Apathy and Religion

On the subject of religion, it looks that these days there are many who are just plain apathetic. Perhaps some of us have lost the desire or the courage or the ability to ask the bigger questions about spirituality. Maybe the controversial surrounding various religions upsets some or despite the subject is too confusing, as the beliefs vary so greatly. It's quite possible that it's simply easier to take in 'mind candy' from Reality TV or Desperate Housewives. There are no risks involved, it takes no effort and we'll never be challenged.

But should not we ask the bigger questions, like "Does God exist" and "What is truth", etcetera? Most religions on earth teach that after we die here on earth, we experience an afterlife which is almost always stolen of as an eternity – or that that our existence never really ends in death. Or in the case of Buddhism, we continue to live life in another form here on earth.

In any case, if this life is, in fact, temporary; ending in a death which leads to another existence, would not we do well to discover who God is, or even if he or she exists at all? Would not we be wise to at least make a serious attempt to do so? If we are eternal beings, is not this the most important subject we can study?

Many years ago, an acquaintance was explaining a situation wherein he almost died in an accident. He said, "My life flashed before my eyes". I told him I'd heard such a phrase used before when people were speaking of similar experiences and asked him to explain that phrase further. He said that it was as though he suddenly recalled his entire life from childhood to present in the mere seconds before the accident.

I wonder if he had been privileged with some sort of perspective that most of us never realize or think about. I wonder if, since upon death, we are embarking upon eternity, this flash of our life is a sort of perspective – a proper perspective. If we are really heading into a never-ending eternity, the perspective of our past 30 or 40 years, is rightfully viewed as a mere flash, when compared to the journey into eternity, for which we are about to embark.

Many who never attempt to wonder about such things as God and eternity decide upon their deathbeds to ponder the questions. Faced with a certain death, they are at this point desperate to learn what they can.

About 10 years ago, my best friend experienced what he feels was a near plane crash. On a flight from Las Vegas to Toronto, he awoke to the sounds of pure panic – crying and screaming and he realized the plane was nose-diving. While my friend was a Christian and surprisingly remained very calm, he surveyed the fear and terror in the other passengers. He had never witnessed fear like this. Passengers were screaming in terror, crying and praying. The flight attendants were no help to the passengers. One had hit her head on the ceiling of the plane at a sudden drop and the other was against the wall of the plane in a fetal position freaking out. These people who flew on airplanes almost daily were also clearly panicked at the situation. I'm sure to many, it seemed like sudden death was a real possibility.

However, once the plane reached a lower altitude it leveled out. My friend later was told that the plane dropped so severely for so long due to a loss in cabin pressure from a leak in the door. The plane safely made an emergency landing in Colorado.

I found the story very interesting and interesting to note that while we know we will all face death, many of us just do not give it much thought during our life. The fact that we will die is a certainty that no one will argue, but those on the plane who had never bothered to ask religious or afterlife-related questions were suddenly 'forced' to put a lot of thought into the concept. I would be willing to bet that there were many people on the plane who had not prayed in years, were suddenly praying fervently.

So do we ask the questions now? Do we want to know the truth now, or at least give ourselves our most honest and open-minded attempt to know the truth now? Whether you are 15 years old or 75 years old, death is certain. I do not mean to scare you into some kind of belief, nor would I ever want to do so. Rather, I would like to help you realize that an examination into the truth of spiritual matters will give you a confidence and a knowing, no matter what you decide in the end to be the truth. It should be a journey that is enjoyable and fascinating, no matter what concluding you will ever come to.

Five Excellent Ski Resorts in Scandinavia

Skiing in Scandinavia may be less developed for the most part than the skiing in the Alps and elsewhere in Europe, but it is far to the north, which means you are almost guaranteed to find excellent snow and conditions. There is a long season this far north, and in some cases you can even ski in June, both day and bright-night. The prices are high in these countries, and après ski is perhaps best avoided or at least curtailed unless you have very deep pockets. But the ski passes themselves are often surprisingly affordable, and give access to some lovely uncrowded slopes. So why not consider a ski holiday in Scandinavia? Here are five excellent resorts to get you started on your research to find your perfect Scandinavian Ski holiday:

Hemsedal, Norway

Sometimes called the ‘Chamonix of the North,’ this resort is located in steep mountains which contrast sharply with the surrounding rolling hills. This ski resort is found three hours away from Oslo. It is an excellent bet for families, since there is a variety of skiing for beginners right through to those who feel truly in their element on the slopes, all packed into a fairly small area.

Geilo, Norway

This is a lovely, quiet ski resort, on the train line from Oslo to Bergen. It has fairly limited but sufficient facilities and though the number of runs is limited – there are only around 40 – the conditions and snow here are perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers.

Voss, Norway

The hills may not be the highest here, but the snow is still excellent and plentiful throughout the season, and the views are spectacular. The ski resort is right on the edge of the fjords, and you can sit on the mountain and look out over the Vangsvatnet – a beautiful lake through which the Vosso River flows before it meets with the Bolstadfjorden, and thence the North Sea. You could also combine this ski trip with a visit to the historic town of Bergen.

