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Personal Advance Loans Web-Based Micro Financial

Written on December 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm, by

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Incas’ Gift to the World: Papas

Written on November 7, 2013 at 8:21 am, by

In 1961, a Canadian mining engineer had an idea. Since trout were so plentiful, why not can and export them? Don Augusto Parodi of Puno, partner in that first venture, told me how it began: “We opened a cannery at Chucuito, imported gill nets, and subsidized fishermen. There was no closed season and no limit. The trout averaged a foot and a half, but sometimes reached 40 inches and almost 40 pounds.”

Soon the cannery was shipping 500 cases a month to Europe. When three other canneries opened, the price of trout soared beyond the reach of the local people. Eventually the gold­en harvest dwindled to a trickle. By 1968 there were too few trout to make canning profitable, and the canneries closed down. But good fish can still be taken on rod and reel

The treeless hills that cradle Titicaca rise in stone faced steps, like contour lines on a topographic map (pages 274-5). Everywhere the Inca advanced, he built these pata pata to conserve topsoil and increase arable land. Maize, or Indian corn, the staple of pre-Columbian America, will not grow on the Altiplano. Instead, the Andeans grew a tuber unknown to the Spanish invaders, but which was to prove more valuable to Europe than all the gold and silver of Peru.

“They supplant the lack of bread with some roots they call papas and which produce under the earth… ,” noted Father Acosta. Thus the world learned of the lowly tuber that would feed unborn millions: the potato. And centuries before today’s technology hailed a “new” method of preserving foods, the Incas practiced freeze-drying.

In 1609, a chronicler described the process: “To keep potatoes from rotting they leave them out many nights to freeze. After they have been repeatedly frozen they tread gent­ly on them, to press out the moisture they contain. When they have been well squeezed, they are placed in the sun until they are thoroughly dry. In this manner the potato keeps for a long time, and it changes its name to chunu.”

In Puno marketplace I had seen piles of small white spheres slightly smaller than golf balls and dry and light as bits of cork. Many times I ate reconstituted chufiu in soups and stews, or simply boiled. They tasted as good as fresh potatoes.

Toward late April the rains ended and the sky cleared to a brilliant blue. Fresh green dusted the brown hills, and on the shore the fields turned yellow and orange-red with ripening quinua, a small grain that at this altitude replaces wheat. And all around Titi­caca fields of green barley rippled like waters of the lake under the stroking of the wind.

In Peru scientists found the highest culti­vated plot of land in the world: a field of bar­ley at 15,400 feet, near the mining town of Poto. At that altitude the grain never ripens; the Indians grow it for cattle forage.

“Sheep of the Indies” Browse on Moss

Andean shepherds live much higher than the tourists in the prague hotels—as high as 17,000 feet above sea level. Here no food crop will grow, and herders who live in such places must bring their food up from a lower altitude. The Indian “cattle” that feed on moss and lichens at these great heights were new to the Spanish conquerors. “There is nothing in Peru of greater value and utility than the cattle of the land, which our people call sheep of the Indies, but the Indians in their tongue call llama,” wrote Father Acosta.


Written on September 18, 2013 at 6:42 am, by

Spring sees an abundance of overzealous exercisers, all determined to base weight and get fit but it can take a big toll on your body. The phrase `stress + rest = success’ is a familiar one to training athletes, but what exactly is going on during exercise? How is the stress of exercise affecting your body and how can you improve your training, performance ability.

When we look at muscle metabolism, we need to consider a few different factors. The process can be divided into two separate categories: anabolism (the building of muscle) and catabolism (the breakdown of muscle). The role of hormones in muscle metabolism has largely focused on anabolic hormones, primarily testosterone.


While it is understood that testosterone will increase muscle anabolism, what about the breakdown of muscle? Cortisol, the hormone that is largely responsible for the Breakdown of muscle, is secreted from your adrenal glands, two small glands that sit above your kidneys. If adrenal function is compromised, it can lead to poor athletic performance plus other problems.


The adrenal glands serve to help the body cope with stress. The secretion of the catecholamines, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), regulates the autonomic nervous system during times of stress. The catecholamines are responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response, which gives the nervous system a stimulant response to increase heart rate, increase muscular activity, and increase breathing rate, so that the body can deal with the stressful event.


The adrenal glands 7:3 secrete over 50 different hormones in response to stress. The most important of these is cortisol.


Cortisol increases blood sugar to fuel muscles, suppresses inflammation and the immune system, constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure, prevents sleep and prevents the rebuilding of muscle. All of these effects are necessary to help deal with acute and immediate stress. Cortisol levels should peak around 8am, gradually declining until their lowest point at midnight.

