is now harder to come by, with young couples opting for R&B, pop, or rock for their playlist.

As you notice from previous generations, live music was a given on weddings. Since this is a unique event, recordings look cheap and so, a significant portion of the event’s budget goes to the live band. It was classier to hire one rather than to have a playlist no matter how good the music choices are. It is understandable though, given that having a band for your wedding means you have to put in the effort to look for excellent musicians to liven up your event. Plus, you are giving guests the opportunity to dance through their requests.

Today, people are more accepting of having recorded music for their wedding. There are many reasons for this, and the top consideration is cost. Having a recording for your wedding instead of a live band is more cost-effective because you only have to build a playlist, then play that in the event. For a wedding entertainment & band, you have to find one that will suit your music interest; then you would have to pay through the contract already set. If you need the band to extend, you have to pay by the hour, too.

Which then should you choose for your wedding: a live band or a recording? Here are some considerations that can help you through the planning process:

1. Cost

As mentioned, this is the biggest factor as to why couples choose a recording over hiring a live band. It is way cheaper to use recorded music for your wedding; however, it is best to note that a live band will always sound better and will always have a better stage presence than just recordings.

2. Wedding location

Outdoor venues might render music recordings unstableChoosing between a live band or a recording would also depend on your wedding location. Say you have your reception on a yacht. For this, it will be best to go for a recorded music since it would be close to impossible to squeeze in a band into this small space. However, if you have your reception in a wedding hall, a live band is more appropriate since it has more of a stage presence especially in a large place like this. If the ceremony is in a garden or beachside, it depends. Does the area have sufficient connections for speakers and all other equipment? An acoustic band can be hired which can be heard better, rather than having a recording running on a battery-operated speaker which may fail you in the long run.

It is your priorities that will dictate whether you would want to go with a live band or recording. If having an excellent live band is important to you, you may have to adjust your budget on other expenses. If, however, you are not too particular with your music, then a recording would be sufficient.

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