Levi, Finland

Far up into Lapland lies this purpose build ski village. It has twenty seven miles of pistes well suited to intermediate skiers, and if you are reluctant to head home in the evening, 17 of the runs are floodlit, even though, from March, the days are long.

Riksgränsen, Sweden

This resort lies far, far to the north, 125 miles into the Arctic Circle. It does not even open until March, when the weather is somewhat more manageable and the days grow longer. There are only a few pisted runs, and hotel options are limited, but this is a true paradise for those who heli-ski or enjoy an off-piste adventure. Why not wait until June, when you will be able to strap on those skis or that board under a midnight sun?

So, whatever your skill level and preferences, you are bound to find what you are searching on the ski slopes of Scandinavia.

Commercial Pilot Training – Everything You Need to Know

Are you thinking about getting doing a commercial pilot training course? Could it really be quite as difficult as you feel to achieve your commercial pilots licence? Where exactly can you study and also how much money is it supposed to cost? Am I in a position to have a commercial pilot licence medical? There are so many thoughts that you will want to ask before beginning your actual commercial pilot career.

To be a commercial pilot and getting paid money to fly is a fantasy for a great many. Not only will another person pay for all of your flying but you will be challenged each step of the way. You will have a heap of chances to come across interesting people coupled with looking at the whole world from a “birds eye view” – something most of us don’t experience commonly, if at all. Nevertheless, deciding to begin commercial pilot training is an immense and very expensive exercise – and not one which can be done easily. Besides the undeniable fees, you also need to consider the degree of motivation necessary to build and consequently maintain the associated skills at a professional pilot level. Your state of health coupled with fitness may well have to be improved so you are allowed to maintain a commercial pilot medical. The following paragraphs will look at many of the essential issues you ought to take into account and will give you some guidelines as to ways to begin fulfilling your wish to have a commercial pilot career and begin your training for your commercial pilots licence.

Requirements:

There are really very few basic requirements you must be able to satisfy to commence your commercial pilot training.

You must have the ability to: Speak in English

Complete a basic medical test before flying alone

Be no less than sixteen years of age to fly by yourself

However, to be able to go beyond holding a private pilot licence and have your commercial pilots licence, you will need to pass a more extensive medical exam (class 1 in lots of places). Don’t let this prerequisite frighten you. People imagine if they have eyesight or health problems, this can stop them from possessing a commercial pilot medical – this concern is really, in most instances unfounded. Lots of commercial pilots possess some type of health issues (eg blood pressure level, cholesterol, eyesight correction, even missing limbs!) and can certainly still hold a commercial pilots medical. The whole thing boils down to the specific medical matter together with your individual country’s commercial medical requirements. You quite often find you just have to consult a specialist and secure validation from them. Have a word with your own country’s aviation governing body (FAA, CAA, CASA, etc) and ask to discuss the issue with their medical adviser. They will be able to advise you very fast on what precisely can and can’t be done and the correct way.

Charges:

Almost all flying is costly! Commercial pilot training is generally a lot more expensive as the planes you will end up training in are likely to be higher performance. At the same time realise that the commercial pilots licence is NOT the final stage either. There appears to often be one additional endorsement, rating or licence it is necessary to have. As an example, it could be a multi engine rating, instrument rating, instructor rating, jet endorsement or even merely more time. You can also get endless variations produced by the authorities which often manage to think up different ways to charge for further things also (medicals, security checks etc) therefore don’t be tricked into believing that after you have finished the initial training for your commercial pilot licence that it’s all over.

If you chat with the various flying schools and receive information on costs – always remember that the figure they give you for commercial pilot training is based on the LOWEST hours required! You will need to factor in an added 20% on top of whatever they suggest for unexpected things – and I’m not speaking of just having to spend additional time performing a sequence because you didn’t get it the first-time round. Climatic condition, more landing and airways charges, exam resits, more charts and books as well as a million different “extras” which you must have all accumulate! The very last thing you will want to do is get to within a couple of hours of the last commercial pilot check and run short of money.

Don’t be utterly frustrated though. There are quite often imaginative ways to lower your flying costs as well, most notably while you are accumulating the needed flight hours for the commercial pilots licence flight examination. Take for instance, when you have your private pilots licence, friends and family will want to come flying with you and they can help to cover the expense of hiring the plane. You may also come across individuals that are flying a plane somewhere for business or simply pleasure and may love you to come along for the trip and to share the flying. Several businesses and organisations at your current airport terminal will occasionally want aircraft repositioned to other places. If you should talk with them they might be quite happy for you to do it on their behalf free of charge. Its going to save them paying for one of their personnel to do it and you pretty much got some 100 percent free flying! Think outside the box.

Flying Facilities:

It is most extremely important to make a careful assessment with regards to which flying school and perhaps more significantly, the pilot instructor. You definitely should try to pay a visit to quite a few flying schools and check them out. Interview a number of the flying instructors. Ask them plenty of questions and check what way they answer as well as what they answer. You are able to tell tons about how decent a teacher is purely by talking with them. Talk with a handful of the trainees to get a feel for how trainees are trained and treated all through their commercial pilot training. Climb in several of the instructing planes they are going to use to teach commercial pilot trainees to look at what kind of shape they are in and just how well they may be cared for. You don’t have to examine just how the engine was rebuilt but take some time to glance inside and determine if the cabins are clean and sorted, whether it appears tidy or are there items fixed on with electrical tape and cord and wires suspended all around you!