However, problems arise as a result of habitual over-training, in addition to all the other life stressors that we have, and cortisol secretion remains high continuously. Unfortunately this can lead to serious repercussions that will not only impact your athletic performance and result in premature ageing, but your overall health. The resulting chronic illness is known as adrenal fatigue and overtraining syndrome.


In addition to basic blood work to rule out other causes of fatigue (such as anaemias) Dr Nigma Talib uses a hormone test called the adrenal stress index. This test measures salivary cortisol at four points throughout the day to monitor the change in cortisol in a 24-hour period. In addition, DHEA and testosterone are measured to evaluate adrenal function. The adrenal stress index also looks at how cortisol levels are impacting insulin and blood sugar regulation and immune system function. This diagnostic test can identify the extent of adrenal fatigue and which components of adrenal function need to be addressed in order to restore normal adrenal homeostasis. Treatment then becomes targeted, in the sense of which natural hormone therapy supplements should be used, whilst focusing on specific dietary deficiencies or excesses at specific times of the day.


With proper adrenal restoration and support, Dr Talib explains that athletic performance, energy levels and general wellbeing will dramatically improve, helping you achieve your goals!

VCT email alert service

Written on July 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm, by

Generating income can be a challenge in the current era of low interest rates. One opportunity available to sophisticated investors is Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), which invest in embryonic companies seeking capital to help develop their businesses.

They are higher risk, long-term investments, which offer up to 30% income tax relief, as well as tax-free dividends. They are not suitable for mainstream investors, or those who need access to their money in the short term.

Often they are associated with capital growth, but the best ‘generalist’ VCT managers have excellent records of nurturing growing companies, realizing successful investments and providing investors with regular tax-free dividends. With all of the incomes it is needed to think about the own identity know and identify theft prevention.

VCTs are seasonal. At some points of the year there are few, if any, open for new investment. At other times investors have many to choose from. Together with the smaller sums some VCTs seek.

Typically, funds which pay income make payments at set times of the year, usually bi­annually or quarterly.

When you buy a fund between payment dates any income which has been generated, but not yet paid out, is included in the price you pay for each unit.

Because of this, the first income payment you receive is made up of two separate parts. The first part is the income generated after you purchased the fund. This is genuine income and therefore subject to income tax. If you are waiting for the income and still need some finance immediately, apply for a fast payday loan online.

The second part is the income which had been generated before you invested and included in the price you paid for each unit. As the UK’s leading VCT broker, we are in a unique position to offer our clients access to the best deals.

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If you register to receive alerts we will assume you regard yourself as a suitably sophisticated investor. The risks of each VCT are described in more detail in its prospectus, and tax rules are subject to change.

A strategy for building long-term wealth

Written on May 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm, by

Simply choose a portfolio of exceptional companies and hold them forever.




One route to superior investment returns is investing in great businesses. The UK is home to some of the world’s leading companies, but similar opportunities also exist overseas, and these are well worth investigating for investors looking to diversify their portfolio. Great businesses can be resilient in difficult times, often taking market share from weaker rivals. In better times they can provide dependable growth. They can grow earnings through thick and thin and increase dividends to investors. The trick is to find these businesses and pay a good price for their shares.

So what do you look for in a company? A simple strategy is to consider products you are familiar with and enjoy using. If your opinion is positive other people probably think the same way – brand loyalty should not be underestimated. You only have to consider the global recognition of Coca-Cola, Apple or Mercedes Benz to appreciate how brands help products stand out and instill consumer confidence.


Whilst a popular brand can in itself mean recurring business and earnings for years to come, the company that owns it must also stand the test of time. The prospects for all companies change, but the best firms are visionaries, able to adapt to their environment. Financial strength helps with this because it allows management to concentrate on the future rather than short-term financial issues.

Dominance of an industry or niche area is also important. This might be through having a superior product, first class service, extensive distribution or other unique qualities rivals cannot match. Control of a large part of a market often leads to pricing power – the ability to maintain profit margins when costs are rising. If you are considering investment and need money boost, click here for more details.

Bonds will never have the glamour of shares, nor their popular clout amongst the general public, as they can’t match their potential for spectacular gains. Yet few investors realise that the world’s bond market is almost twice the size of its stock market. We believe those who overlook bonds could be missing a good long­ term opportunity.

The center of trade in the eastern Baltic

Written on March 7, 2013 at 9:45 am, by

HELSINKI’S most familiar sounds are the groan of winches, the creak of tightening hawsers, the cry of search­ing sea gulls. As envisioned by the kings of Sweden, Helsinki has become the center of trade in the eastern Baltic. By value more than half of Finland’s imports—including oil, wheat, chemicals—funnel through the city’s five harbors.