Take a moment to see if you possibly could relate to the pilot instructor and if you enjoy the atmosphere of the facility. You intend on spending a considerable amount of time and cash there! Every school and trainer is totally different therefore locate one you want and can understand and relate with before starting training there. Like it is with all studying, the trainer can make or break the experience. A number of schools specialise in instructing pilots commercially for airlines whilst many are more customised toward hobby flying. Regardless of which style the school specialises in they are required to all maintain a high standard of training. If you happen to discover something or feel even slightly uncomfortable about their degree of competence – go to a different place. Always remember, you will certainly be paying a lot of cash to them – you need to get a lot out!!

You may wind up going to some schools and getting a small number of trial flights. Okay this can cost a bit but trust me – when you get the suitable coach from the very beginning – it will eventually end up saving you thousands!!!

Alright – Now you need to make up your mind. Do I actually want to have a Commercial Pilots Licence? Do I want to go through all of the energy associated with doing the commercial pilot training curriculum? Will I want to pilot planes day after day in all different kinds of weather? Do I think I will handle the difficulties of flying at a commercial pilot performance level? Do I wish to be paid to fly? Let me to tell you from my experience – you will see the world and have experiences that you have never even dreamed likely. Was it truly worth exactly what it cost me to reach exactly where I am now – WITHOUT A DOUBT!

I Can

I can. Those two words are more important in our world than most people want to admit! Think about it; the "I can attitude" is what separates the winners from the losers. If you go through life thinking "I can not"; you are beat before you ever start any task or attempt to do anything.

So; how can you develop the "I can or can do" attitude?

The easy way is to eliminate "can not and impossible" from your vocabulary. I know; this is not possible but you can approach everything you do with a positive attitude.

When a baby makes the move from crawling to walking there is no conscious negative thought of failure. Sure we all got scrapes and bumps and there was a fair amount of tears that were shed but we actually mastered the coordination and made the transition from crawling to walking.

Did you know that the bumblebee is not supposed to be able to fly? Aerodynamically; his body is not designed for flight. His body is too fat and his wings are too short. Obviously, he is too ignorant to realize the facts so he just takes off and does what bumblebees do!

We are all thankful that he does! The point is; the bees just do it!

If you encounter a task that seems difficult you need to break it down into components. Do not allow yourself paralysis by analysis; just break the task into small portions and then work on each item separately. I know this is very simplistic but try it.

More times than not; you will find the ultimate solution to any task very simple. Sometimes we tend to complicate our lives by over thinking a problem.

We have all heard that Edison tried several thousand different experiences to develop the light bulb and when asked about all his failures but he had eliminated several thousand of ideas that would not work. He was confident and knew that he would find a winning combination to develop a working electric light bulb. Time proved that he was right!

Have you ever watched an advertisement for a new gadget on the television and thought "I had that idea a long time ago"? The guy that had the same idea and acted upon it was making a small fortune while your procrastination got you nothing!

Eliminate self doubt and procrastination; have faith in yourself and take action when you have a good idea. Develop the "I can" and "can do" attitude; it will make your life happy and successful!

The Signification of Insurance in Our Lives

It is quite certain that you may have already encountered some kind of insurance in your life. In the world of adult responsible living, having insurance is often a choice many individuals think about, and when you talk about insurance, it typically denotes security or protection. There are several types of insurance presented and one can decide to protect his or her home, travels, and other valuables like jewelry, antiques, and cars. But, such protection is chiefly in a manner of monetary compensation. Thinking sure, insurance will not really protect you per se but insurance will clearly diminish your financial headaches or even fully compensate you from financial loss, liabilities, and damages.

Other states and countries have certain types of insurance as a mandatory aspect of legally owning something. An apparent and known example for this is auto insurance. In accordance with the laws of some states, if an individual desires to lawfully own an automobile, there is a minimum amount of insurance level required for each car that a person or legal entity owns. The mandatory insurance is normally not comprehensive as basic policies will often be enough. Simple policies can assist you to recompense for the damages you have caused to others but such simple insurance will not cover the damages on your own property.

The same with other form of insurance, automobile insurance has many coverage types and levels. An individual can purchase the most comprehensive insurance he may get his hands on and hold all the benefits the insurance entails – like cover to own damages and other medical inclusions. A high level coverage is great to have but you will have to spend more to get hold of such protection.

As with the example above, being an insurance holder can really assist a person financially. Most people simply can not come up with the money to recompense for the damages they cause or purchase a substitution for the lost or damaged goods. Medical expenses can be excessive pocket burners as well but when you have insurance to cover for these damages and liabilities, you are, considerably, financially safe.

When loaning for a home, home insurance is necessary. The amount or level of insurance is naturally commanded by the lender. Similar to auto insurance, the requisite is simple and very minimal. It is very common and advisable for home owners to add coverage level in their home insurance. Owning a home is the conceivably the single largest investment an individual may have. The home itself and the objects within it are expected to be very valuable. It would be best to protect those things with insurance.

Insurance policies can be highly comprehensive and all-embracing. It is capable of protecting the home owner from legal actions against him or her from outside parties. There's also medical coverage and reimbursements for loss from burglary and property damages thought about by flooding and fire. If you own a park home, there's a fitting insurance known as park home insurance and for owners of unique type of houses, there are specialist insurances that you can buy. Just make sure that you do not merely obtain insurance on a whim. Shop around and always make a home insurance comparison before signing up.

Like what has been said, there are numerous kinds of insurance. A person can even insure his trips and vacations. With travel insurance, one is protected via medical and emergency coverage. Loss and damage to property are normally covered as well. Postponement and flight cancellations usually happen; travel insurance will make your travels less costly and stressful when such events happen. Just like with your home insurance, travel insurance comparison is imperative.

Traveling To America? New ESTA Registration Mandated January 2009

For years, visitors from certain foreign countries have been able to travel to America without first getting a formal Visa sticker placed in their passport. Implemented in 1998, the “Visa Waiver Program” (VWP) has allowed for visitors of several countries to come to America for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without getting a Visa put in their passport. During 2007, more than 15 million visitors from VWP countries arrived in the United States.

As of January 12, 2009 America’s new ESTA program requires Visa Waiver Program visitors coming to the U.S. for tourist or business purposes via a plane or ship to “register” online before entering the United States to see if they pose a law enforcement or security risk to the U.S. ESTA is not required for land crossings. Officials are asking that the ESTA registration be done at least 72 hours prior to leaving, but theoretically it is possible to register at the last minute. An ESTA Travel Authorization is free, valid for 2 years, and valid for multiple entries.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for ESTA Travel Authorization:

What Countries Are in the Visa Waiver Program?

Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Where Do I Apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization?

A website, operated by the American government, is where you register for ESTA: esta.cbp.dhs.gov. The ESTA information you submit via the computer is compared with certain American law enforcement databases and then either approved or denied. Foreign travelers will not be able to submit ESTA applications at American airports after arriving or at a U.S. Embassy in their country.

What if I Don’t Have Plans to Travel to the U.S. Yet?

VWP travelers are not required to have specific plans to travel to the United States before they apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization. As soon as VWP travelers begin to plan a trip to visit the U.S., they are encouraged to apply for travel authorization through the ESTA website. Applicants are not required to update their destination addresses or itineraries if they change after their ESTA Travel Authorization has been granted.

Does the ESTA Travel Authorization Guarantee Entry to the U.S.?

An ESTA Travel Authorization only authorizes a traveler to board an airline or ship for travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. After they arrive, travelers who obtained an ESTA Travel Authorization may still be denied entry (also called “admission”) at a U.S. port of entry, such as an American airport. An approved ESTA is not a guarantee of admissibility at an American airport. In all cases, the American airport officers make the final determination whether a foreign traveler can enter the U.S. or not. You still have to establish to the satisfaction of the inspecting officer that you are entitled to be admitted to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program.

Can I Change My Travel Itinerary?

It is possible to change an itinerary on an existing ESTA Travel Authorization; ESTA is designed so that you can update parts of it at any time. Travelers who did not get an ESTA approval may be denied boarding by the airlines, experience delayed processing, or be denied admission to the U.S. at the American airport.

What If I Already Have a Valid B1/B2 Visitor Visa?

While the ESTA Travel Authorization is completed online with no interview, there are Visas that require a U.S. Embassy interview. The Visa process has separate procedures, which generally require an appointment, travel to a U.S. Embassy, an interview with a Consular Officer, processing time, and the payment of an application fee. If a foreign national already went to the U.S. Embassy and has a valid B1/B2 Visitor Visa pasted in their passport it is not necessary to get an ESTA Travel Authorization because the traveler will be entering with a B1/B2 Visitor Visa and not through the Visa Waiver Program. Keep in mind that an approved ESTA Travel Authorization is not a Visa.

Can I Re-Apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization if Denied?

Yes, but you must wait at least 10 days to reapply and your circumstances must have changed. Unless there is a change in a substantive fact, re-application will not change the result. Keep in mind that applying for an ESTA Travel Authorization with false information can cause a foreign national to be permanently barred from ever entering America. The ESTA system is designed to try to prevent individuals from changing and manipulating an ESTA entry until they receive an approval.

What If I am Denied an ESTA Travel Authorization and Have No Changed Circumstances?

There are three types of responses to an ESTA application; approved, pending or travel not authorized (denied). Applicants who receive a “pending” response are advised to check the website 72 hours later. Applicants who are denied will be required to go to a U.S. Embassy to apply for a formal nonimmigrant visa, such as a B1/B2 Visa, which may take months.

Can a Traveler Find Out the Reason Why an ESTA Application was Denied?

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has stated that travelers may contact the DHS Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP at dhs.gov) but there are no guarantees that information about a denial will be divulged. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are not required to provide details about an ESTA denial nor resolve the issue that caused the ESTA denial.

What If I Have a Criminal Record?

Only those qualified to travel under the VWP are eligible to pre-register through ESTA. Persons who have been arrested and/or convicted are generally not eligible for VWP and probably require a formal Visa, such as a B1/B2 Visa, to travel to America. If a foreign national has received tickets for speeding (which don’t usually result in an arrest or conviction) they are probably still eligible for the VWP and ESTA. If a foreign traveler has been denied entry into or deported from the U.S., they require a formal Visa.