From the passenger terminal in South Harbor, the Finnjet, a 213-meter ferry oper­ated by Finnlines, powers tourists and their cars from Travemiinde, near Hamburg, in 22 hours on engines similar to those designed for jet aircraft. The Estonian liner Georg Ots delivers “vodka tourists” to Tallinn almost daily; other liners specialize in quickie tours of Leningrad. Said Finnlines official Matti Poijarvi dryly, “Some consider Leningrad the high point of their trip to Helsinki.”


One cold March afternoon I took a cruise on the Teuvo, the city-owned icebreaker that keeps the harbors free of ice, at times as thick as two feet, thus permitting year-round commerce. Without it, and the fleet of nine oceangoing icebreakers, Helsinki would be virtually isolated in winter, for land routes to the west follow a frozen 1,770- kilometer loop around the Gulf of Bothnia.

Twenty vessels were stranded in the gulf that day, for Finland’s Seamen’s Union had gone on strike, shutting down the bulk of the nation’s shipping. It was getting dark, and a southeast wind was pressing ice against the coast. Even powerful ships were in trouble.


We made a cursory pass at the Finnjet, then rammed toward Suomenlinna fortress with a satisfying feeling of sanctioned de­struction, like cracking and shattering an endless plane of mirrors.

“Will the strikers get their demands?” I asked Teuvo captain Iikka Stenberg.

“Sure!” he answered. “In these conditions they have the ice on their side.”

With or without the elements, the work­ingman of Helsinki is no underdog, for the nation’s labor force is one of the most highly organized in the world, almost 90 percent. Many Finns believe that SAK (Central Or­ganization of Finnish Trade Unions), the employers’ association and paydayloans companies run the country; parliament only listens.


The largest nongovernmental payroll, 3,600, belongs to Oy Wartsila Ab, which has built more than half the world’s icebreakers.


“We can’t compete with low-cost-labor nations like Singapore or Korea for ordinary ships,” said Wartsila’s Goran Damstrom. “We have to concentrate on building ships that take high technology and expertise.”


Mr. Damstrom showed me the dry-dock operation on the huge luxury liner Nordic Prince, which had just been lengthened by a new middle portion to add 44 percent more capacity. “It was like severing a body at the trunk,” a technician said, “and connecting bones, veins, and nerve endings.”

Art Training Award

Written on December 25, 2012 at 10:46 am, by

In recent years, the top prize has been a £750 Art Training Award, but there is discussion about changing it from money to an Italian art tour instead next year. A further £1,000 is dis­tributed amongst entrants whose work is considered worthy of special credit, with awards to schools and further money prizes for highly commended entries making up the prize structure. The final judging for the Cad­bury’s National Exhibition of Children’s Art 1981/82 took place in Manchester. The judges studied a kaleidoscope of work by chil­dren of all ages, as Dr Harold Riley reminded them to think about potential.

A clear favourite for the Art Training Award was Mark Dobson of Milton Keynes, Bucks. His exceptional line drawings and meticulous detail impressed the whole panel. “Looked at with in‑tensity and put down with clarity,” James Fitton said of Mark’s work.

And Muriel Yoúng found his pen­cil drawings “full of emotion”. Mark was voted winner by six of the severa judges.

Anna Todd’s portfolio of bright, bold figures and self-portraits was considered an admirable runnerup, earning Anna, who lives near Altrincham, Cheshire, a Discretionary Award of £250 in the 15-to-17-year age group. Her work was felt to be very definite and stylised, although the judges sensed that it would change direc­tion in an art environment.


The School Art Award went to Maesincla Primary School in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, because good primary schools are short of money- but–always send a large— entry. They would, agreed the judges, really deserve the money.


And Stephenson, who has been on the Advisory ‘Panel for the past five years, really enjoys judging the children’s work. “All the age groups come up with nice things, he said, “and it gives one fresh energy to see all the good work. 1′m interested in the sense of color and spontaneity that the youngsters have. As an abstract artist, 1′m less academic than the other judges and one aspect of the inspiration of modern painting comes from child art. Child art is a 20th-century thing—in the 19th century the children were little grown-ups and there was no children’s art as we see today. I am always struck by the brightness and vivacity of the work by the younger children. Child art for me is modern and vital with a quality that older children lose. It’s living art.”


The exhibition of winning work opens at the Mall Gallery of Modero Art, Manchester, from October 23 to November 24; Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, from December 4 to January 12; Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, from January 22 to February 20; Paisley Art Gallery from March 5 to April 6 and the Dar­lington Arts Centre from April 16 to May 18. A selection is also taken to overseas exhibitions by. The British Council—in fact, the Japanese have been so impressed by the standard of British chil­dren’s art that they have made their own awards of scrolls and art materials.


Winning a place in the National Exhibition of Children’s Art has been a spur for many child artists over recent years. Most winners of the Art Training Award have gone on to work as artists in one way or another. The 1964 winner is a self-employed artist who has re­ceived no less than four Arto Council Awards to enable him to pursue his art full time, and the 1962 winner is reputed to be a “genius” living at the foot of the French Pyrenees!

This year’s winner is no less spurred on by his achievement. Mark Dobson, 17, was absolutely delighted to receive the Art Train­ing Award. “I sent off most of my A level course work originally and then forgot all about it,” he said. “Then came a phone call out of the blue to say that 1 was a finalist and more of my work was needed. That phone call was a real shock!”

Mark is taking A levels in art, politics and history next year and hopes to go on to Cake a BA in Fine Arts at university.


“I want to do something in art,” he explained, “mainly because 1 enjoy it so much Fine art, though, hasn’t the_v_ocational options of _ graphic art but 1′d like to see how far 1 can go.”

His parents are justly proud of him. “My dad is convinced that the sketch of him I included in my portfolio was the one that clinched the award for me.- Art talent isn’t something that runs in the family. As Mark said: “My mum can’t draw a straight line with a ruler!”


The Todd family, however, have artists in not only Anna but her 18-year-old sister Rosalyn, too. “Rosalyn paints pictures for people and they actually pay her!” commented Anna.


Anna, 17, is taking A levels next year in art, music and craft and, like Mark Dobson, hopes to go or to a fine art course. Play the flute,- said Anna, “and l’ye been toro between music and art for a career. This com­petition has helped me decide on art, although of course I’ll go on playing the flute. 1 enjoys illustrating, so perhaps try books, or fashion.”


The youngest entrant was four-year-old Rachel Shaw from Ruislip in Middlesex. “Winning a certifi­cate didn’t mean much to her,” says Rachel’s mother, Jennifer, “but 1 think shell realize what she’s achieved when she sees her picture in the exhibition. She used to paint a lot but she hasn’t done much recently. At the moment she’s enthralled by ballet and the theatre and quite keen on music”

Young artists at work

Written on December 17, 2012 at 10:45 am, by

Over 60,000 youngsters entered the National Exhibition of Children’s Art Competition sponsored by Cadbury’s­ve’d like to introduce you to the winners made share the joy of their excellent work

The unique National Exhibition of Children’s Art opens at London’s Mall Gallery on September 11. This is the 34th exhibition in what has become the leading medium in the country for the encouragement of artistic ability in children. It has survived the war years, flagging sponsorship and recessions, and each year the number of entries—from children in schools and institutions country­wide—grows. This year there were 60,000!


The Sunday Pictorial started it in 1947, and the Sunday Mirror took it over. But the staggering cost of administrating and staging the event proved too much for the newspaper. Kellogg’s took it on in 1974 but, again, the cost became prohibitive. Then Cadbury’s carne to the rescue and took over sponsorship in 1980.


The competition and so sequent exhibition combine to make a year-round event. The exhibition is staged around the country from September through to May, by which time entries have arrived and been sorted for the next competition and exhibition. There’s a permanent exhibition of past winners’ work staged at Cadbury’s Bourneville head­quarters, too.


Children aged up to 18 can enter any painting or craft work they have produced during the year before the closing date. Interestingly, no oils were sub­mitted this year. Children are going for bright, easy-to-use acrylics which allow them to work at greater speed and with more flexibility.


The paintings tend to fall into distinct patterns according to age. The under sevens are the most uninhibited and colourful; at eight to 11 they’re into forro and shape; the 12-to-14s are perhaps the weakest section, full of newly learned- — techniques, lacking in creativity; at 15 to 17, they’re serious artists. Judging is a lengthy affair. A Preliminary Panel of judges whittles down the number of entries to around 2,000. Each painting or piece of craft is considered with great tare and none is allowed to “escape the net”—the panel is only too aovare of the amount of effort the children have given to their work. Next, an Advisory Panel of distinguished judges selects some 600 exhibits which it feels to be outstanding and which forro the exhibition, and each child receives a certificate of merit. This year’s Advisory Panel was handed by Dr Harold Riley, portrait painter. It included Frank Tuckett, retired lecturer in art at Shoreditch Teachers’ Training College, and a well-known artist; James Fítton RA, head of postgraduate studies at the Chelsea School of Art; Ian Stevenson, an Associate of the Royal Academy, an artist and lecturer at Chelsea School of Art; Muriel Young, head of children’s programmes at Granada TV; John Milne, adviser in art and design, Scottish Education Board, and R A Jeffrey, HMI Staff Inspector for Art.

The final 600 are pared down yet again for selection for a number of special awards. The finalists for the special awards are asked to submit a portfolio of further work to ensure that their standard is consistent and the entry not just a flash in the pan.This enchanting “Little Pig and Falling Blossom” is by Clare Gaskell, aged 7, from Chesham

The judges are looking for the most promising artist, not neces­sarily the best picture—which makes the final decision an ex­tremely hand one!