Do Any Other Countries Have a Similar Program?

Australia has a program called the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) that mandates travelers to submit an ETA application electronically through a website requesting permission to travel to Australia. Airlines may refuse to accept passengers who do not have either an approved ETA or Visa to enter Australia.

How Long Will the ESTA Application Data be Stored? Who Can Access It?

The ESTA Travel Authorization is valid for two years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first. The American government will maintain the information for at least 15 years to allow retrieval of the information for law enforcement, national security, or investigatory purposes. Information submitted through ESTA can also be shared with any U.S. government organization.

What Information Does the Airlines Get?

Airlines will receive confirmation of a passenger’s ESTA status visa the “Advance Passenger Information System” (APIS) which shows whether the ESTA authorization has been granted for a Visa Waiver Program traveler. It is recommended that the traveler print out the ESTA application approval in order to maintain a record of their ESTA application number and to have confirmation of their ESTA status.

What About Children?

Accompanied and unaccompanied children, regardless of age, are required to obtain an independent ESTA Travel Authorization.

What if a Mistake was Made on the ESTA Application?

The ESTA website will ask applicants to review their application before submitting it. Also, there is an update function for certain information such as email address, telephone number, or flight information. If an applicant makes a mistake that cannot be “updated,” he will need to submit a new ESTA application.

What if I Only Have a Connecting Flight Through the U.S.?

Visa Waiver Program visitors who have a connecting flight in the U.S. are required to either have ESTA Travel Authorization or a Visa from a U.S. Embassy in their passport to travel through the U.S. even for a one hour stop. If a traveler is only planning to stop in the U.S. en route to another country, the traveler should enter the words “In Transit” and his final destination in the address lines under the heading “Address While In The United States” on the ESTA application.

What Are the Questions on the ESTA Travel Authorization Application?

The traveler must provide (in English) biographical data including name, birth date, country of citizenship, country of residence, email address, sex, telephone number, passport information, destination address in the U.S., travel information (round trip airline ticket, flight number and city where you are boarding) as well as questions regarding communicable diseases (chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inquinale, HIV, leprosy, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis [active], tuberculosis [active], and others), physical or mental disorders, drug addiction problems, arrests, convictions, past history of visa cancellation or denial, and prior deportations from the U.S. The traveler will also be asked whether they are seeking work in the U.S., have ever been deported or tried to get a visa by fraud or misrepresentation. The traveler will be asked if they have ever detained a child of a U.S. Citizen granted custody of the child, and whether they have ever asserted immunity from prosecution.

Do I Select “Business” or “Pleasure (Tourist) at the Airport Port of Entry?

After the ESTA Travel Authorization is granted, the foreign traveler will be interviewed by government officers at the first American airport they land. The officer will ask what the foreign traveler will be doing in America and the questioning can take up to four hours in a detained setting called “secondary inspection.” The officer may ask the traveler “what else are you doing in America?” repeatedly to try to get “the real” answer. If the traveler is only going to be a tourist, they are not allowed to do any business, including meeting with any attorneys, applying for a bank account, meeting with real estate agents, or other business consulting activities. Even though the traveler is going to conduct just one business meeting while in America, they are required to report it and enter as a business visitor. The business visitor is allowed to participate in tourist activities, but the tourist visitor is not allowed to participate in any business activities. Therefore, if any business might be conducted while in America, it is best to tell the government officers about it at the airport to avoid being accused of lying, put immediately on a plane back to your home country, and barred from America for life.

What Else Do Can the Airport Officers Make Me Prove After I Land?

The airport officers will ask the traveler proof of a foreign residence (address on foreign driver’s license), whether their intention is to depart at the end of the visit (round trip airline ticket), whether the traveler has a job (letter, paystub, business card) and family in their home country, (marriage certificate, childrens’ birth certificates), and whether the traveler has the money to travel around America (bank statement or credit cards with bank letter showing credit limit). The airport officers are also required to ask where the traveler will stay in America (hotel reservations or friends/relatives’ homes) and have been known to pick up the phone to verify all of the aforementioned information.

Can I Be Searched in the American Airport? Am I Entitled to Legal Representation?

While being interviewed at the American airport, all luggage (even locked bags) can be searched, as well as the traveler’s body and his/her cell phone (including text messages and phone numbers) and laptop (including hard drive). The officers may “google” a traveler’s name and check out their myspace, Facebook or hyves pages. The traveler is not allowed to be represented by an attorney or even call their attorney while in “secondary inspection.” Bathroom visits, water and food may be limited, so it is best to prepare for such an occasion while still on the plane before landing.

Do I Still Have to Go Through the “US-VISIT” Program at the American Airport?

Foreign travelers arriving at American airports and seaports must still be photographed and fingerprinted every time they enter the U.S.

Who Should I Ask For Help to Fill Out the ESTA Application?

The information a traveler provides on the ESTA application can remain in their file with U.S. authorities for a minimum of 15 years – probably longer. If a foreign traveler has some questions about how to answer the questions so as not to be permanently barred from America, it would be prudent to them to pay for a legal consultation with an American Immigration Attorney who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Beware of unauthorized private websites that offer ESTA application assistance for $49.99 – they are usually not authorized to practice immigration law and are asking travelers to pay for a copy of the application questions, which are free on the dhs.gov website.

If I Am Denied the ESTA Travel Authorization Will it Effect My Ability to Obtain a Visa at the U.S. Embassy?

When the ESTA Travel Authorization is denied, the foreign traveler must make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy in their country to apply for a formal Visa. The U.S. Embassy is operated by the U.S. Department of State and there are no expedited procedures for those who have been denied ESTA Travel Authorization. Because the ESTA program is so new, it is impossible to predict how badly a denial of the ESTA Travel Authorization will impact a traveler’s application for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or impact their future travel to America in general. American Immigration Attorneys are in close contact with their foreign clients and will share the denial information with each other starting in January 2009. Currently there are no government policies regulating this area of the law, or opportunities to appeal a denial.

When Is the a “New” ESTA Travel Authorization Required?

A new ESTA Travel Authorization is required during the two years if (1) the traveler is issued a new passport (2) the traveler changes his name (3) the traveler changes his or her gender (4) the traveler’s country of citizenship changes or (5) the circumstances underlying the traveler’s previous responses to any of the ESTA application questions requiring a “yes” or “no” response have changed (such as a new arrest).

Can an American Immigration Attorney, Travel Agent or Employer Fill Out the ESTA Application?

A third party, such as a relative, travel agent or American Immigration Attorney, is permitted to submit an ESTA application on behalf of a VWP traveler. Be aware that the traveler is still responsible under the law for the answers submitted on his or her behalf by a third party.

Over 68,000 travelers have already voluntarily registered by using the ESTA online system in the last few months. Applicants are reminded to obtain a new “e-passport” which has an integrated computer chip capable of storing biographic information from the data page, as well as other biometric information, when registering with ESTA.

Really Get Away From It All: The World's Most Remote Hotels

Sometimes we all need to get away from it all; sometimes the further away the better. When you're usual holiday destination will not suffice (out of boredom or a need to put as much distance between yourself and your everyday life as possible), there are a host of hotels around the world that will meet your needs. Some of them offer extreme luxury amid exotic surroundings, while others offer entirely new experiences in locations you would never have dreamed of visiting. Read about the top five most remote hotels in the world and start planning your next holiday.

Bloomfield Lodge, Cairns, Australia

Bloomfield Lodge is located in Queensland's far north and trips guests to not one but two World Heritage Sites: the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The lodge is recognized as one of the most exclusive luxury resorts in Australia. Only 34 guests are permitted at a time, so you can sure that your every need will be promptly met.

According to Forbes's list of remote hotels, to reach the lodge one must first charter a plane, then one has to drive through the Outback for a few hours and finally cruise some way down the Bloomfield River. When you ever arrive, however, you will find that all your troubles were worth it.

For starters, the lodge is nestled on the very edge of the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef is just across the bay. There are guided tours of the forest or you can follow some self-guided trails if you prefer. You can also go on guided bird watching tours, enjoy some relaxing fishing or more adrenalin infused tropical fishing out at sea, and laze in the seclusion of Kangaii Beach. Activities based around the lodge include an outdoor Jacuzzi, freshwater pool, spa and well stocked library with paperbacks and a selection of books and journals devoted to the ecology of the rainforest and region's local history. There is also a two-hour guided river cruise that will take you to the local Aboriginal community at Wujal Wujal, while giving you an opportunity to look out for birds and crocodiles.

Kokopelli's Cave, Farmington, New Mexico

If you want remote but do not want to travel to the ends of the earth, Kokopelli's Cave might suit you. The cave, which is not a natural formation and is privately owned, is rather difficult to reach; even the owners recommend that you only try it if you¡¯re physically fit. But if it's seclusion you're after sleeping 70 feet below the earth is ideal.

The cave is located near the Mesa Verde National Monument in New Mexico and if you climb to the top of the cliff you'll be able to see all four states of the Four Corners area. It is only accessible by dirt roads and they are rough. They can be traversed by ordinary cars (up to a point), but 4x4s are recommended. If you're in a conventional car you will have to park it at the upper parking lot and walk the rest of the way, 4x4s will get you quite a bit further. If you're footing it, you'll have to follow a marked trail that leads steadily downward. The way out is even more difficult because it's all uphill.

You'd be well advised to note that no meals are served at the cave, although you can arrange for special occasions to be catered. There is a fridge and some cabinets that provide breakfast things and some fruit, but you'll have to bring everything else. There are all the creature comforts you could want, including a Jacuzzi and waterfall shower, but there are only two local TV channels, so be prepared to entertain yourself.

The Andean Cottage, Peru

Staying at the Andean Cottage has been likened to a spiritual experience. Aside from a butler, who is on call 24 hours and who appears at night to light the two wood-burning chimneys, guests are truly alone. The Andean Cottage is the only one in the area and guests have the lakeside beach all to themselves. You'd better be prepared to embrace rustic living, as there are no cars and no electricity (which means no TV).

What you get is a spacious two-bedroom home with a lake all to yourself. The master bedroom boasts a super king bed size and a large bath which provides open views of the lake.

You get there via speedboat; the trip takes 4.5 hours and the boat leaves daily from the private pier at Casa Andina, Puno. On the way you stop at the Uros Floating Islands as well as the traditional Alsuno community of weavers on Taquile Island, before arriving at Suasi. Alternately, guests with their own vehicles (4x4s strongly recommended) can drive to the dock in Cambria and go the rest of the way in the lodge's Zodiac dinghy.

In terms of things to see and do, you can go on a number of nature walks, canoe on Lake Titicaca, visit the cultural hut, which serves as a museum and library, trek up Itapilluni Hill to admire the sunset and enjoy stargazing such as you will never experience in the city.

Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia

For an authentic Mongolian experience you can do no better than Three Camel Lodge, which offers a taste of a rugged nomadic lifestyle but with luxury Gers (traditional nomadic tents) and five-star dining to fall back on. The Deluxe Gers come with private bathrooms, king size beds and felt slippers and Mongolian bathrobes, as well as locally produced toilets. The more traditional Gers are furnished with wood-burning stoves, felt carpets, hand-painted wooden beds and ceilings that provide an unobstructed view of the stars.

The lodge is located in the heart of the Gobi desert and was built according to environmentally and culturally sustainable methods; electricity is provided by solar and wind power. The lodge offers guests a number of opportunities to explore the vast Gobi desert, including Bactrian camel tours, four-wheel drive excursions, hikes (which provide an intimate glimpse into the ecology of the region including its plant, animal and bird life) and overnight field explorations. It's also possible to remember dinosaur fossils, as a paleontologist from the Mongolian Academy of Sciences takes guests out to dig sites and supervises the expedition.

Getting there is an experience in itself. First you will need to take a two-hour flight from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar (alternatively there is a three-hour flight from Seoul), then you will need to board a prop-plane for a further one-hour flight to Dalanzadgad, followed by an hour-and-a-half drive on a rough dirt road. The chance to meet local nomadic tribes, dine on local produce at the Bulagtai Restaurant and bask in the stars more than makes up for the inconvenience.

Hotel Arctic, Greenland

For possibly the most extreme experience of your life, you can not beat the Hotel Arctic, which is the northernmost 4-star hotel in the world. The hotel is located on the edge of the Ilulissat Ice Fjord, which is a World Heritage Site. It's not all that difficult to reach; almost all major European cities have flights to the airport at Kangerlussuaq, which is in turn a short 45 minute hop to Ilulissat, but it is actually at the end of the world.

The Ice Fjord is the region's primary attraction. It covers 3000 square kilometers and contains one of the largest and most active glaciers in the world. The glacier moves approximately 20m per day, and is described as a park full of sculptures that are constantly changing.

There is also the opportunity to stay in an igloo on the edge of the fjord. The igloos are not made of ice, mores the pity, but that means you are assured of all the modern conveniences.

PORTRAIT OF A POOR TRAIT

What is softness to some people, is strength to others

When I was a boy my grandfather said to me "The finest trait of character is humbleness". I was too young at the time to grasp the nature of the statement. Other men in the family – mostly naval officers – worked hard on the male ego, not least around the drink table. Exposed humbleness was to them a sign of weakness. I guess they assumed less cocky attitudes when they faced stormy weather out on the oceans.

As I grew older it dawned on me what the old man had been talking about. His version of humbleness had nothing to do with appearances. As a captain in the merchant navy he had no problems with his male identity.
He had mean humbleness before a task. This became very clear to me as I started writing fiction. As readers we may think that if a text is easy to read, it is easy to write. Wrong – the more fluent a text, the more work behind.

So, when I struggled with my first book I had grandfather's reflection in mind. In my case, humbleness before the written language. I checked the text over and over again before granting a 'passed' stamp. People around me look their heads – "They're sure it's all right now, you've only spent three weeks with those five pages." It was not humbleness to them.

My idea of ​​humbleness includes the ambition to never let the reader feel snubbed. There is a difference between "do not walk like that, you will hurt your feet" and "if you walk like that, you will hurt your feet". The difference between the pointer and the humble hint. Splitting hairs, you may think. Okay, we do not analyze the text that carefully during reading, but these little particulars create atmosphere. Even if we can not put our finger on the reason, some texts appeal to us more than others do. The language is a delicate tool.

Over the years I have published six thrillers and I hope that my humble attitude has not faded or proceeded into something less agreeable. Our self-picture need not be in accordance with other people's opinion. My grandmother died long before I had a chance to tell him about my dream to write fiction. His advice was general observation. Neverheless, it helped me adapting the right spirit through the first tough years of rejections. My disappointment filtered through "okay, they did not like it" instead of "those people just do not understand".

Some writers seem to have an inborn sense of language. Now and then we come across examples – a sentence or paragraph that make us stop reading to let the words mature. Then we read it again just for the good feeling. I experienced one of those elevated moments when I read this passage in Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby": "The only stationary object in the room was an awful couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though up an anchored balloon. both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. "

I love those turns. They make me feel humble before a great talent.

Safety is a State of Mind and Proper Training

"We become what we think about." – Earl Nightingale

"The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack." – Morihei Ueshiba

The realization that we become what we think about was the pivotal force in Earl Nightingale's life, lifting him from a life of grinding poverty to helping him spawn an international radio show and become a pioneer in the industry of motivational recordings.

Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, was one of history's greatest martial artists. Even as an old man of eighty, he could disarm any foe, down any number of attackers, and pin an opponent with minimum injury to his opponent.

What have these two distinguished gentlemen to do with safety? Nightingale emphasized the idea that we, as individuals, have the ability to choose our own thoughts and attitudes. Ueshiba taught his students that training is not an event in itself but a way of life. Controlling our attitudes and living in constant training are at the crux of creating a safe environment.

When we are new at a task, most of us are tentative and cautious. We do not want to mess up and we certainly do not want to get hurt. When we're still new at a task, we tend to have an inquisitive and heightened awareness and we tend to pay attention to instruction. We approach new tasks with a "beginner's mind" and are eager to receive proper training.

With increased knowledge and familiarity with a task, (whether it be driving a car, using a band saw, cooking steaks on the grill, even walking down a couple of flights of stairs with an armful of publications) comes increased confidence. This increased confidence is beneficial, up to a point. A natural inclining for all of us when we become proficient at a task is to start to lose respect for the risks inherent in the task. While familiarity may not always breed objection, it does tend to lead to carelessness.

As our professionalism and confidence increase, two thought patterns start to insidiously creep up on us:

1) An attitude of overconfident carelessness.

2) The all-knowing feeling of "Been there, done that. I already know all I need to know about this task and I do not need to know anything more."

What makes these two paradigms so clandestine and treacherous is that they both work on an almost subconscious level. If we are not aware of the formation of these attitudes within ourselves, they will take over before we realize it, cloud our judgment and misdirect our actions.

Awareness of our present attitudes and the knowledge that we can control our attitudes is the first step in creating a safe environment for ourselves. Whenever we start to feel that we are total masters of a specific task, it is quite the time to remind ourselves that, while we may be good at what we do, we have yet more to learn. We need to remind ourselves that accidents are most likely to happen to the beginner and the one who "knows it all".

In fact, it is well documented that pilots are most vulnerable to mishaps when they have 0 to 100 hours flight time (beginner) and when they have between 1000 and 1500 hours flight time ("know-it-all" hotshot). This phenomenon is most likely true in all industries.

Continuing training and review of the basics is the other half of the equation for maintaining a safe environment. Vince Lombardi, the coach of the winning Green Bay Packers, always started the training season with a football in his hands telling his players, "Gentlemen, this is a football". Lombardi knew that a continuous review of the basics was essential in crafting a championship team. That's the way we need to approach the tasks we do – review the basics. Train continually. Tighten up the slack.

One form of training that military aviators participate in the is "what if" game.

"What if you have just taken off from an airfield and a bird is suddenly sucked into your number 2 engine causing the engine to flame out.

The object of this training is to have a course of action already predetermined. Another form of training is to review the operator's manual before using a piece of equipment. Still another is to take a look at pertinent safety regulations on a regular basis. Different situations require different methods of training but the idea is to continuously review the tasks that are to be performed, understand the risks involved, and take appropriate action. Build a culture of continuous training. A solid training plan not only increases our profitability but also makes for a safer environment.

So let's take our cues from these two masters – Earl Nightingale and Morihei Ueshiba. Realize that the thoughts and attitudes we choose will make huge differences in our results and that constant training will keep us sharp. We realize that we will never be absolutely free from accidents. This big, goofy, wonderful world of ours is just too full imperfections and unpredictability. But if we cultivate our attitudes toward safety and continuously train at the tasks we must do, we will have done much to minimize injury and damage in our homes and work places, making it a safer place for ourselves and for others.

Booking Cheap Hotels Room in London and Manchester

Everyone wants a best accommodation during his trip with excellent service and minimum rent. Every single traveler wants to spend his or her vacation or stay at a comfortable location with a cheap hotel accommodation. Especially when you go to the European cities like London and Manchester (including the few most expensive cities in the world)? It looks difficult to find out cheap hotels booking in these cities. Most of the hotels in such cities are Four Star or Five Star.

To find perfect cheap hotel areas according to your trip (for business, pleasure or special reason trip) is very difficult but with the help of good websites you can get it very easily. To get cheap London hotels booking or Manchester hotels booking one can take help from reliable online websites. In such cheap hotel booking deals traveler get best accommodation in very cheap rates. You get a best possible price in such cheap hotel booking with all possible quality services. Every European hotel is elegant and offers high standard accommodations and integrated service to their guests. These rooms are furnished with amenities such as air conditioning, coffee / tea maker, complimentary bottled water, and free Wi-Fi.

London is a capital city of United Kingdom and also houses some wonderful cheap hotels. 24 Upper Berkrley Street, 117 Warwick Way, 152- 156 North Gower Street, 41 Queens Gate Gardens, 126 Southampton Row, 29- 31 St Georges Drive and 78-84 Warwick Way are a few good hotels in London at different locales.

Manchester is among the few big cities of Europe offering many good options in the Cheap hotel Category. The list of few good cheap accommodations in Manchester is Knutsford Old Road, Whitbarrow Road- Lymm, New Hey Road- Manchester, 15 Hilton Street, and Lancashire Country Cricket Club.